The start of a new season – and a new quarter – is a great time to clean out the underperforming marketing tactics and make room for higher value marketing strategies and tactics. Whether you are a B2B company looking to grow your network of referral sources, a nonprofit aiming to cultivate new volunteers and year-end donors, or a B2C company gearing up for a major product launch in 2018, it is important to identify what’s working, what’s missing and what big idea can help to take your organization from Point A to Point B. As we embark upon a new season and look ahead to Q4-2017, here are five marketing best practices worth falling for.
A/B Test Your Subject Lines
Did you know that one-third of recipients open emails based solely on the subject line? Or that using the word “alert” in your subject line can increase open rates by more than 61-percent? Email marketing, like most marketing activities, is equal parts art and science. Something as simple as A/B Testing your email subject lines, and avoiding using terms commonly flagged as SPAM, can help to increase open rates, boosting content consumption and laying the foundation for increased click-thru rates. For these and other email marketing stats, check out this post from HubSpot.
Keep Your Audiences’ Needs Top-of-Mind
What content do your stakeholders crave? Are your “how to” videos a smash hit? Is your blog your leading source of website traffic? Does your online advertising drive more event registrations than any other tactic in your toolbox? Know what information your audiences are looking for and how they like that information delivered can help to increase page views, open rates, shares, comments, engagement, and the list goes on. Remember, people’s needs change, so it is important to keep a pulse on this information and update audience insights periodically.
Sadly, the human attention span is shorter than that of a goldfish. Like it or not, you have merely a few seconds to grab and maintain your audiences’ attention. When it comes to making a strong first impression in a limited amount of time, visual content often reigns supreme. In fact, Buffer reports tweets containing images receive 150-percent more retweets than those without. And, BuzzSumo notes Facebook posts with images generate 2.3 times more engagement than those without. Looking for other visual marketing stats? Click here.
The birth of marketing channels like YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram and others provides companies and causes with a wide range of channels through which to tell their stories. While this allows them to use a mix of mediums – text, photos, video, Infographics, etc. – to get their messages across, it also creates an opportunity for brands to become disjointed.
While it is critically important to tailor your content to the channel through which it is being shared, it is equally if not more important to maintain brand consistency when doing so. A cohesive brand is your strongest marketing asset, so be sure it is “perfectly clear” who the content is coming from when creating assets to share across any and all of your marketing channels.
Struggling with brand consistency? Download our brand consistency checklist today.
Becoming an early adopter of the latest and greatest marketing tool or technique can yield positive returns. However, the adage not to put all of your eggs in one basket is equally applicable. A well-crafted marketing strategy seamlessly blends research, creativity and a data-informed action plan to create a communications program that accurately reflects the depth and breadth of an organization. It is important to strike a balance with the amount of emphasis you place on various aspects of the organization, the frequency at which key message points are shared, and the allocation of resources (time + budget).
As you clean up your marketing program to achieve optimal performance during the final months of 2017, be mindful of that strategies and tactics that are yielding positive returns and those that are underperforming. While it is important to “road test” new techniques to an appropriate period of time, it is also important to allocate resources (time + budget) to the strategies and tactics that are making the biggest impact on the bottom line.