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2017 Top Marketing Statistics To Help You Plan For 2018

As 2017 is drawing to a close, and 2018 is on the horizon, TLC Business have taken a moment to look at the digital marketing statistics of 2017 and picked a few to explore in greater detail, to help shape your marketing content strategy in the year to come. Not only will we be discussing the relative merits of the various social media platforms, but we will also take a look at the current influences and trends around video, email and content marketing.

Who won the Social Media war in 2017?

Published figures suggest there are around 2.3 billion active Social Media users in the world right now. For most marketers who have utilised social media into their marketing strategy already or for those who are planning to, their biggest concern is about successfully targeting the right audience on the correct social media platform. So, let’s take a look at which were the most popular social sites in 2017, ranked by number of active monthly users.

1. Facebook

Coming in at the number 1 spot is Facebook, with 1.9 billion active users every month and an average of 6 new profiles created every second. Facebook is the most popularly used social media platform, with 22% of the world’s total population using it. It is also an ideal platform for targeting females between 18-49 years old. Statistics indicate that 83% of women online use Facebook, compared to 75% of men online. However, it still holds a wide general appeal, with the widest demographic of users and the most active out of all the platforms; therefore, it is no wonder Facebook is the overall top choice of platform for businesses. There are already 40 million small business users who actively use Facebook and 2 million businesses pay for Facebook advertising.

2. YouTube

With 1 billion active monthly users, YouTube is the 2nd most popular of the social media sites and has a higher proportion of men using it. 55% of males online use YouTube, compared to 45% of females online. More than 500 million hours of videos are watched by its audience of predominantly 18-49 year olds every day, this equals an average of 2 million video views per minute! Video marketing is one of the hot topics for 2018 and we will explore it further in our top trends for 2018 blog.

3. Instagram

At number 3 is Instagram, with 700 million active monthly users. Owned by Facebook, statistics show that 90% of Instagram users are under 35 and the users are predominantly female. 53% of ‘Instagrammers’ follow brands on the platform, making it another popular choice of social media channels for businesses. For millennials, Instagram is considered their most important and favourite social network to use. Over 80 million photos are uploaded by users every day, and in June this year, they introduced the function to add Instagram Live videos to your Instagram Story for 24 hours, as well as the ability to save live video to your device, making it a particularly popular platform for live video functionality.

4. The Rest…

Following Instagram in fourth place is (the now not so popular) Twitter – that is unless you are a male and between 18-29. The platform has 328 million unique monthly users, most of which only use Twitter for an average of 2.7 minutes per day. A staggering 53% of Twitter users never post any updates. Snapchat is in fifth place with 300 million active monthly users, 74% of whom are under 34 years old and 70% of which are female. LinkedIn, in sixth place, has 106 million active monthly users and is the No.1 choice of platform for professionals and particularly B2B organisations. Fact: LinkedIn users are slightly less likely to use another social media network compared to users of other platforms. In seventh place is Pinterest. It has 200 million active monthly users and is the most popular network for women aged 18-64, with 42% of all women online using the platform vs only 17% of men online. Another interesting point to add is that 10% of people that click thru to an e-commerce site via Pinterest are more likely to make a purchase compared to if they were referred from any other network. Something to consider for the B2C marketers out there.

The Rise of Video Marketing

2017 saw another increase in the use of video marketing in campaigns and the statistics continue to grow as we get closer to 2018. If you’re unsure of which platform to use, the answer is don’t worry about it. They all have their merits. Facebook generates 8 billion video views on average per day according to Social Media Today and YouTube reports mobile video consumption rises 100% every year (Hubspot), so it’s no wonder that video has become increasingly popular as a marketing method and marketers are investing more and more in paid or sponsored social video. According to Hubspot, a staggering 80% of users recall a video ad they have viewed in the past 30 days and after watching a video, 64% of users are more likely to buy a product online. Live streaming videos have also been in the limelight in 2017, with people spending 3 times longer watching a live social video compared to one that is pre-recorded. By 2020, 80% of global internet traffic will be attributed to video consumption and 48% of marketers plan to add video to their content strategy in the next year if they haven’t already done so. But not only is video being uploaded and shared on social platforms, it has proven to be successful within web and email marketing content too. According to Unbounce, including a video on a landing page can increase conversion rates by 80%. In terms of email marketing, Syndacast said using the word ‘video’ in an email subject line boost the open rates by 19% and Hubspot suggests a video in an email leads to 200-300% increase in click-through rates. So, if you haven’t already incorporated video into your marketing plan, now is the time to do so.

