Internal marketing business meeting

Internal Marketing: Your Secret Key to Brand Success

So, what is internal marketing…? Good question. Internal marketing is the process of creating support for your company and its activities among your own employees. Whilst this sounds like common sense, it’s something that as marketing professionals you should be paying close attention to, as for many in the B2B industry ‘People’ is one of the most important elements of the 7Ps of marketing. A customer’s experience with one of your employees can often make the difference in their buying decision, and from your CEO to sales people, receptionists to customer service team, everyone that your customer could come in to contact with should understand your brand and its values. If your employees struggle to understand to your company’s products, services, goals or vision, it’s difficult to expect your customers to. Why should I market to those inside my company? Internal marketing is one of the best ways to form a stronger connection between your employees and the products and services that you sell. Without that connection, your employees may become disengaged and detached from your company’s messaging and the core customer expectations that are set by your advertising, which can lead to perceived poor customer service. Employees unified by a common goal can develop a sense of purpose and identity within the organisation. People that care about the company they work for are more motivated to work harder and their loyalty to the company increases. To further emphasise the power that internal marketing can have on your overall brand success, the 2018 Edelman Trust Barometer found that 42% of those surveyed didn’t know which companies or brands to trust, not an unsurprising statistic in the current ‘Fake News’ climate, however, more consumers were more likely to trust a company employee over its CEO in terms of credibility. This is even more prevalent when reported that content shared by employees receives 8x the amount of engagement of content shared on brand channels. With this level of trust and engagement, it’s imperative that your employees become your company’s biggest advocates. How do I improve my internal marketing? 1) Keep your employees informed No one likes to be left out. Not only can sharing company news and information help to keep your employees engaged with achievements in the organisation, but can also help to build staff rapport and a more collaborative workspace where employees learn more about each other. There are a number of potential ways to keep employees informed: Monthly Newsletters Company Noticeboards Group Emails Coffee Mornings Company Intranet 2) Empower your staff To create employee advocates, it’s important that they feel integrated and valued within the business. An excellent example of this came from Jack Welch during his tenure as CEO of American firm General Electric. Looking for methods to push General Electric forward, Welch developed a boundary-less organisation. Looking to encourage free-thinking within the organisation, Welch encouraged his team to brainstorm ideas without the need for someone higher up the chain to think of them first. Promising to listen to anyone at the company – from the bottom of the ladder to the top – Welch implemented an open-door policy to allow anyone to pitch a new idea. General Electric went from success to success, and a large contributing factor to this was the empowerment that its staff felt to not only become advocates for their organisation but also to contribute ideas that identify, anticipate and satisfy customer requirements. Encourage ideas and feedback from anyone in the organisation to help them feel more involved the company direction. Inspire growth and a development culture within the organisation to help expand your organisation’s expertise. Involve more employees in the decision making process – as stakeholders, your team will be more inclined to be invested in the company’s performance. 3) Tell your story Whilst those who work for the Ford Motor Company are likely to know the story of, their founder, Henry Ford’s goal to create an affordable vehicle for working and middle class families and their pioneering use of mass production from their Detroit factory – this is not the case for all businesses. Employees will receive an induction when they join an organisation detailing its processes and operations, and will likely receive a bulky and informative handbook, however it’s important to ensure that the company’s vision, beliefs and personality are also shared with your employees. This can come in many forms: A company video detailing the brand’s history and values A timeline showing key moments in the company’s history. A culture book explaining the brand and how employees should be expected to uphold the brand values. Style guidelines – are your employees aware of your company typeface, colour palette and brand imagery? How we can help We have worked with some amazing brands helping them develop their goals and values through research, strategy, ongoing brand consultancy, design visuals and implementation – ensuring that those both inside and outside the organisation understand their unique company message. Working with you to achieve the full potential of your brand, we can provide you with the services you need to ensure that your brand engages its employees through developing communications strategies, developing brand guidelines and crafting stories that share your company’s vision, beliefs and personality. To find out more about how we can help, speak to one of our expert consultants today.
audience profiling

What Is Audience Profiling and How Can It Benefit Your Business?

