Today we have a guest post from Daniel King. Daniel is the Marketing Strategist at The Executive Advertising, a promotional product company that offers branded advertising solutions. He helps clients choose promotional products that support effective marketing campaigns.
Creating the right marketing campaign is one of the most important things you can do to grow your business. The right campaign can establish your brand identity, maintain top-of-mind awareness with your target audience, increase sales, and encourage brand loyalty.
Yet there are so many opportunities to promote your brand now that you can easily become distracted and chase after gimmicks that fail to produce results. Should you start an account on Vine? Should you promote your website on Facebook? Should you offer a whitepaper?
It is certainly worth asking these questions, and it’s also important that you not let yourself become overwhelmed trying to pursue all the options at once. You need to focus on creating a solid campaign and then scaling it over time.
Sometimes, it is easier to focus on what not to do rather that what to do so that you can at least be sure you are avoiding mistakes. Here are the top three brand promotion techniques that many companies get wrong:
1. Getting Ahead of Yourself
It can be easy to get excited and make a long list of things you want to do in your marketing campaign. There's social media and blog writing and contests and text ads and affiliate marketing and ebooks and ... and ... and ...
It's too much.
You need to take a step back and create a solid marketing plan before you start implementing anything. Start by determining what the purpose is for your marketing campaign. Do you want to increase sales in general, or do you want to push a certain segment of your services? Do you want to establish your brand values? Do you want to nurture leads?
While these might all be goals at one point or another, it is important to make your goals narrower for each campaign. You'll be better able to focus your marketing dollars and to monitor your success.
Once you have a clear goal in mind, start making a list of potential tactics to put together a clear strategy. For example, if you want to increase brand awareness, your strategy might be to make your site more visible in search. Tactics for achieving that might include targeted blog writing, video creation, and pay-per-click advertising.
Once you have put your plan in place, you can determine a budget and a schedule for implementing and tracking the campaign. You can then revisit your plan on a set timeline to determine if you are ready to expand your strategy or alter its focus.
By taking a more measured approach, you can ensure that you do not get ahead of yourself and put a lot of money and effort into a flurry of tactics that don't necessarily bring results.
2. Being a Jack of All Trades
Ever heard the expression "Jack-of-all-trades, master of none"? People who try to do everything are typically not able to master anything. That's because they aren't putting the appropriate effort into becoming really good at one thing.
In marketing, being a Jack-of-all-trades often happens when you are trying to be visible on EVERY platform to every audience.
"But," you might think, "All the major brands do exactly that!"
Yes, they do. But unless you have the marketing budget of Coca-Cola, you need to be more strategic.
When you are not a mega, billion-dollar company with a worldwide presence, your marketing strategy is going to have to start smaller. That means you may need to start with just blog writing so that you can build up your website and make it a valuable resource for customers. Then you can open a couple of social media accounts on platforms your target audience uses. You'll have plenty of content ready to share, and your site will be ready for the visitors you refer.
For each stage of your marketing campaign, you need to make sure you are ready to move on. You must have the resources, and you must have reached your goals on the previous stage of your campaign.
3. Engaging in Marketing Overkill
Even if you do have the resources for multiple marketing strategies and platforms at once, you can still run the risk of engaging in marketing overkill—you become overexposed to the point that your brand appears spammy. No one likes spammy.
The last thing you want is for your customers to see your content or your ads, roll their eyes, and sigh, "Not this again." You also don't want to get so caught up in singing your own praises that your customer rejects your content as an ad and quickly moves on.
Your focus should always be on creating value for your customers. That means creating content and ads that show how your product or service solves a problem for them or meets a need. It also means making sure that your content and ads are delivered on the right platforms at the right time.
Focus more on quality—not primarily on quantity. It is better to have one or two comprehensive blog posts a week than seven short and flimsy pieces that are designed to just fill space.
Proper research is key to helping identify what solutions your customers need, what frequency to publish your content, and on what platforms you should publish. A/B testing can also help you monitor the effectiveness of your campaign.
Hiring a marketing company can also help you to get organized and define your goals. Marketing professionals are trained to get results, and they can help you focus on the things that matter so that you emerge with a campaign that has clear goals, a defined strategy and measurable goals.
Stop wasting money and time on marketing tactics that do not move your company forward. Take a close look at your marketing campaign to make sure you are not making any of these mistakes, or hire a reputable marketing company to help you put together an effective campaign.