Category

Growth Hacking

10 Steps to Create a Successful Launch Plan for your Business

Whether you’re launching a completely new brand, or a new product for your existing brand, it’s important to have a plan in place to create as much noise about your launch as possible. Hit the ground running and start as you mean to go on – your launch plan doesn’t need to be complicated or super time consuming, it just needs to be effective. Read on to discover my 10 simple steps to create a successful launch for your business…

1. Plan your content

Successful Launch PlanThe first step to your successful launch is to plan exactly how you’re going to do it. This step almost essentially comes last on this list, but it will also be the first thing that you should do. Once you’ve read ahead to understand all the different types of content that you should be creating for your launch, it’s time to sit down and create a launch plan.

Your launch should go off with a bang from day one, and last a whole week, to make sure your entire audience sees your launch and has the chance to interact and engage with it. Using a spread sheet or print out planner, outline exactly what you’re going to be doing on each day, including your social media posts, email marketing, competition promo and more. Create a schedule and stick to it, or even better, schedule all of your content in advance of your launch, and keep on top of interaction and engagement.

2. Create a blog post

One of the easiest ways to promote your new business or product, and provide your audience with everything they need to know in one place is through a blog post. Create a blog post that announces your launch. Tell your audience how they can benefit from this new service or product, and let them know how they can invest.

Consider linking in any additional launch activities in your blog post too, such as your launch competition and your social channels to strengthen each different method you’re using to promote your launch.

Starting with a blog post about your launch from day one is great, as you can drive traffic through to this during your week long promotions from different channels.

3. Create a social buzz

Successful Launch Plan

You can start to create some excitement on social media ahead of your launch, to ensure your audience is engaged when the time does come to start promoting your new business, product or service. A week in advance, publish a few ‘sneak preview’ style posts or explain that you’re working on something new that you can’t wait to share with everyone.

When it comes to your week long launch, publish something everyday to keep your audience excited about what you’re doing. Ideally you want to get people off of the social platform and onto your website, so use links to direct people to find out more – this is where your blog post comes in, but remember to keep mixing things up, so direct them through to the blog post one day, and to your website home page or new product listing etc another.

4. Offer an amazing opt-in

This is the ideal time to capture your audiences’ email addresses and encourage them to stay engaged with your brand, throughout your launch and beyond. Ready for going live, create an amazing opt-in to encourage anyone that lands on your site through your launch to subscribe to your mailing list. Your opt-in could be anything from a downloadable guide, checklist or workbook, to a challenge or printable gift such as a print, postcard or digital product.

Add a pop-up to your website to capture your visitors and convert them into subscribers. Avoid putting people off with immediate pop-ups though, wait until someone has been on your site for around 30 seconds before you invite them to subscribe. Make sure you write an amazing snippet of copy to convince them that they need your freebie in their lives too!

5. Get others involved

There’s nothing like word-of-mouth to spread new launches like wildfire. Think word-of-mouth in the digital age though, by getting others to share your content on their social media and tag you, or publish a guest post on their blog and link back to your launch blog post.

Agreeing and arranging guest posts and other social accounts to promote what you’re doing can take time and negotiation, so set this in place as far in advance as you can. This will also give you time to prepare any content that you might need to supply. If you’re just getting started you might need to offer something in return to seal the deal, such as a guest post swap, or offering to promote something they are doing on your social media in exchange for the same.

6. Create a launch competition

Successful Launch Plan

An amazing way to get your current audience really engaged with what you’re doing is with a launch competition. In addition, if you run your competition a certain way, you could also massively extend your reach and get loads more people excited about your launch.

Consider running a week long competition via Facebook and Instagram. In order to enter, ask that the user follows/likes your page (if they don’t already) and tags three people they know would love the prize. Consider what your prize will be carefully, as it needs to be something that your dream audience would love, in order to attract your target market. This might be the new product that you’re launching, or a service bundle if you’re a service based business. Make sure you reply to everyone who enters to keep increasing the engagement on the post.

7. Notify your email subscribers

If you’ve already been working on building an email list involve them with your launch too. Nobody likes to be bombarded with emails everyday, but a sending a couple out to your list during the week is a great way to cash in on your audience that are already engaged with your brand. Notify them of your launch, and encourage them to get involved with your competition too.

8. Promote your news in Facebook groups

Successful Launch PlanFacebook grounds are ready made audiences, just waiting to hear about your exciting news. While it’s important not to seem self-promotional or like you’re spamming the group, lots of groups would be happy for you to share your success.

When it comes to promoting your launch via Facebook groups, come at it from a personal achievement angle. Let the group know that you’re really excited about it, and that you’d love to hear what everyone thinks.

9. Reach a greater audience with pins

Generate more traffic to your launch blog post using Pinterest. Create multiple graphics and start to pin them ahead of your official launch to encourage some repins. Make sure you set everything up so that when people find your pins they can easily click through to your blog post, and don’t forget the keyword rich description too.

10. Allocate a small budget

You can make your launch go that little bit further by allocating a small budget for Facebook and Instagram ads. This will help you extend your reach and drive more people through to your website, through to your competition, blog post, opt-in and your new product or service. Create your content in advance for your ads, and keep an eye on them and tweak where needed during your launch week.

