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Kia Irving

eCommerce and inbound marketing: driving traffic to your website

Harnessing inbound marketing to get visitors to your eCommerce shop

By Blog posts, eCommerce
eCommerce and inbound marketing: driving traffic to your website
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Harnessing inbound marketing to get visitors to your eCommerce shop

Wherever you are with your eCommerce journey, there’s no doubt that one of your biggest objectives is to get customers, old and new, on your website. There are many ways you can achieve this, including PPC campaigns focusing on display, remarketing and Google shopping. But today we’re looking at eCommerce and inbound marketing. Or more specifically, the lifecycle marketing automation workflows that drive traffic (try saying that quickly!).

Consumer behaviour in 2020

With a pandemic hitting, we were all online A LOT more than usual. According to research by SendCloud, in 2020, 33% of British people shopped online at least one a week, making an average of 2.3 orders monthly. For comparison sake, in 2018 and 2019 this stat was 22% and 26% respectively.

How often do British people shop online per month?

eCommerce UK shoppers average spend was £125.40

With that, comes a lot of browsing!

Ideal content types for eCommerce

Your customer personas will heavily influence the areas of inbound marketing you focus on to drive web traffic. For the purpose of this blog, let’s focus on those that tend to be a good cover-all: content marketing delivered through social media, email marketing.

The world is very much your oyster when it comes to eCommerce content marketing. So long as it resonates with your customers (and leads!), you have the license to be as creative as you want.

Product edits

Years and years ago (ok, 2018 but doesn’t that feel like a lifetime ago?) Missguided were worshipped across social media for hearing the cries for a ‘jeans and a nice top’ category on their website. Have a think of clever edits and categories you can utilise and talk about across your channels.

Supporting content: video

Did you know around 90% of consumers say that videos help them decide what to buy? Of course you did! If you’re already utilising videos on your eCommerce site, make sure you’re talking about them everywhere possible! 

How product videos increase sale: TruConversion

Whether they are product demos, like how to install a car seat or how to build furniture, or showing how clothing looks in motion (because who wants to buy a skirt only to discover it’s transparent when it arrives!), show it off!

Don’t forget, hosting on YouTube is great for your SEO too. As the second largest search engine (also owned by Google) using the right keywords places you in a great position to be discovered. And that’s just the organic possibilities! There are plenty of great ad options to be had too.

User generated content

When done properly (you absolutely must get consent!), user generated content is a fantastic way to showcase your products in real life. Plus it’s a hell of a lot cheaper than influencer marketing (which is also an option of course).

In particular, we love these examples from Fortnum and Mason, showing how customers recycle and reuse their famous packaging and wicker hampers.

Fornum and Mason IG user generated contentFornum and Mason IG user generated content

On-site editorial content

Blogs. Articles. News. Whatever you want to call them. These are a great way to bolster your SEO efforts, as well as engage with customers. Whether you’re talking about new products, partnerships and brands, or company updates, it matters. Have a look at our top tips on how to create articles that people want to read here.

Social media

Organic social media content

Once again, it’s important to make sure the social media channels you use align with your personas. And it’s no good being on everything if you don’t maintain an active presence (we’re firm believers in back to basics marketing if you’re struggling).

Anyway, with a winning social media strategy in place, you’re in good stead to drive traffic to your website. Make sure you’re thinking about how to create content properly, because regurgitating what’s on your website on social media won’t cut it. Consider if you need to adapt your tone of voice to suit the differing demographics of each platform.

Social media advertising

Ads are a great way to bolster your reach and engagement, as well as for remarketing. Remember, it’s not just limited to Facebook and Twitter, you also have YouTube – the second largest search engine with 2 billion monthly active users!

Email marketing

2020 email benchmarks

Of course, some of you might be skeptical of email. There’s always a rumour on the way that it’s dying out and irrelevant these days, especially with the rise of social media. But how do you know the true success of your efforts if you aren’t able to compare your results with your peers?

Enter: Campaign Monitor’s 2020 benchmark report. Of course, there are millions of these around but this is the one we’ve decided to share.

Average email benchmarks for all industries

Open rate: 17.8%

Click-through rate: 2.6%

Click-to-open rate: 14.3%

Unsubscribe rate: 0.1%

Bounce rate: 0.7%

You know the score, so have a look at your industry averages and see where you sit:

Campaign Monitor email marketing benchmark 2020Building your email marketing database

One of the simplest ways to engage with your web customers is by building an email list. It’s key to have a strategy in place here, as sending a gazillion emails when the mood takes you simply won’t cut it anymore.

How to build your email marketing list

  1. Feature your signup form on your website footer
  2. Website popups (not too many!) with new subscriber offers
  3. Share on social media
  4. Set your PPC goals to build an email list
  5. Option to sign up during the checkout process

Marketing automation for eCommerce

First things first, having a robust CRM that integrates with your website is essential. Being able to track things like customer orders, frequency and categorise their interests makes planning your lifecycle emails more efficient and easier to automate.

Customer lifecycle touchpoints

If you can track your customers, you can determine where they are in the lifecycle. This diagram from SmartMail does a great job of illustrating what opportunities you have for emails and at which points:

Smart Mail's customer lifecycle journey

One step that is missing here is a new customer activation email. This is typically an icebreaker with a discount code for something like money off or free shipping (more on that below). And, if you collect birthdays (although we recommend collecting birth month, as specifics without good reason e.g. age restrictions, can have backlash from customers who are ever increasingly sensitive about data exchanges).

Win-back with abandoned cart emails

Did you know that 67.4% of online shopping carts are abandoned? There are many reasons why this happens, from real world interruptions to janky checkout processes. But one thing’s for sure, if you set up an abandoned cart email workflow, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to win those customers back.

TruConversion: conversion rate optimisation statistics

Neil Patel: how likely are you to buy products you left in your cart, if offered again at a lower price?

Most eCommerce platforms will have email plugins that allow you to easily set up an abandoned shopping cart workflow. So ultimately, it’s down to you to decide what your pull offer is.

Newsletters that actually drive traffic

As mentioned earlier, sending regular (planned!) updates to your customers can be a great way to encourage them back to browse. It’s important to make sure you have something ‘worthwhile’ to share though, so think about new products, brands and deals. But it’s also important not to over saturate their inboxes, as this can have a negative impact!

