How Long Will it Take For My Marketing to Work?

Remember the days of waiting for your favorite song to come on the radio? You know the ones…

Lugging out your boombox, getting your mixtape ready, and anxiously awaiting the moment you could press record and capture your latest favorite jam? Some of us even went so far as to pick up the phone and talk to an actual person at the radio station to request our song. (Gasp!)

Or, how about when you had to wait for the specific date and time to watch your favorite TV show and even canceled your plans to ensure you didn’t miss it? “Oh, sorry, I can’t tonight. The latest episode of Seinfeld is on.”

“Waiting” is so early 2000s. Today, the world is an on-demand, instant gratification kind of place.

Why wait for a favorite song when you can instantly listen to it on Spotify? Wait for a TV show? Nah. Watch it “on-demand” with Hulu, Netflix, or any number of other streaming services.

So, how does this tired-of-waiting attitude translate to your marketing efforts? How do you know if you’ve given a marketing strategy a fair shot and should move on, or if you just need a little more patience?

These guidelines will help.

Never Stop Marketing

Imagine if you hired a nutritionist to help you lose weight, and when the scale didn’t budge after a single healthy meal, you fired them. Were your expectations realistic?

Obviously not.

Some things require waiting and continuous, often repeated, effort. To lose weight, you don’t eat just one healthy meal, you eat hundreds. The same is true of your marketing. You don’t just send one random direct mail piece and expect to make and keep a connection with your print buyers. You send one and then another and another to create a constant, robust, and worthwhile connection.

Marketing never stops. It’s something your print business needs to do continuously for the life of your business.

However, you’re not bound to use the same marketing strategy forever. You can and should pivot, try new things, and run new campaigns. But how long should you commit to a marketing strategy before trying something new? Take a look.

Social Media

Social media moves so fast that it can be hard to keep a steady stream of fresh and relevant content in front of your followers. It can be even harder to tell if your social media marketing is working for you.

Here are some timelines to keep in mind on the average time it takes for these social media channels to ‘work’ for you:

  • Twitter: 4-16 months, posting multiple times per week (preferably multiple times per day)
  • Facebook: 12-24 months, posting 3-7 times per week
  • LinkedIn: 8-16 months, posting 2-4 times per week, depending on company size and network

Lastly, if planning a specific campaign on social media, the sweet spot for campaign length is roughly 45 days. Shorter than that, you’ll miss connecting with your audience or having your message stick with them. Longer than 45 days and you risk your audience growing weary from seeing you post the same content repeatedly.

Need help with your social media marketing? Consider it done! Check out Social Marketing For Printers for social media content delivered right to your inbox that you can post in less than 30 seconds!

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

A good SEO strategy can be thought of like a flywheel – expect frontend effort to get it moving, but you’ll quickly watch it gain momentum.

On average, SEO experts agree that most businesses see increased SEO results in six months, and it continues the more prolonged the investment.

As Chris Panteli, founder of LifeUpswing, emphasizes, SEO does not work instantly: “SEO is like a marathon, not a sprint. It takes time and consistent effort to see results. On average, it takes anywhere from three to twelve months for a new blog to appear in the top rankings depending on the competition in your chosen niche and the authority of your site.”

Direct Mail

A new subscriber to the Direct Mail for Printers subscription service recently asked us about what commitments were involved in this marketing strategy.

This subscriber wanted to know if there was a contract associated with the subscription and how long it would take for them to see results. The conversation went something like this:

Printer: Can we try this for six months, or what are the commitments?

MI4P: The Direct Mail for Printers subscription is a month-to-month agreement with no long-term commitments. Our goal is to help you sell more printing, and if you find that your direct mail subscription isn’t accomplishing that goal, then there’s no reason to continue.

Printer: How long should I give it a try then?

MI4P: We recommend giving your direct mail subscription at least 12 months to see results. Studies show consumers have to see a message seven times before they actually even see it, while others say consumers need to see the message at least three times before it starts to make an impact. So, if you take the seven times needed to see each message “once” and multiply that by the required three message impressions, you really should give it 21 months. It’s a marathon, not a sprint!!!

Timeless Tactics

These tactics and marketing frequency suggestions aren’t new.

In fact, consider author Thomas Smith. In 1885, Smith wrote a book entitled, “Successful Advertising.” In it, Smith laid out this typical, yet effective, marketing frequency plan.

  • The 1st time people look at ad, they don’t see it.
  • The 2nd time, they don’t notice it.
  • The 3rd time, they are aware that it is there.
  • The 4th time, they have a fleeting sense that they’ve seen it before.
  • The 5th time, they actually read the ad.
  • The 6th time, they thumb their nose at it.
  • The 7th time, they get a little irritated with it.
  • The 8th time, they think, “Here’s that confounded ad again.”
  • The 9th time, they wonder if they’re missing out on something.
  • The 10th time, they ask their friends or neighbors if they’ve tried it.
  • The 11th time, they wonder how the company is paying for all these ads.
  • The 12th time, they start to think that it must be a good product.
  • The 13th time, they start to feel the product has value.
  • The 14th time, they start to feel like they’ve wanted a product like this for a long time.
  • The 15th time, they start to yearn for it because they can’t afford to buy it.
  • The 16th time, they accept the fact that they will buy it sometime in the future.
  • The 17th time, they make a commitment to buy the product.
  • The 18th time, they curse their poverty because they can’t buy this terrific product.
  • The 19th time, they count their money very carefully.
  • The 20th time prospects see the ad, they buy what it is offering.

Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? Learn to embrace the art of waiting and don’t give up too soon. Your continual efforts are paving the way for real momentum to start!