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The Beginners Digital Marketing Checklist For SMEs

Getting into digital marketing is not easy feat, especially if you are a small business that doesn’t have enough resources to dedicate to it. However, digital marketing doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact there are a few simple tasks that you can complete to give your business that online boost it needs. That’s why we’ve put together the beginners digital marketing checklist for SMEs.

Keywords

Keywords should be the first item on top of any aspiring digital marketeers checklist. There are many different ways you can implement keywords into your digital marketing strategy. However because this is a beginner’s checklist, we’re just going to run through the basics. First of all, you need to think like a potential customer. What are the sorts of words and phrases potential customers would type into search engines to find your business? If you’re not sure ask a friend or family member who isn’t directly involved in your business to help. You’ll find that people who are not working within your industry will often use words you wouldn’t. Once you have a list of words go to Google’s keyword planner. Here you’ll be able to type in your keywords and see how often they are searched for monthly as well as how hard they are to rank highly for. The aim of the game here is to get your website to rank high in search engine results. So make sure you pick and use keywords that have a decent search volume but aren’t swamped with competition.

Content

This is where you can put that long list of keywords you got from above to work. To rank high in search engines for your chosen keywords, search engines must be able to see that your page is helpful and relevant when it comes to said keywords and the topics they imply. To do this you need to sprinkle your keywords throughout your page content in visible copy. However, you cannot just spam one or two pages with all the keywords. The keyword must fit in with your content organically, make sense and be laid out in a user friendly way with the use of paragraphs, headings and subheadings. Make sure every page of your website contains some valuable content that contains the keywords you want to rank for.

Another good way for you to use your keywords through content is by adding a blog section to your website. Writing blog articles will allow you to focus on one keyword at a time whilst continuously updating your website. This is extra helpful as search engines not only like to see keywords scattered throughout your website, they also like it when the website is frequently updated. The more frequently you update your blog, the more time-relevant your website will be to search engine, which in turn will help boost your search rankings.

Social media

Whilst social media isn’t really a direct lead generating tool, it is ideal for brand awareness. If you’re a complete beginner to the digital marketing game then social media is a great place to start to improve this amongst your potential customers. It’s more than likely that you already have your own personal social media accounts. So without even realising it, you’re already doing your own social media marketing for yourself.  The only difference is you now have to do it for your business.

Creating a social presence for your SME is a little more complicated then running your own social media accounts. First of all you have to think about which social platform is best for your business. After all, it’s always better to focus and be successful on one social platform than to spread yourself too thin and do all of them badly. Once you’ve decided on that you need to come up with some creative content that your audience will love and engage with.

Links

Links can get complicated, however we’re going to break it down into easy and informative chunks. So, the goal here is to get as many reputable and relevant websites to link back to your website as possible. But why? Well, when search engines can see your website being linked to by other trustworthy businesses online it makes your business seem trustworthy too. Think of links as the digital equivalent of somebody recommending your business to their friends and family. The more links you get, the more trustworthy, helpful and legitimate your business seems.

However, don’t just try and get links on any old website and never pay for links. The whole point of links is that they string together relevant websites that are within the same niche, or are at least talking about one another for some reason. Posting your link everywhere and anywhere will only result in search engines recognising your link and website as spam. Think of spam as somebody really shady bugging you about a kind of dodgy service they are offering. Not cool.

So that’s our beginners digital marketing checklist specifically for SMEs. However, of course, remember that these are just general tips and that how you should utilise and market your business is very dependent on what industry you are in as well as your target audience.

As always, if you need any further assistance with any social media marketing projects then please don’t hesitate to contact us either here or on LinkedIn or Twitter. Until then, happy marketing!

Social Media Metrics: How Do You Know If Your Social Media Marketing Is Working?

Social media marketing is something that every business says they do. And they may well be on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. But the question to ask is – is their social media marketing working? However before you can even answer that you need to know what to look for in order to determine success. Hello KPIs, or as we like to call they key performance indicators.

Key performance indicators are a series of metrics that help you determine whether or not your social media marketing has been successful. Before you get too deep into the numbers game though, you have to decide what is your goal with social media marketing? What do you want people to do when they see your posts? Once you’ve figured this out it’s pretty easy to gage which of the key performance indicators below are the key to success.

