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.

    TikTok for Business

    Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last 12 months (as opposed to just being stuck in your house), you’ll have have noticed the explosion of TikTok onto the Irish social media scene.

    Most of us have passed Lockdown being entertained by an abundance of TikTok challanges, dances and skits – and we’ve loved it! Other social media platforms are scrambled to get in on the craze, most notably Instagram, with their version of TikTok called Reels.

    But fun aside, what value can TikTok add to business and should it now form part of your social media strategy?

    Your first consideration – as with any social media platform – should be ‘Is my audience on TikTok?’ If not, don’t waste your time (don’t let that stop you TikTok’ing on your own time, if that’s your vibe!).

    The largest demographic of TikTok users is between the ages of 16 and 24. But don’t let that fool you into thinking TikTok is just a fad for Generation Z. Since its launch in 2018, TikTok has evolved from a video-creation app solely meant for users to express their creativity to a marketing and advertising option….because as we know, where users flock, businesses soon follow.

    TikTok is different to other social media platforms in that it allows accounts to connect using video in bite-sized pieces of snappy and engaging content. TikTok allows video to be delivered exactly as it should be online.

    TikTok for Business

    2020 has seen an influx of politicians, celebrities, influencers and businesses turn to TikTok to try to enhance their reach and engagement. And to look cool, of course. The algorithm workings of the platform are still a bit of a mystery, but here are some tips to help your business get started:

    1. Put Your Creative Hat On

    TikToks users are young and they like fun! Content should be real and light hearted. If you’re struggling to come up with original content, take part in hashtag challenges or trending dances and songs.

    2. Get Started!

    TikTok is not for wall flowers – dive straight in and start creating your own videos! If you’re not sure where to begin, look at what others are doing.

    Videos can be 15 or 60 seconds and you can add music and effects to the finished project. You can also speed up the video, trim it and edit in real-time. And don’t forget to play around with the dozens of available filters (you’ll find all these on the menu to the right hand side).

    3. Share Your Video

    Before going live you can add the following to your post:

    • Type a description for your video.
    • Add hashtags.
    • @ your friends.
    • Add links.
    • Decide who can see the video.
    • Save the video to an album.

    You can also choose to share your video to WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook – tik, tik, tik!

    4. Advertise

    Advertising is still a growing concept on TikTok, in particular for small brands. Here are some options available:

    Brand takeovers: These ads appear in the user’s feed before they see any other user content. They’re linkable to the advertiser’s landing page and are exclusive to different categories. Basically, only one ad can show in that slot for the specific category per day.

    Native ads: These video ads play between user content. They can be between 9 and 15 seconds long and include buttons. However, users can skip or scroll past these ads.

    Sponsored hashtag challenges: Hashtag challenges are a big deal on TikTok. When there’s a new challenge on the Discover page, millions of users can see it and join in. Your business can pay to sponsor a hashtag challenge and obtain a custom banner across the Discover page. When users tap it, they’re taken to videos that your team creates explaining and demonstrating the challenge, all while promoting your brand.

    Branded lenses: Design a TikTok filter related to your business. Users can select the lens when choosing a filter for their video and it’s live for 10 days. The lens is automatically included in the top 10 trending list and it comes in 2D and 3D. TikTok is currently working on an AR version.

    So that’s a quick introduction to getting started on TikTok. According to Ipsos MRBI TikTok was the fasted growing social media platform in Ireland in 2020 and its dominance of the market for the younger audience seems to be here to stay…until the next big thing, at least!

    For more information on helping your business to stand out online, contact karen@communicationshub.ie

    Forget Control, The Web Is In Charge

    Today’s news is tomorrow’s fish and chip paper….

    or so the saying goes.  These old words of wisdom were often used to console those on the receiving end of unwelcome publicity. The next day would bring a new headline, and the world would move on. Well, not anymore.  The invention of new media has brought about some new words of wisdom and we’d all do well to remember them…

    What goes online, stays online.

    The World Wide Web has been around for almost thirty years now, and during that time has undergone a number of re-births.  It has evolved from Web 1.0 which merely ‘pushed out’ information, to Web 2.0 which allowed for two-way communication.  According to Dr. Jim McNamara in his 2007 article New Media: How Web 2.0 is changing the world, “Web 2.0 refers to a second generation of internet-based services, the key attributes of which are that they allow openness for collaboration and high levels of interactivity without requiring programming skills”.  In terms of the public relations profession, this change in technology shifted the onus of online communications from IT professionals to PR professionals.

    Dr McNamara notes the key challenge in learning how best to utilise the internet is that most of what is written is out of date by the time it’s published.  And true to this, we have now seen the emergence of Web 3.0, a phrase first coined by John Markoff of the New York Times in 2006.  Web 3.0 refers to an ‘intelligent web’ which allows machines to do the thinking, instead of just following commands.  It seems likely we will just be coming to terms with the workings of Web 3.0, when Web 4.0 will emerge, offering new and more exciting methods of communication.

