There is a good and bad side to small business marketing.
On the good side, every day creative geniuses are developing new ways we can market our business– think email marketing, social media, Apps, and daily deals sites like Groupon. Not everything will apply to our way of doing business or to how we interact with our customers, but most tactics can help us or at least get us thinking.
And on the other side, marketing is in a constant state of change and we are forever learning.
There is no finish line.
Take social media for example, every day new channels are launched and vying for your audience’s attention.
Marketing is changing so fast that sometimes we walk right past an opportunity. Like I have done for four years.
Here’s the (short) story.
I have a new client in the insurance field, and so as is my practice, I subscribed to industry publications and blogs to learn more about the industry. I recently subscribed to Insurance Journal Online, a bi-weekly publication.
Everything was going along as expected – I entered my email, I received a note to confirm my subscription, I clicked confirm…
But then I was brought to a screen that is not the norm. Instead of the traditional “thank you for subscribing,” I was brought to a welcome page that connected me to helpful resources and (this is important) they showed me exactly how I can use them.
I’ve subscribed to numerous blogs and websites and this is the first time I’ve seen such a helpful confirmation page. Most often, this level of content is shared in a welcome email, and the danger there is that I may never even open that email.
The most successful businesses provide an outstanding customer experience. From the customer’s first stage of awareness to the final stage of advocacy, they have the customer’s needs at the forefront. They have examined every possible interaction with the customer and use each to their full advantage. This is exactly what the Insurance Journal Online has done with their email marketing strategy. They took the mundane and simple subscription process and added value for their clients. It’s not only a step most businesses forget, it’s one most of us haven’t even thought of!
Take a look at the welcome screen.
The Insurance Journal uses social media to build relationships with followers and position the publication as an industry leader. Immediately when a follower subscribes to the Insurance Journal, they are invited to engage on the company’s social media channels. Here’s what you can take away for your own small business.
1. There is a clearly defined target audience (insurance professionals) and the content is tailored to that audience.
While marketers like me may follow their news, I’m not the target audience. Insurance professionals are the audience. To help this target audience, the Insurance Journal has created a social media platform and uses each channel for different purposes. Subscribers can choose what is most valuable to them. This is also a great strategy for segmenting your target audience.
2. What’s in it for me? Subscribers are told specifically how they will benefit from the content on each channel.
Instead of asking subscribers to “join their LinkedIn group,” they share specifically why the subscriber should: to grow your network and reputation. These are two very important goals for an insurance professional. For each social media channel, the Insurance Journal answers the important question, ‘What’s in it for me?’
3. The information is a demonstration of the company’s industry expertise.
Everyone wants to follow a leader, a company that is paving the way. When we look at how the content above is presented, we see by the number of followers on each social media channel that the Insurance Journal is well connected. We also see they share information that will be important for our professional development and useful for our sales efforts.
4. You only get one chance to make a first impression.
Right out of the gate, the Insurance Journal is working to ensure your first impression is a really good one.
With a few tweaks, any business can implement this tactic and will see results. What are your thoughts? If you want ideas for your welcome/confirmation page, meet me in the comments and we can brainstorm together.