5 Ways to Take Your Marketing to the Next Level

If you’re not currently doing any marketing for your business (or as a freelancer), or you’re ready to improve the way you’re doing things in this arena, take a look at these 5 ways to take your marketing to the next level:

Develop a strong strategy

When I first started as the head of marketing for a multi-million dollar manufacturing company, one of the first things I noticed was a flaw in their marketing strategy: they didn’t have one. They put out various advertisements focusing on their products, but didn’t approach this in a strategic manner. When I came on board, I asked them to shift from a product focus to an experience focus. Instead of creating ads showing only the products, I worked closely with the Creative Director to develop ads that showed the memories their audience was going to have when they used the products. Sure enough, the company saw an immediate increase in sales.

When you’re implementing any kind of marketing, you want to make sure you’re thinking in both the short and long term, highlighting your competitive advantages, and targeting your audience in the place where they’re at, instead of the place where you think they should be (think stopping print ads if they’re not reading any magazines, etc). When you put all these factors together, combine them with marketing and editorial calendars, and a great visual story, you’ll notice an immediate boost in your marketing results.

Know your brand

Taking your marketing to the next level starts with really knowing who you are as a brand. Do you have a great name? Are you known for your stellar customer service? Are you a product or a service? What are your company’s mission, vision, and goals (or your personal ones if you’re on your own)? Knowing this, and playing into it as your brand, is going to solidify not only your place within your industry, but your place as a strong presence in the business world. Once that happens, you’re going to see an increase in media presence and viral coverage, AKA next level marketing.

Automate, automate, automate

In this new, digital world, the ability to automate your messaging is easier than ever, so there are no excuses for lacking here. Automating your marketing (i.e. pre-scheduling your posts, sending automated emails to categorized audiences to maintain engagement, etc.) will DEFINITELY take your marketing to the next level. A personal touch (make sure to always gather names and email addresses), a gentile reminder of your products/services/offers, and a consistent timeline will undoubtedly set you apart and result in increased ROI and consumer engagement.

Don’t go it alone

Affiliate marketing can sometimes be seen in a negative light, but taking advantage of these types of opportunities will not only increase your audience (because you have access to theirs in addition to your own), but it will also positively impact your thought leadership. Plus, you’ll see a reduction in costs to produce content. Don’t be afraid to tag other businesses in your social posts when relevant, and you’ll instantly see how building these types of partnerships benefits you.

Be flexible

There’s only so much planning you can do in the marketing world, so make sure you remain flexible with your strategies. Take advantage of the ability to capitalize on viral trends (think ice bucket challenge, etc.) and other opportunities that come your way that might not be in the plan. Respond quickly to comments and shares on your social pages, be ready with extra content that you might need to publish, and say yes to short-notice networking opportunities. I promise, your marketing will thank you.