Social Media Engagement

Why Engaging on Social Media is a Must For Your Business

Posted Leave a commentPosted in General News, Inbound marketing, Marketing

Why SOCIAL MEDIA ENGAGEMENT is a Must For Your Business

Social media engagement is a way of nurturing existing leads whilst attracting new ones.

Let’s start by asking yourself a simple question, do you have a social media engagement strategy?

Whether you have one hundred followers or one hundred thousand followers, the power of interaction can propel your brand forward. It allows you to build followers, brand awareness and interact with prospective clients.

Social media engagement is a way of nurturing existing leads whilst attracting new ones. 

Did you know that 73% of marketers believe social media has been “somewhat effective” or “very effective” for their business? And did you also know that on average, every social media user has 7.6 accounts?

To put it into perspective, the likelihood of your business being noticed on social media is extremely high. 

But.

Yes but and a big but at that.

It isn’t enough just to have an Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or any of the countless social channels that keep cropping up. You have to be active. 

In order to gain traction and build brand awareness, you have to be posting interesting and engaging content, and engaging with your target audience which will, in turn, attract customers. 

Interaction can be anything from posting on your feed to replying to a retweet. Interacting with other accounts can help to raise your engagement as well as pulling more valuable eyes to your page and consequently, to your business. 

Let’s not waste time and get stuck in!

  1. Establish your buyer personas- who are the accounts you need to be targeting? 
  2. Schedule time to engage 
  3. Don’t underestimate the hashtags
  4. It is NOT all about the likes.

Establish Your Buyer Personas- Who Are the Accounts You Need to be Targeting? 

Before you do anything, you need to narrow down who your target audience is, then you can take a more calculated approach. When it comes to interacting with these relevant social media accounts, you’ll know who you’re looking to engage with.

online marketing

Ask yourself some questions about your buyer personas:

  • What social platforms do they hang out on?
  • What are their interests? What kind of accounts do they follow?

This will be crucial when turning prospects into leads and in turn, customers.

Schedule Time to Engage 

If you have a posting schedule which allows you to plan your content ahead of time, it will help you stay on track with your goals. It will also free up some of your time and consequently, save you money.

By implementing a strict social media content calendar, you can schedule a set time for engaging on your social media platforms. Social media platforms such as Instagram, Twitter and Facebook are more active during lunchtime, as most people are on their break at work.

So, if you schedule an hour to sit and reply to comments and engage with other accounts, it will bring more eyes to your profile. This will raise your brand’s awareness as well as engaging your audience.

Don’t Underestimate the Hashtags

Although ‘feed’ is an Instagram-sentric word, it can be applied to all social media. Whether you are tweeting, posting or sharing, your platform is your space to showcase what you have to offer.

There are many ways to make a feed more engaging.

Hashtag

It’s all about the captions and the hashtags. 

Firstly, captions can change the direction of your content completely.

Whether you are using stock images or older photos, you can always make it more compelling by adding a caption which directly relates to your business and invites people to interact in conversation.

Similarly, you can utilize the hashtag feature, which is present on most social media platforms.

Hashtags make you accessible and easier to search for.

Did you know that around 125 million hashtags are shared on Twitter everyday? 

People will generally use a hashtag to find, follow and contribute to a conversation about a certain topic. The more you use a hashtag, the more likely it is that your profile will become easier to find.

Another good idea is creating your own hashtag.This will establish your brand as a thought leader, make it more recognisable on social media and give your followers something to contribute too. 

It is NOT all about the likes.

Whilst having lots of likes on social media usually means your account is popular, it doesn’t always equal quality engagement. 

You don’t want just anyone viewing your Twitter, Instagram, Facebook or LinkedIn. You want real people who might turn into potential leads. One retweet or comment from an interested account could lead to a much more valuable interaction. 

Likes

One of the most important things about social media is that it allows a business to interact with their customers personally. It builds a level of trust and companionship between the brand and the user.

These tips will not only help you gain traction on your social media accounts but it could also help you come into contact with some new customers. Social media enables your business to boost traffic, exposure and even gain marketing insights

Communicate Your Brand

How to Compose a Killer Blog Headline in 5 Simple Steps

Posted Leave a commentPosted in General News, Inbound marketing, Marketing

How to Compose a Killer Blog Headline in 5 Simple Steps

Although a working title might be vital to good content writing, it’s not necessarily what the blog should be marketed as.

As content marketers, we’ve all been there when it comes to writing a good headline.

You’ve written the perfect piece of content: it tells a story, you’re targeting your buyer persona at the right time, and it’s SEO optimised.

But then comes the daunting task of creating an appropriate headline, one that will capture the hearts and minds of your audience and, most importantly, make them click on it.

Although a working title might be vital to good content writing, it’s not necessarily what the blog should be marketed as. Imagine if this blog titled “blog headline writing” popped up on your social feed. Would you have clicked on it among the variety of other articles promising to solve your day-to-day marketing challenges? I didn’t think so.

So, without further ado, Catch the Cat presents its blog headline best practices for composing a killer title that will leave your audience with no other option but to click.

Read on to learn:

Keep it Relevant

blog headline

Yes, we want people to click, but we also need to ensure the headline is still relevant to the piece of content in question.

For example, this blog could well be called “Free blog headline generator!!!”. Sure, it might get more clicks but more importantly, it would mean we were misleading our loyal readers, which we’re definitely not here for.

So, before you do anything else, make sure it’s clear in your mind what your blog is about, who it’s for, what challenges it solves, and how it serves your audience in their buyer journey.

 Pro tip: Write your content with a core keyword in mind, preferably something your target audience is likely to search for. Build your content and your headline around this keyword, making sure you’re always focused on what your audience can gain from your content.

