Opening your own business is a huge milestone for many people, especially in this day and age where entrepreneurship and working for yourself has significantly increased. But having an idea and goal is only half of it, the other half is deciding If you want to open a traditional establishment or creating an e-commerce website.
Both routes are great but, they each require different strategies, resources, and research.
If you are starting and entering a new market, I suggest using the Census Business Builder to figure out your competition, where you should open your store if you are thinking more tradition, or just to gather important information on the specific industry if you choose to go the e-commerce route.
Having a solid understanding of your potential growth and competition is a huge advantage and will help you strategize and make the correct business decisions to succeed. This free tool can tell you exactly how many stores within your same industry are open in a specific country, city, state, or country, making this the perfect solution to help you find the perfect location that will help you grow and interest your potential target market.
Being prepared and having the right knowledge can smooth things out in the business world, especially if this is your first business venture. At the end of the day you want to succeed right? So, make sure you do the research and gather as much information as possible!
Which should you go for?… BOTH! When it comes to a business, both of these aspects are crucial to the success of your position in the market. Granted, you might focus more of your attention on one, but each should be a vital key point in your overall campaign strategy, specifically your budget split.
Say you just launched your new bikini brand and you are at the stage where you need to figure out if you should focus on position the brand first or trying to make a sale. While sales are important to your revenue and are the main driver in deciding if your business blooms or caves, branding is also super important. Branding alone is what helps you make a sale, this is a long-term process unlike sale activation which is a short-term process, but in the end, a customer will make a purchase in regard to how they feel about the brand, which comes from your branding.
Most brands apply a ratio budget between both in order to decide the best strategy and how much to invest in each the branding and the sale activation. A budget ratio split of 62:38 is the most favorable when it comes to your campaign budget, making brand building the most favorable. Here you can get the best of both worlds by selling the items needed to make revenue and also working on the branding aka “your brand image”.
Working on your brand will not just shape the mind of your target audience but it will drive sales once your customer’s perception of you becomes positive, increasing your overall brand equity.
It is important to focus on your overall and long-term goals when you first open a business and not focus on a quick sale. Brand equity is just as important as sales.
You probably just landed that amazing account you wanted, you ran some tests, decided on a strategy and now it’s time to present your findings to the shareholders. A little intimidating right? Well yes, whenever we present information to our clients or shareholders it’s always going to get a little intimidating, you want to impress them and show them how hard you worked, plus, you want to show them you get results!
If you worked hard, put in the time, and gave it your all you probably gathered some very impressive information that would impress your client or your boss. BUT, in like every presentation your main goal is to answer a question for your client or boss, for example, shareholders.
Someone in that meeting room is waiting for YOU to hand over a specific result so that they can make a decision on that project. Meetings can be a few minutes long or could run a few hours, no one has time to see exhausting amounts of data slides, graphs, charts, and filler information before the big question is answered. I know, it’s a little brutal, but it’s the truth.
So, what do you do?
Make your presentation exciting to watch! Storytelling is crucial in the business world, and chances are you’ve probably have done it at some point even in your daily personal life. Important information, graphs, and crucial findings are needed and the basis of any presentation, but you also need to guide your audience through the presentation in a way that paints a picture for the results they are waiting to hear. This will engage your audience more and capture their attention while you can also explain things in a more colorful, vibrant, and educational way.
Go over your presentation before the big day and make sure to keep it fun, short, simple, and right to the point. It will be an overall successful meeting in the end!
Many times, when we have a burning research question, we often jump the gun and start throwing money at new studies, tests, experiments, the whole 9 yards, when in reality, we might have a lot of the answers right under our noses.
Secondary data is data collected from our previous efforts, it may not answer the full current research question we have at the moment, but it can make the job a lot easier if it contains important info that we can use without having to spend more money, time, and resources.
And the best part of all is that you probably have tons of secondary data within your business, assuming you are not a startup. You can find previous information in your database, from your financial analysis, CRM, studies, even data you collected from social media when you first started introducing your brand to digital marketing.
If it is useful, it is valuable, and when it comes to marketing, looking at patterns and consistency Is a great way to predict, implement strategy, and even shift your focus for better decision making.
