We’ve all heard of successful stories of small ideas turning into successful business. However, getting there might be easier said than done. It takes time, patience and a lot of strategic thinking. Therefore, it doesn’t come as a surprise that new business owners are faced with many challenges along the way including: brand identity, USPs, and of course how to create the business plan. It’s really the brand identity that challenges a lot of business so we’ve included an infographic. First off we need to turn the idea into a businesses and create a business plan.
Create A Business From An Idea
Every business starts with an idea. Turning idea into action is the next step. If you are a passionate entrepreneur, you already have the drive needed for success. However not everyone is a true entrepreneur – they are a particular personality type called a ‘creator’. There are many different personality types all suited for various roles within a business including the ‘protector’ and ‘teacher’ but usually it’s the creator who can turn an idea into a business. What’s interesting though is the creator type doesn’t rely on their own ideas as other people happily bring the ideas to them. These people have the idea but lack the risk profile and confidence to turn the idea into a business. Getting a slice of the action when the business succeeds is the pay off for bringing the idea to a creator.
However, there are other key ingredients for starting and growing a business from the ground up. Once the analysis and testing has confirmed there’s money to be made from the idea the next step is strategising how it can take shape and forecast it’s success via growth into different markets. This is documented into a well-developed business plan.
You might ask yourself what should this plan consist of? A comprehensive business plan consists of key components all needed to get the business off the ground and moving upwards and it should include: goals, objectives, strategy, sales and marketing, and a financial plan. It’s challenging to get all the information accurate so make a start on it and continually hone it over the lifetime of the business.
When entrepreneurs are trying to turn their idea into action, they can be faced with information overload. That’s one of the most common things which makes them give up on their ideas. The best advice is to break down every big goal to a smaller one. Don’t forget to be reasonable when setting your goals. The more factual, reasonable and precise your goals are, the easier is to reach them. Seek help too from the other personality types who love creating the boundaries and documentation.
Another important aspect of the business is continuous is market research. Research will give you insights about the marketplace as it evolves. You should know who your competitors are, and how they established their business in the industry. With marketplaces being more fierce than ever today, you should always have in mind your unique value proposition as known as unique selling proposition.
To develop the USP and articulate it verbally and in offline and online marketing and product collateral use the 5Ws to formulate questions that once answered provide the USP. Questions about your product or service pros and cons, competitor similarities and differences, target market, demographic audience, and more will provide structure and confidence so investment in your business is obtainable.
Every business needs working capital and while start up businesses can get off the ground with minimal funds, they hit the wall when funds dry up. Growth and marketshare require ongoing investment from banks, and investors. Once you’ve got all this sorted out there’s the brand identity to work on as it is the way you want your product or service to be perceived in the marketplace.
Brand Identity Elements
There are several elements of brand identity which you should pay special attention to. Besides the logo (which is very important in the digital age), you should think about the packaging, uniforms and business cards. It doesn’t stop here 🙂 There is also the marketing collateral too. Consistently of visual and verbal communication is vital. In today’s crowded marketplace, it really is ‘who shouts the loudest gets heard’, metaphorically speaking of course.
Bringing in a brand design expert to lead the campaign or project will inject another level of professionalism. This person or team will advise on colors, shapes and fonts combinations, and use their intellectual capital from all their experience in the business of designing brands for businesses in similar sectors and niches. The best combination of these elements depends on the industry your business is in, as well. So working in collaboration is vital, as opposed to outsourcing the lot and relying on the external team to get it right.
Here’s an example of what colours relate to or perceived to represent:
Green is usually used for natural products, Pink is popular in cosmetic industry, whereas in food industry colors used in product packaging should denote product flavor, when applicable.
Investing in your brand identity is sure to pay off. A professional and well established brand identity creates recognition among
consumers and this is exactly what you’ll need for your products or services.
Marketing is more effective when the product is recognised for the right reasons. By incorporating your core values into your brand identity, too the easier it becomes to establish the reputation you desire as well as secure new customers and build loyalty to your brand. The message you want to communicate to your target audience should be consistent throughout all channels offline and online. Since nowadays everyone is online, even your local plumber!
