Let’s keep things relevant

August 7th, 2014 by Sarah Gough


Have you ever asked the question: what is great content? More specifically, have you ever asked Google?

If you have, you’ll know that the internet isn’t short of advice about content marketing. Pose the question to any search engine and you’re met with a multitude of how-to guides, bullet point lists, presentations and infographics offering information on the content process. These results are all good and well, but how often do you see the advice put into play?

When Panda 4.0 kicked in, marketers hurried to find ways to improve their sites’ media experience. In many cases, these ‘ways’ included employing or outsourcing to a team dedicated to improving SEO through content creation. Though as a content creator at an agency I’m pretty biased in regards to this, this was a smart move. The not so smart move was made by those who opted to create content for the sake of content: basically, a load of old rubbish that is totally unrelated to the site, its services and its target audience.

For me, the discovery of irrelevant content is an all-too regular occurrence. Much of the time it takes place after client acquisition, when concurrently to the technical audits that the agency conducts, I’ll have a look at both on-site and off-site content. Whilst perusing, I’ll take note of all opportunities for additions and improvement, as well as observing the instances where the content just isn’t up to scratch. Other times, I’ll make my discoveries when keeping an eye on a client’s rivals, findings that are met with frustration. Why is a competitor that manufactures, let’s say, conservatories and double glazing blogging about ‘The history of computers’ and ‘How to make loom bracelets’?

Whilst the regular updating this of content, albeit irrelevant, can be of benefit to the site and appease Google for the short term, it’ll add no value to brand awareness. After all, who’s going to associate a blog post on jewellery making with a site that offers home improvements? I’m also certain that Google will tighten up on the relevance aspect of its content algorithm in further updates, which will bring these content blunders to light. That’s great for us, of course, because our clients will benefit, and those who discover a sudden drop in rankings are likely to turn to a team that offers an excellent content service. Perhaps us…?

Most frustrating of all is that relevant content isn’t difficult to achieve. Though on the surface a client’s industry may seem overly specialist, uninspiring and a little bit boring, there are ways and means to create content that is pertinent yet compelling. It sounds cliché, but it’s all about thinking outside of the box.

Ask yourself questions about the brand, its target audience and the industry itself. What’s so special about this company? Has anything significant happened to them recently? What is their history? What makes them stand out in the market? What’s their main client base? What other products or services are they likely to be interested in? What could their hobbies be? Has anything noteworthy happened in the industry recently? Are there any ongoing debates? The list goes on, and so do the opportunities for relevant content.

As I mentioned before, the internet brims with advice (much like this post), but how often do we see it put into play?! Again, this may seem biased, but here’s a really great example…

 

Yorkshire G and Tea

 

 

We created this piece for a client that specialises in luxury holiday cottages based in Yorkshire, and while many may consider the content potential of a holiday rental website to be limited to photos of the location and customer reviews, this creative demonstrates otherwise. It’s simple, original, shareable, enjoyable, and of course, it’s extremely relevant. After all, who doesn’t like Yorkshire Tea and gin?

Want to find out more about our content service? Tweet us @WeAreBoutiqueUk 

Why Radio?

August 4th, 2014 by Simon Bollon


With the latest Rajar showing radio and commercial radio is in rude health, we’re offering some thoughts on ‘why radio?’

Radio is your friend

Presenters actively cultivate a relationship with listeners, attempting to create a feeling that you are having a one-on-one conversation with the station. A lot of listening is done when people are on their own, and the radio acts as ‘company’ to the drive, chores or working hours. It’s no coincidence that stations love competitions and promotions that offer a local touch. With the growth of social media, radio stations are ever better at creating that bond and leveraging a local feel.

This is powerful for the advertiser as it enables them to join that friendship. Sponsorship and promotions work so well because the advertiser is seen as a friend of a friend! Whilst the regional stations do pursue this approach it is the more local stations that can really position themselves at the heart of the community, which in turn drives that friendship.

Did you know

Mum versus Man

Due to the vast array of stations available, radio provides an opportunity to target niche sectors and deliver efficiently too audiences, whether you’re looking for Mums or Men (just in case you’re interested, Heart and TalkSport are the best stations, respectively).

For national brands, the variety of stations and audiences reached makes for efficient planning. Classic FM, Planet Rock, Kiss or TalkSport… Targeting is vast and varied, meaning radio is an efficient platform.

share of commercial radio

School run or late night call in

Whatever your target audience, their media consumption habits vary through the day and week, meaning each media platform is most pertinent at key times of the day. So whether you want to reach parents on the school run or the 55+ late night listener, radio offers a relevant touch-point through the day.

