All posts by CHCAdmin

CHC TALKS | RISK

What is your exposure?  Should you pay for your website’s security?

So far throughout our series we have talked about how wonderful it is to have a strong, smartly designed website and how you should embrace the digital world and invest in all kinds of digital opportunities. Just like everything else, the sun cannot always shine. So what risks are we undertaking with our online presence? What problems can we encounter? And how can people take advantage of our honest endeavours?

 

GDPR

The biggest risk to any SME currently is GDPR. At the moment it remains an understated regulation, with little to no claims being brought to fruition. If this status-quo remains – tremendous! There is little to worry about. However, this is not the approach to business that the regulators have been touting. With a fine of 4% of global turnover or £20 million (whichever is higher), it’s eye watering!

So what’s the deal? Put simply, you need to tell people what data you’re using and storing, ask for permission to use it, promise not to do anything naughty with it, keep it secure and, if they ask for it, give it to them or even delete it. If you do that, the world will remain a happy place.

Specifically, what this means is that you must have a cookie/privacy policy explaining what you use people’s data for. You must get express permission to use data, usually via a check box at the point of submission. You must do everything in your power to keep the user’s data safe (think encryption and firewalls). Lastly, you must be able to locate all the data you have on a user, provide it at request and delete it if they ask you to.

 

MALWARE

Just like your computer, a website can be infected with something like a virus. Amongst a myriad of options, hackers are prone to taking advantage of old versions of CMS applications like WordPress, Joomla and Magento. If you have one of these and it is outdated, scan your website as soon as possible!

Most of these hacks come in three forms:

Phishing (pronounced “fishing”) is most commonly associated to spam emails. The attacker will set up a page to take payments. Specifically with websites, this can be masked to look like your own checkout page or like a third party checkout page. Essentially the hacker is trying to take payments on the back of your reputation.

Viruses and malicious code attacks come in all shapes and sizes. Some will quietly sit there stealing user data and sending it back to the hacker. Others will be more obvious. Most notably, they can replace your site with their own “you’ve been hacked” page.

UI redress is very sneaky approach to hacking, the attack involves the hacker rebuilding the links in your site to go to another domain. Your site will look the same, but clicking a link will take you to the hackers intended destination.

 

PROTECTION

As frustrating as it is to have to implement and pay for these measures, there are layers of protection that you can put in place to protect your business online.

 

SSL
An SSL certificate will ensure you encrypt the transfer of data back and forth from your website hosting to the visitors computer. This will secure data that is entered on the site – such as payment details on your website’s checkout page. With GDPR putting emphasis on protecting customer data and with browsers like Google Chrome exposing unsecure sites, this will become more and more important in the near future.

 

Firewalls & CDN
A firewall is a fairly well known concept, but put simply, it is a layer of security that will allow good safe traffic to your site, and will not allow bad or automated traffic to get through. Without this, the risk is a DDOS (Distributed Denial of Service) attack. This means someone has set up a bot or script to rapidly and repeatedly load your website. The server which hosts your website, is very much like any other computer you have used. If there are too many applications running or too many actions, it will freeze or crash. The repeated requests to load your website cause the server to fail and shut down. This is a very quick and easy way to cause problems with people’s sites – and because of this, it happens quite frequently.

A CDN – or Content Delivery Network – does some handy things as well. First and foremost, it makes your website faster. Its original purpose is to reduce latency in transferring data across very large distances. We talked about this in the need for speed section of an earlier post. To remind you, it localises your website across the world – meaning Bruce in Brisbane, Australia doesn’t have to wait while your website data is transmitted from Georgia in the USA. The side effect of this, is that it becomes very difficult to find the original version of your site – and hacking something you can’t find is pretty much impossible.

 

Backups
Say you have taken all these actions, there are still some people out there that may look at your site as a challenge. If that happens and they destroy your site, the safest bet is to have a back up. If nothing else, this is cost effective, quick to implement and gives you piece of mind. Our backups occur daily, so the worst case scenario is that you lose a days work.

 

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.

Fairness Rocks – Website

FR_Sq_logo (1)

“When CHC agreed to do the work on the FR site, I am not sure they realised how much content we would be sending them. They remained unphased throughout the development process and responded promptly to every tweak and addition. And when we told them that there were enquiries for French and Spanish language sub-versions down the line, they did not turn a hair. The team were helpful, patient and have, we believe, turned out a first rate website. Within only a week from launch, Fairness Rocks was showered in plaudits from members of the creative industries.”  – The Team at Fairness Rocks

BRIEF

Fairness Rocks is a website dedicated to inform the talent who seek to ensure they are receiving fair reward for their artistic endeavour.

A project we’re very proud to have been apart of, Fairness Rocks was started by the creators of the hit 1984 film, This is Spinal Tap, to help artists, musicians, actors, screen writers, composers, film directors and more receive their rightful share of the rewards for their work.

The website acts as a database for anyone who wants to be involved in the cause, and therefore, needed to be built to hold a large amount of information and to be updated regularly.

SOLUTION

It was important for Fairness Rocks to have a simple and easy-to-use CMS to allow them to post regular press and news updates. Since they are providing the public with an enormous amount of information and are frequently updating their website, we provide reliable on-going web support to their team.

The design was inspired by This is Spinal Tap to acknowledge the creators who have launched this important campaign.

Key website features include:

Full bespoke website design
Fully responsive
Custom wordpress CMS
Custom graphics & renderings
Custom animations

FairnessRocks_site

View this project

Privacy Policy

WHO WE ARE

At CHC Digital, we are committed to maintaining the trust and confidence of our website visitors. We value your time and trust in our ability to keep your data safe and secure. We are not in the business of selling, renting or trading email lists with other companies and businesses for marketing purposes. We hope this Privacy Policy will ease your worries and help you to feel secure in trusting your data with us. We have provided a lot of detailed information on when and why we collect your personal information, how we use it, the limited conditions under which we may disclose it to others and how we keep it safe. If you have any questions, we’re always happy to answer them!

