motion-graphics

Motion Graphics: State of the Industry

We’ve been creating videos for digital distribution for a long time and we’ve noticed a keen shift in the market. It used to be that live video was the only option, with little exception perhaps with post production compositing. But, as the photoshop generation has more and more access to video, as well as the rise of shareable video content, we saw a hybrid emergence of motion graphics. Stunning graphics, animated to create a story or explain a concept. Now however, we see more and more a defining split. Filmic Recorded Video Vs. Pure Animation Video traditionally would be a specialist affair requiring years of experience (probably from a broadcasting background), a deep understanding of how cameras actually work and before HD, a video that recorded the necessities with creativity coming from the variety of shots and editing skill. It\’s still clear that purist cinematographers and video professionals go for a uniquely filmic look. The more professionally shot, the better the video becomes at reaching it’s usual objective, to build trust in an organisation. This is often fast-tracked with a strong depth of field look and more film-esque colour grading. The introduction of DSLR video cameras has made this more achievable by more people …

tomato-can-blues

How to Build the Best Marketing Campaign Pages

Marketing Campaign landing pages are a way to meet marketing objectives. Campaign pages are more than just landing pages, they\’re the spearhead of a micro brand experience and a complete marketing objective. A marketing campaign is a thought out approach to a business objective to reach it’s goals. A marketing campaign can be anything from a promotion, to a new product release, it\’s your way of telling the world what you\’ve done in a way that gets seen and gets results., Your campaign landing page will express objective in an easy to understand and compelling way. Tomato Can Blues from New York Times – Strong title, great imagery Headline Your headline will be your most important attention grabber. A good headline will ultimately mean more conversions (it\’s that important) and remember that it\’s what people will tend to use when they share the link on social media so it needs to be compelling. It should also react to the needs of the customer, the crux of your objective and in a way that is simple and profound. Incentives and Result Each campaign should have a customer incentive and a measurable result. A good incentive should be a part of a larger …

Step 5: How to Use Social Media in Your Content Strategy

Social media is a vital tool, it let’s you distribute your message to thousands of potential customers. There are 3 techniques to social media you should know about. Each one is really powerful but together, they’re unstoppable. The objective here is to start entering the lives of your customers. Be seen, be interactive and make conversations happen. It can be daunting though, everyone else is trying to do the same thing. 1. Post updates from external sources. Stay on top of your industry news and let others use you to stay up to date as well. The first thing to do is to start talking and the easiest way to do that is to find out what people are talking about and repost or retweet it. This isn’t just about reusing information for your benefit, it will help you learn about your market, what your competitors are doing, what people are looking for and what you can offer. To appear to be a thought leader, you need to know what’s going on. How you find that information can be in a variety of different ways. Here’s some easy starting points: Google Alerts Create a Google Alert for keywords and issues …

Step 4: Writing Articles for your Content Strategy

Writing articles is where you’ll be most of the time. It’s the hub of your content strategy, writing articles is the foundation for all of your digital marketing channels. 5 Top Tips for writing articles Plan each post ahead of time and where it fits into the greater picture. Never start writing your posts with the idea to go back to them, more often than not, you won’t. When you start, finish it. You can refine it later. You might want to start another article off the back of the one you’re writing, go ahead and start the new one halfway through the first but remember the above! Reserve 15 minutes per article, aim for at least 500 words, that\’s 30 words a minute. Not bad. If you don’t complete it in 15 minutes, come back 5 minutes later. Listen to music while you write, you’ll find writing tedious no doubt, but you’ll always look forward to your 20 minutes of music time. I know the feeling that it’ll take too long to write an article, if you actually time it, each one takes about 15 – 20 minutes if it’s planned. Think about how long you spend answering emails …

Step 3: Planning Your Content Strategy

Your Content Strategy will help you plan your content so that it is consistent and on target Doing the work now will mean that you always know what to write about and when. It will help to organise your site as well as give you a structure to work towards. Content Layout and Cornerstones Every keyword should have a “cornerstone page”. In SEO, every page has a page rank based on the quality and authority of the content it holds. So you need to write a page exclusively on the keyword that you’re after. Write about it from an experts perspective and explain what it is or what it does. Don’t make these product or service related (you can link to your products and services from it) but make them really useful for the people who will be reading it. Your page will be very succinct and include all the tips from our how to write content article but you will want to explain more than what is reasonable in one post. Create \”satellite\” pages which talk about more detailed aspects of the topic in their own succinct way, including the main keyword where you can, always link back to …

