Archive by Author

Why you shouldn’t employ someone like me to take care of your marketing.

21 Aug

By Dee Jardine

Two years ago I left university with my BSc Marketing qualification and started applying for jobs.  I was enthusiastic and eager to get working, but to be honest I didn’t have a clue!

 
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As well as applying to a few highly competitive graduate schemes I interviewed for a number of small-to-medium businesses who were looking for someone at entry level to take care of their whole marketing efforts.

Now I thank my lucky stars I was unsuccessful on these occasions.  I can’t imagine how it would have felt to come into a business that had no marketing department and be solely responsible for marketing their company.  The responsibility would have been huge! I might have just got a degree in marketing, but I knew very little about marketing in practise. 

See that’s the thing about a degree, it’s all academic, the focus is on theories, research, and references.  While it’s good to know the “WHY” it’s equally important to know the “HOW”, and that’s where education is failing graduates.  For example, in my digital marketing module we learnt why digital is important, why search engine optimization is critical, and why having a website your customers can easily navigate is essential.  However, we learnt absolutely nothing about how to write ad copy, how to set up a Google Adword’s campaign or how to create persuasive landing pages.

This is why I would urge you if you’re a small business owner in Northern Ireland not to employ a recent graduate with no experience.  I understand why you might think it’s a good idea.  You know you need to market your business, you know little to nothing about marketing, and you don’t have the budget to employ someone with a lot of marketing experience, so the best option is to employ a recent marketing graduate.

By taking on a recent graduate however you’re employing someone with no experience, and as you have no one to train them, how can you expect them to learn.  You’re taking a risk with your budget, leaving it to trial and error, and guessing games. 

There is another option however, instead of spending around £1,000 per month on one recent graduate, you could take on a monthly retainer with an agency for around the same amount, maybe less, maybe more depending on your needs.  A retainer with Navajo Talk means having a team of experts work as your digital marketing department, for similar money as one inexperienced graduate.

Don’t get me wrong I’m not saying recent graduates with limited experience don’t deserve a chance.  Of course they do, like the chance Navajo Talk gave me.  Six months ago I had no experience whatsoever, the difference here is I’m part of a team, which means I gain support from my colleagues, and learn from their experience.  As a trainee I’m not expected to learn everything all in one go, it’s a process.  I’ve learnt so much in the past five to six months, but I still have loads to learn.

It’s really not as simple as just hiring a marketing graduate.

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The Social Web

21 Aug

By Tim McKane

You’ve just caught up – and the game has changed again….The Social Web.

I’ve been thinking. There are so many titles for what we do that it becomes difficult to capture it all in one phrase. Social media marketing, digital marketing, inbound marketing, content marketing, search marketing, e-mail marketing…it goes on.

But there is something that I have been trying to pin down and it is as easy as nailing smoke. Where is the web and internet marketing going next?

My take on it is that we are seeing a merging of different channels. The main thing is that web sites and social media are becoming one and the same.

Let me explain.

Is Amazon a social media site?

No? It is a sales site? But one of the ways that Amazon has been most successful in selling is because it is also a social media site.

Yes Amazon have a presence on Facebook and Twitter, and people recommend books and other products on those sites, but the real social engagement is on their own site. That is where people read reviews, recommendations, and find books that other people like them read.

The key is other people like them.

Currently there are two ‘things’ the web and social media. You go here, and then you go there. To Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and more. But if you build some social media style tech into your web site, then you could create engagement on your own site, and your customers would find ‘other people like them’ and your brand could be the reason that they engage.

This is the natural extension of the blog on your site. Moving away from specific blog content to content in general – so that your home page is interesting, engaging and prompts a longer visit with more brand interaction.

It isn’t here yet, but it is on the way.  The social web.

Tesco – who, what, when, where, why?

28 Jul

By Tim McKane

Tesco

Tesco is in the news again. Sales are falling, they are being hit by the arrival of Lidl and Aldi. The ‘big box’ out of towns stores which can be over 100,000 square feet are already out of date in the digital age, as more and more people go online to search and buy a wider range of goods. (Remember how short a time it is since people were saying that they would not buy on line?)

There are numerous changes in the market that will be impacting on Tesco. But I think that it is an old marketing element that has caused a lot of their problems.

Confusion.

Brands need clarity. People need to know that a brand will deliver a solution. The core value of Tesco when it was moving with a head of steam to become the largest retailer in the country by some way, was that they were the best value grocery stores with a great range at the best prices.

But that has changed. A visit to the store in Knocknagoney, recently refurbished tells us all we need to know.

