Technology shifts and their impact on content marketers







With technology continually evolving, content marketers need to ensure that they stay on top of the trends and technologies that will influence their audiences and marketing channels going forward. With this in mind, we take a look at some of the emerging technologies that are shaping the world of marketing this year. Is your business on top of them?

Social purchasing

Social purchasing has been a growing trend over the last few years. It involves consumers being able to purchase products and services direct from an organisation’s social media channel, rather than their website.

Facebook have lead the way with social purchasing, through their Facebook ads, but other social media channels, such as Pinterest, with their buyable pins (where consumers are able to buy products straight from the network without leaving the page) have supported them. According to a study by Deloitte, 47% of millennials say their purchases are influenced by social media, indicating social purchasing opportunities are only going to increase. Businesses that have to-date ignored social media marketing, could be missing out on a trick!

As you might expect, social media is the most popular marketing channel for marketers looking to share content and build an audience. With the rise of social purchasing, it does raise the interesting question of is this the beginning of the end for the traditional business website?

Live streaming

Streaming live video has become a growing trend, with apps like Meerkat, Twitch and Periscope appearing more frequently on our smart phones. Even mainstream social apps like Facebook have adopted their own live streaming features, and users are beginning to demand new ‘in-the-moment’ content, rather than pre-scheduled.

This could put a heavy burden on businesses large and small. Even large organisations, like Red Bull and Home Depot in the States, who rely heavily on video content to engage with their consumers, will be challenged to come up with genuinely engaging ‘in-the-moment’ content. It will be particularly interesting to see how video leader, YouTube, will respond to the growing trend, with their platform currently set up to deliver pre-recorded rather than live video.

Live streaming also offers opportunities for SMEs looking for closer engagement with their target audiences. It is important that marketers in smaller businesses don’t discount this exciting medium. It is not all about the big brands!

Mobile usage

Mobile messaging apps are beginning to transform the way consumers interact with brands, and Facebook is once again at the forefront of this trend. In March 2015, Facebook announced their partnership with Dutch airline KLM, giving KLM passengers the ability to access booking confirmations and boarding passes via their smartphone.

The practice of carrying out transactions through messaging apps is already expanding in China, where consumers are moving rapidly towards mobile purchasing, and away from online purchasing. The rapid rise of mobile purchasing will force businesses that offer an online-only service to adapt and evolve.

The dramatic growth of mobile usage and the rise of the smartphone is heralding the slow demise of traditional PCs and computers. For a long time, laptops and desktops were the preferred choice of consumers for researching and purchasing, but now the tables have turned. With the advent of 4G and Wi-Fi becoming ever more ubiquitous, amongst us in shops, cafes, restaurants and even banks, smartphones are becoming our primary means of running our lives. From a content marketers perspective, ensuring your content can be easily accessed on a mobile device is now a must.

If you are involved in content marketing and aren’t considering the impact of these and other technological developments on your strategy, you’ll be missing out on some very exciting opportunities.

#MarketingTitbits – Coca-Cola’s Marketing, YouTube’s Viral Moments, Brands Colours

cocacola-youtube-brands1. How Coca-Cola overhauled its marketing in 2015
From its ‘single brand’ strategy to lower calorie, flavoured products, Coca-Cola are determined to keep up with changing consumer tastes. Back in March this year, the soft drinks company introduced a one brand strategy, where its four product family – Coca-Cola, Diet Coke, Coca-Cola Zero and Coca-Cola Life, were placed under one master.

The new branding came from its consumer research which found that half of consumers didn’t know that Coke Zero has no sugar or calories, as well as not knowing the difference between Coke Zero and Diet Coke. Bobby Brittain, GB marketing director for Coca-Cola says “We’ve failed to communicate clearly enough the product differentiation. That’s a major wakeup call for us”.

Want to read more on Coca-Cola’s marketing? Click here.

2. YouTube has released its annual video mashup of the biggest viral moments of 2015

YouTube have recently paid tribute to all the biggest viral moments and people of 2015, and it already has 44 million views! From the tribute, people who are well-versed in internet culture and YouTube stars will recognise dozens of in-house jokes; others on the other hand, may not.

