Whatever your business, you can’t possibly have failed to appreciate the importance of social media in building a brand. Even the smallest of dog-walking or babysitting services has a Facebook page these days. And look at any advertising material and you’ll see the Twitter logo with an address for anyone wanting more information. But you need to be using Twitter wisely.
Twitter in particular is an a amazing resource for advertising. But with so many voices tweeting for attention, it’s important to have a strategy that will make yours louder than those of your competitors rather than being lost in a sea of tweets.
Tweet well, and tweet often, is basically what it comes down to. Studies have shown a strong correlation between number of fans and frequency of tweets. But if nobody’s reading them, then what’s the point?
This is why it’s important to tweet well. Engage in conversations with other businesses – that way you’re making yourself known to their followers as well as your own. Look at what’s trending, find something that’s relevant to your business, and say something appropriate along with the relevant hashtag, so that people who are following that story will know you exist and have something to say. Once they know you have something to say, they may well be more interested in knowing that you have something to sell.
But always remember that the internet never forgets, and an unwise tweet can can dire consequences for businesses as well as celebrities. Just typing “Twitter fail” into Google will give you more examples that you will ever have time to read of people and businesses falling foul of their inability to use the platform well. Racist celebrities are the ones who make the national news, of course, but the small business arena is littered with the corpses of companies whose employees, whether intentionally or otherwise, have tweeted something offensive or upsetting and have not been able to ride out the storm. Social media can be a very unforgiving place.
But all this can be avoided if you put an effective social media strategy into place – preferably only one person should have access to the account, and they should be both trusted and well-briefed.
But don’t let the risks put you off – for every company that has ruined itself with a Twitter fail, there are many more who have treated the platform sensibly and have seen amazing returns in terms of brand identity, customer base and profit.
If you’s like any help using Twitter correctly for the benefit of your business please contact the team at Magnificent Stuff – they know about such things:-)
My first 6 months as an Account Manager at Magnificent Stuff has been an absolute whirlwind to say the least! My passion for marketing has grown day by day which was injected with excitement and delight when I received an email saying that we were finalists at the Essex Digital Awards 2018. Our category was Social Media for Business which, as all of our wonderful clients know, we strive to be the best at! The Magnificent Stuff team had a fantastic evening which is why we want to share it with you all!
The event was held at Hyland’s House which is a truly stunning venue located in Chelmsford. Besides being an awards evening, the event brought over 100 people together all of whom share the same passion. This, therefore, made the networking opportunity second to none.
The evening kicked off with a welcome drink, photos and mingling in the main hall. We then moved into the marquee where a delicious dinner was served and the awards began. The support and sponsorship in the room was incredible and it made me feel lucky that I was a part of the industry, let alone this event.
When was the last time you picked up The Yellow Pages? Or a hard-copy Local Directory for that matter? Five years ago? Six? When you needed an electrician or a plumber when did you last look in the back of a local paper? The same can be said of your customers too. The percentage of marketing that was digital (ie online) stood at 25% in 2013. Last year it was 75%.
In my role as Co-Founder and Head of Content for marketing consultancy, Magnificent Stuff I must have met upwards of 250 business owners over the past year or two. At risk of generalising they do fit a certain demographic: normally male, normally between 48-55, normally heading up an established SME. In those two years I have met only a handful of business owners who’s digital marketing could be described as ‘good’ or ‘excellent’. It’s no coincidence in my mind, that these people happened to be in their 30’s.
The so-called ‘millennial’ generation have grown up with digital marketing and advertising. In simple terms they ‘get it’, however it can be a steep learning curve for those of us who grew up in the seventies and eighties.
It’s not my place or intention to be alarmist, however the next generation of business owners, our ‘millennials’, are way ahead of the game here. They are tech-savvy, digitally aware and ambitious.
Take social media, for example. Which of us would not like our Facebook or Twitter presence to generate leads and clients? To engender enthusiasm and customer loyalty? Every MD knows that they should be using social constructively for the benefit of the Company, but do they? Chances are unless the Business Owner is under 35 social media not being used effectively or used at all. Why? Three reasons. Firstly, we don’t know how to. No-one’s actually shown us. Secondly, we do know how to but we don’t know what to say and, thirdly (and most commonly) we simply haven’t got the time or resources. Have you got an extra two to three hours per week to spend on social media management? Do you have enough time to blog fortnightly? To create newsletters? Do you even consider such marketing to be useful?
