Author: lisa

Why your business needs a marketing consultant now more than ever

Adapting to Digital Transformation 

The digital landscape is vast and continuously changing. A marketing consultant offers the expertise needed to navigate this complex terrain, ensuring your marketing strategies are effective and aligned with the latest trends. They help demystify digital marketing channels, from SEO and social media to email marketing, tailoring strategies that extend your reach and amplify your brand’s voice online. 

 

Cost-Effective Expertise 

Hiring a marketing consultant is a cost-effective solution compared to the financial commitment of an in-house marketing team. Without the need for salaries, benefits, or training costs, you gain access to a pool of expertise and experience that can dynamically adapt to your business’s changing needs. 

 

Strategic Insights and Fresh Perspectives 

Marketing consultants bring fresh eyes to your marketing strategies, offering new perspectives that can unlock growth and innovation. Their external viewpoint helps identify overlooked opportunities, providing strategic insights that can transform your business’s approach to marketing. 

 

Scalability 

A key advantage of working with a marketing consultant is scalability. They can adjust their level of service to meet your business’s growing demands, ensuring that your marketing efforts are always in sync with your business goals and resources. 

 

Bridging Knowledge Gaps 

Whether you’re a startup or an established business, a marketing consultant fills the knowledge gaps within your team, bringing in specialized skills and up-to-date practices that might be missing internally. This enhances your team’s capabilities without the lengthy process of hiring and training new employees. 

 

The modern business environment demands agility, strategic insight, and a deep understanding of digital marketing to thrive. A marketing consultant provides this and much more, offering tailored, flexible, and strategic marketing support that ensures your business is not just competitive but a step ahead. 

 

Considering enhancing your marketing strategy? Let’s discuss how we can work together through 1:1 done-for-you services, coaching, or training to propel your business forward. Now, more than ever, is the time to invest in marketing consultancy that drives real results. 

 

 

Navigating Digital Marketing : Trends and Tips for Local Businesses

Embrace Local SEO 

For businesses nestled in the beautiful landscapes of Cumbria and Lancashire, Local SEO is your digital megaphone. It’s about ensuring when someone searches for your service or product in your area, you’re right there on the first page of Google. Use location-based keywords in your content, and don’t forget to claim and optimize your Google My Business listing. It’s a simple step, but it’s the cornerstone of being found online by your local community. 

Social Media with a Local Twist 

Social media isn’t just about global reach; it’s a powerful tool for engaging with your local audience. Share content that resonates with local interests, landmarks, and events. Highlight how your business contributes to the local economy in Cumbria or adds vibrancy to the community fabric in Lancashire. This not only strengthens your local identity but also builds meaningful connections with your audience. 

Content Marketing that Tells a Story 

People love stories, especially ones they can relate to. Craft content that tells the story of your business, your customers, and your community. Whether it’s a blog post about a day in the life of your business, set against the backdrop of the North West’s stunning scenery, or a video showcasing customer testimonials from your neighbourhood, authentic stories engage and inspire. 

Influencer Partnerships 

Collaborating with local influencers can amplify your reach within specific regions like Cumbria and Lancashire. Look for influencers who align with your brand values and have a genuine connection with their followers. This partnership can introduce your business to a wider audience in a trusted and authentic way. 

Data-Driven Decisions 

Use analytics to guide your digital marketing decisions. Tools like Google Analytics offer insights into how users interact with your website and content. This data allows you to refine your strategy, ensuring your efforts are targeted and effective. 

As we navigate these digital waves together, remember, it’s about finding the right mix of trends and strategies that resonate with your business and audience. If you’re feeling a bit adrift in the digital marketing sea, I’m here to help. As an Outsourced Marketing Manager, I offer both 1:1 done-for-you services and coaching and training for those looking to steer their own ship. Together, we can craft a digital marketing strategy that not only reaches but resonates with your target audience, bringing your local business to new heights. 

Let’s make waves together. Reach out to discuss how we can tailor a digital marketing strategy that puts your business on the map. 

Navigating Marketing Challenges: Strategies for Small Businesses in 2024

1. Define Clear Objectives:

Start by setting specific and measurable marketing goals. Whether it’s increasing brand awareness, driving website traffic, or boosting sales, having clear objectives provides direction for your marketing efforts.

2. Embrace Digital Transformation:

In a digital age, embracing technology is non-negotiable. Utilize digital tools and platforms to enhance your online presence, connect with your target audience, and streamline business processes. From social media marketing to automation, the digital realm offers endless possibilities.

3. Personalise Your Approach:

Consumers crave personalized experiences. Tailor your marketing messages to resonate with your target audience. Leverage customer data to deliver personalized content, offers, and recommendations, creating a stronger connection with your customers.

4. Leverage User-Generated Content:

Encourage your customers to become your brand ambassadors. User-generated content, such as customer reviews, testimonials, and social media posts, adds authenticity to your brand and builds trust among potential customers.

5. Focus on Local SEO:

For small businesses, local visibility is paramount. Optimize your online presence for local searches through effective local SEO strategies. Ensure your business information is accurate across online directories, and actively engage with local communities through events and partnerships.

By implementing these strategies, small businesses can navigate the marketing landscape in 2024 with confidence and resilience. Embrace change, stay agile, and continually refine your approach to stay ahead in the competitive market.

How to master the art of storytelling in your marketing strategy

Tip 1: Know Your Brand Tale Inside Out

Delve into the journey and values that define your brand. Authentic storytelling begins with a deep understanding of your brand’s ethos. Unearth the elements that make your brand unique and weave them into a narrative that resonates.

Tip 2: Emotions Are the Heartbeat of Stories

Stories that endure are those that stir emotions. Infuse your narratives with feelings that linger in the hearts of your audience. Create an emotional landscape that makes your brand unforgettable, fostering a connection that goes beyond transactional.

Tip 3: Engage Through Relatable Characters

Humanize your brand by introducing characters or real-life stories. Let your audience see themselves within your brand narrative. By creating relatable characters or sharing real experiences, you invite your audience to be part of the story, forging a personal connection.

Tip 4: Visuals: The Art of Storytelling

Enhance your stories with compelling visuals. Images and videos that complement your narrative add depth and vibrancy to your storytelling. Visual elements not only capture attention but also serve as powerful tools to reinforce the emotional tone of your narrative.

Tip 5: Consistency Across Platforms

Maintain a consistent brand narrative across all platforms. Unified storytelling builds trust and reinforces your brand’s identity. Whether it’s social media, your website, or other marketing channels, consistency in storytelling creates a seamless and recognizable brand experience.

Harness the power of storytelling to carve a memorable narrative that resonates with your audience and sets your brand apart. By mastering these five tips, you’ll not only tell stories but create an enduring legacy in the hearts of your audience.

Crafting an Effective Content Strategy: 5 Steps to Engaging Your Audience

Step 1: Define Your Audience

The first crucial step in crafting an effective content strategy is to identify and understand your audience. Dive into the needs, preferences, and pain points of your target audience. This insightful understanding lays the foundation for creating content that speaks directly to them.

Step 2: Set Clear Objectives

Establishing clear objectives is vital for a focused content strategy. Utilize the SMART framework—Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound—to set goals. Whether it’s enhancing brand awareness, driving website traffic, or increasing conversions, having precise objectives guides your strategy towards success.

Step 3: Research & Plan

Stay ahead by exploring trending topics, keeping an eye on industry-related news, and analyzing your competitors. Create a comprehensive content calendar outlining themes, formats, and posting schedules. This planning phase is instrumental in setting the direction for your content strategy.

Step 4: Create Engaging Content

The heart of your strategy lies in developing compelling and relevant content. Leverage various formats, including blogs, videos, infographics, and more. Ensure your content is not only informative and entertaining but, above all, valuable to your audience.

Step 5: Measure & Adapt

Regularly track the performance of your content using analytics. Analyze what’s working well and what needs improvement. This data-driven approach allows you to adapt your strategy, refining and optimizing your future content for even greater impact.

Crafting a compelling content strategy is an ongoing process that captivates your audience’s attention and keeps them engaged. Follow these five steps to ensure your content strategy resonates and delivers results.

