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From the Blog

5 things we learnt about websites at SL/CED

14th December 2018
Despite the cold, dark, and miserable weather, a number of people from local businesses joined us at The Bond for our final marketing SL/CED seminar of 2018. Our SL/ECD events are a series of seminars designed to give marketing advice in small, easy-to-digest chunks. We’ve previously ran events on marketing messages, social media, and video marketing, but this time we wanted to focus on websites. At Digital Glue, we design and build websites for clients and we have come across so many that make the same mistakes, so this session was focused on identifying those mistakes and providing the solutions to fix them. If you couldn’t make it, here’s just a few of the common ones we discussed during SL/CED. Mistake number 1: Talking about yourself Our seminar kicked off with Javan, Managing Director at Digital Glue, talking about the first and most common mistake made on websites – businesses talking about themselves too much. Of course we need to tell people about ourselves – it’s our website and people visit websites to learn more about the company. However, when we talk about ourselves too much it can come across as self-indulgent and very often ends up not being customer-focused. So, how do we strike the balance between being informative about what we do and who we are, whilst still focusing on the customer? Here’s Javan’s top tips: Tip 1: Put customer results first Think ‘afters’. If I ask an accountant – “what do you do?”; they might say “I’m an accountant”, or perhaps something more task-based such as, “I prepare people’s tax returns”. But guess what… people don’t care what you do, they care about what you cause to happen. A better way to phrase it would be “I help people pay less tax” and suddenly that’s far more interesting. In addition to this, match what you cause with your customer’s priorities. Doing this is vital so that you understand your customer and use those insights on your website. Tip 2: Define your ideal client This is something we talk about a lot, a big part of generating quality leads comes from understanding who you are targeting – your ideal client. Once you know that, you can start tailoring all of your marketing messages specifically to them, instead of trying to be all things to all people. Tip 3: Understand the ‘Trust Equation’ Sometimes when you’re trying to build a relationship with a prospective client, it can be difficult to figure out how to convert that prospect into business. The trust equation demonstrates the elements needed to successfully build that relationship and convert it into business. We’ve written a blog explaining the trust equation in more detail if you want to read more about it. Mistake number 2: Lack of personality Next up, Ben King, Creative Director and Greta Geoghegan, who heads up our marketing and communications team, to discuss how many websites show a lack of personality. A lot of websites look and feel similar, so how can

Principles of An Effective Marketing Plan

29th November 2018
Where do you begin with a marketing plan? It’s a question that baffles many business owners and most don’t have a marketing plan because of that. There are so many different elements to marketing, and it can be difficult to figure out which of these elements will work best for your business. There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to a marketing plan, but there is a set of guiding principles which are applicable to any business. So when you’re creating your marketing plan, keep these core principles in mind. Cost Vs. ROI Many business owners question the value of marketing. Is it really worth dedicating a significant chunk of your business budget to marketing campaigns? When executed well, then yes. You should expect your return from marketing to be 3-5 times more than your spend. It is unlikely this will be the case in the initial stages of delivering your marketing plan so don’t expect instantaneous results. Set a timescale of when you want to be seeing real results. If you’re not achieving what you predicted, why not? Always assess your success. ROI is a great barometer of a plan. Ask yourself, ‘Do I think this plan will achieve this ROI?’ If not, take another look. Fail Small Don’t overcomplicate things. Keep it simple when trying new marketing methodology or when tweaking your tried-and-tested methods, so that if they do fail, it’s not that catastrophic. For example, when advertising on Facebook, evaluate the results after two weeks to see if it is working. Or send newsletters with different subjects to different parts of your email list to assess which gets the most opens, before sending it to all your contacts. Look at everything you do initially as a test. You can tweak methods until they work and keep developing them. Test and Measure Testing and measuring follows on from failing small. You should learn from every small fail and assess how you can get it right next time. When testing methods, set clear targets of what you want to achieve. How many hits should your website be getting from a Facebook ad in a month, for example? Set a goal and evaluate it. If you’re not where you want to be, then try again. Every goal you set as part of a marketing plan should be measurable, whether you want marketing to generate a certain amount of business enquiries a month or you want it to bring you in a set figure. There is no room for wishy-washy marketing in business, so be sure you can always measure. Stick with it Most importantly, don’t let those small fails get you down. Your marketing plan is sure to have some good elements to it, so give it a chance to succeed. You can’t make a decision that something’s not working after a few weeks. Stick with your plan and constantly develop it. It will take solid planning and some trial and error, but once you find what works for your

