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Your 4 Step Guide On How to be More Creative in Your Marketing Without Designing a Single Piece of Art.

Your 4 Step Guide on How to Be More Creative in Your Marketing Without Designing a Single Piece of Art.

We all associate inbound marketing with fancy billboards, catchy tag lines and the art of selling indirectly to our target audience.

We all associate inbound marketing with fancy billboards, catchy tag lines and the art of selling indirectly to our target audience.

There are plenty of ‘motivational speakers’ who talk about the things you MUST be doing. You only have to look as a far as Gary Vee, hats off to him, he has managed to build a substantial social following. The piece about ‘firing your best employee’ was a great listen, but I largely disagreed with it. That’s a story for another time.

Ultimately, what they don’t tell you, is how you should be using, quick wins and long term techniques inside your own business.

As consumers, we are exposed to marketing messages at every corner of our day.

Without even being aware, your purchases are subliminally being influenced by companies who see you as their ‘target audience’.

Your marketing communications should be doing the same. Why?

Long gone are the days of the hard sell or the last click conversion. We, as consumers, have no interest in working with people who’s only focus is to get us to buy stuff. It even goes beyond this, we have a moral obligation to be ethical in our ethical in our inbound marketing.

We want to be educated.

We want to receive free information and be consulted on best practice.

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Most importantly, we don’t want to just be a ‘customer’, just a number amongst hundreds of thousands of others. We want to feel valued and understood by real people and business’.

Micro breweries, including Phil Harding and the Boutique Bar Brands team, are a prime example of how tailored and personal experiences resonate better with our target audiences. There are more pubs in Brighton than days of the year to enjoy a fancy IPA or delightful Gin).

Mad Men is a great show (if you haven’t watched it, then you really should!). Mad Men outlines where marketing originally started, bar the questionable morales demonstrated by Don- that is something marketing isn’t about.

It is where everything was driving a ‘cool’ message along with some fancy imagery.

Not about educating your audience to allow them to make the best decision for them.

If we are honest with ourselves, creating fancy art is significantly easier now than it was 15, 10 or even 5 years ago.

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We’ve all got caught up in the aesthetics, pristine graphics, and everything having to be super easy on the eye.

Instagram is a great example of how fancy imagery and unrealistic visuals can be used to make us all buy into something we don’t even need.

Our good friend, Elin over at Brighton Journal is a great example of how Instagram is all about the visual (innocent plug of an account we manage!).

Marketing used to be about resonating with the audience and building a customer story to truly engage and drive your brand message.

Adobe Creative Cloud should be like second nature to any marketeer, whether you are in house or agency side.

Somewhere along the line we have lost track of everything marketing is trying to achieve.

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But that doesn’t mean we have to retire our creativity hats.

It means we have lost track of the creative part of marketing. Using your story, your brand and your expertise to deliver the right message at the right time.

Here they are. What the ramblings (just ask Dan TyreMaría Dómine and Coman Doyle about how much I love to ramble on) above has all been leading to.

How to be more creative in your marketing, without just using one piece of design software.

User segmentation

At its core, marketing is about delivering the right message, product, or service to the right person at the right time. In the Mad Men era of advertising, this was easier to do than it is today.

Products and services were fairly standardised and there were a handful of mediums that would cover a large percentage of people. Social ads weren’t a thing back then.

While each contact is a snowflake and should be treated that way, it’s important to segment your database to see who’s similar.

These segments can be divided in an endless number of ways: demographics, industry, company size, page views, numbers of emails opened — you name it.

Well.. why don’t you name it in the comments below!

There are three core ways you should be segmenting your data at its highest level:

  • Cleanliness
  • Organization
  • Audience

These are the foundations you need to lay before you start getting really creative with your segmentation. HubSpot are pretty much the gods at knowing how to segment data.

The true creativity comes when you start merging these different data points and attaching them to your buyer personas.

Be Don Draper, in that room full of smoke, a whiskey on the rocks, faced with a group of senior execs, all looking to you for an answer.

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Get your creative thinking flowing.

How can you begin tying different parts of a users demographic or behaviour together to create a brand new persona?

Smart messaging and content

Now we are super creative, and we still haven’t even opened up an Adobe product.. Who would have thought that would have been possible five minutes ago?

So there is a really cool trend building, smart content. It is almost nothing like having a smartphone, apart from the tag ‘smart’. If anything, it is most probably smarter than our smartphone.

What is smart content?

Smart content, also referred to as dynamic content, is website content that changes based on your interests or past behaviours.

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Smart content is designed to offer a more relevant and personalised experience to website visitors — one that static content can’t provide.

