There’s been so much buzz lately about QR codes and social media that it’s easy to forget about some tried and true – even “old fashioned” marketing tools. But here are four that research shows should still be at or near the top of your distributed marketing checklist. Why? Because they work!
Adding these four “old-fashioned” tools to your multi-channel distributed marketing mix may just be the lucky four-leaf clover you need to generate more leads and sell more products.
- Targeted advertising. Advertising was the #1 channel for marketers in decades past, and it’s still a vital lead generation tool for most companies. But now, prospective customers are even easier to segment into groups by interest, relationship status, age, gender, and geographic location (for work and home, in most cases). That’s because with social media advertising on sites like Facebook, the prospect provides their own segmentation, and opts in to certain kinds of advertising. This may be the real value of social media advertising – not just the sheer size of the market, but the willingness of the prospect to volunteer information about themselves to improve targeting.
- Case studies. A case study is a 1-2 page document that tells a story – usually following the problem/solution/result format – about how the featured client used a product or service. According to the 2011 B2B Content Marketing Report published by PR Newswire, case studies ranked among the top five most effective content tactics. The real trick is to create a “similar situation sell”. The goal for a case study is to use quotes, images, and facts to create resonance with prospects based on their empathy and interest in the profiled customer. Use case studies in blog posts, social media, webinars, press kits, sales kits, and on websites and micro sites.
- Testimonials. The difference between a testimonial and a case study is the length. Creating and using a process for consistently requesting testimonials from customers (LinkedIn and Facebook pages are great for this) should be part of almost every marketing plan. Make them as specific as possible – the what, why, and how of your work for the customer is more credible and persuasive than a generic “Love you guys – great to work with!” How do you get great testimonials? Write them yourself, and submit to the customer for approval. Tip: Don’t bury testimonials on a webpage devoted to them. Spread them out throughout your site.
- Surveys. One constant in the changing marketing landscape is that we all want to know what our peers and competitors are thinking and doing. And since survey tools are built into many distributed marketing platforms, or available at very low cost online, there’s really no excuse not to conduct several mini research projects today. Include blog readers, Twitter followers, LinkedIn and Facebook colleagues, conference and webinar attendees, customers, newsletter subscribers, and trade show attendees – and keep your surveys short. More than 10 questions is too many, and your response rate goes up the shorter and quicker the survey is. When the survey is complete, share it in as many places as possible – blog posts, social media sites, press releases, and SlideShare are just the starting points. Tip: Avoid any survey tool that requires respondents to run or download an app