Marketing Your Business Blindly & Building it in a Bubble

Brand Awareness, brand management, Creative Marketing Campaigns, market research, Marketing in the Moment, Marketing Strategy, Marketing Trends, personalized brand experience, social media marketing, Uncatergorized

I am working on a video tutorial today on how to research and test before you build your business. It will also be useful if you are looking for ways to make it grow.   I will be sure to share it on this blog once it’s posted.  Market research is really important, yet most brands keep on fumbling along without it.

So many companies that I work with tend to build in a bubble. They forget to find out more about their customers, investigate the competition or look for trends on the horizon.

You need to know the lay of the land. You can’t promote just because everyone says “oh this really works”. You need a marketing map people. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to marketing your business and you can’t build anything big in a bubble.

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Image from SunCityCamp.com – recreating the Martian experience.

 

Day-to-Day Marketing Success for Health, Nutrition & Fitness Pros

Content management, Content strategy, Creative Marketing Campaigns, digital marketing, Digital Newsroom, Health Coaches, How to Do Your Own PR, Marketing in the Moment, marketing muscle, Marketing Strategy, Nutritionists, personal trainers, video marketing, Yoga Professionals

Day-to-Day Marketing Success happens when you are creating articles, social media posts, and inspiring & enlightening “content” that is linked to remarkable products and services. This includes the ongoing creation of engaging information that people are willing to read, watch and share as they begin to refer your brand to friends and family.

In the Beginning, You are Building Trust & Giving them a Taste of What You Offer

These initial website visitors that you attract are so grateful and inspired by your willingness to help them through their daily struggles. Your initial marketing lures them in with free guides, downloads, helpful “how to” videos, uplifting social media posts, etc.  Eventually as they begin to trust the consistent value that you are giving them for free they become more and more willing to buy your products and services, as they hand over their hard earned money to you.

Welcome to the World of Publishing

Your company should aim to be the ultimate guide, guru and media publisher of everything in health, fitness, nutrition and wellness. The number one source of information on each healthy therapy or treatment you offer – from yoga to meditation to personal training, whatever it is you do, give up your best advice and recommendations, for free. Everything you write, share on social media and offer to potential customers must be better than anything else written or filmed on the web. You must become the go to source for information about your speciality and beat out the

Startup Stock Photos

Experimenting is Everything

Smart marketers and businesses experiment as they grow and they also monitor and measure what works and what doesn’t. A part of day-to-day marketing is taking notice of your most popular social media posts, product promotions, blog articles and videos. Oh, and your competition’s as well.  Smart marketers also dig deep to find out more about their first customers. Where do they live? What else are they reading? Where do they shop? They play close attention to those that are visiting the site often, commenting on YouTube videos and clicking their way to the cart.

Day-to-day marketing involves A/B Testing of website offers (testing one promotion against another), Buy one, Get one Free, 20% off first time sessions, $30.00 for referring a friend. Smart marketers try different promotions and use promotional codes to monitor their success and/or failure.

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Some Daily Marketing Rules for Success

Build a 30-day Stock Pile of Great Blog & Social Media Content before You Hit Publish

  1. Create, write and video at least one full month of content before you begin posting. This will be thirty days of blog articles, thirty days of Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube posts. If you have one month of content you won’t get behind because each day you will be creating new content for the future.

You Will Be Marketing Every Single Day

  1. Plan on publishing existing articles and writing articles for the future every single day. Not all articles need to be written, some can be posts of beautiful photos with a few lines of copy. Others will be 15 second videos. The most important thing is that they are very helpful to your readers, viewers and visitors.

Create the Article and Video First & Then Posts for All Social Media

  1. You will start with an idea for an article, write that article, maybe script it for a short video too and then you will create a version of it for a Facebook Post, a separate Instagram Post, 3-4 Tweets, a Pinterest board, a Google + post, a LinkedIn Pulse article, maybe a different version of the article on Medium and a YouTube video. You will take that one idea and turn it into different useful updates for all social media channels and each channel should be understood to have a different context and a unique type of user.

Engage with Others by Commenting, Liking, Retweeting, Reposting & Sharing Their Content

  1. Engage with your competitors’ readers, viewers and those that follow your competition, especially influencers so they can begin to become familiar with your brand. You don’t simply push out content, you must connect with your like minded tribe. On Instagram, search through hashtags and top users; on Facebook & LinkedIn look to groups; Repin and comment on Pinterest. Spend as much time as you do creating a post as you do reading and commenting on influencers and enthusiasts content.

