COVID-19 affecting businesses

What Small Businesses Can Learn From the COVID-19 Outbreak

In the beginning months of 2020, the COVID-19 outbreak has changed the world – and business operations – in ways we never expected. In this uncertain time, everything feels risky. People are losing their jobs, vulnerable businesses are shuttering their doors permanently, and no one has answers. In short, it seems like the worst time possible to take risks. 

However, though COVID-19 is changing the business world, not all of these changes are necessarily bad. In times of uncertainty there are always lessons to be learned. If you are a business-owner, or are considering opening a business, pay close attention to these emerging topics and trends.

1. Safety and Comfort Are Top Customer Priorities 

Most companies mindlessly say that the safety and security of their guests is the first priority in running their business. This makes sense; why would you shop somewhere if you felt uncomfortable or at risk by being there? However, the COVID-19 pandemic is testing businesses in the grimmest way possible. In a time where lives are legitimately at risk, businesses are up against the wall with all eyes on them.

Luckily, these organizations are showing initiative.

Many national big-box store chains, grocery stores, and drug stores are now requiring face coverings to enter and shop. This is a bold, smart move to make. These businesses are proving how important it is that their shoppers feel comfortable upon entering their establishment. The controversy surrounding this topic runs deep, but at the end of the day businesses can’t run the risk of being sued due to endangerment. On top of the mask policies, organizations are placing importance on sanitizing and cleansing every surface

While most establishments are now open, there are a few which are still wary of welcoming guests inside. AMC Theaters have yet to open, despite pushing back their opening date on multiple occasions. This proves that every business must do what’s best for their unique situation.

Small businesses can learn from these more well-known corporations by following their lead in putting safety first – and also learning from their mistakes. We can be sure that these new safety and cleanliness procedures aren’t going away anytime soon.

Businesses everywhere are cracking down on safety procedures.
Businesses everywhere are cracking down on safety procedures.

2. Ecommerce is Here to Stay

We’ve all shopped on Amazon and through ecommerce websites before – they are a common, useful service. This is why events such as Cyber Monday and Amazon’s Prime Day provide such enormous value. Online shopping is not only cost effective, but eliminates the hassle of traveling to a store and searching for a product.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic took hold, we have seen an enormous spike in orders from online businesses. This could have been foreseen, but what are the lasting effects of a world in which people are more eager to shop online than in person? We’ve already seen a massive shift in the film industry, where films are released through streaming platforms instead of in movie theaters.

If small businesses want to survive in our current environment, they need to make all attempts at digitizing their products and services. This is a step that will not only benefit them during the pandemic, but long after as well.

3. A Little Kindness Goes a Long Way

One of the heartening side-effects of the COVID-19 pandemic is how people are banding together to support vulnerable businesses. This doesn’t just apply to consumers, either. Like the linked article above references, business owners are finding creative ways to support each other through incentive programs and endorsements.

Small businesses need your support now more than ever.
Small businesses need your support now more than ever.

The COVID-19 pandemic is revealing just how vulnerable certain businesses are. We took for granted our local indie record store or vegan cafe, but now they face very real danger. These establishments are losing reliable customers, even considering the stimulus checks distributed to ease the blow.

Hopefully, a trend emerges in the future where businesses in the same community form stronger bonds and find ways to collaborate with each other.

4. Scale Down Your Operation Wherever Possible

One of the most heartbreaking side effects of the pandemic is the staggering amount of job loss. New businesses are extremely vulnerable, especially if they haven’t saved up a substantial amount of capital in the case of an emergency.

While massive layoffs are a huge issue that our country will have to deal with later, there is an upside. Under pressure, most companies are discovering new, efficient, cost-effective ways to operate. For example, Dunkin’ Donuts will close 450 locations by the end of the year. Companies who relied on a handful of employees or who had low product costs find it easier to stay afloat, unlike companies with greater expenses.

Only time will tell what trends businesses may start to follow, but don’t be surprised if they don’t return to their typical operating procedures.

