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Why Your Business Needs a Marketing Strategy

Why Your Business Needs a Marketing Strategy

Posted on Jul 18, 2017 by Alyssa Zucker

There are many complex components that make up a well-developed marketing strategy, and without direction, these components will have no connection to one another, and thus lose purpose. Your business’ marketing efforts can get lost in the shuffle of aimless ads and marketing tactics all too easily if your strategy is not well devised. A marketing strategy’s purpose is to bind each component seamlessly; to connect the dots of your objectives, audience, and methods all in a cohesive manner.  

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Five Tips for Branding on Social Media

Five Tips for Branding on Social Media

Posted on Jun 13, 2017 by Emily Ballard

Brand strategy as a concept can often be bit murky or esoteric. Whether you’re an established business or an individual searching for a more prominent way to self-brand, it can be difficult to identify a starting point and select a course of action. Social media offers endless opportunity for engagement, so maintaining a cohesive presence across platforms can be daunting. It’s important to remember that your strategy is your anchor, and keeps your team in sync with how your brand interacts with the world.

There are also many tutorials out there, but the truth is that it just takes practice. Proficiency with social media is one of those things that comes through experience. To help get you started, here are some widely accepted components for a basic, well-rounded strategy:

Finding Your Voice

Establishing values early on is essential for staying true to your brand’s roots. Consistency and authenticity (ie: with dialect and tone) also help to foster trust that you are who you claim to be. With that, you develop a personality on social media that makes it easier for consumers to relate and entices them to engage more. People want to feel like the content they are consuming is genuine, and will likely form a positive association with your brand when that is the case. Again, finding your voice on social media takes time, but as long as it’s natural it will soon become second nature.

Tell Your Story

Here at HMG we’re currently in the process of a complete rebrand. When I joined the team in February, one of my initial goals was to increase engagement on social media. The first thing that came to mind was to tell our literal story by sharing what’s happening around the office. However, we also like to see what’s going on throughout the community, which helps to tell a different, more casual side of our story. Once some time has passed, share a few throwbacks to apply a very personal tone to your progress. People love to see others succeed—it’s both motivational and rewarding.

Engage With Your Audience

As you find your tone and start to post more frequently, you’ll see more engagement (trust me). Sparking conversations with your followers makes them feel valued and acknowledged, which creates a sense of community. Keeping up with platform updates will also help you to find new ways to interact with your followers. People tend to notice when a specific brand interacts with them and may become more likely to consider or recommend your brand as a result.

Post Regularly

Staying relevant is every brand’s top priority. Consistency plays a direct role in staying in the consumer’s top-of-mind—even if you only post twice a week. Although the more you post, the more engagement you will likely see. Scheduling specific days for certain content also makes producing content easier and less stressful. For example, I post every Monday. There’s usually a lot going on around here, but if it’s a quiet day in the office I’ll post a little motivation Monday (since we could all use that from time to time). That takes the pressure off if it’s one of those rare, still days in the office. Posting regularly also gives your followers something to look forward to. So if you’ve just hit a milestone with a cool project, share the progress!

Stand Out

Adding value to your content is the number one thing you can do that will make you stand out. This is another one of those easier-said-than-done things. Maintaining your personality throughout your content, while continuously sharing valuable information for your readers to digest will result in reciprocated engagement as well. Share insight, ask questions, ask others for their opinions and post visuals such as photos and videos. It’s always a great feeling when you know that you’ve delivered awesome content. On the other hand, sharing another’s authoritative content says a great deal about what you appreciate and support from your peers.

Social media opportunities are wide open for reaching new consumers. As simple as this all may sound, there are many things that even big brands forget to take in consideration. While it remains a relatively new tool for branding, it has also become essential for adapting to the latest trends, technologies and markets. Let us know how your brand strategy leverages social media in the comments below!

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How Influencers Have Impacted Marketing

How Influencers Have Impacted Marketing

Posted on Apr 13, 2017 by Emily Ballard

Influencer marketing seems to be taking the lead as this year’s most “influential” marketing approach. Have you ever noticed someone you follow on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or Snapchat mention different products from time to time? I hate to break it to you, but that influencer you follow was more than likely paid to mention that product on their personal feed. This approach gives companies access to thousands, if not millions, of people they would not have otherwise been able to reach.

Influencers are seen as thought leaders for very specific niches. For example, if an influencer is regarded as being someone who is “trendsetter”, the second they mention a brand or product, their followers are immediately opening up a new tab to get their hands on it. This causes a spike for the number of search mentioning that particular product. This is exactly what companies want, and why they are willing to pay big bucks to influencers to push their products to their loyal, unsuspecting followers.

Influencers make it easy for a lot of companies to reach thousands and even millions of people in their target market because of the fact that there are influencers in just about every niche. By sharing their stories, influencers have made themselves relatable to a wide range of people. There is a good chance that no matter what your product is, there is an influencer that has thousands of followers that are right in your target market. Once a marketer finds an influencer that has a sizable audience they want to reach, they don’t have to work very hard to reach possibly millions of people that sit right in their market!

Influencers are also well connected with other influencers, possibly in a different niche. When influencers partner with other thought leaders, that’s double the exposure to your brand. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat all have messaging features as well. If someone sees something they think a friend might like, they can send it to their friend via direct message. At that point, the friend is exposed to the influencer, and thus your brand or product.

Social media has opened a new world to marketing. With the rising number in internet users that use ad blockers (about half), your retargeted advertisements are now less likely to be seen. With social media influencers, even though they may mention that the post is an ad, it still has a massive impact on the actions of their followers. What influencers are you following?