Guess what? You then include this content inside your work flows.

Why would you bother going to all that effort?

Your database is diverse. Whether you have 100 of 100,000 people within thereI can guarantee everyone’s needs will differ.

Think of it like going speed dating. You don’t repeat the same sentence to every person you sit in front of. If you do, and you were successful, it’s time you told us your secret!

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But, for those who take a more tailored approach, this one’s for you.

Pillar pages… within pillar pages…

There is a great video outlining everything you should be doing with your workflows.

It’s unfair to compare this to our good friend Don Draper. But, this demonstrates the advancements technology has given us to be creative.

Creative away from just building some attractive artwork.

Workflows are the way people get work done, and can be illustrated as a series of steps that need to be completed sequentially in a diagram or checklist.

Now, you will need a bit of time on your hands to get through the video above, so let’s quickly summarise how workflows allow you to be creative in your approach.

For those of you who are primarily B2C, you want to begin thinking about:

  • Basics
  • Email flows for a product sale
  • Birthday messages
  • Time lapse for X amount of time
  • Intermediate
  • Cross selling products
  • Upselling products
  • Reminder to purchase again
  • All out pro
  • Defined lists with presets
  • Propensity to purchase
  • Propensity to lapse
  • Smart content. Actually, we are getting too excited. More on that to come.

For those of you who are primarily B2B it’s time you think about:

Basics

  • Ebook download
  • New blog post

Intermediate

  • Product/service usage
  • Last interaction

All out pro

  • Propensity to purchase
  • Lead scoring
  • MQL to an SQL
  • SQL to an MQL
  • Smart content. Guilty! Getting ahead of ourselves again.

Within these, using your CRM and your data, you can then go ahead and start building your lead scoring and propensity models.

This is where it begins to get pretty smart.

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Everything we have spoken about above starts coming in to play.

Your:

  • Segmentation
  • Smart Content
  • Pillar Pages
  • Workflows

Start coming together.

The leg work is done, but we aren’t finished yet.

It’s time for you to be your own Don Draper and merge it all together.

Finding it a bit daunting? Well, we can’t give everything away!

You will have to schedule a 15 minute discovery call if you want to learn more. 

 

Pillar pages… within pillar pages…

t’s kind of like the evolution of social media, and why EVERYONE should be on it. For some industries it was much earlier, and for others much more recent. But, we all now know the business benefits on being nice and social.

Here is a nice article from the guys over at Moz to tell you a little more about it, more specifically Rand Fishkin who is only beaten by Matt Cutts on SEO knowledge: https://moz.com/blog/seos-direct-ranking-signals-google-whiteboard-friday

Pillar pages, your next social media craze. The only thing holding you back from doing this, is the knowledge it even existed. Because… if we are being honest… it’s the one thing you should be doing right now to get your company ahead of the competition.

Human search behaviours have changed, and so have the technologies used to interpret and serve up search results. Optimising blog content to rank for long-tail keywords is no longer the best way to rank in search engine results — and your blog architecture has something to do with that.

People are submitting longer, more conversational search queries.

Picture yourself before entering a Google search. If you were trying to find a local place to eat Pizza, would you search for “restaurants,”? or would you search for “Pizza restaurants near me”?

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Not only are they local to us, but they know local search, Brighton Local.

If you’d go with the second option, you’re among the majority: 64% of searches use four words or more when searching, we’re seeing a growing number of these longer-form conversational search queries that help people find the exact information they’re looking for.

But let’s say we aren’t doing local search. Let’s say we are wanting to learn about a new car.

The way most blogs are currently structured (including our own blogs, until very recently), bloggers and SEOs have worked to create individual blog posts that rank for specific keywords.

The result is disorganised, and hard for the user to find the exact information he or she needs. It also results in your own URLs competing against one another in search engine rankings when you produce multiple blog posts about similar topics.

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Your search will be different to the person sitting next to you.

Neil Patel speaks about the importance of creating a spider web in a post not too long ago.

But just to recap.

When you’re building your content, the user should always come first. Your primary focus is to make it as user friendly as possible for your user to find and explore the right content.

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Picture this, you jump in to your car and you begin a journey to a location you have never been before.

You follow your Google Maps (although we hope you are not using your phone whilst driving!). You follow the correct directions, take your left, take your right and so forth.

Then you come to a dead end.

There is now way through.

So what do you do? You turn around and go back.

Its disjointed experience.

We can think of this in the same way as when someone is reading one of your amazing articles. Don’t allow them to come to a dead end at the end of that post, lead them somewhere else!

 

Communicate Your Brand

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