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One of our clients recently won a customer service award from a national review site dedicated to the client's industry. Elated, the client wanted to know how to promote the award as quickly as possible, without busting the marketing budget.
A few years ago, a business in this situation might send out a news release, maybe buy some traditional print or broadcast advertising, update its sales materials and hope for the best. But today, with the right platforms in place, businesses have dozens of additional avenues to promote news, special offers and services at a fraction of the cost of traditional marketing tools.
Maximizing Your Marketing Investment
Our client already has a strong online presence, both on its own platforms and in the industry, so promoting the award was straightforward and quick. In short order, the website was updated, a blog post was written and published, and the award was posted on its social media channels.
Once published, team members shared the announcement on their own social networks, both personal and professional. With those few actions, the business reached thousands in its target audience without adding a dime to the marketing budget.
Finding the Right Marketing Mix
Of course, not all content promotion is as simple as announcing an award. When planning the strategy for all your digital marketing initiatives, think in terms of your owned, earned and paid media.
Owned Media — After the initial investment, the least expensive way to promote content is through owned media. Company websites, social media accounts and self-produced content — blogs, eBooks, emails, videos, infographics, webinars, social media posts and the like — are all considered owned media.
As much of this traffic is organic, strong SEO is critical to your success.
Earned Media — Reviews, articles, social shares and mentions all can provide a huge boost to a business without a big investment. However, as awesome as it would be to base your marketing on nothing more than positive reviews and articles about your awesome business, earned media alone is not enough.
In addition, earned media quickly can turn into 'burned media' if you happen to get hammered by some negative reviews or other misinformation. Lack of control is another problem as businesses have no say over how, or even whether, third-party sites will publish information related to your business.
Paid Media — Paid ads are great for promoting events, sales and specials, and other short, high-intensity campaigns, especially if you only want to target a specific audience. It also can be an important branding tool for new businesses or products needing some quick exposure.
Traditional paid ads such as Google Adwords, targeted display campaigns and video marketing are important tools in the content promotion arena. This category will continue to expand as social media platforms reduce the organic reach of social posts and switch over to the pay-to-play model.
If your marketing strategy has a strong social-media component, including a budget for paid social promotion quickly is becoming a necessity.
Dynamic Marketing Mix is Critical
Nothing says change like the Internet, so businesses and marketers must be plugged-in and nimble to stay on the winning side. Search-engine algorithms, privacy concerns and policy changes all can effect how often your content is seen, or if it is seen at all.
A strong online presence and a balanced marketing mix will mitigate the risk of losing visibility or traffic in any single area while providing flexibility to get the most from your marketing dollars.
• Regina Gilloon-Meyer is a content marketing specialist for Fusionfarm, a division of The Gazette Company. (319) 368-8530, firstname.lastname@example.org; @Regiimary