A single tactic won’t solve your marketing challenges. If you’re trying to move the needle by posting a new blog every week or hosting webinars without thinking about the strategy behind it, you’ll be working to get your tactics out the door rather than putting them to work for you.
We’ve been there. We know the pressure of getting the next email or blog ready to go. But focusing too much on those tactics only causes your marketing department to feel more and more reactive. You’ll quickly feel like you’re constantly putting out fires rather than driving results for your organization.So instead of focusing just on tactics, find your goals and build a plan first. Once you have that, carefully select the tactics that work to accomplish those goals.
We’ve built a list to help you get started. Choose your goal and support it with the tactics listed below!
Goal: Create Brand Awareness
Whether you’re a brand new company or simply working to gain more recognition in your industry, there are a few tried and true tactics to make sure your target audience knows who you are!
Writing guest posts for larger publishers that already have a following in your industry is a great opportunity to build your brand and credibility with the people you want to reach. It shows that your goal is to educate and help the readers, not just sell to them. Why not leverage the work that other outlets have done to build their audiences and use that as a platform to tell your company’s story?
It also gives you a chance to build backlinks for your website, too, which will help increase your website traffic. Make sure your pitches focus on the publication and their audience, not on your business.
Tradeshows and Events
Industry events give you an opportunity to get face-to-face with your audience and educate them on your brand. Create an engaging booth experience for prospects that showcases what you have to offer. While you might see direct sales results at the event, the long-term impact usually comes in the form of increased brand awareness.
Sponsorships or Partnerships
Sponsoring these industry events can be a great way to make sure the audience knows who you are and give them familiarity with your brand. Take it to the next level with partnerships. Many partnerships will allow you to send communication to their audiences or promote your brand in other ways. It might come at a cost, but the right partnership can do wonders for brand awareness.
The specific advertising tactics that you use depend heavily on your target audience, where they spend their time, and what media they consume. But whether you use traditional advertising channels or focus your efforts online, make sure you start with customer research! Use what you know about existing customers (their interests and habits) to drive your messaging to your prospects.
Podcasts continue to grow in popularity with roughly 32% of Americans listening to podcasts every month—and they can be a resource to reach your target audience with your brand. As you look for podcasts to pitch, take a look at the iTunes Podcast Directory. It allows you to search by specific categories or keywords for your industry. We always recommend listening to an episode or two to determine if it’s a good fit for you!
Another quick way to show your brand off is by using PR request sites where journalists reach out to experts in specific industries to get quotes for their articles. Some we’ve used in the past are HARO and JournoRequests. It can take some time to send and manage these pitches, but if you get traction, it’s an awesome way to showcase your company and your brand.
Visual Content (Like Video!)
Engaging, visual content continues to grow in popularity. This can include infographics, animations, designed quotes, videos, and more! The goal is to create something that people will want to share which, in turn, gets your name (and brand) out there!
Goal: Increase Web Traffic
Does your strategy revolve around increasing the number of visitors to your website? These are the tactics for you.
Some tactics that work to create brand awareness (like guest posts and PR) can also drive online awareness and increase web traffic. But if you’re looking to focus on increasing your web traffic specifically, here are a few additional tactics you might want to add to your upcoming strategy.
Create consistent blog content on your website with articles that are relevant to your target customers’ interests. Just make sure they are based on industry-specific keywords, optimized for an easy read (and for search), and have engaging headlines. Consistently posting blogs on your website with valuable information for your target audience can be a great tactic to drive web traffic in the long run.
This long-form content is a great way to show you’re the expert on a specific topic—and make sure Google knows it too. Find a high volume keyword with a low difficulty (we shoot for under 70) that’s relevant to your industry and create a long piece of content that is the ultimate guide to that specific topic. Then use a tool like HubSpot’s Content Strategy Tool to map it all out and link back to existing blogs that are relevant to that pillar page.
Direct Traffic from Emails
Have an email list of prospects? Make sure you’re guiding them on a journey with your company...one that leads to your website! Don’t get spammy, but don’t forget to send your list emails on a semi-regular basis to keep them informed of what you can offer and how you can help!
Backlinks to Your Content
Do other websites mention your company, content you’ve written, or products you sell? Set up a quick Google alert so that you get notified anytime someone mentions you. Then reach out and ask them to link back to your website. This can increase your domain authority and credibility in the eyes of Google, which, in turn, will help your content rank even higher. Just getting started? Check out a few more ways to increase your web traffic with high quality backlinks.
Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Ads
Using PPC ads can generate quick web traffic, whether you place ads for a specific keyword or target your audience on social media. PPC creates highly targeted traffic to your website. The more targeted, the higher likelihood that the traffic will convert to sales leads.
Goal: Generate & Convert New Leads
Just getting someone to your website isn’t enough if you don’t get their information, too. If your goal is to convert website traffic into potential leads for your team, add these tactics to the top of your to-do list.