Impressions and reach

Impressions and reach are one of the first social media metrics that you come across when you dive into analytics dashboards. But what exactly do these metrics measure and when should you use them to determine success? Firstly,  impressions and reach can mean different things. Impressions usually mean the amount of times a piece of content has been seen. Whereas reach usually means how many users have seen a piece of content. These are great metrics if you want to push brand awareness and ensure that your business slowly gets more exposure. So if people don’t know your brand yet this is a great way to start measuring your social media campaigns.

Likes, comments and shares

These social metrics are pretty self-explanatory and indicate how many people are reacting to your content. It’s a good idea to measure any engagement metrics like this if you want to judge the quality of your content. Engagement statistics are also a good indicator as to whether or not your target audience is resonating with and enjoying your messages.

Website traffic

This social media metric is a little bit harder to track however it is especially useful if you are focusing your social media messaging around content marketing. To set up a way in which you can view social media metrics like this you need to set up a Google Analytics account. Once you’ve done that all you need to do is put a tracking code on your website – if you’re unsure about this just employ the help of a marketing metrics nerd. After that you’ll be able to see all of your website traffic coming from social media. You can even drill down to which social media network and even which post if you try your hand at tracking individual links.

Conversions

Conversions are what majority of businesses want to track. However before you can track them you need to decide what it is you want to track. With Google Analytics you can track what people coming from social media do on your website. Of course you cannot track absolutely anything. You are unfortunately limited to the following: contact form submissions, link clicks, video playbacks, destination pages, RSS subscriptions and user-generated actions such as comments or product ratings. You should track metrics like this when you want to know if people have taken action after seeing your social posts.

So that’s how you can determine success with social media metrics. However, of course, remember that these are just general tips and that how you should utilise and market your business is very dependent on what industry you are in as well as your target audience.

As always, if you need any further assistance with any social media marketing projects then please don’t hesitate to contact us either here or on LinkedIn or Twitter. Until then, happy marketing!

Why Having 10k Followers Can Be Better Than Having 100k

We’ve been talking about social media alot on our blog lately – especially about growing an audience and writing content that they’ll love. However, one thing we cannot stress enough when trying to grow an audience is that numbers aren’t everything. Sometimes it’s actually better to have 10k followers than 100k. We know that may sound a bit backwards, but we’re going to break it down for you.

The rise of the micro-influencer

First of all, we have one buzzword for you – micro-influencers. Normally we aren’t fans of throwing buzzwords around but trust us when we say you’re going to like this one. Basically micro-influencers are typically brands or individuals that a have a smaller following but with higher engagement rates. The larger amount of interactions can be because of many reasons: helpful content, relatable stories or similar values.

Interactions over followers

Like we said micro-influencers usually have higher engagement rates than macro-influencers. This is because they have a smaller audience therefore can really target their content towards them, get to know them and publish posts that really resonate with them. Typically this makes them more successful on social media than their macro-influencer counter-parts.

More influence with less followers

Although interactions are great the best thing about having 10k engaged followers rather than 100k slightly interested ones is that your audience actually care about what you’re saying.  And because they are already engaged with your content, they are more than likely going to buy into your products or services that you’re selling.

So that’s why having less followers can be better than you first think. However, of course, remember that these are just general tips and that how you should utilise and market your business is very dependent on what industry you are in as well as your target audience.

As always, if you need any further assistance with any social media marketing projects then please don’t hesitate to contact us either here or on LinkedIn or Twitter. Until then, happy marketing!

How To Create Social Media Content That Your Audience Will Love

Every brand that knows anything about digital marketing knows that being on social media is a must. We’ve previously spoken about the basics of social media marketing, social ads and even which social platform is best for you. But now we’re going to dive into some more detail. How do big brands and businesses create content that is interesting, well received and still encompassing their services or product? While you may think there is some sort of magic strategy or trick, great social media content actually just comes from a bit of hard work and research. So – how do you do it?

