We’ve all heard it said by someone; “What’s the point in social media marketing?”, you’ve probably even said it yourself at some point. But as a business owner there is absolutely point in making an effort to showcase your brand online through the power of the many social media platforms there are to hand.
Not every platform is going to be relevant or applicable to your business. Not everyone has time to spend creating fantastic eye-catching content to spread across social media. But the point of the matter is, it is a necessity in today’s digital world that a business needs to be online in order to be heard.
But where do you start when it comes to online marketing?
How do you create great posts, especially if design or creativity is not your strong point?
When and where do you post and how do you manage it all?
Why should you bother?
Lots of questions and all that have some great answers which we’ll cover in this post.
Here at KJP Creative we believe that you must have a passion and drive for your business in order to believe in it. There’s absolutely no point pursing a business venture if you don’t believe in it. And this is the same for your social media content, your online presence along with everything else that you do and say when you meet others. Following the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, many people turned to online resources to stay afloat and to keep their business going. And things are not going to stop here as the world heads back to normality – this has changed the way of business, this has created such an impact on the online world that you need to be in it and with it to be noticed.
We’ve said it before, but those who are visible and adding value through everything that has happened, will be the ones who are remembered when it stops. This is applicable to any pandemic, not just Coronavirus, it’s about standing out, creating a safe place for people to find out about you and providing value to every person that you come into contact with – both online and offline.
Where do you start?
You need to start with your audience. Our coaching courses dig deeper into this but we fully believe that in order to know where to start, what to say and who to say it to, you need to understand your audience and be confident that the content you produce is what is needed in a very noisy and busy advertising world.
Get to know and understand your audience. Research everything you can about their likes and dislikes, their needs and problems. What they want to hear or see. What would make them buy from a business? Put yourself in their shoes and think as they would – what would make you buy from you?
Along with this, there’s probably other brands that are doing exactly what you’re trying to do too – so use this, you don’t need to reinvent the wheel. As well as researching your audience, research your competitors. What works for them? What type of content do they produce? What are they saying, who are they reaching, what are they giving or providing? What works for them may work for you too, so take note and use what you can.
How do you create great social media content?
Not everyone is artistic or creative, we get that, so how can you produce great content if (you think) you’re not good at it?
There are a few ways to look at this question. First off, you can learn! There are plenty of free tools out there to help and that are great resources to help you get started. We absolutely love Canva and wouldn’t be without it. There’s a free version so you don’t need to pay out to get started and you can experiment and play with the variations in order to create some images and content that goes with your branding.
The most important tip we can give you in this is stay true to what your brand is about and use the inspirations inside of you to think of ideas.
What is your brand about? What’s your story? What are your beliefs or values?
These are the types of things you can be thinking of when you want to put a (for example) Facebook post together. Find an image that says what you’re thinking of, something that says exactly what you’d like to say if you didn’t have words. Then think about the wording that would go with your post, for the text on your chosen social platform. Your image and text should go hand in hand, not contradict each other and be inspirational or educational to your audience.
Even if you think you don’t have a creative bone in your body, you know what you like, you know your business better than anyone and you can use this to create content that is unique to you and your brand.
The second answer to this question is that you can outsource. We all have our strong and weak points and you may find after a few attempts of creating content that it really isn’t for you – that’s ok! You don’t have to be good at everything. And this is something that as a small business owner you can get het up about and struggle with. Stick to what you’re good at and let an expert take over this section of your business for you. You’ll see a much better return of investment by doing so, and you’ll be less stressed and relieved at the whole process.
Example: Talking to a hairdresser who was in a similar situation, who really wanted to be online and creating a fantastic social media presence – but she simply didn’t have the time or the energy to do it well and make it successful. She worked out that if she did one extra set of highlights (or whatever service it was!) a week – and for her it was doing what she loved and using her own skills – she could outsource her online marketing for the month. Result.
How much better is your business going to be if you’re filling the holes with the right sized pegs?
How do you manage it all?
This is a good question and social media or online marketing needs to have a strategy and a plan of action. This is fundamental to making it successful and doing your best to make it work well. Many people post content for the sake of it, or rush it at the end of the day when they realise that nothing has been posted that day. But what good is that to your audience if you’re not a) consistent or b) putting thought or value into what you’re providing?
Planning is key. Organisation is key. And that’s why we love our Social Media and Marketing Strategy Planner – it’s a wonderful resource to ensure you’re heading in the right direction, you’re making notes and building up a plan of action and you can see ahead to what’s coming and what needs to be done. Yes it takes time and dedication but as with anything, if you’re going to do something, you should do it well.