Identify your customer segments in your CRM

By tracking and segmenting your customers based on their interests (e.g. product categories), you can be more confident that you’re sending the right content to them.

Discount vs. free shipping

In our article about eCommerce shipping and fulfilment, we found that nearly 30% of shoppers will abandon their carts because of shipping costs. But is free shipping always more attractive than discounts? In short, no.

While free shipping can be a barrier to complete a purchase, it’s not necessarily enough of a pull for existing customers. Shopify has examined 19 ways to use discounts to generate more sales.

Inbound eCommerce strategy summary

Wherever you sit with email marketing (and marketing automation!), it’s definitely a valuable tool for driving traffic to your website. If you’re thinking of revitalising your email strategy, starting from scratch or simply want a fresh pair of eyes, get in touch. Our team of certified email geeks will be more than happy to help you on your way to converting web visitors into customers.

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Shipping, fulfilment and delivery: the forgotten steps in your eCommerce journey

Shipping, fulfilment and delivery: a beginners guide to eCommerce

By Blog posts, eCommerce
Shipping, fulfilment and delivery: the forgotten steps in your eCommerce journey
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Shipping, fulfilment and delivery: a beginners guide to eCommerce

The internet is a great leveller, especially when it comes to eCommerce. No one has to know how big or small your operation is. And with a winning SEO strategy, you stand just as good a chance as the next player. Regardless of why you’re perhaps a little late to the eCommerce party, you’re finally here! You know what you’re selling, you have a marketing strategy in place and you’re ready to launch. But have you planned your eCommerce shipping and fulfilment strategy?

Let’s start with a quick glossary:

eCommerce fulfilment: supplying your customer with their order at a set price and time frame, that is clear at the point of sale. In essence, fulfilment is setting up your shop and selling goods.

Outsourced fulfilment: a third-party that stocks and arranges shipping for your products. Asendia describes the process like this:

The exact way the fulfilment centre you choose works will differ. Generally speaking they will follow this process:

  1. You place an order for your products from the manufacturer.
  2. These products are transported to the fulfilment warehouse, where they are received and checked into your inventory.
  3. Your products are stored in the fulfilment warehouse until orders are received from your sales channels (e.g. your website, Amazon, eBay).
  4. The new orders are picked and packed at the fulfilment centre into the packaging you’ve specified.
  5. The orders are shipped to your customers.

Distribution centres: they handle everything from shipping to selling. However, what makes them different is that they don’t ship to retailers. Instead, they become the retailers themselves.

Shipping: this literally describes what it is – the handover from merchant/fulfilment/distribution centre to a courier service who transport the goods to the customer.

Delivery: the final step, the handover from the shipping courier to the customer.

Innovative ways retailers are responding to the pandemic closing high street stores

Perhaps you’re paving the way to your eCommerce venture later than others. With COVID-19 forcing many lockdowns, meaning non-essential retailers must close their doors, it’s sink or swim for many. While you’re on your way to creating your eCommerce store (and if you’re reading this, you’re probably thinking about your fulfilment options too), what’s the best way to store your stock and retain your staff? Here’s what Ted Baker are doing…

Ted Baker has fulfilled an extra 101,000 online orders in one year following the implementation of a new ship-from-store initiative.

The British label teamed up with omnichannel order management specialist OneStock last year for the initiative which sees a proportion of orders packed and shipped by stores.

Let’s talk shipping

Now the basics are out the way, let’s look at how shipping effects your business.

It may seem pretty obvious, but shipping rates vary based on things like:

  • Your packaged products dimensions and weight
  • Stock location and customer address
  • The speed of shipping (e.g. standard, next day or named day)
  • Extras like insurance, tracking and signed for services.

While you want to make sure that you can ensure careful and timely delivery, you need to be conscious of pricing. Keeping an up to date inventory of product weights is one way to do this.

Choosing your shipping provider

There are many things to consider when choosing who you send your parcels with. You’ll need to think about price of course, but also reputation. It’s no good using a service that’s fast if your customers complain their orders arrive damaged. Or get left out in the elements. Or worse, in their bin on collection day…

Which? have recently compiled a consumer research poll, ranking the top shipping couriers. They asked about customer satisfaction in three key areas:

  1. Time slots offered
  2. Communication from shipping company
  3. Where the parcel was left

Which? Best and worst delivery companies

Know your margins!

It goes without saying that knowing your margins helps you stop preventable losses. Cost of packaging, shipping and card fees are often forgotten about. Shopify recommend factoring in the following to help calculate your total price:

  • Cost of product
  • Packaging
  • Shipping
  • Customers/imports/duties
  • Card fees
  • Profit margin

How to ship online orders

Here’s a great video explainer from Shopify on all you need to consider for your shipping strategy.

Shipping rates are the biggest turn off

It’s reported that almost 30% of shopping will abandon their cart based on shipping.

Neil Patel: reasons for cart abandonment

When examined in further detail, SendCloud found there were three problematic areas:   

SendCloud stats on shipping

How to make free shipping work for you

You’re potentially losing up to 30 of every 100 potential customers, that’s something you’ll want to fix. We all know there’s no such thing as a free lunch, so let’s how free shipping can work without you making a loss:

#1 Increase product prices to cover costs for shipping (customer pays).

#2 You pay the full price of shipping out of your margins (you pay).

#3 Increase prices of products to cover some costs of shipping (you and your customer pays).

#4 Offer a discount code to certain customers for free shipping.

Additionally, you can also try offering free shipping on a minimum order. This strategy can help offset the costs of shipping by helping to increase your average order size, but you’re still the one paying for it out of your margins.

Summary

Hopefully this has given you some food for thought for your shipping and fulfilment strategies. If you’re ever a little (or a lot!) stuck with your eCommerce journey, talk to us. We’re passionate about all things eCommerce. From building and optimising your store, to helping you overcome pain-points, and your strategy.

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Back to basics marketing: or the controversial truth about being everything, everywhere

Back to basics marketing: or the controversial truth about being everything, everywhere

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Back to basics marketing: or the controversial truth about being everything, everywhere

When it comes to marketing, it’s easy to assume that being loud and busy wins. If you’re unavoidable, you’re unstoppable. While there is something in that, it requires resource, planning and budget. It also needs a harmonised approach to cross-functional teams. And let’s face it, we’re not all at that level, especially at present time.

