By Rebecca Barnes, Publisher, Prince William Living
Are you marketing in layers? We bet no one has ever asked you that. But you really need to be. If you don’t
understand what we mean, fear not. You can learn what layered marketing is and begin to implement it immediately, creating greater success for your business.
What is Layered Marketing?
Layered marketing is using multiple “vehicles” to get your branding and message across. A vehicle can be a piece of content: a social media post, an ad, an article or something else you create to get your potential customers’ attention.
Why do you need so many vehicles? You might have heard that statistically, it takes seven to 12 “touches” to encourage someone to take action. You get those touches through layered marketing.
To enhance your understanding, let’s think about a dinner party. Would you prefer a meal where you are served one option only or a buffet of choices?
We bet if you didn’t care for that main dish, you’d be waving your hands in favor of the multiple options on the buffet. By adopting a layered marketing plan, you’re not assuming that your customers will be sitting in one place and consume the one dish you are serving. Instead, you wisely realize that your audience is milling about and opting for a variety of choices. They are in doctors’ offices reading local publications, perusing Facebook, tweeting on Twitter, attending community events, etc.
Now back to the vehicles metaphor. You should be “driving” several vehicles. Here’s how to create your fleet.
How to Implement a Layered Marketing Approach
As we said, there are a variety of ways to touch your potential customers, getting them to take action. Action might mean different things to different business owners. For some, it means getting someone to fill out a form. For others, it might mean setting up a call. Still others might want to draw people into their store. Here are some ways people get those touches in. These are the vehicles of layered marketing.
Share your vision and mission, create branding and achieve your goals through your social media program. How? First, create a content marketing plan. Identify which channels you need to be on. Create topics and hashtag campaigns based on goals. Then post every day. Be consistent, be professional and be engaging if
you want to succeed.
Sponsored Content and Press Releases
A press release is an official statement issued to news media. Press releases provide information on a particular newsworthy topic. It is not a sales pitch, advertising or call for donations, and it should have a wider, more journalistic appeal. A press release should encourage a publisher to publish the release his or herself or perhaps write a story on the topic.
Sponsored content could be articles, columns or stories published online or in print by a publisher or media outlet. Generally, these articles are informational or educational (how-tos, tips, etc.) Sponsored content is not a sale pitch or advertising, nor is it fake news. It is useful content sponsored by an organization to promote brand recognition while creating value
How do you take advantage of these options? First, generate a press list. Then, write the press release or article (hire someone to do this if necessary). Finally, submit items to press and/or pay to have the content published.
Blogs and other writing should be part of your larger content marketing plan. They provide space for you to express your mission and message fully, supporting search engine optimization, or SEO, if done correctly. This kind of content positions you as an expert in your field. Again, these aren’t sales pitches. You should be offering value to your audience by developing topics while promoting ideas that support your business goals.
To blog successfully, create a content calendar. Then write, publish and share articles encouraging readers to take action. Hire someone to do this if necessary.
Video can be a powerful tool for sharing your mission and message while spurring the audience to act. A 30- or 60-second video is short enough to maintain attention, long enough to express a message.
Scripts provide the master plan for a video. A well-written script derived from your content marketing materials creates video flow and provides for quality captioning (a necessity with video).
Newsletters and Email
Email marketing has made a comeback. That means you need a professional newsletter and/or regular email blast to draw customers in, build a following and keep prospects informed. Newsletters are best sent out on a predictable basis and include high-quality content and attractive layouts to capture the attention of your busy readers.
How do you get it done? Create the newsletter (or hire someone to do it) on a platform designed to reach numerous contacts. Then, build and maintain a healthy email list. Use your newsletter to highlight donors, board members, employees and volunteers to help capture audience interest and encourage readers to share. Be sure to review open and click rates to help shape future meaningful content.
Print and Online Ads
Most everyone will recognize ads as a brief notice or announcement in a public medium promoting a product, service or event. Ads support marketing goals but are different from the kind of content vehicles we’ve been discussing, which are more detailed.
There is a myth that print advertising is dead. This is definitely a myth. Print advertising can be highly effective for branding and name recognition, depending on the product, service and audience. Online ads support brand recognition, internet presence, SEO and content marketing by linking and using keywords.
eBooks and Downloadables
Many of us have been on websites that say, “Complete this form and receive our free report.” This is a great way to offer useful giveaways to entice customers to sign up for your email list. Content like this can also be superb credibility builders and SEO generators.
How do you create eBooks and downloadables? First, identify your overall goal and call to action. Then, identify what you have to say that would interest others. Next, write or hire someone to write the content. Finally, distribute the piece strategically and consistently.
The great thing about all this content is you can integrate various types of content and the various vehicles. Video can be used in your digital newsletters, blogs or website content. Catchy social media posts paired with video can pique followers’ interest and lure potential customers to view your well-scripted video. Blogs
can be strung together to create eBooks that include your ads. The combinations are limitless.
Want to learn more about layered marketing and how easy it can be to plan your strategy and stick within your budget? Email Rebecca Barnes at [email protected] and receive the kind of information you need to succeed in your business.