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.
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.
The Latest News From The World Of Marketing
Generate UK’s Marketing News round up for September & October 2018.
The marketing industry is ever-changing and can be hard to keep up with, so we have put together our favourite recent snippets that have grabbed our attention from across the industry, to help you understand the latest trends, updates and technologies.
From hyper-personalisation to ditching your desk, read our rundown of the latest marketing news to ensure you are ahead of the crowd. It’s safe to say, the marketing world has been eventful in the last few weeks.
Can You Build Brand Loyalty In The Age Of ‘Hyper Personalisation’?
Marketing Tech News have released an article at the beginning of October outlining how consumers hold power over brands, and this is only increasing as the ability to personalise EVERYTHING also increases. The main reason for this is that social media allows everyone and anyone to scrutinise or share great experiences to an increasingly growing audience.
The challenge for businesses is to stay competitive with pricing, hold user attention, deliver quickly and stay relevant to the ever changing consumer. Long gone are the days for emails on your birthday and your name in a subject line, now real-time customer automation is expected as standard.
It has been proven that consumers are staying loyal when brands supply them with offers and discounts. However, brands fall down in maximising the return from this loyalty because of bad data! Businesses are increasingly using AI and computer vision analysis to find out every detail of a consumer in order to find their specific likes and dislikes. For example: location, photos and browser history.
Does Abandoning Your Desk Increase Influence?
In Thomas Barta’s latest article for Marketing Week he describes marketing as a ‘contact sport’. Most marketers spend a significant proportion of their time sat at a desk, and not face-to-face with those outside of their department. You cannot make a change happen from the comfort of your desk. The opposite can also have a negative effect too, working from home for job flexibility doesn’t help either.
Working in the right places for the right amount of time is what drives the most successful marketing campaigns. When you are face-to-face in front of customers and colleagues to influence their behaviour is where the magic happens.
Many businesses have ripped out desks and replaced with lines of desks to ‘reduce egg-laying hens’, encouraging employees to work from a range of environments that are specific to the activity tasked.
How To Use Direct Mail In The Modern Marketing Mix
Despite the rise in smart phone sales and the decrease of mail sent each year, direct mail marketing gets a higher response rate than it did more than a decade ago. In AMA’s latest article, Neil O’Keefe suggests that marketers should test as many aspects of their campaign as possible, including frequency, number of pages and types of mail they’re sending to discover what brings the best ROI.
The biggest challenge for direct mail is the measurement of its success, although you can use personalised URLs and codes, there is no guarantee customers will use these. The only way to discover what works the best is to test as many aspects as possible, with a baseline to compare from.
Even if direct mail stagnates, O’Keefe believes that it will remain an important part of the marketing mix. With the best results said to have come from omni-channel campaigns, portraying the same message across emails and re-targeted adverts too.
So maybe direct mail isn’t dying out, just becoming a good accompaniment to your other campaigns.
Hootsuite Integrates Google Ads
Hootsuite has penned a deal with Google that will integrate Google Ads directly into Hootsuite’s platform and AdEspresso, which is Hootsuite’s digital ad platform. This will help you manage your online ads across Facebook, Instagram and also Google all on one platform.
This new integration has awarded Hootsuite with an official “Google Premier Partner Badge”, making it a leading social media management solution. It is also the first time search and social advertising campaign have been combined, helping customers to manage their online advertisements, budgets and compare results across multiple platforms better, allowing you to create the best performing adverts.
“We’re excited to be working with Google in this integration. They are the market leader in search and in global online advertising, helping businesses worldwide drive increased return on their investment,” said Penny Wilson, CMO of Hootsuite.
Removal Of Twitter ‘Moments’ On Mobile
With Twitters recent transition from a social network to a newsroom, we may find that user needs from brands will change. They are removing their ‘Moments’ platform as of 23rd October, after people found the experience confusing. Twitter Support have explained that when people don’t use their features often, they remove them so they can focus on building new products that we will love!
Twitter Moments will still be available on desktop however.
Twitter is currently a useful B2B platform – especially to connect directly to customers – and brand interactions will definitely see a change in the future. We will look forwards to the next new Twitter feature to enhance our experience further.
If you want to keep up with the latest marketing trends, don’t hesitate to contact Generate UK. We’d love to hear about your business and how we can transform your marketing into something to be proud of, browse our digital marketing services here.
The John Lewis Brand:
People love that they know what they are getting with John Lewis, they know they will receive high quality products and excellent customer service. From one small Victorian store on Oxford Street, the retailer has grown to over 50 John Lewis stores, more than 300 Waitrose supermarkets across the UK and a huge 83,000+ permanent staff.
Recently, there has been a well-publicised change to their branding, much to people’s apprehension. We have outlined the facts, journey and thought process John Lewis may have gone through to make these changes, so you can decide what you really think of their new branding and values. Before we can discuss why these changes have happened, we need to look at the history of the brand to explore how they have got to where they are today.
History of the John Lewis Brand
‘Value, Assortment, Service and Honesty’. These were the main principles that the first store was based upon and that have been carried through the business ever since, with the current values sitting at ‘Value, Integrity and Vision’, matching perfectly to their moto ‘Never Knowingly Undersold’.
Traditionally, John Lewis has appealed strongly to the middle and upper class shoppers, however, the introduction of their ‘Value’ and ‘Essential’ ranges has allowed an expansion to a broader market.
Back in 1937, John Lewis launched their own brand merchandise, called ‘Jonell(e)’. John Lewis were the first department store group in the UK to have their own brand of products, however this ended in 2001 when the ‘Jonell(e)’ name was replaced by the ‘John Lewis’ name.
