Earlier this month someone asked me on the spot what they should be doing with their marketing and how much they should spend. ‘Tell us where we should be directing our efforts.’ I like being put on the spot, it concentrates the mind. So I thought it would be beneficial to share what immediately came in to my head.

Online and on trend!

Firstly ‘social media’ is here to stay. 25% of the world’s population for example is on Facebook! Instagram may be one of the social media platforms that many businesses overlook but it has some 600m users. Instagram, and its parent company Facebook, leads digital advertising – accounting for more than 67% of all social media ad spend worldwide in 2016.  These visual platforms are a great way to draw attention to your company and engage with your audience, particularly if your business is visual or you can tell a story through photographs. I would say share some personality of the business too – so if you have a staff party, include that. People like normality. In an effort to counter the growing popularity of Snapchat, Instagram launched something called “Stories” which has 150 million daily users and growing – allowing people to post a story that disappears within 24 hours. The big brands are on to it!

‘User generated content’ is the biggest way to gain traction – so for example, if you run a restaurant or have organised a networking event, encourage people to check-in and post a photo of their experience. Their outbound reach is much greater than trying to do it yourself. They are effectively endorsing your business. On that note, get some online reviews and testimonials. This all goes towards building trust.

‘Video’ is the big thing coming through this year. YouTube I am pretty sure won’t look like it does today in 5 years time. We are working with numerous clients on different videos at this very moment.

Content is still king to telling your story. ‘Blogging’ can be time-consuming and many people don’t blog as they don’t feel they are getting anything back from it. One of the most important parts of your business online is building brand awareness. If you start sharing your top tips in blogs and upload them to your website and on social media, more people will see this content and share to their followers as well as yours. This gets your ‘content’, brand and website noticed. If your blogs are on your website and you are posting them out online with links back to your website people will be more likely to follow them to find out more about your company and to see if you have any more content to share. A great way to increase your website traffic! An increase in website traffic and back links from social media to your website will help with your Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). I won’t go into detail on SEO but it is a very important part of ranking your web site on Google.

Look at your audience – where are they? What are they doing?

It’s very interesting to look at how different age groups communicate with businesses in different ways.

People 50+ tend to speak to people, 30-50’s seem to email and millennials are all about social media to get a response. Younger generations or Generation Z as they seem known are expecting companies and brands to be on Snapchat and even Whatsapp. So the key message is how would your clients like to receive marketing and messages?

Don’t forget traditional methods – the good old fashion brochure can leave a good impression on someone.

In a world of digital pick up the phone! It’s refreshing to actually talk to someone. In a world where you are constantly walking in to people along the high street because they won’t look up from their phone, picking up the phone and calling someone can sometimes cut through all that noise. Yes you need a presence with email campaigns, social media, print advertising, PR and everything else that completes that mix, but I’m sure you will agree, these should be supporting tools and picking up the phone might just get you that deal.

Big firms harbour brand – but the best thing you can do is be consistent. Put your name in front of your existing customers regularly – like anyone else, they need to feel valued and appreciated all year round. Be it by issuing a quarterly newsletter or an invitation to an event – which could be hospitality such a summer drinks evening or even a charity bike ride. Remember cycling is the new golf!

How much should I spend on my marketing?

Typically:

  • If you are a B2B (business to business) company, it is not uncommon to spend around 12-15% of revenue on marketing
  • If you are a B2C (business to consumer) company, it is not uncommon to spend around 20-25% of revenue on marketing

Brand Brown recommendation is spend the money like it’s your own. There is a lot you can achieve digitally using the right channels through building a targeted database and social media to your advantage as explained above.

And finally… find an expert or someone that is used to dealing with the press or multiple marketing channels. If you try and do it all yourself it will take too long and distract from your day to day role.

To find out more about the businesses Brand Brown help on a daily basis please visit www.brandbrown.co.uk

Author: Robert Brown.

Robert founded Brand Brown which provides independent businesses with effective marketing management through a combination of digital and traditional techniques generating bottom line results. Working as part of your team throughout the year we define and implement the marketing communications strategy. We are champions of the flexible working model.

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