Wondering how to and when to upgrade your brand to attract new customers, or stay in sync with the existing ones? MarketinGrow, brings you a blog that will help you decide how and when to upgrade or change your brand approach. Let’s start!!
What do Netflix, Amazon and Apple have in common? They’ve evolved with changing times. Change is a common part of any business cycle, irrespective of whether you are a small large business. And some hard times such as the current virus pandemic and also bring with it a good business opportunity.
Most small businesses and entrepreneurs start off as an idea and idea that converts to profit. But to make it sustainable and succeed in today’s economy if your brand can’t share the same values as your audience it’s non-existent to them. Given that you face competition not only local but global and your customers are often lured either directly or indirectly through different means, making it your responsibility to make your brand stand out.
And that’s exactly why a business reinvents itself. This doesn’t mean the core values of the business or the brand have to change but just changing how you offer the product can be a good enough strategy for a small business.
According to Shawn DuBravac, a Small Business expert and author of “Digital Destiny” DuBravac says, “it’s important for a small business to constantly innovate and re-innovate the organization, from what they offer, the value it provides to how they treat their employees” especially if you are an e-commerce or technology-based firm that fear larger corporates overshadowing your product innovation and re-innovating what you offer keeps your customer profile growing.
When should a business rebrand itself?
Typically, a firm would be advised to rebrand or renovate every 5 years to stay in sync with their customers. But there are other scenarios that may be a no brainier such as image crisis or financial crisis.
But one time a small business can re-innovate their existing product or services is when there is a global slow down. This is the time most small businesses take a hit but a smart brand would know how to be a winner in such situations by providing value and need.
How do you reinvent for a small business?
If you choose to reinvent and rebrand it’s a crucial step. In requires a strategy, goal and finances and most importantly time to support a successful rebranding. We will give you a step by step approach to doing this below:
- Know when to change – for a small business timing is everything. Change or reinventing doesn’t have to be just because we told you so, but also based on calculated facts. Like your personal finances such as paying for your children’s college tuition or a new mortgage. Things don’t come easy and rebranding halfway is never a good idea. Make the changes subtle and scale up accordingly to what you think you can handle or hire an agency that understands your market and its demographics to help you with it while staying on a budget.
- Know your customers – both existing and the target audience. Knowing how to get your existing customers to accept a new image of your business is half the war won. Since we want to grow the business you have to take into account the existing customers and survey their needs and wants and strategies ways with your marketing team for an approach that will be accepted by the existing customers. While it also is able to lure potential customers in.
- Make use of technology – An easy way most firms are able to evolve their brand image is to do this is via social media talk to your audience see what they like and what can be incorporated in your brand image and voice keep evolving with technology and use it to benefit your brands such as videos ads or AI. This doesn’t have a direct impact on the customers but subtle enough to encourage new audiences and traffic to convert into loyal customers.
- Make the transition smooth: evolution did not take place overnight nor does your brand growth. Constant evolving and renovation are the laws of nature too and is most easily accepted rather than an overnight change in the brand itself. This will also help you handle the transition in a much-organized manner on a personal level instead of feeling overwhelmed.
- Stick to the plan – often even when customers seem to take the new brand image quite well it’s the owners, we notice finding it hard to let go of old habits or approaches. Given that some companies have been doing business a certain way for a number of years change can be hard. As owners feel they are letting go of a part of themselves and often tend to switch gears, this is directly counterproductive to all the effort you have put in so far and leaves your customers employees and partners confused as to what you are planning which is never a good sign for a brand image.
Easy ways to reinvent your brand
Change your voice – instead of selling your product sell its value, people will remember stories, not the slogans. What customers look for online be it through SEO or social media is for products similar to their likeness. If your product matches what they are looking for you have a sale. Send a message that resonates with the target audience, make your new voice acceptable and engaging with its viewers.
Change the medium – businesses are never constant, imagine you are a café owner your menu would have to incorporate those items that your customers are most likely to buy or include take-away options. Similarly, while reinventing your brand if you often opted for traditional advertising opt for new mediums such as social media, email and blogs that are more engaging and get a lot of traction required for a business to keep growing.
Incorporate technology – the biggest gift 21st century has to offer is the constant evolution of technology, for a small business in Brampton or Mississauga this may seem like uncharted waters but with the right team and approach incorporating AI as chatbots or analytics, studying your customers and what’s engaging them the most can be life-changing. Technology and level the playing field for all businesses big or small. So, use it in the best possible way that can benefit your business.
