10 Valuable Pointers on How to Brand a Company

Branding-of-company

Although branding is important for long-term growth, expansion, and success of any company, very few people really understand what it means. Well, branding is basically making your business stand out in the crowd, where people will be able to relate certain products or services exclusively to your company, despite you having many competitors.

Unlike marketing, where your main focus will be to attract the customer for the first time, branding is more about making your company name memorable in their minds. You can consider your branding efforts to be successful, when people immediately picture your company logo and taglines, whenever your products or services are mentioned.

There are as many definitions of branding, yet only a handful of companies are able to create a brand that keeps attracting customers.

Why is branding important? 

If you want to create a successful brand for your company, there are many ways to look at it.

Here is a useful way to think about branding:

  • When people hear your company’s name, what will be their first thought?
  • When people see two similar products, why would they pick your brand over the other?

Instead of haggling over the exact meaning of how to brand a company, if you think about it in terms of answering the above questions, you will spend your time more wisely.

Whatever brand you create, it must evoke trust among customers. People will only buy a product that they trust. You will want people to actively gravitate towards your brand, so that you can sell more products and maximize your profits.

Take a look at some of the most successful companies in any field (preferably the ones in similar business domain to yours). You will find that their customers instantly recognize their name. You will often hear the phrase to the effect of, “you can’t go wrong with ‘xx’ company.”

Once you identify the reasons why their brand is so trusted by customers, you will find a lot of answers for branding your company successfully. Here are some key points that can help you create a lasting brand that people will trust.

  1. What do your customers want? 

Before you start your branding exercise, you will want to know about what your customers want from you. No matter how great your branding efforts are. If your products do not match their expectations, then you will have a hard time profiting in the long term.

Here are some key things you will want to learn about:

  • What kind of demographic does your product cater to (young, senior citizens, kids, middle class, etc.)?
  • What is your value proposition (better price, higher quality, reliability, etc.)?
  • How much are your potential customers willing to pay for the product?

A modest amount of market research will answer those questions for you, and give you the vital cues about where to start with branding your business. A brand for luxury products will definitely be different from that of budget ones.

  • What do you have? 

If you have the perfect product that has all the qualities without any compromises, then you can let it speak for your brand to quite and extent. However in reality, you will have to make the appeasements, because your customer needs also keep changing.

What you will want to know is:

  • What are the limitations of your products, when compared to those of your competitors
  • What are the strong points that make your product better than others
  • How does the disparity impact your product sales

The question is how to brand a company with the existing variations in what you and your competitors have to offer. To start with, you will obviously have to highlight your strong points. However, it will give you only a limited period to buffer your weaknesses. Even if your customers still choose your products, they will eventually see through your branding strategy. Therefore, companies always try to improve their products in order to plug the loopholes, and add more value to their customers.

Ideally, your brand should tell people about your priorities, and you will need to be transparent about it, so they can trust your company.

  1. Branding before marketing 

As you keep introducing new products and services, you will have to develop new marketing campaigns to give them the required exposure. Now, different products require different types of push.

Some of them will need greater presence on news media, while others will rely more on PPC campaigns, or email marketing. Even as you utilize different platforms to market your product, you want to make sure that your marketing is always in line with your branding.

For example, if you are selling a luxury product, you will not want to send emails to every address you have in your database, because that would corrupt your brand.

Know your customers well, before you sell your brand. Therefore, you must narrow down the focus of your marketing, exclusively to those who will actually buy your products.

  • Picking the right channels 

Most company branding tips today given by the so called mainstream experts involves bombarding all platforms with marketing, so that the customers will notice. However, as statistics prove, this is only a road to disaster. First of all, you should take stock of the platforms that are available to you for branding.

These include:

  • Television advertising
  • Billboards
  • Web ads
  • In app advertising on mobile devices
  • Social networks (Facebook, twitter, Google+)
  • Video platforms (YouTube, Vine, Vimeo)
  • Blogging
  • Podcasts
  • Your own website

Now, if you are a small company, taking on all the above platforms for your branding will spread you too thin. Therefore when you are starting out, pick two platforms that you believe will give your business the best exposure. This again depends on what demographic you are targeting for your brand.