TYPES OF DATA WE COLLECT

Website Cookies

Like most websites, we use cookies to collect information. Cookies are small data files which are placed on your computer or other devices (such as smart ‘phones or ‘tablets’) as you browse this website. They are used to ‘remember’ when your computer or device accesses our website. Cookies are essential for the effective operation of our websites and to help us to provide you with the best user experience we can.

We mainly use cookies to track and improve your user experience on our website. They also enable us to collect information about your browsing patterns to help us understand which services of ours you may be interested in.

If you would like to disable cookies, you can do so by changing your browser to reject cookies. How you do this will depend on you the browser you are using (Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox or Internet Explorer for example). Please contact your browser if you are unsure of how to do this.

Be aware that if you disable cookies, some websites may not work properly and you may be prevented from making any purchases on some websites.

Google Analytics

When someone visits www.chcdigital.com we use a third party service, Google Analytics, to collect standard internet log information and details of visitor behaviour patterns. We do this to find out things such as the number of visitors to the various parts of the site. This information is only processed in a way which does not identify anyone. We do not make, and do not allow Google to make, any attempt to find out the identities of those visiting our website.

HubSpot

When someone visits www.chcdigital.com or emails us at CHC Digital we use a third party service, HubSpot, to collect data and information on visitor behaviour patterns. This means that sometimes we will capture your email address to see if you visit us more than once, we will be able to monitor which pages you visit and if you fill out any forms on our website. We may contact you by e-mail or phone as a result of this data collection.

For more information, please visit HubSpot’s privacy policy.

Mailing Lists

As a part of the subscription process for our e-newsletter and news updates, we collect personal information. We use this information to tell you about stuff you have told us you’re interested in, to contact you if we need to obtain or provide additional information, to check our records are up to date and to check if you are satisfied with our service from time to time. We don’t rent or trade email lists with other organisations and businesses.

We use a third party provider, MailChimp, to deliver our newsletter and gather statistics. If you sign up for our mailing list, your personal information will be stored here. Statistics gathered include who has opened an email, the time an e-mail was opened and clicks within the email using industry standard technologies to help us monitor and improve our email content. For more information, please see MailChimp’s privacy notice. Please feel free to unsubscribe to our email list at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link at the bottom of any of our emails or by emailing us directly at mm@www.chcdigital.com.

Customers

If you become a client or customer of ours, we will store your data on a third party provider, Xero. We will store your e-mail address, business address and any further payment details we will need to send you invoices. Please see Xero’s privacy policy for further information.

ACCESS TO YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION

You are entitled to view, amend, or delete the personal information that we hold. Email your request to Maha Moushabeck at mm@www.chcdigital.com.

CHANGES TO THIS PRIVACY NOTICE

This privacy notice was last reviewed 16 April 2018 and will subsequently be reviewed yearly or when required to ensure we are up to date.

GDPR

Communication Preferences

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will come into force on 25th May 2018. As a current CHC Digital contact, we would like to ensure you are happy to continue receiving essential communications.

For further information read our privacy policy

 Yes, I would like to receive relevant business and marketing communications from CHC Digital

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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.

Bell Yard – Website

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“CHC Digital quickly grasped what we needed, and how best to convey our messaging in a concise way with clarity and to visual effect. They were patient and constructive when engaging with us on this project and it was completed without fuss, on time and within budget. They are also very pleasant people to work with.” – Melanie Riley, Director Bell Yard Communications

BRIEF

Bell Yard is London’s leading litigation PR and legal sector reputation management consultancy. They came to us seeking a fresh and modern look for their website, with the ability to demonstrate and inform about their services.

SOLUTION

It was important for Bell Yard to have a simple and easy-to-use CMS to allow them to post regular press and news updates. Since they are frequently updating their website we provide reliable on-going web support to their team.

Key website features include:

Full bespoke website design
Fully responsive
Custom wordpress CMS
Google map integration

BellYard_site

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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

Atlas Residential – Website & Flyer

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“It has been a pleasure to work with CHC Digital – they have been patient and proactive through the website build process, offering recommendations and turning around changes extremely promptly.” – Dominic Martin, UK Business Development Director

BRIEF

Atlas Residential is a vertically integrated global owner operator of income-producing residential apartments in North America and the United Kingdom. They were looking for a website that would allow them to quickly and concisely convey their services and development opportunities. In addition, they wanted to show off their impressive track record of success, and to keep their investors up to date with the developments.

SOLUTION

We created a WordPress site, allowing Atlas Residential to update the outward facing portfolio and news. Alongside this, there is an investor login portal, which allows visitors to access the latest reports and view the progress of the developments and their expected returns.

RESULTS

A fully responsive website which is easy to manage and allows for a visitor to get a clear view of what Atlas Residential has to offer and how they approach their investments and developments.

AtlasResidential_site

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CLCA – Website

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“CHC have a can-do attitude and combine technological know-how with a keen desire to make websites user friendly and the right fit for their clients. They helped us to achieve something much more modern without breaking the bank. It was a pleasure to work with the CHC team.” – Louise Beeson, Chairwoman of the CLCA

BRIEF

The Crisis & Litigation Communicators Alliance (CLCA) is a growing international association of specialist PR firms who are experts in their respective fields. The CLCA wanted a new website to refresh and update their look. The website needed to act both as an information tool for clients and prospective new members.

SOLUTION

We worked closely with the CLCA team to provide them with an on-brand and easy-to-use website. Designed and developed by our team, we created a custom content management system to allow the CLCA to upload and curate content on their website easily and quickly.

Key website features include:

Full bespoke website design
Fully responsive
Custom wordpress CMS
Google map integration
Embedded video

 

CLCA_site
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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.

Google_Glass_with_frame

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!

Fairness Rocks – Website

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BRIEF

Fairness Rocks is a legal campaign that aims to end the exploitation of creators and artists by the rights-owning corporations. The Fairness Rocks team came to us to create a website to tell the story of their current case, in the hope that it will be useful for other artists and creators.