Walk in the front door and you are met with all sorts of new in store shops. A phone shop. A beauty and pharmacy area. Clothes. Toys. Kitchen equipment. Electrical goods. Books. Videos.

But I want a loaf of bread.

And for that I have to walk to the very back of the store. So guess what. I am not going to drop into Tesco unless we need a number of items. I do drop into Tesco, and I wander around looking and browsing the wide range of goods, but how many TVs do I need?

The mind of the consumer is the life blood of a brand, and that is where Tesco need to fight the fight. Lidl and Aldi are delivering groceries at low prices. Simple.

If I were managing Tesco Knocknagoney, I would be thinking about putting the groceries at the front of the store. People are not stupid. They know that they are being sold to, but the main reason for going to Tesco is to buy food, not other goods, so don’t try to sell them first. Yes the margins are better, but if you start to lose your core brand values, it can be a real struggle to get them back.

Offline or online – it is still essential to stay true to your brand – and that is where Tesco have lost their way.

5 things that will tell you what good looks like?

28 Jul

By Tim McKane

What makes a good web site? Or a good digital campaign or good advertising?

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The change that digital marketing has brought about is that you can now measure good. You can track people’s level of engagement through use of analytics.

  1. What is the click through rate from Google to your page? Do you know what the industry standard is for a good click through from impressions?
  2. How long do they stay on your site? Is a minute good or bad?
  3. How many pages have they looked at? Is four a positive result?
  4. Have they come back for a second look?
  5. Have they left you some way of getting in touch?

Good advertising can be measured by results, but more often than not is about whether people like the creative treatment or not.

Good digital is all about statistics and data. 

Memoirs of a Marketing Man

24 Jul

By Tim Mckane

1 – How I got my start….nepotism…

Cookstown Sausages Image

I was sitting at the dinner table in May 1968. It was sunny (wasn’t it always). There were butterflies flitting in and out of the open windows, and bees buzzing around the roses that were beginning to bloom. The shafts of sunlight showed the midges having a great time.

We were sitting down to a salad. A real salad, not one of your new fangled comes in a pot with lots of peppers. This was a hard-boiled egg, a tomato, a slice or two of ham, some lettuce, there was only one kind of lettuce, green and floppy, some new potatoes and dollops of salad cream.

Dad looked up.

“Guess who I was talking to today?”

I guessed. Bobby Charlton. No, Dennis Law. No. The Queen?

“George Best”

No. Impossible. No-one spoke to George Best. He was a God. He was the superstar of Manchester United. He had scored in the European Cup final a couple of weeks before. He had beaten Scotland single handed. He was my one and only hero.

“He’s agreed to do an ad for us. Cookstown Sausages.”

The rest is history. I got to meet George, in Newtownards at a Northern Ireland training session. He was a nice guy, and I was very nervous and small (that changed, the last time I met George I was my fully grown 6-4).

But when Dad talked about the ads that he made, he would always bring it back to the reason for Cookstown paying George £500 and for the media time on UTV.

Sales went from five tons a week to over 100 tons a week.  Ivan Bell, the sales manager at the time, told me about saying to the van drivers that if George scored (a goal) to tell the shopkeepers to remind the Mums, and they would buy another packet of sausages.

I started work when still at school in the afternoon. I worked in the summer, doing anything that was needed, including reception, answering calls, driving the van to the papers to deliver the copy. I learned how to use the bromide camera (high tech).

Yes, I got my opportunity through nepotism, but I also put my time in. I didn’t put on a suit until I was 24, and by then knew all about production, media and creative (Letraset anyone?)

And I knew the secret. It is all about sales.

 

Why your ads are not getting results!

23 Jul

By Dee Jardine

So you’ve set-up your first campaign on Google Adwords, and expected your sales to double but instead you’ve seen barely any change in web conversions or enquiries.  Here are our suggestions of what may have gone wrong and how to fix it.

1. Your targeting is wrong

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Too specific?

If your impressions are low chances are the keywords you’ve chosen are too specific to reach a significant audience.  Don’t just pull a few keywords ideas from your head, people are often searching for terms you might not have thought of.  As shown in our previous blog, use Google keyword planner as a tool to find a wider range of keywords to target. It’s often best to pick a wide range of relevant keywords and then narrow them down at a later date once you have an idea of what is working best.

Too broad?

If your impressions are high but your still not seeing positive results it could be that your targeting is too broad and irrelevant to those you’re ads are appearing before.  Check the match type of your keywords.  If for example you are selling only roof tiles you don’t want to appear in front of those searching for bathroom tiles.  There are two ways you can avoid this. The first is to select “bathroom” as a negative keyword, or you can change your keyword “roof tiles” to exact match type.

