May 20th, 2013 by Gary
A new study, ‘The Impact of Social Media on Sales Quota and Corporate Revenue’, has shown that 72.5% of marketers who use social media sites frequently outsell their competitors. More than 40% of participants said that they’d closed between two and five deals thanks to their social media campaigns, and 10% confirmed that “it directly contributes to my closes”. Social media users also exceeded their quota by 10% more than their offline counterparts – clearly exemplifying the difference that social media marketing can make when it comes to sales.
The research also looked at the success rates of different platforms. The top social selling sites were shown to be, from first to last:
6. Other (Pinterest, Vine, Instagram, etc.)
Fortunately, although it may seem overwhelming to manage multiple sites simultaneously, 50.1% of sales people said that they spent less than 10% of their selling time managing social media – which implies a pretty good return on investment when you consider the rise in their sales figures. Ultimately, Keenan’s research shows that businesses of all sizes can benefit from social media – and those who aren’t already using it are missing out.
NS Design offers a range of social media masterclasses designed to help you seize social media opportunities – find out more here.
May 16th, 2013 by Gary
The new Econsultancy/Adestra Email Marketing Census has revealed that more than half of UK businesses attribute as many as 10% of their sales to their email marketing campaigns. Even more impressively, 18% said that email accounted for more than 30% of sales – showing that although email is an older digital marketing method than its contemporary cousins such as social media, it still plays a significant role for many businesses when it comes to sales.
Mike Brownlow, the Email Marketing Report publisher, explained, “Email’s true role in generating sales is often underestimated, because many responses don’t involve a click (or even an open). Ignoring the positive impact of branding/awareness for the moment, we know that marketing emails can trigger, for example, a relevant Google search, a type-in visit to the sender’s website or a visit to the sender’s offline store.”
If your company isn’t yet harnessing the power of email marketing, now would be a good time to start! It’s significantly cheaper to carry out than physical counterparts like direct marketing, and 66% of the marketers surveyed agreed that email marketing delivered an ‘excellent’ or ‘good’ return on investment. Just a simple message reminding your customers that you’re still there and have some great products and services to offer can have a serious impact – why not give it a try today?
May 14th, 2013 by Gary
You may remember that we recently brought you 3 Twitter fails from companies who could have done with a little more social media training before they launched their campaigns! Well, we’re back with more blunders, this time from one of the most iconic social platforms: Facebook.
Walmart’s 2007 campaign is still remembered for one key reason – it removed the ‘social’ from social media. The supermarket realised that their page might attract negative comments as well as positive ones, so they limited their conversations to wall posts and neglected to offer a discussion board.
Lesson – The possibility of negative comments is always present, but limiting your customers’ access to free speech is not the way to address this issue. If your page receives a negative post, don’t ignore it – address their concerns and do your best to put the problem right.
Nestlé’s customers were allowed to make comments – but the responses the brand gave to their posts only created new troubles! Their representative made antagonistic comments to a community member (“thanks for the lesson in manners…but it’s our page, we set the rules”) giving a bad impression of the brand.
Lesson – Always treat your customers with the same courtesy you would give them in person! Hiding behind the screen is no excuse to patronise or disrespect them.
Mustard brand Grey Poupon tried to make their Facebook page appear desirable by turning it into a ‘private members club’, with admission as a fan by application only.
Lesson – No excuses, no exclusions. You should never cut out a portion of your audience.
If you want to get your brand on the path to social media success, rather than falling into any of these traps, check out NS Design’s social media masterclasses.
May 9th, 2013 by Gary
Video is becoming more and more important to customers in all industries. In fact, 46% of consumers say that they’d be more likely to seek out information about a product or service after seeing it in an online video – but producing video for your business comes with a host of challenges, and many SME’s feel that they lack the experience and budget necessary to add video to their marketing arsenals.
However, contrary to popular opinion, nowadays all you need to make a video is a decent smartphone and a dash of creativity. Here are some quick and simple ways to incorporate video into your social media marketing plan and get filming (without the Hollywood budget!).
