Inbound marketing

Inbound Marketing: 5 Tips for Success

Marketing strategies tend to come and go, but Inbound
marketing has proved that it is here to stay.

Even after a decade in the marketing world, inbound
marketing is perceived as a ‘revolutionary’ concept; viewed as a strategy that works,
it delivers excellent results for companies who have taken the plunge and
adopted inbound marketing into their marketing strategy.

However, like most strategies, inbound marketing is not
exempt from being reviewed; and marketers should evaluate their tactics
regularly to ensure they are producing the results you need.

At Armitage, we understand what is required to ensure you
implement a successful inbound marketing strategy; so, we thought it was only
right to share the following 5 tips to ensure your inbound marketing is a
success:

Keep Your Content Fresh

Content is the most important aspect of your inbound
marketing strategy, but with time limits, and everyday pressures, it can be
challenging to keep up with a content schedule. Often this means marketers fall
into the habit of repeating posts, resulting in readers seeing the same content
again and again.

It’s important to have variety in your content, and although
writing new tip sheets, or whitepapers are good, not all content creation needs
to be time consuming. A key way to keep your content fresh without spending
lots of time, is repurposing content you already have.

Take an interesting and popular blog post. What’s stopping
you from turning it into a SlideShare? Or repurposing it as a video? You’ll be
surprised by the amount of great content you already have, which is ready and
waiting to be re-purposed. 

Position Yourself as the Industry Expert

It can be easy to forget that the people searching/reading
your content are trying to solve a problem.

For inbound marketing to be a success, you need to create
content that captures the attention of your leads, by pre-empting their
questions and providing them with the answer to their problems.

You should always write content with your clients/potential
clients in mind. What do they struggle with? What are the key problems they
have faced in the past? By identifying these issues, and more importantly
addressing them in your content, you are instantly positioning your company as
the expert in the industry providing the answers the reader is looking for.

Make it Easy for Customers to Contact You

This may seem like an obvious tip, but it is often
overlooked in making sure your website makes it easy for people to understand
what it is you do and how to contact you.

For example, if your website is your primary source of
inbound opportunities, getting in touch with a real person should always be one
click away on any page of your website.

If a potential customer is on your website and struggles to
find a way to contact you; whether this be via email, phone, or social
engagement, you create the risk of losing a qualified lead within seconds.

To avoid this, make sure you have clear CTAs on all key
pages of your website directing the visitor to your contact information. Or
even better, make sure a clear email address and phone number is featured on
every page of your website, by including this information on the footer of your
pages.

Increase Inbound Visitors to your Site with SEO Strategies

Put yourself in your prospect shoes, they are requiring a
solution to a problem and the first thing they will do is turn to Google.

It is vital that you are properly optimizing your website
and content, to increase organic search traffic. By effectively leveraging
search engine optimization, targeting high traffic keywords, and analysing data
trends, you’re positioning your website and brand higher in the search engine
results, increasing your online visibility to inbound visitors.

Don’t Forget to Nurture Your Leads

Often marketers are so focussed on using inbound tactics to
attract people, they can forget one crucial element – nurturing your leads.

It is important to remember that once a lead fills in a form
or downloads a piece of your content, you need to follow up through email or
calling to qualify and nurture the lead.

With Marketo
revealing that a massive 96% of visitors viewing your website aren’t ready to
buy; lead nurturing is vital in helping your leads through each stage of the
funnel, (whether this be through email marketing, lead scoring or list
segmentation) until they are in a position to buy.

It can be a tough job to ensure your inbound marketing strategy is running smoothly and successfully; but by utilizing these top five tips, your company will be on the right path to inbound marketing success!


Industrial Automation – Topics for 2019

In recent years we
have all rode the IIoT wave, discussed topics with science fiction sounding names
such as ‘augmented reality’ and ‘artificial intelligence’ and generally seen interest
in technological advances in manufacturing undergo an unprecedented evolutionary
period in the general public’s awareness and shows no sign of slowing.

So, what are the hot topics in 2019? There are so many it was difficult to shortlist, so I’ve decided to focus on three topics that I am being most regularly asked to provide content for, by the editors.

IT/OT cybersecurity – A Manufacturer’s Greatest Challenge

You may be surprised to learn how many industrial automation and processing companies are only just becoming aware with this potentially catastrophic threat.  The organisations already in the know, are on record as saying cybersecurity is their single greatest threat.

