Here are 5 tips when starting your own business in Leitrim
- buy your domain
Here are 5 tips when starting your own business in Leitrim
In this video we are going to walk through how to create and publish a blog post. From the WordPress dashboard, please the mouse over New and select post. You can also place the mouse over Posts and select Add New. Enter the title of the Blog Post – 5 great reasons every business should have a blog and select Save Draft.
This ensures that the blog post is saved and you can come back to it anytime to complete and publish it. Wordpress also has an auto save feature so it will save the post every 60 seconds.
I use WordPress a lot. This website/blog is built with WordPress. In fact these websites belong to clients who are using WordPress themselves (with some training from me).
So here is my list of 5 favourites that I use and all are FREE:
5. Yoast SEO to improve search engine optimisation
4. Kingsumo for running viral online giveaway – online course here
3. Pretty Link for creating nice short links e.g. changing a long PayPal link or Eventbrite link to digitalbusinessinstitute.com/training-day
2. Sydney Theme (technically not a plugin)
1. Woocommerce for setting up your online shop
To see more about these tools and how to use them – check out
“How to build a Professional WordPress Website and Blog in just 30 Minutes” – ONLINE COURSE ** Early Bird Offer Ends Tomorrow**
STEP FIVE: SOURCE OF GROWTH
Step 5 is the final foundational step of creating a digital media strategy and brings us to defining your source of growth. In most cases, the primary objective of a business is to grow in some manner. Depending on the maturity and category in which the business exists, there are a few different ways in which growth can occur. Simplistically, we are going to break down growth into 3 sources from a marketing point of view. They are: the pie bigger, steal some pie and spend more on pie and pie related items.
So, you may be saying, “Pie? What are you talking about?” Allow me to elaborate with another example If you sell running shoes, there are 3 ways for you to grow your revenue.
Defining your source of growth will allow you to determine where you should focus your communications as you drive towards your business objective.
HOW TO DEFINE YOUR SOURCE OF GROWTH
We do this by creating new products. So, if you are planning to bring a new product into the industry, your primary challenge does not lie in beating the competition, rather it is more about convincing your audience, in general, that the product is worth buying. As this new category grows, your business will also grow proportionally with the category as long as you have appropriate awareness and an equivalent product or service to the rest of the industry.
When you operate in a mature industry, your problem does not lie in convincing people that they need to buy your product, rather it is convincing people to buy your product as opposed to someone else’s. In other words, you need to steal customers from the competition.
Finally, this source of growth is likely something that all businesses will strive for, but it is important that it is prioritized accordingly with the other two sources of growth. Focusing on this source of growth essentially means that you want to increase the Euro value of each of your customers. This might be by trading customers up to a more expensive product or service or selling complementary products alongside your regular sales.
Digital Content Tip #1
If making the pie bigger is your primary source of growth, then the content that you create should focus less on differentiation and more on education to bring more people into the category.
Digital Content Tip #2
If stealing some pie is your number one focus, social content that is created must have elements that differentiate you from your competition and demonstrates unique benefits.
Digital Content Tip #3
If upselling customers is defined as an important source of growth for your business, then content that showcases these complementary products must be present in some form in your social content.
STEP FOUR: THE LANDSCAPE
A lot can be learned from simply reviewing the activity (or lack thereof) of the competition and others in your industry. By understanding the activities that are already occurring online, in relation to your business and industry, you can effectively leverage ideas that are already working and/or identify gaps in activation that you can take advantage of.
Depending on the industry you are in, there are two main groups that you should spend some time reviewing, in-depth. The first is the competition, both big players and small players, and the second are regulatory bodies.
Auditing the competition can be a timely task, but I promise you that opportunities will reveal themselves through this process that you’d likely never think of if you skip it. So, take the time and invest in this step, it will save you a lot of time and make sure you are heading in the right direction as you develop your strategy in later steps.
List 2-3 competitors and write down a few sentences about them off the top of your head, without doing any research.
Answer the following questions:
What do they do well? What are they weaker at? What is some recent marketing/product activity that they’ve been doing? This summary should give you a quick snapshot of who your competitors are and their key marketing activity.
Pick 4 or 5 phrases or keywords that your customers might search online in relation to your industry. These should include general keywords as well as more specific ones. Perform several searches and write down anything that you note of interest. Which company dominates search for different keyword phrases? Which do you dominate, if any.
Of the competitors you chose, visit their websites and look for social links. These links often appear in the top right or in the footer as small Facebook, Twitter and YouTube icons. Create a spreadsheet and record each competitor’s name and copy the links to all of their digital media properties. Scroll through the activity write down a few notes about anything that is of interest. Look specifically for things like, number of followers, frequency of post, number of comments/ engagement, nature of content being posted, plus any specific promotional campaigns they may be doing.