  • Brand standards and guidelines 

Your brand will eventually be present on all the major platforms including Facebook, Twitter, newsletters, emails and what not. If you want your customers to recognize the brand instantly, there needs to be a consistency among various platforms. You therefore have to form some strong standards and guidelines for your brand.

For example:

  • How the logo is placed in your ads, letter heads, emails etc.
  • What color themes are used across all your web properties, including social networking pages
  • The font face and size used, relative to the size of the logo
  • Where your tagline goes in every message

These standards will be uniform on all your communication, so your customers will always know that it is from your company, whether they receive a flyer, an email, or if they visit your website. Having consistent brand guidelines is one of the most important business branding tips that you will need to adopt.

  • Propagate your brand through social media 

You were told above that you have to pick one or two platforms first to start your branding efforts. One of those has to be online social networks. That is because more than half of your potential customers are probably on Facebook or Twitter. These are the best platforms currently to spread brand awareness quickly.

Of course, you are not the only company who is going to use social media to promote the brand. What will set you apart from the others are the contents, and the ways in which you communicate with your followers. You might want to hire a social media expert to help you leverage the platform for building maximum awareness.

  • Reinforcing your brand through website 

Even though your web presence will be spread across social networks and blogs, your website will still be the anchor. It will be the central place, from where the customers will be able to buy your products. Therefore, it is important that you use the website as your primary branding exercise:

  • See to it that the design of your website strongly adheres to your branding standards
  • Make sure that your site interaction is fluid, and it reflects your website’s values

Too many small businesses ignore the importance of a professional website that works smoothly and helps customers. A great website will help increase your brand visibility, and earn you higher positions on search engine rankings.

  • Keeping it consistent 

When branding your company, it is important to remember that your brand as a whole will have to rise above any individual product.

You might have a new product that is radically different from others, for better or worse. Still, you will need to make sure that your customers get the very same feel and experience that your most successful existing products give to them.

When customers find the same reliability, feeling and trust when using multiple products from your company, your brand only gets strengthened more.

As you progress along, you will notice that even small design choices for your product will be informed by your branding strategy.

  1. A standout logo 

The most obvious way that company brands are recognized by people, is by their logo. Two companies may have the same name, but never the same logo. Your logo does not just differentiate your brand from others, but it should evoke feelings among customers.

Your logo should:

  • Reflect your core value (simplicity, energy, reliability, variety, speed etc., pick one)
  • Be distinctive (You can refer to other logos as inspiration, but never copy them even remotely)
  • Translate well to different media (billboards, emails, web properties, etc.)

Creating a good logo should be the first tangible step towards building a good brand for your company.

  • A concise and clear slogan 

Coming up with a clear slogan that will advocate your core value is more difficult than it seems. There are entire departments in marketing companies that are tasked for simply coming up with effective tag lines. Here are some of the things that make a tagline stick to your brand, and helps in gaining recognition:

  • It addresses your customer needs
  • It matches in feel with your logo
  • It conveys precisely one vision (e.g. A computer in every home, Microsoft)

Even though it is single line content, coming up with a good tagline takes time and efforts. It requires that you have clear-cut goals and values. The part about how to brand a company by using consumer expectations and your own strengths rings very true here.

All of these steps might seem like too much for a small business that is just starting out and wanting to create a compelling brand. However, when you have enough information and have a clear vision, the rest of the steps are just details of implementation, and they will get easier.

 

 

5 Tools Everyone in the Business-To-Business Marketing Industry Should Be Using

5 Tools Everyone in the Business-To-Business Marketing Industry Should Be Using

The business to business or B2B marketing strategies are targeted towards other businesses, rather than individual end customers. In this age of digital communication and super-fast networks, companies are trying to reach out to their client companies through various online media.

You could also contact professional SEO companies to help you develop and manage the business to business marketing strategy to promote your products or services. Although most of their processes like content development and publishing are done manually, internet marketing companies use certain tools for performing other tasks.

The bottom-line here is to drive more target audiences to their client websites. Let us look at some of the important tools that can be very helpful for improving the effectiveness of your business to business marketing strategy.

