How To Build Valuable Backlinks
What Is A Backlink?
Backlinks are links from outside domains that point to pages on your domain – essentially linking back from their domain to yours. The total number of backlinks can often include many links from the same or multiple referring domains.
Generally speaking, backlinks are considered to be a “vote” of confidence for the content that’s being linked to your domain from outside sources. For Search Engines, backlinks help to determine the page’s importance, value and authority, showing how popular or important your pages are.
What Makes A Good Backlink?
Previously, the quantity of backlinks was an indicator of a page’s popularity. Today however, due to the way backlinks are evaluated based on different industry-related ranking factors, it is more about the quality of sites from which the links are coming.
The quality of your backlink is dependent on how relevant they are to the content on your website. No matter if the link is being followed or not, being mentioned or having a link of a high quality website will give your website and brand awareness a boost.
The quality of backlinks are based on Sharing Page Strength/Page Strength Spread, there are many names for this but ultimately it is the strength of a page that is linking back to your site. These vary in metrics dependent on the tools that you use.
Equally, the backlinks that you hold on your website can also have an impact on your website value too, so always ensure that the pages you’re linking to, the anchor text you use and any Meta tags associated with the linking page are relevant to your page and overall website goals.
How To Gain Quality Backlinks?
There’s no magic formula when creating good quality backlinks, they are time consuming to gain, but a great return on investment as they are very valuable for your SEO authority. We understand that when you’re starting to gain backlinks from the beginning you will have nothing to go from, however that is where competitor research comes in, you can look at your high ranking competitor’s current and previous backlinks to see what websites and which industries they target and any that might be useful to you.
There are a many things that you can do to gain backlinks, we have collated our favourite:
Guest blogging – I’m sure you are writing your own blogs already, (if not, why not!?) but why not write guest blogs too. Once you have found websites that accept guest blogging, you should write a blog relevant to both your business and also the website that you are looking to post on. This article is building your business reputation, so ensure it is professional and portrays the correct company values.
Supplier testimonials – Testimonials on your website look great, you encourage your customers to write them, and as would your suppliers too! So why not write them a testimonial about how their product/service has enhanced your business, just request that they link back to your website once online!
Sponsors / event pages – If you are sponsoring or attending an event, make sure you tell the world! Often, these events have pages for exhibitor and sponsor lists etc. so ensure you send over a logo and a link to your website!
Increase networking – Networking doesn’t just have to be a face to face physical exchange, but you can also build up relationships online via social media, forums and blogs! Engage with people on these platforms, sharing useful advice, linking to blog posts of yours too, this will not only give you increase backlinking but also be seen as a thought leader within your industry and increase brand awareness.
Trustworthy directories – Not only do directories provide you with more backlinks, they also are a great way for your clients to find your contact information online too. Quality directories are important, we suggest find industry or locational specific directories, as often low quality directories have been excluded from Google’s search results.
How To Manage Your Backlinks?
Keeping track of your backlinks is important, not only so you are aware which sites are linking back to you but also you can find out how to the anchor text of the backlink uses keywords relating to your website.
A few tools that we would recommend are SEM Rush and Search Metrics. These tools all allow you to discover the page your website has been referred from, how many pages from your website have been indexed and some sort of domain authority score that they hold. You can also discover your backlinks in Google Analytics, you can look into your referral traffic sources and from there you can discover the specific pages you hold backlinks from, this will also show you the behaviour statistics that these users hold too.
If you’d like any advice or some more information about how you can enhance your SEO with our range of digital marketing solution, contact us today! You don’t have to take our word for it, find out what our clients think.
LinkedIn’s New Content Suggestions Feature
The new ‘Content Suggestions’ tab within a companies’ page admin view allows you to explore suggested content around the goals of your business, as well as the wants of your audience. This allows you to tailor your feed to make it more relevant to your industry and business, making it easier to find interesting articles and share relevant news via LinkedIn – similar to twitter’s ‘Lists’ feature.
How to use LinkedIn’s Content Suggestions Effectively
To discover new topics and articles that your audience are engaging with, you have to select an initial filter of either your page followers, your employees or all LinkedIn members. Then you have the choice to select multiple industries, locations, job function and then seniority of the audience you wish to look into. Once selected your proposed filter, it will give you an estimated audience size. You can edit and adjust filters to however specific and narrow you want to look into.
Once you audience is submitted it returns a feed of recent and relevant news articles to your business and your audience selected. To narrow more specifically into trending topics and articles already shown for your selected audience, you can filter the content further by specific topic, simply type in a topic name and add this to your filter.
You can easily sort content by most recent, most or least engagement using the ‘Sort by’ drop down. If you find a piece of content relevant to your business, simply click the share button, add the relevant text, mentions and hashtags and share this across your business feed.
