Back to Basics

Back to Basics blog

The New Year always brings a plethora of trending lists to the forefront, but instead of focusing on the next big trend, hottest technology or newest algorithm, why not redirect that energy and focus on mastering the basics?

As marketers, we know that the “one-size fits all” mentality doesn’t fly. Similarly, every mobile, social or interactive tool doesn’t work for every business or brand. That said, every successful marketing strategy needs to follow some basic guidelines:

  1. Mobile: Without a doubt, mobile remains an important piece of the marketing/communications puzzle and will continue to grow as the use of smartphones becomes more heavily engrained in daily tasks.  What does this mean for your brand, business or industry? The key to any mobile marketing strategy is to determine how your target persona uses their mobile device to engage with content. This basic piece of information will help you connect with your customer at the right moment for deeper engagement in real-time.
  1. Social: You may have claimed and created your brand’s accounts on multiple social networks, but who are you engaging with? Merely having an account on Twitter, Facebook or any of the other social networks out there doesn’t equate to having an active presence. To take full advantage of your social network, select the networks that will best suit your company or industry and the community you’re trying to reach. Then monitor the engagement within these networks to see what your social community is craving and translate that into actionable content. For more tips on content creation, take a look these suggestions from Social Media Examiner.
  1. Unique Content:  Speaking of content, who do you go to for advice on topics related to or outside of your industry? We like to call these sources “thought leaders.”  Every brand’s should strive for thought leadership-status within their specific industry.  One way to attain it is by creating content that answers your clients’ most common questions.  In addition to blogs, this content should include videos, infographics, webinars, podcasts and more. For maximum exposure, repurpose your content across all of your social networks.
  1. Analytics:  There’s likely a massive amount of data being tracked on your website, CRM programs, social networks, and other owned media.  But do you know what those numbers mean? In an article for Media Post, Steve Smith references a Forrester study saying that “only 28% say they [companies] feel competent to manage their mobile and Web analytics in-house, even though most companies do.”  To better understand the meaning behind the data in your analytics, clearly define your marketing or SMART goals.  By creating a SMART goal you identify and focus on just the metrics that matter, eliminating all the unnecessary data.  Doing so will allow you to have clearer goals and more tightly defined key performance indicators (KPIs) – which will ultimately improve your marketing efforts.
  1. SEO: Successful SEO initiatives require a magic touch. Balance is essential, otherwise you could overload your content with keywords – or not use enough – and seriously damage user experience.  A great place to start is focusing on local competition and your local search ranking.  Following these tips from Greg Gifford, director of search and social at AutoRevo, will help improve your local SEO.  It is also good to determine what long-tail keywords apply to your business.  The longer and more specific your search terms are the more likely you are to rank higher on that term.  Longer search terms also help to better connect with your customers and increases your chances of conversion.

As new trends and tools emerge, focus on mastering the basics of your marketing tools.  This will help you to determine which of the new trends and tools will benefit your marketing strategy and will save you time on trial-and-error.

What tools will you master in 2015?