Category Archives: news

CHC TALKS | WHERE SHOULD YOU SPEND YOUR MONEY?

Analysing what works and what doesn’t

Last week we looked at digital applications, which for some, may feel like a bitter pill to swallow or may just be completely out of budget. So where should you spend your money? How do you choose where to invest and what tools can you use?

There is no direct ‘second best’ to utilising artificial intelligence to conduct the mundane operations of the website, but you can still do the same jobs manually. First, you need to get the basics right to make your work worth it.

 

MASTERING THE BASICS

 

Ensure Functionality
It sounds obvious but regularly checking that everything on your website is actually working is a great way to maintain a successful presence online. The internet is a changeable beast and although your website may have been the bees knees in 2005, routine updates and changes to how internet browsers work can make your site completely unusable. Keeping your site working and functioning well should be your first priority, and minimum requirement.

 

Written Content
Earlier in our blog series, we saw how quickly visitors will drop your website if it is slow but what we didn’t discuss is that you will have the same result if your content is not engaging and clear enough. It is important to deliver a clear and digestible message right off the bat to avoid a high drop off rate.

 

If you dive into complex, detailed and heavy content about what you sell, prepare see a high drop off rate from your site visitors. Likewise, if you don’t say enough or explain why you deserve someone else’s money then you won’t see a great conversion either.

 

CHOOSING WHAT’S RIGHT FOR YOUR BUSINESS

 

A/B Testing
How do you decide what colour to make the buttons on your website? We have seen it debated hundreds of times. Should it be bright red to catch your eye? Should it be blue to match the brand colour? Or should it be purple because that’s Susan’s favourite colour?

 

People care about these choices because they have an impact on the effectiveness of a website and on your business. The best option then, is to try them all. Applying a quantifiable result to which colour performs best allows you remove people’s natural bias.’ This is A/B testing. It allows you to test two variables against each other and implement the variable that performs the best.

 

Most commonly, this happens by splitting the traffic 50:50. Half will see a red button and the other half, a blue button. If the red has a higher click-through-rate, your choice has been made. Next week, test the red against Susan’s purple, the highest click-through-rate wins.

 

A/B testing can be done on anything – the phasing of ‘About us’ text, hero images, navigation structure. Defining what makes these better than the other is often not a straight line, so start with simple choices and move on slowly.

 

Analytics
If A/B testing sounds a little too technical to implement, you can go back to the basics with your website’s analytics. Google analytics offers a great deal of insight into user behaviour. For instance, what pages are most popular, how long users spent reading your content and where they came from. An hour reviewing your analytics will offer good insight into what content your visitors enjoy most and which pushed your visitors into your sales funnel. Then it is a case of creating more of the same type of content with small new twists.

 

Your review will give you an idea of what future direction is going to work best for you. If this seems obvious, you’ll be surprised to hear that “less than 30% of small businesses use website analytics, call tracking, or coupon codes [and] 18% of small businesses admit to not tracking anything.” Assigning a means to analyse what your website does, learning from that and enacting change is going to give you an advantage over a lot of your competition.

 

 

THIRD PARTY APPLICATIONS

 

We have talked a lot about automation and analytics in making smart investments. Here are a few applications that you can ‘rent’:

 

Hubspot have created a free CRM that we think is actually pretty great. It will track users on your site and if they are a contact that has entered their email address, then you will see everything they do. You can set up some lead scoring, a chat bot and email automation. However, these come at a price so you’ll need to fully commit to using them. If you are spending the budget, you’ll need to consider if this is the best use.

 

Crazy Egg offers in depth analytics of your website including heat maps and videos of users’ use of the site. If you are keen on finding out why your site is not converting users into customers, this is a good first stop.

 

Lastly, MailChimp offers automated emails that can distribute your news and chase abandoned shopping carts. Again, this can be pricey – especially if you are using a few of these services in conjunction – so think carefully about where you will use your budget.

CHC TALKS | DIGITAL APPLICATIONS

What is the main difference then between a cheap website and a mid-range or big budget site? Most often, the difference comes down to how smart your site is. There are two main approaches to this. First, it could be very well designed, intelligently selling your story, USP and product or service. It is a smart site because it is smartly designed to provide a strong user experience and high functionality. The second approach is to utilise your website to act as a brain and make decisions for you. Sometimes called “AI”, “automation” or “machine learning,” they are all essentially software applications.

 

It’s this second approach that we would like to focus on in this blog, looking at how smart websites such as these can be a benefit to a business and increase its sales. Strategic IC say that companies that automate lead management see a 10% or more bump in revenue in 6-9 months time and PwC named AI one of the eight essential technologies in business (Huffington Post). There is increasing evidence to suggest that more and more businesses are beginning to invest in AI and automation, but what exactly is it? And how can you implement it? We’re diving in head first to lay out a few of our favourite approaches to automate your sales funnel.

 

USER TRACKING

If you’re not sure where to start when it comes to implementing AI, user tracking is a safe bet. Before you can begin to utilise more clever applications, you need to be able to uncover who your users are, what journey they are taking through your site and why. You can do this by using free or low cost solutions such as Google analytics, Crazy Egg or more sophisticated technology built into the site itself, but either way, the point is to try to understand how people are using your site and what information is most interesting to them. Once you know this, you’re in a good position to make decisions on where to spend your budget, what to test and what to optimise. More importantly, you’re in a better position to understand the point at which you should reach out to close a deal.

 

VARIABLE CONTENT

Let’s say that you are a fashion brand and you have sold a nice blue jacket to a customer. Wouldn’t it make sense to show that customer the matching blue shoes on their next visit to your site? This is the basis for variable content. If you can track your users and know what they are interested in, then you can trial showing them blue shoes, blue trousers or blue sunglasses. Essentially you are showing your customer more of what they are interested in and less of what they are not, increasing you’re the likelihood of making a sale.

 

LEAD SCORING

Those of you with a sales background will know all about lead scoring. Simply put, lead scoring is how close someone may be to purchasing what you sell. A sales person, for instance, may estimate that a potential client is 80% likely to buy what they are selling. If you are tracking what a visitor does on your site, then you can assign a value to everything that they do. For example, if they spend 5 minutes on the homepage, it’s worth 10 points. If they download that eBook, 30 points. Perhaps they sign up to your e-mail list, that’s 20 points – and so on.

 

What’s the point of this? If your website has a brain, it can keep track of the visitors overall score and, if your visitor reaches 40 points, it can trigger your website to respond with an automated action such as sending an email to that visitor about a new product.

 

AUTOMATED EMAILS

How many emails do you send a day? I am willing to bet it is a fair few. If someone has left a product in their shopping cart on your website or a user has expressed an interest in your service, do you want to have to send an email to follow up? As someone who is dyslexic, this is an impossible task! I hate spammy content, but in these instances the email automation is reaffirming the customer’s interest, demonstrating that your business has the ability to support and nurture its customers.

 

If you are clever about it, you can make these emails seem as though they are very personal and written for the person receiving them. Again, Strategic IC has done some in-depth research showing “businesses who nurture leads make 50% more sales at a cost 33% less than non-nurtured prospects.”

 

CHATBOTS

Chatbots do almost exactly what it says on the tin. They are robots that will chat with online users on your behalf. Some merely start the conversation before handing the user over to a real person and others can be significantly more intelligent (if you have the budget). You can map out a vast array of possible paths for a conversation and subsequent replies that would make sense. Then you can plug this data into a chatbot AI and let it do all the hard work!

 

So there it is. That’s digital applications in a nutshell. Next week on the blog, we’ll talk more about where to spend your money when you’re looking to invest in digital.

 

SOURCES

https://www.hubspot.com/marketing-statistics

 

CHC Talks | Budget Solutions

This week we’re taking a look at budget solutions that can help you get the most out of your website, at a lower cost. If you missed our first blog in the series, definitely go back and check it out to find out if your business truly needs a website.

 

DIY WEBSITES

We have seen a big rise in DIY websites in recent years. Services such as WIX and SquareSpace offer anyone the opportunity to get up and running online at a low cost and relatively quickly.

 

There is most certainly a place for these kinds of websites. Most often, we recommend this option to young start ups who are operating on a shoestring. If you just need a destination page and to prove a concept, then they are great. You can build them yourself quickly and, with the right eye, they can look excellent. Where you will struggle is adapting to top end requirements to drive more customers through your doors. You’ll be limited by the infrastructure and constraints that these services operate within. If you’re considering building your own website, it’s worth looking back at our blog (‘Advice from a developer: Can you build your own website?’) that will help you decide if it is the right path for your business.

 

STRATEGIC LANDING PAGES

We are not suggesting that every business must find enterprise-level digital budgets, but we need to think more carefully about where that money is being used. EConsultancy highlights that “for every $92 spent acquiring customers, only $1 is spent converting them.” This makes sense if we are trying to build our customer base because we look at trying to spread the word to more people. However, this doesn’t make sense if we stop to think about increasing our ROI. Yes, getting more eyes on your product or service is great, but getting more customers is better.

 

With this in mind, we urge you to consider a strategic landing page. Marketo have reported that strategic landing pages are used by 68% of B2B businesses to acquire leads. They are essential mini-sites and therefore can be put together at a lower cost but, in addition, will allow you to track the success of the campaign and your efforts.

 

INTERACTIVE CONTENT

Another lower budget solution is to utilise interactive content on your social media channels, on your website (if you have one), in your emails and anywhere else you have an online presence. Content Marketing Institute shows that 53% of content marketers are using interactive content in lead generation efforts.

 

Interactive content is defined as: “content that requires the participants’ active engagement — more than simply reading or watching. In return for that engagement, participants receive real-time, hyper-relevant results they care about.” In other words, this type of content encourages a back and forth between the creator and the audience and, as a result, you can hold the attention of your audience for longer. Examples include surveys and polls, video, infographics.

 

Time Magazine estimates that you have approximately 8 seconds to capture a user’s attention online, which is increasingly difficult to do using conventional content such as a written blog. The use of video, on the other hand, will allow you to show the personality of your company and talk directly to your audience. We’ll come back to this specific type of content later in our blog series, but the benefits of video are countless. First and foremost, it will build trust between you and your audience. If you don’t have the budget to invest in security measures for your website, video will show the faces and personality behind your company letting your audience know they are dealing with real people behind the brand.

 

If you’re already utilising these lower budget solutions, come back next week when we will discuss the digital applications that make the difference between a cheap website and a mid to big budget site.

 

SOURCES

https://www.singlegrain.com/blog-posts/content-marketing/7-types-of-interactive-content-why-and-how-to-use-them/

https://www.hubspot.com/marketing-statistics

 

CHC Talks | Websites

DOES YOUR BUSINESS NEED A WEBSITE?

To kick off our blog series, we would like to take a deeper look into websites, addressing the question: does a business need a website?

 

Websites have been our business for over 10 years and we have built and designed them in all shapes and sizes during this period. And yet, we assumed that at this stage, the vast majority of businesses would have website. But, we were wrong!

 

According to Blue Corona, less than two-thirds (64%) of small businesses have a website citing “cost (26%), irrelevance to industry (27%), and social media (21%) as key reasons behind their decision not to have a website. Further to this, their independent research shows that 60% of medium sized businesses do not have a website, and of those 60%, 30% cite cost as the reason why, and 35% feel their operations are too small to warrant a website.

 

What makes this even more shocking is how little is actually spent on a company website. Again, Blue Corona reports that more than one quarter (28%) of small businesses spend less than $500 on a website. So the question remains, is a website truly worth the money? Or are these companies right to save their budget to invest elsewhere?

 

Considering cost is a significant factor in a business’ choice not to have a website, it seems only appropriate to address what having a website means monetarily to a company. Putting aside the number of daily Internet users that could contribute to your company’s income, money spent online is on the rise. For instance, Shopify predicts that by 2021, global retail e-commerce sales will reach $4.5 trillion. In other words, the amount of money spent through e-commerce sites will increase significantly in just a few years.

 

Upon first look at these figures, I wondered how relevant they are for a company like us. After all, we do not sell products, we’re not in retail, we predominantly make B2B sales and less than 8% of total B2B product sales are closed directly through the Internet. Yet, the way we do business is changing. E-commerce Platforms’ recent research demonstrates that B2B e-commerce sales are expected to outgrow B2C e-commerce sales as soon as 2020. In a fast-changing climate, we will have to prepare for the future if we want to safeguard the survival of our business.

 

Regardless of what you sell, it seems that more and more business will be conducted through the Internet; the face of which, is your website. If you are cutting corners on your digital spend, what does that mean? Clearly, making do without a website is an ideal that is becoming archaic, but what about budget solutions or continuing to use that website you built back in 2001?

 

DOES YOUR WEBSITE NEED TO BE UPDATED? 

You may have told yourself that you got a good deal; after all, you haven’t had to invest any further and seem to be doing just fine as you are. But we would suggest it’s time to take another look, and consider how the digital landscape has changed.

 

MOBILE

Mobile Internet browsing in 2001 would be considered unusable and illegible in 2018. Now, we carry what would have been previously considered marvels of technology in our pockets every day. The iPhone 6 is 32,600 times faster than NASA’s best computer when they sent a man to the moon!

 

It is no longer good enough to have only a mobile version of your website. Users now demand that your website is not only highly functional and well designed on mobile, but that it is responsive across all your devices. Sweor states “57% of all mobile users will not recommend a business if their mobile website is poorly designed or unresponsive.” Your website must provide users with a seamless experience, by looking good and performing functionally well. Even meeting this criteria can still mean your website falls short; your site is expected to be fast – really fast. Google’s data shows “mobile websites that load in 5 seconds or less will end in a viewing session that’s 70% longer than their slower counterparts.” This is especially worth considering for the notoriously slow e-commerce businesses. Hosting Facts estimates that 45% of all e-commerce will be conducted on mobile devices by 2020, compared to just 20% in 2016.

 

You can have a great product or service, but it is becoming clear that unless your website is providing a good user experience, your customers won’t stick around to find out.

 

WEBSITE SECURITY

It is also worth noting that website security has started to play a bigger role in the digital landscape. You will most likely have heard of the big hacks and data breaches from Equifax and Sony but this is, in fact, a very common occurrence. Google highlights that 250,000 web logins are stolen each week and website hacks increased by 32% in 2017. This has lead to 18.5 million sites that are infected online at any time; with over 40% of cyber crime attacks targeting small businesses.

 

In addition, it is becoming clear that online users are increasingly aware of the security of a website. Blue Corona finds that 84% of people will not make a purchase if they are dealing with an unsecured website. Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox are making a big push to highlight insecure websites to these users. For instance, you will notice that your domain bar will turn red or green, say ‘not secure’ or show a padlock to make it clear to users if the website is or is not safe. This, in turn, has put pressure on website owners to purchase and install an SSL certificate. If you don’t have one, it doesn’t necessarily mean you are a malicious business owner, and yet it is something that the big players in Internet browsing are making a priority.

 

A good SSL will cost you anything from £70-£200 per year. Throw in some additional security measures like a firewall, malware scanning and back ups, and you can easily double that budget. Optimising your site to be really fast will take a developer two weeks of testing and adjusting – just like tuning up a race car – which will also come at a cost.

 

Website security and mobile optimisation are two small but important pieces in your website. If you’re seriously considering spending $500 or less on a website, it is worth pausing for a moment to weigh up what you are getting for that price. Could you be throwing away money on something that will do more harm than good to your business? If cost is your biggest problem, then come back next week where we’ll look at some budget solutions on the blog!

 

SOURCES

https://www.bluecorona.com/blog/29-small-business-digital-marketing-statistics

https://www.hubspot.com/marketing-statistics

https://www.websitehostingrating.com/internet-statistics-facts-2018/

https://www.sweor.com/responsivewebdesign

Advice from a Web Developer: can you build your own website?

Very simply, the answer is of course you can build a website yourself. I am a firm believer that anyone can do pretty much anything if they set their mind to it, so real question is: is it worth your time, what will be your challenges and will you see positive results?

TIME

One very important reason that our clients come to us to build their website is the amount of time it will take to build a website. If you plan to build it yourself, be prepared to spend a large amount of time on it! There is a reason it is expensive to hire a web designer/developer and that’s because you are paying for their time (as well as their skill and expertise). And if it is time consuming for a professional to build a website, then it is safe to say it will take a novice more time.

EXPERTISE

The next thing to consider is whether or not you have the expertise that is required for the site you’re building. Is it important, for example, that your visitors have a good user experience? Can you optimise your website for search engine results to the extent needed? Does your website need to be design-focused? Do you need help with branding your company? If your website is going to act as merely a shop window or be purely informational, you might decide that hiring a web designer is just not worth it. On the other hand, if providing your visitors with a good user experience is going to increase your sales it might be worth investing in someone else’s expertise.   

FLEXIBILITY

There are great templates by providers such as WordPress, Wix and Squarespace out there, but sometimes your desired website doesn’t fit in to a template. If your website needs to perform tasks specific to your company or if you would like to utilise your website to minimise and automate administrative tasks, templates can become problematic. For a small start up, it is a great way to get up and running quickly but we would always recommend budgeting for an upgrade as your business grows.

SITE INTELLIGENCE

Do you need your website to do something? Recent studies show that companies that automate lead management see a 10% or more bump in revenue in 6-9 months time (source: https://www.hubspot.com/marketing-statistics). If you’re looking to use your website as more than a shop window, to assist you with sales or administrative tasks for example, then it can be worth investing in your site’s intelligence. Time is money, after all, and the more you can utilise your website to cut down time spent on daily tasks, the better.

