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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. 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

 

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 marketing 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

 

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 +VAT

The Brand Marketing Summit Europe

 

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

From £1195 +VAT

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.

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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 scratch the surface 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. 

5 QUICK TIPS FOR DEVELOPING INFLUENCER RELATIONSHIPS

By | Influencer Marketing

To many developing influencer relationships is a laborious and thankless task…don’t we all have better things to be doing?

However, as influencer marketing takes its rightful place in the marketing mix and many businesses start to scale their effort to leverage influencers in their campaigns we will see an increased need for efficiency.

Many believe that efficiency in influencer marketing will be achieved through the automation of the process, similar in many ways that we have seen the social media automation market explode in recent years. In some respects, this is true. Many aspects of influencer marketing can be automated through the use of smart tools. Yet trust and authenticity are the key aspects which make influencer marketing so powerful. Clearly, these benefits cannot be achieved without a strong relationship between the brand and influencer.

You may have guessed it by now. You cannot automate strong influencer relationships. But you can use some smart tactics to increase efficiency and build long-lasting relationships.

Start with the goal in mind

We have said it before and we will say it again. Influencer campaigns, nay, any marketing campaign is not going to be successful unless you start with your goal in mind. This means deciding exactly what it is you are going to be trying to achieve by working with influencers.

influencer relationship goals

Let’s make the assumption that we are talking influencer marketing (long-term) and not influencer advertising (short-term). In this case, you will need to decide whether influencers will be used to contribute to thought leadership, direct sales, content creation or product development. The likelihood will be that you choose a mix of these, but the overall goal must be decided first so you can provide a clear and transparent picture of what you are looking for from the outset.

“Businesses that start with a clear goal for their influencer marketing efforts will see huge benefits. These range from saving time on wasted effort to ensuring focus remains on the activities which bring the biggest contribution to the overarching strategic goals of the business” Owain Williams, Founder, Make It Mana

Knowing what you want out of a relationship will allow you to develop transparency, maintaining that all-important thing: trust.

Start strong

Take it from us, reaching out to an influencer who you are already aware of (and is even possibly aware of you) is infinitely easier than going in cold. It may seem a little obvious (we see plenty of people not doing it), but following, engaging and ‘researching’ your desired influencers is a great way to start a strong influencer relationship.

start strong influencer

Ensure you show you know your stuff when it comes to your initial outreach, show you have done your research.

“Find the influencers you want to know, follow them on social media and begin liking, sharing and commenting on their content you like. Message them and say you’re interested in working together. Be up front. Make sure you are clear about what’s in it for them. Also, tell them you prefer to build long-term, mutually beneficial relationships which can lead to many other opportunities” Tom Augenthaler, The Influence Marketer

Scale smart

When influencer campaigns scale it is easy to lose sight of your original goals (see tip one). This often leads to the loose selection of new influencers.  Meaning they often don’t really match your brand or help you achieve what you are hoping to. Although scaling certainly means finding new influencers, time and consideration should be taken over which influencers are best for your brand.

Selecting the right influencers and aiming for the long-term means businesses naturally select influencers which are going to be easy to build strong relationships with.

“Ditch the tactical and the temporary for the longer-term. Look to build mutually beneficial business-growth partnerships. Invest time and expertise in selecting the most appropriate influencer for your brand. Once onboard give them guardrails for the content they should create rather than prescriptive rules and scripts. Give them unique access to your brand so the content always feels fresh.” Scott Guthrie, Influencer Marketing Consultant

Influencer Relationships: What turns ’em on?

Just like building a relationship with your latest Tinder match (an analogy for the Millenials), building strong influencer relationships is all about knowing what will get the attention of your ‘match’. We often see businesses formulating incentives and blanketing those incentives on their entire influencer community.

influencer relationshipSure, this approach will work to an extent. However, truly understanding what turns your influencer on will allows you to benefit in a number of ways:

  • Providing more specific influencer incentives, usually leading to less resource being required
  • Speeding up communication and therefore making campaigns more efficient
  • Show interest and effort, leading to a stronger relationship.

