Digital marketing is a complicated landscape with techniques and tools that vary in effectiveness depending on the format of brands, products, audiences, and more. There are marketing 101 strategies that generally work with some success across the board. However, when you’re cultivating a marketing system unique to your brand, it’s important to focus on which exact tools may be better than others, rather than relying solely on industry standards. Because marketing strategies can be so complex and difficult to devote time to figuring out and implementing, many organizations and companies of all sizes take advantage of the services a third-party digital marketing firm provides. MLT Group offers complete services for SEO/marketing in Minneapolis, MN, including web design, SEO systems, social media tools, graphic design, and video production with 4K technology.
Marketing online and offline is all about driving the customer to action. That action can mean many things, such as making a purchase, signing up for a newsletter, following your brand on social media, reviewing a product or service, or even commenting on a post. The long-term goal of marketing is to generate profitable customer action, but there are many other purposes marketing tools serve along the way to that goal.
Digital marketing and SEO (search engine optimization) use online systems to get the right kind of attention from search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo, as well as their potential customer base. This means you’re balancing communication lines between both the search engine platform and the user. There are many ways to improve your website’s placement on a search engine results page (SERP) that follow recommended marketing practices (we cover many SEO tools in this blog), but there are always ways to communicate with your audience, enrich that brand-to-user relationship, and grow a community.
Some SEO/marketing strategies aimed at audience growth and outreach make sense. Those strategies are marketing basics targeted at the largest audience possible in the fastest and most impactful amount of time. Yet, for many online brands, some counterintuitive strategies may be more effective with greater diversity for positive results than many standardized digital marketing tools. Generic marketing advice only goes so far in generating customer action. Expanding beyond beginner marketing techniques requires some understanding of your brand and audience as unique entities.
While some research may be needed to get a foothold in determining what multifaceted, functional marketing techniques should be tailored specifically to your brand, there are a few contradictory marketing methods that can initiate continual audience growth and profitable customer action for many kinds of companies with an online presence.
Enrich your brand community with one-on-one interactions.
No matter how big or small your brand community is, one-on-one interactions with members are always valuable. While common marketing advice will suggest you rely more on measurable interactions, such as time-efficient, widespread messages through mailing lists or social media posts, there’s still a use for the more intangible interactions. One-on-one interactions with customers like personalized greetings, direct conversations, community tags, gifts, and more all contribute to stronger relationships with your brand. These kinds of interactions can’t be measured for ROI in the way that other marketing moves can, but they almost always generate more trust in your brand, a diverse community, and a humanizing of your company.
The easiest way to start making more personal connections with your audience is to get to know the members of your community, including their interests, skills, backgrounds, locations, and other aspects. If you can collect this information without invading customer privacy, you’ll also be able to learn more about your brand’s demographic.
Provide real information to your audience.
Another piece of generic marketing advice is to keep information vague and bait the value of products and services to encourage users to make purchases. The problem with this strategy is that today’s users have unprecedented access to information. Customers are able to do more research on a product or service to inform their purchase than ever before. This level of information access has changed the way brands should provide their own information freely to users. Instead of teasing the importance of their information, brands that provide real information and tools to their users are able to build trust with their audience.
Trust is Important
The trust that’s initiated by offering real information and valuable tools to users in your brand community will also lead to return customers, an increase in word-of-mouth referrals, and greater brand authority in your industry. The simplest way to start offering real information to your audience is to publish well-written blog posts that cover in-depth, relevant topics about your brand, products, services, staff, systems, and industry. You can also provide some of the tools your own team uses, such as templates, calculators, guides, and more.
Focus on quality of presence over quantity of presence.
Narrowing the online space occupied and focusing on quality over quantity is especially important for smaller brands without a dedicated marketing team, but it can also be a useful piece of advice for larger companies with established marketing systems. The ideal marketing system will include high-quality content published regularly on multiple platforms, including your website, blog feed, newsletters, and multiple social media sites. Producing this amount of well-made content is almost impossible for many brands. It’s time-consuming, requires a specific skill set and level of creativity, and can exhaust your marketing resources.
Instead of attempting to fill the many content holes that generic marketing advice digs, start with a small amount of quality content that you have the capacity and enjoyment for creating. Master a single space for content, and make sure you’re able to reliably generate quality products in that space before expanding to a new outlet. Start with a platform that fits your brand type the best. For example, a retail brand might benefit more from building a quality Instagram that showcases their products, but a publishing company would do better to focus on a well-curated blog page. Focusing on quality over quantity and starting small doesn’t mean you’ll never have the benefits that many platforms provide, but working up to those multi-faceted marketing systems will improve your tool kit and retain loyal customers on each platform as you master them.
Don’t give up on specialty marketing ROIs.
Small or niche marketing channels may seem insignificant when compared to large-scale SEO/marketing and a generalized target audience, but those specialty spaces may have greater ROIs than you’d expect. Specialty keywords on your site help Google and other search engines find your brand for more pinpointed user inquiries and also provide space for more of a “fandom” kind of audience. Users who respond to specialty marketing and niche channels are more likely to be dedicated customers and spread word-of-mouth support.
Using niche or specialty tools when you can will also give your brand a unique, hidden treasure kind of image, especially compared to the many other websites in an oversaturated internet market.
Create a community with other brands.
Standard marketing guidelines encourage a view of competitors in your industry as the enemy. While it’s true you compete for sales, space, and customer interactions in general, there’s something to be said for building a community with like-minded brands. If you can support brands that share your ethics, whose work you admire, or those you think could fill a need for your customers that your brand doesn’t quite meet, you’ll foster greater credibility, trustworthiness, and likeability with your customers. It’s also possible that you’ll gain the goodwill and reciprocal support of the brands you shout out and highlight on your platforms.
It may not make sense to go out of your way to show off what your competition is doing, but if there are occasions when building community between brands seems natural, it can be a great thing. Positive interactions between you and your fellow brands helps customers understand the benefits of collaboration and the community ideals of your company.
These are just a few of the many contradictory marketing techniques that are not often listed in generic marketing guidelines. If you’re considering building a new marketing campaign or expanding an existing one, our team of expert project managers, designers, writers, and optimizers can help. Contact MLT Group at (507) 281-3490, firstname.lastname@example.org, or online today for more information about SEO/marketing in Minneapolis, MN.