Is this applicable for you?
Once you’ve taken a comprehensive survey of yourself, the landscape in which you exist and you have a good understanding of your business objective, take an opportunity to write down 3-4 of the biggest things that are going to stand in your way (key issues) as you reach for your objectives. The best way to reach a goal is to have a strong understanding of what you need to overcome to get there. Examples of common barriers include: strong competition, lack of awareness, low trust and credibility, low engagement category, etc.
STEP THREE: YOUR STORY
The third step is about defining what makes your brand/offering unique, or what I like to call – ‘Your Story.’
Why Develop a Story?
The goal of developing a story is to gain a deeper understanding of what makes your brand and product unique. Keeping focused on what makes your brand unique will also align your business with sustainability in the market. Ask yourself, why would anyone buy your product versus the competition or versus not purchasing anything at all? Every marketer needs to be able to rattle this off in seconds if someone asks. The problem is, most cannot. Whatever the reason(s), whether it be a high quality product, better service, added value through advice, etc. you need to define at least one that you can hang your hat on.
To develop your story, you need to create a full picture of your brand, which involves where you’ve been, what you do and where you want to go. This begins at the purely rational and moves into emotional and aspirational. Every brand will sit at different places in this spectrum, but in the majority of cases, you will want to continue to deepen the emotional connection people have with your brand, ultimately leading to stronger loyalty and love for your brand. And don’t we all want that?
HOW TO DEVELOP YOUR STORY
If you have a well-established brand, there is likely a long history of key events that have helped it get to where it is today. Don’t walk away from the equity of a strong heritage.
Everyone has their own unique story in life, take advantage of this and weave it into your brand story.
Not much explanation needed here. What is the actual product or service that you provide? Be sure to highlight the different types of products and services you offer along with any key features.
What is the benefit of your product or service? As discussed in Step 2, try and think about this from both a rational and emotional point of view. Emotional benefits often provide much better inspiration for great stories.
From the history, features and benefits identified in the previous steps, which are unique to your brand? You might have better quality than a competitor, you might have a better known and trusted brand than others. Narrow it down and select the features/attributes/benefits that make your brand awesome.
To create a truly great and beloved brand, you need to stand for and reach for something bigger. This should be aspirational and keep you striving to be better (i.e.: points you in the right direction, but might always be just out of reach). The simpler and more concise you make this, the better. For example, Google’s is “Don’t be Evil” along with a mission to organize and provide access to the world’s information. Whatever you write down make sure it inspires you, the people you work with and your customers.
Finally, define the tone of your brand as though it is a person, instead of a faceless robot. This is crucial for all of your communications, but especially important in social media as you or someone in your company will be interacting with people online on a daily basis. Try and use very descriptive adjectives as though are describing someone that you know.
STEP TWO: KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE
The second step of this 10 Step Digital Marketing Strategy is all about identifying and truly getting to know your audience. I can’t stress enough the importance of this step. Everything that comes after this will be built on what you know and want to learn about your audience.
There are many schools of thought on how to best evaluate and understand your target market. None are without limitations, but I prefer to keep it simple – since we know that if it isn’t simple, it doesn’t get done. Thus, I break it down into another 3 steps: Paint a Quick Picture, Dig into the Facts and Reveal the Insights.
HOW TO GET TO KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE
One of the easiest ways to understand your market is to STOP talking about them in theoretical terms and start drawing a literal picture – or creating a persona. First, work from your ‘gut’ and picture one of your customers in your mind and then write down one sentence or a few words to describe her (or him). Then, write down her name (or a representative name). Giving the ‘persona’ a name will help make them real and ensure that your marketing efforts are personal instead of corporate, sterile garbage. Finally, pop into Google Images and see if you can find an actual photograph to represent this persona. Save the picture, print it up, do whatever it takes to engrain this person in your mind.
This is the stage where you get to put your ‘gut’ away for a bit and focus on cold, hard facts. It is worth spending some time mining this information on the web, especially as you think about a social media strategy, as you will need to learn about how your target audience behaves online. To start, list everything you can about your target audience that you know to be true. This might include demographics (age, sex, location, family size, average income), life-stage (student, young professional, new parent, retired, etc), career, lifestyle and hobbies.
You may have heard comments in-person from your customers, but the beauty of the internet today is that it is very easy and free to do some of that listening yourself online. Understanding what is already being said about your industry and product* is crucial to building an effective digital media strategy.