In 2016 digital marketing is not simply important but – in my view – intrinsic to business growth. But then, I would say that wouldn’t I? Here are a few stats:
- 80% of customers do “a lot” of online research for considered purchases.
- 46% count on social media when making such decisions
- B2B companies that blog generate 67% more leads per month than those who do not blog
- The average return on an e-mail marketing investment is £29.14 for every pound spend
- 93% of marketeers use social media for business
Of course every business is different but ultimately without digital and content marketing of some type, your company will be missing leads and clients. If you’d like any advice on how to make digital marketing work for you please get in touch, we live and breath content.
Steve Chew is Head of Content at Magnificent Stuff Limited, Old Harlow. You can contact Steve via the link above 0r on 07723024865.
Anything Other Than Magnificent Simply Isn’t Acceptable
Is blogging really a necessary element of running a business? Are you swaying towards the YES vote, but deep down, as an SME owner, you don’t feel that you have the time or the skills to regularly post any interesting, high quality, original content?
The sinking feeling starts and the procrastination kicks in; surely you’re thinking there are ‘more important’ things you could be doing to grow your business (apart from currently doing a sterling job in talking yourself out of starting a regular blog?). Hmmmm, sounds to us like you are firmly stuck in the blog bog; totally stuck about what to write.
Blogs give customers an inside look into your company as well as an overview of your brand, your aims and values. Your customers feel valued that you want to connect with them, whilst building your brand, client trust and giving your business some seriously free PR. In fact, according to a recent HubSpot survey, 60% of businesses who regularly blog win more customers.
Here at Magnificent Stuff, with wellies at the ready, we can quickly pull you out of the blog bog. How? We blog for you! Simply put, we do everything – we create strong editorial content, research topics and industry articles that are of interest and turn them into content-rich blogs on your behalf. We can magically turn bits of your existing website into bite-sized, easily digestible, useful blogs that keep you relevant and present. Even if you choose to blog about a specialist topic, we have a team of content writing professionals who we can outsource even the most complex blog briefs to.
So, now there really is no excuse not to start blogging and just to help you a little more (apart from all the ‘techy’ bits) we have a few magnificent facts that might help you realise how effective blogging actually can be:
Fuel your Search Engine Optimisation
Search engines recognise valuable content and reward you for creating it, by helping you climb up the results ladder. Adding another indexed page to your website offers you a better chance of showing up in organic listings and driving traffic to your site, which in turn generates new leads and revenue.
Support your social media initiatives
Blogs keep your social media pages active and popular. It’s all well and good sharing other people’s posts, but you need to publish your own content and drive the interest back to your own site. It also opens up an opportunity for dialogue through comments on social media channels as well as saving you time creating separate social media posts when you can utilise snippets of your blog content. Blogging demonstrates that your business is alive, well and very much loved by you.
Be an expert and be human
Blogging is a perfect way to give you the spotlight – your time to shine. Let your audience know that you are confident and knowledgeable in what you do and establish yourself in your chosen field by offering useful and informative content. Your website may be an all singing, all dancing top-notch bit of design, but by posting a regular blog you can add a human voice to your site, bring to the fore your brand, your character and your professionalism.
Blogging for business just makes sense. With minimum financial investment or even effort if you let us take on your blogging requirements, you can rapidly build credibility, boost search engine rankings, increase traffic, be heard and build stronger relationships with your audience. Blogging is a marketing tool that creates opportunity after opportunity and everyone should be doing it.
…and madness drives us on!
Nearly 2 years since we first set up and we’re going from strength to strength. Year on year we continue to grow followers, Likes, client base, knowledge and turnover.
Thank you for your support to date and please continue to like, share and talk about us and the work we do. No marketing is more powerful than word of mouth and personal recommendations!
Every day we face a new challenge and sometimes a new battle to juggle or beat but we genuinely love what we do and we do it because we love it.
email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Definition: adjective [before noun] UK /ˌɔːl.weɪzˈɒn/ US /ˌɑːl.weɪzˈɑːn/ Always On – available or operating at all times.
The media landscape can be an intimidating place for SMEs. Primarily because they are greater in number (representing 99% of all EU businesses) and therefore face more competition from peers, but also because they lack the vast budgets and ability to generate the standout and market recognition larger organisations can. An Always On strategy should be considered.
