In today’s fast-moving world, being a marketer means more than it used to.

It used to mean that you could write some savvy sales copy, take a picture of a pretty woman, include the ad in the local newspaper, and then, so long as your product was appealing, watch clients flock to your business with their wallets open.

Now, it’s not so clean.

Marketing is a bit more like a giant octopus with twenty opportunity tentacles that all promise to generate leads and increase revenue.

And since lead generation is one of the top priorities for marketers today…

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A part of you wants to dip your hands in all of it, not just some of it.

But, while it’s easy to do stuff, it’s difficult to do the right stuff.

Choosing the right marketing tactics requires a deep understanding of your industry, your ideal client, and, overall, a thorough comprehension of which marketing strategies will benefit your business the most.

In other words, every marketer struggles with figuring out which tentacles to leverage.

The reality, though, is that implementing the right strategies is far more powerful than juggling all of them.

In fact, here’s what you need to know in order to prioritize the impact of your marketing efforts.

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Content marketing quality vs. content marketing quantity

From “Quality VS Quantity In Content Marketing” to “Ending the Content Quality vs. Quantity Debate,” every marketer with a computer is picking up their pen to fight for one side or the other.

The side arguing for quantity claims that producing massive amounts of content will generate tons of passive traffic. The other side claims that existing clients are the ones you need to impress, not random SEO-generated visitors.

Well, today, I’m going to give you the truth.

Both sides are right.

Sometimes, quantity of content is best. And sometimes, quality is best.

But usually, falling somewhere in between the two is actually best.

On a scale from one to five, 42% of B2B marketers rate their content marketing effectiveness as a four or five, and 16% rate it as a one or two.  

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This shows how impactful content marketing can be, but here’s what interests me even more about the graphic above.

When content marketing institute reported this data, they only circled numbers one, two, four, and five. Yet, number three actually sports the highest percentage, where 41% of B2B content marketers live.

But what does that high percentage indicate?

It shows that marketers aren’t really sure about how effective their strategy is.

They know it’s not the worst, but they also know it could be better.

And the factor that plays the biggest part in determining the effectiveness of your strategy is where your content falls on the quality and quantity spectrum.

On one end, you’ll receive high traffic but low commitment. On the other end, you’ll get low traffic but high commitment. And in the middle, you’ll get a little of both.

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Don’t automatically think that one is better than the other, though. For businesses with a simple product that sells itself, quantity will rule. For businesses with a complex product that requires higher commitment levels for conversion, quality will often win.

But as with all marketing strategies, the subtle nuances are how you determine where your own business should fall on the quality, quantity, content marketing debate.

Largely, it will depend on what your business goals are. To give you an idea of some of the most popular goal categories, here are the top goals for B2B content marketers. Consider brand awareness, lead generation, and engagement specifically.

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Whatever you choose, once you’ve set goals for your business, align those with your marketing strategy, and you’ll have a better way of measuring the effectiveness of your efforts.

Ask yourself this question: for your business, what will give you the best ROI? A lot of content that is medium-quality? Or less content that is high-quality?

Neither is better. Neither is worse. They are just different.

And your marketing strategy should err on one side of the spectrum or the other in direct relation to your business’s goals.

Tested advertisements vs. new advertisements

As marketers, it’s easy to get overwhelmed.

We constantly have fresh ideas, new ways of implementing old ideas, and unheard-of strategies we want to test.

Unfortunately, all of those “fun” ideas quickly bog us down from actually having an impact on the business. We end up more like a research and development department than a marketing department.

While we should be generating traffic, bringing in leads, and raising the website’s conversion rate, none of that happens when our efforts are too split to iterate and perfect any one strategy.

For that reason, the smart marketer will prioritize only one, two, or three marketing channels, spending all of their testing, improvement, and iteration energy on just those tactics.

They’ll run this cycle over and over again to dominate a single marketing method.

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But determining which few channels you should prioritize and perfect is easier said than done.

Ask yourself these questions.

  • What platform is best for marketing to your existing clients?
  • Which channel is most effective for acquiring new clients?
  • Do you want your strategy to revolve around marketing to new clients, upselling existing ones, or both?

That will help you determine where to place your time and energy.

Whether you decide to focus on new or existing clients, try to target what Google calls “micro-moments.”

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These are the moments where your ideal or existing client will search online, looking for an answer to their question, a product to buy, or an action to take.

It’s the time when you go onto the internet with a level of intention you usually don’t have when scrolling through Facebook or Instagram.

These are powerful because they are the moments when your ideal client is most likely to make a critical decision.

To determine which micro-moments your ideal client experiences, consider…

  • When your ideal client is ready to buy, what exactly are they looking for? Just your product? Or something else to lead them into your product?

