Today, I want to chat with you about two essential terms that you’ve probably heard a million times: branding and marketing. They’re kind of like fraternal twins in the business world—they’re related and share some traits, but they’re not identical. So, let’s unpack each one and see how they can play nicely together to help your business shine.
Branding: Who Are You Really?
Think of branding as your business’s personality. It’s all about who you are, what you stand for, and how you want the world to see you. Your business name, logo, colors, and the tone of voice you use—all these things create your brand. It’s like the face you present to the world.
Why is branding so important, especially for small businesses like yours? Because it helps you stand out from the crowd. It’s how your customers remember you and why they stay loyal. It’s like your secret sauce!
Take “BeanBrew,” a local coffee shop. They’re not just about caffeine fixes. Their brand is all about creating a cozy community space, offering quality coffee, and being kind to the planet. This branding makes them a favorite among coffee lovers in their community.
Marketing: Let’s Get the Word Out
Now, if branding is the face of your business, marketing is how you introduce that face to the world. Marketing is all about shouting from the rooftops about your amazing products or services. It’s about knowing who your customers are, what they want, and how to get their attention.
If you’re wondering how branding and marketing differ, think about it like this:
Branding is about creating your business’s identity, while marketing is about promoting that identity.
Branding is long-term, focusing on things like your reputation and customer loyalty. Marketing is more short-term, aiming for immediate goals like sales and lead generation.
Branding involves tasks like designing your logo and defining your mission. Marketing is about turning that brand vision into a living thing.
I’ve found that business owners “kind-of” know this topic, but they don’t really know it. And I can tell by asking one simple question: can you show me the branding campaigns you’ve outlined for the upcoming months?
Their answer: “what do you mean?”. They have thought about social media posts, newsletters, and possible articles for their blog. And while that is PART of what a marketing plan will have, that’s NOT ALL.
Let’s put it this way: every brand strategist is a marketer. But not every marketer is a brand strategist. And if you want to grow a business today, you need to level up your branding game.
What does a Brand Strategist do?
A Brand Strategist is responsible for the overall brand awareness of a company. They help create, manage and maintain branding through various strategies. They conduct extensive research and use data to develop branding that fits the company and market to create a positive image of the organization.
Brand Strategists can work for corporations or marketing agencies. An in-house Brand Strategist works with different departments and leaders to strengthen and maintain the organization’s branding. When working for an agency, a Brand Strategist works with different companies that come to the agency for help with their brand identity development and management. They meet with a company, develop branding and manage the branding or teach the company how to implement the branding strategies themselves.
When I was developing the Hispanic Market for Beachbody, my official title was “coach,” yet I played a significant role in their branding strategy team. My biggest challenge was figuring out how to sell a protein shake that cost five times more than a regular one. The company had some marketing materials in Spanish, but they didn’t genuinely reflect my culture.
I proposed a series of events, and they loved my idea. During that time, I was living in Connecticut and would often fly to San Juan to host these events. Reflecting on those times, I realize that from the inception of these events, Beachbody consistently ensured their brand was accurately represented. I incorporated my personality, as well as my team’s personality, into the mix. However, we always had to stay “on brand.”
Babak Azad, SVP, media & customer acquisition at Beachbody (the creators of P90X, Insanity and Shakeology), who helped the company acquire more than 10 million customers and eclipse $1 billion in sales, was interviewed in 2018 when Beachbody broke the news on hitting their billion dollar milestone. He said that what drove him to succeed was to focus on three areas — customer lifetime value, BRAND and operational excellence — can dramatically increase the chances of scalability and sustainability of a business. Source: Entrepreneur.
The creators of P90x and Shakeology turned Beachbody into one of the most powerful fitness brands in the world. Beachbody just rebranded as BODi. Their rebranding strategy kicked off with a marketing campaign announcing their health esteem movement.
What can business owners learn from Beachbody-now-BODi?
One crucial lesson that every business can glean from this success story is that branding serves as the fountain of youth for a business. Your products may change, your team can adapt and evolve, but a robust brand remains timeless.
My experience with Beachbody became the foundation of what I’ve done as an entrepreneur and business owner and what I do today for the brands we grow in our agency.
Branding and Marketing: Better Together
The real magic happens when branding and marketing come together.
Your brand guides your marketing efforts, helping you craft the right messages and choose the best channels to reach your customers. Meanwhile, your marketing helps spread the word about your brand, enhancing its image.
Imagine your brand as your business’s heart, pumping out your values and identity. Marketing is like the veins, carrying this identity to the world.
Without a brand, your marketing lacks focus. Without marketing, your brand stays hidden.
So there you have it! Now you know the difference between branding and marketing and why they’re both super important for your small business.
The next time you’re about to send a newsletter to your customers, think about their experience with your BRAND.
When you are sharing content on social media, think about how will your future customers FEEL about that content. Will they gain any value? Will they EXPERIENCE a particular feeling? What are the feelings that you want to project as a business?
Your brand is like a person! It has FEELINGS! And if you tap into the power of a strong brand strategy, the opportunities are endless!
Remember, your brand is the heart of your business, and marketing is how you let the world know you’re here.
Artificial intelligence has revolutionized the marketing landscape, offering businesses unprecedented opportunities to enhance their strategies and achieve remarkable success. At MFG-SEO, we understand the importance of transparency and delivering exceptional results to our clients.
Get ready to dive into the fascinating world of AI marketing!
I want to equip small businesses like yours with invaluable tips and thought-provoking prompts to help you unleash the power of artificial intelligence in your marketing efforts.
AI Marketing For Small Business Owners And Entrepreneurs
Remember the first time you held an iPhone in your hands? That sleek device packed with cutting-edge technology had the power to change your world. But let’s be honest, it also made you feel a mix of excitement and a little uneasiness. Well, guess what? The world of AI marketing can be just as exhilarating and unfamiliar.
And that’s why you need to have the right approach; especially if you need to train your team. Some might be very open to your fresh ideas. But some will be “oh heck no”.
But don’t worry, we’re here to be your tech-savvy companions, leading you through the uncharted territories and making you feel right at home.
In my very personal opinion, AI can create FOMO (fear of missing out). So, if you are easily distracted, I recommend that you approach this new world as if you enrolled in school and you’re getting a brand-new degree.
Yes, AI is a whole entire degree. So, don’t expect to learn Chat GPT from a few Youtube videos. It’s not gonna happen. We’ve put collectively 100’s of hours into learning AI Marketing, and I still feel behind.
It all seems like I sneeze and 10 new AI Apps are being launched.
Sounds familiar? Let’s discuss how to best approach this challenge.
Tip #1 to use AI Marketing: Be patient
When embarking on an AI marketing journey, it’s essential to embrace patience. AI technology continues to evolve rapidly, and realizing its full potential takes time. As a business owner or marketer, it’s crucial to set realistic expectations and allow sufficient time for experimentation, optimization, and learning from the results. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and your AI-powered marketing strategy will require refinement and fine-tuning over time.
Tip #2 to use AI Marketing: Bring the experts
Navigating the complex realm of AI marketing can be challenging, but you don’t have to go it alone. By collaborating with AI experts who possess a deep understanding of the technology and its applications, you can ensure that you extract the maximum benefits while avoiding potential pitfalls. These experts can guide you in developing a tailored AI marketing strategy that aligns with your unique business needs and goals.
One of the best solutions we’ve built for our customers is AI personas with GPT4. It’s a done-for-you solution that can save you easily 20 hours of your life! Our personas get installed on your GPT4 and it’s great if you want to give yourself new team members!
Just imagine for a second… That you can get your AI bookkeeper to analyze your statements. Or AI Paralegal to give you pointers on how to best rephrase your service agreement… Isn’t that amazing?
And what about project management? Those of you who love Asana or Monday can build AI Boards!
So yes, there are lots of options and that’s why you might want to leverage AI marketing experts to create solutions tailored to your business.
Tip #3 to use AI Marketing: Create your AI Marketing Strategy
As you explore AI marketing tools and technologies, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the abundance of options available. To stay focused and make the most of your AI journey, it’s essential to adopt a strategic approach:
* Define your objectives: Clearly outline your business goals and objectives. What do you aim to achieve with AI marketing? Understanding your objectives will help you create a focused and effective AI marketing strategy.
* Select a segment of your business: You don’t need to revolutionize everything. Perhaps you want to bring AI just to support your email marketing and that’s perfectly fine. Start there and gain confidence with the tools.
* Track and measure your ROI: since you will be investing time and resources, it’s important to track your ROI. For example, let’s say you hire a sales specialist. You can use AI to maximize their time, by using AI tools to optimize your sales processes. Your team members will love it and you will maximize their productivity.
Tip #4 to use AI Marketing: Select tools strategically
Instead of trying to implement every AI marketing tool available, carefully choose the ones that align with your objectives and complement your existing marketing ecosystem. Remember, quality over quantity is key. Pick tools that integrate seamlessly and provide tangible value to your strategy.
