Having a GoogleBusiness Profile (formerly Google My Business ) is one of the easiest ways for small businesses to get noticed online, in this video, Feyisayo Adeyemi, a Germany based Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)expert walks us through the step-by-step way of creating a business page o Google. This tutorial is the first of the 3-part video series on SEO for Small Businesses.
WHAT IS GOOGLE BUSINESS PROFILE
Google Business Profile helps you with the ability to list your business location on Google Maps and local search results. You can display vital information about your business, including the opening/closing times,products and services you offer, contact details or a link to your website. GoogleBusiness Profile helps you drive customer engagement across Google Search and Maps.
WHO CAN HAVE A GOOGLE MY BUSINESS PAGE
Absolutely anyone who has a business that sells products or offers services can have a Google Business Profile. Once you create a GoogleMy Business profile, your business will start appearing more prominently in the Google Map results. It also improves your business appearing in the Knowledge Panel as well.
In this second part of the WHY YOU NEED A WEBSITE series with Toyin Alagbe, he answers the question ‘How Much Should A Small Website Cost’ among other questions. If you missed out on the first part of the interview series, you can check it out HERE
How to know the kind of website your business needs
The kind of website your business needs is subject to your offerings. If you offer services, you definitely need an informational website that has all the details of your business
Your business only needs an eCommerce website if you have products you sell. If you only offer services, you don’t need an eCommerce website
Do Customers Only Love Shopping On Social Media And Not On Websites?
This is not true, the customers will use the platform a business provides. Customers find it easier to use keywords to find vendors/products they are interested in. This is where having a business website outweighs just selling on Instagram.
If you have a functioning website, your potential customers will definitely find you there.
How Much Should A Small Business Pay For A Website
This is tricky! There is no set standard for what a website should cost. Most times, the cost of your website is dependent on the objective, what you aim to achieve with it and the expertise level of the designer. There is no fixed price. The good news is, there is always a designer who can build a website that fits your budget range. It is also important to note that you shouldn’t always go for the cheapest options, they might come back to haunt you.
You also want to have a website design that resonates and represents your brand values, voice and identity and this doesn’t come cheap at all if your brand is a premium brand, you should be able to place a premium budget on a well-designed website.
Your website is your customer’s first contact with you, the first impression matters!
Choosing A Website Hosting Service
Where you host your website matters a lot, some website hosting companies can either make or mar your business. Hosting costs can be very pricey. It is advisable to host your website on hosting platforms outside Nigeria, Namecheap comes highly recommended.
How To Have Control Over Your Business
As an online store, business, or service provider, you need a platform you own and can control. Having your business solely on a social media platform means you have to abide by the rules and regulations on the social network platforms. Your business can be taken down.
It Is Okay To Start An Online Business Without A Website?
Also note that if you are starting small, there is nothing wrong with starting on social media or a free eCommerce platform. And as you grow, blog about your products and offer value-added services like how-to guides, tips and other relevant content useful to your customers.
Don’t iLe To Your Customers
Don’t lie about the products you offer, be truthful. DOn’t sell harmful products that can harm your customers. Put out genuine information
In this first part of the series on Why You Need A Website For Your Small Business, Toyin Alagbe, a Website Developer with over six (6) years of experience shares why small businesses shouldn’t depend solely on social media to reach their potential audience and advertise their businesses. You can watch the first part of the series or read excerpts in this article.
WHAT IS A WEBSITE?
A website is your story or business on the global market. For people to know about your business or what you do, they either have to travel to physically access or contact you by phone. But with a website, you can put everything about your products and services without having to call you, it is the first contact your potential customers have with you.
DOES HAVING A WEBSITE MEAN YOUR BUSINESS AUTOMATICALLY APPEAR ON GOOGLE?
There is a process to this, when you build a website, you need to tell Google what your website, you basically CRAWL it on Google Search Console, by doing this, Google gathers information about your website such that when people search your business name, it automatically pops out on Google search results.
