Marketing, even when you’re crazy busy

Juggling Marketing When You're Busy

Our region has been so fortunate to have had so much business recently. We’ve heard that many local businesses have been overwhelmed with demand. Considering how difficult 2020 was, this is an amazing place to be so soon after. Whether you’re crazy busy with high demand, expanding your business or working towards getting back to pre-COVID times, marketing is always important.

Marketing does help drive sales, and so much more than that. So even if you think you’re busy now, you’d be taking a big gamble to let it slide from your business strategy. The Northern Rivers has been flooded with visitors, and your marketing tells these people why they should consider you. Without these messages, your competitors will be thanking you.

In It to Win It

If you’re not in the game, you can’t win. Good marketing makes consumers think of you first when they need the product or service you offer. The brand awareness, interest and desire for your brand will impact your sales positively, no doubt. Keeping up with social media, traditional advertising, emails, digital marketing, SEO (whatever forms your strategy) keeps your brand in the forefront of consumer’s minds. If you drop your marketing efforts, even from just one channel, your competitors will already be ahead of you. Vying for consumer’s attention is a competitive game, so you must always play if you’re serious about growing your business.

Slow and Steady

It’s hard to keep up with marketing when you’re busy but you can’t let it take a back, or even a side seat. Consistency always wins. Right now is a great opportunity to put long-term marketing strategies in place to drive awareness and sales for the future. With a surge in domestic travel and people moving to the area, you can expect to see business steady all year round and your marketing efforts need to reflect this. You’ll need to continuously communicate with visitors, the locals and the new people arriving in our area. Businesses that never stop marketing experience a forward-momentum situation, like a train getting faster and faster along the tracks. Don’t slam the brakes on your marketing when you’re busy - doing so could slow down your sales in the future. To maintain sales (and to grow them!), be consistent.

Always Communicate

Tactics such as social media marketing, email marketing, print, TV advertising and PR help you tell your brand story. The more you communicate value to consumers, the more they consider you a voice of authority in the industry, especially if you’ve got something interesting, valuable or different to say. In 2021, brand activism is extremely important to influence purchase decision-making, so tell your story and communicate your brand’s personality to consumers.

Having a long-term strategy and consistency in your marketing activities helps you compete against your competitors, maintain and drive sales in the future and grow your business. To keep moving forward, don’t stop what you’re doing.

Should I Outsource Marketing?

Barefruit Marketing Meeting

Here are 5 reasons to outsource your marketing in 2021 and beyond.

Do you need a marketing team but can’t quite justify bringing on full-time staff? Even if you already have a marketing team, perhaps you need more time for high-level strategic and creative thinking. Maybe you need additional expertise and resources for a one-off project or other elements of your marketing plan? Businesses, small and large, outsource their marketing activities to agencies to do more with less resources.

With more and more businesses outsourcing their marketing, let’s look into why it’s such an attractive option.

1. Access to expertise, resources, technology and unique perspectives
1.	Access to expertise, resources, technology and unique perspectives

By working with a marketing agency, you instantly increase your resources and capabilities for your business. Gone are the days of having an idea and not being able to execute it to the standard you’d like. When you bring on an agency to look after your marketing, you absorb their experience and expertise, as well as the technology and software they use. Agency employees are experienced in creative thinking, looking at the bigger picture and by being outside of the internal business, they bring unique perspectives to business solutions.

In-house marketing can be great, but usually you end up with a team who are all-rounders because you need them to do lot of different tasks. Agencies are able to provide businesses with people who are specialists in a particular area. Need a new brand video? An agency will have a videographer and a video editor. Need an ongoing digital campaign? An agency will have someone to look after your social media, someone for your Google Ads campaigns and someone else for your SEO strategy. These people are all experts in their field, so you know you’re getting the best of the best.

