A strong marketing plan is not a singular experience, nor is it a product or event. A strong marketing plan is grown and matured over years of trial and error testing. A strong and compelling marketing strategy is built in tandem with the growth of a brand. Are there any hacks or shortcuts to developing a compelling marketing strategy? In the short term there are, but over the long term, you have to trial and error test your marketing and nurture its evolution alongside the evolution and growth of your brand. These eight hacks are only short-term/temporary ways of creating a compelling content marketing strategy.
1. “Copy” from the best ones and adjust it
One of the easiest hacks is to do what your biggest competitor is doing. Advertise where they advertise, post guest posts where they post, copy their discounts, create similar social media content, and cover the topics that they cover. Let your competitors do all the research and planning.
Do not be afraid to copy the big named companies too. In a small town, three jewelry shops had a tradition of only putting up their Christmas decorations when WalMart did. This is because they know that WalMart has invested thousands into researching exactly the right time for putting up Christmas decorations. Your competitors may have spent thousands on researching the very best marketing strategy, and you may enjoy the fruits of their research by simply copying their strategy. You can even set Google alerts to let you know whenever anything else mentioning your competitors is crawled by Google, so you know what today’s marketing strategy is going to involve.
2. Hop On A Trend
Another easy way to create a compelling marketing strategy in the moment is to hop on a trend. It is such a common marketing method that it is hardly considered a hack anymore, some businesses are adding trend hopping as part of their long-term marketing strategy.
3. Focus On Social Media Only
Social media has a way of hiding all sins. If you make a mistake, you lose a few followers and before you know it your numbers are back to normal after a couple of weeks. Instead of dedicating hours of time and thousands of dollars on a multi-faceted marketing campaign, you simply concentrate on social media and you use a scattershot approach where the quality of your posts is allowed to slip when your inspiration runs dry.
4. Pay Social Media Influencers
You probably cannot afford the likes of Pewdiepie, Honest Trailers or Lemmino, but are there influencers in your market area? Is there a specific part of your target audience that are avid readers or listeners of certain social media influencers? You do not have to target your entire audience. You can pick out sections and pay suitable smaller-scale influencers. For example, if you sell maternity clothing, then you may like to pick out a demographic section such as single mothers under 20. You could then seek out a social media influencer who is popular with single mothers under the age of 20 and pay that person or group to promote your products. Sometimes it takes little more than sending a few free samples to a social media influencer in order to have that person create promotional messages for you.
5. Play The Viral Game
Remember that these are content marketing hacks. They are shortcuts and are not part of a long-term strategy. With that in mind, consider playing the viral game. It involves throwing out some random stuff with the hopes it goes viral.
Despite the many articles that claim to explain how to create viral content, the fact is we have no idea what makes something obscenely popular. Why is Kermit the frog one of the most popular meme characters in history when he is made of felt and sponge? How did a black and gold dress become the focus of heated online debate? Why did a startled baby panda get more views than the entire US election press coverage?
6. Try Guerrilla Marketing
Guerrilla Marketing is not only about projecting your ads onto the side of the Empire State Building or paying a flash mob to dance in the high street. Your online content can use Guerrilla Marketing tactics too. For example, the media is treating president Trump very unfairly because he is not part of the old-boy politician’s gang. So you can take the tactic of going completely against mass media. People will click your links just to see what you are brave enough to say.
How will this help you sell your products? You can link any product to a guerrilla content marketing plan. For example, you sell wood flooring, you could end every article with, “The Hard Truth, As Hard A Rich Pinewood Floor From Harold’s Floors.” You don’t even need to link it with your products, you may simply link it with your brand name. For example, if your business is called “George’s Graphic Design,” you could end every article with “As Says Honest George of George’s Graphic Design.”
Remember to go against the grain without being intentionally manipulative. Catch people’s attention with surprises rather than manipulative click bait. Also, do not forget that an image can have a bigger impact than a book full of words. A creative suggestion in an image can be a powerful thing.
7. Focus On Affiliate Advertising
Instead of spending hours of staff time and thousands of dollars on a multifaceted marketing campaign, you put all of your effort and money into affiliate advertising. The great thing about paying for clicks is that you may test and tailor your adverts very quickly. In just a week you can learn enough to start targeting your customers in a big way. Plus, if you hone your campaign over time, then you may create a strong ROI and maybe even a strong profit on the back of your affiliate advertising.
8. Completely Outsource Your Content Marketing Strategy And Implementation
Gone are the days when you have to pay US consultancies $400 an hour to create and implement your content marketing strategy. There are companies such as rushmyessay.co.uk that have business and marketing experts that are selling their services at a fraction of the price of marketing and consultancy companies. There are freelancers and writing circles who have better access to guest posting websites than you could have in a hundred lifetimes. Outsourcing your content marketing plan is no longer the privilege of blue-chip companies.
About the author: Brandon Stanley is a professional independent journalist. He is interested in writing articles concerning marketing, advertising, and social media.