Now that you have a launch plan in place, what are you waiting for? If you’ve had success with a recent launch, share your experiences and advice here…

How to Beat the Instagram Algorithm in 2018

I hear and see so many entrepreneurs, business owners and bloggers mentioning how difficult Instagram seems to be for business these days. With regular algorithm updates, Instagram seem to be making it harder and harder to grow your following and create genuine engagement that’s actually going to move the needle in your business. With a few changes to your strategy, you can beat the Instagram algorithm…

The truth is this can be a genuinely powerful platform when it comes to finding and reaching your dream audience. Instagram has become a powerful tool for business, the problem is that Instagram HQ knows this. Yes the latest updates can benefit the everyday user, but they also encourage businesses to spend money on the platform. Essentially, Instagram are trying to further monetize their platform, and after all, it is a business, so we can’t blame them really.

Once you’ve got your head around this, you might start looking at the platform a little differently, and using it differently too. You don’t have to spend a fortune to make Instagram work for your business either, you just need to be aware of how the algorithms work, and how to beat them…

The latest algorithm update…

The most recent update in 2018 caused many bloggers and brands to notice their likes and comments on each post dramatically drop. For many this has also resulted in stagnant followers or a slow decline in followers.

The latest update means that users are now much more likely to see the posts and stories from the accounts that they already interact with. This means that a huge amount of your followers are far less likely to see your posts, particularly if interaction hasn’t played a strong role in your strategy to date.

From the users side, this means that the likes and comments that you leave drive what you see on your newsfeed. Instagram is providing the users with the posts that they think they are most likely to interact with first. In addition, the 2018 algorithm also gives priority to accounts that have more engagement.

Five ways you can beat the latest algorithm…

Beat the Instagram AlgorithmWorking towards creating better engagement and growing your following doesn’t mean having to completely change your strategy, or spend hours on Instagram everyday. There are a few things that you can do to improve your engagement levels and ensure your posts get seen…

1. Post Consistently

This seems pretty obvious, but one of the most important things to keep your audience engaged and ensure they are actually seeing your posts is to publish content consistently. Popping up with a new post once a week and adding a story every two weeks won’t really cut it. In order to ensure your audience actually sees your posts, you want them to engage with you regularly, and to encourage them to do that, you need to post regularly too.

Around once a day is ideal, and adding to your story daily is important too. Consistency goes further than just posting daily though, you need to be consistent across the board. Make sure you’re consistently adding value to your audience, consistent in your style, and consistently showing up for your followers.

2. Consider updating your hashtag strategy

Beat the Instagram Algorithm

The way in which we use hashtags has changed a little recently, due to Instagram introducing the option to follow hashtags. In addition, if you’re using hashtags that aren’t entirely relevant to your posts, there’s a small chance a user might mark your post as irrelevant, flagging to the platform that your post might not be of high quality or of interest to the user.

When it comes to hashtags, the main goal is to appear on the top posts page, as this will result in more eyes on your content, and more engagement. It’s also important to consider the hashtags that people might follow, and to ensure that your content is relevant to the hashtags you are using.

Make use of the 30 hashtag limit per post, but carefully consider the hashtags that you do use, to increase your reach and engagement levels.

3. Encourage tags and comments

As interaction is absolutely key to nailing Instagram marketing, it’s important to encourage people to comment on your posts, and better still, to tag other users to extend your reach. You can do this by asking questions in your captions, give your audience something to talk about, and something to discus with other users. You can also encourage tags by including ‘tag a friend who…’ or similar in your captions. Try kicking this off by launching a competition where users have to tag three more to enter.

Captions are also important indicators to the algorithm, as the more time a user spends on your post, the more important Instagram will consider it to be. Write longer captions for your posts, tell a story, ask questions and encourage your audience to engage with you.

4. Respond to all interaction quickly

Beat the Instagram Algorithm

In addition to encouraging comments, you should also respond to all interaction quickly. This will help show Instagram that you’re a user that is genuinely engaged with your audience, as well as totting up more comments on your posts, which will in turn boost your post further and encourage even more engagement.

Try to encourage more comments, by asking questions, and when possible, respond to comments within an hour.

5. Use all available features

Instagram wants to see that you’re actually using the platform in full, rather than just using it to post and promote your own content. Use all of the available features, you can do this in as little as ten minutes a day, and it’s well worth the extra effort. You can do this by…

  • Following some key hashtags that will help you find people that are interested in what you do, and interact with the posts using the hashtags daily to extend your reach

  • Commenting on and like posts via your feed from accounts that you already follow

  • Watching five minutes worth of stories a day, and interacting with a few too. You can even do this while you’re working, just press play on the first story and let it run for five minutes

  • Post your own daily stories. This feature is one of the best ways to extend the reach on your account and encourage more engagement, so post stories daily.

Nailing Instagram can be done in as little as 20-30 minutes effort each day. When you get it right, it can completely transform your business. Remember the key is engagement, and adding value to the platform.

What’s your experience with the algorithm updates? Do you have any tips of your own? Share your thoughts and advice…

How to Start Your Own Podcast to Capture your Audience

A podcast might not be the first thing that springs to mind when you think about marketing your business. With so many businesses and entrepreneurs starting their own podcast though, there’s got to be something to it. Read on to discover WHY you might want to start your own podcast and HOW, to widen your audience and create created engagement for your business or blog…

 

Three Reasons to Start Your Own Podcast

Truth be told, there are more than just three reasons why you might consider launching a podcast for your business, but it’s always good to start small and avoid overwhelm! A podcast can be an extremely powerful tool for your business, here’s why…

– Establish your credibility: just like public speaking and speaking at events might help to establish your credibility, a podcast is a great way to prove your expertise and pass on your knowledge to others. A podcast means that you can reach millions of people, at any time, so that your audience can listen to and learn from you whenever it suits them. A podcast goes a long way to position yourself as an expert in your field.

