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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.

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Top Tips: How To Use Instagram For Business Growth

Top Tips: How To Use Instagram For Business Growth

Are you using Instagram for your business marketing? With over 1 million active users on the social platform, that alone is a reason to start engaging with an audience that is hungry to hear from you!

Facebook is the largest of all the social networks, showing a monthly growth of users at around 3.14%. On the other hand, Instagram is growing at about 5% quarter to quarter – Instagram is the fast-growing network at the moment!

It’s important as with anything that you ensure your brand runs throughout everything you do, and that includes your Instagram images. If you take a look at an Instagram feed that is branded well, you’ll notice consistency and transparency throughout the posts.

So how can you use Instagram to grow your business? Take a look at our top 7 top tips (not in any particular order!):

Be creative

Instagram is all about the imagery – so instead of focusing on the products that you sell, which can be represented on other social platforms, focus on how you sell them or the solution that you provide.

It’s essential that you you grab the attention of a user on Instagram by being creative and inspiring. Get creative in how you present – if you’re a business that is out and about – showcase where you’ve been and what you’ve been doing.

Give your business a face for people to relate to.

Introduce the team or behind scenes in snaps of how the business is running.

Make it interesting and fun while portraying who you are and what your business represents.

Use your brand identity to show colour and life to your images. You can add text and quotes to your posts to make them more interesting – make them inspiring and attractive.

Add value

This is important across all your marketing efforts, you must add value in everything you do. Just because you’re dealing with pictures, doesn’t mean you have to lose the value aspect!

Your images can add value to your customers and look pretty at the same time. What your customers see has an impact on how your brand is represented and remembered. Show off your business culture and values, share how-to’s and your mission behind your business. Visuals are a valuable and excitable way to speak to your audience.

Plus your visuals need to speak to people’s emotions. They need to grab their attention and get to the heart of what they are searching for. By adding value in every post, you can assure your audience that you care and have something to give that is beneficial and worthwhile.

Create a great bio

Try not to focus on the number of characters available in your Instagram bio – focus on embedding your USP (unique selling point / unique selling proposition). This is what differentiates you from your competition and makes you stand out from the crowd, along with highlighting what you have to offer. 

Grow your business with Instagram. Check out our 7 top tips to build business on Instagram

Engagement

Engagement is key in any social platform and presenting ways for users to do that will encourage more people to engage with your brand. Always be courteous and reply to comments on posts, reply back to shares from your posts and thank people for kind words. Customer service goes a long way in attracting and retaining clients.

Create posts that encourage engagement – that means speaking directly to your audience and aligning what you’re delivering to what they’re wanting to see and hear. Make your posts memorable and shareable, and always keep the interaction going when it starts.

Even if you get some negative comments (of course we hope that you don’t) but even if you do, let the conversations roll as this will show the algorithm that it’s an engaging post – worthy of being seen.

Use your analytics

First of all, ensure that your page is set up as a business account which will enable you to use the insights function. If you’re not sure how to set up a business page, just give us a shout and we can run through that with you. But once you’re ready to go, you are able to keep an eye on the posts that are working – and the ones that are not so much. From here you can establish a pattern of posts that your audience likes to see and engage with – these are the types of posts that you want to create more of.

You can then also dig deeper into the insights of your posts and the interaction they are getting. Find out which day of the week or what time of day people are engaging most, their gender and where they are located. Tailoring your content to your insight results will give help encourage further engagement.

Collaborate

Working with influencers on Instagram will give your posts better chance of being noticed and will boost your brand awareness. Search for the top hashtags that relate to your business and find micro-influencers using those hashtags who have a large following. Once you’ve established a list of influencers, contact them and ask if they’d be interested in promoting your product on their feed. You can either offer a monetary reward or exchange their time for something you could do for them. The influencers already have a large following of their own which means that if your product is being shown to their audience, with their backing and enthusiasm, you’re more likely to grow your audience when people start to notice your products.

Big brands use influencers all the time by using celebrities to endorse their product – the same idea can be used on Instagram on a much smaller scale for your business. There is no harm in approaching people and asking, the more people you ask, the better chance of finding someone that will work with you.

Use Instagram stories

Everyday over 300 million people are creating Instagram stories – that’s a lot of stories! These are snaps or video sequences that disappear 24 hours after being posted. On average 1 in 5 businesses receive a direct message from their Instagram Stories. And those direct messages are leads.