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What will we write about? What blog article content will be best for Health, Fitness, Wellness & Nutrition Professionals? How and where will we get this information?

The best content topics will be those articles and videos that answer the most frequently asked questions that people ask therapists and health professionals and the questions that they place into Google and Bing search engines.

This information needs to be gathered from a variety of places. How? and from Where exactly?

1. Survey the Practitioners

Survey all vetted trainers, therapists and professionals especially those that you follow or know in person. Make it easy on yourself and use a survey tool like SurveyMonkey.com

A list of questions

What are the most frequently asked questions from new clients and patients?

What are their biggest mental and physical health problems?

What treatments, trends and therapies are they most skeptical of?

2. Copy & Improve Your Competitor’s Content

Research and Monitor the type of content that your competition is sharing with the world. They have an advantage – sites like Mind Body Green & Greatest.com have years of users and data under their belt. They know to write and create video content that their audience wants. Copy their content ideas but make your articles more detailed, more instructive, more valuable to your audience. Yes, you want to steal content ideas.

3. Stay on Top of Trends in the Holistic Health & Natural Market Place

Read and Review trend reports from various media including traditional health media like Women’s Health, Prevention and even Mother Jones. Do more research, find as many lists of trending topics in health and wellness and write about each individual trend. What’s trending right now in 2017? Personalized nutrition, Ketogenic diets, Rope wall yoga, Animal Flow, Barre & Cardio Fusion,  Women-only clubs, Mushrooms as the new superfood to name a few things. Google search your way to the top trends in health and fitness and plan to create your own trend report for 2018.

4. Actively Network & Record Conversations

Listen to Viewers, Readers and Those Customers You Meet in Person

Attend trade shows, workshops and events, keep your ears to the ground, listen to what people are asking, what they are talking about. Jot down questions in Evernote or your notebook. This will also make for amazing blog article content.

5. Review Your Online Offerings

Review all of your offerings – this includes in person and by appointment video sessions, courses, retreats, etc and write and script a video about the benefits of these offerings. Write about them in detail. Interview people (testimonials) who have benefited from these services.

Make sure that each blog article ends with a Call-to-Action without selling to hard.

A few Call-to-Action ideas –

  • Book a session now
  • Download Today
  • Sign up for our email newsletter
  • Schedule a webinar
  • Listen to a Guided meditation
  • Get a Free Workout Session

6. Publish Great Content Daily using Specific Keywords and Hashtags

Obviously the hashtags will change as you post about different treatment and fitness modalities or healthy recipes.  Gather and write about all of the information you learn. This will allow you to create individual blog articles and a content strategy that will –

  • Build your organic search engine optimization for your website
  • Create a level of trust between you and your potential audience
  • Help convert website visitors into valued customers

 

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Stay Organized and Create a Daily Content Calendar

You can use a word document, Excel, Numbers on Mac. Anything to keep you organized. One post per day, posted to your blog and then shared with everyone on each social media channel in a different way. Mix it up. One day about meditation, the next about massage therapy, then a favorite new roller work out, Energy Healing, test all of the different healing and health therapies you have and develop blog posts about them, using the formula above, to find out what people care about the most. Look at your stats, see what they like, comment on and read the most.

Your calendar should be in tune with everyone’s schedule. Most look at social media more deeply during the evening from 8-10 pm. This is what data shows for Facebook. Twitter is for news updates all day long. As you watch your Instagram stats you will see when you have the highest amount of engagement and likes.

How else can you stay organized? Well, you can stick to a consistent theme, so your customers and followers know what they can expect from you. Here is an example of a weekly themed calendar.

Monday Motivation

Lift up your audience and get them ready for the week. Empowering blog articles and videos will inspire your readers to help themselves heal their mind, body and spirt.

Tuesday Transformation

Articles (and social media) will guide readers and viewers through personal transformations using nutrition, fitness, mindfulness and empowering messages. Posts will clarify and answer questions for your audience –   How does hypnotherapy help transform my weight? How does acupuncture bring on mental clarity while reducing stress? Will Reiki help me sleep better? How will personalized nutrition make me healthier? Educate & inspire them.

Wednesday Wisdom

Sharing of ancient wisdom of modalities like Energy Healing, Shamans, Ayurveda. Quotes from masters, unknown secrets to healing. Everything and anything to educate the public about how to stay healthy, wealthy and wise.

Thoughtful Thursday

One of the most popular days on Facebook, thoughtful posts can dive deeper into how we heal ourselves, how we live and how much thoughtful attention we should pay to our well-being.

