In many respects, I have saved the best till last in this series. We’ve already spoken about digital ads, see this post so I am not going to go into those in this blog, but I will say that when used correctly, social media is one of the most powerful tools we have. Free to a degree, although I have recently noticed on Facebook that a little spend really helps bump your organic views up and not just on the posts you are promoting.
Here are our top tips for how to use social media correctly, to help get your best results yet:
- Don’t talk about your products and promotions all the time. Think of other things you can share, such as blogs and content from your site, interesting titbits you find on other websites and social media channels, humorous images, gifs and videos – everyone likes a laugh, particularly us Brits.
- Engage. Don’t just sit around and wait for people to speak to you: it’s social media. Get out there and socialise. Get involved in conversations, offer advice, and even be the conversation starter.
- Follow to get followers. You must expect to follow people when you are starting out on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. There’s no point in not doing so, creating all this content and nobody really seeing it.
- Do Google+. You do not have to understand it, just utilise it as it really makes Google look more favourably on your site. Share stuff to your own page, but also look to join relevant groups and share your posts in these for maximum exposure.
- Use pictures. Not just on the visual platform such as Instagram and Pinterest, but also on Facebook, Twitter and Google+. They insight greater reactions and engagement.
- Go live. We think you will be surprised at the amount of engagement you get from going live. Read our top tips for this here.
- Collaborations. This is all about strength in numbers, together we are stronger! Partner or team up with another brand or persona online, cross promote your offerings to one another’s audience and pick up some new followers on the way. Some great examples of these that we have had the pleasure to be involved with in the natural products industry are Konjac Sponge Company’s #TeamUpTuesday and Food Doctor’s #PorridgeWednesday
- Competitions. Competitions are a great way to get a buzz going, as who doesn’t want to win a prize?! You can even collaborate on a competition for even greater reach, combining the last two points! You can utilise contests for a variety of reasons on social, so be sure to set your goals which could be related to any of the following:
- Brand awareness
- Email signups
- More likes on social media channel
- User generated content
Have you got any social media successes to share with us? We’d love to hear from you. If you are looking for any social media support, email us firstname.lastname@example.org
In the e-marketing part of this blog series, we touched on how a blog is a great way to give people a reason to visit your site. We also encouraged you to share your blog with your email customer database.
Many companies start a blog on their website because they have heard it is good for SEO purposes. This is true, but in fact you can get so much more from your content. Here are our top tips for getting the most out of your content:
- Share, share and share alike. You’ve spent ages crafting this killer blog post, so give it the attention it deserves. Share on all your social media channels. This will attract more initial traffic to your post, achieving greater visibility and help build customer trust and loyalty.
- Make sure others can share the love. Ensure you have sharing buttons on your blog page, so that your readers can share your content at just the click of a button.
- Bookmarking sites. Utilise bookmarking sites such as Stumpleupon, Digg and Delicious to help people find your content more easily.
- Recycle and update. There is nothing wrong with using old content that has and is performing well to create a new post. Likewise, there is nothing wrong with updating your old content to bring it up to date, perhaps with new research or new products. It is also a good idea to continue to share links to your evergreen content on social media to help increase inbound links.
- 3rd Party Content Aggregators. Look to harness the power of bigger publishing platforms, such as Linkedin Pulse, Huffington Post and Medium, currently the biggest content site out there!
Need some help with your content strategy? Email us email@example.com
When done correctly, e-marketing is one of the cheapest and most effective tools we have. After all, the people on your emailing list have hopefully signed up to receive your news. You, and/or your brand, have already piqued their interest.
But how do you keep this audience engaged without constantly bombarding them with promotional emails?! Well, here are our top tips:
- Don’t email too frequently. I would say that any more than once a week, unless you have current news that’s too exciting to wait to share, is intrusive. From our experience, emailing more than 1-2 times per week results in a considerable drop in your open rate, and an increase in your unsubscribe rate.
- Don’t just email about promotions. Find other subjects to communicate about, here are some ideas:
- A blog is a great way to give people a reason to visit your site. When you publish a new blog, you can also share it with your email list.
- Company news – award wins, team achievements, how-to’s anecdotes, humorous experiences.
- Back in stock – particularly if this customer has purchased the item previously.New product launches – let your customers know about any NPD you have, help them on their way to the buying decision.
- Seasonal products – let your customer know about your product before your competitor does about theirs!
- Promotions – of course, let your customer know about these, just don’t make them the be all and end all of your e-marketing strategy.
3. Split test & experiment! Once you reach a certain number of signups (I’d say 10,000 is a decent number) you can then start to segment your list and also split test. Through split testing you can experiment with a variety of elements to gauge a variety of factors including:
- What type of message subjects get the highest open rate
- What type of content converts to the most traffic for you
- What kind of layout is the most engaging for your email list
- What kind of promotions are most appealing to your customer
- What day is best to send you email
These are just a few ideas to get you started. If you are looking for more advice on email strategy, email us firstname.lastname@example.org
This was the “special of the week” section of Rebecca’s talk: the place where many brands go wrong. Brands forget about the marketing process being just that, a process, and instead opt to focus on weekly promotions. I’m not saying that promotions shouldn’t be a part of your strategy, they should, but they should align with your overarching campaigns and not be the basis of your strategy.