A strong and well though-out audience profile can help you build up a relationship between you and your prospects, in turn gaining sales and returning customers through brand loyalty. Once you have defined your target audience successfully, you are able to monitor their buying behaviour. You can then target each segment/audience differently with the best messaging for each persona, giving you a stronger chance of a good ROI. When you fully understand who your audience is specifically, the world is your oyster: You can look to solve your audience’s problems. Build up a relationship with your audience and develop brand loyalty. Understand their problems and tailor your marketing to what they want and need. Grow your brand with customer testimonials and a reputation that sells itself. Why Do We Profile? When time and money is involved, you really don’t want your marketing to be a stab in the dark or a matter of trial and error. There are many reasons for why we create audience profiles, here are a few: • Audience profiling is good for ROI. However much time and money you put into your marketing, you will be rewarded highly. • Keep up with your competitors. As technologies become increasingly more intelligent, your marketing opportunities will expand. The digital world is ever-evolving so staying on top of your game and ahead of your competitors is important – you need to be seen as a leader in your industry and your marketing. • Customers are always expecting more from brands. If you can understand who your customers are, you’ll have the answers to their queries and problems. • Thorough audience profiling is reliable: Profiling is a reliable method of gathering insights for brands to define profile groups. • Allows you to create 3D insights: Strong audience profiling will allow you to understand the attitudes, desires and behaviours of your audiences. • Improve your customers: As people are becoming lazier, marketers can’t afford to be. You now have to work harder to getthe attention from your customers, it’s in their heads. 4 Key Steps of Audience Profiling No matter how simple or how complex you need your audience profile to be, there are four sections to break it down into to help identify your overall audience profile more easily. Segmentation – Divide a market of potential customers into groups based on characteristics. Message – What are you trying to tell your audience? Is the message different for different audience profiles? Engagement – Figure out where, when and how to reach your audience, so that you can contact them using their preferred contact channel. Measurement – Optimise your marketing for next time, what you can change to better reflect your audience. This is quantifiable data that allows you to identify the positive and negative, so you can continue to strengthen your marketing activities. Customer Specifics A key aspect to audience profiling is demographics. These can be split into two different levels: Valuable: age, gender, race, location – this is just the basic level. In depth: education, lifestyle, interests, income, cars they drive, employment status, home ownership, marital status, if they have children etc. – from these you can work out their previous and predicted buying behaviours. These different demographics and characteristics allow you to have an understanding of what may influence your audience to buy your product/service and when they are most likely to engage with you. This understanding enables you to target your audience accordingly, in terms of when and where to market to them. Considerations When Audience Profiling Although there are many reasons for audience profiling, it is important to look at the potential drawbacks that creating the profiles could have. Stereotypes are said to be outdated, people rarely conform to these. Your audience is not always the perceived audience – if anyone can buy your product, it is likely to be relevant to more than one group, so therefore significant customers could fall through the cracks if you don’t create multiple profiles. (Although, ideally, a large amount of your customers will fit the profile.) If you’re a smaller company, it could be expensive to drive results, as you’ll need more data from a larger market than just your customer data in order to get an accurate representation of the market. Audience profiling can be very time consuming, depending of the nature of your marketing activities, business and products/services, you may think that your time is more valuable somewhere else. Some may see ethical issues with audience profiling, as it could been seen as exploiting customer data in order to only target certain people based on incomes or other demographics. However, providing your data subjects have given clear, unambiguous consent and you have been transparent about your data processing activities, your audience profiling activities will be GDPR compliant. Commonly, cookies are used to track users online, however, often many different users make use of single device. This means data and predicted behaviours might not always be accurate. You have to ensure you know what competition is in each specific audience segment, as this could lead to higher costs and less profit for your business. Issues could arise if you are launching a new product, especially if there is no provided research/data to base the segmentation on. Although, you might have data from similar products, they aren’t the exact concept. Despite this, in time you can revaluate your audience profiling with more of your own more accurate data once the product is launched and you have built up a customer base. There are, however, many ways to overcome these issues: By using your existing customer data, you can build accurate profiles based more on facts. Artificial Intelligence (AI) uses algorithms to optimise impressions on ads. From this, it provides analysis and decides which advert the user is most likely to engage with. This software not only can tell you what type of ad your audience will engage with, but also at what time they are most likely to engage. Listen more than you speak. If you listen to what your audience is already telling you, you can find out their problem and empathise with them on an emotional level – rather than guess or speculate. Align your brand to meet your customer’s needs, speak their language and be relatable. You cannot create a need for your product, it might be simply because your product is not marketable. No matter how extensive your research is and how good you are at marketing, your product could be letting you down. GDPR and Audience Profiling Ultimately, profiling is allowed under GDPR, you just have to ensure you are transparent about your activity so customers are informed. If people aren’t given the opportunity to inform themselves that you are using their data for profiling, then you are breaching the new data protection regulations.  You must ensure you are always aware of the legal basis for the data you hold, and remember, people always have the right to object or withdraw from your profiling activities. Profiling shouldn’t be too much of a worry for most businesses, as most data collected by audience surveys is not classed as ‘personal information’. However, treat all data with extra care just to be safe! The new GDPR laws give people the ‘right to be forgotten’, if an individual requests this then their data has to be destroyed and subject access requests make data available for access by that individual. As long as you comply, there is nothing to worry about when GDPR is concerned. Only focus on the data you need and avoid holding any unnecessary data. To find out more information on GDPR and how it affects Marketing, view Generate UK’s latest GDPR blog. Here at Generate UK, we have a long history of working with clients to meet objectives and carry out successful campaigns to a variety of audience profiles. Don’t trust our word for it, find out what our lovely clients have to say. If you would like to discuss your business with us please don’t hesitate to get in contact.
Generate UK Brand Guidelines for Q Associates

