Must Have Digital Marketing Tips for Your Business

A massive 86% of internet users aged between 16 and 65 have searched online for a product or service, with 90% visiting a store online and 81% of internet users actually going on to make a purchase online, according to research conducted by wearesocial and Hootsuite HERE, which demonstrates how the UK is increasingly digitalising how we interact, research and make decisions regarding purchases of products and services.

In addition, social media has become part of virtually all of our lives with over 70% of UK adults now using social media sites (ONS, 2020) and most of us having a Facebook, Twitter or Instagram account on our mobile devices, so my latest blog looks at how you can harness the power of these platforms to help build your business and increase customer engagement online.

It’s also worth noting that the above research was conducted in 2019 and presented in January 2020, before the pandemic impacted on how we purchase goods and services.

It’s therefore never been more important for businesses of all shapes and sizes to consider how they can digitilise their business and in this article I look at some tips to help you start promoting your business online.

Know your target audience for social media marketing

This is for me the best place to start.  Do you know who your ideal customer is?  How old are they, where do they live and what gender do they identify with?  Do you work on a business to business (B2B) or business to consumer (B2C) basis?  To help you understand and profile your ideal customer Buffer have created THESE great documents to help you understand your key customers better, and create buyer personas for your business.

When you are clear on who you are selling your product and services to you can then start to look at which social media platforms are the best fit for your digital marketing activities.  

Focus your effort on the social media platforms your customers use

Once you’ve decided what your target customer looks like, then it’s time to decide which social media platforms to work on.  Many companies getting started in social media marketing make the mistake of trying to be present on every platform. 

However, By working across too many platforms you spread your content too thinly, meaning the quality of the content produced.  Also In my experience it is much better to focus on one or two platforms at most and give these channels your maximum effort. 

If you are looking to approach businesses rather than the end user (B2B) then LinkedIn and Twitter are probably your best platforms to work on.  For business to consumer approaches, then Facebook and Instagram will work well, especially if your products are visual, and you are looking to build a community around your business.

Picking the right platform ensures you do not waste time building campaigns and content strategies for platforms your customers are not present on.

Start building content for distribution

So you’re clear on who your customer is and where they are online, but how do you engage with them.  The type of content you create will depend on the success your social media approach has.  So what type of content should you look to create for your business?

Mailchimp have created an excellent guide HERE that presents the advantages and disadvantages of 12 different type of social media content, but for starters it’s best to focus on the things that you are most comfortable producing, that fits your approach and audience.

Written content, be it blogs, guides (like this article) or lists are a great place to start, and it's a good idea to draw up a list of subjects that your target audience will find useful.  I recommend creating a list of the questions that your customers ask, as this is often a great place to start developing ideas for content.

Then it’s time to get writing.  I’ve created an article on blog writing best practices HERE which has some tips to get you started.  Facebook and LinkedIn both like brevity in the content published so I would aim to write around 1,000 words for your initial pieces and work your way up to the recommended length of 1,500 as you progress.  The most important thing though is to make sure your content is authentic and interesting for your audience.

Use images to bring your products or content to life

If you have products to sell that are highly visual then good images or videos related to your products will help to increase engagement, especially if you are using Facebook or Instagram.  

However, it’s really important to ensure that the images you use are of the highest quality possible, and I would consider investing in a professional camera, or photographer if visual content is going to be important for your business.  For standard posts and written content, it’s also really important to bring the text to life with images and there are a number of great tools you can use to source and edit exiting images.  Hootsuite have created a guide to 15 tools they recommend HERE for creating social media images.

Planning makes perfect

Having a social media plan and strategy provides a structure to your activity and also helps you to dedicate enough time to developing content to power your social media activity.  An effective social media plan will usually be made up of the following elements:

  • Competitive analysis.  Understanding what your competitors are doing (or not doing) online, will help you to differentiate your approach and outperform them!

  • Social media Calendar.  A social media calendar is an essential tool underpinning your social media strategy and will help ensure that you consistently post content online, which is critical to maintaining an online presence for your business.

  • Content plan.  What are the key themes and subjects that you can create interesting content around?  Having a content plan helps with developing ideas for content, especially when you have multiple contributors within your business.

  • Analytics.  Having a method for tracking and measuring how content is performing will help you shape your future social media strategy.

In short, a social media plan will help you to work and manage social media marketing more efficiently with less stress.

I hope the above tips give you inspiration to start social media marketing for your small business.  If you have any questions or would like some advice you can set up a free consultation call with me HERE to discuss your social media needs or if there is any other marketing support I can help with.

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