3 Strategies To Build Brand Awareness

StrategyDriven Marketing and Sales Article | 3 Strategies To Build Brand AwarenessBrand awareness is crucial to any business, particularly when launching a new product or service. Think about it – customers aren’t going to buy from a company they don’t recognize or believe is trustworthy and credible. Hence why you must focus on brand awareness in your marketing campaigns and consider innovative ways to introduce customers to your products and services. Brand awareness helps attract new customers, secure valuable repeat business, and boost sales and profits. With this in mind, here are three effective strategies to build brand awareness.

1. Collaborate with influencers

Collaborating with influencers is an excellent way to build brand awareness, increase organic traffic to your site, and boost sales. Influencers have a large audience who follow them and trust their opinions. Having an established influencer recommend your product or service to their followers can instantly improve your brand image, expand your reach, and attract new customers to your business. However, investing in influencers can be wasted expensive if you don’t choose the right ones to work with. Here are some useful tips to help you choose the right influencers for your brand:

  • Find an influencer who posts content in your specific niche. Their posts need to be relevant to your brand and align with your values.
  • Make sure their audience is actively engaging – are they liking, commenting, and sharing their content?
  • Check they are posting consistently and have an active presence on social media channels. Advice on coschedule.com suggests this should be – “one post a day on Facebook, one to two posts a day on Instagram, and approximately 15 tweets a day on Twitter.”

2. Use video marketing

Video is a powerful marketing tool that can be used to build brand visibility and establish you as an authority in your industry. A recent study suggests that a massive 84% of internet traffic will be video by 2020. Video is one of the most engaging, interesting, and popular methods of content with consumers. These statistics clearly demonstrate why all businesses should be using video media as part of their marketing campaigns. Fortunately, there are many companies offering videography and editing services – For example, Its Bernard has worked with many companies to build brand awareness and increase sales through effective video marketing campaigns.

3. Do SEO research

Most people don’t look past the first few pages of search engine results. This means consumers are unlikely to even see your website if you don’t rank highly in search engine result pages. Finding ways to improve your SEO strategy is, therefore, an effective way to build brand awareness and increase traffic to your website. Start by researching ways to enhance your SEO. For instance, identify which specific keywords and phrases are most effective in your particular niche, then find ways to include these naturally within your content. Keep in mind that search engines like Google are constantly updating the ways they rank content. Hence why it’s so important to stay up to date with the current SEO trends. If you’re struggling to improve the SEO ranking of your website, then consider outsourcing this responsibility to SEO specialists.

Here’s why your Marketing Efforts are Failing

StrategyDriven Marketing and Sales Article |Marketing|Here’s why your Marketing Efforts are FailingIf you run a business, then it’s understandable why you would want your marketing efforts to be successful. If you aren’t sure if yours are then there are a couple of things that you can do to try and help yourself. Take a look below to try and find out more.

Lack of Strategy

The main reason why your business marketing doesn’t work is because you don’t have a strategy. It may be that you are conducting your marketing activities without thinking about them properly or even that you are just too busy chasing the next big thing. If you want to help yourself here, then you have to make sure that you understand your business goals and that you build a strategy that works around it. If you don’t then you will be wasting your time and your money, and this is the last thing that you need.

You Don’t Understand your Customers.

Think about it, when was the last time you really gave your customers some thought? When was the last time you rang them up or took the time to really talk to them? If you haven’t done this in quite some time, then it may help to do that now. If you don’t then you may become out of touch with your customer base or you may even find that you don’t know who they are. When you do this, you will give yourself the chance to really understand them and what they want from you.

Not Having a Call to Action

When it comes to digital marketing, it’s very easy for you to get caught up in social media without having a real call to action. Your customers may have an interest in your business, but they might not know the action that you want them to take. This can be frustrating for them and for you, so whenever you do post on social media, make sure that you have a call to action and also make sure that you make your message clear.

