Category Archives: Rame Marketing

Get more from your smartphone with these mobile apps

Our monthly contribution from Andrew Leon Walker of Rame Marketing

For many of us the smartphone has become a central tool for our business and it’s never far from our reach, 24 hours a day. It’s no longer just about making telephone calls; we use our smartphone as our alarm clock, to access our emails and our social media channels, it acts as our calendar and To Do list, and our music player.

But there is a danger that we can become a slave to our smartphone so I thought I’d let you know of a few of the mobile apps that at least make my life a little easier in return, and give me back some control. Here we go:

Dark Sky
A hyperlocal weather information app with down-to-the-minute forecasts. There’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing. So before you leave for the office, make sure you’re wearing the right stuff.

We live in a content driven world. Flipboard is a content aggregator that allows you to pull all types of information of interest into one platform. Browse your content for work and play over coffee and be prepared for the day.

As you browse the internet you’ll come across content that you’d like to read but you don’t have the time right now. Saving it to Pocket means you can return to it later, on any device.

IF This Then That (IFTTT) allows you to automate your web services and smart devices. Want to automatically tweet your latest blog post? IFTTT has a ready made “recipe’ to help.

Are you a note taker? Jot down a reminder, create a To Do list or snap a picture of a sketch. Save them to Evernote and you’ll always be able to find them, on any device.

Heading out to a meeting? Track your mileage, record your starting location and destination and send the information straight into a spreadsheet.

One I intend to start using. If you’re fed up transferring paper notes to your Mac or PC, the Livescribe platform records what it writes for later uploading to a computer, and synchronizes those notes with any audio it has recorded. It uses a smartpen with an embedded computer and digital audio recorder and you need to use it with Anoto digital paper (or a specific Moleskin notepad).

Keep a track of your time, create and send invoices, accept online payments, snap photos of your receipts and keep your projects on track and on budget.

I hope one or two of these prove interesting!

Branding is more than just your logo and strapline

Our monthly contribution from Andrew Leon Walker of Rame Marketing

Branding is what people think about your business. To put it another way, it’s what they say about your business when you’re not in the room. But too many businesses believe it’s all to do with the design of their website, their logo or their brochures.

So “rebranding” becomes just a means to tweak your designs and perhaps colour scheme.

But what does your company stand for? What is its purpose?

There are 3 key steps to consider when managing your brand:

  • Brand definition
  • Brand design
  • Brand delivery

By jumping straight into step 2, businesses miss out on the opportunity to define their objectives, their audience and their messaging. This in turn makes it difficult to meet the deliverables in stage 3. Many marketing departments end up churning out vanilla flavoured messages to all and sundry, resulting in little or no engagement.

Many buying decisions are made at an emotional level so although people are aware of your products and services, you still need to build up consistent communications, across all key channels, to evoke the right emotions through your brand messaging and design to persuade people to buy and continue to buy.

This is why it’s so important to spend time at the brand definition stage, understanding what your customers really want and concentrating on explaining how your products and services can help.

It’s a busy world out there and you have plenty of competitors ready to eat your breakfast. What makes you different? Why should people buy from you instead of them? Defining what your brand stands for will help refine your values and messaging to help you stand out from the crowd.

One way that may help keep your messaging on track and on brand is to define a short vision statement or statement of purpose. For example:

“To enrich people’s lives with programmes and services that inform, educate and entertain.” (BBC)

“To organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” (Google)

“To build the Web’s most convenient, secure, cost-effective payment solution.” (PayPal)

Sure, these are larger organisations – but their issues are the same ones you face.

You don’t have to think like a small business.

Are you squeezing your content for all it’s worth?

Our monthly contribution from Andrew Leon Walker of Rame Marketing

Many of us blog – it’s the first step on the ladder of a content marketing approach to promoting a business. The two key aspects to consider are relevance and consistency- but sadly many fall by the wayside as “business” gets in the way.

For those who strive to keep their blogging programme on track, here are a few hints and tips to ensure you maximise the impact of your hard work.

  • When you upload your blog use a relevant image and ensure the image and the blog are optimized to get found by the search engines.
  • Take snippets of your blog and promote it across the appropriate social media channels, increasing your potential audience.
  • Take that blog post, tweak it slightly and upload it as an article to your LinkedIn platform.
  • At the end of the month use the blog as the basis of your email marketing message because the audiences are different (and for those who see the blog, it’s reinforcing the message).
  • Think about repurposing the blogs you’ve written over the previous few months and combine them into a downloadable PDF ‘e-guide’ to put on your website.
  • Promote this e-guide via other blog posts, your e-newsletter, across social media platforms and optionally via Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising. People can download the e-guide in exchange for an email address, enabling you to build your own audience.
  • Set up email autoresponders to send a series of follow up emails to these contacts offering other opportunities to engage.
  • Add these email addresses to your master email list and start to market to these people – ensure you’ve mentioned that you’ll market to people who download your e-guide.
  • Set up a remarketing campaign to follow your web visitors across the internet, keeping your brand front and centre in their mind.
  • Use the e-guide to develop a Powerpoint slidedeck that can be used for sales promotion purposes.
  • Upload the slidedeck to Slideshare and added it to your LinkedIn profile.
  • Give the slidedeck a voiceover and upload it to your YouTube channel as a video.
  • At each of these stages, promote the slidedeck/video via any social media channels, amplifying your voice and increasing the possibilities of engagement.

