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Client growth

Finding your niche!

Niching for your content and marketing – the third of six pointers in my ‘content strategy’ map (see earlier posts for any missed).

The widely documented topic – create yourself a niche, don’t be everything for everyone, it won’t work. When setting out your business strategy and business goals, you’ll have thought about your product and/or services, your values, your logo and your target clients. In a book I read recently, they justified the reason to niche as thus; if you have a small target market and service all the companies in that sector, you’d be too busy and effectively screwed. I’ve also met some business leaders recently who have two or more niches but they don’t overlap so that can work too just as long as they are kept separate. 

When you niche, your audience will know who you are and what you’re going to speak about and what services your business offer- instinctively and intuitively. You can become known for being a specialist in your field and that is worth a lot. It definitely helps define a marketing and content strategy!

Tips on niching:
– Look at who your customers are
– Think about what problem your business solves and what the heart of your agency is
– Know your niche industry inside out
– Know your niche market’s competitors
– Test your niche market and analyse (you could create a separate website page and direct traffic there for several months and see how it tracks)

One of the biggest benefits of niching is building a strong following who will become your ambassadors and help you draw new opportunities in.

What do you think? Are you niche? Do you want to be more niche but don’t know how? Get in touch zara@extmktg.co.uk

Categories
Client growth

Knowing your audience for your content planning

In my earlier article, I said for any content plan you need to know a few key things, one of which is your audience. So how do you ‘know your audience’? I have a lot of thoughts on this but I’ll try to keep it brief. 

Firstly, check your google analytics – how much traffic are you getting, from where, phones or web, what are they typing into google to find you and it’s always worth checking who is linking to you as for your reputation and insight into marketing spend, always good to know who- so check over a big timeframe like a year to be thorough. Gender / Age / Interests – you can do a lot of digging! From the age you’ll be able to appreciate what social platforms your audience are potentially using.

Secondly, who responds / engages with your content?

Third point – if you aren’t making much noise across any marketing channels then there won’t be much to analyse, don’t feel bad, ignore the above two points and just think about your TARGET audience!! Who do you want to be targeting, what do you want them to think and feel about the content you’re putting out and what is the action you want to drive them towards?

Fourth – Test, test, test – Try different approaches, different examples in your copy and posts, find what they’re interested in from you and your business’ content.

How well do you know your audience? Do you know exactly who you’re targeting with your content? Get in touch with any qs

Categories
Client growth

How to create your Marketing Goals

We are ideating here at External Marketing about what it means to start your own content plan, inspired by a conversation I’d had recently and so I wanted to go through all the points to offer more insights to help get business owners started. 

The first thing to think about when writing a content or even marketing plan is setting the right goals. Yes, they should be SMART like any goals, we covered this acronym back at uni back in… 2004?! …And it’s still relevant today and probably will be for another x amount of years. 

Here is what marketing goals should do: 

1) Drive inward enquiries via website or otherwise 
2) Generate the right client type and size
3) Raise brand awareness
4) Grow the Founders/ Directors personal brands 
5) Empower influencer marketing internally and externally 

You need SMART goals in order to measure, otherwise there’s almost no point. Being scatter gun is sometimes what’s possible but without reflection and measuring where your new business opportunity came from for example, you won’t know where to focus your time on next quarter/ year.

Hope this helps. Any questions – please get in touch!

Categories
Client growth

Improving internal communications for your business

In my first article I wrote about making the right decisions for your business, and then touched on how to communicate your message. There’s a reason there are A LOT of communications specialists around: because the discipline is so broad. Internal and external communications both have unique considerations and corresponding channels, so in this article I want to focus on HOW a business leader can deliver news internally.

The nuances in communications – for instance, sharing a piece of good news versus announcing a new company strategy – needs to be considered very very carefully, as it is vital that the message is delivered coherently, considerately, and with care.

An article posted in the PRCA blog stated that ‘continuous communication’ was key to keeping your staff motivated and happy during this pandemic. “One cannot over-communicate to the very people who drive and make your business what it is.”

I actually find that internal communications can be muddier than external. In part, this is due to the levels of familiarity that colleagues, sub-teams, teams, departments and offices all have with one another, not to mention the range of communications channels. From memes to memos, from signage to WhatsApp message – a new starter might find it takes him or her quite a while to figure out what the hell is going on, unless internal communications has been carefully strategised. 

An organisation’s size and composition and the frequency in which its leaders want to communicate are likely to be two of the biggest influencing factors when it comes to deciding upon the most appropriate communication channel. Business leaders need to have a strategy in place stating what methods of communication they want their team to use to discuss clients, projects, IT issues etc and the list of most popular platforms in use at the moment in extensive, here’s a list I’ve prepared myself to help desmystify it:

  • Slack – used for calls / messages 
  • Workplace by Facebook – used calls / messages, has a newsfeed, you can do polls, set-up events – like facebook for people, but for businesses!
  • Microsoft Teams – used for calls / messages. I tried to find other features, but the only feature that makes it unique is that it is part of the Office 365 which your business may have anyway so it’d be free but so are most others! 
  • WhatsApp – used for calls / messages 
  • Skype – used for calls / messages 
  • Moxtra- software that is white-labelled and customisable- so everything from calls and messaging to task management and document storage. 
  • HipChat – developed by Atlassian – calls and cloud storage, apparently has good security and good search functionality 
  • Trello – a subsidiary of Atlassian but it’s a ‘collaboration tool’ 
  • Atlassian – good for project managing / calls / messages
  • Blink – used for messaging and cloud storage
  • Fuze – used for calls / messages 
  • Zoom – calls / messages 
  • Chatwork – a business social networking tool for small businesses (chats can be conducted privately or in a group. Chatwork also offers task management, video calls and CMS). 

From what I’m aware, all chat platforms have the ability to have groups set with a topic, just like WhatsApp group, so rather than being a ‘new’ feature, it’s something we have all come to expect. But in terms of business software, the list is much, much bigger! And when it comes to server storage, collaborating on live documents, accounting, expenses, HR, project managing, social media management, website software, marketing mailers and CMS, the list is endless! 

We spoke to Communications & Engagement specialist and famed copywriter Helen Greenwood and asked what she considers to be the three most important aspects when developing an internal communications strategy. Helen’s response was “audience, relevance and timing”. She followed on to say: “People are far more likely to pay attention to a piece of communication if it’s clear that it’s relevant to them – for example, if the content of the communication influences how they feel or act. That means businesses have to think very carefully about how to craft and position their communications if they want their target audience to take notice. As most organisations comprise multiple audience groups, this may mean that one message has to wrapped in a range of ways in order for it to land successfully and achieve the intended results”. 

To discuss how to improve the internal communication at your company, please get in touch with Zara from External Marketing and we’d love to help. Our website is here.