Generate UK Shortlisted for National Digital Awards Thanks To Innovative Feedback Ferret Animation

  Feedback Ferret use text analytics to transform customer feedback comments into actionable insights. Due to the unique nature of their business, they were finding it challenging to communicate their core services in a succinct way, without using thick paragraphs of text that both website visitors and prospects can be hesitant to read. Feedback Ferret recognised the need to create an asset that succinctly summarised their work and turned to Generate UK for a solution.   We stepped up to the challenge and delivered a project we are incredibly proud of. Keeping the objective to educate and inform in mind, Generate UK produced a 60 second animation explainer to give a thorough, concise and engaging overview of the services that Feedback Ferret provide. Who better to explain feedback analysis than ferret scientists!? The characters we created for the animation fit Feedback Ferret’s branding perfectly that they have now been implemented throughout their website and other branded assets.   Alongside the animation itself, we provided two scripts and two voice overs, in order to cater to both Feedback Ferret’s UK and US markets. Take a look: Lawrence Jones, CEO of headline sponsor UKFast, said: “The DEAs are an incredible opportunity to celebrate the best in digital talent from up and down the UK. This year’s finalists have all shown a clear appreciation of challenges faced in business and how to solve them using digital innovation, meeting the everyday needs of their customers by evolving new solutions and approaches. That’s what the DEAs are all about.” Generate UK are extremely pleased and proud to have shaken off strong competition from the hundreds of businesses that entered. Here’s to hoping that the thirteenth Digital Entrepreneur Awards Ceremony won’t be unlucky for us! Visit https://www.digital-entrepreneur.co.uk/ for a full list of finalists or for details or take a look at our Feedback Ferret case study.  
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Three Takeaways From BrightonSEO 2017

1) Voice search provides a big opportunity With 2017 seeing the rise of devices such as Google Home and Amazon Echo, voice search is becoming more and more used as a method of searching for information. 40% of adults now use voice search once per day, this provides a big opportunity for businesses. When using voice search, only one answer will be provided, unlike when searching via a search engine. Top tips for ranking for voice searches: Focus on long tail keywords that are similar to how you would naturally ask someone a question. Mark up your website content to make it easier for search engines to find the answer to the searcher’s question. Build detailed answers for your content, search engines value quality. Ensure your website is mobile friendly and HTTPS secure.   2) Context is key The rise of voice search, also means an increase in the prominence of Google Hummingbird. We are beginning to see a big shift in Google’s priorities, with context now overtaking content. Google is getting smarter, and now has the capacity to have a conversation with searchers. This means that Google now takes in to account elements such as the searchers location when providing results. An errant search for “noodle restaurant” will no longer favour those in the top 10 ranking positions but instead prioritise first results for noodle restaurants in your local area. How to prepare for Google Hummingbird Think of follow up questions – what might users ask search engines next? Review your content to ensure that you’ve provided a comprehensive answer which adds value for your visitors. Mark up your content – there are Schema mark ups for almost everything now. Help make your content easier to find. Make your website mobile friendly!   3) Don’t just default to content Whilst it’s easy for us marketers to just default to written content, try to think of other creative ways to engage your users. Could your latest news piece make a great video? Would your recent survey findings make an interesting infographic? How else could your content be presented? Creating engaging, high quality content should help to increase the likelihood of your marketing communications being shared on social media and linked back to by websites. Guide to finding new content: Look at the calendar – see what events are coming up and assess what would be suitable for your business. Borrow from others – websites such as Wikipedia, ONS and GOV.UK provide a wealth of statistics that could be re-purposed in to a new infographic. Use survey data – when using survey data you could potentially create 10 different pieces of content based on yes/no answers to 5 questions.   Did you go to BrightonSEO? We’d love to hear how you found the event. Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

