Author Archives: Richard Owen

10 of the best iPhone Apps for Marketers

iPhone apps

The Apple app store has experienced phenomenal growth since its inception in 2008, as of April 2013 the store has a total of more than 45 billion total downloads and close to one million unique applications.

These apps fulfil many purposes from simple games to useful tools for marketers. We’ve assembled ten of the most useful and popular apps that will help you manage and market your business wherever you are.

1. TweetDeck

TweetDeck allows you to manage many of your social networking accounts from one place, although originally designed a way to manage your Twitter feeds, the app also supports Facebook, Instagram and other popular services.

Use TweetDeck to manage your social networking accounts as well as bulk schedule content for your business accounts.

See Also; Hootsuite and Twitterrific

2. WordPress

Many sites and blogs are supported by WordPress, with this app blogging on the move is easy. Whether you’ve forgotten to post a certain article or you’ve had a great idea whilst your travelling the WordPress app allows you to update and maintain your blog wherever you are.

You can also respond to any comments you may have received or add images and videos to your existing blogs.

3. Linkedin

The official Linkedin App functions exactly as the desktop site, the app will help keep you up to date with your connections, you can also extend your existing network by adding and communicating with other businesses and individuals.

4. Mashable

Mashable is one of the most popular sites on the web, delivering the latest news on technology, social networking, online marketing and general internet-related news.

Search by category, news or via author. Mashable is a great source for blogging inspiration, ideas as well as useful topics for discussion.

5. DropBox

The DropBox app allows you to store, sync and share folders online. DropBox has an easy to use interface, making it a popular tool for businesses and office based companies.

Dropbox works on both 3G and Wi-Fi connectivity so you’ll have access to your files wherever you are.

6. Google Drive

Google Drive offers a similar service to DropBox, more importantly it allows you to edit, share and create files through the use of Google Docs, which has become immensely popular with businesses.

7. TED

The TED app presents talks and discussions from some of the most well-renowned people in the business world. TED videos are updated on a weekly basis so look out for discussions relative to your business.

8. AnalyticsPro

As the name suggests the AnalyticsPro app enables you to go through your Google Analytics reports straight from your iPhone. Track the analytics and web stats of your website or blog, check your best and worst performing pages as well as your bounce rate.

9. SEO Tool

A very useful app for site owners, track the position of your sites in Google, Bing etc.. Check your site’s ranking for specific keywords wherever you are.

10. Reeder

This RSS app works with Google Reader and Readability and is a great way to keep up with all of your news interests. This is an easy tool to use and can be synched with your iPad or Mac device.

iphone apps

Blogging for your Business; 3 Reasons to blog

reasons to blog

Many businesses have active blogs, if your business doesn’t have one then I suggest you should certainly read on.

Have you ever wondered why businesses insist on dedicating time and resources to routinely updating their blogs?

Blogging really took off in the early days of the internet, initially as a way to provide a way to share unique thoughts and information, this is still the case for bloggers, celebrities and journalists alike.

There are many advantages to having a blog, we’ll look to explain some of the benefits in this blog…

1. SEO Rankings

Blogging Matters-Just ask Google

Unbeknownst to some people blogging can benefit your SEO rankings, Google looks to rank sites that regularly update and contribute new information.

Blogging is one of the best ways to do this, after all there’s only so much you’ll want to update the static pages on your site.

Google puts emphasis on keywords, through the use of a blog you can share information that targets these keywords in order to improve your place on a search engine’s SERPs.

Tip; Always remember to SEO optimise your blog posts to target a keyword relevant to your business.

2. Hook your audience

A blog gives your audience a reason to revisit your site, directing traffic to your page in the process. Some will visit your site purely to read the content on your blog, so bear this in mind.

3. Free Marketing

By building your reputation as a ‘blogger’ you market yourself in the process, being recognised as an author that contributes useful information can potentially bring publicity, in the process you’ll extend your network on sites like Google+, Twitter and Linkedin.

Blogging is free, even if you’re not getting the kind of traffic you’d like, at least you’re adding pages and information to your website that will improve the experience for the user.

10 Tips To Get a Retweet

retweet

Undertaking a successful Twitter marketing campaign requires valuable time and resources, it can be very frustrating to devote so much time to social media marketing without getting the results you need.

Luckily, we’ve gathered ten of the best tips to help your business get the right results;

1. Install a Twitter button

Many websites have their own Twitter ‘button’ that directs traffic to your Twitter feed, Twitter recently launched their own official button.

Tip: If your website directs a decent level of traffic, then it’s a good idea to drive some of those numbers towards your social media channels.

