By: Johana M. Caba, M.A.
Integrated marketing communication can be defined as the approach of creating a unified marketing experience for consumers in an effort to have them interact with the brand in various ways. This approach focuses on integrating various aspects of marketing communication including advertising, sales, public relations, social media, and digital marketing. As a small business, you can also work on an integrated marketing communication strategy by understanding the various channels of communication in which your target audience interacts with your brand/business. If you need more help in creating your own integrated marketing communication plan, take a look at my blog post for a quick guide or fill out my contact form on my services page for 1-on-1 help. In this post, we will discuss the difference between organic reach and paid ads on social media, and why you should consider integrating them for a better marketing strategy.
Let's begin by discussing organic reach and why it is important for your small business or brand growth on social media. Organic growth refers to the engagement, followers, and reach that your social media posts gain organically or without paid ads or boosting posts. You can earn a lot of organic engagement and reach a lot of people in your audience by implementing a few simple tactics. For example, you can do some hashtag research to see what the most popular and top hashtags are for a specific product or your industry in general. Use a couple of these for a boost in reach. Remember to use proper social media hashtag etiquette and capitalize the first letter of every word in the hashtag.
You can also take advantage of algorithm changes. For example, right now on Instagram, Reels are getting pushed over other content. Reels are automatically pushed on the Explore page as they are favored on the platform. Their reach is also exponential because their lifespan is about 3 weeks compared to the lifespan of regular posts which is about a day or two (if not, only a few hours). The lifespan of regular posts depends on the type of post, but in general, due to algorithm changes, reels are it right now for organic reach and engagement. Finally, a third simple tactic that you can easily implement is posting more often. Try to post at least one regular post, one story, and one reel per day if you are short on time. You can do this by scheduling regular posts ahead of time for Instagram so that you only have to focus on posting stories and reels daily. A good tip here is to plan and record your reels ahead of time so that you have your content ready to post rather than having to create something on the spot. For on-the-spot content, use stories because they are easier and faster to make without planning ahead.
Moving on to paid ads, these are the posts that you pay to boost to reach a larger audience or planned ads that you pay for and schedule to run for a certain period of time. These can be helpful if you want to raise brand awareness, retarget audiences that have engaged with your posts or website previously, and guide your customers down your Marketing Funnel. Although they are paid, you should keep in mind that you do not need an overly large budget for these ads. For brand awareness, you can spend $20 over one month and reach over 10,000 people. That's 10,000 more people that are now aware of your business or brand.
Integrated Paid & Organic
Integrating your paid ads strategy and organic posting strategy can be beneficial for your small business or brand. First, you will continue to increase your organic reach as more people in your target audience become aware of your brand through consistent posts that are optimized for the platform in which you post them. Second, a paid strategy can always be a great help when you are trying to get your brand in front of more people. Some of the most popular platforms that you can use to integrate these two strategies into a moreintegrated marketing communication plan are Facebook and Instagram.
Paid ads on Facebook and Instagram are a great resource for increasing brand awareness, getting leads, and guiding more people to your website. There are a few different reasons why you should focus certain things on Facebook and certain other things on Instagram. For example, when generating more leads for your business through a paid strategy, you should focus on using Facebook ads that will be seen throughout the various Facebook platforms. For brand awareness ads, you can add in sponsored Stories or just boost posts that are getting good organic engagement on Instagram.
A tip here is to manually select the placements when you are editing/creating your campaigns and ad sets. Make sure that your ad creative matches the dimensions of your selected ad placements. An example here is ensuring that when you want your ad placed specifically on stories, you manually de-select other placements because the dimensions will not work out. Same goes when your ad creative is focused on regular post dimensions, make sure to de-select the stories placement. By manually selecting placements you have more control of where your ads are seen. You don't want your creative to turn potential audience members off because they are the wrong dimension for the platform in which they were placed.
As always, thank you for reading my post. If you need more help, make sure to follow the links to previous blog posts that explain certain topics more in-depth. And, if you need social media marketing or public relations help with your small business or brand, make sure to reach out by email or fill out the form on our services page.
By: Johana M. Caba, M.A.