So, what can you do? And, how can you maximise your voice when you don’t have the resource? It’s time to examine: why back to basics marketing trumps an everything, everywhere attitude!

A clear marketing plan is your superpower

Knowing exactly where you stand, what you want to achieve, and how to bridge the gap between them, is the first step. Most of the time though, a clear marketing plan gets forgotten or ignored because it can take time.

How to go back to basics with your marketing plan

By setting aside time to work on this, you’re doing yourself and your business a huge service. Although there are many jobs to get done, it comes down to time management and prioritisation.

Time management matrix

If you don’t have a marketing plan, there’s a good case for assigning it to Q1: Important and Urgent. If it needs updating, we’d still recommend Q1 but it’s less urgent depending on the content.

On the whole, it’s important to remember that your marketing plan should drive everything you do. It sets what success looks like, how to measure it and how to get there, therefore what activities to focus on.

How your personas impact your focus

By knowing about your ideal customer you’re in a stronger position to design your brand identity. This informs everything from the colours you use, to tone of voice, your digital focus and so much more.

Combining your marketing plan and your personas, your strategy should be solid. Your marketing plan sets out what to do, but your personas provide that crucial customer lens.

This unique insight comes from your campaigns, social media and feedback. From here, you can make educated decisions about where where to focus your time. You can even specify things like social media channels and content types.

Your website is the centre of your business

It seems so obvious to even write, yet there are still many websites that don’t pull their weight. These days, having a clear digital strategy is crucial to the success of most companies. Of course, there will be some exceptions, but generally it’s common sense.

It used to be that websites were the shop window to your business. It has developed a lot over the past few years. Now your website can be your best performing salesperson, who is there for your customers 24/7, year round.

Stripping your website back to the basics: what is your user journey?

By having a clear idea of what you want visitors to do on your website, you can set goals. You can also tailor the flow and type of content you produce. It also enables you to design your KPIs and track the success of your website.

Is it time to update your website?

To make sure you’re operating a well-oiled machine, there are three core areas to assess:

  1. web traffic
  2. user journey
  3. user experience

If you’re getting good quality traffic and converting leads, your website is likely to be in good condition. If you’re struggling with high bounce rates and low conversions, it’s time to consider upgrading.

A simple website structure with a proper content strategy is the best way to helping you stay on track and maintain your website. By knowing exactly what’s where and how it flows together into a journey makes all the difference.

Social media: and why you don’t need to be everything to everyone

Here’s the main culprit for an everything, everywhere attitude. And possibly the easiest one to remedy. There are a few things to think about:

  • do you have the resource to consistently post on all the channels you’re using?
  • is your content resonating across all platforms? (e.g. post engagement, web traffic)
  • are you reaching your personas?

Of course, you might answer ‘yes’ to some or all and still need to strip back to basic marketing for social media. Make sure you’re reflecting your social media strategy and tracking your performance.

We often say to clients that it’s better to serve one social media channel well, than many subpar. What we mean by this is not only posting content, but engaging with your community. That could be through user generated content, responding to comments, customer service enquiries.

Quick wins: PPC

When you have the basics covered running properly planned PPC campaigns are ideal. But did you know Google grades your quality score on the quality of your landing page?

That means it’s crucial to have your website content in good condition first.

Quality score

This metric often confuses marketers are it’s not quite as cut and dry as the rest. Google essentially scores your ad content and how relevant it appears to be based on your CTR and landing page experience.

According to Search Engine Journal:

Google improved how Quality Score is reported in Google Ads in 2017, but it still comes down to this simple fact:

– A good Quality Score (between 7 and 10) means you pay less money to advertise with Google Ads.

– A bad Quality Score (6 or lower) means you pay more money.

Need help?

It may seem a strange concept to want help in stripping back to basic marketing. You might even still feel resistant to the idea of simplifying things. Much like how a fresh pair of eyes often solves a Word Search, they can also help pinpoint what needs to change.

Whether you need a spare pair of eyes, extra resource or someone with a very specific set of skills (sorry, Liam Neeson’s all booked up), we can help! Fill out the form below and we will be in touch for a chat.

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How to brief your marketing agency like a pro

How to brief a marketing agency like a pro

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How to brief your marketing agency like a pro
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How to brief a marketing agency like a pro

There are many reasons why you might work with a marketing agency. You might have projects that need specialist skills you don’t have in-house. Or you don’t have the resource to run certain projects.

Whatever the case, you want your kick-off meetings to be as efficient as possible. That way, no one’s wasting any time (or budget!) on pre-production.

This guide aims to help you equip yourself to do that: have all the necessary tools upfront for your marketing agencys brief. You might not need to have full, in-depth answers, but it’s a good idea to have considered these areas.

 

A marketing brief should accomplish 4 critical points for the team:

  • Explain the purpose of a given marketing strategy
  • Detail the measurements that will determine the success of a campaign
  • Identify the audience and expected outcomes of the project
  • Set clear goals, timelines, and responsible parties for the marketing campaign

First things first: be clear on why you’re working with a marketing agency

In keeping with one of my favourite cult-like, motivational courses, start with the end in mind. By knowing what you want to achieve in the beginning, helps align everyone.

Have a think about:

  • Why are you engaging with an agency?
  • What in particular do you need help with?
  • Is this a specific project or on-going work?

Up next: what do you want to achieve?

At the start of a new project, we begin by defining “what do you want to be famous for?”. But it’s good to establish this at the start of your agency relationship too. A lot like the above, now is the time to focus on setting the project goals.

For example, if you’re looking at a website rebuild, you might want to consider your key drivers for success. Or even something more tangible, like replacing legacy tools so you can put in place new services. You might have aspirations for an eCommerce website or a new CRM platform that you current set up doesn’t do.

Why your team structure matters to us

For us to be able to immerse ourselves in your business, it’s good for us to understand the team structure. Even if they aren’t working with us.

By understanding the decision making chain, we’re better equipped to set realistic timings. It also helps understand and plan how we provide deliverables in a way that suits everyone.

How does this all link up?

Let’s say you’re engaging with your marketing agency for a rebrand and website build. From the points above, we would want to know:

  • The background on why you want to rebrand.
  • Why you want a new website.
  • Who manages your website at the moment? Is there anyone outside of your team involved? For example, technical support for your website.
  • What other teams might need to get involved? (e.g. There may already be an in-house designer who isn’t working on the redesign but will help update assets later)

Now we’re cooking on gas: what are we working on?

