Do you use Instagram for your business? Or maybe you’d like to? Check out these 10 tips to get started in the right way!
1. Stay on top of the latest Instagram trends in your industry
Hashtags are a key tool to use when posting but also use them to keep up with things happening in your industry. Look at what your competitors are doing. For example, if a competing yoga studio is offering 50% off evening classes this month, don’t post about your 20% off. Wait until the end of the month.
2. Use Instagram's direct message function to get in touch directly with followers
There is a huge gap between social media marketing and the personal connection often needed to close a sale. When you can see a specific reason why a follower should buy your product/service, send them a direct message simply explaining why. If you don’t see any clear reasons right now – maybe you haven’t yet launched or your followers aren’t ready yet – use direct messages to create a first step in their relationship with you and your brand. Be personal.
3. Click on the explore tab (popular page) and engage with potential followers
The ‘explore’ tab on Instagram is where popular photos and videos get featured, usually tailored to your previous behaviour and that of your followers. Use it regularly to find new accounts to follow or engage with – this, plus hashtag searching, is your fastest route to new followers.
4. Experiment with shoutouts
A ‘shoutout’ is when another Instagram user posts a post about your business. Ideally you'll each do a shoutout for each other but this needs both accounts to have similar follower numbers to be fair. The more people you reach out to, the better and this technique is commonly used. It is effective if done correctly.
5. Post attractive and provocative (in the business sense!) images and films
High-quality photos and images with plenty of colour tend to get the best reactions on Instagram. Combine looking good with real value for your followers, especially if you want more engagement. Ideally, post photos and videos that evoke some kind of emotion – a feeling of trust, agreement, humor, motivation or even mild fear – such as the fear of missing out or the fear of a taks deadline if you are an accountant!
6. Don't overuse filter effects
You can choose a filter to use for all or certain types of posts but keep your posts very clear and easy to see/read. Filters themselves add nothing to your business success on Instagram!
7. Use hashtags properly
Don’t bother using Instagram for business if you aren't going to use hashtags properly. These are YOUR MAIN ROUTE TO NEW FOLLOWERS. Use all 30 each time if you can. Do not describe what is in the image directly but connect the image to your potential clients and their needs/wants/interests. So, adding your own brand name as a hashtag only works if people will search for it. Instead, if…say you help people with their health, use hashtags such as #getfit and #workouts. Don’t forget the most important hashtag of all – location, location, location – unless you are online only!
8. You need to post to cause interaction
If you want to get engagement from your followers, you should be posting content regularly. That doesn't mean posting 10 images a day. Posting between once a week and once a day is frequent enough to do a good job of keeping your current followers interested. You will lose followers if you don’t post for a while but, more importantly, you won’t make any sales either.
9. Interact and engage with your followers
A step so many businesses miss out on is replying and reacting when followers like and comment on your posts. Try never to ignore engagement. Instagram itself will be much less likely to promote your posts to new audiences if you don’t react to engagement on your profile. What is crucial is the engagement – it is here you are most like to start a buying process or build a relationship before a sale later on.
10. Don't be tempted to purchase followers or use an automated commenting tool
There is no point in having followers if they aren’t real people, they aren’t your target market and especially if Instagram recognises that you bought them. Think quality over quantity in every case. The same goes for automated tools. Firstly, Instagram might spot it and shut your account. Even if it doesn’t, the automated tools tend to follow the other people using the tools, without considering your target market. You’ll end up with random followers who will unfollow after a few days.
Try these useful tips and watch your Instagram account grow with followers and hopefully start generating sales too. If you need some help, we run both training courses and can run your account for you. Find our next workshops here and get in touch here for a chat about your business Instagram account.
We have just two places left on our 2-hours-a-week-for-6-weeks digital marketing course for small businesses, which starts on Thursday (13th) and I would love to fill at least one of them to make a really nice group size.
