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creating a social media strategy

5 STEPS TO CREATING A SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGY THAT WORKS

By | Social Media

Creating a social media strategy has two effects on marketers, it either sends chills of fear down their spine or bores them so much that they consider moving on to their 5th cup of coffee of the day. But regardless of the effect that creating a social media strategy has on you, the simple fact is that you need one. Without one your marketing will be scattergun at best and likely end in substantial amounts of effort moving the needle of success no further to the right.

By creating a social media strategy you will outline exactly what you are aiming to achieve and how you propose you will get there. This acts as a road map which can be followed much more easily and strategically than attempting to take a reactive approach. It also ensures that all effort is focused on achieving a final goal.

What is a social media strategy?

 

social media strategy benefits

Let’s kick this off with the basics. But not too basic…if you need a social media marketing definition, I suggest you read up before reading this blog.

We will, however, explain what we mean when we say ‘social media strategy‘. To understand this we must first understand what we mean by strategy in a business context:

A strategy is a framework for making decisions about how you will play the game of business. These decisions, which occur daily throughout the organization, include everything from capital investments to operational priorities to marketing to hiring to sales approaches to branding efforts to how each individual shuffles his To-Do list every single morning. Without a strategic framework to guide these decisions, the organization will run in too many different directions, accomplish little, squander profits, and suffer enormous confusion and discord.” Ann Latham. Forbes.com.

A social media strategy then is a set of rules, guidelines and plans which can be followed when using social media as a tool for achieving business success.

 

Benefits of social media strategy

 

So, let’s put this into context. We can see that creating a social media strategy can help us move our business to success. Our strategy protects us from getting sidetracked with activities which do not serve us in achieving our ultimate goal. Although creating a social media strategy may seem like a needless time investment. In fact, it will save you and your business considerable time and investment in the long run.

Creating a social media strategy also ensures you do not get trapped ‘chasing’ your competitors. Many businesses social media activities are made up solely of ‘what I think will work’ or ‘what our competitors are doing’. Sure, your competitors may be doing things because they work, or they might just be guessing. Either way, this approach will see you always competing and never beating those in your industry.

Business and marketings legend of strategy Micheal Porter put it well when he described competitive strategy:

“It means deliberately choosing a different set of activities to deliver a unique mix of value”

We will excuse the blurry/shaky video in favour of the concise and to the point explanation Micheal Porter gives strategy and it’s benefits here:

A well planned and executed social media strategy will allow you to differentiate your business from others in the market, assisting you in grabbing more of the market share of attention. Ultimately, an increase in market attention can be converted into leads and sales, making your business more profitable.

So why is creating a social media strategy important? Because it makes you more money, that’s why!

 

Creating a social media strategy: how to

 

Consider the fundamentals DONE. We know what a social media strategy is and why it is so important to your business. Now let’s get to the juicy bit, the bit you actually came here for. It’s time to outline exactly how you can create a social media strategy that works.

A quick search for ‘marketing strategy books’ on Amazon returns over 10,000 results…I didn’t even want to look at how many search results there are on Google! Needless to say, there is a lot of theory, debate and endless pages of content on how best to execute a great social media or marketing strategy.

Now, I’m here to tell you that there is a hack or ‘quick fix’ for creating a social media strategy. Because there certainly isn’t one. But I have read A LOT of those books and even more of those Google search results. In addition, working in a social media marketing business, I have worked many businesses, developing social media strategies that work. I can tell you, that for all the theoretical fluff around the subject, there are 5 core steps to creating a successful social media strategy. So, I have gone ahead and outlined them below.

Each step is non-negotiable. Each feeds the next step and some feedback to previous steps, creating an everlasting cycle, increasing success and profit over time.

 

1. Business goals first

 

Do you have business goals? You would be surprised how many businesses don’t. In fact, I would say at least 40% of the businesses we deal with don’t have any idea of what they want to achieve beyond ‘making more profit’.

HINT: If you work within a business and you need to create a social media strategy proposal. Starting that proposal with established business goals is a BRILLIANT way to highlight the benefits to senior management.

If you do have specific, measurable and time-bound business goals you can go ahead and jump to step 2 (well done you). If you haven’t, here is the sad truth:

Businesses without a clear direction are at best destined to remain mediocre and at worst fail altogether. This feeds back to our points regarding the importance of business strategy. Without strong and clear business goals, it is too easy to get lost amongst the weeds. This leads to wasting your time going not very far in many directions.

social media goals

Setting goals can be a maze of analytics, stakeholder meetings and management guff. But setting business goals isn’t all that difficult, or at least it doesn’t need to be. Don’t overcomplicate it, at least not when your getting started. Just consider where you want to be in 12 months time and what that would look like in terms of metrics. A few examples may be:

  • Increase average monthly profit by 50%
  • Grow the team by 5 members
  • Have 5 new clients on retainer
  • Have increased website blog visitors by 100% (positioning yourself as a thought leader)

Sometimes stepping outside of your box and working out what these goals are can be a little difficult. If you need a nudge in the right direction ping me an email on owain@makeitmana.com and I’ll be happy to help!

2. Set social media objectives

 

Ok, so these are different from your business goals. These objectives are specifically what you are going to achieve with reference to social media. These social media objectives have one very clear purpose – to help you achieve your business goals.

I cannot stress this enough. Aimlessly achieving ‘things’ in social media is going to be worthless or worth very little unless they help you achieve your business goals. Here are a few examples:

  • Building a huge Instagram following is pointless if you aren’t reaching the people who buy (or influence the people who buy) your product or service.
  • Getting 1 million views on your YouTube video is pointless if it’s a cute cat video and your business sells car parts.
  • Posting meme’s to up your engagement is going to damage your brand if you are a serious business in a serious industry.

