Marketing has changed.
Sure, the foundation is the same and the goal is still to communicate with buyers and sell products. But the way that we do that has evolved. Why? Because consumers have evolved. Many of the traditional strategies we’ve used aren't as effective as they used to be. Now, marketing has to be more buyer-focused. It has become a combination of psychology, science and technology. And this recipe remains very fluid. You can make adjustments based on the tastes and preferences of your target persona. A dash of humor or a dose of information; a visual infographic or a product sample—you can craft each campaign launch differently.
And in this global economy, that’s never been more accurate. But, you can succeed by capitalizing on the things that make your company different from Walmart. Your sales team understands your customer base. They can provide expert advice and support. They know your products inside and out. And, they stick around long after the sale. You can’t find that from a store that sells everything from bedspreads to hand tools.
This is where you begin. You start with your sales team and discover the challenges that your customers face. And you create content that provides solutions to those challenges.
So, you’re ready to give it a shot. Now what?
Creating your first digital marketing campaign can be daunting. But, so is anything you do for the first time. We wanted to take the sting out of it for you by addressing some of the common issues than can show up before your first launch. How are we sure this will be helpful to you? We took the time to track and monitor each step of one of our own launches to provide you with real tips and real advice. We’re going to give you an inside look into the making of a successful campaign launch—including some of the ‘dos and don’ts’ that we’ve learned along the way.
Want the inside scoop? We’re ready to bring it to you!
I sat down with Matt Johnson, Spinstak's very own Chief Marketing Officer and Managing Partner, to ask him why he thought it was important to share such vital information with other marketing managers.
This is what he had to say.
We run many campaigns for multiple clients every quarter. Running quarterly campaigns allows us to be more nimble while still collecting important feedback. Over the years, we have gathered significant information about what works and what doesn’t. From the planning stages to launching each campaign, we’ve adopted several best practices.
He began to reflect on the challenges that our own company faced and the ways we learned from our mistakes. He spoke of how important is to tap into the tribal knowledge of those who have been there and can be your guide.
“If you find yourself lost in a jungle, follow a native,” Matt provided. “They know where to cross the river. They know where the vines are less prickly.”
Matt offered a few suggestions to help guide and launch your campaign:
|Communicate with your sales team
Let them know your plans. There’s nothing worse than the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing. Clear and consistent dialogue will help ease tensions and make sure everyone is on the same page. The sales and marketing teams need to communicate with each other about the specific goals that need to be met. That includes the anticipated number of conversions, leads and sales that campaign is projecting to achieve.
|Never launch a campaign without an internal launch team meeting
Get everyone in your company on-board with marketing efforts with an online presentation. Allow the sales team and your boss to view the website, blogs and email workflows. This gives everyone an opportunity to understand how it all works and how the efforts will drive traffic, generate quality leads and improve sales.
|Create SMART goals
Before each campaign launch make sure you develop goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely. This enables you to provide monthly reports that measure the success of the campaign to your boss and sales teams. Not only does this keep you on track with your goals, it helps your team see the value in the work you are doing.
The hard sell: Overcoming your boss’ hesitation
Marketing managers often have to overcome a few obstacles when introducing a digital strategy to the company. That’s not surprising. Implementing anything new can be a challenge—even when it’s designed to effectively increase revenue.
One of the main goals for an owner or managing partner is to generate more profitable revenue. Marketing’s goal is to attract and retain profitable customers to create a consistent revenue stream.
So, how can you get your owner on-board with a new marketing strategy?
Don’t overwhelm them with technical jargon! It’s unnecessary to bombard your boss with the technical methods that you’re going to use. That can be confusing at best. They want results and they want numbers. Make sure you’ve done your research and can provide them with examples of how it can increase revenue or increase the number of qualified leads.
Here’s a great article that explains inbound marketing’s return on investment (ROI) even further.
As a managing partner of Spinstak, Matt understands the hesitation that many in his position experience when the topic of digital marketing comes up. He believes the key to overcoming those objections is to understand the evolution of the buyer’s journey. Historically, trade secrets lived only in the brains of your best salespeople. Now, much of this information lives online is a mouse click away. Increasingly, consumers view traditional salespeople as "order takers" and overlook their valuable knowledge.
As a marketing manager, there are a few questions you need to ask your boss:
In order for companies to thrive in today’s market, a few things need to happen. Company leaders must understand the changing buyer’s journey. Sales teams must adapt to the changing process. And marketing teams must communicate with sales teams to help achieve their shared goals.
To create sophisticated campaigns you need a team of producers. It’s important to remember that all these performers need to work together. Each member of the team has their very own unique talents. Those talents combine and can create a symphony or they can create noise. And that’s why it’s so important for a marketing manager to conduct the orchestra and guide the performance. That’s how you create harmony.
