PSD2: Customer Authentication & Your E-Commerce Site
What is Strong Customer Authentication (SCA)?
Strong Customer Authentication is defined as:
“an authentication based on the use of two or more elements categorised as knowledge (something only the user knows), possession (something only the user possesses) and inherence (something the user is) that are independent, in that the breach of one does not compromise the reliability of the others, and is designed in such a way as to protect the confidentiality of the authentication data”
In a nutshell, SCA asks that at least 2 elements are used to authenticate transactions, an example of Multi-Factor Authentication. On 14th September, any payments made online should be made in a way that satisfies this condition.
How does Multi-Factor Authentication work?
If you bank online, you may already have multi factor authentication set up. For example, you may need to enter a password and also provide a code generated on your smartphone. This is an example of 2 factor authentication (2FA)- even if someone guesses your password, they still need to get your device to authenticate. This creates another level of security for users.
A range of factors can be used, including:
‘Knowledge factors’ such as passwords or PINs and secret questions
‘Possession factors’ such as code generators, for example a device you can generate a code with
‘Inherent factors’ such as fingerprints or face recognition
‘Location factors’ such as only allowing access to users connected to a company network
The prevalence of smart phones means many systems use these in some way, with options for sending users SMS, scanning QR codes or using an app to generate a code.
How does this affect your e-commerce site?
Just as websites are built on a variety of platforms, there are a range of solutions to take care of merchant’s payment needs in the online world. Most payment gateways we looked at are turning to a technology called 3D Secure v2.
You may be familiar with the first version of 3D Secure- a little window opens in the page and you enter a password which is verified by your bank. It’s the online version of entering a PIN number. It has its detractors though, so recently a new version has been released which promises to make the process easier and safer.
Benefits of the new version include the use of increased data sharing, meaning many more data points can be checked and shared with the user’s bank, all silently in the background. The bank can then use this data to make a series of checks. This should appeal to online merchants, as it improves the user experience. If the bank does decide that the user does need to authenticate further, the experience should be smoother, with improved messaging and better support for a variety of devices.
What can you do to prepare?
Firstly, Generate UK would always recommend any payment gateway software installed on your site is kept up to date. This should ensure you are taking advantage of any new features. You should check with your provider to make sure they are implementing 3D Secure v2:
And if you need some help or a point in the right direction, contact Generate UK. Ask how we can assist in making sure your site is set up in the best way to keep your transactions safe.
Top 10 Website Security Tips
If your site is hacked, you could suffer many setbacks:
-Your brand credibility is affected
-Your customers trust in your website is affected
-Malware which affects the functionality of your site could be installed
-Your data, and your customer’s data could be stolen
-Phishing emails could be sent to your customers
The list goes on…
So we know it’s bad to get hacked, but what can we do to improve our chances that our websites are safe?
1. Use a strong password
Using a strong password ensures you have the best protection against brute force or guessed attempts at hacking.
2. Keep your plugins and themes updated
When a vulnerability in a plugin or extension is discovered, you can bet hackers will rush to exploit it on as many sites as they can before it is patched. Keeping sites up to date means less of a window for hackers to exploit these vulnerabilities on your site.
3. Switch to HTTPS
Using HTTPS and installing an SSL certificate means data sent between your site and your users is encrypted. This means if the data is intercepted it cannot be understood. It also shows end users that your site is secure and trustworthy by displaying a padlock icon next to the URL.
4. Keep track of your user accounts
Nobody likes admin, but making sure unused logins are removed and that current users only have the access necessary to do their job is important. It means fewer chances for a hacker to compromise an account, and less damage done if they do.
5. Use a Firewall like Sucuri
There are many security options available on a website but one we at Generate UK swear by is Sucuri. Not only do they provide a firewall which blocks suspicious traffic but they can also be called on to clean up infected sites and automatically scan for malware.
6. Use SFTP or FTPS
When you or a developer connect to your server to edit files, it’s important to make sure the data is encrypted. So make sure your hosting supports SFTP or FTPS connections- these encrypt your connection, like HTTPS does when users visit your website.
