How’s 2018 shaping up for you? Hope you are off to a cracking start to the year and well on the way to building momentum for your business.
For those of you struggling in this trying marketing space, here’s some tips to help you get ahead.
But first let’s look at some challenges you may face in 2018 to market your business and build your brand.
1. Expect tougher competition
With more and more businesses launching, expect the marketplace to get more crowded and noisy. Everyone will be looking to shout about their product or service and fight for their slice of the pie.
Consumers will be spoilt for choice. This means you need a sound and sharp strategy to get your marketing and brand message to resonate with your specific target audience, and use the right distribution channels effectively.
2. Content overload
According to recent marketing surveys by major content and marketing solution providers, most businesses will be looking to increase their content production in 2018. Expect an overload of content and yes, more content chaos. In this environment, it will be increasingly challenging to get your message out there and be heard.
3. Facebook Ad saturation and branded content reach restrictions
Given the current attractive value of Facebook Ads, expect more businesses to jump on the Facebook Ad bandwagon and create and spend more on Facebook advertising. This means Facebook Ads will end up costing more.
With Facebook recently tweaking its algorithm to penalize irrelevant branded content, expect the organic reach of your branded posts to drop even further in 2018.
4. More choice of channels, more audience fragmentation
There’s talk of Vine 2 coming out this year. Expect more online marketing channels and new features of existing channels to launch as well. It’s complicated enough already, and it is getting even more complex!
Marketers will be actively seeking out new channels, jumping on new features of existing platforms and exploring new opportunities to reach their audience. This will lead to even more audience fragmentation and more content creation and distribution challenges.
So, what can you do to maximize your bang for your marketing and branding buck in 2018?
Here’s some tips:
1. Be you! Focus on your passion and purpose
It’s time to reflect on the ‘DNA’ of your business. Take a step back and look at why you exist and what benefit you provide to the world. Write down your purpose statement and vision if you haven’t done so. Ask; What makes you unique? Why did you start this business? What difference are you trying to make to the lives of your customers? Why should people care about you and buy your products and services?
Make this the cornerstone of all your branding and marketing efforts. Let this be your your 'business beacon' and North Star in 2018 and beyond.
2. Sharpen your message
Sharpen your message to effectively communicate to your specific target audience and your customer personas. It’s not about what you create or offer in terms of your products or services, it’s about your customers and what these do for them!
To stand out from the crowd and clutter, you need to effectively communicate your benefits to your customers. More importantly, they need to get it quick and simple!
Sharpen your website content, sales pages and AD copy to reflect this.
Create more relevant content that your prospects are seeking. Help them achieve their goals.
In content chaos, the most useful, beneficial and relevant content for your
customers wins! Facebook and other social platforms will love you for this and reward you with the organic reach you so desire.
3. Build your brand
Time to also reflect on who you are as a brand. Get your market positioning right, you have no room for error here. Your target audience needs to get who you are and how different you are from other players out there in your space.
Your prospects need to also get what you stand for beyond
4. Do a health check on your company culture
If you are in a leadership position, 2018 is perhaps an appropriate time to figure out your company culture if you haven’t done so already.
Ask the questions:
What kind of a company you are looking to build? What kind of people are you looking to surround yourself with? Why would top talent be attracted to your business and more importantly, stay there? What is the ideal work environment I need to create that sparks creativity and innovation?
Remember, strong internal branding reflects outward.
5. Try new things
Experiment, do more A/B testing, check out new marketing and data science tools. Figure out what works and what doesn’t. You now have myriad data intelligence tools available to get this done. You might hit a new and cost-effective way to get your message out and raise conversions.
Continue to learn and see what innovative companies are doing to stay ahead and maintain their competitive advantage. Jump on new platforms and features early.
Execute! Do stuff and learn fast.
Thanks for reading and hope this helps. Wish you all success in 2018.
About the author
Ashok Miranda is a Business Transformation Architect and founder of Transform and Transcend. He is the author of the book: Culling Culturitis, How To Rid Your Company of this Toxic Disease and Build a Winning Company Culture.
As a speaker, consultant and trainer, he is passionately committed to architecting a better business world by building purpose-driven companies that nurture happy and engaged employees and positively impact peoples lives.
He connects the dots between company culture, branding, marketing and customer experience and works with business leaders, owners, founders and HR professionals to transform their companies for success in the digital age.
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