1. Demo one of your products
This video is great for you and your customers – they’ll get all of the information they want about your product in one easy place, and it won’t cost you a penny to make. Sit yourself (or your most charismatic member of staff) in front of your camera and give a quick run-through of the product and its perks – it’s a quick and easy way to secure yourself a sale.
2. Introduce your team
Making videos of your team members is a fun, friendly way to introduce them to your client base – particularly when you’re in an industry where staff work directly with customers. Ask them a few simple questions about what they do and what they like to add an endearing, personalised feel to your page.
3. Film an event/exhibition/speech
The next time you’re at a conference or an event, whip out your smartphone and capture a few quick clips of some of the most interesting exhibits or engaging speeches of the day. You can post them on your YouTube channel and tweet them to the people involved – you’ll probably find they’ll be more than happy to share them and generate some social signals for you too!
May 8th, 2013 by Gary
A new report from Adobe has shown that despite the ongoing rise in mobile browsing and purchasing, nearly half (45%) of businesses still haven’t optimised their websites for mobile use. Just 7% have built mobile apps for their clients and customers to download, and only 21% have both a mobile-optimised site and an app working in conjunction.
Access to the internet using mobile devices has more than doubled over the last couple of years, so it is essential that companies that aren’t geared up for mobile traffic get themselves ready –fast. There are three main options for businesses who want to build a mobile offering for their client base:
- Mobile websites
A mobile website is a site that is specifically built for mobile viewing, and is often a smaller, scaled-down version of your regular site
- Responsive web design
Responsive web design means that you only have to build one website, and it will respond to the medium it is viewed on, and adapt to the needs of tablet and smartphone users
Apps are a standalone option, developed separately to the original website, and often offer innovative functions such as wishlists and competitions.
All three options have their benefits and disadvantages, but it’s certainly worth investigating at least one of them for your business. For more information about optimising your company website for mobile devices, visit our Mobile Websites page.
May 3rd, 2013 by Gary
The conversational nature of Twitter makes it an ideal marketing tool – but even the big brands can get it wrong sometimes. Here are three of the biggest Twitter fails of recent times, and what you can learn from them:
Waitrose’s seemingly innocent hashtag #waitrosereasons invited customers to relay their reasons for shopping at the supermarket chain. The brand’s PR team clearly hadn’t predicted responses such as “because Tesco doesn’t stock unicorn food” and “because I hate poor people”.
Lesson – If your company is going to rely on user generated recommendations, you need to allow for the negative as well as the positive. Weigh up the pros and cons, and if it seems too risky, don’t do it!
UK fashion site Celeb Boutique gained fame for all the wrong reasons when they tweeted “#Aurora is trending, clearly about our Kim K inspired #Aurora dress” – on the day of the mass shooting in Aurora, Colorado.
Lesson – Keep up to date with current affairs, or you could end up posting a tweet that’s inappropriate or downright offensive, tarnishing your brand’s reputation in the process.
A promotion for Susan Boyle’s latest album launch went awry when her PR team came up with the truly hilarious hashtag #susanalbumparty.
Lesson –Always check your hashtags! Words that seem innocent separately can run together into something rather embarrassing.
If you’re starting out in social media marketing and want to side-step potential fails, check out NSDesign’s ‘Embrace the Space’ social media masterclasses.
April 30th, 2013 by Gary
A new survey from American mobile service provider AT&T has shown that more and more small businesses in the States are focusing their budget on their digital marketing efforts. The 2013 AT&T Small Business Technology Poll revealed that 66% of small businesses plan to either maintain or increase their online marketing spend for 2013, and 71% are “somewhat” or “very likely” to raise their budgets for mobile marketing too. Nearly a third of small businesses have “mobile-friendly” websites in order to engage with their customers.
Whilst these particular statistics are relevant to the US market, they match the trends that are occurring on this side of the pond as well. Earlier this year, Econsultancy’s Digital Marketing Outlook Report 2013 revealed that 55% of UK businesses expect to increase their digital marketing budgets this year – and 39% will be doing this at the expense of their other channels. A Constant Contact survey also showed that a quarter of UK SME’s are already using digital tools like social media marketing to enhance their customer experience.
The news that more and smaller to medium businesses are taking advantage of these methods is certainly promising for the budding entrepreneur. Digital marketing gives businesses of all sizes an equal footing and enables smaller businesses to remain competitive in the fast moving world of commerce today.
