When you’re braving the choppy waters of internet marketing, it can be easy to get lost. Sometimes it feels like you’re just throwing spaghetti at a wall just to see what sticks. There must be a better way to build a compelling campaign!
First, let’s go over the basics: marketing is about experimentation and a willingness to try and try again. Even the most successful companies in the world deal with their fair share of dud marketing campaigns… and these are businesses with entire dedicated marketing departments at their disposal. The occasional failure is part of the game.
The other part of the game is having the wherewithal to recognize why something didn’t work. Or better yet, why it did. You can’t just give up because your first, second, or even third attempt to navigate the waters turned up mediocre results.
Here’s some advice to help in creating a compelling, creative campaign.
- Do your research. Do you know what your current or potential audience wants? Are you sure? Seek out what your competitors are doing online. What’s working for them? What’s not? What do you have that can fill a niche they can’t? Use it.
- Make it personal without losing your core messaging. What’s going to make people care about your marketing efforts? Maybe you can be a hub for local events, or post pictures of the sort of goofy fun you have in your shop every day. If your audience is parents, share content that will resonate with them, like parental humor or photos of your kids. Just don’t forget that you’re also trying to get them to DO something.
- Invest in high-quality imaging. Social sites and many websites are moving toward highly visual designs that often rely on high-quality images. Visual storytelling has proven to be something the public reacts to very strongly. Stunning photography or carefully crafted designs convey a level of professionalism and, done correctly, are highly sharable. Can you create creative visual messaging?
- Learn the art of story. Do you know how to tell a story in 100 words? It’s an important skill to learn. You’ll often hear that “Content is King,” and it’s the truth. People respond to interesting, entertaining, or valuable content. Blend mediums. How can you combine sound and text? Video and audio? Images and story? It doesn’t hurt to brush up on your grammar, too. Polished text is professional text.
- Be willing to change direction. You may find that something you did on a lark ended up with ten times the reaction of your usual efforts. Don’t wave it off as a fluke. If something you do finds a foothold, be willing to lean further in that direction, even if it means abandoning other “safer” efforts.
- If you don’t have the bandwidth to do it internally, hire a professional. As in, a professional internet marketer with experience and a portfolio. Many people claim expertise in the digital realm, and if you’re not very familiar, in can be difficult to determine who really knows their stuff. So insist on seeing success stories.
- The product or service must deliver. Okay, you’ve done your job well and set up a plan that will draw people to you (hopefully) in droves. Now you have to deliver what they were promised.
Above all, find what makes you stand out and don’t be afraid to experiment. Do something completely different! Write a mini-play. Film a video. Think of the advertising that really sticks with you, then put your own spin on it. This isn’t easy, but if you strike the right balance, it can be explosive!
Stephanie Wargin is the Social Media Strategist at Zenergy Works, a web design and SEO company located in Santa Rosa, California. Her friends like to brush her hair into her eyes whenever she talks about Facebook.