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Digital decoded – digital marketing terms all businesses need to know

Digital decoded – digital marketing terms all businesses need to know

In today’s fast-paced world of constant communication online, businesses need great digital marketing strategies to capture and keep their customers’ attention. With clients on the move and accessing their information and products via mobile phone or tablet – as well as their desk-based laptop – it’s vital for businesses to adapt their traditional marketing approach and bring it up to date.

With increased opportunity comes increased challenge, and for pre-generation-Y, the profusion of new digital marketing terms now in common parlance can be like a whole new foreign language that must be quickly mastered in order to keep up with the pace. The crucial point is that digital marketing is not just about reaching new audiences, but about measuring engagement so that ad campaigns can be effectively targeted and budgets don’t go through the roof.

With that in mind, here is our handy glossary of common digital marketing terms that crop up most in our conversations with clients on how best to present their online shopfront. We hope it is useful!

PPC – Pay Per Click

This is a method of internet marketing whereby advertisers pay a set amount each time an advert is clicked. This may be seen as a “bought visit” to your website as opposed to what we would call an “organic visit” – one where a customer enters a word or phrase, into a search engine and clicks on a website link that has appeared as a result of the words entered.  As the name suggests, you pay a sum of money every time someone clicks on your advert.

AdWords

AdWords is a service offered by Google and is a form of PPC advertising. AdWords targets adverts against specific searches in search engines.  When a prospective customer searches on Google, ads appear above the organic results in the top 3 positions, and also at the bottom showing 3 more ads. Through the display network, Google also uses advertising space on thousands of websites who have signed up with Google to display Google ads on their sites.

SEO – Search Engine Optimisation

This is a hugely misunderstood technique in the digital marketing world.  SEO enables the growth of organic search engine results.  It involves elements of improving rankings, driving traffic and increasing awareness of the site across search engines. A good SEO strategy will mean that a business’s website will achieve a better ranking on search engine results pages for a wide range of search phrases.

Responsive websites

Responsive website designs are sometimes also referred to as mobile-friendly designs and to a large extent the terms can be considered interchangeable.  Being ‘mobile friendly’ is a big part of getting part of the SEO right for your website, since Google will mark your website down a notch or two for not being mobile friendly.  Responsive designs are simply a website design that will work well for your customer whether they are viewing it on a mobile screen, a tablet or on a laptop. The design ‘responds’ to how the customer is viewing it, making it a good experience for the user.

CTR / CPC / CPA

These are all mainly advertising acronyms used to describe how successful an ad campaign is performing.

CTR means “Click Through Rate” and is expressed as a percentage. It indicates the number of visitors clicking on an advert as a proportion of how many times the advert was seen.  Low CTR means a poorly performing ad!

CPC means “Cost Per Click”.  This is the cost of a click on an advert for a particular phrase.   Some phrases cost much more per click than others which is dictated by how popular those phrases are.   Paying attention to similar phrases that cost less is a way of getting more value out of advertising campaigns.

CPA means “Cost Per Acquisition”.  This is a means of calculating how much advertising spend it costs to make a sale.  With a 1% conversion rate for instance, it would take 100 clicks to make one sale.  Taking the CPC for all of the 100 clicks and adding them together gives you the CPA.  If the CPA outstrips the profit you are making on the sale itself, your ad campaign needs a rethink.

CMS

A CMS is a “Content Management System”.  Most websites should be run on a Content Management System these days and if yours isn’t, then give us a call!  Once upon a time, websites were hand crafted page by page.  This quickly showed itself to be a problem when someone decided to make whole site changes such as to change the logo or the colour of the website. It also soon demonstrated that it was costly to always get a web designer to change small pieces of copy on one page, or to add a new news item.  Content Management Systems allow you to edit the content of the pages of your website without touching the design, which also makes it easier and cheaper to keep your website up to date and in good order.

eShots and Email Newsletters

Email Marketing via email newsletters and eShots will be something anyone with an email address will be very familiar with.  It is the modern day equivalent of direct mailers.  A good eShot should capture the readers’ attention by being eye-catching and easy to access.  Due to Data Protection laws protecting people’s inboxes, you need also to be careful in how you acquire your email addresses and you need to ensure you stick to the rules in allowing opt-outs too.

Hashtags and tagging

The younger generation has been raised with social media and so social media related phrases come naturally to younger people. Hashtagging and tagging someone are two very different things though.   Hashtags are a word or a phrase preceded by the # symbol.  Introduced originally on Twitter to help people to filter out conversations on this platform hashtags are now widely adopted on other social media websites such as Instagram.  They are also now considered to be marketing tools for getting a wider group of people to join in on a single conversation online.

Meanwhile, tagging someone is when you add your friends and connections on social media into a post so that they notice it in their notifications.  Widely used on Facebook and Twitter to cut through the noise on these two busy websites.

LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter Ads

Just like Google, large social media websites also allow you to pay for ad space on their websites.  Because people are signed into social media, this makes it much easier to target audiences demographically.  After all, on Facebook you enter your date of birth, where you live, where you work, check into restaurants, bars, airports, cinemas and museums. This demographic information across everyone who has a Facebook account allows highly targeted advertising to take place.  Twitter and LinkedIn also target although less specifically than Facebook.  When looking at advertising budgets, don’t discount social media advertising.

