To find out more about Kate McCarthy’s (the owner of Cupcake Parlour and founder of Living Cupcake) online marketing strategy and learn about her online tactics, business blogging, social media, and affiliate marketing, check out this week’s BizEaze episode.
An Hour With Kate McCarthy
On this week’s BizEaze, John Chow (of Epic Meal Speaks) sat down with Kate McCarthy to get some marketing insights from the cupcake entrepreneur. During their conversation, Kate discussed her thought process for creating her business, the importance of brand loyalty, and how to build a business that will last for the long term.
“I always say that brand loyalty is a big thing, especially in this industry where there are so many brands that you could be loyal to,” Kate said. “So, for me, I always try to encourage customers to come back and revisit my brand. So if you’re ever in the Cupcake Parlour, I would love it if you came back. You should try one of my amazing smelling cupcakes. So that’s really, really important to me. And I think that with each of my stores, I try to have a different experience than the last. So it’s about encouraging people to come back and try something new.”
The Biggest Mistake Most Businesses Make
When asked what was the biggest mistake that most businesses make, Kate gave a pretty interesting answer. She said that most businesses make the mistake of thinking that marketing is just about putting money into ads on social media or pay-per-click campaigns. But, she says, that’s not true at all. Marketing is about changing the customer’s perception of your brand.
“The biggest mistake that a lot of businesses make is thinking that marketing is about paying for ads on social media or pay-per-click,” Kate said. “It’s actually a lot more than that; it’s about changing the perception of your brand. So whenever you’re putting money into an ad campaign or a pay-per-click strategy, you’re not actually changing consumer perception, you’re just creating awareness.”
How To Effectively Measure Your Marketing Success
Kate’s approach to marketing is all about results, and she makes sure that her team measures the results of each campaign and adjusts strategy accordingly. To measure the effectiveness of her campaigns, she uses a combination of metrics that she finds most useful:
- Google Analytics for measuring traffic and conversion
- Facebook Analytics to measure ROI from a Facebook paid advertisement campaign
- HubSpot Analytics to measure the success of her marketing initiatives across platforms (blog posts, social media, etc.)
- Clicktale to measure user engagement across platforms (iOS, Android, and UWP)
- Unsurprisingly, Brand24 to track brand impressions across social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter)
Kate often talks about how she doesn’t like using vanity metrics like website traffic or social media followers to measure the success of her marketing campaigns. She says that the whole point of these metrics is to make you feel good about your business, and that’s the part that she tries to avoid. Instead, Kate looks at hard numbers like conversion rate, and she uses metrics that are, in her words, “more tangible.”
So what does this all mean? It means that Kate doesn’t just rely on vanity metrics to determine the success of her marketing efforts. She measures everything, and she always has all the data at her fingertips. And this is especially useful for adjusting her strategy as her business grows.
Why Blogging Is So Important For Your Business
One of the most interesting things about this interview is Kate’s emphasis on putting out quality content on a regular basis. She says that having a quality blog is important because it gives her the opportunity to attract, engage, and retain customers. Here’s more from Kate on the subject:
“I think blogging is an amazing thing,” Kate said. “It’s a low-cost way to create content and to engage with customers. I think every business, even ones that are not yet online, should have a blog. It just makes things easier.”
Kate’s point about blogs makes a lot of sense. At the end of the day, customers are more likely to believe what a brand says about itself through a well-written blog post. So, by regularly putting out quality content, you’re giving your customers the clearest picture of what your brand is about.
“The more you can do to tell your story, the more you can engage with your audience and the more likely they are to trust you,” Kate said. “So having a blog really, really helps with that. It’s content that you can always rely on, and it’s always there when you need it. Plus, customers love to discover new things, and a blog is a great way to do that.”
The Role Social Media And Influencers Play In Today’s Market
The role of social media and influencers in the marketing world has changed a lot in the past few years, and it continues to evolve. But, at this point, most businesses recognize the importance of these platforms in their marketing strategy. Here’s more on the subject from Kate:
“I would say that today, social media and influencers play a bigger role in marketing than they have in years,” Kate said. “Especially now, with everyone on social media. Everyone has a voice, everyone has a platform, and everybody is trying to gain influence. So it’s never been more important to stand out among the noise of social media and to be seen as a thought leader, rather than just a business.
So, how does one do this? It starts with having a strong social media presence. Companies like HootSuite have made it easy for businesses of any size to set up a social media account and start engaging with customers. From there, it’s about using various platforms to amplify your message and gain credibility.
“I think that it’s always important to look at the platforms that you’re using and to consider why you’re on there and what you’re doing,” Kate said. “So, for example, if you’re on Facebook, is it because you want to engage with your audience or is it because you want to promote your business? Same with Twitter. Is it because you want to share important news or is it because you want to promote your business? These are all questions that you need to ask yourself and that you should answer honestly.”
So, in other words, if you’re just using social media to try to get more customers or if you’re using social media to try to get more social media followers, you’re probably wasting your time and it could actually hurt your business. However, if you’re using social media to engage with your audience and to allow them to learn more about your brand, then you’re on the right track.
Why Brand Loyalty Is So Important
Kate said that customer loyalty is extremely important to her because she wants to create customers who are passionate about her brand. And, as she discussed in the previous section, she views marketing as a lot more than just advertising:
“I think that brand loyalty is a huge commitment and it takes a lot of work to really earn and maintain it,” Kate said. “So, for me, I always try to encourage customers to come back and revisit my brand. So if you’re ever in the Cupcake Parlour, I would love it if you came back. You should try one of my amazing smelling cupcakes. So that’s really, really important to me. And I think with each of my stores, I try to have a different experience than the last. So it’s about encouraging people to come back and try something new.”
Kate’s customers are already familiar with her and her brand because of all the press she’s received over the years. As a result, she’s likely to experience some brand loyalty when customers visit her physical locations. But, as she pointed out, marketing to existing customers can be risky. It’s better to find new customers and gain their trust.
How To Market To Millennials
With millennials taking the lead in every socioeconomic sector, businesses should learn how to effectively market to this demographic. Here are some tips on how to market to millennials: