With so many social media options out there, you might be thinking “is Pinterest right for me?” and you won’t be alone in wondering that. This is a question I get asked all the time by clients… Hence this post! So let’s dive in and see if I can help you make more sense of it.
What is Pinterest?
Pinterest is a great platform and offers up so much potential, but the first thing I would say to anyone is that it’s not really a social media platform ‘as such’, more of a visual search engine. Once you think about it like that, you might find your decision making a little be easier.
As a visual search engine it can drive a great deal of traffic to your website as a result. It’s great for inspiration, research and planning. So if you think about people who might be looking for logo design ideas, or making a bedroom moodboard… Wouldn’t it be great if they stumbled upon a pin that linked back to your website. Think of it like Google Images, but better!
Should I use Pinterest for my business?
As one of the Worlds most popular ‘search engine’ Pinterest has a really good engagement rate with it’s pinners, with a recent survey finding that 93% of users use it to plan purchases and 40% of those have an average household income of $100K.
Another plus point for Pinterest is that people can easily get right back to the source, which is why the engagement and conversion rates are so strong. They’ve worked really hard over the years to weed out pins with no links… Just imagine having a link back to each and everyone of your products on Pinterest!
But is it right for your business? Here is the top 7 Pinterest categories 2019:
Health & Wellness
DIY & Home
Food & Drink
Now if your business is in any of these categories, I would advise you seriously consider giving Pinterest a go. But if it isn’t, don’t worry, you’re still not out of the running just yet!
How Pinterest can help you hit your business goals
Something I always start with in my Content Planning for Business course is your content goals. You really can’t make a decision unless you know what you’re trying to achieve. There simply aren’t enough hours in the day to do everything, so you need to make conscious decisions about where you want to spend your time. Any platform requires a degree of dedication and Pinterest is no different. Don’t think that you can show up and start pinning all of your products. You won’t do yourself any favours with the algorithm there. That would be like turning up to a dinner party and just talking about yourself all night. Instead you need to be dedicated and pin a variety of pins from your own website, repins of pins already on Pinterest and even add fresh pins from other external websites. Get that formula in the right balance and you can expose your pins (and links to your products) to a whole new audience, one that has one of the highest conversions rates on social media… Cha ching! So there you can see how it plays a part in helping you reach your target area goals, web traffic goals, SEO goals, and yes, even sales goals!
If you’re using Instagram for your business, you’ll already know just how this platform can benefit you. To keep your Instagram A-game top level, it’s essential that you regularly audit your Instagram Business Account, firstly to make sure you’re meeting your goals, but also to keep your profile in check and ensure you’re making the most of the Instagram platform. I’ve created a FREE downloadable Instagram Audit Swipe File, so you can keep track of your account and progress.
1. Goal Setting
Any social media (but especially Instagram) is one of those business tools that can quite easily become a source of procrastination and distraction. So it’s important to set yourself regular attainable goals either each month or quarter.
Instagram has changed since it first started and is already starting to lessen the importance of the so called ‘vanity metrics’ such as likes and followers and placing more focus on engagement through meaningful comments, saves and shares.
As with any platform, they like to see people using all of their tools, so that’s stories, lives and IGTV.
Just because there’s less focus on followers and likes, that doesn’t mean that you can’t set yourself these types of quantifiable goals, as a rough rule of thumb of still exists. i/e more genuine followers = more audience to sell to.
Your goals can be figures or even just aesthetics. The best place to start is with your over all business objectives and ask yourself, how can Instagram help me achieve those?
Some examples may be:
Increase engagement on my feed to 50%
Increase followers by 1,000 genuine accounts each month
Do 1 IGTV per month
Generate 20% of online sales to Instagram
I’ll let you think about this and write down in the FREE Instagram Audit Swipe File.
2. Looking Good!
Now I’m not saying your feed needs to be ultra-polished, but it is a marketing channel for your business and therefore there are certain ways you can carry your company branding through your account.
First up… Profile picture. It’s a good idea to use the same profile picture across all your social channels so that your audience recognise you visually, but the same applies for the name.
If you have a Twitter account, it’s even more important your account handle is the same, so that it also tags you on Twitter. i.e @contentclarity on both. It just means you have maximum discoverability.
How does your feed look?
When it comes to other aesthetics of your profile, it’s worth assessing if the photos your post are in keeping with any brand guidelines you may have.
Font is probably the most common one that every business will have. So any ‘quote’ posts where you’ve used text on the image… If you use your brand font, it’s more consistent for your audience. I’ll get back onto the feed further on.