So, before you go out and start blowing cash, make sure to take a look at what you currently have and use that as a road map to figure out what you NEED to get.
Understanding the world of social media marketing is very beneficial to your business in this day and age, but more importantly, having the right strategy is crucial! Having the correct strategy for your business goal when it comes to social media is highly recommended, as having a strategy can increase your reach, brand awareness, and overall communication within your business and audience.
Choosing the correct strategy
No two businesses and brands are alike, which is why the strategy for a restaurant can be very different from that of a clothing boutique. Choosing the strategy that is right for you will allow you to be efficient, effective, and set you up as an authority within your industry. There are a lot of different strategies to choose from, but one that is skyrocketing right now is influencer marketing, but not just any influencer marketing, I am talking micro influencer marketing! Micro-influencers have taken control over social media these past couple of years, and many businesses are making the switch from big-time IG and YouTube influencers for the smaller brands with a following of 10k-25k.
At first, I didn’t get it either, but then I started looking at the numbers, interacting with smaller accounts as well as bigger accounts and that’s when things clicked! From an analytical perspective, bigger accounts with millions of followers have high reach but their engagement is usually the opposite, whereas smaller accounts have lower reach but much HIGHER engagement. And what is it that brands look for when partnering up with influencers? ENGAGEMENT! If engagement is low, chances are your audience is not responding to your message. Brands need engagement because that is where conversion thrives.
Now if you think of it from a realistic standpoint it makes sense that accounts with huge followings would have lower engagement, that’s because their audience is so wide, they can have time to engage with everyone. Micro-influencers may have a smaller audience, but their niche is so concentrated they can easily communicate with their followers and come off as a more relatable friend than that of a celebrity or an “IG model”.
More factors come to play here but in laymen’s terms, smaller accounts have more control over their audience than bigger accounts, they are also way cheaper, and this allows brands to allocate their influencer budget among multiple influencers, not just one. This is a huge plus as well! So do your research, find some amazing micro-influencer accounts that resonate with your brand, and start partnering up!
You probably just conducted your first market research, hats off to you! You are now that much closer to understanding your audience and adjusting your goods and services to their likings. One of the toughest parts of market research is now complete, but now what?…
Now you have to analyze your data and figure out what you just discovered from performing your research. There are a few technical words you might want to get familiarized with, but two very important ones are data points and data insights to achieve an actionable plan! When it comes to the difference of data points and data insights, it is important to note that they both need each other to help you generate a plan that you can move forward with in your business.
Data points are essentially your measurements from an experiment or research. They give you information that is readable and can be converted into useful information to help provide answers.
Data insight is the information you gather from analyzing the data points in your research or experiment. It is essentially your summarization so that you can make effective decisions from.
You use data points and data insights in some type of way in your everyday life, it’s how we process decision making.
For business it is something you need to get comfortable measuring to achieve your goals and objectives.
I hope this was helpful for you, and if you missed last week’s blog make sure to check it out via the link below
In this day and age businesses all around the world are taking full advantage of social media platforms and social media marketing to grow their brands and maximize their reach through brand awareness. Yet, we still see some businesses that have not jumped on the social media train or worse, don’t believe social media is worth the investment and completely refuse to implement it in their business strategy.
While everyone is entitled to their own opinions and reasoning for their own business’s strategy, it is important to keep in mind that we are all part of an ever-changing world where technology and our access to resources and information are constantly changing and moving at a very fast pace. Thus, implementing strategies and techniques that allow us to evolve as a company with our consumers and audiences in real time is critical for the survival and future of our brands.
You don’t have to take my word for it, just read what these five Social Media Marketing Experts had to say on the topic:
“Engaging your clientele on social media allows you to talk with your audience, rather than at them. It allows you to collect real time data that can help throughout your whole sales process – from product development through to sales. Smart brands are using social media to gain feedback on products before they even launch, conducting polls and gaining feedback. You see big brands leveraging this power and having online launches sell out in minutes (think Kylie Cosmetics for a $1B example of online business success).
Social Media means changing your messaging and reacting to world events is easy. Updating your Facebook Ads to reflect a viral post is easy, or in the context of our current epidemic – businesses affected by COVID-19 who use social media have been able to easily communicate changes in business or procedures with their customers.
