I don’t know about you, but my mind has been consumed with planning for 2018!  Specifically, I have been asking myself “how I can grow my business in the new year?”  The biggest question I have been asking myself is “What are the activities that I need to be involved in to grow the business and how can I tell if those activities will work and are working?”  Almost like kismet, I stumbled over the SMART acronym while surfing social media.  While it is not a new idea, it is definitely a timely one!

If you are not familiar with the SMART acronym, here is how it breaks down as it applies to business and goal setting:

S – Specific (make your goal is clear and not ambiguous) 

M – Measurable (how will you measure your results to ensure you have reached your goal?)

A – Attainable (make sure the goal is something realistic, something you can achieve)

R – Relevant (does the goal make sense for your business and your business plan?)

T – Time-Bound (how long will it take you to achieve your goal or what deadline did you assign to this goal?)

This acronym is a favorite as it reminds me to be laser focused when planning my goals for 2018.  Each goal I set for 2018 will need to be SMART.  Each letter of the acronym will be filled out in order for it to be considered a serious goal for 2018.  To do that, I created a 2018 SMART planner that I am excited to share with you!  You can download the planner and complete SMART for each goal you plan to achieve in 2018.

To get your SMART planner, click HERE.

When you are managing your own social media it can get a little overwhelming, right? One thing we have found as a business that works great for us and our clients is creating a content calendar. Creating a content calendar keeps you on track and organized.

Today, we will talk about 4 tips for creating the perfect content calendar:

1. What content does your tribe want?

It is important to know what your audience is looking for before you just start posting. What do they like? What are they engaging on, sharing, talking about? Look at your past social media posts if you have them or your competitor’s posts and see what is working. One way to do this is looking at your social media analytics to get a good idea of what posts people have engaged in. What if you are just starting out and you don’t know what your audience is looking for yet? This is where your competition comes in, take a look at a good competitor and see what are they talking about, what type of posts are getting the most engagement?

Be sure to mix up your content, have posts with just text, articles, blogs, images, videos, gifs, to make sure you are grabbing their attention. Once you have a good idea of what type of content your tribe/audience likes then you can start creating!

2. How often should you be posting to each platform?

This is a question we get asked all the time! Each platform is different. As a business owner, you will have Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn and maybe even more than that. It is important to keep your audience in mind when posting. Meaning, how often should you post and what times should you post. When you were doing your research in step one, also check out the times that people were engaging.

You do not want to bombard your audience by posting too much and you don’t want to post too little so they forget about you. It’s kinda like Goldilocks and the Three Bears, you don’t want your porridge to be too hot, too cold, but just perfect!  

Here is the common rule of thumb for posting to the social media platforms:

  • Facebook: 1 time per day and 3 on the high-end
  • Twitter: 3 times a day on the low-end and 30 on the high-end
  • LinkedIn: 2-5 times per week
  • Google+: 3-5 times per week
  • Pinterest: 5-10 times per day
  • Instagram: at least once per day

Each platform is going to be different for you, some you will have more engagement so you can post more and some you will have less engagement so you may need to only post a few times per week.

Remember to use the analytics to look at the numbers and see what they are reflecting so you can stay top of mind to your tribe/audience!

3. Time to Create Your Content

Once you know what your tribe/audience is looking for and how often you should be posting, it is then time to create!

Remember to keep it fresh and mix it up. Here are a few different content ideas for you:

  • Create a custom image through Canva, WordSwag, Typorama, Prisma, etc.
  • Create a video through Ripl, iMovie, Videorama, Animoto
  • Post your blog post from your website to social media
  • Find outside sources, articles, other blogs and videos you like, that align with your brand to share
  • Gifs to increase engagement

Here are a few tools we use to help keep our outside sources organized:

Feedly

The content you need to accelerate your research, marketing, and sales.  Stay ahead of the curve. The content you need to accelerate your research, marketing, and sales.

Stumbleupon

Discover the best of the web, one click at a time.

4. Time to fill in your calendar

Now that you have put your plan together and figured out the type of content you are going to write, where you are posting it and how often, you can fill out your calendar.

We have found that there are a few tools to help you with that content calendar. Everyone is different, some people like more of a visual calendar and others like more of an excel type of calendar. We love creating the content calendar in Google Sheets then using Trello to write the content and copy from there to our platforms. Others like to use Google Calendar for their topics and then put the posts directly into Buffer or Hootsuite to schedule them at one time to the correct social media networks.

