Website shining example

Is Your Website Shining Like a Diamond?

There are many trains of thought about how to best judge the quality of a website. With so many types of site from so many different industries it can be hard to define what makes a website a success. Whilst thinking back over a youth in retail, and selling diamonds I could only ever dream of, it struck me that the differentiating features that define a good diamond also apply to websites. In the words of Rhianna does your website ‘ shine bright like a diamond’?

The 4C’s in the world of diamonds refer to Colour, Clarity, Cut, and Carat. So how can these help with thinking about your website?


This relates to the design of your website. What colours have you used? Have you balanced your text with images? Are your images impactful and your text engaging? Much like the colour of a diamond, the design of your website has the biggest initial impression on your visitors. You do not have long to make a great first impression so make sure your website looks great and visitors are going to be drawn in.


This relates to the content on your website. Is it clear to visitors what you offer and why they should choose your product or service? You need to ensure that there is clarity in your content, visitors will be put off if they have to work hard to find what they need. Understanding your target audience is key here. What content will engage and encourage them to come back? What is the key information that a potential customer will want to see? Search engines are also very interested in your content, so making it not only engaging for visitors but optimised for search engines is key to getting your website found in the first place.


In terms of your website this is about the structure. The user experience of your site is vital to delivering a positive experience for your users. Is your site easy to navigate? Do you have a clear path that you want your users to follow? Make sure you walk through your site with the eyes of a user who has not visited your site previously. Can you find the content you want easily? Are you guided through the site they way you intended? Your site structure is also important for your search engine ranking, Google in particular will pay attention to your sitemap and the way that your content is interlinked.


When it comes to diamonds and websites alike size does matter.  Having a well populated site with regular fresh content will appeal to both users and search engines. An informative site will keep your users engaged and having a regular fresh content will keep them coming back. Search engines will also rate your site on how much content you produce. By consistently posting fresh content and therefore growing the size of your site you are showing the search engines that your site is alive.


Like a diamond, websites have many facets and it is impossible to have one single formula that fits all. This is just another way of looking at your website, there are many other methods that can be used. The importance of analytics should never be underestimated, and you should monitor and update on a regular basis to find what works best for your website. If you would like to discuss any aspect of your website content or design then get in touch with us today.

digital giant

Keeping up with the digital giant

As digital media slowly takes over our lives, both socially and in business, so does marketing evolve to meet the changing world around us. Whilst traditional marketing platforms such as radio, TV and print still have their place they are being quickly dwarfed by the digital giant. And things in the digital world are quite different and forever changing. It has changed the way that marketing works and we have to change with it or be left behind.

Gone are the days when companies could simply push a message out to the world through a TV ad and that would be enough. Customers expect much more now. Not least they expect to have control. They know what they are looking for, when they want to look for it and where they will go to find it. It is for this reason that companies need to be digitally savvy. Customers now have access to an online world bursting with information sources. Companies now face the difficult task of being in the right place at the right time. Content marketing and social media have become core to a companies marketing mix, using these platforms to target prospective customers with a defined need. In fact, it is the customer who is proactively self-selecting this content to provide a solution to their own problem.

Further to this, it is not just about putting the content out there and forgetting about it. Customers expect a dialogue, they want to interact with your company. This provides a great opportunity to develop long term relationships between company and customer. However, you should be aware that this new wonderful digital age has taken it one step further, customers are now interacting with other customers as never before. Social media, forums and reviews all open up a whole new way for people to research and connect with a brand. This can be a daunting thought, a whole other potential marketing platform that is completely out of your control. However, the benefits of this new arena are huge if you can manage it right. Happy customers spread good reviews and positive sentiment about your brand.

The traditional marketing platforms that we are all used to allow communication from one company to many customers. This is easy to achieve, however the same message goes to every customer segment and is poorly targeted. It results in a high level of wasted opportunity. Digital media has brought about the option of more one-to-one communications. Emails, landing pages and even adverts can now be customised and personalised to a specific audience and even a specific customer. Messages can be highly targeted and focussed. Amazon is a prime example of personalisation done well. If you have an amazon account, it appears to knows your preferences, your needs and the way you like to shop. More and more customers are expecting the personal touch from brands. Making your customer feel special is no long a luxury it is a requirement.

One of the biggest differences that can be seen with the move towards more digital presence is the need to always be on. It is not enough to have one TV advert or a page in a magazine. Life has picked up pace and customers now expect a 24/7 presence from brands. Continuous communications are now the norm and it is not uncommon to see the same brand on several touch points throughout your day. In a world where we have all become time poor, being there when someone has the time, whenever that time may be, is now vital to success. Companies need to have online profiles and promotions throughout the web, and these need to deliver key messages on a regular basis in order to keep your customer base engaged and potential customers interested.

The digital market place is constantly evolving and it can seem like a challenge to keep up with the latest trend. What is more confusing is that there is no one right formula for a brand, each and every company has a different offer and a different message to get across. The keys is finding the right balance for you and one that you are able to maintain. If that all seems like too much that’s what companies like us are here for so if you need help or just want to know more get in touch with us now!

