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5 Rookie Social Media Marketing Mistakes You Should Avoid

Establishing a social media marketing strategy is essential for any business today. Research shows that over 4.26 billion of the global population use social media, and this figure is expected to grow to nearly six billion by 2027.

With such a vast potential customer base, businesses are clamoring on to utilize the power of social media to reach a broader audience and promote their products or services. However, social media marketing isn’t an easy feat. A simple mistake can quickly derail your entire strategy.

In a recent study, 90% of startups fail due to various reasons, including poor product and market fit, cash flow issues, and poor marketing strategy. Moreover, 22% of those businesses that failed don’t have a solid marketing plan. If you’re not careful, your business could quickly go down the same path.

Some mistakes could doom your social media marketing efforts before they even get off the ground. Here are five rookie mistakes to avoid:

Not clearly defining and deeply understanding your target audience

Sometimes, promoting your business to everyone online can be overwhelming. After all, you want to reach as many people as possible, right? But this method may not be effective and could lead to waste and failure. Trying to target everyone could result in a scattered and unfocused message that’s unlikely to resonate with anyone.

Instead, you need to focus on a specific target audience and niche down to remain relevant. To identify your target market, below are some questions you should consider:

  • Who is your ideal customer?
  • What are their interests?
  • What are their pain points?
  • How can you help them?
  • Their motivation and where they spend their time?

Answering these questions will help you create content tailored to your target audience. You can also create a buyer persona or maybe a few, a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer. According to a report, 90% of marketers say that buyer personas have helped them better understand their prospects. And 82% of businesses successfully take advantage of this resource.

Defining your target market is a fundamental step in effective social media marketing. Without a clear insight, you’ll likely be wasting time and resources on tactics that don’t work. So, take the time to determine whom you’re trying to reach before you plan and execute your marketing strategies.

Content for content’s sake. Keep them engaged!

Once you’ve identified your target market be sure you create value in your content that they’re interested in. Before publishing anything, there’s one crucial factor one must consider: what’s the purpose of the content piece?

Your content should always have a purpose, be it to educate, entertain, or inspire your audience. Of course, it should be relevant to what you’re offering and make sense.

To narrow down your search, here are a few things to remember:

  • Your content should be interesting, informative, and highly valuable.
  • It should be shareable and relevant to your potential customers.
  • Using high-quality videos is essential, with images and infographics to make your content more visually appealing.
  • Platform appropriate

Taking the time to create high-quality, engaging content will help you stand out from the competition. Did you know Meta delivers only 4-6% of your content to your most engaged followers organically! So it’s vital to reel them in and make use of the many placements and create specifically for those engagers where they like to hang out most. It’ll also give your audience a reason to stick around and follow you.

The table below shows the behaviour of people and as Simon Kemp mentions in Datareportal, it’s worth noting why they go there. For example TikTok users want to be entertained and recent data from TikTok’s end of 2022 report shows people come away feeling the happiest after time on this channel. In contrast, LinkedIn would be information and news updates.

Not posting consistently -too frequently or infrequently

This practice could result in your content getting lost in the shuffle. More importantly, potential customers are likely to forget about your brand entirely.

Here’s a quick summary of how often you should post on your social media accounts:

  • Meta (Facebook)

With three billion monthly users, four to five times daily is a good rule of thumb if you want to stand out but woah that’s a huge time commitment for any SME right. We hear you! The secret sauce is meet them with content that they want to engage with and make it visible in different formats and placements of course ensuring the most energy is invested into video content. This can sound hard but take time to understand where to post within the platform however if you’re wanting to show up here, energy into organic is vital in 2023.

  • Instagram

It’s the second most popular social media platform, and Meta’s ad revenue is like a 55/45 split between Facebook and Instagram these days. eCommerce shopping is huge on Instagram so be sure you’re active here. With their newest rival TikTok taking  hold of video and good feeling engagement, your goal should be to come up with reels that can compete with the Tiktok’s viral content. If it’s any indication, Mark Zuckerberg has been working harder on IG reels engagement to catch up on Tiktok’s big lead and sliding into the mix this year is YouTube shorts.

Take a look at the following tips on how to make your IG reels go viral:

  • Keep it short and sweet – attention spans are now 7-13 seconds!
  • Be creative and original
  • Use trending audio but check commercial rights if you’re pushing with paid
  • Avoid being too promotional and salesy – nobody wants to be sold to
  • Stick to a theme or niche hashtag wisely and provide value
  • LinkedIn

It’s a professional networking site with 722 million users. People use it to connect with like-minded professionals and learn about new business opportunities. You should post not more than five times a week on this platform.

