Efficient Social Media Management for 2014 and Beyond

December Guest Blog From Alan Blair Beaton – Hootsuite Ambassador 

With over 200 millions tweets a day and over a billion people using social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+, it could be a tough challenge for business owners to stay on top of their social media presence. Time is money and any tools or platforms that can be used to harness the collective powers of social media are key. The euphoria of how big your social media communities are have gone out the window. The focus is now about engaging your existing communities to its full potential and the ability to ‘listen’ to others around you. This is the true value of social media, although many still struggle with this concept.

Efficient Social Media Management for Business in 2014

Whether you manage a simple Twitter stream or perhaps multiple social networks is irrelevant. How you align your social media activities alongside traditional mediums is the secret. HootSuite is a social media dashboard that allows users to manage Facebook (profiles, groups and pages), Twitter, LinkedIn (profiles, groups and pages) and Google+; not to mention integration with YouTube, Instagram, Flickr, Tumblr and many others. With just over 8 million users and 79 of the top 100 companies in the world as clients, HootSuite has quickly positioned itself as the ‘go to tool’ for all serious social media campaigns.

Efficient Social Media Management - HootsuiteIf you are only interested in scheduling your most important content to be published at particular time or maybe even just monitoring Twitter for keywords, phrases and other engagement opportunities, HootSuite is built to support your efforts. From one-man-bands to global brands, HootSuite is designed to grow with your business and your digital marketing footprint. Like most business owners, keeping an eye on trends, latest news developments and insights allows them to react quickly to their marketplace and to secure ‘mind space’ with the existing and potential customers and clients.

Efficient social media management for 2014 and beyond is all about perspective and the ability to react in real-time to everything around you. This means that whatever tool you use, it must be mobile too. HootSuite are pleased to offer both IOS and Android integration with smartphones and tablets. This integration can also be shared with more than one user, enabling you to create a team around all of your digital efforts. HootSuite is a web based platform with mobile integration. What more could you ask for?

You’ve got nothing to lose by trying HootSuite as it’s built on the freemium model. From free to £7.99 per month and beyond, HootSuite has an offering for all business owners and social media departments. If you’d like to try out HootSuite free of charge for 30 days, please click here. We are sure that you won’t be disappointed.

Content Marketing

Blinkered provide content marketing services to businesses throughout the world.

Articles, Blogs, eBooks, Video, Website Content, Tip Sheets and more.

Content marketing helps drive people to and keep people longer on your website. It helps with search engine rankings and increases the shares you’ll receive on social media sites.

Have a watch of the video below and feel free to contact us to discuss your business needs.

Around The World In 99 Days

In this video blog, Blinkered founder Kevin Ashcroft, talks about the company’s specific strategy to attract international clients to the digital marketing services it provides. Through this strategy the company has secured clients on 5 different continents – Europe, North America, South America, Australia and Asia.

July 2013 Update

Blinkered July 2013 updateOur Shared Success program has now launched. We are working with an initial six clients on this program which delivers over £16,000 of marketing services, for only £999 per month.

New clients have come on board from the UK, Argentina and Spain.

This month in our Client highlight section, we showcase Safe Paws – Safe Paws have over 9500 square ft. of space in Stirling where they operate their daycare for pets centre – they are the ideal safe and friendly solution for pet owners who want to make sure their animals are well cared for when not at home.

Find out more by reading the Blinkered newsletter here, we hope you enjoy the read.

June 2013 Update

blinkered newsletterIt been a busy couple of months since our last newsletter.

New clients have come on board from the UK, USA and Australia.

We’ve created a new set of marketing packages which deliver specific guaranteed results on a monthly basis.

We’ve even created a new package called “Shared Success”.

Find out more by reading the Blinkered newsletter here, we hope you enjoy the read.

7 Tips on Getting Started in Social Media For Your Business

7 tips for social mediaIf you are a small business owner who is yet to get acquainted with social media, you are likely to be intimidated, overwhelmed, and even confused by sites like Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Pinterest, and Google+ etc. when considering what to do and what not to do when using these social media sites for business.

The good news, however, is that it is not only easy and fun to use these sites for your business, but they can also open up immense possibilities.