5. Sometimes You Have to Make Hard Decisions

Being a business-owner can bring you to both the highest and lowest places of your life – that’s part of the deal. Because of COVID-19, business-owners are having to make difficult decisions that normally they wouldn’t choose to make. 

For example, businesses are having to shutter their doors because they can’t ensure guest safety. They’ve also had to lay off hard-working employees whom they can no longer afford to pay.

It can be easy to see your employees as more like family than what they are – employees. At the end of the day, you have to run a profitable business. Times like these really test your mettle as an entrepreneur, and force you to make the toughest choices.

As a business-owner, you have to do what's best for the survival of the business.
As a business-owner, you have to do what’s best for the survival of the business.
  • Do you need some help figuring out the best way to market your organization or business? Check out PivotPath’s valuable services here.

Our world is changing, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Flexibility is essential to survive in the competitive world of business. More than ever, we need to support our favorite businesses and think outside of the box. Nothing like the COVID-19 pandemic has happened in recent history, so we would all do well to pay close attention to what’s happening around us.

Cammie Conn is a Theatre & Performance Studies major at Kennesaw State University, and she also studies through the Joel A. Katz Music and Entertainment Business Program. She can often be found practicing creative writing, playing guitar, reading voraciously, or jamming to her vinyl collection. Check out her LinkedIn profile here to connect.

Influencer Marketing in Business

How Your Business Can Take Advantage of Influencer Marketing

We’ve all heard (and possibly cringed at) the word “influencer” before. It’s safe to say that the term has become somewhat taboo in most professional settings. 

What comes to your mind when you hear that word? Shiny young adults posting edited photos on Instagram? Celebrities engaging in product placement and sponsored advertising? While these may be the most popular images of influencers portrayed on social media, influencer marketing has grown into a legitimate strategy for marketing small businesses and building a valuable network. 

Influencer Marketing
Influencers are changing the face of marketing forever.

What is Influencer Marketing?

Before we dive into the many facets of influencer marketing, it’s important to understand what is meant by the term “influencer.”

Influencer: One who exerts influence, a person who inspires or guides the actions of others.

Merriam-Webster

The title isn’t confined to any one industry or field.  According to the definition, anyone with a large reach and considerable impact can be considered an influencer. The trick is to align yourself with people who already have a large, loyal following. 

So, how can you start to build this large following if you’re a new business owner with minimal connections, or if you live in a rural area? Here are a couple different ways to start making connections and building relationships with influencers in your field.

Start a Blog

When most people hear about endorsements, they think about teaming up with celebrities or notable public figures to advertise a product. This approach may be helpful for some, but if you own a small local business partnering with a celebrity isn’t a very viable option. Instead, one of the best steps you should take is to start a blog on your website.

You’ve probably heard similar advice before, and maybe you feel like writing isn’t your strong suit. However, every business-owner has a lot of unique knowledge to offer. Like they say, knowledge is power. 

When you take the time to write informed blog posts and optimize them so that they are easily found through search engines, a great deal more traffic will be drawn to your website. One of the best methods of increasing traffic and broadening your reach is to connect with other influencers in your field by creating a guest blogging network.

Guest blogging
Form a solid guest blogging network; two heads are better than one!

How to Form a Guest Blogging Network

Guest blogging is a manageable first step to expand your industry contacts and start gaining some notoriety in your field. Here are a few quick steps on how to get started:

  1. Reach out to someone you respect and want to be a guest blogger on your site. Is there another blogger you enjoy who has more followers than you? Do you see a space where you could share your expertise on their website? Do your homework first and make sure that the guest blogger can benefit from the collaboration just as much as you can.
  2. Assuming that they agree to write a piece for you, allow them to self-promote by adding links back to their own website. This not only allows the guest blogger to feel as though they have important information to share, but it connects both of your blogs through the internet.
  3. Follow through. Ask your guest blogger if you could also write a piece on their blog. Assuming they say yes, a whole new door of opportunity will be open to you. You will have full exposure to their followers, and you can (tastefully) promote your own business and website. Essentially, it’s a win-win!

It’s important that you find influencers naturally.