  • YouTube

According to Statista, over 694,000 hours of video were streamed on YouTube in a single minute as of April 2021. You Tube has more than 2 billion users globally. It’s the second biggest search engine after Google. Posting one video per week is the ideal goal. After all, this task isn’t an easy feat as it involves scripting, filming, and, more importantly, editing.

  • Twitter

According to Pew Research Center, 57% of users understand a specific event better when they see it on Twitter. To strike a good balance between annoying and informative, aim for three tweets a day. Twitter is getting attention right now due to Elon Musk making the headlines and his controversial take. Hey if there’s eyeballs, be seen!

  • TikTok

TikTok is took the stage in 2022 on social. It has 1.5 billion active users worldwide (Nov 2022) – perfect for promoting your brand, especially to a Gen Z audience. According to Hootsuite, 1-3 times a day on TikTok will benefit most brands.

If you’re new to social media marketing, it’s best to start organically to grow at least 1000 fans and gradually increase your posts’ frequency over time. Keep an eye on the data and engagement indicators to get a feel for what works best for your audience, and adjust your posting schedule accordingly. More people are using TikTok to search today too so keep this channel in sight! Bear in mind users go there to be entertained and data shows 99.9% of users exist on at least one other social platform. And 84% share their love with Facebook.

Keep up with new emerging channels we expect to see as gaming, metaverse and NFTs show up and the popularity of Messenger communication rises.

Know your competition

In this competitive landscape, it’s almost impossible to succeed in any industry without understanding what your competitor is doing, especially if they have a tonne of fans online. The same goes for social media marketing. Before anything else, conduct a competitive analysis to know what type of techniques your rivals have and the content they’re posting.

You can also use social media marketing tools to observe your competitors. These tools allow you to see the following:

  • When their potential customers are most active
  • How much engagement their posts are getting
  • What type of content gets the most engagement
  • Who their most influential followers are

Collecting this valuable data gives you insights into what’s working well for your competitors and where there’s room for improvement. You can then use this information to fine-tune your strategy.

Understanding Data and Key Metrics

Lastly, one of the most common mistakes is not measuring marketing results. Track and monitor your progress so you can identify what’s working and not. Without this information, you’ll have no way of knowing if your social media marketing efforts are paying off.

There are several key metrics that you can use to measure the results of your marketing efforts. Some of the most important metrics to track include:

  1. Traffic: The number of visitors to your website or the number of people who see your ads.
  2. Conversion rate: The percentage of visitors who complete a desired action, such as making a purchase or filling out a form.
  3. Revenue: The total amount of money generated from your marketing efforts.
  4. Cost per acquisition (CPA): The cost of acquiring a new customer or converting a lead into a customer.
  5. Customer lifetime value (CLV): The total amount of money that a customer is expected to spend on your products or services over the course of their relationship with your business.
  6. Return on investment (ROI): The profit or loss generated from your marketing efforts, calculated by dividing the revenue generated by the cost of the marketing campaign.

By regularly tracking these metrics, you can gain a better understanding of the effectiveness of your marketing efforts and make informed decisions about how to allocate your marketing budget.

 

Conclusion

Avoiding these social media marketing mistakes will help you fast-track and set your company up for success. Don’t let these pitfalls trip you up – keep them in mind as you build and execute your social media marketing strategies.

 

 

3 Simple and Effective eCommerce Marketing Strategies for Boosting Sales

Recent statistics show that eCommerce spending is expected to reach 36 billion dollars in 2023. That is a massive 20% increase from 2022 and we want you to get a slice of the action.

Thriving brands are considering how best to navigate the turbulent times we face right now. To stand out in a crowded online marketplace, e-commerce brands need to challenge their own status quo and focus on being customer-centric. This requires regularly evaluating and updating their marketing strategies to ensure that they are meeting the needs and preferences of their target audience. Consumers demand authentic value and are likely to purchase from purpose-driven brands. Considering ways that make sense for your brand’s uniqueness encourages visitors to stay longer and makes them more willing to pay a premium for your product or service.

This article is not how to develop your edge but rather a quick look at 3 simple and actionable marketing tips that deal with some of today’s typical challenges for eCommerce entrepreneurs faced with the challenge of supply chain, rising shipping costs and the growing challenge of ensuring a flow of user generated content is taking place for your brand.
 
As you read this write down one idea from each that makes sense to improve or implement and add a date you commit to execute, this way, your time will be well spent right here! Enjoy.

Creative Thinking and Pre-Sale Articles

Post pandemic brands are seeing an easing of the complexities in supply chain issue, the latest lockdowns in China and high energy and fuel are still challenges facing manufacturers today however managing inventory and balancing cashflow efficiently is a well-known business challenge. According to a report from Retail Dive, brands lose as much as USD$1 trillion a year in revenue through simply running out of stock through lack of inventory management. After all, the worst user experience is when shopper finds a product to purchase, adds to cart and discovers it’s out of stock!