As we have said before, the Internet is not a mysterious force.  It is published by and then used by people, just like you and me. Therefore, when considering and planning a digital marketing strategy, it is always a mistake to forget that customers are still people who have the same characteristics as they do when they walk into your shop.  Your digital presence should be helpful and convey your marketing message quickly and effectively, but not bombard the customer with loud, shouty messages that will simply turn them away. We hope this article will help you navigate the constantly evolving digital world.  While it may seem different from that of previous business generations, you will come to realise that it is in many ways just the same.

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We are a no-nonsense digital marketing agency based in Derby. To learn more about how we can help you get results from your marketing, then get in touch. Please email us on [email protected] or give us a call on 01332 416555.

Digital Marketing Blog

Marketing tips for 2017

Marketing tips for 2017

Now is the time for businesses to think up some great resolutions as to how to achieve better marketing results through adoption of different techniques for 2017.

Here’s my contribution. As the co-founder of a digital marketing agency, there are lots of things I’d like to see less of in 2017 when it comes to how businesses are putting their message out there in the great big world of the Internet.

We are now well into the 21st century but in my view, there is still a serious lack attention to detail when it comes to implementing digital marketing, and understanding the impact this can have on general business. With almost every actively trading company now having a digital presence – whether it’s their website, a LinkedIn profile or an online directory listing – there is just no getting away from the fact that companies are now interfacing with the public in many more ways than via their physical shopfront.

But despite this, it seems that many are not quite getting the importance of how a company comes across on the digital airwaves. A business profile is now multi-faceted; fail to pay attention to any aspect of how that’s transmitted – whether it’s with poor photography on the website or an overly brash social media sales pitch – and you may well start to see a negative effect on your bottom line. The digital age has brought with it many new subtleties to traditional marketing messaging and you overlook these at your peril. As with any aspect of business, the key is to think things through carefully and pay attention to detail.

 

Bad websites

A business website is so important. It must not be shoddily put together. This doesn’t mean flashy graphics or lots of clever pop-ups; it means the site should be easy to navigate with clearly written content. Watch out for the simple things; nothing will put customers off like a grammatical error or a typo that interrupts the flow of what the customer is reading. Also, think carefully about what your customers will want to know, and create a site that leads them where you want them to be with the minimum of effort.

 

Websites that can’t be viewed on a mobile or tablet

As I’ve written before in this column, careful thought must be given to how your site will be viewed on mobile phones or tablets. Maximise customer engagement by ensuring the site works across multiple platforms. A site that isn’t mobile friendly will seriously annoy everyone who tries to use it while on the go, which, let’s face it, is pretty much all the time these days for a vast proportion of the population.

 

Sales pitches on social media

There is a golden rule that is worth bearing in mind when we talk to people on social media – the 80:20 rule. This means you should split your social broadcasting efforts to avoid pushy oversell. Spend 80 per cent of your posting efforts giving out information that is useful to your audience or sharing ‘fun stuff’ related to your industry. You can then spend the other 20 per cent on promoting your products and services.

Every brand has a story and channels like Facebook and Twitter are very powerful tools for talking to customers.   If you continuously put out messages that are out-and-out attempts at selling all the time you will turn people away.   Rather than reaching out to people, you’ll quickly get ignored online as all that sales broadcasting will show the world that you aren’t conversing, you are just ‘telling’.

If you want to engage through social media, you need to provide sparkling content that offers readers something.  So for instance, if you are a cook shop, you can share recipes and info on seasonal ingredients to keep your potential customers coming back to your brand because they find your shared content useful.  Then, when you push out your special offers or news of an in-store sale, you will find you audience hasn’t already tuned you out.

 

Failure to measure up

It’s no good spending time and money on digital marketing if you don’t then measure how well it’s doing. Lots of people seem to view the Internet as a rather sinister shadowy entity that can’t be controlled.  However, what we all need to remember is that this is just a tool operated by actual human beings. In the same way you would measure response to a leafleting campaign, do so with your digital campaigns. Google Analytics and social media stats will help you find out how many people are looking through your online shop window, and you can then think about how better to target them. Always remember that for every click, view or like, there is a person at the other end. A lack of focus on digital marketing is often caused by a mindset that sees all things digital as technology rather than people.

 

Sales pitches masquerading as blogs

This is similar to the earlier point made.  A blog is categorically not supposed to be an out-and-out sales pitch. Selling and telling are different, and if there are any golden rules in the shifting sands of the Internet age, this is one of them. A blog should be informative, engaging, and, if possible, provide some insights into you and your company. People like to read about other people, so if you stories that brings your staff to life for customers, or you have stories about how your brand has touched the hearts of your customers then your blog readers will love it.

A blog which tells everyone how fantastic your business is will just make your target audience switch off. Think of it as you would talking to a friend: no-one likes a show-off.

 

Bad photography

Digital media demands great images; it’s often what makes us look twice. The amount of bad photographs that get put on company websites is depressing, it’s just a real turn off. Investing in great photography will pay dividends.

