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Be sure to start with a persona for reference. A persona is a fictional character that represents your ideal customer. Go ahead and give your team some license to be fun and creative with the persona to spark clever ideas around the customer at the center of all marketing experiences. This is to say - "Don't worry about getting the persona perfect since step 5: Measure Performance will reveal your actual customers over time
Once you have a persona in mind: Name, Age, Location, Lifestyle, Need, then you can build a journey map. Need ideas for consumer journey maps? No prob. I got you. Over the last couple of years I've collect 80 or more versions at this Pinterest board for you: Library or examples
Don't let all of the fancy buzzwords and graphics freak you out. Journey maps simply organize a bunch of Post It notes into a system that outlines key steps in your customer's journey and the best channels, tactics or touchpoints to connect with customer attitudes.
Identify the standard tactics or executions that you or your agency can consistently execute to provide rich experiences for your fans, advocates and consumers. Any tactic will work as long as you can measure it's performance consistently. Go for what you know here: TV, Print, Radio, Email, eCommerce, Social, Mobile, Games, Sweeps, everything is fair game as long as it's consistently measurable.
By now you've got a good idea about how your favorite persona engages with you across a number of touch points and channels. Now you want to craft a narrative that brings all these pieces together under a single idea. Each place that an audience can engage with your brand should lead them back to the full story. You can think of each touchpoint as a tributary of a river all leading downstream to body of your brand's work. Be savvy. Be Creative, Be Entertaining.
Here's where it can get tough. Executing the creative. Not all creative is equal and only the best can weave the narrative from Step 3 into a universe of awesome for your audience. In Step 4, it's all about the idea and the production value. Lot's of sayings come to mind here, like "you get what you pay for" or "garbage in = garbage out". Work with savvy creatives or agencies or else you'l end up with a TV spot regurgitated into banner ads and generic social assets.
Remember those consistently measurable tactics that we spoke about in Step 2. Be sure that you measure each tactic in the same way each time. This is not to say that all tactics are exactly the same. For instance TV spots can be measured by "GRPs" and "engagements" while Social Posts can be measured by "shares", "likes" or "engagement". What's important here is that you don't measure everything differently each time. Make a chart or something where you outline how each tactic will be measured. That way you can roll them up into a real time dashboard at some point.
If you follow these five strategic steps then you'll have a relevant campaign that consistently delivers a strong story in a relevant way that leaves a lasting impression on the audience that you're engaged with. Most of all, you'll be able to measure your performance and improve upon each campaign as you go forward.
Although this sounds painfully obvious, many people still make grave website mistakes that can hinder the success of even the most aggressive online marketing strategy. We often talk about the importance of social media, email marketing, and SEO, but none of these techniques can help you if you haven’t taken the effort to build a top-quality website.
I recently read an article on MemeBurn about how the state of your website impacts your online marketing efforts. The article states that “your home page is the glue that holds your e-marketing strategies together.” This is precisely true. No matter how visitors get to your website, the first thing they see is your home page. You might argue about the creation of specific landing pages for your marketing channels. But a real customer would always take the time and effort to pay a visit to your home page before they make a purchase. A skillfully designed home page, with all the right information, can be a powerful form of marketing on its own.
Imagine creating a winning social media campaign that brings thousands of new visitors to your website. This should mean big sales, right? Not always: Many websites with great social media campaigns have a very low click-to-sales ratio. The reasons are many and widely varied. For instance, pop-up windows, welcome screens, lurid or dated designs, and auto play video can drive your hard-earned visitors away in seconds. Sure, quality web designers are expensive, and it’s tempting to try and create your own website to keep costs at a minimum. However, unless you are a designer or developer, it’s best to leave the task to the professionals as they are aware of the subtle art of presenting your information in a creative and concise manner.
According to an article on Clickz, you also need to make sure that your customers are able to make fast and easy purchases on your website. Easy navigation is something that is very important to making sales. The last thing the average internet user wants to do is to spend precious minutes clicking on a dozen different links just to access the “buy now” button. A user wouldn’t think twice about clicking away in search of someone else because competition is high. The same article states the importance of having a mobile, or responsive, website. I agree wholeheartedly. With mobile users making up a significant portion of online searches, your website needs to be visible to them. A user is highly unlikely to linger around a website that’s not visible on their device.
Online marketing starts with your website. If you’re guilty of not offering easy navigation, fast loading pages, and browser-crashing graphics, it’s high time you consider a revamp f you want to stay ahead of the competition.
Need more help? Check out these resources:
- Important Ways Your Website Impacts Your Online Marketing Efforts
- Strategies to Keep Your Website Relevant to Google
- 6 Best Practices for a Great B2B Website