Until now, when we think of John Lewis we think quality, friendly, reliable and Christmas! Along with mulled wine, mince pies, stockings and wreaths, the John Lewis ads are awaited each year, with Moz the Monster, Monty the Penguin and Buster the Boxer being just a few of the fictional characters that have pulled on our festive heart strings.
From day one, John Lewis have always looked after their staff, rewarding them for their efforts, sharing their profits and continuing to build upon their skills, this is because all permanent staff members are partners in their business. This in turn ensures that their team have a great work ethic and want to nurture and treat each customer the way they wish to be treated themselves.
John Lewis has remained not only an esteemed brand, but a desirable organisation to work for. In March 2018 they topped the list of best UK retailers to work for – beating Lush, IKEA, Marks & Spencer and Clarks!
A Move to John Lewis & Partners
Combined with strategic changes in other areas of the business, John Lewis has now incorporated a rebrand that sees a change in name to ‘John Lewis & Partners’ and ‘Waitrose & Partners’ – this is a way of showing customers and prospects that John Lewis’ employees are at the heart of their business, enabling them to offer more personalised experiences for customers. The new rebrand also synergises and brings together the John Lewis and Waitrose brands, as previously, the two companies have remained relatively separate. This integration aims to create a single creative platform for both brands, in theory, decreasing overall spend on expenditure like advertising.
The new name change comes with a new logo, this is made up of the brand name with a lines in a variety of widths to the left in either green for Waitrose or black for John Lewis. Some would say that the old ‘Jonell(e)’ logo resembles the new rebrand of John Lewis, featuring the barcode style lines, coming away from the main logo.
The first of their new campaigns has been launched; the John Lewis & Partners and Waitrose & Partners television and cinema advert showcase their rebrand, performed to Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, with the main focus to communicate their more personal approach.
The ‘when you’re part of it, you put your heart into it’ strapline of the advert stands for John Lewis & Partners appreciating their staff members, the various stories and skills that they offer, proving that when employees feel valued, great things can happen.
Along with this TV and cinema advert, a print campaign and social media adverts that feature the hashtag of #wearepartners will run too. Both John Lewis and Waitrose websites have been updated, lorries are being reprinted, carrier bags, uniforms, trolleys and internal signs have been updated with new logos and branding. This is the largest marketing campaign John Lewis have ever carried out. The overall campaign is great at highlighting the John Lewis way of life, shedding life on the partners that jointly own the business and how it ensures that they go the extra mile for customers each day.
Why Have They Changed?
In March 2018 John Lewis vowed to reinvest in their shopping and customer experience, create new innovative online and offline experiences, along with a faster pace, due to their 22% decline in profit compared to the previous year. This decision was made because of a restrained customer demand, political uncertainty and general inflation in the British economy. The decrease in profit is largely due to their hard to keep up with ‘never knowingly undersold’ pledge. Other retailers are having to discount heavily due to the economic crisis and increase in e-commerce like Amazon, in turn resulting in a decrease to staff bonus and overall employment rate at John Lewis as their profits too were falling. Recently we have seen it hit House of Fraser and Debenhams the hardest.
Sometimes the best marketing is all about honesty, less about the products and services on offer and profit margin, and more about the people that make it all happen at all levels of the business – store staff, call centres, office members, delivery drivers, manufacturers, suppliers and customers. However, recently since going live with the new rebrand and campaigns John Lewis have announced a 99% drop in profit for the first half of 2018. This is due to the increase in e-commerce websites and decrease to economic activity which is meaning retailers, including John Lewis are having to discount products.
John Lewis has recently said that they plan to save up to £500 million a year in the next three years, this is to invest in products and service innovation, with hope to in turn rebuild their profitability as a business. Along with also trying to seek cost savings of up to £500 million to balance out their finances. With their partners (staff) continuing to be at the heart, they will conduct a review of their pension scheme to give partners better benefits of working with John Lewis & Partners. Along with a pension scheme, they will be investing in their partners’ skills and product knowledge, with extra training and courses that will in turn deliver improved customer service. Overall John Lewis will focus on unique, innovative products, personal service and new services to offer.
However, we are now coming up to John Lewis’ seasonal busy period, it will be interesting to see the numbers after their typically successful Christmas period in comparison to previous festive seasons.
In the coming months, labels from their own brand products will be updated, with the plan for all products, services and marketing material materials to be totally rebranded over within five years.
Both the John Lewis and Waitrose brands are making more efforts to join together as one synergising brand, loyalty is one common ground both businesses hold. In the next few months, they will be rolling out their combined loyalty schemes, at first a trial being sent to 600,000 customers. This loyalty scheme will be one single card that offers the same benefits that both cards previously held, just reiterating the connection between John Lewis and Waitrose.
Each year, we wait in anticipation for the John Lewis Christmas advert to be aired before, so we can really get into the spirit, and this year will be no different. This year it has been reported that Sir Elton John will be hired at a huge cost of £5m to record a custom rendition of his famous ‘Your Song’ at Pinewood Studios in London.
The new rebrand has not completely changed the company’s core values, the key messages are still quality products and excellent customer service across the John Lewis and Waitrose brands due to their staff member being partners within the brands.
Looking to Reposition your Organisation’s Brand?
Contact Generate UK to achieve the full potential of your brand. From a simple refresh to a complete re-work. We have worked with some amazing brands helping them develop their brand through research, strategy, ongoing brand consultancy, visual design to implementation.
How and Why It Has Changed?
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.