Lesson 5: The Benefits and Mistakes of Applying Expectation Marketing

23 Oct 2017
| Last update: 27 Oct 2017
Alexandra Nicola
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Alexandra Nicola

Happily typing great stuff for our site and our customers. Helps with business development and has become the COO of the company. Loves Super Mario games, reading SF and fantasy novels and having a great time with friends.
Alexandra Nicola
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As I’ve promised in the last lesson, here we’ll focus on the short and long-term benefits of expectation marketing.

We will also concentrate on some of the most common mistakes. This way you can keep in mind not to make them in your efforts of implementing this strategy.

To better understand each case, I will present the examples and the connected mistake you should avoid in parallel. So let’s start with the immediate changes you will see.

The Short-Term Outcome of Expectation Marketing

One of the first things that change with this strategy, even before publishing the first article, is your team’s productivity. If you’re applying it, from start to finish, with your team, you’ll see a vast improvement in the way you work.

At Squirrly we saw this for the first time in 2015. Everybody on our marketing team had a clear idea of what they had to do. If they felt they finished all their tasks, they knew of the upcoming articles that needed to be written.

It was obvious what we promoted and where. It was also easy to divide the work and make sure we had a constant flow of content published on our site.

Now the biggest mistake you can make at this point, and we’ve seen this in some other startup marketing teams is to apply only half of the strategy. What this means is that they saw that posting consistently helped their site and brand.

So they added to their team’s KPIs all that would show they had a good Expectation Marketing Strategy:

But they hadn’t implemented a way to manage and keep track of it properly. Added to the fact that this wasn’t the only KPIs the team had, it made them more disorganized than before.

They were trying to make everything happen at the same time. The teams also didn’t take a chance to organize and create the content in advance correctly.

They were just barely creating content from week to week to post as much as they needed. Not to fall into the same trap you need to follow the whole strategy. You can have access to the full materials and the kit with structure files by pre-ordering our book. 

Plan and create content at least one month in advance.

The second advantage you’ll see from this plan will be the perception of your audience that you are an active brand. This aspect will take a few weeks, maybe even the first month of publishing the articles but it will be the first change in your audience’s mind.

This aspect is important in the digital marketing world, but it is also hard to track. Some benefits you might start seeing are:

  • Reactions to your Social Media posts
  • Shares to your articles
  • A steady increase in followers on Social Media
  • New subscribers to your email lists
  • Comments on your articles
  • Emails and phone calls that reference the topic or the articles you’ve published.

You might only see some of them, and as it can manifest in different ways, you might not be able to recognize it as the advantages of strategy.

In Philipp‘s case, it brought him comments to his articles. But this shows several things.

First, it confirms that there is an audience that reads and enjoys the content.

Second, that they are interested in the brand and they want to interact with it.

Third, that they will find a way to come back to that content. It can happen in different ways. It can be a notification they get that the conversation has gone further, or they bookmark the article for a second read, or they might even pin your article to a Pinterest board.

Now the most common mistake teams make in this expectation marketing aspect is that they aren’t consistent. Especially across their channels. It’s great that you have an active blog, but that isn’t everything.

When your audience sees you post articles, but you have a Twitter profile that has not posted content since six months ago, it makes them not trust your brand.

Now I’m not saying that your audience will check every one of your channels, but rather they will check 2-3. Your site is one of them, and next will be the Social Media platform they use the most.

And having a dormant profile will cost you more than not having a profile on their favorite platform.

To avoid this mistake yourself research different articles you can share from your profiles. If you don’t know where to start with this step, let us know.

The Long-Term Results for Your Business

If you apply the Expectation Marketing strategy for several months, you’ll start seeing more changes in results. You’ll have a growing audience of visitors that already know your brand. They can range from :

  • Repeat visitors on site
  • Growing followers on Social Media
  • A real email list with a lot of subscribers
  • Engaging discussions with your audience.

But economically this does not help your brand. You need some transaction from them to happen.

Now if you’re a company that’s simple you need them to buy your products or services. If you’re an NGO, you need them to donate to your cause. And if you are a speaker you will need people to invite you to their events.

expectation marketing

The main advantage you’ll have with this strategy is that you can easily remind your audience what you can offer them. And you can do this through the channel that they choose or use the most.

