By Stephanie Guyotte
Companies of all sizes – and especially startups entering a competitive market – must have a strong and consistent message that they share with their audiences all the time – a drumbeat, so to speak.
Understanding and deploying a Drumbeat Marketing strategy for startups and small businesses was the focus of a hybrid event hosted by the UMass Lowell Innovation Hub and York IE, a strategic growth firm.
“What do you want to be known for?” asked Kate Campbell, York IE’s vice president of advisory services, who lead the session.
Campbell guided attendees through tips to help define a company’s message and build content that can be reused and repurposed.
The event was attended by iHub member companies in person at the Innovation Hub Haverhill and online audience of more than 50 people, which included startup founders, entrepreneurs, alumni, students, and UML staff.
“Your drumbeat marketing doesn’t start when your product goes to launch,” Campbell said. “It starts much, much earlier. It’s about building a message over time that is strong, consistent and disciplined. Your team should all know the message and be able to share it with your audiences over and over. It builds credibility. Especially for startups that need to show what they are doing differently than their competitors.”
Campbell encouraged the audience to do marketing every day – a blog post, schedule a social media post or shoot a quick video.
“It can be overwhelming, but if you get into the habit of doing one piece every day, you will build that consistency that leads to brand recognition,” she said.
Campbell, joined by York IE’s Head of Content Colin Steele, shared how York IE’s own approach is to create its content and then repurpose and share that content on multiple platforms. For example, a data-filled white paper will be turned into a company blog post. Quotes are taken from the blog post and shared as short tweets with an image or graphic. The white paper can be the content for a press release to the media.
“There are audiences everywhere and companies always have content to share that they don’t even realize it all of the time,” Campbell said.
UML Adjunct Professor David Rattigan encouraged students in his Professional Communications class to attend the event.
“This was a good chance to introduce business students to the concept (of drumbeat marketing),” Rattigan said. “Different students took out different messages depending on their areas of interest (entrepreneurial, marketing), but my focus is on the communication itself: refining and executing a message, reaching different audiences through different channels, and the detail that goes into communication.”