The aim is to get your website content, social media and email marketing all set up and running in just six weeks, with a weekly two-hour workshop and a bit of homework. You can join in by Skype or Facetime.
Would you like your digital marketing up, running and bringing in clients by the end of October? Please get in touch if you'd like one of the two places. More details here.
If your website and social media profiles are failing to bring in new business to you, then our social media and content marketing coaching group may be just what you need. We'll work together to get your social media and content marketing set up, running and bringing in clients. We will talk through the theory and then spend time together working on YOUR website and social media. Here are five great reasons why you should join our social media and content marketing coaching group in the autumn.
You can expect:
Click here for details and to join our Social Media and Content Marketing Coaching Group.
1. SEO stands for ‘search engine optimisation’.
‘Search engine optimisation’ is the group of practices designed to improve your website’s ranking within organic, non-paid search results. In short, SEO aims to improve your business’ visibility and drive increased web traffic to your site. A variety of techniques are in the SEO toolbox, from keyword optimisation to social media activity.
2. Choose your keywords with care.
A big part of SEO is keyword optimisation but the first step in that process is figuring out the right keywords to emphasise on your website. The ideal keywords are relevant to your business, tie in with your site’s content and be frequently searched for by your potential customers while not widely in use by other websites.
3. Do not make your site too keyword-heavy.
The use of the right keywords is important but using too many keywords can actually hurt your search engine ranking. Placing too many keywords on your website will cause your site to be regarded as spam by search engines and the spiders that search engines use to index sites are programmed to pass over websites that engage in ‘keyword stuffing’.
4. Images won’t help improve your search results unless you use ALT tags.
Search engines are only capable of analysing text to determine website rankings. Even if the images on your site have text in them, the search engine spiders are not be able to ‘read’ it. To get around this, make really good use of the alternative text tag, known as ‘ALT tag’, which allows you to include a searchable text description for your website’s images. This is a really effective way of improving your search engine results.
5. Pay-per-click advertising has no effect on SEO.
Pay-per-click advertising (or PPC) can be an important part of online marketing and is often seen as complimentary to SEO but PPC has no direct effect on SEO results. Think about it this way: PPC is a type of paid advertisement, while SEO aims to influence organic search results.
6. Content is king. Especially if it is added to, fairly often.
Search engines are smarter now and the right keywords, which used to be enough to move your website to the top of the search results, aren’t enough by themselves. High-quality web content is needed for the search engines to think you are worth sending visitors to. It is also necessary for attracting links from other websites.
7. Internal linking within your site will help boost your search engine standing.
Building in internal links within your website as you build and grow your website can help boost traffic to all of your site’s pages, which in turn helps improve search engine rankings. You can make internal linking even more effective by ensuring that the text of your links include relevant keywords.
8. Links from other sites to your site are key.
Links from other people’s websites play a really important part in the algorithms used to determine search engine rankings. Spend time to building relationships with the owners of other sites who may be willing to link to your business’ site can be really effective.
9. Social media plays a critical part in an SEO campaign.
Having a strong social media presence and marketing your website’s content on these platforms will help your website come up higher in search engine rankings. Look at alternatives to Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to see if your industry/subject has more relevant social media channels.
10. While hiring an SEO expert can help you achieve the best results, there is a lot you can do every time you update your site.
Getting good results from an SEO campaign takes time and effort. If you follow the steps above, you’ll see your site climb up the results pages. However, you have a business to run and your time might be best spent doing that and not keyword research.
Search engine results are, for the most part, crucial to any business finding leads or customers online. Would you like to know more about it? Get in touch or join this autumn’s SEO workshops in Danderyd (north Stockholm).
Us entrepreneurs tend to feel the need (or like!) to independently run our businesses but going at it alone isn’t always easy and can sometimes be down-right difficult – and lonely.
A second opinion - preferably an experienced and unbiased one – can be truly helpful in ensuring you and your business reach your full potential. Working with us can make the difference between making it and…err…not making it.