This particular case was launched by Harry Shearer, one of the creators of the ‘This is Spinal Tap’ soundtrack released alongside the 1984 hit film ‘Spinal Tap.’ Shockingly, the creators of this soundtrack made only $98 for the music rights and $81 for merchandise (to be split between the creators).

The Fairness Rocks team wanted a website that could act as a platform for releasing information on the case, updated news content and a place where they could provide advice to other artists in similar situations. They needed full branding for the case, the site needed to hold multiple layers of information and it needed to be built in a short time period.

SOLUTION

Under tight time constraints, we developed the branding and website under the radar of the media giant (and the defendant in this law suit), Vivendi.

The site was built to ensure that as you delve deeper in to the site, you gain a fuller understanding of the case and its history. We built the site on a WordPress backend to allow the team to continue to upload news content and case information as it became available. It is fully mobile optimised and search engine optimised to ensure that the interested parties can find and use the site easily.

RESULTS

The site supported a huge influx of visitors at the launch of the lawsuit. A great number of major news publications picked up on the story and utilised the information on the site to develop in-depth stories. The site received over 10,000 visitors in it’s first 3 months. It was fully responsive at launch, search engine optimised and included integrated social media streams and shareability.

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Christian Aid – Market Dominance SEO

BRIEF

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Christian Aid is a UK charity that works globally to fight poverty.

They wanted to increase awareness of the concept of effective altruism. Given that so many people show generosity through charitable donations, their aim was to illustrate the real difference that money can make if spent on the right solutions.

SOLUTION

Through an analysis of long tail search results, we found a gap in the market for Christian Aid to fit in nicely and where they could make a genuine impact on charitable giving. We determined that they could benefit from SEO optimisation in this area.

In order to place Christian Aid in to this gap, we created a piece of content utilising the key searches from our SEO research to push these searchers through to their site.

RESULTS

We created an interactive, animated and illustrated guide on maximising your charity. The guide takes the visitor on a journey through the pros and cons of giving in different ways and demonstrates how effective it can be to choose the right cause.

The content was developed to ensure maximum shareability. The more the page was shared across news sources, blogs, forums and social media platforms, the more powerful the search ranking results became.

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Loughton Contracts – Community Management

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@LccPlc

BRIEF

Loughton is one of the UK’s leading flooring contractors.

Their ambition was to increase their reputation online within the market and build stronger relationships with clients, contractors, suppliers & manufacturers.

RESULTS

15.5K growth in twitter followers in 10 months

Their content currently reaches over 4 million people per month

The total campaign reach was 40,561,626 people

Cannatella and Colletti – Community Management

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Instagram – @cannatella_colletti

Twitter – @CannaColletti

BRIEF

Cannatella and Colletti produce carefully crafted sauces from traditional Italian recipes, conscientiously cultivated in the UK. Their authentic sauces are available on Ocado: bit.ly/CannatellaColletti

They came to us with the goal of expanding their online reputation among consumers.

SOLUTION

Working within the budget that suited them, we started a twitter and instagram account for Cannatella & Colletti. We worked closely with them to understand their brand, their brand persona and brand message, and built a long term social media content plan to achieve their goals.

RESULTS

We manage the content and community growth of both accounts on a long term basis. Our results so far include:

Gained 2.4K followers on instagram in one month

Received 18,128 likes on instagram in three months

Reached 2.1 million people on twitter in three months

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Consulting Market Traders – Community Management

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Twitter – @infotradingreal

BRIEF

Consulting Market Traders provide real, hands-on learning for anyone in or out of the trading industry. They strive to break the mould of the trading world and turn it into an honest successful industry using the right tools, the right techniques and the right education. 

CMT came to use to help them grow their social media following to allow them spread their message more widely.

RESULTS

Gained 3.8K followers on twitter in one month

Gained 1.5K followers on instagram in one month

Reached 624,000 people and received 4.2K likes in a month

PMSL – Campaign Management

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Twitter – @pmsldotcom
Instagram – @pmsldotcom

BRIEF

PMSL is a popular culture news channel. It’s key purpose is to attract young audiences by providing entertaining content. Their primary goal is to increase the visitor numbers to their website site in order to justify increasing the advertising revenue generated.

SOLUTION

We suggested our Campaign Management service to assist with their goals. Working closely with the PMSL team, we put together a social media plan that would target  a large audience and produce shareable humorous content including gifs, videos and images. We managed the follower growth and content across twitter, instagram and facebook.

RESULTS

Traffic to the site increased from an average of 34 visitors per day to 604 visitors per day in just two months

Gained 5,025 followers on all channels in two months

Reached 194,870 people in one month

Twenty20 Capital – The Basic Website

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BRIEF

Twenty20 Capital are a private equity company that specialise in investing in human capital businesses. They required a brand identity and website that would represent them as a credible investor, all within a three week timeframe.

SOLUTION

We developed the brand and site layout simultaneously to cut down on the development timeframe. The Twenty20 Capital group wished to keep a large amount of the information protected and only visible to those who they gave access. We developed the site to include password protection to give them the security they desired.

RESULTS

The site launched on deadline, with all features and content completed. The site is fully responsive and search engine optimised. They have enjoyed a successful round of investment.

 

 

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Milton House – Website & Brochure

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BRIEF

Milton House is a luxury property development based in Haywards Heath. Their goal was to appeal to couples in their mid 20s to late 30s who were looking to make their first home purchase. They wanted to create a community of like-minded homeowners to ensure that the building developed it’s own ‘neighbourhood’ feel. The Milton House project required branding and a website which they would be able to easily control.

SOLUTION

We created a brand that targeted Milton House’s key demographic, appealing to those who enjoy a ‘Soho House’ lifestyle. We developed a bold brand, continuing the theme throughout the site. Using striking colours and a simple layout, we created a contemporary feel that matched the aesthetic of the development itself.

Alongside this, we developed a print brochure to be presented to potential home buyers.

