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Marketing Strategy

How to practice ethical marketing

Build Brand Trust with These Ethical Marketing Campaigns

By | Marketing Strategy

Ethical marketing is the content you share about the intersection of your product or service and the impact it has or your business has in the world. It’s as much a digital marketing strategy as it is a philosophy. 

At Wayward Kind, ethical marketing is at the heart of our digital media. Our work is rooted in creating positive social change and we partner with companies and organizations that are aligned with our purpose. Ethical marketing is not just about what you do or how you do it, it’s about the values that are the heart of your business and living those values. 

Through ethical marketing practices, you are ensuring the customers that you are being honest and transparent about your product, your business, and your goals. This approach to marketing allows you to build trust and strong relationships with your consumers because you and they share a set of principles and ideas. 

Here are 4 ideas of how to start your ethical marketing campaign today. 

Show the work you’re putting in towards your social goals 

What is your business currently working on to be a better environmental steward or more equitable? Or if you are new to social impact, make a list of the areas your business could improve upon in terms of social and environmental causes, and create actionable goals to implement those values. Make sure your goals are actionable, achievable, measurable, and time-bound. 

From those goals, create content with your goals and where you are, what you need to do, and your timelines to implement your goals. Post on social media about your process, write a blog post or make a video about how you decided on your goals, write a guide, have an Instagram live on the reasons you wished to make a change and your commitments.

Check out this example. James Coffee Co. introduced at the beginning of 2021 their glass jar program. They replaced all of their single-use plastic cups and straws with glass jars.

Instagram: jamescoffeeco

In 2020 they sought to reduce the waste produced by their coffee shops, and the glass jar program was born. They created a cool video about it and wrote about how it works on their website. 

Show your customers and audience that you are socially responsible through your actions, not just through your marketing. It’s fine to share what you’re working on and your learning process, but don’t do it as a marketing tactic.

Build a campaign around awareness 

What is it about your issue of choice that matters? Educating people through an awareness campaign is a great way to get people involved and invested in your issue. It’s not about your company or your product, it is solely about the issue you are trying to educate people about. 

Patagonia is one of the best in the business at awareness campaigns. Their audience is people who like to be outdoors. Those same people share a certain set of beliefs and ideas with Patagonia. Patagonia says this, “We’re in business to save our home planet.” They write and feature content about the various facets of both the harms our planet is facing and the solutions.  

Patagonia Awareness Campaign Homepage

On their website and social media platforms are ways to get involved and extensive lists of organizations to donate to. When you engage with the brand on their platforms, you learn something, from the production process, to the recyclability of materials, to the environmental issues around outdoor recreation, to national policies conversations. Their brand’s content is geared to learn. 

Instagram: patagonia

Another brand using and sharing its platform to educate is Lesse Skincare. Their Instagram page is full of content about social justice work, ways to get involved politically, and the sustainability of their products. 



Share information on issues that align with your values. Your audience will have a chance to learn from you and grow with you. Moreover, sharing content about issues will cultivate brand trust because you are sharing parts of your values as a core part of your content. 

You aren’t selling anything, certainly not your product, you are raising awareness for something that matters to you. You’re inviting people who are like-minded to come sit by the fire. At some point might you do business together? Sure. But that’s not the point. For ethical marketers, values alignment comes first. 

You can raise money

Money is one of the most effective ways to implement change. Money allows for policy to be written, goods to be distributed, aid to reach the hands of people who need it, research to be conducted, and a continuation of work for a cause. 

One idea is to collaborate with an organization, and raise money for their work. In February of 2021, for every subscription to Dan Pfeffier’s Message Box, the first month’s cost of the subscription will be donated to the organization Run for Something. 

Another idea is to commit a certain percentage of your sales, monthly or annually, to donations to a cause you are invested in. During Pride Month in June 2020, Boy Smells created a whole line of candles for the month, and pledged 15% of proceeds from the PRIDE Collection from June-July, with a minimum donation of $26,500. The amount you pledge of sales should be what is feasible for your business. 

So many of the causes we care about are having research done on them to better understand how to rectify them. You can raise money for research projects as well, or start your own. 

In their work, Every Level Leadership kept seeing that Black womxn were not supported in workplace cultures. To understand why, they started Black Womxn Thriving the research project to “understand how Black womxn find joy, success, and stability at work; and how companies and organizations can recognize their responsibility to create a work environment where Black womxn thrive.”

If you are going to raise money for a cause, let your customers know that their purchase supports a cause. Profile the cause and market the campaign, and once the period of time is over for the donations, make sure you let people know how much was raised for the cause. Share the story of what the donation went to, maybe you can get the organization involved in telling that story.

Customers want to be involved in making changes and want to align their buying habits with their values.

Put your work on display

There are two ways to display the work you are doing for causes. One is to show the progress through data, and the other is through storytelling– who have you helped, what have you done. 

A San Diego small business, Home-Ec, in June of 2020 pledged to commit at least 15% of their cookbook inventory to Black-authored books. They created an Instagram post about their pledge, and in August 2020, updated their followers that they had fulfilled their pledge and demonstrated their demographics of cookbook authors through graphs. 

Instagram: home.ec.store

The founder is creating a culture of transparency and honesty in her business by saying here is where Home-Ec is and here’s where she wants Home-Ec to be. Once she reached her commitment, she displayed it so people knew that she had kept her word. 

If the work you are doing directly impacts people, share their stories, garner testimonials to distribute or feature on your platforms. People resonate with stories, so storytelling can be an effective way to bring people into the work you are doing. Maybe your work doesn’t have a direct impact on peoples’ lives but there are people doing incredible work for a cause or issue you care about, those are the stories you can share on your platform. 

Every Friday on Instagram Ellevest, a financial institution for women by women, does #FinancialFeministFridays where they feature women who are making strides in systems that are dominated by a history and presence of patriarchy. 

One Friday they featured the story of the U.S. Women’s Hockey team’s fight for equal pay to the men’s team. Another Friday they featured the story of Kima Jones, the founder of Jack Jones Literary Arts — a book publicity company promoting stories written by black women and women of color. Both of these stories are a different facet of creating financial equity for women. 

Another way they share their platform is through the hashtag, #ElleRaisersSpotlight, where they tell the story of women in business that are breaking glass ceilings. 

Instagram: ellevest

Here at Wayward Kind one of our core values is liberation. We actively seek out ways to use our platform as a tool for liberation. Our content features clients, collaborators, and partners who share this belief and are working in their sectors on envisioning and creating a more just world. We do work for real people, who work for real people on real issues. Their stories need to be told, and we use our platform for just that. 

Stories boost our trust and confidence, they motivate us to do something, they provide a window into what could be or what should be, allowing us to see ourselves in the work. The stories you tell will be an extension of your brand’s story. 

Get started! 

There are dos and don’ts to ethical marketing. Do be transparent and honest. Don’t lie or exaggerate. Don’t commit to values-based work because it’s a good marketing idea. Do work on issues that align with your core values. Don’t be fraudulent or disingenuous. There is so much power and force for good when businesses commit themselves to causes. 

