boosted post vs facebook ad

If you really want to make the most of your marketing strategy in 2020, you need to be utilising some kind of paid promotions or ads.

There are a few major players when you look at the digital advertising landscape. Google, Bing and Facebook all offer a service that allows you to pay to put your content in front of targeted and relevant potential customers.

The Facebook family of apps now includes Instagram, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, giving you a range of different platforms to work with. There are an estimated 2.89 billion people with an account on at least one of these platforms, and over those 2.26 billion people use them daily. 

People of all ages are hooked into the captivating world of social media, and with such a huge audience to engage with, you really do want to consider your advertising options carefully. After all, thousands of people might be out there looking for a business just like yours… so how do you make sure that they’ll find you? Let’s find out.

What is a Boosted Post?

A Boosted Post starts its life as a regular old Facebook post. It could be anything; a photo of a new product you’re introducing, an offer you’re promoting or a competition you’re running.

When you boost a post, you apply money to ‘boost’ or ‘show’ your Facebook post to an audience of your choosing. Boosted posts are quick and easy to set up, meaning they’re a great option if you are new to Facebook advertising.

How do I set one up?

To create a boosted post, you need to look out for this big blue button. You’ll find it underneath your Facebook post on the right-hand side.

As you can see, the post in our example hasn’t had any organic engagements, so this might be a good candidate for boosting to try and generate some interest. Of course, you could also choose to boost a post that’s already doing really well to maximise its performance! The choice is yours.

boost post button

So, you’ve identified the post you want to boost, and you’ve clicked the big blue button. Now you need to tell Facebook a bit of information so they can make sure your post is boosted to the right kind of people, for the right amount of time, and in the right places. You’ll fill in a form that asks you the following:

  • What’s your objective?

Do you want users to comment on and share your post? Do you want them to click through to your website, or would you prefer to connect and chat with them over WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger?

  • What do you want your post button to do?

You can choose from pre-set call to actions like; ‘Learn More’, ‘Shop Now’ or ‘Sign Up’. Then you can set a destination for users to be taken to when they click the button.

  • What kind of audience do you want to target?

What are their interests? How old are they? Do you only want to target people in your local area? Defining your audience will help to make sure that your boosted post is reaching relevant people.

  • Where do you want your boosted post to show?

This is known as placements. You can let Facebook automatically choose your placements to maximise your budget, or you can choose the placements yourself. Facebook, Instagram and Messenger are a few placement options.

  • How long do you want it to run for?

This is where you set the total duration of the campaign. Here at Designer Websites, we often advise our customers to start with a short 7 or 5-day campaign to see how effective the chosen audience and budget performs for you.

  • What’s your budget for the campaign?

You can use a small budget of £10/£20 or a larger budget of £100+. The more you spend, the more people you’ll reach.

Once you’ve successfully answered all of these questions and entered your bank details, you’re pretty much good to go. You’ll probably have to wait while Facebook approves the boosted post, but once they’ve given it the all-clear, your post will start to be shown in your audience’s timeline.

What are the benefits of a boosted post?

  • You can reach new people who might be interested in your business or Facebook page. People might tag their friends, comment on the post or share it to their own personal Facebook page which is great for improving brand awareness.

 

  • You don’t have to design a fancy advert from scratch, you can use an existing post. This means you can set a boosted post up quickly and easily.

 

  • Boosted posts appear on your Facebook business page as well as being shown in your audience’s timeline. Facebook ads don’t appear on your business page, they work in the background.

 

  • You can use Facebook Insights to get a detailed summary of your boosted post’s performance. This will show you how many people you reached as well as showing you how many clicks, reactions, comments and shares your post received.

 

Ok, this all sounds great – but what are your other options? Let’s take a look at Facebook ads to see how they differ.

What is a Facebook Ad?

Facebook ads are a slightly different type of promotion that offers a lot more creative control than a boosted post. Facebook ads are created through their own Ads manager, a feature that might be a little trickier for advertising novices to navigate.

Rather than starting with a simple Facebook post you can build your Facebook ad from the ground up using advanced customisation options. You can optimise your Facebook ad to help you reach a wide range of business goals as well as engaging with a targeted audience of your choosing.

Setting up a Facebook ad

When you’re setting up a Facebook ad, the questions Facebook ask you are almost identical to those listed above – so we won’t bore you by cycling through them all again!

Instead, let’s focus on the things you can choose to do when you’re setting up a Facebook ad that you might not be able to do when you’re setting up a simple boosted post.

  • Choosing very specific placements.

While boosted post allows you to choose Instagram, Facebook or Messenger as your placement, Facebook ads take this one step further. You can decide exactly where the ad will show.

Do you want the ad to show in the News Feed, in Facebook’s Instant Articles, or as an Instagram story? These are just a few of the many placements made available in Ad Manager.

  • A wider range of ad objectives.

Tailoring your objective is much easier with a Facebook advert. Yes, boosted posts allow you to choose from some great goals like driving website clicks and generating post engagement - but again, Facebook ads take this one step further.

Facebook ad objectives are really quite extensive, covering everything from brand awareness to store traffic. This helps create an ad that’s perfect for your business needs.

  • More control over creativity.

When you create an ad through Ads Manager, you can choose a design that suits your brand and goals. Our PPC Specialist Andrew Gill said:

“We trial different kinds of Facebook ads for different clients every day! We’ve found that carousel ads and short video clips are the most successful ad format across the board. They’re more engaging than a standard picture advert and tend to convert really well”.

  • Advanced targeting capabilities.

Knowing who your target audience is is the key to success in the digital landscape. With Facebook ads, you can go beyond someone’s age and interests and target people who ‘look like’ users who’ve already interacted with your page, you can exclude people who’ve already interacted with a similar post and much more.

So which strategy do I choose?

So now you know the key differences, here are our recommendations. If you want to:

  1. Maximise engagement with a particular post
  2. Improve brand awareness
  3. Get an ad set up quickly

Go for a boosted post. They’re easy to run, easy to manage and are great for pushing your existing content further afield.

If you want to:

  1. Have full creative control
  2. Run a longer, more advanced ad campaign
  3. Show a promotion, product or service to a very specific audience

Choose a Facebook ad. They might take a little bit longer to plan and set up, but you can really make the most of your advertising budget through Facebook’s Ad Manager.

At Designer Websites, we can help with your Pay-Per-Click and Social Media Management needs. Get in touch if you’d like to make the most of your social media marketing strategy, we’re more than happy to help.

christmas social media, social media for christmas

With December well underway and Christmas rapidly approaching like an unstoppable festive asteroid, the time to give your digital content a seasonal overhaul is overdue.

After all, you’ve probably already decorated your home with all the festive trimmings, so it’s only fair that your social media presence gets the same treatment.

But just how do you encapsulate the palpable ambience of Christmastime within the confines of a single social media page? Where to begin?! Won’t somebody think of the children?!!

Hold your horses there, fella. Take a hearty sip of eggnog and calm it down – we’ve got you covered right here.

Trim up your social media for Christmas with our five top tips for Christmas social media.

 

Tips for Christmas Social Media

Step into Christmas by stepping up your social media game this yuletide and ensure your followers have themselves a merry little Christmas experience whenever they view your page.

 

christmas social media, social media for christmas

 

Seasonal Imagery

It’s long been said that a picture is worth a thousand words so, by that rationale, a quality social media image can save you a whole lot of ad copy.

Think of your social media profile as your digital shop window. What self-respecting shop would let December come and go without decorating their storefront in festive furnishings?

Start by sprucing up your profile and cover images with a healthy dose of red and a festive font. This is an easy way to inject a bit of obvious Christmas spirit into your branding without having to completely overhaul your existing assets.