RESULTS

Milton House was awarded a Horizon Interactive Media Award for design and development. The site is fully responsive, search engine optimised and was well received. The print brochure was beautifully finished with perfect binding and spot UV throughout.

Milton House was 100% sold out within 4 months.

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Science in Sport – Market Dominance SEO

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BRIEF

Science In Sport specialise in developing world class sport supplements. Their goal was to utilise search results to tap into a fitness audience that were looking to improve their performance and recovery. They had four key areas to promote – understanding carbohydrates, protein, hydration and nutrients.

SOLUTION

We performed a long-tail search audit against SiS’s competitors and pin pointed the terms that were being used to search the key areas. Using these terms, we developed a narrative for each area which SiS wished to promote. These narratives were then turned into an interactive animated infographic, with the aim of leading the visitor through a ‘journey of discovery’ in an interesting but light hearted manner.

RESULTS

The result was a highly sharable piece of content that the fitness community shared across the Internet. The combination of link building, social sharing and interaction had a dramatic effect on search rankings. The client was so pleased with  success of the campaign, that they came back to us to create a ‘Tour De France special’ as a one-off campaign to capture cycling enthusiasts.

These campaigns generated an online readership of over 150,000 visitors, sending around 50,000 to revenue generating landing pages. These landing pages saw more than 9,000 conversions.

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Exodus – Market Dominance SEO

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BRIEF

Exodus are experts in global travel experiences. They create travel packages so that anyone can enjoy them. The key aspiration of the Exodus team was to promote the ‘path’s less travelled’ breaks.

SOLUTION

After a comprehensive audit against their competition online, we determined key narratives that would allow them to dominate long-tail search results. We developed three micro-sites which focussed on the long-tail narratives: the alternative bucket list, the cycling route finder and the trekking quiz. All were aimed at capturing a different target market.

Each site was built to be interactive, drawing in the audience and matching them to their perfect Exodus holiday (based on their personal taste) and then leading them to the booking page.

RESULTS

The result was interactive pages that matched visitors to their the dream travel experiences.

They were designed and developed to be easily shared by a targeted community that was prequalified by their own long tail search queries.

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Jurys Inn – Market Dominance SEO

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BRIEF

Jurys Inn is one of the UK’s leading hotel groups. They wanted to increase their brand awareness through online search.

The key objective was to increase the number of locations they have across the UK and to strengthen their brand presence.

SOLUTION

Using an in depth audit of Jurys Inn’s long-tail search position against their online competition, we were able to create key narratives in order to dominate the long-tail search results.

We based the concepts around celebrating regions throughout the year for their tourist appeal. We developed a series of interactive pieces of content around the following subjects:
– Route 57 (a driving tour of the UK)
– The Hunted Isles
– Sherwood Forrest (a historical map)

RESULTS

We produced a hand illustrated map of Sherwood Forrest, which won The Robin Hood Award and took the local press by a storm.

All of the pieces of content were developed to be highly shareable, whether on affiliate news sources, social streams or blogs and forums. Increased interaction, link sharing and link building had a significant impact search rankings.

These campaigns received 185 pieces of press coverage, they received 469,000 visits, 6,200 social shares and were covered on the radio to 78,000 listeners. The video content was also viewed 8,200 times.

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Total Jobs – Market Dominance SEO

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BRIEF

Total Jobs is one of the UK’s foremost job boards. Their wish was to activate more routes to market by capitalising on long tail search queries.

SOLUTION

We created a microsite to leverage the long tail search terms around the gender pay gap. Through an in depth audit of the position of Total Jobs against their competition, it became clear that this was a narrative that we could use to dominate the search results.

RESULTS

We delivered an interactive, animated and informative microsite that was highly sharable. The more it was talked about on blogs, forums, news sources and on social media, the more it dominated search results.

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The AA – Market Dominance SEO

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BRIEF

The AA are a household name within the UK. Renowned for their driver support, they wanted to publicise other areas of their business including their boiler cover, European cover and remortgaging services.

SOLUTION

Using the results from an in depth long tail search audit against the AA’s competition, we developed narratives that would capture market share from their competitors.

We created two eBooks: a boiler handbook and remortgaging handbook. We also created an interactive illustrated  guide to understanding how your boiler/heating works within your household and we created a fully responsive hand illustrated microsite, taking you on a journey throughout 15 European countries.

RESULTS

We created unique interactive and highly sharable content within each of the specific business areas that the AA wished to target. The content was developed to ensure that it was easily shared across news sources, blogs, forums and social streams, all of which have a profound effect on ranking of long tail search terms.

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Equifax – Market Dominance SEO

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BRIEF

Equifax is one of the leaders of the credit score industry within the UK. They supply credit scores that can affect a person’s ability to secure finance.

Their goal was to promote their support service in improving, monitoring and securing a credit score. In addition they wished to gain market share against their competitors.

SOLUTION

Auditing Equifax against their direct competitors online allowed us to determine key areas in long tail search terms that we could target to dominate the search results.

RESULTS

To increase awareness of their support products, we developed a quiz capturing search terms in the questions and answers. We also developed an online budget planner to encourage users’ day-to-day management of their personal finance.

In order to encourage online security, we developed a password generator that will create a highly secure password for your most sensitive accounts. In addition, we created a credit score ‘snakes & ladders’ (see below) in order to explain what elements affect your rating.

All of the content was produced to be highly sharable. It was shared on news sources, blogs, forums and social media allowing the content to dominate the long tail search terms.

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The Hotel Collection – Market Dominance SEO

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BRIEF

The Hotel Collection is a UK based  hotel booking site. They specialise in unique hotels with spectacular grounds and a rich history. They wanted to promote the locations of their hotels and the advantages of choosing to stay in a boutique hotel over a mainstream hotel.

SOLUTION

We created guides to make the most of The Hotel Collection’s unique offerings by auditing their position in long tail search results.

We examined what they had to offer, what people were searching for in their field and what their competition were not ranking for.

From these results, we developed two narratives that would ensure they would capture all of that traffic.

