Is Your Startup Ready for a Digital Marketing Strategy? Part 2: Biz Dev & Marketing - Propelling Your Business Forwards

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Last time we covered the basics of business development (biz dev) and marketing and how they should work in sync to boost the visibility, growth, and potential of your brand. In this blog, we’re going to get to the nitty-gritty of what they can do for your business.

In an age where ad blockers are used almost as regularly as cybersecurity programmes, it’s time for brands to really focus on creating personalised marketing campaigns that add value to the business and deliver high-quality content to the consumer.

Gone are the days when a quick pop-up advert would sell your product or grow your community. The simple fact is people don’t really like adverts. But, to grow a business you need to advertise. So how do we bridge this disconnect?

It all comes down to swerving the hard sell and focusing on quality content that is innovative and appealing to the consumer.

There have been some really influential adverts out there, think of the classic Guinness surfer advert or Wrangler’s follow the yellow brick road, and of course, there’s the ubiquitous Compare The Meerkat adverts. It’s content you remember. And if you remember the advert, chances are you remember the brand. And that’s how communities are built.

Ad-mageddon

Ad blockers are having a huge impact on the digital landscape. Whatever the reason for downloading an ad blocking app — from protecting your PC from malware to just trying to cut down on unwanted content when watching Youtube videos, or browsing blogs — the fact is a huge number of people are now taking control of the content they view.

So how do you avoid the ad blockers, without annoying your potential customer base?

Quality content is the key. Consumers don’t want to swallow down rehearsed sales pitches or hard sell tactics. They want to understand the business. To know what the mission is. To really empathise and connect.

They want to feel valued.

Tell, Don’t Sell, Your Story

These days every brand is expected to have internet real estate — a blog, social media channels, it’s a great opportunity to use that space to really tell your story. This is where your combined dream team of business development and marketing really shine.

Marketing is all about identifying your core market. By choosing and focusing on the key demographic you can begin using analytics to delve into what really makes them tick.

Search out influencers and competitors in your sphere and look at what they’re doing, and then, do it better! You know your brand inside out, so use that knowledge and passion to create a well-crafted and planned marketing strategy. Create content that you would want to read. Let your personality shine through.

In April this year, The Museum of English Rural Life saw a tweet go viral. Their ‘absolute unit’ hit Twitter like a brick and then rocketed the follower base of the museum. The important thing to note: it was just a cleverly captioned photograph of a large sheep. It was on brand and there was absolutely no hard sell. It saw the museum’s follower count grow more than an advert could ever manage.

The take home from this? Know your audience. You may not be lucky enough to score a viral tweet, but by knowing who you’re pitching to you can turn what might seem like fun, irreverent content, into a marketing goldmine.

Biz Dev, Mos Def Your New BFF

So, marketing has helped you to identify your key market, what they like and how they interact online. You’ve developed a strong strategy to create and deliver personalised content across your platforms.

What next?

Business development. So, let’s dig into it.

Biz dev is essentially is the creation of long-term value for an organisation from customers, markets, and relationships. Marketing has helped you to catch the attention of a potential audience, biz dev is what will help you keep them. It turns a potential audience into your community.

The best way to do that is to deliver personalised, quality content that will engage and interest your followers. You can’t just reel out the same memes, blog posts and photographs week after week. Followers want fresh content that falls into their sphere of interest.

So, share your story. Break it down. Build value in your brand by moving your focus away from selling. It may seem counterproductive to not make sales pitches, but instead, let your content and products speak for themselves. Develop your business, not your sales pitch.

If you build it, they will come.

In part three of our series, we’ll take a look more deeply at how you can harness the power of social media to give your business a voice and an audience: Leveraging Social Media.

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