Strategy

Week 5: Creating A Small Business Marketing Plan

Week 5: Creating a small business marketing plan

Ok, so by now you have hopefully identified and understand your target audience and ideal customer, as well as worked on your product development and USP’s. So now you need to get it out there. 

Unfortunately, it is not a ‘build it and they will come’ situation. That is why we need marketing. 

But, with this newly found insight into your target customer, you can begin to make decisions about how best to reach them. There are a lot of different marketing channels and strategies out there and doing them all, while possible I guess, is not going to get you the results you would see from choosing your ideal strategies and channels and doing them well. 

Choosing what will work best for your particular business type or client is important to your success

So the cornerstones of your marketing include 

  1. Your product
  2. Your website and physical store if you have one. 
  3. Spreading the word, or your marketing activities. 

Getting these three right is vital for your new small business to succeed and grow.

Note that for the purpose of this course, we will be referring to marketing as any activity that attracts and retains customers. (Not just any customers though 😉 )

So in your marketing planning, we will briefly cover your website in the plan but the focus of this post is on the overall marketing plan or strategy. In order to decide on this, it is useful to understand a bit about the typical journey people make before they become an actual paying customer. This is illustrated by the Sales/marketing funnel.

A quick intro to the marketing funnel

 

This is the AIDA marketing funnel model it is the principal model all variations of the funnel are based on and it illustrates the typical customer journey. Improvements at every level of the funnel will improve the conversions. It is this journey we are looking at managing and nurturing. 

There are a number of different marketing tactics or activities that are used to nurture and feed people into and along this journey. Of which we mentioned most in last weeks post – How do you find and reach your target customers?

  • Social media marketing – channels chosen based on business type and target customer
  • Email marketing 
  • Direct mail 
  • Paid online promotion 
  • Content marketing – includes blog writing, PR, vlogging and more. Again channels engaged should be chosen based on what would work best in your industry and for reaching and communicating with your target customer. 

Choosing the makeup of this, and the understanding of how they work together to nurture your prospects will ensure your plan will come together to drive and increase your sales and conversions

So, looking at the funnel again, work out what part of the funnel would your chosen marketing methods or activities benefit your customer journey and build your customer base. 

I will be going through each of these methods separately in later posts but for now – the planning phase – it’s more important to give the bigger picture plan some thought and attention as it relates to you and your business and clients. 

To see what else is still to come up take a look at our introductory blog here and don’t forget, as always, please feel free to reach out. If you need help or advice on any of this please just get in touch via email, website or social media – we’re always happy to chat and give advice. 

Also, don’t forget if you liked or have benefited from this post please do give us a little like and share 🙂 👍🏻

Authors

Welcome to our blog. The purpose of this blog is to help people to market their own businesses more effectively by sharing our knowledge, experience and useful tools. If you need any further advice don’t hesitate to get in touch or feel free to comment with any questions on the blog posts and we will get back to you with the best answers we can give.

Thanks

Toni and Sian

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Week 4: How – How Do I Find And Reach My Target Customers?

Week 4: How - How Do I Find And Reach My Target Customers?

So in week one and two, we covered the ‘Who’ and ‘What’ of your business marketing planning and then the all-important ‘Why’ in week 3 to keep you focused. In week four we will be looking at the ‘How’ of your marketing: How do you find and reach your target customers?

What you need is a marketing strategy

In order to be successful in your marketing efforts though you first need to have identified your customer and their needs, and refined your product or offer accordingly. This knowledge is then used to create a successful marketing action plan, one based on understanding your market and industry, and then identifying where your best opportunities lie.  

Once this groundwork is covered you can then begin to work out the best way to reach your target audience. If you need to still do this please refer back to week one and week two’s content. 

What is the best way to reach your target customers?

This is often referred to as choosing your ‘marketing mix’. The first question to answer is, how do your customers purchase your product? Online, from a store, at your location or perhaps even through a third party agent or distributor. 

The answer to this question is going to largely dictate your ideal marketing mix. For the purpose of this course, we will be focusing mostly on online sales channels and digital marketing strategy as this is largely relevant to all channels however we will touch on other aspects of direct and local marketing in later weeks. 

