Plan your Digital Marketing Plan!

In the fast-paced digital landscape of today, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed with maintaining an online presence – from reels to tiktoks, and blogs to pods, it’s hard to know where to begin (and end!).

Regardless to how bamboozled we might feel with it all, establishing a strong online presence is no longer a luxury but a necessity for businesses of all sizes. Here at Communications Hub, we are firm believers that the most important key to navigating this digital realm effectively is by developing a comprehensive digital marketing strategy.

So, this blog will help you to put together a strategic plan to propel your business towards sustained success!

Digital Marketing Plan

STRATEGIC CLARITY:

A well-crafted digital marketing strategy provides a roadmap for your business. It aligns your marketing efforts with your overall business objectives, ensuring that every online initiative contributes directly to your bottom line. This clarity allows for better resource allocation, preventing wasted time and budget on activities that don’t align with your goals. Get Strategisingagain and again!

TARGETED REACH:

Digital marketing allows you to precisely target your audience. Through tools like social media advertising, search engine optimization (SEO), and content marketing, you can tailor your message to reach specific demographics. This targeted approach not only enhances the efficiency of your campaigns but also ensures that you are reaching the right people at the right time and in the right place. To do this, you must know your audience.

COST-EFFECTIVENESS:

Compared to traditional marketing channels, I’m sure we all know digital marketing is often more cost-effective. With tools like Google Ads and social media advertising, you have greater control over budget and can optimize spending for maximum impact. Additionally, the ability to track and analyze campaign performance in real-time allows for swift adjustments to optimise return on investment. The days of free online advertising are over – a paid ads budget is a must for any business running online campaigns.

BRAND BUILDING AND AWARENESS:

As every business knows, a strong digital presence contributes significantly to brand building and awareness. Consistent messaging across various online platforms helps create a cohesive brand identity. Engaging content, social media interactions, and positive online reviews, can all contribute to building a positive perception of your brand among your target audience. Define your brand voice and stick to it!

DATA-DRIVEN DECISION MAKING:

One of the main advantages of digital marketing is the wealth of data available for analysis. With tools like Google Analytics, you can gain insights into user behavior, campaign performance, and website traffic. This data allows you to make informed decisions, refine your strategy, and continuously improve your marketing efforts for optimal results. Take the guess work out of your online accounts – regularly check your analytics.

FLEXIBILITY AND ADAPTABILITY:

The digital landscape is dynamic, with trends and technologies constantly evolving. A well-thought-out digital marketing strategy equips your business with the flexibility to adapt to these changes. Whether it’s a shift in consumer behavior, a new social media platform gaining popularity (not another one!!), or changes in search engine algorithms. A a strategic approach ensures that your business can navigate these changes with agility. Keep flexing and adapting!!

IMPROVED CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT:

Digital marketing opens up direct channels of communication with your audience. Social media platforms, email marketing, and interactive content, provide opportunities for meaningful engagement. By fostering a two-way conversation with your customers, you can build stronger relationships, gather valuable feedback, and enhance customer loyalty. It also gives your business a unique opportunity to show personality – which in this online world, is vitally important!

    Digital Marketing Plan

    For more information on how we can help you and your business to stand out online, get in touch!

    Karen Twomey MA BSc Works As A Freelance Digital Marketing Consultant, Trainer And Mentor.

    LEO Digital Marketing Mentoring Sessions

    Need some help with your digital strategy? I’m delighted to be running a series of Digital Marketing Group Mentoring Sessions through the Local Enterprise Office South Cork this autumn, entitled Boost your Business Online.

    Communications Hub specialise in the delivery of Digital Marketing Consultancy, Training and Mentoring services.  Much of our work revolves around helping SMEs and Start-ups to successfully launch and grow their business through an understanding of online marketing, brand awareness and digital communication.  Communications Hub is managed by Karen Twomey MA BSc who has a Masters in Public Relations and New Media and over 20 years experience in the areas of business development and marketing.

    Boost your Business Online will run for 1.5 hours per week and be delivered online once a week over a 6 week period. Each session will accommodated up to six participants and cover six different key areas to help businesses to develop and maintain a consistent and strategic digital strategy.

    SESSION ONEIDENTIFYING AND OWNING YOUR ONLINE BRAND
    SESSION TWODEVELOPING A CONTENT MARKETING STRATEGY
    SESSION THREEUNDERSTANDING SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMISATION
    SESSION FOURDEVELOPING A SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING STRATEGY
    SESSION FIVEWEBSITE OPTIMISATION
    SESSION SIXCREATING A DIGITAL MARKETING STRATEGY

    Utilising the information gained over the sessions attendees, will leave with a cohesive and strategic Digital Marketing Strategy for the next 12 months, along with a better understanding of goal setting, budgeting and measuring ROI.

    The sessions will also allow attendees the opportunity to engage, network and share their own experience with a group of like-minded business peers.

