A Survival Guide for Municipalities During COVID-19

The past year has welcomed several unprecedented challenges. Towns and cities are among some of the most vulnerable victims to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, despite these challenges, there are things you can do to help your community thrive. Continue reading this survival guide to ensure that your municipality is doing everything it can to survive these times.

Survival Tip #1: Be communicative.

Two-way communication involves active engagement and responsiveness. To communicate effectively, it’s essential that you listen to each of your stakeholders. Stakeholders act as various operators, including, but not limited to, residents, tourists, local government officials, local law enforcement, and public safety officials. 

Your stakeholders, and the relationships you build with them, are the backbone of your community. Mutually beneficial relationships are built on trust. When you fail to communicate effectively, you promote dishonesty and inauthenticity, which can destroy the trust of your stakeholders. Therefore, it’s important for your community to effectively communicate with each of its stakeholders to build and maintain trustworthy relationships.

Survival Tip #2: Avoid homogeneity. 

Homogeneity is the belief that everyone is the same. It’s common for individuals to resort to homogeneity when assessing their audience. Your communication efforts are sure to fail when you misinterpret all areas of your audience as one and the same. This mistake is heightened for those who operate communities, as they tend to believe that a shared location means shared values and beliefs.

Demographic information isn’t isolated to geographic location but also includes race, gender, sexual orientation, class, and political identity. You can understand your audience on a larger, more in-depth level by assessing all components of demographic information. By avoiding homogeneity, you can shape your communication efforts to include and gain support from all members of your audience. Your audience’s support can help your community withstand the test of time.

Conduct a S.W.O.T. analysis.

A S.W.O.T. analysis assesses the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of an entity. Many mistakenly believe that this kind of analysis is only applicable to businesses, but a S.W.O.T. analysis is beneficial for anyone looking to develop a plan or strategy, including communities. Conducting a S.W.O.T. analysis can help your community grow in ways that it hasn’t considered before.

Strengths and weaknesses are internal, things that you have some control over and can change. If you follow the two previously mentioned tips, you’re sure to have audience communication as a strength. However, it’s important to understand that the presence of strengths doesn’t make your weaknesses disappear.

Opportunities and threats are external. Typically, there’s little to no control of these factors. You can take advantage of opportunities and protect against threats, but you can’t change them. The COVID-19 pandemic is surely a threat for businesses, non-profit organizations, and communities around the world. However, sometimes threats can present us with opportunities. For example, your community can take this time to strengthen its internal operations by addressing other needs that it’s brushed off. 

Reach out for help.

Survival is difficult as is, but when a force as powerful as COVID-19 is acting against you, it can be difficult to even see survival as an option. Don’t let this scare you! By following this survival guide, you can ensure that your municipality is doing everything it can to thrive during these times. PivotPath understands that implementing change isn’t always easy. Contact us for a free consultation today. Our team of innovative creatives can help your community carry out this survival guide.

5 Signs Your Agency Needs a New Logo ASAP

A logo largely defines how consumers will perceive a brand. In other words, it can make or break a brand’s success. Here are five signs that your agency needs a new logo ASAP.

It doesn’t reflect who you are.

Branding is the representation of your agency as a personality. An effective logo design must communicate who you are.   

  • What is your mission?
  • What are your values?
  • Who do you serve?
  • What makes you different?

Imagine your brand as a person. What does that person look like? What does that person sound like? Develop your design with consideration for how you want your brand to be perceived. 

It doesn’t consider all aspects of visual communication.

A brand’s logo is easily the largest component of its visual communication. 

Visual communication involves using visual elements to tell a story. For instance, the color, shape, form, place, proximity, and typography of your design should readably illustrate your agency’s identity. Is the shape distracting? Is the font readable? Ask yourself these questions. Ineffective visual communication can cause potential consumers to deter.

Its colors don’t communicate.

Color influences perception. Color theory recognizes that each color communicates a different meaning. Once you understand who your brand is and what it looks like, your logo should include colors that reflect that identity. 

Warm colors like red and yellow evoke action and urgency, whereas cool colors like blue and green communicate peace and calm. When using more than one color in a design, it’s important to understand that some colors work together, while others do not. 

It’s not consistent. 

Your logo must be consistent across all channels. 

All of your branding materials must have your logo on them, from your website, to your social media, and even your letterhead. A brand compromises its credibility and the trust of its audience when it fails to consistently display its visual identity.  

It doesn’t motivate.

An effective logo will add value to a brand and influence its audience to engage with the brand. 

Your design should communicate the emotion and personality of your brand in efforts to persuade. Your brand’s image can motivate your audience to act. Audiences are more motivated to act when they identify with a brand. Motivating action will bring more business, and more business will bring consumer loyalty, which is crucial for a long-lasting presence.

Restructuring your logo doesn’t have to be difficult.

Branding involves creating an image that markets. A logo motivates consumers to recognize and engage with a brand. 