– Add a personal edge: as a modern day business, it’s likely you understand the importance of adding that personal edge, but many of us are guilty of hiding behind a website and our brand. A podcast is a great way to give your audience a chance to get to know you. For many, listening to a podcast is like listening to a friend. You’ll become familiar to your audience as an individual, and as the old saying goes, ‘people buy people.’

– Grow your audience: by adding this new element to your business offering, you can reach an even wider audience. Some people read blog posts, others scroll social media, and for some podcasts are more their thing. Don’t miss out on this huge opportunity to tap into a wider audience and build a loyal following.

So now you know why you might start your own podcast, it’s time to figure out the how…

 

Starting Your Own Podcast

The first thing to consider before you start your podcast is your audience. In addition, think about how you would like your podcast to benefit your business.

Defining your target audience before you get started is important, as it will help you ensure that your providing them with episodes that they will love. When it comes to how you’d like your podcast to benefit your business, is it to create a super engaged audience to sell to? Or maybe it’s to strengthen your offering to your audience to build loyalty? Write down your target audience and your aim before you get started. Define a clear mission statement for your show, and always come back to this when creating new episodes.

 

Research

Now that you have a clear idea of who your audience will be, and what your end goal is it’s time to do a little research. Put yourself into the shoes of your dream listener, have a look at what’s already available, what’s popular, what’s working and why?

Putting together your aim with your research will help you come up with the focus for your first series of episodes. It’s always a good idea to launch with a few episodes to start with, to satisfy those enjoying your podcast and wanting more.

 

Setting Up

Before you record your first episode, pin down a few finer details. This includes deciding which category your podcast will sit in, whether you will advertise anything at the start or end of your podcast, and whether you’ll do solo shows or perhaps interviews.

The next step is to record your first episode. First up, you’ll need a microphone. If you’re unsure about how this is all going to work, try recording a test episode or two using your smartphone before you invest in any expensive kit. It’s always a good idea to practice these things first anyway, before you hit record for real.

A USB microphone will do the job, or you could try a headset with a microphone instead. If you’re doing interview style podcasts, a great way to conduct and record these is simply through Skype. Skype offer a recording option within the app, or for other types of Podcasts try Audacity, which is a free recording and editing software.

If you’re going to edit your podcasts yourself, Audacity is a great free option. For a super professional finish and if you have a bit of budget to put behind your show, consider hiring a professional editor to do this for you.

In order to keep things on track, you might want to consider writing a script too, or at least an outline for each episode, instead of winging it and hoping for the best.

 

Launching

Now that you have a few episodes recorded you’re ready to go live. I’d recommend having at least five episodes to launch with, so that your audience won’t run out of material before your next episode goes live.

Before launching, offer little sneak previews across your social media and send something out to your email list. Get your already engaged audience excited about this new offering. You might even consider asking for their input – run a poll with options to vote for different topics, or simply publish a post and ask them what they’d like to hear on your podcast.

Consider involving a few guest speakers in your launch episodes. One of the best ways to grow your podcast quickly is to include guest speakers and encourage them to share their episodes with their audience. Be smart about your launch episodes and think about your strategy to reach a larger audience, and to get people hooked from day one.

Upload your episodes to the iTunes, SoundCloud, Spotifyand PodBean and hit the go button! Don’t forget to let your audience know your episodes are live.

 

Moving Forward

Now that your first episodes are live, keep creating more. For anyone that might ‘binge’ on your first five episodes, aim to have your next episode live with in 2-3 days of launching. Keep your audience engaged with your podcast – keep reminding them via email, social media and your website when new episodes go live. Keep polling them too, ask them what they enjoyed and what they would like to see more of. Finally, keep an eye on your numbers, look at what works and what fell flat and use this to shape your strategy.

Are you considering launching your own podcast? Comment and share your ideas to get feedback. If you’ve seen success with a podcast, share your experience below…

Top 9 Facebook Groups for Female Entrepreneurs

Facebook Groups for Female Entrepreneurs

Facebook has just announced that they are now allowing pages to join and network in groups. This makes marketing your business via Facebook groups a more powerful option than ever before. Whether you choose to network in groups as an individual, or as your business, Facebook groups are a great way to reach a wider audience, make valuable connections and learn loads from other female entrepreneurs.

There are thousands of Facebook groups out there, so if you’re just getting started it can be tricky to know which will add value at the early stages. Read on to discover my top 10 Facebook groups to join for female entrepreneurs and lifestyle business owners…

1. The Lit up & Loaded Entrepreneur

The Lit up & Loaded Entrepreneur

This is a great group for female entrepreneurs who are just starting their entrepreneurial journey. With 7,000+ members, on an average day there’s about 70 new posts to get through. While this might sound like a lot, and like being an active member of the group might take up a lot of time, this is a valuable group to be part of, and you can read the posts that relate to you and engage with just ten minutes input a day.

The members mostly talk about business strategy, offering support and advice to one another. In addition, the group hosts a love monthly coaching session.