*When we say ‘product’, we also mean service. In fact, I recommend your treat your services as products. It makes them more tangible and defined.
Finally, to truly connect with your audience you need to do more than simply identify who they are and what they do. You need to identify how they feel and why they buy your product. This is by far the most difficult step, but is also the difference between great marketing that connects you deeply with your customers and poor marketing that is, well… poor.
Consumer/customer insights are about understanding how your ‘persona’ feels about a particular problem that your product could potentially solve.
Try to really get in the head of your customer and feel what they might be feeling. Then, in the first person state the issue, need or desire that you (your audience) has that your product provides a solution for. As you do this, try not to mention your brand or product. The reason there is so much bad advertising out there is because marketers don’t think enough about true emotional insights, rather they focus on the product itself.
To develop strong insights, ask yourself the below questions.
I know this is a heavy step, but it is so critical to the success of your business, not just from a marketing point of view, but from a deep understanding of the value that your service provides for your customers.
If you can’t come up with a strong insight in relation to your audience, then maybe your product isn’t serving the correct need. So sit down and give it a go… think Mel Gibson in “What Women Want” and truly try and understand your market. If you don’t get them you can’t talk to them and if you can’t talk to them, you can’t sell to them, and if you can’t sell to them — well, you get the picture.
STEP ONE: THE DESTINATION
For many, this step may seem obvious, but it is far too often overlooked. Most people end up doing digital marketing with no real rhyme or reason, often seeming very busy while not actually accomplishing anything. Every campaign, big or small must have an objective. Even if that objective is relatively loose and doesn’t have many hard metrics against it, you must have one – otherwise you are pretty much just wasting your time playing on Facebook all day.
The business objective will lay down a foundation for your digital marketing campaigns. It is your compass to help guide you in the right direction. Think of it in terms of driving somewhere – your objective is normally to get to a destination. If you find out you are going the wrong way then you immediately know that you need to change course. If you don’t have a business objective, then you could be driving for days, weeks or months and never even know if you are going!
FOUR TIPS FOR GOAL SETTING
Where do you see yourself in 1 year? What will your business or brand look like? Hopefully, it looks different from where you are now or at least you are maintaining a strong position if you expect significant competition to swoop in.
An objective without any associated numbers is very difficult to measure. Create goals that reference measures like Euro sales, unit sales, products launched, new clients/customers, repeat customers, etc. Furthermore, always associate a timeframe to your goal, otherwise you will never know if you actually accomplished it. Try and come up with at least two objectives – one financial and one non-financial. Depending on the nature of your financial and non-financial objectives, your marketing and social media strategy could be very different – so think carefully.
There is no point in coming up with an outrageous business objective that you will never be able to accomplish or measure. The business objectives should be realistic and allow you to track progress forward. Even little steps towards a business goal can do amazing things for team morale and motivation.
Think about it – but don’t overthink it. Set a target and go for it. You can always change your objective and you likely will as you progress. The best business objectives are ones that you can remember and repeat to yourself and team to keep everyone on track. If you can’t memorize it quickly, it is too complicated.
Questions to ask yourself when thinking about objectives:
What is your monthly/quarterly/annual revenue target 1 year from now?
What is your targeted € share of the market in 6-12 months?
What € sales % growth (year on year) would you like to reach in 12 months
Which new geographic markets would you like to make initial sales in 2 years from now?
Additional targets to be added here.
The biggest problem that leads to endless confusion in digital marketing is that most people and organisations have no clue where to start. That’s why I have created this practical strategy for you, packed with tips, tools and resources that will save you tons of time and energy, because you’ll start off knowing which way to go instead of wandering aimlessly through the clutter.
How to use your Digital Marketing Strategy
This is no ordinary digital marketing strategy that you should simply skim through and never look at again. This Blueprint was made specifically to help you plan your social media & online content marketing strategy from start to finish. In the end a comprehensive plan will exist and be your own personal roadmap for digital marketing success.
Each step is split in to two sections:
1) An introduction and rationalization for that step
2) Practical tips for that step
THE TEN STEPS
Step One: The Destination
Step Two: Know Your Audience
Step Three: Your Story
Step Four: The Landscape
Step Five: Source of Growth
Step Six: Content Mix
Step Seven: Media Mix
Step Eight: Platform Mix
Step Nine: Timing Mix
Step Ten: How to Measure Social
We use a WordPress plugin called Kingsumo and it works really well when used properly. It costs $195, but if you email me (firstname.lastname@example.org), I will send you a 50% discount code.
You can learn how to run your own viral giveaway with this step-by-step easy to follow online course. CLICK HERE TO REGISTER