We teamed up with the incredible production team at Realmless and LVMH’s Belvedere Vodka to curate one of the most exclusive events of the year in Ibiza, headlined by Black Coffee. Here’s how it went down:
The Disruptive was tasked with bringing 250 top creators, artists, influencers & entrepreneurs to the annual Belvedere Eclipse summit in Ibiza, to not only have an incredible time, but to activate on a social level and announce their new Eclipse Vodka design.
Influencer marketing is often times focused for driving e-commerce sales, but it’s a powerful tool for activating on a grassroots level to amplify live events, parties, concerts, shows etc. to increase brand exposure outside the venue itself. That was the case for this event.
Here are the social results (PDF)
The keys for any great event are:
#2: Music and
#3: The people.
If your guests aren’t vibing, if the energy isn’t flowing, it doesn’t matter how great the venue, or how great the music, people just aren’t going to have a good time.
Curating a crowd, goes much deeper than event promotion. Curating a crowd that not only creates the right vibe, but also has the right social media marketing power, is far more difficult. It’s not just a skillset, it’s an art.
That’s what we do at The Disruptive. Let us know if you’d like to setup a time to chat about how we can amplify your brand with influencer marketing.
Digital Shaman & CEO
Today’s digital influencer can be one of the most powerful people on earth. Whether you’re a multimillion-dollar brand, a blogger, or an Instagram model with 100 million followers, we all have influence and we use it in many different ways.
And it shows.
A 2016 study from Google tells us that 70% of teenage YouTube subscribers say they relate more to YouTube creators than traditional celebrities like movie stars and television personalities. When a digital influencer looks and acts like a normal, everyday person, that authenticity resonates with viewers.
But how many of us take the time to really consider the effect that our influence has on others? When you write a blog, upload a story, or post to your Instagram wall, do you take the time to consider how your content and your actions as a brand influence those around you?
Digital influence isn’t exclusive to companies. On a personal level, your family, friends, and coworkers are affected by the content you produce in the digital space. When you’re a major influencer or brand, what you say can change how your fans and followers interact with the world.
That’s what makes today’s digital influencers so powerful.
A digital influencer thrives on content that connects with their audience. Creating content that makes followers feel something is a key part of the influencer-audience relationship because it builds trust.
As influencers, we can choose to influence with ego (fear) or love (truth). Influencing with ego can manifest in many different ways, but when content doesn’t go deeper than a Facetuned image or the latest Gucci bag, it perpetuates a desire for things that don’t bring love. Love is only found through truth. We influence with love when our content isn’t just about ourselves. When what we post is about our audience, we’re influencing through authentic purpose and affecting our followers in a positive way.
In short: we can either focus only on ourselves, or we can focus on empowering others through what we create.
It’s easy to open up Instagram and see endless photos and videos of people promoting egotistic content. If you search for it, you’ll probably find it. When every image is digitally altered through retouching software, how do any of us stand a chance of looking good enough when comparing ourselves to these unrealistic expectations?
But people do it anyway.
The fact is that many people using social media base their self-worth and self-esteem on how many likes they get on the content they post without truly taking into consideration the powers, algorithms, and tools lurking behind the modern digital influencer and social media platforms.
Social media is often demonized as a result of digital influence. Pundits and media organizations say that social platforms are “destroying our youth” and that social media platforms create false expectations of beauty or misconceptions about a “perfect” life.
While it’s easy (and sometimes justified) to blame social media for negativity in the world around us, digital media isn’t without a bright side.
Social media can be a force for positive change in the world when used correctly (Read on to see how!), and that’s something we often overlook.
With the same energy it takes to create a world of false expectations, a digital influencer could easily lift people up, give them hope, and inspire confidence. An opportunity exists for every brand and blogger to speak their full truth and elevate their audience with them.
That’s the power of digital influence, and it’s why influencer marketing and brand strategy are so important today.
Social media isn’t the problem. The real issue is a state of consciousness (or lack thereof) that’s been engineered by the companies who, until recently, controlled everything consumers could see and hear.
Since the invention of the printing press, the powers that be have used media influence to spread news and information (and misinformation) designed to inform and/or control anyone with the ability to consume it.
Until the rise of social media, gatekeepers controlled which ideas and concepts received national distribution. All messaging was controlled by the major media corporations who owned newspapers, radio stations, and television channels. These “trusted” news sources have curated their content carefully for decades, and their programming has been blindly trusted by the public at large.
