The internet is a fast moving place. Websites come and go, memes that are hot one day are never seen again after the next, trends and marketing strategies evolve in the blink of an eye.
So sharp thinking businesses constantly have their eyes open to spot the subtle – and not so subtle – changes that can lead to a boatload of attention and new publicity.
However, being at the head of the marketing curve is easier said than done, and for most businesses, it’s a real uphill battle to successfully take advantage of the never-ending ebbs and flows of the online marketplace.
You need to be quick and adaptable, you need to be agile. Agile marketing involves rapid bursts of content created to capitalize on the swings of the public’s mindset. And in this day and age as an internet marketer, you’re going to need to implement strategies based on such ability to have a real chance of long-term success.
But it can be tough enough as it is to develop relevant, high-quality content, let alone provide it in a flowing way that makes it seem like the top-level marketers magically know what going to become popular before it actually does.
It’s not magic, though, it’s just implementing some smart tactics that allow marketers to keep their content as fresh and timely as possible.
So with this in mind, here’s 6 tips you can use to craft an agile marketing campaign.
1) Keep Your Plan Adaptable
People have a tendency to assume things will stay the way they are. But the online world is extremely fluid, and it only takes a few curveballs to turn a solid, infallible plan into something that looks downright primitive in a matter of weeks or even days.
So in the mindset of agile marketing, you want to loosely design your plans so you’ll be able to successfully alter them when things start to go topsy-turvy.
However, creating a flexible plan doesn’t mean it’s one without a clear aim or destination. You want your plan to have a set big-picture goal that you’re striving for, it’s just a matter of leaving enough wiggle room for you to adapt it to whenever something new or unpredictable swerves your way.
2) Go Small
The game of content marketing is a tricky one. And while there are a number of tools you can use to gauge what sorts of topics will be trending in the near future, there’s simply no rock solid way to know what types of content will become popular and what will sink like a stone.
To help create an agile marketing campaign, you want to put together and post content in ‘sprints’ (smaller, shorter cycles).
Quickly knocking out 4 or 5 pieces of work allows you more chances to lock onto the current trend that people are engaging with, as opposed to creating a heavily involved single piece of content that not only takes a good while to put together but will be a complete waste if it doesn’t connect with your audience.
To sum it up, the content you create in sprints might not always hit the mark, but in accordance with agile marketing, if one piece doesn’t work, you’ll have others ready to go while not having to spend much time at all getting your next batch of content together.
And even if you produce a lot of pop flies, get enough sprint content out there and some of it is going to turn into home runs.
3) Keep Your Eyes Open
A key factor to agile content marketing is being able to know what the next hot topic or online talking point is going to be.
You can’t jump onto the train after it’s started moving. An agile marketer knows what time the train’s going to hit the station and to be there when it does.
Some of this insight can come from paying attention to sporting events, pop culture releases and political debates; these types of things often announce themselves before they get in the psyche of consumers, so you’ll be able to jump the gun before people realize what the latest type of content is they’re craving. In addition, keeping tabs on online gossip and rumors can tip you off as to the next big wave before it hits the shore.
4) Have Your Content Ready Before It’s Needed
You need to move fast once you spot an opportunity. The other marketers will soon lock onto it too and fresh content can go stale fast. An agile marketing strategy requires you to get your content together quickly – something a professional writing site like Flash Essay can be a big help with – and the sooner you get it posted, the better – it only takes being a day, or even hours of being off, for your work to get lost in the content marketing wilderness.
A great example of this is checking out Priceline’s parody vines which demonstrate how producing content quickly can beat out higher-quality but slower to arrive work.
So how did Priceline put together such clever work so quickly? Simple, it was ready to go ahead of time.
Realizing the immense marketing potential of the Super Bowl, Priceline created the backgrounds and puppets before the game was even played. When the power outage occurred, all Priceline had to do was Photoshop in some topical stock imagery and they had some clever, timely ads.
The lesson of this being that if the savvy, agile marketer prepares work in advance, making some minor adjustments on the fly is quite easy.
While agile marketing tends to be hit-or-miss, you don’t want to completely reshape what you’re doing every time a piece of content either takes off or winds up being a dud.
Smart agile marketing involves learning from your successes and failures and then consistently fine-tuning your plan based on what’s worked and what hasn’t.
In the same way, successful agile marketing involves constantly keeping a tight eye on internet trends, optimizing your strategy includes re-examining your marketing goals and plans to keep things moving upward and onward.
6) Take a Moment Before You Post
While the essence of agile marketing is making quick moves to take advantage of in-the-moment opportunities, you need to be wary of going too fast.
The agile content marketer still needs to think a step ahead and pause for a moment to consider if the message of a posting will be received in the way it’s intended.
An effective technique for agile marketers to gauge whether or not readers will respond to a piece in the desired way is to write some short stories from the reader’s perspective.
Not only will this help prevent the awkward or even embarrassing situation, but it will assist marketers it producing content that’s as relevant and useful to their audience as possible.
In the end, an effective agile marketing strategy will successfully anticipate coming trends and then quickly put out entertaining content while the iron is still hot. By sticking to the above tips, you’ll ensure that your agile campaign is loose and flexible, while at the same time, maintaining an overarching goal that keeps your project focused and on-course. Just work hard and keep learning, you’ll do great.