As a marketing concept, personal branding has been a concept that was slow to gain traction in many corporate fields. Amongst our entrepreneurial clients and those who manage micro-companies, personal branding is a vitally important way for them to differentiate themselves from other entrepreneurs and business owners. Businesses that potentially do, or offer a similar product or service.
If you’re already using social media to promote your business or offering then you may well be wondering what all the fuss is all about. If you’re not, and you’re relying on HTML email campaigns sent to lists of customers and potential customers, then 2018 is going to mark a big change in how you market your business. GDPR is going to change the way a large number of businesses do ‘business’. We’ve written about GDPR before (HERE) but for those of you who’ve been hiding in a cave, in May 2018 there will be major new legislation coming into force called the EU General Data Protection Regulation.
The rise of social and mobile – Target people not pixels.
Firstly let’s start this off by saying unequivocally that the rise of social and mobile consumption is nothing new. Consumer time spent on mobile surpassed time spent on desktop in 2013 – That’s nearly five years ago… So, why are advertisers still spending so much on display adverts designed for an outdated desktop?
I have a three-year-old Pug called Monty, and every day come rain or shine I take him out for a walk. He still looks like a puppy, from 100 yards away he can still draw people in and get them to crack a smile. It amazes me the attraction that a small Pug has on people both young and old.
Social Media for B2B
One thing we come up against time and time again when we’re asked to help a company with their social media promotion is the lack of imagination when it comes to telling stories about what that particular company does. It’s as if the simple fact they’re working ‘IN’ the company so much that they fail to see the human impact the business operation has.
As an agency we help B2B companies see the bigger picture – invariably there’s a human interest angle to what the company does that can be exploited to promote the company.
At the time of writing, we’re roughly 7 months away from the introduction of GDPR or General Data Protection Regulation which comes into force on the 25th May 2018. A quick Google search for GDPR pulls up a host of PPC ads asking you “Are you ready for GDPR?” and “GDPR Compliance – What you need to know”. If you delve a bit deeper you’ll probably find some highly emotive headlines telling you the world is going to end, the EU are going to fine you 20m Euros, the dead will rise from the grave, dogs and cats will live together… you know the drill.
Do you know that brand advocacy is the most powerful element of your marketing strategy? Not top notch SEO, not expensive UX Design and not next generation Ai. None of these things come close to beating the voice of your existing customers, in fact, word of mouth can be attributed to being behind 20 to 50% of all purchasing decisions.
What a person says about your brand, whether on social media, Google reviews or even while in the pub, converts like no other channel. Customers who are willing to share their great experience with your brand are your greatest asset. Leveraging them into your marketing strategy will give you more ROI than anything else.
Brand Advocacy: Understanding your customers:
A large proportion of consumers, and importantly your customers, don’t trust traditional advertising but 90% believe in brand recommendations from their friends and trusted industry leaders.
This phenomenon is why marketing techniques like influencer marketing and word of mouth have become massive in recent years. But it’s nothing new. Brands have been utilising influencers and industry leaders in order to promote their products and services for as long as there have been brands.
One practical example is Cristiano Ronaldo’s contract with a popular brand. In 2016 alone, he generated $500M in value for Nike.
“Ronaldo posted 1,703 times overall on social media in 2016. Those posts generated 2.25 billion social interactions (likes, comments, shares, retweets, and views on videos). Nike was referenced or its logo visible in a photo or video in 347 of the posts. These posts had 477 million interactions. The result: $499.6 million for Nike in media value from Ronaldo’s posts.”
Marketers are turning to brand ambassadors, social media influencers and even motivated customers to help them meet their marketing goals – in the process, they’re building brand awareness, acquiring new customers and keeping retention numbers at a healthy level.
At Shareable we help you create more of these highly satisfied customers. We help build brand awareness and relationships with customers who will become brand advocates for you, posting pictures of your product on Instagram and taking the time to write reviews on your business’s Facebook page.
Brand Advocacy: How we do it.
Let’s face it, incentives work and when you’re first building your brand advocate army they can be a way to get an easy win. Ask yourself: ‘why’ someone should follow you on Social Media. Generally speaking, people won’t engage with your brand if other people aren’t – even if your product or service is exemplary.
By incentivising your social media engagement (especially in the early stages) you are more likely to build lasting positive relationships with your target audience demographic. Getting the ball rolling with a competition, discount or give away can be a very cheap way to rapidly build a highly targeted audience.
Brand Advocacy: Building a customer-centric knowledge base
As marketers, we are often using our content marketing activities to educate our clients’ customers about the products or services they’re selling. This content becomes highly shareable information that customers can share with their own friends and contacts on social media. Are you writing a blog for your customers? Ask yourself if the blog posts you’re writing are something that your customers would be likely to share. If not, why not? If the content isn’t up to scratch then it’s unlikely that they’ll view it as something to share with their network of friends and colleagues.
Adobe’s recent ‘State of Content’ report found that some of the top reasons for sharing content are because people want to:
- Raise awareness on an issue
- Share knowledge
- Show others content that’s enjoyable
- Connect with others
Create content with value
More than 50% consumers, worldwide, are happy to pay more for products or services from brands that are aligned with their values. Is your brand environmentally friendly? Is it sustainable? Do you want to be known for social awareness? Consumers are more passionate about the brands that advocate their passions.
Be involved. Have an opinion as a brand. You don’t have start some great cause to inspire your audience and turn them into advocates, simply speaking out or becoming involved as issues arise can show consumers how much your brand cares. More importantly, you’re giving your brand advocates a good reason to talk about your company.
Brand Advocacy: Saying thanks
When someone writes a positive review, say thank you. If they refer a friend, say thank you. Have they shared their experience with their social networks or in any way advocated your brand, say thank you. Real brand advocates are the ones who shout out your brand whenever they have a positive experience. Want to encourage more advocacy from your satisfied customer base? Let them know their act was appreciated.
Managing multiple blog posts that target the same keyword?
What is cornerstone content? We’ve touched on the SEO power of blog posts elsewhere in the site, but something that occurs with many of our clients who have active blogs is that they often end up with multiple posts on their sites all targeting the same keyword. For many reasons, this is obviously far from ideal as their site content essentially starts to compete against itself and at the detriment to their cornerstone content.
Why do we use infographics? Well, given that recent reports tell us that the average human in 2017 has an attention span of 8 seconds (Stay with me), down from 12 seconds in the year 2000 – (Although this is open to debate), when we’re not actively trying to pay attention, we actually have a shorter attention span than the average goldfish.