marketing plan

4 Important Steps In Creating Marketing Plan

An annual or periodic marketing plan helps an organization to set marketing on the right course to make your firm business goals a reality. It can be viewed as a high-level plan that guides the direction of your team’s goals, campaigns and growth.
Without this, the organizations goals will be nearly impossible with multiplier effects on the budget to secure projects, hiring, and outsourcing you’ll encounter as the year progresses, if the you don’t have a plan.
Be reminded also that there are variations to the marketing plan you need, depending on your field or industry you operate and the goals of your marketing team. Below are 4 strategic steps on how to create marketing plan for your organization.

1. Do your SWOT analysis.

Prior to starting your marketing plan, you have to know and analyses your current situation by asking and answering very important question.
Question like, what are your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats? Which are the acronyms of SWOT. This is what is refer to as SWOT analysis and it is considered to be first step in creating a marketing plan.
the way to achieve all of this is to use a smart marketing approach that builds a marketing strategy and execution plan suitable to your business goals and starts with a SWOT of your current marketing program. Write down area of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats in terms of your competitive position, target audiences, target markets, current positioning/messaging, the style of your organization, channel partners, etc.
Take a look of how other products are better than yours. Check your competitor’s weakness and begin to fill in the gap which will place you at a competitive advantage of your industry that you operates. Think about what makes you unique and different.

2. Who are your target audience.

When an organization define and understand who they want to reach out to, the platform in which such audience use most and their demographics, you have a better understanding of the market and your company’s situation.
If you don’t have a buyer persona, you should create one. In order to do this, the organization may have to conduct market research. In a situation an organization already has buyer personas, this step might just mean you have to refine your current personas.
The content of buyer persona should include demographic information such as age, gender, and income. However, it will also include psychographic information such as pain points and goals. What drives your audience? What problems do they have that your product or service can fix?
Once this information are gotten, it’ll help the organization to define what your goals are.

3. Make your goals SMART.

By SMART here we mean Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and of course time-bound. This implies that all your goals should be specific and include a time frame for which you want to complete it.
For example, your goal could be to increase your Instagram followers by a particular 10% in three months. Depending on organization overall marketing goals, ensure it is relevant and attainable. Also, this goal is specific, measurable, and time-bound.
Before an organization employ any strategy, the goals should be define. Then, you can begin to analyze which tactics will help you achieve that goal.

4. Set your Budget.

No one embarks on any meaning project without first counting the cost among some other things.
Setting realistic goal is good but it has to be budgeted for in order to achieve it. Before you implement any strategy/goals or idea as an organization, it is pertinent to also set a marketing budget for the set goal(s) over the period of time. For example, if the strategy employed by the organization is to include social media advertising, an amount for social media campaign, timing, buying space and the platform that will best the product or services must be considered otherwise, the organization may not achieve that set goal. Also with i4cus Nigeria Limited, you just got on the right team of IT professionals that makes your world easier.

Facebook audience

Five Important Tips to Engage Your Audience on Facebook

1. Post Regularly
Your posting schedule is undoubtedly linked to your followers. Why? The more you post, the more visible you are to your target audience and the more likely you are to reach new users.
Here are two tools to streamline your publishing process:
• A content calendar – This is used to plan out what content you will post to your social media platforms and when they will be published. It’s especially helpful to have a content calendar to align your social media content with upcoming events, such as product or service launches.
• A social media publishing tool – Manually publishing to your Facebook Page can be time-consuming and take you away from more important tasks. With a publishing tool, you can schedule your posts to go live at a specific time and date, and have the peace of mind that your page will always be active.
2. Customize your posts.
One of the reasons why your follower count may have plateaued is because your content isn’t connecting with consumers.
Start experimenting with various types of posts to see what garners more shares, comments, and other forms of engagement. You may find that videos perform much better than images, or that covering certain topics get more shares than others.
As you notice trends in what’s working and what’s not, tweak your strategy, observe, and keep experimenting.

