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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!

 
Embed from Getty Images

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.

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.

 

 

 

 

10 Google Secrets Revealed from the Inside

7 Jul

Google is a business that nearly 100% of people come in contact with every single day but it is still shrouded in mystery. From rumours of slides in the canteen to a visit from the Queen, the London offices seem like a pretty interesting place, one that I was majorly excited to explore. I got to attend the two day Google Partners Sales Conference last week and it was eye opening. Navajo Talk were identified by Google as a “High Potential Digital Agency” and were lucky enough to be the only Northern Ireland Digital Agency there!

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Stalking is good

Ex-Googler, Joel Kremer was on hand to guide us through all things SEM and got everyone thinking about how to personalise your approach before the sale. Who knew a personalised football top could go down so well with a CEO of an international organisation (Lesson 1). It was challenging to cyber-stalk Eric Schmidt, come up with a digital idea and pitch it to the room but it proved to everyone the importance of researching every potential client before you meet them. This internet is our oyster – use it.

Swag always goes down well

As I entered the room for the first time at the sales conference I was pretty happy to see Google had provided a little swag for all in attendance. I didn’t expect it to be the sole talking point during the first break of the day. Every advertising Executive in the room couldn’t have been happier to get the freebies. It’s worth remembering that a very simple (and cheap) momentum can go a long way to impressing clients. We know everyone is after a Navajo Talk pen…it even comes with a secret feature!

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You should take a step back

As an advertising agency with hundreds of ideas always spinning around it can be easy to plough head-long into meetings and insist that clients do everything but next time, take a breath and take a step back. The clients’ needs should be considered first because once you know the parameter in which you will be working, ideas can flood out that will actually drive your clients’ key goals.

Google have a bring your dog (Doogler) to work day

Having been to a couple of training days before I was well prepared for the usual “tell us something interesting about you” but I wasn’t prepared for lifts that have no buttons inside or ‘Bring Your Dog (Dooglers) to Work Day’ – complete with professional photos on the day. Walking in, I knew Google Partner Training was going to be a great step for Navajo Talk.pic3

Tools like Prezi and Emaze can change your presenting ways

90% of the time presentations are dull, dull, and dull but Joel was keen to emphasise that a little more effort at the presentation stage can go a long way. Prezi is easy to use and is much slicker than Powerpoint, plus it will make you pitch stand out from the generic corporate templates by using clever visual tricks to zoom in and out of slides and it seamlessly adds images and videos.

Emaze is a cool tool to spice up how you show information to people. It makes presentations more infographic-like and is a great to use for a 3D effect presentation.

Presentations should NEVER be more than 15 slides because if they are, you’re doing more talking than listening and that is not the way to get the best results for clients (Lesson 2).

Luckily Navajo Talk have been doing this for a while, we use this new design to show clients exactly why we are the best.

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There is no slide in the London office

Contrary to popular rumours that were swirling around the group, I can confirm that there is no slide in the canteen and Google London BUT I did find out that some other agencies have Pick-A-Mixes and swings in their offices to break the ice with clients – definitely worth some thought.

You need to know how much an hour of your time is really worth

Many businesses charge by the hour but do you really know how much an hour of each member of staff’s day costs? It’s time to work it out, the results can be quite surprising. One agency at the sales conference charged half the cost of their agency hourly rate for graduates but once they worked hour the true cost of an hour to them,  they realised they were actually LOSING money on those hours.

Work doesn’t have to be boring

Meeting rooms are usually the most dreaded place but a dance studio or woodworm room can keep things a bit more interesting. Think about the spaces you use in your office and how staff as well as clients interact with it.

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Formal procedures are dull but hugely important if you want to grow

Every organisation is filled with what we think is non-consequential paper work. From CRM systems to timesheets, it is a part of office life that no one enjoys and I, in the past have regularly dismissed them as pointless. However when you take a step back and really look at growing your business it becomes apparent that there is a strong need to delve into the data and realise what the conversion rate of your business actually looks like. Also, other members of staff should be able to pick up accounts when necessary and the easiest way to do this is through a CRM system.

