Top Trends to Market Your Business

1. Revving up reviews
Online reviews matter, but buying them is unethical. So people will be finding new ways to generate legitimate positive reviews. One example: Grade.us builds a “review funnel,” channeling customers from their experience with you directly to review sites via URLs and QR codes. You must make it easy for fans to play up your business’ name.

2. Visual appeal
Increasingly, marketing will help people think in pictures. “Infographics will dominate not only for social media marketing, but support graphics for editorial articles and press releases,” says Melih Oztalay, CEO of SmartFinds Internet Marketing. “These visual representations of knowledge present complex information to be easily consumed by the reader.”

3. Social scale-back
“After falling in love with all things social media, small business owners are cutting back, limiting their involvement to two or three tools, rethinking networking and introducing measures for their marketing efforts. Many have wasted precious time and money [on social media] in 2013 and now are looking to be more strategic and pragmatic about what’s working and what’s not for 2014,” says Donna Marie Thompson of Peak Profit Potential.

4. Local leverage
Micro-shopping will continue to build momentum in the coming year. “Small and local business will be hot: Shopping local and locally grown will become more popular.  People are recognizing that when they shop locally, this keeps dollars local,” says Bill Corbett Jr., president of Corbett Public Relations. Business owners should be looking for ways to build up their home-grown credentials in all their marketing.

5. Return to roots
It will be the year for keeping it real. “Do what best fits your brand. I would never do video. I just don’t feel comfortable doing that, but I love print and radio interviews,” offers Dave Wakeman, principal of Wakeman Consulting Group. “Your marketing needs to reflect who you are and not what some ‘ninja’ or ‘guru’ is telling you that you have to do.”

6. Embrace the basics
The tried-and-true will still hold sway. “Some ‘old’ techniques like traditional direct mail are seeing a resurgence as online mailboxes become more and more full and traditional ‘snail mail boxes’ remain relatively empty,” says Linda Pophal of Strategic Communications LLC.

7. Reward the repeaters
Regulars are the life-blood of any business and as such should be rewarded for their year-in, year-out devotion. As small businesses look to hold their ground in a still-uncertain economy, the smart ones will be giving their regular customers discounts, special sales and invitation-only events to help keep them incentivized,” suggests David Rusenko, founder and CEO of Weebly.

8. Newsjacking
“Brands are taking advantage of current news topics in the moment things happen and attaching news to their brand in some way to capitalize on the newsworthiness,” according to Melissa DiGianfilippo and Alexis Krisay, owners of Serendipit Consulting. “This can be done through relevant blog posts, social media sharable graphics or media opportunities.” Approach with caution: Not every event can be leveraged for PR purposes.

9. Making websites work
“According to research recently conducted by Peer 1 Hosting, 81 percent of online shoppers will not shop on a site that can’t deliver a faultless online shopping experience. Further, 65 percent say they’ve abandoned an online shopping cart because of website time-outs and slow page loads,” explains Robert Miggins, SVP business development at Peer 1 Hosting. The ever-growing emphasis on online contact will bring with it a marketing imperative to keep pages working seamlessly.

10. Instream advertising
“It works by pitching a format-appropriate message in the social portal of your choice. In the past it was only big business’ game, but more and more small businesses are jumping on board since it’s possible to set geo-targeted parameters very specifically and therefore pay substantially less than you would for a nationwide campaign,” says Daniel Zayets-Volshin, managing partner of WebsiteBoston.com. “The growth of instream advertising models is going to be one of the most fruitful marketing trends of 2014.” (How 3 Small Businesses Use Instagram for Marketing)

11. Mobility
Mobile apps. Mobile messaging. Mobile advertising. Whatever your marketing strategy, make sure it fits on a phone or tablet. Do it strategically and thoughtfully—but do it. Smart phone = smart marketing.

Become Client/Customer Obsessed in 2014!