The message I am trying to get across here is that high metrics don’t always equal success and success is only achieved when your social media objectives are tailored towards achieving your business goals.

set social media objectives

Creating a social media strategy may not always help you achieve all of your business goals. For example, if one of your goals is to cut manufacturing costs, there is little scope for social media to help you with this. At this point, you need to be smart about how you pick which business goals social media can help you achieve. Here are just a couple of examples:

Business Goal: To increase sales by 50% Social Media Objective: To increase direct sales from social media channels by 70%

Business Goal: To position ourselves as thought leaders Social Media Objective: To have our content shared on social media by leading industry bodies 5 times a month

 

3. Create a social media plan

 

Now we have our social media objectives all lined up we can start planning how we are going to achieve them. At this point, we need to start thinking in terms of tactics and tools. It may be easier for you to break these plans down into campaigns which highlight exactly every action you are going to take.

The more detailed these plans are, the easier they are going to be to follow. The more likely you are to achieve your objectives. Here is a VERY simple look at how your social media plans should feed into your social media strategy:

Social media objective: To increase traffic to our blog

Social marketing plan example:

  1. Create 5 pieces of content a week which quote and push our blogs, with links through to the relevant blogs
  2. Search relevant hashtags and join in conversations around our area of expertise, naturally linking to our blog posts where relevant
  3. Update our profile link on Instagram, directing traffic to our latest blog post

If you need some help with creating a solid social media plan, get in touch and I will try and help you out: owain@makeitmana.com.

Here is a quick and simple diagram as a social media strategy example:

creating a social media strategy

 

4. Execute

 

You would be surprised how many people write up brilliant business goals, social media objectives and clever, thorough plans but then don’t bother to execute on them. Frankly, if you do not have the time or motivation to execute on your social media strategy then the whole process if a waste of time.

execute social media strategy

It is only when you execute that you see the benefits of your strategy some to light. Make sure you can commit 100% to your plans when drawing them up. If you can’t, edit them to make them more realistic.

Here is a little wisdom on execution:

” Ideas are shit. Execution is the name of the game. Just. Make. It. Happen.” Gary Vaynerchuk.

 

5. Test, measure and tweak

 

Creating a social media strategy isn’t a one-time thing. You need to test it, measure results and tweak it over time to ensure the greatest and consistent results. This is for two main reasons:

  1. You won’t get it spot on the first time. In fact, there is ALWAYS room for improvement.
  2. Things change. Your customers, the market and your competitors will always change. Therefore you will need to consistently update your strategy in order to see continued success.

 

Social media is a POWERFUL tool. But many businesses become disillusioned by its usefulness due to a lack of consistent and profitable results. Creating a social media strategy will put you in a strong position. Putting you ahead of your competitors and reaping the benefits which come with it.

If you need any help or advice on creating a social media strategy, get in touch. You can reach me through the contact page, or email me directly at owain@makeitmana.com (I’ll get back to you as soon as I possibly can).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CRAFT BEER: ULTIMATE DIGITAL MARKETING GUIDE

By | Marketing

For many (myself included) the idea of running a craft beer business is a dream. Fascinating chemistry? Creative freedom? Getting paid to taste delicious beer? Yes, please.

But we aren’t alone. In fact, some studies suggest that the number of breweries operating in the UK has almost doubled in the past five years. This could be part of the reason why many assume that the craft beer gold rush is over…it is true that we have seen market growth slowing in recent years.

But has the opportunity to start a craft beer micro-empire really disappeared? We think not. We are now seeing the market level out. This means entry is becoming more difficult.

Sure, this sounds bad…but it isn’t. It means those who want to succeed are forced to focus on quality. Quality of the product, quality of the brand and indeed the quality of their customer service.

We can’t help much with customer service or the product (although we are more than willing to taste test). But branding and marketing is our thing. Here is our guide to marketing your craft brewery.

 

Craft Beer: The opportunity

 

You would be forgiven for thinking that the craft beer trend has had its day here in the United Kingdom. Yet recent figures from SIBA (The Society of Independent Brewers) have shown some surprising findings in the independent brewery space. For example, 2018 saw growth in artisan beer production of 0.8%. A modest increase for sure, but we have also seen some not-so-surprising shifts in consumer habits and perceptions:

 

“45% of consumers are happy to pay more for genuine craft beer.”

“24% of consumers would be more likely to visit a pub or restaurant if it had a good selection of craft beer”

“16% of consumers would consider switching where they do their shopping based on the craft beer selection a supermarket offers”

 

Although the same report also highlighted a 5% decline in people drinking beer more than once a week (from 26% in 2017 to 21% in 2019), the combined figures go to show that as a general rule consumers are drinking less beer, whilst simultaneously demanding better quality.

 

Marketing

 

When it comes to marketing there are options. LOADS of options. So it can be difficult to know where to start.

Getting the right marketing mix for your craft beer business is a fine art which will take some time and testing. Here is how to get started:

Social Media

 

You won’t be surprised to see social media on this list. But just ‘doing social media’ won’t do much for your brand. A solid understanding of social media strategy, including organic and paid-for social media is crucial for success.

craft beer sign

Organic Social

The first question to ask yourself when considering social media (or any digital marketing for that fact) is what do you want to achieve. Simply posting on social is unlikely to benefit you much. Ask yourself:

Who do you want to reach?

What do you want them to do?

Audience

Of course, delicious craft beer is for everyone (over 18). But developing a more specific idea of who you are marketing to will help focus your efforts. Take for example a typical target audience for a craft brewery:

Gender: Male

Age: 22-45 (although a growing audience in the 18-21 space)

Interests: Sustainability, Local Food & Drink, Socialising

Social Media Platforms

Taking this into consideration you can start to work out where those customers attention might be. Trying to reach the above audience may see you focusing on certain social media platforms. For example, with an estimated 42 million users in the UK, Facebook is a no brainer for the majority of businesses.

Instagram is often overlooked for craft beer producers. However, with roughly 59% of internet users between 18 and 29 using the platform it offers access to a huge proportion of a growing customer base. The platform is also becoming increasingly popular with an older audience, with 33% of internet users between 30 and 49 also using the platform. Instagram also lends itself to such an artisan trade as craft brewing. Allowing breweries to tell visual stories (brewing process, branding, community content etc).

