What Politicians Could Learn From Marketers

What Politicians Could Learn From Marketers

I’ve got to be honest, I never thought this would happen. All my life I have been quite anti-politics (much to the ire of my family) and while I keep up to date with what’s going on, my interest in the subject is limited to almost 0. However, recently I’ve started to think. Politicians who are out to secure votes and win the public’s confidence – like they currently are for the general election – aren’t really all that different from the business owners I work with every day. They are reaching out to people and trying to convince them to buy into their promises and their abilities. And this got me thinking. What tips could politicians take from marketing gurus that would really help them appear likeable and gain that confidence?

Branding

 

If you want to market an idea, you need good, strong branding. Figuring out what you stand for and how you come across is an essential part of marketing, and it’s something politicians often try – but fail – to do. It’s actually something that Jeremy Corbyn has been very good at. He has staked out his views and beliefs (aka his brand) and he has stuck to it with a stony-faced defiance that you can’t help but admire. Like it or not, political parties are brands, so they have to stand out in a crowded and noisy marketplace, just like any other brand. The ideologies you stand for as a politician are exactly the same as those you would employ as a business owner. But your success will only be as strong as your branding – so the more thought, time and effort invested into it, the more memorable you will be. Notice there that I didn’t mention money there. Good branding is not always the most expensive or flashy – it’s the one that’s been best thought through and most consistent.

Research

 

For a business to market itself effectively, they need to research their target market, find out what matters to them and speak to that. It’s the basics of good marketing, and you will find the brands with the most successful campaigns are the ones who have done comprehensive market research. Once you understand who you’re talking to and what’s important to them, it makes it much easier to sell yourself to them. Granted, that’s much simpler when you’re selling a product or service as opposed to a philosophy, but the general idea is the same. But what I see in reality is politicians who have completely missed what motivates the general population in a leadership campaign. It’s not tax cuts, it’s not grand empty gestures, it’s leadership – with substance. If politicians were more attuned to market research, there might be more community focussed policies and popularity around politics.

Consistency

 

Once you have a brand, it’s important not to go off brand, and not to lose your dignity along the way. For example, when McDonald’s challenged about their ingredients, they carefully planned films and broadcast a series of videos and other adverts that spoke directly to that concern. They came across as open, honest and trustworthy, and the brand came out the other side better than when they entered the fray. But what’s that got to do with it? Well, we have all seen the politicians (not always British ones) get drawn into irrelevant sideline discussions and enter schoolyard style brawls in an attempt to dirty their opponent. Whether it’s who can be tougher on immigration or which of them cares more about a certain issue, these petty arguments always result in lower confidence and lost votes. As a business with a strong brand, you know who you are and what the issues really are – so you should be able to handle the bumps in the road without getting rattled. Instead, rise above the rest of it and maintain your brand values consistently, and you will always come across the better party.

Capitalise On Events

 

The inspiration for this entire post came from one simple fact – this years’ local elections were held on May the 4th. Now anyone who is or knows a Star Wars fan (so basically everyone) knows the cult popularity of this date, which is unilaterally known as ‘Star Wars Day’. So why, on local election day, did not a single election candidate in the South (I can’t speak for other areas) capitalise on this fact? In a time where politicians are desperately trying to appeal to the younger generation of voters, showcasing that they are at least aware of their culture is a no brainer. Sure, dressing up as a Jedi at the polling station might be going a bit far, but as far as engaging and unique publicity goes, this was an open and depressingly empty goal.

 

And so at the end of it, I’m still not all that interested in politics (but yes, I am voting this year, so no comments about that please). I truly believe that politics needs a complete rebrand, to take us away from a system that leaves so many disengaged and disappointed with the way the country is run, but feeling like they have no voice to say so. And to do that, politicians should definitely take some advice from the marketing world.

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What The Hell Is Content Marketing?

What The Hell Is Content Marketing?