Increasing Content for Mobile

The number of users web browsing on mobile devices increases +25% year-on-year and mobile is the number 1 choice of device for accessing the web and social media. By 2018, mobile content will account for 72% of digital ad spend according to eMarketer and the growth in businesses creating mobile-ready content is rapid. Businesses are creating more content for the smaller screen, including mobile-optimised websites, social media pages, videos, imagery and mobile-optimised emails. Tubular Insights recently stated that 84% of viewers are watching social video via mobile; therefore, creating video that seamlessly adapts to the size of screen it is being watched on is important for creating an effective user experience. According to Forbes, square videos take up 78% more space in the Facebook News Feed and get more engagement than horizontal videos. Mobile-only social network platforms, such as Snapchat, also continue to grow in popularity and are encouraging more time to be spent on mobiles. However, despite the favourable use of mobile devices, statistics show that mobile conversion rates are still much lower than desktop conversion rates, as people simply aren’t as ready to buy on the small screen. There are plenty of understandable reasons for this: people find it hard to navigate websites and make purchases on a smaller screen; people may not feel payments are as secure on mobile as they are on desktop; people might see phones as a device for browsing and entertainment, whilst desktops are the devices for making purchases. These are all issues which can be overcome with relatively simple strategies, such as: adapting your online content to fit mobile screens, introducing better access and ease of navigation across your website, providing a clear message that the online security measures are the same as desktop devices etc. Measures like these will improve mobile conversation rates and overall user satisfaction. Ultimately, you are playing into your competitors’ hands if you are not able to reach and engage with your audience through mobile and you are missing a trick.

Creating consistent content across multiple platforms is also important for delivering a smoother user experience online. Users rarely stick to one device and will often be multi-screening across several devices. Whilst mobile is the number one choice, many users still express preferences for visiting certain websites on desktop over mobile; therefore, although it’s important that organisations should offer mobile-optimised sites, in the meantime the desktop experience should not be sacrificed. This is why the majority of businesses are using adaptive designs in their content strategy, where layout and content are tailored for both desktop, tablet and various mobile screen dimensions. Another point to consider as part of a mobile content strategy is the creation of mobile apps vs mobile sites. Particularly for B2C businesses, the consumer preference for apps over websites or vice versa should be considered. Make sure you do your home work over which option your customers prefer.

E-mail Marketing

Did you know that 50% of smartphone users grab their smart phone immediately after waking up to check their social media networks and emails? This probably comes as no surprise as there’s a 50/50 chance that you do too. Integrating a mobile responsive email template into a businesses’ content plan is the bare minimum you should be doing, considering mobile email opens have grown by 180% in the last three years according to Email Monday. By next year, 8 in 10 email users will likely access their email accounts exclusively from their mobile devices and 79% of people already use their smartphone for reading emails; which is a higher percentage than those who use it for making calls. However, not only is mobile-optimised email content a necessity for successful email marketing. So too is utilising a rich variety of content and employing segmented email campaigns. Firstly ‘rich content’ can facilitate user interaction, for example videos, polls and infographics encourage user interaction, whilst simultaneously collecting consumer insights. Segmented email campaigns have an open rate that is 14.32% higher than non-segmented email campaigns according to Mailchimp; therefore, it is important to ‘clean-up’ and order your data regularly. GDPR will make this even more relevant in 2018.

A simple tip, if you are embracing email marketing in 2018. Before you start smothering your emails in graphics, videos, polls and fancy templates, first test your campaign and check that it displays effectively on different email platforms, such as outlook, gmail, yahoo, etc. – it is very common to encounter compatibility issues across different email clients and operating systems, which may affect your audience experience. Most e-marketing software platforms will allow you to do this simple and painlessly.