7. Don’t forget about your smart devices
Ever logged on to your website on your smart phone or tablet? Make sure it is secure by enabling a lock screen password. You should also ensure your device and apps are kept up to date, and consider investing in tools to track, remotely lock or erase the data on the device if it goes missing.
8. Use 2FA
Two Factor Authentication is a fancy term for a simple process- when you log onto your site you have to provide a code to prove you are who you say you are. This can be sent to your email, phone, or generated by yourself, but it add another layer of security that can foil a potential attacker.
9. Take regular backups
So the worst has happened- your site has been compromised, and your homepage is gone. Having a backup available to restore means fewer headaches if the worst does happen.
10. Use uptime monitoring
Keeping track of your uptime is important anyway, but in case of a website attack you can respond swiftly if something is watching your site for you in the background. Setting up a third party monitor that emails or texts you if your site goes down can go a long way.
How can Generate UK help you?
Your website is a significant business investment. It requires commitment to keep it protected, up-to-date and in optimum condition. We are here to be your website’s safe pair of hands, providing expert support and maintenance, leaving you to focus on achieving your business objectives.
We are here to advise you on website security, help with updates, install and maintain your website’s security plugins and much more.
Speak to our Support & Maintenance team today to learn how we can help protect your website.
How To Use Analytics Tools To Understand User Behaviour
Part 1: It’s all about context
The thing to remember is that analytics tools never explain the why, just the what. They’re great to explore the raw data, but on their own they don’t offer context about what is a good figure or how it helps the bottom line. However, before diving head first into stats, we recommend you start with your personas to add context and benchmark activity prior to using behavioural intelligence.
The first question you should ask yourself is what do you expect your customers to do when they land on your site? If you’ve created a comprehensive persona, you’ll know roughly what they want to see. By focusing on solving their challenges and what they’re trying to resolve, you’ll be able to offer solutions that resonate with them. For this reason, we recommend that, when creating your persona, at least 50% of this output should be concentrated on their challenges and issues.
Coupled with the creation of personas, you should be taking steps to understand the voice of your customers. Their needs should be translated into different messaging, and communicated through the tone used on your site, as well as other marketing assets.
We strongly advocate conducting interviews with actual customers – you’d be surprised at how willing many customers are to help in this process and yet fewer than half of content marketers talk to their customers. If you do, you’ll curate a lot of qualitative data you can use in your website copy and visuals. Ideally you need to find out answers to questions such as:
What gets your customer excited?
How do they define success?
What language do they use?
What problems are they trying to solve?
Answers to the above will allow you to use these nuggets of gold to make your website and marketing more persuasive.
Building your customer journey using personas
Once you’ve created a persona, you’ll be ready to evaluate the success of your anticipated customer journeys.
95% of purchase decisions are based on the subconscious, and emotion is an extremely powerful driver in decision making and purchasing behaviour in general. So, when directing users to a specific page or action, this should certainly be considered.
But how do you connect on a subconscious level? Firstly, you need to put yourself in your customer’s shoes and ask questions about why they’re performing a particular action before they do it. This exercise brings to the forefront of your mind why you’re completing an action (or not completing it!) and highlights behaviour on your site.
What are you subconsciously asking when you look at information to understand, analyse and act on it? Thinking this way helps inform what content you should be putting on your site and what questions you should be answering.
To demonstrate this, there is a well known and fascinating study from Alfred Yarbus researching eye movement, where he showed individuals several images but asked different questions to each individual. The results show individuals had completely different experiences when looking at the same image, as they were much more focused on the area of the image that related to the question.
It shows us that unless you know the questions your website visitors are asking at each step of the user journey you won’t know if you’re guiding them towards a conversion or not. For all you know, they may be consuming information on your site in a completely different way from what you intended.
Part 2: Understanding your data
Now you have your personas and customer journey pinned from the offset, behavioural intelligence tools become much more informative – providing data to understand how users interact with the journeys you have established.
