In a world of broadcasts, webcasts, tweets, status updates and conversations laced with Olympic commentary, it’s difficult not to think about going for the gold. I’m not necessarily talking about medals – think meeting sales goals, surpassing marketing goals and positively impacting the bottom line. What makes a public relations campaign, inbound marketing program or marketing initiative a winner? Five key characteristics:
Is your company’s marketing measurable? Do you know how many people visited the landing page that was built for your contest, what sources the visitors came from and what the conversion rate was among those who visited the page? Public Relations and social media marketing, among other marketing initiatives, require an investment of time and resources. Having a metric in place for quantifying the success of that investment is critical. When it comes to digital marketing, there are several free tools, such as Google Analytics, that can help to aggregate this important data.
It’s the age old question – what do you want people to do after being exposed to your advertisements, earned media coverage and social media messages? How should they then go about interacting with your brand?
Including clear and compelling calls-to-action is key for developing effective marketing campaigns. Whether it is asking people to leave a comment on your blog post or clicking through from a banner ad to enter a contest, business and nonprofits need to capitalize on the moment. Life is busy and, inevitably, things drop off of people’s radars. Don’t let making a donation to your nonprofit, downloading a valuable whitepaper or contacting your company for a free consultation become a lost ‘to do.’
It doesn’t matter how compelling your whitepaper is if nobody is interested in the topic. Take the time to understand what topics are important to your target audiences. This can be particularly challenging for large companies that offer a wide range of services. If you work for such a company, it’s time to take a look at the revenue pie and determine which services generate the most revenue and which areas of the business have the most growth potential. The same rules apply to determining the best angle for your bylined article, hook for your media pitch and copy for your ad campaign.
In a fast-paced world where people are constantly consuming information, companies need to get and stay on the radar of their clients, prospects and strategic partners. You can craft the wittiest, most relevant and highly actionable e-blast but it will be hard to capitalize on its value if it is a one-off marketing effort. Part of staying on the radar is consistently participating in the conversation and letting your presence be known.
The other aspect of consistency is remaining true to your brand. Funny has a value. Creative has a value. At the end of the day, relevancy has the most value. Be sure that all of your marketing efforts accurately and appropriately reflect your brand and the messages to which you want to expose your target audiences. This will help to build brand equity, which provides lasting value for an organization.
As I mentioned earlier, funny and creative have value. They help your brand to stand apart from the pack and, oftentimes, can make dull topics more appealing to prospective consumers. The important thing to remember is that being creative for the sake of being creative, oftentimes, won’t provide the bottom-line impact that you are looking for. Look for opportunities to weave creative thinking into your public relations campaigns, collateral materials and social media marketing. This is an opportunity to help target audiences to look at your company in a new and compelling way while getting across the key messages and value proposition(s) that best sell your products and services.
Whether it’s a sprint to the finish or running a steady race, businesses can get the most value from their marketing initiatives by keeping their target audiences and end goals top of mind. While the end result may not break a world record, it can be record-setting for your business and lay the foundation for an ongoing marketing program that is creative, compelling and positively impacts the bottom line.