Article by Garrett Chong
As 21st century marketers, we are in a continuous search for more cost-effective and results-orientated strategies to maximize our time while leveraging technology to attain the highest ROI.
In the first of a series of articles, ISI will demonstrate proven web marketing strategies for your organization. As brand marketing consultants, we provide team-building and marketing programs to activate your brand throughout the internet both locally and globally. After completing a strategic marketing plan (your company’s IQ); your firm will need to solidify its brand experience (your company’s EQ) and brand roadmap throughout all brand distribution channels (online and offline).
There are five key steps to your touchpoint plan:
1. Content Strategy2. Engagement Strategy3. Brand Distribution Channel4. Measurable-Results and ROI5. Retention and Replenishment Strategy
Step One – Content Strategy
All content strategies commence with aligning your company’s strategic brand messages to your segmented target markets. By identifying target audience’s online places of interests, search tools, social networks, communities, psychographics and purchasing habits we can customize the content to match the appropriate medium.
Locating social networks in target market interests (i.e. LinkedIn,Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Google Places, Multi-cultural social media, etc.) and building your brand experience as the “hub, “portal” or focal point” to the latest methods, technology and web marketing tools (website, social networks, press releasing, QR Codes etc.) brings phase one of your OMS is a step closer to completion.Personalizing Your Brand– What do you like, What does it need?Identify the uniqueness of the various target markets to ensure credibility is established and trust is maintained. Personalizing your brand allows for third party participants to provide suggestions and adaptation of your brand experience to their cultural, social, economical or political environments.
Educating Target Markets Through Their Networks- What is Murmur Marketing?Spread the Word promoting the competitive advantages and brand promise (Reasons-To-Believe)
Positioning against Growing Competition- What’s your Brand?Spread the “buzz” of your organization by promoting the competitive advantages and brand promise (Reasons-To-Believe) in your target market’s preferred mediums and outlets. Late boomers and retired audiences are more driven to email, likewise social media and texting has recently surpassed email for Generations C’s (Teens), Y’s (20s) and many Xers (30s). Identify then network to establish credibility.
Changing for the Better- What is The Next Level?Continuously improve upon, record, and promote all facets of your people, products, services, operations, industry, community and media. Ask for input from your teams and sample each of your department’s culture. For example, The IT Department may think and process information differently than other departments such as Sales and Operations. Celebrating individual / department strengths and overcome weaknesses. Always be aware of key areas of improvement to keep the team fresh with new inspiration and ideas to implement.
Getting the Team “On-Message”- What’s Going On?Ensure messaging remains consistent throughout all the organization by facilitating a brand roll out celebration and corporate usage guide. Once your brand experience, promise and strategy has been defined in words; it is time to rally the troops and team build for business development. Exciting times are ahead and it is essential each and every employee, manager and stakeholder understand the critical impact brand marketing will have on the organization and their paycheck. When each employee embraces the company’s mission, vision, values, and competitive advantages, the result is a happier and highly productive employee who instinctively and proudly promotes the firm.
Step Two – Engagement Strategy
The golden online marketing rules of “stickiness” on the internet are several key factors: the trust of information, the speed of delivery and frequency of relevant content. These are the rules of engagement with online marketing strategies along with reaching as many browsers as possible in the shortest amount of time. Social media provides a voice for the transfer of information in a loosely connected form similar to blogs.
The communications from social networks (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.) can be seen as more corporate “soul” verses corporate “speak” (company website, marketing materials, advertising etc). Therefore companies need to understand online marketing strategies are only an appetizer to the firm’s true self. Calls-To-Action are required to uplift the browser’s interest to “take the next step” and engage with you… the company.
PUSH FROM THE INSIDE
The art of persuasion relies heavily on active participants within your organization communicating with other team members and industry on the benefits of your corporate culture and responsibilities, community and social events as well as their competitive advantages.
Recruit Volunteers with Smartphones (iPhones, Blackberries, Google Phones, etc.)
Convince target market to signup and engage with your corporate communityOffer incentives – i.e. Gifts, SWAG, Donations to Causes; and ensure the target market understand you must “Give” to “Get”Nothing is truly “Free” therefore, today we accept to give away a sample of our data in exchange for rewards. i.e “Liking” your firm on Facebook or “Linking” to your network may earn them a modest reward or access to your network of contactsDesignate different team members to different products, services, promotions, etc.Live Event Messaging (Seminars, Tradeshows, Presentations, Event Messaging, Rewards, Referral, etc.)Build LinkedIn Strategies- Personal Branding and Linking Your Business NetworkSuggest to key team members the importance of this critical business social media communicator and resourceExchange direct links from your website to LinkedIn by placingreciprocating links and logos on your websiteAsk for recommendations from associates and colleaguesFill-in your professional history to a minimum of 85%Actively check you account daily for updates, requests, recommendations and strategic opportunitiesCreate a Facebook Strategy – Social Network Awareness for Personal CommentsDesign an “Engagement Page” (Website Feeder) on Facebook Directed Links. Features may include:Products, Services, About Us, Testimonials, Community, New Hires, New Clients, Tradeshows, PR, etc.Social, Activity, and Calendar of Events”What’s New”, Awards, In The NewsCreate a Twitter StrategyContent, frequency and participation are several critical factors in ensuring an active legion of followers. Responding to followers’ requests and being active with this Billion social network is a task unto itself. Try incorporating add-ons like Hootsuite to schedule your tweetsEach day of the week can be theme-based i.e. Motivational Mondays, Hi-Tech Tuesdays, W5 Wednesdays, etc.Twitter and Facebook feeds should also be integrated onto your website to showcase that your organization is officially on these networks Create a YouTube StrategyPersonalize profile page and Avatar with Corporate IdentitiesFavorites: Relevant industry-related and interesting videos should be “Liked” under your account to appear on top of the latestEnsure the comment area of your YouTube account is filled with commentsIdentify then consider other local social networks in language of your target marketExamples: Flickr, MySpace, Delicious, Digg and other international social networksPULL FROM THE OUTSIDESimilar to the pre-digital world, you will need to build a Fan Base of followers and sign on to interesting individuals, groups and companies by taking and invested interest in their approach to business, community and cultureMuch like the Medieval Town Crier, request “Recommendations” “Shout Outs”, “Referrals”, etc.Build and fine-tune on your Search Engine Optimization Rankings (monthly)Implement Guerrilla Online PR through free web servicesHighlight Community and Charities involvementsGenerate Buzz Marketing on activities on your organizationEstablish a Social CRM and Integrate with Traditional MediaPlace all new events on your website with reciprocal links
Get informed when Step 3: Brand Distribution Channel for Online Marketing Strategies is posted.
About the Author
Garrett is the principal and brand marketing director of ISI – Ideographic Strategies Inc. For over two decades, Mr. Chong has value-added his award-winning creative abilities as a creative director, facilitator, marketeer, copywriter, graphic designer and video/photographer. Garrett and his team have been broadcasting their integrated brand marketing, communications and interactive media solutions for local, national and international clientele since the mid-80’s.