Another way your website can show on Google is if/when your business has a Google My Business account. For example, when you search for Supermarkets near me, a list of supermarkets around the location you are at pops up. Some of them may not have a website but because the locations have been marked on Google, they are easily searchable. Now, imagine if they claim their business on Google and link their website to the Google My Business page, it increases their ranking on the website.
If you are not sure why your business needs a website, below are five (5) major reasons why you should consider building one
1. WHY DOES MY BUSINESS NEED A WEBSITE WHEN MY SOCIAL MEDIA ACCOUNTS ARE ALREADY SHOWN ON GOOGLE SEARCH
Okay, let’s use this scenario, imagine you sell fashionable wears and items on Instagram and I go to Google to type in CASUAL SHOES for men, your page will never come up in the search results, the potential customer needs to search your business name in the Google search bar for your business to pop up in the result.
Having a well-optimised website not only makes your business look professional but also helps your business rank for keywords in your sector and makes your business look legit.
2. HAVING A WEBSITE SEPARATES YOU FROM SCAMMERS
Many Instagram and social media shoppers have been victims of countless scams from Instagram sellers/vendors with many followers.
If you have a business with a website gives you autonomy and choices. You can add as many items you want, categorise your products and services, add review pages and many more.
3. SOCIAL MEDIA ALGORITHMS ARE NOT IN YOUR BUSINESS FAVOURS
Another reason why you should consider having a website is that social media algorithms change all the time and they are not in your business’s favour. For instance, a Facebook page with 100,000 followers will most likely reach about 500-1000 followers each time they publish a post, except of course they run an advertising campaign, 90% of their followers or potential audience won’t see the page. This is also applicable to Instagram, posts don’t appear chronologically and it may take a follower between 2-5 days to see a published post on an Instagram page.
4. YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA PAGES CAN BE DEACTIVATED ANYTIME.
If you run your business solely on social media, your page can be taken down if you violate any of the platform’s policies. If you post a copyrighted picture or video and it is reported, your account be deactivated and you lose all the followers and audience you have accumulated over the years. THIS IS VERY BAD FOR BUSINESS.
5. YOU ARE A TENANT ON SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS – YOU DON’T OWN THE SPACE
I can’t count the number of pages that have backup pages. The best analogy to use for this is that these social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram etc) are landlords and you & your business are tenants.
Lastly, social media platforms have been set up to make money. So the algorithm most likely doesn’t work in your favour. So imagine Twitter and Instagram go down for 10 days, does that mean your business will also be down for the number of days?
You need control for your business online, your website is meant to be the virtual house of your brand.
Well, there is no rule as to how much a website design should cost. In fact, you can design one for yourself if you have the time to learn the skills. You can also reach out to professional website designers to help you create a befitting website that suits your business brand and fit into your budget. Find out more about this in the next article.
WhatsApp has become one of the go-to-market platforms for small businesses. It is dynamic and user-friendly enough for you to fully maximize all its features in your marketing campaigns.
In this article, you will learn how to get started with marking your business on WhatsApp with:
Ensure you give special attention to each so you do not make the mistake of running the same communication across all of them.
1. Marketing With WhatsApp Status Updates
The status update is one of the latest exciting features released by WhatsApp. The feature was created to help users to tell mini-stories with short pictures and videos. It is a very interesting tool when used properly.
This feature operates as a high point exhibition, you are able to display special events, share information and other different types of content in interesting bits and pieces in pictures and videos for up to 24- hours before they are automatically deleted.
The temporary format of status updates means you have very little time to grab the attention of your prospects. Most people swipe through updates quickly, they only stop to look at relatable or important updates.
2. Marketing With WhatsApp Broadcasts
The WhatsApp Broadcast feature can also be a very effective marketing tool when used methodically. This feature essentially allows you to send messages to a number of contacts at the same time. Your contacts get the message individually so it is very possible to maintain a personal touch. keep in mind that your messages need to be carefully crafted when sending a broadcast. This gives your prospects and clients time to carefully work with and appreciate the content.
Prospects who receive your broadcast messages should be able to relate to them immediately so that it leaves a lasting impression on them. This is why you need to research and segment your content well before sending them out to your list.