RESULTS

Using our key narratives and the results from our SEO audit, we created a UK ‘Staycation Guide’, an interactive online magazine that highlights dog friendly hotels across the UK. It includes the most prominent long tail search terms surrounding the topic of ‘UK holidays with your dog’ – from where to stay to what to do.

The second piece of content was an ebook. ‘The Little Book of Occasions’ is a guide to throwing a party (every kind you can possibly imagine).

Both pieces of content were developed to be highly shareable. The more the content was shared on news sources, blogs, forums and social networks, the better the content was ranked in search results.

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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.

Torture Garden – Website

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BRIEF

Torture Garden is the world’s leading creators of fetish events and BDSM. When they approached us, they had an outdated and ineffective website. They enlisted us to build them a site that would match the sophistication of their events and which would be mobile-friendly. The site also required a ticket booking engine.

To ensure they weren’t missing out on promotional opportunities and to keep an archive of press-quality images, Torture Garden also requested a means for photographers to upload photos which could then be curated by management before the site went live.

SOLUTION

We created a comprehensive back-end system that made event booking very simple.

We developed a system where the TG team could create photographer profiles, allowing photographers to upload images from events. This gave TG a centralised online system that simplified the process of retaining press-quality images.

The simple, on-brand design allows the character of the events hold visitors’ focus.

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RESULTS

Torture Garden sold out of their first event within 24 hours after the site had been launched. The site received a good response from the community and the photographers in particular, were very happy about the improved uploading channel.

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Chester Barrie – Campaign Management

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BRIEF

Chester Barrie is a made-to-measure men’s clothing brand and one of the leaders of Savile Row tailoring. They wanted help launching their new collection – London Collections Men – on social media.

SOLUTION

We commenced a targeted and multi-platform social media campaign. We launched the official Chester Barrie instagram account, live tweeted from their fashion week events, engaged with key influencers in the fashion world and pushed awareness through advocates.

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RESULTS

As a result of this campaign, Chester Barrie gained 1.2K followers on twitter in one week and 1.1K followers on instagram.

The campaign received a great response from fashion industry figures, including David Gandy, and contributed significantly to the successful launch of Chester Barrie’s new menswear line.

 

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Finch & Partners – Website

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BRIEF

Finch & Partners is a creative brand consultancy that bridges the gap between leading multinational brands and creative brands.

They had a very outdated website that did not represent their services and which had poor SEO. Finch & Partners wanted an easy-to-use, design-led, state-of-the-art website to quickly convey their multi-channel global service offerings.

SOLUTION

We created a website that pushed the capabilities of online development to simply convey a complex service.

The website was responsive and optimised for SEO, but more importantly, it was a one-of-a-kind with innovative design that was tailored perfectly to the needs of the client.

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RESULTS

The company saw increased lead generation through the website and online applications.

The site won 8 awards, including the prestigious Awwwards which recognise the talent and effort of the best web designers, developers and agencies in the world. As a result, our in-house creative was ranked 480th best cross-specialty designer in the world (A-Design Award).

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Timothy James Consulting – The Bespoke Website

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BRIEF

Timothy James Consulting is a recruitment company specialising in energy, media, healthcare and finance.

They were struggling to post jobs online in a timely and efficient manner, as they were utilising multiple advertising platforms and, at the time they approached us, had to post jobs individually on each platform.

Our brief was to make a website that allowed applicants to search for jobs, create a candidate profile and upload a CV whilst improving the aesthetic, optimising SEO and ensuring responsiveness.

SOLUTION

Working very closely with the Timothy James operations team, we devised a strategy in which the website could be a central hub, allowing the team to upload each advert to one place, subsequently utilising technology to distribute across the web.

We developed a content management solution (CMS) that allowed them to edit content very easily and included custom-made applications for CV catching and distributing.

RESULTS

The streamlined functionality of the design increased efficiency throughout the company which in turn increased applications through the website.

Additionally, our integrated customer-relationship management (CRM) solution allowed Timothy James to keep track of candidates in a centralised system.

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CHUCS – The Bespoke Website + Campaign Management

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BRIEF

CHUCS is a luxury swimwear brand based in the heart of Mayfair.

Although in-store sales were strong, the company’s online presence struggled to perform in the same manner. At the time they approached us, their site had sold around £10k total in its two-year lifetime .

The site was extremely slow, non-responsive and was struggling with search engine results. Additionally, the user interface caused unnecessary hurdles that hindered sales. On a limited budget, they briefed us to take whatever action was necessary to boost online sales and enhance community growth and engagement within their 800 followers.

SOLUTION

The redevelopment of the CHUCS website on a comprehensive and scalable platform (called Magento) and high standards of SEO were implemented.

Alongside this, the development was optimised for rapid page loading, reducing the average loading time from 10 seconds to just under one second per page. Analysis of the old site had demonstrated key hurdles for purchase; the redesign seamlessly removed any blocks to purchase while maintaining a high-end design aesthetic that suited the brand ethos.

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RESULTS

Throughout the rapid redevelopment, we launched a social media campaign to increase the reach to potential customers.

The drop off of user flow throughout the site was greatly improved by the refreshed design. The CHUCS community on twitter grew from 500 followers to 27,000 followers. As a result, the site had  transactions worth over £200K in 8 months.

Due to the success in this period, the brand was bought out by a venture capital group in a multi-pound deal and is currently undergoing a redesign of all clothing lines.

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The Lucky Onion – Website

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BRIEF

The Lucky Onion is an award-winning group of restaurants and hotels located in the Cotswolds. When they approached us, they were looking to increase staff numbers between 20% and 30%; the estimated budget to do this through traditional recruitment would have been about £60k. To cut costs and capitalise on the opportunity to recruit more dynamically, The Lucky Onion decided they wanted to implement their own recruitment strategy.

Due to the increased levels of staffing, maintaining a key understanding of employees’ well-being and progress has become an increasingly complex challenge. As such we were requested to develop an online appraisal system that would allow the employees to report their progress and accomplishments in an eco-friendly and time efficient manner while providing management with a digital platform to set goals and nurture employees’ talent.