Are you winning at customer service?

When you think of marketing what comes to mind? Digital, TV, Radio, PR? How about customer service? With the rise of social media and so many opportunities online for people to speak about your brand, your customers are actually a vital marketing source. Building a base of loyal customers and especially those who become brand advocates can really propel your brand forward, especially online.

Having loyal customers is more than having a great brand, it is about making sure that the customers experience at every touch point is high quality. Many companies excel at the sell, they have a well thought out and successful route to purchase which engages the customer and connects them to the brand. However, they miss out on possibly the most crucial part of the customer journey, and that is post sale. Having worked so hard to draw the customer in, they fail to retain them due to poor customer service and aftersales.

A dissatisfied customer can be costly, not only in the loss of their future purchases but with availability to some many online channels it is easier than ever to publicise a bad customer experience. Even a simple search on google will not only bring up your company details but also your online reviews. Being the pessimistic beings we are, most of us head for the bad reviews first to establish our view on the company.

So how do you avoid this dissatisfied marketing? It is all in the planning. No company can maintain a perfect operation at all times, things will go wrong, it is how you deal with an error that establishes your level of customer satisfaction. There are generally five stages someone will go through when they are unhappy with a product or service and it is having a plan to deal with each stage that will boost your service and quality.

Stage 1: Customer in distress

Whether it is an issue with their product or service, or a query they need answered, your client is in need. Don’t make it difficult for them to tell you. It is amazing how difficult it can be to find contact details on some sites and especially support details. Use standard wording such as ‘contact us’ or ‘support’ to make it clear how to get in touch with you. Web forms are a great solution for customers and can allow you to gather basic information about the query before engaging in a dialogue. It is also important to let your customer know what expectations they should have in terms of response times and ensure that you are able to meet them.

Stage 2: The Acknowledgement

Nothing is more frustrating that completing a form or sending an email and not getting confirmation that it has been received and is being looked at. Make sure your customer knows you have received their query and tell them how and when you will respond. An automated email is a good idea at this point, you can include an acknowledgement and also reassure the customer regarding response times and perhaps give some additional help sources in the meantime.

Stage 3: Finding the Expert

Ensuring you have a clear idea of the what the customer needs means that you can route the query to the appropriate person or department. Being able to connect the customer to an ‘expert’ on their issue will give them reassurance about your brand and a sense of satisfaction that their query has been taken seriously.

Stage 4: The Response

Most companies will find that queries have a few common themes, and whilst the company should then try to solve these issues, in the meantime, a library of pre-template responses can be useful. The relevant expert can then tailor the response to take account of the details of the customer query and of course personalise the email. Where there is a new issue, or a one off issue with a particular product or service, there should be a service protocol put in place as to how these are dealt with.

Stage 5: The Follow Up

Don’t assume that the clients issue has been resolved by your single response to their query. Always provide a follow-up option should a client need more help or still has a problem. An option to reply to an email is okay but this can get into a situation of email ping-pong which is not efficient for the customer or the company. Offering a phone call or a live chat facility can help bring about a swift resolution. A phone conversation has the most personalised touch and can help the customer feel that the company actually wants to help. From a company perspective it can also open up opportunities for relationship building and potential upselling and cross selling.


However you decide to deal with these stages, ensure that you have a plan in place to keep your customers happy. A customer who has a problem that is solved by a company in a timely and personalised manner is likely to sing the praises of that company to friends and family. A happy customer is a key part of your marketing mix and a customer-centric approach is becoming essential in the digital era.

Are you asking the right questions?

With so many social media channels, constantly evolving their feeds, how do you put together a social media strategy? Your social media channels are the best place to achieve online engagement, above your website and other online touch points. In order to create this engagement you need to focus on the type of content and how you publish it.  This will vary for each platform but there is some common ground held by all the social networks and it is here that you can build your overall content and engagement strategy.

There are 12 questions that you should consider when forming your social media strategy and we will cover them all inn brief below:

Question 1: Who are your target audience?

Possibly the most important question when defining your strategy is who are you trying to speak to. Who are your customers and personal customers that you want to engage? The key here is to build personas relevant to you business and build your strategy around them.

Question 2 : What are the content preferences of your audience?

Once you have defined your personas you should be able to identify their preferences in terms of content and how they consume it. Do they prefer video, infographics, articles, short statuses. With so many options it is wise to utilise them all but with a bias towards the preferences of your key personas. This may well vary between social platforms.

Question 3 : What are your strategic business goals for your social media presence?

Do you want to sell? To engage? To build brand identity? Having a key strategic goal for your social platforms will define how you use them and the content you choose to publish on them. It is important to bear in mind the purpose of the social network you are using. If you are too sales heavy on twitter or facebook you are likely to lose followers very quickly.

Question 4 : Which content types should have priority?

Use of your key personas, content types and an analysis of what competitors are doing you should be able to define which topics and formats should take priority. Your social channels should have a key focus that followers are able to easily identify.

Question 5 : How do you differentiate your social channels from your other communication channels?