If you’ve read this far, the odds are that your agency needs a new design. It may sound overwhelming, but restructuring your logo doesn’t have to be difficult. Contact PivotPath for a free consultation today, our team of innovative creatives can help your agency develop a logo that is sure to entice your audience and promote growth.

Effectively listening to your audience is essential

In marketing, it’s our job to communicate to our audience, inform them, and engage them, right? Yes, but there is more to it. As marketers, a large part of our job is listening.

Effectively listening to an audience is essential to the growth of any organization or business. It helps to cultivate relationships, build rapport, increase loyalty, and better direct development, leading to a stronger, more sustainable business. But, how do you listen effectively?

Continue reading to learn how to be an effective listener and why it will benefit your business.

Why you should effectively listen to your audience:

Build meaningful relationships-

Your audience and customers want to feel truly understood and heard. According to NewVoiceMedia, feeling unappreciated is the #1 reason customers switch away from products and services. By genuinely listening to your audience, you are shifting the communication from one-way to two-way, which promotes meaningful relationships.

Increase customer loyalty and retention-

Listening to your audience can help you create meaningful relationships, which can benefit your business in many ways. First, it helps your business increase customer loyalty and retention. When making a purchase or investment, 64% of people find the customer experience more important than price, according to Gartner. Your audience is more likely to remain loyal to your business if you listen to their feedback, and provide them with a relationship and experience that they value.

Build rapport that leads to referrals-

Another benefit of listening to your audience is building a rapport that leads to positive referrals. Customers are not afraid to share their business experiences with friends, family, and even strangers. With the unlimited reach granted by social media and the internet, a customer’s experience never goes unnoticed. According to Extole, 83% of customers are willing to refer after a positive experience with a business. The more you listen to your customers, the more they value the relationship with your business, which will make them more likely to refer others to your services or products.

Better direct your marketing efforts-

Many of us remember being told to listen with “ears open and mouths shut” so that we could learn in grade school. Although it may seem like a child’s lesson, it’s applicable to many aspects of life, including marketing. When you take the time to listen to your audience, you are able to learn more about them: their likes, dislikes, behaviors, and attitudes. This information can be used to better your marketing efforts, customizing them to your audience to get the best reaction and engagement. You can also implement direct suggestions or feedback from customers. This will help improve your business, cultivate meaningful relationships with your audience, and show that you care about their feedback.

How to effectively listen to your audience:

Take part in active listening-

First and foremost, it is important to understand the difference between listening and active listening. When someone chooses to actively listen, they focus on what the other person is saying and try to fully understand the other person’s point of view.

Active listening is essential when communicating with your audience because it helps to show that you are genuine and that you care about what your audience has to say. Actively listen by focusing on what your audience is communicating to you. If given the opportunity, repeat their communications back to them to ensure that you fully understand what they are saying. This will show your audience and customers that you are trustworthy and are invested in their ideas.

Participate in social listening-

Social media is a very important resource when it comes to effectively listening to your audience. Your audience will take to social media for a variety of reasons: to compliment, criticize, complain, or to ask for help. Because of this, social listening a very important thing for your organization or business to partake in.

According to Hootsuite, social listening is the process of monitoring social media platforms and channels for when anyone, especially your audience, mentions your brand, competitors, products, and more. By social listening, a business is able to gain insights into what their audience is thinking and understand what is being said about their brand.

Rely on analytics-

When businesses and organizations consult data, they are using trends in their audiences’ behavior to infer their audience wants, likes, dislikes, and needs. Analytics like website traffic, social media engagement rates, email open and click rates, CTA response, and many others are pieces of data that allow you to listen to what your audience wants.

Understanding the importance of analytics and using the data to listen to your audience will help your organization identify big-picture ideas that can influence other, more specific areas of your marketing strategy.

 

As shown, listening to your audience is vital to the success of your business or organization. But, listening takes time. PivotPath offers a wide range of services that work to effectively listen to audiences. Contact us today for a free consultation, so we can assist you in your listening efforts. PivotPath understands that listening leads to meaningful relationships, and meaningful relationships lead to growing success.

 

What Makes a Brand Future-Proof?

Advancements in technology, coupled with shifts in consumer trends, can threaten a brand’s sustainability. The future is inevitable. However, there are ways to embrace the changes that accompany it. Keep reading to find out how to make a brand future-proof. 

Be relevant.

An audience analysis is an examination of a brand’s consumers. A thorough analysis will consider the age, race, gender, class status, and location of a brand’s audience. By gathering this information, your brand can assess the likes and dislikes of its audience. This will help it deliver products and/or services that are relevant to its consumers

A brand should frequently conduct an audience analysis to align with changes in consumer trends. This can help a brand withstand the test of time. 

Be unique. 

Make your brand future-proof by defining what sets it apart from other brands.

Your brand may offer the same products and/or services as other brands. It is essential to create and identify the je ne sais quoi that distinguishes your brand from others. Your brand’s unique quality should consider of its audiences. A unique identity can spark consumer interest, increase consumer commitment, and drive employee motivation.