3. Always promotes your Facebook Page everywhere.
If your goal is to gain more followers on your business page, you should direct traffic to your page whenever possible. There are a few ways to do this:
• Add a Facebook plugin to your website.
• Include a CTA in your email newsletter to encourage your subscribers to visit your Facebook Page.
• Embed your Facebook posts whenever relevant in your blog posts.
• Host your giveaways only on Facebook.
• Promote your Facebook Page on other social media platforms

4. Link your Facebook Account to all your digital platforms.
Your Facebook link should be accessible everywhere you have an online presence. This includes your website, email, and social media platforms
It’s as simple as putting “Follow Us,” or “Connect With Us” with the social icons, as shown in the business above.

5. Host Freebies.
Giveaways can be an effective and low-cost way to build brand awareness and attract new Facebook users to your Facebook Page.
To maximize the impact of your giveaway, set rules that encourage audience participation. For instance, your giveaway can require each user to tag a friend in the giveaway post and make a post of their own to qualify to win.

Social Media Marketing

Simple Notes on Social Media Marketing For Start Ups

Marketing always has to adapt to new technology and although we can hardly call social media new, a lot of businesses still haven’t caught up or got take advantage of the benefits which come with it.

What is social media marketing?
Social media marketing is any marketing that takes place on social media platforms. This includes a huge range of activities that simply have social media in common. So whether it’s promoting a blog post which involves something like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram it’s called social media marketing.

It is important to recognize that each social medium platform is unique and it requires you adapting to new medium types.

Marketing on social media is important for any organizations now, whether it’s free or with paid ads, social media platforms give you access to huge audiences that you can build and grow yourself.

An organization must devote someone to post on social platforms, even with a low time investment, it works wonders if done properly.

There is no well define way to operate social media marketing as the best strategy is to take planning and tie into a company’s overall strategy. Different approaches work for different businesses.

What is important is that there is potential in social media marketing for most organizations, but it’s rarely a simple matter of sending out a few tweets or post on Facebook/Instagram and waiting for the cash to roll in.

Benefits of social media marketing!
As earlier posited, there are a lot of different strategies, and the outcomes will depend on the ones you choose. But here’s a very basic outline of the main benefits of social media marketing:

• Promote your own content to reach new people without big advertising costs
• Show off your company culture to help aid recruitment
• Create extra avenues to sell and promote your products/services
• Offer quick customer service to customers wherever they may be
• Build loyalty and brand recognition with your customers/clients
while the above mention points help your organization to become profitable, they’re not all one-step journeys to sales. It’s about seeing social media as a platform where many aspects of your business can sit.

Social Media presence

Importance of Social Media Presence To a Business

social media presence is how a company portray themselves online through their social networking accounts and activity. Building a social media presence starts with developing your goal, that is to say it must be deliberately planned and invested in.
A social media channel has no presence if there is no audience who values it. A company can use social media to listen, monitor, and analyze your audience behavior, it serves as a means for consumer feedback, improve new or existing relationships, and expand your brand’s social presence.”
Though visibility comes with having a strong presence, but not yardstick to measure success
Importance of Social Media Presence
Having a social media presence goes beyond having a profile with content. It means creating content tailored to the interests and needs of your target audience. Enumerated here are some of the importance of social media presence to a company.
• It builds trust, which is very key to have as a company, because it takes you one step closer to earning your audience’s business.
• A strong social media presence also allows you to better understand your audience.
Connecting with your community on this level helps you get to the core of their needs so you can better serve them with your product or service.

How To Increase Social Media Presence
1. Engage your audience.
Social media is arguably the closest contact you have with consumers on a regular basis. Within few minutes or hours after posting your contents, you can measure your audience’s response and learn something new with every post. Make sure you engaged them also by creating an platform for your followers to connect with your brand in a more personalized way simply by ensuring they comments on a topical issues in the comment session. Solve quizzes pose a question, create polls, answering Q&As.

2. Optimize your profiles for SEO.
New and emerging brands/products and services are gaining popularity in our world today on the account of social media which has made the world a global village.
So SEO has been made easy on website optimization. It ,is also important to optimize your social profiles to make it easier for your target audience to connect with you.
Hence to optimize your posts, it must be with hashtags. Furthermore, you’ll also want to optimize your bio page in a few ways:
• Use the same profile image and handle on all social media platforms.
• Include a few keywords (identified through social media tools) in your company description bio.
• Have working links that lead your followers to other channels, like your website or YouTube channel.

