According to Small Biz Trends, almost 90 percent of marketers say their social marketing efforts have increased exposure for their business, and 75 percent say they’ve increased traffic. We all know social media is an effective free platform, but you may want to consider using paid advertising for maximum reach. With paid social media, you can track your return on investment and evaluate the success of your ads by reviewing page analytics. You can follow the cost per click, amount of engagement, impressions, and how many clicks the ad receives. But the question often is, what social platform will maximize my content views, leading to an increase in revenue?
Every social media platform offers pros and cons to advertising. The cost of an ad depends on many factors such as the season, day of the week, time of day, number of users you’re targeting, locations you’re targeting, demographics you’re targeting, how relevant your ad is to your audience, quality of the ad, and industry (in-text cite?). Of course, the social media platform is a huge consideration too. Some social media advertising is based on cost per click, while others have cost per thousand impressions. For instance, the average cost per click in Facebook ads across all industries is $1.72, and the average price per impression is $0.97 (in-text cite?). Developing a budget is flexible because it’s up to you.
The second step is determining what social media platform best supports your business and is within budget. Start by defining your target audience – think about their demographics and the platform. Essentially, consider what platform your target audience utilizes the most, as well as what kind of content you’re going to produce. For example, if you’re targeting Millennial and Generation Z brides in your area, emphasizing visual production, perhaps Instagram is the most effective social media marketing site for you.
Perhaps you’re unsure which platform is the best for your business. In that case, let’s circle back to step one. You could start by adjusting your budget so that it allows you to try out several social media platforms. Then, you can access the analytics to determine which social networks are gaining the most traffic to your website and page. Essentially, a process of elimination.
If you already know which digital market works best for you, then maximize that immediately! Schedule in time to evaluate your analytics depending on the frequency of your content; if you’re using paid advertising weekly, then think about doing a recap every Sunday. Let the market research numbers lead your content. If they are going down, then what can you do differently? Or, consider what you might have done differently.
The best type of paid media is in combination with owned and earned media. You don’t have to break the bank through the sole use of paid media because you can also create great content for free. It’s essential to make everything shareable because this leads to earned media. Earned media is when your target audience reposts your story, shares your post on their story, or sends it to a member of your target audience via direct messaging.
During continuously virtual “unprecedented times,” your brand’s Google My Business account is much more likely now than ever before to serve as a potential customer’s or client’s very first impression of you. The instant they perform a Google search like everyone inevitably does, they will see a handful of photos of your business, some reviews, and how to find you – if you’re lucky!
If you aren’t, though, they may see nothing about your brand at all. If you aren’t making the most out of your Google My Business listing, you likely aren’t ranking among their highly coveted maps pack. For those unfamiliar, the Google Maps Pack is a set of three highlighted Google-Maps-based results featuring the most highly ranked businesses based on the factors that determine local rankings. If you’re wondering what those factors might be, we’ve got you covered!
Relevance refers to how well a local brand’s Google My Business profile matches what someone is searching for. Distance is judged by how far each potential business listing that comes up in that search result is from the location term potentially used in the search. Your Google My Business listing’s prominence is determined by how well known a business is. Google can measure a listing’s prominence through web links to your site, articles that mention your business, directories (citations), your Google review count and review score, position in organic web results, as well as your website and listing’s SEO best practices.
Additionally, it may be worth noting that Google’s algorithm may decide that a particular business farther away from your location is more likely to have what a searcher is looking for than a business that’s closer, and subsequently rank it higher in local results. Don’t be discouraged, though! With a few helpful tips on optimizing your Google My Business listing, you will set your business up for its greatest opportunity to rank at the top of your desired keyword’s maps pack.
One of the easiest tips for boosting your listing is by staying active within your brand’s GMB profile as well as staying on top of notifications and reviews. Statistically, business listings that have been claimed and therefore are verified, are updated regularly, and that also boast strong reviews and ratings are the ones most likely to rank at the top of their desired local search and be featured in Google Maps Pack. Downloading the GMB mobile app to your device can also be a huge help, since that’s the only way to enable auto-responses for reviews and messages – ensuring you never miss a beat.
Another tip would be making sure your GMB listing is accessible to those who are searching for the keywords you would describe your business as being in. No matter what you do, you want there to be no mistaking it. When posting written content or photos on your GMB listing, be sure to work in those important keywords and search phrases into your description and posts. Making your content keyword-rich will increase SEO, along with your chances of ranking higher in Google’s algorithm.
When posting pictures, it’s important that you are strategic, but also remember that any pictures are likely to perform better than none. Ideally, though, one square logo, a cover photo, and additional pictures to showcase more work or your business’s interior are what people want to see.
