Marketing that makes a difference doesn’t just happen. It takes planning and effort. Here are three questions that help get you to the heart of effective marketing:
1. What do I get for promoting your product?
In “The Cost of Free Publicity: How Much Is Too Little?,” Yvonne DiVita addresses the idea of large corporations paying bloggers for their time and advice. Yvonne says:
“Smart brands will recognize that every blogger is connected not only to their readers, but to their readers’ audience. Networks connected to other networks—there is nothing more powerful than that.”
Since bloggers put a lot of time and energy into establishing their brand, other brands should approach bloggers with a compensation strategy that demonstrates that they mean business because, as Yvonne puts it, “every blogger is worth something.” In the small business world, that could translate into affiliate sales, where the blogger receives a percentage of the items sold as a result of participation in your marketing campaign.
Whether you agree or not, Yvonne makes you think about finding ways to make your message relevant to your marketing partners. Because if the blogger doesn’t care, then they will not share your message. And marketing is about getting the message out…but not just anywhere.
2. Does your outlet reach your market?
“Marketing is only good when it is targeted to your audience,” says Diane Helbig in “When Is Marketing a Bad Idea?” She pushes you to think about your strategy before you spend a dime.
Who is your target market? Before you buy that ad, billboard or air time, you need to know. Do they read that paper? Do they drive in that neighborhood? Do they listen to that radio station at that time of day? You need to know for yourself, not just buy the marketing hype of the person selling the ad.
Since your money has limits, then your marketing needs to be targeted. This way you maximize your efforts. But it doesn’t stop with choosing the right outlet.
3. What are you trying to say?
Now that you know who and where your audience is, what is your message? In “How to Keep Your Marketing Message Clear,” Diane Helbig gives you three tips to help get to the heart of your message, including advice and examples of what not to do.
It’s not enough to get clear and know your audience. You also have to master the act of telling the stories that matter to them — stories that resonate and drive an action. This has less to do with features and more to do with benefits. What does it feel like to use your product? What does it feel like to work with you? What problem can you solve?
Marketing takes effort and planning, but done right, it pays for itself.