Your brand is what other people say about you when you are not in the room Jeff Bezos

Completely agreed! I know several startups who have created an attractive website, their business is located at prime location, they spent a good amount of money on digital marketing, they are owning a team of skilled staff but still waiting for calls from customers. Is it happening to you too ?

If your answer is a big yes, don’t worry! You are at the right place. But before diving into the article, remember what Jeff Bezos has said. According to him, it’s all about your brand. Your brand represents your business and reputation. So, be sure to have a good one.

Many people argue that they already have a good and attractive logo, what else is needed in branding? Do you really think having a good logo is enough for the branding? No, definitely not.

Here I am going to mention some common startup blunders that businesses are making and how one can fix it.

Blunder #1 – Inconsistency

What is the color of the logo of social media giant Facebook? Blue, right? Did you ever see Facebook using its logo color as red in any of its marketing campaigns? No, I am sure. Consistency is very important in building a brand. If you are using yellow as your logo color on the website, keep it yellow everywhere. Otherwise, it confuses users and perhaps they won’t be able to recognize your brand at a glance. Inconsistent branding can lead to customer confusion and a high bounce rate.

Solution – Be consistent. Be consistent with your designs and brand color. It will not only help you in building brand image but also provides recognition.

Blunder #2 – Replicating competitors

This is another blunder that most of the startups make. It is good to know and research what your competitors are doing but copying exactly their marketing strategies lead you to a pitfall. Understand first, you are in the starting stages of your business. You don’t have enough capital like your already established competitors to spend a lot on everything. It is also possible that their marketing styles and trends will not work for your business.

Solution – Do a good competitor research, try to understand what they are doing in promoting their business. But don’t copy everything from them. Don’t try to replicate their marketing styles in hope of getting better results. You can also try some DIY. Tools like Canva help you create your own visual identity.

Blunder #3 – Marketing it everywhere

Do you join every function you are invited to? Certainly not. Likewise, every marketing platform is not a perfect place for showcasing your products. Just because, your company’s name can be somewhere, you started posting everywhere. Representing your brand at wrong places can directly affect your branding campaign.

Solution – Research and figure out what are the best-suited places for running your marketing campaign. Don’t try to be present everywhere.

Blunder #4 – Ignoring social media

Today, everybody has gone online. Even a 10 years old kid is hanging out with friends on several social media platforms. Social media has enormous power. Businesses, politicians, and everybody is seeking the help of social media in promoting their brand name. One can’t ignore the power of it especially startups should be more active on such social media platforms to reach out to the targeted audience. They are the best platforms to build your brand value.

Solution – Be active on social media platforms. Figure out which one works best for you out of a lot. Not every platform is of use to you. Post offers, spread awareness and post attractive contents regularly.

Blunder #5 – Neglecting the power of analytics

Do you really think posting and commenting on social media platforms is enough in branding? It is not. If you ask any digital marketing expert, he will explain to you the importance of analytics. The analytics will help you in knowing which type of content is driving more traffic than other.

Solution: Always have an eye on analytics. With the help of analytic tools, you should know what type of content you need to post and who is your targeted audience.

These are some blunders that most of the startups are making while building their brand. Try to avoid such mistakes and show your customers your real value. Build a brand in a right way. Don’t forget Jeff Bezos.

Don’t make these mistakes and before doing anything, do analyze your business well.

About the Author

Kavita Paliwal is Independent Marketing Analyst and Blogger. When not glued to her laptop, she can be found making travel plans that rarely happen. Connect with Kavita on Twitter & Linkedin

Influencer marketing is one of the best ways to acquire new customers quickly. It is especially beneficial for small and medium-sized businesses that have small marketing budgets. Social media influencers are people who are immensely popular on social media primarily due to their content. Their followers love their content and follow them for their ideas, opinions, and expertise in their niche. In fact, their followers are likely to act upon their recommendations and purchase products they endorse too.

Image Source – Influencer Marketing

According to a Twitter study, 40% of people have purchased products based on an influencer’s recommendation. This suggests that influencer marketing can help brands build credibility and grow pretty quickly.

Here are some of the best influencer marketing strategies to acquire customers

Branded Blog Posts

Branded blog posts from influencers can be very useful for brands. If you work with bloggers who have a high Domain Authority and who get a high amount of traffic to their sites, your brand will gain greater visibility.