Wayward Kind is a digital marketing agency focused on having digital conversations that matter. Our sweet spot is working with challenger brands who are making a significant impact in race, class, and gender equity and want to develop stronger relationships with their clients.

Want to create meaningful content and market what you care about? Let’s chat.

WANTED: DIGITAL MEDIA MAGICIAN

By | Content Development, Marketing Strategy, Team Wayward Kind

Wayward Kind is looking for a Digital Marketing Strategist to join our team of marketing experts. Is that you? Let’s find out:

We Want to Meet You If:

  • You love social media. Every day you update early and often. Your knowledge spans platforms, and you know how to grow an audience. And when something new comes along, your goal is to get out in front of the crowd and use it to connect.
  • You have some experience in digital marketing. (Or not.) Do you have a general way of reading people and audiences and understanding what they need? That’s key.
  • You are versatile. You enjoy working in a space that is different every day. Our clients are trying new things all the time, and we keep pace with them.
  • You’ve got receipts. You can show us how you’ve been developing your space in the digital world and how your channels influence the world around you.

You’ll Like Working Here If:

  • You want a workplace where you can show up as yourself every day. Black, Brown, queer, differently-abled—we know that a variety of voices brings a richness of perspectives, and we know that our work is better for it. Whoever you are, if you’ve got the skills for this job, we’ve got space for you to showcase them.
  • You want to flex your creativity every day. We work with social innovators, and their innovation pushes us to discover new methods to amplify the power of their work.
  • You like working with people who are changing the ways the world works. Our clients are pushing the envelope in areas of racial/gender equity, sustainable commerce, body positivity and many others. If you have been looking for a way for your day-to-day to create long-term impact, this is the place. 
  • You’re a flexible, resourceful problem solver. Digital marketing is at the heart of all we do, and your skills will touch every part of our agency. We need a person who knows how to ask questions and find answers, who is happy to try what’s never been done to see if it works. A willingness to not know but find out is vital.

What You’ll Be Doing:

  • Conceptualizing content pieces, including determining what platform and format will work best to reach a defined audience
  • Oversight of content from initial concept through publication
  • Gathering data, analyzing, and delivering the results of specific campaigns and initiatives to clients, including website metrics, social media metrics, and email marketing metrics
  • Strategy and direction for website development, including new websites, revamped sites, and ongoing website updates
  • Social media account setup, optimization, and content development, remaining in alignment with current best practices and algorithm changes 

  • Regular interaction with clients to ensure satisfaction with content and to continually refine and evolve strategy
  • Marketing plan development and facilitation
  • Referral marketing strategy development

What You Need:

  • 2-3 years of marketing strategy experience
  • 2-3 years of social media experience
  • Basic graphic design skills for social media (Canva, Photoshop, etc.)
  • Previous digital agency experience preferred, including direct communication with clients
  • Professional proficiency in English

Who We Are:

Wayward Kind is a digital marketing agency built on the belief that people buy from people, not from brands. We work with challenger brands that are making a significant impact in race, class, and gender equality. Our work is rooted in creating positive social change, and we partner with companies and organizations that are aligned with our purpose. More of our work can be found at waywardkind.com/work.

What We Believe In:

As a marketing firm, we are messengers. Our clients trust us to tell their stories and amplify their voices. We have the great pleasure, as well as the significant responsibility, of helping organizations communicate what they believe in.

We approach our work through a social justice lens, and we choose clients, collaborators, and partners who share these core values.

A Few More Details:

  • Location: This position is remote though our home office is located in San Diego, CA.
  • Job type: Full time
  • Job Title: Digital Marketing Strategist
  • Salary Range: $45,000-50,000/year
  • Benefits: Paid Holidays, Paid Vacation Time, Health Insurance
  • Business Hours: 8 am-5 pm, Monday through Friday

 

To apply, please send a cover letter, resume, and any samples of previous work to jaz@waywardkind.com

How to Respond to Political Moments

How to Respond to Political Moments

By | Content Development, Marketing Strategy

On Wednesday, January 6th, 2021, Black and Brown organizers secured the victory for two historic Democratic candidates in Georgia, essentially saving American democracy once again from itself. Mere hours after this, in the midst of certifying the Electoral College vote, white, domestic terrorists descended onto the Capitol and attempted an insurrection. 

Just last year, in the same spot, the National Guard awaited people protesting the state-sponsored violence of police brutality against Black, Brown, and marginalized communities. Where was the National Guard or the police when white insurrectionists seized the Capitol building? 

We know why the police were not there. We know why insurrectionists’ bodies were not brutalized. White supremacy. 

What happened on January 6th isn’t the first time our collective consciousness has been activated. Not the first time we witnessed two Americas. Nor will it be the last time we both bear witness to the white supremacy that underpins our nation and, celebrate the communities of color that are, continuously, the beacons of progressivism and democracy in America. 

The question is: how do we respond as business owners? 

As business owners, you’ve probably been told to stay silent on political matters. But silence is contributing to the dominant forces of violence that we see play out in politics and society. 

And those forces of violence aren’t that far removed from our work. They live within us and show up in our workplaces. 

Responding in the moment

If you are new to this conversation, pause here and watch this video. Wayward Kind’s Director of Strategy, Jaz and Marketing Coordinator, Keishonda had a candid conversation about inclusivity in the workplace, being Black, working in marketing, and some steps businesses can take to back up their posts and hashtags with tangible action.

Then come back to this question: when events are unfolding what can I do as a business to respond and make space for them? 

Pause or stop your scheduled content

Every time something awful happens, companies that are relying too heavily on automated marketing efforts (like scheduled social media and email content) show how disconnected they are from their community. If you do nothing else, stop your scheduled content.

Show up, in real time, with a point of view. 

Don’t wait for things to blow over or hope that you don’t need to address it. If it’s impacting the people you serve, it’s the only thing on their mind. You are catering to your market, and by staying silent, you could lose your audience. 

Take a genuine position as a brand on those issues, and the issues that matter to you. The “issues” don’t need to be aligned with your work. 

As an example, accounting firms should be showing up and speaking up about BLM just as much as they are talking about PPP loans.

People want to align themselves with brands, especially ones about livelihood, that they trust. Trust is built by the alignment of a brand with a customer’s personal values.

What does showing up look like? 

There are a few unspoken rules to speaking up

  1. Timeliness matters. If you have a POV on a current event and it’s not shared in the moment when it matters, then it’s too little too late.
  2. Do not show up with hollow and disingenuous statements. Your comment on events should not only indicate a position but a subsequent action, an affirmation, a renewed commitment, an education. 
  3. These moments of civil unrest are not a “marketing moment”. It is not an opportune time to market your services unless you are a Diversity Equity and Inclusion consultant. 

These moments of civil unrest are not about what you do, it’s about who you are. Just because this is not a marketing moment, does not mean you do not show up. You absolutely need to show up with a message that centers people, the event, and action. 

In the wake of George Floyd’s murder, large corporations and small businesses alike raised money for local and large civil society organizations. Businesses pledged to have a certain percentage of their inventory made by BIPOC producers. After the attempted insurrection, companies took action and disassociated themselves with the factions that tried to stage a coup. Shopify and Amazon took down affiliated shops. Banks are suspending political contributions. The Professional Golf Association, Ben and Jerry’s, the National Beer Association, all made statements.  