Social Media Marketing in the General Election

A week on from the June General Election and Britain’s political future is facing fresh uncertainty. What was meant to be a clear win for the Conservatives, turned into one of the most surprising and memorable elections to date, with the Conservatives losing the majority and seeing Labour soar up the polls with their “for the many, not the few” manifesto. However, it wasn’t just the political parties’ manifestos which were catching peoples’ eyes; social media arguably took the front seat in this election, so with this in mind we’re taking a look at how the parties managed to do this.

Twitter

Corbyn and May both saw a big increase in their followings and engagement on Twitter.

Corbyn’s personal following grew by 45% from 850,000 to 1.2 million on Twitter, while May’s grew by 20% from 350,000 to 420,000.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Retweets: 18K
Likes: 27K

Scrolling through Corbyn’s Twitter, you’ll find several tweets branded with Labour’s key message during the election: ‘for the many, not the few’. Labour’s tweets focused mostly on social issues, such as healthcare and housing, and were shared almost three times more than posts by the Tories.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Retweets: 1.7K
Likes: 3.3K

In contrast, May focused on a “strong and stable leadership” and reinforced her policies on terrorism with her 4 actions to tackle Islamist extremism.

Both parties relied heavily on video marketing to get across their message on Twitter and often these were the tweets that received the most engagement.

Facebook

In terms of social media, Facebook arguably took the main stage in this election.

Once again, Labour saw a 75% increase in the number of page likes over the general election period, while the Conservatives saw a rise of just 10%.

Posts on the Labour Facebook page were shared more than one million times and received more than 1.7 million likes between the election being called and the polls closing on June 8, whilst posts, pictures and videos by the Conservative party were shared 360,000 times in total during the same period.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Likes: 1.5K
Shares: 734

On Facebook, Labour tried to appeal to the younger voters with their key manifesto promises, such as scrapping tuition fees and bringing back student grants. Labour also managed to win over young voters with its variety of celebrity endorsements, including the likes of Lily Allen and Billy Bragg.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Likes: 9.7K
Shares: 3.7K

Meanwhile, the Conservatives focused on the issue of Brexit, a strong economy and once again providing “stable and secure leadership” for Britain.

Both parties also took full advantage of Facebook ads to target particular constituencies. In the last two days of campaigning, Labour adverts were reportedly displayed to voters in 464 constituencies, compared to Tory adverts in just 205. It’s also been reported that the Tories spent more than £1 million on negative ads targeted at Corbyn, in an attempt to win the majority.

Snapchat

Until recently, Facebook and Twitter were the main places for politicians; however, Snapchat most definitely saw a rise in its status in this General Election.

The app; which has more than 10 million daily UK users, worked closely with Electoral Commission to design geofilters; which would encourage young voters to register and share their vote.

 

 

 

 

 

A record 250,000 young people signed up to vote in the 24 hours before the election deadline.

YouTube

The parties were also quick to utilise the power of video marketing with YouTube.
Labour provided its 22,000 subscribers with several videos a week, featuring interviews with celebrities, as well as Corbyn himself and on key issues such as Brexit and the NHS.

In contrast, the Conservatives took a slightly different approach for its 21,000 subscribers, with videos highlighting the weaknesses of the Labour party. Their most popular video, entitled ‘On June 9th, this man could be Prime Minister’ received over 1.3 million views in the space of 3 weeks.

It’s clear that social media is becoming ever more present in politics and appears to be getting more people involved. However, will Corbyn and May be able to keep up this momentum across their social media channels once the furore surround the General Election dies down and the politicians have to knuckle down and start running the country? Only time will tell.

How to Provide Great Customer Service through Social Media

Social media is changing the way we interact with customers, and it’s no longer just about whose posts get the most retweets or who has the most followers. An estimated 67% of consumers now use social media for customer service, and this online social support is becoming increasingly important for businesses wishing to maintain or develop a reputation for good customer service. If you want to improve your customer service through social media, read our top 5 tips below and take a look at a few industry examples we’ve found:

1. Respond quickly
Customers expect quick responses on social media; in fact 42% expect a reply within 60 minutes! Social media is all about immediacy and it’s therefore important to keep on top of all your social media accounts; look out for possible new messages, mentions or reviews and reply as quickly as possible.