This will also help you build greater brand awareness. Ask your influencers to review some of your products or services and share their honest opinions on their blogs. Such authentic reviews can help you win the trust of their audiences [who are essentially your target audience].

However, for this, you need to make sure that you collaborate only with relevant influencers in your niche. You can also give their followers a little nudge towards a purchase by sharing affiliate links or discount codes with your influencers. When someone makes a purchase using them, you might need to pay a certain percentage as commission to the influencer.

Brand Mentions

Mentions of your brand by influencers on social media can help to attract more eyeballs. This can increase your visibility, brand awareness, and boost credibility too. When popular influencers mention your brand in a positive light, it can help to increase your conversions too.

Electronic Arts collaborated with popular Instagram influencers like David Lopez and Koya Webb to promote their gaming app, Bejeweled. As a result of the campaign, the app rose 520 places, from #702 to #182, among the top grossing apps in the Apple App Store.

Guest Posts

Guest posting on an influencer’s blog or website is a great way to attract more traffic to your site. If their website or blog gets a large amount of traffic and is a high-authority site, it can help with SEO too. Any backlinks from their site to yours will be of high-quality which can help to boost your rankings as well as traffic.

In addition, you’ll also benefit from greater visibility and brand awareness.

Takeovers

A takeover is a very interesting influencer marketing strategy that’s used by many brands to generate content and gain more followers. It involves an influencer taking over your social media account for a certain amount of time.

During this time, they will be posting content on your account. When they cross-promote such takeovers on their own accounts, their followers are likely to check out your account. Not only does this give you a chance to woo your audience with some amazing content, but also grow your following.

To learn about some more influencer marketing strategies, check out the following gifographic

10 Influencer Marketing Strategies You Should Know

Image courtesy: Grin.co

Indian media is growing at an exponential rate. The advent of smartphones and internet has revolutionized the Indian media industry. Backed by the growing economy, India has witness launch of a host of new TV channels and print publications in the last decade. Public Relations has therefore grown as an important part in any company’s activity when it comes to informing general public about news related to their company or products.

However, due to various factors, small and medium, enterprise, individuals, corporates have found it challenging in sending their news to relevant journalists in newspapers, TV channels or trade magazines.

India PR Distribution discovered the solution to the problem by introducing economical options for press release distribution. It is India’s first press release distribution service that sends the press-release to Indian reporters and publications including Newspaper, TV, Radio and others. Reporters can directly contact news sources. The news is distributed to online portals, Indian reporters, and bloggers. The startup is also helping many businesses in improving their marketing and PR campaigns.

Nitin Jain, Co-founder – India PR Distribution, said

We have launched India PR Distribution with an aim to bring relevant stories to reporters and at the same time, provide an easy platform for businesses to send their news to both online and traditional print and electronic media.

India PR Distribution, a new-age start-up founded in November 2017, with a 10 member team is presently based in Gurgaon. So far India PR Distribution has successfully delivered the service to more than 70 clients including Startups, Educational Institutions, and small businesses.

How it Works

India PR Distribution carefully vets every Press Release submitted on its website and checks if the news is worth reaching out the public and the topic covered is fit to be covered in a national newspaper or TV channel. The news is then sent to the Industry specific journalists and publications, therefore bridging the gap between news source and media house.

Up to 95% of buyers consider content as trustworthy when evaluating your brand and its offerings, according to insights from NewsCred. If you’re not producing quality content, you’re missing out on an opportunity to improve your brand’s credibility. With 75% of consumers expecting a consistent experience when engaging with your business – website, social media, mobile and even in person, there’s no doubt that great content helps shape the customer experience.

Image Source – Design

Whether you’re a small business or large corporate looking to improve your brand, understanding the latest trends in content marketing plays a crucial role in helping you create a cohesive omnichannel experience for your customers.

Live-Streaming Content Everywhere

While live-streaming was pretty new in the market when Facebook Live was introduced to the public in 2016, more brands are embracing the ‘live everywhere’ trend. Platforms like JW live allow publishers to harness the power of live streaming for fresh promotional and revenue generating opportunities. With everything from corporate sites to social media networks and mobile web offering outlets for real-time video streaming, revolutionizing your marketing strategy is easier. Live streaming wields a digital influence that any business cannot afford to ignore when it comes to brand engagement and monetization.

