TikTok Marketing: How to Engage Your Audience and Grow Your Brand

Don’t underestimate the power of TikTok marketing!

Regarding social media, TikTok has one of the biggest influences on its users. The impact that TikTok has on culture is so significant that 43% of TikTok users try something new or go someplace new after seeing it at least once on the app. Brands are certainly taking advantage of this impact too. With 1 billion active monthly users, brands use the app to access a massive pool of consumers.

TikTok marketing is an excellent way for businesses – both big and small – to promote brand awareness. In addition, the platform’s massive impact on users can benefit brands that engage with their audience.

But despite TikTok’s colossal impact now, it’s still a relatively new platform for marketing. As a result, not all businesses are familiar with the app and its use for engagement and growth. That’s why we’re here to help. This guide will take you through all things TikTok marketing so that you can succeed at engaging your audience and growing your brand!

What is TikTok Marketing?

If you’re not already familiar with TikTok, it’s a rapidly growing app where users can create 15-second to three-minute videos. These videos either feature original sound, a trending TikTok sound made by another user, or music. According to their algorithm, these videos appear on other users’ For You Page (FYP). Users can choose to follow creators they enjoy engaging with while still enjoying videos by creators they don’t follow via the FYP.

But the app is not just for creators. TikTok is rapidly growing, with marketers looking to promote their brands to a rapidly growing audience. Brands are hopping on TikTok to promote themselves through organic content or paid TikTok advertising. In addition, brands are creating videos to engage with audiences and boost brand awareness.

A Little Marketing, Episode 14: Growing Your Business with TikTok with Guest Expert Steph Goldman

Watch our TikTok episode where Nikki Gillingham and I discuss TikTok Marketing with guest expert Stephanie Goldman. Known on TikTok as @KimmyToyz, Stephanie has 1 million followers and regularly gets over 1 million views on her videos.

How to Succeed on TikTok as a Brand

Curious about how to get in on the action? Here are five tips to help you grow and engage your TikTok audience for brand growth.

1. Finding your voice on TikTok is all about trial and error.

Finding your brand’s voice on TikTok is all about trial and error. You may not get it right in the first 5, 10, 20, or even 100 videos. Instead, it’s all about seeing what type of content connects with audiences. Once you find a groove that works for your business, you’ll be able to engage your audience and see more growth continuously.

TikTok expert Steph Goldman speaks about how she found her voice as a TikTok creator and business owner on A Little Marketing, our podcast. She believes finding your voice on TikTok is all about trial and error.

2. Use the analytics available to you

In our podcast with special guest Steph Goldman, we also discuss how she was able to find out what style of video was performing best among audiences. The answer? Analytics. Analytics is a valuable tool available to marketers and creators on TikTok. And because trends are constantly changing on TikTok, it’s essential to monitor these analytics regularly.

3. Make your contact info accessible

Put your contact info – such as your email – in your TikTok bio. That way, when you start to see growth on TikTok, your audience will be able to engage further with your business.

4. Use popular songs/sounds

Pay attention to what’s trending on TikTok. According to research conducted by TikTok, 68% of users say they remember the brand better when it uses a popular TikTok song. In addition, 58% say they feel a stronger connection to the brand and are more likely to talk about it. And 62% of TikTok users say that popular TikTok songs make them curious to learn about the brand.

5. Embrace your brand’s authenticity

If trends aren’t performing well for your business, don’t be afraid to embrace your brand’s authenticity. 56% of users feel closer to brands that embrace the medium of authenticity on TikTok.

Want to Learn More about How to Grow Your Brand on TikTok?

For more information on this topic, our podcast, A Little Marketing, has an informative episode on how to grow your business with TikTok. You can check it out here! And be sure to subscribe to the podcast to stay up to date on all things marketing for small businesses!

Why You Need an Email List for Your Small Business

Almost every big company has an email list for their email marketing, but what about small businesses? Many small businesses are beginning to discover the benefits of email marketing and have started gathering an email list. Should your small business do this?

What is an Email List?

What comprises an email list? An email is the email addresses of people, visitors or customers that would like to receive information, updates, discounts, or other information from your business via email. As a result of signing up for your list, the people on the list will receive your small business’ promotional and marketing material.