Racism, white supremacy, violence, sexism don’t happen in a singular event, these are everyday realities for people, so your response to an event should be bolstered by an action that demonstrates a sustained commitment to actionable change. 

These are tips for the immediate reaction to a crisis, and following are some long term actions to start making a difference in your organization. 

Being crisis ready

Responding to a crisis isn’t just something you do for your customers. Responding to a crisis is something you do for your employees and the longevity of your work and culture. But preparing for a crisis when the world is in the middle of a fire is the worst time to respond. You need to invest in becoming crisis-ready. 

Create space for your employees

National events show up in your workplace in how they personally impact employees. Your employees may be tired, may be worried, may be reckoning for the first time with their power in the world, may be dealing with the loss of a loved one. As we know, events, like January 6th, like the murder of Breonna Taylor, are happening in the midst of a once-in-a-century pandemic. 

You employees are human before, during, and after work, and cannot and should not disassociate with their humanity during work hours. 

The way to prepare for these events with your employees in mind is to create safe space.

Collaborate on decision making, on matters like what does care look like especially for BIPOC employees? What are the automatic solutions that will be in place during times of crisis? What are the daily practices of well-being that you want to cultivate for your staff? Empower your employees to ask for what they need, and create a culture of accommodating those needs. 

Something we practice at Wayward Kind is debriefing an event. Ask people at the first meeting of the day, how they feel about the event and or how they feel about approaching their work that day, what headspace they are in. We follow up with assessing the capabilities of our team for that day, what needs to be done in that moment, what can wait, and how we can be of assistance to our other team members. 

If you are a leader of a team, you are responsible for modeling good practices, all the time, not just in moments of crisis. 

An idea Jennifer McClanahan-Flint, Founder of Leverage to Lead had, is having automatic responses to emails during crisis. On Wednesday and for subsequent days of that week, Jennifer and her team activated their automatic response to emails to provide space to recuperate and care for themselves. Furthermore, creating boundaries for themselves with their clients. 

This automatic response email can be formatted similarly to this: 

  1. Acknowledge their email,
  2. Tell them the duration you will be out of the office or when you will be checking your email again, 
  3. Assert the practice you are creating for yourself or the entire team, 
  4. And if you so are inclined, offer a secondary resource if it is incredibly important. That could be someone in the office that has offered to be a resource or a point of contact. 

Your approach to creating space for your employees should be based on accommodation, creativity, and well-being. Emergency preparedness is not a one size fits all matter, and not every emergency will require the same measures. The most important aspect of emergency preparedness is meeting the wellbeing needs of your employees; your goal is to take care of them.

Create Core Values 

Every company has a set of values, whether or not they are articulated. Articulating those values will create a strong company culture, a team foundation, and be your roadmap for how you respond to a crisis. 

Your values should be tenets you, your employees, and your work embody every single day. And the value itself should be paired with actions that manifest the value. 

One of our values at Wayward Kind is “liberation.” 

We recognize all types of diversity including ethnicity, race, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, religion and abilities. We actively seek out ways to use our platform as a tool for liberation because we know that’s what makes our work exceptional. And we carefully select clients, collaborators and partners who share this belief. 

The actions necessary to manifest liberation require socio-political consciousness of the employees and clients, and, moreover, honest introspection and evaluation of our work. 

Values are practices. They need to be well defined to include what it looks like when practiced, what if feels like, what it should yield. It serves as a blueprint for action. And if you live your values, it will make responding to a crisis instinctual because your values have allowed you to be proactive. 

If you are having some trouble developing a set of values, check out our blog post on how to develop your company’s core values

Do I have to do it alone? 

We’ve given you a lot to work with and a lot to think about. We know it can be hard to get started. There are so many incredible resources available to start this process, and there are excellent Diversity Equity and Inclusion consultants that can help you navigate this. Some that immediately come to mind are:

Equity in the Center

Every Level Leadership 

Inclusive Life

Leverage to Lead 

Molly Gordon 

Nicole Lee Consulting

The Adaway Group 

This work is important. Don’t get deterred by its difficulty. There are people inside your organization, and businesses to call in, to help you get started. 

If your business has questions about how to make your messaging consistent and authentic or make sure your messaging and marketing are aligned with your core values, we are here to help. Tell us your story, so we can go from here together.

ow-to-develop-your-company’s-core-values.jpg

How To Develop Your Company’s Core Values

By | Content Development, Marketing Strategy

Every company has a set of values, whether or not they are codified or articulated. Having an expressed set of core values though creates a strong company culture, a team foundation, and sets your company apart from your competitors.

Coming up with a strong set of values and then living them out takes determination and commitment. If you are having trouble articulating your values, don’t worry, we have some fundamental questions to ask yourself to help you, and follow up with key ways to start living out your values. 

How to develop your company’s core values

 

Identify your values

To begin identifying your company’s core values, ask some of these foundational questions:

  • Why do you do what you do? 
  • Why does your company exist? What is your purpose? 
  • How is the world different with your company in it? What legacy are you leaving behind with your work?
  • Who does your company serve? 
  • What does your brand believe in? What are you willing to go to the mat for?
  • Are there certain fundamentals that are not up for compromise? What is non-negotiable for you?

These questions ask you to think critically about your foundations and aspirations. Both of which are bedrocks to values. The next set of questions asks you to think about what you presently have in terms of values, ideals, characters, ethics, in your team members: 

  • What do you admire about your team? What do you want more of from your team? 
  • What drives your decision making? 
  • What are key qualities that every person a part of your company must possess and demonstrate? 
  • What behaviors and attributes do you think best demonstrate your company? 

These questions are intended to see where you are working from and working with––and what is missing. That balance of what you have and don’t have will be a determining factor in what kind of training and transformation your company has to do to begin living out your values and your purpose. 

This next set of questions ask you to look outside of your organization for inspiration: 

  • What are some sources of inspiration for your company?
  • Who are exemplars of values, ethics, and purpose you wish to embody and emulate? 
  • What do you have at your company that a competitor does not? 

A notable set of core values will differentiate your company from others in your marketplace. And looking outward at other organizations, companies, workplaces, can help you identify what you like about your existing work environment and present skills, what don’t you want to incorporate into your workplace, and or what you’d like to see in your company’s values. 

Your core values should explain these five points: 

  1. Why does your company exist? 
  2. Who you strive to be and what do you strive to do? 
  3. How will you do that? 
  4. What is so important to you, your organization, your employees there is no sacrificing this element? 
  5. What makes your work valuable? 

You’ll probably have a lot of values that come from this exercise. So you’ll want to prioritize, condense, and eliminate. After you have narrowed down your core values into a few words, phrases, or statements, it’s time to define them. 

Define your values 

Your core values should be more than just words, they have to be a way of life in your office. Defining your core values with clear definitions will help your organization carry them out. 

Katie Douthwaite Wolf was working at a startup company and helped develop a process to articulate a set of core values. One of their core values was “ownership mentality.” But what that meant and how that was implemented, they found to be varied and difficult. At face value, ownership mentality, like most values, is vague. 

