Bournemouth Pier

Blog

Online Marketing Blog Content

VIP Influencers of your business

The VIP Influencers of your business

So who are the VIPs of your business? They are the people you should consider targeting. VIPs have a higher level of influence as theya re looked up to by certain groups of the public (and some of your target market).

If they express a positive opinion about your product, their followers will recognize and remember you for it. The influencers will hopefully encourage others to buy your products. It would be a good idea to stay aware of the following ‘VIP’ influencers:

Competitors:

Are people disappointed with a competitor’s product/ service? You can focus your conversation around the topic of their weaknesses and how yours can make up for their loss so to speak. Of course you shouldn’t discuss the actual competitor or refer to them in a negative way.

Suppliers:

Do you remember when Tesco’s and other brands were selling horse meat? If your suppliers have been caught doing something unethical, you’ll want to be well aware before the public makes the connection to you.

Employees:

Much like your customers, you’ll want your employees to be happy so it is beneficial to know their feelings towards the company outside of work. You can take necessary actions if they post colourful content or a video of themselves perhaps behaving inappropriately in the workplace (which hopefully will not be the case).

It is not just customers who can become brand advocates. If you want to create a positive company culture it is important for converting employees into brand ambassadors too.

Reviewers/ Bloggers

Bloggers have a lot of power based on the amount of views they get and how this can ultimately persuade someone to buy or ignore your product or service. You will probably find through doing some research that blogs, articles and forums reach so many people and this is where the discussions are.

As a business you can be social listening to the conversations they are having and contributing to these. Google+ is an example of a platform where people share other’s articles and discuss them. These people also have a lot of influence.

Influencers

Influencers can be anyone from a local business person with many connections to a celebrity who has used your product. You want to build relationships with these people or even a non-competitive company who targets the same audience. By rewarding influencers, their positive opinion will spread to their followers and hopefully extend your reach!

Online Marketing Blog Content

Email Marketing Tips

Making Email Marketing work for you

Some Email Marketing Tips you might not have thought of.

Email Marketing. It’s been around for a long time. So naturally, our accounts have been filling up with newsletters, updates, links and gifs from all of the various subscriptions we have signed up for at some point in our lives. So here is some food for thought. In and amongst our personal emails, there will most likely be promotional material being sent from yours and other companies. Nothing new there.

But what might not have crossed your mind is that even if say, 5 companies send 2 emails a month to their list of email subscribers. That is 10 promotional emails for one person to sieve through. Every month. That’s 120 marketing emails a year. Although we may be more selective about giving our email out nowadays, lets be honest, the majority of us probably have more subscriptions than that.

This puts you in a position where you really need to design your emails as if they are a whole separate marketing campaign. To put it bluntly, DON’T harass your email recipients. But DO personalize everything (and I mean everything) about your email.

It’s time to go undercover…

You are probably already doing this, but just in case you’re not. Here is one of the most basic things you should really aim to understand before sending out any emails at all. Who you are sending them to.

Are they busy people?

What is their lifestyle like?

Do they have kids?

Are they checking emails at work/ on their phones/ at home when they want to relax?

….And once you have asked yourself these questions you can combine the answers so that you know when the best time to reach these people is going to be.

And *side note* always have a reason to contact them. If it helps, segregate your audience into categories. Then only send relevant content to each category. That way, they are going to be happy enough to keep you on their subscribe list. Because that’s the whole point really isn’t it?

Miss Confidentiality

OK, so you’ve got the basics down. You set up your categories and designed the emails for each one. Just press send, and we’re all good right? Well…not quite. As easy as it is to CC all of the email addresses into one email with the content, click send and bam, all done. But here’s the thing with mass email distribution. Everyone can see everyone else’s details.

Here’s why that’s a problem. Not only is does it look unprofessional and it is sharing the privacy of your potential customers, but it could actually be a turn-off for customers. To avoid them hitting that un-subscribe button, personalise every email and send them individually, IF it could be interesting for the person receiving it.

Online Marketing Blog Content

Should I be doing Interruption Marketing?

Interruption Marketing

Is Interruption Marketing annoying or successful? For anyone in marketing or you business owners out there, this could be something of a grey area for you. And rightly so! It’s a risky marketing technique and the last thing you want to do is make your customers run a mile in the other direction.

If you aren’t sure exactly what Interruption Marketing is, here are some examples:

  • Cold Calls
  • Pop-ups on websites
  • Email campaigns
  • TV/ Radio/ Newspaper Adverts
  • Adverts on the bus!

The problem with Interruption Marketing

Interruption Marketing could reel the customer back in right at the last minute if what you offer them is a discount or beneficial to them in some way. So why wouldn’t we as customers love Interruption Marketing?

Because everyone is doing it.

Businesses are over-saturating customers with constant promotions. So much so that consumers are just blocking it all out. Regardless of how good the promotion is. No matter if you offer them a free trip away or the biggest discount possible.

