I’d like to share with you four resolutions to make your business more memorable in 2016. If you want to be successful in 2016, you need to step up your game. The world is moving fast. Things are changing. More and more people, businesses, and brands are vying for our attention every day. Some of us have so much to do that it can sometimes feel overwhelming. With attentions split and schedules full, our time is the most precious asset we have. So how do you go about getting people to spend time thinking about you? Make these four resolutions and follow them.
Designate a Media Budget
When it comes time to designate your annual media budget, the most important thing is to be realistic. This is your investment in your future and is comprised of two assets, money and time.
Those with little money will need to spend more time and those with little time will need to spend more money to see the same return on investment or ROI. You’ll need to set aside funds and allocate the time necessary to reach your business goals. Remember to be realistic. With a solid budget in mind, you’ll be prepared to allocate your resources most effectively.
Decide which media channels to use and which of those to focus on most. While every situation requires a unique solution, budgets are generally moving away from traditional media (print, radio, TV) and towards digital (web, email, search) and especially social media.
Develop a Content Strategy
Rule number one for any content is to bring value. Value is the guiding principle behind a good content strategy. If you’re not sure what your target audience values, you need to do your research and find out. Understanding context is paramount. Only after you understand your audience can you move on to creating a useful content strategy.
First, define the basic content types you’ll be working with. Examples of these would be photos, quotes, infographics, articles, and videos. Then, list any specific variations. Examples of these would be photos of cats, quotes from famous artists, articles about business success, and short video interviews.
Decide which types to use for which channels. Also, what modifications might be necessary to make one type useful for multiple channels. Avoid using generic, one-size-fits-all content. Different channels require different content. Misunderstanding this fact can really hurt your effectiveness.
Also consider frequency and timing of your content. Too much or too often, and your audience will be annoyed. Too little or too infrequent, and your audience will lose interest and forget about you. So figure out a rhythm that works for you. You don’t always have to follow the plan though. Sometimes spontaneity is called for. So the best strategy is clearly defined, yet still allows flexibility for contextual adaptations.
Maintain a Strong Brand
Make sure all content is consistent with your brand. This is your identity. Your character. If the message in your content isn’t on point with your brand, your audience will be confused.
To maintain a strong brand, you must periodically check for deficiencies. Are there any negative connotations associated with it? Does it seem out of date? How can it be improved? Once found, correct or fix any deficiencies in your company vision, tag line, logo, color scheme, typography, tone of voice, or any other aspect of your brand.
Look for additional branding opportunities and always include your mark, logo, or tag line with everything you do! Create custom variations for use with each channel and/or content type. Make it easy for them to remember you.
Listen for Context
Keep in mind you don’t HAVE to make any of these resolutions. It’s up to you to show your audience how much you care. Likewise, nobody has to pay attention to you or buy your product either. That’s the give and take of business.
To show them you really care, make sure to listen. Listen more than you speak. Listen to every bit of feedback – good or bad – and respond sincerely. But that’s not all. Listen also to the other things they’re saying. You’ll pick up all sorts of contextual clues that otherwise would be missed.
This heightened awareness of context will lead to deeper engagement that can’t be faked, or automated. With so many voices competing for attention, it’s often the ones who listen that are most memorable.
Thank you all for your continued support!
Happy New Year from Middle Ear Media!