Capturing Hearts: How to Make Customers Fall in Love with Your Brand through Personal Branding

1. Authenticity Matters Most

Just like in any meaningful relationship, authenticity is key. Be true to your brand values and let them shine through. Authenticity creates trust, and trust is the foundation of any lasting connection.

2. Craft a Compelling Brand Story

Every brand has a story waiting to be told. Use the power of storytelling to communicate your journey, values, and what sets you apart. A compelling narrative creates an emotional connection, making your brand more memorable.

3. Consistency Builds Trust

Consistency is the secret sauce in personal branding. Ensure that your brand message, visuals, and tone are consistent across all platforms. Consistency builds familiarity, and familiarity builds trust.

4. Show Your Human Side

People connect with people, not logos. Let your audience see the human side of your brand. Share behind-the-scenes glimpses, introduce your team, and engage in genuine conversations. This human touch makes your brand relatable.

5. Deliver Exceptional Experiences

Customer experience is a significant factor in brand perception. Strive to exceed expectations at every touchpoint. From the first interaction to post-purchase support, delivering exceptional experiences leaves a lasting impression.

6. Listen and Respond

Effective communication is a two-way street. Listen to your audience, understand their needs, and respond promptly. This not only demonstrates attentiveness but also shows that you value their opinions.

7. Express Gratitude

In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, express gratitude to your customers or clients. A simple ‘thank you’ goes a long way in making them feel appreciated. Consider exclusive discounts, personalized notes, or special offers as tokens of appreciation.

As you embark on the journey of making your customers fall in love with your brand, remember that personal branding is an ongoing process. It’s about building and nurturing relationships that stand the test of time. This Valentine’s Day, let your brand be the one your customers love.

Unleashing the Power of AI in Marketing: 5 Game-Changing Reasons to Dive In!

1. Enhanced Strategy Creation

Crafting a successful marketing strategy requires insights, and AI is your secret weapon. Leveraging AI-driven analytics ensures that your decisions are not just intuitive but are backed by solid data. This guarantees the creation of strategies that are not only impactful but also based on real-time market trends.

2. Effortless Content Creation

Content is king, and AI tools are your content allies. From generating engaging blog posts to designing visually stunning graphics, AI makes content creation a breeze. It not only saves you time but also ensures that your content is of the highest quality, capturing the attention of your audience effectively.

3. Your Personal Marketing Assistant

Think of AI as your marketing sidekick, always ready to lend a hand. AI-generated insights and suggestions can be invaluable in refining your marketing approach. It streamlines tasks, generates innovative ideas, and, in essence, acts as your mini-me in the marketing realm.

4. Streamline Processes for Maximum Efficiency

Time is of the essence in marketing. AI’s automation capabilities are a blessing when it comes to streamlining processes. By automating repetitive tasks, it frees up your time, allowing you to focus on the creative and strategic aspects of your marketing endeavours.

5. Visuals That Wow Your Audience

Visual content is a powerful tool in marketing, and AI can significantly enhance its impact. From generating eye-catching graphics to creating visuals that resonate with your audience, AI ensures that your brand’s visual identity is nothing short of stunning.

Ready to take your marketing to new heights with AI? Find out more about my new training in how to use AI in your marketing here subscribepage.io/how-to-use-ai-in-your-marketing

Revolutionize Your Marketing in 2024: 5 Tips to Propel Your Strategy Forward

1. Embrace the Power of Video on Social Media

In a world dominated by visual content, video takes the lead. Captivate your audience with compelling videos that not only tell your brand story but also demonstrate your product or service. Video content is a potent tool for engagement and can significantly enhance your online presence.

2. Unlock Efficiency with AI Tools

The rise of artificial intelligence (AI) presents a golden opportunity for businesses. AI tools are not just a technological marvel; they can be your secret weapon for efficiency. By automating repetitive tasks, AI frees up your time, allowing you to focus on the creative and strategic aspects of your marketing.

3. Personalise Your Approach

Authenticity is the key to standing out in a crowded digital space. Your audience wants to connect with the real, human side of your brand. Showcase your unique voice, values, and personality. Building a personal connection with your audience fosters loyalty and trust.

4. Harness the Potential of Email Marketing

Your email list is a valuable asset. Develop a robust email marketing strategy by crafting engaging newsletters, providing valuable insights, and maintaining consistent communication. A well-nurtured email list can be a powerful tool for building strong, lasting relationships with your audience.

5. Prioritise Smart Work over Hard Work

Not all strategies are created equal. Analyse what works best for your business and focus your efforts on the most effective channels. Working smarter, not harder, is about identifying the strategies that yield the greatest impact and directing your resources there.

Ready to unlock the full potential of your marketing in 2024? Take your strategies to the next level by joining my 1:1 coaching program. Let’s collaborate to supercharge your marketing efforts and achieve remarkable results. Click here  https://bit.ly/3ULOtEj to kickstart this exciting journey together.

ChatGPT and Its Impact on Marketing

Use ChatGPT for Social Media Posts

Social media is a vital component of any marketing strategy. However, creating engaging social media posts can be challenging, particularly if you’re short on time or resources. With ChatGPT, you can generate compelling social media posts quickly and easily. By simply inputting your desired message or topic, ChatGPT will provide you with a selection of suggested posts. These posts can be tweaked and customized to suit your brand and voice, saving you valuable time and effort.

Write Blogs or News Articles with ChatGPT

Creating high-quality blog or news articles can be a time-consuming process, particularly if writing isn’t your forte. Fortunately, ChatGPT can help you craft compelling articles quickly and easily. By inputting your topic or keywords, ChatGPT can provide you with a variety of suggested article topics and content. You can then customize and refine the content to suit your brand and voice, ensuring your articles are engaging and relevant.

Develop Website Content with Improved SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a critical component of any successful website. However, creating SEO-friendly content can be challenging, particularly if you’re not familiar with the technical aspects of SEO. With ChatGPT, you can generate SEO-friendly content quickly and easily. By inputting your keywords and topic, ChatGPT can provide you with a variety of suggested content that is optimized for search engines. This ensures that your website ranks higher in search engine results, driving more traffic to your site.

Develop Email Campaigns with ChatGPT

Email campaigns are a powerful marketing tool that can help you engage with your customers and drive sales. However, crafting engaging emails can be challenging, particularly if you’re short on time or resources. With ChatGPT, you can quickly and easily generate compelling email content. By inputting your desired message or topic, ChatGPT can provide you with a selection of suggested emails that can be tweaked and customized to suit your brand and voice.

Hire an Outsourced Marketing Manager to Maximize ChatGPT

While ChatGPT can be a powerful tool for SME business owners, it’s important to note that it’s just one piece of the marketing puzzle. To maximize the impact of ChatGPT and your overall marketing strategy, it’s essential to work with an outsourced marketing manager (like moi) who has the expertise and experience to help you develop a comprehensive and effective marketing plan. An outsourced marketing manager can help you identify your target audience, create compelling content, and develop effective marketing campaigns that drive results.

In conclusion, ChatGPT is a powerful tool that can help SME business owners streamline their marketing efforts and achieve better results. By using ChatGPT for social media posts, writing blogs or news articles, developing website content with improved SEO, and developing email campaigns, you can save time and resources while engaging with your customers and driving sales. To maximize the impact of ChatGPT and your overall marketing strategy, consider hiring an outsourced marketing manager who can help you develop a comprehensive and effective marketing plan tailored to suit your business needs.

Now, I’m going to be completely transparent here too – I used ChatGPT to help me write this article. Initially, I got it to analyse my style of writing and tone of voice from previous blogs I’ve written. I fed it information about what I wanted it to say, for example, what my top three tips were and also to remind people of the service I offer. This article is a combination of feeding ChatGPT information, so this article is unique to me, it says what I want, sounds like me and saved me time. Let me know what you think! Or if you want to know more about how to use ChatGPT in your marketing, get in touch.

How to Achieve a Better Work-Life Balance for Small Business Owners

In this blog, we will be discussing my top tips for small business owners to improve their work-life balance. From setting boundaries to prioritising self-care, these tips I’ve found can help you create a more sustainable work-life balance that allows you to thrive both personally and professionally.

