Getting the most out of your marketing starts with having a smart strategy in place.
As a media professional, you know that when it comes to marketing, there’s never a one size fits all approach. And with so many clients whose needs take priority, it can be challenging to understand and manage your own marketing strategy.
We’re here to give a bit of an introduction and help you find the best way to communicate with your audience.
Different types of marketing
Keeping things simple, there are two types of marketing that you should focus on: inbound and outbound.
This newer type of marketing includes things like content marketing, social and personalisation. It involves having a two-way conversation with people, providing information that is useful (for example, in the form of guides and blog posts) and creating a relationship with your audience. It’s great for making people feel valued and helping you to deliver great service, which then translates into sales.
This is what could be seen as the more traditional, established types of marketing. These include advertising, buying in email lists and direct mail. This type of marketing has an amazing reach, allowing you to get your message in front of a lot of people and is very effective.
Getting the right mix
It can be tempting with such an overwhelming choice in front of you to simply choose one or two channels. However, you’ll get much better results if you have a mix. In fact, research shows that using four or more channels gave a 300% increase in performance.
B2B consumers now have multiple touchpoints with their suppliers and partners, and expect to be able to connect with them in a number of places. If you’re not making it easy to do that, your competitors probably are.
The best approach is therefore to choose a number of places to put your marketing – usually a mix of inbound and outbound to help you have conversations and make prospective clients feel valued, while also being able to reach a lot of people.
The keys to successful marketing
So, how do you make these channels work? The first step is to know your target audience.
• Which businesses do or could buy from you?
• What are they like?
• Where are they located?
• What interests them?
Knowing the answer to these questions allows you to target your marketing well. That means…
The right message
What do you offer clients and why have they chosen to invest in advertising? Your message should change depending on the type of businesses you choose to target, but you should always check that you have focused on what’s important to your clients.
In the right place
Using the best channel to communicate with your audience is essential for your success. Think about where to place the message to ensure it reaches the right audience. For example, you might want to use social media to have a conversation with people – spend some time thinking about which social media platform would work. LinkedIn is an obvious first port of call to contact businesses, but research shows that B2B content receives equal engagement on Facebook and LinkedIn. Twitter can also be a great place to start a conversation, particularly with up-and-coming start-up businesses. Choose the platform that best suits your needs. You don’t have to do them all.
In the same way, your website might be a great place to build a blog and post regular, useful information. However, if you don’t get much traffic on your site, you might do a guest blog on another site, which has the right target audience to demonstrate your expertise and reach new clients.
Similarly, you can choose to advertise in the best place to reach your audience. For digital advertising, that’s often about targeting the right keywords. For traditional media like print, the demographic of the publication should be a close match to your target audience.
At the right time
Timing is essential and, again, that comes from understanding your clients. If you’re sending out an email, you’ll get a much better response if you send it when they’re ready to open it. Research can help.
Similarly, if you’re reaching out on social media, keep in mind the platform and its peak traffic times. For example, Facebook and LinkedIn vary hugely in this regard, despite similar levels of engagement. And again, research can help.
Make a plan
All of this can seem to be daunting, but once you’ve thought about this, it’s just a case of making a plan. Draw a calendar and record:
• your key message by month or quarter
• which channels you’ll be using
• what information you’ll put out on each
• any detail, such as ideas for blog posts or social media
That will help you keep track and makes it much easier to streamline your marketing and make it work.