It’s a new year with much to get excited about and when we think about a social media strategy and plan for a new year, or a new campaign, or whatever it may be – there is so much enthusiasm you can bring into the mix. Whether you are working on your own business marketing, or you’re helping a client reach their goals, always bring the excitement with you to the table. If it’s not there, come back when it is!
For content marketing and social media managers, coming up with fresh and new content for clients can become difficult and stagnant, especially if the client doesn’t have anything new to give. But there are ways to work around this and producing content that brings their social channels to life is part of the job… you are the creative one and it’s your job to make the magic happen!
But where do you start?
– Have you lost your enthusiasm?
– Are you having trouble sticking to, or creating a plan that works?
– Are you skipping the planning stages, hoping for the best?
The best advice we can give as an agency, is to understand your client’s (or your own) business right down to the nitty gritty detail. What customers are they trying to attract, what makes them special, what can they offer, what do they give that’s of value, and what is unique about them that will stand out from the competition?
Then it’s about putting everything into a process.
Create a strategy
Make an action plan
= Results… success
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I heard an interview this morning with Lola Lennox, Annie Lennox’s daughter, who was sharing about her new song that she had released, written and recorded at home during the Covid-19 lockdown. She was asked if she was a daydreamer and the answer she gave was that all songwriters are daydreamers as they have to pluck content from deep within in order to produce a song.
This struck me that we, as social media marketers, are also in that same boat. We write content for many clients at a time, often in completely different industries, but providing a (daily) flow of content for all. Where does that inspiration come from?!
To start with, you need to be creative in the first place. If you’re a business owner reading this and you’re struggling with implementing a good social media presence, don’t waste your time, find someone that can do it without struggle and that has the capacity to do a good job. It’s far better to have something done well, than half an effort that’s poor. If you are creative but are stuck for ideas, keep reading…
So, what comes first in the process of creating an awesome content calendar, and how do you come up with great both copy and graphics for each and every client, that is different and unique for each?
You need inspiration. This doesn’t come all at once or at a specific time – especially when you want it to – but often comes when you’re out and about or going about your everyday normality of life. When you’re out, always have a notebook or a phone to hand to keep a journal of the things that inspire you, otherwise by the time you get home, you’ll have forgotten everything!
Take a walk, read a book, have a chat on the phone with a friend, look out the window – all these different things can provide you with snippets of inspiration. Take photos or screenshots while you’re busy, doodle or draw pictures – whatever it is that brings out your creative streak.
Also, a great way to be inspired by the industry is to look at what content that industry is producing. Search for keywords in Instagram or Twitter to find the types of content which is gaining good engagement. Take a look at the profiles who are following these high engaging posts and see the types of posts they are enjoying too. If you can see what content works, it can inspire you to create things along the same line.
Your ideas don’t have to come all at once but collate all your material in a central place that when you come to your dedicated time to write content, you’ve got a bank of details to use.
Make a plan
A good content calendar is built on a strategy and an action plan, filled with much research and knowledge of the business and with their goals and targets at hand.
With an in depth understanding of the goals in mind, the content can be built around everything you have learned and gathered along the way. But don’t think sell, sell, sell at every opportunity – think of the bigger picture and the audience you’re speaking to. What do they want to hear or gain from having communication from the business?
Marketing strategy ideas:
- Create and understand the various personas you’ll be working with
- Research the business in depth
- Ensure branding throughout, in both copy, style and graphics
- Decide how many times to post during a week
- What type of content will match the brand
- What style of graphics will work
Pull all your plans together and work out how to fit everything in best with what’s happening within the business and the campaigns / goals that you want to meet, and you’ll have a content calendar that will run for ages, that you can come back to, adapt, amend, and recycle to keep recreating content.
Tip: Create content that is ‘evergreen’, that can be used again and again. For example, with one blog post, you could create a selection of posts to go with it and have them on a rolling cycle.
This process can be rolled out through all the various channels that you run as a social media manager. Different businesses will have different goals and focusses, but the thought basis behind it all is the same process for each.
Have you tried using a check list to help you stay on top of your social media marketing? You can download a FREE copy of our Social Media Checklist here.
See the results – discover success!
The outcome of seeing everything fall into place and working as you hoped is satisfying to say the least. Everything that you’ve done and worked hard to put together has paid off. Keep the momentum going by engaging with everyone that interacts with your social channels. Engagement is key to building the brand and growing your followers. Of course, growing the likes and followers is great, but what is the ultimate goal – to bring in leads and eventually sales? Don’t forget to build relationships with your followers, they are human! A good brand is built on trust and loyalty, create those bonds by creating a good customer experience and you’ll be set.
