It is quite fair to say that if your business is not playing the game of digital, you are going to be out of business before you know it.
This harsh truth is coming from two Israelis, Yossi Forkush, 48, and Hagai Goldovsky, 36. Both have a deep understanding of business and branding. Co-founding and managing startups in the past, they saw how ventures, businesses, and entrepreneurs are embracing the changes in the game.
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Currently, Yossi and Hagai are running their own digital agencies and hosting the fastest growing marketing podcast in English, in Israel, HAMANGAL.
The podcast is aimed toward SMB businesses but gained a lot of attention from marketing executives in major companies and tech startups thanks to the tips and simplified techniques they give their audience in each episode.
While most of the podcasts are focusing on interviews, they focus on helping businesses take charge of their marketing and branding strategies. Most of the businesses today are not taking advantage of the current state of digital arena, Yossi and Hagai claim.
Hagai: “we often hear from companies and SMB businesses how much money they lose without seeing any surge in profits, even big companies are wasting big bucks and do not see any growth, mainly because they are so focused on sales, and not on developing their brand”.
Yossi: “Branding and marketing go hand in hand, and take time and strategy, so many small brands are entering the game and building up an emotional connection with their clients, and those companies will be last standing while the dinosaurs will fall”.
So, what is the ABC of branding and marketing that every company must follow to grow and survive competition?
Here are Yossi and Hagai’s 10 marketing rules
1 – Focus on your brand
A brand is not a name. A brand is a story. That story is compiled by your perception and your emotional connection with your client.
Every company or business must answer three simple questions: why do I want to be in this particular market? Who is my client? What are my products?
What are our core values? What we do or will not do, what does our customer service looks like, who are our team members.
2 – Form an emotional connection
A company is not a faceless being, it is not a machine. Let your clients see your strengths and weaknesses, your clients are not interested in seeing your team eating donuts in Hanukah or Christmas partying. They just want to know there are real people on the other side of the email, so use
authentic and real images on your website and your social media, and not stock images, create videos of your team giving tips and speaking passionately about why they do what they do.
3 – Create content
The best way to gain more clients and become an authority is by creating professional and engaging content that answers your client’s questions. Each platform has its own content; YouTube is used for longer form content while Facebook and LinkedIn need shorter content.
If your clients are young adults or teens use Instagram, create visually appealing images and less text.
4 – Invest heavily in marketing
Unfortunately, too many companies and businesses don’t use their marketing budget wisely or don’t have a budget at all, they throw a few Shekels now and then.
Without a well-thought strategy and adequate budget, you will be crushed. Create a message and spread the word throughout the platforms, mainly Facebook, YouTube, and Google. If your audience is young, invest also in Instagram, Snapchat etc.
If you are a B2B company, LinkedIn content is doing great right now.
Create interesting content for your clients, even simple information can attract clients, sometimes trivial facts are not so trivial.
5 – Don’t try to sell
Costumers are sensitive and smart. They can smell a salesman from afar. Therefore, give them value and don’t ask for a return. They will be grateful.
6 – Use multiple ads
People are used to creating one ad for everyone, which is not the case on digital platforms. You can test different ads with different creative aimed at different audiences (targeting), no one knows what really works, so test and learn.
7 – Don’t cut corners
We are sure your niece has great graphics skills, and your son is very talented with copy, but this is business, use professionals Google just made your life harder. It used to be easy to play with SEO (search engine optimization); there were techniques to trick the algorithm, well that’s gone.
Google made a few updates (Hummingbird, Florida) that started to red flag sites using those techniques.
nowadays google wants to understand you are giving the right UX (user experience) for your visitor, now you have to let your visitor find what he is looking for faster, embed useful content, create quality PR linked to your site, create engagement outside your web site, create a Wikipedia page if possible.
Google is looking to see how "real" you are in the real world, even the fact that you or your team are invited, as keynote speakers will boost organic reach.
Google AdWords has become expensive and not as useful, it's more of a brand awareness tool than brings new client, YouTube and linked in are great if used properly.
8 – Spread the word
Use every relevant platform, YouTube Twitter Facebook Pinterest, if your potential client is there, you are there.
9 – Use audio
Podcasts are growing fast due to Alexa and such. Create your own podcast in your niche and pomp content. This is going to be a major distribution channel for your business.
10 – Reply to comments on social
Keep track of all comments. Don’t delete the ones you don’t like. Take the time to address each one of your followers in a respectful manner.
These are some of the insights, there are many more, of course. You should always look at how you, your friends and family consume information and content – you want to be there too.
People are more concerned with time than before. They don’t click on banners like they used to. They send more text messages and talk less on the phone. All of that should be taken into account when building your branding and marketing strategy, and yes, we did mention branding.