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.
Brand Purpose Without Branding Is Pointless
The campaign was a masterstroke from the multinational investment bank Goldman Sachs, who commissioned designer, Kristen Visbal to create the bronze sculpture.
Only, it wasn’t Goldman Sachs… the piece was commissioned by investment firm State Street Global Advisors (SSGA). If we’d told you that this was all the brainchild of the Goldman Sachs marketing department, would you have questioned it?
Would you know, from seeing the Fearless Girl, who had installed it? Who had commissioned it?
The plaque below the statue states: “Know the power of women in leadership. SHE makes a difference”, a clear, explicit declaration. But, in this case, a more appropriate message for SSGA would be to “Know the power of branding. IT makes a difference”.
After all, brand purpose without branding is an unrewarding exercise for any company. Whilst we’d like to think that companies conduct CSR to improve the lives of its employees and others, we know deep down that its only goal is to improve the bottom line of the brand.
Analysts from marketing firm Apex Marketing estimated that the statue resulted in $7.4 million in free publicity for SSGA, but, SSGA is no more of a household name now, than it was before the campaign.
To add insult to injury, the firm have not even practiced what they preached, with only six women taking up 31 of the current top leadership positions in the company. As a result, the campaign is not only devoid of branding, but also only portrays faux brand purpose, with McCann’s global creative chairman Rob Reilly, unveiling all at Spikes Asia 2018.
“When Fearless Girl started, it wasn’t a girl,” Reilly says. “The original idea we presented to State Street was not a little girl but a female bull. We presented a female bull to our client and they said ‘we know you love this idea, but we’re just not that comfortable with it.’”
SSGA were not enamoured with the idea, allowing the creative agency to pitch the campaign to other companies. McCann pitched the same idea to Microsoft – proposing the idea as part of a campaign around women in technology. Not only was the campaign interchangeable, but the company and message.
We’ve written before about the importance and positive impacts of brand purpose. When done right it, can be a masterstroke in promoting your product and service – as well as creating meaningful social change – however, SSGA has fallen short, in this case.
SSGA would likely argue that the campaign was successful – with 152 companies identified with an all-male board of directors adding a female – but is that enough? Does that impact the success of the campaign from a commercial sense? In SSGA’s Environmental Social Governance report, no mention is given to the profitability of the campaign, with the only marketing statistic given is the 10 billion social, print and digital media impressions recorded. But for an unbranded statue, is it 10 billion impressions for SSGA? Or the Fearless Girl herself?
Good CSR contributes to the sustainable development by delivering economic, social and environmental benefits for all stakeholders. Whilst SSGA identified a $28 trillion increase in global GDP from women participating in the workforce identically to men, without the financial figures to boost their campaign, the Fearless Girl is, sadly, a publicity stunt rather than a marketing campaign fuelled in brand purpose.
How We Can Help
We have worked with some amazing brands helping them develop their brand through research, strategy, ongoing brand consultancy to ensure that their brand activities achieve their marketing objectives. Get in touch with one of our expert marketing consultants to discover how we can help your business.
Key Takeaways From Technology for Marketing
Last week, we attended Technology for Marketing at London Olympia and spent the day chatting to over 100 marketing technology providers and listening to strategic sessions taken by marketing professionals at industry giants like Google, Badoo and Jack’d.
Here’s our highlights and top takeaways from the day:
Realising Your True Email Potential
Email marketing can be a creative and cost-effective way to grow your brand and promote your products or services. It’s a great way to drive revenue and enhance and improve your customer experience – so why is it so often overlooked?
Danielle Woolley, from email marketing platform, Adestra, describes email marketing as ‘the Cinderella of digital marketing’. While it’s not got the shiny, new feel like that of AI or virtual reality marketing, chances are, it could well be a great solution for your business.
So what’s stopping you from taking email marketing to the ball? Is it:
Integrating your data
Growing and retaining subscribers
A lack of focus
Accurately measuring ROI
We agree with Danielle – email must be customer-centric, but goal focused. Though opens, clicks, click-throughs are all very promising, they are – essentially – vanity metrics. With that in mind, how should your business approach the above? More importantly, why should your recipients open YOUR promotional email, above all the others they have in their inbox?
Generate UK can help you with all of the above. Though email marketing is often thought of as a traditional marketing solution, we understand the lasting importance of email, in today’s digital world.
Data Challenges and Opportunities
Five months on from GDPR, everyone is still talking about data and data protection. Are the effects of GDPR still holding back your business’ marketing activities? Or have you seized the multiple opportunities that a more data-focussed world has brought to marketers?
Many people are dubious of the way that businesses are expected to collect, store and handle data in a post-GDPR world. Some are wondering, if we are all using data in the same way – won’t we all be driving the same results?