” Remember that an influencer list is nothing without the ‘community’ to accompany it. Make friends and the rest will come.” David J Wing, Award Winning Influencer Marketing Expert

Keep consistent contact (in a non-creepy way)

Consistency is key when it comes to building any long-term relationship. That is why it is a great idea to create a plan for continuous interaction with your chosen influencers. In the B2C space, this can be as simple as ensuring that you comment in a meaningful way on the influencers posts.

The B2B space offers even more opportunity to brands that maintain consistent contact with influencers. Doing this allows you to stay at the front of the influencers minds. It also allows you to position yourself as a thought leader with their audience.

“If an influencer has posted a blog post, tweet, or status stimulating a series of follower contributions and questions, seek to actively get involved. If you see a question that you’re able to answer confidently, with the belief that it will be in line with the kind of response that they’d give themselves, take it upon yourself to add your 2 cents. Not only will they appreciate that you’re helping them out, but they’ll see that you’re also a like-minded knowledgeable expert.” Alicia Russell, Content & Product Marketing Manager @ Onalytica

 

 

We aren’t going to lie. Keeping strong and consistent influencer relationships is a time-consuming process.

However, by considering the process, smart marketers can make efficiencies and ultimately save time over the long term. This is especially true for businesses that want to benefit from influencer marketing moving into the future.

With the majority of effort being put in during the initial stages, the development of influencer relationships is front-loaded. Businesses that put an emphasis on maintaining relationships can capitalise on more efficient and smoother campaigns as time goes on.

WHY YOUR BUSINESS WILL FAIL WITHOUT THIS ONE SIMPLE THING…

By | Marketing Campaigns

What can’t your business survive without? Perhaps your products, your knowledge or your staff? Perhaps the cash you need to buy stock and operational cost? Your professional network or technology? What about business objectives?

The likelihood is business objectives weren’t the first thing that came to your mind. However, objectives are the cornerstone of our businesses.

In fact, we would go as far as saying:

“Without clear business objectives, your business is destined to fail.”

It’s a strong statement to make. In this article, we cover exactly why business objectives are not only paramount to sustainability but also why they the key to business growth.

Quick decision making

All business leaders will know that growth can only be achieved when there are systems in place to quickly make decisions. Without these systems, unresolved decisions can stall the flow of business and ultimately lead to a loss of profit.

Setting clear business objectives acts as a mechanism for making all decisions considerably easier. As you grow, more opportunities will appear for your business and therefore the need to make decisions between multiple opportunities occur more often.

For those with clear and concise business objectives, simply asking the questions:

“Which opportunity will help us achieve our business objectives in the quickest and most cost effective way”

Although this won’t necessarily let you answer every dilemma instantly, it will let you discount most options instantly, ultimately saving you a huge amount of time.

Create a strategic map

Without objectives, businesses cannot be strategic in their approach. Instead, they become tactical, focusing on day to day operations and tackling challenges as they occur.

business objective road map

Although there is nothing necessarily wrong with this, this approach does not allow for efficient and planned growth. When businesses set their objectives it allows them to create step by step roadmaps on how they plan to achieve those objectives. When these plans are followed if facilitates the continued positive growth of the business over time.

This effect can also be cascaded throughout the organisation. Overarching business objectives can then be fed down into other objectives such as marketing, sales and financial objectives which all contribute to achieving the bigger picture.

Business objectives = less wastage

One major benefits of using business objectives in order to create a strategic roadmap is the fact that it limits wastage.

A business without a roadmap may waste a considerable amount of time, money and energy in pursuing various routes which ultimately lead to nowhere or are cut off before seen through fully.

On the flip side, a business with a roadmap sees much less wastage of time, money and energy as they only pursue those routes which are part of their plan. These types of businesses are less likely to do a U-turn on an option as it has been carefully considered.

Attract and motivate employees

Ask any employee whether they LOVE business objectives and they are likely to give you a funny look.

However, business objectives actually have a huge impact on the attraction and retention of talent. For example, if you reworded the above question as ‘Do you like feeling you are part of achieving something bigger?” the answer is likely to be a big ‘Yeah, of course’.

business objectives employee motivation

Business objectives are just that. They offer employees a bigger picture which they can buy into. Employees that understand how they are contributing to achieving a bigger goal are more motivated to get the job done.

In turn, this attracts talent to a business. By getting buy-in from potential staff on what you are looking to achieve as a business you can relate to others on a personal level as well as offer them an opportunity to prove their talents in helping you achieve those objectives.

