Sort your visual strategy now or be lost in the stream

Words are not enough. A weird way to start a blog – but in the battle for attention images are everything.

Video, infographics, photography and animation are key to capturing your audience’s attention. In social streams, you are competing against a whole range of exciting messages. To fight for attention you need to stand out in those streams. This is where these visual tools can come to your rescue.

Research has found that 79% of marketers recognise that video will increase in importance. In all the visual formats, mentioned in the graph below, marketers predict they will increase in importance. Video clearly topped the poll.

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Don’t believe me (or my fellow marketers)? A few stats that might help

  • Posts with videos attract 3X more links than text-only posts
  • Tweets with images earned up to 18 percent more clicks – 89 percent more favourites –  and 150 percent more retweets
  • The number of videos appearing in Facebook’s news feed has increased 3.6X (Nov 2015)
  • Facebook posts from brands that included images earned 87 percent of all engagements

With the fastest growing social media channels visually based, the trend is set. Marketers need to adjust their strategy. They also need to adjust their budgets.

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This infographic shows how we are changing, and how you need to adapt… or get left behind.

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How content marketing can help you sell more

This infographic lays out some of the ways content marketing can help your business.

Sites that use content marketing via blogs get more pages indexed on search engines. This means potential customers are more likely to find their site.

Word of mouth plays a big part in how people decide where to buy. Many of these conversations are taking place on social media. To build a following you need interesting content which is a top 3 reason people give for why they follow.

Once you build your following 6 in 10 social users are more likely to recommend you.

Put simply: Content = following = sales

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Is the company website about to die?

Your customers don’t want to come to your website. Yes, I know in creating it you have spent huge amounts of time, money, sweat and tears. But in an online world dominated by social media and apps, there are far more exciting places to be.

Another huge problem you face is a lot of people don’t trust company websites. They look at your content and think ‘well you would say that’. Especially if you make bold claims that you don’t substantiate.

Whilst the company website is not dead, yet, it is not enough. I would even question if it is your first priority. Your customers often look first to social media to help them choose what to buy, and who to buy from. Go to your customer, don’t wait for them to come to you.

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And it’s only going to get tougher. With the growth of mobile and apps, customers want easier and simpler ways to get what they want. And they don’t want to trawl through your website to find it.

In short. Your company website is just one small part of your online real estate. It will shrink in importance and you need to now – before it’s too late – focus on your social presence. And if you haven’t already, work out how you can help meet your customer’s needs on mobile phones with an app.

The need for corporate websites will continue to reduce. I would argue for some there is little or no need now. New companies will choose not to create company websites and exist only on social and in apps. Benefiting by focusing their energy where their customers are, where their customers trust. Where their customers want to be.

Weather Warning: Media cannot be trusted

Talking about the weather is a common British trait, however recently it seems we are constantly having the ‘worse weather ever’ according to some media outlets, and it’s not just climate change that is to blame.

The media is well known for its sensationalists headlines, obviously designed to help sell newspapers. As the media increasingly transfers their focus to the digital age they are moving to a modern equivalent – Click Bait.

Click bait is described as ‘content, especially that of a sensational or provocative nature, whose main purpose is to attract attention and draw visitors to a particular web page.’ It is often a successful short term strategy in driving traffic to your website – however in the long term this tactic can diminish trust and damage your brand.

Back to the weather – as the headlines have shown this winter we have constantly been sold stories of impending doom, where often we have suffered from little more than what just is Winter.

Daily Star WeatherTelegraph weatherDaily express worse winter ever

And it is tempting to do this. I have seen that by sharing stories of impending doom about the upcoming weather these posts receive higher than normal rates of engagement and sharing. This in turn results in higher levels of organic views on Facebook as it’s algorythm sees these stories as interesting and shows them more often.

But is this a long term tactic for driving traffic? Maybe eventually people will wake up to the fact that many of the warnings simply don’t happen aka The Daily Express ‘Four Months of Heavy Snow’.

Daily Express commentsComments about weather reports

We can only hope that more people will realise and stop clicking these links, oh, and that the weather get’s better.

Don’t loose your precious digital memories

Photographic memories have always been precious, and like the printed versions digital photographs are at risk from fire or other losses. If you have only saved your digital photographs on a local drive, then if this drive fails you could quickly loose images that can never be replaced.

Backing up your digital photographs is the best way to make sure those moments in time are kept whatever happens. Watch this video where I tell you the best ways to make sure your digital memories are kept secure.

Measuring social media measurement

With the number of social media users projected to reach 2.5 billion by 2018 I would hope by now that even the most ardent social media denialists will be able to accept that social media is not going anywhere soon.

Businesses extensively use social media as part of their activities including for customer service, where efficiencies and savings can easily be demonstrated; and for marketing where both paid and earnt activities can have a huge impact on the reach of a campaign.

Despite the use of social media by businesses maturing, still many struggle to measure the impact of their social media. They struggle because often it is difficult to accurately attribute the benefits of particular activities, especially where you have activities across a number of mediums. It is easy to count the number of followers, retweets, post likes etc actual impact on the bottom line that you can directly attribute to social media is harder and sometimes impossible to record accurately.

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If you are experiencing the challenge of measuring the impact of social media on your business, as you can see from this survey by the CMO you are not alone. However as the share of marketing spent on social media increases the need to measure becomes even more important.

Important things to look at when measuring social media:

  • Put measurement in from the start of your campaign, not an afterthought
  • Agree what you are measuring against – what good looks like – otherwise the social media denialists will move the goalposts
  • Accept somethings cannot be measured accurately and see these as indicative measures
  • Attribute indirect influence by measuring trends over time
  • Keep it simple – by attempting to measure too much you will end up measuring nothing

Finally social media can be of huge benefits to your marketing activities, however where it cannot provide the measurement you would like to see – ask yourself if your other activities could provide that information before dismissing using social media for that purpose.

Holocaust Memorial Day 2016

January 27th is Holocaust Memorial Day.

To mark this day I will be featuring tweets throughout the day @Wellbelove that I hope will serve as a reminder not only of the horrors from this terrible part of our history, but of the importance of not standing by today in the face of modern day prejudice and hate.

A quarter of people in Britain have witnessed at least one hate crime or hate incident based on race or ethnicity in the last year. We have seen shameless prejudice against minorities by senior politicians and selfish ignorance of the plight of refugees. Far right groups continue to exploit fear and ignorance. Memories of the terrible consequences of this cocktail of hate seem to be fading in some circles.Holocaust

Whilst others suffer we must not stand by. As we now judge those from the past who did not do enough – others will sit in judgement of our own actions in response to the suffering we see today.

On 11 December 1946 the General Assembly of the United Nations resolved that genocide was a crime under international law. Millions have died since, as a result of genocide crimes. Millions more will die.

Don’t stand by.

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