The short answer is no. The long answer? The Technology for Marketing panel largely agreed that data challenges are driving marketers to be more savvy, however, some advertisers – particularly in smaller businesses – still feel bewildered in the wake of GDPR.
Post-GDPR, innovative and creative marketing is even more important than it was before 25th May 2018. The panel suggested – with particular regards to small start-ups and SMEs – that this is where agencies, like Generate UK, come in. One panellist went as far as to proclaim that, with the help of digital agencies, a ‘golden age of digital marketing is upon us’. This is because independent agencies can take a personal, hands-on approach to each client’s data, really getting to grips with it, in order to create bespoke data sets for each of your business’ campaigns.
The Secrets of Local Search
As a digital marketing agency in Berkshire, local search – or local SEO – has been a hot topic for us since it emerged in 2013.
Local search is a branch of SEO that targets customers in your business’ local area. It allows your business to promote your services to local customers in a more targeted format, for example, if people were to search ‘digital marketing agency Berkshire’.
Of all organic search engine queries, a huge 46% are related to a place or locality. This goes hand in hand with the fact that nearly 90% of people search using their smart phone; the combination of local and mobile search indicates that a prospect has high intent, with local search converting at 18% – around double that of non-local search terms. The chances are, people searching in this context want to find a product or service locally and they want to find it ASAP, for example ‘restaurants in Camden’ or ‘umbrellas Reading’. In line with this, Gen Zers and Millennials have low levels of brand loyalty – modern customers don’t necessarily want to make repeat purposes, they just want it now.
Sounds great if you’re a hairdresser in Hemel Hempstead, or a plumber in Portsmouth – but what if you’re a national or international business – can you still utilise local SEO?
YES! After all, just because you’re a national or global company, that doesn’t mean you don’t want to encourage local customers.
The rise and rise of local SEO has meant that long tail keywords (longer phrases) are becoming ‘long long long tail’ keywords, all because people want specifics. For example, as well as locational differentiators, people searching on-the-go frequently add adjectives such as ‘cheap’ or ‘easy’ to their search engine enquiries.
Meanwhile, even Google searches in hindsight are becoming more specific in some sectors, for example ‘best restaurants in Camden for couples’. These more specific and particular search engine enquiries have become more common with the rise of voice search which, again, incorporates that same immediacy and convenience.
Want to find out more about our top Technology for Marketing insights? We’d love to hear from you! Contact Us today, or browse our digital marketing services now.
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?
A Marketer’s Guide To SEO
SEO refers to how you can optimise your website to appeal to both search engines and your website users, the purpose being to organically rank in a search engine, whilst enhancing your user experience. The way it works has matured and evolved quickly, therefore it is important to stay one step ahead when it comes to SEO.
Creating a website that is easily found via search engines, saves both time and money. This ten step guide will help you to both understand and implement SEO, in order to increase your websites visibility and increase traffic.
1) Take a look at your website’s URL structure
The URL of a webpage is a key ranking factor of search engines, so it’s important that you get your URL right! When creating your URL structure, remember that the easier it is for your users to read, the easier it is for search engines to digest. If your URL structure is too complicated for the search engine to understand, this is likely to affect your rankings!
Top tip: when creating your URL, we recommend keeping it short, keyword rich, descriptive with hyphen name separators and written in lower case. If you have already created your URL, remember that changing it may negatively affect your SEO and you’ll need to create 301 redirects from the previous URL to the new one.
2) Optimise Your Titles
Within the HTML, each page of a website has a H1 (main heading), a H2 (subheading) and so on. When a search engine index’s your web pages they will look at the text within these, so you should ensure the wording within the titles are keyword rich, unique and relevant to that webpage.
Each page of your website will also have a title tag (meta title) within the HTML. Your meta title informs both your users and search engines on what that is included in that specific webpage. It is a great opportunity to enhance your click-through rates to your website as this is the page title users see in search engine results, so ensure your title for each page is a precise, concise and a captivating summary of what each page is about.
Here is an example of how your meta title will appear in Google:
Top tip: keep your meta title short and snappy with no more than 60 characters, so it doesn’t get cropped by the search engine, and include keywords relevant to that specific webpage. This will certainly help to put you a step ahead with your search engine rankings!
3) Create Engaging Meta Descriptions
Similar to meta titles, each page of your website will also have a unique meta description, which is fully editable in the HTML. Your meta description gives you the perfect opportunity to tell the user exactly why they should visit your webpage, and what they might find on it.
Here is an example of how your meta description will appear in Google:
We recommend being creative and engaging with your meta description, and try not to include more than 156 characters, so it doesn’t get cropped by the search engine. This is to encourage click-throughs, so if the user doesn’t understand what the meta description is telling them, they may not click through to find out more.
Top tip: If your meta description defaults to duplicate across each of your pages, this can be confusing for both search engines and your users, so don’t take short cuts and get creative with personalising content!
