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5 Things to Consider When Hiring Marketing Support

We find that many times when there is a need for additional services to keep a business moving, there is usually a decision between creating a brand-new position or using funds to outsource support. In line with our 5-year anniversary, we are taking a moment to discuss the pros of outsourcing your marketing services by providing you with a few items to consider – FIVE items to be exact. 

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Many small to midsize companies have been there. You recognize the gaps and immediately you, as a business leader, realize, “I need help!” But rather than spending a large portion of your budget on a highly trained employee, consider the diverse skill set and cost savings associated with outsourcing. 

  1. Get support from a group of highly skilled professionals 

There are a variety of marketing areas to address, each with specific subject matter experts. Consider the vast scope the position must focus on; marketing strategy, digital communications, research, analytics, and more. The list goes on and on. Finding an employee that would be effective in all these areas can be difficult and costly. Not to mention recruitment, training, benefits, equipment, and software needed for success. Oh my! The cost of programs and tools alone may make you reconsider. Are you shaking your head yet? 

Why not consider utilizing your budget in a way that could be more cost-effective? Hiring a team of marketing professionals working together to achieve success in all these areas, that may be comparable to what you would end up spending on just one employee. 

  1. Assign duties that may be complicated to administer or control

Sometimes it isn’t conducting the work that your staff may consider the most enjoyable. It could be the more complicated items that become overwhelming. Consider the follow-up, pulling reports, analyzing, or testing concepts. Who has the time amid everyday duties? It is one thing to schedule social media posts but don’t forget the overall strategy, engaging with and responding to followers, and analyzing data. A team of professionals can save your staff time, while consistently working on the items that may regularly be avoided, or forgotten.

  1. Lack of Time and Resources

Let’s face it. Your job is to manage and lead, whether you are the CEO and are running the business or you are part of the two-person marketing team trying to balance all the departments’ activities, it can be a struggle. Bandwidth is definitely something to ponder. While you can try to wear all the hats, the end result becomes the inability to truly evaluate efforts and gauge success. In addition to driving up operational costs with overtime payments and days out due to overworked staff. Consider the effort it takes to complete all the marketing activities to drive your organization’s lead generation, as well as evaluate the findings and adjust accordingly. Save the trouble and stress, and work with a team to develop strategically coordinated efforts that will bring success to your company. 

Thinking about it? Contact us to set up a free 30-minute consultation. 

  1. Gain An Outside Perspective

Staring at a computer screen hoping new ideas will come is not going to get you where you need to go. An outside perspective can be seen as helpful and a sounding board that can provide a different way to look at things. A different perspective can provide out-of-the-box concepts, or help to expand new ideas. Even if you do have an individual focused on driving your marketing goals forward, we are sure they will appreciate the extra support.

  1. Leverage proven workflows and procedures

When outsourcing support you not only get the use of additional assistance or an extra set of skills, you get an opportunity to leverage workflows and processes proven successful. Rather than spending time building your structure or trying to adapt it to fit your needs, allow a team of professionals to implement industry best practices. Why should you have to try to keep up with the latest tactics to keep your marketing running, consider utilizing communication, outreach, and well-defined methods that boost efficiency? 

Evaluate the benefits

Some may argue that it is good to have an employee on hand when needed. While this may be true, let’s think about the following:

  • A team of skilled professionals at your disposal that can provide an array of quality services, ready to hit the ground running versus one employee. 
  • Your return on investment, including money, time, and resources. 
  • An expanded mindset to explore ideas and concepts from all angles. 

When you think about it, why wouldn’t you want to invest in a team of professionals that can focus on your various needs and come in ready to get started? Outsourcing allows you as a business leader to focus on what’s important in keeping your department and business running.

Building Blocks for Your Brand

Consistency is key! The “Rule of Seven” states that an individual needs to see or hear something a total of seven times before it becomes memorable. Viewed items could include elements associated with a brand such as images, symbols, colors, text, and more. All elements that help your brand be recognizable. Think about it…if you saw a name or a design that was associated with one product or service, but that name was spelled differently every time or the design kept changing, would you recognize it if you were to come across it multiple times?

