Recently, a lot of marketers have found themselves playing in a different sandbox than the one that they may have been used to in the past. The old sandbox consisted of a hybrid kind of marketing, one that relied on both digital and physical platforms. As our world continues to shift for the foreseeable future, more and more of that physical marketing becomes irrelevant and marketing teams find themselves competing in a digital landscape.
There are a lot of benefits to shifting focus to digital. While there are still costs involved in online marketing, they’re often less. However, it also means competing with literally everything else on the internet at any given time. What we present to our target audience has to be put forward in an interesting enough manner that their attention can be pulled from the thousands of other options calling for them at any given time. That’s a tall order!
Shifting your marketing behaviors can be a difficult pill to swallow, but remember that it doesn’t all have to happen overnight. It’s also important to remember that this might not be forever. Right now, we’re in a constant state of adapting. Here are some tips for taking the plunge into this new landscape.
Focus on Engagement
We’re not just talking clicks here. Right now, one of the best things you can do for your marketing is to keep yourself accessible. Schedule live chats or seminars, or even create an online forum. These things may not have been considered to be standard marketing in the past, but right now it’s all about getting that attention. Accessibility will go a long way to set you apart from the rest of the pack.
Keep Your E-Blasts Interesting
You know what’s exhausting? Endless mailers. You know what’s even worse? Endless cookie-cutter mailers. Cutting and pasting information into the same email format you’ve sent forever might be the easy route, but it’s not going to get you the engagement you want – especially not right now. Give your audience a reason to click on your newsletter! You can utilize anything from small giveaways to something as simple as a snappier intro. Make your readers feel like you’re making an effort to connect.
Avoid Platitudes and Watch Your Frequency
We’re all getting inundated with marketing from across industries telling us that everything’s going to be okay and that our best interests are being looked out for. You don’t need to be that person. No one wants to hear platitudes all day long. We’re far enough into our current global situation that we’ve all pretty much figured out what we need on an individual basis. Focus on what you’re bringing to the table, and don’t overwhelm your email list with correspondence.
If you find yourself constantly digging for information to include in your marketing or other digital correspondences, lower the frequency of your newsletter. The people you’re reaching will appreciate that a lot more than a halfhearted information aggregate.
Keep on your Toes
As things change, change with them. There’s no sense in wasting your money on ad space or physical marketing that isn’t working for you. The future’s more uncertain than it has been in several generations. While it can be hard to accomplish, do your best to just go with the flow. Keep with the digital marketing while it makes sense, but be prepared to incorporate the physical back into rotation if the marketing landscape calls for it.
Focus on What Works Best You can read all the advice columns out of Forbes you want, but no one knows better than you do about what you and your audience are looking for. Use the advice of the experts as a spring board, and then do your best to make something unique out of your marketing. Not only will this set you apart from the crowd, it will also give your audience more of a reason to engage.
Put yourself ahead by remembering some easy tips.
Good marketing doesn’t just remain important as we navigate a global pandemic, it becomes imperative. Sorting out how to represent your brand while constantly adjusting to an ever-shifting landscape can be a tall order, but that doesn’t mean it’s unachievable. We’re all learning on an international scale, but you can put yourself ahead by remembering some easy tips.
Remember Your Voice
Voice matters in branding. No one’s looking for generic ad jargon from social media content when things are normal, and they’re certainly not going to respond to it while in isolation. While everyone’s seeking some sense of normalcy, it’s important to remember that a shift in social strategy doesn’t have to mean shifting your voice. Outside of eliminating some dangerous buzzwords and avoiding jokes that may make light of the current situation, the voice you’ve cultivated up to this point should be the one you maintain as you continue to market.
Check for Insensitive Words
A good rule of thumb here is to avoid the use of anything that might pertain to the pandemic as a whole. It’s not so much avoiding the topic as it is wanting to avoid reminding your audience of their current situation. Avoid phrases like “killer deal”, or any health-related terms while drafting copy. It’s also wise to hold off any phrases that include gathering or events until Stay at Home and Shelter in Place orders are lifted.
