Knowing When To Market Yourself
Running a business can be a troubling time. It's hard enough managing expenses, employees, hours, and then getting time to eat dinner or control a coffee addiction.
At some point, business owners begin to question whether their marketing efforts are making a difference.
If a business owner comes to the conclusion that a marketing firm should be outsourced to help identify needs and outline a plan, then finding the right one will probably be an equal challenge.
If you've never worked with a marketing agency chances are, that it could be a daunting experience. Marketing firms typically have to pay large sums not only to pay their employees, but pay the rent and keep the lights on.
They also have to fuel employees with truck loads of coffee....
So, you're probably in need of a company that will actually listen to your needs, identify them on their own, and not waste your money with strategies that don't make any headway in the grand scheme of the campaign.
First, let's take a step back and consider what your marketing needs and goals are. Set up some preliminary questions for the group when you meet, and make sure they seem like a good fit for your project.
Many marketing agencies will implement a client on-boarding process that will address key issues in the overall brand strategy.
There isn't one catch-all solution to building a successful marketing campaign. Discuss your past failures and successes and try to pinpoint the demographic that's coming to you for services. Many marketing firms feature a single specialty and they use it like a taking a hammer to a box of nails. Their key might not open all the doors. Need any more analogies? I didn't think so.
Marketing efforts often go on in vein. For every successful brand you are able to recognize, there's four that go successfully but basically unnoticed and five that fail utterly.
Creating and Implementing A Plan
The idea of most marketing companies is to take some mixture of digital marketing and social media and hope for the best, to spend some money on ads and pray that it hits the mark their client desired. However, it's much more important to make the brand a muse and really look at holistically servicing their needs. For instance, creating their story, through many different techniques, it could be building a website, or revamping the company logo.
Brands identity don't live and die on the internet, it's actually a matter of bringing them to life in the real world first. We see ads and graphic design work all day everyday, whether we realize it or not. Those are the brands, out in the real world, that make the biggest impression on us.
Thus, it's quite important to build a recognizable entity for a business, and bring it to life with a story. Recently, we created a targeted video that told a brands story. It was hugely successful because it identified their needs and delivered their unique business aspects to the
Recently discussed here as well, was the rise in popularity of video across the web. It's a rather important aspect of marketing and will only become stronger as the technology for video-based media increases. I doubt anyone would've bet that you could create a career for yourself by simply playing video games and letting other watch on twitch.tv, yet it exists thanks to the internet.
In true Idaho business fashion, it's the ones that give back to the community and create their own narrative that stick out. Many examples come to mind, you see people wearing their swag downtown and at the farmers market, even participating in the regular events that curate.
While many think that jumping on the next big trend is ahead of all other duties, it's really just about being consistent. All to often we look to see what Google or Facebook is up to next, when in reality it's not the end-all be-all solution that we think.
The Four Tentpoles of Marketing
In truth, marketing can be thought of as a tent, and finding the most fragile tent pole is the job of an agency.
As we stated before community events are highly reputable ways of making a difference. We might not all have the power to throw a huge party for the community every other month though.
Like most problems we all face, it's easy to take a macroscopic or microscopic view of these issues. In reality, the solution could be as simple as reviewing your feedback on yelp or responding to comments on your Facebook page.
In fact, the value of this is tenfold, it helps your demographic understand that your business has a pulse, and sends similar signals to the web at large. Potential customers see these signs and will see the value demonstrated, taking it as a good sign!
Some of these platforms have become the primary method of communication, depending on what your business offers.
Social media lends it hand to this sort of holistic view as well. Social media marketing has the immense ability to make a brand exist with new life, garnering more attention, more inquiries and eventually more customer conversions.
Remember these three things that will make your business stand out:
Engage: participate in discussion with your demographic, as memorable interactions drive return customers.
Create: Set aside time to plan and create content that will standout to your market, even if you're not directly earning income from it, the dividends will pay off
Sustain: Make sure you look alive out there on google maps and the social media world, there's nothing worse than leaving information out of date on the web, help people find your business and understand it.