Upskill staff in digital media

Ever wondered whether you should upskill your staff in digital media? Here are 5 reasons why you definitely should:

1. You are getting poor results for your efforts on digital media

It might seem that you spend a considerable amount of time on digital platforms each week. Whether you are posting to Twitter or LinkedIn, creating paid ads or making multiple YouTube videos, sometimes it can seem that you’re not getting the traction you think you deserve for your efforts. Even when there is a smattering of engagement, it often doesn’t lead to a sale. So what are you doing wrong?

Without some sort of coordinated effort, what you do in the digital space will make no impact. What you need is a strategy. Strategy is all about working towards your goals with cohesive campaigns that complement and reflect what you are doing in your other marketing activities. Learning how to put a digital marketing strategy together that brings results is one of the most important things you can do for your business.

2. You are missing opportunities for new business

If you have never investigated the potential of digital media for your business, you are missing out on the massive opportunities it has to offer. From advertising your product or service online to a highly targeted audience of potential customers to connecting and interacting regularly with your target market on social media, building your online presence leads to sales and that’s what keeps us in business. Training your staff in these vital digital skills will ensure you capitalise on all digital platforms that can bring you new business.

3. You are out of touch with your customers

Digital media can be used to keep in touch with customers. Maintaining a level of contact with your customers and building a relationship with them keeps your business top of mind for your customers, so it’s you they think of before your competitors. Learn how to best use email marketing to create a rapport with your target market. Learn how to segment your market and tailor your information accordingly. Learn how to create effective calls to action, write impactful content and bring traffic to your website. Learn how to see which emails have had the best response and how to build your email marketing list.

4. You are falling behind your competitors

The digital world is evolving fast and keeping up with current trends, algorithms and new technologies requires a time and effort for already busy business owners. Those businesses that invest in training their staff in digital media will stay ahead of the competition. Those that don’t will fall behind and might eventually go out of business.

5. Your business can’t be found in the search engine results

If you google your business name, product or service, how close to the top of the search does your business appear? Are you on page one? Two? Or even further back in the slush pile that is page three and beyond? Are you fed up of seeing your competitors appearing above you in the search results? Search engine optimisation is part art, part science, and there are certain techniques that you can employ today to make some big changes to your search results.

Digital marketing training can show you how to find your customers online, give them the information they need at the time they need it and successfully convert leads. Andy Harrison is one of the UK’s leading digital media trainers. Find out more about his digital marketing courses here.

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Increase Your Social Media Presence – Optimum Times To Post.

Catching the attention of your target audience is of prime importance when posting on social media.  Knowing the best times to post will enable you to extend your reach and gain maximum exposure.

Through careful analysis of our social media data it appears that the optimum times to post are:

Facebook (business)

Best Posting Times: . 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm The peak time is Wednesday at 3:00 pm.

Worst Posting Times: .  8:00 pm – 8:00am

LinkedIn

Best Posting Times:

7:00 am – 9:00 am and 5:00 pm -6:00 pm. Peak days are Tuesday through to Thursday.

Worst Posting Times: . Traffic fades between 10:00 pm – 6:00 am

Traffic is less on Mondays and Fridays.

Twitter

Best Posting Times: 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm. Traffic starts to increase after 11.00am

Worst Posting Times: 8:00am-9:00 am and after 3.00pm. However in contradiction to this, specific hashtag hours can prove very popular  with 8pm-9pm seemingly a common time.

Google+

Best Posting Times: 9am-11am. Traffic tends to increase after 11am.

Worst Posting Times: 6pm – 8am. Decreased traffic after 5pm.

Don’t forget these are general guidlines and are based on our findings, so experiment a little, use analytics and see what works for you.

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Which Social Media Platform? Part 1

There is a multitude of social media platforms to choose from, but from a business point of view, you have to decide which ones are going to be most beneficial in helping you reach your target audience and be most successful in promoting your business. It is always better to choose a few platforms that are more specific to your needs and will optimize your presence, rather than spending precious time and energy being spread too thinly.

