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!
Whether you are a brick-and-mortar or online-based business, 2020 has become the year where digital business strategy IS business strategy.
Understanding that your company must go digital is one thing, but mobilizing to make it happen is quite another.
This is where our marketing strategy team at OSM in Belleville comes in.
This blog post will give you a quick-start overview of how to define your digital strategy. Be sure to read all the way to the end for next steps!
This may seem like an odd statement to make. In this case, it is odd yet true.
A group of 800 key European decision-makers recently weighed in about the short-term and long-term economic impact of the global shutdown.
Nearly three-quarters of company owners observed that while short-term economic impact has been largely negative, the global lockdown is serving to separate out major players with staying power from all the rest.
Companies willing to get creative and find the means to digitize their workforce, workplace and e-commerce marketplace will be the same companies to reap the long-term profits yet to come.
In other words, if you are not already hard at work defining your company's digital strategy, the time to pivot is fast drawing to a close. It is time to decide - digitize for future profitability and business success or get left behind forever.
In an analogy that may feel particularly apropos for the long, harsh winter season still to come, business owners that have mobilized for a rapid digital evolution are even now starting to pick up speed - like a snowball that gets bigger and faster as it approaches the finish line.
In contrast, those company owners who feel paralyzed, confused or simply exhausted from their efforts to stick to "business as usual" are slowing down. Some are even grinding to a hard stop.
Not every company will ring loud and clear in the 2021 New Year with open doors and big smiles.
If you are reading this though, this grim prognosis likely does NOT apply to you. You are aware that the impact of the lockdown is not going to be a temporary impact and that you have to learn to pivot and grow with the changes in the market place.
You understand that it is time to recalibrate your business model to flow with the new digitalization of darned near everything we do - from how we live, to how we work, to how we shop.
Speaking of how we shop, have you thought about adding e-commerce options on your website so that your customers can shop online throughout the holidays? Contact our e-commerce experts at OSM for more information on setting this feature up on your own website!
Fun, you say? How exactly can having to make a fast profitability pivot in an uncertain economy possibly be FUN?
We love the positivity from a recent McKinsey & CO. survey.
Business owners stated that now is the time to get creative - to innovate, to improvise and leap over their competitors to make progress.
If that doesn't sound like fun, we don't know what does!
After years or perhaps decades of struggling through all the usual rounds of red tape and traditional brick-and-mortar rules, regulations and hurdles, the national and global economy is starting to relax. Important barriers are falling away to make room for a digitized market space!
Everyone, everywhere is beginning to embrace a survival-of-the-fittest mentality, which means if it works, it sticks and it stays.
So, if you have a crazy idea, something that absolutely would not have worked even a short year ago, this is the year to try it.
In fact, there are businesses of all shapes and sizes in all industries that are not just surviving, but doing better than they have ever done before. All because their leaders have embraced the current climate of innovate-to-survive, only to discover they were really innovating to THRIVE.
We believe that you can absolutely do the same with your business!
So, here is where you jump in. It is time to pivot, but you don't want to linger If you hesitate, you will start to stress and second-guess.
This is the time to pivot from your gut, not from your head.
These are the three steps you need right now to start that process. If you have any questions regarding these pivoting strategies, contact our marketing team at OSM today!
While we recognize that it is not possible to repair a furnace or change a tire online, there are many steps leading up to that purchase decision that can be digitized.
In some cases, the entire sales funnel may have a digital equivalent.
While remote work is here to stay, it isn't the ideal for every employee. Many employees actually report working harder while feeling increasingly disconnected from customers, peers and superiors.
It's time to reconnect. Invite your employees at every level to the table to talk shop. What your youngest employees lack in historical expertise, they may more than make up for with digital know-how.
When you gather in the full skillset of every employee, you find your best chances for a speedy, successful pivot.
Anyone who has ever gazed at a gadget and longed to take it apart to see how it works will love this step.
You don't want to just tweak or tinker with your current business model. You want to take it apart, lay all the pieces out, extract the parts that are no longer relevant and then build something new and great from the pieces you choose to keep.
THIS is the approach that will potentially turn 2021 into your most profitable year yet.
Are you ready to take the digital leap?
COVID-19 happened this year, but not every business is struggling because of it. We have helped many Quinte and surrounding small businesses digitize in order to streamline overhead and boost profits this year.
We can help you do the same! Contact our digital strategy experts at OSM in Belleville today to get started!
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.