To take advantage of this trend, pick a live streaming platform that best suits your marketing strategy. Take into consideration how many followers use the platform and how engaged they have been in the past. When going live, make sure not to miss any opportunity to interact. Respond to any comments, questions or concerns. Use platforms like Twitter’s Periscope, Youtube live streaming, Facebook live video or Tumblr to live stream your promotional content. There has never been a time when original content has been so attainable and accessible in the video community. By establishing new channels for digital content creation, such as live-streaming, you can easily foster engaging and rewarding opportunities for your business.

Content Built for Voice Search

Voice-enabled smart speakers are expected to be in 55% of households by 2022, as noted by TechCrunch. There is no doubt we’re in the age of the voice search revolution. Because of the opportunities that this growing trend offers, content writing agencies and marketers are focused on figuring out exactly how to provide better content value. Businesses across different industries are testing out potential integrations between their content strategies and voice search. To succeed, you need to look beyond functionality alone and embrace voice-search marketing capabilities.

With voice search representing more than 20% of queries on Google’s mobile app, it’s important to know how best to use voice-search marketing to your advantage. After years of adjusting digital content to optimize written search, brands need to re-strategize their SEO. The goal is to provide quick answers that help you drive more traffic to your site. This involves doing more strategic keyword research to identify which keywords in your niche result in a featured snippet. Combined with AI and its impact on consumer purchases, voice search can help you gain more entity authority, ensuring your content ranks higher.

Increased Investment in Mobile Content Strategies

You can’t ignore the power of mobile content marketing. Considering how ingrained mobile devices have become in our lives, optimizing content for mobile is something that every business should have embraced by now. By 2019, mobile content advertising is expected to represent up to 72% of all digital ad spending in the US. Advertisers and marketers are increasing their investment in mobile content strategies to remain competitive. Businesses must look beyond photos, videos, and chat for their content marketing and embrace more modern mobile marketing trends like e-books, live mobile streams, mobile alerts and interactive content.

Being a marketer in today’s evolving business world is no easy work. You need to understand new platforms in the market, their impact on how customers engage with brands and stay on top of new developments. Knowing and implementing some of these latest content marketing trends will help boost brand visibility and win the favor of customers.

Denave, a global sales tech organization focused on driving revenue growth for its customers, recently unveiled its sales force automation solution DenSales. DenSales is Denave’s proprietary Sales Force Automation tool that is designed and developed to address all the existing as well as possible business challenges while implementing a feet-on-street strategy. It is a holistic solution for planning and managing the field force program, offering end-to-end visibility to all the stakeholders in the sales ecosystem.

Image Source – Denave

DenSales, available in both web and mobile interfaces, has been created to address pertinent sales process issues such as inaccurate process of capturing sales data, fraudulent reporting, limited stock visibility, absence of structured communication platform, limited first-hand market insights and more.

Commenting on the product launch, Prashant Rohatgi, Global Head – Technology, Denave said

DenSales is a definitive 360-degree sales force automation solution that not only gives an absolute control of the sales process to the stakeholders thus preventing sales leakage, but it is also pivotal towards increasing the productivity of the field team. It features sales force engagement and performance, fraud prevention, on-the-go training, closed loop issue management and market intelligence. It has unique combination of mobile app and web console to capture information faster and real-time dashboards and actionable reports to disseminate seamlessly.

Sharing his views on the product’s future roadmap, Snehashish Bhattacharjee, Global CEO, Denave, said

With DenSales, we aim to make Intelligent Sales Force Automation a reality – one that is intuitive and predictive. It will eventually act as an Executive Assistant to the stakeholders where it becomes their one-stop go-to-platform for all sales force-related business decisions. Most importantly, it will be a business essential for providing that critical last mile visibility, which in the current scenario is mostly missing. The reactions of our initial customers have been very heartening, and we are confident of DenSales becoming a business-essential and a market success soon.

Denave has been enabling sales for organizations since over 19 years now and has influenced more than 5 billion USD in revenues. Denave significantly diversified its service line in 2017 and introduced Digital Marketing and Sales Analytics as new services, contributing to revenue across all industry verticals including technology, telecom, ONG, Consumer Durables, FMCG, E-commerce, mobile wallets & more.

