Wednesday 26 February 2020

8 Time Saving Tips for Social Media Marketing

Building a strong social media presence is so important in this era. Social media marketing has become an important marketing strategy for businesses whether big or small. Consistently producing quality and relevant social media content, however, can be a bit taxing and time-consuming. Social media marketing can quickly consume your valuable time if you’re not cautious. Here are tips that will help you save time when marketing on social media.

#Tip 1. Set your goals right.
If you want to incorporate social media marketing into your marketing strategy, you should first set clear goals. Turning to social media without a clear knowledge of what you want is counterproductive and a waste of time. Know who your target audience is, what you want to achieve, and how you will achieve it. Your goals will also help you measure your success.

#Tip 2. Use automation software.
While planning out your social media posts earlier saves time, you can save more time by using automation software that can be set up to post content on your behalf whether. You can sign up for tools that allow you to schedule your posts days or weeks before. It is better to spend some hours at once coming up with social media posts for a given period rather than get spending so much time with it every single day.
Examples of softwares you can use to schedule social media posts include Buffer, Hootsuite and HubSpot. Others such as IFTTT and Zapier can automatically post WordPress blogs to your social media pages.

#Tip 3. Save your hashtags
Using hashtags when posting is necessary for categorizing content and increasing engagement.  Save all the hashtags you are likely to use in a note on your phone or computer so that you can easily add them to your content while posting.  You can find some relevant and trending hashtags with tools like Twitonomy, and RiteTag

#Tip 4. Share Content
Coming up with new content every time can be overwhelming. In this case, user generated content can be very effective. User generated content is content that has been created by your fans.  This helps you save time, and decrease content creation cost. It also makes your account much interesting and cajoles the person who had posted it

#Tip 5.  Get a mobile device.
If you have a smartphone or tablet, you will no longer have to be at your work station or have your computer to post on social media. You can go about other businesses and still post content from your phone wherever you are as long as there is an internet connection.  Apps like Pocket let you store content you find online in one place until you’re ready to use it.

#Tip 7: Drop some platforms
Some platforms may promise a whole lot of value and a solid return on your investment but you may later realize that they don’t work for your brand. Dropping such platforms can help you focus your effort to platforms that give you better results.

#Tip 8: Republish your content
When going through your analytics you may identify old posts that attracted more traffic and you can update them with relevant content if things have changed and they are now outdated and repost. This strategy will save you enormous time and it will be a favor to your new followers who had not seen it.

Monday 24 February 2020

How To Effectively follow up your Media Pitch

So you have crafted a good story pitch, researched publications and journalists and sent it out, you’re sure that it would be perfect for your audience. Some days have passed and you haven’t received any response, you feel distressed.  Your instincts tell you that maybe, the journalist you pitched was not interested and reaching out to them will be a bother. But your instincts are wrong, you need to follow up if you want your story to get out there. Following up the right way is a challenging yet vital task. It is as important as sending the initial pitch. Here are some important things to keep in mind before sending that follow up message.

Give it some time
Journalist’s inboxes are a black hole for pitches, they receive an overwhelming number of emails each day and they may not be able to respond to all of them. You need to be patient. Sometimes even great and winning pitches get lost in the inundation of emails.
So how long should you wait to send a follow-up message?
There this no specific time frame, but 2 to 3 business days are reasonable. This gives the journalist time to work through their emails. Waiting for too long may make them forget your pitch. Also, you should prolong the waiting period by a few days for each subsequent email.

Be nice
I know it might be tempting to get out-and out nasty when you get ignored but do not be ratty or take it personally. They say that you catch more flies with honey than vinegar.  Being nice and keeping calm can also help you create a positive relationship with the journalist which is a gain for your business or brand.

Avoid sending numerous messages.
As much as you need to be persistent, sending several emails won’t help it makes you bothersome. If your first two messages still go unanswered it means that the journalist was not intrigued. Move on and try pitching another journalist. Also, you should avoid sending the same message over and over again. You can try changing the wording.

Add to your pitch
Instead of just resending the original message, you can revamp it with additional information, offer something new and enticing that was not in the original email. Be creative and try another angle to make your pitch attractive and stand out.  You should also ensure that your story is excellently written because most journalists will do away with a story that does not pique their interest.

Keep it short
Follow up messages should be kept short, clear and straight to the point. Considering the many emails journalists get, it is possible to miss a few or forget to reply to some of them. One or two sentences are enough to bring the issue back to their attention. This also shows that you value their time.

Bottom line: Earning media coverage is not easy. You might send an excellent pitch but media contacts are often slow to jump on stories. If you don’t follow up you might lose your chance of being considered Following up is virtuous PR strategy and a great way to help your story get covered.

