With the last weekend of The Rio Olympics upon us and as the sun is setting on yet another successful Olympic year for Great Britain, we ask whether you think your business is of Gold medal standard and if not, how do you get it there?

Team GB are set to finish a fantastic second on the leader board for Olympic medals. No mean feat! But again, we fall short of our friends and allies across the pond, The United States. Whilst we lead the way in many areas of business and technology in the world, there is no mistaking that the US are still miles ahead of us in the world of online marketing for business. Particularly for SMEs and for the art of things going ‘viral’ or quirky online publicity stunts, they win the Gold. Just check out 17 Viral Successes that Prove Small Companies Can Win (but not before you’ve finished the blog!).

It can be said that the US are also great at big refrigerators, epic TV dramas, burgers and theme parks but it’s safe to say we win with James Bond, queuing, Morris dancing and apologising. We definitely win Gold for the last one!

Bronze, Silver or Gold?

Whether we like it or not, we are all part of a globally connected world, that demand up to date, real-time information on what is going on around the globe. Social media, blogging, receiving and replying to emails (even when answering the call of nature!), is all common place. We have fundamentally shifted the way in which we do business and no one wants a Bronze medal when their competitors are winning Silver or Gold!

Take Rio for example. It won the bid for the 2016 Olympics and then set about demolishing, building and redesigning the city landscape. Employing people left right and centre from carpenters through to marketers. But throughout it’s transformation, it was blighted by bad press stories, things that had gone wrong or weren’t up to the standard of other Olympic cities. Just weeks before the games were due to begin, athletes weren’t even sure where they’d be staying! Pretty awful (and not even Bronze medal standard) wouldn’t you say? We all criticised Brazil for taking on more than it could chew and didn’t we talk it up! After all, £9bn is a lot of money for things to be going wrong.

The same goes for your business, no matter how small it may be, people notice these little (or big) flaws…. whether it be your website looking a little tired and not mobile optimized or out of date news stories dating back to the day the website went live c.2001. The clumsy visuals or general lack of online presence. It doesn’t shout Gold standard.

What Does Your Competitor Do Differently?

We’ve all clapped eyes on our competitors’ websites and social media pages or wondered how they have the time to sit blogging and socialising away on Facebook or Twitter, ‘They must have spent a fortune!?’ Not necessarily…. they’ve just got it right. The Golden question is, who is your competitor and what do they do that gets people talking? Why would somebody choose their business over yours?

You may have a little less to spend than £9bn but whatever the amount you choose to spend on your marketing, make sure it’s right first time and looks good too! Sounds easy doesn’t it? But we see and hear everyday, costly mistakes, particularly with small businesses, that really deserve more than Bronze. Mistakes that they can’t afford to happen but they probably underestimate the impact, (another Gold Medal British trait…. underestimating!).

DON’T underestimate the fun; the good looking (we’re talking company visuals here not David Beckham). If people talk about it, it’s getting attention. Simple. Just make sure it’s the good press not ‘Rio’ press!

Social Media is a fantastic tool for getting your business up to a Gold standard and in the grand scheme of marketing, it is very cost effective. Another statement we hear often is “But I don’t know what to say!” or “I don’t know where to start!”. It’s really not that hard nor time consuming. The important thing is to keep your eyes peeled, become part of it. Immerse yourself into that big Olympic sized pool of the world of social media and marketing. See what your competitors are up to and dream BIG. Don’t dive straight in, start typing away and expect to be a viral sensation overnight…. You wouldn’t catch Michael Phelps attempting to beat a World Record without having done a little bit of training first but equally, you won’t catch him paddling in the shallow end of the pool. Swim where you want to be seen!

And if after all that, it’s really not your bag or you are in the lucky (poll) position to be so busy that you can’t seem to find the time, there’s always Shakespeare Media!

#GoldStandard #TeamGB

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