• 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 the home of Xcite Digital :)

Xcite Digital inspire communities through search & social, helping brands communicate through digital. We help connect you to your customers and build a community of inspired loyal fans.

Our approach is simple, we Find, Engage and Retain audiences.

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

Our team is run by people who will love your brand, who learn and grow with you, who believe in what you do.

View our blog posts

Xcite Digital back run2work

July 17, 2014 | Author:

The secret’s out; in the past few months Xcite Digital have been working on a project that is looking to revolutionise the daily commute…

There are too many hurdles for commuters on their journeys to and from work, be it tube strikes, traffic jams, or the increasing cost of fuel. So, why not get people using alternative means of commuting?

Our client wanted to create a movement that would follow the footsteps of the Government’s successful ‘Cycle to Work’ scheme. Instead of getting commuters to fork out on new bikes, equipment, and maintenance, commuters could instead still get fit, active and healthy, but also save a lot of money and reduce their stress levels by running to work.

We came up with a vision to make an online place for runners to work, this place would help runners find the best running to work routes and allow them offer advice on running to their fellow runners. By offering our expert knowledge in usability and website development we were able to create a site that would officially become the home of run2work.

 

This campaign combined a wide range of marketing elements as part of our ACCELERATE digital marketing programme, including such elements as development of the run2work’s distinctive Route Planner tool, Social and Email marketing. Our goal was to give run-commuters all the tools they needed to join the movement, whether it’s by finding different running routes through the app or joining groups in their area through Facebook.

Did we mention that run2work is backed by the London Evening Standard? This huge support gives the opportunity to broadcast its message to readers of London’s biggest newspaper. The Evening Standard is most frequently read by commuters on trains, a significant audience that run2work is looking to target.

run2work - Evening Standard.jpg

The Evening Standard wasn’t the only big name supporting us, we also found partners for a series of #run2workdays in well known brands including Audible, Virgin Active and Sweatshop. Each #run2workday celebrates running to work and brings with it rewards from run2work’s partners to everyone who participates.

With great motivators for joining including free Audible Audiobook downloads, we were expecting to find high numbers of people joining this social movement and we weren’t far away from this prediction. The first #run2workday earlier in June drew in thousands of people in and around the UK and was a success.

As the chosen digital agency Xcite Digital will be at the centre of the movement and we are proud to find run2work is already taking over run commuting in the UK, hopefully it’s only a matter of time before it has this same influence all over the world.

Effective Content Planning for Stages of the Customer Journey

July 10, 2014 | Author:

When planning the content of any communication it is essential to consider carefully the audience and purpose of that communication.   Without these clear parameters the communication will lose focus and risk not achieving its aims.  This article explores the four stages of the customer journey and the appropriate types and content of communication for effective customer engagement.  For a summary matrix see Annex A.

The four stages of the customer journey are:

  • Awareness
  • Interest
  • Consideration/Conversion
  • Closed

Let’s explore each stage in turn and the best communication for each stage.

 

AWARENESS

This is the start of the journey.   The process whereby a customer gradually becomes aware of a product or service.   Communication at this stage needs to focus firstly on creating awareness and then building on that awareness so that the product or service increases both in familiarity and desirability.

The following types of communication might be appropriate at this stage:

  • Blog/article
  • Discussion
  • Ebook
  • Event
  • Guide
  • Holiday greeting
  • Infographic
  • News
  • Pictures
  • Seasonal
  • Video
  • Webinar
  • White Paper

The aim of the content for any of the above communication should be primarily thought leadership or contributing to an already trending topic.  Communication needs to be seen as authoritative and informative, and yet also engaging.  It needs to cast the net wide to appropriate potential customer groupings then gently reel them in.  At this stage of the journey it is important to get a skilful balance between giving the customer enough relevant information to awaken their interest and yet holding back some of the detail so that it can be revealed further in the journey. This balance will vary according to the type of communication and the customer group but there does always need to be some built-in informative content, even on a subliminal level.   So whilst White Papers, videos and webinars would need to contain an appropriate amount of detail, even a less formal and fun communication such as Holiday greeting, infographic or pictures should include some reference to, or contextual images of, the product or service.

Effecting Content Planning - Digital marketing strategy

 

INTEREST

This is the second stage of the journey where the customer is aware of the product or service and becomes interested in having it.  Communication content at this stage needs to focus on maintaining and increasing this interest – even to the point of becoming obsessed with it.  The aim is that they will then move seamlessly into the next stage.

