Ready To Launch – Your 5 Steps Checklist Before Launching

Photo Cred: summitevergreen.com

Photo Cred: summitevergreen.com

Well-known management consultant Peter Drucker spoke about it a decade ago “the purpose of a business is to create and keep a customer.”

Sales are the bloodline of any business and acquiring new customers is a vital part that keeps your businesses afloat and growing. There might be few buyers paying a big retainer or simply attracting traffic visiting your site, how you obtain and retain clients is the ultimate goal. Before you launch your business ask yourself: Are you really prepared for more customers and orders? Are the platform and logistics geared to handle an inflow of visitors & queries?

Perhaps for start-ups, the client acquisition journey is hardly linear or predictable, that doesn’t discount the importance of thoughtful planning.

Even though the client acquisition process is not an exact science. There will always be things that can (and do) go wrong, speak to any business owner and will share the sentiments.

What’s your promotion strategy – E-mail marketing or social media? These 5 steps will help you establish what client acquisition is and how to execute them effectively.

1. Is your product ready for client acquisition?

You have spent countless hours (if not years) developing the product, once your product hits the market and begin to attract customers the execution of your user acquisition process must be planned out very carefully.

Before going live on the website ask and test the following:

  • Is your platform ready for orders, or are there still bugs that will expose the faults in customer experience/ user journey?
  • Do you have adequate customer support? Can your team respond to the questions & concerns of new customers in a timely fashion?
  • Do people outside your company understand your product, In other words, if you explain it to a 5-year-old will they get it?

These are some questions that need answering before going live.

2. Why being prepared counts

Lewis-Carol-quote

English writer Lewis Carroll, author of “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” once said, “If you don’t know where you are going any road can take you there.

It’s essential to have a well-planned customer acquisition strategy, consider the following.

  • Start off with a framework, even very basic plan, Yes, plans change (especially with start-ups).
  • A plan of action for obtaining customers is strongly advisable as it lays down a foundation (You wouldn’t build your house on sand would you?)
  • Make use of a document automation software (Built-in electronic signatures, workflow management, a document builder, and CPQ Configure Price Quote Software) I find pandadoc very user-friendly, cloud-based with loads of templates.

3. Build the right team

Regardless of the size of your team in start-ups, they are known to wear many hats, the ability to react quickly to hiccups is a game of inches.

Here are some scenarios.

  • If there is an unexpected bug in the sign-up/sales process, how quickly can your development team react and fix the problem?
  • Bad news travels fast, the incident of United Airline passenger being dragged off in April 2017 ( the video was shared 87,000 times and viewed 6.8 million times in less than a day.) A Wiki page was created in the process
  • When customer complaints occur, be proactive with your efforts in communications/social media to fix the situation.
  • In order to do that, your team needs to have a clear understanding of who to turn to when problems occur.

4. Estimate the Cost of Customer Acquisition (CAC)

Do you have an estimate of your cost to acquire customers (CAC) laid out?

  • CAC is the cost of all of your sales and marketing expenses over a given period of time, divided by the number of customers acquired in that period.
  • An estimate will help you be prepared, you will have a better sense of your CAC once you begin acquiring customers, and it will change with time.

5. Create demand

It’s natural to want to get your product into the hands of everyone who needs it. But thinking about how to influence the masses leads to missteps in understanding what’s driving the decisions of the few people you have the best chance of reaching and impacting right now.

Like any revolution, success happens one user, one customer, one raving fan at a time. Never be afraid to start small.

Our article was originally posted here on Entrepreneurmag.co.za

 

In the beginning … there was an idea. How to create a successful digital strategy in 3 steps

Millennial-Meeting-Collaborating

Is your silver bullet packing the punch your business needs? Marketing your business in a digital world means more than ‘instant gratification’. Is your business’ digital marketing strategy able to deliver to this market?

  • The consumer: Impatient, demanding, and constantly on the go. According to IAB SA Interactive Advertising Bureau of South Africa in February 2017 66.2% of Unique Browsers come from mobile. How does this affect your business? In short, it means that in the digital era, there is a demand for you to market your company’s services or products to potential clients.
  • The direction: any effort you make will be fruitless. To standout in the Digital first world, you need a plan an effective digital strategy to ensure your efforts & time make maximum impact.