When you outsource your marketing, you instantly have the tools and the people to make your ideas come to fruition

2. You’ll save money
You'll save money

In-house marketing teams are expensive, not to mention the cost of the equipment, hardware, software and materials required to do the job professionally. When you consider the time invested in finding the right person for the job, recruitment, training and salaries, in-house marketing is quite a big investment. The average annual salary of a Marketing Manager in Australia is $90K (and that’s just for an individual). Instead, when outsourcing, your business can receive the support and expertise from an entire team of marketing professionals (top-level strategists, copywriters, creative directors, graphic designers, digital marketing experts, web developers and account handlers) for much less. Plus, an agency gives you flexibility; it’s up to you how much you want to invest, whether it be on an ongoing- or project-basis. 

3. Get things done, and faster
3.	Get things done, and faster

We get it, running a one-man show is a lot already. Employees and business owners, especially in small business, are often stretched for time, fulfilling their day-to-day responsibilities and operations. This leaves no time for strategic thinking, creative concepting, development and production of campaigns, let alone urgent advertising deadlines and ongoing digital marketing.

Sometimes it can take time to get the ball rolling on campaigns and other marketing activities when you’re doing it all yourself. If an order comes up or you’re slammed with organising a market day stall, we know your promotional efforts will slip down the list of priorities. The thing is, they really shouldn’t, especially when you are busy. When you don’t have the time, an agency does, and the promotional activity will become a constant. In turn, you’ll increase your sales and revenue at a constant too.

4. Analysis and Reporting all done for you
Reporting

It’s one thing to run a campaign and engage in marketing efforts, but it’s another thing to analyse performance. Arguably, one of the most important stages in any marketing activity is the analysis of how it performed. Understanding consumer engagement and drawing insights from the data collected will inform future marketing direction and reveal the-all-important Return on Investment. Unfortunately, there is sometimes not enough time to pick apart the data in an in-house marketing team, which is why outsourcing marketing activities can really be valuable for businesses.

Ultimately, it’s better to get the experts in to analyse the data, especially when you don’t know what you’re looking for. Further to this, some analysis tools that agencies have access to are expensive and difficult to use without proper training. We’re not saying you can’t do it, not at all. However, it’s probably more convenient and resourceful to leave it to someone who knows what to do.

5. Strategic Direction
Strategic direction

Agencies are constantly reviewing their campaigns and investigating data because it’s in their best interest to execute successful campaigns for their clients. Analysis also informs how a campaign can be improved for the future, which in turn informs strategic direction.

Business and marketing strategy go hand-in-hand. Agencies work with many different businesses to, ultimately, help the business grow and this can involve high-level strategic direction. If you’re pressed for time or feel like you’re not sure what needs to be determined when it comes to business strategy, an agency can really help. They’ve got experience with helping businesses across all industries, and they do it all day, every day.

All in all, we’re all for outsourcing marketing, no matter the size of the business. Whether it’s handing over organic social media management to an agency or having them concept and execute TVC and radio advertising. Gaining access to a team of experts who are highly experienced across many different services at a lower cost than hiring one to two internal marketers is enough reason in itself to get in touch with an agency.

2020 at Barefruit Marketing

Barefruit in 2020

This is the last time we talk about 2020, we promise! Although it was a weird year last year, many lessons were learnt along the way. We’re looking back to 2020 to recognise and acknowledge our growth, our flexibility, our productivity and our teamwork (oh, and the funny times too!).

Full of hope and motivation for the beginning of a new decade, 2020 started off with a bang. Everyone was feeling refreshed for the new year after a break over the Christmas holidays. The bush fires that had devastated regional and remote NSW had finally come to an end and, truthfully spirits were high. Then came along COVID-19 and little did we know how much this virus might have on the world as we knew it.

As Australia’s cases rose, restrictions around the country tightened. Before we knew it, the Barefruit office closed, and we were all sent home to work on reduced hours. It was so difficult to see our many of our clients and local businesses really struggle through the first lockdown. Much of our work was put on hold, however our rebrand project for Korff Wealth continued on amongst a few other projects. This included the beginnings of Rafiki Zabibu wine...check it out here.

