Drip Marketing: Why You Shouldn’t Get This Faucet Fixed
Despite the somewhat negative connotations that can often go along with the word ‘drip’ (for example, the drip from your second floor pipes that made your first floor ceiling fall down), in the marketing world this term is a positive one. Once you know how to use it, a few straightforward drip marketing steps can go a long way towards making your advertising and marketing strategy more effective, and your business more successful. So let’s get started!
What Is Drip Marketing?
It should come as a relief that drip marketing is actually just what it sounds like: a steady supply of information supplied to a target audience over a series of time. The phrase actually comes from agriculture: farmers and gardeners practice something called ‘drip irrigation,’ where they give their plants small amounts of water over a long period of time. You can probably see where this is going already. Think of yourself as a faucet, and each piece of information you want to share with your readers as a drop of water. Under this marketing practice, your content will be shared consistently, at regularly scheduled intervals.
.. In a nutshell:
Your focus: Nurture established relationships; build up new connections; keep your company in the spotlight.
Your job: Write drips ahead of time; make them creative; release them on a schedule.
The best (and most important) part of drip marketing is that it is automated. Choose your marketing weapon of choice (for example: email marketing campaign, postcards, brochures, newsletters, social media site posts), establish the demographic you are trying to reach, and then start putting your arsenal of content together. Gather content in advance, break it up into separate chronological pieces, and then start scheduling.
No two drops of water are precisely the same, and as a marketer you want each release of information to be unique, too.
For example, you may decide to publish an ongoing series of articles in your monthly newsletter that have how-to tips and real-life examples your customers will find valuable (often a white paper or podcast could fit this description). Or you may want to schedule a series of Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn posts with updates about deals or exclusive offers, or the latest industry news. Some businesses have found that physical mailings are helpful – but keep in mind that many people chuck anything that looks like blatant advertising, so you’ll have to work hard to make your postcard, magazine, or brochures applicable to your target audience’s current life or job situation.
Whatever you choose to send out, make sure your recipients will find your content interesting enough to read, instead of sending it to their trash. (Note: make sure if you choose email marketing that your phrasing and overall content will pass an email service’s spam filter!)
Whether you already have a list of subscribers to your content (those are the relationships you are nurturing), or you are trying to bring in new readers (those are the new connections you are working to acquire), it is absolutely essential that you are reliable. Don’t schedule a strong series of posts for two drip cycles, then get behind schedule and post two weeks late, and then try to make up for lost time by inundating potential customers and fans with too much information. They’ll never get through it all, and are more likely to be overwhelmed than to appreciate the extra flyers and overload of articles. We are creatures of habit, and we want stability.
Be consistent with your schedule – not only will your readers begin to anticipate your posts or emails, but you will also ensure that your company pops into everyone’s mind consistently (this is how you keep your company in the spotlight). The more regular your schedule, the more likely you are to keep your company at the forefront of potential clients’ minds.