Marketing Strategy

Helping You Reach Your Business Goals

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Plan • Execute • Analyze • Repeat

Websites, SEO, Direct Mail, Social Media: They all seem simple on the surface. There are many tools and strategies that can help you get the word out in a relatively short period of time. As a technology company that helps people communicate in print and online, we are constantly asked the following questions:

  • How do I get more followers on Twitter?
  • How can I get more engagement from my newsletter?
  • How can I get more "likes" on Facebook?
  • How do I get more people to visit my website?

The question we ask: What's the point?

Your goals will dictate your digital marketing strategy. None of the questions presented above matter, unless they contribute to your goals. Instead, here are the questions you should be asking:

  • How do I increase awareness of my brand to my ideal buyer?
  • How can I get people actively looking for a product or service like mine to find me?
  • How can I create a sense of community around my product or service so that my existing customers come back for more?

Here is what we think the right way is to build out a marketing plan and integrate it with the real world so that you can put the right message, in the right medium, in front of the right prospect, at the right time.

Create Buyer Personas

Buyer Personas are a fictitious representation of potential patrons of your business. Marketing experiences are created for these imaginary people. They guide what content is created, where it is placed, and who it is promoted to in order to maximize impact.

Businesses don't sell to businesses, people sell to people. Until you can articulate who your buyers are, where they spend their time, and what they care about, why spend time and money marketing at all?

Outline Marketing Triggers

Marketing triggers are events that take place which prompt someone to be interested in what you have to offer. These can be simple events like online searches, or an event that they attend in the real world.

These marketing triggers shape the way that your digital presence is positioned and where visitors will be directed once they find you.

Triggers may lead to content offers, emails, direct mail, or even a notification that someone in your organization reach out to a particular prospect because that prospect is ready to become a customer.

Create a List of Topics

As search engines become more advanced, they have get better at answering questions, rather than simply showing results for web pages. This is good, because when we search for search for something all we are really looking for is an answer to a question. Google, for example, will make search suggestions based on the user’s search topic.

These suggestions, or topics, will be the focus of content creation. The best content for a given topic will rank the highest on a search engine. The higher the ranking of a website, the more likely it will appear when someone searches for that topic.

When marketing offline (using tools like print,) these same topics will apply. Personalized printing helps you address specific topics with specific clients, depending upon their context.

Create SMART Goals

Marketing Goals should be S.M.A.R.T. - This means:

Specific
Measurable
Attainable
Relevant
Timely

These goals will be used as Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to track the progress of the digital marketing strategy.

An example of a S.M.A.R.T goal might be: "Increase qualified leads by 15% in the next 90 days."

This goal works because it is:

  • Specific - 15% in 90 Days
  • Measurable - Did we do it, or did we not?
  • Attainable - Probably
  • Relevant - What business doesn't need more qualified leads?
  • Timely - 90 Days

Outline Content Strategy

Content is communication distributed through a medium. This could be a video, image, photograph, text, or some combination thereof. A content strategy defines how content should be used.

The distribution of content may be accomplished via strategic publishing on social media channels, websites, and print. Different types of content are best suited for specific channels, so the strategy should include guidelines to ensure the right content is presented to the right person at the right time, and then lead them where you want them to go.

For 2017, it is generally accepted that 50% of content should be video based. This video may include that which is professionally produced and edited but should also include "on the fly" video captured using smartphones.

Design Nurturing Process

The nurturing process develops contacts into customers. It could also be described as the process by which readers of your newsletter become customers.

Nurturing is typically accomplished utilizing a sequence of email and personalized direct mail, providing educational information in order to inform the reader. These emails are sent at a regularly spaced interval.

Regular communication packed with valuable content designed to help the reader will build trust and ultimately help you attract the right customers to your business.

Implement Enabling Technology

Once a strategy is created, technology may be used as a tool to automate communication processes. Marketing automation tools like Hubspot can help you to manage campaigns. Customer relationship management tools like Salesforce.com help to track information about each prospect, enabling you to tailor your marketing efforts specifically to their interests.

These tools are designed to help acquire contacts, manage them, and (most importantly) communicate with them.

There is a tendency to jump straight to tools because they are shiny and interesting. That said, having a plan for how to use it will bring a lot more value to your business.

Create a Marketing Calendar

After you know what your prospects are interested in, how to reach them, and how to keep track of them, it's time to get tactical.

The best marketing keeps you "top of mind" with active buyers, so it's important that content is created and distributed at a regular cadence. Staying on track requires a calendar that documents:

  • Messaging Objective
  • Target persona(s)
  • Distribution Channel
  • Date
  • Responsible Person

You can make this as high or low tech as you want, but we suggest starting with a spreadsheet. Keep in mind that you may have similar messages distributed via several channels - for example, you might write 4 blog articles which will be promoted by social media, and then re-purposed as articles in your printed newsletter.

 

Get Going!

Once your calendar is set up, it's time to start creating and distributing content. This takes time, but remember to stick to your plan. If you fall behind your calendar, don't stress about it - adjust your calendar to make sure that nothing "falls through the cracks."

Here are a couple of tips:

  • When you're working with a printer, make sure that they also understand digital marketing. Share your plan with them. If everyone is on board and aligned, your vendors become partners who understand what success looks like to you.
  • Create "portable" assets. This means that images should be high resolution so that it can go online and into print. Copy should be optimized to be helpful for humans, not search engines.
  • Have an experimental mindset. Sometimes your campaigns will be really successful, and sometimes they will make you wonder what you were thinking when you started. This process is about testing and measuring.

Whatever you do, be helpful and have fun. Share your culture with your clients and assist in solving their problems. This drives trust, loyalty, and ultimately, sales.

Analytics

It is often said that 80% of marketing dollars are wasted, and if you could only figure out which 80% that was, you could be really successful. At CASEY, we believe in the power of data. Whether this comes from sophisticated tools like Hubspot, CRM applications, Google Analytics, or something as simple as a spreadsheet, you really need to hone in on what components of your marketing mix are successful and apply key attributes to those components which could use a little help.

Attribution

Attribution is the process in which you look at sales and try to figure out which marketing activities can be "attributed" to that revenue.

There are many different places where a prospect might interact with marketing before a sale takes place. It's easy to see what they are, but harder to determine which one was responsible.

In some cases, attribution will be given to the first piece of content with which that person interacts. In others, it is best to attribute a specific campaign as being responsible for bringing the client (and their dollars) through your door. For example, if you were a cleaning company and you ran a spring cleaning campaign that consisted of paid search advertising, three print pieces, and several blog articles, and the client interacted with more than one of them, wouldn't it make sense that the campaign as a whole get credit, rather than the one thing that they actually clicked on?

Do It Again

Successful marketers don't think of campaigns as a "one time" thing. They think of campaigns as ongoing. This is why it is important to learn, move on, and keep creating.

Making one change at a time is crucial to accurate tracking of metrics. Here are some examples:

  • If your postcard failed to drive traffic to your website, don't redesign the whole thing, start by just changing the call to action (that bit of content that encourages your reader to visit your website).
  • If your website has a landing page promoting a content offer, and it is just not converting (creating leads) don't redesign the whole thing. Start by changing the title, or value proposition, of the content offer.

The most important thing is to keep doing stuff. Eventually, your experiments will teach you what works, what doesn't, and you will need to expand your sales team to keep up with demand!


Need Some Help?

If you're ready to shine a light on all the great work you're doing, you can get started by scheduling your complimentary 30 minute consultation with Casey by hitting that "Talk to an Expert" button below! Whether you're looking for someone to lead your team through creating a markeing plan, or just looking for a starting point - we're looking forward to helping.

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