Imagine you and a loved one in the kitchen on Thanksgiving, planning to cook a turkey together for the first time. Seems like a daunting task, doesn’t it?
Well, imagine how daunting it would be to do so without a recipe, full of instructions on how to complete the dish. Without actionable steps on what to do, you’ll be left there staring at a naked bird and some spices.
That’s what it’s like when you have a marketing plan without tactics.
Developing a clearly defined marketing strategy is critical for the success of any marketing plan. But while having that larger overarching strategy is important, it’s only as strong as the tactics used to carry it out.
You’ll want to have a comprehensive list of marketing tactics in your marketing plan intended to bolster your strategy.
But remember this isn’t a “one size fits all” approach. Your specific tactics will vary depending on your defined marketing goals, objectives, and strategy.
That said, there are some marketing tactics that make sense for just about any marketing plan. Defined below are the best marketing tactics and what value you can hope to derive from including them as part of your marketing plan.
The Difference Between Marketing Strategy and Marketing Tactics
Simply put: your marketing strategy is a high-level discussion of how you intend to achieve your marketing plan’s goals. Your marketing tactics are how you intend to execute that strategy.
Here’s a basic example using social media (more on that below).
Let’s say you have a marketing plan targeting a Gen Z audience.
An example of a marketing strategy would be, “Leverage platforms used by Gen Z audiences to develop content specifically targeting them.” The tactic would be, “Create content for Instagram and TikTok.”
See how that differs? Strategy is what you plan to do, and tactics are how you plan to do it.
The specific options marketers choose will depend on your ultimate mission of your digital marketing strategy and your marketing budget.
For anyone engaging in digital marketing, social media is almost inevitably going to play a role in what you do. Given that, what’s more important for marketers to focus on is what kind of social media platforms you engage with.
As much as we’d sometimes like to, we can’t develop content for all social media channels. It would simply take too much time.
A better idea is to hyper-focus on the channels that are likely to net the best engagement for you and your campaign. Otherwise, you’ll just be spinning your wheels.
Below is a brief overview of some of the more prominent social networks which you can use to determine if they’re right for your marketing plan:
- Facebook: Despite rumors of Facebook targeting the older crowd, metrics show it is used pretty evenly across the board by people of all ages.
- Twitter: This is where you’ll want to put a piece of content that is text-based – short messaging meant to compel readers.
- Instagram: If you have captivating photographs or infographics, the visually-based medium of Instagram is the place for it.
- TikTok: When you’re looking to target the younger generation, producing short video content for TikTok is a great avenue.
- LinkedIn: Focusing largely on the more professional audience, LinkedIn is chock full of thought leadership content. Have a reaction to a white paper in your industry? LinkedIn is the best place to discuss it.
These are just five examples, and there are plenty more available. But beyond not being able to produce content for all platforms due to time constraints, you also probably wouldn’t want to produce content for all of them.
Pick the platforms with the content style that your audience is most likely to engage with, and start there.
In line with your social media efforts, you may also find it valuable to enter into partnerships with influencers. An influencer is anyone on a social media platform who has a significant following that you can partner with to promote your brand.
When you hear the term influencer, your mind may move toward fashion models or other young, popular people on Instagram. But an influencer is pretty much anyone who commands attention and followers on an often-used platform.
Think of someone like Gary Vaynerchuk, who provides tips on building businesses and/or a following online. No matter what kind of product or service you have, there’s an influencer who could be the right fit for you.
Have you ever come across a blog post that you found yourself bookmarking for later or remarking about how useful it was? You likely just read something developed from a content marketing standpoint.
Content marketing is the practice of developing valuable content as a way to promote a product or service.
The content shouldn’t be 100% promotional. In fact, promoting the product should be secondary to giving the viewer information they find helpful.
Content marketing helps your audience associate you with expertise in your field. It can help build brand awareness and serve as a source of lead generation.
You can include backlinks in your blog posts directing your audience to other blog posts you’ve developed. You can contact popular bloggers to pinch-hit for a guest post, drawing in their audience as well.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Another valuable tactic is search engine optimization or SEO. This is the practice of looking to attract internet search engine users to your website via targeted keywords.
One of the best ways to do this is through blogging. After you’ve done some initial keyword research, you can then develop blog content that answers questions your target audience is asking via the internet.
That’s one of the advantages of having a thorough, well-developed blog. Besides being a place to establish you as an authority within your field, you can also get the attention of the people you’re looking to appeal to.
Doing this effectively means understanding what keywords to look for as well as how to rank on popular search engines such as Google. This isn’t easy in and of itself, which is why partnering with a marketing team that can help you optimize your content creation is helpful.
You can also use SEO to speak to your audience via your website or, more specifically, your landing page.
While social media and blogs are important, your website is the primary tool you’ll use to communicate with your audience via the internet. It’s where you’re going to drive people and how they’ll engage with you.
That’s why having a landing page that converts viewers to customers is so critical to your online marketing success.
Your landing page is the area on your website where you want people to come to find out more about your product or service. It will include information about your offering as well as a call-to-action (CTA) prompting them to take the next step in doing business with you from an e-commerce perspective.
While you may feel the urge to include a lot of cool bells and whistles on your landing page, strive to keep this simple. The fewer roadblocks you can put up between your potential customer and them making the decision to buy from you, the better conversion rates.
Your landing page should state in simple terms what it is you offer, how it solves your target audience’s problem, and how they can easily get it.
Your website may have multiple pages intended to inform or persuade your reader, but your landing page is the ultimate destination you want them to end up at.
Another item you’ll likely want to include on your landing page? How to sign up for your email list.
Many of the tactics mentioned above could be thought of as reactive. You’re setting up content meant to attract users, whether it’s on social media or a well-written blog post.
Email marketing is a bit more proactive. It’s the practice of contacting your established email list subscribers to give them information.
You should always aim to provide value via your email marketing. That value can come in the form of information that your audience finds useful or information on your product or service.
Offering a discount or special on any of your rates coming up? An email is a perfect way to let your customers know.
Do you know why email marketing is so useful? It’s because everyone still checks their email.
Think about it. It’s harder to predict what social media sites someone will use, what Facebook ads will be effective, or how often they’ll check your blog or website.
But email? That’s something that they’ll always refer to on a daily basis.
It also works. According to HubSpot, email generates $38 for every $1 spent.
Email marketing isn’t necessarily easy. You’ll have to know how to build your email list and master topics such as sequencing and A/B testing.
But it is absolutely worth it to master it as part of a multi-channel approach to your content.
While it’s crucial to understand these marketing tactics and how they work, your marketing efforts will only be as strong as your ability to execute. In that regard, Welcome can help.
Our marketing software makes it easier than ever to design, implement, and execute winning marketing campaigns. For more on how we can help, contact us today.