Ghosts of Christmas Marketing Past, Present and Future
Christmas marketing has a very different feel to what we see during the rest of the year. For a lot of people, Christmas will come with their own traditions. The day they choose to put up their tree, for example, will influence when their enthusiasm for the holiday season kicks in. Others may be more inspired by the festive Christmas adverts (despite many thinking they are aired too early). However, to get into the holiday spirit, we thought we would have fun with some spirits of our own, and explore the Ghosts of Marketing Past, Present and Future.
From as far back as when telephones were first invented, cold calling has been used as the number one sales and marketing tool. Back then, there wasn’t really any alternative other than the postal services. There is still mileage in the cold call depending on your strategy/product and service – however, while it may not be entirely dead and buried, cold calling as a marketing tool has pretty much disappeared. Thankfully most people are put off making a cold call – being a recipient of them puts them in a good place to judge their success rate!
Text heavy emails
Just as telephone marketing took over from postal marketing, email marketing was the next new exciting arrival. In order to capture the attention of the recipient, there was a tendency to get as much information on the email as possible. Now, the opposite is true. People want information that is instant, and relevant to them!
During the marketing antics of the past, the most direct way of selling – and getting a fast answer – was knocking on the door of your target customer and telling them what they needed to know to buy from you. Whilst this direct approach was hard-hitting, the somewhat invasive method has since taken a step back – only to be overtaken by people knocking on digital doors and following you around your browser instead!
In the present, marketing is firmly in the social media zone. Both paid and organic social media marketing is a major tool for almost every brand, particularly around Christmas. The best begin to plan their campaign months in advance to stay fresh and innovative. The social team (Aimi, Charlotte and Mary) at Cariad Towers, for example, start thinking about their Christmas campaigns around July/August, writing the strategies at the end of September and doing the execution from October. That’s some planning!
It’s the perfect time to use remarketing when everyone is searching online for presents. Have you ever looked for something online and then for days afterward all the ads you see are for the same or similar products? That’s ‘remarketing’, and it’s become an essential part of a company’s marketing strategy whatever the season!
Google Shopping Ads
Google is everyone’s favourite search engine, and if you’re selling your products online Google Shopping Ads are perfect. Appearing on multiple devices and across Google, you will hit many more consumers. But don’t be haunted by the fact you haven’t yet used this great tool in your marketing campaigns, there are experts on hand to make sure that these are optimised and targeted to get the results you need.
This is a way of using a consumer’s geolocation to give them content based on where they are, for example, an advert for a new burger from McDonald’s when they are close to one of the company’s restaurants. Our very own Justine and Leanne recently passed their exams for how to use ads on the community based GPS Navigation app Waze, which further proves the importance of geotargeting in marketing and its potential for the future.
Pop Up adverts from websites are beginning to rise. Allowing a website to send you notifications will give them permission to have a pop up appear on the corner of your screen even when you aren’t on their site.
The future is exciting when it comes to Christmas marketing, a wealth of new ideas currently on the fringes are set to become major marketing tools. For example, there are estimates that 50% of all searches by 2020 will be voices searches. Devices such as the Amazon Echo are becoming more prevalent, and it won’t be long before companies will learn to use this as a marketing tool.
Marketing could change forever with the emergence of Artificial Intelligence. Software such as The Grid has begun designing websites by itself to effectively automate and improve website design. Now that is something to look out for in the future!
At Cariad we predict that some of the methods that have disappeared through time will make a comeback, particularly mailshots. In an increasingly mass-market world, we reckon people will begin to identify more with personal letters, like the good ol’ days. But of course, until that happens, we are on hand to help you make that digital step!
Mistakes to avoid when writing email subject lines
Your company name
When you use your company name in your subject line, you are immediately putting yourself first; this should be the customer. You do not know if they have even heard of your business before, let alone if they are interested in what you have to offer. Personalise it by using “You” or their first name. Emails with a personalised subject line result in a 22.2% increased open rate. Only use your company name when the receiver knows you, as in a follow-up email for example.
There are many words that are known for triggering recipients’ SPAM filters. Things like “Click Here” or “Act Now” are a spam filter’s favourite catch, but nothing beats the word “Free”. Sometimes known as the ultimate SPAM word, variations of this such as “Free eBook” and “Free Sample” will push your email into the dark abyss of the junk folder.
