An 8-Step Golfer's Guide
It’s just that time of year. The air is warm. The U.S. Open just wrapped. The links are calling your name. It’s golf season. While you’re killing time waiting to tee-off, here is our 8-Step Golfer’s Guide to B2B Social Media Marketing, which is essential ingredient in an overall inbound marketing campaign.
1) Scout the course.
To be a great golfer, it’s very important that you are familiar with the course before you even get started. The same forethought and planning must take place for a social media marketing campaign to be effective.
The first step, and I mean THE first step in launching a successful social media campaign, is to develop your unique buyer persona. With this, you’ll be able to pinpoint your target market exactly and create the most relevant content to him or her.
Hubspot, a leader in marketing automation, has an excellent resource, detailing everything marketers need to research and create detailed buyer personas.
2) Hit the range.
Take stock of your existing resources. How do you know which club to use from 150 yards out on an uphill lie, unless you're confident your abilities with your 8-iron? You wouldn’t set out before grabbing a few tees and two or three (or four, or eight, or twelve) balls. Just the same, you can’t realistically launch a full-on campaign unless you had completed an audit of your entire repertoire.
Do you have any helpful, downloadable assets (whitepapers, ebooks, worksheets) in your arsenal?
Also, take some time to find out which of your team members are most capable of performing the needed tasks. Who has the most experience with social media? Who are your best writers? Does anyone have an eye for analytics and data? Do you have a graphic design department? These are some of the questions you will want to ask of your team.
If your team is lacking in some of these areas, it may be that you need to outsource some or all of the process.
3) Tee off.
In the words of the timeless Seth Godin, “The best time to start was a while ago. The second best time to start is today.”
Does this mean you should rush the job only for the sake of getting started? Of course not, but you can easily get bogged down in all the details. So instead of letting your social media marketing campaign sputter before it even takes off, make an actionable plan that is to the best of your abilities and JUST LAUNCH. The changes you need to make will become more evident once your customers and connections begin interacting with it.
4) Stock your bag.
You wouldn’t pull out your 2-iron for a short approach shot, like Davis Love III in that hilarious McGladrey commercial.
You would be doing the same harm to yourself if you used LinkedIn for a post that is more appropriate for your Facebook audience, like if you were going to post that aforementioned hilarious McGladrey commercial.
5) Don’t forget the proper etiquette.
One of the surest ways to never get invited to play golf with your friends again, is to break the (mostly) un-written rules of golf etiquette. The same principle is in effect in inbound marketing. Inbound marketing faux pas like sending an obscene amount of emails, having an unprofessional profile picture, or SCREAMING AT YOUR TWITTER FOLLOWERS is basically a one-way ticket to eternal irrelevancy.
6) Focus on the short game.
To many golfers, this is the toughest and most important part of the game. By honing your short game, you can really trim your score. In social media marketing, your short game is your blog. (If you haven’t launched your blog yet, here are 5 compelling reasons to start B2B blogging now – before your ship sails)
Your blog will help develop a deep email list to which you can submit further marketing materials. Conversely, a lackluster blog can have people bouncing away from your site in the blink of an eye (actually, it’s even faster than that).
You’ll want to develop a unique voice that is easy to read and true to the buyer persona you developed in Step 1. You need to give visitors a reason to keep coming back. Just giving them plain information will not cut it. Readers are looking to you to bring them something they would be unable to find elsewhere and to deliver it to them in a way that makes them feel enlightened. You don’t want them to leave your site unsold on what it is that you and your company can do for them.
Also, don’t overlook the basics like grammar, punctuation, and sentence structure. Grab a copy of the AP Stylebook and keep it handy, referring to it often.
7) Make the putt.
Finish the putt-have great calls-to-action and landing pages.
As any great golfer knows, nothing matters unless you finish, just ask Phil Mickelson.
Just as putting is essential to shooting a great round, having compelling calls-to-action that link to relevant landing pages are an indispensible part of marketing.
You want to clearly guide your visitors to the desired actions, as opposed to sending them to the homepage and hoping they guess the right thing to do next.
8) Repeat for 17 more holes.
Consistency, consistency, consistency.
You don’t become a Tiger Woods by being a one-hole-wonder. In order to shoot a great round, you have to repeat the above skills for 17 more holes. Get yourself on a schedule and stick with it. You may have to adjust it from time to time, but don’t fall into the bad habit of blasting your followers with a million posts, followed by two weeks of radio silence.
Now that you’ve read this blog, you’ve been given a few things.
You now know the importance of crafting your message to your target market, using the right channel to reach that market, creating solid content for engaging with that market, and designing great CTAs for converting that target market. In addition, you should most definitely have an overwhelming urge to go hit the links. So, after you get back to the office from a much needed 18-holes, be sure to download our free Inbound Marketing eGuide to learn the importance of crafting social media in your marketing program.