So, what can you do if you’re in this position, you’ve had a run on a popular item and you’re going to be out of stock or your new product launch is delayed?

Run a Pre-Sale promotion!

A pre-sale article is a type of content that is published before a product or service goes on sale. It’s typically used for new product launches and a great way to boost cashflow. The purpose of a pre-sale article is to generate interest and excitement in the product or service, and to encourage potential customers to make a purchase when the product or service becomes available or even pre-pay for priority delivery. Pre-sale articles can take many forms, including blog posts, social media posts, or email campaigns. They may include information about the features and benefits of the product or service, as well as details about the upcoming sale or promotion.

Pre-sale articles can be an effective way to build anticipation and drive sales when a new product or service is launched. In this economic environment, it could be that pre-selling existing inventory involves promoting an offer to determine which item or service gets high enough demand to establish what is even worth replenishing if cashflow is tight.

The deliverables for a pre-sale campaign will depend on the specific product or service being offered, as well as the marketing strategy being used to promote it. Some common deliverables for a pre-sale campaign might include:

  1. A clear and compelling offer: This could be a detailed product description, a list of features and benefits that has a logical explanation for the pre-sale.
  2. Marketing materials: This could include promotional videos, emails, social media posts, landing pages, and other materials used to promote the pre-sale.
  3. Incentives for early adopters (new product only): These might include discounts, bonuses or other rewards for customers who participate in the pre-sale.
  4. A plan for fulfilling orders: This could include details on production and shipping schedules that carefully manage customer expectations.
  5. A system for tracking and managing pre-sale orders: This could include a customer database, an e-commerce platform, or other tools for managing orders and customer information.
  6. A plan for post-sale follow-up and customer support: This could include customer service protocols, warranty or return policies, and other measures to ensure customer satisfaction after the pre-sale period.

There are many creative strategies that can be put to work with Pre-sale articles.

The Need for User-Generated Content (UGC)

Perhaps nothing speaks of credibility more than actual customer social media proof in post that tag the brand and of course, authentic customer reviews from the buyers themselves. After all, they’re reflecting their own experience of the product or service for others to see —today savvy customers seek authenticity and will refer to UGC before deciding making a buying decision or whether to support the brand’s cause. User-generated content (UGC) can be a valuable asset for online direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands for several reasons.

Brands should garner UGC at every opportunity. UGC often carries more credibility than content that is produced directly by the brand, because it is seen as being more authentic and unbiased and therefore trustworthy. This can help to build trust with potential customers and increase their confidence in the brand.

 

Real customer reviews are almost ten times more valuable than brand-generated content or inputs from sponsored content.

UGC can also help to drive more traffic to a brand’s website and social media channels, as it is more likely to be shared by users than branded content. Finally, UGC can provide valuable insights for the brand, as it gives them a glimpse into how their products are being used and perceived by customers in the real world.

Retailers should the most out of UGC ensuring there is a flow of recent user content being displayed as reviews across all their products and services—including negative ones. We’re always proud to get a 5 star review however it seems questionable for users when they don’t see any other reviews rated lower than five stars. Receiving low-rated reviews is also an opportunity to improve and should always be promptly attended to by responding personally as the brand. Social listening is key because leaving messages floating around with no response can also indicate the brand is not caring or responsive to customer needs.

Need a creative way to generate a marketing campaign that brings high value user-generated content?

Host a contest or challenge on social media. Here’s how it could work:

  1. Identify a theme or topic related to your product or brand that would be of interest to your target audience.
  2. Invite your followers to participate in a contest or challenge by creating and sharing content around this theme. This could be a photo, video, blog post, or other type of content.
  3. Offer prizes or incentives for the best submissions. This could be a free product, a gift card, or some other reward.
  4. Promote the contest or challenge through your social media channels and email list. Encourage your followers to participate and share their submissions with their own followers.
  5. Select the best submissions and feature them on your social media channels and website. This could include sharing the content, tagging the creators, and giving them credit for their work.

By hosting a contest or challenge, you can generate high-quality user-generated content that aligns with your brand and resonates with your target audience. This can help increase engagement and build buzz around your product or service.