Building an email list is essential to email marketing. There are a few ways you can make this list. For example, you could allow customers to opt-in for emails when purchasing something from your small business. You could also put a call-to-action to subscribe to emails on your website by offering an exclusive discount. Another way to build your list is to advertise a promotion or special offer to those who sign up. Whichever way you make your email list, it can help your small business’ marketing strategy succeed.

The Benefits of an Email List

Email lists can have a surprisingly positive effect on conversion and revenue. It’s an effective form of marketing and a great way to build relationships with customers. We’ve got all the details on why building an email list is essential for your 2022 small business email marketing strategy.

It’s Personal

One of the most significant benefits of email is that it allows you to develop a personal relationship with your customer. When owning and operating a small business, relationships are so meaningful. The relationship you have with your customers has the power to shape your entire business. Therefore, it’s so vital for you to nurture this relationship. An email list is a perfect way to do this.

By creating an email list, you can focus on building that critical relationship with your customers. For example, consider using your customer’s first name in the subject line or sending out a special email promotion for your customer’s birthdays. Doing small, personalized things like this will make your customer feel important. To your customers, being on the email list is like being in your small business’ exclusive inner circle. Take advantage of this and make your customers feel special with the emails you send.

Cost-Effective Marketing

Email marketing is a highly affordable way to market your business. Chances are, most of your customers use email. Therefore, reaching your customers via email is an easy and inexpensive way to impress your customers.

Because email is such a low-cost form of marketing, there’s a high potential for a high return of investment (ROI). Because of this potential for high ROI, your business doesn’t have anything to lose by building an email list. It’s cost-effective and simple!

Email Lists are Targeted

With an email list, you have a way better chance of reaching your intended customer. The recipients of your small business’ emails will most likely be quality leads because the people on your list have either purchased from your company or shown interest in purchasing from your business. Because this email list is your target customer, there’s a good chance for high conversion rates and repeat business.

Need Help Building Your Email List?

There’s no doubt that building an email list can be beneficial to your small business, but where should you start? We can help.

Here at 10|20 Marketing, our team has extensive experience in all aspects of digital marketing. We specialize in helping both big and small businesses generate quality leads. Our expertise gets businesses results.

Contact us for a free marketing consultation if you want an extra hand marketing your small business!

Four Best Strategies For Small Business SEO In 2022

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is crucial for getting more clicks on your small business page or Shopify site. And as website interaction becomes more and more likely to determine a business’ fate, it’s essential that you’re up to date on the latest small business SEO trends.

SEO is a form of digital marketing that helps websites appear higher in search engine results. If you want your business to be successful, customers need to be able to find you online.

SEO is complex and combines a few different strategies. With search engine algorithms constantly changing, staying up to date on the latest SEO strategies is essential.

So, what will small business SEO look like in 2022? We have the latest trends and strategies right here.

Create Quality Content

The number one key to optimizing your website’s search engine results is to create quality content. Quality content is always trendy for SEO, and your business’ website must reflect that. Here are a few content guidelines to follow when optimizing your website:

  • Make it Accessible: The most critical part of your website is that the content is accessible and user-friendly. What does this mean? Ensure that your content is readable, has a quick load time, and is organized by H1, H2, H3 headings, etc.
  • Don’t Try to Stuff in Keywords: Nothing will push your website further down search engine results than forcing keywords into your content. However, you should avoid stuffing too many SEO keywords into your site to the point that the content doesn’t read well. Google’s algorithm will be able to pick up on the fact that your content isn’t easy to read, which will cause them to suppress your website in search engine results. Instead, be strategic with your keywords and know when enough is enough.
  • Answer Questions: Speaking of keywords, strategically optimize the content on your site so that it answers commonly asked questions on Google or other search engines. Answering questions will boost your website’s content further up the algorithm. An excellent way to do this would be to create an FAQ page.
  • Come up with a Content Strategy: Find a strategy that works for your business to boost your website’s content. A content strategy could include starting a blog, having a website calendar, publishing a newsletter – anything that promotes more clicks on your website.
Make Your Site Mobile Friendly

Mobile internet usage is becoming more and more popular. Now is the time if you haven’t already optimized your website for mobile devices.

Some ways to do this include using a responsive design that will automatically display on a mobile device. Other considerations are to optimize website load time, turn off pop-ups, and ensure that you have appropriate spacing and size for easy mobile clicking.