Hire a digital marketing agent or agency– most of our clients are those who have been in the industry for close to a decade or more looking for a wider visibility and access to their clients. Being in the field of marketing made us understand how a marketing agency is able to access, define and strategies your business plan in order to make a smooth transition with the least amount of stress or confusion.
Start with simple transitions – rebranding doesn’t have to be hardcore, simple subtle changes can make a lot of difference when we speak of a small business. From changing your website look and feel, creating an app to a simple logo and graphic changes can help customers engage with your brand much better than a complicated or out of date approach. Start simple keep it subtle to see how customers react and scale up gradually.
How much does rebranding cost a business?
On average, rebranding would cost 10-20% of your marketing budget. In Canada, rebranding can cost a small business anywhere between $1000- $20,000. The numbers may and will differ depending on what your idea of rebranding is? Is it just a simple website change or adding technology and social media to the mix or changing the logo? Starting off may sound risky and scary since you have put in so much effort creating your business but with the right marketing team and approach this risk would very well translate into a good business investment that translates into bigger more visible profits for your business.
Want to know how to start the evolution of your brand? We have it all covered for your contact or book a consultation with MarketinGrow to know-how.
In light of the recent events we want to ensure our community and its small businesses in Brampton, Mississauga and surrounding GTA are still able to function at their level best. COVID-19 has caused businesses to rethink and strategize their current marketing strategy. MarketinGROW offers its support by launching a limited time Marketing Assessment Program aka MAP. MAP is a complimentary service by MarketinGROW that has been designed to provide small businesses with much-needed momentum when it comes to optimization and analysis of their current business plan and marketing efforts.
1. Website Audit 2. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) analysis 3. Social Media Marketing Analysis 4. Lead Generation Strategy
Book your free slot today. Let’s come out of this lock-down stronger and more efficient than ever!
COMPLIMENTARY ASSESSMENT FORM
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Thinking your small business needs an e-commerce store? Do you feel its time you own an eCommerce store to match demands or access new audience? MarketinGROW presents Strategic approach to help ease planning and launching your eCommerce site.
But first, Let us assure you, you are on the right track! It’s the 21st century and everything you need is on the internet. Favorite snacks from your childhood or a bridal dress everything is one click away.
Next, you may be looking for an easy e-commerce strategy to help you get started, hence this blog. Before we get started, it’s important keep in mind global audience means global competition. Even if you are not trying to compete with them, the customers may lean towards an outsider’s product due to a variety of reasons like: better website, easier checkout or better online ratings. The perfect eCommerce strategy considers all relevant factors that may directly or indirectly affect your business.
MarketinGrow provides an easy way to keep your existing customers and attract new ones to keep reading to know more.
How to set up an e-commerce site for a small business?
- Pick a niche and Research your market
- Pick a niche product(s)
- Create a brand and business
- Get an online store
- Attract your customers online
- Time to Advertise and marketing
- Post-launch care tips
- Pick a niche and research the market.
First things first, whether you are an online or offline store, you need to know the market. Research if it’s a good model for an e-commerce store and what is your competition like?
Consider the below points as crucial to making a profit on your investment;
- Are you able to warehouse the product?
- Will it be drop shipped or periodic shipping?
- Will the product need a special license?
- Is it easy to market and advertise?
- Are there buyers looking for the product with no good purchase options?
- Who does this product target?
- What are the price and the options your competition offers?
Pick a niche product
Apart from the basic research, it’s also important to start off simple start with few products or a single product scale up when you see the demand rising this helps avoid unnecessary expenses and gauge the market without investing heavily in it. Take for example Kylie’s lip kits the brand started off with a single product and limited Colors and now has spanned into a whole range of skincare and skin products. It’s a classic example of niche product testing.
Create a brand and business
Your brand has to be ready to take on the online scene. At the 11th hour, you can’t afford a copyright issue with the logo or an investment into a brand image that doesn’t match the target audience that you are selling too.
Follow the checklist below to start with;
- Pick a business name
- Register your business
- Get required registrations such as employment ID, tax number, licence and permits.
- Keep a list of suitable vendors ready
- Create a logo
- Create visuals that resonate with your brand image and it’s persona helping your audience relate and engage with your brand.
Get an online store.
The majority of the population today purchases a product after searching for it online and looking for reviews. Notice how bloggers “review” products all the time? That’s because there is a demand by customers to educate themselves before they make a purchase.
Creating an online store is easy. There are multiple websites that let you use a template and choose the URL you think best. Usually, these websites would charge upwards of $100 for basic features and design.
Alternatively, you can opt for Marketingrow’s $45 /m plan that lets you cancel anytime and provides a custom design and SEO content helping you gain better visibility.
