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The Importance of Good Branding

21 Feb

When we think of “branding” we think that a brand is the design, sign, words, or a combination of these, employed in creating an image that identifies you / your product or service.  It will differentiate you from your competitors. It’s that which is brought to mind when a company name / product is mentioned or thought of and likewise It’s what you will use to identify your services / products uniquely.

However, your brand is not just the logo on the bottom of your email, it is your full on image and consequentially how you are perceived by others and the message that your business spreads.

So, to make life easier for yourself (and your target audience) it is essential that you keep the brand simple and clear. This is paramount, whoever you are; a sole trader, a singer, an event organiser, a web designer or even an accountant. The consistency of a brand is what delivers your key messaging, allows buyers to warm to you and encourages loyalty. By keeping your branding consistent you are building up trust with your target audience.

The main piece of advice Rocoja would give you is keep your brand colours the same throughout all marketing; you want someone to see a flyer or poster advertising your band, shop or business and recognise that it is your business as it is consistent. This should even carry through to your logo.

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The same goes for a visitor to your website following your link through to a social media platform, the brand, message, colours and logo need to follow through from your website to your social media presence.

A good brand should not over promise (don’t over complicate it) and should match the business it is representing. For example, if you are an accountant don’t have a cartoon style dog as your logo as this will confuse your ‘professional’ message that you want your target audience to see. Likewise, a singer /performer should really steer clear of “slang terms” and imagery as these go in and out of fashion extremely quickly.

Good branding not only needs to be relevant to your business but it needs to be relevant to your target audience too, if you sell bargain handbags at the market then an over the top foil business card with embossed writing will not fit with what you do; the same if you are a top class singer, you wouldn’t want a boring grey business card that just lists your information. A good brand will relate to you and your business, while being attractive to your target audience.

Get this right in the first place and your message will be carried out for you, thanks to your target audience trusting your branding.

The potential from the right image is great, if you know how to maximize it…

Rocoja knows how to!

Contact us for some advice info@Rocoja.co.uk

We are to help.

                          

Why Bands & Singers should use Social Media

3 Feb

The internet has opened up endless possibilities and opportunities for promotion of individuals creativity, from painters to comedians and that is one of the main reasons bands and singers should use social media to promote new material, especially if it is being released commercially. This means creating a buzz, well in advance of the actual release date!

Rocoja Marketing Performer

Of course it may seem daunting, especially when you realise how much you can actually let your creativity flow, but social media gives you a chance to explore and experiment, try what works and see what doesn’t work.

If you were a singer or band in the 1970s or even in the 1980s you wouldn’t have needed to consider the internet, either to promote your songs, worry about “memes” or to release new material but now we are in the 21st century; cultures and expectations have changed and you need to use social media to promote yourself because it is what is expected. The music industry has changed beyond recognition with people becoming famous (& rich) purely from uploading 1 song on YouTube (Andie Case & Jason Derulo Car on Youtube).

Everyone is using at least one form of social media these day, it could be Facebook, Twitter or even Instagram and if you don’t use it it’s pretty much like you don’t exist. Social media is a fantastic marketing platform which is one of the reasons bands and singers really need to be using it.
Promoting new material via social media can be really easy, but most importantly you want to make sure you don’t make it a full on sales platform as that can be boring for your audience and you will lose your connections. Instead you need to aim for 80% of posts being conversational and funny with 20% of your updates being promotional.
The balance between keeping your social media promotional and conversational is tricky and yes you can do this yourself, but we would always say get some professional help. Some of the worst mistakes involve posts with spelling / grammar errors, no tags or back-links and over indulgent self-promoting. These can be really off-putting & that can affect sales / downloads & airtime!

So here are some quick tips from Rocoja

  • Copy anything you are going to post into a Word Doc before posting & run a Grammar & Spell check before posting it!
  • When you’re recording the new material why not share short video clips, show the gang eating lunch and maybe some back stage pictures too. These are all ‘conversational updates’ but they’re promoting your new material without being obvious about it and it’s updates like this that can work really well.
  • If you’re doing a tour before the release of the new material you can tweet about the different place you are but get the potential fans / consumers involved too, share photos you take on the day and get them to do the same.
  • Tell your fans where you are going on the promotional tour and where they can see you. If worded right this isn’t obvious it’s a promotional update, instead you’re letting fans know what’s going on and where they can see you, as a friendly update.
  • Make sure you insert back links to your download sites
  • Make sure you tag in friends in the industry, who may RT / Share your status’s & don’t be “me me me” Make sure you are sharing & RT’ing other peoples updates too.
  • DON’T buy followers of fans – Fake followers on any platform act in a negative way, sometimes even causing the accounts to be sanctioned by Twitter / Facebook /Instagram. Also your true fans will feel cheated.

