Is there a big difference between how people in the UK buy and how people in the US buy? Yes, there is a noticeable difference between what works in the US and what works in the UK. That is why certain brands (even massive ones) have never been able to break the British market. This article gives you grounded advice about things such as setting up your first social media marketing team. We also offer some philosophical advice on things such as appealing to a British person’s sensibilities by pushing only one brand principle. You will be genuinely thrilled by this definitive guide to PR and Marketing for early-stage startups in the UK.
Hiring Your First Social Media Marketing Team
To say that the British are tech-savvy is an understatement. There are seven-year olds that are routing iPhones, and there are 12yr olds that are building profitable apps. The fact is that there is a surprising amount of talent around if you are willing to take a few risks and hire unknown and under-qualified people.
Hire a Small Team
Hire a small team of social media marketers and let them run their own campaigns under your direction. For example, you could have three social media marketers whose only job is to stimulate interest on social media. Each of them could have 10 branded accounts for Facebook, 10 for Twitter, 10 for Google+ and so forth. They produce content for each of their accounts and publish it every other day. The team also answers questions, shares, and promotes your services/products surreptitiously and overtly.
As you should know, their job is not to push your products, but to build social media profiles where people from your target demographic follow them. They will then occasionally post promotional posts in between their regular content.
With time and a little training, your staff will learn how to stimulate interest organically. They do not need advanced marketing knowledge to learn how to create interesting profiles that attract people. Just do not make the mistake of having each staff member have one social media profile on each network because a single user can use numerous different free email addresses and sign up for the same social media network numerator times with different names and different pictures.
The point is that almost anyone can do this job. Since people spend more time on social media than ever before, finding someone to do this job would be easy. Additionally, if you find a social media diva/wizard who happens to bring in a lot of convertible traffic to your website, then you can increase that person’s wages to keep him/her.
Concentrate on a Single Brand Message
If you are going to push your products on a British public, then you will need to concentrate on a single marketing message. When people are on your website, you may start pushing your other unique selling points, but almost all your off-page and offline marketing needs to concentrate on a single brand message/principle.
People in the UK will respond to messaging that is straight to the point. Kit Kat (the candy bar) sells well in the UK because it doesn’t promote its chocolate, its biscuit, its nutrition…their marketing team keeps it simple and says, “Have a Break, Have a Kit Kat.” Tesco is one of the biggest supermarkets because “Every little helps,” and Carlsberg went the super-simple route of posting adverts with the slogan, “Probably the Best Beer in the World.”
Push a single selling point or a single brand ideal and the British public are more likely to remember you. When the British are in love with your product/service, you may start introducing your unique selling points so that they may spread the word to their friends and family.
Encourage Referrals from Your Customers
If you can set up some sort of dual-reward for customer referrals, then you may have a moderately inexpensive way of virally pushing your products and services on the British public. Simply offer an incentive for the person giving the referral and for the person receiving the referral.
For example, offer store credit for the person who gives the referral, and offer a big chunky discount for the person receiving it. That way, you are encouraging your current customers to promote your business and to spend more money at your business. Moreover, you are encouraging new warm leads by temping them with large discounts.
First-time discounts are powerful in the UK because they lower the risk for the first-time buyer, which is a highly desirable thing to offer. People in the UK are less likely to fall for your charms since they want to test you first, and if you give them an inexpensive way to test you, then they may come back for more. Having said that, do not try to sucker people in with free trials because people in the UK are used to free trials where it is easy to get into but difficult to get out of.
In many cases, when people see the words “Free Trial,” they actually see a company trying to get their credit card information and/or trying to fool them into getting an account that rolls over into a paid account. In short, first-time buyer discounts work, free trials do not.
Instagram Plays A Big Role in The United Kingdom
Instagram is a big deal in the United Kingdom. Facebook is still the most popular, but its demographic is mostly children and females. Instagram pulls in quite a number of British women too.
If Your Website Can Do It Then So Can Your App
There is currently a trend in the UK where companies are trying to match all the features on their website with features on their app. Even multinational companies and banks are trying to make their apps as fully featured as their websites. For example, HSBC is adding new features to its UK HSBC app every three months, (they are even asking customers which features to add next). Though one shouldn’t be a slave to trends, common sense suggests that fully featured apps are not a passing fad. It is possible that your customers will start leaving you for your competition if your app doesn’t do the same things your website does.
Forget About Advanced SEO Unless Your Business Cannot Live Without It
Make sure you have all your basic on-page and off-page SEO (Search Engine Optimization) covered, but do not worry too much about ranking highly on Google to start with. Do not forget that the UK is a fairly small island, which means the number of businesses on Google is a fraction of what it is in the USA. If people Google your name, then your company will appear on the first page of the results unless your business has a very common name.
Google in the UK is very efficient when it comes to searching out businesses because there are far fewer businesses in the UK than there are in larger countries. You may have a lot of competitors, but if you push/promote your brand and your company name rather than competing on a product-for-product level, then your SEO will be a breeze. Do not hire consultancies and/or your own SEO team unless ranking highly is vital to your success.
