Like everything else around, the world of digital marketing is constantly changing and shifting. It can be overwhelming even for seasoned professionals to keep up with the new developments and advancements. New tools, changing algorithms, competing technologies and the list goes on…Don’t feel bad if you feel frustrated, confused and uncertain.
If you are an entrepreneur, a small business or a non-profit entity, things can be even harder. Most SMBs, public and charity organizations have few (or none) marketing resources to research, consider and implement new initiatives. Marketing, as a function, is an expense at the end of the day and often thrown on the back burner when more pressing issues pop their head. Unfortunate as it is, this is a common pattern we notice with many of our clients.
This haphazard and as I like to describe it ‘Marketing-on-off-on-off’ approach can be suicidal to your brand and business in the long run. Most decision makers do admit that they need most help in the area of marketing. So what does it come down to then?
We believe it’s the element of Consistency. Slow & Steady Wins the Race – Marketing is a Marathon, not a Sprint. Brands need to remind, nudge and make their target audience aware of their existence constantly to stay ahead of competition. It doesn’t have to be in the form of mass marketing campaigns across multiple or all channels. Of course, a campaign could be scaled if results on KPIs are being exceeded and budgets are available.
What I am referring to is giving your audience small but constant dosage of information, education, entertainment, news or whatever fits your marketing strategy. Remember, quality execution of any campaign is critical for its success and achievement of objectives.
Here are 5 channel and content executions that are proven to generate consistency and engagement. These are industry/business agnostic strategies that drive brand visibility and initiate conversations with current and/or new prospects.
Emails & Newsletters
This is one of the most cost-effective, yet powerful channel to communicate with your customers. It doesn’t matter how small or big your database is; this is a no-brainer. Recommended frequency is at least once every 2 weeks. Some businesses do it every week. This is a great tool to share just about anything – announce launch of products, promotions, company/industry news, campaigns, social initiatives and much more. Key is to keep the message succinct and have CTAs to drive traffic to your site.
If you don’t have a clear plan for your blog content, do it NOW! It needs to live in your marketing calendar with precise topics and goals. Blogs are crucial to improving your search ranking and drive organic traffic to the landing page. In addition, presenting opinions and viewpoints on various topics would establish authority and though leadership for a brand. Depending on your industry/area of business, a monthly blog posting (minimum, twice a month would be better) is ideal.
Social Media Posts
Regular posts on social media pages is an excellent tactic to participate in social conversations, offer ideas, and even start new conversations. Sharing new or curated content on new trends, changing patterns and behaviours or anything that will inspire, entertain or educate your customers will create positive brand image.
Paid services like Outbrain, Zemanta and Taboola make it easy to syndicate your content across a huge network of publishers. Some share content in sections on articles that are highlighted as Related Posts or More From Around The Web. You’ll get analytics (included in the cost) around the posts and titles that do the best to drive traffic back to your blog/site.
Sometimes referred to as Branded Content or promoted content, native advertising has emerged as a solid alternative to display advertising. A native ad is not a direct ‘buy me’ message. Advertisers message is ‘disguised’ and matches the form, function and look of the publisher’s page. Most social media feeds like Facebook, Twitter, and high traffic publishers like Yahoo, Buzzfeed have been monetizing native ads for a while. There are a number of platforms available that provide native advertising at scale including Stackadapt, TrippleLift and Nativo. Well, two things are pre-requisites for native advertising – budget and good content.
Educational content such as how-to tips on saving time and money or step-by-step guides, work really well in this medium. E.g. if your company produces and sells car care products, a short video or guide on how to take care of your car interior/exterior in winter can be great content to promote.
As mentioned, any online marketing strategy and medium takes some time to build. Patience, perseverance and creativity pays off in the long run.