Don’t try to force relationships, because it will start to seem obvious that you’re only seeking some kind of personal gain. Instead, comment on people’s blogs, communicate on social media, and be open to helping others. Over time, you will start to stand out and become an approachable, recognizable name.

Get to know your guest bloggers personally by showing genuine interest in their work before reaching out. If you build a rapport through social media first, it will feel much more natural to suggest a collaboration. Cold emails aren’t always the best way to go when it comes to forming an effective support system.

Engage With the Community

The business world is all about relationships. Apart from guest blogging, another way to use influencer marketing to your advantage is to go out into your community. Serving other small businesses is a great way to prove you’re engagement. You may not gain any monetary value from it at first, but forming valuable relationships can pay off ten-fold in the long-run. 

For example, let’s say you own a sign-making business downtown and you see that a new ice cream shop is opening next door. You could introduce yourself to the new owner and offer to create a sign for them at a steep discount. This interaction not only promotes the service you provide, but benefits another business owner who will most likely recommend your product to others. 

Community engagement
Make a difference locally and the world will follow.

You don’t have to be a celebrity to be an influencer – it’s all about surrounding yourself with positive relationships and making those initial connections. Here are a few other ways to meet business-owners in the community who might be interested in your product:

  • Attend charity events or volunteer
  • Consider setting up a booth at a local fair, market, or festival
  • Visit other small businesses, introduce yourself, and hand out business cards or coupons
  • Sponsor a local school’s sports team

What Are the Benefits of Influencer Marketing?

Influencer marketing strategies such as guest blogging increase your reach as well as the impact of your brand. In search engines, the index is the complete archive of all existing web pages. To find your page, a search engine sends out crawlers (or bots), which jump from page to page using links. Simply, the more links you have traveling to your website, the more chances search engines have to index your site. 

If links constantly point to your site, search engines will recognize it as a valuable resource and rank you higher than the competition. Guest blogging is a win-win situation because it will provide you with a larger network of bloggers and business-owners, increase your website traffic, and also benefit the guest blogger.

Much of the same can be said for other forms of influencer marketing. Reaching out to forge beneficial relationships solidifies your passion for your business and opens the door to new opportunities. It’s not just a clever way to gain more Instagram followers, but the future of marketing itself.

  • Do you want to start building a brand that influencers would love to promote? PivotPath is here to help!

Cammie Conn is a Theatre & Performance Studies major at Kennesaw State University, and she also studies through the Joel A. Katz Music and Entertainment Business Program. When she’s not practicing creative writing, she can be found playing guitar, reading voraciously, or jamming to her vinyl collection. Check out her LinkedIn profile here to connect.

Keyword Blogging Strategy SEO

How to Find the Right Keywords for Your Blogging Strategy in 6 Steps

Starting a blog is one of the most beneficial steps your company can take to grow its digital presence. Not only does blogging allow your team to share their expertise with the rest of the world via the internet, but it can also drive traffic to your website. Higher website traffic leads to more potential leads, which eventually turn into future customers. But this process doesn’t happen overnight. If you want your blogs to reach the highest number of digital consumers, it’s imperative to understand basic keyword strategy and search engine optimization.

Keyword strategy is imperative to writing blogs that people will find and read
Blogging isn’t always as easy as it looks!

What is Search Engine Optimization?

Search engine optimization (referred to as SEO) is the process of enhancing the content on your website so that you rank high in search engines organically. The most popular search engines in the United States include Google, Bing, and Yahoo – among others.

  • Organic Search Results: Where your company ranks naturally in the results page of a search engine, excluding pay-per-click (PPC) ads and other forms of paid advertising.

The most important and widely-practiced SEO strategy is to come up with target keywords for every blog post that you post online. Carefully wording your blog pieces and incorporating keywords will narrow the intent of the piece, make it easier for search engine bots to crawl your site, and ensure that anyone who searches for your content will find it.

Simple as it sounds, keyword research takes a lot of time and dedication. Don’t expect to see results overnight, but remember that every company has to start somewhere to create a habit. Here are a few easy steps to get you started on your blog optimization journey

1. Choose a Topic

This might sound like a no-brainer, but the first step to writing an engaging blog is to research popular topics and conversations happening in the industry related to your product. What are people most confused about? Is that something you could easily explain? Blog readers are looking for answers and new perspectives.

