Leveling Up in 2017

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To stand out in the business world, you need to do something valuable and unique—and you need people to know about it. Simple, right? Totally simple—you just have to have an integrated strategy, a presence on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram, an SEO-optimized blog and a video production arm that creates snackable content.

Whew. I’m tired just typing that sentence.

Marketing today, even for a small business, is complex. It’s a choreographed dance of content, cadence and clicks that makes even the most seasoned marketer go bonkers. There’s a reason there are so many articles that promise “10 Tools to Pump Up Your Digital Strategy,” and “Internet Ninja 101: How to Win Twitter,” and so on for infinity. The truth is, there’s a reason the marker seems so crowded: It IS and there is always something new to learn, to keep up with or to conquer so that your message is heard.

The good news? The game keeps changing, but there is a true path to marketing success that will withstand the test of time. Here’s how you reach people no matter what year it is.

1. Be Clear.

Like trying to follow a person’s rambling story about that one time they went on vacation to Croatia (or was it Latvia? Or was it Prague?) and they can’t keep the details straight, your brand needs a message. A clear one. One that speaks to the heart of what you do. Often called an elevator pitch, this bite-sized story needs to be communicated quickly and easily no matter where your audience encounters it. (Even though we all know people don’t chat on elevators anymore.)

2. Get Specific.

Your customer isn’t “everybody”—even first-year marketing students know that. Embrace who you’re made for. Get granular about who you’ve built a business to serve and go serve those people with gusto. Those that don’t get it can jog on.

3. Make Memories.

Memorable brands are the ones that stick around. That’s why marketing experts are always chasing the “sticky” brand experience—one that people will remember and think fondly of for years. In a noisy world of brands competing for eyeballs and dollars, think about how you can create memories for your customers. How you can draw them in and wow them so hard they can’t help but tweet home about it.

No matter what platform people are freaking out about next, no matter how “new” new media gets, these principles can guide you to a brand people don’t forget.

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About Author

For the past twelve years, Aimee Woodall has stretched the boundaries of non-traditional marketing and public relations strategies.   Aimee Woodall is the owner of the Black Sheep Agency, a Houston-based strategic brand shop specializing in cause-driven marketing, public relations, social media and community outreach. You can contact her at 832.971.7725 or email aimee@theblacksheepagency.comTheblacksheepagency.com

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