The Must Have Marketing Components All Brands and Professionals Should Be Using

By Michael Harris-Arzon, The Simplistic Professional

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Don’t Get Intimidated By Your Marketing Expectations

When Danny and I started our first business, Arzon-Harris, more than 25 years ago, our marketing plan consisted of about 5 bullet points.  Remember, that was before the digital age had become mainstream.  Now days, it doesn’t matter if you are working for Corporate America or you are an Entrepreneur that works for him/herself.  There is a host of exposure outlets that we are all expected to adhere to, in order to be taken seriously and help us reach maximum, organic exposure levels.

When I graduated college, almost 3 decades ago, I left with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration / Management and a Minor in Marketing.  This was before the internet explosion and marketing / advertising campaigns relied on tried and true mediums like billboards, TV commercials, newspaper ads, business cards and fliers.  These physical marketing mediums are still relevant today (for the most part), but we have to round things out with a strong online presence that proves YOU ARE THE EXPERT TO CALL in your field.

When it comes to marketing, advertising and building a brand, there are two ways to approach this.  The first is a simple, straight forward approach that focuses on you (or your company) as an Entrepreneur and Business Owner.  The second is a bit more convoluted, since you are branding yourself as a professional, yet you are also promoting the company that you work for.  In the second instance, you want to carefully craft your professional brand identity, in a manner that allows you to separate yourself from the company that you work for (in case you leave for another firm) and show your expertise for what it is.

You are so much more, than the company that you work for.  Your expertise in your field(s), your personality and your experience is what identifies you as a professional and expert.

Every business, brand or even professional, must have certain marketing and branding components in place that simply are expected and common place.  You always have the option to mix traditional mediums like billboards or radio ads.

Below is a simple list of the mediums that all brands are expected to utilize in their marketing plans.  Don’t let yourself get overwhelmed, as once they have been created, it is a lot less work to manage the majority of them.

  • Use a custom URL to help with the branding of your product, service, company or your personal brand.  You don’t have to create a full blown website, but at the very least, create a 1 page website talking about you, your brand, your products or services and why they should contact you or use your services.
  • Create and utilize a custom email associated with your custom URL.  This not only helps promote branding, but even the smallest of companies seem larger in scale than they may actually be.  Consumers tend to feel more confident when working with a company that appears to be of a certain size.  Perception is everything when launching a new product or brand.  Even if you are branding yourself, it helps if your customer assumes that you have a team behind you.
  • Create a blog that you post original content to a few times a week.  Be consistent in your posting and make sure that the imagery, color schemes and content are in line with your advertisements, social profiles and other marketing materials.
  • When designing your business cards, DO NOT do single sided cards.  Print on both sides of the card (it is only a few cents more).  First, this gives you an opportunity to expand your message.  Second, if the card is on the ground or tossed onto a table lets say, then your branding is still visible.  I learned this trick years ago when I first started doing trade shows and conventions.  About half of the people that take your card with throw it away.  Many times, they don’t even wait until they find a trash can, but will drop it right there on the ground.  When this happens, you still have the opportunity to catch someone else attention.  IF it is printed just on the one side then there is a 50% chance that the card will end up face down and NO ONE is going to bend down and pick up what seems to be a blank card.
  • Create a custom voice mail message that mentions you, the brand you are promoting and maybe the companies tagline with multiple contact methods for their future reference.
  • When setting up your custom email, in order to save you time down the line, forward any and all other email accounts you may have to the new email so that you only have to check a single email account.  Besides saving you time, it also helps to prevent you from sending a work email from the wrong account.  You also want to create an auto reply that has a slight sales push to it as a way to promote your brand or product in a non intrusive way.
  • Write a short profile description that you can use on all of your social media and other online profiles.  Try to keep it short and at 140 characters.  Be sure to include your website url.
  • Create a custom logo with a descriptive tagline.  A good rule of thumb when coming up with a logo, is to imagine your logo being printed on to an ink pen.  You don’t want it to be to big or complicated and it should fit on most marketing and promotional items.
  • There are certain social networks that brands are expected to have a presence on these days.  Besides the ones listed below, there may be other niche networks that are associated with your field of expertise that you should consider having a presence on as well.
    • Instagram
    • FaceBook (Pages)
    • Pinterest
    • LinkedIn
    • Google+
    • Twitter
    • NextDoor
    • YouTube
    • SnapGuide
    • PodBean (for those wishing to do a PodCast)
  • Use IFTTT (If This Then That), a content curator and auto posting service that is ideal for posting to your social media accounts.  Remember, promotion of your brand or product should not account for more than 10% of what you post.  You need to post material that not only helps show that you are an expert in your field, but contains information/news that is relevant to your target audience.
    • There are many services out there for scheduling posts and curating content.  What I like about IFTTT is the fact that they post anonymously so it looks like you, personally, shared the information.
    • IFTTT has hundreds of other uses for your business that can help you streamline your work process.
  • Finally, while this is not a marketing medium, it is something that every company, brand or professional should have. Create a set of brand guidelines.  This is to provide consistency across all of your marketing efforts.  They should include, but not be limited to, the following:
    • Color Scheme
    • Logo sets
    • Acceptable Fonts types and sizes to be used (any serif font will work and the reason we recommend a serif font is that they are the easiest to read.)
    • Template for email signatures
    • Script for Voice Mailgreetings
    • Social media posting schedule

 

 

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How to Use Social Media to Boost Your Company’s Other Marketing Efforts

Gone are the days where professionals, and brands alike, segment their marketing efforts due to the fear of missing out on message delivery. The use of social media and other online mediums has become common place. Yet most still have issues in creating a balanced campaign that uses the individual strengths of an outlet.