We saw the opportunity for Korff Wealth, a financial services boutique to roll out their rebrand while Australia was in lockdown. Why? Because more than ever before, Australians were turning to experts for financial advice. It was an exciting and challenging time for the Barefruit team, working over the phone and internet to deliver a rebranding project.

After 60 days at home, it was finally time for the kids to head back to school which meant we got to go back to the office. Thank goodness! It was unprecedented times for our clients, with business slowly starting back up in our town. We dialled up our flexibility to deliver a ‘Back2Business’ campaign, including coaching programs and marketing packages to generate new leads. We also worked to help our clients take advantage of government grants that were available for small businesses to use for marketing and communications. Our ability to capitalise on opportunities such as these was essential to the success we have seen in recent months, and we feel very proud about it.

Along came July and our pregnant Agency Manager, Cat, was due to have her a baby very soon. It was time for Barefruit to bring on a new employee to fill Cat’s position. And so, we welcomed Charlotte into an Account Executive position. We can’t quite believe that we were not only able to survive 2020 as a business, but we also were able to expand the team. In fact, we even needed to get Sara, our previous Agency Manager, back in for a day a week as Charlotte moved onto more and more client work. On 29 August, Cat welcomed her little girl, Bonnie, earth-side. The new Barefruit bubba has visited us a few times since, and she is absolutely gorgeous.

As business continued to improve in our local town, we were awarded with more and more projects from existing and new clients. In September, we helped North Coast Community College launch their new Primary Industries Training Centre. This was a major highlight of our year. We worked to organise a launch event for this new training centre and series of certificate III qualifications, while simultaneously creating media buzz and as much free publicity about it as possible. The event was a huge success with dignitaries, local publications and special guests all in attendance. From this, numerous articles were written about the new NCCC Primary Industries Training Centre, and NBN ran a feature on the local news the evening of the event. Read more about the fantastic day it was here.

The second half of 2020 really flew by. Before we knew it, it was Spring, and business was returning to normal in our regional town. Not to mention the onslaught of tourists from Sydney and Brisbane who greatly helped business in the Northern Rivers recover from the impacts of lockdown. We worked with artist Len Collins to set up a new website, multiple shoots for Tweed Holidays Parks took place, we worked with a start-up to create a company name and branding. We organised a Golf Day event with Northern Rivers Food in return for event sponsorship, continued ongoing work for all our retainer clients and saw our beer packaging design on the shelves of bottle shops. Recently we were awarded a TVC job for Raine and Horne.

After 414+ creative briefs, 500+ hours of pro bono work, 15 new websites and 15+ new branding projects we wrapped the year up, celebrating with a fantastic Christmas Party with Behind the Barrel. Thank you to everyone who made the year it was at Barefruit. We are forever grateful to be where we are today in 2021, thanks to the support of our staff, our clients and the local community.

Barefruit 2020 infographic

Business Tips to Make the Most of Summer

With the festive season and school holidays in full swing the Northern Rivers is seeing a huge influx of visitors. And, with international travel no longer an option for a Christmas getaway, this summer is going to be busier than ever before. As a small business in our area, it’s time to get creative and do what you can to capture the attention of locals and visitors. Think about how you can make valuable exchanges and build relationships to encourage future sales.

It’s time to get creative!

This summer is the perfect opportunity to gather and collect content and customers so when it goes quiet again, you’ve got something to work with. After the year 2020 was, User Generated Content (UGC) is more important than ever before. Think of ways for consumers to engage with your brand so that their experience with you is memorable and personalised. Perhaps it’s through a hashtag, a competition or discount rewarding UGC or some clever packaging.

Lennox Head Pizza have collaborated with @thepizzabib and local artist, MLak, to create quirky pizza boxes with fun artwork that is very shareable on social media. Don’t forget about print ads, either! We can expect this high season to last until after Easter, so an ad in the Lennox Wave, the Echo or other local publications will boost your brand's awareness. Loyalty cards, gift cards and repeat-sale-discounts are other ways to facilitate relationship building with consumers.

