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social media marketing

by Phil Aston Phil Aston No Comments

Content Marketing Tips – Blogging, Podcasts and Video

Video Duration 5 mins (Transcription Below)

How often should you blog? That’s a question I get asked a hell of a lot.
Another way of looking at it is what kind of medium do you also want to use? Because there are so many options now.
Are you going to use video? And if you are, are you going to do ‘live video’or is it going to be pre-recorded video?

Perhaps you should be looking at podcasts?
Everyone’s talking about podcasts now. Should you be doing that as well? But again, what about your blog? And what do you even put on your blog and how often should you do it?

Try and see it as one piece of content. I would recommend video as your starting point. I don’t go live because it can come across as an interruption unless you have been promoting it in advance.

On Facebook you might get some people looking at your broadcast, but I tend to find presenters spend too much time saying ‘Hi’ to the people they see pop up in the newsfeed. This behaviour can take away the focus and most people will start to get bored very quickly if you do not stay on message.
Also, it is a major commitment to go live at the same time every week. What if you have a dental appointment or when your cat is sick!

A pre-recorded video has many more options because that pre-recorded video can also be a podcast and once transcribed a blogpost as well.

You can decide if you want to do this monthly, biweekly or weekly and this will be a lot easier to stick to.
The key thing with content marketing is to be consistent and ensure you turn up. Search engines will know there is fresh material coming onto the website, and your audience also knows to check because will not want to miss anything.

This takes us to the other key point. What do you talk about?
This is where a lot of people get hung up thinking they’ve got to find this incredible piece of quality content every time they post. Maybe you do sometimes, and you have lots of engagement, and then you have a nightmare thinking how do I top that!

Rather than getting hung up about being Uber creative, why don’t you document what you’re doing throughout your working week? You will be working on projects for clients, which you could talk a little bit about, perhaps a problem comes up that you solve, the solution could be the topic, or maybe you’ve gone out for a walk, and you got inspired by something that is also a possible blog post.
A photograph from your week and a few lines of texts is a blog post.

Another way to look at this is to see the main pages of your website as your corporate look. Your services are there, your about page etc.
This is the part of the website that wears the business suit, and your blog post is the jeans and tee-shirt version part of your brand.informally
It is more chatty, like meeting informally by the drinks machine. you can talk about what you are up to, maybe talking about what music is playing on in your home office (Deep Purple here!) and bring that into your client work.
So rather than getting hung up, which means that you’ll miss a week or keep putting it off. Pick a day when you are going to publish and make notes during the week and remember it doesn’t have to be long.

This video ended up being about five minutes, but it could be just two minutes next time.
The key thing is to turn up and be consistent because if you don’t do that, you will become invisible!

If you need any help with content marketing or how to feel comfortable in front of a camera, just let me know and I would be delighted to talk to you.
Thanks very much.

Phil Aston

Genius Loci Media

+44(0)1736 719342

by Phil Aston Phil Aston No Comments

Digital Marketing August Update

Video Transcript
Hi, this is Phil Aston from Genius Loci Media in the far West of Cornwall

Is your Facebook business Page a website?

No, it’s not a website. It’s a page on someone else’s online space, and you are at the mercy of whatever that organisation decides to do now or in the future. (Remember Google Plus?)

Do you remember when Facebook was really keen in wanting people to set up their own business page on the platform? You set up our Facebook Business Page and asked lots of people, contacts etc to like your page and then you posted content and everyone saw it.  Basically you helped build Facebook’s business. Then as soon as it became successful, they then stopped everyone seeing your posts. (it is less than 2% now).  So then they encouraged you to actually advertise to the people that already liked your page. So again, you were building their business.

So what is happening now since the world changed with COVID?

Well, even those Facebook Ads (or any Ads!) do not work the way they used to.

If you are building brand awareness, there’s still some mileage in Facebook Ads, but if you’re trying to sell products or services, people aren’t going to take your word for it anymore.  Users can now say they do not want to see your Ads and can block them on their mobiles. Running Ads is really is kind of a cul-de-sac right now.

So your Facebook Business Page is not your website, and this is not a video to try and make you build a new website. It about is aimed at people, who have a website but have neglected it due to all your focus being on your social platforms.  Your website is perhaps sitting there and had not been updated for a while and the message it is out of sync with you recent Facebook posts. I see a fair few websites where the last blog post merely states they are going to do more blogs posts and even that was a few months ago.

