9 little-known ways to grow your marketing organically
Are you looking to grow your marketing organically?
9 little-known ways to grow your marketing organically
1. Stoke your audience’s curiosity
I know you’ve heard the all-time famous quote Content is king so many times that it probably lost its meaning.
Do you know who the author of this quote is?
It is Bill Gates who, in a 1996 essay, describes the future of the Internet as a marketplace for content.
Back then, Content is king was referring to websites having quality content in order to attract and retain customers.
Today, the quote has been expanded to include all content produced by a brand and published on the website, social media platforms, emails etc.
And the quote is ever more true: content is the engine that powers your marketing efforts.
Do you want more followers?
Content will get them for you.
Do you want to increase your engagement rate?
Content will help you achieve this.
Do you want more leads?
Content will attract more leads for your brand.
But the quote is incomplete because not any content supports your marketing efforts, it should be updated as follows:
Relevant content to your audience is king.
What does relevant content mean?
Relevant content means content that meets these 3 criteria:
- It helps your audience get better at their jobs;
- It exceeds your audience’s expectations;
- It stokes the curiosity of your followers.
How to write relevant content?
First of all, you need to have an in-depth knowledge of your customer’s profile or buyer persona.
What are their challenges, pain points, goals and aspirations? Write them down.
Then you need to know what your brand is about: products, services, mission, brand values and vision.
How can your brand help your buyer persona overcome their challenges, solve their pain points or support them achieve their goals? Through your products and services. Your website copy should communicate this clearly and concisely.
How about on social media?
What type of content helps your followers in their job or surprises and awes them?
The goal of all content on social media is to position your brand as the most valuable resource for your followers’ needs.
To help them get better at their jobs, curate lists of digital tools, apps or platforms.
To help them achieve their goals and aspirations, write how-to content, tips & tricks.
To make them go I didn’t know that, how interesting!, approach a specific topic from your brand’s point of view, a point of view which reflects your brand’s mission and values.
The keyword here is the point of view. There may be thousands of pieces of content on a specific topic, but your brand’s point of view on this topic is unique therefore fresh and interesting.
Here’s an example.
Let’s take three different brands (Dove, Xiaomi, H&M) looking to target women aged 25-35 going on vacation. Dove would produce content on skincare recommendations for travel, Xiaomi would produce content on how to use Xiaomi smartphones to take the best holiday pictures and H&M would produce content on travelling attire that is both comfortable, multifunctional and stylish. And there you have it: three different points of view on the same subject.
2. Boost your brand awareness by creating campaigns for International Days
There are 365 days in a year and every day has been recognized as an international dedication or international anniversary to observe issues of international interest, concern or awareness.
There are the famous and popular international days (International Labour Day or Mother’s Day), then there are international days created to drive awareness to public health concerns (World Multiple Sclerosis Day, World AIDS Vaccine Day) and then there are the weird and funny international days that are not as widely recognized as the rest (Bike-to-work Day, World Redhead Day).
Choose the days that are aligned with your brand’s values, mission and vision. Mark them on your yearly marketing calendar and prepare content to celebrate them from your brand’s point of view.
Here’s an example:
To celebrate World Earth Day, we produced a piece of video content that listed five brands taking steps to minimize their impact on the environment: Lego, BMW, Starbucks, Nike and Amazon.
3. Use the pull marketing strategy
Lead generation is the process of attracting prospects who show interest in your brand’s products and services.
The best way to generate leads is through inbound marketing.
Inbound marketing is a marketing strategy that is focused on attracting customers through relevant and helpful content and adding value at every stage in your customer’s buying journey.
If your company is using leaflets, catalogues, outdoor billboards, media, print and digital advertising or cold calling, then your company uses outbound marketing to generate leads, also known as the push marketing strategy.
The company using inbound marketing draws in and influences its prospects. It wins them over with strategies that help the company build trust and position itself as the authority of its field. And it’s easier for the respective company to generate leads and turn them into customers: they already know its products or services. This company is using the pull marketing strategy.
Why should you use inbound marketing?
Here are the main benefits:
- The cost/lead is 61% less than cost/lead generated through outbound marketing;
- It takes between 4 to 6 months for an inbound marketing strategy to bring results;
- It’s easier for your company to close the leads because they are warmer than the leads generated through outbound marketing.
4. Empower your email subscribers
Email marketing done right outperforms social media in terms of reach, CTR, conversion rate and ROI.
