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Digital marketing techniques you can implement in 2017 that won’t break the bank.

Many of you will be looking to better your business in some way or another in 2017. Marketing is essential to improving your business, so we’re going to help you – with a series of blogs that will help you identify ways that you can implement simple marketing techniques, without putting a hole in your pocket. So, without further ado, check out our first 3 top tips for improving your digital marketing efforts!

 

Facebook advertising

Facebook allows you to spend as little as £3 on advertising, but even with this small budget, you can reach thousands of people that match incredibly specific criteria. Unlike AdWords, Facebook ads are targeted to the users specific interests rather than words that they’re searching for, which means the target audience you have access to when you set up your criteria is really impressive. For example, you could search for people who are have pets and regularly buy online, or for users between the ages of 18-20 that are interested in health and fitness. This targeting feature is what makes Facebook advertising really worth while.

 

Blog more!

This is a great one. Why? Because it’s free! Obviously it will cost you your time, but it’s a great marketing technique that can make a big difference. You may think that writing blogs is useless, because it doesn’t get you any leads or sales, or not directly at least. But that’s where you’re wrong! Think of it this way, would you just ask a stranger off the street to marry you without knowing who they are and what they’re about? No, you get to know them first. This is very much the same way that getting to know your target audience works, or at least letting them get to know you. If you’re reaching out, and offering useful help and advice in the form of blogs, they will really get to know about your expertise, and will start to trust you, thus building in customer relationships and resulting in sales. So be that useful source of information that your target audience look to, and write with them in mind.

 

Publish posts on LinkedIn

If you’re taking our last tip into consideration, go that little step further and publish your blogs on LinkedIn as well as on your website. It’s a simple copy and paste job, but many more people will see your article this way. Each time you post a blog, your connections will get a notification that you’ve published an article, meaning more people will read it, which may just be the prompt some people need to get in touch.

 

So there you have it, 3 steps you can take now to improve your marketing techniques and overall improve business performance. Don’t forget, this is the first of more to come – so keep your eyes out for the next blog coming at the end of January with more digital marketing hints and tips, and if you need our support in implementing the above, please don’t hesitate to contact our friendly team on 01925 963 651.

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Spring Clean – Be Mobile

So, we’ve looked at decluttering your website, website performances and call to actions. What goodies could we possibly have left for you? Well in this blog, we’re looking at being mobile, and what that means for your business.

A bog standard website doesn’t cut it in today’s internet-obsessed world. Mobile browsing took over desktop in around 2013, with a whopping 80% of internet users owning a smart phone and one third of people world-wide using their mobiles to browse the web! Your website needs to be fully responsive so that anyone visiting can do so easily on the go. Arguably, mobile-friendly websites are more important now than desktop versions, as people are using their phones or tablets a lot more than computers to browse the web than before. If your site is not mobile-friendly, you’re likely losing revenue opportunities, businesses that don’t accept mobile payments could be losing out on a whole lot of profit.

Mobile marketing is possibly the most effective form of marketing you can do. It’s so much more personal. The majority of us have our phones on us 24/7, and are our primary means of communication, making us accessible 24/7 too! So if you’re targeting people through their mobiles whether this be through, a mobile website, an app, or on social media, you’re much more likely to attract customers. Which brings us onto our next point, most of us who own smart phones are part of some social networking platform which has dominated the world of business, and is a must in today’s modern business world. So why would you miss out on the opportunity to target people all over the world for free! Social media enables you to connect and engage with your customers, helps increase awareness of your business, which can help generate revenue by attracting new customers. So stick a couple of social media buttons leading to your business social media accounts at the top of your website, so they’re easy to find, but don’t forget to ensure they open in a new tab – the last thing you want to do is lead people away from your website. If you haven’t read our entire blog on social media, you can do so here.

Hopefully, all of the tips we have given you should have helped you to complete your spring clean, and you should now be ready for summer! Hopefully all of our tips have helped put a spring in the step of your online presence. If you need a hand planning and implementing any of the steps that we’ve recommended, we’re only a phone call away and ready to help!

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Spring Clean – Call to Action

Welcome to blog number three of how to spring clean your website! Previously we’ve talked about decluttering your website and using analytics to help you to understand your website traffic. So what’s next? In this blog, we aim to help you understand the importance of a call to action, and how to create one.

Every page on your website should be convincing your visitor to act on something, whether that be to make a call, make a direct purchase or watch a video. Your visitors aren’t thinking about what you want them to do, so put something on each page that leads them to the action you ultimately want them to take and do their thinking for them! So make sure you’re directing the user to do exactly what you want them to do, if you don’t ask you don’t get, and people aren’t mind readers!