The potential from Social media is endless, if you know how to maximize it…

Rocoja knows how to!

Contact us for some advice info@Rocoja.co.uk

We are to help.

                          

 

Social Media for Musicians

26 May

Rocoja Marketing Performer

We all know Social Media has become a big part of people’s lives; it’s now a business and some people (myself included) have crafted it to an art – creating a Job market / employment opportunity that wasnt even around a decade ago.

Even as far back as Myspace (I fear I’m showing my age a bit here) it was a platform for singers and bands to use as a jump off point, posting information about gigs & songs but the world moved on rapidly to Instagram, Facebook and YouTube, with their endless media rich possibilities, bringing with it an abundance of marketing opportunities for up and coming artists.

Social media business

For you – Those starting out in the media / music arena, the fact that a month of great marketing via this awesome platform could potentially cost no more than the cost of a few coffee’s is invaluable.

I’m often astounded that more people are not making great use of the mediums available…

Notice I said “great use”, as I know many singers / performers do use social media, creating and posting on accounts themselves…. Sadly as the world has moved on quickly, so has the way we have to maintain the momentum online. The days of just posting content & hoping for the best are long gone.. BUT as said, for the cost of a few coffee’s a month, you can still get a great campaign from a smaller social media business.

A boutique business will make sure only the most most relevant photo’s (not just the one you like) are posted, they will ensure you have some very carefully placed hashtags, that your contact info is up & visible and that your new video is on YouTube and is shared in relevant groups. This is us taking the time to research & learn about your target audience & aiming you at them!

SM MusicianTake Andie Case for example. She’s recently entered the UK top 40 with a cover of Jason Derulo mixed with a Cheap Trick song, all thanks to it being shared to a car fan page (the only relevance of the car being that the music video is filmed in a car) it managed to reach a wide audience, and now the very talented Andie is building quite the fan base. She took a chance at sharing a video outside of the normal pathways, and it brought her to a lot of people’s attention.

Twitter and Instagram are brilliant tools for social media marketing in general, but as I said previously, the right hashtag can truly open doors.  With Instagram being one of the easiest platforms to build a following on, it attracts the audience and the introduction of video on Instagram can draw someone’s attention from that 15 second clip to tracking down someone on YouTube.

However the followers HAVE TO BE REAL!

Fake followers on any platform act in a negative way, sometimes even causing the accounts to be sanctioned by Twitter / Facebook /Instagram.

The potential from Social media is endless, if you know how to maximize it…

Rocoja knows how to!

Contact us for some advice info@Rocoja.co.uk

We are to help.

                          

Mobile Geddon – Google Algorithm change

21 Apr

This month, Google is implementing a major update to its algorithm that will change the order in which websites are ranked when users search for something from their phone.

The algorithm will start favouring mobile-friendly websites i.e: those that have been optimised to look better & react better on Mobile devices, utilising effect such as larger text & resized images etc.

Google will now be ranking them higher in searches with a “mobile-friendly” note on them.

Rocoja Mobile friendly

Websites that aren’t mobile-friendly will not be ranked as high as they usually were.

This has happened as more & more people are utilising mobile devices to access online content – that includes, shopping & service providers. Therefore Google wants to ensure the user still has a pleasurable experience & only wants the sites that are easy to use ranked highly..

These changes were announced at the beginning of the year, giving businesses ample opportunity to get cracking on updating their sites, making the changes that are necessary to keep their sites from disappearing from results lists.

However many small businesses may be adversely affected purely because they do not have a “webmaster” or a company managing their site & the algorithm change may have bypassed the MD’s / owners completely..

This is where the new buzzword “Mobile-geddon” has come from, as it may have a catastrophic effect on businesses that haven’t caught up with these changes.

I think the businesses most at risk will be the smaller ones, who rely on specific area searches – for instance a member of the public searching for a restaurant in their area, will now NOT see a local restaurant if it hasn’t updated its site & made the changes Google requested.

MobilegeddonOverall Google is making the user experience key. It’s no good if they point them to your site & they cannot actually see it as it hasn’t been optimized for mobile viewing, so here in lies the reason for Mobile-geddon.

If YOU are worried by this or need a fast, effective & reasonably priced solution for your website please contact us for some advice info@Rocoja.co.uk

www.Rocoja.co.uk

                          

3) Quick Tips for your Social Media campaigns

19 Mar

You need a good Social Media strategy nowadays.