Target Local SEO Keywords

When creating content for a small business website, local SEO keywords are essential. Google’s algorithm now shows users more results from their local area. If your website isn’t already optimized for local SEO, you’re getting left behind.

An easy way to do this is to update your content to include your local area. For example, if you sell sneakers and your location is Toronto, contain the phrase “Toronto sneakers” somewhere in your website’s content. But be sure to keep in mind not to over-stuff your content with keywords. Instead, ensure there’s a well-written flow and that the local SEO keywords sound natural.

Optimize For Voice Search

Voice search is becoming increasingly popular in 2022, so you want to ensure that your small business is ahead of the curve. Make these small changes to your company’s website for voice search optimization.

Since many voice search results are location-based, you’ll want to geo-target the keywords or phrases that you include in your content. Geotargeted keywords go hand in hand with local SEO keywords.

Another way to optimize voice search is to make your content more conversational. Since voice searches tend to be more casual, you want your content to reflect that tone, which will help boost your website for voice searches.

Need Extra SEO help?

Navigating SEO and the ever-changing trends can be intimidating. But, don’t worry, we’re here to help if you need us! 10|20 Marketing has extensive experience assisting small and big businesses with their digital marketing strategies.

Contact us for a free consultation if you want an extra hand in creating up-to-date SEO content for your small business!

Social Media For Small Business: Top 4 Trends Marketers Should Watch in 2022

There’s no doubt that social media for small business marketing is the future of digital marketing. With approximately 4 billion social media users globally, it’s the fastest, most efficient way to reach a large audience. In 2022, social media marketing for small businesses will be vital.

Social media is an ever-changing platform, so it’s essential to stay up to date on the latest social media marketing trends for your social media marketing campaigns to be successful. So, if you plan on implementing social media into your business’s digital marketing strategy, you need to keep ahead of the trends.

Here are the top four social media for small business trends that marketers should watch in 2022.

TikTok

If your business isn’t already on TikTok, you’re missing out on the potential for excellent viral exposure. With 1 billion active monthly users, it’s the fastest growing social media platform. Videos go viral daily, and the algorithm makes it easy for businesses to connect with the target customer.

Here are some tips for creating TikTok videos for your business:

  • Keep it short: Videos under 15 seconds tend to get pushed more in the TikTok algorithm. Viewers often have a short attention span, so keeping it short and sweet is essential for grabbing the viewer’s attention. Get right to the point with your videos, and you’ll likely see more success.
  • Use trending sounds: Stay up to date on the trending sounds on TikTok, and be sure to incorporate them into your videos. Using trending sounds will help you reach more potential customers and increase your chances of going viral.
  • Keep it exciting: Pay attention to what kind of videos are trending on TikTok and take note. Making fresh and attention-grabbing videos that cater to your business will likely get you more exposure.
Social Media Customer Service

No one enjoys calling a company’s customer service line. From the long holds to the potential for miscommunication, it can be a real hassle for customers. However, companies know that ineffective customer support could cost them their customers, so some companies are beginning to integrate their customer support services into social media. Setting up a customer support service for your company through a social media platform like Twitter may be the future of customer service.

After all, most people are already on social media and spend much of their time using it. It’s an effective way to reach customers and position yourself as a business that prioritizes customer needs.

Influencers and Micro-Influencers

Don’t discount the value of influencers. Employing influencers looks like a big piece of the future of marketing. These influencers have followings that are often very impressionable to the products they share. It’s almost like pre-planned word-of-mouth advertising.

And don’t count out micro-influencers either. They may not have as large a following, but micro-influencers may be more accessible for small businesses and can be very influential among their following. And if you’re using TikTok micro-influencers or influencers, there’s a greater chance for your influencer marketing content to go viral.

Paid Ads

We tell our clients all the time that paid ads are an integral part of social media. Even today, companies are still relying on organic results of their social media campaigns. However, history shows that an organic presence does little to create awareness or engagement and help you reach your objectives. Therefore, we highly recommend a complete, paid media plan to ensure that your content generates views and engagement. In addition, a strategically run paid media plan will help ensure that your websites and social media content work together and help you reach your marketing objectives.

In 2022, paid ads will be an effective strategy for many businesses. Paid ads can help you stand out among competitors and increase exposure. In addition, it’s an easy way to target your intended customer, leading to higher conversion rates.

