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Marketing Tips to Kickstart your Business, part 1

We know marketing can be daunting. And time-consuming. If you run your own business it often falls way down the priority list. But you don't need us to tell you that it shouldn't be that way. Marketing is necessary. It is also a long game that requires consistency and planning.

In the run-up to Christmas, we shared some of our best marketing tips on our Twitter and Instagram accounts with the hashtag #NovemberNuggets. We wanted to help businesses ramp up their marketing at one of the most important times of year, to ensure they get their fair share of the Christmas ££££. But like a puppy, these tips aren't just for Christmas. So here they are, across three separate posts (10 tips in each), for you to refer back to time and again. Our #NovemberNuggets (in brief). Visit our socials to get more info on the tips or Octopus Marketing!

1. Start with a cup of tea and plan your content for the month ahead. Social posts, blog posts, email newsletters - work out what you're pushing out and when. Brainstorm ideas and schedule posts.

2. Spend some time checking your website. You'll be getting lots more visitors so it's important that everything is working and up-to-date. Remove any old promotions and check there are no broken links.

3. Optimise your social media profiles. All platforms offer lots of different ways that potential customers can find you - you should be using these. Make sure you've included your website and use keywords and hashtags. Fill in all fields that are offered to you. The easier you make it for a customer to reach you, the better.

4. Use a scheduler to schedule content on social media ahead of time. There are lots of options on the market. We use Hootsuite, but we also hear good things about Buffer and ContentCal. Don't neglect your platforms though, you do need to pop on for engagement and connecting with people.

5. Look at the images you're using on your social profiles. Design tools like Canva make creating professional-looking cover images easy. Use the right size and don’t waste this valuable space to engage your customer. Look at other businesses for inspiration.

6. Ha ha - this one was simple when we posted it - use 30 hashtags on Instagram. However, since then, new info out of Insta HQ suggests using no more than 10 hashtags. We suggest you experiment. Each hashtag represents a different way a client might find you so you should be maxing these out and thinking about different segments of your market. Don't forget to include geographical hashtags too if they're relevant. 

7. If you've neglected your email list, now is the time to reconnect with customers. Use a compelling subject line (not just Newsletter, which I received, and deleted, yesterday 🤦). Offer value to the reader: interesting content, an exclusive offer, a freebie, a checklist. Tell them how you solve their problem.

8. The power of the collab! Approach businesses that target the same market as you but are non-competing. Can you undertake a joint/reciprocal marketing initiative? Introduce each other in an email newsletter? Offer a discount code or competition prize? Put each other's leaflets in orders? Think about ways of leveraging each other's customer base to help each other.

9. Using images on Twitter boosts engagement massively. Stats vary as to how much (some say 150%!) but all agree they do. It's best to use your own pictures, but there are some good, free stock image sites like Pexels if you don't have strong imagery. Just make sure you have the right permissions for images you use - NEVER, I repeat NEVER, just grab an image from Google. You could end up with a large fine for copyright breach.

10. Is your business listed in all key, free online directories? These help with SEO by providing backlinks. Set aside an hour next week to add your business to any directories that you're not already listed in.

Work through these tips - they're not all for everyone, but we hope this gives you some inspiration to put marketing at the top of your to-do list. Next 10 tips will follow soon. Or if you're on a roll and want more, head over to our socials!

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