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

All

5 reasons to attend the Print & Digital Innovations Summit

Register today for the Print & Digital Innovations Summit–  It’s FREE for you to attend and could help you reduce your expenditure.

As a VIP guest, you’ll be joining just 60 other senior professionals who are attending the event to network, learn and forge new business relationships. They include representatives from the likes of Avon, Envision Pharma Group, Programme Master, The Hamleys Group and more.

If that’s not incentive enough for you to register here are 4 more reasons…

• As one of our VIP guests, you will be provided with a bespoke itinerary of face-to-face meetings with suppliers based on mutual agreement. No hard sell, and no time wasted.
• You’ll have the opportunity to attend insightful seminars and interactive workshops.
• Network with 60 other senior professionals who share your challenges.
• Enjoy complimentary lunch and refreshments.

Taking place on November 14th at the Hilton Canary Wharf, London, the Print & Digital Innnovations Summit provides a platform for new business connections.

To find out more, visit https://printinnovationssummit.co.uk.

Is your brand’s content is working as hard as it can?

By Carrie Webb, Head of Content, The Bigger Boat

It’s no secret that a brand’s content is hugely important. It can mean the difference between and organisation being discovered online or not.

But so much more than that, quality content elevates brand perception, nurtures lasting relationships with an audience and enables companies to build authority and credibility.

In such a content-rich environment, it can be difficult to know how to grab consumers’ attention, drive real engagement, create conversations and ultimately increase conversions. Whether it’s via a well-designed infographic, a collection of helpful blog posts or a fully-fledged PR campaign, here’s how to give great content the best chance of surviving and reverberating in such a crowded place.

Build out a strategic approach

Don’t create content simply for the sake of posting something. There should be a sound detailed strategy behind it that takes into account many factors, but most importantly aims to create a connection between brands and consumers.

The first step is to identify the brand’s strengths and consider this alongside a competitor’s offering. Take a holistic view of how those in the same space behave, and look at the types of content they’re producing – what’s working and what isn’t and, crucially, how audiences are responding.

A structured, analytical approach is required to then apply learnings to the content strategy. This will provide internal guidelines and is the brand’s ‘why’ and ‘how’.

Begin by defining audience personas (include their needs, where they consume content and any challenges and pain points), the organisation’s story and messaging and nail down content purpose.

There should also be considerations for business-wide and content KPIs. Detail success metrics for every piece of content – traffic, views, shares, conversion rate, brand awareness, for example – and jot down outreach plans for them. Collating and assessing all this information leaves an overarching strategy that plans ahead for every aspect of the organisation’s marketing activity in an effort to produce the best results.

Consider shareability from the outset

Creating a fantastic piece of content that ticks all the boxes – for example, it’s user friendly, relevant, and has SEO coursing through its veins – is great, but it’s not enough to simply upload and sit back in the hope results will flood in.

If a business isn’t promoting its own content, it’s missing out on many outreach possibilities. There’s no harm in giving customers a helping hand in finding content. If there’s budget, look towards PR, consider paid promotion or use influencers to shout about the work.

Email marketing provides a good way to round-up and tease content on the brand’s site and, of course, sharing contentacross the relevant social platforms is always a winning tactic when looking to start conversation.

Finally, don’t underestimate the value of employee advocacy. If a workforce shares its content, this shows customers that staff members have bought into the brand – and its content is credible. It also ensures a much higher reach without having to put extra budget behind it.

Write for the desired audience

A business should know its audience better than they know themselves, and create content that perfectly tailors to their needs and behaviour. This is key to content success.

Provide answers to questions asked, offer a viewpoint on topics customers are interested in, and ensure the brand is operating in a space where the target market is digitally active.

Genuinely useful, purposeful content gains more traction and is more likely to resonate in a meaningful way. Knowing – and serving – an audience is vital in content marketing. After all, the goal isn’t always to simply clinch a sale – there needs to be an effort to work hard and gain their trust, and convert them into advocates. Consistent, quality content that provides for their needs should do just that.

Ensure CTAs are simple and structured

Find subtle ways to encourage an audience to share thoughts, move through to another piece of relevant content or perform a customer action. Whether it’s to download a PDF, buy a product or simply head on to another blog within the site, the call to action (CTA) should be well-designed and strategically placed, with clear and compelling text.