So, whether you’re just starting out or have been running your business for years, read on to discover how you can achieve a better work-life balance and lead a more fulfilling life.

Understanding Work-Life Balance

Before diving into the top tips for achieving a better work-life balance, it’s important to understand what work-life balance means. Work-life balance refers to the balance between our professional and personal lives. It’s about finding a way to prioritise both aspects of our lives without sacrificing one for the other. Achieving a good work-life balance can help reduce stress, increase productivity, and improve overall well-being.

The Importance of Work-Life Balance for Small Business Owners

As a small business owner, it’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day operations of your business. However, neglecting your personal life can lead to burnout and decreased productivity. Achieving a better work-life balance can help you avoid burnout and maintain your passion for your business. It can also help you improve your relationships with family and friends, and lead to increased creativity and innovation.

Top Tip #1: Set Clear Boundaries Between Work and Personal Life

One of the most important things you can do to achieve a better work-life balance is to set clear boundaries between work and personal life. This means creating a schedule that allows you to work during specific hours and then disconnecting from work during non-work hours. This can be challenging for small business owners who often feel like they need to be available 24/7, but setting these boundaries can actually increase productivity and help you avoid burnout.

To set clear boundaries, try establishing specific work hours and sticking to them as much as possible. Communicate these hours with your team and clients so that they know when you are available. Avoid checking work emails or taking work calls during non-work hours, and try to disconnect from work completely during weekends and holidays.

Top Tip #2: Prioritize Your Tasks and Delegate When Possible

As a small business owner, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with the number of tasks on your to-do list. However, not all tasks are created equal. Prioritizing your tasks can help you focus on the most important items and avoid wasting time on less important ones.

To prioritize your tasks, start by creating a list of everything you need to accomplish. Then, divide the list into three categories: urgent, important, and less important. Focus on completing the urgent and important tasks first, and delegate the less important ones to your team if possible. This can help you reduce your workload and free up time for personal activities.

I’ve also found it useful to outsource jobs I don’t have the right skills for, or don’t want to do.  It has been a weight lifted off my shoulders and freed up my time to concentrate on the jobs I do want to do and having a better balance.

Top Tip #3: Schedule Breaks Throughout the Day

Taking breaks throughout the day can help you stay focused and productive. It can also help you avoid burnout and maintain your energy levels. While it may seem counterintuitive, taking regular breaks can actually increase productivity and help you get more done in less time.

To schedule breaks throughout the day, try the Pomodoro technique. This involves working for 25 minutes, then taking a 5-minute break. After four Pomodoros, take a longer break of 15-30 minutes. During your breaks, try to do something that helps you relax and recharge, such as taking a walk or practicing mindfulness.

I also found an app called Stretch Minder, which alerts you every 45 minutes and gives you a few quick and easy stretches to do to get you up and away from your desk.

Top Tip #4: Make Time for Hobbies and Self-Care

As a small business owner, it’s easy to put your personal life on hold while you focus on growing your business. However, neglecting your personal life can lead to burnout and decreased productivity. Making time for hobbies and self-care can help you maintain a healthy work-life balance and prevent burnout.

To make time for hobbies and self-care, try scheduling specific activities into your calendar. This could be anything from going for a run to taking a cooking class. Prioritizing these activities can help you maintain your passion for your business and improve your overall well-being.

Every morning I have half an hour blocked out of my diary so I can go on a quick walk.  It helps set me up for the day, gets my steps in and is a great time to think of ideas and plans for the day ahead.

Top Tip #5: Utilise Technology to Streamline Tasks

Technology can be a powerful tool for small business owners looking to improve their work-life balance. There are many apps and tools available that can help you streamline tasks and automate processes, freeing up time for personal activities.

To utilise technology to streamline tasks, start by identifying the areas of your business that could benefit from automation. This might include things like invoicing, social media management, or email marketing. Then, research tools and apps that can help you automate these processes, such as Xero, Buffer, Asana or Mailerlite – just a few tools I use.

Top Tip #6: Learn to Say No When Necessary

As a small business owner, it’s easy to say yes to every opportunity that comes your way. However, taking on too much isn’t good for anyone.  Learning to say no when necessary, can help you maintain a healthy work-life balance and avoid taking on more than you can handle.

To learn to say no, start by setting clear boundaries around your time and workload. Or the types of clients and projects you want to do. Then, evaluate opportunities as they come up and decide whether they align with your priorities and goals. If an opportunity doesn’t align with your priorities, it’s okay to say no and focus on other things.

Conclusion

Achieving a better work-life balance is essential for small business owners looking to maintain their passion for their business and their overall well-being. By setting clear boundaries, prioritizing tasks, and making time for hobbies and self-care, you can create a more sustainable work-life balance that allows you to thrive both personally and professionally. Remember to continuously reassess and adjust your approach, and seek support when necessary. With these tips, you can achieve a better work-life balance and lead a more fulfilling life.

How do I attract new customers to my business

Understanding your target audience

To attract new customers to your business, you need to first understand who your target audience is. Knowing your target audience helps you create the right message and choose the right channels to reach them. You can start by analysing your existing customer base and identifying common characteristics such as age, gender, location, interests, and buying behaviour. You can also conduct market research to gather insights on your target audience’s needs, wants, and pain points.

Once you have a clear understanding of your target audience, you can tailor your marketing efforts to appeal to them. For example, if your target audience is young adults, you might focus on social media marketing and influencer partnerships. If your target audience is middle-aged professionals, you might prioritize email marketing and LinkedIn advertising. By understanding your target audience, you can create a more effective marketing strategy that resonates with them.

Identifying your unique selling proposition (USP)

To attract new customers to your business, you need to stand out from your competitors. One effective way to do this is to identify your unique selling proposition (USP). Your USP is what sets you apart from your competition and makes you the better choice for your target audience.

To identify your USP, start by analysing your competitors and identifying what they offer. Then, look for gaps in the market that you can fill. Consider what makes your product or service unique, and how it can solve your target audience’s problems better than your competitors. Your USP should be clear, concise, and memorable.

Developing a strong brand identity

A strong brand identity is essential for attracting new customers to your business. Your brand identity should reflect your values, mission, and personality, and resonate with your target audience. It includes elements such as your logo, colour scheme, typography, and tone of voice.

To develop a strong brand identity, start by defining your brand’s values and mission. Then, create a visual identity that reflects these values and appeals to your target audience. Your visual identity should be consistent across all channels, including your website, social media, and marketing materials. By developing a strong brand identity, you can differentiate yourself from your competitors and create a memorable impression on your target audience.

Building a professional website

In today’s digital age, having a professional website is crucial for attracting new customers to your business. Your website is often the first impression that potential customers have of your business, so it’s important to make it count. Your website should be visually appealing, easy to navigate, and provide valuable information about your product or service.

Search engine optimization (SEO) basics

Once you have a website, it’s no good if people can’t find it!  This is where search engine optimization (SEO) comes in.  This is the process of optimising your website to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs). Higher rankings lead to more visibility and traffic to your website, which can attract new customers. There are several basic SEO tactics you can implement to improve your website’s rankings.

First, conduct keyword research to identify the keywords and phrases your target audience is searching for. Then, optimize your website’s content, titles, and meta descriptions with these keywords. Make sure your website is mobile-friendly and has a fast loading speed. Use internal and external links to improve your website’s authority. By implementing these basic SEO tactics, you can improve your website’s visibility and attract new customers.

Content marketing strategies

Content marketing is the process of creating and sharing valuable content to attract and engage your target audience. It includes blog posts, social media posts, videos, infographics, and more. Content marketing can help you establish your brand as a thought leader in your industry and attract new customers.

To create an effective content marketing strategy, start by identifying your target audience’s pain points and interests. Then, create valuable content that addresses these pain points and interests. Make sure your content is visually appealing and easy to consume. Distribute your content through channels such as your website, social media, and email marketing. By creating valuable content, you can attract new customers and establish your brand as an authority in your industry.