Tip #5 to use AI Marketing: Prioritize integration and compatibility
Ensure that the AI tools you select can seamlessly integrate with your existing systems and processes. Compatibility is crucial for a smooth implementation and to avoid disruptions in your marketing operations. Evaluate how the tools will fit into your workflow and ensure they align with your technology infrastructure.
Tip #6 to use AI Marketing: Foster a culture of learning
AI marketing is constantly evolving, and it’s important to foster a culture of continuous learning within your organization. Encourage your team members to stay updated on AI advancements and industry trends. This could involve attending webinars, participating in online courses, or joining relevant industry forums. By nurturing a learning mindset, you can stay ahead of the curve and adapt your strategies to the ever-changing AI landscape.
AI Marketing vs Automation
Think of AI marketing as an extension of automation, taking your business to new heights.
Start by identifying income-generating activities within your marketing process that can be optimized using AI.
Automation is a game-changer for small business owners, offering a multitude of benefits that can transform the way you operate and drive your business forward. Imagine freeing up your time from repetitive, mundane tasks, and redirecting your energy towards strategic decision-making and growth initiatives. That’s the power of automation.
For small business owners, automation holds the key to improved efficiency, streamlined operations, and increased productivity. By automating repetitive tasks such as data entry, email marketing, inventory management, and customer support, you can save countless hours and reduce the risk of human error. This newfound efficiency allows you to focus on what matters most: serving your customers, refining your products or services, and driving business growth.
In addition to time and cost savings, automation can also enhance the customer experience. By implementing automated processes, you can provide your customers with faster response times, personalized interactions, and seamless transactions. From automated email campaigns that nurture leads to chatbots that provide instant support, automation enables you to deliver a consistent and exceptional customer journey, fostering loyalty and satisfaction.
Best Use Cases Of Chat Gpt For Small Business
Again, we are here to end your FOMO and refine your approach to AI Marketing. So let’s cover how can you use Chat GPT for your business today.
1) Utilizing AI to create persuasive proposals:
AI can analyze data and generate tailored proposals that are highly persuasive, taking into account customer preferences, market trends, and business objectives. This saves time and ensures your proposals are highly targeted and compelling.
2) Crafting compelling offers with AI:
AI can help you develop irresistible offers by analyzing customer data, purchasing patterns, and market trends. By leveraging AI, you can create personalized offers that resonate with your target audience, leading to increased conversions and customer satisfaction.
3) Optimizing sales pages with AI:
AI can analyze user behavior, preferences, and conversion patterns to optimize your sales pages. It can provide recommendations for layout, content placement, and calls-to-action, resulting in higher engagement and improved conversion rates.
3) Refining email copy using AI:
AI-powered tools can analyze large sets of data to generate personalized and engaging email copy. By leveraging AI, you can automate the creation of customized email content, ensuring that your messages are highly relevant and impactful.
4) Enhancing customer service interactions with AI:
Start by creating a super amazing customer success persona so you can ask for ideas on how to best serve your customers.
For instance, I asked ChatGPT to turn into an amazing customer success advisor and give me ideas to increase customer retention. After a dialogue with the chat, I’ve gotten a list with ideas to celebrate our customers: Here are five ways to celebrate success with your customers (100% written by ChatGPT):
Personalized Thank You Notes or Emails: Take the time to send personalized thank you notes or emails to express your gratitude and celebrate milestones achieved together. Acknowledge the specific achievements or progress made by the customer and highlight how their partnership has contributed to the success. This personal touch demonstrates your appreciation and strengthens the bond with your customers.
Social Media Shout-outs: Publicly recognize your customers’ achievements on your social media platforms. Share their success stories, tag them in posts, and highlight the positive impact they have made. This not only showcases their accomplishments but also reinforces the collaborative nature of your relationship. It also provides them with additional exposure and recognition within your industry.
Exclusive Loyalty Offers or Discounts: Reward your customers’ loyalty and success by offering exclusive discounts or special offers on your products or services. This gesture shows your appreciation for their ongoing partnership and allows them to enjoy additional benefits as a result of their achievements. It fosters a sense of exclusivity and strengthens the loyalty between you and your customers.
Case Studies or Testimonials: Work with your customers to develop case studies or testimonials that showcase their success and the value they have gained from your partnership. Highlight their specific challenges, the strategies implemented, and the results achieved. This not only celebrates their achievements but also serves as a powerful marketing tool for your agency, showcasing your ability to drive meaningful outcomes for your clients.
Client Appreciation Events or Webinars: Host client appreciation events or webinars to celebrate successes collectively. This can be done in-person or virtually, depending on your circumstances. These events provide an opportunity to reflect on achievements, share insights and industry trends, and foster a sense of community among your customers. It allows for networking and knowledge sharing, strengthening relationships and creating a positive and supportive environment.
As you can see, these are just a few use cases for GPT4. And by the way, it’s only $20 per month.
Given the rapid pace of AI research and development, it is reasonable to expect that OpenAI and other organizations will continue to push the boundaries of language generation with even more advanced models in the future. So start in GPT4 before it gets too late!
These are the AI Marketing Tools We’re using at MFG-SEO Agency today
Our marketing agency is small, on purpose. We are a team of 6 and that is more than enough to give our customers a high-touch service. We have explored several AI marketing tools and so far, here are the ones we are using:
GPT 4: ChatGPT is the biggest AI tool so far. And with their open API, the uses are endless. Each team member has a subscription, and we all share the personas we’ve created, to best serve our clients and manage our agency.
Coded Personas: We have coded our Personas. Creating coded personas can significantly enhance team efficiency. These personas provide a structured framework for understanding customer behavior and preferences, enabling you to deliver tailored marketing campaigns that resonate with your target audience.
CustomGPT App: As a work-in-progress, we are using CustomGPT app to develop a chat interface that consolidates all our content. This tool allows our team members to quickly access marketing materials, our knowledge base, and frequently asked questions. Imagine having an AI-powered assistant that can provide instant answers, based on YOUR OWN database!
Elementor AI: Since we build custom websites with Elementor, we’re using Elementor AI in our SEO projects.
MidJourney: We’re using MidJourney for graphics, to get creative ideas.
Artificial intelligence has the power to revolutionize your marketing efforts and drive exceptional results for your small business. By embracing patience, seeking expert guidance, approaching AI marketing strategically, leveraging the right tools, and staying focused, you can harness the full potential of AI to create personalized experiences, engage customers, and achieve sustainable growth.
Remember, the journey to AI marketing success is not just about the destination; it’s about the process. Embrace the challenges, experiment with new approaches, and continually refine your strategies based on data-driven insights. By adopting a thoughtful and strategic approach to AI marketing, you can unlock unprecedented opportunities and propel your business to new heights of success.
So, are you ready to embark on your AI marketing journey? Embrace the power of AI, engage with experts, and let your small business thrive in the digital age. Get ready to transform your marketing strategies and unleash the true potential of your business with artificial intelligence.
Remember, the future of marketing is here, and it’s powered by AI. Let’s take that leap together and unlock a world of possibilities!
Go-to-Market vs. Marketing: Understanding the Key Differences
Learn proven go-to-market methods and real case studies to secure your product launch success. Happy launching!
Considering a Go To Market Strategy for your next launch?
Launching a new product can be a thrilling experience, but it can also be daunting. In today’s crowded market, it’s essential to have a solid plan in place. That’s why a Go-To-Market (GTM) strategy could be your ticket to success. But how does it differ from a traditional marketing strategy? Understanding the key differences between GTM and marketing strategies is crucial to ensure your product launch is a hit.
In this article, we will dive into the key differences between go-to-market and marketing, and how understanding these differences can help you tailor your strategy to suit your goals. So, let’s get started and supercharge your go-to-market efforts!
Imagine you’re the owner of a thriving restaurant and you’re ready to expand your business to a new location in another city. You already have a strong brand identity, a loyal customer base, and a proven track record of success. But how do you ensure that your new location stays true to your brand and continues to attract the right clientele?
With a well-crafted go-to-market (GTM) strategy, you can introduce your brand to a new audience and educate them on the unique benefits and offerings of your restaurant. Your GTM plan will not only help you target the right customers but also communicate your brand message effectively, ensuring that your new location stays true to your established identity.
You might be wondering, is’t this the same as marketing?
The short answer: No.
What Is the Difference Between Go-To-Market and Marketing?
For those who are unfamiliar, marketing and go-to-market (GTM) strategies are two distinct concepts that often get confused.
Marketing is a broader and long-term approach to promote a product or service to reach the ideal audience and achieve a competitive edge in the market. On the other hand, GTM is a short-term plan focused on introducing a new product or service to the market and ensuring that it reaches the right audience by educating them on its benefits and usage.
While a marketing strategy considers the overall vision and goals of an organization, a GTM strategy is product-centric, targeting a specific segment of the audience. It is a great approach for businesses launching new products or services, but it is important to note that GTM is not a substitute for marketing.
