Are you reaching your ideal client on social media? An increase in followers doesn’t always mean they’re engaged with your brand. Small businesses can’t ensure a captive audience when readers have an incredibly short attention span. Short of a “please silence your cell phones” message at the movie theater, your marketing team has to engage your audience through intentional content. (Hey, too bad we can’t pop some popcorn for you as you dig through this blog post.)

So, how do you make the most of your social media marketing efforts? We touched on the basics in 5 Ways to Get Strategic in Your Business Marketing, but today we’re going to touch on the importance of engaging your audience. 

engage your audience
Engage Your Audience 7

Know Your Audience

“I obviously know my audience.”, you say. 

We trust you but hear us out. 

We’re talking about the difference between knowing your audience and  knowing what makes them tick, what their values are, and how you can build trust with them.

Let’s say you run a property management firm for income property owners.

Knowing you’re marketing to middle-aged people in the suburbs is a great start. Dig deeper and you realize that sure, your services are great for a middle-aged audience in the suburbs, but more specifically—those who have an average income of $150k, are close to retirement and want a done-for-them property management company for when they turn their home into a vacation rental and relocate.

Do you see the difference?

It pays to know your ideal client.

When you zero in on your target audience, you gain the ability to:

Pro tip: You may have a few ideal clients. Create a profile for each ideal client so you’re able to hone in on each specified audience in your marketing campaign.

engage your audience
Engage Your Audience 8

Create an Engagement Strategy

Solidifying your target audience is half the battle. Now, it’s time to lead with customer service best practices. Engaging with your audience is vital for the success of your business. Even in a high-paced world, we all value quality time. We use the word “strategy” loosely here. The main idea is to create a culture of consistent engagement within your marketing strategy.

Here are some standout examples of excellent engagement across social media.

Dove

marketing agency
Engage Your Audience 9

What’s to love? 

Dove’s team commented on a suggestion for a new product scent. In less than 30 seconds, they validated their follower’s idea and said they’d pass it along. It’s an amazing example of hearing your out audiences and showing that they matter.

San Diego Tourism

social media tips
Engage Your Audience 10

What’s to love?

A follower commented that the post didn’t specify the exact location and Visit San Diego took time to clarify. This simple point of engagement not only helped the commenter but anyone else that may have had the same question. Seems simple, right? Engaging with your audience clears up any misunderstandings.

Healthy Mama Kris

consulting agency
Engage Your Audience 11

What’s to love?

Kris replies to a comment saying the salad dressing recipe will be available in a few days. Engaging your audience creates opportunities to build anticipation for a future offer. Taking time to do this doesn’t just build trust with your followers, but gives them a reason to keep checking in.

Building a Social Media Engagement Strategy

Engagement with your audience is essential to building rapport with them, but how do you engage? Is it really as simple as replying to comments on social media? The short answer is yes! 

We’ve put together some pro tips with our partners over at Lucent Creative.

Visual Engagement Tips

Copy Engagement Tips

PR Tips

Bonus Tips

engage your audience
Engage Your Audience 12

Wrapping Up

We hope you’re learning from our social media series. Our partners at Lucent Creative are marketing gurus and we appreciate their help with all things marketing! If you haven’t already, go check out other posts in this series. 

Chances are you’ve heard of ChatGPT—the AI superpower that has turned the marketing world on its head. 

There have been a lot of debates surrounding ChatGPT, mainly if the AI platform will make the jobs of creative marketers obsolete. We addressed the hot topic in our article  What You Need to Know About ChatGPT. Our overall impression of AI in marketing is this—embrace the new technology without putting all of your eggs in one basket. The gist? ChatGPT is a great tool to use in tandem with a marketing team (read: your business still needs a human touch).

We interviewed our partners at Lucent Creative, a woman-owned digital marketing agency, to get their input on ChatGPT. Their advice was so helpful for businesses of any size and niche that we know you’ll find at least one of these tips a game-changer. Let’s jump in!

ChatGPT
ChatGPT in Marketing Strategy 19

Generate Blog Topics with ChatGPT

“Think of ChatGPT as an acquaintance to bounce ideas off of. It’s an objective tool to get your team out of a creative rut.”, says Nikki, a content writer with Lucent Creative.

She walked us through a quick fake scenario to showcase how she uses ChatGPT when coming up with blog topics. 

Here’s a rundown of the “business” and its content needs:

Business: 

Books + Wine Time

Niche: 

Brick-and-mortar shop in Washington with eCommerce capabilities 

Content needs: 

Nikki: “Taking all of this information about the client into account before using ChatGPT is vital. It’s going to provide the necessary parameters you need the platform to stick to.”

Nikki asks ChatGPT to ‘Generate 10 blog topics on the perks of a monthly book subscription’. Within three seconds, the platform has given us ideas to pick from!

ChatGPT
ChatGPT in Marketing Strategy 20

Nikki: “Alright, now it’s time to dig deeper into your business’ needs and get more specific. For example, let’s say that the book subscription promotion will only begin with the fantasy genre. That eliminates ChatGPT’s first recommendation off of the list. Digging deeper, we may realize that the time-saving element of #9 on the list is most important to our target audience. Then, we may choose to create a mini-series of blog posts on the time-saving perk alone. ChatGPT.”