Cyber attackers are exploiting security flaws that result from gaps between the IT/OT infrastructure as companies introduce Industrial IoT (IIoT) devices and Edge computing equipment. Integrating information from sensors both in and out of control systems creates confusion between a corporations IT/OT responsibility. Adding external suppliers further complicates enforcement of security requirements for new assets.

To help combat this, companies need to converge their IT and OT cybersecurity to clearly define responsibilities and remove any potential security gaps.  This approach will help ensure more consistent security levels across entire organizations reducing the organization’s overall cyber risk.

Cloud
and Edge Solutions 

With the convergence of information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT) and the industry’s continued transformation, manufacturers are rethinking the way they operate their businesses. The use of Cloud and Edge solutions is enabling companies to have better control and insight over their industrial processes. 

Edge technology reduce the volumes of data that needs to be moved and the distance the data must travel.  The analysed and processed data from different plants is stored in the Cloud, enabling critical business information to be accessed and controlled solely by IT.

This approach means the deployment of Edge devices
with embedded analytics, Edge servers, gateways and Cloud infrastructure enables
manufacturers to support business decisions in real time, monitor assets,
provides analytics and machine learning, and artificial intelligence (AI) to understand
and take appropriate action.

This can help manufacturers reduce production inefficiencies, compare product quality against manufacturing conditions, and pinpoint potential safety, production or environmental issues.

IIoT
Continues to Evolve

The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is without doubt a technology that will become even more widespread in 2019.

The IIoT continues to be de developed for comprehensive systems
monitoring and maintaining complex large-scale production lines. It uses machine-to-machine
communication to improve safety, production time and operating efficiencies. 

IIoT, connectivity enables faster communications
and response to change. Advancements in AI and machine learning will allow IIoT
systems to more effective including monitoring, predicting and reacting to factory
and product line issues, keeping production going and ultimately improving
safety and a company’s financial performance.

The fundamentals of the IIoT is not just an industrial technology; we
can see parallels with the IoT as we bring this technology into our homes.  Heating thermostats, burglar alarms and I can
even speak from experience. The lighting in my house is controlled by a smart
ap on my connected to the cloud, so they come on when my alarm goes off, and come
when the sun sets in a shade of colour just right for my mood and I can switch
them off from my phone when I remember I left the bathroom light on when I went
to work. Perhaps a topic for another day.


Six engineering superwomen to celebrate International Women in Engineering Day 2019

With less than 15% of the engineering workforce in the UK comprised of women, International Women in Engineering Day 2019 has sparked a conversation in our offices this week. We’ve been debating ways to mark the day and encourage young girls to study Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) subjects to align with the Women In Engineering Society (WES) campaign ‘Transform the Future’.

On Sunday 23rd June 2019 WES will launch its Centenary Interactive Trail Map. The map will mark women who have achieved ground-breaking work in engineering, where they are from and their inventions that have completely reshaped the world we live in today.

Here at Armitage we have a team of six women working across engineering and industrial technology accounts including robotics, oil and gas, automation and instrumentation. Over the years our day to day work has inspired us to think about the women, both today and from the past, who have made great leaps in engineering. We believe similar women could be the next celebrity role models for girls to look up to. Instead of the usual selection of pop stars, reality TV personalities and models, we’d much prefer to see coverage in daily magazines and newspapers on the lives of engineers, inventors and scientists. For those who are around today, we’ve included a link to their social media pages so that girls who love to Tweet, Insta or Facebook can follow their activities throughout their careers.

So without any further ado, here’s our six favourite women in engineering who have transformed the future:

 

there's a spark in you

Martha Coston designed a night signal and code system for the U.S. army

 

Helen, Database Manager: Martha Coston (December 1826 - 1904), who went on to design a signal system for ships in the civil war, using notes her husband left before he died and tweaking them to make it work.

I think it’s admirable that she honoured her husband’s legacy by studying his work. In the nineteenth century, ships used lanterns and flags for signals which presented obvious challenges such as communicating with boats over a long distance. For ten years Martha worked on the flare signalling system, hiring chemists and fireworks experts to help with little luck.

