Month: May 2022

How to use video in your social media marketing

Here are a few of my top tips

Now any of these can be used to share across a variety of social media platforms.  However, what you post on Instagram may be very different to what you would post on You Tube and each will have their ow unique strategy, but here are a few ideas to get your started

  • Video posts

The simplest thing to do is create a video post.  So, this is exactly the same as sharing a post of a photo with an update, you just switch the photo for a video.  You can film something on your iphone, which is probably the easiest thing to do, or use an app like boomerang, Inshot or Videoleap.

  • Stories

The next thing to try is Stories – so you can do these on Instagram and Facebook and these are more spontaneous posts, updates of your day, what’s going on, sharing what you’re up to.  They are a great way of reaching your audience quickly and effectively, so if you have a message to share, then stories are a great place to do it.

  • Live videos

Why not ‘go live’ on your profile?  You can do this now across most social media platforms.  I love going live in my Facebook group and have really seen an impact from doing this on growing an engaged community.  Live videos are a great place to have discussions, have real time conversations, give tips or advice – somewhere to give your audience value and show ‘you’

  • Reels

Now, if you are a regular on Instagram you will know that I love a reel!  These are like short TikTok videos.  Now I’m not saying you have to start dancing around or doing lip synching, but the reach of reels can be crazy.  So, have a look at what people in your industry are doing and have some fun with them as they can make a big impact on your content marketing.

  • Vlogs

If you are a lover of You Tube, then this is the place where people digest long form video – so longer length videos.  It is the second largest search engine after Google and is a great place for sharing tips and tutorials, or a talking blog.

Content ideas

It’s all very well and good knowing all the ways we can share video, but then comes the big stumbling block – what do you actually share!  Here are a few content ideas to get you thinking.

  • Daily updates

Probably one of the easiest things to do is just to jump on camera, chat with people about what you’re up to, if something interesting or fun has happened to you, or if there is something you’re really angry about.  Share it with your audience, ask for help, ask for their opinion.  Maybe you’re doing a bit of a self care and out for a walk, or you’re working on a new project, or perhaps you’ve discovered a new flavour of crisps that you want to share with the world.  Try to keep it relevant and appropriate for your business.

Remember that people buy people and by showing up on video is a great way to share your personality and so people can see the face behind the business too.

  • Give Value

A great content idea is to give value.  A lot of your content on social media should be about giving value, showing you’re the expert, helping people.  Social media is not all about selling, it is about educating, sharing knowledge and best practice.  The more you show people how you can help them you build credibility and people are more likely to understand what you do.

  • Behind the scenes

People are nosy and love to see what’s going on behind the scenes.  This works really well if you have a retail business, showing people deliveries, new stock, packing products.  Or in an office, perhaps it’s cake day, then share it with your community. There are so many things you can share.  You may think it’s not that interesting, but you see it all the time.  To your followers it may be fascinating.

  • Meet the team

Share videos of the team (if you have one; if not it’s all about you!) introduce them, talk about their background, knowledge and experience, fun facts.  Make them part of the story too.

  • Pain points and problems

Think about the problems your followers may have and talk about it, pose questions to them, engage them and give them help and advise of how they could overcome those problems by working with you.


What to do if you don’t like showing your face

Now it’s all very well and good me taking about showing up on video, but I know not everyone like’s filming themselves.  The first time I did a live video I went bright red, was sweaty and I couldn’t wait until, it was over. Now, 2 years on I feel much more comfortable and confident because I took that decision, went out of my comfort zone and made it work.

But, if you’re just starting out, or tying with the idea of using more video I know it’s easier said than done!  My advice is to try not to think about it too much, the more you think about it, practice, write scripts etc the harder it will be.  Just do it.

Also don’t worry about what you look like (Ok so don’t turn up in your PJs without brushing your hair).  People like to see the real you.  Be authentic, be yourself and it doesn’t matter what you look like.

My biggest tip is don’t watch it back – you will always find fault, always cringe, always think you can do better. The beauty of social media now is that things don’t need to be polished and perfected.  Be real, be you and have fun.

What to do When your Marketing isn’t Working

So, what do we do when we’re busting a gut, trying all these different marketing tactics and things don’t seem to be quite working out?  Here are a few things to consider,

1 – Go back to basics

One of the best things you can do as a business owner, is just to stop.  Stop all the marketing you are doing and go right back to basics.  Sometimes, you may feel like you’re going round in circles and it is often because you’ve lost sight of the foundations of marketing and what you are trying to achieve.

Ask yourself these key questions:

  1. What are my business aims? What is the vision for the company and what are you doing it for?  Then dissect that even further, what are you trying to achieve with your marketing and does that help you move toward achieving those business aims.  Be really clear on what you want to do, why and how you are going to do it.
  2. Who is your customer? Please don’t say everyone…think about how you can break down your audience into different groups of people and then ask yourself what you need to do to reach them?
  3. Positioning – You may be very clear on what your business is and what you do, the products you sell or the services you provide. But does your ideal customer?  Really think about what you want to tell people about your business, what makes you different from competitors, what is your USP.  Write a list of the key things you need to tell people in your marketing.  Be really specific.

2 – Evaluate all tactics

Once you’ve got the basics covered, write down all the marketing tactics you currently use.  Which social media platforms do you use?  Do you have a website?  Do you use email marketing.  Do you issue stories to the press? Do you go networking?  Do you have any promotional material?

