Is Your Advertising Strategy Driving Your Content Marketing?

You probably know about content marketing, hailed throughout the industry as the future and better version of advertising. Rather than overtly promoting your products, you focus on building content that is valuable enough for your audience to follow and believe in your brands.

The idea is simple. Build up enough credibility, and your audience will come to you. Once they do, they'll keep you in mind by the time they actually need a product in your category. In an age where blocking ads online is more popular than ever before, is the perfect way to get to your audience and maximize your brand reach.

But here's the rub: too many brands are now embracing content marketing at the expense of paid advertising strategies. Doing so could be a fatal mistake. In fact, and when done right, your advertising strategy should drive, support, and elevate your content marketing. This is how you can do it.

Find Your Core Value Proposition

First things first: you have to make sure that you understand exactly what you actually want to communicate. Advertising strategies fail when they focus only on promotion, without a deeper underlying message that's closely connected to your brand. And of course, random content without that same connection tends to be unsuccessful, as well.

Be careful not to confuse your value proposition with your selling proposition, which is a common advertising tool. The goal here is not to find the most convincing argument for your audience to become a customer. Instead, it's the value your content promises that would draw your audience to read it, whether or not it's directly connected with your brand.

That might mean focusing on your niche expertise within a wider audience. It could also be the unique formatting your content uses that connects closely to your brand promise. Either way, finding your core value proposition can help you define both your content strategy and the audience you want to attract.

Define Your Audience For Both Channels

Speaking of which: what do you know about your target audience? Sure, as an experienced marketer, you might already be familiar with their demographic and geographic tendencies. But don't stop there. Instead, look to define your audience based on their behaviors, preferences, and underlying needs.

Paid digital ads can be invaluable in this area. You're able to target your messages towards a very specific segment of your audience. But you can only take advantage of that benefit if you actually know what that segment should be. Once you do, you can use your content as a driving force to fulfill needs while your ads are built specifically for your audience.

Use Your Ads for Content Testing

Many marketers underestimate the potential of paid ads to act as trial balloons for content marketing strategy. With little budget, you can push messages to your audiences that encourage them to click and engage. But what if you used that tool to actually test potential content?

The possibilities here are significant. Content marketing takes time and effort. Building high-value gated content, especially, will cost significant resources. If you can use your paid ads to test potential content topics and angles, you make an initial investment with the potential to pay off big in the long run.

Here's what that might look like: you're thinking about a topic surrounding a new development in your industry. But before you start building it, you run a short ad that highlights a single insight on that topic. If it performs well, you know that your target audience is interested in learning more. That's when you start building the long-form content with greater security.

Jumpstart the Awareness of Crucial Content

Advertising strategies, of course, can also work as supporting mechanisms for content after the fact. Any experienced marketer knows that it takes time to see the results of even the best content. Some estimates put that time at around 10 months. Paid ads can help you speed up the process.

In a way, it's the simplest form of digital ads. You have the content ready, so why not highlight it? Run ads not on your brand in general, but specific pieces of content. Direct your audience to a blog post or landing page for gated content. You can see traffic and the resulting leads in weeks and even days, compared to months of organic building.

Retarget Relevant Messages for Content Readers

Finally, don't underestimate the power of your advertising strategy after the initial audience exposure to your content. It's not just there to gain awareness. Done right, ads can also help keep your brand top of mind after your audience is exposed to your content.

The key to success here, of course, is retargeting. Build ads specifically to recent visitors of individual pages. You might choose to target visitors to your landing pages who did not become leads, or blog readers who might be interested in a long-form version of the piece they just consumed. Either way, you can set up custom audiences in most digital channels that easily help you reach those recent web visitors, and drive them closer to conversion.

Is Your Brand Ready for an Integrated Digital Strategy?

You might have noticed a theme throughout this post. When it comes to digital marketing, integration is the name of the game. Put simply, you cannot emphasize a channel (even one as successful as content marketing) at the cost of others. Only a consistent strategy that incorporates all of your digital efforts can be successful in sustainably growing your business.