Your social channels main job should be to engage with your followers and convert them into customers and eventually brand advocates. It is therefore import to build up a loyal social following. To do this you need to show what additional value your social platforms offer that is not offered elsewhere. Early access to deals or special offers for social followers are some ways to offer value.

Question 6 : How do you integrate your social channels?

Your social channels can produce some really great content. Encouraging your followers to generate their own content can not only help populate your feed but can create great content to share across your website and e-marketing.

Question 7 : What should be the content frequency and editorial calendar?

This may vary depending on the platform you are using. Twitter for example has a very fast moving feed whilst LinkedIn is much slower, therefore several posts a day on Twitter would be fine whereas this would be seen as excessive on LinkedIn. The most important thing is to be regular. This should be defined by what you can maintain. Some content will be very quick to create others will take some time so establish an editorial calendar and plan in advance to ensure you have the content available when you need it.

Question 8: Where should you source content?

As stated in the last question, you need regular engaging content and this can be time consuming. You will need to decide whether this can be created in house or whether you would be better positioned to out source. There can also be a balance struck between creation and curation, and having suitable sources of content is important.

Question 9 : How do you manage publication and interaction?

Who will be in charge of your social networks and building brand engagement? Regular posting across your social networks is important but you also need to be timely in responding to interactions and engaging with followers. Will this be done by an internal resource or by an out of house team?

Question 10: Do you use software for managing the publishing process?

Depending on the number of social channels that you use, regular updating across them all can be very time consuming. Whilst this has the advantage of being able to tailor the content to the platform it can also prove a challenge. The use of tools such as hootsuite of buffer can save significant amounts of time, allowing the construction of just one post that is then automatically added to each of your social profiles.

Question 11: How do you track the business impact of social network activity?

Each of the platforms have built in analytics which are useful in reviewing their effectiveness. By tagging your posts you can have increased insight into each piece of content and how engaged your audience has been. If you are using a tool such a hootsuite, there are further analytics available to show which platform and content were most popular.

Question 12 : How do you optimise your social presence?

The use of analytics is only useful if it is then reviewed and acted upon. You should use the results from the insights to test, adapt and refine your content strategy.


These 12 questions are a really helpful way to optimise your use of social media. Building an effective strategy is time consuming and requires on going attention. If you would like more information on building an effective social media strategy contact us now.


Are you telling your story?

It is an ongoing challenge for many brands, how do you engage customers in your business story? With the emergence of social media and company blogs it is more important than ever to develop a brand personality and to connect on a more personal level with consumers. So how do you go about telling your story in business?

The first step is to ensure that you have a select number of key messages. When someone thinks of your brand what do you want them to think? What are the key things that you would like consumers to know about your business? By identifying these top level messages you can then create a framework with which to create your content plan and tone of voice.

The next step is to recognise what your consumer is looking for, why would they come to you as a brand. There will normally be an emotional trigger of want or need on the part of the consumer. You then need to match up your key messages to this need, to create a connection in the heads of consumers between what you do and what you can do to help them meet this need.

Once you have these key messages and connection points identified, your entire content plan to should be built around them. Every piece of content and communication that you are putting out as a brand should match at least one of your key messages. In doing so you build a brand personality and a strong brand story. One that consumers can easily identify, relate to and ultimately engage with. Consistency is key, it keeps your brand story clear in the minds of consumers and helps you become a trusted, credible and authentic source of information.

Your brand story should incorporate all sides of your business and let consumers see behind the scenes as well as just showing them your shop front. Ultimately, the main goal of business storytelling is to increase brand awareness which will result in more business. And for many companies, this business is done between people. Yes, your online presence is for the brand but by letting consumers see the people behind the brand that make that story a reality you can build meaningful relationships with consumers.

Finally, show your consumers that you know their pain points, that you understand why they need your brand and tell them how you can help to solve their problem. Be helpful, give them the why and the how your brand will relieve the pain point. In doing so you can become the go to business for your target audience. Remember, consumers are looking for ease, they want know quickly whether you are the right brand for them in a sea of possible choices. By helping them connect with you through your brand story you are able to stand out from the competitors from the outset.

If you would like more information on how to build your brand story and establishing the key messages for your business get in touch with us today.

Social Media Sales Funnel

The Social Media Sales Funnel

By now we all know how important social media is to marketing a business. Each social platform offers its own advantages to the marketing mix and allows a brand to communicate with its customers and potential customers in a completely different way to the traditional platforms they would once have used. Social media is live and fast paced and requires constant attention from a brand. Gone are the days when one post a week would suffice, social media now requires regular updates of original and engaging content. A company’s social media presence is often the first interaction a person has on their customer journey. So how do you shape your social media sales funnel from first interaction through to final purchase?

It is first important to understand where that customer is coming from and why their journey began. Generally, the trigger will be an emotional one of want or need for a product or service. This leads to the search process beginning, with initial considerations formed from experience, word of mouth recommendations and social media. And that is where your sale funnel begins. Ensuring you can be found on social media is your first step. Regular updates and growing a engaged and active follower base are key.

