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Sustainable Marketing – A Case Study

Sustainable marketing starts with sustainable business.

 

‘Sustainable’ can be defined as the following, Able to be maintained at a certain rate or level.

Sustainability is often used in reference to environmental and social consciousness, however, in this context, it will be referred to the internal environment of your business. Here are my definitions:

Sustainable business: I define a sustainable business as one that is sound financially, has a long-term plan, and is growing at a rate that can be maintained. This business has low turnover in staff and clients (or members).

Sustainable marketing: I define sustainable marketing as something that grows with your business and isn’t a quick fix, program, or short-term campaign.

So, how do we start to build a sustainable marketing program? Sustainable marketing starts with building a sustainable business. Let’s start there using the context of a gym, specifically a Crossfit affiliate.

So, you’ve opened a Crossfit gym. You want to invest in marketing to get more members signed up for your on-ramp program. You’ve been running your own social media, and get your coaches to help out, but understand that having a consistent strategy is important and you don’t have the time to run it yourself. Where do you start?

Start with WHY

Having worked with dozens of small businesses who each have their own strong and unique ‘WHY’, I’ve been doing a lot of thought on our own (93 Agency’s) WHY. A company’s mission should not only apply to their operations but also should dictate all marketing and branding efforts. This is why at 93 Agency we focus so much on our client’s WHY to get down to what they really want to achieve, and how they want to share that with the World.

Over the years 93 Agency’s WHY has slightly evolved, much due to the inspiration and example our clients set. I strive to educate clients in my area of business expertise, however, they also equally educate me.
My goal is to support YOU, the business owner, so you can focus on bettering yourself and your business. If you’re feeling more stressed about social media after the “start-up” phase of our relationship, then I’m not doing my job. I want you to feel like you’re in good hands and that you can spend less time online, and more time with your customers, staff, and/or family.
At the end of the day, relationships are the backbone of a business. Social media is often seen in opposition to building human relationships and connections, but I don’t see it that way. My goal is to help you build more of these connections and to support businesses who strive to connect with more people in order to help their clients and the community with their products and/or services.

I’d love to hear more about your why, and how I can help you help others. I’m always available via email (natalie@93agency.com) to chat (no commitment) about your goals, growth, and marketing.

-Nat

Founder, 93 Agency

New Year, New Focus | Fitness Marketing

I’m excited to announce that we have decided to focus our efforts on helping businesses in the fitness, health, wellness, sports, and outdoors industries!

Why?

It’s my passion! As an athlete myself, I wanted to merge my love of health, fitness, and sport, with my profession and other passion for marketing. It seemed like the natural progression, as 93 agency has slowly been focusing on clients within these industries, and has seen the best results there due to extensive experience in these industries, as well as knowledge and continuous learning of all areas of these businesses. Own a gym, studio, clinic, store, or brand and want to build your business? I can help!

Not part of these industries but want to work with us? We’ve worked with businesses in several other industries, including but not limited to: tech, e-commerce, SAAS, retail, automobile dealing, engineering, and service businesses/locations. We also consult for individuals and professionals.

Contact natalie@93agency.com if you’re interested in getting started!

Storytelling 101: A Guide For Small Business | Content Creation

 

New businesses often have common ‘startup’ issues. As an agency that specializes in finding and solving these common issues, we can tell you that most of those mistakes can be easily spotted on your online presence and through your content creation process.

 

What does storytelling have to do with your business?

 

First of all, storytelling is a form of entertainment. Naturally, as humans we feel the desire to be entertained. The beauty of storytelling is that it allows us to escape reality very briefly, detaching us from the stresses and responsibilities of everyday life. Social Media is often the perfect distraction from reality because of how quickly we can consume the content. If someone is surfing around social media, they are likely going to different pages, while watching their own news feed. Now imagine if you could get one of these users to stay in one place for an extended period of time. The chances of them making a purchase in the store is much higher, right?