 

We can see that businesses that set clear, concise and measurable objectives can benefit in many ways. Businesses that fail to undertake with will also fail to take advantage of the opportunities that present themselves every day. At best this leads to a waste of resources and at worst can lead to a business failure.

Creating business objectives that offer all the benefits we highlight above can be somewhat of a challenge. At Make It Mana we have helped countless businesses create powerful objectives that have led to great success. Get in touch to discuss how we can help you do the same.

PRODUCT LAUNCH: DIGITAL MARKETING SECRET WEAPONS

By | Marketing Campaigns

Whether you run a new or existing business, a new product launch is a crazy combination of excitement, exhaustion and confusion.

Some businesses simply undertake a product launch quietly.  They then let them slowly grow in popularity as their existing customers discover them and ‘give em a try’. But this is a massive wasted opportunity. Your new products should be used to create a buzz and excitement around your brand which can take you to the next level in terms of growth and brand awareness.

But the question remains. How do you create a buzz around a product which isn’t yet available to buy and in some cases don’t even exist? In this article, we answer the question. We also reveal some of the secret weapons digital marketers use to plan and execute a product launch.

Community First

If you are an existing business with a strong brand, you may already have an audience ready and willing to buy and test your products as soon as they come on the market. But for start-ups or businesses who are looking to expand into new areas, building a community BEFORE launching a project can offer a platform to benefit in the same way.

social media community

Practically, this could mean creating an online community focused on the area specific to the product or service you are launching.

Although the LinkedIn platform has drastically changed the functionality of their ‘groups’ in recent months, this is something we did when originally launching Make It Mana, through the creation of an online ‘Micro-Influencer Marketing’ community.

By providing this community with substantial amounts of value in the months leading to the agency launch. We were able to successfully leverage that community once we had launched for the promotion of content AND for generating our first sales.

Not only are there many short-term benefits during the product launch stage, but these communities also offer invaluable feedback and ideas for product development as time goes on. 

Influencer Marketing

You will probably know by now that Make It Mana are huge advocates of influencer marketing. Many businesses have adopted influencer marketing as part of their marketing mix, but often only use it to increase the reach of their messaging.

However, influencers can be used to much greater effect by including them during and before a product launch. As they often gain their position of influence by truly understanding the content and topics which their (and your) audience want to hear, they can offer great insight into the types of products and services which will prove popular with those audiences. Therefore including influencers during product research and development is hugely beneficial.

“Working with influencers is a great way to get your target consumers excited about your product.  Be sure to identify influencers who reach not only your target market’s demographic profile but the psychographic one as well.  This means that the influencers should be in tune with the wants and needs of your target market.  You can check this by carefully looking at their content and how it resonates with their followers.  Look for good quality engagement in the form of comments and questions.  Also, be sure to look for micro influencers because their engagement is not only better than counterparts with huge followings, but they are much more affordable and easier to work with.” – Tom Augenthaler, The Influence Marketer

Besides offering invaluable insight, doing this also offers the benefit of immediately generating buy-in from the influencer and drastically increases the chances of creating a powerful brand advocate during and post-launch stages.

Create Social Proof

One of the major issues involved in a service or product launch is that you have no social proof that what you are offering is worth the money you are asking them to spend. However, when you are an established business, this can be less of a problem. For example, when Apple launches a new iPhone, people generally trust that it will be a decent product.

Yet for new businesses, you rely on early adopters creating social proof to highlight the new products worthiness. This can be risky, as it means the success of the product is taken entirely out of your hands.

Influencers can help you remedy this, especially if you can get the product to them to test and talk about ahead of product launch. However, doing this at scale can often be time-consuming and costly.

That is why engaging your personal network is a great way to create genuine social proof ahead of launch. This could involve recruiting friends, colleagues and family to try out the product in exchange for a short review. Even if you are dealing in high-cost items, you may systematically loan the item to a friend or family members.  They can then take some photos and write up a short review – just make sure you make this clear before handing it over to them.

