It’s a tough job getting marketing efforts rolling, and even tougher trying to scale them. While it’s great to build your brand through snappy messaging and eye-catching creative (and you do NEED those things), it’s not always what grows your revenue and bottom line.
At StackCommerce, each new publisher and new brand we work with is a fresh marketing challenge. Ultimately, we’ve learned that rapidly testing and deploying new marketing channels – and then wrapping them up into a cohesive story – is what will propel each of our partners to the top.
Many people compare marketing to throwing darts at a dartboard. In that spirit, here are 6 tricks for hitting the bullseye – i.e. building out and scaling your marketing efforts from scratch.
1. Throw a LOT of darts.
It’s never a good idea to put all your eggs in one basket, so don’t focus your strategy on one channel or one media outlet. Even when you have years of marketing experience, you can never truly know exactly what marketing channels will take off for a new brand. The best rule of thumb is to throw a lot of darts – launch many different channels constantly, and even try testing some channels that are less familiar to you.
How to do it wrong: Pour cash into Facebook Ads for months trying to find the right formula (because that’s where you’re told the money is).
How to do it right: While you’re trying Facebook Ads, also try other social media advertising platforms like Pinterest and Twitter. Run search and banner ads on AdWords. Lock-down your email program for email addresses you’re collecting along the way.
2. Throw them fast, in different colors, both right and left-handed.
Experimenting with various channels helps you focus your attention, and that’s when the real testing begins. Once you’re confident that a channel generates solid returns, dig into the details: can you segment your audience by age, gender, device? What copy/creative works best within each of those segments? These days, segmentation technology is nearly unlimited, so find that dart that stays on target with each throw.
How to do it wrong: Focus all your efforts on creating one killer campaign on Pinterest with an A-list influencer.
How to do it right: Run many smaller campaigns with C-list influencers across multiple social networks, using several mediums (video, listicle, etc.) to determine what works best. Then get the A-lister on the line!
3. Give your darts lead-tips.
Another classic marketing saying is “there is no silver bullet”. You may find an exact combination of channels that really takes off, and that’s great! Always double down on efforts with proven success. Just remember, these are lead bullets, not silver. No strategy is flawless, so continue to diversify for strategy in preparation for when that lead-tipped dart misses the board.
How to do it wrong: Latch onto a successful email channel, and invest 100% of your budget. What happens when conversion rates plummet?
How to do it right: Build out your email program and find out what’s making it tick. Is fresh email content increasing click-through? Is your subscription offer something customers don’t see anywhere else? Find out what’s working, and replicate that success in other channels, too.
4. Throw your darts in handfuls.
Create holistic marketing campaigns where channels crossover or feed into one another. You’ll amplify your results and returns.
How to do it wrong: Focus on isolated strategies for each marketing channel, since they all operate independently, right?
How to do it right: Create a centralized landing page with a giveaway or special offer and feature products below. Don’t forget to offer rewards or bonus entries for sharing on social. Collect emails, create a triggered email series, and drive traffic using digital ads.
5. Make it native.
This is where we come in. Simply selling a product by listing features is great, but younger audiences are becoming numb to the typical advertisement and commerce email. Embed your products into interesting content on your site, or better yet, on an influential publisher or personality’s site or social account. By telling a brand story through your marketing, you’re going to make a lasting impression on your customers that increases brand recall and conversion rates.
How to do it wrong: Send emails about products. Post on social media about products. Run ads featuring products.
How to do it right: Get your products featured in native editorial posts and videos. Let othes rave about your products!
6. Make it rain.
How to do it wrong: Dump a bunch of cash into soulless ads on Facebook, insisting that it’s going to work eventually.
How to do it right: Diversify, rapidly test, and innovate. Tell a story across all your channels, and repeat.