Social Wave’s Kan Huang is well-qualified to give marketing tips, having handled marketing for over 50 service-based businesses.
In this special episode, he shares seven choice learnings that could change the way you market your business and your brand.
Podcast: Download (Duration: 14:42 — 15.6MB)
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In the podcast:
Who is this episode for and what do they stand to gain? Kan gives an overview. [01:38]
It’s one thing to get a sale. It’s another to make sure you keep getting them. [03:00]
Too many businesses neglect the thing that could really set them apart. [04:54]
Sustainable success takes longer to achieve than you’d think, but it’s well worth the time and effort. [06:40]
Show up with quality content, and keep showing up. [08:51]
Big brands can afford to be sloppy – small businesses haven’t the luxury. [09:38]
These days, having a personality behind the logo is the ultimate moat. [10:15]
Forget traditional selling. Leverage today’s technology to create great quality marketing. [10:52]
Step up your business game with help from James
Today’s episode is an unusual one, but it may be the first of others like it. James has gotten Social Wave’s Kan Huang to put together a solo episode on seven lessons he’s learned running B2B marketing for over 50 service-based businesses. It’s a short presentation, but one that’s highly actionable.
These marketing tips are super relevant if you’re in B2B, but even if your business is direct to consumer, or if you’re not service-based, there’s enough overlap for you to get plenty of value from Kan’s talk.
Capturing demand versus generating it
Lesson one: most businesses focus on capturing demand and don’t do enough of demand generation.
Capturing demand happens when a customer is looking for the type of service you offer, and, you being in the right place at the right time, they buy from you. The trouble with that, says Kan, is that 95 percent of your target buyers aren’t looking for you.
So to generate future demand, you need pre-marketing. You need to raise awareness of what you do and what the benefits are, by being active on organic social media or brand ads. This puts you top of mind, so when people are ready to buy, they’re more likely to approach you instead of your competitors.
Think of it as planting the seed of awareness in the mind of your audience. And you tend that seed by posting regular content.
Note: the better the quality of your content, the more likely you’ll get results. The opposite is also true. Poor quality content, much less of an ROI.
Features can be copied; brand is what counts
Lesson number two, most businesses spend too much time focusing on their features rather than their brand.
Features might be the number of years of experience you have, or the thing your product can do that others can’t. The problem now with these is that they can be copied. And as the market becomes more saturated, the competition can catch up. In the long-range electric car space, for instance, it used to be just Tesla. Now there are other carmakers who are either there or who will get there eventually.
“Brand keeps you original. – Kan Huang”
The one thing that can set you apart is brand. Brand keeps you original.
Take accountancy. Accountants have a rep of being boring number crunchers. So when a young, brash, high-energy fellow comes along, using memes and cracking jokes while teaching accounting and business, people will take notice. Think about how you can do something similar.
Remember, it’s a long-term game
Lesson number three: if you want to sustainably grow leads and revenue for your business through marketing, it actually takes longer than you think.
Kan has mentioned this in previous episodes with James. Business owners might come to them after a month of a campaign, saying they haven’t seen any ROI.
Kan really thinks marketers are to blame for those expectations. Those Facebook ads where $50 of ad spend gets you $80,000 in the first month. Or the single email that makes $24,000 in 21 days. Smoke and mirrors, says Kan.
It might work once, but it’s not sustainable. And ad spend is getting progressively more expensive, the more people spend on the platform.
“A lot of people think that if you build, they’ll come. – Kan Huang”
If you want sustainability, you have to build an audience. And this doesn’t happen overnight. A lot of people think that if you build, they’ll come. So they make podcasts, and expect people to discover and listen to them, without any sort of promotion.
People today are spoiled for choice. And there’s not enough time or attention to go around. You have to give them good reason to spend that time and attention on you, and you have to do it consistently over the long term. Think 12, 24-month windows and beyond.
Consistency goes a long way
If we look at some of the most successful brands, they didn’t build any of their stuff overnight. So what makes you think you can? Lesson number four is, consistency wins.
Show up week in, week out with quality content that educates and entertains your audience, says Kan, and your business cannot help but grow.
Again, he stresses, high-quality content. We’re not talking about a Super Bowl commercial, just regular, valuable content that helps your audience improve and succeed, and that builds a strong affinity with your brand.
Don’t look to the big guys for inspiration
Lesson number five, don’t look at what the big brands are doing. They have market share and presence, and so can get away with some complacency. Small businesses have to fight to have just a fraction of that presence. So don’t lower the standards of your marketing.
Personal brand beats company brand
Lesson number six is, personal brand is now more important than company brands. If you run a service-based business, or are in B2B, says Kan, then you need to understand that people buy from people. And this applies even to the big brands. Tesla has Elon Musk; Apple had Steve Jobs.
“People buy from people. – Kan Huang”
Kan and his team help all their clients build personal brands, because it’s the thing competitors can’t copy. It’s the ultimate moat.
Not your father’s marketing strategy
Finally, lesson number seven: traditional selling is dead, and in its place is modern marketing.
Thanks to the internet, buyers have more information at their fingertips now than at any other point in history. If you think about how you buy now compared to a decade ago, it’s wildly different. You do loads of research, and only in the final steps of the buyer’s journey do you contact the company whose product you want.
“Buyers now have more information at their fingertips than at any point in history. – Kan Huang”
Good quality marketing now is all about educating and teaching the audience the benefits of your service and positioning you as the trusted expert, so when people are ready to choose a service provider, you’re in the running.
To cap the seven lessons, Kan says, forget about these tactics, forget about these funnels, forget about these tripwires that you’re setting up. Keep it simple. Aim to deliver value to your end audience, help them improve their lives, get better at what they do, and succeed. And do it for free with the content that you create.
In return, when you have something to sell, or when people decide they need your services, they’ll find you. It’s not that difficult online. If they want to buy from you badly enough, and if you make yourself visible through your bio, through YouTube descriptions, through your website, they will find you.
It’s fine to run ads and funnels, says Kan, but it’s not sustainable. To sustainably grow leads, you have to really think, how do you build a great brand that people know, like and trust?
Those are the seven lessons. If you want to discover more about generating leads and revenue for your business, Kan has an ultimate 2022 content marketing playbook, which you can ask him about at [email protected]
Check out his YouTube channel as well – just search for Kan Huang. And if you want help with your video marketing, he and his team are at socialwave.com.au.
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