In today’s ultra-competitive landscape, brands need to find their ‘why you, why now’ and tell that story in a consistent and compelling way.
As brands across industries look forward to a post-COVID world — one that promises to be even more competitive than before — it is more important than ever to have an impactful marketing strategy in place.
How these strategies should be leveraged and amplified will be determined by the unique strengths and goals of each individual business, but to even stand a chance, every brand must have a firm grasp on the resources available, and they have to know how to make the most of them.
DEFINING THE ‘WHY YOU, WHY NOW?’
When someone visits your website, how quickly does the site tell them who you are why they should be interested in you right now?
Every brand needs to develop, tell and own their story. Without a story, a brand is just a company, and people don’t care about companies.
But a brand with a story — one that is told clearly and consistently — gives people something to connect with. Use your story to define for your audience why your brand is the best solution to a pressing problem, and why now is the exact right time to get on board.
A major element of impactful marketing is understanding why you are telling your brand’s story in the first place. Brands need to be true to themselves from day one to ensure that the right candidates find their opportunity.
The brand’s purpose needs to be shared and understood across the company, and all messaging needs to be aligned towards that purpose. Especially amid COVID-19, the benefits of a brand’s opportunity needs to be addressed immediately and consistently throughout all marketing so prospects understand why now is the best time to invest.
Understanding your target candidates and their goals will help your teams align their storytelling to speak directly and effectively to those candidates. By aligning your brand’s story across all teams, including leadership, development and marketing, your brand will be better positioned to grow in a way that stays true to our core values.
HUMANIZING YOUR BRAND
Brands don’t sell brands, people do. When it comes to building assets, having the right stories in place — stories that put people front and center — and aligning them with candidates and customers is a critical step in the marketing process.
Content marketing, simply put, is about taking content and marketing it.
Effectively using storytelling as a marketing tool largely comes down to finding those passionate stakeholders who have already bought into your system and are performing well and then telling their stories through various assets. Those are the stories that candidates want to hear.
A strong development website and landing page can be one of the most powerful marketing tools for any brand. No matter what method of lead generation you are utilizing, whether it is Instagram, Facebook, PR or online portals, the main goal should be using those platforms as vehicles to drive traffic to your development website.
If a prospect stumbles upon your brand’s development website or finds it through a Google search, it is important that the website conveys specific information. Primarily, it should be able to convert leads and guide due diligence. When someone lands on the site, they should be able to learn about the opportunity, the core values of the brand, the representative stakeholders and the industry.
Once the story is defined, there are many creative assets brands can use to leverage that story. For example, video content is a main driver of leads into conversions. Great video content is able to showcase the community and core values of a brand in a way that no other materials can.
LEVERAGING SOCIAL MEDIA
Social media and digital marketing are increasingly becoming essential in every industry. Still, it’s important to remember that social media’s reach can be limited if a brand is unwilling to pay.
Right now, pay-per-click advertising has never been cheaper. As the economy recovers, brands are all going to come online at the same time and the price will probably rise again. The time to get into the digital advertising market is now.
In order to drive traffic to a brand’s website, pay-per-click ads on platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn and Google can have the greatest impact. Once these ads are implemented, it is critical to track awareness metrics, including cost-per-lead and cost-per-qualified application, in order to understand what is working and what is not. Understanding SEO and Google Analytics is also a must when creating a marketing budget in order to understand which tools people are using to find the brand and how to leverage those channels.
Remember, people are more savvy than ever — they will research your brand thoroughly before making any phone calls. Although digital marketing is effective, being authentic and having a clear position on what you offer as a brand should be the first step.
Ads are what you pay for, and PR is what you pray for, so start praying and ask what PR can do for your brand.
PR is not about lead generation — it’s about lead awareness. For most brands, strong PR strategies include great human interest stories, properly leveraging growth and opportunity, and securing national media coverage for credibility.
Strong PR campaigns include a “like me” narrative — a story built around who your stakeholders are and how they landed on your brand. Human interest is the best type of PR because it resonates with prospective candidates.
Good PR is not determined by your brand’s successes and failures at any given juncture; it is about how you react to and leverage those events. The PR you earn builds credibility and awareness, and then the true lead generation strategy happens.
PACKAGING AND ADVERTISING YOUR STORY
On a monthly basis, brands should take all of that great PR and content and send it out to their email lists. Setting up these lists is fairly easy with platforms like MailChimp, and they can help you reach candidates that you might otherwise be ignoring. For example, dead leads are not always as dead as we often believe. Newsletters and other timed-distribution of content can reengage so-called dead leads who might have previously only paused their research.
Retargeting, also known as remarketing, is a powerful form of digital advertising in which audiences are targeted with specific ads based on their behavior online. In the world of marketing, retargeting campaigns turn window shoppers into real paying customers, or in the development world, into quality leads. The greatest benefit of retargeting is that brands can market to exactly whom they want to. Retargeting can be used to maximize exposure to “warm prospects” — the leads who have already visited your website, demonstrating an interest in your opportunity. Without retargeting, those leads are lost the moment they leave your website.
With all of these marketing strategies in place, the final step is analyzing the data. What about the campaign worked? What can be improved next time? Insights from each campaign can be used to inform the next and ultimately create a marketing playbook which you can use to ensure increasing success.