Now, imagine seeing these changes in a world that moves as rapidly as ours. You may possibly notice small similarities in the brands elements, but it will likely take longer for you to grasp the concept of what that particular business is trying to convey. Business leaders should not only work on building the foundational blocks of their organization, but building their brand elements!  

Regularly, the Bekôz team focuses on providing strategies that help organizations achieve the results associated with specific goals. We usually start by establishing a foundational marketing base that caters to the organization’s S.M.A.R.T. Goals. From there, a strategy can be born. However, before you jump into developing brand elements  there has to be a solid ground to build on. It’s almost like building a house! Your Marketing Strategy is your foundation, and the brand elements are the windows.

So, let’s start building with the following in mind:

  • Once your business plan or marketing strategy is developed, you should focus on establishing a brand strategy with guidelines your staff or volunteers will be able to follow. Many times, organizations have various individuals messaging on behalf of the company.
  • A brand strategy will help clarify messaging and assets and provide consistency across departments as content is released. Branding guidelines should include key features around graphic brand elements, a color palette, as well as typography and imagery requirements.

Brand Elements

When you think of brand elements what comes to mind? Some often consider only graphics. Everyone discusses a noticeable logo or recognizable symbols that will stand out. While these elements are indeed important, there are other areas that need to be included when considering a brand’s personality. Not only consider the logo’s look and feel but general rules of usage such as instances regarding a dark and light background, size and space when placed next to other elements. Should the logo be tilted, placed in a different color, etc.?

Along with this consider the brand’s voice. What is your organization conveying across social media channels, blogs, eblasts and other types of content? The brand voice is in the tone of language used and key messaging. Does it sound insightful, reliable, informative, or relatable? Take for example a brand that would like to be known as reliable. Within their messaging, an organization may take on characteristics such as ensuring they follow through, own up to any issues or mistakes, and go beyond their expectations. They have to be sure in their content they do not overpromise or oversell. They may also consider using words such as dependable, responsible, secure, safe, solid, steady, trustworthy, steadfast, and more terminology that infers devotion to customers. Simply select how you would like your brand to sound and consider symbols, a logo, and words that fall in line with the image you want to depict.

Color Palette

Did you know there is psychology behind colors and how they can lend themselves to promoting various feelings? This is why you may recognize many banks (Bank of America, PNC, Citibank, Capital One, SunTrust, and more) utilizing the color blue which ignites feelings of stability, reliability, and trust. Or consider the color red which encourages appetite, hence brands such as Burger King, Wendy’s, KFC, McDonald’s, Pizza Hut, and others. Without slogans or symbols, colors can convey so much. So, consider wisely when selecting yours. Take a moment to contemplate what the colors of your organization represent. 

Typography and Imagery 

Typography focuses on fonts and can help visually communicate a message. Just like the brand voice, typography can express a brand’s tone. It can be just as significant and impactful as your brand’s logo or symbol. It can provide balance to images it is surrounded with and can add to the  tone, similar to how the color palette can provide feelings about the brand. In any case, your typography should be easily legible and visually appealing.

Imagery should have certain characteristics as well. Are there specific filters your team should use regularly? Should the images focus on people, landscaping, or architecture? Should they be shown in black and white or with vivid colors? Will pictures be seen up close or will they be shown using a wide-angle or zoomed-out? All of these items can draw up various thoughts and emotions in different ways. Consider what you want others to think of or feel first when viewing items that are connected to your brand.

Focusing on these three important areas alone will help your organization put the pieces in place to build successful brand elements. You will be in position to share your brand with others and ultimately improve brand perception and awareness. Yes, it may seem like a lot, but we can help get you started! It may take some time to think through, but we have to admit, this is one of the more fun processes of developing your business’s foundation. Remember, if any guidance is needed, the Bekôz Team is always here to help. 