The fact is that websites have become an integral part our lives and are increasingly well built. Users are becoming less tolerant of functionally poor and outdated sites. It can feel almost impossible to spend the money on a site that will become outdated within a few years, which is why we always suggest investing in a scalable website. This means your website can be an evolutionary process, where it grows, expands and adapts. Start small, if your budget requires it, and continue to invest in it over time.

A Basic Guide to GDPR for SMEs

If you are reading this, you are probably aware that Data Protection Laws are changing on 25th May 2018 – less than 2 months away! While many people are worried about the new regulations, we are here to assure you, there is no need to panic! For many companies, you may even be complying with many of the new laws already.

For a small company, complying with GDPR can feel particularly daunting so we have put together a short guide to help you get started. The purpose of this guide is to assist you with the initial steps to prepare you for the 25th May. Much of this information is pulled directly from the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO)  guidelines – but hopefully, we have clarified it and presented you with real-world solutions that you can directly incorporate into your company or organisation.

Just to be clear, this guide should not be your only reference when it comes to complying with GDPR. While this is a great place to begin for SMEs, you must also do your own research when it comes to your organisation’s specific case. If you’d like to chat to us further about how we can help you prepare, please get in touch here

 

WHAT COUNTS AS ‘DATA’?

So, let’s start by going back to basics. What exactly do the new laws mean by ‘personal data’?

The ICO defines ‘personal data’ as “any information relating to an identifiable person who can be directly or indirectly identified in particular by reference to an identifier.

But what does this mean in practice? Very simply, data is any information you collect on any individual directly or indirectly. Data could come in the form of an email address, phone number, an IP address, the individual’s interests such as whether they like ice cream or pizza… you get the picture.

Data includes cookies on your website, any online forms that are collecting information, and data you collect using third party apps such as Google Analytics or MailChimp. 

 

CLARIFY WHICH LAWFUL BASIS YOU HAVE FOR PROCESSING DATA

You must have a lawful basis for processing data. There are 6 lawful bases and you must fall into one category (and include it in your privacy notice).

(a) Consent: the individual has given clear consent for you to process their personal data for a specific purpose.

(b) Contract: the processing is necessary for a contract you have with the individual, or because they have asked you to take specific steps before entering into a contract.

(c) Legal obligation: the processing is necessary for you to comply with the law (not including contractual obligations).

(d) Vital interests: the processing is necessary to protect someone’s life.

(e) Public task: the processing is necessary for you to perform a task in the public interest or for your official functions, and the task or function has a clear basis in law.

(f) Legitimate interests: the processing is necessary for your legitimate interests or the legitimate interests of a third party unless there is a good reason to protect the individual’s personal data which overrides those legitimate interests. (This cannot apply if you are a public authority processing data to perform your official tasks.)

[Reference: https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/guide-to-the-general-data-protection-regulation-gdpr/lawful-basis-for-processing/]

 

MAKE EVERYONE AWARE OF GDPR CHANGES

Very simply, you should make the appropriate parties aware of GDPR changes within your organisation or company.

This means that anyone who is responsible for or party to collecting data on behalf of the company will need to understand how their responsibilities will change.

 

REVIEW THE INFORMATION YOU ALREADY HOLD

A good place to start is to identify the information and data that you collect, who you share it with and how/if you record it. This includes any data you have collected by non-traditional avenues (i.e. not via a form that has been filled out on your website).

The ICO draws your attention to any data you have collected in the following ways:

– observed, by tracking people online or by smart devices
– derived from combining other data sets; or
– inferred by using algorithms to analyse a variety of data, such as social media, location data and records of purchases in order to profile people for example in terms of their credit risk, state of health or suitability for a job.

 

MAKE NECESSARY CHANGES TO CURRENT PRIVACY NOTICES

It is a good idea to put your privacy notice clearly on your website if you have not already done so, and review the information you have detailed in your privacy notice. It is worth spending time on this since you can refer any data protection queries to this page in future.

You must ensure your privacy notices are transparent which means they answer these questions clearly:

– What information is being collected?
– Who is collecting it?
– How is it collected?
– Why is it being collected?
– How will it be used?
– Who will it be shared with?
– What will be the effect of this on the individuals concerned?
– Is the intended use likely to cause individuals to object or complain?

Or more simply:

– who you are;
– what you are going to do with their information; and
– who it will be shared with

You may also want to include the lawful basis you have for processing data.

This should be provided in clear, concise, easy-to-understand language.

Online is not the only way you can communicate your privacy notice. If you are going to a conference, for example, and intend to collect email addresses for your e-newsletter, there are other options of communicating your privacy notice.

Your privacy notice can be communicated:

– Orally, face to face or when you speak to someone on the telephone (make sure to document this with a date and signature).
– In writing – printed media; printed adverts; forms, such as financial applications or job application forms.
– Through signage – for example an information poster in a public area.
– Electronically – in text messages; on websites; in emails; in mobile apps.

Just ensure you keep records of how each individual received your privacy notice!

 

ENSURE YOU CAN COMPLY WITH THE INDIVIDUALS RIGHTS

These rights include:

–  the right to be informed;
–  the right of access;
– the right to rectification;
– the right to erasure;
– the right to restrict processing;
–  the right to data portability;
– the right to object; and
– the right not to be subject to automated decision-making including profiling

This means that you must clearly give individuals the choice in how their data is being used. They will have the right to amend or delete their records and you must be able to comply.

At this point, you must ask yourself: can you locate and delete an individual’s data if it is requested? If requested, can you provide an individual with a report detailing how and when their data has been used historically?

 

PLAN HOW YOU WILL HANDLE REQUESTS

If an individual requests for you to send them a report on how their data has been used or for their data to be deleted, you will have one month to comply with this request.

The good news is that if a request is unfounded or excessive, you can refuse to comply.  If you do refuse, however, you must do so within a month and give a clear explanation as to why.

 

CONSENT

You will need to review and refresh your consent processes if they do not comply with GDPR laws.

The first thing you must consider is which lawful basis you are operating under to process an individual’s data. In many cases, this will mean that if you are unable to locate and document how/when you gained consent to use an individual’s data, you must ask them for their consent again.

If you have been seeking permission to use an individual’s data and recording it in a way that already complies with GDPR, then you do not have to re-seek permission from your existing email list.

Keep in mind that consent must be given with a positive opt in. In other words, a pre-ticked box or equivalent silence will not be acceptable and it must be given separate from your terms and conditions.

When asking for consent, include:

– the name of your organisation;
– the name of any third party controllers who will rely on the consent;
– why you want the data;
– what you will do with it; and
– that individuals can withdraw consent at any time

 

CHILDREN

If you are processing personal data of children, you will need to take extra care and read the guidelines carefully. Largely, the laws around children’s data protection is the same as it is for adults however, clarity and transparency should be central to all of your data processes.

If your lawful basis relies on consent, you will need to be aware that only children over the age of 13 years old is able to provide his or her own consent. Otherwise, you will need the consent of their parent or guardian (although there are mitigations for this).

See more here: https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/guide-to-the-general-data-protection-regulation-gdpr/applications/children/

 

DATA PROTECTION OFFICERS

You must designate a DPO if you are a:

– a public authority (except for courts acting in their judicial capacity);
– an organisation that carries out the regular and systematic monitoring of individuals on a large scale; or
– an organisation that carries out the large scale processing of special categories of data, such as health records, or information about criminal convictions

If you do have to designate a DPO, ensure you research the responsibilities of this individual.

 

Please note that this article represents the views of the author solely, and are not intended to constitute legal advice. 

 

Why we chose to partner with Kentico

We are so pleased to announce our new partnership with Kentico enterprise solutions. With GDPR fast-approaching and data-driven marketing becoming increasingly important, we wanted to find a reliable content management system that could support our clients needs in the long term. When we found Kentico, we knew we didn’t have to look any further!

Kentico

STABLE AND SCALABLE

We hear over and over again from clients that their website has become “outdated,” both in aesthetics and functionality – and they’re not wrong to worry. Online browsers have less tolerance for outdated websites than ever before. The problem is that the online world changes so quickly which means your website will age at a rapid rate unless you keep on top of it. But of course, this can be extremely expensive.

We chose Kentico because it is a stable scalable solution. It provides our clients with the benefits of out-of-the-box functionality – including an easy to use backend – with the ability to customise and grow their websites. In other words, this solution means that your company won’t outgrow the capabilities of your platform.

 

INTUITIVE MARKETING

When it comes to digital marketing, there is so much that you can do using your website alone, so we sought to find a partner who could provide our clients with an easy-to-use platform which would incorporate smart and intuitive marketing, resulting in an increased number of leads and conversions coming through your website.

The best way to do this is through personalised content curation. This means that you can present each visitor with content that best matches their interests and automate the marketing collateral they receive based on where they are in the customer life cycle.

With Kentico’s lead scoring system, you can easily target and curate content based on the customer’s engagement with your brand. For example, if a customer on a news site only browses the technology section, you can curate the homepage they view to only show them technology articles. And further than that, you can send them automated e-mails with content they are interested in. Each customer who visits your site will see the information most relevant to them making them more likely to engage with your company.

 

GDPR COMPLIANT

The GDPR frenzy has been on everyone’s mind in 2018, and as a website agency, we needed to ensure that we had a reliable solution. Our partnership with Kentico means that we can build an easy-to-use 100% GDPR compliant CMS. This means that all of your customer/client data lives in one place making it a simple click of a button to download or delete a single user’s data.

Websites and marketing programmes capture a huge amount of data, some of which you may not even be aware of, and this is where a Kentico CMS can bring a big advantage. When you’re juggling between your CMS, mailchimp and/or any other marketing platforms you’re using, it can be difficult to consolidate all your data in one place. But with Kentico, it all lives under one roof (in a manner of speaking) which means it is easier to access and amend. Further to that, it means that you can safely and securely market to your audience without worrying you are breaking any GDPR regulations.

 

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT KENTICO WEBSITES

What your website needs in 2018

It is estimated that Google now processes over 40,000 searches per second. That’s about 3.5 billion searches per day and 1.2 trillion per year. In 2016 it accounted for around 34% of website traffic, and in the same period in 2017, it increased to over 50%.

With traffic and searches being used more and more each year, 2018 is set to be a very competitive year online. If you have been putting off investing in your website, now is the time to move forward. The online world is getting faster and faster, and unless you keep up, you’re in danger of being left behind.

Not only is being found through search engines increasingly important, it is now imperative that your site is working hard to keep visitors on your site and to encourage them to take action.

If you’re not sure where to start (or where to invest), we have taken the time to highlight our top 4 elements that your website should have in 2018.

 

THE IMPORTANCE OF A/B TESTING IN IMPROVING CONVERSIONS

First, lets explore what A/B testing is. This is a method for testing the performance of different website elements to improve its functionality. For example, if you have a button on your site that leads to a sale, it is vital that this button is designed to convert at the highest rate.

You can of course take an educated guess – bold colours, for instance, draw the eye and are more likely to be clicked. However, there is no way to make an informed decision on shape, size or specific colour.

A/B testing allows you to test two options at once. By testing in this manner you can track the performance of both options and choose the one that is performing best. This eliminates any personal preferences and focuses on what will increase your conversions.

The best approach is to test one element at a time – size, shape, placement, and colour should all be tested individually. A/B testing lets you to work to continually improve your website based on data collected from the people who actually use it, allowing your site to grow and evolve to suit your demographics. You will avoid the need to make assumptions and costly amendments without clearly understanding what will work.

 

ENGAGE YOUR AUDIENCE WITH PERSONALISED CONTENT

Content is king. Current trends show that this catch phrase is becoming more and more relevant each year.

You may have good intentions while filling your site with content, but does it reach its intended audience? Do the people who love tech stories see your latest tech articles, or are they buried under the international politics stories?

Websites collect a great deal of data about your visitors, and if you use this data in the right way, you can deliver personalised content to any returning visitor. If a visitor has spent hours reading tech related content, why not show them more tech stories?

By creating personas in the brains of your website, you can tell your website to show a visitor content based on what type of persona they match. In order to do this, you must lay out different personas based the types of content you have. For example, if you publish tech and sports news then you could have a “sporty” persona and a “techy” persona – and an additional “sporty tech” persona, covering both. If you have a visitor that spends the majority of their time on the tech pages, you can reduce the priority of the sports content on the site (effectively dropping it to lower down on the page). This will encourage the visitor to stay on your website, since they are consistently being presented with more content that they are interested in.

Personalised content will work for any industry, as different elements of the site can be adapted based on the actions that their visitors take. After a visitor has signed up to your mailing list, you can remove the ‘sign up to our mailing list’ section so that they no longer see it. Furthermore, you can replace that section of the site with something that adds more value. This will give the visitor the feeling that the site is adapting to them and offering a tailored experience.

Your website is your most important sales tool. Users will judge your business on how it looks, how it works and the content it provides. Personalised content allows your site to continue to impress and interest them.

 

LEAD SCORING & MARKETING AUTOMATION

Lead scoring is nothing new. Anyone with sales experience will have a system of judging how close someone may be to making a purchase. They’ll also know that it is extremely time consuming. Tracking potential customers, leading them down the pipeline and choosing the right time to close a deal are all delicate tasks that require constant attention.

What if your website could do it for you? Setting up lead capturing functions including contact forms, enquiries, quotation tools and white papers (to name just a few) is paramount. In the background, your website can record and score visitors based on their interactions with the site. If they spend 10 minutes on a page about your services, that’s 10 points! When your site records that a user has acquired 65 points, you can even get your website to reach out to them for you. By scoring visitors you can create point scores that act as a trigger for marketing automation to commence. So when our visitor hit 65 points, the website would send them an email to encourage them to take more action; book a meeting time, arrange a demonstration or whatever brings you closer to closing a deal. If they take this action, that can be tracked and scored as well. If they don’t respond, the site can be set to follow up with another email – all tailored to the customer. This process can continue in a predetermined flow to ensure that you are following every lead, night and day, 24/7.

Having this system in place allows your sales team to avoid these time consuming tasks and concentrate on the skilled profit-making part of their job.

GDPR

GDPR

In May of this year a new piece of legislation called GDPR will come into effect. Among other things, it will enable visitors to your website to request a full report on how their data has been used and to delete it, if they wish. If you can’t or don’t comply with GDPR, you are liable for a fine of up to 4% of your company’s global turnover or €20 million (whichever is more).

Almost all sites do actually capture a vast amount of user data. For the majority of existing sites, however, accessing and deleting this data is no easy process. It would involve consolidating all of your data, potentially running across millions of rows, and searching through it for information relating to the user who requested it – and then, manually creating a report for them.

Fortunately, we have been working on finding an easy solution to the problem and have a platform that will allow you to capture huge amounts of user data, all 100% GDPR compliant. If a visitor requests their data (Right to Access) you can provide them with a custom URL within a matter of minutes. If they request for this data to be deleted (Right to be Forgotten), the system simply has a delete button to remove the data without damaging the rest of your user data. Having a GDPR compliant site is simply going to be a must have for 2018.

Read more about GDPR

 

2018 marks the start of a new partnership for CHC Digital. We have partnered with Kentico, a great bunch of smart chaps who have created the most sophisticated CMS we have ever seen. The Kentico CMS is easy-to-use, easy-to-customise, fast, stable and good to design and develop with. It provides a centralised location for your all of your marketing and sales requirements, and allows you to collect and use data all on one platform. Most importantly, it efficiently tackles the hard work that many websites struggle with, such as the ones listed in the topics above. To find out more, visit our Kentico page here.

What is GDPR?

GDPR stands for General Data Protection Regulation and refers to the legal framework that protects EU citizens from privacy and data breaches. The changes in this document are set to take place in the UK from 25 May 2018, and are arguably the most significant changes to  data privacy that have taken place yet.

And in case you’re wondering – the government has confirmed that the UK’s decision to leave the EU will not affect the commencement of the GDPR.

While not all these changes are going to be new to you, they are going to be taken more seriously if your business does not comply. And since we’re busy familiarising ourselves with the new regulations we thought we would share the key changes with you.

WHY DO I NEED TO KNOW ABOUT GDPR?

– Regardless of your company’s location, all companies processing personal data of data subjects residing within the EU will need to comply with the new regulations. Previously, the regulations have been more ambiguous about which territories a business must be located in to be required to comply.

 – If your business is in breach of GDPR, you can be fined up to 4% of your annual global turnover or 20 million (whichever is greater).

– Conditions of consent have been strengthened, and the request for consent must be in an easily accessible form and in plain clear language.

– You may be required to notify any breaches in data protection within 72 hours, if you are in a country that a data breach could “result in a risk for the rights and freedoms of individuals.” In addition, you may be required to notify your customers.

– In an effort to increase data transparency and the empowerment of data subjects, subjects can now request the confirmation of their data being used and further information on where and how it is being used.

 – Data subjects will now have the right to be forgotten, and their data permanently erased.

 – Subjects will now be able to request their personal data and transfer it to another processor.

– Privacy by design must be implemented, calling for the inclusion of data protection from the onset of the design of systems.

– There will be new internal record keeping requirements and some companies will need to appoint a Data Protection Officer.

You may have noticed that many of these regulations have existed in some way previously, so why do you need to stay informed? The regulations have now been legalised with high penalties if you do not comply. Sloppiness and ignorance is no longer an excuse!

