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3 Super-Simple Marketing Planning Steps (and free templates)

 

Embrace simple and get it done. That’s the best advice I have when it comes to creating and executing your plan for marketing your business. While there are tons of ways to complicate this, there are a few easy steps to follow when “simple and done” are the goal. If you’ve been overwhelmed (and who hasn’t?) by all the options and to-do lists, you’re going to love this approach.

I promise.

Disclaimer: This process is super simple. That doesn’t mean it won’t take some focus and time. Put 30 minutes on your calendar at least once a week and make this a priority. Simple? Yes. Magic? No. At least, not yet.

Super-simple step one: Get your ideas out of your head. Many of us are idea machines. We think of so many things that we don’t know what to do first. If that’s you, then the first step is getting the ideas for your marketing out of your head and into a format you can refer to later and add to often.

Use the “Your Ideas” template if you’re a pen and paper person, or use your favorite app. The technology doesn’t matter.

If you fall into the “I have no ideas” category, then use your first 30 minutes to brainstorm.  Start here:

  • What would you love to tell people about your industry?
  • What are common myths or misconceptions that need busting or correcting?
  • The last time you were inspired—what did you do, and what happened next?
  • What have your learned from your clients/customers?
  • Where is the best way to meet/reach your ideal clients?
  • What events are strategic for you this year?
  • What trends are you loving/sick of?  

Super-simple step two: Create a plan. Since we’re not going to complicate this, I’ve made a “Your Year” template you can download and keep handy. Start filling in the months with events, promotions, and campaigns. Don’t forget any seasonal times that occur in your business.

Some of you may be thinking…

“That’s all fine and dandy, but I don’t have campaigns; I’m not sure what to promote, and don’t even get me started when it comes to events!”

I hear you. Since we’re all about simple, just start with the next month or quarter. Is it back-to-school time, or the snowy days of winter? What events are happening that drive activity? If you’re still stuck, just look at the next month and start there. Review your idea list and find something that resonates with you. Use that as your focus for the month. (If you are feeling extra organized, then you can go a step further by mapping out your weeks in detail using the “Your Month” template here.)

Super-simple step three: Now that you’ve got a focus, it’s time to execute. How do you reach your audience? By sharing information where they are. Showing up in their email, their Facebook feed, at events they attend, etc. Write a blog post, tape a video, record a podcast, attend an event, or even better, be the speaker at the event.

Hint: It’s not necessary to do everything. It is necessary to do one or two things really well – and BE CONSISTENT!

Do what’s natural and easy for you. Not a writer? Then use voice-to-text. Don’t let technology (or lack thereof) keep you from sharing the information with your audience. I know someone who launched an entire business writing advice in Facebook posts. It’s not my go-to recommendation, but if that’s all you’ve got right now, then use it!

Rinse and repeat. It really is that simple.

Like most things in life, it gets easier when you know how. It also becomes part of your daily flow if you schedule the time to get it done. If you need more customers, you can’t NOT do this. If you’ve got more clients than you can handle, then hire someone to do it for you.

Ready? Let’s go!

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5 Reasons You Should Be Using Facebook Live Video

Unless you’ve been ignoring Facebook over the past year, you’ve probably noticed the proliferation of videos in your feed with the launch of Facebook LIVE video. Originally, rolled out for “verified” accounts only, then to business pages, Facebook LIVE video is available now to everyone.

What is it?  Facebook LIVE video is an easy way to record and share a video in real time using the Facebook platform. It is a fairly simple three-step process that instantly puts you live in front of your fans and friends and gives them the opportunity to react and engage with you while you are recording.

Not convinced it’s for you? Here are 5 reasons why you should consider using Facebook LIVE video:

1) Using Facebook LIVE video provides you a way to quickly and easily engage with your audience, clients and fans. They get an opportunity to see you live, hear your voice, get a sense of your personality, tone and approach and brings your brand to life. They can ask questions and react to what you are sharing so you can also know what is resonating with them.

2) You don’t have to write and your fans don’t have to read. In this media saturated, short-attention span world, your Facebook LIVE video instantly goes right to the matter, event, subject or topic without having to craft some perfected blog post or newsletter. Even better, you can use it in your blog post and newsletter like I have done here.

3) Facebook LIVE video gives you the opportunity to bring your audience into your world and give them a behind-the-scenes look at what you or your business is doing. This is a critical part of telling your story and helping people to understand more about you and your business. That exclusive

4) Facebook helps you promote your video. While you are LIVE recording, Facebook works on your behalf to let your fans and others know that you are LIVE and encourage them to tune in while you are LIVE. It typically shows up as notifications. Facebook also wants more people using Facebook video, so it tends to push video up into others feeds to increase or improve engagement.

5) It is so very easy to now create video content, not only to use on the Facebook platform but also to share across other online marketing platforms. Yes, there are a few things you can do to optimize your video process, but in its basic form like the video included here, it is as easy as 1-2-3 GO.

So what are you waiting for? Let’s figure out how Facebook LIVE can work for you and let me know in the comments below how you are using Facebook LIVE or share your videos here. I’ll see you LIVE soon.

Your 2016 Holiday Online Marketing Tips

The year’s not over yet just because the holidays are upon us!

Family get-togethers, feasts, and fun are right around the corner, but don’t close up shop yet! Just because you are doing business online doesn’t mean you can’t prepare for a nice year-end boost.  Here are a few tips for online marketing during the holidays.

How to Create a Holiday Marketing Campaign: A Step-by-Step Guide  – Hubspot
It’s not too late to plan a holiday marketing campaign. Hubspot offers this guide with everything you need to launch one. There are offer templates, free holiday-themed stock images, and resources designed to get your campaign up and running right away.

