Digital Marketing Solutions Summit | Forum Events Digital Marketing Solutions Summit | Forum Events Digital Marketing Solutions Summit | Forum Events Digital Marketing Solutions Summit | Forum Events Digital Marketing Solutions Summit | Forum Events

Posts Tagged :


Can ‘fin-fluencers’ play a role in your B2B tech PR strategy?

By Lee Simpson, Head Of Technology Practice, Skout

Whether you call them Key Opinion Leaders, influencers or simply celebrities, leveraging the reach of influential people in various industries has long been part of PR strategies. The definition of what an ‘influencer’ is varies and the concept is nothing new; in our business a journalist can be an influencer, able to shape public opinion and raise awareness of new products and services. And we don’t need to tell you that the proliferation of social media over the past 20 years has given rise to a new breed of influencers using these free platforms to promote themselves and endorse products, in return for an often handsome fee.

For B2B businesses, the role of the influencer and where this sits in the PR and marketing mix has had varying results. Big name celebrity endorsements for B2B brands is still in its relative infancy when compared to the consumer world, and the jury is out as to the ROI in engaging with them. Gordon Ramsay lent his star power to the contact centre software company NICE back in 2019. Deep pockets are a necessity for such an endorsement, something which will be beyond the reach of most tech companies.

For fintechs specifically, or businesses targeting financial services, working with a financial influencer, or ‘fin-fluencer’, could be beneficial. However, there are a number of things to consider before you take the plunge.

Introducing the fin-fluencers

There are a wealth of individuals who make a living offering consumer finance advice. From Martin Lewis, to Suze Orman, consumers now often take these fin-fluencers’ word as verbatim. During the energy bills crisis of 2022, for example, Martin Lewis’s status as the oracle on all things consumer finance had never been greater. But when it comes to the B2B world, fin-fluencers are less prolific, but the power they can unleash for your fintech brand can be enormous.

Take Jim Marous as an example. Marous has built an around being a financial influencer, speaking about digital banking, banking transformation and the finance industry at events around the world. His platform allows him to align himself with certain fintech brands, primarily through sponsored thought leadership content opportunities. For example, Qorus published this whitepaper through Marous’s publication Digital Banking Report. His name instantly adds a layer of credibility to the brand and serves as something of an endorsement, with the content being viewed by potential Qorus customers. But again, the investment in such a package will not be insignificant.

Finding the right fin-fluencers

Before you embark on your search for a fin-fluencer to endorse your fintech, clearly map out objectives and consider the why. What do you want to achieve and will a financial influencer be the appropriate route to go down?

It’s important to remember that trust is key when it comes to recommendations for new technology vendors. Your prospective customers will need proof points – the endorsement of a thought leader or respected industry voice will only get you so far. So lean on your customers first and foremost and leverage their testimonials and case studies. Then consider if a fin-fluencer can add weight, and ultimately value, to your story.

If you’re doing this independently, you can use X and LinkedIn to research relevant individuals. You could even post a #journorequest or #prrequest for a #finfluencer on these platforms and then explore how you could work together. It may be there are reciprocal benefits to the engagement, content that can be shared on your site and theirs, so don’t be afraid to ask the question.

How influential this will really be among your target audience – which can be niche, to say the least – is where robust analytics and attribution modelling are a must. Using UTM tracking links across any shared content by your fin-fluencer so you can track ROI will be key.

Cost of living crisis impacting how marketing teams allocate PR budgets

40% of PR professionals don’t expect their budgets to grow in 2023, with 1 in 4 (25%) admitting that they are seeing their PR budgets reduce.

When also asked to estimate the overall marketing budget being invested into PR, the majority (25%) answered they were seeing around 5%, with just 10% of respondents stating that up to 50% of their marketing spend was being invested into public relations activity.

The 2023 JBH PR Report – undertaken by the Manchester based digital PR and SEO agency JBH – surveyed 155 agency and in-house PR professionals.

