Ah, marketing. It’s the first thing to go when the budgets get cut, but the first thing you need when you’re ready to grow.
Don’t feel guilty about that first part. We know that marketing agencies can feel like a luxury when times are uncertain. But we also know that the latter is equally true: to grow, you need great marketing.
But “marketing” gets a bad wrap sometimes.
It can be linked to things like infomercial countdowns (“This nose hair trimmer is selling out quick! You only have 5 more minutes to lock in this price!”) or straight up lies (“Kale is the new bacon!”). But great marketing does something that is undeniable. It makes you feel and connect. That’s why the most memorable brands in the world are solidified in your everyday life.
For example, there’s a whole region of the U.S. that calls soda, “Coke.” There’s a huge population of people that call facial tissue “Kleenex.” When you see a black and white commercial featuring any sports mogul with thought-provoking but still of-the-moment hip hop music, you’re waiting for the swoosh to tell you it’s Nike.
And it’s not because these companies don’t have competitors. On the contrary, they have some of the biggest competitors out there. It’s also not because they got lucky with one ear-worm of a jingle or a slogan that just… does it.
It’s because they’ve spent millions on creating value and creating community around their products. Then they insert themselves into key cultural moments that will make you feel more connected to them than ever.
That’s great fucking marketing.
But let’s bring it back down because chances are, you’re a small or medium business owner. You might have a shop (online or brick & mortar) or a collection of shops, but you’re hardly Nike or Life cereal.
The biggest hurdle for the big guys is mass appeal, to be something for everyone. You don’t have that task.
No; your task is far better. You get to connect with the people in your community, in your city, your state, your region and maybe even your country. You don’t have to be something to everyone.
You need to do your thing better than anyone else and then have the right team to communicate it.
In post-COVID-19 marketing, it’s hyper-important to make your dollars stretch and, in our opinions, there’s no better way than to invest in a social marketing strategy. Notice I didn’t say content or advertising. That’s because it’s all rolled together in one.
A strategy–more specifically, your strategy–has to not only work within your budget but also achieve your goals. Maybe you want to increase sales for a particular product line. Maybe you want to test the waters in a new market. Maybe you’re new and just want people to know you exist. All of these goals can be achieved through social: Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, Pinterest, Snapchat, TikTok. And heck, we’ll even occasionally throw Twitter a bone and say it’s still relevant for brands.
But here’s the rub: everyone says they are “social media experts” and hardly any of them are.
That’s because it takes a lot more know-how than people think. It is (as we’re proving every day) a full time job to create great content, cultivate community, optimize so that every dollar of advertising counts, and generate digestible yet explanatory reports.
So before you consider that billboard, radio spot or social media intern for your post-COVID-19 marketing strategy, consider taking social media seriously–as a huge pillar of your marketing success–and then give us a shout. (We’re probably up scrolling Instagram anyway.)