Don’t make it too long
Gmail allows for subject lines to be 80 characters; however this does not apply to mobile. According to Litmus, 54% of emails are opened on mobile. Keep your subject line short to reduce the chances of it being cut off. It also helps to keep attention on the most important part of the subject.
DON’T USE ALL CAPS
This is a massive put off to recipients, as it looks spammy and outdated, and is quite frankly just annoying. This is the same as too many emojis. If you are going to use one or two make sure to check that your email subject line is being read correctly and people aren’t going to see the blank square instead. While we are on the subject of annoying, stay away from using lots of exclamation marks!!!!!!
Subject lines seem like they should be so simple but they are in fact the most important part of email marketing. #emails Click To Tweet
Don’t be too vague
Mystery and surprises are very exciting but not when it comes to email marketing. Make sure your subject line gives the reader an idea of the main topic of the email. This is more likely to get them to open than a generic subject which doesn’t relate to the content within the email. People do not like to be lured into something only to be given something else, don’t be vague and reduce the chances of this happening.
Subject lines seem like they should be so simple but they are in fact the most important part of email marketing. 35% of people open an email based on the subject line, so stay away from these mistakes to maximise their effectiveness.
If you have questions or would like to find out more about email marketing, get in touch using our contact form. Alternatively you can give us a call 01992 582 824.
Marketing the Mayweather Vs McGregor mega-fight
It was a match between one of the greatest boxers in history and the biggest name in the UFC, but the real winner was business. It provided some businesses with a huge platform to market their product and services, with some taking full advantage of the Mayweather McGregor train.
Thanks to this monumental sporting event, we’ve had the chance to see some big wins for various aspects of digital marketing.
New software: Periscope is the live video streaming app acquired by Twitter in 2015; it received 587% more digital content engagement on fight night, compared with the previous day!
Some companies were prepared to pay the price for digital marketing opportunities and bought ad space on Google for what must have been some hugely competitive keywords. Among these was Betfair, but with UK betting companies pocketing a knock-out £250 million from punters, we’re not sure they cared about the cost.
The gloves were off on the sponsorship front, with sponsors seeing their social feeds boosted massively by the fighters: Swiss luxury watchmakers Hublot had their name branded across Mayweather’s shorts and, between 27 July and 27 August, 30% of all Hublot’s engagement on digital content was related to Mayweather. When it came to crunch time, there was 184% more digital content engagement around Hublot across the three days around the mega-fight compared with the three days immediately beforehand.
Even though the fight happened outside the UFC’s cage, it actually raised the profile of the Ultimate Fighting Championship® (UFC) into many people’s lives. Between 23 July and 23 August, 41% of all UFC-related digital content engagement was Mayweather related, highting UFC to a whole new audience. Maybe this will lead to more sporting crossovers in the future: McGregor vs Phelps or McGregor vs Federer perhaps?
Don’t let them get you on the ropes
When it comes to offering a product or service to your customers, always make sure you can deliver, otherwise you end up having negative engagement and bad PR. This again was demonstrated during the Mayweather Vs McGregor bout. Because of the popularity of the event, many fans had problems logging in to its UFC Fight Pass because of overwhelming traffic, despite having paid for it. This led to 55% of the tweets mentioning @UFCFightPass being negative which is appalling PR. Always make sure you can deliver.
These marketing methods aside, we know how influential social media can be for creating business and this bout was no different. In fact, without it, the biggest fight in boxing history would never have happened. What started as a meme posted by Mayweather (see below) as a retort to McGregors call outs then turned into the largest sporting spectacle in history.
Credit: Floyd Mayweather – Twitter
And the winner is…
Ultimately, both two fighters were undoubtedly winners. They have a collective follower base of just over 13 million on Twitter alone which helped bring about extra funds in the form of sponsorship and promotional deals. According to Casino.org, each of the fighters gained around 400,000 Instagram followers during the fight, averaging out for Mayweather of more than 4,000 followers for every punch taken!
Credit: Casino.org’s study
In short, both fighters broke this wonderful virtual city that we call social media. Famous faces from across the globe got talking, the public got creative, and memes, videos and blogs shot across the internet, creating even greater scope for endorsement opportunities.
