Category

Marketing Tips

top of mind marketing back to basics for web trends 2017

Web Trends 2017: Back to the Basics

By | Marketing Tips, Uncategorized | No Comments

I recently worked on a website for a construction company; one member of our team kept suggesting things to make the site “pop”. I, on the other hand, was looking for great navigation and classic design that would endure, lots of white space that would serve as a backdrop for well-written content and project pictures. I wanted our work to capture audience attention, not gimmicks.

It’s been an evolution

We’ve spent years adding stuff to our websites—frames, sidebars, headers, banner ads, sidebar ads, calls to action, comments, popups, social media buttons, signup boxes, etc. Now we’re taking them off–all of the elements that cluttered up our websites, detracting from the primary message, which is the content.

Back to the basics in 2017

In 2017, websites will start moving back to basics, placing more emphasis on content. Keep in mind that a big driver for many of these changes is mobile users who increasingly rely on their phones to transact business and access information. To accommodate these users, sites have had to simplify—a growing trend over the last few years. Mobile use has had a significant impact on navigation, color palettes, typography and the way we deploy images and other assets.

Geometrics

It seems as though the use of geometric shapes, lines, and patterns have really taken off in the late part of 2016, and this is expected to continue through 2017. The use of circles around images, photos that are geometric heavy, or the overall design of the site relies heavily on the use of lines and patterns.

Creative headings

We’re starting to move away from the basic, boring heading style seen on websites (san serif, all caps, centered heading) and moving more toward imaginative or creative headings. Look for a change in the layout, justification or websites without a heading at all.

Animations and gifs

Animations are starting to be used more heavily on websites as they easily communicate how things work and are more lightweight than several images or even a video, which is good news for mobile users—animations generally load quickly.

Putting navigation on a diet

More people are now accessing the web on their phones than their computers, which has had a significant impact on navigation. Drilling down through complicated schematics on a phone is a complete turnoff; it’s much easier to scroll through pages than click and wait. Restricting the main navigation bar to four to five items is becoming the norm and it’s challenging organizations to think critically and strategically about how they organize information.

More emphasis on landing pages, less on a home page

In 2017 we will likely see a rise in landing page designs—not just home page design. While you still need a home page, as content marketing spreads, marketers will want to direct traffic to dedicated landing pages to better target their visitors and their needs. It makes sense: The idea of content marketing is to increase awareness and conversions, and what better way to increase conversions than to have visitors land on a page strictly made for them. These pages will be as well designed and thought out as others on the site, but target the visitor much more.

Are you thinking about a new website for 2017? Talk to us at Top of Mind Marketing. Building online brands.

4 Tips for More Compelling Case Studies

By | Marketing Tips, Uncategorized | No Comments

I’m a longtime fan of case studies. They’ve always been an important way to showcase your expertise. These days, when content marketing is all about telling stories, case studies have never been more important or more relevant.

Top of Mind Marketing_case study

Here are 4 tips for making case studies more compelling.

1. Dig deep and find the meat of the story

Before diving into your case study, ask yourself: where are visceral parts of this story that will reach my audience on an emotional level? Case studies are often written like instruction manuals, when they’re actually very compelling success stories about real people.

2. One word: edit

An estimated 66% of B2B marketers say case studies are the most effective means of attracting their target audiences. When people go to your website, they’re likely to read your About section and Case Studies. Don’t disappoint them by providing endless details that don’t get to the core: Challenge, your Solution and the Results. Make it easy for your reader to understand what you’ve accomplished.

3. Play to the herd

If you’re not paying attention, people no longer buy things without checking out what their peers have to say on the matter. This is the millennial profile, but it’s not just the kids who are doing this. Who doesn’t read reviews on TripAdvisor and Yelp, consult with friends and knowledgeable colleagues before making major purchases. Case studies help validate you. They provide instant credibility:

  • Case studies humanize your brand. They put your solutions into context.
  • Case studies are your customer success stories. They directly influence your prospects, attract high-quality leads, build trust and boost revenue.
  • Case studies provide third party endorsement—motivate potential clients by showing them how you can help and why you are their best choice.

4. Case studies endure

Good case studies retain their value, year after year. Blogs may become irrelevant, depending on the topic, but a case study that highlights business fundamentals–your ability to solve problems, build relationships, meet deadlines and budgets and help your clients grow their businesses—these endure.