3. Maintain your brand position and aesthetic.
Consistency isn’t only about your posting scheduled, it also comprises of your brand in general.
Your brand identity should be the same across all marketing channels. This is important because as it will avoid confusing your customers by creating an understanding of your brand if there is a contrasting messaging and identity. This is only possible if your audience are familiar with your brand as you maintain consistency on all front.So, once you design your brand strategy, make sure it aligns with your social media strategy.

4. Manage your community.
Community management is a major driver in building your social media presence. It is fundamental to a brand’s growth, its image, and social acceptability.
Having a social media account without community management is like having a car without a driver hence that will end in a crash.
You must be proactive by extending hands to other brands, followers, customers and clients in similar industries, this will help to build that community around your brand and not a standalone product.
This aspect of social media management requires brands to be proactive and seek out conversations that will draw audiences in.
According to an authority, “Community management is the center of the customer journey, like the flywheel model, crafting the relationship between the brand and customer” Not building community deliberately and actively doing so, may not get the brand very far to the expected end.

5. Treat each Social Media Platform Unique as it is.
What works on facebook platform won’t or may not work, on Instagram or Twitter as the case may be, so also all other platform.
While it contextual social media contents may be duplicated across board, it is also important to note the difference between repurposing and duplicating.
The former refreshes the content to extend its value while the latter keeps it the same, simply transferring it to another platform.With this in mind, be sure to customize your approach to the platform you’re posting on.

website tools analysis

Four Best Competitor Website Analysis Tools.

Competitor analysis are specialized tools or software for digging deeper into the available data.
there are plenty of online materials available that will be of helps to monitor competitors’ websites. below are four of the best tools you can look into using for your competitor site analysis!
1 SEMrush
SEMrush builds on the features offered by SpyFu by letting you view things like backlinks and rankings. It also provide you with insights into a company’s social media presence — it is an exciting platform to look at in your flare of website analysis.

2. . CompetitorSpyFX
Looking at other three tools that are being considered,are fantastic competitor analysis resource, and each of them bring unique features for analysis. CompetitorSpyFX on the other hand is a tool that will give you a truly comprehensive look at your competitors’ marketing. CompetitorSpyFX is part of WebFX’s larger digital marketing platform which allows you to view a variety of competitor marketing metrics, including:
• Bounce rate
• Keyword comparison
• Backlinks
• Page traffic e.t.c
Aside viewing current metrics, you can also use CompetitorSpyFX to project what changes to your marketing will help you best surpass your competitors, giving you the power to make data-driven decisions about your digital marketing strategy.
3. . SpyFu
SpyFu is an excellent tool for covering the basics of competitor analysis. SpyFu gives helps you know how high pages across a site are ranking in Google for specific keywords. It also allows you to see how many backlinks a site has, indicating how reputable Google views it.

4 Alexa
Alexa offers many of the same benefits as SpyFu, with one notable addition — it can give you insights into a website’s traffic. A site may get optimized for a keyword, yet still not drive very much traffic. Alexa will let you see how many users are visiting the site.

website builder

2 Best Small Business Website Builders

In this 21 century and for an entrepreneur who wants to take his business to the next level, your website represent and signifies your online presence. Customers will visit your website to find information about your products, learn about your business or services, and go as far as contacting you. As a results of this, the choice of choosing a website builder for your small business and services is a crucial one that must be taken. Below are two important website builder, their advantage and disadvantage when considering for a small business take off.
2. BigCommerce

BigCommerce website development is a website builder for small businesses that is suitable for a small business start-ups and focused on e-commerce which is a great platform to consider if you want sell your products online.
Advantage of BigCommerce
Enumerated here are some of the benefits of using BigCommerce as your site builder:
• Customizable site:BigCommerce can customize your site to suits your ecommerce needs or desires. It offers an app store that help you to make your site unique and personalized. This customization can help you capture more qualified leads for your company.

• conversion-focused templates: if your goal is to make sales which is the ultimate aim of every organization. It is pertinent to find and build a high-converting website, BigCommerce get you access to dozens of templates designed to promote a seamless shopping experience and increase conversions.
• Security: A secure site for an online platform is fundamental for earning sales and winning customers for your business.BigCommerce as a site builder, provides you that security you’ll need to get things like domain names and a shared Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate.
• SEO friendly: BigCommerce’s templates are all SEO friendly to ensure your site ranks well in search results. From SEO-friendly HTML elements to site load time, you’ll get everything you need to have a site that ranks in search results.