You’re Not Using the Right Channels

If you want to understand how important using the right channels is, then take the following as an example. CB radios are used by truckers as it allows them to communicate with each other. The one thing that you need to take note of is that both truckers need to be tuned in to the same channel in order to actually hear one another. If they don’t then they will be talking with no response. In other words, it doesn’t really matter what they say, because they aren’t being heard. Marketing works in a very similar way. If your business is marketing through a channel that your customers are not using, then you can guarantee that they won’t be getting the message. For example, if you are spending all of your time marketing through Twitter but you know that your potential prospects don’t have a Twitter account then this won’t be doing you any favours at all. If you want to help yourself here, then you need to discover where your audience hangs out and where they get all of their information. Are they going online? Are they using social networking sites? If so which ones? By finding out this information, you can then begin to invest in the right channels, and you can also make sure that your efforts are not going to waste.

Poor Targeting

Sometimes your marketing efforts won’t work because you are essentially targeting the wrong people. You might be using the right channels and you may feel as though you have everything lined up, but if you are targeting people who have no interest in your product then this will really go against you. This is very common in digital advertising, as you essentially have the option to connect with the whole world. Take Facebook for example, they make it very easy for you to boost your post if you are willing to pay a little bit of money. This approach isn’t really targeted though, so if you are wondering why your reach isn’t very good or if you aren’t sure why you’re not converting then there is a high chance that this is the reason why. You are essentially not sending the right advertisements to the right people and if you are not careful then this will really put a hole in your pocket.

You’re Not Being Patient

Sometimes marketing doesn’t work because you don’t stick at it long enough. Sometimes it can take up to a year for you to start seeing real results. Sure, you will see some indicators along the way that your strategy is working, but you won’t really start seeing major results until this time. This is why perseverance is so important. You have to make sure that you don’t give up and that you also make sure that you give your campaign more than enough time. If you want fast results, check out these video marketing ideas.

Your Service Sucks

Sometimes the problem isn’t with the marketing you’re doing. Sometimes the problem will actually lie with you. This can be a tough pill to swallow but it’s something that you do need to be aware of. If you are really good at marketing, then you may get some people in the door, but they will drop your company in a matter of seconds if you are not able to live up to their expectations. For this reason, you have to make sure that you live up to your promises and that you also provide them with a fantastic customer service. If you want to help yourself here, then you will soon find that talking to your customers is super important. If you don’t then you might you are not giving them what they need, and this is the last thing that you want when you are trying to build your business.

You Aren’t Investing

Sure, you may be investing a great deal in your marketing budget and this is great, but if it’s still an afterthought for your organisation or if your team are not contributing as much as they could be, then there is a high chance that you aren’t going to be achieving the results you need. Successful marketing requires both time and money, and if you are not investing both then you could be missing out. If you’re not sure where you’re going wrong, then this could be because your marketing budget is too small. If you are using PPC for example, then you may need to pay more so that you can show up under certain keywords. You might also have to spend more in order to get the visibility and the click-through rates that you need. Wishing and hoping will not get you where you want to be and you need to be diligent with your efforts too. It may be that you need to make a new site or that you refocus your sales process so that it is more customer-centred. Either way, it doesn’t really matter which option you go with, as long as you are implementing the right tactics and as long as you are actually listening to what your customers have to say.

You Make it Hard to Buy

Your business could be great, and your marketing might even be great too, but if you make it difficult for customers to buy from you then they certainly won’t. Think about it, how many times have you been able to find a great product online, but never actually ended up buying it purely because the buying process was far too difficult? It happens far more than you realise and it’s safe to say that this could be one of the many things holding your business back. If you want to help yourself here then you need to make sure that you make your buying process as simple as possible.

So if you feel as though your marketing efforts are failing miserably then there could be a couple of reasons for this. If you take your time and make sure that you are meeting the needs of your customers then you can turn things around. As mentioned above, it’s also important that you have a call to action and that you also make your buying process as simple as possible. If you do all of this then you will soon find that you are able to get the best result out of your marketing while also going above and beyond for your customers. If you need some more support, then it may be worth hiring a digital marketing service. When you do, they can then analyse your marketing efforts and they can also talk you through the changes you need to make and how they are going to make your business better and more efficient overall. When hiring a company, it also helps to make sure that they specialise in your niche, for example, if you deal in the sale of cars, hire a company that are known for their automobile SEO.