4) Build Relevant Backlinks
A backlink is when another website includes a link to a specific page to your website, from their website. The process of earning these links is known as link building or link earning. This could be anything from a company featuring your website in a blog post to a company creating a feature section of your company on their website, including a hyperlink to your site.
Search engines will assess backlinks, for their quantity and quality, to determine how others vouch for your content. So having a large quantity of quality backlinks is likely to have a positive effect on your websites ranking position, as it gives search engines a vote of confidence.
Top tip: Commenting on authority blogs and leaving a hyperlink can also count as a backlink to your website, therefore get commenting and increase your exposure! But we recommend you exercise this with caution as you always want to add value to reader and not be seen as spamming.
5) Carefully Structure Your Website
Ensuring that your users can easily navigate to every valuable page on your website is of course important for user experience but also for SEO.
From an SEO perspective, when a search engine crawls your website, they will travel through your website by following internal links, therefore having carefully structured links within your website is important to your rankings.
From a user experience perspective, if the user finds it easy to navigate through your website it will decrease your bounce rates and increase the amount of pages per session your users are viewing – resulting in the average time spent on your website increasing. These are all variables measured to form your user behaviour, therefore it is valuable that your website structure is focused on your user journey to ensure the traffic you are getting to your site are wanting to stay on your site.
Top Tip: Adding an XML Sitemap to your website will also aid in enhancing your technical SEO, this is because it enables search engines to find pages on your site that may not be discovered easily during the normal crawl process.
6) Content is King!
Including content on your website is key to both your users and search engines. A big challenge that bloggers and content marketers face is writing content that is both optimised for search engines, yet will also appeal to people.
When optimising your content, to appeal to search engines, it is crucial that you use relevant keywords. Keywords are ideas and themes that define what your content is about, they are the words that your audience enter into search engines. Your content should be rich in keywords relevant to your website, and match queries your audience are likely to search for.
Top tip: Don’t make the mistake of simply filling your content with tonnes of keywords, as search engines will pick up on this and it can damage your rankings as it may be identified as keyword stuffing. Find a healthy balance between writing content to appeal to your audience, and including keywords to appeal to search engines. For further guidance on creating content, check out our ‘Content is King’ blog post.
7) Add Alt Tags To Your images
An alt tag is a text description that can be added to an image on your website, in HTML. But why is it important to add an alt tag to your images?
– It enables search engines to understand what the image is showing – enabling them to rank the image (so ensure you use keywords where possible).
– The text appears if the image cannot be displayed.
– It enables visually impaired people to be told by screen readers, what the image shows.
Top tip: always remember to add an alt tag whenever posting an image on your website, as this will enable search engines to crawl the image and enhance your rankings.
8) Increase Your Social Presence!
Shared content via Social Media, gets attention and similarly to backlinks, search engines assess your social media following and shares to determine how credible your content is.
So how can you get started?
– Get yourself set up on social media platforms and start growing your followers.
– Share engaging targeted content to your followers, as well as your blog posts (remember your aim is to get your blog posts shared to increase your backlinks).
– Share blogs/articles from other companies that you are interested in, they may return the favour!
Top tip: Spend time researching the social media platforms that work well with your company brand, ethos and can add value to your target audience, rather than rushing into creating an account for your company across every platform, without fully understanding the platform.
9) Post Frequently!
Posting new and engaging content and blogs to your website will not only enhance your users experience of your website, but it will also ensure that search engines come back and crawl your website regularly, helping your pages to increase in rankings over time.
The same approach should be taken with your social media presence, followers want to see new content, consistently.
Top tip: to find out more on how marketing automation can help you, check out our blog ’10 Top Reasons Your Business Should Invest In Marketing Automation’.
10) Measure & Report
SEO should be an ever changing and evolving aspect of your marketing strategy. So, measuring the performance of your SEO is key to determine what is and isn’t working, and what you can change to enhance your rankings.
Top tip: Start by installing and getting your website set up on Google Webmaster Tools, it provides you with valuable insights into your websites indexing status and visibility. Allowing you to track the performance of your website, and the best part is… it’s completely free!
If you’d like any advice or some more information about how you can enhance your SEO, contact us today! You don’t have to take our word for it, find out what our clients think.
Why Content Marketing Will Always Be King
It’s been 22 years since Bill Gates declared that ‘content is king’, and content marketing remains as important as ever…
Gates’ 1996 comments are sometimes brushed off as a marketing spiel; ‘content marketing’ purely a buzzword. In reality, content has continued its reign, remaining a core component of a successful marketing strategy and is a traditional marketing activity that has become even more relevant in today’s digital world. So much so, that, in 2016, 75% of companies increased their content marketing budget, in order to bring their business closer to their customers and prospects.
