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How to Harness the Full Power of Audio for TikTok Ads

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A study revealed that TikTok is the only social network where ads with sound generate significant lifts in purchase intent and brand favorability.

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4 min read

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TikTok is a fast-growing platform for many reasons, and one of them is how it’s redefining the way people use audio on social networks. Creators can choose from several sounds to complement creatives, making it easier to create and share content.

That feature has been the prime strategic growth tool that has propelled TikTok to become one of the most popular social networks worldwide  and it’s available to businesses. Practically any organization that takes the time necessary to effectively understand and use TikTok audio will increase its growth potential.

Understanding audio on TikTok

TikTok puts audio at the forefront rather than treating it as an afterthought. Audio is the trigger point  most creators seek sounds on TikTok first, then make content fit. That’s because TikTok users can use sound to discover content. As a result, the right sound can significantly improve discoverability, but that’s not all.

According to research by TikTok, 73% of users pay attention to ads with audio, and 88% say sound is an essential part of the TikTok experience. The study also revealed that TikTok is the only social network where ads with sound generate significant lifts in purchase intent and brand favorability.

TikTok sounds are critical if you want your ads to perform. They will undoubtedly help push your brand message to the target audience.

Related: TikTok Is Already the Most Downloaded App in the World, According to Nikkei

Avoiding copyright infringements

Copyright laws generally protect music, so before someone uses a sound, the creators must provide permission. Using sounds that your brand has no permission to use can lead to costly lawsuits. Plus, if you upload too many protected audio or other material, TikTok can shut down your account.

To stay out of trouble, you’ll need to stick with TikTok’s music library. Everything in the library is royalty-free and usable for commercial purposes. However, the foolproof way to avoid potential copyright infringement is to use original sounds.

Enter sonic branding

Companies are not limited to whatever TikTok has in its music library  brands and creators can create and upload original audio, which is an excellent opportunity to explore sonic branding. That refers to the sounds associated with a brand.

Sounds can convey a brand’s personality, tone and identity, much like colors, logo, fonts, etc. Here are some examples:

  • The default ringtone on the iPhone and Android smartphones.

  • The Intel Inside jingle.

  • The Xbox 360 and PlayStation system startup sounds.

  • The McDonald jingle (“Parapapapa, I’m lovin’ it”).

  • The default startup music in Windows 10.

Organizations that have established sonic branding will always use similar sounding tracks throughout all marketing campaigns. Establishing and using original sounds consistently throughout your TikTok campaigns can help consumers remember your brand.

Tips for creating effective TikTok ads

The things that make TikTok user-generated videos great also make TikTok ads effective  your business will benefit from any video that’s entertaining and relatable and has viral potential.

Here are some excellent tips:

  • Choose trending audio. If you haven’t established sonic branding, consider using trending music. That should help your ad get discovered. For example, on TikTok, curious users and other creators will often tap the music icon to find other videos that use the same sound.

  • Use hashtags. Without hashtags, it’s going to be tough getting your ad in front of the right audience. TikTok’s algorithm does an excellent job at predicting the kind of content users will love, and it uses hashtags as part of the process. 

  • Participate in viral activities. You can tastefully participate in viral activities, such as dance challenges to increase discoverability. For example, Dr. Phil participated in the #dreamschallenge.

  • Consider doing tutorials. Creating tutorials is a great way to interact on TikTok. For example, a movie producer can develop tutorials that teach people to make certain illusions or effects. Just keep in mind that TikTok has a limit of three minutes for videos. Therefore, your copy should be brief and concise.

  • Collaborations. Consider collaborating with other creators. It’s a great way to tap into the audience of other TikTokers and gain some exposure.

Related: Add Captions to Your TikTok and Instagram Videos and Gain More Reach

We’ve been discussing audio a lot, but visual is just as crucial. So ensure you’re posting high-quality videos that can make your brand shine and stand out from competitors. Potential customers should hear and see you for the best results with your TikTok ads. Have fun.

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How a Full Stack Marketer Can Be Suitable for Businesses

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When your budget is small, the right type of full stack marketer can be your rockstar.


2 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


As the pandemic hit several industries, the situation has given birth to rethinking performance growth in all the areas — including marketing.

While digital marketing teams have many expert resources, they sometime take a lot of time to show results for no justified use. These teams will also be a pressure on finances if the business can not make use of them, either because the business is too small to afford some limited amount of supply of its products or that the digital marketing team is spending more time building something where the money will burn before it’s completed. This is an example of a poor planning.