Her breakthrough discovery came as a result of her attending a fireworks display in New York City. She realised that the system needed a bright blue flare, along with the red and white she had already developed. As a result of establishing the Coston Manufacturing Company to make the flares, she received a patent for her pyrotechnic night signal and code system. This was then tested by the U.S. Navy and went on to be used in the discovery and capture of Confederate blockade runners during the Union blockade of southern ports. They were also used by the United States Life-Saving service to warn ships of dangerous coastal conditions.

Model behaviour

 

Karlie Kloss partnered with FlatIron School in 2015

Nicola, Administrator: My favourite engineering lady is Karlie Kloss (1992-present). Karlie’s modelling career spans over a decade with work including advertisements for Oscar de la Renta, Jean Paul Gautier, Calvin Klein and Ellie Saab to name just a few. Karlie is not just a pretty face - she’s an avid coder and in 2015 partnered with FlatIron School and Code.org to offer a scholarship called ‘Kode with Klossy’. The two week summer programme for 13-18 year olds teaches girls how to code real life apps. Any girls passionate about learning this sought after skill can apply here.

Twitter: @karliekloss

Facebook: @karliekloss

Instagram: @karliekloss

Anne Marie Imafidon loved computers from a young age

Sophie, Senior Account Executive: I’m a great admirer of Anne Marie Imafidon (1990-present). When she was four she got super interested in computers when her Dad let her play on his computer which had Windows version 3.0! She went on to study science and IT at school as one of the very few girls in the school studying these subjects at A Level. It was only when she attended a tech conference in the U.S specifically for women that she realised she was a ‘woman in tech’ and got started on developing the Stemettes, an organisation which encourages girls of all ages to get into STEM. The organisation runs panel events, hackathons, exhibitions and mentoring schemes and has a variety of events slated for the summer across the UK. Click here for the full list.

Instagram: @notyouraverageami

engineering stars

 

Hedy Lemarr invented a radio signalling device to keep enemies from decoding messages during WWII

Rose, Junior Account Manager: I’ve always loved Hollywood movies especially the old classics such as Gone with the Wind and Some Like It Hot. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that 1940s Hollywood actress Hedy Lemarr (1914-2000)  invented a remote-controlled communications system for the U.S. army. She was a beautiful actress who starred in classic Hollywood films such as Comrade X alongside Clark Gable and Ziegfred Girl with Judy Garland. Not only extremely attractive Hedy Lemarr completely undermines the preconceived idea that glamourous women don’t have brains.

Hedy worked with her friend, the composer George Antheil, on an idea for a radio signalling device which was a means of changing radio frequencies to keep enemies from decoding messages during WWII. The implications of this invention were not fully realised until relatively recently. The invention was a significant step towards maintaining the security of both military communications and mobile phones in use today. Due to her brainy discoveries Lamaarr became the first woman to receive the Oscars of Inventing, the BULBIE™ Gnass Spirit of Achievement Award in 1997.

 

 

in wind or rain

 

Susan, Account Director: Mine is Mary Anderson (1869-1953)  who invented the windshield wiper in 1903. Car manufacturers from the 1920s onwards (when her patent expired) adapted her basic design and integrated it into their automobiles. The windshield wiper might not be a huge feat of engineering but her invention impacts people’s lives every time they drive their car in the rain, sleet or snow. Growing up in Vancouver, Canada −a city which is famous for the amount of rain it receives per year − windshield wipers were particularly handy! The wipers also get a good workout in my new hometown of London, England.

Emma, Senior Account Manager: The female engineer I am most inspired by is Edith Clarke (1883-1959). Clarke was the first woman to earn an M.S. in electrical engineering from the Massachusetts Institution of Technology (MIT). Despite this achievement, and later creating the Clarke calculator, a graphical device that could solve line equations involving hyperbolic functions ten times faster than previous methods (for which a patent was granted in 1925), it took her several years to achieve her dream of becoming an engineer. Clarke continued to achieve firsts throughout her career, and in 1943 she published what was to become an influential textbook in the field of power engineering, Circuit Analysis of A-C Power Systems.

 

 


women in engineering day

Supporting International Women in Engineering day 2019

On the 23rd June, the Women’s Engineering Society (WES) will be celebrating its sixth year of International Women in Engineering Day. The international campaign was created to raise the profiles of women working within the engineering industry, create diversity, and focus on the ever-expanding career opportunities available to women.