Approximately 329 million people read blogs each month and 27 million pieces of content are shared each day; content is marketing’s chameleon, so diverse and transformable, that it has consistently stood the test of time in our ever-evolving, digital world. So how do you bring an effective content strategy to your business?
Have a strategy
If content is king, strategy is his crown.
As well as incorporating SEO into your content marketing strategy – as with any marketing activity (digital or otherwise) – it is vital know your customer. When you develop a content strategy, it is important to bear in mind:
Who will be reading it?
Why they’ll be reading it?
When to schedule and publish content?
Where they will see, read and share your content?
How will each piece of marketing content will stand out from the next?
This graphic from SmartInsights shows how your business can utilise different forms of content to suit different phases of the buyer’s journey.
Give the people what they want!
We all know that regular content creation can bolster strong SEO visbility, but remember, you’re creating content – primarily – for prospects and customers, secondarily for the search engine. As discussed above, always keep your ideal customer at the heart of your content marketing. What would they like to read? Or share? Or show friends? Or talk about?
This is exactly why content is king. It’s about far more than just building brand awareness or SEO visibility, people TALK about quality, relevant content and they share it too!
People want high quality, useful, relevant, and engaging content about things that matter to them. We think that Craig Davis, of international marketing communications company, J. Walter Thompson, hit the nail on the head when he said “we need to stop interrupting what people are interested in and be what people are interested in”.
All brands should strive for their content marketing to be what their prospects and customers are interested in, rather than interrupting their news feed, social platforms and general internet browsing with content that they are not interested in. By bearing in mind the ‘who’, ‘why’, ‘when’, ‘where’ and ‘how’ mentioned above, you’ll be well on your way to producing non-disruptive content that your users will not only click through to, but read, engage and maybe even share!
Plan Ahead – but be reactive!
Having a content plan or calendar will mean that you are never twiddling your thumbs or lost for ideas. Planning ahead and being organised will meant that you won’t miss any national days or other seasonal opportunities, but it will also mean that you can easily keep your content varied, without repeating ideas or themes.
HOWEVER, remember that people want to read blogs and articles that are relevant, on topics that are new or happening now. Giving your brand’s opinion as a reaction to current affairs and news in your industry (that’s the key part!) will not only give you an opportunity to maximise traffic, but will also establish your brand authority and provide an opportunity to position your business as an knowledgeable thought-leader.
Brands frequently write, useful, informative blogs on things like how boost ecommerce sales or copywriting techniques to improve engagement. But how should you appeal to your readers’ emotional needs?
Think about your favourite TV ads? Are they informative, brand-based adverts? Or are they memorable because they make you feel warm and fuzzy inside? We’re looking at you, John Lewis!
Don’t get us wrong, we know that not all brands suit ‘warm and fuzzy’, but that doesn’t mean you can’t create content that engages and resonates with your audience, whether it’s brand purpose or a funny article or podcast – there’s always something to suit your brand. Emotional content marketing can earn your brand valuable attention and awareness, as well as helping your business build relationships with customers and prospects.
Content marketing is value added
As a business, if you increase your content marketing activities, over it is likely that you will see an increase in traffic, SEO ranking, social media follows and brand awareness. This, of course, maximises your opportunities for growing you customer base – adding value to your website, your social media content, and your brand in general.
As a reader – be that prospect or customer – we love it when our favourite brands create good-quality, relevant content for us to read and share! Content marketing is value added for both business and customer – as long as you’re doing it right!
If you want to ensure you’re getting your content marketing right, or would like advice and support how you can better engage with your customers, contact us today, or click to find out more about our Content Marketing Services and Consultation.
Why Email Marketing is Still Just as Important Post-GDPR
72% of consumers say that email is their favoured conduit of communication with companies they do business with.
– Marketing Sherpa
Email Marketing has certainly stood the test of time and has constantly evolved over the years. We continue to use email marketing as part of our clients’ wider strategy, as it represents one of the most significant communication channels to interact directly with customers.
As stated by Kath Pay and Tim Watson for Only Influencers, ‘GDPR is about data, not about channels’. GDPR is in force to protect consumers from acts of data processing undertaken without their permission – not to prohibit businesses from communicating with their audiences.
If you can prove that data subjects within your database have a legitimate interest in your business’ products and services then you are free to communicate with them. With Direct Marketing Association (DMA) research putting the ROI of email marketing in 2017 at $30.01, why unnecessarily avoid such an important marketing channel when your audience is likely to be legitimately interested in receiving communications from your organisation?
Further research from the DMA found that 66% of consumers have made a purchase online as a direct result of an email marketing message, showing that email is not only an important marketing channel, but one vital to brand success.