Be consistent. 

A brand is more than just a name and logo. A brand is an identity. Your brand’s identity must be consistent to leave a long-lasting impression. 

What does your brand look like? Visual identity refers to the visual elements that define a brand. For instance, the color, shape, form, and font make up your brand’s visual identity. 

What is your brand’s voice? Consider how you want your brand to be perceived. Then, make that voice heard across all channels (social media content, website, interactions with customers, etc.)

Every service, caption, visual, and email should communicate your brand’s identity. Consistency helps build consumer commitment to a brand. Once consumers commit to a brand, it must meet consumer expectations to maintain long-lasting relationships. 

Tomorrow is not guaranteed. 

Unfortunatley, success doesn’t make your brand invincible. A brand that is successful today can easily weaken overnight.

Your brand’s presence and performance promote its longevity. However, it can be difficult for a brand to maintain a relevant, unique, and consistent presence without assistance. This is where we come in. Schedule a consultation with PivotPath today. Our team of innovative creators can help you ensure that your brand withstands the test of time.

A Guide to Spring Marketing

When developing a spring marketing plan, you may notice that there is not a lot going on during this time of the year. With the passing of several major winter holidays and events, it may seem difficult to create clever and relevant marketing strategies for the spring. But, do not fear, this is where we come in! PivotPath is here to provide you with a detailed guide to marketing during the spring. Continue reading to uncover helpful tips and strategies when marketing this season.

Pick a relevant spring theme for your marketing campaign:

Springtime is associated with many things: growth, renewal, blooming flowers, spring cleaning, longer days, and rain. So, capitalize off of these associations, and make your marketing campaign spring-themed. Using a spring theme can help give direction to your content, and create a more cohesive and appealing campaign. For example, a non-profit food bank that is focusing on the theme of “spring cleaning” could have content that looks like this:

“Jump into spring cleaning by cleaning out your pantry! And when your pantry is organized and cleaned out, give back to your community by donating the food to us!”

Using spring colors, fonts, and photos will also help to create a cohesive marketing campaign. Bright, pastel colors like pinks, yellows, greens, and teals, are very popular in the spring! Use these colors along with floral graphics to create eye-catching and aesthetically pleasing content.

Incorporate contests/giveaways in your campaign:

Many businesses see spring as a lull in their marketing plan, but one way to rejuvenate a marketing plan is to incorporate contests and giveaways. Contests and giveaways, which are typically run on social media, can be a great way to engage and grow your audience.

A contest or giveaway usually incorporates rules, qualifications, and a prize/reward. Rules outline exactly what the viewer must do to enter. Including rules such as “tag a friend,” “comment and tag a friend,” or “share this post” help expand your brand’s reach and audience. Other rules like “follow our page” and “like this post” will boost your brand’s following and engagement. Most importantly, choose rules and qualifications that are the best for your business and the goals you hope to achieve.

When choosing a prize or reward, it is important to choose one that is desirable and relevant. Your prize should always reflect the effort required to win it. For example, if you ask viewers to fill out a long survey, enter personal information, and follow your social media accounts, you must choose a high-value prize to incentivize people to put in the effort. The prize or reward should also be relevant to your business. This will encourage continued interaction with your business and your products/services.

Research unique national or international holidays:

Spring can seem spiritless when compared to the busy winter holiday season. Use this opportunity to give your audience a reason to celebrate! Amidst the better known holidays in spring:

St. Patrick’s Day: March 17th
April Fools Day: April 1st
Easter: April 4th
Earth Day: April 22nd
Cinco de Mayo: May 5th
Mother’s Day: May 9th
Memorial Day: May 31st

…there are many unique holidays that your business can also mention when marketing! Conduct research on national or international holidays for each month, and choose which holidays are most applicable to your business. For example, here are some unique holidays in March:

Peanut Butter Lovers’ Day: March 1st
I Want You to be Happy Day: March 3rd
Employee Appreciation Day: March 5th
National Frozen Food Day: March 6th
International (Working) Women’s Day: March 8th
International Day of Awesomeness: March 10th
Plant a Flower Day: March 12th
National Pi Day: March 14th
Everything You Do is Right Day: March 16th
Awkward Moments Day: March 18th
International Day of Happiness: March 20th
National Goof Off Day: March 22nd
National Puppy Day: March 23rd
Make Up Your Own Holiday Day: March 26th
Something on a Stick Day: March 28th
National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day: March 29th

Your business can incorporate these holidays when crafting content, planning promotions, and creating contests. Implementing unique holidays into your marketing strategy will help you stand out, create excitement and celebration, and engage your audience.

Focus on your community and give back:

Because springtime is seen as a time for growth and renewal, many people associate the season with community events and giving back. When looking for marking opportunities, search on community groups and pages to get your business involved, visible, and to give back to your community.

