Put an end to ‘hope marketing’ and build a better business

- February 1, 2018 3 MIN READ
whiteboard with marketing strategy ideas


Growth advisor Lielette Calleja gives her tips on how to stop hoping for customers and actually cut through the noise with a great marketing strategy that will reach your online audience…

In my capacity as both a business cloud accountant and growth advisor to small businesses, I often find that my clients are relying on hope marketing. Rather than being able to find the time to understand effective marketing and how to generate new leads online, these small business owners are busy working in their business rather than on it, and are simply hoping that customers will find them.

Life as a small business owner means it can be tough to carve out time to develop marketing strategies, let alone keep up with an ever-changing online landscape. Here are some tips I learnt from Sydney-based global digital marketing influencer, Jeff Bullas to help my clients build their business through simple and effective content marketing.

Getting noticed online

With over one billion websites competing for attention, cutting through the noise to reach your target market is a challenge.

It’s tempting to think you simply need to scream the loudest to stand out. But online users are over being shouted at, and it’s unlikely your small business has the large-scale budget to cater to that.

Your best bet is focusing on organic, genuine content, that’s likely to convert to customers—don’t try to be everywhere and spread yourself so thin that none of your efforts cut through.

Free ways to boost your web traffic

Getting eyes on your website is a tough gig, but building organic traffic is the gift that keeps on giving for long-term customer awareness and loyalty.

Building an attractive profile and growing organic traffic to your website is the key to building organic traffic effectively:

Organic social media — Even if reach is low, effective social media complements paid strategies and builds a brand identity. Boost your content by using emojis (even if you’re not an emoji fan), pinning popular posts and tapping into trends your audience wants to hear about;

Email marketing — Despite the rise of social media, email marketing is still an overlooked strategy with huge potential. Make it easy to subscribe to your list, show social proof it’s a real community, and encourage forwarding of your emails;

Search engine optimisation (SEO) — Search engines like Google are 300 per cent more successful than social media. Target longer, specific keywords with less traffic but a greater likelihood of converting to a sale.

Collaboration — Partner with like-minded brands by offering a guest blog or sharing an offer with their subscriber list.

Measuring your success

Before you can measure your success, it’s important to understand what success looks like for your business. Work backwards from an end goal. If you want to double sales, how many leads would you need to convert? How much traffic do you need to your site to build those leads? What type of social, organic and paid online marketing is going to get the visitors there?

When you have your answers, you can break your activities down into daily, weekly and quarterly goals and activities—just like your finances. What do you need to do today, this week or this quarter to meet your annual target?

Your online sweet spot

It’s easy to feel like you’re working in a vacuum, where you’re not sure if anyone is listening. But playing the longer-term game beyond this week’s sales is where most small businesses find their online marketing sweet spot.

Digital marketing isn’t easy, and it’s not always an exact science. But it wins over hope marketing, time and time again.

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