featured11 750x410 - Social Media Rundown: Three Palpable Reasons Why Brands Need Them

Social Media Rundown: Three Palpable Reasons Why Brands Need Them

We are nearing the end of 2018 and we still have people who doubt the power of social media for businesses. In light of this, we want to discuss three palpable reasons why brands need social media.  Social media is not confined to just Facebook. It is a compilation of any app or program which consumers use to share their opinions.

They can be forums or sites like Trip Advisor. Businesses that exist today need to take care of their social media profiles and should keep an eye out for any fake profiles that seek to damage their reputation. So without further ado, here are a few reasons why brands need social media:

Engagement and Loyalty

Social Media presence can be quantified. You can count likes, comments, reactions, and followers. Your social media page is a good barometer of how well you are received by the community you are in or by the people who patronize your business.

Cheap Marketing

Consumers like to share everything on their social media accounts. If you happen to have one, they can tag you in posts and you get instant visibility for their networks. This is exposure that can lead you down more conversions to actual business and patrons.

Social Media is a really affordable way to launch an ad campaign. There are posts, you can upload videos, and you can even go Live. This is exposure that you do not have to pay for. The only thing you may need to pay for is to be pushed by the site itself.

Client Troubleshooting

If there was anything that could prove that social media can help brands better service their clients, it would be Elon Musk and how he utilized Twitter to show everyone how fast a brand can help address an issue.

In a span of a few weeks, he turned a customer complaint into actual action that caught the world unaware. It was a perfect master class on how social media was a perfect way to engage the brand you patronize if you have a complaint or a concern.

Conclusion

Social media is not just some fad that disappeared after a few months after inception. Social media continues to be one of the biggest ways brands reach out to their audiences and actually get measurable responses.

If there was still anyone who doubted why social media is needed by businesses, we hope that the points above have helped to chase away any lingering doubts.

Branding trends 1513681139 750x410 - 5 Emerging Branding Trends of 2018

5 Emerging Branding Trends of 2018

We’re halfway through the year already and yet 2018 still appears to have more than a few surprises left up its sleeves for us.  When it comes to branding, advertising and business growth, everything continues to evolve around us – and not just online.

Being your brand has never been more important – and as we venture into the latter half of the year, it’s important to keep in mind some of the more popular and effective branding trends which are helping to propel start-ups and which are helping to keep big corporate names in the households.

Some people are calling this the ‘golden age’ for marketing – and whether or not this is genuinely the case, here are a few ideas you may wish to monopolise upon, from logo design right through to your extensive marketing strategy.

Intelligent Logos Lead the Way

Not every logo can be a ‘FedEx’ – but many brands are trying to emulate and capture that magic.  For those uninitiated, the ‘FedEx’ logo is particularly intelligent as it hosts hidden images – there’s an arrow point right in the ‘Ex’, and a spoon in the ‘Fed’ – to some, this may be a clever little quirk or a fascinating titbit, but in 2018, smart logos and branding are clearly leading the way.

In a world where we are fascinated by viral content and moments that make us genuinely surprised or intrigued, branding in 2018 has evolved to encourage firms to lead with cleverly-designed motifs and emblems – ones which don’t just catch the eye, but which also make you think, too.

Corporate Promotional Branding is Back

Anyone who assumes physical promotional items to be ‘cheesy’ or outright ‘unnecessary’ aren’t really looking at the bigger picture.  Despite much marketing strategy taking place online these days, there’s still a huge marketplace for physical promotion in the form of tangible gifts and freebies.

Whether it’s notepads, pens or calendars, items that are regularly used by your clients with your branding emblazoned on the top will help to keep your name in mind and in clear recall – you can start by looking at buying personalised lanyards from a company such as Digital ID, for both your own use during networking events and for gift merchandising.

Crisp and Clean

Less has been more for quite some time now, and this is certainly still the case when it comes to branding and marketing material in 2018 and for the foreseeable future.

Overstuffing your brand advertising, your social media and your web presences with jargon and stuffy text is seen as an old-school move – thanks to clean, minimalist brands such as Apple, the common strand now is to lead with simplicity – can you effectively water down your company branding, ethos and message into few words and images – emphasising calls to action for your customers to learn more about you?  If you want to succeed in modern marketing – it’s certainly worth trying.