Won a prize at an awards event? By all means, shout about it on your site, but don’t put up the badly lit photo of your company directors with their eyes shut that someone took on their mobile. It will just make you look amateur.  If you have a range of beautiful products, then treat them in the way they deserve by shooting product pictures professionally to do them true justice. Similarly, if you have products that aren’t… ahem… let’s say, the most photogenic of products, then enlisting the help of professional photographers can really help you present your products in the best possible way.

 

E -newsletters with bad subject lines

These can be great tools in getting news about your company and products across to customers. Unlike a blog or social media posting where sharing ‘non-sell’ messages and keeping an authentic voice is improtant, this is a forum where you can perfectly and legitimately advertise new products to your clients.  They have after all, signed up to hear about your special offers so they will be expecting to hear from you. However, you should also beware of a “look at us, we are fantastic” approach as this can put people off.  Be clear in your message and take time to think about how the subject line will appear in people’s inbox. You want clarity, not confusion to get maximum open and click rates.

 

Lack of engagement

If you meet someone after you have spoken at a conference or an exhibition and they say to you, “Hi, I really liked what you said in there,” it would be the height of bad manners, not to mention terrible business, for you to just walk away without a word.   It’s the same with social media, email and web form contacts.   If someone gets in touch with you, don’t ignore them.  Answer comments, whether it’s on TripAdvisor, Google+ reviews, in your ‘enquiries’ inbox or any where else where you invite interaction, and you’ll reap the reward in engaged customers.

 

Don’t give too much information

In this complex world of digital, we are all on the verge of content overload.  Don’t add to that negatively with your own digital publishing efforts.  It is important that you don’t just write words on your website for the sake of filling blank space. As I said before, always be aware you should be offering value to your customer and seeking to connect with them, not just finding 300 ways of saying how amazing you are.

The Internet and the digital age isn’t going anywhere, so it’s time to engage with it properly. Do it well, and I predict that 2017 will be a year of growth!

 

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If you’d like a chat about an upcoming project, please email us on [email protected] or give us a call on 01332 416555.

Digital Marketing Blog

AMP: What is AMP and do I need it?

AMP: What is AMP and do I need it?

You may have seen a small ϟ AMP symbol next to some Google search results when using your phone but what does it mean? Despite what some people think, you won’t get electrocuted if you click the link. What you will get is a super-fast mobile experience.

AMP stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages and is an open-source initiative from Google to make just that – really fast mobile pages. While most responsively designed websites look fine on screens of all sizes, they often contain a lot of the baggage of desktop websites when viewed on mobile. This can include large images, big Javascript libraries (a programing language used to create interactive effects) and CSS (used for styling web pages) and lots of unnecessary code. An AMP is a highly optimised version of a web page that has been stripped right back allowing it to load almost instantaneously.

HTML was introduced in 1980, around 15 years before the first iPhone, so this is what HTML may have looked like if it had been designed back then, with mobile performance in mind. AMP pages can still look good, they can still use CSS, images and some Javascript but the way they are programmed and delivered to your phone is different.

Another thing that speeds up AMP is the fact that they can be pre-rendered and cached by third parties. This means that while the publisher still controls their content, platforms, such as Google, can easily mirror the content for optimal delivery speed to users.

Should I implement AMP on my website?

The AMP approach is particularly suited to news based websites and AMP has seen large scale adoption in the publishing world so the answer here would be yes, particularly for publishers with a Google News presence.

If your business website is already optimised for mobile and was developed with best practices in mind, it should be quick already, so you may not see much benefit. However, any site with lots of static content would benefit from the increase in speed and user experience. This could be recipe sites, travel guides, entertainment sites or even a fairly standard corporate blog.

At the moment Google doesn’t prioritise content that is on AMP pages in their search listings, but should this change in the future then we’ll have no alternative but to AMP up our websites.

Click here to view an AMP version of this page

 

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We are a down to earth web design agency based in Derby. If you’d like a chat about an upcoming project, please email us on [email protected] or give us a call on 01332 416555.

Digital Marketing Blog

Gravity Digital Scoop National Rural Business Awards

Gravity Digital Scoop National Rural Business Awards

Derbyshire based Gravity Digital Ltd were one of last nights prize-winners at the Rural Business Awards – the UK’s only dedicated national business awards for the rural community, run in partnership with the CLA and actively supported by the countryside sector as well as MPs across the UK. The Rural Business Awards are sponsored by Janine Edwards Wealth Management Ltd, Principal Partner Practice of St. James’s Place Wealth Management.

Gravity Digital, a digital marketing agency with offices in Derby and Bakewell, was the outright winner in their category for Best Creative Business and the team were handed their prize at a glittering awards ceremony held at The Belfry Hotel & Resort in The West Midlands.

RBA Best Creative Company Derby

Gravity Digital was launched in October 2015 and united two successful existing Derby companies to provide digital marketing to businesses throughout the UK. Its two Directors are Sharon Steven-Cash and Andy Smith and together they offer many years’ experience in the digital marketing field.

Andy Smith, Director of Gravity Digital, said: “It’s amazing, we really didn’t expect to do so well. To be considered the UK’s Best Rural Creative Media Agency is quite something and this will certainly help boost our business.”

Fellow Gravity Director Sharon Stevens-Cash added: “We’re obviously absolutely delighted, and it means the world to us. This award recognises the hard work that all the team have put in and also a big thanks to our clients, without them we wouldn’t be here.”