Survey responses for the report were collected between February-March 2023, with some of the most notable takeaways from the report being:-

  • Just one in three (33%) of PR’s report to their clients/company on backlinks
  • One in six (17%) of PR’s are paying for editorial coverage for their clients
  • 70% of respondents say volume of coverage is the primary KPI in PR activity
  • Online and broadcast tops the list as the most desired form of coverage from brands and clients
  • The most common techniques implemented by PR’s in 2023 are proactive PR, reactive PR, and feature pitching
  • More than half (53%) of PR professionals admit that they are finding it more difficult to secure coverage through their pitches and campaign outreach in 2023 compared to previous years
  • More than two fifths (42%) of PR’s are confident that the headcount within their team will increase this year

Jane Hunt (pictured, above), CEO of JBH, said: “There’s no denying that 2023 is proving to be a trying time for those of us operating within the marketing industry. Budgets are under more severe scrutiny than ever before, and every penny counts when it comes to being able to prove the huge value that we know well executed PR activity can have for brands and clients.

“By collecting and understanding how others in the industry are tackling campaigns, outreach and measurement in the current climate, as well as their general experiences of the industry, it is our hope that The JBH PR Report gives PR’s at all levels a deeper understanding into the approaches being taken by their peers.”

More in depth information and analysis of The JBH PR Report can be found here:

Top ten PR and marketing tactics to help retain e-commerce customers

In 2022, the UK was expected to have almost 60 million e-commerce users — leaving only a minority of the population as non-digital buyers. As such, e-commerce has undeniably become the norm for shoppers everywhere in the UK, resulting in an increasingly competitive environment.

With this in mind, and following a 7,900% increase in monthly searches for “customer retention” over the last three years, PR and communications specialists Wild PR, has shared ten ways e-commerce business owners can build excellent customer relations and retain existing customers to maximise return sales and up-sells…

Define your target client personas

In order to retain customers, you need to ensure your strategy is formed on attracting the right people and getting a comprehensive understanding of their needs, goals and objectives.

Clarify your perfect target audience and personas by researching the current industry landscape and competitor profiles, as well as listening to your current customers so you can define your tone of voice to best engage with them. This will allow you to appeal to the right clients for your business.

Embed your brand purpose

When choosing brands to do business with, today’s consumers are more interested in the impact that brands have on the world than just what products or services they offer. To take your brand to the next level, you need a mission statement that resonates with your audience.

Brand purpose is essential because it shows customers that you’re more than just a product, service or advertising campaign; you have a larger goal, and it’s not just about making a profit.

Make customers feel appreciated and valued

This is often as simple as saying thank you. Express your thanks with a special written note or a coupon for their next visit in their delivery or via their order confirmation. This is a way to remind them again that they made the right decision in doing business with you.

Go the extra mile

Why not send a Happy Birthday or customer anniversary offer as a show of appreciation for your customer’s loyalty?

Maximise the use of data from your CRM to identify the best possible times to interact with your customers. Whether it’s their birthday, their anniversary of becoming a customer with you, their pet’s birthday or perhaps their wedding anniversary, there are multiple opportunities to show your customer how much you appreciate them.

This may be an email with a discount for their order, or you could send them an unexpected sample gift in the post with an offer code allowing for potential appreciation posts on their social media platforms, which could, in turn, generate customer referrals. Win-win!

Ask for feedback

How can you improve your customer service if you don’t ask them what they think? Surveys and other means of gathering feedback can help you to learn what your customers enjoy and where improvements can be made.

You can even incentivise this by providing a discount code for everyone who completes the survey as a token of thanks, which could result in increased orders.

Value honesty and integrity

As a business, it is crucial always to have a culture of honesty and integrity. Refrain from blaming the customer if something goes wrong with your product or if something is missing from an order and you still need to meet the customer’s expectations.

While the issues might be out of your hands, or it might indeed be the customer’s fault, find a way to fix the issue as quickly as possible and promptly respond to complaints politely and professionally.

If communication is being undertaken on social media pages, look for a way to take the communication privately to minimise the chances of the post showing in potential customer feeds.

Engage in two-way communication with customers

Two-way communication between brands and consumers is beneficial for both parties. Social media platforms, in particular, have made it easy for companies to connect with their customers so they no longer feel like strangers.

Make sure to respond to consumer feedback or questions, as failing to do so can create a sense of distrust, or potential customers could view you as being inactive and, as such, risk the loss of orders.

Building a community online

As part of the buyer journey, consumers are often primarily looking to learn more about a company’s products or services before making their purchase decision.

By building a strong online community that aligns with your business, you can strengthen brand loyalty and attract new customers. Companies can easily achieve this by providing educational content for customers through newsletters, forums, videos, blog posts, and even whitepapers.

Digital PR and Traditional PR

Customers who see a company being talked about in positive news stories are more likely to feel secure about their buying decisions when purchasing from the business.