Once the background on the who, what and why is established, it’s time to get on with the project scope. We will work with you to detail what’s including, what’s a no-go and where there’s flexibility.

Project details:

  • What’s in scope (e.g. I want to run a lead generation program utilising PPC and inbound marketing)
  • What’s not in scope (e.g. we will create our own content, we just want help implementing the technical set up)
  • If you need help with messaging, we will need to know more about your brand messages. Don’t worry if you don’t yet know exactly what you want to say!
  • What do you want your leads/customers to do? (e.g. Do you want them to download a guide, sign up for more information, buy something etc.)

Excellent, so here’s what we need

Once we’ve scoped out the project, we need a few more things from you to help us immerse into your world. You might not have these, and if not, we will work with you to solve that. They include:

  • Your marketing plan.
  • Your brand guide.
  • The existing channels you are active on (e.g. website, any micro sites, social media).
  • What your technology stack looks like. What systems do you use and do any of these ‘touch’ your website or sales processes?
  • An outline of your products/services offering.
  • Any no go areas (e.g. whether it’s something you’ve tried in the past that hasn’t gone so well, or have strong opinions on).
  • Your existing audience outline.
  • Your ideal audience/personas.
  • Existing content and content/thought leadership strategy.

These assets help us get to know your business, your customers and from there, how to frame the next steps. Sometimes these will be recreated in the project we are working on, they are still helpful in guidance.

Budget

Finally, it always comes down to budget in one way or another. Most of the time there’s a version of your project that can be scaled to most budgets. And within that, if you’re running PPC or sponsored posts, there’s another budget to apply and work with.

Summary: briefing your marketing agency

By providing as much information as possible, you’ll see a more efficient process. Marketing agencies thrive on detail and love to immerse in your brand culture. But if you don’t have all of the assets above, or you aren’t sure what they are, please feel free to ask for help!

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eCommerce Best Practice

eCommerce Best Practice: how to build a successful online store

By Blog posts, eCommerce
eCommerce Best Practice
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eCommerce Best Practice: how to build a successful online store

Now more than ever before, having an online store is crucial for not just success but survival. But how much do you know about eCommerce best practice?

As we start another lockdown, non-essential stores are once again forced to close. Meaning many need to get creative with how to continue operating business.

Pub transforms into shop during lockdown

A great example of change strategy saw this pub converted to a shop and pizza delivery service.

But for many, especially outside of the food and beverage industry, it’s not possible. And that is where eCommerce is the MVP. Take a look at ASOS, arguably the biggest industry player before the pandemic:

ASOS UK sales have risen by 18% year-on-year to £1.18bn, according to the brand’s full year financial statement ending August 31st 2020. International retail markets, which include the European, US and ROW regions, performed even higher at +20% during the same period.

Whether you’re new to eCommerce, or not, it’s always a school day. And when it comes to making tweaks to boost your success, it’s good to keep up with the latest trends and research.

Top eCommerce platforms

There are many eCommerce platforms available, each with their own merits.

#1 Shopify

Ideal for fledgling businesses, all the way up to enterprise, Shopify is simple to set up and use. It has many features to customise your store and its own apps. You will pay a monthly subscription for this, which includes hosting.

Eyelash Emporium eCommerce store built on Shopify

Find out how we support The Eyelash Emporium with their Shopify store >>

#2 nopCommerce

Arguably our favourite platform at DPC+UP, nopCommerce is a great alternative to Magento. As another open source platform, it’s feature-rich, fast, secure and the perfect ‘out of the box’ solution.

Rokers eCommerce store built using nopCommerce

Find out how we set up Rokers Petshop for success with a nopCommerce site >>

#3 WooCommerce

Another open-source commerce platform, we love WooCommerce! Plugging directly into your WordPress website, WooCommerce is scalable, free to use and there’s no limit to customisation. Like Magento and nopCommerce, you will need to pay for extras such as hosting, security and some extensions.

eCommerce best practice

We’ve split our eCommerce best practice tips into three areas, covering the core areas to focus on first:

  • Website
  • Payments
  • Optimisations

Website

#1 SEO is your priority

Regardless of your website function, you should always prioritise your SEO strategy. This is especially true of eCommerce. Research suggests that nearly half of consumers will start their journey on Google.

#2 Focus on your user journey!

Again, it’s not just an eCommerce best practice, but for all websites. Analysing user behaviour enables you to understand how customers use your website. And from there, allowing you to optimise their experience. And what does a better experience bring? More conversions.

#3 Simplifying menus

It can be easy to get carried away with menus and mega menus. Yet over complicated structures can turn off consumers and can slow page load times.

We recently rebuilt Zone3’s website using Shopify Plus. We focussed on optimising their store and updating the design. In particular, we simplified the menus, showing only the main categories identified in the user journey process. The result is a clean design with minimal clutter.

Zone3 simple product menus

Read more about Zone3’s eCommerce website here >>

#4 Product filters

Following on from simplifying menus, your customer is still likely to want to narrow down their selection to what they want to see. No one wants to scroll endless pages to find what they want.

For example, eCommerce best practice champions, ASOS, simplify their menus to show:

Gender > Category: e.g. Shoes and from there use a range of filters to narrow down your search.

ASOS eCommerce product filters#5 Optimise your product pages

We’re not only talking about SEO here, but describing what’s there. Think of what’s lacking when you can’t shop in-store. Customers want to know brand, material and functional features. But they also want to know: is it soft? Is it sustainable? Is it going to be see through?

A selection of high quality images and videos can be helpful here.

#6 Search bar!

So you’ve decluttered your website. You’ve simplified your menus and you have some great filters on the category pages. But nothing beats instant gratification!

Think about websites like Amazon. Do you ever go through the menus, or do you treat it more like a search engine?

Payment

Don’t let anything be a barrier to converting your customer! By offering a range of payment methods, you remove obstacles, like having to find your card.

According to JP Morgan, here’s how online payments looked in 2019:

JP Morgan's report on eCommerce payment methods

(digital wallet includes Apple Pay, Google Pay, PayPal)

Furthermore, according to Neil Patel, 23% of users will abandon their shopping cart if they have to create an account.

