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1. WHAT’S YOUR BUDGET?
It’s a bit like the chicken-and-the-egg dilemma.
People say, “Hey, how much do we have to spend?”
“Well, I don’t know… how much is it worth to spend on this type of thing?”
So you use one of two approaches. You might have a business where your CEO takes a look and says, “I’ll throw this much at it. You figure out where to spend it.” That’s known to happen. The other approach involves convincing the rest of the organization that you should do more digital marketing: showing how you’re measuring ROI and building back up and determining what you need to do and spend in order to meet a certain financial goal. In other words, start with the end in mind. Plan according to the theoretical ROI you want to get out of it.
2. WHO IS YOUR AUDIENCE?
In some respects this question could almost come before that of your budget; it can help answer how much you need to spend because if you’re going after a small group, that will affect your strategies quite a bit. If you don’t know who your personas are, where they hang out online, or what their touch points are, you’re going to spend a lot more budget to reach and resonate with them than if you had all those answers ahead of time.
It’s also important to be aware that sometimes buyers are buying for totally different reasons. You’ve got to be really careful to make sure that your marketing really speaks to each separate entity’s challenges.
It’s like having five different targets and only one dart. It’s not a magic dart that’s going hit all five. You have to focus.
Let’s say you’re relevant in both the healthcare and automotive industries. One product, but two very different industries with totally separate needs and challenges. You can’t go in there and poof, be all things to everybody. That’s a big piece of marketing strategy that often gets missed. People don’t want to do it because it’s… well, it’s work.
3. WHAT ARE THEIR CHALLENGES?
Once you’ve defined the persona and that market segment, the next question is, what keeps them up at night? What are they frustrated trying to figure out? Now, most of the time you’re selling through a distributor; and their challenge – think about it – is that they’re repping a multiple different (sometimes competing) products. How do you as a manufacturer stay in front of them? You have to somehow make sure they’re incentivized, or that it’s very easy for them to be able to sell and push your product through.
Your content marketing – the marketing and the content that you create, that you put into your digital marketing campaign – needs to specifically address your persona’s challenges. That’s how it’s going to be relevant. Even if you’re ahead of the curve and using digital banner ads instead of print ads in a magazine: supposing it says, “XYZ Company, The Best You Can Get.” I’m not going to click on that, are you?
I’m just thinking about one we just did, it was about dissolved oxygen – we won’t go into why that’s a bad thing in beverages; it’s a bad thing – so the ad was very simple, and it was beverages in a can… so all the ad said was, “Is dissolved oxygen kicking you in the can?”
That addresses the problem. If someone that has that problem, they’re going to click on that long before they click on an ad that says, “Here’s our product: it’s awesome.”
4. HOW WILL THE MESSAGE REACH THEM?
“What are we going to use to release our marketing content? How are we going to get this into their hands?” Try figure out what your competitors are using. (The ones that are doing well.) It’s not about plagiarizing their content; it’s about learning their technique. And another easy, important strategy for release? Look at the marketing material itself.
Tests are critical. Making sure you have them mapped out with proper tracking methods, so that you can do things like A/B testing. See what’s more effective versus other techniques, and then learn from that; and then go from there. Also find out what’s being used by people near you or in your same network.
If you use technology platforms that other people near you are using, your ability to succeed with those platforms goes way up because you’ve got a built-in support system.
And don’t get all excited about the bells and whistles. Start with something that you’ll actually use and that will work, so you can prove out the model and go from there. There’s a lot of companies that today can start with just an email platform and an Excel spreadsheet, and they gain traction and make it work.
So to recap…
Figure out what that budget is. You’re going to need to spend things on lead-gen tactics and and and certainly some different platforms and technology you might need.
Figure out who your audience is. Those personas. Not just, “Okay we’re targeting XYZ person,” but really drill into those verticals, look at the people that you’re going to be targeting inside of that.
Figure out what their challenges are. That will help influence the content that you need to be able to make to be relevant to them. And…
Figure out what the distribution methods and the technologies are, to be able to get… well, “eyeballs on your content.”
Thanks for reading. If there’s a particular topic that you’d like for us to talk about, or if you have a particular a challenge that you’d like us to take a crack at, send us an email. We’d be happy to answer them for you.