You have to explore each option to see which one resonates with you the best! So we wanted to give you some to choose from:

Trello

Trello is a project management tool that’s very popular with bloggers, marketers and social media managers. It’s a good way to keep track of your content ideas and even has an additional calendar add-on you can use to get a monthly view of your planned content.

Google Calendar

If you want to keep it simple, you could always just create a new Google calendar for the process and invite everyone on the team to view it. Those teammates could also add all of their own posts and ideas to the same calendar.

Google Sheets

We have created our clients content calendars into here for topics and it will look like this:

Or this is how our Social Speak Content Calendar looks, you can be as general or as detailed as you want:

Buffer

Buffer is a new and smarter way to share what you want to share on Social Media. People have called it great names before, like your Social Media Assistant or the Siri of Social Media.

What it does is simple. Posts in your queue will be sent out automatically by Buffer, according to the posting schedule that you put in place.

Select the social account you’d like to customize the posting schedule for, select the Settings tab at the top, and then select Posting Schedule. From here, you can choose which timezone is best for this account and customize the days and times your posts should go out. Select the days you’d like to include and add the individual times you’d like your content to be shared.

Hootsuite

Manage all your social media in one place. From finding prospects to serving customers, Hootsuite helps you do more with your social media. Save time by scheduling your social posts. Keep your social presence active 24/7 by automatically scheduling hundreds of social media posts at once, across your social accounts.

How to Use Your Values to Create Exceptional Content for Your Business

You’ve heard you need to have identified core values for your brand and business, but what does this actually need?

We recently posted a video about how your core values are a set of standards for your business and how values drive how people perceive your business. Now it is time to take a look at translating this into the content you create. Here, we are going to be taking a look at a few different facets of your marketing:

  1. How to use your values to identify your target market
  2. How to use your values to create content that will move your brand forward
  3. How to use your values to understand ways you can react to both positive and negative reviews online.

Your brand and your mission need to flow through every aspect of your business and online, content is one of the main ways prospects can get a sense of who you are and what it would be like to work with you (or purchase your products). Do your personalities align or do they clash? Do you focus your attention on the same details your clients care about? How can you put your best foot forward online?

Let’s start with utilizing your values to identify your target market.

I’m sure you’ve been told that we work with people that we know, like, and trust. I must tell people this every single day. When your core values flow through your business, people with those same values will tend to be more attracted to working with you. They can help you really connect with those individuals who can then turn into raving fans.

A process to identify your target market that starts with your values.

Unlike most exercises that drive you towards creating a description of your target market, I invite you to think first about your values. More and more business experts are discussing how your employees should encompass your brand values, especially if they want to be more fulfilled, so why not bring this same notion to your consumers? Rather than focusing most heavily on the demographics of your target market, take a look at the psychographics. This includes the more personal characteristics of a person, including:

  • Values
  • Personality
  • Lifestyles
  • Attitudes
  • Behavior
  • Interests/hobbies

Think about how your product or service actually fits into your target consumer’s lifestyle, how will the product be used?

By going through this exercise, you open yourself up to thinking beyond just age, income, and location. You allow yourself to better understand what actually drives your consumers and what matters to them. Where do your business values come in? Well, ideally, your consumer’s values align with those of your business.

The next piece of your brand values is to use them to create content that moves your brand forward.

Here we will discuss possible topics that your business can write about that will better position your brand.

There are many different ways to come up with topics to discuss in your blog, so, just as a disclaimer, here I’m really only discussing one element of creating your content strategy. Your content strategy should be diverse, but there are ways to make sure within your strategy, your brand messaging and values come across loud and clear.

Actually discuss your values

We recommend sitting down once a quarter, or at least once per year, and actually write a blog about your values. This may seem strange the first few times, but provide examples about how your values have dictated what products and services you offer. Or create a blog emphasizing your attention to detail and customer relationships that also highlights testimonials from your clients. There are a lot of different ways to highlight your values in a blog post, but one thing I do want to emphasize is how important it is to try and relate these articles back to the benefit for your clients.

Nobody wants to read something only about you, but how interesting would a story be of how you found your supplier because of their fair trade employee salaries or how you came to be a life coach because of the struggles you had before you started living aligned with your values. These are things people can relate to, and topics that can help you form a real connection with your market.

Understand who you are writing for – and use words that convey your values

Okay, so this really ties into the first part of the blog where we look at psychographics to identify your target market. By understanding the values of your market, you can use language that they will relate to more clearly. Let’s say you are a winter sports company who is marketing ski helmets to parents. The language you should use should highlight the safety and comfort of their children. However, let’s say the company is edgy and markets to the park-rat. Do you think they should focus on comfort and safety?