Want Some Extra Social Media Marketing Assistance?

Want to learn more about social media for small business? 10|20 Marketing stays on top of the trends so that you don’t have to. We specialize in helping both big and small businesses generate quality leads through effective digital marketing strategies. Our team at 10|20 Marketing has extensive experience in all fields of digital marketing. We’re here if you need us!

For a free marketing consultation, contact us!

Three Reasons Why You Should Try An Email Marketing Campaign

Email marketing can feel like a big demand. After all, what are you supposed to write about regularly? Who will even want to get emails from you that often? How are you supposed to find the time to write regular emails? 

Regardless of what may be holding you back, it’s time to let go and move forward. Email marketing is a crucial part of any local business’s marketing strategy, and if you haven’t already started building your list, now is the time to do so.

We’ve put together three reasons why, and five ways to get started today.

Three Reasons Why You Should Try An Email Marketing Campaign
1. Platforms Come and Go

Social Media moves in waves. Remember just a few months ago when Clubhouse was the latest and greatest? When’s the last time you heard anyone say they were going live in Clubhouse?

MySpace, MSN Messenger, Vine – even Google tried their hand at creating a social media platform for individuals that wasn’t successful long-term. Social media platforms come and go. And, believe it or not, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn will also disappear or greatly adapt. If those platforms remove key features you rely on, it’s farewell!

When a contact gives you their email address, however, it’s yours to keep. And emails certainly aren’t going away anytime soon.

2. Speak Directly to Warm Leads

If someone is giving you their email address, they’re telling you they are interested in what you have to offer – and that it’s OK for you to email them. Email is permission based, and it’s a much bigger ask than getting someone to follow you on Instagram or like your Facebook Page. So once you have their permission to communicate with them, make sure you do!

Plus, email software services give you the opportunity to personalize each email you send, allowing you to land in their inbox and speak directly to people, instead of speaking generally on social media. 

3. Higher ROI (Return on Investment)

It’s no surprise then, that if email marketing allows you to speak directly to people, warm leads that they are, it has a higher return on investment than avenues like social media.

In fact, according to Direct Marketing Association, the average ROI of email marketing is a whopping 4300%!

Those numbers aren’t a fluke. ExactTarget’s stats show for every dollar spent on email marketing, businesses earn $44.25. With this kind of ROI, it’s really a no brainer.

Five Ways to Start Building Your List For Email Marketing 
1. Opt-In Forms

Put an opt-in or sign-up form on every page of your website.

2. Put links to your newsletter everywhere

Share your newsletter sign-up link everywhere. Use your email signature, social media platforms, and the bottom of your newsletter, so anyone who is forwarded your newsletter has the opportunity to sign up, too.

3. Create a downloadable freebie

Create a PDF your audience can download for free (or rather, in exchange for their email address) that teaches them something or guides them through a process. If you’re a retail clothing store, this can be a guide to styling new fall fashion items. If you’re a bake shop, it could be a recipe they can bake at home. Share the link to your freebie on your website and/or your social media platforms.

4. Create a survey or quiz

A survey or quiz is a fun way to get your audience engaged, share valuable information, and collect their email address at the same time. Link the survey or quiz on your website and/or your social media platforms.

5. Offer a coupon or discount code to your shop

If you sell products or services (whether via an e-commerce store or a brick and mortar shop), you can offer a discount code in exchange for an email address. Often this appears as a pop-up when you visit a website.

Email marketing is an excellent way to speak to people who have given you permission to do so. And, don’t worry, if they don’t want to hear from you, they can simply unsubscribe. The key is to find the sweet spot of delivering value to their inbox. If your audience appreciates your emails, they’ll engage more, helping you increase sales. 

Need help with your email campaigns? Sign up for a free consultation and let us know where you want to improve and we’ll see how we can help!

Smart Social Media In Five Steps

With almost 3.6 billion social media users around the world, you can bet your ideal client is one of them, scrolling Instagram or checking Facebook throughout the day. Wouldn’t it be great if they saw one of your posts and thought, “Hey that would make my life easier” and then immediately purchased your product or booked a consultation with you?

Of course it would be!

Social media has become the epicentre of content marketing: if you build it (relationships and trust) they will come (shop, that is).