Are you ready to outsource your content marketing program? Talk to us at Top of Mind Marketing. We’re content marketing experts. 

12 Ways To Dramatically Improve Email Open Rates

By | Marketing Tips, Uncategorized | No Comments

top-of-mind-marketing_subject-linesEmail marketing never gets any easier

The competition is fierce, and your subject line needs to be clever and attention-getting, yet sincere and compelling. Mobile has made it even harder as we struggle to constrain subject lines to 50 characters. I recently drafted up a few potential subject lines for a client and asked for her feedback. Her response? “Does it matter?” Are you kidding? A subject line is everything! 33% of email recipients decide whether or not to open an email based on subject line alone, and frankly, I’m surprised that the number isn’t higher.

Here are some subject line tips:

  1. Short and sweet. A whopping 40% of emails are being opened on mobile first, so 50 characters is now the rule. Editing is a skill. Write your blog and subject line, then come back later and you may have new clarity. Take out those words which are nonessential and see if you’ve altered the meaning.
  2. Use a familiar sender name—people are afraid of viruses and they have little interest in spam. If they see an email from info@something.com, they’re less inclined to open it than if it is coming from a real person or someone they recognize.
  3. Personalize. This is a list thing. Include the first name of your contacts so you can address them in your emails. Who doesn’t want to get a personal email rather than Dear Friend?
  4. List segmentation. This may/not be relevant for your audience, but if it is, spend the time to do this. Your clients will thank you for tailoring information just for them.
  5. Be truthful. Do not make a cheesy promise in your subject line to encourage open rates, then not deliver on that promise. When there’s a total disconnect between the subject line and the subject, you have deceived your audience.
  6. If you’re offering something special in your email, use your subject line tell your audience.
  7. There are a gazillion schools of thought on this one. It used to be 10am on Tues or Wed, but now that everyone’s online 24/7, the rules have changed. Some recommend sending when people are likely to have time to read it—Sunday afternoon or evening, for instance, when many of us settle in to do some work to get ready for the week ahead. If you’re sending out an email about a new bar’s happy hour, the best time to send it is might be 4:30 or 5:00.
  8. Concise language. You only have 50 characters. Put them to work. Use action verbs; try to create an image for your audience.
  9. Make them feel special. Who doesn’t want this one? “A special offer just for you”, etc.
  10. Create a sense of urgency. Subject lines that create a sense of urgency and exclusivity can give a 22% higher open rate. Using deadlines like “today only” or “24-hour giveaway”.
  11. Use a question. Make it compelling—it can be thoughtful and make people think.
  12. NEVER use all caps. Enough on that one. It’s difficult to read and is perceived as shouting.

One more thing . . . 

Rather than just deleting all those blasts you get from others, start paying attention to them, including the subject lines. I end up reading a fair number of marketing emails because I’m always interested in potential blog topics. You may be surprised what you will learn.

Are you thinking about outsourcing part or all of your content marketing program? Talk to us at Top of Mind Marketing. We’re content marketing experts. 

Time to Dump Your HTML Email in Favor of Plain Text?

By | Marketing Tips, Uncategorized | No Comments

When it comes to email marketing, you’ve probably tried a number of applications, from Constant Contact to MailChimp. You kill yourself coming up with snappy, attention-getting subject lines. You add clever graphics, agonize over content, how to making it relevant and accessible. You’re constantly tweaking subject lines, calls-to-action, images, headers, layout, link positioning, copy, length, tone, content. The list is endless. Yet your open and click-through rates remain stagnant. What are you doing wrong?

Probably nothing. There’s one hard truth: nothing boosts opens and clicks as well as an old school, plain-text email. What? Yes. Forget fancy layouts and graphics. Forget the HTML emails you’ve been slaving over for years. Remember that mobile has altered the landscape dramatically. Everything these days calls for simpler and more accessible.

top-of-mind-marketing_plain-text

People say they prefer HTML emails

In a 2014 survey, HubSpot asked more 1,000 professionals whether they preferred HTML-based or text-based emails, and whether they preferred emails that consisted of mostly text or mostly images. Nearly two thirds of the respondents said they preferred HTML and image-based emails.