Creating brand identity might seem as a complicated process. However, there are some rules, and tips which can help you out in branding your business. The infographic below will guide you through the key elements of brand identity, and how to create them properly.
Fail Safe Digital Marketing To Generate Leads
Are you achieving your digital marketing goals? If you are, well done but a word of warning – keep going. Success can be our enemy, insofar as it’s easy to fall into the trap of believing you’ve done enough.
With achievement, comes a boost in confidence which is welcomed however it can also let complacency in.
How often have you celebrated a job well-done only to experience a drop in results just a few weeks on?
As marketers, we have all been there, so rather than seeking out someone else to blame, we need to look at what we’re doing and change it.
Dropping the ball on the marketing activity, i.e. doing less of it or eliminately some strategies altogether, is a disaster waiting to happen. Before long, the business leads, in the pipeline, dry up and you’re left wondering why and how did it all go wrong so quickly?
Here are a couple fail safe marketing strategies that are the ‘must-dos’ to keep the business leads flowing.
‘Content is king’ for SEO, generating leads, and fostering advocacy for your business and brand.
Unique relevant articles that show your expertise and inspire readers to share with their followers in social media, should be your top marketing strategy. Read this article to get more insight: Content marketing must-dos in 2019.
There are many third party niche blogs that publish unique content from contributors. In the content is a backlink to a relevant page on a similar topic on the contributor’s site. It’s easy to see how this works for you – the contributor. Your site gets more traffic via the backlink. Commit to this ‘must-do’ strategy. Outreach agencies understand this strategy really well and as Wendy Piersall says:
Google only loves you when everyone else loves you first.
Content marketing steps
- Write unique content for your blog every week or more regularly.
- Share your content with your profiles on social media
- Write or engage a copywriter to write high quality articles for third party publishing blogs
- Make sure the 3rd party blog shares the article with their social followers
Take steps 1 – 4 and repeat year in, year out. There is never a time for letting up on content generation and sharing.
How many email newsletters have you sent to your email list so far this year? Many marketers and small business owners start out strong with the best intentions.
However the monthly newsletter turns into quarterly or maybe just one or two a year. This is okay if your business is doing another type of email marketing. Notifying your email subscribers of company updates, or new product or service releases is email marketing too.
There is no one size fits all so your business really has full scope to design an email marketing plan that works for all parties.
Back to the newsletter. If you’re struggling to know what to put in your newsletters, and that’s why you started out strong and then they dried up here is a tip.
The foundation of your newsletters can be your blog content. It is the perfect fit. So here is what you do to design your newsletters. In your email newsletter template:
- Add in the personalised salutation e.g. Hello (first name)
- Introduction – complete this section last, i.e. after you have all your content selected and in the template.
- Select blog posts that are on your blog.
- For each blog post; in your email template, add an image (one that is good for social sharing), title and a couple of unique sentences and a link to read more so your email subscribers can click to read the article in full on your website.
- Add in other information that your email subscribers will enjoy. It can be snippets of what you have found online. Be sure to also add in the links so your readers can visit those sites too.
- Now you’re ready to complete the introduction. Make it a quick summary of what’s in the newsletter.
It’s really that easy and with these two marketing initiatives you have the foundation from which to add more specific marketing like: Social Media advertising, and also offline marketing initiatives too.
Eric Dalius On the Best Marketing Strategies for Small Businesses
With a society highly saturated in marketing content and audiences with decreasing attention spans, it is becoming increasingly difficult for businesses to stand out from the crowd, especially when these businesses do not have the resources to compete with Fortune 500 empires.
For smaller businesses who do not have endless marketing resources, every dollar counts and needs to provide maximum ROI. Marketing professional and entrepreneur Eric Dalius shares his insight on the best marketing strategies small businesses can use to maximize their investment.