Social media business

With Consultants like us, creating great content for our clients; small businesses are now, more than ever needing to ensure their Social Media is relevant & engaging;

And while I will still maintain, employing a professional is a much better (& safer) option, here is some help for all you “go it aloners” out there.

 

1)         Pick Your platforms carefully – not every business needs to be on every social media platform.Logos

Some businesses should be on visually rich sites such as Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube, while others  are more suited to the text only “quick-info” style of Twitter. You MUST understand your audience, do some research, have a look at what they are interacting with, before making the plunge, as a badly managed Social Media account can be detrimental to how prospective clients / customers perceive you.

 

2)        Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should! aka – Avoid the hard sell!

The main thing I try to explain to my small businesses is that Social Media is not about selling.  Your followers & friends will not thank you for appearing in their timeline extolling the virtues of your business, time after time & they will “switch -off”. I know we are all proud of our business & want to shout it from the rooftops BUT your Twitter / Facebook is probably not the best place to do that over & over again. A little bit of self-promo is ok once in a while, but try to make your overall strategy about enhancing your followers experience, encouraging them to share out the information you are bringing to them. remember although you see a screen when you post your content, the recipients are human & want to be spoken to as such.

3)         Dont think its a free for all online!

This is by no means a “free” marketing tool. In fact Social media is expensive! Just ask those people or companies who have been sued or have been ruined because Tweets sent were deemed to be offensive. Some famous examples of a Social Media storm have included – Courtney Love , Marlon Wayans , US HighSchool & these cases. Be careful what you post, make sure you are being truthful.

Social Media

Some other great blogs around this subject are here:-

Is Bigger always Better?       Social Media – DIY?       The 4 Platforms I love!

Social media language.        Should I Auto It?

 

Or contact us for some advice

www.Rocoja.co.uk

We are here specifically for new and fledgling businesses.

                          

 

 

 

 

 

The language of Social Media

9 Mar

Personally, building a Social Media business means I spend as much time on my computer as many of my friends spend “at Work” in a “Proper Job”.

In fact I spend much more time now, as now instead of reaching for a milky drink when Insomnia hits at 3am, I reach for my trusty Toshiba Laptop & get online to see what’s happening & if I (or any of my clients) should be a part of it.

You see – social media NEVER sleeps… Luckily neither do I (OK, I do, but just 3 /4 hours a night).

I think my family & friends are probably a bit tired of hearing how passionate I am about Twitter, Pinterest & social media in general, however it’s very different to someone coming home from a day’s work, effervescing about the flowers in their shop, or the lovely people that came into their retail outlet. It’s different because is so hard to quantify what my job involves.

In plain terms, I write articles & blog posts, I tweet, I post updates, write reviews, in fact lately I’ve branched out into more of a “PR” role for some of my clients.

Social Media

But overall It’s  very difficult to explain how those things above translate to building a brand/clientele to someone who doesn’t understand social media yet. (Something I can help you understand if you wish).

Social media is vital for business development, marketing, customer service & building a brand!

So, I work as a “Social media consultant” – well at least that’s what the insurance company who insures me categorises it as. In my eyes I am an additional service to small businesses who want to utilise word of mouth to build their business; but have accepted that word of mouth has changed forever to “tweet & update”!

To that end I have become bi-lingual, I have to translate between two worlds — that of the social media culture and that of the people have little to no experience with it. This is exciting & frustrating at the same time, but extremely rewarding when a client gets to see their customer base increase & they themselves can understand how it’s finally happened.

This is why the Bi-lingual part of my role is so important.

My clients may be in unfamiliar territory when it comes to marketing per-se, let alone social media marketing. They may be uncomfortable with change & unable to ratify the making of on-line relationships to finding & retaining new business. Many of my clients are used to the tried & trusted way of building relationships, Trade shows, Networking meetings, Door-knocking, Telesales etc. The new language of social media is very foreign & it’s a massive bonus to be able to translate it into an easily understandable language.

Introducing social media to a small business brings me the challenge of getting people to imagine the possibilities of something they’ve never experienced & I love it.

www.Rocoja.co.uk

Do I need Social Media? Click here

We are here specifically for new and fledgling businesses.

                          

Is Bigger always Better?

25 Feb

Rocoja has had the pleasure of working with some lovely new businesses over the last 2 years – From cake makers who work from home & celebrities starting out in the music industry to construction & building companies; all of whom needed some direction & assistance with their marketing.

From full marketing support with Flyers & e-shots to just handling Twitter; Rocoja has helped, advised & created business plans that has afforded them a stream of marketing opportunities they didn’t know existed.

However there are still those which take the business plan we prepare (For free) after spending time with them & learning about their passions & goals; researching their products & services, learning about their history & ethics; then go with a “larger company”.

