marketing Tag

There’s no doubt that there are plenty of benefits to having your own in-house marketing team. However, in most cases, there comes a point where an outsourced marketing team can bring a new lease of life into your marketing strategies, or give you additional skills perhaps not present in your in-house team  In this blog post, we give you five signs that it may be time to outsource all or some of your marketing. It doesn’t necessarily mean you need to hand everything over but maybe there’s a few tasks that could be done better outside of your organisation. 1. The team is becoming overwhelmed There are many ways your marketing team could be overwhelmed. The most obvious is that there is just too much work to do and they can’t cope with it all, making them fall behind with deadlines. However, they may also be making little mistakes and showing that they’re struggling through the quality of their work. If this is the case, it may be time to get a little extra help, even if it’s only for a few hours a week.    2. Campaigns aren’t being run properly The in-house team may not be running campaigns properly simply because they do not have the skills required for the job. Perhaps someone has taken on marketing as part of another role, for example. If there is a one-time campaign that you want to run, but your team doesn’t have the right skills you could outsource to an expert for that one campaign.  3. Creativity is running low Marketing is something that requires a spark of creativity to get your business’s messaging across effectively. Sometimes a team that has worked on the same material for a long time can begin to run out of ideas. An outsourced team can bring a fresh pair of eyes and come up with unthought of and inspiring ideas.  4. Completing day-to-day tasks with no end goal It’s very easy for an in-house team to begin to complete marketing tasks for the sake of it. What we mean by this is you may be creating a few posts a week for your social media channel/s just to appear active online, but the overall goal for being on social media is lost. An out-sourced team can help you implement a strong strategy to ensure your marketing goals are met.  5. You’re disappointed with your overall business growth Good marketing efforts should be generating strong leads on a regular basis and allowing you to grow your business. If your current marketing is not doing this, maybe it’s time to boost your marketing efforts again. A good way to do this is asking people with different marketing experience to look over your marketing strategy.   Remember that outsourcing your marketing doesn’t have to mean handing everything over. It could just be one small task to begin with to see how it goes.  We have a variety of clients; for some we take care of all their marketing, others we perhaps only run their social media or sort out their print advertising.  If you’re interested in having a chat about how we can help you and your marketing team, get in touch with us. We can even run training sessions to develop your team’s skills. ...

Small Changes Can Make a BIG Difference To Your Marketing You might not have the time nor the resources to do a full on redesign of your website or completely revamp your social media channels. However there are quick wins that you can achieve in a few hours, whether doing it yourself or asking a professional to help. Here’s a few ideas that we’re undertaking at the moment for both ourselves and some of our clients: Refresh your logo - visual branding is often created at the beginning of your business’s life when you’re keen to get something ‘out there’ to get the ball rolling. Several years down the line and you’re still using the same one but times - and your business - have moved on. If you’ve built good brand recognition you won’t want to waste that credibility, trust and awareness so, rather than throwing the baby out with the bathwater and ditching the existing logo, why not go for a refresh?  With a successful logo refresh, you can continue to reap the benefits of the brand awareness and trustworthiness of your ‘old’ logo but demonstrate your currency, dynamism and forward-thinking approach with a new look.    Revisit your website content - like your logo, you may have created your website when you were first looking to tell people about your business, and it’s been left like that for some time. For some of you, a redesign and rebuild may be necessary but an update of images and written content (aka copy) could work in many cases. For example, is your ‘about’ page up to date with any staff featured? Is your portfolio showing your most recent clients and work? Perhaps some of the language you used doesn’t reflect the tone you wish to convey?  Take some time to read through the copy and change the bits that don’t fit with how you now see your business. There may also be references to past promotions or events that have taken place and are no longer relevant. Similarly, perhaps you used stock images at the start but now have (or are in a position to get) images of your actual products or services? Small changes can make big differences to customer and client perception and is great for enhancing your Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). Google especially loves new content and even making slight changes to existing copy will mean that Google improves the ranking of that page.   Update your social bios and headers - In the same way that website content needs to move on to reflect any changes in the business, so too do your social media bio and ‘about’ information. Similarly, you might like to change the header image on your Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn business page. Perhaps you’re now offering a new service or product that you’d like to highlight? There is also lots of free or good value design software out there that offers exact match templates for specific header sizes to ensure you get the maximum effect. We love Canva (you can check it out here) which is super easy to use.   Icons and thumbnails These are often ignored in design, which is a huge mistake as icons are often the first thing someone sees about you. Does your logo actually work when used in this small format? If not, can you focus on a part of the logo? Can you simplify it in some way? When designing the Seaside Creative branding, we realised that our 5 beach huts would not work across our social media icons so we developed our single beach hut which is now equally recognised along with our main logo.  [caption id="attachment_17281" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Our full Seaside Creative logo (left) and our versatile icon used when a smaller image is needed[/caption]   Consistency across all channels - consistency is a key aim in marketing. You want people to recognise your brand and what it represents easily and quickly. The best way is to keep your branding consistent, that is imagery, tone of voice in your copy, typography (the fonts, colours and sizes you use), any uniforms, signage or livery, customer service, or anything else that represents your business.  This won’t always be possible down to the tiniest details but you can certainly take an overall look at your website, any literature (brochures, adverts, leaflets), your email signature, etc to make sure that each one looks broadly the same. Are you using the most up to date logo? If you’ve chosen to use a certain font, is it the same in your emails, your website, etc? If someone looked at your website, would they know it was the same business as when looking at your brochure or any other aspect of your business?   Remove or update out of date stuff - this ties in with the previous point as it’s very easy to change logos, a point of contact, or a page on your website, without ensuring that it’s been updated everywhere it needs to be. Did you pin a post to the top of your Facebook page when you had a promo on and have left it there months after? Perhaps you’ve got printed literature featuring old price lists? Save yourself awkward moments by making it a regular task to check everything is current. Customers and clients will either be confused by out of date information - creating more work for you when they contact you about it - or get the impression of an inactive, stagnant business and this won’t help you win new customers.   Set aside a morning or one day to take a look at each of these ideas - in fact, some may be achieved alongside each other. If there’s anything you’ve got questions about do get in touch.    If you decide you need expert help - perhaps with your copywriting, new images or a branding refresh - do get in touch with us. We’re here to help....