Would you like a sneak peek into a recent Spinstak campaign launch?
We carefully created a campaign that was designed to help you successfully launch your very own campaign. We looked at the processes we had in place and evaluated their effectiveness. We decided what processes we could keep and which ones we needed to revise. Then we communicated with a few team members to discuss the common successes, obstacles and pitfalls we experience during a campaign launch. And, we want to share our experiences with you.
If you’ve been paying attention lately, we’ve been producing weekly Facebook Live videos. Our Grow Live series covers everything that’s going on in the world of industrial safety and marketing. We figured our lunchtime chats would be the best time and place to communicate with you. And believe us when we say, we were nervous those first few times. It’s never easy stepping out of your comfort zone and trying something new. But, if you don’t try anything new, you don’t grow.
I spoke to Lief Thomason our Digital Producer and Brandon Berlew our Post-Production Specialist here at Spinstak, to get their take on our Grow Live Show. They shared some valuable information that may be helpful to you if you’re considering any form of video production in your next campaign.
Here’s what Lief had to say about the power of video.
“There’s so much white noise out there,” he said. “It’s not enough to just produce blogs. It’s not sufficient. You need to rise above the noise.”
With video, you can combine your message with the human element to really engage viewers. Seeing and hearing a person creates a connection that is much harder to achieve through written words alone.
His tips for first timers producing a Facebook Live Show:
|Get comfortable with new technology
|There’s a lot of inexpensive equipment out there that you can use to improve the quality of your video. From smartphone tripods to microphones, there are easy-to-use, inexpensive options that exist.|
|Expect something to fail. Back up cameras can ensure that your valuable and awesome content that you created isn’t lost. Plus, you can achieve different perspectives based on the placement of your cameras that you can use to re-purpose that content.|
|Just do it|
|You can plan and prepare and put it off for so long, but eventually you have to bite the bullet and jump in feet first. Put your nerves aside and give it a try. Each time you produce a live video you will become more confident and comfortable on camera. But, that only happens when you try.|
Graphic design is a vital part of any campaign. Whether it’s an eBook, website revitalization, infographics or web banners the goal is to reflect the company’s personality and attract the attention of potential customers.
I decided to speak with our Graphic Designer, Luke Kenney, to understand more about his role in producing a successful campaign.
“We’re looking to grab people’s attention, so we can give them valuable information,” Luke remarked. “In this industry that information saves lives. So that’s important stuff.”
It’s not always as easy as it sounds. As with anything in life, there are times when a particular design doesn’t perform as well as expected. Luke explained that when those times occur, a graphic designer can’t dwell on the negative. You keep moving forward through A/B testing and creative collaboration with your team. Work together and alongside your client to create the best possible product.
He also stressed the importance of having well-written content for creating effective graphics. To craft the best visuals, you need well-researched content that is relatable to your audience.
He urges others to stretch their creative muscles, embrace criticism and step outside the box to grab people’s attention.
His advice for others attempting to launch a new campaign:
Don’t be afraid to be creative and share your ideas. It’s through critique and conversation that the best ideas rise to the top. Get the entire team on-board and work together because no graphic designer should be an island.
We all hear that content is king, but what does that really mean? What does it take to create great content? Let's ask Shannon Gayton, Senior Copywriter and Editor at Spinstak.
Here’s what Shannon had to say:
“It’s all about integrity and providing honest and accurate information,” she said. “The first step is to thoroughly research your subject, and then you present that information in a way that will keep a person engaged.”
It's important to understand who your target audience is. Once you understand what matters to them, you can then connect with them. Learning how to speak your customers' language is one of the most challenging parts of writing great content. And that’s when your persona story can be quite helpful.
Most of all, the focus of your content should be to provide helpful and honest solutions to the challenges that your customers face every day. Your goal? To become a resource they can trust.
That’s all great advice, but what if you are a one-person show?
That’s ok. If you are going at this alone, just start small. Take baby steps. Learn more about the customer and their persona story— their job titles, personalities, likes, dislikes, hobbies, education levels and what makes them tick. Do your research and talk to your sales team to find out what questions their customers are asking. Choose one question and write a blog that answers that question. Social media can be very a powerful tool for industrial marketing, so start with a daily social media post to attract and engage your audience. Create a helpful checklist you can use as a gated offer to obtain leads. Be helpful.
Do a few small things and execute them well.
Pro Tip: The complete Illustrated guide to launching a marketing campaign is a great resource even if you're diving into this all on your own!
Not only will these tips help you create an easy-to-manage first campaign, but there’s another reason to start small. You will want to track the amount of time that you spend creating each piece of content. You will want to spend at least that much time promoting that content. You may have the most well written blog article, the most powerful social media post and the most helpful checklist. But, if no one see it—it’s useless.
