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Five Free Digital Marketing Channels For SMEs

There’s no denying the benefits that can be reaped by SMEs when they execute a successful digital marketing strategy. However many SMEs find that a lot of these strategies outlined on blogs or talked about by experts usually require some investment. But don’t fear you don’t have to spend any money to make a difference to your online footprint. In fact there are many free digital marketing channels for SMEs to use.

Use social media

Creating a social media account or page for your business is a very easy and completely free way to market online. Of course, there may be some features you have to pay for like advertising but nothing can stop you from posting for free. Social media marketing is a great way to expose your business to alot of people all at once. Through interactions and engagements, it also makes it easy to see whether or not people are enjoying your content. That way you can analyse and adapt your content to consistently send out messages your audience will love.

Write some blog posts

If you don’t want to set up anything on social media (we get it – it’s not for everyone) you can always write some content for your own blog. Blogs are widely searched for online and are some of the most visited websites on the internet. So why can’t yours be? Make sure you find your niche. What are the messages you want to send out about your SME? Whatever your subject matter, we think the best way to reach more people is to add in content that somehow helps readers. If you can help solve a common problem that people in your industry may be having you’ll be surprise how many people will come back when they next run into a issue.

Work with other complimentary SMEs

We’ve spoken about how you can work with complimentary SMEs and influencers before. However we didn’t explain how you can do it exclusively through digital channels. There are many ways you could do this but we thought we’d just mention a few of our favourites. Firstly you could set up some sort of online contest together, where both businesses contribute to the giveaway prize (it doesn’t have to be of a monetary value). Then you both share the content with your followers and gain exposure to double the amount of people you usually would. Some other ideas are: joint webinars, podcasts, sweepstakes and polls.

Send out email campaigns

If you already have a GDPR compliant database then why not try your hand at email marketing? A lot of email marketing platforms like MailChimp allow you to send out emails for free if you have a smaller audience. Whilst you can’t have a huge amount of contacts through the free version, you can still use a lot of the more advanced marketing features. For example on the free version of MailChimp you can send out automated messages, personalise content and collect statistics on your campaigns.

Brush up on your SEO

While you need a bit of SEO knowledge to do this, if you’re willing to spend some time learning the tricks of the trade then you can really make a difference to your online marketing. Optimise your website by ensuring that it’s responsive and fast. You can also tweak metadata, image tags and other on page content to encourage more organic traffic to your website.

So those are our a few free digital marketing channels SMEs can use to make a difference to their business. 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!

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!

Digital Marketing Goals For Your SME This Year

Happy new year everyone! We’re excited to start blogging about all things digital again and we can’t wait to see what 2018 has in store for us and you. That’s why we decided that our first post of the year should be all about the different types of goals your SME could set to get your business off to a roaring start.

Create a concrete social media strategy

Not just any social media strategy will do when you’re aiming to hit the ground running this year. However it’s not going to come easy. Cementing a successful and attainable social strategy takes a lot of research, trial and error. It’s all about monitoring your social activity closely and taking note of anything that could have made a post more successful. Analyse things like day of the week, time, content, tone and visuals. Once you think you know which aspect it is that’s attracted so many people to your post – apply this aspect to another and see what happens. If it gets a lot of traction, test it again in a different post. Then carry this on throughout your content. You’ll realise as you go on that keeping just one element consistent throughout your posts isn’t going to cut it after some time has past. So, to get that longevity you need, keep switching things up and testing ideas out. After all, the world of social media is forever changing so why shouldn’t your strategy?

Aim for quality and quantity

You’ve probably heard the age old phrase “it’s about quality not quantity”. However you can’t help but feel disheartened when you’ve spent a lot of time working hard for your SME but failed to gain any exposure or results from it. It’s all about balance and consistency. Create consistently impressive work but also keep in mind how you can market this to reap the most benefits. Again, this is all about research, trial and error. Find out where your target audience are online then pump out some brand awareness in that location. You’re not going to be successful straight away and you’ll find that some digital spaces can become stagnant after a while, so you’ll have to change up your strategy every once in a while.