Social media marketing tactics

Social media marketing is the process of using social media platforms to promote your business and engage with your target audience. Social media marketing can help you build brand awareness, attract new customers, and drive traffic to your website.

To create an effective social media marketing strategy, start by choosing the right platforms for your target audience. Then, create a content calendar and plan your posts in advance. Make sure your content is visually appealing and includes a call-to-action (CTA) to drive engagement. Use social media analytics to track your performance and adjust your strategy accordingly. By leveraging social media, you can attract new customers and build a strong online presence.

Email marketing campaigns

Email marketing is the process of sending promotional emails to your subscribers to promote your business and engage with your target audience. Email marketing can help you build relationships with your subscribers, promote your products or services, and attract new customers.

To create an effective email marketing campaign, start by building your email list with opt-in forms and lead magnets. Then, segment your email list based on your subscribers’ interests and behaviour. Create valuable content that addresses your subscribers’ pain points and interests. Include a clear CTA to drive conversions. Use email marketing analytics to track your performance and adjust your strategy accordingly. By leveraging email marketing, you can attract new customers and build a loyal customer base.

Referral and word-of-mouth marketing

Probably the most effective marketing tactic is referral and word-of-mouth marketing.  This is the process of using your existing customers to attract new customers. Referrals and word-of-mouth marketing can be highly effective, as people are more likely to trust recommendations from their friends and family.

To leverage referral and word-of-mouth marketing, start by providing excellent customer service and a high-quality product or service. Encourage your satisfied customers to leave reviews and share their experiences on social media. Offer incentives for referrals, such as discounts or free products. By leveraging referral and word-of-mouth marketing, you can attract new customers and build a loyal customer base.

Measuring your success and adjusting your strategy

To ensure that your marketing efforts are effective, you need to measure your success and adjust your strategy accordingly. Use analytics tools to track your website traffic, social media engagement, email open and click-through rates, and other metrics. Use this data to identify what’s working and what’s not, and adjust your strategy accordingly.

For example, if you notice that your social media posts are getting more engagement on certain days or times, adjust your content calendar accordingly. If you notice that your email open rates are low, try testing different subject lines or sending times. By measuring your success and adjusting your strategy, you can continuously improve your marketing efforts and attract new customers.

Conclusion

Attracting new customers to your business can be challenging, but with the right strategies and tactics, it’s possible. By understanding your target audience, creating buyer personas, identifying your USP, developing a strong brand identity, building a professional website, optimizing for SEO, creating valuable content, leveraging social media, using email marketing, and leveraging referral and word-of-mouth marketing, you can attract new customers and grow your business. Remember to measure your success and adjust your strategy accordingly to continuously improve your marketing efforts.

Which marketing strategy is most effective

In this article, we’ll explore a few of the best marketing strategies for businesses in 2023. Whether you’re a small startup or an established organisation, there’s something here for everyone. So buckle up and get ready to take your business’s marketing game to the next level!

Understanding the importance of marketing strategy

Before we dive into the various marketing strategies, let’s take a moment to understand the importance of having a marketing strategy in the first place. A marketing strategy is a plan of action for promoting and selling a product or service. It outlines the goals and objectives of your marketing efforts, as well as the tactics and channels you’ll use to achieve them.

Without a marketing strategy, your efforts are likely to be scattered and ineffective. Your messaging may be inconsistent, and you may struggle to reach your target audience. A well-crafted marketing strategy, on the other hand, can help you to focus your efforts and achieve your goals more efficiently.

Researching your target audience

One of the most important steps in developing a marketing strategy is understanding your target audience. Who are your ideal customers? What are their pain points and needs? What motivates them to make a purchase?

By understanding your target audience, you can tailor your messaging and marketing tactics to resonate with them. This will help you to attract and retain customers more effectively, and to build a loyal following for your brand.

To research your target audience, you can use a variety of tools and techniques. Surveys, focus groups, and social media analytics can all provide valuable insights into your customers’ needs and preferences.

The 4 Ps of marketing

The 4 Ps (and now sometimes even 7 Ps) of marketing – product, price, place, and promotion – are a framework for developing a comprehensive marketing strategy. They represent the key elements of any marketing campaign and can be applied to virtually any business or product.

Product refers to the features and benefits of your product or service. What sets it apart from the competition? What problem does it solve for your customers?

Price refers to the cost of your product or service, as well as your pricing strategy. Will you offer discounts or promotions? How will you position your pricing relative to your competitors?

Place refers to the channels through which you’ll sell your product or service. Will you sell online, in-store, or both? Will you partner with other retailers or distributors?

Promotion refers to your marketing tactics and messaging. How will you reach your target audience? What channels will you use, and what messaging will you convey?

By considering each of these elements in your marketing strategy, you can develop a comprehensive plan that addresses all aspects of your business.

Content marketing

Content marketing involves creating and sharing valuable content with your target audience (just like this article). This can include blog posts, videos, infographics, and social media posts, among other formats.

The goal of content marketing is to provide value to your audience while also promoting your brand. By creating high-quality content that addresses your customers’ needs and interests, you can build trust and credibility with your audience. Over time, this can lead to increased brand awareness, customer loyalty, and sales.

To be effective at content marketing, it’s important to understand your audience’s preferences and interests, and to create content that aligns with those preferences. You should also aim to create content that is optimised for search engines, as this can help to attract new customers to your website.

Email marketing

Email marketing involves sending promotional emails to your subscribers. This can include newsletters, product updates, and promotional offers.

The goal of email marketing is to keep your brand top-of-mind with your subscribers, and to encourage them to make a purchase. It can also be an effective way to build customer loyalty and repeat business.

To be effective at email marketing, it’s important to segment your audience and tailor your messaging to each segment. You should also aim to provide value to your subscribers, rather than simply promoting your products or services.

Social media marketing

There is no doubt that Social media marketing is a powerful tool and involves promoting your brand or product on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. This can include organic posts, paid advertising, and influencer partnerships.

The goal of social media marketing is to build brand awareness and engage with your audience. It can also be an effective way to drive website traffic and sales.

To be effective at social media marketing, it’s important to understand your target audience and tailor your messaging and tactics to each platform. You should also aim to provide value to your audience, rather than simply promoting your products or services.

Search engine optimization (SEO)

Search engine optimization (SEO) involves optimising your website and content to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs). This can include optimising your website structure, keywords, and content, as well as building backlinks from other websites.

The goal of SEO is to attract organic search traffic to your website and to improve your visibility and credibility in search engine results.

To be effective at SEO, it’s important to keep up-to-date with search engine algorithm updates and best practices. You should also conduct keyword research and optimise your content accordingly.

Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising

Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising involves placing ads on search engines or social media platforms and paying each time someone clicks on your ad. This can be an effective way to drive website traffic and sales, particularly for businesses that are targeting specific keywords or demographics.

To be effective at PPC advertising, it’s important to conduct keyword research and create targeted ads that align with your messaging and branding. You should also monitor your ad performance and adjust your strategy accordingly.

Video Marketing

Video marketing involves creating and sharing videos to promote your brand or product. This can include product demos, explainer videos, and customer testimonials, among other formats.

The goal of video marketing is to engage and entertain your audience, while also promoting your brand or product. It can be particularly effective for businesses that are targeting younger audiences or visual learners.

To be effective at video marketing, it’s important to understand your audience’s preferences and create content that aligns with those preferences. You should also aim to create high-quality videos that are optimised for search engines and social media platforms.

Evaluating the effectiveness of your marketing strategy

Once you’ve implemented your marketing strategy, it’s important to track and measure its effectiveness. This can include monitoring website traffic, sales, social media metrics, and other key performance indicators (KPIs).

By evaluating the effectiveness of your marketing strategy, you can identify areas for improvement and optimise your tactics and messaging over time. You should also be prepared to adapt your strategy as needed, based on changing market conditions or customer needs.

Conclusion

Marketing is a critical component of any successful business, and with the ever-evolving landscape of digital marketing, it’s important to stay on top of the latest trends and strategies. By understanding your target audience, developing a comprehensive marketing strategy, and leveraging the right tactics and channels, you can take your business’ marketing game to the next level in 2023 and beyond.

