Any good marketing strategy, whether for an individual business or a larger agency or organization, will constantly evolve and adapt to new technology and trends, but when you look at the most successful strategies across the board, they all have a few things in common.
There are a few basic principles to marketing that work no matter what business or industry you’re in or whom you’re trying to reach, like including visual content or mixing mediums to reach diverse audiences. There’s a reason that all of your competitors are finding success by doing these things, too. They just work.
If you’re not doing some of the following things as a part of your current strategy, and you’re wondering why your marketing efforts are falling flat, it may be time to revamp your efforts.
Here are 5 marketing strategies you should be using.
While marketing doesn’t always have to be visual to be successful, some of the most powerful ads have visual components. In fact, 37% of marketers say that visual marketing is the most important form of content for their business.
But one of the biggest growing trends in visual marketing is video. It’s estimated that by 2019, 80% of the world’s Internet traffic will come from videos, and more than 60% of marketers say they plan to increase investment in video marketing this year.
One of the biggest boons for video marketing is that it improves brand retention. When people hear information, they typically only remember about 10% of what was said after three days, while pairing that audio with relevant images (to create a video) boosts retention rates up to 65%.
Videos allow brands to craft messages that stick with viewers for longer, prolonging the buyer’s journey and improving conversions. And considering that 100 million hours of video content are watched on Facebook daily, it’s also an excellent way to reach multiple audiences at once.
Another major component of a good marketing strategy is the Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Ad. According to eMarketer, spending on digital advertising will soon surpass any other form of advertising in the U.S., and it’s predicted that digital media spending will reach upwards of $118 billion by 2021.
The selling point for PPC advertising in particular is that it’s cost effective and it produces results.
With traditional advertising, you could spend thousands or even millions of dollars creating a campaign without knowing whether or not your users are engaging with it or even seeing your ads.
With PPC ads, you know who is engaging with your ads because they’re clicking on them, and you’re only being charged based on the number of clicks you receive. This means you have a higher chance of someone engaging with your ad that is already interested in what you have to offer.
And you don’t have to waste money on those who aren’t buying what you’re selling.
You also have the ability to track ads in real time. Google Adwords and others like it will track your campaigns in real time, measure the success of your keywords and keyphrases, and allow you to change things up at a moment’s notice, giving you greater flexibility to reach mass audiences without wasted time, energy and money.
But tangible marketing strategies like PPC advertising aren’t the only thing a good marketing plan includes. There are also the intangible elements, like your brand’s overarching message.
No marketing strategy is truly complete without some semblance of a brand story that tells audiences how they should feel about you or relate to your company.
Studies show that 68% of customers spend time reading about brands that interest them, 60% will seek out specific products or services after reading content that inspires them, and 82% feel more positive about a company as the result of reading a positive story about them.
This once again goes back to the idea of retention. Memorability is a major motivating factor behind any successful marketing campaign, and stories (alongside visual imagery) can help your brand stand out in customers’ minds for longer than a one-time ad will.
Having a solid brand story that weaves throughout your campaigns and through different mediums and marketing methods will help build your reputation with customers over many years. They’ll remember you longer, which means they’ll buy from you longer, too.
Of course, your brand story will be most effective if you do use multiple mediums and methods to communicate it across channels. While things like videos and PPC ads are an important part of your strategy, they shouldn’t be the only part of your strategy.
This is particularly important at the beginning stages of any business. Freelancers or smaller agencies, for example, may consider launching a variety of ad types, from PPC to video, email, print or even radio, to see which methods strike a chord with their audiences.
Even for those more established, multi-channel or multi-method marketing can help tap into new markets. It’s also an often-underused strategy that can help differentiate your business from the competition.
Considering that 72% of consumers say they would rather connect with brands and businesses through multi-channel marketing, those without a varied approach to marketing are missing out on a big opportunity to please customers and generate more business.
Staying ahead of the competition is another important factor to a successful marketing strategy, and knowing what your competition is doing can go a long way (and really, in today’s market everyone is your competition).
That’s why you should be regularly performing competitive analysis to determine who you’re up against. According to TrackMaven, competitive analysis will help you:
- Compare the topics, tactics, and channels driving market performance for you and your competitors
- Uncover opportunities to outperform the competition and differentiate your brand
- Benchmark your brand against competitors, industry leaders, and market influencers
As marketing expert Stacy Poehler points out, “Nothing happens in a vacuum.” Without being able to compare and analyze your competition on a regular basis, you will never truly know if your marketing strategy is working or if you’re capturing enough of the market share.
The most successful marketing strategies are those that include a mix of current trends (e.g. video and PPC advertising) and long-term efforts that build trust (crafting a brand story and performing competitive analysis).
If you haven’t included some of the above elements in your current strategy, consider starting with the intangible (analysis, brand story) and moving toward the tangible (PPC, multi-channel strategies, etc.).
Don’t be afraid to play around with various mediums to see what works and what doesn’t. The more information you have about what your audience likes, the more effective your strategy will be.