Attract customers to your online store
Many small businesses struggle with this. We often get asked “how can i attract customers to an e-commerce store for small business?” or a new venture.
The answer, there is no simple method that will just get you customers over night. But there are some pointers that help your store operate and attract customers-
- Develop keyword driven strategies – if a customer is not able to find your product via a simple search engine search they are most definitely visiting the next best option. Aka your competitors. Pictures, content and the store itself needs to be Search engine friendly so it is easy to track and navigate.
- Have a website– having a website let’s you add more information about your business, engage with customers and over time add more products that they can navigate and shop through. This also helps in making your store rank better and stay more visible online.
- Content marketing- although the goal is to sell, your site needs traffic and for that it needs to have relatively good content that can drive traffic and lead to conversions.
Time for advertising and Marketing.
No online effort is ever complete without Digital marketing. How do you get your product noticed online? How can you get more sales on a e-commerce website? Or how to generate traffic on to your website? Digital marketing answers all of these queries.
Digital marketing helps a business gain popular among its audience and constantly stay visible and in the minds of the public so they are motivated to make a purchase.
Let’s talk about what does digital marketing and it’s strategies offer for e-commerce?
- E-mail marketing – helps create a list of leads and mailing addresses you can can connect and engage with time to time with offers, discounts and new products.
- Social media marketing– through FB ads and engagement over social media your product gathers high visibility to your niche audience. Keep in mind every business is very different and social media offers various platforms to reach them. For example LinkedIn for B2B and Facebook for B2B and B2C.
- Google and online search– google ads, google my business page, reviews on online portals and search engine optimization. May sound overwhelming for a small business owner to do but that is exactly what digital marketing agencies like MarketinGrow provides to its customers, all round optimization for best results.
- Back linking – anything from related sites reviewing or talking about the advantages of your product and services to listing it on pages that already has good traffic is a good start. Back linking basically does this for your business.
Now that you know how to get started with an e-commerce site. What are you waiting for? Alternatively, you can get in touch with us or book an appointment. All you have to do is have an idea of what your website and brand persona is so we have a clear idea of the persona and it’s target audience. Leave everything else up to us from research to marketing we will do it for you.
Also check out lite.marketingrow.com to buy your website and have it up and running in less than a few weeks time!
The past few months have turned the world of business as we know it upside down, forcing those who followed more traditional concepts to consider new ways to evolve and survive.
Business owners have come up with some of the most creative ways to generate business. From using apps like Zoom and WhatsApp to follow up on leads to social media live streams to keep their audience engaged throughout the lockdown.
Even fast-food joints & cafes, something we consider as an outdoor activity came up with new DIY coffee/donut kits for you to experience your favourite treat from the comfort of your own home.
This brings us to our topic today. What about you? Are you focusing on the right areas to market your product and services? Do you still think your marketing sucks? Even after putting in all the efforts and financial resources that you thought would be enough?
Although the above-mentioned examples may be the work of a brilliant team or a very enthusiastic employee. Irrespective of what you do, there are a few common denominators among all of these examples that lead to a successful campaign and most importantly provide a good ROI.
So, let’s talk about the most common question we hear “why is my marketing not working?”
The answer to this isn’t as simple as you would think.
Given the burst of competition and different platforms, a number of reasons can affect your marketing strategy and numbers. Today, you need a holistic approach to marketing with multiple touchpoints to reach out to your target audience. The fundamental of marketing need to be in place before you can truly evaluate if the marketing campaign is working or not.Take a look below for some common factors you should consider for the poor response:
1.What is your buyer persona?
Identifying your buyer persona is a big part of marketing planning which unfortunately many small and medium businesses fall short on. This is the first place to look at while evaluating your marketing campaign. You should identify your buyer persona with granular detail and only then go after that target market. This will not only save you time and cost but also significantly enhance your conversion ratio. Identifying the market persona is a discovery process that includes understanding the market, conducting research, and evaluating who will benefit the most by your product/service. Define the person by demographic information such as location, company size/annual income, title, interests and more. Once you have defined the persona then identify where and how are you able to connect with the target persona. For instance, which social media is that demograph more likely to use, what events they attend, which online resources they trust for industry news and more. These intel should dictate your marketing planning, activities, and budget.
2. Your company has a social media account and a website. But that’s it!
Most brands today start off with a website and a social media handle. That’s not enough. Irrespective of your company size creating a buzz is still a very “marketing friendly” thing to do in order to create business opportunities. Yes, an aesthetically pleasing social layout and witty tweets can get you some traction. But focusing on adding value to what you share online, keeping it genuine and replicating the same offline at events or expos or even a night market helps get those leads, create actual sales and customers.