HubSpot experimented with varying degrees of HTML-richness — plain HTML templates, snazzy and sleek HTML templates, beautiful headers, different sized and positioned images, various call-to-action buttons, and GIFs — to see which would have the best result. The result? They Actually Prefer Plain-Text.

In every single A/B test, the more simply designed email won

The emails with fewer HTML elements won with statistical significance. Go figure. This doesn’t make sense, does it? Every other marketing channel is moving towards incorporating visuals and seemingly getting positive results. Think the overwhelmingly greater response to your Facebook posts that include an image, the trend toward videos, surge of social media sites that are image-centric, including Instagram, Snapchat, etc. People NEED to be entertained these days. Why, then, were emails performing worse when HubSpot attempted to make them more visual appealing?

The results confirmed original assumption: HTML emails decreased open rates

One thing that HubSpot noticed was that HTML and plain-text emails were both receiving the same deliverability rate. So if they were getting delivered at the same rate, how were HTML emails underperforming? To understand the full scope of what happened, HubSpot A/B tested their email sends. They tested various segments of their database in multiple regions to get a better picture of HTML vs. plain-text emails.

What was interesting, however, was that not only were HTML emails receiving lower open rates than their plain-text counterparts, the more HTML-rich an email was, the lower its open rate. Simpler HTML emails had better open rates than HTML-rich emails and plain-text emails performed best of all.

HubSpot’s conclusion: It’s all about deliverability

Just because something says it’s been delivered doesn’t mean it’s actually in a noticeable place of someone’s inbox. Email services are increasingly filtering emails (especially commercial ones) to provide a better experience for the user. We all know about Gmail’s promotions folder–it automatically filters what it deems “commercial” emails out of the main inbox unless the user changes the settings—and no one in his/her right mind does that.

The simple explanation is that image tags and HTML-rich templates seem to be getting flagged by email providers as commercial email, which means they get filtered out of a recipient’s main inbox–and people can’t open them. They’re delivered all right, but they’re not getting opened.

We’ve come full circle . . .

We’ve all spent years and considerable effort making our HTML emails more graphically enhanced, clever and enticing. We’ve come full circle. The message is still important, but it may be time to get back to the basics, focusing on making them simpler and more accessible.

Are you ready to outsource your content marketing program? Talk to us at Top of Mind Marketing. We’re writers and content marketing experts

How to Become a Premium Brand: Provide Value & Charge for It

By | Marketing Tips, Uncategorized | No Comments

Brand is something we used to talk about all the time, before websites, apps, SEO, algorithms top of mind marketing_brandand social media dominated the landscape. While brand may no longer be included on the list of hot topics, it has never gone away or diminished in importance. A company’s brand is fundamental to every other marketing effort. Without a strong brand, these other marketing efforts are simply gimmicks. Your brand represents your expertise, your work and your integrity, the way you interact with your clients and your ability to deliver measurable results for your clients.

Building a premium brand

But here’s something else to consider: those of us who have been in business for a while have built a reputation that keeps clients coming back through referrals and repeat clients. Now wee want more than just a brand, we want to be a premium brand.

And why not, for crying out loud?

Many of us have paid our dues. We survived the worst economy known to man; not only are we still standing, but we’re flourishing. We’re well educated, generally with advanced degrees. We have years of real-life industry experience. We’ve transcended the old way of doing business and embraced the new. We understand the power of technology and leverage it. We’re seasoned and savvy. We’re professionals who not only produce deliverables but become trusted advisers to our clients. That’s our brand, and we should be charging for it.

Consumers equate value and quality with a high price tag

If you charge a lower price, they question the value of what you’re providing. One of my clients is a legal document preparer service—they do things like uncontested divorce and probate, living trusts, deed transfers, etc. When they began charging more for one of their services, their business shot up. People clearly identified legal knowledge with a higher price tag.

 Another great example

One of my clients owns two companies, and we’re developing a marketing plan for both. High on the list are new websites. I’ve gotten quotes from three web developer/designers who do excellent work, are responsive and able to turn projects around. I’ve worked with these companies and all three are terrific project partners. While their bids varied, they are approachable and all work in WordPress–it’s become the industry standard and has many advantages. My client wanted to solicit one more bid from his old developer, who is also a friend. Her bid was $10K more than that of my highest bid. My client’s reaction: “She must be doing something really great to be charging that much more.”

