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Top Tips on How To Grow Your Small Business With Online Marketing

Top Tips on How To Grow Your Small Business With Online Marketing

If you’re a small business, you probably have a small marketing department, (if it’s not just you on your own trying to fill all the roles yourself) and it can be rather confusing or overwhelming at times. Not only does it require time and effort, but it can be frustrating if you’re not seeing results or growing your online presence.

Even though it can be a frustrating, it is a necessity in today’s digital world and the need for your business to be out there and seen is ever more important.

Many businesses are seeing a shift away from the conventional way of marketing and offline material and heading towards a variety of online marketing means. This gives way to much competition and the need to promote your brand as best as you can. Social media is the main marketing tool for most businesses and brands are seeing great results from well-managed marketing strategies and plans.

If you’re a small business trying to catch up with the larger organisations, you’re not alone and there are many things you can do to give your online marketing the best outcome possible, if you follow the best tips of how to get going on social media.

Build a commendable reputation

This isn’t as difficult as it sounds. Learning to connect with the RIGHT people will help your business get noticed in a better light, rather than just connecting with anyone for the sake of it. This starts with brand awareness. And this is best done by creating an online presence that represents your whole brand and who you are both online and offline. This powers down from every little thing you use to market your business, from your logo and tagline to your visuals, social media posts, blog posts and website. The design and feel must match your persona and core values.

If you’re not good at the design side for your business, don’t be afraid to outsource this to someone that it. Having a logo designed professionally or your social media profile started with professionalism will set the standard of what your brand stands for and that you mean business.

Be where your audience is

When we mention that you need to connect with the RIGHT people, that means to be where your audience is, and to focus on their needs and not a generalised version. Who are your ideal clients? Which social platform can they be found mostly on and can you reach out to them? What solutions are they looking for?

If you generalise in your marketing, you’ll find things very wishy-washy and hard to build a solid business. If you focus down and discover your niche and the audience within that, even though the amount of people you are reaching is probably a smaller percentage, they will be more dedicated to your cause and open to what you have to say.

Online marketing for small businesses. Don't struggle with social media marketing - you can grow your brand with these top tips

Don’t spread too thin

The worst thing you can do when running a small business (or big one, in fact!) is to spread yourself too thin. Everything has its place and everything has its priority. Marketing should be high in those priorities but there are other things too that have a place in the to-do list. Therefore working out the best place to spend your time on social media or online that will benefit your business, is where you need to market. It can come with some trial and error and yes that can take a bit of time, but establishing the best place for social media marketing rather than splashing posts all over the place that have no relevance will be better in the long run.

You could put the same post up across all your social channels and fill a slot for that day, but does that speak to your audience or does it show laziness and not much thought process? Of course if it’s something that is relevant for all channels then that is fine, but be sure to tweak your posts to engage with the audience on that platform, along with creating images that fit correctly. It looks unprofessional for the same text and image size to be slapped on all platforms.

We suggest thinking about brand awareness, relationship building / networking, value, sales. Which social platform gives you better opportunity to reach your target audience in these categories? This may be Facebook, it may be Instagram, it may be LinkedIn – or it could be a combination of a couple of social channels. But if you’re managing this yourself, try not to spread yourself too thin by doing all of them at once. Not only will you burnout, your marketing efforts will be less effective and you’ll miss out on potential opportunities trying to keep up with it all. Establish a solid presence on one platform, then move up to two if you feel you need to, and gradually build from there. If you’re listening to your audience correctly, you’ll know where they are and where you need to be focusing your marketing.

Follow your plan

As with anything, it’s good to start with a plan – and to stick to it! When you started your business, (hopefully) you put together a business strategy/plan to build your targets and objectives into. This is the same for your marketing. You need a social media marketing strategy to keep focused and on track to ensure that you’re meeting goals and heading in the right direction. When you fall away from plans, you lose sight of what you’re actually doing. It can be very easy to digress or go off on a tangent, but if you have a marketing plan to bring you back in line, you’ll be ok!

Another reason for following a plan is that you are able to physically see when something does not work. This is a good thing! It can help you be more productive and efficient by allowing you to tailor your social strategy to what does work! All your ideas and thought can go into the brainstorming part of the plan and be incorporated as the plan progresses. Always be open to trying something new, if you don’t take risks, you’ll find yourself in the same place years down the line.

Have you got a plan for your Online marketing for your small businesses? Don't struggle with social media marketing - you can grow your brand with these top tips

Be engaging – get social

Social media is all about being social and engaging with your audience. You need to really relate and get to the heart of what your followers are looking for and speak their language! Understand them with as much research as possible and start engaging with them in the places that they love and in the way that they communicate. This is where your ideal social platform comes into play – you need to be engaging where your audience is.