So let’s take a look at a few of the most popular platforms in order to ascertain their usefulness as a business tool, in relation to their individual characteristics.

Facebook

Facebook is the biggest social network site and therefore has extensive reach. Having a Facebook business page enables you to connect and interact with your target audience. The benefits:

  • Extensive search capability.

  • Good for sharing information.

  • Photo and video sharing.

  • Good for engagement and building a brand personality.

  • Useful for customer service.

Twitter

Twitter enables you to grow an audience quickly. Speed is the optimum word when describing Twitter. Everything moves at a fast pace, conversations move quickly and there is a constant flow of information. Activity therefore has to be regular in order to stay visible. Conversations due to word limitation are short and brief, however Twitter cards can be used to extend the word usage.

  • Great for breaking news and real time announcements.

  • Good for increased visibility.

  • Useful for driving traffic to a certain destination, for example your website

 LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the social network for businesses, the overall feel is a professional one. It is an excellent place to search and target specific audiences and groups, due to it’s advanced search capability. It is also an amazing data base. With now over 15 million UK business people active on LinkedIn, representing a range of business sectors, the ability to use and search this data base effectively has benefits for any business sector.

  • Good for B2B and B2C networking.

  • Promotes you and your brand.

  • The advanced search enables the targeting of specific professionals, individuals or groups.

  • Accommodates large or small businesses and individuals.

  • Good for information sharing, blog posting, relationship building and driving traffic back to your website

  • Group membership is good for sharing ideas and discussions or asking questions.

Instagram

Beneficial for photo-sharing good for creatives. It has a useful search tool facility and like Twitter searches can be conducted through hashtags.  Enables engagement by following others and sending likes.

  • Promotes the visual element of brands

  • Can be linked to other social media sites.

  • Creates a visual element to posts.

  • Can create short videos for post integration.

  • Less about selling more about creating a brand personality

Vine

Vine is a mobile video sharing  app owned by Twitter, allowing short videos of 6 seconds duration on a loop system and is one of the fastest growing sites. Videos are produced through an in-app camera and once completed can be saved or shared on Vine, Twitter and Facebook. The popularity of a Vine can be accessed through a loop count.  Vine suggests that every month 100million people watch Vines across the web and there are more than 1 million loops per day!

  • The visual element is great for advertising your brand .

  • Good for introducing a new product.

  • Looping provides continuity of presence.

  • Used by large brands such as Orio, Xbox, McDonalds.

  • Reaches a wide audience.

Pinterest

Pinterest is basically a scrapbook of ideas and enables members to pin images to their pinboards, these can be shared, liked and commented on. It is a way of promoting ideas and allows the user to save, sort and categorise. Images are linked to profiles and provide access to websites, so that activity can be directed back to your brand.

  • Good for visual representation.

  • Good to promote creativity.

  • Useful tool to promote brand awareness

YouTube

Video based marketing which enables creativity and visual capture. Excellent means of having world wide reach.

  • Allows users to view, upload and share videos.

  • Personalised channels can be created. Brands can be promoted by incorporating company logos and banners etc.

  • Videos can be shared on most social media sites in order to create more interest.

  • Can be embedded into websites. Good for webinars, webcasts, tutorials,product demonstrations and client testimonials.

  • Videos are categorised and enables searches by phrases, keywords and tags.

Keep a look out for Part 2 when we shall examine Google +

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Be Smart With Your Social Media Marketing

Having a clear well thought out marketing strategy is a must in order to achieve successful marketing campaigns and increased sales.  You need to know what you are working towards and what goals you want to achieve.  Successful businesses have clear, measurable goals and objectives, they know what they want and how to go about achieving it.   An efficient method used by many performance managers is through SMART targets and is particularly effective when applied to social media marketing.

So what is SMART and how can you implement it?

The term/acronym SMART was given by George T Doran in an article produced for Management Review and has extensively been used in business to enable management to define goals and objectives in a structured and effective manner. There are different interpretations as to the exact definition, however they all stress the importance of planning and goal setting.