An Always On strategy – where small amounts of information or content is delivered constantly rather than a more traditional “campaign” model, is ideal for smaller businesses on a financial level, as it is easier to spread the cost over time instead of crippling your bottom line with a major fiscal hit every few months. It also means that your message is continuous rather than being reinvented each burst.
A further advantage of Always On content is that it engages you and your audience in an ongoing two-way conversation, a key driver for building your customer base. Your audience, like the rest of us, live in a world where they have become accustomed to constant information- when that drops off at the end of a campaign, a lot of that engagement can be lost. Of course attracting their attention in the first place is important, but equally crucial is being able to retain it. An Always On strategy can help to develop a relationship – keep them coming back.
“A good analogy would be with web browsing – getting people to click on your page is one thing, but what you really want is for them to bookmark it”.
Allows you to be both reactive AND proactive
Always On is key when it comes to maintaining relationships because it enables you to be nimble, and adapt to changing circumstances or customer feedback on the fly. A campaign which is generally more proactive, is a commitment, and if poorly-judged can be very difficult to come back from and can even be damaging.
“To summarise, with Always On marketing, even if you are using it in combination with campaign marketing, you will have much less trouble turning the ship around if you reach choppy waters!”
If you would like help with an Always On strategy for your business please email email@example.com or visit our CONTACT page
Using Instagram for Business
In the five years since its launch as a free mobile app, Instagram has ballooned in popularity with great advances in the use of Instagram for business. 300 million people used Instagram as of this time last year. In 2013 alone, it grew in value by 23%. The same year it introduced sponsored post advertising in the US, with big name brands such as Ben & Jerry’s and General Electric quick to seize the opportunity. The function was rolled out in the UK the following year. With a total of 30 billion photos having been shared through Instagram, the opportunities for marketing are obvious, especially for products and services which rely heavily on their visual aspects. Holidays, for example, or interior design and decorating.
According to a study by Socialbakers, Instagram’s “post engagement rate” (a measure of activity on any given internet page, taking into account the amount of people who have seen it as well as the amount who have directly interacted with it) is 3.31%. With Twitter only coming it at 0.07%. It’s fairly obvious that there is plenty of potential here.
Of course, there is as always, slightly more to it than that. “Interaction” can cover many things, not all of them profitable. But if you know what you’re doing, it’s not hard to make Instagram work for you. Key to this strategy is the use of hashtags. Hashtags on Instagram work in much the same way as they do on Twitter, and Instagram will allow you to incorporate up to thirty of them in your post. Research by Trackmaven shows that, despite conventional wisdom having been to restrict hashtags to one or two, the level of interaction rockets for posts using eleven or more. So it’s vital not to underestimate their importance – and remember, each hashtag, used wisely, is another hook to draw in an audience for your product at no extra charge. A mixture of popular hashtags and more specific ones will help you reach a wider audience while at the same time narrowing that pool down to your customer base – essentially, you can cast your net wide and still only catch the particular fish you are aiming for.
With the addition of 15-second video clips, Instagram is ideal for when you want your customers to actually see what it is you’re selling. By smart use of hashtags and the incorporation of video clips, you too can harness the power of Instagram for business to maximise your marketing reach.
Advertising with Social Media
When the phrase “Web 2.0” started appearing around the turn of the millennium, few people other than hardcore tech types took much notice. But fast-forward to 2015, and it’s hard to remember a time when the web wasn’t like it is today, with our electronic lives dominated by social media, user-generated content and online app development.
The entire focus of the internet has shifted from being a world where the vast majority of us were silent observers of provided content to one where we are all participants in the biggest collaborative project in human history. Where we’re invited to participate through commenting, sharing and creating our own content. The likes of Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Reddit constitute an enormous conversation in which we are all taking part. Which means, in short, that there will always be someone ready to listen to what you have to say.
According to studies, a full 50% of 18-24 year olds visit Facebook first thing when they wake up. Combined with a statistic from the Social Media Examiner, that 83% of business reported that social media was important, if not critical, to their business, this all adds up to a golden opportunity for marketing.
The key difference today is that you no longer have to reach all your audience individually – if you can reach and impress some of them, then they will do the rest of the work for you, by passing on your campaign to their social network, who will then do the same with theirs, and so on. The speed at which gossip can travel through a community has been recognised for thousands of years – today’s social networks increase this speed exponentially, and on a previously unimaginable scale.