Even if you are a retail store, in today’s climate you cannot afford to be without your own online presence and can benefit massively from a marketing plan aimed to increase awareness and interest in your brand and maximise your reach. So let’s get into the main types of marketing channels/activities available to you to boost your business…

  1. Website

Your website is your ‘store-front’. It is the online face of your business. If it is messy and chaotic looking no one will want to go in. Likewise, if your website is outdated, messy hard to navigate or find, it is going to cost you customers. 

2. Social Media

Social media consists of a growing number and variety of online channels to share content and interact with online. Creating profiles on social media channels is like free advertising space. Not to use it, especially the ones your customers are likely to be active on is just mad. Every business should be present on at least one or two relevant social media channels. Deciding which ones are relevant to you will be explained in more detail in week 8 when we post in more detail on social media marketing for your business. 

3. Email

Email marketing is a form of direct marketing where you target specific contacts, grown on your own email signup form and or importing existing leads, with targeted, scheduled marketing messages aimed to promote products and services, share interesting news and build brand recognition and engagement to people who have already been identified as relevant and build rapport nurturing them through your sales funnel. This is a very cost-effective way of directly reaching out to and nurturing potential customers. A lot of tools exist to help you create, schedule and send professional-looking emails and integrate it with your website and other marketing activity on of the best I have come across lately is called Convertkit or you may have heard of others like MailChimp or Dotmailer. All are well worth looking into if email marketing is something you think could work for you.  

4. Direct mail

Direct mail seems to have largely fallen off the radar especially for small to medium-sized businesses. Often written off as too expensive or ineffective, today with all the online noise out there, direct mail when done properly can have incredibly high conversion rates. 

5. Online advertising (PPC Pay Per Click)

Back online, okay so we have our perfect website up and running and are starting to see some tread in growing online social media followers and referrals to your website, but as with traditional business paid advertising in the local newspaper, yellow pages etc. you can buy space online. Prime online real-estate like the top three positions on a Google search results page for your product or a display banner on a website popular with your target audience are all available to purchase through various partners like Google, Bing, Facebook and more. This is recommended for any business wanting to drive instant traffic to a website, page or product. If you have a budget to spend and want to get yourself out there it is an incredibly effective method of reaching people either already looking for your product or reaching specific new targeted audiences that are likely to purchase.  

We will be going through each of these and more in more detail as the weeks continue. To see what else is still to come up take a look at our introductory blog here and don’t forget, as always, please feel free to reach out. If you need help or advice on any of this please just get in touch via email, website or social media – we’re always happy to chat and give advice. 

Also, don’t forget if you liked or have benefited from this post please do give us a little like and share 🙂 👍🏻

 

Authors

Welcome to our blog. The purpose of this blog is to help people to market their own businesses more effectively by sharing our knowledge, experience and useful tools. If you need any further advice don’t hesitate to get in touch or feel free to comment with any questions on the blog posts and we will get back to you with the best answers we can give.

Thanks

Toni and Sian

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WEEK 3: Why Are You Doing This – What are your goals?

WEEK 3: WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS - WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS?

So in week one and two, we covered the ‘Who’ and ‘What’ of your business marketing planning. 

In week three I want to just briefly touch on the ‘Why’s?’ There are multiple levels of ‘Why’ we should be asking ourselves on a regular basis, but let’s start with the BIG ‘Why?’ 

Why are you doing this? – The business level
What made you decide to go into business? What was the big reason? 
Was it financial? 
Was it to simply earn more money, security?
To gain freedom?
To follow a dream or passion? 
To solve a problem in society? (see-a-need-fill-a-need)
Or was it something else? It’s important to remember why you started this and clarify what it is you are trying to achieve. 

Understanding your motivations will help you to define clear goals and set targets for your business growth as well as help keep you motivated when things get tough, as they sometimes do. Which brings me to the second level of ‘Why’ 

Why are you doing this? – The goal level
What are you trying to achieve? Just as it is important to know your motivations on a business level to help keep you focused and achieve your goals, on the everyday ground-level, every aspect of your marketing will have a purpose, your website, your social media, every campaign you create and so forth. 

Identifying these purposes will help you to set appropriate goals for all of your channels and campaigns, which in turn will help you to develop the right marketing mix that works for your business and drastically improve the results of all your marketing activity. 

So whatever you are planning with regards to marketing, remember to stop and ask why? Then set your goals!

If you need help or advice on any of this please just get in touch email, website or social media we’re always happy to chat and give advice. 

