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3 Ways to Improve Your Small Business Brand Recognition

3 Ways to Improve Your Small Business Brand Recognition

Getting your brand recognized can be a big hurdle for a small business. Perhaps the market you are in is becoming saturated, and you want to stand out from the crowd. Maybe you have a USP that makes your product different from all the rest, and you want to get that across to your target market. It isn’t always easy, but there are many things you can do to start the ball rolling.  Here are 3 ways to improve your small business brand recognition.


Targeted social media ads


Social media allows you to reach many more people than conventional methods probably ever would. Whilst you can advertise on most of them for free, paying for targeted ads can prove beneficial. They take the information they have stored in their database and send details of your business and brand to your chosen demographic. You can specify the radius, age, gender, and marital status of those you want to target, and social media will do the rest. It’s a great way to make the masses aware of your brand and become more recognized. You should have a clear marketing strategy in place, as it could take several attempts before you start to see an increase in sales.


Influencer marketing


Influencer marketing is a very common form of digital marketing these days. According to Streamline Marketing, it’s “not a fleeting trend or a popular content marketing gimmick – influencer marketing is real, and it’s growing year over year.”

Influencer marketing effectively means you can use the power of other people’s popularity to market your goods or to create brand awareness. It’s been suggested that young people are 70% less likely to be influenced by a traditional celebrity than they are a You Tube start. Those are pretty staggering results and very clearly show why this style of marketing might make a huge impact on your brand.


Local involvement


Raising awareness about your business in the local community is a great way to improve brand recognition, particularly if you run a servicing business that will primarily rely on local custom. It’s worthwhile taking some time to get to know key members of your community and pay some attention to where business opportunities might come from. Good relationships can lead to sales, and sales can lead to local recommendations.


If you have a local football team in your area or a children’s tennis club, for example, it might be worthwhile finding out if they require sponsorship. Many clubs will be open to having your company logo printed on their shirts or allowing you to advertise on their ground if you are prepared to make a financial contribution.


If you make products that could sell well within a small independent retailer, speak to the owners and find out if you can hire space or display your goods on their premises. If you are willing to agree on a percentage selling fee or a set monthly amount, they could very well be receptive to the idea.

5 Ways to Ensure Greater Traffic to Your Blogs

5 Ways to Ensure Greater Traffic to Your Blogs

If you have been working steadily on your blog, and still not getting the desired traffic, then there is something fundamentally wrong with your approach. But you don’t have to worry. Getting traffic is not rocket science. Here are five easy tips to help you increase traffic on your blog.



  • Be strategic about the content of your blog: There is no alternative to excellent content. You can achieve tangible results by merely enhancing the quality of your content. However, quality alone can’t get you there. You have to be more strategic with your efforts at content marketing. Your content should specific to a need. If you know your audience well enough, you will know what kind of content they want you to post. Your blogs can be funny, and witty, or educational and informative. Try finding the right balance between these two categories, and you will have a more diverse audience.




  • Don’t hesitate to use keywords: If you want big-time traffic on your blog, then you must include SEO and keywords to your strategy. People get jittery about incorporating SEO techniques in their plan. But you must remember that SEO can do wonders for your blog when you do it the right way. Google will direct traffic to your blog, and the users will find all the information they are looking for on the web. The best thing about SEO is that you can link your blog to some of the other related blogs that you might have written on a particular subject.




  • Targeting social networks correctly: While it is advisable to establish your presence across multiple social networks, you will soon begin to lose focus in your bid to excel with every social network. Try figuring out which social media network suits you the best. If your blog is heavy on visuals, you should post focus on LinkedIn. If your blog contains a social message, give your Facebook page some extra attention. You must figure out where the majority of takers of your content hang out and effectively target those platforms. Once you have identified your key networks, concentrate on them more. Ask your followers to share your content, so that your following keeps increasing.




  • Optimize your page for speed: Your followers aren’t going to wait forever for your blog to load. If your page doesn’t come up fast, they will just hit the back button and move on to the next Google listing, which will most probably be that of your competitors’. Check out some of the WordPress plugins that will help you in creating a version of your blog that is specially optimized for a mobile device.




  • Be friends with your competition: While this may sound weird, the truth is that building good relationships with your competitors will go a long way in establishing your dominance in your niche. Comment on blogs from bloggers in your field. Cite a blogger in one of your posts, and tag them in a tweet to let them know. The blogger will retweet and share that post that mentions them. Consequently, you will get more shares and traffic.



4 Ways You Can Help Your Brand Establish Strong Connections With Customers

4 Ways You Can Help Your Brand Establish Strong Connections With Customers

Brands have become increasingly conscious of creating lasting connections with their clients. In today’s digital age, customers seldom rely on salespeople to help them with their purchasing decisions. Most consumers now prefer doing their share of research before settling down on a brand. Therefore, it is quintessential for you to integrate bridges and trust signals into your marketing strategy. Doing so will help you focus on your target audience which will consequently lead to a boost in sales, and enhance brand awareness. Here are four ways for you to make that happen.



  • Research on your clients’ needs: Companies often commit the mistake of marketing their products to people without having adequately researched on it. CEOs and business owners often have an inherent bias that motivates them to make assumptions regarding how their consumer base will react to their products. However, savvy organizations conduct in-depth research of the market, competitors, and their prospective customers to understand the needs of their consumers. Thus, they come to know what would motivate their clients to make a purchasing decision. Run thorough research on your buyer audience and market to them with custom content. The more informative the content, the more likely it is for your clients to make a purchase. It will help you form a bond with your consumers.



  • Present your product as a solution: Once you have understood your customers’ needs, you will have known their pain points. You will be in a much better position to define what constitutes their problem, and what is the possible solution to those issues. Once you do that, you can present your product as the saving grace. Instead of adding common phrases and buzzwords, add a solution-based term that is problem-specific. You will generate a high level of organic traffic by presenting your product in a language that can offer a solution to a set of problems. Thus you will give your clients a reason to buy your product by tapping into their pain point.



  • Present your consumer as the protagonist of your story: Your marketing campaign should be able to make your customers feel valued by your product and brand. In the process, you might end up alienating a small margin of buyer audience. However, such a marketing approach will boost your sales in the long run. When the buyers can identify and relate themselves to your product, they are sure to give your brand a try.



  • Let your products and brand endorse a lifestyle: Features alone don’t motivate buyers to choose a product or a brand. The lifestyle associated with a product is what often pushes people to make a buying decision. Upon having a clear understanding of your consumers and their lifestyle, you can present your product as a commodity that fits into that lifestyle. By aligning your brand and your product with a specific lifestyle, you can build strong connections with your customers.


In today’s context of modern marketing, you can boost your standing within the industry and enhance your growth by establishing strong connections with your clients. As the old saying goes, people tend to buy from brands they like. Try being that brand, and see your revenues grow manifolds.