There are millions of blogs on the internet, so either think of a unique topic or create your own spin on subject matter that already exists. You don’t always have to break new ground, but clearly and concisely sharing relevant information will delight your readers and build your company’s credibility.

Some popular marketing topics include, but are not limited to: SEO, branding, graphic design, and finding your niche. There are plenty of other topics to research as well – just know what expertise your company offers!

Brainstorm topics for your blog post
Have a brainstorming session with others if you need inspiration.

2. Compile a List of Long-Tail Keywords

Once you come up with the right topic, it’s time to brainstorm different keywords. There are two types of keywords when it comes to optimizing online content: long-tail and short-tail. 

  • Long-Tail Keywords:  A keyword which encompasses several words or an entire phrase

If you need help figuring out what your long-tail keyword should be, think about what your customer would type into Google when they search for your blog. Write down a list of possible search phrases. 

A common practice is to make one of the long-tail keywords the title of the blog post, or something close to it. Overall, the long-tail keyword should be specific and encompass the entire message of the blog post.

3. Pick a Few Short-Tail Keywords

Now that you’ve chosen a few long-tail keywords, it’s time to focus on short-tail keywords. 

  • Short-Tail Keywords: A general keyword or keyphrase that doesn’t exceed one or two words

The short-tail keyword encompasses the general idea of your blog post. Sometimes customers browse the internet without a clear idea of what they’re looking for and only type a few words into the search engine. If your company can pop up on the first results page after someone types in a short-tail keyword, you’ve successfully optimized your posts and established yourself as an authority on the topic.

For example, let’s say the title of your blog post is “Why You Should Craft a Brand Strategy Before You Start Your Business.” The long-tail keyword would be something like “crafting a brand strategy.” However, the short-tail keyword would simply be “brand strategy.” There’s a slight difference, but one is specific and the other is very broad.

4. Use Analytic Tools to Narrow Down Your Keywords

Once you’ve compiled two lists of keywords, it’s time to do a little research. Use platforms like Google Analytics or Moz.com to compare your different keywords and better understand what your customer base is looking for.

Figure out which keywords are the most popular, and which ones may be too specific. It’s important to find a happy medium: make sure that the phrase you choose isn’t so popular that your content will get lost in the mix. On the other hand, try to aim for an element of specificity if possible, so that people searching for your topic can find it quickly and easily.

Analyzing the competition improves keyword strategy
Analysis helps you learn and grow.

5. Select Your Keywords and Write the Blog

After your research, you should have narrowed down the long-tail and short-tail keywords you want to focus on. Now that you have a broad and specific umbrella under which you can start to craft your content, it’s time to begin writing your blog post. As you write, keep your keyphrases in mind, but don’t pepper them in the body copy too much. Just finish the post to the best of your ability so you have something to optimize.

6. Make Sure That the Keywords Show Up in the Appropriate Places 

It’s not enough to simply choose your keywords and integrate them into the title and overall topic. For search engines to recognize your site as a top resource, you must be purposeful by placing the short-tail keyword in a few strategic places. Here are the places where you should make sure to include your keyword:

  • At least one header 
  • The blog title
  • Somewhere in the first paragraph
  • Throughout the blog, where appropriate
  • In the meta description
  • In the alt text of relevant images

If you struggle with figuring out how to properly optimize your posts, we recommend using the Yoast SEO plug-in through WordPress. There are many other plug-ins and resources on the internet to help you as well.

  • Do you want a seasoned team of content creators on your side? If so, check out our services at PivotPath

It won’t happen immediately, but the more you make a habit out of following these steps, creating optimized posts will become second nature. Being strategic about choosing the right keywords could be the difference between your blog post being read fifty times or five thousand times. With that in mind, happy writing!