Defining what it meant and what it looked like in practice provided clarity on how employees should incorporate this value into their work and what it should feel like when practiced:

“We’re not just employees—we’re truly invested in the company. Our ideas are heard; moreover, they are taken into serious consideration, and often, implemented company-wide. Because we know that we are a vital part of the company, we consistently act with the company’s best interest in mind. We confidently make quick decisions on the job because we’re completely in line with the company’s mission and purpose. As employees, we have the authority to make decisions that are in the best interest of the company and the power to improve the way we run our business.”

What makes this definition great is that it gives employees a precise understanding of what it means and entails. It not only is a function of their work but a function of feeling by being an employee with this company. Definitions should serve as a blueprint for behavior and mentality.

Values only work if they are attainable in every day work, and are going to serve as a push towards your form of excellence. What you’ve set out as your core values has to work for you and have to be lived. 

Live your values 

You can have beautifully crafted value statements, but values are practices, they have to be lived. If you have strong values, they will present themselves in every dimension of your company’s day to day operation. Here are three ways to exemplify your company’s values. 

Hire the right people

One of Ajay Pattani’s, of Perfect Search Media, go-to interview questions is: “describe an experience in your last role where you took initiative and created or implemented a process.” The answer to this type of question is an indicator of their alignment with your company’s values. Do they actively practice your values in their work? 

Teach your values 

It’s unreasonable to think people can just read a document with expressed values and start implementing them. People learn by seeing cause and effect, and consistent and formal training will help your team learn how to utilize your company’s values in their work and understand how much you value your values. 

Leverage your company values in company communications by shouting out a team member that demonstrated a core value with tremendous success or talk about how a problem can be addressed by a behavior implicit in a core value. 

Offer consistent training on core values. There may be new ways to operationalize your core values, or better ways to act out a core value. Training allows your values to evolve and deepen within your company’s workplace. 

Make values a conversation

It’s vital that your values have checks and balances to ensure they are being lived and are not just statements. A feedback loop allows your company to listen, address missteps or lackluster application of values, and celebrate values when they are lived. 

This requires that at every level of your organization, there are regular conversations about the execution of values. Is the work behavior emblematic of your values? Are your clients best representing your values? Who in your company is exemplifying your values? Shout them out in your company wide meetings. 

Because your values are so integral to your organization’s core, they should grow with you as your company inevitably evolves. This can look like an annual conversation about the nature of your company culture or the evolution of your work, your clients, the marketplace you operate in. 

Messaging your values 

Being intentional with your chosen values and how you demonstrate them externally, interacting with clients, the work you produce for them are all factors of why clients choose your brand and not another. People buy with their values, so how you message your values is an incredibly important part of marketing yourself. 

We know you’re busy running a company and living your values, so if you need help articulating how your values align with your brand– that’s what we’re here for. Contact us today. 

3 ways of repurposing content

3 Ways of Repurposing Content

By | Marketing Strategy

Creating quality content is time consuming. But what if we told you there was a way to transform your existing content into something new? Or new-ish?

Repurposing content is the perfect way to utilize existing content and get new eyes on it. The goal of content is to be seen, and recycling content is an opportunity to reach a wider audience or reach out to a target audience. Repurposed content helps you to reap the benefits of incoming traffic by expanding the reach of your content.

When we say repurpose, there are a few ways to interpret this. One is to amend a piece of content, like updating it with new information, or re-specify the initial audience. The second way is to transform the medium, such as taking blog content and making it into an infographic or a video, or vice versa, video content into a downloadable white paper.

When you can extend the use of your existing content, you’re working smarter instead of harder. Check out three ways of repurposing content

3 ways to repurpose content 

Before you repurpose all your content, we recommend reviewing your metrics to tell you which posts get the most traffic and most engagement. Secondly, seeing which posts have the most translatable content, like best tips or best insights, or can have a fresh take. Thirdly, content should help your readers get closer to making a decision, so prioritize content that drives decision making.

The goal here is to produce better results for your business, revenue driving, viewership, engagement. Knowing which posts are the most valuable content ensures that your audience will still find it to have value and be interested in your repurposed content. With that in mind, let’s get started on ways to repurpose content! 

Amend it 

One way to amend blog posts is to update it with new and target keywords. This would give you a secondary SEO boost. Include long-tail keywords in your piece. They are indicators that tell search engines what your content is about and how helpful it is to readers.  

Change headlines

Another way to vamp up your blog content is to change headlines, update the picture, and refresh the content with any new information of value to your audience. Because marketing is constantly evolving, focus on creating evergreen content

Create Evergreen Content

Evergreen content is the content that keeps on giving. It is content with a long shelf life because it continues to be valuable and relevant to your audience over time. This looks like “how-to” pieces and consistency in search, not seasonal or period pieces because those lead to temporary spikes not consistent readership.

Finding the evergreen topics for your audience can be found in the search volume of keyword research. This will provide you insight on potential new audiences, and how to position your content to those audiences. 

To do this, think of a few topics you’d like to explore on your blog and enter those into a keyword tool. What you are looking for here are search volumes. Is there enough search on your given topic to increase your search traffic? Also check in with Google Trends to see if your chosen topics are gaining or losing popularity. You’ll want content that continues to grow in popularity and relevance for it to be solid evergreen content.

This is great content to invest in creating because it ensures that relevance. A refresh and amendment here and there will give you the opportunities to garner new audiences. 

Refine target audience

And lastly, you could amend existing content for a broad audience to a singular, target audience. Take your broad piece “How Social Media can Help Your Business,” and target it to an audience, for example creatives, by adding information relevant to that audience.

Change your headline to, “How Social Media Can Help Creatives,” and add the information relevant to this audience, and viola! New content from your content repertoire.

This targeted content creation helps cultivate your authority on the matter. Building continued readership is important to your business, and being an authoritative figure in the industry will keep readers perpetually interested. 

Change the content format 

So much of your existing content is translatable into a new content format, it can be condensed, expanded, shareable and downloadable. There are so many possibilities awaiting you.

If your content is primarily blog posts, they can be recycled into whatever type of content best resonates with your audience. An infographic is a visual representation of your written content, and incredibly easy to share.

Maybe you have a couple blogs or videos on a particular topic, turn that into an email marketing campaign where you are condensing that content into four to six emails of knowledge and action. Maybe you’ve participated in or held a webinar, create a downloadable paper of take away tips.

Go from written content to visual content with social media posts or stories, graphics, webinars and videos. Go from visual content to written content with email marketing campaigns, downloadable and interactive content from your website. Changing the content format is taking existing information and inputting it into a new format to reach new audiences. 

Upload it to a new platform 

Reaching new audiences is the goal of this repurposing endeavor. Reformatting your content for different mediums allows you to appeal to more audiences and extend your reach into these audiences.

One place you can share your content is on LinkedIn. Change the image from your initial post, tweak the headline, include the most important aspects of your post and a link to your website to bring readers to your website to continue reading. Republishing content to LinkedIn puts your content in front of 364 million potential clients and connections.