To that end, remember to maintain an added level of sensitivity in your content. Use words or phrases that encourage a kind of togetherness without overtly stating or implying physical connection or gathering. You want phrases and keywords that make people feel less alone. Talk about how engaging with your post or taking your offer can help them do things like contribute or connect while avoiding the normal ad phrases like “take advantage of” or the idea of profiting off of or from something.
Copy Editing Still Matters
This might feel like a no-brainer, but we’ve all got a lot on our minds right now. It’s easy for copy editing to fall by the wayside while you’re juggling so many things, but clean copy is always a critical aspect of any social strategy. It’s wise to avoid any embarrassing typos while most of your demographic finds themselves at home with a little bit more time on their hands.
Current Clients Over Lead Conversion
While it can be tricky, the most engaging and effective content is going to be the kind that makes your audience feel comfortable. We’re in constantly uncomfortable times, and folks are just looking for something familiar and easy. We always want new clients and a larger reach, but your primary focus should be on contributing to the conversation with your current reach. Word-of-mouth is a powerful tool, and people will remember who kept things focused on business as usual rather than forming a sense of community and outreach amid uncertainty.
Sensitivity Is Key
Keeping things light in our interactions is a great way to make people feel at ease, but it’s a difficult line to tow right now. There’s still space to be witty but be sure that you’re maintaining a level of sensitivity while doing so. With emotions at an all-time high, a poorly placed joke can lead to lost engagement now more than ever before. This can easily circle back to remembering your social voice. You don’t have to change your entire strategy, just be extra mindful for the time being.
It’s really that simple! No one’s asking anyone to reinvent the marketing wheel. You can still have exceptional brand strategy amidst a pandemic, it’s just about adding a little extra dash of thoughtfulness into the equation.
Would you be surprised to know that 99 percent of people check their email every day?
With a statistic like that,
it’s not hard to see why email marketing is a go-to for marketing campaigns.
What’s confusing, though, is that sometimes, email marketing ROI can look a
An unsuccessful email campaign
in a world where opening emails is such a big part of people’s lives can be
confusing, and brings up an important question:
Where is the gap between consumers checking their email
constantly, but not clicking on your brand’s message?
As you consider the value of email marketing, consider this — 73
percent of millennials prefer email communication when receiving marketing
material. Ultimately, the problem may not be the marketing channel,
but the message delivery. So, is email marketing dead? Or, is there
something that can be done to enhance the email marketing experience — for
consumers and marketers?
A marketing strategy makeover
might be necessary for a struggling brand. Email marketing as a marketing tool
isn’t dead. But some email marketing practices are, such as impersonal email
address lines, violating General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR), ignoring
user experience, and not tracking metrics.
If your brand’s email marketing
strategy is currently struggling with bringing in high ROI, it could be that
your strategy hasn’t been improved to reflect how email currently works.
Ultimately, if you’re not
catering to your audiences, or if you’re not using metrics to appropriately
measure and improve your email campaigns, you’re likely missing out on ROI —
not because email marketing is dead, but because your strategy is outdated.
To improve your email marketing
ROI in 2020, here’s what to retire:
1. Impersonal subject lines
Email marketing starts before
readers even open the email. Subject lines can make or break open-rate, a
metric that tracks how many subscribers open your emails.
messages makes readers feel connected to what’s being sold. Generally, making a
subject line personal can be as easy as noting the holiday season or asking a
question to get readers thinking.
Think about what in your email
is the “must-know” takeaway, and create a short subject line that
taps into emotions to get subscribers clicking.
2. Ignoring GDPR standards
GDPR means making sure the reader gives clear, unambiguous
permission to receive marketing emails. Full compliance with GDPR ensures
that sending marketing emails is legal.