That, in turn, means building an advertising strategy designed not just for its own sake. Instead, that strategy should drive your content marketing, ultimately leading to a singular, consistent experience and user journey for any member of your target audience.

This type of integration may sound complex. And we won't lie: in most cases, it absolutely is. But that doesn't mean you cannot accomplish it. Every business and brand, regardless of budget and size, has opportunities to better integrate their advertising strategies with their content marketing. Contact us to find out how you can, as well.

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Topics: Content marketing advertising strategies

Facebook as a Powerful Advertising Tool

Social Media is changing faster than it took to type this sentence

There are new platforms on the rise every day it seems, new ways to use social media, and social media is merging itself with itself, offering savvy users quicker ways to navigate from one platform to another. 

Topics: social marketing Marketing Strategy social media marketing marketing strategies advertising strategies

How to Use Blogs, Forums, and Customer Reviews as a Marketing Strategy

Blogs, forums, and customer reviews can create a lot of user-generated content keeping your content fresh and authoritative for your audience.

 

Topics: Marketing Strategy marketing strategies advertising strategies

Marketing Strategies: Design With An Emotional Connection In Mind

When was the last time you went shopping for a car? Whether you were walking the rows in a lot, or browsing online, did you find yourself stopping to admire the front view of the vehicle? Maybe looking at it from a few different angles to really take it in? If you did, then you probably noticed the design of the front end almost looked like the car had a face, and that said face seemed to give the car a personality. The four-door sedan with the rounded headlights and upturned grille probably looked friendly. If you were looking at that dark red speed demon, you probably noticed the slitted lamps and down-turned grille made it look like a predator getting ready to pounce on whoever was in the lane in front of it. Even the sporty little coupe, with its big headlights and wide grille, looked like it was excited to go for a drive.

Topics: Marketing Strategy marketing strategies advertising strategies

Why the 'One Big Splash' Marketing Technique is Primarily a Big Businesses Strategy

When you're in marketing, it's easy to get excited and feel the temptation to create unnecessarily grandiose campaigns.  You see the big statement events and efforts made by international name brand companies and all too tempting to brainstorm. What would it be like if your brand created a hashtag by staging a flash-mob performance in Time Square? Or perhaps an edgy Twitter hashtag campaign about your favorite charitable cause?

Campaigns like this have gotten an incredible amount of press and applause for huge, bold stunts in the past. Their efforts rippled across countries and sometimes across the world with strategically coordinated displays, online events, and social media posts. No doubt, these 'big splash' campaigns were incredibly effective and for the brands in question, they were clearly the right choice. 

However, one interesting mistake often made in the business world is mistaking one brand and company for every brand and company. There is a hilarious idea that if you've seen one you've seen 'em all and they can each be compared one-to-one fairly. Everyone knows that factually this isn't true, but it still features often in arguments like which marketing techniques can be used to boost a small business to big success by mimicking the big brands.

Big Brands Make Big Decisions

The practical answer to the whole issue is remarkably simple, that marketers make choices based on the resources, circumstances, and brands they have to work with. Big companies make decisions that work for them and one of the circumstances they're counting on is incredibly widespread visibility.

When a big brand does something controversial or emotionally moving, the ripples are big and wide-spread. People hear about it even if they don't care that much about the brand in question because of that reach. Brands that everyone has heard of like Oreo or McDonalds have become not just companies but a part of our culture so it's only natural for people to share news about cultural icons

The other aspect of the big splash marketing method that works well for big brands is the ability to coordinate efforts. In the vast majority of cases, these events may look like flash mobs or trendy interactive art displays but they have taken months to plan, prepare for, coordinate, and enact. International brands can repeat the stunt to a wide multi-national and multi-lingual target audience and every social media community manager is poised to guide the online discussion.

While big brands are notorious for having trouble with memes and the more fleeting aspects of internet culture, making a big splash remains a great tactic for them just as it was before the advent of social media and inbound marketing.

Smaller Brands Make Strategic Decisions

But is the big splash technique right for small businesses? Should it really be held up as a shining example of "How It's Done" and how others should mimic if they want to succeed? All too often, this is the extent of logic used when looking for advice to give small business marketing teams. Just do it like the big companies, look where it got them.