For more information, we suggest you visit:  https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/data-protection-reform/overview-of-the-gdpr/

Fortunately, we have been working on finding an easy solution to staying up to date with GDPR and have a platform that will allow you to capture huge amounts of user data, all 100% compliant. If a visitor requests their data, for example, you can provide them with a custom URL within a matter of minutes. If they decide to request that this data be deleted, the system simply has a delete button to remove the data without damaging the rest of your user data (see more here). 

If you have any enquiries as to how you can make sure your website is up to speed, get in touch

3D Websites: To 3D or Not to 3D

A few years ago, we toyed with the idea of building a 3D website. What use is a 3D website you ask? Imagine a completely immersive experience for the visitors to your website. They could literally enter ‘your world,’ however you imagine it. If you wanted your visitors to experience your company on a perfect day, with fairies and cherubs delivering your product or service to the theme song of Jurassic Park, that could be arranged!

Sounds good, right? At the time, we thought so too. New data was showing that an increasing number of users were browsing the web using their game consoles – and many of these, were connected to 3D televisions. But alas, while we thought we had cracked the next best thing, they were not getting the attention we expected.

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Next in the virtual reality race, came Google Glass, a pair of spectacles that augmented the world around you allowing you to communicate with the Internet using voice commands. While Google had the right idea, they didn’t take the virtual reality aspect far enough and overlooked the fashion element. The fact is, the glasses looked silly, but perhaps they were hoping to start a new trend! The prototype was eventually discontinued back in 2015.

stop-trying-to-3v3axsThe latest 3D virtual reality glasses take the Google Glass idea further, providing a completely immersive experience and what makes this so interesting, is that they connect to the Internet via phones or computers. At this stage, they are still limited in what you can access – and you are not yet able to control a Google search with your eye movement, but browsing content on the web may not be far away!

Now this brings us in a full circle. Could there be a new market for a completely 3D website in the near future?

Samsung are now bundling their virtual reality headset with the latest phone offers and if they can fix the ‘firework feature’ on their phones and they start selling like lemonade on a hot summer day, we could see a lot more people indulging in imaginary worlds with these headsets. So Samsung – we are looking to you. Fix your phones and give us a market to play with!

In addition, the world of 3D graphics has come on a long way in recent years. A few major foundations in 3D rendering have been laid using WebGL and a nifty bit of kit called Three.js . If you take a look at the projects undertaken using Three.js, you can quickly see just how impressive the results can be. From the flawless 3D rendering of cars, to walk-throughs in imaginary worlds and layered storytelling for users to delve in to, there is a brave new frontier to explore.

Most of these projects have been developed for computer screens and the effects are marvellous. The experience of the VR Glasses even has your Grandmother excited. So what happens when you merge the two?

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There is a potential market in E-learning, for instance. With so many people suffering from a strict and standardised curriculum, a virtual world could offer a means for them to explore, learn and understand the same concepts in a different (and possibly more enjoyable) environment.

Take the subject of History, for example. What if, instead of listening to lengthy lectures about the topic, you could explore Ancient Rome through virtual reality, interact with the people of that time period and maybe even learn new language skills? Or imagine if you could navigate through a timeline of World War Two. Perhaps, then you might get a few Call of Duty fans interested!

We have always loved this idea, and whether or not it takes off, I think we always will. If you have an idea for a Virtual Reality website, we would love to hear from you!

WHAT IS SOCIAL MEDIA?

Social media is an online stream of content that facilitates the creation and sharing of ideas, whether it be in the form of images, text, videos, gifs, an infographic or anything else available online. Billions of people around the world are searching for interesting and engaging information about the things they love, want or need.

Although there are many social media platforms, the ones which harness the largest online communities are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Google+

HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE USING IT?

Facebook – 1.79 billion active users
Facebook – 3.2 billion likes per day

Twitter – 317 million active users

Instagram – 500 million active users
Instagram – 3.5 billion likes per day

Pinterest – 170 million active users
Pinterest – 5 million pins per day

Google+ – 1.4 billion active users

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?

The social streams were all developed for one purpose: to enable users to find like-minded people and share content. For a business, this is a sales dream come true. If you sell a specific product – let’s say iPhone cases – then you will be able to find large communities of people worldwide who are interested in iPhone cases.

With over 1.8 billion Facebook users, your product or service could be very niche and yet, you will still be able to find the communities who are interested in what you do. Social media is not about how big it is or about how many people are on it, it is about how specific it can be. The world is a big place, full of people with different interests, needs and desires. Social media allows you access to them.

If you build a following of interested users, you can advertise your service or product to them multiple times a day at no cost. This becomes a serious consideration if your following surpasses 10K. Print publications would charge over £800 for advertising space at a similar distribution!

And the more targeted you are in building your community, the better the results. If you are successful with your content, then you can build brand advocacy resulting in others sharing and recommending your content to their following.

WHAT ARE THE RISKS?

Social media is actually a surprisingly safe place. If your community growth and content strategy is tactful then the responses will generally be very positive. We hear of many people worried about getting negative feedback or ‘trolls’ causing problems. The general rule of thumb with ‘trolls’ is to ignore the bad and praise the good.

Social streams move very fast. If you make a mistake, your audience will have moved on and forgotten it by the next day – so don’t draw attention to it. If there is a genuine problem, look to resolve it elsewhere (email, direct message, telephone or in person) and then release the successful resolution story in a positive way. The more positivity you put out there, the more you will receive!

How to get to 10,000 Twitter followers in a year

Quickly building up your Twitter followers isn’t rocket science, you simply need a sound strategy backed by hard work and commitment.

We can’t all have as many Twitter followers as Kim Kardashian, but you don’t have to be a reality TV star to build an impressive following.

Here are four rules to follow to get you on the path to Twitter stardom:

  1. Twitter is self-fulfilling

The more you interact with others, the more they’ll interact with you. But first you need to carefully define your community and follow relevant people – and the following tools can help:

  • Twiends – delivers a listing of twitter users to connect with
  • Ignitwit – add topics of interest to produce a list of people to follow
  • Followerwonk – identifies more potential followers and analyses what content is most effective at attracting them

You can also upload your existing contacts, using your email address book, plus add a Twitter account to your LinkedIn and follow all of your contacts on that channel.

Then it’s time to start interacting. Retweet the posts of those you’re following, send messages and ask them questions. Most will be grateful for the interaction and follow you back. And don’t forget to thank them for doing so.

  1. Content is king

To be truly successful at building up a Twitter following, you need to be creating original content that your community will want to read or watch. Become a news feed for your industry by tweeting links to top stories, plus post up links to your blogs, case studies, company news and other relevant content. Tweets with links are retweeted far more than those without them, while pictures/graphics/videos increase the chance of a post being shared by 18%.

Make your tweets easier to find and double their engagement potential by labelling them with hashtags relevant to your community. RiteTag is a great tool for identifying the most powerful hashtags for your posts.

Offering a discount on a product or service has also proved to be effective with 94% of Twitter users following brands that do this.

  1. Distribution is Queen, Timing and frequency are key

Work out the best time to post your tweets to maximise engagement. Generally, weekend posts generate 17% more engagement and Twitter’s peak viewing time is between 1pm and 3pm. However, your community could have their own specific habits, so experiment and adjust your tweeting to their expectations.

Avoid going tweet crazy, sticking to two to three posts a day – you don’t want people may get sick of the sight of you.

  1. Presentation matters

Make sure you have a relevant, appealing, good quality cover image, a clear and concise biography, and that the style and tone of your content reflects your brand, as this will help to attract the right followers.

Your profile picture is important, too, as personalities perform better on Twitter. Even if you’re representing your brand, consider using a good profile picture of yourself rather than your logo.

  1. External influence counts

Show your expertise and share your knowledge and advice through blogs and add social sharing links to them. If they get widely distributed, you can build a big community from one great piece of content.

Add your Twitter account to key touch points with your community, such as business cards, complement slips, signs, shop windows, email sign off, newsletters, etc, along with Facebook and Instagram where relevant, and display your live Twitter stream on your website.

The great thing is that today you can do a lot of this from your smartphone during your commute or free time. Working hard on your social streams will pay dividends in terms of generating a significant number of relevant followers.

How can SEO improve your online reputation?

In today’s digitally centric world, the prominence of quickly accessible information has drastically changed how human beings behave on a day to day basis.

Phases like “I Google’d it” have become common place, it has changed how we use our brains. We are not longer capable of retaining information like past generations, for every passing year we become inherently more dependant on the encyclopaedia of knowledge online.

The direct effect is that we now turn to the internet, when ever we look for insight into peoples lives, services and products.

Google’s dominance in the search market has also had a drastic effect on how we filter the wealth of information online. Earlier this year they told the world that they are focused on delivering a more comprehensive internet home page especially for you.

If you search for a country, i.e. France, you will now be presented, with hotels, restaurants, travel options and activities that match you past search history.

What this means for individuals and businesses alike, is that we must focus on what information is presented on the results when someone searches for us.

We need to be able to curate the information that is being presented to potential, customers, clients and employers.

It is important to manage any negative feedback that may crop up. The best, easiest and often most effective manner to achieve this is quite simple – Ignore the bad and praise the good.

People make mistakes, they can be small and unimportant or they can be major and have huge effects. But it is vital that we accept that we are not infallible. Fighting to excuse a mistake, explain it or make it go away only gives it more air time.

“Piggate” was a horrendous story, a mistake that would seem somewhat unforgivable. There was little to no comment on this from the Government, and the story fizzled out quickly. Not much is said on this now, as there is so much more news from the Government to report on.

Although you may not have such an affinity for agricultural animals. The best way to improve your appearance in search results is to push as much positive content out into the world. Simply push the negative content off the 1st page, then the second and so on. No one cares what results are on page 300.

What’s the best approach to this? Well, we here at CHC Digital like to look at SEO as a three piece puzzle; embedded data, content and reach.

1. Embedded data, this is really all about getting the basics right. With many developers focused on creating websites that follow the latest trends in design and functionality. It is easy to forget things like meta tags, page titles, page descriptions, structured links etc.

They are still the forefront of in-page SEO, and are the search engine’s “bread and butter” for information on your company. Its worth getting this sorted, right from the get go.

Do some research on competitive keywords, make sure you are really targeting your niche. Targeting “Nice Guy” is not going to serve you well, get a little more focused “Nice Guy london brown hair green eyes six foot one” the more specific the better.

2. Content, most search engines are looking to present “us” with reliable information from the most credible source. Again be specific with your content, write blogs, frequently. Give your opinion, try and integrate some of your keywords. Essentially you need to show these search engines that you are the master of one very specific service or product. They are looking for know-how and insight into what ever you do. Ultimately they are all about building that encyclopaedia of knowledge that we all use on a day to day basis.

3. Reach, the most recent major addition to SEO. Search engines have a tough job, there is a lot of similar content all over the web. A lot is plagiarised from other sources, so how do they determine who the real opinion leader is? Who is the master of their trade? Who’s information will they recommend as the answer to a question? They look to the online community for insight. If your blog has a referral link from the BBC, the search engines are going to see that as legitimate information. Again Google late 2015 told us that they now also rely on the information from the social networks. This allows us a unique opportunity to leverage our communities to benefit our search results. If you write a great blog, post it on twitter and it gets retweeted 100 times search engines now consider that a more reliable source than on that was only retweeted 50 times.

In a nutshell, analyse your website, fix any of the basic issues. Submit your changes to Google etc through the webmaster tools. Build a big community on the social streams, as quickly as you can. Write informed, inspiring and influential content on positive topics about you or your business. Share this content with your social communities, ensure that there is a good back link to your newly optimised site. Given some time and successful sharing, you will see how you can control your own results. This ultimately leads to you controlling your own online reputation.

Finding the Right Approach for Your Business

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 The value of a bespoke suit

Tailoring is one of those unique areas of life that allows people to make quick judgments about you. Right or wrong they will do it. There seem to be three boxes of tailoring that suits fit into:

Your high street suit. The wonderful work horse.Machine washable, this trusty companion has bore the brunt of those Friday drinks, cigarette burns and Donut Jam. It was affordable, if perhaps generic, but it did the job…until one day, after one too many presses, the cheap material splits, leaving you exposed and embarrassed at the bus stop.

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Tailored off the peg. Now that you’ve moved on from the glory of the high street suit, you’re looking for something that’s a little more you. Having a suit tailored off the peg gives you a wider array of materials and patterns to choose from, so it not only shows a little more of your personality, it gets tucked in and let out to fit your unique curves, too. You’re feeling pretty confident in your new suit, but there’s always that one guy at work who shows up to the weekly staff meetings in a bespoke suit. But although you love your suit, over time a few buttons go missing, your points begin to lose their sharpness. All the while, fashion is changing and your own personal preferences and needs are changing, too. You find yourself eyeing Mr Staff Meeting with envy… and so with teary eyes to the local charity shop you go.

The bespoke suit. You venture toSavile Row, where a master tailor explains how he and his team of craftsmen will hand build your suit from scratch. Not only can you choose from any material ever made – even 16th century Tibetan tapestry if your heart so desires! – but it can be in any style too. Say hello to Saturday Night Fever flares! Just how unique can your suit get? Hidden James Bond pockets for your gadgets? Done. What about diamond studded buttons? Too easy.

photo-1444362408440-274ecb6fc730 So do you end up with a Tibetan, Saturday Night Fever, secret agent, oligarch suit? Of course not. Those boys on Saville Row are masters and they make sure your final product is a slick, subtle, elegant, and truly one of a kind masterpiece. No need to worry if you pack on some more bulk: thanks to the master tailor anticipating your needs, there is loads of material to let out. Starting to look a little shabby? Nothing some new hemming can’t fix! Feeling a little outdated next to those young whippersnappers? Don’t worry some new buttons and a trendy waistcoat have you back in the game! Yes, your bespoke suit will cost you a bit of time and money, but it is an outward extension of you and what you’re all about. Your suit is every bit as unique as you are, and most of all, it makes you happy every time you wear it.

So that was nice, wasn’t it? But what on earth does any of this have to do with the world of digital?

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We look at websites the same way a tailor approaches a suit. These days you can use a website builder to create your site. They’re nice, but… a bit like that high street suit. Generic and unaccomodating of the needs of your business. Spend a bit more and you’ll find agencies that will sell you a site on a budget; they’ll start with a WordPress template, then nip and tuck so it fits a bit more nicely. But as your business expands and grows, these agencies will charge you more money to apply a bandaid to your site, hoping they can make some small tweaks to keep you happy.

That is not our approach. We believe in building you a custom site from the ground up, just like the masters of Saville Row, taking into account all of your current needs – and your future needs, too – to create a site that is perfectly, uniquely tailored to your business. But most of all, we want your site to make you happy every time you look at it. Wouldn’t it be nice if your digital space put a smile on your face?

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Digital Marketing & Social Media Manager. Join our crew!

About Us:

We are looking for a top-level social media / digital / brand manager for a London based Design & Marketing Agency. We are a flexible team of talented digital entrepreneurs, driven by originality and passionate about invention. We get excited about converting creative ideas into digital platforms and with our flexible approach; we are proud to offer services ranging from social media campaigns and large scale digital platforms and global reach design & build services. We are now looking to take on an in-house social media / digital manager to work as part of our marketing team to take our clients online presence to the next level.

What will the job entail?

– Introducing and implementing social strategies
– Introducing and implementing digital strategies
– Improving and maintaining social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, YouTube, Pinterest, Vine & LinkedIn)
– Content writing, blogging, content strategy.
– Working with brands and in house marketing teams to improve their digital exposure
– Using social media to attract new followers and build relationships with our clients
– Introducing new strategies for online exposure and consumer interaction
– Working with web team for development of newly acquired websites
– Networking and contact building
– This is a commission based position with lots of potential

Desired Skills and Experience:

-The successful individual will have natural business development ability. This is a fantastic opportunity for an entrepreneurial, ambitious, energetic individual, keen to grow a business.
-The successful individual must be able to stand on their own two feet and must be a self-starter.
-A good negotiator with excellent verbal and written communication skills with the ability to clearly report to a variety of internal and external stake holders at all levels of organisations.
– Proven track record in content creation and delivery for the digital and/or social media
– Excellent writing skills: catchy headlines, effective call-to-action, captions, etc.
– Solid experience with image editing and optimisation, usability and accessibility standards
– Solid understanding of brand guidelines & clearance in online environments
– Confident, articulate ‘people person’ with excellent communication skills
– Passionate about social media in general.
– Experience in using social media for content promotion
– Understanding of commercial and editorial requirements
– Diplomatic and negotiating skills with the ability to work with initiative and maturity.
– Flexible and open to change in a small business that moves quickly when opportunities present themselves.
– Enthusiasm and good social skills
– Initiative and creative flare
– Social media expertise and experience
– SEO experience (beneficial but not essential)
– CPC experience (beneficial but not essential)
– Entrepreneurial approach and innovative style
– A true team player
– Good work ethic

The ideal candidate should have the following skills and experience:

Social Media: Strategy, planning, activation, branding, live event social, trend spotting, online reputation management, online community management, social media governance, content creation, creative conception, market engagement and content/community curation.

Marketing: Digital, Social, Creative, eCommerce, Agency management, 360 campaign management, Brand & media partnerships, ATL, Affiliate marketing, Advertising and Budget management.

If you think you have these qualities, or would just be interested in a friendly, informal chat, please get in touch!.

Salary: £1,750.00 /month

Is Your Website Beach Body Ready?

