Increase Your Christmas Sales With Social Media

Brands and Branding, Facebook, Social Media, Social Media Marketing No Comments »

As Christmas shopping is increasingly  dominated by evenings on the sofa with a nice glass of Chilean Pinot Grigio, browsing through website upon website in the comfort of your own home, snorting  at the olden times when people actually went in to the shops (imagine that), shopping for our nearest and dearest has undergone a vast transformation in recent years.

With 24/7 browsing, click and collect,  free or next day delivery, it offers shoppers a huge advantage over getting washed and dressed to wrestle with other brave souls hunting for the perfect Christmas gift on the high-street.

Reaching out to your customers without spending half your annual marketing budget on banner ads and pay per click campaigns is doable with a little creativity and some time invested into your social media presence.

As illustrated in this jolly infographic by Crowdtap, peer to peer recommendations form the basis for leading sales from Facebook and Twitter.  Sharing your products and promotions in a personable way can increase the trust customers have with your brand, encouraging users to engage with your content, thus increasing the reach of your brand and helping Molly give the biggest hint to Bob that she’d love that pair of Hunter boots for Christmas – #cozy.

Also, check out Pinterest if you haven’t already, it is a fantastic way to reach a completely new set of consumers from all walks of life and you will soon see a sharp rise in traffic to your website from this visual pin board website.

 

Christmas Shopping Customers Love Social Media

Via Mashable – Image: Flickr, erikaceous.

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That’s Life – 2013 Design Trends

Creative Design, Design & Layout, Digital Marketing Trends 2013, INFOGRAPHICS No Comments »

Writing a blog on Web Design Trends for 2013 is not as easy as it sounds – content is changing as quickly as we are uploading it and what was in last month could be out next month – I’m showing my age here but Frank knows what I’m talking about, the man was ahead of his time!

Frank Sinatra singing about web trends

‘You’re riding high in April, shot down in May’ – tenuous link I know but it gives me the opportunity to use the song title for my blog post and who can say no to a great tune?

Latest statistics suggest there will be 1.4 billion smart phones in use by the end of 2013 and as you would expect, smart phones are continuing to dictate design trends, such as responsive design and easy to read fonts, which is great news for those of us who like to get away from the standard fonts that have been available for years.

Another interesting trend – partly thanks to quicker download speeds – is the use of large image backgrounds which I’m happy about (designer) but probably not the developers who still have to make sure all websites load quickly for everyone.

To show I’m not making this stuff up, Enfuzed have also put together an infographic (another web trend?) to show just what I’m talking about and I particularly like the last tip – see Steph it’s not just me complaining :-)

click for larger view

 

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Google Gains 1.3 Million New Facebook Fans in 1 Month…

Facebook, Latest News, Social Media No Comments »

Social Media analyst Starcount have released this brilliant infographic showing the most popular brands on social media in July for 2013, featuring some of the biggest household brands around.

Google and Walt Disney the most popular brands on social media in July

However, in the aftermath of Channel 4′s Dispatches Celebs, Brands & Fake Fans, that aired 5th August, have we lost our faith in how many fans are real fans or those generated from India’s click farms?

The show exposed a number of brands who worked with marketing agencies to increase their Facebook fans, Twitter followers and YouTube views in an effort to increase the brand’s reach. Unbeknown to the brands(!), is that some of the agencies were using a number of unorthodox methods to achieve this, such as paying for fake fans and followers with click farms or websites that pay users per click, follow, view, like.

On looking through the brands mentioned in Social Count’s report, the office was divided on whether or not these likes were authentic and a result of well thought out campaigns, or if these big names had fallen victim to the trap of buying fans?

The number of Facebook fans, followers and viewers is often the focus for business owners to ensure their brand looks as or more popular than their competitors. What we stress when meeting with clients is that brand exposure is important and the quality of the fans and their interactions can often offset the importance of numbers.

The debate will go on and we are sure that more brands will be exposed as using click farms for popularity but in the mean time we champion organic fan growth and hats off to all other marketing agencies like us who do the same.