Other platforms should also be considered carefully. Twitter is widely used by businesses, however, with engagement on the platform dropping drastically resources may be better spent elsewhere. Snapchat is certainly a powerful visual platform, yet with a much younger audience, it is unlikely to be that useful for in the craft beer space.

We may hate it, but selling directly to pubs is not as profitable as it used to be. We are seeing a shift for craft beer consumers drinking less, higher quality beer at home. For this reason, it is now more important than ever for craft breweries to develop strong relationships with retailers. LinkedIn may not seem like a natural platform for a craft brewery, but it can be a powerful sales tool. Although the majority of the effort on LinkedIn is likely to be from a personal point of view (sales managers), having a strong business page will support sales efforts online.

Call to action

So, once you have worked out who you are trying to target and which platforms you are going to use to reach them you need to work out exactly what you want them to do….

…ok, this question sounds pretty dumb…we want them to buy beer right? Well yes, but the likelihood of someone seeing some of your social media content once and then becoming a loyal customer is pretty low. Instead, you need workout which actions are valuable to your business. These may include:

Visiting an online store

Joining a mailing list

Following you on social media

Digesting a particular piece of content

Calling the brewery

When developing your call to action, you need to take two things into consideration. Firstly, you should not be looking for a direct result with every post. In fact, the majority of your posts should be informative or entertaining with no call to action (adding value). As a general rule, we use the 80/20 rule…for every 8 educational/entertaining posts we will include 2 ‘direct sells’. The 80% isn’t just wasted content, it is promoting engagement, building brand value and driving traffic to your profile…which should be geared for your valuable action.

social media rules

Paid Social

We won’t deny it. Although organic social media is a powerful and worthwhile tool…it’s a slow build. In fact, commercially savvy platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are making it increasingly difficult to earn substantial reach on their platforms.

Why? Because money…and lot’s of it. Facebook reportedly made $16.6 billion in ad revenue in Q4 of 2018.

Clever use of social media ads offer some substantial advantages to craft beer businesses. It allows you to reach your exact target audience with the right message at the right time…something which can be tricky with organic social media tactics (although you stand a better chance if you follow our tips above).

The advanced targetting on Facebook and Instagram ads means you target by demographics, interests and behaviours. So, in the case of a craft brewery, you could target men in your local area, aged between 22-45 who are interested in craft beer. You can even filter based on those that are engaged online shoppers, increasing chances of a purchase being made via your ad.

Social ads are particularly powerful when you have a key or new message to push. For example, to make a lot of noise about a new beer release or an upcoming event, paid social ads can be a great way to get that message in front of the right people in a timely manner.

Blogging

Some industries are seriously blog heavy. Take digital marketing for example…this certainly isn’t the only digital marketing blog out there (but it probably is the best). I would be shocked to visit a marketing agency or platform website and not find some form of a blog. Other industries see very few blogs being created – craft beer is one of these.

Blogging may not seem an important part of promoting your craft beer business. But this isn’t the case for two key reasons:

  1. The majority of consumers love craft beer for the ‘art’. By creating a blog it enables you to position yourself as a leader in the craft beer space and educate your customers on why your products are so great…all without being too salesy.
  2. Consumers often turn to Google to find new and interesting craft beers to try…a regularly populated blog does wonders for your search engine rankings.

craft beer blog

Blogging can take a number of forms:

  • Written (like this) – great for SEO (search engine optimisation) and keeping your website fresh
  • Vlog (or video blogging) –  not always as good from an SEO perspective, but great for engagement, brand building and visual storytelling
  • Micro-blogging  – writing mini-blogs on platforms like Instagram is a brilliant way to build your audience and boost engagement…but again this isn’s quite as good from an SEO point of view.

Influencers

Influencer marketing has taken the digital marketing world by storm. This has led to a bit of a free for all or as many in the industry call it ‘a shit show’. With so many options and news about fake followers, it can all be a bit disheartening.

But chill….we have your back.

Let’s be honest. A photo of Kim Kardashian sipping your beer is a bit irrelevant and wildly improbable. Influencer marketing doesn’t have to mean cringe-worthy celebrity ‘endorsements’. Instead, we suggest targetting the following types of influencers for your efforts.

Micro Influencers

The term micro influencer means different things to different people. For example, in the health and fitness space an Instagram influencer with 30K followers may be considered fairly ‘micro’. However, in the craft beer space an influencer who has a specific interest may have a much smaller number of followers…let’s say 5k for example.

 

craft beer influencer

Working with these influencers can be a great way to tap into the community, spread noteworthy news and even develop professional content which can be reused across all your marketing materials. In the case of working with micro influencers, you should take time to make sure they are a good match for your brand. You must also allow them creative freedom to ensure authenticity throughout their content.

Brand Advocates

Brand advocates should be the bread and butter of your marketing strategy. Although there is a lot of fluff around what is meant by brand advocates, we prefer a simpler definition…’very happy customers’. By creating delighted customers you are increasing the chances of positive word of mouth.

But this is just part of the equation of brand advocacy. It is all very well creating happy customers, but without giving them something to shout about it is unlikley to have much of a positive impact on your craft beer business. Doing this is actually quite simple. Here are a few ideas to help promote brand advocacy:

  1. Run events (beer tasting, tours, gigs etc), collect your own content and ask attendees if you can share their content…using an event-specific hashtag is a good way to do this.
  2. Make your product noteworthy. However delicious your beer is…it’s still brown liquid…this is where branding comes in. Creating awesome packaging, glasses, pump clips and even merch are a great way to give your brand advocates something to shout about.
  3. Reward awesome content. By providing an incentive for those that create great brand-focused content, you turn your top customers into brilliant (and cost-effective) content creators for your brand.
  4. Go above an beyond. Sometimes it as simple as being good at your job…great customer service often leads to great online content, especially in the case of online reviews.

 

Craft Beer Marketing

 

Craft brewing is an exciting space to break into. For those that have the drive, there are huge opportunities to create an awesome business that can be highly profitable. However, in such a competitive space, marketing will play an increasingly important part in successful craft beer breweries. Using a smart combination of social media, SEO, influencer marketing and brand advocacy will position your business for future success.