And by outperforming ROI I mean 42:1 which means for every dollar spent, your company’s return is 42 dollars.
To get this high of an ROI, you need to focus on the words done right.
First, go back to your customer persona file and update it with the latest behaviour changes. Be very specific on what your customers need to meet their goals and outline how your brand will help them.
Of course, your email marketing strategy should include sales-focused emails, but maintain a balance between sales content and empowering content.
If you don’t know what that balance is, you can start with the 80-20 rule of thumb: 20% sales content and 80% empowering content.
Once you have identified what empowering content looks like for your customers, invest your resources into designing the ways in which to deliver that content: infographics, video, expert quotes, listicles, how-tos, links to in-depth articles etc.
Find a way in line with your brand goals to reward your most engaged subscribers.
Also, create the opportunity for your subscribers to get to know each other. The end objective of your email marketing strategy is to empower your subscribers individually and transform them into a community.
One of this year’s top acquisitions is HubSpot buying The Hustle, a media company whose newsletter reaches over 1.5 million subscribers each day with the latest tech and business news.
Why did HubSpot, a full platform of marketing, sales, customer service, and CRM software and one of the largest marketing and sales content producers buy a media company?
Here’s what they said:
Today, B2B brands can be a daily part of their customers’ lives before they even use their product. They can become a daily source of education and information for their customers. They can grow a large audience for that content by creating it for the people who buy their product and the many more who will use it. They can earn the attention of their audience by continually creating value for them.
5. Leverage the power of cultural events
Game of Thrones is one of HBO’s greatest hits with record-breaking viewership worldwide. The series spanned over a decade and quickly became a cultural phenomenon creating a host of memes, gifs, quotes and so on.
There are many blog articles highlighting valuable lessons on leadership and personal growth and development from the beloved TV series.
When the last episode of Game of Thrones aired in 2019, every social media platform was abuzz with millions of pieces of content focused on the series.
A successful marketer stays up to date on what’s happening on the global and local cultural landscape and if the said cultural event is aligned with the brand’s mission and values, produces valuable content for the brand’s customers from a unique perspective.
To date, the biggest cultural event of 2021 is Friends: The Reunion, a 99-min special where the cast of the 90s popular show Friends come together for the first time in 17 years.
HBO has revealed that the special has crossed 1 million views on the platform. Young and old fans of the show took to social media to show their love and appreciation.
On Instagram #friendstvshow alone has 1 million posts.
Are your customers fans of Friends? Can your brand create Friends-focused content for them?
6. Keep your followers engaged
Writing content on a specific topic in the form of a series provides many benefits for your audience and your brand.
The content series helps your brand stay top of mind with its audience and the audience learns what to expect from this type of content.
If the content is relevant and interesting, you have a winner because it helps the marketer achieve one of the most important goals in marketing: to influence behaviour.
7. Landing pages with downloadable content
Another way to grow your marketing organically is to deliver content in a downloadable format.
Rewrite, redesign and pack your best content as a PDF file.
Give the bundle pack in exchange for your customer’s email and voila!, you’ve set up shop on their PC or mobile.
Having your content saved is a great way to boost brand awareness, establish yourself as a valuable resource and remain top-of-mind.
8. Use the latest features from social media
The main goal of any social media platform is to keep its users engaged for longer periods of time.
To achieve this goal, all social media companies keep innovating and creating new features and tools.
Apart from the obvious benefit of using them as a brand (new ways to engage with your followers), these new features come with a second advantage: the company boosts them to increase usage rate and popularity.
Why not give them a run for their money?
9. Polls in groups
Groups are a great tool for every marketer looking to increase brand awareness organically.
I found conducting polls in Facebook and LinkedIn Groups especially useful.
All you have to do is select the questions carefully.
Find topics that are of interest to both your brand and your group members (questions about products and services), but also try to ask questions that help you understand more about their challenges, their pain points and what they expect from your brand.
Once you have enough relevant answers, you now know what content to post in groups.
Join the Conversation
We’d love to hear what you have to say.
Meet Joe Escobedo, One of Singapore’s Brand Minds
Recognized as one of the “Top 20 Content Marketers” worldwide and awarded the “Most Influential Global Marketing Leader” at the World Marketing Congress, Joe has helped countless organizations and executives transform from relative unknowns to superheroes online. He has also created and led successful digital marketing, branding and PR campaigns for both startups and Fortune 500 firms. He is a contributor for both Forbes and the HuffPost, as well as an award-winning speaker. His articles, interviews and talks have been read or heard by nearly one million people.
