Good morning and welcome to the Monday morning marketing podcast. I'm Esther and I'm Melanie. And together we're here to help you understand more about marketing, how it works and how you can grow your business.
And we wanted to start this because we were challenged by our fair friend called Sarah Dineen from S.O.S Events. She saw us at an event at the Women's Inspire Network conference in Dublin. And she said you two would make a superb marketing duo. So we sat at the bar and decided to give it a go. So thanks, Sarah. Hopefully this works out.
Thanks very much, Sarah. Today, we're going to be talking about planning, specifically planning your content. But before we start, Melanie, can you tell us a bit more about what you do?
Of course. Well, I'm Melanie from STOMP Social MediaTraining. I'm based in the Republic of Ireland. And what I do is obviously do social media training, but I also provide social media management as well. And I've been doing this since 2013 and been helping support new businesses and established businesses with the social media strategy and understanding their audience. Tell us about yourself, Esther.
Yeah, I'm Esther. I am in Northern Ireland. And so we're all Ireland here. My business is IPA group which is a digital marketing agency that helps businesses strategise what they need to navigate the online world and stand out from the rest. My team and I help with websites, social media, management and marketing, logo design, graphic design, SEO, lots of different things. And we're here to help.
So today we're going to be talking about planning. And it's something that unfortunately a lot of small businesses and established businesses forget. They get caught up in the business and it just gets neglected. And it doesn't really matter what time of year you hear this podcast. Genuinely, it doesn't matter if you haven't got a plan. This is the time to implement one. Now, we've been getting together myself and Esther, giving some real thought to this. And planning really starts initially with goal setting. And you can only provide your goal sets if you know who your audience is. If you don't sort out your audience first, you're going to be talking to the wrong people. So how do you find out who your audience is?
Exactly. It's a great thing that you need to ask yourself before you start any sort of plan. So to find out who your audience is look first at who is following you online and who your business is aimed at. OK, so for example, if you are selling nappies or diapers, then your audience is more than likely going to be mothers, mothers with young children or single fathers or fathers who are getting more and more involved in the child's life. So you're not going to want to market to 50 year old men who are interested in motorbikes, for example. OK, so you need to figure out what it is that makes people tick that are looking for your product or service.
Exactly. I mean, what we call it in the lingo is an avatar or a client profile, and that is even giving them a name, giving them a picture, and you've got to understand who that person is when they come to buy from you, be it male or female. And that person has to have some sort of background in what sort of money they have. What do they do for fun? Are they married? Are they single? What places do they visit and frequent? Would it be the local swimming pool? Would it be mother and toddler totally probably for the diapers. And you know, while building up a really good impression of who your audience is. You can then create content, which is what the planning aspect is massively targeted to as well. So once you've established who your audience is and you understand what problem you can solve for them, that's when you start with the actual plan of marketing your business to them. So what kind of content can we deliver to them Esther?
Well, there's lots of ways we can deliver content. Obviously, depending on who your audiences is, also depends on where they hangout. So whether it be social media, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, TikTok, Snapchat, there's lots of places depending on their age, their gender, their personal interests. Just exactly what Melanie has said and what it is that they're interested in depends on what social media platform they'll be on. They might not be on any social media platform, which is where email marketing would come in very handy. Your website, your blog posts and vlogs, videos, all of these are great ways to get your content out to people.
Of these can be blogs, as she said, email campaigns, e-books, just standard ordinary social media posts. I would always advocate for starting all of your content and completely originating all of your content from your website. First, purely because it's the only platform that's online that actually physically belongs to you as long as you keep up the bills. And the only reason why I make that stipulation is purely because algorithms are the master of destiny and so are the likes of the CEOs of each particular platform. So if you don't adhere to their algorithm or you don't pay enough or they just wake up one morning and fancy doing something else, that's essentially the end of your business. Whereas if you have a website, then that's where you've got an ongoing platform where you can be. It's like an open shop basically. And what really, really works for your open shop is search engine optimisation or SEO. And because search engine optimisation is such an effective tool, you can even use it freely as long as you put the content correctly up on your website. Now, we are going to discuss that at a later stage, especially for Esther, who designs websites and myself, who as a blogger, I use SEO all the time. So once we've delivered this content, we need to have a plan to put it up and another aspect of planning is delivering the content at the right time and in the right way and on the right channels. How would you do that?
There's lots of ways that we work with our clients, that we do our own content planning when we sit down with the calendar first and see what sort of days are coming up, then these special days like Valentines Day, St. Patrick's Day, Christmas Day, all of these people are online. They're looking for the hashtag, they're looking for information. They're looking to socialise. So we look first at the calendar to see what's coming up. We look to see what information we're going to be sending out if it can be more specifically relevant for those particular days. We also look to have a strategy of, for example, on a certain day, send out memes or send out videos and do it strategically, not just throw information out at clients for no reason at all.
Absolutely. I mean, it's exactly the same. I would use analytics. Every single social media platform out there has free analytics. If you've got a website, make sure that you or your webmaster ads on Google Analytics, because that's amazing. It gives you so much content about where your audience is coming from, what pages they look at, genders, interests, and that can help you develop your audience and your content as well. And once you've established where they're coming from and what they want from you, you can then keep delivering regular content via the website. You can also start your email mailing list there as well from your website. It still is very effective, isn't it Esther? Although it's been a very, very long term method of community building, it still works, doesn't it?
Absolutely, absolutely. Email and email marketing works great. It's a great way to get your message out into people's inboxes where they can find you more easily sometimes than online. And it's also important to remember that it is a strategic part of your marketing in general. Once you know where you're coming from and what people are looking for, it'll help you plan for the next week, month, quarter, year. So you know exactly what it is that your audience is looking for. So if posts aren't working, if blogs aren't getting views, change it up. Change it up and see what it is that they're actually looking for. OK, so a lot of research will also need to be done, but have your goal, have your endgame in mind for everything. You might change the way you get there, but you'll always get to where you want to go.
And I absolutely agree with you there, Esther. We are slowly but surely running out of time here. So I'm just going to finish up by saying that. Your homework for this session is, first of all, to understand who your audience is, understand the problem that you could potentially solve for them and then deliver content that's suitable for them, not for you, then by using your analytics, deliver the content in such a way that it's up there at the right time for them. Always use images, preferably use video if you can, and start using social media scheduling platforms. They also work for your website.And actually, some of them even work directly from your website, which is fab.
And will have on a future episode, we'll discuss some of the platforms that we use to help push out content and to keep ourselves top of mind as well.
And it certainly will give all our secrets away. So just to give you a heads up for next week, we're going to be talking about planning for events that you can attend or create some of your own. So if you'd like to hear more, come back to us next week. And it's myself, Melanie and Esther, and we'll see you next week.