Any business professional understands the importance of good marketing. Your company might provide an amazing service or produce amazing products; but if no one knows about what it is you do, you simply cannot expect to turn a profit. Marketing is at the heart of nearly every corporation going – that’s why the advertising industry is worth billions of dollars. With the rise of the internet, things have progressed even further, too. Fifty years ago, marketing usually came in the form of print advertisements in newspapers and other public publications. Now, however, it has expanded across a variety of platforms. Physical adverts such as billboards are still used, but companies are also using blogging, videography and social media as ways to push their product to the masses. When you first start out running your own business, all this may be completely new to you, which is why so many CEOs outsource their marketing staff. There are hundreds of agencies who specialize in marketing for large companies, running campaigns on their behalves and taking care of all promotional needs. If you don’t need round the clock marketing, rather promotion really for certain occasions, this can be a good option and very cost effective for smaller businesses. However, if you are the kind of company that needs round the clock marketing – and let’s be honest, most businesses are – you may need to hone your skills and perfect the art of internal marketing. One of the main benefits of internal marketing, whether you do it yourself or train a small team to do it for you (as full-time staff), is that you can be sure that these people know the brand. A PR campaign that is even slightly off the mark can spell potential disaster for your brand, so it can be worth having people on the inside who know what you do inside out. Here are the top skills that you need to ensure your internal marketing team is trained in, so you can get the best exposure possible for your company.
Video production and editing
Today’s modern consumer is far more intricate and advanced than the consumer of 30 years ago. They are much more tech-savvy and can easily see through a marketing ploy that is far too blatant – remember that people don’t like to feel as though they are being coerced into buying something. However, they are also consumers with a lot less time on their hands. People today are more likely to spend a couple of minutes flicking through their smartphone on the way to work, rather than spending half an hour pouring over a newspaper in the morning. That’s why it is so vital that your brand can capture members of your target audience with something that doesn’t require a lot of effort on their behalf – passive consumption, as it were. Video marketing is a great way to achieve this, as the majority of people find that watching short clips is a great way to interact with a brand. Social media has a huge role to play here too, especially as videos on Facebook now play automatically as the user scrolls down their news feed. You can, of course, hire an external videography team to work on a project for you, but as a heads up, these do not come cheap. Sure, the production will look good – but providing you can get hold of some basic equipment (a good DLSR and a tripod is a must), there’s no reason why your internal marketing team cannot also produce good quality video content. It is even possible to film and edit professional looking video on certain smartphones too, so a videography company at $300 an hour isn’t always a necessity. Give your internal team some time to practice making a video before you put anything out there. Remember that whatever you produce has to represent your brand and also be engaging for a viewer, so plan everything carefully.
You have probably heard the term ‘copy’ floating around from time to time when discussing ways to promote your business. However, do you know what people are referring to when they say this? The word ‘copy’ just means anything that is written down, so broadly speaking it could refer to anything from blog posts, to the text on an advert, or whatever you write in an e-shot. You can’t just write anything down in these and hope for the best – you need to make that your copy is precise, engaging and that it represents the views and aims of your business. That’s why it is always worth teaching your marketing team how to write copy that ticks all these boxes every single time. Remember that words are powerful tools and used correctly, they can draw in potential customers and even make you a sale. Depending on the nature of your business and the type of copy you are producing, you will need to take either a hard sell or a softer one. One good technique that works for many brands is writing copy that is persuasive, but that is not too ‘in the customer’s face.’ Most of the general public are used to seeing empty promises from brands about why they are the best company to choose, so you’ll need to be willing to do something a little different. Make your copy interesting enough so that it reaches people who otherwise probably wouldn’t think of or use your business. You need it to be compelling so that your consumer gives you the time of day – only after that will they be willing to potentially buy from you or use your service. Additionally, always make sure that the people on your marketing team are well-versed in spelling, grammar and also copyright law. There is nothing that looks more unprofessional than rushed, sloppy copy, and it can reflect very badly on you as a business. If you need to, hire a sub-editor who can look over all your written work to check for any errors. If you are using written copy very frequently as a marketing material, it can very much be in your best interests to hire an editor or proofreader.
If you’re not prepared to utilize social media to help promote your business, then you can pretty much wave your company back into the dark ages. Social media is the number one way for you to link your business directly with the consumer, so even if you prefer traditional methods of marketing, you’ll need to get on board with the hype. With this in mind, it can often be worth having one particular person on your market team who deals with the bulk of social media. Why? Well, mainly because the job is more extensive than you may at first think. Of course, on paper it sounds like sending a few tweets a day and putting a beautiful picture on Instagram is all there is to it. But in reality, social media is a big commitment, with a lot of different facets involved. For example, you or your team will need to post on social media every day – yes, that means every single day, if you can! Even though company websites are still generally the first port of call for most potential clients, many will then go to a brand’s social media immediately afterward to see what the latest updates are. A Facebook or an Instagram page that hasn’t been updated for months immediately looks bad to the client, as it gives off the impression that your company lacks integrity. Your goal should be to have a thriving set of social media accounts for your business that all feature a lot of customer interaction. So, which platforms should you be on and which ones can you forget about? Well, in an ideal world you should try and be on as many possible, but we know that isn’t always achievable. Therefore, pay attention to the market leaders: Instagram, Twitter, and the trusty Facebook. Make sure your team is treating the business’s social media with as much integrity as they treat other areas of marketing. Just because it’s social media doesn’t mean it can be uber casual, so always uphold a high standard of spelling and grammar – and no slang or swearing! Link up with other brands on social media to improve your outreach and utilize the ‘boosting‘ features that many apps and websites now come with too. Social media analytics are integral to your success, so after every post, check your stats to see what your outreach is and what you can do to target more people next time. Plus, the beauty of an internal social media team/person is that they can upload in real time – meaning there isn’t a better way to create an authentic connection with your audience. With a trusty marketing team by your side, there’s no reason why your business can’t skyrocket to ultimate success.