SEO is also crucial for business success online – with your customers spending 27% of their time each day online, they aren’t just engaging with friends or liking posts on Instagram – they’re looking for products they WANT and NEED. SEO allows you to optimize your website so that people looking for your product can find you. It’s essential if you want to be successful online.” – Tenille Townsend, Digital Marketer from an Australian based marketing agency, Flamingo Co.
“Digital technology has allowed companies of all sizes access to marketing tools available online. The development of digital marketing platforms and tools has provided a way for even the smallest businesses to compete. Even with little or no marketing budgets, an organization can be successful in marketing and promoting their products. With access to multiple metrics to measure performance companies can perform better and meet their growth goals.” – Dr. Wendy Guess, Author and MSM Professor for the Department of Marketing & Logistics at FIU.
“Today’s companies are implementing social media and SEO as a growth strategy. Social media marketing is about using all social networks to find out the right audience for their brand and to increase brand awareness. Search engine optimization is the way to gain more visibility and to get more people to visit the company website organically. They work together to accomplish the company’s goals; this is why SEO is becoming more social, and social media is turning into valuable search engines.”- Gabriela Delgado, Marketing Strategist at Castle Group and MSM Graduate Student at FIU
“The power of social media and SEO is more impactful than ever due to its infinite capacity to connect people globally and bring any content, product or service to someone’s most intimate cyberspace… their mobile device. I’ve seen the power firsthand from not only our financially driven platforms but also our endless community-building groups where ideas, relationships, and economic opportunities expand daily, dare I say, hourly.” – Hugette Montesinos, CEO and Marketing Expert of Disfunkshion Magazine
“Social media is a powerful marketing tool that can be used by companies to share their business stories and build brand awareness. It facilitates targeting the right consumer, and it allows these customers to relate, engage, and share content and product experiences with the rest of the world. These interactions build a community around the brand and reinforce its reputation.
Social media, when used correctly, also increases a businesses’ organic traffic through search engines, making both of these tools a key to the success of a company.” – Valentina Sollo, Founder of Rincon Fitness Center and FIU MSM Alum, Cohort 11.
Right now, COVID-19 is the perfect example as to why social media is so important and impactful when it comes to communication and staying connected with our audiences. More than ever, businesses are closing left and right due to a huge pandemic that is affecting everyone around the world, and it is up to e-commerce to save some of these businesses from going extinct. When it comes to e-commerce, businesses need social media and digital marketing to survive and get their products, services, and brand communication in the eyes of their target audience.
It is important to always keep up with evolving technologies, new tools, rules, and strategies that can help grow and scale your brand to stay competitive and relevant in the market, especially your target market. Refusing to stay current and up to date with an ever-changing industry can break a business and set the stage for a brand new and evolving brand to take your place.
Keep changing, growing, and learning, because social media is here for a while, might as well start learning it!
I got into social media because of the creative freedom you get from the unique and creative content one gets to create. When I first started, I was just a social media coordinator, and please don’t assume that is an easy task, there is still a lot of planning and strategy that goes into it. As I moved up in the industry I started to work with many different brands and companies managing their social media platforms, creating content, attending photoshoots, and developing strategies that would increase the metrics that these brands were measuring.
At first, I was just having fun building awareness and making fun and awesome content that their audience could relate to. I had no idea there was so much that went on in the background for just one amazing post or even a viral one. Many businesses think social media is at the bottom of the priority list when in reality it is a crucial part of digital marketing.
Social media is a great tool to spread awareness, weather its awareness for a new campaign, project, product, and service or internal awareness to company realities like-new standards or important information a company wants to bring awareness about like COVID-19.
Alright, so you want to start implementing a social media strategy for your brand, awesome! Where should you begin?
Set your goals and objectives
Your goals and objectives are super important when it comes to social media. You need to know why you want to start implementing social media, for what purpose, and how you will go about it.
Conduct an audit
Figuring out who your audience is, what your competition is doing, what’s doing good, what’s not doing good currently are all crucial to figuring out what the next steps are. You need to dive into your current social media channels and figure out what’s happening on the back end and what kind of content is doing the best.