Set up schedules

We’re going to hit you with another cliche now – “failing to plan is planning to fail”. So this year make sure your SME has any digital marketing locked down tightly into a schedule. Think content calendars, social media scheduling software, outlook notifications – use whatever tools you need to get organised. By planning out and scheduling the majority of your marketing you’re making sure you have enough time to carry out any other unexpected tasks that may come up.

So those are just a few digital goal ideas for your SME to kick start your 2018. 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 online marketing then please don’t hesitate to contact us either here or on LinkedIn or Twitter. Until then, happy marketing!

How To Reach The Wimbledon Market On Social Media

You probably remember our last post about where you should be marketing your Wimbledon business online. However we’ve realised that it’s not just about where you need to market your business it’s about how you market your business. Although the potential for reaching a wider audience online is massive, for this post we just want to focus on how to reach the Wimbledon market on social media in particular.

We think you’ll agree that social media has provided many businesses with a prime opportunity to broaden their customer base. In fact, in some cases, social media has even catapulted some businesses to internet stardom. But that rise to social media greatness usually starts a lot closer to home than you think. Instead of being focused on follower counts you should be focused on engagement and if you’re a local Wimbledon business the best people to engage with your social posts are local people. But how can you reach out to the Wimbledon market on social media?

1. Facebook groups.

There are millions upon millions of groups of Facebook for all sorts of things, even local communities like Wimbledon. Luckily, for us, Wimbledon is a pretty large region therefore there are even more specific groups within the online local community. So depending on your business’ target audience you can probably find a local group on Facebook that’s suitable to market to. However you don’t just look for Facebook groups – there are also many local Facebook pages that you can find potential customers on too. So once you’ve found the Facebook group and/or page where your Wimbledon audience is don’t just start spamming it with meaningless marketing. Listen to the conversations happening and offer your advice and input where it’s relevant. Doing this builds brand awareness and trust – making gaining customers far easier than before.

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2. Use Wimbledon based hashtags.

Hashtags aren’t just for Twitter. You can use them on Facebook and Instagram too – just make sure they’re relevant to your business and Wimbledon. Hashtags are extremely useful especially when they have a location within them. This is because hashtags are the words people use to find your posts. The more localised your hashtags are the better chance you have of local people finding your content. But how do you know which hashtags to use? Well, if you’re feeling creative you can create your own branded hashtag like #WimbledonDesign. Branded hashtags are great once you have a follower base because then they can start using it too – giving your business more exposure. On the other hand if you just want to make sure your content is seen, use more popular location based hashtags like the very popular and very simple #Wimbledon or #WimbledonVillage and #WimbledonCommon.

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3. Join location specific LinkedIn groups.

Like Facebook, LinkedIn has plenty of location based communities to join. While there aren’t as many for the Wimbledon community on LinkedIn as there are on Facebook, there are still many opportunities to market to your local target audience. If you do a quick search of “Wimbledon” in the LinkedIn search bar and select groups you’ll see that there are a fair few business groups on there. So just flick through a few of them and make sure you join the most active ones (unfortunately there are many dormant groups). Once you’ve joined some, adopt that same strategy as the Facebook group marketing – listen, offer up advice when relevant and just get to know the local community online. Again, this will boost your brand, potential customer trust and assure people that your business is one they would want to work with.

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4. Set up local paid promotions.

This is a more straightforward and technical approach. Instead of finding members of the local community online yourself just get your chosen social network to do it for you. Pretty much all social networks offer some sort of paid promotion option for your content. However when you’re doing this don’t just set up any old ad – make sure that it is targeted. For instance many paid social promotions have the option to target just the Wimbledon population while others can actually target people within a certain radius that you can set. This means that when your advert is live only people within the set locations can see your ad and engage with it.

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5. Create a competition.

This is a great option if you want to combine your online efforts with your offline efforts. Create a competition for customers that come into your brick and mortar business where they have to enter by putting up a piece of content on their social media accounts with your business’ branded hashtag. It’s pretty likely that majority of their social network are in or from the local area too. Therefore when they see it, they may come into your business to enter aswell – giving your competition more entries, your business more foot traffic and your brand more exposure to the local community.

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So those are our thoughts on how you can reach the Wimbledon market on social media. Of course, remember that these are just general tips and that how you should use marketing strategies 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 of your digital marketing projects then please don’t hesitate to contact us either here or on LinkedIn or Twitter. Until then, happy marketing!