Archive for November, 2017

Some marketing ideas

Sunday, November 12th, 2017

When trying to get your own business started it is sometimes difficult to be creative and come up with good ideas on how to market yourself and the services or products you are selling. In this post, I will share some mundane and some more wacky marketing ideas with you. Many are just reminders of tools that most of us forgot exist when we started our own business.

  • Use your website to its full potential. Have someone impartial go through your site and find in what ways it can be improved.
  • Blog at least 15 times a month, that means one post every two days. Remember to offer your blog as email and RSS feed.
  • Regularly post thoughtful Facebook posts.
  • Tweet minimum 5 times every day. Remember to use hashtags.
  • Instagram is a bit different than the other social media tools. Only use it if it is really suitable for your brand. If you are in the fashion field, then Instagram is perfect for you. Same goes for traveling. I believe as long as you are in a field where feelings are part of making the purchase of your products or services, then Instagram is the place to be for you.
  • Pinterest can be treated the same way as Instagram. It is mainly a leisure social media site and its user group is mostly women, around 90%!
  • Snapchat is a social platform for young people, if you use it, then do it subtle and careful.
  • Youtube is beneficial for everyone. Make videos, document your day-to-day life.
  • Vine is a bit special. 6 second videos that can be very impactful and are quick and easy to make.
  • LinkedIn is very B2B. It is a difficult to find a deal but its a great resource for finding information on individuals and companies.
  • If you are a good writer then write a book or more. You can give them away or sell them on sites like Amazon. A good way to establish yourself as an “expert” in your field.
  • Very old school but powerful, have a monthly newsletter.
  • Email campaigns. Everything you do should be centered on capturing emails for your ongoing campaigns.
  • Online magazine. You can either start one or write for one if there is already one in your business. It is very easy to create an online magazine where you mainly curate other people’s work but remember to also write some unique articles written by yourself.
  • Webinars. Paid ones and free ones. Share what you know with everyone and expand your network.
  • White papers. Write so-called white papers (less than 100 pages) on topics your target group is interested in.
  • Business cards, also quite old school but remember to make your card stand out. Be creative and make it memorable.
  • Very simple but we all forget about them, postcards! A great way to stay in touch with past and potential customers.
  • Have a brochure presenting your business and services.
  • Host a contest and offer some cool prize. Almost anything is good enough, like best marketing essay or best logo design.
  • Use infographics on social media and in other marketing efforts. Use existing data but add your own interpretation.
  • Make PowerPoint presentations and share them on SlideShare. Remember to add your website and contact info to the slides.
  • Referral networks. There are many to join but you can also create a business referral network in your own area.
  • Co-promote is one of my favorites way to reach the market. Work with a related business and promote both of you and split the cost.
  • Go old school again. Send handwritten thank you cards and special day cards to your customers and contacts. Personal notes go a long way!
  • Always ask for testimonials and reviews.
  • Always ask your customers for referrals.
  • List your business on every directory like Google, Yahoo etc.
  • Answer questions on Quora to establish yourself as an “expert” in your field.
  • Guest blog, find blogs, where you can contribute and write for.
  • Direct mail. It doesn’t have to be mass mailing, you can send out 5 per day.
  • Pick up the phone and offer your services, cold calling!
  • Contact bloggers and podcasts. Many are lonely and would love to interview you.
  • Show your expertise and start a YouTube training program. Start a series of training videos that will show people a set of concepts that you can assist them with.
  • Professional photo shoot for headshots!
  • Chamber meetings, a great place to meet new clients and get a feeling of the local business climate.
  • Sit and work in a local coffee shop near office buildings. It is a great place to find new customers.
  • Write a column for a local newspaper.
  • Offer everyone money or services for viable referrals.
  • Offer other businesses a free spot on your website.
  • Do press releases every time you have news or can find something good to write about.
  • Hand out water bottles, either with your own label or just a business card on a string around the neck.
  • T-shirts. People love free clothes and they are a living commercial sign.
  • Find your target clients and “bribe” them with gifts at holiday time.
  • Pens, we all have them on our desks and every time we use them we see that logo.
  • Classic magazine advertising. It can be expensive but the effect is usually quite good.
  • Urinal signs in bars and restaurants and stadiums.
  • Current event press releases. Tie yourself into a current event by issuing a press release.
  • Put up flyers everywhere where you explain what services you are offering.
  • Do a video or photo content online with a silly reward. The messiest desk or the worst inspirational poster.
  • Use images and photo software to create funny memes and make sure your company name is on them.
  • Contact industry influencers and engage with them online. Find influencers on social media and comment on their posts and offer your own ideas. Never criticize!