So how do you create a great call to action? There are a number of things to bare in mind when writing your call to action, the first thing is your visitors! Think about what they want to see, what will make them call, download, or buy. You need to think about what stage of buying they will be in when they reach your content. This will make a huge difference to which call to action you need. The more relevant the call to action is to the reader, the more likely this is to turn into a sale. You need to stick to snappy language, make it short and sweet, but ensure it actively encourages them to take a journey. So this means, avoid using buttons like ‘click here’ and avoid jargon, the second your customer gets confused or bored, they will go elsewhere. Using something more exciting, like ‘Start your free trial now!’ is much more likely to be effective.

So there you have it, hopefully our advice on how to create a cracking call to action will help to liven up your emails, websites, social media, and wherever else you stick your CTA, and help to convince your customers to actually take the journey that you want them to take!

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Spring Clean – How is Your Website Performing?

In our previous blog, we talked about ways you can declutter your website as part of your spring cleaning process. Well this time, we’re talking about your websites performance, and how you can use this to your advantage.

Google Analytics is a great way to see what is working for your website. It can tell you where your traffic comes from, and the pages they go to. For example, having strong “type-in traffic” figures shows that your brand is doing well. This means that the visitor directly types in your URL, rather than finding you while searching for a certain product or service that you provide, and coming across you by accident. If your sites organic traffic, which means the traffic that is unpaid for, is lacking, you should consider making your website more visible to search engines. Adding content regularly such as blog or bits of news is a great way to rank higher in search results, as well as including social media feeds. (If you’re yet to be convinced to invest in social media activity, we suggest checking out our social media blog). Analytics is a great way to understand your visitors, and improve your website and marketing methods based on this. For example, as we mentioned before, if your bounce rate is low, we have to ask why? Do you have a video on your landing page that people are going to watch and then leave? Could this be the reason for your high bounce rate? If so, you need a tracker, to find out what your visitors are doing once they land on your page. If they are watching the video before leaving the website, this will bring your bounce rate down, giving you more accurate results.

How can we help?
We can take a look at your entire website from a visual, technical and aesthetic point of view, including your analytics and see where we think you need to go from there. We can do a full website review, to tell you what we think needs to change, be updated or refreshed. We analyse the positives and negatives of your website, in terms of SEO, content, design and give you our suggestions of ways you could increase traffic to your website, or just renew your website completely! Whether it’s leads or a ‘wow’ effect you want to get from your website, we take into consideration your aims and goals online, to provide a comprehensive report to help you get to where you want to be. You can find out more about how we can help here.

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Facebook Trend Forecast – 2015-2016

As a B2B company we primarily stick to Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ as our preferred social media pages, but that doesn’t stop us providing the thousands of businesses who use Facebook with top tips and trends.

We recently discovered that Facebook is larger than ANY TV network (10 times larger than the biggest TV channel in the world), and is also disrupting the video giant YouTube. Although we know that email is a medium that most likely will never die out, it’s clear to see that Facebook is hot on the heels of a number of traditional communication methods – could we be communicating with CEO’s and MD’s over Facebook Messenger in years to come?! An interesting thought, however for now, we are going to focus on the ‘right now’ of Facebook and find out the tips and tricks to consider for 2016.

Facebook Infographic MiniMe Marketing
Facebook is fast becoming very video dominated, so if you have a corporate video for your business, it is highly recommend that you upload it. We’re all aware of how easily (and quickly) videos go viral on Facebook, with our newsfeed’s constantly clogged with dancing cats and laughing babies – but could your business’ video go viral? Realistically, it’s not going to surpass the dancing cats, but more and more people are watching videos on Facebook due to its instant play feature, so it’s definitely worth getting your video out there.
Facebook is also becoming very image orientated, granted not as much as the likes of Instagram and Pinterest, but with 63% of its users being visual learners, it’s been shown that posts with images have 2.3 times more engagement and 70% more shares than those that don’t. So, when you’re drafting your businesses Facebook posts, throw an image or two in there, whether it’s a funny quote or even a team photo; people like pictures!
Something set to be rolled out to Facebook in the UK this year is ‘Instant Articles’. They’re fast loading articles, specifically 10 times faster than average articles and are highly engaging – people don’t like to wait, so if an article appears immediately they’re more likely to read it. Keep your eyes peeled for this new feature, as it could be the difference between followers reading your posts or ignoring them.
Another tip to make note of this year is the importance of response time. Facebook is now rewarding people with a fast response to comments or messages on their Facebook, and if you answer within a median of 5 minutes, you get a little logo to highlight your reply quickly. If you’re lucky enough to have an in-house social media team then this is definitely possible, but for many businesses, especially SME’s, replying to everything within 5 minutes is just not realistic, and it is likely that your followers wont expect this either. So, although it’s nice to be acknowledged, seeing as Facebook doesn’t penalise you for slow response time (yet) we don’t think it’s something of high priority.
As you are probably aware, organic reach is declining at a rapid rate. Organic reach is the amount of people that see or interact with your posts without paying Facebook to advertise, but unfortunately for SME’s Facebook is vastly becoming a ‘pay to play’ platform. This also means that the relevance of how many ‘likes’ your Facebook page has is dropping, because Facebook want you to pay for them to see it, something that doesn’t seem very fair especially for small businesses with minimal budget to spend on marketing, who turn to platforms like Facebook to market themselves for free.
With this in mind, it is important to take note of what the Facebook algorithm likes and dislikes, in order to tailor your posts to gain the most reach possible. We feel that there is a balance to be found between organic and paid reach, if you have a little spare budget it’s definitely worth throwing £20 on a Facebook advertisement as the results are noticeable, but when it comes to paying to boost reach on every post it’s most likely not worth it when you can turn those funds to more targeted marketing such as direct mail.

