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17 April 2019 Published in Blog Written by

Persuasion

Ways to 'High Five'

It’s often hard to persuade people to evaluate your product or service … especially if they’ve never heard of you. So how do you turn that around? Keep in mind that your marketing message should focus on content that’s relevant to your audience. So exactly what’s it takes to actually do that?

1.  Introductions Matter

The importance of your “About Us” ranks on top. It’s your chance to establish credibility and highlights what you stand for. Nike has done a great job of doing this. After reading their “About Us” page, consumers quickly ‘get’ that the company’s objective supports people similar to them who are at different stages of their fitness journey. 

2.  You Have What ‘They’ Want

Rather than jot down a series of campaign slogans, consider how your company culture connects with your base. Think about your consumers’ emotional needs—not just the ones provided by the competition. Finding the emotional “hooks” in your message differentiates your product from all the others. Start telling people about it.

3.  Crystalize Product/Service Benefits

Balance the emotional impact with facts ... a generic “ours is better than theirs” statement won’t get you there. Offering them stats and real testimonials defining your product’s superiority is the secret ingredient for success. Just start writing facts down and you’ll see the powerful messages you may have overlooked.

4.  Prove It

Combining an emotional thread with logical reasoning is a solid first step to good creative, but until you keep those promises, it’s all empty boasting. Once you decide what qualities create a long-term connection with consumers, enlist the help of your entire organization to bring those ambitions home. Otherwise, your customers might feel they’ve been misled.

5.  Counter Competitive Messages

This is a tricky strategy but can be done with fines by mentioning your competition by name. The trick is to do it without sounding boastful or tasteless. Next, be sure to showcase your weaknesses in a positive way. A perfect example of this happened years ago when Avis came in second behind Hertz in annual sales statistics. Avis quickly developed a tagline “When you’re only No. 2, you try harder.” Simple taglines such as this don’t brag to attract customers—but rather reveal a company’s strengths and honesty.

6. Let Er Rip

Perhaps the most straightforward but hardest motivator is your Call to Action which requires

Being Concise – get their attention and Being Specific-- guide them in the right direction. Get the, there by explaining their next steps as clearly as possible. By using action words such as “buy,” “download,” or “submit” in your Call to Action, you don’t limit your outreach to those who already understand how your business works.

The objective of effective creative is to make a lasting impact on consumers which results in them taking the next step – learn more or purchase. The above persuasion marketing tactics establish stronger connections to those you wish to attract or retain … and isn’t that the point?

Just know that your message should focus on content that’s relevant to your audience and not just toss in clever words and attractive graphics.

Strategic use of persuasion usually turns potential consumers into active customers. Sounds easy but sometimes pulling the components together require a bit of help. That’s where HQZ Experts can assist. If you’re message isn’t working, let us offer some fresh ideas and new approaches.

HQZ Experts assists clients in creating effective B2B marketing tactics to manage, track and refine content marketing approaches.  Let's talk about your approach

Call us and learn more - Contact Pat Dwight: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call: 949-454-6149.

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02 April 2019 Published in Blog Written by

Social Media's 4 R's

Yes You Can Recycle Stuff

Simple and easy steps help strengthen your social media content.

Rewrite:

Take a look at your ‘past’ content library to see where you can pull tidbits of information then create new content from that material. Often older pieces still contain relevant takeaways or quotes that your universe finds valuable. This also helps extend or reinforce the life of your content.

Reorganize:

Segment or select sections of a larger asset to create smaller, more detailed breakout pieces. For instance, pull stats or key figures from an infographic and repurpose them in new posts as the focal point. Doing so expands the length of a campaign and highlight relevant sections by channel audience interests.

Retire:

Remove posts that are outdated. Social media is instantaneous, so the last thing you want is to have your brand appear out of touch. Since you still occasionally want to reference old social content, create archive folders to keep the content alive, with less visibility.

Redesign:

Transform an old piece into a new piece. Sometimes an asset just needs refreshed branding to feel new again, and there’s really no reason to reinvent the wheel. Consider taking an existing asset and designing it for a different audience.

