We’ve all heard it said by someone; “What’s the point in social media marketing?”, you’ve probably even said it yourself at some point. But as a business owner there is absolutely point in making an effort to showcase your brand online through the power of the many social media platforms there are to hand.
Not every platform is going to be relevant or applicable to your business. Not everyone has time to spend creating fantastic eye-catching content to spread across social media. But the point of the matter is, it is a necessity in today’s digital world that a business needs to be online in order to be heard.
- But where do you start when it comes to online marketing?
- How do you create great posts, especially if design or creativity is not your strong point?
- When and where do you post and how do you manage it all?
- Why should you bother?
Lots of questions and all that have some great answers which we’ll cover in this post.
Here at KJP Creative we believe that you must have a passion and drive for your business in order to believe in it. There’s absolutely no point pursing a business venture if you don’t believe in it. And this is the same for your social media content, your online presence along with everything else that you do and say when you meet others. Following the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, many people turned to online resources to stay afloat and to keep their business going. And things are not going to stop here as the world heads back to normality – this has changed the way of business, this has created such an impact on the online world that you need to be in it and with it to be noticed.
We’ve said it before, but those who are visible and adding value through everything that has happened, will be the ones who are remembered when it stops. This is applicable to any pandemic, not just Coronavirus, it’s about standing out, creating a safe place for people to find out about you and providing value to every person that you come into contact with – both online and offline.
Where do you start?
You need to start with your audience. Our coaching courses dig deeper into this but we fully believe that in order to know where to start, what to say and who to say it to, you need to understand your audience and be confident that the content you produce is what is needed in a very noisy and busy advertising world.
Get to know and understand your audience. Research everything you can about their likes and dislikes, their needs and problems. What they want to hear or see. What would make them buy from a business? Put yourself in their shoes and think as they would – what would make you buy from you?
Along with this, there’s probably other brands that are doing exactly what you’re trying to do too – so use this, you don’t need to reinvent the wheel. As well as researching your audience, research your competitors. What works for them? What type of content do they produce? What are they saying, who are they reaching, what are they giving or providing? What works for them may work for you too, so take note and use what you can.
How do you create great social media content?
Not everyone is artistic or creative, we get that, so how can you produce great content if (you think) you’re not good at it?
There are a few ways to look at this question. First off, you can learn! There are plenty of free tools out there to help and that are great resources to help you get started. We absolutely love Canva and wouldn’t be without it. There’s a free version so you don’t need to pay out to get started and you can experiment and play with the variations in order to create some images and content that goes with your branding.
The most important tip we can give you in this is stay true to what your brand is about and use the inspirations inside of you to think of ideas.
What is your brand about? What’s your story? What are your beliefs or values?
These are the types of things you can be thinking of when you want to put a (for example) Facebook post together. Find an image that says what you’re thinking of, something that says exactly what you’d like to say if you didn’t have words. Then think about the wording that would go with your post, for the text on your chosen social platform. Your image and text should go hand in hand, not contradict each other and be inspirational or educational to your audience.
Even if you think you don’t have a creative bone in your body, you know what you like, you know your business better than anyone and you can use this to create content that is unique to you and your brand.
The second answer to this question is that you can outsource. We all have our strong and weak points and you may find after a few attempts of creating content that it really isn’t for you – that’s ok! You don’t have to be good at everything. And this is something that as a small business owner you can get het up about and struggle with. Stick to what you’re good at and let an expert take over this section of your business for you. You’ll see a much better return of investment by doing so, and you’ll be less stressed and relieved at the whole process.
Example: Talking to a hairdresser who was in a similar situation, who really wanted to be online and creating a fantastic social media presence – but she simply didn’t have the time or the energy to do it well and make it successful. She worked out that if she did one extra set of highlights (or whatever service it was!) a week – and for her it was doing what she loved and using her own skills – she could outsource her online marketing for the month. Result.
How much better is your business going to be if you’re filling the holes with the right sized pegs?
How do you manage it all?