There are scheduling tools that you can use to manage your posts and to make it easier to create content ahead of time, the last think you want to do is be on your social media channels all day every day, you’d never get anything else done! That’s where a planner comes in which works with your business plan and marketing strategy. Everything comes together to form a smooth social media presence that will help your business be noticed, become loved and trusted and in turn, successful.
So why should you bother with social media marketing?
We hope that you want your business to grow, to flourish and to be loved. If you’re a small independent business, do you want people in your local community to hear about you and to use your products or services?
Did you start your business with the mindset that you’d like to see it bigger than just the little startup that you began with, or do you see it stagnate and fizzle out and die? Probably not!
You have a passion to see results. You have drive to be successful in your ventures. You want a successful business, something that you can be proud of, something that will pay the bills (and more) and something that you will get you known within your industry / sector and allow you to become an expert in your field – right?
Your social media presence will help you get there and achieve these things. Raising brand awareness is not always an easy task but with the help of social media, it’s lot easier than it used to be!
We hope that you have that passion and desire to want to succeed and realise that online marketing should be part of your business growth strategy in order to make that a possibility. If you’d like to find out more or talk to us about strategy and planning, we’d love to help. Get in touch and let’s have a conversation. Speak soon!
In the meantime why not download our “Social Media Checklist – don’t forget the basics” which hopefully will help you think about the basics of what social media entails and provide you with a checklist of what you can do. If you want to talk through anything, feel free to contact us, we’re here to help at the click of a button.
There’s no denying that the current climate has encouraged business owners to use online marketing more and jump on the social media channels in order to stay up to date with customers. And if you’ve been one for holding back and not wanting to be online, are you able to keep up with the other businesses who are online?
The way forward is digital. The way for brands to reach out is through digital and online marketing. Social media has been and is going to continue to play a big part in business growth, providing stability to consumers and giving value at every opportunity. How can you embrace online marketing as a business owner?
Why is it important to have an online presence now?
What’s the first thing you do when you need to buy something, seek advice, research a product? You go online. You jump onto Google (or your favourite search engine) and type in the relevant words you’re looking for and results appear. Bingo!
Your customers and potential customers are doing the exact same thing when it comes to looking for your product or service. They are looking for “xxx near me” or “xyz in my area”. If you’re not online, you do not even stand a chance of being in line for that customer.
You need to be in it to win it!
Your competition is online, even if you are not.
This is the same for anything, for something to happen, you need to put yourself in the right place to start with. Give your business a head start and place it somewhere where it can be seen.
Build reputation and trust online
A key reason for being online, is to build trust, loyalty and showcase expertise where it’s needed. You can be there to help solve problems, give insight or advice, sharing your knowledge with people around you and in return building a great reputation for being a business that cares about others.
Being able to offer an outstanding customer service is also part of the package. How much quicker can you respond to a query or concern online. Giving people a place to find you, contact you and speak to you at the touch of a button.
Word of mouth marketing
We’ve spoken to a few business owners recently who still do not have an online presence (hence the reason for this post!), or they have ‘something’ out there but are not sure on how to use it effectively. Word of mouth is great and we’re not denying the power that it can have as a marketing tool but there is so much more potential out there when you make your business available. How big if your word of mouth circle? There are limits to word of mouth. How much more impact could be gained from your word of mouth customers to give you a review online and to recommend you via social media channels that can be seen by hundreds, if not thousands of other potential customers!
Where to start with online marketing
This can be a good question and very valid for anyone not used to being exposed to the open doors of all things digital.
For small business owners, you may have an email contact for your current clients. Why not ask them if they mind being put onto a mailing list? Your first point of call could be to send out a regular newsletter of either things that have been happening / recent projects etc, or to provide offers and latest information. You email list is extremely valuable. The bigger list you can build, the more people you can potentially speak to. It’s far quicker to send out a weekly or monthly newsletter, than to ring round a whole client base asking if they need anything. (be sure to follow GDPR protocols and get the permission of the email holder first)
Google My Business
For the people who are searching for local businesses or services, Google My Business is a great free resource that any business owner can utilise very easily. Simply search Google My Business in your search engine and follow the steps to get set up.
When you search for a business online, you will often be presented with a right hand column of information about that business. It will include website and contact details, opening hours, business information and much more. This can include client reviews or photos too. A perfect opportunity to give an insight into a business, and it’s free!
Facebook Business Page
Depending on what type of business you have, the next step could be setting up a Facebook Business page. This is also very simple to do, just make sure you have a personal profile set up first in order to get started.