What is search engine optimization? By definition, it consists of the process by which you can improve the quality and quantity of your website traffic through search engines. This definition also clarifies that the optimization process focuses on targeting unpaid traffic rather than direct or paid views. There are many ways that you can improve your views by optimizing your pages and blog content. In this post, we will go over some of the best tips to improve your traffic, ranking, and domain authority.
Why is SEO important?
First, let's discuss the importance of search engine optimization. The optimization process is crucial for many reasons including the constant algorithm changes that companies like Google utilize to update their services. Google algorithms change every so often, which is why what worked 10 years ago does not work anymore. They use artificial intelligence (AI) robots that understand the things we value as people and what we want to see when we search for things, so they change the calculation of their results to suit our needs. These robots crawl through web pages on your website and index your site including your layout, videos, pictures, PDFs and written content. After the crawling and indexing are complete, they rank the content in order by how well it matches searcher queries. If your website is not optimized, then you will not rank higher on search engine results pages (SERPs).
When it comes to getting views, visitors and overall traffic to your website, you can use many tactics. Paid advertising, social media, paid social media ads, guest blogs, featured articles, and other collaborations are great ways to boost your visitors and views. But, the majority of any website's traffic comes from search engine results. One important thing to note is that these search companies make money from advertising which is why they like to keep people coming back to their SERPs. Although ads are very helpful in getting you to your bottom line, whether that be more traffic or sales, organic results are more credible to searchers and receive more clicks than paid ads. Think about it, when you search for something on Google, do you click the ad first or the organic results below the ads? Still, it is important that you use different avenues of ranking on search engines and attracting website visitors for your overall marketing strategy.
The on-page optimization refers to the keywords that you use, keyword phrases, and long-tail keywords that are found on your content. It's important to note that there are several factors that affect your website ranking when it comes to keywords. For example, you should not stuff them in your content because this gets you a negative flag from engines. You should also include them on your headline, your first sentence, and throughout your content. Additionally, you should also make sure that your images have keywords in their individual image links. Another tip that you should start thinking about is utilizing phrases and long-tail words because they have less searches and give you a bigger opportunity of ranking on the first page. These are the longer words or specific phrases that people use when they conduct a search. For example, using the long-tail "what is email marketing" rather than just the keywords "email marketing".
The off-page or off-site refers to the actions taken outside your website that impact your ranking on SERPs. These include backlinks and inbound links. Backlinks are crucial for improving your ranking because when coming from pages with higher domain authorities such as Moz, they tell search engines that your website is trustworthy, credible, relevant, and popular. You can get backlinks in a number of ways including writing guest posts for other sites, writing articles for other webpages, posting on social media, being linked on YouTube videos, etc. There are many factors that influence the contribution to your ranking that the backlink does to your website including the popularity of the linking site, its domain authority (DA), the relevance of the linking site's topic to your site, anchor text used, etc.
For small businesses, let's not forget about the local factor. This is all about your Google My Business information which is important to have completed so that the search engine knows to share your business with people searching for your type of industry in your area (City, County, State). For example, when you search "restaurants near me" or "hair salons near me" the locations that come up on your search are all within driving distance. This is possible due to these businesses completing their Google My Business. So, don't forget about that and if you have a brick-and-mortar location, go claim it now and fill our your information.
As a PR professional, it's important that you know and understand the many ways in which you can help yourself and your clients through search engines. Building a brand and getting your name out there takes time, just like any marketing or PR strategy, the results are not always fast. When it comes to improving the ranking of your sites and your client's pages through search engine optimization, you must remember that it will take a few months not a few days. Let's go over some of the tips you can use as a PR pro:
Being able to work successfully and achieve maximum productivity whilst still having the time to wind down and enjoy the day is not only a job well done, but it is also something that seems quite unattainable and extremely difficult for most people.
But I’m here to tell you that this doesn’t have to be the case any longer. Being able to balance being productive and relaxed is a skill that can be easily developed. It all plays down to having self discipline and being immensely organized. Believe it or not, that annoying, old fashioned saying, “no work, no pay” is not at all fiction which means that now is the time for you to fix those bad habits of yours and develop some good time management skills. So, in this blog post, I’ve gathered a list of 5 amazing time management tips that will help you get more done in less time.
Why Is Having Good Time Management Important?
