Building Brand On Social In 2020
Hey, welcome to the OSM team - Thanks For “Tuning In”!
2020 has come and almost gone already! Although this year was not what we had expected and a large majority of us had to pivot our business, our mindset and possibly even our talents - we have been able to learn so much!
As a marketing agency in the Quinte region, we have had the absolute privilege of helping small businesses, entrepreneurs and even larger scale business owners come to terms with the many changes that this year has thrown our way. The marketing industry is constantly changing, constantly developing and constantly moving. What we knew for sure last year is not something guaranteed for this year - and that has been proven!
Our team at OSM in Belleville has learned some crucial lessons this year regarding how to market, who to market to and WHY.
Our most valuable lesson learned though is what has become ESSENTIAL in terms of marketing during 2020. Our answer to that question?
SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING.
Social media is a valuable tool used to market products and services, build relationships and gain traction in the marketplace. Whether you are a small one-person show or an international, large-scale company with thousands of employees, social media is going to be your best friend.
The Value Of Social Media:
In 2020, people are drawn in by YOU. You become the sales tactic by simply sharing your purpose, your behind-the-scenes moments and the personality you bring to the table!
A Note From Owner and CEO of OSM:
“We’re definitely in the brand building business. A lot of people get that mixed up with the sales business, which are two separate things. We want to be focusing on building a brand because brand will always outlast sales...let’s make sure you’re around, not just for the short term, but for the long term as well!”
By using social media to market, advertise and ultimately build your brand, you are no longer just investing in your business. You are actually investing in PEOPLE.
Social media allows you, as a business, to:
So how will you choose to use social media for your business?
A question that our social media experts at OSM get asked quite a lot is, “how much should I be sharing on my social media accounts?”
This is a great question for two reasons:
Let’s break this down!
Are you sharing valuable content or are you just sharing lots of content? What’s the difference?
Knowing what to post is a huge stepping stone for businesses in terms of their social media marketing tactics. At OSM in Belleville, our social media strategists recommend two key strategies:
Experiment with different content to find what sticks and what doesn’t.
Stay authentic to yourself and your brand.
It’s important to know what your ideal customers want to see so that you can provide them with that valuable content, but it’s also important to stay on-brand and true to yourself. As we mentioned before, you are the sales funnel. You, your story and your purpose. So, let that show!
At OSM, we believe in creating healthy boundaries between your off-line and on-line life. It can be so easy to get caught up in posting consistently, being “on” for your audience 24/7 and creating content that documents every moment of your life. We want to provide you with healthy strategies so that you can enforce these healthy boundaries in your own life!
Contact OSM online for more digital marketing advice, tips and branding!
You can also call us at 613-969-0626 to speak directly with a member of our marketing team!
The Association of Canadian Advertisers has some interesting things to say about this year's worldwide disruption of typical shopping habits.
Disruption can be a good thing though.
The main problem marketers have faced thus far this year is not the disruption itself, but rather the sheer amount of it.
Customers have been distracted, scared and hesitant to shop in the same old ways.
But what they haven't been, intriguingly enough, is unwilling to shop at all.
In fact, as of this past month, the majority of customers across Canada told a leading independent survey entity that they do not believe their personal finances will be impacted by COVID this fall.
Interesting, right? So if customers are still shopping and plan to keep shopping, the questions you should be asking about the health of your own business become much simpler.
Do you know how your own products or services fit in with the new post-COVID shopping paradigms?
Are you capturing all the sales you could be generating based on how Canadians are shopping post-COVID?
If you are not sure, this post gives you valuable clues to figure it out. Our branding specialists at OSM in Belleville have the marketing expertise you need to learn how to market to the right person at the right time!
According to yet another recent market survey, four distinct customer segments have emerged in the wake of the global pandemic.
It is a worthwhile exercise to consider which of these four group(s) most closely represent your existing customer base and/or your ideal target market.
