By Angie McLuckie, from Urban Sno
Are you ready to take on the year ahead? Buzzing to get going and so many ideas whirring around your head, but not quite sure where to get started?
Let me help you get sorted out with the Digital and Social side of your business with a quick start guide on what trends to look out for in 2019 and where to get moving on this year’s journey.
Its all about putting a plan in place to get you off the starting blocks. Just spending half a day writing up an outline of what you want to do, and setting milestone goals will stop the panic setting in and you going off at a tangent.
This is the year to get ‘authentic’ with your brand and marketing. Last year saw a bit of backlash with the online world, so get a head start of getting to know your customers and meet their content needs.
Key areas to think about:
Do you ‘Trust’ yourself?
After all the ‘data breaches’ of last year, the incredible amounts of ‘fake news’ and various other online scandals, people are finding more and more ways to put up the barriers as to what they are prepared to listen too and get involved in. The Social and Digital world is huge and you can easily be kicked to the kerb by people who don’t feel they can put their trust in you.
So first and foremost, please drop any forms of automation that involves spammy comments and ‘follow/unfollow’ games. The world is on to you! If you are not prepared to communicate authentically with your audience, then don’t communicate at all.
Do ya hear me?
Time for your audience to fall in love with you and you with them.
As you would with good friends, be there for them, listen to their comments, answer their questions and sort out their complaints……. which hopefully you won’t have, as you are approachable and interested in what they have to say.
Make sure you know who your audience is! Personalise everything to them! Make them feel that you are inside their heads and you are one step ahead of their needs! If you are not talking to your customers, then there sure as heck will be another business out there ready to strike up a conversation.
Where do you want to meet?
So, it’s old news that Instagram is the darling of the Social Media world just now and has so much influence over so many people. Just because it holds so much clout, doesn’t mean that it is right for your particular customer.
This is where you need to delve deep into your customers psyche and know where they hang out. There is no point posting pretty pictures on Instagram when all your customers love having debates and conversations on Twitter.
Identify your customer and you can identify where they want you to communicate with them.
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Content really is the King
If all the Social Media channels collapsed overnight, would you really still have a business?
It has been said many times before that Social Media platforms are pretty much ‘rented space’. They could disappear in the blink of an eye…….unlikely………. but don’t rely them as the main marketing channels for your business.
What is going to differentiate you from other businesses is your content and the quality of what you put out there.
Think blogs, podcasts, videos, e-books, courses, webinars, free resources……..the list could go on.
Once you have a library built up, just think how much easier your Social Media life will be. You can break parts of them down into written posts, video posts, lead generators plus so much more. You will never be scrabbling around looking for post ideas again as you will be so super organised with lots of resources to pull from.
Spin me a yarn
‘Stories’ on Instagram and Facebook are becoming more popular day by day! We are all pretty nosey at heart and I myself, spend more time watching sneak peeks into people’s lives than looking through the grids and posts.
Make sure the videos and stories you put out are not disjointed, matter to your audience and let them feel they are getting something that they couldn’t get elsewhere. If you are struggling for ideas to turn into a story, look back at a blog post you have written, articles relevant to your industry etc and turn them into short videos, do time-lapse videos of you walking around your neighbourhood, making a recipe, doing a makeover, making up a design etc etc.
Do you have a ‘brand’ or a ‘commodity’?
Please tell me you have a ‘Brand’. If not, why not?
What makes you different from the other Beauty Brand, Salon up the road, or Nail Bar or Personal Trainer? Your ‘brand’ is what people think about you. Their impression, their perception, the promises you make. Just for the record……its not the logo you had designed 3 years ago, that’s your ‘brand identity’!
If you can’t differentiate your offer from 3 other similar products or businesses in your area, why would people choose you?
People will go out of their way and spend more money to buy from a brand that they have a relationship with, who also align with their own values and who they have positive experiences with. If there is one thing you invest in this year, make sure it is a strong brand presence.
Come on then……Influence me!
There doesn’t look like there is going to be any slow down soon when it comes to the ‘influencer’ market. Leading marketers are predicting that this will be a dominant trend throughout 2019.
Collaboration is the name of the game which links in very well with the ‘Social’ in Social Media.
Influencers don’t have to have huge followings, think of involving ‘micro-influencers’ who have 1000 – 5000 followers and have a highly engaged audience. Remember Social Media is ‘Word of Mouth’ on speed, so even if a small % of those followers share or tell their friends and followers about you, and they in turn tell their friends and followers, and the cycle keeps being repeated, your fan-base will start to grow. Don’t dismiss the wee guys.
Just a few ideas to get your online marketing off to a good start this year. Make 2019 the year you get your brand and social presence in tip top condition so it can carry you for years to come.