3. Marketing With WhatsApp Groups
Marketing with WhatsApp requires a more intense client list creation process because it encourages content participation from every client and prospect involved as well as you. This lack of total control means you cannot always control the narrative. This is why you need to pay special attention to the clients that you add to groups. Your effort should focus on marketing with other WhatsApp features.
4. Marketing With Direct Messaging
Marketing with Direct messaging is more about enhancing the image of your business with your clients. Direct messages are the primary channel for your clients to get in contact with you. This is an excellent way to communicate with your clients on a personal level and provide top-notch customer support. Special attention should be given to this aspect because your clients might get disgruntled if their concerns or complaints are not replied to on time. Again, a dedicated phone and number would be ideal here so that your customers feel appreciated, thereby enhancing repeat business.
As of the time of writing this sentence, there are
Introduction To WhatsApp Business.
about 3.03 billion people on some type of social media platform, which is almost half of the world’s population. According to IEEE GlobalSpec Media Solutions, there was a 58% increase in social media marketing budget spend just from 2017 to 2018.
Small businesses with little or no marketing budget who look to social media as their marketing haven now have to contend with larger businesses and this is where the value of WhatsApp comes in.
WhatsApp has become a go-to channel for smart businesses, but it is still widely untapped as a marketing solution compared to other platforms. The major reason for this is that most people do not appreciate its value or do not know how to go about using it.
In this blog series on how to market your business on WhatsApp, you will learn how to :
build a comprehensive client list you didn’t even know you had access to.
convert members of WhatsApp and Facebook groups into potential customers.
create eye-catching content for your clients and prospects, plan it properly and get them to look forward to the next time you would be reaching out to them.
Practical marketing examples and case studies
Why WhatsApp Business?
In Nigeria, 7 out of 10 people with mobile phones have WhatsApp installed. WhatsApp has over 1.3 billion monthly users and 1 billion active daily users across the globe. This suggests that even as you are reading this, you very likely have WhatsApp installed on your phone and interestingly, so do your current and prospective customers and clients.
Using this ebook, you can start using WhatsApp for marketing and brand communications in a short period. You will learn how to build and maintain relationships with prospective clients and build a community around your business. Even with the 55 billion messages sent over WhatsApp daily, you will learn how to make your communications stand out and leverage it into significant business growth.
Who Can Use WhatsApp Business?
The WhatsApp Business App was originally designed for small business owners. Communications through other social media channels always seem to be elaborate and small businesses have to compete with major corporations for ad spaces and customer visibility. WhatsApp for business makes it easy for any business owner or freelancer, operating on even the smallest level, to make marketing efforts from within their circle and beyond. The app is modelled after the WhatsApp app you are already used to, so you do not have to worry about any technicalities.
Some of the features WhatsApp Business offers include:
Business profile to list important information, such as a company’s address, email, and website.
Statistics to see how many messages were successfully sent, delivered, and read.
To effectively use WhatsApp as a marketing tool you will need a dedicated phone that will house your free account and a business number to be used solely for business communications. Here are some of the features of the WhatsApp Business App
Some of the features WhatsApp Business currently offers include:
Business profile to list important information, such as a company’s address, email and website.
Statistics to see how many messages were successfully sent, delivered, and read.
Content is king. you have probably heard this more than a thousand times but you should also know that engagement is queen. In this article, we will discuss a few tips on how to make your content stimulating enough to drive sales and business growth. Firstly, before you proceed to create marketing content, you need to perform a “self-check” on the business/product or service you are rendering. You want the content to be engaging enough to pique the interest of your prospects.
The initial message you send should include a concise overview of your company, and a snippet of what the prospect or client should expect from you. This shouldn’t be too long as well because as soon as it is received, your prospect’s perception of your business has begun to take shape. Your content has to be specific.
Categories Of Content You Should Create
There are a few ways to go about creating content that your prospects can connect with. The following, are categories of content you should consider creating:
Witty: Any content that may tickle your clients’ and prospects’ funny bone, could be well appreciated entertaining: Generally, entertaining content is not bad for business. It might not sell your product at the time but it gets people to engage with you.
