1) CREATE ONE PERFECT HYPOTHETICAL CUSTOMER.
This is an incredibly useful exercise. It essentially forces you to make hard decisions – in other words to focus on what will work. Is your prospect male or female? 25 or 39 or 44? What problem does he or she have that you’re solving? How important is it to them? What’s important to this person at work, and at home? What websites does he/she visit most? What blogs are being read? What kind of mobile device does he/she use? What apps and why? The deeper you can define the ideal target, the better all of your marketing efforts will be.
2) DEVELOP A STRATEGY FOR RIGHT NOW.
Most of the time when we’re engaged by a new client, they tell us they already have a strategy in place. So we’ll ask ‘When was it created?’ Typically, we discover that the brand strategy is anywhere from 2-5 years old. Just think of how the mobile communications-networking-video sharing world has changed since 2009, and you begin to see that effective strategy needs to be based on what’s happening right now.
3) PLAN FOR MORE VIDEOS.
We now live in not just a digital age, but also an age of communication-via-video. YouTube begat Vine which begat Instagram video which begat the new Facebook 15 second commercials. Today people just flat out expect you to produce entertaining and informative content. If you truly succeed with the entertaining part – you’ll be rewarded with thousands of shares or more. Create your videos based on your strategy, and according to a plan to roll out at least one new video each month. More if budget allows.
4) IMPROVE YOUR WRITING.
Nothing turns off a prospect faster than poorly written website or blog copy. Don’t settle for run-on sentences and obfuscation. Your words demonstrate the intelligence of your brand. Keep it short. Stimulating. Reward the visitor for their time spent discovering you.
5) DISCOVER YOUR BEST NETWORKS
This goes back to number one. Quite often businesses will choose to post content on the social and business networking sites that ‘feel right’. But the question is… to whom? Do some research to find out if your primary target lives on Pinterest or Google+. Maybe they love Reddit or Tumblr. LinkedIn looks great for b2b right now, but it’s also very broad. The trick once again is finding the narrowest community that pertains directly to your product or service. Broad is easy. Narrow is hard, but greatly increases your chances to convince and convert.
6) GET REAL-TIME
Online communities don’t close on weekends. If anything, people have more time to explore (and actually read) content than they do during business hours. The news also happens 24-7 of course. The most successful consumer brands are leading the way here with non-stop posts seven days a week. Smart b2b brands are following in their footsteps. Everyone is essentially connected to everything – all the time. Your brand needs to be a part of that conversation.
7) OUTSOURCE CREATIVITY[youtube width=”545″ height=”360″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uHgRqMt9bh8[/youtube]
Let’s say your company just came up with a really quiet vacuum cleaner. Are you going to ask someone in-house to create a video about it? Think about what they’d come up with as a product demo. Now let’s say you give that same assignment to your outside resource – in this case agency TBWA. Someone there came up with the idea of comparing the sound level as less than an orchestra creates, and they created a video about it (surprise!) Great ideas have always been the hallmark of the very best marketing – in other words, they’re worth it.