When your strategy is not working and you change it, instead of saying that you failed, you can say that you implemented pivot marketing. In fact, pivot marketing should be critical for any business that wants to grow or remain relevant.
Pivot marketing applies not just to businesses but also to agencies providing marketing services. If you’re a marketing agency, you need to be ready to pivot at any moment. Just consider what major changes occurred in digital marketing in the last couple of years alone:
- Organic reach on Facebook declined by more than 50 percent after the first quarter of 2017.
- Video in Google search results hit 74 percent.
- Instagram videos gained popularity — they now see 21 percent more interactions than pictures.
If you’re failing to take these and countless other trends into account, you’re missing out.
When to Use Pivot Marketing
You should use pivot marketing whenever you feel that your strategy could be better. There are a few situations when this is likely to be the case.
1. Algorithm Updates
Both search engines and social media platforms make changes to their algorithms all the time. Most often, you don’t hear about these updates because they are such small tweaks. However, when an algorithm update does make the news, it’s serious. This is when you need to pay attention and adapt your strategy. Otherwise, you may stop reaching users.
In the realm of search engines, the most significant example of a recent algorithm change was mobile-first indexing. This meant that Google stopped using desktop versions of pages for rankings and turned to mobile versions instead. In social media, you have the Facebook algorithm change that gave priority to posts from other users over those from brands.
2. Onboarding Influencers
Influencer marketing only works if the values, brand image, and message of the influencer align with those of your business. If you have just some minor differences, pivot marketing can help improve alignment. If the influencer is very different from your brand, however, pivot marketing cannot help. In this case, you’re better off looking for a different influencer.
3. Website Redesign
Your website needs redesigning every few years to look fresh. A redesign is also an ideal opportunity to change strategy. For instance, you’ll be able to improve SEO, ensure that your site is optimized for usability, and take into account your changed business goals.
How to Implement Pivot Marketing
Whether you’re a business or a marketing agency, there are a few ways you can embrace pivot marketing right now.
1. Leave Old-School SEO Behind
SEO is still very much alive, but if you’re relying on old-school tactics, you definitely need a marketing pivot. For businesses, this may mean finding a new SEO company with proper marketing services for today’s world. For agencies, it means changing how you offer your SEO services.
A better way to approach SEO than focusing your efforts on bringing more traffic to your website is to think about conversion optimization. Think of it this way: if you already have qualified traffic (but it’s not converting), what’s the use of more traffic? A better method would be to find ways to turn more visitors into leads and more leads into customers. Run A/B tests to see how changing different elements will result in more conversions.
2. Stop Using Industry Best Practices
Go a step further and stop using all best practices. Instead, find out what works best for you. There is no digital marketing standard for every business — there’s no list of requirements to fulfill. Whereas best practices may work well for one business, they may be unsuitable for another, even in the same industry.
For the same reason, marketing agencies need to stop selling the same sets of services to every business. It is important to assess each client’s needs and determine what approach will bring the best results. Factors that influence this decision range from budget and business goals to industry and target audience.
Whether you’re an agency or a business, you can figure out what you should be doing by turning to the data. Look at the metrics that matter, like rankings and traffic. Keep making tweaks to your strategy to find what helps and what hurts.
3. Give Greater Weight to UX
In the early days of digital marketing, SEO was all about improving your website visibility for search engines. Over the years, there has been an ever greater shift toward UX. Rankings, now more than ever before, are determined by how users interact with your site and how enjoyable the experience is for people. Everything you do with your marketing strategy should be for users, rather than for search engines.
Businesses that survive and thrive are those that utilize pivot marketing. They are willing to adapt, even if it means making drastic changes to their strategy at short notice, and they make constant tweaks to stay relevant. If you want your business to grow or (as an agency) you want to bring value to your clients, you need to implement pivot marketing.