Also, don’t forget, if you liked or benefited from this post please do give us a little like and share 🙂 👍🏻

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Authors

Welcome to our blog. The purpose of this blog is to help people to market their own businesses more effectively by sharing our knowledge, experience and useful tools. If you need any further advice don’t hesitate to get in touch or feel free to comment with any questions on the blog posts and we will get back to you with the best answers we can give.

Thanks

Toni and Sian

Week 2: What Is Your Product?

Week 2: What Is Your Product?

What? 
So in week one we mentioned that ‘Who’ and ‘What’ go hand in hand. There has to be a ‘What’ (a product or service) for there to be a ‘Who’ Who are you serving? Who needs what you offer? This week we look at the ‘what you offer’ and importantly relate it back to who to refine it further. 

  1. Identify and Refine your Product 

So what do you offer? What is your product or what service do you provide? Often it is not as simple to identify as you may think. For example, I will use Chris, a fictional landscaping business owner. 

Chris owns a small general gardening and landscaping company. What is his product/service? Gardening? Yes, but what is he really offering? A beautiful garden (a product)? Time-saving for busy people (a service)? Convenience? Pleasure?

This is where we need to relate back to the who, who is his ideal target audience/customer? This may not even be his existing customer base but the ones with the work that he wants, that is, more beneficial to his bottom line or specialist to his strengths. 

What matters to them what do they want? This is very valuable to identify and once you have identified this audience and their ‘needs’ you can ensure you tailor all your messaging and refine your product to better meet those needs. 

Be it adding more ‘fun’ or upsells as a kiddies slime producer 😉 shoutout to Laura @TheSlimeyUnicorn, or improving the ‘timesaving and convenience’ of an Ironing Service @ironexpress 🙂 

 2. What makes you special? Your USP’s explained
Going back to ‘Chris’ for a second. It could be that all he is getting is small, quick, local garden tidy up jobs and that’s fine for him, as he has a strong mobile force and it works, or it could be that what he really wants to be doing is maintenance contracts to large businesses, or specialise in a particular strength or expertise like bespoke high-end landscaping. 

How he promotes his service and offer will influence the type of person he will reach and sell to and help you to develop and market your product in a way that will impress and better serve your customers. 

You may have heard the acronym USP, it stands for Unique Selling Proposition or Unique Selling Points, which I prefer for smaller businesses. 
So they can be tricky for some but it is important to dig deep, perhaps look back at what made you start this business, see if you can identify what makes you uniquely different from the competition but be warned ‘Great Customer Service’ Quick Response times’ and other vague and frankly, lazy USP’s, do not sell! People can see through the sales talk these days and often tune right out to it. You need to dig deep, find your voice, your values and what drives you and use them to build Unique Selling Points into your business that people can relate to and help you stand out from the crowd.  

3. Product Development – keep upping the game.

So once you have identified your product/service and broken it down into the sum of its parts (what it really is and who it’s for) you can look to ways you can improve it. Make it more unique, mould it more to your target market?
A fantastic idea I came across that works brilliantly if you have the time and budget to pull one together, although as with any marketing expense, the cost is negligent if the predicted return exceeds it, is called a ‘Shock and Awe Pack’ in some circles and it can be incredibly effective in most types of business with a high product value or customer lifetime value.

Basically it is a bumper mailout pack that, presents your business and or product and all it’s benefits to your ideal client, the big ones 🙂 Direct Mail is becoming increasingly more effective in a very digital world but something that is put together thoughtfully and personally specifically for your client that is genuinely useful, informative, helpful or funny can go a very long way to winning them over. The process of building out a version of a ‘Shock and Awe Pack’ you could send out to your ideal client will also get you thinking hard about what you offer, how you present it and how you could add to or improve on it. 
Mailouts can be incredibly easy to create yourself on programs like Canva where you have hundreds of templates at your disposal to edit and create something that is well designed and all ready for print like Postcards, bookmarks, flyers, brochures, letters and more. Take a look and think about what could go in there that would be helpful or useful to them specifically. 

If you need help or advice on any of this please just get in touch email, website or social media we’re always happy to chat and give advice. 

Also, don’t forget if you liked or have benefited from this post please do give us a little like and share 🙂 👍🏻

Authors

Welcome to our blog. The purpose of this blog is to help people to market their own businesses more effectively by sharing our knowledge, experience and useful tools. If you need any further advice don’t hesitate to get in touch or feel free to comment with any questions on the blog posts and we will get back to you with the best answers we can give.