We've met Martin and Alison, and now is the time to meet Kelly, co-founder and director of Seaside Creative and all-round PR and marketing expert. What do you do at Seaside Creative?  I’m a joint Director in the company and head up the Content and PR side of the business. Have you always worked in this type of business? Well, I had a Saturday job working in a specialist tobacconist when I was a teenager (hated selling cigarettes but loved weighing out the black forest pipe tobacco) and then I worked in a dementia care home while I was at university studying PR and English Literature (I could tell you some stories!). I got a job in PR almost as soon as I finished my degree, which then led to roles at full service marketing agencies and I’ve not looked back! Do you have any workplace rituals?  Not really, I think I’m fairly laid back when it comes to that sort of thing. Although I'm not sure the rest of the team would agree! Tell us an interesting but little known fact about you…  Quite a few people know that I sing and that I played rugby at a high level for a few years, but not many know that I’ve done what was then the highest bungee jump in the world when I travelled round New Zealand in 2001. You have to get a cable car out to the pod that’s suspended between two cliffs 134m above the river Nevis and jump from that. You freefall for 8.5 seconds. Yes it was scary!  [caption id="attachment_17273" align="aligncenter" width="219"] We do not want this to be our next team building exercise![/caption] Where do you see yourself in five years time?  If you’d asked me this a few months ago I would have said working with a larger team at Seaside Creative. However, the way 2020 has gone so far I’m just grateful we’re still here! I think it’s good to have plans and goals as they give you something to work for, but I don’t like to make them too rigid as it can just lead to disappointment. Have you read anything good recently, whether for fun, work or both? I’ve been reading The Testaments by Margaret Atwood; I’ve read many of her books and love her portrayal of women, especially when I was a teenager. She is an amazing role model of our time. I want to read Difficult Women by Helen Lewis too. I’m pleased to say that I’ve been described as one myself quite a few times during my working life so I’d like to find out more about my role-models! What’s your greatest achievement, whether at work or personally?  That’s a hard one! Personally I am super proud of my kids and the people they are becoming. Being a parent is tough sometimes, but there’s no feeling like the pride you have in your own children.  Work-wise I suppose I’ve achieved lots of things over the years. I wrote an article in a charity newsletter I ran that secured a donation of £100,000, which was pretty amazing. In recent years I’ve been really proud of my track record of helping clients to win business awards; I’ve helped to win over a dozen in the last few years,  across many different categories too. I’m also proud to have been running a small business for nearly 10 years now - it’s been a rollercoaster ride sometimes but we’re still hanging on! If you could invite four guests for a long lunch, who would you invite and why? Where do you go for your lunch? Only four? Hmmm, well maybe Dave Grohl because I bet he’s got some stories to tell. I love the Foo Fighters and he just seems like a really nice bloke - plus he can bring his guitar. I’d invite my Grandad Bill Beer (real name!) as I never met him and those I know who knew him tell me how lovely he was. Then perhaps a historical figure like Margaret D’Anjou. The Wars of the Roses is a fascinating period in history and she had to be an amazingly strong woman to do all the things she did during that time. Finally, I’d invite Joan Rivers. She would keep us all in our place and tell us to dress better and we would cry laughing listening to her do it - well maybe Margaret D’Anjou wouldn’t, who knows what Joan Rivers would say about her medieval outfit… I think I’d have lunch in the tiny restaurant I went to once in the beautiful old town of Taormina in Sicily. The food was delicious and we could sit on the terrace and overlook Mount Etna and the Roman Amphitheatre with the Mediterranean sea in the background - just breathtaking. If you could be transported to anywhere right now, where would it be (and without any quarantine restrictions!)? I have travelled a bit but there are lots of places I’ve not been to that I’d love to visit. I watched a programme about the forests of Cuba recently where the presenter visited the home of the world’s tiniest bird - the Bee Hummingbird. We saw it feed and build a nest the size of an eggcup. I’d love to see that for real. Thanks Kelly! We're all sitting here thinking how bonkers you'd have to be to do that bungee jump! Perhaps we'll stick to a nice nature holiday in Cuba instead...