Following best practice
Don’t trick people into subscribing
Be clear about what you are offering
Don’t use a pre-ticked checkbox
Be clear and transparent with what you will do with their data
When reading the above recommendations, you’d be forgiven for thinking that they’d come from an article preparing you for the implementation of GDPR. However, these best practices are for the EU Privacy and Electronic Communications Directive.
Since 2002, the European Union has been clear on how businesses should acquire, hold and use data from an individual, and is not much different from the legislation put in to effect 16 years later. GDPR is not meant to hamper a business’ email marketing activities, but instead ensure that it’s utilising best practice. If your business are not using every one of the above recommendations, then it’s about time that you started.
Email marketing offers a highly targeted, cost effective route to reach your existing and prospective customers. We send thousands of emails on a monthly basis for clients and tracking them for delivery and performance.
We focus on objectives, segmentation, personalisation, deliverability and the all-important message to ensure our clients achieve the most from their campaigns.
To find out more about our email marketing services, get in touch with one of our expert marketing consultants.
10 Top Reasons Your Business Should Invest In Marketing Automation
One of our favourite examples, to put things into context, is Amazon. Amazon nurtures your prospects by showing them highly relevant and personalised content that maximises the possibility of converting you into a customer, thus, allowing you to share further, useful and targeted content – resulting in repeat sales. All content shared with you is based on past purchases, browsing patterns and interests. Everything is personal, from your name across the website to one click access and browsing history access. Along with personalisation, Amazon use product recommendations and customer reviews to nurture their prospects and customers.
HubSpot use a great example to explain Marketing Automation – through the growth of a plant. You need fertile soil and seeds for growth, before water and light to nurture your seedlings into blossoming plants. This theory highlights the importance of nurturing your customers, just like your plant, enhancing them to grow larger and faster!
Marketing Automation can benefit your business in many ways. We have put together a list of our top ten benefits for integrating a Marketing Automation system into your marketing activities.
Most importantly, it increases your revenue: Marketing Automation is the most cost effective use of resources, meaning you don’t have to employ as many staff and it gives you back the time to concentrate on other aspects of your business. After all, Marketing Automation systems have longer working hours and better work ethic!!
Save you valuable time & money: There are less man hours needed, because of less content creation, email preparation and time spent on reports and statistics. Once the initial set up has been carried out, performing repetitive daily tasks are reduced hugely in the long-term. Marketing Automation never stops; it works whilst you’re asleep; carrying out other tasks or even when you’re having some well-deserved time off, so your emails and social media will still be posted.
Life cycle of your lead: Marketing Automation systems collect all interactions that an individual has with your business, every action is collated to enable you to build up the bigger picture of what it really takes for a prospect to convert. It looks at multi-channel information, building up different reports based on campaigns, prospects or even channel specific.
Contextual marketing: Consumers want more authentic advertising and Contextual marketing is the next step up, from personalisation, reacting to demographics, location, mood and online behaviour to deliver relevant and engaging content. Using Contextual marketing allows integration throughout different steps of your customers’ experience which delivers a consistent message across a user’s buying journey and via cross-channel marketing.
Works in synergy with your CRM: Both systems are constantly talking to each other, allowing sales and marketing to work better together like never before. For example, when a particular action is carried out, an email can be automatically sent to the sales team for them to contact a prospect, allowing them to nurture them into the next stage of the sales funnel.
Integrated email workflows: User behaviour on search, social and display advertising, can trigger new, personalised and contextual email marketing strategies based on the action of the user, even when a user doesn’t interact! This also helps combat the risk of users categorising your emails as spam and improves relevant messages being sent at the right time.
Segmentation: You can easily segment emails. By selecting relevant fields in your system, you can send more targeted emails without lifting out fields from you data whilst giving the users more relevant and customised content.
A/B Testing: By testing a various elements via Marketing Automation – whether that be an email subject line or on page content – you can make better marketing decisions based on in depth reporting and statistics. Discover more about split testing in another of our latest blog posts.
Semantic SEO: Marketing Automation enables you to discover the different search queries that people are using. Connecting the dots between them can give your marketing team a better understanding of user behaviour and increase value to SEO, e.g. what they typed into their search bar. With these insights, SEO optimisation can be boosted via Meta data. It also allows for clusters of content to be grouped by a topic rather than a specific keyword, ensuring the Marketing Automation is responsive to both language and context too.
Virtual Reality (VR): VR and MA can work together when user behaviour, location, etc. ‘triggers’ VR content, taking connection between customer and the brand to the next level, via personalisation. Currently, it’s largely big and/or luxury brands who are utilising this, due to cost-limitations for many markets and marketers.
Some of the best Marketing Automation systems include SharpSpring, Hubspot, Eloqua, Pardot and Marketo.