These are just some ideas to get you going with your marketing. Do you want my help to execute any of them? Send me an e-mail and I will assist you all the way.

Pointers on social media

Sunday, November 12th, 2017

There are many factors to consider if you want to achieve good results using social media to market yourself and your business.

Understand your audience

  • It is important to know your target audience, be specific and create personas to make sure you know who you are trying to each.
  • Not only you are busy. Don’t waste your time and don’t waste your audience’s time.
  • You are important but so are others. Show interest in needs of others and not just yours.
  • Mention others. Not only you like to be talked about.
  • Be responsive, try to keep your response time under 24hrs.

Plan what you post

  • How much time do you really have? Be realistic and block out time and stick to it.
  • Make a monthly content strategy by identity what is coming up and schedule campaigns.
  • Try to find what your monthly key messages for campaigns and events are.
  • Maybe use an editorial calendar? Check out topnonprofits.com/edcal.
  • Don’t work daily, work weekly. Batch content creation.
  • It is OK to schedule posts in advance but avoid using :00 and :30, too obvious!
  • Check feeds at least two times per day, one time in mid-morning and one in the late afternoon.
  • Set measurable goals and track your progress.

Facebook

  • Think headline, not article. The key is to get the readers attention. Then add a question, action or link.
  • A Facebook post should be short and sweet. An eye-catching headline and three lines of powerful text.
  • Try to post about five times per week. For campaigns chose one day to repost every week.
  • Make sure you post during the optimal hours, for example the 18-24 demographic then the best time to post is between 9PM and 10PM.
  • The classic saying is true on Facebook too. A picture is worth 1000 words. And trying to avoid the depressing ones.
  • Give insider information to make fans feel in the know, write about current events and holidays, link to articles and information your target group care about.
  • Tell good stories. Avoid statistics and write easy to swallow content.
  • Deliver value to your Facebook fans by posting unique stuff on your page, like sweepstakes, giveaways, offers and coupons.
  • Speak with as specific voice that represents your brand, use keywords related to who you are.
  • Show you can make an impact, position yourself and your brand as a problem solver.
  • Offer behind the scenes photos and videos, announce new products and services on Facebook first.

Twitter

  • First one is an easy one. Don’t treat Twitter like Facebook.
  • Post regularly, at least one time every day. More is better and vary times slightly.
  • Minimum one hour between your tweets.
  • Tweet on the weekend
  • Be positive, don’t be a downer.
  • Place any links in the first part of the tweet!
  • Try to write with correct spelling and grammar. (Tough for us non-native speakers)
  • The optimal tweet is 100 characters.
  • Motivate your readers to engage with your content.
  • Feel free to use # in front of keywords to make them into hashtags.
  • Hashtags will introduce your tweet to potential followers to chose them wisely!
  • Link your tweet to a source, perhaps a blog post.
  • Avoid slang and abbreviations.

Instagram

  • Use good photo captions to grab attention. Ask questions.
  • Include your URL in your comments and photo captions to drive traffic to your site.
  • Geotag your photos so customers can find your business.
  • Allow your photos to be found from everywhere.
  • Remove privacy barriers to make it easy for customers to find you.
  • Use your company logo as profile picture.
  • Select a username similar to your company name.
  • It is good to use a similar username on many social media sites.
  • In the profile description, explain your business and why you are on Instagram.
  • Obviously, include your website URL in the profile description.
  • Tag customers in your photos.
  • Use many hashtags on your photos, including your company name.
  • Add new hashtags to past posts to wake them up again.
  • Send short notes to people liking and commenting on your photos to start a discussion.
  • If possible, add your company logo to each photo you post.

Youtube

  • Keep the videos simple and use your existing equipment, smartphone!
  • To create a YouTube account you need a Gmail account.
  • Your YouTube account is called a channel.
  • Remember to use keywords in the video title.
  • Chose thumbnails wisely as they are the first thing your potential viewer see.
  • Review your video statistics and comments regularly to see what is working and what is not.
  • Identify where people watch your videos and for how long they watch.
  • The description is the key to being found. Try to write 100+ words and remember to place your website URL on the first line.
  • Link to other social networks in your description and encourage interactions, comments, and likes.
  • Embed your videos on your website.
  • Share your videos on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Link to your videos from LinkedIn along with a description.
  • Add 10+ tags to your videos, viewers can not see the tags.
  • Long tail tags are the best!
    • Long tail keyword: recipe for crispy pizza crust
    • Short tail keyword: pizza

I hope you enjoyed this post with some pointers on how to deal with various social media sites. Send me an email if you have any questions or would like my help to get started with your social media marketing.