Then, Nikki showed us how ChatGPT can assist in blog pitches for the reading list portion of our scenario.

ChatGPT marketing
ChatGPT in Marketing Strategy 21

Nikki: “Here, I went broad with the demographic requirements. The blog topics are diverse enough to reach the business’ general audience, though a wide net isn’t always best. For example, Books + Wine Time may want to bring more awareness to their kids’ section in Q3, meaning they focus purely on creating content for that age range. This is where ChatGPT is a bit one-dimensional–regardless of its amazing input (impressive!), we still need to strategize which topics would be best and when. Remember, we aren’t using AI to write the blog posts. Even if we did, there would be an incredible amount of editing needed to perfect the client’s tone, intentions, and promo-specifics. We’re only going to use the platform to help us generate blog topics.”

Pro Tip: Do your homework with any blog pitch ideas you get from ChatGPT. Ensure the keywords are a good fit for your niche and make sure your title is SEO-friendly. It’s also important to create headlines that are entirely unique to your brand. Make sure your exact title hasn’t been used before. Plagiarism is no joke!

Use ChatGPT to Create Social Media Ideas

Now that we’ve found some great blog topic ideas for Book + Wine Time, let’s see how ChatGPT can aide in social media content.

Using one of the platform’s recommended blog topics, "Cultural Kaleidoscope: Diverse Reads Celebrating Different Ethnicities and Identities", Nikki asks ChatGPT to generate some social media inspiration.

She types, ‘Generate 2 Instagram posts on the topic "Cultural Kaleidoscope: Diverse Reads Celebrating Different Ethnicities and Identities" in a casual tone’ into ChatGPT.

Here’s the impressive first result!

artificial intelligence
ChatGPT in Marketing Strategy 22

Nikki: “The real gold here is that it even provided book recommendations and hashtags. Even still, it’s your content writer’s job to perfect your brand’s specific tone. At face value, this looks pretty close to perfect, but there are nuances that need to be addressed. For one thing, Books Wine time may not use emojis as liberally. The tone may be too casual for their audience. Lastly, the featured books may not be in stock at their store, meaning their “promotional post” isn’t serving a purpose.”

Next, Nikki uses ChatGPT to get some inspiration for the local wineries aspect of the content strategy. This time, getting painfully specific—as if Books + Wine time is a real client.

In goes the command—’Give me a LinkedIn post about partnerships with wineries in Washington state. Professional and educated tone.’

ChatGPT marketing
ChatGPT in Marketing Strategy 23

Pro Tip: Experiment with the length of your posts across various social media platforms to see which are most engaging with your target audience. Then, focus your efforts on posts within that word count range.

Again, Nikki stresses the importance of tweaking posts to fit the brand. “I think it’s best to use these as a very rough guide rather than simply replacing words and emojis. A professional writer knows how to make the post entirely unique to the brand without costing the team points in inauthenticity or plagiarism. Even ChatGPT needs to be edited with a heavy hand to make the content digestible for your audience.”

Use ChatGPT to Streamline Your Research

“As a content writer, I use ChatGPT to condense heavy research for me in an understandable synopsis.”, Nikki shares. “It’s a great way to break into writing mode when I’m feeling stuck on a topic.”

She cracks open ChatGPT again to show us around. 

“Let’s say that Books + Wine Time needs to prepare a presentation for a stakeholders meeting. ChatGPT can be a great way to ease into the writing process.”

Nikki gives ChatGPT the details–’Write a 500 word presentation for stakeholders on the benefits of a book store partnering with local wineries for a fundraiser.’

Without five seconds passing, ChatGPT churns out the following and we all let out a collective gasp. Yes, it’s that dramatic!

Title: Uncorking Success: The Benefits of Partnering with Local Wineries for a Bookstore Fundraiser

Good [Morning/Afternoon/Evening] esteemed stakeholders,

I am delighted to present an exciting opportunity that promises to uncork success for our book store and the local community. Today, I will share with you the potential benefits of partnering with local wineries for a fundraiser. This collaborative endeavor not only strengthens our ties with the community but also offers a unique and memorable experience for our customers. Let's explore how this partnership can enhance our brand, increase footfall, and amplify our social impact.

Building Community Engagement

One of the key benefits of partnering with local wineries is the heightened sense of community engagement it fosters. By aligning our bookstore with reputable local wineries, we showcase our commitment to supporting and celebrating regional talent and craftsmanship. Customers are more likely to embrace a business that actively contributes to the local economy and culture. This partnership nurtures a sense of community pride and loyalty, which translates to increased patronage and customer retention.

Expanding Customer Base

The combination of books and wine creates a unique and attractive proposition for our customers. It opens doors to a broader audience, including bibliophiles and wine enthusiasts alike. Our bookstore becomes a destination not only for book lovers but also for those seeking an enriching experience that blends literature with the art of winemaking. This fusion of interests helps us tap into new markets and expand our customer base, driving growth and revenue for our store.

Creating Memorable Experiences

Partnering with local wineries allows us to curate unforgettable experiences for our customers. Imagine book signings and literary events held amid the rustic charm of a vineyard, where guests can savor a glass of local wine while engaging with their favorite authors. Such events leave a lasting impression, nurturing a deep emotional connection between our bookstore and its visitors. This emotional resonance is key to building brand loyalty and generating positive word-of-mouth referrals.