Although there are many great aspects, there is one issue with Marketing Automation tools. Many businesses invest before having a thought-out, nurturing solution, they buy in a tonne of new data and lose focus on inbound leads. Which is great for prospects in the middle of the sales funnel, but leaves others lost and confused. It is important that your business think of a long term solution to nurture longer and healthier relationships with future customers.
Marketing Automation is ever-growing, and will only continue to get more personalised. People will always search for new brands and experiences, and become more engaged with those who are tailored specifically to their ‘right now’ needs, with relevant and innovative content.
For more information about how you can take your marketing performance to the next level, contact us today at Generate UK. You don’t have to take our word for it, find out what our clients think.
Boosting Sales With E-commerce
Despite the popularity of online shopping amongst Gen Z and Millennials, only 17% of all UK purchases are made online. Surprised? We were too. But with a currently small market share and fast growth showing no signs of slowing down, preparing your business for more online retail is a no-brainer. Here’s our advice on boosting your opportunities with e-commerce.
Ensuring a smooth user experience on your ecommerce website is one thing, but thanks to the rise of mcommerce – or mobile commerce – retailers need to be putting mobile first, making a seamless experience their top priority.
‘Mobile First’ was never just a trend, it should and is the approach for many businesses – ecommerce or otherwise. After growing rapidly alongside online shopping, mobile commerce is predicted to account for more than half of the ecommerce market in just a few years. From product images and promotion graphics to designing a mobile-friendly payment process, optimising for mcommerce will is an ongoing process. Businesses who choose to ignore the demand for the convenience of ecommerce risk losing customers and profit.
Just like mobile commerce, the trend of selling goods via social media has shown no signs of slowing down. Similarly to sponsored ads, now, when scrolling through Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest, users can click on an ad for a product and be direct straight through to an interface where they can purchase immediately.
Social media is nothing new, but social commerce is, and the concept is still evolving. We’ve already established that Millenials are the biggest fans of shopping online, they also happen to be regular users of multiple social media channels – so if your target audience fits this demographic, social commerce really is a no brainer.
In order to enable successful social commerce, you will first need to ensure that you have built your brand on social media. Alternatively, find out more about social commerce, with this blog from Quick Sprout or see how much social commerce could impact your conversion rate with our e-commerce calculator.
Marketing automation can be a great way to retain customers, encourage repeat purchases, distribute personalised promotions or gather customer feedback. Take your seasonal, Christmas or summer offers one step further by giving prospects personalised discounts, vouchers or deals on birthdays or anniversaries.
Ever received a ‘abandoned basket’ email? That’s a prime example of marketing automation. Brands like Asos and Amazon take automated marketing one step further. Retail giant, Amazon, sends customers recommended products, based on their previous buys, wish lists and browsing, often providing customers with book or film recommendations, tech accessories for new gadgets on so on. Meanwhile, Asos’ ‘Tailored For You’ provides each customer with a bespoke list of recommended clothes and outfits, for maximum appeal for a Millennial audience.
With the help of marketing automation tools, you can set up automatic, post-purchase patterns or triggers that can nurture and upsell to customers based on their activity on your site, previous purchases, demographics, events, etc. For example The Body Shop’s loyalty card system ‘Love Your Body’ sends members a personalised message on their birthday, adding a ‘gift’ of £5 worth of points to spend either online or instore.
If there’s one thing that the above highlights, it’s that people are using more and more mediums to complete a purchase. Multichannel marketing can boost your ecommerce by targeting your audience on multiple different platforms,
Social commerce is the perfect example of the evolution of multichannel ecommerce, but there are more platforms your online business can utilise; email, print ads, in-store promotions and more. Multi-channel presence is easy, the key is staying on-brand.
With multichannel marketing, the possibilities are endless, so don’t be afraid to explore. Even if your brand is solely online, consider your opportunities with print. Alternatively, take a look at selling directly to customers via marketplace’s like Amazon or Etsy.
Encourage Customer Reviews
Customer reviews are often considered a must-have for ecommerce websites, as they can really resonate with prospects. Getting customers to write reviews can be a fantastic way to increase conversions:
Even negative comments aren’t necessarily a bad thing – so long as you’re responsive and proactive. If you do receive any bad feedback, apologise and explain how you are addressing the issue. If you are able to contact the reviewer privately, perhaps offer them discount or freebies as an apology – though if you do this publically, be prepared for more bad reviews!
In today’s digital world, where users are unlikely to have seen, felt or tried out your product, online customers have become somewhat dependant on reviews – regardless of where they are in the buying cycle.
If you would like advice on managing your ecommerce website, boosting your social or mastering marketing automation, contact us today. To how we can help you achieve your potential, take a look at our E-Commerce Calculator today.