Using behaviour intelligence software
Firstly, there is an array of heatmapping tools (e.g. Hotjar, Crazy Egg, Clicktale, Mouseflow), which you can use in conjunction with Google Analytics’ behaviour flows to understand how users consume your webpages. From scrolling, clicking, confetti (dividing data in to traffic sources) to session recordings, where you can actually watch how your visitors use the page (and sometimes gain access to IP detection software)! Marketing automation tools sometimes have these built in.
By running these tools, you’ll be able to see what your customers are viewing and clicking, which can provide valuable insight in where you need to create more visual cues to encourage performance of certain actions, drive people down the page and direct users to specific areas. For example, it could show you how many times users are interacting with your website’s CTAs. You may find, when reviewing the data that a button at the bottom of the page gets more clicks than one higher up; however, receives less views. This would indicate that this CTA would perform better if it was moved higher up the page.
You can usually use these tools (or even events tracking) for form analysis to see activity on a field by field basis and where people are being tripped up. Making small changes can have a big impact to your conversion rates.
Other tools, such as Mouseflow, allow you to set up funnels, so you can see where there is leakage, and use this against your original perceptions of user journeys.
Another thing to consider is to implement and assess behavioural based CTAs. For example, if a user scrolls 70% down the page on long form content, this might suggest they’re very engaged, so why not allow this to trigger a pop up inviting the reader to join your mailing list? Or perhaps a CTA that only appears after a certain length of time to help qualify their interest in your content? This is likely to be far more effective than immediately triggering a pop up and you can trial different behavioural CTAs to appear to users who show more engaged digital body language.
Making the most of Google Analytics
It would be remiss of us to not mention Google Analytics, as this is typically the starting point for most marketers. The above assumes you’ve got appropriate tracking set up, but there is a wealth of information here if you know where to look. Some of our favourite features to review user behaviour are:
Event Reporting: This is a must for any marketer! You can create so many different categories, actions and labels, meaning you can analyse the success of behaviour from a granular activity such as when users pause a video, if they download a key content piece or if they click on an important button. You’ll then be able to identify where CTAs are working and where they’re not, as well as how engaging your content is.
Behaviour Flow Report: This is so useful to visualise common page paths but also to identify common usability issues. Are many customers returning from an identified page onto the previous one? Is the page clear enough? Where should they go next on their journey? Are the paths that users typically go on the ones you want users to go to? Is there an event that always gets triggered first and does it lead to other events?
All Pages Report: This one is fairly standard, but it is useful to look which content on your site gets the most engagement based on average time on page, bounce rate, page views etc. and shouldn’t be overlooked! You can determine pages that work well and where they appear on the user journey – should they be more easily accessed? Are your key pages performing well?
Cohorts: Using a technique called cohort analysis, you can separate groups of users who share a common characteristic e.g. all users with the same Acquisition Date. This example would be useful to gauge response to short-term marketing efforts such as an email campaign. You can also analyse how behaviour and performance of groups change from day to day, week to week and month to month, relative to when you acquired those users. We recommend also looking at user retention or revenue, as this can help you understand who your most qualified or loyal customers are. If you can understand when users stop engaging, you may be able to identify commonalities that can be easily remedied.
Custom Dimension & Metric Reporting: These are available in custom reports and available to use with advanced segments (or used as secondary dimensions in standard reports). Creating custom dimensions can be insightful when creating new groupings. For example, if you created one for users who access a content hub, you may be able to answer questions such as: how many different content pieces are accessed? Was video more popular than other formats? How many content pieces are downloaded each day in a 14 day trial? How many content pieces are downloaded by trial users versus users who have paid for content access?
Let’s not forget the importance of filtering by device. Google Analytics will give you data about which devices your customers are viewing your site from, but we also recommend filtering other behavioural tools by device as an important part of the tracking and amend making. If you look at all data without filtering this, you’ll be diluting your information, and your analysis and recommendations won’t be as strong.