The Importance of Brand Guidelines

Most companies spend a lot of time – and money – on their brand. You may find yourself sitting for hours pondering logo options with designers – the fonts, the colours, what should the strapline be? But no matter how long you pour over website designs or discuss marketing materials in great depth, without brand guidelines, your business’ identity will be inconsistent, messy and potentially unrecognisable. So what exactly are brand guidelines? Brand guidelines work in a multiple different ways, they are a comprehensive manual for anyone who uses your brand in their work – this includes employees, channel partners, designers and agencies. As well as laying out a clear example of how employees and external companies connected to your business should use your brand to achieve your company’s objectives, they also provide practical and detailed instructions on how to use your brand elements consistently.     As you can already tell, consistency is key. Imagine seeing the Nike logo back to front, or the McDonalds logo in illuminous pink? Brand guidelines help to keep your message clear and on point, every time someone sees your brand it should be evident who you are and the values you strive for. Brand guidelines can be as in depth or as loose as you feel necessary. Some companies have guidelines that are hundreds of pages long and go into every minute detail, from how the logo can be used in a variety of colours, to templates for stationery and advertising campaigns. Others – including some of the biggest companies in the world – have smaller looser types of guidelines that, whilst keeping a tight rein on the core essentials of the brand (logo colours, placement, minimum size etc), allow designers more flexibility. Guidelines should never be set in stone, it’s impossible to produce a document that caters for every eventuality, guidelines, and their creators, should be open to communication and suggestions and the guidelines should be an ever-changing beast that evolves with the world around them. For example, in the past all you had to care about was how the logo appeared on a letterhead, now you have to take into account websites – both desktop and mobile – advertising and, more recently, social media. Each comes with its own restrictions and limitations which your company brand must navigate while still remaining consistent and on-brand.     Guidelines are also about how NOT to use your brand, what to avoid and to stop it being used in a way that devalues the brand message. The ideal time to set up your guidelines is after you have established a logo, colours, your brand voice and all your other elements. If you are just getting started this is the perfect time to have your branding done and guidelines developed, you can set the tone right from the start. But what if your company is already established? Well, it’s never too late to take stock and look at your message and have guidelines created, nothing is set in stone, the guidelines will help to back up and maintain your current look and feel. Here at Generate UK, we have a long history of working with clients to develop brand guidelines and more importantly help to keep their powerful brand consistent. If you would like to discuss your brand with us please don’t hesitate to get in contact.
social media