5 Tips to Stop SEO Mistakes Limiting Your Content Marketing

1. Make Sure Your Content Isn’t Too Short If your blog, for example, is only four sentences long, it is highly unlikely to be able to provide the reader with all of the information that they need. More detailed content is more likely to be able to answer the user’s question, so appear higher up on search results pages. 2. Or Too Long The average reader’s attention span is really quite short, so aim to capture and recapture the reader’s attention throughout the article. Though it is important to provide your readers with informative, useful content, it is equally as important to avoid ‘content fatigue’ by boring your readers with long paragraphs of text with no content breaks. Try using lists, subheadings and images to make the content appear more inviting and less taxing to read. 3. Make It Visual While long pages of content will cause search engines to rank your content unfavourably, incorporating images, videos and design elements can help search engines favour you content over that of your competitors. 4. Spelling & Grammatical Errors Though not strictly SEO factors, simple spelling and grammar errors harm your readability and credibility, greatly reducing your chance of gaining referrals from other sites – one of the best ways to get your content to the top of the search pages. 5. Make Sure You Have Optimised Meta Data Even a well-thought out article that has struck the keyword balance perfectly can be kept back from the top search results. Though these aspects of SEO seem more technical, they are easy to get right – the correct use of titles, meta titles, meta descriptions, etc. can be the solid foundation to successful content marketing. Though content marketing should not be restricted by your SEO goals, it is very easy to use the apparent overlap to your advantage. Strong SEO paired with relevant and engaging content can prove a great way to generate new users and potential new customers. So what are you waiting for?

Top 4 Benefits of Mobile Marketing

1. Reach 93% of adults in the UK personally own/use a mobile phone, and with the majority of these users within arm’s length of their devices at all times there’s a lot of potential to reach customers at any time of the day. SMS marketing boasts an impressive average open rate of 98%, meaning mobile marketing could become an essential tool in ensuring your company’s message is delivered to, and read by, a large proportion of your customer base. 2. Mobile Searches Outweigh Desktop Searches According to research conducted in 2016, up to 60% of global search queries on Google come from a mobile device, meaning if your website is not optimised for mobile users, you are limiting your companies reach with potential customers. Google has begun putting more weight on mobile friendly websites in SEO, making mobile marketing a possible channel to gain a competitive edge on your competitors if their websites are not mobile responsive. 3. Affordability Compared to other forms of marketing, mobile marketing is a generally affordable way to communicate with your customers. Without the need to pay postage, printing or air time, you can expect to pay a lot less per person with each campaign. Thanks to automation, there’s also the benefit of less set up and management time ensuring that your staff will have more time to manage all marketing channels efficiently. 4. Powerful Targeting Whilst mobile marketing offers you the possibility of reaching a large amount of users, it also allows you to run extremely specific ads and campaigns to target different audiences. With improvements in the level of information available to marketers, you can target and segment potential customers by age, location, job title, even their favourite TV show! With such specific targeting options available you have the ability to craft personalised and effective marketing campaigns to engage your target audience. To find out how your business can benefit from mobile marketing contact our expert consultants, or call on 01635 887711.