Content Marketing Strategy Template

Content Marketing Strategy Template

The Content marketing strategy template is useful for every business. It helps in streamlining the content marketing efforts. An excellent content strategy template enables you to stay focused on things that matter the most. Ideas and thoughts have no limits or boundaries. You need to provide a right direction to your mind in order to get meaningful things done. This is what a sound strategy does to your business.


Any standard content marketing strategy has six main elements:


  1. Timeline
  2. Business Analysis
  3. Objective and Goals
  4. Strategy and Planning
  5. Implementation
  6. Result Measurement and Optimization


I have used a simplified version of the strategy template that I developed for SixPL (for this site itself) to explain the fundamental elements of the template. You can customize it as per your specific business requirements.


1. Timeline – Six Months


The timeline is crucial. Content marketing is effective only in the medium to long term. Therefore, you should give at least six months to see if your content marketing strategy delivers the desired results. To generate immediate results, you may use paid advertising such Google Adwords or Social media ads.


2. Business Analysis


Business Model


We are into digital marketing. Most of our revenue comes from providing services like content development, SEO, SMO, Email marketing, Affiliate marketing, and PPC Advertising.


Target Audience


Would-be entrepreneurs, entrepreneurs, CEOs and Directors of MSMEs, and individuals who wish to learn digital marketing or want to make money online legitimately.


It is important to note that our services are not industry or location specific. We have served a diverse range of customers from across the world. Thus, we have not considered the country or industry of our target audience. However, these are two critical parameters that should not be ignored while defining the target audience.


To make your content marketing strategy successful, define a precise target audience.


3. Objectives and Goals



In this section, you need to answer: “why are you developing a content marketing strategy for your business? What do you aim to achieve by doing the activities?”

At SixPL, the primary objective of content marketing strategy is to drive readership to our content.




This is the measurable outcome that you intend to accomplish at the end of the timeframe. You need to set realistic goals. Otherwise, the entire exercise will go in vain.

For SixPL, we have set following goals:

S.NoGoalCurrent StatusTarget
1Number of visitors (Sessions)75 visitors per day300 visitors per day
2Number of Email Subscribers100023
3Facebook Page Likes10000400
4Twitter Followers20000208
5LinkedIn Personal Connections50003000
6LinkedIn Company Page Followers2000725


It is important to understand how to arrive at a particular number while working on goals. In my view and experience, above numbers are the minimum that we should achieve in order to justify the investment in content marketing. For example, in 2016, we saw an average of 75 visitors per day. In the first half of 2017, we want this figure to reach at an average of 300 visitors per day. Same goes, with other goals.

I will also revise these goals on a monthly basis if required so that we adapt to the prevailing scenario. However, we will notify the same to our readers and mention the reasons for revising the goals to maintain the transparency.

It is noteworthy that, although we provide content marketing services to our clients, we never did that for ourselves. The main reason was work overload and lack of bandwidth. We were so busy providing excellent services to our clients (and to earn money) that we completely ignored self-marketing. However, since we want to move to the next level of business, we can no longer afford to ignore our own branding.

We have not included the number of leads in our objective or goals, as we have undertaken this activity for branding and not for the lead generation. However, we do expect to generate some leads, and we will keep you posted on this. At present, we have a separate lead generation strategy, which I will discuss in another blog.


4. Strategy and Planning


Develop a strategy keeping your target audience in mind. Remember that through content marketing; you should aim to bring a positive change to your customers’ life. Content marketing is worthless if it doesn’t make your readers think or act.

Following is the strategy in brief that I developed for SixPL:

Center of our strategy is to provide useful and unbiased information and insights related to digital marketing, entrepreneurship, and marketing technology. We will only produce evergreen content and use Google keyword planner tool to optimize every article for a minimum of one keyword and a maximum of three keywords.

In addition to this, we will also publish an off-beat article on Saturdays that would revolve around current affairs and positive things around us.

No article will be published without optimizing it for Google. The headline of the article will be written in a way that describes the content more accurately, rather than attention grabbing clicks baits that are used to get more traffic from social media.

A separate guideline will be developed to accommodate guest posts that fit our overall strategy.


Content Calendar


A new blog will be published every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Newsletter to be broadcasted every Tuesday


Social Media Calendar


One Status Update Per day
On Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays – New Blogs

Tuesday – Creative

Thursday – Old Blog

Saturdays – Off-beat Article (From our blog or from across the Internet)


5. Content Promotion Strategy


Gone are the days when great content attracted a huge audience. Today, you need to spend a significant amount of time in promoting the new as well as old blogs. Otherwise, it will hardly be visible and read by anyone.

Here is the promotional calendar that I have developed for SixPL:

On the Blog Publishing Days (Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays):

Blog will be published on Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays Around 9 pm IST

After publishing a blog post following needs to be done:


  • URL Tagging (UTM Tagging)
  • Post it on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter
  • Promote it on LinkedIn Groups
  • Promoting it on Facebook through Paid Campaign
  • Share it on Inbound
  • Share it on GrowthHacker
  • Share it on Alltop
  • Engagement through comments on five websites
  • Publishing a blog on LinkedIn through Personal Account
  • Answering related questions Quora
  • Bookmarking


6. Measurement and Optimization


Initially, use basic methods such as UTM tagging and Google Analytics to measure the traffic conversion. For SixPL, we have decided to review the progress on a monthly basis and make required changes in strategy or implementation that can help us in meeting our goals and objectives.




You need to plan as much in detail as possible to overcome major challenges. For SixPL, I have even decided 90% of the blog topics and titles that would be created over the next six months. This gives me a clear picture of how the entire content will look like at the end of our first ever campaign. We have also planned the detailed list of activities and the number of hours I along my team is going to invest in content marketing. At the end of the campaign, this will give a fair idea of ROI on content marketing and whether we should continue doing it with some improvements or choose something else.

Watch this space for regular updates on the progress we make. Subscribe to our newsletter to get the updates in your email.

If you decide to implement a similar strategy for your business, do let me know, how it is going for you.

What is your opinion on this strategy? Will it work? Would you like to develop a similar strategy for your business? Or you have something better?

Looking forward to your valuable feedback through comments.

Beginners’ guide to Social Media Marketing in 2016

Beginners’ guide to Social Media Marketing in 2016

Basics of Social Media Marketing – An Introduction

Social Media is one of the technological advances of the modern times. Being able to connect to anyone in any part of the world without leaving the comfort of one’s home is something that looked straight out of science fiction a couple of decades ago. But, the last two decades have produced a new social phenomenon known as Social Media. Driven by the internet and communication technology, social media connects people from different parts of the world and allows them to communicate with each other in real time.

Various social media platforms have emerged due to the developments in information technology. Names like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Google+ and Instagram are known to billions of people in the world. Social media is a generic term and platforms like these constitute social media. These platforms allow an instant access to people to connect to one another and share information, communicate with each other and access a vast pool of resources.