How To Protect Your Brand on Social Media

It’s no secret that social media continues to be a powerful tool for all businesses – regardless of size or industry. Active and strategic social media management is great for brand awareness, thought leadership and engaging with prospects, as well as building relationships with your loyal customer base. Unfortunately though, social media is not risk free. Over the past two years, the number of social media scams have more than doubled, as the world is spending more and more time online. Just weeks after the Cambridge Analytical scandal, Martin Lewis, founder of consumer help site MoneySavingExpert, has filed a defamation lawsuit against Facebook, after his image and name were used on false adverts. Though he is seeking exemplary damages, Lewis has stated that his aim is not necessarily to win the case, but to push Facebook to change its ad policies. However, not all social media infringements require legal action. In 2008, two Coca-Cola fans created a Facebook page for their favourite soft drink. Over 3 million likes later, Coca-Cola proposed that the fans maintain ownership of the page, but allow Coca-Cola’s social media team access. The now official Coca-Cola Facebook page has over 107 million followers. If you have concerns about how to protect your brand on social media, here are Generate UK’s top tips:   Stay Active Not only is staying active on social media platforms good for brand awareness and personality, regularly logging in to your accounts will allow you to keep a far better eye on things. Additionally, should a breach occur, you will be alerted to it earlier – by either staff or a follower – so that it can be quickly resolved and controlled. Evaluate which channels add value to your business, if you have any inactive accounts, deactivate these. This will also give your business a consistent voice and presence across your remaining channels.   Avoid Hashtag Hijacking Hashtags are a great way to extend your reach, generate more impressions and be a part of hot topics or current events. However, when creating your own campaign hashtag, for a competition, Q&A or otherwise, think very carefully – choose something snappy, but specific, or you could find your campaign nosedives into brand-damaging, playground humour, like #WaitroseReasons or #McDStories. I shop at Waitrose because I once heard a 6yr old boy in the shop say "Daddy does Lego have a 't' at the end, like Merlot?" #WaitroseReasons — Jo (@Laquet) September 22, 2012 These #McDStories never get old, kinda like a box of McDonald's 10 piece Chicken McNuggets left in the sun for a week. — Nicholas Taylor (@Starchas3r_) January 23, 2012   Incorporate Social Listening to your Social Media Strategy Social listening is an incredibly important part of a strong social media strategy. Your business can utilise tools, like Hootsuite, to identify trending topics in your industry and monitor tweets that include your brand name – even if the user hasn’t tagged your Twitter handle. Not only can this help you create content that your users are interested in, it makes it even easier to interact with customer and prospects. Use social listening to protect your band’s reputation by responding to any complaints or negativity ASAP. Even if the issue needs looking into or will take some time, it is vital that you acknowledge any dissatisfaction with your brand swiftly. Apologise and ask the user to take the discussion onto direct message, this way, any issues can be discussed and resolved privately.   Minimise the Risk of Human Error If your social media management strategy follows best practise and meets all of the necessary security measures, all your business needs to do is minimise the risk of human error with throughout social media training, policies and protocols. Alongside a well though-out strategy, you company’s social media policy should clearly outline dos, don’ts and roles and responsibilities for your brand’s social media accounts. Additionally, all relevant employees should be receive comprehensive social media training and be made fully aware of processes and protocols in place. This ensures that – should your brand receive complaints or negative comments on social media, or even a social media breach – you have a team of well-informed employees to follow the processes in place. This means that the right members of your team are collectively held accountable for protecting your business’ reputation on social media.   Ensure Your Passwords are Strong and Protected Lastly – we know we are really stating the obvious here – but ensure you have a set of strong passwords for your social media accounts. If your password is ‘BrandName123’ or ‘Facebook1’, you may be at much higher risk of someone accessing your company accounts and posing as your brand. Use a complex password with at least 8 characters, containing a mix of upper case, lower case, numbers and special characters. For maximum security, ensure that you change your password an at least a yearly basis. We understand that this can be somewhat confusing, but using a password management software will make it far easier to keep all of your updated log in details secure.  Social media is invaluable to all businesses, but it is not without its risks. If you to suspect a security breach, report anything suspicious to the relevant platform. We hope our advice has put your mind at rest about how to protect your brand on social media, but if you would like to find out more about our social media management services, contact our team today.
Marketing Week Live