GDPR was created so consumers
know their data is protected and being used by brands they have trusted with
personal information. They opt-in to emails they’d like to receive from brands
they’re interested in.
This is good news for marketers
because it means your email campaigns will only be sent to users who are
genuinely interested in your marketing messages. It also ensures your email
marketing messages are compliant with the law.
3. Using templates that aren’t mobile-friendly
The world is mobile now. Many
people check emails from their phone.
Emails that aren’t
mobile-friendly are probably raising your bounce rate exponentially due to poor
user experience. Because it’s so easy to click away from something that’s
unappealing, emails optimized for mobile should be an important step in the
The Apple iPhone is the most popular method for opening emails.
For some audiences, marketing emails that are stellar for mobile should take
priority over emails for desktop, so the majority of readers don’t get turned
away from desktop-friendly templates.
4. Poor email design
It’s imperative to take time
designing emails that delight readers.
Emails lately have gotten snazzy. From animations to
GIFs, and even embedded full-length videos, businesses are dipping their toes
into exciting email marketing efforts to pull readers in.
Emails that have quick loading
time, bold CTAs (Call to Action), and colorful visuals typically perform best.
An email newsletter with long
paragraphs, the same-old template and a CTA that hasn’t changed in years are
less than exciting, and probably leave readers clicking out of that email.
5. Not strategically using metrics
Tracking metrics helps fill in
the gaps when looking where to improve marketing efforts. They break down the
behavior of email subscribers.
Metrics collect data on how
many people are interacting with emails, when they are, who they are, and for
how long. All of this information is important to know when planning because
they lead to important marketing decisions.
Metrics save time by reporting
on what’s working and what isn’t. To begin tracking metrics, consider what
email software you use. Many have reporting and tracking built into their
tools, as well as information about how that data is collected and interpreted.
Ultimately, the reasons you may not be seeing results, is not
because email marketing is dead — it’s because of how you’re
email marketing. So, before you turn away from email marketing as a whole,
think about ways you can improve your strategy to compete.
Releases serve more purposes today than they ever have before.
lot of independent agents know what a press release is – many even write them
and distribute their press releases to regional or even national press.
a lot of title insurance professionals don’t necessarily understand, however,
is (a) what the press release is; (b) why it pays to write one; and (c) where
to send it and why.
mighty press release is a 1- to 2-page document that trumpets news. It tells an
audience that something important has happened, usually to a company and why it
is important. There are tactical elements to a press release: who is sending
it; the date it is sent, the geographical place of origin (city and state); the
headline and the body.
best press releases keep it simple: they have three to four paragraphs that
tell what the news is, why that news is important, what that news means to the
company and customers, and a small amount of background on the company sending
the press release. Persons from whom the press release is sent are often
reporters, TV anchors and radio broadcast people have traditionally relied upon
the press release to alert them to news. Today, social media experts also use
press release material to populate social media platforms and to include in
inner-company and outside-company newsletters and other communication vehicles.
press release is actually a celebration of a company. Done right – meaning
well-written, regularly sent press releases – showcase a company’s strengths
and help to tell a company’s story. A new hire, a new product, a company move,
surpassing growth goals – the news is virtually limitless. It need only be true
and told well.
Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) says about press releases:
Releases serve more purposes today than they ever have before. They provide valuable SEO for your website, serve as a primary source of information for your investors, and help align your internal teams on critical messages — all while advising the media of important changes and events at your company.
No more boring, text-only content on the latest corporate announcements. The press release today can be an engaging, multimedia experience. This is where you can make a journalist’s job easy and increase your changes of getting coverage by including great B-roll footage, embeddable video and compelling, high-resolution images with your release.
B-roll can be dropped into a press release, as can YouTube links, photos, even
there’s really no need to reinvent the wheel. Go online to a company’s website
that you admire. Look at their press releases usually housed under a
“News” tab. Read it and mimic it (but don’t copy and paste – that
plagiarism, is unethical and opens up potential worlds of trouble).