Create personas

Similarly to many other digital marketing channels – social media success comes from knowing your audience. So if you haven’t already you need to start making personas for ideal customers. For example, if you own a comic book store one of your personas could be a boy called Dominic. Dominic is 16 years old and lives with his parents and sister. He is obviously interested in comic books but he is also interested in movies, role playing video games and fantasy fiction books. As you can see, to really nail down your audience you don’t just need to know that they’re interested in your product or service. You also need to know what else they’re interested in and what they would typically be doing at certain times of day and days of the week. For instance, if you want to advertise an event you’re having at your comic book store this weekend – it wouldn’t make sense to advertise this on social media during the weekday. People like Dominic will be at school. You need to think about when and where they will be in order to coordinate your social media content for the best chances of success.

Test different media

Digital marketing is all about testing and social media content is no exception to this. Get creative with your content and try out different formats like images, videos, collages and articles. You’ll probably find that your audience will prefer certain formats over others. However what’s most important is that you not only test different media, you also need to test out different days of the week and the times of day that you post. Other things to test could also be within the social media content itself such as tone of voice, messaging, imagery and even music.

Analyse performance

Once you’ve tested out a few different types of media it’s time to start analysing your results. However, before you start analysing it’s important to give your posts at least a week from the time of publishing to start collecting data. Start off by taking a closer look at your top five posts. What made them so successful? Why did people interact with them? Think of what they have in common. This could be anything you have tried out in the testing phase. Write down or record all of the elements you think have influenced your audience to interact with this post.

Rinse and repeat

Now that you think you’ve found out what made some of your social media content so successful it’s now time to test out that theory. Apply these “successful” elements to future  posts, wait a week or so and then analyse the results from this. You’ll either find out you were right or wrong when you were analysing. If you were right – keep rinsing and repeating this process with new ideas until you have a wide range of different content you know your audience will love. If you’re wrong – don’t worry! Like we said, creating social media content that your audience will love is all about testing. Try out a few new techniques (there are hundreds) and you’ll be well on your way to nailing some amazing content.

So that’s how you can create amazing social media content that your audience will love. However, of course, remember that these are just general tips and that how you should utilise and market your business is very dependent on what industry you are in as well as your target audience.

As always, if you need any further assistance with any social media marketing projects then please don’t hesitate to contact us either here or on LinkedIn or Twitter. Until then, happy marketing!

Social Media Ads – Does It Pay To Play?

You’ve probably noticed that we’ve been talking alot about social media marketing lately. We’ve already run you through the basics and even told you which social media platform would be best for you to start on. However one thing we haven’t spoken about that everyone loves to talk about it gaining followers. You can gain followers in many different ways on social media. One of the most common ways is to push out some social ads. Unfortunately though, before you can watch the numbers rack up you need to know how social media ads work. But before you even do that you need to weigh up some pros and cons first.

It can bring in followers

Like we said before social media ads can bring in followers. When you’ve got a solid paid social strategy it’s easy to gain a momentum and watch the followers pile in. More followers usually means more engagement and more visibility which is great for you and your brand. However remember that although a million followers is great it doesn’t mean anything if none of them are interested or interacting with your content. The bottom line is social media presence is not just a numbers game. Content is still king!

You have to learn your craft

With every  new digital marketing skill comes a steep learning curve. It takes time to master the art of creating a compelling ad and pushing it through social media to the correct audience. You have to be patient and test a few things as you go along. After all a large part of marketing is testing, analysing, testing and analysing again. Luckily for us social media networks make it pretty easy for you to learn how to use their ads. So make sure you check out their resources before you start spending any money.

It can be quite cost-effective

Social ads, while they can be costly you can make them a cost-effective form of marketing if you know how to use them. When posting ads on most social platforms you have the option to cap or limit how much you spend. This is great if you have a small budget to play with but you still want to test the waters. Additionally, if you learn your craft you can also decrease your spend and reach your marketing goals whether it’s follower gains or post engagements.

It can go wrong very easily

Pushing out adverts on social media can be extremely valuable but it can also be extremely damaging if it goes wrong. Social media is full of trolls, so if your “targeted” ad makes it way on to one of their feeds and they’re not interested you’re going to know about it. It’s not only important to get targeting right to avoid internet embarrassment, it’s also just a more effective way of marketing.

So that’s what your SME needs to consider before paying for social media ads. However, of course, remember that these are just general tips and that how you should utilise and market your business is very dependent on what industry you are in as well as your target audience.

