Ask me anything about marketing strategies and development

Nicole Tatlock
May 9, 2018

A 20 year veteran of marketing both offline and online for small to medium size business; I'm here to answer your questions about developing marketing strategies to build your business and convert your potential customers to paying customers. It doesn't matter if you are just getting started or transitioning to a more online focus business; feel free to ask anything you want to know about marketing strategies and implementation. 

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What techniques do you use the measure the quality of your work? What steps do you take to ensure the desired quality is achieved?
May 14, 1:02PM EDT0
What is your favorite piece of recent content?
May 14, 7:55AM EDT0
Which social media channels do you feel are most effective for the businesses and why?
May 14, 7:36AM EDT0
Have you ever had to reconcile contradictory or misleading metrics from different platforms?
May 14, 12:52AM EDT0
What are the most important skills you have learned in the marketing world?
May 13, 10:35AM EDT0
Do you think that developing a marketing strategy is more important than implementing it?
May 11, 7:41PM EDT0

Well if you don't create a marketing strategy then you have nothing to implement.  But to answer your question they are equally important -- if you don't have a strategy then you have nothing to implement and if you don't implement the strategy you take time to create then you aren't doing anything to support your business. Development and Implementation of marketing strategies go hand and hand. 

Create the goals for your product/service/business and then develop your strategy followed by the implementation. Failing to plan is planning to fail. But failing to implement is also planning to fail. 

May 11, 7:57PM EDT0
What are the recent trends in online advertising?
May 11, 1:13AM EDT1

A lot of online advertising trends are turning towards video/youtube within their advertising efforts, including over the top videos. These videos are also used in conjunction with facebook ads to help increase visibility. Social Media has been an online trend in online advertising for quite some time; and will continue to see impact as social media continues to grow with business owners and entrepreneurs. 

Mobile advertising is a huge trend as now more than 80% of online users are using the internet from a smart phone. Advertising and websites will need to be mobile friendly in order to ensure that you are implementing successful marketing strategies.

One-size fits all marketing is not effective marketing for the last few years. Messaging needs to be tailored and specific to the audience you are targeting. Wide casting marketing strategies are gone and targeted specific marketing and messaging is the way to be effective. 

May 11, 9:45AM EDT0
How did you get into marketing? What was the turning point in your career?
May 10, 10:18PM EDT1

I started 20 years ago as a web designer + developer (long before the days of fancy platforms). About 2 years into my business, I realized that after I finished a project, my work with that client was done. I needed a way to continue to offer value and service to clients I had already worked with - even when their website was finished. I started researching and studying ways to help market their businesses (offline and online) to provide additional services and values. It was at this point that I did my first rebrand. To showcase marketing as a whole (including the web, graphic design and development aspects). It just went from there. I studied, I learned and I stayed on top of everything marketing and grew my web design + development business to a complete marketing agency in just 3 years. 

As with any business, you have to be prepared to adjust and add services to keep current customers (it is cheaper to keep current customers happy; then it is to bring on new clients). 

May 11, 9:33AM EDT0
What is meant by marketing control?
May 10, 10:05PM EDT1

Marketing control is just another way of monitoring and reviewing your marketing plans and strategies and optimizing and revising as necessary to ensure successful implementation and launches. 

There is no "marketing term" identified as "marketing control" other than just monitoring and reviewing plans. Marketing controls can also be used to identify key factors in your marketing plans and strategies such as your customer analysis, competitive analysis, research, cost analysis, feedback and overall reviews of the business health to ensure that product launches are aligned and effective.

May 11, 9:30AM EDT0
What are the best ways for first time entrepreneurs to get word out about a start up?
May 10, 9:51PM EDT1

First time entrepreneurs should be using every social media outlet available. Posting regularly to social media, holding contest and giveaways to help build your following. The most important aspect of using social media is that you use it to build awareness AND engagement. Engaging with your potential clients is important. It's also important that you are able to identify who you want to be targeting and provide quality content and value to that audience to showcase what you are capable of in your venture. 

Having a website with a lead capture is very important to new businesses to start building a list of potential customers that you can market too. 

When you launch your new startup; ensure you have spent time researching, developing a strategic plan and implementing that plan, that you are consistent and that you are providing more value than others to showcase yourself. 

As with most marketing strategies, make sure that you are using Facebook Ads and Videos to help connect with your audience. Always provide a Call to Action in your ads and videos that leads to a way to capture their data.