Awards co-founder Anna Price said: “Gravity Digital was, we felt, quite simply a very professional and well established creative business with strong rural roots. We were very impressed with its down to earth approach, 100 per cent client retention rate, and structured and proactive programme of community and charity-based initiatives benefiting the local area. Well done Gravity – a clear winner in this category.”

The Rural Business Awards recognise excellence in a range of different business categories, from food and drink through to sport and tourism. Now in their second year, the awards were the brainchild of Leicestershire businesswomen Anna Price and Jemma Clifford, who believe that rural enterprises are often overlooked by other business prize-giving schemes based in urban areas. The award scheme has been praised by MPs including Nicky Morgan and Andrew Bridgen, both of whom have lent their support to the successful initiative. Each year’s awards sees an overall “champion of champions” which this year was Landmark Systems Ltd, a Sussex-based computer software company which won Best Rural Professional Services Business for its unique work helping rural customers run their businesses effectively.

CLA Director General Helen Woolley said: “I am delighted to have been a part of the judging panel and to see first-hand the passion for rural business demonstrated by all the finalists. There were some outstanding entries and my congratulations go to all the winners, every award is truly deserved.”

Rural Business Awards sponsor, Janine Edwards of Janine Edwards Wealth Management, Principal Partner of St James’s Place Wealth Management says: “The Rural Business Awards has seen a number of commendable and outstanding finalists. It has been a pleasure for my team and I to be involved in the whole process, and we are delighted to see that each and every winner has achieved the recognition they deserve. It is a huge accomplishment for all the finalists to be involved in such a high-profile event and I’d like to congratulate them all on their success now and in the future!”

For more information visit: www.ruralbusinessawards.co.uk

Find out more via social media on:
T: @RuralRBAs
F: The Rural Business Awards

Keep up with the Twitter chatter and use #RBAs.

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We are a no-nonsense digital marketing agency based in Derby. To learn more about how we can help you get results from your marketing, then get in touch. Please email us on [email protected] or give us a call on 01332 416555.

Digital Marketing Blog

AdWords – does pay-per-click really add anything to your digital marketing strategy?

AdWords – does pay-per-click really add anything to your digital marketing strategy?

Google AdWords, also known by many as PPC (pay-per-click) is much touted as an effective marketing tool. But it seems that goes against the view of many customers out there, who report negligible results and consign the whole experience to the dustbin, saying investing in AdWords is simply throwing good money after bad. But in our experience at Gravity Digital, pay-per-click can still be a highly effective tool in a company’s digital marketing strategy – provided the campaign is properly managed. And that’s the key, ensuring there is a defined, balanced and constructive AdWords campaign, as opposed to picking a few words, running with them and paying for them at the end.

So, when it comes to advertising on Google, where do we start and how do we get search advertising to work effectively? Many businesses may think that AdWords are not working for them and either give up entirely or just let them fizzle out after a short campaign run. Here are our top tips for how to get AdWords to work effectively for your business:

1. Take time

For any advertising campaign to work effectively, you need to spend time analysing results and reacting to engagements by users. We have found, from having spent much of our time getting the best value for money out of AdWords campaigns, that any time you can spend analysing large tables of numbers is always time well spent. It may seem a dull way to spend an afternoon, but trust us when we say that we have found it well worth it. To give just one example: one client of ours had been running their AdWords account for over a year and, after seeing poor results, ended up ready to give up on the campaign, under the belief it wasn’t worth the money they were paying. But, as it turned out, they had set up the initial campaign and then just left it to run unattended expecting to see the sales pour in. They weren’t spending any time on the account learning about customer behaviour in there and so were unaware of the opportunities to be had. We improved their response rate by 1,900% just by redesigning their campaign, with no increase in budget necessary.

2. Tailor your landing page

You’ve set up your AdWords account, and your first customer has taken the bait and made that all-important click to land on your site. But this is not enough. What you need to do now is put yourself in the mind-set of the person who has got as far as your landing page. It is crucial that you get this part right, and make sure that the website’s opening page, the one which says a big “hello!” to your visitor, answers the queries that led them there in the first place. If, for example, the visitor has responded to an advert for a special offer on a sofa, they don’t want to land on your “about us” page. Give them the experience they have signed up for – believe us, it is only too easy for your prized customer to get impatient at not being able to find what they were looking for, leave never to return and then click onto another website.

3. Check your quality scores

Quality Score is Google’s way of measuring how relevant your ads are in relation to the keywords you are bidding on. If everything is working well, the visitor’s search will match them with your ad quickly and appropriately; they will then click through and land on the right page of your website, to be shown the correct way to the sales basket. Always remember that Google is an incredible machine; it has eyes on every move we make when using it to search, and, as a business, it will score your campaigns based on relevancy and quality of experience. Google doesn’t just take your money to advertise your business, its systems actually judge your ads for relevance and quality. A high score means you will pay less per click and earn a better position on the search ranking, while a low one has the opposite effect, by being more costly and achieving lower search results. You have been warned.