It is no secret some industries have suffered a catastrophic hit as the whole world screeched to a halt earlier this year. For professionals working in those industries, there has been no choice but to cut back spending at an unprecedented level.
The "cut deep" group represents approximately 27% of the Canadian consumer base and they are not buying anything that doesn't directly relate to keeping the lights on and the rent paid. They care about price, but not about brand.
An estimated 25.2% of Canadian customers have opted to do their level best to carry on as usual, even as coronavirus fears have altered how we live our lives at a pretty fundamental level.
These consumers have not experienced significant changes to income or work availability, but can get concerned when they see friends, neighbours or strangers stockpiling essentials. Overall, their spending habits show the least change from previous years.
For 35.5% of Canadian customers, they have been spending their post-COVID shopping hours worrying the "stay calm and carry on" folks by stockpiling essentials like toilet paper, hand sanitizer and dry goods.
This group feels fearful in the present, pessimistic about the future and has refocused their shopping accordingly. Groceries are at the top of their weekly shopping list week after week.
For 12.3% of Canadians, their financial resources remain unchanged and may have even increased due to their association with in-demand industries. They have hunkered down at home, but may have even increased their spending as a result of the pandemic.
This interesting customer group prizes brand over price and is the only group to have increased spending across the board, even with discretionary expenses, such as clothing.
Which of these four customer groups best represents your current customers or target market demographics?
Our branding specialists at OSM in Belleville can help you assess your current target market and learn how to best reach them during COVID. Book a branding consultation with us today and we can get you focused on your niche customer base!
Yet another interesting post-COVID consumer survey highlighted what Canadian consumers say they most care about in the wake of the global pandemic.
Their answers might - or might not - surprise you:
In other words, today's customers want to connect with brands that are taking good care of what matters most to them - their families, friends, their local community, the global community, the environment and the health of people, pets and the planet.
Here, your most important branding task is to identify how your marketing and messaging meets your customers where they are now - not yesterday, not tomorrow, but today. At OSM, we meet our clients’ niche target groups in a digital space. Do you want to learn more about our digital marketing packages, branding discovery sessions or web design?
Contact our qualified marketing team today and let’s build your brand together!
What can you do to show your current customers and your target market that you care deeply about what they care about in the most authentic, empathetic, here-to-stay way?
To get your brainstorming started, we offer these recent examples from some of the successfully pivoting brands we work with here at Online Sales & Marketing in Belleville, Ontario.
Shipton's Heating and Cooling is offering deep discounts on fall furnace maintenance, donations to local food banks, deferred payment terms, high-value health freebies like free air filters and media air cleaners, enhanced contactless service and payment options and a renewed commitment to safe 24/7 emergency HVAC service.
Picton's Golf and Country Club is offering free golf through year-end 2020 with purchase of a 2021 membership, greatly enhanced contactless play options, nearly unlimited play for junior golfers, expanded hours and dynamic pricing for nine-hole games.
Mackay Insurance has instituted new virtual, contact-less connection and payment options and a steady stream of updates to help customers find valuable discounts and premium reductions wherever possible. Their new mobile app now offers secure payment options. Mackay brokers have also been recording heartfelt video messages from their work-from-home offices.
Gravenhurst Plumbing, Heating and Electric has begun offering financing and rebates as well as contactless service options to help customers who need emergency replacement or installation.
"Not normal" is definitely the new normal for small businesses and entrepreneurs all across Canada this year.
This is both stressful and exciting.
Do you need help with repurposing your products or services to appeal to the core needs of the four post-COVID customer groups you just met?
A splash of extra strategy now can net you enduringly loyal customers later.
Contact our marketing specialists online or give us a call at 613-969-0626 to begin building your brand during this COVID-19 season.
To put it bluntly, we haven't had a true global pandemic since 1918.
The internet didn't even exist in 1918.
A lot of things didn't exist then that are indispensable now.
When it comes to marketing during pandemic times, this is definitely a good thing!
