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

 

Internationally based businesses club together and gift the best birthday present ever in a secret initiative! Enter the Dragon …

As Theo Paphitis, King of the high street, self-confessed Shopkeeper and Dragons Den star celebrates his 60th birthday, a group of over 160 businesses from #SBS, an initiative of Theo’s, have come together to say happy birthday and thank him in a rather unique way by supporting the #NHS70/ThankYouNHS campaign of fellow #SBS winner, Nigel Richardson of Secret Hamper.
This group of businesses have contributed towards sponsoring 70 bespoke sharing hampers for the staff at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital (RMCH), a hospital that Theo has supported over the last 10 years and is a cause close to his heart. These generous businesses have come from the North of England to Scotland and as far south as France to show their thanks in many ways. Nigel said “Theo has given so much to small businesses over the years who are part of SBS, some of which have had life changing opportunities. When I realised that this year saw his 60th Birthday I knew we had to do something special, but what do you get a multimillionaire?”
The aim of the #NHS70 project is to invite businesses, celebrities and individuals throughout the UK to recognise and celebrate 70 years of the NHS. Recognising the wonderful care given by the unsung heroes working at all levels within the organisation by sponsoring bespoke hampers to say a big Thank You for dedicating their lives caring for others.” Once the hampers are delivered, the contents are shared out and can reach 1000s of staff, giving the morale in the hospital and wards a real boost.
Having previously taken part in the #ManyHands appeal for RMCH that Theo spearheaded, Nigel thought how apt it would be to get #SBS winners involved with the #ThankYouNHS initiative. Nigel went on to say “RMCH was always going to be on our list but how special would it be if that specific delivery was just made up of SBS winners? With it also being RMCH’s 10th Birthday too. It was like it was meant to be!”
#SBS, Small Business Sunday, is a weekly initiative set up by Theo in 2010 and it now has well over 2200 winners and supports small businesses in the UK. Both the SBS and NHS initiatives are passionate about giving back and the feel good factor as well as raising profiles, recognition and exposure and increasing awareness. Happy Birthday Theo and Thank You!

Get involved in the NHS initiative – Tel – 033 033 373 90 or http://secrethamper.com/nhs-70/
Find out more about SBS – www.theopaphitissbs.com