09.11.2019 - Summarized by Kaetlyn Bennett
Marketing can seem confusing. You’ve got questions, so we’ve got answers. Listen in as we answer your questions from our previously recorded Facebook and Instagram Live.
(2:42) How do I get people to buy my products?
Your job isn’t to push your product on people. Your job is to find the people that need your product or service and figure out how to communicate what makes you different in the marketplace in a way that will influence them to choose and then prefer you in the marketplace.
(4:20) We put out content on our social media posts and hand-held video, but my agency wants us to make these big more expensive videos, why?
The reason why they’re trying to coax you into that is because of the potential reach and the impact in the marketplace. Social media gold is in sharing. If you can make content that will resonate and be shared, it has more value, but it takes more thinking, strategy, planning, and crafting to do. That’s why it costs more to make. But make sure they know how to do it, approve the concepts and storyboards which should be part of that investment. Be creative - it goes along way. Sometimes, hand-held video is fine, but you have to know when. Be careful not to come off as amateur or cheap in the process - unless of course, that resonates with your customer base. To add on, make sure you have a reason to be shooting a video. Don’t just be shooting a video because someone told you it’d be a good idea, and you happen to have a camera phone. Make sure there’s thought behind it. Your agency should be the one providing that thought for you, and your job is evaluate if it’s a good fit for your company and brand.
(11:30) What advice can you give startup businesses that are on tight budget?
First, don’t open your doors with a tight budget. Find a way to get the capital that you need to survive. Whether that means going to the SPA and getting a loan, or going through angel investors or your uncle, or working your full-time job to get the money to open a business. Don’t launch before you’re prepared because you will most likely will go under. Next thing is you need to know how much money you need to have. Build a business plan. You need to know what you need from an operation, legal, communication standpoint. That’s the three main pieces to being in business. Operations is building the building or renting the building that you’re going to be in, the employees you’re going to have, the raw materials that you need, etc. All of that is needed to actually do whatever function it is that you’re going to come into the marketplace with. Legal is dealing with the IRS, the Secretary of State, the County, etc. Make sure you have your permits, certifications, and your legal right to exist. Then communicating your business is a large part of being in business. When you’re building your business plan, don’t forget how you’re going to tell people about your business. You need to have enough money before you open your doors to have a decent marketing plan, to build a marketing foundation, and to implement whatever strategy is necessary. Proactivity and planning are a huge part of this, so you step in front of it, instead of behind it. You do things in a very strategic methodical way to grow your company. If you’ve already launched your business, take a step back and do what you have to do to get your ducks in a row. Owning a business is difficult, and it takes time and money. Line yourself up with professionals, know what you’re going to do, then put yourself in the right place to be able to do so.
(19:11) How much does a website cost?
Let’s imagine you are a car lot. Someone comes in and asks how much a used car is. How do you answer that? There are too many variables, right? 4-wheel drive? Sunroof? Family car? Sports car? I’d need to know if u sell online and if you deliver. Where you’re located, how often you change your inventory, if you sell used or/and new vehicles. What’s your relationship with the manufacturers? What types of cars do you sell? How are those cars being positioned in the marketplace? Who is your typical customer? Why do they buy from you? Is it mostly kids going off to college or professionals buying their reward car because they’ve gotten a promotion? Or maybe it’s the family who just found out they are pregnant and is starting a family. There are lots of variables necessary to make the smartest, best, and most efficient site for you. So, there is no blanket statement. The answer to that question will depend on the answers to all those questions. You need to let me know the answers to those questions before I would know how to quote how much your website would cost. The important thing about investment – no matter which tool it’s for– is that you are investing in your business continually. A large part of that investment is going to be in how you communicate your business. Because people can’t buy from you if they don’t know about you. So, let your agency know how much you can invest, and let them direct you as to the best ways to spend that investment to give you the best return. That’s really how you should look at it.
(24:30) Why should I buy from an agency when I can buy direct from vendors myself?
I’m not saying you should – I don’t know your business. But the big picture answer to that is you need to understand what you are getting and that it has value. If you don’t know why you should be with an agency, you will only become disappointed with an agency. You are investing, so that you can utilize their experience and their expertise. So, you don’t have to take the time to learn everything yourself. You are also getting skills that take years to hone. Not everyone knows how to design effective communication pieces – no matter what they tell you, and some agencies are a one-stop shop for everything. That means less stress, less complication, and less confusion.
(29:34) Can I just do it myself – all the marketing for my business?
You can if you know how. Do you have the skill, experience and time? Like I said, that’s what you’d be paying for. But even if you have the know-how and skill, you will lose time – and you won’t be investing as much time in what your core business is. This is basically the same as asking “Why do I need an agency?”
(31: 21) What about going to a vendor?
Again, this is the same as the previous question - why should it be an agency and not a vendor. You have to understand the difference to make that call. Vendors take orders and deliver a service. Agencies partner with companies to figure out what they need, provide direction, make recommendations, and then deliver on those recommendations.
(33:30) Why do you give away your secrets?
I put out content for business owners, entrepreneurs, c-level executives, managers, etc. Yes, I know that some agencies and those that would be considered “competition” watch our show, but seriously, there is enough business to go around, which is why I never seek out to break up existing relationships. However, I offer to help businesses in any way that I can. I really look at it this way – I am here to help if a business wants my help. And they aren’t secrets. The advice and insight that I provide comes from my experiences in marketing for businesses, the ability to see things in the big picture, and the map out strategies for companies that are in their best interest.
(37:07) From a new business - Where should I start? Facebook?
Build your brand first. Second, know your potential audience. Do a business plan that includes communications. THEN worry about how to reach your audience with the investment that you’ve allotted for in your plan. Understand that there are no tricks - put in the work.
(40:00) What if you are an established business?
As an established business, you should have all the important information, such as a developed brand, a targeted consumer profile, a consistent look and feel for your brand, and a strategic marketing plan. If you have all of that, then go where your audience’s attention is with a message that will speak to them. It’s that simple. The difficult part is how to do that. How to know what it is and how you are going to present it in a way that is going to resonate with your audience, so that you become remembered and preferred in the marketplace. But practically - smart phone for most businesses – it’s where people’s attention is – you need to be making content for the platforms that live on this device.
Category : Straight Shot Marketing Podcast
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