Ever had the uncomfortable experience of walking into a party, or a bar or club, and realizing you have nothing in common with anyone else there? Perhaps everyone there is much older than you, or much younger. Maybe they’re all wearing formal clothes and you’re in jeans, perhaps they all appear to be couples and you are alone. This can happen when you do a poor job of picking your marketing tools as well. For example, if you’re looking for seniors, you could feel very lonely on the internet. Only 2% of social media users are over 65.
No matter what size your budget, your goal as a marketer is to maximize your return on investment (ROI). When you are trying to decide what tools you will use in your marketing campaign, you want to be sure you are concentrating your spending on the ones that provide you with the highest ROI.
If you are just building your marketing program, you may not yet have any experience on which to base your decisions, but if you did the exercise suggested in my previous post, you now have a list of characteristics which describe your prime targets.
You can cross-reference your list with available demographics for both traditional and new media tools. Pingdom, a website monitoring service, has done a wonderful job of compiling demographics for many social networks. Are there social networks with demographics that closely resemble the actual or projected demographics of your target audience?
You can do the same comparison for traditional media outlets. Look at the demographics for the publications where you might place print ad. Be open to other tools that might reach your target audience. For example, if you want to serve a particular geographic area, a flyer service might hit the mark.
When you have a list of tools that are aimed right at your target audience, consider what it would cost to use each of those tools effectively. It is very important that you take time into consideration, especially when you are using social media.
Many internet tools are “free,” but creating good quality content can be very time-consuming, and ultimately costly. For example, you don’t have to pay to create a Facebook page, but if you want to have professional-quality content on that page, you will have to pay someone to create this content or use your own valuable time to do so. Powerful, appropriate images and clear, concise copy are key to successful social media campaigns. Be realistic about what your actual investment will be if you want good results.
In my very first posting, I wrote that good marketing is all about making good decisions. Too often I encounter businesses and organizations that have failed to go through the process of evaluating or projecting the ROI for each marketing tool available to them. As a result, they try to do too much. They feel that, in addition to traditional marketing tools like print ads, they should also be using Twitter and Facebook and Pinterest and have an email campaign and a blog. It may be worth using all of these tools if:
- Your budget provides for someone to create quality content for each.
- You budget provides for someone to monitor interactions on each social network.
- Each of these generates activity that translate to income for your business (we’ll be exploring ways to measure the effectiveness of social media in the future).
But most marketers work with both limited time and budgets. In this case, concentrate on the tools you project to have the best return for you. One social network carefully matched to your target demographic and used in a effective manner may be all you need to get your campaign rolling. You can add more outlets as your income grows.
Many social networks can now be integrated so that content you create for one network will also appear in other networks. For example, you can link your Facebook and Twitter accounts so posts to one appear in the feed on the other. This can be time-saving and effective if done correctly and we’ll talk more about the right way to do it in future posts.
For this week:
If you are creating your marketing plan, now is a good time to start studying demographics for various marketing tools and picking good matches for your target market. You may not get the ROI you want right out of the gate. You will monitor your results and tweak your campaign as you go along. The beauty of social media is that you can do this on a daily basis if you like.
If you are already in the midst of a marketing program, now is a good time to review available demographics to see if the tools you are using are still the best matches available. Now, check the ROI for each of these tools. Ask yourself if the time and money you are putting in to each tool could be better spent somewhere else? Should you use fewer tools or are you ready to expand and try adding a new tool? Tweak where you can as soon as you can.