online marketing strategy must-haves
If you have been following along with the Strategy Series so far you will know now the key reasons why you need a marketing strategy and the 4 phases involved in creating your own.
In this post on online marketing strategy must-haves, I want to dive a little deeper into the actual tools you will use to implement your marketing strategy.
Introducing the Amplified Marketing Framework
The Amplified Marketing Framework is a framework I have created to help illustrate the core elements of an Online Marketing Strategy.
In it I refer to 5 main pillars:
4. Social Media
Each of these pillars consists of a large variety of individual marketing tactics and methods that you can choose from for your business.
So instead of giving you a “cookie cutter” guide to tactics you need to use, you instead have the choice of applying the right mix for your unique business.
But let’s get a little bit deeper.
And I’ll be honest with you, you don’t actually NEED every single one of these pillars.
But what you do need is something that fulfills the PURPOSE of each.
The pillars are just what I have found to be the best representation of how to fulfill those intentions.
You see, when you encounter brand new prospects for your business, each of those prospects will require something different from you to make the decision to buy.
Some will see what you offer, love it and buy immediately.
Others will need many touchpoints and reminders before they get there.
They could have dozens of questions they need answers to.
As a business owner, it is your responsibility to ensure you provide those answers. It is up to you to support your leads along their journey, whichever direction they might go.
By having a marketing tactic that carries out each of the intentions below you will be able to ensure this happens.
INTENTION #1: ATTRACT
This is the first thing people think about when they think about marketing. How to get your ideal customer to notice you even exist!
To do this effectively you need to speak to them where they are at NOW. What is something that is really important to them? What is their biggest pain point?
You can do this in a variety of ways: Advertising, Social Media, Public Relations, Networking and Search Engine Marketing.
Of course, the choice is yours. But the key is that you need to have a few practices in place that will make it easy for your ideal customer to find you in the first place and then make them intrigued enough to look at what you offer.
INTENTION #2: CONNECT
One of the biggest misconceptions about marketing is that it is all about the promotion, but as you can see there are 4 other intentions that marketing needs to fulfil.
The next one is all about connection.
This is about showing your audience that you understand them.
This is where they will relate to you and start to like you.
Of course, the most common platform for this is social media. Never before have we been able to connect so directly with our audience on a day-to-day basis.
The key here is to ensure we try to keep it as social as possible. This is how the connection will happen.
If you are just using social media to sell, connection will not happen. And if connection doesn’t happen it is easy for them to just keep on scrolling right past what you offer no matter how great it is.
INTENTION #3: EDUCATE
Your audience will have questions.
Whether you sell something simple or complex, there still is a level of education you need to provide about the solution you offer.
If you offer something quite simple, like an item of clothing, you may wonder what you could possibly educate your audience on.
In this particular case, the focus is on educating them on the brand value. For example, what will they feel if they wear your clothes?
Educate them on this through great imagery that expresses this feeling.
For more complex offerings such as financial services, education is definitely much more focused around why what you offer is so important and what positive impact it will have on their lives.
As you can see, this is where content marketing really shines.
INTENTION #4: NURTURE
Once you have started to build a relationship with an audience member, the sale might not happen automatically.
They may require some more motivation or information to buy from you.
Or they simply might not be in a time or place to buy from you yet.
Either way, you need to keep the connection going.
This is through regular reminders that you exist.
But, again, it doesn’t have to be constantly asking for the sale. Instead it’s about continually offering value, either through inspiration or information.
Email really does well at this because it is a more direct connection and you can tailor it based around where they are at on the customer journey.
INTENTION #5: CONVERT
Of course, there comes a time to make the sale! And marketing can help along with this too.
The key place for this is your website where you are making that final pitch and reinforcing the main benefits that what you offer will be of value to your audience.
This important step often gets missed though. Sometimes we think that if they have seen an ad they will automatically like what we offer and click through to buy.
But there are many many people who will click through to look at what you offer in more detail and if all they see is a picture and a technical product description this might not be enough. Instead, give them the reason why.
This can be backed up by a variety of strategies, but ultimately your website is where they take that final step.
PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER
This may seem overwhelming so I want to show you how simple this can be, by illustrating how you can do all of the above with a social media account.
So say your audience is an avid user of Instagram so that is where you have decided to set up shop.
1. Attract them with a well-presented feed and strategic use of hashtags
2. Connect with them with behind the scenes stories, compelling questions and proactively engaging
3. Educate them by providing a strong brand presence or offering tips & tricks
4. Nurture them by engaging on their content and continuously posting things of interest to them.
5. Convert them by including some posts with strong calls to action… even if it’s just to purchase via Direct Message
So you see, it is possible to keep it simple. You just need to ensure that you fulfil each one of these intentions at various points of the customer journey.
Of course, the more layers you add in the greater opportunity you have to reach and convert more customers. But the important part is that you remember to have at least one thing fulfilling each role instead of focusing all of your effort on attracting but then never getting them further along the journey with you.
Which “intention” are you missing from your marketing strategy? What can you do from today to add it in? Let me know in the comments!