The following is written by Erin Everhart. Originally from Atlanta but born and bred a University of Florida Gator, Erin is an avid tennis player, music nerd, and one of the few people who actually likes grammar. Tweet her @erinever.
Remember when marketing and selling were easy?
One message, one medium, one thing to worry about? Yeah, me neither. I’m young, having only been in web marketing and web development side of things for two years, so it’s foreign to me when people talk about the “good ol’ days.” But when you have an online marketing team spreading one message and your offline sales team building relationships with another message, you’re left with no one really knowing anything about what you’re trying to do. In marketing speak, we call that a big hot mess. Hopefully, this can prevent some of that mess from happening.
Side note: If you’re looking to sync individual online and offline marketing campaigns, Dana Zemack wrote a great article on Mashable that is a must read.
First: Create a Unified Message
We recently went through a complete rebranding with a new website and a new marketing message to accompany it. This new messaging needed to be filtered to a lot of different channels: our website, all of our social media accounts, public relations, print materials, sales templates, and more. But we stared with the most important: Our team.
Before we finalized anything, we made sure that everyone in our company was behind it. When they were, it made for a smooth transition to our channels because people were excited about it.
Second: Deliver It Correctly
It’s easy to think that you have two different audiences when it comes to online marketing and offline selling. Wrong. More often than not, you have the same audience who want to digest and take in information in two different ways.
When people are connecting with you online, there’s very little context to what it’s behind. They see a cool video you did on YouTube, the great article you wrote on Mashable or an interesting question you posed on Facebook. They may or may not know what your company actually does.
Instead of littering your posts with keywords or making it purely self-promotional, drive them back to your website that gives them the opportunity to learn more about what you’re doing.
What About My Sales Team?
With your offline strategies, a lot of that falls on your sales team. They’re responsible for making those offline relationships that brings in the majority of the business. If they don’t match up with your social media or blogging tactics, it can be chaos.
Problem is, a lot of times, it’s hard to see where your shortcomings because you’re in the thick of it all. You get stuck in your ways, assuming that there’s only one way to do it. We were in that exact same position and were able to snap out of it by bringing in an outsider. We bought in Greta Schulz, a corporate and small business sales consultant, who changed the thinking from “how do we acquire business” versus “why do we acquire business.”
It also makes my job easier because they’re better in tune to figure out what a client actually needs from social media, rather than saying to that client, “Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Quora and Pinterest will all earn you bucket loads of customers.” (Yes, some people still think like that: Thankfully no one in our company does anymore.)
And when you get that client who comes in from your Mashable article or the funny video on YouTube (both true stories), that’s when you know your messages are finally synced.
What are some other ways to ensure your online marketing and offline selling play nice?