Figuring out the best way to market your business is a bit like a game of chess. You must think strategically, anticipate your competitor’s next move and be able to think through different scenarios that might occur. Did you know marketers who have a written plan are about 538 percent more successful than those without a plan? Here are some ideas to help you get started on crafting your plan.
1. Create a strong brand image
In one survey, 77 percent of the top marketers in the UK said branding is an important factor in company growth. Image and branding are intricately linked, so creating a strong and memorable image helps consumers remember your company. Think about some of the most iconic brands out there, and their logo likely comes to mind — such as McDonald’s and Calvin Klein.
McDonald’s has elevated logo recognition to an art form. Something all marketers can learn from this logo is that simplicity really does work. The golden arches are not a difficult concept. The logo is the first letter of the name of the business. But the combination of golden yellow over red and the stylized letter “M” appear over and over again in their branding.
2. Link to environmentalism
Some people are more passionate about protecting the environment than others, but most agree it’s best to do the little things that are necessary to make the world a bit greener. If your company has committed to going green, carry it through even in your advertising. For example, you can purchase reusable fabric panels for displays, rather than ones made of plastic.
3. Find a tagline
The best marketing campaigns feature a memorable tagline. Ideally, this will be short and to the point, but also unique enough to stand out from your competitors. The tagline should explain how your business solves a problem or makes life easier. Depending upon the overall tone of your business, the tagline can be serious or humorous. Just make sure it is consistent with your brand image.
Goat Tape’s tagline is “Stick with us.” That fits perfectly with their brand, which is about athletic tapes that are breathable, but durable. They cater to a very specific demographic, and their casual statement matches the entire tone of their brand, which is practical, affordable, but quality athletic tape.
4. Make them nostalgic
Can you tie your product into the past and good memories? Marketing campaigns that remind people of happier, simpler times are effective. Researchers found creating a sense of nostalgia also generates positive feelings toward the source.
Think about a shared experience from decades gone by that your target audience relates to and tap into it. Use iconic images throughout your marketing campaigns.
5. Provide quality content
Research shows some correlation between the quality of content and success of marketing. The focus should be on quality, rather than quantity. Content should be on point, written well and provide info the user can’t find anywhere else. Design comes into play through the navigation of the content. It should be simple for visitors to find what they need via a search bar or intuitive navigation.
Best Buy provides users with buying guides that allow them to fully explore what they need in a product and the available options. If you’re in the market for a laptop, for example, you can pull up their laptop buying guide and discover the type of computer you need based on your usage — light, average or demanding. Topics include the different types of operating systems, screen features, ports and connectivity and accessories.
6. Use the right colors
If your brand doesn’t have a set color palette, now is the time to adopt one. Anything that represents the brand should feature those colors. Carry your color palette through to your website, in print ads, on direct-mail campaigns and in the signature line of emails. Adopt these colors, and consumers will soon recognize them.
Think about big-name brands, such as Coca-Cola or Target. With both these brands, consumers expect to see bold red with bright white, because they use those colors repeatedly in their marketing campaigns.
7. Use videos
Out of all the visual media, videos are one of the most powerful forms. By 2021, 80 percent of online traffic will be video traffic, mainly via social media networks. People tend to remember video ads better and share them more often. If you aren’t already implementing video into your marketing and designs, now is the time to get on the train.
Lane Bryant shows off their new styles with a video that highlights some of the latest trends. You’ll also find YouTube videos for some of their products featuring various models of different shapes and sizes. These videos allow consumers to see what the outfit looks like on an actual person, instead of on a mannequin or draped flat on a table.
8. Match multiple channels
When planning a marketing campaign, think through the different places the ads appear. The campaign should match, whether it’s on a landing page, in an email offer or on social media. It should look similar on laptops and mobile devices. Take time to design the campaign so everything matches. Keeping the same look throughout helps with brand recognition as well.
9. Choose the right typeface
The typeface you choose can have a big impact on the tone of your marketing campaign. However, it also has to be clear and readable at different sizes. While it might be tempting to choose a fun script font, will the font be readable on smaller screens? Test out the font you’re considering in different locations, on different backgrounds and on various devices to make sure it’s the right match for your campaign.
10. Use big, beautiful images
Images are particularly important on social media. Tweets with images get retweeted 150 percent more than tweets without images. Using high-quality photos with your marketing campaign is a given. Images should show the product from every angle and even in use.
11. Go mobile
Smart designers know that by 2021, targeted mobile advertising will grow to a projected $32.4 billion industry. Designers today take into consideration the fact that most users will access digital advertising on a smaller screen at some point. When you’re designing a marketing campaign, it’s important to keep mobile devices in mind, particularly anything you place on social media.
12. Use geofilters
One of the current buzzwords in marketing is personalization. With the growing popularity of geofilters and more advanced artificial intelligence, consumers want an experience geared to them personally. For example, if you place a post on Snapchat, use geotargeting. For example, if you sell mountain bikes, you might offer a bike-themed Snapchat filter that pops up for your brand whenever people get near a certain bike trail.
13. Study the competition
The last thing you want is a campaign that makes your audience confuse your brand with the competition. Take time to study what your competitors are doing, both on their websites and on social media. You aren’t studying them to copy them, but to figure out how you can be different. What are you offering that they aren’t? What colors are they using, and are they too similar to your own? Anything you can do to differentiate yourself is a positive.
14. Use infographics
Figure out ways to use infographics in your marketing campaigns. Adding an infographic to your website increases traffic by as much as 12 percent. Use statistics to draw the consumer into your marketing campaign by providing useful tips with visual data. You can then share pieces of the infographic on social media with a link back to the full infographic on your site.
If you want a fantastic marketing campaign, plan and think through all the places your ads appear. With a bit of attention to detail, a dash of creativity and determination to stand out from the crowd, your campaigns will be successful.
Bio: Lexie is a graphic designer and writer. Her work is featured on Manta, Marketo, Creative Bloq and many more. Visit her design blog, Design Roast, and connect with her on Twitter @lexieludesigner.