Welcome to the newest instalment of our interviews with the team here at Seaside Creative. Next up is Alison who may not be the newest member of the team but is certainly the youngest! Name:  Alison Thomas What do you do at Seaside Creative?  I am a marketing assistant specialising in Digital Marketing. I look after the social media accounts for our clients as well as email campaigns. Sometimes I help with other things too; such as writing press releases and providing website support. Have you always worked in this type of business? If not, what else have you done?  No, this is my first marketing role. Prior to this I worked in retail which I am still doing now especially during this time when supermarkets need extra people to help the running of the shop. Most of my time at the moment is spent on the front door and making sure there are a limited number of customers in the store.  Do you have any workplace rituals?  Not particularly. I'm probably most known for changing my desk around a lot as I like to change things up a bit every now and then! Tell us an interesting but little known fact about you...

How Good is your LinkedIn Company Page? We recently delivered a training session on LinkedIn Company pages and received a surprising response for more info. So we thought why not put it into a blog and share it with as many people as possible. The key difference between a LinkedIn profile and a company page is that one highlights your personal career achievements, while the other highlights your company or employer. This can be hard to get to grips with if you’re the owner of your own firm and used to talking about your company in the first person. Create distinction between your profile and your company page It is important to use the first person on your profile page - ‘I am proud to have achieved…’ etc. However, a company page needs to be written in the third person - ‘ACME Ltd is pleased to announce a new client win…’ etc. Note: Please do remember that ‘a’ company is a single entity too (a personal grammar bugbear of this writer!) eg: ‘the company has won’ (not ‘have won’) Once a distinction in voice has been created between a company page and a personal profile then it’s much easier to use your company as a ‘hub’ for all company news. No matter what size the business is, this ‘hub’ can then be followed and shared by all those who are interested parties, such as employees, clients and business contacts etc. The top 5 things to include when creating your company page The following list should be fairly obvious to most seasoned LinkedIn users, but it still amazes us just how many pages (and personal profiles for that matter) we see that are missing key information or contain irrelevant - even inappropriate - content. As with most things in life, get the basics right and a good starting point will be had by all. Company Name This should be clear and correct! Referring to various brands and products is fine, just get the name of who is supplying them right. Images Make them look as professional as possible. Yes, professional photography is always best (we would say that) BUT mobile phones are brilliant these days. See what you can do! Don’t forget your header and find a template for the correct page header size. Try something like Canva, which is an amazing design resource and really affordable too. There is also loads of free help for this online. Also don’t forget that you can update it to reflect different messages.When taking pictures and using them, think ‘what do you want it to say about your company?’ Logo Use the company page thumbnail as your logo - you can change this to promote different brands if you have them. Tagline Many company pages are missing this. You only have 120 characters, so keep it short and refresh it every now and then if you want to. Web links Make sure you include a link to your website, or choose a key landing page if you want to promote something specific such as a new product or service. The main thing is that the LinkedIn company page is a free resource that, if used properly, can really showcase the best of what a company has to offer. Why wouldn’t you want to do that? Of course, if this is another thing on top of an already time-consuming social media schedule, then maybe think about getting help to run it. Dormant social media feeds are almost worse than having none at all! We offer some really cost effective packages at Seaside Creative and are happy to help with training team members too. Just ask If you've enjoyed this post, and would like to receive more useful advice and tips from us you can sign up to our newsletter. It comes out monthly and you can unsubscribe at any time....

