Marketing takes time and effort. Sometimes, falling into the rush of short-term tasks and results we tend to forget about it. Results don’t come overnight. Having the smartest and best planned marketing strategy does not mean you will turn it into money the next morning after releasing a new blog post, social media campaign or a newsletter.
There is, however, one thing that pays off: passion and consistency. Being passionate about your customer’s success and keeping your marketing strategy consistent around your vision can mean a straight road to your and your company’s success.
When looking for a marketing benchmark and a real-life proof, why not look at the actual success stories?
- Learning from the best-in-class
- Inbound vs. outbound
- Marketing channels
Learning from the best-in-class
When searching for an inspiration, you might say we should look at the best ones. After all, if you want your product to be the best, you should aim high. So, what’s the problem with this kind of approach?
1. There is no one recipe for success, one needs to find his own path
There is simply no single way to do marketing. There might be some guidelines and experiences to learn from. But after all, you should rather have your own strategy to achieve your final goal.
E.g. Coca-Cola has been using nearly the same logo since 1885, while Pepsi has changed it multiple times. Both companies seem to be quite successful today. They’re simply different in style and the message they deliver.
2. Market, society and conditions change
Looking into brands’ strategy and what led them to success might simply not work in today’s times. With new customer preferences, modern technology and information overload, it becomes more difficult to communicate with customers. What used to work a few years ago, might simply not work today, anymore.
E.g. Apple’s famous Super Bowl commercial from 1984 which was considered revolutionary in the advertising space, was nowhere near similar to other advertisements. It was completely different from other marketing strategies at the time, which was the reason for its success. If Apple was to copy past successes of other companies, it would likely not achieve the same results.
Also, big brands and big success stories might not necessarily remain big in the future. After all, how can we know that the marketing Coca-cola does today will not lead it to failure?
3. You likely don’t have the same marketing budget
Looking into big brands might seem like an obvious benchmark but it’s more than likely your budget is much more limited or most likely, it represents a tiny fraction of resources possessed by Coca-Cola or Ikea.
Given this, big brands have much more flexibility in planning their activities and marketing strategies. If you’re not a global enterprise, yet, you need to do everything much smarter and quicker. So, again, it’s all after developing your own unique style and making sure you maximize your chances of success with minimal resources.
Outbound vs. inbound – can outbound work in today’s times?
When I look at today’s marketing times, there’s one thing which comes to my mind – overload. Scrolling through Facebook, searching Google or looking through my mailbox, I’m simply bombarded with the information about new products, services or online portals. I can imagine you feel quite the same.
So can aggressive outbound strategy like cold mailing work in today’s times?
According to Austin Mullins, founder of Conversion Creatives:
Because I’m an active practitioner. If you put a lot of energy into personalization, grabbing data for your merge tags or custom fields that can’t be pulled from a contact database, have a relevant offer, back it up with social proof, and make it easy for the person you’re looking to connect with to say yes, it generates meetings and leads. The numbers don’t lie.
But are they as effective like inbound channels, meaning visitors coming to your website or business by themselves? It all depends on your plan on brand building. Which brand would you trust more? The one which sends you cold emails or the one which gives you the right answers whenever searching for solving issues in your business?
So in this material, we’ll be looking into the inbound channels you could use to do marketing for your business, which would help you build trust in your brand.
🤖 -> Write “Outbound marketing” to our pickSaaS Software Advisor Bot to get software for outbound marketing.
How to do online marketing and which channels to use?
So, let’s say you have your product offer ready, you know how to solve your customers’ problems and have a clear message you want to deliver to your customers. Now, it’s time to think about your marketing mix, meaning the channels you’d like to use to target your customers.
We can split the strategies into long-term campaigns which require more time to become effective (like content marketing) and short-term campaigns (like launch on Product Hunt), which might bring immediate results to your business. Sometimes, short-term strategies, connected together might bring long-term benefits to your business, e.g. a launch on Product Hunt can lead to increased brand awareness and a consistent inflow of leads.
Let’s look into how fast, high-tech companies do online marketing in the modern online world.
But before we go into details, what is content marketing?
Content marketing is known as a marketing approach based on creating, distributing and promoting all kinds of relevant content to your target audience.
What does it mean in simple words?
It means creating materials like blog posts, dedicated websites, videos, infographics or any other types of content to make your potential customers interested in your product or service.
But does it mean that the content needs to be promoting your product or service directly? Overpromoting a product is often a no. 1 mistake made by beginning brands doing content marketing.
Tip! Content marketing has to bring valuable information to your audience, help them solve some kind of problem or simply make them have some fun.
So why would you do the content which will not promote your product or service directly?
- Customers are bombarded with offers and new products. They might simply not be interested in what you offer if you offer your product right away, if they don’t know your brand, yet.
- Users need to find your content. To make your content appear, e.g. in search results, it needs to answer some type of problem/query people are searching for in Google.
- Content needs to follow some well-thought strategy, instead of being simply a bunch of random promotional blog posts.
Instead, try to approach it from a different perspective. Put yourself in the shoes of your customer, go through his normal day and think about his problems. How can you help your customer with your content? Can you write a blog post with a step-by-step guide helping him solve the problem?
Real-life exampleLet’s say you offer a software for managing your employees’ schedule. Your potential customers are likely managing the company or human resources department, so they might be searching for numerous things online. You can identify the topics that are often searched on the internet, e.g. “Small business HR”, which has a traffic potential of about 1,200 searches.