You may also want to include other Christmas visuals – such as snowflakes, baubles, holly, etc. – in your cover image to further hammer home the point with festive fervour. The Christmas flavour will provide a welcome change for regular followers while also make for a memorable first impression to new visitors.

This is also a great avenue to advertise any festive products or services you may offer. Meanwhile, this is also a good opportunity to incorporate and highlight any seasonal offers you may be running over the Christmas period.

Which brings us nicely to our next entry…

 

Festive Offers

If you’re running seasonal offers over the festive period, congratulations – you’re showing your customers that you value their business and repaying their brand loyalty at a time of the year where it counts. If not, shame on you and it may be time to rethink your festive strategy.

Christmas is a time of year where the public is expecting their brand loyalty to be rewarded with sales and cut-price goods/services. What’s more, chances are, your competitors are probably going to be doing the same, so it’s a necessity if you want to keep up.

So, assuming you are indeed running some offers over the Christmas period, where better to highlight such offers than on your corresponding social media page? Make it overtly obvious by pinning it to the top of your page and/or boosting your offer post and you can’t go wrong.

Additionally, it’s also possible to customise posts to include specific background colours and themes, which is a simple yet effective way to also get your social posts in the festive spirit. The combination of the two is a sure-fire way to get your audience’s attention.

 

Spirit of Giving

As we all know, Christmas is the time for giving, peace on earth and goodwill to all. Why not soak up the yuletide ambience and take that festive message to heart by running a Christmas competition?

With gift-giving such an integral part of the Christmas experience, it’s only fitting that your brand follows suit and play Santa Claus to one or more of your followers.

A simple yet effective way of inciting social engagement, giveaways are like a hard-working postman – they never fail to deliver.

Whether it’s the allure of an attractive prize or the simplicity of the entry process, running a social media competition at Christmas is a fool-proof tactic that will only further endear you to your audience.

 

Santa’s Workshop

A great way to humanise your brand/company while still providing some excellent and engaging content for your audience is to give your followers a peek behind the curtain at what goes on behind the scenes.

Christmastime is the perfect period to provide such insight into daily operations, as it typically entails a happier office, a joyous atmosphere and – presuming Christmas decorations are out in force – an overall scenery that looks a lot more upbeat than at other times of the year.

Whether it’s a team lunch, exchanging Secret Santa gifts or simply showing off some of the best (and worst) Christmas jumpers to pass through your office doors, why not record any festive fun you might be having in the office during this time?

It all makes for great content, showing that your company is more than just a faceless logo and one that has a very human heart at the core.

 

Yule Blog

Blogs are a great way of attracting web traffic to your site, so why not pen fresh, festive-themed blogs and share your Christmas content on social media?

Christmas-themed articles are some of the most reliable and consistent content in terms of performance during December and some of the best is that which revolves around useful tips and advice over the festive period; e.g. “How to Save Money on Your Christmas Travel”.

While it might take a little thought to get there, if you can take the overall Christmas concept and connect your goods or services to the festive period, you’re on to a winner. Once you do, pen it, publish it and share away!

Run a gardening company? How about a blog on festive garden decorations? Operating a ladder business? What about tips for hanging Christmas lights? Offering web services? Why not write a blog on Christmas social media tips… wait a minute!

 

For more advice on social media for Christmas or additional Christmas social media tips, why not drop us a line today? Call us direct on 01446 339050 or click the button below to get in touch online now.

Contact Us

If you are in charge of a Facebook page, at the helm of an Instagram account or managing a Twitter profile for your business, you are probably already acquainted with the ins and outs of social media.

Likewise, sitting behind the wheel of a company’s social media will mean you are also probably well-acquainted with the cocktail of frustrations that come with it, accompanied by a seemingly endless “happy hour” of headaches.

From fluctuating engagement figures and inexplicable unfollows to negative comments and spam, the various vexations of social media management can be a common complaint for anyone looking to bolster their brand’s social standing.

In order to help lighten the load and improve your social standing, picking your spots is a key factor. Read on, as we explore the best time to post on social media to ensure your posts and pages gain traction and don’t fall behind.

 

 best time to post on social media uk, post on social media for business, schedule posts on social media

 

Timing is Everything

Social media can be a harsh mistress that’s also high maintenance. Constantly changing and ever-evolving, the online realm of digital networking can be a tough beast to tame.

However, with that being said, there are certain behaviours and user patterns that have helped identify the best times to post on social media (at least in theory).

To help you get a handle on your social media struggles, here are a few tips on when to post to get the highest engagement and garner the most eyeballs.

 

best time to post on social media uk, post on social media for business, schedule posts on social media

 

Time is Money

If you’re posting on social media for business purposes, it’s logical to engage with your following when most people are going to be available to see your posts and interact with them.

Naturally, posting at 03:00 a.m. will probably not see too good of a return, so don’t be surprised if such a post falls short like Homer Simpson at Springfield Gorge.

So, when are most people free to interact? Let’s find out…

 

Let’s Do Lunch

During office hours, a post nestled neatly in the middle of the working day to coincide with lunchtimes is a smart choice.

Many of us turn to our phones as a means of distraction during our lunch hours, whether its to catch up with the world, interact with friends or simply distance ourselves from the morning workload.

As such, a well-timed post that arrives during the hours of 11:00 and 14:00 to cover the varied lunchtime window can increase your likelihood of success dramatically.

This interval covers a wide margin of lunchtime windows, including those who take an early lunch and those who leave it late; however, it’s better to post earlier and cover the whole spectrum than leave it late and risk missing part of your demo.

 

Evening All

Outside of lunchtime, the next logical part of the day where people are free to relax, unwind and scroll aimlessly through reams and reams of social media posts is, of course, the evening.

With work in the rear-view mirror, the brief reprieve of the post-work downtime provides the working Brit with a few hours respite and the social media manager with a prime posting window.

For the clocking-off commuters, anywhere after 17:00 is a good place to start catching those idle thumbs during a home-bound public transport journey.

Meanwhile, catching your audience at home later in the evening when they are likely to be actively seeking entertainment is another great way to reach your audience.

Engagement figures tend to taper off as the night wears on so try to keep your evening post between the hours of 17:00 and 20:00.

 

All in a Day's Work

As for the best days to post, the midweek frequently records the highest engagement figures and Wednesday in particular commonly emerges as a standout day.

Additionally, Sunday is also a prime candidate for pinnacle posting performance. The so-called day of rest, sees many of us reach for our phones in search of boredom avoidance.

Meanwhile, those that have made the most of their Saturdays will be looking to recover on the Sunday with a schedule to suit

For a lot of Brits, the road to recovery means lazing around scrolling through social media. Make the most of this social media upswing by scheduling your post to coincide.

  

best time to post on social media uk, post on social media for business, schedule posts on social media

 

Trial and Error

While the above info is a great base to build upon in terms of social media engagement, it’s important to remember that this info is merely a guide and not an exact science.

The truth is, there is no hard and fast rule to social media posting and engagement figures can be dependent on a whole host of factors, from the quality of the post to the content of the media you attach.

Even a quick Google search on optimal social media times will spit back a mixed bag of results, at times featuring completely contradictory advice from what you read elsewhere.

As such, the best way to approach social media posting is with a trial and error mindset. Keep track of your posts, interpret the results and find out what works for you and your business.

 

Know Your Audience

When you’re scheduling your social media posts, try to bear in mind your target audience and think about their work patterns and living habits. This can have a big effect on engagement figures.

For example, a brand that targets stay-at-home mums is likely to have a drastically different posting schedule than a page that’s aimed at an audience that works 9-5.

While it may seem obvious, you should time your posts to coincide with periods when your audience is likely to be online in order to ensure your posts reach the most people, get the most exposure and achieve the most engagement.