3. Single platform presence.
Consider this, your product best suits the needs of teenagers today. But your brand has a profile on Facebook and nowhere else. While single platforms are a good way to start off it has to be based on the demographics. This means, where your target audience spends the most amount of time is where you should be as well! In this case, Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok.
4. You haven’t created a Holistic Marketing approach.
A holistic marketing approach is done through various channels. This includes
- e-mail marketing
- lead generation strategies,
- social media platforms, and
- reaching out to contacts.
This allows you to cover more ground. Thereby, giving you a larger lead generation pool.
5. You haven’t implemented online “and” offline strategies.
While online marketing may seem easy and tempting (after all it does allow you the comfort and data all through a few clicks), the traditional marketing approach still holds its value. Applying both online and offline strategies for a business is very important. Notice any large company you see on a day to day basis. While they have a good online presence, they still come up with offers and value services that are aimed at winning their customers over.
Create marketing strategies on two primary goals –
- To get sales and leads, and
- Develop brand value in the minds of customers
6. Motivators and Demotivators
What factors influence decision-making for your target market? You should observe and identify key motivators and demotivators. Don’t be shocked, as harsh as the term sounds it’s not. Those who offer high prices for a quick service for example the express shipping for a faster delivery are motivators. They could also be the ones who run on a scarcity tactic that leads customers to think they will miss out on an opportunity (example a sale that says “limited stocks”). Whereas, a demotivator persona offers lower prices and a longer wait period on the service.
The issue with your marketing could simply be that you are targeting customers who want the service quickly or the opposite, who are willing to pay and wait for a better service.
7. You expect an immediate ROI
What’s important to remember even before we get on to the technical aspect of what works and doesn’t work for your business, it is setting the right expectations. Marketing strategies are a long-term aspect of every business operation. When the company starts off in its cycle you can’t expect it to be a success overnight. But through persistent efforts, dynamic management, and the right strategies these investments pay off. The same applies for marketing, invest in a long-term plan for your business. This can help in more ways than you could imagine. From understanding customer preference to nurturing leads that convert into customers all of this is a part of the process that comes with time.
8. Lastly, your brand doesn’t have a persona
Is your brand telling your story? Every business is an entity. In the eyes or law and more so in the eyes of the customers. When they interact with your employees when they buy a product or service the brand voice and vision should have an active role in it. Your website should be at the front of this as the door to your business. It’s design and content should align with the offers and message you wish to convey. Social media presence should also be aligned with it so should all your other digital marketing campaigns.
When you have something good to offer it’s equally important to let your audience know who you are.
- your brand can be trusted (brand authenticity),
- it’s well recognized (brand voice), and
- the brand image they can associate the product with.
All of this can be brought together by investing in a good marketing strategy that defines and analyses the market, it’s trends and your current strategy. Based on which experts will then suggest what method or approach will work best!
Top reasons your marketing isn’t generating leads.
1.You don’t do Passive Marketing
What’s passive marketing you ask? Glad you did! Passive marketing is a constant effort to be seen as a brand. Remember those billboards or radio ads? For starters, that’s what it is but over the years this has evolved in social media and active efforts to spread brand awareness.
Although this makes it easy for a small business to enter a market, the market is saturated and that’s where our next point plays in.
2. Is your website generating leads?
We have observed a lot of SMBs missing out on lead generating opportunities through their website. Consider your website as part of your sales team and invest time and budget as you would on your sales resources. One of the common mistake businesses make is by undermining the potential of their website just because they may not have generated any leads from their website in past. There could be multiple reasons behind this and in most cases, it is simply down to lack of clarity on the purpose of the website in first place. If you consider your website to be a lead generating tool then you must invest time to review the content, keep it up to date, and more importantly present your brand the way you would when you are in front of a client. Your website should tell your brand’s story and include information about your business, product/services, and why should they consider your company. If your service/product can be sold or subscribed virtually then make that facility available with eCommerce capability.
Most of your website visitors are anonymous and as part of your lead generation measures, you must make efforts to identify them:
- Direct your website visitors to a concrete next step by adding Call-To-Action buttons through-out your website
- Add resources and materials such as eBooks, Infographs, Product Brochure for visitors to download
- Add Chat feature to instantly connect with you
- Create easy forms for visitors to submit
- Analyse website traffic to monitor performance of each webpage and content
- Make sure your website is mobile friendly and easy to navigate, and more.
