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As I’ve promised in the last lesson, here we’ll focus on the short and long-term benefits of expectation marketing.
We will also concentrate on some of the most common mistakes. This way you can keep in mind not to make them in your efforts of implementing this strategy.
To better understand each case, I will present the examples and the connected mistake you should avoid in parallel. So let’s start with the immediate changes you will see.
The Short-Term Outcome of Expectation Marketing
One of the first things that change with this strategy, even before publishing the first article, is your team’s productivity. If you’re applying it, from start to finish, with your team, you’ll see a vast improvement in the way you work.
At Squirrly we saw this for the first time in 2015. Everybody on our marketing team had a clear idea of what they had to do. If they felt they finished all their tasks, they knew of the upcoming articles that needed to be written.
It was obvious what we promoted and where. It was also easy to divide the work and make sure we had a constant flow of content published on our site.
Now the biggest mistake you can make at this point, and we’ve seen this in some other startup marketing teams is to apply only half of the strategy. What this means is that they saw that posting consistently helped their site and brand.
So they added to their team’s KPIs all that would show they had a good Expectation Marketing Strategy:
- Publish one good article a week on their blog
- Post 5-10 Tweets a day
- Post once a day on all Social Media profiles they have
- Engage on all profiles
- Have a 70%-30% ratio between curated content and self-promoting content.
But they hadn’t implemented a way to manage and keep track of it properly. Added to the fact that this wasn’t the only KPIs the team had, it made them more disorganized than before.
They were trying to make everything happen at the same time. The teams also didn’t take a chance to organize and create the content in advance correctly.
They were just barely creating content from week to week to post as much as they needed. Not to fall into the same trap you need to follow the whole strategy. You can have access to the full materials and the kit with structure files by pre-ordering our book.
Plan and create content at least one month in advance.
The second advantage you’ll see from this plan will be the perception of your audience that you are an active brand. This aspect will take a few weeks, maybe even the first month of publishing the articles but it will be the first change in your audience’s mind.
This aspect is important in the digital marketing world, but it is also hard to track. Some benefits you might start seeing are:
- Reactions to your Social Media posts
- Shares to your articles
- A steady increase in followers on Social Media
- New subscribers to your email lists
- Comments on your articles
- Emails and phone calls that reference the topic or the articles you’ve published.
You might only see some of them, and as it can manifest in different ways, you might not be able to recognize it as the advantages of strategy.
In Philipp‘s case, it brought him comments to his articles. But this shows several things.
First, it confirms that there is an audience that reads and enjoys the content.
Second, that they are interested in the brand and they want to interact with it.
Third, that they will find a way to come back to that content. It can happen in different ways. It can be a notification they get that the conversation has gone further, or they bookmark the article for a second read, or they might even pin your article to a Pinterest board.
Now the most common mistake teams make in this expectation marketing aspect is that they aren’t consistent. Especially across their channels. It’s great that you have an active blog, but that isn’t everything.
When your audience sees you post articles, but you have a Twitter profile that has not posted content since six months ago, it makes them not trust your brand.
Now I’m not saying that your audience will check every one of your channels, but rather they will check 2-3. Your site is one of them, and next will be the Social Media platform they use the most.
And having a dormant profile will cost you more than not having a profile on their favourite platform.
To avoid this mistake yourself research different articles you can share from your profiles. If you don’t know where to start with this step, let us know.
The Long-Term Results for Your Business
If you apply the Expectation Marketing strategy for several months, you’ll start seeing more changes in results. You’ll have a growing audience of visitors that already know your brand. They can range from :
- Repeat visitors on site
- Growing followers on Social Media
- A real email list with a lot of subscribers
- Engaging discussions with your audience.
But economically this does not help your brand. You need some transaction from them to happen.
Now if you’re a company that’s simple you need them to buy your products or services. If you’re an NGO, you need them to donate to your cause. And if you are a speaker you will need people to invite you to their events.
The main advantage you’ll have with this strategy is that you can easily remind your audience what you can offer them. And you can do this through the channel that they choose or use the most.
Think about it; the reader chose for a good reason to subscribe to your newsletter or follow your profile. So you are in the environment where they consume content. You just need to use that to your advantage.
One great example comes from one of our clients, The Grable Group. They make sure to remind their audience of event planners the benefits their entertainers can bring to their event, as you can see in this article about Bob Stromberg.
The big mistake many companies make especially in their email strategy is to focus only on what you have to tell them. Just because you have the option to remind them of your product, doesn’t mean you should do it too often.
In the end, they want to see great content that helps them, not just your brand finding another way to promote aggressively.
Keep in mind that as people choose to listen to you, they can also choose to not listen to you anymore.
But Squirrly’s Agency can help you create that content. Take the first step in helping your audience.
The most fulfilling advantage, I believe is that your audience will contact and offer you information without you asking them. When you have this you know you’ve done your marketing strategy well.
You can find Support emails that refer to complex problems, and people will reference you articles where they’ve already learned it.
They might send you feedback as we receive many times on email. Or they might just be sending you a personal email with questions.
Customer asking us about our recent launch of Squirrly SEO: Steve. Getting feedback early on from beta users before a Launch Event is 100% important.
Take note that in the examples I gave above I did not refer to social media reactions or comments on blogs. Those are the first and the easiest way for your audience to interact with you. Contacting you via email or phone means that they put extra effort in doing it.
This aspect is also connected to the last mistake I will present today. Meaning not reacting back to your audience’s interactions. If you’d like to get the long-term advantages of Expectation Marketing, then you need to make sure that you read and respond to comments on social media.
People need to see this to take the time to contact you further through email or phone.
If people write to you on Twitter and you never answer, what lets them know you’ll ever answer on email? What gives them the confidence to do business with you?
Some companies even lose sales due to mistakes like these.
Your Expectation Marketing Journey
Now you know all the aspects of the strategy, and you are ready to start applying it. Make sure that you don’t make the mistakes I’ve mentioned here :
- Apply the whole strategy not just bits and pieces
- Stay consistent through your channels and post on all of them
- Don’t overdo it with promoting your products
- Answer your comments and the reactions you get on social media, or your audience will leave.
If you’re facing problems in any of these areas, be sure to contact our agency. We can answer your questions and give you a helping hand in implementing our strategy.
But wait there is more! You expected to have a 5 lessons course; well we’re here to offer you an additional Bonus Lesson to help you find out the best topic to write about on your blog. A few researching tactics to best answer your audience’s questions will come in the next and final lesson of our series.