Then if a potential customer is searching on social media and they find you, what does your social presence tell them? Ensuring your company profiles are complete, your feed is full and active and your contact details are well displayed are all essential.

So, your potential clients first impression on social is good. They look further. What content have you been producing, what reviews have others given you, how well are you demonstrating your knowledge and expertise. The more visitors can feel that you are the go to expert, the more likely you are to create customer engagement and in turn drive traffic to your website. The content you produce has a big job to do in showing potential customers that you are the right product or service provider for them. It needs to build credibility and trust.

Social Media marketing Funnel

All your content across all of your online platforms should show visitors who your are as a brand or company. Choose a tone of voice and a brand story that you use across all instances of your brand, but especially across social media. Your visitors engagement with your social channels will often dictate whether you make it onto the shortlist of considerations. If you are able to engage and entice that visitor, they are then likely to do further research on you, often clicking through to your web site or relevant landing page.

Here it is your website content that needs to do the hard work in influencing a purchase decision. This content will normally be more ever green and product focussed and will allow this potential customer to have a far more in depth view of your company and the specific product or service they are in need of. Your website content should take your visitor on a smooth journey from landing page, through the product description, right through to point of purchase.

As much as it would be wonderful if this was one straight flow from initial trigger to purchasing your product, each stage may be fluid and it is worth bearing in mind that the same flow may be happening on a competitors social media too. It would be impossible to prevent customers looking else where, all you can do is ensure that your content is more engaging and your social media sales funnel is as seamless as possible.

You should also bear in mind that those visitors that go successfully through your funnel right through to purchase then have an opportunity to be influential to someone else’s consideration list at trigger. They may be giving word of mouth feedback or have left a review on social media. The social media sales funnel is part of a never ending circle and one that needs to be navigated carefully and with the customer front of mind.

If you would like more information on social media content or website content get in touch with us now.

The Role of Emotion in Writing

I have had a great day today, and I am now sitting doing something I love, writing. Do these two things affect how I construct this blog and the feeling you get from it? I think so. Emotion is a powerful influencer, especially when it comes to anything creative. Think of how you tailor your music choices to fit your mood, the colours you choose to design with if you are feeling excited or even the clothes you wear when you are feeling a little blue. Emotion can impact how we experience our day and in turn how the world experiences us.

And it works both ways, think of the things that can change you mood, perhaps your favourite song, a familiar smell, a beautiful picture or a great book. Our senses can invoke powerful emotions and the beauty of it (or perhaps the difficulty if you are in the creative industry) is that, that emotion being invoked could be different for each of us. When it comes to putting pen to paper, what is more important,  the emotional input or the desired emotional output?

Add to this the topic area being discussed and you enter a very complex arena. Of course, it is easier to write about a topic you are passionate about when you are feeling great, but does that mean it produces a better piece for someone to read. To what extent does that emotional connection follow through to the reader, or is the emotional response they give purely based on their own mental state and beliefs at that moment.

Take political subjects, for example, if I write something from my point of view that I think is positive and I am very passionate about, to what level can I influence the reader to feel the same. Obviously, not everyone is going to share my political views and therefore how will they react to my text, will they feel the positive emotions that I have put into the piece, but not agree, or will they have a negative reaction at a potentially very conflicting view. I am not going to change their mind politically, nor do I want to, but I would like the reader to understand my viewpoint and to sense how I feel about it.

Writing in the business world is a slightly different predicament, and when it comes to your brand the aim is to only invoke positive emotions. As a business owner I am sure you would always hope that anything you put in front of  your current and potential customers is engaging and invites them in. You are always going to be your brands biggest fan, and you need to make sure that anyone writing your content loves your brand as much as you.

Your brand should have a personality. Think of how you want your customers to feel, how you want people to relate to your brand. Make sure everyone facing customers whether in person or via your content is part of the bigger persona. Get them involved and passionate about your brand, get them feeling positive and producing a positive output. You cannot influence the way the reader feels at the time they engage with your brand but you can influence that what you put in front of them does everything it can to produce the desired emotional response.

Next time you look at your website, your brochures or your proposals think about what they are aiming to achieve and the emotion that you want people to feel from them. Your brand is a constantly evolving entity, make sure your content and client touch points  evolve with it. If you would like to discuss any element of your client facing content get in touch with us now and see how we can help.



2018 predictions

2018…we’ve been expecting you!

Here we are at the start of another year. The first week of January is one of my favourite times, full of freshness and opportunity. Yes, I am very aware that it is just another week but it holds a sense of excitement of what is ahead that no other time of year can match.

Look across social media and the internet in general and you will be inundated with New Year, New You posts and predictions about what 2018 has in store for us. In fact, as early as 1968 there were predictions of what the next twelve months will bring. In the May of 1968 the Foreign Policy Association (FPA) celebrated its 50th anniversary by holding a 3 day conference titled “Toward the year 2018”. A wide variety of experts were gathered to look ahead over the next 50 years.

Some of the experts came with a view to predicting the future but many came with a view of creating it. Perhaps that is why amongst the many misses, there are some predictions that have come to fruition. 3D televisions, pocket computers, and satellite communications all feature in the book published after the event. Were these items ‘predicted’ by those working to bring them into existence, placing the concept in peoples minds as something desirable? Or were they just a far fetched idea of what the future would look like?