Decide on a Key Takeaway

You don’t have to be an SEO expert to know how to identify keywords in your content. Whatever your blog may be about, there’s probably one key takeaway you want your audience to walk away with after reading it. The purpose of this blog is to provide you with the tools to create a killer headline, so that’s what we’ve called it. Don’t be afraid to keep it simple and explain to your audience what reading your content will do for them. After all, isn’t that all we’re looking for as consumers?

blog headline

Do a brain dump!

Ever heard of a brain dump? Well if not, prepare to have your life changed!

A brain dump can be any short period of time (let’s say a minute or two), where you pick a topic, then dump down all your ideas onto paper without thinking about them.

In this context, why not try brain dumping down as many headline options as possible for your content within two minutes? Then, go back and pick the “best” one, taking into account the steps in this blog.

blog headline 

Avoid clickbait

Clickbait may have had its moment in time – admit it, who hasn’t been tempted to click on one of those “Celebrities You Never Knew Dated” listicles before? – but that time is well and truly past us.

In 2019, clickbait-y titles should be avoided like the plague. Not only can they mislead the reader, but you’ll also risk alienating your audience.

Trust issues aren’t exclusive to relationships; a clickbait title might garner your website hundreds of hits the first time around, but it could mean your audience no longer trusts you as an authoritative source. Plus, you could be penalised by Google’s ever-changing SEO algorithms.

blog headline

Size matters

You might have found yourself asking the question, “How long should a blog post headline be?” Well, length may not always be the most important thing, but in the case of writing blog headlines, it’s definitely up there.

It might be tempting to include as many keywords as possible in your title but keeping headlines short is usually a safe bet.

That being said, if you’re marketing your content on social media it’s a good idea to get an understanding of how headline title lengths perform on each platform. For example, you definitely ought to veer away from lengthy headlines when sharing posts on Twitter, given the character limit for tweets sits at just 280.

Pro tip: According to Hubspot’s research, the most effective headline length if you’re looking to increase social shares is around 8-12 words.

Writing a good headline isn’t a science, but it’s definitely a skill you can learn and one that’s vital in the process of content marketing.

We hope these steps will help you nail your content writing, but if in doubt get in touch with the Catch the Cat team via the form below! 

Communicate Your Brand
lead nurturing

How to Generate More Leads and Nurture Your Existing Ones

Posted Leave a commentPosted in General News, Inbound marketing, Marketing

How to Generate More Leads and Nurture Your Existing Ones

If you don’t know what lead nurturing and generation is, you’re missing out on a great deal of opportunities to keep existing customers and attract new ones.

Many businesses either simply don’t have a lead generation / nurturing strategy in place as part of their inbound marketing or just don’t know how to implement one to produce measurable ROI on your marketing spend.

This blog post talks you through:

  1. What’s the difference between lead nurturing and generating?
  2. Ways of generating more leads
  3. Why you should be nurturing your leads

What is the difference between lead generation and nurturing?

A lead is a person who has indicated interest in your company’s product or service in some way. 

It works like this: a visitor clicks a call-to-action (CTA) that takes them to a landing page.

They fill out a form which gets them to download an eBook or sign up to a newsletter.  At which point they then become a lead.

Many make the mistake of thinking that lead nurturing and generating is interchangeable or the same thing. 

This couldn’t be further from the truth. 

In fact, for most businesses, regardless of the industry or the products and services being offered, lead generation and nurturing is a critical component of a successful sales and marketing strategy.

Let’s say you run a restaurant.

Keeping your customers happy by providing them with amazing food and service is the sole purpose.

You want them to keep coming back and to tell their friends too. 

As well as serving great food, you have to nurture these relationships to turn those customers into advocates of your brand.

As well as existing customers you also want to keep new customers coming into your restaurant. 

Lead generation is the process of attracting and converting strangers and prospects into someone who has indicated interest in your company’s product or service.  

Ways of Generating More Leads

lead nurturing

Let’s go back to the basics. 

A visitor comes to your website via your extremely compelling CTA, which then takes them to a landing page on your website. Here they have to fill out a form to receive free information i.e an eBook, offer or subscription to a monthly newsletter. 

To generate more leads there are a number of marketing techniques you can use to collect your prospects data and turn them into leads. 

 A few ways to generate leads are:

  • Use the social media channels your target buyer personas are using.

Now we’re not just talking about using Linkedin as a prospecting tool.

Your brand should be present on the main channels your buyer personas are. How else can you expect to connect with your audience if you’re not hanging out where they are?

Social media is also great for social listening and monitoring. This means you can get the chance to keep tabs on what your audience is interested in and what they’re saying about your brand.

Your social media is a chance to show some personality and interact with your brand in a more informal environment. 

  • Write blog content 

Are you writing blog posts yet? You should be.

Start by writing about what you’re an expert in. When producing topics for your content, think about the types of questions your target audience want answers to and will be searching for.

Use compelling call-to-actions inside your blog posts to direct traffic to a lead generating form to turn these prospects into leads.

You can also include internal links inside your blog posts, this keeps traffic on your website for longer, by bouncing your prospect around your website. This increases the chance of your prospects converting into a lead at some point on your website.

  • Attend networking events

Get stuck in at networking events!

Not only are networking events a great place to make new connections and generate leads- but they’re normally also great for bagging some free food or a drink at least! 

Make attending these events part of your lead-generation activity, it’s a great way to grow your reach and potentially drum up new business.

We know networking can be daunting- so we’ve written a few tips so you’re not jumping in completely blind!

  • Mingle, be human and have fun. Don’t take things too seriously!
  • Bring business cards to hand to your new acquaintances. Oo-er.
  • Ask to connect with people on LinkedIn if you think they have potential- you can just do it from your phone.
  • Eat and drink as much free food and drink as you can stomach.
  • Email sequences

Implement an email sequence for your generated leads, each sequence should be tailored to your lead and the way they have interacted with you.

For example, if a lead converts with you through a form in front of an eBook you can create an email sequence that follows up from that.