How to Host a Social Media Takeover

22nd November 2018
By definition, a social media takeover is a form of influencer marketing, where your social media accounts are ‘taken over’ by an influencer in order to accomplish one or more objectives. These objectives could include, increasing your brand awareness, promoting your products to drive sales, engaging new audience members, or simply increasing engagement with your current followers. Stage 1: Let the planning commence… Once your objective has been selected, you will need to choose the perfect candidate to help you achieve your goal. For example, if the objective is to increase brand awareness, the perfect candidate will be someone relevant to your brand with a large following, allowing their followers to be able to learn more about your brand. If, on the other hand the objective is to increase engagement from your current followers, then find out who it is that they would like to see takeover your social media, and voila the perfect candidate will be found. Please mind the gap… The next step in the pre-takeover fragment is to figure out which social media platform would best cater to not only your target audience, but also to your overall objective. Do you have to choose just one social media platform? No, of course not. However, we recommend hosting the social media takeover on one platform to ensure the quality of the content and engagement can be sufficient throughout. How do you choose the best platform to host the social media takeover on? It truly depends on what your objectives are. A large number of Twitter users follow companies and brands and would therefore be ideal for driving product sales. On the other hand, Facebook would be a brilliant platform to use if you wished to increase brand awareness, due to its sheer number of users. Instagram’s engagement rates are high, and so, you guessed it… It would be best suited to increasing engagement rates with new and existing followers. No matter which social media platform you choose, advertise the takeover on every channel you have! Get your perfect candidate to do the same, as the more people that know about the social media takeover, the better. Captivate your audience… There are many different ways to run the takeover, from Q&A’s, to ‘a day in the life of…’ and behind the scenes shots. Choose an experience you think will capture your target audience the most, as well as fitting with the overall objective of the social media takeover. Not all social media takeovers are actually live? What?! If the takeover is going to be ‘live’, it’s important to ensure that the perfect candidate is aware of the objective, as well as important topics that ought to be discussed. This could include small things such as the timings of each post, using the correct hashtags that you wish to promote, and making sure questions are answered. The key benefits to hosting a live social media takeover are that it will be authentic, and highly engaging for followers. However, if you

High Street Businesses Need To Reconnect With Their Customers

7th November 2018
In the days of the bobby on the beat, deliveries by bicycle and a time when everyone had a personal relationship with their bank manager, the high street thrived in this country. Why? Well because it was needed, it was the centre of a community it was the place where you went to do what you needed to do. If you didn’t think much of the area or there wasn’t much going on, that didn’t matter, you needed the high street and so you visited it. This High Street necessity started being eroded by out of town supermarkets. Where previously supermarkets where part of the High Street, they suddenly became a destination all of their own, and the High Street became less of a requirement. Despite this threat, many high streets and high street stores didn’t really change the way they did things. In some instances it wasn’t affecting them, the pain was being felt by independent food retailers like butchers but not as much for clothes shops or sports shops. And then online shopping came along… For many businesses this was the opportunity they had been waiting for; too long they had been restrained by the geographic confines of their high street and the prohibitive nature of expanding a retail operation, internet shopping was about to provide them with the opportunity to grow. For others, they didn’t really know what to do, they kept their online presence (if they had one), as a separate entity from their high street store and they dismissed the online retailer as all price no service. Now, one in every five pounds spent in UK shops is now online. New data from the Office for National Statistics show online sales rose by 15.3 per cent over the past year and now make up for a record high of 18.2 per cent of all retail sales. And then came social media… And all of a sudden these online businesses could interact with their customers, create a following and in some cases integrate their online and offline experiences. This meant that the high street was now fighting for relevance. It had gone from necessity to fighting for relevance in 20 years. Not a long time… but still plenty of time to adapt and learn. The point being, that the retail success stories of the past 20 years, John Lewis, Argos etc., have embraced the changes, adapted and innovated so that their offering is right for the new way in which consumers want to interact with the high street. The businesses which haven’t, Toys R Us, BHS and House of Fraser as some recent examples have failed. Set against this backdrop, the high street retailer of today, whether they are one store or 100 stores, has an unbelievable opportunity. They can offer the products they sell online to a much wider audience than previously possible. They can interact with their customers not only in-store but also online. They can drive traffic to their on- or off-line presences