One of the biggest challenges brands face in marketing today is how to be everywhere, all at once, and still manage to squeeze in time to eat and sleep. Luckily for us, there are a number of successful people out there who are “everywhere” – doing what’s referred to as cross-platform marketing – and they effectively promote their brand without working 18-hour days.
More than ever, cross-platform marketing is a crucial part of the success of any business. Some call it the surround sound effect, and others the “be everywhere strategy.” How can you reach your target audience effectively through all of the appropriate online channels while still maintaining a balanced life?
If we look at what successful people are doing, we can learn some important insights about how to manage our own marketing and not only be everywhere, but be in the most important place of all – and that’s where our customers are.
Choose Your Social Media Channels Wisely
With the evolution of social media, it is really easy to become completely consumed by dozens of profiles, accounts, and pages. While it may be tempting to jump in and create a presence everywhere, consider your audience and do some market research before taking the plunge. For example, perhaps you have recently started a clothing company, and your target demographic is women between the ages of 20-35. Your company would likely benefit from a Pinterest profile, as your products are inherently visual and your target audience regularly consumes content on Pinterest. Once you’ve done your homework, begin focusing on building an effective social presence on channels where your audience spends time.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking you have to be on every single social channel to have an effective presence. You only need to focus on the most important ones to you and your business. You don’t have to do it all at once, either. Start with one channel that you feel would be the most important and beneficial, then expand your presence as you become more comfortable with social marketing. If you plan and repurpose your content wisely, you can maintain 3-4 social channels without losing sleep.
Take Advantage Of Email Marketing
You are missing a huge opportunity for engagement and sales if you are not communicating with your customers via email. The first step in good email marketing is to make sure the information you are sharing creates value for your customer. You may want to offer a special or provide a coupon code for one of your products, or develop a newsletter that provides free and useful information in areas related to your product or service. Data shows that sending out a weekly newsletter or note to your customers is the most effective way to drive traffic back to your site. You always want to make sure you track your email campaigns to see which headlines and content are driving customer engagement.
Remember that like all good marketing, email marketing is best when it’s consistent. If you email sporadically, you won’t see the results you could with regular emails, whether monthly, weekly or some other interval. Again, if you use your content wisely, you can repurpose content from your social sites or blog for use in your email campaigns.
Be A Guest Posting Pro
A great way to gain visibility for your business with new audiences is to write some guest posts on blogs in your space. Don’t be afraid to reach out to owners of popular blogs and request the opportunity to do a guest post. Often, they appreciate it because bloggers need new quality content all the time. By creating quality content and creating value for one blogger, you inevitably end up getting the attention of other bloggers, thus creating more opportunities to get links and spread the word about your business.
Guest posting is most effective when you publish on multiple blogs consecutively. Much like sending out a random email won’t necessarily yield results, publishing a single guest post probably won’t gain you much exposure. Try to write a handful of posts at once that would be appropriate for the blog niche you’re targeting and then aim to be published on as many blogs as possible as soon as you can.
Listen To Your Customers
A crucial part of a good marketing strategy is understanding what works and what doesn’t in your specific niche. What are customers saying about your brand online? What types of content are they clicking on and sharing? Tracking customer sentiment and determining which posts and email campaigns are increasing your conversions are important factors in developing your marketing strategy. There are a variety of tools available for sentiment tracking and click tracking on email campaigns. A couple useful ones are SocialMention for social media sentiment tracking, and Constant Contact for email marketing.
If you pay attention to what your customers want, what they’re saying and where they are, you’ll begin to narrow down your marketing options to the ones that will be most successful for you.
Surround sound marketing does not need to be completely overwhelming. The key is to develop a system that works for you and stick to it. Try some of these tricks:
- Create an editorial calendar at the beginning of each month outlining which days you will designate for writing potential guest posts. Unless you make time for writing, chances are it won’t make it to the top of your to-do list.
- Designate a specific time frame for sending out emails and then specify the time that you’ll spend creating or curating content for it.
- Choose what chunks of time during the week you plan to update your social media channels. By scheduling some of your posts in advance you can save time and always be in front of your customers even when you’re not in front of your desk.
- Designate blocks of time each day for developing your marketing campaign. Remember, it’s as important to work on your business as it is to work in it.
With a little planning and practice, you’ll begin to see that you don’t really need to be everywhere. It just needs to look that way! With regular customer touches and planned engagement, your online presence can be strong and you’ll even be able to sneak in some time for lunch.
Do you have any real-life examples of cross-platform success (or failure)? Please share your stories, and help us all learn how to best utilize every resource we have!