The following types of communication might be appropriate at this stage:

  • Blog/article
  • Discussion
  • Ebook
  • Event
  • Guide
  • Holiday greeting
  • Infographic
  • News
  • Pictures
  • Report
  • Seasonal
  • Video
  • Webinar
  • White Paper

In this stage of the journey you are painting a scenario in the customer’s mind of them using the product or service, and this scenario needs to be good!  It needs to be informative and realistic, yet alluring and vibrant.  The idea is not just to better inform the customer about the product or service but to influence their thinking so strongly that they suddenly can’t visualise life without it!  The predominant content should be how the product or service will revolutionise the customer’s life on a daily basis.  Just like the domino stack that takes hours to set up then is toppled in seconds by one small push, this content needs to topple all their carefully constructed reasons not to have the produce or service.

Interest - Social Site Marketing

 

CONSIDERATION/CONVERSION

The third stage in the journey is where the customer has decided that they definitely want the product or service.   Communication at this stage needs to focus on how to close the gap between that desire and them actually purchasing it, and also how to do this in such a way that the customer loyalty is gained as well as a sale.

The following types of communication might be appropriate at this stage:

  • Case Study
  • Demo
  • Discussion
  • Event
  • Holiday greeting
  • Pictures
  • Pricing
  • Promo
  • Report
  • Reviews
  • Seasonal
  • Sell Sheet
  • Video

 

Conversion -  digital business strategy

 

CLOSED

Once the customer has bought the produce or service, effective communication is still important.  Done well, it is an essential means of maintaining customer loyalty so that they stay with you, purchase more from you, and also begin to recommend you to others.

The following types of communication might be appropriate at this stage:

  • Discussion
  • Event
  • Holiday greeting
  • Pictures
  • Promo
  • Seasonal
  • Sell Sheet
  • Webinar

At this stage the content of your communication needs to make the customer feel continually valued by you.  It is good to have a two-way flow wherever possible, so events such as user conferences, discussions and webinars should be arranged regularly to give customers opportunities to interact with you.  As well as helping to maintain their loyalty, it is beneficial for you to obtain feedback about your product or service that will enable you to develop and enhance it further.   It also enables you to ensure that your customers have the very latest information and that they are optimising their use of the product or service.  You want them to be delighted with both you and the product or service so that they will recommend you and will also be open to Up Selling and Cross Selling where appropriate.   Be a little cautious with the latter, because whilst you do obviously want further business from them, some loyal customers can become disenfranchised if too much communication is “sales pitch”.  It can also make them question the quality or status of their current product or service if all they perceive is that you are trying to get them to upgrade or replace it.

In this article we have explored the four stages in the customer journey and potential types and content of communication at each stage.    A summary matrix appears for easy reference at Annex A.   The key thing to remember at each stage is to consider where the customer is at in their journey and to tailor the type and content of communication to target their specific needs, and lead them through to closure.

 

ANNEX A

Content Planning table - Digital Strategy Plan

 

How to make the best out of LinkedIn

June 25, 2014 | Author:

There are over 250 million LinkedIn users in the world, but not many people will be utilising the social network to its full potential.

Many of us will register to LinkedIn, find a couple of new connections, and then start asking ourselves ‘What else is there to do on the network?’. The short answer; there is so much more to do. From updating personal profiles, to investing in LinkedIn Ads for company pages. Here are just some of our insights into making the best of LinkedIn…

 

PERSONAL PROFILES

For businesses, it’s important to make sure that employees are representing your brand positively. That doesn’t mean restricting your employees to using LinkedIn strictly for business activities, but they can contribute by doing the following:

  • Posting at least 2 times a week – Posts can be relevant or personal.

  • Policy Guidelines – You can create policy guidelines for your employees on how they should update LinkedIn. Remember, every employee represents your brand, so it’s important they reflect the brand the right way.

  • Updating profile photos consistently – Try to make photos look as professional as possible, for example, employees can use photos where they are against a plain background to add a professional touch. The better these photos the more confidence you give as they are the first thing people see.

  • Include a consistent company description under their profile – LinkedIn allows users to describe their experiences in each company they have been part of. This will give them the option to describe the companies they work for; businesses should provide employees with an accurate description of the company. This description can then simply be used in their profiles.

Continuing on from ways to get employees to join in all the action, CEO’s and Managing Directors can also make an impression on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn’s ‘Recommendations’ is one feature that makes the network the place for professionals. For instance, business owners can ask clients and colleagues to write a recommendation from their LinkedIn profile. Prospects can then get a more balanced view of your work, with the recommendations there is a higher likelihood of others connecting with you.