Friday 21 February 2020

Why Small and Medium Enterprises Should Leverage Digital Marketing

With the change and evolution of modern technologies, the marketplace has become more digital. Small and medium businesses are doing everything they can to keep up, and stay ahead of their competitors. To achieve this, it’s vital to have a comprehensive online marketing plan in place – a strategy that makes   good use of social media, SEO, blogging, email marketing, pay per click and other digital marketing tools out there.

 More people are buying products online and that is why the benefits of digital marketing are becoming more predominant. The following are reasons why you should prioritize digital marketing over traditional marketing.

1. Digital Marketing Levels the Online Playing Field
Today, business owners clearly understand that digital marketing is not only for conglomerates and large corporations that have the adequate resources required to run an online marketing campaign.  Technology opens up opportunities regardless of the business size, it actually levels the playing field, providing small and medium enterprises the chance to compete against big companies and attract their share of targeted traffic.

2. Digital marketing is cost-effective
 We can all agree that television and radio ads or mounting a billboard can be a bit expensive for small enterprises with limited marketing resources but with digital marketing, small companies now have the opportunity to perform sales and marketing processes that were previously available only to large corporations. Digital marketing is less expensive than traditional advertising.  Some of the digital alternatives to traditional advertising are free, and all can be much cheaper than their traditional counterparts

3. Global reach
 Businesses want to reach as many people as possible and the internet provides a wide range of prospective customers for businesses at a low cost.  Through a stylish and informative website and a creative digital marketing strategy, small businesses can now reach an international audience
 4. Digital marketing is measurable

 While it can be difficult to track the success of a traditional marketing campaign like a radio or TV advertisement every digital marketing tactic that you use is measurable. With web analytics such as Google Analytics, you can eliminate guesswork and make it easier to establish how effective your digital campaign has been. By measuring your digital marketing campaigns in real-time, you can see which tactics are working and which are not. Then, you can adjust your campaigns accordingly.
5.  It allows you to target your ideal buyers.

When you place an ad in a local newspaper, you’re taking a shot in the dark that your message will reach its intended audience. With digital marketing, you can easily identify the platform that suits you best. SEO allows you to reach those consumers who are searching the web for content and topics that are relevant to your business. While pay-per-click, display, and social media advertising enables you to target those who are most likely to be interested in your products or services based on demographic information and general characteristics.

6. Digital Marketing Facilitates Interaction with Customers
Customer relationship drive businesses and digital marketing provides an avenue for brands to interact with targeted audiences in real time thus enhancing customer relationship. This also helps businesses understand their customers better.

Monday 17 February 2020

7 Elements of a Good Press Release

Despite the many channels and platforms available to PR experts today, press releases remain an integral part of any PR strategy. A press release is a short, compelling, newsworthy declaration written by a public relations professional and sent to targeted media outlets for publication.
Companies distribute press releases for various reasons which  include  promoting upcoming events,  announcing new hires, product launch, celebrating awards or any other happening.
 If you want to secure press coverage for your business or organization, then you need to master the art of writing good press releases. Here are guidelines on how to come up with excellent press releases.
1.       Make sure your story is newsworthy
The media is always on the hunt for things that are new and exciting. Before you start writing your press release, ask yourself these three questions:
1. Is there anything new or recent in my story?
2. Is there anything unusual about it?
3. Does the story influence people’s lives or will anyone care?
If you're not sure whether your story is newsworthy, read, watch or listen to the publications or programs you'd like to pitch your story to and you will get an inkling of what they cover.
2.       Use a crisply attention-grabbing headline
A well thought out headline is the most critical aspect of a press release.  Most journalists will use the headline to decide whether to read further or not. The headline needs to be direct, informative and attention-grabbing.
You need to include a catchy phrase that will capture interest and encourage one to read more. Also, make sure your headline is a good representation of what your press release is about; the goal of your press release should be clear in the headline. Avoid vague and misleading headlines
3.       Answer the 5w and 1h as much as possible:
 The first lines should give all essential information such as who? What? Where? When? Why? and how? That is; what is happening, where, when and why it will happen (In the case of events) and how it will happen. Giving this information in a clear manner makes it easy for journalists to produce their own stories.
4.       Have a Call to Action:
Every press release has a goal. Whether you want to create awareness of a certain product in the market or you want people to attend an event, you need to clearly and concisely state what you want people to do after they have read the press release. Be compelling and creative, but do not sound promotional. Include information about your company, a phone number, an email address, and the name of the person to contact, so that readers know who to follow-up with.
5.       Include Multimedia:
 Multimedia is so appealing, you should try and spice up  your press release up by including some multimedia elements such as video, photos or infographics. Take for instance, if your press release is about a product launch, you will want to include photos of the product. Only add photos and videos that complement the story and avoid sending big files that will clog up your recipients’ inboxes.
6.       Add appropriate quotes:
 Effective press releases incorporate quotes and sayings from important people in the company. They also make the story more credible. Quotes should be used to provide insight and opinions. They shouldn't be full of jargon or technical language.
7.       Disseminate in the right way
Writing a good press release is not enough if you don’t know who you will pitch. Do your research and ascertain who your audience is, what media reaches them best and who are the most experienced journalists covering your niche. You can also publish the press release on your website and social media.