It can feel tempting to switch into "maintenance" mode until we see how the pandemic progress plays out, however, the Advertising Research Foundation says this is a big, BIG mistake - warning that going dark for any length of time can set your market share back by five years.
You worked hard to build your market share. Your customers still need you. They may not need you right at this very moment, but they will need you again. Soon.
Instead, make your goal a two-fold one:
You just need to get through it. It will pass.
It will turn. When it turns, will your brand be ready?
Marketing during the pandemic age is different from marketing during business-as-usual.
Your customers are scared. How do you know?
Have you felt scared, as you've watched global events unfold with disbelieving eyes? If you answered "yes" for even five seconds, you can know you and your customers are much more alike than different.
So ask yourself what you need right now to feel better. Safer. Smarter. More secure.
It might not be information about the specific products/services your company produces or it might be information that is related to those products/services.
Here, don't think direct line-of-sight related. Think six degrees of separation related.
Is there any angle at all in your company's product or service line that relates back to the central core issues on every single human being's mind today? If you look deliberately, you will see the connections.
This might not feel like traditional marketing to you. The truth is, it isn't traditional marketing.
But it IS marketing. Marketing is anything that keeps your brand in front of consumer eyes.
Right now, strategic marketing is anything service-oriented, genuine and compassionate that your customers need now and will remember later.
According to the World Federation of Advertisers, 81 percent of brands - including Google - have put some or all of their marketing activities on hold, slashing budgets by half or greater while the pandemic times play out.
But if you carefully read the fine print in this report, you notice something significant.
79 percent of those same brands have shifted their marketing efforts towards service-oriented messages targeting their existing customer bases.
Of the companies represented in the survey, 98 percent are committing to moving forward with marketing efforts, even if those efforts are an abrupt departure from what was previously planned for this year at this time.
In other words, companies are pivoting quickly and concisely to do more with less.
Marketers are finding creative avenues to use what they have to speak directly to what matters most to their consumers.
Social media has become a huge connection point for consumers, suppliers, vendors and companies worldwide.
Social media is safe, speedy and eminently shareable. It gives you real-time connection with your consumers to address questions and concerns, provide updates and express compassion and empathy.
If you don't have a company blog, now is a great time to start one and link it to your social feeds on YouTube and elsewhere.
Here are just a few examples of how some of our thriving business clients have pivoted to use social media and blogging effectively during the pandemic.
One of our business clients has started sharing videos of themselves working from home, offering messages of hope and encouragement to customers who are similarly sheltering in place while providing updates on how they can be reached during the pandemic.
Another one of our business clients has begun making donations on behalf of coronavirus victims every time a customer makes a purchase.
Yet another one of our business clients is sharing information about how to recreate safely during this unusual summer season.
These creative branding campaigns are genuine, heartfelt and transparent. You won't see any fancy footwork or slick strategy in this type of messaging...thank goodness!
What every one of us needs right now is exactly the opposite. What we need instead is simply this: real people talking to real people about the all-too-real things that are going on right here, right now.
If your business has put your marketing and branding efforts on hold, it is not too late to rethink this approach and re-launch your campaign.
Perhaps you don't have the money or the human-power you were anticipating when you originally crafted your 2020 marketing strategy.
This is okay. You are in good company.
Instead, work with what you've got. Prioritize based on walking a mile in your customer's shoes.
What would you most appreciate hearing, knowing or receiving if you were them? How can you give your customers, vendors, suppliers and staff something extra and supportive that they will remember long after this pandemic has passed us by?
Then do that. Give that.
Is it time to take your brand identity for the ride of a lifetime? Smart pivoting now can position you for success and even stronger market share in the days and months to come. Need some advice on how to get started? Contact us online or give us a call at 613-969-0626 and we would be happy to point you in the right direction!
Located in Belleville, Ontario, our team of creative professionals are in the market of getting your name out, telling your story and setting you apart from the crowd. We have worked with both small and large companies, continuing to grow their business amidst the global pandemic in healthy and successful ways!