Minneapolis Marketing Agency

Pssst…Marketing Doesn’t Have to Suck!

Pssst…Marketing Doesn’t Have to Suck! 900 600 WildFigAdmin

“Ahhhh . . . This is so refreshing!” We’ve heard that a lot over the past couple of weeks. We’ve had several new clients who, after completing a Strategic Marketing Session with Wild Fig Marketing, have commented that they are once again excited about their marketing. More specifically, they’ve realized marketing can be fun, and it doesn’t have to suck!

Here’s what we recommend our clients do to make marketing fun again:

1. Infuse your hobbies and interests into your marketing content. If you love to downhill ski or fly-fish, think about how you could tie that hobby/sport into your business. For example, if you were a financial planner who loved to fly-fish, you could write a blog about the correlation between preparing to fly-fish and preparing for your future. What lures/financial tools do you need? How much time should you allot? How do you find the best fishing spots/right mixture of financial products?

You get the idea, right? Take something you find fun or enjoyable and incorporate it into your marketing content. It will make content writing much easier. It’ll also help you connect with your customers and prospective customers. Who knows? Maybe it’ll help you land your next big client who also happens to love fly-fishing!

2. Tell a story. Stories are incredibly powerful and memorable. Think about it: How many stories have you heard already today? I consider myself a master at taking everyday stories and turning them into opportunities to educate and connect with my customers and prospective customers.

For example, a blog article I’m working on right  now is about my dog, Steve, who’s incredibly persistent and a bit naughty, too. But it’s also about  about the importance of persistence when following up with prospects. I’m going to tie it to the story about how Steve conquered our garbage due to his persistence. Stay tuned–this will be a funny one, I guarantee!

See, marketing really can be easy and fun when you tie it to your everyday stories! Think outside-the-box and use your stories to educate people in a more meaningful and memorable way.

3. Incorporate your personality and voice. This is SO important to remember when it comes to all of your marketing content. So often we forget that people do business with people, not businesses. If your marketing content sounds just like everyone else in your industry, what will set you apart? Make it easier for your prospective customers to identify with you by infusing your personality as well as your company’s personality into your content. Don’t hide your larger-than-life personality or your calm, soothing tone of voice.

EMBRACE it and USE it!

Want to test how effective this idea is? Go find one of the brands you follow or buy from on a regular basis and read their home and about us pages. Then go to their competitor’s website and read their home and about us pages. Which one drew you in? Which one would you buy from? I’d bet that you’d choose the first brand again because you connect with them and their messaging. There’s nothing wrong with the other brand. They are simply appealing to a different audience.

Marketing doesn’t have to suck. If you incorporate your interests, stories, and personality, it can even be fun! If you’re still feeling uninspired, Wild Fig Marketing can help you find a fresh perspective.  Contact us today to get started.

Every Good Story Has a Villain

Every Good Story Has a Villain 900 600 WildFigAdmin

As a business, do you know yours?

When you think of the components of a great story what elements come to mind? Plot, setting, conflict, resolution – all important elements, right? But there is one central story element that underlies each of these elements and that is the relationship between the protagonist and the antagonist – the hero and the villain. Without a struggle between the two any potentially good story will otherwise fall flat. This is also true in terms of content marketing. Let’s take a look specifically at the important role of the villain and how this element of story can propel the success of your marketing efforts.

First off, why do we love a villain? David Robson, in his blog British Psychology Society, describes how when we witness the good vs. evil tension in books or film the empathy network part of our brain displays the greatest response. We long to see our hero shine brightly and triumph over his/her adversary. What is a hero without an adversary to overcome? Marketing expert Donald Miller has some thoughts on this, “Villains deepen our love for the hero of the story and captivate our attention – we keep watching because we want to see our hero take the bad guy down.”

In the same way, incorporating a villain into your marking efforts gives you the opportunity to position your brand as the shining hero that saves the day. As a business owner you are well-acquainted with the hero of your story – the product or service your business provides. In the hands of your customer this product or service equips him/her to do battle against the villain of your story. But who exactly is your villain? What is it that your brand goes to battle against and triumphs over? Is it a competitor, a nagging problem, a lack of knowledge or expertise…? Or maybe it’s crummy customer service, a confusing process or a safety hazard…? This is your story and you can tell it exactly how you want. You may even consider creating a piece of company lore about your brand’s place in the world.

One company that has knocked this ball out of the park is REI. In 2015, the outdoor gear giant took a marketing leap with their #optoutside campaign. They pitted holiday consumerism as the villain, closed the doors to all their retail stores for a day and encouraged consumers to rally against this big bad villain by spending Black Friday making outdoor adventures and hashtaging them on social media. In doing this REI discovered that there are literally millions of people out there who want to join this fight. Long after the Black Friday campaign is over consumers continue to feel a strong sense of brand loyalty to REI by choosing to #optoutside (5.5 million hashtags and counting!) in this worthwhile fight.