But in order to “build it,” you have to have a plan. Posting on social media just for the sake of posting won’t get you anywhere. How do you create a plan that works? Follow these five steps to creating a custom plan that not only works but that you’ll actually stick to – and watch your social media turn from a waste of time to lead generator:

1. Get Clear on Your Target Audience

Like any other marketing strategy, you need to understand who you’re trying to reach and connect with. If you don’t know your demographic, everything else is just a guessing game. The language you use, the images you use, the pain points you address all depend on your ideal customer. If these don’t align, your efforts won’t stand a chance.

2. Audit of Your Past Content

If you’ve been posting on social media for a while, take a look at your insights and see which type of posts perform best for you. Is it memes? How-to style content? Reels? Images of your product being used by real people? Whatever it is, you’ll want to make sure to include this ‘super’ content in your strategy going forward.

This can also be a good time to see what kind of content does not perform well – but the key here is to remember that you’re looking for trends. A post can flop without any rhyme or reason sometimes, so just because one picture of a dog didn’t do well, doesn’t mean you should avoid all images of animals going forward (tip: people love animals!)

3. Define Your Goals

Your social media goals should be aligned with your business goals, for example:

  • Do you want to increase brand awareness? Monitor your follower count and post reach.
  • Do you want to generate new leads? Monitor calls or form completions. 

Be sure to set these out in advance, and track your starting point too. As you’re tracking progress over the next six months or so, be sure to focus on the big picture. As mentioned above, a post can flop for no reason at all, and sometimes a ‘bot cleanup’ by Instagram will see your followers plummet. It’s important not to get hung up on these events and instead monitor overall progress.

4. Create Content That Positions You As A Thought Leader

There’s no denying it, there is a lot of noise out there on social media. A lot of people talking about and selling the same things. But if you understand your audience (step 1, remember?) and what their pain points are, then you can stand out from the crowd by speaking directly to them as individuals.

Take what you know about them, and create content that helps them solve their problems. It’s as simple as that. By sharing value, you become someone they want to keep coming back to see what else you have.

Remember, value doesn’t always have to be educational. It can also be entertaining or inspirational, so use your imagination and expand the content you share beyond just your business.

5. Engage, Engage, Engage.

Social media is a long-term game and is all about building relationships and trust with your audience. Your content positions you as an expert, but it’s the engagement that positions you as a trusted friend. Someone they can rely on to deliver. Also, someone who will help them if they have questions post-purchase.

Be sure to respond to all comments on your posts, and reach out to other ideal clients (again, see step 1 above) and engage with their content, too. Even if they don’t follow you. It’s just as important to start the conversation as it is to continue it. 

**

Every business will have a different strategy or plan for social media. Who you target. The content you create. How often you post. They’re all dependent on your business and shouldn’t be part of a cookie-cutter strategy. If you have questions about getting started on social media (or maybe changing how you’re approaching it), send us a message and let’s chat.

Does Influencer Marketing Work for Local Businesses?

Marketing for small and local businesses can include anything from flyers to social media, or radio ads to email newsletters. But what about influencer marketing? Is this something reserved for big brands, or can local businesses actually profit from working with influencers too?

Influencers are this generation’s version of a celebrity endorsement, so in short – yes! Any business, big or small, can benefit from influencer marketing.

According to Tribe, Influencer Marketing is the fastest growing customer acquisition model, with 40% of businesses dedicating budget to it and 80% of those using it finding success.

Influencers can help your business do two main things:

  • Build brand awareness among a local audience
  • Attract new customers to your business
Think of your audience first

The key to a successful campaign? It’s all in the influencer.

Audiences on social media look to and follow influencers that they trust and admire – the same as people do celebrities. Most teenage girls for example are more likely to buy something used and recommended by Selena Gomez than they are Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson.

It’s important therefore that you have a really good understanding of who your target audience and ideal customer are. You’ll then need to use that information to work with an influencer who has a similar audience.

Of course, in today’s age, celebrities and influencers walk a fine line that could easily get blurred. Take the Kardashian’s for example. Love them or hate them, they’re celebrities in their own right and have also become influencers, charging more than a million dollars for a single Instagram post.

But the problem with these massive influencers for small businesses (aside from the budget) is that they actually have a disconnect with their audiences. This is where micro influencers come into the picture.

What is a micro-influencer?