Think about it; the reader chose for a good reason to subscribe to your newsletter or follow your profile. So you are in the environment where they consume content. You just need to use that to your advantage.

One great example comes from one of our clients, The Grable Group. They make sure to remind their audience of event planners the benefits their entertainers can bring to their event, as you can see in this article about Bob Stromberg.

The big mistake many companies make especially in their email strategy is to focus only on what you have to tell them. Just because you have the option to remind them of your product, doesn’t mean you should do it too often.

In the end, they want to see great content that helps them, not just your brand finding another way to promote aggressively.

Keep in mind that as people choose to listen to you, they can also choose to not listen to you anymore.

But Squirrly’s Agency can help you create that content. Take the first step in helping your audience. 

The most fulfilling advantage, I believe is that your audience will contact and offer you information without you asking them.  When you have this you know you’ve done your marketing strategy well.

You can find Support emails that refer to complex problems, and people will reference you articles where they’ve already learned it.

They might send you feedback as we receive many times on email. Or they might just be sending you a personal email with questions.

Customer asking us about our recent launch of Squirrly SEO: Steve. Getting feedback early on from beta users before a Launch Event is 100% important.

Take note that in the examples I gave above I did not refer to social media reactions or comments on blogs. Those are the first and the easiest way for your audience to interact with you. Contacting you via email or phone means that they put extra effort in doing it.

This aspect is also connected to the last mistake I will present today. Meaning not reacting back to your audience’s interactions. If you’d like to get the long-term advantages of Expectation Marketing, then you need to make sure that you read and respond to comments on social media.

People need to see this to take the time to contact you further through email or phone.

If people write to you on Twitter and you never answer, what lets them know you’ll ever answer on email? What gives them the confidence to do business with you?

Some companies even lose sales due to mistakes like these.

Your Expectation Marketing Journey

Now you know all the aspects of the strategy, and you are ready to start applying it. Make sure that you don’t make the mistakes I’ve mentioned here :

  • Apply the whole strategy not just bits and pieces
  • Stay consistent through your channels and post on all of them
  • Don’t overdo it with promoting your products
  • Answer your comments and the reactions you get on social media, or your audience will leave.

If you’re facing problems in any of these areas, be sure to contact our agency. We can answer your questions and give you a helping hand in implementing our strategy.

But wait there is more! You expected to have a 5 lessons course; well we’re here to offer you an additional Bonus Lesson to help you find out the best topic to write about on your blog. A few researching tactics to best answer your audience’s questions will come in the next and final lesson of our series.

Stay tuned.

28 Comments

  • Heidi

    October 24, 2017 at 1:15 PM

    I’ve always wanted to plan and write my content a month in advance, but I’ve never gotten there. My blog is a one woman organization. I’m a wife and a mom, too. I know it would be so good for me and business to get ahead, but I never seem to get there. I’m still flying by the seat of my pants. (At least after 5 years I’m okay with that.)

    • Alexandra Nicola

      Alexandra Nicola

      November 7, 2017 at 11:36 AM

      It’s about setting things aside and creating time to get ahead. There is also the possibility you might need some extra help. You can check our Agency page and see if you’d be interested in working with us.

  • Samantha

    October 24, 2017 at 2:05 PM

    This article is awesome in that it helps guide us bloggers to make good decisions on our marketing strategies. Leaving them dormant is something easy to forget as we all have so many different things we are working on. I’m working on getting a month ahead in all my posts to try and hep with not leaving anything dormant. Thanks for this guide!

    • Alexandra Nicola

      Alexandra Nicola

      November 7, 2017 at 11:35 AM

      Great that your working on that. Consider analyzing your channels once again. If you don’t have time for all of them keep only the ones that are actually bringing results.

  • Jenn JG

    October 24, 2017 at 2:16 PM

    Never really thought about this in depth too much. Thanks for breaking it down into different points and opening my eyes to more detailed thoughts about this marketing in which I go back and apply to my own businesses!

    • Alexandra Nicola

      Alexandra Nicola

      November 7, 2017 at 11:33 AM

      You’ll see the results for your self if you try it, Jenn.

