Posts

#MarketingTitbits – Facebook, uni blunders, real-time marketing

facebook-uniblunders-realtimemarketing-smaller1. Facebook just changed mobile advertising. Here’s how…
Facebook has set itself on a new mission – to combat ‘the mobile problem’. In the UK alone, Econsultancy believes that there is £1.9 billion+ of opportunity that isn’t being grasped for brands to buy more mobile ad space and reap the rewards of the ever-increasing use of mobile platforms.

Fear not, as Facebook has now introduced Atlas, a new ad buying service that will use Facebook’s user data to target audiences across other websites on multiple platforms. Buyers will be able to track the journey of a user, from the first sighting of an advert, to the possible click-through and potential conversion. The idea is that marketers will now be able to see if their mobile ads work and consequently whether they should buy more of them.

Will it increase mobile advertising? We’ll have to see.

Click here to read more.

2. Five toe-curling blunders from university marketing teams

The university market has become increasingly competitive through the rise of tuition fees, meaning most are constantly developing their marketing strategies to embrace and engage with the younger generations. But sometimes even the biggest universities get it wrong.

Check out The Guardian’s article showing some of the worst mistakes made, including unfortunate acronyms created by Newcastle University when they attempted to trademark various names, and The University of California’s backlash after creating a new logo that some students believed resembled a flushing toilet.

Take 5 minutes and amuse yourself by clicking here.

3. Five lessons learned from leading brands’ real-time marketing efforts

Today, more and more brands are attempting to enter the pool of real-time marketing, or quite simply engaging audiences with content that is happening now.

By taking a look at The Guardian’s compilation of some recent examples, you can learn some valuable lessons. For example, it is useful to check your messages before they are sent out, as made.com found after the Scottish Referendum when they sent out the wrong verdict, and faced handing out discounts to those who had seen the blunder. One brand that succeeded with its real-time marketing is Samsung, who enjoyed picking at Apple’s launch of the iPhone 6 as part of their ‘it doesn’t take a genius campaign’.

To see other brands’ attempts and learn some lessons, click here.

#MarketingTitbits – Facebook ads, Jack Daniel’s stories, Google structured snippets

facebookads-jackdaniels-google-smaller1. Nine best practice tips for Facebook advertising

E-Consultancy has compiled a list of the best marketing practices to use with Facebook. The tips include engaging with a vast audience in order to facilitate the opportunity for more clicks on your links, to separating mobile and desktop campaigns due to the behaviour changes in users depending on which platform they are using. Surprisingly, according to previous research, mobile users are more likely to click on links.

To read the other tips on optimising your Facebook ads, click here.

2. How Jack Daniel’s uses storytelling to personalise the brand

Many brands across the world employ focusing on the tradition and heritage of their existence; Jack Daniel’s is one of them.  On their website, the brand describes their timeline as a story of ‘independence and craftsmanship using years as chapters’. For brands such as Jack Daniel’s, the importance of history is clear and September happens to be the month of ‘Mr Jack’s birthday’, although no one knows the actual date. Much of the time, the stories that are told fail to mention the brand in any way, creating a more authentic and engaging atmosphere around ‘Jack’. On the Jack Daniels website you can rewind back to the early 1900’s by scrolling through the timeline of events that have followed the brand throughout its history.

To read the story of Jack for yourself, click here.

3. Google introduces ‘structured snippets’ into search results

Google is starting to test out ways to improve CTRs (click-through rate). The introduction of ‘structured snippets’ is one of the initiatives they are testing. You can see exactly what this means for yourself by Googling ‘Nikon D7100’ or ‘Superman’. You’ll see that extra detail is added to directly to the search listing on the result page itself, informing us of the camera specifications or Superman’s origins without the need to click through to the webpage the search result is directing you to. Structured snippets certainly help a result to stand out more but will this improve CTRs or will it have the opposite effect?

To see more, click here.

 

#MarketingTitbits – Tesco, Steve Jobs and Twitter

Tesco-Jobs-Twitter-smaller1. Tesco buys into big data to make marketing more personalised
In a bid to make their marketing more personalised and improve Clubcard loyalty programmes, Tesco’s subsidiary Dunnhumby, have purchased big data technology firm Sociomantic. The combined data of the two will mean that Tesco have access to an “unprecedented” database of more than a billion people.

The CEO of Dunnhumby says this “will allow Tesco to improve its online marketing to provide a better experience for consumers and advertisers.” Tesco is hoping to improve its Clubcard scheme by going digital, this will eventually mean away with plastic cards and paper vouchers and will allow customers to collect points via their mobile.

To read more, click here. 

 

2. Steve Jobs’ 13 most inspiring quotes

“Getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.

“Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me… Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful… that’s what matters to me.”