Lead with Creativity

While finding inspiration from other brands and competitors in your field is going to be a given, more and more consumers – particularly younger people who do considerable research on brands and product lines – are becoming more receptive to creative marketing and branding standards.

This means that it absolutely cannot hurt to think a little bit outside of the box.  Consider taking an almost informal approach – people in 2018 are tired of corporate jargon and the same old spiel – meaning that genuinely surprising design, unique branding, messages and more will be more likely to have a lasting positive effect upon those consumers who have seen all the other spiel all before.  Take inspiration form others, but dare to be different!

Positive Messages

The world is, undeniably, a very scary place in plenty of ways – we’re not going into all the hows and whys in this piece, of course, but it’s important to remember that your branding should be counter-acting that harmful daily gloom and negativity.

Use your brand to offer genuine solutions for your customers – lead with your want to help people, rather than your need to make money.  Start-ups and viral branding have thrived in the past couple of years on the basis that they have adopted positive, grassroots spins on creative products and services – you’re more likely to catch people with a positive, straightforward attitude than with a stuffy, imposing one.  While your market may vary, leading with a clean, positive and straightforward branding and ethos will appeal to the vast majority of consumers active in 2018 – and likely beyond into 2019.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Online 2 750x410 - The Growth of Digital Advertising for Financial Services

The Growth of Digital Advertising for Financial Services

Financial services have got an uphill battle when it comes to creating customer appeal – but digital advertising is helping.

Since the financial collapse of 2008, banks and other financial organisations have become somewhat demonised; the image of the man behind the curtain is no longer a friendly bank manager – but instead, a bespoke-suit clad trader with algorithms and eye-wateringly large bonuses.

As such, communicating with customers has required a new angle, re-establishing an image of human interaction, local understanding and approachability. The platforms have changed too – the last ten years has seen social media, smart phones and fast paced internet connections become the norm.

Digital advertising and interaction has been a lifeline for the image of financial services, ten years ago we had harsh, money focused slogans like “What’s in Your Wallet?” – but now, on YouTube, Facebook and other digital platforms, you’re more likely to see singing sisters, cartoon characters and other family friendly, trust building branding.

We’ll take a look at the main digital mediums and platforms that are being used by the financial services, explain a little about each – and take a look at which organisations are using them to their highest potential…

Mobile

2017 saw an interesting tipping point in the UK’s internet use statistics – we now officially spend more time browsing via our mobile devices than we do via our PCs.

This shift in online behavior has refocused financial services and their thoughts around what customers are looking for – there’s now no question about it; mobile comes first for companies such as Creditfix who are one of the UK’s leading personal insolvency companies, who continue to drive mobile adoption.

Where customers have traditionally chosen their bank, loan or finance provider based on what’s available locally, there’s now a shift toward people searching for a service that meets their specific mobile requirements. Searches for terms that hinge around ‘the best banking apps’ now far outweigh searches that point toward which banks are local to the individual.

So, advertising for the mobile market has to be done with a multi-pronged approach. A financial service’s Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising strategy has to be exactly right – ensuring that all-important search engine results page premium real estate – but ‘organic’ search engine optimisation has to be strong too – making sure that the first page of any Google results are locked down in their favour.

Of course, this is a never-ending task – and one that would be lost without a constant effort to ensure the right blend of design, technical analysis and appropriate site content across the brand.

When you consider that around 75% of financial services are advertising with a view to creating leads (customer information that can be used to retarget with follow up correspondence) then you realise that content is an absolutely vital part of the mobile marketing puzzle. A financial service that drives traffic toward their sites will quickly see lots of it disappear if the right kind of article or copy isn’t being seen upon arrival.

Content has to be value lead if you’re going to see traffic convert into leads – the Lloyds Bank site is a great place to see this in action – with articles that span everything from basic money advice to expert talks and Q&A sessions on complex financial topics.

Video

Video presents a fantastic opportunity for financial services as it ticks two vitally important boxes when you’re looking to engage with customers.

Broadly speaking, the smarter a borrower is, the greater monetary opportunity that presents for a financial service. Savvy borrowers are more likely to apply for mortgages (of an increasing value) as well as savings accounts, loans and additional mortgages on second or buy-to-let properties.

The smarter a borrower is, the more they’re going to drill down into what the lender is offering – and they’ll do that by absorbing the content that’s sent in their direction. From late 2016 onward, people have shown a significant preference for video content – so it’s probably little surprise that you’ve seen an increasing amount of it across the sites and apps you use.

