Top 5 Free Mobile Apps every SME must have

There are hundreds of free tools every managing director should have to be more efficient. But I will show you the top best free management tools.

Trello

This free tool allows you to create a board with checklists and controls the workflow with your small team.  You can also use it with Microsoft Outlook under ” shortcuts”.

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Evernote

Evernote will help you to stay organise your projects. It is super easy to work with and it’s a pleasant user-friendly app available for IOS and Android. You can also have access to through your desktop.

The main features:

  1. Assign notes to different areas of interests
  2. Tags
  3. Stacks holds on all the related notes together
  4. Schedule a clean up, you must clean what you have already doneCapture d’écran 2017-05-03 à 18.28.24.png

Slack

This Mobile App is one of my all-time favourites, it’s like a professional messenger group. Perfect to keep a workflow with your team. You can integrate it with social networks like Dropbox, Google Drive, Twitter.

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I use it to:

  1. Share and edit documents
  2. Search for past conversations
  3. Organise work projects
  4. Stay focus on daily matters
  5. Customise you team personalities with slack Emojis

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Google Analytics

A must have website management tool every digital marketer must have. The App is available for both Android and iOS users. It will track all your website insight on the palm of your hand.Capture d’écran 2017-05-03 à 18.46.30.png

Google Docs and Sheets

the app has the same functionalities than the Web versions:

  1. create and edit files
  2. Work Offline and auto-save your documents
  3. Integrated with Microsoft Word and Excel
  4. Group Work

Obviously like I said there are tons of free management tools but these are to top 5 management that I a fan of.

Do have any other tool that I should know about? share your thoughts 🙂

 

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Is the business of Influencers coming to an end?

Is not rare today to include on any digital marketing plan the term of influencer marketing. But what is it really?

Influencers are well known to be individuals who have an impact on specific niches like food, fashion, travel, sports, health, cars you name it etc. Influencers use platforms like Instagram, Youtube, Snapchat, Facebook.

Nowadays they are becoming a key role for any branding exposure, marketers call that the affiliate marketing. Brands and influencers team up to promote a product in exchange for free products, money, and some kind of others recognitions like attending to special events.

This is an example I have found on Instagram of South African influencer:

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These new social media stars have worked hard to create a blog, Vblog or any social media channel with a great identity which makes them unique and powerful for 4 reasons:

  1. They have an engaging audience
  2. Influencers have an authentic Image
  3. They have great relationships with their niche community
  4. They are new roll models

Well, the business of influencers has become a way of life, a business and a full-time job for some of them.

New marketing guidelines for social influencers.

The Uk’s Committee of Advertising Practice  (CAP) encourages Brands and influencers to be “clear and honest” when a post is promoted.

The purpose of this is to protect the consumers from a promoted content. Warn the followers and readers that they are about to see a promoted content.

The promoted posts of the influencers should include:

  • A hashtag #ad, #advertorial, #adversement
  • Any link added on the post falls under the same rule
  • Images showing a promoted product or brand should also include the #ad on the picture.

Should the Advertising Standards authority of South Africa do something about the South African Influencers?

 

Sources: The fashion LAW, The CAPThe Advertising Standards Authority of South Africa .

Small Business: how to observe and target your online customers for FREE

As a small business entrepreneur, you should know first why your audience needs your solution and why your product or service brings value to their lives. So the first question you should ask yourself is what want my future customer from my startup. Every young entrepreneur needs to understand what is their audience made of.

Observe-audience-smallbusiness

First, every SME should collect data

Your audience is perhaps already out there discussing their problems. You can use Google Alerts where you can set up keyword alerts for your industry. Another free tool to collect data from forums or for “questions and answers” is Quora. Once in it, check the “advanced search operator” very powerful.

Social Mention is a real-time a social media tool that searches on what people are generating blogs, comments, bookmarks, events, news, videos etc. Google trends, is also a very powerful free tool to compare search terms and websites.

I don’t want to overwhelm you, but there is a lot of tools out there. But these ones are very good and free. The last one I want you to keep in mind is Hootsuite one of my all time favorite to monitor multiple social media networks and you can get personalized reports.

Second, check your in-house information

I will insist on the fact that in order to understand what is out there we need to look at ourselves first.