    These changes in technology pose enormous challenges for those working in public relations.  Everything has changed, from media monitoring and analysis to media relations and corporate communications.  Media now includes bloggers, podcasters, chatroom hosts, citizen journalists and many more.  Public relations must strive to communicate in a manner appropriate to each and ensure key messages are still reaching target audiences.

    A 1996 report on the issues facing communication professionals, Managing the Information Superhighway, said that the role of public relations within an organisation is to act as coordinators or integrators to ensure that the material located on the internet fits the organisation’s image.  The World Wide Web may have evolved since 1996, but the role of the public relations profession still remains the same.

    Every one of an organisation’s stakeholders is now a potential communicator, and every one of them holds the ability to affect the organisation’s brand.  According to Heidi Cohen (2014), President of Riverside Marketing Strategies, given the widespread corporate social media use, it is surprising that businesses continue to make the same mistakes that get them into trouble with their customers and their public. She believes such failings point to a ‘hole’ in social media strategies.  Cohen recommends providing social media training and guidelines to all employees to empower them to participate in social media and represent their organisation in a way that takes into consideration the implications of the content used and how it may be interpreted by different backgrounds and perspectives.

    As we make our way through this era of fast moving technology, those who work in public relations need to accept that they cannot control the internet.  Only when they accept this, can they truly begin to formulate an effective digital plan on behalf of an organisation.

    For more information on implementing an effective online communications strategy for your company contact Communications Hub.

    Why Your Business Needs to be on LinkedIn

    When it comes to LinkedIn, I’ll admit I’m a relative newcomer…but like most people who discover things later in life that they enjoy, I’ve taken to it with gusto.

    In fact, it’s swiftly becoming one of my favorite social media platforms.  And, I’m not alone.  According to IPSOS MRBI Social Networking Quarterly, LinkedIn registered a 5% increase in Irish users from September 2015 to January 2016.

    With almost 30% of Irish professionals now having accounts, LinkedIn is becoming the social network of choice for those looking to build professional connections and showcase their skills.  And where the online masses venture…businesses quickly follow.

    The benefits of LinkedIn in business are multi-faceted.  Not only is it the natural place to attract and headhunt for top class staff, but it also provides invaluable opportunities for B2C and B2B networking. Best of all, it offers companies an opportunity to grow their brands in an affordable, flexible and interesting way.

    Still not convinced?

    Here are even more benefits of having a company profile on LinkedIn:

    • Makes a brand more credible.
    • Improves SEO.
    • Helps personalise a brand.
    • Showcases products and services.
    • Targets specific audiences.
    • Allows for customer interaction.

    While Facebook and Twitter may still be the more popular social media platforms in Ireland, those on LinkedIn (over 300 million worldwide) are there for a completely different reason – to grow and promote themselves and their business.

    To really impact online, LinkedIn must form part of a social media strategy for Irish companies.  Regardless to the size of your business, maintaining a well-managed LinkedIn page will boost your company’s profile and ultimately, your business will reap the benefits.

    For more information on social media strategies for your business, contact Communications Hub today.

    Communications Hub
    (business2community.com)

    Five tips for advertising on Instagram

    With over 300 million users worldwide, Instagram is one of the fastest growing and most relevant social media platforms today. So why do businesses still not use it as a means of marketing and connecting with their clients? 

    Communications Hub
    (thestudentblogger.co.uk)

    The simple answer is they are unsure how best to use Instagram. Once businesses do start strategically using the picture based social media platform, the vast majority see an instant increase in interaction and referrals to their websites.

    So here are some simple tips to help you on your #Instajourney.

    • Use images/videos that not only sell a product, but sell your brand – who you want to be and the vibe you want to create.
    • Post content at least once a week (of the Interbrand Top 100 Brands 86 are Instagram users and 73% of these post at least once a week).
    • Keep it short and sweet.  Under 140 characters is a good guide and has the added bonus of being Twitter compatible.
    • Hashtag clever.  Check out what hashtags competitors are using. Think about the audience you want to reach and the action you want them to take.  There are no limits to the number of hashtags you can use, but seven or less would be a good guide.
    • Connect.  Research has shown that posts which tag other users experience 56% more engagement.  While posts that tag a location earn 79% more engagement.

    And finally,  don’t be afraid to experiment.  Instagram is the home of creative content with posts showing everything from holiday destinations to homemade baking.  Work out a formula that works for your brand and your followers and, if you’re not already including Instagram in your marketing strategy, get doing it now.  #Instagram #Instamarketing #Instafun

    Contact Communications Hub for more information on how to effectively market your brand on social media.