Sarah Doctor In The House?

posted in: Blog | 0

The Facebook Marketing Clinic from Sarah Ainslie Marketing

On 24th February I held a free virtual Marketing Clinic via my Facebook page. The idea being simply that I would offer anyone who wanted it professional marketing advice absolutely free and without any obligation or ulterior motive. Marketing questions were posted onto my Facebook page throughout the day and I answered them as fully as the medium, and my lack of in depth knowledge of participants’ businesses, would allow. So, here they all are:

The first question came from Anthony Williams from graphic design agency, United Graphic Design.

Q. How do you think the relationship should work between a Marketing agency and Graphic Design agency? We find that many people involved in marketing like to have a huge input into the design process, which can be annoying. What do you think?

A. The marketer in the equation should act as a central resource for both designer and client to draw upon. It is their role to take the client’s objectives and translate this into a brief for the designer. They should give direction, if they don’t they are not adding any value for the client and they may as well work directly with the designer, but they should also allow the designer space for creativity because that is their area of expertise. Any brief that is too prescriptive will never produce anything creative but a designer also needs to remember that the marketer has the bigger picture in mind and is considering not just the design but the content, the objectives of the piece and how that fits into the wider marketing mix and overall strategy.

At the end of the day it has to be a consultative process between all 3 parties and if the balance is right each person should make the lives of the other people easier.

The next question was from speaker, blogger and author, Nadine Hill.

Q. My business is as a speaker and author. As an expert on time management, I do motivational speeches, have worked as a media spokesperson for PR campaigns and I have a regular magazine column for a women’s lifestyle title. I do all this under my own name. A couple of years ago I purchased the domain names and secured the Trade Mark for JUGGLISTA. This is a word I created to describe modern busy women – women who juggle like it’s going out of fashion! A sort of twist on the word ‘Fashionista’ that has become so popular in recent years.

My vision for JUGGLISTA was to create a ‘brand’ around the name. It is a catchy, unique name with aspirational qualities, just the sort of thing the media likes, so I got my legal protection in place and built a website to ‘park’ the name at, until I could do something with it. One day I’d like to launch a range of JUGGLISTA products – self organisation products aimed at busy women to help them in their daily juggle, and I’d like a company who already manufactures this sort of thing to license the trade-marked name from me and produce the goods under license, because I can’t cost effectively produce them by myself!

So my question is, how to I effectively market this brand so that it catches the eye of such manufacturers and inspires them to contact me to develop such a relationship?

At the present time, the site is used as a place to store all my magazine columns in an archive, so that firstly I have all the columns in one place for my records, but also so that fresh content is continually posted to the Jugglista website thus ensuring that it remains current. I’m not against finding somewhere else to host my magazine columns if I could be using the JUGGLISTA website more effectively.

What do you suggest?

A. First of all what a fantastic name – Jugglista – love the strapline too! You are absolutely right when you say you want to create a brand around this name and the first thing I would do is consider your ‘brand values’ – ie what characteristics do you want your brand to have. This might be sassy, sophisticated, modern, organised, spontaneous – whatever it might be. Then fast forward a period of time, perhaps a year and ‘vision’ what that brand might look like – how it might be perceived, the associations it might have, the products it might represent, who would be attracted to it, other brands or celebrities that you would want to be aligned with in some way etc. Once you have your vision you can start putting steps in place to get there. You may need to develop a strong visual brand (logo, colour scheme, typography, ‘feel’ etc) as a first step to consistently apply to the brand personality you build up over the next few months.

You need to build credibility for the Jugglista brand so start getting it out there. Create a social media presence and start to populate your website with appropriate content. A blog would be ideal but I could see your magazine columns sitting comfortably in there as well. Can you bring the Jugglista brand association into your columns? You need to find a voice that is appropriate to the Jugglista concept. Create some strategies that will demonstrate your expertise in the area of time management and organisation that will be associated with Jugglista such as tips, blogs, Q&As, comment on topical items in the media that you can put a ‘Jugglista spin’ on, for example the royal wedding (‘how I would do that’, ‘tips for Kate’, ‘how I organised MY wedding day’ etc) and deliver via the site and your social media platforms. Anything that creates interaction with your following is fantastic.

Lastly, I would identify the kind of manufacturers that you would like to partner with and the product ideas you have now and make it your business to find out about them. Who are the key people in the organisation, what kind of products do they already produce and market, what are THEIR brand values. Once you are armed with this information you can work at creating a brand that will be attractive to them and demonstrate a ready-made following for the Jugglista lifestyle!