When you force users to create an account before checking out, you are basically saying “no” to a huge amount of conversions. Personally, I’d rather have a more conversions including guest checkouts than to have less conversions and a few extra membership signups.

ASOS offer three journeys:

ASOS checkout options

  • Sign up with social credentials for new customers
  • Login for existing customers
  • Guest checkout

Optimisation

As always, we’re evangelical about optimisation. Whether that’s doing regular A/B split testing on pay layouts, buttons and the like, or something else. Regular testing and learning is so important to keeping on top of any website.

As of 2020, here is the global breakdown of internet traffic:

  • 50.88% mobile
  • 46.39% desktop
  • 2.74% tablet

So there’s really no excuse these days to not have a fully mobile optimised website.

In particular, this graphs below show the gain vs. loss for non-mobile optimised pages vs. those that are fully responsive.

Gain vs. Loss on mobile optimised pages

eCommerce best practice summary

If you’ve got eCommerce on your mind but don’t know where to begin, please get in touch. At DPC+UP, we are passionate about all aspects of eCommerce. Whether it’s building a new online store, upgrading an existing one or helping solve your pain points, it’s what we do. Simply fill out the form below and we will be in touch.

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digital transformation vs digitisation

Digital transformation v. Digitisation

By Blog posts, Digitisation
digital transformation vs digitisation
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Digital transformation v. Digitisation

There are many, many buzzwords bandied about since the beginning of the pandemic. Furlough. Social distancing. Remote offices. COVID secure. Many businesses were forced to accept that having their teams work from home was a sink or swim moment. It was a time to rethink WFH as a privilege only for senior staff or exceptional circumstances. Above all though, it was crunch time. Put bluntly, if you couldn’t work from home, you were on “furloughed”… which is not ideal for anyone involved.

Out of this, a lot of people have been talking about digital transformation (again). It sounds pretty cool and sophisticated. And it is. But what many of them were actually discussing was digitisation. Hey, no shame in not knowing these are two different things, so long as you take time to learn the difference.

Let’s have a look at what they both mean, entail and how to establish where you are and what your next steps should be.

What does digital transformation mean?

Contrary to popular belief, digital transformation is less about technology and more about people. You can pretty much buy any technology, but your ability to adapt to an even more digital future depends on developing the next generation of skills, closing the gap between talent supply and demand, and future-proofing your own and others’ potential.

So really, digital transformation is a state of mind and a way of working. But not just as a team, on an organisational level. It’s a holistic approach. Driven by leaders and championed by everyone from newbies to the old school. It is about learning and knowledge transfer. Ultimately, something that helps everyone by encouraging synergy.

Yes, this is flirted with in some ways in the new push for remote working capabilities. However it isn’t even the tip of the iceberg.

OK, so what is ‘digitisation’?

Digitisation is most often mistaken for transformation.  The process of taking existing processes and digitising it is an important first step. It’s not, however transformational.  We’ve been using technology to improve existing physical and intellectual processes since the industrial revolution.  Customers expect businesses to have websites, apps and social channels and platforms. That does not transform a business.  It gives them permission to continue to serve their customer base.

In essence, digitisation is an essential stepping stone to start digital transformation. It makes it much easier to implement if your business is already on board with digital marketing. That’s not to say there’s no place for print, bricks and mortar or outdoors advertising. Digital transformation is about harmonising both.

Let’s look at some examples of digitisation and digital transformation, in a lovely table

It’s always simpler when you can compare the steps. Especially when there’s an aspect of comparison to take into consideration. Salesforce has done just that:

Salesforce digitisation vs digital transformation examples

As you can see, there are plenty of benefits to using digital channels. But, we need to read between the lines. Traditional marketing channels have huge value but their return on investment might not always be as easy to quantify. Harmonising the approach by appreciating the need for both (where applicable) is important. And that is exactly why a tight strategy is essential to implementing this way of working.

A digital transformation strategy

First you need to make sure you have your business and marketing plan <link to marketing plan article> in order. The more thorough your understanding of your business, goals and positioning, the better.

ionology suggests the following five steps are crucial to developing your strategy:

Digital transformation

Has the pandemic affected digitisation?

Absolutely. The pandemic has fast-tracked many businesses to get digital. Whether that’s having meetings and workshops via Zoom or setting up an e-commerce website.

BDO had this gem, which is so very true:

…businesses that had not only developed digital strategies but executed on them prior to the pandemic are now in a position to leapfrog their less nimble competitors. That isn’t to understate the COVID-19-related challenges they now face, irrespective of their current level of digital maturity.  Going digital in and of itself isn’t a panacea to all that ails businesses in the current economic environment. They do, however, have significantly more tools at their disposal to not only weather the storm, but to come out the other side stronger for it.

Are you ready?

Digital transformation is predominantly a company culture shift. So you don’t necessarily need to have all your chickens lined up when you start looking at evolving your business plans. In fact, we’d argue that the right leadership, a positive attitude, willingness to learn and above all, patience is all you need.

Patience is particularly important whenever creating a cultural shift in a company. There will always be team members who are more adaptive when it comes to change. The way to approach this is by explaining the how’s and why’s, so it’s important you present this equipped with the stats and a well planned strategy.

How can we help?

Whether you are looking at digitisation or a digital transformation strategy, let us help you. We are here to support from all capacities. From starting afresh to optimising your existing digital channels. Often an outside perspective is precisely what is needed.

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What does your brands colour palette communicate?

What does your brands colour palette communicate?

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What does your brands colour palette communicate?
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What does your brands colour palette communicate?

When we think about brand design, one of the first things that comes to mind is the use of colour. Sure, monochrome may look sleek, but colour creates depth, emotion and energy. Without that pizazz of a snazzy colour palette, the world would be dull and uniform.

Whether you’re looking at a rebrand, refresh or new brand identity for your business, you’ll come to the table with your own preconceived notions of how you want it to look. And that’s regardless of how creative you are.

A brief psychology of colours

Years of research has gone into the relationship between colour and psychology. However, the connotations of colours and how they influence decision makers is subjective. While some might associate yellow as cowardly, others see it as a marker of confidence.

Here, Ignyte looks at the pros and cons of the core colours. But it’s not until you start thinking about big name brands you associate with each that it comes alive.

