The MKSNAP Marathon Challenge 

Yep, you read that right, more training, more running. This time, taking on 26.2 miles for a very special charity and great cause based in Milton Keynes: MK SNAP.

Based in Walnut Tree, this charity provides an essential programme of education, life skills, work preparation and opportunities of work for adults aged 18+ with a variety of learning disabilities – giving them the skills to realise their full potential.

With the help of fundraising, they’re able to support with computer confidence, provide a health and well-being programme (covering food, physical activity and self-esteem), a performing arts programme, a sports programme, and sessions for dance, yoga and relaxation.

the mksnap marathon challenge

Their important work creates opportunities for these young adults to learn how to live independently, through catering skills within their very own cafe (it’s lovely) and various customer service roles – improving their life-enhancing skills.

So, for such a fantastic cause, Martin has dusted down his trainers and stepped up to run the London Marathon in April, helping to raise vital funds and awareness for such a wonderful charity. 

Martin is no stranger to such a challenge, having run the Brighton Marathon seven years ago (and he said he’d never do it again!) but all that changed last year after seeing the amazing work undertaken by MK SNAP.

He’s dived straight into training already, having completed a few ‘warm-up’ events including the Dirt Half Challenge at the end of last year, and regular runs throughout the rest of the very chilly and dark winter, brrr.

the mksnap marathon challenge

But he doesn’t mind, saying:

“I honestly thought running the Brighton Marathon would take the urge to run 26’odd miles off my bucket list but seeing the incredible work that MK SNAP does has encouraged me to do it all again. Bring on the training, bring on the aches and pains, but also, bring on the awareness and much-needed sponsorship for an amazing local cause. Thanks to everyone who has already sponsored me, and if you haven’t yet, head over to my Just Giving page.”

And the whole team is behind him (we’re quite happy to support this one from afar and keep our legs intact) so give our socials a follow if you want to see training updates and want to cheer Martin on for the 12th of April.

the mksnap marathon challenge

Defining your Company Mission Statement – 5 Things to Consider

When it comes to building a strong and memorable brand, your company’s mission statement is what can make you truly unique.  

It represents your purpose, values, and aspirations, serving as the foundation upon which your brand identity is built. 

Whether you’re a startup, or a seasoned company seeking a rebrand, understanding the nuances of how to craft a compelling mission statement is essential. 

1. What is a Mission Statement?

A mission statement is more than just a catchy phrase; it’s the heart and soul of your brand, defining who you are, and what you stand for. In a concise and impactful manner, it communicates your brand’s core purpose, values, and goals. It can serve as an anchor to keep your team aligned and resonate with your target audience.

2. Why Do You Need a Company Mission Statement?

Did you know that companies with a strong sense of purpose outperform the stock market by 42%? Yep!

According to a study by Harvard Business Review, purpose-driven companies not only experience financial success but also attract and retain top talent. Your mission statement is your declaration of purpose, and it can be a game-changer for your brand’s success.

But it’s not all about profits; it’s also about making a positive impact. According to a Nielsen survey, 66% of global consumers are willing to pay more for products and services from companies committed to positive social and environmental impact. Your mission statement can be the driving force behind your efforts to create a better world and society, making it an invaluable asset.

Defining your Company Mission Statement - 5 Things to Consider

3. How to Write a Mission Statement

Now that we’ve covered the importance of a company mission statement, let’s look at how to create one. This may require some creative brainstorming and introspection. 

Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  1. Self-Reflection:

Start by asking yourself why your company exists. What inspired you to start this journey, and what do you hope to achieve? Think about the core values that drive your business.

  1. Focus on the Impact:

Explain how your company aims to make a positive impact on the world. What problems do you want to solve, and how do you plan to solve them, rather than simply what you sell.

  1. Involve Your Team:

Get your team involved to help generate more diverse and creative ideas. This will help you create a mission statement that reflects the vision and collective spirit of the organisation.

  1. Be Concise:

Keep it short and sweet. Aim for a sentence or two that encapsulates your purpose and values. You want it to be memorable and easy to understand.