We have an excellent track record of helping very small businesses to get on track to success. You tell us all about your business, we talk through what you want and need and then we research, think, discuss, plan and put together key actions. You implement the actions and get the business results you want. If you need it, we can also provide support and marketing services. We get you on track to grow your business with a plan that you action yourself.
Our first package – GET GROWING PLUS - involves:
Why work with us?
As a start-up entrepreneur and seasoned business owner, a business coach from whom you receive advice and shortcuts can be invaluable. This means that we can give you the tools and the tricks that have been tried, used and succeeded with and, more importantly, point out the things we know don’t work or cost too much to be worth the money.
We provide an outside, expert perspective which can be a sounding board for your ideas and help you compare and decide which ideas to use. There might be sticking points that you need to overcome in your business and we provide help to create a change and overall help you with growing your business. As a business coach our job isn’t to help you go out of your comfort zone but to help you feel comfortable with the actions you take.
From us, you will get the attention you need from someone who has learnt about your business from the inside out. Getting coaching from us here at My Own Marketing Coach should develop your self-confidence – you’ll be sure about what you are doing to grow your business and will know why you are doing each thing.
We’re probably not the first to tell you that starting your own business can bruise your ego – there are so many knocks and bumps along the way. The biggest pro of using us is that you always have someone in your corner, to support you and help you achieve your goals. You will become more productive as we maximise your potential, reduce the barriers and unlock a productivity you might not know is inside you!
Finally, the best benefit is that we can help you make more money. A good business coach will help you in your business because every good coach has a process and, in our case, this means helping you to find your marketing strategy, hone it and get it bring in more business for you.
We’ll be here with you to help you grow your business into the business you want.
Find out more about our coaching services and how we can help you here.
You would be surprised how many businesses forget that the blog needs the same brand as the business to work as a form of brand awareness building. A logo is great for awareness of your brand and your first key element needed. It gives your blog site a face to your readers, something that they can remember it by. Your logo is a subtle and very effective way of making your readers remember what your blog is all about and in turn, remember what your business is all about and what its products and/or services offered are.
2. Clear navigation bar
The navigation bar should be easily accessed, straightforward and simple. Your readers are after the content of your blog. They do not want to have to deal with too much design. Much like your content, your navigation bar should also be user-friendly.
3. Social sharing buttons within blog posts
You can increase your chances of going viral by making your content easily shareable on social media. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram buttons can be easily setup on your website to be accessed on all of your webpages.
4. Proper typography
Your font style, colour and size can affect how well a reader perceives your blog posts. True, it is the content that matters but they need to read it to find that out! If the font isn’t very easy on the eyes, you will lose the readers before the end of the post. Never use font less than 12px!
5. Responsive design (mobile-friendly layout)
If you really care about your visitors and how they view your blog, make it easier for them to navigate your site in any screen sizes especially for mobile users. In 2018, the present is mobile.
6. Related posts, most popular posts and latest posts.
These three things assist in keeping your blog site as organised as possible as it can help readers get to know what’s the latest, what’s trending and other posts related to what they are reading, further increasing traffic and subtly giving readers more reasons to stay.
7. Breadcrumb trail
If possible, add breadcrumbs to your blog site. It makes navigation so much easier and helps readers understand where what topics they are reading belong to.
8. Tags or categories
What makes tags so important is that they not only keep your blog site organised but also allow search engines to know what ‘topics’ are covered by each post, acting like keywords. They are crucial.
9. Comment box.
We can’t be clearer on this point – use every single opportunity to encourage interaction between the business and your readers. Use a ‘call-to-action’ – a line or two telling or asking your readers to do something – on every post, at least once. Once you have a large enough reader base, they will discuss the content of each post on the content box and may even provide additional insight that you can use later on.
10. About page & contact info
These are simple pages that are quite self-explanatory and they are necessary because they complete the overall professional look that you will want your blog site to have if you want to attract readers and increase overall traffic.
