This is a guest blog post from Anna Chapman Anderson, CEO of Art Unlimited, who has grown up working in the marketing industry. She speaks on national stages across the United States and works alongside business owners helping them obtain success.
The only constant in our world today is change. The confusion which comes with change makes it hard to know what you need to keep track of in order to grow and protect your business. Learn how to use data points to predict market trends and make an actionable strategy.
In 2020, the worlds of traditional marketing and digital marketing clashed. However, it made the two forms of marketing unite; many businesses took advantage of the situation. There are many forms of traditional marketing but the 5 core platforms are:
- Radio – Broadcast radio has been a trusted voice in local communities for years.
- TV – Having local celebrities or key community members within your advertising helps drive results. Also, having news anchors share how you’re helping the community members helps build trust with your customers.
- Vehicle Wraps – Effective vehicle wrapping acts as a moving billboard and will result in leads.
- Yard Signs – Having yard signs can bring in dividends. Having 2-3 high contrasting colors within the design will help get them noticed even more.
- Direct Mail – Having well crafted and eye-catching designs, alongside a list segmentation, will create a personalized experience for customers and help increase ROI.
Here are a few ways to grow in traditional marketing.
- Reach out and work with local celebrities and well-known community members. What brands and local companies could you align yourself with?
- Once a traditional marketing platform is identified, what are the primary and secondary media sources their followers live within?
- How will you track leads of these traditional marketing sources? This is a key component in measuring success.
- Do you have a strong call to action with a unique offer which separates you from your competition?
More and more people are searching on mobile devices to get the information they need. When you market for mobile, it usually adds another layer of complexity to your marketing strategy. No longer can you rely solely upon a strong Google-ranked website. Now, you need to look closely at using multiple mobile platforms to market in. Some platforms you could use are:
- Private Apps
Note: apple is currently testing a private search platform.
It’s also important to track how a user is connecting with your company. Are they using their phone and then switching to a computer? It can be tricky, but Google Tag Manager (GTM) will allow you to unify your tracking scripts and use Google Analytics to keep track of the patterns.
Three steps for success are:
- Identify the issues you solve for your customers and the questions they’re asking. Document solutions for these and become an expert on the topics.
- Create media-rich content to help drive growth. People want more than just written content. They like videos, podcasts, or vlogs to help them connect with you.
- Look at the platforms you’re using and select what you’ll do in them. Try to stand out from your competitors and use all the tools the platform has to offer.
Lead generation platforms are growing and constantly changing. Google Local Service Ads was rolled out in 2018 and is now one of the top platforms in lead generation. It positioned Google to leapfrog over other platforms, like Home Advisor and Angie’s List. There are many other digital platforms showing up in the market, including mini CRMs. People don’t even need to navigate away from the platform they trust in order to interact with a company. The key to using these platforms will be juggling all the platform standards as well as navigating the communication with these opportunities.
Your relationship with your customer is still one of the most powerful sources for leads. How you care for your customer is critical and shouldn’t be taken lightly. Referrals are still a strong way to gain leads and a strong referral system is a key component. You need to be willing to ask previous customers for a referral.
Some common items within a referral program include:
- An online referral portal allowing customers to refer their contacts
- A gratitude program that includes a referral or review request
- In-person referral request
- Followup communication with a request for a referral
If you’re not taking advantage of referrals, it may just be an untapped source of leads.
Quick response times is the one core item which needs to be consistent throughout lead generation channels. It is hard to be everywhere at once in the diverse landscape of lead generation, but customers don’t like to feel as if they’re being ignored.
Great brands clearly show what they do – and how it’s different from their competitors. If there isn’t a clear message, your brand will struggle to gain traction. There are guiding principles which need to be followed when creating content:
- Use simple language.
- State what problem people are experiencing.
- Share what obstacles are stopping you from solving the problem.
- Describe the solution your product or service provides.
- Describe the result.
- Identify the trust element connected with your solution.
By creating this effective messaging, you’ll be able to fuel multiple marketing campaigns. You can use the common failures customers can experience in your visual or written marketing. The successes your products or services bring the customers can be used in the same way. Using this method allows you to clearly break down and communicate what exactly you do.
A great company has a culture exuding who they are. They live their core values the company was built on. Those same core values are invaluable when it comes to marketing campaigns. They can be woven into your messaging and help create fans of your business.
If your company hasn’t defined your core values, here are some steps you can take to identify them:
- Identify your personal core values and have your entire leadership team go through this exercise as well. Great leadership teams have synergy within their personal core values.