Enhancing Brand Image

Associating our bookstore with esteemed local wineries elevates our brand image and enhances perceived value. The collaboration reflects our commitment to offering sophisticated and culturally enriching experiences. Customers will view us not just as a retail establishment but as a cultural hub that champions local arts, literature, and wine. This enhanced brand image attracts media attention and favorable coverage, further amplifying our reach in the community and beyond.

Strengthening Social Impact

Beyond the commercial benefits, a fundraiser in partnership with local wineries bolsters our social impact. This collaborative effort enables us to support charitable causes and community initiatives. We can designate a portion of the proceeds from the event to local literacy programs, fostering education and a love for reading among the youth. This purpose-driven approach deepens our connection with the community, showcasing our commitment to making a positive difference.

In conclusion, partnering with local wineries for a fundraiser presents an exceptional opportunity to elevate our bookstore's standing in the community, expand our customer base, and amplify our social impact. By combining the pleasures of literature and wine, we create a unique and memorable experience that resonates with our customers. This collaboration exemplifies our dedication to supporting local talent, fostering community engagement, and championing causes that matter.

I urge all stakeholders to consider the potential benefits of this partnership, as it aligns perfectly with our mission to be more than just a bookstore but a cultural catalyst. Together, we can uncork success and celebrate the joy of reading and the pleasures of local winemaking, all while making a positive impact on our community.

Thank you for your time, and I look forward to your thoughtful consideration and support.

[Your Name]

[Your Title/Position]

[Bookstore Name]

Pro Tip: “It’s so tempting to simply copy and paste the genius of ChatGPT into your next business presentation, but don’t do it! Always put in the extra work of personalizing your content to perfection. Your audience, including stakeholders, can sense a copy-and-paste job faster than you can deny it.”, Nikki shares.

business strategy
ChatGPT in Marketing Strategy 24

Use ChatGPT in Your Marketing Strategy 

Nikki shares a few other ways to incorporate ChatGPT into your marketing strategy (guilt-free). Use these prompts in your next marketing meeting.

  1. Give me [x-amount] of the best Instagram hashtags for [niche].
  2. Generate [x-amount] of subject lines for an email promoting [fill in the blank].
  3. Write [x-amount] of CTAs for a promotion of [insert promo].
  4. Give 5 taglines for [insert niche, product, or promo].
  5. Write a privacy policy for [product] subscribers.

Pro Tip: If creating privacy or return policies, partner with your legal team for the final approval.

Wrapping Up

ChatGPT is here to stay and we’re stoked to give this new platform an honest go of helping in our marketing strategy. Of course, it doesn’t eliminate the need for humans (and we’re even more stoked about that). Try ChatGPT in various areas of your marketing strategy and report back with how it went. 

For more help with your marketing efforts, check out our friends Nikki and the rest of the team at Lucent Creative.

An active social media presence is vital for your business’ success.

You likely use at least one social media platform. If you’re not a Facebook fan, you’re probably on LinkedIn networking with other business owners. Maybe you’re obsessed with TikTok and mindlessly scroll on lunch breaks. The truth is, your ideal clients also hang out on social media whether it’s for work or buying some time waiting for their tires to be rotated.

The sheer volume of social media users puts your business at a disadvantage if you’re not showing up where your dream client or customer is.

Let’s check the stats from SproutSocial.

Now, if you’re like us—those astronomical numbers can feel overwhelming. With nearly 5 billion users (yes, BILLION!), where do you even start making a dent in reach?

social media
Mastering Social Media 32

Here’s an unpopular opinion: start anywhere—somewhere—and do it imperfectly.

The biggest challenge with social media is to nail down consistency and then, check the data to pivot where your ideal client is. We’re going to unpack a few of our tips and tricks with our marketing partners at Lucent Creative to help you get out of an uninspired rut when it comes to social media.

Social Media Tip: Start Small

Pace yourself as a business. 

The thing your ideal client is most drawn to is consistency. Here are a few tips to get your social media strategy working for you:

  1. Choose one or two platforms to focus on for three months. You’ll need this time to assess the data to see what’s “sticking” with your audience.
  1. Be aware of trends, but also–beware of trends. Trending audio for an Instagram reel may get your content seen, but it may not bring you paying clients. 
  2. Be consistent. Post regularly and give your audience an idea of what to expect from your brand. For example, educating readers on your product or service every Thursday will speak to those “on the fence” about committing to a purchase.

Remember, the goal isn’t to conquer all of social media—it’s to find your ideal audience and speak directly to them–turning them into loyal customers, of course!

Instagram marketing
Mastering Social Media 33

Social Media Tip: Interact with Your Followers

A business may have 30,000 followers but fail to interact with people commenting with pressing questions. Nurturing warm leads is vital in any sales pipeline. When you think of social media as an opportunity to build rapport with potential customers, you’ll eagerly answer questions.

Not sure how much time to commit to interacting with followers? Here are a few ways our partners at Lucent Creative suggest tackling the task:

A bit of “small talk” on social accounts can do a lot of heavy lifting when it comes to building trust with your audience.

social media
Mastering Social Media 34

Social Media Tip: Make it Unique with a Campaign

Here’s where most brands feel pressure. Let’s take a moment to think through this before you create a mental block. Unique doesn’t necessarily mean your brand “outshines” other businesses on social media. The trick here is to create a unique experience for followers. It doesn’t matter how you describe your business—professional, whimsical, approachable, or “pun loving”. 

