Your messaging must be:
The Big Picture
Keep in mind that strategy is the big picture and tactics are the everyday activities to help you achieve success in your big picture (vision).
Do you have a written vision of what you want to achieve and why it’s important to you?
This is not about money. It’s about doing work and providing products and services that you are genuinely passionate about. Don’t panic; you won’t need a 63-page business plan. A few lines can provide clarity and a foundation for our next steps.
Does your staff know your vision? Are they enthusiastic and fully committed to it? Do they use the same verbiage and language in describing the company as the CEO?
Have you identified your niche, ideal client, and target market? Do you know their specific challenges, needs, and problems AND how your company can solve them? Which Twitter chats and LinkedIn groups are decision makers involved with? What’s your message to them? If you are a B2B company, you must focus on what your customer’s customer needs.
Think of your marketing like this: Your prospect and/or client has pain (problem) and you have the medicine (expertise) to ease their discomfort. Focus on the results you get for people, not the title on your business card.
Let the Journey Begin
To create a cohesive, integrated, and consistent strategy, the place to begin is with your website. This is the hub of your identity and activities.
The goal is to use various social and traditional communications to lead people to your site. Once there, you want to keep visitors interested and engaged with valuable information and a clear call to action. Be sure your site is easy to navigate. Simplicity is a good thing.
What do you want visitors to do? Sign up for something, watch a video, subscribe to a newsletter or download a free e-book?
Keep a watchful eye on Google Analytics to see the bounce rate, time spent on the site, and other important metrics. Your focus should be on list building and your sales funnel (monetization).
Another critical part of your online presence and website is the title tag. That’s the short phrase or descriptor with keywords at the top of your site. This phrase can help you hyper-focus on your services. These few words directly impact search engine optimization and rankings.
This point may seem obvious, but be sure to have a professionally designed logo, color scheme, and visuals that communicate the heart of your company. The tone and feel are important.
- Your blog. Like your website, your blog must be current, offer sound advice, and be written in a casual voice. How often do you post? How do you decide on content and frequency? Hint: It goes back to the challenges of your niche market. Does more than one person post? Is the voice of your blog in harmony with your main messaging? Who are your readers and why have they chosen your site over millions of others?
- Your e-zine or newsletter. Does your newsletter include the title tag from your site? Encourage people to connect online by listing your social links and URL.
- Your videos. Do you have an opening and closing slide with your company name and/or logo? Is your website woven into the text so the speaker can subtly promote it as a resource?
- Your e-mail marketing. Does the same common attitude of helping people shine through? Don’t sell; build relationships with your target market. Use your title tag descriptor, and forget the jargon, rhetoric, and BS.
- Your social profiles. Do your profiles on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and your other channels have (nearly) identical language that’s crystal clear in describing how you help people?
- Your business cards. Are business cards are a thing of the past? I don’t think so, but not everyone agrees. If you have cards, do you have one or two social links listed? Do you really need your fax number or is it obsolete? Your logo and consistent punchy phrase of how you solve problems and get results is what people are looking for. Clear, uncluttered, visually pleasing. Dump the cutesy titles; focus on the prospect/client.
- Your e-mail signature line. This is an area that tends to be forgotten. Your social links, website, and anything that separates you from others should be included. Use live links as well. Remember, the goal is to get people back to your site or profile.
- Your “about us” page. These pages tend to be static, but if you update them periodically with staff changes, awards, accomplishments, and links to new testimonials, it can be compelling for visitors to stay on your site and poke around.
- Your Pinterest boards. Is it absolutely clear from your visuals and pictures the field/industry you’re in? Is your profile congruent with your bio, title tag, e-mail marketing, and blog?
- Your bio line. Do you have two versions (long and short) that are used at the end of your bylined articles, white papers, and case studies?
- Your traditional print marketing pieces. Many industries find success in mailers, print advertising, and other traditional marketing channels. Do these pieces have that thread of consistency and clarity that are congruent will all of the above? Is your message, clear, concise, compelling, and visually appealing? Does your contact information and call to action stand out?
Now, what can you do to improve the health of your social media set-up? If your organziation needs help and an outside analysis, contact my office now, mention this post, and receive a discounted fee! You will have a complete report in just 7 days!