Finally Friday 

It’s the end of the work week. Keep Friday articles “lighter” and social media in line with getting ready for the weekend. Focus on “how to relax” “how to get the most out of your weekend” how to create an at home retreat”. Post about courses you offer that customers can take over the weekend.  Maybe you are starting your business in NYC or possibly the North east coast.  You may want to post about healing places to go, healthy & wellness events or new classes to take.

Super Saturday

Oh the weekends, when most are either hung over or ready to rock the gym.Weekend workouts, personal fitness and training, meal prep for the week.This is when people have more time for themselves to work out.

Spiritual Sunday

Focus on those therapies that can help heal the spirit. Meditation that soothes the soul. How to create an Ayurvedic spa day. A post about how Energy Healing soothes the spirits. Poems by great writers. Keep your content soulful and real, so it resonates emotionally with your followers.

If you have particular questions about how you should begin marketing your business, please feel free to reach out. Send me a Tweet @MarketCouncil  or email me at m.johnson@themarketcouncil.com. I would love to connect.

How to Create a Growth Marketing Plan for Your Business

Brand Awareness, Creative Marketing Campaigns, market research, Marketing Metrics, marketing plans, social media marketing

I work with a hell of a lot of startups in the fitness, health and wellness industries. These are great people with really wonderful ideas. However, what I have observed is that too many business owners are in complete denial about what it takes to really grow their customer and client base. Some are under the impression that if they build it, they will come.

 

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Others think it just takes a couple of big press hits to get the brand awareness ball rolling.

Most are incredibly impatient.

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Sorry, folks, unless you do the deep research about who your customer is and if they even want a product or service likes yours, you are going to run into trouble.  You also need to wake up to the reality that all marketing is pure experimentation and some activities work better than others.  Depending on your target market, if you scurry around without a plan you will be hitting your head against the wall, wondering why your sales aren’t spiking like you thought they would.

You will be lost in the matrix of marketing hell.

It’s also very, very easy to get overwhelmed by what type of marketing you should be doing  for your brand.

This is why I recommend building a plan first.

This plan does not need to be an 80 page manifesto for building your business. It can be as simple as focusing on the core elements for a plan of action.

These elements include –

  • competitive market research
  • defining your target audience
  • a strategy for owned, earned and paid media
  • a realistic budget
  • metrics to measure your success.

This will help you create a realistic situation analysis and summary while giving you a clearer picture of what you must do first and a marketing strategy that will have you overcoming obstacles and threats as you build brand awareness for your business.

 

Creating More Shareable Content

Brand Awareness, collaborations, Content management, Content strategy, Creative Marketing Campaigns, future of marketing, Social Content Management, social media marketing, social media statistics

In this video, I explain how to use the free version of software like Buzzsumo to find content that has been shared so you can get inspired to make your next video, article or post even that more viral.

Big news today. I was approved as a expert for Clarity.fm. Clarity links you with expert consultants to help you with your business.  You can connect with me here and we can schedule a call to help take your brand to the next level.

Marketing in the Here and Now

Creative Marketing Campaigns, customer loyalty, Engaging Customer Service

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In the not so distant future, four very important things will matter most when engaging with your customers and their rising expectations of what you as a brand can deliver to them in the very moment they expect it.

Your customers will expect you to give them exactly what they want precisely when they want it at the very price they want to pay for it with one simple, easy and trustworthy digital transaction.

Marketing for the “right now” will have brands using technology like near-field communication and location-based mobile apps to meet their customers increasing demands.

In turn, marketing managers will be doing deep research dives to better understand their customer’s journey and what they need and want in real time. Ethnographic research will become a key strategy in your marketing plan as you watch and learn precisely how your customers shop, how they behave in their homes and uncover the triggers and motivations that drive their behavior.

Some of the newer on demand services that are currently addressing consumer’s needs –

Gym surfing a phone app that solves the problem of having to miss a day or so of workout training when traveling. This mobile app will help consumers find a gym near their current location with the ability to instantly buy a day or weekly pass.

Beautified provides a service that helps consumers look great while “on the go” with an easy way to find and book same day hair salon and beauty services.

The House call mobile app helps customers find trusted professionals like plumbers and electricians near them for same day repair services.

And if you have have a package that needs to go out right now the mobile app Shyp.com will help you get anything, anywhere, anytime.

Car in the shop? Grab a cab anywhere with Flywheel.

How is your brand preparing for the rising expectations of your customers? We’d love to hear from you. 