 

Check out my services page to see the ways I can help you write your own marketing strategy

Five Ways Marketing Impacts the Growth of Your Business

Five ways marketing impacts growth of your business

Marketing is a key component of any business’s success, and it can have a major impact on growth and profitability. Here are five ways marketing impacts the growth of your business:

1. Increase Brand Awareness

Marketing helps to create brand recognition and awareness of your business, products, and services. This can be done through traditional methods such as print, public relations or television advertising, or through digital marketing methods such as social media posts, search engine optimisation, and email marketing. By creating a recognisable brand, you can create a connection with existing and potential customers.

2. Generate Leads

Effective marketing can help to generate leads and get potential customers interested in what your business has to offer. This can be done through content marketing, where you create valuable content that provides potential customers with information and inspiration, or through paid advertising, where you pay for advertisements to be seen by your target audience.

3. Convert Leads into Sales

Once you’ve gained a potential customer’s interest, marketing (and a good sales funnel) can help to convert them into paying customers. This can be done through incentives, such as discounts or free shipping, or through personalised communication, such as customised email marketing.

4. Retain Existing Customers

Marketing can also help to retain existing customers and encourage them to remain loyal to your business. This can be done through loyalty programs, where customers receive rewards for returning to your business, or through personalised communication, such as special offers for loyal customers.

5. Increase Customer Satisfaction

Finally, marketing can help to increase customer satisfaction by providing customers with helpful and timely support. This can be done through customer service through email, phone, or live chat, or through feedback surveys, where you can get valuable insights into how well your business is doing.

By leveraging the power of marketing, businesses can improve brand awareness, generate leads, convert leads into sales, retain existing customers, and increase customer satisfaction. With the right marketing strategy, businesses can reach their growth goals and maximize their profits and that’s Five Ways Marketing Impacts the Growth of Your Business.

If you’d like to know more about how I can put some of the key points into practice for your business, check out my services

What are the top five mistakes people make with their marketing?

There is no doubt marketing can be confusing, but when you get the basics right, it can really help with your efforts.

 Here are the five most common mistakes people make with their marketing and the things you need to avoid:

1. Failing to Define a Target Audience:

If you don’t know who you are targeting with your marketing, you can’t create effective campaigns that will reach your desired audience. Make sure you have a clear idea of who you want to reach, and tailor your campaigns accordingly.

Top Tip – it is NOT everyone!

2. Not Tracking Performance

It’s important to track your marketing performance to understand what campaigns are working and which ones need to be adjusted. Without tracking, you can’t measure the success of your efforts and make the necessary improvements.

3. Ignoring the Competition:

Knowing what your competition is doing can help you stay ahead of the game. Whether it’s a competitor’s pricing, offers, or tactics, staying abreast of what they are offering can help you create a better strategy.

4. Not utilising social media

Many people fail to realise the power of social media and the reach it can have. Social media is a powerful tool for engaging with your customers, spreading the word about your products, and building a strong following.

5. Not Investing Enough:

It’s important to invest enough in your marketing efforts to get the results you want. Without adequate investment in the form of time (this is the biggie here!), money, or resources, you won’t be able to reach the success you are hoping for.

By avoiding these common mistakes, you can ensure your marketing efforts will be more effective and help you reach your desired goals.

If you need help to see the wood for the trees or to find out how to implement a more effective marketing campaign for your business, check out my services and find out more about how I could help.

What is PR and How to Do It?

So, what is PR and how does it work?   

Well, PR or Public Relations isn’t advertising or marketing, but a marketing tactic you can use to promote your business.  It is about sharing positive, good news stories with the local press and gaining editorial coverage in the paper, on the radio or TV.  

Unlike advertising, PR is free and if you get it right can be worth thousands in helping promote you or your business.   

So, how can you go about getting a story in the press? 

Here are a few of my top tips…

1 – Find your news story/hook  

The most important part of public relations is identifying a story, or finding your newsworthy “hook” – the thing that is going to hook a journalist in and want to write about you, before passing it over to the advertising team.  It is no good just saying you’ve opened a new café for example, that could just be deemed as sales.  A journalist will want to know about the story behind you or the business.  So, saying you’ve given up a degree in law to become a chef and open your own café, or you’ve relocated, or you’re fulfilling a childhood dream is the thing that will get your press coverage. 

2 – Identify your key contacts and publications  

The next thing you want to do is think where you would like this story to appear.  Who do you want to read it (ie. Your target customer) and what publications are they likely to read (local newspaper, national paper, magazine, parish newsletter etc).  Also think about if it is something visual would it appeal to the local TV station, or could you talk about it on the radio?   

Make a list of the publications that you want to target and find out the key contacts you need to send the press release to.  You could call and speak to the news desk, tell them about your story or look on the website and find the most appropriate email address. 

You can also look on Twitter for #journorequest and any journalists looking for stories will use this hashtag and you may be able to find some new contacts that way too.  

3 – Craft a press release  

You then need to prepare your press release.  It should be 1-2 pages long and address the who, what, where, when and how in the first paragraph.  They journalist will read that first section and make a decision whether to read on or not, so it’s really important.  The next paragraphs should expand on the information, give 1 or 2 quotes and always be written in the third person.  Imagine the journalist just cut and pastes the information, so you need to make it as easy as possible for them to do this and edit if they need to.  

4 – Sell it in, send it out 

As mentioned previously, if you have a big story, or are targeting a national publication you may want to call in advance, get the most appropriate name of the journalist and tell them about the story.  You will gauge if they are interested or not or talk to them more about the angle you can give them.     

You then need to send it over via email.  Add a punchy subject line to grab their attention and pick out the key information in the body of the email, with the full release and any photos attached.   

 

5 – Chase it up 

Don’t expect a journalist to let you know if they are going to use your story or not.  If they like it, it will just appear.  If they need more information or want to interview you, they will get in touch.  If it is a really important story and you don’t hear anything, or it doesn’t appear you can give them a call to find out if they are using it.  If not, it may be that it was too ‘salesy’ or that it was a busy news day and it got pushed down the list, or they have forgotten about it. 

It may sound hard, but once you have the knack of it, you can use PR to your advantage.  You can build up good relationships with journalists and they may then come to you, if they know you are an expert in your field.  PR is also much more effective than paying for advertising, as when an article is written about you or your business it is given more value than a paid for advert, that anyone can place. 

So, have a think about how you can use PR in your marketing toolkit and if you need more guidance, you can join the Acorn Marketing Academy with modules on PR and press release templates to download too. 

How to make social media less stressful?

1 – Make a plan

One of the best things you can do with social media is to have a plan.  Think about the things you want to tell people, what products or services do you want to promote and when, what do you need people to know about you.  It is much harder to just post on the go as and when you feel like it.  We all know what happens, you start with good intentions, but then it falls by the wayside because you got too busy and there were more important things to be doing. I love spontaneity on social media, but to have a plan written down of what you are going to post and when will help you keep things on track. It also helps it become a little less overwhelming too.   

 

2 – Create content in advance

Once you have a plan it is great to create content in advance.  Take an hour a month and actually write the posts, create the designs of find the photos and use a scheduling tool to plan out your socials, so you can get everything ready in advance.  Then on days when you are so busy, you know that your social media is taking care of itself.  You can then post the spontaneous posts as you go.  Even if you schedule one or two posts a week consistently this can have a huge impact on your social media.  

 

3 – Find your comfort zone

However, one of the best things you can do with social media is to find what feels right for you.  If that is creating one amazing reel a week or Instagram or TikTok great.  If that is writing three business-based posts for LinkedIn brilliant.  Maybe you want to post across every social media channel and build your audience that way – whatever feels right for you then do it.  Get into a flow and be consistent.  Not everyone wants to post videos and you don’t always have to do that.  Find what feels right for you, find what works best for you and do it well.  That is when social media will become less stressful and effective. 

How would you market my business?

Where do I start

Wouldn’t it be great if there was a failsafe step-by-step guide that literally told you what to do! There are lots of brilliant marketing books out there, which can give advice and guidance, but until you get under the skin of a business is very hard to know what it needs to be done.  