4. Competitive keywords

If you want to pay for popular keywords that lots of businesses are fighting over, you will pay more for them. It’s up to you and your digital marketing strategy team to work out how much you are prepared to pay for a more expensive keyword. Clearly, a niche product will be cheaper as the keywords required will be rarer. But, even if you manage to buy some good, cost-effective keywords, you still need to keep on top of your campaign and make sure you’re getting your money’s worth from every marketing penny you spend.

5. Don’t expect a magic wand

As with every aspect of business, you should never buy into a new marketing tool and expect it to totally transform your sales without putting time and effort into analysing customer engagement and checking how things are going. Marketing is like a plant, it needs tending to and given attention in order to properly grow. It’s no good signing up for AdWords as if you were waving a wand over your marketing and hoping for the best. All advertising needs work, analysis and reaction. That means, when you have properly analysed your customers’ reactions to your ads, you need to reassemble with your marketing team and try to improve the customer experience in whatever way you can, so that you will achieve better results, a Higher Quality Google score, and, that all important bottom line, more sales.

If you have digital marketing expertise in-house, use it to work at your AdWords campaign and you will see the results for yourself. Alternatively, if you don’t have that digital know-how in the office, pay an agency to work at it for you. It may seem like investing even more money in a campaign whose hard-line sales results you have yet to see, but, if you choose marketers with a proven track record in getting the most out of digital marketing, the results will pay back your investment in dividends.

 

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We are a no-nonsense digital marketing agency based in Derby. To learn more about how we can help you get results from your marketing, then get in touch. Please email us on [email protected] or give us a call on 01332 416555.

Digital Marketing Blog

Digital Marketing: Where to Start

Gravity Digital’s latest Business Matters Magazine column is now online and you can view it at: https://www.bmmagazine.co.uk/in-business/advice/digital-marketing-where-to-start/ or just read it below!

We’ve all heard about digital marketing and the growth of companies which have exclusively used the internet to market their brand.

Digital marketing is an umbrella term for anything which promotes your company online – and there are lots of tools that you can use to achieve your objectives. The question most businesses have is, where do they start? Is it with social media, pay per click, e-shots or banner adverts? Here are the first three things that we’d suggest.

1. Website

Digital marketing has to start with your website, which tells the world who you are and what you do. With more than 80% of the UK using the internet on a regular basis to search for goods and services, your website is a window for visitors to look through and decide if they want to become a customer.

Making your website memorable good design and creative copy is one aspect of your website, ensuring the site flows and that the calls to action throughout are productive, is another, but getting people onto your website is the real challenge.

Driving traffic to your website should be supported by SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), although it’s often misunderstood. If your website uses SEO friendly techniques, it will bring more visitors to your site by placing it nearer the top of the list of search results – and ideally this means Google search, as more than 90% of the UK’s internet enquiries are via the search engine Google.

Improving SEO is a specific skill, and as developer of more than 500 websites, our SEO expert and website designer Andy, knows this arena better than any. There’s lots of technical changes you can make to improve your site in Google’s eyes (meta tags, tagging images and much more) however, perhaps one of the simplest ways of improving your business’ SEO is by writing relevant and regular content for your website.

Your next digital marketing step will depend on your customers and your digital marketing objectives, however, a popular second stop on the digital journey is to begin a social media programme.

2. Social media

Third party social media sites will digitally market your company to a wide range of potential customers – driven by the content that you create. Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn are amongst the most popular and can all present a persona of your business to the marketplace.

However, there’s lots more to social media and if you’re not sure what it’s all about, then take a look at our blog: ‘Social Media: That’s Facebook, right?’ and find out a little more about the topic and how social media channels might work for your business.

3. Email marketing

Now before you switch straight off – stop! Let us explain a few misconceptions to you. Firstly, email marketing communications, fall into two categories – emails which are unsolicited (data that us either purchased or phished) and those which are sent out to a list of recipients who have signed up for a newsletter on your website. Unsolicited emails are the type of communications that gives all e-shots a bad reputation.

If you have people that have signed up to receive information about your company, then that is what they want – and it’s your opportunity to showcase your company, the work you do and your products and/or services. It’s also your chance to provide a warm and loyal base of customers and interested parties with special offers, previews, extra information on relevant topics, for example like legislation, market developments or your expert advice. In short, it’s your chance to develop a positive and productive relationship with your subscribers that will lead to their first, or additional commissions, from your firm.

Secondly there are different types of e-communications – one size does not fit all. These are our definitions of e-communications at Gravity Digital:

  • E-briefings: An e-briefing’s purpose is to provide the reader with new and important information on issues that are relevant to them. A more detailed and serious piece of promotion than an e-shot or e-bulletin and most often reserved for business to business marketing.
  • E-bulletins: A marketing promotion sent by email, usually including both words and images. It refers to an email promotion that is based on news, issues and interest stories. This content differs from an e-shot and e-briefing.
  • E-shots: A marketing promotion sent by email, usually including both words and images. E-shots can contain a variety of information, however, it is an email promotion that contains stories/copy/words of a self-promotional nature.

These are just three of the tools that could set you on the road to successful digital marketing and although they are all useful tools, we’d still recommend giving us a call to talk through your options.

Find out more…

We are a no-nonsense digital marketing agency based in Derby. To learn more about how we can help you get results from your marketing, then get in touch. Please email us on [email protected] or give us a call on 01332 416555.

