Category Archives: News

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

Anti-Social Media

 social media pic

When it comes to using social media, from a business perspective, there are several rules of etiquette to stick by to ensure you remain professional and subjective when using such a public and easily accessible platform. There are several very obvious do’s and don’ts when it comes to using social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, as a business, for example not using bad language, interacting positively with customers and being careful when expressing opinions. Having a presence on social media brings great responsibility; if used wisely your social media presence can have such a positive effect on SEO, customer relations and company profile generally. If used badly however, it can cause irreversible damage to your reputation and have a very negative effect on your business.

Corporate companies are always making the global headlines with their use of social media sites, often for all the wrong reasons. With companies such as McDonald’s, Skittles and budget airline RyanAir, demonstrating how not to use social media to boost their business and company profile, it’s easy to see where it can all go so wrong. Offensive campaigns and swear-words published by official accounts as well as controversial opinions being tweeted are just some examples of the anti-social behaviour committed by these companies. Making headlines most recently for her anti-social behaviour on social media site Twitter, the newly-appointed Police Commissioner has come under heavy scrutiny for her misuse of such a public platform. It is very easy to post things online that you may not think twice about but can so quickly be miss-interpreted or taken offensively by followers. Social media when used properly can provide many benefits to businesses, such as improving SEO and generally helping their online marketing all for free, but so often it is the misuse of the social networking sites that makes the headlines. By sticking to a few simple rules as a business user on social media sites, you can really reap the benefits of sites such as Twitter and facebook:

1.Remain polite– Remember your posts will be seen by anyone and everyone with a Twitter and Facebook so remain professional and polite at all times. Even if you are posting something unrelated to your company and business you should remain polite and avoid offensive language.

2.Interact responsibly– Don’t respond and reply to accounts or users that are linked to offensive content or could damage the reputation of your business by being associated with you or your company. The same goes for responding and replying to customers and clients; always remain polite and professional even dealing with complaints or negative comments.

3.Be aware when using contextual content– If your approach is to engage with your followers with current affairs and discussion on contextually-related topics and events, be responsible when discussing. Many large companies and high profile celebrities slip up when discussing news stories and end up offending or commenting at the wrong time for example many MP’s use colloquialisms to appear apart of the community but end up offending members of the public.

 

Learn from the global companies who make these disastrous mistakes on social media and ensure your company remains professional- avoid being anti-social on social media sites.

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.

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.  

Even Big Businesses Can be Punished by Google

google

Interflora suffers a major setback ahead of Mother’s Day

Last week it was revealed that Interflora, the UK’s longest serving flower delivery network had been punished by Google for breaching the Search Engine’s SEO guidelines (The Webmaster Guidelines).

This was big news in the marketing and search engine optimisation community, as this was a clear demonstration of a major business being reprimanded by the search engine’s latest updates.

It’s unusual for such a high-profile brand to be penalised so severely but Google clearly felt the need to make an example to signify that no business is immune from punishment if it follows the more underhand tactics of SEO.

These tactics are colloquially known as ‘black hat SEO’, Google has realised that Interflora is guilty of these kind of tactics, a large number of regional newspaper websites were found to have the wrong kind of links to the Interflora homepage.

These links were designed to improve the site’s PageRank, the links were intended to boost Interflora’s position on Google. Links within advertorials that are paid for are not meant to increase PageRank which is what the business was guilty of doing.

The newspapers who took part in these links were also punished.

Google has taken serious action against the retailer by removing the websites from many of its SERPs, it’s worth mentioning that this is likely to be a temporary measure, but the story becomes far more significant given the timing as Mother’s Day is fast approaching, one of the key dates for florists everywhere.

Interflora will no longer feature on Google’s front page which will have a big impact on its sales leading up to the 10th of March.

On the 4th of March Interflora did feature for some keywords on Google’s SERPs but only on its second page which is hardly impressive for a business of its standard it’s therefore likely to lose out to its competitors.

Google did not comment specifically on the story but did recently release a statement explaining its standpoint on underhand SEO tactics.