Social media is actually more important now than ever as it is where your customers can share information and read reviews from real people but they are still going to check out your website to ensure the message is the same and read material which will help build trust before they make a decision.  Your website should be where you post your content first. This is where you are in control, it is your domain and online space. Whatever social media channels rise or fall your website will remain as your content mothership representing your brand online.  This is where SEO comes in and having good quality content that answers questions from your customers and fans.

It is from your website that you can then share your content to your Facebook Business Page, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube etc, Your website is your content hub. You’re probably thinking,  that’s a hell of a lot of work to keep on top of this (it is). But what this current Pandemic situation is telling us is that this is when you should be investing in your content strategy. This is when you should also be thinking about connecting with people through video to build trust even more.

I have personally learned a great deal during this period. I am based in Cornwall and have been a fairly regional business, but now through video, I can connect with new clients anywhere in the world.  I’ve got just as much chance of getting a client in New Zealand or Los Angeles as I have in getting them in Truro or Camborne. This also puts emphasis on the role of your website. You may be talking to people via Linked or Facebook but your main brand representation is your website. 

I can talk to people anywhere in the world. I no longer think of clients and having a face to face meeting once a month, I can jump on to a video call via Zoom to have a quick update at any time.  Thinking regional can restrict your business or even your creativity. You can have a zoom call with someone in Los Angeles or mountain time in America and then just carry on with other tasks. You might be thinking you can’t build relationships the same way via video as face to face. I would argue that. Yes, you can.

If you want help on anything I have mentioned in this video from SEO, updating your website or even knowing what microphone or what video camera to use for video calls please get in touch.

Phil Aston
Genius Loci Media
+44(0)1736 719342

Get in touch

by Phil Aston Phil Aston No Comments

Digital Marketing Masterclass with Phil Aston

Very honoured to have been asked to be on ‘The Thaducation Podcast’ with Thad Cox

In this podcast, I tell our story about how Genius Loci Media was set up, the risks we took, the mistakes we made, how we learnt to pivot when required and then go on to become a very successful Digital Agency.

I also cover lots of tips on how to use Social Media and promote yourself using digital media.

Phil

by Phil Aston Phil Aston No Comments

Digital Marketing Trends – During Covid-19

Trends I am Seeing

A trend I see at the moment is a lot of people and businesses starting to use Facebook Advertising for the first time. An example of this would be local food suppliers and restaurants. They are trying to run Facebook Ads for a very niche geographical area. This would make sense if you are starting to offer local home delivery. However, due to poor targeting, the Ads are being shown hundreds of miles outside their area of operation.

Targeting Is Everything

I am based near Penzance in Cornwall and I am seeing Ads for businesses that can only deliver in a few Postcodes in Manchester or Glasgow. I have even seen an Ad for a takeaway service in New York!

The result is a surge in negative feedback from people disappointed that they cannot take up the offer advertised plus poor Ad relevancy. This is also a waste of Ad spend at a time when businesses are looking to reduce costs.

It is absolutely essential that you take time to research your market, look at your competitors, spend some time targeting the potential profile of your customers and decide where your want your Ads to be shown and when.

Make Sure Your Website is Displaying the Same Message

The next step is to make sure your website is up to date and portraying the same message you are putting out. I have clicked on several Ads recently that have taken me to pages that display a totally different message than that of the Ad. For example, I clicked on a link that advertised a new take away menu only to find the landing page was showing the full restaurant menus from a few weeks back. Your customers are looking up to date information, so it is essential to ensure the news you are sharing on Social Media is also on your website.

Now is also the time to boost your SEO by improving the quality of your website content. I would also recommend monitoring your market and competitors with analytics for your website and social channels. Doing this will help you understand how your current and future customers are reacting to any situation.

Now is The Time to Build Trust and Build Brand Equity

Done correctly your marketing on Social Media with quality content and good SEO will increase your online visibility and bring in new loyal customers.

Please get in touch if you need any help or advice in putting these ideas into action

I would be delighted to help you.

by Phil Aston Phil Aston No Comments

Hacking Working From Home with Phil Aston

I have been working from home since 2004. In this interview with Timothy Hughes, I talk about my approach, self-discipline and the equipment I use to create our online content and video.