Trends to look out for in 2021

The marketing landscape has undergone significant change due to the impacts of lockdowns and social-distancing restrictions, across the world. As such, nostalgia marketing has really taken off. Why? We’re all craving the comfort of familiarity. Nostalgia is incredibly powerful, and it’s been proven to make consumers more willing to spend money on products and services. This makes nostalgia marketing  a perfect fit for any marketing strategy. When you combine emotions and connections to brands from people’s childhoods with persuasive messaging, it has a strong effect on purchase decision-making. Remember the ‘Crocodile Dundee’ Superbowl ad for Australian Tourism? That tapped into nostalgia, helping Americans connect with and build perceptions of  modern-day Australia.

Position Zero on Google

We are currently witnessing one of the biggest shifts in digital marketing in the last decade. It’s always been the goal to rank 1 on Google, but now there is a Position Zero to aim for. Position Zero is when text from a website is shown above search results. This snippet is pulled from Google’s algorithm as it is believed to be the most accurate answer to a certain query. Position Zero is what Google uses to answer voice searches, which is why it is becoming increasingly important. In 2021, ranking first in search results will still be essential to a successful SEO strategy, and being featured in Position Zero will be just as important, if not more so.

We made it through 2020! May 2021 be a fruitful year for you.

Marketing trends you can expect to see in 2021

BFM 2021 Marketing Trends

2021 is just around the corner which means it’s time to get ahead of the game. As we approach the end of each year, marketing trends for the next start to emerge. So, we’re going to take a look at what you can expect to see in the world of marketing in 2021.

User Generated Content

Since the rise of influencer marketing, user generated content (UGC) has become a highly effective marketing strategy for brands all across the world. As such, the value of UGC has increased exponentially due to consumers’ inclination to trust messages from fellow users over those from brands. The main appeal of UGC is the increased level of authenticity and reliability it provides consumers – essentially, it’s the new-school word for ‘word of mouth’.

Due to lock-down and social-distancing restrictions, 2020 saw a HUGE increase in UGC. Photoshoots and filming were put on hold and so brands had to get creative. And so, they adapted to the evolving digital landscape by looking to their customers to create content they want to see. We’ve seen more collaborations, influencer take-overs and real-life consumers using products on brand profiles on social media than ever before. In 2021, expect to see the trend continue because, let’s face it, there is nothing more trusting and enticing to see someone using and enjoying a product or service.

Example-Starbucks-User-Generated-Content
Branded content

High quality branded content has also been on the rise in 2020. Although, it’s no longer a one-way conversation when it comes to branded content. When brands communicate messages across any channel, consumers are increasingly expecting an experience. They don’t want to be told that something is on sale. Consumers want to connect emotionally with brands and get to know the brand’s personality and values in order to establish a relationship which aids purchase decisions.

And so, branded content in 2021 will be about creating a unique, unforgettable experience for customers. Jen McKinnon, Video Marketing Specialist and Envato says,

"With businesses, brands and individuals creating new content by the second, it's becoming harder and harder to stand out, which is why the quality of what we publish is so important.”

Some brands are using AR features of Instagram filters to give users branded experiences. Below are a few examples we love. Gucci jumped on board with a filter to help 2020 high school and uni graduates celebrate, which was extremely popular as graduation ceremonies were cancelled around the world. We MakeUp has used filters to give users the opportunity to 'try before thy buy'. And Taco Bell ...well we aren't sure if we love it, but it's certainly an experience for the user! You've likely seen brands engage on Instagram filters with games as well, and all of this is high quality branded content that creates memorable experiences for users.

Gucci Filters for branded content
We.MakeUp Filter for branded content
Taco Bell Filter for branded content
Social commerce

Social media is now the biggest and most beneficial platform for digital marketing, and makes up a large part of marketing budgets. With the introduction of Facebook and Instagram shops, product tags and Pinterest shopping ads and catalogues, social commerce has made its mark in 2020. 55% of online shoppers making purchases through social media channel and a whopping 71% of us turning to social media for shopping inspiration.