Did you know that according to 2018 statistics just 12.37% of engineers in the UK are women?

The WES in Britain are doing more each year to encourage young women to explore and consider a career in engineering, whether that be through hands-on student groups, talks or awards.

Here at Armitage, we believe men and women should be given the same opportunities to begin a career in engineering; and it’s great to see such an important event celebrating the outstanding achievements of female engineers throughout the world.

In order to support the International Women in Engineering Day, we will be taking part in their great campaign at midday on Sunday 23rd June for one hour, by spreading awareness using our social media platforms. The overall aim is to get #INWED19 trending so we can reach and inspire those around the UK and internationally.

You could also help connect, support and inspire individuals and the industry by joining the movement.

For more information visit the INWED website here.

#TransformTheFuture

#INWED19


How to create value by converging your OT/IT operations

I am increasingly being asked to write about the convergence between the worlds of OT and IT, this blog discusses this issue and asks how industrial automation companies can help themselves.

Operational Technology (OT) and Information Technology (IT) convergence has become an important next step for companies on the IoT journey. But many companies are still playing catch-up.

  • OT refers to control and automation technologies which support operations – so shop floor equipment such as factory automation convey systems
  • IT refers to computer systems based in finance, HR and sales - so payroll, office computing etc

Historically these activities have been separated because of security and compliance issues however manufacturing companies are now playing catch-up and being tasked with completely changing their business structures.

These changes are happening because of the following;

  • The increased use of Microsoft technology with the adoption of databases to collect and analyse production and process data
  • The adoption of Ethernet-based communication protocols at machine level
  • The dispersal of web-based user interfaces
  • The increased popularity of mobile solutions to access data and perform tasks requiring Wi-Fi networks at the factory floor level

 

Companies that still have separate departments for OT and IT have a huge challenge, but it’s not insurmountable.  Making sure company goals are aligned and undergoing training programmes which bring OT and IT together to share different skillsets, will help to move these changes forward.

So, is this convergence a good thing or is it potentially dangerous? Opinion is split with some industry spokespeople suggesting this new business model is  introducing significant new risks, many of which are catching organisations entirely unprepared. For example, nearly 90% of organisations have now experienced a security breach within their Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition and Industrial Control Systems (SCADA/ICS) architectures, with more than half of those breaches occurring in just the last 12 months! And even more alarming, most of those breaches have resulted in a high or critical impact on their business, from compromising their ability to meet compliance requirements, to decreased functionality and financial stability, and even affecting employee safety.

For those OT organisations responsible for critical infrastructure, any sort of compromise needs to be taken extremely seriously.

This evolution isn’t going away.  Time will tell how many companies embrace the change and effectively merge these two vitally essential functions and how many will ignore it, perhaps at their peril.


Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality

The Rise of Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality in Manufacturing

From consumer to manufacturing, virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technologies are revolutionising the world today. VR is aiding manufacturers to digitally simulate the product or environment, while AR helps manufacturers to project digital products/ information into the real-world environment. Businesses are now planning their production and assembly processes out in full in a virtual world. In turn, this is used to speed up factory and plant commissioning and operation.

We are seeing big movement, especially in the high-tech industry sectors; but it will be interesting to see how the technology will pan out in small/ medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) later along the line. In this blog, we’ll discuss how VR and AR are impacting how we manufacture today.

 

Virtual Vs. Augment Reality

Virtual reality is currently booming in the consumer market and is easily distinguishable by the big VR headsets that come with it. Once you’ve put on the headset you have immersed yourself in a new digital environment. VR headsets incorporate both visual and audio simulation.

Whereas augmented reality is a slightly different concept that involves transferring a digital interface onto the real world. Augmented reality is more commonly associated with the Pokémon Go app or IKEA’s new feature that allows you to view your chosen sofa or wallpaper into your own home; projecting a digital animation in the real word.

It's clear to see that the industry is embracing VR and AR technologies as a way to display the full abilities of their systems. Last year, BEUMER group, a client of our sister agency Napier, used VR and AR technologies at their exhibition stand. The virtual reality allowed visitors to fully immerse themselves into a real-life example. This VR demonstrated the abilities of their system, from start to finish.