2. Your Ads are dull or irrelevant

Are your Ad’s boring?

Your ads need to give people a reason to click them.  Ensure your ad text is tailored to their search term, for example if you have an AdGroup with keywords based around cheap roof tiles include the term “cheap roof tiles” or “low cost roof tiles” in your ad text.  This confirms to customers that your ad meets their needs.

Remember your Ads are competing against your competitors for clicks.  Include an offer in your ad text to persuade customers to visit your website over competitors.  For example “15% Off – Exclusive Online Discount” or “Order Today for Free delivery”.

My colleague Caroline taught me a neat trick last week to make ads more eye catching. Add a full stop to the end of the first line of your text, below the headline and this will bring this line up beside the headline on high ranking ads.

Without a full stop your ad will appear like this.

blog1

With the full stop in place your Ads will appear like this.4

blog2

Misleading your customers?

You might find your ads get a lot of clicks to your website but no conversions.  It could be that your ads are very enticing but not all that factual.  For example if your ad says your have a wide variety of tiles, but when customers click to your website there are only a handful of choices they will soon click back off your page.

3.  Your landing page is useless

The most common reason for failing to convert a customer once they have clicked to your website is the quality of the landing page.

Are your frustrating your customers?

How often have you searched for something online, red shoes for example, seen an ad for red shoes, then clicked on this ad only to be directed to a homepage for a fashion retailer with no red shoes insight!

Sending your customers to your homepage is a sure fire way to infuriate them, they’ve just completed a search online, and you’ve managed to tick their boxes so far, why not do yourself a favour and make converting as simple as possible for them.

Website usability has a large impact on whether a customer will complete a transaction.  If they can’t navigate your page easily they will move on to someone else.  Look out for your websites usability on mobile devices, if your page compatible be sure to target your ads to desktop users only to avoid spending money on clicks that won’t result in sales.

Is your website persuasive?

Use language to encourage customers to make the purchase today.  Often customers will spend a lot of time browsing before they make a purchase decision, adding time factor such as “limited stocks available” will be them push they need.

Match the tone and feel of your website to your customer.  If your selling corporate stationery make sure the land page is professional; avoid a casual informal tone and use colours and images that fit the theme. If on the other hand you’re selling children’s party invites your tone should be fun and casual, with bright colours and entertaining images.  You might think this is obvious advice but it’s amazing how many people get it wrong.

Make sure your landing page gives enough information to answer questions customers may have, but at the same time is not too text heavy.  Often the nature and cost your product will impact the level of detail required, but too much text maybe off-putting to a time conscious shopper.

4. Other Constraints

Limited budget

If your budget is £5.00 per day and your average cost per click is £2.00 your ad will stop showing after it is been clicked around three times.  Therefore you have limited ability to reach enough customers to convert.  A higher daily budget over a shorter time period may prove more effective.  Try scheduling your ads so that they appear at a time of day when customers are most likely to convert, for example during work hours for corporate products.

Another factor to consider is your bid, if the average cost for a click is £2.00 but your maximum bid is £1.00 your ad will not rank high enough to be seen regularly.

Time & limited interest

If you are targeting an area as small as Northern Ireland, for a niche interest it may take more time to see any result from your ads.  If you’re confident in your targeting, ad text and landing page, and recognise there are few searches per month related to your product, give your campaign some time to start seeing results.

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A Simple Guide to Twitter Advertising

22 Jul

By Viki McAdoo

Facebook has become the social media advertising king in recent times but Twitter has started to challenge it in some pretty interesting ways. I’m going to give you a quick crash course in how to get your mind around Twitter advertising.

Twitter Advertising Blog

Set up your credit card details and you’ll get £25 free advertising credit from the powers that be at Twitter!

There are a couple of options for campaign types on Twitter, I’ll explain them below.

Twitter Advertising 2

Promoted Tweets are…

Like regular Tweets but they get a little boost. They come up in Twitter feeds like normal Tweets but have a little “promoted” symbol below them. Of course they can still be retweeted, replied to and favourited. They will reach more people and are great to encourage click-throughs to your websites or can promote events your business has coming up, plus a lot more.

photo credit: opensourceway via photopin cc
Twitter Advertising Promoted Tweet

Promoted Accounts are…

Suggested Twitter accounts that users may be interested in but do not follow yet. You’ll spot them under the “who to follow” suggestions. They are great for reaching potential followers who have a real interest or affiliation with your brand. Promoted accounts are about seeing the bigger picture – rather than just aiming for numbers of followers it is about gaining followers who will drive leads and purchases further down the line.