Also, be sure to check your analytics on each social channels to see what has worked best, what type of content is gaining the best interaction and what times of day your audience is online. Understanding what your audience is enjoying from your content is a basis to grow, put this knowledge into your strategy and keep going.
When you go through the process above, you’ll find how easy it is to access the creativity in the back of your mind. Keeping a journal of things that inspire you, and photos along the way, is the best way to keep the bank of content flowing. You’ll soon find it all becomes routine and you’ll establish a system where awesome social media content comes naturally.
What top tips do you have to ensure you’re running a smooth social media management service for your clients? We’d love to hear your feedback in the comments below.
And if you’re a business looking for help in their social media, get in touch, we’d love to talk!
Written by Karen Petrauskas, owner of KJP Creative
Grab yourself a copy of KJP Creative’s 2021 Social Media Planner and get yourself organised through this year:
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Not getting the results you hoped for on Instagram? Perhaps the answer could lie in the look of your grid.
One of the first things we do when we view a profile on Instagram, is to read their bio, check out the number of followers and then see what the grid looks like. Not everyone has a creative eye, but the look and feel of your posts should create a good first impression to any reader. This process takes about 5 seconds – and can be the difference between someone following your account, to them disregarding you completely.
Not everyone follows an account because of the way it ‘looks overall’ and it won’t necessarily get people to discover your page but it does go a long way in establishing people who are going to become loyal followers and potential customers – people who like what they see, stay interested for longer.
With an Instagram grid that is pleasing to the eye, with eye-catchy content and interesting posts, you are more likely to grow your following. The slight increase over time will or can results in hundreds, if not thousands, of new followers – which is great for business if it means more people are seeing your content.
The grid layout
You may spend most of your time swiping through your phone’s Instagram feed without actually visiting other profiles, and in that case you’d not be overly familiar with the layout of Instagram. But if you take a few moments to visit some profiles, you’ll see how they are laid out. This is called a grid.
Posts are displayed in rows of three, stacked on top of each other, each time pushing the previous post down the grid.
As it is always posted this way, it’s easy to create patterns or repeatable orders of three to keep the grid moving and to emphasise the things you want to highlight the most.
This could be represented by a brand colour, a quote, or something relevant to your profile.
When you’re deciding which looks best, it’s great to have a tool which can help you see the visual before you post. And also to have a scheduling tool that can help you plan ahead – we personally love Tailwind (actually for both Instagram and Pinterest!) as it takes the hard work out of posting. Have you tried it?
So, thinking about the different ideas of layouts, these could vary between:
- Line down the middle / on the side
- With boarders
Let’s look at these a little further – which grab your attention the most and how could you think to use these ideas in your own Instagram profile?
We love this example of a random Instagram grid, it’s pleasing to the eye, fun-loving and inviting. It makes you feel happy and best of all, you want to keep scrolling. Depending on what your business is about, it can work for you too and is especially desired if you want Instagram to be easy. Try to still stay on brand though, keeping the same filters and colours, and making it eye-catchy to your trusted followers.
This is a popular choice for Instagrammers. It gives it an instant theme, easily branded by the choice of colours or filters and is a fairly easy grid to keep. To keep this going, you’ll need to post your chosen ‘diagonal’ every 4th post.
This again is easy to follow, remembering to keep things alternate. This is good if you want to use a strong colour, or have lots to say, enjoy using quotes etc. It’s consistent and clean and your followers will know what to expect next for each post! Here at KJP Creative, we like the idea of both the diagonal and tiled look, so we’ve mixed them up a bit – here’s what ours looks like:
This layout is when you have images that you really want to show off – Instagram is the perfect place to highlight good photography and / or branded content. You could keep it to every row or three is one block, or you could mix it up a little and keep every third row as a block. Each row usually would tell a story or share a message
This is just the opposite of the rows except you’re going in a vertical direction instead of horizontal. They look pretty, thought out and entices a reader to keep scrolling!
The majority of posts on Instagram are square, and they fill as much of the post as possible within the allocated space. But what if you could create a different effect but not using all the square space? Check out this example – it’s different and unique and extremely eye-catching.
This really is something that stands out if you get your colours right. Always stay true to your brand and identify with your audience through your colours. You can create some pretty eye-catching and inspirational content with the right choice of colours. And the same goes for a black and white theme, you can’t go wrong with that, especially if you’ve got some great photography behind it.
Have you ever thought that your posts don’t have to be stand alone? By getting creative, you can come up with very inspirational content. Not everyone will notice or realise the impact of these posts when looking at them individually, but take a look at the bigger picture and you discover a masterpiece!