  1. Iterate and Refine:

Crafting the perfect mission statement may take several iterations. Don’t rush it; take your time to get it right.

4. What Should a Company Mission Statement Include?

A compelling mission statement will typically cover:

  • Purpose:  

Clearly state why your company exists and what it aims to achieve. This is the ‘what’ and ‘why’ of your business.

  • Values: 

Highlight the core principles and values that guide your company’s actions and decisions. This is the ‘how’ of your business.

  • Impact:  

Explain the positive impact you make for your customers, community, or even the world. This is the ‘for whom’ of your business.

  • Inspiration:  

Make it inspiring and aspirational. Your mission statement should motivate both your team and your customers.

Defining your Company Mission Statement - 5 Things to Consider

5. Where to Use Your Mission Statement

Your mission statement is more than just a collection of words. It’s a dynamic tool that should be integrated into various aspects of your brand identity. You might want to consider showcasing your mission statement here:


Your website is the digital face of your brand. Display your mission statement prominently on relevant pages such as your About Us page, Careers Page, or any CSR and Investor Relations content pages.

Social Media:

Incorporate your mission statement into your social media profiles and posts. It helps reinforce your brand identity and connect with your audience on a personal level.

Office Decor:

Consider putting your mission statement on display in your office or workspace. It serves as a constant reminder to your team of the purpose and values that drive your company.

Marketing Materials:

Incorporate your mission statement into marketing collateral, such as brochures, business cards, and promotional materials. It adds depth and meaning to your brand.

Internal use only: 

Some companies don’t even showcase their mission statement publicly, but choose to keep it for internal use only. This is a celebration of the team dynamic it creates and ensures employees and team members feel part of something exclusive. 

Defining your Company Mission Statement - 5 Things to Consider

Famous Examples of Great Mission Statements

To truly grasp the power of a well-crafted mission statement, let’s take a look at some famous examples:

  • Nike:

“To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.” 

Nike’s mission statement is short, inspirational, and aspirational. It speaks to their commitment to athletes and their continuous pursuit of innovation.

  • Google:

“To organise the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” 

Google’s mission statement is a testament to its dedication to making information accessible to everyone.

  • Tesla:

“To accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.” 

Tesla’s mission statement succinctly conveys its focus on sustainable energy solutions, appealing to environmentally conscious consumers.

  • Lego

“To inspire and develop the builders of tomorrow.” 

Lego’s mission statement goes beyond the product and directly to the target audience, highlighting its purpose as more than a ‘toy’.

These examples show how mission statements can be powerful tools for defining a brand’s identity and purpose. 

Your company’s mission statement is not just a few words on paper; it’s the embodiment of your purpose, values, and aspirations. The statistics are clear: purpose-driven companies outperform their competitors and attract a loyal customer base. 

So, take the time to craft a mission statement that inspires, motivates, and guides your brand to success. 

Competitor analysis – why it’s essential and why you should do more

The current marketing landscape is undeniably formidable. 

With new promotional and communication channels emerging at an alarming rate, navigating this landscape presents unique challenges to even the most marketing-savvy businesses. 

It’s getting more important than ever for businesses to not only sustain their success but also outpace their competitors.

One aspect of marketing strategy that often gets overlooked is competitor analysis.

Are you doing enough?

Do you need to be doing more?

What is competitor analysis?

Competitor analysis involves researching and dissecting your competitor’s marketing strategy, providing a benchmark for your own and a baseline in which to analyse comparisons. This allows you to understand your shared audiences better, identify opportunities and stay on top of industry trends. 

It’s essential to ensure you are not just keeping pace with the market but leading the way. It’s a comprehensive analysis of your competitor’s strategies, strengths, weaknesses, and market positioning. This analytical approach is not just about keeping tabs on your rivals but ensuring a strategic approach that can mean huge success for your business.

Competitor analysis could be the secret weapon in your arsenal that keeps you ahead of the curve, and privy to any mistakes or mishaps that have previously tripped up your competitors. 

Think of competitor analysis as the backstage pass to your competitors’ show. By dissecting their strategies, strengths and weaknesses, you can better understand their moves and victories, and realign your strategy accordingly.