Just two inspiring quotes from Steve Jobs, to read more, click here. 

 

3. Twitter’s redesign: is it turning into Facebook?

You may have noticed the changes Twitter have made in the last week. They have totally redesigned the profile pages making them look and feel much more like Facebook’s profile pages.

Some of the specific changes include:

  • Larger profile photos and banner images that stretch across the whole page
  • Popular tweets will be larger and easier for users to find – these are tweets that have had a high engagement rate
  • A new feature that allows users to pin their favourite tweets to the top of their profile
  • Users now have the ability to filter the tweets of the individuals they follow

To read more, click here.

#MarketingTitbits – Facebook, Vine, YouTube

Facebook-Vine-YouTube-smaller1. This is what happens on Facebook when you die
You may have never wondered what happens to your social media profiles when you die. It is not something most people would think about. However, different social media channels treat death in different ways. Until recently, Facebook has chosen to restrict a person’s privacy settings to just friends once they have died; however this has now changed.

Now, when a person dies, their Facebook privacy settings stay the same, they say they “are respecting the choices a person made in life while giving their extended community of family and friends ongoing visibility to the same content they could always see.”

Facebook have also added an extra touch for friends and family. If you are a Facebook user you will know that recently you have been able to access your “Look back” video, showing you your life on Facebook. After a father’s plea on YouTube to be able to see his deceased son’s “Look back” video, users can now request to see their friend’s videos upon request after they die.

To read more, click here. 

 

2. 14 best branded Vines of February 2014

Today, many brands are using Vine to connect with their customers. Companies such as McDonalds, Xbox, Microsoft and General Electric are doing great things on Vine and using the relatively new social media platform in an innovative way.

If you’re in need of inspiration on how to use Vine or just want to have a look at who is doing it well, have a look at the 14 best branded Vines of February 2014here. 

 

3. YouTube’s 20 most shared ads of February

Unruly Media have put together a list of the most shared adverts on YouTube from February 2014.

Three’s “Sing It Kitty”, Coca-Cola’s “Social Media Guard” and Budweiser’s “Puppy Love” all feature on the list. To have a look at the full 20, click here.

#MarketingTitbits – Photoshop, WordPress, Facebook

photoshop-wordpress-facebook-smaller1. The 12 best free Photoshop plugins for designers
 Photoshop is one of the most popular pieces of software for editing images out there. Used by both designers and photo enthusiasts, the software doesn’t come cheap but once you have it the possibilities are endless.

Despite this, many plugins have been created that extend its already huge capabilities. Using plugins can help to perform tedious or complex tasks much easier. This week we found a great article from Mashable that highlights the 12 best free plugins for Photoshop. From Social Kit to CSS3Ps have a look at them here.

 

2. A blogger’s guide to setting up a WordPress site

 If your business isn’t already updating your site with regular content, then you should be. Not only is this great for SEO but it’s a way to get your audience engaged and remind them that you’re experts in your field.

One really easy way to get this content out there is to set up a blog. Today, more than 6.7million people worldwide are blogging about everything from fashion to new technology and everything in between.  Despite this, starting a blog can be daunting and seem like a task too big for some, this is why we want to share with you a blogger’s guide to setting up a WordPress site.

To have a look at all the hints and tips, click here.

 

3. 7 things you didn’t know you could do on Facebook that make it better

Facebook now has 1,310,000,000 active users monthly. This figure ensures that it is the number one social networking site in the world. As much as some of us love Facebook, they have created some hidden features that can enhance the user’s experience.

From making your Facebook pirate language to changing all baby pictures on your newsfeed to pictures of kittens, if you love Facebook then click here.

Top Marketing Tips For January

  1. E-myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It by Michael Gerber. You may have heard us mention this great book in the past. E-Myth Revisited should be required reading for anyone thinking about starting a business or for those who have already taken that risky step.
  2. Having multiple social networking accounts online means having to individually update your profile picture on each network. Avatar Harmony helps you synchronise your profile pictures between Facebook and Twitter.
  3. Create your own QR code online. QR codes are a square matrix type barcode that hold encrypted information. They are widely used in marketing to provide an extremely easy way for end users to be directed to web content, initiate an SMS, and receive contact information as a Vcard and more.

 

#MarketingTitbits – Facebook, Pinterest & Halloween

facebook-pinterest-halloween-final-s1. Facebook brand reputation suffers over beheading videos
In May earlier this year, Facebook released a statement saying that they will ban all graphic content uploaded to the social networking site, until it has been reviewed by them. Despite this, last week Facebook made the decision not to ban a very graphic video of a woman being beheaded. Subsequently, Facebook users  and various groups across society expressed dismay at Facebook’s new stance  – especially given children as young as 13 can have a Facebook page and therefore, access to content on Facebook. Even the Prime Minister, David Cameron, tweeted “It’s irresponsible of Facebook to post beheading videos, especially without a warning. They must explain their actions to worried parents.” In response to the public outcry, Facebook backtracked and altered their policy. Take a look at the full article, click here.

