Up Your Bark

By Shari LeGate

I have no doubt a few months ago marketing strategies were all in place. After the 2016 unexpected election results, however, I’m sure many of those strategies were tossed and new plans were hastily constructed. Most of us were planning for a couple of years of robust sales, with everything flying off the shelf and our marketing strategies reflected such an environment. Now, however, we’re looking at sales probably slowing — but I don’t think “slowing” is the proper term here. Like the stock market, our industry goes through periodic adjustments and we are going to experience an adjustment. An adjustment of returning to normal and our marketing strategies should reflect this change in the market.

“Since we can all agree we’re going to have to work harder
to move product and engage customers,
it’s crucial our marketing plans and strategies are strong.”

Since we can all agree we’re going to have to work harder to move product and engage customers, it’s crucial our marketing plans and strategies are strong. Cutting back on advertising, whether it’s print or social media, is like getting a watch dog but not letting it do its job. Having said that though, I also understand marketing dollars will become more scarce and more protected. Many feel marketing dollars are the most discretionary and the easiest to reassign, believing marketing is not as important as product development or sales training.

rudyThis brings me back to the dog: Why get the dog if you don’t let it bark? Why do marketing if you only let it whimper? Like a well-trained dog, it needs to bark at the right time and in the right direction.

It’s now more important than ever to “up your bark,” especially when it comes to content marketing on social media. Publishing content without a strategy is whimpering. Maximizing your content marketing ROI is simple by doing just a few simple things:

Research – Study all the channels and platforms customers are spending time. Whether it’s print or social media, find out what they’re talking about and looking for. Review sites, forums and letters to the editor. Talk with editors. Editors know what their readers are looking for just as I, as a producer, know what viewers are looking for on social media.

Dedicate Resources – Thinking content marketing is a side job for someone will only result in a whimper. Whether it’s an in-house content manager or an external agency like FMG Video Productions, content marketing is not part-time.

Define Objectives and KPIs – Go beyond the vanity metrics of “Likes” and “Views.” Look at how your efforts are developing stronger relationships and impacting overall objectives.

Use a Variety of Formats and Channels – Your customer has different preferences when it comes to how they use content. By focusing on only one platform, there’s a good chance you’ll miss potential customers.

Change is Good – A content marketing strategy is not concrete. It’s more of a guide to planning, content creation, distribution, promotion and measurement. As we just saw a few months ago, leave room for the unexpected so adjustments can be made.

These are just a few tips that hopefully will help you traverse the rough waters ahead and keep those marketing dollars intact and justified. Contact Tracy Moore at tracy.moore@nullpubdev.com for more information or drop me a line at shari.legate@nullfmghq.com and we will work together to get your content barking loudly. Don’t let your marketing efforts whimper out.

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