Social Media Services
Social Media management can be complex, there are a number of tools, techniques and tips that are useful when managing your social media account. If you would like to find out more about Generate UK’s social media management services, contact our team today.
The Power of Direct Mail
As an agnostic full-source, digital marketing agency with a host of long-standing, print clients. We have a wealth of experience in providing business solutions across the marketing spectrum – be that via traditional methods or ever-evolving digital marketing services.
Direct mail marketing has been around for over a century and – just like the world of digital marketing – has seen many advancements since then – with plenty of data proving the effectiveness of direct marketing.
Tried and Tested
Direct mail has been trusted for over a century. It’s easy to personalise your direct mail campaign the same way you would with email marketing, adding to the level of consumer trust and value felt by your customers and prospects. Direct mail marketing also has a proven ROI and has the power to pose a call to action that resonates.
Build Brand Awareness
With an estimated 88% of brands using social media, platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter can be very effective in boosting brand awareness, driving web traffic and even bolstering SEO.
However, though social media has brought many opportunities to marketers, it is important not to forget the many benefits that direct mail can bring to your business. And with nearly 80% of consumers claiming that they open all of their postal mail, you can be almost certain that you will get your message in front of the right people.
Compared to email, direct marketing is less ephemeral; a prospect is far less likely to view an email more than once, whereas a physical piece direct mail can sometimes leave a longer-lasting brand presence for your customer.
Though your parents or grandparents may be very digitally savvy, recent research shows that 4.2 million people aged 65 or over have never used the internet, meaning that these users are unreachable by PPC, Email or Social Media or Search Engine marketing. If you have a diverse or general target audience (perhaps a supermarket or insurance company) or are targeting prospects aged 65+, using direct mail means that you can extend your online strategy, campaigns and offers to these older, audience segments.
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has now been in place for over 6 months and the new data protection laws have forced markers to think more carefully about how we build relationships with customers and prospects – and which mediums are employed to do so.
Despite its initial challenges, it’s important for all marketers to realise that GDPR is a huge positive – with tighter security; more consumer trust; and more relevant and qualified audience pools. Furthermore, 70% of consumers say mail makes them feel valued and 33% of people find direct mail the most effective way to remember a product – further proof that direct mail is still alive and kicking.
What About Millennials & Gen Z?
We’ve previously discussed the needs and desires of Millennials and Generation Z. Using an average of three and five screens respectively, young prospects have grown up in an age of constant technological advancement. However, Millennials and Gen Z also prefer brands that are honest and authentic, some marketers may be surprised to learn that these segments do respond well to direct marketing. In fact, these younger recipients respond to direct mail quicker than any other age group.
Direct Mail: Something to Consider
Personalisation, trustworthiness and a physical reminder for your prospects – direct mail continues to provide a wealth of opportunities for modern marketers, particularly as part of a broader, omnichannel campaign, providing you with multiple touchpoints via different mediums with your prospects. After all, mail does still work! 45% of mail recipients have made an inquiry or requested information by phone after receiving mail; 36% have bought something; and 29% have visited a store.
Here at Generate UK, our team has 20 years’ experience in the print industry. We offer a full, end to end solution, to aid you with your next direct marketing campaign. To find out more, browse our print services or Contact Us today.
‘Gutenberg’: WordPress 5.0 Update
Try out the new editor here. (Note: It’s a good idea to click on the cog in the top right corner before you start editing, as this provides a better impression of how the editor appears within WordPress itself).
The WordPress community widely anticipated that this would be released in 2019, however this was dramatically brought forward, and the update launched on Thursday 6 December. Central to the update is Gutenberg, however there is more to the update, which you can read about here.
This is by far the biggest change that has ever been made to WordPress. It could fundamentally change the way that many WordPress sites are built – rather than using WordPress concepts such as shortcodes, custom meta fields, custom post types, and potentially plugins such as Advanced Custom Fields to build pages. Instead it will become necessary to build ‘custom blocks’ for page areas containing dynamic content, which are optimised for the new editor. Similarly, because the new editor provides far more powerful capabilities for end users to customise the appearance of page areas, WordPress themes will need to be designed in such a way that they can accommodate these customisations without any compatibility issues.
In the longer term, WordPress are planning some even more radical changes – other WordPress components such as Widgets and Menus will be replaced by a block-based approach as well, and it will become possible to edit entire websites in a more visual way. Ultimately building/managing a WordPress site is likely to involve an experience that is more similar to using one of a page builder WP plugins, such as Visual Composer.