The better you know your audience, the better you can cater to their needs and adjust your content and posting times accordingly. Do your homework and get inside the mind of your target demo and you won’t go far wrong.

 

For more social media tips or to enquire about the social media marketing services on offer here at Designer Websites, why not drop us a line today? Call now on 01446 339050 or get in touch online by clicking the button below.

Contact Us

Whether you run an SME or a large, multi-site business, when it comes to public interaction and brand awareness, a solid social media presence is undoubtedly a must.

That being said, content saturation has made it increasingly difficult to stand out from the crowd and it’s all too easy for a post or blog to become buried and lost in the shuffle.

As a result, providing useful, interesting and topical content for your audience has never been more vital.

So, how do you make your content break away from the pack and stand tall? With a social media calendar, of course!

 

social media calendar

 

Cold, Hard Stats

The Digital 2019 report from social media superheroes WeAreSocial and Hootsuite reports that there are just under 3.5 billion active social media users across the globe.

To put that into context, there are estimated to be 7.7 billion people in the whole world, meaning almost half the entire Earth’s population is actively on social media.

From a domestic perspective, the Office of National Statistics notes that 71% of adult women in the UK use social media, while 64% of adult men are also said to do the same.

Together, the collective figure for social media users in the UK is said to be 67%, equating to an impressive 45 million social media users in total.

Needless to say, if your social media game isn’t up to scratch, you’re doing your business a serious disservice. Luckily, that’s where we come in!

 

Do Your Homework

Imagine a greetings card company overlooking Valentine’s Day as an opportunity to market their goods or run a promotion – wouldn’t happen. Similarly, such an instance shouldn’t happen to you and your business.

When creating a social media calendar, it’s important to identify any dates that are relevant to your business and your target demographic. Think of the audience you are catering for; their likes, dislikes, wants and needs; and the kind of content that would appeal to them.

Run a fancy-dress shop? Miss Halloween at your peril. Do you own a curry house? National Curry Week should be etched in stone. Manage an Irish bar? You better have St Patrick’s Day tattooed to your soul!

 

Get Ahead of the Curve

Once you’ve identified the key dates that are relevant and applicable to your business, it’s time to fasten those thinking caps on firmly and get to work with creating ideas on what to post.

A last-minute rush job is easy to spot from a country mile away and, at times, can be toe-curlingly obvious for all to see. As such, planning what to post on your page can be just as important as knowing the suitable dates that speak to your business.

Think logically about what your business offers, which associated events will appeal to your audience and create something helpful, entertaining or engaging around it to pique interest and further elevate your standing with your followers.

 

Consistent Content Schedule

In addition to the key dates in your calendar, it’s important to prop these dates up with consistent content around it. Don’t just wait for National Pizza Day to post about your pizza place, provide regular content year-round to keep your followers engaged and maintain their fandom.

Regimented posting is important in not only retaining followers but also conveying legitimacy. A brand that posts sporadically at random intervals can come across as amateur and be detrimental to your page, as well as creating an equally negative impression for your brand.

Meanwhile, a prolonged drought in content can also give the negative impression that the business/page is no longer active and in operation. Naturally, this can have a particularly damning effect on your business as a result, so avoid prolonged radio silence at all costs.

 

Two Heads Are Better Than One

When it comes to supplying engaging output for your social media channels, creating content gold on your own can be an extremely tough task, particularly if you plan on providing content on a continuous and recurring basis.

The pressure to provide quality output can also have a detrimental impact on the frequency and slow down the overall process. As such, this is one area where communication can be the difference-maker and welcoming outside suggestions can increase your chances of content alchemy tenfold.

Brainstorming is a great way to spit-ball ideas with fellow staff and build on any thoughts you or your colleagues may have. A single seed planted by one person can quickly germinate into a whole tree of content when you open it up to the floor, so don’t be afraid to ask for outside input.

 

For more social media tips or to find out more about the social media services at Designer Websites, why not drop us a line today? Call now on 01446 339050 or get in touch online by clicking the button below.

Contact Us

The world of business social media can often best be described very much as pay-to-play, with high-profile brands and large-scale organisations commonly having the financial advantage over their smaller contemporaries.

However, a bulging chequebook and gargantuan profit margin don’t mean that large businesses can simply walk all over their modest opposition. When it comes to social media, there are a variety of ways SMEs can fight back against their Goliathan competition.

So, grab that social media slingshot and prepare to lock and load with knowledge, as we take aim and fire back with this guide to social media for SMEs.

 

 social media sme

 

Social Media SME Tips

In a sphere where phrases like “content is king” pop up more often than a bad penny glued to a spring, genuinely insightful social media advice can be hard to find.

Instead, many so-called experts rely on hardly revelatory stock answers as their contribution, commonly advising you to “provide great content” in order to up your social media game.

Not only are gems like this extremely obvious and lazy, it doesn’t take an expert to deliver such a message. In fact, pretty much anyone with a Facebook account could tell you that quality content spurs the best interaction.

Luckily, we’ve made a conscious effort to avoid such social mediocrity. Instead, we’ve taken the road less travelled and delved deep into our bag of tricks to provide you with some helpful insights and insider tips for your SME social media strategy.

 

Choose Wisely

Before we go anywhere else with this, let’s start at the start and focus on your chosen social media platform – a fundamental factor that can have a profound impact on your social media success in itself.

Often overlooked, this part of the process is commonly bypassed by those eager to create a social media presence, with autopilot taking over and the desire to get up and running overriding a sensible, systematic approach.

The best content in the world delivered to the wrong audience achieves nothing and benefits no-one. If your audience predominantly uses one platform over another, make sure your brand is represented on that platform.

If you’re unsure exactly which platform (if any) is preferable to your core target audience, take the time to identify your target demographic. Find out where they reside online and which social media platforms they commonly gravitate towards.

Similarly, choose a platform that benefits your brand, services and content. A clothing store that posts visual content and images is going to benefit far more from an Instagram presence than it would Twitter.

Think of it as having a great show on the wrong TV channel. After all, would Breaking Bad have become such a global success had it not migrated to Netflix? The same principle applies to social media.

 

Be Consistent

While your individual mood may fluctuate throughout the day, it’s important to keep your business loyal to its online personality. Even if your cat was run over that very afternoon, posting emo poetry memes on an otherwise witty and jovial account is not the way to go.

Similarly, it’s also important to maintain consistency between social platforms. A “cheeky chappy” approach on Twitter juxtaposed with a strait-laced tone on Facebook creates a notable disconnect between accounts and an internal branding conflict.

Maintaining a consistent and authentic tone of voice on your social media can be key in creating a stable and memorable brand attitude. Meanwhile, it can also help provide assurance that all accounts are legit.

This theme of consistency also extends to your appearance too. If you use multiple social media platforms, aim to use the same images, logos and colour scheme in your profiles to strengthen the visual connection between accounts.

 

sme social media strategy

 

Stay Focused

Juggling multiple social media platforms can be difficult and time-consuming. If you’re attempting to man multiple accounts, a busy schedule can quickly result in favouritism and leave others to fall by the wayside.

To avoid such neglect and unintentional social media bias, focus your efforts on one or two platforms and keep them up to date and maintained. A dormant account that’s rarely updated can lead your audience to think you’re out of business or the account isn’t legit.

Alternatively, you may want to link accounts so that the same content is released across multiple social media channels at once. This a great way to kill two birds with one stone and maintain a broad presence without focusing on each account individually.

Most platforms can be linked if you do enough digging; e.g. Twitter and Instagram can easily be connected to Facebook, while both can also be linked together. A quick Google search can report back a tonne of step-by-step guides unique to your chosen platforms.

