All posts by April Heavens- Woodcock

About April Heavens- Woodcock

Author: April Heavens–Woodcock , is the Chief Buzz Officer Touching Clients a Digital Marketing Firm that specializes in strategic online marketing development for businesses. She is passionate about helping businesses grow their bottom line with effective tools. She speaks regularly on social media, email marketing, and marketing around the East Coast.

6 Tips to Grow Your Business using Social Media and Digital Marketing

how social media and digital marketing can grow your business

how social media and digital marketing can grow your business

Finding more customers for your business in 2020 means being present online and having a plan in place to ensure you are visible on social media. To be discovered online you must be aware of the different online channels available to you. Ensuring your business succeeds means knowing exactly how to adapt to these unique demands. Read on for 6 tips to grow your business using social media and digital marketing.

Develop a responsive PR Strategy

 

 

Word travels fast online and being able to tell a story about your business means nothing if you haven’t got the right team to push it out there. Whether you work with an external team or an agency or prefer to keep things in-house. You’ll need experts who can make sure your business is being talked about. Create press releases and teasers for product launches and using your network to reach out to industry-relevant publications.

Top tip: Twitter is an invaluable resource when it comes to getting the word out about your business – but it does depend on your target audience.

 

Build reviews to improve your online reputation

 

Gaining the attention of your customers has never been as easy as it is nowadays. Though there is also more competition than ever before. One way to gain success online, and achieve better visibility in search engine results, is to focus on building your reviews. Whether shopping for a new car or looking for a local restaurant, consumers are accustomed to checking comments left by other customers. Build trust and transparency into your business by generating positive online reviews.

 

Put Videos on social media to inspire new audiences

 

On average, users will watch a Facebook video for just 10 seconds. Social media is a powerful tool. When in the right hands it can transform the way in which potential customers think about your brand. In today’s world of instant gratification, you need to be quick off the mark to capture their attention. An inspirational video with an entertaining twist can be incredibly impactful when shared on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. However it needs to be catchy if you’re going to drive traffic.

 

Is it time to update your website?

 

When it comes to being noticed online your business needs to stand out from the crowd. In order to do this it needs to be cutting-edge. If you’re still plugging away with that website your friend’s brother made for you back in 2006 it might be time to switch things up a little. Get in touch with a web design agency like MintTwist and find out more about the impact a completely new site could have on your business.

 

Invest in SEO for long-term benefits

 

One of the safest ways to grow the traffic coming to your website and encourage more customers to use your business is to invest in SEO. SEO  is the process of improving a website so that it has a better chance of appearing in the organic results of search engines. Make sure you’re incorporating an SEO strategy into your digital marketing plans in order to capitalize on what is essentially free traffic to your website. Be mindful though that SEO is a long game and making improvements will take time.

 

Discover quick wins with PPC

 

While playing the long game and waiting for your SEO efforts to show, it’s a good idea to throw some PPC advertising into the mix. Try targeting those keywords that you really struggle to rank for organically but also aren’t super competitive, and you’ll start driving some focused and relevant traffic to your website fast.

Use these tips to grow your business and you should begin to see results. Read our blog for more business tips.

Social Media Marketing Trends of 2020

Social Media Marketing Trends

Social Media Marketing Trends

Social media and digital marketing go hand in hand, but it’s easy to get social media wrong. Just as with any form of marketing, trends come and go, and what worked for you in 2019 might not be as effective in 2020. From platform changes to consumer preferences, your brand must keep up with the demands of social media marketing. If you want to stay ahead of your competitors and continue focusing on brand growth and building a wider audience, here are the biggest and best trends to be aware of for social media marketing at the start of the new decade.

Say Goodbye to Vanity Metrics

No matter the size of your business or the sector you trade in, vanity metrics need to be avoided. This was highlighted in 2019 when Instagram removed the ‘like’ button. It might seem obvious, but vanity metrics such as the number of likes that a post gets are not providing you with any real value. The goal in 2020 is to look at actionable metrics. Rather than ‘likes,’ look at who is engaging with your brand and how often. Start collecting your data from these interactions.

