Businesses have finally landed a place on Instagram

The world’s leading photo-sharing app has announced a new feature that we’ve all been waiting for – company pages!
Instagram previewed the new profiles and tools for businesses earlier in the month, and they will soon be available to people in the US, New Zealand and Australia over the next few months. But don’t panic Britain; they’re slowly introducing the new feature, so we’ll get our hands on it at some point!

The new update will add a contact button to profiles, as well as detailed analytics and easier access to promotional tools, which can transform company posts in advertisements.

For companies, the most useful feature will be the addition of a contact button, where consumers will be able to easily interact with the brand. Companies will be given the option to add an email address, contact number or text message option, alongside location directions.

As stated earlier, Instagram will also give users with a company profile the ability to access analytics data. Similar to Facebook analytics, Instagram’s insights provide a detailed look at post engagement, audience and follower demographics.

Alongside the new business feature, Instagram is also testing a new algorithmic feed, which will order posts by relevance, rather than chronological order – a move that has particularly upset many businesses and personal users alike.

Being fans of the photo-sharing app ourselves, we’re eager for the new business feature to roll out into the UK. Let us know your thoughts!

#MarketingTitbits – Google’s Guidelines, Instagram Changes, Original Logos

google-instagram-logos1. 12 practical content tips from Google’s Page Quality guidelines
During November last year, Google released a series of Page Quality rating guidelines for website owners, based on Google’s approximation of the highest and lowest quality content found today.

One particular guideline which caught the attention of entrepreneurs was to improve their 404 (page not found) message, where many website owners now give an explanation to why the page couldn’t be found. Google also suggested that websites shouldn’t be stingy with contact information, providing specific email addresses and phone numbers rather than a contact form.

Click here for the full 12 practical tips from Google’s Page Quality guidelines.

2. Instagram looks to woo small businesses through further Facebook integration

The photo-sharing network is turning its attention to small business owners to boost their advertising offering, as part of its global expansion strategy. Facebook acquired the photography app three years ago for $1bn, and according to Instagram’s chief operating officer, Marne Levine, Instagram have been heavily relying on their parent company’s sales team.

Levine states “I think that what you’ll see in 2016 is small businesses starting to advertise more and take advantage of this platform”. In 2015, research indicated that marketers are rapidly embracing Instagram, are you one of them?

To read more, click here.

3. The original logos of Apple, Amazon and other tech giants

Symbols and colour choices are vital for a brand’s identity, and as trends change, brands change. Often companies go through a strange brand phase, and large organisations, like Apple and Microsoft are no exception.

Apple’s early logo, dedicated to Sir Isaac Newton, is a far cry from the slick, clean, minimalist design now associated with the tech giant. Microsoft experimented with an ‘edgy’ style in 1980 and Amazon’s early logo perhaps indicated the company’s long term designs to extend their offering far beyond books. A book was nowhere to be seen,  despite it being their core product at the time.

Want to see how more big brands have developed their logos? Click here.

#MarketingTitbits – Market Research, Instagram Guide, Internet Facts

research-instagram-internet1. How to do market research on a small budget
Ever wondered how to carry out market research on a small budget? When launching a new product or service, companies must understand their customers’ needs and wants, and this is achieved through research and development. Companies such as Unilever and Coca-Cola spend millions each year on their R&D; however, Marketing Week have shared six ways on how to keep those costs down.

According to Jane Frost, CEO at the Market Research Community, brands should always opt for quality over quantity. With this in mind, read on for tips on how to keep those market research costs down – Click here.

2. A marketer’s guide to Instagram video

Instagram, without a doubt, brings out the visual appeal of brands across the world. No matter what the industry, a brand can find its place on Instagram and create some really eye-catching, innovative content.

Brands such as Red Bull rely on Instagram to promote their product through original content. For Red Bull it’s a simple case of reflecting its association with extreme sports through the sharing of relevant video clips. As well as originality, playing to the emotions is also a successful way of grasping a consumer’s attention. Clips from Save the Children prompted an emotional response from consumers, making it one of the most shared clips on Instagram to date.

Click here for Instagram marketing tips.

3. 10 facts, and clever observations, about the internet that will blow your mind

When thinking about how far the Internet has come in the last 20 years, it’s mind-blowing. Consider, for instance, that it took the telephone 75 years to reach 50 million users around the world, whereas it only took the Internet 4 years, as well as the Angry Birds app just 35 days (thanks to the Internet).

