Marketing Tools

Marketing Tools

A CMS website allows many individuals of differing levels to edit your website.

Efficiency

To be efficient lets get serious now. The most important tools are:

  1. A collaborative website
  2. Social Marketing one-stop tool
  3. Planning applications

1. A Content Management System Website

Lucky for us there are lots of options for collaborative websites. The best in the business has to be WordPress.

This is a Open Source Content Management System which allows access by many individuals of differing levels to edit your website. What is stunning about WordPress is that you have access to hundreds of thousands of different templates, plugins and widgets. Plugins add extra functions to your website, like, for example, a calendar or even a ticketing system.  Widgets are, in general, smaller pieces of code that sit in the website’s sidebar. You often see a widget that shows a selection of your blog posts in the sidebar.

Don’t be confused with WordPress.org and WordPress.com  WordPress.com is a complete web service. Great if you are a novice or just want to learn the Ins and Outs of WP. But is fairly restrictive as far as design goes. And you can’t access your database as you can with a WordPress.org website. You may need to in the future.

You can build your own WordPress website from scratch on most hosting services. Or a reliable developer or hosting service can do that for you. It is very dependent on how skilled you are at page builders, UX design, and the many different types of landing page and content pages available.

The other two CM systems are Drupal and Joomla. But according to statistics, currently there are more than 1bn WordPress websites. That must say something about its reliability. There is also a BUT. Because it is so popular, you need to ensure you incorporate some sensible rules and some recommended security software for your website.

A CMS website allows many individuals of differing levels to edit your website.

2. Social Marketing Tools

  1. The top of the list has to be Hootsuite.  This has to be the best multi-social networking tool on the market today. You even get user statistics and a 30-day free trial period. Plans start at $29/month for 10 social profiles up to $599 for 35 social profiles. They also offer Enterprise by quote.***
  2. Sprout Social is a single hub social media marketing tool. It includes Instagram. Offered to users starting at $99/month. ***
  3. Buffer is really affordable and starts at $15/month for 8 social accounts and 100 posts. Premium is offered at $65/month again for 8 social accounts but 2,000 scheduled posts. Business is at $99/month for 25 social accounts and 2,000 posts. ***
  4. We haven’t covered 3rd party add-ons to social networks but there are many apps that allow you to conduct extra searches on social network platforms. One example would be Tweepi which allows you to reach more Twitter followers than through Twitter itself.
  5. WhatsApp Business App is one of the most powerful Facebook tools you need in your social network arsenal.

 

***Prices at press time January 2020.

 

RETURN NEXT WEEK WHEN WE’LL THOSE MUST-HAVE PLANNING TOOLS.

Can I Market My Own Business

Can I Market My Own Business

 by Steph Dickson
by Steph Dickson

by
Steph Dickson

Can I Market My Own Business ?

How You Tell the World About Your Product or Service

If you are asking this question your are in the right place.

But what exactly is Marketing? The answer is fairly simple.

MARKETING IS HOW YOU TELL THE WHOLE WORLD ABOUT YOUR PRODUCT OR SERVICE.

Of course you can market your business so we hope our recommendations will help you. But it won’t happen overnight. It’s all about taking small steps.

Lesson 1. Marketing is NOT just about posting content on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn, TikTok or any other social network platform. It is a science that encompasses everything you wish the world to believe about you.

If you have the budget to support your own marketing team, even better. But for the majority of small businesses that may not be possible. That is, until your marketing strategy has not only retained existing customers or clients, but has attracted new ones.

So let’s get going.

STEP 1

BUILD A MARKETING BUDGET

Once your budget is in place, research for tools that will give you a one-step content distribution across several platforms.

STEP 2

YOU MUST HAVE A WEBSITE

There are so many options from the easy do-it-yourself option to one developed for you.

STEP 3

KNOW YOUR WHY

Why do are doing what you do. Explaining it in a way that is attractive. Your MISSION. Your PURPOSE.