No! Their target market wants to look cool and may care about being connected to their devices. They want a way to easily show off the sick tricks they are throwing in the half pipe while jamming out. Everything from the imagery the company would use to the verbiage would have to shift.

The same is true for your business. Who are those different consumers you are trying to work with? Do you find that you are intuitive when you work with clients or are you very process driven? Work to find what words you can use in your marketing that conveys your brand values.

Lastly, we are going to take a look at how to use your values to understand ways you can react to both positive and negative reviews online.

Creating a process to respond to reviews online

Far too frequently, businesses with high integrity receive negative reviews online. Often times we actually see this for our clients’ when they work with individuals with conflicting values to the business, but here we really should focus on what you do after you receive a review.

First, visualize that you have just received a notification of a 1 star review. What is your gut reaction? You’ve worked years to build a reputable business and now everyone will see this negative review, who wouldn’t be upset?!

Before you do anything, STOP. Think about your values – how do you want to be perceived?

Most business values include some sort of idea around integrity or relationships, so you want to make sure that how you respond also projects this. Unless you are a business like Shinesty or Cards Against Humanity, where you embrace an ‘in the face’ brand presence, we recommend the following:

  • How would you respond if the reviewer was speaking to you directly?
  • Was this an issue that you had tried to resolve and were aware of?
  • Is the customer actually right? Often times with negative reviews, the customer just can’t get over something (or maybe even be a competitor posting as an irate customer), but other times we can actually learn from legitimate negative reviews.
  • Think about what else could be going on in the individual’s life. If you truly think you did everything you could and that you bent over backwards, perhaps this individual is having the worst week of their life. Changing perspective can help you to calm your nerves and think more clearly about a situation.
  • Draft a reply comment in a word document that explains that you are sorry they are disappointed with your service, that you take pride in X,Y,Z, and that you are available to speak offline via phone or email.
  • Sit back an hour and reread your draft response. Check it for any spelling or grammatical errors, then copy and paste it as a reply to the review.

Following these steps will make sure you aren’t jumping in with your gut reaction, but rather that you are allowing your values to dictate how you will treat others online.

Positive reviews are easier to respond to, but many businesses fail to actually write back each and every time they receive a review. Again, think about your values. Let’s say Community is a brand value, what better way to showcase this by taking the time to thank each reviewer and reestablish your invitation to them into the community that you are building.

In this post we’ve taken a look at how to use your values to find your target market, how to write content that exemplifies your brand values, and how to respond to reviews in a value-driven way. Just remember in every aspect of your marketing and service to clients, your values can and should act as your compass.

 

Many times people use the terms personal brand and personal image interchangeably but, they shouldn’t.  There is a BIG difference between the two!  Once you understand the difference between them, it will make a difference in your business.

Let’s dive in…

Personal Image:  

Everyone has one!  It what helps people form a mental picture of you.  Here are some characteristics of a Personal Image:

  • Sense of humor
  • How you talk, the language you use, the accent you have
  • Sense of style
  • Favorite color
  • Your overall preferences of what you like and what you do not like

Personal Brand:  

A personal brand is how people perceive you and it sets the expectation of how you will conduct business with another professional.  Your personal brand:

  • Sets you apart from others in your industry
  • Broadcasts your skill set
  • Describes your work ethic is
  • Provides insight into your character and values
  • Illustrates the expected level value you provide

Think of your personal brand as your professional reputation on steroids.  Your personal brand is the emotion, thought and an idea that is conjured up each and every time your name and business name are mentioned in your target market.   What do you want that thought or idea to be for you and your business?

Now that you know how important your personal brand is, you must protect it at all costs by delivering a consistent message each and every time you interact with your target market whether it be on social media, through a marketing program, during a meeting, consultation or a deliverable product.

Facebook and Marketing

We’ve all heard that we need to have a presence on Facebook for our businesses, but what does it actually look like? Over the years, Facebook has turned from a free marketing platform that was easy to grow to, to one where only about 16% of your Likes will see any give post.

Recently, we’ve seen a lot of businesses turn away from even wanting to market on Facebook, but it still is an essential network for your business big or small. In this blog, I’m going to take a look at the important steps to build a viable Facebook marketing strategy, dos and don’ts of Facebook for business, and little-known tips to make sure your business sees a return on your investment in Facebook marketing.