Not blown away by that impressive fact? There are 3.2 billion Internet users worldwide, accounting for almost 44% of the global population. As well as that, 950 million households worldwide own a television, but twice as many people access the Internet from a handheld device. After this incredible evolution of technology over such a brief period of time, what will life look like in just a few short years?

To read 10 mind-blowing facts about the Internet, click here.

#MarketingTitbits – Instagram Followers, CoolBrands 2015, Google’s 18th Birthday

instagram-coolbrands-google1. Instagram now has 400 million users
It’s been 5 years since Instagram’s release, and the image sharing app’s growth shows no sign of slowing down. Earlier this week Instagram announced that it now has 400 million monthly active users, compared to just 300 million in December last year.

Instagram has now doubled its user base in the short span of just 18 months, which stands in sharp contrast to Twitter, which continues to struggle with user growth. Of course, Instagram still has a long road ahead of them before they catch up with Facebook; however, Instagram founder Kevin Systrom previously credited Facebook for helping the company achieve such a rapid growth.

Click here for more information.

2. Luxury brands lose their ‘cool’ status as digital challengers climb the ranks

Whilst luxury brands appear to be losing their ‘cool status’, digital distributor brands like Netflix and Instagram are moving up the CoolBrands list, according to a survey of 2,500 British consumers and a panel of 36 key influencers.

Apple has managed to retain its position as the UK’s coolest brand for the fourth year running, and Ray-Ban continues to climb high; however, new-comers such as Spotify, Instagram and Netflix are notable inclusions.

To see the top 20 CoolBrands, click here.

3. Celebrating Google’s 18th Birthday

Google’s domain name was first registered in 1997, making this year its 18th birthday. To celebrate this special occasion, Google shows us what each algorithm update was designed to achieve and their influence on content marketing today.

The algorithm updates have been demanding and disruptive to say the least; however, the impact has astounding. In theory, businesses are able to differentiate their brand from the competition, increase traffic to their website and customer loyalty, just by meeting or exceeding Google standards for content quality – it all sounds so easy right?

To see the algorithm updates since 1997 and the impact they have had, click here.

#MarketingTitbits – Masters of Marketing, Instagram, Google Analytics

award-photo1. Get your nominations in for brand of the year at the Masters of Marketing Awards
Marketing Week are seeking nominations for the ‘brand of the year’ category at the Masters of Marketing Awards, held at this year’s Festival of Marketing. They’re on the hunt for their readers to name the brand whose work has impressed them the most in 2015.

The Masters of Marketing is a new way of celebrating the most inspirational work in the marketing industry. The ‘brand of the year’ must be capable of showing the power of marketing to the wider business community, as well as demonstrating marketing excellence to their consumers.

To find out how to nominate, click here.

2. How Instagram is changing the way brands look at photography, online and beyond

Instagram has completely reinvented the way people see themselves and others. Design teams are beginning to see the benefits of moving away from over-edited photography and instead are favouring Instagram’s more organic look.

As Nathan Iverson states, evp and design director at Deutsch LA, “Instagram certainly isn’t pioneering the use of effects, but it is resurrecting and evolving an old-school aesthetic”. For advertisers, the network has quickly become one of the top ad platforms for major brands, so designers are beginning to move from traditional designs in favour of content that looks more natural.

Click here for more information.

3. How to stop referral spam from screwing up your Google Analytics stats

Google Analytics users will know the dreaded task of finding ways to stop referral spam, but we might have found the solution. Referral spam has been a trend for the last year or two, and is virtually impossible to prevent. It occurs when some corrupt website owner attempts to send bogus referral traffic to a website or product; however this is not actual traffic.

So how do we get rid of referral spam? Econsultancy shows us how Google Analytics filtering allows the website owner to filter out any concerning referral traffic so they can’t interfere in the future.

To find out how to do so, click here.

#MarketingTitbits – Gmail, Google, Vine

Gmail-GoogleAuthorship-Instagram-smaller1. Gmail offers unsubscribe link and the world of email marketing comes to an end
If you send emails out to your database on a regular basis, this might be one for you to read. As you may already know, if you receive what feels like millions of sales emails in your inbox each week, it can be really hard and time consuming to unsubscribe.

Many companies will hide the unsubscribe button in reams of small print at the very bottom of the email and you just don’t have the time or the energy to look through it all. However, times have changed if you use Gmail. They have now made it even easier to unsubscribe from emails that you no longer want or need in your inbox.

