I don’t think any of us are surprised with the latest studies indicating that more and more people are using social media to find products and services. Entrepreneur reports that social media discovery is on the rise, up 25% from 2010. The study conducted by Forrester Research also found that direct marketing is not dead. Companies are using direct marketing strategies to boost social media efforts.
This goes back to creating an integrated marketing strategy that includes direct marketing, social media, SEO, mobile, etc. Don’t just rely on one avenue of marketing to generate your sales. I can’t stress enough the importance of creating an integrated marketing plan. It’s far more efficient than previous strategies.
Here’s how to take create a direct marketing strategy that incorporates social media.
- Include social media links in all emails
- Include social media address in all direct marketing snail mail
- Use the same messages for big campaigns in direct marketing efforts and social media
- Host contests via social media and promote via direct marketing
Admittedly, marketing and reaching your consumers is difficult right now. Marketers need to create messaging across a variety of platforms to generate sales and leads. The strategy of creating consistent messaging across all these platforms isn’t new. You just need to execute in such a way that increases conversions. To do that, you really need to know your consumer.
You are one of many (unfortunately) providing consumers with your product or service. Competition in today’s market is fierce. Consumers are more cautious with their all mighty dollar. Because of that, they take their time making decisions to buy products or use services.
When you take away all the fluff, you really have one thing: The message. If you want to generate leads and sales, you have to have the right messaging. We’ve talked about making a clear offer. A clear offer is good, but your consumer may not convert right away, even with the clear offer.
Consumers research. Before they pick a company or product, they research the company (usually online first). They want the best quality for the cheapest price (usually). That gives SMBs the task of creating clear messaging that communicates quality and price over competitors. You do this by:
- Using keywords and phrases your consumers uses
- Providing price comparisons
- Providing reviews
- Offering a free trial
- Offering a money back guarantee
- Stats and facts linked to the original source
- Sited research
You can drive home this message and generate leads by combining your online marketing and direct marketing strategy. Post the content on your website. In your direct marketing piece, use a snippet from your website. Provide your phone number and your website so the consumer can either call you or visit your site. Remember to make sure the offer is clear.
Tone. It’s not just the sound you hear. In marketing, it’s the tone of voice, your point of view in your marketing collateral. It makes a big difference when you’re trying to connect with your market. Your tone can increase or decrease your sales. It can generate leads or leave your ROI in the negative. Finding that tone is just as important as knowing your audience. Actually, knowing what your audience prefers is part of that consumer profile we told you about. It’s important that your consumers can relate to you. One way they can do that is with tone.
For the majority of SMBs dealing with B2C, consumers prefer humor. Don’t try to tell a joke in your email or direct marketing pieces. Instead, find scenarios your consumers would find funny and somehow connect that idea to your services if it’s appropriate. Know your consumer’s core needs and try to find humor in those areas.
- For lawyers, it could be a humorous interpretation of the the other side -mocking them for trying to take advantage of your services.
- Doctors can play on beating illness with patients laughing
Most consumers want to feel like they can have a conversation with you. They want to know that you value them as a loyal customer. You can communicate that level of security with a conversational tone. Create messages using words like “you” and “we.”
It’s really important that your company develops a consistent tone in all your marketing efforts. Use the same tone you use online in your direct marketing strategy. This will boost brand recognition. Don’t be afraid to use the same language and phrasing in both online and direct marketing collateral.
Last week, Google fulfilled a promise they made earlier. In that video, Matt Cutts warned that Google was going to release a Penguin update, Penguin 2.0.
Google released Penguin 2.0 on May 22, 2013. Some websites may see a decrease in traffic if they participate in black hat practices. Keyword stuffing, misleading advertising, and violating Google’s quality standards may trigger penalties from Google.
Google’s Penguin 2.0 is the perfect reminder to not solely rely on the web to generate sales. Lawyers, doctors, and brick and mortars need integrated marketing strategies. Don’t forget direct marketing. No, it’s not dead. If anything, combined with online marketing, companies can generate even more leads than they have in the past. How? Start by downloading the 20 Tips to Success. Understanding your brand, your consumer, and generating a marketing plan that translates to online and offline strategies will create a unified brand experience. If someone sees your direct marketing piece, they’ll most likely go online and research your company before converting. You want to convey the same messages online and offline so your consumer remembers to convert.
So just because Google released Penguin 2.0 and you saw a dip in traffic doesn’t mean you still can’t generate leads. You just have to use both online and offline marketing strategies.
Put on your consumer hat with me just one moment. When we are looking for something, whether it’s a gift or service, we have a phrase or keywords in mind. When we check the mail and scan it, the pieces of mail that stand out are ones that match what it is we’re looking for. When we search the Internet for a product or service, we have those same words and phrases in mind.
Keywords are just that. Words key to what it is we’re looking for. Consumers use keywords to find what they want. Normally keywords are used for search engine optimization (SEO) purposes. But I tell businesses it transcends online marketing and SEO and also bleeds into direct marketing. Sales are made when consumers find what it is they’re looking for after a they find something that triggers their memory of a keyword.
As you’re developing your marketing plan, think of words your consumer would use to find your product. This is a good time to reference your consumer profile to pin point those keywords. Then conduct keyword research (or contact Logic of Leads to do it for you). Pin point the keywords that will drive the most traffic to your site and convert to generate sales. Use these same keywords in your direct marketing strategy. You want to create consistent messaging both online and off. Using consistent keywords is also good for branding.