The advent of social media and the ability to connect with anyone anywhere as given rise to a new method of marketing known as social media marketing. One of the hallmarks of social media is that it allows markets to directly communicate with the potential customer base in a personalized manner. Traditional marketing techniques used mass marketing methods. Even if they targeted specific niche, it used to be much broader. Social media marketing makes it possible to customise the marketing campaign that are highly personalized and customized. Social media marketing analyzes the social media habits of individuals and based on this data and its further analytical evaluation, positions specific solutions to the users.

With billions of people accessing the internet and using social media platforms, it is the biggest channel for marketing. No other traditional marketing method has ever been as comprehensive, broad, customized and efficient as social media marketing and the results generated by the social media marketing techniques are the evidence of its usefulness and efficacy as a mode of marketing.

One of the most important elements of social media marketing is the content. Social media marketing encompasses generating meaningful and useful content, which is capable of delivering a solution to the consumers and using it as a method to attract consumers. Social media marketing also encourages the users of social media network who access the social media platforms to share the content with their social network. The combination of these techniques results in a highly synergized method that helps promote or market the products or services in an exponential manner.

Marketing through social media is also similar in its approach to the word of mouth publicity of traditional marketing methods; except, the extent of the spreading of the message by the users of social media is much wider than the word of mouth publicity which was limited to the spreading of the message among a small group of people.

Internet allows access to the entire virtual world and social media marketing capitalizes this opportunity to ‘spread the word’ to any person, in any part of the world. There is another important factor that makes social media marketing an effective marketing method. It is a common fact known by all the marketers that when consumers receive information from sources that they consider trustworthy or credible, there is a much better chance of them considering using the products or the services being promoted by such medium.

In the instance of social media marketing, one of the most important method used by it is to encourage the users to promote the products or services to their social network thereby making them the brand ambassador of the company. Since the people in the social network of these consumers would trust them, there is a better chance of the solution being acceptable to them, resultantly increasing the possibility of them buying the product or the service.

Social media marketing uses several techniques to deliver results to the marketers. With the improvement in the field of information technology, social media and social media marketing are growing at a relentless pace. Social media marketing is a technological disruption in the domain of marketing and has created a level playing field for large, medium and small businesses. The cost of marketing through the social media is much lower than the traditional marketing methods and the expected Returns on Investment (ROI) is much higher. There are newer marketing techniques such blogs and influencer marketing that are being developed and used by the marketers.

Social media marketing has changed the way products and services are marketed and it in turn has enabled the marketers to generate far superior results from their marketing efforts than ever before. Advancements in the field of mobile devices has made it possible to access the internet from smaller devices like the smartphone and tabs making it possible of the users to access the internet on the go. Majority of the users access their social media accounts from smartphones. It has increased the social network even further, both in terms of number of users and frequency of access. Social media marketing has grown on the back of these developments and will continue to be the most effective marketing method.

With the growing acceptance of information technology and internet not only in the developed countries but also in the developing countries and the initiatives taken by companies like Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Samsung to provide cheap and easy access to the internet through micro satellites, drones and high altitude balloons, the use of social media is only going to increase thereby allowing marketers even better opportunities to use this medium for their main marketing effort and integrating it in their marketing strategies.

Some interesting facts and figures about Social Media Marketing

Social Media Marketing is a growing field of marketing and is now adopted by a very large number of marketers. Its acceptance is even wider in Business to Business marketing. Around 84 % marketers now use social media for their marketing activities in the Business to Business segment. A similar percentage of marketers, around 83% state that using social media is essential for the success of their business and over 59% of the marketers spend at least 6 hours a week using social media for their marketing activities.

There is however, no unanimity in the way the efficiency of the social media marketing methods is measured. Different marketing managers use different matrices and then interpret the observations to determine the effectiveness of the marketing measures. 96% of them consider the number of followers on social media as a reliable indicator of the efficacy of the marketing activities that include brand promotion, content marketing and influencer marketing among others. 89% marketers analyze the traffic on their contents and around 84% evaluate how frequently the content is mentioned by the persons visiting the content. The information on how many users shared their content on their social network is considered by 55% of marketers.

Although social media marketing is a relatively recent phenomenon, some of the number as staggering. In terms of lead closure, social media is successful 100% of the times as compared to the traditional marketing methods. In the United States, 80% of the social media users use Facebook for accessing information about the brands. Websites that add a share button to their contents, have a much better chance of them being shared. 72% marketers prefer content marketing on social media platforms as compared to direct marketing and advertising. According to an article in Forbes stating the trends of social media marketing in 2014, 66% marketers believe that social media marketing directly or indirectly improves the performance of their business. In 2015, around 38% marketers planned to shift to digital advertising methods, including social media marketing from relatively traditional marketing methods.

Apart from the use of computers and smart phones, consumers are increasingly using other devices to access the internet. These device include Smart TVs – used by 34%, Smart Watches – used by 9% and Smart Wristbands – used by 7%. It is an important fact for social media markets since it allows them to develop content for users who prefer these devices and market their products or services through these modes.

Social media marketing is the most important marketing method in the United States and the trend is catching up in other parts of the world. It is estimated that by 2019, the spending of the corporates on social media marketing would reach US$17.34 billion. 97% of the businesses in the US use social media marketing platforms and 92% use Facebook as their primary marketing platforms.

89% Marketers believe that it is the level of exposure that social media marketing gives to them which makes it an efficient marketing tool. Unlike other marketing methods, which have limited scope and can reach only a limited sets of clients; social media marketing methods have a wider reachability as there are no physical, geographical or demographical boundaries. The ability of the social media marketing to reach a much larger pool of potential consumers makes it the most desirable medium of marketing. With further advancements in information technology and computation devices, social media marketing is set to grow exponentially for several years to come. The statistics speak for themselves and the businesses that are yet to adopt this mode of marketing may either soon adopt it or cease to exist due to intense competition. Social media marketing gives a competitive edge to businesses and its importance cannot be ignored or underestimated.

The above mentioned statistics indicate how social media has grown in the last few years. There are newer platforms that are being developed and these are changing the way marketing strategies are implemented. While the existing platforms continue to dominate the digital marketing space, new platforms could bring more unique features. These will affect the way marketers plan their marketing strategies. The future could witness using more than one social media platform for executing marketing strategies. This trend is already visible and in the future, more and more marketing managers will use multiple platforms to market their products or services.

Top Social Media Platforms

Social media marketing encompasses using marketing platforms to position the products or the services to the potential consumers by developing and promoting relevant and useful content. The choice of the marketing platforms depends upon the type of content and the nature of the products or services. Also, the popularity of the social media platform affects the selection.

There are several different platforms with varying degrees of differences among them. A marketer may choose to use any one of them or a combination of them depending upon the marketing strategy, business requirements and marketing budget. The characteristics of the offerings also influence the selection of the social media platform.