Additionally, if you don’t have time to post live regularly, you may want to consider scheduling your posts in advance. Popular tools, such as Hootsuite, allow you to create posts ahead of time and plan exactly when you want them to go out.

 

Engage Your Audience

While social media is a fantastic tool that can help boost sales, increase revenue and financially benefit your business, using it solely for this purpose can have an adverse effect on your social media presence.

As such, it’s important to know the difference between engaging and selling. Constantly giving your audience the hard sell can be detrimental to your following, pushing your audience further away rather than strengthening their relationship with your brand.

While the bottom line of business is almost universally to make money, try to steer away from overly salesy posts, at least on a frequency basis. Instead, aim to provide content that’s either informative or entertaining.

When employing this approach, it’s also important not to lose sight of your tone and tenor. Keep your posts in-line with your brand. An overly humorous approach may not befit a serious business, while a dull tone of voice won’t fit a youthfully exuberant brand.

Visuals are also innately eye-catching, easily digestible and can quickly grab the attention of your audience as they scroll through their news feeds. Incorporate fitting hi-res visuals in your posts can help you stand out in an oversaturated social space.

 

social media for smes

 

Be Responsive

When it comes to building relationships between your brand and your followers, one of the best ways to do so is to simply take a responsive approach to interaction. This is where SMEs have the edge over large enterprises.

Like any other relationship, social media followers want to feel valued by the brands they love and reciprocal appreciation can go a long way. Simply responding to comments can make all the difference and make an individual follower feel like they truly matter to the brand.

For those really looking to make an impact on social media, building personal relationships with your followers can go beyond a generic “thank you” response. A personalised yet professional DM from a business account can strengthen a relationship considerably.

Responsive engagement can also be a great avenue for market research. Don’t be afraid to ask questions in response to a statement and continue the conversation further. In addition to providing genuine feedback, it can make your followers feel like their opinion matter and is truly valued.

While it may take considerable time and effort to interact with all of those that engage with your social media content, going the extra mile won’t be overlooked and your brand will stand out notably as a result.

 

For more social media SME advice or SME social media strategy tips, why not drop us a line direct? Call now on 01446 339050 or click the button below and let us help you achieve social media supremacy today.

Contact Us

A well-written blog can form an invaluable part of any marketing strategy, allowing you to interact with your target audience and share industry information, tips and expertise. By creating a regularly updated and informative blog, your business will be able to establish a reputation as an industry authority and in so doing improve overall brand awareness.

However, no matter how insightful and informative your blog posts may be if they don't show up in the search results, they are only ever likely to attract a handful of readers. So, what is the secret to optimising your blog? And how do you make sure that people convert when they read your posts? Let's start with the very basics, ideally, your blog posts will:

  • Appeal to your target audience
  • Rank highly in search results
  • Invite your audience to complete an action

So, how do you make these things happen? We asked our SEO team to collate some helpful hints and tips about writing blogs to get you on your way to a successful blog. They understand the importance of creating high-quality content that will help improve a client's Google ranking and boost engagement. So, if you're considering adding a blog to your site, or if you want to optimise your existing blog, then just keep reading!

Determine the Purpose of Each Blog

So, where do you start? We recommend that you start by considering the purpose of your blog post. Having this in mind as you write each blog is essential, it helps you make sure that each blog is staying on topic and fulfilling its purpose throughout! There are thousands of reasons you might write a blog, here are a few common goals of blog writing:

  • Attracting new customers
  • Promoting a product or service
  • Sharing important news related to your business or industry
  • Answering a question that's relevant to your business

Or something completely different! Blog posts are great because they offer a blank slate for you to address current topics and engage with users in a very direct way. Whatever you choose to write about, make sure that your writing has a focus to avoid creating convoluted, unnecessary content.

Select and Use Appropriate Keywords

As with website optimisation, choosing and using the right keywords is incredibly important when it comes to getting your blog posts to rank in search engines. Firstly, to select appropriate keywords you need to consider two things:

  • What keywords does your site currently rank for?
  • What keywords do you want your site to rank for?  

You need to be careful not to cannibalise (use the same keywords) as other, more important pages on your site. Why? because you don't want a blog post to outrank an important product page, for example. You can check what keywords and queries your site is currently getting impressions and clicks for by taking a look at the 'performance' section on the Google Search Console.

Instead of targeting the same keywords over and over again, you should consider using your blog posts to target keywords that aren't already targeted on your site (despite being highly relevant). When choosing keywords for your blog posts, you want them to grab your audience's attention so consider this; what topics do your readers care about that you haven't already addressed somewhere on your site? You can use Google's Keyword Planner tool to find hundreds of relevant keywords & check search volume!

Writing your Blog Posts 

Once you've decided the purpose of your blog, selected some interesting and relevant keywords - you're ready to start writing. Your first few blog posts might take you a little bit of time to craft and perfect, but the more blog posts you write the more your personal writing style will develop.

Readers will return to your blog time and time again if they like your writing style, so don't be afraid to add touches of your personality as you go along.  

Besides writing content that your readers will love, you need to ensure each post is properly optimised. Here are a few tips to make sure that your blog posts always add value to your site:

  • Be conscious of the keywords you are targeting and try to include them throughout the blog post.
  • Choose a compelling title.
  • Use sub-headings and bullet points to break up long passages of text.
  • Add some quality links to high domain authority sites (ones you want to grab the attention of!)
  • Include quotes from notable people within your industry.
  • Write a clear call to action - this will increase the likelihood of readers converting.
  • Optimise: Add a meta title & meta description.

Write Frequently to Maintain Engagement

As you build up a group of loyal readers, they will enjoy coming back to find new, relevant blog posts while - for the purposes of SEO, regular posting will ensure you're constantly targeting new keywords and will (hopefully) keep you high in the search engine results. But how often should you post?

Posting Every Day: 

Posting every day does have its benefits, it allows you to develop your writing style, engage with new readers and quickly build up lots of interesting posts on your site. However, writing and sharing blog posts every single day can be time-consuming and might even put your readers off.

Posting Once, Twice, or Three Times a Week:

Many bloggers argue this is the perfect blogging schedule. Having small gaps between blogs helps to keep your readers interested without overloading them with 'spammy' content. Giving yourself time to plan each blog properly will ensure you create in-depth and genuinely useful blogs, rather than blogs that don't add much value to your site.

Promotion via Social Media

Promoting your blog posts on social media will help maintain a steady flow of readers. We recommend setting a page or profile for your business on each of the following platforms:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram 
  • LinkedIn

Each of these social media platforms is different in terms of the way the posts are structured and the type of audience they appeal to. Therefore, you need to tailor each social media post to suit the platform you're working with. For example, Instagram is largely image focused so is the perfect place to share pictures and blogs related to products or completed projects.

As well as promoting your blog on your own social network pages, encourage others to do some of the work for you by including Facebook and Twitter ‘share buttons’ in your blog. One of the amazing things about social media is that people will always be inclined to share things they find interesting with their friends - so take advantage of this!

If you'd like to find out how our search engine optimisation team could help you manage your social media, click here.

By following these blog optimisation tips you will find that your blog performs really well and helps to drive conversions. If you are interested in finding out more about our blog development services, simply click the button at the end of this blog. If you have any other queries, give us a call on 01446 339050.

Blog Development >

With only a matter of weeks until Christmas - 'tis the season to start preparing for Christmas campaigns. 

You didn't read that wrong. With December being the most lucrative time of the year for most retail businesses, you really can't start planning your Christmas marketing campaign too early. With online shopping continuing to grow in popularity year after year, it's a great time to take advantage of the increase in sales during the holiday period. One way to do this is by utilising your brand's social media accounts.

