Bournemouth Pier

Our four top picks for free Analytics tools

Our four top picks for free Analytics tools

Now this section does seem a bit daunting, and frankly too time-consuming to do thoroughly for many small businesses. Luckily, there are tools available that allow you to keep track of the searches you do and convert all of that information into an overview.

The information can be put into dashboards, graphs or charts and they let you keep the content for future use. As these tools are flexible, you can focus more narrowly on what you would like to know.

For example, the frequency of mentions over time, demographics, urgent content that you need to respond to much more quickly and you can even use it as a personal ‘database’ for you to pick and choose what you need when you need it.

Online tools that are available to you:

Socialoomph: On Socialoomph you can manage your social media accounts and blogs as well as schedule posts in bulk, target users to follow and download analytics that have been gathered for you.

Although scheduled posts are handy and can save you a lot of time, you might want to consider whether this feature will be particularly  helpful to the variety of audiences you want to reach on different online platforms.

Hootsuite: This tool is highly recommended by experts. You can subscribe to the free version online or (if you are willing to pay), you can add features such as private chat. If you are a manager for example and will have multiple employees using the tool, you can see when they are logging in, delegate work online as well as chat with employees (which is great if your employees work out of the office).

The cost of this feature increases per member so if you are a smaller business the cost is not too extortionate. Analytics are sent by email reports, which you can file or download to your desktop.

ManageFlitter: A great feature of ManageFlitter is the ‘power post’. See when most of your followers are online and schedule posts appropriately during this time. Other features involve tracking ‘unfollows’ and are soon to be introducing an analytics feature in some form.

Social Mention: Social Mention is a slightly different social listening tool. Instead of a dashboard of your accounts, it is a real-time search where you can find the most up-to-date information at that time. Just like other search engines, it is free and based on keywords or phrases.

You may have to filter out some irrelevant sources, but this tool does consider the meanings behind what you search and the information it finds, as well as brings up related keywords, mentions per second and the top users. Of course you would have to keep checking the same keywords over time if you would like to monitor them.

There is also the option to download the data. A very good tool, but depending on the aims of your business, it may not be the best if you are going to be away from the office and unable to monitor the information in the background.

Keywords are key

Keywords are ‘Key’!

Imagine you wanted to find a good quality printing company that offers next day delivery. How would you find out? Through a search engine like Google most probably, right?

Most people tend to search a question or phrase to get the most relevant information (based on previous searches of other people). You can do the same for your business, and this is probably one of the first steps to take if you want to understand your business and your customers.

One of the ways that you can benefit from the basic method is that you can keep track of trends in that subject area. If there are frequently asked questions about a product or even growing concerns, you can analyse these over time and plan how you will communicate (and adapt) your message to appeal to these trends.

Google actually provide a tool that can help you with this, called ‘Google Trends’. It essentially does the analysis for you. If you are interested in the tool, what it does is it condenses the data into a basic form about how much interest there is in your product over time, where it comes from as well as other categories such as related searches.

An example of a web designer using this in action

Someone may post on a public forum asking if anyone has had any experience with a good web designer. That person through a referral may then find a web designer.

However if the web designer was tracking the questions “where can I find a good web designer?” or the trend of having a responsive design (Albeit they may have to sieve through some irrelevant data) but they then have an opportunity to respond to that individual within a short time of them posting. Then they can introduce themselves as well as ask about what that person has in mind.

This is the good news! The web designer has not only targeted an interested individual but also reached many more by engaging in conversation through an online forum. This content will stay online indefinitely and therefore always accessible for individuals who may find the forum in the future.

Again, Google Trends is a great tool to start you off as you can monitor how interest in the topic fluctuates over time. If interest picks up, then you have that prior knowledge of the trend that you wouldn’t have had before to dive into a discussion with these people, at the perfect time.

How to tackle Content Marketing

How to tackle Content Marketing – Be aware of your surroundings!