Although this can require a lot time and effort from clients who have a busy schedule. So we would suggest that you write recommendations on their behalf, and ask clients to approve them. Alternatively, you can start recommending others in your network and hope they return the favour.

 

LINKEDIN COMPANY PAGES

It’s important for businesses to make sure company pages are consistent with their brand messages. Take a look at how you can improve your company page below:

  • Update your company page with products and services that you offer – Try to post at least once a week about what you offer. Whether you have promotions on or are releasing changes to your services, include these in your page posts.

  • Including case studies in your company’s page – These can be in the form of videos or images, and this element can drive prospects to your company page. Case studies can be added to the description in your company page, and these case studies can subsequently be used by employees in their profiles.

  • Sponsored Updates – Why not consider investing in LinkedIn’s ‘Sponsored Updates’? These types of updates can reach a wider audience and the right people, e.g. if you are posting about a white paper relating to digital marketing, you can target people that work in the digital marketing industry and CMO’s.

 

LinkedIn is a powerful social network that can help businesses and individuals show a professional front online. This network should be treated as a more formal social media platform where brands can broadcast their messages on; but that doesn’t mean to say brands can’t show their personality (in moderation, of course) through the different features available on the platform including media in posts and eye catching sponsored updates.

Brands are increasingly using LinkedIn for engaging with their consumers, so it makes sense to engage with this growing population of social media professionals.

How to use social marketing to launch new products

June 19, 2014 | Author:
How to use social marketing to launch new products

The difference between a good product launch and a great product launch can make all the difference in getting a product out into the open for potential buyers to see.  The challenge is how to do this effectively  and with nearly one in four people worldwide using social media it make sense to use this within a business’  digital marketing strategy.  More and more large companies are seeing the advantages of social media, M&S alone dedicate 21% of their overall Marketing budget on digital  marketing.  They have also utilised various media platforms when it comes to product launches.  Here’s how:

  1. Shareable Posts – Create content that is easy to share, with simple language that gets to the point yet is still engaging. Often the best content uses a mixture of different content types, i.e. videos and images, these content types can be easier for the audience to engage with and bring a higher response. Try and respond to those that share your post, even a simple “thank you“ can go a long way!

  2. Product Teasers – Post content that doesn’t give too much away,  curiosity will keep people intrigued about the new product.  This can be in the form of code names, or pictures.  These type of posts should start around 20 days before launch. M&S use “coming soon” type posts when referencing new collections.

  3. Link lots – Remember each social media platform targets different audiences, so it’s important to link content to other relevant media channels.  For example,  M&S post pictures of new clothing ranges etc from their Instagram account on Facebook encouraging their audience to follow them on Instagram as well. thus reaching a larger audience.

  4. Every Platform is different – This is important, each platform will bring a different element to the marketing strategy,  when creating a product launch strategy all channels should be used.   For example, Facebook is more visual than Twitter, and is not restricted by characters limitations.

  5. Competitions – These can be a great way to engage with prospective buyers and keep their focus on your business.  It can be based on a question about the business, or simply a name will be chosen at random from the first 500 people to “Like” and “Share” the content.  M&S use this marketing strategy  recently with a competition to win a wedding cake.

Finally, direct traffic to where you want it, link content back to the business’ website, turning prospective buyers into actual customers.  Channeling the flow of traffic from a marketing perspective can help encourage  people to look through other products on offer leading to increased sales.

Content Across Multi-Channel Marketing

June 13, 2014 | Author:

Those in the business are aware of the importance of good content, after all  it’s the foundation of any marketing activity which can help to identify and maintain consumers and audiences. Content is especially important when dealing with multi-channel marketing as consistency is key.  Once a company has identified their audience and worked out what motivates them, businesses can then attempt to link them to the products or services on offer.

Content can then be written in a way that captures the audience’s attention  while reflecting the brand’s key message. A digital marketing strategy will help tie different channels together, with a guide to the types of content that should be used.

The bonus of posting content onto a website  means that it helps to direct traffic back to the site time and time again for new information.  The same can be said for the use of social media channels, content posted on them can be linked back to a website, both of which  will increase SEO ranking.

Larger content like blogs and articles can be minimized so that they  can be distributed through social media channels, these can then be tracked through management tools for response rates.    The constant balance between prospective clients and search engines can be difficult .  While trying to provide information  and answering questions that the audience will be interested in,  try to remember that  the real target are people not search engines.

The more your content engages with your audiences’ interests across different marketing channels the more likely  you are to gain new followers/fans and retain existing ones.  Remember consistency builds trust, trust builds increased engagement, sales and brand loyalty.