2. Don’t just acknowledge the positive reviews
Of course no one likes a bad review, but if you can acknowledge it and show that you’re willing to resolve the issue, it shows that you’re dedicated to providing good customer service. It’s your chance to turn a negative review into a more positive one in the future. For example, if a customer is unhappy with a product they’ve received, you may offer to send them a new one free of charge and offer them an exclusive discount for their next purchase.

3. Engage with your customers
Customers spend 20-40% more when brands engage with them on social media, so don’t just wait for your customers to come to you. Reposting images or initiating conversations shows you have a genuine interest, and gives your customers a more personalised brand experience, which never goes unnoticed.

4. Be creative with your responses
Customers value professionalism, but they also like brands that show a bit of personality too. Customers don’t just want to talk to a generic robot, they want human interaction. So whether it’s adding a bit of humour or responding in a chattier manner; if you think it’s appropriate, give it a go.

5. Don’t forget to follow up
Just like with any customer feedback you’d receive offline, don’t forget to follow up customer responses you’ve received on social media. Once again, it shows that your business genuinely cares about its customers, which means they’re more likely to stay loyal to your business.

Here are a few examples:

1. Starbucks

 

 

 

 

 


2. Pizza Express

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Tesco

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Domino’s

5 Things that Mattered this week in Marketing #MarketingMoments

As always, it’s been another busy week in the world of marketing. Here we’ve summed up the top 5 marketing stories to keep you up-to-date on the latest news and views in the industry.
1.Netflix and YouTube enter top 10 best brands list for first time

Youtube and Netflix have entered the top 10 on YouGov BrandIndex’s annual list of the UK’s top brands, for the first time this year, showing the increasing importance of online streaming services for consumers. YouTube placed 9th, whilst Netflix ranked 6th position.

Read more.

2. Twitter launches its new discovery tool Explore

In a bid to make the app more consumer-friendly, Twitter launched its discovery tool this week, to help make it easier for users to discover the latest trends and keep up with live news.

Read more.

3. A fifth of UK agencies lost business due to Brexit

A survey of over 200 advertising agencies in the UK has found that 22% reported losing business due to June’s Brexit outcome.

Read more.

4. #ThisGirlCan campaign makes a return

The hugely successful #ThisGirlCan campaign started its comeback this week, with a series of posters aimed at not just teenagers and their Mum’s, but now their Grandma’s too. The new TV ad is due to come out later this month.

Read more.

5. Brands take a stand against Trump

Brands, including Starbucks, Nike and Airbnb, have been breaking their silence this week on Trump’s newly imposed Muslim-majority country ban, by offering individuals affected support, from jobs to places to stay.

Read more.

 

Saying Goodbye to Vine: 5 Times Marketers got it Right

Twitter announced last week that it will be shutting down its much loved 6 second video app Vine over the coming months. Vine was purchased by the company back in 2012 for a reported $30 million.
The shock announcement, which sent fans into a frenzy, also came in the wake of the news that Twitter is cutting its workforce by 9%. Twitter has not given a reason for the job cuts, however the company has reportedly been struggling to find a new buyer, leading to speculation of a possible company revamp in order to attract potential investors.

Despite no longer being able to use the mobile app, both Twitter and Vine have released a statement assuring fans that existing content will not be removed from the website. “We’ll be keeping the website online because we think it’s important to still be able to watch all the incredible Vines that have been made. “You will be notified before we make any changes to the app or website.”

Whilst Vine was well known for showcasing upcoming stars and comical content, the app also managed to attract the attention of some of the biggest brands in the world, with companies such as Sony and Adidas quickly realising the apps marketing potential.

With this is mind, we take a look back at some of the best marketing vines created in the last 4 years:

 

1.Oreo

Views/loops:243,236

https://vine.co/v/Mhln0j7IHJH

 

2.Dunkin Donuts

Views/Loops:29,643

https://vine.co/v/Mu3PQBPLdXe

 

3.The White House

Views/Loops:3,106,705

https://vine.co/v/O9TEhID2O2U

 

4.Smart Car

Views/Loops: 9,421

https://vine.co/v/O0MHinm6OL1

 

5.Marmite

Views/Loops: 1,056,024

https://vine.co/v/im3PDpevE0n

 

Marketing aside, here are the most popular vines:

 

1.A football fan captures the moment a bomb can be heard going off from inside the stadium during the November Paris attacks.