Follow us on Facebook or daily updates on marketing, branding, design or social media news and trends.

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Clean and Fresh Web Site Design For Natural Nutrients

Case Studies, Design & Layout No Comments »

Natural Nutrients 

We worked with Natural Nutrients to create a fresh and clean design that would reflect their brand identity as well as the company’s philosophy associated with health and clean living.

Visit the Natural Nutrients website

Natural Nutrients Website Design

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Brands Jump On Royal Baby Fever With Clever Marketing Campaigns

Brands and Branding, Digital Marketing Trends 2013, Latest News No Comments »

With the birth of Will & Kate’s little Prince, retailers and brands have unsurprisingly leaped onto the good news story with a host of celebratory themed promotions.

Here’s our tops picks:

Oreo Celebrate the Birth of the New Prince with Marketing Campaign

 

Warburtons Celebrate New Prince

M&S Celebrate the birth of our new Prince

 

 

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7 Ways to “Love Your Website” more…

'B2B' - Back to Basics, Business Blogs, Digital Marketing Strategy, Digital Marketing Trends 2013 No Comments »

We all know that proactively marketing your business online  is “key” to the success of your business.   However’ it’s sometimes really difficult just knowing where to start improving your online presence.

As a Valentine’s treat, we’ve put together a list of our Top Tips for ways you could give your website a bit of TLC.

1.       Design

Although one of our sayings here at Virtuoso is “Form Follows Function”, first impressions do count, a design that reflects your corporate image is really important.  Make sure your website “look and feel” is consistent with your corporate image.  We often see websites where the design of the site just doesn’t really reflect the professionalism and capabilities of the company itself.  Visitors to your site will quickly make a judgement of your business based on how it looks, so even if the content is amazing, try to make sure visitors are interested enough to look past the design.

2.       Structure

Planning your website structure is paramount to the success of your site.  Ensuring that visitors can easily get around the site, and find the information they are looking for is key.  Make sure your site is user-friendly, easy to navigate & coded to current standards, which will also improve the speed your site downloads.  Visitors will only hang around on your site for a few seconds before clicking off to somewhere else if they can’t find what they’re looking for.  Don’t make them think!

3.       Content

It’s been said for a while now, and it’s still true, “Content Is King”.  You could have the most amazing looking website in the world, but if the information on it is of no use to your target audience, it will all be wasted.  Make sure your content is written for your target audience.  Think about what information will help them in their day to day work, what problems can you help them solve, how can you make their life easier.  Is it easy for them to get in touch with you?  Look at every page in your website and make sure it has a purpose, the content is good quality, well-written and easy to digest.  And then make your offering so compelling that they want to get in touch to find out more.

4.       SEO

Search Engine Optimisation has radically changed over the past three years.  Where it used to be sufficient to optimise your website with your keywords and phrases in order to get good rankings in the search engines, now we’re looking at Content Optimisation across all channels.  So every bit of content you upload to the web should be looked at as an opportunity to optimise for your keywords and phrases, and ideally link back to content hosted on your website.

Link building also plays a massive part in successful optimisation and Google looks at every inbound link to your website as a “vote”, improving your link popularity, and the chances of getting Page 1 rankings.  We all know that when we do a search on Google we rarely go past the first page, so getting a Page 1 ranking can work wonders of your business and the level of enquiries you could receive.

5.       Social Media Integration

The growth of using social media for business, to engage with customers and prospective customers continues to grow at a very fast pace.  More and more of our clients are reaping the benefits of having a presence on the key social media channels such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube, and they use the channels in all kinds of ways.  Social Media is a great way of raising your brand awareness, providing customer support, sharing industry knowledge, providing access to training material and support, and generally just “showing you care” about your customers.

Make sure your website has clear links to your social media channels, and that your social media channels are consistently branded so that visitors recognise your brand across all channels.   Another great way to use social media is enabling sharing widgets on your content, making it easy for visitors to your site to share your content with their networks, and furthering your reach.

6.       Email Marketing

Well planned and designed email campaigns, that target a specific target client group can work wonders for growing your leads and enquiries.