Unlike the celebrity influencer, micro-influencers are those folks with roughly 10K-20K followers (some will say up to 100,000). They have a highly targeted, very niche audience that feels like they know the person on the other side of the screen. Engagement is usually higher, and trust levels are through the roof.

Typically, these are local people who really focus on local products, brands, and businesses. Because they’re “just like us,” their followers value their opinion.

And, bonus: their rates usually aren’t $1 million per post, either. 

Check out these Canadian micro-influencers for some examples:

How do you get started with influencer marketing?

There’s a bit of work to do before you start approaching local influencers offering a partnership. Here are five key steps to get you started:

  1. Get really clear on who your target audience is
  2. Start searching Instagram for local micro-influencers with similar audiences (or your preferred platform, but remember that Instagram has the highest engagement rate among social networks, which is important when trying to connect with an audience)
  3. Decide on your budget and what product or service you would like to promote.
  4. Decide what kind of campaign you are looking for. Remember that most influencers will have certain ways of working with brands that are on-brand for them, and you’ll have to work within those parameters. For example, if the influencer never posts reels, they likely won’t want to start now.
  5. Reach out via the appropriate channels – many influencers will have an agency manage their requests for them and will include this info in their Instagram bio. 

Influencer marketing might sound like something reserved only for big brands with deep pockets, but by tapping into the local micro-influencer market you can set yourself and your business up for success. To discover more unique ways to grow your local business, check out our blog or book a free consultation.

What you need to know about Google Ads for Local Businesses

You have your website, an active blog page, and a consistent social media strategy all in place. So now what? If your organic marketing is all set and working for you, it’s time to take that content and put it in hyper-drive with Google Ads.

Great content is the key to reaching and building trust with your audience, so they feel confident purchasing your services and products. To maximize it, you’ll want to get it in front of even more eyes, so spending some money on Google Ads is a logical next step. Of course, if you’re spending money on advertising, you’ll want to make sure that your ad structure helps maximize your potential Return on Ad Spend (ROAS).

Because Google Ads can be a bit complicated, we’ve put together a few tips to help get you started.

Google Ads for Local Businesses: Quick Glossary
  • Keywords: The words or phrases consumers search for which signal to Google to show your ad. You choose a list of keywords when creating your ad campaign.
  • Bid: The maximum amount you’re willing to spend to get a click on an ad.
  • Quality Score: How relevant your ad is to your selected keywords and your landing page. The higher your Quality Score, the better.
  • Ad Rank: Where your ad shows on Google.
  • Cost-Per-Click (CPC): What you pay when an ad is clicked on.
  • Conversions: The action someone takes after they click your ad – for example, making a purchase.
Google Ads for Local Businesses: Use the Location Ad Extension

You can use several extensions with your Google Ads that help you achieve increased click-through rates, provide additional information to consumers, and make it easier for customers to call.

If you’re focusing on local search, the local ad extension can help you find a nearby product or service by opening Google Maps and giving the consumer directions to your store. The surprising news? Although 76% of people who search for a local service visit a business that day, not many companies use this ad extension! So you can get a leg up on your competition with just a few simple steps. 

In your Google Ads dashboard, search for the “Location Extensions” option.

Google Ads for Local Businesses: Update Your Location Targeting

Google’s targeting defaults to “anyone who shows interest in your area.” But what you want to do is target consumers who are in your area! 

To make this change, go to Campaign Settings -> Locations -> Target. Under Target, select the “People in or regularly in your targeted locations” option. Doing so will help narrow the search field and increase the chances of getting foot traffic to your store.

Google Ads for Local Businesses: Budgeting for Success

You’ll want to set up a campaign for each business objective you have. You could divide your budget evenly across each campaign set, but we recommend adjusting the budget based on your current focus. For example, if you’re having a sale on a particular product, you should focus more of your ad budget on that product for the duration of your sale. You can rearrange your budget again the following month, so you’re always putting more money behind the current business goals.

Google AdWords can seem daunting at first, but if you break it into steps and make tweaks to help target hyper-local consumers, you can effectively use AdWords to drive more foot traffic to your store. If you have more questions about how Google AdWords can help drive traffic to your store, book a free consultation call

How Your Local Business Benefits From Trust According To The Edelman Trust Barometer

If you’re a business owner, you likely know that trust plays a big factor in your sales – trust in your business, trust in your products, and trust built by reviews and testimonials left on sites like Google My Business or shared on social media. But how can you build and harness this trust factor? The Edelman Trust Barometer offers some clues. 

