It’s all too easy to become jaded and confused by conflicting advice when working on your digital marketing strategy. You may be pouring resources in but not seeing engagement, or you could be struggling to find a following in the first place. Here’s how you can refresh your plans.
Drill Down Into Your Audience’s Social Media Habits
First, acknowledge that social media marketing isn’t dead. Don’t give up on reaching out to brand fans and customers – you just need to be more savvy about how you do this. Time spent tracking the optimum times to post content, and the most relevant issues to discuss, will never be time wasted.
Don’t expect your audience’s interests to be the same as they were a year ago, especially if you’ve been asked to expand your target market, or your customer base is evolving, maybe through influencers you’ve worked with.
Also, pay attention to the language used – for example, ‘clean eating’ is now seen as a potentially damaging phrase by many consumers and influencers, because it can fuel eating disorders and instil fear of entire food groups. If you’re marketing a food or drink product, tweak your social content accordingly to avoid a backlash.
Get New Hires And Interns Involved Straight Away
Harvard Business Review has recently advised companies to focus on effective ‘onboarding’ (teaching new employees about the company, and integrating them in its culture) to reduce staff turnover. Remember, new blood in the business equals new ideas and a fresh perspective.
The article in question places high value on newcomers feeling ‘socially accepted’, with good ‘supervisor support’. In fact, ‘supervisors can promote or inhibit newcomer adjustment through their supportive or obstructive behaviours’. That means your strategy should include tackling managers to ensure they involve new digital marketing staff, whether they’re interns or permanent hires. Managers should show newcomers the ropes, including short-term and long-term digital goals, and allow them to speak in meetings and project briefings.
You can see Harvard Business Review’s point – if you were constantly made to feel like an outsider in your first few months of a new job, and all you could do was observe, not contribute, you’d understandably have one eye on the door. To make sure you’re getting it right, consider surveying new arrivals for confidential feedback at the one week, one-month and three-month mark.
Find A Gap In The Market, Or A Pain Point
Aim to cut through competitor noise and offer something different to your target audience. Look at the ‘pain point’ of potential customers: what’s stopping them buying from you, or indeed your competitors? For example, if your product is expensive – perhaps travel or fashion – but your customer base is drying up, you must bridge the gap between aspirational brand fans and those who can afford to indulge.
In travel, offer something more to solo travellers, who can be put off by hefty solo supplements, or last-minute travellers, who don’t want to commit to something a year in advance, but can book at short notice for a discount. Consider pain point case studies, like Australia’s Art Series Hotels, offering ‘overstay checkout’ to those who hate checking out at 11:00am.
In fashion, look at websites like Very Exclusive, where customers buy designer clothes in instalments, and Chic By Choice or Girl Meets Dress, where outfits can be hired and then potentially bought afterwards. What could you do that meets a similar gap?
Personalise, Personalise, Personalise!
If your email marketing rates are suffering, don’t despair. Keep testing different subject line options, display options, and playing with the content itself. Remember, great email marketing will usually be personalised in some way, so the consumer feels genuinely valued and they get targeted information.
As a business strategy, email marketing is actually 40 years old, and it’s still going strong. To improve your opening and conversion rates, Marketing Land suggests you explore triggered emails, helping you pinpoint when an automated email will be most relevant to your audience.
Newsletters are growing in popularity, too, and there are loads of courses for digital marketers on how to improve newsletter content through personalisation and engaging storytelling. The emotional pull of a newsletter may, unsurprisingly, have more of an impact than a generic sales email.
Polly Allen writes graduate careers advice for Inspiring Interns, a graduate recruitment agency specialising in matching career starters with graduate jobs. For everything from marketing internships to graduate jobs Manchester, click here.