Public releases are not guaranteed marketing tools since it is not surefire that  mainstream media will publish it, it requires a bit of chasing to get press coverage. Do not give up if one of your pitch is declined. Be persistent and find ways of making your press releases exceptional.

Sunday 16 February 2020

Debunking the myths of PR

Bill Gates once said that if he was down to his last dollar, he would spend it on PR. Now that shows you how important PR is, but still, many people overlook and underutilize PR. This is because they don’t understand clearly what PR entails and of what benefit it can be to their businesses.
In this post I have dispelled the 7 most common misconceptions about public relations.
1.       Hiring  PR professional is not necessary

 This is a dangerous myth. Most people think that as long as they can tell a story about their company they don’t need to hire a PR expert, but the fact is, PR is more than just storytelling, there are so many things that go on behind the scenes. Under the PR umbrella, we have crisis management, event management, media relation et al.  It’s a full-time job and requires training. Hiring a professional who knows what they are doing may incur extra expenses but it will be worthwhile.

2.       PR is marketing
Marketing and PR are two different but complementary roles that are imperative for any business. Although these two have different tactics, goals and ROI, PR cannot be complete without marketing.  Marketing deals with promotional, direct sales and advertising whereas PR is focused on enhancing brand image through generating positive media coverage and stakeholder communication. Also, PR is long term and marketing is short term.

3.       PR is advertising
No, that’s not right, there is a huge difference between advertising and PR. While PR is earned and unpaid, advertising is purchased and it is paid for. The main aim of PR is to build mutual beneficial relationships between an organization and the public. With PR you pitch the media for your client’s story to get published and you don’t pay while for advertising, you have to pay the media for your advert to be seen. This can be less credible and pricier. Both advertising and PR help build brands and communicate with target audiences.

4.       I just need PR in time of crisis.
Public relations crisis are inevitable and most businesses will face such crisis at one time or another.   These can have a negative impact on the company’s reputation. Prior preparations and having a good crisis communication strategy in place helps to foresee and overcome such crisis. Some companies turn to PR experts when crisis hit and the company’s reputation is at stake. Their hope is that PR experts will just come up with the right response and mitigate the crisis.

5.       PR is for big establishments
Many people are for the idea that PR is only for those well established companies with huge marketing budgets but that’s not it. Although PR is not cheap, every business needs it. As a small business owner you do not need to hire a big PR firm to promote your business, all you need is a professional media outreach strategy to help you get journalists and influencers talk about you brand. This will boost your marketing efforts by building a positive brand image and creating brand awareness.

6.       You can achieve overnight success through PR
Now that’s a dream it won’t happen.  PR is a long term investment- it takes time to achieve success through PR. This is because it is all about building trust and takes some time to trust someone or something. That is why the ideas of overnight success is not possible with PR. You can achieve the overnight success through marketing but PR needs patience.

Friday 14 February 2020

Want to be a successful leader? Communicate effectively

Being a leader means having things done through other people. Effective communication and effective leadership, are closely intertwined hence communication is an essential leadership skill and the first step to becoming a great leader. As a leader, you need to communicate flawlessly to your team members and the people outside your circle so that they can clearly understand what is expected of them. Good communicators are authentic, engaging, good listeners and they stand out from the crowd.  
Looking back in history, it’s evident that great leaders are always great communicators. We know of great people such as Bill Clinton, Winston Churchill, Martin Luther King and Franklin Roosevelt who led great nations by the powers of their words and presentation. On the other hand, when we look at the fall of some leaders, we can attribute it to the wrong choice of words when speaking and generally the inability to communicate effectively.

