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3 Marketing Practices to Ditch

Here are three marketing practices that are no longer effective. Let them go! While you may be leaving something you are comfortable with, this makes room for new ideas.

Campaign Mindset

The concept of a campaign has the concept of a start and finish baked in. Real companies and real initiatives don’t work like that. The people you engage with expect a long term relationship. Marketing that is connected to long-term goals and that evolves to align with changing needs is far more effective.

Siloed Marketing

If your efforts on Facebook, including messaging and imagery, is handled as a secluded marketing effort, stop. Everything you do, online and offline, needs to be part of a whole. You can’t be a different company at one location than another. Every part of your marketing – website, email, social platforms – need to be part of one coordinated marketing strategy.

Relying on Thought Leadership of Others

There was a time that people genuinely appreciated people who “curated” content on a particular topic or area of interest. You could cultivate a strong following by aggregating information written by many people and published by a variety of sources. This is another marketing practice to let go. Your people want to know what YOU think and what YOU have to say. They have the skills to find the rest of it without you. Layer on top of this that just about every platform reduces visibility of posts with links external to that platform. They want to keep their users on their platform, and will penalize you for efforts to take them elsewhere.

Assess for Marketing Ideas to Ditch, and Others to Add

As we head into the final quarter of 2021, it is a good time to assess your marketing strategy. Look at the data. Consider the impact of each thing that you do.

Now is a great time to amp up efforts on what works and drop the things that aren’t pulling their weight. That will set you up for greater achievement in 2022.

How to Focus Your Marketing on Relationship Building

The most effective marketing focuses on building relationships with the target customer. The opposite of “one and done,” relationship marketing connects your brand with people for ongoing interaction.

How do you build your brand relationships? There’s a lot more that goes into building connections than simply clicking like on social posts or passing our business cards at networking events.

Here are tips that will help you strategically develop relationships and build your brand community.

Identify the Right Relationships 

What kinds of people would you benefit from knowing and would benefit from knowing you? Know the types of relationships you want to build.

There may be more than one community that will support your brand – one that helps you find new business, one that nurtures existing customers, one that provides resources for growth. Know the types of people who will help you achieve your business goals over time.

Then, understand the characteristics of the people that fit these communities or networks that you want to build. Be as specific as possible, so you can be focused on who you need to engage with to build the right communities.

Discover the Best Ways to Connect

What are the most effective ways for you to connect? Social media is a common option, but know which channels are best to reach the people you want. Each channel has its own demographic and intent, so you need to find the ones that are most appropriate for you.

There are many sources of user data. One of my go-tos is Pew Internet. The have data tracking use and social media trends that is marketing gold for any brand.

There are likely other places where you can make the right connections. In-person events that are for networking, professional development or industry development can all provide great venues. Strategically attending or presenting webinars can be another.

Discover where the people you want to reach gather. Those venues should go to the top of your relationship-building list.

Prepare for a Relationship

Healthy relationships are two-way, and your brand relationships need to be the same. Think as much about what you want to say as what your community may need or want. Plan for both give and get with your community.

As you meet individuals you want to get to know better, have a sense of what each of you brings to the table. Everyone has different needs, desires and abilities. Knowing what these are for you and your connections and acting on those insights builds productive reciprocal relationships.

Be generous with your time, energy and willingness to help. Check in periodically. Celebrate their successes. Ask them about things you know are important to them. Express gratitude when they do you a favor, and follow through if you offer to do one for them.

Whatever you do, don’t be the person who only reaches out when they need something.

Email Marketing Checklist

Email marketing is one of the most effective digital marketing tactics to nurture a relationship with your clients and prospects. Inboxes are crowded places, but research still demonstrates that email gets the best engagement and return on investment.

Here I offer a checklist of best practices for effective email marketing.

Build Your Own List

Build a list of clients and prospects by collecting information from your contacts list, social media, in-person networking, etc. DO NOT buy a list. Email from someone or a brand you did not ask for is spam and is counter to the goal of creating meaningful connections.

Spend the Most Time on the Subject Line

The subject line determines whether the recipient opens or deletes the message. It is the most critical part of your email. Keep subject lines short and clear. Highlight what the reader will get by reading your message. (What’s in it for them.)

Preview Text

Many email clients also include preview text in the inbox. Don’t just default to the first few lines of the email. Write preview text that summarizes the value of the email to the reader.

Use a Consistent “From”

Define the “from” and be consistent. You want people to recognize all your messages as coming from the same place. Whenever possible, make the from a person rather than the business. That’s more personal.

Body

Keep emails short! Research shows that 200 words or less is ideal. Be sure to put the most important information first. Assume your reader won’t get far into the message.

Emails should have one goal or focus. Don’t allow any distractions from the goal. All links in the email should drive toward the goal.

Write in plain language, using simple words, and short sentences and paragraphs.

Call-to-Action

Include one call-to-action per email. Multiple CTAs in an email dilute your message and goal.

The CTA is usually a clickable button. Make sure the CTA is clear. The transition from the email to the CTA should be seamless and easy to understand.

Send Strategically

In general, best practice is to send emails between 9 and 11 a.m. Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. Pay attention to your metrics to see if your audience behavior differs.

Monitor and Adjust

Monitor all responses to your messages. Pay attention to comments, engagement and click metrics. Refine your approach based on the insights you gain.