With so many businesses predicting what they think will happen in the twelve months ahead are they influencing the way people view their industry. Furthermore are they making predictions that are beneficial to themselves? If I predict that bespoke content will become key to business’s relationships with their clients in 2018 (which I think it will by the way) am I doing this for my own business benefits. Not entirely, there is some evidence to support my claim, however, would I mention it if it wasn’t complementary to my business offerings? Probably not.

Of course, we need predictions to plan ahead. To give us some insight into what might be around the bend. Especially when it comes to marketing, having an idea of what the next big thing might be can help inspire some really great campaigns. But it is always worth remembering that none of us have a crystal ball and predictions are purely what someone thinks will happen in the future. So use them to your benefit but don’t rely on them too heavily!

Twas the week before Christmas…

And the world was frantically trying to get ready for Christmas day. Sales teams are closing down those last few sales, retail teams are busy working towards December targets and most of us are getting those last few presents wrapped and under the tree. For some businesses this time of the year is the busiest, others have a quiet Christmas and New Year period. What all businesses should have in common is the planning and excitement around a new year ahead!

Is your business geared up for 2018? What does it have in store for you? January is an important time for any brand, it is the time of year to reconnect with customers, to re-engage your staff and to re-ignite your creativity! The New Year often brings with it a sense of freshness and new beginnings. Many people make New Years resolutions for themselves but when was the last time you made a New Years resolution for you business. Especially your marketing

January is a great time to take a small step back and review what your marketing achieved in 2017, and what changes you need to make in the new year to really accelerate your brand to where it needs to be. Whilst many large corporates plan their marketing 6 months in advance, smaller companies have the advantage of being more in the moment with their marketing decisions.

You should already have your overview of what you intend to do marketing wise in 2018 and where you want your brand to be in 12 months times. But take an opportunity in January to focus in on one thing that you really want to change from last year.  Do you want to add a new social platform to the mix? Or maybe you are not on social at all yet and want to give it a try? Do you want to launch a blog? Or maybe now is the time to give your website a refresh?  Maybe you just want to change the way that you talk to customers by adding more videos or infographics. Whatever you decide ensure you stick to your brand personality and that it will be a good addition to your current marketing mix.

Here are a few things you can expect from HIIT over the next 12 months:

  • More great content on our blog, with more video content
  • A new newsletter to keep you updated with what is going on with us and the latest news from the industry
  • Exciting new partnerships
  • Some must have new services

We hope there will be even more as we continue to grow throughout 2018 so watch this space.

To those that have supported us in 2017 we thank you, and we look forward to working with you in 2018. For anyone who would like to work with us next year we are looking forward to making 2018 a great year for us all.


You Had Me at Hello….

Or maybe you didn’t! How many websites have you been onto and decided on the very first page whether it was of interest? Maybe it was the imagery or maybe you read a few lines of text and decided it wasn’t for you. How can you tell if people are doing the same to your website? Below are 5 great facts to bear in mind when creating your online shop window.

1. You have 10 Seconds to Make a Good Impression

Your website is often the first encounter you will have with a potential customer. When a user firsts visits your site they will form an impression of your business within the first 10 seconds. That does not give much time to draw them in. Make sure your webpage is the best it can be with striking imagery and engaging content. Summarise your main selling points, your key products or services and what makes you different. Don’t miss an opportunity to make a great first impression.

2. Users Only Read Slightly Over a Quarter of Content on a Page

Imagery definitely leads the way in how people engage online. Ensure your website looks greats, use the best images and create an easy user flow. When it comes to content, every word that appears on your website is important, especially if a user is only going to read a small proportion. You need to ensure that each piece of content is positioning your brand in the best light so if that piece is all they read they get a good vibe from your brand.

3. 40% of Users Will Leave a Website if it takes More Than 3 Seconds to Load

Having lots of video content and fancy transitions on your website may seem like a great idea but beware of making your site so data heavy it takes ages to load. In the age of mobile first thinking, many users will be viewing your site on mobile networks and having a site that take ages to load will only leave a bitter taste in users mouths, that’s if they even stay around to try it out.

4. Most Users Scan a Web Page in a F Shape

The layout of your site is really important in engaging with users in the right way. Plan your site design and content around how users will view your website. Users first read horizontally across the top of the page, creating the top of the F. Users then move down the page a bit and then read horizontally across a second time, normally a shorter distance than the first. This creates the second bar of the F. Finally, users scan vertically down the left side of the page. This forms the last part of the F. With this in mind ensure that your key content is in these areas for users to see.

5. Users are Less Likely to Return If They Had a Bad Experience

If you go into a shop and receive bad service are you likely to return? Probably not. The same applies online. If a user visits your website and has a bad experience, there is a good chance they will not return to take another look. Broken links, images that fail to load, even just a bad user journey can all make a website feel like it is not providing the user with a good service. Make sure you regularly inspect your website and check it is working well.