As social proof is so powerful, ensure it is clear wherever possible throughout your product launch marketing campaign. For example, you could include full or partial reviews:

  • On your Facebook business page
  • On the selling platform (eg Amazon)
  • In an Instagram post
  • On your website homepage
  • On the item page on your website
  • At the bottom of any emails you send out to potential clients
  • On any printed collateral
  • Tattooed across for your forehead (so potential clients can see it when you meet them)

Paid Social 

Some businesses HATE to spend money on paid social media ads…we aren’t sure why this is, but they are missing a trick, especially when it comes to a product launch.

Unfortunately, most social platforms have caught onto the fact that they are offering incredible rates of exposure to businesses. They have adjusted their algorithms so that regardless of how big your organic reach is, you still have to pay them to reach the people that matter the most to your business.

Admittedly, this seems pretty damn unfair. But when launching a new product this does level the playing field somewhat. Regardless of whether your product is established or new, you have to pay the same to reach the same audience.

Although paid social certainly plays a part at various stages of the marketing cycle, arguably it is at its most important during the product launch stage. This is because you can access highly targeted audience through platforms like Instagram and Facebook. This is without the need to put in hundreds of hours to build a community, over which you have some influence…although of course we also recommend doing this.

Tease

When you have nailed your research and have created a product that people are going to truly want and love, teasing is going to help you create a buzz in the build-up to launch.

product launch tease

How you do this really depends on the product you are releasing. For example, if you were releasing a new app, you may create some teaser videos of it being used and the positive impact it will have on people’s lives. Whether that is pure entertainment or helping them do something more efficiently.

Social media is the perfect platform to host these teasers. They allow the community you are building to create a buzz around the content you are releasing. You may even consider only posting teasers for a limited amount of time. Therefore, creating even more urgency and buzz around the product’s release.

Product Launch Incentives 

Humans run off incentives. These incentives span from progressing your career, increase your social standing or save yourself some serious cash. Without incentives, very little would get done.

Using powerful incentives can create a huge amount buzz around your product. These incentives could include:

  • Pre-order for a discount
  • Win the product before it goes to mass market
  • Pre-order to get before others
  • Launch day/week/month discount
  • Win a product based experience
  • Win something else relevant to the product and brand

All of these ideas can be used to incentivise people to get involved in the launch. Whether that is purchasing the product or simply increasing engagement on social media.

 

We can see that digital marketers have some brilliant tricks up their sleeves when it comes to successfully launching a new product or service. By creating a comprehensive launch marketing campaign, you can turn your launch into a business changing event.

 

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HOW TO REPURPOSE BLOG CONTENT FOR GREATER REACH

By | Content Marketing

Smart marketers know that businesses need to create consistent, compelling content. Both to make their brand discoverable on search engines and to position themselves as a leader within the industry. Yet many don’t repurpose blog content to increase reach and generate leads.

Our clients constantly come to us with the challenge:

“We are spending LOADS of time creating great content, but we just aren’t seeing the benefit of it”

We get it. There is a great frustration in investing resources in creating useful, entertaining content, which just doesn’t seem to perform when it comes to helping you achieve your business goals.

A big part of this problem is that we spend too much time creating the content and very little time leveraging that content to generate greater reach. In fact, in many cases, we discover that businesses are putting almost zero effort into promoting a piece of content.

As a general rule, we spend roughly 30% of our allocated content marketing time creating content and then 70% of our time looking to increase the reach of that content. After all, it doesn’t matter how incredible your content is, if it doesn’t reach anybody there is very little point to it at all.

In this article, we cover some tips on how we can repurpose blog content to increase your business’s reach. O, and it will save you a tonne of time in the process.

Repurpose blog content socially

Before we dive too deep into some smart tactics, let’s start with the fundamentals.

Yes, it’s shocking, but some business actually fail to complete this step.

RULE #1: When you publish new content, share that with your network.

social media blog content

This is super easy, all you need to do is write a short update highlighting the benefits/relevance of reading the content and then share it across all your platforms including social media and mailing lists.

It’s simple but effective. People are part of your audience because they care about what you have to say. These are the best and easiest way to repurpose blog content…so DO IT!

Re-share

We admit, it is pretty rare that businesses don’t share new content with their network (but it does happen). Yet it is commonplace that once they have shared that content once, they never mention it again.

This, my friends, is INSANITY.