2. Pinterest is now worth $3.8billion

Pinterest is a photo-sharing site first launched in March 2010. Since its inception, it has gone on to become one of social media’s success stories. In December 2011, the site became one of the top 10 largest social media sites according to Hitwise data. In October 2013, Pinterest now has 70 million users and 2.5 billion monthly page views. It is the fastest growing social networking site and has about 500,000 business accounts. Pinterest is now valued at a whopping $3.8 billion. If you’re not already a ‘pinner’, it is well worth taking a look to see if it could help your business. To find out more, here’s a great article from Mashable, click here.

3. Halloween marketing

Halloween is seen by businesses large and small as an opportunity to tap into the population’s increasing fascination with the ghoulish festival . Restaurants, bars and cafes ‘halloween-ify’ their menus with “Scary Sausage and Mash” or “Creepy Coffee”, whilst online retailers offer ‘Spooky’ deals and discounts. Despite the plethora of cynically tenuous attempts to jump on the Halloween bandwagon, the likes of Carling, Booking.com and Lyles have been a bit cleverer. They have gone the extra mile with their Halloween marketing this year. To take a look at the good, the bad and the ghastly of Halloween marketing 2013, click here.

Marketing Trends 2012

2012 has arrived and we are very excited! It is time to look at the challenges and opportunities ahead and start planning your marketing strategy for 2012, if you haven’t done so already.
Relationships are key

According to numerous marketing sources and we’d agree, the future of marketing lies in customer relationships. This is supported by the rise of social media, where consumers can engage with your brand at anytime. Gone are the days when companies could control external communications concerning their organisation. The power now resides with the consumer or client. Listening and responding to their needs is vital.

Traditional advertising is over

Your customer’s ability to identify whether what’s being promoted is something useful to them or just “advertising” has become infinitely more acute. According to Andrew Baird at Amazing Business, ignoring ads is at an all time high, so successful marketing relies on being shared online. Customers can then “like”, recommend and share their opinions through this medium.

Word of mouth marketing

Now more than ever, a consistent online presence is crucial to business success. Through conducting regular client surveys on behalf of our clients, TLC Business has persistently found that referrals, whether on or offline, are still a vital tool for sourcing a new service. The rise in social media activity has made it much easier for consumers to recommend or advise against a service and have their message shared far beyond their own social circles. This is further verified by the Buyersphere 2011 report on changing B2B buyer behavior, which identifies referrals as one of the most influential channels when appointing and sourcing a supplier.

Integrated on and offline

Alongside active consumer engagement, TLC Business emphasises the importance of  on and offline marketing convergence.  With all the noise about digital marketing, it is easy to forget that more traditional marketing methods can still be incredibly effective. Using both mediums together can result in greater returns on your marketing investment. Integral to successfully implementing this strategy is ensuring all your marketing efforts support each other, working in unison, rather than each independently in its own bubble. For successful integration, make sure online and offline business campaigns are consistent, coherent and in sync with each other.

QR codes

TLC Business’ Director, Josh Spencer, believes that 2012 will be the year QR codes finally realise their potential and become more widely used. For those that haven’t heard, QR is short for Quick Response. These barcodes are used to take a piece of information from an advertisement or product and transfer it to a mobile device. For small businesses, this code can be added to a wide variety of marketing material, including: stationery, adverts, promotional items, posters, stands etc. and direct users to a specific landing page. Using this tool means that information about your business can be accessed instantaneously and at any time. Crucially, it also gives businesses a fantastic way of measuring the effectiveness of a variety of marketing tools that previously would have proved difficult.

Don’t get lazy

Don’t rest on your laurels. What has worked in the past will not necessarily prove effective today. Make sure you adopt strategies that are up-to-date with today’s “switched on” consumers and exploit the latest improvements in marketing tools and technology. For businesses looking to grow their client base and improve customer relations, developing a well rounded and relevant marketing plan is essential. In today’s fast moving society, marketing strategies should be constantly evolving and changing; tools that were successful in 2011, may not be as effective in 2012.

Do your homework

The beginning of a new year also allows business owners the opportunity to diversify their marketing. Research shows that 57% of entrepreneurs interviewed said that marketing was their top priority this year. SMEs that want to continue to build their reputation in the marketplace in 2012 must be aware of consumer needs. Experimenting with different channels will enhance your opportunities, so what better time to try new approaches. Determine those channels that are most profitable and those that aren’t. The New Year marks a time for change, and small businesses are no exception. By refreshing your marketing strategy, you can breathe new life into your business and make 2012 a great your for your business.

