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Innocent Drinks – Tweet And Eat Cheap Campaign

September 17, 2014 | Author:

Innocent Veg Pots are a healthy lunchtime meal made from three portions of vegetables. To increase awareness and sales, Innocent introduced a Twitter campaign called “Tweet & Eat”. The message was brilliantly simple – “the more you tweet, the cheaper you eat”. Customers were asked to tweet using the hashtag #tweetandeat.

Tweets were then counted on a Tweet-O-Meter and the more tweets Innocent received, the bigger discount they offered – even to the extent of offering a limited number of free pots. The campaign proved to be extremely effective.

There were over 18,000 tweets to #tweetandeat with it becoming a trending topic in just four hours. The tweets reached over five million people with 200,000 people visiting the site. 50,000 people downloaded a discount voucher for a product trial with 91% actually redeeming them. Post campaign sales were up by 31%.

Digital Marketing: Marketing for the Digital Age

September 12, 2014 | Author:

This article introduces four different aspects of digital marketing and explores briefly how they can be used to help your business grow. We will look at websites, social media, email campaigns and advertising. We will then focus on each individual aspect in more detail in separate blogs over the next few weeks.

These two objectives are sometimes referred to as “Pull” and “Push” digital marketing.

Pull digital marketing originates from the consumer. They may do a Google search for a product or service, navigate through a website, comment on a blog or respond to some kind of advertising. Push digital marketing is where content is put in front of the consumer without them actively seeking it – such as paid advertising, web feeds, email or text messaging.  

In any effective digital marketing strategy it is essential to have a well thought out website in terms of User Experience and User Journeys  that not only portrays your products and services in their best light but also accurately reflects the style and culture of your business so that existing and potential customers get a clear idea of your overall brand.

Another key aspect of digital marketing is Social Media Marketing. There are an ever-increasing number of social networking sites – such as Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Google,, LinkedIn – that can be used in a variety of ways for posts, links and paid advertising. We will look at these in more detail in a separate blog. For now, suffice it to say that if used skillfully and consistently the potential of social site marketing is enormous!

Many businesses use email campaigns as part of their digital marketing strategy. Emails might be sent to existing customers to encourage customer loyalty and repeat business or to potential new customers to draw them in.

Emails can also often contain links to websites or advertisements in a number of different formats. We will look at email campaigns in a future blog and will also look at the huge area of online advertising! There are many different types of advertising which can be used in many different ways and it is important to get the best combinations that will be effective for your particular business.

Reading through this brief introduction to digital marketing, it is clear that to give your business the best chance of success you need an expert approach to your digital marketing strategy.

Whether it is help designing or optimising your website, creating interactive content on an ongoing basis, maximising your social media presence – you need to ensure that you are investing resources wisely to achieve the best possible results.

At Xcite Digital we have the expertise and the passion to help you do just that! Call us today to take your first step on the road to an effective digital marketing strategy!

Multi-channel Marketing – The Benefits and Challenges

July 24, 2014 | Author:

WHAT IS MULTI-CHANNEL MARKETING?

Multi-Channel Marketing refers to the use of many different marketing platforms to get a message across. One channel is no longer enough. Consumers now expect to be able to interact with an organisation in a number of different ways. In turn, organisations that do not facilitate and optimise such interaction can expect this to have a negative impact on customers and, in turn, on your business. Stand still and you are left behind!

Some of the different marketing platforms in wide use today are SEO, Text Ads, Banner Ads, Retargeting, Affiliate networks, Social Networks, Emails, Texts, Websites, Mobile, Print and  TV. This article explores the benefits and challenges of Multi-Channel Marketing.

 

WHY THE NEED FOR MULTI-CHANNEL MARKETING?

The unprecedented technological change over the past few years has impacted on every area of our lives. Whether at work or home, most activities and processes have been simply revolutionised. Latest estimates indicate that over 50 billion devices will be connected to the internet by 2020. Along with – and as part of – this sea change, customers expect to be able to interact with businesses wherever, whenever, and however they choose. A marketing strategy  ignores this expectation at its peril.

