There are an endless number of ways that you can center your marketing campaign. Social media has become the big one that the big bucks are being allocated to. Mobile marketing via app notifications is another. My personal number one is and always will be content marketing. So, which one is the "right" one?
My answer: all of them.
Marketing on the web is an ever changing, multi-faceted strategy that has no right or wrong ways to go about it. The only way to be unsuccessful is to fail to recognize the value of different tactics and to make sure each of your methods coexist with one another.
What makes looking at the bigger picture so critical?
It relies more on your efforts than the money it takes to bring them to life. A giant corporation will obviously have a budget that gives them a lot of reach. But they aren't your peer contenders, nor is their way of marketing is the way you will be moving forward.
Big Ideas for Big Success
My favorite quote this year came from former AirBNB marketer and current cofounder of TwentyFirstCenturyBrand Jonathan Mildenhall. He summed it up beautifully when he said:
"The size of the idea is so much more important than the size of the budget."
The trick to running a successful marketing campaign is to utilize all of the tools at your disposal in order to promote big ideas.
As we slip further from 2018 and into 2019, here are some ways to focus on those ideas and make our marketing campaigns the best they have ever been.
Follow The Customer Flywheel
HubSpot has always had their finger on the pulse of marketing. This year they really outdid themselves when they introduced the idea of the customer flywheel.
The concept is simple: a marketing funnel will work to generate leads, take them through the funnel and convert. Then... nothing. Not until the company needs them again. They are treated as less important than the new blood the funnel is sucking up.
When they enter the flywheel, the customer instead remains the primary focus of every campaign. They are the center, where it all starts. From there, the marketing is done around them.
How is this so powerful? For one thing, it improves retention, the core of profit sustainability for any company. Second, it opens up the way for greater word of mouth outreach from the customers themselves, on and off social media. Good reviews are worth their weight in gold, especially as lead generators.
Segregate Your Social Efforts
There is no such thing as an effective all-in-one social media marketing plan. Your strategy needs to be broken down in a way that effectively targets all levels of engagement, based on your needs.
For instance, getting the word out can be done through paid ads on social media platforms. This will be more budget intensive, but completely controlled based on your means. As you find a platform and method that works, increase the budget accordingly.
Organic social media outreach, however, is different. This is connecting with customers and potential customers. It is managing your reputation. It is building a link through one on one engagement on different platforms.
Social media is also a space for customer service. A study by Adweek found that more than 51% of customers would rather receive customer care through social media than by phone or email.
As for conversion, Twitter found that customers who engage with brands via their platform spend 20% more than those who don't. They are also 30% more likely to recommend that brand to their friends and family.
So think of your social media campaign as a set of tasks that have their own goals and needs and act accordingly. By segregating your tasks and goals, you will be getting more back in each category than if you made it all one singular campaign.
- KnowEm: What social networks can you name? Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, Reddit, Tumblr, Pinterest... you are probably starting to blank. There are actually hundreds of social networks and very popular ones, from every country in the world. You can target all of them using KnowEm, which goes well beyond the usual names and into something much more thorough. They have additional services, such as securing brand specific domains and social profiles so you are prepared to begin campaigns anywhere. They also have a feature that fills in all information for you and sets up your accounts on all of these networks... that is up to 500 networks!
- Mention is one of the best-known social media monitoring companies on the web and they have changed a lot in their services since their first inception. They are all about increasing your social impact and have plans for businesses, social media influencers and individuals who just what to increase their visibility and the amount of work that gets done through their profile.
- BrandMentions: Wondering if you are really seeing all of your mentions across the web? BrandMentions is an awesome tool that looks at every single corner of the web and pulls out even more obscure mentions that you might have missed the first time around with other tools. For small businesses that only need to mention a single brand they start at $49 per month. As you grow you can escalate to new plans with more features.
Take Advantage of Special Events
Special events are a fantastic time to work on a new marketing strategy, especially as a small or medium sized business. For instance, Christmas is not too far away and you should already be planning for it. The same goes for New Years, or even St Patrick's day.
Whether you are offering freebies, discounts, special products, promotions, customer driven contests or anything else, the holidays give you an excuse.
According to statistics, eight in ten customers are going to use a search engine (almost certainly Google) to research their products before they buy. You need to be ready once the season starts to hit... and the season is already beginning.
Holidays aren't the only options for you. Sporting events like the Olympics, the World Cup and the Super Bowl are some examples of prime marketing times to dive into a new campaign. But you need to be prepared for them, not scrambling to release something last minute.
Keep The Content Flowing, And From Different Rivers
The more content you can create and get out into the world, the better off you will be. Valuable, high performance content is one of the greatest forms of marketing that exists. That hasn't changed over the many years I have been in this line of work.
But where are you generating content and for who?
Spread it out and make it varied. Create regular blog posts and build your authority by posting on other people's sites. Hold podcasts or recorded interviews and place them on YouTube. Do a livestream. Send out drip emails. Write ebooks. Create slideshow presentations. Make how to's.
Content is one area where you can make almost anything, in any medium and reach different corners of an audience based on how they prefer to learn or communicate. The same customer who likes to skim through blogs while they have their morning coffee might not be the same as the one who likes watching YouTube videos on their lunch break.
Use Featured Snippet Tool to find which questions people ask in your niche and make sure you have content covering those questions in much detail. The tool is powered on "People Also Ask" results which make is very powerful:
- "People Also Ask" results help you create better-targeted content (and attract more organic users). They are also almost never-ending source of content ideas.
- "People Also Ask" results are closely connected to Google's "Featured snippet" algorithm, which means that covering them in your content can give you additional exposure in search
Do you have any tips on an awesome marketing campaign? Let us know in the comments.