3. What is your nurture strategy?
Not all leads in your pipeline will convert. Some leads may become cold over a period of time What are you doing about those leads? Nurturing leads is as important as generating new ones. You should maintain a lead funnel and closely monitor the progress of your leads. Many of your leads may not be actively in the market and that is OK. It is your responsibility to keep nurturing them to maturity. Here are some common ways to nurture your leads:
- Send them monthly emails with new updates, offers, resources, etc.
- Set a reminder to drop them a call periodically
- Send them personalized mailers if and when possible, for instance during the holiday season
- Try to connect with them on social media so that they can view your posts
4. You haven’t started generating leads through passive marketing techniques
One of the greatest gifts of digital marketing in today’s day and age is the gift of social media ads! Targeted ads that use Sophisticated tech and algorithms that would cost us a fortune are available at our fingertips for free. Condition you invest a bit in them and use them the right way. Now you may be wondering how do I generate leads with social media ads? We’ll answer that, you can run ads with:
A/B testing– this lets you run two separate ads and gather results based on your target audience preference. All you have to do is run two ads you think will work and see which fares.
Lead generation objective– platforms like Facebook and Google will run specific campaigns. These ads come in different categories, from ads to get more leads to ads aimed at getting more attention to your page. Let’s say you choose lead generation as your target for running an ad. The algorithm will then direct your ads at the users it determines will be best suited for this purpose creating more sign-ups or visibility on those users’ profiles.
5. You haven’t targeted the right persona
Marketing online is not about targeting the entire 2 billion people online but targeting a niche that relates to your brand and its product. This helps you create leads easier. Simply put, targeting a persona among your audience and aligning a similar brand persona to match it helps the audience relate to your brand and create your own orbit in which you can engage and generate leads for your business. An easy example could be new moms, based on their searches and active groups or following your business can attract new moms with offers that they may be interested in. Offering services that align with their needs and marketing strategies that attract them towards your product or services.
6. You aren’t active on social platforms
Having a presence is very important when it comes to creating leads. Not only offline but even online customers look for businesses they feel are genuine. When they visit your page or look you up your business should showcase active presence digitally. This helps a customer trust the fact that you are an active business that will provide to their needs. Regular social media posting, updated blogs and websites help create this with minimal effort yet promise valuable lead generation.
7. You don’t strategize lead generation activities
Online presence in itself can’t offer 100% lead gen. Your marketing strategy has to involve a conscious effort to generate leads and there are a number of ways to go about it.
Our main picks:
Ad campaigns– running ads as we mentioned generates interest among your niche audience and helps them convert to active customers. Running ads on different platforms or for starters even on Facebook alone can create a huge buzz as Facebook uses its AI and algorithm to pick among its users who will most likely opt for your product or service.
LinkedIn campaigns– a growing number of small businesses especially B2B generate a good amount of their leads through LinkedIn. LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator helps you target business owners and directly pitch your services/ product to them be it for a vertical or lateral line of connections.
E-mail campaigns– are a good way to nurture the current leads to remind them of your business and those who are warm or cold leads without having to cold call. Most marketers agree email campaigns still generate leads on par with social media and offline efforts and in fact are still a very valuable resource and cost-effective for a small business.
8. Maintain and build relationships
A business needs its clients at every stage of its cycle. This is why building and maintaining relationships become so much more important. Social media gives you easy access to stay connected, and so does email. You don’t always have to have a product on sale but offering discounts or sending newsletters on what your business is currently doing helps build trust and a personal relationship with its customers. This creates a human bond between the business and its customers which is the most important factor here. Empathy and making them realize their connection are valued helps customers build brand loyalty in the long run.
9. Your page isn’t showing up on the search engine
Customers search for a brand, it’s reviews and website. SEO, as we mentioned above helps get your page a higher ranking on search engines. Irrespective of whether the customer is looking for your brand in specific or just typing in their requirements. Having the keywords and blogs/ content that match their search will help search engines show your business as one of the options. However, with so many competitors online, ranking on the first page is very important. We have dedicated an entire blog on how to get your website SEO friendly to be sure to read that if you need more insight on this point.
10. Add videos.
The last point we would like to address is videos. With the audience being subjected to a host of information online it’s no surprise that the general audience’s attention has been said to be around a few seconds. These few seconds will determine whether they turn into leads or ignore your product. Add short videos to help get your customer’s attention!
What these do in general is give your brand a voice and give all the necessary information about what it is that your business does without the audience having to spend more than a few seconds to make that vital decision of whether they buy from you or not.
To conclude, it doesn’t matter how big or small your business is, creating a brand image and a strong brand presence is critical to your lead generation measures. Some of these activities are passive and may not directly lead to generating opportunities, however, they are crucial in complimenting your sales campaign.