Yes, the big brands have a lot of tactics that work well for them but these tactics were built for teams of marketers, a big wide-spread online community and public reputation, and possibly even multiple locations from which to enact marketing campaigns. Small businesses have to make decisions differently. Every marketing decision made by a small business needs to be about strategy.

Your actions need to take into account how to get the most new customers from the smallest percentage of your marketing budget at all times and while big stunt campaigns may look flashy, romantic, and successfully when implemented by the big brands, it's not going to work the same way for your small business.

The Limits of the 'One Big Splash' Campaign

In the marketing world, there are tactics that work for every kind of team, big or small, and tactics that are too specialized to share and try universally. As fun as big splash campaigns are to dream up and try to pull of, they're one of those tactics that works much better for big companies than for small ones.

For example, let's say your 'big splash' is the most efficient possible without a big display in town square and instead just a really profound push through social media, the website, and the blog. No matter how moving your content is, unless it goes viral, you are still likely to reach the same number of people you reach every time plus perhaps a few more looking for information on your topic of choice.

Even if your big splash did have the impact you were looking for, you would still need a large number of employees online handling the flurry of responses to your online event. If you've got a team of 3 marketers, this tactic simply isn't viable.

Throughout the internet and the business communities, there is a lot of talk about what could take a small business from "the bottom" to "the top" and often the examples used are hugely successful efforts made by the biggest name brands in the world. While this makes sense for inbound marketing, it's not actually good business advice. What is most important for your marketing strategies is what works for your company, your clients, and your marketing team. This means optimizing your campaigns not for how well they match other successes, but for how well they suit the abilities of your staff and the preferences of your audience.

Here at BOLD Worldwide, we believe in making a splash for your brand, but doing so with the right technique and strategy for your unique business and target audience. Mimicking the big brands may be helpful in principle, but when it's time to make logistically realistic marketing plans, keep in mind the scale of your business and the impact you really want to have. For more news on how to make bold marketing decisions that have the ROI and results your business is looking for, contact us today!

2019 Marketing Strategy Assessment

Topics: Marketing Strategy inbound marketing strategy marketing strategies advertising strategies

How Content Marketing Has Evolved Over the Past 100 Years!

Content marketing has been around for as long as humans have been communicating with each other. It's remarkable, however, how far content marketing has progressed and changed over the past 100 years. We could begin our look into the past almost anywhere, but we shall begin with the early 1900's in the United States and progress from there. As we shall see, businesses have been trying to find ways to get their product and services before as many people as possible with as little ad spend as possible.

Topics: Content marketing marketing strategies advertising strategies

Marketing Tips for Your Business

Marketing is not always easy for business owners. Besides not having much time to devote to their marketing, it can be quite confusing if you never studied marketing in college (or have any experience with it). It takes skills and understanding to be good at marketing.

Topics: Marketing Strategy marketing strategies advertising strategies

Tips to Come Up With a Marketing Strategy

Many business owners, especially those just starting out (or with small companies), do the best that they can with their marketing. They market a little when they have time. When they don't, well, they don't really have time to worry about it. They usually post some on social media and blog when they can, without a strategy. However, this can really be a waste of time.

Topics: marketing tips Marketing Strategy marketing strategies advertising strategies

The Importance of Integrated Marketing

Integrated marketing refers to the practice of using multiple advertising and communications channels in concert with each other. The strength of this strategy lies in the fact that most people get information from multiple sources. In the digital world, these sources can include one or more social media sites, search engines, news feeds, topic-specific sites, and more. By connecting with people through several (or all) of these platforms, as well as its own site, your company can make its messages more memorable than it could with any one outlet.

Topics: Blogging social media marketing SEO Tips advertising strategies Integrated Marketing

Traits of the Best Advertising Agencies

Like any other businesses, all advertising agencies will do their best to convince you that they are the "best" ones you can get. Since they all can't really be best, this means you have to decide which one actually is so. Doing this starts with defining just what "best" actually is. That is because what is best for your business might not be best for another company. Here are a few key things to look for:

Topics: Business tips advertising strategies advertising agencies branding