Knowing how to increase awareness of your products is a continual challenge for new and niche brands. For some of our clients it's their number one priority, especially when they have something exciting that's backed up by market research.
Working with award winning brand Salty Dog crisps presented us with such an interesting and irresistible challenge. Although they had become an established brand in pubs and on trains - their communication with customers was minimal and their social reach was surprisingly small. On Twitter for example they had under 1000 followers and very little engagement. In addition they did no B2C email marketing at all - in fact they did not even have an email list.
Working closely with the owners we set about combining three key elements to our strategy for increasing reach:
1. Their strength was the product - crisps! Everyone loves them. So we set up weekly competitions to give away the snacks through Twitter and a bespoke Facebook app which meant we also captured contact details of each participant so we could email them news, offers and other great things. In addition to creating a buzz (through hundreds of RTs) on Social Media (enhanced by some promoted posts) we built their email list from zero to 3,000 within a few months. We also increased Twitter followers 300%.
2. Developing relationships with key bloggers. By having the products continuously reviewed by food and snack bloggers we kept awareness of the products high and were able to reach new audiences. In addition, much of this this extra content was SEO friendly - further pushing the brand up the rankings (and into the top 12) thus helping the canine punch well above his weight. With the top UK food bloggers platform Foodies 100 reaching over 8 million people a year, engaging with this key network was a no-brainer.
3, Developing relationships with the media. Creating the right relationships with the media is essential and getting on the phone to key people was really important for Salty Dog (and their sister brand Darling Spuds). By focussing on the right attributes we secured coverage in mainstream, national press and put the products in front of tens of thousands of people, without paying a penny in advertising.
Whatever the brand, there's always a way to maximise awareness whilst playing to the strengths of your product. Keeping customers and potential customers in mind, it's relatively easy to accomplish great results - as long as the strategy is good and the work done systematically.
Most companies have noticed that although they spend time promoting their products and services on Social Media - it can be hard to establish a network of appreciative, paying customers. So here's a list of things that can help bridge that disconnect between your reach and your revenue.
1. Offer something for free
If you want to develop a community and create a conversation with potential customers, offering free products, services or exclusive content really works. Typically, conversion rates are much higher when you give something away. For example a project we worked on recently gave away self-development content for free in a series of videos, articles and downloads. Of the 1000 people that signed up (with their email addresses) 82 people converted to buying products generating over £9,000 in revenue - that's an 8% conversion rate! Platforms such as Aweber are ideal for this kind of sales funnel system - that delivers great, free content to your audience in an easy to manage, automated way.
2. Develop your email list
An email list is an essential part of any marketing strategy and it pays to keep this up to date - always asking any contacts or enquiries your receive if they want to be added. Always incentivise this, so in other words tell them why they should sign up - for example future discounts or content that may be pertinent to their industry.
3. Do promotional events
Live events are magic. A low cost or even free event creates the kinds of connections that matter. Events don't normally cost much to put on, but really pay back in terms of networking and educating people about what you do. Plus they can be huge fun.
Recently we put on a free social media clinic - working with a partner organisation. We pooled our resources and combined our marketing reach. It worked - and we made some great contacts in the process. This then led to a paid for workshop which was also really well attended.
4. Run competitions
Ok, so people love comps, that's obvious. But how do you maximise this?
Giveaways and competitions do really well on Twitter. The good side of this is that you can add to your following relatively easily. The down side is that whilst it's great to get more followers, typically only 10% will actually see your tweets. The best way to run comps is to ask the entrants to sign up for your email list at the same time. Email broadcasts (good ones!) are typically opened by 30-60% of subscribers - thus magnifying your marketing and sales potential.
We recently ran a series of giveaways for a leading artisan crisp brand - boosting their followers but crucially giving them thousands of email subscribers from scratch. Platforms such as Pagemodo can really help with this. The other thing to remember is to incentivise winners to talk about what they one, send you a photo for example or tweet you when it arrives and to offer something great to all the entrants e.g. a discount code.
Hope this list helps, any questions please leave them in the comments below.