Below are a few more ideas for generating user-generated content easily:

  1. Host a Q&A or AMA (Ask Me Anything) on social media: Invite your followers to ask you questions about your product, industry, or anything else, and then answer them in a live video or written post. This can help generate engagement and content that is directly relevant to your audience.
  2. Run a social media hashtag campaign: Choose a specific hashtag related to your brand or product, and encourage your followers to use it when sharing content related to your brand. This can help create a centralized hub of user-generated content that is easy to track and showcase.
  3. Offer a photo or video contest: Invite your followers to share photos or videos featuring your product or showcasing how they use it in their daily lives. This can be a fun and engaging way to generate user-generated content that is both creative and authentic.
  4. Encourage reviews and testimonials: Encourage your customers to leave reviews or testimonials on your website or social media channels. These can be valuable sources of user-generated content that can help build trust and credibility for your brand.
  5. Collaborate with influencers or micro-influencers: Partner with influencers or micro-influencers who have a large and engaged following in your target market. Encourage them to create and share content featuring your product or brand, which can help generate high-quality user-generated content and reach a wider audience.

Is Free Shipping Critical for D2C Online Stores?

Online buyers often get turned off by shipping costs. It’s a competitive marketplace online and free shipping is widely expected. There are several reasons why free shipping is a vital conversion consideration for online brands today:

  1. Customer expectations: Many online shoppers have come to expect free shipping as a standard feature of online shopping. In fact, a survey conducted in 2021 found that free shipping was the most important factor for 76% of online shoppers when deciding where to make a purchase.
  2. Competitive advantage: Offering free shipping can help an online brand stand out in a crowded market and make it more attractive to potential customers.
  3. Increased conversions: Offering free shipping can lead to increased conversions (i.e., more sales) because it removes one of the common objections that shoppers have when considering making a purchase (i.e., the cost of shipping).
  4. Customer loyalty: Offering free shipping can help to build customer loyalty by creating a better shopping experience for customers which increases the likelihood of them returning to the brand in the future to repurchase – remember, repeat buyers is when profit happens!

How are brands able to absorb free shipping with rising fuel costs and increases in delivery charges?

There are several ways that brands can absorb the cost of free shipping despite rising fuel costs and increases in delivery charges:

  1. Offer free shipping only on orders above a certain amount: This allows the brand to offset the cost of free shipping by requiring customers to spend a minimum amount before they are eligible for free shipping.
  2. Include the cost of shipping in the price of the product: This allows the brand to absorb the cost of shipping into the overall cost of the product, rather than charging it as a separate fee.
  3. Use less expensive shipping options: Brands can negotiate better rates with carriers or use less expensive shipping options, such as standard ground shipping rather than expedited shipping.
  4. Use a fulfillment partner: Brands can use a fulfillment partner, such as a third-party logistics company, to store and ship their products. This can often result in cost savings due to the economies of scale and negotiating power of the fulfillment partner.
  5. Increase prices: As a last resort, brands can increase their prices to cover the cost of free shipping. However, this may not be a popular option with customers depending on the circumstances and relationship and can potentially lead to a decrease in sales.

It may require a combination of these strategies and higher level agency help to craft a strategy for your particular needs.

New data shows according to Forbes after surveying 3000 customers that “half of the people surveyed reported they altogether avoid retailers that do not offer free shipping, and 77% have abandoned a purchase due to unsatisfactory shipping options.”

Some buyers are willing to add more items to their cart to qualify for free shipping. We agree that it is possible that offering free shipping can increase the average order value (AOV) on a Shopify store. However, it’s important to note that free shipping is just one factor that can affect AOV. Other factors, such as the price and quality of the products, the effectiveness of the store’s marketing efforts, and the overall shopping experience, can also play a role in AOV.

In addition, it’s worth considering that offering free shipping may not always be the most effective strategy for increasing AOV. For example, if the cost of offering free shipping is too high for the store, it may not be a sustainable long-term strategy. In this case, it may be more effective to focus on other strategies for increasing AOV, such as offering bundle deals or cross-selling related products.

In conclusion, successful eCommerce stores understand that boosting sales and improving customer satisfaction requires more than just advertising. Improving the overall customer experience is a cost-effective approach that can have a lasting impact on the success of a brand. ECommerce stores can improve the customer experience through email notifications, showcasing proof of satisfied customers, and offering free shipping. By implementing these creative marketing ideas, eCommerce stores can effectively drive sales and build customer loyalty.

Ready to gain a competitive edge? Click here to learn our four-step brand growth plan and connect to learn more about a customized plan to work with this year and beyond.

 

Reference

https://www.invoca.com/blog/retail-marketing-statistics

4 Ways To Improve Your E-Commerce Business’ Customer Service

Customer service has always been a key aspect of any business, but it’s particularly important to note how it applies to eCommerce businesses. If done right, you can encourage your customers to return for a second experience and purchase multiple times from your online store, maximizing your customer lifetime value. Good customer service boosts brand values and becomes an extension of the marketing arm to increase customer satisfaction, loyalty, and ultimately, your bottom line. A good customer experience can improve your brand’s public reputation and is an important part of creating brand advocates.

