Whilst corporate and enterprise business often have internal departments that look after their marketing, PR and social media, small to medium businesses are often scattered in their approach to marketing.

Digital media and social platforms take time to create content for, as well as managing communications. Whilst larger brands might create a digital strategy for the month and deal with individual campaigns for events, smaller businesses often try to do the work themselves when they can fit it in, or when they can find a person to do it for them.

A key to digital advertising and branding is consistency. Whilst my own consistency of work output for my socials and web is sometimes scattered, I help and advise my clients to ensure their content is consistently created, and constantly analysed and improved upon.

This is often why brands choose to outsource their social media and digital advertising – its takes time and consistency.

Having a plan and then implementing it.

To stay consistent in your approach to social media and digital marketing, creating a plan for the future works great. Creating a fortnightly or monthly plan of attack for your advertising and campaigns keep you tracking in the right direction.

This could include all different platforms of advertising and outreach including TV, radio and socials.

Once this is in place, you can start working on the content needed for each day such as photo and video posts, live stream scripts and organising merchandise or media needed for a specific campaign.

Having a plan is great, knowing it is working is even better.

Doing something with your social media and digital presence is already better than doing nothing. Having a plan of attack is a great start, but are you doing good for your brand or just wasting time?

This is where analytics and reporting come in to play. The beauty of digital advertising today is being able to analyse your audience, seeing the demographics of people interacting with your brand and even your competitors, and identifying where your search traffic is coming from.

With so many different ways to interact with brands these days like smartphones and voice search, smart home devices and social platforms, we need to identify our strengths when it comes to being found, and our content being seen and engaged with.

Using the data that is given to us via Facebook and Instagram, Google, YouTube and the platforms we use, allow us to make reports that make sense of this data.

Once we have the data we can rework our monthly plan to create content that will work better on the platforms that are engaging, as well as boosting content at the times and in locations that are identified as best engaging.

It does take time to do it right.

Besides creating the content and analysing the data, we need to also ensure that our digital marketing is not attracting too much negative branding. I call this reputation management.

Too often than not, brands post content without following up to comments and messages. This not only hurts the way your post gets engagement as platform algorithms see you as non-responsive, but also hurts your brand’s reputation.

Reviews and testimonials are user generated content. Content that tells others about an experience with your business. This can outweigh what you have said about your brand and your staff. People will look at other’s opinions before interacting or dealing with your business. This is where trust can be built, but also taken away. So it is very important to ensure you manage it correctly.

Social media and digital advertising can be very beneficial to a brand, as well as opening a new and wider appealing channel of communication.

As people get busier, and the marketplace gets more crowded, brands need to be where their customers are, and be responsive when they reach out via digital media.

It can be very time consuming, and this is where an agency or internal department can work full time on branding, social media content, digital marketing campaigns, and reputation management.

If your business does not have time to do all this, or you have someone doing the role who is swamped by all the tasks, I would most definitely recommend outsourcing your social media and digital advertising to a freelancer or digital marketing agency. Why?

Because they can not only focus on your branding and give an external perspective not governed by your internal opinions, but they also are competing to keep your business on their books. This makes them accountable, as well as just providing a service.

Outsourcing this work can also be cost effective as long as you micromanage their work. This means getting bi-monthly or monthly reports on progress, having a monthly calendar of campaigns, and regularly meeting in person or virtually to go over current issues and upcoming actions.

Set it up right from the start.

One of the important factors that needs addressing from the start is a contract between you and the person who will be doing the work.

As they are an external agency or contractor, you need to ensure they have your brand’s best intentions at the core of their work, and the content they deliver or post, needs to also portray your company’s values and standards.

You also should be clear on what you expect in terms of output, the platforms you choose to work on, and the data you receive about everything that is worked on.

My biggest recommendation in regard to working with an agency or contractor is to give it time. The digital and social world takes time to work. I believe 3 months is a magic number for digital campaigns. This includes social media, digital ads and search engine optimisaton. After this time, you should be seeing some regular results.

Canning the service before this time, often means you have paid for setup fees and campaigns to be started, but did not get to the point of seeing results. Wait it out. Don’t jump to the next shiny thing. Watch the reports, look for the small signals that show the work is being done, and you are headed towards a result that will be more engagement, leads or traffic.

The shameless plug

I have worked with clients on projects for social media, websites, e-commerce stores, search engine ranking and more.

My services run through my business DriveSocial, and I work from client sites or my home office. I make a point of reducing my overhead costs which I can pass on to my clients in the form of cheaper rates.

Whilst I can create campaigns that are just like your competitors, I do prefer to focus on first analysing your audience, your past customers, and your ideal customer. Then creating ideas and campaigns on applicable platforms that will get in front of this audience.

We then work on creating more engagement, and finally more leads that convert to sales.

I offer a variety of ways to create this traffic, but my preference and recommendation to most business owners or managers is that you work on the long game. For me, that means search and social.

Both search engine optimisation work and social media organic content is a create and keep media. It doesn’t stop when a budget runs dry. Unlike digital ads, you can slowly keep building this content up, and it will stay there and keep delivering results. Of course, results will taper as time goes on, but it also means you can have a month or two without new costs and you still have active content.

Not sure what I mean by this? Let’s have a chat about it. Fill in the form below, or contact me via messenger.

Last but not least, think about what you are currently spending and where, and the results you are getting from this. If they are not where you think they should be, it might be worth sitting down with me over a coffee (or web meetup) to discuss options and ideas to increase engagement, trust and results.

Please, if you know of a business, a manager or employee that would benefit from my support, share this article with them, or post it to your social media page. Sharing is caring. Thanks for reading all the way to here, you rock!

Happy marketing.

Dave out.

 

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