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Digital Cheshire Masterclass – Caroline Jones

driving digital sales

Caroline has over 20 years’ experience delivering European and UK Government funded contracts within the voluntary, education and business support sectors. She has also run her own businesses, a bistro in the Scottish Highlands and a marketing consultancy. This combined experience allows Caroline to understand a wide range of client groups and the barriers they face and provide them with support drawing from her own experiences.

At Digital Cheshire our masterclasses are led by industry experts, designed to give you the most up to date and effective knowledge that you can apply to your business, helping you accelerate growth by adapting to an ever-changing digital world. Caroline will be delivering our masterclasses, ‘Driving Digital Sales,’ ‘An introduction to building an online presence’ and ‘An introduction to Marketing Strategy for new digital users’.

We caught up with the digital specialist to hear her thoughts and find out how her masterclasses can benefit businesses like yours.

The Power of Communication

Caroline has extensive experience in business mentoring for early-stage businesses across multiple sectors, specialising in digital marketing, content marketing and developing a marketing strategy.

Having mentored SMEs for the last 12 years, from idea through to start-up and post-trading, Caroline recognises the importance of an effective marketing plan and, as she details further in her masterclasses, Caroline highlights the need to better understand your customers if you are to implement a successful strategy. A broad-brush approach rarely works, with a clear focus on targeted communications being key to engaging your audience.

“Getting to know your customers intimately will make it far easier to communicate with them. You will instinctively know what channels they use, the language they speak and why they will value your offering,” said Caroline.

The communications channels used by businesses are fundamental to any marketing strategy, and with a whole host of options available at the touch of a button, the digital world can present a confusing and complex array of offerings that can be difficult to navigate.

Understanding how to get into the mindset of your customers and being confident in aligning your message accordingly, via the right platforms, requires knowledge and insight – skills and experience Caroline shares on her masterclasses. Discussing what businesses get wrong or don’t do, the consequences of this and how to fix it, whilst showing you how to differentiate between customers to ensure you aren’t treating them as if they are all one entity.

Stand Out from the Crowd

Caroline has been passionate about marketing since she studied Business at college and has continued to update her knowledge, particularly in the advent of digital and how this has changed rapidly over the last five years.

“Now more than ever our prospects are bombarded with advertising several times a day and businesses have a myriad of platforms to choose from through which to convey their message. Getting noticed and seen as relevant is the key to pushing through the noise,” she added.

Developing your online brand for the first time can be a daunting task, with many businesses needing a strong online presence to increase sales. Profiling your online customers and customer planning is integral to this, helping to drive traffic and customers to you by exploring the benefits of search engine optimisation. On her masterclasses, Caroline demonstrates how businesses can use research to assess opportunities and threats, and how to use social media and key words to target the customers you want.

Posting on social media can be a great way to attract business, but there must always be a clear strategy and objective in mind. There are a variety of ways to maximise your social media output in this way, from different platforms to paid advertising – tools and techniques Caroline discusses at length in her masterclasses, advising businesses on how to build an online presence in an organic and manageable way.

“Most businesses struggle with their social strategy and post ad hoc content that has no context or theme. They also see their online strategy as a separate part of their business. To become effective with your digital strategy it is important to integrate it into your business and have a context to the posts and adverts you create,” noted Caroline.

A solid grasp and understanding of SEO (search engine optimisation) can be the difference in reaching your target audience or remaining out of sight, with a number of hidden factors that can affect how well you perform. On her masterclasses, Caroline highlights what you need to know and what you can do, detailing how to build an online presence, how to leverage your social channels, how to maintain the health of your website and how to get the most out of paid campaigns.

Shaping Future Strategy

Caroline has developed and delivered workshops to introduce enterprise for people considering starting a business and a wide syllabus for those who have started and are already running a business. She tailors her support to the individual business either one to one or through workshops such as her Digital Cheshire masterclasses, advising businesses on developing their digital approach and helping expose the possibilities that digital tools can bring.

“We discuss where you are in your business evolution and discuss immediate measures that can be implemented to become more aligned to your audience, whilst also exploring ways in which long term objectives can be set.”

Creating a digital offering that is engaging will go a long way in driving the customer conversation, with strategies for both new customers and existing customers requiring careful and individual consideration. Being aware of the role your digital channels play throughout this customer journey is essential, with an understanding of changing customer habits and trends key to successfully managing and retaining customer relationships.

Caroline outlines how businesses can use information they already have to analyse their own business and customers to shape future strategy. Showing how you can create a digital sales funnel and use market research tools to generate further traffic to your website.

“It’s about recognising what you have achieved in your business, analysing internal practices to see if they are being used to their best effect and taking a step back to pause, reflect and plan future objectives.”

If you’re an SME in the Cheshire, Warrington or Halton area that has the ambition to digitally adapt and grow, the Digital Cheshire programme is here for you. Our fully funded programme will support you develop your digital approach and guide you on your digital transformation journey.

 

 

By Soni Zaman
Marketing & Communications Executive
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