Marketing Manager, Charlie Fox, on Triangle’s Website Refresh

Why was the new structure so important to Triangle? The way a website looks and works is the cornerstone in the marketing machine for any business and it’s likely to be a customer’s main reference point. It was key that the way we present our services online is an accurate representation of what we offer our customers. The Business Intelligence landscape has changed – and is constantly changing. There is a lot of jargon and buzzwords being thrown about, for example ‘IoT’, ‘Big Data’ etc. However, the core message regarding our projects and services remains the same, we just needed our site to better reflect who Triangle are. How has the site changed? After a heat map from Generate UK showed that our ‘what we do’ section was the most popular, with many users clicking on this part of the site, we wanted to take the opportunity to ensure visitors got a clear and broad picture of the services we offer and it catered for their needs. As a result of the changes we’ve made, our user journey has improved significantly. Have your services changed at all? Or had the site just evolved to better reflect what you offer? At Triangle, we are constantly developing our products and services as they have to move forward to keep up with the industry. In many ways, our business had outgrown our website; Triangle keep abreast of the latest technology and industry changes, though the old website did not necessarily highlight that. The site needed to more accurately project what we are offering in a more holistic way. We wanted it to present all the information and services needed to execute a great BI project, inspiring success from start to finish. Something new we’ve noticed on the website is Triangle’s 6 Pillars for Success, can you tell us a bit more about this?  Though the 6 Pillars of Success is new to the website, this methodology has been part of Triangle for a long time, so we wanted to make our potential customers aware of exactly how and why we ensure success. We’re advocates of the 6 pillars of success and apply these elements to all of our ventures. These are namely vision, team, action, communication, technology and data. Triangle have assisted hundreds of successful BI projects and in our experience, projects won’t truly fly without incorporating all of these principles. What challenges were there with the old site? There were very few real challenges, the issue was simple – making sure the site portrayed who we are and how we deliver successful BI projects. The ‘What We Do’ section is incredibly important for any company website to get right. Though we always keep on top of developing the site, for what we wanted to achieve this time around, we needed the site refresh to really focus on our services so it is up to date. How does Triangle keep on top of the ever-changing BI industry? Triangle’s BI consultants are not only experienced but certified, we actively encourage continued learning and extensively invest in our Research and Development Department in software, on premise and in the cloud to help stay ahead of the curve. This is what makes us stand out, and now we can say our website more effectively showcases us as a go-to Business Intelligence partner for successful BI and business analytics projects. As well as the constant evolution, have there been any major industry changes that prompted the refreshed site? Selling a software license is easy, but not every company can deliver analytics solutions like Triangle can. Triangle Information Management is not just a software vendor; we are planners, problem solvers and trouble-shooters and are always looking for new ways to grow – both for our individual employees, clients and for Triangle as a whole. Triangle is about quality rather than instant access, we take the time to understand your business needs and the industries you work with in order to construct a well-suited, successful BI project. We wanted our site to reflect this commitment to quality and the commitment to fully understanding all of our customers’ needs. What’s your favourite feature of the new website? Having been a labour of love for quite some time, I would have to say that the overall user experience is something we are proud of. We give a far better account of ourselves and the way the user can get the information they want is far more simplistic. Tell us more about the new user journey. We have identified three key user groups who visit our site. Those who are kick-starting a new analytics project, those who are re-energising an analytics project and those looking to take the next leap with analytics. We have tailored content to suit each one of those group’s needs. We have given users a far more nutritious journey throughout the site- Complementary content is offered as the user delves into the site. To discover Triangle’s range of innovative business intelligence services and to view the website refresh, check out the Triangle website. 

Local SEO: What It Is and How You Can Improve It

When potential local customers search for the product or service you’re offering search engines will potentially prioritise your business as it is more convenient for customers to purchase from you. This is especially prevalent on mobile, where search engines can track customer’s locations and pin point the closest businesses to them. Example: How to improve Your Local SEO Position List your business Listing your business with Google will allow it to appear against localised searches such as the one above. If you have more than one business location you can register each one with Google. It also allows customers  to easily find your location and contact details, potentially creating a new potential source for leads. Add reviews Reviews can help your business stand out on local searches, Google’s star ratings not only help your business stand out but may also help generate a good first impression with potential customers. Asking happy customers to fill out reviews on Google can be a good way of obtaining reviews, with websites such as Google Review Link Generator creating links straight to your business listings page. Use directories Using directories for SEO purposes is more about quality than quantity. Long gone are the days where Google rewarded you based on the number of back links your website possessed and now Google is more interested in the domain authority of where your business is listed. Popular directory sites such as Yelp receive a lot of traffic and can be strong touch points to reach potential customers. If you’re interested in maximising your local SEO potential, contact Generate UK today to speak to one of our expert consultants!
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5 Ways to Effectively Use Social Media Marketing