Here are a few things you need to know to be able to help you determine that next step in how you can market your business.  

Create a strategy

Most businesses I know are very reactive when it comes to marketing. An opportunity arises and they jump on it (usually print advertising) without giving it a thought of why they are doing it and what will it achieve. So, thinking about where you are now, where you want to be and steps you are going to take to get there can really help.   

Set your Aims

You also need to be clear on what you want to achieve, and this can be very different for businesses too.  You should know what you want to accomplish in business, i.e. selling more products, increasing turnover or revenue, developing new initiatives, etc. However, have you thought about what you want to succeed in with your marketing? Do you want to improve your website, grow your following online, start an online shop or do specific things like selling tickets for an event, growing your email list to X number of subscribers?    

Understand your customer

It is really hard to know how to market a business if you don’t have an understanding of their customer. Many people say to me “everyone is my customer”, but people are so unique that the same marketing messages won’t work for everyone. The way you market a product to a man or a woman will be different. The way you marketing to someone in their twenties will be very different to how you’d market to someone in their seventies. Yes, your product or service may have a broad appeal, but really dig down and think who the different groups of people are – and there may be a few. If you can create 1 or 2 specific types of customer, you can be laser focused on what you should be saying to them and your marketing will be so much more effective.  

 Create a plan and timescales

Once you have a strategy in place, you can plot out your priorities, set yourself some actions, create a plan, and stick to it. Think about what you are going to do each quarter, each month, or each week. Break it down into manageable tasks and always refer to your strategy and aims, to know you’re doing what you set out to achieve. You have more chance of implementing your marketing and being more effective if you have a plan. 

So, when I work with clients, I always start at the foundations and go right back to basics to really understand what they want to achieve with their marketing before I can even begin to know how to market a business. Tick these items off and you’re on your way to being more efficient and effective with your own marketing.   

Should you be Marketing During a Recession?

There has been support from the government, but this hasn’t always helped, and businesses still face challenging times. Fewer people are spending their money in shops and preferring online retailers. The night-time economy is suffering with people opting to stay at home to socialise and travel and hospitality has been impacted too.

With all this going on, you would understand why many people want to hide under a rock during these difficult times, but should you invest in marketing and continuing to promote your business during a recession or tighten your belt?

When the pandemic hit, I saw many marketing budgets slashed, and I lost clients, however there were new exciting opportunities to come out of this too.

Recessions bring fear and uncertainty to both businesses and consumers, but even during a recession there are plenty of opportunities to develop your business, build customer loyalty and gain new leads and customers. It is not a time to be cutting those marketing budgets, but to invest in your marketing. Effective marketing during a recession is the key to riding the storm and coming out of those difficult periods even more successful and profitable.

1 – Be Consistent and Invest

One of the most effective things you can do in marketing is to be consistent. Consistent in your social media, your email marketing, developing your brand, your website and your communications – before a recession hits.

History shows us that those businesses who continue to invest in their marketing during difficult times come out of it stronger. Many businesses will take the approach of reducing marketing activity and spend, but if you are consistent and invest in yours you are the one whose brand will be more visible, you are the one who will have more leads and come out fighting, leaving the others behind.

Instead of slashing budgets, you need to get savvy with how you invest in your marketing. Many other businesses will cut costs, which often means you are at an advantage. As a result, advertising space is often cheaper as fewer people are buying space–this is the perfect time for you to grab a deal! When others are not shouting about new products or running events, this leaves space for your messages to be heard, so instead of doing less, do more to be seen head and shoulders above everyone else.

2 – Client Retention

As well as consistency, client or customer retention is really important too. Regular communication and excellent customer service is vital to ensure you keep your existing customers happy. It is much easier to market to them than trying to generate new leads.

3 – Your Offering

Think about the products and services you offer. People are going to be more careful with the money that they spend, so make sure you are giving them what they need. What are your most profitable offerings? How do your customers get the most value from you? Can you give incentives or bundle offers?

It doesn’t mean you have to drop your prices; it means you show them the value of what you do and how you can help them. Show them why they need you/your product and why they don’t want to miss out.

Look how everyone took to doing everything online when the pandemic hit. Businesses pivoted to offer people solutions that would help them during this difficult time, and some of the most successful businesses are those that took advantage of the opportunities it presented.

I started my business during a recession, so I know how tough it can be. Although it may seem like doom and gloom and you want to crawl back under your bed covers, take a peek out, remain consistent and uber focused and you can ride the storm.

Is marketing my business appropriate at the moment?

Gov.uk published some guidance on how to manage social media and websites (see below) and also any events or sponsorship following the death of HM. It was great to see that they have accounted for things like this in a digital age as this is the first time we have lost a monarch since the inception of the internet.

Whatever business you run, it is important to gauge the national mood and the needs of your customers and colleagues. Through any difficult times keeping your customer/followers at the forefront of your mind is really important and how they may be feeling and that your posts and marketing campaigns are respectful and appropriate for the mood.

There is no rule to say you have to stop posting on social media or promoting your business, it comes down to personal choice; particularly if you are a small business in these tough times we need to keep on working through it. However, professional marketers have a duty to avoid any inappropriate promotional marketing activity that will gain commercial benefits around the death of the Queen.

So with any marketing, always ask yourself if it is appropriate, what are the feelings of your audience and how you feel about the situation.

Here is some guidance specifically on social media and websites below and Gov.uk

WEBSITES & SOCIAL MEDIA

Online communication channels can also be used to reflect the demise of Her Majesty and participate in the period of National Mourning. Organisations can acknowledge the mourning period by making changes to the homepage of their website, for example, with the use of black edging or black banners.

Organisations and individuals may also wish to share their memories of Her Majesty online. There is no set way to mark the passing of Her Majesty on social media. Organisations may wish to review their planned content for the period.

Any changes to websites or social media pages should take into consideration accessibility requirements for visually impaired users.

How to find your voice on social media in 2022

Be Human 

Ok, Number one.  What I need you to do is to be human.   

And what you really, really need to embrace in social media is the human touch. It’s about not taking yourself too seriously and showing off your personality.   

Now I know this makes some people feel uncofmfortable, but you need to market your business and social media is a great way to do that.  You can’t sit in your office and hope that people are going to find you. You have to put yourself out there as a business owner. 

And people buy people, and they are also very nosey. People want to know what you’re up to, what you are doing, and behind the scenes of the business. By being human and putting yourself out there, really is the way that you can make yourself stand out on social media. 

Be the expert in your field 

The second thing to think about is hopefully you are all experts in your field. My expertise is obviously is marketing, social media, branding and PR. You’re the expert in your field. Think about educating your audience. 

Find out your customers burning questions. What are those things that people get really stuck on when it comes to what you do, whether it’s accountancy, car fabrications, or pies? Think about how you can educate people about what you do. 

Share tips, share information, share advice.  

Educate people and show them you are the expert 

Inspire People 

The third thing I want you to think about, and again it’s going back to being human, is inspiring people. 

Everybody has a story. I’m sure every one of you has a backstory, where you’ve come from, what you’ve done, what you’ve studied, where you’ve lived, places you’ve travelled, things you’ve seen, places you’ve worked, work experience. Whatever it is, think about your back story and inspire people with that.  

The reason I started my business was because I was made redundant. I tell people about that because it resonates with them.  

Also, if you have a services type of business, take the inspiration as things of how you’ve helped people. Use case studies or share a testimonial of how you’ve helped somebody.   

Inspire people with your story of who you are and what you know. These things are what make you stand out on social media.   

The general posts, the selling posts, people just scroll past. You know yourself as well, from looking at social media, next time you are looking and scrolling, think about what makes you pause and read. Think about what kind of post it is, particularly on other business posts.  

What if you’re an introvert? 

Now, there’s also a different school of people that will say “I’m an introvert. I can’t go on social media. I’m too shy. I don’t have a big personality.” I probably come across as really confident on social media, but I was actually a really sjy child.  However, I’m now confident in what I do and I know my stuff, so therefore I’m confident about sharing it. 