This is a good question and social media or online marketing needs to have a strategy and a plan of action. This is fundamental to making it successful and doing your best to make it work well. Many people post content for the sake of it, or rush it at the end of the day when they realise that nothing has been posted that day. But what good is that to your audience if you’re not a) consistent or b) putting thought or value into what you’re providing?
Planning is key. Organisation is key. And that’s why we love our Social Media Planner and Business Goalsetter – it’s a wonderful resource to ensure you’re heading in the right direction, you’re making notes and building up a plan of action and you can see ahead to what’s coming and what needs to be done. Yes it takes time and dedication but as with anything, if you’re going to do something, you should do it well.
There are scheduling tools that you can use to manage your posts and to make it easier to create content ahead of time, the last think you want to do is be on your social media channels all day every day, you’d never get anything else done! That’s where a planner comes in which works with your business plan and marketing strategy. Everything comes together to form a smooth social media presence that will help your business be noticed, become loved and trusted and in turn, successful.
So why should you bother with social media marketing?
We hope that you want your business to grow, to flourish and to be loved. If you’re a small independent business, do you want people in your local community to hear about you and to use your products or services?
Did you start your business with the mindset that you’d like to see it bigger than just the little startup that you began with, or do you see it stagnate and fizzle out and die? Probably not!
You have a passion to see results. You have drive to be successful in your ventures. You want a successful business, something that you can be proud of, something that will pay the bills (and more) and something that you will get you known within your industry / sector and allow you to become an expert in your field – right?
Your social media presence will help you get there and achieve these things. Raising brand awareness is not always an easy task but with the help of social media, it’s lot easier than it used to be!
We hope that you have that passion and desire to want to succeed and realise that online marketing should be part of your business growth strategy in order to make that a possibility. If you’d like to find out more or talk to us about strategy and planning, we’d love to help. Get in touch and let’s have a conversation. Speak soon!
In the meantime why not download our “Social Media Checklist – don’t forget the basics” which hopefully will help you think about the basics of what social media entails and provide you with a checklist of what you can do. If you want to talk through anything, feel free to contact us, we’re here to help at the click of a button.
The holiday season may be the best time of year to look forward to but as a business owner do you find that your social media activity spikes just at the same time as you’re heading away from the office? It’s a typical scenario and often the busiest time of year when other team members are requesting time off too, you’re looking forward to spending time with the family – and you’re wondering how you’re going to keep up with your online marketing.
We know that social media doesn’t take a vacation, so how do you manage both sides of the coin and enjoy your holidays whilst knowing that your social channels are all up to date? Often when businesses are looking at what they can cut back on during the holiday season, marketing is one of the things that gets dropped. However your marketing is still a vital and essential part of any business and helps to keep the business sustained all year through. Dropping it can have bigger implications later on in the year.
Here’s our 7 tips on preparing for the holiday season
Get ready with a social media calendar, now!
This time of year means that there’s much more to juggle, so planning ahead makes perfect sense. Using a calendar will help to see what content needs to be created (it can be harder to visualise when it’s not written down or laid out in front of you).
We love our own Social Media Planner, it gives us the perfect space to plan ahead, to write in notes as we think of them and to organise and plan goals and targets. All of these come together to form part of your online marketing plan.
A calendar is also good for dates that you know are coming up, national awareness days, events that are important to your business and anything that you know is imminent. Put it on the calandar and once it’s all there, you can think about how it’s going to look and feel on your social channels.
Work with local businesses
It doesn’t have to all be about you and your business, if you know you’re stepping away from the office for a while, why not tap into someone else’s resources? You can promote or share stories from local businesses, charities & worthy causes, friends or family businesses. It’s a great way to involve your local community and for people to know that you care about what’s happening around you. It also helps with raising your profile in the community.
As we (should) know, social media marketing should not be all about self-promotion. People will get very bored very quickly and switch off – resulting in your audience diminishing. There is a way to keep content pumping through and keeping your audience engaged – with curated content. This means that you are sourcing relevant content that you can use on your channels that will give your followers extra resources to read, learn from, engage with and much more. Headline: You are not the only expert in your field! And there is no point in wasting time trying to compete all the time. Use industry experts to help your cause, to provide value to your customers and to give even more inspiration to the people engaging with your channels. You only have to go online to find relevant articles or images – plan and add these into your content calendar.