That’s where storytelling comes in. You want to keep your guests (potential customers) interested so that they will stay in your store long enough to make a purchase. The same theory applies to your digital and social marketing. As consumers, we are thirsty for more content. At the same time, there are so many marketing messages directed at consumers that they don’t know what to look at. It’s our job as the marketer, to make sure that our message is the one they are paying attention to. How do we do that? Storytelling.

 

What story will you tell?

 

Every business has a story, the same way every person does. Where did you start? What problem are you solving? Incorporating elements that speak to the history of your brand and personality in your marketing strategy will ensure that your business is relatable. If your consumers can relate to your brand, then they will trust your brand. Brand storytelling is our way of letting the consumer know that we understand their personality, their lifestyle, and most importantly, what satisfies their needs. Just like a best friend would.

After all, if a consumer trusts your brand, they will be loyal. Everybody knows that 80% of your business comes from the loyal 20% of your customer base, so it’s no surprise that the secret to the long lasting success of any business is trust.

 

How do you build a story around your brand that people can trust and relate to?

 

People aren’t stupid. They know if it’s worth following a particular page or not because they can almost instantly tell whether or not the content they are looking at is valuable to them. That’s why the quality of your content is so important. It’s important to always focus on providing VALUE.

Imagine that your newsfeed is like the first chapter of a book. If I don’t like what I’m seeing in the first few pages/posts, then why would I subscribe to suffer through more boring and invasive messaging that I can clearly tell is meant to sell me on something? That answer is, I wouldn’t. And neither would you. Create content that you yourself would enjoy viewing. Ask yourself, is my content valuable in helping my customers with issues they may be having? What questions is it answering?

Then, build your story through a steady, consistent stream of content that highlights your brand’s best qualities. These qualities could be in the form of services, products, and more. The idea is to openly show them the things you care about. By doing this, you are showing that you care about more than just selling, and that you want to help them with their pain points.

 

Conclusion

 

Hopefully you have a better understand of why spamming your page timeline with promotions and advertisements will not build trust with your customers. What will build trust with your brand and customers is transparency and credibility. People will follow and support your business because they believe in your story. Remember to entertain, entertain some more, and then entertain again.

Why do you think we call a tissue a Kleenex? A copy machine a Xerox? Storytelling, my friends. Storytelling.

Video Marketing for Small Business | Video Marketing

It’s no secret that video posts generate higher engagement on social media. In fact, over 60% of small businesses have added video marketing to their social media marketing strategies. So what’s new?

Over the last few years, brands have been steadily adopting video marketing strategies into their overall communications. In 2013, marketers predicted that video content would account for 50% of all internet traffic. It’s now 2017, and guess what? Video content now accounts for 80% of all internet traffic! The point is, if you’re a small business owner and your current marketing plan doesn’t include video content, you’re missing out. Big time.

 

Videos are social engagement magnets.

A Facebook video receives, on average, 135% more organic reach than a Facebook photo. Videos are also 6x more likely to be retweeted (Twitter) than a photo. Thanks to industry research like this, we can begin to see a trend in what kind of content elicits a response from your audience.

Most of the content that we see on social media is text-based. So, when someone finally sees a video on their feed they can’t help but focus their attention on it. From there, you just have to keep them interested.

Social media is much more cost-efficient than traditional forms of advertising such as; the local newspaper, magazines, radio, and especially TV. The cost of creating a video will depend, but getting your video to reach potential customers is free. If you want to spend a little on promoting your post to reach more people, you can do that as well. There are so many options that allow you customize your ads that overspending is virtually impossible.

Builds trust and improves brand image.

75% of users have visited a company’s website after watching one of their videos on social media. Videos are also easier to remember. In fact, 80% of users can recall a video ad they saw 30 days ago. 90% say that videos helped them in making purchase decisions.

