The New Year was a unique time for us passionate entrepreneurs, where a single tick of the clock prompts us to step aside from the day-to-day, look back, take stock and contemplate the successes and learnings of 2021, whilst resolving to do better and achieve new milestones of success for 2022.
The OggaDoon team has also enjoyed the pause in our busy day-to-day lives and is now fully charged and focused, ready to support the strategic plans, initiatives of our clients and also support other businesses on the road to success, whatever stage they are at. So let us share some top tips to support wherever you are on the start-up or business journey.
To make the most out of these tips an integrated marketing strategy is vital. Ensure that the higher level (sales, marketing and operational) business goals are also aligned. If tactics are done in isolation and not timed with other activities, you are not making the most of resources (paid or people). Remember OggaDoon is always here to help at each stage of your journey.
Create your digital presence
Brand building goes beyond just logos and colours on your website, social channels and in marketing material, however, it is an important stage in your business journey. It is your virtual shop front, highlighting your proposition to potential investors, customers and partners. Part of this is making sure that you have bought a business and domain name that will stand you in good stead and complement SEO activities.
You also need to think about hosting, a place to store your web files and make your website available on the internet. Once this is set up then you can have your own company email address and create a great signature with backlinks to your social channels and blogs. Another tip here is to ensure that you have good hosting in the country you operate, Google likes this.
Finally grow your digital footprint organically. Add your company to business listings like Google Business, there are about 100 different types of listings in the UK. This adds backlinks to your site and boosts your organic SEO ranking.
Creating an aura of trust — Brand building
So, brand building goes beyond the graphics and colour of your logo, it’s about creating an aura of trust across all of the business influencing the stakeholder’s emotional experience around your proposition. Stakeholders that you should consider include investors, employees, customers, suppliers, communities, governments, press or and trade associations. When developing a brand it is part of a broader planning process that creates the brand voice and personality which through a well-orchestrated launch campaign, then emanates across all physical and digital stakeholder touchpoints
Digital Marketing and PR are the vehicles to transport messages to key stakeholders and they are essential tools to communicate the brand voice by creating awareness and trust that your brand can solve customer problems and be accountable for its existence.
Crowdfunding — If you build it they won’t necessarily come
There are different types of crowdfunding and platforms: equity-based providing bonds or shares (Seedrs), reward/product based (Kickstarter), social impact/donation-based (Fundsurfer), environmental (Ethex) and event raise models, e.g the registration to an event raises funds for a cause.
Industry stats state that only one in three crowdfunding campaigns succeed. Companies that get to 40% funded are 80% more likely to successfully reach their funding goal. So, your strategy should be fully focused on achieving this 40%. To maximise your raise, you have to follow a formula and a large part of this is preparation.
Preparation is key
A crowdfunding campaign involves a lot of preparation, you certainly don’t join a crowdfunding platform and investors flood in. A well thought out business plan needs to be at its foundation together with a working prototype of your product or service. The next step is to ensure that your website, social channels are set up to capture interest together with an engaging video.
Warming the fans
Then the next step is to test out your proposition through organic and paid-for social promotion, allow 10% of target raise, driving sign-ups and follows on social media. This activity is to firstly warm the backers up to invest. This needs to happen three to six months before you press go on the campaign, with your communications designed to generate interest and create the fear of missing out for your fans (FOMO).
Pressing go and reporting
Whilst doing this activity you will be generating an email database (remember that you need that 30–40% of your target) and a social following of potential backers before you press go. Once you do this you must maintain interest and try to convert fans to backers, then on close, communicate the raise outcomes to fans and press.
C-Suite PR to Humanise the Brand
Leveraging the personalities of your leadership as extensions of the brand in a crowdfunding program is a great way to build the brand story and keep communicating through the different stages of funding. New customers, investors or potential employees like to know the leaders or founders behind the brand, it creates an understanding and trust in the business as a whole. This re-enforces the human aspect and inspirational stories behind the development and growth but also challenges around building a business. This allows for a more inclusive and diverse approach to humanising a brand.
Crisis communications trust and reputation
All businesses are posed with issues at some time or another and during the Covid-19 pandemic, there are other supply chain and cyber security challenges that are thrown into the threat mix. Transparency is the foundation of trust, as it creates empathy from employees, clients and partners. Ensure that you have a good understanding of any challenging situation and share the facts as you know them — who, what, why, when and where. Create a continuous two-way conversation as you learn the details and the plan to resolve the situation. Solve the problems first and deal with negative communication later in your wrap-up.
Competitive PR Audit
Regardless of the size of your business, it is always good practice to reaffirm your business priorities around retention, acquisition and positioning. From a brand building PR perspective, it is an extremely practical and fruitful activity to benchmark yourself against your competitors.
A competitive PR analysis is where you take your audit to the next level by accessing the strengths, weaknesses and strategies of your competitors’ PR activities against your own metrics. You will see areas where you may need to up your promotional game (their strengths) or push for opportunities in sectors where your competitor is absent.
This then maps out areas where you may need to redefine your messaging or build better relationships with the press, event organisers or association partnerships in order to gain a competitive advantage, offering more intelligence to the plan.
Establish a strong organic presence — Be part of the big conversations
Ensure all of your owned channels have consistent messaging and digital assets. Listen to trends and news that is related to what your business, brand and stakeholders care about. Start or join in the conversation with key stats, graphics and blogs linking your messaging, themes and solutions to external forces causing problems or creating opportunities.
Hooks and Data for Story Telling
Utilising industry or consumer data on social media or within PR copy provides science-based intelligence to complement brand storytelling. It helps to set the scene and add context and relevance for the viewer or reader. Use the data to complement the hooks that highlight the pain points and concerns of the end consumer. Communication is messaging across the different channels to draw attention to the brand.
Sharing short-form content to drive traffic
Video is not an option anymore if you want to continue to have reach and engagement on social media. Especially in the way that short-form videos across TikTok, Instagram Reels, LinkedIn and YouTube Shorts are shaping how users consume videos across social media.
Make longer-form content work harder by distributing it into bite-sized pieces that lead back to the longer data-rich content which can be hidden behind a data capture form or paywall. Your sales team will be very happy with the leads.
Set Up Your Cyber Security Strategy
Customer privacy and security are becoming a must-have for companies who want to maintain their reputation in the current highly sensitive cyber security environment. Be prepared to have a strategy in place for when, not if, you have a cyber attack.
Stay Algorithm Savvy
Google is changing the way it is ranking websites on search engine results pages. The websites providing relevant information that answer users’ queries as high as possible on the web page can outperform websites with a higher domain author and expertise that are not prioritising the information on the page based on user search intent.
If you would like help setting up your digital presence, crowdfunding, PR or digital marketing campaigns then please visit oggadoon.co.uk or do get in touch with [email protected], 07779245709.
OggaDoon specialises in guerrilla communications and marketing to gain you reach.