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Making the Most of your Website!

October 16, 2014 | Author:

We have started a series of blogs on different aspects of digital marketing strategy.  Over the next few weeks we will look at some of these in turn. Today we start with websites, as this is often the first thing that comes to mind when planning a digital marketing campaign.

When designing a website, it is essential to consider carefully the purpose(s) of that website.  This sounds obvious but can often be overlooked in the excitement of the design process!   Do you want your website to inform existing customers or attract new ones – or both? Is your website going to use Web 2.0 technology to enable two-way interaction between you and your current or existing customers?

Web 2.0 websites could involve, for example, features such as blogs, wikis, and customer login areas in your website. These aspects of creative digital marketing are all excellent in themselves but you need to ensure you have the resources to keep the information on them current and interesting.

It’s not just written content that can make it or break it for a website, putting considerable care into choosing the right layout, website fonts, colours and making use of footers can all help to make visiting your site a pleasant experience for users!

Having worked with various clients over the years on websites, we would highly recommend usability reviews before you make the decision to rebuild your site. These reviews can often help identify key areas of improvement, such as site navigation, and pick out elements that should be added to the site.

As mentioned in last week’s blog, your website also needs to be optimised to maximise its effectiveness. This means that your website needs to contain the kind of keywords that a typical user would type into a search engine if they were looking on the internet for a product or service such as yours.

It is possible to research which keywords these are likely to be and then to ensure that the content of your website contains such words at the right level of frequency. These steps will ensure that the URL of your website would be returned by a search engine and not be overlooked.

Keywords can also be built into “behind the scenes” parts of your website such as headers, descriptions and tags. This whole process is called “search engine optimisation” (SEO) and aims to ensure search engine hits for your website.

There are other strategies that you can use to increase traffic to your website. You need to ensure that your website is listed – and preferably linked to – from the websites of any and every related organisation.

There is also a lot you can do in terms of Social Media Marketing to attract traffic to your website and in next week’s blog we will explore the different ways social media can be used as part of an effective digital marketing strategy.

For further information or advice on any of the above topics why not take a look at our past blogs here!

Heinz Beanz

October 15, 2014 | Author:

In this new series we will take a weekly look at an effective example of social media being used as a catalyst for business growth. This week it’s the turn of Heinz Beans!

Heinz introduced a new Five Beanz range in the summer of 2012. The idea behind Five Beanz – also known as “My Grown Up Beanz” – was as something a bit different from the beans you grew up on.

Heinz stressed the nutritional value and versatility of the Five Beanz – haricot, red kidney, pinto, cannellini and borlotti  - and that a three tablespoon serving would provide one of your five-a-day. Apparently the best things come in fives!

Heinz used social media extensively to promote their new product. They created a Facebook quiz that asked people questions about personality traits and, based on this, analysed which of the five beans they were most like.

As an incentive, a winner from was picked every hour from each bean category and received a personalised bean. Also, everyone who invited at least 10 others to do the quiz was sent a goodie bag.

The Facebook campaign ran for two weeks and over 22,000 people took the quiz and more than 10,000 shared the app. The campaign reached 10.8 million people on Facebook and the Heinz Facebook community grew by over 30,000 people. Publicity about the campaign also reached  3 million people outside Facebook via Twitter, blogs and news sites.

The success of this campaign shows the potential power of harnessing social media to interact with customers and increase customer loyalty, particularly if there is a fun element involved.  Food for thought?!

IKEA – Facebook Showroom Campaign

October 8, 2014 | Author:

IKEA ran a successful Facebook campaign to promote the launch of its new store in Malmo, Sweden.

It set up a new Facebook profile page for the store manager Gordon Gustavsson and uploaded photos of the new showrooms. It then made effective use of the Facebook tagging tool by telling people that the first to tag their name on any item would win it.

As people tagged themselves in the photos, that then brought the promotion to the notice of all their Facebook friends via profile pages, newsfeeds and shared links. Friends then in turn began visiting the IKEA Facebook page in search of freebies, creating huge product awareness!  

The IKEA campaign reached thousands of people very quickly, using only existing Facebook tools and the time and effort of Facebook users themselves to promote the campaign.

An Angel Has Fallen

October 7, 2014 | Author:

By now you no doubt realise that Xcite Digital is a digital marketing company with a difference!  We are not afraid of creative marketing ideas and are always willing to try something new!  It is with this carpe diem attitude that back in July Rob and Emily agreed to go to Las Vegas this November to participate in an event called The World’s Toughest Mudder (WTM).   Rob has done the event before and somehow managed to persuade Emily to sign up before she realised what it actually was!

WTM is an extreme competition featuring a gruelling 24-hour obstacle challenge.  It consists of a 5 mile per lap course with an obstacle every mile, such as high walls, mud swamps, pipes to crawl through, ice pits…even electric shocks have been rumoured!!  The aim of WTM is to do as many laps as you can in 24 hours. Yes, you read that right!!  There are three official categories designed to find the toughest man, woman, and 4,  person team on the planet with cash prizes and other awards up for grabs, including an award for the largest World’s Toughest Mudder team.

After coming back from Glastonbury it started to dawn on us that we literally had 4 months until WTM. This meant a transition from no exercise at all to coping with a 24 hour endurance event in 16 weeks!

However,  on the evening of Wednesday 30th July this daunting prospect paled into insignificance.  We received a message from one of our closest and very best friends, a message that was to change everything, in one split second.  Our dear friend Anna Buszka had died suddenly and unexpectedly,  at the age of only 32.  We had spent a lovely day with Anna and her wonderful partner Dave only two days earlier.  We knew she was unwell and had been having various tests but could not have anticipated that we would never see her again.

It turns out that Anna had been suffering from a disease called Pulmonary Hypertension (PH).  No,  we hadn’t heard of it either!  But it is a serious condition that affects a lot of people throughout the world.  One of the things that The Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA) desperately needs – like any other charity and/or research institute – is funding.  Funding to stop more angels falling and more hearts breaking.

We therefore decided to dedicate our participation in WTM to Anna.   We are now training hard for the event.  We do not anticipate winning but in this case it really is the taking part that matters.  We are doing it for Anna,  and her widowed husband Dave is coming along for support.  We want to raise as much money as we can for the PHA.   Fund raising will not bring Anna back,  but may prevent others going through the same suffering and heartbreak as Anna and Dave.

We will give regular updates on this blog as to how we are getting on and will,  of course,  report back on the event itself in due course.   Meanwhile we would really appreciate any sponsorship you are willing to give towards the PHA.  You can sponsor us at our JustGiving page here. Thanks in anticipation!

Sprout It – The Backyard Takeover

October 1, 2014 | Author:

Sprout It is a startup gardening app designed to make growing simple.   To celebrate the launch of its new iPad app, Sprout It offered the opportunity to win a garden makeover.  Customers were asked to take a photo of a part of their garden that needed tidying up then tag it with #GrowInspired on Instagram or Twitter.

All entries had the chance to win daily prizes and one grand prize winner also won a complete garden makeover. The objectives of the campaign were to raise awareness of the Sprout It app, to engage on social media with new fans and followers and to capture email addresses to help expand the customer base. The campaign was widely publicised on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

The #GrowInspired hashtag reached 60,000 people, while campaign-related Facebook posts reached an additional 300,000 people and Sprout It’s Facebook fan base tripled throughout the campaign. More than 150 photos were submitted and Sprout It collected 130 participants’ email addresses. Additionally, the campaign drove more than 5,000 visits to Sprout It’s website.

The Backyard Takeover was named by Huffington Post as one of the 10 Best Influencer Marketing Campaigns of 2013.