Informative: If there is something new with your products or industry and you think your prospects and clients may be interested, you could share.
Useful: Tips on how to use or protect products or other things around products are another way to go.
Inspiring: Your clients and prospects could also appreciate inspiring or thought-provoking Content.
If your content does not fall into any of these categories, your prospects may not pay too much attention to it. This is why you need to know what your client is most likely interested in and plug into that, just like we discussed when you were building your client list. Now you have to deliver on those sorts of free service, information, and content you promised.
After every post or communication, you should remember to add a Call To Action (CTA). Your CTA does not always have to be for them to buy your products, sometimes you could simply encourage them to look out for other posts, to share with friends, to check out your website, or to simply follow your business on other platforms.
You come across various content on different online platforms daily and you engage with some of them more than others. The reason for this is not that you are dismissive. The truth is that some things appeal to you more than others. Now, the question is, what are those things that make up the type of content that appeals to you? Or in this particular case, your clients and prospects on WhatsApp?
There are so many variables, a lot of which we have already talked about. Once you have narrowed down the group or groups of people you want to communicate with, you should look at some of the things they also look at. Use a case study if you can. If you sell shoes for young men, ask a friend or a relative what they engage with. Go online and look at similar content from as many creators as you can. This will give you direction, as well as inspiration to create your content. Try out different samples to see what people engage with most.
That being said, there are key things a good content must contain, especially branded or marketing content, and that is excellent visuals. You have probably heard the saying “pictures tell a thousand stories” so many times that you are tired of hearing it. Well, it stands true till today. Look no further than Instagram for evidence. The picture frenzy may have started on that platform but every online platform has adopted it because the results are there for anyone to see. Your clients and prospects will engage with great pictures and graphics more than simple everyday visuals they have seen a hundred times.
The good thing is that you do not have to be a master photographer or a versatile graphic designer to get great visuals for your content.
There are platforms where you can get amazing pictures for free and you don’t have to worry about licensing issues. Some of them are:
When you want to create your own custom graphics, a great tool to use is Canva (CLICK TO SIGN UP). It is an online graphic design tool anyone can use. There are loads of templates that you can edit to fit exactly what you need. You can also add your own pictures. After a while, you may begin to enjoy using it for your designs.
However, before you begin to source for pictures and create designs, keep your prospects and clients in mind. Do not just use the most visually appealing picture you can find.
Your selection must first relate to your brand and resonate with your audience (prospects and clients). It is always advisable to use African models when faced with the choice unless of course, you have a foreign client base. You should always stay on topic. You should not have a beautiful model wearing a winter jacket in your Ankara brand marketing materials.
Taking Quality Camera Pictures On Your Phone Or Camera
The importance of making catchy and quality pictures of your products cannot be overemphasized. You may need to hire the services of a professional product photographer on how to go about this. If you can’t afford the services of a professional photographer, you can take awesome pictures on your phone. Here are a few tips to note when taking products pictures from your phone as a small business owner:
Taking Quality Pictures On Your Phone Or Camera
The first step to taking awesome product pictures on your phone is to make sure that your scene set-up will make a good image, to begin with.
To that end, you want to make sure your products are clean and your setup is correct before you start taking pictures
A plain white background is best for most of your product shots. This lets your product take the spotlight and removes any distractions.
If you are shooting indoors, set up your white background “studio” with a window to either the left or right and a white reflector of some sort on the opposite side.
Ensure you clean your lenses to avoid any specks of dust and smudges on your lens
Steady your camera, investing in a mobile tripod stand for your phone is advised to eliminate camera shakes. This is a tiny purchase that will make a big difference.
Try out the different phone camera settings on your phone, take multiple pictures and select your preferred ones
There are good photo editing apps you can use to correct colours and make your product pictures more desirable.
Keeping your contacts engaged is a continuous effort. Businesses that can communicate for extended periods endear themselves to their clients. This means your campaigns should be scheduled properly for long term communications.