Successful brands do customer service well!  Read this 5-minute blog and get four proven ways to help improve your customer service today.

Before we get started, it goes without saying that it’s important to establish clear goals and objectives for the customer service team. This will help ensure that everyone is on the same page with regards to what is expected of them. Secondly, brands should train employees on the brand’s values and how to deliver excellent customer service. This will help employees feel confident in their ability to provide great service and represent the brand in a positive light.

Measure the relevant metrics

Metrics are quantitative data that measure certain aspects of a business. In particular, metrics allow you to look into different factors of your customer service from an objective perspective.

Here are some examples of metrics associated with customer service:

  • Net promoter score (NPS)helps understand the power of referrals or the likelihood of a customer recommending your business to others; it’s not only an indicator of customer satisfaction but also business growth. The question to ask is ‘how likely are you to recommend us to a friend or colleague?’ You may allocate the responses into three groups: 0-6 will be the detractors, 7-8 are the passives and 9-10 are your promoters. Then, calculate the following equation: NPS = % of promoters – % of detractors. A higher score means they’re more likely to promote the brand and vice versa. Calculations involve subtracting the percentage of detractors or customers who’ve criticized your business from those who promoted it organically. Apple is a benchmark at 75.
  • Review Rate is the number of customers who leave positive reviews divided by the number of people who purchase from your store. Great customer reviews play an important part in influencing people to make a buying decision when they visit your store greatly improving your store conversion rate.
  • Returning Customer Rate (RCR) is an important metric as it’s well known that retaining a customer is less expensive than acquiring a new one. By maximizing this customer service KPI, you can reduce costs, or assign them to other channels that will grow your business.It is calculated by dividing the number of repeat customers by the total number of customers. A high rating implies your customers are loyal, trust your brand and like your product, assuming you’ve got a logical second and third product to offer.

If you wish to improve your eCommerce business’ customer service, keep track and measure these metrics. It’d allow you to determine whether you’re truly improving your customer service and delivering on the brand promise.

Brand Touchpoints – Set up different ways to connect with your business

One of the best ways to show the quality of your customer service is to respond quickly to customer queries and make it easy for customers to contact you. The worst customer experience is being told to wait for a response or engaging with Live Chat widgets only to find there’s long delays where they need to chase you to find the answers. Consider offering additional services, such as personalized product recommendations or one-on-one consultations with a product expert, to enhance the customer experience. There is increasing awareness about personal data and identity and customers have to be able to choose the communication channel that they feel most comfortable using. Automation should not be underrated when it comes to customer service, FAQs can be handled accounting for a large percentage of enquiries on the fly, totally satisfying and moving customers down the funnel to purchase. Providing various options to communicate is vital:

  • Video chat
  • Live chat
  • Messenger Apps
  • Email
  • Social media
  • Text messaging
  • Mobile or Phone
  • Voice activated service
  • FAQs

Listen and act on feedback

Often the gold lies in the customer feedback. The feedback typically has to do with your customers’ experiences. When a customer takes time to share their experience, it’s important to action and improve where applicable. Not only will you be solving the potential issue, but you’re also showing your customers that you’re a brand that listens to the customers.

Include self-service customer care in your store

The idea of self-service is often well-regarded by customers. It’s convenient and eliminates any difficulty of contacting customer support. According to Zendesk, 69% of consumers first try to resolve their issue independently, but less than one-third of companies offer self-service options. You can integrate a few elements that promote self-service if you wish to enjoy its benefits without the downsides. These elements may include:

  • FAQs: Customers often ask similar questions about a brand. With a page dedicated to answering these questions, customers don’t have to ask and wait for customer support.
  • Chat Automation: These are automations built to hold a conversation and engage with customers instantly with the advantage of being available 24×7. You can integrate this self-service element by simply enabling it when no agent is available if you do have live human support at times.
  • Knowledge base: A knowledge base is a section of your store dedicated to providing valuable information about your company and its products and services. It’s different from an FAQs page that only answers common questions. A knowledge base may contain answers to deeper questions, such as what your products are made of.

The FAQs page helps by getting visitors to know the company, while chatbots answer their more specific questions. Lastly, the knowledge base is where those that are truly interested in buying your products and services go. With these three elements set up, you can, in theory, serve customers with little to no effort.

Wrapping up

“68% of consumers say they are willing to pay more for products and services from a brand known to offer good customer service experiences.” – Hubspot

Customer service might only be one aspect of a business, but it has more impact on a business than you may think. It can greatly influence a brand’s ability to grow revenue and earn a good reputation while impacting employee and customer retention. That’s why successful companies spare no effort to improve this aspect of their business. It might be difficult, but it’s undoubtedly well worth the effort, so be sure your brand is doing what it can to reduce friction. To get the most out of your time with us today, write down 1 key item you’ll implement today and tag us with your takeout on social. Thanks for stopping by Beyond Points.