The team also set up an augmented reality that demonstrated the capabilities of BEUMER baggage systems. The augmented reality showcased what the future of technology-lead airports would look like. Read the full blog on the stand we had at the air exhibition show here

 

Design Development

Taking it back to the very beginning, VR and AR are supporting the development of products. We are now using VR and AR to optimise and refine designs from the very start; allowing us to review, adjust, and quickly modify design concepts and ideas before they even go into production. The tools provide capabilities to animate and visualise what is being designed, leading to virtual testing and analysis. With better technologies being utilised this early in the production process, we can expect greater products at the end.

Another benefit of using VR and AR in manufacturing is the virtual product simulations for new products in their development phase. Virtual product simulations are used to make it easy for anyone to understand the look and feel of upcoming products. Which means there is less of a need for everyone in the team to hold a technical background and understanding of complex 2D and 3D models and drawings. Which is an essential ability to have when looking for buy-in during the product development phase.

 

Full Virtual World of Production

We can begin to look at how Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality are affecting the production as a whole rather than for a single product. VR and AR enable businesses to speed up their operations and plan beyond one product, allowing them to plan out their whole production and assembly process in unison in one virtual world. More practically, AR and VR are aiding organisations to maximise productivity by positioning automation lines, production cells, robots, and people.

Rehearsing and training staff is a big task and guess what… AR and VR can do it for you! Younger generations are increasingly preferring interactive based learning. With the adoption of augmented and virtual reality, these game-like style teaching tools becoming a new trend.

 

 

 


5 Content Creation Hurdles and How to Overcome Them

 

Whether you’re B2B or B2C we are all aware that creating content for blogs, website, social media, and downloadable content is important. But if it were easy we’d all be churning out content like there’s no tomorrow… and that’s not the case, is it? That’s why it’s important to take it back a step and think about some of the hurdles that are holding us back and how we can overcome these challenges.

We’ve all heard how content is king and you’re probably pretty bored of hearing it, but it really is a vital part of your marketing strategy. Here are some key content creation hurdles and how to overcome them.

 

 

1. Not Mixing It Up

Once a writer has found their comfort zone it can be easy for them to continue writing in the same way, and eventually produce content that doesn’t feel fresh or unique.

Sticking with what you have done before (with the same structure and topics because you think that if it worked before then it will work again) is not the right approach and main reason why there is so much repeat content out there. This strategy might work for a while but is doomed to fail eventually.

How to Overcome:

Start by creating a list of blog titles that are relevant for your industry and your audience, if you are stuck for ideas think about what your site needs to be ranking for, and blogs to answers the queries that your potential customers may have. Once you have an initial list, you can use tools such as Google Trends or the HubSpot Blog Ideas Generator to expand this list by finding related topics.

Be unique and different – try new methods/ styles before your competitors do. Read and share content by industry leaders, to give insight and spark ideas for future blog posts for your own company. Frequently reading high-quality content will support your own content generation.

 

 

2. Balancing Creativity and SEO

When writing blogs or website content for your site it’s always valuable to keep in mind search engine optimisation (SEO). However, when faced with creativity over SEO it can be difficult to get the right balance. SEO is crucial for people to be able to find your site, but a blog that’s just written for the sake of SEO is not one that people are going to want to read or be interested in.

How to Overcome:

The key here is to choose your blog topic and a focus keyword (based on your SEO) and use the keyword where appropriate, but always write with your readers in mind! This means that the content must be well written and inform the reader of an area of interest to them. Keyword stuffing is not an effective route to go down.

Syndicated content is another solution to overcome this challenge. Producing syndicated content on other authority sites provides you with a backlink that will increase your sites SEO authority. This will also in turn, drive more traffic to your website and raise awareness of your brand to visitors of the authority site. Just make sure that these sites are relevant to your industry to ensure that your providing readers with useful content.

 

 

3. Time is Money

We are in fact against time itself when it comes down to writing content, we all wish we could produce great quality blogs in less time, but it doesn’t work like that.

Whether you outsource or write your own content, time is money, and writing good content is not quick nor easy. Companies often find that there isn’t enough budget to spend time on blogging in replace of activities that are considered to be more beneficial to the company.

Insufficient resources are amongst one of the many problems content makers face, especially in agencies when you’re constantly balancing client deliverability’s and fitting in time for your own content writing.