The problem with not doing Interruption Marketing

There just isn’t that many other options out there. While everyone else in the business world is reaching out to customers, you are just sitting back waiting for them to come. The truth is that they wont.

Perhaps minimize the frequency of contact with your customers but make it focused, personable and relevant to their needs and wants is the way forward.

Its all about the quality of your service when they do interact as well as how likeable and attentive you are when they get there.

An Intern's Diary

Chapter 3 – The Pursuit of Business Meeting Etiquette

Chapter 4 – The Pursuit of Business Meeting Etiquette

“This part of my life is called internship”

They say that a first meeting with a client is just like a first date. Now, I get the reference. I guess it is because of the nerves, making a good first impression and having to prove to someone how useful you are.

I can’t help but notice a major flaw with this analogy though. How many people do you know that have been on a date with 6+ people at once?!

Is there some kind of formula to business meetings? Like some kind of unspoken system that everyone is aware of but no one speaks about? Because my experience of them so far suggests to me that I am starting from the bottom of this system for sure… *cough* thanks Drake *cough*.

If you haven’t read my first blog article, I talk about my interview and first official meeting. Although no animals attended this one (shout out to those who read it!), I definitely didn’t start this meeting giving off a great first impression.

I wont lie to you, it was clear that no one was expecting much from me. At all. But you know, we went through the typical process. Everyone introduced them selves, giving anecdotes and mad tales about how they have found their way to this prestigious hotel. We spent ages discussing the moments that lead us all to being sat across the table from other successful Jazz advocates.

This part of my life…this part right here? This part is called “being stupid”

I wont lie to you; there is still a little part of me that in these social situations wants to rebel. You might have picked up on this from my blog, but sometimes, words come out of my mouth when, they shouldn’t really…Don’t get me wrong I don’t offend anyone. But even now, when I think about being sat at the table and being asked my name there were so many opportunities. So many missed opportunities…

       My name is (what?) My name is (who?) My name is…*slicker slicker* Slim Shady.

       My name’s Jeff!

       You talkin’ to me?

       My name *dramatic pause* is Optimus Prime.

But i’ll stop there before I get carried away. Can you imagine though, the looks on their faces if I had responded with any of those…priceless!

Anyway! I pretty much did the usual, my name is Rosie, I am a student…Doesn’t have the same flare in my opinion but hey, we are adulting now!

The point of this article is really just to show you guys that despite my tendencies to embarrass myself or mess up the simplest of things, especially in the work environment, I am growing up.

See, at this particular meeting I was assigned the job of minute taking. And was expected to make everyone’s tea. Side note – none of these things were the reason I was actually invited to the meeting.

And don’t get me wrong, I understand that sometimes when people go on placements, they only get given jobs like this to do. But I honestly feel like I am valued more at my placement, so wasn’t best pleased when empty mugs were being intentionally put on top of my notes (while I was writing them!) by people I have never met before!

There were a lot of topics to cover at this meeting. So, the duration did extend by quite a lot. The topics that Mike and I were there to discuss were towards the end of the schedule. And only one or two really were relevant to us.

This part of my life…this part right here? This is called “happiness”

The ‘client’ is the Bournemouth Jazz Festival. Mike threw his idea of a Jazz village (for the free events) in the centre of town, on the table. And I surprised the panel with my idea for an Air Saxophone competition to build momentum online throughout the event.

At that moment, as if I was the young Jayden, I could hear Will Smith telling me – “If you want somethin’, go get it. Period.”

I explained my concepts behind the competition and how it would be structured. In the corner of my eye, I could see that the Simon Cowell of Jazz and Events (who had the most impressive Jazz CV at the table) was impressed. Result!

I do accept applauses, pats on the back, red roses…you know, whatever you like…But long story short, I am now in charge or organising and running my idea, and am also on the Management team for the Bournemouth Jazz Festival! (woop woop!)

But seriously, after my interview, first official client meeting, and then how this meeting started off, I felt like Will Smith in the Pursuit of Happiness when he finally got the job! (You know, with less set backs and misfortunes…)

Online Marketing Blog Content

If you feel locked out of Social Media, Blogging…

If you feel locked out of Social Media, Blogging is the key…pt.1

Social Media is the end of the world as we know it…

Are you struggling to make social media work for your business? Have you tried all of the recommendations and just can’t see that any of it is actually a productive way to spend your time? Well, actually social media is much harder than it seems!
For whatever reason, you haven’t quite connected with your target market online. No need to fret. There is a solution. Blogging. I know what you are thinking; it’s a waste of time, I don’t have anything to say etc. But hear me out…

It is no secret that Inbound marketing is a popular approach used by businesses. You want to be found by your target market, and so you need to have content for them to find. Now, there are a number of reasons why you could be struggling to connect with your audience. This isn’t necessarily your fault – it could emanate from either you or them.