Whether building a new website or reviewing an established one, make sure you think carefully about what impression it is going to leave. You often only get one chance with a new customer, so leave them feeling great about your brand and excited to come back.

If you would like more information on how to make a good first impression with your website or need help with your website content get in touch with us today.

The Power of Imagery

The Power of Imagery

Word vs image, it is always a challenge when designing anything that you want to attract people with. What made you click on this blog? Was it the title or was it the image we chose at the top? Perhaps the words persuaded you to click through but more than likely it was the image that caught your attention in the first place.

Think of the things that attract you throughout the day, we are drawn in by our senses. An amazing smell, an intriguing sound or a striking visual, all have the ability to grab our attention in an instant. With such a stimulating world around us, it takes something special to really engage us. When it comes to a brand, website, article or blog it is important to strike the right balance between great content and visually impactful imagery.

Have a think about the brands that you know and love? How many of those are identifiable purely by an image or even a colour? The orange of EasyJet or the red of Virgin, the golden arches of McDonalds or the colonel of KFC. These brands have made their visuals iconic, they stand alone as a brand identifier with no words required. However, it is important to note, it took these brands a lot of time (and money) to get to where they are. For the smaller brands out there the imagery is important but they have to be backed up by text to inform and engage your audience.

For websites and blogs the written content is what your audience has visited for, unless you are an artist of course. So make sure you are writing interesting copy that people will want to read. Great content is what will keep people engaged, it will position you as an authority and most importantly it will keep visitors coming back. However, bear in mind that the great copy alone is unlikely to drawn them in in the first place.

So, think carefully about the images you use, go for impact, for intrigue, for the image that is going to get your audience thinking and get them through to your content. You know they will love it when they get there, you just need to help them find it.

If you would like more information about content and imagery get in touch with us now to discuss.

Is Creativity Dying?

Is Creativity Dying?

Today is Cyber Monday, following a hectic Black Friday weekend, where the whole world goes mad for a bargain before Christmas. It’s great, you get to stock up on everything you wanted to get, at a fraction of the price. Whilst doing my own shopping in the sale madness, I was struck but how the gifts I was buying lacked real creativity. No longer do I have the time to personalise gifts or make my Christmas cards. This lead me to thinking is creativity dying?

In an age where we are surrounded by tech and convenience, it seems the far easier option to go with the pre-made. pre-prepared and unoriginal. Even the image at the top of this blog, I am afraid to tell you, is a stock image (I hear your horrified gasps!). Would the image have been better if I had taken the time to think of the image I wanted and set it up and taken my own photo? Possibly. Did I have the time to do this? No. Would this blog have been made better for it? I don’t think so.

Creativity is changing! It is becoming more advanced, more intelligent and more integrated into life. So much so that we often do not see it. In some case, it is more convenient, we are able to use someone else’s creativity to support our own. We rely on those with strengths in certain areas to provide us with their creative ideas. Whilst others rely on our creativity to support and inspire their own. The tech around us is becoming ever more creative, allowing us to do things we would have only ever dreamed of before.

Yes, creativity is becoming less hands on for the majority of us. But, this does not mean it is no longer there. It is in fact all around us, in our new gadgets, in the way we prepare our food, in our wardrobes and on our screens. Whilst of course our children need to sit and stick and cut and cover everything in glitter, they will also learn to code and cook and design. It is the way of the future, we should all appreciate the creativity that is all around us.

The creativity of others has given me the time to write this blog, my own creative outlet. It has allowed me to be creative with my clients website, and build an amazing Lego structure with my little boy. Have a think about the creative things around you today, and think about what your creative outlet is?

Social Media for Business

With over 38 million people now using social media, the rise of its use as a marketing tool has been staggering. Raising brand awareness and gaining customers through social media was once an easy win, however with such a crowded marketplace many of the channels have made free social traction increasingly difficult. That is not to say it is impossible though. Lets look at a few ways that you can still win on social media for business.

Choose Your Platforms Wisely

Not every social media site is right for every brand. With so many to choose from you need to ensure that the platform is the right match for your brand personality. Facebook and Twitter have the biggest following and therefore are generally the go to for most brands. However, you may find that some of the smaller sites such as Instagram or LinkedIn offer you a better fit and therefore more potential to succeed. Think carefully about the personality you want your brand to have and then choose one or two social sites that match and amplify that personality. Make sure you track your success and if you find a site is not working for you, try another, it may take a little time to find the right combination.

Have a Plan

It takes time and hard work to build a loyal following for your business on social media. Once you have established your profiles on your chosen platforms, you then need to keep it fresh and populated. Many consumers use social media to investigate a brand before they make a purchase, so you want to ensure that when they find your page it has recent posts and engaged followers. Good content is vital, but can be very difficult to produce at the last minute. Take the pressure off and pull together a content plan. Plan a month ahead and keep the plan updated so you always have a good stock of content ideas.