If your brand is new or launching its first product, GTM and marketing could be similar, but as your business grows, it is important to differentiate between them and align their strategies accordingly.
GTM Methodologies: Funnel and Flywheel
When it comes to developing a go-to-market strategy, there are two major methodologies: the funnel and the flywheel. The traditional funnel approach is a one-off process that focuses on attracting leads and guiding them through the awareness, consideration, and decision stages of the customer journey.
On the other hand, the flywheel approach uses inbound marketing and other strategies to build long-lasting customer relationships. This methodology focuses on attracting, engaging, and delighting prospects, leads, and customers in a circular motion.
After a lead becomes a customer, the flywheel continues by re-engaging them with solid customer experiences, new content, and potentially new offerings. Whether you prefer the funnel or the flywheel approach, it’s essential to have a planning process that includes the following steps:
Distinguish your buyer persona(s): Identify your target audience and create a detailed profile of their characteristics, preferences, and pain points.
Fill out your persona’s value matrix: Understand what your target audience values most and tailor your messaging to resonate with their needs.
Define your content and lead-gen strategy: Develop content that addresses your target audience’s needs and use lead generation tactics to attract and convert them into leads.
Adjust and iterate as you go: Continuously monitor and analyze your results and adjust your strategy accordingly.
Retain and delight your customers: Focus on retaining and delighting your existing customers by providing excellent customer service, personalized experiences, and relevant offers.
Note that a GTM strategy is not a “set it and forget it” approach. It requires hands-on attention. At our agency, when we are in launch mode, everyone is involved in the process. We create a calendar with multiple touchpoints to ensure that nothing is missed. Once the launch takes off and gains traction, our teams actively engage across all social channels. This is how we generate buzz.
The Elements of a GTM Strategy
To create a successful GTM strategy, you need to consider several important elements. Here are some key areas to focus on:
Conduct Market Research and Analysis: Before you launch your product or service, it’s essential to conduct market research and analyze the competitive landscape. This includes researching your target market, identifying competitors, and understanding industry trends.
Define Target Audience and Buyer Personas: Defining your target audience is critical to creating an effective GTM strategy. This involves creating buyer personas, which are detailed profiles of your ideal customers. These profiles should include information about your customers’ demographics, interests, and pain points.
Identify Unique Selling Points and Value Proposition: To stand out from competitors, you need to identify your unique selling points (USPs) and value proposition. Your USPs are the features and benefits that differentiate your product or service from others in the market. Your value proposition should clearly communicate the value that your product or service provides to your target audience.
Develop Pricing Strategy and Distribution Channels: Your pricing strategy should align with your value proposition and be competitive in the market. You also need to determine your distribution channels, which are the ways you will get your product or service to your customers. This includes channels like online marketplaces, social media platforms, direct mail, influencer marketing, and paid channels.
Determine Revenue Goals and Campaign Budget: It’s important to set realistic revenue goals for your GTM strategy and determine your campaign budget accordingly. Your budget most likely will have sales commissions, services fees, and advertising costs.
While a GTM strategy is not a guaranteed formula for success, it can certainly give you a better return on investment than not having one at all. By considering these elements and tailoring them to your specific product or service, you can create a comprehensive GTM strategy that sets you up for success and minimizes the risks of failure.
Inspiring GTM Strategy Stories
One of the most effective ways to bring a new product or service to market is through a creative and engaging go-to-market campaigns. So let’s share some examples that can bring some inspiration.
Online Boutique Launching Contest
Our online boutique client hired us to launch their new collection. We decided to launch with a contest. The contest encouraged participants to post photos of themselves wearing the boutique’s clothing on social media with a specific hashtag. The photos were then collected and displayed on the boutique’s website, creating a sense of community and social proof. The boutique offered a prize to the winner, which encouraged more people to participate.
This go-to-market campaign not only generated buzz and excitement around the launch of the boutique’s new clothing line, but it also created a sense of engagement and loyalty among the boutique’s target audience. By involving customers in the launch process and creating a community around the brand, the boutique was able to build a strong brand identity and establish a loyal customer base.
New Executive Coach Book Launch Event
A new executive coach wanted to launch their coaching services. During our market research, we found that the best opportunity to position the coach as a leader was with a book. So we combined their services launch with a book launch. The GTM plan involved creating an event around the book launch to attract potential clients and generate buzz around the new coach’s services.
The book launch event was held at a popular event space and included a panel discussion featuring the coach and several industry leaders, a Q&A session, and a book signing. The event was promoted through social media, email marketing, and targeted advertising.
In addition to the event, we developed a lead magnet to capture contact information from interested attendees. The lead magnet was a free coaching consultation with the coach, providing a valuable opportunity for potential clients to experience the coach’s services.
The book launch event was a success, attracting a large audience and generating positive buzz for the new coach’s services, including enterprise clients who were looking to bring an executive coach on board. The lead magnet was also effective in capturing leads, resulting in several new coaching clients for the coach.
New Gym Launched with a 7-Day Challenge
To promote the opening of their new location for our Gym client, we decided to launch a 7-day fitness challenge. The challenge was open to anyone who signed up for a membership at their new location. Participants would receive a free one-week membership and would be entered to win a grand prize of a free 6-month membership.
To participate, members had to attend at least one fitness class each day for seven consecutive days. Classes included yoga, HIIT, and strength training, among others. In addition to the free membership and chance to win a grand prize, participants would also receive a free t-shirt upon completion of the challenge.
The 7-day fitness challenge generated a lot of buzz for the new location and resulted in a significant increase in memberships. The gym also saw a boost in social media engagement, as participants shared their progress and experiences with the challenge online. The launching campaign lasted 60 days and our client signed over 300 customers.
A hair pomade launched with micro influencers
An established barber decided to launch his vey own hair pomade. We decided to use micro-influencers and barbers as a part of their go-to-market strategy. Our team started by identifying and partnering with several micro-influencers and barbers in different locations. These influencers and barbers had a loyal following on social media and were passionate about hair grooming.
The company sent each influencer and barber a sample of their hair pomade and asked them to share their thoughts with their followers. The company also provided these influencers with exclusive discount codes to share with their followers.
In addition, we organized a contest for the barbers where they had to use the pomade on their clients and share the results on social media. The barber who had the most impressive transformation won a cash prize and a year’s supply of the pomade.
The results were impressive. The micro-influencers and barbers generated a lot of buzz about the product on social media, and many of their followers bought the pomade using the discount codes. The company also received a lot of positive feedback from the barbers and their clients who used the product. This GTM strategy helped the company reach its target audience and establish the product as a top choice in the hair grooming industry.
We hope this guide has provided you with valuable insights on go-to-market strategies and how to successfully launch your product or service. Remember, a well-planned GTM strategy can make all the difference in ensuring your success in the market. By conducting market research, defining your target audience, identifying your unique selling points, and implementing a comprehensive launch plan, you can position yourself for success.
And now, it’s time to put these best practices to work! With the right tools and a solid team, you can easily position your product for a successful launch. Schedule a free consultation today and get started on your GTM journey!
Life Coaching Marketing: Tips for Attracting Clients and Building an Audience Online and Offline
If you’re a coach, this article is for you! Let’s take your coaching business to the next level with a client attraction system
As a coach or consultant, you know that the success of your business depends on your ability to attract new clients. However, without a system in place, it can be challenging to consistently bring in new business.
In this article, we’ll outline the steps to building a life coaching marketing system for attracting clients that will help you to grow your business and achieve your goals.
Client Attraction Tip For Coaches #1: Define Your Ideal Client
The first step in building a life coaching marketing plan template for attracting clients is to define your ideal client. This means understanding who your target audience is, what their needs and pain points are, and how your services can help them. Take the time to conduct market research and create buyer personas that represent your ideal clients. This will help you to create targeted messaging and content that resonates with your audience.
Let’s say you’re a life coach who specializes in helping women in their 30s and 40s who are struggling with work-life balance. To define your ideal client, you would start by conducting market research to understand the needs and pain points of this target audience. You might find that many women in this demographic are feeling overwhelmed by the demands of their career and family life, and are looking for strategies to achieve greater balance and fulfillment.
Next, you would create buyer personas that represent your ideal clients. These personas might include details such as age, occupation, income level, and family status, as well as specific challenges and goals. For example, you might create a persona named “Stressed-out Sarah,” who is a 35-year-old marketing manager with two young children and a demanding job. Sarah is struggling to juggle her work and family responsibilities and is looking for ways to achieve greater balance and reduce her stress levels.
By creating buyer personas like Sarah, you can create targeted messaging and content that resonates with your target audience.
Create Buyer Personas Using AI
Not sure where to start? Use AI Marketing for life coaches! For example, you can ask Chat GPT (we’re using GPT 4) to give you buyer personas. In this case, I asked for buyer persons for a life coach that wants to help working moms. Here are the 3 buyer personas that it gave me:
Busy Beth – Beth is a 38-year-old working mom of two young children who works as a project manager at a tech company. She is struggling to balance the demands of her job with the needs of her family, and often feels overwhelmed and stressed. Beth is looking for a life coach who can help her to develop strategies for achieving greater work-life balance and reducing her stress levels.
