Hootsuite Summer Social Series Webinar 2: Using search and social advertising together

Following our attendance at the first webinar of the Hootsuite Summer Social Series, we joined the next live webinar to explore the ‘Best practices for using search and social advertising together’. This is the second webinar we’ve attended in the series presented by Hootsuite to learn new strategies on search and social advertising. If you missed our blog on the first Hootsuite webinar click here. The second webinar of the series covered how to use Google and Facebook simultaneously to get best results. So, what did we learn?

Advertising on Facebook is proven to increase your Google results

If you’re an active user on Facebook, you may have noticed some ad’s which are of interest to you. This is because you’ve been targeted by a company using the Facebook audiences feature. This allows companies to reach out to new people who may or may not have realised they needed your product or service based on information Facebook holds about you; whether that be your age, location or interests. Naturally, if you saw a Facebook advertisement you were interested in, you may out of curiosity switch to Google for further research. From Hootsuite’s findings, it is suggested that by advertising on Facebook, your search results on Google will increase on average by 34%.

Keeping consistent across search and social channels

There’s a lot of noise out there in relation to marketing across both search and social. Therefore, to ensure your brand can stand out and for maximum chance of conversion, your messaging must be consistent. As you may know, it takes multiple touchpoints for a prospect to consider purchasing from your brand so you must stick to one consistent message or offer.

It’s not just brand names people are searching for- they’re also looking for offerings and results. Additionally, catchy headlines, phrases, or propositions are those that are more memorable than a just a brand name, so think about what resonates with your audience and what will stick in their minds. Ensure you are consistently optimised for those keywords across search and social so you can easily be found.

Using Facebook to retarget uses from search ads
Retargeting is an ever-growing subject in the world of marketing at the moment. What people are unaware of, is that there is more to retargeting than just purely displaying ads to website visitors. In order to maximise your efforts in retargeting, you can cross over with search and social. Often when clicking on a Google ad, visitors will come away from the page, perhaps do some additional research and explore other alternative options or solutions. However, by retargeting with Facebook, ads appear when the user visits the social media platform at a later date, reminding them about your offer and keeping your company at the top of their minds.

In summary, you shouldn’t be thinking about whether search or social is better for your brand- you should instead think how it is best to use search AND social together. Stay tuned for the final blog on the third webinar of the Hootsuite summer series.


Analyse your Website with Our SEO Audit and Reporting Tool

With 93% of online experiences beginning with a search engine, and 75% of people never scrolling past the first page on Google, it’s hard to argue that SEO shouldn’t be an important part of your digital marketing strategy.

Each year, Google makes hundreds of changes to search, reporting an incredible 3,234 updates in 2018, an average of almost 9 per day!

As part of the Napier Group, we understand that SEO should be an important aspect of your digital marketing strategy; and our SEO Audit tool allows you to easily review your own website, quickly identifying any problematic areas that need attention, enabling you to make subtle changes to your site, and improve your own ranking on Google.

Our SEO Audit tool analyses key aspects of your website including:

  • Mobile Optimisation - Our SEO tool checks the site compatibility with mobile devices and delivers a simple usability score.
  • Page Speed – An important factor in search rankings, our tool measures speed for both mobile and desktop versions of your website.
  • Keyword Analysis – Our tool identifies the single, two, three and four-word keywords from the page, enabling you to optimize copy to meet your SEO goals.
  • HTML Headings – It’s important to have a structure to your page, as this will provide a good user experience. Search engines use headings to index the structure and content of your web pages.

 

Why not try our SEO Audit Tool today, and gain insight into how you can move up Google’s rankings. Alternatively, to find out more about how we can help you with SEO, and get the advantage on your competitors, give us a call on 020 8667 9660 or email us now.


5 Top Digital Marketing Tactics for Future Success

It’s no secret that the digital age has changed the way B2B companies interact with their customers. With technology constantly evolving, tactics that once used to be revolutionary, like personalisation, are now expected from consumers, and companies are having to regularly rethink their digital strategy to ensure they are communicating with consumers effectively.

At Armitage, we understand how technology has evolved marketing, and what B2B companies need to do in order to interact with customers successfully. This is why we’ve pulled together 5 top tactics your digital marketing strategy should include, to ensure success for the future:

Original Video Content

Video marketing, especially within the B2B sector, has become a great tool for companies to introduce their solutions to consumers.