Summer is rapidly approaching. Thousands will be flocking to the beach. You better be looking your best. You don’t want the popular kids to make fun of your shoddy physique and poor use of font on your website. Yes, kids are different now. They care about weird things. No need to focus on lifting weights, time to put emphasis on lifting your search engine ranks. Preparing for your big day at the beach can be tricky. Red bikini or yellow? Speedos or mankini? Will your swimwear really make a difference to your appeal? There is a common misconception in the wonderful world of website design, one that makes the price of investing in one appear somewhat unjustifiable when looking to revamp your marketing strategy. Being a digital agency, it’s in our best interest to change that perception and prove otherwise. Here, we write about how beneficial a website could be to your business and the value of doing it properly. The mankini WILL make a difference and your website will also.

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By investing in a website you are automatically minimising the cost of offline marketing. Magazine ads, billboards, lead generators & other offline marketing methods have become somewhat surplus to requirements. A website provides an online, easy to access platform where you can advertise and showcase your business. Even if you plan on using your website as a form of online brochure, the saving on costs for printing that information alone would likely stack up and be saving your business money in the long run. You are thinking; “That is ridiculous! You don’t know what you are talking about?! Go back to talking about swimwear!”. But, We did research to prove that what we are saying is true and we will come back to swimwear later. On average, it costs £40 for 1000 A4 printed flyers (unlikely to fit anywhere near as much information as your shiny new website would on it) & our websites generally see, on average, 1000 visitors per month. With an average cost of £2500 for a brochure site, within 5 years your business would be saving money on printing costs alone and will be getting better results. You wouldn’t spend money on delivery, distribution or design, all of these adding even more cost to offline marketing strategies. Now, what do you have to say about that, wise guy?

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Another problem people face when looking to invest in a website is the cheap, easy to make template websites that are offered online. Something along the lines of ‘No upfront cost and just £49 per month for a website’. We’d be naive to think this offer isn’t one of two things, one, a plausible investment for a business that aren’t interested in making profit from digital/see their website as an expense and account for it. Two, for a business or person that are only using it to direct friends and family towards the website and naive to think the ‘cheap’ offer wasn’t tempting. There are various differences between a bespoke website and templated one. With the templated sites, the look and feel of your site is limited to the templates provided. Couple with the fact the design is limited, meaning it’ll be difficult for you to achieve a design that will make your brand stand out, the SEO capabilities of these sites are dwarfed by that of a custom built website. Custom websites, by their very nature, are more original. You will not arrive at the beach to see Patricia wearing the same flip flops. You purchased them first! Patricia is always copying you. Get your own sense of style, Patricia.

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As we’ve said on more than one occasion, a custom built website brings endless benefits to you and your business. When investing in a custom built website you really can make your site work for you, make it act like another employee. The website can obtain data, attract new potential customers and even provide you with their contact details that will enable you to make a one on one connection with the potential customers. Something that would take an offline an employee a sizeable amount of time and rack up some sizeable expenses for your business. Get in touch with us and let’s put you on a strict digital diet to give you a healthy web physique. And eat a burger, because you are beautiful no matter what!

Be sure to get in touch! with us if you want to take your business to the next level!

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The Importance of Instagram

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We signed a new client last week. They are great and we are very happy to have them but in the pitch, the client asked what the importance of Instagram was? “Is it not just for selfies?”. Of course not, you fool. Well, it sort of is but it can be SO valuable. I decided to write a blog about why my client and your business needs Instagram. The client also said my new haircut was lovely. We shall blog about that next week.

It’s not just where the ‘kids hangout’

Instagram, coupled with Snapchat, the social media platform most popular amongst the serial selfie taker and food photography extraordinaire (of course, we are being sarcastic). The fact Instagram is so popular amongst the younger generation and infamous for the place where teenagers can post content that business owners like yourself would see as pointless. Yes, Instagram does have a huge amount of people from a younger demographic but that isn’t the only age group that enjoy the platform. An incredible 110 million users are over the age of 18, 36 millions of these being over 30 and a further 12 millions are over 50! Instagram can be effectively used to target any age demographic. If you’re company isn’t on Instagram, it should be. Below, we have 4 more reasons why we believe this is the case.

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High quality, easily digested content

If you’re a regular reader of our blogs, you’ll be familiar with the term ‘fish where the fish are’. We use the term when explaining the benefits of social media and that is one of them. Social media allows you to go to your potential customers and makes digesting your content easy and convenient for them. Instagram is possibly one of the most simple platforms out there; you post a picture or video (max 15 seconds) with the option of adding a caption & tagging friends if it’s a photo your posting. Instagram place the emphasis on the photo/video when posting and without a photo/video you can’t post. This means that the quality of content on Instagram is much higher than that of other social media networks because they make posting a photo or video compulsory. The concept is simple and the high quality content means that your content is much easier for your audience to digest. If you post content that’s relevant to your brand, people are able to scroll through your Instagram and effortlessly get an idea of what your business is about.
It’s not a ‘passing trend’. Instagram allows the opportunity to give the audience an insight into your company and supplies another platform to showcase why your company is awesome.

There’s always new ideas for social media platforms popping up here and there, creating a small buzz and soon dying out. Instagram certainly isn’t one of these. With over 300 million monthly active users Instagram is a big player in the world of social media. Amongst these millions of users are 65% of the worlds top 100 brands. With that growth coming in under five years, it’s rapidly becoming one of the world’s biggest platforms. Instagram is here to stay and the amount of users is only going to increase, the sooner your business gets to grips with the platform and utilising the power of it, the better.

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Tap into large audiences easily

The hashtag is a well known social media ‘buzz word’ and Instagram has fully embraced the hashtag. Instagram only allows you to search for one of two things, an account or a hashtag, this makes the hashtag much more influential and effective when used on Instagram. Finding out 2 or 3 hashtags that are popular and relevant to your business can give you access to thousands of people that are relevant and interested in you/your brand. A very effective way to quickly and easily market your business. Make sure when you get a haircut, to use #NewHairDontCare and tap into a huge vibrant online conversation about new haircuts. What is the point of getting a haircut if you are not going to post a picture of it on instagram? Heck, what is the point of doing anything if you are not going to post about it on social media?

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Showcase a more casual side of the business

It doesn’t take a genius to work out that social media is a social space. Social media doesn’t just allow you to market your business and expand your customer reach further than word of mouth or more classic marketing techniques could, it allows you to be social. Social media brings a whole new dimension to the world of marketing, a dimension that having your name plastered on a billboard or an ad in the paper doesn’t have. Social media allows you to interact with customers one on one, in real time and make a genuine connection with them. You can show them pictures of ‘behind the scenes’ at your company and have a much more personal approach. When your company is personable, it will naturally instill confidence in potential customers and give them much more reason to invest in you/your brand.

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Post #Mobileggeddon: A Brave New World

Duck and cover! It’s #Mobileggeddon!

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It is the one week anniversary of the #Mobilegeddon tragedy that struck the digital landscape. As we trawl through the debris of awful and non responsive websites, is there anything to learn? Has your website survived? Do you have any idea what I am talking about?

Well, Google’s most recent mobile update sent the digital world into complete panic. On April 21st Google announced: “We will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results.” Google updates their algorithms on a daily basis to keep up with and try to outdo the intelligent SEO specialists trying to cheat the system. Most of the algorithms go unnoticed and unannounced but this one was different. The fact it was announced by Google shows the significance of this change & we have reason to believe that it has in fact, been the biggest change since 2011. The sirens began to sound. Panic filled the streets as websites came crumbling down. Please stay calm, team CHC are here to educate and assist. One at a time, we have enough rations for you all.

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How does this affect you?

Selfishly, all you are interested in how does it affect you. Did you ever hear of women and children first? Anyway, if you are a Google user that regularly makes use of their search engine on your mobile, this will of course benefit you. The update means that mobile searches will rank mobile friendly sites higher than those that are not. This makes the browsing experience for Google’s users a much more enjoyable and easy experience. If you’re a business owner with a website that isn’t mobile friendly, on the other hand, you are probably going to resent this change. With 80% of the internets 3 billion users owning a smartphone, having your site penalised because it isn’t mobile friendly is likely to have a huge effect on the amount of traffic you receive via Google. Shame on whoever built your website to not make it mobile responsive in the first place. Having a website that is not mobile responsive is like having half a haircut and half a haircut will look stupid. I do not care what Paula’s parents let her do with her hair. While under my roof, my rules…..

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How can I resolve this?

Not to frighten you, but there is nothing you are able to do. Your business is doomed.

I jest. As bad as it sounds initially, there is no digital problem that cannot be solved. If you have a website, mobile friendly or not, you’re still going to have an advantage over those that don’t. You’re also going to find making your website mobile friendly, much easier. This change means people are being given the long overdue kick up the backside to update their website and keep up with the advances in the digital world. Don’t get left behind. Resolving the problem that you and your business now face is as simple as making a small investment. This investment will give your site a well deserved face lift and bring it back to its prime. If you could go back to your prime… the teenage years, partying every weekend with not a care in the world, you would, wouldn’t you? Well, your poor website is a victim of ageing that is easily reversible. The poor thing looks drained, he’s struggling with his mortgage repayments, being hassled by the Mrs to get down the gym and stop eating junk food.

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He doesn’t have to suffer like this, he can be young and free again. That, my friend, is something that you can change. So, don’t fear. Mobilegeddon is here, but it won’t affect you for long. Just by reading this blog, you have made a step towards digital excellence & reigning supreme once again. All you have to do now is send us an email (info@www.chcdigital.com) and we’d be happy to help!

As we take time to think about those we have lost in #Mobileggeddon. Let us use this opportunity to build stronger, more responsive and shinier websites. Embrace the brave new world and repopulate it with pretty websites.

Social Media Myths

CHC Digital Website design and Digital marketing London | Mythbusters Many philistines believe that they are social media experts. They hear one or two things about social media and assume that they “get it”. It can be a trickier landscape than you would think. On today’s blog, we are going to bust some common social media and general myths WIDE OPEN. Your life may never be the same. It probably will though. I wouldn’t worry.

CHC Digital Website design and Digital marketing London | Mythbusters
CHC Digital Website design and Digital marketing London | Mythbusters

Customers aren’t on Social Media

“My customers are not on social media”

Boy, oh boy have we heard this one before. As of the third quarter of 2014, Facebook had 1.35 Billion, yes a BILLION monthly active users! Twitters last release of their numbers in 2013 revealed they had 232 million monthly active users (wouldn’t be surprised if that number had doubled by now). Instagram (as of October 2014) had 300 million monthly active users & for all you B2B marketing enthusiasts, LinkedIn revealed they had over 300 million users in over 200 countries and territories back in 2013.

You mean to tell us that amongst those billions of social media users, there aren’t potential clients waiting to be found? Of course there are! With the right strategy implemented and the appropriate amount of time/money invested in to the use of social media you could start to find new customers in a matter of weeks. If that wasn’t the case, the wonderful world of digital marketing & the agencies (like us) that prosper from it wouldn’t be around. Your customers ARE on social media. You may be late to the party, but the party is raging and it is never too late to show up. Ask a family member to drop you around the corner though. It is totally embarrassing getting dropped to the party by a parent.

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You can see the Great Wall of China from space

Sorry folks. Next time you are at a dinner party, best leave this fact behind. Just pray that someone else brings it up so you can take them down a notch. I bet Debra will bring it up. Debra thinks she is sooooo smart…..

Debra: “That reminds me of the time I went to see the Great Wall of China. Do you know it can be seen from space?”
You: “Sorry Debra! It can’t! It can actually be only seen from a low earth orbit and not with an unaided eye!”

That will teach her.

I need to be active on every social network

We can all (well most of us) name multiple social media platforms, even people with the most basic knowledge of the digital world; Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube, Pinterest… The list goes on. Naming and knowing these wonderful platforms, each wonderful in their own way, doesn’t mean we have to be active on every single one of them. The key to successfully marketing your business online is being specific. Specific in targeting your audience, specific in the content you post & specific with what platforms you plan on using. Of course, this raises the question, how am I supposed to know what platform suits me best If I haven’t tried them all? By all means, create accounts on several platforms & give them a try but don’t commit to all of them. Become a master on the platforms that will benefit you most rather than a novices across all. If you’re still stuck, send us a tweet (@chcdigital) or drop us an email (info@www.chcdigital.com) telling us what your business is and who you’re looking to attract and we’d be more than happy to point you in the right direction.

Don’t eat and swim

“Do not go for a swim for an hour after you eat” our parents used to yell. Food does not actually increase the risk of cramps. A full stomach will leave you short on breath however. Who are these people who want to go for a swim after they eat anyway? After a meal, I prefer to wallow in self pity.

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I need to choose only one platform

Yes, we said being active on every social media platform is unnecessary and yes we did say that you should be specific. We meant what we said, but lets be more clear. Social media platforms all have the same basic principles, a social space the allows people to easily connect with other social media users easily & interact with them. But then again, we could argue that all foods have the same basic principles, it’s all there to be eaten, right? Lets stay on the topic of food. Protein, helps our body grow and repair itself. LinkedIn, one of the more formal social media platforms, allows us to grow our business network & interact with other professionals. Fibre, it helps us digest our food. Twitter, with its 140 character limit, helps us digest information by making sure it is limited in size. You get the gist. The point we are trying to make is that social media platforms are fundamentally all the same but each have a different purpose & each have different styles. Some will suit you and your business, some won’t. We recommend finding 2 or 3 that suit your business and using them. Although it may not sound very ‘specific’, it is when finding those 2 or 3 platforms amongst 10’s of others.

Bulls hate the colour red

Bulls are actually colour blind. Bulls are merely reacting to the movements of the bull fighter as an interpreted threat. So, the bull does not hate the red, he hates you waving that annoying piece of cloth in his face.

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You don’t have to hashtag everything

If you hadn’t already noticed, we’re food lovers here at CHC and you guessed it. We are going to bust this 4th and final social media myth in a food related style. We’ve all been guilty of overindulgence in the past and will most likely be guilty of it again in the future. We, as food lovers know all too well, the challenge is knowing when to stop. Overindulging in your food is very similar to the overuse of hashtags. It is great to have a small amount of keyword hashtags when posting on platforms like Instagram & Twitter; It can help you tap in to a wider audience/conversations that are relevant to your content and most importantly, you and your business. Great! Then people start to get carried away, they can’t just stop at 3 pieces of cake. They have four, then five and before they know it the enjoyment of eating such tasty food has disappeared and already forgotten. All they can concentrate on is hoping that the nauseous feeling will pass much sooner than it did the last time they overindulged & ensuring they definitely don’t eat anymore food. Unfortunately, when people over do-it with their hashtags, they don’t have their stomach forcing them to stop. That’s why we’re here to tell you! In a typical post it’s best to limit yourself to a maximum of three hashtags and if they can be included in the caption, as opposed to after, that’s great too! Including them in the caption isn’t crucial, we just think it looks much better to do it that way. By limiting yourself to 3 hashtags you’re ensuring that they are relevant, capable of tapping into a larger audience and aren’t being overused. As for the overindulging on that cake, we can’t help you on that but next time it happens, send us a tweet & include 3 relevant hashtags. It’ll pass the time!

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5 brands that use Snapchat

Snapchat

Snapchat is yet another great way to ensure your business is ‘in tune’ with your target market. The use of it can allow you to go to them and allow them to see your content in a way that suits them. Not the other way round. One of the main benefits of social media is being able to go to the customer. It’s much easier to showcase your business to someone in an environment they’re comfortable with and an environment where they don’t have to do anything to see your content. People will be checking their social media platforms and be active on them with or without your brand’s’ presence, this means that by building a presence and coming to them, you make life easier for them. It takes the consumer less time to look at your social than it does for them to look at your website… you get the gist.

We thought it’d be a good idea to show you how brands are using snapchat as opposed to just telling you so here we go… 5 brands that are using Snapchat, enjoy!

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McDonald’s

McDonald’s, one of the biggest if not THE biggest fast food chain on the planet, have embraced Snapchat and clearly understand its value. They’ve been using the platform to broadcast behind the scenes footage and give their customers an insight in to life behind closed doors. No, when we say behind the scenes, we are not referring to pictures of them cooking their cheeseburgers and frying their chips. They’ve used it to post pictures and videos of well known celebrities and behind the scene snaps of their adverts being filmed using the ‘stories’ function of Snapchat. Snapchat allows you to show an image for 10 seconds. Ironically the same amount of time that it takes me to inhale a McDonald’s meal.

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MTV (UK)

MTV used Snapchat to promote the new series of Geordie Shore (The British version of the US hit Jersey Shore). They, like most of the large brands on Snapchat, used the ‘stories’ function to post pictures of the cast before the show premiered & remind their audience to tune in. Geordie Shore makes me sad. I hope it ends soon.

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Heineken

Heineken went one step further than most other brands, they used Snapchat to make one on one interactions with their customers and rewarded them with exclusive content. They launched a competition, exclusive to their Snapchat, called ‘SnapWho?’. People who correctly guessed the artist were given early confirmation of an act scheduled for the Heineken House stage. This made the brand more personable and rewarded customers for their interaction. A great way to generate positive conversations about your brand and remind people how tasty your beer is! How many times have we received a text message from a friend suggesting a beer which awakens the thirst?