The reality? I read through her proposal, and she’s not doing anything differently or better. In fact, I think she’s doing some things that are unnecessary and are not a good use of my client’s marketing dollar, and this is always my goal. I pointed this out to my client, but he’s a very loyal guy, and ultimately the decision is his, despite my reservations.

The takeaway: price is a measure of quality and validation

Raising your prices is always a little scary, but let’s go back to that seasoned and savvy proposition. Being paid what you’re worth transcends the dollar value; it validates you as a professional. Remind yourself that you’re providing a wide range of services and knowledge, which translates to a lot of value—and people expect to pay for value. No one is going to respect you more because you charged him/her less.

Thinking about outsourcing your content marketing program? Talk to us at Top of Mind Marketing. We’re writers and content marketing experts.

Mobilegeddon: It’s been a Year . . .

By | Marketing Tips, Uncategorized | No Comments

 If you don’t remember when Google rolled out the algorithm change that we couldn’t ignore, it was April of 2015. This change, Google promised, was the one had big implications for websites that were not mobile-enabled—if you weren’t accommodating your mobile users, Google would punish you by restricting traffic to your desktop site.

top of mindmarketing.com_mobilegeddon

Google created a mobile-friendly test website

Drop your url into a field and click “Analyze”. Google will quickly tell you whether you pass or fail. If you’ve failed, Google tells you what’s wrong with your website. But whether your site passes the test or not, there’s a good chance it’s not really accessible for mobile users—at least 60% growing. If you’re a desktop user, you’re the minority and you’re not paying attention. Go anywhere—an event, to lunch; stand in line at Starbucks or Peets in the morning. People are accessing everything on their phones. And think about those in jobs that don’t allow folks to sit down at a computer—these people rely on their phones for information delivery—anyone in sales, healthcare, transportation, etc. It’s endless.

Oddly, there wasn’t a scramble to create new websites

For those of us in the web or internet marketing business, we talked about Mobilegeddon to our clients, we blogged about it and tried to make people understand the implications. But let’s be realistic. Creating a new website is a huge initiative for any company. It requires a budget, committing resources and hiring a web design developer and content developer and buying images. All of this takes time, and most folks already have their day jobs and they’re drowning. It’s important, but it’s a website, and it’s just one communication channel.

Mobilegeddon: less apocalyptic than expected

Now, with almost a year’s worth of data, the impact of Mobilegeddon has been less apocalyptic than expected. Most online analysts now believe Mobilegeddon lacked the finality its name suggested. In the days after the mobile-friendly update, content marketing company BrightEdge  tracked more than 20,000 URLs and suggested that the number of non-mobile friendly pages on the first three pages of the SERPs was down 21%. Other reports suggested the concentration of non-mobile friendly URLs in the mobile search results dropped by as much as 50%. Yet research is showing that non-mobile friendly sites weren’t suffering as much as everyone predicted.

If the effect on traffic hasn’t been significant, was the mobile-friendly update really worth it? From a user-experience perspective, the general consensus is yes. Serving more mobile-friendly websites more often in mobile search results is a no-brainer. The sales of smartphones is increasing, and if you’ve stood in a crowd of millennials recently, you know the answer to this one.

Take a pragmatic approach and simplify

Regardless of Mobilegeddon, a website has a shelf life and it’s not unlikely that yours is due for an update, and you’re going to want to be thinking about responsive design—that which will translate seamlessly across all media—desktop, tablet and smartphones. All of the platforms have themes, or templates, that feature responsive design, including WordPress, Wix and SquareSpace.

Think about mobile users as you start planning your new website

Mobile has had a tremendous influence on the way that websites are now being designed. The format is simplified—gone are columns, complexity and multiple moving parts. There’s less drilldown because scrolling is more efficient when using mobile devices. Navigation is simplified, along with color palettes, design and images. Make sure that the “hamburger” navigation element is prominent at the top of the page and that contact information is accessible on all screens. Make adjustments if phone numbers and email addresses are in tiny fonts and difficult to read. Try to avoid reverse type—it’s often difficult to read as well. Remember that not everyone is a millennial with 20/20 vision. Make it easy for people to get information.