Understanding the importance of time is such an awesome awakening, meaning that you'll no longer engage with things that are unnecessary, a waste and are just not worthy of your presence and time.
Having good time management skills will result in you developing life changing habits such as patience which I think is a direct access to success alongside hard work.
Good Time Management means:
Here Are 5 Effective Ways You Can Manage Your Time Efficiently
1. Limit The Time You Actually Have
Although being under pressure means stress for the majority, a lot of people seem to work at a faster pace with minimum wasted effort when there is a set deadline. This is why I 100% recommend that you make your own deadlines at least a week or two before the actual deadline.
Train your mind into successfully getting the tasks done and then perfecting them later. This will prevent you from spending too much time and giving your best efforts on a specific task whilst neglecting and lowering your standards on the other tasks you have to complete. You might even want to try working in blocks or sessions. Start Utilizing Parkinson’s Law to get those errands done immediately!
To put simply, delegate a time block (for example, a 3 hours period) to get a specific task done. Make sure that within those 3 hours, that task is successfully completed and won’t overrun into another session. This will ensure discipline and free up so much more time in your day for other things.
I really can’t express how much this has helped me in my life especially when it came to studying.
2. Prioritize And Choose Your Top 3!
This means grabbing a piece of paper and a pencil and making a small but somewhat in depth, to-do list. Pick the top three most important tasks or the most difficult tasks that require the most time, effort and will give you that satisfying feeling when they’re done and out of the way. If these tasks are extremely important then it wouldn’t make sense for you to leave them after you’ve gotten the smaller and less difficult tasks out of the way.
This is because although it may seem like a wise idea to remove the less engaging things at the start and focus on the harder tasks towards the end, you are then putting those important tasks closer to the deadline which might have a negative effect on your mental health as you’ll start to rush and your work won’t be your best effort but rather quite sloppy and distasteful.
3. Start Earlier Rather Than Finish Later
This is definitely something that I am totally guilty of. It's not that I like working late or late nights is the time when I'm most productive, It’s simply because I want to enjoy my day to the fullest without feeling bound by something which is quite ironic since throughout the day, I’m constantly thinking about the tasks that I should be completing.
Rather than force yourself to stay up when all you’re dying to do is tuck yourself in your bed and watch a bunch of YouTube videos until your heart’s content, go to bed at a decent time and wake up early to get an earlier start on those dreadful tasks.
You’ll thank yourself in the long run...I promise :)
4. Take Breaks
Having good time management skills is not only about producing work and being productive but it is also about knowing when to stop and when to take breaks. Taking breaks is especially good for your mental health but this shouldn't be the tunnel for you to go and procrastinate. This should be a time where you go recharge your mind and rest a little. I personally recommend you take regular breaks throughout the day or you might just want to take a day or two out of the week just for yourself whilst you try and complete every single one of those tasks throughout the rest of the week.
5. Always Plan Ahead And Be Organized
Organization is one of the keys to success. Your brain needs order and structure in order to function efficiently and clearly. Planning ahead can save you so much more time in the future. Just having a visual representation of what your next move is can direct you to take the right path as planning ahead means that you are foreseeing any obstacles that might be in your way beforehand.
It’s so much easier to look at the wider picture and the different possibilities that might be heading your way. It is also so much easier to make a clear and logical decision when you are seeing the issues before they eventually occur. It also prevents any unplanned surprises and it makes you see how your actions can lead to various results so I strongly advise that you always plan ahead and be organized with your plans.
Thank you so much for reading this blog post. Hopefully you found it quite beneficial and valuable. Please visit my blog at alwaysmoodyblogs.com for more posts like this that I’m sure you enjoy. See ya :)
I am such a Christmas lover, I really am. But after all the fun, socializing, indulgence and relaxation of the holiday season (and my birthday - it really is a celebratory season for me!), I feel like the start of January is a huge, refreshing breath. I’ve always loved the idea of a new start at the beginning of the year. You don’t need to wait for a specific date to start afresh, but it feels right to me to close last year’s book with celebration and to hit the refresh button for the start of a new calendar. So, today, let’s talk about how you can get organized for the new year.