Pulling all the data together
You’ll want to tie all your data into a cohesive framework – using one tool on its own and not cross referencing it with other sources of data will make your findings less powerful. It is also an idea to define and quantify a visitor’s experience and tailor it to your company. What is a good experience? Where do people seem frustrated? Have your changes generated higher engagement or conversions? These should be assessed and improved on an ongoing basis, but setting up a schedule (monthly, quarterly etc.) will help you focus use your efforts on the successes or changes required.
How we can help
To us, using behaviour analytics tools is a necessity in digital marketing strategies, and as part of the services we offer our clients. It’s not enough to drive traffic to a website – you need to know that it’s performing as it should for your customers. We’d love to have a conversation with you about how we can help you understand your data. Please get in touch to see how we can work together to improve your visitor’s user experience and, ultimately, your conversion rates.
OK Google: What Is Voice Search?
How does voice search work?
Voice search is a function that allows users to search online through spoken commands rather than typing. Available on a variety of devices; including smart phone, tablet, desktop and smart home assistants, voice search is becoming an increasingly popular form of search, with 50% of all searches across the internet predicted to be voice-based by 2020.
Are people using Voice Search? Yes.
Adoption of voice search is rapidly growing. With every smartphone device now supplied with some kind of voice-activated search functionality, it’s showing no signs of slowing down any time soon.
76% of smart home speaker users conduct local searches at least once a week—with 53% performing daily searches. (Source: BrightLocal Study)
1 in 5 adult’s uses mobile voice search at least one time a month. (Source: Global Web Index)
22% of smart home speaker owners have made a purchase using their device. (Source: Edison Research)
2 of 5 adults perform a voice search at least once a day. (Source: Location World)
Shopping through voice activated devices is expected to increase by 48% by 2022, delivering £3.5bn worth of spend. (Source: OC&C Strategy Consultants)
85% of smart home speaker owners accept the recommendation given by their device. (Source: Edison Research)
Individuals aged 26-35 represent the highest percentage of smart home device owners. (Source: Walker Sands)
How to rank for voice search
When a user initiates a voice search, only one answer will be provided, unlike when searching via traditional means. With that in mind, context is key. Ranking first in search engines is no longer a pre-requisite to appearing in voice searches – instead, context is key.
Artificial Intelligence has increasingly become, well, more intelligent; increasingly capable of greater understanding, all powered by Google Hummingbird. The results shown for a given search term now take a number of factors in to account, including:
Time of Day
All important factors in determining when your website will, and will not rank, for a search term.
To ensure your website is capable of competing for voice search rankings, we recommend the following activities at a minimum:
Focus less on keywords, and more on conversations – human do not speak in keywords, rather than “best restaurants Newbury”, look at search terms such as “what are the best restaurants in Newbury”. Take an informal tone.
Optimise your website with structured mark-up – to make it easier for search engines to find the answer to the searcher’s query.
Build detailed answers for your content – search engines value quality.
Ensure your website is mobile friendly and HTTPS secure.
Optimise for local search – update Your Local Listings and develop your Google My Business information.
Focus on local content – local queries are three times more likely on mobile devices than standard desktops.
Encourage reviews – these are a fantastic indicator of quality and reliability.
How we can help
As an experienced SEO agency, and certified Google Partner, we can help your business rank for voice search, ensuring your website is best optimised from a content and technical perspective.
Over the past 10 years, Google has continued to change the goal posts, but our philosophy and approach to search engine optimisation has remained the same; we always focus on the fundamentals and getting the basics right, before building upon our successes.
Get in touch with an expert SEO consultant today, or give us a call on 01635 887 730.
2019 Marketing Trends For Smaller Marketing Budgets
Not actually a new trend (Amazon, the world’s largest e-commerce website was launched in 1994!). 2019 will see the continued rise of e-commerce within our day to day lives. With more companies, such as the aforementioned Amazon and ASOS launching same day delivery in 2018, the ease and convenience of shopping online cannot be ignored.