We all know where that has led us because that’s where we are today. Messaging and propaganda are used to manipulate the population into buying into the latest products, electing the latest presidents, and supporting the latest wars.
But now, through digital influence and the power of social media, that is finally changing.
Influence has been democratized for the first time in human history. The power to influence others has been given to anyone with a smartphone and an internet connection.
It’s an incredible revolution. Never before in the history of the world has an individual been able to pick up a smartphone and instantly produce a piece of content that can affect millions of people overnight.
This power has turned the media industry on its head, and brands have taken notice. In a recent Collective Bias survey, nearly 60% of individuals said they consult blogs or social media on their mobile devices prior to shopping and that 30% of consumers are more likely to purchase a product endorsed by a non-celebrity blogger than a traditional celebrity.
Unfortunately, the opportunity to cash in has led many digital influencers on social media to use their reach as a means to fuel their own egoistic desires.
Kylie Jenner, one of the youngest and most influential personalities on social media, chooses to build her billions off of eyebrow and lip kits.
The result? A nation of Kylie wannabes.
Now, that can be cool. I’m not trying to knock the hustle, but it’s only cool if you decide to do something of value with it.
With that same amount of energy, Kylie could shift her message and use her followers and her fortune to make a lasting change in the world. Instead, she tweets about her dislike of Snapchat’s redesign and the company stock price falls by 1.3 billion.
Do you see what I mean?
If a prominent digital influencer has that much power, they could be a huge force for good. Unfortunately, the most prominent voices in the digital space only seem to be in it for themselves.
Imagine if just a handful of Millennial and Gen Z influencers used their collective millions of followers to band together and make positive change. We could have a serious effect on government, corrupt institutions, poverty, and all the world’s most major issues.
So, how is your brand choosing to influence your fans and followers? Are you influencing with love or with ego? Are you hiding behind highly-produced content promoting an unrealistic lifestyle, or are you building your brand through authenticity and rational expectations?
This might not seem like a huge revelation, but “authentic” is trendy right now.
Many digital influencers are choosing to become more “candid” and “real” on social platforms. They’re discussing personal issues and struggles in order to connect on a deeper level with their audience.
When done right, brands and influencers often see the powerful effects of increased engagement as their followers identify with this newfound transparency. But this can be a slippery slope. While the choice to be more open about the issues we all deal with — eating disorders, mental health, depression — is generally well-received, oversharing can damage a brand and the need to share these truths may become a “fad” in and of itself.
But who the hell am I to be saying this, anyway?
I have always been driven by the power of the for-profit model for giving back.
When I was fresh out of college, I caught my first “big break” in Hollywood as an actor in Twilight. I was Frat Boy #1, the guy who gets kicked in the balls by Kristen Stewart right before Edward Pattinson shows up to save the day!
I thought I was going to be a star! I packed up all I owned into my parents’ Chevy Tahoe and moved from Portland, Oregon back home to Los Angeles to pursue my dream as an actor. To make a long story longer, it didn’t work out as planned. (You can watch the whole story here.)
Instead, I got swept away into entrepreneurship. When I started my first company, SpiritHoods (@spirithoods), I had no formal business education or real-life business experience. SpiritHoods were meant to bring out your inner wild animal. Every hood represented a different animal, one that connected with your own spirit animal.
Incredibly, my team and I managed to create a multimillion dollar online brand using Facebook, Instagram, and digital influencers in less than a year.
How? We sent our products out to everyone under the sun on social media for free. This was before the term “influencer” ever existed
Using a digital influencer to build a brand is commonplace in modern marketing, but back then it wasn’t a cool thing to do. If you were sending your products out for free, it basically meant you were broke!
But in our case, it paid off.
Our product was worn by what seemed like every celebrity under the sun, from the Kardashians and Justin Bieber all the way to Snoop Dogg and Aerosmith.
We even landed the brand on ABC’s Shark Tank.
We also built a giveback component into our business model: For every hood purchased, the company would donate 10% of our net profits to nonprofit organizations supporting endangered animals. This was around the time that brands like TOMS and The Giving Keys became big and the “give back” model caught fire within Millennial culture.
Even though these “give back” business models have some inherent problems, I became obsessed with how they could actually influence positive change.