Stressed-out Sarah – Sarah is a 35-year-old working mom of a toddler and a newborn who works as a nurse at a local hospital. She often feels exhausted and burned out, and struggles to find time for self-care and relaxation. Sarah is looking for a life coach who can help her to prioritize her own needs and develop a self-care routine that fits into her busy schedule.
Overwhelmed Olivia – Olivia is a 42-year-old working mom of three school-age children who works as a marketing manager at a large corporation. She is juggling multiple responsibilities, including her job, her children’s extracurricular activities, and her aging parents’ needs. Olivia often feels like she is running on fumes and is looking for a life coach who can help her to manage her time more effectively and find ways to simplify her life.
Knowing the buyer personas can help you tailor your voice. In this case, knowing that you’re talking to moms in healthcare, tech, or management is key to create content that resonates with them.
Client attraction tip for coaches #2: Develop a Content Strategy
Developing a content strategy is an important part of attracting new clients as a coach or consultant. Here’s a list of content types and what they’re good for:
Blog Posts – Blogging is a great way to showcase your expertise and provide valuable information to your target audience. Blog posts can be used to educate your audience, share your personal experiences, and offer tips and advice. They can also help to drive traffic to your website and improve your search engine rankings. Ideally, when you’re starting, you want to be uploading at least 2x per week.
Videos – Videos are an engaging and effective way to communicate your message to your audience. They can be used to share your story, provide tutorials or how-to guides, and showcase your personality and brand. Videos can be shared on social media, embedded in blog posts, or hosted on video platforms like YouTube. And if you’re blogging, you can turn your blogs into videos! Lumen 5 is a great tool for this!
Social Media Posts – Social media is a powerful tool for building your brand and engaging with your audience. Social media posts can be used to share your blog posts, videos, and podcasts, as well as to provide updates about your business and share behind-the-scenes glimpses of your life. They can also be used to run social media ads and promote your services to a wider audience.
E-Books – E-Books are a valuable tool for providing in-depth information and insights to your audience. They can be used to offer a more comprehensive guide or resource than a blog post or video, and can be offered as a lead magnet to attract new subscribers to your email list. E-Books can also be sold as a product to generate additional revenue for your business.
Webinars – Webinars are a great way to engage with your audience in real-time and provide valuable information and insights. They can be used to showcase your expertise, offer a training or workshop, or provide a behind-the-scenes look at your business. Webinars can also help to generate leads and attract new clients to your coaching or consulting services.
By creating a variety of content types, you can reach a wider audience, engage with your target market, and establish yourself as an expert in your field.
Pro tip: Be sure you create a synergy between your content and what you sell. For example: if you sell a system to help moms in burnout, write a series of content discussing the possible ways to avoid burnout.
Client attraction tip for coaches #3: Develop a Signature Talk
A signature talk is a presentation or speech that showcases your expertise and unique perspective on a topic. Developing a signature talk is an important part of attracting new clients because it allows you to demonstrate your value, establish your credibility, and connect with your audience on a deeper level. Here’s why:
Demonstrates Your Value – When you develop a signature talk, you’re offering your audience something of value. You’re sharing your expertise, insights, and experiences, and providing them with actionable advice and strategies. By offering something of value, you’re demonstrating to your audience that you’re a credible and trustworthy source of information and advice.
Establishes Your Credibility – Developing a signature talk can help to establish your credibility and position you as an authority in your field. When you deliver a polished, professional presentation, you’re showing your audience that you’re serious about your work and committed to helping others. This can help to build trust and establish your reputation as an expert in your field.
Connects with Your Audience – When you develop a signature talk, you have the opportunity to connect with your audience on a deeper level. By sharing personal stories and experiences, you can create a sense of empathy and understanding that helps to build rapport with your audience. When your audience feels that you understand their needs and challenges, they’re more likely to trust you and seek out your services.
Developing a signature talk takes time and effort, but the benefits are well worth it. A signature talk can help you to attract new clients, establish your credibility, and connect with your audience on a deeper level.
Pro tip: Your signature talk can be as tiny as your elevator pitch and as big as your 3-day conference! You should be able to communicate your talk in a short sentence. For example: I help working moms in the healthcare industry who are suffering from mom guilt.
Client attraction tip for coaches #4: Build an Audience Offline
While online marketing is a powerful way to build an audience, offline marketing can also be an effective strategy for attracting new clients to your coaching or consulting business. Here are some tips for building an audience through offline marketing:
Attend Networking Events – Networking events, conferences, and trade shows are a great way to meet potential clients and build relationships with other professionals in your industry. Attend events that are relevant to your niche, and come prepared with business cards, brochures, or other materials that showcase your services.
Speak at Events – Speaking at events is a powerful way to establish yourself as an authority in your field and build your audience. Look for opportunities to speak at conferences, seminars, or other events that are relevant to your niche. Develop a polished presentation that showcases your expertise and offers practical insights and advice.
Host Workshops or Seminars – Hosting your own workshops or seminars is another way to build your audience and attract new clients. Offer a free or low-cost workshop that provides value to your target audience and showcases your expertise. Make sure to collect contact information from attendees so you can follow up with them after the event.
Participate in Community Events – Participating in community events, such as charity fundraisers or local festivals, is a great way to raise awareness about your business and connect with potential clients. Set up a booth or table and offer free consultations or other incentives to attendees.
Use Traditional Advertising – Traditional advertising methods, such as print ads or radio spots, can still be effective in building your audience. Consider placing ads in local newspapers or magazines, or sponsoring a radio show or podcast that is relevant to your niche.
If you want to take your coaching practice to the next level, building a client attraction system will help you grow a business you love. And the sooner you can start working on the marketing strategies we’ve shared above, the better. So don’t hesitate to reach out! We have marketing packages for coaches like you! Book a complimentary call.
Growing a business with unlimited capital is certainly easier than growing a business without it. During times when cash and resources are running their course, reaching your business goals comes down to making assertive decisions.
If this is your mindset today, you’ve reached a place where you can put your fears to rest and activate your strategic brain to focus on what your business needs today in order to secure a win.
The Fascinating Origin Of The Word Strategy
The word “strategy” is derived from the Greek word “stratçgos”; stratus (meaning army) and “ago” (meaning leading/moving).
A strategy is a general plan to achieve one or more long-term or overall goals under conditions of uncertainty.
The term came into use in the 6th century C.E. in East Roman terminology, and was translated into Western vernacular languages only in the 18th century.
From then until the 20th century, the word “strategy” came to denote “a comprehensive way to try to pursue political ends, including the threat or actual use of force, in a dialectic of wills” in a military conflict, in which both adversaries interact.
Not every decision means going to war. However, in business (and in life too), when we face a critical season, we can’t just close our eyes and go with the flow.
Critical times call for precision. Each move can be a deal-breaker. This is when a strategic plan is needed.
The Initial Assessment: What Are Your Goals?
Taking emotions out of this equation, navigate the moment when you sat down to write down your goals.
I used to tell my paralegals, back in my other life when I was a litigation attorney, that they should always set up realistic and worst-case scenario goals but to calculate the plan to achieve the best-case scenario.
Our clients had access to the worst-case, but internally we had the best-case.
This helped us tremendously to have conversations about expectations from day 1.
According to the best research, less than 3 percent of Americans have written goals, and less than 1 percent review and rewrite their goals on a daily basis.
Do you have your 2020 goals written? Don’t feel bad if you don’t.
When it comes to goal setting AND achievement, there are 3 types of people in the world.
Those who set goals and achieve them. This is the group that MAKES THINGS HAPPEN.
Those who set goals and NEVER achieve them. This is the group that WATCHES THINGS HAPPEN.
Those who never set goals and wander around aimlessly, rudderless and acting randomly, never achieving much at all. This is the group that asks “WHAT HAPPENED?”
GOAL #1 is to stay out of group #3!
Now that you’re in need of a tight and strategic plan, you’ll write down your goals. And if you are thinking about it from a positive perspective, even if you wrote them down before, you would have still needed to do this again!
These questions can help you examine your goals.
What was your revenue goal for 2020?
Which projects did you want to complete in 2020?
How many clients did you forecast for 2020?
What was your marketing budget?
Did you have partnerships lined up for 2020?
Did you have a plan to reach your 2020 revenue goal?
As you look back, did you set up unrealistic goals?
The Dig Deeper Phase: Is This Worth The Fight?
I’m assuming that you’re a leader. You certainly have a vision of how to make things right. You’re not a quitter.
Let’s dig deeper, which means, let’s put the critical thinking into action.
The greatest military leaders in ancient times, including Julius Caesar, Sun Tzu, Hannibal, Scipio Africanus, Attila the Hun, Gaius Marius, and others, had one important thing in common: they were all superior critical thinkers.