Here’s a great read from Buffer: How to Schedule Social Media Content for Next Week, Next Month, and Next Year
Get others involved
When you create content on the hoof and quickly, you’re doing all the work; the content, the image creation, the thought-process. However, if you get others involved, you may gain a different perspective, ideas and initiatives that could have great results for your marketing and for your business long-term. If you’ve got a team, ask them for ideas and thoughts on what they think your audience would like to see and hear. If you’re a solo business owner and do create all your own content, why not ask people that are interacting with your business what they would like to hear about. Alternatively, you could ask a friend or family member to take a look over your social profiles and to give you an idea or suggestion on what they think may be a good read.
Create a theme
A nice way to show that things may be a little different for a season is to create a theme and have everything during that time fall into that theme. Not only does it give a refreshed look and feel to your content, but it shows that you’re trying something new and changing your plan for that season. The summer can be the perfect time for a theme change: think sun / sea / sand and how you can brand your content around a summer emphasis.
This can be applied throughout the year at different holiday seasons, like Christmas or new year: a branded theme can run straight through all that you produce.
Run a competition or promotion
The last thing you want to happen is for your content to flop while you’re away and this is where a competition or promotion could be the perfect tool. Set up a promotion that will last through your time away, with the winner being announced after your return.
Competitions always generate engagement, so while your promotion is getting interaction, your page is also gaining in momentum and engagement. To take it one step further you could promote User Generated Content, this is of course free advertising and will help with generating content throughout your holiday season – Ask them to tag or share your content, if someone loves what they see, they will share it.
Schedule ahead for paid advertising
Paid advertising needs to have just as much care and attention that organic social media posts. If you’re looking at continuing in paid advertising during your time away from the office, ensure that you have your ads pre-approved prior to you going away. This means planning in advance and setting up Facebook Ads for example in plenty of time for them to go through the system. If tweaks need to be made, have you given yourself enough time to make the adjustments? If this is something that you’re not sure on, make sure you gain expert advice. You could waste a lot of money if you leave your paid advertising running without setting it up correctly to start with.
A holiday season needs to be enjoyed and looked forward to. It can be quite stressful to put everything in place to cover this time, but utilise all resources around you, tap into colleagues or friends and always do as much in advance as possible. Of course you will still need to engage with those who are interacting with your page but this is much easier to do from your mobile if everything else is set up and running automatically. (Or hire a VA to cover your engagements during this time)
What scheduling tool do we recommend? There are so many to choose from but for ease of use and costs effectiveness, we love Hootsuite. You can have up to three profiles with the free account and it’s very simple to use. If you’ve got any other scheduling tool suggestions, we’d love to hear them!
It’s also worth thinking about outsourcing your online marketing during busy seasons. Using a digital agency means that you can completely let go and know that your marketing is in good hands while you’re putting your feet up and taking some well-earned relaxation time. The time and energy it takes to plan and schedule everything in advance, being active on the channels while you’re away and ensuring that everything is working properly, can be balanced out by outsourcing to a reputable agency to cover it all for you. If you’d like to know more about working with an online marketing agency, we’d love to chat with you and discuss your options. Your business success is our success – and we’re here to make your marketing as smooth and effective as possible. Get in touch and let’s talk strategy.
In the meantime, why not download our Awareness Days calendar to put some of those engaging dates in your diary. It’s free to download 😊
With social media being the most popular way for people to communicate with a business, it is a given that businesses need to be responsive and interact on social media to keep their customers and audience engaged. A place where consumers can discover more about a brand, learn more about a product or service and get to know and trust a business before making a purchase.
The growing popularity of social media makes it an essential place for businesses to be and to reach their audience right where they are. It provides a faster and more personal touch to any conversation and allows the follower to feel cared for and part of a community. However, there are some rules and things that you can adhere to, to ensure that you’re covering the right basis and interacting in a positive way.