May 11, 9:27AM EDT0
What are the signs a company needs to rebrand and update its marketing strategy? When does a marketing plan need revising?
May 10, 8:50PM EDT1

Signs that a company needs to rebrand are when the messaging and vision of the company are no longer aligned with the audience or current branding. I have personally rebranded four times as business needs grow the current brand is no longer reflective of the business. Only the business owner (and any executive team members) will know when it is time to rebrand; but using the market around you, the audience needs and what appeals, along with insights into the growth of your business will help determine when the right time is. 

Marketing plans should be revisited on several occassions, always review strategic marketing plans at minimum every 6 months. Project specific marketing plans should be revisited mid-launch of a project, as a checkpoint, and after launch. Marketing plans should always be revisited if you are not seeing the results you anticipated with the launch of the product/service or rebrand. Your marketing plan is the heartbeat of the traffic to your business. It should be checked in on regularly and revised as needed to ensure effective and maximum results. 

May 11, 9:23AM EDT0
What are the most common marketing mistakes business owners make and how to avoid them?
May 10, 2:02PM EDT1

The most common marketing mistakes that business owners make, is taking action or spending money before having an understanding of their audience, their audience needs, and where to find them. This is often times when marketing efforts fail or do not get the anticipated response. The most important aspect of a marketing strategy is the audience and how to reach that audience and what emotions to engage. Very few marketing strategies take this into consideration and are done on a whim. 

Another common marketing mistake that business owners make, is lack of cohesive branding and messaging. When your branding and messaging don't correlate and aren't cohesive it can be confusing to potential customers. Ensuring that the messaging, branding and visual representation of your business are in alignment helps resonate with your customers. 

Not doing enough research. Marketing requires a great deal of research and understanding, not just of your audience, but of the market, buying habits, purchasing patterns, keywords, content, and needs of your customers. These are all important aspects to consider when working on your marketing strategies and execution plans. 

May 10, 5:11PM EDT0
Will digital marketing replace offline marketing? What are your views on traditional marketing and its future?
May 10, 12:41PM EDT1

I believe we have already seen a huge shift away from offline marketing. TV and Radio ads are losing their appeal as we move to commerical free environments. Digital Marketing is taking a large appeal as you have more audience control; ad and optimization mangement; and the ability to engage directly with users who are seeing marketing efforts. 

TV and radio ads would take weeks if not months to develop, create, negotiate and secure airtime. Digital marketing can be live within hours if not minutes from the time the strategic execution is implemented. 

We are living in a world, where nobody wants too wait for anything, we want immediate results, we want immediate action. We may not get the immediate results, but with digital marketing, we are transitioning to immediate action availability. 

May 10, 4:48PM EDT0
What new, modern tactic or tool of marketing should marketers pay more attention to?
May 10, 11:57AM EDT1

Marketers should have a heavy social media presence including video within their strategic plans. 

Social Media, including YouTube and Instagram are growing social media platforms that need to be utilized within strategies, including hashtags and tags to ensure viewability. 

Social Media is a great platfrom for building awareness, improvement relationships and increasing engagement with potential audiences. Social Media requires patience and should not expect over night success results as the audience platform is built on trust, knowledge and engagement. 

May 10, 4:45PM EDT0
What are the key aspects of a successful marketing strategy?
May 10, 7:09AM EDT1

Audience. Audience. Audience.

Messaging. Messaging. Messaging. 

Value. Value. Value 

Your marketing strategy should be very targeted to your audience; with a very solid and relatable message that attracts your audiences attention. Your message should also be the value and benefit to them -- not about you. 

And finally successful marketing strategies over deliver. Give value like your business depends on it. The more you can portray the value they get for free; the more they will wonder what kind of value they get when they actually do pay you for something. 

Service based business vs product based business require two different strategies -- but when you are selling a product there is a tangible product that when marketing with over deliverying on your part, a very targeted audience and intriquing messaging -- the product will sell itself. 

As I've mentioned in other questions -- incorporating a video is very important. It allows people to connect and relate. 

Also in marketing strategies I always recommend a giveaway or upsells to increase conversions and learn more about your audience needs. 