In the past, I’ve spent a lot of time working with nonprofits like The Ronan Thompson Foundation, Pandas International, and Polar Bears International. I’m still passionate about nonprofit work, but I’ve seen the flaws in the nonprofit model firsthand.
So many times, I’ve watched passionate, good-hearted individuals spend 90% of their energy trying to raise money for the causes they cared about so that they could devote 10% of their time trying to make a difference.
This didn’t happen because they were operating in bad faith (even though many nonprofits are just tax havens for the wealthy). It happened because the nonprofit model as currently established is flawed.
If a business is successful — meaning they are able to drive profits while leadership maintains a conscious business operation — making a difference while earning a profit can work.
During the time I was with SpiritHoods, we were able to raise close to half a million dollars for nonprofits we cared about. We gave back to helping endangered animals, the environment, and even children with cancer.
In 2014, I started the purpose-driven agency The Disruptive.
The Disruptive is a purpose-driven marketing agency.
We help brands run social media campaigns that drive measurable ROI while helping creators and digital influencers grow their audiences in meaningful ways.
It’s naive to think that in order to do good in this world we need to renounce money, profit and material wealth altogether. As much as we might prefer it, people can’t build a career while working for free. The truth is that with the right business models, leadership and conscious intent, a business can be profitable while becoming a powerful driver for positive change.
With this ethos in mind, we help our brand clients solve the biggest issue when it comes to influencer marketing: driving and tracking a measurable ROI. (Check out the case study here!)
We also donate 25% of our profits to what we call “purpose projects” that create positive change (see the case study below)!
We help every kind of digital influencer — bloggers, entrepreneurs, and content creators — create meaningful relationships with their audience. That’s our primary goal. We help creators understand that there is a major difference between having a following and a true community.
If you’re a digital influencer, 5,000 likes might sound nice. But there is a huge difference between getting 5,000 likes on a picture of your ass and having a true community.
We define a true community as a group of people with shared values, who believe that what you do will genuinely help them live a better life and therefore will contribute to the betterment of the community as a whole.
When a brand or creator has limited experience bridging that gap, it’s easy to stick with what gets predictable results, or follow what others are doing and what’s trending, rather than trying something new. It’s easy to blame the Instagram algorithm for declining engagement when, in reality, the playing field is changing.
As a digital influencer, if you aren’t creating meaningful content that resonates within the hearts and minds of those who follow you, you won’t grow your brand in an authentic way that not only earns profits but also creates positive change.
When you create meaningful relationships with your followers, you’re not earning a number on a platform. You’re earning a long-term ambassador who will actively share and support your brand for a lifetime.
Here is an example of what I’m talking about.
I first met Sammy Wilk, a young musician and social media influencer, while giving a talk at Los Angeles’ Soho House. The talk was geared specifically towards social media influencers and how they can use their influence, not only to create financial success but to inspire positive change while doing what they love.
Most of the Millennial generation is inspired by the concept of doing good. We would rather buy into brands and experiences that aim to serve a purpose beyond profits, and it’s an ideal that any modern digital influencer can tap into.
Sammy came to my talk at Soho House. We vibed over a few cocktails afterwards, and he expressed that he was feeling a bit disillusioned. He lacked direction and wanted to figure things out, despite the fact he had a few million followers across various social channels. (This is a common theme among Millennial influencers).
I ended up taking Sammy as a personal client. Through our personal development and branding program, I worked closely with him to discover his vision, mission, and purpose — not only as a musician but as a digital influencer. We dug into how those ideas related to his life, the actions he took, and the content he produced.
One day in the shower (where all great ideas are born), he had an “ah-ha moment”. He realized that his purpose was to help inspire the lives of kids through his music, actions, and words.
There it was. Simple. Beautiful. Powerful.
We began to craft a strategy — one that would help elevate his brand and bring more meaning into his craft while creating a profitable model that could fuel a project he cared about. Our aim was simple: Transform Sammy into a digital influencer with purpose and an incredible story to tell.
It was immediately clear that we could create a product line that his fans would love and use a percentage of the profits to fund an initiative that could help him fulfill his new purpose.
I connected him with Devon Dejardin, an incredibly talented artist and friend who has also been through our mentorship program. Devon works in the fashion and art industry in LA.
We got to work, redesigning Sammy’s brand from the ground up. We created new social content and produced the clothing line. Then, we connected Sammy with another friend of ours: Philanthropist Tiffany Persons.