11. Service/product pages and payment options
Blogs are made for a reason and it’s not just to give valuable content. It is your way of advertising to your readers as well. Make sure that you capitalise on your reader base and further increase traffic by including a services or product page in your blog site. If possible, include payment options as well to make everything easier for your consumers.
12. Blog sign-up form (and/or newsletter sign-up form)
Email marketing is extremely powerful so allow your readers to receive your blog posts and/or newsletters by email. Used in this way, the content builds brand awareness, consumer trust and loyalty. Make use of it.
13. Google analytics
Google analytics are great as it gives you concrete numbers that will show you what is wrong with your blog, what is missing, how you can improve it. Look at each blog post over a period of time and learn from the results – promote those posts that do well and edit/rewrite those that don’t.
14. SEO tools
SEO plays a very important role in driving traffic and putting your site on the map. Use tools to come up with proper keyword placement, frequency, etc. so that you drive traffic to your blog site and get your site ranked higher and higher in search engines.
This checklist hopefully will help you see if you have all the essential elements on your site. Once set up, most of these things need very little attention. You can focus on keeping the quality of your content high so readers keep coming back.
With over 200 million users daily, it's no question that Instagram stories have become a vital marketing tool for modern businesses nowadays. If done right, Instagram stories could significantly increase reach by leaps and bounds at little to no cost at all. Jimmy Rodela, Digital Marketing Manager of EBCallCenter.com, gives us his tips.
Many businesses have now taken advantage of the platform, and it is best if your company could ride the hype as well. But it is crucial to execute Instagram marketing correctly. So before jumping in, here are a few things to help you boost your business through Instagram stories.
Keep your messages short but extremely sweet
Make sure you have the right script that will capture your audience's attention in an instant. Give followers just enough information to keep them interested but wanting more.
Your visuals and label have to entice the user the moment he clicks on your link. If it doesn’t work the first time, try again with another story style till you get the right formula.
Let the tags help bring you the right target audience.
Recently Instagram has added a feature wherein stories appear in the search results of a hashtag.
People searching hashtags will more often than not click on your stories as they are already showing interest in the subject matter at hand. Stories will appear to users even if they are not following your account.
Get your swipe up option ready
Remember, you can’t fit all the necessary information in an Instagram story. The only facts you need to share are the juicy ones. The audience that expresses an interest will want more.
Have your clickable links ready in your swipe up option to avoid losing your audience with short attention span. Don’t waste the engagement by not being able to give them all the information that they want.
Depending on your industry, and if you have been in it for a while, you can already identify who your influencers are. They are the people who are capable of increasing your sales of the once they give their endorsement of it.
They are the first group you should tag for them to look into your stories and have them share with their many followers.
Divulge juicy and entertaining facts at the end of every Instagram story. It will give your followers satisfaction for staying until the end of the story which would make the keep coming back for more.
You can unveil teasers or promo codes and prizes that will reward those who took the chance to click on your stories.
Sneak around competitors
Your competitors will be following you to check up on what you are working on. Using Instagram stories will give you the option to exclude them from seeing the stories.
This way you can market and share all you want without the fear of your competitors copying your ideas.
Do you enjoy Instagram stories? Has it helped you in any way to further your business? Share some of your stories with us.
Jimmy is a freelance writer and the Digital Marketing Manager of EBCallCenter.com. He owns GuildofBloggers.com. He has contributed to Yahoo, SearchEnginePeople, SEMRush, and Business.com.
By now, you probably have received a few or a few too many emails asking you to confirm that you still like to hear from this or that company.
On 25th May 2018, a new EU directive, called GDPR, comes into place that more heavily regulates how we as businesses store information about people. For Swedish businesses, it isn't much more stringent than the current data protection legislation BUT it comes with heavy fines as penalties.
The directive is long and extremely hard to read (we had to read it....zzzzzz....) to to try to help you all so you don't need 400+ pages of legalese bedtime reading, here is a small snippet of it in as easy language as we could manage, that outlines the specific reasons you can store information about someone and contact them.