YouTube’s culture executive, Kevin Allocca, shared that shooting for the 7-minute piece took 21 days across multiple cities, in the US and around the world. He shares: “Some of these (YouTube creators) are pretty huge stars who are busy with crazy schedules, so to have them in the same place is really fun”.

Watch the video now by clicking here.

3. Quiz: do you know why these brands chose their famous colours?

For many brands, their choice of colouring can be just as iconic as their logo, and sometimes even their name. Have you ever wondered why brands like Coca-Cola chose red and white, or why Starbucks chose green?

Coca-Cola’s colours go back to the mid-1890s, when the company began painting its syrup barrels red so that the tax agents could easily tell them apart from alcohol during transport. Google on the other hand, chose a rainbow-coloured logo as it implied playfulness, particularly the order of the colours. Cadbury’s also shared that the colour purple was first introduced as a tribute to Queen Victoria, as it was her favourite colour – how sweet!

To see other brands’ reasoning for their colours, click here.

#MarketingTitbits – Influential Brands, Marketing Predictions, Success Advice

microsoft-predictions-success1. Microsoft ‘surprises’ as it tops The Guardian’s poll of the most influential UK brands
Surprisingly, it beat the likes of Amazon and Google in a new poll by The Guardian, subsequently being named the UK’s most influential brand – who would have thought? Microsoft’s move to imbue more social values in its marketing is being offered up as the the ‘primary driver’ for its success in the poll.

Surveying 2,000 UK consumers, covering 200 of the biggest brands, the results were unexpected. The results were defined by the respondent’s perception of a brand’s position for each of the following criteria – commercial influence, how a brand impacts purchasing habits and its impact on society and their audience. Not only did Microsoft surprise us marketers with their winning score of 58.3, but the runner up, with 54.7 points, was TripAdvisor, perhaps equally unlikely, closely followed by Amazon with 53.9 – more expected!

To read more about Microsoft’s success, click here.

2. Marketers’ 2016 predictions: from the video explosion to the next ‘new normal’

The marketing industry is changing rapidly and shows no signs of slowing down, forcing marketers to adapt to thrive. 10 of the industry’ best and brightest have been asked to share their predictions for 2016 – enjoy!

Gavin Patterson, Chief Executive at BT, predicts that the year ahead is full of ‘busy-ness’, where marketing will be an important way of communicating with consumers and businesses. On the other hand, Nicola Mendelsohn, Vice-president of Facebook, believes that video will become even bigger, where people can discover the world through sharing content.

Click here for the full 10 predictions for 2016.

3. 20 entrepreneurs share the advice that made them successful

Regardless of how success is defined, it can be a gruelling task for businesses to achieve it. Entrepreneurs can generally agree that it takes confidence, passion and drive to accomplish goals, and to recognise success once achieved. With this in mind, 20 of the most successful entrepreneurs share their best advice on how to succeed in business.

The renowned Bill Gates believes “success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose”, meaning success is worked for, not given. Other business fanatics like Steve Jobs says “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future”.

Want more advice on how to achieve success? 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.


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.


  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.


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!


  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!


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.


  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!

What can SMEs learn from big business – video

video-roundedThis month, we introduce the last instalment of our blog ‘What SMEs can learn from big businesses’. Part 3 focuses on viral marketing and how organisations are adopting video as a key element within their marketing mix for increased brand exposure.The high costs historically associated with video and TV has prevented many brands from adopting this form of media. However, with the rise of YouTube and mobile technology, more businesses have been given the opportunity to produce and distribute video content to the masses.

Over the past few years, video content has evolved and is now much shorter, concise and impactful. When creating videos, it’s important to focus specifically on the content your clients and target market are looking for. That means your videos should be oriented towards serving their needs and interests. A 5 minute video highlighting reasons why they should use your business is unlikely to pull on the heart strings, but an innovative campaign that showcases your humour, emotions or personality may in fact be YouTube gold.

For some inspiration, take a look at some of the top viral campaigns of 2013.

