We are only just two weeks into the New Year, and already it seems that the market is sorting out the wheat from the chaff. Last week saw the closure of camera retailer Jessops and last night news broke of HMV going into administration. [More]
A recent report on eConsultancy has indicated that the adoption of mobile commerce (mCommerce) is due to finally become a main stream channel rather than the just another toy for aficionados. This is in thanks, largely, to the increased saturation of tablets within the personal computing market. [More]
So today is ‘Black Friday’, a relatively new concept to these shores, which as with most things these days it seems, is another craze which we have inherited from our American cousins. Whilst it is not fully adopted over here yet, Black Friday is certainly starting to filter through to our retailers both online and offline. Black Friday originated in the States as being the name given to day following Thanksgiving Day which also marked the traditional start of the Christmas shopping season.As with the Boxing Day sales in the UK, retailers are seen to open extremely early and offer excellent promotional sales which are often for 24 hours only as a way to encourage customer engagement. Primarily the adopters in the market are U.S. based, but there is becoming a wider acceptance amongst UK retailers also. Today, for example, Amazon and Apple are leading the way with promotional savings, which according to reports will go a long way towards generate an estimate £200m worth of online sales across UK websites. But, like America, reports also suggest that the craze is due to have a positive impact on high street retail as well, with footfall expected to increase significantly as consumers hunt out the bargains. What I have found interesting though is the low adoption rate of Black Friday by our client base, and also by other retailers of similar size/industry. Research shows that the promotional day is likely to be here to stay in the UK, especially given our desire to adopt “Americanization’s.” Working in the online world though, this can only be positive step for increasing sales, traffic and revenue.
Yesterday I was lucky enough to attend the first ever ‘Content Marketing Show’ in London. Run by the same people behind #BrightonSEO, the show was a real success which can partly be pinned down to variation in perspectives and the approaches discussed.
Rather than do my ultra-long ‘take away’ blog post as normal (I think my last post had 150 takeaways!), I’ve written a more condensed post focusing on important actionable takeaways for SME’s or Agency’s working with SME’s.
I’ve broken each speaker’s presentation into two parts; key points and actionable takeaways.
Due to the shear depth and amount of topics covered during the day I’ve also split my blog post into two parts.
Influence Flows – Phillip Sheldrake (@Sheldrake)
The first talk of the day was Philip Sheldrake of Euler Partners who’s talk covered the history of content marketing, how it works and methods to measure in a real business context.
Content marketing started over 100 years ago with newspapers, before moving to TV and Radio towards end of the last century. Then we have internet in its current form today.
No matter how much content you produce online it will get consumed.
Social Media users each have their own channel, which crosses over with other users channels. This is best illustrated by websites and Apps like FlipBoard and Instapaper.
Influence can be defined as: "You have been influenced to do something you wouldn't have otherwise done".
Everyone can be influential, but some are more influential than others, the end goal of producing content is to create influence.
End users don’t have paid, earned or owned content channels, its one channel to them.
Write your content with the view that on some level you’re trying to influence an action.
Be wary of using Klout to identify influencers or in reporting as it doesn’t measure sentiment when scoring.
For every piece of content you produce make sure you have a strategy. The outcome of your content marketing should always reach your goal. Remember that every business is unique, so tailor your KPI to the important parts to your business. (See Slide Blow)
Content marketing 20 Nov 2012 from Philip Sheldrake
Agile content strategy – Lauren Pope (@La_Pope)
Lauren Pope’s experience of content marketing is one I’m sure many SME’s (or Agency’s working with SME’s) can relate to. She works on a small team with limited resources and limited time.
Her presentation discussed methodologies she has taken from agile project management experience and applied to content marketing, to create effective content that works on a smaller scale.
Angle content marketing is built on the three principals, to help inform your strategy and continually generate and inform future content production, showen in the slide below:
Agile content strategy from la_pope
Place yourself in the reader’s shoes when defining a strategy. What is the readers purpose for reading the document?
Don’t be afraid of retrospectively editing your content to improve it further based on feedback.
Understand that content does have a life span and don’t be afraid to kill it when it runs out.
Brain storm with Post-It notes, getting all your ideas out in one place. Do this as a team and edit it down to those ideas you can actually achieve.
With your idea’s filtered down, define your user story to guide your content production. Answer the below questions as these questions make sure you place your user at the centre of your content. The final question will also help define your KPI's.
As a ____
I want a ____
In order to ____
Get something quick and dirty live; publish, gain feedback and then improve.
Use Google Analytics to gain insights into which keywords perform best on a given page; those with high engagement (Long reading time etc…) and inform further content production or improvements to existing content. Look at metrics such as average visits, viewing time and conversions.
Digital Storytelling: The Power of Content Marketing – Ian Humphreys (@ianphumphreys)
Ian discussed the importance that narrative plays in great content and how it can drive discussion, further increasing its value.