Are you planning a new website for 2016? Talk to us at Top of Mind Marketing. We’re content marketing experts.

Piktochart: Great New Tool for Creating Infographics

By | Marketing Tips, Uncategorized | No Comments

I moved to St. Helena a few months ago and I love the serenity of this little village in the heart of the California wine country. Moving to a new town can be lonely, so I joined the Chamber of Commerce. I was motivated by a workshop that was jointly produced with the Calistoga Chamber. I figured this would be a great chance to make new business connections. The format consisted of a series of speakers, divided into four categories, with presentations from local companies.

top of mind marketing_infographics

Their goal was to provide information about what you’d need to know if you were doing business here. I assumed this would be a huge snooze, but boy, was I wrong. Each presenter had a PowerPoint and exactly 5 minutes. The slides were timed, so believe me, it kept the presenters on the move. This was information delivery in a speed-dating format. The team who worked on this event did a superb job—I’d lost faith in Chambers of Commerce, but this program was relevant and expertly produced.

The St. Helena Chamber President, Pam Simpson, used her five minutes to talk about some of the great tools she and her team had been using to streamline their communications and upgrade the quality of their presentations and web postings. She named five applications, and I hadn’t heard of any of them. Let’s face it—we’re all busy, doing more with less. There are approximately a gazillion social media applications that all do the same thing and more standalone apps than we know what to do with. When I hear about fabulous new applications I groan and think about the time it takes to identify and ramp up to using them. I don’t care how easy they are to use—there’s ALWAYS a learning curve!

Pam knew what she was talking about

But Pam assured us that these were both easy to use and had become terrific productivity enhancers for her team. I went home and tried one of these, Piktochart. Happily, Pam was right.

Piktochart: Infographics made ridiculously easy

If you’ve been paying attention, infographics have become an important part of information delivery for social media and other forms of electronic delivery. They’re clever, fun, colorful and provide easy assimilation of key facts. But if you’re not a graphics whiz kid, or if you don’t have a graphics program, creating an infographic can be laborious. I’ve had some good ideas, but I knew I’d be using Apple’s Pages to create my high-res image, and this application is cumbersome, and it would require a significant time investment. The result? My infographic has been on hold for a long, long time.

Piktochart’s self-contained library makes this a breeze

Just as Pam promised, all you do is create a login and this app opens up a world of easy possibilities. There are some very workable free templates, drag-and-drop technology, images and fonts. You can import your own logo and images to customize this, of course—you’re not stuck with what they give you as a default. You can change the color palette, and something I really like—as you work, Piktochart autosaves so you don’t lose track of time and end up losing your work if your browser craps out.

Piktochart: more functionality available 

There are also templates for presentations, posters and flyers. Since statistics are the heartbeat of infographics, many of these templates come with readymade stats that I’m going to assume are correct. I googled a few of these to doublecheck, and they were spot on, but would always want to confirm them before using in any product.

  • The free version has 13 templates that are fully customizable.
  • If you want more options, you can pay $15/month and access more than 400 templates and more features.
  • If you want even more functionality, you can opt for the Pro version, at $29/month.
  • What may make these advanced options attractive for some users: turnkey infographics. I searched the comprehensive library of 400 templates for content marketing and came up with an infographic that was excellent. If I were a pro user, I might be tempted to use this as-is, or make only minor adjustments.

Infographics have become an important medium for information delivery. I’m delighted to have discovered Piktochart and can’t wait to try out the other applications that Pam recommended at the Chamber of Commerce event.

Are you interested in creating infographics for your content marketing program? Talk to us at Top of Mind Marketing. We’re writers and marketing strategists.

Forget the Boomers–Time to Reach Millennials

By | Marketing Tips, Uncategorized | No Comments

Anyone who thinks that everyone is his/her audience is facing a big learning curve. Smart top of mind marketing_millennialsbusiness owners know that the more they can target their audience the more successful their marketing will be. It used to be that we were all targeting the vast baby boomer market, but that’s rapidly being replaced by the need to reach millennials—those 18-34 in 2015.