To help with this you can download the SMEStoriesNG -custom-made content calendar with this link.
Are you just out of school or looking for an exciting new career or need a side hustle to get you going? If all your answer is YES and you know your way around Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, social media management could be for you. You can expect to focus on building a social media following through posting likeable content, running ads, analysing user data, and staying on top of insta-worthy events.
Become A Social Media Media With No Experience
In this video, I will share tips on how you can become a social media manager with little or no experience.
My name is Olamide and if this is your first time on my blog, I invite you to click HEREto subscribe to my channel and turn on notification so you won’t miss insightful updates from me just like the one you are about to watch below
WHO IS A SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER?
A Social media manager is responsible for curating a brand’s social channels, They monitor, moderate and respond to audience comments; manage social media partnerships with other brands; and create and/or post shareable videos and images.
1. START WITH YOURSELF AND BUILD
Create your own pages on all major social media platforms, including at least Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and maybe Snapchat. Use these pages to practice building, engaging and maintaining an online community. Actions often speak louder than words, you need to able to show what you can do if and when given the opportunity. – STARTED OUT THIS WAY WITH ON MY PERSONAL SOCIAL PAGES IN 2009 AND GOT MY FIRST GIG BEING A SELF TAUGHT SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER
2. TAKE SOCIAL MEDIA COURSES
there are loads of free resource on YouTube and Google you can leverage to get started. Platforms like Udemy EDX, Coursera etc offer hands-on social media specialization course. Take advantage of these platforms to get yourself acquainted with the business of social media.
Creative thinking, multitasking, efficient time management and excellent communication are must-have skills you can’t do without. if you want to be an amazing social media manager.
Look out for businesses or brands you can help with marketing or start strategy on. You can execute some for free and change for others. Oftentimes, smaller non-profits and businesses need help in social media but don’t have the budget to hire for it. This can give you the space to learn the needs of the position, as well as build your experience in the digital space. In all of these, do not undervalue yourself. With this process, you can build your portfolio.
5. GET MENTORSHIP OR BE PART OF COMMUNITIES
on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, follow known leaders in the field, follow conversations on Twitter, attend webinars and other community-related activities. This is a great avenue to learn and build networks that will be helpful in your social media career journey
6. EXPLORE GIGS ON LINKEDIN, YOUR NETWORK, ONLINE WORK PLATFORMS
Take any opportunity you can get, no matter how small A great way to get started s by picking up gigs here and there that are related to social media management. Don’t underestimate the power of experience here, as even small opportunities can show a company their need for social media management. You can start with an entry-level role. Explore online work or remote job platforms like Upwork, reach out to your LinkedIn connects and other platforms
7. DON’T STOP LEARNING
keep updating yourself with new trends, listen to podcasts, watch YouTube videos, attend webinars, ask questions. Don’t stop learning
Have you been struggling to get high engagement on your Instagram posts? Do you think the Instagram algorithm is limiting your posts to just a few people? Learn how to reach a larger audience with Reels
If your answer to those 2 questions is yes, well, I will be teaching you how to leverage the new INSTAGRAM reels to get more views and engagement in this video
If this is your first time on my YouTube channel, please, click HERE to subscribe button below and turn on the notification ? bell so you’d be the first to know when I share a new video
SO WHAT ARE INSTAGRAM REEL?
Instagram Reels is a content format that allows you to create and share 15-second videos with others in a new dedicated Feed on the Explore page.
WHY USE REELS?
Early Enjoy Favorable Exposure on Instagram explore and on your timeline- Inst
Reels Are Easy to Create: Yes! They are, all you need to do is have the short video clips you would like to mash-up readily available on your phone for easy selection. Reels can also be created using existing video editing apps on your phone or PC
Content is permanent unlike Instagram stories: Unlike Instagram Stories that have a 24-hour lifeline, Instagram reels are permanent on your Instagram page as your video and photo posts
Reels Offer More Visibility Potential via Multiple Hashtag Feeds: You are more likely to get more views on your reels than IGTV and video posts on Instagram at the moment. Instagram seem to be giving more priority to reels with their algorithm on the platform. It is also a good opportunity to take advantage of this to reach more people and get more followers before they release their new and exciting product or feature
These 10 Tips Will Help You Get Started With Making Money From Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is simply the use of major social media networks to build a specific brand, connect with millions of users, boost sales or customer base, and drive traffic.