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Michael Kors

The fact that Michael Kors is popular amongst young girls is well documented and makes Snapchat a perfect place for them to be marketing their brand. Snapchat’s main age demographic is between 13 & 23. This makes Snapchat the perfect place for Michael Kors to be interacting with their fan base, that is exactly what they’ve done. MK have already accumulated over 25 million followers across multiple platforms so it was no surprise that their Snapchatting was a hit. Yes, numbers are great, but with a large audience comes a large amount of pressure for them to succeed. They did exactly that. They executed the launch of their snapchat excellently, right down to the timing. They announced their account just hours after their London fashion week show, meaning they capitalised on the conversations surrounding their brands and translated them into numbers. They then posted behind the scenes shots of the fashion show and made users feel like they were getting an exclusive insight in to the world of Michael Kors. An excellent example of a brand recognising their target market, what platform their target market are most active on and capitalising on it.

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GrubHub

GrubHub used the story feature to post a series of tasty photos that act as a trail, leading to promo codes for their online takeaway service. Making this exclusive to Snapchat allows the brand to do two things. They are able to monitor how successful their marketing is on Snapchat and incentivise customers/potential customers to add them on Snapchat so they can access exclusive promo codes. Not only are the promo codes encouraging people to interact with them via Snapchat, it incentivises customers to purchase from them too. Snapchat removes your ‘story’ every 24 hours, this means users would be aware that the promo code would only last a certain amount of time, an excellent strategy when looking to increase sales over a short period of time.

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Rewarding customers for interacting positively with your brand seems to be the common feature throughout. Whether it be financially, with exclusive content or by giving them an insight in to your business. Snapchat is proving to be a dark horse in the world of digital marketing and the brands we have listed are proving that it can be very effective when used properly. Depending on your target market, Snapchat could be a hugely beneficial platform for your brand.

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What Your Business Can Learn From My Tinder Profile

For those of you who are unaware of Tinder (or pretending to be), Tinder is an online dating app that has taken the world by storm. The beast continues to rage with an estimated 450 million profiles rated every day and membership growing by 15% each week. Users are presented with photographs of other Tinderers and you swipe right if you like them or left if you don’t. If both parties swipe right, its a match and you can begin talking. Simple.

We sat around the office joking about social media marketing and how it can apply to online dating. The foundations to a successful online dating profile are very similar to those of a good social media strategy for your business. So, I decided to use my Tinder profile as an example. Thankfully, your business is far more useful and attractive than me so you will be an easier sell! If I can get dates, you can get sales.

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1) Professional Opening

My logic: With this image, the odds of me having a job are strong. It is clearly a professional photograph but I am smiling. I am professional but don’t take myself too seriously. And Most importantly, black and white is slimming.

For your Business: Social media is a more informal landscape but you must have the basics correct. Make sure your logo fits perfectly on your profile and that the relevant links are leading the users to the necessary destinations. Social media allows companies to show more personality and be informal but you need to remain professional.

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2) Be Personable

My logic: I am wearing a “wild” hat. This shows that I have a “wacky” side. I am also smiling in colour which shows that I have the ability to smile and that I am not black and white. I really should trim those eyebrows and get rid of those greys.

For your business: As I keep mentioning, be personable. Do not try to sell to your audience the entire time. Engage with them. Let them get to know those in your business. The more personable your business can become, the more trust the customer will have in you. The more trust the customer has in your business, the more likely they will believe in your product/service and throw loads of money at you.

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3) Build a Community

My logic: Show a picture with some friends to demonstrate that I have the ability to have friends. This is positive PR as it builds the strength in the “Brand Brian”. These people like him, so why shouldn’t you? I am also a proud Irishman so this image very much on brand.

For your business: It is imperative to locate your target market on social media. There is no point in buying “fake” followers. Many purchase followers as it allows you the opportunity to appear successful. You are only fooling yourself. Analyse your competitors, see what they are doing and who is following them. What content receives engagement and what doesn’t. There is an audience for your product on social media. You just need to locate them and plan how to arouse their interest.

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4) Showcase the Experience

My logic: The background is very pretty. It may distract the female from the subject. By showing a beach, we can showcase the experience of being with “Brand Brian”. Perhaps the lovely lady will get the opportunity to walk on beautiful beaches and jump off tyres. This may trigger the memory of the earlier black and white image. “Maybe he is super rich and can take you around the globe?”. He isn’t and he won’t. But this can be discovered at a later date. This was also taken after a year travelling around South America so I have never been so tanned. My lack of tan is no doubt a huge disappointment to the dates upon first meeting. This shall be the first of several disappointments throughout the evening.

For your Business: Social media offers a unique opportunity to showcase the experience of your business/product with a hugely vast audience. You can create an interactive brochure that can be placed in front of both active and passive customers/clients.

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5) Highlight the Positive Side

My logic: Oh, I know. It is so cheap. Cambodian orphans. In my defence, I did work in a Cambodian orphanage for quite some time and it was an incredible experience. But I am fully aware at what a cheap point scorer this is. This image allows the member of the opposite sex to believe that I am not an awful awful person when in reality……

For your Business: Smiling people and social media go hand in hand. If your business is involved in any charity work, social media allows you to sing about it from the rooftops. This will generate support and good will for your business. Social media allows the opportunity drastically improve awareness to your particular charity (the ALS ice bucket challenge for example). Various social platforms also can be used to show the positive working environment in your business. Allowing the audience to see how enjoyable it is to work for and with you will make it much easier to recruit new staff. If your staff are all desperately unhappy, you can photoshop smiles onto them!

Once these elements are implemented in your social media strategy, I have no doubt that all your customers will be swiping right! While your business flourishes, I shall continue in my desperate attempt to find love.

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Be sure to get in touch! with us if you want to take your business to the next level!

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Preparing For War (Creating Your Digital Strategy)

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War! What is it good for? It is time to wage war on the online world. There is a huge digital landscape out there that is ready to be invaded, and by your business! It is time to create a strategy for your business to conquer the rolling hills of the internet. You cannot just say “I want to conquer Twitter”. It takes carefully planning and be realistic, Twitter is HUGE. You cannot compete but you can invade a small section that is relevant to your industry. You need to arm yourself with the correct equipment, train your soldiers for combat and most importantly, understand the terrain that you are planning to take over.

It is your business. You know it far better than anyone and we keep this in mind throughout the battle. Your digital strategy will affect how you look and how you speak online. It is crucial that the strategy represents you and your brand. For example, you will want to stay away from a fun and quirky digital strategy if you run a tombstone business. Your clients are probably not in the best mood when shopping for your product. Throughout any digital campaign, we stay very close with your business to be positive that every message conveyed is suitable and relevant. We are also very insecure and seek constant reassurance that our clients are happy.

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So how do we create a digital strategy for you?

– Establish the goal

Every business wants something different from their digital strategy. Every business REQUIRES something different. What do you want to achieve from the campaign? Do you want to increase your brand awareness? Do you want to sell lots of tombstones? Before creating and implementing the strategy, you need to establish what you need. Each campaign needs to be carefully tailored to suit each goal.

Are you selling to the public or are you business to business? For example, a particular political party may require it for propaganda. They can create a big audience to showcase what they can do for their potential voters. Potential voters have the opportunity to use a variety of different platforms as an interactive brochure. Alternatively you may just want to use different platforms to drive traffic directly to your online store that sells tanks and missiles. It can be confusing to work out what is needed and the best way to go about this, thankfully that is where we come in! We can craft a bespoke digital strategy that will get the best out of your digital potential. We have an impressive arsenal to chose from and we know exactly when and where to strike.

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– Research competitors

It is crucial to understand what your competitors are doing in this space. It would be naive to enter the battlefield blind. We have a team of specially trained snipers in camouflage who will watch your competitors like a hawk before you launch. What are they doing right and where are they going wrong? Through analysing their online presence, we can maximise your online potential . As Pablo Picasso said “Good artists copy; great artists steal”. We shall steal and then sprinkle some original magic on top to give you a competitive edge. They won’t know what hit them.

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– Create tone and content strategy

Do you want to motivate, entertain or educate? Every tweet, youtube video or update is how your business will be perceived. This is a wonderful opportunity to show the world how great your service is but it is also represents a possibility for a PR disaster if not done carefully. From establishing the goal and researching your competitors, CHC Digital are able to assess and recommend the best tone to adopt and the content that will interest your target market the most. Your target market may respond better with slow infiltration (building trust in the brand) rather than a high impact strike at the beginning (a big sale or discount to announce your business).

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– Analyse Results

The digital world is constantly changing and evolving. What worked yesterday, may not work tomorrow. It is key to analyse every piece of content that is shared. Why did this work and more importantly, why did this NOT work? Constantly monitoring your performance can help drive the strategy and supply it with added momentum when required. Our social sergeants, content chiefs and distribution deputies analyse every move that is made to make sure the next siege on the digital landscape will be stronger than the last and takes no prisoners.

Be careful out there, soldier. We are here to help every step of the way and there will be no friendly fire. We will remain in the trenches with you throughout. Never leave a good man behind.

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4 Reasons Why Email Marketing Can Rock Your World

Receiving spam emails about products you do not want are really annoying. The challenge is to make these emails not annoying and make you think you want the product! Clever email marketing campaigns can re-engage with sleepy subscribers and improve interaction with your already active audience. Here are 4 reasons why email marketing is still as crucial as ever…..

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1) Easy Way To Reach Mobile Customers

In 2014, the amount of mobile users surpassed those who use a desktop. Whether you like it or not, our mobile is now another appendage of the human anatomy. 80% of internet users own a smartphone. The fact is, for many, email is the most commonly used application on their smart mobile. Email is now mobile and released from the chains of the desktop, or even laptop any more. Smartphones are making it easier and easier to send and receive emails. You can interact with your audience on the device that they love/cherish/need the most. The audience WILL check their emails. It is just up to the campaign to make your email worth opening. It isn’t easy to keep the attention of your mobile readers. They will not read just anything. It needs to arouse interest and encourage engagement. Keep your content brief and to the point. Mobile users are exactly that, mobile. They are on the move and have better things to do. Make your message worthwhile and interesting. Your audience will thank you for it.

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2) Won’t Break The Bank

Email marketing campaigns allow businesses to reach a far greater number of active and passive customers at a rate of pennies per mail. For small-business owners on a budget, this makes it a better choice than traditional and much more expensive marketing platforms (TV/Radio/Print). Email campaigns also avoid printing restrictions and costs (not to mention all the trees you are saving!). The glory of email marketing is that you can set any budget. You can spend as much or as little as you want. The reach and results will vary but you will have results!

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3) Targeting, In-depth analytical and tracking tools

Depending on the size of the email database and the ability of the content creator, emails can range from simple to very complicated. Emails can be personalised to include the name of the user and even more. There is a wide variety of detailed and in-depth tracking tools, allowing you to see who has or hasn’t opened your email. It is also possible to see what links have been followed when in the email. A bit creepy? Yes. But it does allow you to profile your ideal customer and discover what stimulates engagement. Email marketing offers insight to those who are not engaging. This information can be crucial when revising your campaigns to better communicate with your audience.

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4) Purchase friendly

We are already very used to receiving offers by emails. Customers have developed an acceptance when it comes to deals via email. They expect and anticipate it. This makes it less of a cold sell and therefore, an easier sale. If done correctly, an email campaign can add value to the customers online experience. You can make the customers life easier with your product while simultaneously educating them about your brand. This means they begin to not only expect offers from you, but to desire them. Email campaigns are a great way to attract active and passive customers while also maximising the opportunity to capture impulsive buyers. There are few digital marketing techniques which customers can go from being alerted of a product to purchasing an item within a few clicks.

And remember, no matter what riches he may offer. Stay away from that Nigerian prince…..

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4 Elements of Digital Marketing

There are many, many, many strands of digital marketing. It can be very overwhelming to even know where to start. I have found many a business owner, hiding under a desk and sobbing over their digital marketing strategy. It is time to climb out from under that desk, wipe your eyes and get cracking. To make this mountain slightly easier to climb, I have broken down digital marketing into 4 elements. To make it even easier for you to understand, I am using the analogy of THE 4 elements (Earth, Wind, Water & Fire). How relevant each strand is to the element will be up for debate but lets suspend disbelief for a small period of time.

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EARTH: Content Marketing (Blogs, Podcasts, Videos)

The basis of any digital marketing strategy. The launching point. The backbone. The earth we stand on. Content Marketing, a broader term than Social Media Marketing, is the marketing of any form of content online that is being used to attract and retain customers. The type of content varies, depending on the client/brand. It can be anything from blogs (useful for SEO), videos and podcasts. Blogs allow you to showcase your level of expertise and flaunt your business model. Videos are a fun way to present information to your target market, easily and conveniently & Podcasts allow you to show that you’re a thought leader and enable you to broadcast your personal views, company news & reviews to your audience. All of these, coupled with a good social media marketing strategy (to generate traffic to the content being marketed) can generate a huge amount of success for your business. Without a solid content marketing plan, you will not be able to fully maximise the other elements. Treat the earth well and your digital marketing strategy will have the potential to grow and grow!

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WIND: Email Marketing

Many marketeers believe email marketing is still the most effective marketing technique. It is hard to argue against it. Like a huge gust of wind, your message flies off into the distance and directly into your audiences email. Email Marketing is a direct form of marketing to a large audience, using email. Anything sent to a potential customer/client can be considered email marketing but the form of marketing that is most commonly considered ‘Email Marketing’ is mass emails sent to a large email list about the latest you have to offer. For more information, see here

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WATER: SEO Marketing

I have absolutely no idea how to compare SEO Marketing and water. What do they even have in common? My earlier attempts were pushing it at best but I fear I cannot make the connection with this one. Water and SEO are both………wet? It will have to do. SEO Marketing is all about your ranking on search engines (Google, Yahoo etc). The general aim is to be on the first page, anything below isn’t usually regarded as a successful ‘SEO Marketing’ campaign. The idea of SEO is to make your company website or related links to be pushed up the search rankings for various key word searches. For example, a flooring company would want their company to be on the first page when people search ‘flooring’.

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FIRE: Social Media Marketing

The most dangerous & potentially lethal element. Social media platforms offers you the opportunity to reach thousands of potential customers. Social Media Marketing (SMM) is a handy service that entails using various Social Media sites to generate traffic to the clients website/their brand as a whole. SMM campaigns are usually based around producing high quality, interesting content that arouses interest in the brand and encourages viewers to share. SMM is a very powerful marketing tool that can be adapted to suit anyone or anything you desire. Social Media, unlike any other marketing technique, enables you to accurately focus on your target market and bring your brand to them. Your message has the possibility to spread like wild fire but be careful, social media platforms are also you voice so a silly mistake could leave you badly burnt.

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“I Do” – Social Media & The Wedding Industry

I, CHC Digital, take the reader,
to be my potential client,
secure in the knowledge that you will be
my constant friend,
my faithful partner in business,
and my one true campaign.

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Your wedding day, arguably one of the most memorable days of your life. Everything has to be perfect! Now, as much as people would like to think they can organise the perfect wedding all by themselves, it’s a hard task. That’s where wedding planners come in, wedding planners can take care of all your pre, post & wedding day problems to ensure you really do have the perfect wedding day.

So, how can the wedding industry benefit from the use of Social Media?

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Showcase The Experience

As a wedding planner, there’s no better way to showcase your service. Social media gives you the freedom to create & share content that’s relevant to your industry to people who are interested in your area of work. There are 387 million people with active social accounts in Europe alone, just creating an account online gives you the chance to tap in to such a large audience. Social media, when used correctly, can be used as an advertising platform that can give you access to thousands of potential customers at a much lower cost than you’d find in mainstream advertising (Billboards, Tube ads etc). Social media is a powerful tool and it is there to be utilised. You can create an interactive brochure to flex your wedding planning muscles and demonstrate why without your planning, their wedding will be a disaster.

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Retweet, Monitor & Engage

The benefits of social media don’t stop at being able to showcase your business. Social media allows you to monitor your competitors, conversations about your industry and even conversations about your brand. You can retweet positive comments about the industry or your brand in particular and engage with people who share the same interest. The clue’s in the name, it’s a social space, be social! Share your thoughts on the latest events in the wedding industry, keep in touch with previous clients & recruit new ones. Sharing your thoughts and opinions allows you to be seen as a thought leader in your social space. You want followers to respect your opinion and see you as a resource. So, when the time comes for you to fix Max & Sarah’s wedding, they already are actively following and engaged with your brand. I fear there is no saving that wedding though. A Nickleback tribute band? Really Nick? If you are monitoring & engaging with online conversations based around your line of work, it will encourage others to do the same. If a previous client notices your online efforts, it will encourage them to share their experience of your service with their following. Turn your clients into brand ambassadors. This experience being posted will allow you to retweet, share or re-post it to your following and be seen by a potential customer.

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Content

People don’t go on social media to look at the design of the site itself or enjoy the logo. They go on there for the content. The freedom of posting whatever you like means the possibilities really are endless when posting online. You can use your various accounts to share client news, pictures of the perfect wedding you’ve just planned or tips on planning the wedding itself. As mentioned before, people can showcase their experience with your service and you can include that in your content. You can run contests to boost awareness and increase the amount of people that see your brand & even run polls to get an accurate answer to a burning question your brand has for the public. You can then further showcase your brand by sharing the results of the poll with your following. You can even tap into well known celebrities fandom’s by posting content of their wedding day’s etc.

The moral of the story is, we share everything nowadays. The dinner we cooked, the holiday we just went on and any preparations leading up to your/your best friend’s wedding. The conversations are happening. Get involved. Fish where the fish are! If you work in the wedding industry and interested in chatting about what social media can do for you, please get in touch!

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We shall end with easily the best wedding picture of all time.