And at the end of this list, you couldn’t miss off the mixed up Instagram feeds! They are both creative and eye-catching and definitely worth exploring. Images roll into each other, two or three posts can become one gorgeous design. You don’t have be limited to the traditional border either – think outside the box!
Whatever style you decide to go with and whichever theme you settle on, remember to keep it branded, with your business tone of voice and ensure that you’ve got some great copy behind each post. Utilise hashtags, inspiring text and always giving value to your readers on every post.
If you’d like to chat about your social media marketing plan, and especially Instagram, we’d love to talk. Strategy and planning are key to an engaging and inspirational social profile. Raise your brand profile, grow your business and see results – all with the use of strategy.
Are you struggling to see good results with your Facebook Ads, not understanding why your efforts and money is failing? Let’s be honest, it can get a little confusing so understanding the basics behind Facebook advertising is both beneficial and crucial to the outcome and results.
- Many people give Facebook ads a go without really understanding the make up of how they work.
- A quick £5 or £10 here and there and they assume that they’re going to reach the world and are disappointed when they don’t
So, what makes a successful ad campaign?
What is going to make your Facebook ad stand out and produce results?
It all comes down to strategy.
Know your product
Do you have a clear understanding of what your product is and what problem it is going to fix?
Do you have a solution to a problem?
Is someone going to benefit from purchasing your product or service? How? Why?
These are the types of questions that form the basis of your ad campaign and all things that need to be thought about in detail in order to understand what you are selling or promoting and who you are reaching. Could you talk about your product with a friend? Do you know what it does, what benefits it has, why it’s important and what it has to offer? Get to know your product inside out, so thoroughly that when you’re writing copy to go on your advert, you know without a doubt what you’re talking about.
Research other similar products or competition, have a look at what other companies are doing and the angle that they are coming from. What problems are they trying to help through their advertising?
Know your audience
You may have a broad understanding of the type of people you want to reach or target, but how well do you know them? Can you stand in their shoes and say that you ‘get it’; you can feel their pain points, their problems, hear what they’re looking for, resonate with the outcomes that they want to receive?
Break down your audience (persona) so when you’re creating your target audience within a campaign, you know exactly who to target. And there may be more than one type of persona – this will require a different ad set with its own set of targets. You may not be able to bundle everyone into the same bucket for one advert – that’s ok, split them up and create separate ad sets.
Know your budget
Right from the outset, work out and set your budget – and stick to it! Know the limits that you can go to and work your campaign to that price. You should always have a buffer for give and take but ensure that you set that buffer to your highest price and make sure that your ads do not go over it.
It’s always best to scale an ad campaign through its lifetime if possible, start small and increase the budget in small increments of around 20%-30% at a time. Pushing too high too quickly will not help, your ad may go into ‘limited learning’ or fail to reach the results you need. Always increase gradually or create a duplicate campaign (be careful of your cross over audiences if you are going down this route).
Know the right offer
What offer or hook are you using for your ad campaign? This will be the entrance to people getting into your sales funnel. What incentive are you offering them to purchase from you? What are they going to get in return if they go with you? Having the right offer, or hook, is important. Just as knowing your product, know what hook will reel them in. Is it adding value, is it solving a problem, is it something that your audience actually needs?
Know your funnel
Your funnel is the process of your customer journey.
Top of funnel (TOF): People who are completely new to you and your product, a cold audience and who you’ve not had any contact with before. This is the awareness stage, where someone is in the first stages of looking, perhaps not even knowingly in search of a service or product
Middle of funnel (MOF): Consideration stage, where people have started to research and are considering different products available. A warm audience may consider an offer if it was going to help or meet their needs.
Bottom of funnel (BOF): Your hot audience, they are ready to purchase, actively looking for a result.
Work out your ad campaigns depending on where you want to hit your audience, not everyone is in the same part of the funnel and they need to be targeted correctly depending on what stage they are in.
Working with Facebook ads is a great way to boost your audience, sales and see business growth all round, but it’s important that you do your research and understand your audience and products well in order to see the results that you desire. It can become quite expensive throwing money at ‘boosted’ Facebook posts that are not targeted correctly. We always suggest using your Ad Manager to set up your adverts correctly and by using the targeting options available.
If you’re struggling to see the results you need, we’d love to sit down and talk with you, creating a strategy and plan to make Facebook Ads work for you. Want to know more? Get in touch and let’s talk.
The art of growing a business is getting your audience to know, love and trust your brand – communicating with them on all levels and ensuring they feel valuable.