Join the group here:https://www.facebook.com/groups/litupandloadedentrepreneur/

 

2. Goal Digger Podcast Insiders

Goal Digger Podcast Insiders

If you’re yet to listen to the Goal Digger podcast by Jenna Kutchermake a mental note to download an episode this evening! The Goal Digger Podcast Insiders group has an amazing 31,000+ members and is growing daily. Members can post freely in the group, although this is a ‘no promo’ group, so avoid posting links and promoting your content and your services.

The group presents a great opportunity to gain some valuable advice when it comes to marketing your business, and is also a great way to network and make valuable connections.

Join the group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/goaldiggerpodcast/

 

3. #VibeTribe – Social Media Marketing for the Online Entrepreneur

#VibeTribe

This is the ideal group if you’re looking to master social media. #VibeTribe has 4,000+ members, and the group presents an opportunity to gain loads of insight and tips to up your social media game. The focus of the group is to expand your reach and target your dream customer, and in turn expand your bottom line.

Request to join #VibeTribe here:https://www.facebook.com/groups/1435852003208517/

 

4. Societygal – A Community for Creative Entrepreneurs

SocietyGal

At the point of writing this blog post, Societygal has almost reached 10,000 members. While Societygal is great for networking and gainingcreative ideas and advice, it’s also a great group to promote your new offerings and blog content, as well as search for people you’d like to work with that can add value to your business.

Apply to join Societygal here:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/societygal/?ref=group_browse_new

 

5. Lifestyle Marketing Hub – For Biz Owners, Girl Bosses and Entrepreneurs

Lifestyle Marketing Hub

Of course I had to pop the LMH group on the list! The Lifestyle Marketing Hub group provides a great space to connect with like-minded business owners, grow your social following, extend your reach and gain valuable marketing tips, ideas and inspiration daily.

With opportunities to share your social profiles and your latest projects to request feedback and grow your audience, this is the perfect group if you run or are launching a lifestyle focused business or blog.

Join Lifestyle Marketing Hub here:https://www.facebook.com/groups/lifestylemarketinghub/

 

6. She Means BusinessBook

She Means Business

This is the free members’ group by Carrie Green, founder of The Female Entrepreneur Associationand author of She Means Business. Carrie also has another group, which is part of her members’ club. I have been a member of both groups, and while the paid group presents more opportunities, the free group is also a great place to start if you’re not ready to take the plunge and sign up for the membership yet.

The group has 27,000+ members and is a great place to connect with like-minded female entrepreneurs and gain great business advice.

Join here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/shemeansbusinessbook/

 

7. Think Creative Collective

Think Creative Collective

With 24,000+ members, this group has quite strict rules, so it’s important that you become aware of them to ensure you make the most of the community. Think Creative Collective is the perfect place to gain some encouragement and support during your entrepreneurial journey. The group encourages members to share their own success stories, tips and advice, and also to ask questions when you need some support. This is a great group for solopreneurs who are figuring things out on their own.

Apply to join Think Creative Collective here:https://www.facebook.com/groups/thinkcreativecollective/

 

8.The International Entrepreneur

The International Entrepreneur

Created by Sabrina Philipp, The International Entrepreneur has just shy of 20,000 members. The group is designed for the entrepreneur that’s building a profitable international business. Sabrina states that by becoming a member of the group you’ll learn a variety of things, including where to find your ideal client, how to close a sales call and how to scale your business to 6-figures. There are free daily training videos and you’re also given the opportunity to promote your business.

Join The International Entrepreneur here:https://www.facebook.com/groups/intentionalentrepreneurs/

 

9.Blogging Boost

Blogging Boost

This is a great one for lifestyle bloggers, but also for businesses blogging for their brand. Blogging boost enables you to promote your new blog posts and gain more eyes on your posts, more traffic and encourage comments and shares from other members.

Join Blogging Boost here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/bloggingboost/

Are there any groups that you have seen success with? Comment and share your favourite groups below…

5 Ways to Capture Your Audience & Drive More Traffic

One of the biggest things that many businesses, bloggers and entrepreneurs struggle with is driving traffic. While pushing traffic from a variety of sources through to your site might not be that difficult, it’s generating the right traffic that counts. When you get your business in front of the right people, amazing things start to happen, but how do you go about finding your dream audience, and how can you encourage them to click through to your website and invest in your offering? Read on to discover five ways to capture your audience and drive more traffic, to start to move the needle in your business…

 

1. Utilise the Power of Pinterest

Capture your Audience

You’ve probably heard me say this before, but if you’re not using Pinterest for your business, today is the day you should start. With 250 million users, Pinterest is an extremely powerful tool for the lifestyle business and blog.

The inspiration pinning platform can be effective for both product and service based businesses. With fashion, interiors, home décor, beauty, health and fitness being the among the most searched for topics on Pinterest, if your business sits within any of these areas, or other lifestyle areas, you should be using this platform for your business.

You can start to see results by pinning as little as five pins a day. If you want to implement Pinterest for your business yourself, my free guide can show you how. Access my guide ‘How to Triple Your Website Traffic With Pinterest’ here.

 

2. Start a Podcast

Capture your Audience

Capturing your audience isn’t all about instant gratification, in the form of sales. It’s about building a loyal following, that will in time turn into paying customers and advocates for your brand. A Podcast is a great way to grow your audience and reach a whole new group of people that you might have otherwise missed.