Building your Facebook Strategy

Facebook, just like any modern marketing avenues, is much more than just sharing a piece of content. Our tribes are composed of smart individuals who no longer want to be told what to do, but appreciate brands that help them to discover new, meaningful things. Facebook, luckily, is the perfect avenue to increase our presence and set ourselves apart from competition.

Step 1: Complete your Business Page Profile

Your profile picture, cover photo (or cover video), and about section of your business profile create the first impression your business gives to your Tribe on Facebook. It is very important that these elements are all completed mindfully, rather than just putting up the first thing you see or think of.

Let’s start with your profile picture.

Your business profile picture should be an easily recognizable image that conveys who you are  as a brand or company. Many solopreneurs, freelancers, or businesses with an individual as the face of the company should and can get away with using your headshot as the profile picture. On the other hand, businesses that have a brand identity should use their business logo as the main profile image. The Facebook Profile picture is the thumbnail image that appears next to all of your social media posts, comments, and messages, so it is important to take your time and choose this image wisely.

A little later in this post, I’ve included an infographic from TechWyse with the  exact dimensions of each type of image you can use on Facebook so you can be sure your pictures always appear crisp and clean. A profile picture should be 170px by 170px.

Next we have your Cover Image.

Facebook just recently changed the cover image so you now can also include Videos! This exciting change can really help your Facebook Business Page stand out among competition. Your cover image is prime real estate on your Facebook page. It is wonderful space to highlight a marketing campaign, seasonal offering, or exciting news for your brand.

In this image or video, you can include a call to action, and even entice individuals to use the buttons directly below the image to Contact you, Claim an Offer and more!

Businesses that coordinate their cover image, profile picture, and pinned or promoted posts see a much greater return from their Facebook pages than those who don’t.

BIMS-cover-photo

Your About Section

All too often, we see businesses with incomplete About sections that link to old websites and don’t fully explain their business service offerings or their brand promise. The good news is, once you have this written correctly the first time, you can reuse it or similar content for other social media networks.

A preview of your About section appears below your profile picture, so it is important to make sure this information is relevant accurately conveys your brand. Companies with ill-planned About Sections on Facebook are doing themselves a disservice. Try playing around with the language you use and measure the responses to those changes.

In your About section of your Facebook Business Page, be sure to describe your business, use keywords, and include a call to action to get people liking your page or heading to your website.

Three steps to creating a income-generating Facebook marketing strategy #FacebookMarketing #TheBIMSTeamClick To Tweet

Step 2: Posting to your Facebook Business Page

As you begin posting to your Facebook Business Page, it is important that you follow a strategy to remain on point and brand. It always surprises me when some business owners still want to post only about their business. The truth of the matter is that 80% of your Facebook posts should be about something other than linking directly back to your website. The other 20% can be blogs, promotions, and information about your company and business.

By sharing information that is not directly linking back to your website, you are helping to show your authority in your niche. You are sharing resources that your market can benefit from, quotes and images that can engage your tribe, and more generally, information that will interest your followers.

When you are posting, think about:

  • What other businesses are in your space
  • The information that will appeal to your market
  • Things you are passionate about in your business
  • Other influencers with whom you could engage

Then, create a plan for how you will share your content. Make sure you include:

  • Videos
  • Images
  • Tips
  • Quotes
  • Questions
  • Calls to Action
  • Throw back posts
  • Educational Articles
  • Your blog posts

Lastly, use this infographic to make sure all of your images display properly in your Facebook Business Page posts.

Facebook Cheat Sheet | Facebook Image Sizes | Image sizes for Facebook Marketing | Facebook business page image sizes | Guide to Facebook Marketing | Facebook for business | Facebook tips

Step 3: Growing your Likes and Engagement on your Facebook Business Page

It is great that you are now posting on your Facebook business page and following a strategy, but how do you actually grow your Likes and Engagement? These tips will help you to make sure that your business is on its way to a profitable Facebook presence.

Invite your Email List and Personal Friends to Like your Business Page

Many business owners with whom we work are nervous about sending an email to their email list or inviting their personal friends to Like their business page. You’ll be surprised, however, to see how many people respond to your request! As someone who often keeps my personal life and business life separate, I forget that many of my personal connections may actually be interested in learning more about digital marketing or may be starting their own business.

Facebook makes it very easy to invite people to Like your page. If you go to your Page and scroll down, on the right side of the screen you will see a box that says “Community”. In this box, there is an option to “Invite your friends to like this Page.”

community-box-on-Facebook (1)

When you click this link, Facebook will prompt you to select the friends you would like to invite to Like your Facebook page.