Campaigns can look like:

Here are some examples of wildly different businesses creating something uniquely engaging for their audiences.

Nike

We all want to be inspired and Nike brought all of the good feels with this campaign. It engages the audience and gives them a clear call to action (tag your friends). 

social media
Mastering Social Media 35

GoPro

This campaign does a great job of helping the audience see alternative ways to use their product. You don’t have to be an avid hiker or skydiver to use a GoPro! 

Instagram marketing
Mastering Social Media 36

The Bespoke Craftsman

A smaller business in San Diego hosted an awesome giveaway—a one-of-a-kind accent wall! This is a great example of how a giveaway can engage your audience while getting more eyes on your product or service.

social media marketing
Mastering Social Media 37

Seabourn Cruises

Help potential customers by painting a picture of how your product or service will improve their lives. Storytelling, interviews, and other “social proof” are effective ways to “show and tell” your product.

social media campaigns
Mastering Social Media 38

Wrapping Up

Whether you’re a realtor, consultant, or aspiring to create Nike 2.0, your business needs a social media presence. Take the overwhelm out of the equation by starting small consistent steps. Get in front of your audience and adjust your social media strategy as the data dictates. 

Are you still feeling apprehensive? Our experts can guide you through the process. Get in touch for a free consultation and we’ll happily lend a hand. 

PS: While you’re at it, go ahead and follow us on social!

Do you know how to create a marketing plan that works for your business? 

Marketing has been around for the long haul and though the means have changed, the goal is still the same—help potential customers see your service or product as the solution to their need.

There are endless resources that make marketing look easy and straightforward, but we’ve been in this game long enough to call out any “quick fixes” when it comes to marketing. We want to help you create a plan that works the first time. So, let’s cut through the marketing myths and get your team off on the right foot. We’re going to share the three most valuable assets of any marketing plan. Then, we’ll show you the tips and tricks to put it into action!

marketing
Creating an Effective Marketing Plan 43

Create a Consistent Marketing Plan

How does the adage go–“consistency is key”? New workout routine? You’ve heard workout instructors yell “Consistency is key!” at you through the screen. Changing habits? Consistency is key. It turns out the saying is a blanket truth for any lasting change you’re craving in your life. The same goes for your business. If you’re looking to improve ROI–consistency is key. 

Consistency is important for your marketing plan because that’s how you get the data you’ll need to pivot your approach over time. 

We recommend creating and sticking to a consistent marketing plan for three months minimum. Then, assess the data to see if your team is getting the desired outcome. Here are three quick tips to keep in mind as you’re building a marketing plan.

  1. Determine your lane. Your business doesn’t have to exist on every social media platform. Research which platforms and approaches are best for your business and then, commit. 

Let’s answer a few questions you may already be thinking through.

How do I know which social media platform is best for my business?

Begin by establishing your Ideal Customer. Once you know who is most attracted to and needs your service or product most, you’ll want to see which social media platforms your ideal customer uses. Take your offer directly to your ideal client or customer by showing up where they are. For example, a wealth management firm may know their ideal client are retirees. Research shows TikTok may not be the best social media platform to utilize for marketing efforts. In fact, the business may do best marketing on platforms like LinkedIn, or hosting local in-person events to promote their services.

  1. Create your content. Create content that speaks directly to your ideal customer. It isn’t just enough to post consistently, you also have to write in a way that connects your brand to your customer. The best way to do this is to give your ideal customer or client valuable incentives. This can be done through educating them, offering helpful tips, or running a promotion for return customers. The more value you give, the more you gain rapport with your followers.

Should I use new AI tools to write content for my marketing plan?

You can, but should you? We believe humans “write it best” when it comes to the desired tone and creating an authentic connection with readers. Our team has put together a whole blog post on AI here for further reading.

  1. Allocate funds for ads. Do this after you have assessed which platforms are best for your niche. We recommend being conservative on ad spend until the data favor one or two platforms over the others. There isn’t any use in paying for ads if your ideal customer isn’t seeing them.

Are targeted ads worth the money?

Yes, we believe ads are 100% worth the money, but only if you’re targeting your ideal client. This is where you’ll want to flesh out your ICA (Ideal Customer Avatar). Know what they want, how old they are, their priorities, their income, and their overall values. When you target your ads, you’re increasing the chance of bringing in the customers/clients that will remain loyal to your brand.

marketing plan
Creating an Effective Marketing Plan 44

Avoid Comparison Traps in Your Marketing Plan

Your marketing plan has to be in alignment with your business goals and unique needs. For example, your small yet mighty team doesn’t need to commit to a marketing plan that outnumbers your resources on hand. Successful marketing takes time, money, and—again, so much time! Therefore, time is your most valuable resource and it’s best to remain focused than to compare your marketing efforts to a Fortune 500 company. The best rule of thumb here is to go with consistency over perfection in the early stages. 

Here are a few tips to keep your team focused.

  1. Follow who and what is helpful. Not all marketing advice is helpful and, honestly, your best bet is to surround yourself with creative solutions from people in similar niches as you. This will keep your team and marketing efforts consistent and maintainable.