When it comes to launching your own podcast, think about what your dream customer would really want from you, or even better, ask them.Instagram polls, Facebook polls and surveys are a great way to find out what your audience really wants. Podcasts could include business tips, lifestyle tips and interviews, but find out what’s going to generate the right kind of audience for your business before you get started, and don’t forget to promote your website and your offering at the start and end of your podcast.

 

3. Get Involved With Facebook Groups

Capture your Audience

Facebook groups aren’t just for personal interests and hobbies, there are literally thousands of them out there, with many having already been created for your perfect target audience. For my own business, I’m a member of about 20 groups, most of which are geared towards female entrepreneurs and lifestyle business owners. Many of these groups have 500+ remembers, which means I can directly network with thousands of people in my target market.

It’s easy to find Facebook groups that might have members that would be your dream customer. Just think of a few keywords and search groups on Facebook. Try getting started with a few groups to begin with, to avoid feeling overwhelmed. Most groups you have to request to join, so find a few that you feel would be the best match for your business and send a request.

Remember to avoid being too self promotional. Instead network and start to build relationships, and when the opportunity arrises, share your offering with your new connections.

If you’re looking for a group to join to get started, you can join the Lifestyle Marketing Hub group here.

 

4. Create Amazing Freebies

Freebies are a great way to build your email list and keep your audience engaged. Freebies can be utilized in almost any business, and can be as simple as a discount code for first time orders. If you really want to start to get your dream audience engaged with your business though, your freebie has to be something that adds value, pushing people through to your site, and getting them to sign up to your mailing list in exchange for something awesome.

The freebies I offer include in depth guides to help people grow the business online., because my target audience is the lifestyle business owner, looking to take their brand to the next level. Think about the kind of guides and free downloadable your audience might be interested in. This is key, as you want the people that sign up for your freebie to actually be interested in what you’re going to offer them later down the line.

Great freebies could include guides, checklists, challenges and workbooks. For example, if you are a fashion brand, you might promote a free guide to creating a capsule wardrobe. Freebies provide a great tool to get people over the threshold, and you can drive traffic through to them via social media, email marketing, Pinterest and promoting them in groups.

 

5. Extend your Reach with Guest Blogging

Capture your Audience

If you’ve been working on your content marketing an SEO for some time, you might remember the days when it was ALL about guest blogging. SEO best practice has changed massively since then, which can only be a good thing for all of us as new tactics favour quality content, over publishing lots of spammy content.

Today guest blogging can still be beneficial, not just for SEO, but to extend your reach and tap into other site owner’s ready made audience. To set up some guest blogging slots, simply approach people and pitch the idea. You might even be able to arrange a post swap, which means you’ll get some content for your site too, alongside having your content published and promoted through someone else’s site.

Be smart about who you guest blog with, and be sure that their audience aligns with yours to generate the best possible results.

Do you have any tips when it comes to capturing your audience, or have you done something that was particularly successful? Comment and share your experiences…

How to Create Shopable Posts on Instagram

Shopable Posts on Instagram

2018 has already presented a variety of digital marketing game changers for the lifestyle brand. The most impactful has to be the introduction of shopable posts on Instagram. This new feature makes Instagram ever more powerful for the product focused business, providing even more reasons why Instagram should be at the forefront of your marketing strategy.

Adding shopable posts on Instagram is pretty straight forward, and could prove to be a very smart move for any lifestyle business. Read on to find out how to implement shapable posts on Instagram, and start driving more sales through the photo sharing app…

Instagram Shopable Posts Explained

Shopable Posts on Instagram

Put simply, Instagram has rolled out shopable media, which means you can now shop products via tags on posts. In order to use shopable posts, you need to have a product based business, rather than a service based business.

Thus far, Instagram has only allowed one link in the account bio, as well as links in stories for accounts with 10,000 followers or more. This makes shopable posts a big game changer. Enabling users to simply tap tags that link through to the products, clicking bio links and searching for product names can now be a thing of the past.

Making product promoting much easier via Instagram can only result in one thing – an increase in sales. When it comes to making a sale, the key is to make the process as easy as possible, and Instagram shopable posts do just that.

How to Enable Shopable Posts

If you have a product focused business and Instagram is a key part of your marketing strategy, then it’s important to implement shapable posts on Instagram, because why wouldn’t you? You have to apply to use shopable posts, here’s how:

1. Head to the app store and make sure that you have the latest version of Instagram

2. Ensure that your account is also set up as a business profile, if it’s not, head to the settings on your account and update it

3. Make sure you’re also set up as admin on a Facebook page

4. To be able to make your posts shopable, you also need to have a product catalog on Facebook. You can set up a shop via your Facebook page.

Once you have setup a Facebook shop and product catalogue, you will shortly be able to use Instagram shopable tags. It’s worth mentioning that Instagram will need to approve your account, which will be done automatically once you have followed the above steps. Instagram say that this can take ‘a few days’ to complete. You will receive a notification when you are ready to start publishing shopable posts.

Publishing Shopable Posts

Shopable Posts on Instagram

Now that you’ve been approved, it’s time to learn how to tag your posts.

