Marketing is actually a fairly general term. An umbrella that applies to a wide range of disciplines and tactics. Today, we’d like to go over a few of the more important ones. These core tactics can each be applied to your business in their own way – and each is worth considering as part of your overall strategy.
Okay, granted, our first point is cheating a bit. Social itself technically isn’t a marketing tactic so much as it is an entire marketing channel. Within that, you’ve got a ton of different strategies.
- Paid ad placements. These include both organic, paid search and more traditional advertising mechanisms. This is one of the few places where it’s acceptable to directly sell products rather than simply engaging in conversation. BigCommerce has a decent guide about paid social advertising if you’d like to learn more.
- Sellable posts. The most notable example of this is Instagram’s Shoppable Posts feature. Although it does require prior approval, it can be a good source of income, allowing you to tag products in your posts without having to significantly change your approach to content creation.
- Shared content. This includes both your own content (which we’ll discuss a bit later) and anything else the audience might find interesting or valuable.
- Product and technical support. Many brands use Twitter and Facebook as avenues through which customers can contact them with questions and concerns about their products. You’d do well to follow their example.
At the end of the day, everything you do on social goes back to the conversation. It’s about forging relationships between your brand and its audience. The potential to make sales through social is great, of course – but it shouldn’t be your sole focus.
The Annual Millennial Impact Report found that, overwhelmingly, millennials want to do good – and they want the companies and brands they support to do the same. That’s where cause-based marketing comes into play. Your business does good, both within its own industry and without.
It’s about being ethical in your marketing and business practices. About being transparent in how your products are manufactured, transported, and sold. About giving generously to charitable organizations, and giving both employees and customers the chance to get involved in making positive changes in the world.
If you want to see an excellent example of cause-based marketing in action, look at Lush. Billing itself as an ethical cosmetics brand, every facet of its marketing is centered around the idea of changing the world for the better. From promoting good causes to ethically-sourcing all its ingredients, Lush positions itself as a brand that people can feel good about supporting.
You don’t need to go as extreme as Lush, of course – but cause-based marketing is worth consideration.
Although content marketing has reached something of a saturation point on the web – in that everyone is creating content for their audiences – it’s still an incredibly valuable way to bring in new traffic. It helps your brand build trust, convey thought leadership, and cultivate loyalty. Plus, assuming you can find something you’re passionate about, it’s honestly just enjoyable.
Whether you’re a consumer electronics brand discussing the best smart home technology or a clothing brand offering advice on office attire, content marketing is an incredibly powerful tool in any marketer’s arsenal, one that you ignore only at your own peril.
Guerilla marketing refers to any sort of marketing strategy that doesn’t fit into the traditional mold. It’s unique, it’s distinctive, and it’s unexpected. It also gets a bit of a bad rap – but in our opinion, it doesn’t really deserve it.
Basically, the more creative and entertaining you can make your guerilla marketing campaign without it growing obnoxious, the better.
Last but certainly not least, we’ve got point-of-purchase (PoP) marketing. This is the marketing that’s delivered to consumers when they’re making purchase decisions – and immediately after. The form these take depends on your brand.
If, for example, you maintain a digital storefront that sells incense burners, you might remind people to purchase incense when they’re in the shopping cart. You might send an email with coupons or special offers after a purchase has been made, or simply thank customers for shopping with you.
The core of PoP marketing is that these are leads that have already been converted – now your goal is to inspire deeper brand loyalty.
Just The Tip of the Iceberg
Above is just the barest sample of the different possible approaches to marketing. Do a bit of research into which of these is the best fit for your own brand. Alternatively, if none of them seem to work that well, you can go beyond – what we have here is a starting point.