In the video

  1. The routines

  2. The tools

  3. The hacks

Phil Aston

Genius Loci Media

01736 719342

by Phil Aston Phil Aston No Comments

Don’t Put All Your Marketing into one Social Media Platform

Don’t Build Your Empire on Rented Land
I work with a lot of clients who have started out on several platforms and then through seeing initial success ended up putting all their efforts into one.
This is never a good idea, algorithms can change, the rules can change and the audience may go elsewhere.

It is very important to spread your content and energy across several platforms and most importantly keep your website at the centre of operations.

I am currently working with a client who has nearly 100% of their business on Instagram and has had their account blocked for a few days due to using a 3rd party App. Their engagement had dropped considerably due to changes within Instagram already and now they need to build their brand elsewhere and really focus on SEO and getting a more professional website in place.

Putting all your marketing eggs in one basket is not a good idea

The point to remember is if you lose your presence on a social media platform you lose all your content, connections and history. Remember Google Plus!
Your website should always be where your content is shared from or at least also available.

From experience, many social media posts could easily be tweaked to be Blog posts.

Don't Build Your Empire on Rented Land

Social Media Marketing Support | SEO for Your Website

by Phil Aston Phil Aston No Comments

Instagram Least Interacted With Category

Instagram Adds New Category Listings Under ‘Following’

(Video 2.5mins)

This lets you see who you have ‘Least Interacted With’ and which accounts get the most visibility in your feed. It does not tell you who has stopped following you but you can tidy up your account by disconnecting with accounts that are no longer active.

Phil Aston
Genius Loci
Media Digital Marketing Support

by Phil Aston Phil Aston No Comments

Don’t Build Your Entire Business on one Social Media Platform

In the last few weeks, I have seen and heard of various Instagram, Facebook Pages and Twitter accounts being blocked or disabled for various reasons.

The support these platforms give is next to zero so it can be very hard to get an account back online. As the platforms start to block third party Apps and any form of automation the social media platforms can easily mistake your activity as gaming the system.

For example on Instagram if you like too many posts too quickly you can have your account disabled for being spammy or get asked to change your password as it will think you are using third party Apps. In fact, even logging in form from a different device or app can trigger a warning now.

Another client came to me after their Facebook Ad Account was disabled and their page was taken down. There is no explanation when this happens and no support. The only thing we could see is that the wording on an offer was slightly different on the landing page. It could have been Facebook or a someone just reporting the Ad, that is all it takes. Facebook’s response was to delete the page and start again.
Eventually, I was able to get the account back online but it took over 3 weeks.

I see more and more business putting all their efforts into one platform, this is very dangerous as you are building your business on borrowed land. All it needs is the algorithm to change and your traffic could reduce dramatically. A good example is again Instagram who have now stopped showing posts in order and given more emphasis on paid Ads. The removal of likes will also have an effect on how people interact with you.

What Should You Do?

My advice is to keep your website updated, do not forget to share from there. If you have written a post on social media then create a blog post. It takes time but nurture your audience on several platforms, include video and ensure you invest in SEO for your website.

Do not put your eggs (revenue streams) in one basket.

Phil

by Phil Aston Phil Aston No Comments

Instagram – Why You Should Stop Doing The Follow/Unfollow Strategy

Video Transcript

This in a way is a bit of a rant about Instagram in a positive way. I am currently working with a number of clients, helping them with Instagram, and as you know, those of you who seen my videos before, I am a great supporter of social and how it’s going to, how it is changing the way we do business and the fact that being online now is all about building trust and being authentic and being yourself.

Instagram is an interesting platform. Everybody now is flocking towards it and it’s all about the follower numbers again! Just like any other social media platform, as it gained lots of traction, all the businesses have moved in. When that happens, all the marketing people move in (people like me) but I have a very different approach to how I feel you should be using this platform.

If you go and Google how to get going on Instagram, it’s all about gaining followers. There is a strategy called follow and then unfollow, and this to me is just sheer madness, even Instagram absolutely hates this. If you’ve got your Android or Apple phone, there’s loads of apps which will let you follow and automate Instagram and unfollow people, but let’s take a step back here.

You are a business and you want to connect with your customers and you want to build trust with those people and you want them to get to know you.  Then you want to them at some point to share or even buy the things that you’re offering. So what are you doing to actually show that you are a good, kind, ethical, and conscientious person? You are basically following as many people as possible (as you’re allowed to) and then you’re checking back every two to three days to see who hasn’t followed you back and then you are unfollowing them.