Given the situation above, the majority of small businesses should hire full stack marketers. These marketers are skilled in all stacks of marketing functions, and who should have a smart approach to select key areas for meaningful growth on a minimum budget. While they may not be masters in all areas, their work efficiency is useful enough to empower businesses. Medium or large sized businesses can hire them to manage their digital accounts for performance growth.

Related: 3 Marketing Tactics Entrepreneurs Should Implement to Improve Their Return on Investment

Take one example of a recent fintech business in the UAE, where they replaced a full stack marketer with three experts in marketing strategy, paid advertising and visual designs. The three experts were not able to give the business the growth it should have seen. While the business had built a nice social media presence, a blog with nice articles and was running paid search advertising with nice visuals, the business was losing faster than it was gaining.

Related: Here’s How You Can Have a Perfect Digital Marketing Plan

In the example above, I had the opportunity to take the lead and set the marketing on its right track. To find your true north, your business needs a full view of what to deploy for continued growth and a futuristic vision to be able to scale those strategies. A sustainable business growth can only be achieved if it views its path before it steps onto it. However, it is for sure no great plan is of any use unless its tested.

Related: 5 Powerful Digital Marketing Hacks to Increase Sales

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The Power of Social Influence

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The concept that people copy others’ actions in certain situations is important in leveraging the power of social proof in your marketing.

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Imagine you are in a small town, away on business and are starting to get hungry. You notice there are two restaurants in the town square: One has two cars in the parking lot — you are guessing a server and the cook’s car — and the other has 20. Which one are you going with?

Your brain will most likely pick the safer option, and no matter what they’ve got on special this evening, you are going with the one that has the cars in the lot.

Why do we do this?

Social behaviorist Robert Cialdini calls this human behavior “informational social influence.” It’s the concept that people copy the actions of others in certain situations out of a desire for safety. It’s why we’ll buy something online that has more reviews than something else. It’s why we ask, “What are you wearing?” to our friends before going to a new event. It’s also why most wait for others to rise before they stand in church to sing.

We protect ourselves by choosing something others have done before us, but it’s more than an awakening of why you very well may cheer for the team you do. It is about how to leverage growth inside your company using this phenomenon.

Related: Attracting Affluent Clients on Social Media

Here are four ways to leverage informational social influence.

1. Tell stories of your customers in your marketing copy

When you are showcasing what you do/sell/offer, share stories of your own customers as examples of how what you sell delivers on what you promise. Get as specific as possible because each time you add actual numbers and specific details, it provides social proof.

2. Interview clients in your content

Feature your past and current customers in your content regularly. We run an interview each month with one of our coaching clients, giving them the spotlight and showcasing the type of people who work with us. This creates interest in what we do and helps our prospects see themselves working with us.

3. Awards

Showcase your best success stories and give your prospects something to shoot for and new customers a clear path to success. We have utilized awards successfully in our coaching program, featuring students once they hit five figures in sales, and then again at six and seven, all from an online program they created with us. It is incredibly powerful in not only giving recognition to the program, but inspiring students to take the next step on their own.

4. Grow your social following

If you go to a person’s social media page and they only have 43 followers, it doesn’t give a whole lot of confidence that they are the ultimate authority on what you’re hiring them for. The same is true for your business. People want to work with the “in-demand” choice for their niche. Having a large following and social proof increases persuasion for a prospect to take the next step with you. More followers propel post engagement that creates instant trust for new people who see your post in your newsfeed. We’ve been teaching how to quickly get followers for a long time, and it is amazing to see the quick change in online success with our students who make the change.

Related: How to Turn Your Small List Into a Big Launch

Whether you leverage multiple social influence strategies or just start with one, there is incredible power in highlighting those who have chosen to do business with you before others do. Try social influence as the ultimate leverage point in increased leads and sales.

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A Blueprint for Running a Successful Campaign

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5 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


Influencer marketing is a type of social media marketing that allows you to leverage the power of influencers. Through influencer marketing, small businesses can reach an audience they might not have been able to find otherwise and have their message shared with people who are more likely to buy their product or service.

This is what influencer marketing entails, how to hire legit influencers for your campaigns and smarter ways to create successful campaigns.

What is influencer marketing?

Influencer marketing is a strategy that enables your company to tap into influencers’ online networks for promotions by offering them items that they would want in exchange (or by paying them) to spread your message to their followers.

Influencers are hired to create original content (images, videos, blog posts, etc.) that highlight a brand’s products or services in a positive light.

