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The me:now app

The me:now app advertises your favourite local businesses and their time. Let people know what you do and when you can do it. Reach customers who want to take those appointments off your hands.

me:now is for everyone, everywhere, on every device.

Whether it’s your hairdresser, your physio or even your dog groomer, the app only shows businesses that say they’re available.

Customers can follow a favourite business and receive a phone notification when the business says it has a free slot.

Businesses list when they have a diary gap or cancellation. They can share this with anyone looking for their type of business and with their existing customers on Facebook or Twitter.

Find Out More

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StoryPartners

Need to recruit new supporters, service-users or customers? Are you trying to raise funds, or raise your profile? StoryPartners can help. In a market where film and video are the essential medium to sell your product or service, we can give you a professionally produced promo, documentary short, even a TV ad. We’ll help you find – and tell, in the most compelling way – the story that communicates your offer.

We’re a two-person team with years of experience in film-making and fundraising for non-profits and social enterprises; we’ve worked with some of the really big charities in the UK, like NSPCC, Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, and the National Deaf Children’s Society. We’d love to work with you too – we’re looking to expand into other non-profit areas and will offer a discount to our first client in a new sector!  

If you want to stand out with something different to the usual and sometimes brash promotional film, take a look at our films – they’re all on the website. We like to think our work is finely crafted, insightful, powerful, and beautifully shot. That it cuts to the heart of who you are.

We love to talk about this stuff, so give us a call or drop an email. We really look forward to hearing from you.

Visit www.storypartners.tv or email contact@storypartners.tv

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Anton French

Anton French Film is a Kent based film production company working to help growth in all sectors of the community. We believe in people and the great things that can be accomplished when we work together.

Film has a unique ability to engage an audience and to properly express the passion people have for their work. It’s a medium that has the capacity to be beautiful, informative and expressive.

Appropriately targeted media is essential to the success of your marketing campaign. We can help provide a conduit to enable you to personally connect with your clients. We can help from the initial devising of ideas to accomplishing your marketing objectives. We do this through the production of well produced, targeted media distributed via our dedicated digital network. We excel at bringing fresh ideas to the table and finding the right fit for every client.

Visit the Anton French Website

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Gwynne Graphics – Creative Design Agency

Gwynne Graphics is an award winning design and marketing agency registered in Whitstable, Kent. Established in 2007,  the agency is family run by Krissie Gwynne and her partner Rejane Gwynne, who work with clients throughout the UK and globally.

Our services:

  • Illustration and Graphic Design
  • Branding
  • Vehicle Livery Design
  • Photography
  • Web Design
  • Copy Writing
  • Web Hosting and Maintenance
  • Marketing Support
  • Social Media Marketing

Our Rates:

New clients get 10% discount on their first job plus join our loyalty scheme and get 10% off every 5th job!

We offer packages to suit everyone’s pocket:

  • Start-up Package which includes a basic one-page website, logo and stationary
  • Web Hosting and Support
  • Pay As You Go

To find out more or to get a quote, please contact us or visit our Gwynne Graphics website

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Twitter tips and tricks: a beginner’s guide

“I don’t get Twitter” is a common statement among small business owners. Typically lone rangers traversing the terrain of social media with little guidance, they cite limited resources as the main obstacle between them and an explosive Twitter feed.

In truth, success on Twitter is dependent on little more than social media savviness. And with more than 316 million active monthly users engaging in instant conversations, the social platform shouldn’t be ignored.

Here are some tips to turn your Twitter trepidation into a fantastic tool for winning customers.

1 Make connections
Twitter offers the opportunity to find people who are interested in your industry and turn them into customers. But it isn’t enough to blindly fire out tweets each day.
Get creative. A quick search using Twitter’s free search bar will give you an idea of the kind of topics your target audience is engaging with.

Think laterally. Are you a bed company? Perhaps you want to target those complaining about a bad back or a sleepless night. A removal service? Look for someone excitedly tweeting about their impending move.

Active Twitter users will tweet about most aspects of their lives, making Twitter a huge database buzzing with real-time information. Searching keywords such as “bad sleep” and “house move” will pull up a stream of tweets. You can then do an advanced search on location and actively identify your ideal customer.

Twitter allows you to interact with anyone with a public account, an opportunity not afforded by any other social platform. Avoid becoming spam by offering useful content and tips to your followers, based on your business expertise, or even reply to their tweets – generic responses won’t cut it.

2 Develop a personality
There are a range of successful business accounts on Twitter, some with hundreds of thousands of followers. No matter what their industry, they have one thing in common – they develop a unique personality rather than a stream of self-promotion.
Your Twitter feed should be a combination of useful content, such as “how to choose the right mattress for you”, and tweets that demonstrate your personality.