With your email list, I recommend sending an email rather than utilizing Facebook. In the email you can explain some of the perks of Liking the Facebook page and what people can expect from following your account.

Share your posts to your personal profile

Another way to increase your page Likes and to gain more engagement is by sharing your business posts to your personal profile. While I don’t recommend sharing every post, consider sharing your blog posts, videos, and images that represent your brand and personal values. These posts won’t come across as you trying to sell to your personal relations, but that your goal is to better educate them on what you do and your industry.

If you work with a team, you can even ask your employees and contractors to Like, Comment, and Share posts that relate to them, as well.

Boost Posts and Run Facebook Ads

I won’t go into much detail here, as this would create another LONG blog post, but using Facebook ads and boosting your Facebook posts is a great way to increase engagement. Here I recommend playing around with boosting the post to:

  • Your current page Likes
  • A custom audience made of your email list
  • Specific targeting of your tribe’s demographics.

Facebook’s targeting options are incredibly advanced, so just like with any sort of marketing, I recommend testing very specific niche’s rather than typing in everything demographic or psychographic identifier you can think of. This way, over time you will be able to more easily tell which interests or job titles, for example, lead to the highest number of new likes, follows, shares, and comments.

Post share-worthy content

Of course this needs to be listed. I’ll go into more detail below, but one of the most important pieces of your strategy to gain traction on Facebook is to post content that people want to read and share. This means that in addition to finding other articles and resources, you need to be making these for your own website, too. Take your time and really come up with pieces of content that will WOW your tribe!

Not sure how to create a content calendar for your business? Take a look at our Free Master Class on Finding Topics your Tribe will Love!

Dos and Don’ts of your Facebook Marketing Strategy

Your Facebook Marketing strategy needs to change as Facebook makes changes to it’s algorithms and adds new features for business owners to take advantage of. Regardless of the nuances of Facebook’s algorithms, there are some items that you need to be sure to include in your Facebook marketing strategy. Above, I reviewed some of the steps to create a Facebook marketing strategy for your business, but here I will be highlighting those items you must include and the common pitfalls of business owners as they jump into Facebook marketing.

DO: Plan your posts ahead. Just as with other marketing strategies, you never want to be stuck wondering what you will post the day something needs to go out. It is better to plan ahead, even if it is for the entire month, rather than coming up with posts on the fly. This way, you will be sure your Facebook posts align with promotions, holidays, and other important events in your business. One way to do this is by using this free editorial calendar to manage your calendar!

DO: Use Facebook’s scheduling feature. I absolutely swear by tools like Buffer.com and Hootsuite.com for scheduling social media posts, but on Facebook, it is more advantageous to schedule your posts out directly through their publishing tool rather than a third party. Yes, you can still incorporate some posts scheduled with Buffer, but a majority of your posts, especially those specifically about your business or from your blog, should be published directly through Facebook. Why? These posts have been proven to reach a wider audience than those that are scheduled through a third party.

To schedule a post on Facebook, write the post as you normally would, but rather than clicking “Publish”, select the drop down carrot to its right and select “Schedule”. One perk of doing this is you can play around with the different types of posts you use from multiple images to galleries, slideshows, and carousels.

DON’T: Only post links to your own content. Talk about boring, right? Our tribes are too smart to follow businesses on Facebook that only talk about themselves. Marketing is no longer a one-way street. It is about building a community around your brand. And to build a community, you need to set the example by listening and sharing rather than just pushing information.

DO: Include images, text, and video in your posts. The more diverse your posts, the more likely you are to capture your audience’s attention. You can use Facebook’s slideshow creator to build short videos with music and captions for your Facebook posts if you don’t have software on your computer to create your own from scratch.

Better yet, try a Facebook Live event and put yourself out there as the face of your brand every week as a way to engage your audience in a whole new way!

DO: Collaborate with other businesses on Facebook. Start reaching out to businesses that are similar to yours or who work with the same individuals you do. By commenting, sharing, and collaborating with them, you are introducing yourself to their audience and helping to boost both of your businesses in the process.

DON’T: Overlook the importance of setting goals. When we set  goals for our business, we have a very clear sense of how to understand what is working and what is not working with our strategy. It allows us to aim for something rather than just taking successes and failures in step.

DON’T: Forget to measure your results. You can’t set goals without the following step of measuring your results! Luckily there are incredible, and free, tracking services available for you online. The top ones we use are Google Analytics, Facebook Insights, and Pinterest Insights. The rational here is to see how your efforts have effected your movement towards achieving your marketing (and Facebook) goals.