For today’s business owners, your only source of competitive advantage is your relationship with your customers. In the Age of the Customer, successful enterprises are those that have powerful relationships with powerful customers. Here’s how you can develop those relationships:

A Database of Record

The first thing that your business needs is their own database of record, which needs to be synched with your CRM (customer relationship management) tool. To gain a wider aperture of customer context, you need to gather that rich behavioral data – your customers’ web activities, the links they click, the keywords they use, the content that they read and share, and the campaigns they respond to.

Building the Brain

Once you have that core database, you need the “brain” to sift through that data. You need to map you data to the customer experience – that’s how you make the seemingly random buying process make sense. Decide which content should be sent to each segment, and which content should be send right after that.

Execute Across All Channels

The third piece is multi-channel execution. Marketing automation allows you to send emails, or integrate with direct mail. Marketing automation now helps you to automate and measure inbound marketing as well – think social marketing and content marketing. Outbound marketing and inbound marketing, combined with rich data and mapping, brings customers the most relevant information, and fosters the most valuable relationships.

Make it Measurable

The last piece, of course, is analytics. How do your customers move through the buyer’s journey? Which programs are driving the most revenue? This final step is about moving marketing from being a cost center to a profit center, and it’s also about continuing to nurture your customer relationships. When the marketing department or your consultant can justify spend, you can justify asking for continued investments in your customer relationships.

So, How Do We Get Started?

This can sound daunting. When you have millions of contacts, how can you be “customer obsessed” with every one of them? The classic “I Love Lucy” scene in the candy factory comes to mind – the more you have coming down the conveyor belt, the more impossible it becomes to do everything yourself. To scale, you’ve got to apply the right technology and processes to your system.

If you haven’t done any of this before, start with an internal audit. What information about your customer do you have already? Operationally, how are you arranging your marketing today? How integrated are you today? Are you siloed, or are you breaking some of those silos down?

Once you know where you are, you can improve. How can you move closer to marketing that’s responsive in real-time? How can you create profiles of your customers with the data that you already have? It’s all about identifying white spaces, and then filling them in.

If you have no sense of your customer life cycle, start by asking existing customers – start small, with less than five customers, but be incredibly thorough. Do market research on the purchasing path of your most valuable customers, and you’ll get an idea of the path you want to create. How do your customers tend to hear about you? What kind of exploration do they tend to do? Which channels do they research your product on? What’s the timing of their path to purchase – is it all in one fell swoop, or over a long period of time? Once you have a high-level view, you can get more granular.

Finally, keep in mind that if customer-obsession is your goal, there are four things that your organization must be able to do:

  1. Run lots of campaigns, and do it fast. Your prospects and customers won’t all be influenced on the same channel, so your marketing needs to be on as many channels as possible.
  2. Forget batch and blast.  Segment your leads to each segment with relevant content.
  3. Understand your customer base. Who is ready to buy? In B2B, that entails lead scoring; in the B2C world, it means other kinds of scoring – who is a valuable, lifetime customer?
  4. Be able to measure and optimize the whole thing. This is a left-brained, quantitative world.

Search Engine Optimization – Best Kept Secrets!

Maintaining a high ranking on search engines requires a constant, dedicated effort on your part. For a lot of us, it seems like as soon as you rank on the first page, a competitor is there to bump you down to page 2. Whether you’re part of an enterprise marketing effort, or a team of one, we could all use a little secret magic in our SEO
efforts.

Think you’ve tried every search engine optimization tool in the book? Think again. I’m willing to bet there’s one you haven’t included in your overall marketing mix.

Press releases.

A press release isn’t only a way to announce information — it’s also a great little ball of SEO, for many reasons:

  • You can include keywords that people are searching to find your website.
  • You can hyperlink to specific pages on your site in the release.
  • You can publish each press release on dozens of quality websites. Google likes this, and will move you up in search results accordingly.

 

So Why Aren’t More People Writing Press Releases?

Good question. First, not everyone realizes how valuable press releases can be to your marketing strategy. Second, I think many people believe that writing press releases is
more complicated than it really is. Press releases can be mastered, once you understand the format and distribution options.