How to Overcome:

Delegation is a good method for splitting up the workload and achieving more content without too heavily impacting one employee’s workload. Of course, every workplace structure will be different, but this should be trialled to help overcome time challenges. When there’s a team of employees with different expertise, it allows better quality content to be delivered, by delegating content topics to people with specific knowledge.

 

 

4. Rising Above with Competition

Companies are now being faced with an increasing amount of competition when writing about the same topics that have already been mentioned in the industry; especially if your company is working within a small niche. Which brings the question, how do you produce unique content that stands out?

How to Overcome:

Make sure for every piece of content you post, it’s the best it possibly can be. Do this by taking the time to properly choose an interesting topic that will resonate with your audience. You should research your topic first, understand that good content isn’t going to be lightning fast to produce, and most importantly get your content proofed to ensure it hits the mark and that there are no grammar mistakes. There is nothing that will damage your brands reputation more than mistakes in their content, and it happens all too frequently.

 

 

5. A New Generation of Sponsored Content

There’s been a big shift towards the pay-to-play marketing and organisations paying for their content to get in the search results. Which, to be frank, is getting in the way of unpaid content being noticed in the organic search results. Don’t fear as organic still lives on, but as the big social media players such as Facebook and LinkedIn gain more intelligence and segmentation options, maybe it’s about time we consider opting for a part organic and part paid content strategy.

How to Overcome it:

As I mentioned, keep going with the organic but I’m encouraging you to give paid a go. For best results, define a suitable budget and set specific demographics for targeting your content at the right people, get goals (gain web traffic, more followers on social) and see if it is worth it. Try a few different approaches and see how it goes!

 

 

I hope this blog has helped you find solutions for some challenges content marketers face and inspired you to keep writing as your business grows.


Top 10 Tips to Deliver A Powerful B2B Email Campaign

In our digitally developing world, there’s no doubt that emails are one of the most effective ways to help build relationships with our leads. Communication through email can gather vital data to help your team boost its marketing performance and return on investment (ROI).

Here are our top 10 tips to help develop, execute and maintain a powerful email campaign, which will resonate with your audience:

  1. Know your audience with the use of a simple form

Start by identifying who are you going to send your emails to. Promote a simple sign-up form on your website homepage, through your social media channels, and blogs to kick-start the growth of your list of contacts. Keep the form simple, gathering data such as name, email address, job title and how they found out about your company is a great starting point to get to know your audience.

It really is a big open door to success. Finding out this information will enable you to answer many questions including; Who are our customers? What are they interested in? What are their most urgent concerns? What content do they want to see from us?

Once your audience is identified you can create buyer personas to help you deliver focused content, which will guide your audience through the buyers’ journey.

  1. Personalisation isn’t just another buzzword

Did you know that according to Campaign Monitor, personalising your email campaigns increases open rates by 26%?

Personalise your emails with the use of a first name or company name and include tailored content that will resonate with their persona. Keep your tone natural though, you don’t want to scare them off!

Once someone has signed up to receive your content, it’s always great to welcome your new lead with a friendly email telling them what to expect now that they have subscribed. You may find it beneficial to ask them to add you to their contacts lists, so that your mail doesn’t stray into their spam folder- this will help improve your email deliverability.

  1. Design your email campaign to fit your brand

Keep the delivery name of your emails consistent, so your recipients recognise who is emailing them. It’s also important to ensure that the overall design of your email campaign is consistent, so you can achieve maximum engagement and set a clear path for your audience. A different colour or theme for each email won’t help your campaign stand out. You want them to remember your brand and staying consistent will help you stay top of mind.

  1. Get the best out of your subject line

Make the most of your subject line. This is the first moment your audience will engage with your company and where you can really make your emails powerful, affecting the decision of whether your audience decides to open your email or just delete it immediately. Give the email a punchy subject line, or something they can engage with straight away. This could include a fact or statement, a question, or a general insight into what the content will provide them with. Make your audience want to open your email for the right reasons, then give them the right content to match…

  1. Make your content easy to R E A D.

This may sound obvious, but we’ve all seen emails that look so cluttered and full of content that we don’t want to actively read it. It’s fair to say that there is no point investing time and effort into writing a great piece of content if you’re not going to deliver it effectively. Divide your content into chunks so it’s easy to read, include images to support what you’re saying, and make your intentions obvious. If you really want them to download your piece of content, then make your call to action clear!

