Three compelling ways to create content that sells (in a subtle, social way!)

Good content is all about capturing your audience.

Like the excitement we feel when reading the first few pages of a new book, we want our followers to read on, to want more detail. Engaging content creates an emotional response, like that generated by lovable characters, or the beauty of a scene described in perfect detail. Our favourite authors can control our mood and emotions simply through words on a page. Can we even hope to recreate that captivation through our social media posts? Since social media gave us a ‘page’, we’ve been striving to fill it with the best content we can produce. As small businesses, social media can be an enormously powerful tool. By using it to build our brand and raise our profile, we can achieve growth that would have costs thousands through the paid media channels of old. But what are the qualities of good content?

  1. Relevance

We’ve all got connections who continually share on social media – cat videos, memes, other people’s news – the main theme being that they’re mass viral posts to which your connection adds nothing. Do you find you move on quickly from these profiles?

The key to content which will enhance your personal and professional brand is ‘relevance’. Think about who your audience is, and what they might be interested in. Try to post a variety of content but all related to your core business interests or values: you are looking to be front of mind across your skillset. You’re not selling with this content; instead you are gently suggesting ways you might be able to help your audience.

  1. Composure and composition

I’ve grouped these two things together because they are both about thinking before you speak/write and getting this element of your content wrong can cause problems, whichever way you look at it. Composure is about taking the time to think through the purpose of your content. Are you telling a story? What is it illustrating? Are you trying to make a point? Is it linked to your business messaging or does it stray into the choppy waters that are politics, religion or sex? Keyboard warriors beware. What goes on social media stays on social media. Having a good rant might make you feel better at the time of writing, but do you want your views on British politics to forever define your brand or offering? Composition is also about taking a moment. I read many posts that simply don’t make sense. Words are missing, context is confused and there’s no obvious point to the content. The best content will use story telling as a format – but that doesn’t mean it needs to be long and complex. Set out your context, add some detail or relevance to your message and then make your closing point. Too much detail will mean you lose your audience.

  1. Purpose

Digital marketing is very focused on presence, rather than necessarily hammering home a sale. Social Selling, or Digital Selling, is a longer-term, slower-burn approach to business. Based on relationship building, it involves serving up content that will help your audience with a challenge or by sharing nuggets of expertise. People often worry about doing this. They feel they are giving away their services for free but this is a short sighted attitude to have. My previous blog illustrates the facts and figures related to today’s buyer journey, which are compelling when it comes to push versus pull.

So, before you publish, ask yourself: What do I want people to do or think when they read this content? Am I serving my audience by giving them something that is useful? Am I posting something which relates to my business and is what my audience might expect to see?

To summarise, content marketing as a concept has grown out of the social media feeds’ hunger for content. It’s a new way of selling, pull not push, inbound not outbound and it’s based on quality, authenticity and relationship building.

This is a guest blog from one of my associates. Emma Rundle is a copywriter and networking professional, dedicated to helping small businesses grow and learn. She runs the West Chilterns region of womens’ networking group The Athena Network and has been delivering killer content through Melting Pot Creations for five years.

Why is Marketing your business like Halloween? …

Why is Marketing your business like Halloween? …

It isn’t!

So, what do I mean?

Halloween can be scary! Marketing isn’t!

Halloween is for one day of year! Marketing is for the whole year!

Halloween relies on magic and wands! Marketing relies on planning and data!

Halloween is about knocking on doors! Marketing is about opening doors!

Halloween is about tricks and treats! Marketing is all about the treats, no tricks!

So, let this witch work my magic on your business!

I am Nicole Martin, Pinpoint Marketing – no more hocus pocus, it’s time to focus!

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Uncertainty to Certainty …

2019 looks like it it coming to a close in a few week’s time with an air of uncertainty surrounding it. In fact, a lot of this year has been uncertain for a lot of the time.

So with all this uncertainty, businesses and business owners may naturally be feeling concerned about what to do with their businesses and their budgets.
What will 2020 bring?
What will the changes be?
How will I grow my business?
Will I market my business in a different way?
Will things need to change?
These are all valid questions. And are questions that a Marketing and business Plan will cover off and move uncertainty to certainty.

In Pinpoint Marketing’s opinion, growth is all down to planning!  You as the business owner needs to know your marketing strategy before you can start to write your marketing plan. In business, there will be some luck and an element of chance, but your successes will be down to careful planning and as a result, using the right marketing tactics.

If you haven’t set any goals or objectives for your company’s marketing activities, then how can you decide at the end of the month or the year if you have achieved what you set out to do? As they say, a goal without a plan is just a wish.