Cartoon man at laptop using SMART targets

S – Specific  

     M – Measurable

   A – Assignable

R – Relevant

       T – Time related.

Let’s look at each section in more depth

Specific

Focus on an area of improvement, be specific don’t generalise.  Decide on what the end result is going to be, and  what you want to achieve?Think about how you will use social media in order to reach your objective. Which platforms will you us to reach your target market? Decide on who is involved and make sure that they are all aware of their roles and individual objectives and how they fit into the overall scheme.

Measurablemeasuring tape illustrating SMART target

Create a system where you can track progress and provide focus as you work towards your final objective/goal. Without setting targets it’s not possible to know whether you are progressing. Analytical tools  are a useful means by which you can track the success of your social media campaigns and can provide a wealth of information on such areas such as, engagement, and provide a variety of statistics on public interaction.  This knowledge will help you fine tune your campaign and understand more about what is successful or not, enabling you to meet your goal more efficiently.

Attainable

Give yourself something to work and strive towards but don’t have targets that are unobtainable, don’t be too ambitious, be realistic.  Having goals that are unobtainable lead to demoralisation and the feeling of failure .  Its good to be stretched in such a way that there are rewards for all the hard effort. I know being realistic is a difficult term to define,  some people are more confident than others, the road to reaching your goal may be one of new discoveries and opportunities, but primarily the main aspect of having achievable goals is to know your industry well and be well informed.

Relevant

Take into consideration current markets and is your goal relevant in the current market situation, therefore timing is so important.  Also is it relevant to what your brand promotes and what you have done previously, this will also relate to having the relevant skills and resources to be able to move forward.

Time RelatedClock illustrating time SMART target

Don’t drift, set time related goals and a sense of urgency, so that you are more driven.  Without time limits complacency can set in and other things take preference. Deadlines provide focus and efficiency.

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Social Media Branding – Important! If so why?

Apple Image

What is the name of this company and what do they do?

I really didn’t need to ask, we all know the logo and what it stands for, and it isn’t a greengrocer! The image doesn’t even relate to computers or mobile technology in any way, it can be any colour or size it doesn’t matter, because Apple have created a visual image that is immediately recognisable and unique to them. As soon as we see it we know what it stands for.

So why is it important to visually market your company?Creative Roar_Social Media Document11

To be recognised and stand out from the crowd! You may have a good business name but that alone will not make you stand out on a social networking platform such as Twitter.

Your logo will be seen before anyone reads your article or post. Therefore make it noticeable, enabling immediate identification. It ideally should be simple, distinctive and if possible appropriate.

Creative Roar_Social Media Document9A logo is your companies’ signature, so the colours, font and symbols should be unique to your business. 

Create consistency -it’s a visual representation of your company, and as with Apple or Twitter it will become synonymous with your brand. Make sure it is on everything you do from business cards, banners your web site, all promotional material and not forgetting your social media platforms.

In the current fast paced world of social media marketing  branding becomes even more important, think of your twitter feed, most people will rapidly scan the feed and pick up on one or two items. Clearly their eye is going to pick up on designs that stand out. Too often we see companies who have spent a great deal of time and thought on their branding yet throw something together when it comes to social media. Yet in reality the way you show your brand on social media is arguably even more important than any other area of your business.

 

Remember each social media platform is different and has its own unique design and look, which means that a banner designed for LinkedIn  won’t be the right fit for Facebook, Google+ or Twitter.

SOCIAL MEDIA BANNER

Creative Roar_Social Media Document8

Creative Roar_Social Media Document4Creative Roar_Social Media Document6

These images show how our banners are specifically designed for each individual platform, they are also designed to work on different devices, whether it be for example a mobile phone, computer or tablet.

We would love to know what you think about social media branding have you got your social media branded if not why not?

Comment and let us know what you think, or feel free to contact us direct, we look forward to hearing your thoughts.

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