It would look something like this:

  • Email 1: Address the leads pain points derived from the eBook topic 
  • Email 2: Follow up on eBook download
  • Email 3: Reference a past case study
  • Email 4: Reach out one last time

Email sequences are an important part of your lead nurturing strategy.

They allow your brand to send a timely follow up to your warm lead before they go cold.

There is a 20% increase in sales opportunities from nurtured vs non-nurtured leads.

Also, the research reveals that companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales at a 33% lower cost!

Why You Should be Nurturing Your Leads

You might be a lead generating machine with compelling CTA’s, a kick ass social media strategy (build one of these here) with impactful e-marketing campaigns. 

BUT. None of this really matters if you’re not nurturing your leads once you’ve generated them. 

Implementing an effective and coherent lead nurturing strategy can have a huge impact on the results of your inbound marketing strategy. 

Marketers see an average 20% increase in sales opportunities from nurtured vs non-nurtured leads.

The aim is to coax the prospects you’ve created (from your amazing lead generation) to the point where they turn into paying customers. 

When it comes to lead nurturing, one size certainly does not fit all. 

Your lead nurturing strategy should be designed around each of your buyer personas, each persona will require a different type of messaging and different content depending on their stage in their buyers journey. 

Strategically nurturing your leads using targeted content can significantly improve the results of your marketing strategy.

What lead nurturing tactics can you use to warm your leads up from cold to hot hot hot!

Lead generation and nurturing are two valuable parts of your marketing strategy, get it right and you’ll notice an increase in revenue!

If you need any more tips and tricks on your lead nurturing / generating strategy, or if you simply don’t have one- then hit us up. 

We’re experts in growth marketing specifically inbound marketing, we work with you to create measurable campaigns with proven ROI on marketing spend.

Communicate Your Brand
marketingpride

The Marketing Pot of Gold at the End of the Rainbow

Posted Leave a commentPosted in General News, Inbound marketing, Marketing

The marketing pot of gold at the end of the rainbow

How brands use the power of marketing to capitalise on big events and festivities like LGBTQ+ Pride.

It’s coming into summer here in Brighton and with the sunshine comes rainbows!

If you’ve heard one thing about sunny Brighton it’s most likely either:

a.) We have dive bombing, food stealing seagulls the size of small dogs.

b.) We’re known as the ‘gay capital’ of the world.

c.) Brighton and Hove Albion Football club.

Whether it was A, B or C – we’re really lucky to live in such a culturally accepting little nook of the world.

Pride month is in full swing and in Brighton this year the main event is taking place on the 3rd and 4th August and we have Kylie Minogue performing at the notorious Pride in the Park.

But this really got us thinking. We see plenty of support for the LGBTQ+ community worldwide. All the big brands, the small brands and all those in between demonstrate their support.

We’re looking at how brands use big festivities to get a leg up on their marketing and sales without actually supporting the cause internally. 

Are brands using the Pride flag as a leg up on sales?

In the lead up to the LGBTQ+ festivities our Brighton is plastered in the symbolic rainbow flag, but you can also begin to notice the rainbow creeping into stores and making its way onto anything it can.

From Coke bottles to beauty products. The symbolic rainbow is plastered on everything and anything marketers can get their hands on.

We can’t help but think that amongst the true supporters, there are hundreds of brands using the rainbow as a ladder to climb up and over the rainbow to reap the profits of the big pot of gold the other side.

We believe true brand purpose is not just about creating ad campaigns but more about how companies actually operate.

If brands are celebrating the LGBTQ+ community this month it’s important to also ask whether this support filters all the way through their business model… And are they demonstrating such strong support throughout the whole year?

A great example of a brand that has done just this, is Skittles.

marketingpridemarketingpride

They’re whole marketing strategy is based on their rainbow branding and product, so when pride comes around every year- they remove the rainbow from the product and packaging completely in honour of Pride.

On top of this, 2p from every packet sold was donated to an LGBTQ+ charity.

The notion of removing the rainbow rather than adding one is an interesting take on Pride marketing, you can decide for yourself whether the allegations of racism due to the fact the promotional packs were mostly white are justified.

When the campaign launched in 2017, the promotional packets of Skittles were only available in Tesco in the UK. This looked like the company was just testing the waters with sales on the promotional packs, rather than actually showing its support.

If the Pride rainbow was the most important rainbow for Skittles, this would be reflected across their full range?

Skittles is owned by Mars. When you look into Mars’ own Human Rights policy to see whether it is a supportive and inclusive place to work- they don’t actually reference their LGBTQ+ workers.  It also doesn’t contain any information about inclusivity, which makes us think that maybe the company isn’t as supportive as you might think.

Be an advocate all year round

The LGBTQ+ community is big enough to stand on its own, brands should shy away from using the generic slogans about love and finding yourself and instead directly address the community they are essentially capitalising on.

We should all strive to be more socially conscious in our marketing, rather than using, abusing and climbing over culturally important topics to get to the pot of gold on the other side.

Brands should be ensuring all their campaigns are fully representative and supportive.

This doesn’t mean you have to be really overt about your support or put a rainbow on everything..

It’s also important to make sure that this public support brands are quick to shout about is reflected throughout the rest of their company.

It should be standard to have inclusive policies in place that address brand language and offer support to anyone within your company who is part of the LGBTQ+ community to really be a true advocate.

I believe the phrase is- practice what you preach.

As an industry we know the power of advertising, and we have the ability to normalise, as well as celebrate, a group of people who so rarely get to see themselves represented so greatly.

Think your business could benefit from a more holistic approach to your marketing?

Inbound marketing is just one part of a larger movement in the business world.

Inbound is a method of attracting, engaging, and delighting people to grow a business that provides value and builds trust.

As technology shifts, inbound guides an approach to doing business in a human and helpful way. Inbound is a better way to market, a better way to sell, and a better way to serve your customers.