Naps in work are essential

It may not seem like one of the most obvious thing but Google know how to invest in their employees and how to get the most out of them. If one of the largest organisations in the world can let employees have a nap in a “Sleep Pod” whenever they want, your company can too. It doesn’t have to be a nap, just letting staff nip out to the corner shop when they need to can be all the reward needed. I also got to chill out in the library looking out over London, definitely a place I could get into the zone and let my creative juices flow.

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Of course there are still lots of secrets Google keep to themselves…like what’s behind this door….

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Your customers are people – simple but true?

2 Jul

Tim McKane

One of the most difficult things for people in business to do is to put themselves in the mind of their customers. Divorcing yourself from your own products and services and putting yourself in the mind of an existing or potential customer is difficult.

The Amazon mantra is start at the customer and work backwards. It works, and not just for marketing, but for business strategy too.

You are in the agri food sector, and you have a great idea for a new product. A brilliant idea. People will really want frog flavoured ice cream. They like fish food made by Ben and Jerry’s, so frog will be a big seller. Then ou take a leap of faith and your team develop a really exciting taste, the package design is done. The retailers are all for it (stay with me here), it is on the shelf, and it stays there, in the frozen cabinet, £4.99 a litre, then half price, then no price and you are back to the drawing board. What about a new strawberry ripple?

Of course people don’t want frog flavoured ice cream. All their behaviour tells you that. But what’s more than that, if you think about them, you may well find that there is a flavour of ice cream that they are just waiting to try.

Your customers are people. That is such an obvious statement, but one that is sometimes overlooked. They react as people to your products and brand. They are illogical, influenced by huge numbers of interactions from family and friends to advertising and fashion. Why does someone have a favourite colour? What made them follow that team? What do they think they look like in that outfit?

In the 70’s there was a campaign for the Fiat Strada that won lots of advertising awards, Built by Robots. Beautiful film, sold no cars. Why because people did not want to buy a car built by robots, that had not been touched by human hand.

The great thing about digital marketing and the fact that so many people use the internet every day, is that that it produces data. A search for frog flavoured ice cream produces 688,000 results, but thankfully not a product. So that tells us – park that one – lets move on.

Spending time finding out about your customer and what they are interested in is a valuable way to use the tools that we have to produce great digital marketing.  It is why digital marketers are moving up the ladder to seats at board level, because sometimes they know more about what is going on than the others in the business.

Creativity – a challenge and an opportunity.

23 Jun

Tim McKane

So there you are…in a small café in Malaga, sipping your coffee and anisette, when a small man walks in carrying some paintings. He approaches and opens a canvas. The painting is weird. It is all angular people, who look nothing like real people. There are bits of noses and eyes distorted around the canvas. It is terrible.

Except it is by Picasso. He has taken formative painting and turned it on its head, and if you had bought that painting for a few pesetas, your family could now retire in total luxury, as the painting would be worth millions.

picasso

Being creative is a challenge. Buying creative work is an even bigger risk, as your points of reference have to be put on the back burner. If you are looking at, or hearing something totally different, completely new, you will find it hard to absorb it and enjoy it. Creativity is difficult to enjoy. The critics hated early Picasso. They didn’t know what he was up to, and so rejected it.

In digital marketing the challenge is now to create new and relevant content, but is it to be creative in the nature of art, literature or music. Television advertising has been pillaging the popular music canon for years now, taking songs that are well known and attaching their brand. (I have hear Whole Lotta Love by Led Zeppelin and Darling be Home Soon by John Sebastian – the Joe Cocker version is worth a listen – during the World Cup, for Dior and McDonalds.)

With online content marketing there is a huge challenge to get people to look at, listen to, or read your content (like this blog). If I went off and tried to write like Joyce wrote Ulysses, then you wouldn’t have got this far.
Is this blog actually creative? Well, I am creating is, as it didn’t exist until I typed….thi…s…letteR.
But creating something is not necessarily being creative, as in proposing a new idea, challenging normal thinking, or inventing a new piece of technology.

