The Power of Habit: Emotional Connection vs. Convenience

written for SellUp.net

hab·it

/ˈhabət/

noun

  1. a settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up.

 

We are creatures of habit. From the moment we get up in the morning, our habits begin to affect how we function. Think about your morning routine – the order in which you perform your daily rituals. Whether it involves hygiene, beverage of choice, breakfast, reading materials, or checking your social channels, there is a developed tendency that provides order and comfort. This concept of how habits are formed, as it relates to branding, is something we should explore. Consumer behaviors are evolving, and the landscape is shifting. Advances in technology leave us asking an important question. Which is more impactful – emotional connection or convenience?

The short answer is both. But let’s dive deeper.

The purpose of branding is to create an experience for the consumer – to tell a story that establishes an emotional connection. Emotions can exert a more powerful behavioral effect than purely rational decision-making. If a consumer has a great experience with a brand that activates a core emotional response, they begin establishing a valuable sense of loyalty. When consumers are truly engaged, they become an advocate for your brand and are more likely to amplify the message.

We live in a world of noise. Content is king, and it is EVERYWHERE. Consumers are more accessible than ever. And so are brands. Let’s look at social media. With the advent of these information superhighways, word travels faster than ever. It’s up to the brands to keep pace. Social channels provide a unique opportunity for brands to create and sustain the aforementioned emotional connection. Companies like Facebook and Twitter have afforded businesses the opportunities to build communities around them. Making customers feel important creates brand loyalty. However, these are still relatively new waters for brands to explore. Some choose to dip a toe and test the temperature, and others dive right in.

2 words: CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT

 To understand how impactful social media can be, let’s look a fast food company that’s been making a lot of noise on Twitter for some time. Wendy’s is a center of many a debate regarding how communities should be managed on social channels. Why, you ask? Let’s suffice to say their methods are…unconventional.

Wendy’s has gained attention by roasting critics on Twitter. It’s an unusual strategy in corporate social media marketing where marketers and customer service teams typically worry about appeasing customers and being politically correct. The fast-food chain is quick to contradict anyone who question its slogan that its beef is “fresh, never frozen.” In one heated exchange about how it delivers fresh beef, Wendy’s responded “you forgot refrigerators existed for a second there.”

When one user wrote “you’re food is trash.” Wendy’s responded: “No, your opinion is though.”

When another asked for directions to McDonald’s, Wendy’s replied with a photo of a trash can.

The irreverent Twitter comments have attracted extensive attention on both social media and traditional media. As I said, unconventional. But has it worked? And if so, why?

Well, their sarcastic approach certainly isn’t hurting sales. Over the approximate four-year period of its social media campaign, the company has reported 15 consecutive quarters of positive same-restaurant sales. Another measure: in the past year, Wendy’s Co. stock has soared over 40%.

Mind blown? Let’s break it down. We previously discussed the process of Building a Cumulative Advantage, with designing for habit as the second step. Social media is habitual. We are constantly checking our social channels for the latest and greatest…and funniest. Wendy’s has simply found its own method amongst the madness. They’re directly engaging their customers on social media, while gaining a lot of free publicity. Sure, it’s outside the box as it relates to conventional branding. But that is exactly the point. They have found a way to establish an emotional connection with humor. People love to laugh. It makes us feel good. And while we wouldn’t necessarily recommend trashing your critics on social media, it seems to be working for the fast food juggernaut.

When simply put, the formula for establishing a emotional connection with consumers has shifted, and a little creativity goes a long way. “The best part of waking up” was once “Folger’s in your cup” and a newspaper. Now, the best part of waking up for many us is popping a K-cup in and seeing whom Wendy’s is trashing on Twitter.

Which brings us to our next talking point – convenience. Let’s continue with the coffee theme. Millions of people start their day with a cup of coffee, or in my case, several. This is a fundamental opportunity for a brand to create that emotional connection. We associate our coffee with starting the day on the right foot. For many of us, getting up in the morning is difficult, especially on those chilly mornings when our warm, comfortable beds have us trapped. Folger’s harnessed the power of these emotions in an inventive way. Remember the ad campaigns you’d see on TV with people waking up to the smell of a fresh pot of coffee? I bet many of related to this sentiment. They even told you “the best part of waking up is Folger’s in your cup.” How delightful. But what if you live alone? Who’s making your coffee and creating that smell that fills up the entire house to entice you out of bed?

In the 90s, Keurig gave us a more convenient solution – a single-serving brewing technology known as the K-Cup. Problem solved. No more wasted time or wasted coffee. Convenience incarnate. Consumers already had an established emotional connection to a cup of coffee, and Keurig presented a more convenient path. Now, you can most likely get your favorite blend in a single-serve K-cup, because other brands recognize the impact of convenience.

These concepts can be applied to any brand when properly gauging the climate of consumer behavior. Habits are self-generated. They evolve from a decision and are modified with repetition before becoming automatic. They eventually become part of our value system. If you can establish an emotional connection with your consumers, brand loyalty will follow. However, accessibility, and more specifically, technology presents a real threat to brand loyalty.

What is important to note that while habits die hard, they do die. In branding, convenience kills habits. Convenience is about speed, predictability and ease. And it can be difficult to combat. So what’s the solution?

To create a connection between your brand and your customers, engagement is essential. As previously discussed, social media provides a platform for businesses to build communities around their brands. But it’s not enough to create a Facebook business page or a Snapchat account. To build a sustainable following, actively engage your online communities by posting captivating content and being responsive. If consumers are commenting on your posts, comment back! If they’re sending messages your way, reply in timely fashion! These personalized touches lends themselves to building relationships with your customers and creating that emotional connection to keep them coming back.

Personalization is something you should be incorporating in your email marketing, as well. To navigate your way through the traffic in your customers’ inboxes, your content must be creative and dynamic. Incorporating tools like surveys and contests will encourage your customers to engage, and it makes them feel like they’re a part of your brand – like they’re connected.

Sound like a lot of work? It is, but it pays dividends. And luckily, companies like SellUp are here to help you strategize and execute email programs to increase customer acquisition and retention. When you’re sick, you go to doctor, right? SellUp has the medicine to improve the condition of your email marketing.

Emotional connection will always be an important nuance in branding, but now more than ever, brands are competing to present more convenient access to their products. It’s not just about solving a problem anymore. It’s about solving it fast. It’s about being the convenient solution. So, brands have to continue to do what works, and do more. To stay ahead of the curve, one must understand where the curve is headed. And while this is a challenging road that continues to wind, those providing ease of access are catching up quickly. Consumers want to feel that emotional connection, but they expect more from brands these days. And it’s because brands are giving it to them. If you want your customers to keep coming back, start a conversation. Engage. Offer convenient solutions. Be a resource.

 

Advertisements

Building A Cumulative Advantage (Part II): Keep It Simple

Written for Sellup.net

Building a cumulative advantage is a process that requires precision and perseverance. In Part I, we discussed the importance of becoming popular early and some methods that have proven effective, and we also addressed consumers as creatures of habit, stressing the significance designing your brand experience for habit. The evolution of technology is responsible for creating new consumer habits – for our purposes, digital habits. In this segment, we’ll address these habits, discuss the dilemma of changing your brand, and conclude with how to effectively communicate with your following.

Digital habits have created new opportunities for companies to employ the aforementioned tactics. Facebook is the most common example. The interface, while slightly altered to enhance the viewing experience, has maintained the same design and color scheme since its inception. Consumers can identify a Facebook page from a mile way, because the layout is just that – identifiable.

Consumer behaviors are quite possibly the most valuable metrics a marketer can study. This information identifies trends, indicating how consumers spend their time while online.  Regarding traditional marketing and advertising methods – TV, radio, print, etc. – brands must rely on antiquated methods, like surveys, to obtain similar data. With advances in technology, the analysis of consumer behaviors (digital habits) forms a more definitive roadmaps. Enter the phenomenon of retargeting.

Retargeting is a form of digital, targeted advertising by which online advertising is targeted to consumers based on their previous internet actions. Essentially, consumers view products and services on social media and across the internet, and then the ads follow them around, as to appeal to consumer habits and impulses. Have you ever viewed a pair of shoes on Amazon and then noticed the same pair of shoes popping up on Instagram and Facebook? You’ve been retargeted.

Because the interfaces of these service providers appeal to consumer habits, advertising and retargeting efforts become white noise. We know they’re there, but they’re not bothersome. This is only achieved when consumers feel comfortable. So, what happens when a brand feels it’s time to make a change? As discussed in the first entry in our series, The Art of Balance, it’s time to innovate inside the brand.

Through dynamic marketing efforts and tireless analysis, you are well on your way to building a cumulative advantage over the competition. You’ve become popular. You’ve designed your brand to appeal to consumer habits. Now, all you have to do is keep it simple. Yet still, some brands choose to shake things up and make changes to attract new customers, which often times results in breaking the consumer habits you’d worked so hard to establish. Technology is breathing down the necks of brands all the time. It whispers, “Stay relevant. Keep with the times. Update your logo. Try something new.” Technology is an invaluable asset to brand strategy, but it can also mean a brand’s demise. To avoid pitfalls of change, play it safe – innovate inside the brand.