Stratos Blog - Competitor analysis

Similar audiences

Your competitors are naturally marketing to the same audiences as you. But it’s not just about the obvious targets. Direct competitors are the ones offering similar products or services, while indirect competitors might be lurking in the shadows, catering to a slightly different market but still vying for your customers’ attention. 

By understanding where your competitors stand, you can find your place in the market, identify gaps, and offer something unique. Or even identify audiences you didn’t know were there before!

Risk mitigation

Keeping a close eye on your competitors means you can mitigate risks and learn from their mistakes and mishaps. 

Diligently monitoring your competitors’ strategic moves allows you to pinpoint emerging risks, sometimes before they even occur. 

Whether it’s shifts in consumer preferences, technological disruptions, or regulatory changes, competitor analysis will give you that foresight, and offer glimpses into possible uncertainties. 

Social listening is another great tool for risk mitigation in competitor analysis. If a new campaign from a competitor has attracted some contentious comments or negative reactions from audiences, you can delve into those insights and work out what is going wrong – and avoid it in the future! 

This puts you in a very powerful position.

Stratos Blog - Competitor analysis

Empowered decision-making

Competitor analysis can also serve as the foundation for more strategic decision-making. Whether that’s shaping marketing campaigns, competitive pricing, or developing new products, understanding your competitor’s strategy will provide the context you need to make decisions aligned with broader market dynamics.

Competitor analysis equips your business with the knowledge to adapt and evolve. By staying on top of market dynamics and competitor’s moves, you can quickly adjust strategies, and ensure your business doesn’t just react to change but acts strategically.

With tangible insights into what’s working and what’s not for your competitors, you have something solid to base your decisions on, and may even get more buy-in from those in leadership positions, meaning more budget and potential for your own campaigns!

Conducting a competitor analysis

Here are some facets of competitor analysis to consider before diving in: 

  • Identify who your competitors are. Remember to include direct and indirect competitors.
  • What products or services do they offer? Which are similar to yours? 
  • Identify gaps in their offering. What could they offer that they currently don’t?
  • What are their marketing tactics and results? For example, which keywords are they ranking for, or how many impressions and engagements are they getting on social media?
  • Where are they hanging out? Where do your audiences contact them and how do they respond? 
  • What pricing strategy and tactics are they using? What seems to be working and what doesn’t? 
  • A SWOT to analyse their strengths weaknesses, opportunities and threats – this helps you explore every angle of their performance
  • Take note of their content marketing strategy – where are they paying the most attention? 

Without a solid competitor analysis strategy, you’ll have no idea what you’re up against. 

Vying for attention online is becoming harder and harder. Every marketer and business owner should constantly be looking for ways to gain an edge over their competitors – where they’re empowered to make strategic decisions that will break through all of the noise and attract the right audiences.

Want to explore your strategic marketing strategy with Stratos by your side? Drop us a line whenever you’re ready.

Picture This 2: Diving into Artificial Intelligence

Our second instalment of this event took place at the stunning Aiimi Offices, Milton Keynes just a few weeks ago on 23rd November 2023. 

It was an evening of deep discussions, thought-provoking conversations, knowledge sharing, valuable insight, and information presented by three credible speakers, all specialists in their own lanes of Artificial Intelligence. 

But where did the concept come from?

Martin Carmody comments, It’s pivotal that we understand where others can support us and through my years of consulting and being involved in various agencies, this has never been clearer to me. There is a trio of agencies that support and underpin the event. Wirebox – Technical Development agency, Interdirect – PR and Digital Comms agency and finally, Stratos – brand and creative agency.

All agencies and teams complement one another, drawing upon each other’s strengths and leaning on our core proposition. From Brand, digital, comms and marketing I’m proud to have the opportunity to work alongside some of the very best talent, teams, brands, and cultures and that is exactly why ‘Picture This’ was born.

Picture This - Phil

‘Picture This’ is a platform we’ve created to bring like-minded people, peers, friends, and partners together. It’s an open stage to explore our thoughts and discuss topics and subject matters collectively.