Let Them Do It Online
No matter what your business is, what your service is, or what your product is, you must give your UK customers the ability to order online. The UK has embraced online commerce in a big way. People pay their bills online, they buy online, they order pizzas online, they order taxis online, and they can even order desserts online for when they have finished eating their dinner.
People in the UK can order a fan heater from a company called Argos and have it in their house by the same evening.
The British people are far less accustomed to calling companies on the phone in the UK. Where it may be common practice for US citizens to call the company if they want a plumber, or to change their insurance, or to book a holiday, the British are far more keen on doing it all online.
Email Marketing Can Be Effective If You Embrace the Law
You are allowed to email people if you have their permission to do so. If somebody buys something from you and gives you their email address, then you may email them to confirm a purchase and to confirm delivery dates. However, you are not allowed to put people in your email list for advertising purposes unless they confirm their consent.
You have them sign up with their email address and you have them tick a box to confirm that they want to receive marketing messages from you. You then send them an automatic email that contains a verification link. Ask your recipient to click the link to activate their account. You now have double confirmation that the user wishes to receive marketing messages from you. Additionally, you should prompt the new user to take your message out of their junk file so that he/she is more likely to see future messages in his or her inbox. Plus, at the bottom of each message. You must put an unsubscribe link so that people can opt out of receiving messages from you. Do all of this, and you may legally email people in the UK for marketing purposes.
Stay Clear of Telemarketing Unless Your Consumer Calls You
Telemarketing and door-to-door marketing are both in Britain, and residents are encouraged to report any phone calls they receive. Phone calls that people report as distressing or upsetting are viewed as more illegal than simply cold calling because it also edges its way into harassment. Too many court precedents have been set where cold callers have operated in a gray area of the law and have been fined millions of dollars. Spam emails are also banned, and you now need double-confirmation proof for each of your emails.
Even if you get people’s written permission to call them, there are many people who forget and will report you, and you will still be fined even if you have their written permission.
If you wish to sell over the phone, then add functionalities to your website and your app that allow people to request phone calls back to them. If you call people back, then you have to make it clear who you are, you have to confirm who they are (usually by asking their date of birth and/or their post code), and you have to call them back within 12 hours of the request. Be aware that if you cannot conform to these rules, then you are not allowed to call them back.
Larger Cities Do Not Mean Bigger Profits
While the United Kingdom has a growing economy, the biggest mistake that startups can make is to gravitate towards bigger cities such as London, Edinburgh, Manchester, and so forth. However, the cost of living in big cities is between three and ten times more than the rest of the country – particularly in London, which might as well be considered a different country in terms of pricing and cost of living. There are small and broken towns that have very low commercial/industrial renting and buying costs, and they are often surrounded by a ready group of unemployed and eager people just waiting to work for you.
The problem is that setting up shop in a smaller town reduces the visibility of your brand. In fact, most people would rather have a London address than an address in the middle of nowhere. There are two things you can do about this. You can embrace the fact that your company is new and grow within the confines of a small town, dominate, make your money, and then start opening new branches/factories in bigger cities. Or, you can hire a PO box in London and use that as your mailing address if you wish.
Which Part of The Country to Set Up Your New Business
There are not really very many differences between the different parts of the United Kingdom. The biggest difference is Northern Ireland where many of the legal, commercial and economic rules are a little different. They are different to make it easier for Northern Irish people to live with the rest of Ireland.
Starting in Scotland, England or Wales makes little difference unless there are important geographic elements to consider, such as the distance between your company and a favoured port, or the need for hills, grassland, etc.
People overseas seem to think there are massive cultural differences in the UK, but most people are the same. They are either British with different accents, or they are British but are first, second or third-generation Eastern/Arabic (typically Pakistani, Afghani and Romanian). The state of Texas is three times larger than the UK. Yet few people think that Texans are highly different in terms of culture.
There are only a few minor differences between the different sections of the UK. But they shouldn’t affect your business too much. For example, Wales has dual-language signs on the roads, and Scotland has its own type of cash money. There are regional newspapers and TV shows, but both dying forms of communication. Furthermore, buying property in Scotland is a little different, and Scotland has its own Companies House for company registration, which shouldn’t matter unless Scotland is the first place you set up your new startup business.
Marketing a brand in a new place is always challenging. Even so, this guide covers the basic information you need before you enter the UK market.
Do you need help marketing your brand in the UK market? The team at Pressfarm is skilled at helping brands from different industries to reach all kinds of audiences across the globe. By signing up for one of our affordable packages, you can get a professional press release, some engaging guest posts and a creative media kit, all of which can help you capture media attention and inspire your target audience.
Additionally, as a client, you get a curated media list from our account executive. Thus helping you to connect with the best journalists in your market. We also submit your startup to respected media outlets and startup directories online to increase brand awareness. Ultimately, when you work with Pressfarm, we boost your brand visibility by helping your brand feature in relevant search results across different search engines. Sign up today and let us help you break into this new market successfully.