Step 2: Researching Your Content Strategy

Your Content Strategy is the hub of all of your inbound marketing. The strategy will bring together everything you want to say and want your customers to find you for. That means it’s a really good idea to research it before you jump in. For this website we’re going to continue down the inbound marketing theme. If I was to be completely honest I’d say I wanted to be number 1 in Google for “Digital Marketing”. But, I don’t think that’s going to happen any time soon so I need to pick a niche. It just so happens that I have a niche already, this all encompassing term that covers what we all love to do here. Now what we need to do is research that term and find out how best to pursue it. What we’ll need is a list of keywords to know what we should be talking about. The easiest way to find out what they should be is to figure out what people are already searching for and then talk about those things. Once we have a couple of articles talking about the right things, we can go into more detail about our specific customers and …

Step 1: Understanding Your Market

The first step to great marketing potential, is understanding. My old manager told me this, I said it was getting the right messaging. I was sort of right, but to get the right messaging you need to gain the complete understanding of your market and what you’re dealing with. The first thing to do is to understand the market and the business. Let’s explore the market for \”Inbound Marketing\”. Target Customers Enterprise Campaigns (events, launches, sales drives) Small – Medium businesses Marketing Agencies PR Agencies This is just my interpretation, you might think differently, I’m trying to establish who would want to benefit from inbound marketing and also, who I want to target and how I can. In the above four I have a great cross section of large, medium and then agencies representing more small businesses potentially. Because inbound marketing is a long term strategy and can be prohibitive to small companies, we need to be smart about who we approach and how we get them the best for their business. As a business owner I am using my gut feeling on this based on the clients I’ve worked for. We can hone down this list later on based on …

The Inbound Marketing Conversion Process

How to turn your knowledge and passion into customers. AWARENESS > EDUCATION > ACTION > RETENTION > ADVOCACY A lot of people look at this sort of thing and think that the Inbound Marketing Conversion process in theory is great, it sounds completely plausible, but, it won’t get them any sales for a long time. Add to this that if they’re experimenting with new things, they probably want quick results. This experiment is going to show you how I go through the marketing conversion process from start to finish, all you then have to do is rinse and repeat for your target market and your business (or ask us to!). I’m going to be using the same techniques I use for my clients and what I’d use for you too. I’ll write about every stage so you can follow along. Step 1: Understanding Your Market

Four Tips For On-Page Optimization

Wouldn’t we all love to know the Google algorithm! Of course, but sadly that’s never going to happen, so all we can really do is pay attention to Google’s SEO advice and not try and cheat the system. Instead of updating my existing post on the Basics of SEO, I’ve decided to write a new one so that I can have some sort of history on how both on-page and off-page Search Engine Optimization has evolved. This post’s main focus is on on-page optimization, because I think that’s the area most in our control, so we have no excuses for getting it wrong… Here are my four tips Keyword Density Google doesn’t publish an ideal keyword density percentage for your website copy. I’ve heard everything from 2% up to 7% of your content should include cleverly woven in keywords. My latest thought on this is that Google’s algorithm is getting more sophisticated and you no longer need to pepper your content with these triggers – Plus, I can’t see it being too long before Google can associate ‘car’ with ‘automobile’ for example… Check out this video with Matt Cutts, it’s the most trusted source on this topic: [video_frame] [iframe url=”http://www.youtube.com/embed/Rk4qgQdp2UA” …

Are You Good Enough To Be A Successful Marketer?