Thanks

Toni and Sian

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Week 1: Who Are Your Clients?

Week 1: Who Are Your Clients?

Who? 
‘Who’ and ‘What’ really go hand in hand. There has to be a ‘What’ (a product or service) for there to be a ‘Who’ but before you go rushing into developing and refining your product or offer you need to asses if there is a need for your product, and for there to be a need there needs to be a market. Who are you serving? Who needs what you offer? If that does not exist, neither could your business. 

The successful marketing of anything has to start with identifying if there is a need in the market, and then what/who is that market? If you cannot identify your market, who are you going to market to?

So with that, let’s get stuck in…

Week 1: Who are your clients? 
Defining your target audience and finding your tribe

As with any business marketing, it’s important to reach as many people as possible. However, if you haven’t worked out precisely who those ‘people’ are, you will just end up wasting time, money and your business will suffer. A solid understanding of your core client is vital to effective marketing of any kind.

What is a target audience?
A target audience is the demographic of people most likely to be interested in your product or service. These are the people you need to be directly marketing to. When you know who this demographic is, you will be much more able to find and communicate with them in a way that appeals, and your efforts will be much more effective. 

Let’s take the example of a preschool 
The target audience of a childcare setting is going to be local parents/carers with young children – specifically babies, toddlers and even expecting parents. Now we’ve narrowed this down, we are then able to explore this demographic further: 

  • What content are they are likely to be interested in reading (childcare, parenting advice, activity ideas etc.)
  • Where they are likely to be found (online tools, i.e. childcare, pregnancy and parenting websites and groups, toys and educational websites, magazines…) 
  • When the best time to reach out to them is (you can bet your bottom dollar if you’re trying to talk to a mum between the hours of 4 and 7 pm when they are in the midst of feeding, bathing and bedding little people, they will not be listening).


Once you know your target audience, a bit more in-depth research can go even further into helping you refine your product, offering, and even your brand. By understanding their pain points, what motivates them and what drives your audience’s decisions to buy.

Other examples…
In the trades, you’re looking at homeowners, landlords and or local contractors etc.
A local grocer would be the local community, families and businesses. 
A beauty salon would be, local mums, businesses and working women, or men for that matter *slaps hand* – a good example of why exploring this process in depth is always a good idea.
An online marketer, small businesses and new businesses needing advice across whatever geographic location that has wifi and a website… you get the idea. 

A few questions to help direct your research into defining your target audience:
What needs or problems does your product or service fulfil?
 Who needs and uses your product or service? 
Age range
Gender
Occupation
Income level/Buying power
Geographical location
Interests – endless options here really but a few examples; sports, fashion, childcare, online shopping, nature, games, family, cars, …. You get the idea. 
Personality
Attitudes
Values
Lifestyles –  an individual’s attitudes, way of life, values, or world view. Homeowners, Jet setters…
Behaviour
What do these people have in common?
What drives their decision to buy?
How can you best reach them?
Where do they hang out? Do they favour one social network over another?


By working through as many of these as you can, you should start to build a good idea of who you are really trying to reach. However don’t simply trust your own opinions on these answers, it is important to take some time to do the research – you may find there is more to your target audience than you thought. 

Do some good old fashioned market research! Sometimes if you are not sure the answers to some these, you could take a look at your current website or even social media stats to see who has been looking and taking an interest and take note. 

Also, once you have completed this activity, don’t presume you have your audience completely sussed. Be agile, keep coming back to the questions above and, together with your analytics, you may want to modify your approach to best suit your audience. Apart from looking to your own website analytics, there are some great resources for market research available including Alexa (competitor website analytics and data) Google TrendsAhrefs (competitor research tools and backlink checker) and Quantcast (specialising in AI-driven audience insights).

Sometimes narrowing your precise audience for some businesses is not quite as simple. If you need help or advice on any of this please just get in touch by email, website or social media we’re always happy to chat and give advice. 

Also, don’t forget if you liked or have benefited from this post please do give us a little like and share 🙂 👍🏻

AUTHOR

Welcome to our blog. The purpose of this blog is to help people to market their own businesses more effectively by sharing our knowledge, experience and useful tools. If you need any further advice don't hesitate to get in touch or feel free to comment any questions on my blog and I will get back to you with the best answers I can give.