As part of this, we give people the power, letting our audience shape and craft each event. It’s an immersive, community-based approach to thought leadership, where everyone can have a voice.” 

After the success of Picture This Part 1 earlier this year, we gathered feedback from our audience to understand what they wanted to see and hear more of in our next event. It was no surprise that the subject we all wanted to dive deeper into was: Artificial Intelligence. 

Picture This - Matthew Pres

A hot topic

Earlier in November, Bletchley Park was proud to host the Global AI Safety Summit and it was a huge stage for International Governments, leading AI Companies, and research experts to come together to discuss and understand how to grip and tackle any potential AI risks to ensure it develops safely in the years ahead. 

We’re sure this was a huge privilege for Bletchley Park, not to mention the kudos and awareness it provided for Milton Keynes.

What’s clear to us is that we need to embrace AI. 

It’s here and it won’t stop there and we’re all continually trying to demystify where AI can support, enhance, and be applied to our businesses, brands and cultures.

Picture This Audience

On the night we explored, discussed, and presented real-life experiences, knowledge, and opportunities that we believe would open minds and add value to our businesses, teams, and cultures. Wrapping up the session with a live Q&A panel run by Interdirect’s, Nick Mann. We then opened the room and encouraged our guests to get involved in the conversation – A super debate, great questions and such valuable responses from our three speakers. 

So who were the speakers?

Phil Hill is a photographic artist, lecturer, writer, and researcher whose projects have been published and exhibited internationally.

Matt Eustace is Head of Solutions Engineering for AI-powered insight specialist Aiimi and is one of its group founders. 

Matthew Maxwell has been involved in most corners of the design world. Currently pursuing a PhD in AI Art & Design at Middlesex University.

Picture This Speakers

So what’s next?

After such a great event and such positive feedback already, it’s now time to use this to shape the subject matter of our next instalment of Picture This. Tell us what you would like to see.

In the meantime, AI is a conversation that will undeniably continue. We feel a little bit more prepared for what’s coming next and also looking forward to understanding it more as it evolves ever faster. 

So, stay on the lookout for Picture This – Part 3. Coming to Milton Keynes in Spring 2024!

The Impact of AI on Digital Marketing

The topic of AI is hard to escape right now. 

And the conversations tend to lean towards one of two categories. 

The first: a more positive spin – how Artificial Intelligence will maximise opportunities and make our lives easier. 

The second: the AI apocalypse. We’re all doomed and AI is going to take all of our jobs!  

Whatever your take on AI, we have to admit, most of the fear that surrounds it stems from a lack of knowledge.

AI isn’t going anywhere. So it’s time we truly embrace it, and understand its scope as marketers – whilst also being aware of the limitations.

Facts & figures

  • The UK AI market is worth £16.9 billion, and is set to increase to £803.7 billion by 2035.
  • 1 in 6 UK organisations have embraced at least one AI technology, with larger companies utilising it more than smaller companies.
  • AI has a workforce of 50,000.
  • AI has contributed 3.7 billion to the economy.

AI in digital marketing

Artificial Intelligence has revolutionised the digital marketing landscape, redefining the way businesses connect with their audiences and achieve their marketing goals. 

AI technologies, including machine learning and data analytics, can offer unparalleled insights, automation, and personalisation, which enable digital marketers like us to optimise our strategies and enhance our brands.

Because of AI, we know the best time to connect with our audience, on which platform, and what types of content they are most likely to engage with. AI can even be used to predict how a customer will behave.

Transforming data into insights

As the saying goes: “You can’t grow what you don’t measure”. 

As creatives, many marketers shy away from the numbers and analytics tasks. You’d be surprised how many don’t measure their metrics! Thankfully, AI can empower us to process and analyse vast amounts of data to better understand customer preferences, behaviour and market trends. 

AI-driven analytics tools, such as Google Analytics and HubSpot, provide real-time information, empowering marketers to make decisions that deliver, and are well received by their audiences. 

Think of AI as a huge computer crunching data that’s faster and more accurate than any colleague. AI can boost our marketing efforts by providing us with the insights that continue to more successful marketing strategies, and increase the efficiency of marketing budgets. 