Social media is a great way to communicate with your customers on a personal level, and there's no better time to do this than the Christmas period. With more people home from work and enjoying their downtime, inevitably, there is also an increase in social media traffic. So with that in mind, we have some tips on how to make your social media more festive this season.

Make it Festive

If you want to take advantage of the Christmas holiday period you have to be willing to get involved. This is where starting early can pay off as you can prepare your Christmas campaign and the content to go with it. You'll see most brands make their social media particularly festive, with many changing to Christmas profile and cover pictures which show off their offers and holiday spirit. Some will also use hashtags to get their customers ready for the season such as Coca Cola's iconic #HolidaysAreComing. This reminds customers that the holiday is approaching and to keep shopping in mind. 

It's not uncommon for non-retail brands to get into the spirit too and this is a good thing because in an online sea of holiday joy your business can look like a bit like a social Scrooge if you choose to ignore Christmas. Keep it fun and consistent so people can recognise your posts and engage with them. 

Cross Promote

With the high saturation of Christmas posts over social media, it can be easy to get lost amongst them. Whatever your marketing strategy is this Christmas, it's important to share it across your social platforms. This isn't exclusive to online offers either, whether it's a TV advert or an in-store exclusive social media is a fantastic way to get noticed.

(John Lewis 2016 Christmas Advert)

John Lewis is an expert for this, their highly anticipated advert doesn't just end on the TV screen, they know exactly how to use their other platforms to get extra exposure. Their 2016 campaign #BusterTheBoxer was seen all over their social media, with the playful pooch even getting his own Snapchat filter. Even if you didn't see the advert on TV or Youtube (although we find that hard to believe), you undoubtedly saw it across social media.

Promoting your Christmas campaign across social media platforms is a great way to extend your reach to as many people as possible. 

Get Personal 

For most, Christmas is a time to think about others and businesses should keep this in mind throughout their marketing campaigns. Social media is a great way to communicate with consumers on a more personal level, and it's a great way to remind them how much you appreciate their custom. A good way to do this on social media is to promote special offers to customers, such as free shipping days or discount codes. Using social media to do this allows people to recognise how following your online activity is a great way to gain benefits and hear about your offers first.

DW Christmas Jumper Day

It's also the perfect time to put the face behind the brand on show. If you want to connect with people via social media it is a good idea to show that you are people too. This personal touch doesn't have to be too invasive - sharing a "Christmas Jumper Day" or a picture of festive decorations is a nice way to remind customers that you aren't all serious business all of the time. 

Try to schedule posts on your social media wishing your customers a Merry Christmas too - many use social media as a way to wish their friends and family love over the holidays, so it's always nice to add that personal message from your brand too.

If you want any help with your online Christmas campaign this year our expert team is here to help. Visit our contact us page below to see how we can help you make your brand more festive this year.  

Contact Us >

What Does The Facebook Newsfeed Update Mean For Marketers

Aah Facebook, from fake news to dog memes you have been keeping us on our toes.

Recently Facebook has been ruffling feathers of its advertisers, which seems strange considering the huge amounts of revenue it creates for the social media mogul. But how much will this affect the way we use Facebook to reach out to our customers? Why the sudden change?

Well, a recent Facebook announcement explains how this isn't a random change, it's their attempt to return to their roots. Mark Zuckerburg announced how:

 

"We built Facebook to help people stay connected and bring us closer together with the people that matter to us"

 

But Mr Zuckerburg explains that this is something that Facebook has lost sight of, and it's time to change that. He goes on to explain how they would like to make a positive platform where its users share 

 

"relevant content [that's] helping you have more meaningful social interactions."  

 

So what does that mean for the newsfeed?

"As we roll this out, you'll see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media. And the public content you see more will be held to the same standard -- it should encourage meaningful interactions between people."

 

That's apparently enough to have marketers and advertisers shaking in their boots. Sharing useful, meaningful content that people want to see and share? That doesn't sound very us? To an extent, it's not.

Most Facebook users are used to seeing brands flogging their products and services and most users have grown accustomed to scrolling away from this newsfeed clutter. But what about the occasional conversion this can encourage? Is it really as bad as everyone seems to think?

As usual, the Facebook announcement itself is quite lengthy, but lacking specifics that many marketers are waiting for. For instance, none of the official announcements have specified if this will this affect paid ads. Presumably in some shape or form, but no one has actually mention paid advertising, so maybe those who use paid Facebook ads won't notice too much of a change.  However, for those who use Facebook to reach out to people for free, it seems like we'll have to take a different approach.

This video may clear things up a bit more for us all:

 

 

 

Okay, so Facebook plans to rank content depending on how useful and meaningful this post will be to you, with person to person posts ranking more highly above business and brand posts. Facebook has previously brushed off criticism about its influence during elections and other news scandals and have avoided accusations concerning social media's negative effect on people's mental health. However, this change seems to be an attempt to combat the negative influence Facebook can have and instead become a more positive platform

What does this mean for marketers? 


Honestly? We can't be 100% sure. As with most announcements concerning the digital marketing world, there a rush of panic before we receive all the information. Until these changes roll out at some point this year we won't know the full effect. However, we can prepare in a few ways:

  • Quality over quantity seems to be key. - Posting lots won't matter if it’s useless spam. Facebook will value posts that will encourage meaningful interactions, with other people and the post itself. Start creating content that not only shows off your brand but really helps or interests the reader. It something we should all be doing already, but now it's time to really put your back into it. 
  • No more clickbait - It just won't work, it won't show up on a newsfeed so there's really no use in it. Besides, titling your blog "You'll NEVER believe this!" to reveal something mundane and misleading is just going to bother readers and do your brand more harm than good. Time to stop with the "Share/like/comment for your chance to win!" posts too, Facebook will just outsmart this transparent tactic.  
  • Use the "Prioritise Friend" feature - you'll have to encourage followers to use this tool, we imagine it will take some convincing but if you can it means you'll still show up first in all your most valuable customers feeds.

Although this may complicate how easy it is to get your brand out there on social media, it may result in more meaningful responses for marketers too. Long has it been difficult to prove that social media leads to conversions, so perhaps better quality content will help you connect with those with a genuine interest in your business.

In theory, this change will value genuine interactions between people, so that when a happy customer of yours recommends you it will actually count for more.

As we've said, the other online marketing experts and ourselves can only make educated guesses as what is to come, you'll have to watch this space to see the real impact. As always, when we know, you'll know.


If you need any help with your online marketing strategy we are more than happy to help. Call our team of friendly experts for advice on your website design or digital marketing. Please get in contact with us today by clicking here

Should facebook advertising be part of your marketing strategy

With so many different advertising platforms available, it’s easy to not consider your everyday social media network as an efficient method of generating revenue. After all, Facebook is just for funny dog videos, right?

If you thought that you would be wrong. In fact, just this month, Facebook’s advert revenue topped $10.3 billion with their revenue per user reaching more than $5 for the first time. These figures are especially impressive when you consider Facebook also marked 2.07 billion monthly active users in their third quarter of 2017.

With Facebook publicly hitting milestone after milestone this year, many businesses are considering the prospect of adding Facebook advertising to their marketing strategy, but is it right for your business? To help you make that decision, we’ve put together a few things to consider.

More...

SEO vs SMO

So, you have a new website. It looks good, it’s quick and user-friendly. There’s just one small problem. No one can find it.

If this is the problem you’re currently facing, you may have found yourself scouring the internet to find a solution. If you have, you’ve most likely been thrown into the world of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). This method of digital marketing works to put your website on the front page of Google for search terms that relate to your business.