Below, we take a look at 7 tips on getting started in social media to help you navigate the waters in an effective and manageable way.

Pick one site to start with

Most small businesses that have an online presence are known to participate on several sites. But doing too much too fast will leave you overwhelmed and prevent you from effectively using each site. It is thus prudent to choose one site and dedicate all your efforts there before moving on to others.

Have a time budget dedicated to social media

While it may be a good way to learn the ropes by spending many hours on popular social sites getting up to speed, the truth is that most people do not have the energy, time, or interest in putting so much time into social media. Instead, it is advisable to come up with a time budget that will limit the time you spend online to a weekly or daily total and also one that will easily fit your schedule.

Clarify your social media objectives and goals

Having established how much time you will be spending on social media sites, you then need to set clear goals and objectives in what you intend to achieve. Are you interested in establishing yourself as an expert in your field, finding colleagues to work with, or generating leads? Whatever you decide, once you have started, ensure that you plan regular progress checks to ensure that you are on the right track.

Map your approach

Since there are hundreds of different ways to use social sites for business, no single way is better than another. The important thing is to have a rough idea of your intended approach prior to engaging with customers online. Will you be communicating, providing industry related news, or presenting a mix of personal and business information? Your approach should be tied to your goals when getting started. [Read more...]

Micro Sites – Massive Impact

Micro Sites – What are they, and how do they help your business?

microsites imageA micro website is basically a small, mini website, usually consisting of three pages or less, and often of only one page. It’s a cost effective way to promote your brand or business to new online audiences, without breaking your budget, and although micro in name, can be massive in impact, delivering targeted messages to your customers and boosting your marketing returns.

If you already have a main website, you might want to use a micro website to complement it, or to promote something specific and to target niche customers within your broader market.

A micro site can be used to launch a new product or feature, or just to expand your online presence. Micro websites are often used as the landing pages for email marketing campaigns and are ideal for specific marketing for special offers or services. You can use a micro website to test the water for a new product before it goes live on your main website.

It can be difficult to achieve good search engine rankings with your website depending on how it was built – particularly since the latest Google updates over the last year or so. A micro website can be a great tool to help boost SEO. A single webpage with good content can be rated highly by search engines as long as key phrases are included. A bespoke micro site can improve your search results and your click-through rates, and can be a great investment for your business.

Many visitors to your website will only look at the first one or two pages before coming to a decision, so it makes sense for a new business to have one good web page rather than lots of mediocre ones. A simple but well designed one page site gives you the opportunity to show off your products and to give your customers all the information they need to purchase from you.

It’s ideal for getting small businesses online for the first time, and is cheaper and easier to design and set up than a website with numerous pages.

Benefits of Microsites include:

  • Easily highlight a specific product or service
  • Embed a signup form for visitors to signup to your newsletter, request a quote or download eBooks etc.
  • Low cost
  • Quick to deploy
  • Very effective in gathering information and building your contact list

Contact us to discuss your requirements and see if this is a good option for you.

Digital vs. Traditional Marketing

In today’s digital era, business marketing is experiencing rapid development. There’s something new to learn every day. Being up-to-date with the latest trend is essential: complacency can be risky and detrimental to your business. You may have heard about digital marketing and its clear value for your brand. You may query how it differs from traditional marketing and if both can be integrated seamlessly to achieve success and continuous growth for your business.

Let’s Review Traditional Marketing

Before the popularity of the Internet, marketing comprised television, radio and print advertisements, business cards, brochures, trade shows and telemarketing. While these methods remain beneficial, they don’t offer the opportunity to interact directly with your audience. Also, traditional marketing cannot be accurately measured. It’s difficult to count the number of people who have seen your adverts, or quantify which method is the most effective and brings the highest ROI. Because of these limitations, the budget reserved for traditional marketing for many companies has significantly declined over recent years.

The ‘Switch’ to Digital Marketing

Digital marketing covers everything from your company’s website, search engine rankings and social media presence to a host of other online media strategies. Companies are now developing their marketing plans accordingly, and developing an effective online presence and brand awareness has become the number one priority for most businesses.

