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
You would have to have been hiding under a rock not to notice the extent to which video and live streaming is coming into play in marketing. “Going live” on whichever platform; Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, Meerkat or Periscope to name a few; can seem really daunting, but with thorough planning, this experience can be fun both for you and your audience.
To help you plan for your live streaming, here are our top tips for “going live”:
Promote prior to the event: You’ve made the decision to go live, so tell your audience prior to the event so they can tune in and set aside the time slot. Don’t leave it to chance that your crowd will be online at the time of broadcast.
Introductions: Always start the broadcast with who and where you are, and what you are doing. This gets you and your brand’s name out there even if the viewer doesn’t tune in for the whole broadcast.
Concise takeaways: After the introduction, be concise in what your audience is going to see in this video, and what their takeaway will be. In other words, what information you are going to bestow on the watcher.
Be professional, but with personality: Nobody likes the person who takes everything too seriously, including themselves. Deliver your messages professionally, but don’t be afraid to share your humour (people, particularly us Brits, like this) and let your personality shine through. Be opinionated where relevant, and don’t be afraid to get your point across. Your audience will respect you all the more for this.
Be natural: Never read from a script – there is nothing more dull to watch than someone looking down at a piece of paper and reading word for word in a monotonous tone. You can’t let your true personality show through if it’s on a piece of paper. If you’re worried you’ll run out of things to say, or forget your train of thought, utilise flash cards with 3-5 bullet points positioned underneath the camera. Practice these bullet points prior to going live, repeat them several times so that you have them instilled in your mind to fall back on. If you’re really nervous about how it will go and look on the screen, practice beforehand utilising Facebook’s privacy settings so that only you can see the end result!
Think about the length of your stream and your content: How long a live stream should be is a hotly debated topic. Facebook recommend you stream at least 10 minutes, in order to get viewers on board and watching. We, however, think 5 minutes is probably closer to what people will tune in to watch. Anything longer than this will have to be engaging to make people stay.
No interruptions: Make sure you forward calls on your mobile to ensure no interruptions whilst streaming. If there are any other people in your immediate vicinity ensure they are aware of your going live so that either 1) they don’t disturb you or 2) they are prepared when they join the livestream!
Engage with your audience: Your audience can leave comments whilst you are streaming. To help with that personal touch, always address your viewers by name when answering their comments. To find out more about how personalisation can help you win customer loyalty click here.
Be regular: It can be a good idea to get a regular slot at the same time each week to encourage your viewers and fans to return each week. This will then become part of your marketing strategy and you will remember to promote the activity on a weekly basis. This doesn’t mean that you can’t go live on other occasions that call for it, such as events and special occasions.
Use quality gear for sound and vision: Whilst you’ve probably thought about the device you are using in terms of video quality output, there are some other steps you can take to improve your final end production. Firstly, take any necessary steps to minimise background and ambient noise. Next, think about the position of your phone before you go live. You might wish to use a selfie stick, a tripod, hold it yourself or call upon a team member to be your camera crew. Finally, always ensure you are in a place with a strong broadband connection.
Don’t just use as a live video: Be sure to capture your live stream and host on a platform post-event, such as YouTube or Vimeo. Once uploaded to the web, be sure to promote through social to generate more views. If your live stream is longer than 5 minutes, we would highly recommend editing down the original version to ensure viewers see it through to the end.
Don’t be afraid to experiment: Once you have gone live, think of different scenarios you can use for future live streams. Here are some ideas for you to consider:
- Interviews – with your team, clients, customers or thought leaders in your industry.
- Launches – let your audience be the first to learn about new products from your brand.
- Special promotions and competitions – a way to get people to stay till the very end of your video.
- Live events – in stores, blogger events, consumer shows, conferences, team building activities. This is where you can really show all the personalities behind the scenes, and not just the face of the brand!
Are you ready to go live? For any advice please email firstname.lastname@example.org
“If I had one dollar left, I’d spend it on PR.” –Bill Gates
PR here, and in fact anywhere, doesn’t just include issuing press releases and securing coverage. PR is about management reputation, it’s an attitude, a process. It’s a way of behaving positively as much as it is about employing a PR resource. It’s a display of positive reinforcement.
But PR is not cheap, and it takes time. The UK media is also known to be one of the most difficult to secure coverage in. Placement also doesn’t guarantee overnight success. Whilst a small number of publications, such as The Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday and Metro, are considered to be the ones that will generate demand, traffic and spike interest, coverage on any of these sites is not a guarantee.
On the whole, PR placements are in the consumer’s eyes a more credible touchpoint, because they are not paid for opportunities. These can happen both in print or online. Whilst traditional print media is considered the holy grail for many of our clients, there’s no click-through button on a magazine or newspaper page, whereas online consumers are just one button away from your product.
Where you are employing an agency or DIY-ing your PR, here are our top tips:
- Be targeted. So many companies use a scattergun approach and if not careful, can end up chasing their tails in a bid to secure coverage. Dependent upon your resources, come up with a top 5-10-20 list of target media. Sure, you can send your press release out to more contacts than this, but these are the publications you actively go after and diligently follow up on.
- Don’t let being targeted ruin the buzz. I’ve seen so many companies fall prey to this. They only want to work with the big boys and so ignore the requests our agency sends over from smaller publications and blogs. Firstly, everyone has to start somewhere, on both sides – the publications/blogs and the brands. Secondly, as a brand if someone has shown interest in you products, no matter how big or small they are, if they are doing a decent job of publishing their work you should accept the gesture with gratitude and work with them.
- Once you have your coverage, shout about it! PR is not just about securing the coverage, a lot comes down to what you do we it after it is published, such as sharing on social media, promoting to your mailing list, featuring on your website.
- If using an agency, communication is key. We’ve had first hand experience of this, clients simply not having the time to provide us with the ammunition to carry out our work. Whilst we don’t need or expect to be spoon fed, there are occasions where we need quotes or experience told first hand to achieve full insight and the correct tonality. We’ve even struggled for high res images on occasion from clients!
- If you are DIY-ing, use a directory service. There are a few of these on the market, including Diary, Fashion & Beauty Insight and Fashion & Beauty Monitor. This will save you heaps of time in researching the most up-to-date contacts, and will also send you journalist alerts to follow up on.
Have you any PR success stories to tell? Need some PR strategy advice? We’d love to hear from you on email@example.com