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Identifying Your Target Market

Identifying Your Target Market

Posted on Mar 30, 2017 by Emily Ballard

Identifying your target market isn’t easy, and it takes time. Once you’ve identified your target market, you need to get in front of them, grab their attention and give them a relatable reason for why they should choose your product or service. This is where it gets tricky–it is up to you to also give your customer something in return for their attention. In other words, you had better know your audience.

Who are you?
Okay, let’s take a step back. Ask yourself, as a company: what is your position in your industry, what are your values and why do you do what you do. Meet with co-workers in other departments, and ask them what the brand means to them. Discuss your company’s culture, and dig into building a complete understanding so that you can incorporate those values into your marketing strategy. Your goal here is to become well versed enough to tell your story, and genuinely exhibit who you are as a company.

Once you have a solid foundation and understanding of your company, identify what exactly sets you apart from your competitors. At this point, you should perform a SWOT analysis to identify your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Strengths and weaknesses should be internal, while opportunities and threats should be external. Being as specific as possible when addressing each element of the SWOT analysis will greatly enhance how you understand your position in the industry.

If you’ve yet to set goals and objectives, do that here. Begin with a specific long-term goal, and then narrow it down. Identify quarterly, monthly and weekly objectives for your efforts, as well as how you define success for each. This requires results to be quantifiable, in a way that they can be closely monitored.

Identifying your target market:
Now that you’re prepared, you can begin identifying your segments. You should create segments so that you understand the often subtle differences in marketing to each specific segment. If you have data or other insights–use them. Otherwise, ask yourself who will benefit from your product or service. Explore every demographic and be as narrow as possible. Once you have a list of segments, create personas for each segment.

When you create personas you should be as specific as possible. Identify their demographics, passions, interests, worries, and goals. What are their lifestyles? What are their needs? Once you have a persona, map out your customer’s journey. The Content Marketing Institute explains that their journey is one of the most important steps in understanding your target market and how to reach them. You are tracking down their daily tasks and what they might search online. Once you understand their journey, you should have enough of an idea to identify what channels they use, and what sort of message is most effective in reaching them.

Tracking Data:
Once you begin engaging with your target market, you need to track the effectiveness of your efforts. This provides insight into what is working and what isn’t. It is extremely important to make sure you are reaching the right people in the right way. For this reason, most marketers perform A/B split tests, by delivering different messages to smaller subsets of the same segment, to determine which is more effective. When you pinpoint what is working, it should then become easier to make adjustments where necessary so that your brand remains engaged with your target market.

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Sports Score on Social Media

Sports Score on Social Media

Posted on Oct 11, 2016 by Kate Gothing

To some, sports is a religion. Strangers band together to celebrate wins, or to reck havoc when teams lose.

Before the introduction of social media, sports were only available live either on the TV or radio. Of course there were post game updates on networks like ESPN or articles posted on major internet news sites, but ultimately, there were no live updates a decade ago. Now, social media is playing a huge role in how we view sports. Continue Reading →


Building Your Business With Lead Nurturing

Posted on Oct 03, 2012 by James Trumbly

Building Your Business With Lead NurturingIn nature, “nurturing” anti inflammatory supplements always implies a particular relationship between the nurturer and the nuturee: the party with more knowledge/experience/information/power shares those qualities with the party possessing less, with the goal of bringing about positive change. Appropriately, “lead nurturing” in the email marketing world refers to the educational relationship you create with subscribers, with the goal of persuading them to act. When you get it right, you’ll not only get more customers to say yes, you’ll also build a core of loyal clients who throw their business your way again and again.

Basics of Lead Nurturing

Lead nurturing isn’t just sending emails once a week. It involves providing relevant, useful information to the subscriber about the offer you want him to accept. And it requires planning.

  • Create a target audience persona. Your email list includes a variety of personality and customer types, but in order to create the most effective email campaign, you’ll need to choose one target persona to focus on. Create each email with that personality in mind. What motivates them? What information do they need? What questions do they want answered? Focus on building a relationship with your target audience in order to earn their loyalty.
  • Determine a consistent email frequency and sequence. Every new lead on your list should receive the same emails in the same order and at the same frequency. Each new message should have a specific goal and call to action. Frequency should be no less than once a week; every five to six days works well in most cases.
  • Create content. Each email should contain helpful, actionable, and educational content. Be creative. Try videos, FAQs, surveys, special reports and other formats to get the most important information about your company and your offer into the hands of your subscribers. Emails should build on each other, creating forward momentum and culminating with your ultimate call to action.
  • Use offer-based opt-ins. Provide an incentive for opting in to your email list that is related to your ultimate offer. If you’re selling a weight loss e-book, for instance, your opt-in offer could be a free report detailing seven secrets to reducing the risk of Type II diabetes.
  • Use autorepsonders. Autoresponders ensure that each new lead gets the same emails at the same frequency. It’s the smartest way to keep your email campaign ducks in a row.

Securing Action With Lead Nurturing

Once your campaign is up and running, keep a close eye on your analytics and your banner stands. Monitor which links are being clicked, how many subscribers convert, how many new leads you get, and where those leads are coming from. Tweak your campaign based on subscriber behavior.

Persuading your target audience to say yes begins with a strong lead nurturing campaign designed to educate and build relationships. Strong content, effective planning, and a solid approach to email creation and distribution will create a loyal audience that wants what you have to offer.