Use the right words to give the CTA an obvious thrust – the user must be left in no doubt as to what’s being asked of them, and what they’ll receive if they click.

Make it timeless

The best content is evergreen – it doesn’t have an expiry date. Its information is as useful and relevant now as it will be five years down the line.

‘How to’ guides are a great example of content that doesn’t date. While there will always be a place for seasonal, topical content, it won’t have much appeal once conversation around it has subsided and an organisation is left with an initial increase in traffic that will quickly fade.

During its 20th anniversary celebrations in September 2018, Google announced a selection of new search features. Among them was the ‘Topic’ layer in the search, which aims to recommend new content to the user after analysing the web for a topic and developing a huge range of subtopics. It favours the most relevant content, namely that which has shown itself to be ‘evergreen and continually useful, as well as [being] fresh content on the topic’.

Harness the power of analytics

Insights software provides invaluable data as to how content is performing and can help to make strategic decisions.

For each piece of content created, its objectives and goals should have been set out in the content strategy at the very beginning of the process – using analytics gives specifics of whether it’s meeting them. Find out what’s working and what’s not by measuring traffic, bounce rate, dwell time and engagement, for example.

If content isn’t doing too well, an organisation will gain insight into why that is, and should make changes accordingly to avoid making the same mistake with future content.

Using an analytics tool should be routine for content marketers – do it correctly and learn what makes users tick, where they’re coming from, what type of content they favour and easily pinpoint successes, and where improvements are needed.

Apply detailed consideration to the strategy behind content as well as its aftercare and ensure it works as hard as it can for the brand.

With time, effort and consistency in the approach, content will find its place with the right audience, help raise brand perception and generate the desired results.

Carrie Webb is head of content for The Bigger Boat – a creative digital marketing specialist business based in Yorkshire.

How does the wedding industry differ online from offline?

In the last twelve months, approximately 87% of UK consumers have bought at least one product online – with online sales increasing 21.3% in the year 2016, and forecast to increase by 30% by the end of 2017.

Here, Angelic Diamonds, retailer of unique diamond engagement rings and bespoke wedding rings discuss whether it’s time for its industry to plunge into the digital world in order to survive…

This has stemmed from the fact that our lives are gradually becoming more reliant on the digital world – but organising a wedding has traditionally always been quite a physical process, with brides needing to try on their wedding gowns before they buy, grooms having several suit fittings, and of course, who would want to miss out on the opportunity to have a tasting session at your venue for your wedding breakfast?

With new technologies and social media apps, is it time for the wedding industry to make a transition into the digital world? With many companies realising the potential of going digital with their business, does the wedding industry have to grab a slice of the action to stay successful?

Can we expect a digital future?

According to The Huffington Post, around 6 out of 10 brides are actively planning their weddings through their mobile device: they research gowns (61% of brides, up from 27% in 2011) and search for wedding vendors (57% of brides, up from 22% in 2011).

This highlights that digital has already had a huge influence on the wedding industry. With social media apps such as Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook, brides and grooms can find so much inspiration for their big day with just a few clicks. Modern couples are now using new technology when wedding planning. In fact, 42% of people use social media to plan their wedding – with 41% of brides following photographers on social media, 37% of brides following venues and 14% following florists.

Social media is widely used for wedding inspiration – the social media apps provide a platform for wedding planners, venues, florists and other wedding suppliers to showcase what they have to offer. Instagram and Pinterest, which is used by 64% of brides, have now become a couple’s go to platform for all their inspiration, a digital alternative to a wedding fair. Suppliers who have not yet invested time into creating a social media profile for their business could be missing out on free exposure. And it’s not just the planning of the wedding that social media is a part of – when asked, over a quarter of today’s modern couples (27%) said they would create a hashtag for their special day.

Is it possible to survive offline in todays’ world?

There could be light at the end of the tunnel for the wedding industry that suggests the industry can survive offline in the future. Whilst it is likely that companies will need to go digital at some stage to stay up to date with the latest technologies, and keep their head in the game, there might always be a place for them offline within the industry.