While a brand or marketing team may have designed a quality, targeted ad message, most fail to adapt and change the ad to meet the specific user needs of a particular social media outlet.

Twitter is meant to engage and hold a conversation, while Facebook is ideal for delivering detailed content messages. LinkedIn is more ideal for making those professional introductions for a brand that will lead to word of mouth referral business and investor growth opportunities. Instagram is perfect long term strategies and building brand strength around core messages and beliefs.

The list goes on and on, but these are just a part of a professional’s or brands’ marketing components. For example, during a trade show or live conference, think about having an iPad that is being mirrored (via an Apple TV) to a large screen at the booth. And as you interact with your audience, ask them to relay their thoughts or reviews of your brand or product via Twitter, then and there. Tell them that by doing so, they are not only engaging their followers, but because they are mentioning you, they are able to capitalize on your brands following and potentially grow their own. Its a simple way of holding a potential clients attention, while getting them to actually think about your brand or product and not just listening to a sales pitch in order to get a give away or contest entry.

For more ideas and amazing tips, read more: How to Use Social Media to Boost Your Company’s Other Marketing Efforts
https://news360.com/article/457131325

Michael Harris-ArzonPresident, Ardynn Media GroupSimplisticProfessional.com
@SimplisticPro

The Life of a Tweet Defines A Brand

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Brand recognition. What is it? Where does it start and how does it transcend international boundaries? These where the basic questions I posed to myself in the summer of 2006. Little did I know that my sudden infatuation with technology would give me the leg up when it came to building a house hold name.

At the time I was the Marketing Director for Homes Media Group, a Division of Dominion Enterprises. We controlled 14 of the most influential brands in the real estate industry. A number of these brands, Advanced Access and HarmonHomes.com, were technology based advertising companies. I was forced to become a nerd and expand my knowledge of technology.

What I found was that I understood the value that technology brought to the table and immediately I developed a sixth sense of technology trends and knew how best to position them with our product lines in order to stay ahead of the competition.

In July of 2006 I was urging the company to promote our products and ad platforms via REALTOR run blogs. While performing my daily search of news and marketing medium ideas, I came across an unknown micro blogging platform called Twitter. Knowing how critical it is to gather a message into as short a text line as possible…..I knew this was the future of communication and brand awareness.

With upper management struggling to convert from a target audience of industry professionals to a combined audience of consumer / industry pros., I saw how we could get the word out for nothing at an astonishing rate. So I created first user name and every time I had a trade show, home show or other event…..I posted details and started conversations.

It took a little while before Twitter became socially acceptable and not seen as a business tool. In the early winter of 2008, I decided that my time, expertise and contacts were worth far more than the yearly salary I was being paid. Granted I was paid well, but the frustration of proving that up and coming technologies were not simply trends but new business basics became too much. So I left my highly influential position and launched my own consultancy. Hence, Ardynn Media Group was born and I instantly became a recognized industry leader.

Yes it helped tremendously to have the faith and backing of some of real estate’s most powerful leaders behind me, yet I no longer had the multi-million dollar marketing budget in my back pocket. I needed to form a business model that allowed me to have a well rounded marketing strategy that did not cost me an arm and a leg. Nor did I want investor dollars, nor to dip in my investment accounts. So I built and managed the following online campaign to simply create brand recognition.

Marketing with Ardynn Media (was our first blog that is now TheLIMEMagazine.com

Personal / Brand Facebook Profile

Twitter profile

Triberr Blog Accelerator (immediate 1,000,000 Twitter views)

LinkedIn Profile

Regular Article Authorship for ALL Major Real Estate Publications

Weekly Press Release Distribution

Daily single postings to each of these platforms created such a buzz that I realized I could build a recognizable brand with basically a zero dollar marketing budget. Twitter became the catalyst that to this day I credit to being the corner stone of our brand strength. This is thanks to the understanding of hashtags and Brand Integration into most headlines. That way we stayed in front of our target audience.

The first year of business is shied away from trade shows and speaking engagements as I felt that I needed to focus on building the strongest base possible for the Ardynn Brands and Product lines. But I will never forget the first major event I attended as President of the Ardynn Media Group. It was MidYear NAR ( the National Assoc. of REALTORS Legislative Conference in Washington D.C.) and I was making rounds between sessions with business cards in hand. Luckily I had my good friend and client, Susie Hale (Top 25 Most Influential Women in Real Estate) with me and I can’t tell you how many people she introduced me to (that I had never met) told me that they recognized the name of the company and we’re pleased to finally put a face with the brand.

A few of which specifically mentioned following me on Twitter! A REALTOR named Andrew Parker was the first to mention this and so I asked him why he followed us online. His response was that we provided a one stop shop for industry news, marketing advice and tips & need to know contacts. Remember this was 2008 and Twitter was just starting to gain major traction in the blogosphere.