Twitter Advertising Promoted Account

App instalments & engagements are…

Tweets which focus on promoting either the download of apps or the engagement of users through their apps. They offer users the chance to download the app if they do not already have it, or open it if they have already downloaded it. These are great for targeting people who already have an interest in similar apps and are likely to download your app.

Promoted App

Once you have selected what type of ad is going to produce the best results for your aims fill in the relevant details like campaign name and you start and end dates. If you choose to do an app instalment campaign there are a few extras you’ll need like the app ID which would will get here:

App ID Twitter Advertising

At this stage you will also have to choose between App downloads OR App engagements. For a lot of companies app downloads may seem like the obvious choice but it all depends on what stage you app is in its product life cycle. Promoting it to users that have already struck up a relationship with your brand can be a great way to reignite fresh interest and increase active app users.

Targeting

Targeting on Twitter is a little different to the targeting you may do for other digital marketing methods. There are four choices for targeting on Twitter:

  • Keywords
  • Interests and followers
  • Television
  • Tailored

Not every option is available for each type of advertising but I’ll give you an overview.

Table

It is always important to select your location carefully. For each campaign I would set the location to Northern Ireland, rather than waste impressions on people who are outside the target area.

Watch out for this each time you are setting up a new campaign.

Twitter Location Setting

If I was a Garden Centre and I was trying to advertise on Twitter, this is how I could use each of the methods…

Targeting using keywords

This is basically using keywords on interests, topics people Tweet about or topics people engage with to grasp and audience that will have an interest in your product. So for my florist I would use:

  • Flowers
  • Gardening
  • Garden
  • BBQ
  • Lawn

To find out more about Broad matches and Phrase matches click here and learn about match types.

Targeting using interests and followers

It is beneficial to target users on their specific interests but to target followers takes a little thought. Before delving into this it is worth researching competitors on Twitter as well as people of public interest in the area you are targeting. For my Garden Centre in Newtownards I would target the following:

Twitter Targeting using followers

The box on the right hand side give lots of useful information about how the targeting will affect your campaign.

#TopTip make sure you put as @ sign and the exact user name of the account you want to use.

By then adding in an interest category can broaden your reach…

Twitter Targeting Followers and Interests

Targeting using television

Targeting using television can be a great way to reach emerged used who are already interested in your topic but it is also a clever way to think outside the box (excuse the pun) and think about users other interests that may not be directly linked to your product. I have used a mixture of gardening TV shows, a TV personality and soaps to reach potential new customers in the area.

Twitter TV Targeting Advertising

Targeting using tailored audiences

Tailored audiences can be used to reach audiences by outlining potential and existing clients. You can base these lists on web browsing behaviour – such as people who have visited the barbeque section of the Garden Centre site, – email address or Twitter IDs – all which may already be managed in a CRM system.

The further customisation of your campaign can be done in a couple of ways, these are outlined below:

  • Customize where Promoted Tweets appear (users timelines or search results). This will depend on
  • Limit targeting to specific devices (iPad, iPhone, Android etc.) This is useful when promoting App instalments for specific devices and impressions are not wasted.
  • Limit targeting my gender
  • Limit targeting by language
  • Limit targeting by excluding list audiences (using email or Twitter ID lists)

Budgeting

Twitter offers you a couple of budgeting options

Twitter Advertising Budgets

It is always good to put in a total budget even though it is optional. This help keep campaigns within budgets and is more manageable. Daily budgets are required and by setting them alongside a total budget you can calculate the possible length of your campaign.

Pacing

Standard: Your ad will be shown as evenly as possible throughout the day

Accelerated: Ads are shown as often as possible from 00:00 onwards. This is very rarely a useful pacing technique unless your aim is simply brand awareness.

Promoting

For Promoted Tweets and Accounts you will also need to select the Tweet you want to promote. Doing this manually ensure you are promoting the message you want to and are creating a campaign all based around the same promotion. You can also do it automatically for Promoted Tweets. This lets Twitter promote up to five of your best recent Tweets with the highest engagements. However this doesn’t mean you will get the best results or the message across that you want.

The key to setting up a successful Twitter campaign is clearly outlining your aims before you start and then working out which targeting method will get the best results for you. This can take a while at the start but advertising on Twitter is a great method for reaching potential clients who have already expressed an interest in either your type of product or the general area you work in.