There are different things you can do with stories, like go behind the scenes, share Q&A sessions, create tutorials. All of these will disappear after 24 hours but can be kept as highlights after that time to sit directly under your bio as the first thing a customer will see when they click through to your profile page.

Instagram stories give way to creativity and allow a business to showcase their attributes in a more dynamic way.

It’s always great to plan ahead and with the video function for stories, this is possible by utilising videos that you have created within the last 24 hours. Therefore, create your videos in advance and post them strategically when you know your audience will be watching.

Don’t forget to add a ‘call to action’ to your Story as this tells people where to go next. You don’t want to lose your potential lead by allowing them to go onto the next business / next Story, direct them to where you’d like them to go by swiping the page.

Instagram is fun, it’s enjoyable and best of all it’s where people are at-  so that’s where your business needs to be.

Create authentic good quality images that tell your story, show your value and provide solutions and you’ll grow your Instagram with ease.

If you’d like any further tips on getting started with Instagram or how to incorporate it into your online marketing plan, get in touch, we’d love to help.

 

Why Use Twitter For Business Marketing?

Why Use Twitter For Business Marketing?

Twitter is a great resource to use for your business marketing to source potential clients and to reach out to both audiences and other business owners, not to mention influencers. It’s a platform for quick, relevant to the point snippets of information engaging a user to see your point of view.

Starting off as a microblogging platform, it still remains effective and one of the best channels to share with the world your opinions. A quick tweet telling your friends about your morning coffee, or to let others know about a great experience you had in your favourite retail place, or even to just keep in touch with loved ones across the globe. It offers a range of benefits to reach a wide range of people and businesses.

Twitter can be a place to get the latest news story and to see events unravel as they happen. Twitter is hungry for content, for information and for users to connect. Providing a way for influence to be at the forefront of our news feeds, it’s the perfect platform to establish a name and gain a following with the pure aim of growing your business.

Trends are big in Twitter and if something is big worldwide, you can guarantee that it’ll be on Twitter. Viral YouTube videos, celebrity news, world news – you’ll find it on Twitter. These can all be found on the platform by their individual hashtags that’s been assigned to the subject. Find the hashtag that you’re looking for and use the search function to find every tweet related to that subject.

Twitter for business

The same principle can be used for your business. By creating a hashtag that is relevant and recognisable to your brand and using that in all your Twitter marketing, you can keep track of all activity that relates to your business, including when users are talking about your brand or an influencer gets hold of your brand – it can all be traced back.

TweetDeck is a great place to keep track of Twitter activity without the need to fill up your news feed with content that you perhaps don’t want to see every time you open the app.

Take note of what the big brands are doing and use their examples in how to reach your audience. Big brands will almost certainly have a presence and are using it to reach out to current clients, attract new customers and to create a great customer experience. Use their @handle in your tweet and they will respond – providing a way to interact with your favourite brands at the touch of a button and receive (almost) instant response. This is a great way to up your customer service levels and to let your clients know that you care about them, and that they are valuable to your business.

Benefits to using Twitter for business?

  • Quick and easy to provide snippets of what you have to offer, links to your website or articles
  • Easy reach for business research
  • Express your opinion or thoughts.
  • Reach new audiences
  • Ask for feedback, including the use of polls or questions.
  • Follow others in your industry / niche
  • Reach a large number of users, quickly
  • Build relationships, provide customer care
  • Stay up to date with latest news and trends
  • Contribute to discussions and industry discussions.

So with these in mind, whatever area of business you are in, there is a way to reach your ideal audience. However to really touch deep with that audience and to be influential in that outreach, a business needs to understand who they are speaking to and who they are targeting to ensure effective results.

Twitter Analytics

This is where Twitter analytics comes in. You can dig deep by looking into the statistics the platform provides (free of charge) and start to understand your audience.

Once in Twitter analytics you will see a menu of options, choose the ‘audience’ tab which will direct you to a page full of follower growth data. By scrolling down you can establish your audience’s interests, demographics, lifestyle interests – even down to which mobile carrier they are with!

Understanding what type of content your audience enjoys or reacts to will drive your social media marketing and content strategy – what’s the point in sharing if people are not engaging?

The information available in analytics is important to establish whether you are reaching your ideal audience or attracting users who would not be a potential customer.