Before getting started, it is important for you to know that there are no special tools that are specifically designed for business to business marketing online. The targeting of niche audience basically depends upon the keywords that you choose, and the contents that you develop.

Some of the important tools for internet marketing are:

  1. Keyword research tool
  2. Website auditing tool
  3. Content readability checking tool
  4. Traffic analytics and reporting tool
  5. Competitor monitoring tool
  6. Plagiarism detecting tool
  7. Backlinks checking tools

While some of the tools are available for download as standalone apps, there are many others that are available for users through web based interfaces. Also, some of the tools are available for free, while you will have to pay for others.

Keyword research tool:

Ever since the world woke up to the importance of internet marketing, marketing professionals have been using keywords for creating contents. Keywords are basically nothing but the search terms that are being used by people on search engines, when looking for information.

After you index your web pages on various search engines, the search engine crawlers will be able to identify your contents according to the keywords that you use. In the past however, excess you usage of keywords on contents used to deliver good enough results.

Now, with the search engines becoming smarter, such practices are termed as violation of search engine terms and conditions. Overusing of keywords is now considered as spamming, and such websites, directories, and blogs get penalized by the search engines.

There are many such business to business marketing examples that have backfired. The ranking of those pages have gone down, and some of them even got banned.

As a part of your business to business marketing strategy, you will need to find the right keywords. After finding the right one that can effectively promote more sales for your business, you will need to use them in your contents, but in acceptable densities or volumes.

You will also need to use the right keywords if you are using pay-per-click marketing method to promote your business online.

By using the keywords research tools, you can gather information about:

  • All the related keywords
  • Number of competitors using the keywords
  • Estimated searches for monthly and daily basis
  • Traffic statistics, etc.

Since it is very important to find the right keywords to drive more sales, you could use a combination of multiple related keywords, and even the long tailed ones in your contents.

Website auditing tool:

Whichever business to business marketing strategy you choose to promote your services or products, you will need to be flexible for changes. Whenever the search engines come up with new algorithm updates, some of your pages might not fit into their new terms and conditions.

Also, if your website has broken links, such pages will not get indexed by the search engines. Even if they do get indexed, they will lose the rankings. Your pages could also lose their rankings, if the keywords are found to be overused.

Therefore it is very important for you to keep auditing the health of your web pages and other offsite content on regular basis. There are many website auditing tools available online, and you can choose the ones that best suit your marketing needs.

Content readability checking tool:

Gone are the days when the marketers use to create low quality contents, just to satisfy the search engines. Now with the search engines becoming more and more advanced, you will need to focus on creating the contents that are genuinely helpful for the readers.

According to this new business to business marketing definition, businesses should primarily focus on adding value to the readers through their write-ups. Some of the new search engine updates also check the readability and grammar of your website and other online contents. Websites and blogs with poor quality content and grammar will get picked up by the search engines, and their page rankings will go down.

In most cases, businesses outsource the content writing works to their web designers itself. They might not have a proper content writing team with them. Therefore it becomes imperative for the website owners to check if the contents are readable or not.

With the content readability checking tool, you will be able to identify the pages that are of poor quality. Make it a point to pull them out and have them edited or redone by professional content writers. It has now become a very important part of your business to business marketing strategy.

Analytical tools:

You can improve your business to business marketing strategies only if you are able to measure the results of your efforts, in an ongoing basis. Therefore, you will need to use the analytical tools to see the performance of your websites.

Such tools to give you information about:

  1. Traffic volume
  2. Performance of keywords
  3. Amount of time spent by visitors on the web pages
  4. Graphical representation of traffic moments
  5. Location of visitors
  6. And lots more.

If you look at any business to business marketing examples that have yielded great success, it is only because of accurate analysis and proper implementation of marketing strategies.

You can use the analytics tools to generate reports on how each aspect of your web elements are performing. It will give you scopes for making improvements in your marketing strategies to drive more sales.

Now we shall look at 5 best tools that you will need for success with your business to business marketing strategy. Online marketing can be very complex and time consuming. The apps mentioned below will help you in automating some of your marketing process to quite an extent.

  1. SemRush – SemRush is a robust backlinks checking tools, and it is being used by many internet marketing professionals from across the world. It comes with a lot of features to check the status of your backlinks accurately. It also gives you complete information about the countries from where your website is receiving the backlinks from.