 

 

 

Owain Williams, Founder of MAKE IT MANA, has a passion for craft beer. Having spent two years helping grow a small brewery in the Midlands, Owain has since developed an expertise in digital marketing. As an agency, we have experience in working with up-and-coming breweries helping them to tap into the power of social media, grow their reach increase profit. 

If you think we could help you take your brewery to the next level get in touch with Owain directly on owain@makeitmana.com

THE GO TO CONTENT MARKETING CHECKLIST

By | Content Marketing

There is NOTHING more satisfying than completing a checklist. This is even truer when that checklist is going to quickly and easily help you get more from your copywriting and content marketing efforts.

That is why we have created the go-to checklist for the busy, entrepreneur, business owner and marketer. This guide takes you step-by-step through which questions you should be asking yourself to be creating awesome, highly engaging content.

Just type in your details below to download this free guide now.

O – and don’t forget to opt in for future guides, news and other helpful content.

Want to get more from your content marketing?
Download our easy to follow content marketing checklist now

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SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS: A POWERFUL MARKETING TOOL?

By | Marketing

DO NOT PANIC.

But we are not talking exclusively about digital marketing in this week’s blog…i’m sorry. But it will be worth it, trust me.

In fact, we are taking the opportunity to take a holistic approach to business and how one key focus could be an immensely powerful marketing tool for your brand.

THE END IS NIGH

Open any social media platform and you might be mistaken in thinking that the end of the world is legitimately just around the corner…

  • Global warming
  • Pollution
  • Single-use plastics
  • A host of supposedly insane people in political and commercial power.

It all seems like doom and gloom. But there is a positive message embedded in a lot of the media, a glimmer of hope. WE CAN DO SOMETHING to make a change, it ISN’T TOO LATE – but we do need to ACT NOW.

sustainable business problems

Take David Attenborough’s Our Planet series on Netflix. Sir David takes the opportunity to highlight the negative impact our actions are having on the planet. But the reason this message is being communicated is to provoke individual action in tackling these issues.

A similar theme has been present throughout mainstream media, with the recent Extinction Rebellion protests taking centre stage for both positive and negative reasons. Whether you agree with their methods or not, it is undeniable that the state of the planet is of concern and at the forefront of many peoples minds at the moment.

This presents a rather interesting opportunity for businesses.

Sustainable business: why?

The recent buzz around sustainability has seen many people make significant lifestyle changes for the good of our planet. From a rise in veganism to a backlash against single-use plastics, consumers are becoming increasingly eco-savvy. But it isn’t just individuals that are responsible for the future of our planet.

Businesses should be making consistent changes to their business processes, products and services to develop their sustainability. In fact, as entities that serve others, businesses should be leading the way when it comes to the drive towards sustainability.

The benefits

We admit it, it is all very well being an eco-conscious business. But you are still a business and therefore you need to continue making a profit….what if we told you that taking a sustainable business approach can pay dividends to businesses.

For example, our client That Luxe Life recently published their sustainability statement. This statement highlights exactly what they currently do and what their future plans are when it comes to creating an eco-friendly business. In turn, this has created a positive reaction from their current and potential customers.

The short term win of good PR is just part of the reason businesses should look to increase their sustainability. As we continue to see a cultural shift of consumers, we are likely to see the businesses they choose to work with come under scrutiny.

Where we have seen businesses boycotted or disfavoured in the past due to social issues. The same is likely to become more common with businesses that do not highlight their commitment to sustaining our planet.

Making your businesses intentions clear with regards to sustainability is also likely to turn customers towards your business as a way for them to feel good about themselves. Brands like TOMS have already built a vast number of avid fans by taking this approach.

Sustainable business: Examples

Big brands are already catching onto this opportunity to remain in favour with their target audience. For example, Adidas recently launched a trainer made from recycled ocean plastics and other businesses which provide food and drink services are looking to remove plastics such as straws from their products.

Adidas sustainable shoe

Adidas

Wait, is this ok?

Ok, we get it. It might seem a little wrong to be using something like the health of our planet as a way to make customers buy more stuff from us. Shouldn’t we be doing everything we can to help the planet anyway? Not just because it might mean we can some extra cash?

But let’s look at this from a different angle.

The world is going to keep turning (for now anyway). Consumers will keep consuming and businesses will keep making money from this. Some of those businesses will be willing to make big changes for the better of the planet (yours). Some will do whatever they can to make more profit year on year, even if that means damaging the planet even more.

By making your planet-friendly actions clear and apparent you are giving eco-conscious consumers an easy option of who to chose. By doing this to grow your business, it lets you further invest in creating a sustainable business. It will also put pressure on your non-eco friendly competitors to get up to speed.

Ok, so how do I develop a sustainable business?

We aren’t telling you to ban meat from the office or build desks out of hay bales (especially not if you have hayfever). Building a sustainable business is a journey, not a one time change.

sustainable lifestyle

For much smaller businesses where profit margins are tight, you may not be able to make huge changes from day one. But you can take the opportunity to audit your current business processes and make small changes for the better. You can also use this time to work out exactly what you are planning to do in the future to further increase the sustainability of your business.

By publishing a sustainability statement, you not only attract those that share these values but also allow them to hold you accountable for what you have promised.

Here is that sustainability statement from That Luxe Life again as a reminder of what that might look like.

 

 

Clearly, sustainability is a big issue with a big following. Not only should businesses be focusing on moving towards greener practices, products and services as a matter of global urgency. But committing your business towards sustainability should be providing you with an opportunity to develop your relationship with customers and to make yourself appeal to other potential customers who share your values.

Want to take your business to the next level? Want to work with a marketing agency that takes sustainability seriously? Get in touch today.

 

 

MICRO INFLUENCERS: HOW BRANDS CAN BENEFIT

By | Influencer Marketing

With super-uber-mega-celebrity influencers like Kylie Jenner reportedly demanding around $1 million per Instagram post, brands with more modest budgets can easily assume that influencer marketing just ain’t for them. In fact, leveraging the power of influencers is often seen as the reserve of super brands with seemingly endless marketing budgets.

