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Owain

MAKE IT MANA: OUR COMMITMENT TO INBOUND MARKETING

By | Content Marketing

We rarely talk about ourselves on the Make It Mana blog, but we have some pretty cool news which we want to share with you regarding our commitment to our customers and delivering expert inbound marketing.

Why inbound marketing?

With the advent of GDPR and other government regulations on data collection and use, inbound marketing has just become significantly more important the success of your business.

Inbound Marketing

No longer will generating leads be as simple as purchasing some data, sending some emails and collecting the cheques (as it ever really was). Now, businesses must generate substantial value for their customers as a way to earn their attention, getting their permission to subtly explain the benefits of your products and services.

…but you already knew that, so time for the news…

HubSpot’s Content Marketing Certification

Last week Make It Mana was delighted to be awarded the HubSpot Content Marketing Certificate, this was achieved due to our noble quest to help businesses achieve the best results from their marketing efforts.

Content Marketing Certified

For those that do now know, HubSpot are leaders in the inbound marketing space. They provide savvy marketers with the tools and platform they need to succeed in a digital world. However, they also provide industry recognised certification in everything inbound marketing.

This certification has no affiliation with HubSpot’s products. Instead, it uses their industry expertise as a framework for proving marketers competence.

We are delighted to have been awarded this certification. Proof of our commitment to delivering the highest quality service to our clients.

A future outlook

As an agency, it is all very well saying you are experts in digital marketing.

Earning industry recognition like the HubSpot Content Marketing Certificate works in partnerships with our relentless pursuit of knowledge.  We pair this with countless examples of the great work we do with our clients, therefore proving industry expertise.

This certification is just the start of our longer-term plan to remain at the cutting edge of digital marketing. We will continue to strive for excellence and are already working on a number of other certifications and awards.

 

Want to get more out of your content marketing? Get in touch to discuss how we can help you create a killer content plan and help you deliver every aspect.

IS PAID SOCIAL MEDIA WORTH IT?

By | Social Media

Whether you love it or loathe it, there’s no denying that paid social media is a big deal. Therefore, no business owner can afford to ignore it any longer – yes, even you.

Over 70% of internet users are connected to social media in one form or another while over 3 billion people are connected in one way or another. Furthermore, most social media users are more interested in their newsfeeds than their families (sorry nan), which creates a truly wonderful platform for businesses to thrive.

Social media marketing can ultimately be broken down into organic versus paid campaigns. The latter are * drumroll * the adverts where you pay a third-party to shout out about your business. It might seem like a waste of money as you could do it yourself, but you’d be wrong.

Here’s why paid social media is well worth the investment.

It’s More Effective Than Other Forms Of Paid Media

Did you know that the cost to reach 1,000 potential customers on Facebook translates to 3% of the cost needed to do it on the radio? So, if you’re going to spend money on a marketing strategy, paid social media is where your money will work hardest.

No business is going to achieve success without spending some money on marketing, as sticking to unpaid organic items will limit the reach and potentially harm the reputation. Besides, paid social media allows you to narrow your niche to a location, age group, or hobby. The control is truly in your hands.

Paid Reach

This ultimately improves lead generation, providing quantifiable results that you simply will not gain from organic or even offline marketing ventures.

The Trends Show That Paid Social Media Is The Key

In Q3 2017, organic search visits fell by 3%. While this may not seem overly significant, but the truth of the matter is that the trend has continued this year.

Paid Media Spend

Conversely, the results of paid social media are on the rise. The volume of adverts, the amount of money being spent on the concept, and hits gained from those posts are increasing. Meanwhile, CTRs (click-through rates) in the best-positioned ads are as high as 8%. This is a lot higher than the CTRs of most organic matters, including search engine results.

Besides, paid social media like PPC adverts are results based. This means that – particularly if you use an expert – the marketing budget can work far harder.

The Hare Beats The Tortoise

Childhood stories may tell us that slow and steady wins the race, but the online business arena is booming. Frankly, if you don’t want to miss the boat, you’ll need to see results ASAP.