Getting involved in community events can offer your brand an opportunity to interact directly with potential customers and heighten your brand awareness. Set up tables full of relevant swag, like branded fans on a hot day, to encourage people to get to know you, your business, and your products/services.

Another marketing strategy to increase visibility in your community is to give back. Consider devoting a day for your business to volunteer at a local charity. This will benefit your community and benefit your business by making your brand more recognizable and positively received.

When preparing for your spring marking plan, do not hesitate to reach out for help. PivotPath offers a wide range of services to help your business spring into the season. Contact us for a consultation today!

Using Instagram/Facebook/LinkedIn as Marketing Tools

A brand’s social media presence influences 73% of those that engage with the brand. When used efficiently, social media platforms are proven to be effective marketing tools. However, many brands misinterpret their functions, which often results in ineffective marketing.

You don’t always need an account on every social media platform. In fact, this can produce adverse effects. When using Instagram, Facebook, or LinkedIn for marketing purposes, it’s important to understand that each platform delivers information in a unique way. Here are some insights on how to effectively optimize these social media platforms as marketing tools for your brand.

Instagram is an image-driven platform.

Instagram’s character limit is relatively large, but that doesn’t mean that your text should be. To maximize Instagram as a marketing tool, limit your brand’s bio and captions to two sentences. Including a call of action in your text will prompt your audience to participate in authentic engagement. Hashtags are also a great way to encourage audience participation while simultaneously increasing your brand’s visibility.  

Visual elements are meant to replace text. Use Instagram’s function as an image-driven platform to complement the message you aim to communicate with your post. Images and text should be clear, compelling, and consistent with your brand’s image.   

Instagram also has a story feature that allows your brand to post content that is visible to viewers for 24 hours. Stories offer the ability to directly engage with your audience through question forums, polls, and more. Instagram stories are a great way to enable audience participation and further your brand’s engagement. 

Instagram Reels is Instagram’s newest feature and closely resembles the social media platform TikTok. Its algorithm is currently driving more traffic than any other Instagram feature. Instagram Reels is helpful for those looking to increase brand visibility.

Facebook is the largest social media platform in the world.

Facebook has more users than any other social media platform. This poses both an opportunity and a threat: Your brand’s range of communication is highest on Facebook, but this places a great deal of power in your audience’s hands. 

Due to the platform’s considerable audience, it’s difficult to get traffic and engagement without paid Facebook advertising. With paid social, you will expand your reach and impressions while targeting specific audiences to ensure you attract those you seek to engage with the most. Bear in mind that the process to create Facebook Ads changes periodically, so be sure to review the guidelines within the Facebook Ads Manager

Facebook allows its users to post text, images, and videos. When utilizing such a wide range of features, it’s crucial to understand that the text of a Facebook post shapes the success of its visual elements. Keep your text brief and informational. Consider the who, what, when, where, and why of your message. An unclear text will confuse your audience and may cause them to deter.

Facebook was the first social media platform to introduce the “like” function. The platform has since developed by offering additional reactions to posts. This tool is especially useful when assessing your audience’s likes, dislikes, beliefs, and values. Use this information to your advantage when crafting future posts. The share feature allows users to share posts with their Facebook friends, which offers a promising avenue for increasing your brand’s visibility.

LinkedIn is the professional network.

LinkedIn operates as a professional social network. It allows users to disseminate and engage with information that advances their professional prospects. LinkedIn remains an invaluable platform for increasing brand awareness and establishing relationships with businesses and consumers alike. 

LinkedIn’s professional nature requires careful attention to credibility and expertise. Therefore, your brand’s content must evoke professionalism. This is best achieved through using both visual and textual elements together. Your text should be concise yet informative and grammatical to complement clean and compelling visuals.

The use of blog posts and articles on LinkedIn allows for even greater use of the platform in that users can highlight their expertise while increasing their reach. Make sure your content illustrates your brand’s capabilities to expand your audience, strengthen your brand’s identity, and encourage consumer and business partnerships.

Maximize your brand’s potential.

Social media has changed the way we operate both personally and professionally by providing individuals and institutions with the ability to communicate to large audiences.

When using social media platforms as marketing tools, it’s crucial to acknowledge that your content is a representation of your brand. Through understanding the functions of each platform, you can help your brand nurture audience relationships, maximize its reach, and achieve its goals. Contact PivotPath’s team of innovative creatives to help your brand maximize its potential.

Not Every Social Media Platform is Needed to Promote Your Brand

Social media is a large part of everyday life, even more so now that COVID-19 has taken away the ability to connect in person. People are beginning to rely on social media platforms to make meaningful and impactful connections.

This can be intimidating for businesses. Promoting a brand on social media is difficult enough, but relying on social media platforms for all communication with your audience is a new challenge. Many businesses are scrambling with their social media strategies, creating accounts on any and every social media platform possible. Though this may seem like a reasonable option, branding on every social media platform can be ineffective, disingenuous, and a waste of time. 