If you’re not already, targeting your customers with an interesting two- or three-minute video is a great way to provide them with valuable, bite size content. Your video needs to be engaging and you can do this through a variety of ways including:

  • Walk your viewer through how you helped a specific customer get from point A to B, show them how your company started, or how you developed a specific feature of your product. Hook your audience with an easy to understand video first, before going into specifics.
  • Useful and Educational Content: Include useful and educational content. Whether you choose to share tutorials of how to use your product/solution, product demos, or ‘how-to’ style videos, this is a great way to provide your audience with information in a quick and simple way.

 

 

Influencer Marketing

The word ‘influencer’ is commonly associated with the B2C world, with beauty bloggers more commonly coming to mind. This could explain why influencer marketing has been slow to gain momentum within the B2B tech sector; but the last year has seen a rise, with technology companies increasingly partnering with influencers to improve their credibility and social media reach.

As tech buyers become more desensitized to the marketing they see daily, influencer marketing provides companies with a fantastic opportunity to leverage influencers, who have built a loyal following and credibility within the industry, to market to decision makers.

In the first half of 2019, we’ve seen a clear increase in awareness about influencers, with both clients and potential clients requesting more information about influencer marketing and the benefits it can provide for them. If your looking to invest into influencer marketing, and want to know how Armitage can help you, get in touch!

Re-Targeting Current Clients

Often one of the biggest digital marketing tactics B2B companies overlook is retargeting current clients.

Usually, clients are only using/buying 20% of what your company offers. By including a re-nurturing plan in your marketing strategy that actively re-target’s current customers, you will be able to build a process that ensures your company is facilitating consistent retention, upsell and cross-sell of additional products, features and services.

Re-targeting can be implemented across a range of different digital platforms, with the most popular including Google Ads, AdRoll and LinkedIn.

SEO and Content

We all know content is king when it comes to SEO success. SEO sits at the heart of any digital marketing strategy and aligning your SEO to your content is vital in maintaining a strong presence online and driving leads to your website.

But how do you ensure that you’re not only writing content, which is highly ranked, but also quality content that is user-focused?

SEO can be complicated but the following three tips will ensure you are well on your way to achieving success:

  • Keyword Research: Perhaps one of the most significant factors of SEO, is completing good keyword research. Find relevant keywords that relate to your expertise, products/services and your audiences search intent.
  • Topic Research: Analyse your keyword research and identify topics on what your audience wants to learn, so you can produce content that will help them solve their problems.
  • Focus on Readability: Ensure your piece of content is readable. Is your content easy to follow? Clear on what it is describing? To be readable, your content needs to present all types of information in an understandable way.

 

 

Marketing Automation Tools

There’s no longer a way to escape marketing automation, as across the marketing world, companies are either looking to invest, beginning to implement or already have access to marketing automation tools.

A marketing automation tool such as HubSpot, provides a simple way for marketers to stay on top of contacting and nurturing leads. With sale cycles lasting weeks, months and even years within the B2B tech industry, marketing automation helps you stay top of mind, and market to your contacts on a regular and intelligent basis; and more importantly it isn't time-consuming for either the marketing or sales team.

At the speed technology is changing, it’s clear to see that marketing automation is one tool marketers will not be able to ignore for much longer; as marketing automation platforms like HubSpot or Marketo will provide companies with the opportunity to interact with their customers more simply and successfully.

We hope these tactics help you when moving forward with your digital marketing strategy, and please get in touch today, if you have any questions, or require further assistance.


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!


Did technology kill the journalist star?

It's been over a week since Gavin Sheriff and Darryl Smith shut up shop for their last ever Friday at the Dundee-based Sunday post in Fleet Street. As the last Fleet Street newspaper takes it final bow, we examine how changes in technology over the decades have had a direct hit on the way we receive our information and the professionals who provide it.

How times have changed. When the first British newspaper the Daily Courant was published in Fleet Street in 1702, news was printed using plates which had been engraved with the story before being inked and pressed onto paper. The newspaper consisted of a single page with advertisements on the reverse. As the century wore on newspapers were printed as little as once a month and government taxes were imposed to attempt to control the spread of information. After all, knowledge is power and the leaders of the country were unlikely to welcome any oppositional views. Nevertheless by 1767 the number of newspapers sold in Britain stood at 11,300,980.