The Importance of Content Marketing
Content marketing is a form of inbound marketing, in which your business brings customers directly to you instead of reaching out via ads and cold outreach.
It consists of creating high-quality content that serves the following purposes:
- Gain the trust of your prospects
- Display your knowledge in your industry
- Improve your search engine optimization by making your website a useful, educational online destination
What is considered high-quality content? Dalius suggests following these guidelines for any content your business outputs:
- Unique and from your business’ unique point of view
- In-depth, educational, and actionable
- Solves a pain point for your prospects
- Optimized for the web (well-formatted
What types of content gets the most attention?
- Blog posts
- Video tutorials
- Live videos on social media
- Case studies
- White papers
Have a Powerful Social Media Presence
Social media platforms are still growing every month. Facebook alone has approximately one billion active users – Instagram has over 100 million monthly users. It is the perfect tool to reach a larger audience and use both organic and paid content to gain more customers.
However, do not make the mistake of spreading yourself too thin. With limited resources, Eric Dalius states that small businesses are better off concentrating on just a few social media platforms.
The key is in choosing the right platform for your target audience and the type of product or service your business provides.
For instance, many Pinterest users go to this platform when making a purchasing decision – this network tends to be popular for households with over 100k of yearly revenue. On the other hand, Instagram is the go-to platform for millennials and younger individuals.
Social Media Tips
- Optimize your profile to get your branding on point
- Post on a regular, consistent schedule so people expect your posts
- Encourage engagement from your audience by having a call to action with every post
Use Effective Paid Content Strategies
Online advertising through Google, Facebook, and Instagram can be very effective to grow brand awareness and generate more leads, but this strategy can be a hit and miss.
Instead of setting up a promotional campaign and forgetting about it, Eric Dalius instead advises you to target your ads to a very specific group of people. This way, every single dollar you are paying towards this ad is getting used adequately to promote brand awareness to an audience that has potential interest in your business.
Additionally, you’ll want to retarget your ads. What does this mean? If a prospect visits your website, do not show them the same ads as someone who knows nothing about your business. Furthermore, if a customer clicks away before making a purchase on your online website, use this data to retarget the appropriate ad to them.
Wrapping it Up
By having a strong online presence that essentially provides value to your audience, you will gain the respect and loyalty of your prospects. In time, Eric Dalius states that these loyal prospects will provide you the best return on investment for your small business.
How to use interactive marketing to win business
Digital marketing is always evolving and as a marketer your role for your clients is to use a mix of proven and innovative strategies. Clients insist on a more targeted approach. Long gone are the days of a splatter gun approach where throwing whatever you have at the wall, will work when just some of it sticks.
Users demand more than just the generic email or banner. Marketing campaigns, like email marketing, and remarketing now need to be highly targeted to the enduser. Your clients need customer data to achieve a more personalised interaction so Interactive Content Marketing has key role to play.
Interactive Content Marketing Explained
ICM or Interactive Content Marketing improves engagement and keeps users involved for longer. When they remain active and enjoy the interaction through fun, knowledge sharing or education studies show more repeat business and new customers are created through the fostering of stronger long term relationships.
Brand loyalty, and advocacy are also positive outcomes from an interactive content marketing strategy.
Types of Interactive Content
There are many types of ICM including video with quizzes. Video is a huge step up from articles but they work exceptionally well within content.
Educational or explainer videos are engaging and keep the user online for longer. Now add a quiz during or at the end of the video and you have an interactive marketing campaign.
Contests, games are also types of ICM that are ‘sticky’, enticing the user to have fun, participate and also provide their customer data that can be used in the usual digital marketing strategies like email marketing and Remarketing.
There’s no doubting the innovativeness of ICM and how needs to be utilised by the marketer to get a better outcome for clients.
Customer data is gold and it can be used in a myriad of marketing campaigns now and later on. There’s no telling what strategies will be available in the future using smartphone apps and automated marketing software. What we do know is customer data will be a prerequisite and ICM is a workable way to acquire it from online visitors.
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