Here, we outline why you do not need every social media platform to promote your brand and ways you can effectively use social media to make meaningful connections for your business. 

Your audience is not on every platform:

Not many people have an account on every social media platform, so why should your business? Your target audience is a specific group of people. They have unique characteristics and traits, and each social media platform attracts distinct groups of people.

Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn are all popular platforms, but each is used for a different purpose. Most of Instagram’s users are female and between the ages of 13 and 28. In contrast, the majority of Facebook users are above 30 years old. LinkedIn users range in age, but use the platform for work and business related purposes. 

The data collected on each social media platform will help your business understand where to connect with your audience. Whether your business wants to build connections with other businesses, community members, fitness junkies, gamers, etc., it is important to find which platform(s) they are primarily on. This way, you can meet your audience on the platform they use to further enhance your brand awareness and engagement. 

You do not have the time to devote to every platform:

Creating content and a social media plan takes time and organization. Your business is working hard to cover all your bases. But, when you try to cover every social media platform, your work can become sloppy and ineffective.

Without meaningful content, your audience could perceive your communication as disingenuous and calculated. This is not how you want audiences to perceive your brand. If you are going to be spending the time creating content, campaigns, and promotions, don’t you want them to be meaningful and impactful?

Always prioritize quality over quantity on social media. To do this, you need to allocate your time to the most important platforms for your audience. This way, you can spend your time creating purposeful and engaging content that will create a brand image that is heartfelt, personable, and authentic.

How to make a meaningful social media strategy without every platform:

  1. Evaluate and research your target audience– Ask yourself, who are you trying to reach? Where is your audience spending their time while online? What kind of content does your audience seem to enjoy? Does your audience even have social media? Thoroughly research your audience and their behavior. This will help you to alter your social media strategy to include the most effective kinds of content to post on the most applicable platforms.
  2. Focus your time on key platforms– After choosing which platforms are most effective for your business, focus your time on building quality profiles and accounts. Because you have less platforms to work on, you can spend more time constructing unique and substantial content. If your business is large enough, consider creating multiple specialized accounts on the same platform. This will allow you to hyper-focus on each group within your audience to create personalized content that is more relatable and powerful.
  3. Concentrate on building connections– Your business should be creating connections and relationships, not just partnerships or associations. A focused social media plan will offer the ability to create a marketing strategy that is sincere, personable, and authentic. Whether that be by conveying similar interests, interacting with customers, or using relatable humor, audiences are more likely to interact with a brand they feel personally connected to.
  4. Do not hesitate to reach out for help– Above all, do not hesitate to ask for help! Promoting your brand can be a difficult, meticulous process. Use resources that are available to you, like PivotPath, and contact us for a consultation. Our marketing focuses on building connections and relationships. We will be sure to help your business create a brand strategy that is meaningful and impactful!

5 Ways to Promote Your City or Town to Increase Tourism

At a time when travel restrictions are implemented, cities and towns are frantically searching for ways to increase tourism.

The internet is filled with travel guides and firsthand accounts of visitors detailing their experiences. It’s more difficult to come across tips from a local—someone who knows the ins and outs of the area. Unfortunately, we don’t all have the luxury of knowing someone within our destination’s limits. Consider these five tips when communicating your community’s charm to increase tourism:

Highlight the history and culture 

Every destination has its own unique story.

Aside from the well-known attractions, consider sharing some of your community’s lesser-known treasures. This may involve obscure facts about your town’s early settlers or the spooky tale about the mansion on Main Street. A picture of these treasures with a description of their significance is an opportunity for you to highlight your community’s unique history to increase tourism.

Share your tasty tips

There’s no feeling better than a full stomach after a day of exploring.

Food largely defines a community’s culture. When promoting your city or town, be sure to discuss local dishes and the best places to try them. Consider explaining the flavor profile of the dish and the best way to eat it. With ketchup? With a root beer? At midnight? Who knows, maybe visitors will find their new favorite food or restaurant and come back for more!

Offer visitors a breath of fresh air

We all crave a breath of fresh air.

Provide visitors with the best spots to catch their breath and revel in the wonder of your community’s natural beauty. Be sure to detail the best seasons and times of day for visitors to capture the full essence of the landscape. Also, include any materials that they should consider bringing or leaving behind for their visit.

Catch your breath in nature

Suggest local stores and businesses

The word souvenir is French for “to remember.”

Tokens of remembrance can be as simple as a keychain or as complex as a scarf woven by natives. Present visitors with an opportunity to remember their visit to your community with recommendations for local stores and businesses. This is also an opportunity for you to help local businesses during these difficult times.

Local stores and businesses

Include your personal testimony

They say that home is where the heart is.

Share the little things that you love about your city or town. This may include how you love the transition between one season to another, or your favorite road to drive down in the summer. Personal testimonies appeal to an audience’s emotions. Provide insight into the small and special things that define your love for your community.

