Most enticing blogs I’ve cheap writing services ever read and this is what it should. Must be shared as well. I was really bored but your blog lightened up my day
Find an insurance broker. They will be able to help you find the best deal. Ask for references from people in the same industry as you. Brokers tend to specialise in certain industries.
Hoping this isn't overkill but I'm a HUGE believer in having a really strong marketing strategy. I've been working on one for clients that generally works really well. It can take a bit of time but it's well worth the effort I think.
While it’s important to have an overall marketing strategy chances are if you’re a small to medium sized business you’ll be focussed primarily around digital channels. They can be much more cost effective and easier to implement than other marketing avenues.
Define your goals and objectives
This should include your business goals and objectives as well as your marketing goals and objectives. The marketing goals should ladder up to you business objectives and can include things like website traffic, time on website, social media engagement, shares, lead generation and brand awareness.
These goals should stick to the tried and true S.M.A.R.T formula - Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely. Avoid ‘vanity’ metrics like Facebook or Instagram followers which don’t specifically lead to business objectives and are having less of an impact as organic reach declines.
This is a great time to solidify your business missions statement and values so you know with all of your marketing moving forward, they align to these and stay consistent.
Do a digital audit
Without knowing where you are you can’t know where you’re going. This is the stage you can identify opportunities for cost-savings and performance improvement.
Redoing this every year provides great insight into what’s worked the previous year, what hasn’t, what’s changed in the industry and your business and what you need to change to adapt.
Some of the things you should cover off:
What digital marketing channels are you on?
What’s your current marketing tech stack?
What content worked previously? To find out, check your engagement on social channels using the insights and analytics features or if you need a deeper understanding you can invest in platforms like Hootsuite or Iconosquare. Google Analytics will give you an understanding of website traffic, where it came from, the time spent on your site and much more.
What advertising has been done previously, what worked, what didn’t? Why? If you’re putting money into your content marketing and running paid campaigns you want to have a clear understanding of what’s working. Dig deeper into these campaigns so you have a benchmark moving forward to measure your future success.
Audit your website - What’s your website speed? Is it mobile responsive/friendly? Do you have high bounce rates? Do your visitors drop off before purchase, do they abandon cart? To find out the speed of your website we like to use the Pingdom Website Speed Tester. Not only will this give you an idea of site speed, it’ll also recommend ways to fix some of the issues. I spent the last week getting my website down from 9 seconds to less than 3 and it's worth the effort. Google Analytics can give you a lot of insights about your business and how users are interacting with it. Not only can you see what content or pages are getting the most traffic, it can also show you how long they’re spending on each page, bounce rates etc.
Is your tracking in place? If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it or see if it’s working. The two main pieces of tracking you’ll want to include in your website is Facebook’s Tracking Pixel and Google’s Analytics code. The Facebook pixel allows you to track users who click from Facebook and end up on your website. You can then see what they do when they get there with Google’s Analytics platform. They give you much more than simply tracking as well as Facebook’s pixel allows you to target people who have visited your site (retargeting) and begin to build a pool of people that are obviously interested in your business. Google’s Analytics platform gives you insight into where your readers come from, how long they spend on your site, which pages they visit and much more. The sooner you get these setup and on your website the sooner you can glean insights into your website traffic.
Are your channels set up correctly? Make sure you have all your digital channels set up correctly so you get the best bang for your buck on each one. Raven Tools explains how to set up each platform on their blog.
Who is your customer?
With your auditing out of the way, you can now focus on the marketing. You should have some high quality data to look at and you can spend some time seeing if that matches up with who you thought your audience actually was. You should combine your social media insights, Google Analytics data and any sales data to match who is actually purchasing your product. Sometimes these results may surprise you.
There are times when businesses find the people purchasing their products or services are actually different to who they thought or who they initially intended. This can have a big impact on the content you create and your marketing moving forward.
Build out a set of customer personas and refer to them as you create your content and begin to market. You want to create solutions for these personas and they’ll help to align your messaging. Initially, focus on some key areas like: Age, sex, occupation, location, marital status. Add any other information that’s key to purchasing behaviors of your products or services but only include anything you can likely find out with research or data, not based on things you can’t know or easily find out.
Based on this information, you should be able to workout which platforms will work best for those demographics. You can Google ‘Social Media Platform Demographics’ and you’ll get a bunch of resources that explain exactly who uses each platform. For example, Spredfast has this great list of the 2018 Social Audience Guide. Use that to decide which platforms are best suited to your audience. For most small to medium businesses, you want to focus your efforts on one or two platforms at first. Spreading yourself too thin will only mean you won’t get results from any of them.
I think one marketing avenue that's never focussed on is what I call proactive social. This is where you find the communities your audiences are in and beginning to interact with them there. This isn’t about promoting your business as such, it’s a way for you to give back to communities already established and providing value to them. The idea here is to continue to provide value over time and you’ll come to be seen as a valuable member of the community and build trust so people will want to use your product or service. Platforms like Quora, Instagram, Facebook groups, forums etc. are fantastic for this.
