Tag Archives: online marketing

How to Build an Online Marketing Fire

Knowing how to build a fire is just as essential for survival in the online marketing world as it is in the wilderness. A blazing campfire provides warmth, light and a way to cook food. The fire you want to build online increases awareness and generates online leads.

Fire-Starting Tools

To start a fire in the great outdoors, you typically need a match and strike board, a piece of flint and steel or a magnifying glass and the sun. In marketing, we consider having a well-defined brand and a strategic plan as the bare necessities to ignite the flame for your business.

Your audience needs to understand who you are as a company, what you stand for and why you’re in business. Without a well-thought-out brand, you run the risk of looking like and sounding like your competitors, and you will be stuck in a continuous lowest-price-wins battle. Without a strategic plan, you’re wandering through the wilderness battling the unexpected and rather than focusing on what you need to do to reach your goals.

Tinder

No matter where you are, creating a flame can be a lot of hard work — and it’s all for naught if there is no tinder to catch the flame.

In digital marketing, your “tinder” would be your website. Your website is the hub, or the core of all your online marketing efforts. For your website to attract and retain traffic — or “catch fire” — it must be optimized for search engines, easy-to-use and appealing. Without a well-optimized and user-friendly website, you will end up rubbing two sticks together all night long with no results.

However, while tinder catches fire easily, the fire quickly dies out without added support.

Kindling

When building a fire, you need materials that provide more substance than tinder provides to keep the flame burning long enough for your fuel wood to catch. This is where kindling comes in.

In marketing, you can use search engine optimization (SEO) and online advertising. When following best practices, SEO and online advertising can quickly and easily increase awareness and direct traffic to your website. Just as kindling must be dry to work, your website and online ads must be optimized with keywords to work.

Fuel Wood

The fuel wood might take a little longer to catch fire, but it is what ultimately keeps your fire hot and burning. And if you notice your fire is starting to die down, you can throw more fuel wood on top to keep it going. In marketing, fuel wood is a mix of owned and earned channels.

Content marketing is one owned channel that can help “fuel the flame,” and it includes pieces such as white papers, case studies, e-books or webinars. Advertising such as print, TV or radio also add to the discussion, increase awareness and even drive website traffic. Additionally, email marketing can help nurture the fire and keep it going.

Public relations is one example of an earned “fuel” or channel. When your company receives media coverage from third-party sources, it helps boost your credibility and increase “buzz”. Word of mouth — whether it’s in person or online via social media — is also earned, and it can be a very powerful tool to build a blazing fire.

Building a fire is not as easy as it first appears. It involves a lot of knowledge, preparation, tools and hard work—similar to effective online marketing campaigns. Luckily, the GREENCREST team is ready to support you! Contact us today to get started.

 

Experiences: The New Era of Marketing

 

The marketing industry is moving toward focusing more on customer experiences rather than traditional marketing campaigns and tactics, according to Robert Rose and Carla Johnson in their latest book, Experiences: The 7th Era of Marketing

What is an experience?

An “experience” goes beyond a company’s product or service. It’s the value-added digital or physical deliverables a company offers its audience, such as a website, blog, print magazine, conference, event or special workshop or class. An experience allows the customer to engage and interact with the brand, aside from using its products or services.

Social Media Examiner describes an experience as “a combination of the physical, the digital, content and everything that creates value for a consumer.” It helps further differentiate a company from its competitors.

How do I start creating customer experiences?

First, use the Marketing Funnel to identify where you can improve your customer experience. What is your weakness? Is it customer acquisition? Customer engagement? Lead conversion? Nurturing your existing customers and leads? Turning existing customers into loyal, lifetime customers? Or creating brand advocates? Identify and describe the target audience that belongs to the phase you’d like to improve.

Next, create the story and narrative you’d like to tell your target audience. What do you want them to experience? How do you want them to feel? Your audience and narrative will help determine which channel will best communicate it.

Examples of exceptional experiences

One B2B company that is doing an exceptional job at creating customer experiences is Drillinginfo, a software as a service (SaaS) company serving the global oil and gas industry. The company provides the oil and gas industry with data and analytics that enable true predictive decision making. However, through its value-added content and experiences—an industry-leading blog, educational content, vibrant social media channels, a calendar full of events and a DI Roadshow—the company has positioned itself as The Expert in the oil and gas industry.

Drillinginfo customer experience

Pillsbury sets a good example for B2C businesses. Not only does the company provide delicious and convenient baked-good products, but it also provides its customers with a beautiful, image- and recipe-driven website and inspiring and engaging social media networks. Pillsbury also offers its customers a free “membership” to coupon savings, access to free samples, a Pillsbury weekly e-mail and a Today’s Taste daily e-mail.

pillsbury customer experience

Receive help from the experts

For more information about using experiences to guide your marketing, check out Experiences: The 7th Era of Marketing or listen to Social Media Examiner’s interview with the book’s co-author, Robert Rose. To get started on identifying your pain points, developing a narrative, and creating unforgettable experiences, contact the marketing experts at GREENCREST.