What impression does your business make on potential clients? Does your brand suit your target market? While you don’t need to spend thousands on branding your business in the early stages, you can still use these tools to give your company a professional image.
- Low cost professional image
As a start-up you want clients to believe that you are a trustworthy, legitimate business to work with. It is possible to use a professional design service without incurring major expenses. UnderR300 offers various services for (as the name suggests) under R300, including logos, letterheads, email signatures, domain registration, hosting services, WordPress setup, websites, website copy, setting up social media accounts, flyers, brochures, packaging and more.
Get it from: UnderR300 (www.underr300.biz)
Cost: Less than R300
- DIY logo design
Fancy yourself as a bit of designer? Well even if you answered ‘no’ Logomaker makes it so simple for you to design your own logo, and to do so for free, that you might just want to try your hand at it. There are more than 10 000 different icons to choose from, and once you have done so you can use the design tool to change the size, colours and font. When you are happy with the design you will be provided with an HTML code to paste into your website for free. If you want to use your logo for non-web applications you can purchase the high resolution file for $49.
Get it from: www.logomaker.com
- Free logo and stationery design
You can save a lot of money by designing your own logo for free, as well as matching business cards, envelopes and flyers. LogoSnap gives you the tools to create your own unique logo in a matter of minutes in three easy steps, with the option to create matching stationery. There are thousands of logo symbols and dozens of fonts to choose from.
Get it from: www.logosnap.com
- Business icon
Did you know that the icon you see in your links list and next to the address bar on many sites is called a favicon (short for favourites icon) — a small icon file which you can customise. It’s a great marketing tool to help your customers visually distinguish your website in their ‘favourites’ list and adds a professional touch. You can create one yourself with favicon. The site allows you to choose colours, click on squares to create your logo or image, and download the favicon when you are finished. You can then put the favicon.icon file into your webserver directory. And best of all? It’s free.
Get it from: www.favicon.cc
Your business’s survival will come down to sales. Before you even launch the business you need to plan how you will market your business to drive sales. Here are some low or no cost tools to help you.
- You’ve got mail
Got a message you want to get out there to potential clients? You can print thousands of pamphlets to distribute or you can use email and SMS marketing. GraphicMail lets you send out up to 5 000 email newsletters per month for free, but if you want more it costs only R69,95. You can design the newsletter yourself or use one of the 300 templates offered.
Get it from: www.graphicmail.co.za
- Easy email
MailChimp let’s you send 12 000 emails per month to a list of up to 2 000 subscribers for free, forever! The site lets you design the email newsletters, share them on social networks and track your results. But, unless you upgrade to a paid account, the MailChimp badge will appear on the footer of your newsletters.
Get it from: www.mailchimp.com
- Know your customers
Customer research is an important step in starting a business, as you need to determine your target market and its response to your product or service. PollDaddy lets you create customised surveys and view responses to them. The basic, free features include 200 survey responses per month, 10 questions per survey and basic reports for polls, surveys and quizzes. The surveys contain Polldaddy links.
Get it from: www.polldaddy.com
- Quiz your market
As your business grows, you need to make sure you are constantly listening to customer feedbank to make sure your product is always in line with their needs and preferences. You can conduct regular surveys for free through SurveyMonkey’s Basic package. It gives you 10 questions per survey, 100 responses per survey and real-time results. You will have access to 24/7 email customer support and can collect data via a weblink, email, Facebook or embed the survey on your site or blog.
Get it from: www.surveymonkey.com
- ‘Hear’ your customers
It’s important to know what your customers are thinking and saying about your product or service. With all the online tools at their disposal like email, Facebook, Twitter and more it can be a challenge to keep up with their feedback. Assistly is a service that collects all your customer service conversations into one place. Assistly helps you monitor what customers are saying on social networks and also helps you build a customer help centre for your site. While some of the features are only available with the higher packages, one person at your organisation will be able to use the service for free.
Get it from: www.assistly.com
- Make a plan
As it does with business plans, Palo Alto Software offers a site packed with marketing-plan advice, tools, and of course a collection of free sample marketing plans.
Get it from: www.mplans.com
- Spread the news
The Press Office
Getting media coverage for your new company can give the business a big boost, if it’s positive. Public relations is often overlooked in the early stages of a business, but it can be beneficial. You don’t need to hire a PR practitioner or appoint a professional agency. The Press Office offers a range of services to write and distribute press releases on your behalf. The most basic package is free and comprises a 350 word release which is distributed to its subscribers, but the higher packages are priced at R150, R450 and R600 and include longer releases and other features like images, statistics and SEO keywords.
Get it from: www.pressoffice.co.za
Cost: Free – R600
The Fifth P Is The Most Crucial
The reasoning is simple. If you don’t know your market, you will never be able to understand how the 4Ps apply to your potential customers.