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Why Your Restaurant Needs Social Media

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1. Allows you to showcase your food

We all have that one friend that can’t stop posting pictures of her food on Instagram, don’t we? Sure, it gets annoying but, it gets interaction doesn’t it?

Now, Imagine that food wasn’t just something from the local takeaway or scrambled egg on toast that your friend made herself. Imagine it was restaurant quality food that was posted by an actual restaurant, that certainly wouldn’t be annoying, Would it?

Social Media, when used correctly, can be a direct link to thousands of hungry people that could potentially buy your food. It will give your restaurant the opportunity to showcase your food & entice people into buying your produce. Allow the world to get a glimpse of your casino themed steak restaurant, “High Steaks”.

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2. Enhances the customer experience

As mentioned in the previous point, we all have a friend that loves to distribute images of their food on social media & a restaurant is the perfect place for that friend to do that. Jane is dying to share pictures from your Thai restaurant that specialises in seafood, “Thaitanic”. When dining out, people aren’t just paying for their food. They’re paying for the experience. If you encourage your customers to interact with you via social media, you could be contributing to their restaurant experience.

3. Build trust in your brand/restaurant

When encouraging people to share their experience online and your restaurant interacts with it, you are demonstrating transparency and building trust between you and the customer. It shows that you are so confident in the experience you are providing that you are keen for that experience to be shared. If you’re wondering what happens when people don’t enjoy their experience & share it online, our next point will explain how that can be managed too. How do you expect “Tequila Mockingbird” to get started without trust in the brand?

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4. Manage customer reviews

So, you’ve had a bit of a disaster. A few of your customers are unhappy with the service they’ve received at your restaurant and have decided to take to Twitter to vent their frustrations. The way this is dealt with can have a huge impact on the restaurants reputation and could actually work out to benefit you in the long run. By being on Social Media, you can tackle this frustration head on by perhaps offering them a complimentary meal, Finding out the cause of their frustration and dealing with it or simply offering them an apology. Social Media allows you to interact with your customers and showcase the management of your reviews to more potential customers. A bad comment about your restaurant can easily be turned into an opportunity to show how good your restaurant is & how efficiently you deal with negativity. Do not let the haters get the best of “Frying Nemo”.

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5. Online Table Booking

The beauty of Social Media is that it’s so flexible. Asides from the basic look & structure of Social Media sites, it is more or less controlled by the users. This means you are able to do stuff like online books via Social Media. People can just tweet the time, date & amount of people they want to book in for and you can pencil in that booking online. This brings something very valuable to the customer, convenience. People no longer have to go out of their way to book a table. They can do it whilst scrolling down their feed, something they’d be doing anyway. With, or without the ability to book a table. Make it as easy for guests to reserve a table in your bakery, “Bread Zeppelin”.

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6. Fill up seats on a ‘quiet day’

So, you’ve not had many customers in the door and the day’s coming to an end. Why not let your loyal Social Media followers know that there’s a happy hour down at the restaurant, or perhaps offer a discount on their food if they provide a discount code that you’ve posted? Embrace the power of Social Media, don’t ignore it.

There’s hundreds of reasons your restaurant should be putting more effort into the use of Social Media and we hope these 6 will encourage you to start doing so. Don’t pass up the opportunity to improve your restaurant and increase your customer base. Get in touch! and let’s Wok and Roll!

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Batman

Some Of Twitter’s Most Entertaining Tweets

January sucks, right? Christmas is over. The weather is getting worse and lets face it, your clothes are considerably more tight than before all those Christmas chocolates. CHC Digital care. We care about you. Yes, you. We want you to smile and not let January get you down so indulge us for a moment. Allow us to cheer you up….if only very briefly. When this blog ends, it will unfortunately be January. Unless you are reading this after January then……CONGRATULATIONS! Wasn’t January awful? But for the rest of us. We are live. In January. Anyway, let us have a look on the lighter side of life.

Twitter, something that we all know and love, it is a great way to discover what’s going on in real time across the globe and famed for being able to show you small, digestible chunks of information on your timeline that are tailored to suit you. You choose who you follow, meaning, you choose what you see on your timeline. But if Twitter was just there to show you small bits of information then it wouldn’t be much fun, would it? For a large majority of Twitter users, it’s not just about the latest news or what Lauren’s watching on TV as opposed to doing her work that’s long overdue. It’s about the fact that Twitter has no structure, it is a place where people can see funny comments, photos or jokes about something relevant to them.

Each year, we tweet nearly 200 billion times. This means that Twitter is such an active platform that when there’s tweets about something in the news or a particular event, there’s funny tweets in equal proportion. We thought we’d spend a bit of time finding some of these small chunks of laughter & quick wit to share with you. Enjoy!

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Case closed.


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50 Cent has clearly forgotten his roots. His grandmother has not.

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Sean Cranbury has saved many people much pain. Thank you, Sean.

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The perfect crime.

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Priorities are everything.

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But goddammit, we will look good in the mean time.

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A point well made.

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A new land. A new life. Good luck, Josh. I reckon you will need it.

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Credit where credit is due.

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Love can be a confusing emotion……and finally….

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Argument OVER.

I hope this helps ease your January blues. Be strong. Its over soon.

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We want a winner. Join our team!

After a really great year and some recent victories. We are expanding once more. We need a Business Development & Account Manager.

We are looking for a top-level Business Development Manager for a London based Design & Marketing Agency. We are a flexible team of talented digital entrepreneurs, driven by originality and passionate about invention. We are now looking to take on an in-house Business Development Manager to work as part of our team to take our clients and company to the next level. The opportunities are infinite. We are a rapidly growing company and we offer great career prospects with multiple opportunities to boost your earnings & lead your own team. We believe in rewarding ingenuity and hard work, there are UNCAPPED bonus schemes in place which will recognise your success. We want a winner.

What will the job entail?

– Take ownership of companies sales by identifying opportunity for brand development within strategically important accounts
– Target key accounts to further develop the brand portfolio
– Manage day to day client relationships
– Having a beer on a Friday
– The breadth of skills required to take a sale from ‘cradle to grave’
– Confidence approach
– An innate desire to be successful and a willingness to make the commitment that this requires as well as the resilience to deal with the inevitable bad days
– A track record of high achievement in previous roles
– Enjoyable, social and challenging working environment.
– Targeting clients, initially creating interest through your telephone sales skills before meeting them face to face to close the deal

Key Qualities for the role:

– A strong desire to succeed and implement action plans to secure results
– Is able to demonstrate a track record of delivering and managing a number of key projects at the same time
– Highly self-motivated with the ability to work on their own
– Demonstrates strong relationships with previous customers
– Self-starting, entrepreneurial & highly adaptable in a rapidly changing market place
– Conversing and negotiating confidently and successfully with senior decision makers in the corporate world

If you think you have these qualities, or would just be interested in a friendly, informal chat, please contact us here

Salary – £21,000 – £45,000.

The Most Promising Social Media Platform of 2015

Congratulations, you have made it to the second week of 2015! And whilst your mood might have declined ever so slightly being as you’re back in the world of work and inevitably, back to reality. The use of Social Media certainly hasn’t. It is time to put down the cake and get motivated.

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So, now the Christmas festivities and New Year celebrations are over, it’s time to focus on what we can do to benefit our businesses in the coming year. Being a digital marketing agency, we thought, why not start with Social Media? How do we know what can benefit your business in the New Year? We here at CHC Digital can actually predict the future. Technically, we could just supply you with lotto numbers and you can become a millionaire but where is the fun in that? We would much rather help you make millions with your business! It will be far more rewarding. You will thank us in the long run. We will include some events that will happen in 2015 to get you excited for the new year.

2015 Fun Fact – London Bus’s will be re-named to “Busy User Transportation Terminals” or B.U.T.T. The change will be relatively unsuccessful and will only last 3 months. The re-branding exercise proved to be a pain in the B.U.T.T.

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Social media experts like ourselves are constantly looking for the best place to be in the world of social media and we thought we’d give you an insight into where that place actually is.

Towards the end of 2014, Instagram reached 300 million monthly active users, 16 million more than its main rival Twitter. This growth has, of course, continued into early 2015 and gives us reason to believe it’ll do the same in 2016. Reason being, although Social Media giant Facebook has over 1 billion registered users, the amount of these that are active remains unclear. What is clear though, is the huge growth that both Twitter & Instagram continue to show.

2015 Fun Fact – In an attempt to strengthen ties with South America, the President of The US will adopt a Llama. Mr. Obama will name his new pet “Osama”. This will inspire a reality TV show. “Barak Obama’s Osama the Llama” will be cancelled after 2 short weeks.

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We feel that going into 2015, as a business, the best place for your company to be is on Twitter & Instagram. Facebook is a good platform to use but to see impressive results, an advertising budget and Facebook Advertising professional is required (in most cases that is). Twitter & Instagram, on the other hand, do not. At most, all that would be needed to see positive results on the both of them would be a professional Social Media manager.

Twitter & Instagram don’t require any advertising budget to access your following, unlike Facebook who, once you’ve gained a large following, then make you pay for that following to see your content that’s being posted on their feed. This reason, coupled with the fact that these two Social Media sites are showing the most impressive growth in terms of active users means that using them in 2015 is surely a no brainer.

2015 Fun Fact – You will get in touch! with CHC Digital & we will help your business reach the next level!

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Turn your WordPress into a WordYES! (3 Simple Tips for Improving Your WordPress Website)

1. Stylish AND Functional

Bad web designers often make the mistake of focusing their efforts on making a website look pretty as opposed to making it functional. This approach is a big mistake when wanting to create a beautiful user experience; a visitor requires functionality AND beauty. Not one or the other. Your Taylor Swift tribute website may look great with all the latest pictures from Taylor’s tour of Malaysia but if it affects the usability, I shall not wait around. I shall find a rival Taylor Swift fan site and never return.

Yes, these fancy, unique designs are great but when not created efficiently, they are typically a usability nightmare. The average web user expects a certain standard and has a million other websites fighting for their attention. If your site is not easy on the eyes and the brain, it will frustrate the user and what do they do when they get frustrated? They leave. It’s like when Avril Lavigne started to add rap parts to her songs. Come on Avril, stick to what we expect. We appreciate the effort but seriously, stop.

It takes two to tango! So make sure that your style and functionality are dancing to the same awesome beat.

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There’s nothing wrong with sticking to the basics and using a standard blog layout (a header, followed by the main content and a sidebar, followed by the footer). These basic design layouts don’t stop you from standing out from the crowd. There is a lot that can be done to make them striking. Let’s face it, Pitbull has been releasing the same song for the past few years but with different titles and collaborations. I know Pitbull is not a great example but some people like him. If you have as many fans of your website as Pitbull’s music does, you are doing very well. Please make your website better than Pitbull and his music. Please. For the rest of our sanity.

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2. Make Navigation Easy and Obvious

Navigating through your site should be effortless for the end user. They should have one or more navigational elements presented to them that make it easy for them to find what they are looking for.

These are the navigational elements that users are familiar with. These are a safe bet when making your site easy to navigate through. If I cannot find the exact information about Vanilla Ice that I came to your website to find, quickly, I shall find somewhere else. Maybe that rival Taylor Swift fan site has a detailed list of stores where I can pick up a “Ice Ice Baby” dressing gown?

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3. An informative Homepage

Most of the time your homepage will be, by far and away, the most visited page on your site. This is because it is an obvious entry point, much like a front door on a house. If you can walk through the door, you’re not going to try and climb through the windows, are you? If you generally enter houses through a window, you are entering houses incorrectly. You need to work on your basic entering property skills before you build your wordpress site. Priorities.

In addition to being an obvious entry point, it is an obvious next step for people when they first visit your site through any page.

The fact the homepage is the most visited page means that making sure it is easy to understand and informative is essential. The homepage should include the navigational elements listed above and be simple, but effective. Think of it as a news article headline, it needs to be simple enough for a person to easily digest, informative enough to give the person an idea of what to expect and intriguing enough to encourage the person to read on.

In summary the essentials are: clean design & simple, easy navigation, informative homepage, be better than Pitbull and Vanilla Ice wholesaler information. If you can nail the above tips then you will be well on your way to having a thoroughly engaging website. Thanks for reading & good luck with improving your website!

Be sure to get in touch! with us if you want to take your WordPress website to the next level!

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6 Reasons Why Your Website Is Upsetting Santa

HO HO NO! Santa is not impressed with you, readers.

It is the most wonderful time of the year. All of us from CHC towers want to wish you a merry christmas but you will have to earn a happy new year. Word has gotten out that you barely made Saint Nick’s nice list. Mr. Claus admired your online attempts but he is very disappointed that you really did not kick on in 2014. 2015 can be your year and consolidate yourself on the nice list for eternity.

Santa has kept up with the times. So why haven’t you? Santa is on twitter, Facebook and instagram. He blogs, vlogs & podcasts. I have a sneaking suspicion that he is also on Tinder but keep that under your hat. You know how Mrs. Claus gets, especially with Santa’s recent amount of “working late” excuses.

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But how do we get you & your small business back on Santa’s good side? Here are 6 reasons why we think your website is upsetting Santa!

1) Visually:

“I love your excessive use of yellow” – Said no one ever.

Is your website a Rudolph or a Donner? What does Donner look like? Yeah, exactly. No one knows. Donner could be sitting beside you on a bus and you wouldn’t know. It would be weird that a reindeer is sitting on a bus but that is not the point. Back to your website. You want it to make a great first impression. We all love developers but they often are not that design savvy. Their priorities lie in the smooth running of the website. A beautifully designed website can dramatically improve the user experience. Your message can roll off the screen and into the users heart.

Make sure your website designers believe in love on the inside and OUT!

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2) Lacks Focus & Message:

“I loved how long it took for me to understand what you were selling” – Yeah, no one said that ever either.

What is the point of your website? You only have a few seconds to capture and maintain your users attention. Especially when “All I Want For Christmas” by Mariah Carey is coming to an end on his youtube tab. For example, if you are selling anti-depressants for elves, it’s crucial that your user (Santa) knows who you are, what you do, how & where they can get the cure for low elf esteem.

Those elves need to get back to school to learn the Elf-abet! Too much time has been missed.

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3) Hard to Find (Poor SEO):

“It is a great idea to make your website impossible to find” – Aye, same same.

Google is no longer just a search engine. It is a league table. The best place to bury a dead body is the second page of Google. There is very little point in creating a glorious website without anyone to see it. It may as well be at the bottom of the sea. What did the sea say to Santa? Nothing, it just waved.

Santa may find your well behaved children in the middle of the nowhere but the standard user will not find you or your business. However, the evolving nature of search engines means you may not keep reaching the top spot as your competitors adjust their search terms. Here at CHC, we offer advanced SEO. This is an ongoing service that ensures the continued development of your own search terms to keep you in the best possible position.

Santa has a clever way of using SEO. Mr. Claus tends to hire a smelly elf as CEO because he gets RANK.

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4) Uses Flash:

“You know how everyone uses their phones to go online nowadays? I really commend you for not going with the flow.” – Nope. No one.

Flash does not work on Apple mobile devices and Santa is always on the go. St. Nick needs to check his various apple products throughout the Christmas period. The iPad alone represents a 1/4 of all web traffic and Adobe are kicking it to the curb for mobile devices. Think about it, is the dancing elf on your homepage really necessary? Just because you find it funny, doesn’t mean that everyone else does. Your website must suit everyone, you cannot be elfish about this.

Unless you don’t want Santa to find you. What are you? Claustrophobic?

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5) Content:

“The last blog posted in 2005…..inspirational idea” – Someone might have said that, but very sarcastically.

Your content needs to be consistent. Plenty of small businesses are capable of creating brilliant and fresh content but will not do it enough. 1 blog a year is not enough. Your content is not Santa Claus. We expect it more than once a year. Consistent blogs will hugely help your SEO and help show the world that you are a thought leader. It is time to show off your knowledge rather than thinking it is your secret weapon. No more being a mince spy.

What’s Santa’s secret weapon? The fact that he is still able to go down the chimney despite it being declared unsafe by the Elf and Safety Commission. However, commuting via chimney does soot him.

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6) Awful user experience:

“I spent so long trying to find the buy button…..it was so much fun” – You do understand sarcasm, yes?

The user experience is everything. Every successful company has a superb user experience. The experience must be easy and painless. How did Santa get so popular? It is no coincidence that all you have to do is write a list of things you want and place them up the chimney. It could help that Santa gives away free presents but the user experience, without a doubt, is superbly enjoyable. A great user experience can do wonders. It is proven to increase sales, brand awareness, improve Google search results and generate happiness even in the most scrooge like characters.

How did Ebenezer Scrooge win the football game? The ghost of christmas passed!

Merry Christmas from all here at CHC Digital. Get in touch! to talk about creating a website that will make Santa delighted!

CHC Digital want your website with a nose so bright, to guide the user’s sleigh tonight.

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Santa’s Social Media Naughty List

This is obviously a very busy time of the year for Santa Claus and we thought we could help the old boy out with his naughty list. Here are 5 of our lowlights. Hopefully lessons have been learnt, if not, see you next year!

1) Transport For London

TFL Overground (@LDNOverground), back in April 2014, felt that the best way to reply to a frustrated customer who was subject to delays would be to advise him on his travelling times:

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Mr Brown later received an apology from the company but wasn’t satisfied with the apology and emailed customer services in the hope it was taken seriously. Social media is a great way to build up a warm fuzzy feeling around your brand. Through real time response and digital customer service, you can turn a negative into a positive. Alternatively, like Transport For London, you can turn a negative into a SUPER negative. You have been warned.