What’s the goal of marketing? Should I aim for more followers before I focus on sales?

The truth is—followers don’t equate to sales. A business similar to yours may have 1.5 million followers on Instagram, but that doesn’t mean they’re getting engagement or sales from those followers. We recommend nurturing leads with authenticity. Build brand trust, show social proof that your product/service is helpful, and give followers valuable information they can use in their daily lives. Then, you’ll see a natural, organic progression to loyal customers.

  1. Share real results. One thing that can’t be beaten? Real results from real customers. When you gather customer testimonials, you’re showing potential buyers that your business is legitimately making a difference for people just like them. In marketing, we call this “social proof”. It’s incredibly powerful and a sure way to get your ideal customer’s attention.

 How do I weave social proof into my marketing plan?

Find a way that is unique to your brand and will speak directly to your audience. For example, a cosmetics brand may provide social proof in video assets and see an impressive return because ideal customers can visualize the positive difference. Let the data show you which approaches work best for you and your audience. 

  1. Dare to be different. What’s popular doesn’t always work.

Should I stick to marketing trends? 

Nope. Trends come and go (very quickly!) in marketing. It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t experiment with trends, but it does mean you shouldn’t put all of your eggs in one basket. Marketing ebbs and flows. While your audience may be connecting more with a “trendy” competitor today, it doesn’t mean they will be tomorrow. Stick to what works. Again, keep an eye on your data regarding engagement!

what to include in a marketing plan
Creating an Effective Marketing Plan 45

Research is Half the Battle of Your Marketing Plan

While you shouldn’t get caught in comparison traps, we also don’t want you blindly throwing things to the marketing wall to see if it sticks. Continue to research algorithms, best practices, and lean into what your customers want from you. When in doubt, ask your ideal clients/customers for insight on how they want to keep in touch with your brand. Having direct feedback is the most valuable marketing asset you can have in your toolbox. 

  1. Pay to see the most insight. Getting the most data from your marketing efforts will also allow you to hit the target on point more often. If your chosen platform has a paid option for data insight—go for it! The fine print data will help save your team money in the long run. 

Should I use insights on every marketing platform? 

Yes, we highly recommend budgeting for this. However, we also realize that data insights for a dozen platforms may not be feasible. In that case, watch the analytics on your primary marketing effort (i.e. email campaigns). 

  1. Delegate an analytics role. Have a member of your team committed to reading and implementing the data from your marketing efforts. If you can’t have a team member take this role, we recommend committing one working day bi-weekly to looking over the analytics and communicating any important information to your team. 

What if the analytics have plateaued?

If you’re not seeing any positive or negative changes in the data, it’s time to pivot. Create an addendum to your marketing plan to see the desired outcome. For example, your goal may be to get more people to sign up for your newsletter. Creating a new lead magnet as an opt-in for readers may be the most direct way to see new subscribers.

  1. Marketing requires flexibility. The best thing to realize about any marketing plan is that it will need to change eventually. Learn to pivot and not quit. Consistency is key and the best marketing plan is one that you keep working on and adjusting, as needed.
marketing plan
Creating an Effective Marketing Plan 46

Wrapping Up

Your marketing plan doesn’t have to look any specific way. In fact, you’re at an advantage if you’re going against the flow. Create a marketing plan that is feasible, flexible, and also for your ideal client and not the masses. We’d love to chat with you about your business goals and how we may help create a plan that works for your business. Get in touch! 

What does your current marketing strategy say about your business? Whether you’re new to the game and the ink just dried on your LLC papers or you’ve been around long enough to reinvent your business several times, marketing is crucial to your success. Let’s clarify—strategic marketing is essential for the success and longevity of your business. Marketing trends come and go, and sometimes they even come back to leave again. If you pay attention to marketing tips for any length of time, you’ll see they ebb and flow like the tide which can leave business owners like us feeling overwhelmed, right?

Thankfully, our business partners and rad friends over at Lucent Creative, an all-female digital marketing agency, help us to stay focused and on-point with our marketing efforts. Today, we’re sharing some nuggets of wisdom their team shared with us. Before we jump in, let’s review a few stats about marketing.

These marketing stats are just scraping the surface of why strategic marketing is essential to the life of your business. Marketing gives you a platform to share your product or service, but strategic marketing gives you a direct line with your ideal customer. See the difference? 

Business marketing
5 Strategic Business Marketing Methods 51

Let’s get straight to the tips from our friends at Lucent Creative. Take these five action steps straight to your team today.

Avoid Marketing on All Platforms

Do you feel that your marketing strategy is complex, but not accomplishing much? If you’re following marketing trends rather than your ideal customer, it’s time to reassess. For example, if your ideal customers are retirees looking for wealth management options, your TikTok strategy probably isn’t yielding great results.

Lucent Creative’s CEO and Founder Kendall Walker shared,

“I have been in marketing for years and have seen a lot of ambitious and well-intentioned businesses stall in their growth because they weren’t focused on their marketing efforts. Thankfully, there are always opportunities to stop, reassess, and pivot. My advice to businesses with any marketing budget is to study where their ideal customers are and put their marketing efforts exclusively  into those platforms.”

strategic marketing
5 Strategic Business Marketing Methods 52

Read all about creating an email campaign that rocks with Zoho Campaigns.

