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Holy Ship! How Hiring a Local Marketing Agency Can Help Your Business!

Another wild day pretending you have 8 arms is behind you! Yes, you almost lost arm protecting your waters and warding off your fiercest competitors. And you were up all night again hunting down tasty opportunities. Holy ship, it’s a good thing octopuses have three hearts!

If you feel more like an octopus than a business owner at times, you’re not alone! In order to protect your waters, you have to attract and keep your audience while fighting off your competition. The key to accomplishing this goal is to prepare a strategic marketing plan that will help you become the king of the sea. To the average business owner who lacks marketing expertise, this process might seem a bit overwhelming. But by hiring a local marketing agency, you can develop a customized marketing strategy that will help your business thrive. Below are ten ways hiring a local marketing agency can help your business prosper.

1) Identify your target market

“You have put in the long hours and finally finished making that killer product or service, but your work is not yet done – now you need to introduce people to this offering. While it is relatively simple to develop general advertising for the masses, devoting time and resources to identify more targeted markets can help you maximize your marketing ROI.”

Chuck Cohn, Founder and CEO of Varsity Tutors

Get your suckers ready! Identifying your target market is the first step to building a successful marketing strategy. Hiring a local marketing agency can help you identify your target market by helping you sharpen your focus and obtain data and uncover untapped prospects in the sea. For instance, a marketing specialist can help you clarify what needs your products fill and how to use existing data to help your product look tasty to your audience.

2) Establish your marketing budget

Rich Octopus is more than just the name of a band from Louisiana. The best path to wealth is a stellar marketing plan. But before you launch into any marketing activities, you need to set your marketing budget and resolve to stick to it!

This is a foreign concept to many new business owners who feel like a fish out of water when it comes to finance and marketing. The good news is that a local marketing firm can help you establish your budget. In most cases, marketing budgets are determined in one of two ways: by allocating a specific percentage of revenue to marketing activities or by allocating a specific dollar amount to marketing pursuits. While companies vary in terms of the amount of money they allocate to marketing expenses, the average allocation is typically 9% to 12% of revenue.

3) Identify your key competitors

If you have to hear about Lil’Ocho or Ole 8-Mile-Man one more time, you might chew off one of your own arms! Hearing buzz about your competitors is never fun. But unfortunately, competition will always be alive and well in your waters. Positioning yourself as a leader in your industry is nearly impossible unless you have the inside track on your competitors. An accomplished marketing agency can help you identify key competitors. By reviewing your competitors’ marketing materials and comparing their advertising strategies, a local marketing firm can help you maintain an edge in a sea of fierce competitors.

4) Ramp up your social media presence

Yes, their eight arms would DEFINITELY give an octopus an edge and would help them dominate social media if it existed underwater!

Unfortunately, business owners are not born with eight arms! While you may not be able to compete with an octopus in the social media realm, failure to devote sufficient time to social media marketing leaves the door open for your competitors to surpass you. And with 90% of high net worth individuals actively engaging with social media, you can hardly afford not to make time to remain active on social media. In addition to providing an excellent forum through which to advertise your products, social media continues to be a superb means of networking.

5) Give your website a facelift

Did you know that an octopus would be more likely to ignore your website if it is drab and lifeless? Yes, octopuses are attracted to colour, shapes, and vibrancy. And like octopuses, your prospects will be more attracted to your company if you have an alluring website.

Prospects searching for your products are more likely than ever to start their search online. It is therefore imperative that your website be attractive, responsive, and easy to navigate. But if you are like most entrepreneurs, you may lack the skills to update your own website. Fortunately, web design is another key task that a local marketing agency can handle for you.

6) Navigate the trade show market

Becoming king of the sea is not easy. You have to stay abreast of all of the latest developments in your waters and keep tabs on key players. Attending industry trade shows is one of the best ways to accomplish these goals. However, you may not know which trade shows are the most established or what material you need to make an impact in a sea of booths. Enter your local marketing specialist, who will be able to guide you in your selection of trade show display material.

7) Start a blog and update it regularly

Keeping the world interested and engaged is important! Fortunately, creating a blog is free and can be done in five easy steps. Within a matter of minutes, you can be on the road to attracting prospects and providing helpful, educational material to people who visit your website. If you lack the time or expertise to start a blog, a local marketing specialist can help you create a blog schedule, perform the critical keyword research and craft the content to post on your site.

8) Use virtual reality to showcase your products

“Virtual reality is the biggest change in the way media is consumed since the internet; in fact it is a paradigm shift. It is technology that has caught a lot of brands out, with many of them now scrambling to work out how virtual reality can be used in their marketing.” 

Drew Gardner, VR360

Showing off your products is akin to an octopus showing off its funnel! And virtual reality technology is a big help in this process. Today’s most accomplished marketing specialists recognize the many ways that virtual reality technology has revolutionized global trade.

Virtual reality technology is affordable and flexible, enabling business owners to showcase their products and services from the office or from the exhibit hall of an industry trade show. If you are not comfortable with virtual reality technology, a marketing agency can quickly step in and help you design a stellar VR platform.

9) Use print collateral

Print collateral is not dead at the bottom of the sea! There is still a need for pamphlets, business cards and brochures in today’s marketplace. Some prospects enjoy the tangible nature of print collateral, especially if it is professionally prepared with a design that can be modified for digital use. Print collateral can also be featured in direct mail packages. Hiring a local marketing agency can help you assess the need for print collateral and make sure it’s perfectly on brand and targeted to your audience.