Facebook vs. Myspace

Similar platforms. Similar functionality. So what happened to MySpace? Why did Facebook become the phenomenon it is? Answer: innovating inside the brand. In 2008, Facebook overtook MySpace, boasting 600 million users, for one simple reason. Facebook let the market dictate where it went and innovated inside the brand. On MySpace, users could modify and customize their profile pages. So, all user pages were different. If you remember a few paragraphs back, we discussed the importance of consistent design and branding. Facebook listened. All user profiles look the same, and users are given the freedom to do what they like within the standard interface. At a bird’s eye view, MySpace tried to dictate the market, made too many changes, and gave their users too many freedoms to create a cumulative advantage. Facebook continues to innovate inside their brand, constantly adding features like Live video and new apps, and in turn, they have developed an entire subculture within their business model. Change consistently, and you can consistently change.

Lastly, communication should be clear and concise. Don’t make consumers think too hard about your brand and the services offered. We live in a world that moves very quickly. The attention span of your target audience is limited. Capture their attention directly, and be clear in your messaging to complete the cycle of cumulative advantage. There is a tendency in today’s advertising climate to be artful and complex, but then, the power shifts and your brand’s success will be contingent upon the attention of the consumer.

Cumulative advantage is not a new concept, but the habits of consumers have changed and will continue to change. If content is king, convenience is its high-maintenance queen. The most successful brands continue to find innovative ways to answer an age-old question – how do we offer the best resolution to a problem? While some argue that cumulative advantage is a non-factor, negated by accessibility to technology, I’d argue that technology can and will bolster the process of building a competitive edge, when coupled with thorough analysis and careful implementation. It’s time to pay closer attention to the way consumers want to receive information.

To review:

Become popular. Everybody loves “FREE.”

Design your brand to cater to the habits of your target audience.

Change can make or break your brand. When necessary, innovate from within.

Communication is paramount, but keep it simple with clear and concise messaging.

 

Brand responsibly.

Building A Cumulative Advantage (PART I): Popularity & Designing For Habit

written for SellUp.net

In sociology, the Matthew effect, also known as accumulated advantage, is the phenomenon where “the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.” This concept translates to marketing in that companies who develop a competitive edge and become popular early on are more likely to become more popular, succeed over time and sustain their success. There are arguments that cumulative advantage is a dying art in the advent of technology, but we’re here to examine the process and, perhaps, prove that technology can actually be a catalyst for sustainability for brands that chose to embrace new trends and employ the latest innovations.

To further understand cumulative advantage, let’s address the phenomenon of going “viral.” When you hear about or come across a video with over a million views on YouTube, for instance, there is an innate desire for most to see why this particular video has drawn so much attention. You are more compelled to watch a video that develops a reputation and has an impression on so many of your peers versus a video with 5 or 10 views. This is the concept of cumulative advantage.

This is one of the mechanics of word of mouth and something that clearly sets us up – as marketing strategists – to think of the world in which we’re living as highly dynamic. Today, we are highly connected, and data travels fast. This is why I would venture to say that cumulative advantage is not dying. It’s just more difficult to harness. With so many information highways at a marketer’s disposal, the pressure is in a choice – which do I choose?

This is the opportunity that we have today. Everything is a living lab, where we can watch our target markets operate in nearly real time, with stacks of algorithms and analytics at our fingertips. Running a marketing program is more about optimization today than it is about initial insight. It is about flexibility and the ability to think quickly and recognize patterns as they begin to emerge. We are creatures of habit, and to establish a competitive edge and build a cumulative advantage, marketing must appeal to our habits in a dynamic way.

Let us now look at what it means to become popular. As stated in the recently retired CEO of Proctor & Gamble, A.G. Lafley, and professor at and the former dean of the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto, Robert L. Martin’s 2017 Harvard Business Review article, Customer Loyalty is Overrated, “Marketers have long understood the importance of winning early.” How do many industry juggernauts “win early”? Providing value free of charge. The HBR article references Tide as an example. “When it was introduced, in 1946, (Tide) immediately had the heaviest advertising weight in the category. P&G (Proctor & Gamble) also made sure that no washing machine was sold in America without a free box of Tide to get consumers’ habits started. Tide quickly won the early popularity contest and has never looked back.” In the era of digital technology we need not look far to observe how this trend has evolved.