Cons of BigCommerce
BigCommerce has a few setbacks that you may wish to consider when deciding on the best software for website development for small businesses:
Free themes are limited
While BigCommerce offers varieties of themes to build your site, but very few of them are free. As a matter of fact it has only 12 free template designs, so if those don’t fit your business’s style, you’ll have to pay for a template.
Your fees increase as you grow
One of the major disadvantage and complaints about BigCommerce is that you pay more fees as your business grows. BigCommerce has four tiers plan — each tier has a sales threshold that you cannot exceed without upgrading to the next package.
Many business shy away from this platform because it punishes them for success, making it a significant drawback to the platform.

1. WordPress

WordPress is the best site builder for small business start-ups. It is open-source software that you can use to create your small business website. The open-source nature means you can create a site anywhere and get access to the features you need.
Advantage of WordPress
When it comes to choosing a website builder for small businesses, WordPress offers a lot of pros.
Here are a few:
• Thousands of templates: unlike Bigcommerce site, WordPress has no shortage of template options available to your business. it offers thousands of templates you can choose from, and you can easily customize each one to meet your business’s needs.
• Search engine optimization (SEO) friendly: When you build your small business website, with a site that ranks in search engines. WordPress, regardless of the template option you choose, your site will be SEO friendly and responsive for mobile devices.
• Flexible: Since WordPress is open source, you can build your site how you want. You are not restricted by word press platform, making it easy for you to build a custom site for your small business.
• Plugins: WordPress provides plugins for your website, which is an easy way to get everything you need. From SEO-focused plugins, security plugins, you can pick and choose what to include on your site so you can create the best user experience for your business.
• Massive community: WordPress is one of the most popular website builders, so it has a massive community. As a result, you have a great resource of knowledge and support to help you troubleshoot problems or get advice with building your small business website.
Disadvantage of WordPress
Like any small business website builder, there are disadvantages to WordPress. Enumerated here are few of them.
You have to pay fees
One of the most disadvantage to using WordPress is the fees you must pay to build your site. Though software itself is free, you must pay for everything else, including:
• Hosting fees
• Plugins
• Domain name
• Website design
All these elements, which help you build your site, come at varying fees.
Developer experience is needed
Despite WordPress offers design templates and a drag-and-drop builder, you still need some developer experience to build your site — especially if you opt for a custom WordPress site. When you create a custom site, you need advanced design knowledge to ensure your site looks good.
Also, if you use plugins, you need to know what to do when two plugins aren’t compatible. You may run into this issue as you develop your site, so having some development experience can help navigate these situations — not having that experience can make this situation frustrating.
Furthermore, if you don’t have development experience, you may end up with a slow site. Some WordPress templates can cause business sites to have slow-loading websites. If you don’t have development experience, you may not know how to tweak the code to improve your site load time.
I4cus Nigeria Limited is that technical developer that knows how to build a site that reflects your business’s unique style while also providing ease-of-use to make shopping spree. We’ll help you craft a unique website design that translates into more leads and sales for your business.

Digital Marketing

Digital Marketing Tit Bit

Digital marketing is not cheap to implement
Digital marketing is more than creating a website, digital ads, and marketing campaigns. It also goes beyond having a good social media profile. Competition for digital marketers is high, and to stay ahead of the game, businesses need the best minds and more resources. Prudent budgeting is essential.
Digital marketing is not for everybody
Digital marketing is useful for some brands and not others. Although most businesses can find customers online, some consumers are better targeted offline through traditional strategies like leaflets and word of mouth.
Marketers who invest in analytics boost their sales targets by 25%
Digital marketing goes beyond posting online ads. Marketing statistics indicate that brands which monitor their online campaigns and adjust their marketing content accordingly are more likely to exceed their sales target.