Blog Image 1 (Crunching Computer AI Image)

Enhancing personalisation

One of the biggest advantages of AI in digital marketing is its capacity for personalisation. Machine learning algorithms can analyse user behaviour and preferences, allowing brands  to tailor and target their content more accurately. Whether in an email or a website, personalised marketing increases customer engagement and conversion rates, leading to higher ROI.

Chatbots and customer service

AI-driven chatbots can provide 24/7 customer support, answering general enquiries, help resolve issues, and even guide users through purchases. This enhances customer experience by reducing response times, contributing to improved brand perception. With mixed reviews depending on the demographic you’re dealing with, it;s best to also have an option for human interaction too. But chatbots are great for working through general enquiries quickly and easily. 

Content Creation and Curation

AI can generate content, from simple reports to more complex narratives. Tools like GPT-3 can help you to draft and refine content, or even generate ideas. While AI algorithms can help you curate content that matches a user’s interests, keeping website visitors engaged.

AI can also take on the brunt of repetitive/automotive tasks, such as email marketing, social media posting. This frees up marketers to focus on strategic planning and creative tasks that require human thought.

Limitations and challenges of AI

Understanding the negative side of AI can ensure we use it responsibly. Let’s take a quick look at some of the potential pitfalls:

Data privacy and security

Data is the fuel of AI. But processing such vast amounts of data raises concerns about data privacy. Marketers need to be aware of data protection regulations, like GDPR in the EU, to avoid legal battles and maintain consumer trust. Misusing data or getting caught up in a privacy litigation can be incredibly detrimental to a brand’s reputation.

Loss of human voice

It’s becoming even easier to pinpoint when a brand is over reliant on AI. The absence of any human touch or human voice is evident. And while automation can be a significant asset, an over-reliance on AI can lead to a loss of personal touch in marketing that causes audiences to disconnect from a brand. There is also the worry that so much AI generated content online means we see more repetition and risk losing uniqueness and individuality in marketing.  

Blog Image 1 (Robot using laptop AI Image)

Discrimination and bias

Strangely enough, AI algorithms can actually form biases against the data they are trained on. Marketers need to be vigilant if they want to prevent discriminatory practices and prioritise fairness and inclusion. Your staff should be trained to look for and prevent algorithmic bias if you are relying on AI for data processing. 

Lack of Investment

AI should be seen as a collaborative tool. What you get out depends entirely on what you put in. As mentioned above, staff training is essential so that they can use the AI they have invested in to its maximum potential, while protecting customer trust and your brand’s reputation. 

Digital marketers and AI

To harness AI effectively and avoid the shortcomings, as a digital marketer, be sure to:

  1. Stay informed: Continuously update your knowledge of AI technologies, trends, and best practices.
  2. Compliance: Ensure compliance with data protection regulations and ethical data handling.
  3. Human oversight: Maintain human oversight over AI processes, especially in critical decision-making areas.
  4. Continuous learning: Invest in upskilling your teams to understand, operate, and monitor AI tools.
  5. Testing and Optimisation: Regularly test AI-driven strategies and campaigns, to optimise them based on performance data.

AI has redefined the digital marketing landscape, driving personalised, data-driven, and automated campaigns. AI can improve productivity, efficiency and performance. And it can help marketers with actionable intelligence that enhances user experience and improves the success of any digital marketing campaign.

AI won’t replace human creativity and strategic thinking, but it can greatly assist in decision- making. AI still has limitations in understanding human behaviour, empathy and cultural nuances, and of course, it doesn’t have the emotional intelligence that we do.  

It’s best to strike a balance between automation and human interaction to reap the most benefits. 

By understanding the opportunities and challenges AI presents, digital marketers can create stronger brand identities and build lasting relationships with their audiences in our ever-evolving digital world.

If you enjoyed this post, you might be interested in the upcoming ‘Picture This’ event in MK on the 23rd November. The focus will be on ‘AI: Friend or Foe?’ with an impressive list of guest speakers and plenty of opportunity to discuss AI, secure your ticket now. 

