I’ve noticed something funny about marketers. Most of them have what I like to call “shiny object syndrome.”
They get an idea, test it, and before they’ve given it enough time to work, they hear of another idea, and decide to test that instead. The cycle repeats.
Instead of ending up with marketing channels that drive revenue for the business, many of them will end up just cycling from one idea to the next and end up in shiny object hell.
The CEO and the sales team aren’t happy because leads, trials, and demos aren’t coming in. Yet the marketer feels like the pressure is unfair and they’ve accomplished a lot because of all of the new things they’re trying. Things are “happening”, yet nothing is “working.”
The problem isn’t that nothing works, it’s that the marketer doesn’t have the focus and patience to commit to what’s starting to work and double down on that. They’re constantly distracted by that new shiny idea.
Good Marketers Commit to a Strategy When It Starts to Work
In the first two years of our business, we were trying to figure out a content marketing strategy that worked across all of our clients.
The challenge was that we had clients with many different business types and business models (e.g., B2B, B2C, SaaS, Service, eCommerce), so whatever process we used had to work across all of them.
Our initial idea was that we’d produce stories that were interesting to the target audience of our clients, we’d interview influential people in their industries, and share those stories on social media. Our logic was that these interview based stories were a lot more interesting and “higher quality” than top 10 lists and “ultimate guides” that people were pumping out. The result was that we were able to grow our clients’ traffic a ton, very quickly.
However, we also started our business to solve the problem of getting content to generate leads for our clients and measuring and reporting on those leads. So while the stories drove a lot of traffic, conversions weren’t as high as we had initially hypothesized. In fact, many of these stories produced barely any conversions.
Around that time, we had a client challenge us to make sure our content would grow traffic and conversions long-term. Naturally, that conversation led to SEO (since SEO-based content will keep driving traffic and conversions once it ranks). He asked us why we weren’t doing more SEO based content and why we were producing all these stories that just get traffic for a short time and then die out.
Now, here’s what’s important — at that time, we happened to have produced a few SEO-based stories. They were targeting keywords that we would now call “bottom of the funnel” terms. Basically, we had accidentally done Pain Point SEO — even though we didn’t have a name for it back then — and when we looked at the results of those pieces once they ranked, we saw they drove a ton of conversions (and because they were ranking for SEO keywords, they drove continuous traffic).
So when we took a step back and compared the results of both ideas (cool stories versus these BOTF SEO pieces), it was clear that the second method got better results. So we decided to double down on that second method, coined the term ‘Pain Point SEO’ to describe the method, and pivoted our whole agency’s positioning and process around it.
We’ve now stuck to that system for over 5 years.
Many marketers in that same position would try another idea, and another idea, instead of committing to the one thing that works. They often question, “well, what if there’s something that works better?” We could have also done that and chased some new shiny object. But we didn’t.
At that time, we only had a few SEO based articles published, but we saw good results from them and stopped to really test that channel. We produced more SEO pieces, then a few more after that, and kept seeing these pieces produce crazy amounts of conversions. So we doubled down hard.
The reality is, you only need to test something new if there’s something wrong with the current method of doing things.
You don’t need to constantly look for new tactics or new ideas. You just need to commit to a strategy that works. That’s how you grow.
Almost every large company you know of grew largely through one channel, and only when they started to exhaust that channel, did they move onto something else.
Stop Focusing on Shiny Objects
There are constantly going to be new tactics, new methods, and new technologies that will distract you from the strategy that drives results now.
You don’t need to be the first one to try them out or pivot your whole strategy around them.
For example, right now a popular thought is “ChatGPT is going to be the next way to produce content, we need to get on it before everyone else does.”
Why? If you already have an existing process that works well and gets results, do you really need to be the first to try that technology? You only need to be trying something else if your existing process is broken.
Rarely is there an advantage to being the first to try something. In fact, it’s usually the opposite. While others are focused spending their time testing and trying new things to try to figure out what works, you could be focused doing the things that work for you now — while getting results.
After those other people spend time figuring out what works, if your process starts breaking down, you can then test their strategy for yourself (while saving yourself all the headache of figuring it out from scratch).
So stop shifting from tactic to tactic. Stop with the LinkedIn posts talking about the newest idea you have. The marketers who share their daily tactics and all the cool things they’re “trying” are the ones that, behind the scenes, are not getting results.
Good marketers test until they find something that works, then they double down on it.
Bad marketers have shiny object syndrome.