Another great place to republish your content is on Medium because of its large viewership and subscribed audience. Wait to publish on Medium until your content has had a long enough lifespan on your own blog so it can be solidified as the primary source. Using the Import tool to publish your content will automatically set the canonical URL to your original post on your website. And at the end of the blog post on Medium, always state the original article source and link to your website.

Repurposing content is all about extending your content’s life and reaching new audiences. It also has the opportunity to provide additional value to your existing audience and cultivate authority on your realm of content.

Need help repurposing your content? We can help you develop your content and digital marketing strategy, and help you implement those strategies. Talk to us.

Implicit bias in marketing

Why Does Implicit Bias Matter for Marketing?

By | Marketing Strategy

Our job at Wayward Kind is to create images, write copy, develop websites, promote our client’s products and services. Underlying how we create these products, is our lived experiences, our conceptions, our ideologies. Inherent in choice is explicit bias, but so often our work is more an expression of our implicit biases.

Implicit bias is preferential treatment, attitudes on associations we have and make, and perpetuation of stereotypes. It’s our unconscious, biased, conception of people, places, objects and what they communicate externally through associations formed by society. These associations are formed and solidified when we see images of, or read of, people and places, and the context of their placement.

Marketing is storytelling. A process by which we help articulate and express the stories of our clients. It is important to us through our brand strategies, content marketing, and more that the commentary of your service reflects the heterogeneity of our clients and consumers. Our liberating content is produced in conversation with our implicit biases, with serious consideration from our entire team, and tangible oversight mechanisms to keep our implicit biases in check.

Why does implicit bias matter for marketers?

You’ve chosen this image to display on your family law center client’s website.

A couple laying down in bed with white sheets embracing a small child.

It’s of a heteronormative couple, the “traditional,” the nuclear, family for their homepage. Of course, this is a family. But family looks like this: 

Same same female couple crouched down near a lake with grass in the background. They each have a young boy and are giving them a kiss

This too:

Black father with Black children one Black boy and one Black toddler girl laughing and smiling with a grass background

Who are we to determine the notion of family? It’s just an image! 

Let’s start with this: it’s not just an image. Images are symbols. And images affect our understanding of the world. 

The intention of a photo choice may not have been exclusionary, but the image visually exemplifies and defines family. These unconscious choices are affirmations of, and solidifications of the lifetime of exposure of what is and isn’t accepted in cultural attitudes on gender, race, age, ethnicity, religion, economic class, sexuality, disability, nationality. 

There are a plethora of examples like this across digital and print media. Media plays an imperative role in the visualization of norms, in the visual representation of ideas. Yielded to it, is an immense power and responsibility to either affirm or erase negative attitudes and stereotypes in society. 

As a business, the choices your marketing team makes as to the visual and written expression of your company, your products, and your services are imperative to enticing potential clientele. Research has shown that selective images and language may reduce accessibility of services. The image choice of the family law center may deter couples in a wide array of family arrangements, from seeking this family’s law center because they couldn’t see themselves included in the service. 

Anne Miles, the managing director of International Creative Services, spoke on this to CMO and said the “marketing and advertising creative is such a big part of what consumers see every day. Reflecting society and shaping is both happening, but we have control over it and if we take charge we can impact society in a positive way.”

It’s important that who you hire, fundamentally understands this phenomenon. At Wayward Kind, we’ve been working on actionable means to help us confront our implicit biases in order to create more inclusive and better content. 

Four steps to creating more equitable content

Hiring

If you want your content to be inclusive, the sociocultural depth of the message, image, website, advertisement, social media post begins with who is in the room. 

Who is at the table and whose voices are being heard are two of the most important facets of generating more inclusive content. Building a more inclusive team is a start, but what voices are amplified by the variety of power structures in your workplace need to be examined too. Diversity is only meaningful when a diversity of perspectives are equitably represented. 

Oversight mechanisms 

Desiree Adaway says, “transparency allows you to build trust.” By instituting oversight mechanisms in our content creation process such as an inclusive content checklist or bias check, we have daily discussions about the nature of our content. 

An inclusive content checklist or bias check takes the form in questions to consider about an image or copy produced. Such as, “is the copy free from gendered language” or “in my SEO terms, what vernacular am I assuming the reader possesses?” or “what does this image overtly include and overtly exclude?” It’s imperative that you have a content partner like Wayward Kind to address this in their work, to help you navigate your audience. 

To begin cultivating a more inclusive workspace and content, your company could institute communication guidelines on inclusive language around ability and gender; another communication practice could be thinking before speaking. Implicit bias thrives in an unconscious manner, therefore consciousness exercises before speaking and publishing could help weed your content of implicit biases.

The goal with oversight mechanisms is to institute checks and balances to the development process to ensure content isn’t just created in an unconscious manner, and published without consideration of inclusivity. 

Education

Before we endeavor on some form of diversity and inclusion training, we have to know where we each are in understanding what diversity and inclusion are. 

One activity to measure your implicit biases is through self-assessment. Harvard has implicit association testing about a vast array of topics. Love Has No Labels provides you with questions to examine and reflect on your implicit biases. As an organization, Love Has No Labels also provides questions to connect as a team on this topic. 

You could subscribe yourself and or the whole team to Anti-Racism Daily. As a company, you would have access to daily newsletters with commentary and analysis on what is happening in the world that is upholding systemic oppression, a weekly discussion guide on reflection questions for your team, and a monthly report with anonymized feedback on your team’s participation – including a summary of open rates and actions taken. 

There are so many wonderful people of color and LGBTQ+ creative social media accounts that address prejudice, anti-racism, inclusivity, and much more. As creatives, maybe part of your team meetings is sharing these social media pages with one another, or make it part of your marketing to amplify marginalized voices. 

Internal Audits and Training

A great medium to create accountability in addressing the problems implicit bias has on your marketing, is for companies to incorporate unconscious bias training into the workplace. Maybe what is right for your company is hiring an external consultant. We have the immense privilege of working with so many experts in this space. Check out the Adaway Group, Every Level Leadership, and Nicole Lee for how their services can serve you. 

A consultant can help audit your content creation process, address gaps in oversight and decision-making, provide strategic advice on amplifying marginalized voices in leadership roles. An outside perspective could better help you and your team understand the actions and decisions needed specific to your company, to yield the inclusive content you are striving for. 

Impact Starts With You

There is no singular solution for creating more inclusive content. Wayward Kind is here to help you on your journey to reshaping your marketing, to align with liberation and inclusivity. We can help with your content marketing, brand strategy, and more. Let us know how we can support you. 

Let’s create inclusive content.   

How to Build an Audience for Your Business

How to Build an Audience for Your Business That Supports Your Values

By | Marketing Strategy

Most digital marketing advice starts by saying, “distinguish yourself from the competition.”

But what if you’re a nonprofit or consultant working in social justice that sees everyone in your industry as working together toward a common goal? What if you just want to make it easier for prospective clients to find you, learn from you, and grow with you?

You’re not alone.

And that’s not how we recommend doing marketing around here.

Because basing your marketing efforts on what others in your space are doing often leads to an inauthentic brand, messaging that doesn’t resonate, and difficulty in finding an audience with shared beliefs.

So, how do you position yourself using your own unique voice? How can you stand out to serve your dream clients?