Your brand is your personality. As a consumer, they will have a much easier time making a connection with that brand’s personality if they can see you, hear you, and understand you. As we mentioned before, roughly 2/3 of small business owners are using video marketing in their social media strategies. As a consumer, I’m going to view the brand that has put more effort into earning my attention as more credible.

Increases your SEO rankings.

Google loves video. You’re actually 53 times more likely to show up first on search results if your company website has a video embedded on the landing page! The reason for this is largely because consumers will spend more time on a page with video on it. By watching the video, they are staying on that page. This tells Google that the content is valuable and is a good place to send others searching for similar things. Since Google owns YouTube, the benefit of having a YouTube channel for your business is large.

To make sure Google picks up your company’s video on its radar is optimize your video title, tags, and description to match appropriate keywords that people might be using to find your video. Uploading your video to multiple channels will increase your ranking, as will having it shared by your followers. Higher engagement tells Google that others found your content useful. As a result, Google will rank your brand name higher than those with little engagement. By investing in video marketing that you are actually investing in SEO as well.

Easy to Digest.

Reading a product description or filling out a form can be highly tasking. It’s easier for a consumer to simply watch and listen to a video for 30-90 seconds before making a decision.

This decision will depend on your video’s purpose and what action you want your viewers to take. Your consumers want to see your product or service in a real life situation. Something that they can relate to. Videos leave less to the imagination than photo ads and thus, are less confusing and easier to digest. This is why most people can recall video ads over a print ad.

Conclusion

Video marketing is one of the best ways for small businesses to separate themselves from the competition. With some practice and a little bit of help, your next successful video could go viral in your local community!

Thinking about getting started with video marketing and have a few questions before you’d like to get started? Sign up for a free social audit with the experts at 93 Agency!

If you’re a small business owner and have a marketing problem you want to be answered, fill out a contact form and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible!

Social Media Marketing: Luxury or Investment?

Social Media Marketing: Luxury or Investment?

Written by: Natalie Allport
Busting the Myth

We’re often faced with the situation of clients who are hesitant to make the financial investment towards social media marketing. It’s a common mis-thinking among small and medium business owners that social media is a luxury, when in fact, it’s a necessary investment. Whether you’re starting up, are highly successful, or struggling to make ends meet, social media can provide you with unmatched ROI. Not only that, but social media is a NECESSITY for achieving credibility, superior customer service, and remaining competitive. Just as you would budget for office or commercial space, social media should be worked into your base monthly expenses. We see many businesses from start-ups to established organizations focusing their budgets on marketing that produces little to no ROI. Simply because they’ve always done it that way, their competitors do it that way, or they simply are misinformed. It’s not whether your business can afford social media marketing, it’s whether it can afford not to.

Social Media vs Traditional Marketing

Is most traditional marketing outdated and expensive? Yes. Is there still room for traditional marketing in your marketing mix? Yes. However, which should you focus on first? Social media (digital marketing) or traditional marketing? Which is the more important investment? We’ll let the data do the talking.

In terms of cost per thousands metrics (CPM: how many $ you need to spend to reach 1000 people) there is no comparison to social media. In fact, social Media costs HALF as much as the next most effective traditional marketing channel.

Credit: Lyfe Marketing

 

Additionally, there are hidden costs to traditional marketing, such as advertising costs increasing during peak times and large changes in pricing due to production expenses rising.

Social Times Blog has a great Infographic that shows more statistics and key differences. You can check it out here: http://www.adweek.com/socialtimes/social-vs-traditional-media-marketing/466873

Ultimately some of the key differences can be outlined in the following chart:

Here’s a great infographic which compares content (digital) marketing with traditional marketing:

Credit: Marketo & Digitalist Magazine

Credit: Marketo & Digitalist Magazine

As times change, so does the way we do business. This is why social media is becoming THE main marketing channel for business of all types and sizes, including both B2B and B2C organizations.
Necessity

Why do you need social media? Out of necessity, of course.