Creating a marketing strategy that aligns with your business goals is essential in ensuring that you’re on the right path and gives you the guidance in which to stay on track with the direction that your business wants to head.
We always say that “a strategy is where a business is heading, a plan is how to get there”. And that’s exactly true, we map out and do the research of what we want the business to look like, incorporating the different aspects like competition, trends and marketing targets. But it’s how we put that into practice which matters. We need to take action to see results.
Facebook is a great platform for building a community for your audience – using Facebook groups.
Have you noticed that your Facebook page engagement is declining, or at least not as good as it used to be? Are you finding it hard to get the interaction that you desire and are forever trying to think of new ways to get the buzz going?
Facebook groups is your answer!
Facebook groups is a place where similar minds, shared interests and common goals can come together.
The flip of the coin in a Facebook group is that you’re not there to promote your business, but to create an environment where people can feel safe and comfortable. This is a place you can invite people to come and share, be inspired, learn, engage, and so much more.
Setting up a Facebook Group
The first step is to setup your group. You can check out these easy to follow steps to get started. One thing to consider is whether you want it to be a public, closed or secret group:
- Public: Anyone can join the group. Everyone can see the posts
- Closed: Anyone can see and request to join the group. Only members can see the posts
- Secret: The group cannot be found in a search, it is by invite only. Only members can see the posts.
Depending on what your business needs are, will depend on what type of group you want to focus on.
For example: If you offer a paid-for coaching programme, you may have a secret group where members can pay to join.
Once your group is set up, you’ll need to customise it. Set your banner / header, write a pleasing description of the group and who it is for, and then start to put a few ideas for posts together so that when people do join, they’ll have some content to get started with.
We definitely recommend that you create a welcome message and let your group members know who you are and a little about you or the purpose of the group. This is a great thing to see when people first join.
It’s all well and good having lots of members come over to your new Facebook Group, however you want them to be attracted to what they see and hear from it. Think about meaningful, inspirational, educational content that will keep them engaged and give them reason to want to invite their friends.
Having the right content is the key to keeping your members engaged. This is where a strategy comes in. Please, please do not waste time posting content that they can just get from anywhere else… make it meaningful for the type of people you want to be in your group.
- What is the goal of your group?
- What do you want people to do in your group?
- Are you selling?
- Are you a support group?
Answering these questions can help you put your strategy and plan of action together. Think long term, not just for now, and work out a plan of what you want to do for your members on a long-term basis.
Once you’ve got your plan, it’s time to create or curate the content. It’s always good to have original and authentic content that your members know comes from you. It’s also absolutely fine to use other people’s content to make a point or to help boost education, for example (just don’t try to pass it off as your own!).
Where do you find content for your Facebook group: there are many sources but how about starting with Google (or your favourite search engine). You can easily set up Google Alerts and have the latest article and news coming straight into your inbox. This can save you the time of having to trawl through articles trying to find suitable content – you can simply sieve through the smaller amount of relevant articles emailed to you on a daily or weekly basis.
You can use your favourite websites to gather articles or quotes. And you can use a programme like Feedly to gather all your favourite sources together in one place (we personally love Feedlly!).
How about keeping a notebook to hand and writing down anything that inspires you. You’ll be surprised at the amount of content you can create just by the little things that inspire you! Use a programme like Canva and put your inspirations into images share them in your group.
Get personal with video
There’s nothing better than using video to engage even further with your group members. This could be a video of visual content, or you could decide to go LIVE and post a video of yourself. Whatever you feel comfortable with, you do! We can guarantee that if you decide to do personal videos, whether LIVE or pre-recorded, if you’re not confident in doing so, the more you do it, the better and more confident you’ll get.
If you’re looking to put videos together of various content, why not try a programme like Animoto which allows you to put images and text together to tell a story – a very easy and effective way to reach out to your audience.
Invite your members!
Once you’ve got some content running on your Facebook group and you’re ready to invite some people, now’s the time to send the invites out.
Depending on what your group is about, you might want to start off with close friends who can help you start the engagement at the beginning and from there, invite a wider circle of people relevant to the purpose of the group. You can utilise your other social media channels to invite people, you can share on your personal channels, why not do a video to invite people on your own Facebook page?
Facebook groups are not always about the number of people, but it does help to have a good number in there to push the engagement and to be able to get people talking. Ensure that you stay on topic to your group. There are so many Facebook and social media groups available that if someone gets bored or hears a repeated message too many times across other groups, they will leave. What’s different about your group that will make them stay?