When couples organise their wedding, you’ll be aware of how much they need to see, and experience, in person – from venues and food tasting, to wedding dress and suit fittings, the industry might struggle to operate solely online, because of the need for physical processes. Wedding fairs have been around for centuries, and there is a reason for that; whilst modern couples use social media for visual inspiration, wedding fairs are still a great way for suppliers to engage face-to-face with potential customers. For most people, their wedding day is the biggest day of their lives so it’s important that they can speak face-to-face with suppliers, and physically see what they have to offer. Wedding fairs often take place at wedding venues – they are the perfect occasion for brides to start to see their wedding come together.

Now-a-days, and in the future, there is no escaping the fact that the industry will embrace digital platforms – and couples will use these platforms as a source of inspiration and to help ease the planning process. However, the industry is not yet ready to wipe out all traditional methods of wedding planning.

There’s no question that there is still a demand for the physical processes. Maybe, it’s just time for suppliers and other industry professionals to use digital as a means to extend their business and gain more exposure.

Sources

https://www.confetti.co.uk/news/wedding-report-2015

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/matt-douglas/part-1-the-past-present-f_b_9294420.html

Do you specialise in Brand Monitoring? We want to hear from you!

Each month on Digital Marketing Briefing we’re shining the spotlight on different parts of the print and marketing sectors – and in June we’ll be focussing on Brand Monitoring.

It’s all part of our ‘Recommended’ editorial feature, designed to help marketing industry professionals find the best products and services available today.

So, if you specialise in Brand Monitoring solutions and would like to be included as part of this exciting new shop window, we’d love to hear from you – for more info, contact James Howe on j.howe@forumevents.co.uk.

Here are the areas we’ll be covering, month by month:

Jun – Brand Monitoring

Jul – Web Analytics

Aug – Conversion Rate Optimisation

Sept – Digital Signage

Oct – Brochure Printing

Nov – Creative & Design

Dec – Online Strategy

For more information on any of the above topics, contact James Howe on j.howe@forumevents.co.uk.

Highways England campaign receives top marketing award

The ‘Distressed’ campaign, which sets out to help bikers realise what could happen if they ride in the wrong clothing, has scooped the ‘Best Content Marketing Campaign’ award at the Chartered Institute of Marketing’s (CIM) Marketing Excellence Awards 2019.

It features a fashion range, and price tags, which, instead of showing the cost of the clothing, show a range of serious injuries a biker could suffer if they are not wearing the right gear.

As part of the campaign, a pop-up shop was opened in East London, with the ‘distressed’ clothing range. ‘Customers’ were filmed – including their reactions when they realised what the price labels referred to.

The film was then used as content for the campaign, along with mock fashion photographs featured on poster sites near to accident hotspots. The ‘Distressed’ clothing range is still being used to promote bike safety at events across England.

The campaign forms part of Highways England’s target to reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured across the network by 40% by 2020.

A survey after the campaign of the target audience – young motorcycle and moped riders – had positive results. It showed:

  • an increase of more than three-quarters in the number of young riders who said they were more likely to wear protective clothing
  • a 70% increase in young rider riders being more likely to check traffic more thoroughly at junctions and roundabouts and in the way they filtered through traffic
  • a 6% increase in young riders saying that they would wear protective clothing.

The campaign also directed bike riders to the Think! website for further advice and information. This saw a 340% rise in unique page views compared to the same period in the year before the campaign ran.

Peter Allen, Highways England’s Executive Director of Corporate Affairs and Communications, said: “Bikers are among the most vulnerable on the road – this campaign is all about helping them be safer.

“The mental and physical cost of not wearing the correct motorcycle clothing can be far greater than the financial cost, so we wanted to stress how important it is for our young riders to really understand the need to be prepared, and to always wear the appropriate clothing.

“I’m proud the campaign has been recognised, and continues to capture the imaginations of partner organisations and young people across England.”

6 killer marketing metrics that really matter

By Adam Oldfield, MD of Force24

The life of a digital marketer is rarely straightforward. Whilst other communicators may perhaps argue it’s easier for their digital peers to evidence ROI, those within the world of email marketing, for instance, may be quick to defend their position.

Because yes, they have a wealth of metrics at their fingertips, but it can be difficult to know where to start.

Rather than focusing on what is arguable a vanity metric – like a click rate or, even worse, an email open – it’s important that marketers look deeper at the data to offer a true bottom line impact.