Don’t Neglect Engagement with Your Customers

Customers purchase from brands they trust. Earning the trust of your ideal client or customer requires engagement. Ironically, this is a step that is either neglected entirely or not focused on enough in marketing strategies. We got some insight into engagement with Lucent Creative’s social media strategist. 

“I encourage clients to engage with their followers daily. If someone comments on your post, it’s crucial to reply. It’s a marketing 'hack' that humanizes your brand and helps build trust. Engagement doesn’t take a lot of time. If you spend ten minutes a day engaging with your followers in the comments and stories, I bet you’ll see an influx in sales soon. You’ve given them a reason to go all-in with just a few minutes of approachability.”

Perfect Your Brand Voice

You may know what to say about your product, but do you know how to reach your ideal audience? This is where brand voice (what you say) and brand tone (how you say it) come into play. A business selling life insurance plans wouldn’t have the same brand voice or tone as a hot sauce company. Technically, anything could happen, but we’d venture to say it just wouldn’t be strategic or best practice.

Lucent Creative’s copywriter gave us a few tips in this area.

“Establishing your brand voice and tone is the foundation of your marketing strategy. It all starts with being incredibly intentional about who you’re talking to and how they can benefit from your product. Explore your ideal customer’s needs, struggles, purchasing habits, and anticipated hesitations about buying your product. If you do this, you’re going to set your entire marketing team up for success.”

branding
5 Strategic Business Marketing Methods 53

Review and Readjust Your Marketing Strategy

Marketing isn’t a “set it and forget it” aspect of business. It’s as important as your product development, sales, and employee retention. What is working today may need adjusting next quarter. 

Kendall Walker shared another piece of wisdom with us about the need for pivoting often.

“Marketing strategies need to grow and change with your business. Algorithms change, of course, but so do your customers and their expectations. What works now may not work next year. Keep an eye on the data, customer feedback, and ultimately, the trajectory of your business. Think of your marketing strategy needing frequent “checkups”. Schedule these and get your team thinking creatively about how to make your great strategy even better.”

strategic marketing
5 Strategic Business Marketing Methods 54

How’s your website working for you? Read Your Guide to Designing an Epic Website

Spoil Your Loyal Customers

Be mindful to recognize and thank your loyal customers. Your business can do this in a lot of ways, but starting with a simple loyalty program or exclusive offers is a great place to invest your time and money.  75% of consumers will favor a brand if there is a loyalty program. 71% of consumers who are members of loyalty programs say membership is a meaningful part of their relationships with brands.

To wrap up, we asked Kendall, her social strategist, and copywriter to share their insight on how businesses can best show appreciation for loyal customers. Here’s what they had to say.

“I can’t stress the importance of creating the image of being a thorough and approachable brand. People want to know they can ask questions, express concerns, and rely on you, the expert, to give them valuable insight.”

Kendall, Lucent Creative CEO and Founder

“I agree with Kendall. The way to create a multiple-level point of contact people actually want to take advantage of is through intentional copywriting. Show your brand personality and always put the customer first in all of your written content. People catch on immediately if they’re appreciated and if they can keep trusting your business/product.”

Lucent’s copywriter

“To go along with this theme, I think it’s important to remind businesses that their social media is their “storefront” and their “first date”. This is the first impression of your brand. This goes beyond social media, of course. Your website matters. Email marketing campaigns are also a first-row view into your brand. Be consistent and your customers will continue to trust you and purchase from you.”

Lucent’s social media strategist

Wrapping Up

We all know marketing is important, but these five tips are ways to go the extra mile for your customers. The main idea is to not become complacent in your marketing efforts. Keep an eye on the data and your customers’ needs. 

If you’re looking to partner with Woggle and Lucent Creative for your marketing efforts, get in touch to book your free consultation call

Your website is an important lead generation for your business. You can actually think of your company website as your business’ dating app. No really, entertain us for a second. The two platforms have more in common than you may realize.

Both give you a fraction of a second to make a great first impression before the viewer loses interest. Hey, we don’t make the rules.

Here’s a snapshot of website stats to drive the point home:

With numbers like those, it’s no wonder website design is a crucial undertaking for businesses. If you don’t have one yet or are looking to spruce up an existing site, our experts want you to proceed with intention so you make the most of your website design.

website design company
Designing Epic Websites (Part One) 60

Web Design with an Incredible User Experience (UX)

Potential customers want to find what they’re looking for quickly. We’ve all landed on a website only to immediately leave it for any of these reasons:

Creating an impressive UX puts your company in the running for capturing leads and growing. There are a few things to remember when creating a website that is easy to use and makes a solid first impression. 

Design for your target audience. Your website needs to be visually appealing and formatted to your target audience. For example, if you’re a high-end consultancy firm specializing in AI, your website needs to be technology-forward, robust, and use the jargon AI professionals understand. When people land on your website, they should know exactly what your brand offers.

Design navigation bars to be seamless. Set your business up for success with easy-to-use navigation bars. This can be tricky for brands that offer a vast amount of products or services. Use categories, accordion-style menus, and subcategories to help customers find what they need right away. Include a search bar for more navigation ease.