What is the significance of Joe Escobedo “The Brand Builder” and what is the story behind it?
“The Brand Builder” is a moniker given to me by my colleagues when we were trying to create ‘superhero’ names for the team.
You worked with companies from U.S., China and Singapore, which market did you like the most and why so?
The safe answer would be Singapore, but my five years in the gauntlet known as China made me what I am today. It taught me humility and the importance of guanxi (relationships).
Name one situation that made you want to quit and change your career.
I want to learn something everyday so there were times in my career where I felt like I wasn’t learning anything new or pushing myself hard enough. It’s during those times that I’ve transitioned to a completely new field or market. Sometimes I’ve failed miserably, but I learned from each experience and have grown from it.
Name one situation that made you want to go forward.
I’m driven when people tell me I can’t do something. I’ve been told that more times than I can count throughout my career. During those times, I think in my head, “hold on a second and watch this!”
What do you think are the most difficult challenges marketeers have to face in Asian markets nowadays?
Taking a long-term view. Too often, global headquarters look to the regional office in Asia and say, “You’re our growth engine now so you should be growing at a double-digit rate.” The problem with that is that it forces marketers to look only at the month ahead, rather than what’s going to rise up and disrupt their industry next year.
Investment matters. If you would invest in one particular business field nowadays. What would that be?
If I were looking for some quick cash, I’d say anything A.I. related. But I generally play the long game so I’d invest in things people always need, like food and toilet paper.
If you could change something about Singapore’s marketing community to improve it in any way what would that be?
I’d encourage the Community to take risks and invest more in digital. An ad plastered over the MRT may look great but what’s the return on your investment?
What made you settle down in Singapore?
The short answer: love. I followed my wife who received a job offer before I did.
Meet Joe Escobedo, The Man behind the suit
Name one good habit that helps you deal with your active life.
Reading to my daughter, because in that moment, I’m not Joe “The Brand Builder.” I’m whichever character I’m reading in the book.
Name one bad habit you can’t quit.
Speed walking. I tend to walk like I’m always 15 minutes late to a meeting.
If you could be anything else but a marketing leader, what would you be?
In another life, I would’ve been a film director. I wrote, directed and edited a sketch comedy movie when I was in college. I loved the experience and think I could’ve been a third-rate Christopher Nolan.
You are recognized as “One of the Most Influential Global Marketing Leaders”. What’s your favorite movie of a global marketing leader?
Don’t know if it’s about a global marketing leader per se, but Game of Thrones. After over a decade as a marketer, I see too many similarities between that show and the marketing world, albeit slightly less violent. For instances, strong alliances with the “right” groups can help you get closer to the corporate Iron Throne.
Tell us your favorite book. What’s the best thing you learned from it?
“How To Win Friends & Influence People,” by Dale Carnegie. I’ve read the book at least 10 times and everytime I ‘learn’ something new. My favorite lesson is about putting yourself in the other’s shoes – thinking about what they would want rather than what you’d want them to do.
Name the most important value you have.
Grit. It’s the only reason I’m still around and kickin’ in the professional world. Because even when I get battered to the ground, I claw my way back up. It’s an invaluable trait for any marketer or entrepreneur.
Name the most important value a leader should have.
Empathy. Every boss wants to make the most profit they can but they can only do so with a strong team behind them. And the only way to build and retain a strong team is to empathize with your staff’s situation. If they get demotivated because a client scolded them, then give them a pep talk. If there are unseen circumstances that caused them to miss a deadline then be understanding to their situation.
If you could compare your journey as an entrepreneur with a song, what song would you choose?
“Highway To Hell.” Just kidding! Instead of a song, my journey can be best described by “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost. From my move to China when I was 22, my career has been characterized by these lines: “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.”
Tell us the funniest experience you had this year related to your work.
Some of the funniest moments during the past year happen behind-the-scenes. For instance, we use to have “Happy Friday” dance parties at my company. And I’m not one to brag but my rendition of “Hotline Bling” by Drake stole the show.
If you would give our readers one advice from your professional experience, what would that advice be?
To quote the great Conan O’Brien, “If you work really hard, and you’re kind, amazing things will happen.” I truly believe that. Because everyone wants to help the hardworking nice guy or gal.
What is your biggest expectation for the Brand Minds ASIA event?
I’m looking forward to seeing Gary V walk on stage to a deafening cheer, unleash some savage knowledge and drop the mic.