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Facebook: The Do’s & Don’ts

With over 1.35 billion monthly active users, it’s safe to say that Facebook is the biggest social media platform out there, but are you using it to its full potential? With organic reach continuing to fall and spam content being penalised, Facebook is seeming much harder to conquer than it used to. Facebook now has an algorithm in place which takes into consideration over 3.5 thousand factors when deciding what posts to filter through to each person’s home page, so if you aren’t fitting their criteria you simply won’t feature on your target audiences page, therefore rendering your posts useless.
So what does the algorithm love? Of course posts with lots of comments, likes and shares, but now it’s leaning in favour of videos – you can now have a call to action button on your profile to link people to ‘watch video’ so if you have a business video, post it. The algorithm also looks for posts that reference trending topics and current news, so if you’re scheduling your posts make sure they stay up to date with what’s happening in the world!
That covers what to do, but what shouldn’t you do? Simply don’t push people to like or share your page – something known as ‘like baiting’. Facebook penalises posts that contain the words ‘like’ ‘share’ and ‘comment’ and also any spammy links that force people to click them to find out ‘exclusive’ content.
One of the most important things to remember before even writing your Facebook post is to decide whether Facebook is right for your business. Although it may be the biggest social media network, if it isn’t suitable for your business and your target audience, it simply won’t work. We have found that B2C businesses benefit from it much more than B2B. However, if you are a business that Facebook just doesn’t work for – not to worry! There are so many more effective social media channels such as Twitter and LinkedIn, in addition to some newer, up and coming sites such as Instagram and even Snapchat. Why not check out one of our brilliant clients Jaspers Warrington and Sadhana Yoga & Pilates on Facebook who are doing everything right.

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Revival of the Hard Copy

Marketing materials such as brochures, leaflets and flyers can be seen as outdated to some in comparison to the modern day online approach to everything. However, a leaflet for someone to grab whilst walking past your stand at an event or read whilst they’re eating lunch can be one of the most effective ways to get your business out there. It is something physical and tangible for a customer to hold onto, and even if they just shove it into their purse or it’s engulfed in the pile of paperwork on their desk, at some point when it resurfaces, there’s every chance it could spark an idea in that persons mind that leads to needing your services or product.

Everyone seems to be in such a hurry these days, which is another reason why a leaflet or brochure is ideal to get all of your info to them. A brochure can communicate everything about your business in a few pages of good copywriting, and with a bit of graphic design, colour scheming and branding to catch their eye, they’ll want to know what’s inside!

Marketing materials can include promotional merchandise; perfect for events or just to give to new/potential clients. Again, just a pen or desk pad with your businesses logo and contact details on is ideal, although it doesn’t give a wealth of information, every time the item is used, the logo is subliminally on the persons mind. So, people think that marketing materials are outdated, but this traditional way of marketing your business is making comeback! Tweets and social media posts are great, but they can easily be scrolled past; hard copies are a lot harder to ignore!

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What’s Your Hashtag?

Almost everyone on social media these days, tweeting, liking, sharing, favouriting, connecting, etc. You know the score! But is everyone using it to its full potential? We’re not so sure. Every time you log on to Twitter there is potential to gain new clients, and get your brand name out there. The opportunity on social media platforms is limitless; it’s not just for retweeting and sharing those funny videos!

Promotional hour Twitter accounts are a brilliant place to start as they are as simple as using a #hashtag. Anything inspiring or relevant you Tweet, just add your local hashtag on the end (we use #NorthwestHour and #ManchesterHour – our local areas) and reach more of your target audience instantly – which are all potential leads. The effectiveness of a hashtag is amazing. If your marketing budget is a little bigger, another great way to get your name out there is Facebook advertising. Their promotional campaign service is brilliant as you can set your own budget limit, so no scary bills at the end of the month.

Social media is one of the most cost effective and speedy ways to market your business, and in theory, it can be done from the comfort of your sofa! Writing one Tweet could take around three minutes (if that), but could gain you three new leads for your business. Whether your social network of choice is Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or LinkedIn, they can all benefit your business through just a symbol and a click!

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