Authenticity 101

Authenticity.

In a culture curated by filters and seemingly flawless images, what does it mean to be authentic? Is it valuable to you for customers to see your brand as authentic? The way the consumer perceives your brand will ultimately determine whether they become your customer or not. Here are some things to consider when thinking about authenticity.

1. Can your customers see the vision behind your brand?
Your target audience may be broad, or it may be specific. Either way, this group of people has a set of values and standards and will make purchases from brands which align with those values. Do your promotional materials, website, social media and customer service convey those core values? It needs to be obvious you are a business who prides itself on its quality assurance and customer satisfaction, always.

2. Is your brand approachable?
As a kid, we would write letters to the President and our favorite celebrities in hopes to get a response and feel ‘seen’ by them. While you may not be the President, interacting with your customer base on social media is a great way to connect with the people who directly support you. Consider a personal response to a ‘fan’ (read: customer) to show there’s some humanity behind your brand name. It’s also great publicity and branding if your message or tweet back to a customer is shared!

2018-01 Authenticity 101

Can customers easily reach a representative on the phone or do they receive an automated machine? If customers feel a company is too big or too busy to care about them personally, they may also feel as if their purchases don’t matter either. Authenticity can be created by simply having a customer service representative available to personally answer phone calls.

3. Is your brand respected?
Are you seen in the community as a name people can stand behind? Is it possible there’s a charity, school, or organization within your community you could support? It’s worth considering community service projects to get you and your staff involved in giving back. This, of course, needs to be genuine, but the kindness will ultimately tie compassion and generosity to your brand.
Oftentimes we think we are completely authentic by owning up to faults or adding a ‘Meet the Team’ page to your website. While these are great strategies and are recommended, there’s added value in going the extra distance. Authenticity creates depth and personality to your brand, and results in higher customer retention rates, brand engagement, and at the end of the day increases your bottom line. What is your brand doing to become more authentic?

How Video has Changed Digital Advertising

What’s the next big thing?

Ever since the age of smartphones began, photo and video have taken the digital advertising space by storm. Within the past 5 years, we have seen Instagram, Vine, and Snapchat rise in popularity, and with the exception of Vine, the visual platforms are thriving. But how important is video marketing to your business? Well, let’s look at the stats.

  • According to Social Media Today, Facebook produces an average of 8 billion video views a day.
  • Every day, 55% of people watch videos online. (Source: Digital Information World)
  • Popular marketing tool Hubspot says 64% of internet users are more likely to buy a product online after watching a video.

Video Marketing

The statistics go on and on.

Do you know how to best utilize video? Video Brewery says that 20% of viewers will click away within 10 seconds of the video starting. Just like an attention getter in an essay or novel, the beginning of your video needs to convince the consumer to keep watching. Videos need to connect with the audience it is being targeted to. With today’s technology, the cost of creating a video has decreased dramatically and it doesn’t take much to get started.

Now that Instagram and Facebook have launched ‘live’ features, you can captivate your customer base by simply having a smartphone with a camera. Recent iPhone video quality is high enough, where by the quick press of ‘record’ you can provide current and potential customers a tour of your location, a how-to video on how to use one of your products, insider tips and tricks, or a live question and answer session. Any of these ideas can be done in-house without any sort of professional equipment. And, it keeps your social media followers engaged and interested in what’s new around your business.

As you look down the road to what the future holds for your business’ marketing strategy, video advertising certainly should be on the list of things to consider. For now, at the very least, it should start the conversation about how you and your business will be a part of this next generation of advertising.

Organic Search Ranking and Credibility to the Consumer

What are your customers searching?

“Brunch restaurants nearby”

“Breakfast food near me”

“Where’s the best brunch in Portland?”

Nowadays, search engines seem to solve all life’s hardest questions. And, if your business has a website, you obviously want your website to land at the top of the first page when a potential customer searches for what you do. But oftentimes, business owners don’t fully understand search engine optimization or how to improve their rankings to give them the best chance to be on the first page.