Insight relating to a brand’s data subjects, list segmentation, and the evolution of those segments, will help a marketer to understand what excites people and drives them to engage. Instead of asset-based reporting, professionals should therefore be concentrating on audience reporting, to assess campaign performance through a user’s eyes.

But how do marketing departments get these bottom up metrics that matter?

  1. Segments are key

Not exactly a metric in itself, but the data that matters can’t be uncovered until segments have been built to see how they are performing, how they’re growing (or shrinking) over time, and what the average lead score is. The more segments created – the better. Automation should make this possible in only a few easy clicks.

  1. Lead score matters the most

‘Lead scoring matters only for B2B marketers’ is a huge myth! Savvy lead scoring takes ALL engagement from any type of user. A points-system should be set so it can be tallied and a pre-defined ‘tipping point’ – tailored to the brand – should trigger when to act. Lead scores help to decide exactly who to focus on at any given time.

  1. Analyse average lead scores per segment

The average lead score of a segment may peak and trough over time. This data can be used to draw engagement curves that indicate seasonality, optimum purchase times, crucial cross-sell periods and when an existing customer is most likely to re-book/buy. This type of analysis also helps to quickly identify strong or weak segments within a data set. It also helps draw correlations between lead scores and campaigns, web activity and, most importantly, the number of leads actually secured. 

  1. Segment evolution

It is important to understand how a list is growing or shrinking – is the data in a segment diminishing, for example? And what might this mean? 

  1. User web engagement

We know browsing behaviour gives us a deeper insight into a user’s interests and needs, but only one in six organisations use it effectively. Web collateral should therefore be designed to support this information gathering, and engagement across this online real-estate should be analysed.

  1. User marketing preferences

It’s just as important to understand what your segment does NOT want to see – you’ll be surprised by the level of variation between data sets.

INDUSTRY SPOTLIGHT: Mrs Digital end-to-end digital marketing

Since 1999, we’ve built a team of talented marketers and honed our craft as a performance driven agency. We exist for one reason: to provide you with a truly unrivalled, end-to-end digital marketing service.

Our unwavering focus is on people and the commercial value we bring to any business’ work in the online space, and as a result, their bottom line. We’ve spent years developing our craft just for you and work with every client with pride and full transparency.

We truly care about the work we do, our client relationships, and mean it when we say we become an extension of your brand. Request your free search marketing audit (completed by a real human!) now and let’s talk.

To find out more, visit https://mrs.digital/services/dmss19

Registration open for the Print & Digital Innovations Summit

Senior print professionals will converge on London for a full day of networking and business meetings on 14th November – will you be among them?

What: Print & Digital Innovations Summit

When: 14th November 2019

Where: Hilton London Canary Wharf

Format: Corporate ‘speed-dating’. Your attendance as an event partner includes face-to-face meetings (pre-arranged), networking, stand, electrics, lighting, name board, furniture, lunch and refreshments, plus contact details of all delegates post-event.

Audience: Senior professionals from a range of sectors, including:-

Charities

Education

Mail Order

Marketing Agencies

Pharmaceuticals/NHS

Publishing

Retail

Travel

Utilities

Register here to secure your place.

For more information, visit www.printinnovationssummit.co.uk.

Last Chance: Digital Marketing Solutions Summit

This is the final call for delegate and supplier places at the Digital Marketing Solutions Summit, takes place on May 14th at Hilton Canary Wharf, London.

It’s entirely FREE for delegates to attend – every VIP pass includes access to a series of seminars by industry thought-leaders and meetings with the leading solution providers in the sector.

The event will also allow you to network with peers.

Lunch and refreshments are included with your free place.

Places are limited though, so register today.

For more information, contact Katie Bullot on 01992 374049 or email k.bullot@forumevents.co.uk.

Alternatively, if you’re a digital marketing solutions provider and would like to showcase your products and services at the event, contact James Howe on 01992 374067 or email j.howe@forumevents.co.uk.

Marketing budgets up in 1Q 2019

The net balance of marketing executives reporting upwardly revised budgets increased to +8.7% in Q1 2019, up from a +0.0% reading for the final quarter of 2018 and the highest since Q3 2017.

