Tag Archives: content

Content – Finding Inspiration

In an earlier blog (What is relevant content?), we discussed having relevant content which can then lead to creating your content. What content do you use, how do you keep it fresh and exciting for your customers / fans/ followers? Some businesses are very dynamic and have new events or images available every day, others may have something new once or week or even once  a month. So, what do you do?

First we can rule out the ‘spam’ posts of cute animals / children etc – unless of course, this is relevant to your business. The key is relevance  and engagement. Once you know who your customers are, then you should have a very good idea of what content engages and appeals to them. Have your posting schedule worked out around what the business is promoting or the business activities. Have a Tuesday special?  Make that your Monday evening post (or Tuesday morning). You know that most of your fans are online later in the evening? Schedule your posts to show when they are online.  A little like seeing all those income protection advertisements during the evening news.

Nothing new in the business? Introduce a team member, or yourself if you haven’t done so already – make your business personal to your customers. Just remember to follow privacy protocols when posting about yourself and employees – no private contact details, professional images only,  and content to be business related. An example could be ‘Joe’s Fishing Supplies’ featuring their best salesperson, Frank. An image of Frank in the business, wearing work clothing along with a few words “Come in and say hello to Frank, he can tell you all about XYZ product as he is a keen beach fisherman. Ask him about his favourite fishing spot, tell him about the one that got away”

Amongst the social media blogging and commentator community, feelings are mixed about posts that ask for ‘Likes’, ‘Shares’, ‘Retweets’ etc. It may create a short term gain and even a database for future sales but to gain the most  benefit from this form of social selling, it is recommended to have your strategy and systems in place. This article by Keira Pedley provides a simple ‘how to guide’.

Keep your readers / fans engaged, throw in the occasional ‘funny’, but again, keep it relevant to your business. You may find that this type of post will create a lot of sharing and views, but do not be tempted to repeat these types of posts too often as they can be ‘off message’ about your business.  A schedule will help your business organise what you want to say and when. Analytics  and insight data will help your business see what has engaged your audience and allow you to adjust your posting schedule,  remove or change anything that is not resonating with your intended audience.

Inspiration does not come easily to many, especially small business operators who may be more concerned about the daily operations and business planning.  Our advice is to look back at your business, engage with your customers, see what is driving them to you. You may find your inspiration there.

Connect on Facebook or Google + .  Engage by leaving your comments and feedback, let’s continue the conversation.

Does your social media presence lead to sales?

The question that all business owners ask themselves when planning their marketing strategy and the budget allocations is: “What additional revenue will the business receive from this financial outlay?”. ROI (return on income) is the catchphrase that is most often used during these discussions.  To give any kind of indication of return, it means that a business’ strategic activities must be measured to see how successful each activity was.

Giving your business primary data from sources, other than relying on a customer remembering whether they saw a Facebook post or liked an Instagram picture, is essential for accurate analytics. Primary data allows a business to measure what activity  / content posted by the business has attracted the most attention and action. Has a Friday funny gone viral? Well and good if it has, but did it attract more potential customers back to the business social media site or to the website, did it create more conversations in the business forum? Was it relevant to the business? 

Web and blog sites can use google analytics, which can give a great indication of where traffic is coming from, where the customer is moving within a site and how long they are spending there. But – how do you measure the success of your social media? By typing in social media measurement tools into your search engine, you will be flooded with options, some more specific than others. There are free tools (basic versions) with costs to upgrade to a ‘full’ or ‘pro’ version. To help you make sense of all of that information, there are equally a  number of blogs and other articles that list the pros and cons of various software.  Quite often the decision of which metric to use will depend on a business’ budget, the time that can be allocated to reviewing the analytics, and also the expertise within the business. 

A business will not make sales from a  social media presence if your potential customers do not know that you are there. Promote your pages and links, engage with your audience and provide relevant content. If sales are your goal, make sure that your sales sites are easily accessible from your social media forums.

Where a post has created more fans / followers / +1’s , it can be classed as a good post. If that post has lead to a sale or sales enquiry on a website, phone call, email or in person, then it is a successful post. Not every post will generate a sale but it should generate interest and responses from the online community; without these responses – who is your business talking to?

Enjoyed the read? Would love to read your comments or about your experiences.

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Marketing your brand in the digital world

Facebook turned 10 this year, we’ve all seen our friends ‘movie’ summary (confession – I did also participate and publish my walk through memory lane) and it seems that we are (mainly) all pretty comfortable in Facebook land amongst friends. What about the other social media forums? Twitter, Google+, Instagramme, Pintrest, Blogs, Tumblr, LinkedIn, and others? Do you use them in your own social life?

If you do, have you thought about how you can use these forums for your business?  Well, the first question to ask is: do these platforms fit in your digital marketing strategy? Not all platforms will suit your brand or business so you need to explore which platforms best suit your business and marketing strategy. You should also have a very good idea of which platforms your intended audience is using.

Research  – who are your potential customers (and your current customers), which media platforms are they using, what kind of engagement do they offer.  Digital Insights have created an info graphic based on research by ReachLocal which list eight types of social media followers ranging from Casual Liker, The Ranter to the Loyal Fan (part of that image has been used in the feature image of this blog). For the complete list descriptions, please follow the link: digital insights. You may already recognise these ‘types’ as customers of yours and already have strategies in place that provides the proper communication to them. Expand this to your digital media strategy.

If, for example, you think that Facebook is where your potential audience is and where you will get the most engagement, then it may be worth your while to investigate paying for Facebook advertising, but do note, this is not where you will make a sale, it is where you will bring your brand and product to the audiences attention. Once you have their attention, you must provide the relevant content to continue and expand their engagement plus direct them to the location of where you want your potential customers to purchase.

Facebook has started their page Facebook for Business, which is an indication that they as a company see business brands on Facebook as a viable option. This page promotes the use of Facebook advertising to promote your business. It is very easy to manage an advertising campaign via the Facebook apps and see your returns (likes, engagement, people talking about) in your insights section as well as traffic directed to your website in google analytics.

 Twitter also have paid promotional spots and again the purpose of these spots should be to increase your brand awareness in the Twitterverse.

Social Media blogger, Jeff Bullas has written many articles about social media, engagement, and content. Here is one of the more recent articles, which discusses the social media trajectory. Business 2 Community Google+ posted the blog article; Is This The Social Media Marketing Tipping Point? and has some very relevant points to take note of.

Two stand out points for us are:

  1.  Grow your social network now
  2. Create the best content you can

Growing your social network. Get your name / brand out there. After deciding which platforms suit you best (look beyond Facebook and Twitter), let your customers know that you have a digital presence in their arenas. Use the links to your sites in newsletters, your website and signage around your location. Add the links to invoices or receipts, your email signatures, everywhere that you communicate with your customers.

Follow the media influencers in your field, interact and engage with them. Gain their confidence in your product and brand and they will retweet (RT), share or talk about your brand / product.  Media influencers usually have many followers / fans and a great audience reach. As always, you must provide relevant content to get the engagement with your brand.

Create the best content you can. Creating the best content does not mean that you have to have the very latest graphics or video production but it must have relevance to your brand or product, have some meaning for your intended audience. Use the best images you have, keep your text direct – calls to action (like, share, enter, answer, etc). Encourage the conversation, if someone comments – reply, even it is just to say ‘Thank you’. Share your audience’s pictures if they post to your site. Favourite a tweet, follow a Pintrest board if it is relevant to your brand. Encourage your customers to provide content e.g. how good your product / service / location is.

Bringing us back to the same message – content, relevance and engagement will keep your conversations going in your digital world and create brand relationships with your customers.

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