by Rebecca Wentworth, SharpSpring from Constant Contact
Any industry that relies heavily on technology has major changes year after year. Marketing is one of those landscapes that changes so quickly, it’s challenging to keep up with the best practices. Here are 10 marketing tips to optimize your strategy this year, based on the latest trends:
1. Look for Opportunities to Diversify
Most marketing budgets today don’t allow businesses to pursue every distribution channel at once. You need to carefully select channels that are most likely to bring strong returns from your investment. So look for opportunities to diversify your strategy by first researching your audience. Identify niche sub-channels where you’re able to cut through the marketing noise, such as on YouTube, social media groups, etc. Then you can diversify your strategy knowing the payoff will be worth the investment.
2. Embrace Paid Social
86% of social marketers already use Facebook ads, and the platform’s advertising revenue continues to grow. Meanwhile paid advertising options have come up on Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, and elsewhere. Social media platforms are tweaking their algorithms, making it clear to brands that paid promotion is a must if you want to get visibility. If you want your social strategy to maintain or gain momentum, then embracing paid social is a must.
3. Focus On Your Existing Content
Most marketers today understand they need to produce large volumes of content to build a traffic base. They often focus on creating new content, overlooking the value in their existing assets. Pro marketing tip: if you want to keep up with today’s competitive markets, it’s important to use your current content to its fullest potential.
For example, you can:
- Identify your most popular content and use these insights to inform future content you create.
- Update old content with new data, visuals, or perspective then republish for more reach.
- Repurpose old content as an infographic, video, slide deck, etc. You can also turn a series of blog posts into an ebook guide or report.
4. Nurture Brand Advocates
People look for recommendations from their peers to make purchase decisions. Your own customers are a powerful resource to help you reach new audiences and drive conversions. To make the most of your brand advocates, create campaigns to incentivize them to spread your message. Create an online community or offer rewards for referrals, for example. You can also create a branded hashtag and encourage audiences to use it.
Audi once took advantage of a hashtag a fan created on Twitter called #WantanR8. They surprised the Twitter user by letting her drive an R8 for a day, then used the hashtag to promote the vehicle and offer more free rides to Twitter fans.
5. Constantly Optimize User Experience
Creating a message that speaks to your target audience is only the first step to success in online marketing. It doesn’t matter how great your content is, it won’t drive conversions without excellent website user experience (UX) to go with it.
So make sure you’re constantly testing and optimizing UX to drive marketing goals. This includes improving site speed and navigation, ensuring your content is easy to consume on mobile devices, and more.
6. Connect Online and Offline Strategies
Creating a consistent customer experience online and off is an important aspect of memorable marketing in 2021. More and more businesses are using virtual and in-person events to influence audiences and drive sales, but they often think of them as isolated from online marketing initiatives. To get the most out of virtual and in-person marketing, first, identify what steps you want your audience to take after the event (e.g. engage with your emails, sign up for a free product demo, etc). Then create a virtual or in-person experience that nurtures them on this journey.
7. Prioritize Authenticity
This one is one of our most important marketing tips. Consumers today are well aware that the content businesses create is agenda-driven. They’re not likely to respond positively to salesy content, so brands need to develop better strategies to build authentic relationships with their audiences. One of the best ways to prioritize authenticity with your marketing is by creating live content. Host a live podcast, stream Facebook Live videos, etc. Make mistakes and go with the flow — you’d be surprised how positively your audience will respond to it all.
8. Create a Memorable Message
There are only so many ways to directly promote your products and services through marketing. Sometimes it’s worthwhile to stray away from your main marketing agenda to tell stories that make your brand more memorable and likeable. The more creative you get with storytelling, the more likely you’ll stand out and improve your brand image.
A great example of a marketing campaign with this focus comes from the diaper brand Huggies. They found research showing the positive impact of hugs on babies — hugs help build their immune systems, stabilize vital signs, improve brain development, etc. This inspired the brand’s “No Baby Unhugged” campaign aimed at educating parents about the benefits of skin-to-skin contact, and providing volunteers in hospitals for babies in need of hugs:
9. Build Partnerships
Advertising is a great way to broaden your reach on social media and the web. But it doesn’t compare to the power of a strong recommendation from knowledgeable influencers. Collaborate with other major players in your industry to reach a new audience and gain some social proof for your business. You can also enlist the help of micro-influencers to serve as your brand advocates on social media and the blogosphere.
10. Make Performance Analysis an Ongoing Strategy
Any seasoned marketer knows the importance of performance analytics to optimize their strategy. But waiting until the end of a marketing campaign to analyze and adjust seriously limits the potential benefits of performance analysis.
Top marketers don’t rely on past performance to inform future efforts — they make adjustments to their campaigns in real time based on the latest insights. Your marketing automation platform should offer you tons of ways to analyze the performance of your marketing efforts.
Article originally appeared on SharpSpring from Constant Contact.
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