To read more about how you can unsubscribe or people can unsubscribe from your emails, click here. 


2. The value of Google authorship for your content strategy

You may never have heard of Google Authorship before, but if you’re updating your blog or website with regular content, you should be thinking about it.

In basic terms it is Google’s new way of making more credible content appear in people’s searches. Any content that you post to your website will link to your Google+ profile, giving your company a face. This boosts the click-thru rate of the post by up to 150% when it appears in search engine results.

Depending on your AuthorRank you may be eligible for Google Authorship. This looks at things such as how regularly you post, how many people are in your Google+ circles and your authority among other social media channels. To read more and to find out if you’re eligible, click here. 

3. Has Instagram killed Vine?

Instagram is one of the most widely used image based social media channels in the world. Instagram has roughly 130million users against Vine’s 13 million users.

13 million users is nothing to be sniffed at and if your target audience falls within the typical Vine demographic, it could be the place for you. However, with the strength of Instagram clear and growing by the day, as a marketer where should you spend your time Vine or Instagra? To read more about the Instagram vs. Vine debate, click here.

#MarketingTitbits – infographics, thrilling branded videos, eco apps

econsultancy-thrillingvids-ecoapps-smaller1. Five of Econsultancy’s best infographics from 2014
Econsultancy has compiled a round-up of their favourite infographics from this year, all addressing the subject of marketing. Many of the surveys carried out during the year have discovered that there exists a continuous shift from traditional to digital marketing, with marketers top three priorities this year all being digital. Furthermore, the opportunities associated with mobile marketing are made stark, alongside the fact that 71% of businesses surveyed are looking to increase their digital marketing budget, reinforces the importance of digital marketing to today’s businesses. Discover the skills that make up the ‘modern’ marketer.

To see all 5 of the infographics, click here.

2. 25 most thrilling branded Vines and Instagram videos of all time

If you’ve got a few minutes to spare, take a look at these 25 thrilling viral videos from social media favourites, Vine and Instagram.

You may find comfort in the safety of your front row seat as you watch some of the daredevil stunts that could either inspire you to release your inner adrenaline junky, or force you to shy away from any extreme ventures for life.

Many familiar brands such as GoPro, Red Bull, Nike and Ford feature, giving us an insight into their weird yet exciting minds.

Sit down, relax and click here to watch all 25.

3. 7 apps to make you more environmentally friendly

Around the world today, more and more people are becoming increasingly aware of their impact on the environment. Many are keen to take measures to reduce this impact. Are you one of them?

If the answer is yes, then you might benefit from taking a look at this list of apps to help make you more environmentally friendly. View your carbon footprint, download NASA’s images of change app, where you can see the shocking changes place to our environment, there are 5 more. So whether you’re a business or an individual, if you are looking to reduce your impact on the environment, one of these apps should help you along the way.

To see the full list of the apps, click here.

#MarketingTitbits – John Lewis, mobile optimisation, Instagram

johnlewis-mobile-instagram-smaller1. John Lewis’ director of comms on upholding the reputation of a loved brand
As one of the UK’s biggest brands, it’s no surprise that John Lewis has a tough task on its hands maintaining the reputation that has been built up over the past 150 years. Communications Director, Peter Cross, has spoken to Marketing Week and reveals his thoughts on the pressure that he faces.

Cross describes the challenge as a ‘privilege’, explaining that working in retail today requires bravery to allow you to stay ahead of the game. He also tells of an annual sales report revealing that at a time of digital evolution, 85% of the brands sales involved the store in some way, showing that roles of different channels are being reshaped to enhance experiences for the modern shopper.

2014 marked a huge 150-year milestone for John Lewis, but what does 2015 hold for the high street giant? To find out, you can click here.

2. 23 reasons why mobile users will abandon your site

Mobile commerce seems to be in a never-ending cycle of growth, with 37% of all retail sales over the Christmas period being completed through a mobile device. However, there are still many ways in which brands are failing to provide the best user experience through these devices, so we’re revealing just some.

Examples of brands that have been caught out for their mistakes include Currys, for the unwelcome appearance of numerous pop-ups, Tesco, who make people’s lives that bit more difficult with their tiny links and Thomas Cook, who wouldn’t appear to make many conversions through mobile whilst pages load at an extremely slow pace.

If you’d like to see the remaining guilty parties, click here.