If you don’t know how much you can invest in this new project, how will you know what you need and how much of it you would need? Creating a simple budgeting plan for your essentials will guide you in the right direction when selecting analytics tools, hiring new employees, charging for content, hiring photographers and setting up paid ads and promotions. A quick budget sheet will make life simpler and make you more cost-effective!
Plan your content and get organized!
Here is where the fun happens! Start creating content and organizing yourself. I can’t tell you how many times I was looking for pictures and writing posts at the last minute because I didn’t have a place to store everything. It was cutting down my time and energy! I suggest using online social media planners and scheduling tools to make your life easier. Not only will this help you get organized but if you are handling more accounts than one this will help you manage everything all in one spot. I like to use Agora Pulse for all my accounts, its super organized, easy to use, and lets me schedule posts and reply to comments on the spot! Sweet!
These 4 steps I highlighted above can be used for your most basic social media strategy, it’s a great first step for those of you starting out and just getting the hang of things.
If you want to go deeper into the world of social media and learn the extra steps to make your social media strategy more detailed and even better, make sure to read my next blog, A deeper inside look on Social Media on Sunday!
For now, feel free to check out my last blog on native advertising
Have you heard of native advertising? If not, here is the time to learn. In basic terms, native advertising is advertising you can place on your page without making it obvious to your audience. I know, sounds a little fishy, but hear me out! Ads can be placed all over your page if you’d like but adding just any type of ad can really destroy your credibility and simply make your page look spammy. No one wants to land on a page full of advertisements that have nothing to do with the content they are looking for, plus it can also lag the page and making users want to leave after a few seconds.
This is where native ads shine because native ads are so similar to your page content, the traffic you bring to your page won’t even realize that what they are looking at is an ad. They might just think it’s part of your website. Visually speaking, native ads match the visual aesthetic of your page. The look, feel and content are ultimately the same! Another reason why native ads won’t appear like regular ads to your audience is because they need to function and perform like the rest of the content on your page. The user experience cannot be compromised with native ads, they must function just like the natural content on your page.
If you have your blog page, it would be smart to get paid for a couple of native ads that can resemble the content you originally make. Aside from getting paid to position ads on your page, you can also acquire content, and that’s exactly what any blogger would want. Fresh new content!
Now get out there and publish your first native ad!
To check out my last week’s post, click the link below
When it comes to business, you NEED to conduct some type of marketing experiment to learn more about your audience, your products, and services to make informative decisions that could potentially lead to higher sales and profits.
I work with many brands and companies in different industries, right now, I am working with a fitness influencer whose main objective is to sell workout and diet programs via social media and her website. Since her business is all mainly done online, we were not affected too much by COVID-19, BUT that’s because clients purchased her program before the severity of the pandemic. Her workout and diet programs are open for sign-ups every two months and treated like challenges to get girls motivated. Here is where the problem is, right now we are in the middle of a challenge, sales were made due to sign-ups in February but what is going to happen to sales for the next challenge that starts in May? We have no idea, COVID-19 may not affect the online business directly, but it is affecting the food industry and local businesses, like gyms, that’s right, without a gym how will our clients be able to use the workout guides to work out?
This is where marketing experimentation comes into play since we cannot predict how long our situation will last, we can find out who is more likely to continue to purchase challenges during these times, and that’s where surveys come in.
I designed a survey for my client so she can share with all her clients and NEW clients to get insight on what we could do as a company to help girls feel confident in purchasing a workout and diet plan during the quarantine.
And let me tell you, our findings were very interesting and beneficial to our strategy going forward! Many clients wanted to see a home workout version so they can work out at home since all gyms were closed, they also wanted to see more basic food ingredients and substitutions since a lot of local markets were running out of certain things, and they wanted to also see workouts that included less equipment and more bodyweight to compensate for lack of facility and equipment.
All this information was gold, and without it we would have probably kept selling the same guides without and tweaks, leaving us with very low sales. Having this information has given us brand new ideas and a path to start creating new and effective strategies that will help our clients and ultimately guarantee higher sales during this pandemic.
Market research is highly important and I encourage you to always conduct performance analysis and consumer experimentations to help you decide what your next move is. This could make or break a company, don’t let it break yours!