Let’s get into it.

How to Build an Audience for Your Business

Define Your Core Values

The first step in reaching people with shared beliefs is to define your own. Your core values are important because they show your audience what you care about.

Here’s some questions to ask yourself:

  1. What inspired you to start your business?
  2. What drives you to get up every morning?
  3. What do you believe in?
  4. Who do you want to serve?
  5. What do you love about your work?

Once you’ve got these answers, take a look to see if there are any common threads that stand out. These will become your core values.

Keep these values in mind as we move on to the next section: understanding your ideal clients.

Understand Your Audience

Understanding your audience is about more than just knowing who they are—it’s figuring out what keeps them up at night.

The understanding that you build during this stage makes it easier for you to create content and messaging that makes your target audience feel understood.

There are a few different ways to determine your target audience:

Explore Demographics & Psychographics

Demographics give us a surface-level look at the details of a target audience, from age and location to income level. Knowing your audience’s demographics is helpful because it gives you the ability to segment your audience on ads on Google or your Facebook page.

For example, demographics can tell you that your audience is composed of women in their mid-thirties that manage small teams and make an average of $65,000 a year.

While demographics are useful as a starting point for developing your messaging, they don’t tell you how your audience actually feels.

Psychographics focuses on the psychology of audience behavior; Not what they would buy, but why they buy it. Psychographics takes a look at factors like attitudes, principles and beliefs, and preferences.

A psychographic approach to the above example may tell you that your audience struggles with negotiating salary, has a heavy workload, and likes podcasts.

As you can see, psychographics gives you context on what your audience likes, their struggles, and even possible marketing strategies.

Read Your Analytics

Already have an idea of who your organization serves and you know your core values are authentic?  Then analytics can show you where you have opportunities to reach people.

Social media platforms, your website, and even email marketing platforms are a great place to start looking at analytics.

This data can show you:

  • How your audience engages with your website, landing pages, social media, and email newsletters
  • What people do on your website
  • Which pages led them to fill out a form or contact you

By comparing data from platforms and website pages, you can determine whether your audience prefers Instagram or Twitter, and if they react better to longer or shorter emails, or maybe even emails on one particular topic. 

When using a tool like Google Analytics, which is free to set up on your website, you can also get a big picture view of how your audience moves through your website. This data can then be used to infer which kinds of content and messaging your audience wants to hear from you.

Listen to Your Audience

When determining how to reach your target audience, there’s no better solution than to listen to those in your existing audience who already align with that definition.

Of course, demographics are great for larger companies and organizations but for many brands that are solving complex issues in the areas of racial justice, climate action, gender equity, and other social justice work, this work often directly interacts with your audience.

What we mean is, you’re not just posting and logging off, or passing the Instagram log-in to a colleague—you’re directly invested in making a difference.

Because of this, you know that the best way to truly understand your clients’ needs and wants is to listen.

There’s no comparing numbers or reading between the lines if you’re hearing directly from your target audience.

And the best way to start the conversation is to just ask.

Try asking close clients what they think about your website or social media, reading the comments on your posts, or even just hopping on Instagram Live and asking them.

Live Your Core Values

Now that you’ve taken the time to map out your values and your audience has shown you theirs, we can focus on tying these values into your business.

One place to start is with your services: do they solve your clients’ needs? Is there something your audience asked for, like an online course, that can be incorporated into your service offerings?

If you’re a consulting firm that values community and inclusivity, you must do the work to back it up. Don’t just post a tweet—continually align your messaging to address these topics. Create webinars on how communities can be inclusive of people from different backgrounds and cultures.

To keep your messaging aligned with your values, here are a few different ways you can hold yourself and your team accountable:

  • Reinforce your values in both internal and external meetings
  • Hire people that share the same values
  • Check in regularly with your team and clients
  • Keep your internal and external messaging aligned
  • Pay attention to internal and external feedback
Do the Work. Live the Work.

Setting core values shows your audience who you are, reminds your team of your vision, and attracts like-minded people to you.

This collective passion and inspiration have a positive impact on your employees and current and prospective clients.

It’s time to do the work and put these core values into action. Let’s embrace them.

Need another eye on your core values, want a like-minded partner to segment out your audience, or maybe you need support in creating great content that resonates?

Wayward Kind is a digital marketing agency devoted to low ego, high impact liberation. We work with challenger brands that solve complex issues. Let’s rework your messaging.

We can help you master your digital marketing strategy with CRO tips. Our team of strategists are experts at understanding you and your audience. Whether it’s setting up Google Analytics, or creating great landing pages, Wayward Kind is all about action. Ready to convert to a mindful marketing strategy? Contact us today!

How COVID-19 is Impacting Marketing for Small Businesses

How COVID-19 is Impacting Marketing for Small Businesses

By | Marketing Strategy

Change has officially arrived, in more ways than one.

Gathered around the television, you may notice a shift in the way larger businesses are now marketing their services.

With companies competing for attention from the general public, which is increasingly distracted, commercials no longer have the same tone or feel.

From warm ads with soft, comforting music and text on the screen, to ads that attempt to humorize the situations we’re finding ourselves in—like Progressive’s ad that hits on our frustrations with video calls.

But what does this mean for small businesses?

Unfortunately, some of our favorite small businesses will never open their doors again. 

B2B businesses can still come out on top with the same tactics that got us to where we are today: staying nimble, pivoting, and using our resources wisely.

Let’s touch on some of the disparities that the coronavirus outbreak has led to today and how small businesses are curbing the effects with unmatched resilience. 

And, most importantly, let’s figure out how we can come together to support the small businesses in our local communities.

How COVID-19 Impacts Small Business Budgets

Businesses owned by women, Black folks and other people of color are the most vulnerable right now. 

Why is that, exactly? 

While large companies are set to receive bailouts from the government, small businesses are scrambling to stay afloat. 

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, only about 38 percent of small businesses that actually applied for loans will receive one. Minority-owned small businesses struggle even more, with only 12 percent getting the loans they need.

Let’s pause for a moment.

We’re all facing a lot of hard truths, and the truths being faced by marginalized business owners are even harder. 

How are Women-Owned Businesses Affected?

With women-owned businesses accounting for 40 percent of all business in the United States, it’s safe to say women play a major role boosting the U.S. economy. 

Yet experts say that 90 percent of minority and women-owned businesses will be denied Paycheck Protection Program loans during the national shutdown.

There are two reasons behind this massive financial gap:

  1. Many small businesses may not have significant capital to begin with, or 
  2. the banks they’re requesting the loans through have lending caps that require minimum asking amounts.

But it doesn’t stop with gender: the average white family makes 10 times the amount of a Black family. 

Right out the gate, Black-owned businesses are already in last place. The Small Business Administration has found that many banks are giving priority to people who already have loans with them, while some banks won’t even look at your business if you ask for anything less than $30,000.

Don’t forget to take into payroll, applying for government funding, and watching small children into account since daycares and schools are shut down for an indeterminate amount of time.

Disparity is rampant. Minorities in every sense of the word are not being dealt a fair hand here. With money being shucked in different directions, they are having to pick and choose what is most important for their business right now. 