Among the most commonly used social media platform are Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, Instagram and Tumblr. There are several more platforms that are gaining in terms of popularity and acceptance among the users worldwide. However, they are yet to reach the level of popularity that the aforementioned apps have gained. For this book, the above 8 social media platforms are discussed in detail in the subsequent chapters. Their features, use and application for businesses are discusses in length in the following chapters.

All these platforms offer unique features and businesses are increasingly using them. Marketing through these platforms has now become on the most widely used marketing method and these platforms deliver substantial results in terms of lower costs and higher ROIs. Some of these platforms offer more than one unique marketing solution when combined with different digital marketing methods such as blogs, targeted marketing and content marketing. It further increases the efficiency of these platforms resulting in a highly unique and value driven marketing model that yields significantly superior results for the marketing managers. Different platforms offer different benefits and it is how they are used in conjunction with one another will be the key to gaining a competitive edge for the marketers.


When it comes to social media platforms, Facebook undoubtedly leads the pack. Since its inception in 2004, Facebook has grown exponentially. In a little over a decade, the number of active users in a month has reached 1.55 billion. These are the figures of the third quarter of 2015.

The number of active Facebook users is phenomenal. With a monthly active user base of 1.55 billion, Facebook has more users logging into it every month than the entire population of China that has a population size of around 1.35 billion. If Facebook were a country, it would have had the highest population in the world. These statistics show how powerful Facebook has become. Since its inception in 2004 to reaching a subscriber base of 1 billion in 2012 and now achieving a number of 1.55 billion active users per month, Facebook has crossed several landmarks.

The importance of Facebook increases further if the other social media services owned by it are considered. These platforms are discussed in the subsequent chapters. Facebook is also planning a vast expansion in countries of Asia and China by offering services like Free Basics that are aimed at providing free basic internet services in the areas with little or no internet connections, such as the rural regions. The revenue of Facebook was US$12.47 billion in 2014. The major part of this revenue was generated from advertisements. Facebook is not just a platform for people to connect with one another, it is also a vast repository of information regarding the users such as their preferences, habits, likes, dislikes and social network activities. This information is highly useful for marketers as they can identify their potential consumers’ base, analyze them better and offer solutions to them based on their personal preferences.

Information about the users of Facebook also allows marketers to generate contents that these users will find informative, interesting and useful. It results in larger sharing of such contents by the users of Facebook to their contacts and people in the social network on Facebook, consequently resulting in a marketing strategy that is quite similar to the word of mouth publicity, except, the sharing of the content is much larger than any word of mouth publicity. Consumers too prefer buying products or services that are recommended by their friends, families and acquaintances. Marketers can, therefore, leverage the analytical data provided by Facebook to convert their consumers into brand ambassadors capable of sharing the content and information about the products or services with the other people in their network. Simple Like and Share buttons of Facebook are capable of generating far better results than any other traditional marketing strategy. Using Facebook marketing techniques along with other digital marketing methods such as content marketing generates significantly high results. Facebook is also planning to become a platform for blogging. Combining methods such as Facebook advertisements, content marketing and blogging will facilitate marketers to develop efficient and successful marketing strategy.

Signing for a Facebook account is simple and does not incur any charges to the users. It is completely free and individual users as well as businesses can create their accounts and user profiles in a few easy steps. A user needs to open the Facebook website and need to fill a user form mentioning details such as username, password, email id and other credentials such as date of birth. Once the login is created, the user can create a profile and fill all the required details. Users can also create a company profile and details of the company on the company page. It can then be used for marketing purpose through Facebook.

To market a product or service on Facebook, a company profile page plays a very important role. It is the primary source of information about the brand and its products and services. A social media marketer must seek to divert traffic from Facebook to the company profile page. Hence, it is important that the page should have necessary information. The links to the blogs should be made available on this page so that the visitors can access to useful content from a single page on Facebook. Marketers can leverage Facebook as a platform for promoting their brands by empanelling the services of Influencers, who would endorse the products or services of the company to the people in their network. Companies can also use Facebook as an advertising platform, but using Influencers and loyal customers to promote their brand on Facebook is much more cost efficient and effective.


LinkedIn is a social network platform that is intended for professionals. Unlike Facebook, which is for everyone and where people can share their personal details, thoughts and opinions, LinkedIn is for professionals to access pools of resources that are useful for their work and profession related requirements.

LinkedIn was established in 2003 and has grown rapidly among the professional circles. Several businesses use this platform to hire employees and there have been instances when people form business alliances with other individuals resulting in formation of new companies. One of the most important features of LinkedIn is that it allows publishing and sharing of blogs and other contents. LinkedIn has around 500 eminent people from different domains who write blogs under the category of Influencers on this platform. It includes the likes of Richard Branson and Bill Gates. Other industry experts too use this platform to share their thoughts.

When it comes to developing social media marketing strategy, marketers can easily use this platform to develop and share contents either directly or through other influencers (although these usually are not those from the prominent 500 people mentioned above, other influencers could too exert significance influence). Several individuals on LinkedIn have professional title called “Influencer” and these are experts in different industries. They have their own set of followers and connections which in several cases runs into thousands. By publishing business content either directly or using the services of these influencers, marketers can easily reach a large number of serious and professional potential customers. Influencers can be selected on the basis of their industry specific expertise or general professional expertise. Consumers prefer buying from brands that are supported by the industry specialists and hiring Influencers on LinkedIn is a great way to position a product or service.

LinkedIn, in the third quarter of 2015 had a user base of 396 million which was an increase of 32 million from the previous quarter. LinkedIn is one of the most efficient and effective platforms for social media marketing. This platform offers services in 20 different languages and has a user base spread over 200 different countries. LinkedIn has the largest number of users in the United States with around 107 million users, followed by India (28 million) and Brazil (19 million). Even relatively smaller countries in the word such as Malaysia, Denmark, Ireland and Sweden have more than 1 million LinkedIn users each.

Apart from individual users who can create their own profile pages, businesses can also open the pages about the companies. It helps market the brand easily and position it to a large base of consumers. LinkedIn offers a basic account that is free of any charges and users can register by filling up the basic details and signing up for the basic services. There is also a premium service that is paid and users who subscribe to these services can enjoy several benefits that are not available to the users of the regular accounts. The premium service includes an access to analytical data that can be of tremendous help to the marketers who would like to use this platform for marketing their products and services.

Creating a LinkedIn account and a profile page is easy and businesses can combine several features of LinkedIn, such as company page, content and Influencer blogs to promote their products or services through LinkedIn. LinkedIn generate a revenue of US$1.53 billion in 2013, which increased to 2.21 billion in 2014. This revenue is generated primarily from business contracts and a large part of it are the marketers trying to promote their brands on LinkedIn.