While working as a casting director in LA, Tiffany also runs Shine On Sierra Leone, a nonprofit organization which specializes in creating educational opportunities for impoverished kids in West Africa.
Tiffany was working with communities and children in Sierra Leone long before the Ebola outbreak. At the time, she was in the process of building a school for young children who had to walk over 9 miles a day through horrendous conditions (war, disease, flooding) for their education.
This was a project, we had to get involved in.
We organized the brand, created fresh designs, and built influencer marketing into the fabric of what we did. We brought on other digital influencers to help promote the product and planned a trip to Africa, where we worked to raise awareness and funding to build Muddy Lotus Elementary School.
After we launched, we brought Hawkers on board to help sponsor the trip, placing the brand organically throughout the content to give them exposure and align them with a cause their customers cared about.
We flew out to Africa and spent a week on the ground covering the story via Sammy’s social media channels. This new content helped to position Sammy as a digital influencer with new content that resonated with his fans.
With the help of a local guide and the kids, I personally walked the 9-mile trek to their school in order to understand what their daily experience was like.
We shot day in the life episodes to recount the story in long format and pushed growth to Sammy’s YouTube channel. We even shot an impromptu music video for one of his songs.
On top of our own efforts, we partnered with D&G, another agency to help tell this story. D&G created an interactive website, where the user had to scroll the 9-mile stretch. Our real-time footage was paired with the scroll, so users could go through the experience via mobile. That’s over five hours of scrolling time on a smartphone!
I might have created the longest Steadicam one-shot in film history, but Guinness World Book of Records wasn’t there to testify to this, unfortunately.
Our campaign was also promoted by other digital influencers like Zoe Kravitz, Rosario Dawson, Fast Company, PSF, Adweek and more. Most importantly we helped raise enough money to build and fund the school for one year.
I’d be lying to you if I told you it was easy. It was hard, beautiful work. It was purpose-driven work, and it helped transform the lives of everyone involved.
While working on this project, I realized that, while you may set out with the intention to help others, in the end, you’re the one who gets helped.
Our work in Sierra Leone ignited Sammy’s fans and brought him a greater following. For a digital influencer, follower growth is a key metric.
Since his fans hadn’t heard from him in a while, the release of his new collection, new content, and new cause helped increase his engagement and follower growth on social media by 12%.
Sammy’s sales increased by 266%.
On top of that, Sammy had a new business model that would help support his career as an artist outside of traditional sponsored posts and music deals. Alternative streams of revenue are extremely important when looking at your brand as a digital influencer.
(Check out our School of Influence to learn to drive more revenue as a social media influencer.)
Most importantly, our campaign raised the money needed for the trip to Africa and helped to build the school.
I’m not saying we’ve got it all figured out. Every digital influencer and brand is in this crazy mess alongside everyone else.
When I look at the state of brand and influencer marketing, I choose to see an opportunity for all of us to come together and use the power of digital influence for positive change.
The truth is, we are all broken, wounded, and struggling to find our way. Why not choose to do it together?
Why not choose to harness the power of our collective positive energy, our gifts, and our strengths for leveraging a unified movement that influences popular culture in a powerful and transformative way?
Is it a utopian dream? I don’t think so. If something can be imagined, it can be created. If we’ve imagined this current global mess, we can create the alternative.
At the very least, we should measure our success based on the lives we positively impact alongside the profits that we generate.
If this resonates with you. We would love to hear from you.
With love and positive force in the flow,
Founder – The Disruptive
Come say what’s up on instagram.com/mendeluk or instagram.com/thedisruptive]]>
“How do I grow my Instagram account? How do I get more followers? How do I use Instagram to grow my business and make money?” These are some of the questions our coaching clients ask us on a daily basis at The Disruptive….
There is a lot of information about this and when searching Google for Instagram strategy tips, you will find countless articles addressing things like:
Don’t get me wrong.. this stuff is important… it’s just that.. well.. it’s all everyone talks about and NO ONE is talking about the MOST IMPORTANT THINGS! It’s kind of like building a sailboat without knowing where you want to go and why you want to go there. That is why when we work with brands on their social media platforms we always begin with this question..
>> WHY ARE YOU ON INSTAGRAM?
