7 steps: Using digital for your ‘entrepreneurship and brand’ for impact
A 7 step guide to assist you in building a brand, empowering your entrepreneurship and your business with maximum impact coupled with valuable and tangible results in today’s Digital world:
- Goals: Be very clear on your goals and at the same time be very specific. For eg. Instead of saying I want to achieve “sales”, say I want to generate sales worth Rs.X or $X during a period of 6 months. Few more examples of having clear goals from your digital marketing or social media campaign could be as shared below:
- Generate 1,000 enquiries or quality leads during the year
- Increase Facebook, Twitter, Google plus, LinkedIn, YouTube engagement in the range of 55-65% during the first two quarters.
- Increase page ranking for SEO and core three keywords for my business from page 7 to page 1 during the first quarter
- Increase facebook likes, twitter follows and with that actual Brand mentions in the range of 25-35% in the first quarter
- Generate actual sales conversions of $X or Rs.X within the first quarter
- Generate 500 event bookings for the upcoming event by the first quarter
- Sell 500-1,000 books during the first 6 months of the book launch
- Generate On-the spot event Bookings (at least 5-7) for the Training workshop during your social media contest week
- Increase web traffic by 60% in the first quarter of the campaign
- Increase Blog traffic, comments, engagement by 30-45% in the first quarter
- Increase enquiries through facebook, blog, twitter by 25% in the first quarter
- Understanding who your customers are: This is core, because understanding their demographics will help you craft messages accordingly. When you present solutions which matter to that particular age group, in a language and tone which they can connect with, the impact will most certainly be fantastico. For eg. if I am looking for a corporate or financial service, I do not want them to sound cool or be hip. I would rather prefer if they were sounding professional, clear and precise.
- Understanding where your customers are: This again is very important. By far, everyone (over 1.6 Billion users) are on facebook today. But does that mean they will be comfortable engaging or enquiring on that site with you. May be the product or service you offer is ‘sensitive or confidential‘ in nature For eg. Health, Wellness, Clinical services: Are very sensitive in nature. Similarly, “Banking, Financial, Investment etc” are confidential in nature. So ensure to use platforms where they will be comfortable having a conversation with you. May be you could encourage them to use Facebook’s messaging service as ‘a brand to a customer’, or a blog which allows them to write to you in confidence or may be a Google Ad through which they could simply click and get your executive on the phone in a single go.
- Choosing the right platform: Usually, brands ask this as their first question while designing their digital marketing or social media campaign, i.e. “Which site should I use to promote?” This should actually be question number four. After you have decided on your goals, metrics, customers etc. Once you are clear about the first three, you would be easily able to decide where you need to be present. The idea is not be present across every single social networking site or platform, rather across three to four platforms where your target audiences generally engage.
- Digital for EASE to connect & resolve – And to Cut down your costs wherever it is possible and advisable, as a start-up Brand and Entrepreneur: This is the most important aspect of being or going DIGITAL today. Unfortunately, many brands and organizations including entrepreneurs still use traditional modes and or insist on traditional medium to connect and resolve issues. They spend hours on meetings (one on one) and again, hours discussing over the phone. Using Digital to schedule the exact agenda, using mediums and tools like Skype, Google Hangouts etc is a powerful way to ensure that you are truly going digital. If you are an established brand or have tons of money and financing, then it would still make sense to spend so much. But if you are an entrepreneur or a start-up brand then spending these many hours on phones and travel for personal meetings could cost you just more than your time and money. Agree to meetings with a clear and concise instruction and agreement on the agenda of the meet and then ask yourself: “Can this really not be done on Skype Video call”, “Am I agreeing to this meeting only because the prospect is forcing me to?” then may be your prospect is not clear on what going digital demands. Sometimes, you would comes across customers who want to sell their products and services online completely, but will insist on doing everything the traditional way. In that case, ensure you add the costs to cover your time, energy and resource. Similarly, when your prospects agree to go ‘the digital way’ with you, ensure to pass on the reduced operational cost benefits to them in the form of discounted pricing or more features and or benefits too. There are lot of books and quotes you can read about business and entrepreneurship. Some of my personal favorite books on business, entrepreneurship, management etc are from Peter Drucker, Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Richard Branson, etc. Read about Warren Buffett, about tips, guides, books on “business, entrepreneurship, savings, investment etc”, it will go a long way for you as a brand and as an entrepreneur. Every aspect of your time and energy involves cost. If your prospect cannot respect that, then going digital truly makes no sense for such group of members. I am not saying avoid face to face meetings every time. But rather, do that only once both of you have come to a great deal of confidence that this might be a good business partnership. Today we hear about mega multi-corporations and businesses that have had millions and billions of investment and which have collapsed due to irrecoverable costs and losses. Ask yourself, “Should I really spend this much on a TV ad or a newspaper ad?” If it delivers result for your brand, please do so by all means. “Do all of us really need the third meeting at a five – star hotel?” If it will help you build an excellent partnership, then yes! Going digital requires lot of commitment right from the start. So make sure it is clear on where you wish to be not today, but a decade or two decades down the line. Life is not predictable. If something goes wrong out of the ordinary, then you definitely can’t help it. But the rest, in the real terms, is purely in your control. Digital can be a powerhouse if used properly, especially in the case of Entrepreneurs, Founder’s and start-ups in general.