The new editor has sharply divided opinion within the WordPress community. On the one hand, for users who are moderately technically inclined, but who don’t necessarily have much knowledge of HTML coding, the new editor provides many opportunities for advanced customisation of the appearance of their webpages. The concept of ‘blocks’ also unifies many disparate elements of WordPress which have emerged over the years, so these changes provide a more consistent unified experience. On the other hand, the new editor provides so many new capabilities and controls, that some users may find the interface overwhelming. It might also be harder to achieve certain things, since there is potentially less control over the structure of the HTML the editor produces. There are also many concerns that the new editor is being released “before it is ready” – i.e. there is a big risk of compatibility issues for existing sites (e.g. resulting in existing content edited using the new editor ‘breaking’), problems with third party plugins, and/or there may be unexpected bugs when using the editor controls.
How Can Generate UK Help You?
How To Rank Number One On Google
Be realistic when choosing your keywords
Let’s face it, as much as we’d like to rank for number one for every keyword, it’s not going to happen. Businesses, especially in such a competitive environment, need to be smart in the keywords that they want to target.
For example, if you run a small burger restaurant in Bolton, you’re not going to rank 1st for “UK Burger Restaurant”, especially with competitors such as McDonalds and Burger King. However, you would be in a strong position to rank well in your local area for a term such as “Best Burger in Bolton”.
To find the keywords that will help you rank number one on Google, we recommend using a free tool such as Google’s Keyword Planner to find relevant search terms with low competition that can boost traffic to your website. Other useful tools to try are Moz’s Keyword Explorer and SEM Rush’s Keyword Research.
Optimise your website content
In 2018, relevancy is key. If your content is not relevant to your target search term you will not rank. It’s important to ensure to ensure that your frequently use your target keyword within your chosen page to help give it the best possible chance of ranking.
When optimising your page for the first time, we recommend focusing on the following key areas.
Meta Title: Your Chosen Keyword | Your Business Name.
Headings: H1, H2, H3 etc.
Your page copy.
Every two days we create as much information as we did from the dawn of civilisation up until 2003. That is a lot for search engine algorithms to crawl on a daily basis.
Optimising the Meta Titles and Headings will help search engines gather an idea of what your content is about. Including your target keyword is a must in this instance.
However, be careful not to overstuff your content with your target keyword, as this can negatively impact your page’s ranking ability.
Create lots of content
Bill Gates said it best 22 years ago, when he declared that ‘content is king’. Previously an optional activity, content marketing is now one of the key ingredients to any successful SEO strategy.
An effective content marketing plan can help your business rank, not only for more keywords, but also aid your efforts to rank for priority keywords. This is because, in most cases, more content equates to more links back to your website. However, this is only the case if the content you are producing is engaging and of a high-quality.
For example, if you sell golf equipment, you may be looking to target “golf clubs” as one of your priority keywords. This will be the keyword that you use on your main product page.
Your content strategy can support this by targeting keywords around the main keyword, in this case:
How are golf clubs made?
What are best golf clubs for a driving range?
What golf clubs should you have in your bag?
What are the best golf clubs for a beginner?
Not only do these titles support your priority keyword in its ranking position, but they provide interesting, informative content that your audience would find interesting. Answer The Public is a useful tool when developing your content marketing plan to find the questions your target audience is asking around a keyword.
How We Can Help
Over the past 10 years, Google has continued to change the goal posts, but our SEO philosophy and approach have remained the same. We always focus on the SEO fundamentals and getting the basics right, before building upon our successes.
But don’t just take our word for it, discover how we helped London & Partners drive better quality traffic to their website. To find out how our SEO services can benefit your business, get in touch with one of our expert marketing consultants today.
The (mis) Representation of Women in the Media
Last month, Generate UK attended Technology for Marketing 2018 at the London Olympia. Having spent the day chatting to some really interesting marketing technology providers and attending strategic keynotes and panel sessions, one panel discussion in particular caught our eye – ‘The (mis)Representation of Women in Media’.
Having previously written before about the role of marketing and social change, we were keen to attend this panel session on the (mis)representation of women in the media. Since women first got the vote 100 years ago, the move towards diversity and equality has seemed to move at glacial pace – so why is diversity still falling short of what we want to see in ads, films, news and workplaces, and more? More importantly, what are our favourite brands doing about it?
The Technology for Marketing panel was hosted by Patricia DuChene, Vice-President of Sales at project management app, Wrike, who welcomed panellists; Lynne Parker, Monique Ellis and Sheridan Ash, as well as self-proclaimed ‘token man’, Luke Dowding. The panel observed that, while marketing technology has become more and more sophisticated in helping brands create incredibly targeted campaigns, ads themselves are so often still misrepresenting 50% of the world’s population – if represented at all!