But what if I told you it doesn’t have to be that way? What if I told you that smaller businesses, even start-ups, can benefit from the power of the influencer?

Enter micro influencers!

Micro-influencers are much like they sound. These are often niche influencers with a smaller following than the behemoths in the industry. Some define micro-influencers as those with followers roughly between 10k-100k. Personally, we would say this is more like 5k – 25k – although this varies widely on the platform and niche in which they specialise.

These types of influencer are often much easier for brands to approach and work with.

Forget reach

Don’t get us wrong. If your primary goal is to be seen by as many people as humanly possible, working with a celebrity influencer may be the best way forward. Some studies even suggest that businesses that work with multiple micro influencers may not see the same benefits in terms of reach than when working with macro and celebrity influencers.

So why bother working with micro influencers at all?

micro influencers outreach

Accessibility

The first reason businesses should consider working with micro influencers is due to the fact that they are simply much more accessible. This is for two reasons. Firstly, larger influencers are inundated with messages and requests to partner with brands. This can make it very difficult to physically grab their attention, often leading to businesses having to flash some serious cash to get noticed.

Secondly is the fact that larger influencers will often have agents or talent managers who deal with brands on their behalf. When you have the budget to do so, this can be very beneficial as they can make the whole process run a lot more smoothly. But for small and start-up businesses, this is an extra barrier in the way of working with influencers.

Micro influencers are a lot more receptive to outreach and are less likely to have barriers to access them.

Niche Insight

Micro influencers are often experts in their particular niche. This allows brands to not only tap into their influence but also tap into their industry expertise. This can be particularly helpful for brands when sound boarding new products. This is also useful when they are trying to get to grips with what their customers are currently receptive to.

influencer insight

Genuine Influence

Arguably, micro influencers hold more actual influence over their audience when compared to their larger counterparts. This is because those with smaller audiences are able to more easily communicate and develop relationships with their audience. For larger influencers, this just isn’t humanly possible at such a grand scale.

However, this is only true if that micro influencer ACTUALLY is putting in the time to build those relationships. After all, a smaller following is no guarantee of quality connections. That is why due diligence is always required when working with influencers, whether large or small.

Value Exchange

Paying influencers should never be off the table. After all, if they are ‘desirable’ enough for you to want to work with them then their skills are likely to be worth paying for. Yet, many micro influencers will be happy and willing to work with your brand in exchange for other types of value.

This value may be free products. But may also include access to events, early access to new products or exposure to a wider audience.

 

Working with micro influencers should be part of every brand’s strategy. Larger brands can benefit from working with smaller influencers when combining them with other influencer tiers.  This delivers a comprehensive approach to marketing campaigns. Smaller and start-up businesses may find that working with micro influencers may be the only option given restraints on budget. This also allows these businesses to build relationships with up-and-coming influencers. Ultimately allowing the influencer and the brand to support each others growth over time.

 

Ready to start working with micro influencers? We are experts at helping brands to leverage the benefit of these types of influencer. Get in touch with us to discuss your marketing goals and how we can help.  

WHATSAPP’ENING TO MOBILE MARKETING?

By | Marketing

WhatsApp, the messaging giant owned by Facebook made a pretty significant announcement recently. With many businesses already using the platform to reach and engage their audience, the company are rolling out the WhatsApp Business app. This new tool is focused specifically on helping businesses grow their mobile marketing efforts.

To many, using WhatsApp is just another thing to think about when marketing your business. But the tool has more power than you might think. It often facilitates the spread of viral marketing campaigns.

For example, did you know that WhatsApp:

  • Has an average open rate of 98% – this is pretty impressive, even before you compare it to the measly open and engagement rates of some other forms of marketing
  • Average Click Through Rates (CTR) are 30%
  • It is also the second biggest social platform based on user numbers, bested only by their owners, Facebook.

So, arguably this announcement has created a big opportunity for early(ish) adopters of the tool to benefit hugely. The new WhatsApp Business app platform promises to help businesses both promote themselves whilst simultaneously streamlining communications.

WhatsApp Business App Profile

One new feature on the app is the ability to build a profile to represent your business. This will allow you to publish key information including your business address, a business bio/description, email address/contact information and a link to your website.

WhatsApp Business App

Rapid Replies

Inevitably, as your business grows and your customer base take up WhatsApp as a seamless way to communicate with you, dealing with enquires will become a more and more time-consuming task.

To remedy this, the new WhatsApp Business app tool will allow you to automate messages. As well as save common answers to enquires for rapid replies.

Contact Categories

Much like a good CRM. The WhatsApp Business app will also allow you to add labels to contacts. This will help you keep on top of contacts and their stage in the customer journey.

CRM WhatsApp

 

With Facebook’s latest focus on rolling out e-commerce features on Instagram, we predict that in-app purchases may be a natural development for the WhatsApp Business app. Seamlessly combining business to customer communications with opportunities to purchase directly is likely to see this new tool become a key part of many marketing strategies in the coming years.

7 OF THE BEST SOCIAL MEDIA EVENTS IN 2019

By | Social Media

Social media completely reinvented the marketing landscape. From the slow-moving world of billboards, TV and magazine ads. Marketing is now one of (if not THE) fastest-paced professions on the globe. Every week seems to reveal a new platform feature, a new tactic for earning attention, a new and accepted way of doing things and a set of new tools to help you do them.

Of course, that is just part of the reason we love social media. But it can also be a cause for great frustration. Constantly trying to stay up to date with the vast amount of content available, creating social media strategies and executing the latest best practices can have us exhausted. Reading the latest blogs, books, watching the latest webinars and listening to the latest podcasts is a huge undertaking.

Enter our saviour… social media events.

With agendas and speakers hand-picked by industry professionals. These engaging events offer unparalleled insight into the latest and best trends and strategies in the social media space. Not only do they provide us with the what’s what, but it also gives us humble marketers the opportunity to meet and network with the who’s who in the marketing world.