Whenever I meet new people and tell them what I do, I am almost always greeted with a blank look. While we may have chosen the term ‘creative content agency’ because we like the ring to it, the nuts and bolts of what we do is content marketing. If you’re trying to market your business online, odds are you’ve heard about content marketing somewhere along the line. It’s everywhere you look, with 86% of businesses today using it in one form or another. But if you don’t practice content marketing, do you know what’s involved, what it means, or how you can weave it into all of your marketing efforts to make them more effective?

What Does ‘Content Marketing’ Mean?

 writingContent marketing is defined as ‘a strategic marketing approach focussed on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience – and ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.’ A bit of a mouthful! In essence, the point of content marketing is to attract and retain customers by creating, curating and retaining content that is relevant and valuable to them. By doing this, you are portraying yourself as a thought leader in your subject, establishing trust and ultimately changing or enhancing the behaviour of your customers. This could be convincing them to start using your service, change the way they behave towards something or encouraging them to talk about your brand.

Of course, change doesn’t happen overnight. The key thing to remember about content marketing is that it’s an ongoing process that needs to be integrated with your overall marketing strategy. The creation and dissemination of original content and media is essential, and for this to have a noticeable effect it needs time to circulate and build an audience. I’ve lost count of the number of people who tell me they quit blogging or using social media because they didn’t see an increase in sales after the first 2 weeks. If you’re going to invest in content marketing, you need to understand that you are playing a long game, and it might be a while before you see any significant results. The concept of content marketing is built around the tried and tested idea that if we as businesses deliver consistent, ongoing, valuable information to buyers, they will ultimately reward us with their business and loyalty.

How Does Content Fit Into My Marketing?

The marketing world has been undergoing a subtle shift for decades, moving away from direct selling and advertising and towards subtle, broad marketing strategies. Today, marketing your business effectively is almost impossible without great content. Quality content affects all forms of modern marketing, including:

  • calendarSocial media – content sharing is a fundamental part of all social media strategy.
  • SEO – search engines rank and reward businesses that publish regular, quality content over those who don’t.
  • PR campaigns – Successful PR campaigns don’t talk about the business but address issues the audience cares about and discusses them, through content.
  • PPC – For a Pay Per Click campaign to work effectively, you need great content behind it.
  • Inbound Marketing – Driving traffic to your site and generating inbound leads revolved around drawing uses in with great content.

Essentially, for any marketing activity you can think of, content now plays a key part in its execution and effectiveness. Today’s consumers don’t want to be sold to (in fact, many would actively avoid buying from a business that ‘hard sells’), instead, they want valuable information when making their purchasing decisions, which is where content marketing comes in. Once you have created your content, it can spread through social networks generating powerful word of mouth exposure and convincing people to visit your site and buy. The takeaway here is that content marketing should be an integral part of your marketing process, not something completely separate.

Intrigued? Content marketing is as powerful and effective as the time and money you put into it, so if you want to see great results, be prepared to jump in with both feet. Not sure you can create your own content? There are always people out there to help you out – like us! At Eleven Eight we not only create high-quality content, but we teach you how to create and spread your own content. Want to know more?, Give us a call or drop us a line for a chat with absolutely no obligations.

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More specifically, let’s talk about how our whole view towards this innocent little word has been completely skewed by the school system, and how we can set this right. You see, today (March 4th), is National Grammar Day. So I would be remiss if I didn’t use it to...

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Whenever I meet new people and tell them what I do, I am almost always greeted with a blank look. While we may have chosen the term ‘creative content agency’ because we like the ring to it, the nuts and bolts of what we do is content marketing. If you’re trying to market your business online, odds are you’ve heard about content marketing somewhere along the line. It’s everywhere you look, with 86% of businesses today using it in one form or another. But if you don’t practice content marketing, do you know what’s involved, what it means, or how you can weave it into all of your marketing efforts to make them more effective?

 

What Does ‘Content Marketing’ Mean?