Post valuable content
Whatever social media content you produce needs to (and should always) produce value. Personal profiles are the place where other non-business things can be shared and talked about, but when it comes to your business profile, your customers want to see that they can rely on you giving value and being supportive when they need it. Whether you’re giving an inspirational quote or sharing a tip or advice, make sure that your followers can benefit from it.
It doesn’t always have to be something that you have written, this is called curated content. If another business or industry expert has written a relevant and valuable blog post, why not share this to your audience? Tip: You can use other people’s content to grow your own brand awareness!
Show some personality with your voice
You are your brand, yes, but the voice that you portray across social media content should reflect the right tone for your business. People will see through split personalities and conflicts of interests – be true to your brand, the core values that you believe in and the way you want your business to be seen and heard.
Create a voice across social media where you can be yourself and give a good impression of every aspect of your business. Your unique voice is your authenticity and is essential in speaking to the right people, engaging with the right people and reaching the people that are going to want to grow with you and the brand.
Creating your unique voice will make you stand out in a crowded digital space, make you stand apart from the other businesses and competition, and increase your chances of being heard and appreciated, trusted and loved. Become known in a digital world that is fighting for attention by being authentic.
Keep your social media simple
There’s nothing worse than trying to jump on every social channel, keep up with the large organisations and compete with everyone out there – it’s not going to work! Keep your social media marketing simple, make it as easy as possible with the best possible results. Learning to be effective and efficient in your online marketing will make life a lot easier and will help control stress levels which can increase when someone tries to everything all at once.
If you establish that you need to be doing more and keeping up with bigger competition, or even that you’re not the right person to be doing the marketing (everyone has their strengths and weaknesses) then why not think about outsourcing your social media to a VA (virtual assistant) or a digital agency that has the resources and expertise to be productive and reach your business objectives.
When it comes to simply, start with sticking to the point in everything that you post – captions, images, text & copy – keep it simple and easy to manage. Once you start making it complicated and adding in extras, your audience will expect that every time and it is obviously harder to keep up with. Start small and increase as you have the time and skills to do so.
Monitor your social channels
There’s one thing to create a great social media plan and schedule every post for a month in advance, but it’s something else to monitor the reactions and engagements that come from those posts. Be reactive and responsive on the content; when someone comments, respond. When someone shares, thank them. When someone recommends, engage. At all times monitor your social media profiles along with other people’s content that mentions you – this is called social listening and is a very valuable tool.
Make the most of User Generated Content
Your followers and consumers are the people who drive your business forward, who are an influence to others seeking out your business and are the people that will help you build trust and confidence with new customers.
UGC not something that is essential in your social media strategy but always an action that will help.
When someone shouts out about your business – engage with them and share their posts on your social channels. Their reviews, experiences, journey with your business can be shown to other people looking in – utilise User Generated Content wherever possible. Not only will it help with finding a variation in your content, but it will provide insight and reassurance to others.
Above all when it comes to your online marketing efforts, be consistent and on the ball with everything. Diffuse controversy, especially when it’s something that effects your business or nature. When you say you’re going to post, post. When you get into a routine, be sure to keep it up – people expect what they are used to and can get despondent or bored if they feel let down. Be true to your brand and let your personality shine through in your content. Organise, plan and prepare everything – there’s always room to add in extras, but ensure you have your basis covered first.
How do you manage your interaction and engagement on social media? Are you finding that you’re not effective or productive? Do you love social media and have some success stories to share with your audience? Are you looking to outsource your online marketing so you can focus on other parts of your business? Do you need a marketing strategy to work towards? Whatever your situation, we’d love to listen or help you engage and interact with your online audience, feel free to get in touch and let’s talk!
In the meantime, our Social Media Checklist can help, you’re welcome to download our FREE resource to give you the first step up. Click the link below.
There’s no denying that the current climate has encouraged business owners to use online marketing more and jump on the social media channels in order to stay up to date with customers. And if you’ve been one for holding back and not wanting to be online, are you able to keep up with the other businesses who are online?