You could write an extensive guide to “How to Run Human Resources Department in Small Business”. That’s exactly what one of the major employee scheduling software companies – When I Work did, appearing in the 1st position of Google search results for this phrase.
So content is all about delivering valuable information to your potential customers, getting them familiar with your brand or product, which can lead to the sale on the later stage of the process. In today’s times, however, don’t even try creating simple, non-valuable articles. Overall, there are 2 million blog posts created worldwide, every day. So in order to stand out and make sure your content and brand are noticed, you need to make sure you deliver really valuable insight to your readers. It doesn’t necessarily need to be the length and extensiveness of the article, it can simply be a brief expertise knowledge about some narrow subject. The key is to make sure you deliver value added instead of talking about general issues and simply copying information which can be found in other places online.
There are many more ways to deliver valuable content to your readers. And it doesn’t need to be only about infographics, reports or extensive articles. You can also do it the more fun way.
E.g. LiveChat, a software company delivering a live chat solution for websites, according to SimilarWeb generates hundreds of thousands visits every month with a Free Typing Speed Test tool, letting you easily check your typing speed.
And while this might be more complex and require more development work, putting some creativity into your marketing strategy might be worth an effort and might pay off in the long term.
🤖 -> Write “Creating content” to our pickSaaS Software Advisor Bot to get software to help you create content
How to promote your content?
As they say in content marketing, 20% is about creation and 80% about promotion. So even if you do your best to create a single best piece of content out there, it’s still not enough to make sure people will actually find it and read it. Without proper promotion, the content will likely get lost among thousands of other articles fighting for the 1st place in Google searches.
What is content promotion?
Promoting a content means getting interest in your content, getting more readers read the article and link to it through their channels (e.g. their websites). This leads to more readers of your content and higher rank in Google search results.
But is promoting an article all about posting on social media and sending a newsletter to your subscribers? Let me show you the channels which are most commonly used in promoting content online:
You can promote your content via social media channels, like Twitter, Facebook or any other social media channel. But how to make social media campaign effective? It’s worth to adjust your marketing strategy to the channel’s “nature”, meaning to the type of content which is published in particular social media. Why is that? While putting funny meme gifs might turn out to be very effective when publishing on Facebook, it might not be smart to do it on LinkedIn with a more professional approach to the published content.
So, let’s look into the examples how you could promote your content via different channels in today’s modern social media channels:
Twitter – Publishing short quotes from the articles, tagging people/companies mentioned in the article/content
Facebook – Engaging in discussions on Facebook groups, publishing videos made out of your articles
LinkedIn – Engaging in LinkedIn groups, engaging in posts within your professional network, re-posting a short version of your article as LinkedIn article
Instagram – Co-operating with influencers promoting your article, products
Medium – Re-posting the article in Medium publications with a wider reach
Marketing Software tip! Use Buffer to plan posts in your social media in advance.
Another way of making your readers interested in your article is reaching out to them via email. Again, there are quite different ways to approaching email campaigns for your new content:
- Mass email to your subscribers, e.g. newsletter.
- Personal email to your network, e.g. an email to other person running a blog about the release of your new article.
- Cold mail, e.g. a mass mailing to people who have linked to or shared a similar article and who you think might be interested in your content.
So which of the above ones might work and how to put together an effective email promoting your article?
It all depends on the type of email you’re sending, e.g. it will surely be different if you’re sending it to your colleagues, when compared to the one you’re sending to the people you don’t actually know, yet.
Here is an example cold mail from one of other companies trying to promote their article by relating to another blog post written by us at pickSaaS:
When reaching out to strangers, you can try to give them some attention by actually reading their article/content and relating to it in your email.
On the other hand, the way you communicate with your network and subscribers depends on your company’s values and culture, so there is no one recipe. It’s worth to stay natural, make it interesting to recipients and possibly provide some value added already within your email, e.g. sending an info which part of article covers solutions your recipient might have in their business.
One of the most popular channels to promote a content, like an article is repurposing it into many different types of materials, like infographics, reports, videos, presentations. Repurposing content, you can always relate to the original source, leading to more original content’s readers.
So how can you repurpose your content?
- Reports/e-books – turning your content into a structured .pdf ebook
- Infographics – setting up an infographic presenting the content in a visual form
- Presentation – you can turn your content into a presentation and then upload it e.g. to Slideshare
- Videos – content can be turned into a video and uploaded to YouTube or Facebook
- Bot – if you’re setting up a guide, maybe your content can be turned “conversational” by creating a bot telling a story (that’s what we’re doing over here @ pickSaaS turning each of our content into a pickSaaS advisor bot, helping find the best software faster)
Other creative ways to promote content
Promoting the content is all about exposing it to the large audience. So the first step to doing it is to find places online, where you’d be able to target large number of your content’s readers.
So what are the other common ways for content promotion?
- Communities, like closed Slack communities or industry forums
- Comments on other popular blog posts
- Influencers networks letting you reach a wider audience
- Creating landing pages promoting your content with a CTA to the content’s download
Marketing Software tip! Use landing page builders like Landingi to set up promotional landing pages by yourself, without any IT skills.
All of the above are content marketing strategies worth trying if they work for your product or business, but have in mind none of them will work if you don’t have an outstanding quality content in the first place!
🤖 -> Write “Promoting content” to our pickSaaS Software Advisor Bot to get software for promoting your content online.
This article will be updated with the new tips about marketing and marketing software. Subscribe to stay up to date with the new parts.
In pickSaaS, we offer a faster way to find the best software.
We research software solutions and provide online software consulting via website, live chat and email.
Search or start a chat with us and find the best software to grow your business.