Four Enduring Truths that Drive Successful Online Marketing Campaigns
Depending on whom you talk to, marketing either has a good reputation (it’s the heart and soul of our company; it’s the way we reach our customers) or a bad one (that’s the department that sucks our lifeblood without offering much in return). The truth is, the only difference between these two types of marketing is the effectiveness of the strategies behind it. The other truth is, every company needs marketing strategies to maintain a solid customer or client base. Oh yeah, we almost forgot about the other-other truth: marketing is kind of hard.
Not impossible, of course, or no one would do it. But difficult enough that marketing efforts routinely fail or underperform, hence the bad rap. Well, time for one last truth … this happens because many people don’t understand the reality of effective modern online marketing. If you want to run an efficient, lead-generating marketing platform, there are several facts you must accept.
Online Marketing Takes Many Forms
If you have a well-oiled email marketing routine, good for you. Take a moment to pat yourself on the back, because that’s no small feat. If you don’t, well, don’t panic. But you’ll probably need to get one going—along with a blog, in most cases, as well as a social media strategy that connects you to your best prospects and positions you as an expert in your niche.
Although this may seem like overkill (especially if you don’t have much of an online marketing plan already in the works), it really isn’t. Marketing across all channels gets you the most possible exposure, protecting you from losses of income, a media scandal, a mistake—or any other unexpected accident, failure, or misfortune. Plus, having wide brand exposure helps you build a stable, solid brand that can withstand a little (and often a lot) of adversity.
That’s Right, ALL the Platforms
Okay, not really. It isn’t necessary to pedal-to-the-metal on every new social media platform that pops up. No one has enough energy for that. However, these days modern businesses are expected to be present on the biggest social media sites—namely Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn. Some also include YouTube and Pinterest in that rundown. Consumers often search for a business on social media before deciding whom to go with, so you wouldn’t want to lose out.
Granted, a little startup time is acceptable while you figure out how to use each platform and plan your strategy, but if you don’t think you can handle keeping all of them running smoothly (along with producing other content, such as emails and blog posts), then you might want to get some help.
The Beast is Always Hungry
Many companies and small business owners have had the experience of being so overwhelmed with a bumper crop of business that they forget to market. What happens when those clients head off into the sunset? You’re becalmed, that’s what.
See, when you’re in charge of your own marketing, there’s no such thing as sitting back and saying “Aaaaah, blogging is done! Tweet checked off!” Maybe for a minute, but before you know it, you’ll need to produce again. More tweets. More Facebook posts. More pins. More blog posts. Marketing is a fire that can’t go out, or your leads/ sales pipeline might burn up.
You Can’t Let It Lapse
This is closely related to the aforementioned point, but different in that if you do choose to “take a break” from producing content, you may not be all that well-received when you return. Fans, followers, and even customers are often unforgiving when they’re expecting to hear from you and instead get radio silence. This is especially disastrous if you have managed to cultivate a reliable marketing plan, and then you drop the ball, returning to significantly cooled client relationships.
But what company doesn’t face unexpected issues? When the budget constricts, or a big client walks out, or employees experience personal emergencies, the marketing department might seem expendable. Only later will the big honchos discover that it wasn’t.
The solution? Get help—plain and simple. You didn’t make the shingle hanging outside your front door, right? And chances are you don’t do your own taxes, do you? So why force yourself to perform marketing tasks you weren’t trained for, don’t understand, or can’t keep up with when disaster (or even just regular ol’ life) strikes? You shouldn’t.
Instead, look to a qualified marketing specialist who can assist you in forming a streamlined marketing strategy, setting up platforms, creating the right profiles, and cultivating a great brand image. Trust us on one last truth: No one has ever regretted a good marketing plan.