Marketing Strategy2019-06-15T12:28:21+00:00

You’ve got a great idea for a business, you’ve got everything in place including your logo and now you need to find your customers. You could offer the best products or services in the world, but that alone won’t help if your potential customers can’t find you – so you need a great marketing strategy to match.

A common misconception is that there is some kind of one-size-fits-all marketing strategy that you can follow and expect great results, whatever your business. This is simply not true since all businesses are different, and all have different requirements.

Before you choose which elements to integrate into your overall marketing strategy, you need to think carefully about your target customers. What is their demographic? How old are they? Where do they live? What online services do they use? How do they look for your product or service?

Being clear about details such as these will allow you to develop a targeted and more effective overall strategy that focuses on the channels most likely to produce results for you.

Below is a sample of a few marketing strategies I have developed.

@Midwest Marketing Strategy

@Midwest was a social media/digital marketing conference providing realistic tools and practical skills for small to medium-sized businesses. The conference included stimulating speakers, hands-on sessions, and guided round table discussions to give attendees the opportunity to interact with industry peers and share ideas, tips, and techniques. We brought some of the brightest stars in social media to Central Illinois, offering organizations of any size the ability to achieve the greatest return on their social media investment.

For the 5-year life span of the conference, I developed, implemented, and tracked a content marketing strategy that included a strong social strategy to engage potential speakers and attendees. The strategy included a strong utilization of SEO techniques, LinkedIn Networking, Facebook Post and Facebook Ads. The result of the strategy:

  • Resulted in a 10% growth in attendance each year. This allowed the conference to grow to over 400 attendees coming from the Central United States and Southern Canada.
  • Resulted in attracting over 65 International Speakers including:
    • Joe Benarroch. Corporate Communications, International, Facebook
    • Thomas Ian Nicholas. Actor, musician
    • Joe Strupek, CPCU, CLU, is assistant vice president – Public Affairs at State Farm®

Illinois State University’s Social Media Strategy

The Illinois State University social media strategic plan guided content strategy for flagship accounts and the various colleges, departments, schools, and units. The objective was to deliver coordinated and consistent communication that advances the University’s mission through the University’s flagship social media accounts, using diverse, creative, and engaging content steered by University Marketing and Communications (UMC) in collaboration with units across campus; and to establish and share social media guidelines with other campus units that manage their own social media accounts.

Goals for Illinois State flagship accounts

  1. Advance the mission. Demonstrate how the University prepares high-achieving, diverse, and motivated students to excel in a globally competitive, culturally diverse, and rapidly changing environment.
  2. Promote Redbird pride. Increase pride, engagement, and foster community among university stakeholders by sharing content that facilitates connections with the University and reinforces shared values.
  3. Engage and inform students. Assist student recruitment and retention by sharing content that differentiates the Illinois State experience.
  4. Reinforce the reputation. Advance the University’s reputation by promoting its achievements, highlighting its role as a cultural resource for the community, and developing and protecting its brand.
  5. Enhance the culture of philanthropy. Share compelling stories that demonstrate how private gifts provide the University with a margin of excellence and celebrate those who support the University.

Strategies

  • Advance the mission
  • Tell stories (text, photos, and video) that highlight the individualized attention students receive in and out of the classroom.
  • Work with campus partners to share content that informs and engages prospective students and their families.
  • Reflect ISU’s diverse scholarly community by highlighting undergraduate, graduate, and faculty research.
  • Share content that routinely reflects the diversity of the student population.
  • Highlight impact that Redbirds have in communities around the world.
  • Share stories about successful alumni outcomes, including careers and personal passions.
  • Developed and implemented an analytic strategy designed to track engagement and the return on investment (ROI) of various University marketing campaigns and social media programs.

Illinois State University’s Annual Giving Strategy

The Illinois State University vision was to build Annual Giving into a solid foundation for ISU’s advancement program — by developing a culture of stewardship among alumni, and by engaging as many as possible to become annual fund donors — in order to help secure ISU’s future as a leading university.

The strategy consisted of five key elements. The effect of each element is cumulative, so one builds upon the foundation laid by the ones before it. They were:

  • Steward
  • Engage
  • Acquire
  • Retain
  • Upgrade

To achieve this, an integrated, multi-channel marketing campaign centered around the University’s content marketing plan and the social media strategic plan was developed. The result of this strategic plan was: :

  • in FY2012, increased gifts through direct mail by 85% while increasing overall donors by 4%.
  • in FY2013, increased gifts through direct mail by 67% while increasing overall donors by 5%.

A Content Marketing Strategy for State Farm

Simple Insights is designed as an integrated content marketing platform serving business priorities with features designed to drive customer discovery, consideration, exploration, and purchases. Additionally, a platform to strengthen the brand and implement the value proposition of confidence, trust, and loyalty using a wide range of asset types (video, infographics, and calculators) and methods of consumer engagement.​

Description of the research

Description of the implementation

The results

  • A 136.14% increase of Unique Visitors in 2018 over 2017.
  • A 131.17% increase of Page Views in 2018 over 2017.
  • A 206.10% increase of traffic from Nature Search in 2018 over 2017.
  • A 246.07% increase of traffic from Paid Search in 2018 over 2017.
  • Opened up a destination for social campaigns resulting in 4,434.47% increase in traffic from Social traffic platforms in 2018 over 2017.
  • 157.74% increase in traffic Simple Insights is sending to statefarm.com in 2018 over 2017.
  • 270.81% increase in traffic from statefarm.com to Simple Insight in 2018 over 2017.
  • A 633.29% increase in traffic to Agent Searches in 2018 over 2017.
  • A 187.40% increase in quote starts in 2018 over 2017.

Illinois State University’s Inbound Marketing Strategy

In August 2013, I launched Stories.IllinoisState.edu, a website that collected news, stories, and event information from across the Illinois State University campus and redistributes that content across the University’s web and social media presence. “Stories” managed and delivered content that was searched engine-optimized, social media-friendly, and RSS-driven, so that all content can be delivered back to various websites across the Illinois State digital landscape.

Fueled by daily content delivered through multimedia storytelling, Stories connected the alumni with life on campus, shining the spotlight on our standout students and accomplished alumni. Stories provided alumni, students, and community members with new opportunities to engage with Illinois State University, its people, its campus, and its culture. This resulted in:

  • An increase in traffic from the e-newsletter from 5,000 unique visits to over 30,000 unique visits consistently each month.
  • A 250% increase in visits to the alumni website over the previous year.
  • A 400% increase in the news content read on the alumni website over the previous year.
  • Increased the number of articles read from 1.24 (previous year) to over 2.8.
  • Due to the search engine optimized nature of the site and the simplicity of social sharing articles through the site, the additional traffic was attributed to search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo plus social traffic from Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Reddit, amongst others.
  • A 250% increase in updates in alumni contact information.
  • Laid the groundwork for a social media and annual giving strategy.
  • Developed and implemented an analytic strategy designed to track engagement and the return on investment (ROI) of various University marketing campaigns and social media programs.