Because the electronic universe is so vital you have lots of options in ‘refreshing’ used slogans, photos, statistics or studies … there’s always new eyes searching for information and interesting material.

HQZ Experts assists clients in creating effective B2B marketing tactics to manage, track and refine content marketing approaches.  Let's talk about your approach

Call us and learn more - Contact Pat Dwight: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call: 949-454-6149.

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20 March 2019 Published in Blog Written by

Winging It Is Risky

Improvise Then Take Your Chances

Growing your company gets tougher all the time. But, since marketing your business requires blasting your company’s unique story, it’s wise to frequently re-examine your marketing content. If you expect to be competitive and grow your business, you gotta plan for success … it’s just not optional. Businesses that ‘wing it’ - with no strategy or plan – will always be disappointed. And, creating a plan, yet not using it is worse!

Nominal Basics You Should Already Know:

  1. Goals & Objectives: The most common goals include increasing website traffic, growing social audiences, and increasing contact form submissions or newsletter signups. It’s not all that hard.
  2. Audience Segmentation & Characteristics: Know your target audience - their motivations, pain-points and what they’re searching for: keyword researches, website analytics and a sales team that already knows the customer’s profile.
  3. Brand Message: Content marketing strategies must define and tell your brand’s story - the message you want to communicate to your audience. TELL THEM what sets you apart from your competition.
  4. Multi-Channel Connections: Customer relationships include multi-touch points on multiple channels (social media, search, digital ads, news posts, customer review sites, etc.) Select your channels based on how it specifically helps you most effectively reach your audience. Then define your specific objectives for each channel.
  5. Content Types: From blogs and ads to podcasts and videos, define the content types and tactics you plan to use for each. Always consider whether you’re trying to attract, engage or convert in a target’s buying cycle.
  6. Content Topics: Content marketing must provide the best answer to what your audience seeks, and when and where they search for it; then determine whether your content fulfills those needs.
  7. Measure Results: Measure the effectiveness of your content marketing and the channels where you promote. Doing so highlights whether you’re hitting your objectives, and if not revise as needed.

To find your balance, experiment and improve, measure conversions and tie activity to revenue. Doing so identifies which metrics to focus on; and if yours don’t, begin using the steps defined above NOW.

AND NOW PHASE 2:

Paid Promotions

Since 66% of companies use paid methods to distribute content (meaning that a third of marketers rely on organic reach and existing subscribers as the resource for placing their content) it’s critical to at least evaluate paid social media and paid search ads to incorporate comprehensive content promotion.

Build A Community

Only about 20% of B2B marketers use community building and audience participation to nurture followers; but it often helps to participate in forums through social media by encouraging 2-way conversation.

Get / Use Customer Intel

Marketers rely on good data, yet customer conversations aren’t mainstream for most research (only 50% of companies talk directly to their customers.) First-hand knowledge from real customers in real-time is invaluable, so implement steps for your sales and customer service teams to collect customer data then share it with you!

Tie Content to Buyer

The buyer’s journey should trace everything from keyword and topic selection to final purchase. Focus on blending the ‘Attract’, ‘Engage’ and ‘Convert’ content stage, with the emphasis on “Attract”.

Invite Influencers In

It’s good to develop relationships with influencers who can help promote your content. Through co-creating with influencers you’ll see a boost in motivation, amplification, and attraction to the new message. Just keep it simple.

Own Your Audience

Social media sites own your audience on their platforms and you just pay them for access to those customers. So, it’s crucial to bring your audience to your own universe – which occurs by building a subscribed audience that allows them to opt into your content (and likely into your community).

Measure Your ROI

Proving the value of your work via ROI matters because you get larger budgets for the next planning cycle. And, effective measurement and reporting matters to management since it benefits any organization looking to improve their bottom line.

Tactical content marketing management has to happen, and yes it is risky but the steps help you get started or fine tune your marketing strategy ... stimulate customers or prospects.  If you wing it again your results won't improve.  That's why your next step matters!

