I could spend a lot of words talking about marketing tools, trends and theories that may or may not work for your business.
Don’t get me wrong.
Those words are valuable in the marketing world … for marketing professionals. If you’re a business owner unfamiliar with the digital marketing industry, however, those words might seem pretty meaningless.
This blog will go so far beyond the nuts-and-bolts of marketing that Search Engine Optimization (SEO) experts would be quick to note the lack of search engine keyword stuffing. Instead, I present key practical advice that might help get your head in the game.
Heather Bragg is a well-known marketing consultant whose unique experience as a former newspaper journalist leads businesses to success. Heather is best known for developing well-rounded marketing plans that focus on the long-term.
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Be an active participant in your brand’s story
Make marketing a priority in your everyday schedule to answer questions and provide approvals. Otherwise, your marketing pros won’t know how to proceed or they’ll go in the wrong direction.
Business owners are their brands’ original authors. You know why you started your business. You know all of the details on your services and products. You know what inherently sets your business apart. You know why your customers like you. You also know what you need to do better. And most importantly, you know where you want to take your business.
Your marketing team takes their cues from you on everything from how much money to spend on advertising to how to describe your business in the content on your website. If you aren’t clearly communicating your brand’s story with the professionals in charge of your marketing, then you’re throwing money out the window — because they’re going to keep taking your money regardless.
Stop saying you don’t want to ‘brag’
(Obviously, with the last name Bragg, I have some strong opinions about this).
Fear-based decision making puts a cork on a sieve of opportunities for your business.
Instead, reframe this train of thought.
You aren’t bragging. You’re helping potential customers decide whether you’re the right fit for them.
The average person knows when they are consuming sales and marketing. There is a pre-existing expectation when someone sees an ad in a magazine, a promotional article online, a TV commercial, a YouTube video and a social media post.
You’re not fooling anyone.
Marketing language that sometimes feels egotistical or even narcissistic (an often overused and wrongly used term) is how your business builds confidence — for the general public and for yourself. After all, if you can’t talk about your business with pride and conviction, how do you expect a customer to trust you?
Don’t get bogged down by too much data
Our marketing agency provides detailed reports with lots of data. We seek trends and patterns. But we always ask, “Is your phone ringing?”
Without context, marketing data can lead to analysis paralysis. I have seen other marketing agency owners become so blinded by endless numbers that come from all things marketing that they don’t know what to make of it. Worse, they don’t know what to do next.
Most business owners seek bottom-line results with marketing. How is that social media post affecting cash flow? Is social media an expense or an investment? Some foundational marketing strategies can be difficult to track straight to your bank account. But the intangible word-of-mouth benefits of marketing that seem nebulous to those outside the marketing industry can have a dramatic impact on your business.
The most successful marketing that I have seen comes from a voice of authenticity, truthfulness and transparency. Your audience wants to feel a connection with your brand. That connection builds trust.
That trust leads to loyal customers who will do all of the bragging for you.