Have you changed your focus?

Look back 50 years and marketing was a very different beast. Products had longevity, people invested in long life items, rather than the disposable society we are fast speeding towards. Audiences were naïve to what went on ‘behind the scenes’ and adverts were often viewed with trust and respect. The use of mass media was the only way to reach your target audience, but it worked. The brand was in charge of the relationship and the marketer sat in the driving seat.

Fast forward to 2018 and people expect more, much more. The consumer has taken charge. The focus has made an unusual shift, away from the product, and now lands firmly on the consumer and its interactions with the brand, both online and offline. Brands’ definition of success now encompasses the interactions and conversations taking place with users, and even between users themselves. Companies are striving for better engagement, which leads to a better understanding of its target audience, which comes round to improve the engagement further. It is a constantly evolving cycle, with the aim of building long-term sustainable relationships.

To achieve this engagement, communication with your target audience needs to be regular and consistent. It needs to reach them where they are, online or offline, and it needs to be truly interactive. One way messages pumped out to mass audiences are no longer going to win the brand race. Even with the best messaging and a great product, users want to get to know the brand in this interactive social environment before they invest their time or money.

As users increasingly interact with brands, and each other, online, it is becoming more difficult to control the image of your brand.  User-generated content, reviews, forums, social posts all have the power to add to or to subtract from your brand. The number of areas that users now expect a brand to deliver on is constantly expanding. To truly be a success a brand needs to have a strong online presence, be cost and time efficient, use an integrated approach to marketing, engage with its users, and that’s not to mention the principles and values that are now considered so important for a company to demonstrate.

With so many variables it can feel at times like it is an insurmountable task. This is just the new marketing normal. If you haven’t already now is the time to shift your focus externally, no longer is just about your product, its about your users and how you encourage them to build a long term sustainable relationship with you. And if you can pick up some advocates, and even super fans, along the way then you are on the path to success. It is time to align better with your target audiences core values and really become a customer-focussed business. How do you do that? This is where the marketer steps back into the driving seat. Don’t have a marketer? This is where you contact us!


Influencer Marketing

The Power of the Influencer

The digital world is expanding by the second. With close to 47 million internet users in the UK alone, being able to reach your target audience is becoming increasingly challenging, especially when you are fighting for attention against hundreds of other brands. On Facebook alone, an average 2,000 posts a day are eligible to appear in a users news feed. How do you cut through this noise and reach the right people? An increasingly popular tactic is the use of influencers.

Influencer marketing is becoming increasingly popular with brands looking to create high value conversations with their target audience. Lets take a closer look at this popular marketing trend.

What is an Influencer?

The concept of using influencers is not a new one. Brands have long used celebrities to endorse and advertise their brands, think Kevin Bacon and EE. Whilst celebrities still hold a lot of value to brands, a new type of influencer is emerging across the social media space. No longer do you need to be famous to gain a following.

As the digital world evolves, its users are now looking for more than celebrity advertising, they want knowledge. Influencers can now be anyone who knows their area, be that fashion, film, engineering, food or even pharmaceuticals. People want to know what the experts think.  Social media influencers have developed a strong following based on sharing great content based on their expert knowledge.

What types of Influencer are there?

There are broadly two categories of influencer:

  • Celebrity Influencers – these influencers will generally have over 1 million followers and will normally be well know outside their areas of expertise.
  • Micro Influencers – these influencers will usually have between 10,000 and 100,000 followers and will be well know within their field.

The type of influencer you should target often depends on the type of company you are, including your size and budget. Very large well known brands will generally go for an A list celebrity who is well known to most of the population. SMEs, however, will more likely use a micro influencer who is well thought of in their field. Take a small fashion brand, for example, they will not have the resource nor budget to work with the likes of Kate Moss, however they could work with a fashion blogger who has 50,000 followers to get their brand in front of the right people.

How do I know which Influencer is right for my brand?

Research! You need to make sure you are working with the right influencer, one who’s followers have the same attributes as your target audience. There are 8 keys steps in creating an Influencer Marketing Strategy:

  1. Set Objectives – before you even think about which influencer is right for you, you need to know what you want to achieve.
  2. Know your target audience – research your audience, where do they spend their time on line, what content do they consume, who do they respect?
  3. Identify influencers – look at the popularity and expertise that they are offering, do they match with you brand.
  4. Engage – if you are approaching a good influencer an email is not going to get you far, they probably receive hundreds of communications and you will get lost in the crowd. Instead, engage with them and their content, show that you can offer them value.
  5. Understand – use your engagement with your target influencer to build an understanding of them. What are their needs and interests? What are they saying? How are they saying it? How do they feel about your brand? Start a dialogue with them, send them product samples, involve them in what your brand is up to, ask them for ideas. You need to have a two way relationship based on trust and respect.
  6. Rewards – be careful at this stage, ensure you know your influencer and why they want to work with your brand. Some influencers will be offended by the mention of direct financial rewards, others will expect it. It is important to understand their expectations and ensure the relationship is mutually beneficial.
  7. Content Co-Creation – don’t expect them to do all the hard work. You need to work alongside your influencer. Develop a content plan and strategy with them, they will be probably be very specific on the type of content they are willing to share and what, if any, calls to action they are will to use.
  8. Measurement – as with any part of your marketing strategy you need to know if your influencer marketing is a success.  Determine what your objectives are and how you will know if you have achieved them and monitor them regularly.

Do I need to work with Influencers?

This is very much up to you. As with many forms of digital marketing it is not a one size fits all. Much will depend on who you are targeting and how. However, it is worth bearing in mind that brands that have invested in influencer marketing have reported great results including double the sales of paid advertising and a 37% higher retention rate.

If you would like to know more about influencer marketing and how we can help get in touch with us now.


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.

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.

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.