SOLUTION

We produced an easy-to-use platform that visually represents The Lucky Onion brand and communicates their ethics.

The site is up to modern day standards, completely responsive and SEO friendly. It includes the functionality for job applicants to upload CVs and candidate data, which is stored in a database.  This gives The Lucky Onion HR team a pool of talent to choose from when a new position becomes available.

To bolster this solution and ensure a targeted reach for specific roles and locations, we simultaneously implemented a social media strategy. The main challenge was finding skilled candidates in a remote area of the UK. This was done by building a community of strategically defined followers that have been actively engaged in the recruitment process.

Finally, the appraisal system was built on a custom content management system (CMS) which allows management to create unique profiles for each employee. Employees can confidentially update their profile and management can also comment on employee development. The system also produces a PDF to give employees a visual representation of their development.

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RESULTS

To ensure ease of use, we built an outward-facing recruitment website using WordPress. The detailed design was influenced by consistent input from The Lucky Onion’s in-house design team. The data capture of applicant CVs has been so successful that in 87 days they gained over 100 candidates. This success was largely the result of the ongoing digital marketing campaign that to date has reached 1,800,000 people.

The digital appraisal system has made it easy to track employee development and monitor status of complete/incomplete appraisals. It has also reduced overall administration of the process, is quick and easy to use and eco friendly, as well as being cost saving.

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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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COMMUNITY BUILDING

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

Throw your brick through a window, not into the wind. CHC Digital can place your target market directly in front of you. We study what your potential and current clients are interested in. This research is used to target & build your digital community. We do not buy followers. Your followers will be real, active and engaging and don’t actually throw a brick through a window. It is a metaphor.

WHAT CAN IT DO FOR YOUR BUSINESS?

What can’t it do? A healthy digital following adds credibility to your brand whilst, allowing the opportunity to tap into active & passive clients. However, a healthy digital community will not engage and prosper without the correct content. CHC Digital also supply content. HOW CONVENIENT! Everyone wins!

IS IT RIGHT FOR YOU?

– Do you need to increase your following?
– Do you want to break new markets?

RECOMMENDED WITH THE FOLLOWING (MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR DIGITAL PRESENCE):

– Content Marketing
– Blogs
– Social Media Management
– Digital Campaigns/Strategy

BLOG

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

Dictionary.com defines a “Blog” as, “a website containing a writer’s or group of writer’s own experiences, observations, opinions, etc., and often having images and links to other websites”. A blog is a great way to make the CHC team feel creative and create wonderfully entertaining blogs and content to add to your absolutely awesomely built CHC website.

WHAT CAN IT DO FOR YOUR BUSINESS?

Blogs can drive traffic to your website. They can turn you into a resource and a thought leader. Blogging should make you relevant and interesting. Even if you are not either of those things. We can make you appear that way. Unfortunately, we can only assist making you digitally interesting . You are on your own in the real world. Have you thought of speed dating? It’s a good way of meeting people.

HOW DO WE DO THIS?

With personality. Our team can create custom made blogs that will highlight your brand’s ethos, message and tone of voice. We thrive on the opportunity to create engaging copy for a variety of different audiences. We welcome the opportunity to create content for even the most niche of industries.

IS IT RIGHT FOR YOU?

– Do you want to be a thought leader? – Do you want to position your brand as a valuable resource? – Do you require more content for your website?

RECOMMENDED WITH THE FOLLOWING (MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR DIGITAL PRESENCE):

– Content Marketing
– Website Development

DIGITAL CAMPAIGNS / STRATEGY

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

We understand that not every business requires or can afford Digital Marketing. However, perhaps there is a specific event / sale / new product launch coming up that needs that extra lift. We can create, implement and execute a digital campaign that is in line with your business plan.

HOW DO WE DO THIS?

With experience. The CHC digital team has several years experience implementing strategies in a variety of different industries, from international brand names to small boutiques. We are natural strategists and we get excited by drawing up plans and campaigns to get the most out of your business. Is it sad that this excites us? Probably.

IS IT RIGHT FOR YOU?

– Are you lacking a communication strategy?
– Do you have a particular event or product you need to promote?

RECOMMENDED WITH THE FOLLOWING (MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR DIGITAL PRESENCE):

– Content Marketing
– Email Campaigns
– Community Building
– Artwork & Design

SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGEMENT

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

Social media management is the management of outbound and incoming interactions across a variety of social platforms. This scales from a positive tweet about your wonderful salad to a negative comment on Facebook about your undercooked steak. We encourage positive comments and manage the negative.

WHAT CAN IT DO FOR YOUR BUSINESS?

Social media platforms allow people to form connections with your brand, bringing life and personality into your business. Social media supplies an opportunity to interact with your customers, promote your brand and drive traffic to your website, which ultimately will improve your SEO. It also offers the opportunity to postscroll pictures of your smiling staff and all of your awards.

HOW DO WE DO THIS?

With obsession. Our Social team tweet before they talk, snapchat before they speak and #regram before they respond. Several years experience of living and breathing in the digital landscape means our team knows what needs to be said, how to say it and to whom.

IS IT RIGHT FOR YOU?

– Do you need to engage your audience?
– Do you need to respond to customer opinions?
– Do you need to drive traffic to your website?
– Do you need to create greater brand awareness?

RECOMMENDED WITH THE FOLLOWING (MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR DIGITAL PRESENCE):

– Advanced SEO
– Blogs
– Community Building
– Content Marketing
– Digital Campaigns / Strategy

CONTENT MARKETING

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

If distribution is King, content is the Queen that wears the trousers. And the secret to the King’s success. We know what content will excite and engage your target market. I am afraid to say that it requires slightly more effort than a picture of a cat. Unfortunately.

WHAT CAN IT DO FOR YOUR BUSINESS?

Content marketing is crucial to your brand message. It is a superb way to gain awareness and become a thought leaders. Content marketing will engage your current customers and recruit the new.