The way forward is digital. The way for brands to reach out is through digital and online marketing. Social media has been and is going to continue to play a big part in business growth, providing stability to consumers and giving value at every opportunity. How can you embrace online marketing as a business owner?
Why is it important to have an online presence now?
What’s the first thing you do when you need to buy something, seek advice, research a product? You go online. You jump onto Google (or your favourite search engine) and type in the relevant words you’re looking for and results appear. Bingo!
Your customers and potential customers are doing the exact same thing when it comes to looking for your product or service. They are looking for “xxx near me” or “xyz in my area”. If you’re not online, you do not even stand a chance of being in line for that customer.
You need to be in it to win it!
Your competition is online, even if you are not.
This is the same for anything, for something to happen, you need to put yourself in the right place to start with. Give your business a head start and place it somewhere where it can be seen.
Build reputation and trust online
A key reason for being online, is to build trust, loyalty and showcase expertise where it’s needed. You can be there to help solve problems, give insight or advice, sharing your knowledge with people around you and in return building a great reputation for being a business that cares about others.
Being able to offer an outstanding customer service is also part of the package. How much quicker can you respond to a query or concern online. Giving people a place to find you, contact you and speak to you at the touch of a button.
Word of mouth marketing
We’ve spoken to a few business owners recently who still do not have an online presence (hence the reason for this post!), or they have ‘something’ out there but are not sure on how to use it effectively. Word of mouth is great and we’re not denying the power that it can have as a marketing tool but there is so much more potential out there when you make your business available. How big if your word of mouth circle? There are limits to word of mouth. How much more impact could be gained from your word of mouth customers to give you a review online and to recommend you via social media channels that can be seen by hundreds, if not thousands of other potential customers!
Where to start with online marketing
This can be a good question and very valid for anyone not used to being exposed to the open doors of all things digital.
For small business owners, you may have an email contact for your current clients. Why not ask them if they mind being put onto a mailing list? Your first point of call could be to send out a regular newsletter of either things that have been happening / recent projects etc, or to provide offers and latest information. You email list is extremely valuable. The bigger list you can build, the more people you can potentially speak to. It’s far quicker to send out a weekly or monthly newsletter, than to ring round a whole client base asking if they need anything. (be sure to follow GDPR protocols and get the permission of the email holder first)
Google My Business
For the people who are searching for local businesses or services, Google My Business is a great free resource that any business owner can utilise very easily. Simply search Google My Business in your search engine and follow the steps to get set up.
When you search for a business online, you will often be presented with a right hand column of information about that business. It will include website and contact details, opening hours, business information and much more. This can include client reviews or photos too. A perfect opportunity to give an insight into a business, and it’s free!
Facebook Business Page
Depending on what type of business you have, the next step could be setting up a Facebook Business page. This is also very simple to do, just make sure you have a personal profile set up first in order to get started.
Again, depending on your business, how many people are surfing Facebook and could potentially come across your business or service? How many of your current customers are on Facebook and would give you a recommendation or review? Facebook is still the most used social media platform worldwide and gives massive potential to reaching out to a wider audience. If you do not have a website, a Facebook Page could be the first impression a person gets of your business. Creating content around recent projects, live or up to date information, posting behind the scenes images and telling the story behind the brand… all these things make up positive influences towards building a business and growing your audience.
Facebook might not be the place for you, other social media channels might be relevant to your audience – how do you know which channel to choose? Research your audience, find out where they are spending their time, where they are most likely to be interested in seeing your presence and engage with you, and build a presence on that platform. Check out our post on What’s the difference between the social media platforms for more information.
Brand awareness is important however you decide create it, in order to keep a business alive, relevant and up to date.
Having an online presence in this digital age offers cheap and affordable marketing, an easy way to stay in tune and in touch with customers and raise a brand profile in the process.
With careful planning, goal setting and strategy, online marketing is a necessity to keep up with the competition and to create a growing and thriving business.
If you’re just starting out online or with social media marketing, always create a plan of action and know what you’re looking to achieve through being online. If you’d like to talk through strategy and marketing plans, we’d love to chat with you. Get in touch today and let’s start a conversation.