Thanks

Toni & Sian

Week 7: Website Essentials

Week 7: Website Essentials Authors Welcome to our blog. The purpose of this blog is to help people to market their own businesses more effectively

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Introduction To Our 12-Week Marketing Health Check: Overhaul Your Small Business Marketing For 2020

INTRODUCTION TO THE 12-WEEK MARKETING HEALTH CHECK: HOW TO OVERHAUL YOUR SMALL BUSINESS MARKETING IN 2020

We want to start by briefly outlining what the 12-week course will cover and how it can, over the next few weeks, benefit your business. There is no one miracle method for all businesses to market their business but in this, we aim to share the tips and techniques we have developed over a combined 20 years in the field of marketing. 

Toni – Over the last 10 years I have worked exclusively in marketing and grown my knowledge and expertise across a broad range of industries and business types and I have seen it change rapidly.

Over just the last 2 and a half years that I have been running my business I have worked with 8 different clients over as many industries, from education to sports, startups and established businesses with hundreds of thousands in marketing budget, and that’s not to count the other 10+ industries and markets I have researched and presented to. In just 2 years that is a lot of market coverage. Not meaning to brag, lol, but merely to illustrate that I have researched and compiled marketing plans for a lot of different businesses and figuring out what to do and what works, you learn a few tips and tricks, and even a strategy that you can use across all business types – but specifically the new businesses of today 😉 and that is what this program is about.

I look forward to sharing this with you and hope you can draw benefit for your business marketing and grow with us in 2020 

Without getting too technical, or giving you too much more info than you need to do this course, I want to quickly look at some basic key principles and marketing related tools and models used in the field in marketing, if you’re in marketing you may have heard of The 5P’s – Or sometimes 7P’s – of Marketing. These were traditionally Product, Price, Place, People, Promotion …and sometimes Packaging and Position or Process. You can read more about this here from the official Chartered Institute of Marketing. A brief summary of marketing and how it works or the McKinsey 7S, Porter’s Five Forces Framework for analyzing competition of a business, SWOT analysis, Push and Pull marketing, and lots of other tried and tested well-known marketing tools and models but the thing is these are usually Managerial approach models and they are still more about larger aspects of business strategy than marketing today, especially service-based businesses in the modern working world. 

So there are a lot of tools and models out there that are somewhat helpful and can get you thinking in the right directions, but otherwise hard to relate to and are more relevant to big business managers than the local butchers. In fact, after further investigation, I’ve found there’s a lot of talk out there on the relevance of these “marketing models” to today’s marketing and modern business world. Marketing models that have stood the test of time 
The big debate: Are the ‘4Ps of marketing’ still relevant?

99.9% of all private sector businesses in the UK are SMEs (less than 250 employees) – just 0.1% of enterprises in the UK have more than 250 employees. Add to that, that micro-businesses (0-9 employees) make up 96% of all private sector companies in the UK. In other words, this shows overwhelmingly that the majority of businesses out there now are people just like you and me, people who took the leap and went out on their own. There just doesn’t seem to be a good solid tried and tested model for addressing marketing for these people – us. 

As you can probably tell, I feel there is a need for a new small business marketing model, so this is mine, It’s based on a good old, tried and tested model establishing circumstance for investigation, writing, communication and circumstance, The 5 W’s, so it can’t be that bad lol and it works for us! 

When I started my very first business (a preschool at 22 years old) I found myself naturally referring to the good old 5 W’s theory/process of investigation and circumstance without even realising it to solve my business and marketing questions. The Who, What, When, Where and Why, plus the sometimes added additional (*essential*) How. But back then we were still talking distributing fliers on car windshields with baby seats at prime times and locations, lol. 

Many people will be familiar with this thinking process, so I would like to show you how you can easily apply this simple model to any business of any size – even the one-man-band sole traders out there – using this simple and proven technique of establishing circumstance. 

So let’s look at how this works…

The New Small Business Marketing Model

The 5W’s: Who, What, When, Where, Why (and how) 
Thinking about what naturally applies to marketing your business, most of these questions seem natural and helpful and you would have naturally addressed or considered many of these already. But, what I would suggest however is that in marketing the order is important, while the structure or order may work well in journalism or criminal investigation, in marketing it is key to approach these questions systematically especially if you are just starting out or a new startup. 

