I watched Swansea City playing against Manchester City at the Liberty Stadium recently. It was a well-fought game. Don’t get me started on how the referee robbed the Swans! Anyway, as I sat in the crowded I gazed across with my marketer’s glasses on.
I wondered how businesses fared having advertised here. I looked around at the adverts around the Liberty and thought of how effective each one of them would be to me. If I was to come with a clear mind. A few caught my eye.
So, contrary to what my initial perspective of this may have been, we know that it does work. It raises awareness of the institution internationally. This is incredible for an institution that needs such a reach.
Above is one that I saw and had no knowledge about. With that said, it was not the placement, but the wording that puzzled me. Does it deliver the message? Would YOU as a prospective customer know that they stock what I was after or offer a service that I am looking Stadium?
With “Swansea University”, you would know what a university offers right away. Which would give you enough information to think you ought to look into this place. That’s an effective advert in my book.
Don’t throw mud at the wall. Well not entirely. When you think your marketing out before launching it, you can have some insight into what sort of success you are likely to have with each campaign. This gives you that data driven decision making that we should all aspire to utilise.
What does a potential customer look like. If you are a brick and mortar business, one with a physical location. Consider the sort of people who come through your door on a day to day basis.
- How old are they?
- What do they like?
- Why do they come to you?
- Do they use other service providers/suppliers as well?
- What is their socio-economic background.
- Where do the live.
- Is the location of their work/home part of the reason they come to your business?
- Any other relevant details?
The value of most advertising platforms such as social media is mainly down to the sheer volume of information that they have. For you and I, this means we create more targeted marketing campaigns. The more you know about whom you are looking to market to, the better prepared you are to create the content needed to reach them. This cuts out a chunk of the guesswork.
Another key point is that you are targeting the one who will pay, not just the user. Marketing toys to kids
Just behind Google, Social media websites are the biggest search engines. They also muster and retain more attention from visitors. Are you convinced yet? Why is it important to use social media in all your marketing campaign? Well, this is where most of your potential clients are attentive. The average social media user spends about 1.5 hours a day on there.
This is a great window for you to grab their attention. It may not seem like a long time initially. However, the power of advertising is incredible. This is almost the same amount of time that people spend in football stadiums. This is why Swansea University advertises in the Liberty Stadium. Except,
We are visual
More and more of us want to see things, more than we want to read. This accounts for the rise in popularity of social media sites that more visuals. Youtube is now the second largest search engines, just behind YouTube. Snapchat is increasing popular, as is instagram. Depending on the age range of your Avatar, they are most likely using these platforms.
Shorter Attention Spans
One of the reasons why people want to watch videos instead of reading is down to our shorter attention spans. We are info hungry. The average person consumes more information in a day today than they did a year or two ago. Social media adverts hit people in that little time where their attention is captured.
Consider why people advertise at train stations. You are certainly not going there to look for the products or services that are displayed on the adverts. They do know that you are very attentive while at a train station. You are open to information. This rings true for social media advertising, as it does for television. The former is much cheaper, and better targeted.
There are many ways that you can promote your business on Facebook. I will look at some of the ways that will get you traction.
They say “nothing beats free”. That is true in this case. Always start off your marketing by getting all the free options just right. If not, you may find yourself in a position where you are paying for something that you could have done for free.
- Create a Facebook page for your business.
- Make sure your Facebook Page is fully filled in.
- Add authentic images that represent you.
- Link to your website, and from your website to your Facebook page.
Groups are an invaluable place to market your business. This is a great way of targeting people based on their location or interests. For Swansea, I would go with a quick search for Swansea groups. Please refer to the little video attached.
Pages don’t usually allow you to directly interact with the other followers. However, they tend to be a great platform to advertise. If you find the right one, it should also be quite cheap to reach a targeted audience. As a rule of thumb, the bigger the audience, the higher the cost. This is something you should expect.
Beside the pages, you can also run your own paid ads. This can be in the form of boosting a post on your page. When you post something on your page, it is only visible to those who have liked the page. To increase your reach, you can boost your post. This would allow you to choose define the avatar that you are looking to reach. It’s amazing just how much Facebook knows about you. They allow you to even target by political affiliation. Another great part is that you can also choose your own budget.
Twitter is an odd ball in comparison to Facebook. The greatest stark contrast is their profitability comparison. That’s a whole article on its own. There are a lot of tools that you can make use of to make marketing on Twitter easier. For the sake of this article, we will only look at manual ways of doing the marketing.
The first step is to create your business Twitter account, if you have not got one already. Make your profile as detailed as possible. Having done that, connect with other people and businesses within the area and industry. For instance, if I was marketing a sweets manufacturer in Swansea, I would start with a search for sweets. Scroll down the list and see if any relevant accounts come up.
Follow the relevant pages. This will allow Twitter’s algorithm to show you more that are related to your business.
Another way to be more local specific is to, search on Google for sweet manufacturer in [YOUR LOCATION].
Copy the company names that come up and see if they have Twitter handles. Follow as many of these as you can. This should get your account connected to like minded businesses. The web is about putting in and getting out. It’s not all TAKE! TAKE! TAKE! That is not a strategy that would work long term.
Another great method that has worked for commerce retargeting is searching for product name or hashtag. It’s fairly manual. We used this when marketing music. Found several people who had been discussing the release of the music. Now that it was out, we let them know it was. Conversion rate for this was great. 2 out of every 5 people we engaged, ended up purchasing.
Twitter also has an advertising platform similar to the one Facebook has. My experience with it has been one of hit and miss. I would say Facebook’s algorithm is miles ahead when it comes to adverts. However, you may be luckier than I have been. Perhaps your industry or niche may be more suited to the platform than mine was.