Cammie Conn is a Theatre & Performance Studies major at Kennesaw State University, and she also studies through the Joel A. Katz Music and Entertainment Business Program. When she’s not practicing creative writing, she can be found playing her guitar, reading voraciously, or jamming to her vinyl collection. Check out her LinkedIn profile here to connect.

How to be creative in marketing

How Marketing Like an Artist Can Boost Your Creativity

You may have heard it said that business is an art. Marketing professionals are responsible for the creative vision of your company and the communication of that vision. However, for business-minded individuals, creativity doesn’t always come naturally in marketing.

Try thinking like an artist.

There are a variety of ways that artists across all mediums choose to express themselves, but the end goal is always to elicit emotion and drive an audience to action. In the same way, marketing teams must combine creativity and business-sense to reach their target audiences in a meaningful way. The best marketers and business-owners can derive inspiration from these disciplines while crafting a brand and developing a business plan.

Content creation is the cornerstone of effective marketing
What is your company’s story?

Writers

“Creative writer” is a broad term. There are numerous unique literary forms, such as novels, screenplays, and poems. However, diverse as they may seem, all writers have at least two things in common: a knack for storytelling and the ability to create content with a purpose.

Content creation is the cornerstone of effective marketing.

Imagine visiting a company’s Facebook page to find no posts, or receiving an e-mail that’s completely blank. That would tarnish the company’s credibility, right? Thoughtful customers crave engaging content that informs their decisions and provides background on the company’s mission.

Like creative writers, content writers are the minds behind the creative direction of a company. They curate the story of your brand by analyzing your company’s products/services and your typical consumer-base. The real magic happens when the two meet in the middle.

If you adopt a writer’s mindset, you’ll tend to think outside of the box, make bold creative decisions, and deviate from overused practices. Brand strategies that stand out from the rest garner the most attention and excitement. A great example is Masterclass, a collection of professional webinars from celebrities and influencers.

This company is a perfect model for how businesses can take a creative idea and form a brand which provides a unique experience. Not only does it take advantage of people being stuck at home during quarantine, but the advertising makes learning a new skill feel exciting and easy.

Painters

You don’t have to chop off your ear to be a great artist – or graphic designer, for that matter. All it takes is a little creativity and a big vision. If content is like a book, graphics are the illustrations. Graphic design is an integral part of marketing. Like a great painter, it’s important for designers to think about the bigger picture.

It can be easy to feel bogged down by the small details: Which font should I choose for this post? What color-scheme looks best? However, it’s important to remember that the tiny brushstrokes all contribute to the finished product. You should have an overall idea of what you’re aiming for before you begin.

  • How will you make your social media feed, website, emails, and e-books look cohesive?
  • How do you want others to recognize your brand?

Just like modern artists study and emulate the great Renaissance painters, it’s okay for you to take inspiration from other companies and social media pages. Marketing doesn’t occur in a vacuum; current trends and popular demand play a big part. Although, you should check yourself to make sure that you’re only imitating instead of copying.

Leave you audience with an impression that keeps them coming back
What’s the impression you want to leave your audience with?

Actors

Think of your favorite actor or actress: how do they make you feel? How would you react if you met them, or interacted with them on social media? People should be just as excited and loyal about your brand.

Actors are known not only for their work on-screen, but for their charisma and ability to stir up excitement wherever they go. In the same way, a new company needs to charm its way into people’s hearts – and, subsequently, their pocketbooks. Much like actors at an audition, companies must sell themselves and their talent to their customer-base. This is a marketer’s job. It’s important to make a good first impression so that your customers choose you over the competition every time.

When creating a character, actors have to come up with a list of objectives (goals) and tactics (ways to reach those goals). Most businesses also set goals that they aim for. To reach your full potential, what tactics will you employ? What strategic choices will you make to become a brand that everyone can’t stop talking about?

Dancers

When you think of dancers, you probably picture a graceful ballerina or an agile tap-dancer. Regardless of style, all dancers have the gift of flexibility. Flexibility is one of the most integral characteristics your business can have.

To survive in an increasingly competitive workplace, you need the ability to change quickly when your customer-base requires it. It’s also important to remain alert and agile if things change socially. This summer, the COVID-19 outbreak has taken an unprecedented toll on small businesses everywhere. Disasters like these force companies to think outside of the box to keep their doors open and to better prepare for the future.