So, with video, financial services aren’t just getting in front of customers – they’re getting in front of the right customers – but that said, it still has to be the right message that’s seen.

Valuable content is a great way to build trust – and with video, that trust building can be done across almost all of the senses. American Express recently put together an exceptionally successful video campaign that focused on small business owners and how they’d set up. Barclays built bridges into the millennial market with some CV and careers advice for younger customers via video too.

Financial services using video in 2018 realise that value is the key – build trust first – and leave the hard-nosed sales call-to-action for a more appropriate and trusting time…

Social Media

Around 45 million UK citizens use social media – so it would be criminal for a financial service to miss out on such a huge opportunity – however, if you step into the ring, you need to be very well prepared.

Social media is not a realm in which a financial service can deliver in a half-hearted manner. Listening and responding to your customer interactions needs to be done with speed and finesse – as studies show that ignored support requests will turn into a customer churn rate that 15% higher than the industry average. Online interaction makes it easier to contact financial organisations – but also much easier for a customer to vote with their feet.

Nearly 45% of customers expect to get a reply from their financial organisation within 60 minutes – and if they don’t, they edge closer toward taking their business elsewhere.

However, when a financial organisation does social media in the right way, they get a massive reward. The average UK resident spends nearly 2 hours on social media every day – compared to a matter of just seconds or minutes accessing financial service’s sites and apps.

Conclusion

Advertising in an individual’s newsfeed needs to be done very very carefully if you’re a financial organisation. In fact, the most effective companies do it in a manner that’s almost invisible – choosing the champion good causes and community initiatives, rather than pushing products and financial content at all. Customers are smart – and quick to unsubscribe – hence, it’s better to have just your organisation’s name there to feature in your customer’s mind further down the line – rather than nothing at all…

paddy 20170629022744154 743x410 - The Best Gambling Advertisements of All Time

The Best Gambling Advertisements of All Time

Gambling is an addictive art that been around for eons. The advent of information technology and communication has revolutionized global business operations, created new benchmarks for marketing and has transformed countless industrial structures.

The gambling landscape is no stranger to this and has evolved with the times. Betting entities have dedicated more than half a billion pounds on television adverts since the year 2012 and the numbers are only increasing ever since then. In 2015, companies spent over one hundred and eighteen million pounds on procuring television spots in comparison to eighty-one million pounds approximately in 2012.

It is a lucrative industry that has attracted more than a hundred thousand employees in the British region. With more than a forty-six percent increment in spending (2012-2015), the betting industry has accelerated its marketing efforts as the degree of competition has risen.

Let us not forget that gambling existed before even the oldest advertisement can be recalled. In today’s day and age, regulation and societal acceptance has led to an explosion of casinos and betting companies. The digital realm has been invaded by countless gambling service providers where each one is hungrier and aiming to gain a bigger slice of the profit pie. To distinguish themselves, they seek innovative ways to build an emotional connect with their clients.

A gaming advert is any form of promotional communication that offers an individual the chance to win money from lottery agencies, casinos or such.  Making humorous, engaging television advertisements is definitely an effective strategy to appeal to fresh or existing players as all they have to do is to turn on their computers and play.

Apart from television, gaming companies such as Easyslots who provide UK slots online run a fully integrated marketing campaign that utilizes all channels of communication. Not only that, some of them employ some crazy stunts to gain publicity. Would you like to know some of the top gambling advertisements of all time? Read on!

Paddy Power

Once a small betting shop business based in Ireland, it launched aggressive, bold marketing campaigns to make its mark in the betting arena. In 1988, forty Irish shops converged to become a single betting entity under the name “Paddy Power”. It began to immediately reposition itself and open new branches at highly visible points. Sometimes success is all about timing: and Paddy Power definitely got it right as it established itself as a leading player at a turning point in the industry’s dynamics. It injected a chunk of capital in its online expansion as well and utilized controversial, non-conventional promotional efforts that proved to be extremely effectual.

Tweeting over Medinah Country Club Skies

When the Ryder Cup was taking place in 2012, Paddy Power took to the clouds and penned a “special sky tweet” backing the European team. Social media fans were engaged by being encouraged to tweet and share messages in support of the domestic team. Their words were written across the skies above the Medinah Country club by a fleet of planes.