“After all that work, it seems silly to share a post just once. Nobody crumples up an oil painting and chucks it in the trash after it’s been seen one time — and the same goes for your content” Moz.com

Most don’t re-share content at the risk of being ‘spammy’. This is a very real concern and can be the case when not done carefully.

When re-sharing content you need to follow three simple rule:

  1. Because you re-share doesn’t mean you stop creating new content
  2. Every time you re-share you should take a different approach
  3. Do not re-share content too often

What we mean by taking a different approach is that each time you post you should change the captions and/or image to ensure no repetition.

Re-sharing is particularly powerful when that content becomes timely or newsworthy. For example, we often re-share our infographic on how businesses can spot fake influencers as this topic comes in and out of focus in the media.

Speaking of infographics…

Infographics 

Another great way you can repurpose blog content to create more compelling assets which works perfectly on social media is through the use of infographics.

Infographics allow you to communicate key information through the use of engaging and eye-catching graphics. In the case where your blog content is long form, creating a snapshot of the most important points in an infographics acts both as a reminder of key information and as way to drive traffic to your original blog piece to ‘find out more’.

Probably a good time to share this then…

blog content infographicMicro-blogging

People are inherently lazy. So, even though long-form content is a crucial part of your SEO strategy, as well as an excellent way to position yourself as a thought leader with those that matter to your business, on its own it will not always secure you great results.

People want answers and they want them fast. That is a huge part of the reason why social media is so popular – because it gives people access to super quick information.

Using a micro-blogging approach to content leveraging is an excellent way to increase your reach and give yourself a huge amount of social media content easily. For example, you may re-share a link to a piece of long-form content, but instead of simply highlighting what is included in the content you give a snapshot of a key point within the content.

By providing value in the social caption you create intrigue in the wider article and can create large amounts of traffic to your site. 

Video clips  

Video is an awesome way to up engagement on your social media channels.

In fact, one study suggests that 90% of consumers say that video can help them make buying decisions. With those sorts of stats, can your business really afford to not be using video as a way to repurpose blog content?

video blog content

Video creation can be a little daunting, but as a small or medium sized business, you really do not need to think too much about the production value of your social media videos. Some of the best performing videos online are simply recorded on a smartphone and create a real personal connection between the business and the viewer.

For example, next time you publish a blog post, try creating a short video covering some of the key points or even asking additional questions you get about the blog post. This can take as little as 30 minutes and generates content (not factoring re-sharing) across a number of platforms, including:

  • Instagram story
  • Instagram post
  • Facebook story
  • Facebook post
  • Twitter post
  • YouTube video
  • Podcast (just audio)
  • and much more.

Go deep

 If you create a piece of content and it does particularly well, you may decide to leverage that attention and go even deeper. For example, creating an accompanying podcast or webinar which touches on the subject and allows you to generate even more value, using your written content as a base.

Doing this also allows you to involve thought leaders and influencers from within the industry which not only generates great content but also allows you to leverage their audience and extend your reach.

 

Blog content should indeed make up the pillars of your business’s content marketing strategy. However, by not leveraging other techniques and tactics you are only tapping to a tiny percentage of its potential. By spending an equal or higher percentage of your content marketing time generating and leveraging the tips we have highlighted above will save you time, create a higher engagement and ultimately generate more leads for your business.

HOW TO LEVERAGE SOCIAL MEDIA COMPETITIONS

By | Get To The Point, Social Media

How competitive are you?

Regardless of whether you are the type of person that would sell their own mother to win or whether you are a bit less bothered, it is undeniable that winning makes you feel good. This is why social media competitions are so popular, have a browse through your social feeds and it shouldn’t take you long to spot one.

But the results that businesses get from running social media competitions can vary and when not executed in a smart way can leave you feeling a bit deflated. In this ‘Get To The Point‘ blog we give you some quick top tips on how to leverage social media competitions for the better.

POINT 1: WINNER, WINNER

Who wins when you run a social media competitions? Is it the person who wins or the business? The answer to this, of course, should be ‘both’. Yet many businesses forget this.

It is crazy how many competitions you see on social that are focused towards one party winning more. You either see businesses giving away a heap of free gear for nothing in return, or asking for a lot with very little given as a prize. The former is the best the mistake to make, but a mistake none the less.