While dancers work hard to keep themselves in top shape for performances, it’s important that your company stays competitive as well. Competition can be stressful, but if you think of it as an opportunity to improve instead of a hopeless hurdle to overcome, you will only continue to learn and grow.

Marketing takes practice and perseverance
Mastering any art form takes time and dedication

Musicians

Musicians have to practice for many years to master their chosen instrument, whether it’s the guitar, the oboe, or even the voice. When starting out as a business-owner, never get upset with yourself if you make mistakes or stumble along the way. Perseverance is a virtue, and practice makes perfect.

Making mistakes at the start is one of the best ways to learn valuable lessons and grow as a professional.

In marketing, it’s important to surround yourself with like-minded individuals who want to see you and the company succeed. Like a successful band or orchestra, every member has a special part to play that benefits the whole. For example, a social media writer can be really good at their job, but the content will only pop if a graphic designer can lend their skills to the content. Every successful business has a strong, dedicated team behind it – it could be two people, or two thousand.

  • If you want help crafting a fresh creative vision for your company, look no further than our team here at PivotPath

Marketing your business can take a whole team and demands a high level of creativity. Though it may seem like an entirely different discipline at first, let the Arts inspire your method of creating content and promoting your company. It can change how you look at certain challenges and even inspire how you want to move forward with your marketing strategy. 

Cammie Conn is a Theatre & Performance Studies major at Kennesaw State University, and she also studies through the Joel A. Katz Music and Entertainment Business Program. When she’s not practicing creative writing, she can be found playing her guitar, reading voraciously, or jamming to her vinyl collection. Check out her LinkedIn profile here to connect.

branding

6 Things You Need to Craft the Perfect Brand Strategy

Have you ever tried to find your way around a new city without a GPS or map to guide you? My guess is that you haven’t. It’s nearly impossible to reach your destination if you have no idea how to get there.

Brand strategy guide
A good brand strategy is like a map for your company

A great brand strategy clearly lays out the path towards the company you’ve always dreamed of. However, getting your business widely recognized and appreciated isn’t always quick or easy. It takes time to create a brand as instantly recognizable as Nike, McDonald’s, or Coca-Cola.

That’s why you need to create a long-term brand strategy before you take any other steps with your business. A solid plan and vision can help guide all of your business decisions, build a loyal customer base, and pay dividends in the long run. Here are a few key steps in developing a brand that will turn heads and command attention.

1. Realize Your Brand’s Mission

Every company in the world exists for a purpose. When entrepreneurs notice something lacking in the world and believe that they can address it with a useful product or service, a business is born.

For example, the founder of the shoe company Toms noticed that a startling number of people in third world countries lacked access to adequate footwear. He created a company which sells a high-quality product, but also donates a large percentage of proceeds to struggling communities around the world.

Before you can bring your product or service to market, you need to understand the fundamental need it fulfills. Does your product help people in your community? Is it eco-friendly? Is it an updated version of an old classic? Telling the story of your product and fostering emotional connection between you and your customers can build your brand faster than you might think.

2. Identify Your Buyer Persona

Your buyer persona, or target audience, is the demographic which you believe will be most interested in your product or service. As you build your brand and start to tell your story, think of the buyer persona as the protagonist in the story. What are the common problems they face? How can your product swoop in and save the day?

For example, let’s say you live on the West coast and want to start a food truck called “Franks ‘n’ Steins,” which sells flavorful bratwursts and cold alcoholic beverages. Would you be more successful selling to people vacationing on a sunny California beach, or to suburban families in rainy Washington? Most likely, your target demographic would be young adults in a livelier atmosphere. At the beach, people spend hours lounging outside and are more likely to get hungry and thirsty. Understanding the specific needs and behaviors of your customers can establish your brand and bring your company closer to success.

The importance of buyer personas in branding
What are your customers hungry for?

