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.
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.
In order to understand how content marketing can impact a business, we need to understand what content marketing is and the benefits it can have on business owners.
What is content marketing?
According to the dictionary, content marketing is defined as: A type of marketing that involves the creation and sharing of online material (such as videos, blogs, and social media posts) that does not explicitly promote a brand but is intended to stimulate interest in its products or services.
Another way of looking at it, is how the Content Marketing Institute put it: Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience – and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.
The main thing to remember is that content marketing is about being educational and not all about selling a product.
What is content marketing good for?
The reasons we look to content marketing is not ultimately to promote a product but about building a brand and reputation. Here are some other reasons:
- To build an engaged and interested audience – making sure that you’re taking the people that you want to speak to and not generalising at anyone that will listen.
- To educate customers – teaching your customers or potential customers about your business or industry.
- To increase sales in the long-term.
- To build a loyal customer base and create a brand that people will know, love and trust.
What do people know about your brand?
If you search Google or the search engines for you / your business, what do you find?
This can be a great exercise as you get to see what other people can find out about you.
Do you like what you find? Are you surprised by the results that you find?
By building on your content marketing, you can start to create a base and substance for what people are going to find when they do their due diligence and research your business. You can start to get control over the content people find about you. And the more good content you create, the more reputable your business will become.
Practice – Patience – Persistence
It can be easy to get worked up when you don’t get it right all the time but that’s just part of the process (and a part of life!). Not everyone is good at creating great content, but you will get better if you keep practicing, have patience and are persistent in your approach.
Results will happen when you have patience. But you have to be consistent and persistent. Don’t forget that if you really find that you’re not great after all at content marketing, there are people there ready to help. Outsourcing marketing is a common occurrence and just means that you’re looking after the interests of your business, focusing on what you do best and allowing an expert to take care of the other stuff.
Understand your business goals
Producing content for the sake of it will not get you anywhere fast, it will just increase stress, workload and worry about not producing results. Every piece of content should be created with a business goal in mind. Although this may seem a long process, for everything you produce, ensure that it aligns with a business goal and establish how it is going to benefit your long or short-term goals.
Consider your business goals, where do you ultimately want to get to, and think about how your content can contribute towards achieving them…
- Raising brand awareness
- Build an email list / customer base
- Provide a good customer journey and experience
- Upsell existing customers
- Help customers to be an advocate of your brand
Understand your mission and values
Just as you did with your business goals, each piece of content has got to be in line with your mission and values. There is absolutely no point in creating content that goes against what you believe, or doesn’t sit right with the people you want to reach, or even with the values that you promote. Your content needs to true to what your brand is about.
Consider your values or mission and how your content can contribute towards aligning with these:
- Who can you help the most with your content?
- What type of information can you provide?
- What is the desired outcome with the content that you’re producing?
What type of content can you use?
There are a wide range of resources that you can use to create your content marketing ideas, way to many to list but back to what we said at the beginning, all content must be educational or informational – not selling a product. Therefore the list can begin with:
- Books / ebooks
- Webpages / websites
- How to’s
And the list can go on. There is so much content that you create to build your brand, without directly selling.
But the question may come down to what you love to do, what you enjoy doing, what makes you smile and sits right with you personally. Looking at the list about, what jumps out at you and makes you think “yes I can produce that”? These are the things you need to start with. It doesn’t have to be hard, it just has to be true to your brand.
The more you start to think about writing or creating content that adds value rather than selling, the easier it will become. In all you do, the audience should feel like they’re receiving value, or being looked after.
Implementing the process
Once you’ve established what content marketing is how you can add value to your audience, it comes down to implementing it into your marketing strategy. Social media plays a big part in today’s society in reaching a wide and engaging audience and is often the best way to market to your customers. Build your content ideas into your social media strategy, creating a solid foundation for your business to gain respect, become reputable and trusted within your chosen niche. The more solid and authentic your content is, the more people will become to trust you, in turn becoming loyal and valued customers.
As we mentioned before, great content can increase your brand awareness, it can help build an audience that is interested in what you are about and ultimately it can lead to long-term sales and business growth.
If you’d like to get started with content marketing but are still unsure of how to get off the ground, or would like to look at outsourcing, we’d love to chat with you. Contact us today – let’s talk marketing!
And in the meantime if you’re looking to create engaging content around some of the issues that are important to your audience, why not download our free 2020 Awareness Days Calendar – it’s always good to have new ideas to share!
We look forward to hearing from you.
When we think about promoting a business, we should consider every factor, and this includes actually telling people what we do!
Do we take for granted that people already know us? Do we assume that our audience already have a good perception of who we are and what we are capable of?
Never make assumptions!
When it comes to marketing, whether that be offline or digital marketing – spell out the message you’re intending to say and stick to your message and mission.
Start With The Basics
- Who are you and what is your business about?
- What do you offer – what services or products do you provide?
- How can people get in touch with you?
- Where can people find out more about you?
These are all questions that we need to start with when marketing a business. Make it easy for people to find out about your brand, your values, your products, your way of doing things. Your customers are your life line to success. Without them you won’t succeed!
Dig A Little Deeper
Now you’ve established your presence and people are starting to know more about you, it’s time to go deeper into what you can do for them.
Do your customers know that you can offer XYZ? Are they aware that you can solve X problem?
What is it that your audience is looking for, and how can you put across a message of hope and solution?
Take time to sit in your customer’s shoes for a moment, what would pull you towards your services and what would you be looking to get from it?
Think as a customer and write your marketing directly to them.
Embrace Your Strengths
Everyone has things they are better at and prefer doing over other tasks – embrace those strengths and allow your customers to get a glimpse or taste of those strengths. People buy from people or brands that they trust, by giving them a taster of something that you’re really passionate about, they can ‘try before they buy’.
Learn From Your Weaknesses
On the flip side of your strengths, everyone also has weaknesses. But this isn’t something that shall hold you back. We learn from mistakes, we learn from trial and error and the more we do something, the better we become.
Sometimes we need to step out of the comfort zone and give ourselves a challenge – as hard as that may be to do, it gives us courage, confidence and new strings to our bow. And this is applicable in marketing – social media is a life line for businesses to embrace and to use as best as possible to grow their brand. What could you do to step out of the box, out of your comfort zone and to build relationships with your audience?
For some people the thought of being on video terrifies them – but video is one of the best forms of social media marketing and it gives direct access for clients/customers to see behind the brand, who they’re dealing with and to learn more about a business. Have you tried it?
Create An Event
Another great way for your customers to get to know what you do is to create an event. This could be a physical ‘go to’ event, it could be a networking opportunity, it could be a webinar or even a podcast. But whatever it is, it’s something tangible for people to get to know you.
Again this may be stepping out of your comfort zone but does that matter if it means your business may grow, you’re raising your brand awareness and people are starting to like, know and trust you? It’s a step toward success. It’s a path to growing a business and it’s great for you personally as you get to meet new people and your reputation grows.
The main point is that it’s good to make clear what you do and what you can provide for your customers.
Get to know your ideal audience, get yourself well established within the right circles and the right networks, and become a person of interest in your local area. The more you get out there, the more your business will flourish.
If you’re looking to raise your profile and create a better awareness of your business, we can help! You don’t have to go it alone, and we’d love to chat with you if you’d like some direction in getting started or building on what you already are doing online. Get in touch today!
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.
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.
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.
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.