As we detailed in our previous post, sequential marketing offers brands an innovative and fresh approach for consumer engagement. By creating compelling and emotionally resonant narratives — and presenting them as advertisements in sequential order across a variety of devices or platforms — businesses are reaping extraordinary benefits in terms of customer engagement and sales.
Now that we’ve explained the essentials of the idea, it’s time to outline best practices for crafting a sequential marketing strategy. By doing so, you can help ensure that your organization remains perched at the vanguard of modern digital marketing approaches.
Developing a successful sequential marketing plan
Like most campaigns, a great sequential marketing plan begins with a commitment to original, creative and evoking content. If the story your brand is telling is dramatically inert, the most precise modeling or insightful buyer personas won’t be of much assistance. Leads must find the story being told interesting and relevant. Ideally, it should also spark some emotional connection — the excitement of seeing something truly unexpected, or the shock of recognition that comes when you identify with a story unfolding on your screen.
Stories don’t need to follow a single formula or template, at least creatively speaking, but there should be some common areas of focus. These include identifying why a prospective customer would benefit from your product or service, establishing the problems or pain points presented, then outlining how they can be resolved. Only after the full narrative has been unspooled for the lead, a call to action or another prompt designed to move the sales process forward should be presented.
These various elements may be present in different ad sequences. For example, the first sequence may simply introduce the brand to increase awareness. The second sequence may focus on problems solved or benefits offered, while the final sequence delivers a prompt for further action.
Beyond the story
A commitment to exceptional story content should be paired with the necessary supporting elements: High-quality leads, well thought out and researched buyer personas, and actionable customer data. Questions such as “who is your customer?” “which devices will she use?” and “where do her interests lie?” are all critical inquiries.
Sequential marketing is more sophisticated (and often more resource intensive) than other conventional forms of marketing. Because of this, they are generally seen by previous customers or leads who have shown a demonstrated interest in a product or service. Since multi-stage narratives are typically employed, targeting leads with the same sequenced ad multiple times may quickly lead to diminishing returns or ad fatigue — many people simply won’t want to sit through a story they’ve already seen, even if they enjoy it.
It’s also important to tailor your ad approach for the platform you’re using. Facebook offers several tools for sequential ads, including the ability to schedule dozens of ads ahead of time. Snapchat, meanwhile, has added a sequential ad capability to its Discover channel. Marketers can take longer videos and trim them into a few short sequences by using this tool.
Sequential marketing offers brands an innovative method for targeting high-value leads and converting them with greater efficiency. We encourage you to consider the ideas outlined above when developing your next sequential marketing plan.
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