Views/loops:715,565,925

https://vine.co/v/iBb2x00UVlv

 

2. Leonardo Dicaprio pulls a funny face as Lady Gaga walks past at the Golden Globes.

Views/Loops:114,584,845

https://vine.co/v/iMAHYTw00bH

3. A little boy gets a surprise when a rotating foam stick picks him up.

Views/Loops: 95,820,686

https://vine.co/v/e6nLQQuYJPn

 

4. A toddler pretends to be excited about his avocado present.

Views/Loops:119,339,261

https://vine.co/v/ewJP7Mh0A1V

 

5. A dog pretends to be a human.

Views/Loops:24,282,342

https://vine.co/v/b623zdwVuJB

 

 

 

 

10 years of Twitter and some interesting facts that will blow your mind

Did you know that one of the early names considered for the platform was “Friendstalker”? We’re not so sure how successful the network would have been with that name or even if it would reach its 10th birthday; but, having done so and with over 305 million monthly users, we’re sharing some of the most impressive and fascinating facts about the platform to date.

Most retweeted tweet

Can you guess? That’s right, Ellen DeGeneres’ Oscar selfie, with her Hollywood A-lister friends, received over 3.3 million retweets on Twitter. Selfie-taking (for better or worse!) has now become a way of life for us all, to the extent that the term itself has now been accepted into our dictionaries. It somehow seems fitting then that the modern selfie phenomenon would lead to Twitter’s most significant sharing moment to date.

Most followed person

Somewhat surprisingly you might think, given the competition, American pop-star Katy Perry is Twitter’s most-followed person, boasting nearly 85 million users, which is more than the population of Spain. Katy is closely followed by pop prince Justin Bieber, with 78 million followers and pop princess, Taylor Swift, with 74 million.

Most tweeted emoji

To date, the most tweeted emoji with 14.5 billion impressions is the ‘tears of joy’ emoji. Personally, we like the aubergine!

Most tweeted hashtag

Hashtags have been named ‘the child of Twitter’. Their development enabled users to employ the hashtags to start a conversation, participate in trends and make new connections. The most popular hashtag to date is #FF – Follow Friday. For those of you not already #FF savvy, this is a popular phenomenon where users encourage their followers to follow new accounts; either because they’re new to the network or have done something worthy of recognition.

Total number of tweets

Since Twitter’s launch 10 years ago, the network has managed to generate 500 million tweets per day across the world. On average, 6,000 tweets are tweeted every second, which corresponds to over 350,000 tweets per minute.

Most geo-tagged location

Surprisingly, the most geo-tagged location is south-east Brazilian city Sao Paulo, having received over 638 million tags. Sao Paulo is classed as one of the world’s most popular cities with well over 11 million inhabitants.

With Twitter reaching its 10th birthday and generating 6,000 tweets per second, us marketers are intrigued to know what the numbers will look like on its 20th birthday? Will it even get there? With the rapid rise of rivals Instagram and Snapchat eating into Twitter’s audience and user base, some marketers are heralding its imminent demise. Will it become the next MySpace or have Twitter got something up their sleeve to secure its position in the social media platform hierarchy for another decade? Only time will tell…

If you’ve found any more fascinating facts about Twitter which you think is worthy of being added to our list, get in touch!

#MarketingTitbits – 2016 Business Trends, 10 New Year’s Resolutions, #Twitter10K

trends-resolutions-twitter1. 2016 trends: what will impact your business this year
New Year, new business? Marketing Week has put together a list of key issues to keep an eye out for in 2016. Other than pricing, will brands find something new to go to war on?

Mobile messaging is about to transform the way consumers interact with brands. Not only will this be for customer service issues, but also to manage appointments and make bookings. Hitting the #2 spot is mobile-friendly apps, where the UK will see the launch of Atom Bank – the first mobile-only bank. Same-day delivery services will also be top priority for businesses.