They applied their critical thinking skills of analysis, interpretation, inference, and evaluation to strategic, operational, and tactical problems of all kinds.
The same can be said about the great military minds today.
Effective leadership at every level is as much about thinking as it is about motivating and following through. Plans must be devised and tested, adaptions made as conditions change, assumptions tested, and contingencies accounted for. To lead anything well is to solve complex ill-structured, real-time, problems and to make sound, informed decisions.
10 Key Questions Leaders Use To Trigger Critical Thinking In The Groups They Lead
How is this situation like prior situations?
How is this situation NOT like prior situations?
What happens if we take this element out of the equation?
What happens if we insert this factor into the equation?
How is the problem changing over time?
How can I adjust and adapt to those changes?
Why are standard approaches consistently failing?
How can I drive the chances to achieve advantage?
Why are my people not seeing the complexity?
Am I missing anything that other leaders are seeing?
If the military theme doesn’t resonate with you, I suggest you take a more soul-based approach. That’s totally fine. Connect with your inner voice to then activate your critical thinking. And of course, you can tune into your intuition as well.
The unmissable question you’ll need to ask is: what is the price that will make this fight worth it for you?
We’re not here to end this battle with you losing. We just need to rewrite your expectations and set up the goals so we can win.
The Shift: Setting Up Business Goals To Win
I can tell you from experience, calling the shots, when you’re the only one facing consequences if things go wrong is very easy. What’s not easy is when you are the one calling the shots and many lives are depending on your abilities to lead.
You wish you didn’t have to be that person. But… you are.
I will never forget the day when I announced to my employees that our law firm was going to shut down. This moment still brings me to tears. It was hard. Not only seeing my personal dreams melting, but it felt very heavy on my shoulders.
What did I do wrong? Where did I fail? Did I betray their trust? What did I miss? …
Challenging times put your leadership skills into the test.
What Is A Strategic Goal?
Strategic goals are visions for your business that have quantifiable or qualitative results.
You can’t grow what you can’t measure.
Strategic Goals Examples
Revenue stream goals
Depending on your business, you might have different products or services. It’s time to find out which ones are doing very well and which ones are not.
You can analyze your revenue stream by the amount of revenue that they each bring, profit they render, or the number of resources they demand from your business.
For example, if you’re limited to selling a product because you don’t have the cost to produce them, you could say “I need more money”, launching a new revenue stream using the resources that you have could be a strategic goal.
Experts say “your network is your net worth” and that’s for a reason.
Note: your brand name might have accumulated equity. It’s worth exploring the possibility of leveraging your brand in certain segments.
Technology has accelerated networking, reduced the degree of separation between contacts, amplified our global playing field, and redefined the job prospecting process.
Think about who do you know today, who could help you share your mission?
Another area worth exploring is customer segments. If you’ve been selling to consumers, perhaps it’s time to consider if selling to other businesses will benefit more.
Financial strategy goals
Revenue is not profit. Profit does not equal good cash flow. Cash flow is king.
You can’t just look at your profit and loss statement (P&L) and get a grip on your cash flow. Many other financial figures feed into factoring your cash flow, including accounts receivable, inventory, accounts payable, capital expenditures, and taxation.
Effective cash-flow management requires a laser focus on each of these drivers of cash, in addition to your profit or loss.
I recommend business owners get very granular on their cash flow and track their revenue and expenses daily.
If you are running an e-commerce business, your system will give you a report on daily sales and will also compare it with the prior year. This should be a document that you see at least 3 times a day.
Strategic marketing goals
When it comes to crafting a marketing plan, what will turn your marketing plan into a strategic one will be the ability to translate each activity into revenue.
Marketers get very uncomfortable when they are put in this position. But as a business owner, you must demand strategic moves from your marketing team.
Your marketing campaigns will be strategic, meaning:
You’re targeting a market after doing research and identifying the opportunity. Less testing, please!
You’ll reduce the number of marketing channels to focus based on what performs best.
You’ll have access to marketing and sales key performance indicators (KPIs) with clear benchmarks to meet daily.
As a leader, anticipation is key.
Be prepared to deal with updates in your IT infrastructure, since most of your sales transactions will require digital tools.
Tips for setting up strategic goals:
Define what the reality is today.
Know your numbers.
Call a group of trusted advisors to brainstorm.
Pick the path of less resistance (where can I get the most opportunity, using the least amount of resources).
Get very granular with your marketing plan. You can’t grow what you can’t measure. Each goal should have its own KPIs (key performance indicators)
Identify how to measure success.
The W.W.W.: What, Who, and When
So you’re calling the shots. You know what you have, what you don’t have, and you’re determined to win.
You have your worst-case and best-case.
It’s time to activate your army (the who) and bring one thing to your business: CASH. The when? ASAP! That’s the WWW!
Business strategists are like first responders. I know that when my clients call is because they have urgency. Especially during unexpected times.
Online Sales Strategy
Ever wonder how many people use the internet? Almost 4.57 billion people were active internet users as of July 2020, encompassing 59 percent of the global population.
I don’t think I need to convince you about how your potential users are searching online as part of their everyday life.
No one could have predicted the environment we’re currently living and working in as the result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Digital channels, including social media channels, are critical to boosting your sales online. The key is to track and measure in order to modify or amplify. If you can’t do it with a digital channel, then that activity won’t be considered strategic.
Examples of strategic digital marketing activities:
Activating paid social channels using custom audience features and retargeting features. During times when resources are limited, we don’t recommend doing too much testing in paid digital outlets. Mistakes can be costly. I’ve campaigned at $1,500 PER CLICK. You certainly want to stay away from “gambling with paid traffic”.
Focus on lead generation. Leads are the heart of sales. Your website should be optimized for leads, not for traffic, at this point. If you’ve been doing SEO marketing, it’s time to add CRO tactics (conversion rates optimization).
If you want to drive sales online, your website must pass the Google test. How can people buy from you if they can’t find you?
Build a niche audience. Now more than ever you want a core group of people. A circle of trust that can share your products or services with their friends.
Direct sales strategies, online. Direct selling is also known as direct response marketing. Direct response requires little or no time waiting to see measurable results.
There are countless digital marketing strategies available. You will be surprised by how quickly they can impact your bottom line.
Checklist of Marketing Strategies That Can Help Generate Both, Awareness and Conversions
Reverse Engineer Your Profit Goal
Since you want to generate sales, your focus should be on generating leads first.
Try to come up with as much data about your customers as possible. Again, knowing your numbers is a big part of working, not just smarter, but strategically.
Where do most of your best clients come from? Can you simply find more like them?
I follow this model to reverse engineer the revenue and profit goal.
If you don’t have enough leads, there are two possible reasons:
Reason 1: you have a visibility problem
Digital visibility is very easy to calculate. Check your website traffic, the number of monthly users, and you’ll know how many people are interested in your products or services.
If your business is new, then digital visibility relies on the size of your network. Your email list, your warm connections, as well as their network.
Reason 2: you have a conversion problem
If you have enough people looking at your website but sales are not happening, you have a conversion problem. Very often there is a crack in your website or a plugin that is making Google block your website and that’s why people can’t find you.
Make sure that your website is in good health before you decide to go out there to generate leads.
Don’t Forget Existing Customers
Don’t forget to consider your customer base. They can provide your best word of mouth marketing.
At times when cash is coming to the end, having an unpaid salesforce is GOLD.
What can you do to get your existing customers putting a good word for you? The best companies in the world have the best loyalty programs and there’s a reason for it.
Become a Great Negotiator
As an attorney, I tell my clients to watch out for the fine print. There’s a good chance that now that you’re reviewing your business from a 30 feet distance, you will find commitments that no longer serve your business.
Seek for relief. If you can’t pay, don’t stress out.
You can always negotiate with the parties involved and find creative ways to meet your obligations.
Also, in case you are the business obligated to fulfill products or services and you need to restructure your commitment, just know that you can.
No business template has ever been written in stone. Things can happen. As long as you stay true to your vision, you’ll find a way to get your business off the ground.
My office is open to help business owners put their fears to rest. Let us take a look at your landscape to see what strategies we are able to propose. It costs you nothing.
At Marketing For Greatness, I lead the strategy sessions with clients in order to help them both launch and pivot. Having a strategy-minded consultant on your team is worth the investment.
At this point, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Let’s chat.
Are you looking for innovative ideas to refresh your marketing plan? What can be a better place than studying lessons from Chipotle’s comeback?
Chipotle is making big news after a series of food quality and safety issues. Named a marketing maven by Inc Magazine, due to its centralized, digital-first campaigns, gives us marketers a great case to study and learn.
For those marketers and small business owners who are preparing for their best year ever, get ready to add some avocado and carne asada to your marketing plan this upcoming season!
Let’s dip in!
