• Xcite Digital

    Xcite Digital

    Search and Social Marketing.
  • Surrey County Council

    Surrey County Council

    Helping to educate the local community on Food waste initiatives
  • BBC's In the Night Garden

    BBC's In The Night Garden

    Creating exposure to over 3m fans
  • Pizza Express

    Pizza Express

    Running social campaigns for the UK's leading Pizza chain
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  • SKODA

    ŠKODA

    Media platform for ŠKODA international PR Team to manage new product launches
  • Ubisoft

    UBISOFT

    Increasing online sales conversion by 35%
  • BP

    BP

    Engaging a community of senior BP executives worldwide
  • First Call Contract Services

    First Call Contract Services

    Integrating 23 offices through a central CRM and building their social community
  • White Light

    White Light

    UKs biggest and best entertainment lighting supplier.
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Welcome to Xcite Digital

We specialise in creating seamless customer experiences through multi-channel marketing, leading to conversion funnelling we can optimise and improve, producing greater results than conventional marketing approaches.

Our approach is simple, we Find, Engage, Convert and Retain customers through multi-channel digital marketing.

  • Finding through research and monitoring
  • Engaging by creating conversations and developing platforms
  • Converting through conversion funnelling
  • Retaining by building loyal communities that drive advocacy

 
View our blog posts

EPIC OSCAR SELFIE

March 25, 2015 | Author:

We are at the end of the awards season, with various ceremonies having taken place and the resultant fallout hitting the press the following day! But it reminded us of last year’s Oscars, where Ellen de Generes took what has subsequently been described as “the most epic selfie in the history of the word epic — and in the history of selfies”!

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Ellen, who was hosting the  86th Academy Awards on March 2nd 2014, managed to gather twelve celebrities, including Jennifer Lawrence, Angelina Jolie, Bradley Cooper, Kevin Spacey, Jared Leto, Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Lupita Nyong’o and Brad Pitt for a selfie picture.

Within forty minutes it had broken the previous retweet record – Barack Obama’s victory in the 2012 presidential election – and was in fact retweeted over 1.8 million times in the first hour! By the end of the ceremony it had been retweeted over 2 million times and by the end of 2014 it was the most-retweeted post this year with more than 3.3 million retweets.

What is perhaps less well known is the impact that the epic selfie had on the phone brand that Ellen used to take it!  The selfie was taken on Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and tweeted from the stage, providing a wonderful social marketing opportunity for Samsung! Debate raged on Twitter as to whether this was a pre-planned marketing stunt. Certainly as part of its sponsorship for the Oscars, Samsung did negotiate to have its Galaxy smartphone integrated into the show, and was promised its devices would get airtime. There are even suggestions that during rehearsals Samsung executives trained Ellen on how to use the Samsung Galaxy.

Product placement is a great technique to use in digital marketing! Whatever the truth behind Ellen’s selfie, it was a great plug for the Samsung brand. According to Allen Adamson, managing director of branding firm Landor Associates:  ”Ellen’s selfie is going to be more impactful than their commercials. You can’t buy that magic of going viral.”


FUNDAMENTALS OF GOOD WEBSITE DESIGN

March 18, 2015 | Author:

TRENDS IN WEBSITES

In the past few years there have been lots of advances in web design and development. The previously ‘traditional’ layouts have now been replaced with more adventurous creative and alternative navigation.

With the huge increase in mobile and responsive devices, the way users use/navigate through sites has changed. Gone are the days where users don’t like to scroll, and instead it’s the opposite in that long pages with minimal clicks are becoming the norm. This allows for easy viewing no matter the device. Research also shows that sites with scrollable pages retain users on their site for longer periods of time as they get absorbed by the continual content.

So if you are about to design a new or revamped website as part of your digital marketing strategy, what kind of things should you consider incorporating to ensure that it is both on trend and the best showcase for your brand as possible?

THREE CRITICAL PAGES

THE HOME PAGE

The home page is the shop window to the website! It is essential to have all the relevant information on there, and perhaps also excerpts from other areas of the site. For example you could show the top three FAQs and/or latest news, and users can then either go directly to that question/article or the landing page for that section.