Evaluate your Google analytics, facebook analytics, Instagram analytics or twitter analytics audience, you will be able to see where your audience is coming from. From typing your business keywords, from twitter, facebook, a blog a forum? Another very useful way to evaluate your audience and learn what are their interests is asking them directly. First, ask your existing clients what drove them to you, yes pick up the phone and ask them!

Let’s say, you have a nice simple website and now you are getting more visits, emails and you are encouraging your visitors to subscribe to your newsletter. So now run a survey with SurveyMonkey, with multiple choice questions explain to your existing audience you are doing a research to provide them a better service and that is only going to cost them 1 minute.

  • Ask them about their favorite social media
  • What newspapers or blogs they read
  • What radios, forums or TV shows they like
  • How much time do you spend finding for content
  • What type of content is more likely to suit you: blog posts, news, ebooks, videos, podcasts.
  • If you like a content how would you share it with your friends; by email, private message on facebook, Linkedin, copy paste link on WhatsApp or other?
  • How important is your product or service is for them
  • What is your biggest consideration when choosing this type of product

Don’t waste money on complicated digital marketing software, there are tons of free analytical tools out there. Use these simple techniques to track down your audiences.

Step by step Digitial Marketing plan.

Many of the entrepreneurs and startups that have worked for, did not have a defined digital marketing strategy. Most of SME‘s goes with the flow when talking about their marketing activity. They use interns to do that job. But hey, guess what! you can indeed hire an intern to do the job for you but here is the thing: you need to have a plan, sales goals with meaningful results. And I don’t think an intern can handle that type of pressure on their own.

I will help you crafting a step by step digital marketing strategy with the top important tasks you need to tackle.

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1. Define your buyer persona

This topic goes beyond the demographic descriptions of your target customers. You need to do a detailed research about:

  • their social media habits
  • emotional needs and goals
  • Hobbies and interests
  • priorities in life
  • aspirations
  • Observe how they interact with social media

You can get a full report from your google analytics, facebook audience report or run tests in your website by gathering useful information.

2. Get to know your competitors

Do your benchmark it will help you uncover what are your weaknesses and opportunities are.

  • what channels are they using?website?social media networks
  • how active are they? are they attending to networking events?
  • are they recruiting?
  • have you checked their website?

There are tonnes of tools to sneak into your competitor’s activity.  But relax I  will dive deep in my next posts.

3. Audit your previous communications performances

To avoid and feel overwhelmed, right down what have you done so far. What I call in-house communication and external communication.

What I mean with in-house communication, the messages you control:

  • your website content and SEO performances
  • your social media accounts performances
  • Your email marketing
  • images
  • videos
  • PR materials
  • Paid adverts on Google Adwords, facebook ads, twitter ads  etc

What I mean with external communication, is all the information  you have earned for free from others like:

  • other websites mentions
  • press mentions
  • bloggers that have talked about your services or products
  • positive reviews on Tripadvisor or google reviews.

4. Evaluate your resources and budget

You need to know perfectly where you can go and do with your available sources. They can be human resources and your budget.

Your team

Evaluate the performance of your people.The goal is to keep your team focused on what they are good for.Determine if you need to hire a digital marketing manager with enough knowledge or perhaps you want to outsource your digital presence with an agency but that will cost you quite a lot on your early SME stage.

The budget

Decide how much budget you are willing to spend on digital marketing it can be either or:

  1. paid promotions ( pay per click) only.
  2. or concentrate your efforts on content strategy, social media strategy and SEO.

5. Set measurable marketing goals

Once you have done all of the above-explained areas you must now set your KPI’s by big groups. I will summarize some of the most important ones, but I will dig into it on other posts so keep up! 🙂

website KPI’s

  • Increase your brand visibility. Example get 1000 registered members in 2 months.
  • Get 50%  more visitors than last 3months
  • optimize website
  • Increase returning visits
  • traffic sources
  • ETC

Social Media KPI’s

  • number of fans and followers per month
  • number of mentions
  • Inbound link, this refers to the number of links from other sites that are sending you traffic visitors
  • blog subscribers
  • top  blog posts
  • social shares
  • lead generation from social media
  • number of retweets
  • comments
  • traffic data, how many visitors on your web are coming from social media
  • videos views
  • etc

Remember that you only need to focus on the channels that your brand is active and where your prospects are. It’s all about common sense, you have to be where your buyer persona is and set measurable and realistic goals. Good luck!