Behaving Boldly

Another crazy stunt that Paddy Power pulled was at the 2014 Brit Awards. Here, two Daft Punk lookalikes were allowed onto the red carpet by security and shed their trousers to unveil Paddy Power underwear.

More Pants

Niklas Bendter created chaos when he revealed the band of his “lucky” Paddy Power underpants after shooting a brace of headers in Denmark’s group B match against Portugal in the European Championships. Of course, a fine had to be paid but was worth it as it placed Paddy Power as an international, leading gaming brand.

Ladbrokes

As a huge player on the market, Ladbrokes strive to captivate and preserve the attention of their users by constantly inventing fresh gaming solutions. Their television advert that starred Chris Kamara and Tiziano Crudeli was successful in ameliorating their subscription numbers. The ad commenced with Kamara, a football player, at the gym and discussing the importance of Hydraplus (another product). All of a sudden, a ball hits him and knocks him off the bench. In runs Crudeli, an Italian football fan, shouting that Bet In-Play is available at Ladbrokes. With the combination of their chemistry, energy and fun accents, the commercial turned out to be prosperous,

William Hill Casino

William Hill Casino is a renowned name in the world of gambling and is powered by sundry software tools that provide a diverse pool of betting products. Their brand message is “Your game, your rules” in a television advert highlighted the benefits of online gambling in a fun, engaging way. Eat your favorite cookies at the roulette table, play blackjack in the comfort of your pyjamas, and avoid listening to unwelcome comments from neighbouring players. With the alluring sound of playing chips and shuffling cards, it will encourage potentials to log in online as soon as possible.

Bet365 Casino Ad

Bet365 Casino is an all-encompassing gaming company that sells sports betting, poker and bingo games across different mediums such as in real time, mobile and live. It’s 2013 advertisement highlighted all its business model: a digital casino where you can soar freely and select any game of your desire. With state of the art technology, it revealed itself to be a user-friendly platform that was easy to navigate.

Party Casino

There is always a party at Party Casino-another major operator in the betting market. Its broad portfolio of gaming products includes live dealer casino games, bonuses, promotions and mobile friendly services. Here, the advert shows a virtual city with blackjack tables and roulette games that issue electronic cards. Through these mediums, customers can make bets or spin the reel. A bouncy song plays in the background as chips rain down upon the winners. Ultimately, this ad demonstrates the level of customer support and high quality of games you will have access to once you reach jackpot games.

featured4 750x410 - Does Snark Win the Day? Looking Closely at Wendy’s Engagement Approach

Does Snark Win the Day? Looking Closely at Wendy’s Engagement Approach

When client engagement is everything, the normal tactic is to be as congenial and helpful as possible. One brand, however, went the completely opposite route and still won the hearts of their audience. Of course, we’re talking about Wendy’s.

It was around the start of 2017 that the well-known burger brand started to show a bit of sass in their social media page. Instead of taking the usual route of answering with politeness, they started to answer their clients in the way that teenagers would address their close friends. It was something that completely uncharacteristic of most large food brands and it was something that social media savvy consumers liked almost instantly.

When the order of the day used to be always treating your clients with utmost respect turned into witty and sassy comebacks, does this mean that every brand should follow Wendy’s lead? From a professional view, the answer would have to be no. While they managed to seem like someone that clients could poke fun at and with, other services like medicinal entities can hardly afford to do so.

Our Take

Wendy’s came up with something that clearly stood well apart from the normal approach that most, if not all, social media managers took. While being respectful and congenial was the normal order of the day, Wendy’s and their snarky responses provided a wholly fresh and unique approach.

While it worked well for them, this does not mean that this would work well for others. After all, following in the direct example of Wendy’s can lead to people saying that you’re merely copying someone else’s shtick.

Also, while their tweets and responses are rather snarky and ‘funny’, they still take the time to address legitimate complaints with a professional tone through private messages. So they keep sassy responses when they are directly addressed with posts that are just asking a joke waiting to happen.

Conclusion

If there was anything that should be learned from this unexpected popularity, being different can often be quite rewarding. However, usually never is advisable to be rude, sarcastic, or even insulting toward a client. With social media being the battleground where engagement occurs, there will always be people that will have negative to say.

It will be the job of the social media manager to utilize that moment to both clear up misconceptions and address a need or to leave things on a sour note. What would your take be on Wendy’s and their sarcastic take on social media?