Paid Social Media Boost

Paid social media can potentially start to bring the traffic to your site on the very same day. When opting for on-page SEO and organic social media campaigns, it could take months before the results start to show. This is due to many reasons, but primarily because only 4% of followers see the organic posts. Without visibility, you won’t gain revenue.

As an SME, you may not even have the time or funds to show that level of patience. Seeing quantifiable results right away is crucial, which is why paid social media is the answer.

 

Clearly, paid social is a crucial part of a level and sustainable marketing strategy. Although businesses certainly shouldn’t rely purely on paid social as a way to communicate key messages with their audience, used cleverly it can give a targetted and timely boost.

Getting the right formula can take a lot of time and experience to perfect. That is why working with someone like Make It Mana can help you get results quickly. Get in touch now to see how we can help you take your first steps towards success in paid social.

male grooming marketing

MALE GROOMING: DIGITAL MARKETING GUIDE

By | Marketing

Male grooming marketing has exploded in it’s application in recent years.

In fact, it is predicted that the global male grooming market itself has grown by a massive $13.46 billion since 2012. This is testament to an increasing trend for men taking their appearance and grooming regimes seriously.

No longer is male grooming seen as a small and insignificant niche in the wider health and beauty market but is rapidly becoming a major, profitable industry in its own right.

With this popularity comes competition, from shaving foam factories to moisturiser manufacturers only businesses that take the most innovative approaches to growing their brand will see sustainable success.

Many male grooming businesses seek the support of industry professionals such as Make It Mana to grow and remain competitive. That is why we have put together this guide, calling on our experience with top male grooming brands to help you get to grips with the fundamentals of digital marketing in the male grooming space.

 

Male Grooming Marketing: Strategy First

 

Did someone say cost-per-click?

Hold up…before we get into the details of what tools work well for male grooming brands we need to start with the fundamentals.

Marketing can take up a huge amount of money, time and effort. So you need to make sure you are heading in the right direction before you charge at it head first.

Likelihood is that you already have some sort goals for your business outlined. Whether those are growth targets or otherwise. If you don’t, you need to create some…now!

These top-level business goals should sit right at the top of your male grooming marketing strategy with marketing goals (or key performance indicators) and how you plan on achieving them sitting below it. To give a (very oversimplified) example: 

Business goal: To increase market share by 2% 

Marketing goal: To increase brand awareness

Marketing tools used in plan: Social ads (impressions), influencer marketing, organic social media growth.

By starting with the business goal in mind you ensure that all actions you take (social ads, influencers etc) are all geared towards achieving that goal. This in turn ensures that little effort is wasted along the way, this is especially important for resource strapped start ups.

 

Tools

 

So, now we have our business and marketing goals all lined up we need to know what we can do to achieve them.

 

Male-Grooming-Beard-Oil 

Website

 

Your business website is an incredibly important part of your male grooming marketing toolbox.

Think of it as THE destination for your brand online. The majority of your digital marketing efforts will be focused towards getting people onto your site where you can convert them into paying customers.

This is especially important if you plan on selling your male grooming products direct to customers through your site. If you spend a lot of time and effort marketing, encouraging people to visit your site, but your site is failing to convert those visitors, then all that effort is wasted

If you are starting from scratch you can use sites like Squarespace or Shopify to build a temporary base whilst you get off the ground. However, as time goes on you will likely find the need for greater customisation and functionality which these platforms may not facilitate.

At that point finding a reliable and experienced web developer or agency will allow you take your site to the next level. When picking a partner for web development, make sure you spend time reviewing their portfolio. This will give you an idea of whether they will produce something in the desired style and with the right functionality.

Male Grooming Marketing Specific Tip: 

Finding a provider that has previously worked with male grooming brands will also go some way to ensure they have a thorough understanding of the industry and the challenges you face.

 

Organic Social Media

 

Social media has completely changed the marketing landscape. No longer do businesses broadcast messages, but instead can have two-way conversations with their customers, gathering first-hand real-time feedback.