Tips for Writing Press Releases and Mastering SEO Once and For All

There’s no need to outsource your press releases — once you understand the rules, you can write them yourself. Consider this process:

  1. Start with a piece of solid news, like the award your company recently won, the major contract you’ve just secured, or a great new piece of content you want to promote.
  2. Find a press release template so you know what goes where. Some websites won’t post your press release unless it’s correctly formatted, so stick to the template.
  3. Incorporate keywords
  4. Find an image to enhance the visual appeal. This could simply be your company logo.
  5. Finally, plug in your info and distribute online.

As you become more comfortable writing press releases, you might experiment by including video or more hyperlinks. For more tips on writing an amazing press release, contact Miller Creative Strategies.

In terms of distribution, you may want to use an online press release distribution site, like Google News, or an industry-specific distribution channel. You can also send your release directly to journalists who you hope will want to write about your brand. If you do send your release to journalists, understand that their inboxes are already saturated with releases, so your best bet is to send your release out online, where you know it can do some SEO good.

Below is an example of a press release. Pay close attention to these components:

  • Headline: Succinctly explains what the release is about.
  • Summary: Tells readers, in a few sentences, what the release covers.
  • Image: This company used its logo. You want something dynamic, but clean.
  • Hyperlinks: Drive traffic back to your website, so that people can quickly see what you’re about.
  • Contact info: Make it easy for people to contact your company.
  • Social share buttons: Provide a simple way for readers to share the release.

Contact Miller Creative Strategies to learn more!

Is Your Logo Effective? 5 Easy Steps to Determine!

For most businesses, acquiring or changing a logo feels like a momentous step. A logo, after all, is the face of your brand. McDonald’s is inextricable from its arches. Nike’s simple checkmark possesses almost supernatural communicative qualities.

But how do you measure the success of a logo? Short of a large-scale populist backlash on the order of the University of California’s recent re-design fiasco, success or failure is hard to quantify. There are, however, a number of questions you can and should ask as you consider a new logo. Here are the top five.

1. What was wrong with your old logo?

If your answer is “we didn’t have one” or “my kid drew it on Microsoft Paint,” then you can bet that your new logo is going to be a relative win. In most cases, however, the concerns are more nuanced. Typically, there are two reasons to redo a logo: either the
current one no longer reflects your company’s character or target market (you’ve changed but your logo hasn’t), or it just looks dusty and dated (the world has changed but your logo hasn’t). The second reason is obviously quite subjective, so do analysis and tread carefully. A refresh can be a boon for business, but superfluous changes also pose a risk – at the very least, of losing what you paid for an unnecessary design service. It could be that there was nothing really wrong with your old logo at all.

att

 

2. What do you want from your logo?

Amid the excitement of getting a new logo, it’s easy to lose sight of how the item actually functions.  Ultimately, the point of such a mark is to identify your business, but even this basic definition couches a question: do you want your logo to simply identify you as providing a certain service or belonging to a certain industry, or do you want it to distinguish you from competitors within that industry? If you own a dentistry practice, you may just want your logo to identify you as a dentist without the possibility of confusion. This is why so many dentists around the world use virtually identical logos (smiles, teeth, brushes, etc.) In most cases there is nothing to gain from setting oneself apart within the field– only a risk of alienating potential clientele. On the other hand, if you are looking to distinguish your brand from similar ones, it is worthwhile to choose a unique, non-obvious logo. The link between a peacock and a television broadcasting network is tenuous, but NBC’s design nevertheless served the company well, quickly taking on iconic status.

 nbcfamily dental care

 

3. Does it work across media? Integrate into a broader branding scheme?

A good designer’s first order of business is to correct the layman’s tendency to think of a logo in the abstract. In fact, logos are generally material things: they exist on business cards, websites, store windows and billboards. That means they have to be legible at the scale of a penny and a hula-hoop alike, and as distinctive in black and white as in full color. An overly complex or awkwardly shaped logo may fail this test, even if it looks decent on a blank page. A great designer, however, will further propose a logo that supersedes itself as a stand-alone mark, instead forming a part of a cohesive, overarching branding scheme. Choose a color palette that you’ll be able to extend across a website and perhaps physical space. Select a typeface that pairs well with what you might use on your business cards or future ads. If you find that your logo constrains your various future design projects more than it opens up promising possibilities, then it was not successful.