This is another great place to apply some rather pleasing consistency. You can easily make or pick up icon highlight images that match your brand colours.
Make sure you save any important stories here for easy access.
3. Boost your Bio
Space is limited here, so you want to make it as simple and obvious as possible. You want clarity, so that anyone visiting your profile for the first time can easily understand what you do and what your purpose is.
To make the most of the character restriction, use keywords and even hashtags, broken up with emojis, so that it’s obvious and ultra-discoverable.
Even use the space available for your name (not username) to get across what it is that you do.
You can also toggle on/off your account category, which may be beneficial to you in helping get across what it is your do.
So we all know of the frustrations when it comes to link sharing on Instragram. You must have +10K on stories to be able to swipe up (although you can use swipe up in ads and for IGTV videos) Putting a link in a feed caption is useless, because it’s not hyperlinked. Which leaves a lot of people with the good old ‘link in bio’ option.
Now you can regularly update your link of course, but to make the most out of it I recommend you create a Linktree link. There is a free option, as well as paid. What this does is direct people to a landing page effectively whereby you can add links to various different places. i.e Read the blog, watch YouTube, View my courses etc.
Now it’s time to get stuck into the meaty bit.. The content.
You’ll want to look at the first 9-12 images on your feed and vet that visually they tie in, not just with your brand, but what you do. Tap into them and read the captions… Would a first time visitor understand what you do, what you’re all about from tapping on just a couple of those first images?
Now there’s certainly 2 sides of the fence when it comes to whether your feed should be curated or not. So first ask yourself whether it’s relevant to your audience or not (I would say for my own business feed, it is. As I’m educating businesses on content creation). But as long as you’re confident your images have the scroll stopping factor for your audience and they’re not pixelated or blurry… That’s the main factor.
It’s also worth looking to see of you have a good mix of content type, from image, quote, video. As well as promotional captions, personal captions, story telling captions, so that it’s not all sell, sell, sell.
Don’t forget, you can use 30 hashtags on each feed post, so use them! Keep a track of which ones work best for you and mix it up a bit to get the best reach. Hashtag strategy is a whole other blog post, but it’s worth remembering that hashtags and even locations have their own Stories and can be followed. So is it worth the effort…. YES!!
Are you using this feature? If not, get on it… It’s great for growing engagement, awareness and reach (which is great for sales!)
Again you can carry branding across into these. But make sure you are using the tools available to grow reach through polls & questions.
Did you know you can use up to 11 hashtags on each story? Again use these and hide them behind a gif, or colour them the same as a bit of background so it doesn’t distract… Same with location.
Live is a great way to engage with your audience. People can join your live, which makes it a great option for doing an interview. There are some great executions using Live, so if you haven’t already jumped on that train and it look useful to your goals, dive in!
Now IGTV is really under-utilised, but rumor has it, those who use it are more likely to end up on the explore page and therefore opens up the potential to increase reach. You can ‘Swipe up’ in stories to IGTV videos, regardless of follower count, which makes it easy to sign post to those longer video edits.
If video is in your strategy and you already have some excellent YT videos, why not upload the most popular ones here over time to make the most of the platforms exposure.
5. The Shop
Say what?! Yes, if you sell products or services, you can add these to both feed posts and stories so people can tap to shop what you’re talking about.
This is great for so many small businesses. So if selling more is on your goal list (and I’m pretty sure it will be) then this has to be something you want to implement, ASAP.
Now, this section is a blog post all of it’s own, so I’ll keep it brief here. But I wanted to cover it off, so that you could measure those all important goals that you set at the start.
Now you’ll want to ensure you have a business account to get the full benefits of insights.
This is where you can measure your quantifiable goals and even some of your qualifiable ones too!
Here you can see follower increase, top cities, demographics like gender & age. So if you want to expand audience in a certain country or a certain age group, here is where you can keep track of that.
It’s also really helpful to give you an indication of where your followers are online, which is great to help you identify the best days and times for your account.
Here you can keep track of interactions, such as profile visits, web clicks & emails. This is where you can measure conversions of these, should this be one of your goals.
Then it goes into discovery to see reach and impressions, which again will help you monitor your exposure. When you compare this with follower growth, you can tell if your content is converting to follows over a period of time.
This is extremely indepth! And it allows you to really dial down the activity to each piece of content on your feed, stories and IGTV. This is a great place to look to help you identify what type of content is the best performing for you. i.e quote posts, videos, stories etc So you can do more of what works and less of what doesn’t.