DON’T: Just post the article title as your post. Say something meaningful about what readers will find if they click the link or take a quote from the article that highlights your main takeaway. Though titles should be descriptive, the same content will appear directly below your post in the link display.

DO: Test the effectiveness of Albums, Slideshows, Carousels, and single Thumbnail images if you are linking to something with many images. Each of these different types of posts will lead to a different response from your followers. We have a photographer, for example, who posts a link with a thumbnail when she first edits a wedding album and creates a blog post as a first peak. Then, she creates a slideshow to reengage the couple and their networks once all of her edits are complete and the couple has access to the images.

Dos-and-donts-of-facebook-marketing-687x1030

 

Little-known tips to make sure your business sees a return on your investment in Facebook marketing

Facebook is always changing, so it is necessary to take a look at some of the lesser-known strategies on Facebook that maybe you haven’t considered for your business. Some of the strategies below are ones you have seen others implement, while others may be brand new!

Facebook Groups for you Clients and Prospecting

Most users on Facebook are a part of numerous Facebook Groups. These groups are great for your business for a few different reasons. One point to emphasize here is that the groups run through your personal profile rather than your business page. Make sure your personal profile on Facebook links to your business page, is branded with a professional picture, and has the proper security settings.

  1. Joining other groups in your niche provide an avenue to position yourself as an expert and to meet new prospects for your business. I recommend finding 1-3 groups that are active on Facebook and seeing if you can share information that the members will benefit from. Many groups have guidelines about selling to members, but providing valuable information is always appreciated.
  2. Creating a Facebook group or groups for your clients. This can be a great add-on to your services or courses that you run online. Because only paying customers have access to the group(s), you will be more motivated to participate and engage.
  3. Think twice about creating a group for your email list. Recently, many very successful Facebook group managers have been shutting down their ‘public’ Facebook groups. They find themselves spread too thin to really focus on the public group and the specific groups for their clients. I recommend starting small and being engaged with your paying customers rather than trying to create a huge group to prospect from.

Create Custom Audiences when your run Facebook Ads and Segment!

Running ads on Facebook can transform your business or they can be a waste of money. One of the most successful ways to see an ROI from your Facebook ads is by being very niche focused and targeting specific people. By this I mean:

  • Upload your email list and promote posts or specials directly to the list
  • Add a PIXEL to your website and integrate retargeting to your website visitors. You can set the campaigns up to only target people who are been to specific pages on your website. For example, you can show ads only to people who viewed a specific landing page or who downloaded an ebook.
  • Use look-alike audiences to find other individuals who are similar to the people who have responded to your ads.

When you create the audiences and run the Facebook ads, make sure your offer, image, and landing page all are in alignment. Your tribe will pick up if things seem disjoint or like you are targeting too wide of a net.

Add a Video to your Facebook Page Cover Image

This new feature can transform your engagement on your Facebook business page. Guidelines for Facebook Cover Videos are below:

  • Video Dimensions: 820 x 312 pixels
  • Length: 20-90 seconds and can look
  • Sound: Though you can include sound, Facebook automatically mutes the video for user experience

So, what should you do now that you can have a video as your Facebook Cover? Try creating a slideshow video or a quick iphone video that captures your brand. This can be simple to start, but the movement when someone first goes to your business page is sure to keep folks on the page for longer and be more engaging. You can also test out interview style videos or webinar style videos are your cover video.

Wait to Boost a Post

As you can tell, I am all for businesses using Facebook ads to increase the engagement on posts and the traffic to your blog or landing pages. When you plan to boost a  post, hold off on pressing the  Boost button until the post has had a chance to gain organic exposure first. This organic exposure can really help with gaining more traction and keep your costs  down.

Test out Lead Ads

These ads are incredible! If you have a content upgrade on your site or can automatically register people to a webinar, the Lead Ads may work well for your business. Basically, when you create the ad, you also create a form. The form can then be set up to capture someones name, email, and other information. When a user fills out their information, they will be redirected to a page of your choice. For example, you can direct someone to the ebook download page on your site, or to a webinar sign up thank you page. These ads can also be to build your email list.

We’ve found these ads to have a much lower cost per conversion than a lot of other marketing efforts.Get-quote-by-landrover-ad

 

Schedule your Facebook Posts

Now you shouldn’t always schedule your Facebook posts,  but if you are like most business owners, you are pulled in many directions and hoping on Facebook every day may not be realistic. I  recommend using Facebook’s scheduling functionality for most of your Facebook posts as a way to batch your efforts. Take one day a month and find all the relevant articles, make all of your custom images, and schedule your promotions to be published in advance. Then, as you write blog posts over the course of the month and have other items to share on a daily basis, you can log in and specifically share that content.