#AllThingsTrending

Have you ever wondered how bloggers with the best content come up with those mouth watering topics? It’s the kind of information everyone wants to know and will search to get it! It’s the kind of content that starts to trend and helps generate traffic to their website, social media, and more. Don’t just sit back and envy others for the content they are posting. Instead, learn the tricks of the trade, and begin to provide engaging content that will leave people wanting more. With a good strategy and additional items to add to your content marketing tool box, you’ll be delivering content that will lure your target audience right through your virtual door.

Develop a Keyword Strategy

Let’s start by developing a keyword strategy. Identifying a few key words that align with your organization and industry can help bring attention to your content and lead people who are searching for specific services or products right to you. We need to consider the dos and don’ts of keyword usage in content development.

Do…Don’t…
Consider your CLIENT first. Think about search terms used by your target market to search for specific items.Search engines are smart. Don’t OVERLOAD your content with keywords. Instead use synonyms or similar terms as well.
Keep content keywords, topics and the overall message VALUE-DRIVEN.Do not post IRRELEVANT topics or items that will take away from your focus.
Develop a list of words that can be placed into CLUSTERS and act as subtopics for your main subject. Avoid SPORADICALLY spreading topics across your site. Develop a strategy that will add to the user’s experience. 
Use KEYWORDS in the post/page url and topic titles.Do not GIVE UP on your existing SEO strategy.

https://www.searchenginewatch.com/2020/07/23/how-to-use-trending-keywords-from-current-events-in-content-marketing/

Identify trending topics 

Now that we have an idea of what to do and what not to do, how do you find trending topics and incorporate keywords into your content creation? By now you should have thought of several industry, product or service related keywords to utilize. If not, here’s an example to give you an idea. Let’s take a healthcare organization focused on providing educational awareness regarding the latest with COVID-19. Keywords may include the obvious:

  • Coronavirus
  • COVID-19
  • Pandemic

But what about also including:

  • Vaccine 
  • Symptoms 
  • Quarantine 

These keywords can be placed into groups and incorporated within main topics helping to guide the direction of your content. Keywords can also be utilized to bring attention to topic titles. Back to our healthcare organization example…

  • Top 5 things to know about the Coronavirus.
  • COVID-19 Resources, what to do if infected?

However, the question still remains, are these topics people want to know about and will they draw traffic to your website? There are a number of tools and resources (free and paid), that can help you determine what may be trending or what popular topics are within a specific industry. 

Quara

See what people are discussing on Quara.com. Quara is a place anyone can go to share knowledge and ask questions. Visit the site and take a look at the most popular posts. Using this site, you can gain ideas about what people are thinking about topics and develop content surrounding those ideas.

Google

Plug terms into the Google search engine and scroll down to the bottom to look up related search suggestions. Utilize the “Autocomplete” tool. When putting a term into Google’s search box, a number of terms will drop down appearing below the term you have listed. These terms, questions or phases are the most searched items related to what you have placed in the search console. Another Google function great for finding related content and popular trends is Google Trends. Visit the site and see what great information you can obtain by listing a simple word or phrase.

Another way to determine how well your topic is trending is to utilize Buzzsumo, which will allow you to see how well topics are doing across social media or articles.

By doing a quick search and  utilizing these sites we found some popular topics across the U.S. 

The most interesting ‘top searched for’ results from across the globe:

US

  • Most popular news resources: Fox News, CNN, ESPN
  • Most popular retailers: Amazon, Walmart, Ebay
  • Most popular streaming platforms: Amazon Prime, Netflix, Hulu
  • Most popular food chains: Domino’s, Pizza Hut, McDonald’s

Globally

‘Dalgona coffee’ – the homemade coffee prepared from instant coffee, sugar, water and milk, which looks like the coffee from the best coffee house which quickly became a hit on Instagram, – is the most trending keyword globally. 

US

When President Donald Trump signed the CARES act, Google searches for the keyword ‘Stimulus check’ exceeded 20 million searches per month, and became the most trending keyword in the U.S. in 2020 and still is so far. 

Top Google Searches

Everyone wants to have a trending brand or topic, but with so many trying to achieve the same goals, how do you separate yourself? Take into consideration featured articles based on content topics that match your target market personas.