When writing content, think about your businesses story alongside your client’s story. For example an eCommerce website selling pillows, should not be marketing the great pillows they sell but instead promote a good night’s sleep.
Narrative driven content marketing allows you to tell your own story and more importantly can allow your readers to tell their own story.
Failures are part of good content marketing, if you don’t have them you’re not pushing hard enough.
A great example of this story tell process is Chevy’s ‘My Dads Cars’ video (Shown Below)
Make sure your content includes opportunities to share your own stories.
Ensure the discussions you setup are built around the subjects you wish to promote.
To avoid brand trolling like the recent Waitrose hash tag high jacking, take time to honestly step outside the brand and think how you could be mocked. Adjust your strategy based on your findings.
There is nothing wrong with incentivising bloggers. This can be something as simple promoting their blog to help increase their readership it doesn't have to be paid!
How To Win At Pooh Sticks – Tom Ewing (@tomewing)
As a researcher rather than a marketer, Tom Ewing offered more of a cultural-analysis spin on content marketing. Primarily his point was that the content you produce should be viewed as part of the users stream on social media.
Not one piece of content is bigger than the overall stream.
Much like the game Rock Band, users are forever presented with further new content to consume.
Content flows into the feed, most people forget it days later, your ‘stock’ items are the content you produce that is still interesting in two years.
Friendship networks are the people you went to school with, interest networks are the people you wish you went school with.
Content is not just created, its replicated and even mutated. For example Pinterest is a replication of content, where YouTube contains large amounts of video which is mutated from its original form.
Make sure you content marketing plans include content which stick in people’s flow in the long term.
We generally tend to think much less than we actually realise. People like to ‘go with the flow’. Create content which matches their intentions and help guide them toward your end goals.
Stories, Number & Conversations – Antony Mayfield (@amayfield)
Antony’s presentation on data was primarily about the learning you can gain if you connect multiple ‘big data’ sources together to inform content marketing strategy. In some respects I do have some presentation issues as most businesses don’t have access to this kind of data, however I still think SME’s can take some learning from this approach.
Story telling can scale. It is important to scale your ability to tell stories, listen to customers. 1-2-1 Conversations.
Obama’s choice to do a Reddit Q&A during 2012 US election, was not driven by wanting to seem ‘cool’, but rather data telling his campaign team that there were large amounts of swing voters on Reddit.
Real data insights when you connect multiple databases together, connect the dots so to speak. Gain insights about your customers.
Finally make sure you keep your website the hub of your content marketing efforts to drive SEO success.
Stories that scale: Big Data + Big Stories from Antony Mayfield
Look at a way of integrating your databases. For example, find ways to link Google Analytics, Social Media, Customer and email marketing databases.
Replace the sales funnel with the Mckinsey model to look at what content is needed at what stage and where their users are going to find it.
Tales from a Content Marketing Rookie – Mila McLean Homburg (@mrshomburg)
Mila like many in the industry is only just getting to grips with content marketing, so her initial insights in to this new (old) marketing discipline should resonate with many people.
Good content isn’t cheap not just financially, but time wise, be prepared to invest.
Larger content marketing projects require project management just like any other project.
Utilise your team and work with those who aid your end goal and where possible have an interest in your/your clients sector.
Don't be afraid to try something new and be willing to go beyond articles and blogs
Importantly have standards and make sure your happy with the end result, once it's in the net it's there for a long time.
Find out who your customers are, does your manager/client agree that real people match up with analysis of data? If not then why?
Leverage existing business/client relationships for content production, these can often be missed opportunities.
Understand client/business brand guidelines and how they want to be presented externally.
5 Things You Always Wanted to Know About Journalists But Were Afraid To Ask – Désiré Athow (@desireathow)
As the editor of ITproportal.com, Désiré Athow offered his perspective on how journalists and PR professionals interact and more importantly how to engage them in more effective ways.
Journalists have been educated to be wary of those in PR as often their end goals differ.
On the whole journalists are passion driven so gestures go a long way to building lasting relationships.
Page views link directly to advertising revenue for journalists, understanding this KPI is important.
Get social with journalists, build relationships via social media before contacting them via email.
Pitching via email works best as it doesn't interrupt their work flow as opposed to phone call pitches.
Provide exclusives, even if that means reformatting old data and spinning it from a new angle.
Use phone to calls to build relationships; Not pitches.
Attend industry events and personally meet with them if possible.