Digital Candy Consulting compiled 3 tips to digital empowerment.

Define your Golden Circle

What’s the ‘Golden Circle’, you say? It’s the starting point of any sound digital strategy, the Golden Circle is a way of looking at why your company exists. Watch the originator, Simon Sinek talk on TED http://bit.ly/2nSsMV3 Viewed 31,214,480 as of 22 March 2017

When we ask businesses this question, the default is to think about what (Product) they offer; instead, you should start with why.

Think why your business began in the first place. What was the starting point; what was the vision? By addressing this starting point, you’ll be able to tell a brand story that strikes a chord with your audience.

To effectively use the Golden Circle methodology, you should focus on these 3 points in the following order:

  1. Why: Why does the business exist?
  2. How: How will this help your clients, and how will you achieve your why?
  3. What: what are you actually offering (Product) to your target clients?

Once you have distinct answers of the above and carefully crafted your brand message, you’ll be able to think about exactly who you want to share it with.

Think of your story and share it with us.

Ideas for good content creation & the different content formats:

Content is king for Digital MarketingContent is king image

I’ve spoken about it before, content is King (or Queen) in the online marketing game. When you speak about the importance of content in terms of digital marketing I can see people get nervous – does that mean I have to start a blog? Do I need to employ more people? Do I need a copy writer? Where do I start? How do I get it out there? How much time will it take? – CALM, no you do not have to do any of the above, you probably have tonnes of valuable content at your finger tips that you’ve not really thought of using before. Content does not just mean text, interesting articles or argumentative debates or blogs etc. There are so many different types.

The different types of content you can use online

Types of content by Hubspot

Various content types for online marketing

As listed beautifully by the almighty @Hubspot. This includes practical things that small businesses can do and probably already have, without external marketing support such as:

  • How-to’s
  • Case Studies
  • Email Newsletters
  • Illustrations
  • Reviews
  • FAQs
  • Q&A Session
  • Guide
  • Interview
  • Videos
  • Quotes
  • Quizzes
  • Photo Collage
  • Press releases
  • Photos
  • Company News & more..

When talking about SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) for your website, having all of the above using your keywords and phrases will assist in your website being found naturally on Google or your social media being useful and interactive. So before you employ a copy writer to start chugging out beautiful blogs on your behalf, look at what documents, information, photos etc that you already use within your business, what your sales team are emailing to your customers and modify it for online (e.g. add your logo on the bottom) for good content to keep your pages fresh and exciting.

Yours in Digital Marketing,

Candy

Why content is King in the online marketing game

Content is King (or Queen if we’re being politically correct!)

Content is King

Content is King

You’ve heard it a million times I’m sure, you’ve been lectured by your consultants, your own team or you are guilty of saying it yourself, but when it comes to being visible and engaging through online marketing, content is vital, fact.

What does it mean?

It means showing information that’s of value to your customers, showing them what they want, what they are interested in, answering their questions before they’ve been asked, being helpful – not just beautifully written articles and amazing imagery.

Why is this important in online marketing?

Being found online is imperative for your company, however the old days of lecturing them on why your business is the best is long gone. Feature, Function, Benefits are suited to brochures but don’t work well online. Showing content to potential customers or existing customers that is truly engaging and relevant to them will ensure loyalty, show them know what you’re talking about, it gives you the edge and builds trust online.

The top search engines prioritise good quality, regularly updated content on your website as well as through your social media platforms. It all helps in your overall search engine optimisation to get your site seen.

Sounds so simple, why aren’t we all doing this already?

It does sound easy, and makes sense as I’m sure you’ll agree. However, taking the time and resources to dedicate to this area of the business means it’s often forgotten about. Let’s be honest it’s a bit of a drag, and it’s something that has to be done regularly too. So without a dedicated staff member or marketing consultancy it often starts off as a great idea and then ‘more important’ jobs come along and it’s pushed to the back.

Where to get inspiration for writing good content

In-house:

Try get your marketing team (if you have one)  involved in various department meetings to see what’s happening across the business. Getting the marketing department to know the key players in your company and allowing them access to personnel will aid in a lot of content ideas. Let them listen in to customer calls or read the customer feedback forms. If you don’t have a marketing team it’s something you can do yourself or contract our to a specialist company (like us – cheeky!).