Brands Represent Risk Mitigation for Consumers

StrategyDriven Marketing and Sales Article | Brands Represent Risk Mitigation for ConsumersThings exist because we need them. We have brands not because companies made them, but because society needs them. If society and consumers didn’t need brands, no amount of effort from companies could bring them into existence.

How do brands work on a societal level? Let’s start by listening to economists instead of brand experts.

Some economists explain brands from a game-theory perspective. They say that brands are a mechanism for companies to engage customers in repeated games. And by giving customers an opportunity to punish companies, brands create a worry-free choice for consumers.

No trust can be created in a one-time game. Why do tourist traps offer such poor quality for high prices? Because it’s a one-time game. Shops and restaurants at tourist destinations know that you’re unlikely to come back, and they don’t expect you to. On the other hand, the restaurant right around the corner – which also caters to year-round residents – provides great service and quality, because they’re counting on repeat business from satisfied customers. If you don’t like the restaurant, you can punish it by never visiting again. A neighborhood restaurant relies on customers from nearby. It can’t survive if it’s alienated them.

In the US, McDonald’s doesn’t allow franchise locations near highway rest stops. All McDonald’s locations in rest stops are directly owned and operated by the corporation. That’s because stopping at a McDonald’s right off a highway is a one-time game for that specific location. It’s only a repeated game from the perspective of the company’s national headquarters. And so, McDonald’s maintains ownership of these one-time game locations to ensure the quality and service that its brand is known for.

That’s why we say brands are a social mechanism to mitigate risk for customers when they purchase goods and services.

This guest post is adapted from SUPER SIGNS: Taking Your Brand To The Ultimate Level by Sam Hua and Nan Hua, founding partners of Shanghai H&H Marketing Consulting Company.

About The Authors

StrategyDriven Expert Contributor | Sam HuaSam Hua is a board chairman and founding partner of Shanghai H&H Marketing Consulting Co., Ltd, a well-known expert in creative strategic marketing, and chief brand adviser of National Real Estate Manager Alliance. He has been dedicated to marketing strategies and creative marketing services for nearly 20 years. He established the first systematic marketing methodology – “H&H Methodology” – in the domestic marketing circle.

StrategyDriven Expert Contributor | Nan HuaNan Hua is a founding partner of Shanghai H&H Marketing Consulting Co., Ltd and Board Chairman of Dook Media Group Ltd. He is a co-producer of several movies such as So Young and Old Boys: the Way of the Dragon.

Preparing For That First Business Convention

StrategyDriven Marketing and Sales Article |Convention|Preparing For That First Business ConventionAs a firm, many milestones come your way. Your first five employees show the start of something promising while surviving your first financial year shows that you have some merit behind what you’re doing. Additionally, framing the first dollar you have ever received in a revenue context can help you tremendously.

But there’s almost nothing as big as that first business convention. For many firms, this can make them as nervous as can be, almost as if the company was a shy entity preparing for its first date. This is because not only does a firm wish to impress, but they will be in the presence of industry leaders whom they may wish to network with.

Of course, the public visibility of such an event is often something that holds additional merit, because we wish to show everyone that we have what it takes to stand with the big boys. To that end, let us consider how to appropriately prepare for your first business convention. With the following words, you’re sure to hit it out of the park:

Hire A Visible Lot

When it comes to booking your expo space, most event halls will ask that you hire an allotment of space. Within this, you may be assigned a booth, or you may be allowed to construct your own display feature yourself. It’s important that you invest in one that will be visible and also gain traffic from passers-by walking the event. In some cases, larger space is preferable to visible traction, and vice versa depending on your goals.

For product demonstrations, it might be worth erecting a large indoor tent for people to walk in and engage with your demonstration rather than watching it behind a large crowd. Additionally, if engagement and ensuring people sign up to follow your social media accounts is your goal, a smaller space may be preferable. It all depends on what you hope to achieve, and if you think that’s a realistic goal or not.