In this article, we run through some of our favourite social media events taking place in the UK this year. So dust off your diary, clear the calendar and mute the meeting requests – you’re going to want to free up some time for these.

B2B Marketing Expo (past)

 

B2B social media event

The B2B Marketing Expo is one of the biggest and best marketing events in Europe. The event takes a holistic approach to digital marketing with strong themes of strategy, content marketing, social media and marketing technology. The event also hosts a huge number of workshops and great networking opportunities for attendees.

The one to watch?

Dr Dave Chaffey’s talk ‘Practical B2B Digital Marketing Trends and Techniques‘ promises to provide some fantastic hands-on advice.

Location

London, UK.

Dates

27-28 March

Cost

Free

Youth Marketing Strategy (past)

 

YMS social media marketingMarketing to the younger generation often allows for great creativity and fast-paced dialogue. But can also produce unique challenges for the professional marketer. That is why the Youth Marketing Strategy event was born, bringing together the industries professionals to gain insights and share experiences in this exciting space.

With speakers from Levi’s, Facebook, eBay, Vice and Monstor Energy the event promises to be a great one.

Location

London, UK.

Dates

16-17 April

Cost

£1145

The Brand Marketing Summit Europe (past)

 

social media marketing event

 

One of the most comprehensive marketing events, The Brand Marketing (& Social Media Marketing) Summit promises a line up of thought leaders and frontline marketers from the top brands. Some of the best talks sheduled include ‘Leveraging social influencers to encourage brand engagement’ and ‘Measuring social media performance and attributing success’.

Location

London, UK.

Dates

25-26 June

Cost

£1195

 

DigiMarCon

 

digital marketing eventSeptember kicks off with DigiMarCon, a vastly comprehensive marketing event covering everything from digital strategy and mobile marketing through to PPC, growth hacking and content marketing. This is a great event to attend if you are a multi-talented brand marketer looking to sharpen your skills across the board.

Location

London, UK.

Dates

4-5 Sep

Cost

From £397 (conference pass) or £197 for a virtual pass

Festival of Marketing

 

festival of marketing social media events

The Festival of Marketing is THE star studded marketing event of the year. With speakers from all the top marketers with all the top brands and the odd celebrity thrown in. You’ll be spoilt for choice on which talks to attend. Marketing talent from Harrods, Deliveroo, GSK, Shell, TOMS, Virgin Trains and Made.com will all be sharing their experience and thoughts on the marketing landscape this year.

Location

London, UK.

Dates

10-11 October

Cost

From £895 +VAT

Influencer Marketing Show

 

influencer marketing event

Here at MAKE IT MANA we have a special place in our hearts for the Influencer Marketing Show. This year it returns for its second instalment. Giving a much-needed platform for influencer marketing professionals and businesses that benefit from the tool to tackle the challenges and discuss best practices.

“The show offered a valuable opportunity for vendors, brands and practitioners to meet, share stories & push the industry further. Looking forward to 2019!”

Scott Guthrie, Influencer Marketing Consultant | Luxmoore Consulting

Great speakers & impeccable organisation, definitely going to go again next year

Cristina Canale, Brand Communications Director | CLUSE

Of course, this event doesn’t take a general approach to social media but instead focuses in its entirety to the skills and best practices surrounding influencer marketing. Co-located with the PI LIVE event, we fully recommend getting involved with the Influencer Marketing Show in 2019.

>> WANT TO WRITE EPIC INFLUENCER OUTREACH EMAILS? DOWNLOAD YOUR 2X FREE TEMPLATES NOW <<

Location

London, UK.

Dates

22-23 October

Cost

From £250

Social Media Week

 

social media week

The only event on our list dedicated in its entirety to the art of social media. Social Media Week is a fantastic event for those that want to get ahead of the game, learn from the masters and build their network in the social media space. With many different Social Media Week events being run across the globe, the London event being held between 31 Oct – 1 Nov is a flagship event and one of the biggest and best in the series.

Note: MAKE IT MANA’s home city of Bristol will also be hosting an awesome Social Media Week on the 10-14th June. Amongst many other reasons why you should attend this event, we will likely be in attendance this year.

Location

London, UK.

Dates

31 Oct -1 Nov

Cost

Not yet available

 

Social Media Events: Why they matter

Social media events can be quite an investment, both financially and in terms of time. That is why it is important to assess the positive impact they can have on your business. In this article, we have laid out 7 of the best social media events happening in the UK this year. Each of which has proven their value to a vast audience of marketers already. If you have never attended one of the social media events we highlight above, we thoroughly recommend giving them a try.

If you are attending one of the events we have mentioned in this list, let us know. We will be attending many of them and would love to share a coffee (or beer) with you.

 

We get it, some business owners and busy marketers just don’t have the time to attend all the social media events, read all the blogs and digest all the other greatest and latest content out there. That is why so many businesses choose to partner with us, to help them keep ahead of their competition. If you think working with a leading social, influencer and content digital marketing agency could help you take your business to the next level, get in touch today.

5 HABITS OF CONSISTENT CONTENT CREATION

By | Content Marketing

Many marketers and business owners know the feeling. We start the month with every intention of creating some kick-ass consistent content that is going to boost our search engine rankings and position us as leaders in the industry. Then a few meetings get booked, a few fires need putting out and suddenly the month is gone.

Total of kick-ass blog posts completed = zero.

Don’t get down on yourself. It isn’t easy prioritising something which on the surface doesn’t seem all that key to business success.  We know great content serves us well on search engines, which means more quality traffic. We know that it will help us grow trust and respect from our customers. But we can just do it next month, right?

Wrong.

Smart businesses make content creation a key element of their marketing strategy. Want to know how they get the job done? Here are the successful habits they use:

1. Develop content pillars

Creating content pillars makes your job easy when it comes to content creation. To put it in simple terms, content pillars are key subjects which your business focuses on throughout your content marketing. For example, our content pillars at Make It Mana are:

  • Influencer Marketing
  • Content Marketing
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Paid Advertising

We then create a list of the various topics which make up each, for example:

  • Influencer Marketing
    • Developing a strategy
    • Influencer discovery
    • Influencer outreach
    • Content
    • Monitoring results
    • Tweaking and making changes

This makes it super easy for us to find content which is both relevant and will naturally hit our target keywords.