- What words describe who you want to be? It’s ok to have one or two aspirational core values, they just need to be realistic.
- Who is your company today? These words should be the true values you and the leadership team live by every day.
- What definition describes these values for your company? Does it resonate with your leadership team? Are you ready to hire, fire, review, reward, and recognize based on your core values?
After you have defined, tested, and clearly communicated your core values, messaging, and identity, the best part begins. This is when you’ll see prospective team members who want to join your team. Customers will want your services and provide feedback on them. The ultimate goal is to be able to work with and for a company who has both a clear message and core values to live and work by. This work will set the stage for your long-term success.
Why is it important for a business to be consistent with their Name, Address, and Phone number (NAP)? If there are discrepancies in this information, your business will likely experience lower performance. They must be consistent, along with your messaging.
If your business name clearly states what services or products you provide, you should have an easier time being found by customers. If your business has a vague name with no reference to your core service or product, you may struggle to gain traction online. It’s not impossible and does take significant effort to overcome the uphill battle.
Managing Assets for Maximum Impact
Not only will you need NAP consistency, but also visual consistency. Having slight variations in your brand across different marketing campaigns will lower their value and create confusion. Having a brand manual to create visual consistency is just as important as a clear message. What is included in a strong brand manual?
- Core logo file
- One-color logo versions
- Documented colors and color codes
- Font styles and approved variations
- Inverted logo options
- Supporting messaging
- Guiding principles
- Core values
All of your photography and video collateral also needs to be reviewed to see if it supports your messaging and core values. If it doesn’t, create a list of visual elements you need to create to support them.
Some of the most powerful marketing campaigns are non-traditional. They aren’t easily recreated, but they drive the strongest ROI and build a community. What are the core items which make this form of marketing great?
Countless charities as businesses for donations and support. Many businesses will respond out of kindness and give without wanting anything in return. When you donate to these causes, it is important to ask some questions:
- Will your brand be included on promotional materials? If so make sure to supply your branding manual.
- What social media platforms will be used? Is your business going to be promoted?
- Should you be re-sharing or using hashtags when promoting your donations?
- Are they backlinking to their supporters on the website?
- Are press releases going to be used? What information will be needed from your business?
- If traditional media is involved what representation from your business is needed?
These questions should easily be answered by the organization. When you take the time to ask these questions, you learn what marketing they’re currently working on and can piggyback off their campaign. If they aren’t doing some of the items, you can step up on their behalf and help out.
Engage Your Team and Customer by Volunteering
Finding ways to involve your team in supporting a cause will help bring a community and company together. A common form of a business supporting the community is when the business provides one of their services to a member of the community. If you do this, here are a few tips to follow:
- Make sure your team has clean, branded apparel.
- Photography and videography are captured during the event.
- Create signage to recognize your involvement.
- Try to get local celebrities to participate in the event and provide a quote.
- Prepare to do on-site social media promotion.
You can also invite customers to engage in the giveback. It’s a great way to strengthen your relationship with them. Leveraging this support is key, so you need an easy path for your customers to join in.
- Communicate where, when, and what will be happening.
- Tell them how they can follow on social media.
- If it’s a physical event, how can they participate safely?
- Are other businesses allowed to join in on the campaign? Define the needs and who to contact if they are interested in participating.
Reporting and Monitoring
Measuring a cause campaign can be hard to do. Some marketing professionals don’t even try to measure them. They do have the ability to be measured, you just have to be intentional in your tracking.
Ask the organization you’re working with if there will be any campaign performance or reach reports provided. The organization may be unable to measure the reach but sometimes can provide social media metrics, Google analytic data, and documented mentions in traditional and digital campaigns. You can help by providing any tracking URLs being used and by working with the organization’s marketing team so they’re aware of your social media channels. With the implementation of these two things, you’ll be able to better track inbound links and social traffic.
With how often mainstream and digital media changes, grassroots community marketing campaigns are driving a lot of growth. People want to do good and will join the movement of something bigger when they’re allowed to. Lead generation usually increases when people are able to support a company who is doing good in their community. Word will spread of how you’re bringing positive change to the community.
There are countless ways to leverage marketing and to drive growth for a business. Great marketing requires everyone involved to repeatedly bring their best. From the C Suite to the Graphic Designer, everyone brings value to marketing conversations. When everyone is working together, dynamic results happen. If you need help walking through all of these ways to predict your success, connect with Art Unlimited to discuss how we can collaborate on conquering your marketing strategy.