Tag: Marketing

Setting Goals with Your Marketing

It’s a new year and that means you have a brand new chance to make an impact with your small business! You’ve gone through another year of trial and error with an even better idea of what does, and doesn’t work, when it comes to marketing your business. Now it’s time to take that information and create a plan for going even bigger this year!

First, let’s start with identifying your marketing goals.

Types of Marketing Goals

What sort of goals should you be aiming for with your marketing this year? The truth is always that this will vary based on loads of factors including type of business, industry, location, audience, and more. However, there are some tried and true recommendations for marketing goals that you can start with.

  • Online vs Offline – What percentage of the time will you dedicate to marketing yourself online? What percentage of time will you market yourself offline, such as events, networking, trade shows, speaking, and business functions?
  • Target Audience – Do you know your target audience and ideal client? If not, it’s time to figure that out. If you do, will that stay the same this year? What goals can you set to connect more with your audience?
  • SEO – What goals can you jot down that will help you be FOUND online?
  • Conversion – If you are at all interested in growing your business online, what conversion tools and goals will you set this year? (This could include websites, landing pages, social ads, or online courses.)
  • Authority – What goals will you set to increase your credibility and authority this year? Will you collect more online reviews and testimonials? Will you create original content? Will you pitch to be a guest on other blogs, podcasts, or videos?
  • Social Media Marketing – Last, but never least, what’s your goals for building your social media presence and audience?

Setting Your Goals with S.M.A.R.T. Way

Too often do I see small business owners setting goals based on what they wished would happen with no thought or data to back up whether or not their goals are even plausible. The S.M.A.R.T goals method ensures that you are selecting goals that are well thought out and built for you to be successful.

Specific – Your goals are not dreams. They need to be specific so you know what you are aiming for and can create a step-by-step for achieving it.

Measurable – If you can’t quantify the goal, how will you know whether or not you achieved it. A goal should be measurable. Once achieved, you should be able to prove that you’ve completed it so you can move on to something bigger and better.

Achievable – Goal setting only works if you are actually able to achieve the goals you have set for yourself. Becoming a million-dollar business is an admirable goal but if you don’t even have clients yet, aiming for something lower that you can build on is a better plan.

Relevant – Does your goal relate to what you are trying to build this year? Can you tie the goal into a specific result you are targeting by year-end. Why is this goal relevant to where your business is at and going this year?

This should give you plenty to think about so that you can create a marketing strategy for 2020 that works for your business.

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Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media, Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedInFacebookTwitterBlogGoogle+YouTubePinterestInstagram, and the tools to manage them.

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#AwesomeConsistency – How Consistency Makes Your Brand Stand Out

In our last post, we talked about why consistency is essential to your social media strategy. The focus was mostly on what your audience expects in terms of presence. However, there are many reasons why posting consistently is a game changer for your social and one of them is brand impact. Not only are you vying every day for your target audience’s attention, you are competing against other brands to earn influence and credibility as well.
With our shortened attention spans and the flood of content being directed at us daily, standing out as a brand on social media is no walk in the park. Without consistency, it is difficult to adequately get your vision across to your viewers.  If you haven’t managed to deliver this in social, you can bet someone offering something similar has cracked the code. 
The businesses that are doing this will be instantly recognized – at a glance. You don’t have to read an ad to know if it’s coming from Nike or Apple or Disney. Your peripheral vision, and this instant recognition of their brand, is enough for an audience to immediately pinpoint whose marketing it is. 
How can you switch up your social postings to make them more consistent – and instantly recognizable? 
Schedule
The first step is putting together a solid editorial calendar. Having a set schedule for your posts will help you when creating content but also helps your audience know what to expect from you. Brands can also post above and beyond what their calendar entails as long as they stick to the consistent schedule. 
Style Guide
Having an overall idea of what your brand will look like online is a good idea but having it all put together into a branding style guide is even better. If you are investing any amount of time into developing your brand, then a style guide is necessary for maintaining consistency. Here are some examples of what a style guide looks like to give you an idea of what you will need to pull together.
Tone/Voice
Writers (and copywriters) fully understand how essential developing the right tone for copy can be. Having a brand “voice” will remind you how to remain consistent. Are you sassy? Professional? Informative? If you could describe your brand in three words – what would they be? 
First you have to define your voice and then you have to ensure that you are using the same tone in all your branding. Here is an article to help you get started.
Graphics/Images
Last, but certainly not least, is developing visual content for your online presence, marketing, and social media. 
“Visual content has become so prevalent that it’s no longer just a piece of the marketing industry, but its core.”
Kimberlee Morrison
To get attention today, you have to invest in visual content. Videos, graphics, memes, infographics, slide shows – all of these are visuals. Our attention spans are ridiculously short and a brand needs high-quality, stunning, eye-catching graphics in order to grab attention and get noticed. Consistency comes into play when developing these because you want your audience to instantly recognize you, and your brand, when they glance at content you’ve created. 

If you follow these guidelines, you will find that you are already ahead of the curve when compared to much of your competition. Creating your social media strategy, so you can #BeAwesome at what you do, should involve a plan ensuring your branding is consistent across all channels. 

Be sure to Follow us and Let’s Engage!
Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media, Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedInFacebookTwitterBlogGoogle+YouTubePinterestInstagram and the tools to manage them.