Facebook. Twitter. Google. Amazon. Recognize these names? Of course you do. And they are all free services – deliberately engineered to offer a service that people want. The more people want it, the more popular it becomes. Then, providers and advertisers follow, because everybody wants to be where the consumers spend their time.

Becoming popular is the first step in building a cumulative advantage for a reason. Marketing is a numbers game. Get the people’s attention, and the masses will follow. How often have you been offered a free trial for a paid service? People love free. And then idea is that once consumers are hooked, they are more likely to pay. As I said, we are creatures of habit.

This leads us to our next step – designing for habit. This is such significant element of branding that we’ve decided to dedicate an entire entry to The Power of Habit. Stay tuned, but for now, let us scratch the surface. Marketing should never leave the outcome entirely to chance. Consumers have compulsions, and the most successful marketing efforts take advantage of these compulsions, respectfully. As customers, we want our purchase decisions to be easy, and we actually make most purchases automatically. That’s why the subscription model has become so popular in so many industries. It’s all about gaining Cumulative Advantage — once you gain a small advantage over the competition, it grows over time as purchasing your product or service becomes a habit for customers.

Make it easy to buy, and make your product memorable. The most successful brands have consistent elements of product design that can be seen from a distance so buyers can find the product quickly. Take Tide, for instance. You’re walking down the laundry detergent isle in the supermarket, and Tide stands out. The logo resembles a bull’s-eye, as to say to the consumer – “You have hit the mark!” Distinctive colors and shapes for the product and logo make it easier for customers to make the habitual choice. Memorable messaging in as few words as possible goes a long way.

In our next segment, we’ll dive deeper into consumers’ digital habits and discuss how your brand can communicate clearly and effectively to sustain a following. For now, remember becoming popular early is the foundation for establishing a competitive edge. Once you’ve earned popularity, the idea is become habitual. Building a cumulative advantage doesn’t happen overnight, but if you play your cards right, appealing to your target audience’s need for convenience, your brand is well on its way.

In preparation for what will follow in Part II, let’s review some key points:

  1. Becoming popular is an uphill battle. Word of mouth has evolved. We live in a world that is overrun with options. Technology creates opportunity for small entities to gain traction through cost-effective methods. Accessibility has evened the playing field, forcing brands to be more creative than ever to earn popularity.
  2. Understanding consumer behaviors is the key to designing for habit and creating a following. In its simplest form, marketing is an opportunity for a brand to create its customers. The task then becomes managing and continuing to nurture those relationships. Staying relevant is perhaps the greatest challenge of all. Consumers may like the feeling of having options, but there is a reason the easy choice is, often times, the most popular. A choice that’s convenient AND fulfills a need is really no choice at all. It just makes the most sense.

There is a fine line between becoming the habitual choice of your consumer and becoming an afterthought, however. This is the line we will venture to examine in PART II. With new choices presenting themselves every day, the struggle to maintain relevance can easily become a pitfall. Brands feel the pressure, make rash decisions, changes to their brand identity and messaging, and in some cases, this can lead to the dismantling of the popularity and following they’d worked so hard to cultivate.

Avoiding these pitfalls is more fundamental than it may seem. Stay tuned as we offer our insights in Part II as to how brands can use the momentum outlined in this segment to sustain their cumulative advantage and successfully nurture customer relationships.

 

Joe Orminski | Lead Strategist

J.O. Marketing Solutions

www.JOMarketingSolutions.com

THE ART OF BALANCE

written for SellUp.net

Light bulbs. Batteries. Motor Oil. These are all things that require changing, and there are clear indications when they need changing. Changing a brand, on the other hand, can include more complication and consequence. So, when do you change your brand, and how much do you change it? Should it be subtly refreshed or totally redesigned? Branding strategies are meant to guide the consumer in the direction of a convenient choice that fulfills a need, and, in turn, becomes habitual. And while habits die hard, technology presents new and interesting options to consumers every day, which begs the question – how do brands stay relevant? The key: innovating inside the brand.

For the sake of this segment, let us assume we’re addressing brands that have successfully defined their value proposition and target audience, became popular, and implemented a design to harness the power of consumer habit to form a cumulative advantage. (Take a breath). What’s a cumulative advantage, you ask? Stay tuned, as we’ll break this concept all the way down in our upcoming series. Essentially, it’s a competitive edge that compounds over time. However, advances in technology are challenging this tenet. Brands are being forced to constantly review their approach, delivery, and other strategic principles in an effort to stay relevant, while keeping their base comfortable with the brand they’ve learned to love.