“You need to know that being organized has nothing to do with being neat and clean. It simply means being able to find what you're looking for quickly and accomplishing what you want to accomplish efficiently.” - Harry H Harrison
1. Get your finances in order
The holiday season is always a drain on your pockets so starting the year off with your finances in order can encourage you into keeping the habit up for the rest of the year and stay smart with your spending. I always like to draw up a budget at the start of the year, taking any goals or plans you have into account ahead of time.
Tips to organize your finances:
2. Set up your agenda
Whatever planning system you use, give it a refresh for the new year. I’m switching back to a traditional planner this year, after a year bullet journaling, and I can’t wait to start filling in my agenda. Maybe it’s just me, but there’s something about a new planner/notebook that fills me with excitement. If you’ve never been a planner in the past, consider trying out a planning system! I have some tips in this blog on how to find the planning system that’s right for you.
Top tip: When you’re setting up your system, make sure to include important dates: birthdays, anniversaries, estimated dates for doctor and dental check-ups, prescriptions, even things like insurance renewal dates!
And I don’t just mean your physical space (although I really recommend it! Here’s a 30-day challenge, if you’re up for it), I mean everything. This doesn’t mean throwing away all that you own, just what you don’t need, what takes up space but has no use, what brings you too little joy. After, hopefully, you’ll feel lighter, more excited by the things you do have.
Places to declutter:
4. Start a routine
What better time to create a new routine? Routines are great ways to remind yourself to make the most of your time, to build habits and to enjoy your time that much more. Maybe you rush through your mornings before work, well, find something fun to add into your morning routine - add a playlist, ten minutes to watch YouTube, a walk, extra time for making an extra yummy breakfast - whatever will make your morning more enjoyable for you.
I always like to write mine down on my phone for easy reference. Routines always feel a bit forced the first few times, but they soon become natural and doing things the way you really want to do them, becomes second nature.
5. Pick some new habits to start
Likewise, what better time to pick up some new habits? Make a list of habits you’d like to try, ones that would help you be more organized (ideas below) and start building them into your daily routines. As you repeat them - and I recommend, at the same time every day - you will find them slipping more easily into habit and becoming a part of your day. There’s no need to wait for the new year to do this, but winter gives us a good chance to turn inwards and spend more time on ourselves. Indeed, the new year also gives us some motivation to start new things.
Habits to Help you get Organized:
6. Set Some Goals
It’s the new year so of course, we’re talking new years resolutions. Setting goals and weaving them through your plans for the year will help you make steady progress and stick with to them. I know I tend to be one for rushing into things very quickly, so when I set goals at the beginning of the year, I can be a little overly ambitious. But planning your goal over a year-long period will help you create a steady plan so succeed and don’t burnout.
7. Perfect your workspace
Especially if you’ve joined the work from home gang (hey ?), your workspace can have a big influence on your productivity. Put some time into organizing it and making it a helpful space that helps you work in the most comfortable and productive manner. Also, make it comfortable, add reminders that inspire you, make it an enjoyable place to be, where you feel motivated to work your socks off.
8. Create a year plan
The great thing about getting organized in time for the new year is that you have a full, fresh calendar to work with. So, dream up a year plan. I know things rarely go to plan, especially over the course of an entire year, but I think creating a plan for your vision right now is a great exercise, whether it comes to fruition or not. As things change over the year, pause, reevaluate and rewrite your plan. I’ve shied away from writing plans before out of fear that it would impede me when things changed later, but I’ve come to the conclusion that editing your plan is just part of the process and starting out with a plan is still your best shot.
Hopefully, those tips will help you get organized for the new year so you can not only start the year off on the right foot but continue walking the whole year through. In the past, I’ve placed too heavy a weight on the need for organization. It’s not a need. It’s a tool to help you, and it’s always important to give yourself the best chance at succeeding, whatever you set your mind to. That being said, it is also important to forsake organization when you need to. To be led by whim and feeling, to face things unprepared and to not panic in the face of spontaneity. Be organized, but equally, have fun.
I wish you all the best 2021 - enjoy it. Visit also my YouTube, my blog, my Twitter and my Pinterest! Love, Ella-Rose xx
By: Johana M. Caba, M.A.