 

By the 19th century there were 52 London papers and over 100 other titles with The Times beginning life in 1785 as The Daily Universal Register. Despite rising taxes, the tone of many newspapers was fiercely revolutionary and the productivity of newspapers increased greatly as steam powered the printing process. The speed of reporting also changed with the telegraph system in the late 1800s transmitting messages from across the country, easing the accessibility to breaking news and giving journalists a brisk writing style that is still used in news reports today. 11,300,980 English newspapers became 122,000,000 by 1854.

Radio gaga

By the 1930s over two thirds of the population was estimated to read a newspaper every day whilst the onset of radio broadcasts meant that the nature of journalism was to change again. Radio provided the fastest and most up-to-date coverage as stories developed. Journalists had to speed their reporting up and an audience that was used to getting yesterday’s news today would have access to breaking stories for the first time. Long-distance broadcasting furthered the globalisation of media coverage at a time when the planet was in the grips of the Second World War.

 

“Today’s news will be tomorrow’s fish and chip wrap!”

Of course, not long after radio came to the fore did television become the next big thing with actual faces on a screen reporting the news. The BBC’s Richard Baker broke the first daily TV news story about French troop movements in Tunisia.

 

For a time, newspapers, magazines, radio and television lived in relative harmony. Of course journalism was adapted to suit either medium but there was an established reliance and trust on these formats to provide the world with need-to-know information.

News 4.0

As the internet dial-up tone rang in homes across the country in the late 1990s print journalists should have heeded the warning. Before long instant access to news stories online via PCs, laptops and mobile phones via broadband and 4G saw newspaper sales drop astronomically. Print advertising revenues fell by 15% during 2015 and a further 20% drop is predicted over the course of this year.

 

Add to this the dormant mistrust in media corporations left resonating in the wake of the phone hacking scandal of 2011-12 and we’re left with an empty Fleet Street – or at least a journalist empty Fleet Street.

 

Cheeky tip – you can still visit the El Vino wine bar which was the first famous journalists’ drinking establishment and it still looks the same as it always did.

Journalist watering hole El Vino banned women until 1984

Where are they now?

Journalists still exist but today they have to be super dynamic. News has to be readily adaptable and available via a number of platforms such as YouTube, social media and personal blogs with televised coverage often spliced into videos that can be streamed online.

 

Journalism has also become anybody’s game. The ability to generate and self-publish news is now in the hands of anyone with an internet connection and digital reporters have to listen to the audience conversation to inform their next decisions. The audience decide what’s considered news-worthy, what tone to adapt and what issues and trends are going to receive the biggest surge in traffic to boost online advertising sales.

 

The problem with this is that there’s now a profusion of news content online, some of which is terribly written and falsified just to get click-throughs. We can always rely on traditional news websites such as the BBC, The Telegraph and The Independent for reliable insights into current affairs but how long will it be before the nature of journalism metamorphosis's again?

 

Will the rise of virtual reality (VR) mean news broadcasts where the audience is immersed directly within the warzone? How will audience participation work in this format? When does the multitude of new stories become just too much news?

 

Is the digital world becoming, dare I say it, just too noisy?

 

I for one love to indulge in the quiet of a back-to-basics reading of The Evening Standard from time-to-time, don’t you?

Weaving a tale for ABB Drives & Motors at Brintons Carpets – the story behind the story

Whether it’s a holiday abroad, a restaurant or the latest smart phone, the value of a word of mouth recommendation is well known when it comes to finding new customers. Nothing reassures a potential customer on the brink of making a purchase more than letting them see a colleague, friend or family member enjoying a positive experience with that same product. It’s no different when it comes to the industrial marketplace. With end users quite rightly expecting value for money when making a purchase, any evidence highlighting how one of their peers benefitted from doing the same can be a powerful tool in helping to close a sale. 

 

At Armitage Communications, we specialise in helping our clients to generate buzz around their products and services through the creation of thoroughly researched, conscientiously-written and well-delivered case studies. With the array of marketing channels open to us, we are able to make sure our client’s projects are promoted to the fullest extent, from a write-up in the trade media through to ongoing use as videos on YouTube.