Utilizing “the villain” in your brand’s content marketing strategy will not only give your audience something to rally against therefore increasing brand loyalty but it will also make your brand stand out from the competition by highlighting its unique attributes. Mac pulled this off successfully in its series of Mac vs. PC commercials a number of years ago. Mac strategically pitted itself against the PC by personifying PC as boring, nerdy, clunky and irrelevant while casting it alongside of its own hip and progressive image. While the villain in this marketing campaign wasn’t inherently evil, Mac portrayed PC as something many consumers want to rally against – convention for convention’s sake. This campaign won over countless consumers who want to embrace a hip, progressive and more user-friendly personal technology experience as reflected by Mac’s 36% increase in overall sales the first year of the campaign.

Strategically incorporating a hero-villain dynamic into your content marketing strategy can ignite a passion for your brand’s cause and give consumers something to stand behind – increasing brand awareness and loyalty. If you want help clarifying the villain in your brand’s story, sign up for one of our Cultivator Strategic Marketing Sessions. One of our marketing experts will help you identify the villain you’re trying to overcome and help craft a perfectly detailed strategy to help you attract and retain more clients and generate more revenue!

Online Reviews: A Powerful Tool For Your Business

Online Reviews: A Powerful Tool For Your Business 900 600 WildFigAdmin

In this information age where the vast majority of consumers have a computer at their fingertips Bright Local finds that 88% of consumers consult online reviews prior to making a purchase. What’s more, 84% of consumers trust online reviews as much as they trust a personal recommendation! In other words the vast majority of consumers are forming an opinion about your brand and the product or service you offer before they even make a purchase. This is a big deal. Online reviews provide free marketing for your business while generating greater brand awareness and building consumer confidence. As a business owner it’s wise to utilize online reviews to propel the success of your business.

How Can Online Reviews Benefit my Business?
Women on mobile device.When reviews or “feedback” for your product or service are posted online in connection to your brand your SEO or search engine optimization increases substantially. In fact, it has been quantified that online reviews affect search results for your brand by 8.4%. Therefore, because online reviews increase SEO significantly and are valued as highly as personal recommendations they ultimately contribute to increased revenue for you business by driving more on point traffic to your website.

Online reviews are also a great tool that allow you to become better acquainted with your customer. Think of those reviews as a window into your customer’s world. Who are they and what do they value about your business? You may be surprised to learn what it is that is really attracting customers to your brand. There are likely other businesses that offer similar products or services but you may find that numerous customer reviews for your business highlight a specific attribute (professionalism, nostalgia, innovation…) that separate your brand from the competition. When you are better able to identify what distinguishes your brand in the mind of your customer you can better capitalize on it.

The Power of Positive Reviews
Some business owners are concerned about offering online reviews on their website for fear that any negative review could potentially sabotage their brand. It is important to consider the benefit of customer reviews – both good and bad. Reviews offering praise for your product or service will shed light on what your business is doing that is working well. When you see recurring praise for your product or service you can be assured that continuing to direct effort into that area will continue to yield satisfied customers.

The Potential with Negative Reviews
Okay, so negative reviews. Can they sabotage your brand? Certainly. If your website’s reviews section has even a handful of negative reviews that are left unattended potential customers may not stick around to see what it is your business has to offer. However, if you engage with your unhappy customers by replying to his or her negative reviews in a respectful, engaged, let-me-make-it-right manner you harness the potential to turn the ship around. In fact, Bright Local found that 1/3 of initially unsatisfied customers whose complaints are attended to in this way either go on to delete their negative review or replace their negative review with a positive one! When potential customers happen upon this exchange your integrity as a business really shines and increases their confidence in your brand. This is the power of customer satisfaction!

Providing a platform for online reviews on your business website is a shrewd business move. When carefully attended to and when utilized to fine tune your business operations, online reviews will propel the popularity of your brand and the success of your business. If you could use a little guidance with how to go about harnessing the power of the online review, contact us to set up your free 15 minute consultation today!

Our 5-Minute Strategy for Overcoming Writer’s Block and Coming Up with a Content Plan

Our 5-Minute Strategy for Overcoming Writer’s Block and Coming Up with a Content Plan 900 600 WildFigAdmin

When it comes to content marketing, two of the biggest frustrations I hear from small business owners are “What should I write about?” and “Where do I start?”

Let’s Face It: Content Marketing Can Be Overwhelming

Knowing where to start and what to write about are the two biggest factors that paralyze business owners and cause them to avoid content marketing. Wild Fig Marketing gets it. Honestly, it was a struggle for us, too, until we developed a content calendar.

4 Key Factors to Consider before Creating Your Content Calendar Before you can create a content calendar, consider these key factors:

  1. Do you know who your target audience is? If you are not clear on who your audience is, do not move forward. Understanding your target market will make creating a content calendar much easier and a lot more effective, too.
  2. Your customers aren’t interested in your company or the features and benefits of the products you offer. They simply want to know WIIFM (What’s In It For Me) and the impact your product or service will have on their lives. Spend more time solving their problems and less (if any) time selling your product or service.
  3. Why do you need content? Blogs? Newsletters? Social media posts? Make a list of all the channels you’re using to market your business. Use the list to organize your calendar.
  4. Utilize the “Reduce, Reuse & Recycle” theory. If you are a dentist, you could write a blog on the Top 3 Reasons to Brush Your Teeth. That blog could then be featured as a guest blog on an orthodontist’s website who you have a working relationship with. Then the blog could be featured in your newsletter that goes out to patients and prospective patients. It could also be turned into three separate social media posts. Look at all of the different ways we were able to utilize that one piece of content!