Social media also produces a unique opportunity for up and coming male grooming brands. By providing a free platform to reach their target audience they level the playing field with the big players.

For those brands that can produce compelling content and communicate in a personable way, social media can create sustainable growth…FOR FREE…

Accessibility to social media audiences is on a goliath scale:

Facebook: 2.2 billion monthly active users

Instagram: 1 billion monthly active users

Twitter: 336 million monthly active users

Snapchat: 301 million monthly active users

With these sorts of figures, betting is that at least a large portion of your brands target audience are active on social media.

Male Grooming Marketing Specific Tip:

Do your content research. Find other brands or influencers that are targeting a similar audience to you. See which of their pieces of content produce the best results and weave that way of thinking into your own content strategy.

 

“The male audience are actually best targeted in this way (social media) – it’s a fast and effective way of pushing your product onto an audience who perhaps spend less time researching and reading up on their products via traditional media streams.” Evie Cowen, Dr Jackson.

 

male-grooming-face-wash 

Paid Social Media

 

Paid social media gives you instant access to the right people with the right message. Although most social media platforms offer advertising in some way. The functionality and targeting ability of Facebook and Instagram are unmatched.

However, paid social does indeed cost money and this should be taken into consideration when using it. One excellent way to do this for e-commerce brands is to measure results based on their actual monetary value to the business.

This may be done theoretically. For example, if 25% of visitors to a product page make a purchase and that purchase is worth £10, then arguably any cost per click under £2.50 makes you a profit. Setting bid caps at or below this marker ensures you never pay more than you make.

“In 2015 Facebook influenced 52 per cent of consumers’ online and offline purchases” – The Drum

Alternatively, using a smart bit of code on your website, called a pixel allows you to track those that have made a purchase as a direct result of your ad. Making it even clearer how valuable that paid ad is to your business.

Male Grooming Marketing Specific Tip:

Platforms like Facebook Ads Manager allows you to target specific audiences with your ads. For example, you can advertise directly to those in a specific location, age group or gender.

By detailing your target audience as best as possible you can increase ad effectiveness and limit wasted costs by eradicating advertising on those with little interest in your brand.

There are some obvious wins here. For example, targeting only males and only those in locations your product is sold in. You may also target based on common interests that may match your products, for example, fashion or fitness etc.

 

 

Influencer Marketing

 

Influencer marketing is a hidden weapon for most male grooming brands, with few tapping into its true power.

With so much contradictory information out there on what products and ingredients are a good choice, confused male grooming enthusiasts are turning to influencers for a better understanding of what is available.

“Influencers generally build their audiences by creating hyper-relevant and professionally produced content in their niche area. This means that properly selected influencers should be producing the best possible content specific to your brand audience.” – ojawilliams.com

These influencers hold a massive amount of…well, influence…over their audience and can make powerful advocates for your brand.

Male Grooming Marketing Specific Tip:

Aim to only work with influencers that genuinely like and would use your product. Those that push products that don’t appeal to them lack authenticity…this makes content widely stale and fake, which will have a negative impact on your brand.

 

Written Content

 

Written content can span from anything including web page copy, social media ‘captions’ to on-site blog post. This aspect of digital marketing is so important for a number of reasons.

The most widely known purpose of written content is search engine optimisation (SEO). By using a combination of techniques you can improve your websites presence on search engine rankings for particular keywords.

Despite the importance of written content for SEO, it holds another purpose that, is equal in importance….education.

Male Grooming Marketing Specific Tip:

Male grooming is a relatively new and rapidly growing industry. Education of the customer should play a key part in your marketing strategy. This allow you to explain the importance of key aspects of your product. It also allows you to become the go-to location for advice. Bringing repeat visitors to your website and increasing your brand image.

 

 

In this guide, it has become apparent that there are many digital marketing tools and techniques that can and do work for male grooming brands. By starting with your business goals in mind you can develop a thorough plan of how to achieve them.