Moreover, you can use the same tool to identify the backlinks that are going to your competitor websites too. Poor quality backlinks and broken links can seriously damage the page rankings, which is why we grade this tool as a must have for all B2B marketing professionals. It is available for purchase at $149, but you can check out its effectiveness with a 14 days trial.

  1. Google Keyword Planner – Google Keyword Planner is basically a tool to assist marketers with keyword analysis for Google Adwords. However, since it is targeted for the Google search engine, it is a very handy tool. By using it, you can search all the related keywords, and even download the list.

No other keywords research tools actually match up to this official tool by Google, which is why it is a very important for SEO. The best thing about it is that it is available for free. All you will need is a gmail account to log into this web tool and get started. By default it is set for global keyword search, but you also get the option to localize your search according to specific countries or geographical locations.

  1. Google Webmaster Tools – Web Master Tools is another essential arsenal for all internet marketing professionals. It provides you with all the information about your blogs or websites. Some of the important data that it provides are:
  • Crawl errors
  • Indexing issues
  • Broken links
  • Internal linking
  • And lots more

Since the website owners will need to validate their websites for using the tool, you will not be able to use it to analyze your competition websites with it. However, the good thing is that it is available for free. In spite of its limitation, it is still one of the top SEO tools.

  1. CopyScape.com – This is a very powerful web tool for checking plagiarism of the contents that are published on your website, and on other online resources. Search engines are always looking for original contents, and you are not allowed to copy and paste the contents of other websites.

CopyScape picks up plagiarized contents in just a few seconds, and also lists out the sites and blogs, where they are originally found. You can scan the contents with website URLs for free, but it will cost you $10 for 200 text scans, of less than 2000 words / scan.

  1. Web CEO – If you are worried about your site getting penalized due to Google updates, then WebCEO is a very handy tool that can help you in many different ways. It has an option of ‘toxic links analyzer’, using which you can find out the backlinks that are of poor quality. As a part of your website ranking recovery process, you will need to remove those harmful backlinks.

With WebCEO, you can also track the performance of your marketing efforts on social networks. You’ll be able to identify the performance of your contents, and make the necessary changes.

It’s a fact that there are no dedicated tool for the job, but it depends on the way you use it. I personally use these tools but the list is nowhere exhaustive. So, why don’t you guys comment on what have I left, or if there is some tool that you feel should be on this list, I will keep on updating the post.

Brand B****es: Does your Brand have a Plot – How to turn your good customers to Great ones ?

hero-imgIn the previous post I was muttering about how would you justify your organic expenditure, and there was a point where i was assuming about average customer value and this factor depends on repeat sales which actually defines Great customers from Good customers.

However, whatever you do, how much you do, if you want great customers your Brand needs to have something which i call “the love connection” with your audience, Strong enough to make them turn into a great customer from being good, make them to return back.

To really do this your brand has to hit the cord of the “Basic Human Need”, the purest and the most fundamental form of human desires that evoke deep emotions which are namely :

the classic hero, outlaw, ruler, etc. Each type has its own set of values, meanings and personality traits.

In the words of Carl Gustav Jung, they are known as “archetypes” and they reside in collective unconscious of people the world over, and here is how you can actually relate them to a brand.

1. The Innocent

Motto:Free to be you and me

Core desire: to get to paradise

Goal: to be happy

Greatest fear: to be punished for doing something bad or wrong

Strategy: to do things right

Weakness: boring for all their naive innocence

Talent: faith and optimism

The Innocent is also known as: Utopian, traditionalist, naive, mystic, saint, romantic, dreamer.

The Innocent provides an identity for brands that:

  • offer a simple solution to an identifiable problem are associated with goodness, morality, simplicity, nostalgia or childhood
  • are low or moderately priced are produced by a company with straightforward values need to be differentiated from brands with poor reputations.