Millennials: a huge demographic with money to spend

Millennials are now the nation’s largest living generation. Research suggests that millennials have an estimated $200B spending power, but reaching this audience requires a different approach than what we used for the baby boomer market. Millennials are far more digitally connected than any other group, and they expect a more personal relationship with businesses they support.

  • 91% of millennials are regular Internet users; they’re connected 24/7.
  • Because millennials are so tied to their connected devices, some have begun to refer to the demographic as Generation FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out).
  • They use a combination of smartphones, tablets and laptops to access the web for everything—information, shopping, entertainment, news and social media.
  • Millennials don’t want to be told, they want to be spoken with, making a personal connection. They want to know about the people with whom they’re going to be working.
  • Think immediate information delivery. Millennials were raised on social media, so they’ve been trained and have come to expect short answers with even shorter waiting times.
  • They’re skeptical. Millennials google everything to check for accuracy.
  • They don’t do anything without validation, asking their friends, relying on market research and testimonials before purchasing

A big misconception about millennials is that they are young and immature

While the demographic still skews young, they are growing up and many now have children. Another misconception is that millennials disregard traditional media formats like TV and magazines.

  • Magazines are reemerging among millennials as the preferred “screen” for beauty categories; the group views magazine reading as a luxury or reward.
  • It’s an oversimplification to suggest that millennials don’t watch TV. They are powerfully drawn to the TV for big events, sports, premieres and finales.
  • Millennials are motivated by a desire to participate in social conversation (FOMO).

Reaching the millennials market: cause marketing

Tie your brand to a cause. Millennials love social issues and are likely to select brands and products that support them. Think TOMS Shoes, for instance, which millennials love—buy a pair of the fun, comfy TOMS and they give a free pair of shoes to a needy child.

If you want to get the attention of millennials, you need to have a good online presence that interacts with the public. Most important? Creating a voice that millennials can trust.

Is your online presence compatible with millennials?

Maybe it’s time to update your website and integrate your messaging across your online channels. Talk to us at Top of Mind Marketing. We’re writers and internet marketing experts.

5 Marketing Strategies We Can Learn from Trump

By | Marketing Tips, Uncategorized | No Comments

Who saw this coming? Like all of my liberal friends, I am stunned that Donald Trump is not only still in the race but well on his way to winning the nomination. That he espouses racism, has no platform or foreign policy experience and has never held elective office doesn’t seem to deter his fans—those with limited world views who don’t understand that there are consequences to actions. The office of President of the United States isn’t, after all, an entry-level position. Yet as a marketing expert, you have to step back and admire marketing strategies that are working, unfortunately, flawlessly. Here’s what we can learn from Donald Trump.

Top of Mind Marketing_trump

  1. Live Your Brand

Trump owns his brand. He lives and breathes it, rarely steering off course. Trump has helped the GOP debates hit unprecedented viewer ratings because people knows exactly what to expect when they tune in to watch him. Never before have we seen this kind of entertainment value associated with political debates. Dubious though it may be, his brand practically guarantees news headlines and everyone wants a front-row seat. A strong brand helps built relationships—or in Trump’s case, voters.

2. Dominate the Media

Have we ever known a more talked-about candidate? We may find him loathesome, but we remain fascinated by his insults and diatribes. Trump clearly understands that there is no such thing as bad press and luxuriates in all of his free media attention. He enjoys nearly universal name recognition across the country, while lesser known, more qualified candidates struggle for attention. When it comes to politics, world issues, media, minorities, women and even Saturday Night Live, Trump is dominating the headlines—he’s everywhere. To dominate the media you need to be willing to take a stand on an issue and be consistent—sadly, he has mastered that.

3. Haters Are a Good Thing

If people don’t hate you, you aren’t trying hard enough. Brand haters, who may be your competitors, not only bring you more media attention but provide the opportunity to defend yourself, defend your brand, and take a stand for what you believe in. But this isn’t just about supporting Trump; there’s more going on here. People have an innate need to belong—to feel connected and to be a part of something bigger than themselves. More than being a Trump supporter, they want to be a part of making America great again.

4. Make Controversy Work for You

Trump is a master at making controversy work for him. On the campaign trail, this has been one of his driving forces. He’s skilled at taking sensitive issues and pushing them into the limelight. Trump brings attention to hot topics and forces issues to be talked about. He’s been able to break through the noise and make the 2016 campaign memorable.