The following are the key principles of effective leadership communication that fuel collaboration and success
1.     Listening
Communication is two-way and good communicators are also good listeners. When you listen well, you understand other peoples’ viewpoints. Listening also nurtures trust, respect, and openness. Effective listening helps you build good relationships, solve problems and improve accuracy. Taking a moment to listen to other people goes a long way in making you more productive.  Leaders with poor listening skills will often be met with resistance as they are seen as dictators and this cuts people’s loyalty

2.     Authenticity.
Authentic leaders are positive people who promote openness, are genuine, self-aware and sincere. Find your own voice and learn to display who you really are as a person. Let who you are, where you come from, and what you value most come through in your communication. Forget about being eloquent and worry about being real because people want and respect real. Also, people are more apt to trust you when your actions match your words. Even better, lead by example.

Thanks to technology, there are various means of communicating but face to face communication with people is still the best. Human connection is a matter of proximity. If you want to build a lasting connection with people don’t be out of sight. Don’t be known only by your emails and phone calls. Show up in person as often as possible. People need to see and feel who you are to get connected.  Leaders who came to power as poor communicators and they can’t communicate directly to people, feel the danger within no time and they end up getting people to communicate on their behalf, while they are somehow invisible.

4. Trust.
Stephen M.R. Covey once said that the first job that a leader has is to inspire trust and to bring out the best in people by entrusting them with meaningful stewardships and to create an environment in which high-trust interaction inspires creativity and possibility. Also, people should be able to trust you as a leader, as it increases commitment and boosts the flow of ideas thus increasing creativity and productivity.

In conclusion, words are known to win hearts and minds. Good relationships are dependent on good communication if you cannot communicate effectively as a leader then you are probably going to fail. People in leadership positions are challenged to polish their communication skills through training and practice.

Friday 31 January 2020

Tips For Successful Influencer Marketing.

Influencer marketing has become so common in today’s digital marketing world and it is a great tool for driving brand awareness. To get the best results from this strategy, you need to put some effort and optimize your campaign. So how do you do this? Read on to find out...

1.       Determine your goals
Do not start influencer marketing without knowing what exactly you want to achieve, have a clear idea of your goals from the outset. This will go a long way in ensuring that you plan your campaign more effectively. You may have various goals for your brand e.g. increasing brand awareness, getting more revenue, or even generating leads.

2.       Define Your Target Audience
This is one of the most basic yet so important influencer marketing tips. Based on your target audience you will be able to strategize your campaign. You may need to consider many factors when identifying your target audience. This may include their age, gender, interests, location, etc. Defining your target audience will help you when choosing your influencers and ensuring that your campaign reaches the right people.

3.       Find the right influencers
After you have identified your target audience you now need to choose the influencers to partner with. You are supposed to perform thorough background research about them and their social media profiles. Here you look at the following
         i.            Engagement rate- this will give you an indication of how engaged their followers are. To calculate this, select a recent post and take the number of likes/comments divided by the number of followers.
       ii.            The range of topics they cover- this will help you to determine whether your brand falls on their niche.
      iii.            Look at the important metrics - A large number of followers doesn’t necessarily mean everyone is paying attention. An influencer with a lower number of followers may have a more active group that has a higher engagement rate compared to a person with a big number of followers. A good way to evaluate engagement is to measure click-throughs to know how many people bother to click on links on posts.

4.       Define your budget
Creating a realistic influencer marketing campaign budget is so vital. You need to define the total influencer budget ahead of time in order to reach your targets. You may also consider giving product freebies to influencers or even inviting them for an industry event as your guest as a way of enhancing your relationship with them. You will also find that micro influencers are more expensive than macro influencers. If you are working on a small budget you might find it more compelling to work with several macro influencers who charge a lower fee, rather than spending your budget on one micro influencer.

5.       Give influencers creative freedom
Influencer marketing is so different from traditional marketing,  while in  traditional advertising  you take total control over all aspects of the campaign,  influencer marketing requires you to leave the content creation bit to the influencer. They are creatives and they resonate with their audience and it would be good to let them fly free. All you need to do is to optimize the content to ensure the message is clear and all the facts are included.

6.       Measure results
You must track your metrics so that you can change or adjust your strategy accordingly. Based on your goals, you can plan which metrics you’ll use to gauge your performance. For example, if you’re goal was to increase brand awareness, then you might look at the number of people reached, and the rate of engagement. You can use different automated softwares such as Google Analytics to know where you’re getting most traffic from. If your goal is to generate revenue, you can create custom affiliate links for each influencer so that you can easily keep track of purchases made using their links. This can help you calculate the ROI of your campaign.

Do you have other tips to share?  Well, we’d love to hear them in the comment section below.

8 Time Saving Tips for Social Media Marketing

Building a strong social media presence is so important in this era. Social media marketing has become an important marketing strategy...