Be Consistent

This is where so many brands go wrong, they establish their pages, post a few times and then forget about their profiles for a few months. The most important part of social media is the ability to have regular dialogue with your followers. Regular posts keep your followers engaged and show potential new customers that you are active in the market. It can also establish your brand as an authority in its sector which is always a positive. Each social platform will have a different flow of content, twitter has a very fast pace so several posts a day are fine, however several posts a day on Facebook may be seen as too much and cause people to unfollow you. An easy way to keep your feed populated is to create a daily theme, blog post on Monday, offer on a Tuesday, quote on a Wednesday etc. Whatever you choose just make sure it is regular and maintainable.

Get personal

One of the key benefits of social media is the ability to build relationships with your followers. Unlike your website, your social channels invite a two way conversation, and an opportunity for customers to get to know the person behind the brand. The language you use across social can be much more friendly, and personal, than that of your website. Customers are more likely to engage with your brand on social when they feel that there is a person behind it, for that reason you should attempt to reply to any interactions with your page as quickly as possible. Encourage dialogue with your followers through the use of poles and questions to make them feel involved.

Get Everyone Involved

Keeping your social channels populated and engaging is a full time job, but that does not mean that only one person should do it. Your business has many great assets, made up of the people that work there. Get everyone involved in your social plan. Feature expert pieces, interviews, staff updates, and give people a look behind the scenes. Get your customers involved too, if they are a fan of your brand a mention on your social media will probably get shared and liked. Potential customers love to see positive reviews and feedback so encourage customers to get involved on your page. It also helps keep your page fresh.

Don’t Give Up

Social media is not a short term win. It is long term goal to build brand awareness and establish a loyal follower base. Many brands go all in for a few weeks or months and do not see a big enough return and give up. Be patient, once you start to build up a following things start to pick up pace. And bear in mind that 50 engaged loyal followers will be more likely to purchase from your company than 5000 who come across your brand once.

Social media is an ever evolving entity and there is no set formula to success, what works for one brand may not work for another. Evolve with it, monitor what works best and build your own strategy. If you would like some help with your social media strategy or simply don’t have the resource get in touch with us today and see how we can help.

What impact does colour have on your website?

What impact does colour have on your website?

Its one of the first questions we get asked as kids, what is your favourite colour? Each of us probably had a different answer, and what’s more it probably changed over time. But why, what effect does colour have on us? It is a widely discussed topic, what impact colour has, especially when it comes to emotions. So can colour influence how people perceive your brand or the impression they have of your website? What impact does colour have on your website?

Lets look at what is generally perceived to be the effect of each colour:


What impact does colour have on your website? Red


This one is fairly well known. Red is a dominate colour and can elicit feelings of passion and anger. It is also widely used to signify that something is important or dangerous. The colour red can actually have a physiological impact on us, increasing blood circulation, breathing rates and metabolism. For this reason, it is a colour that should be used with caution, whilst a great colour for attracting attention its other side effects can cause tension to the viewer.


What impact does colour have on your website? Orange

Orange is a happy colour, it brings about feelings of warmth and excitement. It is a fairly playful colour and is often used to signify youthfulness. Orange can create haste and stimulate acting on impulse. It is colour of comfort and can focus the mind on things that provide physical wellbeing such as food, warmth and shelter. It is a fun colour. However, be wary of over-usage, too much can suggest frivolity or a lack of serious intellectual values.


What impact does colour have on your website? Yellow

Yellow is a bit of a contradiction when it comes to the effect it has on our emotions. It is often seen as a happy and friendly colour, however it also activates the anxiety centre of the brain. The shade of yellow in use is very important. It is an energetic colour and can be used to stimulate and revitalise. It is also a common colour of warnings. Use the right shade of yellow and it will boost self esteem, confidence and optimism. Too much or the wrong tone can have a very negative impact causing feelings of fear and anxiety.


What impact does colour have on your website? Green

Green is another one that has very common connotations, particularly for being natural, stable and prosperous. Because of its tie with nature it is a colour of growth and is often used in financial markets. It is a colour of balance, it is the middle of the spectrum, and is reassuring to us on a primitive level. It is a good choice for calls to action because it stands out but more softly than the likes of red and orange. However, like most colours green can also have a negative impact if incorrectly used, it can generate feelings of boredom and stagnation.


What impact does colour have on your website? Blue

Whilst often considered a cold colour, blue is probably one of the most popular colours in the world of web design. Blue is the colour of the mind and effects us mentally, in contrast to the physical reaction we have to red. Blue elicits a feeling of calm and serenity, and inspires feelings of security and safety. It is often seen as a colour of trust, which is probably why it is seen on so many bank websites. Despite not being the easiest colour for us to see it is often used for clear communication. The only thing to be cautious of with blue is, because of its connections with coldness, it can be perceived as unemotional and unfriendly.


What impact does colour have on your website? Purple

The colour purple has long been associated with royalty and luxury. The use of purple is a quick and easy way to create a sense of elegance and communicates the finest possible quality.  It has the shortest wavelength and can take awareness to a higher level of thought. It is, therefore, also connected to wisdom, spirituality and mystery. The colour purple is also highly introverted, and can be used to inspire feelings of deep contemplation. Beware, excessive use of purple or using the wrong shade could bring about too much introspection.