Blog Image 3 (Picture This banner)

Need help devising your next digital strategy? Give us a call or drop us an email. We promise it’ll be a human at the other end.

The importance of maintaining a strong online presence

If you don’t evolve your brand, innovate your product or service offerings and fail to keep up with changing consumer needs and expectations, don’t expect to be around in five years’ time.

Even bricks and mortar brands require a strong online presence to support their brand and commerce. But without continual maintenance, brand refreshes and keeping things up-to-date, success can quickly become a catastrophic failure.

First impressions

You’ve probably noticed that we recently refreshed and updated our own website.

In this fast-evolving landscape, it’s more important than ever that we keep up with consumer trends and demands. Digital technologies help inform and enable purchases like never before. Within seconds, consumers can check prices and get a strong sense of quality and trust in your brand based on your creative strategy, tone of voice, recommendations and reviews.

And just like in the physical world, first impressions matter. Digital technology is constantly allowing us to do more for our client’s online presence. So it made sense to freshen up our own site too.

We believe in practising what we preach, so as we develop more value for our clients through their online investment, we need to walk the walk and talk the talk for ourselves!

Design and UX

Design and user experience

Swiping and scrolling are synonymous with social media. But it’s also a reflection of how little time you have to capture attention online, whether you’re selling B2B or B2C.

The fastest way to lose a customer is to create a negative impression with an outdated website and poor user experience.

And if your competitors have a well-designed website with great UX that represents credibility, professionalism and trust, you’re facing an almost impossible task just to get people to come back at all.

Once you’re done with this blog, open up your own website alongside some of your main competitors. Whose page is grabbing attention and keeping customers online? Are there any sites that seem old-fashioned or difficult to navigate in comparison? If you feel yours is getting overshadowed, it could be time for an online brand refresh.

Like it or not, website design is now even more important in shaping the way potential customers perceive your business and brand.

Content and user journey

Great design is about more than just how good something looks.

As Steve Jobs once said: “Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.”

A good website also makes it easy for visitors to find what they’re looking for as smoothly as possible.

From the home page, visitors should be able to get straight to key information about your product and service. They should also be able to easily navigate to information about your company and people, as well as know how to contact you.

Content needs to be relevant, easy to read and understand and targeted at the right audience. You should also consider an informative blog that serves to answer your prospect’s biggest questions and challenges, guiding them through a suitable user journey that’s aligned to their needs. Customer or peer reviews and recommendations are also critical, irrespective of the industry you work in.


It’s not just the human visitors you need to design for. Web crawlers that index your site and drive your search result positions also need to be carefully considered. Make sure to include headings and subheadings, using keywords that people would use to look for your content. Use a responsive design so that your website looks great and is easy to use on mobile screens where the users’ fingers navigate their journey, as well as on desktops.

Building your online brand

Building your online brand

Of course, a strong online brand doesn’t begin and end with your website. It is also built on social media, e-commerce, email marketing and more. By continuously reviewing, analysing and adapting your online strategy, you should mitigate the risk of your brand being seen as old-fashioned and inadvertently contributing to reduced competitiveness, customer confusion and dissatisfaction.

Any great business understands the importance of digital branding. The digital world also brings with it more transparency, so it’s easier now than ever before to be able to thoroughly analyse your competitors from searching online and sampling apps to subscribing to emails or newsletters.

A detailed, and regularly updated, competitor analysis combined with frequent reviews of your identity, values and key messages will help ensure your brand remains relevant to your customers and target audience. Your strategy then influences the development of the right digital mix to support your brand positioning and help ensure that in today’s increasingly competitive digital world, you can thrive not just survive.

If you think it might be time to refresh your online presence, we’re pumped and ready to go. Just drop us a line and let’s talk strategy.

8 things we’ve learnt as strategic marketers and creatives

Heading into 2023, we’re evaluating what’s important, and what’s needed to be successful in branding and marketing.

The Stratos team is growing and so is our knowledge base, so here are 8 things we’re reflecting on as we revisit our learnings over the last few years.

