Social Media is here to stay!

http://www.marketingdoctorleeds.co.ukLove it or hate it social media, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram to name but a few, is here to stray. So the old adage “If you can’t beat them, join them” rings true. We asked Social Media Marketing Specialist, Jodie Klein for her top tips to improve how your small business uses Facebook.

1. Spruce up your page
With just a small effort at housekeeping on your Page, you can make a big difference. Make sure that your business information is all up to date, including contact details and hours of business. It’s also a good idea to update your Page’s cover photo. Using either approriate seasonal images or Small Business themed images show that you care about your business and your fans and these little steps let visitors to your page know that it is an active extension of your business.

2. Post regularly
Maintaining a steady rhythm of posts can help keep your business in your customers minds. This is particulalry important in the days leading up to a big event. Be sure to highlight your best merchandise or services, but don’t forget not to restrict yourself to just self-promotional posts. There is great benefit in posting content that gives people some kind of extra value, such as highlighting other great businesses either nearby or taking part in the same event. Sharing interesting and informative content that relates to your business is also important.

3. Create photo and video Page posts
They say a picture tells a thousand words. Posting great photo or video content is an easy way to make your business come alive on Facebook. Photo or video posts generally have good levels of engagement and can become a key part of an ongoing relationship with your customers. If you can combine quirky motion graphics or whiteboard videos (such as these) with your marketing strategy you have the potential to go viral.  Another idea is to create a photo album with images of products that people can preview before coming into the shop, a sort of shop-window. It might be worth appointing a video production company Leeds or UK wide.  Visit manto.tv for more information.

4. Try an Offer
Posting special offers or discounts is a fantastic way of offering your customers even more value. You can start by offering a discount to people that mention Facebook when they come into your shop, or if your a web-based business, people who “Like” your page.

Or, if you’re looking for more reach, you could subscribe to Facebook Offers which make it easy for you to distribute your promotions to an audience beyond your fan base. Redeeming these is simple for your customers too, making them more likely to participate.

5. Boost your important posts
Boosted Posts can help you reach wider audiences with greater accuracy. Simply enter whatever amount you can set aside for the promotion and Facebook will tell you instantly how many people your post will reach. Boosted Posts also has a built in feature which allows you to make sure the right people are seeing your posts. For example, you can direct your posts toward people who live nearby, or to people of the right demographic.

However you choose to use it Facebook is here to stay and with the right amount of effort and input from you, it could seriously improve not onlu how you engage with your customers, but the number of people who come to you.

Are you getting the most out of Twitter?

http://www.manto.tvThe idea behind Twitter is so simple: a great way to connect with clients or customers and get your message across in just 140 characters, Twitter is at the forefront of the social media revolution. However, although Twitter sounds simple, getting to grips with using it and then getting the most out of it can prove to be extremely confusing!
Whether you’re new to the world of Tweets and Twitter or have had an account for some time but feel that you’re not getting the most out of it, there are various things you can do to help you maximise the potential of what can be a powerful marketing tool.
The first thing to do is to fill in your Twitter profile as completely as you possibly can. Don’t try and get away with the bare minimum here: the more effort you put into this, the more success you’ll have and it’s worth bearing in mind that people (potential clients and customers) spend just three seconds deciding whether to follow someone or not. So make sure you what you write is well written.
The icon or image that you choose for your account needs to be good. Don’t use a ‘selfie’ that you’ve taken with your phone! If your business has a logo you should use it but if yours is to be a personal feed, a photo (ideally a professional photo) is the best option. Trust is important on Twitter and if you want to be trusted, respected and followed, you must include a link to your business website or blog. Without this vital link, people are unlikely to follow you.
Next we come to the potentially thorny issue of who to follow and whether to follow them back. When you start out on Twitter the temptation is to follow lots of people at random, organisations etc. However, if you connect with people you find genuinely interesting, friends, anyone connected with your field and organisations you respect, your feed will be of more interest and value to potential clients or customers. Following back is simpler: if someone follows you and you think that what they do seems interesting, following them back is a good way to find out more.
Advice can be found with http://www.marketingdoctorleeds.co.uk or similar UK wide and they will all tell you that Twitter is not the place to try and sell things. When thinking about what to write about, avoid a sales message at all costs. A little occasional promotion about your services every now and then won’t hurt but that’s all it should be: occasional. Telling people a little about you is good, though, and sharing news and views is great. Finding your Twitter voice can take time so try to relax and your ‘voice’ should begin to develop.
Last and by no means least is the question of how often you should Tweet. It doesn’t have to be a daily thing but you do need to make regular appearances. Make sure you keep tabs on what other people are saying about you and if you reply, make sure it’s quickly.

So What is Guerrilla Marketing?

animationSo what is Guerilla marketing and how does it help you marketing via social media?

Guerilla marketing is an advertising strategy that focuses on low-cost unconventional marketing tactics that yield maximum results.