As we move into 2021, its more important than ever to make your brand, product and services are shoppable on social media. Additionally, consumers are starting to expect a more streamlined shopping experience, so having products shoppable on social media channels delivers on their expectations.

Example Instagram shopping tags
Brand activism

With everything that has happened in 2020, people have turned to social media to share their viewpoints on political, social and environmental issues around the world. It is no surprise that we are now seeing a big increase in brand activism, especially on social media. Today’s consumers are no longer out to get a good deal, instead they are becoming loyal to brands that aren’t afraid to stand up for what’s right, are committed to making change and have values aligned to those of their own.

In 2021, to help consumers feel connected to your brand’s personality, to build trust and loyalty you need to share your brand’s view points on certain issues in the world. Not all of them, of course! But the main ones that resonate with you and your brand.

 

Nostalgia Marketing

Described as the ‘advertising-equivalent of comfort food’, nostalgia marketing has really taken off in the last year. And this is probably because we are all craving familiarity, comfort and safety in 2020. Additionally, in a fast-paced world, looking back on the good-ol’ times always a welcome comfort.

Nostalgia is incredibly powerful, and it’s been proven to make consumers more willing to spend money on products and services, making it a perfect fit for any marketing strategy. When you combine nostalgia and marketing together, you get a force that cannot be reckoned with. Mixing emotions and connections to brands from people’s childhoods with persuasive messaging has a strong effect on purchase decision-making. Nostalgia Marketing forces us to focus on the things we already know and uses the familiarity of the old to sell the innovation. Its familiar, comforting and safe, and who doesn’t want a bit of that right now?

SERP Position Zero

SEO will remain an integral part of a digital marketing strategy in 2021, especially now that we are witnessing one of the biggest shifts in the industry in the last decade. Due to the increase use of mobile and voice search, the way in which people use search engines is changing. Think about how you use your phone to search on Google, versus how you use a desktop computer. As such, to rank first on Google Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) is no longer the ultimate goal. There is now a Position Zero to aim for. Position Zero is when text from a website is shown above search results. This snippet is pulled from Google’s algorithm as it is believed to be the most accurate answer to a certain query. Position Zero is what Google uses to answer voice searches, which is why it is becoming increasingly important.

In 2021, ranking first in search results will still be essential to a successful SEO strategy, but being featured in Position Zero will be just as important, if not more so.

Position Zero example SEO 2020

2020 has been a wild ride, but with these tip-offs on the marketing trends to expect in 2021, you can get planning now. Because, fingers-crossed (all of them!) 2021 is going to be a better year than the ones we’ve just had. Keep note that trends evolve and change, so these top tips aren’t anything set in stone, but they are a guide you can trust!

Getting Your Brand Ready for Christmas

Get ready for Xmas

It’s that time of year already…finally! After the Melbourne Cup, the festive season hits and with the longer days, daylight savings and warmer weather, Christmas is well and truly on its way. If you’re a small business, Christmas and the holiday season can be one of your busiest times of the year. So let’s make sure you’re ready.

Promotion, Sales and Discounts

Whatever you’re selling, this is the time of year when the market is saturated with promotions, deals, discounts and sales. It all kicks off with Black Friday on 29 November and Cyber Monday on 30 November in celebration of Thanksgiving. Although Australia doesn’t necessarily celebrate Thanksgiving, we’ve jumped on board anyway – any excuse for a sale! Then we’re into the Christmas rush, swiftly followed by Boxing Day and January sales. Choose which promotional method best suits your brand and make sure you give people plenty of notice. Utilise your social media channels, website and email lists. If you are Lennox-based, you will reach most of the community with the Lennox Wave. What's more, over the holiday period Helen’s bumper issue reaches locals and the many visitors to our town!

Consider Shipping Delays

With COVID-19 and the huge increase in online shopping, Australia Post and other couriers are struggling to keep up. Keep an eye on possible delays! Communicate the cut-off dates for Christmas deliveries to encourage early purchase.