The potential that social media possesses has yet to climax, and now the bar has never been higher. What’s next?
If you would like to find out more about how digital marketing can help your business, get in touch!
5 Best Summer Social Media Campaigns Over Recent Years
While the weather is still making us feel like we’re in Barbados at the moment, we’ve taken the time to look back at some of the most memorable and successful social media campaigns over the past few summers.
Coca-Cola – #ShareACoke Campaign
For any other company, removing your brand name from your product would seem like the most ludicrous idea. But for the past few summers Coca-Cola have been running their #ShareACoke campaign encouraging people to share photos of the differently named bottles to their friends, and boy has it worked a treat. The Guardian reported that the social media campaign resulted in 18,300,000 impressions, and traffic on their Facebook page increased by 870%! If that’s not worth taking your name off the bottle, we don’t know what is.
Image Source: http://www.coca-cola.co.uk
Budweiser – Name Change
Across the pond last summer, Budweiser changed its name across its cans and bottles to “America”. A genius move to tug on the patriotic strings during a summer that had the Rio Olympics and Paralympics and, of course, the traditional Independence Day. This led to masses of sharing across social media during these events.
ALS Association – Ice Bucket Challenge
The summer of 2014 saw everybody’s social feeds filled with videos of the awesome Ice Bucket Challenge. Such a simple idea that achieved so much goodness, started by Pete Frates and his former baseball teammates the campaign spread across the world through the likes of Justin Bieber and LeBron James. Over just a few weeks that summer ALS received a staggering $53 million in donations. Comparing this to the $2.2 million that they received during the same time period last year you can see how successful this campaign was.
Image Source: http://www.alsa.org
Haagen Dazs – #LoseYourself at Wimbledon
Haagen Dazs started this campaign as part of the 5 year anniversary of their sponsorship of Wimbledon. Photographer Adam Katz Sinding was tasked with capturing the emotional highs and lows of the fans in photos that are filled with personality with the aim of giving people that “edge of the seat” feeling. The campaign resonated amongst everyone and gave it the real life feeling of sport. Along with their deal to share live moments of the competition on Snapchat, this campaign did exactly what Haagen Dazs wanted to do and achieved Game, Set and Match.
Booking.com – Who Won Booking Summer?
Booking.com wanted to target the spontaneous travel market. Using the message “Wing Everything, Except Your Accommodation”. They asked people to send them their best summer photo with the hashtag #wingityeah. They also teamed up with some digital artists who created some fun and engaging Gifs of people’s entries. Over the course of a week they received 2,500 photo entries, the hashtag #wingityeah had 25,000 engagements and hit 6.5 million unique users on Facebook.
5 biggest email marketing mistakes
How many emails did you have waiting for you this morning? Too many I bet. Every day we send more than 294 billion emails so the key to successful email marketing is standing out from all the other emails in someone’s inbox.
With that in mind here are 5 mistakes to avoid in your email marketing.A common mistake in email marketing is overlooking the importance of the sent-from address. Click To Tweet
1. Sending image-heavy emails
Not everyone will have the “display images” function enabled on their emails, so if you are sending them an email that is all or mostly images, all they will see is a blank email, which will go straight into the trash. So if you are going to use lots of images, make sure you repeat the text outside of an image so the receiver understands the message. Alternatively you can have a link to a web version of your email:
2. Using the universal approach
Emails that are relevant to the reader are more successful. By segmenting your email lists you can have a different message for each. The receivers will find your emails more relevant and more interesting. Which leads to an increase in your open and click-through rates.
3. Not having a responsive email
The use of mobile devices has risen massively and people are opening emails from their phones and tablets more than ever, it is therefore extremely important that these users can read your emails: 70% of people say that if an email does not open and render correctly on their mobile, they will ignore it. Having an email that looks good across all devices is an important part of your email marketing.
4. Having the wrong sent-from address
A common mistake in email marketing is overlooking the importance of the sent-from address. If you choose an address such as firstname.lastname@example.org, your emails are not going to be seen as very personal or inviting and the likelihood is that your emails will end up in the trash. You need to use a recognisable address that looks like it has come from a real person.