That case studies are a valuable tool in helping to demonstrate the value of a company’s products or services is supported by a recent study by San Francisco-based content production specialist, Eccolo Media. Eccolo recently published a survey which found that 25% of technology consumers would be most likely to consume a case study over other collateral such as white papers, e-newsletters and videos.

This is just as well, as putting a case study together can be hard work. Ask any marketing or PR executive and they’ll tell you just how many hours of telephone calls are expended in trying to get in touch with end users, organising interviews, establishing approvals and getting hold of images. With many companies also operating a blanket ‘non-endorsement’ policy, putting together a case study can often be something of a labour of love.

Threading the needle

So when we heard how delighted famous carpet manufacturer Brintons Carpets was with ABB’s products during a recent electric motor upgrade project, we were quick to get underway with organising an interview and photoshoot at the customer’s location in Telford.

Dave Evans, Electrical Coordinator, Brintons Carpets

The story started with ABB Drives and Motors receiving notification through its Authorised Value Provider, Sentridge Control, of the successful performance of its AC motors at Brintons Carpets. In this way, a thread of communication was established between us – the agency, the product integrator – Sentridge, our client – ABB, and the end user – Brintons Carpets. Our next task was then to weave this thread into a full story, being mindful at all times of how the case study represented all parties, carefully gathering information from all parties, and gaining collective approval before the final version could be distributed.

The scope of the story lent itself to a face-to-face interview with the end user rather than a telephone interview, and so, with their permission, we organised a day on which we could visit the premises with a photographer in tow.

Stitching the tapestry

As an agency, we like to think we know what makes a good story. The process starts with a list of carefully-crafted questions, aimed at getting the information we need without unduly wasting the time of the interviewee, who we fully appreciate will have a thousand more pressing things to do.

On this point, it’s important to try to be balanced. Though we’re writing primarily for our client, it doesn’t have to all be ‘me, me, me’. It doesn’t hurt to give their customers a little free publicity as well, especially where they have an established heritage or interesting product. For this reason, we always throw in some questions asking end users about their company and what they do. This not only helps to make the experience more rewarding for the interviewee, but also gives us some useful added-value information that we can use when promoting the story, especially via social media.

For example, we discovered that Brintons is a truly British manufacturer, boasting a history dating back to 1783, the same year that Britain signed its treaty with America to end the American Revolution. Since this time the company has notched up some impressive accolades, including the granting of a Royal Warrant in 1958 and the reunion of the Spice Girls on a Brintons carpet in London’s revamped St Pancras Hotel in 2012, a nod to their first video which saw them performing on the staircase of the same building prior to its redevelopment. We’re certainly excited about what social media content we can curate with that info.

Once we’ve established some context, we ask what prompted the end user to get in touch with our client in the first place. In the case of Brintons, the company’s previously installed DC motors were obsolete and required regular maintenance. For Brintons this meant time and cost were incurred from disruption to its production process and the need to keep constantly repairing the motors. For this reason, they decided to switch to AC motors, which not only save on energy but increase production capacity.

Money talks

At the end of the day, we recognise that the best stories are the ones with good hard evidence, particularly when it comes to numbers. A business runs on money after all, and statements such as “a two year return on investment” or “£20,000 savings per year” help to grab a prospective customer’s attention like nothing else. We will always ask the end user if they have any idea of what savings they’ve achieved, in order to make the case study business-led.

Writing a case study is like weaving a carpet

In this instance our client’s products resulted in 19% energy savings, a return on investment of just
2.6 years and estimated savings of £40,000 per year.

Once we’ve pieced together a narrative for the end user, we will go back to our client to get their perspective. A simple quote is all that is needed to conclude the content, and touch on any key benefits or technical details which the end user may not have mentioned.

Finally, we will send the finished case study to all parties to gain their approval before we distribute and publicise.

Publicising case studies

To effectively engage our target audience we’ve established long-standing relationships with key industry journalists who we know will give our case studies the exposure they deserve. The Brintons case study is scheduled to appear in the trade and technical press in the coming months, so keep an eye out and let us know if you spot it!

