How to Start Promoting & Marketing Your Brand Like A True Pro

Brand Awareness, brand management, brand publishing, brand reputation, branded content, Fitness Marketing, market research, marketing demographics, Marketing in the Moment, marketing plans, Marketing Strategy, word of mouth campaigns

Watch this short tutorial on the three no BS things you must continually do to grow your business.

Most small businesses have a limited budget for marketing and advertising and need to better understand where their promotional dollars will be well-spent.
  • Will targeted Facebook ads bring in new memberships or subscriptions?
  • How about creative outdoor advertising?
  • Maybe collaborating with micro-influencers?
  • Partnering with other neighboring businesses?
  • Try a refer a friend email campaign with a promotional offer for each friend who signs up? Should we invest in a new service, like a juice bar?
  • A direct mailer with a big seasonal discount?
An ongoing approach to market research is the beginning of a blueprint for growth for a business owner and it serves two main purposes.
1. It helps the business become more competitive.
2. It will assist in building a more profitable brand.
Good market research should also tell you (if you are open-minded) what services your customers and clients are not happy with, what needs improvement and what you should be offering that you are not.
Do you have questions about building your business? Drop me a line at hello@mj.works or comment below.

Standing Out in a Sea of Startups

brand publishing, brand reputation, Communications, Content management, Content strategy, growth hacking, How do do your own PR, media relations

What’s keeping me busy these days involves writing and filming digital news kits for startups and new brands. I have a lot of fun helping them shape their brand stories as I prime them for interviews and news coverage.

Watch this 45 second video above for one of my best tips on how to share a more authentic brand story that influencers and journalists what to hear.

Like these tips? Want more? Sign up for my media relations 101 course for start ups and entrepreneurs, launching this September 2016. Check out ThePRPlaybook.com

An Easy Guide to Creating a Consistent Brand Experience That Builds Trust & Loyalty

Brand Awareness, brand management, brand newsletters and magazines, brand publishing, brand reputation, branded content, branding on mobile phones, building brand trust, Integrated public relations plan, Uncatergorized

Your website and social media channels are your most visible brand statement to the world and every single page of your online branding should be as consistent as possible.

Your Brand Checklist for Social

Your logo, brand colors, tag line, mission statement, bio/profile, high quality visuals and contact information should be the same on each platform you use.

Why Consistency is so Important

People value consistency which in turn creates accountability. Consistency will also establish your reputation and make you and your brand that much more relevant. Being consistent builds trust with future clients, customers and colleagues and enforces your message.

How to Be Consistent

Be consistent in how you display yourself and your company on each website platform and consistently share information that is helpful, resourceful and useful.

This post is targeted to experts and creators in the fitness, organic beauty, health, wellness, nutrition, spa and medical industries. However the rules apply for all markets and all startups. 

As of March 2016 your essential brand platform list includes:

Your Website and a Vlog/Blog along with the following popular social media platforms where you will create brand awareness about your services and products. I recommend WordPress for both. WordPress is an online, open source website creation tool written in PHP. But in non-geek speak, it’s probably the easiest and most powerful blogging and website content management system (or CMS) in existence today.

facebook Facebook  The user profile according to 2015 Pew Research –66% Men 77% Women.  87% 18-29 years of age and 63% 50-64 yrs of age. However, you can really target your posts and promotional offers by age, interests and location with Facebook ads if you have budgeted for them. 

Instagram Instagram 22% Men 29% Women.  53% 18-29  years of age and 11% 50-64 yrs of age. As of March 2016 the posts with the most Instagram engagement have long form (five to seven sentences with about five #hashtags). Instagrammers want to know about the backstory  behind your photo and video so bring your emotional side along for the ride. 

youtube YouTube Distribution of video by content includes female dominated categories – makeup and beauty, skin and nail care & weight loss. Male dominated video includes soccer, strategy games, X Box and basketball.

YouTube tutorials and brand announcements may seem daunting at first so spend some time in front of the camera to become more aware of how you look and sound. Practice before you upload. You can also share inspirational videos on your channel if YouTube’s not for you. 

linkiedin LinkedIn A great way to network for B2B (business-to-business) services, a premiere subscription (not the free version) will have you connecting without having done business before. You can also publish your helpful and resourceful information to Pulse, LinkedIn’s blog.  Stats as of 3/2016 28% Men 27% Women.  31% 30-49 yrs of age.  30% 50-64  yrs of age. 

google +Google + This was Google’s way of keeping up with communities on Facebook and Twitter, but it never really got off the ground. Most use it to help with SEO (search engine optimization) 74% Men 26% Women 55% from the US. Read this for more on why Google Plus is not “dead”. 

Pinterest Pinterest  Be sure to link your posts, videos and favorite content from your own website and vlog as well. Boards are a collection of inspiration for you to review and to share with your community. 13% Men 42% Women 34% between 18 -29

Twitter Twitter While there is talk of this platform dying (read this New Yorker article) there are still hundreds of millions of dedicated users. 24% Men 21% Women 37% 18-29 and 12% 50-64

& possibly . . . think second phase of your growth . . .

snapchat SnapChat 70% Men 30% Women 71% are 25 and younger. Right now it looks like SnapChat is a pre-teen to teen social media platform but those in the industry like #askgaryvee think this platform will begin to be used by those 40 plus. All big media now have a channel. 