Digital Detoxing

There are more social media users than ever before, but that doesn’t mean that the numbers remain static. It is becoming increasingly common for consumers to take a break from social media, and that means that they are periodically deleting accounts and apps. This isn’t the same as someone choosing to shut down their Facebook because they want to focus on Instagram. It’s a digital detox that brands need to take into account when thinking about their social marketing strategy. Diversify your digital marketing so that you don’t rely on a single platform or a single marketing method. Always ensure that your content is as high value and meaningful as possible, no matter where you are publishing it.

Audience Segmentation

Social media platforms give you a lot of access to data about your customers. You are going to need that data if you want your business to grow. Audience segmentation is critical in the digital age, and that means that you are going to have to learn as much as possible about collecting, analyzing, and storing the data that you get. Learn as much as you can about data governance so that you start using your data more effectively, breaking down your marketing campaigns so that they appeal to specific demographics. In 2020, there is going to be a clear line between those brands that are using their data and those that ignore it.

Video Content: The New King

If you’re not already using video content in your social media marketing strategy, then you may already be falling behind. Video is fast becoming an essential component of any digital strategy, simply because it’s the type of content that audiences want to consume. On social media, that means uploading your video content straight to the platform or creating a live video that tells the behind the scenes story of your brand. Look at your video options and start embracing the moving image or you risk losing out to your competitors.

Social media is incredibly useful for businesses of all kinds. Never assume that your business model is too small for a strong marketing campaign. Take the time to learn what the big names are doing and keep up with the social media marketing trends as they shift and evolve. Take your time to get your social media marketing right and 2020 could be your year of brand growth. Use your social media in the same way that you always have, and you will be more likely to watch your business falter.

Three Reasons Why Communication is so Vital in Digital Marketing

Communication is vital for digital marketing

Communication is vital for digital marketing

Within all industries, clients are the single most valuable asset for growing and sustaining your business. Quality communication is so vital to reach and retain your target audience, growing soft leads into loyal, long-term customers.

As the digital world evolves, there are new methods of communication emerging daily. Knowing how to use these platforms to your benefit and developing a solid communication strategy is the key to success.

Communication in digital marketing goes beyond just ad content and social media. You can communicate via email marketing, video marketing and website copy as well. But why is communication so vital for the success of digital marketing?

The pillars of digital communication can be broken down into reach, retention and referrals. Developing a high level of communication skills can help your business excel in all three areas. To hone your skills, consider investing in some training via a platform like corporatecoachgroup.com.

Reach

Reach describes your first point of contact with your potential audience. It is during this stage that your target audience becomes aware of your business, and you must grab their interest. Reaching potential clients includes digital marketing through social media, like Instagram or Facebook, and proper use of hashtags to get onto their radar.

Your captions are your opportunity to communicate to consumers who you are, and what you do as a company. Make an impact with your content. It can also include the use of SEO in your web/blog content to ensure you are showing up in online search.

Create relevant content that will resonate with your target audience. Since this is your first communication point, it’s not essential to get into the nitty-gritty of your brand, but it’s the time to spark interest.

The following are methods of communication to grow your reach through digital marketing:
– Instagram/Facebook ads
– Blog content
– Social media posts
– Youtube videos

Retention

Retention is arguably the most essential aspect of digital marketing. You’ve made an impact on your audience with your first point of communication, and turned them into a customer as a result. The next step is to retain them as a loyal follower. You want the client to continue to engage with your brand and purchase more products or services. Constant and genuine communication is vital with your customers and is the key to retention. Let your customers know that you care about them, and that they matter. You also want to stay relevant in their brain, and constant communication is the key to that.

The best methods of communication to encourage retention are:
– Email marketing/newsletters, where you can share new products, how-to guides and other resources.
– Social engagement, replying to comments and questions, answering email messages/social media messages.

Referrals

Referrals are equally as important in digital marketing, and excellent communication ensures that you will experience a constant stream of them. The best marketing tool is word of mouth, and you can encourage this through your digital marketing. Whether that’s setting up a loyalty program for your customers or promoting giveaways, communication places a lead role.

