by Charlene Grant
My name is Charlene Grant, and I am a Marketing and PR consultant, working with individuals and small businesses by placing them in front of their customers. Based in Croydon, Surrey, I work not only across the UK, but remotely throughout the world. My mission is to upskill business owners so that they can confidently manage marketing in-house if needed. After having worked in Marketing and PR for several years, I decided that 2020 was the time to work closely with clients who needed help the most.
So, what is marketing? This may seem like a silly question, but so many people and businesses do not understand what marketing is, so let me simplify it (hopefully).
Marketing is any action a business carries out to promote or sell a product or service. It is important to introduce marketing into any business as it is an opportunity to raise awareness and let your target audience know your service or product has entered the marketplace! Do not forget to mention all the benefits it brings and all the problems it solves, this is crucial.
Public Relations (PR) determines how you maintain a positive image of your business through storytelling across different media, such as newspapers, publications, social media, radio, and TV. Good PR indicates a reputable business that is highly regarded within its sector and across the general public. PR is linked to your reputation, whether good or bad.
If you are not new to social media management, brand development and advertising but want to brush up on your skills, there are a wide variety of free courses available, a quick search will get you on the right path.
If you cannot deliver marketing in-house, I strongly suggest you outsource key marketing activities. Whether you are an expert or a novice, standing out amongst your competitors has never been more important.
Navigating the weird and wonderful maze of marketing can be overwhelming, but help is at hand! Look at some top tips for marketing newbies to help you get started:
- It is challenging to attempt to target your business and brand to everyone. It is far better to clearly identify what a range of typical customers may look like, think about how you would address their problems and add value. Think about where they are located, what they do for a living and perhaps even their age.
- There is power in an authentic story, so tell it, and tell it well. Some business owners are not comfortable with the idea of taking their customers along their journey, but consumers do not appreciate the hard sell, they want to connect and resonate with businesses, take a look at who runs the company, what they stand for. Now, ask yourself a question, do you simply want to sell a service? Or do you want customers who can relate to your brand story, ethos, and values? You decide
- Engage with your audience. Sounds simple, right? So many businesses get this wrong. Reply to every comment, start a conversation, ask for feedback, respond to every DM, a simple ‘like’ is no longer enough
- Get to the point! We are often only tempted to provide too much information. As a society our attention spans are decreasing. Consider that when putting your communications together
- Use clear, sharp imagery. Nothing puts a potential customer off more than a blurry or out of focus image. Your business will come across as unprofessional
- Ensure your business contact and location information is up to date so that when potential customer search for key words linked to your business, they receive the correct information straight away
- Finally, be consistent
Once you find a rhythm that suits your resources, get started. The hardest part is taking the first step.