3. Research Your Competitors

You’re probably thinking: why would I want to get to know my competitors? Aren’t they trying to win over my customers? The answer is Yes! – which is the reason why it’s so important for you to do your research.

When you visit the web pages, blogs, videos, and email lists of your competition, you’ll get a better overall understanding of the choices your customers are making when they search for your product or service. By carefully studying and comparing this data, you can learn about the areas where you are doing better than your competition and double down on those.

On the other hand, it’s just as important to figure out where exactly you can improve. Figure out what your competition excels at and why. Use this information to your advantage and create a niche for your company. You don’t want to be too similar to everyone else, but still make sure you provide exactly what the customer is looking for.

4. Develop a Unique Style

Ever heard the phrase, “Don’t judge a book by its cover?” Well, that is precisely what your customers do every time they visit your website, read your emails, or scroll through your content on social media.

In this digital age, people are always watching and paying attention. One of the most imperative steps in creating a brand strategy is to create a unique look for your company. Eye-catching logos, brand colors, and layout choices can make or break your content, even if it’s extremely helpful or interesting.

Imagine McDonald’s without the golden arches, or Disney World without the iconic castle: it’s nearly impossible. When done correctly, a logo can take on a life of its own and carry a legacy that reaches beyond the company itself.

Multi-channel marketing
How do you search for products and services?

5. Plan a Multi-Channel Marketing Campaign

All of this marketing jargon might sound overwhelming to newbies, but simply put, a multi-channel marketing campaign utilizes a variety of outlets to share content. Companies of all sizes can benefit from coordinating a strategic calendar of content to regularly share on different channels. This not only engages your audience with your brand, but it educates them on your products and services. Customers will also be kept up to date on the exciting things your company is doing in the community.

Here are just a few examples of channels you can use to reach your audience:

  • Social Media
  • Websites
  • Email
  • TV Broadcasts
  • Newsprint/Media
  • Radio
  • Word of Mouth

Multi-channel campaigns are beneficial because there are so many different ways to communicate. Mostly everyone has a phone in their pocket, but they also watch television, listen to the radio, and browse the internet on their laptops.

It’s important to remember that quantity doesn’t always go hand in hand with quality. Just because you can post through a certain channel, doesn’t always mean that you should. Instead, you should be strategic by learning about which channels your audience utilizes most and reach them that way.

For example, let’s say that the typical buyer persona for your product is a preteen or teenager. It would be wise to steer clear of newspapers and radio to target popular social media channels such as Instagram and Twitter.

6. Be Flexible

This final step may sound broad, but it’s the most crucial action you can take in crafting the perfect brand strategy. There’s so much competition in the world. You’ve got to be resilient and willing to try out different tactics to reach your idea of success.

When starting a company, it can sometimes be easy to think of it as your brainchild. You’ve brought something new into the world and you want everyone else to love it as much as you do. Unfortunately, that won’t always be the case. Your company could end up growing into something you might not have expected: and that’s okay!

Grow as You Go

Often, the way that customers and competitors interact with your company can be one of the biggest influences in how you decide to shape your brand. Let me give you an example. The globally renowned company, Coca-Cola, was started by a pharmacist who believed the drink he concocted had medicinal properties. However, people started liking the taste of the drink so much that it was fully re-branded into a refreshing soda company. The rest is history.

Don’t be afraid to listen to what your customers are saying. Aligning your niche with their needs will never steer you wrong, even if it isn’t quite what you expected at first.

While the business world is ever-changing to meet the dynamic needs of consumers everywhere, business owners can always count on the timeless value of a reliable product with an emotionally charged story. Thinking like your target demographic is a quick, valuable way to evaluate how your brand can better fit the needs of your customers and become a household name. Alternately, it’s important that you as a business owner feel fully invested in the mission behind your company. Building a strong, long-term brand strategy up front can be the difference between failure and success.

Cammie Conn is a Theatre & Performance Studies major at Kennesaw State University, and also studies through the Joel A. Katz Music and Entertainment Business Program. When she’s not practicing creative writing, she can be found playing her guitar, reading voraciously, or jamming to her vinyl collection. Check out her LinkedIn profile here to connect.