Marketing communications have been challenging business owners, startup founders, entrepreneurs and marketing directors alike since the term was dreamed up decades ago. Who to target, how to do so as well as when and where to do it are all critical questions that must be answered before beginning any outreach campaign.
While the goals of every company and campaign are different, there are many overlapping ways to reach and engage your audience effectively.
So what should you do to make the most of your marketing budget? Here are 3 must-use strategies to employ across campaigns and channels.
1. Content marketing drives mindshare
If you are not already leveraging content marketing in your campaigns, now is the time hop on the train. According to a recent survey conducted by eMarketer, content marketing is a top priority for a full 39% of corporate marketers in 2013. Content marketing takes many forms: news, videos, ebooks, white papers, case studies, infographics, photo galleries, webinars and even blog posts.
The basic idea behind it is to provide useful information to potential customers even though they may not be ready to buy your product or hire your services just yet. Every day people thoroughly research most purchases online before making a decision and by providing entertaining or educational content for them to use and enjoy, your brand can gain recognition and mindshare as a go-to source of valuable information. And that recognition as an expert and thought leader goes a long way the next time a potential customer needs to make a purchase.
2. Use video to drive engagement
With the enormous popularity of YouTube and other video sites, this may seem obvious but if you have the means, developing video for your company is an excellent way to increase leads and grow sales. Video puts a human face on your brand and offerings. A one or two minute video can explain your product’s advantages and benefits faster than a visitor can read about it on your website.
TV ads have long been recognized as more effective than print or radio simply by virtue of offering both audio and visual stimulation. A video on your homepage or posted via social media has another critical component going for it as well: interaction. Videos can be easily shared and linked to through external pages and can even ‘go viral’ if they strike the right chord among viewers, generating enormous return on investment.
3. Mobile is (still) critical
Talking heads have been banging on the mobile drum for a few years now but that doesn’t mean its importance is waning yet. Spending on mobile marketing hit $6.7 billion last year and the industry as a whole is projected to employ 1.4 million people by 2015.
People are on their smartphones and tablets constantly and having mobile-optimized content is a must for every enterprise. Whether through a branded app that delivers useful data or services to your customers, the ability to accept payment via mobile device at your point of sale or even just a simpler version of your website that displays well on small screens, being able to cater your content to smartphones means your prospects can access information on your business anytime, anywhere.
Once you’ve decided on a marketing communication strategy to pursue, the next step is to plan out your messaging. Check out our step by step guide and template below to get started.