Sure, you’ve heard of social media marketers making it big, and you wonder if you can join the train. It’s not as hard as it sounds; it takes dedication and commitment.
For this reason,
Here are some useful tips on how to secure the bag via social media marketing.
1. Effective Planning and Strategy
Before you begin a social media marketing campaign, you must set realistic goals. Social media marketing has gone beyond likes and retweets. Strategize on other metrics like generated leads, and conversion rates. Create a calendar; see what your competitors are sharing and evaluate your marketing strategies when they fall short.
2. Choose the Right Platforms
Not all social media platforms will work well for your goals. Facebook is arguably the most appealing for marketers. It’s the world’s most popular network and houses over 2 billion users. If your campaign is big on visuals, why not try Instagram? Other platforms include Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Pinterest.
3. Identify your Target Audience
Your marketing campaign is only successful when your content gets to the right people. Determine the gender, age range, locale, income, and other details that’ll keep you on top of your game. Build audience personas. Focus groups and customer surveys can do the trick!
4. Hit the Ground Running! Start Marketing
At this point, you should start marketing products via social media. It goes beyond posting regularly. Follow the 80/20 Rule — 80 per cent of your social media marketing result rests on 20 per cent of your content. So, the percentage of advertising content should be 20% per cent of the material.
Marketing has gone beyond long articles explaining a brand or product. Pictures, videos, and graphics are catchy means of attracting users. Churn out visuals as often as you can. One study says that users can remember 65% of the visual content that they see almost three days later.
6. Try Out Affiliate Programs
This is one of the proven ways to earn money via social media marketing. What are affiliate programs? Let’s take YouTube, for instance. Those links that are embedded in the description section are affiliate links. You can influence sales for companies by posting a link of their e-commerce platform on your social media and website. It’s free to promote, and you earn a great deal for each sale you drive.
7. Sell Social Media Marketing Resources
You can also earn big bucks from selling e-learning resources. Ebooks, online courses, coaching, or mentoring can come in handy. People are willing to learn from those with a successful track record and experience. Compile a book on a useful marketing strategy. An affordable online course may help you hit your first millions!
8. Save Time, Use the Right Tools
One of the most effective social media marketing tools you can find is Hootsuite. This tool and others would bolster your productivity. For instance, Hootsuite can integrate all your social platforms into one, and in a single dashboard, you can interact with your customers and followers.
We cannot overemphasize the relevance of influencing. In simple terms, an influencer is an individual who can help brands reach their target audience, maintain trust, and bolster engagement. There are tons of influencers out there. If you want to stand out and make money from this, ensure that you create engaging and original content. Once you master these, you’ll be a household name, and brands would confidently spend thousands on your ability to sell their products.
10. Create Useful Content
As a marketer, your content should be informative, educational, motivational, and entertaining. Share tips on health and wellness, give your followers the latest fashion trends and tell them about what’s the new thing in fitness.
Although these tips may seem herculean at first glance, if you follow them accurately you stand every chance to score your first millions from social media marketing.
Here are the 3 best FREE STOCK Images websites. Using stock photos for your projects doesn’t have to be expensive, thanks to the many great websites that give you access to millions of stock images for free. In this, article I will be sharing the Top 3 websites with high-quality stock images for use on websites, blogs, YouTube videos or any other type of project that you’re working on.
Pexels provides high quality and completely free stock photos licensed under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license. All photos are nicely tagged, searchable and also easy to discover through their discover pages.
Unsplash offers a large collection of free high-resolution photos and has become one of the best sources for stock images. The Unsplash team combs through new submissions and features the very best photos on their homepage. All photos are released for free under the Unsplash license.