When a social media site used by more than a third of the world’s population goes dark for several hours, the results can be disastrous for those who have all of their eggs in the Facebook/Instagram basket. We learned that businesses lost revenue, leads were lost, customers were left hanging, and merchant events got canceled. During those six hours, businesses large and small began to reevaluate their single media strategy and look toward a comprehensive cross media marketing plan.
What IS Cross Media Marketing and Why Do I Need It?
Relying on one sole marketing platform (such as Instagram) to sell your service or wares is an ill-advised practice, even for small businesses. Cross marketing is the opposite of that – marketing across several methods to spread your brand, links, and products – building visibility. With this integrative approach, brand communication with effective and consistent messaging is pushed simultaneously through multiple channels. Different advertising formats in various media outlets reach the audience and provide more opportunities to develop leads. Ideally, reaching the right user at the right time using the right type of media should be the goal of your cross media campaign. As the “Rule of Seven” indicates, it takes at least seven times for your message to be seen by your audience before a purchase is made. These seven “impressions” are most effectively made across a variety of different mediums.
How Do I Build a Cross Media Marketing Campaign?
Whether it’s a new slogan, product launch, cause marketing, or basic brand awareness, your messaging must be clear and concise for easy user consumption. Each campaign will determine what you want to say during that particular period and although your brand story will vary in execution from medium to medium, consistency across all platforms is crucial to get your message across.
Next, who is this particular information for? Defining your target audience seems pretty simple, and for the most part, it is. However, with a multitude of options for marketing, you must determine where your audience’s eyes (and ears) are most, along with how they see and hear. Knowing where their attention is will determine what type of mediums they use most, along with which type of messaging you will use. For example, if you are targeting ages 18-24, short videos on TikTok and influencer marketing will be obvious choices, whereas an older demographic may yield better results with helpful blog content and paid search ads.
The number of media channels you choose is also important. Your media budget may not be robust enough to use all of the desired mediums, but the recommendation is to utilize at least four. In fact, Gartner Research reported that “campaigns integrating four or more digital channels will outperform single- or dual-channel campaigns by 300%.” As such, brand building is strongest among those who approach from different angles and offer a consumer-focused experience across all mediums.
The final step is choosing the right call to action. Being clear in what you want your audience to do after they hear your message can make all the difference between a browse and a purchase.
What Are Some Cross Media Marketing Best Practices?
Once you’ve established a comprehensive strategy, there are a few ways to get the highest ROI:
- Using video – Engaging content gets the most views, and short videos fit the bill quite nicely. Make video content a priority in communicating your brand story and use it to unify your campaign throughout different channels.
- Synergy – Build upon each message and drive the user to generate a response.
- Personalization – Establish trust and strengthen your brand image with personalized messaging.
- Stay customer-focused – Don’t lose sight of your customers. Your campaign should communicate fulfilling the needs of your consumer.
- Test, test, test – Use control groups to measure your data against.
What Media Channels Are the Most Useful?
Every business will have unique needs for each of its cross media marketing campaigns. However, it’s important to give some consideration to the “tried and true” media channels:
- Direct mail
- Print ads
- Social media ads
- PURLs (Personalized URLs)
What Kind of Results Will I See?
Almost as important as the campaign itself, is the data it provides. What it may reveal is where your money is spent best, reducing media costs in the future. Armed with this new information, you can better determine how to run the next campaign, improving the results of each campaign as you move forward, as well as increasing your ROI (return on investment).
Overall, there are plenty of benefits of a cross media marketing strategy. You’ll achieve a better and deeper connection to your customers, improved brand awareness and identity, and a broader reach.
With almost three decades of excellence in marketing, Strategic Marketing is a full-service marketing agency with the know-how to grow your business using a multitude of cross media strategies. Contact us today for a free marketing evaluation and see how we can make your business grow strategically.
The age of merely pitching your products and services is over. Prospects and customers are looking for real solutions to their problems and expert marketers are providing relevant and useful information to help solve their issues, rather than engaging in a sales pitch. It comes in the form of content marketing services.
What is Content Marketing and Why Do I Need Content Marketing Services?
Content marketing is the sharing of online meaningful information that doesn’t explicitly promote a brand but rather intends to stimulate engagement and interest in products or services. With several types of content marketing to choose from, the right mix of content can increase traffic, boost conversions, and increase sales, at a lower cost than traditional marketing strategies.
To effectively manage this type of strategy, you’ll need expert content marketing services by industry veterans.
Social Media Content Marketing
With over four billion social media users, it’s obvious why so many businesses invest in a social media content strategy. Whether it’s a business platform like LinkedIn or a social platform like Instagram or Snapchat, there are various ways to create and share photos, videos, stories, and live streams to drive interest.