 applecoca-cola

 

4. What is the critical response to your logo and does it matter?

It’s reasonable to test the critical waters by polling your friends, family and colleagues about a new logo. However, there are a few caveats to keep in mind. First, not everyone’s opinion is created equal. Your designer is an expert (hopefully), while your
friends are not. Their emotional responses certainly carry some validity, but remember that they might not have considered all the nuances of branding potential noted above. Second, not everyone is a critic – in fact, most people aren’t. Asking people to actively evaluate a logo sets up atypical conditions; most of your potential customers, unless they are graphic design enthusiasts, will not subject your logo to an exacting inspection. They’ll simply use it as a tool for identifying your business – that is, as intended. Once the logo is set and printed across your assets, you’ll have to weigh the occasional negative remark against the cost of re-design, re-printing, etc. Short of a full on scandal like the ones precipitated by The University of California, The Gap or Tropicana redesigning beloved emblems, it is almost never worth giving in.  Human psychology promises knee-jerk negative reactions to change, but people eventually come around.

 gapuc

 

5. Is your design cookie-cutter generic?

As noted earlier, not every industry puts the same premium on an original-looking logo, and sometimes going into left field is even disadvantageous. A dentistry logo probably ought to look like a dentistry logo. Still, there are certain overused, cookie-cutter designs – an abstract, v-shaped man leaping for joy, a ring of crescents – that are fundamentally empty, failing even to identify a business with any meaningful concept. Something like this may work in a pinch or on a very temporary basis, but pay no more than whatever you think zero thought and a couple of minutes with Adobe Illustrator are worth.

adobe

If you’re able to answer these questions truthfully, you should be in a position to broadly assess the success of your logo. That’s probably the best you can hope for; more quantifiable rates of return tend to prove elusive with logo design. What really matters though, lies less in the product than in the creative person or team that created it. A
designer who is skilled, trustworthy and responsive, who understands your business mission but isn’t afraid to challenge your design ideas, who thinks long-term and will be there down the road to carry out the innumerable little tasks that may arise, is invaluable.

 

Contact Miller Creative Strategies to learn more about logos and their effects on your business.

What is Co-Branding and How Can It Be Used to Help Your Business?

How do you meet your marketing goals with a small staff and a tight budget?

It’s a crucial question almost every marketing team on the planet is struggling with right now. Easy answers are tough to find.

We can tell you, though, what is working for us, so that you can grab an actionable insight or two.

Our strategy boils down to one odd, little word: co-marketing (or co-branding – a term that is used quite often). It’s all about leveraging the resources and relationships you have, rather than worrying about all of the shiny new things you don’t have the time or money to do.

Co-marketing is the process of aligning your company’s interests, resources and marketing muscle with other like-minded companies to accomplish much more than you might on your own.

The concept has been around a long time in advertising. Any airline magazine has ads with the Top Steakhouses, Top Seafood Restaurants or even Top Plastic Surgeons.

Basically, these similar and complementary companies band together and unite their advertising budgets to cut the cost of an ad by 10 times or more (depending on the number of participants).

It’s brilliant.

And it isn’t all about just saving money. It’s also about brand and credibility.

Putting all of these top names together dramatically increases brand recognition, customer value and customer retention. Every time business travelers fly to a location where one of these top providers is located,  they have a ready-made reference to help them find a good meal … and, if need be, a top-notch surgeon.