2) The Bonneville

The Bonneville (opened in June 2014) was, at the time, in its first week of opening and holding a launch party. During the event, someone was stabbed over the road and entered the pub asking for help. This unfortunate event led to some shockingly insensitive tweets from the pub:

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Of course, in typical social media fail fashion, the company followed up their tweets with a very ‘sincere’ apology the next day. It is always nice to use articles like this as an educational launching pad. What can we learn about these dreadful tweets? You would like to think that poking fun at a stab victim would be fairly obvious but just incase you didn’t know……don’t do that…

3) Chrysler

Ever tweeted from the wrong account? Not much of a big deal when managing your personal accounts but when managing an account professionally it’s a disaster! Here’s an example of what can happen if you’re not careful:

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After dropping the f-bomb, it’s no wonder the agency responsible lost Chrysler Autos as a client. I cannot help but feel sympathy for the poor individual behind it. Of all of the tweets for you to accidentally post on behalf of your client. No one would have minded if you accidentally posted about Chrysler’s love of ice cream. It certainly did not help that the Chrysler slogan at the time was “Imported from Detroit.”

4) HMV

If you’re looking at firing your Social Media Manager, make sure they no longer have access to the account. Here’s the reason why, courtesy of HMV:

HMV Twitter feed

HMV Twitter feed

I doubt this person had very much chance of a healthy redundancy payment after this online outburst. Change your passwords, people. And not to “password”.

5) Celeb Boutique

On the day of the famous Aurora shooting in the US, Celeb Boutique showed us exactly how devastating the lack of hashtag research can be. Celeb Boutique assumed that the “Aurora” trend was about a Kim Kardashian inspired dress of theirs. Little did they know, it was about a mass shooting at a cinema in Aurora, Colorado.

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Unfortunately, it turned out that Celeb Boutique’s PR agency were not based in the US and were clearly braindead.

Social Media, like life, can be simple. Just don’t be an idiot and we can all have a good time. Get in touch! and let’s make your social media strategy remain firmly on Santa’s nice list.

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Why Do I Need A Website?

Do I really need to explain why you need a website? Really?

REALLY?!

Ok, if you insist.

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Yes, there was a time when people used the newspaper to see what’s on the telly and The Yellow Pages to look for their local plumber. For the large majority of consumers, That ship has sailed. The ship has sailed to the new world in search of new spices and to continue Spanish colonisation of the world but that’s a different story. If you want to read about that, buy a history book. This is a digital blog, stupid.

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A large majority of consumers, from all age demographics, use the internet as their first point of contact when looking for information on something/someone. This includes businesses. It is the best way to find out the information you’re looking for quickly and easily. This makes having a website very important. I don’t want to frighten you but your rivals have a pretty brilliant website. It makes me like your rivals more. Your rivals don’t have a website? Excellent! You can be pioneers in your field. You can be like Christopher Columbus but instead of “discovering” America, you can set up a website.

A website is almost like an online, mass distributed CV for your business. It is an opportunity to show people what your company has to offer on an international scale. According to Profit Works’ 93% of business purchases decisions start with a search engine. This means, if you don’t have a website you could be limiting yourself to just 7% of your target market. Aside from that, the lack of web presence could mean that people who find out about your company offline could be deterred from your company. So, they’ve been told about your company and are pretty keen, they take to google to look it up and find absolutely nothing. How are they going to contact you? How are they going to find out more? They can’t.

A website means that you are no longer limited to the physical proximity of your business. Your business can be based in London and you could have consumers in New York. Of course, this depends on what type of business you’re running but it is one of many upsides to having a website that is worth mentioning.

At the very least, your website is a basic source of information that can be accessed easily. It offers an insight into your company and can be the deciding factor for a consumer when making their decision on what company is right for them.

Despite what’s been said in previous paragraphs, if your website hasn’t been done properly, it might as well have not been done at all.

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With each sentence of this blog that you are reading, you are losing business. Quick! Stop reading this and hurry up! You need a website. Luckily, we can help so get in touch!!

Seriously?! You are still reading this?!?! Think of the loss of earnings!

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Social Media: Advertising or PR?

Every business wants something different from Social Media. Every business REQUIRES something different from Social Media. It is key for your business to establish what is required. It is also key to set REASONABLE targets. The majority of agencies will not be able to make your wedding video a “viral sensation”. I am not saying that it is impossible but the odds of your wedding video being successful without you looking like a fool, will be low.

It’s always hard to know what to expect when investing in Social Media management for your business; the social landscape for marketers is still a place where rules are yet to be written. Some companies view their Social Media as a form of PR because of the convenient, fast paced interaction between brand and customer. Social Media is a real-time, open dialog between company and customers. This environment requires the kind of rapid turnaround and message controls that PR groups excel at. This means, you wouldn’t be wrong in saying Social Media is, in fact, PR. It is important to be VERY careful when playing with real time response and reaction. It is also very important to not be a complete fool, like our friends Kmart.

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Sending condolences: Fine. Adding your promotional Hashtag: #NotFine

“I am very sorry for your loss. BUY MY PRODUCT!”.

Let’s not just focus on the negative and see how well it can be done.

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Great job, Seamless. The food was still late but you can’t win them all. Let’s hope that Amy’s food arrived and was worth the wait.

On the other hand, Social Media also allows you to build a large following, sell and inform people. Social doesn’t have to be used to ensure that existing customers are happy, it can be used to attract new customers. If you’re pushing out information about your brand and what you offer as a company to a large number of people then that is, of course, advertising, So…In simple terms, Social Media can be used for PR and Advertising. It depends on what you’re expectations are and what you are looking to achieve from the use of Social Media and what goals you use to define success.

If you want to engage in conversation, build and maintain a healthy relationship with your customers and post information about the company then your effort on Social are probably going to be PR orientated.

If you want to build a large following, tap into real-time conversations in your area of business and make sales through Social then your efforts are going to be predominantly sales orientated.

Essentially, Social Media is both but you should put more emphasis on what suits your company without losing track of the other. Is it a cop out to start the blog asking if Social Media is PR or Advertising and end the piece with the answer being both? Yes. Definitely. Send your complaints to @CHCDigital and our customer service team will look after you.

Does your business require digital advertising & PR? What a coincidence! That’s exactly what we specialise in. Get in touch!

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Social Media Scares Me, I Hate it & I Don’t Know What to Do With It

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So….. You are told that your company needs to be on Social Media and have decided to give it a try. You’ve created an account but you’re struggling to remember to post every day and it often gets put off because it seems like such a thankless task. Only your Aunt is engaging with your posts. It has been two weeks and you don’t have 8 million Facebook likes. What’s the point?

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Social Media can often be treated as if it’s a burden and the poor short term results can make it seem pointless (No offence, Aunty Jill). Like most things in life, you get out of Social Media what you put in. If you’re tweeting irregularly and aren’t interacting with other users, there’s no wonder you’re not getting the results you feel you deserve. Your content needs to be consistent & engaging. It is also a social space. You need to talk with your followers. Not at them. If you went to a party and only spoke AT people, without listening, you are clearly an as**ole and will not be invited to any of my parties. Same same. Don’t be a digital as**ole.

When managing your Social Media platforms, you don’t have to go on and manually post every day. Buffer, a third party application that can be used on the internet and in the form of an iOS/Android app, is a content sharing platform that allows you to schedule your content. This
simple tool will enable you to post your future content. Social Media is a 24 hour game so you can schedule content all through the night if you want. No more setting your alarm at 3am to post a hilarious meme. You will be forgiven to have a few hours sleep. Maximum 5. After that, back to work. I am not running a charity.

Now you’ve mastered how to manage the content, all you need to do is make sure it’s consistent and of value to your target market. All of which is easily doable with the use of Buffer and some investment of time. Don’t fall into the trap of using other people’s content or posting a ‘funny’ picture that’s already been posted thousands of times online. This doesn’t give anybody incentive to follow you.

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To cut a long story short, if you’re a beginner on Social Media, all you need to concentrate on is investing some time into creating a strategy that suits your business, produce good content and positively interact with other Social Media users. Someone has to start the conversation, don’t they?

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Are you terrified of all things social? Get in touch! and let’s see how we can help!

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Why Social Media Won’t Die Anytime Soon

“The Twitterbook? That won’t last.”

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Sorry, Grandma. It is time to accept that Social Media is going nowhere. It will outlive you and your children and your children’s children and your…..well, maybe not them. The robotic revolution would have destroyed mankind by then. We had a good run. Do not worry, our future robotic overlords were merciful in mankind’s demise. Until the moment when computers decide to turn humanity back to factory settings, Social Media won’t be going anywhere. In fact, it is likely that the use of Social Media will increase in the next year.

Here’s why:

– Since 2012, Facebook has grown approximately 17 percent to 95 million monthly active users. Twitter’s increase, almost double that of Facebook’s, was 44 percent. Bring their number of monthly active users up to 218 million.

– Brand to consumer activity is growing rapidly. The amount of messages sent to brands using Twitter and Facebook has seen an increase of 175 percent.

Both of these points are relevant when arguing that Social Media is nowhere near dying out but it’s the second one that is most interesting. It shows that it is becoming increasingly popular for consumers to contact brands using Social Media. Your business needs to hoover up as much money as it can and quickly. At first, it will be cute when your iPad wants to start up a coffee shop. Before you know it, your iPad would have taken over your business in a hostile takeover as the robot rebels begin to become organised.

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With the stats in mind, there is no better time to change your approach to the way you market your brand. Social Media is soon becoming the best way to market your business online. Why miss out? All the cool kids are doing it. You are cool, right?

Despite being an ideal place for companies to sell their services or products, Social Media isn’t popular for that reason. Social Media is popular because it allows people to do what they love doing most, be nosey. Are you wondering what Jenny had for dinner last night? Wonder no more, she probably posted a picture of it on Instagram last night. Accompanied by a‘#foodporn’ caption. If she didn’t, it probably wasn’t worth seeing anyway.

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It is also an invaluable source of information. Instead of waking up and buying the morning newspaper, people can now scroll down their Twitter feed and find out all the information they want to know and it will be relevant to them. You can pick and choose what you want to follow and customise your feed to suit your interests. There’s no longer any need to flicker through a newspaper until you find something you want to read, you can just click the link to it that’s on your feed. In addition to that, Twitter doesn’t just provide news in real time, it generates conversations around that news. Within minutes, there are often various funny tweets in relation to the latest bit of news and hundreds of people basing their conversations around it. This is an excellent way to engage with new people and adds a whole new dimension to the way we are informed about what’s happening around the world.

Long Live Social Media! All hail our new robot gods!

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Get in touch! and let’s show you why everlasting Social Media is a positive thing!

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The Social Clown (Humour & Social Media)

Roll up. Roll up! It is time for this weeks CHC Blog. You must be so excited. You can purchase refreshments at the interval and please do not feed any of the animals. This week, we are looking at “The Social Clown”. Is humour via Social Media an effective way to tap into your ‘target market’ & get an edge over your competitors? It is a social space so an informal approach is always welcome but should YOUR brand be encouraged to be humorous on social media?

If you wanted to find a well known brand that doesn’t actively use Social Media, you’d have a job on your hands; most of the brands we know and love have recognised the power of Social Media and its convenience. If you’re unhappy with a product you’ve purchased from a well known retailer, what do you do? Tweet them. It is a welcome release of tension to approach a complaint with some comedy. It shows that you are acknowledging the issue without taking yourself too seriously. However, you must be careful. It is important to gage how upset the customer is.

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Social Media is a convenient way for companies to build and maintain a good relationship with their customers and make sure that any issues are dealt with in a way that suits them. Despite this being the main reason for well known brands to take to Social Media, there are some companies that have taken it a step further.

The likes of Paddy Power, EE and Tesco to name a few have been using Social Media to do more than just respond to feedback from their customers. They have used Social Media to entertain their following and have ‘banter’ with the general public. Now, we’re unsure about how effective these Social Media campaigns have been in terms of increasing their following and attracting new customers but, one thing we do know is that they’ve got people talking.

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All publicity is good publicity, no? Once again, we’ll let you be the judge of that. Your Ice Cream store should probably avoid posting potentially “edgy” material.

One thing we do know is that in terms of Social Media statistics, the companies that have adapted a humorous approach to their strategies have had a huge increase in their numbers. There’s no doubt about it, there are people out there that enjoy this approach to the use of Social and follow the brands because they find the content entertaining. Being ‘funny’ is definitely a good way to increase your following and get people talking but do you shop with Tesco as opposed to Sainsbury’s because their

tweets are funnier? Probably not but you will be much more aware of their upcoming sales/special offers because you already enjoy their content.

In summary, think of Social Media as socialising in the work place. You do not want to be too formal. Everyone values an entertaining story or joke but beware of offending anyone. Especially someone that you want to sell something to!

“Hey Stupid. You are stupid. Buy my junk!”

Be a likeable clown. Not an annoying one. Actually, don’t be annoying in general.

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The History of the #Selfie

Oscars selfie

Is there a God? What is love? Who let the dogs out? These are some of the world’s biggest questions. We lie awake at night searching for answers. An average person will think about what Meatloaf won’t do for love at least once a day. Today’s blog tackles one of mankind’s biggest mysteries – what are the origins of the #Selfie?

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The perpetrators are believed to be still at large.

The early roots of the #Selfie date back to the 1880’s and Vincent van Gogh. You were not cringing at Vinny’s selfies or “self portraits” were you? Instead you had deep respect. Maybe you will have more admiration for Kim Kardashian the next time she posts a picture of her massive backside.

Vincent van Gogh was infamous for painting pictures of himself and hanging them in the first social media platform, the “Art Gallery”. Artists would stroll around the “Art Gallery” posting notes on each others walls. In fact, a note from Matisse was found in Florence addressed to Picasso saying, “Looking good hunzo xoxo”.

There are many myths surrounding van Gogh chopping off his ear. Many believe van Gogh cut off his ear to give it to his girlfriend to prove his love. The reality is much more sinister; it was actually a consequence of one of the earliest forms of “trolling”. It is rumoured that van Gogh’s hero, Rembrandt van Rijn, posted a note under van Gogh’s self portrait saying, “Hey big ears lol ;)”. We are unsure if Rembrandt actually believed that van Gogh had big ears, but the damage was done. Van Gogh felt so embarrassed and believed that there was only one logical next step – to cut off his ear. No one would make fun of him for having one ear, or would they? Unfortunately, Vincent’s long-term partner was so disgusted with this drastic mutation, she ended the relationship, citing EAR- reconcilable differences.

The key message to take from this blog, is that in a modern world where people are self conscious and insecure, be proud of your selfie and don’t let the “Rembrandts” of the world bring you down. Take your selfies and hang them high in your “Art Gallery”.

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The Importance of your Digital Shop-Window

“We lived on farms and then we lived in cities and now we’re gonna live on the internet” – Sean Parker. The Social Network 2010.

Google is the new high street. We can find anything on any street in any country. No more picking specific areas because they suit what you need. Everything you need can be found at the touch of a button. This is both a positive and a negative. The positives are obvious: easier to connect and opens you up to a world of possibilities. The negatives can be much more cruel. There is nowhere to hide. Your shop that specialises in custom built banana cases may have received spill off by being geographically located near a bigger, more well known fruit case wholesaler. There is no geography online (not organically, anyway). You will live and die by the product. It is the survival of the fittest. You can however, help the fight for survival with a solid online presence. Thankfully, the banana case is a superb idea. You will be fine.

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Too many small businesses have terribly outdated websites or amazingly, none at all. Surely that in this day and age, everybody should know how necessary the website is for their business. It is the most basic and crucial marketing tool available. You are most likely to be discovered online. People do their research on products and companies before they make a purchase. If you don’t have a website or a poor one, you are very likely to miss out on potential business. How am I to believe that your banana case is the best around when you do not have the budget to create a decent website? Obviously business cannot be booming. You need to show off. If I see your incredible website, not only am I happy to spend more time on the website but it leads me to believe that your product is selling due to its high quality.

It is becoming increasingly difficult to gain attention online. There are thousands of websites for every niche industry in the world. So, when someone stumbles across your website, it is crucial that your digital shop window is immaculate to capture and maintain their interest. Make sure that you have spelt Banana correctly. It can be a bit tricky, I know. The website should be as flashy and eye catching as possible without losing any usability. You want the user to be informed about your banana case while keeping them entertained. You could have the world’s greatest advice about how to make a million pounds using your banana case on your website but if it is buried within dull text, no one will read it. The design should be impressive while easy on the eye, the text should be snappy and straight to the point. If your shop-window impress’ me, I will want to pop inside and have a look around. Christmas is just around the corner and I have a big family who would all find banana cases rather APEELING.

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Great pun.

How do we bring people to your shop window? You can explain to all your family and friends how great your banana cases are. You can go through the benefits of an unbruised banana and how all the opposite sex will desire you upon seeing you whip your banana out of the case. Let’s face it, your friends may not actually care. We should find your target audience, but how? Social Media! Social Media is always a superb way to find your target market and bring them kicking and screaming to your shop. Social Media supplies you with a wonderful opportunity create a wonderful story about your brand. You should always try avoid just trying to sell things on Social. “Banana Cases – 5.99 #GoodValue #Banana” will never work. It is a social space. Speak WITH people, not AT. Post interesting content that will make the users engage and interact with the brand, they enjoy your content which in turn will result in them enjoying your product.