In the meantime, if you’d like to go it alone and would like a check list to ensure that you don’t miss the basics, why not download our FREE social media checklist to get started. Embrace social media, embrace the digital space and allow your business to have an impact!
Everything is done for a reason. We go to the shops because we need supplies. We call friends because we need to talk. We spend time with family because they are important to us. And we market our business because we want to tell others about what we do and how we can solve their problems. But what is your WHY when it comes to your business and how can you incorporate that into your marketing strategy?
We go to a networking meeting or jump on an online webinar or group chat. When we introduce ourselves, often the first thing we say is what we do, followed by how we do it. And there is nothing wrong with this approach but how better can your message come across if we start with why we do something and what we hope you achieve by doing it?
These may sound like slight differences but your why can make all the difference when it comes to marketing your business. And the way that people perceive or get to know you will be driven by these introductions and what you are known for.
Why did you start your business?
This is the first question you should ask yourself and really dig deep into the reason that you’ve done what you’ve done and sacrificed what you have to get to where you are today. Were you driven by money or wanting to copy the latest trend or industry fad, or did you see and recognise a need and sought to create a solution to help certain people?
Our passion and drive creates our own unique path of marketing. We have something to say, we have a reason why we want to say it and we have people that we want to hear it. When you launched your business there must have been something inside of you that got you excited and made you see it as more than a just thought but something you could do that had purpose and meaning.
Bring your why into your brand mission
Creating a brand goes way beyond choosing a logo, colour theme and hoping that people will notice you. Your brand forms an energy, an alliance with people who believe in what you’re doing, in the product that you have or the things that you achieve. A brand is bigger than just the name, it creates community and unity.
Your passion and your why should be incorporated into your branding message that feeds through everything you do, everything you say and all material that is produced. Marketing with your mission in mind gives it wings to be able to accomplish so much more, as the more you believe in what you’re doing, the more passion you put into what people can see.
Your why in Social media marketing
Social media is your channel of reaching people online and the face of your business to those you come into contact with. Is it clear what your mission is, what your business is about and why you’re doing what you do? Do you spend too much time showcasing your products, telling people what you do, copying others who are more successful than yourself? Or do you get down to meeting your audience where they are and proving that there’s something deeper and true and real in your business? Do you open up to why you love working with certain people, why you enjoy your business, how you can relate to them and why that’s important?
Your social media and any form of marketing, be that on or offline, is a chance for you shout about the good that you have to offer, the value that you can provide and the reason why you think people should listen. Solve a problem. Find answers. Learn from how people react. Give reason to engage with customers. Interact and be sociable… that’s what social media means! Creating relationships, being a support, offering a alternative and being their ‘sigh of relief’ in their research.
If you’re a business owner, we’d like to think that you enjoy working in and on your business. We’d like to think that in starting a company, you had reason for doing so and you’ve still got that desire to want to see it succeed. Discovering your why an make a whole difference in your mindset and the way that you talk and communicate with people. Spend some time writing down your why values… what can you come up with and makes your why different from the next business that comes along? You need to stand out and be difference, be unique in your approach and have your own why, not someone else’s!
And when you’ve got why’s in place, think about how you can put those into your marketing strategy. What goals do you want to reach in 90 days, 180 day, a year? Ensure that you create marketing targets that will help you achieve your business goals. Speak to the audience that are most likely going to want to hear your message and speak directly into their situations.
Directions are instructions given to explain how. Direction is a vision offered to explain why. Simon Sinek
Everyone has a story to tell, it can just sometimes be hard to know how to tell that story. That’s where we can help.
Here at KJP Creative, we want to help you tell your story and showcase your brand through online marketing. We’re here to relieve the pressure of managing too much, or not having the time to do everything that comes with running a business. As social media specialists we want to help you go above and beyond your marketing goals and to know that your marketing is in good hands. If you’d like to find out more about our online marketing packages, get in touch today and let’s talk.
Download your FREE social media checklist to help you get started with the basics. And if you’d like a copy of our printed 2020 Social Media Planner and Business Goal Setter to help plan your marketing effectively, click here.