Here are four quick tips we’ve learned from trial and error:

  1. Make it a win-win: Identify partners that align well with your business. Show them the value of joining forces with you by sharing data about what results they can expect based on past successes.
  2. Give more than you get: Selling your value to somebody else is the easy part. Strive to exceed your partners’ expectations by throwing all of your marketing might behind your joint efforts. Don’t hold back and expect your partner to do the heavy lifting.
  3. Make it easy: Asking somebody to join you in a marketing campaign is kind of like inviting them over to a backyard barbecue. The less you ask them to do or bring, the more likely they are to show up smiling. Create a simple checklist and a promotion kit, complete with sample emails, tweets and other collateral, and share these items with your partners.
  4. Do a debriefing: After every webinar we do, we link up with our partner for a quick debriefing call to review what went well and what we can improve on next time. This step is easy to overlook in the hustle and bustle of a busy day. But it’s an absolutely critical step.

If you use these four tips, you’ll run successful co-marketing campaigns. And you’ll also build lifelong relationships with valuable business partners.

Contact Miller Creative Strategies to learn more!

How to Target Effectively to the Growing Hispanic Market

America is fast embracing multiculturalism, and the changing dynamics have produced new dilemmas for the various marketers who are required to reach the people whose language, customs, and tastes aren’t the same as the “general market”. It will become more critical to have marketing plans that are culturally relevant as the diversity in the population increases and ethnic minorities such as the U.S. Hispanics gain more prominence. The present-day market trend makes it imperative for the marketers to analyze and adopt novel strategies in the same manner that they’ve allocated the corporate marketing resources through time, in order to use marketing to Hispanics to their advantage.

Be Culturally Relevant

Hispanic advertising is most successful when it’s based on the careful insights which not only present precise glimpses of the Hispanic life and uses the Spanish language correctly, but also have some resonance with the audience and makes them realize that the advertiser has put in enough effort to understand their interests and values. You can use stuff like family, music, and humor as powerful triggers for the audience in this segment.

Speak the Language

Even though the Hispanic population in the United States may be from different countries, the underlying Spanish language is pretty much consistent. As some corporations have learnt the hard way, simply translating an advertisement or a sentence from English to Spanish can result in huge gaffes. Speaking the language fluently can be a huge advantage when marketing to Hispanic consumers.

Also, a sizable number of bicultural/bilingual Hispanics living in the United States prefer to speak both English and Spanish as the situation demands. By studying the audience’s psychographic and demographic data, you can pinpoint on the language that is best suited for your efforts.

Mobile and Online

There may have been a “digital divide” among the general population and the Hispanic population, but it is fast shrinking in today’s world. Also, the “mobile divide” isn’t going to last for long as the 3G connectivity and web-enabled phones are fast penetrating this lucrative market. As such, the Hispanic community can be a fetching segment for various SMS programs. They’re highly responsive and virtually untapped targets, especially the bilingual and English-preferring crowd, who are heavy mobile users.

There are various communication channels for effectively marketing to the Hispanic community with your messages. While they may use all types of media, studies have indicated a special inclination towards television and radio. The effective air-time of your ads or marketing techniques will generally be very small to make any real impact. However, having a comprehensive collection of print, broadcast, and direct mail can help in providing additional information to the Hispanic consumer so as to close the deal.

The Latinos in the U.S. generally follow the principle of adopt and adapt to the habits and customs of the country without losing their traditional systems. As such, marketers cannot simply use the strategies and conceptualizations that work for the general market for marketing to the Hispanic segment. This community follows acculturation, where the traditional and native values are integrated with the dominant cultural values of the U.S.

Event Marketing – Return on Investment and Doing it Right!

In event ROI measurement, there are many intricacies to take into consideration, such as:

  • Is the agenda right?
  • Is this the most fitting speaker?
  • Is the topic compelling?
  • Is this the best time of day to hold the event?
  • What partners should we work with?

By looking at all of the aspects of your event you can arrive at a more detailed measurement, and get better at events as time goes on. Maybe an event didn’t meet your overall threshold for success. But by answering these questions you can iterate and try again. Always remember, you must measure things not just because they are measurable, but because they will guide you toward the decisions needed to help improve company profitability. With this understanding, you can evolve your mix of tactics each time you put on or sponsor an event.