Digital Experience Should Be Your Number 1 Priority
Part of the main ingredients of Chipotle’s comeback has been its commitment to go all digital. The company wanted to give its customers a sleek, modern, food-forward experience. Their app has a proprietary “smarter pickup time” technology that enhances the food experience even more.
To make sure they fulfill their commitment with great user experience, Chipotle conducts ongoing research into how customers interact with the company. They iterate, test, and learn.
User experience should be the number one priority in your marketing strategy. 88% of online shoppers say they wouldn’t return to a website after having a bad user experience.
Chipotle has been playing a very smart move by shifting from the traditional bo-go and coupons that casual food restaurants use to drive traffic, to take the time and design a digital experience for their users.
Narrow Your Generation And Find Them Where They Are (TikTok)
Chipotle has realized quickly the power of Millennials and Gen Z when their online orders impulsed by their app were happening from their younger consumers.
In order to conquer those generations, in particular, Gen Z, they have partnered up with TikTok for marketing campaigns like #GuacDance challenge and the #Boorito challenge.
They launched the #GuacDance challenge and customers submitted a total of 250,000 video submissions, resulting in Chipotle selling 802,000 sides of guacamole. Then, for Halloween, the company encouraged its customers to make a TikTok video in their costume glory using the hashtag #Boorito.
In order to spread the word, Chipotle partnered with several top TikTok stars, including Zach King (25.7 million followers) and Brittany Broski (1.6 million), who posted their own videos.
In case you didn’t know TikTok has surged in popularity, surpassing the likes of Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Snapchat in monthly App Store installs and Q4 2018 worldwide downloads. While the app doesn’t appear to differ much from other looping, short-form video-sharing apps, TikTok has enticed and captivated consumers with a proclivity for binge-watching video content. Brands are capitalizing on the app’s remarkable success to launch influencer marketing campaigns with top TikTok creators.
But Chipotle isn’t just targeting the younger generations. It seems like they segment their campaigns. They recently launched a brand awareness campaign on their new menu conforming to Keto diet, Paleo and Whole 30 diets.
A lesson learned here: marketers need to design their campaigns generation-specific. Not all audiences respond the same way, especially digitally.
Reversing Social Media Marketing With User Generated Content (UGC)
Chipotle’s massive digital success has been driven by their app downloads and their direct efforts to spread their campaigns strategically.
When you see their social media (Facebook and Instagram) you will notice a different approach from the typical “food porn” marketing.
Chipotle made a u-turn on the traditional social media platforms! No more #foodporn!
Perhaps you imagine the fancy videos showing fresh guac and pico, full or colorful veggies. Well, NO! That’s NOT what their Facebook and Instagram is about.
They have taken a totally different approach: authentic marketing first, aesthetics second.
Take a look at their accounts and you will notice how raw, real, and authentic their content is. We predict that this is a trend that will grow even more in 2020.
Users are tired of seeing perfectly curated feeds and Chipotle knows it!
Why user-generated content (SGC) really matters?
UGC is digital word of mouth. 92% of consumers trust word of mouth more than any kind of advertising. 84 percent of millennials report that user-generated content has some influence on what they buy. These are big numbers that business owners can’t afford to miss.
People trust other people more than they’ll ever trust your marketing alone. Rather than hearing from a brand, they’re getting the genuine opinions of consumers just like them. By showcasing social proof, you’re instantly positioning your brand as more trustworthy.
If you truly want to generate revenue from your digital marketing efforts, your digital marketing strategy needs to prioritize user-generated content, especially Facebook, Instagram, and Youtube.
Chipotle has concentrated its production efforts to enhance its employees’ benefits program and customer loyalty program. The rest of their social media marketing is USG. It’s so simple!
Centralized Content Marketing Program
Successful businesses are taking the function of enterprise content seriously. They are moving beyond the one or two ad hoc practitioners supporting the whole business – to specialized teams focused on strategic content in marketing and communications.
A centralized content marketing program connects sales and marketing. Topics flow from sales to marketing and content flows from marketing to sales. There’s no need to follow guerilla tactics when you define a clear roadmap to generating content that users want to consume.
Chipotle’s CMO Chris Brandt spoke at Advertising Week about ignoring conventional turnaround wisdom to achieve a $1.2 billion revenue increase in three months.
Without a doubt, a centralized content marketing program saved the brand.
In February, Chipotle worked with documentarian Errol Morris to capture workers’ routines and why those employees remained loyal to the brand despite low points, with footage clipped into TV and digital spots. Employee-driven marketing eventually grew into new experiments on social channels. A video of an employee doing a lid flip trick with one of Chipotle’s bowls was shared to the brand’s official Instagram page, racking up 1 million views.
What’s the lesson that all brands need to learn? Content is not just about features and benefits.
Boost Your Organic Traffic With Content SEO
Organic traffic is traffic that comes to your website when someone types a query into Google and clicks on your organic listing in the search results. Anytime lands on your website from the search engine results pages (aka SERPs), you’re receiving organic search traffic.
Take a look at the website traffic that Chipotle’s website has- ORGANIC. A shy 4.8M searches per month – organic. We see very little paid search (AdWords).
Organic search traffic brings in highly qualified prospects and it’s because of their search intent. When you produce content that fits the search intent of the users, your website visitors are almost like leads!
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has been in the digital marketing space for a long time now. Some marketers believe (wrongly) that SEO is dead. 93% of online experiences begin with a search engine. How can SEO be dead?
Leads from search engines have a 14.6% close rate, while outbound leads (ex. cold-calling, direct mail, etc.) have a 1.7% close rate.
Can SEO drive traffic to a restaurant? You bet!
One of the very first campaigns that hit the search engines was “Behind the Foil,” the most intimate look into the company’s operations in its history.
The documentary-style digital and TV spots, shot by documentarian Errol Morris, aimed to “pull back the foil” by featuring behind-the-scenes footage of Chipotle restaurants, including its kitchens, equipment and prep routines, and featuring Chipotle employees and the farming partners that grow the brand’s real ingredients. This spot is titled “The Guac Smasher.”
Content SEO is a key part of any SEO strategy. Without content, it’s impossible for your site to rank in search engines. It’s, therefore, crucial to write and structure quality content!
Takeaways From Chipotle’s Digital Marketing
Brand loyalty can be achieved without marketing your products and benefits. The new approach? Marketing that recognized the core values of the company.
Social media marketing needs to make a U-turn and features authentic content. Brands need a centralized plan to execute content distribution.
Your targeted generation is crucial to define what marketing campaign to launch and how will it look.
Considering revamping your marketing efforts? Debating between hiring a full-service agency or in-house?
This article will enlighten your decision-making process.
Dream Teams Have A Content Marketing Strategist (And Managers Too)
Today’s consumers are more informed and proactive than ever before. While a bulk of purchases still occur at conventional brick-and-mortar businesses and retail stores, for a majority of customers, the journey to purchase starts elsewhere. And this means that modern brands must now be publishers.
This is where content marketing comes in.
Hiring a content marketing strategist makes a lot of sense for small business owners, such as doctors, lawyers, and therapists. If you run a legal or dental practice and are constrained by your budget, you may not want to hire a big agency. In this case using a content marketing strategist will do the trick without draining your budget.
Content marketing is usually an inexpensive and very effective way to reach your potential customers and serve current customers as well. It has quickly become the preferred way for small businesses to reach out to customers and build their brand. Especially local business owners and service-based professionals who prefer word of mouth marketing.
In today’s tech-driven world, content marketing for all small businesses is essential. Although content marketing might be a relatively new term, there is certainly nothing novel about the concept.
Content marketing is about creating unique content that offers value to your consumers instead of producing material designed to produce direct sales. Content marketing takes a different approach to marketing campaigns. It’s not transactional but educational.
You will be shocked to know that 60% of these businesses have no information listed online. Often, many small businesses understand that they need to produce content, but they are stuck trying to determine how to generate quality content on a long-term basis. We can help you with it.
If you are a small business owner, content marketing can come to your rescue. Content marketing can achieve conversion rates, which are 6 times higher than other types of marketing.
The Evolution of Content Marketing Jobs
In its early days, it seemed like content marketing was just a fancy word for blogging. I see this misconception a lot! In fact, I’ve seen websites that don’t have a blog because their web developer told them they didn’t need to write posts.
In case you’re wondering if you need a blog, YES! You do! But actually, content marketing encompasses a lot more — particularly today.
Your audiences are online everywhere. They are visiting your website, connecting on social media, engaging in many channels including texting about you! If you have a blog, they will read your articles (and emails too). How do you keep up with all of that in a cohesive way? How can you put all those pieces of a puzzle and actually generate revenue? That’s exactly what content marketing strategy is about!
So, just like almost anything else in our world, content marketing isn’t something that sprouted out of nowhere and took the world by storm.
Content marketing was created and developed, and it further improved over the years. Although it is no secret that content marketing for small businesses has skyrocketed in popularity in the past couple of years, the core principles of content marketing have perhaps been around for centuries. Also, it would do savvy content marketers good to have a couple of classic examples to bust out at strategy meetings and even corporate parties.
