If you haven't checked out the first part of this series on how to establish your audience and understand your targeting goals, read it here: Part 1: Understanding The Market.
Once you know who your audience is, and what their needs are that your product or service is addressing, it's time to move onto deciding on your marketing channels, which in turn, will influence your messaging. It's best to spread your efforts out across a few different channels (without spreading yourself too thin, as all of them should be fully developed and robust), and focus your efforts on the channels that provide you with the best CPA (cost per acquisition). A good rule of thumb is to prepare two strategies, one for inbound marketing, and one for outbound marketing and have a mix of both.
Inbound marketing is a great way to pull potential customers in, without spending a lot of marketing dollars using owned and earned media, as opposed to paid media yielded by outbound marketing. Inbound marketing includes:
- Social Media Posts
- Website / Landing Pages
- SEO Implementation
- EBooks and User Guides
- Email Marketing
Some of these methods can be considered both paid and organic, depending on how they are done. Social media posts can be organic and kept up with without a cost; while paid social media campaigns can also be very successful. The best option to keep acquisition costs low and campaigns effective is to implement both paid and organic content, based on your goals and budget.
Inbound campaigns should always be centered around your market: for example, if your audience consists of mostly young people, create campaigns that emphasize social media and how to blogs. If instead, you're mostly concentrated on reaching business to business contacts, creating email campaigns and industry guides will be key to getting your message in front of the right decision makers.
With inbound campaigns, it's important to keep consistency in mind. You'll want your the information and tone of your company to remain relevant and uniform across platforms. Inbound marketing, when done right, is a way of offering value to your customers and potential clients up front, garnering trust and making you seem like the expert in your field and industry. By creating informative content and keeping up with referrals, reviews, and keeping up with what your clients are saying, you'll become a go to source for news in your field and drive traffic and ROI up at very little cost to you. There are many tools available to help track your inbound marketing progress and results such as Hubspot, Google Analytics, etc.
Outbound marketing is focused on pushing your brand outwards, as opposed to drawing potential clients in. Again, it's important to combine these efforts in order to create the most comprehensive marketing strategy, as inbound marketing is great for organic customer base building, but outbound marketing allows you to accurately target the best of your prospects. Think of it this way: inbound marketing can help you create a large base of people to drive your outbound marketing to the best leads within that base. Outbound marketing can include:
- Outbound calling
- Direct mail
- Print advertising
- Trade shows
- Broadcast media
Direct mail is one of the top outbound marketing tools for driving business and brand awareness. Direct mail has some of the highest response rates among outbound marketing, with a 5.1% response rate. Oversized pieces and postcards tend to stand out the most, and offer a tangible experience for a potential customer. Building great leads for direct marketing campaigns should be data-driven, and it's easy to keep your direct mail accurate and clean, by using data to target certain areas, markets, demographic types, and high quality data points. Don't underestimate the power of tangible outbound marketing: digital marketing is great, but many times a great message being delivered to a home is just as, or even more powerful than other types of campaigns. It's also a better guarantee that you're reaching the exact audience that you're looking to target.
Once your team decides the best media mix of outlets and marketing channels, it's time to move on to messaging. One of the first steps to creating strategic and targeted messaging that will land on the mark and connect with your customers and prospects is creating a core key message that will suit your buyer persona discussed in Part 1. You'll also want to be sure that your messaging is consistent with your channels. A strategy developed for a social media campaign may not translate into direct mail. Each channel should have elements of your key message, and remain consistent across all channels, but always be manipulated to suit your marketing channel.
Another key aspect of messaging is staying on top of your analysis and constantly updating, measuring, and testing strategies. You'll want to always use A\B Testing for messaging. A/B testing is creating two versions of the same message to test against each other to see which performs better. Once you see which is generating a better conversion rate, you'll be able to make more informed decisions about which type of messaging is more beneficial and driving response rates up to continue to implement in current campaigns and in the future.
Implementing data in messaging can be supremely helpful as well. Personalized and targeted messaging is the most powerful, and help to establish a deeper relationship with prospects right off the bat. By using consumer data, including lifestyle, demographics and market elements, you'll be targeting your message in a way that is useful and pertinent to your audience. Not only should you take these elements into account in the beginning of your messaging strategy, you'll also want to keep up with your data to see who is responding to which messaging in order to determine similar traits and trends and behaviors in those responsive to your messaging. By mustering this kind of consumer intelligence, you'll be able to constantly refresh your messaging and identify risks and opportunities to personalize your messaging even further.
Stay tuned for Part 3, Measuring Benchmarks and Campaign Post Analytics.