Just like Facebook, using the network of loyal customers and Influencers is an efficient method to generate significantly superior results via LinkedIn. LinkedIn can also be used as a platform to publish content like articles and blogs. They can be used to disseminate the information about the products and services to the potential consumers through a network of loyal brand followers and Influencers.


Twitter is another major social media platform. It is a micro blogging site that allows users to share their content in 140 characters. It is the niche and the unique feature of this platform that allows it sharing information in a few words known as Tweets. The Tweets can be specific information or the introduction or the title with the link to connect to main content hosted outside Twitter.

Twitter is used by most of the industry leaders and also political leaders globally. Even heads of states use Twitter to communicate with their “followers” on this platform. Several marketers use Twitter to either promote their brands directly or by sharing their contents with links to their blogs or websites. Many of them also use Influencers to share their content on Twitter among their followers in order to draw more topic to their main contents.

Twitter has fast grown from 30 million users in the first quarter of 2010 to 307 million users in the third quarter of 2015. In 2013, the most followed business on Twitter was Starbucks which had more than 4 million followers. Twitter earned 89% of its revenue from advertising services which is an evidence of the acceptance of Twitter among the marketers as one of the most used social media marketing service.

Twitter has proven that to market or promote a brand, even a few words can suffice, if those few words have the right reachability among the global audience. Twitter entities have flowers distributed globally in different parts of the world and these followers represent different cultures, geography and demography. Through its Retweet feature, Twitter users further Tweet the content shared with them on the portal. It further helps the businesses by promoting their brand among the social network of Twitter user giving a further advantage to the marketers promoting their brands.

One important element of Tweets on Twitter is a #tag (Hash Tag). #tags are the ways to find Tweets on Twitter. Including a #tag in a Tweet would mean that anyone searching for a keyword will type the word preceded by a “#” and it will display the results of all the Tweets with the term and #. For example, if someone wants to search for Tweets regarding an incident, like a football world cup, the way to add it in a Tweet is by writing “Watching #footballworldcup live in Brazil.” Anyone searching for #footballworldcup will see the results that will include every Tweet with this #tag. It is an effective tool for marketing on Twitter as the marketers can add a key term about their business preceded by a #tag. It is important to note that if the Tweet does not include a #tag, it will not be displayed in search results.

For someone planning to use Twitter to promote something, using a #tag is a viable option. It allows them to specifically highlight a Tweet and link it a specific term. Like in the example cited above, when someone Tweets about football, adding #footballworldcup will make their Tweet relevant in the context of the World Cup. Hence, the Tweet gets a contextual support instead of being a standalone statement. A #tag can be used as efficient marketing and promotion tool. It allows Tweets to be found in specific keyword searches. Businesses using #tags in their social media marketing campaigns derive better results than those who ignore it. The key is to identify the right #tags and include them in the Tweets.

Twitter is also helpful in enabling the marketers to gauge the existing trends and accordingly develop their marketing strategies. Using Twitter, it is possible for the marketers to understand the market trends and patterns and accordingly plan their strategy. Creating a Twitter account is very easy and does not incur any cost. Individuals and businesses can fill the sign up form and get their accounts activated. Twitter is not just a medium to disseminate the information, it is also an efficient analytical tool that helps marketing managers with the necessary inputs to manage their social media marketing strategies.


Google+ (Google Plus) is a social media platform that is accessible to anyone with a Google account. Google+ allows publishing content and sharing it with the people who are added to the “Circle”, the term used to refer the social media network on Google. It also features a messaging app like Facebook known as Hangouts. Hangouts can be accessed either through a Gmail login or through Google+. It makes the messenger easier to access as the users can either access the messenger from the mail or Google+.

Of all the internet users, 54% have a Google+ account. It is because for accessing Google+, a separate user account is not required and the users can use their existing Google accounts to access its services. Google+ is an integration of messaging and content publication and sharing service. Users can easily create and share content with the other users in their circle. They can publish blogs and share the links for other contents.

Google+ is among one of the widest used social media service. Marketers use this platform frequently, as a standalone service or in conjunction with other services to share their content and generate the traffic for their websites, blogs or other contents. For promoting a business, Google+ is a useful tool. It can be used to share useful information in the form of blogs, articles and other content.


YouTube is a video sharing portal and app that enables users to share their content in the form of videos. Whether YouTube should be considered as a social media platform is doubted by few, but it possess every characteristic of a social media portal. It allows publishing content, sharing it and the users can also comment on the contents and further share it with their social network on several different platforms.

YouTube is the most popular video sharing service and marketers use it frequently to publish their online advertisements that are generally played before a video. YouTube is a large repository of videos including full length movies, informational and educational videos, private videos and business and commerce related videos. It is one of the most feasible and viable methods for social media marketing.

The platform even allows launching channels and allowing users to subscribe to them. Many of these channels are paid for which users pay a specific fee to gain the access. However, most of the videos can be accessed for free and have advertisements playing before the videos. It is a highly effective medium for marketing on the social media especially if it is synergized with other modes of social media marketing. A video on YouTube can be shared by the marketers or even other users on a platform like Twitter or Facebook along with several others.

YouTube was originally incorporated in February 2005 and was acquired by Google in the month of November 2006 in a deal amounting to US$1.65 billion. Since then, due to the support from Google and its own features, YouTube continues to be the largest video sharing website in the world. Every minute hundreds of hours of videos are uploaded on YouTube making it one of the preferred channels for social media advertising and marketing. YouTube can also be accessed by installing the YouTube app on the mobile devices allowing users to view the videos even on their mobile phones or tablets, apart from the desktop website.

A large portion of the revenue of YouTube is generated from in-video advertising. Businesses prefer YouTube for displaying their video content or advertise through the in-video displays. Creating and accessing a YouTube account is easy and can also be done by using a Google+ account, although it is not mandatory. Viewers can also watch most of the videos on YouTube without the need to create an account or logging into their existing account. There are however exceptions to this and users require creating an accounting for accessing the video contents such as the paid channels or adult content, which mandates that the users confirm that they are adults and can legally view such videos.

The ability to access most of the content without logging into YouTube makes it an even more feasible option for marketers. Since, users do not have to possess an account, the content can be easily viewed by even those who do not want to have a YouTube account thereby further increasing the reach of the content.

YouTube is one of the best online resources for marketing. Marketers can easily upload videos of their products and service, start their own channel or publish their advertisements that are usually played by YouTube before other videos. Not only can YouTube be used for advertisements, it can also be used as a medium for dissemination of knowledge. When users find value in a content, they are motivated to explore the associated products further. YouTube is one such medium that allows marketers to promote their offerings in a holistic manner.


Instagram is a social network which allows sharing photos and videos through mobile phones. Users can click photographs using the camera of their mobile phones or record videos and share them instantly. Videos of up to 15 seconds can be shared using this app. The term Instagram was coined as the original app converted the photos to the traditional shaped square Polaroid images which were shot by Kodak Instamatic instead of the aspect ratio of 4:3 of regular mobile phone cameras. However, now the app supports sharing images with any aspect ratio.