Did you know that 54% of consumers want to see more video content from a brand or business they support?  Not only is video marketing something that your customers want, it is also one of the best ways to increase brand awareness. A study conducted by Optinmonster in 2019 revealed that video marketers achieve a 54% increase in brand awareness.   Martin Bloomfield, Director and Videographer at Seaside Creative, gave a talk at a Worthing Business Circle breakfast meeting recently and he covered his top 5 things to consider before filming a video.   So here they are, in written form: #1: How long do you want the video to be? This may seem like an obvious thing to consider, but it is important to understand the impact the length of a video can have on consumers. It is a well-known fact that our attention spans have only decreased over the years. Which means that the length of the video you create can have a huge impact on how engaged your consumers are when watching it. In fact, before even clicking play, consumers decide whether to watch your video or not based on how long it is.  Martin says the optimal length of a short video is about 90 seconds to ensure consumers not only play the video, but also stay engaged. #2: What is the point in the video? Make sure that you have a clear idea as to what the point of the video is. There’s not much point in creating a video just for the sake of making a video. Be clear on what the message is that you want to get across and how you’re going to do it. Creating a storyboard is a great way to plan the video before shooting it. #3: How good is the lighting? A phrase that is often thrown around by beauty gurus, but they do have a point! Making sure the location you’re filming in has good lighting is very important. Although Martin has plenty of different professional lights, sometimes all he needs is a good window to set the camera in front of. Using natural light is an affordable way to light up the filming area. #4: Is the sound clear? It is always a good idea to test the sound quality that the video is going to have before filming it. Although it is an invisible component, having bad sound can actually cause consumers to not watch your video. Therefore; it is a very important aspect to consider. If you’re worried about the quality of the sound from a built-in microphone, having an external one should improve the quality. Martin has a variety of external microphones that can be plugged into most cameras or smartphones that he is willing to share - just ask! [caption id="attachment_16875" align="alignleft" width="300"] Here's a smartphone with an external microphone and mini tripod attached to improve the video quality.[/caption] #5: If you’re using your smartphone, consider accessories that can enhance the phone’s performance Most people own a smartphone that is capable of shooting video in high definition which is good enough for websites and social media. However; there are accessories that can be used to further improve the quality of filming. Such as the external microphones mentioned in the top tip above. There are also tripods and stabilisers that can be used to assist camera operators with getting a straight shot. Just like the microphones, Martin has plenty of accessories available to borrow - just ask! Hopefully, those top tips have given you food for thought. If you’re in need of more support, both Martin and Alison, our social media expert, are running a WiseUp2 training session on how to shoot, edit and upload to social media - we’d love to see you there....

Did you know video marketing has been around for over 30 years? These days, video is constantly consumed and appears on almost every platform online. Social media is dominated by video content - in fact, Facebook has 8 billion video views per day on its platform.  With most people now owning smartphones, it is even easier to produce video content to engage a potential audience. But why should your business use video marketing in 2020? Martin Bloomfield, Director of our visual team, has put together his top 5 reasons why your business should be including video marketing in its marketing strategy. #1: Your brain can process visuals much quicker than it can text.  According to the Visual Teaching Alliance, 90% of the total information transmitted to your brain is visual. Not only that, your brain can process visual information 60,000 times faster than text. In terms of marketing, that means that your message would get processed by the consumer’s brain 60,000 times quicker than if you’d written it out. #2: Capture viewers’ interest Video content is a lot more eye-catching than any other type of content and is more likely to hold a consumer’s attention. Why not try a short video on the homepage of your website to keep those bounce rates low and summarise what your business is about? #3: Video allows information to be condensed This one is especially important if improving your social media engagement is on the top of your to-do list this year. Content that is long enough to maintain viewers' attention but short enough to leave them wanting more is the perfect mix for social media success - 30-90 seconds at the most! #4: Videos make great storytellers Have you got a great case study you want to shout about? Do it with video. Conveying information with video allows people to easily understand your message. #5: Videos get 1,200% more shares than text and images combined.  This one is a bit of a no-brainer. It is a hard statistic to believe, especially when only a couple of years ago it was all about graphics. Video has returned as the best way to drive engagement on social media platforms and your business needs to utilise this opportunity to reach and engage potential customers.   Don’t forget that your business could start reaping the benefits of video marketing almost instantly with the use of your smartphone. Two social media and video experts at Seaside Creative, Martin and Alison, are going to be running a training session on how to Shoot, Edit and Upload video content from your smartphone.  If you need support with your video marketing contact us today to find out how we can help you. We also send out useful advice and tips in our newsletter; sign up for it here and start receiving our informative monthly missives....