Because when good-for-the-customer means good-for-the-business, your company can grow better over the long term.

Communicate Your Brand
keyword research tools

Keyword Research Guide For the Clueless

Posted Leave a commentPosted in General News, Inbound marketing, Marketing, SEO

The Keyword Research Guide for the Clueless

In this article, you’re going to learn how to perform keyword research for search engine optimisation (SEO) as part of your content strategy.

So you think you’ve written a knockout piece of content?

The only way you could’ve done that is by using our ultimate checklist for knockout blog writing and if you did that then you should of already done your keyword research..

We’re going to take a stab in the dark and say you haven’t if you’re reading this content. Or you are looking to understand content writing in even more detail.

In this article, you’re going to learn how to perform keyword research for search engine optimisation (SEO) as part of your content strategy.

Let’s get started:

  1. What is keyword research?
  2. How to start your keyword research
  3. The right tools for the job

What is Keyword Research?


Shall we start off with what are keywords?

Keywords are either a single word or phrase that search engines look for when crawling the internet, for relevant content for the searcher.

The overall goal of keyword research is to find out what your buyer personas are searching for and what it will take to actually rank for those keywords.

If you’re not sure who your buyer personas are, you better read this.

For example, when you type ‘Best Doner Kebab in Hove’ into Google after a big Saturday night out in Brighton, Google will search for relevant content that includes the specific keyword and variations, such as the following:

  • Doner kebab Hove
  • Kebab Hove
  • Best kebab Hove
  • Doner kebab
  • Best doner kebab

    keyword research

Even when you think you’ve listed out all the different keyword variations there are plenty more! One way to find common searches and variations of your keyword is to perform a standard Google search and note down all the searches that come underneath.

Keyword research is the process of finding those keywords and analysing the actual search terms that people enter into search engines against your business.

Why is keyword research important?

Simply put- because without it, how do you know which way you’re steering your content strategy?

By researching keywords for their popularity, search volume, and general intent, you can build content that answers the questions that your buyer personas are searching for.

However.

This doesn’t mean that you can just insert those keywords randomly in to your content and hope to rank number one on the first page of Google..

The way Google’s algorithm works, means that rankings no longer rely solely on the exact match of a keyword.

It’s the intent behind the keyword, and whether or not your piece of content solves that intent.

User intent is now one of the most important factors in your ability to rank well on search engines like Google.

Your web-page should address the problem a searcher intended to solve, rather than simply holding the keyword the searcher used.

Aimlessly adding keywords inside your content with no real user intent or purpose can be seen as keyword stuffing by Google. Once you’ve been identified as keyword stuffing there’s no going back with Google.

How to Start Your Keyword Research

keyword research

To kick off your keyword research, you’ll need to think about the topics you want to rank for.

When you’re creating this list of keywords, you should keep the following in mind:

  • What is your product or service?
  • Who is your target customer?

Had a think?

Do you have a list of 5-10 topics now?

These will be your core topics and are normally a much broader keyword like ‘Pizza’ or ‘Pasta’ if you were an Italian Restaurant.

Underneath these core topics, you will have 5-10 subtopic keyword phrases. For instance, let’s take ‘Pizza’ our core topic keyword and break this down into keyword phrases that we think our user will be searching for.

  • Margarita Pizza
  • Top pizza restaurants
  • Calzone
  • Pizza delivery
  • Pizza near me
  • Pizza deals

Repeat this process for each of your core topic keywords, making sure that you are using a mix of both short and long-tail keywords.

Long-tail keywords are longer keyword phrases that usually contain three or more words that are specific to your product or service.

Someone searching for ‘pizza restaurants in Hove’ has a much higher propensity to purchase than someone just searching for ‘pizza’. Including a mix of short and long-tail keywords will mean you’re guiding your buyer at every stage in your marketing funnel.

You should be left with a very large list of keywords and phrases, that you need to whittle down- let’s look at the tools you can use to do this.

The Right Tools For the Job

keyword research tools

There are a number of tools you can use to check things like cost per click (CPC), competitiveness and most importantly, average search volume.

Google Adwords; Keyword Planner

The Keyword Planner is easy to use and flags any terms on your list that either:

  • Have too little or too much search volume.
  • Have a high competition level.
  • A high CPC.

Terms that match the above don’t help you maintain a healthy mix.

Before you go ahead and start cutting out terms from your list, use the Google Trends tool to look at their search history and projections!

This will give you an indication into whether it might be something you should invest in now, and look forward to reaping the benefits later.

  • Competition – The Competition column gives you a sense of how many advertisers are bidding for a particular keyword. This data can help you determine how competitive the ad placement is.

     

  • Global Monthly Searches – The approximate 12-month average of user queries for the keyword on Google search.

     

  • Local Monthly Searches – If you specified a country or language for your search, this is the approximate 12-month average number of user queries for the keyword for those countries and languages.

     

  • Approximate CPC – This is the approximate cost-per-click you might pay if you were to bid on the keyword. The CPC is averaged over all the ad positions.

     

SEMrush

You can run a number of free reports using SEMrush that show you your top keywords for the domain you enter. This is a really quick way to see the types of terms your competitors are ranking for and to search for your own domain.

Our favorite features for keyword research:

  • Keyword magic tool
  • Topic research
  • Keyword difficulty

Moz

This tool has a whole host of amazing features that Google Adwords and SEMrush can’t give you. One of the features we use is predictive keyword. It tells you the keyword difficulty, volume, and expected organic click-through rate (CTR) to help predict your ability to rank and drive traffic.

Using a mix of these tools will help you make an informed decision on which keywords are going to help boost your SEO efforts and which ones just aren’t worth it.

What are you waiting for?

You’re armed with keywords for each stage in your buyers journey, now you just need to implement them into your content strategy.

Be sure to re-evaluate your keywords every quarter to ensure they are maintaining your current presence whilst being aware of changing trends in search volume and competitiveness.

