This year I travelled to San Diego to attend the largest digital marketing conference in North American, Traffic & Conversion Summit. I got to listen and learn from the top experts in our industry, here are my biggest take-aways!

1.

Acquire Media

Good marketing puts the right message in front of the right person.

Where you put your message depends on where that audience hangs out.

Consider acquiring media and/or communities where you already know your audience is. This could be:

Interest based FB groups

Instagram accounts

Pinterest accounts

Online blogs and magazines

Just a note you need to be careful and handle this type of transaction in the most responsible way. When you acquire a community you need to do so with transparency and by adding a ton of value to this community. Don’t just buy a group and spam them with salesy messages- that’s the quickest way to ensure chaos and unfollows. If you answer questions, moderate, provide resources and good content then they won’t mind when you promote your products and services.

When done right acquiring media around your target audience is incredibly effective.

2.

Show Social Proof

Social proof refers to the conversations and engagement surrounding your brand. How many people are referring you to their friends or tagging you on social, giving testimonials, leaving comments, liking and participating in a convo about your company on and off your social profile.

I was thinking about my own buying process and I remember when I would just google companies and see what comes up first in search. But now I always get a referral or read reviews first. People want to hear from someone objective or a trusted source before they purchase. The more social proof you can generate around your products and services the better:

Action Steps:

  • Ask for reviews- always!
  • Engage and build conversations on social platforms
  • Create and send your audience good content
  • Answer questions

3.

Put Effort into What Can Not Be Tracked

Still track and measure what you can with your marketing but don’t neglect what cannot.

When you hear the term “online marketing” you probably think:

Landing pages

Email campaigns and newsletters

Social media

Ads

Blogging

All these things are so important, the reason all companies engage in these activities is because they work! And they can be tracked, so you can measure, adjust and act accordingly.

But as everything becomes super calculated and automated we lose that human connection. Studies show we would rather deal with a real person versus a bot- that’s not to say bots don’t have their place but they can never be a replacement for real human interaction.

Let’s not forget about the basics of good old customer service in the days of automation.

Action Items

Answer Questions

There are a slew of websites where people post questions, Quora and niche forums are a good place to start. Helping solve problems on forums establishes authority in your industry and creates brand awareness. Answer questions from your own community as well with a FAQ section on your website, or by using the highlights function on your instagram account to answer in video.

Post Your Phone Number

Give out your company phone number- more and more businesses have taken down their numbers and leave customers with only an option to email. This is nuts- someone want to call you so they can inquire about doing business with you but you can’t be bothered to answer the phone?? If you’re that busy hire an assistant.

Start a Company Forum or FB Group

Give your customers a space where they can ask questions or obtain resources, provide the best customer service experience possible.

4.

Engage in Brand Partnerships

Take as many opportunities as possible to partner with other businesses that share your target audience. A great way to get organized is with a spreadsheet. List all the companies who share your audience and then next to each company list how each of your products or services can ADD VALUE to their audience. 

A couple examples:

Dominos & Hotels

Dominos pizza partnered with a major hotel chain (can’t remember the name of them!) to become the official pizza delivery company to their hotels that don’t offer room service. Each room in these select hotels has a Dominos stand up card and menu- this brings value to the guest by allowing them to still order in even without room service.

Casper & West Elm

Casper mattresses sell exclusively online, but many customers still want to test their mattress first. They partnered with West Elm (a furniture store) to put their mattresses into their physical locations. This helps both brands appeal to a broader group of shoppers and provides added value to the shopper by allowing them to try a mattress before buying, or to feel what it would be like sleeping in a bed frame.

5.

Snowflake Marketing

People want to feel special. So give them a unique experience when possible. There’s so much competition and as business owners we need to continually strive to stand out from the crowd. Here are some examples of where I’ve seen snowflake marketing:

Provide personalized recommendations to a follower who reaches out on social

Email select customers with personalized thank you notes

Feature your user generated content on social platforms and call them out

Surprise select customers with personalized offers