2. Create a content plan

Using your content pillars you can create a simple content plan. Your plan will act as a guide and will help you keep on track with consistent content creation. The more detailed your plan is, the easier it will be to generate content from it.

Your plan should include aspects including content titles/concepts, draft deadlines, publish date, keywords, author and editor.

consistent content calendar

It is also a good idea to note who will be responsible for getting the content live. This shouldn’t necessarily be the author or editor. In fact, if possible have a separate individual responsible for chasing up when deadlines are not hit.

3. Gather feedback

Lack of direction is one of the biggest single causes for consistent content creation going down the pan. Gathering feedback can offer guidance on what is working and what is failing, this, in turn, provides focus and makes it much easier to stay on track.

Both qualitative and qualitative feedback can be useful in this process. Qualitative can be gathered from analytical tools such as Google Analytics or social analytics, showing which pieces of content are receiving the most clicks and engagement. Qualitative feedback can be gathered from talking to clients and other audience members and reviewing comments both on the blog post and via social media.

Double down on what is working and filter out those pieces of content which do not return results.

4. Outsource

At the end of the day, however easy you make content creation for yourself, creating consistent content can be a huge time eater. That is why it is a great idea to partner with a professional agency or freelancer to help you generate high-quality content over time.

By doing this you take the hassle of your plate and ensure that content will be created to a good standard and within in an agreed timeframe. Often this can be a much more cost-effective method than you think. For example, a highly professional content creator may charge as little as £70 for c.1000 of content. This is usually well worth the cost when it frees up a considerable amount of your time.

5. Treat yourself as a client

For those that opt to not outsource any or all of their content writing changing your mentality can have a big impact on consistency.

Developing consistent content can often be seen as a low priority, especially when other important customer commitments get in the way. However, this is unlikely to change until you boost the priority of content creation. One way to do this is to simply treat your business as a customer, hold yourself accountable for delivering content and work out some way to penalise yourself if those commitments are not adhered to.

 

Clearly, consistent content creation can be a hassle. However, the benefits of doing so can create untold opportunities for your business. By adopting the habits we have outlined in this article you will put yourself in the best position to create kick-ass content to a high-quality and consistently.

 

Need a little help creating awesome content for your brand? We are experts in delivering kick-ass content ideas and delivering high quality written content to our clients. get in touch to start a discussion about how we could work together

 

content strategy cycle

SETTING A CONTENT STRATEGY IN 2019

By | Content Marketing, Marketing Campaigns

Setting a content strategy may not be at the top of your list of things to do this year. In fact, many marketers take an ad hoc approach to content marketing, usually leaving it to ‘when they have some time’….which we all know, is never.

We don’t need to explain to you how important it is to rank well on search engines…they provide our websites with potentially limitless and highly relevant traffic. We also know that to improve our search engine ranking we need to take our content marketing seriously.

That is why it is a great idea to set a content strategy. Although it takes a little time to set up, ultimately it ensures the consistent creation and publishing of high-quality content. It also saves you time in the long run, meaning you don’t have to review past content and generate new ideas on a regular basis.

For super-busy marketers, setting a content strategy can actually save you a vast amount of time. Sharing your strategy and content plan with an agency or freelancer can mean you maintain control over marketing but can achieve autonomy of the delivery – taking a laborious task off your plate, letting you focus on the bigger picture.

(Yes, we can help you with that).

So, now you are likely asking:

‘How do I set a content strategy?’

Chill – we have you covered.

Goals. Goals. Goals.

 

Before you start investing any time, energy or financial resources in developing a powerful content strategy…you need to ask yourself why. What are you hoping to achieve from your content? Generate leads? Drive more traffic to your site? Position yourself as a thought leader?

marketing goals

The likelihood is that you will want to achieve many things with your content. By setting out your goals at the start of your strategy, you will ensure that every action you take contributes to achieving those overall goals.

Try and make your goals SMART as this will make it easier to measure your results as you continue to execute on your strategy. You can always adapt and change these as your strategy develops.

Who do you need to reach?

 

So, you know what you want to achieve. But who do you need to reach to achieve it?

At this point, you want to get granular with who your target audience is. Ask yourself:

Where are they based? What age groups are they in? What are their interest and past times? What is their social position? What are their current goals?

Finding this information will allow you to create 3-4 detailed buyer persona. These personas will allow you to sense check all your content marketing efforts, ensuring they appeal to those that matter most to your business.

Find your keywords

 

Keywords are the key to successful content marketing.

Finding the right keywords will help drive large and consistent amounts of traffic to your website. It will also ensure that the content you create is relevant once those individuals are on your page.

When creating your keyword list, start with your personas and goal in mind. Consider what your personas may be searching for in order to find the sort of information you want to supply them with.

Once you have created this initial list you can use a tool like Google Keywords Planner to understand how successful that keyword might be and generate new ideas closely related to your keywords. Other tools and methods can also be used to further increase keyword effectiveness.

Know your persona

 

Your research so far will have highlighted what you want to achieve, who you are marketing to and which keywords are going to help you reach them. Your buyer persona should also help you understand which platforms are best for your content marketing strategy.

Although you are most likely to host the majority of your content on your own website, you will also need to understand how best to promote that content. To do this you should seek to understand where your audience/buyer personas are ‘hanging out’ online.

buyer persona

When doing this you can certainly look at data on platform demographics to give you an indicator wh uses which platforms the most. However, by far the best way to do this is by simply asking as many of your current customers as possible where they go to find information. This could be anything from popular media sites and forums to social media sites.

Once you know where they are, create platform-specific content to target that audience and attract them to your content.

Tone of voice

 

Marketers LOVE talking about tone of voice. But what does it really mean?

