No business operates in a vacuum: no matter the industry and niche you are in, you have competition. In this situation, to stand out and get noticed, a solid marketing program is an absolute necessity for your brand. It will make sure that you are targeting your product or services to the right people who are interested in you.
So, what is a marketing program? If designed simply, a marketing program is all the people, processes, and tools that brands or individuals use to connect with potential audiences. This means that you may already even have one, as any attempt to communicate with your audience is a marketing program. The end goal of the program can be persuading them to buy a product, subscribe to a newsletter, download a guide, you name it.
However, not all marketing programs are created equal. Some are well-thought-out and carefully designed, and some are made on the go, without giving it much thought. And this is the key factor of whether your program will be successful! With the oversaturated online and offline markets of today, each step you take should be carefully planned.
As marketing changes fast, it’s essential that you always keep your hand on the pulse of the field trends and developments. To assist you with this, in this article we discuss in detail 5 of the best marketing programs you need to use for implementing smarter and more effective campaigns.
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Table of Contents
1. Develop unique branding that stands out
If you want to compete in the brimming online climate, powerful and unique branding is no longer an option, it’s a must. Many marketers and businesses make the mistake of thinking of branding as only the logo of the company. However, it is much more than that.
Branding is the face and the voice of the brand. It tells the customers what your brand is about: its idea, core values, what it stands for, what they can expect. Your brand voice will differentiate your product or service from the sea of others, so that the customers not just visit your site or make a purchase once, but keep coming back.
It is important to remember that branding is not separate from marketing – it is part of it. Branding is the first thing your customers will notice and remember about your brand once you reach them, and it will have the power to make or break your campaign.
Good news is, you no longer need to break the bank, or even hire a designer to develop an effective branding. Online branding tools, such as AI-based logo makers, website makers, mockup or flyer generators, random shape generator tools allow you to create beautiful branding that will speak to your customer at almost no cost.
After you or your team develop the brand, make sure to always stay consistent. Stay true to your brand voice to develop character and credibility. Lean on to your brand guidelines every time you are working on a new marketing program. This will not only simplify the promotional process but help your customers recognize you from a single glance.
2. Invest in social media
With 3.8 billion people on social media, it’s a no-brainer that social platforms are one of the key marketing strategies you need to use for your brand promotion. An active presence on relevant social media platforms should be at the center of your marketing strategy, no matter if you are running an online food business or a brick-and-mortar clothing store.
The benefits of social media platforms for business are too many to name. Use them to give your brand a personality, establish a loyal community, reach new audiences, all while decreasing costs on ads you’d have to run on other platforms for the same engagement.
The main difference between social media platforms and search engines is that people rarely go on social media to look for specific products. Despite this fact, 90% of Instagram users follow at least one brand. These people are looking for value and authenticity. Therefore, always try to add a human touch to your posts, educate your followers, partner with a brand ambassador agency, or list the benefits they will get from becoming a member of your community. Try to understand what your customers are looking for. This can be done through analyzing the performance of your posts, as well as running polls or doing Live sessions and answering questions: the only limit is your creativity.
As social media is ever-changing, you need to keep your hand on the pulse of the latest trends and developments. Tools such as social media schedulers and Instagram feed planners will simplify the management of your social media platform, giving you more time to fine-tune your content.
3. Tell stories, not just sell
Today, dry pitches and hard-selling rarely work: people are used to authentic content that connects them to the brand. In fact, 80% of people want brands to tell stories. Additionally, 55% of people are likely to buy the brand’s product in the future if they loved the brand story! This is why more and more brands are starting to use storytelling as a primary way to reach out to their potential audience and establish a connection with them.
Stories help to retain the information better, which is key today, as the amount of content we consume daily through our digital devices is enormous. A catchy story that presents the brand from a different angle or gives your followers a sneak-peek to behind-the-scenes will be remembered more vividly than simply listing all the benefits of your new products. They appeal to both logic and emotions, creating a connection between a potential customer and the brand.
To craft a successful story for your brand, there are several key principles you need to consider. We’ve summed them up in the image below.
Make sure you take this checklist into consideration next time you are crafting a brand story.
4. Invest in paid advertising
While paid forms of advertising are by no means mandatory, they do have a number of benefits that can’t be ignored. Here are some of them.
- Quick results – Building organic reach and engagement takes time and can’t be achieved overnight. Even a small investment into paid ads can give your brand a boost.
- Audience insights – Paid ads can give you invaluable insights into the preferences of your audience. With techniques such as A/B testing, you can try different types of content, writing styles, targeting, and which performs better. For example, you can create video ads and static image ads with the same targeting and text, and see which one the given audience prefers.
- Measurable – Another benefit of paid ads is that they are extremely measurable, and you always know how your campaign is performing and where it needs tweaks.
- Targeting – As the targeting tools platforms like Facebook, YouTube, and Google come, it’s easy to make sure you are reaching the right people, who are already potentially interested in your offering and will be easier to attract.
You don’t have to break the bank to have an ad or video placement promoting your brand. The good thing about digital platforms is that there is no fixed price for securing a spot on someone’s Facebook feed. Invest as much as you feel comfortable just to taste the waters.
With paid advertising, the world is your oyster. You can go with Instagram ads, PPC, YouTube ads, or even try messenger and SMS marketing to see which one works for you the best.
5. Build your marketing budget
Once you start working on developing your marketing program, your budget should be one of the key focus parts. Knowing how much resources you can invest into your marketing program in a defined time can then guide you through the development of your marketing strategy.
Your marketing budget is much more than you plan to invest in paid advertising. It consists of the financial resources you plan to invest in paid advertising, branding, email marketing, website design, and maintenance, or any promotional tools you will use to implement those campaigns. The numbers may differ for each of you, depending on your needs, but dedicating around 7-8% of annual revenue to marketing is an accepted rule among many companies. As the influence of the digital world grows, a larger share of the marketing budget goes to digital activities: in 2021, it is expected to reach half of all marketing spending.
This may seem overwhelming at first, but with time you’ll get a grasp of how much budget you need and how you should allocate it, depending on the behavior of your community. Use tools like expense management software to track and handle your finances, or simply go with an Excel sheet, but make sure you don’t go over the top.
As you prepare to take your brand out to the world, it’s crucial that you have a carefully planned marketing program to guide your steps. These five strategies are a good starting point, and you can refer to them every time you need to ramp up your marketing efforts. Good luck!