Wondering why you should blog?
Blogs are great and, when planned out well, are probably the most valuable tactic you can implement to boost engagement with your customers, increase lead generation and support your SEO strategies. What’s more, once you have a good blog, you can repurpose its content across your social networks … it’s the marketing tactic that keeps on giving.
Boosts traffic to your website
If people know your business or have been recommended it, they will type your company name into a search engine, such as Google or Bing. But if they don’t yet know your brand, blogs are a great way to boost traffic organically (that’s without paying).
In addition to this, Google loves new content on a regular basis. It wants to see that you are looking after your customers and providing them with content that will help them solve some kind of problem or educate them in some way. Regularly blogging also sends a signal to Google and other search engines that they should be checking your site frequently to see what new content is being published, so they can include it in their index.
Helping social media and converting traffic to generate leads
Every blog posted generates content that can be shared and repurposed for marketing on social networks – Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn – providing exposure of your business to others who may not yet have heard of your business or what you do.
Have you heard of ‘Click to Tweet’? Adding Click to Tweet to your blog enables an easy way to promote, share and track your content on Twitter (for free).
Regular posting about key topics within your industry goes a long way to making you look like an expert which, in turn, gives you authority and this content supports your social efforts as, instead of generating new ideas for each post you make on social, you can use content within your blog to repurpose across your social channels.
Generating new leads
As a business, we all want new leads. By now, if you already blog regularly you should see the benefits. However, if you still need convincing…
Well written blogs not only increase traffic but also provide a great opportunity to convert this new traffic into leads. This is achieved by including a lead generating Call To Action (CTA) at the bottom of every blog written. The CTA may be used in several ways:
Some encourage the reader to contact your business to find out further information, to book an appointment or to download something free and of value, e.g. an ebook, free information guide or whitepaper, in return for their contact details.
At Cariad, our blogs support the strategies of the individual clients we work with. By understanding our clients, their customers and their pain points, we write content that engages and educates.
Love your digital marketing agency
Objectives vary from company to company, but examples include: generating leads for sales teams, raising awareness of products and services, growing brand awareness, driving traffic through to your website, all which ultimately turn into sales, or maybe you have a store and are looking to raise visibility online to encourage people to visit.Our client account managers love talking to you, finding out all they can about your business and working with you to achieve your objectives Click To Tweet
Two main reasons businesses outsource their digital marketing
Costs tend to be much lower than if a company employed its own digital marketing team.
When using an agency, you tap into a world of knowledge and experience; agencies have teams of people, all expert in their fields of digital marketing, from strategists, graphic designers, web developers, content writers, specialists in digital advertising, social media, SEO to Account Managers, who ensure that the goals and objectives of both parties are met, and that projects and campaigns are on track so you can achieve your ROI.
So, this all sounds rather straightforward; you determine your goals and objectives, do some research, find a marketing agency who will take over and do the rest… but there is one more element that sometimes gets overlooked: relationships.
What makes a good client/ agency relationship?
Agencies work in a digital stratosphere to achieve success for their clients, but as ‘digital’ as we are we are, all human, and as humans we like to interact and communicate and the best way we do this is through forging relationships based on trust and honesty. This is achieved through:
- Clear communication channels
- Setting clear SMART objectives
- Formalising working arrangements
- Setting mutually agreed deadlines
Here at Cariad we pride ourselves on the relationships we have with our clients, and through regular meetings and talking with them we understand:
- What their business and brand is all about
- What they want to achieve for their business
- Who their clients are
- What markets they operate in
So, this is all good. We understand what digital agencies do, why they are good for your business, the benefits they can bring, what makes a good client/ agency relationship and how to achieve this.
But what about results?
Cariad Marketing are great fans of the method known as inbound marketing to attract attention for our clients’ brands and business through gaining attention, building engagement, creating trust and loyalty which ultimately grows repeat custom.
This is achieved through the quality of the content we produce, the skills and experience we have as a team and the promotional tactics we deploy to attract, convert, close and delight customers to take them from strangers to visitors, leads, customers and ultimately promoters of your business.
All our clients have a dedicated account manager who acts as an extension of your in-house team. They love talking to you, finding out all they can about your business, what you do and want to achieve to help you meet your business goals. Contact us to find out more about how Cariad can work with you and your teams.
Five steps to writing a pub marketing plan
The rate that British pubs are closing is slowing, with net numbers falling from 27 to 21 in the last six months, but this is still a significant number and, as such, landlords and ladies need to do more to protect and grow their businesses.
Do you find yourself asking the following questions?
- How can I increase sales?
- How can I communicate what we offer?
Successful businesses use marketing plans to set goals and communications plans (‘how to do it’ plans) to help them achieve these goals.
Your plan needs to cover core elements that are specific to your pub, but it doesn’t need to be pages long; in fact, often the simpler plans, when researched well and properly implemented, have the greatest impact.
Can you answer these questions?
- Where is my business now?
