One of the natural laws of the business world is that people do business with those whom they know, like, and trust. This means that you will do business with those whom you know, like, and trust. And others will do business with you if they know you, like you, and trust you.
For consultants, coaches, and freelancers you are your brand! To attract and convert clients it’s important that your potential clients have an opportunity to get to know you. This is a great way to create trust, which leads to conversion.
To know you, your potential client must ‘get’ you. This kind of knowing is not surface knowledge where people have seen your name, logo, brand, or content. In that kind of knowing, people recognise you and know you exist. You’re not a total unknown or stranger. They know about you or of you.
The kind of knowing you want – the kind that opens up greater possibilities for stronger relationships that can lead to sales – is deeper – the kind of knowing that follows when someone shares private details and understands what sits at your core or foundation.
Your website and social platforms are used to enable this and in particular the use of short videos on Instagram.
To like you, your potential client must connect with you.
Liking comes down to being open and honest, to being who you are, and to sharing common interests. Just be open about your insights and talents, and how you can use them to serve (not sell).
To get people to like you the following tactics can be used:
– Create content that inspires people and makes them feel good – aspirational content.
– Recognise that you’re selling to people – people who are consuming your content. Use second-person language. It’s far more personal and increases a sense of connection.
– Provide real value in your content, not a sales spiel – create and distribute apps, checklists, best-practice guides, research results, and how-to’s.
– Show your personality and style. How about giving the reader a sense of your business’ culture? Is your ideal client a risk taker, or does she shy away from risk? Tap into the story in your audience member’s head.
To trust you, your potential client must feel safe. Although the trust element is easier to work into content, it’s harder to answer the question, “What does it mean to trust someone?” I like this definition from Tam Thao Pham posted on Quora:
“Trust is about the intersection of the past and future. It’s taking the evidence of the past (sometimes your own past and references) and extrapolating that into the future – what can I expect going forward? – and then being able to apply this information within a context of risk.
“To trust a human being is to be able to anticipate generally how (that person will) behave in most of the future situations in which you might encounter them, and to feel comfort in taking an (often emotional) risk based on that (anticipated behaviour).”
However, how do you give potential clients a sense of trust if they haven’t done business with you yet? How can you build enough trust so potential clients feel good about saying yes?
Here are a few ideas.
– Provide social proof. Share testimonials from people who have consumed your services. This is already on your website. You could use these as a post on your socials too.
– Share stories of how you successfully helped others achieve results. Do this both online and offline. This is where PR can play a role in your marketing mix.
– Be transparent. Let people see who and what you are — and who and what you’re not.
– Offer a money-back guarantee. This tactic doesn’t work for every business, but a guarantee goes a long way toward building trust.
– Be accessible. Place your contact details on every page of your site in a sidebar or a footer. From the potential client’s perspective, it’s nice to be on someone’s site and see you can reach them easily.
Know, like, and trust are the real things that affect how people perceive your brand.
Marketing Strategies vs. Marketing Plans: What’s the Difference?
Is there really a difference between a marketing strategy and a marketing plan?
While the terms are commonly used interchangeably, they are actually two very different concepts in the real world.
Your marketing strategy is your approach to achieving your competitive advantage — the marketing plan is the activities that will help you achieve your marketing goals.
Simply put, a marketing strategy is the “what,” and a marketing plan is the “how.”
What is a marketing strategy?
A marketing strategy is the overarching framework for how you will market your product or service. It includes:
Your business goals.
Identifying your marketing objectives that are aligned with the business.
What you’re offering.
Who your target audience is and what their needs are.
What industry or niche you serve.
Who your main competitors are
What your company stands for.
Your brand’s guidelines.
The timeframe for a strategy is around 3 years.
What is a marketing plan?
A marketing plan is the set of activities that will help you achieve your objectives. This includes:
The messages and offers to use in your marketing campaigns
How you’ll measure success (i.e., what metrics are important)
Your channels for distributing content or products, such as social media or email newsletters
Your budget for marketing activities
Timing of marketing activities for a 12 month period
A marketing plan follows the marketing strategy and turns it into a list of activities or projects that will be carried out over a specified time frame to achieve your marketing objectives.
The strategy and plan work together to provide your marketing approach. And your marketing should make your product or service sell itself.
As Peter Drucker said “The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself.”
In conclusion for a small business its important that you take the time to develop your marketing strategy and marketing plan. Start with a marketing strategy first, this will help guide your marketing plan.
For the small business owner, creating a marketing strategy and a marketing plan can be difficult without someone to provide guidance and help along the way. If you are struggling we would be happy to take you from start-to-finish with your plan so don’t wait another second!