We used to always use Buffer for scheduling content for clients, but have found a higher level of engagement when posts are created directly through Facebook.

Add a Call to Action Button to your Page

This is fairly easy to implement! Most of the time we see our clients create their CTA when they first set up their business page. If you haven’t already, however, go to your Facebook business page and click the blue button that states “Add a Button”. Here you can select your CTA and a landing page for any user who clicks the button. Tracking is available through Facebook Insights.

Use fb.com as a URL shortener rather than typing facebook.com

Surprise! fb.com is a URL shortener for all facebook.com addresses.

Use FB.com as a link shortener for your #Facebook Page in your Digital Marketing

marketing budget tools and template

The following information and templates was originally by CoSchedule [How To Plan Your Marketing Budget With Six Free Templates]

Your marketing budget is the driving force behind your team. The money that is invested is meant to be funneled into the right projects that allow your team to create the most meaningful results for the company as a whole.

Setting budgets, however, can be a hassle. So, that’s why we built these half-dozen free marketing budget templates (and wrote up this detailed guide on how to use them).

By reading this post, you’re going to learn:

  • How to prioritize projects that will make a real difference (and get the budget for them).
  • How to understand how much budget you have available (and avoid going over).
  • How to plan budgets easily and efficiently (with six free templates).

You’ll be able to keep a clear understanding of what your team will be doing (and how much you can spend to get it done).

Download Your Free Marketing Budget Templates

The six different templates that you’ll receive when you download this bundle include:

  1. Social Media Marketing Budget Template: the social media budget template allows teams to break down their budget spend on everything from boosted posts to video production.
  2. Content Budget Template: the content marketing budget template allows teams to break down their various types of content, agency fees, and more.
  3. Advertising Budget Template: The advertising budget template is an all encompassing template that allows teams to record spend on both traditional and digital ads.
  4. Annual Marketing Budget Template: The annual marketing budget template is an all encompassing, all in one budget tracker that includes every project breakdown that is in the previous five templates.

Get Your Free Marketing Budget Template Bundle

Get Your Free Marketing Budget Template Bundle

2018Budget Template advertising Marketing       2018Budget Template Annual Marketing

2018Budget Template content Marketing       2018Budget Template social media Marketing

Why Does Your Marketing Budget Matter?

Your team is dealing with multiple projects that need to be prioritized. Having a marketing budget allows your team the clarity they need to funnel your budget into projects that will make the most meaningful impact on for your company.

There are three main reasons that your team needs to care about your marketing budget:

1. Use it or lose it. If you can’t justify the cash flow that your team needs, your organization will spend it somewhere else.

2. Prove your projects are creating growth for your company. Knowing how much you’re spending on marketing as a whole can help paint a clearer picture around how much return on investment you’re generating, too.

3. Provide reasoning for your allotted budget. When your company’s finance department turns to your marketing heads to determine how much investment you’ll be getting for the next year, having a document outlining your needs can help build a case and show where all that money is going.

How Can You Align Your Marketing Budget With Your Business Goals?

Another big step in your marketing budget is trying to invest your budget into the right projects that will create the most 10x growth for your business.

High priority projects would receive more money from your projects than projects that don’t contribute that same amount of growth.

For example, say that one of your overarching business goals for the year was to increase the amount of traffic that is going to your website. It would make more sense to funnel more money from your budget into projects that contribute to that goal than say events.

To do this, first, work with your team to come up with a list of overarching marketing goals that are going to contribute to your bottom line.

Then decide as a team which marketing projects will contribute the most growth to those goals.

Those top projects will be where you contribute a majority of your budget.

How To Not Go Over Budget

So you have your projects set, your budget is approved, and you’ve started investing your allotted money.

But then you start to realize that one of your projects is about to go over budget.

Yikes, right?

There are ways that you can avoid all of that.

Accurately Estimate How Much Your Project Is Going To Cost

The biggest step your team can take to avoid going over budget is to accurately estimate how much your top projects are going to cost to complete. There are two ways that you can do this:

  1. If the project is a repeat of last year, look at how much your team spent to finish the project. Base this year’s estimate off of what you spent last year.
  2. If the project is new, calculate every small step of the project that needs to be completed and how much it will cost to complete those steps. Use those step costs to formulate an overall project cost.

