Category

Marketing Campaigns

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. 

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.

 

GET FREE INFLUENCER, CONTENT AND SOCIAL MARKETING ADVICE STRAIGHT TO YOUR INBOX.

* indicates required