Focused Strategy: The Rising Tide Effect of Precision Marketing
Among the many challenges we face as digital marketers, some of the strongest and most consistent obstacles are competition, budget, and demand (a.k.a. search volume). We’re constantly asking ourselves questions such as: Where should we spend our marketing dollars? How much is enough to spend, and how do we get the biggest bang for our buck? How do we effectively compete in crowded industries like Home Performance, HVAC, or Solar when we have limited budgets and the list of digital marketing tactics seems to be forever expanding and diversifying? And — arguably the most important for businesses that offer different yet equally important services — how do we decide what messages, audiences, and channels to prioritize when it comes to marketing?
Like with many challenges and questions in marketing, there is not one right answer, and no strategy is complete without proper testing, analysis, and optimization. One method we at Energy Circle have found to be successful, however, is developing and executing a focused digital marketing strategy which zeroes in on one priority service, product, or message and funnels the majority of marketing resources toward that select topic.
The Focused Digital Marketing Strategy Defined
First off, what do we mean by a “focused strategy”? Simply put, we mean putting almost all your eggs in one basket! In other words: If you could pick only one service to offer to the majority of your customers for the next few months, which would it be? Take a look at the next 4 to 6 months and ask yourself two questions:
What are my customers most likely to need from me during this time?
If I received a spike in qualified leads looking for that service, would it be worth it? (Would I consider that to be a good ROI for my marketing spend? Would I have the staff and capacity to cover those projects?)
A precision marketing plan that focuses all or most of your efforts — including content development and keyword strategy, social media and PPC advertising, email and review management, and website UX / UI enhancements — on one service or product for an extended period of time offers a few key opportunities:
Beat the Competition: Click spend for PPC can be focused on fewer terms at a time, allowing you to invest more in clicks on only the most important terms, and therefore more frequently outbid competitors for popular (and expensive) keywords and paid search placements.
Leverage High Search Volume: PPC spend (and marketing spend on SEO) can be funneled more aggressively to terms experiencing high search volume. This allows your ads and organic content to reach more people when they’re actively searching for that priority service.
Relevance = CTR = ROI: Your ad text, website content, and metadata can all be highly specific, making it highly relevant to specific searchers. This means the CTR on ads and organic listings will go up, which can lift domain authority and therefore your organic rank. A better CTR also means your Google Ads Quality Score goes up, which can help lower CPC and therefore improve ROI.
Testing, Tracking, Analysis & Optimization Are Easier and Faster: SEO work becomes more digestible when the focus is narrower. Progress is easier to track and analyze when there are fewer variables to test and follow. Optimization and gaining momentum in off-site factors that contribute to organic ranking and visibility — like building domain authority, gaining new inbound links, gathering reviews and updating your GMB profile with posts and service categories — is that much easier and faster.
Getting the Most out of your Marketing Budget
As a home performance, HVAC, or Solar company providing a variety of services to homeowners, it can be difficult to choose one service, product, or target audience to focus on for an extended period of time. But consider your answers to the above two questions carefully. If you are able to identify a key service or product that meets demand in your area and aligns with your internal business goals and resource capacity — even if it is seasonal — it makes a lot of sense to prioritize it.
Look at it this way: Your marketing budget is likely limited. You must set realistic priorities in order to make the most of that spend.
Plus, focusing your spend on a priority service avoids scattershot budget cannibalization — where marketing dollars are spread so thinly across so many areas that they become ineffective in all areas. Jack of all trades, master of none!
Coping with Marketing FOMO
Worried about missing out on customers for other services, or losing ground in other marketing areas? FOMO is a common side effect of the focused strategy, but fear not! Precision doesn’t have to mean 100% of dollars on one thing 100% of the time. There is still room to test and optimize. Plus, depending on your marketing budget, it may be possible to split your spend to maintain momentum or awareness in other areas while making a concerted effort to build and grow more aggressively in a key area.
Also, keep in mind that not all digital marketing tactics require a lot of spend. Just because you’re focusing dollars on one service or product, that doesn’t mean you can’t leverage other less expensive tactics to maintain presence and momentum for other service areas at the same time. Blog posts and content on your website, Facebook, Instagram, GMB, and email are all channels that are inexpensive or free to update.
Putting content and messaging out there on these channels consistently, but less aggressively, is a great way to maintain visibility for other non-priority services and retain a connection to that audience, without distracting from the primary service or product. You’ll still have secondary service categories listed in your GMB profile; service pages and content published on your website will still reflect all the services you offer; and reviews from past customers in your directory listings will still contain language about your other services. Focusing on a priority does not mean going dark on everything else.
The Rising Tide Lifts All Ships
Still suffering from FOMO? Remember the old adage that “the rising tide lifts all ships.” By focusing your efforts on one priority service or product, you’re still addressing all of your fundamental SEO best practices:
You’re producing unique, relevant, comprehensive content for your website
You’re distributing that content across a variety of channels using marketing dollars to granularly target a large yet focused audience
You’re optimizing your website UX and UI so users and search engines can better find, understand, and use the content on your site
You’re tailoring your online presence (via channels like GMB and Facebook) to deliver a consistent, personalized experience to potential customers looking for that specific service
In addressing these fundamental SEO best practices, you’re improving the SEO performance of your entire site and brand. While keywords, landing pages, content, and ad text may be focused on a specific service, they’re still working in concert with an overall SEO strategy for your brand. This means if that service does well, so does your entire brand. Think of digital marketing and SEO like one team, and your focus service is the star player. The MVP may be the player that everyone recognizes and remembers at the end of the game, but they didn’t win the game on their own!