Some industry leaders have experimented with digital marketing because they thought it was cheaper, more effective and easier to implement. This may not hold true all the time. Although proven more effective than traditional marketing alone, digital marketing isn’t cheap or easy. You have to pay a substantial amount for the right expert to manage your campaign or, if you want to attempt this yourself, you need to invest a lot of time and effort in learning the most valuable techniques. Additionally, digital marketing is constantly evolving. It is imperative to regularly review methodology so that you can best utilise the most recent technology to build solid and mutually rewarding relationships with your customers.

Digital vs Traditional Marketing

Image courtesy of Raleigh Inbound Marketing – www.raleighinboundmarketing.co

What Is The Best Marketing Strategy?

The best advice we can offer is to take elements of both traditional and digital marketing strategies and combine them for a more effective interaction with your audience. Excellent communication, visibility and media exposure remain key to capturing your market’s attention.

Unquestionably, your business should also invest in maintaining a powerful website and developing a strong online presence through digital channels. It is a must for your business to stay connected online and create social media interaction with a sound strategy of engagement and retention. Do not be left behind; grab this opportunity to stay ahead of your competitors. The type of your business and audience doesn’t matter, it’s a proven fact that people are increasingly relying on digital technology to search, find and purchase the products and services they need.

There are substantial challenges in creating a comprehensive and coherent digital marketing campaign. Whether or not you choose to engage the experts, it’s essential to remain updated and knowledgeable on these ever-evolving techniques so as to ensure your business’s success today and in the future.

What are you waiting for?

It’s great having a wonderful website, but what happens if no one can ever find it?

  • Searchers find your competitors first
  • Your website doesn’t provide a real return on your investment
  • You’re losing out on leads and potential customers

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) helps you get found for the phrases that matter.

It’s important to complete adequate research up-front to decide on which keywords to focus on.

Without this research, you can spend many hours and lots of money, simply wasting your time.

You should take the following into consideration:

  • How many times the search phrase you want to be ranked for, is actually being searched for
  • What level of competition exists for the phrase you want to be ranked for
  • How important is your selected search phrase to your business

Blinkered can provide you with specific research that you can act on and implement, and we can also implement it for you should you wish.

Contact us for a no obligation chat – it doesn’t cost you a penny and might just make you some!

Mobile advertising is good for business

Mobile advertising is good for businessIt’s no secret that smart phone and tablet use is on the rise. It’s also no secret that users are turning to these devices rather than their computers to shop, search and connect with businesses for the things they want. Over 75% of the population in the UK has some kind of mobile device. This number is expected to increase dramatically over the next year, making mobile advertising an easy and important part of every business marketing budget.

Think about it for a second. The average mobile device user typically has his/her cell phone or tablet within reach at all times. It has become second nature to turn to it for just about everything: while in a store shopping, seeking directions, contacting friends and family – the possibilities are endless. Smart phones and tablets have become a necessity in everyday life for most people.

This gives businesses a huge potential for advertising. Mobile advertising is growing rapidly, surpassing even online advertising with a 266% growth last year. Studies show that consumers are using their smart phones and tablets increasingly to make online purchases, preferring the convenience of shopping anywhere at any time. Because of this trend, businesses have begun to realise that online advertising isn’t as effective as it once was and are turning to short, quick ads sent via mobile to reach many people at once. What’s more, it is estimated that 74% of mobile device users will purchase something because of information they received on these devices.

There are many ways mobile advertising can help a business reach its customers. It doesn’t have to be all about sales. For instance, a dance studio might have new classes beginning the following month. With a database full of valuable contacts at its fingertips, the owner can notify all of its customers instantly of the upcoming class schedules. In the same manner, the dance studio might let its customers know of any special deals they are offering. Mobile advertising is all about reaching the largest targeted group of people in the fastest way possible to deliver key information.

Mobile advertising opens the gates for better communication and more satisfied customers. People will trust and return to a company that they feel is offering good deals and is keeping them informed of those deals on a regular basis. Mobile advertising makes it easy for businesses to do this quickly.

Whether your business is selling products or services, mobile advertising can help your company build better relationships with your customers by keeping them updated on current information and deals. Mobile advertising makes it easy for customers to return repeatedly to buy the things they want, any time they want.