    LEO Digital Marketing Mentoring

    Boost your Business Online starts on Friday 29th September from 12 – 1.30pm and runs every Friday over six weeks, finishing on 3rd November. Places are limited so don’t delay!

    For more information on LEO Digital Marketing Mentoring or to book your place see the LEO Cork South.

    Social Media Statistics Ireland 2023

    Roll up, roll up, the figures are in! So, grab yourself a cup of coffee, sit back, and see what’s happening in the world of social media statistics in Ireland for 2023…drum roll please.

    Social Media Statistics Ireland 2023

    According to Datareportal.com there are 4.99 million internet users in Ireland as of January 2023. That represents a whopping 99% of the Irish population! Of those, 79.8 are social media users, with 53.6% being identified as female and 46.4% as male (as of now, social media platforms only publish male/female gender figures).

    If we exclude those who are under 18 year of age, this indicates 91.7% of adults are using social media – that’s a lot of marketing power!

    So, just where are Irish people hanging out on social media for 2023??

    Put your cup down and brace yourself for a shock – according to these statistics, LinkedIn is now one of the most popular social media platform in Ireland with 2.7 million ‘members’, giving your posts the the potential to reach 53.6% of the Irish population.

    Now, I’m not one to say I told you so (nah, I totally am) but I’ve been telling businesses that LinkedIn is the one to watch for a long time now. It’s been steadily gaining popularity, despite its lack of challenges and filters, and is an excellent platform for promoting both yourself and your business.

    I think its no-nonsense and ‘quality over quantity’ style posts appeal to many, especially as so many other platforms have become increasingly spammy and loud. Speaking of good quality LinkedIn posts…come follow me!

    Next up is the old reliable, Facebook. Maintaining its strong presence both worldwide and in Ireland with 49.6% of the Irish population having accounts. 54.2% of these are female, while 45.8% are male.

    Facebook continues to offer one of the best opportunities to reach a middle-aged plus audience online, being one of the more ‘mature’ social media platforms. It can also offer excellent marketing and engagement opportunities, especially for local businesses, with two-thirds of users reporting they visit a local businesses Facebook page at least once a week (Hootsuite, 2021).

    Social Media Statistics Ireland 2023

    Instagram is managing to hang onto its lead over TikTok as per January’s figures – but just about! 45.6% of Irish people have Instagram accounts v 42.6% with TikTok accounts. Both platforms attract more female users, 58.1% and 56.2% respectively, than male users.

    In my experience, Instagram continues to be a hugely popular platform for businesses and is very much the main focus for many in terms of their content creation and marketing. That said, there is little doubt that TikTok is swiftly closing in on Instagram’s target demographic and it’s definitely the one to watch for 2023. Personally, I’m still not overly enamored with it…but then again, I am old.

    Last but not least, 33.7% of the Irish population are still clinging onto their Twitter accounts – in spite of Elon Musk’s best efforts to get them to leave (whoops, did I just say that out loud?).

    According to their own figures, over 60% of users are male, making it, along with LinkedIn, one of the few male dominated social media platforms. That said, Twitters figures are about as reliable as its posts these days. Over and out!

    Karen Twomey MA BSc works as a freelance digital marketing consultant, trainer and mentor. For more information on how Communications Hub can help your business get in touch.

    Professional versus Influencer

    …And the blurred line! In the middle of a mentoring session this week, just as I was extolling the virtues of Instagram, the client stopped my train of thought with this great question:

    I’m a professional, not an influencer…how do I keep that line while still promoting myself online?

    Influencer Marketing

    Over the last few days, I’ve been mulling the answer to this question over and over in my mind. It’s such a valid question and I’m surprised that I haven’t thought more about it. It’s a common worry for many of my clients, but is often expressed more in terms of a wish to keep professional life separate from their personal life.

    Let’s start with a look at how the roles of professional and influencer are defined:

    According to the Oxford Dictionary, a professional is someone who does a job that needs special training and a high level of education.

    A professional in a particular field conforms to the technical and ethical standards of that profession. They go through a defined period of training aimed at acquiring a skill that will be applied to solve a problem, generally in exchange for payment.

    According to the Influencer Marketing Hub , An influencer is someone who has the power to affect the purchasing decisions of others because of his or her authority, knowledge, position, or relationship with his or her audience.

    Influencers are usually hired and paid according to their degree of impact on the population (or target market of the company). This generally equates to their number of followers and likes/views that they have on social media.

    They trade their experiences and lifestyles for visibility. The more visible they are, the more money they are paid to advertise a product, be a brand ambassador, and many other #perks!

    Professionals on the other hand, are hired to offer a particular skill for which they have trained and obtained a certificate of learning. They have to acquire a skill and prove that they master it by practicing it over a prolonged period of time. The longer their experience, the more expensive their service generally becomes.