It’s ok if you’re an introvert, it’s ok if you are shy. There are still things that you can do. You’ve still got a story, you still have a life, you still do things and somebody, believe me, somebody will be interested in that. You might not think that what you have to say is interesting, but it will resonate with other people.  

It’s about finding your inner voice on social media and sharing that. 

If you are still feeling stuck, then there are other things you can do, but you probably have to be more creative. 

Here are some examples of things you can do.  

Have you heard of Mrs Hinch?  Mrs Hinch has got millions of followers on Instagram, that’s her platform, that’s where she feels comfortable; that’s what she likes using. However, Mrs Hinch started by just using her hands, and all her videos were of her cleaning and doing stuff with her hands, and that’s how she got famous. She was very introverted and shy.  

So, why not think about doing something like that, use your hands or if you are telling a story, show what you are doing? You don’t have to show your face. Show your hands, make your hands famous. 

If you usually work in an office and you have a dog, think about making your dog the star of your Instagram. The dog is collecting the mail; the dog is chilling out and waiting for the next client. It could be something as random as that. You don’t actually talk about your B2B service, you are talking about what your dog is up to within your B2B service, and you can weave messages in with what they are doing. I’ve seen some people use that really effectively. 

Showing your deliveries coming in, new stock arriving or all the really cool things that you can do with wood and timber, sharing what other people do, sharing what your customers do, maybe sharing what you guys do at work.  

Within the world of finance, maybe you’ve got an elf on the shelf or that kind of thing. 

Maybe you’ve got an avid baker within the firm, and you can like showcase their baking skills but interweave your messages within that. 

If you are an introvert or you don’t want to put yourself out there, think about how you could do something alternative, yet still creative with what you do. 

Another little tip, I would say, is have a little look through whatever your chosen social media platform is, whether it’s Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, just have a little search for like #Accountancy, #webdesigner, #carfitter. Whatever is your field of business, and find other people’s accounts. See what other people are doing and take influence from some of their ideas. 

That is how you can begin to find your voice on social media.  If you can spend a bit of time, research similar companies and decide which direction you are going to choose, that will help you find your voice on social media. 

How to get visible online

Here are a few things to consider… 

 

Get listed on Google

When you need to find something online, or there’s a question you don’t know the answer to, what do we all do, we “Google” it.  So, you need to make sure your information on Google is up to date and can be found.  One of the best ways of doing this is making sure you have a business listing.  By doing this you can be found on Google Maps, people can see your contact details and leave reviews – all of these things will help you become more visible and push you up the google search.   

If you don’t have a website, your social media profile will probably appear, but having a Google Business Listing is the next best thing to a website, so people can find information about you quickly and easily.  

 

Optimise your website 

If you do have a website, you would want that to be found in Google searches.  When someone types in your business name voila you appear in position number one.  However, people need to know your business name and you will always generally appear at the top spot.   

But, you need to question how the people who don’t know your business name will find you?  Think about the words and phrases they would type into google to find you.  Try it for yourself.  Do you still appear at the top of Google for those keywords you’re adding to the search, or are you lingering down in dusty page 5 where no one will find you?  If you’re not coming up at the top, then you’ve got some work to do. 

Think about incorporating those words into your content on your website.  Rename images with those words, ensure your pages have names and descriptions with those words.  The more you add the things people are looking for, the more likely you will be found.  This may take a bit of tine to do, but within days you will start creeping up the Google search and people will start finding you.  

 

Blogging 

Quite often once people build a website and they’re happy with it, they forget about it.  But they’re forgetting that it is a marketing tool that should be used.  The more you update your site, the more Google recognises that it is an up-to-date site with lots of juicy information.  This is why is great to have a blog or news section on your website.  Now, I’m not saying you need to write war and peace every day.  300-500 words once a week, every couple of weeks or once a month will do the job.  Make sure you pepper those keywords around as well for bigger impact.  Not only are you showing you’re an expert, but you’re also showing Google your website is relevant to the variety of searches and you’re more likely to be found.  So, think about the questions, or pain points your potential customers might have and what they might be searching for in Google and answer those in your blogs. 

 

Here is a great article about how to optimize your blog posts from Semrush 

 

So, those are three top ideas to start helping you think about how to get visible online and not just replying on social media. 

 

How to hire a Marketing Consultant in the UK

How to hire a Marketing Consultant in the UK

There is a misconception that everyone can do marketing – after all, it’s only “social media” or “advertising.”  This often comes at the detriment of the business, with the owner taking on too much work, spinning plates and being really scattergun in their approach.  

Marketing is a much more complex beast and that’s why it’s always a good idea to seek the advice of a Marketing Consultant or Outsourced Marketing Manager to help undertake your marketing in a more strategic way. 

It’s always quite daunting working with an external consultancy, especially if you’ve never done it before.  Your business is your baby, so I thought I’d dispel a few myths and give you a few pointers on how to hire a marketing consultant in the UK.  

How does a marketing consultant work?  

I love to really get under the skin of a business as if I were part of the team.  You can only really truly “market” a business if you know how it works inside and out.  A Marketing Consultant would go right back to basics to try and understand what the business is trying to achieve and put in plans to help achieve these aims.   

At Acorn Marketing we work alongside the business owner, or existing marketing team to develop these plans and implement them.  I tend to work from my home office and meet with clients regularly to ensure we are hitting all our goals for the business’s marketing.     

What services does a marketing consultant offer?  

There are lots of freelancers and consultants who specialise in certain areas of marketing, such as a Social Media Manager, a SEO specialist, Web Designer, Graphic Designer, Brand Consultant or Copywriter.   

A Marketing Consultant or Outsourced Marketing Manager is often the overarching lead in many of these tasks.  They would look at the more strategic marketing aims of the business, developing plans to ensure the organisation reaches its targets.  They would then coordinate all the work in the plan that needs doing, using many of the specialists above to get the job done.  I like to see it a bit like the conductor of an orchestra of running the marketing department and making things happen.  

What questions should I ask a marketing consultant?  

We all know that the cheapest is not always the best option and this goes for those who work in marketing.  You should always ask how much experience the Marketing Consultant has, who they have worked for previously, what projects they have been involved in and what types of work they undertook.  An experienced Marketing Consultant should have no trouble in demonstrating a breadth or skills and knowledge in many areas of marketing.   

It is also useful to know if they have any accreditations.  For example, if they are part of the Chartered Institute of Marketing or The Chartered Institute of Public Relations.   

Also, make sure if they have any professional indemnity insurance, so if anything should go wrong you know you are covered (luckily I’ve never had to touch mine!) 

How much do marketing consultants charge?  

This really varies on the experience and knowledge of the individual Marketing Consultant.  You will often see a variety of pricing when you compare Marketing Agencies and independent Consultants.  Often Marketing Consultants work from home and have no employees, so overheads are a lot less than an agency.  It can often depend on where you are based in the country too, the further south you go, or if you are in a city, prices can often be more expensive. 

To find out how much my services cost please download my price guide, which outlines exactly what I do for my clients and the services I provide.  

Here is a great article from realbusiness.co.uk which shows that consultants can charge from as little as £150 a day to £1500 a day depending on experience  

How much should you pay a marketing consultant?

Many Marketing Consultants are paid on an hourly or a retainer basis.  A retainer means you would pay one set fee per month.  

I tend to work with retainer clients or on one-off projects, which I quote for separately. Clients usually pay me at the end of each month of undertaking work for them.  

If you’re thinking about How to Hire a Marketing Consultant in the UK, you need to figure out what you need from them, because getting it wrong can be the difference between having a business and not having a business.  

  

Why it’s important to grow your brand loyalty

If you have a great business and people are talking about you positively, then you are growing your brand loyalty.   

So, why is this important to grow your brand loyalty, other than for what people say about you? 

1 – Repeat business 

Your customers get to know like and trust you. If you’ve done a good job once, given great customer service, then they are more likely to buy your products or services again.   

2 – Advocacy  

If people like what you do and keep buying off you, then they are bound to tell others – that gold duct of word-of-mouth marketing and they become advocates of your brand. They sell it for you and become your most powerful marketing tool. 