Tip: Include hashtags (i.e., #NewOrleans, #ExploringTheCity, #GetInMyBelly) and/or create a page for your city or town. This will help potential visitors easily locate your stories and recommendations.

When implementing the tips listed above, be sure to consider all audiences (independent travelers, couples, families, and seniors). By showcasing your community’s local treasures and adding a personal touch, you can offer visitors valuable information on what to experience when visiting your community.

Enlist PivotPath’s team of innovative creators to help you fulfill these tips and increase your city or town’s tourism. Contact us today for a consultation. 

Resourceful Marketing Strategies for Nonprofit Organizations

Marketing for a nonprofit organization can be difficult. Usually, there is little to no money set aside for marketing efforts. Because of this, it is crucial to use resources that are naturally present. Here, we outline marketing strategies you can use that are accessible and inventive. A tight budget calls for unique solutions; let’s get creative! 


Reach out to resources in your community

One of the best resources for a nonprofit to use is its community. Creating a marketing approach that involves the community can help nonprofits build a supportive foundation to grow from. 

Local TV stations, radio stations, and newspapers are great resources within the community to help spread awareness of your organization. So, start creating relationships with the news outlets in your community and make your nonprofit’s appearance a fun occasion. 

For example, a not-for-profit animal shelter could reach out to local new stations and suggest a “Pet Of The Week” segment. This way, the nonprofit gains weekly media coverage and the news station gains viewers for the new, fun segment—a win-win for both parties!

Grow your online presence

An important aspect of marketing to strategize is online engagement and social media. Social media is a great tool to use to connect with a large amount of people in a short amount of time. But, to elicit a response and reach the correct audience, it must be used strategically. 

It is important to remember that each social media platform serves its own purpose. For instance, what your organization posts on Facebook may not be effective on Twitter, and vice versa. 

Take the time to decide what kind of content your organization wants to put out on each platform. This will help to increase both engagement among users and overall awareness of your organization. Check out our blog about social media and branding to learn more.

Create influential and meaningful partnerships

Creating and maintaining relationships is important for any organization. For nonprofits, it is essential. Using existing resources and growing on established relationships provides many benefits for nonprofits. 

Look to your current supporters for help with your marketing efforts. Usually, supporters are thrilled to become active in an organization that they are passionate about. Partner with supporters or other people in your network that have a wide reach and can be advocates for your nonprofit. 

For example, advocates can promote your organization by posting content on their own social media accounts, running fundraisers, and using their networks to reach more people. Additionally, partnerships like these would help your organization reach groups of people outside of your current scope. 

Participate in visual marketing

One of the most impactful marketing strategies is the use of visuals. Visuals, such as pictures, infographics, and videos, can express your organization’s mission in a unique and effective way. 

When scrolling through social media or reading the newspaper, people are typically drawn to things that can tell a story with little effort. A picture or video allows for viewer ease and attracts more attention due to enticing colors, stunning images, and thought-out graphics. 

Visuals can involve people within your organization as well as the community that is impacted by your mission. For instance, a video of testimonials or a photo with a quote can story tell in an appealing and effective way for your organization.  

Personalize your outreach communication

People tend to disregard mass-created messages, sending a large amount of communication and information to the trash. Creating more personalized communication will increase response rates and engage supporters. 

Each donor and supporter is different. The way to continue their engagement will vary depending on their age, current level of commitment, socioeconomic status, and interests.

Consider planning out personalized messages for different groups of people when creating your monthly newsletter or weekly updates. This will ensure that the right information gets to the right people and will help to maintain engagement and interest in your nonprofit. 

 

Above all, do not hesitate to ask for help! If you are a nonprofit looking for assistance with marketing strategies, contact us for a consultation. Our marketing focuses on storytelling and community connection, and will be sure to help your organization enhance its presence!

Why Consumer Behavior Is Essential to Marketing Research

Did you know that in most cases, customer loyalty is worth more than the price of a single purchase? That is because marketers are fervent to meet the needs of their customers at a high degree. How do marketers make that happen? Well, one thing to consider is that marketers continuously do research on consumer behavior. Yes, you want to sell a product, but adding value to your customers’ lives hits one out of the park.

Consumer behavior is all around us and it is important to know what drives us to purchase a product.

First, every organization should understand the power behind their research on consumer behavior before launching any product. Knowing your audience is important to tailor your buyer persona. Before making any final decisions on how you would market your products or services, your understanding of your target market should be secure.

In that case, keeping consumer behavior as your main focus on marketing research is essential to understand customers’ buying decisions and how they look at products.

Additionally, conducting research on consumer behavior will provide better ideas on your marketing strategies to move ahead of your competitors. Keeping consumer behavior in mind when studying your marketing analytics reports is vital to meet the expectations of your customers.

Three main factors that influence consumer behavior are cultural, psychological, and personal factors. Incorporating these three points into your consumer behavior research will help you gain valuable information, and understand who your potential customers will be. Here’s how conducting research on consumer behavior helps you with your overall marketing strategy.