It’s that time of the year again where men (and women, but mostly men) come together to help and aid raising vital funds for Prostate Cancer UK and the Institute of Cancer Research through the growth of facial hair and the humiliation (or manly-ness, whichever way you take it) of growing and grooming a moustache.I personally have wanted to join in with Movember movement in the past, but never had the guts to really do it on my own. So it was decided to rope in the EAOM digital marketing team and any other members of the Exact Abacus Group to boost participant numbers and awareness of the cause. (http://uk.movember.com/about/)We’ve managed to recruit 22 Mo Bros for our Movember efforts here at Exact Abacus which should make for November to be the hairiest it’s ever seen (excluding Paolo, of course).I’d like to wish all of our Mo Bros and Mo Sistas good look and hope we manage to raise a decent amount of charity funding and awareness. And for all the ‘Hairy Top Lip’ haters out there… roll on Decembeard!Pesh – Tasche Grower
To sponsor team Apple Macintash go to… http://uk.movember.com/team/628361
Have you ever had a leaking pipe or faulty boiler and tried to fix it yourself? Or a wall that needed a fresh coat of plaster or a carpet you thought you'd fit yourself? The answer might be yes in some cases (only to realise you've made a pigs ear of it and in the end you've called an actual plumber or plasterer or carpet fitter). All three professions mentioned above are just that. Professions... what does the word profession mean? In the dictionary it states a profession as 'an occupation requiring special training or knowledge'. I wouldn't argue with that, especially when trying to skim a wall or fit a boiler. So why is it that people think design is any different?Maybe it's the seemingly easy and comfy surroundings of a studio, computer and a cup of coffee that makes people think the job must be or is easy? Maybe it's the lack of any actual physical hardwork, like there is in other professions. But it is still and will always be precisely that, a profession, a job people do professionally and who have studied and learnt and spent years at Colleges and Universities to get to a level of quality which allows them to make a living from it. Now I know people will turn their hands to almost anything, especially us blokes. But let's be honest, if a plumber turns up to fit a radiator, the only thing you'll do is offer him a cupper, not stand over his shoulder telling him he's doing it all wrong or asking him 'are you doing that right' because at the end of the day unless you've had some experience with plumbing, for example, then you'd have no idea what was going on.
However, when it comes to design, every man and his dog thinks they have a little creative side and thus think they know best. Surely the reason they approached an agency in the first place is because they're the specialist and know what's best? But when it comes to taking briefs and specs they insist upon certain things asking you 'what do you think' and usually the response through gritted teeth is 'no...' Now I'm not against input from anyone, but I am against a good piece of work being ruined by someone who thinks they know best. Maybe what he or she wants to achieve is fine, but the way they've gone about it won't be. At the same time designers have a tendency to self-indulge in work, overlooking what the someone might really want or need in place of something they personally like or might have seen.
I suppose what I'm ranting about is that people are in their jobs because they love it or enjoy it but most of all because they know what they're doing, wether you're carrying a hod of bricks or sat in a comfy chair with a pencil and paper in front of you.
So next time you have a bright idea about how to change something on your web site or advertising etc, consult with your designer first! :)
As a Digital Marketing Agency, you may be led to believe that EAOM focus purely on all things digital, be that web design, SEO, PPC, email or social media marketing. However, there are certainly more strings to our bow than that.
One key area we are very passionate about is the development of brands. Not just a logo for a website, genuine brands to work in offline and online channels. We are getting more and more work for brand development and offline marketing materials, to work in conjunction with websites that we are developing, so we thought that it would be good to share the knowledge of how we go about developing our brands.
Each project starts with a fact finding session (normally over a day), to allow us to really get under the skin of the client, their business operation, who they are targeting, what the culture of the business is and how they want to position themselves. At the end of the day you can’t sell a brand if you don’t understand the brand.
We then begin work on getting that ‘thing’ on to paper. This involves coming up with various different treatments, from the icon (mark), to the fonts that go with the logo and different colour pallets.
Our work then translates in to the use of supplementary fonts, colours, images, and tone language used in text and on the page. It is often this element that can really help to develop a brand, and can often be overlooked when considering how you want to position your business.
If you want to find out how EAOM can help develop your company’s brand then call us now on 01772 331830 or fill out our contact form.
PPC advertising is probably the largest breakthrough in marketing! We have put together our Top 5 Tips so you can get the best out of PPC.
Limit your adgroup size to 10 keywords max.
Use Adwords rules to prevent overspend.
Test, test, test... Continually split test adverts.
Match budget to seasonality.
Pause keywords that don't deliver leads or revenue.
Here at EAOM it’s a very Happy 1st Birthday to our fantastic team! Founded on the 1st August 2011, we’ve had a fun year, on both a work and a personal level.
Our first year as a digital marketing agency has been ridiculously busy whether this has been designing websites, copywriting, assisting clients with their SEO, PPC or Social Media campaigns.
So to celebrate a hectic but successful first year, we thought we’d share with you what it’s like to be an EAOM team member…
How to get the infographic on your website or blog
Want to get place the EAOM infographic on your website? It couldnt be easier simpler, just insert the below HTML and there you go, realy is that simple
<a href="http://www.eaonlinemarketing.co.uk"> <img src="http://www.eaonlinemarketing.co.uk/EAOM-Infograph.jpg" alt="EAOM Birthday Infographic" /></a>