References:

  1. “8 Ecommerce Metrics to Measure Customer Experience”, Source: https://www.revechat.com/blog/ecommerce-metrics-measure-customer-experience/
  2. “What Is Omnichannel Customer Service? Definition, Importance & Strategy”, Source: https://www.zendesk.com/blog/omnichannel-really-means
  3. “The Importance Of Self-service For Greater Customer Satisfaction”, Source: https://enghouseinteractive.com/the-importance-of-self-service-for-greater-customer-satisfaction/

 

6 Steps For Creating A Business Growth Plan

Creating a business growth plan is essential for any company that wants to increase its revenue and expand its reach. It helps to establish clear goals, identify potential challenges, and implement strategies to overcome them. 

As an entrepreneur, you certainly have a bigger picture of where you want your business to be in the near future. Before any growth planning happens, it’s vital to know what success means to you. To achieve a set of business goals, you’ll need alignment with your team. Having a growth plan that defines the strategies to implement helps achieve your goals and keeps you true to your purpose, becoming the inspiration for your employees and other stakeholders in your business.

With a detailed business growth plan, you can achieve clarity knowing where to focus and what the profitable opportunities are to prioritize first, how to  recognize the lessons from past experience and what to avoid to prevent future losses, to further penetrate the market, minimize future risks, and increase revenue streams. Keeping you accountable, a business plan helps monitor progress at every step affording measurable accountability and to ensure no stone has been left unturned in the effort to reach the agreed goals. Planning and preparation is to power your business for unmatched growth.

That said, here are six steps to follow when creating a business growth plan:

Assess your current performance

Evaluating your overall business performance and target market gives insights into where your organization currently stands. One of the ideal ways to do that is by conducting a SWOT analysis which defines your key strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Essentially, this gives you a clear picture of your current and future potential. This way, you can plan how to capitalize on various business opportunities using your strengths and methods to eliminate threats by rectifying weak points.

Work with the right growth partner

Growth is a process, and making complex decisions on your own can be overwhelming. Therefore, it’s best to alleviate future barriers to growth by working with professionals who can help you achieve your desired business objectives faster.

A growth partner has the technical expertise to support your growth plan by ensuring you choose and implement effective strategies that make sense for suit your business growth stage. For instance, a partner like Beyond Points can actively work with you to identify the right marketing opportunities and craft creative and original campaigns suited to your specific product or service. With a wealth of experience behind in the organisation, they identify what makes sense strategically for your growth goals, growing your ability to grow returning customers and engaging and memorable brand experiences, profitably.

Outline and get clarity on targeted growth options

Unlike the typical business plan, a marketing plan addresses growth opportunities. Deep diving into a customized SWOT analysis is a start to identifying opportunities and key areas of expansion. Here are some business growth strategy examples for your consideration:

  • Diversification: Product line expansions or development of new commodities to meet demand.
  • Channel Strategy:Strength of brand visibility, community and responsiveness.
  • E-Commerce Economics: Understanding profit, cash flow and inventory management.
  • Market expansion:You may want to introduce your product or services in other regions to target new customers. This requires efficient market penetration strategies to win prospective buyers and drive sales.

Note that some of these initiatives are mutually beneficial. For instance, intensifying your marketing paid and organic campaigns will attract more customers and increase revenue.

Proof of Product and MVP

Knowing you are providing a solution for a real-world problem is key and of course, contributing to a relevant cause. today this is becoming vital by consumer demand. Market research and audits to leverage existing data are excellent ways to determine whether this is true or false. It’s possible to gather information using small scale paid social media tests, surveys and interviews, and analyze the data to unveil industry trends or learn more about customer behavior. Being clear of your competitive analysis and how it’s received by your target market will have a strong influence on your product market fit. Generally, the findings you uncover at this stage influence the strategic direction and type of goals.

Write attainable growth goals

Based on the above findings, you can clearly define objectives based on reality. Outline your short-term targets and long-term growth goals knowing in today’s economy one needs to be fluid and flexible, ready to pivot and adjust to the changing macro environment. Goals are key to actualizing and accomplishing your growth plan and should be smart and measurable:

  • Measurable:Quantifiable goals should be measurable and trackable – hint numbers to shoot for so you can recognize when the team gets close to or completes the milestones.
  • Achievable:Set realistic targets that you’re able to deliver and specify any roadblocks.
  • Relevant:Ensure your goals relate to the core growth objective or a particular skill.
  • Time-bound:This gives you a timeline for attaining a specific goal. For instance, you can set quarterly targets for acquiring new clients.