By using email marketing to keep in touch with your customers and prospective customers ensures that you’ll be at the forefront of their mind when they’re looking to buy the kind of products or services you provide.

Use your website to grow your email marketing list, offer your visitors a good reason to sign up to your list, maybe a regular newsletter with Free Hints & Tips, a free Technical Whitepaper download, first news of your Special Offers & Promotions, a Competition…. the list goes on.

As you grow your list you’ll have more contacts to market your products and services to, and potentially more sales.

7.       Google Analytics

We’re often surprised at how many of the businesses who come to talk to us about their website development don’t have any idea of how many people visit their website, which pages they visit and what keywords they used to find their site.  This is only some of the great information that you can easily get from your website by setting up a Google Analytics account and inserting a little snippet of code to track each of your web pages.  We use Google Anlaytics with our clients to check the performance of their website, and look at ways of improving the performance of the site to ensure it’s working as hard as possible for the business.  Don’t miss out on this great free tool, make sure you have access to your Google Analytics and make time to check them regularly.

This is just a flavour of how you can love your website more.  If you need any help at all with your Digital Marketing, the team here at Virtuoso are always here to help, we’d love to hear from you, so don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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Key Marketing Trends for 2013: Focus on Content Marketing

'B2B' - Back to Basics, Content Development, Digital Marketing Strategy, Digital Marketing Trends 2013, Latest News, Link Building, Search Engine Optimisation No Comments »

For most, the New Year is a kick-start for businesses to be more proactive in their marketing activities. That is why we have put together our predictions of the key marketing trends for the upcoming year.

In a series of posts we will look at each trend in turn, discussing how they can help your business improve and thrive in 2013.

This post will concentrate on content marketing and how it can help you can generate new leads, whilst also improving a variety of your other marketing activities.

What is content marketing?

Content marketing is the process of producing regular content through a variety of channels and mediums, such as blog posts, e-books, videos, podcasts, webinars, and infographics. The key to being successful at content marketing is to produce content that your customers and other target audiences would perceive as valuable.What is content marketing?

How can it help you?

Improve Conversion Rates
By having a blog and other sources of content readily available on your website, you are able to help improve the level of trust that gradually builds as a user looks through your site. If they are able to read, listen and watch content that you have created and they find it useful or interesting, it will help them trust you more as a brand, improving their perception of you. This means a user is more likely to choose you for the product or service they require.

Search Engine Optimisation & Brand Awareness
Posting regular content also helps to optimise your website, meaning it will help to improve your ranking in the major search engines. This in turn helps to raise your brand awareness and drive more traffic to your website.

Inbound Link Generation
If your content proves useful enough – and worth talking about – it may be referred to on a number of platforms, including social media channels (by a variety of people), key influencers’ blogs, and websites relaying news. Every mention a piece of your content gets creates an inbound link to your website or blog. The number of inbound links pointing to a website is a crucial factor that the major search engines take into account when ranking a site – the more inbound links you have, the better your site will be optimised and ranked in the search engine results pages.

(Note: Inbound links is just one of the many factors taken into account by search engines when ranking a website.)

Of course, as well as increasing your inbound links, the fact that there are links out there on social media channels and websites means the traffic to your website is also likely to increase.

It’s all good!

So, not only will a stronger focus on content marketing help improve your relationship with potential customers, it can also have a positive influence on SEO, link building, brand awareness, website traffic, and most importantly sales! For us, there is no doubt that it should be a key consideration for your 2013 marketing plan.

Remember to measure

It is important to understand the successes and pitfalls of any marketing activity to ensure you are continually driving the business forward. Content marketing and ROI should be closely monitored to make certain you are always on the right track.

For more advice and information on content marketing please get in touch or leave a comment below.

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Amazing Christmas Card from Delivered With Love

Client News, Virtuoso HQ No Comments »

What a lovely surprise we received from our client Delivered With Love yesterday, when they hand delivered this wonderful Christmas card for us.

Christmas Card Designs from Delivered With Love

It even comes with a gorgeous sparkling Christmas tree decoration

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A huge thank you to Tom & Lynne.

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