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The romantic musical film La La Land scooped the pool at this year’s Golden Globes, winning seven of the coveted gongs and breaking the record previously held by One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest in 1975 and Midnight Express in 1978. That’s some pretty stiff competition!

La La Land – an ideal destination for entertainers, not marketers

A friend recently said to me, “I don’t go to the cinema to be challenged, I go to be entertained.” At the time I respectfully disagreed, but as a writer and digital marketer, I later found myself pondering the parallels between the world of film and the world of marketing. Whether we’re making a film of a digital campaign, do we want to entertain people or do we want to challenge them?

La La Land was a run-away success because it’s pure entertainment rather than being provocative – it’s an uplifting, intoxicating combination of song, dance and fantasy. When we create a marketing campaign, we face a similar challenge. We’re often trying to gain traction and make an emotional, human connection. We want the buzz, the feel-good factor.

While La La Land often refers to Los Angeles or Hollywood, it’s also defined by Oxford Dictionary as ‘a fanciful state or dreamworld’, while Cambridge Dictionary takes it a step further, defining being in La La Land as ‘thinking that things that are completely impossible might happen, rather than understanding how things really are’. La La Land may be the ideal destination for an entertainer, but certainly not for a digital marketer! What lessons can be learned? Click To Tweet

Tips to avoid ending up in La La Land

So, how do you know if your digital marketing is in #LaLaLand? Click To Tweet It can come in many forms, but fundamentally it’s all about engaging with reality. You might think your content is great, but can you prove it? Having both feet on the ground means creating a solid strategy, not just throwing some lines in the water and hoping for a few bites. Consider these tips as fancy new fishing lures.

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Research your target market:

  • Who are your customers? How much do you know about them? Take a look at your existing data from Google Analytics, Facebook Insights and Twitter Analytics
  • Where do they hang out online? Check out BuzzSumo and find some influencers who can help you reach out to them. 
  • What kind of messages resonate with them? Take a look at your existing Facebook and Twitter posts and see which ones perform best. Can you see why? Can you try to replicate this success?

Is your existing content actually working?

  • How are you tracking your success? Take a look at Google Analytics and find out which platforms are your main traffic drivers. Then you’ll know where to channel your energies.
  • Are you monitoring conversions in Google Analytics? Set up goals and use unique URLs to track conversions, so you can find out which messages are delivering the best results. 
  • Are you using A/B testing to find out which messages are getting the best results?

Are you making the most of today’s technology?

  • Have you spotted some Facebook posts or Tweets that have delivered some good results? Consider promoting them – even just a small spend can really boost your results. 
  • These days, Facebook and Twitter both offer pixels, which is a small piece of code you can put on your website. These allow you to track conversions (sign ups, purchases, etc.) which happen as a direct result of seeing or clicking on your ad. If your ad campaign is set up with conversions as the goal, you only pay per conversion. It also makes it easy to track success. 
  • Don’t just pay to reach your existing audience, use targeting and custom audience tools to reach new potential clients. Facebook and Twitter pixels also allow you to advertise to people who have recently visited your site, inviting them to return. You can also use Custom Audiences tools to find audiences who look similar to yours in other locations. These types of campaigns generally perform well.
  • The wide variety of social ad types available these days is mind boggling – from lead generation cards to promoted accounts. It’s worth spending some time to find out what each one does and how it can work for your business. 

And perhaps the most important tip of all – take the time to consider how you are going to make people feel. Every marketer needs to consider the emotions that they might inspire in potential customers. We need to exploit those micro-moments when people reflexively turn to a device — usually a smartphone — to act on a need to learn something, do something, discover something, watch something, or buy something.  

What’s so important about these actions is that they are intent-rich moments. These are when decisions are made and preferences shaped. They are powerful and your marketing needs to help transform intent into action. If you like, you need to capture that #LaLaLand moment and bring it back into an augmented reality Click To Tweet where the consumer feels happy to have found you. That’s the challenge. You may not win a Golden Globe but you will provide a service and may provoke loyalty and advocacy; let those be your goals.

Vivienne Neale is a digital marketer and director of VKN Digital, which is a digital marketing agency in Hertfordshire, UK. We aim to help SMEs overcome marketing hurdles and create compelling digital content that drives results. If you need a leg-up with your content marketing or social media, get in touch via our contact page for a free Skype consultation.

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