5. Using an out-of-date mailing list
If your email list hasn’t been updated in a long time, or if you have bought a mailing list that isn’t up-to-date, then no matter how fabulous your campaign is, it’s going to be sent to broken email addresses. Not only will your campaign not be effective, it can also be red flagged by your email provider.
How To Set Digital Marketing Objectives
Setting digital marketing objectives is a vital step in determining whether you achieve success or failure in your digital marketing campaign. Having objectives will allow you to monitor your progress and analyse how successful your campaign was. This will give you an understanding of what makes your customers tick as you have visibility of what they engaged with or perhaps which activity drove the most traffic to your website.
When planning your objectives it is essential that they support your overall businesses goals. They must be carefully planned and take many different factors into account. And this leads us to the all important question…
How do you set SMART digital marketing objectives?
Firstly, your objective needs to be relevant to whatever digital campaign you are about to begin. There’s no point in setting objective if your campaign won’t help you achieve it. The relevance is important because the objectives you have set need to tackle the problems your business is facing.
As well as being relevant, you must also set an objective that is measurable, so you can analyse certain aspects of your campaign and measure them against what you want to achieve. For example, an objective of “increasing twitter engagement” is not as measurable as “increasing Klout score to 45”. Here you would be able to measure your progress using software and see how far away from or close to your objective you are. This gives you a much better chance of seeing any possible changes needed in your campaign early on.
Another important factor in setting goals is time. You need to give this objective an end date because it will help you to run an efficient campaign.
When setting objectives it is also important that they are achievable by your business. However, do not set objectives that are easy to achieve. Your objectives must stretch your team, meaning they will identify previously overlooked methods to try and achieve them. Setting yourself up for failure is not what you want to do. If you set an unreal objective it might seem as though your campaign was a failure when actually in reality your company could have grown leap and bounds over that period.
Your objectives must also be specific in order to focus the campaign and help to achieve the end result. It’s easy to shy away from setting a target when starting a campaign but it helps to keep things in perspective. We mentioned ‘Klout’ above; this is a great way of setting a Social Media objective because it is clear, concise and relevant to activities. Here are a few other examples of what your SMART (Specific, Measurable, Agreed, Realistic and Time- related) digital marketing objectives could look like:
- Increase your brand awareness by building your Twitter followers to 500.
- Increase lead generation through the website by 15%
- Maintain an average of 5 enquiries per week over the annual period.
Setting SMART objectives is therefore crucial to your digital marketing campaign, and the goals and objectives you set must take these factors into account in order to be an effective and efficient use of your time and money.
Are you looking at building a Digital Marketing Strategy? Speak to the Cariad team and see how we can help build a strategic campaign with some effective objectives to grow your business. Get in touch either by phone on 01992 582 824 or email email@example.com
My Digital Marketing Apprenticeship
Since starting my Digital Marketing Apprenticeship with Cariad in September my working days have been packed full of learning and new experiences that have made this time extremely enjoyable.
Being a digital marketing apprentice with Cariad is very exciting and it means that I am able to get a huge range of knowledge from a great team who have a wide variety of skills.
My Digital Marketing Apprenticeship Role
I began my first few months focusing on Social Media and with the help of Mary our resident Social Media Specialist, I have learnt the importance of engaging content and posts across Social Media platforms including Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. I have worked on many clients’ accounts ensuring they are growing in followers and achieving an increasing Klout score.
Currently I am working with the Creative team, and already I have begun learning 2 new languages in the form of HTML and CSS, with the objective of designing and building my first website by the end of April. Over the past few weeks I have also started to use design tools such as Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop to make a variety of graphics for websites and social media. The knowledge I have already acquired allows me to assist with the website amendments and Helpdesk tasks on different content management systems such as WordPress and Drupal.
At the end of April I will move to the Client Services team. During my time with this team I will be learning about aspects including business proposals and marketing strategies. It will also give me the chance to be included in meetings with clients to help them achieve the goals they want to reach.
Following this I move to my fourth and final team – Delivery. I am very excited to learn about the use of SEO and PPC. I will also have the opportunity to get an in-depth knowledge of Google analytics and the uses of similar digital marketing tools. During these months I will be assisting with campaigns for a variety of different clients.
The team are great to work with, and the days usually involve some kind of cake which is a great pick me up in the afternoon. It’s been a very busy and enjoyable 5 months and the remaining months look to be packed full of the same.