If either case, it may be time to return to your marketing strategy and learn more about who you want to target and who you need to attract in order to grow your business. A marketing strategy will outline what you need to do, in order to see successful results. By coming away from a good strategy, it will have implications on your business growth.

Within the ‘followers’ tab, you are given data that allows you to really get to know your audience. Are they mostly male or female? Which countries do they reside in? What are their top interests? Understanding these will help in your marketing drive. By speaking directly to your audience and providing content that they enjoy to see/read and will engage with and share or comment on, will help boost your engagement and provide a better way to grow your audience – and your business.

If you’re looking to implement a marketing strategy or need advice on how to target your ideal audience, please feel free to get in touch.

 

Why Blogging is Important For Business

Why Blogging is Important For Business

If you own or run a small business you could be asking yourself whether it’s worth the time and effort in writing a regular blog. Our answer to that question is “Yes!”.

Blogging is an inexpensive marketing material that can be used over and over again and can be used for driving traffic to your website, highlighting your industry experience or even reaching new and potential clients. It’s an all-round marketing tool that is definitely worth the effort.

In our opinion it is one of the most valuable marketing tools that you can keep in your arsenal. If you’re not yet blogging for your business, it’s time to start! If you’ve not got the time, either a) create time or b) outsource this task – it’s extremely important for your business and for business growth.

Here are our top 7 reasons why blogging is important for business:

Personal Development

While the purpose of blogging is for your audience, it’s a great place to enhance your own personal development. Blogging can open up opportunities for you that you were not expecting and allow you to express your interests and passions to an audience that is really hungry for your content.

The more you write, the more knowledge you have. The research that is involved in writing opens up a world of industry knowledge and can help build your confidence and share opinions.

It can be challenging to write a blog but when you are passionate about a subject, you have the power to express who you are and what your values are.

 

Tells a story

A blog is a chance to tell your brand’s story, it’s a chance to offer insight and background of who you are and what you value, offer and represent as a brand. You are able to share ideas and customer experiences, challenges and how you’ve overcome them. You can share about the staff or team that make up your business and what experience they bring to the company. There’s so much you can do to highlight your brand’s ethos and showcase everything that you have to offer – make the most of the opportunity to talk about your business and then use your blogs on your social media platforms so that it can be seen by as many people as possible.

 

Builds an audience

Blogging is a place where you can create value and build an audience of people who are interested in what you have to offer. You’re not writing for just anyone, you are writing for people who want to hear what you’re talking about. Aim your words to those people, this may not be exactly what you would want to hear, but understanding your audience and providing value to their needs will increase your readership and help you stand out as a thought leader.

 

Builds discipline

Getting in the habit of writing is a good thing! It builds discipline and routine into your marketing plan and gives you something to focus on, on a regular basis. Whether you set yourself a weekly task or allocate one day a month to writing, it shapes you into a writer’s mindset and gives you good practice.

 

why blogging is good for business marketing

 

It boosts offline marketing

When people see the content you’re writing, the value that you’re providing, this can often lead to offline opportunities. Speaking at events, writing for magazines or articles, writing a book. It allows your voice to be heard outside of internet circles and enables you to do bigger things with your content. Blogging is not just about bringing people to your website (although that is a large part), it is about showcasing who you are, what your business represents and the industry knowledge that you have. Use your blog to delve into different areas that you may not have been able to in the past. With your confidence and discipline building, push yourself to do more with your business and speak to a wider audience.

 

Cost effective

Marketing can be expensive with all the different aspects that you could be paying for, however blogging is completely free! The only cost is your time and as a business owner, building marketing into your business plan is a must. By blogging you’re not paying for magazine space, you’re not paying for a TV or radio advert, you’re not even paying for banner adverts (in this context), you are simply writing content for your website which has the potential to be seen by many people, and the more you blog, the more people will see your content. Once your content is out there, it’s there forever which is an extremely cost-effective way to market your business!

 

Blogging is inspiring

When you start to write, you start to see more opportunities in the world around you. You become inspired by what’s around you, what you see and hear and the things happening in the world. Even just walking down the street can give you inspiration for your next blog post!

There are many reasons to blog for your business and if you are a small business, this is your chance to have a voice and to be heard in a busy online world. Make your voice count, allow your business to stand out over your competition and attract customers by being an inspiration and giving value and knowledge in all that you write about.