Your tone of voice is how your business talks to your audience. For example, a business that specialises in sportswear may have a young, energetic and ambitious tone of voice. On the other hand, a business which deals in investments may have a sophisticated, authoritative tone of voice.

Deciding your tone of voice ensures both consistency and that each piece of your content is appealing to those you are trying to connect with.

Develop pillars

 

Inbound marketing experts HubSpot suggest that brands who want to smash their content marketing develop content pillars.

To put this simply, a content pillar is an area in which you want to rank for. For example, our content pillars are:

(You will also notice that these are our services)

To start, these content pillars offer a structure to your content marketing – allowing you to quickly and efficiently develop content ideas that help you rank as a leader. Ultimately, you can also use these pillar topics to create pillar pages which act as comprehensive sections on your website. This will further develop your ranking as a leader on those topics and boost your position on search engines.

Create a content plan

 

Finally, all the research and information you have gathered will allow you to create a comprehensive content calendar for your business. To do this you will need to ask yourself:

  • How often will I be posting content?
  • Who will write the content? In house or agency/freelancer?
  • How will I promote the content?

You can create a spreadsheet which should detail information including:

  • Content title
  • Date of final draft
  • Date of publishing
  • Author
  • Proofreader
  • Keywords

content plan

Ideally, your content calendar should be planned for no longer than 3 months. This time period allows you to remain efficient whilst maintaining relevancy and allows you to easily pick up on hot topics and trends as they appear.

Content strategy: In summary

 

Creating a solid content strategy for 2019 is going to help you take your content marketing to the next level. Following the simple steps we have outlined in this guide will take a little time investment initially, but ultimately will help you to save time and create consistency throughout your content campaigns.

 

 

Need a little help creating your content strategy? Have a great strategy, but need some support to deliver it? We have years of experience in developing powerful strategies and delivering high-quality content for our clients. We are also HubSpot Content Marketing Certified.

Simply get in touch to discuss your needs or follow us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter to stay up to date with our latest helpful content. 

WHEN SHOULD I BE POSTING ON SOCIAL MEDIA?

By | Social Media

Many businesses have one big marketing goal in 2019 – to post on social more.

It seems simple enough, right? But when we put pen to paper and start developing our social media strategies and all the questions come pouring out. What should I be posting? Which platforms should I be focusing on? Should I be tailoring content to each platform? How should I be interacting with consumers?

One question we often get asked here at Make It Mana is:

WHEN should we post on social media to get the best results?

Best time to post on social: generic

A recent study by CoSchedule highlighted some of the best days and times to be pushing out quality content on the top social media platforms. This is based on data found by the platform and offers a great starting point for those that want to optimise their social media channels.

Facebook

Days: Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday

Time: 9am, 1pm, 3pm

Hint: People are happier on Friday, so upbeat content works best.

Twitter

Days: Wednesday

Time: 12pm, 3pm, 5pm, 6pm

Hint: Wednesday around noon and 5-6 are peak times to target those on their break or during a commute

LinkedIn

Days: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday

Time: 7-8am, 12pm, 5-6pm

Hint: Typically, business people like to read LinkedIn in the morning to catch up on the latest business news

Instagram

Days: Monday, Thursday

Time: 2am, 8-9am, 5pm

Hint: Aim to not post during working hours as this is usually when the platform is at its quietest.

Best time to post on social: specific

The times, days and hints we have highlighted above are a great way to benefit from generic trends in social platform traffic. However, once you have started to build the audience on your chosen social media platforms you can begin to use detailed analytics to guide you on the best times to post.

Instagram

For those with an Instagram business profile (yes you REALLY need one of these), there is a wealth of information available right from the app.

Simply open your Instagram business page and tap the line which says ‘X profile visits in the last 7 days’.

post on social instagram

This will open your analytics page, offering you three tabs of data: activity, content & data. Pretty much all of this data can be used to improve your performance on Instagram. However, there are two key insights which will help you  find the best times to post.

The first insight can be found under ‘Activity’ entitled ‘Interactions’. This shows you when your profile is getting the most engagement including profile visits, website clicks, clicks to call and clicks to email. This is really useful, but be cautious of the fact that interactions are likely to be highest around the time of posting content…not necessarily the best times overall.

The second useful insight can be found under ‘audience’ entitled ‘Followers’. This section provides you with insight on the times and days on average when your audience is active on Instagram. Again, this is useful but you should take into consideration the fact that this only accounts for those already following you.

instagram analytics

 

LinkedIn

For marketers that want to make the most out of their business pages on LinkedIn, the platform also offers some useful analytics when it comes to picking the best times to post. These are not quite as insightful as those available on other apps.

However, on the Admin View under the ‘Analytics’ tab you are able to view details on your best performing content. This can give you a general idea of which pieces of content you have posted which are working well.

Facebook

In Facebook Business Manager you can find some serious insight into your audience and the engagement you are receiving. One piece of data which is particularly useful is ‘Engagement Metrics’ which highlight the top hours and days where people are engaging with your content. This is useful to show when people are actually finding and engaging with your content.

Twitter

The Twitter platform also allows businesses to view analytics. Again, these are not quite as insightful as some other platforms like Instagram. But you can view information on which days of the week your tweets are getting the most impressions. This information can be cross-referenced with the times of day you are tweeting to decipher the best times to tweet.

Audience first

When deciding which times are best to post on social one of the most important questions you can ask yourself is ‘who am I actually trying to target’. For example, if you are trying to target business people when they are making business decisions, it could be sensible to post content during working hours (even if that isn’t the ‘peak’ time).

It is important to remember that is not just numbers which matter when it comes to successful social media. You can reach 10,000 irrelevant people and generate no profit, or you can reach 10 of the right people and increase profit by 200%.

 

 

It is clear that getting your social post timing is a great way to increase engagement and the overall success of your content. Using some of the generic information we have provided here in tandem with collecting your own data on the best times to post will offer you a high performing guide to when to post.

 

Need some help getting your social media working for your business? Make it Mana are experts in social strategy and execution. Simply, get in touch to discuss your needs or follow us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter to stay up to date with our latest helpful content.