A Brand That Got it Right

Our web design partner, Lucent Creative, designed a user-friendly site for a well-known pizzeria franchise. See how the navigation is seamless? The brand’s identity is also obvious and doesn’t leave the site visitor wondering what they offer! 10/10!

website design small businesses
Designing Epic Websites (Part One) 61

Mobile-Optimized Website Design

Did you know 60.67% of website traffic comes from mobile devices? Think of how many times you’ve bailed after landing on a website that wasn’t made for mobile. Create loyal customers/clients by prioritizing a mobile-ready site. A mobile site will:

mobile friendly
Designing Epic Websites (Part One) 62

It’s safe to say optimizing your website for mobile view is essential. Here are a few tips on how:

Use a large, readable font and a simple design. A hectic design on a desktop becomes even more complicated on smaller screens. A mobile-responsive website requires you to keep it simple. Test the parameters on mobile view as you design. 

Avoid pop-ups. Businesses use pop-ups for important announcements, but more often for lead generation. They are intrusive on mobile, though, and can disrupt a shopper’s experience. Use a lead capture form in lieu of a pop-up on your mobile site.

A Brand That Got it Right

Lucent Creative, designed an epic, clean site for a 5 day online event. The design is crisp, decluttered, and keeps the visitor focused. 

web design
Designing Epic Websites (Part One) 63

Use Social Proof

Most of your website browsers already know what they want and they need to know why you’re the one they should hire. This is where your business gets to show off a bit. All of us rely on social proof to make decisions.

Psychologist Robert Cialdini writes in his bestselling book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, “Whether the question is what to do with an empty popcorn box in a movie theater, how fast to drive on a certain stretch of highway, or how to eat the chicken at a dinner party, the actions of those around us will be important in defining the answer.”

There are several ways to provide social proof for clients, but here are specific tips on how to prioritize it in your web design:

Leverage client testimonials. Draw attention to raving fans with testimonials. Use brand colors, larger fonts, or an interactive layout (accordion-style drop-downs or scrolling banners) to draw the reader’s attention to testimonials. Testimonials are massive sources of social proof for clients that are still on the fence about hiring your team.

Offer excellent social proof with case studies. Case studies can fit in naturally with a blog section of your new website design. They also make great opt-ins for email capture. Make sure you keep simplicity and readability at the center of your case study designs. Although they’re typically dense with information, use graphs or other designs to make them easy to scan.

A Brand That Got it Right

Our web design gurus built this website, with an array of case studies and blogs, for a dog training and pet care services company. The design provides proof of the brand’s expertise without clutter.

branding
Designing Epic Websites (Part One) 64

Before You Go

We’re partnered with a small web design agency, Lucent Creative, that throws a major punch! If your business needs a website upgrade or one from scratch, we couldn’t recommend our partners enough.

Stay tuned for part two of our guide to designing an epic website.
Ready to level up in your business? Book a free consultation.

Social media as a marketing tool has really taken off in the last few years. Not only are social platforms free and on-trend, but they cater to a variety of demographics. With that said, it is important to acknowledge a marketing tool that has been around for far longer: email.

One piece of advice that we have heard more and more lately is that an email list is crucial to growing your business. If all your customers only follow you on Instagram or TikTok, you risk losing all progress if the platform shuts down or makes significant changes. With email, you have an established list of contacts no matter what happens to the tools and platforms.

So, what’s one of our favorite tools for managing email marketing? Zoho Campaigns. Let’s look at why Zoho Campaigns (and email marketing in general) are essential to consider. 

Why We Shouldn’t Ignore the Importance of Emails

Email marketing

Take a look at your email inbox– companies take all sorts of approaches to reach you! You’ll see newsletters and cart abandonment follow-ups, freebies, and discount codes. Email marketing is still an incredibly relevant approach to boosting sales and customer engagement.

Not only is it important, but it’s become increasingly easy to manage an email campaign through software like Zoho Campaigns and other popular tools.

Currently, about 64% of small businesses utilize email marketing. Not only that, but for every dollar spent on email marketing, companies report an ROI of about 42 bucks! Those numbers are pretty convincing, and it’s kind of difficult to find statistics arguing against email!

How Emails Can Fit into Your Marketing Efforts

Okay, so what is email marketing exactly? Email marketing software like Zoho Campaigns and MailChimp collect contacts through sign-ups on your website or other lead generation tools. They allow you to build customized emails with specific messages and can automatically send them out to your email list. 

Email marketing software can automate the entire process! We can connect with customers and send information about promotions and events by email. The true gem? Email enables us to build a trusting relationship with our client base that keeps them coming back!

What’s So Great About Zoho Campaigns?

Screenshot 2022-04-20 at 22.40.20

With Zoho Campaigns, you have pre-designed templates ready for use. Create a customized message and tailor the CTA. You can even customize content based on the targeted demographic and perform A/B testing to see what’s most effective!

Zoho Campaigns allows you to set the email frequency so it won’t seem like you’re spamming everyone. It will monitor recipient activity on sent emails and send follow-ups based on that activity. 

Zoho Campaigns has a feature where you can score subscribers based on engagement, giving insight on sales potential and when to move them to a CRM. 

It also offers real-time analytics and reports because how can we improve our business operations without analytics? 

We’re All About Some Integrations

Zoho is great when it comes to integrations! They don’t force you into purchasing all their products and services– instead, they give you the option to bring currently used products along for the ride. 