    And therein for me lies the difference – a professional is paid to authenticate a product/service, whereas an Influencer is paid to solely promote it. It’s a very important difference, when you really think about it…and unfortunately, many people really don’t anymore.

    So how do you define that line between professional and influencer in your own businesses marketing?

    I think most people in business now appreciate the need to show personality and to build their brand’s story. This usually involves sharing some element of our personal lives – maybe our dog, our hobbies, or sharing our social causes and beliefs. And it nearly always involves putting our face and voice online, particularly in this age of stories, reels and Tiktoks.

    There are a few key things that businesses can do to help them define themselves as professionals, while still being engaging and showing personality:

    • Use your website and social media bio to promote your qualifications and experience.
    • Deal in fact only – back up your opinions with your professional learnings.
    • Don’t get caught up in fads. Stick to what promotes both your business and personal ethos most authentically (maybe say pass to the latest Tiktok challenge!).
    • Worry about your clients, not the general masses. It’s business you want to attract, not likes and follows.

    Despite the differences between professional and influencer, there’s an increasingly blurry line at times. Many professionals are now also influencers, and many do a great job at merging both to educate and engage with target markets. There can be a lot of value in that. But I do think it’s important for a professional to decide where the line is for them and, of course, that will vary from person to person.

    So I was glad when my client raised that question this week. It’s definitely something I needed to be more aware of and to address more often with clients, especially in this ever-changing world of social media marketing and those blurry lines between work and life.

    My final pointer to professionals is to believe in yourself – sounds obvious, but a lot of us get intimidated by Influencers. Don’t be, their job is different to yours! Those who have done a course with me will know that one of my favorite sayings in digital marketing is ‘Likes are for vanity, engagement for sanity’. That’s a mantra I live by – and I’d strongly advise you do too!

    Influencer Marketing
    Karen Twomey MA BSc works as a freelance digital marketing consultant, trainer and mentor. For more information on how Communications Hub can help your business get in touch.

    Karen Twomey – An introduction!

    I think like most businesses, mine evolves and grows with every year that passes- and so too do my services. So let me take time to reintroduce myself, Karen Twomey!

    After lots of years of focusing on delivering training in all areas of digital marketing, both online and in-person, I’ve found myself doing more one-to-one work over the last few months. This has mostly taken the form of consultancy and mentoring…and I have to say, I love it!

    Karen Twomey

    There’s a lot of value that can be added to a business, whether you’re a start-up or existing brand, by investing in an hour or two of one-to-one digital marketing consultancy. Here at Communications Hub we can tailor-make an online marketing plan to suit your time, skills and needs, and focus on the key digital platforms that will ensure the best return on your time. So whether it’s Twitter or TikTok, we’re here to help and guide you through.

    So, if you’d like to know more about Karen Twomey and what Communications Hub can do for you, check out this short video I’ve put together or come say hello on LinkedIn! And after that – get in touch!

    Karen Twomey works as freelance Digital Marketing Consultant, Trainer and Mentor with businesses, social enterprises and community groups. For more information on any of our services see www.communicationshub.ie or email karen@communicationshub.ie

    Social Media Statistics Ireland 2022

    As we March on through 2022 (get it?!) we’re slowly starting to emerge from the Covid cloud into our new normality. Most businesses are now back operating, albeit in a more hybrid-model for many, and there is a sense of ‘back to business’ in general.

    We can’t however underestimate the impact of covid, not just on life, of course, but also on business and marketing. There have been some huge shifts in the approach to sales, communications and connectivity, over the last two years, the impact of which will surely be carried forward for both business and customer.

    So, just what is the outlook of social media usage in Ireland in 2022?

    It shouldn’t come as any surprise that Facebook is still the number one social media platform, not just in Ireland, but around the world. Almost 76% of Irish people aged between 16 – 65 years old are now Facebook users.

    Social Media Statistics Ireland 2022

    Next up is another of the Meta family – Instagram! Instagram continues to enjoy steady growth in popularity year on year, with almost 65% of Irish people now having accounts.

    FYI Meta now own the top 4 social channels in Ireland, including WhatsApp (84.6% of population are users) and Facebook Messenger (65.9% of population are users). Now that’s what you call a Metaverse!

    Here’s how use of the remaining social media platforms stands in Ireland as of January 2022. No major changes from the previous 12 months, except a significant growth in TikTok users – as predicted!

    Whatever your social media platform of choice may be, one thing is certain – having both a presence and an understanding of social media is vital for business in 2022.

    The impact of covid has forced both businesses and customers online in huge numbers over the last two years. A recent KPMG study found that 68% of Irish consumers do more online shopping now, than before the pandemic. The research also found that consumers are increasingly demanding a multi-channel approach from businesses, whatever their size.