Creating a great experience as a brand means staying relevant when our world is moving a million miles a minute. When your brand is relevant, it makes sense to your audience. The problem is, audiences are changing now more than ever – not necessarily the demographic but their preferences. Our behaviors change depending on trends and technology, which changes the way an experience is created and distributed.

Accessibility has majorly changed how consumers purchase, and therefore, has changed the dynamic of branding and the landscape of brand loyalty. Technology is the primary catalyst for change in branding. So, staying ahead, or at least with the curve as things change means increasing the probability that consumers will stay connected and engaged, regardless of their preferences or habits. When a brand creates a great experience that is contextual, nimble in the face of change, and continually valuable, consumers will keep coming back.

But how far is too far? Sometimes less is more, and a simple change to accommodate your audience’s need in a more convenient way involves a mere implementation of new technology to give your audience something familiar in a new way. We’re witnessing an evolution in branding that has shifted away from customer loyalty toward convenience.

I think back to my childhood. The weekend arrived, and I used to love to go to the video store to pick out new movies. There was something to the aesthetic – being surrounded by walls of cinematic history, exploring what seemed like endless options. People don’t have time for aesthetics these days. We want what we want when we want it. And as consumers, we look for the most convenient access. Enter Netflix. A reasonable monthly subscriber fee and a mailing address later, and the endless options are in your mailbox. Video stores, like Blockbuster, tried to compete, but the market was cornered quickly. And that was only phase one.

Phase two. Now, I wasn’t in the room at Netflix headquarters, but I’m assuming a very simple, age-old question was asked: how can we better serve our audience and improve the ease of access to our service? Answer: digital streaming. To be concise, I haven’t laid out the entire evolution of Netflix in a timeline. The important thing to note is this – they innovated within the brand. No logo change. No relaunch. No major design implementation.

Simple solutions. It’s easy to lose your brand identity when rebranding, and sometimes customer loyalty will carry you through. Consumers want to keep coming back. They want to feel comfortable, until comfortable becomes stale or inconvenient. Improvement is the remedy for indifference.

As A.G. Lafley and Roger L. Martin aptly state, when referring to Netflix in their 2017 Harvard Business Review article, entitled Consumer Loyalty is Overrated – “For customers, improved is much more comfortable and less scary than new, however awesome new sounds to brand managers and advertising agencies.”

An emotional connection to a product or service will always be asset to a brand’s success, but constant changes in technology have more brands consistently working to upgrade ease of access to their products, while maintaining the connection that originally attracted their audience. And therein lies the challenge. It’s easy to succumb to the thought that your brand may need more than a simple improvement, and next thing you know, the brand your audience has come to know and love is nearly unrecognizable. This can be a major pitfall.

The advent of the internet and advancements in digital media and technology have transformed how consumers experience the promises that brands make. They have also transformed our ability to shape and co-create those experiences and to tell millions of other people about our experiences – good, bad, or indifferent. But brand owners have had to face transformative challenges before. And the brands that pull through are those that do what they must to stay relevant, while staying true to the experience
they’ve created.

Such transforming factors have, though, never changed the fundamentals of brand building: gain continuous insight into what your customers want, understand how they want it, know how the purpose of your brand helps them, be clear about your promises and deliver them brilliantly.

Take IBM, for example. IBM does not sell computers any more, but its brand purpose is still driven by the same insight that Thomas R. Watson had in 1915 – that ‘information technologies would benefit mankind.’ Today, IBM speaks publicly through its advertising of a purpose to create a ‘smarter planet,” and they continue on that journey with technology in the sidecar. Sometimes improving your brand means trimming the fat to improve focus.

The best brands have adapted to the changing needs of society, not just to the individual needs of consumers in that society. In fact, they anticipate the needs of tomorrow’s society. Technology is the primary force dictating these needs. To stay relevant, brands must pay attention. Consumers have to trust you before they jump. But once they jump, it’s a brand’s job to keep them from landing and looking for the next leap. Innovating from within your brand is an impactful way to improve the consumer experience, when done with proper planning. Sometimes, that includes major improvements, and other times, less means more. Either way, fail to plan, plan to fail. Stay relevant, yet familiar. That is the art of balance.

It’s Friday… so what?

Friday is a doorway to refuge, for most. You’ve made it through another work week, and now you have 2 days to decompress and mentally prepare yourself for another work week. Sound like fun?

You may not relate. But for some, this becomes a vicious cycle. I think it’s time we take our lives back – back to a time when things were simple. A time when we actually had time to do the things that made us happy.