Regardless, it’s essential to consider what your needs are before booking the space, because you need to understand what your budget is going to look like. Additionally, hiring out space on a main stage for a large product demonstration may cost a little more. It’s important to be on top of your planning for this and plan your presence to a T.

Promote Your Attendance

It’s important to promote your attendance thoroughly if you hope for people to come and visit. You might not be a massive attraction at this stage, so it can be worthwhile to promote the event above all things. This is an easier sell, because it shows potential visitors that they have the chance to come, maybe see you, but also have a great day or weekend at said show. Using the event’s social media kit, you may align your marketing with theirs. But if you hope to use their licensed work for anything you may need to discuss this with the event organizers and gain express permission for this. If it’s solely to benefit the event, there may be some room for negotiations.

Craft Your Merchandise

Merchandise is an essential part of running a competent trade show event. If you cater to this carefully, you can market yourself with considerable weight. Consider the practical items you may give out as freebies. For example, if it’s in the middle of summer, a branded baseball cap can be a great idea. If you book an event space near the entrance of the convention center and you hand out a branded tote bag to each visitor, you have managed to give said visitors a place to store all of their other belongings and merch they are given when walking around the event. When all of the competition’s branded merch is hidden within your large branded bag, you can see who the victor of the public imaging war will be.

Merch is a great way to help those who do not know of your presence come to check out your stall, especially if you’re giving away great items such as hooded sweatshirts for engaging with a product demonstration. Everyone likes free stuff, and if the first memory a potential expo-goer has of your firm is something quality, practical and complimentary? You can be sure they’re going to give you that second look later on down the line.

With this advice, you’re certain to prepare well for that first business convention.

Why Including Government Procurement In Your Sales & Marketing Strategy Will Catapult Your Business To The Next Level

StrategyDriven Marketing and Sales Article |Government Procurement|Why Including Government Procurement In Your Sales & Marketing Strategy Will Catapult Your Business To The Next LevelThe federal government spends over $4 trillion per year, and state & local agencies spend over $3 trillion. Government spending is the largest “industry” in the United States representing over 13% of U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) — with manufacturing second at 12% of GDP.

Yet, despite this enormous opportunity, many companies don’t pursue doing business with the government because of common misconceptions about the government sales process.

I want to set the record straight. It’s time for business leaders to know the facts of government sales rather than believing the many myths surrounding this lucrative and probable client.

Most business leaders believe that government sales are beyond their reach and that the process is just too complicated. But times have changed. Doing business with the government has become more viable for ALL businesses — including small and minority-owned businesses. The process of government procurement has been streamlined — making it very feasible for the smallest of company’s and well worth the effort.

Government sales have evolved so much so that a majority of the spending does NOT go through a bid or RFP process. In fact, 80% of all government spending does go through a bid or RFP. Government agencies are using a wide variety of procurement options to complete purchases within weeks . . .or even days. In addition, the GSA has huge initiative to modernize its procurement process with an eMarketplace, which will help even the playing field further – ensuring that virtually all businesses have an opportunity to sell to the government.

Combined, U.S. governmental agencies represent the largest customer in the world, spending over $7 trillion per year. How can your company make no attempt to sell to the largest “prospect” in the world that spends an average of $20 billion per day?

Some of the best business advice you will receive is that your company MUST designate some resources toward selling to the government.

There are many benefits of doing business with the government. Unlike private companies, government agencies always pay. Most agencies have very high credit ratings, and companies can even get advanced payments from financial institutions on the future payments of government contracts (if necessary).

In addition, government spending is almost recession proof. When the normal business cycle slows and private industry spending declines — government agencies still spend large amounts of money. Government contracts are typically larger and can span multiple years. So, just 1 to 2 multi-year government contracts can have a MAJOR impact on the revenue of your company – catapulting your business to the next level.

If your business does not currently have one… I encourage you to create a government sales initiative to pursue the enormous opportunity of government procurement.

About the Author

StrategyDriven Expert Contributor | Jack SineyJack Siney is an entrepreneur with over 25 years of experience in government sales and procurement. He co-founded his current company, GovSpend, Inc., that aggregates the purchase order data from government agencies at the federal, state, & local levels.