3 Key Highlights from Marketing Week Live: Micro-Influencers, Customer Experience and the Pitch Process

Harnessing influencers is increasingly important Many discussions touched upon the importance of utilising influencers, particularly the idea of ‘micro-influencers’. A micro-influencer tends to be understood as someone with a smaller following (though typically this is above 3,000 to as high as 50,000), with knowledge and posts revolving around a particular passion or niche. They’re relatable and genuine, meaning their followers are engaged and trust the posts the influencer shares – and you know how powerful word of mouth from a trustworthy source is in terms of marketing. This puts micro-influencers in a unique position to be able to softly sell a product or service (or at least strongly endorse it!) to an audience who may be genuinely interested, particularly as the micro-influencers are often experts in their field. As a common theme throughout the show, a lot of speakers centred their talks on approaching marketing on budget through harnessing micro-influencers. This enables you as a marketer to gain a wide reach to an already engaged audience. You could actually argue that most serious marketers would naturally be targeting micro-influencers without necessarily labelling them as such. It’s just a new term for what many marketers are already doing – you wouldn’t have a celebrity endorse your product or service if there was no relevance, interest or shared lifestyle/values for your audience. However, there are some interesting things to note: The US are doing this much more than the UK – we’re about 2-3 years behind them generally so for UK marketers, it would be excellent to jump on this if you’re not already, and you still might be getting ahead quite a bit further ahead of your competitors. Be cautious of who you contact and what the risks are if it doesn’t work out – it can get expensive forming a partnership without a guarantee of having an impact. Customer experience is really hot As marketers, you should know that customer experience comes first. If you deliver what the customer wants, find solutions to their pain points, make THEIR life easier and provide a good experience, you’re onto a winner. Discussing the customer experience through a digital journey should be paramount in the initial strategy and setup. We noted during the exhibition that there was more talk of driving projects (such as building new websites) with customer experience in mind. This shouldn’t be in a passive ‘we’ve done our research on our audience’ way, but more on actually approaching projects differently with UX having an active role throughout the project. This can be done testing features early on in the design and build phase and actually changing the direction of the project development as a result of audience feedback. Although A/B testing is often used by marketers for campaigns, in most instances, you won’t find this in a project build. The benefit of doing this means if you do need to make changes, as you’re doing it at an earlier phase, it’s often cheaper and easier than doing it later on and it also means you won’t have to make bigger changes or try and make something work that just doesn’t when the final product has been created.   It also doesn’t have to be a huge investment – asking willing participants (preferably your audience but failing that friends and family can often have valuable input) to test elements can give you insight early on. There are also some general tips that will help with nailing a good customer experience, including: Personalisation – this isn’t a new topic, but you’d be hard-stretched to find a study that says personalisation is detrimental! It can be also be used in small or functional ways, like auto-fill forms – you want the whole experience of the customer to be as easy as possible. It is unlikely all of your products/services/sites will appeal to all people. Often ‘progressive disclosure’ comes into play here – for example, you only need to show say 20% of the functionality to appeal to 80% of people. Make information available within reach, but don’t overwhelm the user with all the features and possibilities. Make what you’re trying to sell or want the user to do obvious. Use icons alongside text; people want to know what they are seeing or doing. On websites, provide a visual structure and avoid clutter. A user should be able to understand the format and journey on a page without knowing the language it is written in – hence why you use Lorem Ipsum! Don’t make an action more difficult than it needs to be! Reduce clicks, remove unnecessary fields and don’t ask too much from your audience! Approaching the pitching process differently A slightly more unconventional topic we found interesting was to do with the client-agency relationship and the pitching process that initiates this. Historically, clients put forward a brief for agencies to pitch for. However, this doesn’t always yield the best results. The brief can often be long and cumbersome, with not all stakeholders thoroughly reviewing it! One of the approaches discussed was to have a more collaborative relationship between the client and agency early on before any work has been started. We sometimes find when clients come to us, they have a shortlist of what they’d like rather than what they need to achieve their goals. We believe in working with the client early on to ascertain what their challenges are, what marketing can do for them and with what budget and channels. This approach means that although your initial brief may change, the proposal from this point on is more realistic and aligned to what you can do, and often allows marketers on both sides to have a better idea of expectations and what they need to achieve. In the discussions during the show, other businesses have found this to be a favourable approach and often say this has meant the pitching process has been much better defined, quicker from start to finish and cheaper in terms of investment or resource.   Marketing Week Live showed us it had something to offer all marketers and will certainly be attending again next year. We’d love to hear your thoughts about the event and what your particular highlights were. Let us know on Twitter and Facebook.
Man working on laptop