If you can get people talking about your product, then it’s a short jump to going viral.
But it’s not just Facebook, of course. Pinterest recently added “rich pins”, which are paid-for pieces of content carrying more information and ideal for advertising, while Twitter has been supporting promoted tweets since 2010. People all around the world are constantly talking to one another. If you can get them talking about you, then you have access to the biggest advertising audience ever seen.
With nearly 2.1 billion people having accounts for various social platforms, the social media revolution shows no sign of coming to an end any time soon.
Pinterest for Business
In the six years since its creation by Cold Brew Labs, Pinterest has expanded to cater to 100 million users worldwide, with roughly thirty percent of all social media users visiting the site. The introduction this year of Rich Pins, containing a greater amount of information and allowing users to purchase items or services direct from their providers, has turned Pinterest into an unparallelled marketing opportunity for businesses, not only in the realm of online shopping. According to Ahalogy, over half of Pinterest’s daily users say they consult the site in-store to help them make decisions about their purchases. Over eighty percent would rather follow a brand than a celebrity.
The way Pinterest works is by allowing users to upload and “pin” photographs to a personalised “pinboard”, which can in turn be browsed by other people according to their interests. Globally most of these users are women who are more likely to book holidays or designers. That said, the number of men using Pinterest has increased dramatically recently especially in the UK. Men are reportedly twenty percent more likely to purchase items after seeing them on the site. Of course, the visual nature of Pinterest makes it ideal not just for impulse buys, but also for services such as interior design, where a picture can convey far more of a sense of what is on offer than mere text could ever do.
Once you start to view Pinterest as a search engine rather than a social media platform things start to become very interesting indeed. Especially for anyone wanting to push their products to a wider audience and, crucially, for anyone wanting to know how effective this marketing strategy is proving. Like most online marketing platforms, Pinterest is equally valuable as a market research tool as it is a virtual storefront, allowing advertisers to react quickly and dynamically to shifting demographics as well as customer response.
Given its rapid expansion and increasing popularity, which shows no signs of abating any time soon, now is the ideal time for brands to take advantage of this unprecedented marketing opportunity. Pins seen by your followers will be spread to their own followers, essentially meaning that the people to whom you are marketing become your brand’s marketers themselves, This makes it very easy for your content to go viral very quickly. Let’s face it, who hasn’t dreamed of harnessing the power of the public (and a very 21st century form of word of mouth) to build a huge audience?
In today’s increasingly overcrowded digital marketplace, search engine optimisation is now more important than ever before if you want your site to stand out from the crowd. Video content is a great way forward.
Whereas in the past a handful of keywords would do the trick, increased broadband speeds and the popularity of streaming media (an estimated 100 million people a day watch online video content) mean video is now one of the most important additions you can make to your marketing arsenal. This has as much to do with advances in the search engine technology itself as it does with the changing nature of the marketing landscape – a process which is only going to continue, making it vital that you jump on board now rather than find yourself left behind.
When you consider the advances being made by Google Labs in pattern recognition, the necessity of using video content becomes obvious for anyone wanting a boost in the markets of tomorrow.
Of course, search engine page ranking is just the beginning of your target audience’s engagement with your site. Once you have them there, you have to maintain their interest, and what better way to do that than with a slick video presentation? According to the Cisco Visual Network Index, by 2019 80% of all internet traffic will be video, making it the ideal way to connect with your customer base. And as a means of measuring how effective that connection is, video has a lot to recommend it over text. Of course, you can see how many pages a visitor has looked at but there is no way of telling how much of each of those pages they have actually read. Compare this to video, where information about how far through a piece each visitor has played is far easier to collate, making it equally useful as a tool for market research and refining your strategy.
If a picture can be said to paint a thousand words, the power of video is exponentially larger. It has a substantial effect on click-through rates, page rankings, audience interest and deal closures. If you look at the research, as well as the tangible benefits gleaned by those businesses who have already joined the video marketing boom, there really is no good reason not to get involved yourself. It’s not just sound business sense, it really is the future of online marketing.
From testimonials through to promotional videos and training produced, directed and edited by experienced, qualified experts. Increase your customer engagement and improve your search engine listings with bespoke, quality video content produced to your specifications. Contact Steve at Magnificent Stuff via e-mail or on 07723024865.