The purpose of all marketing is to get the attention of your customers, drawing them away from your competition and converting sales. You probably wouldn’t want crazy marketing stunts to become the normal approach for your brand, but using them on an occasional basis occasionally can be highly fruitful.

Some big global brands have utilised the strategy with great success, but it is an approach which is also highly suited to small business enterprises. Lets take a look at how the big boys played it!

Challenge the competition!

If you’re confident that you have a number one product, you can gain a lot of attention by challenging your competition. Take Mini, the small UK-based car manufacturer. Having already successfully grown their presence in the USA with some outside-the-box marketing techniques, they upped the ante by challenging Porsche to a race. Porsche ultimately denied, making the other car company a winner, having broadcast their invitation on social media and in the press and making a huge deal out of Porsches refusal in the same way; double whammy!

Surprise surprise!

Collaboration paid off for dental hygiene giants Colgate when they appproached a local ice-cream manufacturer with a great marketing idea. They came up with a clever reminder for kids by having sticks shaped like a toothbrush inserted into ice cream bars. As kids licked down to the end, they saw Colgate’s logo and a reminder, “Don’t Forget.” A whimsical message from Colgate and a public service effort by the ice cream maker gave both companies a PR boost.

Deliver Happiness!

An extra special Coca-Cola vending machine was transformed to deliver surprising doses of happiness to unsuspecting university students in New York. The machine dispensed unexpected goodies including flowers, pizzas and sunglasses as well as the expected Coke and Diet Coke. Meanwhile hidden cameras filmed the spontaneous reactions of the campus students. The footage was used to create a video which became a global internet sensation.

Whilst these are examples of big comapnies who already have successful brands, the same approach can work well for smaller comapnies. Perhaps you can uniquely present your product, as one USA washing detergent did by sending out their product wrapped in a t-shirt. Maybe it’s simply about going the extra mile for clients by doing latte art rather than simply pouring lattes. Perhaps you can bind your presentations uniquely in materials which form a gift, or when handing a retail customer a bag, add something special like a ribbon to the handle.

However you go about it you should develop a balanced approach that includes tried and true marketing techniques, while supplementing these with the occasional attention-grabber. Create your crazy marketing plan with demographics in mind so you don’t sacrifice your audience in the process. The ultimate goal of a wild marketing scheme is similar to every other marketing ad…to draw the attention of potential customers and lead them to purchase your product or service.

Email marketing – making it work for you

Ask any marketing consultant in Leeds or UK wide and they will tell you that Email marketing has become an incredibly popular way for small businesses to reach new customers: cheap and very fast, email marketing is a great way to put your marketing message across.
Whilst increasing numbers of small businesses are tapping into email marketing, many are missing the opportunities that email marketing can offer to target their message to the right people at the right time and in the process are missing opportunities to bring in new business.
Email marketing offers a number of advantages over direct mailings: response rates to bulk emails are known to be higher than for direct mailings and results can be easily measured, making the fine-tuning of future campaigns much simpler. Marketing your products or services via email is perfect if you rely on your website for the majority of your business and emails can be used to showcase new products and publicise special offers.
However, when done badly, email marketing can be a disaster and unless you adhere to the watchwords of relevance and responsibility at all times, your email marketing campaigns will simply be seen as annoying spam by potential customers. To avoid this, you must always have permission to get in touch with the recipient of your email and if you want a positive response, your email needs to offer something that is of genuine interest or of value.
Building a database of customer or client email addresses should be the starting point of any email marketing strategy. Permission-based is the key phrase here: make sure your management of the database is vigilant at all times and that you delete the email address of anyone who wants to opt out, so don’t forget to offer an ‘opt-in’ box in your initial contact with them. Your email address database should not only include customer email addresses, finding out as much as you can will make it far easier to ensure that the emails you send them are relevant.
Email marketing databases are much easier to manage if they’re divided up into groups of people with similar interests. This can be done by categorising customers or clients into what they’ve bought in the past – this will enable you to send marketing emails to the right customers. If you sell footwear, for example, a middle-aged man is unlikely to appreciate a discount offer on kids’ wellies.
At this point it is important to note that sending spam emails is against the law; to receive emails from you, your recipient must have ‘opted-in’ and anyone who has registered their details with the Direct Marketing Association’s email preference service must be removed from your contact database.
Every message you send should be relevant and of interest to the recipient; if you send just one or two irrelevant messages and it’s likely that they’ll simply delete your messages or unsubscribe from your list. By all means grab the attention of the recipient but make sure you’re not offering over-exaggerated claims as this is likely to be perceived as spam. Try to keep things simple yet relevant and interesting with a call to action and a reason to respond or click through to your website.
Last and by no means least, make sure you spend time monitoring the response to your emails. This can be done two ways: either with specially designed software or through your internet service provider. You need to know how many of your emails were delivered, how many opted out (best practice is to remove these straight away), and how many recipients clicked through to your website. Remember that the response rate to email marketing campaigns is usually much higher than for other direct marketing methods and if your email is sent to large groups of customers, think about whether you can handle an increase in orders.