When it comes to measuring event marketing ROI, every company is unique in their level of sophistication and what they want to track. But where do you start?

Good: Basic Progression Measurement

By measuring the progression statuses of your attendees, you can determine metrics such as invited, registered, attended, and no show. Make sure you are measuring these basic metrics, if nothing else. Take a look at the chart below showing metrics for one of Marketo’s events. You can see that we invited 1,815 people, 50 attended, and 62 were no shows.

And here is a progression checklist to to show you all of the behaviors you can potentially measure if you are focusing primarily on progressions:

Better: Leads by Category

In addition to your basic progression statuses, you should be measuring leads by where they are in your revenue cycle and lead category. In other words, how attractive are these attendees to you? In the chart below you can see that there were 1,433 total attendees to one of Marketo’s recent Rockstar tours. Of those, 699 were the people we considered in-profile prospects worthy of pipeline development (and of those, 151 were considered the best “super-targets”), 32 were current leads or sales leads, 130 were current opportunities, and 408 were current customers. The ROI of the event will be different for each of these categories: pipeline creation, deal acceleration, and up-sell/retention.

Best: Pipeline Measurements

Of the people who attended your show, you ideally want to determine how many opportunities were created, how much pipeline, how many were closed/won and for how much bookings, and cost per opportunity (CPO). The event should only get credit for pipeline if the opportunities were created after the event attendance dates. Bookings should only count if the deal was won after the attendance date. And the ultimate event marketing success measurement is pipeline-to-spend – how much pipeline can be allocated to the event divided, by what we  invested in the event.

Want to learn more about how to leverage events in your marketing mix?  Contact Miller Creative Strategies.

 

 

D. Rothman

High Impact Marketing from a Low Budget

To remain in business without a marketing budget would be near impossible.  For many small businesses, having money set aside for marketing can be a problem. Revenue may be scarce. To get revenue, you need to market better. To market better, you need more revenue. It becomes a vicious cycle.

If you are faced with this situation, you are not alone. Hundreds of small businesses are trying to make the most of their marketing with a tight budget. So how can you have high impact marketing with a low budget business? Here are some quick tips from
companies that have done it and done it well:

  • Reach out to existing customers with a “refer a friend” offer or some type of purchase incentive.

Basically you are creating coupons for your products and services. Yes, this may temporarily bring in less revenue per item, but if you are increasing your customers
overall, you will benefit in the long run. By tapping into your customer’s referral networks you are amplifying your reach and getting new customers through the door.  And by offering referral incentives, especially if you are using social media, you can keep your customers loyal, making them more likely to buy from you again.

  • Get involved with your local community.

Using social venues, you can network and advertise for free amongst your peers. This may include some competitors, but it will also include the businesses in your area that can refer you by word-of-mouth if you have something to offer that they do not. As part of the same community network, you will both have mutual interest in promoting local business and have a trusted relation because of your neighborhood connection. You can also help host block parties or neighborhood sponsored commerce events. Invite the local news stations and that 30 second segment just became your first free TV commercial.

  • Budget smart using targeted marketing.

Any time you do end up spending funds on marketing, make sure you spend it wisely. Marketing purses to men might not be the best use of your hard earned sales. If you try to be too general with your marketing, you are less likely to reach the maximum number of sales with each attempt. Ask yourself some questions about who is most likely to purchase from your company. Aim your marketing based on gender, age, geographic location, work industry, income level and lifestyle needs. By getting specific with your marketing, you will work smarter instead of harder.

  • Join forces with similar businesses.

This will split your marketing cost with everyone included. Examples of ways this may work include a service repair shop marketing with a glass repair man or a wedding photographer marketing with a reception hall or disc jockey. In the B2B marketing
world this might include holding a joint webinar or creating a joint content piece. Both partners get market to their own databases and you can share the leads. When your business is for a specific clientele, why not join forces with potential partners!