Keep Track Of Where Your Money Is Going At All Times

If your team decides to spend 15 dollars on a Facebook ad, record it right away. It could be in your template, or in a separate document, but do not let those small purchases sit unnoticed.

So let’s say that you’re working with your social team and they get a series of receipts from boosted posts on Facebook that total up to 256 dollars.

In your social media marketing budget template, scroll down to the section labeled boosted posts:

Update the budget template with the money your team has spent:

Keep repeating the process as often as your team needs to keep the budget up to date.

How To Use The Templates You Downloaded

Remember those templates that you downloaded earlier? They’re pretty awesome, right?

But there’s also a lot going on with them. Let’s walk through how to use them quickly.

Monthly, Quarterly, and Yearly Breakdown

In your template, you’ll see that your budget is broken down into three pieces:

  • Monthly spend
  • Quarterly spend
  • Yearly spend

You can see monthly spend on each of your projects by scrolling down the vertical monthly column. You can also see what percent of your budget you have spent in that month as well.

Your quarterly project spend is broken down horizontally across your screen:

To see the total that you’ve spent for the month and the quarter, scroll down to the bottom of your template:

You can also see a monthly breakdown in the chart below each quarter. These will automatically populate for you:

Wistia video thumbnail - marketing-budget-template-quarter-chart-example

Your yearly breakdown can be found by scrolling to the left to the last column in your template. The pie graph at the end of your spreadsheet will also automatically update as the numbers change in your template.

Wistia video thumbnail - marketing-budget-template-total-spend-video

Entering Data

Bolded Numbers mean that there is a formula attached to them. These are total project costs and will usually feed the graphs and total budget numbers throughout your template.

Numbers in plain text are usually contributing to the bolded numbers above it. These are breakdowns of what amount of money is being spent on a project.

Whatever you do, do not type over the bolded numbers that have contributing pieces to the overall total. This action will break the formula.

“Okay, but what if I do break the formula?”

Hitting the back button won’t always work, so here’s the quick fix:

  1. Select the box that used to contain the function
  2. Type =sum in the box
  3. Select Sum from the popup menu
  4. Highlight the columns or sections you want to be totaled in the box
  5. Hit enter
Wistia video thumbnail - marketing-budget-template-fixing-functions

This process applies to every function that is part of the spreadsheet. To see if a box has a function attached to it and which boxes are contributing to the total check out the following video:

Wistia video thumbnail - marketing-budget-template-finding-functions

What To Do If You Need To Add More Rows To Your Spreadsheet

So let’s say that you have a project that needs more rows added to the category. For this example let’s say that you wanted to add Snapchat into your social media column:

Wistia video thumbnail - marketing-budget-template-adding-additional-rows

How To Edit Your Bar And Pie Graphs

The last part of today’s instructions are going to show you how to edit your bar and pie graphs in case something breaks:

Wistia video thumbnail - marketing-budget-template-editing-graphs

Once you get going, the templates fall into place easily.

Select Your Templates

For this post, there are six different budget templates that different sections of your marketing team can utilize.

Social Media Marketing Budget Template

The social media marketing budget template is a place for your team to record different expenses that social media can accumulate including content development, graphics, and videos as well as boosted posts and ads:

Content Marketing Budget Template

The content marketing template is a place to record any expenses that come along with creating original content for your company including different content creation costs, freelance costs and even space for agency and tool costs:

PR Marketing Budget Template

PR professionals are going to love the PR template because it records all those smaller detail pieces that go into public relations including but not limited to content production, sponsorships and a detailed space for recording event planning costs:

Advertising Marketing Budget Template

Advertising can make up a huge part of marketing budgets and can easily get out of control if not tracked correctly. This template contains sections to record your budget spend in areas like digital, social and traditional advertising:

Event Planning Marketing Budget Template

This next template is every event planner’s dream. Packaged all in one place, event planners can keep track of venue, catering, decorations and other miscellaneous fees:

Annual Marketing Budget Template

This last template is an all encompassing budget tracker that will allow your marketing team heads, higher ups and clients see exactly where you’re spending your money. This template includes budget tracking for all of the projects that were included in the previous five templates:

Keep Your Spending On Track With Your New Budget Templates

Now you have the knowledge and skills to organize your marketing budget. By having the right information and the right plan you can funnel money into the projects that are going to grow your efforts by 10x.

Get Your Free Marketing Budget Template Bundle

2018Budget Template advertising Marketing       2018Budget Template Annual Marketing

2018Budget Template content Marketing       2018Budget Template social media Marketing