And one of the first things to go in most businesses is marketing—which could aid small businesses in generating new leads.

Minority-Owned Businesses that are Making Marketing Work—on a Budget

Some companies are pulling or tweaking their ads to be sensitive to the current climate. These businesses are thinking of ways to adjust pricing and marketing in order to make a profit.

Shontay Lundy, Owner of Black Girl Sunscreen, is a small business owner who is not allowing the economic downfall of COVID-19 to affect her business. Shontay is well aware that businesses run by women of color rarely receive funding, so she decided to revamp her strategy to make sure her company thrives now and in the long term.

Shontay and her team decided to focus their efforts on their business’s social media presence, and since has seen a huge bump in online sales. By focusing their marketing efforts on a platform that has given them results in the past, and through collaboration, they were able to come together with a plan that got them results.

Other small, women and minority-owned businesses can use this same tactic. Try taking a step back to brainstorm on past tactics that have generated results.

Reworking Strategies to Improve Results 

You know your clients the best, so you know what their main worries are right now. And you also know what’s worked to attract prospective clients in the past.

One way to rework your marketing strategy is to revisit the way you’re speaking to your existing and prospective clients. 

Instead of spending on Facebook ads, hop on to Instagram Live to answer questions you’ve been receiving from clients. 

Another way to rework your strategy is to make sure your business accounts, website pages, and landing pages are up-to-date, optimized, and are still addressing your target audience’s problems.

Adding incentives for referrals, like free consultations, can also make your clients feel valued and nurtured, too.

Women Business Owners Prove Resilient

Despite the odds stacked against us, we’re still showing up to the table. Many types of businesses have found themselves looking into e-Commerce all of a sudden.

Brown Beauty Co-op is a woman- and Black-owned business that thrives off the in-store client experience. The boutique is lavish and feminine in all aspects. They literally call themselves a “playground for black beauty.” With states putting stay-at-home orders in place, Brown Beauty Co-op quickly pivoted.

Keeping the lush, ladylike feel, Brown Beauty Co-op updated their website’s layout to mirror a standard e-commerce website, with high-quality designs, easily scannable content, and a simple navigation bar.

How You Can Support Other Women and BIPOC Owned Businesses

Now it’s time for local communities to support small businesses as we continue to work from home. Here are a few things you can do to express gratitude and support.

Step 1. Buy From Them!

Instead of ordering from a large corporation, order from the small Samoan-owned deli down the street. Put your dollars back into your community by buying Black, Latinx, and women-owned. 

Black and Latinx buying power is set to increase to the trillions between 2020-2023, which will help set up communities and support those who have lost their jobs search for employment opportunities. 

In a nutshell, it’s essential for consumers to support BIPOC, especially when they need it most. 

Step 2. Using Social Media When It Matters

Social media is a beacon for sharing and finding information on small businesses in our communities. Build a Facebook page filled with your favorite Black-owned food spots or share a female-owned apparel store on your IG story. 

Step 3. Support #ThankYouSmallBusiness

Keep an eye out for local organizations, clothing stores, and restaurants that put money back into the small business community. 

For example, BodyGuardz is a screen protector company that is giving ten percent of proceeds to the Relief Haven Foundation (an organization that supports small businesses and hospitals). 

You have control over where your dollars are spent, so make sure your money makes an impact when you purchase.

We Do Better Together

At times it seems like the odds are stacked up against small businesses. Especially now. Yet small businesses are made of people who have a vision, set goals, and don’t give up. 

Our team at Wayward Kind believes in making a way even when the way doesn’t seem clear. We specialize in bringing your business’s vision to life in a creative, human way. 

Let’s go forward together. 

We can help you master your digital marketing strategy with CRO tips. Our team of strategists are experts at understanding you and your audience. Whether it’s setting up Google Analytics, or creating great landing pages, Wayward Kind is all about action. Ready to convert to a mindful marketing strategy? Contact us today!

Social Media Vs. Social Networking; What's the Difference?

Social Media Vs. Social Networking: What’s The Difference?

By | Marketing Strategy

This is not a trick question, and yes these are two separate entities.

You may have thought you could use social media and social networking interchangeably, however they are two different animals.

Think of it as a parent-child relationship.  

They have different personalities, likes, and even opinions. The child was raised by the parent so they pick up many of their traits. Eventually, the child grows up and becomes their own person. As they detach from each other, you have to understand each one distinctively in order to communicate successfully. If you don’t it could cause ineffective communication and disengagement from others.

Social media and social networking are similar in that they both have unique challenges and approaches and may get mixed up from time to time. Before you can know how to properly use these for your business let’s define them and establish their differences.

What is Social Media?

Social media is composed of websites and applications that help individuals stay in contact with loved ones or helps businesses market their services and interact with their audience. Social media creates connections quickly through different applications such as Twitter, Reddit, Pinterest, Facebook, and many more.

These platforms are used to facilitate shared content including pictures, video, and copy. They’re also where businesses can promote their services, start new projects, and interact with their online community.

What is Social Networking?

Social Networking is the act of creating and nourishing online relationships where people with similar viewpoints connect with each other to generate, develop, and nurture relationships online, sometimes for a long period of time.

Businesses and individuals alike can expand connections using Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook. Social networking can grow with a simple click of the “like” button or creating a vegan Facebook group where you can share recipes and content related to the vegan life.

Social Media Vs. Social Networking: Communication Styles 

Social media takes a different approach to communication. You do all the work including writing blogs and creating emails. You want to create engagement with your audience that leads to an action or interaction with your brand or services.

Social networking is a two-way street. You do some work then you listen to others, meaning everyone writes blogs, sends messages, and actively engages in creating insightful conversations. Sometimes others can share content with you and other times you can create a post that resonates with others. Because there are so many opportunities within social networking you do not want to yap yourself away from opportunities to connect or enhance your brand connections.

Social Media Vs. Social Networking: Goals Distinctions

Social media strives to create excitement and interaction in order to achieve a goal mainly related to sales.

Social networking’s goals are completely opposite. The goal behind social networking is to cultivate more followers and friends and nourish those relationships continually.

For your B2B company, it may be confusing to figure out which one would work best for your business.

 Online social networking wouldn’t exist without social media, that’s why it is important to have both. Social media is your lead generation and social networking is your lead nurturing. You start by building your clientele with social media and use social networking to maintain those loyal and intimate connections with clients.

Social Media Vs. Social Networking: Content Differences

Content for social media is aimed at driving engagement. It isn’t as simple as posting a short tweet or adding hashtags. To optimize connections and actions, you need to share videos, infographics, blogs, and images that will compel your audience to act.

Did you frump your eyebrows at infographics? No worries, read our blog on infographics to familiarize yourself with its meaning and benefits.

Social networking, on the other hand, uses rich and profound conversations to connect with others. 

This could look like asking your connections what they think about your post, or reposting a comment from a follower and leaving a genuine comment underneath the photo. It‘s small actions like these that create profound discussions and deepen online relationships.

Can Different Things Mix?

Social media and social networking can, of course, intertwine with each other. It is important to use them differently as they both “make” their own results. Social media caters to short term results and social networking is like a marathon. It takes a little bit of time.