Being a small business comes with a variety of disadvantages, but for every negative there are at least two positives. Be strong and proud of the company you are and make every dime that you earn really counts. These low cost and free marketing tools will keep more revenue in your pocket: revenue to grow your small business into a not-so-small business and beyond.

Building Meaningful Relationships with Influencers

Marketing to influencers is an important part of your business’s success. Strong relationships are at the heart of your professional success. Take it one step further and cultivate and maintain relationships with people who are influential in your Industry.

Influencer marketing is not a new strategy or way of thinking. It has been around for a very long time. Business people have recognized its value for ages and the way in which you use it will determine how successful your business will be because of it. There are many things to think about when it comes to targeting influencers. The first thing is that you need to identify who the influencers are and connect with them so that you can start to build meaningful and mutually beneficial relationships with them. An interesting point is that the people who are the strongest influencers for you today may not be the same people tomorrow. Because of the rapid advancement of technology and how that affects businesses today, they are connected to the tools that are being used for business on a consistent and regular basis.

Making influencer marketing a part of  your overall online marketing strategy

You may be asking yourself why you would want to incorporate influencer marketing into your marketing strategy. Of course, just as traditional marketing can have a positive effect on your business (and certainly should), influencer marketing can have an equally positive effect. The following positive results will become apparent very quickly:

Getting your influencers to interact

You should try to get your influencers to write guest blog articles, get involved with podcasts, or do interviews with you. That will serve several purposes. It will impress others to know that your influencers support your business and believe in your offerings. It will also keep things interesting and your efforts to continue to bring fresh, innovative ideas to the table through your influencers will make other people want to continue to be involved with you and your business.

Earning more mentions online

If you can get your influencers to speak about you and your business online, through their efforts, you will be strengthening your reputation and increasing your exposure. Where you are mentioned is not nearly as how often you  are mentioned (as long as it is in a positive light, of course).

Increase your traffic

If you can tap into their audiences, you will be able to increase the amount of online traffic that comes to you. That can only be a positive thing for your business.

Determining the value of your business and your offerings

A great way to know how valuable you are to other people is through the communications that others express among themselves. It is one thing that you totally understand how valuable your products and/or services are and quite another for other people to understand it. You are the one person who is not allowed to sing the praises of your business.

Earning credibility, trustworthiness, and selling more

If you have the support of the influencers behind your business, other people will take you seriously, will consider you credible and trustworthy, and will want to buy what you are selling.

Setting up your goals

There are several goals that you should have in mind for your business before you target any influencers.

First of all, you need to establish exactly what you are trying to gain from your marketing: You absolutely must have goals as part of your marketing plan before you do anything. Those goals will keep you focused and will help you to become successful. Your goals will help you to understand exactly which influencers are right for your business.   Create a target list: It will be simpler than you think to build a list of influencers.  The way to start is by doing a keyword search and the influencers will show up in the results. There are several available tools that can also help you to identify influencers. You will need to learn how to use metrics appropriately and it is important to understand that a high score is not the only important determining factor when it comes to choosing influencers. When choosing, you need to look at everything at once and then you will know if that influencer is right for you.   Reach out: You shouldn’t expect to automatically form a relationship with a given influencer the first time that you communicate with him or her. It will take some time (just as it does with any relationship). Remember that relationships require work, nurturing, caring, and a great deal of give and take.   Build a solid foundation: Before you begin the  influencer marketing aspect of your business, you need to feel secure in the idea that you are starting with a solid foundation when it comes to your business on the whole. Once you have everything you need and are interacting with your influencers, make sure to work consistently at maintaining those relationships and helping them to grow.

Conclusion

Influencers are critical to the success of your business. They will help to strengthen your online reputation and they will help you to eventually reach your goal of yourself being considered an influencer in your niche or industry. Remember to truly listen to what they are telling you so that you can mimic that if it works for your business. The relationships that you share with your influencers must be real, authentic, and mutually beneficial. Marketing in the most appropriate and effective manner is essential to your ultimate business success.

 

 

M. Cohn