2. Repeat your best Tweets

Keep an eye on your most successful Tweets, for instance if you’ve asked a question that’s getting a lot of responses, make a note and save it for a later date. Some of your followers may have missed that particular Tweet so bear that in mind, keeping track of your most successful info is a valuable aspect of the social media learning curve.

Note; You will of course need to be careful of being perceived as spam, if possible try and rephrase your tweets to avoid this.

3. Including @mentions to those you’ve referenced

Always include the username of those you’ve mentioned in a post, letting them know you’re giving them a shout-out. If you don’t mention them via the @ tool then the person you’ve mentioned will not be aware that you’ve included them.

4. Trending Topics

Particularly if you’re operating a business Twitter account it’s a good idea to get involved with topics that are relevant to your industry.

For instance an electronics retailer would look to play an active part within the discussion surrounding the new Playstation 4.

Trending topics offer a useful way to tap in to a never ending stream of tweets, which many people will be viewing, getting some valuable exposure for your business.

5. Use Quotes

Whilst quoting Marilyn Monroe may get a lot of people’s attention it’s unlikely to be relevant to your business, try and find quotes that are both useful and applicable to the information you share. Quotes are often shared between users, so try them for yourselves.

6.Tweet Links

Your Twitter account has to offer a service to your followers, offering them a link that they may find interesting may get you some valuable retweets.

Tip; Try sending your visitors to websites that aren’t related to your business to avoid being too promotional.

7. Keep an eye on the most retweeted phrases

Words such as blog, social, free, help, follow are some of the most searched for phrases on Twitter, try to include them whenever you can.

8. Run a Twitter contest

Contests are much more likely to ‘go viral’ than just sharing information, try offering your users a prize for retweeting your information, you’ll be surprised at how much attention you can attract.

9. Time your Tweets

There are peak times to tweet your information, different times attract different demographics. For instance information shared in the morning will attract those sat at their desks, Tweets after 5 PM will be targeted towards those on the way home from work who may not be interested in talking about work.

10. Try Promoting Others

Twitter is a community, by taking an interest in other people’s business you increase the chance they’ll show interest in yours, you can also form long term relationships which may result in more retweets in the future.

Reaching the Premier League: Marketing & Cardiff City Football Club

marketing cardiff city

We take a look at the implications of reaching the promised land for Cardiff City from a marketing perspective as they join their rivals Swansea City in the Premier League.

Benefits of Reaching the Premier League

Experts suggest that reaching the top flight of the English league is worth around 90 million pounds to any given club, taking in to account the potential parachute payment the clubs receive should they get relegated.

The sum may be even greater when you consider how marketable clubs become to outside parties when they reach the Premier League.

Impact on the City

Promotion not only benefits the club itself but the city surrounding it, the city of Cardiff will receive a windfall in tourism with thousands (more) football fans visiting the city on a weekly basis.

“It’s fantastic advertising you could not pay for because it’s a completely new market of people”

  • Tony McGetrick, Tourism Chairman for Swansea Bay

With a Premier League Football Club in the city of Cardiff, the city itself becomes more marketable which will certainly provide a significant boost to the Welsh economy.

cardiff city v swansea city

Graph illustrating searches for Cardiff City FC (blue) and Swansea City FC (Red)

In the last decade Cardiff City football club have racked up more searches in total than Swansea City, until Swansea reached the Premier League in 2011. Searches for the two clubs spike towards the end of each season, particularly when they approach promotion.

As you can see tee teams become more marketable as they approach the top flight, interest also spiked in the teams as they both reached the Carling Cup final respectively.

Marketing and Cardiff City

marketing cardiff

If you want to take a look at the effect the marketing industry can have on a football club then Cardiff City is a prime example, after all the club controversially re-branded itself this season to be more appealing to the ever-expanding Asian market.

Much to the dismay of the fans, the club re-branded this year as a result of the choices made by its Malaysian owner Vincent Tan. The chairman sought to make the club marketable to the Asian market by re-branding the club, redesigning the crest and the team’s kit in the process.

The club had previously worn blue since 1908, red was chosen as a more appealing colour to the Asian Market. In exchange Cardiff’s owners settled their debt, built a new training facility and improved their transfer budget.

Cardiff fans may have become more open to the idea this week, as the re-branding of the club has allowed them to reach the Premier League for the first time.

“There has been a lot of disappoint in that time and the backroom staff and directors here have been through some tough times. Obviously the players and especially the people of Cardiff have been waiting a long time to be back in the top division and we’ve never been in the Premier League.” – Cardiff Manager Malky Mackay

What Social Network is right for your Business?

social network

If your business is yet to tap in to the social networking market then perhaps it’s a matter of picking the right site for your business.