The psychology of colour

Let’s stick with our earlier example of yellow. For example, it is often considered a ‘budget’ colour that doesn’t radiate quality. Yet look below and you’ll spot Ferrari, who are an infamous super-car brand, with a mostly yellow logo.

brand colour emotion guide

Brand personality: what are you trying to reflect?

We already know branding is more than just how it looks, it is personality too. And while that is mostly communicated through written content, visuals do play a large part in it.

When you work with a brand designer, they will talk to you about what you want to communicate. This will help create your brand guide, which will encompass a whole identity.

Your brand guide should include the following:

  • An overview of your brand’s past, present and future, its personality and values
  • Your message or mission statement, plus examples of how to apply these
  • Tone of voice with examples of language and keywords to use in campaigns
  • Your logo and how to use it (e.g. on black, white, transparent backgrounds and spacing)
  • Your colour palette
  • Fonts and variations
  • Your buyer personas
  • Visual styles (photography, graphics)
  • Guidelines for social media presence (e.g. use of logo on images, any adaptations to tone of voice/language)
  • Design guides for email
  • Design guides for ads

HelpScout noted: In a study titled “Impact of colour on marketing,” researchers found that up to 90% of snap judgments made about products can be based on colour alone.

Spotlight: Rebranding Basel Area Business & Innovation

Our parent company UP THERE, EVERYWHERE recently worked on a rebranding project for Basel Area Business & Innovation. They are a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to helping businesses succeed in the region.

The focus was to boost awareness, attracting more more companies to come set up there. UP immersed themselves with the stakeholders, businesses in the area and the city itself to appreciate what was on the table. We also joined the project to build the new website.

Through developing an understanding, it became clear that there was always “More to Discover”. A phrase that would become a large part of the key messaging. The brand guide explains why this careful choice of words communicates the area best:

“More” is a key device and one that can be applied to every aspect of the economic activity of the Basel Area. It states simply that you can expect more. It helps reveal the surprising variation that the Basel Area has to offer – in business, culture science, knowledge, arts and environment.

The word “Discover” embodies aspects including expectation/potential/excitement/opportunity. It urges outsiders to look deeper or to look again, and in doing so to see the full potential, that may previously have been masked by existing preconceptions of regional or national characteristics.

Basel’s colour palette and visuals

The primary colours are simple, with a nod to Basel’s heritage. Everything about Basel Area is clean cut, precise and beautiful. The aim to reflect the area and its popularity particularly amongst scientific, innovation and research communities.

The secondary colours not only complement the primary palette, and also the style of photography. This focuses on sky, water, forest, urban areas and business environments.   

Basel colour palette

There are strict visual guidelines: there are to be no night scenes. Imagery should be light, clean, spacious, with blue skies where possible. All symbolising positivity, motivation and success.

basel area homepage

How do I know if my branding resonates with my customers?

There are a number of ways to measure the impact of your branding. We review it from a holistic point of view, carrying out a total audit on all your touch points. This is not only because consistency is crucial for brand recognition and trust, but also because it isn’t limited to one single aspect.

If you are generating leads, converting customers and driving repeat sales, your branding is probably serving its purpose. But you may still want to freshen up.

If you are frequently getting requests for things you don’t do, or website visitors who land with you using queries that don’t make sense, there’s a good chance something isn’t working.

Need help? No problem!

If you’re thinking about refreshing or rebranding your business but aren’t sure where to begin, here is your starting point. Fill out your details below and we will be in touch for a chat.

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What is a marketing plan and why do you need one?

What is a marketing plan and why do you need one?

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What is a marketing plan and why do you need one?
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What is a marketing plan and why do you need one?

“Good fortune is what happens when opportunity meets with planning.”

– Thomas Edison

Success that comes out of spontaneity is usually down to good luck. Without a clear plan for your business, it’s difficult to know how to build credibility and a customer base. Not only this, it’s knowing how to measure success, what to focus on and your next steps. Enter your business marketing plan.

A marketing plan is a report that outlines your marketing strategy for the coming year, quarter or month. Typically, a marketing plan includes:

  • An overview of your business’s marketing and advertising goals.
  • A description of your business’s current marketing position.
  • A timeline of when tasks within your strategy will be completed.
  • Key performance indicators (KPIs) you will be tracking.
  • A description of your business’s target market and customer needs.

marketing plan on a page template

Can you break it down?

Of course! We’ve combined two simple approaches to build your marketing plan in five steps:

(Credit to the good folks at Smart Insights and Hubspot)

1. Situation analysis – first you must understand customers

As you’ll no doubt know by now, at DPC+UP we go crazy over personas! But this step is a little more in depth than that. It could involve conducting feedback surveys and interviews with your customers.

But it’s important you ask the right questions, in the right way. What do we mean by this? Not saying that there is such thing as a stupid question… but you need to be in touch with how a customer actually thinks. Take this classic example:

How likely are you to recommend Windows 10 meme

Essentially it’s the kinds of questions we recommend when you build your personas. So you want to include:

  • What problems do they all have in common?
  • How do you solve your customers pain points?
  • What motivates them to buy?
  • How do you help them succeed?

If you’re a start-up or are looking at expanding your services to a new sector, it’s worth exploring insights online. Partnering with a market research agency can prove helpful, as this is second nature to them.

2. Situation analysis – marketing audit: where are we now?

Once you understand your customers’ sentiments, it’s time to review the business. This analysis includes industry benchmarks. Look for data on things like average number of employees, earnings, turnover etc. and then looking at where you rank.

It’s also a good opportunity to do a SWOT (strength, weakness, opportunity, threat) analysis on your competitors.

The McKinsey 7S framework of business. Taking a holistic look at the business, thinking about Strategy, Structure, Systems, Staff, Style, Skills and Shared values forms a base for your SWOT.

3. Objectives – sustainable goals: where do we want to go? (SMART)

In case you’re not an acronym whizz kid, SMART objectives stands for:

Specific

Measurable

Achievable (or sometimes agreed)

Realistic (or relevant)

Time based

In essence, these should cover all areas of the business as opposed to focussing on sales. They should combine number driven as well as softer objectives.

In particular, Smart Insights suggests creating SMART objectives such as:

  • The sales forecast; sales figures, number of new clients wanted?
  • Customer service; how can you improve the service to customers?
  • Communication (speak) providing information to clients?
  • Saving time, increasing your business efficiency and reducing costs?
  • The wow factor! Adding sizzle to make your business stand out from the crowd?