Facebook’s algorithm likes engagement. If you create a post and no one engages, it will not push it onto other people news feeds. However, if you create something that is really engaging and people start to comment or interact, Facebook will see this as a ‘good’ post and will show it to more people’s news feeds. Facebook favours friends over pages and businesses, so it can be worth asking your friends to like your posts to get some interaction started.

The key is to ask questions or create a post that engages the user and for them to want to comment or share. An eye-catching image with a question in the status above can grab the attention of your audience and boost your marketing efforts.

Give your small business a chance to grow with social media marketing - a must have tool for small businesses

Be appreciative

Many large businesses can get carried away with the sales that they actually forget to thank people and be personable. This is your chance to stand out from the crows and appreciate everyone that engages. Even if you just like their comments or give a quick reply, they are aware that you’ve taken the time to read what they have written and it makes them feel appreciated.

Social media is not all about selling. In fact selling should only be about 20% of your content, the rest should be made up of other types of content to add value to your audience.

If people see ‘sell, sell, sell’, they are going to get bored very quickly. They will know that you’re not really interested in what they want, just about what you want to get. Therefore use your social channels to give value, as we mentioned before, and build relationships with the followers you have. They will notice!

Have a clear goal

The most important aspect to your online marketing as a small business owner, is to ensure you have a clear goal in mind. Having a goal gives you direction. Direction gives you a path. And following that path allows you to reach success.

However you manage your business is down to personal preference but always have your goals in mind in everything that you do.

Here at KJP Creative we work with small and medium sized businesses to provide online marketing services in the form of ‘virtual assistance’. You don’t need to hire a marketing assistant to be in the office with you throughout the week – just pay for the service you need. By working with specialists in social media, you can have peace of mind that you’re in good hands and keeping up with latest trends and requirements. Give your business a boost and get serious about your social media marketing – it’s not an add-on to your business, it is the future of your business.

If you’d like to talk about your marketing strategy or need advice on how to manage as a small business, please get in touch, we’d love to chat with you.

Work With KJP Creative

How To Use Pinterest For Business

How To Use Pinterest For Business

Pinterest may not be the largest of social media platforms, but it definitely is not one to be laughed at! With over 200 million monthly users it has some important uses and the demographics are valuable so if you’re not already using Pinterest in your marketing strategy, you might be missing out on potential clients.

Looking deeper into the demographics, it’s not just young people that use the platform as some may think. In the UK, 55% of users are between the ages of 18-24, with the other half being over that age.

Facebook and Twitter may be your best friend at the moment but if you haven’t opened up the floodgates to Pinterest, you’re in for a great surprise!

Facts

  • Pinterest pins are 100 times more spreadable than a tweet.
  • There are over 175 billion Pinterest pins
  • Over 3 billion Pinterest boards
  • 14 million articles are pinned every day
  • 90% of Pinterest users say that the network helps then decide what to purchase
  • 39% of pinners are likely to be active retail shoppers
  • 50% of users have made a purchase after seeing a promoted pin

With over 200 million active users on Pinterest, 93% of active pinners say that they use the platform to plan for purchases – that is something that needs to be incorporated in any marketing plan! What’s more, 50% of users have an annual income of over $50k and are ready to spend.

It’s not hard to use Pinterest for your business and when you do, you will be among the other 500,000 businesses that are already using Pinterest for Business, which gives you added marketing features to promote your brand along with the important analytics to help you improve as you go.

First off, if you’ve already got a personal Pinterest account, you can change it to a business account – and a must to get the best experience from the platform. Be sure to check out their terms and conditions before you switch.

How can you create good pins?

Where to start

If you’re not sure what you should be pinning, a great place to start is your blog. Your different articles can provide a range of inspirations for you to create different images. One Pinterest pin doesn’t have to suffice – you can create as many pins as you can for one blog post. So, start with you one post, use the header or a question from the post – something that will make someone click on the pin, and either make that into a quote (branded of course with your colours and style) or give it a background image that corresponds with the quote.

Pinterest isn’t like Instagram, it doesn’t have to be beautiful photos that you’ve personally taken (although that would be good as it shows authenticity) but get creative with images that you’ve already used or can manipulate to look good on a Pinterest pin with wording on top.

Once you’ve created a load of pins for your blog posts, get pinning them to your boards.

Optimise your pins

When you create your pin, use a keyword in the file name. For example, if you’re pinning an image relating to topic “why use a virtual assistant”, you could name your file, why-use-virtual-assistant.jpg

This applies to all your images on your blog. If you’re setting up Pinterest for business, you want Pinterest to pick out all your images correctly. Naming your files 123.png does not give good SEO to your images, however Make-Your-Business-Standout-On-Pinterest gives it a better chance.

Pinterest is really another search engine, just like Google. It’s a place where users can search for almost anything and find a result. Therefore, if your images are SEO friendly, they will appear in search results.