As a small business owner, you might not know where to begin with creating your business presence online. You know that you should have social media accounts, maybe a website, run some ads, etc. But, it takes more time, planning, and creating content to grow your following, reach your target audience, and convert your followers into paying customers or clients. In this post, we will go over the basic tips you should follow on your social media accounts if you do not have a social media manager to create and manage your content.
Your logo is very important to your brand and your business. If you need some tips on how to use graphic design to create your own logo, visit my blog post explaining everything in detail. You should make sure that your logo is always on your brand images online. If you take a photo of your products or of models for products, make sure to place your logo at one of the corners of your image. This will do two things: (1) make sure that your image is protected from being used without permission or giving credit, and (2) will ensure that your brand gets exposure. Placing your logo on your images is a great way to increase brand awareness by subtly including your logo in all photos or brand images that you share. You do not have to place your logo on every single image on your social media accounts. But, it is a good practice to start doing, especially for smaller creators and smaller businesses. Another tip is when you are placing your logo as your profile picture, make sure that the logo fits within the proportions of the profile image of the platform you are using. This will help your logo be fully visible and it will make you come out as more professional to your audience.
An important part of posting is using proper hashtags and proper hashtag etiquette. When using hashtags, you should keep in mind your industry and your target audience. Start by researching your industry and audience in order to understand what they are looking for online and which hashtags resonate with them the most. For example, as a hair salon you can use #HairDresser, #HairDresserMagic or #ModernSalon. Keep in mind that when using hashtags, proper etiquette is to capitalize the first letter of each word. This makes it easier for the words to be read and understood, especially for longer tags. Using hashtags will also categorize your content and help you pop-up in search queries on social platforms.
Sharing Customer Content
It's important for you to keep in mind that you should tag or give credit to your customers when sharing content that they posted. Sharing customer content is a great way to showcase positive reviews and comments of your services and products. User-generated content through customer reviews or comments online is one of the best marketing techniques because word-of-mouth (WOM) is one of the most trustworthy forms of marketing. Brands and other businesses usually promote word-of-mouth because it generates more brand awareness and has the potential to increase sales. Although WOM is harder to keep track of and control in terms of the content and commentary being shared, it is one of the best ways to promote a brand, sell products, and raise brand awareness.
One of the best ways to grow your following, reach your target audience and stay in touch with your industry/community is to engage. Engagement includes liking posts, commenting, and sharing others' posts on your company's social media accounts. An important reason why engagement is crucial is that it creates a positive brand image. In public relations terms, by engaging with your audience online you are creating a positive brand image which helps increase brand awareness, network, increase sales, and solidify your brand. You can always maintain your engagement by being consistent, responding to questions and comments, and partaking in social listening to keep track of what others are saying about your brand. This is particularly important to do because customer service through social media matters a lot for the image, transparency and reputability of a business.
Selecting the right photos for product promotion is very important for small business. It' important to have the right tools and the right techniques to take photos. A lot of the photos of products that get the most engagement are those that are clear, crisp, aesthetically pleasing, and use the right brand colors. Of course, it all depends on your brand and industry. For example, a hair salon can take their photos of clients on the salon chair or designate a spot in their location for photos by using a solid color wall, a ring light and a good camera (this can be a mobile device with a good camera). A ring light is a great investment for taking product or service photos because it helps bring out the features of the subject by placing the lighting in the right places. Another good tip is to use the right photo editing apps. There are a lot of photo editing apps that can bring your images to another level that leads to more engagement and shares of your posts. Read my post on the best and easiest to use photo editing apps for mobile devices for some more photo tips.
One of the most typical ways for businesses, brands and content creators to reach new audiences and network with other brands is collaborating. Collaborations are a great way to raise brand awareness with new audiences, enter new markets, and take advantage of hype around certain holidays or events. For example, small businesses can partner together during the holidays for giveaways in which their followers on social media share images of the brand products or services, tag a few of their own followers, and follow each business/brand. This is a good idea when a small business is trying to reach more people, grow their followers, and network with other small businesses. Collaborations and partnerships are always great on social media because they have many benefits for the businesses involved.
Thank you for reading my tips. If you have any questions or would like me to audit your small business or brand social media accounts, fill out my form on the services page or leave me a message in the comments below.
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