Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Don't Have a Marketing Team? Build One Out of Freelancers

In my experience, organizations address their marketing needs in a few basic ways. On the enterprise level, big companies with deep pockets simply dedicate a chunk of their full-time payroll budget to the creation and maintenance of a complete, permanent marketing team. Way over on the other end of the spectrum, "solopreneurs" and cashed-strapped startups take a DIY approach despite a crippling lack of marketing knowledge or experience. In the vast middle of the pack, you'll find companies of all sizes entrusting their marketing strategies and campaigns to turnkey marketing agencies -- a choice that certainly solves the problem in one fell swoop, but at the potential cost of your company's creative and financial flexibility.

If none of those options works for you, then what's left? You can assemble your own marketing team, not as permanent employees, but from a pool of freelancers who can collaborate on promoting your brand. Here are a few key players you'll need, bearing in mind that some of them may offer more than one of the services noted below. (Even better, right?)

Marketing Coordinator - An intelligent, organized marketing coordinator should be the first professional you add to your stable of freelancers. This person understands how to devise and implement marketing strategies at the highest levels, issuing marching orders to all the other creative professionals on the team. Your marketing coordinator maintains your editorial calendar, selects specific freelancers for specific projects, and makes sure that all your marketing content conforms to your overall brand vision and image.

Web Developer/Designer - Web developers build the core structure and functionality of websites, while web designers provide the look, feel, and user experience necessary to convert visitors into customers. You can find creative talent capable of both jobs, or you can bring together specialists in one or the other. This expertise not only saves you the time and expense of trying to create your own site from a template; it also ensures that your site will continue to receive timely updates in response to the ever-changing demands of the Internet marketplace.

Social Media Specialist - You've got to take advantage of a strong social media presence if you want to keep your brand in front of the right eyeballs at all times. Unfortunately, the sheer variety of social media platforms, channels, and possible strategies can leave your head spinning. A social media specialist can examine the available options, create a social media strategy for your business (modifying it over time as needed) and then keep those channels as busy and attractive as possible.

Graphic Designer - What does your brand look like? Make friends with the right freelance graphic designer, and the answer to this question will never be mysterious, confusing, or self-contradictory. Ideally, you want a seasoned professional who can provide you with customized logo design services while also creating a unified, overarching visual identity for your organization, from the color scheme on your letterhead to the banners and fonts on your website.

Copywriter - You knew I'd make the list sooner or later, didn't you? A skilled freelance copywriter can generate the marketing content you need so you don't have to labor over this time-consuming task yourself. Avoid the part-timers and dilettantes in favor of full-time professionals with several years of experience under their belts. You can work with more than one copywriter as long as you've got that marketing coordinator in place, making assignments and enforcing an overall consistency of tone and style.

So there's your starter list for building a bullpen of creative marketing freelancers. All you need to do now is find them -- and I can help with that, while also providing you with the written content your marketing needs. Let's talk about it!

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

3 Tips for Creating Holiday Marketing Content

When the word "holiday" comes to mind, does your mind automatically fast-forward to the end of the calendar year? The holiday season may have good reason to hold this grip on the public consciousness due to the mad rush of buying and selling clustered around November and December. However, smart business owners and marketers recognize their opportunities for building marketing campaigns around the many specific holidays, large and small, that pop up throughout the year. Here are three quick tips to get you thinking about your holiday marketing strategies and help you make the most of those special occasions.

1. Think About Your Target Market

Some holidays seem to affect practically everyone, while others might have special significance for specific populations. For example, Independence Day is a big deal across the U.S., but your customers in the UK or Japan probably couldn't care less about it. Cinco de Mayo holds a special place in the hearts of the Mexican-American population, especially here in Texas. Mardi Gras is an important holiday, not just for New Orleans alcoholics, but for observant Catholics in general. 

The calendar is stuffed with days that commemorate major achievements or promote awareness for specific pockets of individuals. Ask yourself which of these holidays might have a special meaning for the buyers of your products and services. Then latch onto those days for dear life, dream up special promotions for them, and market them with appropriately compelling content.

2. Put Your Brand's Unique Spin on the Holiday

Don't fall into the trap of creating generic, forgettable marketing campaigns for your chosen holidays. This danger can prove especially tricky for those holidays that always seem to spur the same consumer responses. Say you sell flowers and Valentine's Day is approaching. How many of your competitors will produce essentially identical offers, marketed with the same bland sentiments? This might be your cue to go in a different direction by employing a different tone, going for a different emotional response, or promoting a somewhat different gift package than the norm.

Whether you're running a marketing push for Mother's Day, Father's Day, Labor Day, or whatever other day matters to your audience, make sure that your brand's inimitable style shines through. Never stop reminding those individuals or businesses of the qualities that make your brand what it is. The holiday may take the center ring, but you're still the ringmaster.

3. Start Early!

We often complain about seeing images of Santa Claus and reindeer the day after Halloween, and not without reason. Even so, don't those images get you thinking about Christmas -- and mightn't those thoughts get you to start filling out your holiday shopping list? If that marketing waited until the before Christmas to make its appearance, would it make any difference to your buying behavior?

Proper holiday marketing requires advance planning and early implementation. Early marketing touches might drop little hints about the upcoming holiday, with later ones revealing more and more details about your special offers and events. You have to build the excitement and awareness over time -- so there's no time like the present to lay out your strategy. Don't forget that high-quality marketing content also takes a certain amount of time and effort to complete. Contact your professional marketing copywriter to discuss ideas and get that content going!