In the past five years, there has been strong support for various positions, such as content director, content manager, and content marketing specialist. This is not surprising given the rise in popularity of content marketing. Not just are there considerably more content marketing jobs available throughout the globe now than in the past, more prospective applicants, as well as firms, are looking for them too.
From its infancy, content marketing has gradually evolved to include more detailed and sophisticated storytelling, a greater emphasis on the customer experience, and smarter distribution techniques.
And one thing is for sure: great content definitely stands the test of time.
What is a Content Strategy?
Content strategy is a digital marketing strategy that companies use to create honest, educational, and transparent content consistently for an ideal buyer profile. So, it involves the management of almost any tangible media that you have created and own, such as written, downloadable and visual. In most cases, the goal of a content strategy is to use the promotion and publication of content to drive more organic website traffic, improve qualified lead generation, and empower your sales team to close more deals faster.
Your content strategy helps connect your company’s content efforts and initiatives with business goals and consumer needs. Everything that you do with regard to content must map back to those requirements.
A content strategist is responsible for identifying those business interests that can be satisfied through content. They design a plan for developing and distributing such content.
Content Marketing and Sales Funnel
One of the biggest differences between a content writer or even a social media manager and a content marketing strategist is that content marketing strategists are revenue-oriented.
Your production of content should have tactical points of contacts and that’s essentially a “sales funnel”.
Sales funnels come in many different forms. Also, keep in mind that different influencers and experts may call the various stages by different names. It is worth noting that the conventional sales funnel has been gradually changing to a content marketing funnel, and many businesses are still trying their best to figure it out.
The Basic Sales Funnel
You are probably aware of a basic sales funnel. It has the following steps:
The top of the sales funnel is called awareness. You have to feed the top of the sales funnel by generating more brand awareness. You have to keep people moving through the sales funnel by getting them interested in your products or services. And then you provide them the information they need to make a decision. They will then take action.
Marketers can now support sales in a new and unprecedented way by specifically targeting each part of the sales funnel with stage-specific and unique content types that will help qualify, nurture, and convert prospects and leads into long term customers.
Note that a content marketing funnel tends to work much the same. It has 4 stages:
It helps guide people through various stages with engaging content. However, it has one important distinction. A content marketing funnel recognizes the significance of delighting customers as a great way to continually replenish the funnel.
Here are some examples of content that’s suitable for each of the marketing funnel stages:
· Attract (Ads, website, landing pages, videos)
· Convert (Social media, webinars, and whitepapers)
· Close (Questionnaires, ratings, and reviews)
· Delight (Special Offers, emails, blog posts and giveaways)
What Does A Forensic Content Marketing Strategist Do?
A content marketing strategist creates content that resonates with an existing fan base, and at the same time, is engaging and differentiated enough to draw in new, overlooked or underserved consumers. The goal of content marketing strategists is to develop a content strategy that drives more targeted inbound traffic while guiding visitors through the sales or marketing funnel.
A content strategist or content strategy manager oversees and manages the planning, design, and development of informational content that is produced by a company. So, they take into consideration what the marketing content is, what it can be, and come up with ways to curate content so that it communicates the core values of the organization.
They also ensure the content is clear and compelling and is suitably distributed across mobile, web, and social platforms, adhering to a consistent brand philosophy.
In other words, content marketing strategists lead your content marketing factory! If you don’t have one, they create one for you.
A forensiccontent marketing strategist is also a great fit for a marketing team since its role is to maximize ROI.
Responsibilities of Content Marketing Managers
Content marketing managers have the challenging and exciting role of promoting a brand through engaging content and stories.
Filling a content marketing manager or strategist’s position often requires tremendous effort.
Here are some of the main responsibilities of content managers:
Accountable for all content marketing efforts and initiatives to drive engagement, traffic, and leads, which delivers sales and customer retention
Identify the target audiences
Collaborates across various functions to deliver an effective and suitable content marketing strategy along with an editorial plan in order to meet the business objectives of a company at the lowest cost
Management of various creative resources in a company, including writers, designers, and other personnel
Some editorial requirements, such as basic SEO understanding, content structure and categorization, content development, content distribution, and measurement.
Knowing which platform, such as social media, different types of content are best suited to
Development of comprehensive editorial governance to ensure content is consistent with a company’s brand voice, tone, and style
Develop and manage editorial calendar and organization workflows
Some other responsibilities are implementing SEO best practices, and developing and fostering strategic partnerships.
For startups, a content marketing strategist is able to advise on how to build an audience to get clients faster.
Our office focuses on analytics in-depth, which is why we say we do Forensic Content Marketing. We find the gap between your revenue goal and your marketing efforts.
Skills Needed to be a Forensic Marketing Strategist
The following sets of skills are immensely beneficial for a content strategist to use on a daily basis.
1.Writing and Editing Skills
This is one of the most important skill sets. If you cannot write engaging and quality content, it does not matter how well you plan and distribute it. It is no secret that the writing process is one of the most important aspects of content marketing. In addition, you will also have to develop strong editing skills to make sure that the marketing content that your team is creating is top-notch.
Content editors are often project managers with a comprehensive understanding of what a brand should say and how they should say it.
3.Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO is important for all content writers and managers. As a content manager, you not only have to understand good search engine optimization practices as they work today, but you will also need to understand what’s coming around the corner.
Good content marketing requires in-depth knowledge and understanding of common analytic tools, such as Google Analytics, Kissmetrics, and Omniture, etc. as well as various optimization approaches, like A/B testing and multivariate tools.
5.Content Monetization Skills
Content probably is not the way you directly generate revenue unless you work at a media company. Instead, the goal of producing content is to get people to purchase your products and services. As a content marketing strategist, you have to plan how the content can be effectively monetized and communicate it to your executive team.
If your business has implemented a content marketing plan but results are not coming as expected, a forensic content marketing strategist will be a great fit.
Elements of a Successful Content Marketing Strategy
An effective content marketing strategy for your small business can set your brand apart from your competition, drive new business, and shorten sales cycles. Although no two content strategies are alike, all should have a few essential components. An effective content strategy often incorporates a range of tactics, such as:
Search Engine Optimization
This is important as SEO tactics can considerably improve your rankings on many popular search engines, like Google and Bing. Note that strategically crafted content on your site that’s informative, unique, and original will enhance your SEO results.
Social Media Marketing
For small businesses, social media is an invaluable element of a content marketing strategy. Keep in mind that industry influencers, customers, and reporters all use social media to interact with your brand and find information.
By coordinating with the bloggers and media to schedule interviews and coordinate contributed article opportunities, you will be able to receive third-party validation of your business, products, and expertise.
Outsourcing vs. In House Content Marketing Strategist
The first and most important content marketing choice, many small businesses must make is outsourced vs. in-house. Keep in mind that there are pros and cons to each approach.
Pros of Outsourcing
With outsourcing, you have a lot of choices. For example, you can find and hire content editors and niche contract writers through LinkedIn, or have an independent agency do all of the legwork for you. Outsourcing also means that you can lean on the marketing knowledge, expertise, and network of the marketing agency that you partner with.
If you would like to publish content on a more frequent basis without compromising on the level of quality, you will need more writers and editors. This is where an external agency can help you scale up as you can easily outsource as much content as you want.
In most cases, outsourcing content creation is much cheaper, especially for small companies.
Pros of In-House Teams
Using an in-house team means that you get industry expertise as well as a deep understanding of your brand. Also, an in-house content creation team means a much speedier approval process with considerably less back and forth. Keeping this function in-house will also ensure that your marketing has direct control over the messaging.
Our Forensic Content Marketing Approach
Here’s our favorite recommendation: when the business is starting, outsourcing will facilitate speed. Typically, marketing agencies hire us for the strategy component and they execute.
When the business reaches a healthy cash flow, then an in-house team will be a great move. And we work with those business owners as well.
The Business Model Canvas was created by Alexander Osterwalder, of Strategyzer. This fascinating tool has been featured in multiple publications, including Forbes, where they describe it “as simple enough to sketch on a whiteboard — and powerful enough to refocus the way you view your business”.
If you’re looking to grow your business and don’t know where to start, running your ideas through a Business Model Canvas will allow you to identify potential areas where you can improve.
VIP Strategy Day
In case this is your first time at The Greatness Blog, let me get you acquainted with the context of this information.
I’m a forensic marketer, attorney, educator, and CEO of a successful media company in Austin. I’m Caribbean and my DNA boils when I connect with amazing people! I guess you can call me an extrovert. When it comes to working as a forensic marketer, there’s something to be said when I call an event where all my clients get together. They are AMAZING (both, my clients and the events).
VIP Strategy day is a day where my clients come and spend a day together. We are actually planning a 2-day VIP Day, since we always feel like time goes way too fast and we want more.