Whether you’re launching a new product or just looking to promote your existing line, influencer marketing has proven to be a very effective way for companies to increase brand awareness and drive sales.

Why is influencer marketing beneficial for businesses?

According to Influencer Marketing Hub, for every $1 that brands spend on influencers, they are getting an ROI of $5.78. That’s one of the reasons why influencer marketing is considered so beneficial for businesses.

According to Statista, “Influencer marketing is on the rise, which is made apparent by the recently released figures indicating that value of this specific market more than doubled between 2019 and 2021, growing from 6.5 billion to 13.8 billion U.S. dollars in the three years alone.”

Related: It’s Time to Redefine the Influencer

An insider’s tips for successful influencer marketing campaigns

As a lifestyle blogger and social media influencer for the past decade, I’ve worked with hundreds of top brands and retailers on campaigns. From collaborations with chains like Safeway and Ulta Beauty to working with major brands like Olay, Reebok and Dove, I’ve done more influencer marketing campaigns than I can count. Whether I’m crafting sponsored blog posts, hosting an event in a retail store, creating YouTube videos or doing Instagram promotions, the types of campaigns I’ve done have varied greatly. 

But if there’s one thing I’ve learned through all this experience, it’s that the companies who seek to establish long-term partnerships with high-performing influencers tend to be the most successful. For example, I’ve been hired by Walmart on repeated occasions — from health and beauty to food and wine promotions, they’ve worked with me on a variety of influencer marketing campaigns.

It also helps to hire influencers with proven track records and stellar recommendations. As you’re researching influencers, find out who they’ve worked with before, evaluate their previous content and even ask for case studies if they’re available. The more information that you can gather, the easier it will be to determine if a particular influencer is worth investing in.

In addition, don’t expect a one-time post to yield outstanding results. You’d be wiser to work with an influencer on a series of campaigns if you hope you get the most success. It’s best to test the efficacy of an influencer before committing to repeat campaigns with them. In essence, assess how well they perform the first time by analyzing the outcome. That will help you decide if they are worth re-hiring for future campaigns.

Here are 5 key tips to think about:

  • Did the influencer’s original content align with your brand guidelines?
  • Did they publish content on the agreed-upon date?
  • What was the engagement outcome (likes, comments, shares, views)?
  • Did they drive website traffic, app downloads, or generate sales (I recommend using a trackable link or affiliate program for this)?
  • Did their audience resonate well with the content?

It’s a lot like the rule of thumb in traditional advertising, which says that it takes at least three times for a person to see an ad before they consider making a purchase. So, you can apply this thinking to influencer marketing as well. It makes sense: The more often that an influencer promotes a particular brand or product, the more trust that is engendered in their audience.

Related: Is Influencer Marketing Really Going to Die in the Next Few Years?

How to find and hire influencers

If your company is just getting started with influencer marketing, I’d recommend working with an established influencer network.

Similar to how modeling agencies work, influencer networks have a database of legitimate influencers and access to key data on their niche, location, audience demographics, engagement ratings and more. They can help you run your entire influencer marketing campaign — from recruitment of the influencers who are best-suited for the job to overseeing content creation, communicating with the influencers, analyzing data from the campaign to even handling payments and 1099 forms.

Each network operates a little differently. Some provide flat-fee compensation to influencers, whereas others pay on a CPC (cost-per-click) basis (which incentivizes the influencer to work harder to drive traffic). So depending on your budget and objective, it’s worth researching each of the networks to find the best fit for your business. The best part is that influencer networks truly take the hassle out of the process. For this reason alone, it’s worth considering using an influencer network to assist you with your influencer marketing campaigns.

If you’re considering utilizing influencers in your online marketing strategy, figure out what your goals and objectives are, establish your budget and timeframe and then think about who you’re trying to reach. This will help you figure out the best plan of action for which types of influencers you want to work with.

Related: This Restaurant Owner Went Viral for His Response to An Influencer Who Wanted to Eat for Free

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7 Ways You Can Use LinkedIn To Blow Up Your Brand

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Use these seven strategies to get your company’s brand to stand above the rest.

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Over the last three years, LinkedIn’s active user base grew by a staggering 27 percent, from 500 million in 2018 to 740 million in 2021. Business owners and entrepreneurs can leverage the platform to grow their brand, generate new leads, establish partnerships and make connections.

The following seven ways can help you utilize LinkedIn to grow your brand and gain a competitive edge over your competition.

