According to Marketing Maven Heidi Cohen, only 2.85 percent of inbound traffic comes from any one social media outlet. On the other hand, search nabs 35% of the traffic. Add Grant McDougall (he’s a managing partner at Rosetta) and his 2013 prognostications and you have an urgent call for intensively “customer obsessed” creative marketing.
Facebook doesn't tell its users what to do. They use it to get more of the stuff that already interests them. And, along with search analytics, it can help you discover what that is.
According to McDougall, a successful interactive marketing strategy will focus on “learning more about customers at every touch point.”
This makes sense as interactive marketing is much more about building relationships with customers than about simple transactions or product marketing. Finding out what customers want—what motivates them—is the key to success, and the aim of these tips for a creative marketing plan.
- Use social media to build relationships, not broadcast ads. Social media ads do precious little for ROI, but using social media to enhance existing customer relationships and encourage those customers to share your successes with their friends is critical.
- Develop proprietary video content and graphic media that can be shared across social media platforms such as YouTube, Pinterest, Facebook, etc. Show the benefits of your products or services in ways that entice your followers to share and potential customers to enter the conversation.
- Have a mobile marketing strategy. By the end of the year, Google says more people will be searching for product information via their smartphones than their desktops. Make sure your marketing efforts can easily cross platforms for the widest reach.
- Go for the gut to create viral content. Professors Katherine L. Milkman and Jonah Berger from Wharton published fascinating research showing that emotional, surprising and positive content significantly boosts social media sharing.
- Don’t forget email. Take your social media connections a step further and build an email list that will enable continuing discussion, but avoid “buy now” gimmickry to which customers are naturally averse.
- Reevaluate your SEO strategy. With search still bringing in a hefty chunk of traffic, you need to be aware of how all of your content (website, mobile, social) impacts your search results.
Above all, realize that people use social media to socialize first and go shopping somewhere much further down the list. So be social, share pictures (which are audience magnets) and foster relationships. As McDougall emphasizes, a successful interactive marketing strategy is built up by companies with a passion for their customers that shows across all media platforms.