Again, depending on your business, how many people are surfing Facebook and could potentially come across your business or service? How many of your current customers are on Facebook and would give you a recommendation or review? Facebook is still the most used social media platform worldwide and gives massive potential to reaching out to a wider audience. If you do not have a website, a Facebook Page could be the first impression a person gets of your business. Creating content around recent projects, live or up to date information, posting behind the scenes images and telling the story behind the brand… all these things make up positive influences towards building a business and growing your audience.
Facebook might not be the place for you, other social media channels might be relevant to your audience – how do you know which channel to choose? Research your audience, find out where they are spending their time, where they are most likely to be interested in seeing your presence and engage with you, and build a presence on that platform. Check out our post on What’s the difference between the social media platforms for more information.
Brand awareness is important however you decide create it, in order to keep a business alive, relevant and up to date.
Having an online presence in this digital age offers cheap and affordable marketing, an easy way to stay in tune and in touch with customers and raise a brand profile in the process.
With careful planning, goal setting and strategy, online marketing is a necessity to keep up with the competition and to create a growing and thriving business.
If you’re just starting out online or with social media marketing, always create a plan of action and know what you’re looking to achieve through being online. If you’d like to talk through strategy and marketing plans, we’d love to chat with you. Get in touch today and let’s start a conversation.
In the meantime, if you’d like to go it alone and would like a check list to ensure that you don’t miss the basics, why not download our FREE social media checklist to get started. Embrace social media, embrace the digital space and allow your business to have an impact!
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!
If you’re still unsure on what impact your video marketing could have, check out these 100 video stats you should know – and see how you could integrate them into your marketing objective.
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!
Identifying what the fundamental values are in your business and what you determine as your business ethics is VITAL for your brand awareness and shaping the essence of your brand.
Therefore, identifying what those core values are in your business will do two main things:
a) Give you a platform for everything your business stands for to be based upon, enabling a strong foundation for growth.
b) Educates your customers into understanding what your company is about.
Your core values are the most important things that matter in your business – the things that you focus on from the ground up and what you want your clients to know about. You are providing a set of guidelines for you and your business.
It can be a challenging exercise to decide upon core values but so very valuable in the long run. Establishing a foundation that your WHOLE business runs with gives your brand its identity and enables you to stand out from the crowd.
When putting a strategy together for your business and in the initial stages of thinking about direction, it’s important to put values in place that you want your business to stick to. This gives your business direction and allows you to have rules in places that guides the way that your business runs.
Deciding on your core values and understanding those values contributes to your brand identity and this in turn will enable people to know who you are and what your business stands for.
Brand awareness is so important when it comes to being known with your target audience, identifying who it is that you are trying to target and then using everything possible to get your voice heard in a busy and chaotic digital world. Without a brand strategy or a marketing plan in place, it’s so easy to drift away in directions that are outside of your initial goals and although this may not be a bad thing in terms of reaching out, it’s good to stick to a plan and to reach those people that you can truly add value to.
Add value and you will gain respect, become known within your industry and see business growth. It may take time to establish a good business reputation but with effort, dedication and strategy it is possible.
However to achieve this you need to be clear in your thinking, clear in the way that you showcase your business and clear in what your business stands for. Having core values that people are instantly able to relate to a) makes good business sense but b) allows people who are on board with your values to connect with you.
Your core values speak about you personally and not only your business so live those values. If you’re a small business or a startup who is just getting a business off the ground, make sure that you live by those values and in everything that your business does, do it in line with your core values.
So, get your thinking caps on and really spend time investing in your business. What do you truly believe in, what values do you base your business upon? When you get your values in place – then your business will start to move in the right direction.
We’d love to help if you’re looking to work on your brand identity and putting a strategy and plan together for business growth. Get in touch today to find out more.
When you’re starting out in business and you’re looking for an extra pair of hands to help you, it’s often hard to find the right balance in what you need to suit your circumstances.
If the big clients haven’t started rolling in yet, or you’re not quite ready to take the big step in hiring a full time employee, knowing what to do to ease the work load and make life practical for you can be a tricky decision.
There are options out there though and if you’re not in a position to hire an employee, you could consider hiring a freelance worker instead.
Both has it’s pros and cons and both are valuable considerations – it all comes down to what your business needs right now.
In our previous post we go in more depth about the differences between hiring a freelancer or an employee. At the end of the day, as a startup business you need to think about what is best for you both personally and financially. Small businesses will see success if they plan carefully and productively.
If you’re looking to hire a Virtual Assistant for your business and would like to know more about how this could benefit your business, get in touch for an initial consultation.