If you’d like to provide a blog for you business but are not sure where to start, we offer a content marketing package and can write your content for you! There’s really no reason not to blog! If you’d like advice or help moving forward, get in touch.

Ways to Build Loyalty With Your Customers

Ways to Build Loyalty With Your Customers

One of the main ways to sustain a healthy and growing business is to keep a steady customer base. A company doing well will typically see the 80/20 rule; 80 percent of its business coming from 20 percent of its customer base.

If you are looking to grow your business and to see it thrive well into later years, you need to start building loyalty with your customers and building relationships to keep them happy.

 

Communication is key

Keeping customers informed of what’s happening within your business, offers and up to date information will allow your customers to feel part of the life of your business. This could be via a number of mediums including newsletters, emails, social media or even a phone call but the fact that you are telling your customers about the latest news goes a long way.

You don’t need to be pushing sales at your customers all the time. Communications can be friendly, informative snippets along with a “how are you doing?’ every once in a while. People appreciate communication and it goes a long way in building customer relationships.

 

Always go above and beyond

This goes without saying in business, if you have a customer then you want to treat them right and maintain that customer for future potential sales. By going above and beyond in what you do for them at the start of their customer experience with you, they will know that you care about them and that you want their business.

It doesn’t take much to do a little extra, as Tesco’s motto says “Every Little Helps” and yes that might be in a different context but it’s the same principle – every little bit helps for your customers and you have an opportunity to show each and every client that you are there to serve them, along with wanting to provide 100% and beyond.

 

Be a problem solver – Be positive

It’s great when things are going well, but how do you deal with situations when they go slightly pear-shaped? How do you react with customers when they have a complaint or something to share?

As you build your business, you will come along characters that will test your patience and try to get something for nothing. But you are the face of your business and your reputation matters. Building a good reputation can take years but it only takes one or two customers to not like your practice to tear that reputation down.

Therefore, try to solve or defuse a situation rather than rise to it. Always try to show a positive attitude towards all customers, whether you like what is happening or not. You are more likely to have a positive outcome and a good response if you act in a positive manner and show professionalism.

 

Promote brand awareness

This is number one in a business marketing strategy but it can often be put on hold or forgotten about when other aspects of business take over. By promoting your brand and showcasing what you are about, you are building a base of followers who will get to know, love and understand who you are and what your business is about. Building a business takes trust and people need to trust your brand in order to feel comfortable buying from you. When you build on your brand awareness, they are given opportunities of seeing more and more about what you do and how you can benefit them or provide a service for what they are looking for.

Always target your brand awareness campaigns to people who are really going to want to buy from you. It’s vital to understand your target audience and to know what it is they are looking for so you can provide the solution for them. Understanding your audience will bring  you closer to them and provide a way in to build relationships that build customer loyalty and longevity.

 

Show who you really are

It’s great to showcase your business and everything that it has to offer, it’s one step further to showcase who you are, as the business owner. People love stories and customers feel connected when they know there is a human behind all the technology. You may not feel comfortable speaking on video or promoting yourself but it will go a long way in building customer relationships and allowing customers to know the real you behind the business.

Video marketing is definitely the future. And if you’re not doing it now, you need to be very soon! It doesn’t have to be long drawn out videos, it can simply be you saying hi and and introducing yourself as the business owner. Pin a video post to the top of your social media posts so that each new customer can see the voice and face behind the company they are looking to engage with. It will go a long way – try it today!

 

Get engaging!

We say it all the time but the key to building a loyal customer base is by engaging with them on a daily basis. This falls in with the communication point but it goes a little deeper. If you’re using social media to attract new customers and to retain your current ones too (and if you’re not using social media for business then please get in touch!), your followers are looking to engage with your business. Give them posts that they can reply to or share with their friends. Post articles that relate to their situation. Get your writing head on and create some posts or articles that really speak to the heart of your audience. When they see that you are actually speaking to them on a personal level, they will share that with their friends and family, they will recommend your business to others and they will start to love who you are which in turn leads them to be a loyal customer.

 

Take these points on board and use them to grow your business. Building a loyalty with your customers is so important if you want longevity in your business. Sustaining and maintaining your client base doesn’t have to be hard work but it does need dedication and commitment to see it work.

 

If you’re looking to reach a wider audience through social media or would like to know more about creating an effective marketing campaign, get in touch today!

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