I know. I sound crazy.

Here’s the situation. As far as we know, we get one life. And in the interest of avoiding an existential tangent, as we come full circle, let’s suffice to say this will tie into your business.

So, how do we go about “taking our lives back?” My hyperbole is meant to shed some on the importance of self-care.  In my experience, it can be difficult to prevent my personal life from affecting my professional life. That’s not to say we, as professionals, cannot keep our emotions in check. My point is simply this – if we take care of ourselves, when presented with challenges, it becomes easier to deal and keeping it moving.

Time-blocking is all the rage right now. I say this facetiously to articulate that this is not a new concept. But it’s important, so I guess it’s trending. What I’d like for you to think about is this – if you are time-blocking, are you specifically blocking personal time?  And by specific, I can tell you what I don’t mean. We’re not marking our calendars with “FUN” or “PERSONAL TIME.” We’re actually blocking off specific times for specific events.

12:00pm – 1:00pm    Meet wifey for lunch (or whatever the kids these day say)

1:00pm – 4:00pm    LEAD GENERATION

4:30pm – 7:00pm    Tommy’s baseball game

9:00pm – 10:00pm    Meditation (also known as Listening to music)

This may seem futile, but I assure you, it can make a difference. Accountability is key. And if it’s not on the calendar… IT DOESN’T EXIST. I think that’s a saying. By blocking personal time, we enable ourselves to flow more seamlessly between personal and professional, work and home, clients and family.

Suddenly, Monday doesn’t seem so daunting. Fridays still, and always will feel like Fridays. But now, we can appreciate the weekend as a means to run toward our personal time as opposed to away from work. Perhaps this causes semantic confusion, but there is a difference. You just have to feel it for yourself.

So, let’s take back our lives! Let’s take care of ourselves!

If you run your own business, the responsibility is never-ending. However, a good manager knows to how to prioritize and delegate accordingly. When coupled with effective time-blocking, this skill becomes invaluable.

Take a step back, and assess your situation. If this truly is the only life you’ll have the privilege of living, how are you spending your time?

Until next time…

Joe Orminski, Lead Strategist | J.O. Marketing Solutions

Joe@jomarketingsolutions.com | 831.309.4120

www.JOmarketingsolutions.com 

Follow us on facebook, twitter, instagram, pinterest and more…

@jorminski on Snapchat

Personal vs. Personable: Building A Brand That Suits You

Making connections. What that looks like today is significantly different since the advent of Social Media. Today, you can build a network without leaving your house. But what fun is that? More fun for some than others. But through whichever lens you choose to view it, the impact of Social channels is undeniable.

A brand creates a lasting impression on consumers. And in today’s day and age, you can make an impression through impressions. Of course, I’m referring to impressions as it relates to online marketing. An impression occurs when an ad is fetched, meaning it’s countable. So then the question becomes: what impression are you making online?

You are a representative of your business all the time. Keep this in mind when transmitting information on social channels. It’s also important to distinguish personal and business matters in this regard. Having dedicated business accounts or pages, separate from your personal social media accounts, is a good place to start. Naturally, you are attached to your business, but your personal account doesn’t have to be. I’m not saying to refrain from posting about your business on your personal page, but do so in a tasteful manner.

Personal accounts are for personal manners – family, friends, news, trends, hobbies and interests. Business accounts are for just that – an arena in which you can showcase some salesmanship with full disclosure. Hence, my witty title: Personal vs. Personable. Personal accounts is the personal element. Your individuality. And business accounts are more personable. Your brand.

On Facebook, you can create a “Business Page,” devoted solely to your business and your brand. On channels like Twitter and Instagram you can create business accounts, displaying a username indicating your business or showcasing your brand.

Once you’ve established your online presence with your business accounts, it’s a matter of direction. What is your goal? Are looking to drive more traffic to your website? Generate leads? Create brand awareness and promote your business? Now it’s time to discuss ad campaigns… in my next installment.

Until then…

Joe Orminski, Owner | Lead Strategist | J.O. Marketing Solutions

Joe@jomarketingsolutions.com | 831.309.4120

www.JOmarketingsolutions.com 

Follow us on facebook, twitter, instagram, pinterest and more…

@jorminski on Snapchat

 

CAPTIVATE YOUR AUDIENCE… VISUALLY.