About Denave

Denave is a global sales enablement company focused on driving revenue growth for its customers through a wide range of service offerings. The company leverages latest technology trends and disruptive approach to create effective sales engines. Denave has built multi-industry expertise partnering with global businesses and takes a solution-conscious approach to deliver best practices in sales by leveraging people, processes, technology and innovation to drive revenue. Denave has reach across 5 continents, 50+ countries and 500+ cities globally. For more information, please visit Denave

It’s always better to retain customers than to attract new ones because the cost involved in getting new customers is much higher. Around 90% of consumers shop from different brands and are not loyal to any one in particular. Therefore, it’s important to focus on developing consistent customer relationships.

Let’s take a look at four of the best ways to do so

1. Get to Know Your Customers

The more you know your customers, the better your retention will be. Do research to understand their needs and desires and what delights them the most. Understand why they make a purchase.

From your previous experience, map your customer journey. Explore the available data and analytics to understand your customers’ behavioral pattern and trends.

2. Standardize the Process

Maintain a standardized process throughout your company for a great customer experience. Create clear guidelines and make sure your employees follow them. Address different situations while preparing guidelines so that your team can be prepared for anything.

Go out of your way to give your customers an amazing experience. Surprise them. Never let the quality of your customer service drop in any circumstances.

3. Train Your Employees Properly

Train your employees, especially your client-facing and client-interacting team members. Hire the best professionals for client handling and then arrange regular workshops to keep them updated. Provide a holistic customer experience on all platforms.

4. Deliver Unified Customer Experiences across channels

To maintain consistency in customer service, it’s important to standardize it across different channels. Customers expect to receive similar experiences on all channels. They don’t like to repeat themselves if they have already told you their issue in some way.

Therefore, it’s important to keep track of every conversation you have with them. Address all of their issues promptly.

Tips and Tricks

  1. Be it social media, your blog, or in a newsletter, stay connected with your customers often.
  2. Find out which social media platforms your customers use the most and accordingly create a strong presence there.
  3. Increase customer engagement.
  4. Feedback is a very important part of building a customer relationship. Listen to what your follower have to say about your product and services.
  5. Show them that you are acting according to their feedback.
  6. Always appreciate them if they say good things about you, and try to solve any grievances they have. Keep in mind that you should never take a reactionary approach with customers.
  7. Make them feel special and let them know that their opinions matter.

Leverage Inbound Marketing

Use customer-generated and influencer content to spread the word about your brand. There is nothing more effective than a good customer testimonial.

A happy customer is indeed a part of your salesforce, as they have more credibility than your salespeople have. After all, trust and credibility are the backbones of a long-term customer relationship.

Check out this infographic to discover more about these customer relationship building tactics.

Infographic Source – SalesMate

Author the Author

Samir Motwani is a growth hacker cut from a different cloth than most entrepreneurs. This action oriented technophile may have been trained as a developer, but is a designer at heart. He is currently the CEO of Salesmate, a CRM tool, that is adept at developing low-cost strategies for startups, and defining best practices for budding ventures. You can find more about Samir Motwani here.

After months of small scale rollouts, WebEngage has been roped in by OTA major Goibibo to power the brand’s User & Partner engagement strategy and execution. The Mumbai based SaaS company is touted as one of the leading Marketing Automation platforms to come out of India, having over 40k businesses around the world under their belt. Esteemed brands such as Flipkart, Ebay, Avaya, Sendgrid, Pluralsight, Souq trust WebEngage with their user engagement.

Image Source – WebEngage

As India’s leading online travel brand, millions of Goibibo customers frequent their platform to book flights, train tickets, hotels and outstation cab rides every month. They identified the need for an engagement platform to enhance the overall user experience and increase the number of bookings using Personalization and Contextual cross-channel Communication.

Goibibo CTO, Vikalp Sahni, furthered this view saying

We at Goibibo are strong believers in the power of creating an unparalleled user experience. Giving users a brand experience that helps them solve a problem and creates value for them is the end goal. For that reason, we identified WebEngage as the right platform that will help us get to the goal. Their Journey Designer tool has been a revelation, helping us create lifecycle marketing campaigns at scale while maintaining contextual relevance with hyper-personalization capabilities.

Avlesh Singh, CEO of WebEngage, said

Partnering with one of the leaders of the OTA industry is a huge positive validation of our platform, and its capabilities. We are happy to learn that Indian marketers have advanced in the maturity scale, and are embracing innovative tools like the Journey Designer to create beautiful and highly effective marketing strategies that resonate directly with the end user. This partnership recognizes the need for Marketing Automation in the industry, and how our positioning is perfectly poised to cater to that need diligently.

