There’s a reason why people set themselves ambitious goals and resolutions on New Year’s Eve. Something about starting a new calendar year invigorates a person’s enthusiasm to improve their life, don’t you think?
This renewed drive often spills over into our work lives. I’m sure many entrepreneurs can relate to this notion. So, as we’re now in the new year, we can’t help but feel that the opportunity for a fresh look at existing marketing strategies is just around the corner.
In this article, I’m going to discuss a few marketing tactics that may help you rethink your current tactics and processes. Many of these are just extensions of what’s become best practice in the digital marketing world – but that doesn’t mean they’re outdated or irrelevant.
Often, the most obvious strategies are the ones we never attempt or implement correctly. Read these tactics with an open mind. Think critically about your current marketing tactics as you do so and discuss them with your marketing team after.
Making one simple change could have significant rewards for your business.
Ready? Let’s dive in!
1. Make Your Content Customer-Centric
Customer-centricity is something that can be applied to almost all of your business processes. In fact, almost every aspect of your company impacts the customer directly or indirectly.
The principle of becoming customer-centric means that every strategic or operational decision has to also be seen through the lens of the customer.
In this section, we’ll be looking specifically at how your content marketing strategy can become more attuned to your customer needs.
Don’t Forget the Basics
First things first: there’s no need for this new focus on customer-centricity to intrude on other aspects of your content marketing tactics.
Yes, keyword research is still critical.
Yes, the content must include a mechanism to ease the reader down the sales funnel.
And yes, you have to provide the reader with real, actionable knowledge rather than attack them with an aggressive sales pitch.
But aside from these marketing 101 concepts, there’s a lot you can do to make your audience feel like you’re meeting them where they need you. Show them that you understand their specific needs. Doing so makes the customer’s journey towards conversion that much easier, buying you enormous amounts of goodwill and loyalty.
Meet the Customer Where They Are
One of the best ways to get customer-centric with your content strategy is to understand your customer’s journey. For each of your buyer personas (you’ve created these, haven’t you?) you’ll understand the reasons why they’ve landed on your blog and what their specific needs are.
Not everyone who interacts with your content does so with the same mindset. Your audience is composed of people with unique motivations, questions, and interests.
What pain points are they facing? What questions do they have? And what will pique their interest? Each potential customer belongs somewhere on the customer journey map. It’s vital that you build this map out for your company and its potential customers.
Then, when you’re creating content for your site’s blog, make sure that you’re covering topics and providing useful content that addresses the needs of every single one of these potential customers.
A great example is the Gili Sports’ blog. See how their content doesn’t just focus on a specific type of potential customer. They haven’t made the assumption that everyone visiting this page knows what paddleboards are. They don’t assume that each visitor is on the verge of buying one right now and just needs to be guided towards the right model.
image source: gilisports.com
Gili offers practical advice for paddleboard owners who may want an upgrade. They offer basic information for people who may not even know that there’s such a thing as an inflatable paddleboard (one of their flagship products). They even offer content that motivates a former customer who may have lost interest in the hobby to get back out there.
What Gili has done is build a deep understanding of every single type of person who may be a new or repeat customer, and then publish content that is unique to their needs. This is the essence of customer-centric content marketing.
2. Give Customers a Great Reason to Get on Your Mailing List
This tactic feels as old as the internet itself, but I’m still astonished to see how often it’s overlooked. Most industry professionals know that email marketing still offers exceptional ROI. A well designed and executed campaign can see a return of $32 for each $1 spent.
But here’s the thing: all of this success hinges on having a well-populated mailing list. This is why every email marketing campaign has to run in conjunction with a campaign to increase the number of subscribers.
There are several ways to expand your mailing list, and while I’d hesitate to call them “easy” to implement, none of them require a degree in rocket science. Let’s take a look at a lead magnet that’s been proven highly successful over the years: a free ebook.
Many potential or existing customers are hungry for knowledge. They’re on the website for a reason – they need to learn something. Of course, the site’s blog will be packed with useful information, but offering something in a different format, containing slightly more actionable advice, is a proven method of harvesting email addresses.
LFA Capsule fillers uses a highly visible UI element on their homepage to promote an ebook offering insight into their business niche. The broad but highly relevant topic means that a large subset of visitors know that it will contain useful, actionable knowledge that will address at least one of their pain points.
image source: lfacapsulefillers.com
And all it’s going to cost them is their email address. Totally worth it, wouldn’t you agree?
3. Execute Your Email Campaigns Efficiently
Exceptional ROI is only realistic if you can minimize your cost and effort overhead. Automation will help you ensure that your staff isn’t over-burdened with the daily administrative headaches posed by running these campaigns.
There are so many ways that an excellent email automation tool can reduce the load on your marketing team and limit the chances of embarrassing or costly mistakes.
A great email automation tool should have an intuitive UX that’s easy to learn and use. It should offer useful, innovative features and continue refining them. It must offer intelligent segmentation and a selection of price points that suit your needs. It’s also essential that the tool offers exceptional analytics so that you can measure the success of each campaign.
I’m a big believer in partnering with the best enablement tools that the industry has to offer to improve my marketing tactics. The stakes are simply too high not to. Attempting to run effective email campaigns without a world-class tool to do the bulk of the heavy lifting is a futile exercise.
Critically assess the tools you’re using and compare them against the best in the industry. Spending a little extra is likely to yield remarkable rewards.
4. Use Your Site to Expand Your Social Network Community
Too many sites hide links to their Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts in the site’s footer, as if funneling traffic to these profiles has little benefit for their marketing tactics.
I’m not going to discuss the massive advantages of maintaining an active community on social media in this article. Engaging with your prospects and customers off-site is a critical part of an integrated, multichannel marketing strategy.
Before you can facilitate engagement with this community, however, you need to build it first. There’s literally no point at which this effort should stop. You can never have enough followers.
What I’d like to see more of is what Amazon repricer Aura does on their homepage: they’ve dedicated a massive section of the website to an interactive UI element that encourages the visitor to become a member of their Facebook group.
image source: goaura.com
In terms of an effective CTA, this element goes the extra mile in so many ways:
They get the message across in as few words as possible.
It’s highly visual and interactive.
They use actual testimonials from group members for credibility.
They add an element of exclusivity in the main CTA, by using the phrase Request to join. This is an interesting approach that intrigues me and has proven successful for Aura.
A new year brings renewed motivation to assess marketing tactics that may have become stale and ineffective. It’s a great time to critically assess strategies and processes that can do with an overhaul.
At the same time, we can use this opportunity to start considering marketing tactics we’ve never tried before. Some time away from work gives fresh perspectives and renewed energy from many of the professionals involved in planning and executing these strategies.