You need to keep the engagement going within the group – talk to them, ask them what they want to hear or talk about. What inspires them? What can they learn from you? Have you gained industry thought leaders that can also share and give value to the group – utilise them!
Give value in every post you create, this is where your content strategy comes in. What type of content did you plan to use and how can you use it to engage your members?
Facebook groups are a great way to get your community engaged and more focused on the finer details that you have to offer. They are a way of showcasing your expertise, your products or services, your own personality and whatever else you have to give to those who join. Grow your business through your Facebook group, bring people to a higher level in what your business can do for them. Make it personal and make it relevant and most of it, keep them engaged and coming back for more!
If you’ve got any tips on using Facebook groups for business, we’d love to hear them. And if you’re a woman business owner looking to meet other like-minded ladies in order to build your brand in an inspirational way – we’d love to invite you to our online community! Join here or head over to Facebook.
Also, feel free to get in touch if you’d like help in putting a marketing strategy together to grow your business. Whether you’ve been going for years and are struggling to make an impact or you’re new to business and need to headstart, we’d love to chat with you. We specialise in social media marketing, strategy and Facebook Ads. Speak soon!
When do you start creating marketing campaigns for Christmas? Are you too early? Have you left it too late? When it the right time?
Often we leave it far too late to make a proper impact with our Christmas marketing. You see Christmas stock appearing in the shops as soon as summer finishes and we may think to ourselves “wow that’s early” and ignore what we see. But the truth is that some people do start buying or at least thinking about Christmas well before December. That means September / October time is the perfect chance to put ideas into people’s minds and to give them the inspiration they need for Christmas.
Set your targets
A common mistake with business owners is that they don’t set proper targets for their sales for different seasons of the year. This is one vital piece of the puzzle when it comes to putting your marketing efforts into action as it will give you an indication whether you’re doing enough marketing in order to reach financial goals. As with any business plan, set your targets, create a budget, put a strategy and plan in place and make the magic happen.
Research your audience and product
It may be an obvious point to add in but there are many who do not do their research when it comes to marketing a product or service. They know the product they have and put a few posts out there for all to see, however, not everyone is applicable for that particular product and then the marketing gets lost in translation. Do your due diligence, research who your product is for, the right competitive price, the right look / feel and branding – everything that you would normally do when selling or marketing. Christmas is no exception and there is much more competition at this time of year so you want it to reach the correct audience at the right price, in the right place and time.
If you’re unsure, why not conduct some surveys or polls on your social media channels and understand first-hand what your audience wants? Ask people when speaking to them, ask friends and family their thoughts or views. Get as much research done as possible so that you know that when you’re when you market your product it’s going to be right. This is both cost effective and efficient productivity!
Get your content out there
One thing that you actually have to do is make your content visible for the world to see. You may have the best product to hit the shelves for Christmas but if you don’t let people know about it in time, it won’t be a very successful year. It’s that simple. Getting the timing right in your Christmas marketing is important.
But don’t worry, social media is your friend! Everyone is online in some capacity. Yes people may still trawl the shops the nearer they get to Christmas or for last minute panic buying ideas but everyone spends time online in a social capacity everyday of every week of every month of every year. Reach out to them and get ahead of their thinking. Be the inspiration that they are looking for. Be the reason they actually decide to buy your product. Make them think, make them decide that your product is the perfect gift.
Why? That’s your selling point.
What makes your product the best? What makes your product the one for them? Why should they buy from you?
Tell them. Show them. Demonstrate. Give them a reason to get ahead of their Christmas shopping.
“The best marketing doesn’t feel like marketing.” – Tom Fishburne
The real trick is making a reader not realise that they’re actually being sold to! If you’re clever in the way that you produce your content, you’ll be telling a story, getting into the minds of your audience and speaking their language without the need for ‘selling’. Become a reliable and trusted source, a place of inspiration, a brand that is known for its integrity and worth. Love your audience, your customers both old and new, and give them a product that speaks for itself.
The best thing is to just get started with your marketing. Create a strategy, make a plan, and go for it. It’s never too early to start promoting for Christmas and it’s always better to be early than late in anything in life!
Here’s our blog post giving you eight top tips for Christmas marketing campaigns – if you want to talk through any of them, please do give us a call. Or if you have any extra tips to add, leave us a comment below!
If you’re looking for inspiration when it comes to marketing your business online, or you’re just not sure how to do Christmas marketing well, we’d love to chat with you. Get in touch and let’s talk Christmas strategy.
In the meantime, if you’d like to receive social media tips and tricks to your inbox, join our online community where inspiration and encouragement in growing your business online is our priority.