The Edelman Trust Barometer

Edelman recently released their 2021 Edelman Trust Barometer; stats which are pulled from a survey issued to more than 33,000 respondents in 28 countries. While trust, on the whole, has declined, largely due to the pandemic and the public being unsure of what information they can trust and from where, the good news is that for businesses, the trust index has actually increased.

Out of the four institution types included in the survey – Business, Non-Government Organizations (NGOs), Government, and Media – business is the only one that scored high enough to be classified as “Trusted”.

“While the world seems to be clouded by mistrust and misinformation, there is a glimmer of hope in business. This year’s study shows that business is not only the most trusted institution among the four studied, but it is also the only trusted institution with a 61 percent trust level globally, and the only institution seen as both ethical and competent.”

https://www.edelman.com/trust/2021-trust-barometer

 

Because folks are turning to businesses to fill in the gaps where it’s perceived that governments and media aren’t, it’s now more important than ever for CEOs to share quality, trustworthy information with their employees, which in turn finds its way into the community. But this isn’t just information about the business itself, more than 53% of respondents believe that corporations are responsible for filling in the information void, and 86% believe this should include topics such as COVID-19 and other social issues. 

A Person Like Me – Trusted Brands

There is a ripple effect here that occurs when businesses begin sharing trustworthy information and where they stand on major societal issues – businesses suddenly become perceived as having personalities. And who doesn’t want to hang out with and support people like them?

Here’s an example:

In 2018, Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC) found itself at the center of the gun-control debate, when it was revealed that one of its suppliers, Vista, had holdings in the manufacture of assault-style weapons. MEC’s main consumer base, made up of outdoorsy folks who spend their time hiking, biking, camping, and enjoying nature, weren’t exactly on board with supporting the Vista brand. So MEC had to decide: Where do we stand on this issue?

Not surprisingly, they opted to stop using Vista as a distributor. 

“It’s been [a] really good exercise internally in taking the facts and coming up with an opinion that we believe is both balanced, and fair, and right,” Labistour told CBC News at the time.

The result? Sure, MEC likely lost some pro-gun shoppers, but it built its trust with its core community of brand-loyal customers.

Those consumers will share the “good news” with others in their network – mostly people like them who are pro gun control and enjoy the outdoors. A trusted friend sharing something good about a local business? You know they went there to buy their next pair of hiking boots.

Consumers like and trust brands that share the same values as them. Shoppers don’t only go after the cheapest price anymore. They want to know where their money is going, who they are supporting, and if the business has the same values as they do.

It all comes down to trust.

A Person Like Me – Trusted People

There’s something else we touched on in that last segment – trusted people. 72% of consumers won’t complete a purchase before consulting reviews, but how can we double-down on those reviews to get the most out of them?

By making sure they come from people like our consumers; from brand evangelists or ambassadors. This is why the rise of the social media influencer has been so popular among large brands and small local businesses alike – when people see someone they perceive to be like themselves advocating for a business or product, they’re infinitely more likely to also trust that business or product right away.

Social media influencers have essentially moved word-of-mouth marketing from small, in-person conversations to massive audiences that span from local communities to global ones. And again, it’s all rooted in the trust of the person sharing your message for you.

The Edelman Trust Barometer 2021 report has shown us that, more than ever, consumers are turning to businesses to see how they are communicating and handling social justice issues – and are therefore seeing which businesses have personalities (aka brands) that seem similar to themselves prior to making purchase decisions moving forward.

Now is the time to understand your brand, your ideal customer, and make sure they know, like, and trust you.

The Local Marketing Toolkit For Small Businesses

Our clients often ask us what local marketing toolkit they should be using to promote their business. So we’ve developed this post to provide guidance to those looking to promote their business in a local area.

We’re a small business too – so we know that small business owners have a lot to think about all the time. There’s a lot on your plate, from managing the day-to-day to behind-the-scenes operations, ensuring customer satisfaction, making sure employees are up to speed, and so forth.

Unfortunately, marketing often falls to the bottom of the to-do list. But, it is crucial to use the right tools to market your business. Doing so can go a long way to helping you build sales – and peace of mind. So, we’ve put together this local marketing toolkit that won’t break the budget and will move your business further along the line.