Now imagine if you had a content plan that highlighted the type of content you needed to create and when, the medium to use, the key phrases, the topics, what part of the buying cycle it targeted, where it would be distributed and how it would be promoted. 

That would really be something special.

How to improve your marketing effectiveness

Our monthly contribution from Andrew Leon Walker of Rame Marketing

A recent conversation with a client really opened up their eyes to the possibilities of improving their marketing activities and getting a better marketing ROI, by taking a few simple steps when it came to content creation.

I was explaining the advantages offered by blogging and they were giving me the same tired old arguments such as:

  • What would we write about?
  • What about the expense of producing content
  • We don’t have the time
  • What happens if no one reads what we write?

Let’s take each of these points in turn.

Your clients and prospects speak to you on a daily basis, they ask questions and some of those questions will come up time and again. Use these as the basis for your blog posts.

If you take 4 key services or areas you want to promote, list 5 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) under each heading, then you end up with 20 possible blog posts. That’s a good start.

Yes, creating relevant, quality content can take time, resource and expense so you need to plan in advance how you’re going to maximize the exposure of each piece you create.

Create an editorial calendar, this can be a simple spreadsheet detailing the type of content you want to produce, the date it’s required, who’s responsible for creating it, the topic, the key phrase and the really important bits, where you will distribute this, how you will promote it and how to can re-cycle or re-use this content for maximum exposure and engagement.

If you don’t have the time or the skills to do this then you need to find an alternative way of doing it. Creating quality content is important to get your message out to your audience, position and differentiate your offer and get found by the search engines. There are plenty of freelance copywriters or bloggers around to help.

If you are creating the type of content that’s relevant and engaging for your audience, they will read it. Don’t worry if you don’t get any comments on your blog, readers are mainly interested in reading your content, not giving you feedback. What’s important is to always provide a Call To Action (CTA) to let your readers know what you’d like them to do next.

Take this blog as an example.

If you want a more in-depth explanation of how this all works and why it’s necessary, you might find my page on the subject interesting: Improving Your Marketing Effectiveness.

At the end of the day it’s ALL marketing

Our monthly contribution from Andrew Leon Walker of Rame Marketing

I’m as guilty as the next man. Even though I know it’s wrong, I still slip up with the terminology. But at least I recognize what I’m saying is wrong.

I understand that anyone listening to me make these statements might think I’m an outcast from The Apprentice. “Lord Sugar, I was responsible for the strategy to buy the Rich Tea biscuits for the client meeting.”

Yes, I’m talking about the inappropriate use of the word “strategy”.

I’m just putting together my social media strategy, then I’ll be looking at my email marketing strategy. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about.

As a marketer of (too) many years I know that we have one main marketing strategy, based on our key business objectives that guide our decision making and the implementation of our marketing plan.

However, too many of today’s businesses don’t have a marketing strategy or even a marketing plan. Their audience is viewed as “anyone with the budget”. This means they don’t really know who to target. They spend their days fighting fires and leaping from one shiny new object to the next. That results in an ever-decreasing spiral of poor results, causing panic and resulting in even more time, effort and money thrown at short term gambles.

If we really want long term sustainable growth, there is no magic bullet. Every business needs to implement a written marketing strategy based on in-depth research into its customers, competitors and internal strengths and weaknesses. This helps us understand our key value proposition (why people buy from us and not our competitors).

The key to a successful marketing plan is based on segmentation, targeting and positioning aligned to a plan that includes all sections of the marketing mix relevant to the target audience.

It is only at this stage of events that we get involved in the tactics we will use to achieve the plan: the content marketing distribution, the social media marketing channels, and the paid advertising channels. These should be looked at in a cohesive manner – for example, the social media posts should be based on the content plan which flows from the key aims and objectives of the strategy, all supported by paid advertising channels and offline marketing activities.

So the flow needs to be:

  • Aims and objectives
  • Strategy
  • Plan
  • Tactics

Better known as Joined Up Marketing.

If you’d like some more information on creating a marketing strategy, here’s a link to an eguide that I created on behalf on the ICAEW called Developing a digital marketing strategy.