The Importance of Marketing Strategy for Small Business
Marketing strategy is the most important aspect of any business. It’s more than just selling a product or service, it’s about branding and messaging to connect with your target audience in the best way possible. Marketing strategy is also about understanding what makes you different from your competitors and leveraging that difference to attract customers. This blog post will cover how marketing strategy can help small businesses achieve their goals and grow sustainably.
What is marketing strategy and how does it relate to your business?
Marketing Strategy is the process of planning and executing a course of action to achieve specific goals. These are some things you should consider when starting your marketing strategy, so that you can more effectively market your product or service to consumers.
What are my goals?
Who is my target audience?
What is my message to attract prospective consumers?
How much time do I have to dedicate towards marketing activities?
How much should I spend on marketing?
What are my goals?
Most businesses have no idea what their marketing goals are, which makes it hard for them to measure success. You are not alone if you find you are struggling to decide what your marketing goals should be. A good start is to consider using the following common goals:
To increase brand awareness
To generate high-quality leads
To grow and maintain thought leadership
To increase customer value
Who is my target audience?
Your target audience refers to the specific group of consumers most likely to want your product or service, and therefore, the group of people who you should aim your marketing activities at. The target audience may be defined by age, gender, income, location, interests or a myriad of other factors.
There are 7 ways to determine your target audience:
Analyse your customer base and carry out client interviews
Conduct market research and identify industry trends
Define who your target audience isn’t
Use google analytics
What is my message to attract prospective consumers?
The core of your marketing strategy is a message that expresses the essence of why a customer buys your product or service. They are often used to generate demand, build brand awareness and sell. An example is “You’ll save so much you’ll think you won the lottery.”
The 7 Components of a Brilliant Marketing Message
They get to the point.
They take the customer’s viewpoint.
They use familiar language.
They feel informal.
They say something original.
They need no further explanation.
They make you smile.
How much time do I have to dedicate to marketing activities?
You know that marketing activities are important, but often you don’t have the time to figure out what they should be. But if you do nothing, your competitors will eat your lunch!
There are 3 options to consider:
Do it yourself
Hire someone to do your marketing in-house
Employ a marketing consultant or agency to manage your marketing
How much should I be spending on marketing?
We’re the first to admit that finding a balance with marketing your business is a constant challenge. Small businesses don’t have the endless budgets of say a Coca Cola or McDonald’s; your budget comes with limits.
For small businesses, your investment has to pay off, almost in real time. What’s even scarier, you’re spending your money on the hope of future results, nothing is guaranteed – which is where many business owners get scared off.
But let’s face it, if you want to survive and outlast your competitors, the saying is true: “you need to spend some to make some”.
In reality, your budget should be relevant to your revenue, so let’s start with that.
Here’s a general rule of thumb:
Up to 5% to 7% of your total revenue: You are maintaining your existing sales.
Up to 7% to 10% of your total revenue: You are growing your business and being competitive.
Up to 10% to 15% of your total revenue: You are dominating, being aggressive and seeking brand saturation.
Remember, that this is all relevant to your competitors’ spend too. You won’t be dominating if you’re spending 15% of $200K and your competitor is spending 15% of one million dollars.
If you need help with marketing strategy, let us know. We’ll work with you to create a plan that supports your goals and time constraints. Have any of these questions been relevant for you? How much time do I have to dedicate towards marketing activities? What is my message to attract prospective consumers? What are my goals? Who is my target audience? How much should I spend on marketing or advertising in the first place if it’s not clear what kind of return on investment will be generated by spending money on ads/marketing campaigns/etc.? Let us answer all of your burning questions so that you can get started building your marketing strategy today!
Importance of Facebook Insights
If you are a small business and have a business Facebook page and/or an Instagram page, you will know the importance of using the insights.
There are many different data-points available to measure such as likes, engagement, reach, and demographics. These insights will help you to understand how your content is resonating with your audience, how your Page is growing and provide you with an awesome overview of how your Facebook strategy is performing.
However, Facebook announced that the standalone Facebook Analytics tool, available at facebook.com/analytics, will no longer be available after 30 June 2021.
For a small business owner, this spells disaster as you need your insights to understand your users and customers. Thankfully, there are many other ways to collect valuable information and insights.
Facebook recommends these other business tools to help you understand your advertising, presence and activities on Facebook and Instagram.
Facebook Business Suite enables you to manage your Facebook and Instagram business accounts and can show you detailed insights about your audience, content and trends. Note: This tool may not be available to you yet.
Ads Manager lets you view, make changes and see results for all your Facebook campaigns, ad sets and ads.
Events Manager can help you set up and manage Facebook Business Tools like the Facebook pixel and the Conversions API, and reports actions taken on your website, in your app and in your physical store.