Dove, the global cosmetics brand, conducted a social experiment with the intent to teach all women “You are more beautiful than you think”. Dove used an FBI-trained forensic artist to blindly translate two different descriptions of participant’s facial features.  One in which the woman describes her own features and another in which she gets described. It’s no surprise that the self portrait the participant described of herself is less complimentary compared to the other portrait that is relayed by the other person. Dove’s message became apparent “Women are their own worst beauty critics”. As a result, the video generated over 163 million views worldwide.

They say you can’t manufacture viral videos, but to a certain extent you can. GoPro, the maker of the HD personal camera range, did exactly this by taking someone else’s viral video, in which their product played a key role. The footage entitled ‘Be a hero’ shows a fire-fighter pulling an unconscious kitten from a fire and bringing it back to life with an oxygen tank. The video was reportedly captured on a helmet-mounted camera and follows the brand’s previous viral success that featured supposedly amateur footage of a seagull’s flight, filmed when the bird picked up a GoPro camera. The ‘Be a hero’ video is just shy of its 20th million hit.

Finally, Evian’s “Baby & Me” campaign was the most popular video ad of 2013 in the UK, with more than 67 million hits. The video features men and women of various ages dancing in front of a mirror, with their reflections showing them as babies. After this successful campaign, Evian experienced viral reactivation. Viral reactivation occurs when a newly released video like “Baby & Me”, drives viewers back to older campaigns like “Live Young.” All of Evian’s previous campaigns experienced reactivation, for example, the brand’s 2011 campaign, “Baby Inside”, grew by 1.1 million views after its release.

Interestingly, none of the viral campaigns above mention why you should be drinking their water or purchasing their camera. Rather than producing a sales pitch, the innovative, thought-provoking videos speak to their target audience in a unique way. 

With YouTube now the second largest search engine after Google, it is hard to ignore the huge potential video marketing will have on an organisation’s position in the market.

Why not refresh your marketing in 2014 by integrating video into your marketing mix.


#MarketingTitbits – Obama, Growth Vouchers, DHL

ferns-vouchers-DHL-smaller1. Obama goes between two ferns with Zach Galifiankis
‘Between Two Ferns’, with Zach Galifiankis, is a series of videos shown on the Funny or Die website. In each episode he conducts an interview with a celebrity between two potted ferns. His typical interview style consists of normal interview questions, random non sequiturs and some inappropriate comments and questions.

Celebrities such as Justin Bieber, Jennifer Anniston and Bradley Cooper have gone between two ferns in the past but the most recent celebrity to do so was Barack Obama. Some of the topics the pair cover include Dennis Rodman, same-sex divorce and the Affordable Care Act. To watch the video, click here. 


2. Growth Vouchers: month one results

This time last year, George Osborne first announced Growth Vouchers. The drive behind them is to help SMEs access the advice they need to help them grow. The businesses that participate are allocated a voucher up to the value of £2,000, matched with their own funds, to spend on advice and guidance from industry experts.

The vouchers were launched at the end of January and so far, nearly 1,500 businesses have applied, with nearly 600 vouchers allocated (over £1 million). Nearly 50% of the vouchers issued so far have been for advice in marketing, attracting and keeping customers. If you have not applied yet, it is still not too late. To read more, click here.

3. DHL’s brilliant ad

DHL claim that in many countries the company has more offices, more vehicles and more employees than there competition, which is why they are faster. To illustrate this, they came up with a brilliantly conceived guerrilla marketing campaign to get their competitors advertise for them.

To do this, large DHL packages were covered in thermo-active foil and cooled down below the freezing point, allowing the plastic wrappers to turn black. They then asked for the competitors to deliver the packages to hard-to-get-to addresses in big cities. As the plastic warmed up the message from DHL became clear… to watch for yourself, click here.

#MarketingTitbits – Facebook video, Mark Zuckerberg, news articles

facebook-markzuckerberg-articles-smaller1. Facebook video use has increased by 75% globally
In March last year, Facebook launched its premium video platform, competing with the might of dominant video rival YouTube. Statistics have recently been released indicating that 75% of smartphone users now watch videos via Facebook from their devices 2-3 times per day. With predictions for the use of video to grow even more, it’s no surprise that the likes of Twitter and other social networks may be planning to join in.

Brands are becoming increasingly aware of the power that video has to offer, with positive reviews from many brands who say metrics improved as a result.

