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.

 

Do You Have Confidence In Your Business?

Do You Have Confidence In Your Business?

When starting a business it can be hard to know what to make a priority and what to spend your time doing the most. Getting a new business off the ground, heard about and talked about takes time and effort and requires dedication. A question you need to ask yourself at the beginning of starting any business is “do you love and believe in what you are doing?” because if you can’t answer that question with a positive answer, it’s time to change direction now!

Running a business and seeing it through to success and beyond requires you to believe in what you are doing. It requires you to be 100% committed to the cause and to nurture and steer it in a clear direction.

You may not have all the answers right now if you’re at the beginning of your journey but that’s ok – you’ve got time to fill the shoes you’re trying to fill and to establish a client base who will be loyal and true followers of your brand.

How do you gain confidence in your business?

Have a clear vision

“Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.” Warren Bennis

Having a clear idea of the vision you have for your business is an important first step in any business plan. A vision will direct and empower your future and the direction that your business goes. A clear vision has a positive impact on the organisation of the business and the growth and life of it.

A vision also acts as motivation for any person that is involved in the business too, standing together and building a business comes with alliance and compatibility with everyone involved.

If you have confidence in your vision, you have the confidence to push it forward and for it to happen.

 

Take risks

“The biggest risk is not taking any risk… In a world that changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.” Mark Zuckerberg

Starting a business is a risk in itself, when you put your heart and soul into starting something new, along with risking personal circumstances, finances and health. But life would be boring if we all stuck to what we already knew and never took any risks.

The thought of no pay-check at the end of the month or giving so much in personal time can be daunting. However when we believe in what we are doing and we truly have a passion to see it through, those risks are worth taking. When we are confident that we are taking risks that are necessary to add value and substance to the drive, then things start to happen.

If you don’t do, you’ll only regret. That tears down confidence and knocks your ability to achieve. Assess the situation, make the preparations and take the risks – and believe that you will see results.

 

Keep learning

“Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do.” Pele

Confidence comes with time, we are not born with an excessive amount of self-confidence, it comes with practice and perseverance. It can be increased or deflated in the matter of minutes and is something that everyone needs to work on to keep it real. Study and education can give you the skills to communicate clearer and to learn how to work well with others. This is good in both personal and work situations. When we are confident in ourselves, it comes across in our business.

Learning helps you to be critical in your thinking and gives you the skills for problem solving. Being able to see problems before they arise and having the knowledge to work through and solve grey areas is great for business and your success rates.

Having knowledge provides a positive mindset that will help keep you focused. Using your knowledge and positivity to create clear goals is all part of growing a business plan. You can achieve great things if you believe in yourself.

 

Don’t be afraid to say no

“I’ve worked very hard at understanding myself, learning to be assertive. I’m past the point where I worry about people liking me.” Pam Dawber

When starting in business it can be extremely hard to say no, especially when you’re looking to bring in income and to raise the profile of your brand whilst trying to be liked by every potential customer you come into contact with. However learning to say no can be good for business. If you say yes to every circumstance that comes your way, your business will become swamped in things that are not necessarily in the best of interests of the business succeeding. By providing a service that adds value at every opportunity and allows the customer to feel special and appreciated is far more worthwhile than running out of resources by trying to please everyone at a fraction of your worth-price, just to get clients in.

However being able to say no comes with confidence. Being assertive is a great business asset, valuable to every business owner and comes by learning to feel comfortable in what you believe in and the direction that you want to see your business take.

These are just a few factors that will give you the confidence you need to be successful in your business venture. They are not vital elements in your business success but they will steer you in the clear direction and guide you in what you need to do to improve your business. Confidence can come with networking with other business professionals or reaching out to someone via email or telephone – anything that pushes you past your comfort zone and gives you a chance to develop your character in order to build your business.

Your business will grow when you become known. Whether this be your face or the face of the business but people need to hear about what your business represents and what value you can offer. By meeting the needs of the customer, you are building a pathway for people to connect with you. The more confident you are in building those relationships and pushing your business forward, the greater your business will become.

Are you committed 100% to the cause of your business? Are you prepared to give everything you have in order to give a service that people are willing to shout about? When you reach a place of confidence, you reach a place where your business will grow.

What can you do today that will boost your confidence and push your business forward? Feel free to comment below or get in touch if you’re looking for advice in marketing your business.

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!

What Motivates You In Your Business?

What Motivates You In Your Business?

Do You Love Your Business And Have Passion To Drive It Forward?

Do you still have a passion to push your business forward? Do you still love what you do within your business to see successful results?

If you’re not enjoying what you do, or enjoying the basics behind your business, it’s time to step back and work out how you can change that. It’s time to re-focus and work out what is is that you need to be doing to get back on track and see results in your business.

Monday’s are always a great day to plan the week ahead and to establish your targets for the week. If you’re looking at that to-do list and not seeing things that you enjoy – perhaps you’re looking at your business in the wrong light. Perhaps it’s time to strip down the different aspects of your business and your daily / weekly routines and really knuckle down to finding your true passion again to inspire you to push forward and see the results that you truly desire.

The one question that needs to be asked is: Do you love your business?

  • Do you REALLY love what you have achieved so far and know 100% that you’re heading in the right direction?
  • Do you STILL have the passion and drive that you once had when you started your business?

If the answer is ‘no’ then it’s time to step back and ask ‘why?’.

  • What has made you drift away or move in a difference direction?
  • What is it that has dampened the spark that you once had to see results and to love helping others?

When you first set out to start a business, there was a reason why you went down the route you went in – and sometimes we all need to go back to those roots and re-ignite the passions and drive that motivated and inspired us.

Understand what motivates you

Understanding what motivates you and inspires you is important steps for growing your business. It’s difficult to stay focused if you lack motivation or understanding in what you’re really wanting. Changes in circumstances and personal lives can also have an impact on direction, and often you can find yourself down a path that you didn’t expect. It’s not always a bad thing though and all experiences whether good or bad can be a learning curve and help us understand what’s really needed, expected and wanted in order to succeed.

Failure will never overtake me if my determination to succeed is strong enough

Going back to basics

Going back to the original question ‘do you love your business?’, can you honestly say that you’re in a place that you want to be in? Are you happy in what you’re doing?

Your actions say more than words and the way that you present yourself professionally can have an impact on your business. Being joyful in your actions, sharing what you do, talking about your passions and what you do in life will help you to network, to build work relationships, meet new people and build contacts – all attracting potential new clients.

You are the face of your business, you are the voice that people see and hear and therefore this needs to be a positive process.

Dig deep, understand where you have come from, where you are heading and what makes you tick – and more importantly – where you can add value. Then you will be happy in what you’re doing, and people will see that you’re confident, positive and believe in what your business is about.

So today, re-discover what you love about your business, re-discover the drive to see success and let’s help each other move forward.

We would love to hear your comments below; what do YOU love about your business and how can you inspire others to dig deeper?