Getting Back to Basics with Your Marketing

Customer Championing In its purest sense, marketing is defined by The Chartered Institute of Marketing as “the management process responsible for identifying, anticipating and satisfying customer requirements profitably”. It’s important to remember this in every activity you undertake, as in the end, however innovative your product is or however modern your operational processes are, if they don’t identify, anticipate and satisfy customer requirements, then your business will not succeed. We’re looking at you Google Glass. As such, your primary objective in marketing should be to act as the customer champion within the organisation. No matter the decision, it’s important to ensure that it has been made with the customer in mind. When this doesn’t occur, there can be consequences. A recent example of this is Snapchat’s redesign. Whilst it was intended to make the user experience simpler, the majority of users found it be a confusing mess, with 1,200,000 people signing a petition asking parent company, Snap, to revert the app to the previous version. Whilst we’re yet to see how the changes and backlash have affected the company’s profits, it’s clear to see that Snapchat have failed to identify, anticipate and satisfy its customer’s requirements. The Additional Ps in the Marketing Mix Whilst of course you are familiar with the four Ps of marketing mix; price, promotion, product and place, there are three additional elements that are often forgotten: Process Long gone are the days where customers would simply buy a product or service. Customers now expect every experience – from the moment they discover your business to the time they make their purchase and beyond – to be delivered to a high standard. An excellent example of this is the Domino’s Pizza app. Easy orders can be configured to make a purchase with one touch, you can track your pizza from order to delivery, and the app has been designed to be as user friendly as possible. From the moment customers pick up the phone, Dominos have ensured that the process of ordering a pizza from them is an easy and hassle free as possible. People Customers do not often separate the product or service from the staff member who provides it, so whether it’s your front of house team of Managing Director, it’s essential to that your staff are appropriately trained, well-motivated and have the right attitude. As the only Creative Agency to be awarded a Customer Service Excellence accreditation, we understand the importance that staff play in the customer experience. Physical Evidence Due to the intangible nature of a service, it’s important to provide consumers with the opportunity to see what they are buying. The idea should always be to show, rather than tell. Whilst we, as an agency, can tell potential customers that we can improve their SEO performance or assist them in creating a stronger and more professional brand, we are more inclined to show them through our case studies. Communication Is Key What Channel? From TV and radio to print advertising and social media, there are an array of channels that you can use to communicate with your customers. However, not every channel will be relevant to your target audience, and thus time should not be spent trying to utilise each one. For example, whilst you would expect a music and events company to have a strong social presence, you would not expect it from a car parts manufacturer. This is not to say that you should actively avoid certain communication channels, however, it’s important to prioritise the channels that provide an active return on investment. Feedback Communication should not be a one-way street with your customers, opening your business up to feedback not only helps to build trust but can also help you to address customer requirements that you had not previously identified. How Can We Help You We believe that successful marketing starts with a good understanding of your business and market insights. We spend time immersing ourselves in your business and data in order to understand your product, service, target audience, competitors and market place. This provides you with the insight and support to identify, anticipate and satisfy customer requirements profitably. For more information about any of our marketing services, get in touch with one of our expert marketing consultants today!
Business People hangout together at coffee shop - social media marketing at Generate UK

How Do I Add Value for My Customers Through My Marketing Channels?