4. Analysing your tactics

Here’s where you start to pull things together. You’ve written your goals, you know your target audience and you’re familiarised with the bigger picture (and the detail) of your business. So it’s time to start linking up the puzzle pieces:

Hubspot says:

For example, if your goal is to increase your Instagram followers by 15% in three months, your tactics might include hosting a giveaway, responding to every comment, and posting three times on Instagram per week.

Key business plan and marketing plan elements

5. Setting your budget

Last but no means least, it’s time to look at your budget.

While you’re writing out your tactics, be sure to note an estimated budget. You can include the time it’ll take to complete each tactic in addition to the assets you might need to purchase, such as ad space.

You’ll want to consider costs for marketing activities such as PPC, if you plan to hire an agency, or if you need to refresh your website.

What you discover may surprise you!

You might find that your branding doesn’t resonate with your customers as well as you thought. Or that your website isn’t hitting your targets. Understanding your business holistically is crucial for knowing what areas of your marketing arson needs more attention.

Branding

For example, we recently worked with Grayce on a refresh of their branding. They wanted to  modernise their look and improve their engagement.

grayce mobile optimised website

Find out how we worked with the team at Grayce

Website design

Azets was originally an umbrella company with hundreds of independent accounting firms underneath them. When they decided to rebrand as a single entity in September 2020, they asked us to redesign their website to reflect this. With over 2,500 redirects from the original websites, it was by no means a small task!

Azets website redesign

Read more about what this website redesign entailed.

Brand activation

Before Mum&You launched their subscription service in the UK, they knew they needed outside help to achieve their goals. Through a mix of online advertising, served over Google Adwords, YouTube ads, remarketing and social media ads, we helped set them up for success. Additionally, we built their e-commerce website, allowing them to customise options for their customers such as recommended products.

Mum&You social media advertising

Find out how we worked with Mum&You on their brand launch.

Makes sense, sounds like a LOT of work… do I really need one?

Sure, creating a marketing plan does sound like a lot of time and effort. But having a clear idea of what you want to achieve allows you to understand how to get there, and demonstrates measurable targets.

If you’re not sure you have the time or you need someone to bounce ideas off, partnering with an agency could help. Whether you need more resource or want to delegate a project elsewhere, we will work with you in whatever way helps achieve your goals.

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How to create a social media strategy

How to develop a winning social media strategy

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How to create your social media strategy
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How to develop a winning social media strategy

Without a clear plan in mind, it’s hard to justify the true purpose of what you’re doing. Wow, that’s deep. This mantra (if you will) can be applied to any and all of your marketing activities. Social media shouldn’t be treated as an afterthought when putting together a digital strategy.

Your social media strategy should be part of the early stages to help bring together your overarching marketing and business goals.

We are fanatical about strategy. But what does an effective strategy entail? And, how do you go about creating one that works for you and your brand. Let’s look at this in two steps.

Part one: It’s all about the research

What are your social media goals?

Before you begin with anything, it’s crucial to identify what you want to achieve. Are you looking to build brand awareness? Perhaps drive consideration of your product or services. Or maybe you’re looking to focus on engaging with your community.

Regardless, social media goals should focus on so much more than simply selling. If sales are your only goal, let me tell you now: you’re going nowhere fast! Sure, ultimately you want to convert your social media followers into customers. But there is a lot of groundwork to be done first. You need to build credibility.

What’s your brands personality?

Your brands identity is more than just its look. It is creating a personality through tone of voice, your content and how you engage with others. But your approach on social media is unique compared to corporate guidelines.

While your brand identity is fairly rigid on things like colours, logos and styling, personality must have a degree of flex. It’s important to remember personality is altered for platform. A bit like us, it depends who you’re talking to and where.

…and does that personality translate to social media?

So it’s no surprise that your brand personality will change for social media. Even down to which channels you’re using. Take a look at e-commerce giant, ASOS. They are players in just about every social media channel there is.

Let’s have a look:

LinkedIn – here they focus on the corporate side of things, which is no surprise

ASOS on LinkedIn

ASOS on LinkedIn

Facebook – mostly focuses on memes

ASOS on Facebook

ASOS on Facebook

Instagram – a combination of user generated content, product editorial and memes

ASOS on instagram

ASOS on instagram

Twitter – relatable posts, with a separate account to deal with customer service inquiries

ASOS on twitter

Who are you trying to reach (clue: all about personas)

Your intended audience and your actual audience can be entirely different. If you are already using social media, an analysis of your followers across your active channels will begin to paint a picture of who you are reaching.

If it’s not what you expected, examine what you’ve been doing, your customer base and of course, your personas. If you’re unable to reach your ideal customers, something isn’t working. Whether it’s your approach to your social media, the channels you’re using or if you’ve exhausted all the possibilities, you might want to consider if your branding is due a refresh.

Carry out a SWOT analysis of your competitors

Once you’ve established your goals, your personality and the audience you want to reach, it’s time to have a look at your competitors. Gather a list of up to five brands that you compete with and examine what they’re doing on social media, the channels they use, what’s working and what’s not.

SWOT analysis

Additionally, look for opportunities where you can provide your audience something different and valuable. Is there something your competitors aren’t doing? Or perhaps you can see what they’re trying to do, but you can do better.

Part two: Your social media plan

So, you’ve done your research on your goals, personality and competitors. It’s time to start planning your strategy. Something to keep in mind, regardless of whether you’re new to social media or refreshing your approach, is making sure you can maintain what you’re doing. It’s no good to decide to have a presence across all the platforms if you’re not going to nurture them all. There’s absolutely no shame in a back to basics approach.

Identifying the right social media channels

There are endless social media channels available, with even more launching regularly. We tend to focus on the core favourites: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram.

This comes in two tiers: the first is reviewing which channels will be best at helping you achieve your strategic goals. For instance, consider the advertising opportunities as well as the organic audience on each.

Next, which channels do your target audience use? Think about demographic data here. Review your personas and see what matches best with them.

How often should you post content?

The age old question. A lot of factors play into how often you should post on social media. Each of the algorithms work differently for one. In fact, posting too often without ‘enough’ engagement can actually hinder your visibility on Facebook in particular. That said, a lot of it is trial and error, much like the time of day, and days of the week you post.

Sendible says:

In reality, there is no magic formula for deciding how often to post on social media.

