If you have been in business long enough, you will have discovered marketing is an investment, not an expense. The more you can put into marketing, the better your chance of continual growth. You do not want to be one of the companies that tries to cut costs by decreasing marketing, when in reality it’s just setting the company up for a slow death. Here are three essential marketing strategies that are often overlooked while planning for the new year.
Brand is consistent and fresh. Your brand is a visual first impression. Brand value presents itself when all messengers tell the story consistently. Customers and clients are much more likely to purchase from a brand that appears to be fresh and legitimate, with a professional appearance. Times change, and often businesses change certain aspects of their brand without double-checking all pieces involved, which can make their brand identity inconsistent or dated. It’s best to start with a review of all places your branding lives, and once you’ve decided it’s clear, consistent and relevant, it should be communicated to your employees.
Website content is up-to-date and design is looking fly. By 2006, almost every business had noticed the need for a website and spent the time to have something amazing built … for 2006. Take a look at your competition and other businesses in the industry and pretend you are a potential client or customer. Visit their websites and yours. Who would you be most likely to purchase from? If it’s not yours, then it’s time to work on your online presence. A visually appealing design paired with a pleasant experience and accurate information is key. A typo in your address could send a potential client to the wrong location. Even worse, your contact form has stopped working but no one tests it. Having a strong web team or partner will help monitor and keep you ahead of your website to ensure it’s working properly, looks and feels good, and the information is reliable.
Powerful video. “We really should create a video.” How many times have you or someone on your team said this during the past year? Video is something we all know is important. Everyone needs video these days, and it’s not going away anytime soon. According to research done by Hyperfine Media, one-third of all online activity is spent watching video. A video’s visual first impression is so powerful, it is known to cause 80 percent of users to recall a video ad they viewed in the past 30 days. Video is one of the strongest techniques to establishing your brand. It should be strategically planned and produced at the highest quality you can afford. Having a 15-minute video of your CEO talking directly to the camera about the business is not going to be an intriguing video. For an interesting video, you have to find the right mix of length, visuals, content and a story to capture and hold the audience’s attention, edited to about 30-90 seconds. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, well research shows one minute of video is worth around 1.8 million words. Video is powerful and is an essential part of your plan. With attention spans diminishing, video is one way you can hold someone’s attention and get a lot of information to them quickly. •
Ryan Buttie and Bryan Roberts are partners at Luminous, a Providence-based creative agency.