To view the 2016 trends in full, click here.

2. 10 New Year’s Resolutions entrepreneurs should make every year

Have you still kept to your New Year’s resolutions? If you are guilty of making unreasonable and unrealistic New Year’s resolutions, this could be for you. New goals being set at the beginning of each year can be a valuable assist in determining long-term success for businesses, and is something that entrepreneurs should consider seriously.

One of the top resolutions that every entrepreneur should make, is to commit to understanding one’s finances better, meaning familiarising oneself with accounting basics better. Being able to effectively run a business is an exhausting job; therefore improving health is another vital resolution. Keeping up on current events can also be important when looking to open conversations and build new relationships.

Were any of these on your list? If you’d like to see the full list, click here.

3. #Twitter1K: possibility of 10,000 character limit creates big buzz

As you probably already know, Twitter has some big changes in store for this year, and it’s created a huge buzz. Having to change words such as “you” to “u” will no longer be an issue, as there’s a strong possibility that the character limit will be extended.

In response to the proposed changes, many have shared their thoughts by using the hashtag #Twitter10K. Stephen Murdoch, Vice President at Enterprise Canada, shared “#Twitter10K. If someone can’t articulate their thoughts in 140 characters, it’s probably not worth reading”. On the other hand, Danny Gonzalez asks, “Why don’t people want the character limit to increase? I think it’s awesome. #Twitter10K”. What do you think and what will it do to Twitter’s appeal?

See what others thought by clicking here.

#MarketingTitbits – CES 2016, Social Media 2016, Year Of The Reviews

ces-socialmedia-reviews1. Five learnings for marketers from CES 2016
The Consumer Electronics Show hit Las Vegas last week, and it gave us marketers a chance to search out those innovative ideas for the year ahead. The Global Chief Strategy Officer at Initiative, Sarah Ivey, has managed to see through to the trends behind the tech, to make sense of what it means for marketers.

Machine communications lead the way at CES and are becoming a real force in marketing. We’ve all experienced Apple’s Siri or Microsoft’s Cortana, and with Ford revealing their plans to explore how a connected car could talk to an Amazon Echo home automation hub to control features in the vehicle and at home without your input, the opportunities for marketers are huge. Virtual Reality, the 4K viewing experience, the human UX and more all promise new and innovative channels for marketers.

Click here to view more learnings from CES 2016.

2. Five things great brands will do differently on social media in 2016

To say that 2015 was a success for social media platforms would be an understatement. Facebook alone generated revenue of £3.1bn. With no signs of social media marketing being on the wane, what will the big brands be doing differently on the platforms in 2016?

Investing more, embracing video even more, thinking differently and more.

To discover what brands will be doing differently for 2016 in more detail, click here.

3. Forget your testimonials page, 2016 is the year of reviews

Are you making the most out of your testimonials page? 2015 was a huge year for local search, with brands increasingly taking an interest in reviews. Reviews have always been important for consumers choosing a product and service, and with brands taking notice of this, 2016 is the year when the importance of reviews gets even greater.

It’s likely that the only traffic going to a business’s testimonials page is from the staff. Customers want to read honest, unbiased reviews on third-party sites. Since consumers are increasingly ignoring testimonials, links to other review sites are increasingly becoming the norm for brands. Is your business taking notice too?

For more information, click here.

#MarketingTitbits – Aldi’s Christmas Campaign, Marketing Moments, Periscope For Business

aldi-marketing-periscope1. Aldi’s ‘agile’ Christmas campaign wins first round of Christmas ad battle
With just 3 weeks to go until Christmas, Aldi has definitely run the most effective festive campaign of 2015, adopting an agile approach and social engagement to defeat their rival retailers. Aldi’s ‘man on the moon’ ad compared two telescopes – one John Lewis and the other Aldi which included Jean the infamous star of Aldi’s previous ads.

Aldi has managed to top a list of 13 retailers; scoring 154 compared to John Lewis’ lower score of 142. WE’s head of digital and insights, Gareth Davies, says “ If there’s one thing that the Aldi advert has shown us it’s that being agile and creating on-the-fly content can be a hugely successful strategy”.

