How to create an effective marketing campaign
“Never forget that you only have one opportunity to make a first impression – with investors, with customers, with PR, and with marketing. Natalie Massenet”
Get inside the minds of your customers
I often hear people say that content is king when it comes to inbound marketing. The simple message is that if you create engaging and inspiring copy that your potential customers really love, then this will motivate them to invest in your products.
Well that goes without saying. But how do you engage your customers if you don’t know who they are?
You see, the problem today is many advertisers take a ‘know thyself’ approach to marketing instead of a ‘know thy customers’ approach.
While content is king, getting inside the minds of your customers is queen. And you don’t need a crystal ball to do it either.
Understanding customer needs and problems sounds like such an obvious solution and yet it is one where many businesses fail spectacularly.
Throughout my career, I cannot tell you the number of times when I have spoken to a client about who their target audience is and discovered that what they think their customers care about is far removed from the reality.
This is where marketers come in. By ascertaining who the target audience is, what their problems are, and how to reach them I can craft a quality marketing campaign that will address their concerns and propose a solution that will work for them.
But undertaking this type of research is far from easy. Here’s the thing. Any marketer worth their salt can write a clever blog or come up with an engaging advert.
The hard part is in coming up with the most effective way to discover what customers really want and most importantly, why they develop loyalty to one brand over another.
Over the years, while working for various marketing firms such as Axonn and Markateur, I’ve found that it is often one unique element that businesses have – but don’t know they have – that convinces clients to keep coming back over and over again.
Surveying previous customers is a little bit like panning for gold. You may spend a long time wading through what seems like endless reams of data, but that one little gold nugget can change the whole game, and ultimately, the fortunes of that company.
What I often find here is that a pattern starts to develop. After collating the feedback responses and the data, I find that customers usually say the same things over and over again.
And once you get right into the heart of what makes them tick, then you can make your content work for them.
I read so many blogs about how important it is to create great content. But ultimately, speaking to customers in their language and putting yourself into the hearts and minds of your client base is what sells. That is how you take away their pain points and their problems.
Researching and creating personas of your ideal audience also helps you to develop a vision of who your intended customer base should be. In that way you connect with your brand with your audience and build up the kind of customer loyalty that other companies will struggle to gain.
Visualise your goals
That is only one aspect of creating an attractive offer. You also need to have goals.
If you do not know where you’re heading, then you won’t know how to get there. This is why goal setting is essential. Now I could sit here and tell you to write it all down, brainstorm and analyse what it is that you want. Doing those things would of course be a great start.
But actually the key to it all is visualisation.When you can see, hear and taste where you want your company to be in a year, in five years, in ten years, then you have a pretty good formula about what you should do to get there.
That vision of your company is the signpost that will help you to determine how you should go about attracting the right people now that will help you turn your company into the force of nature that it should be.
Choosing your channel
Once you have got your message straight, the next step is a strategic one. Inbound marketing presents so many possibilities nowadays such as social media promotions, search engines, websites, mobile, email, video, so choose the one that is most relevant to your target audience.
I am stunned by how many companies think that having a decent landing page is unnecessary. What I often see is firms directing consumers to their homepage. But think of your landing page as a sales document. The point here is not to put your products in front of customers but to tell them why they should use them.
An effective landing page builds trust, overcomes objections, tells customers how you will solve their problem and includes a call to action.
Keep it simple, with as few distractions as possible and if you’ve put in the footwork to get into the minds of your customers then your unique selling points should be apparent when people are directed to your landing page.
For any of this stuff to work, your sales and marketing team should be working in unison. The unfortunate thing for many companies is that this quite often is not the case. Throughout my career, I often heard sales staff saying they do not understand the marketing team and vice versa.
This conflicting approach often results in equally conflicting results. What is important here is to ensure that not only are the sales and marketing teams working towards the same goals but they each know, understand and appreciate what one another’s role is in helping to bring about your company’s vision.
Looking after your leads
So you’ve followed the steps above and now you have created fantastic and formidable landing pages and content hubs that have generated new leads. Beautiful. But what do you do with those leads?
Remember that more often than not these leads are people who are interested but not yet quite convinced that your product will tick all their boxes. This is why it is so important to create quality content that educates, and adds value for your customers.
Here, it is a question of coming up with an effective lead nurturing strategy that guides people through every stage of the customer journey.
Once you have done that be sure to track and review your results to identify potential weak spots in your campaign and improve upon your offer.
As you may have guessed by reading this, creating an effective marketing campaign is not something you can do over a lunch break. Every stage needs to be well thought out and planned to boost success and avoid the pitfalls that all too many companies fall into.