Remember, with all of this, it’s about contributing value and becoming part of the communities. It’s not about marketing your business. You can do that with your content and advertising. What’s great with proactive social, you’ll get an idea of what your competitors are doing online and what your target audience thinks about them.
Speaking of competitors, this is also a good time to get a list of your competitors so you can see what content they’re producing, what their customers are saying about them and what problems they’re solving. Come up with a list of 5-10 competitors so you can reference these when needed.
Now you know who you’re trying to reach and what platforms they’re on, it’s time to figure out what content will resonate. Come up with a series of pain points customers might have that your products or services help fix and build your content from there. An AMAZING platform to help with that is answerthepublic.com. Essentially you put in some keywords and it spits out a ton of questions people are currently searching for on Google. You can then use that as the basis of your content.
It may take a little time to get right and implement but it's totally worth it in my opinion!
Jef Lippiatt, Owner at Startup Chucktown
I think Lisa is on point, but I wanted to add that focusing on your target audience (and knowing who they are) will help drive better results.
It is not only frustrating but unhelpful to try to target everybody. Focus relentlessly on the people or groups of people that already come to your business for your products and services.
Thinking of running some promotions/ads on Twitter & I was wondering if anyone else has had any luck doing this for a local restaurant or cafe?
've used Twitter personally for a long time and have used it for various brands over the years as a marketer. I'd say there are really three areas Twitter really shines.
It can be a tricky platform to see an ROI on but it's definitely a great one to begin to position your brand in the industry you're looking to target. I think the real time events is where you should focus and intersperse the dead time in between with meaningful content.
Twitter's ad platform is getting better and I'd had some success from an awareness point of view. It generally doesn't lead directly to a sale but I've managed to direct large numbers of people to different websites where I have other tracking in place to build out audiences on platforms like Facebook and Instagram. That way I can build custom audiences and retarget them on other channels where I get a better, clear ROI. Hope that helps!
It depends on what you use Twitter for, whether for branding purposes or to update your customers on discounts, promos, etc.
With Twitter ads, visuals tend to do really well. Try to convey your message with a video, image, animated gif instead of words. A person should understand it without having to read 140+ characters. Lead cards are great for putting a call-to-action (CTA), which is super important but sometimes easily forgotten.
As Twitter's audience isn't as big as Facebook or Instagram, working with Twitter influencers may be a better form of advertising as their reach is bigger. If you're a small cafe/restaurant, trying to build followers on Twitter, whether through ads or organically, may be painstaking and long.
When advertising via social media like Instagram, do you find it better to have a set of hashtags to use, or to pay for promotions? Are influencers really worth the price? For background, the company in mind would be a quality coffee/bookstore.
There are two elements to this. One is actual paid advertising and the other is organic posting. For organic posting, choosing your hashtags and timing is the two key areas. I spend time finding relevant hashtags in the industry I'm operating in as well as hashtags that my target audience focusses on and create content that resonates with them. It's a pretty simple process and Instagram makes it super easy these days with their suggested hashtag feature. There's also some great resources out there to help this process. I use Hashtagify and All Hashtag to give me some inspiration.
Timing is another key part on Instagram. You can use trial and error and post at different times and check Instagram's analytics tool to find out the best times for engagement. I use Iconosquare myself because I've been on Instagram for years now and that gives it plenty of data to filter through and give me a better understanding.
One thing I don't see a lot of businesses doing is actually engaging with other content. The best way to get noticed is to use those same hashtags, find the content that's already been posted by your potential customers and make meaningful comments on them. Over time, this really adds up.
What's better out of paid advertising and organic posting? Honestly, it comes down to what you have more of - time or money. If you have loads of time but no money then spend the time creating great content and finding other content to engage on. If you have loads of money, invest it in creating great content and promoting that to your target audience. In the end, most businesses have a mix of time and money so I'd do both and weight it towards whatever you're able to prioritize.
Another element is to consider the long-term effects. Posting organically and engaging in the communities you're trying to build is always going to be a better long-term strategy. It's not going to give you super quick wins but over the span of a few months and years, it'll provide much better value. If you can combine that with paid advertising you're doing more than 99% of other brands out there.
I've noticed these sites promoting strongly these days.For a cash-strapped individuals aiming to establish a startup, would they be better off using a template from one of those websites like Wix or should they invest in a professional developer and have a custom website built?
I have recently finished redesigning 2 websites for clients who were using Squarespace and weren't happy with it. Both of them chose the platform because of the low entry cost and ability to DIY. But they quickly found the lack of flexibility in the framework and the constant "add on" costs whenever they wanted something simple integrated into their site very frustrating. If your budget is incredibly low and you're happy with a basic template, then by all means these DIY sites might be right for you. But the fact of the matter is, they look like a template and this can reflect on how your business is perceived. Your website is one of the biggest marketing tools you have and often the first place a person will be introduced to your brand. So if you are serious about running a successful business, how can you not set aside $3000-5000 to get a custom website built that resonates with your target market?
