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.
Video solutions throughout the buying process may become the new normal.
With every industry finding itself in triage mode amidst the
current COVID-19 pandemic, it can be difficult finding ways to keep our
collective heads above water. Though the home buying process typically starts
online for most consumers, real estate is still one of the most hands-on,
face-to-face markets out there. While it has been reclassified
as essential, agents still have a responsibility to themselves and our
clients to remove as many touches as possible as we collectively navigate the
This has resulted in agents across the country getting
creative in the way they show homes. Small steps like ensuring all interior
doors are open and scheduling time slots for viewings rather than allowing for
an open house can help mitigate potential exposure in a big way.
It’s also important to remember that while this pandemic
the way it shapes our industry might be.
Sara Walsh, an agent from Ohio, suspects that things like FaceTime tours
and other video solutions throughout the buying process may become the new
normal for clients who either can’t or don’t wish to come to live viewings.
The real powerhouse for business networking and prospecting is the business focused social media site, LinkedIn.
platforms enable you to stay in contact with friends and family and stay current
on their life activities. They can also benefit you on the business side,
especially for sales. For many people, the top
social media networks that come to mind are Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
While these sites have some benefits for sales prospecting,
with general consumers, the real powerhouse for business networking and
prospecting is the business focused social media site, LinkedIn.
In fact, when it comes to business, LinkedIn with over 360
million members world-wide, is the top social media choice for business
networking and sales prospecting.
If you are using the popular social media business platform, LinkedIn,
you might find that there are additional ways to reach potential clients or
connect through others to increase sales.
For many, LinkedIn has been somewhat thought of as the go to
social site when you’re looking for your next job. It certainly has value for
this purpose, and it is extensively used by recruitment specialists world-wide
to find and contact prospects, but its benefits far exceed that. In the know business
people use LinkedIn more and more as a revenue generating, sales prospecting
LinkedIn is a perfect tool to make lead and sales
prospecting smoother, quicker, and ultimately, profitable. It is an extremely
cost-effective tool for business development.
Modern sales techniques have changed, and LinkedIn allows
you to connect directly with and gather information on companies and prospects,
as well as develop relationships and contact decision makers directly.
Here are some proactive, easy to implement strategies for using
LinkedIn as a tool to effectively increase your sales prospecting and grow
Optimize your LI Profile
With a couple tweaks,
you can turn your LinkedIn profile into a powerful sales asset. The most
important thing is that your profile is 100% complete. There is a high chance
that your prospects will look you up if they are interested in what you are
selling. When they do, your profile should give off a professional impression
of you and your company.
An important thing to do when beginning to get serious about
using LinkedIn for prospecting is to take a long hard look at your contacts.
Contacts are the bread and butter on the site. If yours are predominantly
family, your college classmates, and friends, you need to do a little work.
Connections spawn more connections. Your primary contacts
open a route to a wide range of second and third level connections. This is how
to scale up your efforts.
and Map Your Leads
LinkedIn users generally put a tremendous amount of
information on their profiles. Everything from which teams they work with, what
projects they are focusing on, which office they work out of and more.
You can use this information to develop a map of who the
decision makers are and how they can be reached and influenced to make the
sale. (Start by checking out the “viewers of this profile also viewed…” box
on their profile.)
Groups to Keep Up To Date and Engage With Prospects
Groups on LinkedIn are collections of people with similar
likes, needs, skills and more. They are a great way to learn about the
industries you target for sales and can be a great source for new prospects.
Engaging with member questions is a great way to build trust and authority
while raising your thought leader profile which can lead to sales inquiries.
They are also a great “soft” way to make contact with a prospect.
Turn Your Profile Into A Lead
Much of what we’ve touched on so far has been outbound
information, where to go to find prospects, how to engage, etc. This is purely
inbound. The prospects you’ve engaged with through connections and Groups will
most likely seek out your profile to learn more about you. (Information flows
both ways on LinkedIn!). So it only makes sense to optimize your profile to
Make sure you have current links to your company
site, your Twitter account and your Facebook page. Include some high-quality
recommendations from existing happy customers – think quality, not quantity.
This can give visitors a better idea of who you are and what you’re all about.
Remember, effective sales is all about building trust and relationships.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is an ever-evolving beast that can be difficult to navigate.
The rules are always changing and
understanding where to begin can present a challenging maze for those unfamiliar
with the most current trends.
Google, of course, is the giant of the
search engine ladder, and if your business URL ranks at the top of a Google
search, it has a 33 percent chance of getting clicked, while the second position gets close to 15 percent
of the share, and the third position, 9 percent.