5. Meet and Connect with Your Audience on Every Level

The most successful brands share common traits, such as passion, uniqueness, consistency, and exposure. Exposure used to be limited to the big brands with deep pockets, but the internet has leveled the playing field, and Trump’s team has learned to leverage this channel–more than 5M Twitter followers, 5M likes on his Facebook page and he’s passed the 750K mark on Instagram. These channels are critical in connecting with a younger audience. Trump has learned that he needs to be using all forms of media to connect with his potential voters.

What’s next

Trump’s own party hates him and may attempt an end run at the Republican convention. There is every reason why he should be defeated. Now, more than ever, we need leaders who are seasoned, rational and understand the consequences of their actions. We’ve learned from this campaign that what we don’t need is another bigot with a private agenda—there are already way too many of these. Yet there are other lessons we can learn from Donald Trump—savvy marketing techniques.

Need help with your marketing strategy? Talk to us at Top of Mind Marketing. We’re writers and content media experts.

How to Reach Your Audience? First Define It!

By | Marketing Tips, Uncategorized | No Comments

We hear a lot these days about identifying your audience and tailoring your marketing message specifically to that audience. Nothing new here—it’s Marketing 101. Anyone who starts his/her own business and thinks that his/her audience is everyone has a lot to learn.

top of mind marketing_image Define-your-Audience

Contributing author for DailyWorth: Audience is women interested in financial/career issues

But in some cases, it’s easy to customize your message because you know exactly who your audience is. One of my clients is an insurance broker who specializes in disability, long-term care and life insurance. We’ve been doing 2x/month blogs and a quarterly newsletter to position her as an expert. She recently was accepted as a contributing writer to DailyWorth, an online magazine launched in 2009—“every woman’s guide to money, career, and business” that reaches 1M users. The idea is to make these issues more accessible; they’re tailored to women. Contributors are lawyers, business and leadership coaches, financial advisors/planners, CPAs and career strategists.

 

Creating a profile geared toward women

The best way to We needed to submit a profile, but our existing bio wouldn’t do—it needed to have a women’s spin on it. We needed to refine this, explaining how she works with women and why she enjoys working with this demographic. The best way to do this? Case studies, of course! We used several short examples of how she helps single mothers who worry about what would happen to their families if something happened to them. We explain how she helps provide peace of mind by identifying a balance of disability and life insurance policies that provide the best possible coverage to fit their budgets.

An article about caregivers, the invisible workforce—generally women

For our initial article, we are repurposing a blog that we wrote a few months ago about caregivers, the invisible workforce. These are generally women who balance career and their families and homes as well as caring for aging parents or other family members. It’s women upon whom the caretaker responsibility generally falls; sometimes they get help, but many times they are stretched thin trying to manage too many lives.

For DailyWorth, we revised this article to create a stronger emotional bond with our readers. We wanted to establish solidarity with readers who may already be part of this invisible workforce, likely exhausted and isolated. We provided a case study that encapsulates what many of these women are giving up in order to care for their aging family members.

Case study: Attorney on the partner fast track

Our case study profiled an attorney on the fast track to become partner at a prestigious law firm. She’d graduated from Stanford and Harvard Law, worked 12-14 hour days and now was poised to become an equity partner in the firm. But when her father was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer, her life changed dramatically. Her mother had died when she was very young; her father had raised her, and they were very close. He had worked two jobs to pay for her elite education—there was no money for life, long-term care or disability insurance.

He could no longer care for himself or get to his doctor appointments; now it was her turn to take care of the man who had so selflessly cared for her. She took a leave of absence, knowing she’d have a job to which to return, but she’d lost her chance to become partner.

Women will totally understand this story

This is a story that will resonate with women. Women will automatically understand how hard it is to , the punishingly long hours, forfeiting social engagements to work. Women will understand the loyalty, the father-daughter bond and the need to care for someone who loved unconditionally.

We’ll be contributing one article/month for the next six months on some aspect of insurance. For each of these articles, we will be focusing on this from women’s perspective. In this case, we’re lucky—we know exactly who our audience is!

Are you struggling with trying to define your audience or develop a message that speaks to this audience? Talk to us at Top of Mind Marketing. We’re writers and content marketing experts.