10 Jul 2018 10 Marketing must haves for businesses
A successful business must have brand guidelines, some of which may have developed naturally over time as a business has progressed, whereas others may have been set out from the very beginning in their marketing strategy, with a very consistent message to be used across all platforms.
Brand guidelines can also be referred to as a style guide, and are an essential part of a business’s marketing strategy. To be brief, a set of brand guidelines is a document that guides employees and designers on how different elements of the business should be represented to customers.
For example, brand guidelines will suggest how the following should look:
• Fonts – This will include the look and size of headers and body text, it may even include minimum sizes to ensure text is legible.
• Logo – This will list the colours that must be used, the minimum size, and any alternatives for example a white version that can be used on darker or coloured backgrounds.
• Colour Palette – A list of colours that can be used in association with the business across all forms of media e.g. web & print
• Artwork / Images – Includes any artwork created by designers for consistent branding.
There are many reasons why you should have brand guidelines, below we have listed our 4 top reasons:
- They help to maintain professionalism
- They aid brand recognition
- They are useful for employees
Unless you’re ‘not interested in growing your brand’, said no business owner ever… your business must have a website. Businesses are no longer about selling a service or goods, they have become about providing something of value to customers, and customers generally expect a website – especially millennials.
A website is a great place to provide proof that customers are happy with your business, by either allowing them to leave comments or by including testimonials on your site – 90% of consumers claim that online reviews influence their buying decisions.
Although you cannot control what others say about you, a website offers you a platform to voice your company’s missions and values and more importantly influence potential customers.
Studies show customers typically start their shopper journey with research and recommendation which eventually leads to online research. It is more than likely your competitors have websites – don’t give customers a reason to buy from another brand, stay competitive by including a website in your marketing strategy.
Be Mobile Friendly
Ever looked around and noticed that everyone is glued to their phone? Yes, gone are the days of perfecting the art of staring into space while trying not to accidentally make eye contact with the weirdo on public transport. Now we have phones and social media.
1.2billion people are accessing the internet from their mobile devices and 80% of those are using a smartphone – in other words, if they’re online they are probably using their phone.
An important thing to remember is, mobile users behave differently, focusing on visual media; short videos and images being the most clicked on. To capture this audience, it is important to firstly be responsive and secondly include high volumes of visual media in your marketing strategy.
Being mobile friendly links right the way back to brand guidelines – remember we mentioned about maintaining a high level of professionalism? Well, mobile users tend to switch between devices, which means you need to remain consistent across all platforms to make sure you don’t lose them. Follow your brand guidelines when creating or update your website – a great mobile site will differentiate your brand from competitors.
Follow this helpful link to find out if your website is responsive: https://search.google.com/test/mobile-friendly
SEO is quite possibly one of the most misunderstood terms used in marketing, and often instils fear and confusion in the heart of many a business owner.
SEO cannot wave a magic wand for your business, it can however provide:
• Business visibility
• Web traffic
• A high ROI (Return on Investment)
• Insight into consumer behaviour
It’s obvious that when people search a term relating to your business you want to appear as high up in the search engine rankings as possible. When used correctly SEO is a powerful tool that can help you achieve this, creating a higher visibility and awareness for your brand.
Consumers tend to make a mental list of where business appear in the search engine rankings, in their eyes the higher up the list you are the more you appear to be a credible business.
Blog posts are a definite must for any marketing strategy, they are the simplest way to direct traffic to your website with a single click. You can even use clever tricks such as including outbound links to relevant pages of your website in your blog posts. They are a quick and easy way to improve SEO for your company website provided you include keywords – every time one is uploaded to your website search engines will note that your website has been updated (Search engines really like this).
A blog post can be a great way to engage with potential customers – offering helpful advice or how-to videos in the form of blog posts is valuable content to them and could be what they need to convince them to buy your product or service.
Content is king – we’ve all heard this saying, but it only applies if the content is valuable!
Before you include content on your website or in your company literature – think about what your customers expect from you and what they want to know.
When you are marketing to a specific target market, talk about what your product or service can do for them, let them know why they need your help. Provide them with valuable content in the form of a video that shows them how to assemble the product they just bought.
Are you marketing for the right people? A lot of money can be wasted on targeting the wrong people, if you haven’t already, create a marketing strategy – this should include all the data you currently have on people that have bought from you in the past.
Analyse your data, get to know your customer, engage with them on social media, you can only profit from learning to understand them better.
It is important to remember – your target market is not who you want to sell to, it is who wants to buy from you.
Social media presence
The first thing you should ask when creating a social media marketing strategy – are my customers using social media? If the answer is yes, then you should be too. It is important to connect with your customers across every platform to generate a strong brand identity.
Social media allows you to contact your customers directly, so whether you’re sharing information on when a new product is arriving in-store or useful hints and tips, this is direct engagement and will strengthen your brand identity amongst consumers.
Social media allows you to direct customers to your website, providing a higher chance of conversions.
Don’t forget, you can also check out the competition, sometimes looking at what your competitors are doing can help you to improve your business – and potentially spot at gap in the market.
Interact with customers
Customer engagement is the emotional connection between a customer and a brand. Highly engaged customers buy more, promote more, and demonstrate more loyalty. Providing high-quality customer experience is important to remember when creating your marketing strategy.
The more a company continues to interact with their customers the more they understand them, this allows business the begin to personalise their approach in a way they know their target audience will respond positively too.
With new devices and social media platforms being introduced, it has become easier than ever for companies to engage with their customers – you just need to discover which platforms your customers use and begin to interact with them.
Many companies don’t realise the opportunities that can come with meeting other business people through networking, it’s a simple yet effect way to begin your business success.
The main reason to attend events of course is to meet potential clients, generally there is a positive atmosphere which can boost a customer’s interest, events can enhance employee passion, drive and overall morale.
Attending an event can be an act of self-investment, people who attend experience growth from becoming more informed. Business owners can see first-hand how stakeholders react to their company message, providing the valuable insight needed to create a successful marketing campaign.