The first thing you need to decide is what you want to achieve by running a competition. Most likely this is something like growing your followers or perhaps getting newsletter sign-ups. You then need to decide what you will provide that is equal or slightly higher in value than what you are asking for.

Put it this way, if you want people to:

✅ Follow these six accounts

✅Join our mailing list

✅ Share this post

✅ get our logo tattoed on your face.

…then giving away a bag of jelly babies just ain’t gonna cut it.

POINT 2: IMPACT & RESULTS

You may have the best give away in the history of the world, but if people don’t know you are giving it away then you aren’t going to see any decent results. Very simply, ensuring that your images and copy are on point are going to go a long way to increase the engagement your competition receives.

You should be giving away something people really want to get their hands on, so using expert images or videos of the prize is a great way to grab attention. Equally, starting your competition copy in an obvious way like ‘WIN A MASSIVE BOAT’ will communicate your intentions quickly and the dwindling attention of social media users.

POINT 3: COLLABORATE & GROW

One easy and quick way to grow your competition potential is to collaborate with other businesses that are relevant to yours. For example, if you make custom made sleeping bags, approaching a tent business to throw some products on the pile and post on their social will allow both businesses to tap into the audience of the other.

View this post on Instagram

Did you see our COMPETITION announced on Monday?! 🎉 If you missed it, you have the chance to win an AMAZING set of prizes worth £300 from some of our favourite brands! 💪🏻 You will have the chance to win: @mancaveinc 1 Year’s Supply of Shower Gel and Moisturiser 🌿 (RRP £140) @huel Complete Food Starter Bundle 💪🏼 (RRP £40.50) – Including 2 Huel Pouches, 1 Flavour Boost Sample Set, 1 Shaker and Scoops and T-Shirt @wainwrightbeer Golden Beer 🍻 (RRP £13.20) @unionroasted Union Hand-Roasted Coffee in House Blend ☕️ (RRP £5.25) @huubdesign Quilted Men’s Jacket 🏃🏽‍♂ (RRP £89.99) @anotherescape Magazine: The Wilderness Volume 🌲 (RRP £12.00) To win, follow the instructions: 1. Follow all brands involved by clicking on their profiles mentioned above 🔖 2. Share the love by tagging a friend and liking this post 🙋🏻‍♂ 🙋🏻 3. Cross your fingers and hope you win! 🤞🏼 You have just 3 days left to enter! 👀 #OWNTHEBATHROOM #ManCave #OwnTheBathroom #Natural #SkinCare #Vegan #VeganFriendly #ForMen #MaleGrooming #MensHealth #CrueltyFree #SLSFree #SensitiveSkin #CrueltyFree #SoFreshAndSoClean #Green #Recycle #NaturallyDerived #NaturalDefence #MensHealth #SkinCareForMen #MensSkinCare #NaturalSkinCare

A post shared by ManCave (@mancaveinc) on

POINT 4: AMPLIFY YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA COMPETITION

When a social media competition is correctly executed they have huge power. However, they will only reach a limited audience of your followers and perhaps one or two of their connections. Using some simple social media targetting on paid ads is a great way to increase reach and engage relevant people in a powerful way.

 

This article has covered the basics of creating awesome social media competitions that you can use them to leverage business growth. Adopting what we have covered can mean the difference between both the business and the audience winning and both of you losing.

_________________________________________________________

ABOUT GTTP

The Get To The Point (GTTP) blogs are a series of posts written by Make It Mana for busy marketers and business owners that want to grow and leverage the best tools without wasting time reading reading pages and pages of content. We aim to make each guide around 500 words (although on occasion we go slightly over).

The aim is to really help the businesses that come to our blog, so if you have any questions shoot them over to hello@www.makeitmana.com

5 TRICKS FOR CREATING CONTENT YOUR CLIENTS WANT TO READ

By | Content Marketing

As an agency that produces a lot of content marketing for our clients, we will be the first to hold up our hands and say:

“Consistently finding new and interesting topics that your clients want to read about and learn from can be a BIG challenge”

This dilemma is also probably the biggest reason why businesses stop the important task of creating copy that boosts search engine rankings. Positioning themselves as industry leaders and brings invaluable sales.

The relentless re-hash of old topics into new content is a drag, so people simply give up.

But worry not! In this article, we call on our experience and outline 5 hacks for creating highly compelling, unique content.

