How to Build Your Marketing For Growth: The Online Marketing Pillars
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We think of ourselves as marketers and not builders. But when we started Marketing Envy nearly three years ago, it was clear we had to construct a structure that could sustain a variety of customer projects.
That “structure” has enabled us to properly articulate who our clients are, devise a rapid yet sustainable growth plan, and get to work on capturing the valuable leads that drive profits for our clients. Luckily, only virtual hammers were required.
Our blueprint requires a solid foundation of on-point messaging and three pillars:
While there are many variables to marketing, the core elements remain the same. So here’s a look at the blueprint for how Marketing Envy gets results for its customers.
The Foundation: Messaging
You may really have the coolest and most revolutionary product of all time, but it won’t matter if messaging isn’t spot on. Nothing in your marketing will work without very tight messaging (I would have added another “very” but that would break the consistency of my messaging).
Before embarking on even the smallest of campaigns, create a document that establishes your tone of voice and then define – as concisely and creatively as possible – what the client does, what it can achieve, who its customer base is, and why it should be chosen by customers. Marketers who market before all this is set in stone are only wasting time and money.
It’s tempting to change the message if content hits and leads aren’t soaring. Be patient. It takes time for a message to reach eyeballs, resonate and drive action. If it was constructed well, the foundation will hold strong; don’t impulsively leave it. It doesn’t hurt to conduct some A/B testing -- floating another message -- but, again, don’t jump to conclusions and abandon the foundation.
Pillar 1: Content and Social Media
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and the “content” of its great orators probably didn’t stick in just one day, either. Nowadays, it’s imperative to continue delivering content and social media. It will take considerable time to build an audience with both. But look at the bright side: It doesn’t cost nearly as much as other initiatives.
We consistently show our clients the value of content, even if they don’t see it at first. There’s value in the building of awareness; this is seen in the number of Web visitors and SEO rankings. It’s also seen in increasing social media followers, retweets and likes. And content is a golden opportunity to engage in real dialogue with industry leaders, which we all want.
Pillar 2: Online Marketing with Paid PPC Campaigns
While smart social and clever content gradually builds a following, you nonetheless can’t sit back and wait for organic magic to happen. Your CEO may be patient but not that patient. You’ll also need to online market with paid campaigns. It is essential for lead generation. It all but guarantees faster growth.
We’re not suggesting you need to pour a lot of money into online campaigns. Rather, use finely-tuned pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns through Google AdWords and you will gain measurable leads before you know it. But you need to use keywords that hit the offering you’re marketing while also considering the popularity of those terms. Constantly refine and expand your PPC campaigns, and ensure your keyword list is always growing and adapting. For more about PPC for B2B, you can visit one of our earlier posts.
Pillar 3: Marketing Automation
Between paid campaigns and organic content outreach, quality leads should start coming in regularly – enough so that you won’t – and shouldn’t – continue tracking them in an Excel spreadsheet. You’ll need a holistic view of the growing list of leads. You need to see: Where the leads are coming from; what interests them and what they are reading; whether they’ve downloaded your whitepaper. This insight helps you determine what you should do next to nurture and nudge them along to become a customer. A spreadsheet won’t do this. You’ll need a marketing automation platform.
This isn’t to be confused with a CRM platform, which manages and analyzes interactions with customers. A marketing automation platform lets you effectively market via email, social media websites, blogs, PPC campaigns and other channels. It helps you deal with the good problem of scale; it’s a nice problem to have. You’ll want to personally respond to every lead, but as they multiply without automated assistance, some will undoubtedly fall through the cracks and that’s not a problem you want to have.
An automated platform gives high-level and low-level views of your leads. Knowing a lead has read a blog post on cybersecurity threats posed by employees, for example, allows you to bring them to a more detailed whitepaper on an inside-threat solution. Similarly, a download of a whitepaper gives you the confidence to offer a demo. With granular data, you can properly move leads along the sales funnel.
A House Divided Will Fall
So there’s the marketing structure that works for us dnd for our customers.
In the next blog post, we’ll review what happens when you remove one of these pillars.