Now if engagement rate is something in your goals, you simply need to calculate your likes and comments and divide your number of followers.
I really recommend sticking to just a couple of metrics overall here, otherwise you’ll get overwhelmed and get ‘statistic glare’.
Another important factor on Instagram is how you are communicating and engaging with your following. You’ll want to ask yourself the following questions:
Are you responding to DM’s (even the hidden ones)?
Are you liking and replies to comments on your feed? Especially when you put a post live. Hang around and make sure you’re replying straight away.
It’s important to regularly check your followers for fakes or bot accounts, as this will impact on your engagement rate. So I recommend checking and clearing these out regularly.
It’s worth keeping an eye on these as accounts follow you day to day, by vetting their accounts and blocking any who look a bit spammy, with no photos, no followers etc.
So that’s it… I really recommend doing this at least every quarter to keep your Instagram strategy and account in check.
Make sure you download the FREE Instagram Audit Swipe File to keep your account in check.
Video marketing is HUGE right now! If you’re not already using video, you’re probably thinking about it and wondering where to start. But let me tell you from the get-go, you don’t need to be spending a fortune on your social media videos and let me tell you why…
If you’re a small business, chances are your marketing budget is already precious, but even if you’re a huge company and have an equally huge budget, you can create social media video quickly without dedicating a huge portion of your budget to it. Social media video are typically used once, so You’ll want to save that budget for a TV commercial or a video you might use at an exhibition or on your website home page.
When it comes to video people often think that they need to rush out and buy a £4,000 camera, with lenses and sound & lighting that Saturday Night Live would be proud of… This just is not the case! I’ll share 5 ways you can make your mobile videos look professional.
It’s all in the settings
These days the cameras on mobile phones are insane. Just make sure you crank them up to their best setting and you have everything you need. Most modern phones allow you to film in 60FPS (frames per second) which is the same as most entry level and even some professional cameras.
Kill the shakes
The one thing that will make your video look like it’s shot on a mobile is if someone is holding it for you. No matter how steady their hand is, you can guarantee there’s going to be a very distracting wobble.
You can get mini tripods on Amazon for £15 or even full size for £20… Just make sure yours comes with a phone holder compatible with your phone’s width. To get that stable shot.
What did they say?!
The next mobile phone giveaway is the sound quality… Especially when you’re outside and you have the lovely distracting wind noise. An easy fix is a lapel mic. Again, you can pick these up for a few pounds on Amazon and the difference with be worth every penny.
The wrong way round
Another common mistake with mobile phones is setting it up wrong. You need to remember, portrait for stories and landscape for anything else.
Start & End logo
Grab yourself an animated logo gig from Fiverr and use this at the start & end of your videos to really look like a pro. Even have them add your website address or a ‘see you next week’ on the end animation to direct viewers to your site.
So, there you have it, 5 ways to make professional videos using your mobile phone.
If you give any of these a go, tag me on social to let me see… Good luck!
One of the most common complaints I get from clients is not being able master consistent content creation for their social media or blogs. It just takes a busy day or week and you quickly fall into ‘panic post’ mode and just throw up anything just to keep up a presence. But that is actually really damaging to your accounts over time and so I would always advise to ditch the panic posting habit.
Content planning and creation doesn’t have to be something you dread each day. With these 5 easy to implement tips, you can take the pressure of posting on social media or your blog.
Use a content calendar
There’s no special scientific rule when it comes to kicking the panic posting habit, you’re better to spend a few days, even a week off social media or your blog and use that time to put a content calendar in place. I always recommend that you get 1 month ahead on your social channels and/or blog. Then it’s just a case of sitting down once or twice a month to plan the next month… Completely manageable.
Create a regular series for consistent content creation
One way to lessen the content creation load is to come up with a regular, quick & easy, series. Such as Tip Tuesday, or Testimonial Thursday… Those are fairly generic but use your imagination. i.e say you’re a hairdresser, you could demonstrate an easy updo every Wednesday for example. If you’re reading this and you are a hairdresser, you might already be thinking, you could use all 3 of those examples… In which case, that’s great! You now have a great foundation already for next month’s content!
Yes, I really did say that! I’m not saying post the same Instagram caption every day, however, take this blog post as an example. I have 5 tips in here, each of which could be its own social media post. I could also do an entire YouTube video about series content even. More on how to get the most out of repurposing your content here.