Instagram was founded in October 2010 and in February 2012, it was acquired by Facebook in a US$1 billion deal. It is one of the most preferred social media services of the businesses. In 2014, around 67% of luxury brands used this platform to market their products. It shows the power of Instagram and its viability for social media marketing campaigns.

The popularity of Instagram can be gauged from the phenomenal increase in its user base. In January 2013, Instagram had 90 million subscribers, which increased to 400 million in September 2015.

Instagram is a highly useful social media marketing tool. Marketers can either publish content directly on Instagram in the form of images or videos or can implement their marketing strategies that involve using Instagram along with other online content or social media marketing platforms.

To access Instagram, users need to download its app and can log into it either by creating a new account or via Facebook account. It is an easy and effortless process. Instagram is one of the few social media platforms that are designed primarily to be used on mobile devices. It also makes Instagram highly popular as the users can easily access the service from their mobile phones making Instagram an effective social media marketing option. By uploading the photographs of their products, marketers can use this platform to generate curiosity among the targeted consumers who are then enticed to know more about these products, thereby improving the sale conversion ratio.


Tumblr is a social media platform that supports short form multimedia blogs and other contents. It is a multimedia microblogging platform with a dashboard interface where the users can post their own blogs, change their settings and also follow the blogs of other users. Tumblr was launched in February 2007 and was acquired by Yahoo! on 20th June 2013 in a deal worth US$1.1 billion.

By April 2015, Tumblr had 106 billion posts from its users and the number of accounts was over 227 million, which were twice as many as a year earlier. One of the most important features of this platform is that it allows live blogging. Users can blog using the Tumblr website or app in real time as incidents take place. It is one of the most popular social media portal in the United States and even White House has an account which posts content that is of both – formal and informal kinds.

The maximum revenue generated by Tumblr is from advertisement revenues. It supports a large range of content and is mostly popular among the 25 to 34 age group. Tumblr has features such as reblog and like options and the users can also communicate with one another while using this platform.

Social media marketers use this platform extensively which is evident from the fact that a large part of its revenue is generated from advertisements. Tumblr allows easy sharing of content that can be further shared by the visitors of the content making it an efficient social media marketing tool. The large and young user base makes Tumblr a lucrative marketing proposition for the marketers who can expect high results from its services.

Currently, over 15 million users access Tumblr each day. The platform also allows sharing of contents from other sources such as YouTube. Hence, marketers can use the services of Tumblr as a standalone platform or can combine its services with other services. Signing up for Tumblr is easy and involves just few simple steps. Users need to give details such as their email id, password and the username.

Tumblr is an efficient social media marketing tool that can be applied subtly to the marketing strategies of a business. By publishing useful content in the form of multimedia files and microblogs, marketers can educate their audience about the benefits of their offerings. Users of Tumblr, who are loyal followers of the brand can be encouraged to share the content through rebologging to their social network on Tumblr and other social media platforms.

Synergizing Social Media Platforms

One of the major benefits of using the various social media platforms for marketers is the synergy they generate when used with one another. Most of the social media platforms do not restrict the users from sharing the content on one platform with another. It is possible to share a link of a video on YouTube on Twitter or Tumblr. Similarly, a post can be shared on Facebook and LinkedIn.

The benefits of marketing using social media platforms is commonly known to most of the marketers globally. However, now there is a growing trend of publishing and sharing contents on multiple platforms. It increases the presence of the content on the internet and also allows the visitors to the contents to share them on their various social media networks on different platforms.

It creates a synergized proposition for marketers who can leverage the features of several social media platforms. A marketer can now publish a text blog on LinkedIn, share it on Facebook, use Twitter to promote it and record and publish a video on YouTube. It increases the credibility and appeal of the content resulting in more organic traffic to the content.

Marketing Strategies and Digital Marketing Strategies

The term marketing gained prominence in the 20th Century when businesses began migrating from sales oriented approach to a marketing oriented process. Marketing is different from sales in the sense that it positions the product or the service, highlights its features and the value it delivers to the consumers and explaining to them how the specific product or service provide the solution to their needs.

Since the advent of information technology in the last two decades, a new type of marketing strategy – Digital Marketing Strategy has gained prominence among businesses. More and more marketers are becoming aware of the benefits of digital marketing strategies. Digital marketing strategies use digital medium such as the internet to market the products and services. With the rise of social media, social media marketing has become one of the most important parts of the digital marketing strategy.

Broadly, a digital marketing strategy includes using digital mediums such as emails, text messages, websites, targeted advertisements such as Google Adwords or advertisements on Facebook and social media marketing. Modern day marketers use several of these modes of digital marketing to generate a synergized result resulting in higher visit to their contents and consequently better sales numbers. Digital marketing strategies are also cheaper than traditional marketing strategies. It costs much less to place an advertisement on a web service like Google Adword or Facebook ads as compared to television advertisements and print ads.

Among the latest trends in digital marketing strategy is social media marketing that has become the primary mode of digital marketing. Some of the newest trends include content marketing and influencer marketing. Unlike earlier times when digital marketers often followed black hat marketing techniques such as simply adding keywords on the webpages to get a higher search engine ranking, the current digital marketing methods require marketers to publish original, relevant, useful and authentic contents that deliver higher value to the visitors of their content.

The term content marketing is not the most popular among the digital marketers and is the future of marketing on the internet. It is rightly said that content is the king. Consumers like to access good content that provides them with relevant and meaningful information. They prefer reading or viewing contents that give them value and information about the products or services instead of viewing advertisements that merely push the products. The digital age consumers are now more aware and knowledgeable and want to weigh the pros and cons of a product or service before buying it. Social media plays a very important role in this regard. Users of products post their comments and feedbacks on the various social media platform and share it with their social network.

Social media marketers publish content that seeks to provide the necessary information to the consumers and the products or services that are really useful get genuine positive feedback from the customers. These positive feedbacks act as catalysts for marketing the solutions further. Users of the products who are satisfied also promote them and the related content with their friends, families and acquaintances on various social media platforms. Social media and digital marketing strategies have changed the way products and services are marketed. Contrarily to earlier approaches to marketing that used aggressive methods such as frequent advertisements, modern day digital marketing follows a more subtle process that presents a product or service as a complete package that delivers solutions to the customers.

Content marketing and social media marketing play a major role in digital marketing processes. Another digital marketing method that will become even more prominent in the future is Influencer marketing. Influencers are individuals who have a high reputation and are followed by a large number of people. These could be famous persons or industry experts. When these experts publish a content on social media or share a content with their networks on social media platforms, there is a higher acceptability of the content among their followers. For example, if a doctor, who is considered an expert in the field publishes a content that points out positive aspect about a medical treatment or a drug, there is a better chance that this content will be considered as authentic and reliable by the followers of the doctor. It is easier for such prominent persons to influence people in their social network, which has resulted in the derivation of the term “Influencer” for such persons.