After all, customers do most to all of their research online prior to their purchase. It is important to let your customers know that you are the fountain of all knowledge in your field, an expert about your product, service or industry inside and out where they can come to with any queries. We have put together a few ideas below that we feel would help add value to your marketing channels and boost engagement for your business. Know your audience – Consider your customers perspective, what problems they face and how you can help solve them through your product or service. Ensure you set your tone of voice to one that will suit your brand and get the best response from your audience, this may differ slightly for each platform. Ensuring you are on as many platforms as your audiences are on is key, different groups of your audiences will be on different platforms, this being said, it is important that you change your content and tone of voice slightly depending on platform to fit the different demographics. For example, Facebook is informal, interactive and friendly with frequent shorter posts, whereas LinkedIn is more formal and professional with longer, content rich, less frequent posts. Valuable content – Give your audience a reason to want to follow you on social media and look at your website – they want to gain information and advice from you. (This can be anything from downloadable PDFs of guides, tips and advice about your industry, to a calendar of important dates and events not to be missed out on, or even infographics of important stats relevant to your industry.) User Generated content – Future customers will trust the opinions of other consumers. So, ask your audience to share content (images, tweets, videos etc.) relevant to your business, leave their reviews and testimonials, share how they use your product or service. Also case studies showing a client’s problem before finding your business, solution (YOU!) and the results by using your product or service. Engage with your audience – This can be done by using polls, questionnaires (when you ask users their opinion – it makes great market research too!). Question and answer sessions on social media can also be a very effective way of increasing brand awareness, authority and engagement. Create a #hashtag so everyone can follow and get involved, give their opinions as well as get their questions answered. This can be a great way of finding out what your audience wants and how you can develop your business plan and strategy to better fit your audience and in return gain higher customer satisfaction. Be personable – Humanise your brand by sharing ‘behind the scenes’ information. For example,  products and services before, during and after they have been created. Share throwbacks showing how far your business has come – this can be anything from growth in employee numbers to old office buildings compared to new. Encouraging staff and team members to share news, quotes and an insight into the business – teasing what’s to come without revealing all – is a good way of keeping things personable and relatable, making you far more than a faceless corporation. Share internal news like new employees and employee of the month, explaining why they have been awarded this title. This keeps your audience familiar with your company on a personal level making it more relatable for them. Create demonstrations – How to videos and images are great, share with your audience how you use your products or service. Think about any questions or issues your audience might face and answer these for them. Be inspirational – Sharing humorous and inspiring images or quotes relating to your industry. If you motivate your audience and make them laugh, they are more likely going to engage with you and listen to what you have to say. This also helps to break up your more serious, promotional posts with a more light-hearted personal approach. Stay current – Offering your brands opinion on recent news and current affairs is an interesting way of keeping up to date with social trends. Staying current may be sharing internal, company news or external, industry articles. Both give a sense of community and position your brand as a thought leader. Give your brands’s take on these issues, help give your audience opinions and thoughts on these news articles, allowing them to shape their open opinions. Staying on top of current trend also means sharing content from your influencers within the industry, engage in conversation and discussion. Tag these people in your images, if they find of value they might share to their followers, gaining you further engagement. If you’d like more advice and support on organic social media management or social media advertising, contact us today, or click to find out more about our social media marketing services.
social media for marketing

7 Steps for SMEs To Build a Big Brand on Social Media

If you’re worried about getting left behind where social media is concerned, take a look at these seven easy steps to build a big brand social presence for your SME. Step 1: Choosing Your Channels With nearly 5 billion collective users between them, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Instagram and Snapchat may all look like promising social channels for your business, at first glance. But which platforms are really best for your business? Generally speaking, Twitter is a solid choice for most organisations, as you can make your profile and presence as formal or informal as you like. Conversely, professional social networking site, LinkedIn, is far better suited to B2B organisations. Similarly, the informal nature of Facebook and Snapchat suit B2C companies looking to portray a fun and conversational, brand voice. While visually-led platforms, Pinterest and Instagram, tend to be favoured more by B2C companies, they can be effective – if utilised strategically – for any business that can utilise the visual though-leadership in a manner that is in-keeping with their brand. Step 2: Find Your Voice Before identifying the right ‘voice’ for your brand, you need to identify your audience, who are you looking to reach? How do you want them to view your brand? Millennials and Generation Z (link to G Z blog) in particular are not satisfied with faceless businesses with no personality. Given that these younger users make up the majority of social media users, it is important that your social media presence makes people feel closer to your brand, so try to create a culture and thought leadership. Rather than just promoting your products and services, make your brand more human – share external articles relevant to your industry and position your brand’s take on this. Step 3: Look Pretty When it comes to social media, looks definitely count. As well as having a branded profile picture and banner image, it is important to share all of your posts with a variety of engaging images. It is easy to scroll past posts sharing nothing but text, but alongside the relevant URL, images and video content are a must for getting your content noticed and engaged with. Step 4: Create a Social Calendar On a busy day, sometimes posting on social media slips your mind. Creating a social calendar makes it easy to strategically plan what you want to post and when you want to post it, saving you time while maximising the effectiveness of your social posts. Make a note of any relevant National or World Days that your brand can join the conversation on. From pizza to popcorn, learn an instrument to save a spider, there’s a National Day for just about everything. Use relevant days as an opportunity to engage and be seen by using the correct hashtags. Different works best on different channels – LinkedIn is more formal, Facebook is casual and Twitter is short and snappy. However, before you go creating different social calendars for your different social channels, here’s how to recycle and repurpose the same content by tailoring it to each channel appropriately:   Looking to take the next step with #PPC? Discover our helpful tips to make the most of your #AdWords campaign’s performance! — Generate UK (@GenerateUK) March 9, 2018 Don’t stick to your calendar religiously – while proactivity is key – it can be just as key as engage and react. What’s trending? Focus on how you get yourself involved in the relevant conversations and hot topics. Step 5: Look & Listen Social listening, that is, staying abreast of social media conversations relevant to your brand and industry, is an integral part of a strong and effective social media strategy. If you’re not using social listening tools, like Hootsuite, you can manually search for relevant terms on social, to see what users are discussing. Using Twitter lists is a great way to monitor the accounts most relevant to you, whether that’s competitors, current customers, influencers or employees, these lists provide you with a stream dedicated to only these tweets. Step 6: Engagement is Key Many brands neglect an integral part of social media – socialising. Engaging with customers, prospects, industry influencers and other relevant accounts will help you build relationships and nurture a strong, brand personality. You don’t have to spend hours scrolling through social media to up your engagement rate, here are some of Generate UK’s tips for building relationships on Twitter: If you share an external article on social media, always mention (tag) the sources Twitter handle. Similarly, take the time to reply when people share your content. Respond to questions and take part in relevant industry discussions. The bottom line is, engagement is so much more that constant retweets and serial likes; reply to tweets and invite conversation; quote tweet content from other accounts to add your own brand message. Step 7: Enhance Organic Posts with Social Media Ads Though organic social media is a great way to for SMEs to grow brand awareness, increase brand authority and position themselves as a thought leader – all on a low-budget – running social media ads can really bolster your organic efforts boost your reach even further. While you have limited control of who sees your organic posts, the targeting options on social media mean that your ads can be well-optimised to appear in front of exactly who you want them to. If you’d like more advice and support on organic social media management or social media advertising, contact us today, or click to find out more about our social media marketing services.  