As always, if you need any further assistance with any social media marketing projects then please don’t hesitate to contact us either here or on LinkedIn or Twitter. Until then, happy marketing!

Which Social Media Platform Is Right For Your SME?

Last week we spoke about the basics of social media marketing and what you need to do to stay on top of the game. And one of the most important tips in there was to avoid trying to master all social media networks. Ideally you want to start off with one, learn everything you can about it and master it before taking on any other social ventures. Make your first social platform your bread and butter when it comes to social media marketing going forward and you’ll find that your efforts become more successful. However the most important question now is – which social media platform is right for your SME?

Twitter

Our personal favourite. Twitter is the wondrous place where you can share your thoughts with he world in 280 characters or less. (Who remembers the 140 character days?!). Anyway, we think Twitter is one of the more liberal social platforms where all sorts of people and businesses are welcome to share their ideas. So no matter what your SME’s core business is there is a place for you on Twitter. You can join weekly chats, start up conversions and of course share your content. The only sort of business we would say that Twitter wouldn’t be ideal for as a first platform would be more visual businesses. So if you’re a photography, craft store, artist or interior designer you may want to skip down the list to Snapchat or Instagram.

LinkedIn

Day by day LinkedIn is becoming less of a stiff business platform and more of a place where people can share their stories with people who are interested in personal development, entrepreneurship or really want to get involved with or change the industry they’re in. The audience on LinkedIn is usually people over the age of 18 who are either in established careers, setting up their own business or recent graduates looking for their first big break. Because of this we would highly suggest starting on LinkedIn if you run some sort of consultancy, training or education based business.

Facebook

Similarly to Twitter, Facebook is somewhere that a variety of different businesses can gain an audience and get some exposure. There aren’t too many restrictions here as to which sort of SME will do well on Facebook. Therefore we recommend it as a starting point for most people. However due to some Facebook algorithm changes, it has become harder for businesses and brands to reach users organically. So it’s probably a good idea to read up about algorithms first before making a decision.

Instagram

According to some statistics from last year Instagram is the fastest growing social media network at the moment with thousands of new users joining everyday. But what do you need to be successful on Instagram? The best way to gain a following quickly and receive great engagement is to ensure your Instagram account sticks with a theme so that your “grid” looks aesthetically pleasing to look at as one piece. Because of this, the SME’s that would do well on here are ones with a more visual product. For example: photography studios, craft stores, make-up artists, hair dressers ect.

Snapchat

Snapchat is a social platform where people tend to share videos and photographs of themselves along with a small caption and perhaps a silly dog filter. Although it sounds pretty fun this is the most difficult ones to get right and we’d say avoid it as your first platform if you can. The demographic of Snapchat is general is quite young. So if you’re target audience is young teens and young adults this is a good platform to capture them on. However, you don’t just have to think about your target audience before picking a platform – you need to think of your core business too. What are you selling? Because, for instance, fashion, fragrance and beauty brands usually do quite well on Snapchat – so do gossip magazines. This is probably because statistically more young people have these interests. Furthermore these sorts of brands can also deliver the correct content for Snapchat. It needs to be engaging from the start, entertaining throughout and finish with some sort of CTA like “swipe up to read more”.

YouTube

Everyone knows YouTube. YouTube is actually the second most visited video website of all time so there’s obviously lots of reasons as to why you may want to showcase your SME on here. However YouTube is all about interesting personalities, ideas, places and products. It is highly saturated with competition (like all social networks) but it seems to be particular fierce on there more than any other social network. Similarly to Snapchat, because YouTube is all about videos you need to make sure your video is capturing people’s attention. It doesn’t stop there though, not only do you have captivate people with your videos – you have to optimise your videos to be found with eye catching thumbnails and wacky video titles. To be honest the bottom line with YouTube is you’re going to struggle to stand out unless you’re some sort of original unique brand or a celebrity.

So those are the different social media platforms and what sort of SMEs they are most relevant for. However, of course, remember that these are just general tips and that how you should utilise and market your business is very dependent on what industry you are in as well as your target audience.

As always, if you need any further assistance with any social media marketing projects then please don’t hesitate to contact us either here or on LinkedIn or Twitter. Until then, happy marketing!