Social media marketers are increasingly using influencers as a part of their content and digital marketing strategies. It is much cheaper to hire an influencer to promote something through blog posts or other contents on various social media platforms including Facebook than to directly advertise through Facebook, which would cost the marketers more. Social media marketing is the present and the future of digital marketing and with new technologies, methods and channels, it is continuously disrupting older marketing methods.

Six Keys to Successful Logo Design

Six Keys to Successful Logo Design

When creating a logo for your business you should consider first and foremost who you are and what you want to be to your target market. Everything about your logo including its colours, shapes and its font will convey a subliminal message that will speak volumes about your business to the subconscious mind.

Here are the six keys to what makes a successful logo design:

  1. Clear and Direct

Before proceeding to make your logo design, I would suggest taking a look at what the big brands are doing with their own logos. More often than not they are sending a clear and simple message with their logo design. Small businesses often tend to try and say too much within their logo design. The result is an ineffective, unclear message being communicated to your target market.

  1. Unique

To make your marketing logo stand out, strive to make it as unique as possible. If your logo is not able to create a distinction between you and your competitors, why would they contact you ahead of the competition? If you know what your target market is looking for you will be able to focus your logo design on reaching your market. If your business doesn’t stand out from the crowd, then you will be seen as nothing more than a commodity and compete on price alone.

  1. Functional

When creating a business logo, functionality should be among the first things you consider. Although beauty is very important, the functionality of your logo should take first place above all else. Your brand logo should be useable in all kinds of environment. It should also be instantly recognisable, whether it is stamped on an envelope or scaled up to a large billboard. Make sure it conveys the same brand message even if it is in black and white or coloured.

  1. Colours

Careful selection of a colour scheme to use in your business logo is very important. Every colour used sends a message to the subconscious minds of your target market. Because of the hidden meanings of colours, you should have a philosophy behind why you have chosen your colours.

Here are some common colours and the meanings that they may convey:

Green – conveys feeling of security and safety

Pale Blue – calming and encourages fantasy

Yellow – known to evoke the quickest reaction from potential customers

Red – symbolises energy and power and could elicit passion

Orange – is a great stimulant for energetic actions, ambition and creativity

Black – known for signifying sophistication, dignity and authority

  1. Fonts

The fonts for your corporate logo should complement the colours that you have chosen and the nature of your business. It would be best if you create a logo that is distinctive yet sophisticated and simple. There are a great number of fonts that you could choose from. Which font is right for your business? I’d suggest selecting fonts that are timeless for most businesses. Your logo isn’t something you want to update regularly so go with something that will last the distance.

  1. Shapes

The shapes or images that you should use for your brand logo should also communicate your intended message to your target market. Try not to use graphics that are either too wide or too tall. This should help create balance with your font and make your logo more versatile. Make sure the shape you are using complements your fonts and colours. At times you may need to use your logo in black and white so make sure your logo will work.

How to filter good content writers from the mediocre ones

How to filter good content writers from the mediocre ones

Content writers give voice to your digital marketing campaign and it is important that you identify and hire good content writers to achieve your goals. Hiring qualified and experienced writers is a challenging task given the unorganised format of the industry.

In this blog, I have identified methods that can help you hire the next great writer for your firm.

A little homework can save a lot of money, time and other resources especially when you are hiring writers for the first time. Decide on the following items before you proceed to solicit applications/proposals (If you are outsourcing your writing work for the first time, my suggestion is to get one paid 500-words test article written first):

  1. Topic
  2. Multiple titles for the topic so that the best one can be chosen
  3. No of words
  4. A brief outline of the content
  5. Reference Articles

If you have none of them, then you need a content strategist. You may depend on writers to suggest some or all of the above, however, to hire a qualified writer you need to ensure that these points are first determined and incorporated into your guidelines for the writer who needs to work accordingly. Once you have writers on board, they can suggest these items and other techniques to refine your strategy and deliver better results; but till then it is better if you do it yourself since you have a better judgement of what is needed for your digital marketing campaign.

After you have listed down the deliverables, you need to source at least 4-5 writers’ proposals or applications.

Following are some of the methods to find relevant writers:

Social Media: Yes. It works! You may put a status update on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter stating “I am looking for. . . . . . .” along with the email id. It really works and you may expect few applications. The possibility of getting qualified writers is higher on LinkedIn and Twitter as compared to Facebook. Moreover, you may also scan their social media profile to see if they possess the required expertise and to check their direct or indirect intellectual connection with your industry.  The negative side of hiring through social media is you may get a lot of applications that are irrelevant or from amateur writers who are willing to take a plunge in content writing. Obviously you can’t take risks with such writers.

Google: Search with phrases like ‘content writing services’, ‘freelance writers’, ‘web writing services’, etc. to find out relevant companies. You can send your project description to some of the companies listed and get the work done. You should ask for a relevant sample and references before you write a cheque to them.

Outsourcing Portals: Thousands of freelancers bid for writing projects on outsourcing portals like Elance and Guru.com. You can post your project for free and get multiple bids. You should select freelancer with good ratings and sufficiently large number of reviews. The hyper-competition on these sites has resulted in degradation in quality. Not only this, almost all of the top freelancers on these sites are actually outsourcers or intermediaries with little or no knowledge and experience in content writing. They usually outsource your project further to small individuals at much cheaper price. So you need to be very cautious while outsourcing projects through these sites.

SixPL.com: Yes. It’s US! We provide content for all your online marketing needs. Our entire marketing strategy is focused on quality content production and delivery. We have domain experts who are also professional writers.

How to evaluate who is good for you?

Ask some questions related to your field and observe their response carefully. You should hire writers who have some experience in your industry. Remember, these days nobody reads the same usual stuff on the internet so hire people who are subject matter experts in your field.

Once you have finalised a write, spend some time answering their queries. Initial hand-holding may be difficult at times however it is a good investment in the long term.

The importance of storytelling in content marketing

The importance of storytelling in content marketing

The art of storytelling plays a major role in effective content marketing. Have you ever wondered why some advertisements left a deep impact on you? Or, is there any connection between your choice of a product and its advertisement?  Every company is selling its products through storytelling, and we love stories, don’t we? To understand the importance of storytelling, we don’t have to dig so much into our past to understand the storytelling’s powerful effects on a person’s heart and mind. Just go back slightly in your past and remember how we used to ask to hear the same stories again and again from our parents in childhood.

The internet has revolutionized the reach of companies to share their brand stories to a larger audience. The principal success factors of storytelling are social media, social sharing, and word-of mouth, and brand perception in the customers. Storytelling is not only about creating stories for your brand or business, but also one of the effective ways to make the difference in social and content-intensive times. An effective story connected to audiences can transform your shrinking business into a successful stretching business.