A little backstory on this one. I had largely paid little to no attention to Pinterest for a long time. That all changed when I was in a mastermind with a lady who was driving tens of thousands of visitors monthly to her website from Pinterest. I knew how it worked, but did not care to put much effort into it.
I found it to be fairly tedious, and didn’t have enough data to back the effort that was required. The simple way to put it is that it works. It may be a long slog to get you going, but once it’s going it goes.
For marketing a local business my strategy would be to search to boards that are related to the location of the business. Join as many of the relevant ones as you can. See what sort of content is being created, and doing well on them. Create and share your own content. Build an audience.
There is also an option to use paid marketing. I have not use Pinterest’s paid marketing, so I will not bee singing about it just yet.
Some niches require a more serious platform. Perhaps your business is more B2B than B2C. Linkedin allows you to connect with professionals and other stakeholders in industry. To get started, connect with those with shared interest. Grow your network strategically. Find groups that share your interests of those of your avatar. Join and truly become a member of the group.
I don’t think I have ever run Linkedin ads. That being said, the targeting is brilliant. You know what sort of work your avatar does. In this case, perhaps it is more geared for B2B marketing. Some B2C would probably work. If you were looking to target tradesmen with tools, this would work.
Of all the marketing platforms we have covered, Reddit is a true slow burner. The platform is very vigilant against spamming. Beyond that, no matter what community you join, they can see through any sales pitches that are masked in “freebies”, “case studies” and so on.
Your best bet is to get your hands dirty. Become a part of the community. Answer questions posted by other members. Ask your own questions. Interact with content and people within the community. The more value you add, the clearer you become as a though leader, or just a keen helper, perhaps just knowledgeable about the topic. People buy from people who know what they are doing or talking about.
Join a few related subreddits to get you started. It is easy to overdo it and become overwhelmed.
Create a subreddit
Creating your own subreddit is another way to go about it. This is great for those investing long term. It’s a slow burner in some niches and industries. Add as much value as you possibly can onto that platform. Over time people will find and share your great resources.
Instagram is not ideal for all. As previously mentioned, we are becoming increasingly visual. People want to see more than they want to do most things. Those who cannot do are interested in seeing those who can. Be creative with it. Consider what people within your niche or industry would be looking for. Create content to meet this perceived need.
Use a keyword tool or Answerthepublic to get ideas.
Youtube has slowed increased the number of ads that they show. I hate these ads, but they are certainly effective. They come on when you attention is drawn into something that you are interested in. If I am going to pay for an ad, it best be shown at the right time, to the right audience.
It also presents an opportunity to create content and build a following. Perhaps there are not many local people in Swansea who will come off Youtube to purchase your services. However, it increases your brand visibility.
I have not been on Snapchat in a long time. They have started running ads. The principle is the same as the other platforms we have already covered. People are targeted when they are most attentive, even passively so.
Google My Business
There is no logic to not having a Google My Business. Even if you are not offering services on location. Having a presence on there can only be good. Nowadays, you can create posts and offers on there as well.
Adwords has been active for as long as I can remember. It works. Give it a test run. Find relevant local terms and place adverts for them. They allow you to zero in on your audience.
It may not be what it used to be, but flyer distribution still works. Again this is industry and niche dependent. A new ale bar would likely get massive results from this, more than a piano teacher would. Flyers are usually distributed with minimum targeting. It doesn’t have to be this way. Consider ways that you can zero in on your avatar with flyers.
Most flyers do not add immediate value to those who receive them. This is why they end up in a bin. How can you make sure that flyers are kept. Here are some ideas:
- Run an affiliate offer on them. Give a reward to those who send business your way.
- If you are targeting kids, perhaps some cool stationery or toy.
Royal Mail flyer distribution is great for reach, and knowing that your flyers haven’t been binned. Perhaps I am just paranoid. I did see a flyer guy throwing a load of flyers in a bin in London, before starting his round.
Local person flyering is a great way of giving work to locals and students. I would even consider approaching the Swansea University Student Ambassador scheme.
Advertising in local shop windows is notoriously under-utilised. Go around the city and build relationships. Speak to businesses, just as you would on Reddit. Approach these businesses and enquire of this display service. They will likely ask for some renumeration. This is usually cheaper than other forms of advertising. Provided there is good footfall, you are onto a winner.
Make use of all free ones. Tesco has a free board, as do other businesses. Make use of these. Provided your avatar would come through there. Which I imagine they would.
Stand Out! There are too many posters and flyers across the city. How can you make yours memorable?
Influencer marketing it very effective as well. For Swansea, I would start by going through all social media and finding accounts that talk about the city or are based in the city. Look at the engagement that they get on their posts. Use product names, services that you provide as search terms. Beyond that, perhaps consider whether your avatar would interact with them.
If someone posts about children, and you have toys, educational aids, tuition services and so on. They would be a great fit.
On the other hand, if someone posts about boxing in Swansea, your yoga classes may not be the best fit. You can never completely rule it out, but it’s certainly not the best fit.
- Keyword search
Sponsor key local events
Sponsoring events is a great way to meet potential customers. Search for events in your region that your avatars would frequent. Let’s use that yoga example again. If there is a wellness festival your target audience would be there. Reach out to the event and see how sponsorship works.
Marketing in print media still works. Start off with all the small ones, that are local targeting. Beyond that consider targeting a larger geography, but very niche or industry specific. Here are some Swansea ones to get you started:
The Swan Mag
Before committing, consider the following:
- Does it match avatar?
- What sort of reach does the publication have?
- Cost vs ROI