Would you like to see the top 13 Christmas ads of 2015? Click here.

2. The top 10 marketing moments of 2015

With 2015 now coming to an end, us marketers have seen some of the most controversial, ground-breaking and, at times, baffling campaigns of the year. As we recap to some of the top marketing campaigns, Nicola Kemp unveils this year’s biggest marketing stories – enjoy!

There are no surprises here as Google have reached the #1 spot with their rewritten structure of Alphabet – their new holding company! Closely following Google was Apple and their new ‘Apple Watch’, as well as Moneysupermarket.com and their ‘Epic strut’ campaign which featured Sharon Osbourne.

Click here to view the top 10 marketing moments of 2015.

3. What is Periscope and how can you use it for business video streaming?

2016 is approaching and businesses are looking for the next tool to experiment with to advance their business strategy in the new year. For many, the next tool at the top of the list is Periscope – a video streaming/broadcasting service from Twitter which allows businesses to have video conversations through their network!

Anyone who follows your broadcast will be able to see your live video, like it, comment on it and even share it to other followers on Twitter. From a business perspective, Periscope is an excellent way to gain visibility. It’s important for businesses to be active on the platform to create a community with their target audiences – the more interactive, the better.

Want to learn more about Periscope? Click here.

What SMEs need to know for effective marketing in 2016 – seminar summary

Last week, TLC Business held our annual marketing seminar at The Mayflower Theatre in Southampton, but with a slight twist. We teamed up with Simon Harmer and his company Blown Away to deliver an inspirational session for businesses looking to get their marketing up and running.

This year, the focus was to ‘Get Your Marketing in Order for 2016’, and this blog will outline the main themes explored on the day, just in case you missed it!

Social media

With social media now firmly embedded into all our lives, it is clearly of big importance to us marketers. To help you succeed in your social media exploits, here are some top tips:

  1. Make sure your timing’s are on point. Many businesses fail to engage with their social media audience because they are posting at the wrong times. There are now a variety of scheduling platforms such as Buffer that suggests the best times to post updates for your business – so take advantage!
  2. Get your business on the right platforms. If you’re looking to build meaningful B2B connections and the ability to forge lasting business relationships, then LinkedIn consistently comes out on top as your best bet. In contrast, if you’re a B2C organisation and are looking to drive audience engagement and ultimately sales, then Facebook tops the list.
  3. Ensure that your posts have that ‘visual’ appeal. Posts that contain an image are 94% more likely to be shared than ones that don’t. Many marketers miss out on this simple trick that can increase social media engagement and reach dramatically!
  4. Posting the same content to all channels can become a bit tedious for your audience if they are present on each platform. Take advantage of the respective strengths of each social media platform and post content accordingly.

SEO

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is still perceived by many as a bit of a dark art. Despite constant algorithm updates, there are still opportunities to play the SEO game effectively and win.

Google is increasingly positioning itself as an ‘answers engine’. The advent of mobile has also put the cats amongst the pigeons (excuse the pun for those SEO geeks out there!) meaning there are even more opportunities to make your local business standout from the crowd.

Tips:

  1. Ensure that Google Analytics and Webmaster tools are installed and active on your website. Combined they will give you all the information you need (and more!) to get your website to be the best it can be. Google Webmaster tools will tell you what terms your site is being found for in Google, as well as identify any aspects of your site that are holding it back.
  2. Take full advantage of Google’s Keyword Planner to help inform the decision making process behind the keywords you choose to optimise your website pages for. And remember, keywords don’t have to be one word; they can effectively be phrases too.
  3. If you only do a few things SEO related on your website, make sure two of them are creating unique meta titles and descriptions optimised for the keyword-focus for each particular page.
  4. Get involved with Google Developer for page speed insights and how accessible on desktop or mobile your website is. Google gives marketers an insight into the loading speeds of their website, and will also give tips on how to increase load speed times. Alongside this, Google Developer provides a mobile-friendly test that will give marketers the tips and improvement suggestions they need to make their site better for mobile users.