1. Optimize your company profile and connect with people

If you haven’t worked on your LinkedIn profile, please take some time and perfect it. Make sure it provides all the essential details about your company’s products and services. Put more emphasis on the headline and summary to ensure that it’s compelling, engaging, interesting and professional. Furthermore, optimize it for more B2B and B2C lead generation.

Within no time, you will start seeing the “Someone has viewed your profile” notification. Don’t just view their profile back. Instead, track the individuals who viewed your business’s profile. If they are an ideal prospect, invite them to connect. An individual who views your company profile is most likely finding out more about your brand. There could be a chance they are also interested in your products or services.

Related: The Biggest Mistakes You’re Making On LinkedIn And What You Should Do Instead

2. Post valuable content on LinkedIn publisher

You can use LinkedIn Publisher to publish blog posts that users can engage with and share. With more shares of your blogs, the higher the impact it has on growing your brand. The post can also get prospects interested in your products, triggering an open door for more partnerships.

Make it a habit to publish content on LinkedIn consistently — but remember quality is key. It can build a community of loyal followers who admire your brand. Through them, you have ambassadors who can create a good reputation out there about your business. When users see the value and insights in your content, it gives them the conviction to check out more about your company. It’s one of the most straightforward and subtle ways of promoting your brand on LinkedIn without being pushy.

3. Follow other companies

Don’t forget to follow other businesses within your industry, including those you have partnered with and those who can be potential partners. This way, you have a chance to learn about them and what they offer. Still, don’t limit yourself from poking around as it might be an eye-opener to some techniques other companies use to get more leads. Also, the more you position yourself out there, the higher your chances of getting more returns.

4. Join LinkedIn groups where your target clients gather

The right groups can be a very powerful tool in growing your brand. By using advanced search, you can locate practitioners within your sector and your firm. Group conversations can give you vital insights into your industry. You can also learn about emerging industry pains and the options you can use to solve these issues.

While in the group, learn about the rules to know if content sharing is allowed. If so, create your credibility by sharing relevant content that capture potential prospects. It can include links to articles about your brand, relevant blog posts, event notices for webinars and posts that quote your business. However, make sure the materials you post are a helpful source and avoid dominating the conversation.

Related: Five Ways To Use LinkedIn for Sales Prospecting Through Social Selling

5. Utilize plugins

LinkedIn can be an even more powerful lead generation tool by itself when you utilize the complementary add-ons. Tap into the following plugins:

  • LinkedIn Connection Revealer: The LinkedIn Connection Revealer shows you the following that your connections have. By pinpointing the users who travel in big circles, you can engage with them to leverage their platform and promote your brand.
  • LinMailPro: It’s a Chrome extension that gives you the capability to automatically find and invite individuals who have recently viewed your profile. You can also send personalized messages to them about your brand or deliver marketing messages.
  • Headlinr: You may have sponsored a great story, uploaded ads or put up posts, but without a great headline, your potential targets might not click on them. When you use Headlinr, a chrome paid plugin, it automatically generates multiple headline combinations with the keyword you specify depending on your industry. You will get compelling titles that lure users into clicking through your ads and stories.
  • Rapportive: If you are a Gmail user browsing in Chrome or Firefox, Rapportive can be a handy tool in getting more leads. It enables you to get LinkedIn profiles that have email addresses in your contacts. You can then send them personalized invites to their inbox to help you grow your network.  

6. Create a sponsored InMail campaign

By utilizing sponsored InMail campaigns, you have an easier route to cut through the clutter and reach inboxes of individuals who matter to your business. You can send your target prospects compelling offers and rich content.

7. Ask your employees to post your business’s content

In most cases, entrepreneurs search for powerful brand advocates who can share their brand case studies and blogs. Yet, you can also do it through your employees. Research shows that about 50% of employees are already posting on social media platforms about their employers. Ask them to post blog content and other pieces relating to your brand to generate more traffic and leads. In fact, some organizations allow their marketers to pick company-approved content that their employees can share on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn can be a goldmine in attracting new clients and growing your brand, but correct execution is critical. Take your time to create your LinkedIn strategy, get clear about how you can offer prospective clients value first — then implement like crazy!

Related: Five Ways To Build Your Business Through Blogging

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What Bernie Sanders and Charli D’Amelio Can Teach You About Influencer Marketing

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6 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


Some things in life will always stay classic — the look of a vintage Mercedes, for instance. In the marketing world, though, the whole game has changed with the rise of social media. The day of paying to get your product on the front page of a newspaper is no longer. Now, it’s all about having enough creativity in a timely enough fashion to stop the thumb of someone scrolling their social feed. If you haven’t shifted over to influencer marketing yet, some people might think you fell off the face of the earth. 