Despite its advantages not every social networking site will be suitable for your business, whilst bigger brands may be able to spread time and resources over several sites, a smaller business may be looking to concentrate on one or two sites that are relative to their business model.

The key for smaller business is to devote as much time as possible finding it which site is right for them, luckily we’ve prepared some info that should help you decide.

social network

Facebook:

With one billion active monthly users Facebook is still the dominant force in social networking, despite other sites making inroads in the market.

Good for;

  • Connecting with your current customers
  • Sharing visual information
  • Communicating with the largest audience in social media
  • Business to consumer companies

Negatives;

  • Hard to build a reputation without brand identity
  • Customers will usually only ‘like’ trusted brands
  • Not as contextually focused as other sites
  • Difficult to break in to social circles

research tools

Twitter:

Twitter is Facebook’s main rival, making the most significant impact on social media in recent years experts suggest that this site is better prepared for the future as far as the mobile market is concerned.

Good for:

  • Sharing contextually related information
  • Quick, real time, microblogging
  • Targeting a relevant demographic
  • Building a following quickly

Negatives;

  • Followers have to click through to images
  • Limited to 140 characters
  • Easy to spam your audience

google+

Google+;

Google+ is a newcomer to the social networking sphere but it already has 400 million users, its presence is only going to improve with the search engine giving precedent to its own social network, Google+ is set to become an SEO ranking factor.

Good for

  • Business Communities that allow discussion on relevant topics
  • SEO Rankings
  • B2B businesses

Negatives;

  • Not as popular for B2C
  • Social Media newcomer
  • Not as widely recognised as others

linkedin

Linkedin;

Linkedin is rapidly expanding, adding millions of new users every month, the site is becoming a must have for any business looking to network.

  • The most highly targeted B2B site on the web
  • Extremely professional
  • Serves as a directory for businesses

Negatives;

  • Difficult to network, require permission to connect with other users
  • Not as ‘social’ as other sites
  • Difficult to make connections without brand recognition

Pinterest

Pinterest;

Pinterest can be a very good asset for a business that can share products and visual imagery and was the fastest growing social network in 2012.

  • Great for B2C businesses
  • Excellent for advertising products
  • One of the most visually targeted social media sites

Negatives;

  • Unsuitable for B2B businesses
  • Difficult to market without a visible product
  • Not so effective for service based businesses
  • Difficult to share text based content

So there you have five major social networking sites on the web, as you can see not every site will be suitable for every business, this largely depends on your product and the nature of your business but each site has distinct advantages.

The 360* Approach to Online Marketing

online marketing
One of the main pitfalls businesses often fall in to during their online marketing campaign is the concept of relying too heavily on one aspect of the spectrum.

Too frequently a business relies on a singular approach, it’s these businesses that are often hit by changes in Google’s algorithm. Similarly those who rely too heavily on paid search may be missing out on the benefits of an effective SEO strategy, often all you need to undertake a successful SEO campaign is patience and the relevant expertise rather than significant monetary investment.

The more efficiently all aspects of your online marketing strategy work together the more focus Google will place on the content you share and in turn the higher your pages will rank within Google’s SERPs.

A good place to start is with an audit of your website which can illustrate the strengths and weaknesses of your site. From there, you can re-evaluate your selection of keywords as well as your overall content strategy, you can also take a look at which aspects of SMM would suit your business.

It’s important to question whether your content strategy is working effectively, so it’s a good idea to measure the engagement of your blogs, tweets etc.. How many comments, shares and likes are you receiving on a regular basis.

Google Analytics is a great tool to use to measure the strength of your online presence.

What your business focuses on largely depends on your goals and the nature of your presence but as a general rule it’s a good idea to take a holistic approach that includes as many features as possible.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO):

Keyword Research

On-Page & Off-Page SEO

Link Building

Social Media Marketing (SMM):

Facebook

Twitter

Google+

Linkedin

Pinterest

Pay-Per-Click (PPC)

Google Adwords

Facebook Paid Advertising

Linkedin Paid Advertising

Stumbleupon Paid Advertising

Online Press Releases:

Copywriting

Distribution

If your business is neglecting any of these major aspects then it may be time to revise your online marketing strategy.

Google Glass or the Smart Watch? The battle for next gen Technology

google glass

What does this mean for businesses and for our privacy?