The four Ps of the Marketing Mix (Product, Price, Promotion, and Place) have defined marketing campaigns, both successful and unsuccessful, for many years since E. Jerome McCarthy came up with the concept in 1960. And while there have been tremendous advances and innovations in marketing, the four Ps (4P) are still first on the list in any marketing course.
In the brand conscious society in which we live today, however, a fifth P has become the cornerstone to all marketing and branding exercises, whether you’re in the business-to-business or business-to-consumer market. The fifth P is People or is also referred to as Personalisation.
The reasoning is simple. If you don’t know your market, you will never be able to understand how the 4Ps apply to your potential customers:
- What products do they want?
- Where should you make them available?
- How to price your products to meet your market’s requirements and budget?
- How and where to promote your product?
The first step in defining your marketing strategy should be should be getting to know your customers. When you know who you are targeting and put people at the centre of the mix, you can more easily decide the optimal strategy that will deliver the most favourable results.
Airbnb has built a valuable brand by making the 5th P a focus of it’s branding activities. They typically target millennials born 1980-2000 and it’s understanding their traits (needs and principles) that has been the key to their success. Let’s look at how this impacts each subsequent P individually.
Spending with a conscience is core to most millennials and they tend to opt for products that allow for transparent traceability throughout the supply chain. Airbnb is not seen as a large corporate ripping off the little guy, but creates a community where everyone contributes and benefits from something seen as open, transparent and disruptive to the status quo. The company has no real assets, but its brand has the visibility of a Coca Cola or Starbucks in the millennial market.
While its market is cost conscious, Airbnb knows they place a higher value on products and services that have been designed and developed in a manner that is good for people and the planet. Hence, by consuming the brand they become“part of the solution”.
Airbnb is, more than anything else, including its multi-billion dollar valuation, a community organisation that includes everyone from anywhere. Add to that the lower costs and almost limitless offerings, in general, and you have something their market can’t say no to. Airbnb is a real part of their culture and value system, not some fake corporation pretending to be ‘cool’.
In terms of promotions, understanding their market is apprehensive of contracts and long-term commitments. Airbnb has none, you make a deal with an owner or someone looking to rent for a while and that’s it, no fuss. In an interview with Fast Company, Airbnb’s head of brand, Nancy King said one of the key reasons for Airbnb’s success “is all about emotional connection, and that is really the root of it”. She continues that,
“Iconic brands have a disproportionate share of cultural voice, and they hold the internal culture of companies.” And it’s clear that Airbnb has developed that cultural integration with millennial values.
Convenience and accessibility is important to most markets, but millennials place an even higher priority on it. They want information right away, especially for online sales, and once bought they want to know where their product is in the supply chain until it arrives at the door.
In the case of Airbnb, your booking information is available everywhere and anywhere, on any device. And as part of the community culture it drives, its biggest brand builders are the word-of-mouth promotions its customers created in the natural flow of conversation, online and offline
“Airbnb is an amazing example of how a brand is the value of a company, in this case valued in the billions of dollars ($38 billion at the time of writing, according to Forbes),” adds Rolfe. “This value is based on the value of its community, its culture and the way its partners (buyers and sellers) value what the brand can do for them, not the value of sales pipelines or fixed assets.
“This is a $38 billion valuation based on brand alone, based on the company’s ability to identify its market and create the community (not the business strategy) that appeals to them. In other words, the other four Ps are determined and led by a clear and intense understanding of the 5th P, the people who give Airbnb its value.”
How To Localise Your Marketing Campaign
Here are some of the best tips to help you understand how to localise your marketing campaign without a lot of effort.
No matter which market you are trying to reach, localising the content you use for your marketing campaign will help you achieve a much smoother outcome. Localising your marketing campaign as a whole can have a number of benefits on the way your audience views your company to how effective the strategy actually is.
If you’re interested in starting to localise your marketing campaign as well, keep reading.
Make sure your products are compatible with the new markets
You might have noticed that there are certain big companies which have spread all around the world and offer their products and services to many different markets.
One of the things that all of these companies are very careful about is making sure the products they provide each geographic area with are compatible with the tastes and traditions of the people.
For example, many big fast-food chains such as Burger King, Pizza Hut and McDonald’s have stores in Asia where they offer dishes which contain seaweed or tofu, which are local to this certain market.
If you want your marketing campaign to become a success, you will need to make sure that you promote these new, special for each location products, so that your customers will know they were made especially for them and their needs and they can then look for them either online through your website or in their areas.
Related: Free Sample Marketing Plan Template
Work with the right professionals
In order to localise your marketing campaign, you will need to work with professionals who will be able to provide you with all the right information and tools you need in order to make it successful.
The most important person to look out for is a professional and preferably native translator. Machine translations can never produce the same outcome as a professional translator who is a native of a certain language.