 

Include information on your growth tools

Next, list the growth tools you’ll leverage to fuel your expansion. They include:

  • Funding requirements:The capital you’ll need to fund your expansion and how you’ll get it. For instance, you can elaborate on ways to connect with potential investors or consider the need for partnerships.
  • Technology tools:The digital tools you’ll require to improve efficiency. You’d want to collaborate with e-commerce growth partners with long-term experience supporting online brands’ growth for a clear and strategic roadmap.
  • Marketing tools:How your marketing strategies evolve as you scale to ensure increased levels of customer engagement.
  • Human Resources: Ensure you have the human capital to grow.

 

Implement your business growth plan

Apply what you have on paper to your day-to-day business operations. Also, reviewing your growth plan from time to time is vital to track your progress and set yourself up for success.

Conclusion

A business growth plan brings the difference between success and stagnation. With the right business growth mindset, knowing the reason you wake up every day with clear strategic direction will keep you on track to domination and crushing the competition. Keeping yourself accountable as the business leader firstly, realistically evaluating current performance, preparing to take on growth opportunities, staying within realistic time frames, and supporting team with growth tools, should ensure your plan is successfully put into action.

There’s a lot to think about as a business founder or co-founder. Reaching that first million-dollar revenue goal and moving swiftly forward to manage the growth into multi-millions can be demanding as much as it is rewarding. Being supported by the right growth partners and a team who appreciate your long-term growth plans and goals can alleviate the pressure and allow time to enjoy the journey on your way to your success destination.

Remember, a business growth plan is a living document and should be reviewed and revised regularly to ensure it remains relevant and effective.

References

  1. “The Importance of SWOT Analysis”, Source: https://medium.com/dlt-labs-publication/the-importance-of-swot-analysis-2ae85762f4b8/
  2. “10 Business Growth Strategies: What, You Can GROW Out of Business?”, Source: https://medium.com/swlh/10-business-growth-strategies-what-you-can-grow-out-of-business-eb6032ea639b
  3. “Market Research”, Source: https://www.entrepreneur.com/encyclopedia/market-research
  4. “A Guide to Goal Setting”, Source: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/188454

 

 

 

 

 

 

From Ideation To Maturity: Understanding The 5 Business Growth Stages

Establishing a business requires hard work, determination and careful planning and strategy for it to hit the ground running. Business owners encounter various challenges, and their ability to overcome them determines their chances for success. As the business grows, it’s also essential for owners and decision-makers to adjust their strategies and be on the lookout for more opportunities for advancement. Through consistent efforts, persistence and patience, many attain the competitiveness and profitability they aspire to achieve.

The journey towards business growth is similar for many, with five distinguishable growth stages for businesses across industries. The business lifecycle begins with ideation, followed by the startup stage, which leads to growth and maturity. The final stages can be either rebirth or decline, depending on how each step was planned and executed. In many cases, the business owner’s ability to identify which stage the company becomes the key to success or failure is why they must know the signs to look for and take action as needed.

Can you identify the phase your business is in at present? Continue reading this article to learn more about the different business growth stages.

The ideation stage

According to 2022 data by Statista, Australia is one of the leading countries when it comes to producing startup companies, with a rate of 5.8%. Startups continue to thrive in the business world, with most beginning by identifying a problem and devising a solution they can distribute to the market.

This problem-solution framework will serve as the foundation of the enterprise. Hence, the earliest stage of establishing your company will focus primarily on formulating business ideas, testing models and strategies, and creating a framework for your organisation.

It’s essential to think about the execution of the planning stages to ensure that they’ll take form at the right time as this stage relies heavily on concepts and theories. Moreover, it’s possible to go off track and be distracted by too many ideas, so it’s crucial to remain focused on the problem and the solution you’re designing.

The startup stage

The startup stage is the best time to showcase creativity and competitiveness, but many businesses fail early on. For some, this may be due not only to financial constraints or lacklustre products or services offered which make them vulnerable targets for competition if they don’t expand rapidly into different markets with broadening offerings soon enough; For others, many employees take on more than one role as the corporate structure grows.

According to a 2021 global survey, 38% of startups failed because of fund shortage, while another 35% folded due to lack of market demand. The source mentions that there’s rarely one reason behind a company going bankrupt, it’s rather a mixture of several issues. Keeping check of operating expenses and profit margins is a key factor for survival in any business.

Cashflow is key at this stage, and business owners should work with their business model to grow revenue and become profitable enough to sustain and advance operations.

 

The growth stage

The growth stage of a company is all about building up your business. You might invest in strengthening the organizational structure, defining roles and responsibilities or training more personnel- so that you can continue expanding into new markets with confidence!

Other factors that would require a significant investment of time, effort and resources include product development, marketing and distribution. The growth phase allows you to improve the structure of your business with long-term growth in mind.