The end user knows best

Everything, from start to finish, should have the end user in mind.

When working with clients, we often notice it’s easy to get caught up and excited by ideas that are meaningful to you, with little rationale or justification for the end user.

End user (or end customer) data is therefore crucial for making any branding, strategy or marketing decisions. The end user is the individual using, buying or advocating for your product. With little knowledge of who they are, their goals, values or preferences, it’s near impossible to market effectively and engage with the target audience. Market research, data, social listening and observational data are all key in helping us understand the end user and put forward the most effective strategies for our clients.

Woman holding dress

A cohesive identity is everything

A cohesive brand identity is vital.

Every element of your brand identity should be carefully considered and strategically implemented so that prospects and customers recognise you instantly, whatever the context.

This also allows you to engage with customers across a range of platforms and locations, without interrupting their journey, or throwing them off course with content that isn’t consistent with what they’re used to seeing.

This is dependent on a strong visual identity, consistent colour palette and typography, and a recognisable tone of voice. Investing in these early on in your brand journey helps to keep everything coherent and unique to your brand.

Packaging example

You can’t be everything at once

Trying to please everyone means you end up pleasing no one.

You can’t be everything to everyone. It’s impossible. So pick your poison and pick wisely.

What’s your USP (unique selling point)? Who is your ideal customer? What can your product do for them?

Focus on those few aspects but try not to get overwhelmed or dilute your offering by trying to solve every single problem. There’s nothing wrong with evolving to satisfy market demands, but remember who you are and why your audience trusts you.

Not every marketing channel is right for you

There’s a lot of buzz around LinkedIn, Youtube Shorts, and TikTok as prolific marketing channels for brands. And there is a lot of truth in that.

But without the knowledge and data, how do you know it’s right for your brand? Don’t get tempted to throw your brand into whatever’s ‘hot right now’. Instead, take a calculated approach to your marketing channels. If there is evidence that your prospects are using  TikTok for search, then by all means, go for it!

TikTok on a mobile device

But if longer-form content, such as blogs, works well for you, then invest in maximising that success and channelling more energy there. Or grow your blog by offering longer form content in the form of eBooks, guides, newsletters, or experimenting with vlogs. If your users are interested in long form content, it might not make sense to move into snappy 8 second videos. Choose a few that work for you, and focus on growing and strengthening what works.

Marketing is evolving more rapidly than ever before

Viral marketing, video, TikTok, podcasts. It’s overwhelming out there. Yes, marketing is evolving more rapidly than ever before. But don’t let this put you off.

It’s more important than ever to have strategic expertise on your side to guide you through this seemingly unforgivable landscape. The pressure is on to keep up, and there should be an impetus on brands to invest more wisely in their marketing strategies. You will have to do more than ever to stay ahead of competitors. Marketing requires consistent upkeep and nurturing to remain competitive and effective.

Accessibility and inclusivity too often get sidelined

The internet gives more and more people worldwide access to your content and your brand. This maximum exposure means there is a greater responsibility to be inclusive and accessible with your marketing. Consider language barriers, neurodivergence, learning disabilities, diversity, and inclusive language. Try not to alienate entire cohorts by choosing words or designs that only resonate with audiences in the front row.

You have to know your ‘why’ before you start

Before we proceed to work with any client, it’s crucial we understand their ‘why’, their purpose, their end goal.

This underpins everything in your marketing strategy, from your branding, to your communication, to your online presence. Your ‘why’ is essentially the foundation of your strategy, and your marketing and branding can be built around it to ensure you achieve your goal.

Invest in data and research

One of the best investments you can make as a part of your marketing strategy is research. This takes the guesswork out of everything and allows you to acquire original results and data that will enhance your marketing presence. Being in the possession of this knowledge also helps you establish authority in your industry, as you can share your learnings and findings as a part of your content strategy, engage with your audience on a knowledge-sharing basis, and use your data to connect and resonate on a more personal level.

Want to know more about working with a strategic branding agency? Feel free to contact us for a chat so we can unlock your brand’s potential.

Are you using LinkedIn properly for business growth?