Moreover, a whopping 75 percent of people who use search
engines to browse topics never leave the first page of search results. In other
words, a high rank leads to more clicks, and more clicks equate to more leads.
The time it takes for your home page to load is front and
center in the minds of the public—and Google. If your load page is too slow, Google
recognizes the lull and will promptly demote your ranking.
As well, a slow website affects the ways in which visitors to your site engage
with your pages. Research shows that 40 percent of visitors will leave a
website if the page takes more than three seconds to load. Even worse, 80 percent
of those visitors won’t bother to come back.
To test the speed of your website, consult a free online service like Pingdom.
Regularly update your website with new content.
If you allow the content on your website
to become outdated, or worse, let it fade into oblivion, your SEO ranking
plummets. To generate traffic and increase your website’s visibility, posting
fresh content is imperative.
If your site is littered with irrelevant or outdated content, get rid of it. Update
your site on a regular basis with newsworthy, consumable, relevant and value-driven
content (including graphics, videos, how-to guides, webinars and live chats)
and visitors will likely return.
Something else to keep in mind: Google increases your website’s search engine
rank when visitors spend more than a nanosecond on your site. If you keep your target
searchers engaged with great content that makes them care, they’ll stick around—a
factor that Google takes into account when it ranks websites.
Use the correct key words and phrases.
Keywords play a huge role in Google’s
ranking algorithm. When creating content for your website, include keywords and
long-tail keywords (three-or-four-word phrases) that speak to—and define—your
Keywords can be used in the body of a blog post, header tag or as part of photo
Google isn’t particularly keen on saturating sites with keywords, however, so use
them strategically and sparingly, otherwise you risk diminishing your search
ranking. Tip: Take advantage of software sites like Moz and Ahrefs, both of
which offer keyword suggestions and monthly search volume.
Retail kingpin Amazon and the nation’s largest residential brokerage firm, Realogy, whose brands include Coldwell Banker, Century 21 and Sotheby’s, have joined forces to attract home buyers in fourteen different cities.
To entice buyers to take advantage of the newly launched partnership—called Turnkey—Amazon is offering up to $5,000 in home services and products upon the closing of a home.
the modern digital age is
changing the way journalists rely on information gathering
While traditional press releases – distributing
promotional news about your services, products, brand or business through mass
communication channels – should still be part of your
communications cannon, the modern digital age is changing the way journalists
rely on information gathering.
Muck Rack and the Zeno Group, for example, published a survey
last year that produced some surprising results: only 3 percent of journalists
worldwide rely heavily on press releases distributed via newswires. Even more telling:
53 percent of U.S. based
journalists don’t rely on press releases at all.
Consider these additional
findings from the Muck Rack and Zeno Group survey:
More than 41 percent of
journalists consider the potential “shareability” of a story when deciding what
to write about
63 percent of journalists in the
U.S. and 68 percent of journalists worldwide track how many times their stories
are shared on social media
27 percent of journalists choose
Twitter as their primary news source
To be clear: Press releases are
not dead. Even in today’s digital bonanza, they’re still a formidable medium
for delivering your message, especially when that message is well written,
informative and has a strong hook.
Still, these findings, if nothing
else, should compel communications professionals to rethink how they
communicate – and build relationships – with
journalists that go beyond an email and a formulaic press release.
To bolster your message, consider
implementing these three additional strategies.
Follow reporters that cover your
beat on social media.
Make sure to follow reporters that
cover your industry on social media platforms. A journalist’s tweet may spark a
pitch for a story idea or the opportunity to become a source or an expert for a
forthcoming article or column.
The more familiar you are with
the journalists that write about your industry, whether it’s trends, news or thoughts,
the more you’re likely to understand the kind of stories they’re looking for.
Share, share and share some more.
When your business is featured in
a publication, video or blog post, share the story to your own social media
And always tag the publications
and reporter that wrote the story. Spreading good news extends the story’s
reach for your business, and it also benefits the publication and the reporter.
It’s a win-win situation for
generating visibility across the spectrum.
Make your pitch personal.
Distributing a mass pitch is
easy, but it’s not advisable. If you’re going to do the research to craft a
press release, ensure that you devote time to developing customized angles and
narratives that are personalized for the specific reporter or outlet you’re
Journalists receive dozens of
pitches every day; make yours stand out by personalizing your pitches and
letting reporters know why, specifically, they’re the right person to cover
Additionally, think beyond text: the inclusion of infographics and videos in your release is proven to generate more attention.