On-line marketing is a great way to create awareness and generate demand for your company and it’s products or services. Today’s technology and creative trends offer up some exciting options for rolling out effective campaigns and strengthening the brand. However, marketing in today’s world is a tall order. From “full funnel” lead generation tactics to social, local and mobile, the options abound.
How do you make effective decisions when there are so many tactics to choose from?
Start by stepping back and taking a look at key information:
- Concentrate on who your audiences and influencers are, in order of priority.
- Think about which audiences and influencers you want that you don’t have.
- Formulate an assessment of what your audience and potential audience currently perceives of the company and it’s products and services. Also flesh out what you want them to think of you now.
- Define your objectives for online marketing, in order of priority.
This is just a start and the information that is derived from these important discoveries, can lead the way to exactly what you need to do to increase awareness and demand.
So where does “first things first” come into the picture?
More often than not, I see marketers forge ahead with campaign strategies delivered on the web and via email marketing, picking from a wide array of delivery paths and creative directions. However, their primary web site is outdated, not working on mobile devices and the content is lackluster. I equate this to an analogy of trying to sell your house before the house is ready to sell.
Online marketing is effective and takes serious strategy, time and money. When done correctly, it takes people back to your site, to check on you as a company. Your site is where credibility and trust is established. My top recommendation today is that you look at your site and review the state of your content. Once that is absolutely rock solid, you will be in a better position than ever to effectively market to a variety of audiences on any device. Taking a serious look at this will result in two potential outcomes:
- Our site is a responsive design site, with fresh content, supporting multiple devices. Any social, mobile or email campaign I roll out will be supported by the strength of our brand and the credibility of our information.
- Our site is not a responsive design, does not display correctly on multiple devices, and the content is out of date. If I roll out campaigns, I will be taking them back to this reflection of the brand.
It is imperative that you clean up your site and pave the way for responsive design and fresh content. It doesn’t mean you can’t define interim awareness tactics, but you need to make sure your house is in order.
So how do you begin?
Start with responsive design. Wikipedia says “Responsive web design (often abbreviated to RWD) is an approach to web design in which a site is crafted to provide an optimal viewing experience—easy reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling—across a wide range of devices (from desktop computer monitors to mobile phones).”
In other words, the approach to design and content will allow for fat finger friendly experiences on a phone, and in-depth product research on the laptop or tablet. Getting your site and content up to speed has other benefits:
- It will force you to re-assess how you communicate your brand and key strengths as a company.
- You’ll be in a good position to examine your current site analytics and how your content maps to them.
- You can leverage any new design elements to update collateral, email templates and other key deliverables in your marketing arsenal.
- In order to define your web and mobile strategy, you’ll need to examine your content management solution and the database your content is pulled from. This exercise alone will assist you in seeing where your content needs to go and what you need to do to display it everywhere.
So, when it comes to putting first things first, remember the key benefits. You’ll have new designs to leverage, your analytics will improve, you’ll look great on every device and you will be a shining star.
So what’s next?
Well, I could go on and on about online marketing. Here’s a few quick tips and questions to ask yourself that will lead you to the next effective plan:
- Where’s your audience? Remember, no matter what avenue you try, social, mobile or local, it needs to map to your audience to be effective.
- Review your current lead generation campaigns. What does the mix currently look like? Is it email and tradeshow marketing? Is it working?
- If you decide that social and mobile tactics may be right for you, always remember that you need a reason for the audience to want to participate and a clear call to action that is appropriate for this delivery method.
- Everything you do should communicate 4 key things:
- Who You Are
- What You Do
- Why You’re Different
- Why We Care
Once you get these conversations underway, you’ll find a whole range of options supported by marketing automation, sales enablement tools and social engagement methods. You can start to define the best creative direction and you can strategize your content and how it’s delivered. Ultimately this will result in better analytics, increased revenues and more exposure for your company. Putting first things first, will put you in a great position to achieve marketing success.