Picking Your Platforms Pick your platforms wisely – getting exposure to the right people depends on this. It’s better to be selective and use social media well on more targeted channels than trying to spread yourself too thinly on channels that aren’t relevant to your audience and business. Twitter is a popular option and works well for many businesses when used to its full potential. Generally, LinkedIn is better suited to B2B companies, while Facebook is often ideal for B2C. For highly consumer or retail businesses in particular, Instagram and Pinterest are also great for building brand personality and showcasing products. While there’s nothing stopping you from utilising multiple social media platforms, ensure that, while keeping your brand’s image and messaging consistent, your tone and content is appropriate for each outlet. LinkedIn, for example is a professional platform, while sites like Facebook, Pinterest and Snapchat are typically more informal, with users using them for personal entertainment and value. As a result, you may choose to keep company or more corporate posts on LinkedIn, while less formal, entertaining content is great for other outlets. Strategy and Goals Failing to prepare is preparing to fail – successful and effective social media marketing would not be possible without a clear strategy. The most important question for your strategy to answer is ‘who?’ Who do you want to entertain and engage? Who do you want to follow you? And, most importantly, who do you want to convert into a customer? The strategy should be based on what you want the customer to do as a result of your social media activity, so bear this in mind when you’re creating it. Think about the content that needs to be posted, who you want to be social with, how this fits in with your wider business objectives. There’s no point being on social media for the sake it – always ask yourself ‘why?’ Plan to post updates when your target audience is most likely to be browsing social media – lunch breaks or commuting hours, for example. Remember though, when users are scrolling through Twitter on their morning commute, they want to be entertained and informed by engaging content – not sold to. Aim for just one in four of your social media posts to be self-promotional, instead, share blogs, relevant industry news or entertainment pieces that your will grab attention and potentially earn you some followers. What do you want to achieve? Working in tandem with your strategy, set yourself clear goals. Perhaps to achieve X many leads through social media marketing in the next 6 months? To have Z percent of sales generated my social media marketing each month? To reach a click through rate of Y percent by the end of 2017? Whatever goals you set your business with regards to social media marketing, these should be supported by your strategy and your team. Measuring your Social Success (ROI, Conversions, KPIs – not vanity metrics) Using social media marketing effectively can rocket your followers, compete with your competitors and complement your brand personality and customer service. But you need success you can measure objectively, vanity metrics (your number of followers, likes, retweets etc.) may look nice, but they cannot tell you how many of your followers are now paying customers. It’s much better to have a smaller but more relevant following than a larger one who are not likely to engage with your brand on any level. When you come to creating your strategy, consider your KPIs and ROI at this point. Growing Your Centre of Influence In order to help identify and expand your target audience, you’ll need to grow your centre of influence (COI). Commenting on posts from complementary companies, for example, not only gets your company exposure to relevant users, but can also showcase your company’s expertise. You can establish trust in your brand by offering a well-constructed opinion on subject matter in your field, join in the discussion and get your name out there in front of exactly the right people. Your COI can grow quickly when you consider all of the potential customers that you can target using social media. This is now even easier; thanks to Twitter lists and Facebook fan pages. These features let you collect all of your competitors, influences and complementary companies to view in one single feed, making it easier for you to see what your COI is posting and allowing you quick access to relevant updates to comment on and interact with. What to Post As well as using social media to promoting your business, products or services 25% of the time, you need to think about how else to engage your ideal follower and, more importantly, your ideal customer. So, who is your ideal customer? And what are their interests? Parents of young children? Sports people? Young professionals? Gain and retain followers by posting engaging content that they want to read about. As well as effective hashtags, posts shared with images and or videos tend to perform much better, with many more followers engaging with the post and clicking through to your site. If you need help generating likes and followers to turn into customers, Generate UK can support you and your team in developing a social media strategy, creating content, managing your channels and more. Find out more about our social media services.
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How to Use Twitter Lists