Christmas Gifts for Business Partners and Loyal Customers

The festive season is a time for giving and it’s important to make sure your brand is also. Recognise the people you work with, partnerships, clients and loyal customers with a little-something-special to show they’ve made a difference to your year. It doesn’t have to be big or expensive…a card in the mail goes a long way. Again, don’t forget lead times on merchandise could be very soon.

Shop local!

Choose to shop local to support our community and local business owners. With everything that has happened this year, they really need all the support they can get. Plus, gifts are so much more special when there is a story behind them – a personal touch that cannot be matched.

Schedule your Socials

Being a business owner and wearing all those hats is full on at the best of times, so get ahead of yourself and organise what you can in advance. Batch your content and spend a few hours getting your posts created and scheduled, all the way to the beginning of January if you can! There is an in-built scheduling tool in Facebook called Creator Studio (make sure you link your Instagram and Facebook together!) and multiple scheduling apps, such as Hootsuite or Later.

2020 has been a huge year, and as a business owner we have all felt pushed to our absolute limits at times. This Christmas make sure to give yourself a break. Get refreshed for the new year, think about your goals moving forward and appreciate the fact that you made it!

Take Amazing Photos for your Brand at Home

This is for all the small business owners who have their fingers in many pies; who are the finance, the marketing, the logistics, the production and the sales team all in one. When it comes to professional, and sleek branding, ensuring your products are photographed professionally is a biggie. You want your product to look as desirable to the consumer as possible, while providing them with an opportunity to evaluate the material, quality, design and features of your product.

It’s expensive to get have your products photographed by a professional, especially if you’re a small business. So, let’s take a look at how to take amazing product photos yourself, at home.

Plan your photo shoot

As you would do if you were planning anything, you need to do your research. Spend an hour or so looking at competitors, brands you aspire to and, of course, Pinterest to get some inspo. Save it the images you love so you have something to reference when you are behind the camera. Make sure you take a good look at your inspo photography, noting how someone has used light, what sort of light it is (warm or cool), and how they have laid out their studio space.

Set up your studio

Find an area with the best natural light in your home. This where you are going to set up. Usually having a blank wall behind you is ideal, although you can easily hang up a sheet to create a plain, yet soft background. Then you’ll need to decide how you’re going to display your product. Do you have a nice desk you can move into your studio space? Or maybe a rustic stool? Or maybe you need a model? Anything that will give you a nice aesthetic, that matches you branding of course! We can’t forget about props. These are especially important to communicate your brand aesthetic and for zhooshing up your shot. Leafy greens always go down well. Try experimenting with mirrors and flowers too. Have a friend wear, hold and/or use your product – this helps the others see themselves with your product.

Your smartphone is all you need

iPhone or Android, today’s phones have incredible cameras and, when you know your stuff, you can take some gorgeous photographs. First step is to check the settings of your phone. We highly recommend iPhone’s Portrait mode when photographing products and details up.

Now you’re all set to get stuck into it. Snap away, reviewing your photos as you go to see what works, what doesn’t and where you could improve. It might be handing to have a lamp nearby. You can experiment with this by holding it above your studio space at different angles. Don’t forget to keep referring back to your inspo photography as you go too!

 

Photo credit: @goldentimetay

Secrets to success of Tweed Coast holiday parks

As always, it's so great to see articles about our client, Tweed Holiday Parks, in the media. The Northern Star wrote this article on Tweed Holiday Parks recent and ongoing success.

The location, modern facilities and drive of staff to go the extra mile is what keeps attracting visitors to the park. According to Tweed Holiday Parks Business Development manager, Lisa Mcrae, "those are the key elements to keep tourists coming back to the Tweed with a smile on their face." Lisa went on to say, "I think the location in Tweed is definitely a selling point for our customers. Five of our parks are located on the beachfront," she said.

Excitingly for the business, of the seven council-owned parks, four have been given the TripAdvisor Travellers Choice Award based on customer feedback in the most recent awards.

Tweed Holiday Parks initially approached Barefruit to guide them through a rebrand project. We have continued this relationship and now assist them with their SEO, social media, digital advertising and more. You can read more this project here.