Online:

Google loves content, there are some amazing tools they give out for free to show you what’s trending in your industry and other tools to see who is searching on what key words or phrases relevant to your company, find them and use them

Competitors:

Take a look at what your competitors are doing, anything interesting or different? Agree with them or disagree? Get online and write about it.

Where do you put all this content?

Your website, email, blogs, social media sites such as FaceBook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc. Got fantastic pictures your customers would love? Why not try Instagram or Pinterest. Join groups online, submit your info as a press release – whatever you have there is an appropriate channel online to get it out there, let your customers see it, be where THEY are.

Stop procrastinating, get going

Sit down, make a plan, consult with someone – for every minute you aren’t writing / planning / doing – your competitors are. It’s a long-term commitment but worth the time and effort. Think of your customer and deliver.

Cheers,

Candy.

What can we do for you?

Digital Candy Consulting is all about giving our clients the best return on investment for their marketing budget. We want to help your business grow, give it the BEST ONLINE REPUTATION it can have, and all the while staying true to what your company is about. We believe Digital Marketing is extremely effective and important, however years of experience have proven it’s a component of a successful marketing strategy and not the be all and end all, it has to integrate with your offline activity too. We get that and work with you to ensure all angles are covered = success!

What can Digital Candy Marketing do for you?

Social Media Marketing, Digital marketing, Digital Strategy, Pay Per Click, Search Engine Marketing, Search Engine Optimisation, Website analytics, Brand Management, Website construction, Communication and Email marketing.

What industries have your marketed for?

A wonderful range of industries: Dentistry, Fine Arts, Fitness, Fire & Safety, Recruitment, Hydraulics & Engineering and this, marketing!

What is Digital Candy Consulting like as a supplier?
Friendly, proactive, honest, reliable and never miss deadlines.

Where will you put my business online?

Common places we will put your business include: Google (Maps, Plus etc), LinkedIn, FaceBook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest & loads more, all depending on what your goals are (and if you aren’t too sure what your goals are then we’ll help direct you!)

How big is your team?

Right at this very moment, it’s pretty small but we’re growing. We believe small is best, we care, we know our limits and we will work very hard to ensure ultimate customer satisfaction.

What makes Digital Candy experts at Digital Marketing?

Experience. Get in touch and you’ll see.

What does ‘Digital Marketing’ actually mean? Are you just trying to sound posh?

For many years I’ve worked within the Marketing side of our business doing ‘the usual’ – Exhibitions, Brochures, Logo design, Branding you name it I’ve been involved. As my role progressed and our business did, the online side of things became a priority. Let’s not talk years specifically (nobody wants to show their age now do they?) but as a company online marketing / presence started dominating my job and customers were asking if we were on FaceBook, Twitter etc… was your website interactive? Do you show on Google blah blah.

Anyway, long and rather boring story later I found I spent the large majority of my Marketing day finding interesting things to say online, cool articles, pictures, videos all related to our industry and posting them online. The latter part of this year I felt like maybe I should seek some professional help to do my job better and see if I was spending a disproportionate time on this side of things and so I went on a great course entitled ‘Digital Marketing’ through The BrandSchool basically – the course covered all the things I’d found I loved the most about my job and in al honesty was taking the most time during my day. Email Marketing, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), Pay per Click (PPC – e.g. Google advertising) etc. and it turns out this side of marketing has a real job title ‘Digital Marketing’ – wow!

So after many years in marketing I can now say I’m a Digital Marketing Consultant (yes, I still think that sounds posh) and what it means is my job day to day is making sure the company I work for / contract to is represented online, professionally and in line with the rest of your business and actually a Digital Marketing Consultant has access to a rather lot of tools so market research for your company is old school (yes I actually just said that) and instead market reality is what we do (what are customers typing in for your company, how do customers search for you, what words, where are they, how old are they, what do they do, what do they want – all that stuff is available and anyone worth their salt knows how to find it and help you and your business succeed). I make sure there is a good ROI for the company and that their business interacts with their customers on a level that suits them. So it’s a pretty cool job if I do say so myself!

So when friends ask ‘What is Digital Marketing’ and I start explaining before their eyes glaze over and the usual ‘posh then?’ I would like to say it’s a fast paced, exciting part of any business, changes and challenges daily and I love it.

#digitalmarketing #socialmedia