Lean into the science of marketing, and the art of marketing will follow.
Do you ever feel stuck when you're creating social media strategies for clients? Or do you feel like every time you land a new client, you have to create a completely new strategy from scratch?
If you're frustrated because either of these situations apply to you, then keep reading or watch the video below because I am going to solve this very frustrating and very time-consuming (but also unnecessary) problem.
About five or six years ago, I found myself frustrated because I knew there had to be a better way to create social media strategies than starting over from scratch with every single new client.
Around that time, I was hired by a content marketing agency to complete social media strategies for their clients. The agency was just launching, and what happened next was both good and bad…
As part of the launch, we went to a large conference and offered to onboard clients for only $1,000 to do their content and social media strategies. We generated a hundred clients within a matter of weeks.
I quickly found myself in a place where I didn't have the luxury of time to think about each of these new clients' strategies and do a lot of research. I had to come up with a system. The system needed to work for both me and the clients so that I could create these strategies quickly, but also effectively.
The first few strategies took me a very long time, but after a while, I started noticing patterns and from there, I was able to create a template.
Now when I teach social media strategy, I teach from that very template. Of course, over the years the template has continued to evolve. I have iterated on it as new strategies and platforms have emerged, like stories and now short-form content. But the core of the template is there for me to expand on year after year.
This brings me to one of my favorite topics — the art and the science of marketing, and when to utilize the science versus utilize the art.
Step 1 – Lean into the Science of Marketing First
When it comes to anything marketing related, always lean into the science first. Start with the best practices that have been tested and proven.
I teach these formulas and templates in our Social Strategist Pro course, but these are also things that you can search on any search engine or use YouTube to learn.
Internet marketing isn't new anymore. Anything from how to write a headline to how to set up your website or landing page has a template or formula to follow and that's the best place to start.
For example, my friend Perry Belcher created a headline formula that I use when I'm stuck and don't have a headline coming to me:
Desired end result (or promise) + in “X” time … or “Y” (or without “Y”) + Guaranteed or ABC
This produces a headline like “Lose 10 Pounds in 5 Days Without Being Hungry Guaranteed or Your Money Back.”
Now, people might give you pushback on that formula, but it has everything a headline truly needs. It has the benefit to the reader, a timeframe so they know when they're going to get it by, and there's risk reversal because you let them know what the guarantee is if your offer doesn't work for them.
Formulas Work Because They Are Proven
I've been getting pushback recently, both from my students and from some of my clients, because these formulas have now been around long enough that people in the marketing space have heard them enough that they start to feel “too salesy”.
There are a couple of things that you need to keep in mind.
Unless you're selling to other marketers, your audience has not heard these formulas and strategies.
While some of it might resonate, like a cadence or a tone they've heard before, most people have not been studying marketing. For a general audience, these formulas are not as familiar as you think.
There's a reason these formulas continue to be used — they are time-tested, proven, tried, and true best practices.
Even technology like Jasper AI, a content-writing tool, uses algorithms based on these formulas. They use these formulas because they know they work and will get the job done, which is to create a nice piece of copy that converts.
The same goes for creating social media strategies for your clients. If you follow a formula to start, it will break the ice for you and speed up the process. It will give you the framework that you need to get started and feel confident that you're delivering strategies that work.
Step 2 – Add in the Art to Complement the Science
Once you've fully mastered the science of marketing, now you can add the art element in.
This is the part where you can have some creative freedom and take some creative liberties to color outside the lines.
You can go back and add in more flowery or pretty language. You can add new adjectives for impactful language. This might be where you soften. For instance, instead of using a call to action, you could do something like extend an invitation.
As long as the intention of what you're doing remains the same, now you'll have one really direct, scripted, formulaic version and another softer, more authentic version to the brand because you've taken the formula and converted it to something that sounds true and “on brand” for the client.
This is also the time when you can start to add in your wild card ideas – things that you think might work or could work, but you don't have the data to back it up.
All of our data comes in the science part, and the art part is when we add to it or take away from it to try to create something that's more unique to put out in the wild.
Don't Mix Up Step 1 and Step 2
The problem that comes up for most people is when you get step one and step two reversed, and you start with the art and forget all about the science.
The reason this is a problem is that you haven't started with a framework that is known to convert.
If your first campaign out the gate has no science-backed tactics, it's like reinventing the wheel. Often what happens is, when the campaign doesn't convert, you now have to step back into the formula because there's no way of figuring out what went wrong without the formula.
This is why it's always best to start with the science first and then use split testing to analyze your creative changes.
As you become more masterful, the science will become second nature. You won't have to think about it or pull up your formulas or templates. You'll just know it. Then you can build on top of it with your expertise, your intuition, and your ideas by adding in the art. And now you'll always have two campaigns to split test against.
Marketing is all about the data, and we follow the data. The art of marketing is something you learn over time and can add in once you've successfully implemented the science.
If you want to know more about how to create time-tested and science-backed social media strategies that WORK, check out our Social Strategist Pro course here.