Find out below how to create a Twitter list, and some recommendations of the types of lists you should make. To make a Twitter list: Click on your profile icon to show the drop down menu. Click on Lists. Click Create new list. Select a name for your list, and a short description of the list. Then select if you want the list to be private (only accessible to you) or public (anyone can subscribe to the list). Click Save To add or remove people from your lists: Click the gear icon on an account’s profile to display the drop down menu. Select Add or remove from lists. (You don’t need to be following an account to add them to your list.) A pop-up will appear displaying your created lists. Click the checkbox next to the lists you would like to add the account to, or uncheck the lists you’d like to remove the account from. Keep track of your competition With Twitter lists, you can keep an eye on your competitors’ activity without actually following their account. Twitter lists allow you to view a stream of the tweets produced by those in the list, so by adding your competitors to a private list you can sneakily keep track of their recent activity. You can also block users if you don’t want them to see your tweets so they can’t do the same to you if they had the same idea. Although this is still completely allowed and above board, though we suggest proceeding with caution, as in most cases it is unnecessary and does mean there could be no future interaction on Twitter, which may prevent opportunities for discussion or debate where it is appropriate. Maintain client relationships Similar to your competitor list, you can create a list of your clients, make sure it’s private, to keep up to date with their latest news and activities. Creating a client list can help you to maintain your client relationships by seeing all their posts and updates in one place, meaning you never miss a tweet! Stay up to date with the experts Industry influencers are those in your field that are widely regarded as an expert in their particular subject. Not only can these people be a good source of content for your own account, but by staying up to date with their latest news, opinions and analysis you can make sure you are following the latest industry trends without spending ages crawling various industry websites. Have any Twitter list tips? Share them with us on Facebook and Twitter!

A Guide To Animation Explainers

The key is to keep it short and engaging, while still conveying the right information. No matter what you’re explaining, an animation explainer should leave your viewers with a clear understanding of what you do, how you can help and a desire to take the next step. How Much Do Animation Explainers Cost? When we set out to produce an animation explainer, what is it that we want in terms of a result? We want a focused asset that clearly engages the viewer, it looks and sounds great, it does the job we initially intended, it’s in line with the brand and it’s as futureproofed as possible. Most importantly, we want it to solve our business challenges with floods of people getting in touch to buy our products/services. These are some fairly high expectations, so it’s integral that a lot of time, energy and effort is invested to make this happen, this invariably comes with a price tag. You could always go on Fiverr and get a 60-second “explainer” for about £30, but as we both know, that’s not a comparable product and your end result will be a million miles from your objectives and expectations. We would always suggest, as a benchmark, your basic to complex animation explainer would typically cost you £8K to £15K, based on a quality production company doing a quality job. This would translate to around 8 days’ pre-production/3 days’ post (at the lower end) and 16 days’ pre-production/4 days’ post (at the upper end). The best work is created in the planning phase, and so the more time and budget that’s allocated for pre-production, the better the end result. I have to be honest, I was warned off adding this section by one of my colleagues. They said “including prices instantly makes people try to compare on price”, when the importance always relates to a comparison on results. However we understand the importance of expectations, so I decided to add this in for your benefit. Although prices vary greatly from company to company, the risks are the same as they have always been (CHEAP – FAST – GOOD) the importance is to find a team that fits your brand and can deliver on budget, time, and to a standard that exceeds your initial expectation. How Do You Guarantee A Successful Animation? Success can come in many forms, a problem solved such as streamlining the lengthy procedure explaining your business services or lots of new enquiries as a result of tooled up sales executive. The area of success I’d like to cover off considers the actual final deliverable and the structure it adopts. I’m not going to put the world to rights on good vs bad animation and to be honest, it’s all subjective…right? Wrong… it’s a case of finding the right team to help you realise your expectation, whilst investing time in the right areas. From experience, the success of any creative asset is as a result of time and energy spent in the front end (Pre-Production) phase of the project. As mentioned previously, the success comes in the work and thought that happens up front, before you start talking about format, style and movement. With this approach the structure, format, voiceover all pull together in the build as if following a Lego manual. From experience there are many different formulas to a successful explainer animation. Once all of the content is stripped back, the structure in most cases can appear to be the same universally. Here is an example of a successful structure we have implemented: Set the scene with industry/service problems and issues, to create viewer empathy. Create aspiration of ‘What if…’ there was a way that these problems could be solved. Introduce the brand as the solution and how it can help including a call to action How Long Does It Take? I keep barking on about the importance of investing time, but how much time? Typically an animation explainer can take around three months, scoping to completion. With that said, we’ve completed some projects in just over a month and some extremely complex ones in around 5 months. It all really boils down to the level of collaboration, close working relationship and speed of feedback to delivery. The Final Thoughts… After all those well invested hours of meetings, feedback on scripts, artwork and animations you have achieved what you set out to with a short, clear, engaging and powerful marketing tool. To Summarise: Give animation the time it deserves. Invest well, with realistic time expectations. A successful animation can have significantly positive business impacts. Find a well-established and hungry production house:  wink… wink… So if you’ve got a something that needs explaining, why don’t you drop us a line on 01635 887730 go back to animation or click to read our case study
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5 Digital Marketing Trends to Look Out for in 2017

