DOES YOUR BRAND NEED BOOT CAMP?

Online content and marketing strategies are continuously evolving and changing. In today’s competitive environment, remaining still can cause your brand to get swept away in the current. Just treading water isn’t a viable strategy, either. Stagnancy and complacency in business are productivity killers. Is your brand strategy feeling a bit stale lately? Then you may need a brand boot camp.


1. Positioning
Understanding and capitalizing on what makes your brand unique can breathe new life into your marketing strategies. Unless you have an incredibly, remarkably, earth-shatteringly different product or service never seen before, you have to position your brand.

What does this look like? Well, for starters, you want to differentiate your product or service from your main competitors. Why should a customer choose your offering over the other company’s offering?

On the flipside, you want to see what your competitors have that you don’t. Do they have something that you need? One of the easiest ways to gain new customers and increase your audience base is to target your main competitor’s following. But, your brand will need to be more appealing than the targeted competitor.

2. Reach
How are you currently reaching your ideal customers? If you’ve noticed that new follower acquisition has stagnated, it’s time to fish in deeper, different waters. To find new places to reach people, you want to fully understand the different mediums where your brand messaging is most effectively conveyed to viewers. Look around for a popular, new platform where you could start communicating your message. Where are your competitors finding new viewers?

3. Experience

One of the most effective ways to increase your customer base and conversions is through improved customer experience. It’s crucial that you ensure a positive experience throughout the buyer’s journey. Remember, you want it to be pleasant, efficient, and offer real, valuable utility to the user. Customer experience though is not something that can be quickly or easily manipulated.  Providing valuable, useful services and products will help increase and also maintain your brand’s positive reputation.

It’s not enough to send your brand to boot camp and develop improvements for your company if you aren’t sure of your goals. Make sure you have a plan and a strategy involved when you give your brand a makeover. What experience do you want to give your customers? What end goal are each of your new developments supporting? When you have a set of clear, concrete objectives, your plans will be much easier to implement, and it will keep your team focused on the end goal.

Don’t let stagnancy and complacency sink your brand. With better positioning, improvements to the customer experience, and increased reach, you’ll breathe new life into your company with brand boot camp.

INPUT VS OUTPUT: WHAT'S MORE IMPORTANT TO CLIENTS?

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You’ve probably heard that “content is king,” but recent studies suggest that strategy is the supreme ruler when it comes to marketing and business growth. Studies from B2C Benchmark Report shows that 47% of the most successful content marketers utilize a documented and researched strategy for content marketing. Only 5% of the least effective content marketers don’t.
 
So, is input, or research and strategy, more important than content, assets, and overall output? Yes.
 
Emphasizing content and assets over research and strategy is like putting the cart before the horse. A documented, well-researched plan is the secret of success behind the most effective content marketing campaigns. That’s not to say that output isn’t important, though. The output is the fruit of strategic input labor.
 
But how exactly should you build the strategy? And when should you emphasize and invest in the assets your strategy should produce for your clients?
 
How to Optimize Output for Clients
Your content strategy, or output, needs to be determined via research, and hard numbers, and data. Guess-work is not a strategy. Relying on measurable data will increase the likelihood of marketing success.
 
Research should include the who, what, where, and why to increase the campaign’s effectiveness — the who, what, when, and why will become the essential ingredients in your campaign - audience, trends, media, and competitor analysis.
 
Who is your audience?
Do you want to understand your client’s online prospects? Then you need to know who their audience is. How do they make purchases? What answers are they looking for? How do they make purchasing decisions, and how does the buyer’s journey look for them? Knowing your client’s target audience will help you develop anoutput, or content strategy, that is tailored to their specific needs and will resonate the most with them.
 
What are the trends?
Knowing the trends associated with your client's industry or niche will help you develop your future assets. Analyzing the most engaging content or assets in your client’s niche will give you the data you need to determine the trending content patterns that are most likely to engage your client’s target audience members.
 
Where is the media influence?
Assessing media will give you the opportunity to find out who the top online media members and influencers are for your client's industry. Evaluating media will provide you with a chance to maximize the amplification of your future content and other assets.
 
The Final Why
Gaining an edge over your client’s fiercest competitors is one of the reasons behind creating and implementing an effective content marketing strategy that is crucial for business success. A strategic competitor analysis will help you and your client find any opportunities at the bottom or in the middle of your funnel that your competitors may not be capitalizing on.
 
Having a comprehensive input strategy in place for your clients will ultimately maximize the effectiveness of your content marketing campaigns. Backing your content strategy with research, and hard data will also significantly increase the chances of the campaign becoming a success. While output is important, input requires more of your time and attention, because it is the ultimate foundation for marketing success.