The panel more widely discussed the lack of diversity in the media; film, TV, marketing, advertising and more. With regards to advertising in particular, the panellists cited a ‘cycle of inequality’, in which, ads do not truly represent a diverse audience, thus, does not appeal to a diverse audience, so less people will purchase, as the brand, product, series, or advert generally – is not represented as being ‘for’ them. Older women, in particular, are not even represented in adverts that should be targeting them, or including them in their targeting. Similarly, pregnant women and new mums are only seen in this ‘cookie cutter’ image – appearing in ads for formula or nappies – but not for much else.
Lynne Parker, founder of women’s comedy community, Funny Women, observed that ‘When we do see diversity, the media tends to rely on tropes and stereotypes as ‘safety nets’ to tick diversity boxes.’
Meanwhile, other brands have been accused of ‘jumping on the feminism bandwagon’ and using women almost as a novelty – or a fashion statement in their ads. The past few years has seen a trend in ‘femvertising’, that is, employing ad content – in any format – that includes messaging, imagery and rhetoric to empower women and girls. Capitalising on a social movement, essentially. A good example of this is Audi’s ‘Daughter’ campaign that premiered during the 2017 Super Bowl, making a progressive statement about gender-equality.
Inspirational right? Or rather, it would be, if Audi positioned themselves more whole-heartedly as a brand supporting gender equality and women’s rights… though for the luxury car manufacturer, this seemed a little out of the blue and the ad divided viewers, with many taking issue with the fact that Audi don’t appear to practice what they preach in the way of ‘progression [being] for everyone’
#Audi would never hire your daughter pic.twitter.com/n4lJPnKdmV
— Rut (@rutesperanza) February 6, 2017
do you also give equal opportunity to advance to executive levels? Your website list 2 women and 12 men on the executive team
— Except For Turnip (@BuchbergerJm) February 1, 2017
Equally, the ad did contribute and fuel to important conversations in a post-Trump-election world.
It’s ads such as ‘Daughter’ that had the panel discussing whether brands have to ‘go to extremes’ to challenge societal and media norms?
Take a look at these two Special K adverts. The brand – that has historically targeted women, released this ad in 2013:
This one was released late last year:
Same signature, curly, red ‘K’; same cereal, same target audience, even – but very different representation of that audience.
Rather than paint their target audience as women whose biggest concern is whether their swimsuit is their ‘number one enemy, or new best friend’…Special K are now not only more accurately representing their audience – a diverse audience of women who just want breakfast, not a ‘swimsuit ready’ meal plan – but Special K’s images of women are empowering, particularly when paired with the tag line ‘everything we’re made of, powers everything you’re made of’.
Following a complete, brand reposition, Special K’s latest ad proves that diversity isn’t rocket science, and. In actual fact, brands don’t have to ‘go to extremes’, or even take a socio-political stand point in order to be inclusive and representative. As Audi demonstrated in 2017, making a broader, social comment with an ad campaign can be a big risk that will not always pay off (*cough* Pepsi).
However, sportswear giant, Nike, were ready and willing to take that risk earlier this year, releasing a series of ads commenting on the sports industry’s attitude to diversity and inequality.
It was not a great year for tennis this year, in the way of the sport’s double standards. At the 2018 US Open, French player, Alize Cornet, was penalised with a code violation for changing her top, meanwhile male players – namely Novac Djokovic were permitted to sit for minutes with no shirt on at all. Similarly, the French Open caused controversy multiple times, with its president suggesting champion, Serena Williams, be banned from wearing a black bodysuit. Just days later, Williams accused the umpire of her game against Naomi Osaka of sexism. Nike had something to say:
Unfortunately, the issue goes far beyond the issue of the exclusion of women, rather, there is a problem with the lack of diversity and intersectionality across the board (Exhibit A – Audi’s board of directors…). With their 30th anniversary of ‘Just Do It’ campaign, Nike challenged these disparities, with the above image of Serena Williams being just one of the empowering, socio-political images released by Nike.
American football quarterback, Colin Kaepernick, protested police violence and the oppression of people of colour by not standing for the American National Anthem. Nike also donated to Kaepernick’s “Know Your Rights” campaign.
By taking an unequivocal, political stance on social change, Nike’s somewhat risky decision to stand with sporting figures that have been at the centre of recent controversy resulted in a 31% increase in sales, expanding the industry giant’s market value by a colossal $6 billion. As a result Nike’s controversial ‘Just Do It’ campaign serves as a perfect example of TfM panellist, Lynne Parker’s, closing sentiment that ‘when companies get [diversity and inclusion] right, people buy their products’. Perhaps Nike’s incredible success will pave the way for more ads like this in 2019…
Want expert advice on where to take your next marketing campaign? Contact Generate UK today, or take a look at the wide variety of projects that we have delivered.
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?