This past week, Kaitlyn Merola, 829 Studios’ Director of UX & Content Strategy led a session at the Family Travel Association Summit — a fantastic event that brought together industry leaders from across the world. The event was packed with inspiring speakers and attendees seeking solutions to their business challenges, specifically Sven-Olof Lindblad, CEO & President at Lindblad Expeditions. In his Q&A entitled Families from 8-80: How to Provide for Diverse Aspirations, Lindblad talked about how families enjoy travel together.
“My son has just as much excitement on his face when he’s searching for tadpoles in our small pond in the backyard as he does when I’m taking him on a Galapagos trip.”
Encouraging family travel doesn’t have to be difficult. It could be as easy as supporting outdoor play in your own backyard. It’s not about the medium, or the magnitude. It’s about the inspiration. And that spark of inspiration can lead to so much more.
This sentiment can be carried over into any type of marketing in any type of industry. Many companies, large and small, feel intimidated when putting together a marketing strategy. A full marketing stack takes a lot of resources, but it’s that first step that makes all the difference. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing.
Here are some easy, cost-effective building blocks that can get you started in every aspect of an integrated marketing program. Simply picking one or two to start with can inspire a marketing-focused mindset throughout your organization. Once you feel comfortable and have optimized the first phase, add more. Soon, you’ll have a fully integrated marketing strategy that’s working for you to grow your brand and generate leads.
Drive website traffic with low-cost online advertising
Online advertisements — such as Google AdWords or Facebook — are a low-cost method of driving traffic to your website. If you don’t want to invest in a traditional ad campaign, setting aside a smaller amount each month for online advertising offers a number of benefits.
First, you’ll be able to capture instant attribution metrics to measure your success. Impressions and click-through rates will give you ad performance, and then you can build upon that by measuring the conversion effectiveness through AdWords or Facebook. By setting up these tracking methods, you can directly attribute sales success to your marketing efforts and make informed decisions on how to adjust your campaigns to get the best returns.
Online advertising is also a way for you to generate brand awareness. This is especially true on Google, where you may not have content garnering organic traffic. AdWords can give you a temporary boost by placing your website at the top of keyword-relevant search results.
Build credibility with content marketing
Content marketing is something that can supplement every part of the sales process. Blog and website content ranks in Google searches and drives traffic, gated content generates leads, and content specific to different portions of the sales funnel accelerates a lead to make a purchase decision.
An easy place to start is to set up a blog. The cost is next to nothing, and the content you create here can help establish you and your company as an expert within your niche. Set whatever publishing intervals you can manage — once a month, every two weeks, or even more frequent — but be consistent with your schedule. Once you create this content, you can recycle it for various other purposes; turn a blog into an infographic, an ebook, a podcast, or an email.
Make your website a conversion machine
Your website is your most important digital asset. It’s the landing zone for the vast majority of your marketing programs, and so you need to ensure that your website is optimized for conversion.
The ultimate goal of your website is to generate leads. So, you need to ensure that you make it as easy as possible for site visitors to convert. Make sure your conversion forms are clear and above the fold. Also, provide a few different avenues for conversion. Depending on where a lead is in their purchase journey, they’ll be willing to provide different amounts of contact info. If they fill out a longer contact form, they may be a hot lead that you can speak to directly. If they simply give their name and email address to sign up for email updates, you can nurture those people through email and other channels until qualified.
Additionally, set up your Google Analytics account and get familiar with the interface. This will directly complement any other efforts in place to drive website traffic. Dive deep into what your site visitors look like, what pages and blog posts they engage with, and what parts of your site may need to be adjusted if the bounce rates are too high.
Nurture new leads and keep customers engaged with an automated email program
Automated email marketing is an easy, efficient, and reliable method of engaging new leads and maintaining relationships with existing customers. It’s success has been proven time and time again — for every $1 spent on automated email marketing, $38 is generated. By spending time now to set up a series of emails, you’ll spend less effort later pursuing every lead individually.
When it comes to email platforms, you can start as simple as a free MailChimp account. Sign up, import a list of contacts, design a template with the drag-and-drop editor, and start creating.
Once a lead has identified themselves on your website and provided their email address, we can begin nurturing them via email towards an end conversion. Provide value and demonstrate your expertise — after you’ve established credibility, you can begin to interweave sales messages. For nurture campaigns, you can re-use content you’ve created in other places — such as a blog or a video.
In a true integrated marketing strategy, every campaign feeds the next one to drive brand awareness and convert leads. Implementing any of the strategies above will give you a crucial first step towards this seamless journey.
Want a kickstart? 829 Studios is an integrated marketing agency that delivers measurable results. We can supply or supplement any part of your marketing strategy to inspire your audience, convert prospects into customers, and turn customers into champions.