There are 7 stages to a comprehensive plan and these steps are
Objective Setting
Defining the messaging
Defining a strategy
Defining the target audience
Developing the tactics
Implementing the plan
Measuring and evaluation

How can Pinpoint help you with your certainty and marketing planning in 2020?

  1. We can create a bespoke and personalised Marketing Plan for you. Read more here
  2. You can learn the basic steps and the action points of a Marketing Plan yourself by booking onto our November workshop. Book here
  3. Learn how to, then create your own Marketing Plan through our online course. Read more here

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You have made your website live or sent your first newsletter or social media post, but what next? …

One area that I find isn’t done by business owners or the reason they quote if they feel their marketing isn’t working, is when the marketing campaigns are not tracked or followed up on. Many have said they have tried and got no results. The main reason is usually because of the lack of following up, tracking and consistency with the next issue, post and so on.

So, when it comes to your marketing, what can you measure and what it will tell you?

For example:
Leads – numbers, sources = where to spend time and money
Website – numbers, keywords, bounce rates = is your site being found and is the content right?
Email marketing – no of subscribers on database, no of opens and clicks = is your database growing and is your content right and engaging enough?
Social media – no of likes, follows etc = is your content good, are people converting and making a purchase?

What are the benefits of measuring? There are many including

  • Saving time
  • Saving money
  • Knowing your reason and purpose
  • Making informed decisions
  • Avoiding guesswork and taking risks
  • Avoiding pushy salespeople
  • Improving the chances of your marketing campaigns being a success

But remember, don’t get too obsessed by the numbers when you are tracking and analysing. It is more about quality than quantity.

If you feel you need help or advice with your reporting and analysing your marketing, click here

 

Outsourcing your marketing – do you?

I ran a poll for market research purposes amongst 4 networking groups and business groups that I am a member of recently. I asked the question “Do you outsource any aspect of your businesses marketing?” To say I am surprised by the results is somewhat of an understatement. Some of the results were not what I was expecting.

The voters are predominately small business owners. They are all UK based and are a mixture of men and women, although I would say more women voted.

On the plus side, no one voted that they didn’t know outsourcing was an option so I and my fellow marketers are doing a good job of promoting what we can offer to small businesses if they wish marketing support.  As you can see, the biggest vote was for never! This response was 50/50 between men and women SME owners who had voted. Why is this? Some of the comments were lack of budget or because they wanted to have a go themselves. Whilst this is an admirable choice, is it really the best choice for you and your business? Sometimes it is and sometimes it isn’t. Each to their own. However, sadly a few voters had their fingers burnt by companies or agencies that had let them down. Sad to hear as customer service, honest and authenticity is very important to Pinpoint Marketing. I would be very interested in helping dispel this perception. If you are looking for free advice then sign up for my newsletter or join my Facebook group. Quite often though when prospects or leads tell me marketing hasn’t worked for them, it can be a case of something within the campaign wasn’t right or thought about thoroughly eg the strategy/target audience not defined or the messaging isn’t pitched right. But sometimes it is because the campaign or activity hasn’t been followed up on, then reviewed and then repeated. A good marketing strategy is all about consistency, reviewing and repeating.

The lack of budget clearly is a factor for many small businesses. Clearly finances and cash flow are a must to get right so we can’t go spending blindly. But, the key thing to say here is that any time and money you spend outsourcing your marketing is time you will get back to do what you want and what only you can do. Why spend time struggling with your copy or planning if that means you are taking yourself away from working with and for your customers? Also the investment of money you spend on outsourcing your marketing will pay for itself, if done correctly, over time as you should be getting in more leads and more sales.

Interestingly, of the groups who responded as always, these were solely women business owners. Why is this? Are women more likely to admit they cannot or don’t want to do something or is this a coincidence?

Of the voters who said sometimes if I cannot do it, the main voters were women again, but not by as a bigger margin as the always voters. Many of us like to learn and gain new skills, so we offering a multi layer service from consultancy and ideas, to hand holding and support to we can do it all for you. Your budget, your choice.

So what can we conclude? I want, naturally, for more small business owners to get help with their marketing. Let marketers like me do what we do best and help you. And then you can do what you want/where your passion is and use your skills and time to the best effect.

How can this happen? So if you are in the I would if I could afford it or the not now but I plan to camps, here are some options:

  • If you would like some free marketing advice, click on the green pinned Free Marketing Advice image on the homepage.  free marketing advice
  • If you would like funding advice or a business loan, have a chat with two networking connections of mine, Helen Steel of Streamlion Consulting and Sharon Cook of Choice Business Loans.
  • Get a marketing or business mentor and become accountable with your marketing.

Pinpoint Marketing – we make marketing simple!

 

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