After such a fantastic event in 2016, we were quick to put ourselves up to sponsor the Lincolnshire Business Expo. After a successful first year, we were looking forward celebrating so many of the innovative businesses we have in the county. Every business that attends reaps from the benefit throughout the year, and the event is comprised of the standard exhibition principles as well as a series of workshops and seminars.Following some great feedback from the talk we did last year, we were keen to do another one and to have the opportunity to see different people and businesses that we may not usually come into contact with. It also gives us the opportunity to really showcase what we do and have a bit of fun on a dreary January day.

Our stand was very busy throughout the day, catching up with businesses from the county. We were also providing everyone with the much-needed sugar rush in the form of Haribo, and we had a quick-thinking game on our stand which got everyone involved to win a bottle of Prosecco.

Throughout the day we had attendees visiting our stand and playing our fantastic game, Shout, which involved guessing certain categories and matching up words with pictures.  The game soon turned into a competitive activity to see who got the highest score in order to win a golden bottle of prosecco. The final score came down to a draw of 9 points each making Bright Media and Khaos Control the winners.Lincolnshire Business Expo

Whilst our Digital Marketing Executives were walking around mingling with businesses, picking up the occasional freebie and they even bumped into Jason Bradbury from The Gadget Show. Check out the selfie! 

8 Steps to Effective PR

Some of the team attended a very interesting talk by Kate Strawson from Shooting Star PR on the “8 Steps to Effective PR”. We are going to briefly cover the 8 points that Kate discussed as we found the talk education and hope you will too. 

  1. Planning stage: It all starts at the beginning with the plan, this is one of the most important stages of the process. You need to consider who you are trying to connect with and what you would like to accomplish. Think about what you are going to say and how it is going to resonate with your target audience.
  2. Opportunities Stage: Once you have completed the planning stage you should consider the opportunities available to you. It is important here to consider trying a new approach, these could include, blogs, surveys, entering awards or creating a social media campaign.
  3. Maximise Value: Ultimately you want to maximise the value of your campaign, you can do this by creating interest, for example, if you are opening a new store, why not invite a local celebrity to unveil it.
  4. Suitability: Whichever method you choose it must be suitable for different media platforms you are using to gain traction in the campaign.
  5. Add images:  As well as having the right content it is paramount to add an image where you can, as Kate said “photos tell a thousand words” and we couldn’t agree more.
  6. Write a Press Release: One of the most common campaigns is writing a press release. This is a short statement that provides a formal news story for your audience. During the talk,  Kate discussed an inverted triangle effect that explains news releases. We have listed these below:

– Always have your most interesting information at the top

– Make sure the body of the news is factual

– Include opinions in speech marks

– Always keep your sentences and paragraphs short

– Include the date, contact details and images.

  1. Prepare for bad press: Like all forms of content, at some point, you will be privy to bad publicity. Unfortunately, you can’t guarantee that you will be able to solve this straight away, so there are a few points that you should consider. The main one being, be prepared. As well as making sure you are prepared your staff must be trained on what to do if you do receive a negative response. Particularly in the situation if the media were to ask for an interview, to remain calm and comfortable and avoid the “no comment” as this can give them the impression that you are hiding information from them.
  1. Social media: Make sure your content goes onto the suitable platform and remember to plan out your social campaign before doing it so you know what you are trying to achieve. Like, comment and share, we have all heard of them, so make sure you are using them! Engage with your target audience so you have more of a chance for them to interact with you. Last but not least, measure! Measuring your social media campaign is vital because if you don’t keep track of how successful your campaign is.

These points summarise just some of the points that Kate mentioned during her talk. Also, thank you for the chocolate stars. 

Grow Your eCommerce ProfitsLincolnshire Business Expo

Earlier in the morning, we attended a talk from Richard, the CEO here at SEO Traffic Lab. The talk was specifically on Growing eCommerce Profits through Google Shopping Strategies. We have collated five highlights from this talk, however, if you would like the comprehensive slides just get in touch with us on jessica@seotrafficlab.com.

