The pitfalls of trying too hard and why sometimes less is more
With new technology and trends moving more quickly than ever before, digital marketing can become an intimidating obstacle where you’re always trying to out-do yourself and competitors. If you’re like us, you’re wanting to be creative to get the attention of consumers, and you want to do it by using trending gifs, videos, fun graphics, lists, or other engaging content.
While all of those things can be beneficial to your marketing campaign, sometimes being too creative can actually prevent you from being more successful and reaching new audiences. Creativity and awareness of current trends are both very important, but you cannot forget to stay true to marketing techniques that are proven to work.
Utilizing social media channels
You most likely have a landing page or a website, but many people like to communicate with businesses via social media channels. Not to mention, they’re also a great way to increase exposure and encourage user engagement. Having Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media accounts will help you reach new audiences, but it’s crucial that you stay on-brand and be easily identifiable or searchable.
Profile pictures, cover photos, and user handles should be as identical as possible (and if you aren’t sure how to alter photo dimensions for various platforms, there are basic graphic design sites like Canva that we highly recommend). It’s also important to recognize that you may have different audience demographics on different platforms, and the ways in which customers reach out to you will vary with each social media account.
Overdoing it can often lead to fewer overall impressions though, and you’ll want to keep your posts consistent and evenly spread out over the course of the day. Sites like Facebook have algorithms that change every 6-8 months, and over-posting in a smaller time frame will limit the amount of exposure Facebook decides to give your post.
Reaching out and engaging consumers
There are several ways that you can use creative marketing while reaching out to consumers. Having an open line of communication and presenting yourself as being accessible is key. Whether you provide a feedback form on a website or respond to inquires via a direct messaging system, you’ll want to have a way to hear what followers have to say. You need to put the needs and interests of your consumers first.
Tailoring marketing to meet common trends can be effective, but only in moderation, as it can also keep groups of people feeling isolated or unable to connect to your brand. Utilizing hashtags and graphics to celebrate common holidays, pop culture events, or nostalgia can be very effective, but if you’re not aware of your audience’s prior knowledge in relation to these things, your creativity may just make someone feel like they’re not right for your company.
Use blogging to support SEO and social media
If you have a website, or you’re able to create one, blogging is an extremely effective way to add value to your marketing plan. Sticking to a regular blogging schedule is important, and you’ll be able to support your social media feeds and spark conversations with consumers and other brands by posting links to your blogs. Whether it’s news, how-to tutorials, advice or inspiration, creating blog posts will increase user engagement and also improve your site’s search engine optimization (SEO).
Another reason why blogging has been proven to be successful is that it creates a sense of transparency and trust between the brand and the consumer, especially if the author of the blog post is an executive or leader for the company. Give audiences an inside look into the company and help provide more advice or knowledge than what your product alone can do.
Understanding SEO and strategic keyword placement
SEO, or search engine optimization, is what helps consumers find your website or blog when they search certain keywords or keyword phrases on the internet. If you sell costumes in Georgia, and someone was to search “Georgia costume shop” in Google or Bing, you’d want your website or contact information to appear first. But how do you do that?
There are rules and guidelines to follow when promoting your own brand for search engines and it involves keyword use in titles, URL links and meta descriptions, as well as keyword use in site headings and the body of the text itself. Using clear, engaging photos that are also tagged with proper keywords can also help promote your site within search engines.
Sometimes when we post creative blog content or non-traditional phrasing, it may attract users within a niche group, but the content will not be registered as well by search engines, making it more difficult for consumers to find your product or company, even if it matches exactly what they’re looking for when they search.
It’s also useful to understand what the common keywords found most frequently in search engines are, along with the popular variations on those keywords, and then to craft content that strategically uses those found keywords. Including hyperlinks to other related blogs on your site will also help improve your SEO score overall, and sharing those posts on social media will also increase your credibility.
Be transparent and connect with customers
We know it’s tempting to be the coolest kid on the block, but you’re going to want to build a transparency with consumers that establishes and grows trust. Customers want to do business with companies that are honest and accessible. They want to feel like they’re supporting a brand that’s authentic and providing a service that improves their own lives. Creativity is important, but so is transparency and a proven reputation.
Networking with other companies and groups
Going back to social media outreach, it’s crucial that you reach out to other similar or connected businesses and brands. Establish relationships, utilize cross-marketing, introduce followers to each other and share quality content. You want to be innovative and you might feel the need to be competitive with others, but never forget to consistently build your network.
Remember that balance is key. Being a creative or non-traditional marketer can be an effective way to grow your brand, but not at the sacrifice of trusted marketing techniques and search engine optimization or social media algorithm standards. Design marketing strategies that would appeal to you as a consumer, and understand what your audience is most excited to see in order to get the results you’re after.