    So, if you’re running any type of organisation in 2022, there is an expectation to not only be online, but to have a presence on multiple platforms. Having professional and well thought out social media platforms, which are regularly updated, are now essential for reaching your customer. Time to get posting, reeling, tiktoking – or maybe just contacting us for some social media training!!

    For more information on how you can make your social media marketing stand out, contact Communications Hub

    Social Media Training
    www.communicationshub.ie

    Digital Marketing Courses 2022

    Looking to improve you digital marketing and social media skills for 2022? Look no further!

    I’m delighted to once again be delivering a selection of Digital Marketing and Social Media Training courses online through Nightschool.ie

    The first course on offer is the 10 week QQI L5 Digital Marketing course which will start on Monday 31st January and will be delivered through live online classes. This programme module aims to equip the learner with the knowledge, skill and competence to develop and execute digital marketing strategies and activities using a range of e-tools within a range of digital marketing contexts. It would be of interest particularly to those who own a business, who are starting a business, marketing professionals, or anyone managing a corporate website. For more information or to sign up see this link

    nightschool.ie

    Next up is our 4 week Social Media for Business course which aims to equip the learner with the knowledge, skill and competence to develop and execute digital marketing campaigns on social media. The platforms covered include Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok and LinkedIn. We will also look at creating Marketing Plans and tips for Content Creation for online use. This course is again delivered online and will start on Thursday 3rd February. For more information see here

    And, of course it’s not just all about me – Nightschool.ie offers a wide range of courses in all areas of business, childcare, computing, healthcare, languages and all types of hobbies to suit any kind of New Year resolution!

    For more information on any of the above courses or to discuss your individual training requirements (Communications Hub provide tailor-made training packages in all things digital marketing) be sure an get in touch

    nightschool.ie

    IRD Lunch & Learn Sessions

    Communications Hub are delighted to have teamed up with IRD Duhallow CLG to deliver a series of Lunch and Learn sessions on all things Digital Marketing!

    The sessions start on 10th November with ‘Creating a Marketing Plan for your Business’. This practical course will cover conducting market research, knowing your audience, identifying marketing goals and how to measure the return on investment. It will offer a great foundation stone for any business to built a good online presence for the months ahead!

    The second session runs on 17th November and will look at ‘Content Creation for Social Media’. We’ll look at best practice for online content, including SEO, hashtags and engaging audiences. We’ll also cover various apps which can be used to help in your content creation including images, infographics and videos. As the saying goes ‘Content is King’ and this workshop will certainly help your business to connect and engage in the busy online market.

    IRD Lunch and Learn

    Session three will delve into ‘Promotion and Selling on Facebook’ and takes place on 24th November. This workshop will look at Targeting posts and adverts, Linking products and services and Creating facebook shops/services tabs. Everything you need to help your business make an impact on Facebook!

    The series of Lunch & Learn workshops will finish off on December 1st with ‘Promotion and Selling on Instagram’. This practical course will look at best practice for Targeting posts, stories and reels, Creating targeted adverts, creating Instagram shops and linking produces or services. A great opportunity to up your #Insta game!

    All of the Digital Marketing Workshops take place online from 1pm to 2pm and cost just €10 per person. What a great opportunity to upskill while you lunch and just in time for the new year!

    For more information on any of the courses contact Monica on monica.gilmore@irdduhallow.com or 029 60633.

    Karen Twomey of Communications Hub works as a freelance Digital Marketing Consultant, Trainer and Mentor. For more information on any of our services see our website.

    Twitter Fleets and Why They Failed!

    You may have noticed Twitter Fleets tiptoeing off quietly into the dead of the night early this month….or perhaps, you didn’t.

    Twitter introduced its Fleet function, designed to be a version of Stories (content which disappears after 24 hours), back in November 2020. There was much fanfare to its launch and Twitter heavily pushed the feature over the following months.

    Unfortunately, much like Sisyphus, the legendary King of Corinth, Twitters heroic pushing of Fleets, ultimately lead nowhere…

    The platform quietly shelved the feature on 3rd August due to the lack of uptake in user activity.

    The lesson we can learn from this is that it’s often best not to blindly jump on the bandwagon when it comes to communicating with our customers online. Sometimes it’s easy to give into the temptation of ‘keeping up with the Joneses’, or trying to change who we are to appeal to those who ultimately may not be our target audience.

    So, before deciding where and how to promote your business online – ask yourself the following:

    1. Who are my target audience?
    2. Where do they hang out online?
    3. What type of content do they engage most with?
    4. Is my online profile/content a good reflection of the image I want to promote?

    And finally, don’t try to be something you’re not…not everyone was made to be a TikTok sensation!

    Karen Twomey works as a freelance Digital Marketing Consultant helping businesses to put together targeted and effective marketing strategies, as well as offering one-to-one and group training sessions in all things digital marketing. For more information see www.communicationshub.ie or email karen@communicationshub.ie