I met the lovely Amy through Instagram and luckily our paths have crossed through other channels as well. She runs the fabulous online community called Social Butterflies. Her website features not only amazing interviews from inspiration women in business but also fantastic digital discussions and top tips.
TOP 5 TIPS TO MAKE SURE YOUR BRAND STANDS OUT FROM THE CROWD
Having a niche target market is a great thing, but if you make assumptions about your audience, or ignore changes in market conditions it can have a detrimental effect on your marketing strategy. You need to stay one step ahead of your competitors, understand your customers’ needs and offer them something unique. That doesn’t necessarily mean your product or service will be completely unique, but you can create a bespoke, distinctive brand identity and customer experience. The personality you inject into your brand is your opportunity to stand out from the crowd: be individual and engaging personally with customers.
I’ve created a top checklist that will be useful for two groups within the parenting sector: those who are thinking about starting a business and businesses already operating but who might benefit from some useful reminders. It’s important to continually evaluate your marketing strategy to make sure you are on track with your goals and also recognise ways in which you can improve and evolve.
Who are your customers?
Can you answer the simplest of questions: who are your prospective customers? So many businesses struggle with this, which is why it’s necessary to create ‘buyer personas’: fictional representations of your customers that will help clearly define your brand identity and direct your marketing strategy. As with any sector there will be a wide range of potential customers – from budget conscious parents at one end, right up to the luxury end of the market. Knowing where yours fit on that spectrum will help inform your planning, so it’s crucial to know what appeals to them in terms of style: logo, colour palette, imagery, tone of voice etc. As a business that focuses on the parenting sector you should be confident which group you’re aiming at, for example are you bright, fun and relaxed in tone or are you fashion conscious, led by trends and aspirational?
Where do you fit in?
Don’t worry this is not an existential question, but it is important to know who you’re in relation to your competitors. Ensure your brand exudes confidence in its unique style and offering – this will reassure potential customers you are professional and credible. Don’t spend too much time focussing on your competitors or you’re in danger of not paying enough attention to your own business. The internet is over-saturated with businesses and inevitably there will be lots of people doing ‘similar’ things. Social media enables small businesses to chat and connect with customers at all levels of their customer journey and it’s an opportunity to show authenticity and approachability. Create interesting shareable content that adds extra value to the customer experience and also drives brand awareness: interviews, blog posts, tips, industry news, newsletters, special offers, competitions etc. Become a though leader in your industry, relate personally to your customers and be confident in your individuality.
Write a mission statement
Are you struggling to succinctly and effectively explain to others what your business is and what makes it unique? Try writing a simple mission statement outlining your core values, goals and objectives. Keep it close to your workspace to motivate and keep you on track. It will help to evaluate your brand story and ensure it’s ‘on message’ and that your customers relate to it.
Are you spending your time wisely?
So often businesses can misdirect the time they spend on digital marketing. You should be analysing your website data and the route your customers took to find you: was it via search, social, referral or directly. This information will show the numbers of people visiting your website, where they came from and crucially whether or not people are converting into customers. How you measure that conversion depends on your business: a site selling products would most likely measure that in a sale, a service based business might measure that by the numbers of people filling out an online form to request a quote. But ultimately you will be able to see whether or not your social media marketing channels are driving sufficient traffic to justify the amount of time you are spending to get them to the point of conversion. Look at the data, listen to your customers and let that inform your strategy.
Don’t lose sight of your goals
Are your marketing efforts achieving your ultimate aims: to drive sales and increase brand awareness? If you struggle to look at your marketing campaigns objectively then ask people you respect in your industry or your customers for feedback (never be afraid to ask for someone else’s opinion). Are the calls to action clear and compelling? If the promotion is more of a brand awareness exercise then is it in keeping with your style, tone of voice and your customers’ expectations? As a business owner don’t forget you are also a consumer of products and services so think about what attracts you, turns you off and rate how easy it is navigate your website and find the information you need.
Here is my little hub of digital information ready to help you tackle digital marketing in your business and reach that all important target audience – parents and children. I cover a whole host of subjects in this blog, along with featuring amazing guest posts from contributing authors. If you have a subject you’d love to see covered here, please feel free to contact me and let me know. Hope you enjoy!
Hi I’m Maxine. Hope you enjoy reading the blog. You can find out more about me by clicking here, but I’ll let you into some fun facts while we’re here…
I can say the alphabet backwards, I love tea, adore vintage kooky items and love colour.
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