Ideal for quick and easy consumption, infographics display data in a bold, simple, easy-to-understand graphic format. They’re a great way to get complicated information boiled down to a digestible piece of information that all audiences can understand.
A creative way to connect with your prospects, blogs allow for long-form storytelling and a variety of topics and purposes. Add in external links, social share buttons, and product information, and your content can get more exposure and reach a wider audience.
Similar to blog content, podcasts provide lots of flexibility and allow for creativity in engaging an audience. Podcasts are reaching their height in popularity, and businesses are quickly realizing the benefits of creating their own podcasts. Guest appearances, varied topic discussion, and episode length are all flexible variables that allow for several creative ways to connect with your target market.
Whether it’s a how-to YouTube video or a viral video on Snapchat, video content still holds strong in creating relationships between your brand and a wide audience. Live videos also draw heavy engagement with viewers and provide an opportunity to answer questions and exchange in dialogue with your audience. On a more professional level, webinars can drive interest via specialized topics that are relevant to a niche audience. Keep in mind that you’ll need professional marketing content services to develop polished video content that represents your brand.
Heavy engagement is the name of the game here. Content that drives interactivity creates more excitement and connection with your brand. Games, quizzes, interactive landing pages, polls, e-books, and online calculators are all ways to develop more leads and convert users to customers.
Content Marketing Trends
To maximize your opportunities to connect with your prospects, it’s important to jump on trends as they occur. A few trends are worth exploring:
Community Marketing is designed to bring people together, build trust, and reach a wide audience. Blogs, newsletters, and online social media groups can accomplish this rather easily.
The way in which YouTube, Flickr, and SlideShare are used to build communities has proven quite powerful. When users share their videos about your products, you get a wider reach to more prospects. Influencers excel in this area, and more businesses are taking advantage of the influencer trend to get the word out about their product or service.
As companies continue to become leaner, we find that the focus is more on the bottom line. When it comes to content, this means placing it at the bottom of the sales funnel, with heavy tie-ins to products and services, or content closely related to it.
As SEO goes, you’ll find is that a more specific search term yields more buyer intent. Longtail keywords make all the difference in leading people to your site via a narrower search term, offering more quality leads. Creating content based on longtail keywords will generate more interest, since people searching for exact terms are more likely to click on your link. Online tools like Ubersuggest, Google Suggest, and SEMrush make it easy to determine which search terms yield better Google rankings.
Making The Most of Your Content Marketing
To generate the best possible results, you’ll need a good content user experience. The way your audience interacts with your content determines quality, and if they love what they are experiencing or find what they are looking for, you’ll know you’ve hit the mark. Marketing funnels make this process efficient, and gentle calls to action sprinkled throughout it can seal the deal.
You also don’t need to re-invent the wheel with every piece of content. Convert content into different formats – turn blogs into newsletters, turn videos into podcasts or blogs, or create infographics from research. Repurposing content or using content to cross-promote other content across different channels is a great way to reach different audiences with the same goal in mind – reaching more people.
Content Marketing Tips
The ideal way to identify the most successful recipe is to measure your engagement. Find out what works and refine it to reach the maximum level of engagement. It’s an ongoing journey and will change over time, so regular analysis is crucial.
A team of people with highly diverse skill sets is needed to provide the best quality content marketing services to meet your audience’s demands. Skills like video production, graphic design, content optimization, SEO, branding, and skilled copywriting are all necessary.
Strategic Marketing provides content marketing services with a team of professionals that expertly create, optimize, and distribute your company’s content marketing strategy. With over 29 years in the marketing industry, we have stayed at the forefront of emerging strategies for business growth. Let us show you how working with us can improve your bottom line. Contact us today for all of your content marketing needs.
As a small business owner, marketing may seem overwhelming. You may ask yourself “What’s the best strategy? What will help my business grow?” We’re here to tell you that there’s no magic bullet, but rather a blend of what works for your company. There are dozens of creative ways to get your business noticed and attract customers, but a blend of what works for your business is what is going to put money in your pocket. The trick is finding out what works, and staying the course. We’ll introduce you to what we have determined to be the more successful small business marketing ideas and strategies and explain what makes them so crucial to success.
Creative That Tells Your Story
Building your brand is the first step you’ll take as a small business owner. The feel of your brand will be shaped by the colors, styling, and design of your corporate logos, website, and creative assets. These assets, along with the mission, vision, and brand message, will help your brand appear as one cohesive identity. No matter the type of business, polished marketing materials will help you portray a professional, trustworthy image to your future customers. If your audience cannot clearly understand your brand identity or your offer, they are more likely to choose your competitor instead.
