“Bold marketing” – that sounds nice, doesn’t it? Would you like to be known for bold marketing? For leading a brand that captures the interest of the intended target audience. Well I challenge you to be bold in your marketing. I can tell you exactly how to do it.
I guarantee that if you really take the steps I recommend here within, you will have stronger measured results in your marketing. The most important ingredient to bold marketing is to have a bold marketing objective. So here is the exact objective you need:
Be the first place people think of going when they want information on _____ where _____ represents the subject or category that your brand competes in. Be the subject matter expert and demonstrate to your audience that you are the best place to get helpful content, commentary, and engagement on a particular category. How do you accomplish that? You do that by continually producing four types of content that reinforce your knowledge and commitment to the category.
The four types of content are original, curated, user-generated, and earned media.
First, you need kick-ass original content. Does it really need to be kick-ass content you ask? Well do you think people are going to want to read or view something that is just okay when there are a plethora of other places they can go to get the desired information? Your stellar content creates a reason for getting one’s attention and deepening the individuals’ attraction for your brand and builds affinity for you.
You also need to share curated content that reinforces what your brand stands for. If you really want to be the reference point for a topical area, you must not only have great original information, but also provide coverage on the subject by others. You want your audience to believe you have the topic completely covered from all sides (as long as they support your brand position and personality).
Next, consider opening your digital presence to your audience. The best way to get an audience engaged is to share their content – user generated content. Provoke the audience and literally ask then to share content on the particular topic. Not only does this get them engaged, but it is also likely that they will share the content that resides on your brand’s digital channel.
Earned media is when someone else talks about your brand. You win earned media by engaging and interacting with topical influencers. Aim to build relationships with them. Provide information that makes them better at their job and more successful with their audience.
I started this piece by saying that you should work to “be the first place people think of going when they want information on your brand category.” This past week I was doing consulting for a stealth start-up. I told them these exact words. Now I do not believe that they could possibly be the number one site for information on the brand category they are in, but I am absolutely sure that working with that mentality will deliver powerful empirical results for them. As we laid this down as an objective we talked about a marketing strategy that did not push the solution they offer, but rather how their brand was a key supporter of the industry they serve. It made us really think about how we were going to get people’s awareness. How we would educate them and how this education naturally pointed to the solution they offer. But we were not selling “the product” in our marketing. We were positioning the company as a leader in ___. This approach changed some of the marketing messaging, positioning, and communication. It literally drove us to a point of deeper empathy for the audience to be served and how we would capture their interest and consideration.
This is bold marketing. Letting your strategy, plan, execution, and overall user experience be driven by the goal of being the best source for useful, entertaining, and engaging information on the brand category, not your product/service. Being bold enough to work to win over an audience without directly selling. Winning inbound sales and leaving additional sales to sales folks. But I am not saying marketing does not have a sales responsibility. (See “A Brutally Honest Discussion About the Responsibilities of Sales and Marketing” ) Marketing has to makes sales better. Marketing starts by winning an audience over, not only in awareness, consideration and conversion, but loyalty and advocacy as well. And the way to do this is to work to become the go to place for information, news, and entertainment on the topic you represent. Like I said to my client, it may not be feasible to get to that number slot due to budget constrains and size of current players in the market today. But I guarantee you that if you stick to the bold marketing objective and do everything as if you were aiming for subject matter expertise leadership, that your marketing results will yield very strong numbers in all your key performance indicators (KPIs). Then one day you will own the market’s attention, respect, trust, and pocket share as long as you stay committed to the bold marketing objective.
Make It Happen,