An excellent report about the future of on demand marketing at McKinsey here and an interesting article on Ethnographic Research from The Harvard Business Review.

Retailers become Agents for Change

Brand Awareness, brand management, brand reputation, cause related campaigns, Creative Marketing Campaigns, ethical business practices

Hola Image copyBarney’s  New York window treatments become Agents for Change. Fashion with a conscience. Watch for more as retailers connect to serve the public and offer deeper meaning behind fashion.

HOLA (Heart of Los Angeles) provides underserved youth with exceptional programs in academics, arts and athletics within a nurturing environment, empowering them to develop their potential, pursue their education and strengthen their communities.

#givingback #socialresponsibility #businessesdoinggood

 

10 Commandments of Cool

award-winning companies, Brand Awareness, brand management, brand reputation, building brand trust, Cool Branding, creative collaboration, Creative Marketing Campaigns, customer loyalty, digital advertising, media relations

It should come to no surprise that the brands we covet the most are also those so undeniably cool. The real question is how do these brands remain so timelessly cool? And how did they get there to begin with?

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Spray Paint Cans by Antonio Brasko 

1. “People Don’t Buy What You Do…They Buy Why You Do It.”                   Leadership Expert, Simon Sinek believes that the true leaders in the world are those that build their brand on the foundations of their existence. His viral Ted Talk explores the idea that the Apples, Nikes and M.L.Ks of the world are built on their vision as opposed to what they can do for you. If your brand cannot determine its roots, how can it grow naturally? Take notes from Nike, and just do it.

2. Act Small                                                                                                             According to Inc.’s recent article  “How to Create a Cool Brand,” brand experts, Partners & Spade (Warby Parker, Conde Nast & J.Crew) believe in order for brands to be cool they must not forget to ‘act small.’ Act small in your relationships and interactions with customers however big your company may be. One-on-one tailored dialogue via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Ask yourself if you are approachable and realistically responsive. If not, try and get there. In this globalized economy, there is far too much convenience and competitors to act remote.

3. Create, Don’t Replicate                                                                                

Institute cool through dictating trends rather than following them. Imitating is easy, sourcing and creating the content isn’t always. This explains that saturation of bland and overrated brands while the trend setters are so far and few. Just because everyone doing it doesn’t mean you have to too. Be the brand everyone wants to be.

4. It’s All in the Details         

If you have yet to read CEO and founder of Nasty Gal, Sophia Amoruso’s bestseller Girl Boss, you’ll thank us later. In crediting her success through her journey from a small vintage Ebay vendor to a multibillion dollar expansion, Sophia Amoruso thanks her obsessive attention to detail in building a brand worth $130 million on paper today. From selecting the ideal visual thumbnail for a specific garment or spending hours precisely translating the piece’s exact measurements, every tedious detail must be treated with true precision.

5. Give Back, It’s Nice to Be Nice                                                                       According to the Forbes article “Companies With the Best CSR Reputations,” global consulting firm Reputation Institute conducted a study that shows “your willingness to buy, recommend, work for, and invest in a company is driven 60% by your perceptions of the company and only 40% by your perceptions of the products or services it sells.” Brands are considered to have good CSR if they operate in at least one of the following; 1) support good causes and protect the environment 2) behave ethically and transparent in its business interactions 3) an appealing place to work by treating its employees well. Over the past 3 years, Google donated over $353 million in grants globally, $3 billion in free ads, apps and products, and it’s employees invested 6,200 total days volunteering for nonprofits, while continuing to take number 1 in best place to work because frankly, it’s cool to care. 

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6. It’s Cool to Collaborate  Musician, producer and entrepreneur Pharrell Williams is the epitome of cool. Amidst selling over millions of records during his 20 year career, Pharrell is easily the busiest man in business, always managing to produce masterpieces. If it’s Daft Punk’s 2013 Random Access Memories album, collaborating his Bionic Yarn company with GStar Raw to develop a sustainable line composed of littered plastics from the ocean, joining the Voice to champion and train untapped artists or his upcoming Moonrise Jungle World Tour with Bruno Mars, whatever Pharrell gets his hands on, you bet it’ll be the next big thing. Team up or loose out. 

7. Give the People What They Want                                                                

Keep the customer in your vantage point in all ways – always. From R&D and product innovation, managing manufacturing costs, product accessibility, selection of distributors, and most importantly experience and after-sale rapport, keep the customer’s needs at the forefront of these decisions. Let the customer rule.