Here are our top tips for running promotions the right way:
- Deeper deals, less frequently. We work with many brands selling both on self-branded and multi-brand ecommerce stores, as well as bricks and mortar boutiques, department stores and supermarkets. Our findings show that reducing at a greater discount but less often generates more revenue long term than more regular promotions at a smaller percentage off. Less frequent promotions also don’t devalue your brand as constant promotions can.
- Look at your buying patterns and focus your promotions around this data. Take the time to do this and you can reap the benefits later. Think seasonality – when people buy into products; look for lulls in sales and use promotions to pick up these periods; look for underperformers that should be selling better and use these as GWPs; all of this tricks can help you grow your revenue.
- It’s all about profitability. Always measure your promotional uptake. Look at your profitability for the promotion and compare it to a period for normal forecasted sales for that period. If your profits are down comparably, you must question was it worth doing the promotion? This scenario doesn’t always mean this is so, you have to see the bigger picture. Was the product short-dated or overstocked? Did you see an increase in sales after the promotion? Did you encourage people to buy into your brand? New signups?
Looking for more advice on promotional strategy? Email us email@example.com
Back in October last year, I was invited to the Diversified headquarters in Brighton. Diversified are the publishers of Natural Products News and Natural Beauty News, amongst other titles, and organisers of several trade events including Natural & Organic Products Europe.
The panel was chaired by Julia Zaltzman, editor of Natural Beauty News, and also sitting were Sonia White, founder of Love Lula, Donna Ashcroft, buyer at www.biggreensmile.com and Lorraine Dallmeier from Formula Botanica.
Four questions were posed, and I thought it would be interesting to share my musings on all of them with you. Here is the fourth question:
4. Trends of 2017 – What are the big trends set to make an impact in 2017?
The popularity of mineral makeup continues to grow, and there are several makeup trends that are incredibly easy to recreate with natural and organic products.
I think the global beauty trend will continue to grow, we saw so many Ayurvedic and African beauty brands launched last year, plus there are a lot of natural and organic beauty brands coming out of Eastern Europe.
Slow beauty continues to grow: products made with five or fewer ingredients, with the emphasis on less is more. The DIY beauty trend will also continue on the back of the slow beauty movement. Fresh beauty will also become more prominent: beauty products made with fresh food ingredients that are kept in the fridge.
The rise of beauty from within products also shouldn’t be ignored: supplements for beauty are on the up. Several collagen brands have launched already in 2017, and we have also seen beauty complexes from supplement brands become the focus of big marketing campaigns for brands.
When it comes to skincare trends, 2016 saw a rise in consumer interest in natural and organic products. Trends for 2017 in skincare include:
Superfoods in Beauty: think kale, algae, coconut and Indonesian tropical superfruit mangosteen.
Pre- and Pro- biotics in Skincare: beneficial ingredients to feed your skin’s probiotic cultures, plus the good bacteria beneficial for our skin’s health, such as lactobacillus and bifidobacterium. Prebiotics are ingredients, such as fermented radish root and black tea extract, that feed the probiotics living on your skin.
Daily Exfoliation: scrubs that are gentle enough to use every day that don’t strip the skin of its essential sebum and help improve dry, flaky skin, encourage cell turnover, brighten and tone the skin.
When it comes to makeup trends, here is our roundup:
No makeup-makeup is still a huge trend but for those who aren’t blessed with flawless skin, there is always the option to cheat! The best starting point on your journey to a clear complexion is ensuring you have a stellar beauty regime, ensuring you cleanse, tone and moisturise day and night. Remove your makeup religiously, and try to go at least two days a week without makeup.
For a little helping hand to achieve a radiant complexion that still looks natural, utilise a BB or CC Cream. Apply with a foundation brush to blend well and for ultimate dewiness finish skin with a spritz of toner. This will also help set your coverage.
After the big trend of matte lips it was great to see lipgloss making a comeback for 2017. Lip gloss helps lips appear fuller as it gives depth, the shine makes the lips appear healthy and more youthful. It’s not just lips however that are up for a glossing. Glossy eyelids are still a big look, and the gloss trend has also move to cheekbones and collarbones – think about how you would use a highlighter and try substituting your highlighter for either a clear or nude gloss.
Lipstick as Blusher
Makeup artists frequently use lipsticks on the cheeks, but the success of pulling off this look all depends on the quality of the lipstick. Ideally, you want a product that’s not too matte, not too glossy and fairly sheer. The colour needs to be considered carefully, the shade needs to be fairly neutral. Think pale pinks, beige-pinks and corals and be sure to use a primer on your skin first to create a long-lasting barely there but beautifully blushed look. Wear the same colour on both your lips and cheeks to tap into the monochromatic makeup trend of 2017, in a stylish and modern way.
Have we missed any key trends for 2017? What do you predict for the coming months? Email us firstname.lastname@example.org