Google is constantly bringing out and getting rid of features on it’s services and as professional marketers; it is the Seaside Creative Team’s responsibility to keep on top of them all. Not only for business, but often for their own curiosity too! Since the archiving of Google+, Google has been working on a similar product to be incorporated into their existing services. Which is this new ‘Follow’ button on Google Maps which is brought to users for free; after ‘following’ a business on Google maps, users will receive updates about them that the business itself posts. It is important to note that only the business themselves can see people that are following them; the businesses a user follows is not visible to anyone else.   The new follow button is a lot like Google+ as it creates engagement on the Google platform and allows content to be shared and posted. The content produced for Google Maps briefly appears on Google search in the knowledge graph.  [caption id="attachment_16783" align="aligncenter" width="174"] A screenshot displaying Google Maps on an iOS device.[/caption] So what are the benefits of this for my business? The bottom line is that it is another avenue for marketing your products or services to your potential customers. Unlike the mainstream forms of marketing, however; people have actively shown an interest in your business by hitting the follow button. Therefore; you have already gained their interest and attention and the chances are they will be engaged in updates that you post as they have consciously asked for them. On top of this; a business has the opportunity to have a Google Map listing 3 months before the complex itself is due to open. Not only can this opportunity be used to boost awareness of the business, but it also means that consumers can know exactly when the actual place is due to open; creating the chance of massive footfall in the business’ opening months. Overall; the For You tab on Google maps in a brand new way for consumers to get recommendations from Google via the map app. Not only is this great for consumers to have all recommendations in one place, it is also a fantastic opportunity for marketers to target consumers. Although the service is completely free for the business owner to use, finding the time and remembering to keep your business’ updates frequent can be hard to juggle. If you would like any support or advice do get in touch with us. We also have a rather handy newsletter that you might like to subscribe to; it'll give you monthly updates on marketing news as well as useful advice and guides....

Warning - this blog may blow our own trumpet! Last November we were biting our nails as we had four clients shortlisted for eight awards at a business awards ceremony. On the night we we over the moon to see our clients win five of of the eight awards and be highly recommended in two others. One of our clients was even named 'Company of the Year'! Fast forward to this year and we are once again biting our nails as we ourselves are shortlisted for two awards and also have two clients shortlisted in four separate categories. Furthermore, we have another client shortlisted for a completely separate industry award. Understandably, various limbs are being crossed at nearly all times. Why enter business awards? Business awards are a great thing to win - who doesn't want to be known as 'award-winning'? The positive publicity to be garnered from winning such a thing can last for years and we always recommend to clients that they look at entering either local business awards or industry relevant ones. Over the past six years, we have worked in the background supporting clients with their award entries and we have been quite successful at it. Until last month we had achieved 17 finalists, resulting in ten winners, four highly commended and three regional winners in the Adur & Worthing and also the Southern Business Awards. Pretty good stats, even if we do say so ourselves. This success has built up a bit of a reputation for us locally - and we are now approached by companies to help them with entries. We usually turn away any that clash in categories as we don't feel it is right to have clients competing for exactly the same award. Of course, there's never any guarantee of winning - but when success is achieved - we are still chuffed to bits with that for our clients. Judging panels often take hours and hours going through finer details on entries that interest them, so all you can do is include as much relevant detail as possible and hope they like your entry the most. Top Tips So what is our process when writing award entries? We discuss, encourage and research what we think will work for that particular award/category. We then produce written and visual content, there is always straight text involved, but more often than not entries now include, photography, infographics, maps and even video too. Draft and draft again! Finally we put it all together in a concise entry that fits the brief. It's not an easy thing to do. Quite often the client wants to win a certain category and doesn't see that perhaps their story is more relevant for a different one. Some clients don't even see how they could even enter - let alone win! So do wish us and our clients luck and if you need any help with award entries then we would love to help you too #keepingeverythingcrossed Contact us for a chat, and sign up for our newsletter so you can keep in touch with our news as well as our marketing advice....