3-pointerOver 50 million of us follow college basketball’s annual March Madness, but you can bet not everyone is a devoted fan. For many, it’s a fun time to scan predictions, fill in brackets and follow the story lines as the teams get whittled down to one champion.

Part of the drama is the 3-point shot.

Done well, 3-pointers are effortless, fluid and artistic—shot from “outside the arc” over 20 feet from the basket. In reality they’re a carefully orchestrated part of the game plan, requiring expertise, drills, teamwork. And, you guessed it, the analogy carries over to your marketing communications program. Your sales and marketing team is practicing drills and executing tactics to become #1 among your competitors.

Likely, your plan is already carefully orchestrated to achieve maximum goals and results. Maybe you want to increase leads and add to your list of prospects. Maybe you’re changing your brand and want to increase awareness. Maybe you want to be #1 in organic search results.

Whatever your game plan, there should be some 3-pointers among your tactics. Why?

It’s often less crowded outside the arc—20 feet 9 inches from the rim can gain you a lot of room. Out there, you’ll have less competition and fewer voices clamoring for your prospects’ attention. Here are some ideas for your game strategy:

Lead generation—If lead generation is important, there are several 3-pointer tactics you can choose from. Sure, electronic ads, e-newsletter blasts and white papers achieve the 2-point results. In addition, choose something else to give you that extra boost of leads. Think webinars, ebooks and other too-good-to-refuse tactics that generate offers and leads.

Build awareness—Don’t simply say “hello” to your audience, introducing them to who you are and what you offer. Put extra effort into your print and electronic advertising messages. Add one or two offers linking to a landing page where readers can download a white paper or case study. You’ll want to set up Google Analytics to make sure you can track those 3-pointer results.

Boost credibility—If you want to increase credibility in publication editorial pages, write a definitive white paper about an industry-changing technology your company has developed. Send it with a well-crafted pitch and an editor will find it irresistible. If you haven’t developed the technology, then describe how your product can help audiences adopt the technology. Remember, a white paper is not promotional; it’s educational and the credibility you gain with your target audience is a real 3-pointer.

March Madness is a fun time of year. When you tune in this weekend to watch the Final Four, you’ll see more than a few expertly shot 3-pointers: the ball arcing gracefully toward the basket and breezing through with a whoosh. Your 3-pointers this year could be just as exciting. For more information, contact Susan McPherson.