What you say might stay the same, but now it’s all about where you say it 

Brands have always looked for famous people with social sway to promote their stuff. That’s not new. Celebrity endorsements date back to the beginning of the advertising era. 

But look at how people actually spend their time in today’s world. Especially through this past year, as people around the world spent time inside consuming mass amounts of media daily. People aren’t driving down highways where they can see billboards, walking past print ads around cities or passing by flyers hung up around town like they used to be. People don’t even watch commercials on live TV anymore. They’re watching Netflix on-demand instead of cable. Smartphones and high-tech in-home devices have made mobile immediacy king. Nobody waits to see what’s in the mail anymore except for maybe a paycheck, and even those have gone digital.

Enter social media. 

Related: Here’s Why Brands Are Failing at Influencer Campaigns (and What to Focus on in 2021)

For the bottom line, influencers are a great deal

Whether they choose Instagram, Twitter TikTok or another social platform, people have moved their conversations online. It’s on those platforms where people — including the Kim Kardashians of the world — are visible in real-time. And because that’s where the people now are, using traditional marketing like print or television commercials is basically like shouting into the void. 

In a big way, effective marketing is simply about getting the greatest bang for your buck. So here’s a pop quiz: If you can spend less than $3 to reach 1,000 people on social media — where, remember, people are actually engaging with your brand — or $28 to reach 1,000 people through broadcast TV, which is the better deal? 

Building trust

Good advertising isn’t just about money. It’s about knowing the behavior of your audience, too. And right now, people are attaching bias to traditional forms of advertising. You are “this” if you watch News Network X, for example, and you’re “that” if you watch News Network Y. Brands don’t want to take sides or get labeled like that in a lot of cases. They just want to market to a bunch of people.

Social media doesn’t have this problem. If you market there, then the publishers aren’t instantly coloring what you’re doing. You’re just utilizing the reach of everyday patrons of the platform like everybody else. Except, the voice of these influential patrons might actually be able to change the purchasing behavior of their followers. Doesn’t that sound much easier than having to reposition your brand to fit a certain publications’ demographic and expectations? 

Trust is a key component in business. With trust comes security, and with both of those maxed out, sales follow. This is the big advantage that social media influencers offer. As followers of these influential voices, we already have an innate trust for them and what they post. Enough trust to give them the time of day to read what they’re posting on our social feeds, at least! By utilizing influencer voices, brands don’t seem like they’re just paying to put products in front of consumers’ faces — they’re allowing the creator to make content about the product that is relatable. 

Think about the photo of Bernie Sanders that went viral during the 2021 presidential inauguration, for example. The whole reason that it became such a meme was that he seemed to capture emotions we’ve all felt before. This sort of relatability propelled the memes far and wide, reaching an enormous audience. Now, imagine that meme is influencer content featuring your product — you’re getting trust and reach, two for the price of one.

The value of unbiased authenticity

Keep in mind that influencers aren’t just out to make cold cash, either. They have a style all their own, having earned their following by working hard to create original content pertinent to their niche and demographic. They’re not going to abandon all that for any business that walks by and waves a paycheck in their face. 

Most influencers want to work with brands whose beliefs legitimately align with theirs. This way, they can stay true to who they are and advocate for what they think matters, and they’re not duping their followers. Influencers have declined or walked away from brands, sometimes mid-deal, if they didn’t like the way the brand was acting morally, ethically or socially. 

A great example of a successful brand-influencer pairing is the collaboration between Dunkin’ Donuts and TikTok star Charli D’Amelio. D’Amelio made no secret of her love for the chain’s coffee. She had given Dunkin’ well over 100 million free impressions just by having their products in her videos simply because she liked them. So, the brand partnered up with her in September 2020 and created a brand new drink, the “Charli.” Because people saw the relationship as genuine, the company saw a 57 percent spike in daily app downloads and a 45 percent increase in all cold-brew coffee sales the day after the launch. The partnership gained millions of eyes, including many new ones for the brand, and none of it felt forced. 

The perfect brand and influencer relationships are the ones that feel organic and make sense in the marketplace. If your brand stands for certain social movements, deploy an influencer who feels the same way to speak positively about your brand. When hitting the drawing board and picking influencers for your next social media campaign, think to yourself — “Would this feel natural if I saw it on my own feed?”

Related: Are You Coming Across as Authentic?