 

BENEFITS OF MULTI-CHANNEL MARKETING

There are many benefits of Multi-Channel Marketing, not just in terms of increasing sales but also business growth. Using a range of different channels enables a much wider reach, making your business potentially visible to new customer groupings. Many of the different platforms provide marketers with a range of analytics to enable their impact to be accurately measured. This enables marketing to become increasingly more intelligent and informed, targeting specific groups via specific combinations of channels.

Longer term, the use of Multi-Channel Marketing is also cost effective. Targeted, measurable marketing ensures that resources are being deployed increasingly effectively and efficiently, therefore keeping operational costs down. A carefully integrated marketing strategy needs to ensure consistency – and therefore economies of scale – in the content of the marketing message. It can then be distributed cohesively and effectively across various platforms and multiple channels. One message, many channels.

Another key benefit of Multi-Channel Marketing is that it enables businesses to engage with an audience on a frequent and interactive basis. This interaction can not only supplement and reinforce the key marketing messages but also give more insight into the culture of the organisation – for example through regular Twitter feeds – creating a more personalised face. This can be invaluable in building up customer following and resulting in increased brand loyalty.

Multi-Channel Marketing can also be used in less direct ways. “Retargeting” describes online ad placements or display advertising which works by the use of “cookies”. When a customer clicks on a businesses website a cookie is set. That cookie can then be used as a  way of targeting the same customer when they visit other sites. “Remarketing” is a term used a lot in email interactions and during the buying life cycle. For example, the personalised emails Amazon produce after you have purchased a product.

SEO - Creative digital marketing

As we saw earlier, the overall purpose of a Multi-Channel Marketing strategy is to help business growth as well as increase sales. Both Google and Bing rank a business’s website using data collected from social media platforms, meaning that to achieve high rankings in these search engines sites like Facebook and Twitter should be an active part of any SEO Strategy. This applies to content as much – if not more so – as images,  videos and links. Google, for example, continue to push for quality content over quantity. Correct spelling, the use of proper grammar and longer content pieces are all elements that build higher ratings. As well as being a benefit, this can also be a challenge!

 

CHALLENGES OF MULTI-CHANNEL MARKETING

As we have just seen, in terms of Multi-Channel Marketing, content is still King! Each channel brings something different to the marketing mix, potentially targeting different audiences across the multiple platforms. Content therefore needs to be tailored to suit each  channel, while still following a core message.

By skilful use of marketing analytics, intelligence can be gained about which marketing channels reach which type of customer groupings, and how the particular audience for each channel tends to use it. This knowledge and information is invaluable when creating a Multi-Channel Marketing strategy. It is not enough simply to release a message onto as many platforms as possible. The idea is to reach the business’s target market effectively through selective use of the most appropriate and proven channels for that target market.

Recognition of the differences between channels will also aid in building tailored content. For example, Twitter needs to be to the point, within the 140 character limit. Tweets should use links to websites or other channels, directing the flow of traffic to your advantage. Facebook , on the other hand, can be much more visual through posting articles, links to blogs, pictures. The more interesting the content is, the more likely it will be “reposted”, “liked” or “shared”; therefore reaching more people.

Content - Digital marketing strategy

Content remains one of the biggest challenges within Multi-Channel Marketing! With an increasing array of platforms and channels available, it is essential to tailor content to the needs and requirements of the intended audience. It should be varied, informative and  engaging, whilst at the same time adhering to the essential core messages and values of your business. It can be one-way or more interactive but most of all must be relevant to the audience.

 

Whether you are a small business or huge conglomerate, Multi-Channel Marketing provides unheralded opportunities for you to reach and interact with customers, and build brand loyalty and trust.    Managed effectively and consistently, it could grow your business from strength to strength.   If not used, or not used well, it could mean that you lose ground that may then be difficult, if not impossible, to regain.

 

Robert Walker

Managing Director – Xcite Digital

 

Sources:

https://econsultancy.com/blog/63535-why-the-effective-use-of-data-is-central-to-multichannel-marketing

http://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2013/10/15/multi-channel-marketing#.

http://www.sas.com/en_us/insights/marketing/multichannel-marketing.html

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