Many online professional platforms for translators such as TheWordPoint note that “There will always be certain words and phrases which are native and can’t be translated unless a language is your mother tongue”. This is why a human translator will always be far superior to a machine,
Along with that, you will want to invest in a professional who will be able to help you localise your keywords and make sure that you are targeting your marketing campaign to the right audience around the world.
Get feedback from your new audience
Last but not least, it is important to remember that you should always work hard to improve the content of your marketing campaigns. When trying to create certain products and services available for other parts of the world, it is normal for you to make mistakes and have to correct things as you go.
If one of your customers has some feedback to give you, kindly accept it and work hard in order to correct any mistake. You can even have a short poll on your social media accounts or website and ask your customers whether you could improve your localised services in any way.
Not only will this help you show your professionalism, but your customers will also appreciate how much effort you put into pleasing them with your services. This tactic will help you attract more potential customers and turn your marketing campaign into a success.
Adjusting your marketing campaign the right way
Localising your marketing campaign will be a little difficult at first, but the good news is that you will only keep improving your tactics if you decide to put enough effort into it. Working with local, native professionals and adjusting your products to your customer’s needs, will help you succeed and stand out in your field.
What do you think is the most important thing when localising a marketing campaign?
5 Content Marketing Tips For Small Businesses
5 Content Marketing Tips for Small Businesses.
A small business owner struggles with a lot of challenges in his journey to success. One of his major concerns is related to content marketing. You need to promote your products and services and reach a larger audience to strengthen your brand on the market. However, in comparison to large businesses, small business owners struggle also with limited budget and workforce. In a small business, the business owner is usually multitasking, doing everything he can to save money and stay in control of his business.
The truth is that your content strategy can help or break your business. You may have the best product in the world. It isn’t enough if your target audience hasn’t heard about it. You need content to promote yourself and spread the word on the market. Furthermore, when it comes to acquiring new clients and expanding on new markets, there’s nothing more powerful than content. This article is going to show which content marketing tips you can use to promote your small business.
5 Content marketing tips for small businesses:
1. Start with a good plan and steady flow
Your content can take many forms. You can impress your target audience with various forms of content like:
- Blog posts
- Case studies
- Press releases
Before you start creating your content, you should have very clear in your mind what you want to achieve. Therefore, once you know which are your goals you can organise your marketing strategy and decide what type of content you are going to post and when. What is more, once your clients become loyal to the type of content you are producing, they will want more.
This means that you should be consistent in publishing different forms of content. You can post relevant content on a daily basis, or if you want to keep your clients in suspense, you can schedule your posts to be published every two weeks. Irrespective of the form you choose or the frequency, Trust My Paper advises that your content should be informative, actionable, and relevant.
2. Trust evergreen content
Yes, this might seem a cliché, but it is 100% guaranteed. Your content should deliver value regardless of the time your customers are going to read it. What does evergreen content mean? This type of content is always fresh, relevant, and valuable for your reader irrespective of the period when you will publish it. For example, it is important to keep your readers updated with the industry’s trends and development. But, this is not evergreen content because if your readers will find it after a while, it will not give them any relevant information.
To make sure that you build evergreen content, you can go for long tail keywords so that your content will rank high on the search engine for a long time. Plus, try to target beginners in your area of expertise and stay away from technical jargon.
3. Conduct a survey or a poll
If you feel you do your best to create relevant content for your buyer persona but the results still don’t appear, then it means that you should research more on what your customers really want. And, what is the best way to find what your target audience wants? You can organise a poll or a survey where you will ask them what type of content they would like to find on your website.
Based on the results you will receive you can organise your content strategy and the posting frequency. What is more, you can introduce some open questions where you ask your clients about the most interesting topics for them. This is a great exercise which will help you when you feel stuck and lack ideas for relevant ideas for your audience.
4. Do more content re-marketing
If you have some already published topics which were very successful, who says that you cannot re-publish them after a while? Re-using the relevant content you published in the past is definitely easier than creating new content from scratch.
What is more, if you shared your content on social media and tagged some of your most loyal clients, this is a great way to reach out to those customers after a while. This is a good method to reactive existing users and involve them in your story. In addition, you can refurbish past ideas to create even more exciting posts for your potential readers.
5. Use verifiable facts in your content
In today’s reality, it’s perfectly okay if you produce interesting content. But you will be even more interesting to read if you add facts and clear data to your content. This is how you will show your readers that you are professional, and you did a deep research before publishing your posts. People like numbers and concrete ideas.
What is more, numbers have a higher impact on them, making them understand the reality and context. So, if you back up your content with facts, you can rest assure that your number of readers will increase. You will consolidate your position on the market as a serious business owner who is constantly updated with the market’s progress and trends.
There is no magic recipe for successful content. It takes a lot of effort and research to produce that type of content that makes people click and drives traffic. You can use the tips above and make your life a bit easier. Moreover, if you evaluate your content before distribution, you will be less exposed to errors. Your readers deserve error-free and relevant content. This is how you can keep them engaged and transform them in loyal clients.
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