Create content that prompts your followers to share or repost. A popular method is to host giveaways, where you ask your customers to tag friends that might be interested in your product as well. Whichever way you choose, having a stable relationship with your customers will make them want to spread the word about your fantastic company.

Some great methods to encourage referrals via digital marketing are:
– Loyalty program, where customers receive a percentage off or some other reward for referring friends.
– Giveaways on social media. Encourage your followers to tag friends or share content that enters them into a draw to win products/services.

The key to forming lasting relationships with your clients is through communication in digital marketing. Developing your communication skills and adequately implementing them will help you reach, retain and refer quality customers and deliver positive results.

For the success of your business, it’s important to focus on communication and put clients at the forefront of your digital marketing.

 

7 Very Good Reasons to Get an MBA Degree

MBA degree

MBA degree

If you’re an aspiring manager, it’s important that you have the right credentials and experience to help you in the role. The business world can be competitive and tough, so doing all that you can to stand out from the crowd can help when it comes to securing your dream role. To set you off on the right path, you may want to consider studying an MBA degree (Masters of Business Administration) which can increase your salary, help you develop a strong professional network, and potentially allow you to become your own boss. To give you more of an insight, here are 7 popular reasons why people complete an MBA degree.

Develop Management Skills

Most MBA applicants tend to be young business people who have a couple of years’ experience in the business world, however, there are some senior employees who may also apply to study for an MBA. Enrolling on an MBA course can help you develop the skillset needed to keep a business thriving. Some of the most important management skills you will learn include:

  • Improving people management and leadership skills.
  • Networking and creating partnerships or connections.
  • Keeping the businesses finances healthy.
  • Managing tense situations (e.g. public scandals, financial crisis).
  • Developing and selling products and services.

Embarking on an MBA degree forces you out of your comfort zone. Having the opportunity to explore the latest trends in international business, as well as challenging yourself to improve your company, teams, and collaboration can help you on your journey and increase the chances of you securing a managerial position.

Fits Your Exact Goals

There are all sorts of reasons why students decide to complete an MBA degree. Because they have grown in popularity across the globe, many business schools and education providers have curated a wide variety of MBA degrees that specialize in different facets of the business world. These include:

  • Business Management – Regarded as the most popular MBA specialism. This degree is perfect for those who want to work in a versatile business environment.
  • International Business – Suitable for people who want to work overseas, or work in a global organization with offices in various locations.
  • Marketing – Primarily focuses on how to promote products and services effectively to the right audience.
  • Finance – Excellent for bankers and finance managers. This degree focuses on accounting, data analysis, and statistics.

Great Networking Opportunities

Throughout your MBA course, you will be provided with fantastic networking opportunities. Whether it’s engaging with your peers, or teaching staff and professors with years of experience in business management, getting advice from the experts can only be a good thing. The right connections can take you far in business, because after all, in many instances it’s a case of not what you know, but who you know.

Higher Salary

Another benefit that an MBA degree can bring you is an increase in salary. When you take into account that the average income for an MBA graduate is far higher than an employee with a regular Master’s, it’s a no brainer to study for an MBA. Especially as you can expect to earn double the amount that you would receive from a standard university degree. Some of the industries where MBA graduates can expect to earn the most include:

  • Consulting.
  • Technology.
  • Healthcare.
  • Financial Services.

Start Your Own Business

MBA degrees attract many entrepreneurs who are looking to gain the necessary skills and knowledge needed to launch their own startup. If you have a passion for success and an idea that you can’t wait to share with the world, gaining the right qualifications beforehand can get you off to a good start. Engaging with MBA professors who have experience in running a company will be beneficial in the sense that you learn about all the major traps that you must avoid and what you need to do to ensure your company grows and becomes a success.