2. The Regular Guy/Girl

Motto:All men and women are created equal

Core Desire: connecting with others

Goal: to belong

Greatest fear: to be left out or to stand out from the crowd

Strategy: develop ordinary solid virtues, be down to earth, the common touch

Weakness: losing one’s own self in an effort to blend in or for the sake of superficial relationships

Talent: realism, empathy, lack of pretense

The Regular Person is also known as: The good old boy, everyman, the person next door, the realist, the working stiff, the solid citizen, the good neighbor, the silent majority

The Regular Person provides a good identity for brands:

  • that give people a sense of belonging
  • with an everyday functionality
  • with low to moderate prices
  • produced by a solid company with a down-home organizational culture
  • that need to be differentiated in a positive way from more elitist or higher-priced brands

Examples of Regular Person brands: IKEA

3. The Explorer

Motto:Don’t fence me in

Core desire: the freedom to find out who you are through exploring the world

Goal: to experience a better, more authentic, more fulfilling life

Biggest fear: getting trapped, conformity, and inner emptiness

Strategy: journey, seeking out and experiencing new things, escape from boredom

Weakness: aimless wandering, becoming a misfit

Talent: autonomy, ambition, being true to one’s soul

The explorer is also known as: The seeker, iconoclast, wanderer, individualist, pilgrim.

The explorer is a good identity for brands that:

  • helps people feel free, nonconformist or pioneering
  • is rugged and sturdy or for use in the great outdoors or in dangerous settings
  • can be purchased from a catalog or on the Internet
  • helps people express their individuality
  • can be purchased for consumption on the go
  • want to differentiate themselves from a successful regular guy/gal brand or conformist brand
  • have an explorer culture that creates new and exciting products or experiences

Explorer brands would be: Virgin, Jeep, Trope-Snacks, Marlboro, Bounty.

4. The Sage

Motto:The truth will set you free

Core desire: to find the truth.

Goal: to use intelligence and analysis to understand the world.

Biggest fear: being duped, misled—or ignorance.

Strategy: seeking out information and knowledge; self-reflection and understanding thought processes.

Weakness: can study details forever and never act.

Talent: wisdom, intelligence.

The Sage is also known as: The expert, scholar, detective, advisor, thinker, philosopher, academic, researcher, thinker, planner, professional, mentor, teacher, contemplative.

The Sage would be a good identity for brands:

  • that provide expertise or information to customers
  • that encourage customers to think
  • that are based on new scientific findings or esoteric knowledge
  • that are supported by research-based facts
  • want to differentiate themselves from others whose quality or performance is suspect

Examples of Sage Identities: CNN, Gallup, McKinsey & Co.

5. The Hero

Motto:Where there’s a will, there’s a way

Core desire: to prove one’s worth through courageous acts

Goal: expert mastery in a way that improves the world

Greatest fear: weakness, vulnerability, being a “chicken”

Strategy: to be as strong and competent as possible

Weakness: arrogance, always needing another battle to fight

Talent: competence and courage

The Hero is also known as: The warrior, crusader, rescuer, superhero, the soldier, dragon slayer, the winner and the team player

The Hero could be good for brands:

  • that are inventions or innovations that will have a major impact on the world
  • that help people be all they can be
  • that solve a major social problem or encourage others to do so
  • that have a clear opponent you want to beat
  • that that are underdogs or challenger brands
  • that are strong and help people do tough jobs exceptionally well
  • that need to be differentiated from competitors that have problems following through or keeping their promises
  • whose customers see themselves as good, upstanding citizens

Examples of companies that express themselves like this archetype: Nike, Tag Heuer.

6. The Outlaw

Motto:Rules are made to be broken

Core desire: revenge or revolution

Goal: to overturn what isn’t working

Greatest fear: to be powerless or ineffectual

Strategy: disrupt, destroy, or shock

Weakness: crossing over to the dark side, crime

Talent: outrageousness, radical freedom

The Outlaw is also known as: The rebel, revolutionary, wild man, the misfit, or iconoclast

The Outlaw may strengthen your brand’s identity if it:

  • has customers or employees who feel disenfranchised from society
  • helps retain values that are threatened by emerging ones, or paves the way for revolutionary new attitudes
  • is low to moderately priced
  • breaks with industry conventions

Outlaw brands include: Diesel, Harley-Davidson.

7. The Magician

Motto:I make things happen.