Generate UK Glossary: The Key Marketing Terms
Key Marketing Terms
In order to give you some further insight into the world of marketing and what marketers are really talking about. We have collected a list of the common jargon you can expect to find floating around blogs and the boardroom and what they mean:
A/B Testing – sending our two different versions on email or serving people slightly different landing pages to your audience to enable you to compare data and work out which performs better. View our latest blog on Experiments and Split Testing and how they can increase your conversions.
Above The Fold – the ‘fold’ can be thought of as the ‘scroll line’ Any content ‘above the fold’ is visible on the webpage before your user scrolls down – usually the bottom of the browser window.
Affiliate Marketing – when another business promotes your business, product or service on their external website or social platform for an agreed arrangement (payment or promotion of their business etc.) to generate you sales or increased referral traffic.
Algorithm – the online sorting process made up of a set of rules that enables web users to get a return of the most relevant content to their searches, algorithms are also used where marketing automation and big data are concerned.
Big Data – huge data sets that require a computer to analyse them in order to spot any similarities, trends other patterns.
Brand Identity – characteristics that define your business both online and offline and the message that this portrays.
Bounce Rate – The rate at which a visitors lands on a website and then leaves after only visiting one page.
Chat Bots – using AI systems, they are an online system that allows your customers to interact with your business as if they are taking with a human team member – great for out of office hours.
Cross Channel Marketing – portraying the same message across a variety of marketing channels – online and offline.
Customer Journey – a customer’s path from prospect to making the conversion – every interaction with your business – from a like or share to contacting the business.
Curated Content – a collection of content that hasn’t been created by yourself, however you share it because it will be of interest and add value to your audience.
Demand Generation – the use of targeted marketing software to drive awareness to your business, products and services. This is different to lead generation, which is when specific data is collected about potential customers that is used to convert them into a sales lead.
Demographics – characteristics which allow you to segment the population in particular groups.
E-Commerce – an online platform(s) in which you can buy or sell your products and services from, both directly from your website or third party.
Editorial Calendar – an organisational method so you know what content is being created or posted and when this is scheduled to happen.
Evergreen Content – content that is relevant all year round – not affected by seasons, quarters or weather.
Hard Bounce – an email returned back to you immediately because the email address sent to is non-existent or perhaps you have been blocked.
Inbound Marketing – hooking customers into your website or brick and mortar via content that you have created.
Inbound Link – any link from another website, linking back to a specific page on your website. Often called backlinks or referrals.
Influencer – a famous or popular person on social media that your target audience follows and looks to for inspiration and ideas – great for brand endorsement.
Impressions – the amount of times your content or advert has been seen.
Keyword – a word or phrase that search engines use to segment and find content within its search results most relevant.
Lead Nurturing – the way in which your business guides customers (and potentials!) through your marketing funnel towards conversion.
Lead Scoring – this is where you would rank your prospect customers based on how likely they are to convert with your business.
List Segmentation – often used when sending emails to a large audience. This is where you can divide your data into different lists based on various characteristics, this enables you to send more tailored campaigns to the user.
Livestream – you can record and share a meeting or event live, when it happens people can view it as a conference, Facebook live or a live podcast. This enables users to get involved, engage and ask questions in real time.
Long Tail Keyword – a keyword made up of short phrases that are narrowed down to specifically what you are selling.
Market Segment – groups in which your target audience is divided into based on common characteristics and behaviours. Another of our recent blogs can tell you more about audience profiling and how it can benefit your business.
Marketing Funnel (TOFU, MOFU, BOFU – Top of the funnel, Middle of the funnel, Bottom of the funnel) – the path your audience takes that takes them from potential to customer – leading to a conversion.
Meta – a HTML tag that appears in the link to your website in a search result (title above link and description below), also what search engines use to determine how relevant your content is to a user’s search query.
Niche Market – your specific market within your industry that your product or service is focused on targeting.
Omnichannel – similar to cross channel marketing – a marketing method or goal that is used across a variety of channels.
On-page optimisation – All editable SEO related items that help to improve your rankings on a search engine result – meta, title, slugs.
Organic Traffic – users that have not been influenced by paid content – they have found your website through SEO rankings.
Page Views – the number of times a specific webpage has been viewed.
Page Authority – a score that predicts how well your business will rank in search engine results – the higher the score, the better you rank!
Reach – the number or people that have seen your content – whether that be organic or paid.
Responsive Design – meaning that your website will adjust automatically no matter what device they are being viewed on – desktop, tablet or mobile.
Soft Bounce – when an email is returned back to you before it has the ability to be opened – this could be for a number of reasons like a full inbox or filters.
Slug – the end of your URL that differs one of your webpages from the next. Search engines also use these to see how relevant your page is to a user’s query.
Spam Trigger – specific words or code that could cause your email being sent straight to your audience’s junk folder.
Title Tag – part of your webpages HTML that tells search engines specifically what the page is about.
User-Generated Content – any content that has been created by brand advocates or people interested in your brand, product or service.