#AuthenticallyAwesome – An Authentic Branding Strategy

As a small business owner, you already understand the value of branding. If you’ve been following my blog, you’re also aware of the importance of personal branding. Now that you have the fundamentals, let’s talk about where many people go wrong with branding. We spend so much time putting together our strategy and our content that occasionally authenticity gets lost.
Have you ever come across any of the following?
  •      A brand that didn’t ring true to its own messaging?
  •      A business owner whose message felt forced?
  •      Content that didn’t seem to match up with the projected brand?
  •      Inconsistency or lack of clarity in a brand’s content?
  •      Drastic swings in message without a proper re-branding strategy?
I’m sure at some point, you’ve witnessed at least one of the above scenarios. It happens. Just because you are an entrepreneur or small business owner, doesn’t mean that you are a branding expert.
Authenticity
The path to authenticity lies in taking the time to discover who you really are. What does your company provide, what pain points does it solve, and how do you provide solutions to problems? What is your message? How do you want to present it to the world? These are the questions that have to be answered because, without this knowledge, you are not able to be authentic in your marketing.
“Authentic companies don’t try to be something they’re not, but instead recognize what they are, what they do best, and what customers value most about them.” 
Vision Critical

Consistency  
Where many businesses miss the boat is failing to remain consistent. Consistency is a vital aspect of branding. Your company, and your team, must live your brand story every day. It needs to be shared, in a variety of ways, as often as possible with your target audience. A clear, concise, consistent message will make a bigger impact than just throwing whatever out there and hoping for the best result. Understand your brand, understand your message and then develop a process where you are sharing high-quality, authentic contentwith your followers.
Brand Loyalty
Authenticity has a powerful return on investment. Honesty, integrity, and candor are highly sought after and valued. Opening up a window, allowing yourself to be a bit exposed and vulnerable, breeds trust within your audience. That trust converts into brand loyalty. Loyal brand ambassadors are the best, FREE, marketing strategy a company can have. Your tribe will not only follow and engage with you – those who trust your message will share it, whenever and wherever they can. This is the real return on being authentic in your marketing.

Don’t be afraid to shine. You have to put yourself out there. Toss aside the masks you tend to use for protection when you face the world and have faith that your authentic message will draw the right clients to your doorstep. This is a fundamental foundation to #BeAwesome with your branding.

Be sure to Follow us and Let’s Engage!
Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media, Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedInFacebookTwitterBlogGoogle+,YouTubePinterestInstagram and the tools to manage them.

#BrandConsistency – Themes in Your Marketing Can Help With Consistency

One highly-useful tool for Brand Consistency is the use of themes. Marketing themes help solidify your branding in the mind of your audience. There are two areas you should consider when it comes to themes: visual recurring themes and thematic messages.

Visual Brand Consistency


Visual Brand Consistency is something we’ve mentioned before. You want your images and messages to follow guidelines you’ve built for your company. Think of brands you know. Pepsi and Coca Cola are two that really stand out. Across the board, they use the same branding style: Colors, fonts, etc. to push their brand into the mind of the consumer.So how do you create visual brand consistency? 

  • Create a brand use document where you list how your logo icon can be used. Make sure you provide a color and black and white logo. Place your logos in a group folder so your employees can use the logos as needed for official correspondence.
  • Use uniform colors across your social media platforms and website. 
  • Standard graphic layouts. It’s best to create a graphics template for your preferred social media interaction. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and more all have ideal size requirements. Create templates that meet those needs. Don’t forget to include a PowerPoint and video template that has your logo already inserted. Creating these templates will save you time and money since no one will have to guess which layouts work.
  • Uniform images with logo placement. To further expand on your logo style guide, you need to determine where your logo and text should be placed. Consistency is key. 
  • Keep the same cover image for all aspects of your social media platform so your customers aren’t jarred by inconsistency. Modify it, of course, to adapt to the platform’s requirements, but keeping consistent is necessary for making you stand out in a crowd.

Thematic Consistency 

  • Create a one-line summary of your company, a tagline if you will. Expand it, by adding a two-sentence paragraph that further explains the mission of your company. After this, create several in-depth paragraphs with detailed descriptions. Provide your blogs, social media, and website links in that final detailed description package. Use these as needed depending on your social interaction. If you have room for a one-line summary, then use that. If you have an opportunity to further explain, use the more in-depth options. These files, like the logos mentioned above, should be available for your company’s use.
  • Create themed content based on your company’s values. If you believe in speedy delivery, create content that emphasizes that part of your brand. If your company puts the customer first, emphasize that instead. While you can have more than one value, choose the one you want to emphasize over the others.
  • Release themed content on a consistent basis. Whether you’re doing a Q&A, highlighting new trends, or providing motivational content on Mondays, keep your content consistent with both releases and styles.

These are just some ways to get you started. If you’re ready to tackle #BrandConsistency, start with your brand and logo use document. Decide which fonts, colors, and logo can be used. Once you have that established, move into building thematic content. Templates are key to speed and quality, so make sure you set them up as soon as possible.Do you have any tips on Brand Consistency? Let us know in comments. 

Be sure to Follow us and Let’s Engage!
Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media, Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedInFacebookTwitterBlogGoogle+,YouTubePinterestInstagram and the tools to manage them.

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