Website

A website is vital for online success. Whether you’re looking to collect leads or close an e-commerce sale, you need the proper infrastructure in place. That’s why these platforms are at the top of our local marketing toolkit. 

  • WordPress or Shopify: Website builders like WordPress and Shopify allow you to create unique websites that your customers will find. (Shopify will enable you to start selling online for as little as $29/month.) Many plug-and-play website builders out there make it easy to create and manage a website. But these sites come with a significant downside, too: they’re not set up with the appropriate back-end fields to help your website get found in search results. 
  • Google Analytics: Before you have your website up and running, make sure to enable Google Analytics. Google Analytics is a web analytics service offered by Google that tracks and reports website traffic. It’s vital as it lets you measure your advertising ROI as well as track referral traffic from organic, social media and paid traffic sources. This platform will help you understand where people are coming from to get to your site and which traffic converts the most visitors. 

Search Necessities

Now that your website is up and running and you’re tracking visits, you can concentrate on getting your needs found. Being search-ready can help you attract and intercept customers looking for what you sell or provide. 

  • Google My Business: This free profile or business listing on Google helps you keep your current customers up-to-date and makes it easier to be found by potential customers. Often, Google My Business listings will appear in search results even before websites do, so you’ll want to take advantage. 
  • Other directories and listing platforms: Countless apps and platforms allow businesses to set up a profile and get found by potential customers. But your business needs to have these profiles set up and be active! Expanding your presence to more directories allows you to increase your reach, build awareness and generate more traffic to your website. 10|20 Marketing offers a low-cost service that manages all of your profiles so you can focus on more important things in your business.

Email Marketing

If your website exists to generate leads or convert sales, then you’ll want to do something with all those email addresses you’re collecting. Regularly communicating with your prospects and clients can lead to (repeat) sales and greater loyalty. Make sure they opt-in to receive emails from you first, though!

  • ConvertKit: Free email marketing software for up to 1,000 subscribers. The free account includes unlimited landing pages and forms (to collect email addresses), allows you to send emails, and lets you sell and track digital products and subscriptions. You can even build your forms in ConvertKit and embed them into your website. Doing so allows each form completion to go directly into ConvertKit so you can make sure these sign-ups are in your database!
  • Mailchimp: More often than not, MailChimp seems to be the email marketing software of choice among small business owners. The free account allows you to have up to 2,000 contacts, sending up to 10,000 emails per month. It also includes landing pages and design tools.

Promotion

With everything running nice and smooth, you may want to consider a content (and) or a paid advertising strategy.

  • Social Media: Social media is excellent for building brand awareness and engaging with your audience for free. Use it to promote your content, blogs, tips, and advice – all things that help build trust with your audience and customers. Popular platforms for business are InstagramFacebook Pages, LinkedInPinterest, and yes, even TikTok! However, we recommend choosing one or two platforms to focus on, especially if you’re getting started. It’s to be present in one or two places all the time, then only once in a while on several networks. 
  • Facebook Ads: On Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, or any other social platform, if you want more than organic reach, you can create ads to target a wider audience. You can choose exactly how much you want to spend. And doing so is especially helpful if you are promoting a new product or service.
  • Google Ads: Wish your website would appear at the top of the search results page? Well, it can. Google Ads are similar to Facebook Ads, except, of course, they appear on the Google web search results page. Create an ad and choose what kind of keywords you want to target, set a budget, and you’re you’red running!

10|20 Marketing can help you manage your ad campaigns on social media and Google if this is outside of your comfort zone.

Other Tools

What else might you need to keep your business running smoothly? Here are some other ideas. 

  • LastPass: LastPass allows you to store all of your passwords securely and share individual passwords with trusted team members that require them. It’s an important tool to maintain business integrity and stay safe online.
  • Zapier: Zapier allows you to integrate all of your apps and automate specific processes to save time. Build triggers to complete processes for your business. For example, you can use this to get an email every time a new form completion comes from your website.

The Local Marketing Toolkit For Small Businesses

Finally, you’ll want your website, apps, social profiles, and email marketing all connected so you can accurately measure the results of your efforts. Connect what you can to Google Analytics, and take the time to understand the leads and sales you get from your promotions.

There are several moving pieces when it comes to marketing your local business online. If you’re feeling stuck or overwhelmed, book a free consultation with us and let’s see how we can help.