What is the difference between article writing and blogging?

You may already be writing or sharing articles on your social media. Which is great. Keep those! But lately, blogging and articles have become something of a grey area.

You really want a variety of ingredients to build up the content on your social media pages. Essentially, all of the veg is the stuff surrounding your business. The conversation starters. The content that doesn’t talk about what you do, but the things you and your audience share a common interest in. Not the most important, but rich with vitamins.

Examples of this are the articles you write or shared from other people, current affairs, motivational quotes, national days or chats with your audience. It is all good stuff. All of these things could be of value to your target market, even if they aren’t always about your business. This value is reflected on you.

Too much however can (like vitamins) become a waste. Your company is lost in content that is irrelevant to you, and your audience loses interest. This explains why it is so hard to convince your kids to eat their veg…

Online Marketing Blog Content

If you feel locked out of Social Media, Blogging…

If you feel locked out of Social Media, Blogging is the key…pt.2

The secret ingredient

This is where the secret ingredient comes in. The core attraction of the meal (business). The meat. The PERSONALITY. The biggest difference between an article and a blog is the personality. You express it through the tone of your writing. It makes you human.

This is what people relate to.

You are a business, and of course that is the main purpose of blogging and your social media campaigns. But naturally, we feel more willing to do something if we like the company and feel we can trust in them.

And fortunately for us, you don’t have to be a big company to do this. Every business has a personality.

Online Marketing Blog Content

If you feel locked out of Social Media, Blogging…

If you feel locked out of Social Media, Blogging is the key…pt.3

The ROI of blogging

How do you work out if blogging is working for you then? Well…it will start off a slow process. You need to build momentum and keep people coming back.

You need to work out what it is you are aiming to achieve through your blog. You are investing time into it. A popular desirable outcome is something like increasing reach or interactivity online. You can monitor views, clicks and where they are coming from on your social media business pages. But the return you will see will not only be quantitative.

You will build a reputation as well as loyal relationships with your customers. You are present by regularly updating personable content. Not forgetting, that the more you are reading and writing about your topic area, the wiser your employees become in your field. You will use this when communicating with leads online as well as existing customers when delivering a product or service (giving you an expert and trustworthy appearance).

The benefits can be difficult to measure. Unfortunately, your potential leads can often see your content, go away and come back a few times before they convert to a customer of yours. You wont be exposed to that whole process.

Blog! Blog! Blog! It will get you and your employees knowing your brand like the back of your hand. Naturally, it will become engrained in the delivery to your customers and company culture too…

Online Marketing Blog Content

6 reasons why you should offer online coupons on…

6 reasons why you should offer online coupons on social media

Word on the street is we are all pretty savvy when it comes to finding a bargain. And I’m sure you’ve come across an online coupon before…But have you considered using one for your business? Apparently, consumers these days are quite the detectives…doing a lot of research before they purchase a product to see what is the best offer. If you offer a discount, this really could be the deal-breaker for securing customers.

If you aren’t offering this type of promotion, here are a few reasons why it could benefit your business:

– They are easy to track! Especially if you use different codes per social media platform – that way you can see where your customers are coming from. Not to mention you also get feedback that you can use in the future to target your markets. Win-win!

– Online coupons are convenient for consumers to share and don’t require too much effort. This also opens up the potential for conversations to start about your products/ services.

– Reduced costs on printing and distribution – Who doesn’t love that?

– You’ll be showing your appreciation to existing customers. Saying thank you for staying loyal by rewarding them with a coupon will reassure them that they are important to you, and keep them coming back. It’s easier to keep existing customers than get new ones! Don’t forget about them, they are important.

– Coupons attract new customers! Social media is called social for a reason. Increase your reach by using Facebook and Twitter to promote the coupon so that your customer’s best friend’s cousin’s acquaintance and their dog knows about it. You can even appear on coupon websites to reach people who otherwise might not have come across your offer.

– Your social media pages can get more views! Think Return on Investment. As part of your discount campaign, a call to action might be necessary to get the deal, e.g. ‘like’ the Facebook page for a discount… Guess who is winning the popularity contest? That’s right, it’s you!

So all in all, offering a coupon can truly add value to your business to customer relationship. And the data you will collect is invaluable for your future campaigns. So what’s stopping you? Go and plan your coupon!

Online Marketing Blog Content

How to increase your leads through online marketing

How to increase your leads through online marketing

What is a lead?

To put it simply, people who don’t only visit your site or social media page but get in contact with you about your products or request information about your services are considered leads, even a ‘like’ on your Facebook page can be considered a lead.

Total Gridlock! Generating traffic

If you wanted to buy a novel that your friend recommended, would you go straight to the local bookstore that you can’t remember the name of? Or would you look at the prices that Amazon has to offer?

