A Micro Guide To Micro Influencers

For almost as long as advertising has existed, brands have used celebrities for endorsements. As social media evolves so does the use of influencers for marketing. A study by Nielsen found that only 33% of consumers trust online ads but 90% trust peer recommendations, and with new regulations putting a bigger onus on brands to clearly label when a piece of third-party influencer content has been paid for, micro influencers offer a cost-effective and accessible option for many small businesses.

Shakers and Makers

Time Out published some research recently splitting influencers into the two categories of  Shakers and Makers. Shakers being celebrities and very well established and popular social media ‘stars’ and Makers being those with a more modest, but still influential following. The research also found that “makers are 10% more likely to successfully influence somebody else to take an action, despite having fewer followers.”

1,000 Followers Plus

Takumi is a micro influencer marketing platform and suggests that anyone with around 1,000 to 150,000 followers could be considered a micro influencer. Most people have a network of around 500 made up of friends, family and personal connections, but it’s when this network expands beyond this and develops into an ‘audience’ that the potential to influence materialises. You often find that people with slightly smaller networks tend to have more conversations with their audience,” says Solberg Audunsson, the company’s co-founder. “12,000 followers is a good number for you to start to see genuine back-and-forth interactions because people realise they’re more likely to get a response than if they were messaging Kim Kardashian.”

Time and Tools

By their nature of being lower-key than the likes of Zoella, micro influencers can be more difficult to identify. This can make the process of... Continue reading

Younger Users Willing To Part With More Data For A Better Customer Experience

Last week on the blog we discussed customer experience and the gap between the business perspective and the customer perspective. This week as YouGov research is released by marketing agency Epiphany, we see that the younger generation have a desire for a positive customer experience; so much so that they’re willing to part with even more personal data.

For under 25s personalised search and targeted advertising campaigns is simply part of everyday life online, via search engines, websites and of course social media. Here are some of the key findings:

32% of the 18-24 year olds surveyed use social media for research with the intent to purchase, compared to 13% of 45-54 year olds. 25% of 18-24 year olds reported using video content on sites like YouTube for detailed product and service research. 10% of younger people reported making a purchase after clicking on a Facebook ad, while only 6% of older respondents claimed to have done so. 55% of those aged 18-24 watch video on their smartphones daily – but only 8% of those aged 55 and over said the same. 19% of 18-24 year olds are willing to share more personal data to allow for more targeted marketing, while only 11% of 45-54 year olds agreed.

“The research has uncovered some interesting behavioural themes that I expect we’ll see develop and come to the fore for marketers in the next couple of years,” said Tom Salmon, MD at Epiphany. “Certainly, the move towards younger generations researching and purchasing on social media offers a valuable opportunity for brands to look beyond search, and assess their priority of this channel as a sales driver.”

With the younger generation showing more of a willingness to actually click on ads, they are a... Continue reading

Only 9% Of Small Businesses Focus On Website Conversion

The Digital Marketing Magazine recently reported on some research by marketing agency Digimax. The research asked small businesses about their discussions with web designers while working on creating their new website. Here are some of the key findings:

9% of the time spent in discussions focuses on website conversion 3% of time is given to branding 27% of discussion time was spent on layout 23% on graphics and pictures Content takes up 38% of the time

Obviously, as a small business you want your website to looks great. You want it to be attractive and appealing, as in many cases it will be the gateway for new customers and new business. Content was given the most time for discussion and this, of course, is what keeps your users engaged – but then what? 98% of the businesses questioned actually said that they are building a website to make more money. So surely encouraging users to buy, or at least make an action, is the next (very important) step, once they have been impressed by a beautiful looking site and consumed all of your engaging content. So if you’re having a new website created, or you’re considering a re-design here are some tips to help turn your visitors into customers by considering your website conversion.

Website Conversion – What To Consider

Calls To Action – it needs to be clear and easy for your user to do what you want them to do. Whether that’s to make an enquiry, sign-up or buy something. If your CTA is hard to find, unclear or involves to0 many clicks or slow loading pages you risk losing potential customers.

Usability & Navigation – does your menu structure make... Continue reading

How Personal Assistants are Changing SEO As We Know It

In a recent video update from Distilled, a leading marketing agency and SEO, we learn about the strong link personal assistants have with SEO. The obvious link is there of course; one use for personal assistants is to ask a question and have them search the web. However, there is way more potential for these apps than simple search alone.

As Distilled explain, the main players in the intelligent personal assistant space include Apple’s Siri, Google Now, Amazon Echo, Microsoft Cortana, along with up-and-coming competitors Hound and Facebook M.

Rather than a search engine simply finding a list of possible answers to your questions, the huge potential for these apps is to anticipate your needs before you even need to ask. The advantage of Google and other big players is data. A certain amount of information can be ‘assumed’ based on demographics such as sex, age, location, occupation etc. but it takes more to really understand an individual (see our blog on retargeting for more on this.) What personal assistants like this are aiming to become is your ‘best friend’ so they truly know what you like and don’t like, what you want and when.

Google already offer advanced and personal search features – such as searching through your own private photos, your emails or appointments, and it’s likely that this will be a key part of personal assistants of the future. Google is known as a search engine, but think about their involvement in the Nest home device and driverless cars and the term ‘personal... Continue reading

Being Sustainable | How Big Brands Are Learning From SMEs

The Charted Institute of Marketing have brought together some really nice examples of how, for big business, learning from SMEs might be very effective advice.