Of course, there are many more colours that you can chose from, including:

Pink, which is linked to femininity, youth and innocence. But, can also be physically draining and somewhat emasculating,

Brown, associated with the earth, being rustic and sturdiness, can evoke feelings of reliability and support. But can also be linked to heaviness and lack of sophistication.

Black, the strongest of the colours, adds sophistication and elegance, but with bold confidence. It communicates absolute clarity and creates a perception of seriousness. Be careful, however, as black can be perceived as menacing.

White is probably the most used colour. It pairs well with every other colour and draws out the elements of more stimulating colours. White is associated with being pure, clean and sterile. It adds a perception of space. Sterility can also be a negative connotation so use wisely.

Thinking about your website, what colours have you used? What impact does colour have on your website? What emotions and perceptions are you creating in your customers?  It is hard to take our personal preferences away (which is why this website is pink) and to look at these things objectively. Think about what you want customers to feel about your brand and work backwards, in both colour and content.

If you would like to know more about the impact colour can have on your website or any other aspect of website design and content get in touch with us today.





Do I need a blog?

Do I need a blog?

As you are reading this in our blog, you can probably guess what our answer is going to be. Blogs have become part of the mainstream, it seems like everyone, including the cat next door, has a blog now. So why have they become so popular?

Blogs offer multiple benefits to business, aside from just keeping up with social norms, let us go through a few of the main advantages:

Show your customers who you are

You have your website, which we hope is a great shop window for you business. So now how do you let potential customers know your brand personality. It has long been said that people buy people, and that is what a blog allows you to do, show your customers who you are. Your blog can communicate with your customers in a completely different way to you website. A more personal, informal connection can be established which can lead to building trust, which is key to loyal customers.

Show customers what you can offer

Your website shows customers your product range and your service offerings. Without making your website too long and bulky how can you really show customers all that you have to offer? Blog about it. Take this blog for example, we offer a blog writing service (in case you wondered), this blog is allowing us to show you why you need a blog rather than just telling you we offer the service. It also shows potential customers that you are well informed in a particular area and allows you to become a source of information.

Keep customers coming back

Once a customer has visited your website and seen what you have to offer, what is going to keep them coming back? Your blog! A blog keeps your website fresh, it gives customers something to come back for, something new for them to engage in. It allows you to keep relevant and up to date without having to update your website every week. It also gives you an opportunity to engage with customers who want different things, the blog might not be for them this week but next week it might be just what they are looking for.

Keep Google and Bing Happy

Do you know who else loves a fresh website? Search Engines. By adding new interesting content to your site you are telling the search engines you are active in the market. It makes it easy for them to see that you are a live business and worth indexing. That is a big win in the search engine optimisation game. The other benefit of a blog is the ability to communicate long tail key words to the search engines. Again take this blog, instead of just using ‘blog’ as the keyword, this blog is using ‘do I need a blog?’, which is possibly what you typed in to find it.

How do I start a blog?

The most important thing when starting a blog is to be dedicated. There is no point starting a blog and posting one every 6 weeks when you have a spare moment. The point of a blog is regular interesting content. Get a content plan together, decide how often you are going to blog and stick to it. Once you have this then you just have to start. Put your fingers to the keys and get blogging.

What if I don’t have time to write a blog?

As we said in the last point, you need to ensure you have the time to maintain a blog. So if you don’t have that time what can you do? You have two options: you don’t have a blog or you have someone help you. Obviously not having a bog is always an option and if it is not right for you then no need to worry. However, if you really want to harness all the advantages a blog can provide, using a blog writing service could be what you need. HIIT the Market, for example, offer a blog writing service to suit you. You decide the content areas and we provide weekly content to keep your customers engaged and your website fresh.

If you would like to find out more about the blog writing service or any of our other marketing services get in touch with us now or head over to our website.



Out of House Marketing Department

Here we go…

After months of deliberation and planning we have taken the plunge and launched HIIT the Market. Was it scary? Yes. Are we excited? More than you could possibly imagine. It is a dream being fulfilled and a future being created.

So why have we entered the world of marketing? In short, because we love it. Being able to create great content makes us happy. Helping a brand succeed gets us excited. And yeah, we get to spend quite a lot of time hanging out on social media. What’s not to love?

Having worked for some of the UKs leading media owners we felt it was time to use our expertise to help the smaller companies and start ups that keep our economy growing but don’t have the financial or time benefits of larger corporates. After all, that includes us now so we have lots of work to do, lucky we know what we are doing. So here we are, raring to go! And that was the biggest challenge, starting! We are small and new, but we are passionate and full of creative vibes.

It’s Monday morning and as we sit here writing this blog and drinking several cups of, now rather cold, coffee, we could not be more excited about what is to come. We are at the start of a great adventure and feeling pumped to takes those first steps on our way to the top. Even more so we are excited to help our customers take those first steps and look forward to enjoying our small part in their journey.

For those that we are working with already we say thank you, and for those that are yet to arrive we are here and waiting to get started. We hope to see you soon!

For more information on the services we provide and a little more about who we are check our website out! And of course, follow us across social!