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 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?