But it’s not all just for aesthetics! Businesses with photos on their listings receive 42% more requests for driving directions on Google Maps and 35% more click-throughs to their brands’ websites than businesses without photos, according to Google. Searchers browsing on a mobile device will get an even bigger chance to interact with your Google My Business listing since the maps pack occupies (and overlaps) the borders of an entire iPhone screen, grabbing a percentage as high as 44% of clicks on search engine result pages – making it all the more imperative that your brand’s name is at the top of your desired keyword search results.
Reviews and opening your brand up to public criticism are what some consider the trickier part of managing their GMB listing, but we say don’t shy away! Google is the #1 site for online reviews as evidenced by its 57.5% share of all online reviews. At least 63% of consumers claim that they are likely to check a business’s reviews on Google before making a visit — a number higher than any other review site.
According to customer reviews research, people don’t trust businesses with lower than 4-star ratings. 80% of consumers say the star ratings they trust the most are 4.0, 4.5, and 5 stars. But it’s not just what your past customers have said that counts – potential clients are looking at how you respond to both positive and negative reviews. Your responses to reviews can immediately improve consumer perceptions of your business. On the other hand, not responding can be seen as actively ignoring the voices that matter the most: your customers.
Setting up an auto-respond message with the GMB mobile app as aforementioned can be a great aid in keeping up with your customers in real-time, but it’s up to you to circle back and assure that everyone is getting the answers and solutions they need.
It may seem like a lot to juggle, but staying one step ahead of things with your Google My Business listing can work wonders for your brand. Plus, the creative professionals at Brandlink Media are on standby, ready to help you through it! Contact us for a consultation for your business today.
Are you feeling stuck in your creative work or drawing blanks in your meetings with clients — or even just feeling overwhelmed by tasks that used to come more easily?
You are likely dealing with a case of creative burnout. (We’ve all been there.) This is a common issue among small business owners or solopreneurs — especially in a creative space like the wedding industry.
What is creative burnout? When giving an interview about burnout, Frankl Chimero put it best when he said — “Fatigue happens to your body, but burnout exhausts your soul. Long hours of wasteful drudgery rub up against the belief that anything is possible. What can you do with that other than collapse?”
The good news is that this isn’t a permanent condition. We’re here to help you get to a better space with tips on how to avoid creative burnout. (If you feel you’re already in creative burnout mode — keep reading for some practical solutions to get you back on track.)
Before you read any further, let’s get this out in the open —
This resource isn’t about you fixing a problem you created. Creative burnout happens to people who care a lot and want to do good work. It often comes from good intentions or genuine stresses or concerns, so we don’t want to compound stress here. Take a deep breath and let’s talk about these solutions that will help — not add to your workload.
Creativity isn’t something that you can just conjure upon demand. It is a finite resource and it needs to be managed and replenished.
Small Biz Trends highlights just how common this problem is for creative business owners —
For millennials, those 18 to 34 years old, it goes up by 10 percentage points to 94%.
Now that we know how often it happens, it’s important to understand how it happens.
Here are just a few of the causes of creative burnout — (Does any of this sound familiar?)
Even the most well-meaning version of perfectionism will cause creative burnout. In an effort to serve their clients, many creatives push themselves too hard and expect, well — perfection. Perfectionists are often taking on too many responsibilities and combining that with unrealistic expectations of themselves.
Plan purposeful slow times in your day, week, month, or yearly calendar. Whatever works best for you is good, but the point is to find time to get still and let your creative juices flow.
Small business owners — especially creatives — struggle in this area because creative work doesn’t always happen in the 9-5 space, but letting everything run amuck in your time and personal space is one of the quickest ways to deplete that store of creativity.
Learn to say no. For a business owner and a creative, this can feel stressful because you don’t want to miss opportunities, but if you don’t learn to say no to things that aren’t important to you, you’re actually saying no to what you value most because you won’t have the energy or creativity to put your best effort into it.
This is a tough one to confront because it looks like humility to some, but self-doubt or negativity is only another version of a self-fulfilling prophecy. Everyone has setbacks and every person deals with imposter syndrome. If you allow self-doubt to stick around too long, it is no longer an internal issue. It’s now affecting your bottom line and preventing people from enjoying the benefits of your creativity.
Often, self-doubt needs a perspective change. Here’s something to remember the next time you deal with the various aspects of self-doubt…
World-famous, talented businessman and women — and creatives have dealt with self-doubt whether from external sources or internal pressures.
It’s also helpful to talk to a trusted friend, peer, or mentor about it to help get a better perspective, but ultimately, the solution comes from you.
It can be the stress of running a small business or something that is happening outside the work realm, but stress not only causes creative burnout — it has physical symptoms as well. Your work comes with early mornings, long nights, working through weekends and holidays with hardly time to take a sick day. That can take a toll on your creativity, yets, but also your health.
Physical activity reduces stress, improves mood — and helps your creativity!
A study at Stanford found that walking boosted creative inspiration by 60%.
According to Stanford News —
“ The study found that walking indoors or outdoors similarly boosted creative inspiration. The act of walking itself, and not the environment, was the main factor. Across the board, creativity levels were consistently and significantly higher for those walking compared to those sitting.”