People will read things that are of interest to them, but will remember if they are well written, original in their thought process, and come at a different angle. Your customers will want you to engage them, and therefore you will need to know what they are interested in learning, and reward them for spending time with your brand. Simply pushing sales messages will not do it, you need to push engagement that will lead to a sale.

Here are five tips to creating content.

1. Take some time to think about your customers – actual ones, people you know, and think about how they interact online.

2. What are they buying your product for, how can you help their lives. I wrote an ad once – “When John Smith installed Unibol Software, his golf handicap went down three shots” the benefit to John was more time, less worrying.

3. Tell a story or two. Like I just did. In number 2.

4. Look at what your competitors are up to. Do something different.

5. Take a risk. Being bold creates memories. Put a man in a gorilla suit, behind a set of drums, with a Phil Collins track, and sell chocolate.

How to quickly make more of mobile visitors using apps

29 May

By Jonny Cameron

Most new clients we work with still aren’t making the most of visitors from mobile devices. There are more of these visitors, yet they are buying less.

Look at your website analytics. For most ecommerce businesses we have worked with in the past six months, mobile traffic exceeds desktop and even tablet traffic. But look at the conversion rate. The pattern is clear, unless the site is responsive to mobile devices, mobile traffic will have a higher bounce rate, spend less time on the site and visit fewer pages than desktop traffic. So, it’s either time to design your site specifically for mobile or look at new ways for mobile visitors to interact with your brand.

Smart phone usage

The Appoggiatura

In recent years the heading to this section would have been “get appy”, “be appy” or “shiny appy people”. But look at me, like a smart arse I’ve been on dictionary.com and found a big word starting with “app”.

Anyway… get an app version of your site made! 

People are downloading apps like never before. As mobile internet usage continues to dramatically increase, having an app makes sense if you’re an ecommerce business.

Earlier this year Apple announced that nearly 60 billion apps have now been downloaded in total and there are over a million in the Apple app store, with an average of 25,000 to 30,000 added every month. There’s big competition to get your app noticed, but there are loads of people to market your app to.

For businesses selling online, the message is clear! Get an app, and do it soon. Then market it properly, here’s how.

Promote your app with paid search advertising

The more downloads your app gets, the more visibility it is likely to receive in the Apple store and Google Play store. In order to get more downloads you’ll need to promote it.

One of the quickest ways is paid search advertising and with Google’s recent changes they’re making it easier than ever to target the right customers, including:

  • Advertising your app within other apps. If people have already downloaded a fashion app, the chances are that they’ll be interested in yours.
  • Promote it in search results for mobile devices only. This is a great way to serve an ad that links to your download page when a potential customer searches for something relevant to your product or services.
  • Use app-promotion ads to link directly to the Google play store or the Apple store. These only show on mobile devices and give you the option to include a title, description and price.  This represents a real opportunity to show reviews and persuade people to download.
  • Measure! You can of course track download performance, see which ad types, channels and networks are leading to more downloads.

There is also a value in serving ads  to people that have already downloaded your app. This could be to request a review or remind them that they’ve downloaded! Recent studies indicate that only 16% of people use an app more than once. Usefulness is obviously a big factor here, ecommerce apps in the fashion industry are always more likely to be used than the farmyard animal noises app.  The more reviews you get, the more visibility you are likely to have in the app stores, not to mention the more likely you are to persuade others to download.

Good old fashioned online PR

Use your existing network to spread the message, review the app and take up any offer of a free trial you might have. If you’re a company with an existing email database, let them know. If you have an engaged social media community, offer them a trial or a period for free if they review it. If nothing else you’ll get some valuable feedback.

Find journalists, online experts and social media influencers that have reviewed similar  apps. They might be more likely to review yours and let people know about it.

Show people how it works

Demonstrate how your app works using a video demonstration. This can then be promoted on video channels, but it also gives the app greater credibility and removes more barriers to people downloading it. Visuals of what the app looks like will also work.

Creating an app may seem like a luxury, especially if you’ve only just revamped your website. But if your mobile traffic isn’t converting, it’s time to invest in the future.

photo credit: JD Hancock via photopin cc