10) Track your results

How many prawns did you eat today? How many caves did you explore? Tracking an octopus’s performance is important! As a business owner, you should track your company’s performance and evaluate the effectiveness of your marketing plan at least once each year.

A local marketing agency can help you do this by monitoring the number and quality of leads generated by your strategies. Additionally, a local marketing agency can track the number of visits to your website and number of likes on your social media pages. Stagnancy in any of these key areas is a sign that it is time to consider re-evaluating underperforming elements of your marketing plan.

The Bottom Line: Hiring a Local Marketing Agency 

Maintaining a competitive edge in a sea of competitors requires a strategic marketing plan with a multi-faceted approach. By employing the ten steps above, a local marketing agency can help you position your company as an industry leader.

Want to learn about the many ways a marketing firm can help your business grow and thrive? We invite you to contact us today! With our help, you will feel like you have eight arms handling all of the tasks above. We look forward to becoming your trusty sidekick for all of your marketing needs!

Happy World Octopus Day 2017!

It’s World Octopus Day 2017, so we thought we’d do a little storytelling to celebrate.

So there was an octopus in an aquarium in the US. His handler fed the octopus buckets of shrimp then went back to his desk in another room. A little while later, a single shrimp was thrown onto his desk. The octopus had seen that one of the shrimp had gone bad, picked it up, escaped its tank, crossed the hall, found his handler’s office amongst many others, and was mad that he wasn’t getting good quality shrimp.

Let’s think about what that means: it means that the octopus could have escaped at any time but chose not to, that it can recognize one human face amongst the thousands it would have seen at a busy aquarium, that it can navigate a man-made environment and that it gets indignant like a middle-aged lady in a restaurant asking to see the manager when the food is sub-par.

Other octopods have flooded aquariums by dismantling valves, performed juggling tricks, and tap shrimp on their shoulders to trick them. It’s been theorized that they aren’t just smart, but they can make plans, build homes, communicate, use tools and even have a sense of humour. That doesn’t mean that their minds are anything like ours- their brain is distributed between their head and their nine arms, all of which can move independently if severed.

It’s not just their brains that are amazing: the only solid part of their bodies is their beak, so they can fit through anything that their beak can fit through—that means that a 600 pound, 16 foot long giant Pacific octopus can squeeze through a drainpipe. The Blue-Ringed Octopus is crazily poisonous, and if it doesn’t kill you outright its specific poison, tetrodotoxin, can induce ‘zombie-like’ symptoms in humans.

The take home point is: Octopods are cool as hell and we should appreciate them, so happy World Octopus Day 2017!

Five Tips to Make Digital Marketing Work for Your Business

It’s the age of the internet; there’s no doubt about that. Cisco estimates that by 2020 there will be 50 billion internet connected devices in the world. Yep, you read that right. That’s nearly 7 internet connected devices for every single person on the planet based on 2020 world population projections. In today’s digital age everything from your smartphone, to your appliances, to your clothing can be connected to the internet.

Octopus Creative is a new and innovative business founded on the mission of becoming the go-to marketing sidekick for rural small-to-medium sized businesses so they can achieve success in the digital age.  “We’re about so much more than giving you just a ‘pretty’ website, or a standing online billboard.  You don’t interact with billboards. Good marketing is multi-faceted and it begins with researching your target customer, understanding how they engage with your brand, and which of your unique selling points will win them over to your business.  Ultimately, It’s about understanding the customer experience and keeping them always at the forefront,” said Jonathan Berube, Co Founder and resident Marketing & Social Whiz at Octopus Creative.

“Design is a funny word. Some people think design means how it looks. But of course, if you dig deeper, it’s really how it works”.  – Steve Jobs

In staying true to our brand promise, we’re offering up some tips for your business to succeed with marketing in the digital age

  1. Invest in good design

Your logo and visual brand are key factors when communicating your value to the market, digitally and otherwise.  If the design or logo looks bad, that’s what you could be communicating.

  1. Websites should always achieve a goal

Strategy is paramount when you’re designing your website and thinking about your online presence.  Understand the customer, define a goal, understand your uniqueness and then design your marketing and website around those elements. Ultimately your website is about your customer, not about you.  Resonate with them and make sure they can find you online.

  1. Don’t miss the boat on social media

Social media is a word-of-mouth generator, a public relations platform, a cost-effective advertising tool and a customer insight engine.  Truth is, if you’re staying off social media because it’s too risky, that doesn’t mean the conversations aren’t already happening there.

“If you don’t like what’s being said, change the conversation.” – Don Draper, Mad Men

  1. KIS – Keep it simple

If your website and other marketing material is bursting at the seams with too much content and mixed messaging, you could just end up frustrating potential customers and driving them away instead of drawing them to your business.

  1. Look at the data to gather insight

The insight you can gain from data analysis can be a huge advantage for your business: more customer insight, more informed decision making, and the capability of precise and accurate numbers to prove marketing value.

If you’re looking for Integrated Marketing Solutions That Stick in the digital age, Octopus Creative is the go-to local company in the Lakeland here to be your marketing sidekick! “We’re here to partner with local businesses.  We’re committed to helping businesses succeed.  Simply put, that’s what drives us,” said Rob Hole, CEO and Web Mastermind at Octopus Creative.

If you need some help with taking the digital plunge, get in touch with Octopus Creative today!