3 – Makes Business Sense 

Many forms of marketing cost money – digital advertising, print advertising, websites, radio, promotional material. It is money to generate new leads, promote your business, increase awareness. However, once you’ve built up brand loyalty it is much cheaper and easier to market to them, than focusing on acquiring new customers.   

4 – Sustainability 

By focusing time and effort on developing your brand loyalty will help with long term sustainable business success. You become an expert, people trust you, people will recommend you working with you or buying from you is no longer a risk because you’ve gained brand loyalty and a great reputation. 

So, when you’re thinking of how you can develop your marketing, be sure to add brand loyalty to your list – you may not even be aware that you’re doing it the majority of the time. Think about your customer service, how you treat customers, what results you get and always remember to be kind and treat others like you wanted to be treated in business and you won’t go far wrong.  

 

What is the most effective type of marketing?

Often people can be wooed by a new social media channel because everyone is on it, it’s the nest big thing or your teenage daughter says you should.  Maybe a salesperson is calling to see if you want to take out an advert with them, or perhaps there is a new piece of marketing software that looks great.  This is when marketing becomes reactive, you end up wasting money and don’t get the results you were promised…and hey ho, marketing doesn’t work!  

 

So, here are a few things to consider when those marketing opportunities crop up, you need to ask yourself… 

 

1 – Does it reach your target audience? 

You should have a good idea who your target audience is? Please don’t say “everybody” because usually it isn’t. You can often break your target audience up into groups – they may hang out in different places online, read different publications, go to different places. There will be different ways you can reach them. So, you always need to ask yourself do you reach your target audience with your social media, advertising, etc.  

 

2 – Do you have the budget for it, and can you measure ROI? 

The great thing about a lot of marketing is that it is free – social media, PR, email for example.  However, sometimes we may get tempted into spending money on marketing – are you guilty of ever boosting a post on Facebook, then I’m talking about you here!  Always question if you have the marketing budget to invest in that marketing and what are the ways you can measure if it’s been a success?  What is the Return on Investment – you want to get a great return for your money than what you invest.  So, really question whether it is worth it. 

 

3 – What do you want it to achieve 

If you have done any sort of business or marketing strategy, you will have a clear goal of what you want to achieve.  Without aims how do you know what direction you’re heading or what you want your marketing to do.  You need to be clear with your aims, otherwise it’s like firing into the dark and hoping it works.  Think about the point of what you are doing…what is the point of posting on Twitter, what is the point of taking out that advert, which of your marketing aims is it going to achieve.  If you’re not really sure, then don’t do it. 

 

Now, if I’ve gone through these points and you’re not sure who your target customer is, what is a reasonable marketing spend or what you want to achieve, I suggest you need to go right back to basics. 

You can read my blog about marketing strategies here:

 https://acorn-marketing.co.uk/blog/what-is-a-marketing-strategy-do-i-need-one/ 

Or  

https://acorn-marketing.co.uk/blog/how-to-create-a-marketing-strategy/ 

  

How to come up with ideas for Reels or TikToks

It feels like it has become more of a challenge to keep up with these changes; particularly if you don’t like showing your face or being on video.  I personally think Instagram may lose a lot of followers to other platforms who don’t want to post video – watch this space.  

However, if you are feeling brave and want to start using short form video, or Reels and Tik Toks as part of your social media strategy how on earth do you come up with content?   

Here are my top tips to give you some inspiration. 

1 – Get inspiration from others 

There is nothing harder than sitting at a screen trying to think up content or write down words.  We’ve all heard of Writer’s Block?  Well, it’s a bit the same when it comes to creating short form video content.  

It is going to be really difficult to sit down and come up with some great ideas with no inspiration.  So, before you delve in, spend a bit of time doing some research.  See what comes up in your feed, find people in similar industries and see what they are sharing.  Or search for your industry in the Instagram or TikTok search bar and see what videos appear.  Use this as inspiration, see what is working for other people and how they can create content.  Think about what resonates with you,. What you like and feel comfortable with and then that is going to feel most natural to you when you create your own.   

If you don’t like dancing and feel stupid, you don’t have to do that.  See how other people make content and do something that feels right for you.  

2 – What’s trending 

Looking to see what is trending is a great hack.  You can do this simply by scrolling through the videos and get a feel for what you are seeing a lot of.  Anything that appears several times is generally tending.   

On Instagram you can also see a small arrow at the bottom of the video, which will tell you if that piece of audio is trending too.  In TikTok you can find trending videos in the discover tab as well.   

There are apps you can download that can give you insights into trends and predicted trends as well, such as TrendTok or Chartmetric.   

Once you have found a trending audio you like, you can save it and come back to it later, or jump on board and get creating while its hot.  

3 – Be an expert 

At the end of the day you an are expert in your field – whether that is marketing, finance, law, travel.  So, in all your marketing (not just social media) you need to show people you are the expert in your field.  This goes for short form video (reels and TikToks) too.   

Think about giving people value, give advice or tips.  Show them hat they need to follow you to find out more about what you do and get valuable information.  Back this up with information in your caption and you’ve nailed it!   

You are talking about what you know, demonstrating your knowledge and being helpful all in one go – it’s a sure-fire way to improve engagement. 

One of the biggest take aways to remember is that not everything goes viral (even some of the biggest influencers material doesn’t always work or go viral).  You need to find what suits you, play with it, practice and keep on developing it.  People think social media is a quick win, but it takes time, energy and consistency to really make it work and see results. 

How to avoid social media burnout

Even for the best of us, social media can become a bit much.  We want to put our phones down; we want to stop mindless hours of scrolling and also set an example of our kids.  I mean if we’re always on social media, how can we tell them to get off their screens!  

It often feels like you have to be on top form and put everything into social media to make it work.  So how can you get a balance of bring online, doing social media marketing for your business, but not letting it take over your life.  

 

Take a break

The first thing I would suggest is taking a break and stepping right back from social media.  If you take a few days out, a few weeks or even a couple of months your audience is still going to be there when you get back.  If you feel like you’ve been putting everything into your socials and it’s not working, or you’ve lost your way, or it just feels too much then stop.   

I recently took a break and posted a bare minimum to keep a presence, and everyone was still there when I came back.  The break did me good and I came back raring to go with fresh ideas and enthusiasm.  We all need a holidays from work every now and then and it’s the same with socials, so give it a go.  Why not share that honesty too and tell your audience – people will resonate with that and probably respect you for it too.     

 

Set limits times/boundaries

Working in marketing I am on social media A LOT.  However, probably not as much as you think!  That’s because I set boundaries and limits with my usage.  I check in the morning; I check at lunch and I check in the afternoon.  I often have a scroll in the evening (but that’s more about my addiction to online shopping than work!!)    

I also set limits in my phone and once I reach that limit my phone tells me to stop.  By doing this I know that when I am online I need to be efficient and get on with the job – otherwise I’m going to run out of time! 

I also set boundaries of when I will reply to messages (not after 5pm, when I’m with my kids or on a weekend) any messages that come through during those times can wait.  If always think if people can’t wait then I don’t want to work with them anyway (unless it is something really important and of course this will depend what industry you work in!) 

 

Do what you enjoy 

The other thing to bare in mind is that you need to enjoy what you do.  If you have a twitter account for example and you don’t enjoy posting on it, find it hard work and can’t think of content then don’t do it. 

I’m a big believer that you have to enjoy what you do, so find what works for you on social media, find the platform you like and stick with that.  It will be so much more effective sharing on one social media platform really well, than spreading yourself too thin and not doing a very good job – that’s when the overwhelm will kick in.  Don’t listen to fads (not everyone has to be on TikTok) or what your teenager says you should be doing, or fellow business person tells you what’s worked for them/  Think about what you enjoy and what is going to be best for your business. 

Someone also recently asked about how much you should be posting.  Again, find what works for you as it will be different for everyone.  If you can manage 2 cracking posts a week and make them awesome do just that.  You will find it works much better than writing seven rubbish, half hearted posts each week because you think you should. 

If you do all or just one of these things I am sure it will make a huge difference to your social media marketing and help you avoid the burnout that so many business owners face.