The maturity stage

The maturity phase of your business should display more stability and profitability compared with the first two stages of growth. You should see steady annual growth; your team should also have attained several years of tenure. Moreover, your relationships with investors and partners should have been strengthened and expanded in various aspects. As the owner, many of your responsibilities should be delegated to senior managers and other employees with an executive role.

Overall, the business should run smoothly apart from occasional disruptions or concerns. Your revenue should also be stable for a couple of years, and you can fulfill financial obligations without delay.

The renewal or decline period

You can tell if your company is headed towards a period of rebirth, renewal or decline based on how your business has performed for the past two years. For instance, one of the industry’s first signs of deterioration is reduced capital and revenue for two to three consecutive quarters. It’s common for declining businesses to experience a high employee turnover rate, exceeding 12%, the average for small to medium-sized companies. If you realise at this point that your current strategies aren’t producing sufficient revenue, then it might be time to consider cashing out or reinvesting.

Conclusion

Understanding the different business stages and identifying your progress can help you make strategic decisions that propel your enterprise to further growth. Moreover, you can avoid costly mistakes by addressing any issues head-on or adjusting your business approach when needed. Continue learning about the different business growth stages, conduct an honest assessment of your current position and reposition yourself to be more competitive.

 

Ecommerce Trends to Succeed and Profit in 2023.

 In 2023, it will be more important than ever for brands to focus on building a strong, authentic identity and reputation. With the proliferation of social media and the ability for individuals to share their experiences with brands online, it is crucial for companies to be transparent and responsive to customer needs and concerns.

One trend that will continue to gain momentum in 2023 is the trend towards sustainability and social responsibility. Consumers are becoming increasingly conscious of the environmental and social impact of their purchasing decisions and are more likely to choose brands that align with their values. Brands that can demonstrate a commitment to sustainability and social responsibility will have a competitive edge.

Another key focus for brands in 2023 will be the need to adapt to the evolving landscape of e-commerce and digital marketing. With the increasing prevalence of online shopping and virtual experiences, it will be important for brands to have a strong online presence and to be able to effectively reach and engage with customers through multiple digital channels. This will involve investing in SEO, social media marketing, email marketing, and other digital marketing strategies while looking out for logical pathways that transcend into Web3 and beyond.

In addition to building a strong online presence, it will also be important for brands to have a clear, cohesive brand identity and message. This will involve defining their target audience, identifying their unique value proposition, and consistently communicating this message through all marketing and branding efforts. While these are established marketing principles, clarity and conciseness will pay off long term with brand recognition across the very quickly consumed content formats today.

Another trend that will be important for brands to pay attention to in 2023 is the rise of experiential marketing. In a world where consumers are bombarded with advertising messages on a daily basis, it is becoming more and more important for brands to create immersive, interactive experiences that engage customers on a deeper level so that they are remembered and return again. This could involve anything from pop-up shops and events to interactive social media campaigns and other creative offline strategies.

If you want to get in on the rise of TikTok, or be prepared to navigate the complexity of the disappearing Cookies as we know it, learn what exactly tokens and NFTs mean and how to leverage generative AI for as a content creator, or understand the meaning of  Web 3 and VR for your brand or service, or how to communicate your brand story to the world, you’re in the right place here.

At Beyond Points, with over 55 + years combined experience on and offline, our talent is merging traditional and leading digital formats to create the best customer experience.

Brands should also be prepared to embrace new technologies as they emerge. This could include virtual and augmented reality, artificial intelligence, and other emerging technologies that have the potential to transform the way businesses operate and engage with customers. Web 3 is the buzz word we hear and see early in the year however by the end of year, we predict it will become more mainstream as it makes way to be included in the marketing mix.

One of the biggest challenges facing brands in 2023 will be the need to navigate the increasingly complex and rapidly changing regulatory landscape. With the increasing focus on data privacy and cybersecurity, it will be important for brands to ensure that they are compliant with relevant laws and regulations and that they are taking appropriate measures to protect the sensitive information of their customers.

In summary, in 2023, successful brands will be those that are able to effectively build and maintain a strong online presence, establish a clear and cohesive brand identity, embrace new technologies and are nimble and adaptable with smart marketing strategies, ready to navigate the complex regulatory landscape. By paying attention to these key trends and focusing on delivering a high-quality customer experience, brands will be well-positioned to succeed and profit in the years ahead.

If you would like to take us up, we have just opened space to work with 5 select, purpose-driven brands so book in here to start the conversation and take this opportunity to get some creative and objective views on how to build your road map for profitable growth in 2023. Book a 45 minute slot and we’ll invest a further 45 minutes with our compliments to guide your growth journey. Go to Calendar Link