Anthony from United Graphic Design then asked another question:

Q. How do you write copy for websites keeping Google in mind? What’s the best way to gauge keywords?

A. It’s hard to sum up SEO copy writing in a couple of paragraphs but a good starting point is getting your keywords right. Use an online tool such as Google’s adwords keyword tool  to research your keywords and find ones that are getting plenty of searches but ideally that don’t have a high level of competition. When you write your content aim for a keyword density of 3-5% (no more or you could be penalised by Google) and you can check this using another tool. Obviously the keywords need to be relevant to your industry and your copy still needs to read well and flow so don’t sacrifice good copy for SEO (see a recent blog I did). You can also construct ‘long tail keyword strings’ which are sentences packed with your keywords that bring in traffic that is more specific to your business (remember you only want to drive RELEVANT traffic to your site – it’s all about quality and not quantity!) so these might include geographic references as well as specific product/service keywords.

As well as your page content include keywords in your titles, images, page descriptions and titles and tags. Of course the best way to make your content perform well is to make it interesting and engaging, use call to actions and update it regularly!

Kathryn Taylor from Canvas Factory then joined in:

 Q. I was recently commissioned to do a piece of Minis for Minis artwork for a rather famous sporting celebrity (from good old Sheffield) by his children’s godmother. I really want to shout about it but am not sure that’s the done thing) I do follow him on Twitter – do you think its worth a try contacting him and asking if he liked it/minds me mentioning his name??

A. I guess it’s potentially a tricky one as some ‘celebrities’ could see endorsements as an invasion of privacy or even something that people should be paying for! I would approach him for some feedback on what he thought about your work and whether he would be prepared to give you a short testimonial. I would also say that while you absolutely respect his right to privacy, if he was prepared to give you permission to use his feedback and name that you would appreciate it.  Perhaps emphasize that you are a small local business, personally producing your artwork, just to demonstrate that you’re not a multi-national corporate trying to piggy back his fame!

Richard Hopwood wanted to pick my brains on whether he was on the right track with marketing his business, Entirely Art.

Q. I run an art consultancy business, supplying bespoke art for the home or business It’s in its infancy at the moment and I’m just trying to build up interest. I use all types of social media, facebook, twitter and linkedin, constantly building my connections. I am also working on my SEO for the website. Is there anywhere in your experience I should be looking to advertise/build awareness that is more targeted towards my specific business?

A. Have you clearly identified your target audiences? This needs to be your first step so that you can match your products and services to the audiences that have a demand for it. Once you have done this you can determine what solution you provide for them and how you can best communicate this. I would then focus on those target audiences that have the potential to be most profitable for you, such as organisations who would order in bigger quantities such as interior designers/architects, hotels, bars, hospitality venues etc (based on a few assumptions I have made about your business) and work out the best strategy for raising your profile within this audience. Define your key strengths and what differentiates you from the competition and conduct activities that will take them through the AIDA principle – raise Awareness, create Interest, create Desire, make them take Action.

Lastly, Sarah Chapman from Seven Twelve PR asked a question about outsourcing social media management.

Q. Can you share your views on the benefits of having an external consultant (marketing or PR) advise and support on social media?

A. Social media is one of the newest forms of a company’s marketing mix but that essentially is what it is – a marketing tool. Because social media platforms are so accessible and in monetary terms, low cost or free (in time terms of course it is far from that!) it is something that many organisations get involved in doing themselves and there’s nothing wrong with that. Where a marketer or a PR can add value is in treating the medium in the same way you would treat any other element of your marketing mix – directed by a central strategy, communicated well, focused on the target audience and conducted in a timely, professional and efficient manner.

That’s not to say that in house people cannot do this perfectly well but there is a time factor  – social media can be very time consuming – and potentially a consistency issue. Obviously an external consultant can never have as much knowledge about the company as the company itself but they do have the ability to see things with an impartial set of eyes and empathy for the reader. There should be regular contact between the client and consultant to keep content fresh and relevant and for those who really can’t relinquish control they can opt for regular social media mentoring and support as opposed to a fully managed service.

You can see all these Q&As on my Facebook page as well as all the comments and discussions that went with them. If you are interested in participating in future clinics or any of the other ways I share marketing knowledge and advice then make sure you like my page and look me up on Twitter as well.

Leave a Reply