3 REASONS WHY YOU NEED AGENCY AND IN-HOUSE MARKETING COLLABORATION

Do you find “either/or” choices restrictive and stuffy? You don’t have to choose between hiring an ad agency or only using an in-house marketing team. It’s possible to use both and get the benefits of each with on-point collaboration between these two powerhouses.

What are the benefits of using an in-house marketing team?

An in-house marketing team is built from the ground up. Each member of the team has an intimate understanding of your products, your positioning, your customer demographics, and the brand in general. Companies who invest in an in-house marketing team can keep and grow expertise within the business. Individuals on the marketing team have both long-term strategies and long-term goals for your brand. They’re experts who can see and adopt new marketing trends fast.

What are the benefits of hiring an outside ad agency?

Ad agencies can get the job done quickly. If you need results fast to satisfy an investor, c-suite, or a new VIP client, then farming out specific, one-off jobs to an ad agency can be worth it. An ad agency also offers a new, fresh take on marketing strategies for your products and services where an in-house team might become myopic, relying on time-tested strategies that risk becoming stale.

Why should you use both an in-house marketing team and an ad agency?

If you’ve invested in building a team of qualified experts for your in-house marketing department, it’s a great idea to appoint an in-house marketer to handle the communication between the rest of the team and the ad agency. What are the major reasons why you should combine the two?

  1. You need the benefits of both types of marketing teams. There may come a time where you need the brand expertise present in your in-house marketing team, along with the innovation that a quality ad agency can give you.

  2. You need to stay flexible. Are you unsure of which strategy is going to give you the best results? Combining the efforts of an in-house marketing team with an ad agency can help you stay flexible. Depending on how things go, you can either focus on expanding your in-house team, or adding more ad agency services at some point during the project.

  3. Your budget is limited. Hiring a fully staffed, in-house marketing team can be cost prohibitive for many startups and small to mid-sized businesses. If you don’t have the budget to employ a full in-house marketing team just yet, combining two or three in-house marketers with ad agency services can save your business money. An ad agency can fill in the gaps where you may be missing valuable in-house marketing expertise.

Farming out work to an ad agency, or staying strictly in-house both have their pros and cons. But when you combine the two, you get the benefits of both. Where one side is weak, the other can lend their strengths to bridge any gaps in your marketing plans. Instead of limiting yourself with an either/or choice, consider using both types of marketing powerhouses to grow your business and increase your revenue.

3 REASONS WHY BEING REAL HAS NEVER BEEN MORE STYLISH

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In a world where the lines between reality are becoming increasingly blurred, consumers are demanding more authentic and genuine products and marketing strategies from businesses. Entrepreneurs and marketers are becoming savvier when it comes to positioning their products as real and honest, from the way they are manufactured to the ingredients or materials they are made out of, and finally, to the way those products and services are marketed.
 
Information in today’s world is democratized, and it’s now easier than ever before for consumers to thoroughly research a product before they hit the “buy” button. Before, it was all too easy for less ethical businesses to use questionable ingredients, materials, or manufacturing processes to bring their products to market. With consumers demanding more transparency, their tastes are drastically changing.
 
Brands that have tapped into consumers’ need for real and honest products and marketing have managed to position themselves as industry heavyweights, such as Honest Tea and RXBar. In today’s business climate, being real and honest has never been more stylish. And with the rise of social media and user-generated content, honesty in business is here to stay. Here are three compelling reasons why:
 

1. Authenticity Matters

Recent surveys have found that up to 86% of all consumers claim that brand authenticity is an important factor in which companies they choose to support. The findings were even more stark depending on the age of the survey participant.
 
90% of Millennial consumers say brand authenticity is essential. This generational cohort now commands more than 200 billion dollars in annual spending power. But, they're often cited as the demographic least likely to be engaged with brands.
 
As the consumer market ages and younger and younger people start participating in the economy, brands need to stay competitive with real and organic positioning, instead of coming off as polished and packaged.
 

2. Modern consumers consider user-generated content the most authentic.

Everyone with an internet connection has access to social media, where they can express their thoughts, feelings, and share their lives with friends and strangers alike. Surveys show that consumers find written and visual content created by average, everyday people on social networks the most genuine or authentic. 70% of millennials claim that social media content from their friends and family have the most impact on their purchasing decisions, versus only 23% of celebrity influencers.
 

3. Authenticity can’t be faked.

Not only do consumers want more authentic content from brands, but they are also savvier at discerning brand-generated content. 70% of consumers can distinguish between content that is user-generated and content that brands have cultivated strictly for marketing purposes. 20% of all consumers have unfollowed a brand on social media because they thought their content was inauthentic.
 
The drive for real, honest products and marketing in the consumer market is being driven by a need for things that are timeless, and long-lasting. Being real, genuine, and honest with your brand positioning and storytelling will help your business maintain a competitive edge in today’s climate.

So, did you like this blog? Honestly?