1. Select a photo to publish, that includes anything from a single product upwards

2. Tap the products in the photo that you want to tag

3. Enter the relevant information, such as the name of the product and the price, then select the physical product as they appear in your search box, to create a link

4. Finally tap done and then share, of course after you’ve added your caption and hashtags.

Introducing shapable posts on Instagram is something that any product focused lifestyle business can do, and it’s a great way to drive more sales via social media. Have you seen success with shopable posts? Share your tips below…

Getting Started With Influencer Marketing

Getting Started with Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing campaigns can be highly lucrative for the lifestyle business, but it’s also really easy to lose money in this industry too. Influencer marketing is all about creating awareness for your brand, building trust in your products and services, and getting your brand name out there in front of your target audience. Get this right, and you could see an impressive return on your investment.

With so many brands in your industry working with influencers, it can be easy to want to dive in head first and join in. Taking a strategic approach will pay off in the long run, and by taking careful measures you can ensure you create an influencer marketing campaign that will take your business to the next level…

Getting to grips with influencer marketing

Getting Started with Influencer Marketing

The average person consumes hundreds of pieces of content online every single day, but how much of that content do we actually trust? When it comes to your content marketing strategy, it’s all about building trust and value for your audience.

Recent surveys found that users of social media put higher value on the opinions of their friends and family, but that they also trust the recommendations of influencers. Put simply, an ‘influencer’ is someone that has a strong online presence, and the potential to influence the opinions and behaviors of a set target audience. Generally an influencer is relatable to their target audience. Due to creating, publishing and promoting quality content, influencers have been able to build power and trust over time, which means that they have influence over their audience.

How influencer marketing works

Instagram, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter are all great platforms to run influencer marketing campaigns. Influencers are generally bloggers and social media personalities, so you might also want to arrange a collaboration where your brand or products are promoted on the influencers blog also.

Working with influencers enables you to reach an extended audience. In choosing the right influencers for your brand, you can reach out to a highly targeted audience. This can help increase brand awareness, sales and build loyal customers.

In order to generate brand awareness and sales, an influencer might publish a blog post about your brand or products, and promote that content via their social channels. This is usually done by gifting products, or paying a fee. It’s important to ensure that you’re going to get back what you’ve put in and more, so there are a few steps you want to take to ensure that your spend on influencers pays off…

Getting started

Before you even start to look for potential influencers to collaborate with, it’s important to have a firm understanding of who your target market is. In some cases, you may have multiple target markets – write this down as the starting point to building your influencer campaign.

Next it’s time to outline what you actually want to get out of working with influencers. Do you want to increase your sales, or create urgency around a specific product, or maybe you want to increase your followers, or your brand awareness? Before you start to reach out to potential influencers, get your goal clear in your mind. Having a set target will help you ensure that your campaign is successful.

Finding influencers

Once you have outlined your target market, you can start to look for influencers that have a similar audience. While there might be several influencers that fit this, it is also important to look for those that align with your brand.

There are several ways to find influencers in your industry. One of the easiest ways is to look at hashtags. Instagram has helpfully split up the hashtag results into most popular and most recent, so you can simply search for hashtags that are highly relevant to your industry, and hit the most popular tab to see the best performing posts.

Facebook also recently launched their ‘Brand Collabs Manager’ platform, a great tool to help you outline influencers that are relevant to your industry. Read more about Brand Collabs Manager here.

You can also look into using other platforms or hiring an agency to help you outline the best possible influencers for your brand. Alternatively, check out these free influencer marketing tools to find influencers.

When you’re creating your shortlist of influencers, make sure that you take a closer look at their engagement levels and quality of followers. If a blogger has 30k followers, but only gets 100 likes and the odd comment on their posts, somethings not quite right. Look at their followers and check they haven’t paid for fake followers, or built a high volume of low quality followers, before you get in touch.

Approaching influencers

Now that you’ve got your shortlist in place, it’s time to reach out to your potential influencers. If you haven’t been able to access each influencers rate card via their website, request this to gain a better understanding of how much working with each influencer might cost you.

In addition, you need to request proof of the results each influencer has achieved previously. When first reaching out, introduce your brand and the idea that you are looking to collaborate, and suggest at this stage you’re just looking to gather more information about their work and fees.

Once you’ve got an idea of costs and the potential results, one or two influencers on your short list should stand out to you.

Arranging your campaign

Getting Started with Influencer Marketing

Now that you know what the aim of your campaign will be, how much it’s going to cost you, and the potential results your campaign will deliver, it’s time to arrange the details.

There are various ways in which you can collaborate with influencers, such as gifting them products or services, sponsored posts, product reviews and competitions.

Gifting products is the best option if you don’t have a big marketing budget, but gifting a blogger products or services does not mean that they will feature your brand. Some of the bigger influencers will receive freebies every single day, and will generally only promote those that they feel like their audience will really gain value from, or those that they feel they can build a longterm working relationship with.

If you are paying an influencer to publish sponsored posts, it’s important to outline exactly what you are getting for the cost before you agree or hand over any money. Be aware that any paid posts will need to be published with the ‘ad’ tag on Instagram, so that users know that this is a paid collaboration.

Product reviews are usually done via gifting, but of course the same as above applies – just because you gift a product doesn’t mean you will get a review published. Competitions can also be run in collaboration with/sponsored by influencers, and generally are arranged based on a set fee.

Influencer marketing can be extremely powerful when you get it right. Whether you’re looking to arrange one-off campaigns, or create regular ongoing campaigns, it’s important to take the necessary steps to ensure you get the best return on investment possible.