First, social media provides your business with increased credibility. With a majority of end users or consumers going to social media pages prior to even visiting websites (and needless to say, before visiting your physical location or calling/emailing), it is important to have a professional presence on social media. Having professionally managed, aesthetically pleasing, and popular social media accounts is comparable to having a dentistry certification on the wall of a dentist office. Better than a review, a professional and strong presence shows that you are a credible tried and true business.

Additionally, social media can and should be used as a base for any other marketing campaigns you may have (traditional or not). All marketing campaigns should send people somewhere, why not send them to social media where they can positively share their experiences or post about the campaign? Imagine asking people to post photos of themselves with your product but having nowhere for the campaign to link to. This is where you can add a #hashtag and ask users to @tag your account(s) where people can find more great content, information, and links.

From a consumer perspective, I personally would be hesitant to check out a business for the first time that does not have a strong social media presence. I almost never go to a business’ physical location without checking out their products, services, reviews, and content on social media prior. The truth is that we are in the digital age, where people like to know everything before they go anywhere or do anything. If the ice cream shop down the road has a stronger social media presence than yours, then chances are I am going to go there rather than yours, despite whether you have the best ice cream in the world or not.

Lastly, social media is a necessity for providing superior customer service. We receive several comments, messages, and reviews everyday on client accounts which we are responsible for monitoring, engaging with, and responding to. Engaging with customers in this way develops long-term customer retention. In the case of negative postings, through simply listening to a customer complaint the issue can be resolved. We recently had a scenario where a customer wrote that he received untimely and unprofessional service at the physical location and would NEVER return. We responded within minutes thanking him for sharing his experience so we (our client) can improve upon this and letting him know that this is not what we (again, our client) strive for in the way of customer service. The customer was quite surprised at receiving a response and noted that the response was worthy of a second chance! From never returning to a second chance within minutes!
Generating Sales

It all comes down to this. Can social media provide a return on investment? Quite simply, yes it can. With millions of local and worldwide social media users, potential customers are out there. Using targeted advertisements and informative posts can help you reach and engage with these potential customers. We know how to take advantage of social media to generate leads, increase sales, find and engage customers, and drive traffic to your business.
Ready to Make the Investment?

Is your handshake strong or weak? As your online first impression, social media is integral to the success of your business. No matter your size, industry, or goals, we can help you achieve your social media and digital marketing goals in creative and cost effective ways.

I’ll leave you with this:

“You can’t win the lottery without buying a ticket. Thinking of social media as a luxury that you can only afford ONCE you’ve reached your goals is like hoping to win the lottery without yet buying a ticket. You have to make the investment first.” -Daniel Sesiakin
Ready to dive in? Email us at getsocial@93agency.com!

Client Interview: Eric Kunstadt, Kunstadt Sports

LAST WEEK WE HAD THE PLEASURE OF SPEAKING TO ERIC KUNSTADT, PRESIDENT OF LONG-TIME 93 AGENCY CLIENT KUNSTADT SPORTS. ERIC DISCUSSED HOW WORKING WITH 93 AGENCY HAS BOOSTED THEIR ONLINE PRESENCE, AND HE GIVES SOME ADVICE TO OTHER SMALL AND MEDIUM BUSINESSES WHO ARE SEEKING RESULTS THROUGH SOCIAL MEDIA AND DIGITAL MARKETING.

Credit: Natalie Allport, 93 Agency

Credit: Natalie Allport, 93 Agency

*THIS INTERVIEW WAS CONDUCTED VIA TELEPHONE. THIS IS A TRANSCRIPT OF THE PHONE CALL WHICH OCCURRED ON JULY 14TH, 2016 AT 9:03AM.*
N (Natalie Allport): Good morning Eric!

E (Eric Kunstadt): Good morning back to you Natalie!
N: I’m going to get right into it and get started with questions. The Kunstadt name is a staple in Ottawa. Could you tell us more about how your business got started?