Consider these facts to understand why storytelling is very important for your content marketing:

  • Story telling is a great way for you to engage with customers.
  • More than 90% of your consumers would like media messages to sound like a story.
  • Stories help in creating images in our brain and our brain works faster in absorbing images for making decisions. That’s why, it is said that a compelling story means more customers.
  • We all are addicted to one habit and it’s impossible to change this habit – that is daydreaming. Research shows that humans spend more than 50% of their lives daydreaming. So, we all crave stories to feed our brains.

An effective storytelling usually presents an experience. Experiences leave a long lasting impact on consumers’ minds. Merely facts and figures don’t create engaging content, but a story by experience creates an opportunity for you to connect with consumers’ hearts.

Stories also provide you an opportunity to reveal how your product or services are different from others. In a competitive environment, it is possible that many players offer the same products and services. But storytelling helps you to show your customers how your offerings are different from others. After all, a successful story creates a successful brand.

Thirdly, stories help you connect with consumers’ hearts because stories, create an emotional attachment for your product. Also, they provide meaning to your facts and figures because content marketing is all about presenting your data as a story which people not only understand but also enjoy reading.

Fourthly, it helps you reach your ultimate goal – it motivates consumers to buy your products and services. We all feel inspired and motivated whenever we go through Steve Jobs’ speech and presentations. This is because he was an expert storyteller who infused his personal experiences in his stories and that propelled him towards phenomenal success.

A good story engages us immensely and set our wings of imagination free to wonder at something. That’s why it is considered as one of the most powerful techniques of communication in content marketing.

How to prioritize your business ideas?

How to prioritize your business ideas?

Today, businesses work in a very fragile and unstable environment. Consumers’ preferences and expectations are continuously evolving. Some corporate leaders often argue that it is lack of new ideas that hinder successful tapping of the marketing needs. However, looking at the growing competition and the pace at which startups are expanding, it is clear that there is no dearth of ideas, merely the inability to prioritize and organize them.

Study and plan 

While we look out and get inspired to do something new, we need to relax and remember the old school theory of research and planning. Analysing assumptions, forming hypothesis and developing arguments will never go out of fashion, and this is what will bring in a spate of fresh new ideas.

New ideas that solve a market need 

Ease your worries about success by being focused using the “problem solving approach”. In tough times, the problem solving approach helps you zero in on ideas that solve market needs, and that helps you get access to a built-in audience.

Let your Mission statement guide your decision-making 

A company’s mission statement should a guide to for its expansion values. A mission statement must be  carefully planned to help guise progress and diversification of the brand. Take for instance the mission statement from ice cream and frozen desserts giant Ben and Jerry. Their three part mission helps create prosperity for all stakeholders, including their customers, employees, franchisees, suppliers, and the farmers who grow the ingredients used in their products.

Ideation VS prioritization

Innovation has become synonymous with finding blockbuster business ideas. Unfortunately,innovation is viewed as a very difficult task. In reality, being innovative has nothing to do with creating something extraordinary, but selecting the best possible ideas. Ordinarily, the question of ideation versus prioritization may not be considered an unhealthy marketing discussion. However, the  fear  of failure may kill the seeds of innovation even before they have sprouted. It is time, therefore, to wipe  out prioritization issues entirely from the innovation discussion and bring the emphasis back on improving  methods to both generating and choosing successful ideas.

 Visualise your ideas 

Visualise your “Big Goal” in concrete ways. The one idea that has your hundred percent conviction backing it up will succeed, and the rest will become just your means to get there. That idea, then, should be your priority, and he focus of all your business endeavors.

Setting an Innovation Budget 

Creating more business ideas and experimenting is not the mark of innovation success. Ideation can be a fun activity, but experimenting too much can lead to turbulence in business. The better strategy would be to set up a budget for innovation, which can be a positive reality check for all kinds of businesses. This would also help in prioritizing innovative business ideas.

10 steps to build a strong brand

10 steps to build a strong brand

Thousands of startups emerge around the world everyday, but not all survive to see the light of the day. Even established companies often struggle to achieve the brand equity they envisioned. Unfortunately, a lot of people limit their understanding of their branding to their company logo or the kind of stationary they use. Sure, these are a part of your overall branding strategy, but building a brand has a lot more to it than just having a fancy logo or stationary. If you are wondering how to turn around your brand, and make it stronger, here’s some industry intelligence for you.

  1. Start with your tagline. Think about how you want to be perceived – do you want an emotional reaction from your audience, and if yes, what could possibly elicit that? Answer these questions, and you will have your tagline. You may not come up with something as phenomenal as Nike’s ‘Just Do It’ straightaway, but if you think hard enough, you will get close to it.
  2. Differentiate yourself. If you remain blended in with the competition, you will not have any visibility. Evaluate your competition and see how they are expressing yourself. Your goal should be to move away from the core commonalities with your competitors and identify areas of innovation and differentiation.
  3. Create a culture. The best way to build brand loyalty is from the inside out. Envision a culture for your company and build your team, as well as your organization’s values around this vision. Remember, it takes only one disgruntled or bad employee to tarnish your brand’s image and sabotage all your brand building efforts.
  4. Value consistency. All your outreach processes, including your advertising, sales efforts, marketing and communication should be aligned with each other. They should have a similar design, and all the concerned personnel should speak a similar language. Identify those who can easily capture the essence of your brand and present it efficiently. Use these people consistently for your promotional efforts.
  5. Ask for help when you are stuck. Brandin isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, and when you know you are not getting anywhere on your own, it is time to hire help. Everyone who has a strong brand, has a history of hiring the right people to promote them. You may not have the capital to hire a marketing conglomerate, so seek help from a competent agency with a proven track record, and a budget that doesn’t leave you struggling to breathe.
  6. People come first. Your brand is more than just your stationary. All your individual employees contribute to your brand, and therefore, they should be given due importance. People do business with people, and therefore nurturing them can give you dividends that you didn’t even dream of. Be caring for not only your customers, but also your employees – because happy employees will lead to happy customers.
  7. Patience is a virtue. When you are building your brand, do not expect miracles to happen overnight. Anyone who has a strong brand will tell you that it is a struggle initially, and then when you play your cards right, things will begin to look up. This is a time consuming process, and it will take time – whether you like it or not.
  8. Try to be ahead. Research is the key to remaining ahead in competition. Keep a close watch on market trends, competition and your target audience. Engage in research, and use the findings to improve your services and products.
  9. Listen as much as you can. Your target audiences do speak too. Listen to what they are saying. If they are active on various social media platforms, follow them and find out if they are happy with your brand. If they are not, listen closer and use their feedback to improve.
  10. Manage your brand continuously. Monitoring is important, if you plan to evaluate your campaigns and learn from them. Have a team in place to do so, and take feedback regularly to initiate quick action.