That’s according to the latest IPA Bellwether report, which says around 21.6% of panel members observed spending growth, compared to 12.8% registering budget cuts.

The quarterly report says that while the Brexit uncertainty that is shrouded over the UK’s political and economic climate continued to prompt belt-tightening and a delay in decision-making, other companies took a more pro-active approach and looked to push resources into their brands, enhancing digital marketing methods and expanding presence on social media platforms.

Firms were also wary of rising competitive pressures, leading some to diversify product offerings as part of efforts to enter new markets and attract new clients. As such, there were reports of boosting marketing spend as a defensive mechanism to protect brand reputation.

Nevertheless, the IPA Bellwether says unfavourable global economic conditions, coupled with fears of falling business and consumer confidence prompted caution over discretionary spending in some cases.

The best performing category of the Bellwether survey was internet, which saw its net balance jump from +2.1% to +17.2%. Firms showed a strong appetite to enhance their digital footprints, with Search/SEO spending (+14.2% from -3.9%), as well as targeted advertising on mobile (+3.6% from -2.4%) all receiving boosts. A renewed drive for big-ticket advertising campaigns was also apparent during the opening quarter of 2019, with main media marketing returning to growth (+5.2% from -6.2%). Events was the third and final Bellwether category to register expenditure growth (+3.4% from +2.6%).

However, market research, sales promotions and direct marketing budgets were all revised lower during Q1, with net balances of -4.2% (from -4.7%), -3.7% (from +3.8%) and -3.5% (from -5.6%) respectively.

Marketing executives erred on the side of caution with their forecasts for marketing spend for the 2019/20 financial year. A modest net balance of +3.4% anticipate budgets to grow during this period, which was notably weaker than past forecasts made before a new financial year and the lowest since 2009.
Although approximately 26% of panellists foresee growth, the remaining 74% expect cuts or no change. Compared to this time last year, a net balance of +18% of firms anticipated budget growth for the 2018/19 period.

Positive expectations were centred on main media marketing campaigns and advertising at events, which yielded net balances of +4.8% and +2.5% respectively. Some companies expect that brand-building initiatives seen during the most recent quarter will continue through the coming financial year, as they look to defend their brand and stave off tough competitive pressures. Plans to launch new products in some instances were also seen as opportunities for marketing budget growth.

Nevertheless, firms were much more downbeat for the remaining Bellwether categories. Negative outlooks were recorded for other marketing (-13.1%), PR (-7.0%), sales promotions (-5.3%), market research (-4.0%) and direct marketing (-1.8%).

Marketers’ confidence levels remain significantly negative

Following the first downbeat outlook towards own company financial prospects since Q3 2012 during the previous Bellwether survey, latest data showed no signs of an improvement. A net balance of -2.7% of surveyed marketing executives indicated a pessimistic assessment towards their company’s finances, compared to -0.9% during the final quarter of 2018, thereby indicating a stronger degree of negativity.

Industry-wide financial prospects also remained pessimistic during the first quarter. Although the net balance of firms casting a downbeat assessment was slightly lower than previously, registering -22.6% (- 28.6% in Q4 2018), it still signalled one of the most negative industry-wide outlooks since the global financial crisis.

Paul Bainsfair, IPA Director General, said: “This sharp increase following Q4 2018’s flatlining signals that UK marketing budgets have received a much-needed kiss of life in an economy gripped by Brexit uncertainty. The smart marketers realise that to grow their businesses, they must invest in them, particularly in mass reach, long-term media. While the forecast for the year ahead remains uncertain given the seemingly endless Brexit negotiations, those that want real competitive advantage should follow the proven rule that if you increase your share of voice above your share of market, you should expect to experience growth.”

Joe Hayes, Economist at IHS Markit and author of the Bellwether Report: “A return to growth in marketing budgets during the opening quarter of 2019 may come as a surprise given the uncertainty that shrouds the UK political and economic climate has only built further since the previous Bellwether Report. However, some companies began to show a determination to step up brand-building and protection in these challenging times, taking a pro-active, yet defensive approach in the face of business belt-tightening and weakening consumer confidence. That said, cautious undertones were still apparent in budget plans for the 2019/20 financial year, with panellists providing only modest growth expectations in available marketing spend. In fact, the outlook was the most subdued since 2009.”