For advertisers, that means efficient delivery of audiences but also means promotions and sponsorships can be targeted and cost efficient; cars should be advertised in drive time, whilst food is best placed during the day.

in the home

That bloody jingle…!

Radio offers frequency like no other channel, and the strength of sonic branding (that’s a ‘jingle’ to most people) means a brand can really get under the skin of the listeners. There’s a reason the local carpet shop, PPI claims company or online comparison site jingles are all stuck in your head… They’re meant to be, and that frequency (love it or hate it) is what puts the brand front of mind.

For advertisers, the power of a jingle can change a business. I’ll bet you can name 2 or 3 radio ads… And you can probably sing them. Depending on your brand, the objective and measurements, frequency is key to the performance of a radio campaign.

RANK ADVETISER MAT

You can’t close your ears

The RAB (Radio Advertising Bureau) produced a great report on ad avoidance, showing that other than cinema (obvious one really) radio has the lowest level of ad avoidance. In the home and work a station tends to selected and stuck with through the day, and with the average listener listening to the radio For 21 hours a week, that’s a lot of advertising consumption.

For brands, a creative, responsive and relevant advert is required. Stations and brands love to produce commercials for clients as they know what the customer loves and what sounds right on their station.

STEREO

Radio is THE Multiplier

Millward Brown and RAB have produced several reports over time that show that radio is the best multiplier of any media platform. Specifically when referring to TV, radio acts as the best media multiplier. The ability to further leverage, the sonic branding (not just the jingle, but the voiceover or promotion, catchphrase or tome) of a TV commercial builds the reach and frequency of a television campaign.

For advertisers, cover and frequency is critical to a campaign’s success. Allocating a portion of a TV budget to radio on efficient stations, in efficient day parts, means response will multiply.

How to lose friends and alienate people

August 4th, 2014 by Thomas Selby


How to lose friends and alienate people

I spend a large amount of time calling other businesses pedalling my wares, speaking with receptionists, PAs, colleagues or anyone available to give me the run around and keep me away from my intended. The way in which these people react to me varies hugely, even with receptionists.

The scale slides from surprisingly rude all the way to talking me through the family tree.

As a sales person I’m used to this and don’t take offence to people being short with me. I get it, I am one of many and people don’t like being sold to. But I don’t think this experience is exclusive to my ‘kind’.

I recently called up Sky to pay my bill. It was never going to be enjoyable but I was not expecting the experience to be this terrible. I’m not keen on parting with cash at the best of times and if I’m honest call centres unnerve me. A bit like hospitals, only without the risk of coming in contact with MRSA.

One thing I did come into contact with was a comedian.

I can only assume he had handed in his notice and was ‘sticking it to the man’ with his own brand of well observed creative banter. Either that or there’d been a gas leak.

Said comedian answered the phone mid-laugh and then asked me to take part in a laughing exercise. What followed was not a laughing matter (although in hindsight  it is pretty funny), he asked me if I had loads of money and if I wanted to pay his bills for him, then asked me how old I was and told me I was in no place to question him. All of this was punctuated by a slow laugh. HA, HA. Then the phone went dead.

It’s safe to say I wasn’t impressed. Once I’d pulled my phone out of the lounge wall I checked just to make sure I hadn’t called the wrong number. I hadn’t.

I called back, told them what happened and they looked into it. Lucky for them I just wanted to get my bill paid and get off the phone, but I’m not entirely happy with their response. They barely even apologised and told me there was no record of the call.

I’m not one for making a fuss; I rarely send food back and have never decided to call the ASA or Ofcom after an episode of Top Gear. Not everyone shares my affliction, a strange politeness reflex that kicks in whenever I’m uncomfortable. Small things like this, when given the right exposure can be very damaging to a business or brand, which got me thinking…

When at work some of the people I speak to are rude or short before they even know who I am or why I’m calling. Despite our best efforts business is still based on people, there is no Skynet, it has not become self-aware. As people, all of our daily interactions drive an emotional response, some small, some big. These emotional responses might be subconscious but, as we all know, have a lasting effect. We build stereotypes, associations and opinions based on our emotions. Sometimes we will try to reason, make considerations and weigh up both sides of a story.

In my experience emotion is the death of reason.

These emotional responses are hugely important and we need to consider them where ever people can interact or come into contact with your business or brand. It is not the sole responsibility of Sales, Marketing or customer services to understand how to interact with ‘outsiders’. Everyone in business should be given the time and tools to learn how to manage these situations in order to drive the best emotional response. This tends not be an issue in larger companies, but in smaller businesses it can be a massive problem. I currently work for a small owner managed company, this is something we sell on. Our culture, people and knowledge are the key things we use to attract new business.

This means if the comedian from Sky was answering our phones they would have stopped ringing a while ago.

Not so much HA, HA after all.