Traditional PR, such as company announcements, product launches, thought leadership or commentary on relevant topics, can boost credibility when it comes to retaining and attracting clients.

While Digital PR can help drive referral traffic through an element of link building, helping your site rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs). This tactic helps get you in front of new customers, reminds lapsed customers about your brand, and makes loyal customers advocate for your brand. All tactics that help increase sales.

Hire a PR agency to manage communications

Hiring a PR agency can help brands stay ahead of the curve and reach a much wider audience.

Usually, the agency would work alongside internal marketing teams or directly with CEOs and business owners to promote an e-commerce brand’s products and services while positioning them as the best option in the market.

Guest Blog, Catherine Spencer: The real problem with content marketing…

‘Content’ as a word has seemingly got itself a bad name and it’s starting to cause a real problem for our industry – or so a number of recent articles would have it. It is a vague term that’s entered our marketing lexicon but, love it or hate it, it’s here to stay. Content marketing itself is not the problem, it’s the fact that most content has little to no impact on its target audience and really, it’s helping no one. We just get overwhelmed with clutter.

Take a look at any major UK company’s blog and you’ll see that most of the “content” they’re churning out doesn’t do the following:

  • Teach visitors something new or useful;
  • Give away handy resources for free (such as templates, cheat sheets and how-to-guides);
  • Inspire their visitors;
  • Clearly and concisely answer the question implied by the title.

The ‘Definition Problem’

One of the quirks of this industry is that we love coming up with complicated or vague words to describe what we do – and often they stick a little too strongly.

Remember when “selfie” became the Oxford Dictionary word of 2013 and we collectively went mad over how our country was going to the dogs? Well the unfortunate bystanders in the marketing industry mightn’t like it, but new words like “native advertising” and “content marketing” have quickly become the new normal.

Just by looking at Google search trends, it is clear that ‘content marketing’ has become widely accepted within the industry above ‘marketing communications’ since 2004.



The ‘Practicality Problem’

While it is agreed that “content marketing” fits under the definition of “marketing communications”, referring to web content as “Marketing Communications” is tricky when working day-to-day in the ad industry. Actually, content marketing is just a small part of the overall marketing communications strategy.

When you’re working for global brands, you’ll find referring to a blog post as “marketing communications” will create more confusion than it’s worth. Confusion costs time and money in our industry and it goes back to the definitions problem – you might not like it, but the easiest way to be on the same page is to use the same language.

The ‘Content Problem’

Whilst most content indeed fails, it doesn’t mean content marketing itself is the problem. It means the people who’ve made the content maybe.

We’re not here to defend crappy content. But content marketing done right has tremendous value, there’s a reason it’s so big! It just needs to be matched with relevance.

To succeed with content, marketers need to develop content around a brilliant idea, focus on overwhelming the target audience with value, amplify the message by sharing the content with the right people, and finally ask for (and listen to) audience feedback.

Are we using the wrong word to describe content marketing? Maybe.

But let’s not forget the bigger picture: we should be focusing on value, not semantics. Whatever the buzzword might be that describes how we’re doing it, we really just need to get on and do it.


Catherine is a senior content, PR & social executive at equimedia. She joined equimedia in 2015, previously having worked in-house for a large charity. Today, Catherine manages marketing campaigns for a number of our large charity clients, as well as retail and insurance, from planning and production right through to delivery.

Industry Spotlight: Instagram Insights – too late to the party?

Last month, the platform launched Stories, last week (August 15), it launched Business Tools, and this week (August 31), it announced users can now zoom in on pictures. It seems like the platform is pushing out updates left, right and centre.

“So? These functions have been around for years on other platforms”, I hear you say. And you’d be right.

In fact, when the Business Tools and insights analysis function launched last week, I was slightly taken aback by the excitement it caused in the marketing industry. Of course, it’s great news and absolutely enables marketers to better target core audiences, but being truthful, as marketers, we should have been frustrated that it took this long – this function should have been around from the start.

With over 200,000 businesses already using Instagram for advertising, it makes me shudder wondering how these adverts managed to create relevant content for its customers, if at all.

So what exactly is Business Tools?

In amongst features such as business profiles, contact buttons and the ability to promote certain posts, Instagram’s new Business toolkit allows brands to gain insights into posts, such as which ones perform better than others and with which demographic.