Organic Search Ranking

Statistics show that internet users search more than 3.5 billion queries every day. For your website to be the top results, a combination of attributes need to be in your favor. Everything from page headings, loading speed, mobile optimization, html codes, and many other factors play a part in how soon a consumer will see your brand’s website in their search results. Because of this, it’s important to fully understand how best to create your website and enhance your content for optimal results, or have someone on your team who does.

Another way to improve your search ranking is to have customer reviews. A recent survey reported that 73% of consumers trust a local business more when they have positive reviews. Also, a consumer will read a minimum of 7 reviews before they trust a business. So, the more Yelp, Facebook, and Google reviews you have, the more relevant your business becomes to the specific search. You will increase your chances on being on the first page simply for having more reviews.

An example of the significance of reviews could be making a purchase on Amazon. The average consumer is more likely to buy a new bike from a business with 70 positive reviews than a business with 1 or 2 reviews total. Reviews provide credibility and depth to a business. Finding an effective way to promote your customers to leave good feedback on line is an important part of business today.

The next time you’re doing a Google search, notice what factors you consider when selecting a search result for a local business. Understanding how you (or others you know,) search and make “buying decisions” is important in understanding the importance of getting to the first page on the search engines.

Why One Size Fits All Doesn’t Work

Our Team’s Perspective

Have you ever completed a puzzle? The feeling of snapping the last piece in place is a sigh of relief. But imagine getting down to the last couple pieces, and realizing they were lost along the way? That is exactly how it sounds to me when a business owner has an epiphany about the importance of active marketing. They either don’t have any marketing, or there is no way of measuring the effectiveness of their current marketing. That’s where Louvre Media fits into your custom business puzzle.

Man and woman hands trying to connect puzzle pieces

All puzzles are different in the same way no two businesses are the same. Marketing needs to be customized, defined, designed, delivered, and cultivated. For small and medium sized businesses, the one-size-fits all model doesn’t work, and automation becomes a hindrance rather than a perk.

Go sit down with any marketing agency about your small business’s marketing needs and they will say, “Okay, we have three packages – Package A has this, Package B has the same thing but it’s better, and Package C is our premium package which actually has what you need and is wildly overpriced for that reason.” They probably won’t say the last part there, but most likely it’s true. If they do have a package that works for your business, it probably includes tools that you won’t even use. At Louvre Media, we offer the whole package.

The whole package is designed for you, knowing that your business is unique and has different needs when compared with any other business. Even franchises are different from each other, believe it or not. My favorite part about meeting a new potential client is that I know, no matter what their needs are, I can come up with a solution and a plan that works with their goals in mind. Have a small budget? I can work with that. Don’t know what marketing is, but know you need it? Great! I can get the ball rolling to help your business compete with the big guys. I’ve bought billboards, magazine ads, newspaper flyers, and done countless newsletters, social posts, and so much more. We always say, “if we don’t do it already, we’ll learn how for our clients.”

I’ve been with Louvre Media for more than a year now and I can’t wait to keep learning! Work is a place I love to be now. Every day brings new challenges and fun ways for me help businesses grow and build a foundation. I can easily recommend Louvre Media’s marketing to any business owner because I know that it works and that I have a great team to back me up. We’re the whole package!

~ by Superstar Account Manager Adelaide

Who is Your Ideal Customer?

The Right Message to the Right Customer

“How Do I Focus on Getting The Best Customers?”

As a business owner, this thought has most likely crossed your mind a time or two, regardless of how well things are going. One of the quickest ways for a business to waste money is not identifying who their target customer is when planning a marketing strategy. It would be imprudent to market a child’s toy to college students, just as it would not make sense to advertise a new cologne during Saturday morning cartoon shows.

Message in a bottle on a beach against the setting sun
Getting the Right Message to the Right Customer

In order to have a successful marketing venture it is imperative to know who your target customers are. Some key principles to help in identifying your best marketing group are:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Demographics/Ethnicity
  • Status, including educational status, financial status, and family status.