Jennifer Lancaster, Owner at Power of Words
I had a Weebly info site but the links from that were not rated well by Google back to my home Wordpress (domain name) site. Got rid of it. My own domain site, which never had a related keyword in its URL, kept hitting high rankings (1,2,3) on Google for self publishing help and I believe it was down to a number of factors:
_ Speed optimisation and hosting (not shared with others)
_ Continual blog posting and adding content over three years
_ Focussed content written for the audience on my topic, somewhat sought after and niche
_ With a modern theme you can make it look however you want. I wanted it streamlined.
_ I got some social media and traffic action through partnering with bigger fish in the sea.
I wrote an article on this very recently. Feel free to check it out https://www.savvysme.com.au/article/7938-how-much-should-you-spend-for-seo
Jennifer Lancaster, Owner at Power of Words
It is better to invest in keyword-researched content and persuasive copy, adding the relevant backlinks and local citations / Search Console after that is set up. However, page speed is important, so get that optimised first. That is a small cost. SEO Copywriting costs about $700 - $1200 for a six page services site.
I am looking for a specs for advertising. Any suggestions?
I just had the most depressing conversation with a neighbour who is a senior leader in a big 4 management consultancy. He ran me through the stats. The Iconic still isn't making money, Surfstitch are barely breaking even and e-commerce has the highest churn/ failure rate of any Australian sector. He thinks that the segment is inherently flawed. He advised me to take the brand we have patent worthy products under, pull it offline as we're time poor and focus on retail supply/ international expansion and to sell the other e-commerce business as if it's making money it's an anomaly and to get out now whilst we still can. What do you guys think? I'm rattled.
Jennifer Lancaster, Owner at Power of Words
The big players will keep on. Look at Shark Tank, episode 17 July. Snap Social. The solo tech founder is selling try on-snap-and-buy-later for real retail shops - charging $1500 a month - and is doing well. The hybrid of social media and retail is definitely a gap in the market if you have great tech and a sales team.
CAROL JONES, Owner at Interface Pty Ltd
Good morning Joslyn from rural Australia,
Don't be depressed about online shopping. It's going to be here for a very long time.
As others before have said, the failure rate is very high because of the low entry level to start.
So that in itself attracts men and women who are not suitable for running a business. And many online stores are only part time businesses. To derive extra income. But it's not their main income.
We run our international business from our remote rural property in the beautiful Central Tablelands of NSW. We started this business in 1994. When the tyranny of distance ruled all rural businesses.
We were a mail order business with established customers before the internet. Email. And call waiting came to our rural village in 2001.
We already had a website developed and ready to launch on Feb 01 2001. The day dialup opened up a whole new world to us.
We became international within the blink of an eye. With many customers dropping into our website from the USA. The UK. And Europe.
This business pays our bills. The mortgage. And feeds our dogs.
We treat it as a real business. And work on it every day. All day.
We not only make a profit. But we grow every year. Some years are more spectacular than others. But we have steady growth. All thanks to the internet and online shopping.
To succeed as an online business you need different skills. You need to understand the impact digital marketing has on everyone. And you need to stay in touch with your customers via digital marketing. Without harassing them.
This is an evolving technology and staying on top of what matters to your business is a full time job. But worth it. I'm forever taking online courses to keep me sharp and at the pointy end of not only technology. But also about how to keep in touch with those people who pay my bills.
The people who fail, do so because they not only lack the stamina to run an online business. But also because they don't take their business very seriously.
eCommerce is exciting. But not for the faint hearted.
So cheer up. There's a lot to love about being an online business.
~Carol Jones, Ironing Diva❤
Purveyor of The Fitz Like A Glove™ Ironing Board Cover And Other Goodies
350,000 customers. In 29 countries.
Hi, I’ve had a business name idea for a while but have just discovered that the name is in use in NZ, in the exact same market I’m interested in - designer homeware. Yet in Aus it’s not registered. Are there any shared registries between Aus and NZ or would there be any complication with starting a business in Aus in the same name and field as an existing one in NZ? Thanks in advance
As far as I know, there aren't any shared registries. You can register and use that name in Australia, but you will run into problems if you decide to expand into NZ. That's why some big corporations have different names in different countries because by the time they want to enter a market, the name's already taken legally.
Bear in mind that registering a business name is not the same as protecting it intellectually. Any trademarks or copyright will have to be filed separately. Your business name could still be infringing the intellectual assets of another business. I suggest checking IP Australia too, and domain names so that you get the easiest and most memorable website address.
Hello, I am thinking about making my own small business in translating in Australia/Queensland, but I have no idea what qualification(s) I need. Would a 'certificate in ..... ' be sufficient, or would I need a 'diploma'? What is the name of the course that I need to do at TAFE to make a small business? Also, would I need a certificate or diploma in marketing? I know. These are 'dumb' questions, but I would appreciate any help/suggestion. Thanks.
Thanks for reaching out.
Unfortunately, I don't have the answers for you as this is something you would need to find out from government websites.
There may be some information at your local council, their website or at a TAFE near you.
Wishing you all the best!