When you add an image to your blog for it to be used on Pinterest, ensure that the Alt Text is filled in. This is what will become your pin description. If you set this correctly, it will be the default description every time someone pins your images. The images on your blog are also tracked by Google, which is another reason why it’s a good idea to optimise. Ever wondered why Google results often show Pinterest images in their search results. That’s why!

Use the right images

You need to create beautiful images that will catch the attention of pinners. Eye catching material has better chance of being repinned and noticed by others. You can create beautiful images with the help of Canva which will also provide you with the correct template size for Pinterest. Images should be at least 735px wide by however long… the longer the better!

use eye catching and creative images on your pinterest boards

Create good descriptions

The information you add to your pins will enable a user to find your pin easier and give better opportunity for it to be repined. The popular your pin is, the more times it will be shared. People are searching Pinterest for products and items they want to buy, so giving a good description will provide better search functionality.

Ensure that your titles are descriptive, along with the boards that they are pinned on and include keywords on both. You want your pins to show up in relevant smart feeds or in a search when someone is actively looking for your product.

Make the images easy to read

Users will notice an image at the blink of an eye, as with any social media platform, things move quickly and therefore your images need to be clear. This goes without saying for the text that’s within your image. If the text is un-readable, it will not have as much impact on a user, and therefore may miss out on repins.

As tempting as it may be to try fancy fonts, bear in mind that some may be difficult to read.

Did you know that not only does Pinterest use the description for search results, but it actually skims the text on your images? Therefore it is vital that you text is keyword ready and clear to read.

Ensure branding

All your social media marketing material should be branded, this does not stop at Pinterest. All your images should uniquely identify your brand and your business. Your brand and values should be felt across your whole channel, each board designed with something else in mind but that all relate back to who you are what you represent. Think colours, thing style, thing the tone of voice – all your pins and board should be branded to ensure consistency.

Create value

For someone to want to repin your Pinterest pins, they need to add value. There is no point to a pin if it doesn’t give a clear message or does not add value to someone. Know who your audience are and what they are looking for and tailor your content to them. Provide value in search results and give a reason for someone to want to buy from you, or work with you. What’s the reason you’ve spent time creating a pin? Because you have something to offer, something to share, make that known and provide a service with every pin you create.

Create Rich Pins

By using rich Pins on Pinterest, you’re giving your business even more of a chance to be noticed. They provide more context and information directly on your pin, making them stand out more. There are four types of rich Pins; app, product, recipe, article.

You’ll need to set up rich pins on your website in a few simple steps.

Firstly, you’ll need to add certain meta tags to your site. If you’re already using Yoast SEO, then you’re good to go! If not, you may need a bit of help inserting the code (feel free to ask us!).

Secondly, you’ll need to validate your URL. Using this link you can add your website URL, note – do not use your homepage, it needs to be a blog post but it doesn’t matter which one.

Thirdly, apply! You should shortly see a message saying that your URL has been validated.

Fourthly, that’s it, you’re done! You’ll need to wait a few days for Pinterest to approve your application but once it’s done, all your pins will display your website and logo. From here, users will find it easier to click back through to your website and to see where the pin originated from.

10 steps to using Pinterest for business in your social media strategy

Use a call to action

Don’t assume people will take action from your Pinterest boards, you need to tell them where to go next, or what to do – give them a call to action.

If you want a user to click through to your website, or to follow your boards, make that clear in your descriptions. Try not to use too much wording as people get bored very quickly! But make it clear in what you want them to do…

Looking to free up more time in your business? Look no further than a Virtual Assistant, we’re here to help >> www.kjpcreative.com

If you’re wondering what images have been saved from your domain, you can simply type the following into you URL bar (changing the name to your blog)

https://pinterest.com/source/YourURL.com/

This will list all the images that have been used on Pinterest from your website, pretty smart!

Get sharing

Now it’s time to get sharing. The most important thing is to remember to pin your own posts! Pin them to all the relevant boards you have but ensure that you have one board that is dedicated to your blog posts.

Be sure to pin posts from other people too. It’s not all about self, self, self – it’s about creating value and helping or guiding others.

Use the Tailwind Tool

Want to increase your chance of being seen and having your content being shared? After all, the more your content is shared, the more chance you’ll have to gain followers and get traffic to your website. You can save time (bulk upload your pins), maximise your reach (optimise each pin), measure your success, schedule in advance and be more efficient. Tailwind is THE tool that you need to see your Pinterest marketing BOOM! 

You can promote your Pinterest channel on other social media platforms, add your profile to your email signature or simply share some posts with friends. The more you pin, the more you’ll be noticed.

Don’t forget to use Pinterest Analytics to see what’s working and where your most valued pins are coming from. Use the information to engage more with your audience and to provide value in what they are wanting to see the most.

If you’d like help putting your social media marketing strategy together, or advice on how to make Pinterest to work for your business, get in touchand let’s help your business drive forward with the power of social media.