What is Digital Marketing

Digital marketing is part of your strategic global marketing plan. It’s all your online marketing efforts you will leverage to connect with your audience and make them your future customers.

Traditional Marketing, it’s usually all forms of advertisement and promotions marketers create to sell a product or service offline. This type of traditional marketing is still very powerful nowadays, especially on TV, press, radio and specific magazines.

However, traditional marketing is quite expensive for  SME´s and not always reach your customers. I would recommend using both traditional marketing and digital marketing for your business if you have a low budget.

what really is digital marketing?

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Entrepreneurs need to adapt to where their clients are. Consumers do their first market research online for any product. So it’s clear that you need to be online and have a website. Once you have the website done, digital marketing is all the tactics you will create to reach your buyer persona.

Digital marketing actions

  • asset on design and a friendly website
  • Research for your buyer Persona profile
  • Online Branding (colours, logos, fonts etc)
  • create graphic material, such as Ebooks, infographics, gifs, webinars
  • videos to educate your audience, or showcase your products
  • social media networks
  • create PR media support

Digital marketing purpose

  • SEO, optimisation of your website, content, photos, videos etc for search engines
  • content planning of your website’s blog (taking into account your business keywords)
  • create strategies to attract, educate, convert and delight your online consumer. Is what marketers know as Inbound marketing.
  • social media marketing, promote your brand and content
  • paid per click adverts ( PPC) on Google, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc
  • Influencer’s marketing plan, find an influencer to talk about your product or service. The goal is that they do it fo free but we will talk about it in another post.
  • Email marketing
  • Analyse your website’s analytics data, it helps you to prioritise the online actions and adapt them to the correct path

So presuming you already have a website and you don’t know where to start with all this overwhelming information. The first thing you should ask yourself is;

What are my business goals and how much budget you want to dedicate to your digital marketing strategy? Do I have time to do it myself? or do I need help from a digital marketer?

I can help you out with your step by step digital marketing plan.

6 signs a startup need a digital marketing plan

It doesn’t matter if your startup is an early stage, mid stage or boosting stage. It’s never too late a have a digital marketing plan. That means you have goals, you want to increase your online sales or simply you are overwhelmed with all the information and need help.

The digital plan does not have to be an extended document. The important is to have your business goals very clear.

6 reasons you need a digital strategy plan

 

1. You don’t know your business goals

Many entrepreneurs don’t have a business plan with clear strategic goals. You have gone with the flow and lost the first reasons who you want to reach, how and why.

2. You have no idea what your competitors are doing

Ok so great, you have your product and have done a small benchmark. But my friend that is not enough. You need to do an extensive research of your competitors what social networks are they in, what type of networking events are they attending, are they recruiting etc?

You have to create yourself a document with all this information and must be updated. information comes a go easily

3. You don’t know your online customers that well

You have gathered information from the internet about the type of customers you may have. Again, that is not enough. Digital marketing it’s about gathering information from your website, visitors with Google analytics.  Collect information, create a buyer persona profile, analyse them, adapt your content for their need and repeat. You can also create feedback tools and collect information.

4. Your digital services are outsourced

Let suppose you have your website was done, you have a freelance web developer, a freelance designer and looking to hire an intern in community management. Well no, you are doing it wrong.

As a small business, first, you need a digital marketing strategy and keep it in-house. Do not outsource these services, it’s a waste of money. As these figures need to work close under the same management with a digital marketing manager. Once you grow and become a multinational startup like Uber or Airbnb then yes you can outsource these services all in one place. But you will still need a digital marketing manager in-house to manage all marketing actions, the advertising agencies and respect the budgets.

5. You don’t have enough budget for digital marketing

Digital marketing is not always about paid advertising and Google Adwords. It’s about planning your website content, analyse your website traffic, collect data and adapt the content to educate your buyer personas. Work on your SEO to get organic content to your website and handle your social networks. You will need a digital marketing manager.

6. You don’t have time for digital marketing

digital marketing is overwhelming

Whether you already started by analysing your data from Google Analytics but you don’t know where to start or you have too much to think about for your startup. Try to find some funds, your business development strategy etc that is a sign you need a digital marketing manager by your side.