Great for a Career Change

Many students who study for an MBA decide to either change the industry that they are working in or advance to an administrative or management position. It’s advised to work out what sort of job and industry you would like to go into before applying for an MBA, especially when you factor in the amount of time, effort, and money you will spend on your degree. If you’re aiming high, you will be happy to know that some of the biggest businesses in the world hire MBA graduates, such as:

  • Apple
  • Facebook
  • Microsoft
  • Walt Disney

Flexibility

If you don’t have the time to commit yourself to a traditional course, there is the option to study for your MBA online. Unlike in the past where you would have to move things around or even give up your job to go back into education, many business schools understand that students don’t have the time or finances to give up work. Studying online can be beneficial for all sorts of reasons, including:

  • Flexible schedule and environment.
  • Studying at your own pace.
  • Lower costs and debts.
  • More choice of course topics.

Finding an MBA

Now that you have a better idea of the benefits that come with studying for an MBA degree. You will need to do some research into the courses that are available to ensure you make the right choice. Institutions like Aston University Online offer an online MBA UK that can equip you with the skills and tools you need to go far in the business world. However, before you enrol on a course, and to ensure you’re making the right decision, here are a few steps that you should take:

  1. Do your research into the course specifications.
  2. Establish the fees that your course requires of you.
  3. Contact the provider for more information about the course.
  4. Don’t hesitate to ask questions.

There’s no point beating around the bush – the business world can be tough and hard to get into. With many other candidates in the same position as you, doing all that you can to stand out for all the right reasons is crucial. Therefore, completing an MBA degree can put you one step ahead and help you secure the job of your dreams.

Promoting an Employee from Within Your Digital Marketing Agency: A Guide

Promoting an employee

Promoting an employee

When a demand for a more senior position within your agency presents itself, you will need to decide whether to look for a new employee from the outside or promoting an employee from your already existing talent pool.

Countless business owners have realized the benefits associated with the latter and are opting to give their existing workforce more opportunities for growth and career progression as a result. It leads to reduced costs, a shorter learning curve, and happy, productive and fulfilled employees, after all.

If this is the path that you have decided to follow, here is how to go about it.

Define the new position

Before approaching certain members of your team with a proposition, you need to be certain what attributes you are looking for and exactly what the job description of the new position entails. Highlight aspects such as who the employee will be reporting to, who they will be supervising, as well as what their daily tasks will entail. You should also include information, such as salary and working hours, along with details regarding any additional perks or benefits.

Approach your team

There are two ways to go about this. Firstly, you could opt to approach your team as a whole and encourage any and all interested parties to apply for the promotion. Alternatively, you may decide to hone in on a handful of employees who you personally think would be a good potential fit for the role. There are pros and cons associated with either approach, so be sure to consider both options carefully before deciding which is right for your business.

Conduct initial interviews

Take the time to speak to each potential candidate one on one in order to ascertain why they are interested in the role and why they think they would be the right fit. It is a great opportunity for them to also learn more about what the role is going to encompass and ask any relevant questions that they might have regarding the transition.

Conduct executive assessments

If the main goal is to ensure that you promote the right person, conducting an executive assessment on each potential candidate is the only way to go. An executive assessment revolves around looking into a person’s strengths relating to the position on offer. It will provide greater insight into aspects such as their critical thinking abilities and problem solving prowess.

Furthermore, it involves interviews with professional and experienced consultants, along with comprehensive reporting based on findings and data. From there, the executive assessment company will also usually help you to craft a number of follow up interview questions tailored to each candidate. All of this comes together to help you to make a confident, well-informed promotion.

Make an offer

Once you have made up your mind regarding who to promote, you will need to put a job offer together in the form of a letter. This job offer should outline all of the legalities and procedures surrounding the promotion including when your employee will make the shift and whether or not there will be a probation period. You will also need to craft letters to the other candidates who did not receive the promotion. Try to include helpful advice for future career progression within the company, as well as information regarding why you made the decision that you did. Also, be open to having a discussion with each candidate in person so that they can ask questions about your choice. This can help to ensure that they still feel valued and respected.

From there, it is time to welcome your employee into their new role and support them in any way that you can. If you have adhered to the aforementioned advice, you are almost certain to feel proud and satisfied with your final hiring decision.