If You Don’t Have a Website It Will Be Difficult to Sustain Your Business

If you don’t have a website it will be difficult to sustain your business in today’s global and extremely competitive marketplace.  Relying just on Facebook/Instagram and Twitter would be a mistake. Your social networks need to work together with your website. Let’s say they need to work symbiotically together to benefit each other.

Social networks function differently to your website. Unless you fully understand the technology that controls them, your marketing will not gain the momentum, and will not drive enough traffic to your business.

So get your Content Marketing  Business Process Hat on and dive in.

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Story Telling Connects People to Each Other

The most important marketing tool is telling your story.

Story-telling connects people to each other. Story-telling is memorable and if done well, will connect us to the story’s message; can make us more knowledgeable and informed, even desirable and maybe even more secure.

So what is your Brand, your Vision and your Mission? If you don’t have any of these you don’t have a story.

And how you tell your story is also important. It encompasses everything from your business icon, the fonts you use, the concept of each image you use and how you write your editorial.

Your editorial needs to be easy to read, simple, clean, to the point and with short sentences, transition words and small paragraphs.

So, let’s start by discovering how you need to tell your story in detail.

Branding

Branding

BRANDING

You have a great product, service or brick and mortar business. And now you are on your way to turning leads in sales. But before you do anything else, stop!

Later on we talk about Digital Concept Marketing. But let’s take a brief look first at your brand.

WHAT IS A BRAND?

A brand is how your service, your product, your staff and you are perceived publicly. It defines who and what you are compared to your competitors. It is your business identity.

To develop a brand you need to understand visual concepts. It’s the message you send to your prospects and customers about who you are. When a prospect views your website, your social networks, your images, your editorial, your logo, the typeface you use, the videos you present, even the color schemes you use, it conjures up feelings in others. You need to tap into those feelings using concepts to attract users to your product and services. These concepts identify you and set you apart from your competitors.

Part of our conversation with you is to discuss your branding and marketing plans and we will recommend tools to help you along. What matters to us is that you convert Leads into Sales. But having the best product is not enough. Understanding what works and what won’t work is part of the conversation with you.

When working with you we need you to understand from the start that 1. You will trust us. And 2. We only succeed when you succeed. It’s that simple.

LOGO: CAFE/RESTAURANT

Le Café de l’Élite

The client requested a logo that reflected their concept of a turn-of-the-century gathering place “à la française” which would attract customers who enjoyed each other’s company, loved French food at a reasonable price, and conversation in a relaxed atmosphere.  They required a very fast turnaround. They needed immediate results for several logos for their website, social networks, printing (letterhead, brochures, bills, menus, invoices, business cards) and their menu and delivery app. They also required a logo for pens and cork coasters as handouts.

We sit down with our clients first, get to know them, brainstorm and come up with some sketches we all agree on, and then return usually within four business days with proofs. Production can be completed in less than a week. We can either print the marketing materials ourselves or deliver the logo files in SVG, PDF and EPS file formats for various types of printing.

QUICK HINT!

There is more to designing a logo than you think. If you want to design and print your own logo you will need both positive and negative logos, and file formats for many different types of printing services.

We recommend using Adobe InDesign or Illustrator for this task. Unfortunately, many cheap online programs will not produce satisfactory file formats for all branding products. And most online print companies will not allow you to download your logo from their website for future use except through their online business.

POSITIVE SPACE

NEGATIVE SPACE

Planning Your Content

Planning Your Content

We’ve decided to focus here on B2C (Business To Customer) content marketing rather than B2B (Business To Business). It’s a slightly different approach to marketing strategies for B2B, which often requires more long-term research and strategic planning.

The Editorial Staff

How You Tell the World About Your Product or Service

Hello and Welcome Back Small Business Owner

If you’ve got this far, we would expect you know:

  • why you do what you do (your Mission)
  • what your story is
  • what your customers’ demographics are
  • how your product or service can resolve their problems.

By resolving their problems you are educating them. And when you educate them successfully, you engage their trust. This is where social networks come into play. Users are constantly asking their group members for advice on recommending a security system, a dentist or doctor, a school, an electrician, etc., etc. When you build trust in your prospects and customers, they WILL recommend you.

A “Call To Action” will draw attention to your Ad campaign

Where Else Can You Educate Your Followers?