Digital Marketing Blog

There’s more to Google than searching the web

There’s more to Google than searching the web

Say the word Google to anyone and they’ll probably give you the same response. “Well, it’s a search engine, right?” Certainly, Google is the world’s biggest tool for searching the internet and it has even become common parlance for browsing the web: “I’ll Google it”, as most of us have said at some point.

However, there’s more to Google than its function as a search tool for websites, pictures, videos and shopping – use Google well and it will reward you.

There is Gmail, YouTube, Google Maps, Google Drive, Google Blog (Blogger), Google Docs, Sheets and Slides, Google Voice, Google Translate, Google Calendar, Google Analytics, Google AdWords and Google+.

So, what are all these functions which are available as part of the world’s leading online brand? And how can you, as a company, benefit from them?

1) GMail
A free email service offered by the company and launched to the public in 2007. Now the biggest web-based email provider. There are both advantages and disadvantages when using GMail for your business. Contrary to popular belief, you can set up GMail with your company name, for example, [email protected], however, many people find GMail far less easy to use than traditional Outlook.

2) YouTube
Video is fast becoming one of the most popular ways of promoting a business of any size. YouTube is Google’s video sharing site which it bought for $1.65 billion in 2006. It now operates as part of the Google brand, allowing users to upload and share videos as well as leave comments and rate content. Never has it been so easy for small businesses to showcase what they do in video format.

3) Google Maps
Google offers a service to businesses which allows them to appear on Google Maps, helping customers find where you are. Contact information, ratings and reviews of your company are also listed as part of the service. Being on Google Maps is vital in 2015 and will help bring customers to you – there’s no reason to miss out.

4) Google Drive
This is Google’s contribution to the cloud, giving users the chance to store and share files on the internet. It includes Google’s own package of office software, Google Docs, Sheets and Slides, which allows companies and individuals to collaborate on the production of content. This means you can share files with specific suppliers – or indeed store all of your company information on there if you choose.

5) Google Blog
Blogger, as it is now known, is Google’s blog publishing service. A free tool, it provides a platform for sharing text, photos and videos with the world. Want to showcase your knowledge? Then publishing on Blogger is a Google friendly route to take.

6) Google Docs, Sheets and Slides
Closely integrated with Google Drive, this is Google’s office software package. The difference with more traditional software is Google’s solution is web-based and free as part of Google Drive. It allows users to create and share documents, spreadsheets and presentations quickly and smoothly online. Files are also compatible with Microsoft Office. The advantage of the software is its availability – for free – at any time, anywhere in the world.

7) Google Voice
More relevant for those in the United States, Google Voice is the company’s voicemail service. It allows users to receive calls and messages across multiple phones from one inbound number which is provided free of charge by Google.

8) Google Translate
Now supporting 90 languages, Google Translate offers a functional service to more than 200 million people a day. The function can even pronounce text and decipher what language text is in – although users should be wary, using this service instead of a human specialist translate for your marketing materials destined for different languages or cultures, may not end well!

9) Google Calendar
Even available as a mobile application, Google Calendar stores information in the cloud and is therefore a reliable interface for a company and its appointments. Compatible and versatile, Google Calendar is integrated with GMail and iGoogle.

10) Google Analytics
Google’s analytics service is the most popular on the internet, giving data on site visits, bounce rates, page views and unique visitor numbers among other statistics in relation to your website. It really is an excellent tool and one of several free resources that you can use to measure your digital marketing.

11) Google AdWords
The main source of income for Google, AdWords enables advertisers – companies like you – to market their goods and services in its search engine. This “pay per click” advertising system displays your advert as a sponsored link when a searcher enters a phrase which matches what you offer. With a well-placed advert, your company can be at the fingertips of the world – although make sure you never put your company name as an AdWord, people searching for you already will naturally click on the first link – and that’s money out of your budget!

The whole Google package contains elements which can be vital for small businesses and their marketing campaigns. Remember, 90 per cent of people who use the web use Google to browse for products and services. That’s more than two billion people across the globe. Some Google tools are dispensable while some are almost compulsory. For example, having your company listed on Google Maps is vital, while using the Google Calendar is not.

So, you need to ask yourself the question: am I getting the most out of Google and all tools it offers?

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We are a no-nonsense digital marketing agency based in Derby. To learn more about how we can help you get results from your marketing, then get in touch. Please email us on [email protected] or give us a call on 01332 416555.

Digital Marketing Blog

Why pay more than £99 for a website?

You’ve seen the emails, you’ve heard the promises. You too can have a website for £99. But the question is, would you really want one?

It’s cheap, yes, but is it effective? At Gravity Digital we are always explaining that a company website is the single most important marketing tool today, and this is why.

  • 90% of people don’t trust websites that have mistakes.
  • 90% of people that phone, email or visit your business will have researched your company online first.
  • 94% of business to business customers research online before making procurement decisions.
  • 85% of customers look online or ‘Google it’ before making purchase decisions.
  • 75% of people trust online reviews and say they are influenced by positive or negative online reviews.
  • It takes 2.6 seconds for a visitor to your website to have that all important ‘first impression’ about your company and brand.