Innocent Smoothies used Twitter to catapult their brand. Their Twitter account is chock-full of witty repartees and quirky stories that don’t always relate to their product, but ooze with brand personality. They are just about the best example of a business doing Twitter well.

Use images to create more of an impact – Tweets with images get on average 35% more engagement than those without. The ideal image size for Twitter is 506 pixels by 253 pixels.

3 Have a content strategy
Twitter is fast-paced. With thousands of tweets on any one topic being fired out every minute, messages get lost easily and it can get overwhelming.

Having a clear content strategy with an editorial calendar is a good way of keeping on top of the day-to-day feed, leaving you free to interact with customers. Your editorial calendar should include events, blogs, brand messaging, sales and products or services you wish to promote throughout the month.

This is a good opportunity to offer discounts exclusively to Twitter, or run competitions to create engagement – one tactic that works surprisingly well is asking people to follow you and retweet your tweet for the chance to win a prize.

When The Salt Room launched in Brighton, they used Twitter to organise a city-wide treasure hunt under the hashtag #SaltSearch. This generated publicity for the restaurant before it had even opened. This hashtag spread across the world, with thousands of retweets and competition entries.

4 Advertisement
If something big is happening, it’s happening on Twitter and the chances are, it has its own hashtag.

Hashtags are used to centralise a conversation. Searching a specific hashtag in the search bar will bring up a stream of any tweet that contains it. Hijack the hashtag, get involved in the conversation, and watch your engagement levels grow.

Hashtags can also be a more general link to a topic, person or interest – so if Twitter users are searching for tweets on a certain subject, a hashtag can alert them to your tweet. For example, when we tweet about our campaigns at Bozboz, we may use the hashtag #contentmarketing or #digitalcampaigns.

You can also get involved with, or even facilitate, #hours. These are conversations that happen on Twitter at specific times around a specific subject. There are Twitter chats for cities, industries, hobbies, sports – #UKrunchat is a great example of a sports chat that grew from nothing to over 20,000 followers in just two years.

To find relevant hashtags, look at the trending stream to the left of your profile, or check out what your competitors are doing – are they interacting with a specific topic? If they’re doing it, you should too.

5 Stay organised
Twitter can be a lot of work. Make things simpler by streamlining your processes. Use the list functionality to organise individuals into helpful lists. Having a list for customers, influencers, prospects and even competitors will make monitoring and targeting easier and much more effective. If you don’t want the person to know you’ve added them to a list, make the list private.
There are a range of Twitter management tools, such as Tweetdeck and Hootsuite, that will help you keep on top of your social activity. Meanwhile, Twitonomy helps you measure return on investment – you can track follower growth over time and the number of clicks on links. Many of these tools are free and will quickly become an invaluable part of your social strategy.

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Whitefish Marketing

10 ways to market your small business

Small businesses often have it hard in the marketing stakes. There’s less budget to play with and fewer resources to deal with the work demands. But that doesn’t mean your voice can’t be heard. There are some great, affordable ways to market your business even when you’re on a shoestring. Digital Marketing Director, Chris Surridge, from Whitefish Marketing gives a quick rundown of some low cost ideas.

Employ online video

Online video is a great way to engage consumers and generate a following, and they don’t have to be the polished, expensive kind. Video tutorials provide relevant, useful information to users that will encourage them to return to the site and purchase products or seek out your services. Setting up a YouTube channel is free, and the videos are easily embedded on your own site.

Set up a blog

In the same way that video can provide visitors with high quality rich media content, so can a company blog. The best solution is to present yourself as an expert in your field, tackling questions and problems that many of your customers face and offering advice on various subjects. For example, a legal firm specialising in employment law might blog about duties of care companies have towards staff or outline the details of reviewing and altering employment contracts. Become a voice of authority and, after a while, your name will become synonymous with your specialty.

Publish testimonials and case studies

Customer testimonials or reviews and case studies on your website are a great way to prove the efficacy of your services or the quality of your products. Peer reviews are increasingly important to consumers and can be persuasive for potential customers. Take care to publish reviews that are less than dazzling – or even negative – and ensure all feedback is genuine. Nothing is more suspicious than 30 five-star reviews.

Interact on social channels

A great way to raise brand awareness and attract new customers is to interact with consumers on forums and social media channels. Be honest about who you are and where you work, but offer helpful advice and join in discussions about various subjects that are relevant to your sector. Avoid trying to sell though – if you’re pleasant and helpful, the customers will come to you.