Virtual Reality We are very excited at Generate UK for the arrival of virtual reality, with the platform offering a unique way to market products in the future. Virtual reality will give consumers the opportunity to walk around a potential hotel room, explore and shop in a virtual high street and test products from their living room. Virtual reality has the potential to benefit various industries in a big way. Holiday companies can preview their holidays, with customers, for example, sampling a ski slope on the Alps from a shop in Brighton. Architects could create 3D models that clients can walk through and give feedback that they would not be able to do with conventional modelling. For us, the opportunities with virtual reality are endless. Big Data and More Personal Marketing The rise of big data, and increase in the way we can harness it, will lead to a boom next year in more targeted and personal marketing. There is a cavalcade of information available for marketers to harness and use it for their digital marketing strategies. This information can be used to segment and target new demographics for your products and allow you to create ads that will resonate with an audience, which may not have the same impact as a mass audience campaign. Social E-Commerce With 1.18 billion people actively using Facebook daily, it provides a platform for brands to interact with a large number of potential customers without the need for an expensive worldwide campaign. With 29.7% of all of Facebook’s users aged 25 to 34, you have the chance to engage and interact with over 300 million key consumers. Previously Facebook, and other social platforms, could only be used as a channel to build relationships with consumers, however, with the introduction of ‘Buy’ buttons you can sell and market your products directly to a mass audience and use social media as a way to help reach your sales goals. Do not be surprised to see other social media platforms develop their e-commerce capabilities in the next year. Mobile-First This year saw a big shift in focus towards mobile friendly websites and content and you can expect this to further develop next year. With Google’s search algorithm ever changing, it will be more and more important to optimise your content for mobile users. The average smartphone user spends 3 hours per day on their mobile device, and the number of global mobile users has now overtaken desktop users, so capitalising on this will be increasingly important in 2017. Brands are now beginning to create apps to communicate their message directly to consumer’s smartphones; offering deals, advertising new products and interacting with consumers directly from the user’s pocket. Increase in Video You may have noticed recently that when on Facebook, a lot of the content provided is now in video format. 45% of people now watch more than an hour of Facebook or YouTube videos a week and this number will only grow in the coming year. A recent HubSpot survey has shown that 4x as many customers would rather watch a video about a product than read about it, and so next year it will be important to use video to engage potential customers with video content. What digital marketing trends do you think will arise in the next year? Share your thoughts with us on Facebook and Twitter!