- LISTEN, LEARN and MEASURE: I love automobiles. I have cut-outs of cars from newspapers, magazines, etc from over two decades ago. In fact, for the past 12 years, my desktop and laptop wallpaper is a Mercedes Benz SL 300 1954 Silver car.I was not just a fan of the design and looks of vehicles. For me, I loved the way they purred when racing in the streets, the technical specifications, the safety enhancements, luxury features, fuel efficiency etc. The point is, when we buy a car or a house, we look at so many aspects of their features, functions, luxury and design. So as a brand and or as a business, don’t just settle for likes, follows, traffic and mentions. Metrics play a vital role in Digital today. So measure each aspect (metrics which matter to you based on your goals) of your campaign. Listen closely to what your customers, competitors say. But at the same time, also ensure to LISTEN to your own brand’s tone too from time to time. As an entrepreneur and a start-up brand, it is core to ensure your organization’s message and tone style are in sync with how you wish to be perceived. So social media analytics, BigData, digital marketing metrics, etc play a very vital role in your digital reach across prospects and consumers online.
- Invest wisely: With the power of digital and it’s impact being felt across each day, the costs also obviously keep rising. In fact, the more and more people realize that the impact, the actual metrics, the impressions and views, reach, brand mentions and conversions through digital are way clear, easily measurable, than it is through most of the traditional advertising models,more and more brands, users etc are now making use of these mediums. But invest wisely. Do not wait for too long but at the same time do not jump into investing millions just like that. Look at the product that you are offering. As a brand, one could invest about 10-15% of your annual Sales targets towards using digital medium for your brand. In simple terms, for every Rs.100 that you wish to make through digital, if you are not ready to invest even Rs.10-Rs.12, then probably you are not ready to take this medium seriously. Nothing happens overnight. Especially the digital medium. Why? Because today consumers and brands are treating it differently each day and so much changes at the blink of an eye. So the core is, as a brand or as an entrepreneur, ensure to Build TRUST. Trust is the biggest factor in any campaign. Remember, digital media is not about websites, hits, likes or follows. It was and will always be about People. People buy from People they trust. Humanize your Brand and invest wisely based on your needs, expectations and understanding from the campaign.
Across the globe, we have users sharing their views, expertise and knowledge about different mediums, field, etc. For you to GROW with your Brand and make that fantastico and powerful IMPACT, ensure you surround yourself with people who have the same mission and goal as yours.
There was a recent survey from Hubspot about ROI from Digital Vs Traditional marketing:
Source: HubSpot “The return on investment in digital media and marketing versus other avenues:
Digital marketing was, by in large, at the forefront of the complete report.
In terms of improved ROI:
- Social media – 27% improvement
- Email marketing – 27% improvement
- SEO – 25% improvement
- Blogs – 24% improvement
- Finally the report discussed traditional advertising (like telemarketing, print ads, trade shows etc ) which only had 12% improvement on small businesses ROI’s.
Have a wonderful connect ahead.
Do share your views, comments and feedback. Would love to hear from you.
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