Content Calendars Remove the Guesswork From Content Marketing

Now that you’ve addressed the four key content marketing factors mentioned above, let’s look at how a content calendar can remove the guesswork from content marketing.

5-Minute Content Calendar Exercise

  1. Grab a piece of paper and a pencil or pen.
  2. Write down the 12 months in order vertically on your piece of paper.
  3. Set a timer for 5 minutes.
  4. Write down the first theme that comes to mind for each month. Themes can address what your clients are going through that month, holidays that occur, or reasons why your readers want your products/services that month.
  5. Don’t overthink it…that’s what got you stuck in the first place!
  6. After your 5 minutes is up, dig a little deeper into the themes you came up with. What would a good blog topic be for that month? How could you take that theme and break it down into social media posts?

 

Here’s An Example of How This Works

Let’s imagine I own a winery(which I would love, by the way!). Here are the 12 months of themes I came up with when doing the 5-minute exercise.

    • January: Health benefits of wine
    • February: Romantic date ideas
    • March: Lucky wines (symbolism of wine and how it correlates with luck/prosperity)
    • April: Easter recipes/wine pairings
    • May: Mother’s Day
    • June: Grilling recipes/wine pairings
    • July: Red, White & Blue
    • August: Summer vacation spots—wineries
    • September: How to taste wine
    • October: Spooky facts about wine
    • November: Thanksgiving Recipes/wine pairings
    • December: Holiday gift-giving etiquette

Pretty simple, right?

Now you’ve got a great start to your content marketing for 2018. The next step is to dig into these themes a bit more and create an actual content calendar that is easy for you and your team to follow. Give yourself a deadline for completing the first draft, editing, and publishing your content.

Still seem overwhelming? Our automated marketing experts can help you get figgy with it! Contact us today for your content calendar consultation.

The Importance of a Marketing Strategy Session

The Importance of a Marketing Strategy Session 900 600 WildFigAdmin

Good marketing makes the company look smart, great marketing makes the customer feel smart. – Joe Chernov

32% of B2B marketers say they have a documented content marketing strategy. (Content Marketing Institute, 2015) Marketing Strategy Sessions are a great way to be proactive with your efforts and ensure your marketing is delivering the results you want.  In this video, Kari talks about why it’s important to have a marketing strategy and how our Marketing strategy Sessions can help! Book yours today: http://bit.ly/2voQJVZ

Taking the Patient Experience from “Ow!” to “Wow!”: An Automagic Case Study

Taking the Patient Experience from “Ow!” to “Wow!”: An Automagic Case Study 900 600 WildFigAdmin

We all love earning new business. When a new patient entrusts their health to a new health care provider, it’s particularly exciting. That’s what Wild Fig Marketing discovered when we worked with a local chiropractic clinic. With a staff of 25, the clinic had a lot opportunities to make sure its patient onboarding system crossed its “t”s and dotted its “i”s. But there was a lot of opportunity for details to slip through the cracks. It was time for some automagic!

An Automated, On-boarding Campaign Designed to Turn “Ow!” to “Wow!”

After a comprehensive consultation with the clinic, we uncovered several opportunities for the clinic to stay in touch with new patients and even cross-sell products and programs that would help patients improve their health. We built an automated, new patient on-boarding campaign that began with a simple online form the clinic’s front desk staff would complete when a new patient booked an appointment. Once they filled out the form and clicked submit, the following sequence would automagically begin:

  1. Immediately: Welcome email sent to the patient with a personalized note from the doctor they’d be seeing along with an appointment reminder, a map to the office, and links to forms to complete along with instructions.
  2. 1 Week after Appointment: Follow-up email sent after the patient’s first appointment that addresses expectations and communicates the keys to a successful treatment plan.
  3. 5 Weeks after First Appointment:  After 6 weeks of treatment, patients typically start feeling better and their visits become sporadic. To curb this behavior, the sequence sends an email 5 weeks after treatment that addresses the benefits of completing the program. It includes testimonials from other patients who did not complete their program and had to start their treatment program all over again taking them longer to heal.
  4. 8 Weeks after First Appointment: This follow-up email features the clinic’s other programs and products that can assist patients in living healthier lives.
  5. 12 Weeks after FIrst Appointment: This email includes  a built-in survey to help improve patient retention.  If the survey is positive, the clinic asks the patient to post a review online. If the survey is not positive, the clinic is notified via email so they can follow-up personally.

This campaign has become a powerful patient retention tool for the clinic.  The system could be applied to many different industries, from chiropractic clinics to accounting firms. If you’d like to explore how a campaign like this could improve your customer retention, please contact us!