Seasonal content is certainly something you can repurpose each year. If you have made seasonal YouTube videos or written seasonal blog posts, those certainly can be the backbone to your social media calendar for that month, taking the pressure off you again.
If you’re not already batching your content, you’ll be wondering why you didn’t do it sooner!
With your calendar in place you know all the images you need, or all the captions you need to write, or the sit down videos you need to shoot. Write, snap or film them in one sitting.
This is more much more productive, not to mention, once you’re in the zone, you’ll find you get through them a lot quicker. Especially if you’re filming and you have equipment to set up.
Create content that’s quick
Look at the type of content you’re creating… Is it a blog, video, photo led? Are there any apps you can use to make it quicker? Mobile phones and tablets are making content creation easier every day. Before you may have needed to fire up your computer and sit in front of Photoshop for an hour, now there’s likely to be an app for that. So, if you can streamline the process, do it!
Now you’re all set to master consistent content creation. Make sure you let me know how you get on!
Just why is content marketing for small business so important?.. Well unless you’ve been living in a cave for decades, you’ll know that more and more people are turning to the internet to do their research before they buy a product or service. And with so much competition out there, it can be really difficult to be seen organically. In order to catch someone attention, you need to make sure you are producing content that is not only fit to solve their problems and issues (the reason they’re searching for a solution in the first place) but that your content can be found through something called SEO (search engine optimisation).
Just what is content marketing?
Content marketing is defined as being “a type of marketing that involves the creation and sharing of online material (such as videos, blogs and social media posts) that does not explicitly promote a brand but is intended to stimulate interest in its products or services.”
Why is content marketing so important for small businesses?
When you’re a small business, you need to be able to turn you hand to most things, from accounting to marketing to making your own tea even! But the reason why content marketing becomes so important for small business is because it’s the single most effective (and traceable) piece of marketing that can be done and better yet, it doesn’t have to cost you the earth, just your time.
You also have a big advantage over larger companies, because you are probably all over most of you business. You know it inside out, compared to say a Operations Manger of a multi-corporate, where they take a more overall view. You know exactly what makes your business tick… And all that knowledge you have makes for very exciting and enticing content!
I want you to think of a small business you saw recently on social media, one who was absolutely ‘killing it’. Look at their content… The stories they’ve told, the success and the struggles they’ve shared. People love to get behind small businesses and grow with you. They’ll start to become your own little marketing army, spreading the word for you… BUT, in order to do that though you need to be out there sharing your experiences in the first place and in a way they find enticing.
Why great content marketing = Sales
You see, done right, content marketing can be your biggest (and most passive) sales tool. It’s out there giving ‘the pitch’, whilst you are asleep. It’s out there ready for someone to search for that particular problem to deliver your solution. Even if there were 27 hours in a day, you couldn’t do that.
Think of it as an extension of you… You can’t clone yourself, but you can structure your content for success and have a little army of you all over the internet… So what are you waiting for?! Make that first step today and get on the right track to creating great content that sells.
Want to find 3 places to look for great business blog post ideas? I truly believe that every business already has blog post ideas by the bucket load… You just don’t know where to look!
Have you ever struggled to come up with great business blog post ideas for your company or brand? Don’t worry, You’re not alone… With the Wellbeing index reporting that 45% of entrepreneurs are stressed, coming up with your latest blog post shouldn’t be one of the things adding to your list.
Have you asked your customers?
It may sound obvious, but have you asked your customers? All you really need to understand from them is a few key pointers. Here’s my top 3 questions to ask customers:
What made them buy from you, over anyone else?
How does what they bought make a difference to their life?
What was an absolute ‘must have’ when they were searching for the perfect product?
Gaining a better understanding of what attracted your customers to your business and what really gets them excited, means you can start to craft blog posts around exactly that… And guess what? You’ll attract like-minded people who want the same thing.
Scope out your competitors
Do you know what your USP (unique selling point) is? What you offer that sets you apart from all the competitors? If you don’t know I want you to compare the market. Become a mole if you have to!) and visit your competitors online or in person and you’ll soon start to recognise what sets you apart. Maybe it’s the customer service, or the attention to detail, or even your knowledge of your product or service.
Read the reviews
Whether it’s the exact same product/service, or not, looking at the reviews online for similar products or services (even just on Amazon/Facebook/Tripadvisor) you’ll start to learn so much about exactly what people are looking for when shopping for what you sell. What really makes a difference? What they really expect from your product or service. This gainful insight will become the backbone for business blog posts for years to come. Where’s your favourite places to find blog post ideas for your business?