We’re aware that keyword research is a large and timely task, hand over the stress of it all to us and we’ll deliver a comprehensive and in-depth keyword research for your business!

Communicate Your Brand

Your 4 Step Guide On How to be More Creative in Your Marketing Without Designing a Single Piece of Art.

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Company News, General News, Inbound marketing, Marketing

Your 4 Step Guide on How to Be More Creative in Your Marketing Without Designing a Single Piece of Art.

We all associate inbound marketing with fancy billboards, catchy tag lines and the art of selling indirectly to our target audience.

We all associate inbound marketing with fancy billboards, catchy tag lines and the art of selling indirectly to our target audience.

There are plenty of ‘motivational speakers’ who talk about the things you MUST be doing. You only have to look as a far as Gary Vee, hats off to him, he has managed to build a substantial social following. The piece about ‘firing your best employee’ was a great listen, but I largely disagreed with it. That’s a story for another time.

Ultimately, what they don’t tell you, is how you should be using, quick wins and long term techniques inside your own business.

As consumers, we are exposed to marketing messages at every corner of our day.

Without even being aware, your purchases are subliminally being influenced by companies who see you as their ‘target audience’.

Your marketing communications should be doing the same. Why?

Long gone are the days of the hard sell or the last click conversion. We, as consumers, have no interest in working with people who’s only focus is to get us to buy stuff. It even goes beyond this, we have a moral obligation to be ethical in our ethical in our inbound marketing.

We want to be educated.

We want to receive free information and be consulted on best practice.

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Most importantly, we don’t want to just be a ‘customer’, just a number amongst hundreds of thousands of others. We want to feel valued and understood by real people and business’.

Micro breweries, including Phil Harding and the Boutique Bar Brands team, are a prime example of how tailored and personal experiences resonate better with our target audiences. There are more pubs in Brighton than days of the year to enjoy a fancy IPA or delightful Gin).

Mad Men is a great show (if you haven’t watched it, then you really should!). Mad Men outlines where marketing originally started, bar the questionable morales demonstrated by Don- that is something marketing isn’t about.

It is where everything was driving a ‘cool’ message along with some fancy imagery.

Not about educating your audience to allow them to make the best decision for them.

If we are honest with ourselves, creating fancy art is significantly easier now than it was 15, 10 or even 5 years ago.

No alt text provided for this image

We’ve all got caught up in the aesthetics, pristine graphics, and everything having to be super easy on the eye.

Instagram is a great example of how fancy imagery and unrealistic visuals can be used to make us all buy into something we don’t even need.

Our good friend, Elin over at Brighton Journal is a great example of how Instagram is all about the visual (innocent plug of an account we manage!).

Marketing used to be about resonating with the audience and building a customer story to truly engage and drive your brand message.

Adobe Creative Cloud should be like second nature to any marketeer, whether you are in house or agency side.

Somewhere along the line we have lost track of everything marketing is trying to achieve.

No alt text provided for this image

But that doesn’t mean we have to retire our creativity hats.

It means we have lost track of the creative part of marketing. Using your story, your brand and your expertise to deliver the right message at the right time.

Here they are. What the ramblings (just ask Dan TyreMaría Dómine and Coman Doyle about how much I love to ramble on) above has all been leading to.

How to be more creative in your marketing, without just using one piece of design software.

User segmentation

At its core, marketing is about delivering the right message, product, or service to the right person at the right time. In the Mad Men era of advertising, this was easier to do than it is today.

Products and services were fairly standardised and there were a handful of mediums that would cover a large percentage of people. Social ads weren’t a thing back then.

While each contact is a snowflake and should be treated that way, it’s important to segment your database to see who’s similar.

These segments can be divided in an endless number of ways: demographics, industry, company size, page views, numbers of emails opened — you name it.

Well.. why don’t you name it in the comments below!

There are three core ways you should be segmenting your data at its highest level:

  • Cleanliness
  • Organization
  • Audience

These are the foundations you need to lay before you start getting really creative with your segmentation. HubSpot are pretty much the gods at knowing how to segment data.

The true creativity comes when you start merging these different data points and attaching them to your buyer personas.

Be Don Draper, in that room full of smoke, a whiskey on the rocks, faced with a group of senior execs, all looking to you for an answer.

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Get your creative thinking flowing.

How can you begin tying different parts of a users demographic or behaviour together to create a brand new persona?

Smart messaging and content

Now we are super creative, and we still haven’t even opened up an Adobe product.. Who would have thought that would have been possible five minutes ago?

So there is a really cool trend building, smart content. It is almost nothing like having a smartphone, apart from the tag ‘smart’. If anything, it is most probably smarter than our smartphone.

What is smart content?

Smart content, also referred to as dynamic content, is website content that changes based on your interests or past behaviours.

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Smart content is designed to offer a more relevant and personalised experience to website visitors — one that static content can’t provide.

Guess what? You then include this content inside your work flows.

Why would you bother going to all that effort?

Your database is diverse. Whether you have 100 of 100,000 people within thereI can guarantee everyone’s needs will differ.

Think of it like going speed dating. You don’t repeat the same sentence to every person you sit in front of. If you do, and you were successful, it’s time you told us your secret!

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But, for those who take a more tailored approach, this one’s for you.

Pillar pages… within pillar pages…

There is a great video outlining everything you should be doing with your workflows.

It’s unfair to compare this to our good friend Don Draper. But, this demonstrates the advancements technology has given us to be creative.

Creative away from just building some attractive artwork.

Workflows are the way people get work done, and can be illustrated as a series of steps that need to be completed sequentially in a diagram or checklist.

Now, you will need a bit of time on your hands to get through the video above, so let’s quickly summarise how workflows allow you to be creative in your approach.