It’s time to find your own social media influencers

People have gone online and moved on from most old-school marketing techniques. They want transparency and don’t want to waste their time. This makes social media marketing a smart move. Influencers know their way around this popular space. They are ready to share your message. The only question is, are you?

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5 Make-or-Break Shifts in Digital Marketing to Be Aware of This Year

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6 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

 

To say 2020 was a crazy year would be a giant understatement. So many small businesses and entrepreneurs struggled, and it was a tough time for many. Running a digital marketing agency gave me a front-row seat to the challenges, but it also shed a very bright light on the huge opportunities available to those willing to go after them. I see five important shifts that businesses would be wise to make regardless of whether they’re well established or brand new.

1. Know what your customers value most

We’ve got incredible tools available to us to perform deep market research and find out exactly what our customers like, dislike, want and don’t want. We can uncover who they follow online, where they eat, what they read and so much more.

As creepy as that might sound, to market with integrity is to respect our customers and to serve them at the highest level possible. This means creating content and advertising that serves them only what they want and need, and none of what they don’t.

In addition to the amazing tools we can access, good old-fashioned conversations need to take place. Actually calling customers to find out more about them is a strategy that will lead to far happier customers who find themselves cared for and fulfilled.

Related: Digital Marketing in 2021: The Trends That Are Changing Everything

2. Serve the customer before selling to them

Digital entrepreneurs love to just go for the kill. So many just want to make the sale, but they have zero upfront contact with their potential customers. This is a huge mistake, but more than that, it violates basic human behavior. If it sounds like a great idea to simply go for the sale, please go try this out in a club or restaurant with a potential love interest, then bring your slapped face or black eye back here and let’s get a better game plan into you.

Knowing your customer’s pain points, struggles and what they’re trying to overcome — and coupling that with asking about their dreams and desires and what success looks like to them — will equip you to get in front of them with content that demonstrates not only your expertise but also the fact that you care enough to show up for them before ever taking a dollar from them.

I’m all for getting paid. Like you, I’m not running a charity here, but much happiness and fulfillment have come my way by showing up for my clients first, and I know it’s a winning strategy.

3. Drive constant and near-immediate innovation

Curiosity didn’t kill the cat; a lack of implementation did. Being an entrepreneur is all about solving problems, taking chances few others are willing to take, and innovating. The internet moves very fast these days. By the time you think of an idea, 738 other people already have a version live.

Fast, imperfect action is the order of the day when iterating on new ideas. Yes, putting out a new idea that turns out to be poorly received can sting, but the trade-off is that you get very quick feedback, and that feedback can save your most precious resource: time.

Get the thing live, let the people tell you if the idea has legs or not, and make fast course corrections. You’ll make much faster progress, and the people you desire to serve will get served much better and much sooner.

Related: Adapt or Die: How to Thrive Amid Digital-Marketing Chaos

4. Observe ever-increasing privacy rules

Apple is throwing a giant monkey wrench into the digital advertising machine with its new iOS 14 update. This update will affect tracking on ads, which will skew results and decrease the efficiency of the data that advertisers use to make decisions about which ads to scale and which ads to turn off.

It’s far too soon to tell what the long-term fallout of these changes will be, but one thing is certain: privacy is always under scrutiny. We have a long way to go to achieve a happy balance between showing highly targeted and very relevant ads to customers based on their prior behavior and serving ads that are creepy and violate people’s privacy. These changes will require a lot of patience as they roll out and we learn how to best function accordingly.

5. Attract customers to your own site and email lists

Social media marketing is huge and will continue to be huge — and it’s constantly expanding. We have great tools, and even more great tools are emerging all the time. But relying solely on social media platforms to serve our customers is a big mistake, and it has been for years.

Ad and social platforms could be shut down or taken from us at any time — in the blink of an eye and with little to no warning (and absolutely no recourse in many cases). It has become a code red emergency situation to attract customers to our own domain so we can serve them on (mostly) our own terms.

Related: What You Should Know When Mapping Your 2021 Marketing Strategy

This plan leans on the first two points heavily: You have to know what your customers value most, and you need to serve them before selling to them. Nearly every interaction with your business should give the potential customers an opportunity to connect with you on your own website or email list and enable them to go deeper with you as far as further contact or to make purchases.

Social platforms are incredible, but you have to have a strategic and strong lead generation plan in place that goes beyond social media, one that includes understanding your customers and helping them understand, know, like and trust you. An invitation to join you on your own platform should feel natural and like the expected next step.

Followed closely and executed consistently and reliably, these five shifts will increase customer trust and loyalty and allow us to serve our customers and clients at the highest level possible.

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