Why – Because many businesses & individuals are still caught up with the “bigger must be better” falsehood..

Bigger Better?

One of the latest companies we have helped was paying just under £1000 per calendar month for a “Full Social Media presence” to be built. However this wasn’t translating into visitors to the website (an e-commerce venture) & the reports at the end of the month from the “Agency” was showing lots of work happening so it just wasn’t making sense.

Through a referral, we carried out a full investigation & prepared a detailed report, showing that lots of tweets were indeed happening BUT with no interaction. The same was apparent on the Facebook page – lots of posts, but only 7-10 people seeing each one & then no interaction.

Worst of all The Social media platforms were not even branded & looked completely separate from each other.

There was a conveyor belt  of “blogs”, “posts” & “tweets” on behalf of the business with links to websites & news stories BUT not relevant or researched & not linked back to the company.

We know that at the start of the Twitter revolution it was seen as a FACT that you had to have as many followers as possible to be even considered successful but now we all are painfully aware that just isn’t true. A business / individual trying to build a quality profile will need concise, targeted followers who will help grow a loyal customer/fan base, engaging  & sharing information..

My point is, did the large agency spend the time to know the small business; its owners, its history? Did it post articles that the companys potential customers would like to read about? Do you think it wanted to spend that time, getting to know its client?

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Or did it hope they were stuck in the Bigger is Better frame of mind & churn out analytics & charts which look good?

Yes a larger agency may have expertise & more manpower but a smaller consultancy has the expertise & flexibility they may not have (despite promising such). The smaller consultancy will also (usually) be much more accommodating with things you need actioned quickly, or invoices etc you need to defer a few days; as we understand time pressures & financial constraints of a small business much better than an “expert” in a team of people in a large business where they do not have to deal with such things.

We also feel a smaller consultancy is the best choice if you are looking for individual guidance, as well as marketing; as we are more likely to involve you if you wish & that can only be a good thing for your business.

Afterall hiring a consultancy gives you other bespoke options, such as having someone come in & help you on-site if you wish, to learn how to eventually take over the marketing yourself. Its also a great way to have the marketing completed, while you run your business but with the option to move to a larger machine if (we hope  – when) your business is big enough to warrant a bigger more impactful agency led campaign.

Unfortunately from experience of many of the small businesses we have assisted, the thing at the forefront of what the companies find when hiring a bigger agency is Bigger usually extends to the Bill at the end of the month!

Is Social media relevant to the Small Business Person?

Contact Rocoja Limited for help and advice.

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Social Media for your business?

15 Feb

You’ve been told over and over again that networking is the lifeblood of running your own business.

Social media business

You know that you have to build rapport and forge strong relationships with people in order to gain a trusted reputation within your business community and hope that you will be recommended to potential clients once this has been established. Yet, so often, you neglect the biggest networking opportunities that are constantly available via Social Media.

Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn are the three most commonly used social media networks and it’s crucial for every business to use them regularly.

Creating an online brand – an identity for your business, is essential and that’s where the use of social media really comes into play. Everything you do on each of the social media networks is a glimpse into your business identity. It allows the people that interact with you to gain an image of you in their mind’s eye – everything from the logos and pictures you use, to the content shared and the way you speak; it’s all taken onboard and snap decisions made about whether they like you and want to interact with you further. It’s the interaction that takes your customer from potential to closed sale.

Twitter is perhaps the most effective social media site for gaining fresh, new customers. This is the personality driven network, the one that everyone is using and the best way of engaging quickly with large amounts of people. Interaction is the name of the game at Twitter, by sharing stories and content through tweets you can quickly identify yourself as an industry expert which builds trust amongst your audience – showing them that you know what you are talking about and therefore, must be good at what you do!

To use Twitter effectively you have to be consistent and just like at a real networking event; don’t sell to the room. People do business with people. So you want to encourage people to warm to you and trust you. Constantly selling and ignoring what others have to say will only encourage people to listen politely before walking away!

Being consistent with your posts makes you come across as reliable and being helpful will earn you instant kudos! The more you give; the more you receive. So don’t be afraid to advise people for free if you have the expertise to help them – they will remember you for it and come back to you in the future when they need your particular product or service.

Facebook is all about listening to and interacting with your audience. Facebook isn’t so much about gaining new customers, its more about keeping in touch with your existing followers / friends and showing your expertise and products, along with allowing a forum for customer service to shine through! Most page likes are from people who already know and like what you do. So treat your Facebook page as a small community built around your business – share content, special offers, ask questions, respond to feedback and learn what makes your customers tick. By understanding your customer better, you’ll instinctively adapt your business to meet their needs and requirements and thus, make more sales!

