This past weekend I was out and about with my son when something big happened. One of our last stops was at a local gas station.
After filling up, I got back in my car and buckled up (of course). As we pulled away from the gas pump, I heard my son ask, “Hey Dad, what’s that?”
I stepped on the brakes, and looked back at him.
He was pointing his little finger to a blue box on top of a three-foot pole out the passenger window.
I spent the next five minutes explaining to him that before we had iPhones, men and women had to pull over to these “blue boxes” to make phone calls. He was completely flabbergasted.
Funny how far things have come in the last few years. But what if over the next few months people started asking, “What is that?” as they pointed at your digital marketing campaigns?
The question you should be asking yourself is “How do I NOT become a relic like that empty telephone booth?” If you want your social media and digital marketing to keep on having value, you need to ensure you have one thing.
You have to have a Strong Strategy!
This is NO joke. It is amazing to me how many people have no strategy with their digital marketing. People often think there is some magic solution to strategy. Simply stated it starts with these three things:
If you have nothing in place, start with that. Build on it. Make it yours. However, this is just a start. You need to build out what social platforms will you use, what audience you are trying to reach, and how much – and what – information that audience is willing to hear.
Your Visual Brand has to be impeccable
Your visual brand is just that, the things that people see that are connected to your brand. If you have not refreshed your brand in the last 10 years, then it is definitely not impeccable.
Next time a few people from your office are in a room together ask everyone to show you their business cards. If you find more than one variation of the cards, your brand is not impeccable.
Within your company you need to have a designated “Brand Police Force”. This team should have sign off rights on everything that has your company’s logo or name on it. If they don’t approve it, it does not get printed or published. Simple as that.
Your website has to be intuitive and effective
Question: Before you took your website live for public access, did you do any tests on it? Ensure the links worked, have someone ready the copy, make sure there were not any dead pages on it? Did you have any one outside of your company look at it?
These are common questions I ask companies when I first begin working with them. The most common reply I hear is: “Why would we do that? What are pros?” Or, I get “Everything on it makes sense to us, and we can find what we are looking for easily!” You think? I mean it better be easy for you to navigate – you built it!
The reality is that many sites are built wrong and are NOT intuitive to the consumer or visitor because no one other than the creative department was consulted in the user interface. Take the time to have others look at your site and give you their feedback.
You have to actively engage your brand advocates and prospective advocates through social media
The key to engaging this way is to do the opposite of impersonal, irrelevant, and unanticipated connecting – what Seth Godin describes as Interruption Marketing (If you haven’t read his book, PermissionMarketing, do so!).
We are bombarded by advertisements all day long, from every angle and from every type of media. So, why not stop the Interruption Marketing and start being conversational?
The key to effective and human online is to remember:
- We all want to be heard
- We all want to be understood
- We all want to know our lives matter
As I mentioned above, you definitely need a strong strategy, an impeccable brand (that you might consider overhauling if necessary), and an intuitive website when you are building your digital marketing strategy. But you also need to tell a story that people want to be written into.
If done correctly, your brand will never become that outdated phone booth in the gas station parking lot.