Digital Marketing

The What and Why of Digital Marketing

Digital marketing consists of all marketing endeavors that is carried out electronically using the internet. Organization take advantage of digital channels such as search engines, email, social media, and websites to connect with existing and intending customers.
The importance of Digital marketing in our present realities cannot be exhausted but we will try to attempts few points here. Digital Marketing helps reach a wider and larger audience than the traditional methods, it targets yet to be customers are most likely to buy your product or service showcase on digital platform. It’s often cost-effective than traditional advertising, it enables you to measure success on a daily basis and pivot as you see fit.
Outlined here are three benefits of digital marketing.
1. Digital marketing enables you to compete with bigger players in your industry and even exceed their limits.
for a small business, it may be difficult for you to compete with major brands in your industry, because have millions of dollars to invest in television/radio/newspaper commercials or nationwide campaigns. However, strategic digital marketing has provided ample opportunities for small businesses to compete favorably in terms of reaching a large audience.
Example, you might identify certain long-tail keywords that relate to your product or service, and create high-quality content to help you rank on search engines for those keywords. Search engines don’t care which brand is biggest — instead, search engines will prioritize content that resonates best with the target audience.
Furthermore, social media helps you to reach new audiences through what is referred to as influencer marketing and what they do is to occasionally showcase products or services they like — if you work for a small-to-medium sized company, this could be a good avenue to consider.
2. Digital Marketing is cost-effective compare to traditional marketing methods.
Campaigns on a daily basis can be traced through Digital marketing which reduce the amount of money spent on a certain advertisement channel. This is not true about traditional forms of advertising. No matter the use of billboards, it still costs the same, whether or not it converts for you.
But with digital marketing, you can complete, control and choose where to spend your money. Rather than paying for campaigns, you can choose to spend money on design software to create high-converting Instagram content. A digital marketing strategy allows you to continuously follow and ensures you’re never wasting money on channels that don’t perform well.

3. Prospective Audience can be targeted to purchase your product or service.
Traditional means of advertisement such as TV,magazine, or billboard, have limited control over who sees the ad. And that can measure certain demographics — including the magazine’s typical readership, or the demographic of a certain neighborhood — but it’s still did not cover all customers you may wish to reach.
Digital marketing, on the other hand, affords you the right to identify and target a highly-specific audience, and send that audience personalized, high-converting marketing messages.
For instance, you might take advantage of social media’s targeting features to show social media ads to a certain audience based on variables such as age, gender, location, interests, networks, or behaviors. Alternatively, you might use PPC or SEO strategies to serve ads to users who’ve shown interest in your product or service, or who’ve searched specific keywords that relate to your industry.
At the end, digital marketing enables you to conduct the research necessary to identify your buyer persona, and lets you refine your marketing strategy over time to ensure you’re reaching prospects most likely to buy. Best of all, digital marketing helps you market to sub-groups within your larger target audience. If you sell multiple products or services to different buyer personas, this is especially helpful.

machine learning

3 tips to use machine learning for digital marketing

Machine learning and digital marketing
in the year 2020, it was gathered that 30% of companies have employed machine learning services in driving sales and other processes.

Intelligent machine learning applications can be deployed to increase the output of digital marketing programs and implementations. This advancement can help companies with big data management, personalization and delivering a better customer experience.
For you to improve your digital marketing, it is obvious that you will need to focus on Analytics, Personalization, and Optimization which can be done mechanically with the help of machine learning application.
Machine Learning can be used in all aspects of digital marketing, from search engine optimization & marketing, content marketing, paid advertisements, social media and email marketing.
Here are some of the ways Machine Learning based applications and techniques can be used in digital marketing;

1. Marketing automation
With marketing automation tools, it is expected that more than 10% revenue growth within a year are likely to be generated. As a results of this, over 79% of big brand names have started using marketing automation in the last few years.
Market Automation tool will take your growth strategy to the next phase. Tools built on machine learning can decode and learn from trends, suggest actions based on history and past experiences, and also provide accurate analytics to help you develop strategies and take actions that produce results.
Marketing Automation can have the ability for Customer segmentation, pitching to the exact audience, and sending follow-ups become non-human tasks with advanced ML-based marketing tools. After every implementation and campaign, the tool learns automatically and shows scopes for improvement for future campaigns.