Who – Who should be the first natural consideration. 
“There is no point in developing a product or service that no one wants to buy, yet many businesses decide what to offer first, then hope to find a market for it afterwards. Successful companies find out what customers need or want and then develop the right product with the right level of quality to meet their expectations, both now and in the future.” – CIM https://www.cim.co.uk/media/4772/7ps.pdf

What – What is your ‘Product’? What problem does it solve? What are these people looking for, what do they need? 

Why – this is usually naturally considered before a person ever decides to even start a business. It’s usually financial or, in my case, physical freedom. It could be a dream or your sole way to provide for your family but what are your goals? What are you trying to achieve? Setting clear goals helps you focus your marketing and business strategy although these should be regularly re-addressed.

How – When and where are important, but to me, they sit under the all-important ‘How’ when it comes to marketing. The marketing P’s like Place or Price are more strategically used I feel to address larger business strategy and process rather than practical small business marketing although they can be useful.

‘How’ is the fun stuff, the planning that makes it all work once you’ve figured out the last three. 
How are you going to find and reach these customers? How are you going to promote and grow your business and product? And so on… 

Anyway, please forgive the slightly long introduction but *drumroll* these will be the topics for the next 12 weeks, each one in more depth so you can work on them through the week. 
Let us know how you get on!

​Please do report back on whatever channel you like using #NewYearNewMarketing!

The 12-week course will cover:

  1. Who are your clients?
  2. What is your product?
  3. Why are you doing this – What are your goals?
  4. How do you find and reach these clients
  5. Planning your marketing strategy/mix
  6. Branding basics
  7. Website essentials
  8. Social media marketing
  9. GMB (a little secret-ssshhh🤫)
  10. PPC/Google advertising
  11. Local Marketing
  12. Content marketing and SEO

The First of these posts will be published on Wednesday 15th January 2020, then every Wednesday following for 12 weeks.

​If you would like to get these posts and other useful tools directly to your inbox please sign up to my email list below.

**Please note this course is completely free and up to you if you would like to follow along over the next 12 weeks, all we ask is a like👍🏻 and perhaps even a share and you your feedback and interaction is always welcome!

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Authors

Welcome to our blog. The purpose of this blog is to help people to market their own businesses more effectively by sharing our knowledge, experience and useful tools. If you need any further advice don’t hesitate to get in touch or feel free to comment with any questions on the blog posts and we will get back to you with the best answers we can give.

Thanks

Toni and Sian

Creating A Social Media Strategy

Creating A Social Media Strategy

Before jumping in and creating platforms or posts for your social channels there are a few things you should do to help ensure its success. There’s no doubt social media can be a very beneficial tool in business marketing however if not optimised to meet your business goals it can also be a great time thief and give you very little return for your efforts.

My grandad used to say, “If something is worth doing, it’s worth doing well”.

Taking the time to zoom out, look at the bigger picture and putting a bit of thought and planning in place before jumping in to your social media will greatly improve the effectiveness of your campaigns and efforts.

So here’s my version of creating a basic social media strategy to help guide you in your first steps in social media marketing.

  1. Establish your goals

What are your goals for social media?

We all know the importance of setting goals, it’s hard to get to where you’re going if you’re not sure where that is. Similarly with social media, there are and number of reasons to be using social media and getting clear on yours is key to achieving the results you want to see for your business.

The most common uses for social media include:

  • Brand awareness
  • Community engagement
  • Lead generation
  • Content distribution
  • Increase sales revenue
  • Customer support

Authors

Welcome to our blog. The purpose of this blog is to help people to market their own businesses more effectively by sharing our knowledge, experience and useful tools. If you need any further advice don’t hesitate to get in touch or feel free to comment with any questions on the blog posts and we will get back to you with the best answers we can give.

Thanks

Toni and Sian

How And Why Blogs Work For Business

How And Why Blogs Work For Business

Okay, lets get this one out of the way. If you are still unsure of whether your business should be running a blog we need to deal with this. Business blogging has become integral to any online marketing strategy. All the benefits of having and maintaining a business blog are exactly what you are trying to gain by being online in the first place, plus many more benefits you may not even have thought of. I have summarised the benefits below into two of the most important reasons for growing your business.