Have you had success with an influencer campaign already? Or maybe you’re an influencer yourself and have some extra tips and advice? Comment and share your experiences, or submit any questions you might have below…

Three Easy Ways to Boost your SEO and Drive More Traffic

on-site blog

Google is a key driver of highly targeted traffic. When your dream customers and clients are looking for you, whether they know it or not, you want them to find you. Highly competitive and seemingly tricky to navigate, getting to the top of the search engine results for your targeted keywords is gold dust, and can have a greatly positive impact on your business.

By being in the right place at the right time(at the top of google), you can save yourself a lot time and money. Imagine no longer having to reach out to your potential customers, instead, they come to you. This is all possible with SEO, and I’m going to share with you a few key things that you can do to boost your search engine rankings and start to drive more traffic…

Getting Started…

Easy Ways to Boost SEO

SEO can be tricky to get your head around, which means many entrepreneurs often over complicate things. In implementing simple methods, SEO can become easier, manageable, and can help you drive highly relevant traffic to your website.

Putting some time aside to work on your SEO is important though. It’s likley that your competitors are working on

1. Rework old content

Remember to focus on one key word or phrase per page. Whether it’s a blog post or a landing page, you can rework your old pages to start bringing in new traffic. Make sure your focus keyword on each page is still going to deliver when it comes to brining your target audience to you, don’t be afraid to change the focus to generate more traffic.

Once you have settled on the focus keyword for each page, use the Yoastplugin or similar to ensure your content is properly optimised. Follow the recommendations in terms of readability and keyword density, and make sure that your images are optimised for your focus keyword too.

In addition, consider rewriting your page title and meta description, to improve your click through rate. The title tag and meta description for each page aren’t just for search engines, they are also an opportunity to sell your content to the user. The more clicks you get through to your content, the higher Google will rate your page.

It doesn’t end there though, once you’ve got someone to click through, it’s important to encourage them to read the entire post and engage with your content. A longer dwell time is also an indicator to Google that your content is really special and should be found by as many people as possible.

If you’ve already got lots of content on your website, try reworking it to start to increase your website traffic. You want to make the most out of the time you’ve already put into creating lots of engaging and interesting content for your audience, so make sure it’s working as hard as it can be.

2. Add an on-site blog

If you don’t have an on-site blog, consider introducing one to grow your audience further and drive more traffic through search. An on-site blog is a proven way to increase search engine results and increase the number of search terms that your site is found for.

If you don’t have a lot of time or budget to put into this it’s OK to start small to begin with. The key to increasing your search traffic with a blog is consistency. The posts that you publish should be strategic, adding value for your dream customer, as well as considering search trends. Start by outlining your target keywords, consider content trends, and think about what your customers might want from you. Your content should provide information that they can’t find elsewhere, while remaining highly relevant to your business.

Your on-site blog will help Google gain a better picture of what you do. With every post you publish, you’ll be strengthening that understanding, helping Google to direct users to your site when they are searching for what you do.

For further guidance on creating an on-site blog that works for both the reader and search engines, read my guide ‘Getting Started With Your Lifestyle Brand’s On-Site Blog’ here.

3. Make sure your site speed and design is up to scratch

This is so so important. I can’t tell you how many businesses that I’ve seen fall short because of this. If your site speed is slow, or your site is difficult to navigate on either desktop or mobile, or both, Google will automatically derank you because of this.

As mentioned above, how people behave on your site matters too. Google measures absolutely every move a user makes on your site, to gain a better understanding of how popular you are, and whether other users might benefit from finding your site first, above your competitors.

If your site is slow, difficult to navigate, or not appealing in design and function, you’ll find that your bounce rate is high, and your dwell time low. You want to ensure people are staying on your site, clicking through to your other pages, filling in your contact form and signing up to your mailing list. Not just for Google either, of course you want those that find your site to interact with it fully, to buy what your selling, or to contact you to inquire about your services. Of course you want the traffic that you bring in to convert, but you also want to send all those positive signs to Google that your site is worth ranking highly.

Use theGoogle PageSpeed Insights toolto determine whether your site is running as quickly as it could be. When it comes to functionality, use your Google Analytics to understand where people are dropping off your site and how you might be able to improve their experience. You might even consider asking a few friends to use your site, and write down anything that they found difficult, such as not being able to find the button or page that they needed.

It will be well worth hiring a web developer or speed specialist to help you improve your customer experience and site speed. This will ensure that all the hard work you’re putting into publishing quality content and optimising your site for keywords will pay off.

Summary…

The above might look like a lot of information, but it boils down to three simple key steps. You can implement these three steps in as little as a few working days. Spending a little extra time on your content, website functionality and speed could start to bring in lots of traffic that you’ve been missing out on.

If you have lots of blog posts and landing pages that aren’t delivering, start here and work through each page to improve it’s visibility. If you have a lot of pages that need a revamp, try setting aside one afternoon a week to slowly work through everything.

If you’re yet to introduce an on-site blog, consider implementing this as soon as possible. Again an afternoon a week can go a long way to increasing your search traffic, by populating your site with highly relevant content that your audience will love.

Finally, make sure your site is up to scratch. Pay an expert here to help you ensure that your site works perfectly for both the user and search engines.

What are your experiences with SEO? Do you have any tips or ideas of your own? Comment below, or submit any questions you might have here…

Facebook Launches Brand Collabs Manager: Connecting Influencers & Brands

Facebook Brand Collabs Manager

Influencer marketing is now one of the key strategies to gain a bigger reach and create an engaged audience online. Particularly influential in the lifestyle industries, influencers present a great opportunity to tap into a highly targeted audience.