Now, some people will certainly fit into many different groups, and each of these groups will use media differently. This also means that their responses will be different to the various messages in the advertisement.

“But isn’t this discrimination?”

No, it’s not. Let me explain by using an example of the Tesla automobile. If you were marketing the Tesla today, who would your target audience be, and what could change that? The original Tesla was priced over $100,000, which left you with a limited target audience. It also had a strong appeal to the younger executives, as opposed to an older audience. Therefore, you would be wise to choose to target media that focuses on this demographic. That said, this is all about to change! Tesla is releasing the new Model 3 this year, and with it is a price tag of $35,000, which will massively widen its base of potential customers. The car will be much more affordable, opening it to more of the middle-income buyers. Add to that the appeal of an electric range of 225 miles, and you’ve got another target market in the environmentally conscientious.

Just a little bit of market research can take you a long way in making sure that you target the right audience, which is critical. Having a great advertising campaign going to the wrong audience is illogical, and wasteful of time and money. By learning who your target customer is, you’ll be able to use it to your advantage and work better with your creative team to come up with great campaigns. Creative campaigns with the right message for the right customer in the right media, creating a win-win in your marketing, and increasing your sales.

What is the Right Marketing Mix

Marketing mix- what’s right for your company

 

Breaking egg on the edge

Balance. In a marketing plan, choosing the right balance of media will ultimately steer the course of how effective your advertising will be.

Choosing the right media mix may be tricky, and there are multiple factors to consider.

  • How much of the marketing budget needs to go to direct leads?
    (Internet- SEO, SEM, SMM, Phone Books, Industry services, etc…)
  • How much of the marketing budget needs to go to branding?
    (TV, Radio, Billboard, Newspaper, Magazines, Community activities, etc…)
  • How much of the marketing budget needs to go to promote your business to existing customers?
    (Promotional items, communications via phone or email, etc…)

 

PLAN, IMPLEMENT, MEASURE, STAY CONSISTENT

Questions on how to measure your marketing? Give Louvre Media a call to have this conversation.

The secret isn’t always in the plan- but having a plan is the first place to start. The plan should include expected results for each media and have measurements in place to quantify the results. This may be tricky, especially if your business is a retail business, as marketing may increase sales but maybe not enough to measure. If you stay consistent with measuring your marketing, you will find trends within the data to help make better decisions going forward.

The portion of the marketing budget to market to existing customers should stay constant. As the business grows, the amount (by percentage) should remain the same. As business are expanding more of the marketing budget should go towards branding, especially once you have a good flow of new customers coming in from your directing marketing efforts.

As a business settles in on the right mix, new media should be tested, either using additional market dollars available from increased sales or from what is believed to be the lowest producing of your marketing choices, as there may be better marketing to continue to improve your ROI.

When you make the plan, implement it, measure it, and stay consistent with it, you will find yourself well on the way to improving your marketing and your marketing’s ROI, as well as your sales.

The Basics on Basics

Focusing on the Basics

Blog- the basics on basics

Every now and then most of us get a bit out of sync, sometimes for reasons beyond our control. Being out of sync can distract us from the basics, regardless of our roles.

So the question is how do I get back in sync or, maybe more importantly, how can I minimize getting out of sync? We know a couple quick google searches will get quick resources for specifics on what you may be looking for.

Quiet Planning time

Two key principles from Steven Covey,  author of “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”  to consider are “Be Proactive” and “Sharpen the Saw”. Being Proactive here refers to how one should work from their center of influence; the circle of people who you know and can help improve, and to constantly work to expand it. Sharpening the Saw is a turn of phrase Covey uses to describe how it’s not just enough to work for yourself and to work with others. To continually improve yourself and your goals you need to focus on balancing and renewing your own resources. Scheduling out quiet time on a regular basis- weekly, monthly, or even quarterly can help you practice these principles.

Quiet time is a good way to get consistent, review your goals, and re sync yourself. Quiet Time planning tipsAnd to quote the movie Karate Kid – “Focus Daniel-san”. Make time for yourself, and you may just get back on track.