- Where do I want it to be this time next year?
- How will I get there?
Where to start!
1. Situation Analysis
This bit is really important and will take a bit more space than on the back of a beer mat! Here you want to note down all the information about your pub and the products and services you offer, and how what you offer and the benefits you bring set you apart from your competitors.
Here you can list all the products you sell and the services you offer, are you a wet pub or do you offer food too? What food; any snacks? Do you specialise in anything i.e. do you offer. A particular cuisine or do you specialise in ales etc.?
You may not want to hear all the answers but it’s really important to know who they are and what they are doing. Of course, all the other pubs, and possibly restaurants, in your local area will be competitors, but also remember local shops who serve alcohol and any social clubs. Basically anywhere that serves a similar product offering to yourself. Where do your customers go if they are not in your pub?
What might they do better than you? What do they charge; are they perceived to be cheap or expensive? Do they have any special offers on food and drinks? What events do they hold?
You could include staff, experience, customer care, location… remember to include yourself against the competition. You may find this easier to do using a table listing the competition and yourself against a list of above-mentioned criteria.
Who’s visiting your pub now and who might in the future? You will want to consider:
Existing and potential customers – where do they live, how old are they, what needs do they have, how do they spend their money, do they work, what sort of income levels are they earning, what times do they visit, do they have young families with large financial commitments?
You may think you know most of the answers, and you could be right, but don’t second-guess. You have a customer base; ask them what they like and don’t like, what they would like more of, what you aren’t doing now but they would like to see you do: is it just a drink they want or would they like food too? Might they like entertainment, for example live music?.
You and your staff can ask them as you chat or you could devise a short written questionnaire and offer a prize draw to those who complete it; a bottle of wine or maybe a meal for two when you draw the winner. Be sure to collect email addresses so you can let them know of your future plans!
Pricing, Positioning and Branding
From the information that you have gathered, you should be able to establish the price for your products; you will off course be governed by the cost that you purchase them for, but where are you positioned against your competition and how you will achieve your ‘brand’ awareness? For example:
- Somewhere that is both welcoming and friendly
- With a community feel
- Which offers a good quality and inspired product offering
- That is value for money/ has balanced pricing
- Where you can bring a friend or family; including four paws…
… a place where one wants to go to see and be seen
Having conducted the above research, you now need to summarise where you are. To do this, you need to produce a SWOT analysis.
A SWOT analysis is a simple and useful framework for analysing your pub’s
Strengths and Weaknesses, and the Opportunities and Threats that you face. It helps you to focus on your strengths, minimise your threats, and take advantage of the opportunities that are available you. Strengths and Weaknesses refer to characteristics that exist within your pub whilst Opportunities and Threats refer to outside factors.
To do this, you need to draw a grid and title each square in the grid. You need to ask yourself to describe the four factors in the list… not what you want them to be but what they actually are:
This is a short statement which, as it says ‘states what you do’. It could include your products and services, your customers and where you operate. For example, ‘We are dedicated to providing a warm and inviting community gathering place; serving inspired food and drink. Through our dedicated and friendly staff, we are committed to offering a personalised experience to all our customers.’
2. Marketing Goals
Your marketing goals should fit into your overall business goals. They need to be measurable, specific to your pub and realistic to the abilities of both you and your pub.
Key Business Goal
Example: To continue to integrate our pub as the hub of the community whilst expanding the business and product offering to encourage new customers, including growing the female demographic.
Key Marketing Goals for 2017-2018
- To achieve a target of £250,000 through both wet and dry sales. With specific focus on a 15% increase in real ale sales
- To increase female demographic frequenting the pub by 20%
- To maintain existing customer base
- To develop a more solid food offering in keeping with the traditional pub style
- To showcase the pub as a live music venue
3. Marketing Strategies
Your ‘how to do it plan’. Here you can put down all your ideas that you might consider such as: leaflet dropping in the local area, press releases in the local paper, advertising in local newsletters/ parish newsletters, you might produce your own newsletter, internal and external chalkboards, using social media such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, building a website…
Looking back at your strategies, what can you afford? What can you do in-house? What do you need to outsource? You may want to consider your customers, do any of them have marketing skills, designing, web building etc., are any of your staff au fait with social media? Or do you need to be looking to outsource some of your marketing to an agency or do you need some training?
5. Monitor Your Results
Once your strategy is in place, you will want and need to track your activities against what you set out to achieve. This is a continuous process; if something isn’t working, you can quickly find out and adapt what you are doing to achieve your goals. Taking the example of increasing sales of a specific beer, you will be able to track against your EPOS system and through regular stocktakes.
“The more we get rid of traditional pubs the more we forget who we were, the more we FORGET who we were, the less we KNOW who we ARE.”
Damon Albarn 19.12.2014
If you would like assistance with your marketing plan (be it for pubs, clubs, restaurants, hotels or bars) or would like help to achieve your business goals, then please get in touch.