Well it is the same for your business. If you aren’t a well-known brand, the chances are that people are not specifically searching for your name when they are looking for a specific product.

This is where search engines become your best friend. If you incorporate key words into your site that your audience is likely to search for, you increase your chances of being discovered. It is more likely that visitors find you through suggestions or come across you online by coincidence.

Facebook and Twitter are powerful tools for finding new leads. Start conversations with people regularly through your social media. It is a brilliant channel to get noticed as well as to direct visitors to you website. That’s where all the good stuff is, right?

Try to make sure that your online branding and design is consistent across all of your social media and website. Let people know that you are present and up to date, add links to your social media pages on your website and visa-versa. In order to get leads you need to generate traffic.

How to actually get people there

Generating traffic isn’t always the easiest thing to do. Whether or not you are successful often comes down to the quality of your content. You could build an amazing strategy to get more people to your site, but if the content isn’t great when they get there or specifically what they are looking for, you won’t increase your leads.

There are methods that you can apply. Focusing too much on attracting traffic rather than targeted traffic could attract too many of the wrong people to your website, such as those who aren’t interested in what you offer. Here is a reminder of the different channels you can use.

Social Media

Social Media is important because the potential ‘footfall’ is endless!

Content

Don’t just be present on Social Media though. The CONTENT is vital. If you are taking part in conversations online, use these to learn about the questions people are asking. Then add content to your site to cover these topics. It’s highly probable that this is what people are searching for so make sure your site has that information ready to share. If you don’t others will.

Other people will pick up on these conversations through you or even other company pages. Or even through other people that took part in the chat with you, sharing their experience.

Do you know what that means?

It means, the potential for being found increases through discussions, social media, referrals, links and this isn’t limited to just your own content.

You are leaving a ‘virtual trail’ so to speak.

Email Marketing

If you are creating articles, getting involved in a big event or offering an exciting deal…send this to relevant groups who might be interested.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

This is a technique that is becoming more popular because a user who is looking for something in particular will research it and their options before choosing the one that is best for them.

Blog Articles

Share your blog on your social media. Although the visitor is being sent away from the original post, they are being redirected to your website. Hopefully, they will navigate to other blog articles or around your site.

This is why it is so important that your website is of high quality. Once you have got people to the website, you have done the hard part. You don’t want them to travel all that way to be disappointed once they arrive at (hopefully) the ‘final destination’ aka your website.

An Intern's Diary

Chapter 2 – L34rn1ng C0d3 0n th3 j0b

Chapter 2 – <h1>L34rn1ng C0d3 0n th3 j0b</h1>

Learning code on the job! Ahh now this is an appropriate time to just kgkshfejhgv all over the keyboard. Coding does not come naturally to anyone – I think it’s fair to say. I mean, maybe it’s just me? But I am pretty sure marketing students don’t usually have a prior knowledge of HTML or CSS… If I am wrong please stop me now! In some ways I am grateful that it is not a compulsory part of my course. More than anything, I am so thankful I have now experienced using it for myself!

For those of you who have attempted to make a website through programs like Wix, it’s not as quick and easy as that, but well worth it in the end.

<h2>My experience</h2>

With everything that Cracking Media has thrown at me so far (and I have dabbled in many areas of the business already), I was just as eager to be the next biggest coder. The Steve Jobs of coding if you will.

*Queue the Rocky Soundtrack please*. So how did I learn HTML I hear you ask? I did it old school.  Back to a trusty pen and paper. I wrote codes over and over again with random content for no website in particular. Using free html validators to check the codes I had written worked, I was feeling pretty much untouchable.

Then the time came. I had to work on some CSS for a real client’s website. I was knocked down a few notches pretty much straight away when I discovered that their codes were way more complicated than the ones I had written. Realistically, they were always going to be…

Just like Rocky in the first movie, I technically did not win. But that’s okay. With the help from Mike I styled my first client’s web page! Rocky won Creed’s respect. I won Mike’s.

<h3>Joomla</h3>

After the lengthy and by no means stress-free (on my part) process of building the website, in comes *drum roll please* trusty Joomla! A Content Management System (CMS) I have to say I am much more fond of using! Joomla is kind of used as the headquarters for uploading content to your websites. Whether that be weekly blog articles, or all of the products you see when you shop online.

I’ve learnt that this process can be the quickest job of the day if you are uploading an article for example. Or, it can be a day’s job if the website has a lot of products to upload, add descriptions photos and styles to each and every one individually. I guess when you need to use Joomla, the experience can be a bit like marmite?

To sum up, I didn’t become the Steve Jobs of coding. But I have realized how involved this side of marketing is. Before my placement I mainly understood marketing from a managerial perspective; coming up with ideas and making decisions. Now I feel like I understand just how much goes into the process of physically building up these platforms as well as planning them, and how challenging this actually can be.