Businesses that failed to pivot to digital in time have begun to pay the price, with large brands such as House of Fraser, Toys R Us, and HMV, for the second time, going to administration into 2018. To ensure that your business is not losing out to competitors, it’s vital that your brand creates an online presence, and beginning, or growing, your e-commerce capabilities should be high on your to do list for 2019.
Furthermore, it’s never been easier to set up an e-commerce store. 2018 saw the launch of Instagram Shopping, a new feature on the popular social media platform which allows your business to tag products in content claiming to create a seamless experience from post to purchase.
According to Comscore, by 2020, 50% of all searches will be voice searches. A few years ago, this prediction would have been laughable. However, with the increased usability and intelligence of tools such as Siri and Cortana, coupled with the increased ownership of Smart Home tools such as Google Assistant and Amazon Echo – it’s looking ever more likely that this prediction will come to pass.
But, how do you prepare for this? Here are our top tips for ranking for voice searches in 2019:
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 – find out more here.
Build detailed answers for your content, search engines value quality.
Ensure your website is mobile friendly and HTTPS secure.
It’s difficult to ignore the elephant in the room. Whilst it’s almost impossible to discern what effect Article 50 will have in 2019, it is likely that Brexit is coming, and marketers need to be prepared for it.
Brexit has the potential to have overarching consequences throughout your entire business, small or large. From manufacturing and logistics, to promotion and price, every department will likely be affected. It will be your duty as a marketer to ensure that your business continues to identify, anticipate and satisfy customer requirements post-29th March.
A common trend in recent years, and becoming increasingly important. The improved capacity for collecting and understanding will allow for greater personalisation and customisation of the customer experience in 2019.
Personalisation has changed from simply adding your customer’s first name on to an email. Users expect to receive content and communication that relates to their needs, with a business that understands their buying requirements, despite expecting increased privacy and greater care of how their data is handled post-GDPR.
To achieve this, we’d recommend looking in to marketing automation. To find out more about why your business should invest in marketing automation – read our blog.
Whatever 2019 brings, rest assured that Generate UK will be on hand to support you. Evolving with your business, we can help you achieve your 2019 marketing goals. To find out more, speak to one of our friendly marketing consultants today.
A Step by Step Guide to:
Instagram was launched in 2010 as a simple image sharing app and quickly grew 1 million users within the first 2 months.
To start, Instagram advertising was only made available to large brands that had big marketing budgets, however in 2015 Instagram announced that all businesses now had access to create Instagram ads on a self-service basis, a change that would result in a big shift in the world of online advertising!
Fast forward just 8 years and Instagram is now used globally by over 1 billion users with 6 in 10 online adults having an Instagram account.
What is Instagram Advertising?
Instagram ads appear on an Instagram users feed
or story as a linear visual post,
seamlessly blending in with the user’s follower’s
organic posts for optimum engagement.
The ad can contain either a video, an image
or a carousel of numerous images.
How to create Instagram ads?
Before getting started with the creation and set up of your ad, you will first need to set up a Facebook business page, this is because Instagram ads are created using Facebook’s Ad Manager tool.
Note: this does not mean you then have to use your Facebook account if this platform is not relevant to your business. You can simply just set up an account in order to utilise Instagram advertising.
Step One: Set your objective
Your ad set up starts with you setting the objective of your advertising campaign, allowing you to decide what you want people to do when they see your ad. The Facebook Ad manager tool offers numerous advertising objectives to help you reach your business goals.
The three primary objectives being:
Awareness – If you want your ad to generate interest in your brand and product / services.
Consideration – If you want your ad to result in people thinking about your business and interacting with your website / app in order to gain more information.
Conversions – If you want your ad to increase conversions, whether that be a purchase of your product/services, a visit to your shop, or signing up to a feature of your business.
Step Two: Target your Audience.
Instagram Ads allow you to target your ad using a range of demographic factors including; age, gender, location, language, work, financial status ect. As well as psychographic factors including; behaviours, interests and connections. So it’s even possible to target users that are following your competitors!
When inputting your targeting data, the tool will automatically calculate the reach and potential return from your ad, allowing you to get the most out of your targeting!
