It could be time for an audit — and we’re not talking about your taxes.
When was the last time your team did a thorough audit of your marketing plan? There are countless moving parts, and it’s easy for months and even years to slip by without making the updates and improvements needed to help your business grow.
A yearly audit of the software, strategies and processes your marketing team uses can save you from costly mistakes and help you:
- Level up every aspect of your marketing strategy
- Capture more leads and create more fans
- Gain a well-rounded view of how your marketing plan is serving your business
- Rest assured nothing is slipping through the cracks
All these benefits are great, but marketing audits can be overwhelming, leaving you and your team wondering where to begin. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the top 10 parts of your marketing plan that could benefit from an audit — from your Instagram account and content strategy to your business automation software. You’ll also find resources to guide your audits and help take the stress out of making improvements.
Social marketing presence
Your business’s social presence might not have crossed your mind as something to audit, but you should add it to your list. An audit of your team’s current social content strategy can help you see what you may need to change to grow your audience.
Check in on which platforms are driving the most results, and where you need to focus on performance improvements. If your Instagram account is a place you’re interested in evaluating and growing this year, our free Small Business Guide to Instagram Marketing Mastery can help. You’ll learn exactly what you should and shouldn’t do with your account, including how to optimize it for SEO, what your posting cadence should be, what types of posts to include and other strategies.
This resource will make your Instagram audit easy — just read through the book, see if your account abides by the expert tips and take note of areas where you need to improve.
Where you decide to advertise matters, and an audit can provide assurance that you’re investing your marketing dollars wisely. Start by taking inventory of every campaign you’re running and see what kind of ROI they’re producing. This will show your team if some advertising platforms are more effective than others so you can invest your ad budget where it counts.
If you’re looking for a run-down of the different ad options you have to choose from, check out our blog on the pros and cons of each advertising platform.
Content is a great way to provide value to leads and customers, so like all good things, it deserves some attention. And because content directly serves and impacts customers, it should be a priority on your audit list.
No matter what the content is, make sure it’s providing value to your audience. That will be the theme guiding your audit process for each type of content you make, whether you’re trying to write blogs that better serve your leads and customers, create high-quality video content or develop lead enticing lead magnets.
Speaking of content, we’d be doing you a disservice if we didn’t recommend an audit for your AI strategy. AI is rapidly evolving and still relatively new to the marketing world, so it’s understandable if your team isn’t using it to its full capability yet. However, taking inventory of your AI usage can help you start!
You may be applying AI to areas it isn’t suited for, and there are likely many tasks an AI tool could help your team accomplish more efficiently (including email headline copy, blog outlines, interpreting data and reports, enhancing landing page copy, conducting keyword searches and so much more).
Before you start this process, do a bit of research into how AI can help you generate content that converts.
Business automation strategy
The capabilities of automation are so vast that it can be hard to know where to start automating first. If you feel like you could be automating more or just want to check how your automations stack up against the gold standard, then evaluating your business automation strategy is the way forward.
During this audit, it’s important to focus on the specific automation sequences your business is running. Ask yourself:
- Are these automations saving my team time?
- Is each sequence effectively serving the customer and moving them through the sales pipeline?
- Are there elements of these automation campaigns that I could update, such as copy, segmentation, and graphics?
As you’re analyzing your automation plan, if you feel the nudge that you could be automating more, take a look through 10 things every small business should automate. This ebook can give you direction on any additional sequences that are worth adding to your business and workflow automation.
Before you dive into your small business automation strategy, look at your customer journey. After all, your customer journey is what informs and guides every one of your automations.
This journey is the path people take after becoming aware of your business, and if you don’t have a thorough, accurate map of this path, then you’ll miss out on automation opportunities. And even worse, you’ll miss out on converting leads and turning customers into fans.
You might be thinking, “I already mapped out my customer journey, so why should I audit it?” This is a good question, but the truth is customer journeys can change over time. You might have added more offerings since first mapping the journey, or maybe you’re not converting as many leads as you would like. Any tweaks or additional steps will become clear in your audit, and you can use this customer journey quick-start guide to help you.
Customer/lead relationship building efforts
Nurturing leads into customers and customers into fans who come back for more is how your business scales. An evaluation of how exactly you’re engaging with these groups can help you more effectively communicate with them so they move through your sales funnel.
Below are two pieces of low-hanging fruit to audit and improve that can yield big results:
- Make sure you have strategic, well-designed email drip campaigns.
Small business CRM and automation tools make it easy to automate email campaigns for new leads, but it’s worthwhile to reevaluate the content that’s populating those communications. By doing this, you’ll see if your campaigns align with your updated customer journey and if there are any design or copy improvements you need to make.
- Look into your customer nurture efforts.
Nurturing previous customers and getting them to come back for more is cheaper than capturing new leads, which is why this process is so important. If you haven’t already, automate your customer follow-ups with your business automation software to save time and ensure a repeatable, streamlined experience for every customer.
CRM and business automation software
Your CRM and business automation tools are crucial to your marketing gameplan. If you’re using this software to its full potential, it’s the backbone to your entire strategy — every email, text, invoice, referral request, appointment and more.
As you set out to evaluate your current software, take a look at:
- What features you’re using most
- Which features you aren’t optimizing
- Any capabilities you wish your CRM and business automation software had
- If it’s saving your team time/how it’s benefiting your business
There’s a lot to consider when it comes to this software, so it helps to have something to guide you. We’ve created the Marketing Automation Buyers’ Guide and a CRM Buyers’ Guide, which you can download for free, to help you navigate the complex world of software.
Search engine optimization is how you get your content to show up in search results, which can lead to more people discovering your business. But SEO best practices change periodically, so your strategy needs to adjust as well. An evaluation of how your team’s SEO efforts are performing can help you increase your web traffic and attract more leads to your business.
Your SEO audit will most likely reveal new keywords you need to start using, outdated keywords in your content that aren’t helping your content rank, and if your website is visible and accessible. For more details on what to keep in mind for an SEO audit and information on how SEO can help your small business, read or watch the top five SEO tips for small businesses from an SEO expert.
How you package your offerings
This audit may not be one many people think about. After you’ve decided what you’re going to sell and how you plan to do it, you may not feel the need to revisit the structure, but this is your reminder that you should.
By completing this evaluation and rethinking how you package your products or services, you could open up a world of new possibilities (and revenue) for your business. Here’s how:
- Increase client conversion by limiting product choices
- Productize your services so you can sell more without working more
- Start a membership site to generate recurring revenue
More audit resources
These are just 10 of the many things your marketing team probably has going on, so you might think of some more items to add to your audit to-do list. If that’s the case, feel free to check out Keap’s library of resources, where you can find blogs, webinars, training videos, guides and more to help as you evaluate and improve your marketing processes.