Outside of Facebook you can also get these insights from scheduling platforms such as Hootsuite, Later, Metricool, Planoly, ContentCal, Sprout Social and many others.
Brand Love: What is it and why is it important
A loved brand is defined as “a brand that has an emotional connection that strengthens the connection between company and consumer”.
The Lovemarks* theory is based on a simple premise:
Human beings are powered by emotion, not by reason.
This is the essence of the Lovemarks argument. If you want people to take action—whether for something momentous, like voting for a president, or seemingly mundane, like buying one brand of facial tissues over another—you need to appeal to their emotions.
Neurologist Donald Calne perhaps said it best: “The essential difference between emotion and reason is that emotion leads to action while reason leads to conclusions.”
Why Brand Love Is Important
How does brand love benefit a company? Once built, that psychological connection with your consumers helps build a consumer/brand relationship and drive sales across the whole business. It often leads to:
Because of the relationship between the brand and consumer, 86% of US adults said they’d spend more on products and services from a brand they love.
Consumers are more likely to remain loyal to the brands they’ve built strong emotional connections with. 39.5% of consumers define brand loyalty as having love for a brand.
Customers who love your brand are more likely to recommend it to other consumers, helping increase sales. Up to half of all sales are driven by word-of-mouth.
Brand Love 101
Brand love is all about knowing your audience. What drives them, moves them, angers them, excites them. For each audience, they can be different things.
To find brand love, become more customer centric. Understand what matters to your consumers, and embody that in your marketing strategy
The World’s Top Ten Most Loved Brands 2021
For 2021, the top 10 most loved brands are:
Universal Music Group
5 Ways to Build Brand Consumer Love
It’s never too late to boost the love for your brand. Although each brand in this report found unique ways to build an emotional link with their customers, here are 5 steps to help you build that love connection.
Become customer centric
Understand your audience. Not just what they mean to your brand, but think broader than that. What are the issues they’re facing? What topics will get them engaged? Analyzing the voice of the customer is essential for this.
Find where your customers talk
There are numerous ways for consumers to stay connected. Whether that’s through social media, blogs or forums, there are now communities spread out across the internet. Find the channels that will work for them, and shape your conversations to suit those channels.
Don’t focus on your brand message. Consumers are looking for authentic connections with brands, and that means telling stories that they want to hear. Whether it’s tackling topics that are making global impact, or simply asking how they are, these will be perfect starting points for people to connect.
Marketing should be a two-way street. Be proactive, and join the conversations that are happening around your brand. Use social listening to find the mentions you may have missed, answer the questions people are asking, respond to social messaging. And try to involve your customers in your communication efforts – user-generated or influencer-led content should be part of your strategy.
Keep monitoring your brand love
Your brand love, and consumer perception, can change at any moment. A new campaign can give you a love boost, while a social media crisis can pull you down. By monitoring your brand constantly, you can see these changes, to make the most of every opportunity, and to shape the conversations to mitigate any potential risks.
*Lovemarks is a marketing concept that is intended to replace the idea of brands. Kevin Roberts.
Love Brand Report 2021 (Talkwalker.com)
Brand Strategy And The Lovemarks Theory (Brian Sheehan)
Brand Strategy Vital
In the latest Gartner CMO Spend Survey, brand strategy has leap-frogged to the top of marketing capabilities, from its lowly position near the bottom of the list in 2019, with one-third of CMOs now placing it in their top three capabilities that are essential for business success. CMO stands for Chief Marketing Officer.
The survey is conducted annually with over 400 marketing executives across North America, UK, Germany and France in a variety of industries.
The demand for brand strategy has never been greater. It’s not just that most companies are struggling with brand strategy – that’s been the case for decades. It is that these companies now know they are struggling and are actively seeking assistance.
Importance of Brand Strategy
If companies have been struggling with this for decades you could ask why has this become important now and just how are we going to tackle this?
The answer to first part of the question is to look at the old adage that states: “When times are good you should advertise. When times are bad you must advertise.” Brand awareness and relevance in times of strife are more important than ever. Covid-19 has certainly delivered strife!
The answer to second part of the question is to look no further than the teachings from Professor Mark Ritson. Mark is not only a professor of marketing but has been a marketing consultant to some of the top global brands for over 20 years. It’s his practical yet brilliant approach to brand strategy that has allowed these brands to continue to grow over decades.
I have been fortunate enough to learn about brand strategy from the guru himself. What is has taught me is that brand strategy really is not as complex or as difficult as many would have you believe. If you follow the process of diagnosis – strategy – tactics you can develop a decent strategy that will deliver the right results.