If you want to learn more about these techniques and tools, need help in developing a strong and comprehensive marketing strategy or just need some support on key aspects such as influencer marketing, content writing or social media get in touch: hello@makeitmana.com

 

influencer-selection-2018

HOW TO SELECT INFLUENCERS IN 2018

By | Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing is certainly creating a massive buzz in modern media. But amongst all the good and indeed bad press that the tool is getting, lots of questions are being asked…

“How do I find influencers”

“Which influencers should I work with?”

WTF is influencer marketing”

With all the contrasting and contradictory feeds of information available on the subject, it is no surprise that there is mass confusion.

BUT WORRY NOT! Make it Mana are here to help…and we are tackling one of the biggest questions faced to kick it all off. Just HOW do I do influencer selection? Below we give five simple, but powerful tips, making sure you pick the right influencers to invest your influencer marketing efforts into. 

 

Think audience first 

 

So, you own a business that makes the world’s most awesome beer gadgets…let’s call the business Beerilliant

Beerilliant want to employ the power of influencers, but aren’t really sure where to start with influencer selection. Their marketing team have whittled it down to two of their favourite beer fanatics and have some stats for you to review:

 

Influencer One – Bob Beerbelly

Loves a pint with the lads. 30K followers on Instagram. Posts great content about beer a lot.

Influencer Two – Adam Ale

Also loves a pint with the lads (who doesn’t). 9k followers on Instagram. Also post awesome beer related content.

Your marketing team tell you it is going to cost you the same in terms of time, money and effort to work with both…but you only have the resource to work with one…which one do you choose?

…likelihood is, you chose Influencer One…much greater reach and relevant to the brand. But what if I added a little extra information.

Influencer One – Bob Beerbelly

30k followers….but 90% of the followers are female, non-beer drinkers. Despite the name, Bob actually had washboard abs and jaw line of a Greek God. Arguably many of his followers are there for a bit of eye candy.

Influencer Two – Adam Ale

9k followers….but 99% of them are beer drinking blokes. Adam isn’t quite as bigger hit with the ladies…but my gosh he does know about beer.

Now…which influencer would you pick?

Probably influencer two right? Adam is providing you with access to your exact target market and has clearly built that audience through expertise and understanding what your average beer drinking bloke likes to see.

What if we took this one step further and I told you the 10% of Bob’s following who aren’t non-beer drinking females are actually PURCHASED followers…then surely Bob becomes an obsolete option.

This may seem extreme, but you will be surprised how many ‘influencers’ cheat the system by gaining followers through dubious means (buying them) or appealing in some way to a demographic that has no direct relation to the market in which they consider themselves influential.

There are many programs available that can help you analyse audiences within the influencer marketing space and tools that can help you understand whether influencer audiences have been purchased.

This is one of the most fundamental questions to answers when selecting influencer – are they ACTUALLY reaching your target audience.

 

Influencer considerations

 

This consideration is almost as important as tip 1. Making sure your influencer aligns with your brand is key to success in influencer marketing.

Let’s take for example our business from above – Beerilliant (yeah probably the best fake business name I have ever come up with). This time they have two influencers that are bang on in terms of the target audience…they even have very similar sized audience. However, one of the influencers posts a lot about cars…it just happens that their audience ties in with the audience the Beerilliant brand are trying to reach. The second influencer however posts specifically about beer…he ruddy loves the stuff and can’t shut up about it.

Obviously, the second influencer is a better choice here – right?

But let’s throw in yet another factor (I know this is an emotional rollercoaster ride)….the second influencer also regularly posts extreme right wing orientated comments that could be interpreted as hateful towards others….he isn’t looking so great now. Trust us…this sort of outburst does happen, especially young influencers with large audiences.

The point here is that you should aim for your influencer to align both with your brand theme and style (beer in the case of Beerilliant), but also with your ethics and professional approach. Of course there is always a risk that in the future that influencer says or does something out of sync with your brand, however there are ways to mitigate this risk (which we will write about in future posts).