… seriously. And why are you even breathing? (just kidding… kind of). Is it just because everyone else is? Just cause you wanna make money? Because you want another place for people to see YOU? Or do you have a reason that is bigger than yourself? It’s not woo-woo… It’s the painfully obvious question that the majority are overlooking!
Brands of the future have this figured out. So if you can’t quickly answer this in a clear and compelling way then I am betting you aren’t one of them. And you probably won’t stand out on Instagram or in life.
The question of WHY is really the question of purpose. And purpose is the foundation of all strategy. Don’t get me wrong.. we teach strategy. We teach people proven strategies that have generated millions of dollars in our own companies and with clients. But the truth about strategy is that it’s really not the starting place. Most people want strategies but they haven’t even figured out why they exist. There are strategies that work, but they come and go, they change and evolve… and if you build your business on a strategy you may win in the short term but eventually things will change and you will need a new one. Then what?
CLEAR AND COMPELLING
Having a deep and great clarity on your WHY is one of the most powerful things you can do for you brand. Period. It will provide a framework from which you can create endless strategies.. and reincarnate a hundred times while remaining consistent in your marketplace. And having a compelling WHY is really the secret sauce to companies that stand out on Instagram. It cannot be underestimated. That is why we make this the foundation of all social media strategy.
Important questions to ask yourself when approaching your “why”:
THE XYZ TEST
The clearer you are with your customers about why you exist, the more easily it will be for them to build a relationship with you and trust you. We help brands clarify this stuff so they can get on to the work of their business. Sometimes that means we take them through long and deep journeys of soul charting exploration to uncover their vision, mission, purpose, values, disruptive angles, offer, and messaging.. But other times we just use the X, Y, Z test. Here’s how it goes:
We help X do Y so that Z.
X= type of person
Y= type of activity
Z= type of result
Hi, my name is Morpheus. I help the chosen one find his path so he can liberate all of humanity.
The Disruptive: We help socially conscious entrepreneurs grow their businesses so they can change the world.
There are all sorts of variations of this formula.. Such as this:
Hi, my name is Willy Wonka. I make fantastical candies for children so they can rediscover the magic of life.
The bottom line here is that when you can articulate yourself in a clear and compelling way, it will naturally resonate with your community. Which leads us to the next most important question..
>>WHO IS YOUR COMMUNITY?
Your reason for being on Instagram is to add value to your community. So who are they? Are they painters? Teenage girls who love fashion? Anyone who likes travel? Hikers and Kayakers? What makes them who they are? What is their life like? What do they value? What things do they like? What do they want in life? What makes them laugh? What is holding them back from achieving their dream? What is their biggest fear and greatest pleasure? What books have they read? What shows do they watch? If they had a million dollars, what would they spend it on? What makes them angry!? Who else do they follow?
The better you know your community, the easier it will be to create positive experiences for them… which brings us to the second point…
When you are selling, it’s all about you. But when you are creating an experience it’s about them. Your goal is not to build a following. It is to cultivate a community. And there IS a difference. Just because you get 1,000 likes when you post photos of your booty, does not mean you have a community!
In order to build community you must stop thinking of people as ‘followers’ or ‘customers’ and start thinking of them as fellow travelers on an epic journey to a better life that you can help them get closer to.
Are you helping them do that? Are you actually connecting with people? Are you leading them into an experience that they like and want? Are people living better lives because of you? Or are you just posting pictures of your new product? Or your booty?
THE FESTIVAL EXERCISE
The basic idea here is to treat your Instagram community more like people with souls and less like passive onlookers, voyeurs or cattle to herd toward a purchase. Imagine your brand was putting on a 3 day event. What would you plan? Where would it happen? Who would come and why? What questions would people be asking? What would the space look like? Would there be speakers? If so, who would you bring in? What kind of things would you do together? What would conversations be like? What kind of food would you eat? How would you want people feel? What would they be wearing? How would people’s lives change? Would there be an after party?
A recent study showed that brands that inspire a higher emotional intensity receive 3x as much word of mouth than less emotionally-connected brands (Journal of Marketing Research). Instagram is not just the place to express your brand visually, it is a place that will actually start people on the pathway toward an (emotional) experience that they want to have. Quality experiences are what create trust over time.. and trust is real life magic sauce. Instagram is not about the Insta-sale.. It’s about the long term relationship. Every time someone clicks “Follow” they are allowing your brand the privilege of being known.. giving you permission to take them on a journey, and the brands which can deliver the best experiences to their community will win.