Technology has developed dramatically in the last decade, it appears that we are now reaching the stage where applied science is so advanced that ideas that could only be imagined in science fiction are now becoming part of reality.

google glass

This rapid growth in technology has dramatically changed our day to day lives and how businesses and brands communicate with their following, less than five years ago the idea of watching video on the way to work would have seemed far-fetched now that we are essentially contactable wherever we are, businesses have had to change the way they engage with the public whether it’s through social networking or online video.

The latest development that’s caught the attention of the masses is the concept of a wearable computer or an augmented reality device.

Industry giants Google and Apple are now fighting to gain a foothold in this new generation of technological advancement;

In recent weeks Google has revealed its latest innovation, Google Glass. A head-mounted display that displays information in a similar fashion to the smartphone, the device can be activated via voice command. The device may even be integrated with prescription lenses in the future, it’s speculated that the device may be released as early as this year.

There are rumours that Apple is in the process of developing its own “smart-watch”, a wearable computer that can be attached to your wrist, whilst Samsung is also rumoured to be developing a similar product.

What does this mean for our privacy?

Google Glass has been attracting some concerns over privacy issues, if you’ve seen the viral adverts then you’ll be aware that the device can record video on command, if these devices are set to become commonplace in society then how will it impact on our sense of privacy.

It remains to be seen how are privacy will be affected, who will be defined as complicit as far as being recorded is concerned, many people may be recorded with one of these devices which can then upload their image to social media, all without their permission.

For Businesses

Being able to watch and video as well surf the web, through a lens or through a smart-watch will change the way businesses contact their audience as well as how commercials and advertisements can reach a targeted demographic.

But for now, what we’re wondering is what will become the most popular.

Would you prefer to wear a head-mounted device or a smart-watch? Are you content with a simple phone in your pocket? Let us know.

7 Things You Didn’t Know About Twitter, on its 7th Birthday

twitter facts

Just in case you didn’t know Twitter celebrates its 7th birthday this week

Both Twitter and YouTube are celebrating this week, it has been seven years since Twitter first started, which makes it a great time to chart the history of one of the biggest online presences.

Twitter celebrated 7 years since the site first went live, with a video charting the site’s history from its humble beginnings to its presence as one of the most popular social networking sites on the web.

With that in mind here are seven things you may not know about Twitter:

  • The phrase that’s been retweeted most frequently is “four more years” after Barack Obama retained his presidency
  • On average we Tweet around 400 million tweets every day
  • The first ever tweet was by its owner Jack Dorsey (with a typo): “Just Setting up my twttr”
  • The official name of Twitter’s bird is Larry Bird, named after an NBA basketball player
  • Jack Dorsey doesn’t use a desk, he works from a single iPad.
  • Twitter didn’t create retweets, replies, hashtags, a mobile app or social ads—it was created by users and developers in its ecosystem. Those features were later supported by Twitter, unfortunately these users will not inherit any of Twitter’s profits
  • The initial idea for Twitter was created in a playground: “an idea so simple that you don’t even think about it – you just write” This moment of inspiration has turned Twitter in to a multibillion dollar company

twitter facts

Twitter’s influence as a marketing tool is undisputed, what Twitter has as an advantage over other social networking sites is its potential for discussing breaking news. The hashtag allows businesses to join in on discussions that are relevant to the brand.

To give you on idea, Twitter was mentioned in 26 of 52 nationally aired advertisements during the Superbowl in the USA, compared to Facebook, which had a measly 4.

So if your business isn’t taking advantage of Twitter, then there’s no better time to do so, than on its 7th birthday.

Top 10 Google Tools for Marketers

google tools

Google offers plenty of helpful tools for marketeers everywhere and it’s good to know that you can use all of them on just one login.

Businesses should certainly look to take advantage of these tools, especially as the following tools are all free to use!

1.Google AdWords

Google AdWords is free to use, but if you’re not getting enough traffic through organic search then you should consider undertaking a paid search campaign.

Essentially you can bid for a specific set of one or more keywords and dramatically increase the amount of traffic your website generates. The fact is, businesses are reliant on Google to generate the highest level of exposure, so launching an effective PPC campaign could be exactly what you need to get your website out there.

2.Google AdWords Keyword Tool

This is an extremely useful tool for PPC, SEO purposes and for keyword research, this tool can help you select which keywords generate the most traffic and what has the most competition to help configure the ideal keywords for your website to target.

It will also suggest additional keywords that are suitable to your business.

3.Google Alerts

Google Alerts offers a useful way to stay on top of the latest news relevant to your market, (we recently covered this on the blog) you can use the tool to let you know when a specific search term is mentioned and choose to have updates as they happen, every day or every week.