2016 Holiday Tips Mailchimp
40 tips to make the most of your holiday marketing. With special tips for email marketing focused on promotional calendar planning, segmenting, integrating with social media, using split-testing, and more.

Facebook’s 5 Social Media Marketing Ideas for the 2016 Holiday SeasonInc.
The top social media marketing strategies you ought to try, including viral content, tips for Black Friday, and more.

Plan now - for a better next year - event

Create A Step-by-Step Plan for Marketing Your Business Next Year

Are  you overwhelmed at the thought of a marketing your business next year?

Do you wonder if your marketing efforts with your website, email list and social media are effectively reaching “your” audience?

With 2017 right around the corner, wouldn’t you love to plan out your online marketing priorities for the year and know exactly what’s coming and how to make it happen?

NOW is the ideal time to ensure you start the new year off right!

On Friday, November 11th join me and Kate Schell of Digital Marketing Momma for a LIVE in-person workshop as we breakdown the 4 major areas of overwhelm and confusion that most entrepreneurs face in marketing their businesses online.

In this 3-hour hands-on planning workshop, we will help you:

  1. Identify Your Ideal Audience – do you know who you are talking to/trying to reach?

• Who is your target audience?

• do they want and need from you?

• What does the marketplace look like?

 

  1. Create a Marketing Calendar – it’s time to get dates and deadlines on your calendar NOW!

• Using worksheets we will clearly define your business goals so you know the end results you are working towards

• Plan out your work/life calendar to see when you can plan key dates, campaigns and promotional opportunities and give yourself the space to prepare and create.

• Determine what your primary marketing efforts should be. This will help you focus solely on the places and opportunities that will generate engagement and revenue.

• Understand what resources you will need based on your goals. By creating this list you will not have to scramble last minute.

 

  1. Identify the Most Engaging Content – what is the ideal information you want to share or promote using your online marketing?

• Brainstorm ideas for what the most compelling, engaging and valuable information you can be sharing with your target audience.

• Narrow down and prioritized the most effective and efficient way to develop/create/curate your content marketing.

• Get a complete list of popular programs and resources to use to help your content creation and curation easy and fast.

 

  1. Develop a Content Strategy Plan – so you know what to do when for the entire year!

• Map out your content calendar.

• Learn how to determine the right time to post and how best to connect with the right people for your business.

• Plan how to review and measure your marketing efforts to find areas that work and areas that need improvement, so you know where to spend more or less time, money & resources.

After this workshop, you will walk away with a clearer understanding, strategy and plan of how to reach your ideal audience as well as the steps and tools you need to do so to rock your business next year!

What are you waiting for? Register now (and get the discounted rate before November 4th) as there will be limited seating to keep this as interactive, dynamic workshop as possible.

 

Date:    November 11th, 9:00am – 12:30pm
Where: Stamford Innovation Center
           175 Atlantic St, Stamford, CT 06901

Cost:
$99 -discount price before November 4th
$149 – regular price after November 4th

 

REGISTER NOW!

 

Interested in the event, but can’t attend due to date or location? Let me know by email as we will be planning a virtual workshop soon.

How To Write a Blog Quickly

How To Write a Blog Quickly

Here’s some great advice from my friend Kate at Digital Marketing Momma...

Do you want to blog for your business, but can’t find the time to sit down and write?

Almost everyone I know who runs their own business struggles with the same thing. Writing content.

Challenges: 

  1. What to write about
  2. Finding time to write it
  3. Getting people to read it and share it

We all face this.  Even if you love to write, it can difficult!

I came across this post the other day from Huffington Post and I wanted to share why this type of content and blog strategy is brilliant and a great way to get content out there quickly.

This was posted on August 24, 2016.

Stephen Colbert Has Finally Figured Out Hillary Clinton’s Illness

Screenshot 2016-08-28 11.21.10

To date this post has been shared, 2.8k times and the actual youtube video that was posted by The Late Show With Stephen Colbert was viewed 1,232,310 times.   WOW!

Here’s what I love about this post. 

  1.  The author focused on a very trending, hot topic at the moment.  Hillary Clinton’s health during this wacky election.  This has been all over the news lately and all the media outlets are obsessing over it.  So, his choice of topic was spot on for what’s happening now.
  2. The content is obviously of interest since it’s being shared and “liked”.
  3. It probably didn’t take him that long to write it up.

Here’s how you can do this in your own business to post great content at lightening speed.  Hate to write? There are ways to make it not so awful!

First you need some inspiration to write about.

Step 1: Start by asking yourself these questions: 

  • Is there anything trending online that’s relevant to your audience? I use an amazing online tool to help me with this.  It’s called BuzzSumo.  Totally worth my monthly investment.  I use it every day!
  • Is there an upcoming event that your audience needs to know about?
  • Is there a product launch that could enhance your products or services that you offer?
  • Did a celebrity jump on board with an endorsement or cause that’s relevant to your business?

Step 2:  Go on YouTube and do a search for videos that will help/educate/anger/empower/ease/bring laughter to your audience.  

Do a search for your topic/industry/idea and see what shows up first.  Find a video that’s from a credible source.  TIP:  Don’t post a video by someone that could be considered your competitor… Just sayin’

Step 3:  Write a short, easy blog about the video.  

Tell your audience your thoughts on the video.  Give them your opinion.  It doesn’t have to be a novel.  Just tell them what you are thinking.  Add in your expertise and wisdom.  Tell them what to do with the content.  Share how it can benefit them.

Step 4:  Embed the Video on Your Blog Post.

Make sure to cite the source of the video and relevant content.  You can see I’ve done it in this post. Give credit where credit is due!  You could even go a step further and tag the author and media outlet in your own social media.

Now your turn . . . What’s the hardest part writing blog posts for you? Please share in the comments below. Also, if you need help with content creation or strategy, reach out.  We LOVE to come up with plans!