- Strategies like direct mail and influencer marketing can be more effective than you think.
- However, don’t forget to diversify.
Digital advertising, particularly paid marketing platforms, gained traction during the pandemic. More than half of U.S. marketing dollars were spent on digital platforms like Google and Facebook in 2021. These platforms can help you target specific consumers and track effectiveness while you focus on other aspects of the business.
Despite the benefits of paid marketing platforms, a marketing strategy dependent on these platforms has risks. Setting up an automated spending stream can also lead to overspending if you don’t check in. Changing algorithms and the rise of AI might end up hurting performance or increasing prices without you even knowing it.
To make sure your work reaches the right people no matter what happens in the digital space, you should test out some new approaches and build a more diversified marketing strategy. Here’s how to do it.
Don’t doubt direct mail
It may seem old-fashioned, but there’s a reason direct mail is still valued at $72.67 billion and advertisers call it their “best-kept secret”. Direct mail marketing bypasses overloaded inboxes, adds a personal touch and creates trust with consumers.
Unless you hire a door-to-door salesman, direct mail is the only advertising option that gets you inside your consumer’s home, sitting on the kitchen counter. Mailings with handwritten additions create personal connections and make consumers more likely to open the mail.
Of course, this strategy comes with its downsides. Although online marketing lets you see how many people view your ad, you’ll only know if somebody received your direct mail if they respond to it.
To mitigate this risk, you should include a direct call to action such as scanning a QR code or sending back an enclosed postcard. This both engages the consumer and helps you gauge the effectiveness of your campaign.
Focus on facetime
In-person events can generate trust and buzz in a way that most other marketing cannot. Meeting people face-to-face builds trust and creates memories. When someone remembers you and trusts you, they’re more likely to tell their friends about the interaction, which generates engagement from new consumers.
In-person events can take on several forms including handing out samples at the local farmers market, attending a conference in your field, hosting a booth at a conference, setting up a stand in a popular park or intersection, hosting a meet and greet at a local bookstore or restaurant or even planning a launch event for your brand.
Whether you attend an event or host your own, successful in-person marketing includes three elements. First, you need to market your event and generate excitement: Tell people where you’ll be and why they should come to talk to you. Second, you need to make an impression: Have your elevator pitch prepared and your smile ready. Third, leave them with something to remember you by. Leaving them with something physical, such as a business card or branded item, means they can find it later and remember to go look up your business.
If face-to-face interactions don’t seem memorable enough, guerilla marketing tactics might do the trick. Guerilla marketing encompasses any creative marketing strategy intended to be high-impact and low-cost advertising. They aim to be unconventional and get the public engaged with the brand or product.
These campaigns can be as elaborate as a McDonald’s french fry crosswalk or as simple as a pink construction paper mouth wrapped around a light post with pull-off business cards made to look like teeth.
Unlike many of the other tactics, tracking the effectiveness of a guerilla campaign can be tricky. To see its impact, it could be useful to pull back on some other marketing strategies while you’re running the campaign so you know that a bump in sales came from the campaign and not a well-timed email.
Tried and true email marketing
Email marketing can be an effective tactic, but it’s only as powerful as the time you put into it. Good email marketing can drive conversions and build relationships, but this requires a strong email list, engaging campaigns and well-timed delivery. Luckily, there are plenty of tools, tips and tricks to help you make an effective email campaign.
To build a strong list, consider using in-person campaigns, make sure your brand templates allow people to sign-up and tease upcoming email content on social media to drive registrations.
Once you have a strong list, use segmentation to increase the effectiveness of your messaging. Randomized list segmentation allows you to conduct A/B testing by sending different messages to subsets of your email list. Analyzing the click-through rates on these messages can show you which messages are more effective with your audience.
Invest in influencers
Influencer marketing, working with an online personality to promote your product, lets you reach your perfect customer faster and build trust with them more quickly. By partnering with an influencer, you’re able to leverage their credibility, which is something you cannot do with static digital ads.
Finding the right influencer could be key to your success. Over the past five years, the influencing market has increased by 50%. With influencers on every platform from TikTok to online blogs, there’s something for everyone. To find the right influencer, ask yourself these questions: Does the influencer’s day-to-day content align with your brand? Do they have good recommendations from other clients? Does their audience overlap with your customer base? Does their audience trust them?
Influencers are most effective when you establish a long-term partnership; however, you will want to make sure you’ve chosen the right influencer before committing for the long run. As you run your initial campaigns with an influencer, you make sure to use trackable links to understand if an increase in traffic comes from your influencer or your other marketing strategies.
If there’s not an influencer that makes sense for your brand, you could consider leveraging your account and becoming a micro-influencer for your brand.
Create content marketing
Content marketing, or creating compelling content that generates interest in your business goals, can be very effective for driving long-term investment in your work. “Content” includes things like blog articles, videos, podcasts and infographics.
Start creating a content strategy by doing a content audit: What content are your competitors putting out? How are people responding to it? Once you get a lay of the land, think about your target audience and what kind of content they consume. Will they be more responsive to videos on Instagram or blog posts on top publications?
No matter what type of content you create, make sure that the content drives brand awareness. If you create an infographic, make sure to incorporate your logo, use your brand colors and maintain a consistent artistic style so customers immediately recognize your work. If you write blogs, make sure to drop links to your website or your email subscription link to drive traffic back to your site.
Diversify your strategies
No matter which strategies you choose, pursuing more than one marketing strategy will be key to growing your brand and your business. As you start your new project, paid advertising platforms might feel like a simple, hands-off way to get your marketing done right, but relying entirely on paid platforms limits your visibility, especially in the post-pandemic era.
No matter how good your product might be, if nobody knows it exists, you will not have any customers. Pairing different marketing strategies, like using a direct mail campaign to grow your email list, will be key to building long-term relationships and driving conversions.
Thanks for reading! Do you want to create thought leadership articles like the one above? If you struggle to translate your ideas into content that will help build credibility and influence others, sign up to get John’s latest online course “Writing From Your Voice” here.