One of the best Zoho integrations for product-based businesses is Shopify. Zoho Campaigns will combine with Shopify to send emails about purchases, abandoned carts, and store updates.

Additionally, it integrates with website builders like WordPress and photo providers like Unsplash. Zoho Campaigns also works with HubSpot’s CRM, Survey Monkey, DropBox, and social platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook. 

Let’s Talk Cash

Let’s face it, the more we can save on business processes, the better.

Email marketing

For this reason, we took a look at Zoho Campaigns competitors and made some price comparisons. MailChimp, often recognized for its data-backed campaigns, costs $17 per month for 500 contacts, whereas Zoho Campaigns is $4 per month. For 2,500 contacts, Zoho Campaigns is $10 per month, and MailChimp is $59. Keep in mind that those prices are for a standard package.

Zoho Campaigns and MailChimp both offer a free package (until you find yourself needing more add-ons). This is nice when you are overwhelmed by options and just want some low-pressure trials. Hubspot also offers a free package under the same circumstances.

FloDesk offers no free options but quotes a flat rate of $38 per month for any package. This may not be a bad option if you want a fancy package with all the bells and whistles.

Overall, Zoho Campaigns is cheaper and offers all the features you could ever need. Whatever your specific marketing need, Zoho probably has you covered for a nominal fee compared to other software. 

The Takeaway

If you haven’t already entered the world of email marketing, we suggest you try it out! It’s never too late to improve strategies and invest in the growth of your business. Obviously, we are fans of Zoho Campaigns and all the other great Zoho products, but we are always here to chat with you about whatever route is best for you and your business.

discovery
"Well, we read the articles and called a few engineers..."

What is a flywheel? Well, we read the articles and called a few engineers to get to the bottom of this new term in sales and marketing and this is what we’ve come up with:

Flywheel 

noun

  1. A mechanical device (wheel) designed to conserve momentum and efficiently store energy. 

Someone realized that this technical, and confusing, term would be great for marketing and sales teams. Which brings us to our definition, tailored for the evolving business world:

 

 

  1. The interdependent connection between sales, marketing, and service teams to provide an exceptional customer experience. 

The point of shifting from a funnel to a flywheel is purely for the sake of the customers. 

Customers have power, and they’re tired of being wooed and schmoozed through the sales funnel process. At the end of the funnel, they don’t fall into a hot tub of customer care. They usually fall off the company’s radar except for the occasional dry sales email. 

The flywheel provides a different experience. Consequently, when you tie together service, marketing, and sales, you create a robust company with a dedicated and collective focus on the customers. 

As the flywheel spins, customers fall into a vortex where they can always:

  1. Access to support, information, or services they need.
  2. Receive the experience your marketing team promised.
  3. Have good reason to refer others to your company. 

The 3 Things You Need to Know About the Flywheel and Funnel 

We’ve established the basis of the flywheel, but there are a few key takeaways to cover about the retiring funnel and the new heavy-weight champ. 

1. The Sales Funnel Isn’t Dead (yet)

First, there is still a process needed to connect with and attract new leads. Every lead is at some point cold, or luke-warm and they need nurturing. Over time, we expect the marketing flywheel to take a larger role in this process because companies that use the flywheel will gain a reputation for outstanding customer care. 

2. The Flywheel is About More Than Marketing 

The idea of the flywheel is to pull in and protect customers. However, it doesn’t directly address the notion of leads because, essentially, you’re treating everyone as customers from the start. It’s 2021, and we’re finally figuring out that we should treat our customers better than our warm leads. 

Let’s say someone comes across a company marketing campaign, and they show an interest. Then the sales team reaches out alongside support to learn more about the customer. Finally, marketing, sales, and support work side-by-side instead of pushing customers off of one person’s desk and onto another.  

3. The Difference is a Matter of Approach

Customers that are loyal and naturally raise awareness for your brand are engaged, delighted, and constantly attracted to your company. However, most companies think of that situation and put it off because it sounds like a lot of work. 

The flywheel allows companies to use their resources with more tact to accomplish these goals efficiently. You’re not asking your three primary teams to run at top speed all the time. Actually, it’s the opposite because using collaboration and proactive work means that customers receive more support and care with less internal effort. 

How to Run a Smooth and Efficient Flywheel

The flywheel isn’t a self-perpetuating machine that will breed customer loyalty with little effort. Companies do have to put the work in and help to avoid flywheel friction. 

There is the possibility of friction when:

  1. Your customer support can’t match the performance of your sales teams.
  2. The flywheel slows down or fails to delight and engage. 
  3. Your teams aren’t sure how or when they can work together to engage customers. 

This last issue is the most common when companies transition to flywheel thinking. Marketing, sales, and service all play a role in keeping the flywheel turning. So, if any section of the flywheel is heavier than the others it will introduce friction and reduce the momentum. This means it won’t turn properly, and will eventually come to stop. 

Here is a quick breakdown that can help teams understand their part in the flywheel:

blogging

Leverage technology to reduce friction, align your teams, and ensure that your customers (including leads) get the best every time they interact with your company or product. Ultimately, companies can use complete business applications suites such as Zoho to manage customer relationships, marketing campaigns, support contacts, and more. 

-Off you go! Your horizon awaits.

crossmenu