HOW DO WE DO THIS?

With passion. CHC Digital are full of storytellers. We thrive on the opportunity to tell your brand’s tale in an appealing, entertaining and relevant manner.

IS IT RIGHT FOR YOU?

– Do you need to engage your audience?
– Do you need to generate fresh content?

RECOMMENDED WITH THE FOLLOWING (MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR DIGITAL PRESENCE):

– Blog Writing
– Artwork & Design
– Email Campaigns
– Social Media Management
– Community Building
– Digital Campaigns / Strategy

EMAIL CAMPAIGNS

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

Receiving spam emails about products you do not want are really annoying. It is our job to make these emails not annoying and make you think you want the product. We can re-engage with sleepy subscribers and and improve interaction with your already active audience.

WHAT CAN IT DO FOR YOUR BUSINESS?

You can sell your product/service directly to your target market. They are already interested, you just need to supply the content to secure the sale and how many trees get cut down every year? Loads! By going digital, you will cut paper costs.

HOW DO WE DO THIS?

With imagination. We have a team of aspiring (struggling) writers and poets who are lords of the language. From heavenly headlines to captivating content. Our wordsmiths can tell your tale in an entertaining and engaging fashion, while maintaining your brand message.

IS IT RIGHT FOR YOU?

– Do want to reach out to your target audience?

RECOMMENDED WITH THE FOLLOWING (MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR DIGITAL PRESENCE):

– Content Marketing
– Blog Writing
– Artwork & Design
– Digital Campaigns / Strategy

MOBILE APPLICATIONS

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

From web applications to native Android or iOS apps, we can create bespoke applications to deploy on any mobile device. Whether you are looking to calculate or titillate, entertain or provide essential services, we can build applications to be as simple or as complex as is required. We can create APPsolutely anything you want!

WHAT CAN IT DO FOR YOUR BUSINESS?

Mobile accessibility is an increasing expectation of most web users, and an absolute requirement for many services to remain competitive in a growing market. With native applications, the doors of possibility fly wide open, bringing you closer to your user and establishing your service as an indispensable part of their lives. To build a close relationship with your customers and create the most value possible, this is the way to go. How do you like those APP(le)s?

HOW DO WE DO THIS?

With a great deal of understanding. Calling upon our UX and UI experience, we work closely with you to discover the gold within your offering. Through detailed planning, design and development across the major mobile platforms, we promise to put you into the pockets of your customers wherever they are. Have we wet your APPetite yet?

IS THIS RIGHT FOR YOU?

– Do you have a great idea?
– Do you need it to be deployed on mobile devices?
– Do you want to build close relationships with your users?

RECOMMENDED WITH THE FOLLOWING:

– Maintenance & Management

MAINTENANCE AND MANAGEMENT

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

Once we have carefully brought your dream into being, there may be ongoing developments you wish to make to perfect it’s performance. Rather than starting again to further improve your site, we will stick around for as long as you would like to make sure your site is running as smoothly as possible, keeping it safe, competitive and at peak performance.

WHAT CAN IT DO FOR YOUR BUSINESS?

It give you the peace of mind to completely relax about your website, we will be available to take care of any needs you may have, big or small. We promise that your site will be performing at 100%.

HOW DO WE DO THIS?

With dedication. We are proud of the work we create, design, build and deliver, and feel an attachment to them. We want to see our sites grow and flourish on the web, so we nurture them throughout their journey and will not leave you in need when times get hard.

IS THIS RIGHT FOR YOU?

– Do you feel you are not getting value from other agencies?
– Do you want to know that your website is running at 100%?
– Do you want to have someone care as much about your online presence as you do?

HOSTING

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

Hosting is like your business “cloud” where all of your website’s files are stored. There are many options regarding hosting, whether it is dedicated storage or shared with other websites. Both can be perfect solutions, depending on the needs of your business and your website.

WHAT CAN IT DO FOR YOUR BUSINESS?

Depending on the needs of your website, the type of hosting you use can both save you money and ensure a more robust and reliable service to your visitors. Any down-time could mean that you are losing business and damaging your reputation, but paying for excess capability could mean your costs are higher than necessary.

HOW DO WE DO THIS?

With care. Migrating to a new server is a little like moving house, you need to take your time packing up, making sure everything is properly labeled and transported safely so it can all get back to work straight out of the box. Setting you up for the first time is even better as we can guarantee a well ordered website from the get-go.

IS THIS RIGHT FOR YOU?

– Is your site painfully slow?
– Are you spending too much on hosting?
– Does your site only work “some of the time”?

SPEED OPTIMISATION

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

Online users will begin to lose interest after 2 seconds of page loading. Sometimes you build something really great, but in focussing on how a site looks or functions the speed of the site can sometimes be neglected. With ever increasing volumes of traffic and access from mobile devices, it is imperative to ensure your site loads quickly, even if they are in the dark age of GRPS. Let’s make your website running as fast as Usain Bolt.

WHAT CAN IT DO FOR YOUR BUSINESS?

Ensures that visitors are getting the best possible experience and impression of your brand by avoiding frustration. The slower your site is, the longer it will take for your potential customer to find out about your product or service and the longer it will take them before they get in touch or make a sale.

HOW DO WE DO THIS?

With delicacy. We are very aware that you will have spent a great deal of time building your digital presence, so we tread lightly, carefully investigating what we can optimise. Typically we will look at server-side solutions, optimising the code running your site.

IS THIS RIGHT FOR YOU?

– Does the speed of your site agitate users?
– Do you feel like your site could be quicker?

ADVANCED SEO

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

Every site we build will be optimised to rank highly in search engine results. However, the evolving nature of search engines means you may not keep reaching the top spot as your competitors adjust their search terms. Advanced SEO is an ongoing service that ensures the continued development of your own search terms to keep you in the best possible position. The best place to hide a dead body, is page 2 of Google search results.

WHAT CAN IT DO FOR YOUR BUSINESS?

