What is Marketing? What does marketing mean to you?

  • For some it means advertising.
  • For some it evokes fear and overwhelm?
  • For some it means something very expensive and only for big companies.

What is marketing?

☑  Creating a product or service that is needed/in demand

☑  Setting a price

☑  Providing a “place” to sell

☑  Promoting

Put simply, marketing is about advertising your product or service to the people who want to buy it.

Marketing is getting potential customers interested and made aware of. After all, if you don’t have customers or potential customers, you don’t have a business!

Marketing helps you identify who these people are they could or should buy from you. It also helps work out the words to say to these people to advise them on what you have buy. These words will include your USP and features and benefits.

Marketing is telling people what is available, why they need it and how much it will cost. This is brand awareness.

Marketing is about finding ways to reach people using forms of promotion – eg physically as in a place in shops, cafes, networking events and exhibitions etc as well as virtually through websites, social media, advertising, press releases, email marketing, direct mail, videos, podcasts etc.

Its simply letting people know about you/your business. You will do this daily I’m sure intentionally and also without knowing eg chats at the school gates, at networking, by sharing social posts and so on.

Marketing is about increasing sales, through promotion

Marketing is all about consistency and regularity

Other words for marketing are advertising or promotion or presenting or publicising.

 

What marketing isn’t

Something to do sporadically.

  Expensive (if it is done properly, see it as an investment!).

  Only for the big companies.

  Waste of time for small businesses.

  Something to be scared of and to avoid

  Optional! It is essential

 

Examples of marketing:

  • Having a conversation at a dinner party or at the school gates
  • Running an advert in a magazine
  • Facebook posts
  • Linkedin articles
  • Blogging
  • Phoning someone
  • Emailing someone
  • Networking
  • Running an event
  • Talking on local radio
  • Entering an award
  • Using Twitter or Instagram
  • Setting up a Google me Business profile
  • Launching a website
  • Uploading videos and podcasts
  • Creating keywords for your site
  • Running pay per click campaigns and so on

These are ALL examples of marketing!

 

How do marketing properly

  Get organised and don’t adopt the as and when approach. Market your business even when you are busy.

  Plan your content and your activities. Get a plan!

  Do what is only suitable for your business rather than trying to do everything!

  Use an expert to help do what you can’t do.

  Review, measure and evaluate.

  Budget.

 

Find out more about marketing

 

Top Tips: How to Stand out from the crowd on social media – guest blog from Claire Fryer

Recent stats show that Facebook has 2.5 billion active users and that 5.5 million people use Instagram stories every day. There are 145 million daily active users on Twitter and LinkedIn has over 500 million members.

If you’re reading these stats and wondering how on earth “little-old-you” can stand out from the crowd, don’t worry. Claire Fryer from One to Three Marketing shares her top tips on creating engaging content that won’t get lost.

  1. NEVER (ever, ever!) post on any platform without a supporting image or video. If you just post a quick text update on any platform it will get swallowed up by everything around it. The eye is so much easier drawn to an image than just words. 80% of people remember what they see, compared to ten percent what they hear and 20 percent of what they read.
  2. A couple of my go-to sources for imagery are: pixabay.com – a royalty free image and video bank that allows you to search by keywords. Unsplash.com is another favourite.

Don’t choose an image from page 1 of the results – go a bit deeper into the library and you’ll likely end up using an image that is more unique (these image banks are well used and often people grab a picture from page 1.)

  1. Try out the slideshow feature in Facebook. It’s a nice way to share images with the movement of a video. When you want to add a new post hit the ‘picture icon and choose the slideshow option. Add your photos, set how long each image should show for and hey presto. A great little rolling slideshow is created.
  2. Create collages. There are many free apps out there to create picture collages. Two of our favourites are InstaCollageand CollageFactory – collages allow you to tell a story in one photo and look really effective.
  3. One more image tip – get creative with tools such as Canva and create your own infographics.
  4. Go Live! Facebook, Instagram and Twitter all have ‘live’ options where you can video in the moment and share what you’re up to right now with your audience. Give them a go! The functionality of the live tools is really user friendly and you can just start with a few seconds of what’s happening in your world and build up to sharing pieces to camera or more detail. Read more about Going Live in our blog
  5. Tell your story! Instagram stories are HUGE this year – more and more people are relying on stories alone to find out what their favourite influencers, businesses and friends are up to. Stories appear at the top of your Instagram app, and are live on Facebook too, and last for 24hours. They’re a great way to engage with your audience so give them a try. We’ve written some tips on creating a great story here.