Matt Cutts, Head of Webspam at Google:

“Google has said for years that selling links that pass PageRank violates our quality guidelines…Google does take action on such violations”

Indeed Google has sent out a clear message to all businesses, whatever the stature, this is a keen reminder of how vulnerable businesses are against restrictions imposed by the search engine.

A guest post by Bright Future Software, check out the site for all your outsourcing needs.

To Spam or Not to Spam: Twitter Direct Messaging

direct messaging

To Spam or Not to Spam: Twitter Direct Messaging

This is one of the big questions businesses have been pondering in recent years, particularly as Social Media is now an inherent part of business. Few companies are deliberating the importance of Social Media for both small and major businesses, the real question is how to utilise this medium effectively.

Many businesses use Twitter in particular as a marketing tool both to sell products and build overall brand awareness but there is always a line between what can be perceived as spreading the word and what we all consider ‘Spam’.

‘Spamming’ has become a well known term in 21st century particularly with the development of the internet, in marketing terms it refers to an overzealous approach to selling products, regurgitating information or repeatedly sharing information in general.

So What About Direct Messaging?

Direct Messaging

Many businesses use Twitter sister sites or support sites such as justunfollow to contact their followers and occasionally to thank them for following their account, it’s worth mentioning that these are automated messages and not handwritten thank you letters so to speak.

This poses an interesting question as to what businesses perceive as spam, is it acceptable to thank businesses for taking an interest in your brand or is it simply an unnecessary annoyance, particularly with direct messages that aim to direct traffic to a site.

This is the question we’re posing, Do You Consider Twitter Direct Messages as Spam?

Here’s some of the reactions we had when we raised the topic on a Google+ Community.

direct messaging

We have some interesting suggestions from these users, a couple with very contrasting views on the subject.

A Pesky Annoyance?

Here we have one user exclaiming that a direct message will instantly make them doubt the credibility of the business, many replied saying that automated messages lack a certain personal touch.

Does Direct Messaging lack any real sense of intimacy, after all you are essentially receiving a message from an automated source, a message that’s been repeated and regurgitated multiple times, which in essence is the very concept of Spam.

Completely Necessary?

Even though these messages are indeed automated, a user posed an interesting question as to what a unique message would convey differently, wouldn’t the message essentially remain the same?

If future replies to the auto message are diligent with a personal tone, is direct messaging simply a necessary measure.

And is it simply common courtesy for thanking a business for taking an interest in their business or product through social media.

These are all interesting questions, the answer largely depends on the ethos, size and nature of the business, however we’d love to here your opinion in the comments section.

Let us know what you think in the comment section.

2013 – The Year of Quality: Guest Publication

2013

Over the last few years Google has placed an emphasis in placing quality websites in their top places for search terms and this does make sense. You can finally be sure that if you place quality content on your site Google will acknowledge this and you will see the rise in SERPs which you deserve.

This in turn means that your SEO efforts this year need to focus on adding good quality to your website. Carefully carried out research along with interesting and user engaging content is the way forward in your quest for a top spot in the Google search results.

Along with your content being of good quality we can use the word for link building campaigns too. Instead of creating vast quantities of links on low quality article directories, blogs and so forth you should focus your attention on finding as many quality links as you can for your site. Ideally you should be looking to build an authority website (the time of the small micro niche sites is over) and thus having low quality links is not an option as it reflects on your site and thus quality is the only option. However this does not mean that you should stop building blog links and the sort for small traffic but you should limit the amount and instead look for the perfect quality links.

Places to find good quality links may be hard to find and therefore here are a few places to search:

Creating link bait – In 2013 link baiting is going to become more and more influential in standing out from the competition. It doesn’t matter if its blog posts or viral videos; you can create link bait that will certainly attract inbound links to your site.

High traffic guest blog posting – First you have to find the best blogs in your niche and write up incredible articles to go with it. If you can write informative articles which offer real value above and beyond the norm then you are on to a winner. This is the time where knowledge in your niche plays a vital role and allows you to gain that extra advantage. Once you have your content you can offer guest posts to the blog owner; anything between 1 to 6 posts a month. If you can manage to do this on 4-5 blogs then you are guaranteed to get a lot of targeted traffic to your site along with the added bonus of quality links which we have mentioned.