The Power of In-Person Interactions
Unlike attending to a video call or a webinar, when my clients come to an event, I get a face-to-face experience that takes the mentorship and coaching process to another level. I can see and feel their breakthroughs. Because of the “content overload” problem we have, face-to-face communication creates a much greater impact.
Our VIP Day allows participants to build more meaningful relationships with other entrepreneurs. I have seen collaborative projects, introductions, and ideas being born during our VIP Days. And if you think about it, it makes sense to cut the noise have intentional conversations with like-minded individuals. It builds a level of trust that cannot be built through a computer screen.
In my opinion, after being an entrepreneur for about 6,500 days (and still counting) and mentored hundreds of entrepreneurs over the last decade, the main reason why entrepreneurs have lots of unfinished projects is due to the fact that they overproduce ideas. Their mind won’t stop thinking. They are in a constant search for solutions, systems, and resources. Even the most successful ones, can’t stop thinking about ways to live a fulfilled life.
Accountability accelerates your performance
The American Society of Training and Development (ASTD) did a study on accountability and found that you have a 65% of completing a goal if you commit to someone. And if you have a specific accountability appointment with a person you’ve committed, you will increase your chance of success by up to 95%.
During our VIP Days, we discuss big-picture strategy, find the areas of opportunity for growth, and set up goals around them. Having access to a community who provides encouragement and support makes a difference.
For this particular event, I added the Business Model Canvas as a tool to map a successful business model and develop a clear plan of action, focusing on revenue generating activities.
The Business Model Canvas
Please note, there is no particular order to complete this Canvas. But in my experience, to bulletproof a business, you must start with the fundamentals.
So today we will cover exactly that!
Customer Segments, value propositions, channels, customer relationships, and revenue streams.
Fundamental Step 1: Identify your Customer Segments
Customers are the heart of your business model. Without (profitable) customers, your company can not survive for long. In order to better satisfy your customers, you may group them into distinct segments with common needs, jobs-to-get-done, common behaviors, or other attributes. Your business model may have one or several large or small Customer Segments.
If you have been serving a group of customers that are no longer bringing profits to your business, you must make a conscious decision about which segments to serve and which segments to ignore. Once this decision is made, your business model can be carefully designed around a strong understanding of specific customer needs and jobs-to-be-done.
Don’t confuse customer segments with future buyer personas or avatars that you could have identified during your marketing campaigns. This Business Model Canvas serves to take a look at your business taking the big picture approach.
Customer groups represent separate segments if:
– Their needs require and justify a distinct Value Proposition
– They are reached through different Distribution Channels
– They require different types of relationships
– They have a substantially different profitability
– They are willing to pay for different aspects of the Value Proposition
See for example Amazon Business Model and note that they added Content Creators as part of their customer segments.
Example: Customer Segments For Our Media Company
1) Service providers | Local business owners | E-commerce
2) Marketing agencies and enterprises
Fundamental Step 2: Identify your value proposition for each customer segment
Also known as a unique selling proposition (USP), your UVP is a clear statement that describes the benefit of your offer, how you solve your customer’s needs and what distinguishes you from the competition. Your unique value proposition should appear prominently on your landing page and in every marketing campaign.
How do you find your best value proposition?
At a simplistic level, think about the WIIFM (What’s In It For Me?).
Every marketer understands the WIIFM concept. You have an idea of how to address your customers, understand their needs, and speak in their language. That’s the entry price to understanding marketing.
The WIIFM are all the features and benefits your prospects could get from your products and services. But you can’t communicate with them all at once. If you try to emphasize everything, you’ll say nothing.
So, how do you know which features are most important to your customers?
Don’t forget to match your customer segments with the WIIFM by using the same color!
For our media company, here is how it looks:
Customer segment 1: Service providers | Local business owners | E-commerce. The UVP (unique value proposition) is: consulting, e-learning, Entrepreneurs’ Inner Circle for rapid growth.
Customer segment 2: Marketing agencies and enterprises. The UVP is: outsourced social media marketing, content marketing, and search engine marketing.
Fundamental Step 3: Identify your channels
Your communication, distribution, and sales Channels comprise your company’s interface with customers. Your Channels are customer touch points that play an important role in the customer experience. Your Channels serve several functions, including:
Raising awareness among customers about a company’s products and services
Helping customers evaluate a company’s Value Proposition
Allowing customers to purchase specific products and services
Delivering a Value Proposition to customers
Providing post-purchase customer support
Your channels can be own by you or by someone else. For example, if your business is e-commerce, you might have Amazon as a channel versus creating your own e-commerce website.
In order to identify which channels are key to drive revenue to your business, take a look at your best customers and recreate their journey. I’m a big believer of McKinsey Model and The Loyalty Loop.
The decision-making process is a more circular journey, with four primary phases representing potential battlegrounds where marketers can win or lose: initial consideration; active evaluation, or the process of researching potential purchases; closure, when consumers buy brands; and postpurchase, when consumers experience them.
In our media company, the best channels are:
Events for brand awareness
Direct marketing using social media
Webinars and videos consideration
Our website with a robust content marketing calendar and points of conversions
Note that the channels can overlap amongst your different customer segments.
Fundamental Step 4: Identify your customer relationships. Questions to ask.
When it comes to owning your own business, word of mouth referrals are gold. And, when you focus on building your business’s people-to-people connection, you create that “WOW” factor that gets your customer’s talking.
Customers want to feel special and important because they don’t often get to feel that way in other areas of life. This is key to remember because customers rarely purchase products or services solely based on the products intended result. Deep down, they are also asking themselves, “What will this do for me, or provide for me?”
The answer isn’t just the product results. The answer includes all of the feelings and desires that come with that product and the results. It’s all about the experience.
For each customer segment, think about their journey and the experience you want them to have.
What type of relationship does each of our Customer Segments expect us to establish and maintain with them?
Which ones have we established?
How costly are they?
How are they integrated with the rest of our business model?
How can I retain my clients?
Can I get repeated transactions with my clients?
What truly matters for them?
Customer loyalty and retention must be evaluated as part of your strategy.
According to research from Harvard Business School, increasing customer retention rates by 5 percent increases profits by 25 percent to 95 percent.
Let’s take a look at some ideas.
Create perks in the customer experience
Continuously test email strategies
Tailor your loyalty program to your business goals
Be where your customers are
Be passionate and engaged
Offer time-limited promotions
Be transparent and honest with your customers
Create a customer community around your brand
Incentivize social shares
Stand for something
Use positive social proof
Invoke the inner ego
Position around the before and after
Use the words they love to hear
Reduce pain points and friction
Capture your product’s momentum
Don’t just sell — educate
Don’t overspend to delight
Make use of surprise reciprocity
Don’t underestimate the power of ‘thank you’
Make it personal
Reduce effort before delivering delight
Accept that speed is secondary to quality
Know your customers
Choose the right platform
Solve cause and effect
Give loyal customers a head start
Make ideal customers VIPs
Reward your loyal advocates
Research from the Corporate Executive Board that included 7,000 consumers from across the U.S. found that of those consumers who said they had a strong relationship with a brand, 64 percent cited shared values as the primary reason. If you want loyal customers, you need to create real connections with them. What do you stand for?
If you have the steps 1-4 covered, you have a proof of concept, congratulations! Now the next step is to make sure you’re not leaving money on the table.
Fundamental Step 5: Revenue streams
Designing your revenue model is, perhaps, the biggest challenge. You might have trouble assigning a real valuation to your services, or calculating your profit so you can create a stable financial model.
You must ask yourself, for what value is each Customer Segment truly willing to pay?
Have you noticed that Uber generates revenues without having to own physical products, hire direct labor, or get inventory?Uber’s primary business model merges mobile technology and data to create an uncommon customer experience built on convenience, fair pricing and the novelty of it all. Layered on top of its business model is a very basic marketing strategy: Make customers happy and make it easy for them to tell the world.
First Build A Brand. Then You’re In Business.
Starbucks started as a small, independently owned coffee joint in Seattle. The owner at the time was just selling coffee. The minute Starbucks evolved to create an experience of connection, community and collaboration, it became a place where people feel like they belong — where they could meet like-minded friends and exchange thoughts. Businesses that do this from the get-go carve a following of brand ambassadors who are loyal and loud.
When you think of businesses that have a huge impact, you’re really thinking about the brand. Any business that sells things can do well, but those that create feelings and emotions become imprinted in people’s minds. They also gain more visibility and sales that way than through traditional means of growing a business. What can you learn from Uber, Amazon, and Starbucks?
Are you considering the e-commerce revolution as part of your revenue model?
Are you factoring your personal brand into your revenue model?
If you are selling services, are you charging by the hour? Can you offer other services digitally so that people can get more value from you, from the convenience of their cellphone?
There is a huge opportunity for CEOs/Owners to excel in performance with a well-crafted strategy. Bottom line, execution without strategy is aimless.
Let me know what you think of the Business Model Canvas and share some of your own experiences. I would love to hear from you. Stay tuned for more steps from the Business Model Canvas.