If you’ve delved a little further, you may have also come across a term called Social Media Optimisation (SMO). SMO refers to optimising your social media platforms to bring more traffic to your website. SEO has been around since the introduction of search engines back in the 90’s. SMO, however, is a relatively new method of driving traffic to your website and only came about in 2006 when it was first mentioned in Rohbi Bhargava’s article 5 rules of social media optimisation.

Though their abbreviations differ by just one letter, SEO and SMO are vastly different. This article will explore the differences between SEO vs SMO.

What are SEO and SMO?

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

Search Engine Optimisation uses a variety of different methods to make your website rank highly on the search engine results pages (SERPs). These methods include: 

  • Keyword Planning

Keyword Planning is the process of choosing a specific keyword(s) to target on each page of the website. This is vital to SEO as a clear keyword strategy means pages will not compete with one another for the same search terms. Each page will have a specific purpose. 

  • Good Quality Optimised Copy

Each page on the website needs to have unique, optimised copy that focuses on specific keywords in order to rank highly on google. The copy needs to be well-written and easy to understand.

  • Meta Title & Description

Ensuring each of your web pages has a unique meta title (the title of the page which tells Google what the page is about) and a meta description (the snippet of text that appears below the title in the SERPs) is another important part of SEO.  

  • Link Building

Link building is a part of SEO which aims to gain links from other websites. Each link to your website from a reputable source is a good sign to Google, as these links are effectively ‘votes’ for your website. Combined, this alludes to the popularity of the website. The aim of link building is, therefore, to gain high-quality links in order to improve the ranking position of the website.  

  • User-Friendly Website

The user-friendliness of your website is relevant to SEO. If your website is unresponsive, slow and difficult to use – it’s not going to get a good ranking on google. 

Social Media Optimisation (SMO)

Social Media Optimisation is a digital marketing method which focuses on making your social media platforms engaging enough to bring traffic to the website. 

  • Create Shareable Content

Increasing social links through SMO involves developing content that people want to share and link to. Creating a blog on your website, for example, is ideal for this method of SMO as it is easy to link to. 

  • Make Sharing Content Easy 

This method of SMO involves adding share and social link buttons to your website and blog in order to encourage sharing, recommending or bookmarking. 

  • Providing Value to Users

This includes adding outbound links into your content even if it doesn’t help drive traffic to your website. This helps your website as you will gain a loyal follower base who will see you as a fountain of knowledge. Valuable content also helps with SEO as Google’s rank brain algorithm decides that useful resources should be at the top of the SERPs.  

  • Rewarding Loyal Followers

This type of Social Media Optimisation involves rewarding your loyal followers with the occasional ‘thank you’, follow back, or even competition prize. By letting them know you value their support, you will gain a loyal follower for life.  

Do SEO and SMO help one another? 

Whereas SEO mainly focuses on improving your websites ranking and the ability to drive visitors through the likes of Google - SMO focuses on driving traffic via social media platforms. Both SEO and SMO operate in different spheres, but they do impact one another.

The main priority of both SEO and SMO is to drive traffic to your website. It makes sense that they should work together to bring as much traffic in as possible.

Though no one truly knows precisely how much different factors affect the Google ranking position of a website, it has become clear that social signals do affect SEO rankings indirectly. In fact, in 2010 retweets on Twitter were even described as a ‘new form of link building’. More recently, another study was conducted which concluded that a larger presence on social media does gain a higher place on the SERPs.

In fact, to see SMO impacting SEO, just search the name of a popular brand on Google. It’s more than likely their Twitter account will be listed within the first 5 results.

Mcdonalds SMO

This is clear evidence that Social Media does have an impact on SERP’s.

Likewise, if you’re spending time and money on SMO, directing people to your website from social media, or trying to gain links from other businesses via social media, then it is important that you have a high-quality website with a good user experience.

Driving visitors to a website with a poor user experience will just result in a high bounce rate (single page visits). The user-friendliness of a website is part of SEO. Therefore, it is clear to see that SMO can also be impacted by SEO.

Why SEO and SMO Should Work Together

 SEO is a fundamental part of digitally marketing your business and SMO is gaining importance as social media becomes a larger part of everyday life. If you do one without the other, it is likely that your business will be left behind.

Google changes their ranking factors frequently, so it is important that your social media platforms are fully optimised. The value of social signals could change in the future, so SMO will ensure you’re prepared if their value increases. Furthermore, SMO is a good way to drive traffic and increase brand awareness.
However, you also need to ensure your website is fully optimised as this is where your conversions will happen. This is why SEO is essential and should be used in conjunction with SMO.

Depending on the business, the benefits from SMO can sometimes be seen quicker than the benefits of SEO. However, if you stop updating and optimising your social media platforms, the traffic can bottom out quickly.

SEO, on the other hand, is more long-term. If you achieve a high-ranking position for your website through SEO, it is less likely that you will lose mass amounts of traffic if you pause SEO efforts for a day or two.

Therefore, though they have different methods of driving traffic, every business marketing strategy should ensure SEO and SMO work together in harmony to drive as many unique visitors to your website as possible.

Do you need help with either SEO or SMO for your website? Get in touch with our SEO experts today to find out how we can help you.

In this modern day, the influence of social media is becoming increasingly important. Your friends are on it, your family is on it, your dog might even be on it - but more importantly, businesses are on it. With 42% of marketers reporting that Facebook is critical or important to their business, it's clear to see why so many companies invest time in their social media content strategy. 

However, though using social media for your business may seem like the right thing to do, it may be time to consider whether it is actually right for your business. We’ve looked into reasons why social media might be right for your business and reasons why it might not.

Social media is right for your business if: 

  • Social media is right for your business if you’re looking to engage with your consumers on a more personal basis.

    Social media is one of the best ways of gaining an almost friendship like relationship with your customers. By providing your customers with content they will appreciate, such as useful information, discounts, and insider info, this will create a loyal following of consumers from your social media channels.
  • Social media is right for your business if you want to show the human side of your company.

    Social media is an effective way to show the people behind the business. Photos of the office eating cake for someone’s birthday or a recent company achievement really displays the human aspect of the business. Consumers react well to stories, so by telling your businesses story through social media, you will be able to gain their trust.
  • Social media is right for your business if you have a limited marketing budget.

    One of the best aspects of social media is that it is 100% free. For a small business, the kind of exposure free social media platforms bring is invaluable. Paid for social media advertising is a fantastic way of gaining more conversions, but not every business has the budget for this kind of marketing. This is why social media is right for any business looking to gain exposure without spending too much money.

Social media is not right for your business if:

  • Social media is not right for your business if you’re only going to promote your products.

    People mainly use social media to get the latest news and to be entertained, and it seems constant product promotion is quite simply not interesting. The typical rule of thumb is to post 3 informative and helpful posts for every product promotion post.
  • Social media should not be placed on your website if you do not want customers to get distracted by it.

    If your social media buttons are at the very top of your website and are big enough to be distracting, there’s a chance a possible customer may decide to look through your social media rather than your products. If your social media is active and well maintained, this could be a good thing for your business. However, if it is littered with infrequent posts and possible bad reviews, it may be best to remove these click through buttons from your website.
  • Social media is not right for your business if you do not know how to use it.

    Leading on from the last point, social media is not right for any business which does not know how to use it correctly. For example, if you do not have the knowledge that links do not work in an Instagram post; Instagram is perhaps not right for your business. Furthermore, if you do not know what kind of content to post on your social media or how you can benefit your customers with it, it may be best to take a step away from the platforms or hand them over to someone who does have a good understanding of social media.
  • Social media is not right for your business if you spend too much time on it and do not gain enough feedback.