What do you think of the evolution of video? Will you be using it for your business? To see more, click here.

2. Join Mark Zuckerberg on his 2015 reading challenge

Each year, Mark Zuckerberg makes a rather extreme New Year’s resolution, and this year is no different. Previously, he chose resolutions that included vowing to eat only meat from animals he’d killed himself, while another year involved learning to speak Mandarin. After thousands of suggestions as to what his 2015 resolution should be, Zuckerberg has chosen to read a new book every other week and is challenging you to do the same.

The purpose of this challenge is to learn more about the world we live in – about culture, beliefs, technology and history, etc. If you’d like to get involved with the Facebook founder’s year ahead, he’s set up a page named ‘A Year of Books’, which you can like to join in with the discussions.

To read more into the announcement, click here.

3. The Marketing Year – the top 10 news articles

2014 was a year of ups and downs for the retail world, but what was included in Marketing Week’s top 10 articles of the year?

Tesco is one of the brands that will be wishing 2014 a swift goodbye after appearing in the list 3 times, resulting from the accountancy scandal and the ever-lasting discussions surrounding the future of their original building block – the Tesco Clubcard. Others hitting the top 10 include Coke and John Lewis, while brands such as Paddy Power sit with their heads bowed as they faced the wrath of the ASA with controversial ads.

f you’d like see more about the articles, you can do so by clicking 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 – Android Pay, YouTube ads, Pizza Hut projector box

android-youtube-pizza-smaller1. What Google’s Android Pay will mean for brands
Earlier this month, Google announced the launch of the much anticipated Android Pay to take on rival Apple, as they enter the mobile payments market. Google could be seen as already having an advantage over their tech giant rival, as Android holds the majority of smartphone users, but they will require the support of both businesses and consumers in order to succeed.

An advantage of mobile payments that has become clear through the launch of Apple Pay is the low transaction costs for businesses, alongside the increase in security that customers are actively searching for. Brands, therefore, have much greater motivation to support mobile payments as the platform continues to change the way consumers engage with commerce.

To find out more, click here.

2. Watch: the 5 most popular YouTube ads of the past decade

YouTube has gained immense popularity over the past decade since it was introduced to the world in 2005, and now, in honour of its 10th birthday, YouTube has asked viewers to vote for their favourite ads of all time.

Entrepreneur has compiled a list of the top 5 voted for ads, and you may be surprised to discover which one hit the top spot! Click here to take a look at the adverts and see which is your favourite.

3. Pizza Hut has a new box that turns into a movie projector for your smartphone

Pizza Hut’s latest marketing stunt is bringing Hollywood blockbusters to your doorstep through the design of their new ‘Blockbuster Box’. Along with their pizza, Hong Kong residents will find a special lens and a perforated hole with which to begin their movie night.

For customers who aren’t Netflix users, Pizza Hut has printed a QR code that can be scanned with a smartphone to download a free movie. The Blockbuster Box comes in four different styles to appeal to all movie fans: action, sci-fi, romance or scary movie genres.

Click here to find out more about the limited edition boxes.

TLC Business Host Top 10 Marketing Tools Seminar


TLC Business was delighted to host its annual marketing seminar yesterday, at Winchester Business School, tackling the topic ‘10 Top Tools for Effective SME Marketing’. The unseasonal weather didn’t put off attendees, as a packed house was treated to a morning of our top marketing tool tips. Topics covered included: effective CRM and email marketing systems, Google Analytics, Dropbox, YouTube, URL builders and QR Codes.

TLC Business Director Joshua Spencer said “We were delighted with the turn out and would like to thank everyone that took the time to attend. It was our intention to give attendees ideas and tips that they can take back to their business and use straight away to make their marketing more effective.”

We were very pleased to receive excellent feedback, below are just a few examples and 100% of people stated they would recommend attending future TLC Business events.

  • ‘Excellent insight into the most up to date and effective marketing tools’
  • ‘Excellent morning’
  • ‘Useful tips – food for thought’
  • ‘Very informative – thank you’

For those that were unable to attend the seminar, but are interested in the content and would like to receive a copy of the presentation, please email

We are already starting to think about next year’s topics, so if you have any ideas or preferences, please let us know.