Maximise your presence on search listings such as Google, Ask Jeeves and Yahoo. This in turn will increase your exposure in organic searches, increasing the chance of capturing new customers and increasing your brand awareness.

HOW DO WE DO THIS?

With foresight. We combine targeted keywords generated through our own algorithm, original industry leading content and strategic link building. This trio of techniques delivers continued and successful results for our clients search performance.

IS THIS RIGHT FOR YOU?

– Are you in a competitive industry?
– Is local business important to you?
– Do you want your business to be found under a certain search term?

CUSTOM MADE SYSTEM

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

Sometimes, we need to step out of the constraints of “what everyone else is doing”. If you have a great idea, why be limited by what you may have seen before? From the very small to the very large we can build systems that capture and perfect your vision, no matter how far you are thinking outside the box. There is no such thing as a stupid idea. Except Green Fanta. That was never going work.

WHAT CAN IT DO FOR YOUR BUSINESS?

If you see value in innovating the way you do business, then we can help you realise that dream, focussing in-depth on the tasks your business undertakes. The potential is endless. We love to hear from those innovation leaders that inspire us to create the impossible.

HOW DO WE DO THIS?

With hard work. Developing things that have never been done takes dedication. It takes careful planning and testing. Most of all it takes a moment of inspiration to find a solution. Our team loves these projects: we see them as a puzzle to be solved, and rest little until they’re complete.

IS THIS RIGHT FOR YOU?

– Do you have a great idea?
– Do you want to do something rarely/never seen before?
– Do you want to add value to your company?

RECOMMENDED WITH THE FOLLOWING:

– Advanced SEO
– Maintenance & Management

ECOMMERCE

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

If you sell a product or a service we can bring your business online, opening sales channels across the globe. Our eCommerce solutions vary from the simple to the comprehensive. Shoppers are increasingly turning their back on the high street and shopping online. Fish where the fish are!

WHAT CAN IT DO FOR YOUR BUSINESS?

Convert your online following into customers, reach new markets around the world and communicate the details about your product or service. Give Mrs. Hayashi in Japan an opportunity to buy your product!

HOW DO WE DO THIS?

With insight. To deliver a successful eCommerce platform you have to have an in-depth understanding of a customers journey through your site. We design the user interface in a manner that drives the visitors to the product they are looking for as quickly as possible. Once presented with the product, the experience can be enhanced by incorporating product videos, sizing guides, informative descriptions and alternative views and reviews. Conveying this in a simple easy to use design will ensure that you are converting visitors into sales.

IS THIS RIGHT FOR YOU?

– Do you want to sell products or services on your site?

– Do you want to control the content on your site?

– Do you want to manage your own products and stock online?

RECOMMENDED WITH THE FOLLOWING:

– Advanced SEO
– Maintenance & Management

ADVANCED CMS

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

Sometimes WordPress just doesn’t cut it. If you are looking to do something really special with your site, we can develop a complex back-end on a stable platform, Joomla. If you’re looking for a digital publishing solution that is scalable enough to support millions of visitors a day, you need look no further.

WHAT CAN IT DO FOR YOUR BUSINESS?

An advanced CMS can bring your digital presence into the future and keep it there, minimising the need for major redevelopments. We are so confident in the robustness of our development we guarantee the only updates you could ever want will be aesthetic. With this package the opportunities are endless. We can continue to work with you to grow your digital platform and integrate new functions to make your business perform at the top level, rewarding you and your customers. Your customers are nice. They give you money. Treat them.

HOW DO WE DO THIS?

With expertise. While many developers shy away from the complexity Joomla, we love it! A talented team and years of experience under our belts give us the ability to take any idea and make it a reality. It’s a brave new world and we want to be at the forefront of it. Is it sad that we love Joomla? Most likely.

IS THIS RIGHT FOR YOU?

– Do you want to upload content to your site?

RECOMMENDED WITH THE FOLLOWING:

– Advanced SEO
– Maintenance & Management

CMS BROCHURE WEBSITE

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

If you want a simple user friendly content management system for your website, this is the solution for you. We combine the best of font end design and intelligent development to deliver a well rounded solution that not only looks great, but gives you control and remains solid as a rock under pressure. If an atomic bomb is dropped, at least your website will be fine. No one will be able to look at it though but you can’t win them all.

WHAT CAN IT DO FOR YOUR BUSINESS?

The CMS gives empowerment, letting you change the content of your website regularly, test and perfect your calls to action, whilst maintaining a strong design. We will blend the most talented design with an elegant stable system that is easy to understand and utilise.

HOW DO WE DO THIS?

With experience. Melding two different skill sets can often result in a ugly outcome, and we have witnessed some dogs. Each project moves forward with design and development in unison, and we now have hundreds of perfected sites behind us.

IS THIS RIGHT FOR YOU?

– Do you want to upload content to your site?

RECOMMENDED WITH THE FOLLOWING:

– Advanced SEO
– Maintenance & Management

BROCHURE WEBSITE

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

A brochure site does not rely on a back end system, allowing for our imagination to run wild. It is hand-coded bespoke to your wishes. Aesthetically lead to deliver your brand message in a unique and individual manner, tailored to your message and ideals. You will love the website almost as much as we do. Almost.

WHAT CAN IT DO FOR YOUR BUSINESS?

Your website is the first port of call for attracting new customers. It represents you and your business, should inspire confidence, and grip the visitor in an immersive experience that surround them with the story you wish to tell. Believe in your business and give it the shiny digital shop window that it deserves!

HOW DO WE DO THIS?

With joy! This type of site is a creative’s dream. We squeeze our developers to push the envelope on what is possible, innovate new ways of telling brand stories, engaging with people and creating something truly special.

IS THIS RIGHT FOR YOU?

– Do you want a site that you rarely have to update?
– Do you want a design lead site?
– Do you want to deliver your story in a creative, interesting and easy to understand manner?

RECOMMENDED WITH THE FOLLOWING:

– Advanced SEO
– Maintenance & Management

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!

For more fun digital tips & tricks, subscribe to our newsletter below or keep reading here

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

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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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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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