Pick your platform

 

Ok cool – we have now found like 10 awesome influencers that hit the right target audience, they hit the right tone of voice and they aren’t a PR nightmare. But there is a mix of talent that focuses on YouTube, Instagram and Facebook. Which ones do you work with?

The first and easiest to answer is – where do you have a presence as a brand, or at least where do you have the best, most engaged presence? As a result of influencers talking about your products or services you will likely gain a huge amount of traffic to your social media pages…so, to paint your brand in the best light it is worth favouring the platforms you work on best.

The second consideration is how engaged the audience on that particular platform is with the content. For example, on Instagram your influencer may be getting a large number of likes on their content, however on Facebook the influencers may be getting lots on comments, conversations and share – this type of engagement is much more valuable than a simple ‘like’.

Brand advocates

 

Without a doubt, finding and working with current brand advocates that are influential within your market is the best route to influencer marketing success. Start by going through your social channels, talking to your social media manager and reading your comments to see if anyone stands out as a potential brand advocate.

Of course, these individuals will still need to go through the checks we have highlighted above and below to make sure they are truly a good fit for your brand. But working with them does allows you to tap into influencers that are already educated about your brand and already love your products or services – saving you a lot of time.

Don’t panic if you can’t find anyone who matches this description…it isn’t too unusual. There are almost certainly influencers out there who will love your brand and what you do, but just haven’t yet heard of your brand or taken the time to understand it. It is more common to reverse-engineer powerful brand advocates by working to educate influencers and helping them understand why they should love what you do.  

Gut feel

 

Data, data, data, data, data, data…. seems like all marketers’ care about these days. And don’t get me wrong, that stuff is important for making informed decisions about everything from how much money to invest in social media ads through to what time of day you should post up new content.

But sometimes gut feel is a very powerful tool. Once you have worked through the other tips on this list, take a step back and ask – do I really want this influencer to represent my brand? Do they really align with our ethics, our brand values and our tone of voice? Does it feel right?

The likelihood is, if you have ticked all the other boxes then this is an easy – yes! However, on some occasions, gut feel can really save the day.

Take for example that you have reached out to a few influencers that are ‘perfect matches’ for your brand. But in the process of discussion, a few things have been said that set you on edge a little bit. Perhaps they are a bit too focused on the transactional side…just interested in how much money they can make and not really interested in your brand, what you do or what you stand for. Or perhaps they seem a little too relaxed and not bothered about the prospect of working with you.

These are all valid reasons to call it a day on the relationship.

 

In this list of top tips, we have covered off the five best ways to undertake influencer selection to assess which influencers are going to be a great match for a brand. Following these steps also makes it more likely that you will find influencers that are more willing to enter into the conversation with you about representing your brand in some way.

If you have any questions about these tips or really want to start smashing your influencer marketing in a powerful way, drop us an email at hello@makeitmana.com 

 

SOCIAL MEDIA: BEST PLATFORMS FOR YOUR BUSINESS

By | Social Media

Social media marketing has drastically changed the marketing landscape. No longer is the attention of the masses the sole reserve of the behemoth businesses with massive marketing budgets for TV adverts and outside media. It has opened the door the small business to make a huge splash and fundamentally doesn’t cost anything to access.

Ok, ok…most businesses know that social media marketing is a great tool for helping promote their business and that they should be using consistently and professionally to get their brand name out there. But…

“I just don’t have time to do it”

“We don’t know what we should be saying”

“We don’t know the best social platforms for our business”

All things we as marketers hear on a day-to-day basis. They are all good points and ones that we are going to remedy in some detail in this guide.

Getting a few things in line, understanding your audience and the purpose of us using social media marketing will go a long way to answering these. Also understanding the pros and cons of the big platforms will allow you to assess and pick what is best for you moving forward.

 

Can I use them all?