    Finally, social media is not right for your business if you find yourself spending hours upon hours on it but gaining little to none feedback. Especially if you are creating original content, such as images and videos made solely for social media, it may be best to put that valuable time into something that can provide you with solid feedback such as paid advertising. Paid advertising will be able to provide you with clear data on what works and what doesn’t for your business, so this could be more beneficial in the long run.

In Summary

Social media is great for connecting with people, but social media posts are not the best organic marketing strategy for sales or driving in enquiries. If you have a genuine desire to communicate with consumers, alongside providing informative, entertaining and advisory information, then social media platforms can be great for this. However, posts are not an effective way to promote products or services, so if this is your main aim them we would advise that you focus your efforts elsewhere, such as advertising on social media, which can be very beneficial if done properly. We will take a look at this in our future article about how you can get the most out of advertising on social media platforms.

If you think social media might be right for your business or you would like someone else to do it for you, our social media experts can help. Get in touch with us today to request a quote

Snapchat has always been ahead of the game when coming up with new ways to allow marketers to take advantage of social media. Not only can you take a selfie that makes you look like a dog (the future is really here it seems), but advertisers can get closer to their customers than ever before.


Following the success of Snapchat stories, which in the following years was copied by Instagram and Facebook, it can only be assumed that the same may be the case for Snapchat’s new mapping system. Snapchat continues to evolve the way businesses can use social media to promote their brand, so here’s a look at its newest feature.


What is the mapping system?

(https://www.snap.com/en-US/news/)


Snapchat’s mapping system (created by Zenly, then bought out by Snapchat) allows your friends to see your current location, letting you to see if they are near enough to hang out with in person. The feature also heat maps places where people are most actively posting stories, such as festivals or sporting events. Although it does seem quite like Big Brother is always watching, you do have the option to hide your location in Ghost Mode. Basically, the future looks a lot like more dog filters and letting everyone know your every move.


On their blog, Snapchat explains how this feature allows users to “See what’s happening, find your friends, and get inspired to go on an adventure”.


What does this mean for Advertisers?

Social Media Phone


Snapchat is rolling out this feature initially for the users (and a few sponsored celebrity accounts, such as Ed Sheeran), but it wouldn’t be surprising if advertisements soon reach the UK. Snapchat has had a clever history of easing in their customers so that ads seem less intrusive. This was true of its snapchat stories which allow the user to take or leave their sponsored posts.


However, with this new mapping feature it is possible that brand-related location will play a part, creating a new method of advertising via the app. It would potentially enable advertisers to target customers who are in their area, letting them know if they have a sale or an event on near them. Brands could pay snapchat to promote their event within the snap map, gaining attention from users that are in close enough proximity to take advantage.


This seems like an opportunity to advertise local deals that would actually pique customer’s interests. As the new feature has only just launched we are unlikely to see this development in the next few weeks, but it seems like a natural progression for the app.


Social media continues to change the way businesses communicate with their customers so it’s important to be on top of your game. If need help using social media to benefit your business, we are here to help! Contact our social media experts today.

Snapchat for Business

In this day and age, it's a good idea to ensure your business is reaching potential customers on every platform possible. We've already discussed the importance of social media on this blog, but today we'd like to get a little more specific and focus on how to use Snapchat for business. 

Image and video messaging platform Snapchat has been mentioned in a lot of news stories lately due to Facebook and Instagram's newest features, which some argue bear a lot of similarities to the Snapchat app. Of course, Snapchat is hardly new - it was first introduced in 2011 - but it still has a huge user base, and it should probably be your first choice when it comes to building your social media following through video.

If you're wondering how to effectively use Snapchat for business purposes, don't worry - we've put together some simple yet very useful tips for you to follow. It may seem daunting, but video content is the future of content marketing, so it's definitely worth getting a handle on the likes of Snapchat sooner rather than later.

Here are our 5 simple tips for Snapchat success:

1) Offer Sneak Peeks and Discounts

We Rate Dogs Merch on Snapchat
Credit to WeRateDogs (@dog_rates)

One great way of gaining engagement and revenue through Snapchat is to offer special discounts and sneak peeks of your latest products via your business's Snapchat account. As you can see above, WeRateDogs has taken advantage of this feature by promoting their new range of merchandise. Snapchat is a superb social media platform for this kind of promotion because it allows users a literal 'peek' at forthcoming releases. If you were to post on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram instead, the post would be much more permanent, thus undermining the 'sneak peek' element.

Many businesses also use their accounts to provide 'secret' discounts to those who follow them on Snapchat. This is a great way to gain more followers on the platform - if you tell people about the exclusive discounts available through your Snapchat account, people will inevitably follow you in the hope of bagging a bargain.

2) Snap Contests

Grub Hub Snapchat
Credit to GrubHub (@GrubHub)

Snap contests are one of the most engaging ways in which you can use Snapchat for business. The beauty of Snapchat is that as well as using the story feature (which allows everyone to see what you post), consumers are also able to send you snaps directly. This feature makes snap contests a great way of utilising the platform.

Back in 2014, GrubHub displayed a great example of how to use snap contests to promote one's business. They created a week-long campaign called a "snap hunt". Every day of that week, GrubHub posted a new challenge for their followers to complete and send back to them. Whoever they chose as winners would gain a $50 voucher to spend on takeaway food. This competition was a big success, and Grubhub found that over 30% of their followers engaged in the contest, with their account gaining a 20% increase in followers in just one week. This proves that a well-thought-out contest (and the promise of freebies) works wonders when using Snapchat for business.

3) Inside Looks at Your Company

Justin Kan Snapchat
Credit to Justin Kan (@justinkan)

In any business, it is easy for consumers to forget about the human aspect of the company. This is why an inside look at your office, products, and workers is a great way to use Snapchat for your business. Many studies have found that people buy stories before they buy products, which is why displaying your company's story through a modern platform like Snapchat is one of the best ways to encourage customer engagement. 

Take Justin Kan, for example - he is an American entrepreneur and co-founder of Justin.tv, Twitch.tv and Socialcam. Kan uses Snapchat frequently to take his customers on a guided tour through his companies and the new venues he visits. He also shows snippets of himself mentoring young entrepreneurs, which really displays the human side of his businesses. Taking your consumers on a backstage tour has never been easier, so take advantage of this when using Snapchat for your business. 

4) Utilise Influencers

Beth Norton Snapchat
Credit to Beth Norton (@beth__norton)

Social media influencers are popular accounts who have a substantial amount of influence over their followers. Gaining the approval of one of these influencers can benefit your business greatly. A valuable way to use Snapchat for business is by asking influencers to promote your business on their own account - you can ask them to rate, review or even try out a freebie from your company.

Above is an example of how Beth Norton, a popular lifestyle blogger, has promoted Zoe Griffin Photography through Snapchat. Promoting the use of this photographer through her Snapchat not only displays her approval but also encourages others to use this particular photographer.

5) Keep it short and snappy!

With some studies stating that the average human attention span is only 7 seconds long, you'll want to ensure that your story is kept short and snappy. Snapchat limits videos to just 10 seconds, and it's not a good idea to post too many of these onto your story in one day. Snapchat works in seconds, not minutes - so always ensure that the entirety of your story clocks in under the minute mark.

Snapchat users can flick through your story with just a movement of the finger, so make sure you get all of your good content into the first few seconds of the video. Spending 5 seconds setting the scene could cause users to flick onto the next snap before they even see the main point of your story. If you take one thing away from this blog, remember that on Snapchat, every second is important!

Need help harnessing the power of social media to benefit your business? Our social media experts can help!