Step Three: Determine your Budget.
Instagram budgeting works similarly to Facebook and Google advertising, so if you’re familiar with those platforms this should not be overly challenging for you!
Instagram allows you to choose between setting either a daily or lifetime budget. Setting a daily budget will give you the reassurance that you are in control of how your budget is being spent each day, however a lifetime budget allows you to spend more of your budget on optimal days, ensuring optimum reach. Whichever budgeting option you choose, Instagram gives you the control to pause or stop your campaign at any time, so go ahead and experiment with your budgeting!
Step Four: Get Creative with your ad!
Now you can select where you want your ad to appear, on either Facebook, Instagram or even both!
When creating new ad content, you can choose between Instagram’s different formats:
Photo Ads: Photos can be in square or landscape format and will appear as a sponsored post when a user is scrolling through their image feed.
Video Ads: Videos can be up to 60 seconds long and can be in square or landscape format, the video ad will appear as a sponsored post when a user is scrolling through their image feed.
Carousel Ads: Similarly to photo ads, but this feature allows you to choose multiple photos to add a layer of depth to your campaign.
Stories ads: Ads appear seamlessly a sponsored story when a user is viewing their follower’s story.
You then simply upload your ad content, whether it be an image, video or slideshow and choose your Call-to-Action button:
Step Five: Publish!
Once your ad is ready, you can review your formation, preview the ad, and publish it!
And don’t forget, Instagram provide you with performance data, within your Facebook Ads manager tool, so you can measure the success of your campaign. This allows you to continuously optimise your ads based on your previous performance, enabling you to continue to get the best engagement from your Ads.
Instagram Advertising provides a unique opportunity for your business to extend its footprint in the marketing environment and to test things which you previously may not have been able to experiment with before. If you would like advice or guidance on setting up and managing your Instagram ads, get in touch today!
How To Build Valuable Backlinks
What Is A Backlink?
Backlinks are links from outside domains that point to pages on your domain – essentially linking back from their domain to yours. The total number of backlinks can often include many links from the same or multiple referring domains.
Generally speaking, backlinks are considered to be a “vote” of confidence for the content that’s being linked to your domain from outside sources. For Search Engines, backlinks help to determine the page’s importance, value and authority, showing how popular or important your pages are.
What Makes A Good Backlink?
Previously, the quantity of backlinks was an indicator of a page’s popularity. Today however, due to the way backlinks are evaluated based on different industry-related ranking factors, it is more about the quality of sites from which the links are coming.
The quality of your backlink is dependent on how relevant they are to the content on your website. No matter if the link is being followed or not, being mentioned or having a link of a high quality website will give your website and brand awareness a boost.
The quality of backlinks are based on Sharing Page Strength/Page Strength Spread, there are many names for this but ultimately it is the strength of a page that is linking back to your site. These vary in metrics dependent on the tools that you use.
Equally, the backlinks that you hold on your website can also have an impact on your website value too, so always ensure that the pages you’re linking to, the anchor text you use and any Meta tags associated with the linking page are relevant to your page and overall website goals.
How To Gain Quality Backlinks?
There’s no magic formula when creating good quality backlinks, they are time consuming to gain, but a great return on investment as they are very valuable for your SEO authority. We understand that when you’re starting to gain backlinks from the beginning you will have nothing to go from, however that is where competitor research comes in, you can look at your high ranking competitor’s current and previous backlinks to see what websites and which industries they target and any that might be useful to you.
There are a many things that you can do to gain backlinks, we have collated our favourite:
Guest blogging – I’m sure you are writing your own blogs already, (if not, why not!?) but why not write guest blogs too. Once you have found websites that accept guest blogging, you should write a blog relevant to both your business and also the website that you are looking to post on. This article is building your business reputation, so ensure it is professional and portrays the correct company values.
Supplier testimonials – Testimonials on your website look great, you encourage your customers to write them, and as would your suppliers too! So why not write them a testimonial about how their product/service has enhanced your business, just request that they link back to your website once online!