Facebook is looking to help facilitate this, by creating a platform specifically designed to help brands and influencers collaborate. Now live and accessible via the social media site, Facebook’s ‘Brand Collabs Manager’ could be a game changer when it comes to creating and managing influencer marketing campaigns.

With influencer marketing largely surrounding social media, it was only a matter of time before one of the mainstream platforms caught on to this opportunity. Can Brand Collabs Manager help you grow your business though, and is it even relevant to what you do? Read on to find out…

How Brand Collabs Manager Works

Facebook Brand Collabs Manager

The new platform will make finding and working with highly relevant influencers that little bit easier. The dashboard will include features, such as enabling you to search for relevant influencers, as well as making sorting through potential influencers simple. The search results will include a short bio, an image of the influencer, a percentage that indicates how good the match is, their focus industry, and how many followers that influencer has.

When you click on individual profiles, you’ll be able to expand the information that you can access further. This will include more details on who they are and their audience, where they are based, their preferred contact method and links to their website/blog.

In addition, brands will be able to view the users previous collaborations and the data connected to these. In order for an influencer to show up as a highlighted profile, the influencer will have to ‘like’ the brands Facebook page.

Influencers will be able to create their own profiles, specifically for Brand Collabs. They will be able to add their media kits and videos should they choose to, and are able to do this once they have signed up to Brand Collabs Manager as an influencer.

 

Brand Collabs Manager Benefits

Facebook Brand Collabs Manager

Thus far, many brands that have experimented with influencer marketing may have felt like they were stabbing in the dark. Unless you hire a professional to run your influencer marketing campaign for you, when you’re trying to arrange everything yourself, you might have found mixed results.

There are problems in the industry, such as influencers that have purchased followers, but Brand Collabs Manager does go a little way to get around these issues. With data surrounding previous campaigns accessible at the click of a button, the platform will enable business owners to be more strategic about the influencers that they choose to work with.

There are always new measures being put in place to protect everyone involved in influencer marketing. From consumers, influencers and the brands themselves, laws, rules and regulations are there to ensure everyone gets a fair deal. Facebook’s new feature will help to work towards better influencer marketing campaigns, as the platform will be able to police the users, and eliminate any brands or influencers that do not meet requirements, such as those with fake followers.

In addition, the platform also makes influencer marketing more accessible. Often as entrepreneurs, particularly when we are just starting out, we try to juggle everything ourselves. We don’t have the budget to pay someone to put together an influencer campaign, or the budget to waste on campaigns that didn’t work out. Brand Collabs Manager makes it easier to connect with influencers ourselves, and set up campaigns of actual meaning to deliver results.

 

Getting Started with Brand Collabs Manager

Facebook Brand Collabs Manager

Facebook is slowly but surely making the platform accessible to all. You have to join a waiting list, but once you’re approved it could be a great tool to help you introduce influencer marketing to your strategy, in an affordable way. Join the waiting list for Facebook’s Brand Collabs Manager here.

Once you’ve been accepted, start small and get familiar with the platform. Start to browse influencers and create a shortlist of those that you’re interested in working with. The platform creates a great opportunity to make connections and build relationships, so look at it from this angle to begin with.

There are so many great opportunities for lifestyle brands when it comes to influencer marketing. Take your time to find an influencer that really aligns with your brand though. It can feel like you have to be doing influencer marketing just because everyone else is. In choosing influencers that are low quality or not as aligned with your brand as they could be, you’ll just end up wasting money.

Brand Collab Manager is a great place to start. Once you’re approved have a little look around, start reaching out and making connections, until you find the perfect influencer to help you drive your brand forward.

What are your experiences with influencer marketing so far? Maybe you’ve had a campaign really take off, or maybe you’re had a bad experience? Comment and share your views…

Up your Instagram Game: Take the Free 30-Day Challenge

Instagram can be an impressively powerful marketing tool when you get it right. Best of all, it’s completely free to use, and enables you to build a valuable and engaged audience. This is especially true for lifestyle focused businesses, from fashion, beauty and homeware brands, to life coaches, bridal boutiques and personal trainers, there’s a huge audience out there on Instagram just waiting for you…

The Lifestyle Marketing Hub 30-Day Challenge Explained…

The 30-day challenge has been designed to help you ensure that the energy that you’re putting into Instagram is worth while, so that it actually generates results. Instagram can seem confusing before you get your head around what you need to be doing. This challenge is right for you if you know you need to be posting daily, but often find yourself stuck over what to publish, or if you feel like you’re pushing content out, but you’re not moving forward.

With this 30-day challenge, I can teach you how to boost your profile day by day, to help you increase your interaction and build your valuable audience.

The 30-day challenge includes a short (two page) strategy planner, so that you can create a week long plan that you rotate through. Designed to deliver results, it just takes 20 minutes to fill out your strategy workbook, and is designed so that you can get maximum results, without having to spend all day on the photo sharing app.

You can download the free challenge below, which will teach you how to beat Instagram’s algorithms, help you understand what you should be posting and when, make creating powerful captions simple, and finally provides a 30-day process for you to follow, to get your Instagram working hard for your business.

To start your free challenge today, and get your Instagram converting, click the image below to access the free guide and workbook…