Are you on LinkedIn?

With almost 3 professionals signing up to join LinkedIn every second, we’d be surprised if the answer is no.

But is your business on LinkedIn?

A LinkedIn business profile can help you maximise your marketing success. According to LinkedIn itself, 96% of B2B professionals are using the platform to distribute content.

So, we’d be surprised if you answered no to that too.

Chances are, you’ve landed on this post because you want to truly optimise your business’ presence on LinkedIn, and make it work to generate business growth. But is your LinkedIn working properly for you? Is it generating value, conversions, leads and starting conversations within your business community?

More and more organisations are turning to LinkedIn to build connections, relationships and most importantly, a community of followers that can advocate for their brand. The following questions should help you build a picture of where you need to be in terms of business growth on LinkedIn…

Is your profile page optimised?

Is your profile up to date? You should first ensure your bio copy, logos, branding, and profile image are current and relevant. Just like a website page or blog post, you should pay attention to keywords and optimisation techniques on your LinkedIn profile. For example, ensure your profile picture contains an alt tag, and your headline and biography reference relevant keywords.

Monitor screen with fonts
LinkedIn screenshot

If you put yourself in the shoes of a prospective customer and try to envision what they might be searching for on LinkedIn, this will help you come up with the most targeted and optimised copy across your profile. You should also add details of awards and partnerships, and ask happy customers to leave reviews and recommendations. This not only adds a little SEO boost to your profile, but helps showcase your authenticity and reputation.

Are you sharing content that matters?

As we say here at Stratos, MAKE IT MATTER.

It’s one thing to be a consumer of content on LinkedIn, scrolling and reading other people’s content, but are you actively creating and sharing content? Many businesses get caught in the trap of sharing only company updates or information about their products. And while this is all great – ask yourself WHY.

Why are we sharing this content and does it matter to our audiences? Does it add value? Is it helpful? Does it solve a problem your customers have? This approach also works at encouraging your audiences to engage with the content and share it with their own networks. But if it doesn’t resonate or they find little value in it, they’ll be less likely to interact with it.

Are you engaging in return?

Becoming an active contributor on LinkedIn should play a big part in your LinkedIn business strategy. This includes actively engaging in real time with your network. After all, you can’t expect engagement from your community if you don’t give any yourself.

It helps to get your team members on board too, as this will boost your community even further. So, you should ensure everyone is not only sharing content, but also getting involved in conversations, debates, and re-sharing others’ content. Depending on the nature of your business, you may also want to consider joining groups or working with key influencers.

LinkedIn post montage

But remember to watch out for your competitors – analyse how your audience interacts with them, what they engage with, and the language they use. All of this will help you form your own strategy.

Are you experimenting with the algorithm?

The LinkedIn algorithm is notoriously formidable. But it doesn’t hurt to experiment in the early days. The more you post, the more you can learn about what the algorithm and your followers like. It does take consistency and commitment in the beginning to get the algorithm on your side, and not everything will make it to the top of the news feed straight away. But if you continue to analyse what works and what doesn’t, and remain consistent and committed to quality, you’ll likely see changes within a few weeks.

One thing we do know about LinkedIn’s algorithm is that it rewards posts without corporate links (up to 2.9% more reach). So remember, it’s not all about conversions… When writing posts, make engaging copy and insightful, trending topics the priority.

The algorithm also ranks posts that aren’t edited time and time again, so take the time to proofread and check for grammatical errors before you publish.

Are you sharing videos and graphics?

Graphics and videos should be a part of your LinkedIn strategy too, since they are great for accessibility, shareability, and can help you reach wider audiences. If you’re already investing in written content, a great way to generate some visual media is to repackage and repurpose high-performing posts into either infographics or videos.

Are you analysing the data?

Lastly, your long-term strategy needs to be backed up by ongoing analysis, which will enable you to make data-lead decisions. As we mentioned earlier, the LinkedIn algorithm can take some time to figure out, and when you do, things tend to change again! So a large part of enabling business growth through LinkedIn will come down to your own analysis and observations, which will allow you to tailor your content and play to your strengths.