 

Often you see ‘social media marketing savvy’ businesses trying to use ALL the platforms they can think of to promote their brand – Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, Pintrest etc. In many ways this makes sense, it gives you a presence on all of the platforms and this in turn allows you to tap into all of the audience.

But let’s look at this practically. As a marketing agency we can tell you now that although social media platforms are free to use, they aren’t really free at all…this is because they all require a BIG time investment. Time to update you feed, create content, reply to comments and enquires, keep an eye on the latest trends and engage with key influencers.

Doing all this is certainly worthwhile achievable for all platforms if you have the resource – which is likely to look like a large marketing team or agency taking care of it all for you. However, for most, doing this means you will be spread too thinly.

Now think of your customers. They spot your brand on their social media platform of choice…they click your profile and your last update is from two weeks ago, you have comments and questions which have been unanswered and the profile is generally looking pretty sad…you are immediately turned off and continue with your journey.

Picking your platforms carefully will mean you can focus your attention on where it counts the most. For example, at Make It Mana we focus on Instagram (where we do a lot of business)and Twitter (where a lot of our customers are). We also have a Facebook and LinkedIn for logistical and discovery reasons, but we do not publicise this fact and simply use them as an information dissemination tool.

 

Brand match

 

The first question to ask yourself when you are selecting the best platform for your business is which one works for your brand in terms of functionality and branding.

Take for example a brand that is very visual such as a cosmetic skin care brand. Usually, this sort of brand would focus widely on visual content such as beautiful photography and video. Therefore, platforms such as Instagram (photo and video) as well as YouTube (video) would be a good shortlist for this brand.

Facebook may not necessarily hit the right vibe in terms of branding, however, it may be considered as it supports both photography and video. For example, this brand may be focusing on communicating an edgy and hip message, which arguably Facebook doesn’t cater for.

 

Social audience

 

Arguably more important than matching the platform to the brand is matching the brand to the audience. Although many have a large crossover, each platform naturally appeals to a certain type of audience. This includes differences in age groups, interests, styles and even position in society, career options and their values.

For example, although the majority social media platforms are used mostly by younger generations (18-30), Facebook is the one which appeals most to an older audience with similar amounts of those in the 30+ category as the younger category. This presents an opportunity for businesses that target mainly an older audience.

Similarly, Instagram widely appeals to a younger audience, with 59% of 18-29 year olds having a presence on the platform. This gives an opportunity to brands that wish to appeal to a younger audience to really tap into platform populatity. This has been seen with great results for brands such as Gymshark and Daniel Wellington which arguably owe a huge part of their success to the audiences on Instagram.

 

Your business, discovered

 

Social media marketing is all about getting discovered by customers. But the way in which social platforms do this varies widely based on their individual setup. There are also processes of discovery which work better on certain platforms over others which should be considered when deciding which social media platforms to use.

Take for example the process of discovery through hashtags. A number of platforms including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and even LinkedIn support this. However, hashtags are ingrained in the way some platforms work and are much more popular on these. Instagram and Twitter have both leveraged hashtags since the early days of the platform. They even facilitate a better experience with hashtags including dedicated hashtag pages and trending hashtag sections.

Influencers are also a massively important tool for brand discovery on social media. Again, influencer marketing can be used widely across social media platforms including Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter. However, generally, influencers prefer the functionality of Instagram and YouTube. It also makes them easier to work with.

Social media marketing will work hardest for business which know the best platforms for their needs.

In summary

In this article, we have covered what you need to know about picking the best social platforms for your business. This has included whether you should use all the platforms you possibly can (no). We have also looked at how to match social platforms with your brand and audience you are trying to reach. Finally, we covered considerations for discovery on platforms and which ones might match your requirements for these.

Clearly, it is a good idea to carefully consider which social media you should be using to promote your brand. This is because it represents you and everything you stand for in the public eye. Getting it right means you can double-down and focus on what really counts for helping your brand grow.

Do you need some help getting your social media marketing off the ground? We have great experience in helping establish brands on social, ping us an email @ hello@makeitmana.com

social media marketing advice contact