I guess you could say Content Marketing is one of the latest crazes! But some people have done it since marketing began.

So much plays a part in how we choose to deliver our content. Everything from our social and cultural groups to our individual preference affects how we interact with content. Not to mention the different tones and atmospheres on each social media platform that already exist, and how people are already using them.

If someone wanted to post a quick, witty comment about current events or something that happened in their day, they are probably more likely to use Twitter. Twitter is generally recognised for the sense of humour in the content.

Instagram of course is used differently. Do you see what we mean? This puts you at an advantage because you already know who it is that you want to talk to and the type of content to create.

But bear in mind too that people tend to behave differently behind a computer than face-to-face, including when they interact with businesses/ a brand.

Consider how you would deal with a customer in person; you wouldn’t take every customer out to a 3-course dinner with wine to discuss potential business opportunities as different customers are worth more to you. So you should do the same online.

Staying relevant can be a tricky and time-consuming task. Even if you are engaging with conversations regularly, you may find yourself having similar conversations or even pestering people.

You are probably thinking how do I avoid pestering my customers? And still stay relevant in their minds? Get involved with or start conversations about relevant topics that are happening locally or even globally as well. Don’t only post about your business. And post where conversations are already happening.

Tip: Make sure you keep the values of the business throughout any opinions you or a colleague expresses towards controversial topics.

Traffic vs Conversion

What is the difference between traffic and conversion?

So you have got more traffic to your website. If your website is not good quality, you will have a low conversion rate, i.e. not many genuine leads. You could get hundreds of people visiting your website, and still only have a handful of people who will actually get in contact with you.

Nevertheless, more traffic means more potential leads. Hopefully though, the content on your website alone could increase the percentage of people who ‘convert’, without having to increase the amount of visitors to the site.

There are a number of factors to consider about your actual website too. More functionality features than style tips, but anything down to the colour of a button can affect how users interact with your website. Yes, you may have a colour theme or a preference in your mind. Try to remember though, that the reason you have the website is for your customers and not for you.

What would you rather, a slightly different appearance to what you had in mind but more leads that follow through with a purchase…or would you prefer the pretty design you pictured, a lot of traffic to the website but not a lot of business heading your way. Of course this is an exaggeration and other things come into play but it may be beneficial to research these things when designing your website. We are after all, simple creatures…


– Any traffic is not good traffic.

– Create content because you know that’s what your customer wants to know, not just what you already know.

– Visitors will ‘convert’ if they trust you; try customer reviews, case studies…a ‘meet the team’ page? Some businesses upload photo albums from behind the scenes in the office to show people that they enjoy doing what they do.

– Call-to-actions. Have opportunities for conversion in more than one place on your website and social media, without saturating the site with popup forums. You don’t want them to feel like they are being hassled.

-Include video on your website.

Have you heard about Social Listening

Have you heard about Social Listening?

No? Well you have come to the right place. Long story short, it’s all about paying attention to your customers online.

Here is the low down on how you could benefit from doing this!

You can use Social Listening to manage the mentions of your brand as well as communicate your message to a new or existing market! Just keep in mind that you need to create up to date and relevant content that does appeal to your business needs, and this tool will do all the hard work for you.

If you are a start up business or perhaps just using social media as a new strategy, Social Listening is perfect for managing mentions of your brand or creating a strategy to reach as many people as possible for example.

It may seem daunting at first; however stick with it as we will be talking about simple to use tools that will help streamline the process.

Social Listening is a tool, but it is also a long-term strategy and a commitment. The first steps are as easy as researching your target audience, influencers, keywords and trends. Your social business strategy will start to take shape.

You will be rewarded for your perseverance when the business suddenly has a lot more opportunities arising that you wouldn’t have come across without Social Listening. If you do feel like you need a little extra help, subscribe to a tool that you think will fit your business best for getting you started or feel free to leave us a comment with any questions.

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:


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.


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.


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 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!

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.

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.

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…

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.