Social media doesn’t have to be difficult and you can have fun whilst using it but it is essential for every business to be using it effectively.

Just remember that your customers always come first and want to be made to feel special.

The way your business comes across on Social Media will give an instant impression of your business.

Make it a friendly, professional, consistent one.

Contact Rocoja Limited for help and advice.

We are here specifically for new and fledgling businesses.

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Facebook for Small Business is Changing

4 Feb

Have you started noticing that your Page posts aren’t showing up in friends and follower’s news feeds as much anymore?

Facebook Business Page

Has your company’s engagement levels decreased on your Facebook Page?

This is because Facebook has implemented a change in 2015 intended to improve the experience for personal users. (Their official stance).

According to the recent announcement on Facebook’s blog, they are reducing the number of overly promotional page posts in users’ News Feeds.

“As part of an ongoing survey we asked hundreds of thousands of people how they feel about the content in their News Feeds. People told us they wanted to see more stories from friends and Pages they care about, and less promotional content.”

Many of us who manage our own Facebook business pages & indeed other small business pages, are more of the opinion that it has more to do with moving towards a “proper” business versus personal format on their platform. Ensuring people have to promote their business pages correctly – via paid for ads & boosts, much the same as you would if you advertised on any other platform.

The main thing we have all seen is a huge decrease in organic views on business pages & this doesn’t even depend on the amount of followers / likes you have.

However good content is still getting out there – Facebook is initially targeting “salesy” small businesses – the type that show the following:-

  • Posts that solely push people to buy a product or install an app
  • Posts that push people to enter promotions and sweepstakes with no real context
  • Posts that reuse the exact same content from ad

So great & engaging content is important – Your customers will still be on Facebook – They are not going to move away just because Facebook decides to limit businesses from appearing… BUT Facebook ads & boosted posts are extremely important.

What do these changes mean for small businesses who are unsure about Facebook advertising?

You should be doing the following immediately

  1. Evaluate your Facebook marketing strategy and create content that will be engaging.  This type of content needs to provide value to your audience—content that they can learn from, share, and want to share out.
  2. Use the correct link format when posting links on your Facebook page instead of burying links in photo captions.
  3. Run a Facebook posting test to see what kind of posts gets the most engagement. For example, One of my clients is a Haulage company, so instead of posting general stuff like “Its Valentines soon – What are you planning to buy for your partner?”  I try to post content that contains valuable advice related to the clients followers; such as:  “Did you know that during Valentines week, small businesses transport costs can double due to …”
  4. Post images and videos on Instagram and cross-post to Facebook..
  5. Use a social media content calendar to organize posts on Facebook to coincide when your target demographic is online.

However all of the above takes time & is not a quick thing to learn how to do correctly – that’s where a Social Media company such as Rocoja Limited comes in.

Overall by targeting less ads strategically, you can achieve much greater efficiency than just posting lots of content after content, which will now not be sent out.

Businesses must start to use Facebook boosts & ads to target audiences in order to increase reach. Something Rocoja is perfectly able to help with.

 Going forward

There are things you as a Business owner can do to help reach & overall market value.

Get to know your Facebook audience

Data showing what ads are most successful is useful as it gives you insight about content that resonates the most with your audience and what communication style your audience responds to the best; Any Social media company worth its salt can get this information for you. (Have a read here) 

Don’t focus on selling on Facebook
One of the main reasons why Facebook is changing its algorithm is because more and more businesses are posting sales-driven content, as opposed to resourceful content that will provide value to their audience.

Post your best content on Facebook
Facebook wants people to see only the best content on their News Feed. Which means that in order for a business to see engagement on their posts, you have to be mindful of the type of content you are posting!

Just because it’s been successful on other platforms, it may not translate onto this new, much more selective Facebook. So do your homework. Content that has the most clicks and shares is important to you & is something the new algorithm is aiming for via the paid for boosts.

With all that in mind – Don’t be tempted to forget about your Page!

In October 2014 nearly a billion people visited Facebook Pages.

Of those visits, more than 750 million happened on mobile devices.

Many businesses also use Pages as a customer service channel.

Businesses should think about their Page as a cornerstone of their online identity, not simply as a publishing service.

The businesses that are doing this well understand the discovery and communication that happens when people come to their Page.

And it’s important to note that Facebook is increasing its investment in Pages also.

We have recently seen a “Contact us” button arrive at the top of some pages & a “Menu” list arrive on restaurant pages. So they are most definitely here to stay!

For any more help / advice or Small Business Tips & Tricks

Please contact us

Info@Rocoja.co.uk

Karin

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