The following is a post by Paul Hannam of Bright Green Leadership (a 3p sponsor) – offering internet marketing strategies for responsible businesses. This tips and observations in this series are aimed at green entrepreneurs looking to understand how internet technology can benefit them more.
For the last few years I have regularly heard from colleagues that 95% of internet marketing campaigns fail to achieve their objectives. I would say this number might well be higher in green marketing!
There are many reasons why the rate of failure is so high. It is often due to simple marketing mistakes such as choosing the wrong product or market, or failing to match the message to the target audience. Often, it is down to poor execution of a specific strategy such as sending out an ineffective email or a poor quality landing page.
The basics of online marketing are simple and straightforward, yet time after time green business marketers ignore them or try to take short cuts. One of the biggest mistakes that green marketing professionals make is over-reliance on the creative aspects of their work, and paying insufficient attention to the boring stuff like measuring and evaluating their results.
In simple terms, successful internet marketing needs both our right brain to come up with the great ideas, and our left brain to implement these great ideas in a logical, measurable and achievable process. Here are five strategies I recommend to ensure you increase your odds of success.
Copy a successful campaign
If you are planning a campaign to market your green business consulting firm, look at what has worked for you in the past and copy parts of it. Then, make a list of 10 other green consulting competitors and check their website to see how they promote their services. You can even look at non-green consulting businesses to discover innovative ideas.
I would recommend that you plan every aspect of your internet marketing campaign very carefully and test each part separately and also in conjunction with each other part. Set a schedule of tasks and events leading up to the launch, and then the milestones afterwards. Just setting and sticking to deadlines will have a significant, positive impact.
Check the concept first
Before you even launch a new campaign check out the concept with friends and colleagues who you know will give you honest feedback. You could even go a step further, and assess your idea with a more formal group of 10-20 users. Run a pilot campaign to get rid of the glitches.
Leave your ego at home
Please do not fall in love with your idea, as it will prevent you from accurately assessing the quality and impact of the initiative. We do not like to see our big ideas collapse in front of us, and this is sometimes worse in the world of green marketing as we also believe that everyone else should be as passionate as we are. Unfortunately, passion is a double-edged sword and only the market will decide if your flash of genius has any substance.
Test, measure and optimize everything
In the last four posts I have written about market research, traffic generation, email list building and sales. Yet, perhaps the most important skill needed for top quality marketing online is testing, measuring and optimizing everything you do.
The good news is that Google Analytics is a tremendous tool that enables you to do this very effectively. With this tool you can track all online activity including the number of visitors, where they come from, how long they stay and what they do on your site. You can set up goals to measure the conversion of visitors to email subscribers. When you get this right with the other strategies that I have outlined in this series of posts, you will join the elite 5 percent of successful internet marketers who deliver the goods!
Paul Hannam is president of Bright Green Leadership that provides internet marketing services to responsible organizations. Paul is also Chairman and co-founder of Bright Green Talent and taught environmental business at Oxford University. You can get Paul’s free Green Marketing online evaluation for your own website or contact him at Paul@brightgreenleadership.com
Read more Green Marketing stories here.