How many times a day do you check your social channels? Think about it. And then ask yourself why? We like to know things. Social media inherently fulfills this want and need. So, for most, myself included, it’s become a reflex. I sit down with my coffee. I’m on Facebook. I’m waiting for the bus. I’m on Instagram. Break at work. Twitter. Lunch. Pinterest – or any such derivative. I want information. Sports. News. Family. Friends. Trends. I want it all. And even if there are more reliable or specific avenues through which I can find this information, I know my social channels are a portal to these sources. That’s where I start.

So, that begs the question – when you’re casually coasting through your newsfeed, what grabs your attention? What makes you do the “scroll-back,” so to speak? Captivating imagery. VISUAL CONTENT. Whether it’s an interesting photo, slideshow, or video, visual content draws people in. It’s great to have bold headlines and brilliant copy, but your visual content is what creates your opportunity.

Take me at my word, or test the theory yourself. Open Facebook with the sole intention of seeing what’s going on that day, begin scrolling, and see what makes you stop and read on.

To appeal to one’s senses digitally, your options are limited. They can’t taste your content. They can’t touch your content. They can’t smell your content. So, that leaves us with sight and hearing. When you eliminate certain senses, is it true the others are heightened? Perhaps. I’m not a doctor. But I do know what grabs my attention and appeals to my senses of sight and hearing. And that’s interesting visuals.

If I see an image that interests me, I’m definitely more likely to explore the content accompanying that image. Aren’t you? And videos are great – especially if you know how to embed them on your social channels to play automatically as a user is scrolling past. This is “scroll-back” territory – an impulse that says, “what was that?” Whatever you can do to make your content as accessible as possible, do it.

We’re curious by nature. Pique that curiosity, and stimulate your audience. They want information, and everybody is trying to give it to them. So, what are you going to do to separate yourself?

Until next time…

Joe Orminski, Owner | Lead Strategist | J.O. Marketing Solutions

Joe@jomarketingsolutions.com | 831.309.4120

www.JOmarketingsolutions.com 

Follow us on facebook, twitter, instagram, pinterest and more…

@jorminski on Snapchat

 

You’re not bothering your friends.

You are not bothering your friends with your “Business” posts on social media. Worst case, they get tired of seeing your content and scroll right past. Or they may even unfollow or block your future posts. Oh, no. What should you do?

Solution A.

Stop posting about your business. Nobody cares. Or at least that’s what you’re telling yourself somewhere along your chain of thought. If you believe in what you do, believe you provide  value your friends, family, and people they may know need. Besides, your real friends will support your endeavors and do what they can to help, regardless of how many of your posts invade their timeline.

Solution B.

Work with a professional who can walk you through these issues. There are plenty of ways to ease your concern of bombarding your friends on Social Media with “business talk.” In fact, if you’d like, you don’t have to bother them all. Did you know when advertising on social channels, you can exclude your friends or people who have already liked or followed your page, as to just target a new audience? Just one solution.

Solution C.

Delete your social media accounts. It’s not worth it the time and effort. If you’re a
Solution C type of person, please see Solution B. It’s worth the time and money. But it doesn’t have to be your time. You can even make more money with your extra time.

Marketing & advertising on social media channels isn’t the future. It’s right now. It’s not all billboards and print ads anymore. Think more TV commercial. Or modern radio. Build a presence. Create an audience. Be seen to be heard.

Until next time…

Joe Orminski, Owner | Lead Strategist | J.O. Marketing Solutions

Joe@jomarketingsolutions.com | 831.309.4120

www.JOmarketingsolutions.com 

Follow us on facebook, twitter, instagram, pinterest and more…

@jorminski on Snapchat

THE EVOLUTION OF LEAD GENERATION

LEAD GENERATION IS EVOLVING. HOW ARE YOU ADAPTING?

If you’re in the Sales industry in any capacity, you understand Lead Generation is the most important producing activity. Blocking time each and every day to generate leads is critical to ensure your pipeline is consistently growing. How you spend this time is a matter of proper research and analysis. It’s great to throw several lines in the water, but it’s essential to measure which of these lines are biting most frequently, and which provide the best rate of conversion.

Aside from nurturing your database and managing your referral network, let’s focus on digital channels that can serve as automated lead generation tools that you can develop to build your online presence and gather information from prospective clients.

Website

Your website is where the magic happens. This is the place where your audience needs to convert. Whether it is encouraging prospective buyers to sign up for your newsletter or fill out a form for a demo, the key is to optimize your website for converting browsers into actual leads.  Pay attention to forms, Calls-to-Action (CTA), layout, design, and content.