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THE CONTACT PAGE

Whether the contact page is embedded into the home page or a completely separate page, it is essential to make it very clear and easy how to get in touch with the website.  Contact details and CTAs (call to actions / buttons) should feature around the site encouraging users to get in touch.  

THE FAQ PAGE

This is going to be a popular page on the site so needs to be aesthetically pleasing and also provide good user experience.  These are also good ‘search terms’ as far as SEO is concerned – therefore the best thing to do is have a landing page, in broken down into sections, with the answers on individual pages.

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It is also essential that FAQ can easily be understood – therefore they need to be written in the language of your potential clients, not necessarily yours. You may want to consider personalising the questions as if they have come from customers, which is very engaging and reinforces the fact they are genuine frequently asked questions.

It’s also important to include a ‘search feature’ in the FAQs so that users can easily find what they are looking for.   Perhaps include a pop out form for users to pose their own questions to you in case they want to know something that isn’t initially covered.

GOOD LAYOUT FEATURES

NAVIGATION SHOULD ALWAYS BE VISIBLE

Some websites make full use of the user’s entire screen with no visible navigation when you first land on the page, but as you start to scroll down, the navigation scrolls in from the top and fixes itself so it’s always visible. There is certainly no ‘right or wrong’ when it comes to navigation position – it is personal preference but does need to be thought through.

GOOD BALANCE AND DISPLAY OF IMAGE AND CONTENT

A good website needs a balance between image and text. It is also effective to vary the layout between some pages where imagery and content are split on the left and right of the screen, and some where the content overlays the imagery. This is a good way to keep the user engaged.  

BANNERS BETWEEN EACH SECTION

Another aspect of effective design is break up different sections with strong banners. This is very appealing to the eye and therefore engaging to any visitor. They have the effect of making you want to scroll down to find out more.

 STUNNING IMAGERY

The imagery you use on your website is hugely important – the right imagery even releases dopamine / serotonin. By using strong and appropriate imagery your website can make the visitors feel instantly happier, and they will in turn relate this happiness to your brand.

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VISUALLY EYE-CATCHING

It is crucial to make sure that your website looks as good as it can visually, and reflects your brand. As well as the imagery itself, think about the use of white space so that the sections between the imagery are clean and clear and feel refreshing. Also consider the size and weight of the font, and the spacing of all elements. Go for a look that “just works”!

We hope that this article has given you some food for thought about website design. Do browse through some of the links to client examples on this website too – we hope you find them inspiring!

2015 – THE YEAR TO MARKET WITH WEARABLE TECHNOLOGY

March 11, 2015 | Author:

2014 was labelled the “year of the wearable”, and it seems 2015 will be no different. Wearable technology – is it a fad or here to stay? We take look at this in depth.

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WHAT IS IT?

Wearable technology is a smart piece of technology that can be worn anywhere over the body. The recently launched Android watches and Google Glass instantly come to mind, however wearable tech has actually been around for quite some time with one of the earliest creations being the 80s’ “calculator watch”.

 

CURRENT MARKET

Wearable gadgets are slowly gaining traction in the technology market, however some of the big names, including Android, have yet to meet their targets.

Much to the delight of iOS enthusiasts the Apple Watch is set to launch this Spring, so it will be interesting to see how Apple will fare against the existing smart watches in the market.

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For many of us, when it comes to deciding which smartphone to purchase we will weigh up the features that each phone offer before making the final decision. Now with the growing influence of wearable gadgets, this type of technology is another feature that may influence a purchase. Or, dare we say, it could be a deal breaker for consumers if a phone is not compatible with wearable gadgets or doesn’t come with one in the package!


WHAT WILL THE FUTURE HOLD?

Having received negative feedback on their first model, Google has took a step back and is working on polishing the Glass so its ready to the general public. Microsoft’s highly anticipated smart glasses named the ‘Hololens’ is also in the works – so we expect to see more wearable technology based around augmented reality and making real life easier in the, hopefully, not so distant future.

As we have concluded that “wearables” are very much here to stay, how will this smart technology affect digital marketing?

The new generation of wearable technology is far from perfect, but it will definitely become more important to marketeers. We are already seeing how apps are being adopted into the digital business strategy, future marketing campaigns could be tailored around what technology target audiences will wear. Wearables will open up opportunities for brands to get more creative and personal with their consumers.

