Etsy and Amazon to name just two, provide fantastic platforms for start-ups and SMEs to build their online businesses. They offer a great opportunity for smaller brands to gain exposure, access large pools of potential customers, backed up with great functionality and support all for a relatively small fees. No this isn't a paid advert, but it is what our retail clients tell us.
In such times of economic uncertainty whilst this can bring unwelcome anxiety about the short term future, it also provides a great opportunity for every business owner to review their business model, their products, their suppliers and their marketing strategy for the year ahead.
Making efficiency savings now, streamlining your processes, fine tuning your products and maximising the ROI of your marketing, it will ensure post-Brexit, whatever happens your business will be in the best possible shape to go on to succeed.
So we decided to send out a questionnaire to our retail clients to find out what they will be doing to future proof their businesses and how they will be approaching 2019. Outlined below is the top 3 actions our clients are taking.
1. Learn to walk before you try to run.
Sounds obvious right? Well I think we are all guilty of trying to run before we can walk. Lets put that down to our desire and passion to succeed and that's no bad thing.
But our clients make an important observation. By keeping things simple it gives you time to hone your business and skills to make those necessary adjustments that you can only discover with time, without running the risk of over stretching yourself or your wallet. By developing an initial core product offering, this helps keep your production cost down, gives you more time to develop your brand whilst allowing time to see which products resonate with your customers the most before you invest more. Very smart!
TOP MARKETING TIP: By keeping your product range to a more manageable levels means you can save money on your marketing budget, with less products to photograph. This also means you can consider pushing the creativity side of things as you develop your brand. Also depending upon your product type, if you consider bringing to market other colour variations, a highly skilled content creator will be able to create this in post-production for you, helping to keep those production cost down going forward. To see examples of this visit HERE.
2. Find your customers and share some love!
To ensure your brand and products are seen by the right people, our clients actively seek out their customers online, by joining Facebook groups and following key Instagram influencers. This increases the likelihood that people with a genuine interest in what you offer will actually get to see what you do, start following you and visiting your website or sellers page to make a purchase.
This enables our clients to be more focused on their marketing, it helps them to spend less time on social media so they can take care of the day to day running of the business. Lets be honest, for most start-ups and SMEs time is a limited resource. Our clients tell us they also set themselves clearly defined social media goals to achieve, this can simply be the number of posts they want to get out per week.
TOP MARKETING TIP: Whilst posting engaging post regularly to social media and groups, is an important element of gaining awareness of your brand and products, scaling your social media following takes a lot more ongoing work which can be a challenge. We recommend you look for a suitable marketing partner who specialise working with SMEs to manage your social media account. The right partner will work with you to develop bespoke campaigns around your core products, they will create the content needed, whilst ensuring the content is delivered according to your annual marketing schedule. To learn more about this visit HERE.
3. maximise your marketing.
Sounds expensive! But no it doesn't have to be. Like with any quality product or service, professional photography does have an associated cost, but price in our experience is only ever an issue in the absence of value. To maximise this value or the return on your investment (ROI), our clients are looking for product photography that is not only commercial quality, but also and increasingly important, is versatile. Imagery needs to not only showcase their products on their website or seller page, but also suitable to be reused across their social media channels as well. When commissioning work they are also thinking of other ways they can use this imagery to maximise their brands exposure through viral campaigns on platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Pintrest.
TOP MARKETING TIP: By creating clean bright and fresh looking imagery, we recommend you request your products to be removed from the background in post-production. This not only creates a clean professional presentation for your website, but it also means you can drop these images on any type of background you like to create bespoke campaigns. This is simply the best way to maximise your ROI on every photo shoot.
So whether you're looking for that 'apple' clean white look, or shots out on location we recommend you ask your content creator for social media optimised images as well. At ProfotoDesign this has always been apart of our our mix, and is inclusive across our product photography services, find out more HERE.
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