The competition is fierce out there. Banana case stores popping up on every street corner. The very least you can do is have a great website that highlights the strengths of your product and a social media strategy to promote brand awareness and drive traffic to the website or your “shop window”. Once they see your amazing banana case website with the interactive peeling option, it will drive them BANANAS and they will be desperate to give you their money.

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So many Bananas. So few cases.

Do you need help creating & maintaining your digital shop-window? Get in touch! and let’s have a chat about how we can help!

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4 Ways to Monitor Your Brand on Twitter

Even when actively monitoring Twitter for brand mentions, there may be some that slip through the net. You may miss someone completely fangirling over your second hand celebrity footwear store. This post will show you what you need to do to ensure than you no longer miss any mention of Rihanna’s runners, Madonna’s moccasins or Beyonce’s boots.

1. Monitoring your brand mentions

This is a must, when monitoring your mentions it is important that you have both a strategy and the resources to be able to respond to the mentions, not just monitor them. Industry experts’ studies show that brands get an average of 39 mentions per day…

Do you know how many you get per day? Surely hundreds. I can only imagine that everyone is asking where they can pick up a dress shoe once worn by Maya Angelou.

Use a tool that can give you that data or create your own way of measuring how many mentions you get per day, week or month. If possible, go one step further and try to track what types of mention they are: Positive, negative, a link, a request for support, general customer service, questions, etc. You can be right there to answer any query Bridgette from Venezuela may have over Hasslehoff’s high heels.

Recognising how many mentions your brand gets will allow you to evaluate if you can handle the flow or if you need to grow your team/resources.

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2. Mentions without the @

You are probably unaware of the fact that, according to SocialMouths recent study, 30.72% of all mentions actually fail to include the @ handle. This means it’s very easy to completely miss the mention as you won’t be notified when the tweet is posted. An easy solution to this is to monitor important keywords and any variations in the brand name, as opposed to just reading your mentions, Twitter has a very handy search bar, make the most of it. Like this tweet from Colin from Ireland.

“I NEED 2 HAV CLOONEY’S CLOGS FROM CELEBFOOTWARE”

The Facts of Life Clooney’s clogs. Like George, get better with age.

The Facts of Life

3.Conversations around the brand

Not all tweets mentioning the name of the brand are directed at the brand itself. According to Mention, only 9.16% of these tweets start with the @. These are conversations happening around the brand, not tweets directed at the brand itself. When monitoring your brand on Twitter you should be monitoring any tweet that mentions the brand, regardless of whether it is indirectly or in a conversation around the brand, not directly about it. These conversations are a great opportunity to jump in and generate some positive interaction. If a tweet isn’t directed at a brand, it doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be addressed. If you hear someone sitting beside you on the bus compliment your hair, you don’t need to turn around and acknowledge it. Just be happy you have great hair. By the way, what conditioner do you use? It looks so full of volume.

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4.Negative mentions rarely spread

A common misconception is that negative feedback online is quick to spread and has disastrous consequences for a brand. This couldn’t be further from the truth, approximately 60% of tweets mentioning brands don’t even get retweeted. This doesn’t mean you have to ignore them, it just means you can put the emphasis on having a meaningful, one-on-one conversation with the person concerned and even turn it around by responding quickly and professionally. Just bare in mind, when dealing with negativity, it’s not the end of the world and it is very easy to make the best out of a bad situation on Social Media.

You can easily solve Michelle’s instagram complaint about Schweirzeneger’s Stilletto’s. They were never going to fit you, Michelle. Look at the size of Arnold. He is hardly a size 6.

If the shoe fits…..

Does your business need help on twitter? We are the twitterati! Get in touch! and let’s grow your brand!

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5 Things You Should Be Sharing on Social Media but Probably Aren’t

Struggling with your choice of content? Is it making you feel 🙁 when you would much rather be: 😉

Don’t worry, you’re not alone! One of the most frequent questions asked by small business owners is ‘What should I be posting online?’. You have studied the success stories but your rear is not as big as Kim Kardashian’s and you don’t have nearly as many tattoos as Justin Bieber. There must be another way?!

We understand the difficulty of entering into the world of Social Media, not only is it tough to understand what content is best to post, you have to compete with over 30 million other business pages on Facebook alone. It’s not easy to stand out. You cannot sabotage the opposition. We tried. When I posted “You suk pepsi!”. No one paid attention and they offered me a free Pepsi to apologise. Not only did no one agree but they showed off their superb customer service.

With such fierce competition, we need more than just our products and services for us to stand out. Varied content is a must. We cannot just flog the product online. We must create compelling content where the audience wants more. Will you be as interested in following your favorite soft drink company on social media if they are merely plugging the latest flavours?

So how do you share content and stand out, without plugging your products and services in every post?

If you haven’t already noticed, Selfies are taking over Social Media. Some of the most popular content online has come in the form a selfie. It works! The most retweeted tweet on Twitter is a selfie, if that’s not proof, what is?

Taking a selfie can give your company a more ‘human’ look and make it easier for your following to relate to your brand. It’s informal and fun for people to engage with. People will rarely call you ugly on Social Media so you might be able to improve your self confidence in the process. If you are horrifically ugly, maybe avoid it. Do you have an attractive relative perhaps?

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2. Behind the scenes

Behind the scenes photos are another great way to humanize your business. This will give your brand a more ‘honest’ and ‘transparent’ feel. Your following can gain a quick insight into the way your company likes to do business, this makes your brand much more relatable.

Posting pictures of your employees pretending to be happy will allow everyone to believe that you are not a horrific slave driver. If your employees are unable to muster a smile for even a split second, you can use photoshop to edit out the tears. Your reign of tyranny can continue while giving the impression that your employees are not crying themselves to sleep.

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3. Funny photos

Of course, it depends on what you’re trying to achieve, but generally speaking funny photos actually work. Whether it be, creating your own version of a popular meme or sharing one that’d been made by another company. It is a great way to get your brands followers to positively interact with the brand. If you decide against making your own funny photo then use another companies; You can credit them when sharing the photo, this could encourage positive interaction with that brand and their following as well as yours.

Humour is very powerful on social media but it can be very tricky. Depending on your brand, try not be too edgy. Remember that you are representing the brand with every post. Let’s leave **INAPPROPRIATE JOKE THAT MAY OFFEND** jokes to one side, shall we?

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4. Quotes

Posting quotes that are in line with your brand values is a great way to show your following what you’re about. If people can relate to the quotes that you’re posting then they’re going to feel that they can relate to you and your brand. It’s another great way to make your brand relatable without having to post original content or be plugging your products and services.

“If only I had checked myself” – Guy who wrecked himself.

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5. Your own content

Of course, when running your business’ Social Media account you need to be posting your own content. Despite this, it’s best to ensure that the content isn’t too promotional. If you’re selling a product, take it out and share a photo of it in everyday life. Or, if you’re a digital based company, take yourself out and post some photos of yourself on your ‘company outing’. There’s a whole range of things you can do when posting original content that don’t need to be an obvious sale. Intrigue the customer and make them want to buy the product or service. Don’t try and force them, it won’t work.

If you create your own original content and the digital community engages/shares, it expands your reach. The followers who share your content will then become your social ambassadors. Leverage their influence to promote your brand. Word of mouth is the most powerful marketing tool and Social Media is the new word of mouth.

And the words coming out of my mouth are;

“I think you and your brand are great. So go out there and turn that 🙁 into a 😉 🙂 :)”

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Do you need help creating and sharing content? Get in touch! & let’s do something awesome.

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Fretting about the digital talent gap in your business?

We have met with a lot of people who feel the same. Vanessa Zainzinger (Digital Business Editor at Caspian Publishing) cites that 75% of CEO’s are worried about their digital talent. The answer? There are many; hiring in-house solutions, bringing in a consultant or approaching an agency. All of which hold their own pros and cons. With 110,000 unfilled jobs in the UK technology industry, it would appear that the anxiety is kicking in. Now is the time to act.

Whilst the digital world is fast progressing (coining yet more irritating abbreviations such as CRM, PPC, API, AR, QR, CLV, CPM, CPV, CPL, CSS, CTA, CRO, LTV, UAT, RTD, SEO, SLA, SMP, SSL) if you’re not willing to react digitally, you will find yourself falling behind.

It is the same with development platforms. As an SME business owner (alongside the general running of a business, HR, accounts, sourcing new business etc) how are you able to make educated decisions on whether your site needs CMS or SEO?

If it does, should you be using WordPress or Drupal? The same goes for e-commerce sites. Shopify, Magento or OpenCart? And that’s before you even start looking at live interaction with clients via social media. This list is truly endless. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are a must. But what about Instagram, Pinterest, Vine and Google +, all of which have started pulling their weight?

As an agency, what would we suggest? Firstly get some advice from someone you trust, don’t follow their every word but instead try and look at the big picture. Now it’s research time. 5 minutes with Google will open your eyes to a wealth of social media techniques whilst providing a general overview for each development platform, alongside their strengths and weaknesses.

Write a list of everything you wish to achieve online, then break it down into three areas:

1. What does your website do (is it a store, providing a service, or a brochure)?

2. What content do you want to promote online (videos, text, pictures, great service)?

3. Who do you want to interact with (B2B, B2C, C2C)?

From this list you will be notice commonalities between your research and your requirements. This will give you the ability to align your goals with platforms. If you’re offering fantastic customer service, show it by using Twitter to interact with your customers. If you’re selling artwork, promote it using Instagram and show the effort and development behind the work.

If you’re running an online magazine, look at how much content you will be uploading. If there isn’t much then maybe a WordPress site will suit you. If you want more sophisticated content and functions, Drupal may be your platform of choice. You want an all singing all dancing site? Time to visit a specialist agency.

How has CHC Digital bridged the digital gap for companies? The answer is simple; we offer support that spans the whole digital landscape. From developing marketing strategies and training existing in-house teams, to completely managing online businesses, online stores and social communities.

Above all else we empower businesses to be their own digital marketers. Supplying clients with detailed quantitative reports and analytics that highlight bottle necks and insights that continually improve online positioning.

The future is undeniably digital and. People want faster, smarter and more sophisticated digital interaction. The only question is how hands-on do you want to be with the digital side of your business? At CHC Digital, our mantra is simple. Let us build your digital foundations and help you take you business to the next level.

Whats your digital reach?

With the global internet population nearing 3 billion (or 40% of the world population), the digital space has never been so well positioned for you to reach your target market. The question is no longer, ‘does the market exist for my product or service?’, instead the challenge is, ‘how will people see what I am selling?’ coupled with ‘why is my product/service worth my price point?’. Most of us will naturally think that what we offer is worth what we ask, but with a global market place shrunk down to the size of a computer screen, how can we remain competitive within our rapidly expanding markets?

No matter who you are, at some point you will be searching for the best deal for what you want to buy. The internet provides a wealth of information. If you are looking for a new fridge, there are thousands of outlets globally. The question still remains – which one do you choose?

Unfortunately most people think that it whittles down to ‘what features does this fridge have?’ and ‘what’s the best price?’. 5 or 10 minutes of searching and you will have a shortlist of fridges and the compromise will begin. Price vs. features.

You will note that at no point does ‘where’ you are getting these products come into the equation – value for money is key. The solution is reputation. Some of your more savvy purchasers will at some point have flagged what ‘value’ actually means; John Lewis for example have built a brand around only stocking the best products available. So in theory, if you spend your money with them, you will get a quality product. This adds additional layers to the equation. Yes you want the best deal for the most functional product, but you also want clarification that you have indeed made a good decision.

So you start your search with reputable brands such as Harrods, Selfridges, John Lewis ect. Yet buying the same product from cheapfridges.com seems somewhat disconcerting.

Some might argue that this is the death of the salesman, that it is cold and it puts people off internet shopping. They want to be tactile, they want to see it in person, they want to understand what they are buying. Many will find a product online, then pop to the shop and buy it. This trend is dying. For one reason only, ‘online social interaction’.

For all of you with a business, online is your salvation. The salesman’s talk now comes from public review. Unfortunately this doesn’t help in your quest to blag a product or service. What it does do is reward you for quality. Online communities love to get behind something amazing and there are as many blogs, Facebook groups, hash tags and forums, as there are companies selling products. If you can encourage your community to recommend your product or service, you will have the ultimate web advert. In the case of fridges, there are a number of amazingly dull YouTube channels dedicated to nothing more than reviewing the latest fridges. Additionally there are various blogs reviewing the ins and outs of the fridge world and endless conversations on Twitter and Facebook.

Let’s take a look at what this means. Facebook recently broke its own record for active monthly users, reaching 1.1 billion. That’s approximately 40% of the world’s internet population. From this there are 300 million pictures uploaded every day, 2.5 billion content items shared per day and 2.7 billion ‘likes’ a day. If your business can tap into this daily interaction, your customers will be eager to get involved!

Exposure is great, but how does this help? Approximately 46% of online users rely on the social media networks to make a purchase decision. 71% also say that they are more likely to purchase from a brand that they follow.

If you think the above information is only relevant to youth markets then you’ll be in for a shock. The fastest growing demographic on Facebook is the 45-54 age group. Growth is up 46% on Facebook compared to last year and 79% for Twitter’s 55-54 age group.

We love this area of the internet as it allows our clients to have direct and constant interaction with their customers. It’s like placing the salesman on their lap, desktop and in their pocket! You can tell them all about your brand and establish yourself as a market expert – building trust and a healthy relationship will ultimately lead to increased sales.

Remember, this isn’t a market that is slowing. It’s growing at a remarkable rate. Considering that social media and blogs account for approximately 25% of time that Americans spend online, this is a market that cannot and should not be ignored. It’s not a fad, it is here to stay. If you are not making the most of online social interaction, take action now – before it is too late.

 

Leveraging the Holiday Selfie (The Advantages of Social Media for Travel)

Passport. Check. Flight tickets. Check. Smart phone fully charged for the first selfie of the holiday. Check, check and check. So, you work in the travel industry. You are posting cat memes on a Friday and pictures of your 5th birthday party on a Thursday. All the boxes are ticked, why aren’t you getting sales? We all know that social media is a very powerful tool when used effectively. It can give a brand access to millions of people worldwide that couldn’t be accessed otherwise. For travel companies, It is a great opportunity to share content to an interested and ready to engage audience. Pictures of luxurious hotels and holiday locations are very popular on social media; who doesn’t enjoy seeing photos of sunny beaches whilst scrolling down their feed? Scrolling through your feed and seeing Samantha drinking a Mai Tai may trigger that powerful emotion of, “I need a holiday”. It also may trigger feelings of bitterness and jealousy but lets revisit that in a different blog.

When content is managed correctly, the engagement is set to be higher than that of other industries. You can build an active and engaging audience that have a genuine interest in the travel industry and use various social media platforms to provide information about the brand in small, digestible chunks that people can share and engage with. You can brand your efforts by keeping track of positive engagement/conversations around travel, using them to provoke more interest in your travel service. In turn, building and maintaining a good company image.

You are able to monitor conversations based around the brand and use these conversations, paired with engagement analytics, to alter your content and make sure you are maximising your social potential. In addition to monitoring the conversations, you can join in, build up relationships with travel enthusiasts and engage with them on a regular basis. Upon building a good relationship with various travel enthusiasts that regularly converse about the industry, you can then go one step further. Don’t just join in on the conversations, make them. Start conversations that are relevant to the travel industry and welcome others to engage. This will create a buzz around your brand and allow you to manage the conversation in a way that suits you. Your fans and followers now trust your brand and enjoy your content. They are ready to purchase. Grab your Mai Tai, your phone and meet me on the beach. We will show Samantha a thing or two…..

 

Wasn’t Avatar awesome? Let’s make a website like that….except without the war and death and stuff….(3D Website Design)

“A 3D website? What are you smoking!?” – I hear you cry. The idea of a website being completely 3D is alien to a large majority of people. Despite that, we believe it will become increasingly common over the next couple of years. 3D website design has been made possible by WebGL, a 3D Graphics library built into the browser which allows JavaScript programs to render 3D content within any supported browser without the use of plug-ins. Doesn’t that sound basic? It’s not rocket science. It’s brain surgery, stupid!

3D Websites will revolutionise the way people see the web. They bring a whole new dimension to the world of web design. People can feel like they are more in tune with the website. This is done by implementing features that allow you to interact with the website. The behaviour of the website that’s being viewed will be determined by user behaviour and not the developer. Crazy cool, eh? Imagine watching keyboard cat in 3D!

They are now capable of behaving more like video games, in the sense that the way they move around/function can depend on how the user behaves. The decisions you make can have an effect on what you see on the screen. This can, of course, be done on 2D websites but with the websites now being 3D, the experience will feel much more realistic and be an enjoyable experience for the user. This new type of design is excellent at keeping people engaged with your website and encouraging them to stay online for longer; if there are several different avenues to explore on the website the person is likely to stay and explore. In Miley Cyrus’s next video, we will have to dodge the wrecking ball. Hours of fun. The 3D design, paired with the user interaction features, will encourage whoever’s browsing to engage with the website. This means you will be getting more traffic, for longer and the user will be enjoying their experience. You have a brilliant website and your customer is having the time of his life on your website. They have so much fun that they stay up late, leading them to sleep in and being late for work. They may get fired but that is not your fault. You cannot be help responsible for your incredible 3D website.

Despite our newly unemployed friend, this gives us good reason to believe that 3D design is a positive addition to the world of website design for designers, users and the people hosting websites. It will provide a more enjoyable and engaging experience for users in a way that hasn’t been done before with 2D websites. Maybe insist that users set an alarm?