Generate UK Become First Creative Agency Awarded With Customer Service Excellence

Customer Service Excellence (previously the ‘Charter Mark’) is part of the government’s movement to promote businesses that are efficient, effective, excellent and empowering – putting the customer at the heart of what they do. The accreditation is awarded to organisations who are consistently achieving the national standard for excellence in customer service. During an all-day, on-site evaluation process, our CSE assessor interviewed our customers and members of our team in order to examine areas of customer priority (delivery, timeliness, information, professionalism and staff attitude), as well as an emphasis on understanding customer experience and service satisfaction. Two weeks after our evaluation, we received the great news and a certificate that is now proudly mounted on our wall. The Customer Service Excellence accreditation also considers leadership an integral component in meeting the excellence standard, supporting management’s commitment to the customer, as well as the organisation itself. ‘The management approach is progressive, collaborative and inclusive. Senior management engage effectively with their team members using support, collaboration, consultation, learning and development to reinforce an excellent customer focused culture.’ Here at Generate UK, we pride ourselves on recognising the needs of our clients and ensuring that complex requirements can be delivered seamlessly, on-time and on-budget: ‘It was apparent from talking to customers that they valued the approach taken by Generate UK Ltd and the provision of service. Customers stated that they trusted there was always open communication, honesty and transparency in all dealings.’ Want to know more about what we do? Browse our services or see our client case studies.
Servers in a large data storage facility

Changing the Fabric of Exhibition Solutions

A standard, rigid panel system stand would have been too large and awkward for NGD’s requirements, so Generate UK suggested using a new, fabric style stand that was far better suited to the job. A fabric stand offers many advantages over stands that use rigid panels. Fabric graphics can be printed as one piece at huge sizes, yet – despite their size – can be transported easily, as the graphics can be folded. They’re lightweight, durable and packs into a bag that can be transported conveniently, even by hand. Conversely, transporting rigid graphics comes hand in hand with the risk of creasing or getting marked or damaged. Fabric graphics are seamless, meaning that large, stunning graphics can be displayed without interruption and illuminated with a light-stop sock. Conversely, the panels of rigid stands must be lined up precisely, though even when the graphics designed accordingly, seams and joins often remain visible. The fabric stand employs a lightweight, tubular, aluminium frame to support the stretch fabric print. The curved stand can also be customised with the addition of a flat-screen, iPad, literature or shelves and can also accommodate LED lights to make your graphic even more eye-catching.In today’s climate, it’s worth noting that a fabric stand is far more eco-friendly than a rigid stand (which is made from plastics). The graphic can even be recycled with other textiles once it is finished with. Alternatively, the print can even be washed if it gets dirty. If you’re looking for an eco-friendly, flexible and versatile exhibition stand for your next event, speak to Generate UK about our range of fabric stands and optional extras.