Core desire: understanding the fundamental laws of the universe

Goal: to make dreams come true

Greatest fear: unintended negative consequences

Strategy: develop a vision and live by it

Weakness: becoming manipulative

Talent: finding win-win solutions

The Magician is also known as:The visionary, catalyst, inventor, charismatic leader, shaman, healer, medicine man

The Magician could be the right identity for your brand if:– the product or service is transformative

  • its implicit promise is to transform customers
  • it has a new-age quality
  • it is consciousness-expanding
  • it is user-friendly
  • has spiritual connotations
  • it is a very new, contemporary product
  • it is medium- to high-priced

Example of magical brands: Axe, Smirnoff, Polaroid, iPod.

8. The Lover

Motto:You’re the only one

Core desire: intimacy and experience

Goal: being in a relationship with the people, work and surroundings they love

Greatest fear: being alone, a wallflower, unwanted, unloved

Strategy: to become more and more physically and emotionally attractive

Weakness: outward-directed desire to please others at risk of losing own identity

Talent: passion, gratitude, appreciation, and commitment

The Lover is also known as: The partner, friend, intimate, enthusiast, sensualist, spouse, team-builder

The Lover may be a good identity for your brand if:

  • it helps people belong, find friends or partners
  • it’s function is to help people have a good time
  • it is low to moderately priced
  • it is produced by a freewheeling, fun-loving organisational structure
  • it needs to differentiate itself from self-important, overconfident brands

Some of the great Lover brands: Alfa Romeo, Häägen-Dazs

9. The Jester

Motto:You only live once

Core desire: to live in the moment with full enjoyment

Goal: to have a great time and lighten up the world

Greatest fear: being bored or boring others

Strategy: play, make jokes, be funny

Weakness: frivolity, wasting time

Talent: joy

The Jester is also known as: The fool, trickster, joker, practical joker or comedian

The Jester may be a good identity for brands:

  • that give people a sense of belonging
  • that help people have a good time
  • that are low or moderately priced
  • that are produced by a fun-loving company
  • that need to be differentiated from self-important, overconfident established brands

Examples of Joker brands: 7UP, Fanta

10. The Caregiver

Motto:Love your neighbour as yourself

Core desire: to protect and care for others

Goal: to help others

Greatest fear: selfishness and ingratitude

Strategy: doing things for others

Weakness: martyrdom and being exploited

Talent: compassion, generosity

The Caregiver is also known as: The saint, altruist, parent, helper, supporter

The Caregiver may be right for your brand identity if

  • it gives customers a competitive advantage
  • it supports families (products from fast-food to minivans) or is associated with nurturing (e.g. cookies, teaching materials)
  • it serves the public sector, e.g. health care, education, aid programs and other care
  • giving fields
  • helps people stay connected with and care about others
  • helps people care for themselves
  • is a non-profit or charitable cause

Examples of caregiver organizations: Volvo, Amnesty International

11. The Creator

Motto:If you can imagine it, it can be done

Core desire: to create things of enduring value

Goal: to realize a vision

Greatest fear: mediocre vision or execution

Strategy: develop artistic control and skill

Task: to create culture, express own vision

Weakness: perfectionism, bad solutions

Talent: creativity and imagination

The Creator is also known as: The artist, inventor, innovator, musician, writer or dreamer

The Creator may be right for your brand identity if:

  • it promotes self-expression, gives customers choices and options, helps foster innovation or is artistic in design
  • it is in a creative field like marketing, public relations, the arts, or technological innovation
  • you want to differentiate it from a “do-it-all” brand that leaves little room for the imagination
  • your product has a do-it-yourself aspect that saves money
  • your customer has the time to be creative
  • your organization has a creative culture

Examples of Creator brands: Lego, Sony, Swatch

12. The Ruler

Motto:Power isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.