Stress also produces physical symptoms that can be part of contributing to creative burnout including headache, fatigue, and sleep problems, or anxiety.
As simple as it sounds, healthier eating choices, getting good sleep, taking your vitamins, and doing something active every day all help improve your mood and your stress as well as your creative output.
This may be the single most common contributor to creative burnout of all five causes we’re covering today.
Experts estimate that humans make 35,000 remotely conscious decisions a day. (According to Cornel University, we make over 200 on food alone.) We can safely say that creatives and small business owners make even more.
And the average person switches between tasks more than 300 times per day, based on decision fatigue research from RescueTime.
The problem? The more decisions you make, the worse you get at making them. Essentially, it means that your judgment and willpower deplete with every decision.
The solution? Experts agree that the solution is to simplify your decisions, make the more important decisions earlier in the day, and delegate work that doesn’t have to be done by only you.
In addition to upgrading your creative output, delegating responsibility helps your bottom line, according to Small Biz Trends —
At Brandlink, we can help you avoid creative burnout and increase your bottom line at the same time by being your partner in the creative process.
Instead of trying to find one person — and overwork them into creative burnout while trying to avoid it yourself, let Brandlink be the team that helps you tackle your to-do list and partners with you in the creative process.
Three Things You Get With Brandlink
Are you ready to get started? Schedule a free consultation.
We’ve covered a lot about the causes of creative burnout, how to combat them with some pro-tips and insights.
Here’s a quick summary of tips to help you avoid future burnout
Ready to beat creative burnout and enjoy productive — restorative creative work again? Contact Brandlink today with the items you are thinking about delegating and let us be your partner in this process.
Aren’t sure what you need to delegate? We can help with that too! We are run by creatives who love to help fellow creative small business owners tackle their to-do list and enjoy being their best creative selves!
If you’ve tried every other trick in the book but your business still isn’t quite performing as well as you’d like, maybe it’s time that you considered your social presence, and whether it’s finally time to start building a brand (or, in some cases, even consider a rebrand). Building a branded social presence and maintaining it over a period of time is a marketing strategy climbing in popularity with the ever-growing rise in social media users and the migration of brands from the formal world of business into the casual one of the internet. So, now that we have you excited, where to start? We compiled five easy ways to focus on building your branded social presence so customers finally start seeing your business you how you’ve always seen it.
At the top of our list, utilizing brand standards can begin as soon as you determine what those standards are. Work with an outside marketing pro like Brandlink Media or collaborate with your in-house team to create a brand book, the document that sets distinct guidelines for maintaining brand identity across all aspects of the business. This helps determine your brand’s voice that will be carried out in social posts, captions, and newsletters, color scheme options, logo variations, targeted demographics, and other pieces of content. This is a crucial aspect to have in order for your brand to be seen as one unified entity to the public eye, especially if you have multiple team members behind the screen! Ensure consistency from platform to platform or between social media managers with templates for Instagram Stories, graphics, or regular posts (making sure you use the right color palette, fonts, etc. each time to match your brand).
If potential customers are searching for keywords on social media within your niche market and your information isn’t coming up along with that topic, your business’s search engine optimization (SEO) could likely use some work! That’s right — SEO is not just important for your website! Social media platforms indirectly influence the factors that impact search ranking too. Research and determine what useful information you can share on social with the goal of increasing your reach and building your brand’s presence. For each post, look for relevant hashtags in your desired category that people actively search for (we like Later’s hashtag suggestions and Kicksta has a great free tool) and use those to reach new followers and grow your traffic.
To go hand-in-hand with the topic of consistency, it is also important that your brand is mindful of its posting and when it occurs. The more regular and scheduled your content can be, the better! Your audience will appreciate knowing when they’ll hear from you next and this will work to build trust between you and your customers as well. Consumers are significantly more likely to purchase from a brand they recognize for their consistent imagery and content schedule, so make sure to maintain both with some regularity.
Whether it’s offering a spot for reviews to be left on a specific product or service or asking for thoughts on an Instagram story, your customers and potential clients want to feel heard. Giving outlets for feedback even on menial topics gives your consumer a sense of agency within your brand and can leave them feeling tied to your business even after your interaction has ended! Feedback can be displayed in the form of testimonials or create dynamic text graphics to use as organic content for your social media platform as well!
Social media is one of the fastest-changing industries in the world and that isn’t stopping anytime soon, so the quicker you are comfortable with experimentation, the better. Leading social platforms come out with updates and new features all the time, so show your brand’s hip side by dipping your toes in the water when you feel it could benefit you! Instagram’s newest feature Reels offers small businesses a chance to try out the fun elements of TikTok in the familiar setting of the ‘Gram, but there’s something for everyone so find what’s right for you and don’t be scared to show followers your brand’s personality!