For those of you who are primarily B2C, you want to begin thinking about:

  • Basics
  • Email flows for a product sale
  • Birthday messages
  • Time lapse for X amount of time
  • Intermediate
  • Cross selling products
  • Upselling products
  • Reminder to purchase again
  • All out pro
  • Defined lists with presets
  • Propensity to purchase
  • Propensity to lapse
  • Smart content. Actually, we are getting too excited. More on that to come.

For those of you who are primarily B2B it’s time you think about:

Basics

  • Ebook download
  • New blog post

Intermediate

  • Product/service usage
  • Last interaction

All out pro

  • Propensity to purchase
  • Lead scoring
  • MQL to an SQL
  • SQL to an MQL
  • Smart content. Guilty! Getting ahead of ourselves again.

Within these, using your CRM and your data, you can then go ahead and start building your lead scoring and propensity models.

This is where it begins to get pretty smart.

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Everything we have spoken about above starts coming in to play.

Your:

  • Segmentation
  • Smart Content
  • Pillar Pages
  • Workflows

Start coming together.

The leg work is done, but we aren’t finished yet.

It’s time for you to be your own Don Draper and merge it all together.

Finding it a bit daunting? Well, we can’t give everything away!

You will have to schedule a 15 minute discovery call if you want to learn more. 

 

Pillar pages… within pillar pages…

t’s kind of like the evolution of social media, and why EVERYONE should be on it. For some industries it was much earlier, and for others much more recent. But, we all now know the business benefits on being nice and social.

Here is a nice article from the guys over at Moz to tell you a little more about it, more specifically Rand Fishkin who is only beaten by Matt Cutts on SEO knowledge: https://moz.com/blog/seos-direct-ranking-signals-google-whiteboard-friday

Pillar pages, your next social media craze. The only thing holding you back from doing this, is the knowledge it even existed. Because… if we are being honest… it’s the one thing you should be doing right now to get your company ahead of the competition.

Human search behaviours have changed, and so have the technologies used to interpret and serve up search results. Optimising blog content to rank for long-tail keywords is no longer the best way to rank in search engine results — and your blog architecture has something to do with that.

People are submitting longer, more conversational search queries.

Picture yourself before entering a Google search. If you were trying to find a local place to eat Pizza, would you search for “restaurants,”? or would you search for “Pizza restaurants near me”?

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Not only are they local to us, but they know local search, Brighton Local.

If you’d go with the second option, you’re among the majority: 64% of searches use four words or more when searching, we’re seeing a growing number of these longer-form conversational search queries that help people find the exact information they’re looking for.

But let’s say we aren’t doing local search. Let’s say we are wanting to learn about a new car.

The way most blogs are currently structured (including our own blogs, until very recently), bloggers and SEOs have worked to create individual blog posts that rank for specific keywords.

The result is disorganised, and hard for the user to find the exact information he or she needs. It also results in your own URLs competing against one another in search engine rankings when you produce multiple blog posts about similar topics.

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Your search will be different to the person sitting next to you.

Neil Patel speaks about the importance of creating a spider web in a post not too long ago.

But just to recap.

When you’re building your content, the user should always come first. Your primary focus is to make it as user friendly as possible for your user to find and explore the right content.

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Picture this, you jump in to your car and you begin a journey to a location you have never been before.

You follow your Google Maps (although we hope you are not using your phone whilst driving!). You follow the correct directions, take your left, take your right and so forth.

Then you come to a dead end.

There is now way through.

So what do you do? You turn around and go back.

Its disjointed experience.

We can think of this in the same way as when someone is reading one of your amazing articles. Don’t allow them to come to a dead end at the end of that post, lead them somewhere else!

 

Communicate Your Brand
socially-conscious marketing

Why We Should Be More Socially-Conscious in our Marketing

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Company News, General News, Inbound marketing, Marketing

Why We Should Be More Socially-Conscious in our Marketing

Last week was #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek and we were looking at how and why we should be more socially-conscious in our marketing.

Our decisions are affected by inbound marketing every day.

Not sure what to watch tonight?

‘Oh, there’s a Kylie Jenner post, I’ll watch the Kardashians!’

Not sure if your six month old phone is still up to date?

“Oh look, a Facebook ad with financing to purchase a new phone”

socially-conscious marketing

We’re all being marketed too, whether you realise it or not.

Unfortunately in the world we live in now, marketing has become a key influence on the decline of mental health- specifically in teens.

The onus is on us to market more responsibly and to the right audiences. Not to easily impressional audiences.

While a lot of work has been done to change the stigma surrounding mental health, there is still a great effort that needs to be made in order to address the issue head on in society.

We’re going to take a look at:

It is our job every day to encourage people to take action. However, not at any cost, and most certainly not at the expense of people’s mental health.

What is Socially-Conscious Marketing?

Conscious marketing is all about building something so compelling it fits into the heart of your business and services.

You want people to tell others about you and share your business, these customers become advocates for you which means you require little advertising and mass marketing.

It starts with having a product or service that fulfils a human need, rather than creating a superficial want.

socially-conscious marketing

Let’s use the global crises of the worlds natural state rapidly declining, as an example.

We are all aware of global warming.

Some of us have taken a conscious decision to live a completely sustainable and ‘green’ lifestyle in an effort to save the world and it’s creatures. Recycling doesn’t just stop there, learn how to reduce, reuse and recycle your content.

Vegan-ism is becoming a large part of society, and rightly so. The core focus being on the environment.

Whilst some of us are just doing our bit by recycling in our homes, not buying and using plastic bags for our shopping or by using bamboo toothbrushes.

The rise in demand for us all to be more sustainable and conscious in our consumption and usage has naturally led to a change in marketeers messaging.

The conscious consumer will put their purchase on hold with loads of questions, and most likely some research leading up to their final decision to buy- based on a host of determining factors.

This is where our roles as a marketer, for social significance, becomes so important.

  • What does the customer think about?
  • What troubles them?
  • Where do they devote their thought, energy and time?
  • Is there room, wherever they are, for your message?
  • Could people feel wrongly pressured by your messaging?