April 25th, 2013 by Gary
In an announcement made at the beginning of this month, social media behemoth Facebook revealed Facebook Home, a “mobile experience designed to put your friends at the centre of your phone”. The feature, which is currently only available on Android systems, introduced:
- A new cover feed that allows users to access app content from their News Feed as soon as they turn on their phone, essentially replacing their usual home screen
- Bigger, bolder notifications, again delivered right to the phone home screen
- Updated messaging functioning, known as ‘chat heads’ which allows people to receive messages whilst using other apps, without having to leave their current activity
Since its launch on April 4th, Facebook Home has been downloaded an impressive 500,000 times, and whilst some reviewers have complained of issues with battery life and certain widgets, it’s still an impressive start for a social app which essentially overhauls the functionality of your smartphone. Facebook themselves have stated that “this release is a first step and we’ll continue to improve Home”, so the potential for even more integration and interaction is certainly present.
So what does this mean for your business? The immediate impact may be limited, but this could be the first stage in creating a truly engaging mobile experience for social media users that which could provide opportunities for your brand in the future. Facebook Home, if it proves successful, will change the way that users interact with content on a grand scale, and encourage them to access Facebook a lot more often – therefore increasing the likelihood that they’ll see and appreciate your company’s content.
April 23rd, 2013 by Gary
Digital marketing is such a broad term. It encompasses everything from your website to your wording, your social to your SEO, and with so many different buzzwords floating around it can be difficult to identify the key components that your business needs to be getting on board with. We’re filtered out the jargon and picked out 3 essential aspects of any digital marketing strategy – if you’re not already using them, now is the time to start!
Content is king, so the experts say, and for good reason – it can boost your SEO and endear your customers to you simultaneously. Whether its blogs, articles, web copy or emails, if you provide intelligent, well written content that’s genuinely useful to your audience on a regular basis, you can expect a positive response from Google and your potential client base.
Social media is content’s hip younger brother, and definitely something that your business should be involved with if it’s not already. The most crucial aspect when it comes to social media is not to leave your pages static. Talk with your audience and post little and often – you’ll be surprised at your rate of engagement as a result.
In Q1 of 2013, PC sales declined by 14%. This isn’t because people aren’t browsing the web – it’s because they’re using their mobile devices to do it instead. To perform a digital marketing campaign effectively, your business website needs to be optimised for mobile – if it isn’t, you could be alienating a significant portion of your audience.
Is there another aspect of digital strategy that you want to know more about? Leave us a comment and let us know!
April 18th, 2013 by Gary
Choosing a good domain name is vital for the success of your business. Your website is the virtual shop front for your business, so it’s essential that it’s easy for your potential customers to find. Choosing a domain name may seem simple – it’s just the name of your company, right? – but there are still a number of pitfalls for your company to fall into if you’re not careful! Here are our top 5 domain name fails:
1. Unintentional humour
Before you finalise your domain name choice, read your full URL and make sure that it’s not a) offensive or b) unintentionally hilarious. There’s a stationary provider called Pen Island. You can only imagine how their domain name turned out.
2. Similarity to bigger brands
Even if you haven’t heard of them yet, there’s always a possibility that there’s a brand out there with a similar name to yours. It’s worth running a Google search of your potential choices before committing – if there’s a bigger brand with a name that’s almost identical, you run the risk of losing a lot of your traffic to them.
3. Missing out on other suffixes
You may have the .co.uk domain name secured, but what about .com and .net? Potential clients who know the name of your business may search for the website and arrive on one of these sites instead, so it’s worth purchasing as many variations of your domain name as possible to make sure all of your rightful visitors arrive at your door.
4. Spelling mistakes
This one almost seemed too basic to include, but there really are websites out there with misspelled domains – particularly when it comes to words like ‘restaurant’. Before you go ahead and purchase, proof read! Having a misspelled domain name is one of the quickest ways to lose custom.
5. Going random!
We couldn’t tell you why, but some businesses are still choosing domain names that don’t match their brands. We don’t mean to insult your intelligence, but please – make sure your domain name and brand name correspond!