 

writingContent marketing is defined as ‘a strategic marketing approach focussed on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience – and ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.’ A bit of a mouthful! In essence, the point of content marketing is to attract and retain customers by creating, curating and retaining content that is relevant and valuable to them. By doing this, you are portraying yourself as a thought leader in your subject, establishing trust and ultimately changing or enhancing the behaviour of your customers. This could be convincing them to start using your service, change the way they behave towards something or encouraging them to talk about your brand.

Of course, change doesn’t happen overnight. The key thing to remember about content marketing is that it’s an ongoing process that needs to be integrated with your overall marketing strategy. The creation and dissemination of original content and media is essential, and for this to have a noticeable effect it needs time to circulate and build an audience. I’ve lost count of the number of people who tell me they quit blogging or using social media because they didn’t see an increase in sales after the first 2 weeks. If you’re going to invest in content marketing, you need to understand that you are playing a long game, and it might be a while before you see any significant results. The concept of content marketing is built around the tried and tested idea that if we as businesses deliver consistent, ongoing, valuable information to buyers, they will ultimately reward us with their business and loyalty.

 

How Does Content Fit Into My Marketing?

The marketing world has been undergoing a subtle shift for decades, moving away from direct selling and advertising and towards subtle, broad marketing strategies. Today, marketing your business effectively is almost impossible without great content. Quality content affects all forms of modern marketing, including:

  • calendarSocial media – content sharing is a fundamental part of all social media strategy.
  • SEO – search engines rank and reward businesses that publish regular, quality content over those who don’t.
  • PR campaigns – Successful PR campaigns don’t talk about the business but address issues the audience cares about and discusses them, through content.
  • PPC – For a Pay Per Click campaign to work effectively, you need great content behind it.
  • Inbound Marketing – Driving traffic to your site and generating inbound leads revolved around drawing uses in with great content.

Essentially, for any marketing activity you can think of, content now plays a key part in its execution and effectiveness. Today’s consumers don’t want to be sold to (in fact, many would actively avoid buying from a business that ‘hard sells’), instead they want valuable information when making their purchasing decisions, which is where content marketing comes in. Once you have created your content, it can spread through social networks generating powerful word of mouth exposure and convincing people to visit your site and buy. The takeaway here is that content marketing should be an integral part of your marketing process, not something completely separate.

Intrigued? Content marketing is as powerful and effective as the time and money you put into it, so if you want to see great results, be prepared to jump in with both feet. Not sure you can create your own content? There are always people out there to help you out – like us! At Eleven Eight we not only create high quality content, but we teach you how to create and spread your own content. Want to know more?, Give us a call or drop us a line for a chat with absolutely no obligations..

4 Marketing Myths We All Need To Stop Believing

4 Marketing Myths We All Need To Stop Believing

The great wide world of marketing is something that many people know something out, but it’s very rare to find someone who knows everything. In fact, I’d go so far as to say it’s impossible. Marketing is a huge field with a lot of opinions and ideas, some of which work and some don’t. you can follow the best advice out there but it might not work, or follow none of it and see great results. What amazes us is that there is still a large portion of people who believe and perpetuate some ideas about marketing that have been proven to be completely false. These can at best leave customers with unrealistic expectations and at worse cause some serious harm to their business. So naturally, we wanted to bust some of them for good and sort the fact from fiction.

Content Creation Is The Same As Inbound Marketing

This is by definition untrue. Content creation is the act of conceptualising and creating content (fairly self-explanatory), whereas inbound marketing encompasses all marketing activities that bring visitors in, as opposed to having to go out and get prospects attention (outbound marketing). Inbound marketing earns the attention of customers, makes the company easy to be found and draws customers to the website by producing interesting content. Obviously creating content is a very important part of this and will help to give your customers the information they want and establish you as an expert, but just creating more content alone won’t bring you results. It needs to be combined with your web design, SEO efforts, your social media presence and interaction, email marketing, marketing automation and conversion process in order to be effective. Content is really only 1 part of the puzzle.