Sponsors / event pages – If you are sponsoring or attending an event, make sure you tell the world! Often, these events have pages for exhibitor and sponsor lists etc. so ensure you send over a logo and a link to your website!
Increase networking – Networking doesn’t just have to be a face to face physical exchange, but you can also build up relationships online via social media, forums and blogs! Engage with people on these platforms, sharing useful advice, linking to blog posts of yours too, this will not only give you increase backlinking but also be seen as a thought leader within your industry and increase brand awareness.
Trustworthy directories – Not only do directories provide you with more backlinks, they also are a great way for your clients to find your contact information online too. Quality directories are important, we suggest find industry or locational specific directories, as often low quality directories have been excluded from Google’s search results.
How To Manage Your Backlinks?
Keeping track of your backlinks is important, not only so you are aware which sites are linking back to you but also you can find out how to the anchor text of the backlink uses keywords relating to your website.
A few tools that we would recommend are SEM Rush and Search Metrics. These tools all allow you to discover the page your website has been referred from, how many pages from your website have been indexed and some sort of domain authority score that they hold. You can also discover your backlinks in Google Analytics, you can look into your referral traffic sources and from there you can discover the specific pages you hold backlinks from, this will also show you the behaviour statistics that these users hold too.
If you’d like any advice or some more information about how you can enhance your SEO with our range of digital marketing solution, contact us today! You don’t have to take our word for it, find out what our clients think.
LinkedIn’s New Content Suggestions Feature
The new ‘Content Suggestions’ tab within a companies’ page admin view allows you to explore suggested content around the goals of your business, as well as the wants of your audience. This allows you to tailor your feed to make it more relevant to your industry and business, making it easier to find interesting articles and share relevant news via LinkedIn – similar to twitter’s ‘Lists’ feature.
How to use LinkedIn’s Content Suggestions Effectively
To discover new topics and articles that your audience are engaging with, you have to select an initial filter of either your page followers, your employees or all LinkedIn members. Then you have the choice to select multiple industries, locations, job function and then seniority of the audience you wish to look into. Once selected your proposed filter, it will give you an estimated audience size. You can edit and adjust filters to however specific and narrow you want to look into.
Once you audience is submitted it returns a feed of recent and relevant news articles to your business and your audience selected. To narrow more specifically into trending topics and articles already shown for your selected audience, you can filter the content further by specific topic, simply type in a topic name and add this to your filter.
You can easily sort content by most recent, most or least engagement using the ‘Sort by’ drop down. If you find a piece of content relevant to your business, simply click the share button, add the relevant text, mentions and hashtags and share this across your business feed.
Social Media Services
Social Media management can be complex, there are a number of tools, techniques and tips that are useful when managing your social media account. If you would like to find out more about Generate UK’s social media management services, contact our team today.
The Power of Direct Mail
As an agnostic full-source, digital marketing agency with a host of long-standing, print clients. We have a wealth of experience in providing business solutions across the marketing spectrum – be that via traditional methods or ever-evolving digital marketing services.
Direct mail marketing has been around for over a century and – just like the world of digital marketing – has seen many advancements since then – with plenty of data proving the effectiveness of direct marketing.
Tried and Tested
Direct mail has been trusted for over a century. It’s easy to personalise your direct mail campaign the same way you would with email marketing, adding to the level of consumer trust and value felt by your customers and prospects. Direct mail marketing also has a proven ROI and has the power to pose a call to action that resonates.
Build Brand Awareness
With an estimated 88% of brands using social media, platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter can be very effective in boosting brand awareness, driving web traffic and even bolstering SEO.
However, though social media has brought many opportunities to marketers, it is important not to forget the many benefits that direct mail can bring to your business. And with nearly 80% of consumers claiming that they open all of their postal mail, you can be almost certain that you will get your message in front of the right people.
Compared to email, direct marketing is less ephemeral; a prospect is far less likely to view an email more than once, whereas a physical piece direct mail can sometimes leave a longer-lasting brand presence for your customer.