Given the effort we expend in every case study we write, we are keen to ensure we use each one to its full potential. The Brintons case study will not only appear on the ABB Energy website, but will be rewritten into a blog format for the ABB Energy Blogspot. Although informality may seem initially inappropriate for B2B, the short-form, casual style of a blog lends itself well to end users who are strapped for time, and may not subscribe to any of the print publications where we’ve placed the case study.

Another advantage of blogging case studies is that their usability extends across to social media. Platforms such as Twitter, Google + and Linked In are all frequently used by Armitage to engage prospective customers, and drive traffic to our client’s blogs and/or website.

Marketing automation 

Case studies will prove even more useful in the near future as they are worked in to our digital marketing campaigns. With the help of marketing automation, case studies can be used as engaging links with the aim of helping to gather extra intelligence on customer preferences by encouraging visitors to other content.

Once a prospective customer has been added to the database, they will be sent e-shots on a regular basis which will be customised to their particular interest, job title, and industry. In this way, lead nurturing becomes a strategic yet automatic system. Once the initial campaign is designed, the software will respond accordingly to our client’s customers, and give our clients the best chance of building new relationships and, ultimately, securing a sale.

We look forward to using the Brintons case study to weave an automated campaign and tell an engaging, persuasive, and, most importantly, valuable tale to our end users.

Would you like to know more about how we use case studies as key collateral in content marketing campaigns? Do you have a customer that would be happy to tell their story? Contact us on 0208 667 2210 or email [email protected] to find out how we can help.


Corporate Creativity: The Must Have of the Digital Age

Back in November 2014 we discussed how technology is the frenemy of tomorrow’s workforce. We mentioned how some jobs are likely to be overtaken by digital developments, whilst others, often more creative in nature, are probably a lot safer, as long as we make an effort as a nation to brush up on our techy skills such as SEO, HTML and digital content design to facilitate our ideas.

But what do you do if you’re not a creative? Taking our predictions to the extremes of a futuristic nihilistic blockbuster, this would leave a lot of people starving on the streets. Equally, if you are a creative you know that the juices are exhaustible. Some brilliant writers have suffered the infamous writer’s block such as Neil Gaiman, Hilary Mantel and Philip Pullman, yet continue to write bestsellers. Whether you believe you’re imaginative or not, we can tell you how to inspire yourself, put pen to paper, paintbrush to canvas…or more appropriately, fingertips to keyboard or mouse to computer screen. Here are our six top tips.

1. Expose yourself to new things. Whether it’s a museum, art gallery, theatre performance, poetry evening, trip to a new city or country, think of these as original stimuli which will no doubt create a fresh flow of ideas.

2. Always be looking. Whether we realise it or not, we are surrounded by inspiration. Take advertising for example. Conservative estimates reckon that the average person will be aware of 76 advertisements in the course of a day, whether they be hoardings, TV, radio or online ads. Many of these can be used to generate ideas that you can use, whether it be developing catchy headlines or developing new ideas for your own marketing campaigns.

3. Try geo-doodling. Geo-doodling involves walking without direction. Let your feet determine where you go, and instead use your mind to really absorb what is going on around you. Listen to the noises, examine the architecture of the buildings, smell the fragrances of the environment. We tend to rush around on a day-to-day basis, and underappreciate stimuli which wait on every corner.

4. Don’t judge yourself. Instead, just get writing, designing, brain-storming, or playing. You might think what you’ve created is terrible, but someone else might really appreciate it. And if it really is terrible, then you can consider it a step towards something fantastic. It’s a work in progress.

5. Meet new people. Fresh conversation, new faces and sharing original experiences will open up a whole new dimension for your creative masterpiece.

6. Spend time with children. Children have no limits to their imaginations. Remember when you used to be able to entertain yourself for hours on your own, inventing characters and scenarios and thoroughly believing they were real. When the ability to do this died, it didn’t really die. Reawaken it by playing with young children. Their freedom to express ideas will help prompt you to do the same.

At Armitage Communications we are often in need of creative inspiration. As content curators, public relations managers and campaign executioners, we have to think on our feet and conceive original ideas which will create a desired impact. What do you do at work or in leisure time to inspire your muse? Let us know by tweeting @ArmitageComm incorporating hashtag #CorpCreative.