When put like that, it doesn’t make business sense to leave your websites to mass marketing firms, your well-meaning brother-in-law or your IT whizz kid son, however cost effective they may be. What you really need is a well-designed, functional, responsive and integrated website – not something that just looks pretty.

Your company’s website says a lot about who you are, and when you are saying it, it needs to say, ‘we are professional’, ‘we are the best in our industry’ and ‘we are solid and trustworthy’.

As the UK’s largest search engine (the one more than 90% of people use), Google studies in every detail how people interact with websites. Google takes tracking these interactions very seriously and, from this information, we can gain important insights that can help us influence the way our online presence is represented.

For example, customers move between devices when engaging with a company online. So when you have an interested person looking at your website from their laptop, mobile or tablet, the experience and 2.6 second first impression must be exactly what you want them to see.

With ecommerce websites, studies show that re-engaging with a customer within the first 60 minutes of them having abandoned their shopping basket is optimal in improving sales conversion rates. By contacting customers back to remind them they have unfinished business with you lets them know that you are interested in them.  When approaching this side of the web design process you want to make their experience with the brand as slick and professional as possible.

But let us take a step back for a moment. Before your customer has even visited your website they will have come across your brand alongside all those of your competitors – in Google search results, or on Twitter.  People turn first to search engines and social media channels to learn about products. This is where your customer’s journey starts.

It is no good having the best looking website in town if no one knows it’s there.  Company websites have to work for their place in society. Getting the SEO-structure of your website right will help you to manipulate how your brand appears on search engines to create the best first impression. Getting your social mark up right in the code of your website will help you present product pages to their best advantage on social media.

The customer experience for your brand also needs to be rolled out to all online channels your business uses, such as search engine marketing and social media channels, so that prospective customers understand they have found a business they can trust.

Your website is not just about selling (ok, so yes, it is *mostly* about selling but not *all* about selling).  Good website design can accommodate other business goals too.  Your website should also be about the customer service experience, which, if done right, will reduce costs for your business.  This is just as important to your bottom line as selling more products is.

If you can nurture people through the after-sales experience online, you free up your phones to enable your sales team to carry on doing what they do best – selling.

Examples of this could be to provide a place to easily reorder spares and repairs, or a customer login area to enable the download of user manuals.  You can also avoid huge postal costs of brochures if you allow people access to PDFs online. And you can reduce inbound calls to your business by providing well-written content that leads customers through FAQs.

Businesses that want to generate sales or business leads online need to focus on making their websites look and feel professional.  This means building a site that contains engaging and persuasive content to assist in the psychology of convincing customers that they will go on to purchase from you and not a competitor.

Moreover it means getting the ‘technical bits’ of your website right. The way your website is coded, how tricky parts of your website work such as the shopping baskets and checkout systems, even where and how it is hosted will ensure that your customers have a reliable and trustworthy experience.

When it comes to website design, getting it right is vitally important for all businesses.  Those that fail to heed this warning are putting their business reputation at risk.

So with all these considerations in mind, it is time to stop thinking about your website as a cost, but to instead think of it as an investment.  You spend money to make money, so spend wisely.

Find out more…

We are a no-nonsense web design agency based in Derby. To learn more about how we can help you with your website, get in touch. Please email us on [email protected] or give us a call on 01332 416555.

Digital Marketing Blog

10 top tips to improve your digital marketing

So, your SME has grand plans to launch a glitzy and clever digital marketing strategy. Surely nothing can go wrong? But where do you start? Getting your online operation enticing new enquiries – and sales – is the tricky bit, and not everyone has quite got it right yet.

Avoid getting into a digital daze and take a look at ten fast facts you should know to ensure you avoid digital marketing’s most common pitfalls.

 

1. If you use a marketing agency, make sure it’s a good one!

There are countless specialist companies in the marketplace offering to help you out along the way, many of them making exciting plans which they can struggle to deliver. In the digital age, a lot of marketing agencies have jumped on the bandwagon to keep themselves going in a very competitive marketplace.

Before you engage a company’s services, make sure you get references, preferably from other SMEs, to make sure you’re employing the right people to get your business growing digitally. And don’t forget, measuring your digital marketing success is easy so get them to show you the statistics that illustrate their success.

 

2. Market your website

It’s no good having an all singing, all dancing website which has cost a small fortune if there’s no one looking at it. You have to make sure you take your website to the people, and not wait for them to come to you.

Getting your website out there takes some effort, but your hard work will be rewarded down the line with a growing audience and number of paying customers. To market your website, social media is crucial. Keep linking to your site from Twitter and Facebook and also make sure your search engine optimisation (SEO) is spot-on. Get to the top of the list on Google and you’ll notice a big difference.

PPC (pay-per-click) campaigns such as Google AdWords is also an effective way to promote your website, as are regular expert and advice articles and blogs about your company and the industry in which it operates.

 

3. Speak to your audience

In the age of social media, it is important to engage with your audience – they expect it and, let’s face it, it isn’t that difficult to do – but it does take a little time. Sometimes we all get so focused on keeping on message with our brand that we forget to talk to our customers who are interested in our products and services. Being responsive to customer enquiries, commenting on current issues in the media and knowing what’s important to your prospect customers is a ‘must have’ in your social media planning.