8. Build High Performance      

You wouldn’t believe how many companies create products that aren’t worth the hype or worse, aren’t even worth the buy. It’s important to have high-performing superstar products or an unparalleled service. There are high customer acquisition costs and even higher reacquisition costs in today’s globalized economy with such a hyper-saturation of brands and substitute alternatives. First impressions are everything, so make it a cool one.

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9. Experience Without A Shelf Life                       Try not to cave into tapping solely into temporary trends with a short life-cycle. If you are here to stay, build your brand to be multi-dimensional without capitalizing on just one social fad. Avoid being the Myspaces, Napsters and Dells of the world. Facebook sees the need to stay relevant while it experiences its growth stage in the social media industry by acquiring gems like Instagram and virtual reality leader Occulus, rather than falling by the waste side once they near their tipping point. Adapt to stay cool, because nothing lasts forever. 

10. Be the Brand You Want to Follow                                                                

Ask yourself, would you follow your brand on social media? Would you want to work for you? Cool comes from within. Establish your cool factor and they will come to you.

How to Keep Your Cool

brand reputation, building brand trust, Cool Branding, creative collaboration, Creative Marketing Campaigns, customer loyalty, Earned Media, editorial know how, future of marketing, marketing muscle

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MJMPR is here to serve it up. The universal ‘selfie culture’ pioneered by generation y-ers and millennials seems to be an invitation for big brand marketers to create campaigns based around the self portraiture phenomenon. Take for example, Colgate’s Visible White Selfie Campaign, advising viewers to post selfies to the teeth-whitening app with the tagline, “when you take a selfie, it should dazzle the world.” Albeit, having over 57 million hashtags on Instagram and having been officially coined Oxford Dictionary’s Word of the Year 2013, nothing is worse than a cheesy and overdone selfie campaign. What you need is to inject some coolness into your brand.

Collaborating & Listening to your Customers is Cool

A departure from this craze would be advantageous for big players who strive to emulate a cool image and avoid the common brand perception corporations unfortunately receive. Because let’s face it, corporations aren’t always portrayed as cool. Avoid corporate cluelessness by creating trends and not just following them. Think of Starbuck’s 3-year old launch of My Starbuck’s Idea in combatting a plethora of bad press. This crowdsourcing platform allows customers to contribute ideas for new products, give opinions/feedback and even see the status of their pending idea via their blog Ideas in Action. 

Empowering your Customers is Cool

Or think of Dove’s Selfie Beauty Campaign, although it utilizes the omnipresent ‘selfie’ it gives a much needed micro lens into this superficial behavior in efforts to redefine beauty. While remaining consistent with their mission statement of challenging the current beauty status quo, this Unilever-owned brand can emulate authenticity through their 2014 Sun Dance Festival debuted short regardless of their size and corporate structure.

Inspiring your Customers is Cool 

Remember Ben & Jerry’s Capture Euphoria Instagram Contest, where 127,000 users instagrammed their idea of euphoria with the tag #captureeuphoria and of those, 20 were chosen to be placed in print, billboards and a myriad of outdoor venue? A personal, fun and cool way to engage customers.

Ultimately, big brands can be cool if they stay true to their vision statements, avoid bland and cliché selfie campaigns and act progressively cool in their marketing schemes. Small brands often set examples for bigger brands in instituting cool. The difference in their approach is not regurgitating what they see, but rather reacting to it in a new way.

Here are some of our go-to sources we consult to feed our imagination and curiosity in igniting cool vibes:

WGSN – World’s Leading Forecaster 

Trendland Digital Magazine  

The Cool Hunter

Don’t Be a Social Media Bully

Brand Awareness, brand management, brand reputation, Cool Branding, Cool to Be Kind, Creative Marketing Campaigns, editorial know how, social media marketing, Star Powered PR

 

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Play Nice…Because why wouldn’t you? Whether you disapprove of the recent Kim – Kanye Vogue Cover or feel the need to jump on the bandwagon and share your two cents about a controversial trending topic, think first. Sometimes topics do warrant attention but leave it to the Comedians and Social Media Spoof-ers to make light of these situations. There’s a reason we love Instagram Comedians like ‘The Fat Jewish.’ They say what we wish we could and they usually say it better. Remember, everything you post is a reflection of your brand, so make it count. Share messages in the eyes of your brand (not your personal opinion) and if you’re a solo act, don’t forget what goes around usually comes back around. Avoid slander. Dwelling on the negative simply contributes its power. Share positivity, it’s contagious.

For some laughs, check out Jimmy Kimmel’s rendition of Social Media Bullying in his mini series Celebrities Reading Mean Tweets.