We are looking forward to joining you on your journey!

What your SME can learn from social media

Last month, we introduced the first instalment of our three part blog, ‘What SMEs can learn from big businesses’. Part 1 highlighted ‘Guerrilla marketing’ and how larger organisations are adopting innovative campaigns in order to raise brand awareness and create that vital social buzz.  This month, part 2 focuses on social media and how more and more companies are including the likes of Facebook and Twitter into their marketing mix to help grow their business and attract potential customers.

Out of the total 7 billion people living on the planet, 1.5 billion use social media. From Twitter and Facebook to Google+ and Pinterest, social media has now become ingrained into our contemporary lifestyles, making it easier to engage and share content with individuals online, no matter what the social and geographical boundaries. But social media is no longer just influencing our personal lives; one in three businesses now use social media, with 58% of consumers ‘liking’ at least one brand on Facebook.

Companies are now harnessing the power of social media to build their brands within the landscape of status updates, pins and tweets. To create successful social media campaigns, an investment of time is essential. However, this alone is not enough. A note of caution – it is easy to rush into tweeting and posting pictures, without really understanding why you are doing it and what you hope to achieve. Like any marketing activity, researching, planning and implementing strategies are critical to turning a great idea into great results.

Here are some good and bad examples how some well known companies have used social media to engage with their audience.

1. In October 2012, Cisco, the multinational networking equipment giant, wanted to make sure that they were listening to their customers and responding to questions and queries in ways that were relevant and accurate. With this in mind, Cisco launched their Social Media Listening Centre. On a daily basis, the centre monitors around 5,000 social mentions across 70 company-related platforms, from Facebook pages, Twitter accounts, LinkedIn and YouTube, to company blogs and forums. According to a recent independent evaluation of these listening activities, Cisco achieved a 281% return on their investment over a 5-month period, amounting to an annual cost benefit of over just over £991 million. This was calculated by comparing what Cisco spent on implementing and training staff to use social marketing tool with the benefits received, the avoidance of marketing and customer service costs to achieve the same results, along with indirect benefits, such as increased staff productivity. The results indicated that the new centre helped Cisco employees deal with more enquiries at a faster rate.

2. To celebrate their 100th anniversary, Oreo posted 100 adverts on their Facebook page over 100 days. During the campaign, Oreo’s Facebook friends went up from 26million to 27million and its Facebook interactions increased by 195%. The posts included relevant topics, quotes about Oreos, humorous cartoons and even Oreo themed recipes. The time invested in developing their Facebook campaign paid off as Oreo won the top Studio Award prize from Facebook.

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3. However, interacting closely with consumers online can backfire if you have not planned your campaign successfully.  Earlier this year, Tesco posted on their Facebook page “Click LIKE if you love getting your groceries delivered.” Alongside people liking the post, there were numerous comments from customers explaining their bad experiences with Tesco’s home delivery service. Tesco did not ignore or delete the comments, instead they responded to every single user, asking for details so they could look into each case and try and solve the problem.

4. Unfortunately, Waitrose’s attempt at #hashtags wasn’t exactly what they had planned either. In 2012, Waitrose invited customers to complete the sentence ‘I shop at Waitrose because… #WaitroseReasons’.  What Waitrose thought was a great way to showcase the affordability of the brand backfired, with Twitter users mocking the brands position within the market and their target audience. For example, ‘I shop at Waitrose because it makes me feel important and I absolutely detest being around poor people #WaitroseReasons. ‘I shop at Waitrose because I was once in the Holloway Rd branch and heard a dad say ‘Put the papaya down, Orlando!’

For a company embarking on using social media as part of their marketing, the seemingly endless choice and possibilities can see daunting. However, adopting the right platforms to represent your brand is important.  Twitter and Facebook are good for creating conversations with customers and responding to queries, complaints or praise. For the brands that are more visual, sites like Pinterest and Instagram provide an array of creative opportunities. The key to successful social media isn’t just about how many fans, followers or mentions you have, instead the secret to building your brand is the interaction between your business and your online community. For your campaigns to run smoothly, creating a social media strategy is essential. It will help your brand stay in the right direction, generate a return on investment, as well as increase your visibility online.

April’s Top Marketing Tips

  1. A selection of SME apps for your blackberry. From a travel assistant that gives users instant access to travel and weather updates to an app to help you source the best place for a business lunch.
  2. Mylikesbox – Facebook application that provides an easy way to view your Facebook likes.  Each page’s thumbnail image is shown for easy recognition. You can also filter your Likes by viewing pages according to their categories.
  3. Do Less – Another eBook from Seth Godin. Learn how to be pickier about what you do and who you do it for so you can enjoy more of your life.