So you’re following people just for the sheer act of getting followers, and if they don’t follow you back, you’re dumping them. What does that say about you and your business?

Because if you are a business and you have a business Instagram account, you can actually see this happening. You look at an account and it’s following 3000 people and it has 600 followers. What does that tell you about that account? What is their newsfeed like where they’ve got 3000 potential posts going into their newsfeed, It tells you a lot and it’s not good.

Now, another fact that might help people here is that if you look at Pledge or Kickstarter, the actual number of people you need to get a project off the ground is between 80 and a 100. Now, let me just re-phrase that. Between 80 and a 100 super fans, supporters, customers who really love what you do.  You do not need thousands of vanity followers.

I think it’s Lady Gaga’s Twitter account manager who says that out of all of those millions of people that follow her, there’s about 500 of them that really matter. This morning I saw a post on Instagram where someone said, “Wow, thanks, everyone. We’ve got a thousand followers.” But they’re following over 6,000 people, so they haven’t really a thousand followers because a thousand people really love what they do. They’ve just kept following and following until they reached that number.  You can see it in their low engagement and you can see this with lots of accounts with 40,000 or 50,000 a hundred thousand followers that they get between 15 and 20 people actually like their posts. You can see other accounts where they’ve got 500 people following them and they get nearly 80 to a 100 people liking their posts. Which one is the best strategy for you?

I would say let go the numbers. We’re not in the school playground anymore collecting Star Wars cards and it’s whoever’s got the most is the most important and the most special person in the playground. We are businesses and you are trying to build trust with your customers. So my advice is whenever you go on the internet and look for how do I build my Instagram account if it says follow 200 people a day and check back in two days’ time to see who hasn’t followed you and dump them, don’t do that.

Also, most of these follower apps can get your account suspended. Instagram is really doubling down and literally stopping people using their API for Instagram to do this. They do not want you to automate Instagram.

So if you want to enjoy it, and that’s really, you should enjoy what you’re doing, just grow your account organically. Interact with people, and that means comment. It doesn’t just mean leave a few hearts and a few emojis. It means actually if you see something inspires you, tell that person that you’ve been really enjoyed their post. Reach out. See if you can help. And the other thing, Instagram or any social platform isn’t just an opportunity to say, “Buy my stuff. Buy my stuff.” It’s about adding value. It’s about giving information and knowledge that you have that may help somebody else out there. These posts that say … there’s a nice pretty picture and then it says, “Please ring. Please book. Please buy.” People aren’t going to do that.

If you build a story and you share authentically what you love and what your passions are, if people want to find out more, they can go to your profile, they can click and go to your website, and they can drop you an email. They can drop you a message in Instagram and say, “Please, I’m interested in what you do.” You don’t have to keep telling people, “Oh, you’re looking at me, so buy my stuff.” That is not how social media works. You’re just using it as an opportunity for cold calling, which is dead in the water for a while now.

On Instagram, be yourself, chat, be friendly, but don’t see people just as numbers, because that will say a lot about you because people will know you’re doing it. They can tell from the way your account looks. If you’re following 6,000 people and only 800 people following you back, you are obviously following that strategy and people just will think, “Do I really want to get connected with these people?” Whereas an account that maybe has only 400 followers but you’re only following back 200? That says you’re gaining all authority and people obviously want to be in your world because what you talk about, you have an authority in it.

It’s not just follower numbers, nor is any other social platform. Be yourself. Just take a step back and just deliver content. It’s all about content and being consistent and turning up and thinking about how can I help people, how can I connect with people out there using hashtags, and what do I do and how do those people discover me, and then chat to them and build relationships.

Thank you

Phil

by Phil Aston Phil Aston No Comments

Cold Calling Is Dead – Don’t Leave It Too Late

I took this photo on Sunday evening before we went to The Cutty Sark in Marazion for a lovely roast.

As many of you know, I advise and help businesses with their marketing, especially on Social Media.
If you look at the photo you can see all the gulls getting ready to take flight as the wave heads towards them.
The eagle-eyed amongst you will also notice that one gull seems to have left it a bit late to take action.

This reminded me of the number of businesses that still think that ‘cold calling’ is the way forward while their competitors are taking flight and riding the wave of change with Social Media.
Used correctly, Social Media can help create inbound enquires from people who already know and trust your brand.

Phil

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