Wayward Kind specializes in taking our time in cultivating human connections that create organic conversations and engagement.

Let’s create purposeful relationships.

We can help you master your digital marketing strategy with CRO tips. Our team of strategists are experts at understanding you and your audience. Whether it’s setting up Google Analytics, or creating great landing pages, Wayward Kind is all about action. Ready to convert to a mindful marketing strategy? Contact us today!

Body Language in Business Communication

Body Language in Business Communication

By | Marketing Strategy

It’s Monday morning, and you are headed into your home office for yet another online meeting. 

As the boss, you are very perceptive to the body language of all your employees. Jim is continually glancing at his phone, Meredith has hunched posture, Stanley has poor eye contact and there it is—Pam is actively engaged and leaning in to listen, making great eye contact.

If all these people were equally good at what they do, which one would you want to work with? The one who acts interested and engaged, right?

Body language is increasingly important in business communication. Networking events and seminars have moved to Zoom and we’re using FaceTime for everything from client meetings to pitches for new work. 

When the tools we use to communicate change, our approach needs to change, too. We’re starting to use body language as a way to understand each other and it is increasingly becoming a tool we use to guide business decisions.

Curious about what your body indulge says about you? Or what type of body language works best? We’ll explain five nonverbal communication cues that show how engaged you are in the conversation.

5 Nonverbal Cues You Can Use as a Marketing Tool

When you want to make an impact in your communication, body language and tone of voice say a lot more than your words do.

Messaging in sales meetings is 55 percent body language and non-verbal cues, 38 percent tone and inflection of voice, and a minuscule 7 percent of the words you use. 

As humans, we pick up on the subconscious emotions, feelings, and perceptions of others with a simple glance. Being able to read body language can prove effective for businesses that want to find out more information about their audience or how to convey a certain message.

 #1. Eye Contact 

Practicing eye contact in your daily conversations can be an effective form of communication. Eyes have the potential to tell your audience you are interested in what they have to say.

Imagine you are conducting a video chat with a potential client, and while you are explaining how your services fit into their lifestyles you notice your audience peering at their phone every so often.

This eye movement can have you thinking either this is a waste of your time or that your elevator speech needs some work. 

Now visualize if you were meeting with that same prospective client and they are looking at you the entire time and appearing actively engaged. They don’t glance at their phone and their eyes light up when you touch on potential conversion rates. This small, but critical, tweak will navigate the conversation down a positive route. You now feel your client is sincerely interested and you’re confident your services will fulfill all their needs.

The next time your eyes start to wander, think about how you’re going to be perceived by the person on the other side of the video camera. Adjust your computer screen to their eye view and intentionally enhance your eye contact to show your audience you care about what they are saying.

#2. Facial Expressions

Eyes aren’t the only important part of the nonverbal cues. Your entire face tells a story. Brows, mouth, and eyes all plan an intricate role in developing facial expressions.

Smiling is contagious; you smile at someone and most of the time they’ll smile back. The same can be said of frowning and other glum facial expressions. There is a ripple effect involved and when we look at each other we are feeding off one another’s mood no matter how far apart we are.

Imagine your meeting with prospective business partners that can help company sales tremendously. You proceed to talk and suddenly become nervous and stare at your portfolio nearly the entire meeting. 

You feel like the meeting went well, but don’t receive a callback. You do a courtesy followup for a second meeting. Surprisingly your potential business partners say they don’t think your company is the right fit for the work they want to do. After further probing, you find that they felt you were uninviting and underconfident. The company felt the work you did for them would be reflective of that first encounter they experienced, which was lackluster.

Bottom line: your face can make or break the impression you make on your team, clients, and collaborators. 

#3. Posture 

Did your teachers ever tell you to sit up straight in class? 

It seems obvious now why they always told us to do that. Your posture also determines how lively you look in conversations but also how stressed or nervous you are as well.

Let’s say you are meeting with a very high-profile client to discuss how your services can make their lives easier when all of a sudden you notice your arms are folded and your shoulders are up to your ears in anxiety. The client tells you one thing. 

Breathe. 

You breathe and let out the wound-up emotions you were carrying in your shoulders.

Be aware of how you are holding yourself in front of others. If you are nervous, find a way to combat that by folding your hands in front of you or gently holding on to your trusty pen. Lean forward into your speaker to indicate your interest in the topic at hand, and don’t cross your arms which appear closed off and guarded.

This silent but strong body posture of placing your shoulders back and holding your head high will help you feel confident and transfer that power in your back to your clients. 

So when in doubt, don’t slouch it out.

#4. Backchanneling

Backchanneling is the part of the conversation where you let your audience know they are being understood. This doesn’t mean you are in agreement with what they say, but that you are intentionally following the conversation.

If you follow backchanneling during the conversation, you can better understand if the message is getting lost or not having the intended impact. When this happens follow-up with your audience to see if you need to rework your messaging or repeat what you said.

Backchanneling usually involves mmhs and uh huhs, or even a subtle head nod every few words. This helps whoever you’re meeting to know you are not confused and they can carry on with the discussion.

This tactic can be used for any part of the marketing for your business. Whether it’s meeting with clients, sponsors or your audience during a webinar, backchanneling motivates the speaker to get speaking and shows great listening skills. 

Great communication skills and supportive listening opens the door to new ideas, understanding needs of those around you and increased human connection. 

#5. Tone of Voice

Your voice matters…or at least the pitch does. It is important to find the right balance between a low octave and a high tone of voice to make an impact.

Let’s say you are a consulting company and you are sending a video message to all prospective and current clients, your tone will dictate the receptiveness of your message. If your tone is too monotone your audience will drift off or not take any action. If you aren’t excited about your services why should they be?

If you are energetic, your message comes to life and your audience will be encouraged to take a look at your services.

Your tone is a guide to the validity of your services and the effectiveness of your brand messaging. Don’t want a boring brand? Use a vibrant voice to get the results you want.

Have you ever heard the phrase “It’s not what you say, but how you say it”? Your team and clients pick up on sarcasm, anger, or downright boredom instantly. Before you speak be sure to think about how you want your audience to feel and follow through on it with the appropriate tone of voice. 

Takeaways About Nonverbal Roles of Communication

Words are just a small piece of communication, and if you don’t excel at understanding the power of body language you will miss the big picture. This can negatively impact employee and client relationships.

Words matter, but knowing that is a small piece to the big puzzle.

Now you’ll know how to recognize the conversations where a dominant personality is controlling the dialogue and you can step in and redirect it to the quieter individuals on the chat. 

You will be able to pick up on the disinterest of others and even your own lack of excitement. 

Being aware of these signals allows everyone to have a voice, stay engaged, and contribute to a healthy online or face to face environment.

Pick up on the cues and get results.

Here at Wayward Kind, we are all about creating concrete strategies that help you communicate effectively with your clients. Our team is ready to help you get results that matter.

Let’s get to work.

We can help you master your digital marketing strategy with CRO tips. Our team of strategists are experts at understanding you and your audience. Whether it’s setting up Google Analytics, or creating great landing pages, Wayward Kind is all about action. Ready to convert to a mindful marketing strategy? Contact us today!