 

4. Don’t commit to doing too much

When entering the world of digital marketing, be realistic about what it is you need to do. If you set your stall out to conquer the world with an all-encompassing website that needs updating regularly, an intense email marketing campaign that needs new data and social media interaction that needs to be engaging, you can easily overstretch yourself.

Make sure you focus on what your potential customer needs, find them and follow them – and make sure you are taking notice of topics trending in your followers’ social media chatter.

Plus, don’t EVER buy your own brand name as a Google AdWords! Customers entering your exact name into a search engine will more likely than not click on the sponsored link and not the natural search below. Each hit will cost you and it will get expensive over time.

 

5. Don’t do too little

Conversely, don’t start a digital marketing campaign with too little an effort. If you’re going to launch a marketing drive, be selective. Think, what will make an impact and combine several elements to produce a balanced approach.

Ideally it’s most productive to start a PPC campaign, along with a press release, social media interaction, blogging, an email newsletter/e-shot/s-briefing and quality SEO on your website.

A good rule is to make sure every positive action you take should have five things to promote it.

 

6. Social media commitment

Never leave your social media channels, like Twitter and Facebook, unmanned for too long. Yes, you can use automated messages to interact with your followers, but they are not a replacement for a real human interacting in real time.

Social media is a golden opportunity for you to connect with your customers, so it’s vital to show them a human face in return and make them feel valued.

 

7. Be consistent across all channels

Make sure the message you send out in your digital marketing is the same across all channels you are using. It’s no good saying one thing in a press release and in your email marketing material and another on Twitter. You can tailor your message for different audiences, but make sure the essence of what you are saying is the same.

 

8. Quality over quantity – don’t be afraid of targeted email marketing

People often say that e-shots are a waste of time, with the recipient likely sending your carefully prepared marketing material straight into the trash. But the point of email marketing is not just to attract new customers, it’s there to put your brand in front of people who already know you and what you do.

Of course, if you’ve never heard of a company sending out a newsletter, or if it appears irrelevant, the chance are you will delete it straight away. That’s why you should never buy lists or data, no matter how good the prices may be.

A list of past and present contacts and customers are far more likely to be receptive to your marketing campaign. Quality over quantity is the message here – a few dozen customers from a few hundred emails is better than none from a few thousand.

Having a ‘subscribe to newsletter’ button on your website is helpful – people subscribing are far more likely to engage with emails sent out to them.

 

9. Be mobile focused

The number of people accessing the internet using mobiles or tablets is growing rapidly. Make sure your website is fully functional on all devices to make the most of your online presence. It is more important in certain sectors, such as shopping, and less so in other areas like manufacturing, but ensuring compatibility is an important step.

 

10. Don’t be afraid to spend money

Putting your company’s hard-earned cash into digital marketing may seem like a big step to take – but it is now more effective than traditional marketing and is proven to get results. Don’t waste money, either, on elements of marketing which may not be right for your company and also don’t see digital marketing as a cost-saving exercise.

Getting the most from your campaign means choosing the right channels and the correct messages you want to get over to your potential customers. That takes planning and careful tactical delivery.

Again, if you outsource your digital marketing, make sure you choose the right partner with the right experience to get the job done.

Coverage

 

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We are a no-nonsense digital marketing agency based in Derby. To learn more about how we can help you get results from your marketing, then get in tou

Digital Marketing Blog

Gravity Digital Director joins Dragons’ Den legends James Caan and Duncan Bannatyne as Columnist

Gravity Digital Director and marketing specialist Sharon Stevens-Cash has been asked to join the impressive line-up of columnists for the UK’s largest SME business publication, Business Matters Magazine.

With around 30 regular columnists, including Dragons’ Den businessmen Duncan Bannatyne and James Caan, Sharon will write monthly columns about digital marketing, sharing her expertise and advice with up to 5000 unique visitors to the Magazine’s website each day and more than 80,000 subscribers to the Magazine’s Daily Update e-briefings.

Sharon comments: “When I was first approached to be a columnist for Business Matters Magazine, I was extremely honoured. The line-up of columnists is pretty awe inspiring and to know that the publication has made me one of only 30 columnists in the country is absolutely brilliant!”

Sharon’s photo and biography sits alongside the other regular writers in the Columnists section of the publication on its online portal here.

Business Matters Magazine online Editor Rebecca Jones said: “We approached Sharon because of her strong track record in digital marketing expertise and we are really pleased that she has accepted our offer and come aboard as one of our columnists. We think she will add real value to our readers and give them a practical insight to the complex world of digital marketing.”

Sharon continues: “I am really pleased to have an opportunity to share my insights with more than 100,000 small and medium-sized firms each month. My first article, covering how to improve your company’s digital marketing, is on the Magazine’s home page now and you can take a look at the full article here.”

Business Matters Magazine was first established in 1987 and has grown to be the largest business magazine dedicated to small and medium-sized business in the UK. The publication has over 120,000 SME subscribers to its physical publication, 80,000 subscribers to its Daily Update and between 1500 and 5000 unique visitors to its website each day.

Find out more…

We are a no-nonsense digital marketing agency based in Derby. To learn more about how we can help you get results from your marketing, then get in touch. Please email us on [email protected] or give us a call on 01332 416555.