Take a look at some of Alliant National’s press releases: https://alliantnational.com/category/press/. Read one or two. They are carefully written, thoughtfully edited and purposefully distributed to appropriate media.
free to follow the “formula” of a press release and then distribute
to media you want to reach via email. You’ll be surprised when, done regularly
and well, the attention (the good kind) your company ultimately receives.
What if doing a good business turn, expecting nothing in return, and doing it because it’s the right thing, brings in new business?
preaches about being grateful during the holidays. While all of that is good
and well, the truth is that it can stretch us to the limit to give “yet
more and more and more time and with heart” to whatever cause(s) are
planted firmly in front of us.
what if giving is good business? What if doing a good business turn, expecting
nothing in return, and doing it because it’s the right thing, brings in new
now shows that doing “free business,” when it feels right, can generate future profits for you and your
agency. Here are three true examples of doing work for others, when there
doesn’t initially seem to be much point (except that it’s taking time and
resources from my own business) – paid off.
does not matter that these three examples are purely public relations and
marketing “gifts.” The concept plays out across all industries.
You’ll know how to translate these examples into your own agencies.
1. Free Public Relations Because Your Product is Exceptional
local, very small brewery makes some of the best tasting beer in a state that
is renowned for world-wide, award-winning craft beers. There are too many
breweries (if there can be too many breweries) in Colorado – yet here they are –
two brothers, one a musician, the other a forced-to-retire geophysicist – now
both brew beer for a living.
stumbled into making “gluten removed” beer while they were crafting
excellent tasting beer. Anyone who has celiac disease, IBS (irritable bowel
syndrome) or any other gluten sensitivity has had to kiss beer good-bye or
drink awful tasting beer. Except these brothers craft over a dozen exceptional-tasting
arranged a radio interview for them, guided them on how to “social media
it to death,” and then introduced them to a celebrity chef-owned Colorado
expect nothing in return, not because I’m Mother Teresa or exceptionally
generous. I just felt like doing it and their hard work and excellent product
warrant the leg-up.
did it or will it pay off? It just feels right. That’s the pay off.
2. Sometimes You Just Want to Be Part of a Very Good Thing
sit on the board of The Chanda Plan Foundation because I cannot resist the
extraordinary CEO who happens to be a quadriplegic.
Chanda Plan affords all spinal cord injured people free health and wellness
services that have proven to dramatically improve their lives. The services
include nutrition, massage, chiropractic and primary care physicians.
clients pay nothing. Some of them go on to become fully mobile. All touched by
The Chanda Plan live better lives; the results, after a dozen years, prove it.
dedicates free public relations and services to The Chanda Plan because it is
the right thing to do. It cannot be explained in a spread sheet, but it somehow
feeds Capital City Public Relations.
3. Scratching Each Other’s Backs Breeds Wonderful Friendships
does free public relations and marketing for a neighborhood hairdresser; our
coifs look all the better for it. Another writer needs contributions to her
literary anthology and she’s getting one from me.
one of the best editors in the business and my copy reads better because of it.
CCPR gave another paying public relations client extra services over the past
few months because the boost will likely catapult that business into another
the business sense in all of this? Where does the spreadsheet demonstrate how
the return on investment works?
isn’t one. Like the successful CEO that last week let me pick his brain over
coffee, when he is already working a 60-hour work week to keep his two
businesses running in the black, it just is because it feels right.
your business can go the extra mile, do a good turn, contribute to the
community in a new way. Perhaps you’ll never realize a dime in the action and
perhaps it will even cost you.
the truth is that these business relationships are truly friendships. And the
other truth is that it always pays off. Maybe it isn’t measured on the
calculator or within any traditional return-on-investment calculation.
does not matter if it cannot be laid out exactly, in numbers, how giving pays
off. It’s simply enough to know, in one’s soul, that it does.