Answering these questions before you tailor your marketing message to be more conscious will also encourage you to take on an inbound marketing approach.

What is Inbound Marketing? It’s all about being helpful, human and holistic by answering the questions your customer is searching for- in the hopes of attracting them to you.

socially-conscious marketing

How Can we be More Socially-Conscious in our Marketing?

It’s down to us as marketeers to take a step towards making more socially-conscious and informed marketing decisions. This means thinking about the negative implications a certain message could have on your target audience.

Socially-conscious marketing campaigns have gained popularity as brands respond to what millennial consumers are interested in.

Millennials are increasingly more connected to charitable causes and actively look to buy into brands that only align with causes that they care about.

They are much more likely to research into the causes and culture of a certain company before purchasing from it, meaning it’s more important than ever for your business to clearly communicate the causes that your company is committed to.

Missguided the online clothing retailer, noticed the trend in mental health being associated with body image in their target audience of young teenage girls.

socially-conscious marketing

 

Teenage girls are twice as likely to suffer from depression due to social media, than teenage boys.

They took a giant leap in fashion marketing and started to only use models with a diverse range of body shapes, sizes and ‘imperfections’ that would otherwise be photoshopped out.

They marketed themselves as promoters of body diversity and positive body image, not only by using plus size models but models in wheelchairs, models with skin pigmentation, stretch marks and scars.

What about the time ASOS recently used a social media user as their model after she was body shamed online for something she was wearing?

socially-conscious marketing

 

The brand took a stand against body shaming by using their marketing to position themselves as socially-conscious thought leaders in body positivity.

The fashion industry has held heavy connotations of perfect body image for years and it’s slowly breaking the mould and building bridges with the nations men and women.

But now we have a new epidemic on our societies hands.

The rise in reality TV and social influencers.

I’m sure we have all heard in the news the impact social media is taking on teenage girls body image and subsequently the heart-breaking knock on effect on their mental health.

This can all be put down to unconscious marketing of social influencers. Behind the screen of social media and the power of easily accessible and useable editing apps, you can create an unrealistic perception of a perfect life, body, family and lifestyle.

These perceptions are all just marketing messages that haven’t been conscious in their approach by only ever showing the good and pretending the bad doesn’t exist.

Think about it this way, you wouldn’t market the bad features of a product, you focus on the good.

This is how Instagram has become a marketing platform, but for people to market themselves.

Instagram now has an overtone of a place for ‘perfect’ Instagram girls, everyone wants to take and post the ‘perfect’ Instagram to optimise their chances of getting as many likes as possible. Although, could this be the end of Instagram as we know and ‘like’ it? The photo sharing platform is currently trialing the removal of likes.

As marketers we should all be making more socially-conscious decisions in our approach to our marketing messages.

By thinking about who we’re talking to, what they want, what they need and what’s important to them- so we can start to be more considerate in our marketing.

Socially- conscious marketing has become a powerful way for businesses to form their brand and connect with their consumers on a deeper level. This then brings new customers and a new sense of loyalty to your brand.

But it has to be done in the right way. Issue-based ad campaigns can be divisive and generate both positive and negative publicity.

Ads have the possibility of falling flat on their nose and pushing people away, if seen as insincere it could turn customers against your brand.

If you take the right approach, socially-conscious marketing is an extremely powerful tool, not only for your marketing strategy but for the wider society.  

We should all strive to be more socially-conscious in our marketing. We’re specialists in Inbound Marketing- a helpful, human and holistic way of marketing.

Think your business could benefit from a more inbound approach to your marketing strategy?- Schedule a quick 15 minute chat with us below!

Communicate Your Brand
recruitment inspire

Come Chat With Us at the UK Recruiter Inspire Event 19th June

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Company News, General News, Inbound marketing, Inbound Recruitment, Marketing, Recruitment

Come Chat With Us at the UK Recruiter Inspire Event 19th June

Book in a 15 minute slot for us to have a quick chat, about how we can place you more candidates, more frequently with more clients!

UK Recruiter are the leading online magazine for recruitment in the UK, they have built a network for UK recruitment professionals to come together and share industry knowledge.

To help inspire agency and in-house recruiters to be better, they have set up their own event, with support from ZipRecruiter and Boomerang Back Office, called Inspire Recruitment.

The Inspire event runs for 2 and a half hours from 5:30-8:00 pm on 19th June. However there is also a Recruitment Technology Showcase running through out the day from 10:00-17:00 pm.

The fantastic event has been running for 2 years now, the 2018 event had an amazing turn out and reaction from attendees.

What Inspire brings to the table:

  • Inspire was created to only share ideas that can be applied by everyone.
  • We are a forum for new voices, giving everyone a chance to share their ideas.
  • We are inclusive- Sharing views from across the industry.
  • We are a community- A hub that brings together the recruitment industry.

This short video gives you a flavour of what to expect from the speakers at the event.

It’s a great chance to network with like-minded people and make new connections. We will be at the London event on the 19th June, to listen to some of the inspiring speakers and network with some new faces! 

Why will you be there? I hear you say. You’re not recruiting professionals.

CTCM specialise in Inbound Recruitment, helping you place more candidates, more frequently with more clients.

We work with the most ambitious companies in attaching a rocket to their marketing, achieving their yearly targets within nine months.

We would love to chat with you about how we can work together to help you place more candidates.

It’d be great to meet you at the event, you can book in some time with us to have a quick 15 minute chat! But be sure to book your ticket to secure your place, there is only a limited amount available.

We look forward to seeing you there!

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social media, instagram no likes

Is This The End of Instagram as We Know and ‘Like’ it?

Posted Leave a commentPosted in General News, Marketing, Social media

Is this the end of instagram as we know and 'like' it?

These changes are about to effect social influences, startups, multinationals and every other user who rely on likes to demonstrate post engagement.

