1. Know your brand/product.
It's quite hard to create demand for a brand or market a product when you don't fully understand what you're selling. And what you're selling equals the story of who you are, what you stand for, where you're made, and who you're selling to.
For example, if you're a heritage brand, that narrative needs to be told. If you're a product or brand that supports a charity or a community, finding ways to amplify that part of your identity will be hugely beneficial to your marketing initiatives.
2. Know how to best use online influencers.
To be fully honest, most companies think that their product is the best product in that category, best fitting denim, best moisturizer for dry skin, longest wear lipstick, etc. All of this could be the case, but what we try to stay clear of in terms of messaging, is the that particular product is "the best" at anything.
Why? Because influencers are constantly promoting multiple products within one category. They may like five different red lipsticks from various beauty brands. They never say that something is the best because next week, they may discover a new product that they love and they don't want to confuse their audience.
3. Know your customer(s).
While everyone is trying to reach a younger consumer these days, it's still important to not alienate your core customer, and understanding who that customer is. Of course, you can have more than one! Aligning your brand and product with various customers is what the current marketing landscape is all about. You can have multiple products or product categories, and each could be marketed to a different customer, as long as you know your own brand and exactly who you're looking to reach.
4. Know your strengths and weaknesses.
Understanding your competition is crucial when it comes to marketing. You have to know what you're standing up against. And again, this comes back to knowing your own product and your own customer. Using your strengths and accepting your weaknesses will drive any marketing campaign. A few brands have made recent headlines trying to attach to the current political climate and have received negative feedback from consumers. Owning up to your mistakes will go a long way in those consumer's eyes.
5. Know your personal values as people
Not to get too personal, but at the end of the day, I still believe that you have to love what you do and do what you love. I've been in the world of social and digital for over 11 years, back when no one knew what a blog was. My personal career went from being a "blogger" to starting an agency to help "influencers" grow and make money in a new and fully evolving industry. I still love my job, my team, my clients, my talents. And as a team, we all choose the brands and clients that we help promote. For example, we, as an agency, choose to not support tobacco clients even though they notoriously have tons of money. In order to be a good marketer, I believe that you have to treat the product as if it's your own, and I can't with a clear conscience promote smoking.
6. Know the current marketing landscape.
Most marketers still don't understand social media, especially influencers. If you're looking to market to a millennial, you need to know where they spend most of their free time and how those platforms work. So many brands are still weary of social media, and many have fallen behind when others have embraced the current landscape of media. Those that didn't adopt early enough, now struggle to create content and reach their target audience. We've seen this with various brands in the luxury lifestyle, jewelry, automotive and spirits brands, while fashion brands were more early adopters.
7. Know the real value of good marketing.
When it comes to ROI, every brand is looking for something different. Understanding those expectations is a big part of our job, so that we can manage them accordingly. Many times, brands don't know what to expect or even what they're looking for, so it's our job as marketers to educate them on what is possible in order to create a successful marketing strategy. Brands come to us and they want the world. They want to spend 50K to market their product and expect 50K in return from sales. That is not how it works. While our goal is to always drive sales, many brands are in desperate need of visibility in such a saturated market. Our goal is to create content to amplify their brand message all while attracting consumers and eventually sales.
Beca Alexandra is founder and CEO of Socialyte, an all-female team of millennial women working to create custom campaigns. Alexander saw a need in the market for curated influencer castings and the company now works with over 2,000 brands and agencies in the ever evolving influencer marketing space.