There’s nothing worse than sending content out without a purpose, this will only annoy your audience. You should only be sending an email when you have something valuable to say or share, and if it will be of interest to your reader. Without doing so could take its toll on the quantity of unsubscribes and ultimately, your ROI.

  1. Automate your messaging

Aiming for that added powerful impact, but just not enough time in the day? Using automated workflows in a marketing automation platform such as HubSpot, will help you deliver the right message to the right people, at the right time. With automation in place, you will simply be able to create tailored emails to your audience’s engagement history. If they enjoyed your previous email on social media, why not follow up with another email encouraging them to download a useful social media guide? Taking the small steps to engage with your audience in a natural manner will make your campaign feel less predictable, making your audience more likely to see your brand in a positive light, leave them wanting to know more, and as a result, progress through the customer journey.

  1. Testing, Testing, 1, 2, 3…

As your audience evolves, so should you.

Did you know that according to emailMonday around 47% of people use a mobile device to open their emails? By not optimising your emails to be mobile compatible, you could really be missing out on some exciting opportunities.

So before sending out an email to your contacts, make sure you conduct a variety of tests to ensure it will work on a broad range of devices. Software such as Email on Acid, MailChimp, Delivery Doctor, or HubSpot will test your emails to ensure they make it into your contacts inbox and through their spam filter. Testing will also ensure that your content appears as it should across various devices.

  1. Include Social Sharing icons

Including social sharing icons within your emails gives the recipient the option to carry on the conversation with one or more of their friends or colleagues. Regardless of the content or offer, this opportunity would help spread the word and allow more people to enjoy your content. You never know, social sharing could also bag you some additional subscribers.

  1. Accept unsubscribes and keep promoting to new leads

Although it’s not a great thought, we must accept that we can’t always please everyone and that we will receive unsubscribes. The latest GDPR laws stated we must give recipients the option to opt-out of receiving emails, and it’s better to have unsubscribes than emails that are marked as spam and affecting our campaign analysis. Having recipients that do not want to receive content anymore is only natural, their needs may have changed from when they first signed up. Look at it as a positive, you get to tidy up your database so you can focus on those who are still interested and left wanting to hear from you. Focus on your existing subscribers and keep promoting to try and gain additional subscribers.

  1. Analyse your results

By analysing your results, you will see just how well your email campaigns have performed. Metrics such as delivered rates, open rates and click through rates will help you identify just how well your emails are perceived by your audience. Over time you will be able to pull conclusions by comparing results, finding out which type of subject line works best for you, what time of day your audience opens emails the most, and what content they are most likely to download.

 

 


#STEMspiration for all of us

We’re in March and the chances are that you’ve broken your resolutions already, as have I, my landlady, my boss and my cat. The number one New Year’s resolution according to Statista is to eat healthier, followed by getting more exercise, with spending less and saving more coming in at 3rd.

But what about if we tried a resolution that was a bit different? We’re all for kicking off a new trend. This includes not beating ourselves up about the fact we picked up a chocolate bar on January 3rd – let’s face it, it’s too cold to diet – and starting again when we’re feeling more inspired. Let’s call it the #resolutionrevamp.

But more than this, we think it’s about time we all took a leaf out of Ann Makosinki’s book. Who you may ask? Well this bright spark was just 15 when she invented the hollow flashlight. The idea came to her when a friend in the Phillipines explained she couldn’t do her homework due to no access to electricity. Her recommendation, directed at teens at the TEDxTeen conference, was to “Pursue whatever you want to do…anything you dream of is possible but you have to start and work on it even if it’s just 20 minutes a day.” Advice meant for adolescents or not, I think we could all apply this to our daily lives. Yes, twenty-first century life is busy but without time for creativity, innovation and learning, our world wouldn’t be anywhere near as technically advanced as it is now.

It’s imperative that the next generation get stuck in when it comes to STEM. Skills such as HTML coding, software engineering and robot programming are just some of the many sought after abilities that employees are already in need of, and the future seems set to develop this demand even further.

But what about the rest of us? An idea which is echoed by our blog in April 2015 “Corporate Creativity: The Must Have Of The Digital Age” is that you’re never too young to learn a new skill. Why not make your 2018 resolution to have mastered the art of website design using user-friendly platforms such as Wordpress? Or even better, try and invent something that will make waves in this digital era.