Though your parents or grandparents may be very digitally savvy, recent research shows that 4.2 million people aged 65 or over have never used the internet, meaning that these users are unreachable by PPC, Email or Social Media or Search Engine marketing. If you have a diverse or general target audience (perhaps a supermarket or insurance company) or are targeting prospects aged 65+, using direct mail means that you can extend your online strategy, campaigns and offers to these older, audience segments.
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has now been in place for over 6 months and the new data protection laws have forced markers to think more carefully about how we build relationships with customers and prospects – and which mediums are employed to do so.
Despite its initial challenges, it’s important for all marketers to realise that GDPR is a huge positive – with tighter security; more consumer trust; and more relevant and qualified audience pools. Furthermore, 70% of consumers say mail makes them feel valued and 33% of people find direct mail the most effective way to remember a product – further proof that direct mail is still alive and kicking.
What About Millennials & Gen Z?
We’ve previously discussed the needs and desires of Millennials and Generation Z. Using an average of three and five screens respectively, young prospects have grown up in an age of constant technological advancement. However, Millennials and Gen Z also prefer brands that are honest and authentic, some marketers may be surprised to learn that these segments do respond well to direct marketing. In fact, these younger recipients respond to direct mail quicker than any other age group.
Direct Mail: Something to Consider
Personalisation, trustworthiness and a physical reminder for your prospects – direct mail continues to provide a wealth of opportunities for modern marketers, particularly as part of a broader, omnichannel campaign, providing you with multiple touchpoints via different mediums with your prospects. After all, mail does still work! 45% of mail recipients have made an inquiry or requested information by phone after receiving mail; 36% have bought something; and 29% have visited a store.
Here at Generate UK, our team has 20 years’ experience in the print industry. We offer a full, end to end solution, to aid you with your next direct marketing campaign. To find out more, browse our print services or Contact Us today.
‘Gutenberg’: WordPress 5.0 Update
Try out the new editor here. (Note: It’s a good idea to click on the cog in the top right corner before you start editing, as this provides a better impression of how the editor appears within WordPress itself).
The WordPress community widely anticipated that this would be released in 2019, however this was dramatically brought forward, and the update launched on Thursday 6 December. Central to the update is Gutenberg, however there is more to the update, which you can read about here.
This is by far the biggest change that has ever been made to WordPress. It could fundamentally change the way that many WordPress sites are built – rather than using WordPress concepts such as shortcodes, custom meta fields, custom post types, and potentially plugins such as Advanced Custom Fields to build pages. Instead it will become necessary to build ‘custom blocks’ for page areas containing dynamic content, which are optimised for the new editor. Similarly, because the new editor provides far more powerful capabilities for end users to customise the appearance of page areas, WordPress themes will need to be designed in such a way that they can accommodate these customisations without any compatibility issues.
In the longer term, WordPress are planning some even more radical changes – other WordPress components such as Widgets and Menus will be replaced by a block-based approach as well, and it will become possible to edit entire websites in a more visual way. Ultimately building/managing a WordPress site is likely to involve an experience that is more similar to using one of a page builder WP plugins, such as Visual Composer.
The new editor has sharply divided opinion within the WordPress community. On the one hand, for users who are moderately technically inclined, but who don’t necessarily have much knowledge of HTML coding, the new editor provides many opportunities for advanced customisation of the appearance of their webpages. The concept of ‘blocks’ also unifies many disparate elements of WordPress which have emerged over the years, so these changes provide a more consistent unified experience. On the other hand, the new editor provides so many new capabilities and controls, that some users may find the interface overwhelming. It might also be harder to achieve certain things, since there is potentially less control over the structure of the HTML the editor produces. There are also many concerns that the new editor is being released “before it is ready” – i.e. there is a big risk of compatibility issues for existing sites (e.g. resulting in existing content edited using the new editor ‘breaking’), problems with third party plugins, and/or there may be unexpected bugs when using the editor controls.
How Can Generate UK Help You?