How to Use Searchlight’s Online Marketing Platform

Searchlight is a marketing platform designed for marketers who want to take their research and marketing to the next level. The platform allows you to build reports and analyze the data that matters to you.

Features

There is a lot that this platform can do, so let’s walk through some of the important features:

  • Marketing Automation: You can set up automated email campaigns, landing pages, and more through a simple interface.
  • Analytics: Through the use of Google Analytics, you can track the results of your marketing efforts in real time.
  • Competitive Analysis: By creating filters and charts, you can track the performance of your competitors.
  • Content Curating: With over 150 sources of content, you can always find what you’re looking for — be it video, articles, or social media content.
  • Marketing Charts: Create custom charts to track the performance of your marketing campaigns, with the ability to overlay different sets of data.
  • Campaign Reporting: Track the performance of each individual campaign, with the ability to slice and dice your results by date, page, and more.
  • Blog: Create and maintain a blog to publish content regularly, whether you want to promote a new product or service, host a blog carnival, or just write up some blog posts for your own enjoyment.
  • Case Studies: Use real-life examples to teach your readers about your products or services. For example, if you sell hair extensions, you can use case studies about famous people like Taylor Swift and Emily Mortimer who wore your extensions to promote your product.
  • eCommerce: Build an online store (website or store-within-a-website) to promote your products and services. Use this eCommerce store along with your blog to create a lead generation funnel that will bring in customers into your network.
  • Social Media: Use the popular social media platforms to connect with your current and potential customers. Create and manage your own social media accounts to engage with your audience and share content that is relevant to them.
  • Community: Host a Facebook group or create a LinkedIn group to promote discussion around your industry and engage with other marketers.
  • Pricing: Searchlight is free for marketers who want to run up to three campaigns per day, with the ability to add more campaigns as you progress.

How to Use Searchlight

Let’s use Searchlight to conduct a real-world example analysis. Say we’re a hair extension company called Hair Pro who wants to learn more about customers’ online search behaviour. We can set up a free account with Searchlight and begin our journey. We’ll need to download the app from Google Play or the App Store.

Once the app is installed on your phone, you’ll see a Google search bar at the top of the app.

To begin our analysis, we’ll type in “hair extensions” into the search bar and hit enter.

Then, we’ll see a set of suggested results, which in this case are articles about hair extensions. We can click on any of those articles to be directed to the vendor’s website.

On the site, we’ll see the standard search results with the title, description, and URL. Next to each piece of content is a small orange icon with an exclamation point (!).

Tapping on this icon brings up an options page where we can click to like or leave a comment, as well as subscribe to or follow the blog.

We’ll click “subscribe” to get notifications when new content is published. Then, we’ll return to the search results page and click on one of the articles we’re reading to continue the analysis. From this point forward, the article will be opened in reader view, with added benefits like highlighted search terms and embedded videos.

Setting Up Email Marketing

Let’s say we’re a car manufacturer named Ford who wants to promote their new SUV, the Mustang. To do this, we’ll need to set up email marketing through Searchlight. In this case, we can visit the Email Marketing tab at the top of the screen to get started.

Here, we can choose which emails we’ll use for our campaign from a drop-down menu. We’ll need to make sure we have our SMTP (simple mail transfer protocol) and email address, as well as select a password. Then, we’ll have the ability to choose how we want to send our messages.

Some email marketing services like MailChimp give you the option of doing all the work yourself through their simple to use interface. In this case, we’ll need to visit https://mailchimp.com/ to get started.

Creative

One of the most important aspects of any marketing campaign is the creative used to attract customers in the first place. Whether you’re advertising on television, putting up ads on social media, or producing marketing materials like brochures, websites, and more — the creative has to grab attention and encourage somebody to action.

Some creative ideas that you can use to attract potential customers include:

  • Product demos: Give your potential customers a taste of what they’ll experience when they buy your product. This can be as simple as showing them how to use your product for the first time, or staging a dinner where you serve your product, or comparing it to another popular product.
  • Compare and contrast: If you’re selling shoes, you might want to highlight the fact that your product is different from the competition. For example, you could point out that your shoes are made from quality materials and are designed in a way that makes them look and feel like designer shoes, but at a much more affordable price.
  • Emotional appeals: People get what they want when they feel something. If you want to persuade somebody to buy your product, you could try using an emotional appeal like guilt or desire to please to get them to act.
  • Scarcity: Give your customers the feeling that there’s a limited amount of something desirable. For example, if you’re selling shoes, you could have customers choose a pair of shoes amongst a variety of options, or give them the opportunity to buy an iconic item that’s limited edition.
  • Visual aids: Show your customers what your product can do. For example, if you sell shoes, you could create a short video showcasing the different types of sports and activities that their shoes could be used for. This would help them understand the benefits of your product.
  • Niche: Define a niche for yourself and your product among your competition. If you can prove there is insufficient market demand for your product in the general category, you can increase your chances of selling it by creating a niche for it. For example, a keychain lamp company might want to focus on the niche of mini LED lamps, due to the high demand and low supply in the general area of small lamps.
  • Triggers: Set events in the near future that you’ll use to entice customers to action. For example, if you want to get people to visit your website, you could create a special offer just for first-time customers. Or, if you want to encourage them to buy a specific product, you could state that a limited edition item is available and when it sells out, the customer who bought it will get a special bonus item.

When it comes to digital marketing, often the creative is king or queen. Whether you want to design a corporate logo, decorate a webpage, or create a marketing video, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to get creative and to use your imagination to come up with unique and engaging ideas that will help you market your product or service.