The directive provides six reasons that you need to choose from if you want to store someone's personal information (and if their email address has their name in it, that counts):
(a) the person has specifically given consent to the processing of their personal data for one or more specific purposes;
(b) you need to keep their details and contact them in relation to work you are doing for or in relation to them or in order to do something that they have asked for before entering into a contract;
(c) you need to keep their details because the law says you must;
(d) you need to keep their details in order to protect their or someone else's vital interests;
(e) you need to keep their details so you can carry out a task in the public interest or for official authority;
(f) you need to keep their details for the purposes of the legitimate interests by you or by a third party, except where they are overridden by the fundamental rights and freedoms of the person which require protection of personal data, in particular where the person is a child.
Many companies are focusing on getting the consent of their contacts to continue sending them marketing emails, for example. However, the GDPR clearly states that direct marketing is an allowable 'legitimate interest' for choosing reason (f) above and therefore you don't actually need a person's explicit consent to email them something salesy. You do, however, need to make it very easy for them to ask you to stop emailing them and, if they do, stop immediately. You also must delete old contact information - if you aren't actively marketing to a contact and can't show any other reason from the list above that you should keep their details, get rid of them
What does your contacts list look like? Do you use a CRM system? If a contact asked you to provide all the information they can soon ask for to show how you are handling their information, could you?
If you need help with any GDPR issues or have questions, get in touch with us at My Own Marketing Coach here and/or contact Shadi Amundin, Special Counsel at Cederwalls International Law Firm on Shadi (AT) cederwalls.com or +46 (0)707 75 63 55.
The growing social media wave isn’t ending anytime soon and most business owners know they need to be online and social to remain visible. What isn’t so well understood is that:
Yes, 3 years…
You should get your social media accounts set up from the inception of your business. Or, if possible, well in advance of launching. Pre-launch marketing is often more successful than launch marketing, as people love to feel they know about something before most other people! Your target audience is hanging around in one or more of the popular social networks – work out which ones they are and get your profiles up and running so you can start to:
1. Connect with your target audience
Social media provides a way for you to have an open two-way channel for communication with your prospects and customers. Whether you are there or not, your prospective customers are looking to social media first to connect with you. So be there.
3. Improve client retention
The open communication and convenience of social media is extremely conducive to building deeper relationships with your clients. When people have an opportunity to connect with you or provide feedback, it makes them feel like they have a voice and when you respond in a prompt and professional manner, you boost customer loyalty, which means better client retention.
4. Increase traffic and conversions on your website
Each time you include a link to your website in a social media post, you’re creating new points of entry for viewers to get to your website. The more time they spend in contact with you, via social media and then via the website, the more likely they are to convert into a customer.
5. Open up opportunities for sharing
If you have a marketing message that you want to convey to your audience as quickly as possible, all you have to do is post it to your social media account. The benefit here is that your followers see you as a person just like them, making you stand out more in their minds and you can get the message out too them quickly. If there is a blog post you just wrote - post it. If something has gone really well – post it. If your operational hours have changed – post that too!
6. Keep track of your competitors
Watching your competitors’ activities might should a little creepy but it not only keeps you up to speed on what they’re doing, it provides extra insight into your business’ advancements. Having access to this information, you can compare your competitors’ business actions to yours and use that knowledge to improve your business strategies to stay ahead of the curve.
If you’re already in business and think you could be getting sales from social media, get started. At whatever stage you are at, create a social media plan, get your profiles set up and get posting!
We hear from so many small businesses that they have amazing products and services and now just need people to buy them. With limited budgets, paying a marketing agency or sales staff can be out of the question so we coach you to help grow your small business into the business you want.
We have three levels of coaching packages so you don't need to commit to regular coaching (though you can do that too!). Check them all out here.
Find our thoughts on everything to do with small business marketing here.