For businesses and non-profits, the marketing goal is the same: finding a way to get the word out and create brand recognition. In today's world, where consumers are subjected to an almost constant barrage of ads in a wide variety of media, it can be hard for a single organization to stand out. Having a dedicated, creative marketing team on your side will help, but that's just the first piece of the puzzle.
Spreading awareness might seem easier these days, given the proliferation of social media that can be used to drive interest and create conversations. While that should absolutely be a part of your plan, it's important to keep two things in mind: First, social media is more work than you might think, so devote manpower accordingly. Second, it should be just one aspect of your strategy.
Keep these tips in mind to drum up consumer curiosity and poise your organization for success in today's marketing environment.
* Don't just get the word out - get yourself out. Being present at events and trade shows can go a long way toward building your reputation as a company or organization. Not only do events present unique opportunities for networking, but you might also find new customers. When you attend, make sure that you're representing yourself well. Have strong display signage and a team of engaging people ready to work the event. Bring along custom, branded collateral like custom T-shirts and tote bags, which can carry your message outside the event.
* Give to get. Creating incentives for customers might pay back unexpected dividends. Whether you offer a discounted membership to a club or organization or a frequent-buyer rewards program, you're creating goodwill and starting your relationship with your customers on a good note. Do something for them and they'll remember it - and repay you with their business in the future. Send out postcards to let customers know about the rewards you're offering, as well as spreading the word via social media sites.
* Have a home on the Web. Facebook and Twitter accounts are valuable and are often a "must" in modern marketing. However, having a unique, standalone website takes your brand to the next level. Even if you're not a coding whiz, you can use tools and services that let you build customized websites at low cost. Make sure you keep it updated with fresh content to ensure that it doesn't look stagnant to users or search engines.
* Celebrate - and share - success. If things are going well, don't be afraid to talk about it. Plan and host an event that highlights what you do and why you're doing it so well. Get in touch with customers by sending out invitations and don't neglect to contact local media and even industry-related blogs to let them know about the event. They might come by to learn more about a local business that's doing well, or even to snap photos for events pages.
The marketing landscape is changing fast, so it's important to adapt your strategy to what's current as well as what's coming next. By doing so, you'll set yourself apart as forward-thinking and an industry leader.