This month, Facebook rolled out its newest feature named Messenger Day - the newest way to share online video. This feature allows Facebook users to upload video or photos, decorate them with stickers and filters, share it with all of their friends, and then watch as it disappears after 24 hours. Although it is perhaps a not-very-subtle copy of the also incredibly popular Snapchat, it is clear that this feature is sure to be used by at least a healthy portion of Facebook's 1.23 billion monthly active users. This can almost be guaranteed, as nearly all of those users have been prepped for this moment by their frequent use of online video through other apps and platforms. Due to Snapchat's popularity and the introduction of Instagram Stories, the use of online video is rapidly growing.

facebook messenger day
Image Source: newsroom.fb.com

Over the past year, users have watched as Instagram absorbed Snapchat's quick online video format and made it their newest feature on the platform. Admittedly, users were not so happy about the update at first, but as time has passed, the Instagram Stories feature is being used more and more. The same will likely happen with Facebook Messenger Day, which will be being used by a community of people who are very much accustomed to online video nowadays. Since one of the leading social media giants has now implemented an easy method of making online videos, it seems apparent that, if your content strategy did not utilise online video before, it certainly should do so now.

For those feeling a bit sceptical about using online video as part of their content marketing strategy, here are five reasons that should change your mind: 

1. Online videos used in content marketing capture your consumer’s attention more effectively. 

If you think about the last purchase you made, how did you find out about that product? Were you convinced by a video advert or an article you read? There's a good chance that your answer will be the video because, as humans, we tend to react better to visual stimulation than to words on a page. If we witness other consumers enjoying a product, it is much more likely to convince us to buy it than if we simply read the specs. 

social media logos

2. The use of online videos for content marketing improves your SEO.

One of the most important aspects of online marketing is improving your SEO, and according to Martech, adding online video to your website can multiply your chance of achieving a page 1 Google result by 53! Even more impressively, videos on retail sites keep visitors there for 2 minutes longer and convert 30% more of them into paying customers. It's hard to argue with such impressive statistics.

SEO

3. Online video is one of the most powerful ways to tap into your consumer’s emotions. 

It is well known amongst marketers that appealing to human emotion is one of the best ways to attract attention. Just think about how ingrained in our lives emotional adverts become - the John Lewis advert, for example, is eagerly awaited every Christmas time. Online video is a quick and easy way to appeal to your consumer’s emotions while staying within a relatively tight budget. 

Companies no longer have to spend thousands on a polished advert for the television, as they can now be made in seconds with the use of online video. The beauty of this is that companies do not need to get it perfect the first time around; multiple videos can be sent to your client base in a matter of a few days. 

4. Using online video provides you with clear feedback on what you’re doing well.

Incorporating online video into your content marketing strategy makes it easier to gain information on how well your content is received by your target market. Most online video platforms will provide you with feedback on how many times the video was watched, the click-through rate, and the drop off points. All of this information is incredibly useful when it comes to taking the next step with your content marketing. If you have a clear understanding of what your target market is looking for, you can create your content marketing strategy with this at its core. 

Digital Marketing

5. Most importantly, video converts more customers.

71% of marketers say that video conversion rates outperform other marketing content. A study conducted by Vidyard revealed that over one-third of large companies produce more than 100 marketing videos annually, with over 70% of respondents claiming that video performs better than other content for producing conversions.

Furthermore - according to Hubspot - 64% of users are far more likely to buy a product after watching a video, and including a video on a landing page can increase conversions by as much as 80%. Pretty impressive, right? 

Considering online video is a cheap, quick and easy method of content marketing, the fact that it seems to bring in so many sales is a welcome surprise. Taking 20 minutes out of your day to post some online videos about the company and your products could generate more sales than you ever thought possible. It certainly seems that online video is a trick you do not want to miss in 2017!

If you want to add online video to your content marketing strategy, our SEO experts here at Designer Websites will be more than happy to help with this. Simply get in touch today!


In this modern day and age, where words like ‘tweeting’ have become a part of our everyday language, it is hard to imagine a world without social media. Since it originated in 1997, with the social media site Six Degrees, social media platforms have excelled in prominence and have become an increasingly important part of modern generation’s lifestyle.

In a 2016 study, it was revealed that 61% of people check their phones within 5 minutes of waking up; 30 minutes later that number increases significantly to 88%. This evidence of human addiction to smart phones and social media is something many businesses have used as a fundamental part of their marketing strategies. With the constant abundance of information fighting for every individual’s attention nowadays, it is easy to see why your business might be left behind if you do not stay in the forefront of your target markets mind. This is why we’ve put together this handy list of reasons why setting up your business social media accounts should be top of your priority list. 

It allows you to understand your audience

One of the many benefits of social media marketing is that it allows you to get to know your target audience on a personal basis. This knowledge is incredibly useful for any business as it helps you find out your target demographic and understand what they want from you as a business. For example, things like Twitter Analytics provide you with an insight into your follower growth, their interests and their demographic. It also allows you to see which of your tweets performed the best and from this information you can discover what content your audience enjoys and the best time of day to tweet.

 

It's an easy way to promote yourself

Another benefit of engaging with your audience via social media is that if a customer loves your product, it is very likely that they will either tweet about it or post a photo of your product on Instagram or Twitter. It is typical of users to tag the maker of the product in their posts, because in the same way that you want to see reviews, customers also want to be recognised by the brands. This type of engagement works well for both parties involved; if your business then shares the post, your other followers will see how well you are doing and the consumer will be pleased that you have promoted them. 
An example of a business that does this well, is the clothing brand Chi Chi London. 
 
On their Instagram account, Chi Chi London often posts photos of customers wearing their clothes as promotion. This type of post works well because it displays Chi Chi London customers happy with their product, which can in turn, persuade the other followers to buy one of their items while simultaneously making the buyer happy through recognition. Future customers may then buy the products not only because they want it, but to have the chance of being featured on the account. 
You can build a loyalty base with your followers 
People are typically a lot more receptive to advertisements on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, due to them being social networks. The key word being social. If you have tailored your audience using the above steps and engaged with your followers frequently, they are much more likely to want to hear about your new product or company update. As long as you mix your sales social media posts with things like helpful tips, blogs about relevant topics, client reviews, photos of your team, competitions and so on, your followers are much more likely to listen to what you have to say. 
 
Typically, if you provide someone with something of value (helpful tips, giveaways, great customer service) the majority of the time, they will want to repay you in some way. It’s down to you to provide your target audience with all the help you can, and what better and more efficient way to do it than through social media?  
 
 

Using social media marketing boosts your SEO

If your website is full of fantastic content that you want all of your customers to see, there’s no doubt about it, the best way to get the number of visitors you deserve is through social media marketing. Using social media platforms allows you to drive targeted traffic directly to the quality content you want them to see. Googles bots are fully aware of which pages are consistently gaining traffic, so by routinely sharing your pages on social media, you can influence the bots to move your pages up the search engine results page (SERPS). The more shares your page gets, the more likely it is to rank higher in Google’s search engine results page. 
Social media marketing generates sales 
It makes sense that by going where your customers are, your business will be able to generate more leads. Some statistics that display the importance of social media marketing are that 70% of business-to-consumer marketers state they have generated sales through Facebook, 67% of Twitter users are far more likely to buy from the brands they follow on twitter and 46% of web users look towards social media when making a purchase. 
 
Most of the big brand names lead in the market because they manage to stay at the forefront of their customer’s mind through their social media. These brands have become the masters of social media marketing through continuously appealing to their consumers with idyllic images of their products, frequent competitions and discount coupons on their social media channels. 
 
So, if you were wondering why social media marketing could be important for your business, hopefully, this list has helped you understand the many benefits of taking advantage of these platforms. Social media platforms are a free method of developing relationships between you and you consumers that typical outbound marketing cannot provide. 
 
If you like the sound of using social media but don’t know where to start with it, the SEO experts here at Designer Websites can help – get in touch today!