Create a resource for potential customers, something they’ll find valuable, like an eBook, case study, or template. What you include in each offer will vary based on where the prospect is at in their buyer’s journey, so make sure you have offers for each stage in the funnel. To get someone to give you their contact information, you need to make it worth their time. Even a cool, flashy offer won’t convert to leads if your audience doesn’t think it’s worth giving up their information.
Everyone loves free things! Create free educational resources that will help your personas do their jobs. These can be a bit heavy on the development side, but once you create one, it can be an ongoing resource to generate leads. Some of our favorite tools that do this well are Neil Patel’s free Keyword Tool and Sprout Social’s Image Resizing Tool.
Create a specific page to house your lead magnet (and the form prospects fill out). This makes it very clear what they should expect after giving you their information. Make sure you don’t distract potential customers with anything else on the page that could keep them from filling out their information.
Once someone becomes a lead, don’t leave them hanging. Test a few different formats of emails to nurture them through their journey. Do you have additional resources you can send them? Do you think a call with your team would help? Gently nurture them on their way. Using an automation tool like HubSpot can help streamline this communication and help you track its success.
Demo or Free Trial
If a potential customer is close to the bottom of your funnel and on the edge of making a purchase, use a demo or free trial to get them to take the plunge! This can be a low pressure way to give them a taste of what you have to offer.
Goal: Reduce Churn & Increase Loyalty
Once someone becomes a customer, it doesn’t mean your work is over! It’s much cheaper to keep a customer than acquire a new one, so use these tactics to keep customers coming back!
Don’t just say customers are your focus—show it! We’ve seen some great campaigns that are full of customer content, stories, photos, and videos. Build it into your customer service or account management process to ask for these stories and create a system to manage and share that content. If you don’t have a process in place to collect this valuable content, you never know how many stories will fall to the wayside because your sales or support teams don’t know you want it!
Customer Forums or Communities
This is a great opportunity to get feedback. Customers want to know that their voice is heard, sometimes even more than they want you to take action on their feedback. Creating an avenue for customer feedback can reassure your customers that you care about their input and keep them coming back. There are a number of tools you can use for online communities or forums that allow customers to upvote their feedback. Or send a customer survey after they interact with your company. Anything to show that you value their insight and want to make changes based on what they say.
Helpful or Educational Content
Provide true value to your target audience and current customers through helpful content. If you make everything about creating additional sales, people will see right through it. Maybe create an email series with weekly tips or conduct an industry report that gives your audience information that they wouldn’t be able to find anywhere else.
Special Offers or Loyalty Programs
Do you reward customers for sticking around? It could be something as simple as a customer appreciation event, special discounts, or a full-fledged loyalty program. Show them you care in a valuable way and you’ll see it impact customer loyalty.
Goal: Maximize Word of Mouth and Referrals
How often do you try something because a friend told you about it? Referral marketing happens without us even realizing it! If your goal is to build a foundation of word-of-mouth marketing, these tactics can help you get there.
Customer Reviews and Testimonials
Ask for and share customer reviews. It gives potential customers immediate confidence in your business and makes the most of good experiences customers have had. Take some of the best testimonials and add them to your website or marketing material.
If your target audience is influenced by a certain group of individuals or organizations, leverage that to spread the news about what you can offer. Influencer marketing connects you directly to potential customers, gaining trust quickly. It helps you amplify your own content and plugs influencers into your brand.
We talk about the things that we love. So if you have customers who love your company, do what you can to make the most of it! An official referral program gives them an incentive to share about your company and a means to do it! Focus on the experience of your brand and make sure it’s something that’s worth sharing!
Goal: Establish Thought Leadership
Many companies have used thought leadership successfully to gain influence, build awareness, and generate engagement. With a strong thought leadership strategy, a company can be recognized as an authority in their industry.
Co-Author Blog Articles
If you’re looking to grow your thought leadership, co-authoring blog posts can be a good tactic to build deeper connections in your industry. It gives you a chance to work with another expert in your industry—and reach both your audiences at the same time! This can build both brand awareness and thought leadership.
LinkedIn is the thought leadership platform when it’s used well. It’s also a great way to share content as you build your website audience. One of our favorite hacks is to repurpose content from a company blog as LinkedIn articles. Just give it a new title and link back to the original post on your website!
Guest Blogs and Podcasts
We mentioned this earlier, but if you’re looking to build your personal thought leadership brand, take advantage of established audiences to share what you know and prove that you’re an expert. This could be guest articles in industry publications or being a guest on a podcast. It helps your thought leadership efforts by piggybacking off another audience, especially as you work to build your own!
Conferences or Workshops
Speaking at a conference or workshop can be a great opportunity to build your credibility and make new connections. Don’t worry if you start small! Use it as a chance to practice and catch some video of you in action. This will help as you look to land bigger events.
Last but not least, writing a book. This is the holy grail when it comes to showing that you’re an expert on a topic. Your book doesn’t have to be a NY Times bestseller, but it can be a really fancy business card when you’re looking to speak at events or build connections!
Anything we missed?
No matter what your goal, there are marketing tactics that can help you get there! Which tactic will you try first? Or are there any we missed that have helped you reach these or similar goals?
Let us know!