3. How to build your business on Instagram

After launching a clothing business from the comfort of his own home, Alan Wardle and AnyForty have finally moved into their own offices after 6 years, and declare Instagram as its key marketing tool. But how do you succeed on the photo-sharing app?

Instagram has allowed creative businesses like AnyForty to build a solid customer base that can be constantly updated with new visual content that is fun, exciting and relevant. Alan shares a number of tips, which include scouring for relevant hashtags that could be beneficial to your business, replying back to photos your business is tagged in and always keeping followers up to date by posting fresh content on a regular basis.

To read more about the success of this start-up and how you can do the same, click here.

#MarketingTitbits – Amazon, GIFs and Instagram video

amazon-GIFs-instagram-smaller1. Amazon to take on Google and Microsoft by offering corporate emailThe Wall Street Journal has recently reported on Amazon’s plans to shake up corporate email with the introduction of WorkMail, a cloud-based email service with a $4 per month price tag, rivalling the likes of Gmail and Microsoft Outlook 365.

The move suggests that Amazon is looking to expand its services further into the business sector, running as part of Amazon Web Services, which controls technology behind consumer brands like Netflix and Pinterest. The email software will offer encryption features and the ability to only store content in designated countries, also.

To read more into Amazon’s bold move, click here.

2. Making GIFs just got easier with Imgur’s new GIF creation tool

For those who aren’t sure, GIF stands for Graphics Interchange Format and is a loosely compressed graphic that can commonly be found on websites, made up of simple shapes and a limited number of colours. And now making your own GIFs is easier than ever.

Imgur is a free image and GIF hosting website and has released a video creation tool which allows users to create looping GIFs from videos found on the likes of YouTube and Vimeo. All you have to do is copy and paste a video link, select your start time and duration between 1 and 15 seconds, and have your GIF come to life.

To see a demonstration and more information on the new tool, you can head to Mashable by clicking here.

3. 12 best branded Instagram videos from January 2015

Instagram has risen up the social media ranks with their video sharing feature over the past year, competing against other top channels such as Vine. Lots of brands are jumping into the scene and Econsultancy have compiled a list of their favourites from last month, so we’re outlining just some!

In the top 12 you will find Samsung showing off their advancements in technology, Mr Porter showcasing possibly all of their product line in 15 seconds and Starbucks, who are expressing their love of coffee. But we doubt the list could be complete without the inclusion of GoPro and Red Bull, as both brands take us to extremes to share their passion for video.

Check out all of the videos by clicking here.


#MarketingTitbits – Instagram marketing, brand taglines, Google+ changes

instagram-travel-google-smaller1. What brands need to know about Instagram marketing
By 2017, Instagram’s mobile ad revenue is due to quadruple to reach $2.81bn, making its mobile display ad business bigger than both Twitter and Google in the US. There are already more than 500 brand campaigns and Instagram continues to add new features to make the service more appealing to advertisers.

As Tom Richards points out from We Are Social,Instagram already has a parent company in Facebook that has already built up and multi-billion dollar social ad business and can use its learnings to help Instagram grow even faster. Marketers have used the site to sell an image of their brands, in particular fashion and travel sectors.

For more on Instagram’s expansion, click here.

2. Lost in translation: when brand taglines don’t travel

Brand taglines such as KFC and Mcdonald’s are the most recognised in Britain today, but when they cross oceans they can mean something entirely different. We searched the depths of the internet to find the best, or worst.

KFC’s ‘finger licking good’ slogan is known all over the world. But when the fast-food giant hit China, the translation of their tasty slogan wasn’t so appetising. Pepsi experienced a similar problem in China where their slogan ‘come alive you’re with Pepsi’ translated into something completely different. Due to this, sales have dropped significantly since the launch of the campaign.

Click here to find out more.

3. What the Google+ changes mean for marketers

Since its launch in 2011, Google+ has been an integral part of the Google experience, as the search giant used it to unify its disparate services. Google has made it clear that it knows it is never going to compete directly with Facebook for social networking supremacy. However, as Bradley Horowitz explains, Google’s VP of streams and sharing, a Google account will be all you’ll need to share content.

For marketers, the diverging fortunes are a reminder that the most meaningful platforms of tomorrow are equally likely to come from companies nobody has heard of. Either way, marketers still using or interested in Google+ can now treat it as something other than a poor Facebook competitor.

Take a look at more Google+ changes by clicking here.