This analysis is invaluable to brands. With insight, a brand’s reach, frequency rate, success of product discovery and customer loyalty can all be gathered. Knowing which posts work and using data to determine a change in direction (or not) is the critical key to a compelling, engaging and successful platform strategy. 

For Instagram, it couldn’t come soon enough

While insight analysis on Facebook and Twitter has been around for years, it’s difficult to comprehend how brands have managed to create consistent marketing strategies across social platforms until now.

Official figures released in June (2016) revealed the platform now has half a billion registered users, double the amount it had two years ago.

And with more than 300 million people using the service every day, it is vital brands get their strategies right, especially if you’re targeting the 90 per cent of users who are under 35. When stats show that 28% of users under 35 have purchased a product as a direct result of viewing it on the network in the last six months, it’s easy to understand why nailing Instagram is essential. 

In this era of purpose where visual content triumphs over written, and the need for brands to talk with consumers, rather than at them is integral, Instagram, although half a decade old, still offers a fresh approach to help brands tell visual, authentic and transportive stories.

So what’s next for the platform?

It’s taken six years for the platform to get up to speed with its competitors, namely Facebook and Twitter, with its recent introductions, and no doubt there’s stiff competition from the likes of Snapchat and, although in testing, Lifestage.

But on such a roll, and now on par on its biggest competitors, its fair game what comes next.


Words by Nina Sawetz, PR and communications consultant


As head of Editorial for Bottle, Nina leads PR strategy and comms activity for the agency’s consumer division, and has extensive experience working with brands including Goodyear, Poundland, Interflora, Golden Wonder and AXA PPP healthcare.


Nina also runs looking at ongoing trends and the changing landscape of PR and communications.


Contact Nina at, and via Twitter @BottleNina or @FuturePRco.

Guest Blog, Laura England: Email marketing – here to stay…

We have come a long way since Gary Thuerk sent the first mass e-mail in 1978. It might have only reached a few hundred people, but back then, that figure was impressive. Almost 40 years later, we continue to use the same technique to reach customers, staff and stakeholders. Laura England, account executive at technical PR agency, Stone Junction, details its substantial transformation

Advances in SEO, content marketing and sophisticated automation tactics have slowly pushed some traditional techniques into digital obsolescence. Despite this, e-mail marketing continues to remain relevant. Throughout its 40-year life span, the medium has seen some questionable techniques. Nevertheless, a few changes and improvements that come to mind are definitely here to stay.

Responsive design

According to Experian, a large percentage of e-mails are now read on mobile devices – two thirds, to be precise. In fact, the growth in use of mobile phones and tablets is part of the reason e-mail marketing has remained so popular. Without a doubt, most of us understand the importance of responsive design. Despite this, just eleven per cent of commercial e-mail templates are optimised for mobile viewing. If e-mail marketing is part of your marketing strategy, responsive design should be a top priority.

A personal touch

In today’s society, everything is personalised, from TV adverts to Starbucks cups, everything is tailored for you. While personalisation of e-mails certainly isn’t a new phenomenon, we’re finally beginning to see this tactic done well.

E-mail marketing has gained a relatively bad reputation when it comes to personalisation. Even luxury brands have fallen victim to the easy but detrimental mistakes of poor tailoring in their campaigns. While it is true that brands could easily scrap this technique and avoid embarrassing mistakes, according to various studies, e-mails containing personalised elements have transaction rates six times higher than those without. Despite this, less than 30 per cent of brands use this tactic in their campaigns.

Long live the light box

Most of us will have experienced a pop up box on our screens whilst browsing online. Often referred to as a light box, the tactic is a pet hate of some marketers because they consider it a nuisance to the customer. However, using a light box is no different to a call-to-action in your sidebar or including a subscribe option in your e-mails. Perhaps, just a little more direct.

Aside from providing a useful platform to notifying the user of a deal or promotion, the sign-up function through light boxes has been known to expand e-mail lists between five and ten times faster than traditional sign-up fields. For me, that is worth disrupting the browsing experience for a few seconds.

Now, more than ever, e-mail marketing is a tool to be embraced and used to its full potential by marketers. Outliving the likes of affiliate programmes, pop-up ads and classified advertising, there is no doubt that e-mail marketing is here to stay.

Laura England is an account executive at technical PR agency, Stone Junction. The award-winning agency, based in Staffordshire, focuses on public relations and marketing for businesses operating in the technology sector. Laura was appointed the company’s e-mail marketing specialist in 2015.