That’s because what works for one brand, doesn’t work for another. Sure you can read case studies of what has worked for others, but don’t make their solution your solution.

So, instead of seeking magic formulas, let’s focus on these proven posting strategies:

  • Posting consistency is more important than posting frequency.
  • Content quality is more important than content quantity (and social media networks are letting us know with all the changes).
  • Without having an objective for social media, you won’t know if your posts are successful or not.

What are your content pillars?

Once you’ve established all of the above, it’s time to start thinking about your content. You may already have a content marketing strategy in place, in which case, you’ll be following that to an extent. If not, here’s how to choose your content pillars.

Identify your service clusters

Of course you know what you sell, but have you identified the product/service clusters? There are likely to be areas that fit into groups. For example, our clusters are: web, digital and creative.

Once you’ve identified these, it’s time to work through your website. And essentially tag the pages that are most relevant to each.

Planning your social media content and format

The one of the final steps is to think about how you’ll translate your website content into social media content. Keep in mind different lengths of posts serve each channel accordingly. For example, Twitter is famous for its short character limit on posts, whereas Facebook seems limitless in comparison. Sprout Social has a great guide to character limits and the ideal lengths of posts here.

Make sure you have suitable imagery for your posts, as visuals are essential for social media. If you don’t have a lot of owned images, consider stock imagery from places like Unsplash, iStock and other well known websites. You can also develop a user generated content strategy.

If you’re thinking about expanding your library of owned visuals (illustrations, video, animation, photography etc), working with a creative agency is a great option. Harnessing the creativity of a team who works on these kinds of projects day in, day out, can be refreshing and even cost effective, especially in these times.

Creating a social media content calendar

Finally, it’s time to start planning ahead! You can create a content calendar for the next quarter, six months or even the year. Remember, there’s always room for flexibility with digital marketing – that’s the beauty of it!

A content calendar is a great way to help you forward plan what you’ll be sharing ahead of time. Giving you and your cross functional teams notice to prepare what’s required: blogs, visuals, campaigns and so on.

Analyse, learn, adapt!

Ok, we dropped the ball on the content calendar being the ‘final’ step. It’s actually all about reporting. Analyse your social media content, learn from what’s working and what’s not and adapt your plans accordingly.

Keeping things simple, we recommend monitoring your reach, growth, engagement and website traffic from social media.

Need a helping hand?

No shame. We’re always happy to help with your digital marketing projects. Whether you are starting from scratch, refreshing or redesigning your strategy, we’re very much here. Leave your details below and we will be in touch.

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Why we love personas!

Why we love personas!

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Why we love personas!

If you’ve worked with us before, you might have noticed we are obsessed with customer personas. They are a brilliant resource when creating any and all content.  From paid campaigns to blogs to user journeys.

By knowing about your ideal customer you’re in a stronger position to design your brand identity. This informs everything from the colours you use, to tone of voice, your digital focus and so much more.

What information do you need, any why?

You’re building a person. You’ll want to have a think not only about how to interact with your potential customers (e.g. where they hang out online) but the kind of language to use.

The more you know, the easier it is to help. Have a think about the kinds of topics that your customers (and leads) ask you about. This will also help inform your wider content strategy.

Creating your persona

Some of these points will be more or less relevant depending on whether you’re a B2B marketer, or in consumer goods.

What you need:

  • Age group, assumptions on their life stage. (This may be more relevant for consumer goods, where you’ll need to be in tune with their personal needs, such as holidays, children, property etc.)
  • Their location (this will inform content distribution)
  • What’s their professional experience and role (this will help influence what they know/and don’t)
  • What are they interested in?
  • What are their pain points (especially interested in the ones you can solve)
  • Where they spend their time online

Also think about:

  • How they engage with you: do they prefer a phone call, emails or meeting up (hey, remember when that was a thing?)
  • What motivates them to buy? (is up-skilling their team a priority, or making their own life easier and workload lighter)
  • How do they research/how did they find you?
  • What pain points do you solve?
  • Where are their knowledge gaps, or what are the kinds of questions they ask?
  • What makes them tick
  • Are they a decision maker or influencer in the buying process?
  • What turns them off? (too much/not enough information, jargon etc.)

So, is it just made up or does data inform persona creation?

There are three main sources:

Your actual customers and what you notice about them

  • Google Analytics
  • Social media insights
  • You can also use social listening tools, but that’s not necessarily an essential tool here.

Here are some examples of what insights you can look at:

#1 Facebook

Facebook allows you to look at age, gender, location and language. This data is available for your fans, followers, people in your reach and those who have engaged.

The two areas we recommend focussing on are your fans and people engaged. While there will be some crossover, engaged people may not already be fans (or not yet accepted an invite).

Facebook audience demographics

Facebook audience demographics#2 LinkedIn

If you have a LinkedIn business page, the insights show: job function, seniority, industry, company size and location. It’s simple but relevant to the platform.

LinkedIn audience demographicsLinkedIn audience demographicsLinkedIn audience demographics

#3 Google Analytics

You can delve into your website visitors demographics using Google Analytics. There’s a wealth of data in this platform, but some basic areas at a glance:

  • age
  • gender
  • interests
  • industry
  • life stages

Google analytics demographicsGoogle analytics demographics    

If I’m already familiar with this information, why do I need to create a document??

Great question. It’s all well and good knowing this, but what about your team and if you work with any consultants or an agency? Having a persona document not only helps keep everyone in the loop, but it’s an efficient way to do so.

We recommend adding your personas to your brand guide and strategy documents. But it’s also handy to have when working with other teams, internal or external. They’re great for briefing anything design and content related, and for setting up ads.

A non-exhaustive list for when personas are useful:

  • Helping others understand your brands tone of voice
  • Designing (and refreshing) your brand identity
  • Informing content strategy
  • Training your sales team
  • Planning events (well… when that side of life returns!)
  • Planning ads (digital and offline)
  • Which marketing channels to focus on
  • Checking in on performance: are you resonating with your persona?

Short on time?

With all the will in the world, sometimes we simply don’t have the capacity to get things done. We appreciate creating a thorough and effective persona can be time consuming. Whatever the your next big project is, if you’re considering working with an agency, we can factor in persona creation too.

If you’re thinking about your next steps, but aren’t sure where to begin or don’t have the resource, enter your details below and we’ll be in touch.

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