2. Improved customer experience
Delivering a high-end customer experience is at the core of an organizations existence. Integrating Machine Learning-enabled chatbots in your digital marketing process especially on your website can add to the customer experience you deliver.

Many customers want their chat queries answered quickly. That’s when an AI and ML-based chat software can be your way out.

Apart from wait time for customers, chatbot integration ensures 24 x 7 x 365 availability and allows you to broaden your database without any manual interference, once trained, and implemented successfully.

Chatbots also allow you to transfer calls or chats to human agents at any point of time during the conversation with the customer.

Another way chatbots can be used in marketing is you can train and make the chatbot learn (because this machine is designed to learn) to send emails, chat messages, and follow up messages on their own. With this you can send your customers information that is related to your services of products lunch.
This will serve as source of information related to consumer behavior and product performance. These metrics can be used for developing strategies in the future.
3. More optimized advertising
The traditional way of advertising includes choosing the right advertisement content and selecting the right channel or platform to display your advertisement. You will also need to work on finalizing the right time to show your advertisement. This is more a manual job with high chances of ads not delivering to expectations.
With AI-based advertising tools, such as Facebook Ads or Google Ads, you can pitch well-optimized ads to your audience. They allow you to find the right audience for your ad and cut your advertising cost significantly.
Apart from reaching your potential customers, you can display ads in a variety of formats and multiply the outcomes from different angles using these advanced ad channels. Just at a glance, you can find potential customers based on the traits of your existing customers or the customers of your competitors.
Not only that, you can send your ads when your average audience is most active. This new-age technology saves your time and spends while improving your returns on investment.
In conclusion, Social media is the most used marketing tool after email. It has also emerged as the main tool to deliver customer service in real-time. Customer engagement, brand promotion, and lead generation are also the top activities of brands on social media. You can use Machine Learning technologies to strengthen your social media as well as with the right team like i4cus Nigeria Limited, your digital marketing just got easier.

video tips for marketing

3 Videos and Tips that will be important to Your Social Media Marketing

1. Live videos
For those who have a good number of following various social platforms as YouTube Live, Facebook Live and other streaming services which made it easy to connect with your audience. These platforms afford you to talk with your followers and potential users.
Live videos are very effective for announcements, behind-the-scenes activities, and product information videos. Constant video clips updates can continuously engage your audience, as much as longer live video sessions can be a way to go deeper with your followers through Question &Answer sessions and as well as direct chats.
Tips for video
• Invest in the right technology. Lightings and sound are important.
• Do a check on your devices to make sure all your technologies are working.
• Use scheduling tools, such as Facebook’s Premiere, to make your video more visible for better participation.
• Promote your livestreams well ahead of time on your social media accounts.
• Be consistent in your program say weekly for your audience.

2. Behind the scenes videos
Behind the scene videos tends to be more personal as it showcase day-to-day operations,offices, processes, and more. Behind the scene also capture employees’ interviews, talk with vendors, or with your best customers. These things are designed to give prospective customers/followers a better idea of who you are and how your company works.
This kind of video is designed to build trust and brand identity. Brands becomes exceptional with this kind of video as it dig gives the users opportunity to dig down into that compared to other on-screen brand displays. A memorable behind-the-scenes video can grow a relationship between company and customer – and if the video is entertaining or sufficiently informative, it will be shared.
Tips for Behind-the-scenes video
• Infuse these videos with personality.
• Incorporate customers, vendors, or employees into the videos.
• Think about the little things that employees do routinely that your customers might find interesting.
• The video should tell the story of your products, your brand, and your people.

3. Tutorial videos
Tutorial videos are the most appealing and the most frequently shared on social media. This kind of video is designed to relate your products and services or can be broader topics that relate to your audience and the industry at large.
Such Tutorial videos must be clear, entertaining and educational. It need to be long to show every step and short enough to be engaging as long as the interest of the audience and sustained. Emphasized the most important information in the first minute, while the total video shouldn’t be longer than a few minutes.

Tutorial video tips
• Do a survey or research about what tutorials your followers would be most interested to watch.
• Be active in comments and respond to messages throughout the video’s live presentations.
• Make sure you engage tools or techniques your followers have or understand.
• Be very clear in your videos and to the point so that your followers can easily follow.
• Have a clear call to action at the end.