One of the most effective ways to promote your content is by having your own company share it. Most people don’t know this, but it only takes 10-20 people to seed a popular piece of content and give it the best chance of success. That’s why it’s so important that everyone on the team works together.
Here are a few ways you can get started:
|Optimize your existing eCommerce site|
|Talk to your sales team to better understand their ideal customer|
|Develop a persona story (learn more here)|
|Write a helpful blog that solves your persona’s biggest challenge|
|Send the blog to sales team to use with their potential leads|
Here’s a tip: Start with a soft ask. Let your sales team know that you are trying to increase sales and make them more money. Ask if a salesperson will share that great piece of content with one or two of their prospects. See how well it performs. Then, you can collaborate to make adjustments for the next time.
Want another tip? Create a color-coded content calendar. This will give the entire team an at-a-glance view of your planned content. Do you know what else it does? It adds a level of accountability. People are more likely to complete tasks that are staring them in the face. It’s so much easier to put off important jobs when they are just jotted on a notepad or worse, still stuck in your head.
Share this calendar with your sales team. That way, they can visualize the ways that your content is reaching their prospective buyers. Encourage them to use these marketing materials as tools for their next sales call. Allow them to witness the benefits that can occur when they use your helpful content to work a lead and make a sale.
Sales and marketing are different parts of the same machine. You both want similar outcomes, but the ways that you achieve those goals can be very different. It can be challenging to collaborate on a new project. And, it’s near impossible if you don’t work together. That’s why it’s vital to have open lines of communication between these two major arms of any company.
Amazing things happen when sales and marketing join forces
Let’s think for a moment. While sales and marketing have different techniques and strategies, isn’t the end goal the same?
- More qualified leads.
- More closed sales.
- More revenue growth.
That’s what we all want, isn’t it?
Now let’s look at what your company’s sales professionals do. They’ve always been connected with customers, understanding their motivations and providing the best solutions to their problems. They are the experts in their product categories and the go-to storytellers in the field. In fact, they should be the main source of information for the marketing teams to produce content.
What about the digital marketing team? This form of marketing is all about providing solutions to the customer’s needs. Creating relationships based on helpful information and trust. Connecting consumers to the products they need and want.
Do you see the similarities?
It’s not a new concept. Digital (content) marketing is just a new method of doing what sales professionals have done for years. As the market evolves, we need to find creative and effective ways to deliver what customers are asking for. They want access to helpful information. They want to be educated in their buying decisions. And they want relationships with companies that understand their needs.
It’s more important than ever for sales and marketing teams to regularly collaborate if they want to achieve success. So, what does success mean to each team? If teams are tracking different analytics, they’ll never see eye to eye. Regular communication and aligning both sales and marketing metrics are two of the most predictive factors in keeping both departments on the same page.
|In our attempt at full transparency, we'd like to offer a few of the lessons we learned along the way. We thought if we shared a few of the blunders we made during the live show, you would feel more comfortable launching your next campaign. See if you can catch any of our bloopers on our Grow Live shows.|
Here’s what we learned so far:
|If you have a guest that will be appearing on the show, don’t let them leave the building.
|Ok, so they shouldn’t be prisoners, but make sure they aren’t heading out to lunch or taking a conference call right before you go live. We made that mistake with our very first show and “let” our own Matt Johnson run out for a quick minute. We were a nervous wreck when he was caught in a torrential downpour and heavy traffic. He made it in under the wire, but that’s enough to make anyone stress out.
|Make sure you have a strong and reliable internet connection.|
|The best way to be sure that you have a great show that viewers will engage with is to make sure they can actually watch it. If the reception is spotty and goes in and out, people are not going to waste time watching. You’ve put a lot of thought behind this campaign. Make sure people get to see it. For our first live show we were using a new studio and had to scramble to locate a connection. We had wires everywhere, there was a thunderstorm outside and we just kept our fingers crossed that we wouldn’t lose our connection.
|Don’t try to wing it. Have an outline.|
|You don’t want a script. People will be tuning in to see you unfiltered and transparent. Authenticity and honesty go a long way in creating stronger relationships with your viewers. You DO want to have an outline that will keep the conversation on track and help you deliver your message. We found that it is very easy to get off topic and end up down an unrelated rabbit hole. But, then again, we had a great time doing it.
|People aren’t tuning in to see a perfectly scripted and choreographed television show. They’re tuning in to watch and listen to the important things you have to say. Be authentic. People want to do business with people that they like and trust. And part of that trust is built on transparency. If you make a mistake, just roll with it. Laugh at yourself and move on. We promise that you will be harder on yourself than anyone else.|
Let us know if any of this information has been helpful to you. Our mission is to help you succeed and capture more leads and earn more customers.
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