Richard started his talk with some interesting facts on how he predicts people shop in 2017. He explained that we all spend 3 hours and 41 minutes on average online every single day. 82% of people turn to devices to make a product decision during their buying journey, on their smartphone. We are very much in a smartphone era! Here are five points you need to work on to capitalise on that audience.

  1. Product ads are triggered by keywords but you cannot bid on keywords: So you need to make sure your product descriptions are nice and clear and marry up to what people are searching for in order to purchase the item you are selling. For instance, this will start broadly with trainers (as a general search), breaking down into ladies trainers, men’s trainers, size 7 trainers, and then breaking down even further into blue, size seven Nike trainers, or Adidas purple and pink size 6 ladies trainers. So there are a plethora of search terms available and you can marry your product descriptions to audience intent.
  2. Split bids using custom labels: You can use custom labels to split your products up into price bands and then you can do some bulk optimisation and monitor these closely. You can bid lower for low-value items and higher for high-value items.
  3. Always have a clean feed that matches the navigational layout of your website: This makes it easier to optimise bids at a very specific level. You are very familiar with your website layout so mirroring this in your PLA account allows you to quickly group items and monitor them, rather than in a messy feed which involves more searching on your part.
  4. Optimise those landing pages: Your PLAs are designed to get people to click through to your website and once that click happens you still need to convert them. So, make sure you have a clear call to action, good imagery, video if you can, delivery info, all of your unique selling points that are likely to seal a conversion. We have talked about optimising your company to make sure you get that click through so optimise every page to make sure you get that “add to basket” click.
  5. Use remarketing to follow people who did not buy first time: There is lots of evidence that people come to your site and then want to compare prices and specification of a product with other sites. We are much more informed purchasers than ever. So a remarketing ad will follow them off the page because one visit is no longer enough! Make a list of what people looked at and then modify your bid dependent on how long after their initial visit they use that same search term again.

Hopefully, you have all you need to optimise your Product Listing Ads. 

Weathering The Storm: Bank of England Economic Forecast 2017

Following the turbulent year that was 2016, Jodie and Andy attended a talk from a member of the Bank of England, Alastair Cunningham. In an approach to sooth the difficult news in 2016, Alastair spoke of areas that may be tough in the year to come and areas that he thought would not be of a large concern. 

On the outlook for the UK Economy, it is believed that there will ultimately be security for the next 12-18 months before changes from interest truly make an impact on the current market. Fortunately, we have economic models, which offer a predictive measure from the past to the future. However, these are not always exact and sometimes economic shifts occur rapidly and forecasts change.

Obviously, the Referendum got a mention, with the steep cut in interest rates, the fact it has bought “opportunities for some, threats to others.” When it comes to property predictions, Alastair recommended researching and specifically looking at RICS housing marketing indications. Unfortunately, the survey data looked bleak in July, whilst the underlying area for focus was that Cash is King. Following the referendum, as we all we made aware, the value of the pound plummeted, there was a slowdown in investment and the risks looked to be more prominent.

However, since July it has not been all doom and gloom, projects have since restarted, meaning investment has increased, the economy is growing maybe at a slightly slower rate – 0.06% but growth is important at a time like this, to hold our own as a nation.

Ultimately, inflation is low but is rising now retailers are aware of the difficulty of being unable to control pricing power. Bank of England’s best guess is that inflation will not spiral out of control, it will remain measured and secure. There is clear uncertainty in the future but this does not ultimately mean panic! The credit environment is in the early stages and although there is likely to be a slower growth in consumer spending it is by all means not collapsed.

Alastair summarised the talk well when he said that online is still important for our nation and that “the online story is still a sexy story and people are still backing it.”

Overall, the event was a fantastic success, which we thank Lincolnshire business for. It was great to see so many businesses representing the county as well as catching up with some old friends and receiving great feedback from new friends for our beautiful stand and our talk.

We look forward to seeing you there in 2018!