Get the word out

An extension of our point above; when you produce great content, don’t let it sit on your website unnoticed – share it around the web. You can do this via your own social channels, by using bookmarking sites such as Delicious or Stumble Upon, or by guest posting on others’ blogs. Building relationships with bloggers that specialise in your field can increase the reach of your content and improve your credibility as a reputable business.

Get on Google Maps/Local

A Google Maps/Local listing is vital, not least because it will help you appear higher in local search rankings. It’s free to do and enables customers to find your firm, as well as offering you the chance to display opening times and other information on the search listings. It’s also another avenue through which clients can leave reviews, which gives you a useful tool in evaluating customer care. Reviewing past statistics, phone calls direct from Google listings can count toward as much as 17% of total incoming calls. But note… it’s worth ensuring your Google listings pages are set up correctly from the start.  It can be hard to remedy or amend once they’ve gone live.

Publish stats, whitepapers and studies

Publishing stats, whitepapers and studies that your company has carried out is another way to provide useful information to your visitors. Findings from these kinds of activities also make for great PR and help establish your position in the marketplace. Do some consumer research with incentive surveys and share the data in a report.

Get in the press

Press releases needn’t be expensive. Services such as PRWeb provide an affordable way to get articles into the public domain and raise brand awareness. They often provide tiered services to suit a range of budgets, and some offer a pay-per-release option if PR is something you do infrequently.

Repurpose content

Repurposing content is a great way to communicate an idea across several channels and make the most of your audience. On a number of our blogs we’ve extolled its virtues before, but it’s worth mentioning again that it’s a good opportunity to both win SEO points by creating natural links and draw in more visitors to your website.

Offer sponsorship

This might be a little more outside the box, but sponsoring a local sports team is a good way to get your name seen. The signing of the sponsorship deal itself is good PR and companies can benefit from an advert in programmes or banners on the team’s website for the duration of the season. Think grass roots marketing.

For more advice on marketing for small businesses speak with a representative from Whitefish Marketing. Whitefish Marketing is an experienced yet friendly digital marketing agency in Folkestone, offering complete multichannel marketing services from the fundamentals such as SEO, PPC and Email Marketing, through to full campaign strategies, Public Relations, retention activities and more.

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DigitalBeans

We are DigitalBeans, a digital marketing agency based in the heart of beautiful Canterbury.

We pride ourselves on our attention to detail and devoted attitude towards the individual needs of each client, meaning that we can provide a unique and enjoyable experience for everyone.

We provide a range of digital marketing services including SEO, social media, and PPC advertising, which are all tailored specifically to meet the needs of your business in order to make your online presence a success.

We are now offering one free hour of consultation for startup businesses, so don’t hesitate to get in touch!

Visit: http://www.digital-beans.co.uk/

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A Guide to Social Media for SMEs and Startups

Social media is an invaluable source for small businesses; whether it be used for gaining new information, promoting your brand, or conducting market research, it really is a necessity.

However, it is also often associated with a lot of hard work, time and money; as a relatively new addition to the marketing world, it is not abnormal to see new businesses neglect social media due to a lack of belief in the possible results, regularly combined with the lack of substantial knowledge regarding what social media really involves!

This guide will attempt to approach some of the most common difficulties concerned with social media that, once overcome, can help you drastically improve the online publicity and overall effectiveness of your business.

 

Common misconceptions

‘My target audience don’t use social media.’

This is the reason why a large amount of businesses opt out of social media – they believe that Facebook is used solely by thirteen year old girls, and the only people that have time to Tweet regularly aren’t interested in what their brand has to offer. This is false! As social media rises in popularity across the marketing and advertising spectrum, so does the range of users; people of all ages are logging on and making the most out of the services offered to them, so you are missing out on huge potential by ignoring this online audience.

‘Social media doesn’t generate results.’

This can easily be countered by simply looking at the facts – according to Wishpond. (http://blog.wishpond.com/post/52642121735/infographic-the-top-benefits-achieved-in-social-media) 89% of all marketers got more exposure for their brand after introducing social media, which led to an increase in traffic for 75%, and over half of the total businesses received an improvement in sales over a three year period. Increasing your sales is a process that takes time through any marketing approach, and social media has been shown to be a highly successful method!

‘No one reads my posts.’

Often people are disappointed upon trying social media and not receiving instant results. This, unfortunately, is how everyone starts – your social media journey doesn’t end once you’ve downloaded the tools. By engaging with others and communicating online via your platforms, you can start to build invaluable social relationships – read and share posts from others to receive a similar treatment yourself!

‘Social media is too expensive.’

False – in fact, most of the platforms are very low cost, or completely free! Using social media can even lower your overall costs as it can lead to a decrease in assigned marketing funding for alternate promotional efforts.

