When I was a kid, Valentine’s Day was one of my favorite days of the year. I would spend hours decorating my little brown paper bag before taping it to my desk at school on the big day. There was always nervous excitement and uncertainty. Would I get lots of cards from my friends? Would I get the good candy? Or would I get a bunch of rocks?
Marketing to your members and prospects in today’s uncertain times is a lot like my Valentine’s Day bag. You make plans, put in effort, and anticipate good results. But sometimes you get more rocks than chocolates.
The Effects of Uncertainty
Even if your organization isn’t directly involved in political or economic discussions, your members and prospects are affected by uncertainty. As a result, they might hesitate to attend your events, join your organization, engage with your offerings, or purchase your products.
What’s more, heightened privacy concerns mean people are less likely to give you their email addresses. They’re also generally fed up with all the marketing noise that bombards them daily. You simply can’t continue the same old tactics if you want to reach your goals. It’s time to reshape your marketing to best serve your base.
A better strategy is holistic digital marketing that combines high-value content with drip and nurture campaigns. This approach builds trust with your audience over time and moves them along a customer journey from awareness to consideration to decision.
Follow these six steps to mitigate uncertainty and drive conversions with holistic digital marketing.
1. Craft your brand stories
People relate to other people better than to organizations. They value third-party endorsements over marketing messages any day. A great way to get attention and engage your base is to showcase other humans who benefit from your work.
Interview your most enthusiastic members. Ask them pointed questions:
- Why join now?
- What is the ROI of joining?
- What is the biggest takeaway of being a member?
Craft these stories with simple, conversational language. Broadcast them through paid and organic social media, landing pages, and email campaigns to build trust and reinforce the value of your organization.
2. Consider the customer journey
Even the best message can be unsuccessful if people aren’t ready to hear it. Consider where your prospects are in the customer journey BEFORE you sketch out your marketing plan. Ask yourself:
- Have they ever heard of your organization?
- Are they familiar with your products and services?
- What are their pain points?
- How urgent are their needs?
Prospects who are not very familiar with your organization will likely need some high-level introductory communications at first. Others who are ready to purchase might need more in-depth content to help them make a decision.
3. Identify brand breaks
A brand break is when some part of your culture or marketing doesn’t align with your core brand. Do your emails have a similar look and feel as your website? Is your social media voice the same as your direct mail voice? Is your internal culture aligned with your external communications? Aim for continuity across channels. If you have too many brand breaks, you’ll lose people along the customer journey.
4. Prove the ROI of your offerings
People often need hard numbers to justify paying your dues and attending your events. Look for any opportunity to quantify the value of your products and services to prove they are a worthy investment.
- Do your products save members money? How much?
- Does your organization offer discounts on other products and services? How much?
- Do you facilitate connections that lead to new business or new revenue streams? What is the potential revenue? Do you have a case story to cite as a concrete example?
5. Test and monitor
Digital marketing makes it especially easy to test and track the success of your efforts. You can measure web visitors, engagement with your content, form submissions, likes, shares, and lots more. Determine which metrics are most important to your campaign goals before you launch a promotion. For example, website visitors might be more important in raising brand awareness. Form submissions might matter more if you’re building a prospect list.
6. Fix areas with low conversions
Digital marketing also makes it easy to adjust campaigns on the fly, for example, by changing the offer, messaging, image, or platform. If your landing page receives a lot of traffic but few people fill out the form, this could be an indication of a brand break or poor alignment with the customer journey. For the most scientific testing, fix only one variable at a time.
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