HQZ Experts assists clients in creating effective B2B marketing tactics to manage, track and refine content marketing approaches.  Let's talk about your approach

Call us and learn more - Contact Pat Dwight: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call: 949-454-6149.

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11 March 2019 Published in Blog Written by

Brand Refresh Workout

3 Examples of Rebranding Approaches

Sit up straight now, breathe deeply, and relax. Then let’s talk about product rebranding. Yes, changing your brand’s icon is a frightening venture, but often it just makes sense to take the plunge.

When contemplating a brand refresh, you never know how your loyal customers and the consumers will react. That is why a brand refresh is so ominous and often avoided. Always remember your buyer’s passion for consistency ... they like routine. And, when done well, the results can be financially and emotionally rewarding. The examples of three famous company’s rebranding efforts below portray different motivation, approaches and outcomes.

Approach Backfire: Tropicana

Tropicana learned the hard way when they decided to change their look - Tropicana orange juice cartons with the fresh orange stuck with a straw on the front convey ‘refreshing.’ But when parent company Pepsico announced their plan to “simplify” the design to something entirely new, the unexpected happened. Consumers revolted. A 19% decline in sales ($33M loss after refresh launch) was immediate and certainly unanticipated for their brand refresh plan.

When asked, Tropicana consumers called the new design a generic “store brand” and ugly. With such a significant reaction, the fallback prompted Pepsico to roll back its brand refresh plan and return to their original logo and packaging.

The moral of this example is to always trust your consumer’s passion for consistency and sticking to what they know and trust. Some upfront research also provides real market insights. Understanding what keeps consumers coming back to you rather than your competitors is your starting point! Don’t gamble until you do solid research.

Deliberate Approach: Starbucks

Starbucks coffee drinkers are very brand loyal. So, when Starbucks removed the words “coffee” from their logo, the company couldn’t know what the reaction would be. Well, the new brand wasn’t all that dramatic. People immediately recognized the original central design girl-with-crown which automatically prompted immediate association while remaining traditional yet a fresh new look. Their rebranding was a smash; their brand is

Whenever you’re considering rebranding check your data before making any big moves. While trusting your consumers, also follow your intuition since rebranding includes instinct, and in this case, Starbucks chose to do just that.

Homerun: IHOP

One of the best brand “refreshes” was from IHOP. One reason to embark on a brand refresh is to regenerate interest in your company and remind people that you’re still around, still relevant, and have something new to show them. When you offer pancakes … but that’s working now … you announce that you’re more than a pancake house.

IHOP’s new message “In My Feelings” sparked an intense media surge. IHOP’s online draw grew more popular than it has ever been in the company’s history. Millions of posts about IHOP’s new slogan struck a chord with social media enthusiasts. The hype translated from just posts about the refresh itself to a meme later on, keeping IHOP in the news for months. They also gained a 30% rise in stock during the campaign.

We can learn a lot from IHOP in this case. Sometimes, unexpected ideas drive the greatest change. The old slogan … “Change is constant, Change is Good” really fits IHOP’s decision. Remember, just because you’ve been doing one thing for years, doesn’t mean it’s working. And if you add new elements to your offering, you must reapply lipstick to your story!

Consumers may disagree that these companies made “good” or “bad” choices, but we always have to be prepared for some heat, because some folks won’t like the changes you make during a rebranding period.

Again, do your homework. Ask a lot of questions. Do some trial testing. Once you decide to leap and have the strategy in place, stick to your vision and HIT GO!

Rebranding is an adventure. Some win, some lose, some get rained out. But when – not if – your brand begins to sag, or your competitors are taking market share from you, give your brand some thought. As you see, rebranding is a process and doesn’t happen overnight.

New can be fun, try it.

HQZ Experts has worked with clients through re-branding planning and look forward to helping you explore your product or company rebrand journey.

Call us and learn more - Contact Pat Dwight: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call: 949-454-6149.

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