 

Use Content Pillars

 

Inbound marketers LOVE pillar content.

Pillar content is usually a large piece of content which focuses on a main theme for your business. This may be a particular service or product you offer or a challenge that your customers regularly face.

 

content-pillars

For example, at Make It Mana our content pillars include influencer, social and content marketing.

Best practice usually dictates that businesses create pillar content, for example, an eBook or whitepaper, and then break that content into smaller chunks, which can be used across social media, blogs posts etc.

However, we have also found that working backwards can work well in the development of pillar content. This works by deciding on which topics would be key pieces of content for your brand and then breaking those topics into the smaller chunks which make it up. By systematically creating content covering those smaller chunks, you can then create a directory of those as your pillar content.

Take for example influencer marketing. We may create shorter blog posts on influencer selection, influencer outreach, leveraging influencer content, building influencer relationships and the laws and regulations around influencer marketing. Once that is done, we could create one piece of pillar content which either contains or hyperlinks to each piece of individual content.

 

Survey Customers

 

One of the biggest mistakes we ever see being made with content marketing is marketers trying to use every tool and trick in the book. All in an attempt to work out what their customers want to learn about.

But they never actually ask their customer. This is an incredibly quick win when it comes to creating unique ideas for content marketing. Simply by asking clients what they want to read or which challenges they are facing you put yourself in a great position to create value.

Of course, using some other methods in this article will be useful.  Customers do not always know their pain points until you help them find them. However, a survey is the quickest, easiest and most valuable win.

If you don’t think your customers have or will give you the time to find out what content would be useful, try offering some incentive such as a donation to charity in their name for some of their time.

 

Jump on Trends

 

If you have ever attended a presentation where the presenter was attempting to prove the increasing popularity of something, whether that be prosecco flavoured popsicles or hair styling for dogs, they probably used a graph from Google trends.

The tool is used to show the number of searches for a particular phrase or keyword over a given amount of time. Therefore highlighting its growing popularity.

However, the tool also has a lesser used feature which is a goldmine for those looking for new and untapped topics. By typing a relevant keyword, the results allow you to see ‘related topics’ and ‘related queries’.

By simply selecting the ‘rising’ tab you will bring up a whole list of up and coming searches related to your topic. For example, we ran this for ‘influencer marketing’and found that rising queries included ‘what is influencer marketing’ and ‘Instagram influencer marketing’, so we may choose to create some content in those areas – focusing directly on what people are searching for in the area of our expertise.

BuzzSumo is another good tool which can be used to identifying up and coming trends in your industry. This option is certainly worth exploring if you have some budget put aside for content marketing tools.  It also fulfils some other needs such as influencer identification.

 

Go James Bond

 

Ok, this is a loose analogy, but we had to slip the British icon in somewhere.

 

content-marketing-spying

For a moment forget the explosions, bond girls and evil villains and focus more on the spying. One of the greatest sources of content ideas should be your competition. This is especially true if you have much larger competitors who have the resource to invest a lot of time in market research.

But when we say spy, we don’t mean copy. Instead, you should use your competitors content as inspiration. What questions have they not answered? How can you add more value?

You can also check what questions their customers are asking, either in the blog comments or on social media. This allows you to helpfully answer their questions and gently encourage them to choose you instead.

 

Add Value

 

For content marketers the fear is real. You don’t want your customers to think you are simply stealing others ideas and representing it as your own. But this shouldn’t put you off touching on the same subjects as your competitors.

Instead of avoiding repeating subject matter, ensure that for every piece of content you produce adds value to the conversation. This may occasionally be in direct contrast to your competitors. For example, you may offer a completely different viewpoint on a subject. However, it may also be aligned with your competitor’s view, instead of adding depth and breadth to the conversation.

If the reader isn’t learning anything new by reading your content, then you need to rethink your strategy.

 

Finding new, engaging and worthwhile content ideas can be hard work. Especially in industries where the scope of products and services are small. However, using a few tested methods such as those we have outlined above can keep great new ideas flowing.

For some business owners and marketers, their time is better spent focusing on the wider picture. Leveraging the time and expertise of others in the formulation of content. Make It Mana work with businesses to maintain the flow of valuable content, from ideation through to publication and promotion.

Get in touch to find out more.