These are just a few examples of ways to improve your SEO in 2013 and it shows you that finding quality links in your niche will pay you huge dividends in increasing your traffic and SERP rankings in the coming months.

“Closing Credits” 

Thanks for reading this guest post, I’m Charles Floate – Owner of Rank2Bank- SEO, SMM & PPC Blog and SEO / SMM Expert for Bootcamp Media. I hope you have a successful SEO Campaign for 2013, and I hope these tips put some ideas into your head!

Have You Been Hit By The Latest Google Update?

Google Update

Millions of websites have been hit by Google’s latest update, the SEO industry continuously faces this kind of setback on a regular basis. For businesses this kind of algorithm update is of a similar scale to the Wall Street Crash or the current Global Recession as far as their online presence is concerned.

Businesses are seeing their online stock plummeting as many websites disappear from Google’s front page in to obscurity.

It’s been nearly a year since the initial update was first announce in 2012,

Many web pages suffer a significant dip in traffic and as a result a loss of revenue.

Any mention of Google’s Penguin or Panda update leaves businesses and SEO enthusiasts in a state of panic. For those who work in the SEO industry there is a genuine concern that they’ll risk losing business or even their own jobs, businesses who outsource their online marketing and SEO needs often lose faith in the industry due to its sheer unpredictability.

Google Update

Why are these updates happening?

Google is forever developing and modifying its own algorithm in order to determine the best content for its users. These updates tend to prosecute ‘black hat’ SEO strategies, which are the name given to the more underhand tactics used, keyword stuffing, cloaking and duplicate content for example.

It can be tempting for businesses to use these kind of tactics, as they do bring short-term results but ultimately you’re likely to end up being heavily penalised by search engines for attempting to fool the system.

What Does Google Want?

Google ultimately wants to rank high quality, relevant and unique pages for its users, that will always be the intention of any future update.

SEO strategies often suffer when they rely solely on a singular tactic, the industry is always subject to change which is why effective strategies must always rely on a 360° degree approach that fundamentally focuses on content.

For websites to safeguard themselves against future changes in Google’s algorithm it’s essential to focus on a holistic approach to SEO based on a wide variety of tactics. Relying too heavily on one aspect effectively means putting all your eggs in one basket so to speak

Content is King.

As far as SEO is concerned, content will always be the main focus, where other areas are subject to continuous change, in many ways content is the only aspect of SEO that can be relied upon. Google will continue to attempt to improve user experience so ultimately you’ll have to ask the question of whether your site offers enough to rank.

Last Year Facebook Mobile Users Exceeded PC Users

facebook mobile

For the first time on record, in the final quarter of 2012 Facebook recorded more mobile users than those on a PC device.

There were 680 million mobile monthly active users compared to the overall total of 1 billion.

157 million of those only accessed the site through their mobile.

Facebook’s mobile presence has been rapidly increasing in recent years, largely due to the overall development of mobile technology.

  • There were only 245 million monthly mobile users in 2010.

Evidently however it’s clear that businesses have had to adapt their strategies to conform to the ever growing presence of mobile technology.

The company boasted over £800 million pounds in ad revenue in the final quarter of 2012, nearly £200 million of that was generated via mobile.

Experts say that this growth in mobile revenue will show progress to investors in the future.

What does this mean for Small businesses?

Smaller businesses have to follow suit, ignoring mobile users means you’re significantly reducing your potential audience.

Making your site mobile friendly is easier than you might think; here are some simple ideas to implement.

  • Make your site more visual, think videos, images and infographics
  • Increase your font
  • Increase the size of click through buttons on your site
  • Simplify your homepage, think the minimalist approach

Have a look at this post on making your page “Tablet Friendly”

The amount of users accessing your page through a mobile device is only going to increase, so make sure users aren’t frustrated by an ‘unfriendly’ mobile site.