Work With KJP Creative 

How To Boost Your Social Media Performance

How To Boost Your Social Media Performance

Everyone is trying to get a piece of the action and when it comes to social media marketing, you need to get yourself heard.

For us here at KJP Creative, we believe that one way to ensure that will happen is to hire someone that knows the industry and can get your business where it should be – but – if you’ve not got the budget or would rather have a go yourself, here’s a few tips to help boost your social media performance.

Firstly, social media is all about building relationships and creating engagement. Creating engagement means that people are interested in your services and product and they have started their customer experience with your brand. Maintaining that trust and building up to be somewhere that a customer actually wants to buy from is your goal whilst being a place of information and advice for that customer also.

Most people will research a product or service prior to buying, therefore, it is vital that you provide an excellent customer experience right from the beginning to enable that customer to come back for more.

Provide value

Always focus on providing value. If someone is doing their research properly, anyone will see through a business that doesn’t really know what they are talking about. A few good quotes here and there may seem pleasant but is there really knowledge and understanding of what the customer really wants beneath it all?

Ensure that your social streams are backed with plenty of industry related content and posts that you personally relate to as well. People don’t want to be inundated with irrelevant news – they will follow and engage with you if you provide value for what they need.

Using a content curation programme can make life easier when you’re searching for content. A person can spend hours (we’ve all been there and done that!) looking for posts that relate to your industry. Using a content curation feed will make finding relevant articles so much easier and will be much more time efficient.

Here’s a few for you to take a look at to get started:

Create a posting strategy

It’s all well and good posting every now and again when you’ve got time to sit down and find content but how much more effective would your social media platforms be if they were planned out and there was content being added daily? More people would see your presence, you’ll have more of an impact and you’re more likely to be seen by a wider audience which in turn will mean that your engagement will increase. The more you post, the more likely you’re going to get in front of your ideal clients.

Think about the type of content you want to use. Think about the different sources you might have and work out a strategy that can incorporate these. For example, if you have your own blog feed, schedule one of these posts once a day. If you want to use quotes, add one quote a day to the mix. The using your curated content, add one post a day… or however often you think appropriate to post, schedule content to these timeframes.

Work out what times of day are best for your ideal audience. Are they are work during the day, perhaps an evening might be better? Are you aiming at businesses – then first thing in the morning might be better? Test different times of day to find which times are good to gain the most engagement.

Use a social media management programme

You’ve now got your content organised and you know where you are pulling your content from, so now is the time to find a social media management programme that will allow you to schedule these posts in advance. No one has time to jump on to their social media platforms 5 times a day to post!

Again, this will make your life so much easier and will allow you to rest assured that your content is being shared on your social media channels and you can get on with other parts of your business.

Here are a few social media management platforms that we can recommend:

Make Your Content Visual

Visuals gain more engagement over text posts (that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t use text). But looking through a social media feed and seeing visuals will strike more appealing for the majority of your audience. Therefore, you need to get creative!

There are 3 main types of visuals:

  • Static image
  • Video
  • GIF

Using any three of these will boost your social media performance and will encourage people to share and engage with your content.

If you’ve got products to show, use an image rather than just talking about it. If you’re promoting an event, create a image to advertise the event. Even if you want to share a quote – add it to a nice background and make it look attractive. More people will share your content if it looks good enough to share!

Creating images are one thing and you may be thinking that videos are too tricky for you to tackle. They don’t have to be. Why not try a live Facebook video introducing your staff or showing off your products? Or perhaps you’ve got story to tell, add a quick snippet to your Instagram feed. People love to watch videos – you’ll be surprised at the engagement they have when you put them in your social media feeds.

And GIFs? This may be something that you haven’t even touched upon yet. Don’t be scared of them, they are extremely popular at the moment and are overtaking static images. GIFs can be created in a number of ways but first off if you’re not that tech savvy, you can head over to somewhere like Gify.com and get started there. If you have a number of static images, you can make them into a rotating slideshow. If you’ve got some drawings you’ve put together, you can make them move! If you’ve got a video that you’ve made but only want to show a few seconds of it, you can upload it and snip it down. They are very simple to create and will be very effective in your marketing. If you’re not comfortable in creating your own GIF, then there are an array of ones to choose from depending on what subject you are looking for.

If you’ve not yet tried them – have a go!

how to boost your social media performance

The above are just a few ways to boost your social media performance but remember that the more you engage with your customers, the more they will engage with you. The more opportunity you give your customers to see and hear your branded voice, the more opportunity you have at reaching them.

Social media is about being ‘social’ so get stuck in and promote your business in the best way you can.
If you’re just starting out in business, or you’re a small business owner with not enough time in the day to do social media effectively, then get in touch. We have standard, affordable packages available to get you started or more bespoke packages if you’re looking for something a little different.
We’d love help so contact us today!

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