‘There’s nothing in it for me.’

False again! As well as heightened publicity and better results for your business, social media allows you as a user to learn as you go, and connect with others in the same industry as you which will allow you in turn to create opportunities that you may not otherwise have come across.

Why do I need social media?

So, if those rectified misconceptions didn’t convince you, here are some more reasons why social media is a great addition to your business’s marketing strategy.

•  You can publicise and share the existing content on your site, and revisit old products with a new angle or motive to boost sales.
•  You can easily promote upcoming products or services; hinting about new releases is a great way to spark conversation about your brand and keep people interested.
•  Social media makes it simple for you to establish a target audience, so you share to the masses through the use of trends, and also appeal to a more specific group of consumers that you know will be interested in what you have to say.
•  Most importantly, you can learn and enjoy! There is so much advice to be found on social media platforms that will help shape your business, and by interacting and searching you can create new ideas and inspirations to boost the overall effectiveness of the business.

Which platforms are best for my business?

Once you’ve made the decision to embark on a social media mission, one of the most daunting stages of the launch is choosing which platform – or platforms, plural – would be most effective for you and your business.

The answer? In short, it really depends on the individual. Mixing and matching between platforms is a good way to target a larger variety of target audience members – by deciding early on what you would like to ideally focus on, you can then use these primary aims to aid your decision.

Platforms such as Facebook and Twitter are great all round sites – they’re consistently effective when it comes to sharing and spreading awareness of the brand, as well as being very useful if you want to use trends to your advantage. You can also look into more specific industry related motives – for example, a clothing or beauty brand may benefit from a more visual platform such as Pinterest or Instagram.

Assessing the methods of your competitors is a great way to start your own projects with social media. Observe and learn from what they use and to what effect, and see what you like or dislike about their daily social methods. You can use this for your own inspiration, however don’t forget that each business is unique, so don’t worry if you’re not keen on the way others do it.

It is also important to remember that you don’t need to be a master of every social media platform available to you – publicity is good for business, and social media offers a personal insight into the business for customers which allows them to keep up to date with what the brand is doing, but it is always better to run one successful platform rather than five neglected attempts. If you do choose to launch multiple platforms, pay attention to each one individually and share across them all, to ensure that you have the maximum potential for communication and interactions.

Can I do it myself?

One of the main doubts that small businesses and startups have when it comes to launching social media is the element of time. However, with the right planning and marketing strategy, it is manageable for any company to take care of their own social media in-house, without the help of external agencies.

By making sure you have decided on which platforms you wish to focus on, and also a rough idea of short- and long-term goals for your social media – for example, will you launch campaigns or just use them to promote products or content, and so on – you will be able to run your own sites!

Running your own social media allows you to have complete control over what is posted and when, which will lead to more effective and organised social media results. There are thousands of resources online that can be used as guides, so it is always best to attempt to start it on your own.

Programs such as Hootsuite are great starting points for beginners, in terms of saving time and managing several applications at once, and getting more out of your social media overall.

What should I post?

This really depends on what you want to say – a promotion, a page of content, an existing product, or just a daily update – and where you are going to say it – a Tweet, a Facebook status, a photo, and so on.

Don’t sacrifice writing something well for a longer piece – focus on keeping everything concise and informative, and most importantly, relevant to what you are trying to say.

For information and inspiration on what to post, have a look at our recent blog ‘8 Engaging Ideas for Social Media Content’ (http://www.digital-beans.co.uk/8-engaging-ideas-social-media-content/), or alternatively simply search online! There is a lot of help available with regards to social media that is highly beneficial to all small businesses and startups looking to expand their knowledge of the subject.

This post has been provided by DigitalBeans, a Canterbury based digital marketing agency, formerly known as uTargeting (you can read more about the rebrand here http://www.digital-beans.co.uk/utargeting-name-change/). Following a recent digital marketing session hosted by StartMyBiz and delivered by Piperis Filippaios of DigitalBeans, we felt that a followup post was much needed as many startups and small businesses face such issues when venturing into the world of social media and digital marketing as a whole.

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Catriona Campbell – Creative Marketing Tourism Specialist

Catriona is offering 60 minute marketing makeover sessions in Whitstable in return for £40 donation to Tourism for All, a charity that aims to make holidays accessible to all – see www.tourismforall.org.uk.

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Deeson Creative

Offers a concentration of all the design, digital, and marketing services that a business needs to flourish, found in a local, friendly agency. Services include branding, marketing, print design, websites, social media and email campaigns, to the highest standards on time, every time, without the London agency premium.

For more information visit: https://www.deeson.co.uk/