E: Well, we started it back in the ’80s when we (Eric and brother Ron) were still in high school. We ran the business out of our parent’s home. More on a part-time basis, and we operated there for about 5 years during university. In 1993 we signed our first commercial space lease and that’s where it all took off!
N: You guys reached out to me a few years ago when you wanted to get started on social media, and had done some work on your own before that. What were your social media efforts like before working with myself and the 93 Agency team?

E: About 5 years ago, we were invited to a conference that was put on by a radio station. They had a guest speaker that was speaking to about 300 local business people. He said that businesses should be focused more on social media marketing to drive sales. Since that day we haven’t spent a dollar on radio, tv, or print advertising, and focused all of our energy and resources on the online aspect. Before we started working with 93 Agency we tried to do it in-house but were not able to achieve success in the long-term. At first, we were motivated to get into it, but with everything else that needs attention in our business, our team would get into it for a couple weeks and then something would come up and we would get distracted and forget about it. We realized it was important to have someone to manage it properly and consistently in order for the audience and reach to grow and keep growing.
N: We’ve been working together for several years now! How has business changed since then?

E: There’s always ups and downs in business and there are a lot of factors that go into play. Right now, things are on the up and up and a lot of that can be attributed to social media and marketing, staff training, and the market itself, in terms of competition and seasonal demand. Whenever we have a new announcement, we definitely use all of our digital assets, whether it’s Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Email… all of those are great tools for a business like ours in a city like Ottawa. We’ve definitely seen significant growth in our reach and sales since working with 93 Agency and having you guys manage these marketing efforts.
N: Would you agree that social media is something that takes full-time dedicated attention?

E: When you’re operating a business with 50 employees and three different locations, there’s a lot of projects on the go and deadlines that are happening with purchasing and receiving goods, so having a team dedicated to social media management is a huge weight off our shoulders which allows to focus on other things like delivering quality customer service and products that people love and keep coming back for. It’s aa collaborative effort and we try to do a bit on our end, but we really wouldn’t be able to able to do it without the help of 93 Agency.
N: We really appreciate the respect you have for what we do! We believe that social media is, and if it is not already, should be used as the main marketing channel for small and medium businesses. Would you agree?

E: I do. We’re almost 100% online and digital with our marketing, other than doing live events and demos. Even then, social media helps us leverage these events and activities by promoting them online and creating a conversation or buzz to get people there in the first place.
N: Has working with us given you a competitive advantage in your market?

E: Definitely! We’ve really been able to take advantage of using social media to reach our customers and keep them updated.
N: What would you say to small and medium business owners who are hesitant about starting on social media? Would you recommend they start on their own, or recruit an agency?

E: They should definitely hire an agency. It’s best to go to the experts, which is what you guys are! They should also get familiar with the forms of media that they want to be using. It will help you appreciate the success of the agency’s efforts and it will help you understand it more as you grow your business. A good idea can come from anywhere and anyone and you need to know what content to send to the agency. It helps to understand how much effort really goes on behind the scenes.
N: Thank you so much for your time! As you know, we love working with you guys and the relationship we have built. It’s been awesome to see how we’ve grown together, Kunstadt being our very first client! Is there anything you’d like to add before we conclude the conversation?

E: We love working with you and enjoy seeing how the agency is growing and helping us grow! It’s great to see how the relationship has built and will be exciting to see where we will got together in the future. We are definitely in this for the long haul and appreciate all the effort you guys put in! It’s important that we’ve built a close long-term relationship, as you guys have been able to spend time getting to know our business really well, which is why we’ve both been so successful.
From the entire 93 Agency team, we thank Eric and Kunstadt Sports for the trust they have given us. Thanks especially to Eric for the information and knowledge you shared with us throughout this interview. We hope this helps to encourage other businesses to boost their online efforts and recognize the effort it takes to reach this level of social media success.

Want to learn more about Kunstadt Sports? Check out their website: www.kunstadt.com

Looking for more information on social media management? Email us at: getsocial@93agency.com