You can have alerts delivered straight to your email inbox or your RSS reader.

4.Google Analytics

This is one of the most advanced tools that Google offers and is particularly useful as far as online marketing, web development and blogging is concerned. You can use Google Analytics to learn more about your audience, your traffic sources, your level of social engagement and much more.

This is definitely one of the most useful tools on the web and it’s free too.

5.Google Calendar

This tool offers an easy way to keep up with events in your business’ calendar, you can share events with your coworkers or fellow clients, you can also set reminders and alerts via email for important events.

6.Google Docs

Google docs offers an excellent way to share documents, spreadsheets, presentations and tables with your fellow employees, which can be edited in real-time. This also saves on the amount of paper you need to print and distribute in the office, since any important document can be shared digitally.

7.Google +

Google’s social media platform has developed significantly in recent years, with around 500 million registered users. The search engine is ensuring the social network is incorporated into almost every aspect of the web, your Google+ presence is now an important ranking factor.

8.Google Trends

This tool offers an excellent way of tracking and monitoring what’s trending on the web, which makes Google Trends incredibly useful for blogging purposes and for joining in the discussion on a topic relevant to your business.

9.Google Places

If you want your business to target your local market then Google Places is extremely useful, by adding your business you can encourage others to view and review your business which will help your SERP ranking.

10.Gmail

Google Mail is now the leading mail provider with more registered users than any other provider, it also offers more space than the likes of Hotmail, AOL etc..Gmail is easy to use and offers some useful services such as an intelligent smart filtering system.

As you can see Google offers far more than a simple search engine function, businesses are reliant on the company for much more.

A History of Google

history of google

A brief history of Google and its development from search engine to tech giant.

Google has a monopoly over the search engine market, details of its dominance range from having a 65% to 80% share of the search industry, but the Google brand has come a long way since then and it has now expanded to become one of the world’s most well-known brands.

The company was founded by Larry Page and Sergey Brin whilst at university (who still own around 16% of the company) with the intention “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful”

Functioning as a search engine it fought off competition from the likes of Ask Jeeves, Yahoo and more recently Bing.

The company’s rapid growth since its incorporation has triggered a range of products and acquisitions along the way, for instance one of its major purchases was YouTube in November 2006 for just over one billion pounds, which signaled its intent to become more than a simple search engine.

history of google

Google purchased YouTube in 2006

Last year Google earned around $50 billion dollars in revenue, an increase on the previous year.

The company is now far more than a search engine

It now offers a diverse range of services;

Google plus:This is the site’s attempt to make inroads in to the social media networking industry which is primarily dominated primarily by the likes of Facebook and more recently Twitter. Google+ has made a significant impact however and now it consists of more than 500 million registered users.

Gmail: As of June 2012, Google’s mail service is the most widely used web-based email provider with over 400 million users worldwide with a larger capacity than many of its rivals including Hotmail.

Google also offers many other services including an office suite and desktop services.

One of the more significant development in recent years has been the company’s foray in to the tech market.

Google has now extended its services in to mobile technology, with the development of the Android mobile operating system. Android mobile devices have made a significant impact on the smartphone market although it is still inferior in terms of revenue when compared to Apple.

history of google

The company now has its own product in the desktop and personal computer market, the Chromebook runs on its own Google Chrome OS operating system and has become a popular and cost-effective product.

history of google

Google now leads the market in developing the first “augmented reality wearable computer”, titled Google Glass. This head-mounted display device will allow the user to connect to a computer and the internet without the need to use his or her hands.

history of google

This futuristic innovation is one of the first of its kind and signals Google’s intention to develop previously intangible technology.

Despite Google becoming a leading manufacturer of tech products, it still generates the majority of its revenue through AdWords, which signals just how important it is to be on Google’s front page, many SEO strategies still revolve around getting a website on the front page of Google. The search engine has dominance over what websites are visible to the public, getting on the front page of a SERP can signify a potential goldmine for businesses as as far as traffic and subsequent revenue is concerned.

Google is now integrating Google plus as part of its ranking algorithm, by making its own social network a ranking factor, this will encourage businesses to sign up for its services and put more focus in to its Google+ marketing campaign. By offering additional services aside from that of a regular search engine Google is attempting to monopolize all activity on the web, tools such as Google Analytics and Google Trends ensure that we rely on the company for more than simple search engine functions.

Thanks to its dominance over the search engine market the company has been able to invest in other areas, businesses are still reliant on Google to ensure their information is visible on the web and essentially the entire SEO industry is devoted to optimizing websites accordingly.