ARE YOU DOING IT?
Here are a list of questions to help you clarify the experience you are creating on Instagram:
When your community experiences something great on your platform.. when people are made to feel something awesome.. then the numbers will start to grow. THEN!!! ….. THEN!!! … when your own garden is thriving with life and abundance and people are frolicking around in a pastoral utopia of adoration… THEN you are ready to look to the hills and harness the secret weapon, to tap the hidden wells of the 3rd most powerful Golden Rule of Instagram Growth:
The hills are bustling with Insta-communities that are already having a party. So the great question is… are you gonna go party with em? or will you sit back like a loner, blow your own trumpet from a distance, and just wait for people to become spontaneously enlightened to your brilliance and come sprinting from every direction to ravenously click FOLLOW? If you are a brand that gets it, you will go join the other parties and start pouring better champange. If not, you will probably remain in an isolated world.. promoting yourself.. and wonder why people aren’t listening.. why it’s not ‘working’.
Collaboration is one of the most powerful ways to grow and enrich community.. whether on your account or someone else’s. And if you aren’t collaborating then you are missing out on the most natural way to grow and enrich your Instagram community and discover people who might want to buy your product or service. To begin thinking like a true collaborator, consider this:
Would you rather:
2. Hear someone talk about how cool they are?
….eeeeexACTLY. So don’t make your Instagram be that guy.
When you talk about your own awesomeness, people might trust you.. but when others talk about you they are much more likely to. So in order to prepare yourself to recieve the golden praises.. you should start by making sure you are delivering something that is truly AMAZING and changes people’s lives. Beyond that, be relationship-oriented, support others when you can, and celebrate the greatness you see in people. These things will make your collaborations stronger and will help you find more opportunities to collaborate.
We have clients who have used this one single principle to gain hundreds of thousands of followers on Instagram.
Here are a few things you can do to start collaborating immediately:
1. IDENTIFY YOUR ALLIES
What are the top 5 other brands that your customer also engages with?
How does what you provide compliment what they offer?
What are 5 brands that share similar values to you?
Reach out to these brands to build a relationship and talk about what you have in common and discuss the ways you could add value to their community and cross promote!
2. CLARIFY YOUR OFFER
Identify how you could add value to other communities. Consider creating a custom product, service or piece of content that would cater to the desire of your target community. While a little work you should be able to refresh your current offering and adapt it, perhaps only even changing the language or packaging.
3. WAYS TO COLLABORATE
In true collaboration everybody wins. Arranging mutually beneficial arrangements takes some finesse but when you get it right others will sing your praises so you don’t have to! Here is a list of some of the ways you can partner with people for the win-win.
If you want to grow and engaged Instagram following, do these three things:
1. HAVE A CLEAR AND COMPELLING PURPOSE
2. PROVIDE VALUABLE EXPERIENCES THAT MAKE PEOPLE FEEL
3. CREATE WIN-WIN COLLABORATIONS WITH OTHERS
Schedule A Call With Me
and the more you have firing at one time the more successful you will be. I can almost guarantee that even with one or two of the avenues below going strong, you can generate momentum, as long as you have a solid product and brand (if you don’t, then I would check out my videos on personal branding and brand identity).
There is so much content out there on marketing and there is honestly no best practice. It all depends on you, your brand and your market. But over the years I’ve noticed some very specific things that when put in place with each other, leverage powerful results and really. . .it’s not that complicated.
Below is my 360° degree marketing strategy. These are 8 tips you can apply to your business today, right now, to create a foolproof marketing plan.
Now I know this isn’t life changing. You probably already have one, but I cannot stress the importance enough! A website is the forefront of your brand. It’s the hub where all of your content is going to be housed. It’s where you communicate. It’s the first impression that people are going to receive when they come to you, and as we know, first impressions mean a lot. Not only that. Are you on top of technology? Are you ahead of the curve? Are you desktop, tablet and mobile responsive? E-commerce is supposed to double and grow by 51% by 2017! That’s incredible! If you’re not in this game or on this wave, then you’re going to be missing out on a ton of business.
2. Content Creation
We all know that content creation is key; not only is it great for organic search and driving traffic but also gives your brand a voice. What are you trying to communicate to the world and how are you going to do it? The best marketing strategies utilize all three: Quality video, the written word and photography.