The possibilities are endless, we can’t wait to see what else is in store for wearable technology!


*SOURCE: http://www.techradar.com/news/portable-devices/wearable-tech-and-the-future-from-solar-clothes-to-smart-tattoos-1283713

URBAN DECAY’S COACHELLA-MEETS-COSMETICS CONTEST

March 4, 2015 | Author:

Coachella is an annual two-weekend, three-day Music and Arts Festival held in the Coachella Valley of Southern California’s Colorado Desert region. The event has been running for 15 years and showcases both established and emerging artists across a wide variety of genres. Artists who have appeared at Coachella include Amy Winehouse, Paul McCartney, Radiohead, Madonna, The Cure, Muse, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Foo Fighters.

In February and March 2014, the cosmetic company Urbay Decay ran a Pinterest campaign to promote its new makeup collection, Electric. The competition offered as its main prize the chance to attend the sold-out Coachella festival in April. Runners-up would win various combinations of Urban Decay’s summer essential make-up.

To enter the competition, people first had to follow Urban Decay on Pinterest, then make a pinboard called “Get Electric with UD” and showcase the looks they would wear at music festivals throughout the year, using UD cosmetics wherever possible.

The audience demographic being targeted by the Urban Decay social media campaign was primarily 18-35 year old females with disposable income and a fun lifestyle. It especially targeted music festival lovers, as their campaign centered around summer music festival looks. The campaign was a success and resulted in phenomenal interaction with the brand in terms of the amount of new followers on Pinterest.

Why not give some thought as to whether there is any kind of event or campaign that you could try and link your brand with this year? This is an innovative way to use creative digital marketing and can reap huge dividends in both the long and short term.

RIP INTERNET EXPLORER!

February 20, 2015 | Author:

Microsoft have recently announced that with the advent of Windows 10, they are going to kill off Internet Explorer. This development cannot come soon enough for many of those who are disillusioned with the browser – some to the extent of having created a petition to get rid of it! The petition reads as follows:

“Please discontinue your Internet Explorer product.

It is a bad product. It’s bad for the internet as a whole. It is bad for your customers that use it. There is no upside for its continued existence. I don’t believe your company has the competence to make a standards-compliant web browser. Do the entire world a favor, and save yourself some money at the same time…

Please discontinue Internet Explorer.

There are so many great web browsers out there. Yours is not one of them. Discontinuing Internet Explorer, and forcing Windows users to download one of those many great standards-compliant browsers, will be like taking the handcuffs off the internet. Or like cutting the chain to the internet’s anchor.

Let the internet be free, let it grow and expand. Let it invent new technologies, and use those technologies to the fullest. This can not happen while Internet Explorer exists.

Please discontinue Internet Explorer.

The world will thank you.”


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Harsh words indeed! So, what exactly are the issues with Internet Explorer? The main criticism has been to do with speed,  particularly when running on a network. This is exacerbated further if you have an older version of Internet Explorer or do not have all the latest updates. Like any other Microsoft product, Internet Explorer needs a cleanup from time to time and it can make a difference if you take the time to delete the entire browsing history along with all the temporary internet and cache files.

Some users find that Internet Explorer does not display web pages properly and often they simply have to use another browser instead. Others have had problems downloading software updates: if it worked at all it was often considerably slower than an iPhone.  

There have also been reported security issues with Internet Explorer, leaving users vulnerable to viruses on their machines. For example, last July it came to light that older versions of Internet Explorer were allowing hackers to execute code on an affected machine remotely if users visited a malicious site. Whilst users of Internet Explorer 10 and 11 were relatively safe thanks to the enhanced Protected Mode these browsers offer, older versions do not offer this feature.

So, what will replace Internet Explorer? Microsoft are to launch a new Internet surfing software called Spartan. As well as being a modern browser for general use, it is also going to delight developers in that it will enable them to make extensions similar to those used with Google Chrome, giving more flexibility with minimal effort.

We will focus on Spartan in a future blog. For now, rest assured that the days of internet marketing ideas being ruined by outdated browsers finally seems to be numbered!