Core desire: control

Goal: create a prosperous, successful family or community

Strategy: exercise power

Greatest fear: chaos, being overthrown

Weakness: being authoritarian, unable to delegate

Talent: responsibility, leadership

The Ruler is also known as: The boss, leader, aristocrat, king, queen, politician, role model, manager or administrator

The Ruler may be right for your brand identity if:

  • it is a high-status product used by powerful people to enhance their power
  • it makes people more organized
  • it offers a lifetime guarantee
  • it empowers people to maintain or enhances their grip on power
  • it has a regulatory or protective function
  • is moderately to high priced
  • you want to differentiate it from more populist brands or one that is a clear leader in the field
  • it is a market leader that offers a sense of security and stability in a chaotic world

Examples of “Ruling” companies: IBM, Mercedes.

Let me know how you are applying these personalities to your brands and if you have got some interesting stories associated them too :).

Soap, Sex, and SEO Traffic – The promise of free land. Or Is it So ?

sscDo you think the fabled organic traffic or aka SEO traffic is Free ?, I mean you are not paying the search engine for it. I know you will say that “yes I know its not free, I am paying the “content creator” the “SEO guy”, of-course its not free.

But my question is, If we all know that

  • We are paying for the content
  • we are paying for the process
  • we are paying for the service that goes with the process
  • And we are creating “stuff” for the search engine to “offer” their visitors (aka your content)

Then why are you still treating the “Organic traffic” as Free ?. Why are you not judging ROI of the SEO organic traffic ?

I know you will say, Yeah! we are tracking rankings of our keyword, but is that it ? where is the ROI ? Here is how you will calculate it :-

Lets Find out your total Cost Per Acquisition (for SEO)

Cost Per Acquisition (SEO) =

(Your SEO service cost + Process Cost  + Creative Content cost) % Total number of Acquisitions (from organic sources)

Now let us find how much your Customers’ worth

Customer Worth = Your Gross Profit % of {purchases per year x Average Bought value x Average retainer ship (number of years)}

So your ROI %  is :- [{Customer Worth – Cost Per Acquisition (SEO)} /Cost Per Acquisition (SEO)] x 100

Let me know if I missed anything :).

How Not To Die : Using Marketing in a Startup

Dont Die : Marketing with no budgetYes, I am using an intentional link baiting headline for my point – but across several conversations I had with startups, gurus about “0$ marketing of business,” it was clear that the real successful startups are all thinking beyond the traditional idea “content spraying” that is, creating a blurb and distribute it across all kinds of media platform and.”HOPE” that somebody will pick it up!!! (super meh!)

If you are reading this,  by this point you must have noticed that ALL seem to be repeating the same general concept, that is “content is key”.  While that’s totally true But it doesn’t do much good if the content isn’t getting syndicated beyond your current circle of influence.

To really have “Sharable” stuff that People will get motivated to pick up, you need a Remarkable product. Please remember a Remarkable thing/stuff/product does not need marketing !, its only shared. So i suggest, before thinking of “marketing” you need to do a thorough research about your product and do a comparison with your competitors from usability and features standpoint to take a call on whether you are ready to “share” or not.

Every company & startup I’ve worked with created content – video, blogs, whitepapers, social networks, etc.  But in my experience, marketing a startup with little to no budget is entirely dependent on good old fashioned networking-

See who’s already socially influential on related topics, if you don’t know bloggers – try tools like Kred or Klout to see who’s influential on social networks instead! But nothing beats personal research.

  1. Find out which of them has an engaged audience that responds when they speak.
  2. Then, reach out. Share their relevant social content, participate on their blogs, etc.  In other words, get the big players to know who you are (even if you don’t know them yet), then give them something worth sharing and talk to them about it. Letting them spread the word is a lot more cost-effective than trying to promote your own content to a large number of (probably less engaged) viewers.
  3. Specific Blogs/places to reach out:
  • http://www.killerstartups.com/startup-spotlight/
  • Twitter curators like @startuped
  • More importantly, though, industry specific sites – in your case you’d be looking for more niche sites that try & find new and unique web pages.  Posting an unofficial press release on some LinkedIn groups has proven successful for me.
  • Go manual – you’re obviously already here on Quora, but check out related forums too, it’s a quick way to meet bloggers.  Throw in a few Squidoo lenses, too,  about…eh, say, ‘learning from mistakes’ or the like, that link to your site as well as have useful info.
  • Kickstarter or IndieGoGo:  You may have already considered this, but with a good campaign these sites can actually work really well for startups – with the added benefit of raising capital.