Why do you want to get into marketing? Have you got what it takes to deliver? I love marketing, but make no mistake, it’s a tough nut to crack. It’s like a toddler fueled by Sunny Delight, it never sits still. For me that’s part of the thrill, it suits my nature, because I’m always asking myself what’s next? How can I be better? But is that you? Do you like change? In-fact, do you drive change? That’s more important, because although the foundation of marketing has stood the test of time, customer’s expect bigger and better – your boss demands innovation and your ravenous sales team need feeding. So before I even talk about the skills, expertise and qualifications you need to thrive in marketing, it’s first important that you really question your metal, your grit, your determination – because if you think your annoying brother, best friend or arch enemy is competitive, just wait until you meet marketing – it wants to take you down and if you let it, it will. Excited? or about to close the browser? Hopefully you’re thinking – let me at em! If so, read on. Just as I’ve got you excited, I’m …

Online Reputation Management: What’s the Deal?

“Online reputation management” is becoming a more frequently used phrase as the internet expands and businesses (and individuals) jump on the global bandwagon to reach a wider audience. However, with greater reach comes an increased risk of attack, negative reviewing and petty comments. Anyone who is implementing a digital marketing strategy should make at least a small attempt to come to grips with the best methods of monitoring internet reputation. This kind of reputation management is not merely a necessity for businesses-gone-bad, high profile celebs and immoral politicians. Rather, it applies to anyone with an online presence. Even the best, most established businesses are open to negative reviews. Digital marketing is all good and well for promoting a service, product or company, but unless online reputation management is treated as a priority, negative reviews can creep up and make all other marketing activity null. Further, the industry is starting to illuminate a darker side to negative reviewing; it can quite often be the case that a company’s competitor strikes up a string of false negative reviews online to purposefully damage their reputation. With tactics like this at hand, the management of one’s internet reputation should really be placed as a …

Is The Pursuit of Perfection Holding You Back?

I would describe myself as a perfectionist in most, but not all areas of my life. So much so that it frightens me to say it out loud in case you find mistakes in my work (and you will…). But does designing a brochure which is pixel perfect and writing a marketing plan which is formatted with precision really the best use of your time? Or is there a point where it’s already perfect in everyone else’s eyes, even if it’s not quite faultless in yours?? I’m a believer that everything we do, say and put out in the world represents us, so doing half a job says something about your brand, be that your personal one or that of an organisation. I’m talking about the minutes and sometimes hours we all waste (myself included) ‘fine tuning’ everything we do – when in reality it won’t make any difference to the level of return on investment. I was listening to the radio last week and they were interviewing book authors, one of which said that “if you don’t move on from the opening paragraph until you think it’s impeccable, you’ll never finish your book”. Now I know that they’re talking …

Consider Every Word

You never stop learning in Marketing, especially from others. This one was a simple light bulb moment and one I’m sure I was aware of subconsciously, it just hadn’t fully clicked into place yet. I’m fortunate to work with someone who is brilliant with words, everything he writes is articulate and most importantly interesting – so when he recommends I write something in a certain way, I do – he doesn’t even need to explain why, it just makes sense. It was a subtle recommendation to a marketing email I was writing which helped the penny drop. The overall message was about return on investment, so a simple change from ‘saving you 250k’ to ‘saving you £250,000’ was all it took to increase the message ten fold – which one sounds like a more significant windfall to you? No one knows exactly how many words there are in the English language, but the 2nd Edition of the 20-volume Oxford English Dictionary contains 171,476 words in current use – so clearly there are plenty of different ways to put your message across. In this particular case, that simple alteration completely changed the attitude and impact of my paragraph, taking it from …

Landing Pages – Free Best Practice Mini Guide

Landing pages are considered a fine art in web design, but not all of us have the time or budget to find a trusted designer. With that in mind we’ve created a six step best practice guide for creating compelling landing pages…our advice is simple and based on years of experience – you can count on that. *Beta version – let us know what you think. {filelink=20}

The EU Cookie Law: 6 Months On

The EU Cookie law has been around for over 6 months now, once considered the near end of commercial online businesses and a huge misguided missile targeted at hard working digital entrepreneurs, how has the law actually manifested itself in today’s online world? Was it the right thing to implement after all? The reason for It To begin with I’ll explain what the EU Cookie law is and why it originated (if you don’t know about it, now’s the time to get compliant!). Last year, some unethical online advertising companies in particular started using tiny text files used by browsers to remember user information to help them target users. These files called cookies would track users activities online. The EU saw this as a breach of privacy and while they didn’t put a stop to cookies, they banned the use of cookies and any other sort of local storage without consent from the user. That means consent on every single website. The problem The issue with this is that lots of legitimate services use cookies to work, the most common is probably Google Analytics. Analytical software is essential for any self respecting website to run, it shows success, plans future …

Google Adwords v LinkedIn PPC – Fair Fight?

