This is a glorious time for marketing. The plethora of free or almost free marketing tools has allowed the tiniest of companies to have a global presence.
Advertising and publicity used to have to be done by a professional and budgeted for accordingly. Now, if you are willing to put in the time and effort, you can be your own Don Draper. It sounds almost too good to be true. In a way, it almost is.
Don Draper, of the fictional TV show Mad Men, was a 1960s-era advertising professional with access to a team of graphic artists, copywriters, analysts and more. The team assisted him in determining who the target markets were, how best to engage them, when to run the ads or TV commercials, how to get the best value out of their ad buys and a host of other tasks. Most of those tasks are probably not on your to-do list. You may not even know what they are or what they refer to. This is the catch-22 for today’s “smarketer” (self-marketer). Marketing tools are abundant and cost practically nothing, yet we have no idea how to use these properly or what we need to do to get the maximum value from these tools.
Make a visual impression
If you watched one episode of Mad Men, you know that Draper was a visually focused person. Everything was about the look, personally and professionally. We are visual creatures. Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, Facetime — Everything is about the look.
Most people understand that taking pictures and posting them on the Facebook page of their business is a good idea. For many of us, that is as far as it goes. This is where it would be more beneficial to have that team of professionals working for you. They would start asking you questions, such as: “Who is your intended target? What are you trying to get them to do? How do they feel about your product/service?” Then you would have to give these questions some actual thought.
Identify target markets
Pretend for a moment that you have hired the agency on Mad Men. You have just added cranial remolding services to your list of O&P services and you need help marketing it. Don Draper would tell you that babies and puppies are two of the most “awwww”-inducing subjects you can use in advertising so you are off to a good start as far as subject matter or content goes. Good content, check.
What about your intended target market? Mothers would be one, of course. Health care professionals who deal with plagiocephaly and other diagnoses that might require a cranial remolding helmet are another. Payers, too. Now all of these intended target markets have different things that appeal to them.
Think like a customer
Mothers might want helmets that can be externally customized so their babies do not have to wear stark, white medical-grade looking helmets. Health care professionals would want to see results. Before and after photos are fantastic visual representations of results. Results might work for payers, too. They also might want to see a behind-the-scenes demonstration of how the helmet was custom-fabricated.
Three different target markets call for three different “looks.” Draper would want to craft a campaign for each of these separately. You can do that, too, all in one place: Facebook. How would he do that? He would make sure there were lots of photo albums that utilized the types of photos that appealed to each target market. He would make sure that each photo was captioned and the captions would engage and be understood by the target market.
Tag and caption
Two simple words: tag and caption. When it comes to Facebook, most people using it for business-related marketing purposes are failing. Think like Draper and try and determine what verbiage you need in your tags and captions that will enable your targets to engage with you. All the “awwww”-inducing photos in the world are not going to do anything if there are no tags or captions. Use language people understand. Do not use acronyms. Do not use strictly clinical terms. Give them enough verbal description so they will actually be able to find the photo.
Remember, even when we are searching for images on Google, we still need to describe that image for Google to run an image search. We do not enter a picture to find a picture. We enter words to find a picture. That is how we create “the look.”
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- Elizabeth Mansfield is the president of Outsource Marketing Solutions and the Vice President of Clinical Education Concepts. She can be reached at email@example.com.