  • Jennifer Walker

    October 24, 2017 at 2:49 PM

    I know I am guilty of some of these mistakes, and it is something I need to work on. Consistency is my biggest issue as I find myself lacking either the time, energy, or both.

    • Alexandra Nicola

      Alexandra Nicola

      November 7, 2017 at 11:32 AM

      Well, mistakes just teach us to be better next time. If you lack the time or energy to keep this up, set a clear list of priorities for the marketing of the site and make sure you keep those working permanently. It’s similar to what I was saying about the social media platforms. You don’t have to be everywhere but make the profiles you keep, count.

  • Denay DeGuzman

    October 24, 2017 at 2:51 PM

    What a great article. It’s filled with so much to think about and digest. Thanks so much for sharing your marketing resources and solutions – they sound fantastic!

    • Alexandra Nicola

      Alexandra Nicola

      November 7, 2017 at 11:30 AM

      Glad you enjoyed it, Denay!

  • Esse D

    October 24, 2017 at 5:43 PM

    This is good insight on expectation marketing. I’ve tried it, but It has to be a well oiled machine to work effectively. While I’m still mastering the art, this post will definitely help me along the way!

    • Alexandra Nicola

      Alexandra Nicola

      November 7, 2017 at 11:30 AM

      Well, Expectation Marketing does need constant work. But hey we are here to help keep this machine going!

  • ChrissyAdventures

    October 24, 2017 at 6:18 PM

    How interesting. I didn’t realize that there were so many resources for bloggers and writers available. I may have to look into this a little further.

    • Alexandra Nicola

      Alexandra Nicola

      November 7, 2017 at 11:29 AM

      And plenty more. I’ve mentioned just a few here but the list can always be longer with other tools and options.

  • miranda

    October 24, 2017 at 6:53 PM

    this is really exciting. I’m currently taking a short course in marketing and its really interesting reading your points. I can’t wait to share them in class

    • Alexandra Nicola

      Alexandra Nicola

      November 7, 2017 at 11:28 AM

      Awesome! Let us know what they think as well.

  • Amber Myers

    October 24, 2017 at 6:54 PM

    Your posts are always helpful. I always try to post things on my page to get a conversation going. And then I chime in as well!

    • Alexandra Nicola

      Alexandra Nicola

      November 7, 2017 at 11:27 AM

      It’s great to encourage the responses of your audience and keep the conversation going!

  • Sarah Bailey

    October 24, 2017 at 9:24 PM

    This is really interesting, I like that you have shared ways to see it is working as well, as I think sometimes people don’t always recognise all the ways you can see that and that can cause issues.

    • Alexandra Nicola

      Alexandra Nicola

      November 7, 2017 at 11:26 AM

      I agree, Sarah. Sometimes it’s hard to make decisions from the outside and it’s important to understand all sides.

  • Emman Damian

    October 25, 2017 at 3:54 AM

    Expectation marketing is something I want to explore. It looks like a good opportunity for my business.

    • Alexandra Nicola

      Alexandra Nicola

      November 7, 2017 at 11:25 AM

      Definitely is. And the great part is that we can help you apply it!

  • Kiwi

    October 25, 2017 at 1:32 PM

    Expectation in any form can be disappointing if you are looking for rapid results. Same with digital marketing but consistency and long term work with it can produce the results one is looking for.

    • Alexandra Nicola

      Alexandra Nicola

      November 7, 2017 at 11:25 AM

      It’s true. Long-term strategies are the ones that bring the real sustainable results. Expectation Marketing is one of those options.

  • Akamatra

    October 26, 2017 at 6:45 AM

    This is very informative. In total honesty the mechanism behind expectation marketing are quite difficult for me to grasp 100% and that’s why I am currently in the market for a SEO expert.

    • Alexandra Nicola

      Alexandra Nicola

      November 7, 2017 at 11:23 AM

      Don’t hesitate to let us know what problems you are facing. Our agency is ready to help.

  • TColeman

    October 26, 2017 at 12:33 PM

    This is so interesting . I think that I do this somewhat with expectation marketing when it pertains to my blogging posts.

    • Alexandra Nicola

      Alexandra Nicola

      November 7, 2017 at 11:22 AM

      Try to avoid the mistakes and focus on best practices.