There are so many marketing tactics we can employ in business and sometimes trying to do everything can wear you down and they end up not working.  So, look at everything you are doing and ask yourself if it works for you.  If you can’t answer yes, and I mean really say yes, then ask yourself if it is the right thing for your business?  Does it achieve your aims and does it speak directly to your target audience?

3 – Get focused

So, once you have gone back to basics, you have looked at what is and what isn’t working it is time to get laser focused.

You are much better off doing a few well planned and thought-out pieces of marketing, then trying everything, getting overwhelmed and not seeing results.

The classic example is someone who runs a business, and their teenage son or daughter tells them “You need to be on TikTok” – ask yourself if it is really right for your business?  Concentrate on the things that are really going to work for you.  Or if you use a social media channel and you don’t enjoy using it and don’t see results, then ditch it.

If you take this approach to your marketing, you will be much more focused and see much better results…as well as saving you time in your business and the stress of doing everything too!

My Top 3 Marketing Campaigns


And when they do, magic happens!  I thought it would be interesting to share some of the campaigns I’ve worked on that I feel really proud of and that were really effective a little bit special.

White Feather:  The Spirit of Lennon

From 2008 – 2010 I was the Marketing Manager at the Beatles Story in Liverpool.  I was so passionate about sixties music when I was younger (influenced by my Mam) so getting a job at the Beatles Story was like a dream come true.  I think if you have a genuine passion for what you are marketing this really shines through as it doesn’t really feel like work.

There was always something going on at the Beatles Story – a new exhibition to promote, or piece of memorabilia to showcase.  Then came White Feather:  The Spirit of Lennon – an exhibition about the life of John Lennon. This event was created by the Beatles Story alongside Julian and Cynthia Lennon.  It took months of work, curating the event and I worked along side the operations team/curator to develop the marketing.  We started with the branding, which was really simple, natural and contemporary.  We produced a beautiful brochure, full of information and photos from the exhibition. We also did little things like create a white feather pin badge for people to buy and share on social media all over the world.

I also worked on the launch event with the PR team, which was amazing and a fantastic opportunity to meet Julian and Cynthia Lennon, who were such lovely people.

We had people from all over the world visit the exhibition and seeing the end product was very rewarding.


The UK’s first Art Car Parade

Another fantastic project I worked on was the UK’s first Art Car Parade with one of the UK’s leading arts organisations; Walk the Plank.  Walk the plank were some of the more creative people I’ve worked with.  They had a vision for a project and just brought it to life through fire, theatre and performance.

They had a vision of bringing an Art Car Parade to the UK.  These parades are massive in America and see people turning all sorts of vehicles into works of art that parade through the streets.  I worked closely with the producers and artists for this event, but also on the creative marketing.  This included website development, branding, posters and flyers which were distributed around Manchester.  We also did loads of PR to get the story into the papers – it was huge and as a result around 50,000 people attended the event.

We also then went on to promote an Illuminated Art Car Parade as part of the Blackpool Illuminations, which was another fantastic event and brought a lot of people to the event.


Country Puddings

When I first started my business, I worked for a Cumbria Pudding Manufacturer called Country Puddings.  They made the most delicious puddings, and the custard was to die for.  I did a lot of marketing for the business – helping develop a new website, email communications, a blog, PR, award applications and a new brand.

However, one of my favourite things to work on was an April Fools campaign.  We “developed” a range of pudding inspired toiletries, such as rhubarb crumble shampoo, sticky toffee shower gel, chocolate fudge body moisturiser and tangy lemon exfoliating soap, which were launched on the 1st April.  We got the press involved, sent information out on emails, created graphics of the products.  It was a fantastic campaign as it got people talking and it was amazing how many people fell for it.


These are all examples of creative marketing campaigns; many of which utilised very small budgets but made a big impact.  Sometimes it really is about thinking outside the box, being creative and having fun with your marketing.

Can a Business Survive Without Marketing?

During the pandemic I found that whilst some businesses invested in their marketing and looked at new ways to develop, get online and pivot, many cut their marketing budgets and I lost a few clients along the way as I was inevitably cut too.

However, it is often easier to make cuts in your business and harder to commit to spending and investing.  The article (which you can read here references a great marketer Seth Godin, who says If you “Loosen the constraints on a system, the system will almost always do better in the short run.”

So, with marketing, yes if you cut marketing budgets if things are tight, or perhaps you’re too busy and don’t have, time things are going to be easier in the short time.  You will free up time or have more money, so your profit and loss will look better.

However, we have to consider the long-term impact on that.

For example, if you are really busy with work right now and are thinking perhaps you don’t need to invest the time in marketing because you are busy and don’t need to increase sales, generate leads or get more clients, then what is the future impact on doing that?  A few months down the line, you may become quieter, you need to start pushing sales again and then it is so much harder to get things going again and generate brand awareness, get leads or new clients.

Marketing is a long game and to re-establish your marketing may take time and may cost more in the long term too.

So, back to my original question, can a business survive without doing marketing?  The answer is yes of course it can, but doing consistent, well executed and strategic marketing makes the difference as to whether a business simply exists or thrives.

And to finish with a great quote “not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.” (Source: William Bruce Cameron)