1. Become storytellers
Modern marketing is less about selling and more about creating brand experiences fueled by brand storytelling. You only have about eight seconds to catch consumers’ attention. To make those seconds count, thoroughly investigate your customers. Some ways to do this:
- Start with exhaustive persona profiles to build buyer paths from high-level awareness down to purchase so that you’re creating the right types of offers to deliver the appropriate content at every stage of the buying process.
- Persona research should include: raw data (surveys, internal sales, and analytics data), interviews with sales and support teams, and discussions with or polls sent to existing customers.
2. Add interest to email
Despite news of its demise, email is still a marketing workhorse. However, businesses must stop the “spray and pray” method in lieu of incorporating smarter strategies driven by automation to get the most out of the medium. Ways to standout in the inbox:
- With the prevalence of HTML5 and progressive downloads, add video and visuals into messages without worrying about bloated message sizes or badly displayed files.
- Use email automation services to build personalized messages for each audience cemented with strong calls to action. Use the medium to push readers to dedicated landing pages, related content, and social media properties.
3. Make content actionable
Content should include tactics to drive your offer home, direct set next steps, and advance the buying process. Creating a great video or interactive may inspire lots of clicks, but no conversions. To get more return on your content investment, try:
- Use consistent branding elements to lead viewers back to your site.
- Include links to related content, landing pages, microsites, or special offers to keep viewers engaged with your brand.
4. Add more and less video
Make more instructional and educational videos that are short, easy to consume, and mobile friendly. In addition to high-quality video production, consider these tips on crafting engaging business videos:
- Keep introductory, awareness-type videos around three minutes. Use the final frame to refer viewers to more comprehensive content.
- Balance sound and text to reach a mobile user on a noisy plane or PC-user in a quiet office.
5. Build in shareability
Publish content that inspires sharing. It’s more than just adding a social share bar; it’s offering relevant, audience-friendly content that speaks to the motivations of your buyers. Look at these factors to determine the shareabililty of your content:
- Review web and social media analytics for deeper insights on what users do with your content, what path they’ve taken to arrive at your content, how long they linger with it, and what they do after viewing your content.
- Differentiate by experimenting with fringe content vehicles like, comics, memes, infographics, and animated gifs.
6. Be socially selective
Understand your social media audience and content appropriate for each channel, including niche channels that may be off the radar but cater to your target market.
- Familiarize yourself with posting specs. A long infographic will get truncated on Facebook, but display in full on more graphics-oriented platforms like Visually or Pinterest.
- Avoid long-form content on Facebook, a place known for quick reads. Instead, choose LinkedIn, a place where professionals go looking for in-depth information. Use this guide to the social media landscape as starting point.
Visual.ly is a NewsCred partner.
Originally published on Aug 4, 2014 1:14 PM, updated Feb 10, 2016