Build Topic Clusters

Topic Clusters help with content organization by connecting subtopics to main themes and keywords. They are a great addition to your SEO or content marketing strategy. Content clusters help both the person searching for information,  as well as the search engine itself. Search engines are looking for information and content they feel will be beneficial to the searcher. Think of clusters as subtopics of similar information which can be linked to a broad core topic and provide insight of a main topic at a deeper level. Adding trending topics into the cluster to provide information about a core topic will help search engines find your content helpful as it fulfills the need of what your market is searching for. 

Use subtopics for blog posts, downloadables, and more.  Be sure to link subtopics to core pages where applicable. Be sure these topics support at least one of your products or services. Use your content to educate, entertain and engage, then watch them keep coming back. 

If we go back to our health care example we can develop core

  • Core Topic: Healthcare
    • Beat the Coronavirus by building your immune system.
    • Signs and systems of Coronavirus.
    • Preexisting conditions that can worsen the effects of the Coronavirus.
  • Core Topic: Education 
    • Where to get tested for COVID-19.
    • What happens when testing for the Coronavirus.
    • 6 things to do while in Quarantine.
    • Telehealth options when you can’t leave the house.

Determine what’s trending and implement these few steps for your SEO strategy to enhance traffic your website! Interested in gaining more  helpful ways to see what’s trending? Download a checklist of items to consider and utilize when developing your content.

5 Tips for Your Marketing Plan

Whether you’re working on the marketing section of your business plan or developing a standalone marketing strategy for your business or organization, we have five tips you can use to establish a thorough roadmap of how you will attract and retain consumers.

1. Define your target market.

Really get to know who you are targeting with marketing messages about your product or service. How old are they? Do they have a specific gender identity? Where are they located? What stage of life are they in? Where do they spend their time and money? What are their beliefs, interests, and values?

Also get to know your competition. Who are your competitors? Who are they targeting with their marketing messages? Are their marketing efforts effective? If so, how? What can you learn from them and apply to your marketing?

We like Hootsuite’s guide to audience research. https://blog.hootsuite.com/target-market/


2. Determine the 4 Ps.
Figure out the mix of tools that you will use to reach your target market.

  • Product — Do you have an actual, tangible product or service that you are offering? What core product (benefit to the consumer) is associated with your actual product or service? Are there augmented products you offer to help consumers use your actual product or service?
  • Price — How much are you going to charge for your product or service? What pricing structure will you use for your product or service?
  • Place — What physical and/or virtual channels will you use to distribute marketing messages about your product or service? Where will consumers be able to access information about your product or service?
  • Promotion — What marketing messages will you use to make consumers aware of your product or service? What marketing messages will you use to persuade them to purchase your product or service? And what marketing messages will you use to keep them coming back for more?

3. Describe your unique selling proposition
Make sure you have a clear understanding of the value of your business or brand and your product or service. What makes you different from your competitors? What can you offer consumers that your competitors cannot?


4. Develop your positioning statement
Ensure you and your internal team have a clear vision for how you want consumers to perceive your brand or business. This one-sentence statement answers the following questions: 1) Who is the target market? 2) What does the target market need? 3) How will your business meet their needs? 4) What differentiates your product or service from your competitors? 5) Why should consumers in your target market believe your claims?

We think Hubspot’s positioning statement template is a great starting point. https://blog.hubspot.com/sales/positioning-statement

5. Determine your key performance indicators
Before you begin implementing your marketing plan, make sure you know how you are measuring success. What are you trying to achieve with your marketing efforts? Increase brand awareness? Generate more leads? Increase your market share? Improve traffic to your website? What key performance indicators (or metrics) do you need to monitor to measure your success?

Reference this list of marketing metrics from CoSchedule. https://coschedule.com/marketing-strategy/marketing-metrics-kpis/

At Bekoz Marketing, we can assist you through this process, and help you implement innovative strategies and tactics to accomplish your marketing goals.

Learn more about us: https://bekozmarketing.com/capabilities/.