Is your business summer ready?

Marketing strategy and planning

We may not be jetting off overseas this July and August but you may be planning a staycation or just a week or two off from work.

So how can you make sure business remains as on track as it can do over the summer period? Some of this will be out of your hands with the current situation we are in, but equally there will be things that you can do you your business to help transition to the new normal and to improve your marketing and future successes.

Here are some top level ideas on how you could spend time on and in your business this summer to set you up for the months ahead:

Get a Marketing plan to help you set some goals, plan how to achieve these goals and create processes and partnerships to streamline and manage your marketing whether you are here or abroad? A goal without a plan is just a wish as they say. So what does a plan include? What are the steps? Why bother with a plan? Find more more

Set up a Newsletter and send monthly (you can even pre-schedule these for when you are away) to keep customers up to date and keep you in their minds. GDPR rules apply so ensure you have consent to email your contact list. Many of us don’t know what to include in newsletters. Try not to make it all about you if you can. Include industry or market news. Include tips and stories. Images are also good to brighten up and break up text. Use this content also to form blogs too?

Create a Social Media content plan, then write and pre-schedule your Social media posts to ensure customers carry on buying and receiving your messages. Use the content from your newsletter and your themes from your plan and plan out your content. Make sure it is two way as well. Ask your readers to respond and comment and get them involved. Engage with them.

Could you free up some time to work on your business by outsourcing?  If you are also planning some time off over the summer, outsourcing to a trusted pair of hands on a short term basis could be an option. For example, a marketer to help with your social media and newsletter or a VA for your phone answering, email monitoring and admin. Or a bookkeeper for your invoicing and payment chasing. Or a copy writer to write some blogs.  

Find out more about our packages, and market your way through the summer.

Have a good summer!

Let’s not roll over but let’s roll on ….

Marketing plan and strategy

It all feels a bit like things are going down the toilet personally and business wise and it is all a bit cr#p! I am not here to make light of things, but maybe to inject a bit of humour, but here to also help and support you where I can. Us small business owners are up against it somewhat from all angles but I want us all to come away from this situation feeling flush with motivation and anticipation and smelling of roses rather than stinky toilets!

Reacting to the situation we are in

Amongst my research for my own social media content and to find tips for my clients and content, I came across this piece in Marketing Week entitled “The best marketers will be upping, not cutting, their budgets” It said “It may seem like a paradox, but recessionary periods actually provide fertile grounds for marketers to grow their brand’s market share if they’re prepared to think long-term.” Read more here

Research showed that around 90% of marketing budgets have been delayed or are under review however. This isn’t surprising to me as many businesses, rightly and wrongly, will have had to have made quick and kneejerk decisions rather than waiting and see what happens. Having said that, we don’t know how long we will need to wait so that’s another tricky point. The article finished by saying, which I liked, “If you can keep your head and your marketing budget, while those around you are losing theirs, you will be a marketer my friend. And a successful one at that!”

Does this ring true with you in terms of cutting back on your plans or putting things on hold? It is not easy to carry on in adverse times and to remain upbeat, but it is possible with the right guidance and support. Use your network for this advice and for ideas. But remember, do what you can and kind to yourself in this tough time.

To plan or not to plan?

Another piece I found by Talk Business stated that 1 in 4 UK SMEs don’t use a business plan. It said “shocking statistics have been revealed that suggest a whopping 1 in 4 SMEs in the UK don’t bother to use a business plan, leaving them in danger of losing direction and having no plan to get their business to the next stage of growth. Developing a business plan is a vital tool for any business, yet new research from Barclays reveals that one in four small businesses (23%) don’t have any strategy in place to support their business growth.” Read more here

Do you have some kind of plan? Is it detailed or split into monthly or content only? The most difficult part of marketing clients  and prospects tell me is they don’t know what marketing to do,  or in what order or when by! A plan or a list or whatever you want to call it will do this and set everything out for you. A plan will ensure your marketing stays on a roll. (pardon the pun!)