Throughout your advertising campaign. Your advertising should always present a resolution for its viewers. It’s not enough to write an Ad in a newspaper that only explains an event, the time, date and location. Add a tag line. An example would be something like, “Get 20% off your ticket if you order before January 31!” In the industry this is known as a CALL TO ACTION. It is a stimulus for your customers or prospects to do something in order to achieve an aim or to deal with a problem.

Testimonials are another great way to build trust but they must be genuine. And always ask your customers first, before you post their name and exalting comments about your business on your website.

Case studies are slightly different to testimonials because you write them from you, the business owner’s perspective. “Ms. A. came to us because they wanted to organize a surprise event for their partner but to do so they would need to keep traffic, such as parked cars, to a minimum in their neighborhood.” You can then explain how your event business resolved this problem.

It is absolutely crucial you add the LINKS to your entire blogs and complete articles to your social network posts.

Where Are Users Looking For Answers?

When researching for answers, users are going to search engines using many devices. What they hit will bring them to blog posts or website newsletters, ebooks, social content, and how-to webinars. It doesn’t make any sense to post a huge article on a Facebook feed because, quite frankly, Facebook is great for link sharing to other articles, or what we call quick blasts.

At the beginning of 2020, according to Statista, 96% of Facebook users access the platform using mobiles. Only 25% use a desktop to access FB and 16% use tablets.Scroll, Scroll, Scroll. Is it worth adding all your marketing content using FB, IG and TW?

Let’s write this another way. It is absolutely crucial to add to your social network feeds your promo images, video and short, sharp posts (including that important tag line) and the even more important link to an entire article on your website. The real digital content marketing has to be discovered in its entirety on another platform so it can be reached consistently and regularly through search engines. And that’s on your website or dedicated blog site.

With Digital Health becoming a huge discussion point now, it may be that fewer hours will be spent on these social networks in the future. If you want more information read the Wired Article on how you can check your Facebook social network hours on a cellphone.

Wired Magazine

How You Tell the World About Your Product or Service

Let’s Talk About Those Important Emails, Blogs and Articles

Blogs. Call these newsletters if you like. But these are one of your most important tools. They tell your whole story, they educate people, they show off your expertise and they build trust. They are also easily accessible in the future.

Building a newsletter/blog following will be one of your most important tools. But in order to see all that other expert advice you offer, the articles and news items should be distributed from your website or blog site. This way you can use search engine optimization to make your expertise easier for your prospects and followers to find.

We will be covering marketing tools and search engine tools and tips next week, but for now we want you to think about how you are going to conjure up emotion. Because that is what is going to increase exponentially your followers. If you don’t conjure up an emotion in your followers, you will find it extremely difficult to keep them. They will look elsewhere for the education, resolution and advice they seek.

How You Tell the World About Your Product or Service

Building a Roadmap

Sound like a lot, yes? Marketing your business for yourself. We will talk later on about how you get help from contractors, but at the beginning you will want to get organized. There are plenty of tools available which will help you collaborate your marketing strategies and plans well in advance.

Just start simply. You can use an Excel spreadsheet or Google docs to build a roadmap which will show each step you need to take and the timeline for each marketing event you want to promote. Start by dividing your responsibilities into bite sized pieces. Firstly the deadline, the date of completion and the title or description of the creation. Then under this headline, divide it out into graphic art, writing, editing, approval, printing/posting and other forms of distribution. Include each deadline and approval date for each responsibility.

You won’t believe how much easier it will make your life. We use Google docs here because as soon as a job has been completed and approved all the stakeholders get an email to check the roadmap for their upcoming responsibility. This type of automation will ensure that balls don’t get dropped.

However, a final word of warning. Always be prepared for a glitch. It happens but try to build in a bit of risk management to your roadmap in case a glitch happens. Also, be prepared to cancel the whole darn thing if everything goes south. It also happens but be positive, that’s how you learn for the future.

RETURN NEXT WEEK WHEN WE’LL DISCUSS TOOLS TO HELP YOUR DIGITAL CONTENT MARKETING

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