3. Social Media
Connect and engage with your audience. We all know what social media is and the best strategies utilize all of the big boys; Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Google +. Figure out how you can cross promote, build your communities and drive brand awareness through both organic content creation as well as paid advertising. It’s also a great way for you to get customer feedback, get new customers and increase your revenue. (Click here for “13 Social Media Tips Needed for Driving Engagement and Revenue Immediately”)
4. Grassroots Marketing
Good old grassroots marketing, what does that mean? It means getting on the ground…getting face to face with people…having conversation. In my opinion nothing is more valuable and important to your business than developing rapport with people one-on-one. You can communicate your brand; you can show them new products; share your story; get user feedback and you can develop quality, lasting relationships. Think about ways in which you can engage with your local community, such as non-profits. This then creates valuable opportunities for generating content and building your brand’s equity.
5. Events and Sales Opportunities
Think industry trade shows, pop-up shops, local events and local markets for instance. Any way in which you can get your brand on a ground level selling directly to a consumer. This also ties in with grassroots marketing.
6. Co-Branding (Brand to Brand Collaboration)
The power of collaboration. I cannot express how powerful this can be for your brand. What co-branding does is It allows you to cross pollinate with other brands. What stories can you tell together? What products can you create? This is an incredible way for you to exchange followers and leverage each other’s communities to grow both of your businesses.
7. Public Relations (PR)
To pay for PR or not to pay for PR, that is the question? There’s a ton of things that you can do without paying for PR.
For instance, bloggers. There are millions of bloggers in tons of different markets and their jobs are to write reviews and talk about other people’s businesses and products – take advantage of that!
Think local. How can you become the hometown hero? Pitch local editors on the opening of your new store or pop-up shop.
Think PR stunts. Now I’m not talking about ripping off your clothes and going streaking but what can you do that’s outlandish and legal to help tell a story?
Celebrity seeding. Now we all know about the draw of a celebrity and yes, it can definitely help your brand to get your product on a one, but is it necessary? Absolutely not! If you are going to go down that route, make sure that the celebrity you choose alines with your demographic and your audience! You don’t want to go Beyonce if you’re selling to Farmers in Louisiana. Well, maybe you do. Maybe farmers in Louisiana…they probably love Beyonce, don’t they?!
The good ol’grandaddy of em all! Nothing beats, good old fashioned networking. Get out there rub shoulders, shake hands, and meet people. But make sure it’s friendship first and business second. Nobody likes desperation, don’t be that guy.
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What are these elusive terms? What do they mean and how do they apply to you in building your business and brand? I look at it simply, really.
1. Brand identity is how you see the world.
2. Brand equity is how the world sees you (and the value in that perception)
3. Branding is how you communicate and create those two
Brand Identity, how you see the world. This is about creating your brand’s filters. What is your vision, mission and purpose? The what, the how and the why of what you do. Your vision is the big goal. What do you want your business to achieve? Your mission is how you’re going to achieve it, that could be sales and marketing strategy. And your purpose is why you exist. Why do you exist at all and what is the reason and at the core of your business?
Think of your company and the branding of that company like a person. How do you talk? What verbiage do you use? What is your brand’s aesthetic? All of these things and more are what creates your brand’s identity. This is what you’re going to put outward into the world.
Brand Equity, how the world sees you. Now, how do you create brand equity?
Brand Equity equates to good will. What good will are you putting into your community? What are you doing for your customers? What are you doing for the world? What type of messages are you putting out into the world and how do people view you and your message? Brand equity is the intangible blood of your brand. There isn’t a specific metric for reading it’s value, but you can feel it in your community. You can see it in the way people talk about you and your brand. It lives in the experiences that people have with your product and you can definitely see it in your sales. . . or not.
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I believe that when we know our true selves, in our core, that creates the proper filters necessary for identifying possibilities and creating a future and lifestyle we want; A life that’s fulfilling whether that’s in personal life or within business.
When this is absent in business, and ultimately the people who are running those businesses, that’s when we run into corporate greed and profit above all else.
I love Frank Kern’s quote, when he says “your revenue is directly proportional to the amount of good will that you put into your marketplace.”
So I believe, it starts with knowing what you want; visualizing what you want to achieve and then figuring out how to build the vehicle to get there.
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