In Pinpoint Marketing’s opinion, growth is all down to planning. We believe that you as the business owner needs to know your strategy before you can start to write your marketing plan. Marketing shouldn’t be seen as a tick box exercise. Therefore, it is important to know your business why and to know the purpose of your marketing. Within business there is luck and an element of chance as well as you being in the right place at the right time. Pinpoint feels the majority of your successes will be down to careful planning. Giving a business like yours time and attention via includes using the right marketing tactics. In summary, the benefits of a plan will help you get organised, be logical and build foundations. A plan will eventually save time and money. If goals or objectives for a company’s marketing activities haven’t been set or considered, then how can the business owner decide if they achieve what they set out to do?

Find out about planning, the benefits of planning and how to plan, click here 

What about you?

What are you and your business doing? Have you made a new plan, reworded your existing plan or kept to having no plan? Here at Pinpoint Marketing we are very much trying to practise what we preach and we are being our authentic selves by carrying on as best we can and by continuing to set goals. These goals have been taken from our existing plan which we are continuing to implement where possible. Where things have changed, we are changing the timeframes and moving things around. We are trying to also be mindful of where others are in all of this too.

We are also trying to help (ourselves) and our clients navigate their way through the u bend of this cr#p time by reviewing things with them helping them adapt and adapting the way we can help them or bring in others to support to.

For free advice and consultation at this time, visit our homepage and download the free marketing advice for you form.

Free Marketing advice for your small business from Pinpoint Marketing

Lastly, we wish you well and hoping you are safe, happy and healthy. #inittogether

Take care and LOOk after yourselves. (pardon the pun, again!)

 

Smartphone filming – ten top video marketing tips

Video marketing

Welcome to this guest blog by Marissa Holden of Holden Pro Media.

You want to be visible in 2020? Then you need video as part of your marketing mix.

And as it’s January, how about finally accepting now’s the time to conquer those fears and use it to be seen? The good news is that in this age of smartphones with fantastic quality cameras, getting good quality content out there without breaking the business budget is perfectly achievable. All you need to do is buy some bits of basic kit and follow a few simple tips. After all, a badly produced video will turn off those potential clients in nanoseconds if you get it wrong.

LOCATION – Your first question is  “Where should I shoot the video?’ In deciding, think about whether there’s any background noise that will be heard, whether the light is good, and what you’re going to stand in front of. It’s really important that the background doesn’t distract from what you’re saying, so tidy it up and take away anything random.

TRIPOD – Wobbly footage just looks bad. Even if you’re out and about doing a Facebook Live, use a selfie stick or tripod. You can buy relatively cheap ones on Amazon – just make sure it fits your particular mobile version, and make sure it’s high enough, for your needs.

FRAMING – Do you want to be in the middle or the side of the screen? If you’re going to put titles on one side, move to the side so there’s room to put them there in the edit.  The camera lens should be around your eye level so you don’t look either up into it or down into it, as you’re more likely to get a double chin!

LIGHTING – Use what you have –  natural light – or the lights in your house. Choose one of your lightest rooms to film, and if you’re using the natural light make sure it’s falling on your face on both sides, so there aren’t any dark shadows. Avoid filming into a window, as you’ll be back lit. If you don’t have a particularly light room to use, experiment with the lights and lamps you have to help make you stand out. Be aware that lights have colour temperatures, so you could end up looking like an orange contestant from Love Island!

AUDIO – Good sounding audio will set you apart from videos that use the inbuilt phone microphone. The latter will pick up your voice, but it will also pick up anything else going on in the room, which again could distract from the fabulous things you’re saying. So I’d advise buying an external microphone for your phone.

CLOTHES – Wear clothes that you suit, and that you’d normally wear for work. You want them to concentrate on your content, not anything you’re wearing, so this isn’t the time for your favourite slogan T-shirt. Oh, and wear make-up. HD and UHD cameras show up any wrinkles and shadows!

CONTENT – Make sure the content is relevant to your target audience, has a strong opening and tease what they’ll find out at the end so they keep watching. You want to keep them watching until the end.

ENTHUSIASM – The camera dulls you. Seriously. So, give an extra 10%. You, but 10 % more you.

PRACTISE – If you don’t like your first, second, third or fourth take, don’t worry – it’s a recording, so just do it again. Practising will make you more confident in what you’re saying, and your delivery will improve. I promise. That’s an overview of some of the things you need to think about. I cover all of this, and more during regular workshops.  And if you need something more bespoke for your business, get in touch.

Find out more about Holden Pro Media here.

Uncertainty to Certainty …

Small business marketing advice and support from Pinpoint Marketing

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

planning