Tumblr Tumblr is a very visual platform and used by fashion designers, artists and photographers10% of all internet users are on Tumblr – 11% women 10% men. In the future, future possibly Periscope, yet another platform that enables you to “go live” via your mobile device anytime and anywhere. (If you are already on all of the other social platforms than I recommend getting on Periscope now because it is so new.)

As an expert it would also be smart to answer questions on Quora and to dig into conversations on Reddit for future blog and vlog content inspiration.

Follow the Leaders If you are looking for inspiration, check out . . .

I do consult with small brands and start ups, so please email me at m.johnson@themarketcouncil.com with questions or to schedule an appointment.

Finding Customers and Building Communities

brand publishing, Collaborative Consumption, Communications, Content management, Content strategy, Fitness, marketing muscle, online marketing, Social Content Management, social media marketing, social networking, Social Relations Specialists

As a marketing and PR professional, one of the most popular questions that I get asked is. . . “How do I attract new customers and build a community around my brand?” This is a big one, especially for start ups and for traditional brands trying to navigate the world of social media.

As customer communities permeate the walls of traditional business, they have urged brands to include the voice of customers into their operations, strategies and product development. Don’t have anything to share? Begin by listening and sharing posts and relevant information by thought leader’s in your industry.

What else can you do to lure them in?

Identify your core customers and find out where they are sharing on social. Beauty, fitness and fashion can be found on Instagram while health and nutrition on Twitter and Instagram.  You don’t need to be everywhere, you just need to find out where your customers are having relevant conversations. Here are the 21 most important social media platforms worldwide.

Keys to Success

Determine your customer and community’s needs while keeping information short & sweet, listening closely and answering and asking questions for improved engagement.

Shortcuts to help you. . .

Find out who is already talking about you online.

Start a conversation in real time with Spot.IM

How big brands create experiences that customers love.

What Works

Inbound marketing via a dedicated blog, social media posts, landing pages and email notifications have been working well for attracting new customers. You just have to do it consistently.

Follow the Leaders

Take a look at how Adobe, a brand that has one of the largest online communities does it and Bank of America’s online small business community.

Online communities serve a variety of business goals, such as providing service and support, fostering innovation, and building brand equity.

More Community Building Tips

  • Produce and share useful content – ie. how to articles, tip sheets and reviews.
  • Prominently display your social media icons on your website, blog, email and printed material.
  • Repost your followers’ content and interactions with your brand.
  • Share promotions and brand engagement in charitable work.
  • More tips for building an online community from Inc. Magazine.

I hope you found this post useful and I invite you to share your questions with me in the comments below or via email m.johnson@themarketcouncil and on Twitter @marketcouncil

Best Practices for Brand Publishing Part 1

Brand Awareness, brand publishing, branded content, editorial know how, reputation management, the future of branding

brand-journalism-typewriterYes you can write, film, photograph and post on your blog or you can do something even more exciting and valuable- like start a movement, a community, a tribe that will take on a life of its own while creating a place with a reason for fans to come back – think American Express Open Forum.

Even more beneficial for you and for your brand, this new community hangout will turn into a lab for market research, trouble shooter for complaints and a discover place for service/product problems as well as a potential loyalty builder.

shutterstock_110730098While your brand’s content – blog, video, photographs will be created to acquire potential new customers, it is not a direct convertor of customers or sales leads. Your brand’s blog should be created to build familiarity about your products and trust with your customers. The content you create must be exceptional, inspirational, unique and credible.

The criteria for your content . . .

  1. . . .to be of service to those customers and clients you work with or want to work with in the future.
  2. . . .should help to create customer and client confidence in your services and products.
  3. . . .will connect with those who need/want what you’ve got.
  4. . . . consistently respond to the most frequent questions that customers/clients are asking.
  5. . . .will encourage customers and clients to share their thoughts and questions.

Distributing your brand’s content

Not as specific as a Facebook campaign when it comes to demographics and geographics, services like Outbrain will help to drive organic traffic, supply analytics and help target geographically.

Competitors like Taboola  started out by considering how people consume content and the patterns they follow as they search the web for things they didn’t even know they were looking for in the first place. Taboola will help build your brand blog audience by recommending your content on websites like Time, USA Today, TMZ and Cracked.

Native advertising is the placement of branded content in the content feed of a publication. The placement is matched to the layout of the site but clearly labeled as an advertiser-promoted article. Examples of native ads are Promoted Tweets on Twitter and Sponsored Stories on Facebook.

The trick is to have your shared content be contextually relevant. Delivering information at the exact time that is relevant to what a customer is currently reading and or watching. A leader in native advertising, Nativo  claims they’ve nailed contextual relevance.