Summer isn’t the time for your business to cool off, it’s the time to heat it up. Your summer marketing promotion will be successful if you follow these 9 rules:
1. Integrate online and offline efforts
Make sure that you integrate your marketing promotion online and offline efforts. This means that the messaging and offers are consistent across your print, broadcast, website and social media channels during your marketing promotion (and ideally always).
2. Maintain consistency for maximum results
Be mindful so that you use the same branding across channels. This means having the same recognizable imagery. You also need to make sure that there’s a consistent “voice.” The goal here is to make your marketing promotion efforts recognizable and have people easily associate the marketing promotion with your brand.
3. Put your marketing promotion on steroids: make it a total company effort
There are a variety of ways to get the whole company involved in your summer marketing promotion that will help your company hit a homer. Your employees are one of your most valuable resources, so use them.
- Encourage employees to like and share social posts.
Especially on Facebook, where EdgeRank determines the visibility of your posts. Employee engagement can help get your posts the initial engagement needed to get your content viewed. The more engagement, the more eyeballs.
- Get your employees excited about the summer promotion.
When everyone’s on board to make it happen, it’s more fun and it’s more likely to get done. Everyone should understand what’s going on, not only so that you can benefit from the insights of cross-functional teams, but also so that anyone in your company can effectively communicate the offering during your marketing promotion.
4. Reward loyal customers
Everyone likes to feel loved and appreciated. Your brand advocates are a powerful resource in today’s digital and shareable age. You need them. It only benefits you to reward them. A marketing promotion is one way to make your happy customers happy. Make them even happier by giving them something extra for their loyalty. Not only does this generate goodwill, but it will also help generate more word-of-mouth buzz and will keep your best customers returning for more. Remember, it’s always easier to keep a customer than get a new one. How can you reward your loyal customers?
- Give them sneak peaks
Sneak peaks are kind of like secrets. People like the feeling of knowing that they’re among the first to know about something. It makes them feel important.
- Give them exclusive discounts and offers
Everybody loves a discount or a special offer as a reward for their dedication to a brand. It just plain works.
- Let them go at it first
If you are having some kind of sale or marketing promotion in which there is limited availability, giving your loyal customers the first crack at it is a great way to get them excited. They will be grateful for the opportunity. Others who find out about their chance to get in first will see the benefits of patronage.
- Showcase them
Loyal customers love to see themselves showcased on a brand’s blog, in the newsletter, or on social channels. It makes them feel special, they feel important, and they get a little slice of momentary fame on some level. It’s super easy to do, and it makes people feel loved. It also provides “social proof” for other potential customers and for them to identify with the people showcased. Social proof will help to propel your marketing promotion forward.
5. Give brand advocates a platform
If you already have people that are super excited about your company, product, service, brand, employees, or anything relevant to the company, you need to do more than just let them talk. Give them a microphone. When other people speak on behalf of your brand, it’s powerful word-of-mouth marketing for you.
- Make it super easy
People are more likely to do things that don’t require time and effort. Make it as easy as possible for customers to share their good experiences. Add “tweet this” buttons to images and copy so that people can promote your offering with the click of a button. One example of a company that does an excellent job with this is HootSuite. Within their mobile app, there is a feature called “Share the love.” When you click on it, it sets up a tweet on your phone with a witty little comment about why you love HootSuite with a custom hashtag. And you can do it again and again and get different results. This also means putting social sharing buttons on your online landing pages, microsites, websites, etc.
- Give customers multiple opportunities to give feedback, both online and offline
The more chances you give people to give feedback, the more likely you are to get it from them.
6. Set clear goals
Know exactly what you hope to accomplish with your marketing promotion and make sure every effort that goes into the project does something to affect the bottom line. You’ve got limited resources. Time and money go into everything you do, so only do what will have an affect on the bottom line. Think of your goals as the “thesis” of your promotion and make sure everything you write from then on out supports your thesis.
- Make your goals attainable
- Make your goals something that can be measured
- Keep them posted so everyone knows what they’re going after
7. Measure, measure, measure
Like I said, you’ve got limited resources. Measuring your efforts will help you determine what’s working and what’s not working during your marketing promotion, so you can quickly stop anything that isn’t helping you accomplish your goals. Measure early and measure often. Not only is this important for efficiency and effectiveness, but it also gives you the opportunity to make adjustments before you get too far down the road.
- Determine social post timing and frequency
- Do A/B testing on landing pages when possible
- Determine which social networks drive the most referral traffic
- Determine what keywords are driving traffic to your website
- Determine what times are best for your particular audience for email open rates
- Determine what kinds of headlines get the most clicks
- Determine what content is most popular
8. Adjust accordingly
What good are the measurements if you don’t do anything with them?
- Post at optimal times at the right frequency – read this article from Hubspot for more information about how to find the sweet spot for your brand
- Shift to different kinds of content if it’s not getting any traffic
- Figure out how to write more compelling headlines if you’re not getting any click throughs
- Try reading Copyblogger’s article “How to Write Magnetic Headlines” or “Content Strategy: 9 Secrets for Writing Blog Titles” from Content Marketing Institute
9. Keep records
If you’re going to go to all of this effort to figure out what works and what doesn’t work, make sure to document the processes and what works. Your time is valuable, and the more you keep track of what works, the less time you spend doing things that don’t work. It prevents you from reinventing the wheel every time and provides a guide for your next marketing promotion.
What is your summer promotion this year?