May 10, 12:51PM EDT0
What the best possible ways of promoting a campaign through social media?
May 10, 5:40AM EDT1

It will depend on what social media platform you are using; but some general guidelines are below: 

Facebook: engagement, build a rapport, converse in groups or posts and provide value - before ever promoting your campaign/product. Once you've established rapport with potential customers on facebook; then you'll want to post a link to your offer in the various groups and pages you are a member off. You will also want to use facebook ads for targeting -- but always lead with something free and of value before promoting (use a sales funnel that drives them through stages to see the value). 

Twitter: provide alternating tweets of value plus free plus program using various hashtags to expand your reach. you should be integrating value added posts within your campaign promotions and use hashtags that are trending or popular according to your offer. 

Instagram: make sure you have a link in your bio to the freebie portion of your sales funnel; and use images and graphics that relate to your offer. Also using hashtags will help increase exposure. you should post 2-3 times per day in instagram and only 1 of those if not 1 every other day should be promotion. 

The thing to remember with social media is that it is not meant to be an avenue for promoting. Social is meant to be engaging and build relationships; the rest will follow. 

Also, vidoes are huge when it comes to conversion.

May 10, 12:47PM EDT0
What are the best online marketing blogs? Where do you get your latest information and tips about online marketing?
May 9, 3:28PM EDT1

Because there is so much information online that I keep my resource feed super small. For every area that I offer services and updates to my clients, I have two go to websites. I keep all my information organized and filed accorindingly to what I need to keep. It is very easy to be sucked into time suck websites AND suffer from information overload. I subscribe to emails from hubspot and digital marketer for my marketing blogging needs. Those are my two go to feeds when it comes to marketing trends, tips, improvements, etc. There's also my own marketing blog at www.nikkicole.biz where I share information that I learn on my own and also through my research and experience. 

May 9, 4:41PM EDT0
How important is content in a digital marketing strategy?
May 9, 6:54AM EDT1

Content is extremely important as part of a digital marketing strategy. Content impacts a number of factors, including credibility, search engine, support systems and engagement.

When you use content in your digital marketing strategy you are positioning yourself as a credibible resource in your industry. Your content when written and optimized for search engines will impact your rankings within your search engines. 

Additionally, using content in your digital marketing strategies, provides people with knowledge and a support system to build their business or expand their knowledge in certain areas. 

Engagement is very important, when using content in a digital marketing strategy you are creating something that allows you to engage and continue conversations with potential customers. 

May 9, 8:31AM EDT0
What do you think is the biggest threat to the success of small businesses today?
May 9, 5:14AM EDT1

There are 2 things that are the biggest threat to the success of a small business. They are lack of planning and fear. 

As small business owners, we tend to compare ourselves to other larger more known businesses. This causes us to engage fear of failing, fear of competition, fear of not being seen or standing out. We have to understand that fear actually holds us back from our true potential and limits us in what we can accomplish and our successes. 

Not planning is huge. I'm sure we've all heard the subject, failing to plan and planning to fail. I stand by this 100%. Without a plan, any plan: business plan, marketing plan, social media plan, growth plan, exit plan; we are setting ourselves up for failures. We have to be prepared for every accept, we have to plan, develop and strategies each of our moves. 

As small businesses, these plans, strategies, and fears seem small compared to everything else in our business; but they are the important elements that keep your business moving, growing and thriving.

In essence, our biggest threat to success of a small business, is ourselves. We fear, we don't plan, we compare, we expect overnight success. We don't want to watch something grow strong and slow, but rather weak and fast. We have an idea and that's all we have and that's not enough to sustain a business in this day. We have to be prepared. We have to be resiliant. We have to strategize. We have to face fears. 

May 9, 8:38AM EDT0
How can a business target potential customers and how can one evaluate if the businesses marketing is really reaching them?
May 9, 3:40AM EDT1

Businesses can target potential customers through market research. Figuring out where your customer spend their time is where you want to spend your time. If it's on a facebook group - spend time in the group, providing advice and insight into their posts and quesitons. If you're audience is on a website, reach out the website owner and offer to do a blog post. 

For measurement, you can use questions in your opt-ins to get them on your list to determine where they are coming from. 

Advertising through google or facebook allows you to target potential customers based on keywords, demographics, interest, industry likes, competitors, etc through the settings when you create your ads on these platforms.Your reports in these platforms should provie you insights to ensure that you are reaching the right audience. 

May 9, 9:10AM EDT0
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