Blog

Your blog is a fantastic place to create trust with your buyers. Readers can stumble upon your blog from all over the web, so you want to make sure it is search-engine optimized. Remember that someone reading the blog may not want to immediately sign up for more information, so highlight the Calls-to-Action that ask your reader to subscribe to the blog or to follow you on social channels. A well laid out blog will keep your readers interested, coming back for more, and hopefully curious enough to start looking at the rest of your site. Keep your readership up and position your blog as a gateway to conversion.

Social Media

The increasing popularity of social channels has directly attributed to information abundance. Through social networks, buyers have been able to research and learn about products and services through influencers and peers.  Additionally, a profound shift has taken place within social media channels. Although social media is still important for branding and generating buzz, lead generation is becoming more and more important. By tapping into all the social media channels, from Facebook and Twitter to LinkedIn and Google+, you can be where your customers are and create that trust.

Interested in learning how you can optimize your online presence to engage new audiences and establish yourself as an industry expert? For more information, visit http://www.jomarketingsolutions.com. Leave us your contact information to set up a brief introductory consultation, so we can effectively evaluate your products and/or services and develop an intelligent approach to targeting your ideal audience.

Until next time…

Joe Orminski, Owner | Lead Strategist | J.O. Marketing Solutions

Joe@jomarketingsolutions.com | 831.309.4120

Follow us on facebook, twitter, instagram, pinterest and more…

@jorminski on Snapchat

 

TRANSFORM YOUR PRESENCE

Make Social Media work for you.

Our Social Media services include Management, Marketing & Advertising. We can build accounts dedicated to your business. We can create captivating content to engage your target audience. We can develop unique ad campaigns to drive traffic to your site and generate more leads. Reach people where they’re already looking.

Effective marketing is convenient. When reaching out to your target audience, you want to create a path to your product or service with minimal steps. Along the path, we look to either pose a question, present a problem, or simply offer educational and inspiring content. Then we offer answers, solutions, and a ‘Call to action’ respectively.

It’s always important to keep this path in mind. Put yourself in the shoes of your audience. Let’s use email marketing as an example. You need a catchy subject line, because you’re competing with a lot of emails. The average office worker receive approximately 120 emails per day – the click-through rate average is about 3%. I’m not a Statistician, but that’s not great math. With that being said, it is critical to convey your message clearly and efficiently  within the body of the email. Or you can be vague and hope that you’re 1 of the 4 emails the average worker will actually click through.

If I were a gambling man, I’d be willing to bet that AT LEAST 1 of those 4 click-throughs is some form of Social Media notification – friend request, comment on a post, somebody’s birthday, pictures of your best friend’s newborn (or puppy). Email aside, people are on Social Media ALL THE TIME. I know this, because I’m on Social Media ALL THE TIME. My mom is on Social Media ALL THE TIME. My girlfriend’s 93-year old Grandmother is on Social Media ALL THE TIME. 

News, sports, comedy, videos, voice-changing filters, families, friends, co-workers, music, movies, and the list goes on. Everything is available to us on Social Media – with different platforms catering to different interests and needs. Twitter is the news platform. LinkedIn is the professional platform. Instagram, the photo platform. YouTube, the video platform. You get the idea.

As the ways in which we receive our news, the ways we socialize, the ways we keep in touch with friends & family have evolved, so has marketing and advertising. Large corporations spend millions of dollars a month to ensure that if you search for their products or services, they will undoubtedly, and sometimes relentlessly, follow you around your digital playground. You must have noticed that after you shop for something online, whatever you were looking to purchase or actually purchased begins popping up EVERYWHERE – facebook newsfeed, right-hand column ads on facebook and your google searches, promoted tweets and pins. We are consumers, and our digital imprints are inescapable as such. So why not capitalize as business owners?

At J.O. Marketing Solutions, we’ll design a unique, educational, and inspiring campaign on one or several Social Media platforms, and we’ll bake re-targeting right in! So, essentially, if somebody clicks on the ad we’re using to drive traffic to your website, it would not be a coincidence for your ads to continuously repopulate on that somebody’s Social Media feeds. We’re no longer taking shots in the dark, here. Let there be light!

Interested? For more information, visit http://www.jomarketingsolutions.com/reach-the-masses. Leave us your contact information to set up a brief introductory consultation, so we can effectively evaluate your products and/or services and develop an intelligent approach to targeting your ideal audience.

Until next time…

Joe Orminski, Owner | Lead Strategist | J.O. Marketing Solutions

Joe@jomarketingsolutions.com | 831.309.4120

Follow us on facebook, twitter, instagram, pinterest and more…

@jorminski on Snapchat