 

  1. New customers

In order to get new customers, you need to be visible and attract people to you, hence the onset of traditional marketing practices. Not too long ago, although it feels like centuries, that was done through the means of putting up posters, handing out fliers, placing an advert in the paper etc. wherever your potential customers were that’s where you needed to position yourself. Today, that is online.

That fact seems to have been accepted, hence the reason you have a website.

Now sure, I’m in the business of freelance blog writing so of course I will be biased, but the fact is that blogging is absolutely one of the most effective channels for attracting your clients to your website.

Having a blog on your business website undoubtedly increases traffic to your website. One of the best analogies I’ve seen has to be from Jayson DeMers writing for Forbes online, in which he explains how having a blog is like fishing with multiple hooks in the water. Simply put, the more hooks you have in the water the more likely you are to catch a fish. In the same way every blog post you publish becomes indexed by search engines like Google giving you more opportunity to be found and increasing traffic to your website.

Blog writing also has other valuable SEO benefits including increasing inbound links to your website. If you write a good well written and informative blog eventually people will link to it, which is something.

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Welcome to our blog. The purpose of this blog is to help people to market their own businesses more effectively by sharing our knowledge, experience and useful tools. If you need any further advice don’t hesitate to get in touch or feel free to comment with any questions on the blog posts and we will get back to you with the best answers we can give.

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Toni and Sian

Planning A Social Media Strategy for Small Business

Planning A Social Media Strategy

When thinking about your social media goals it’s important to align with your overall company goals, if these are not clear for your business you may need to take a few steps back, failing that you could look to align to your business marketing goals.

For example, if your business goal for this year is to generate more leads for your sales team you will want to focus your social media on supporting this by creating gated content for sharing and promotion.

Once you know what these bigger picture goals are it will be easier to focus the efforts of your social media plans.

The next part of creating an effective social media strategy is;

  1. Understand your audience

Knowing who you are trying to reach and talk to is vital to a successful social media strategy.

When you know who you are targeting you can:

  • Establish where they are more likely to be found, which social channels, groups etc.
  • How to address them in the tone that connects to them
  • Develop more effective, relatable content
  1. Keywords

If you have not already done so this is a good time to do some keyword research, this will help with getting your content found for the things that matter to you and your business. Keywords will usually focus around your core product range or services, however sometimes longer tail keywords can be easier to be found for than the more basic descriptives so it’s worth looking into. Some great keyword research tools include, MOZ, Google’s Keyword planner and SEMrush.

  1. Content planning

Choosing your channels. Once this has been done you will be in a much better position to choose the right channels to achieve your social media goals and reach your target audience and will have a good idea of the focus of the content you will be creating and sharing.

Once your social channels have been set up and you are ready to begin posting there are a few tips and tricks to help streamline the process and plan and optimise your posting for maximum benefit. See my article here on Business content creation for social media success with free downloadable content planner.

  1. Measuring and analysing results

Key to the success of any marketing activity is the ability to measure the success of your efforts, to find out what is working and what can be improved and amend your campaigns accordingly to achieve better results. With social media this is fortunately very easy to do as most platforms have their own analytical tools to easily see what’s working and what’s not.

Once you have been using social media for a period of time you will get a good idea of what your audience favour and what is working for your business, allowing you to adjust your content to maximise on this. It will also be possible to set some hard goals for achieving the results you want once you get a feel for the growth rate of the metrics you are measuring.

When measuring the effectiveness of your campaigns it’s important to know what metrics you are looking for as it’s easy to get confused by all the numbers and what they mean. See this article on understanding social media metrics for more information.

As a basic guide however these are the main metrics you will be looking at depending on the goals of your campaigns:

  • Brand awareness – Followers, reach, impressions
  • Community engagement – Shares, likes, retweets and comments
  • Lead generation – Click throughs, form submissions from social, new contacts from social (usually from website analytics)
  • Content distribution – Views (YouTube), likes, shares, reach.
  • Customer Support – Messages, comments, Response times
  • Increasing sales/revenue – Conversions (website analytics)
  • Driving traffic to website – Click throughs, analytics traffic from social media.
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Authors

Welcome to our blog. The purpose of this blog is to help people to market their own businesses more effectively by sharing our knowledge, experience and useful tools. If you need any further advice don’t hesitate to get in touch or feel free to comment with any questions on the blog posts and we will get back to you with the best answers we can give.

Thanks

Toni and Sian