1. Helps Refine Marketing Strategy Analytics

When it comes to marketing decisions, analytics is an influential factor when determining if your strategies are helping to push your company forward. Doing research on the performance of your display ads, website content, and search ads can tell you a lot about what your customers are engaged in.

Also, the analytics of your website shows how consumer behavior affects search engine optimization. Research on consumer behavior is crucial to acknowledge if your consumers are responding positively to what you wish to market.

2. Expands Your Awareness on Globalization

The study of consumer behavior is vital if you decide to expand your product or services to non-domestic markets. In addition, conducting marketing research on those who have different cultural backgrounds is essential for your business. This shows if your product or services best serve the cultural norms and values of a particular country. Applying this type of research to your marketing strategy will make you stand out from your competitors.

Learning about consumer behavior in foreign markets will expand your awareness of helping reach non-domestic needs.

3. Gives You a Better Outlook on Customer Preferences to Design Your Marketing Mix

Understanding your consumers’ preferences on a particular product provides a narrower scope to design your marketing mix (the four P’s).

When conducting research, a consumer may be interested in the design of the product yet may shy away from purchasing it due to the product’s high-end price. Or, selling a beach-like product in Southern California may reach more sales than selling the product in Eastern Texas. Acknowledging this type of behavior provides a better outlook on how to better your pricing strategy. Here are some questions to consider when correlating your marketing mix to consumer behavior.

  • Does the price of your product match the income of your target market?
  • Does the design of your product attract the audience whom you wish to target?
  • Is the product marketed in locations where people would wish to buy the product?
  • Is the product useful and/or is it in demand to solve a problem in the market?

When customers decide to buy your product, it is essential to grasp their thought processes when they make their final purchasing decisions. By doing so, you will know the types of strategies that will work to boost sales.

Where should you begin to collect research on consumer behavior?

Create an appropriate survey design that will best gather your consumer insight data. Are you gathering data based on your participants’ responses towards your product and/or service? Use a rating scale question from 1 to 100.

Are you gathering data based on your participants’ feelings or opinions on your product and/or service? Use a Likert scale question such as “strongly agree to strongly disagree”.

Be sure to include demographic questions (age, income, race/ethnicity, gender, occupation, location, etc). This will help you better understand the demographics of your participants, and it gives you sharper information on how it correlates with consumer behavior. Also, you can determine how a product’s usefulness correlates with the needs of a particular demographic.

Conduct an online survey through your website or conduct a face-to-face survey of a focus group.

If you decide to resort to an inexpensive and quicker route to gather more information on customer experience, you can conduct online surveys through your website. In most cases, conducting online surveys will only provide you with anonymous participants which hinders you from gathering specific demographic data. With that said, utilize online surveys for your current customers to uncover what they think about your products and/or services so far.

To gain a thorough analysis of your product/service research, conducting a focus group on your customers or tailored buyer personas is the best way to analyze and gather consumer insights. Focus group research allows you to gather more information from your participants because it takes more time to gather data from their in-depth interviews.

76% of consumers expect businesses to understand their expectations and needs.

Conducting surveys of your current customers or groups that show interest in your product is vital to understand when wanting to meet the needs of your consumers. At the end of the day, your mission is to add value to your customers’ lives. This can only happen by taking time to learn more about your customers. Taking the extra mile to know more about your customers will reap good benefits to maintain your overall business health and gain loyal customers.

Thalia Rodriguez is a Communications major with a double minor in marketing and professional writing at Grand Canyon University. When she’s not practicing writing, she can be spending time with family and friends, going on hikes, or cooking delicious plant-based dishes. Check out her LinkedIn profile here to connect.

Mental health in marketing

The Importance of Mental Health in a Marketing World

There’s no denying that social media and the digital age that we’re in has negatively affected mental health. Time and time again, studies show a negative correlation between mental health and social media, especially with the younger generations.

Whether you’re a content creator or marketing specialist, chances are the marketing tactics you use are related to psychology. Marketing can contribute positively or negatively to your audience’s mental health and wellbeing. Knowing what psychological tricks in marketing do can help you market more mindfully, especially in the age of COVID-19.

How is marketing related to psychology?

Marketing that uses psychological tricks to evoke emotion is known as neuromarketing. This form of marketing uses neuroscience to understand how consumers’ brains react to certain marketing stimuli.

All marketing is psychology. Every advertisement aims to elicit an emotional response from the consumer, persuading them to buy into the product or service. A few examples of marketing psychology include:

FOMO Effect

FOMO, or Fear Of Missing Out, is a popular marketing technique that relates to loss aversion. This tactic is a big part of many marketing campaigns, from phrases like “don’t miss out” to advertising time-sensitive sales. FOMO creates a sense of urgency to persuade the consumer that they’ll regret not buying your product or service.

Social Proof

“Social proof” is a technique that pressures consumers to do something because everyone else is doing it. You probably use this technique already through categories like “best sellers” or showcasing reviews on your website or socials. One of the more prominent examples of social proof is the recent rise of influencer marketing.