PPC

96% of Google’s revenue comes from PPC ads, so clearly PPC is an important tool for them. We are sure you must be aware of the ads that populate Google’s search results pages! Statistics show that the top 3 ads on each search page receive 46% of traffic. PPC click-through rates are also shown to be 10 times higher than organic search clicks.

So what influences a good PPC ad? Each ad on every search page is ranked by Google. One’s ad rank is based on their cost-per-click and quality score. Your ads quality score has the ability to make or break your campaigns success. The quality score is made up of your ads click through rate, alongside your ads relevance to the keyword and your landing page’s relevance to the targeted keyword. The more relevant the better!

Tips:

  1. Make your ad text as relevant as possible to the keyword and ensure your landing page is targeted at that keyword too! Try getting your landing page’s URL to include the keyword in too.
  2. Get retargeting. Retargeting has given us marketers another tool to boost our marketing with. With retargeted visitors 70% more likely to convert, it doesn’t come as a surprise that retargeting is another highly effective marketing technique. To put it in its most simple form, retargeting is the practice of serving display ads to people who have previously engaged with your brand. It is vital for marketers looking to increase marketing results in 2016, helping to drive sales and increase brand awareness.  The numbers are compelling. Statistics have shown that retargeted ads receive a 0.70% click-through rate, compared to just 0.07% for regular display ads. Following this, brand search exposure can increase by over 1000%, just from retargeting. With this in mind, retargeting is a must for 2016!

E-marketing

With 2.6 billion email users worldwide, it doesn’t come as a surprise that e-marketing is still a massive hit with marketers. It is reported that for every $1 spent on email marketing, the average return is $44.25, providing yet more reason for you to start thinking about promotion through email if you haven’t done so already.

The popularity of email marketing is continuing to grow, and more email scheduling platforms are being introduced. Platforms such as Campaign Monitor, ReplyApp and MailChimp are great tools for creating, scheduling and managing marketing email campaigns.

Tips:

  1. Use email marketing platforms such as Campaign Monitor to split test each email campaign. This will allow you to identify what content and approach is most effective at meeting your objectives and enables you to continually refine and improve on what works best.
  2. Personalisation is key! Send emails that are personalised to the recipient. Include their name in the subject line, reference topics and include content that they have expressed in interest in. This will not only help build better relationships between your business and consumer, but it will be demonstrable through better engagement and open rates.
  3. Make the email content mobile-friendly, that way the emails can be accessed by a wider audience.

Content Marketing

Creating and sharing content that engages your audience (Content Marketing in a nutshell!) is now a vital component of the marketing mix for marketers. New and fresh content should be published regularly. What regularly looks like depends on your audience. For B2B marketers, 26% post news and updates multiple times a week.

92% of businesses that use social media, use it as a tool to present content. Email is another vital content distribution tool.  LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube make up the top 3 for effectiveness when sharing content, but all have different advantages and disadvantages; therefore it’s important to make sure your content is tailored to your different channels.

Top Tools

With 2016 approaching, what are the top tools for more effective marketing? We have identified Datananas as a potentially effective tool for those looking to build their professional database, with its ability to export LinkedIn users and their contact information from LinkedIn without the need to be connected to them.

Other platforms like Buffer have also popped up on the radar, with its unique imaging software – Pablo! Brands are now able to upload an image of their choice and add text to it, making each social media post unique and eye-catching for their audience.

SumoMe is another top marketing tool for 2016, incorporating a series of apps all designed to get your website and content working. The toolbox includes on page analytics, free traffic for your site, image sharer and a smart bar that will increase your number of email subscribers – amazing!

What else is there to add to the marketing tool list? Google’s Webmaster Tools crops up again! As mentioned before, Google’s Webmaster Tools is a vitally important tool for anyone with a website. With the ability to understand your site’s organic search performance, as well as providing tips and tricks on how to get more traffic, the tool is a must.

One New Year’s resolution for you – download these marketing tools!

So, what matters for SMEs?

We think the top 5 themes that SMEs should consider in 2016 are:

  1. Content is king – still!
  2. Analytics
  3. Personalisation
  4. Online ads
  5. Video

We hope you find this useful and would like to thank everyone who attended. We look forward to seeing you again soon!