Content marketing can be intimidating. If writing content is not part of your core business you may be reluctant to get started. How can content marketing benefit you? What content can you produce? The answers depend on your brand and your business. You may already have many of the tools you need at your disposal. Let’s explore how you can incorporate them into your content marketing strategy.
Category: Digital Marketing
Digital marketing solutions for promoting brands online.
One of the challenges of running a business that sells services is that you do not have the physical products that can be examined and compared with those of competitors. This affects both your marketing efforts and the experience a potential customer has in making a purchasing decision. It is more difficult to assure customers of the quality of services they have never tried before and a simple purchasing decision becomes a huge risk in the eyes of the consumer. All is not lost though, there are many ways of reassuring a potential customer with the proper marketing strategy.
Focus on customer service
Every contact with a customer is an opportunity to make an impression. In the service industry there is no great product to distract potential customers from the quality of service provided. Customer service can usually be analyzed on par with the quality of the service that is on sale. As a result of this it is important that emphasis is placed on customer service as well as providing support to customers. The experience of the customer could determine whether or not the service is recommended to others or not.
Offer a limited time trial
The problem of the potential customer not being able to inspect a service like a physical product can be mitigated by allowing customers to try the service for free for a limited time before making a purchasing decision. This is a popular method which helps reassure the customer that the service will satisfy and allows the service provider a chance to make a good first impression. The trial period has to be long enough to allow the customer to get accustomed to using the service and get “hooked” into making the purchase while short enough to encourage the customer to make a timely decision on whether or not to purchase. While providing the service for free, even for a limited time, incurs costs these costs can be offset if conversions to long term customers increase.
Use multimedia to engage your customers
When things are difficult to explain or put in words graphics and videos can tell a wonderful story. Pictures of the service you provide in use or pictures of satisfied customers can go a long way in convincing others to use the service. Photos or videos of your service being used in-house also helps your business look professional and unashamed to stand behind its services. Videos showing how to use the service also help eliminate some of the apprehension potential customers may have to making the final purchase.
Share customer testimonials
Referrals are a very powerful tool since we value the opinions of others who have tried a service in deciding whether we should try it. This is especially true for services that cost money. Testimonials are a way of having current or former customers share their experience with others. This adds credibility to your business and helps potential customers know what to expect. It may address some of the concerns customers have about making the purchase without requiring any reassurance from customer service.
SeizerStyle Designs is running a special promotion throughout March 2015 to provide new and repeat customers with discounts on all the services we provide. In line with our Invest In You initiative we hope to encourage entrepreneurs and small businesses to get online and take advantage of the opportunities to promote their business and build an effective branding strategy.
With a website developed by SeizerStyle Designs and hosted on Isle Cloud you get a quick and effective online presence suitable for customers on the go. We know that price is usually a barrier to entry for those who know they need a website but keep putting it off. Take advantage of this opportunity to get your professional website designed for a fraction of the cost.
To promote your business and website you will also need to focus on branding and promotion. We provide graphic design services that help you send a uniform message through all your visual promotional material. Our digital marketing solutions help you to decide the most appropriate medium of getting your message to your intended audience.
Find out more about the Invest In You special offer.
Social media has exploded in popularity over the past several years and many businesses want to take advantage of this medium of communication. As more and more people interact on various social networks it is an ideal opportunity for companies to reach their target market where they actually hang out. Many businesses approach the foray into the social media landscape timidly and with caution to avoid making any mistakes. Unfortunately this can result in a muted presence or misrepresentation of the brand. To avoid making this mistake it is important to know your target audience, what they like and interact with them from the start.
A social network is a community not just a marketplace
While there are many opportunities for marketing your products and services on social networks, the platforms are communities with there own norms and expectations. Interaction is key and people are always looking for interesting content to enjoy and share. This offers businesses a chance to show their personality in a less formal setting than traditional business communication. The more engagement you can have with your fans and followers the more opportunities you get to understand them better. it also creates more exposure for your business which could result in inquiries about your offerings.
Post meaningful content regularly
There is always a lot of activity going on in the social media space which means it is easy for your message to get lost in this sea of activity. This means that if you only post content once in a while it is unlikely that the majority of your audience will see it. Lack of activity on social networks may also be misinterpreted as stagnation or lack of activity at your business. Posting content related to your industry or expertise lets the public know that you not only exist but that you are on the ball. It is also a way showing your authority on a topic of interest or support for a worthy cause.
Use the networks that are right for you
Each social network has its strengths and weaknesses and may cater to a slightly different audience. Some are highly visual (Pinterest, Instagram) while others combine visuals with text (Facebook, Twitter). Some are also more casual and appeal more to younger age groups than others. You should choose the platforms that are most appropriate for your business and where you can have the greatest impact in spreading your brand message. This is where market research becomes important to help you select exactly the right network to reach your target audience.
You cannot control the comments or opinions of others on social media sites but that should not deter you from using them. On the contrary, social media is a platform to not only receive favourable reviews but also to address common concerns. Let your brand voice speak freely and reap the benefits of this alternative means of communication.
When you put a lot of work and thought into defining your brand and its vision you may become reluctant to make changes to it. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it, right? Well maybe. There comes a time when a brand outgrows its original image, the taste of its target audience changes or a change is necessary to appeal to a new audience. In these situations it is possible to tweak your brand image without straying from your core values. Here are a few minor tweaks you can make to spruce up your brand image.
Refresh your logo
Over time a logo can become outdated and lose its effectiveness. A business can also outgrow its logo and may need one that is more representative of its current state. Refreshing your logo is nothing to be ashamed of and it does not dishonour your original logo design either. With changes in technology and style it is important that your brand remains relevant and continues to appeal to the target audience. Big companies such as Yahoo!, Google, Microsoft and Apple have all tweaked their logo over the years.
SeizerStyle Designs has also experimented with different versions of our iconic “double S” which is used in lieu of our full logo in situations where space is limited. As you can see by comparing Icon A to Icon B the brand image remains the same but the stylistic approach of expressing it is altered. Icon A is taken directly from our full logo while Icon B is a more independent design that stands out on its own while maintaining brand recognition.
Send the right message
There are various ways to send your brand message and trying a different approach is a good way to influence the way your brand is perceived. With trends encouraging wellness and healthier living you may want to highlight the nutritional benefit of your product rather than simply focussing on taste. You may also want to highlight the social impact of your product or service to show that your business is not just about the bottom line. The changes you make to your marketing message should target the audience you are trying to attract for maximum impact.
SeizerStyle Designs offers “affordable” services rather than “cheap” services. This is because cheap may be associated not only with low cost but also low quality. Since we hold the quality of our services in high regard we avoid any brand message that may be counter-intuitive. As your brand grows and priorities change you may also have to modify your marketing to reflect those changes.
Differentiate from the competition
Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery but differentiation is what sets you apart from your competitors. If you notice that you and your competitors have become too similar it may be time to tweak your brand image to give you the edge. This could be done by focusing on an aspect of the business that you think your competitors are neglecting. It could also be done by using a different marketing strategy to highlight your brand and why it is the best choice in the market. This does not mean that you have to make a dramatic change any time a competitor does something similar, but if you find that your similarity with your competitors is adversely affecting business it is definitely time for a refresh.
Deciding when and how to tweak your brand image can be a tricky process. Changing too often may adversely affect brand recognition while not changing enough may make the brand seem old and outdated. A brand needs time to develop and the results of minor changes may not be immediately noticed. Your logo is the face of your brand and your message is its voice. They should be refreshed to remain relevant and consistent with the ideals of the brand over time. The brand should also remain unique and take steps to differentiate itself from competitors.