Hot off the press: Twitter are trialling their own version of stories right now – called ‘fleets’ they’re in early trial stages but watch this space for a full roll-out.

  1. Did you know you can amend the font in a Facebook post? Check out http://www.fbfontchanger.comfor access to all sorts of fonts that will make your posts that little bit different.
  2. Don’t ‘sell, sell, sell.’ Your content should be 20% sales based – maximum! Your audience want to feel as if they are in a conversation with you, so ask questions, share your news, make them laugh and allow your personality to shine. Give away some nuggets of your knowledge and build your brand by being authentic and open.
  3. Finally, share other people’s content. Retweeting, reposting and sharing other people’s posts can help to build relationships with like-minded businesses and it is a positive thing to support others by helping to spread their news too.

Enjoy getting creative – don’t be a wallflower…..smile, sparkle, shine!!

For more information and tips, contact Claire

Being prepared in business. Nicole shares her top tips …

Are you organised and accountable when it comes to marketing and running your business?

Top marketing tips from Pinpoint Marketing.

What are the benefits of being prepared?

  1. Routine
  2. The way we think
  3. Flexibility
  4. Resilience

Here is what I do? Weekly – One other thing I do at the beginning of the week is message or email clients (using their preferred method of communication) and confirm the dates, times and locations of any meetings that week to try and avoid last minute cancellations on both sides. And Monthly – At the beginning of each month, I schedule in my monthly commitments for Pinpoint’s own blog, social media posting, newsletter etc. Plus I schedule in each of my retainer client’s work to eg reporting at the end of the month and writing their social media posts at the beginning of each month.

How can you be more prepared in business situations?

  1. Diary management – don’t overpack the diary. Tempting I know.
  2. Block time out – if you want to stay on top of things like your social media, marketing or admin etc, dedicate time in your diary on fixed times in the week/month and don’t let anything go in that space. Get into a routine of being prepared
    1. REMEMBER to block time out for yourself too.
  3. Delegate and outsource – being prepared is knowing what is likely to come up in your business situation wise. Outsource. Yes this will cost you but its worth it if it will save you time and stress
  4. Make lists. This can be pen and paper or a CRM or an online app/tool. Whatever works for you
  5. Make a plan. Aside from stopping the overwhelm, a plan helps to break down a large task and into smaller bite size sections. This makes it more manageable and easier to get your head around, step by step
  6. Go prepared to meetings

BUT whilst you are busy creating this new habit and learning to be prepared, try not to overthink it!

We can’t pre empt everything, but we can try.

Read the being prepared in business tips in full

 

Is an upselling a missed opportunity?

How to upsell. Small business marketing advice and support from Pinpoint Marketing

I say yes!

I told the story today in the workshop I was hosting. I have recently booked a horse riding lesson for my daughter and a golf club birthday party for my son. Neither of these things were cheap but of course worth it. Maybe it is because I am a marketing consultant or professional, but by me booking the lessons and courses then it showed to the businesses/business owners that I am a caring mother and willing to spend money to make them happy and to bring joy.

What has surprised me, as an example, and I have many more examples that since the events took place, neither business has contacted me to ask about my experience and to upsell to me to book future lessons or courses or parties and events? Why is this? Are they just busy or is it a case of they have had my money so the story ends. I don’t know the answer, but in my mind they have missed a trick. Do you agree?

As a marketer I tell my clients about measuring and evaluating their marketing and about looking after their customers to make them into loyal and repeat business. So what could these businesses have done? They could of called me or emailed me after the event and asked about my experience. They could of taken it one step further and perhaps offered me a discount or time limited offer to buy more. Would I of done this, probably yes! Especially if I had to buy/book quickly as this would of meant firstly a discount and secondly I/the kids would of still been in the happy customer zone and therefore more easy to reach and sell to.

How many times has this happened to you? Businesses are busy I know and these two businesses probably are too and they don’t necessarily need more business but this is quite a short sighted approach. Upselling and cross selling to customers who have already purchased from us are in my mind, low hanging fruit. Thank them, treat them well and they will be ambassadors and trumpet blowers for your business. This is invaluable.

If you don’t ask them you don’t get. Don’t be afraid to ask customers for a review or to sell to them (in a non pushy way of course) or to ask them to refer you. Most people want to help but we don’t know how so when a small business asks then that is your cue to help.

For more small business marketing tips and advice, get in touch.

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

Emma Rundle, Melting Pot Communications

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.