Small Business Marketing Ideas in the Press
Someone else’s voice singing your praises is always more powerful than you doing it yourself. Press releases and earned media is a great and cost-effective way of getting the word out about your business from someone who can be perceived as an impartial, but influential party. News articles create a wider reach and attract new leads or followers, while bloggers and influencers provide powerful endorsements that would otherwise be challenging to obtain.
Internal Data Collection
Knowing your target audience is critical for a small business since there is less capital to spend. However, market research can be money well spent in the long run. “Easy and efficient ways for gathering information include conducting surveys, interviewing customers, holding focus groups and analyzing buying patterns. As your business continues to grow, market research will pave the way for new products or services, business expansion, and even funding. The sooner you know your place in the market, the better position you will be in to grow and fill in the gaps.
Your potential customers want to know the people behind the brand and what they care about. Cause marketing is a compelling approach that your audience will connect with and potentially patronize. Tying donations to purchases can drive sales while promoting your brand’s philanthropy. Today’s consumer wants to stand behind brands with similar ideals and a reason to make their purchase more meaningful.
Your business’s web presence is no longer an advantage, but a requirement. Similar to the old yellow pages, if you’re not online, you don’t exist. More than just providing information on your business, your website must be a place where you capture the user’s information to generate leads and keep readers engaged. Building trust and converting users to customers is what it’s all about. Beyond that, your website’s search engine optimization is critical to where your page shows up in a keyword search (aka Google keyword ranking). Keyword density, schema markups, site load speed, and metadata all play into page evaluation and where your site shows up in a search.
Email marketing is still one of simplest small business marketing ideas. Once you’ve collected a lead’s email address, whether organically through your website or a purchased list, you’ve secured a way to nurture these leads with each email campaign. With several free email marketing tools on the web, it’s a no-to-low-cost way to build email marketing campaigns.
Print and direct mail still deliver and when done right, they can help your business thrive. The same can be said for direct mail marketing. Unusual shapes, sizes, and colors typically increase open rates, and compelling headlines and engaging copy will help generate sales. Complementing your direct mail campaign with online marketing strategies will help you capitalize on your marketing investment and drive results for your business.
Facebook ads are an efficient way to get your ads noticed by the right audience. It’s one reason why over two million small-to-medium-sized businesses advertise on Facebook. One thing they are very effective at is advanced targeted ads that allow you to zero in on your audience based on location, interests, age, gender, and online behavior. The built-in ad manager is a fairly simple way to run and test several ads at once, making it easier to find the recipe that delivers the best results. Instagram is also a great tool and lends itself to more visual ad executions. Owned by Facebook, it operates with the same targeting expertise while connecting you with users that are accustomed to visual content.
Google My Business (GMB) is very likely the most important thing you can do for your local business. The majority of consumers use search engines to research products and services as the first step in the purchase process. Having an accurate GMB with great reviews is crucial to encouraging users to go to your website. Once you have put some time into optimizing your company’s profile and gathered reviews, it provides your business with credibility, visibility, and many leads without spending a dime on ads.
Content marketing is highly effective when comes to engaging your target audience. It’s certainly a long-term strategy; however, it can offer sustainable growth in web traffic and leads. More than just social media and blog posts, organic content includes any information you provide to your audience that can be found through keyword searches and that isn’t paid. You can use content such as videos, podcasts, webinars, eBooks, polls, and virtually anything else you share about your business to drive brand awareness. The takeaway is quality. For social media outlets, be sure to post relevant topics that are optimized and have a consistent look, feel, and message.
Building your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is another example of the small business marketing ideas that just work. A method to get your website among the top of a keyword search, SEO has become the most-used tool to be seen on the web. Most consumers research a product or service online before making a purchase commitment or call, so if your website doesn’t show up in the Google search, you’ve already missed an opportunity before you had the chance to make your pitch. With a well-planned SEO strategy, your small business will generate increased organic web traffic and deliver a substantial return on investment.
Paid search or pay-per-click (PPC) ads can also do quite a bit for small business growth. PPC uses keywords within online ads to show up higher in search results. Ideally, you’ll partner with experts in the field that will create a complete digital marketing strategy, incorporating PPC with SEO, page optimization and content marketing.
Strategic Marketing is a full-service marketing agency that has been partnering with small businesses across the country to grow their businesses – creating leads, building brand identity, and delivering undeniable results. Our 29 years in the marketing industry and longevity with our clients demonstrate that our expertise lies in the growth of your business. Contact us and let us show you how we can help your small business thrive.