If you understand your ideal client, then targeting high-decision micro-moments with your marketing efforts is simply a matter of testing, iterating, retrying, and repeating.

While an overwhelmed marketer will have their hands in too many jars, a marketer that focuses on only a few channels and improves those to perfection will drive the business toward its goals.

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Keyword research vs. random rankings  

Let me be honest. No one loves to write a piece of content, type the intended keywords into Google, and see their article on page one more than me.

It’s a great feeling.

All of that hard work paid off, and now your business can sit back and watch the passive leads roll in.

Sadly, for many page-one rankings, that never happens.

Why?

Well, as it turns out, the keywords you rank for are actually far more important than just ranking in general.

If you rank for a keyword phrase that no one but you is typing into Google, then that’s not going to generate very many additional leads. But if you rank for a phrase that resonates with your ideal client and gets massive search engine traffic, then the story will be the opposite.

In other words, content optimized for search engines is only as good as the keyword research you do to determine the focus of that strategy.

For example, take a real estate agent. Let’s imagine that they are trying to get their article to rank for the phrase, “How to buy a house.”

What kind of traffic is that going to drive? High-commitment or low-commitment?

Well, these people are probably still in the early stages of consideration for buying a house. Purchasing a home is a big decision, and someone searching for how to do it is probably a first-time homebuyer who wants to know what they’re getting into before they take any big leaps.

But imagine, instead, that the real estate agent targeted the keyword phrase, “House listings.”

That’s going to drive a whole different set of people. These people are probably looking to buy a house right now.

Sure, they might be browsing to see what’s available before they even have the money for a down payment. But, by and large, this group is going to be far more committed than the former group.

The point is that the keyword phrases that you target with your website and content do matter. And they matter a lot. Different people will type in different things depending on their level of interest, knowledge, commitment, and motivation.

You can find popular keyword phrases by going to keywordtool.io.

And you can then work backward from those phrases by asking yourself:

  • How interested are these people in my product?
  • What’s the best way to deal with that level of interest?

That way, you’ll rank for keyword phrases that actually benefit your business’s bottom line.

ROI vs. vanity metrics

Overwhelmed marketers are vain marketers.

Okay. Maybe not in the traditional sense. Overly busy marketers don’t necessarily think they’re better than everyone else, smile far too little, and make uncomfortably dry eye contact.

But they do tend to pay attention to vanity metrics more than marketers who are focused on iterating and perfecting just a few strategies.

You know what vanity metrics are. They’re the metrics that make marketers feel successful without actually having any connection to the bottom line of the business. Stuff like page views, time on page, and SERP.

In fact, marketing KPI’s are crowded with these buggers.

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But why are overwhelmed marketers easily distracted by these metrics that amount to nothing more than ego-boosters?

Because they often make busy marketers look good.

“Look! We’re ranking for three different keyword phrases, and organic traffic generation is up by 10% this month.”

But how do those numbers connect to the business’s goals, and, more importantly, to the business’s revenue?

After all, that’s what marketing is for: acquiring new clients, upselling existing ones, and raising the waters of business profit.

Which is exactly why vanity metrics are so deceiving. They distract marketers from what really matters.

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Namely, the connection between marketing KPI’s and revenue.

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You see, so-called vanity metrics aren’t inherently wrong, bad, or ugly. They’re just distracting.

In fact, vanity metrics can inform your marketing strategy. But only if they’re directly connected to the revenue of the business.

Vanity metrics become a problem when they are the end-all of measuring your marketing success.

ROI is a far better measuring stick.

Instead of focusing too heavily on vanity metrics, create a graph like this that shows the marketing spend and the marketing revenue generation right next to each other.

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The important thing is to build the connection between your marketing strategy and the revenue of the business.

With a focus on metrics that impact the business’s bottom line, your marketing efforts will be more impactful and less deceiving.

Conclusion

No industry changes faster than marketing.

Last year, video content was wildly effective. This year, live video is the winner. Next year, who knows what the climate will bring?

But one thing’s for sure: it won’t be the same as it currently is.

That fast-moving world makes for an industry that’s difficult to keep up with. And many marketers end up trying to do it all.

They dip their toes in SEO and PPC, send direct mail, use Facebook Ads, Instagram Ads, and display ads. They try to build an organic following as well as drive leads through paid advertising. All the while, they try to implement new strategies and new ideas.

Quickly, the picture is ugly even to an abstract artist.

But it’s worse than ugly. It’s ineffective and a waste of time.

Activity sometimes feels good. You think, “I’m so busy. I must be effective!”

But finding your place on the content quality and quantity spectrum, iterating your marketing channels, researching the best keyword phrases for your business, and connecting marketing with revenue is a far more impactful strategy.

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