Check out how influencer marketing can help your business in our previous blog post.

Pro-Innovation Bias

This is the wording high-tech or innovative companies use pro-innovation bias to convince consumers they need their product. Phrases like “the world’s first…” or “introducing the revolutionary…” are designed to make you feel that you have to be one of the first to buy this new piece of technology or product.

What can marketing do to your mental health?

Of course, many of these techniques are harmless. However, many ads use techniques that tell consumers they’re inadequate without that product or service. There is a constant stream of advertisements that tell you your body isn’t good enough or clothes aren’t trendy enough – that you’re not enough. They then advertise their product as helping you live a more satisfying life. These can subconsciously damage your self-esteem and your perception of yourself and the world.

Even some products meant to improve your life can shame you. For example, eco-friendly products persuade you by making the average consumer feel responsible for saving the environment. In reality, corporations and big businesses account for most of the pollution and plastic waste in our oceans. Buying a reusable straw is great for reducing your own carbon footprint, but won’t do much in terms of tangible change – but it sure is a good marketing tactic.

Despite the knowledge that some marketing tactics impact your mental health, the fact still remains that marketing is rooted in psychology. So what can we do?

How can we improve?

All of this isn’t to say that marketing is inherently bad or intentionally manipulative. Instead, marketers need to be more aware of the marketing strategies they use and how they use them. Taking into account the mental health and wellbeing of your target audience can benefit consumers as well as companies.

Balancing ethics with profit can show that you care about the messages you’re putting into the world, and the people you’re selling to. In fact, offering support and being authentic about something so stigmatized can help you build trust with customers.

You can’t untangle psychology from marketing, but you can make it shift to focus more on what your service or product provides rather than what the consumer lacks.

If you want to create more meaningful marketing, contact us to request a free digital assessment.

Alison Roller is a recent graduate of West Chester University of Pennsylvania where she earned a B.A. in English with a minor in journalism. When she’s not writing, she can be found wherever her cats are. Check out her LinkedIn profile here to connect.

5 Signs You Need to Upgrade Your Content Creation Game

An essential part of any digital marketing strategy includes creating relatable and engaging content. Whether you’re just starting out in content creation or have been doing it for years, there will come a time when your content won’t connect with your audience the way you want it to. By understanding why your content isn’t hitting the mark, you can work to improve and upgrade it. 

These tell-tale signs that you need to switch up your content creation strategies will help you start understanding how to make your content the best it can be.

You’re repeating the same ideas in every blog

No one likes to hear the same thing over and over again. In digital marketing and content creation, persuasion is key. If you’re repeating the same things in each blog, you risk not only boring your audience, but making them less likely to reach out or come back to view new content.

Instead, try to hone in on a few simple ideas while providing content that will engage your audience.

Traffic is decreasing

Losing followers on social media, decreased engagement or low conversion rates can all be impacted by the content you’re putting out. If you’re seeing a decrease in traffic, it may be a sign your content is getting old. 

Trying out different content strategies and new techniques can be a great way to try and increase traffic and visibility. Even if you’re producing great content, it can still lead to less engagement if it’s not hitting home for your audience. Experimenting with different styles of content can help you upgrade your content creation game and promote engagement.

Your content is full of industry jargon and complex terms 

Relatability is a key factor in content creation. Chances are, your target audience isn’t limited to industry professionals – it’s everyday people. Using complex terms not only makes your content harder to read, but can make you seem out of touch with your target audience.

Although you want to highlight your achievements in your particular market, do it in a way that’s easy for someone with no industry experience to read. Explain complex topics in simple terms. You may want to consider creating a glossary for readers to refer to – like this blog on SEO terms.

Social media is great for content creation

Your social media and website don’t show a clear brand identity

Creating a recognizable brand identity is part of any good content strategy plan. If your content doesn’t show a strong identity, it will be harder for your audience to connect to. 

A brand identity isn’t just a catchy phrase or logo, either. Brand identity can include the tone you use in your blogs, a particular color scheme or anything else that sets your content apart from everyone else’s. Creating content that is uniquely yours will make sure you stand out in your audience’s mind. It may also help you attract a wider audience. 

You’re not passionate about the content you’re creating

If you don’t care about what you’re creating, it can show in your content. Whether you’ve been creating the same type of content for too long that it’s gotten tedious or boring, or you just don’t feel like you’re creating your best work, it can have an impact on your content. 

Branching out with your content creation is one of the best ways to create content that you feel proud of and passionate about. Tie in pop culture or your personal passions to create new and engaging content that entices the audience. After all, if you’re not passionate about your content, how can you expect anyone else to be?

Content creation is vital to expanding your reach and keeping your audience engaged and interested. To create the best content you can, make sure it’s real, recognizable and relatable

If you’re ready to step up your content creation game, we can help! Check out our content services here and let us know how we can serve you.