‘I Just Need A Website And I will Get Customers’

Yes, having a website is really important and it’s a vital first step, but that alone won’t get you customers. Let’s get rid of this ‘build it and they will come mentality once and for all. It only worked in Field of Dreams anyway. Nothing in marketing works in isolation, instead relying on complementary efforts to produce results. If you simply build a website and leave it there, you won’t see any results –we’d be willing to put money on it. You have to put yourself out there and promote for people to notice you above the throng of thousands of other businesses competing for your prospects attention.  If you are not using other marketing and advertising tools to put yourself in front of them, it is impossible for you to be found and generate sales. Unfortunately, it’s no longer good enough to simply have a pretty website, you’ve got to know how to use it too.

If I’m Doing Something, It’s Better Than Nothing

This ideology is nothing short of insane. Marketing costs money, so if you’re just doing something because it fulfils the mandate for ‘doing marketing’, you are literally just throwing money away. Before you start saying yes to the first thing that comes along you should be doing research to figure out which marketing efforts will bring you the highest ROI. You need to define and hone your message and brand identity, dedicate time and money to making sure your message is getting to the right people and the resources to monitor, evaluate and change the direction of your marketing to make it successful. If you aren’t able to do that then marketing is just a way to camouflage throwing good money out of the window.

Marketing And Advertising Are The Same Thing, Right?

WRONG! It’s amazing how often we still hear the terms marketing and advertising being used interchangeably as if they were the same thing. Let’s clear this up. Advertising means buying time or space to relay a message. Like buying a billboard on the side of the road or a prime time TV slot to run your advert. It is a part of something bigger. Marketing, on the other hand, is the act of moving a product from concept to customer delivery and drawing in those customers. This encompasses the ideas of your company, your brand, how you communicate, the design, processes, measuring of effectiveness and market research. In short, marketing is a bloated giant of a concept, while advertising is relatively straightforward and small part of it. Marketing activities can include blogs, email newsletters, customer research, cold calling, search engine marketing and so much more. For small and medium sized businesses, advertising is actually the worst performing form of marketing, because advertising is a mass market tool, whereas most small and medium sized businesses are aiming for a niche market. So instead, they employ wider marketing tactics to gain new customers and raise awareness.

Marketing is a never ending task for every business out there, not least because there are so many options to try and avenues to go down. That’s why it’s important to take a measured view of your activities and understand how everything works and what it could do to your business. Hopefully shedding some light on these common marketing myths have helped to shape your ideas moving forward and will make your next marketing effort all the more successful. For more information on marketing myths and the truths behind them, or just to talk to us about your marketing strategy, get in touch today for your free consultation.

4 Tips To Get Your Business Blogging Right Every Time

When it comes to marketing your business, it’s difficult to work out what’s worth doing, and what would be a waste of money. And even once you’ve got it all sorted, it can be a challenge to find the time to do it all, especially if you’re running the business on your...

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When I talk to people about copywriting, it always surprises me. Not that some people think I work in copyright law (I’m very used to that mix up), but that a lot of people don’t consider it as a skill that requires a lot of learning to do well. In some cases, they’re...

Let’s Talk About ‘And’…

More specifically, let’s talk about how our whole view towards this innocent little word has been completely skewed by the school system, and how we can set this right. You see, today (March 4th), is National Grammar Day. So I would be remiss if I didn’t use it to...

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Truth time. Was creating content on your to-do list for 2018? If it was, how much of it did you actually manage? Did you start that company blog and keep it going? Refresh that website, or write that fantastic e-book that’s in...

What Is PAS, And Why Do You Need It In Your Copy?

Copywriting isn’t a paint-by-numbers process (sorry folks!). There is no secret formula for you to follow to produce magical, compelling copy just by filling in the blanks. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t formula’s out there that can help you. To give you a...