By Lillie Brown
It’s no secret that marketing can be overwhelming and, in our experience, most creative folks we work with would prefer to spend time creating rather than promoting. We get it. Over the past twelve months there have been widespread changes to the social media landscape that have seen most platforms prioritising a video-first user experience (hello, time intensive!) and algorithms rewarding accounts that post daily; meaning brands often slip into the trap of quantity over quality. There’s a lot to take in and a lot of decisions to make! With this in mind, we’ve put together our top tips and recommendations to make your marketing more easeful and impactful.
Compile a brand suite. Your brand suite is a compilation of your logo, logo monogram, colour palette, imagery (both professional and stock) and typography. You’ll use all of these elements daily and having them in one place will make it quicker and simpler to pull together social media posts, email newsletters or update your website. Remember: consistency is key, so it pays to organise this treasure trove of branded goodness in advance and refresh your templates and imagery regularly.
Start with a strategy. If you don’t have a clear strategy mapped out, how the heck will you know where you’re going or if you’re successful? Our gal pal Carmen from CARMEN GET IT! said it perfectly: “the best strategies are short, snappy and help you make decisions, all the way from the big ‘how do we respond to this crisis?’ to the small ‘what do we want to tweet today?’”. You’ll want your strategy to answer the following questions:
- Why are you doing this work? What are your mission and vision and values?
- Who is your audience?
- What are you going to say?
- What platforms or channels are you going to use?
Take the time to answer these questions properly and your strategy will act as your North Star, helping you make decisions about what tactics and content you’ll employ. You’ll also need to implement some kind of measurement system because as we often say, it’s not marketing if you’re not measuring it. Measurement is a critical element of your strategy because it sets a benchmark for where you’re currently at and helps you ascertain whether certain activities are working. And remember—hard data isn’t the be all and end all. Soft data or qualitative data is just as important—it captures the feelings and opinions of those who interact with you.
Work smarter. When it comes to content creation, it can feel as though you’ll never escape the hamster wheel. Enter: evergreen content. Evergreen content is content that stays relevant and fresh for your audience across a sustained period of time. We recommend writing a juicy, well-researched long form blog post or article each month—you can then repurpose this content across your other channels. This approach also gives structure to your content marketing and sets the tone for the month to come. Break it down into many social media posts and include it in your email marketing campaigns, too. Could you make a meme? A reel? An infographic carousel? So many options! With your brand suite at your fingertips and ready to go, this process will save you so much time that you would have otherwise spent agonising over what to post.
Social media delivers a terrible ROI, so don’t put all of your eggs into one basket. Ideally, you should be using a strategic mix of paid, earned, and owned media. This approach will allow you to do more with less, essentially making your marketing more impactful. Unsure what paid, earned, and owned refers to? Let us break it down: Owned media refers to your website, mailing list, blog, and podcast and serves to nurture and convert your audience. Earned media is publicity or exposure gained from methods like press, reviews, and user-generated content and it serves to foster trust between you and your audience. Media features, guesting on podcasts, and real reviews showcase your expertise and credibility and help your audience take a step forward into trust. Paid media refers to tactics like Google and Meta ads, sponsorships, and paid influencer campaigns and these serve to increase your reach. Using a thoughtful and intentional combination of these channels means your content will be in front of your ideal customer frequently and at different stages of their buying journey. Social media is referred to as ‘borrowed’ media in marketing speak—it’s a platform we don’t own or have control over.
Collaborate. Brand collaborations are a powerful way to help new audiences discover your business and contrary to popular belief, money doesn’t need to exchange hands. This is about leveraging the audiences of both parties, providing value to them, and filling gaps in your expertise with your collaborators’ strengths. Think artist collaborations, events, webinar panels, workshops, and more.
Play to your strengths. Marketing is just as much about deciding what not to do as what to do. Jamming a square peg in a round hole simply doesn’t work and all it will do is frustrate you. If you’re confident in front of the camera, try video. If you enjoy speaking, start a podcast or pitch yourself as a guest to existing shows. If you’re a great writer, start a blog or Medium account. However, don’t forget that it’s not all about you—you need to show up on the platforms that your audience are using.
Marketing is about choices and it’s up to you to make the right ones for your business through a process of trial and error. Pick a few high-impact tactics and do them well—there’s no point spreading yourself too thin because you’ll end up frazzled, angsty, and real talk: your marketing will suck. Good luck!