About WebEngage

WebEngage was founded by Avlesh Singh and Ankit Utreja in 2011. It is a full-stack marketing automation platform that helps B2C companies drive more revenue from their existing customers and anonymous users.

It is a cross-channel user engagement platform which intelligently automates communication across users’ life-cycle. It enables companies to enhance their brand experience with contextual, personalised user engagement via In-App Messages, Push Notifications, Emails and Text Messages and Web Messages [notification, survey and feedback].

Sweep-stake giveaways have long been a popular tool for companies looking to increase their customer satisfaction. After all, happy customers means repeat customers. But, did you know that you can leverage the viral potential of the Internet to not only make your existing customers happy, but also increase your customer base and your sales? Let’s look at the steps you must take in order to make your next sweep-stake giveaway a true hit with both old and new customers alike.

Tie Your Giveaway to Your Brand

If you are selling bicycles, you don’t need to give away a laptop. After all, that’s not what your target audience, and most of your visitors, are looking for. Besides, by tying your giveaway to your brand, you can leverage all manner of marketing tie-ins later, thus increasing your reach. Keep your giveaway related to your brand and make sure the giveaway is something that your customers love and would want. No one wants to win a piece of junk. Make sure it is a worthy prize to receive.

Determine All the Legalities

I know this isn’t the most fun part of the job, but before you release any type of giveaway, you must make sure you meet all the laws in the areas you plan on running your sweepstakes. Since this is the Internet, it’s possible that could be everywhere, but it could just be in the country where you do business. For example, you could release your giveaway for anyone in the United States. If that’s the case, you must make sure you meet all the laws and regulations for a sweepstakes giveaway in all of the states where you plan on offering the giveaway.

If you decide not to run it in certain states, you must make that known as part of your announcement and make sure it’s clear to everyone who signs up for the giveaway.

Release the Giveaway Online

Next, you must make this giveaway an online sweepstakes. This is necessary in order to control where it’s released and increase the chances of it going viral. At the end of the day, that’s the goal, and calling in and signing up isn’t going to get the job done. While it is okay to give them the option to enter by another means, make it clear that online is the preferred method of signing up for the sweepstakes.

But, when you do, make sure signing up is easy to do and only takes a few seconds. Long drawn out forms will not be a popular choice. While you need to make sure you collect everything you need to be able to giveaway your prize, don’t collect anymore than you have to, no matter how tempting it may be.

Encourage Sharing from Customers

One of the biggest assets you have are your customers. In the end, it will be up to them to make your sweepstakes giveaway go viral. Encourage them to share your giveaway with their friends and family through social media and email. It will be your existing customers that will help you get the word out, so make it easy to share and make the rules clear so it’s easy for them to get their friends to sign up for a chance to win.

Be Responsive

When your customers do share your giveaway with others, make sure you acknowledge that act as quickly as possible. This means that you must monitor social media and any other channels that could cause your giveaway to go viral regularly. When they share it, respond to it and thank them for the share and wish the new person luck on the giveaway. Engage the customers as they help you get the word out about your sweepstakes and they will return the favor.

Create an Email Campaign

In addition to your normal avenues of advertising, create an email campaign to get the word out. Sure, this will only reach your existing customers, but it should cover anyone that has missed your other online advertising methods of showing off your giveaway. In the campaign, make sure you encourage your customers to share it with others so you can further increase your reach. Just like above, make sure you respond to each and every share you receive.

Giveaway Your Prize

Once the contest ends, you need to follow through and giveaway your prize. Announce who the winner is for everyone to see, but make sure you take steps to protect their privacy. Try saying things like, ‘Congratulations Lisa, from Denver’, or something like that. After you announce it, send the prize to them as quickly as possible. While a good giveaway can create a lot of goodwill, not delivering the promised prize will do far more harm to your reputation. Once it is delivered, encourage the winner to share a picture of the prize and comment on it so everyone can see that you send out your free gift as promised.

Conclusion

All of the steps above should give you more than enough to create and market a successful sweepstakes giveaway. At the end of the day, it’s all about engaging your customer base. The giveaway will get them talking, but true success will be keeping them talking about your brand and your products, but a sweepstakes giveaway is one of the best ways of doing just that for both old and new customers.