There has been mixed reactions to Facebook’s announcement of the latest changes for the selfie revolution platform, Instagram.

If you have been anywhere but under a rock in the last 5 years, you’ll know Instagram is the biggest social media platform to date, boasting over 1 billion active users.

Thats 1 in 6 in the world using Instagram.

Social media marketing is an astronomical part of many business’ marketing strategies (if it’s not, you should really re-consider your strategy) with good reason.  Just think of all those potential customers you could be targeting every single day through a kick ass social media strategy!

Instagram, the darling social channel where we scroll through fancy, eye catching images. An almost essential choice in social media marketing, especially for the e-commerce industry who can take advantage of influencer marketing.

But this could all be changing whether you ‘like’ it or not. This is what it all means to you, regardless of your existing usage.

  1. Instagram as we know it.
  2. The changes and why
  3. The end of influencers
  4. How it could affect your business

Instagram as we know it and we know it pretty well.

Most of us all know, use and have a love hate relationship with Instagram, I mean, even our pets have their own profiles, including our office dogs..

With users from Pope Francis right through to Doug the pug or Zappa the cat, (don’t worry we’ve got you, click for cute) there’s an Instagram account to please every one.  

Originally, the app was designed for users to be able to post and share images with friends and family.

You know, stuff like family updates, or the latest football score.

But he last 5 years has undeniably developed into its own culture, creating a whole new world of Instagrammers, influencer marketing and a ‘do it for the gram’ mentality.  

Side note: ‘Do it for the gram’ means, doing things in life specifically to take a good photo for Instagram. For example the famous ‘I’m causally standing in the middle of the road’ shot. aka do it for the gram. (@Inthefrow) A great feed and image none the less.

social media instagram removing likes

As it stands, users post images and videos for their followers to see and hopefully engage with, by either liking or commenting.

Likes are how users show their appreciation for a post.

You know, like when you tell your friend you like their new trainers.

Or when you laugh at someone’s joke (even if it really wasn’t funny).

However, Instagram have thrown a spanner in the works.

Cupid has shot the arrow through the heart.

The heartbreak kid has returned.

This could all be changing ahead of Facebook announcing at the F8 Developers Conference   they are testing the feature of a no like count on Instagram.

Later this week, the updates to the app will be rolled out across Canada in a bid to test the new feature.

So how will it work and why have they done it?

social media, instagram no likes

As part of the test, Instagram plans to remove the total number of likes from photos and videos showing up on the main feed and on your profile.

This will mean only you will be able to see who has liked your post. Even then, you still won’t get a total number.

To know exactly how many people have liked your post, you will have to manually go through and count up yourself.

All good if you are counting 10/20.

Not so good when our Social Media expert has to scroll through Brighton Journals Instagram.

To everyone else, it will show a few names of people who have liked the photo, as it does now, but will no longer show the exact count of people who have liked the post.

Instagram say the reason for the ‘no like count’ update is to get users to concentrate on their posts and interacting with the app rather than likes.

There have been numerous studies conducted on the culture surrounding social media and the unhealthy obsession of receiving “likes” and comparing yourself to others.

“We want your followers to focus on what you share, not how many likes your posts get”- an Instagram spokesman confirms.

This is pretty powerful stuff here.

Let’s take a moment. The level of likes someone receives on their Instagram posts can have a serious effect on them personally.

The end of the influencer?

no likes on instagram

Instagram has become a big business for the “Insta-famous”.

For those who have experienced a glow-up.

This describes people who are paid or gifted free goods, food and holidays in exchange for marketing and promotional activity.

Zoe Sugg (@zoesugg) and boyfriend Alfie Deyes (@alfiedeyes) are prime examples.

Influencers are often paid based on users’ engagement with their posts.

And some of the world’s most effective influencers have used social media to launch businesses, this includes nearly all of the Kardashian / Jenner sisters.

How much are they paid a post? We can only speculate but we’re talking tens to hundreds of thousands per post.

But do likes really contribute to success on Instagram? Sure it’s a contributing factor and measurement against engagement, but is it enough to kill off the insta-famous?

It’s certainly enough to give them a scare and maybe a sharp pull back down to reality..

What could all this mean for your business?

Well, it could mean a lot. Your social media marketing is most probably focused around building engagement (How to build a kick ass social media strategy) and a large following. 

Likes and comments are the main metrics used to determine the success of a post, right?

Followers are still a valuable metric for measuring success but only a vanity metric. What does this mean?

Well let’s say you have 1,000 followers BUT your instagram posts only get around 10-15 likes. A nice little number you have there. Some serious fans going on.

Your following of 1,000 is a vanity metric. When it comes down to your content, your audience just don’t care .

We use likes and comments to determine the success of our content.

If a post didn’t receive many likes then we take this information to make a strategic decision on what content we post.

Hey, sometimes it doesn’t always quite go to plan. Just check out this post over on our Instagram.

Without likes you can’t determine the success of a post without manually going through and counting, a complete pain in the ass for anyone with over 100 followers..

Let’s be frank. Instagram has become such a monster within the social landscape they are likely to find other ways to monetise the channel.

It wouldn’t surprise us if Instagram have an ulterior motive.

We are backing a new subscription model to appear before long for all business and social influencers on the channel.

We only have to look as far as how we consumer TV. Netflix is a monthly subscription.

However, people are going to buy in to this. A small monthly cost is nothing in the grand scheme of things.

Netflix is pretty cheap. We all keep the monthly subscription because it doesn’t hurt our bank.

If/when a paid model comes in to Instagram. We have a feeling it will focus around likes and engagements.

We can only wait ‘likeless’ and see.

Do you know your return on investment (ROI) for your social media marketing efforts?

Don’t panic, not many business do.

We will work with you to build a social media strategy designed to produce measurable results and not just vanity metrics- likes or no likes.

Communicate Your Brand