Google is the veteran heavy weight of PPC, but LinkedIn has been hitting the gym hard this winter and is fast becoming my favourite advertising platform when it comes to reaching a ‘professional’ audience, and because of its growing influence, it now puts up a great fight for a healthy share of my advertising budget. Google Adwords hasn’t lost any of its clout either and it still commands a big chunk of my monthly spend – but what are the pro’s and con’s? Which one has the knock out punch when it comes to ROI? And which one should you back with your Marketing budget? Here are my thoughts: In the blue corner…LinkedIn LinkedIn’s granular targeting functionality is outstanding. It’s so specific it allows you to get in front of individuals with a particular job title, working for a specific organisation who are located in the country of your choice…that’s powerful. Another great strength of LinkedIn’s advertising is that it’s simple to manage, their ad set up ‘wizard’ steps you through each stage, so even if it’s your first time, you’ll probably find it intuitive. Key strength The judges are split on this one as they both add a lot …

What’s The Future For SEO? Is Google On The Way Out?

EVERY product has a shelf life It’s time to flee the nest and fend for ourselves – at least that’s what industry experts have been talking about when it comes to search engines. Experts are saying that we’re all becoming more independent of search engines and are confidently striding out into the wild choosing the websites we want to visit, without input from the mighty Google. The argument being that we all now search more within websites themselves to find what we’re looking for and I think when it comes to e-commerce, that’s a growing trend. A good example is Amazon – once upon a time we probably would have gone to Google and searched for a ‘book on Search Engine Optimisation’, now after years of building our trust, we recognise that Amazon is one of the most likely sites we’d buy a book from so just go straight there, by passing Google. To add to this, from the businesses point of view, I doubt that the likes of Amazon, Facebook, Twitter, Moneysupermarket.com and all the other well-known cyber cities were organically sitting on page 50 of Google and slowly built up their rankings (and therefore traffic) until they were …

How Has Digital Changed PR?

There are two answers to this question, both of which are equally valid; not a lot, and loads. It is certainly true that PR has gone through a transition / new awakening in the last few years, particularly with regards to how it capitalises on social media. However I would also argue that the fundamentals of PR – communicating a message to a stakeholder to influence their behaviour – have not changed. Fundamentally PR is the same as it always has been. It is for that very reason that we don’t position ourselves as a digital PR agency – there’s no such thing! It is also worth bearing in mind when reading this that my time in the PR industry has always been ‘digital’. Unlike my more learned colleagues I have never fundamentally had to change the way I work to fit into a new ‘digital age’. I have never sent out a press release with a fax machine, or heaven forbid via post, and the 24-hour news cycle and online newspapers have always been my playground. I’ve always worked in the technology sector too, so I’ve probably embraced the digital lifestyle a little more than, if not perhaps earlier, …

New Year, New Marketing

It’s a new year and that means new resolutions, a diet and less drinking after the festivities… It’s also a good time to evaluate how your marketing is working for you. No doubt the run up to now has been hectic, manic and crazy, ending in a welcome break. As you think about how to get back into it (and if you’re easily bored like me) coming up with a more effective plan of action is a great way to jump in with maximum momentum! So, what is a good way to start? Well, apparently you’ve already stumbled across it. By seeking the newest trends and expertise in the area you’re finding where to make the most impact. Here’s a handy checklist you might like to apply to your efforts: 1. Website It has become more and more apparent recently that there’s been a bit of a revolution recently with HTML5, CSS3 and JQuery. These fantastic new tools have shown how powerful, engaging and usable the web can be. Designers have jumped at the opportunity and developed a whole new look and feel for the modern website, throw into the mix mobile first responsive design and automating your marketing and …