Many creative ideas, viral marketing and innovative campaigns have started life small, and having the ability and flexibility to be truly innovative and creative is often a trait of young and small business. Being nimble, pioneering and sustainable are other characteristics of entrepreneurial small business – and particularly qualities big businesses could do with learning from SMEs.

In the CIM’s special ‘Marketing Sustainability’ report they spoke to three thriving SMEs who have made sustainability one of their key focuses. By being sustainable they have found new marketing opportunities and new business. Here are the three SMEs the report featured.

Wyke Farm

About: Wyke Farm is muti-award winning producer of cheese and butter.

How they’re sustainable: The business is building a renowned reputation for pioneering practices, such as all energy in production coming from solar and biogas. This SME also encourages workers to continually develop sustainable innovations.

What they say: Richard Clothier, managing director said: “A lot of corporates that I speak to, particularly efficient ones that are good at lean manufacturing models, struggle with the concept of sustainability. There is often a myth that it will cost more or complicate the business. But SMEs like ours show that if you develop things incrementally, if you’re authentic and are prepared to invest in a sustainable model, you can grow the business and make it more appealing to customers.”

“The reality is that when you adapt the marketing strategy so that sustainability is at its core, the net positive impact becomes more apparent. It can actually yield savings and efficiencies that you would never achieve using a lean manufacturing strategy alone.”

Falcon Coffees

About: Flacon Coffees... Continue reading

Creating a More Sophisticated Retargeting Campaign

Retargeting should now be familiar to most of us as web surfers and consumers. It’s the practice of marketing to people who have already visited your site once. The perceived benefit of this being that you’re marketing to a more targeted audience – people who’ve visited your site before. Well yes, but a very simple campaign like this might not cut it in today’s modern digital world.

It is easy for the wrong people to receive your marketing messages as multiple people may use one device or those who visit a website once may have no interest in ever doing so again, and may never have converted anyway. So this puts into question actually how targeted you can be. These messages can also be annoying for consumers, particularly if they’re not relevant.

So, how can small business owners and marketers make the most of retargeting so as not to pester consumers but also be more relevant and targeted?

Be Cleaver with Data

Consider a more joined-up approach to collecting data and insight about your consumers and their behaviour. Having a central pool of data that comes from multiple sources and all of your channels will allow you to be more specific about who you retarget and why. You’ll no longer be retargeting based on one simple action (such as visiting your site once) but on information and insight that has more depth.

Consider a DMP to help with Retargeting

A Data Managment Platform will allow you combine your customer data and third party data to learn more about your target audience and therefore retarget more effectively and efficiently. A DMP will help minimise the waste retargeting can often cause. For example if an 80 year old lady looks at football boots online it’s likely it’s a mistake or... Continue reading

YouTube Best Practice and Top Tips

For marketers and business owners video is an engaging way to create and share fresh content, and there are more options than ever for doing so. YouTube is currently the third most popular website in the world and has over a billion users. It’s easy to embed YouTube videos across social media platforms, however native video uploaded directly to the likes of Facebook and Twitter seems to be performing better than YouTube video in terms of reach. Choosing to include YouTube into your marketing plan is also about embracing the community and making the most of this channel’s ability to help you get discovered and increase awareness. YouTube should become part of your video strategy, alongside an onsite gallery or the use of video on other social networks.

Why Choose to Use YouTube Google search – videos are appearing more in search, so including video on your page could help to improve authority The second largest search engine – YouTube is bigger than Bing, Yahoo, Aol and Ask combined with over 3 billion searches a month Advertise – there’s lots of effective options for YouTube advertising Tell your story – a fantastic way to tell your story online A Global Audience

YouTube has global audience of 88 different countries and 76 languages. Because so much of the content on YouTube is instructional, it may be that people from all over the world can watch and learn without subtitles. But there is now a wide range of languages available for subtitling too. Video content in the native language to those you’re targeting is always best – if you need to caption, always have a native speaker review for accuracy.

Appeal to How and Where YouTubers Watch Video

Unsurprisingly most YouTubers watch video on mobile, but surprisingly... Continue reading

Why Online Reviews and Testimonials are So Important and How to Make Them Work For...

According to BrightLocal 92% of us read online reviews and 68% consider them a significant trust factor. So as well as building local reputation and trust, reviews can impact your rankings and testimonials can win you in-SERP stars. Many local businesses may also use third-party review sites. But what does all this mean, and what’s the difference?

Third-party reviews are reviews from customers on external sites such as Tripadvisor. Traditional testimonials are snippets taken from a customer and placed direct on your website. The thing is here, you may only choose to display the most positive testimonials on your site. Onsite reviews via website applications now allow business owners to have customer reviews posted directly on their site, often including ratings or stars, or allowing for owners to reply and comment. So there’s lots of options, and Miriam Ellis, local SEO expert at Moz suggests to yield maximum benefits, you’ve got to:

Know the guidelines and technology Have a clear goal and a clear plan for achieving it Commit to making a sustained effort

Each site, e.g. Google, Yelp, Facebook, etc. has a different set of guidelines in relation to customer reviews and using schema technology. For more detail about this check out the advice from David Deering on this Moz blog.

In terms of defining your goals for your own on-site consumer feedback pages, you will need to do this per city or area if you have more than one location. Here are Mike Blumenthal’s (GetFiveStars’ co-founder and renowned local SEO) top tips for creating your goals.

Be customer focused – make sure your testimonial page is easily accessible and portrays your brand well.

Be Google focused – get your testimonial page ranking well, ideally showing a star rating. You can also have... Continue reading