Viral Content – any piece of content you create that becomes very popular over a short space of time – these are usually something a little bit different, funny, controversial or topical.
White Paper – a document which contains a report on a specific topic, presenting your audience with a problem and you’re providing a solution to this.
Acronyms & Abbreviations
The marketing world is full of acronyms and abbreviations, and there is nothing worse than being asked about something you just don’t understand. We have compiled a list of the top, most common acronyms you are likely to find flying around the network, so you can be that bit more knowledgeable when you receive you next marketing communication or are caught off guard in conversation.
AI (Artificial Intelligence) – a computer system that simulates natural human behaviour – discover more about AI in another of our recent blog posts, about Digital Body Language.
AIDA (Attention Interest Desire Action) – This is also known as the marketing funnel, which describes what action a customer takes along each stage.
B2B & B2C (Business-To-Business & Business-To-Consumer)
CRM (Customer Relationship Management) – a system that analyses data about your customers historic interaction with your business.
CMS (Content Management Systems) – software that manages and helps to create online content – e.g. WordPress, Magento, Umbraco
CTA (Call To Action) – your instruction to your audience telling them what you want them to do next – e.g. call us today, book your test drive etc.
DNS (Domain Name Server) – the system that controls both your website and email settings.
ESP (Email Service Provider) – a business that provides you bulk emails – for example Mail Chimp or Red Circle.
GA (Google Analytics) – Google’s analytics software that allows you to view metrics about your website and how your audience are interacting with it.
HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) – ‘web language’ used to determine what your audience can see and how it is tracked.
KPI (Key Performance Indicator) – a measurable data point that help your business to track its goals and achievements.
MQL (Marketing Qualified Leads) – a lead that are deemed more likely to become a customer compared to your other leads – this is based on the number of pages they’ve visited and what they have downloaded.
SQL (Sales Qualified Leeds) – a prospect customer that has been researched by the marketing department and then by the sales team and they are ready for the next stage of the buying process.
SEM (Search Engine Marketing) – promoting your website via the increased ranking in search engine results. Similar to SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) which is the optimisation of your website to increase your rankings on organic search results.
PPC (Pay Per Click) – a form of paid advertising, where you pay a fee each time your advert is clicked on. Search Engine Advertising is the most popular form of PPC.
SERP (Search Engine Results Page) – a list of search results returned by search engine in response to your keyword.
USP (Unique Selling Point) – something that differentiates your business, product or service from your competitors.
UX (User Experience) – the emotions your audience portray when they interact with your various webpages and online content.
UI (User Interface) – this refers to any controls that your audience would interact with on your website – like drop down menus and buttons.
WoW, MoM, YoY (week-on-week, month-on-month, year-on-year) – mainly used when comparing stats and metrics on campaigns to show your website’s progression and growth.
Although it may not seem like marketing and maths go hand in hand, it turns out there is, in actual fact, a lot of math involved in when it comes to marketing – whether that be social media, email or paid search. Maths comes into play when you’re looking to discover the value of your marketing, working out the cost of an email or how well a blog post converted. Numbers are the key to proving the success of your marketing!
Conversion Rate – the rate at which your customer completes a conversion – whether that be a sale or a contact form sent back.
Number Of Conversions / Total Ad Clicks
CPA (Cost Per Acquisition) – Also known as Cost Per Action – This works out the amount you pay per conversion, as you only have to pay when a conversion takes place.
Cost Of Marketing / Number Of Conversions
CPO (Cost Per Open) – the percentage of clicks each of our email opens receives – you can also break this down into individual links and overall link clicks per email.
Cost Of Marketing / Number Of Email Opens
CPC (Cost Per Click) – the amount you earn each time a user clicks on your advert – you may be willing to pay more per click for certain products or services than others, depending what their return is.
Cost Of Marketing / Clicks
CPL (Cost Per Lead) – this is useful when the goal of a campaign is to generate leads.
Cost Of Marketing / Number Of Leads Generated
CTR (Click Through Rate) – the number of times a link is clicked compared to the number of people who have seen the link.
Clicks / Impressions
Open Rate – the amount of times your email is opened compared to the number of emails sent, per campaign.
Emails Opened / (Emails Send – Emails Bounced)
Engagement Rate – the rate in which a user engages with your content – this could be a like, share or a comment.
Total Number Of Followers / Total Number Of Engagement x 100
ROI (Return On Investment) – the money you make compared to the money spend on marketing your product or service.
(Revenue – Overall Costs) / Overall Costs
Contact us today to find out how we can increase your sales, boost your engagement and multiply your open rate. From email marketing, online advertising and social media to content marketing, conversion optimisation and strategy – we have an experienced team with solutions ready to meet your objectives.
Don’t just take our word for it, check out our work and discover what our clients think.