The Rise of YouTube And How You Can Use It

From humble beginnings in 2005, YouTube now sees over 1 billion unique visits each month. Content is uploaded, viewed and shared through YouTube at unprecedented rates, providing significant opportunities for brands.

Much has been made of how companies have got it wrong on this platform by failing to create content that is useful or informative for audiences, but YouTube is being successfully utilised by brands like yours to diversify their content marketing and reach new audiences. Evian, EA games and GoPro are all examples of brands maximising the potential offered by YouTube and reaping the rewards.

Is your brand still holding back from YouTube? Whether you’re considering producing video content or working with the new wave of “YouTubers’, here are the key merits and strategies for doing so.

Engagement, Engagement, Engagement.

YouTube allows you to literally talk to your audience, and help them to understand who you are as a brand like never before. This provides the perfect platform for you to introduce, explain and talk about your products or services.

Video tutorials and “how to” content is popular on YouTube because it is practical, interesting and most importantly, useful. As with all of your content, you should be creating it to answer a follower need or question. YouTube is all about your customer, not your product.

Similarly, viewers don’t appreciate a relentless sales pitch. The most successful channels on YouTube offer consistent and valuable content that isn’t necessarily always directly related to their product, but that supports the identity or personality of the brand. Red Bull, for example, positions its channel as a way to “experience the world of Red Bull like you have never seen it before”. It features clips of users participating in a range of adrenaline sports, from mountain biking to sky-diving, to further cement it’s exciting and high octane image. Through high engagement, regular posting (they have over 4,000 videos) and user interactivity, they have amassed a huge 3 million subscribers.

Exclusive content is also a great way to drive viewers to your channel, drum up excitement for your brand, and further engage with your audience. Exclusive content rewards your subscribers by making them feel part of a select club and that they’re ahead of the crowd.

Another way to further increase your engagement levels is to use the comments section. Comments on YouTube, although increasingly used as a playground for spammers, are still a valuable place to address your customer’s concerns. Make sure you moderate and always respond to YouTube comments, as you would with queries on other forms of social media.

Content Partnerships.

If you’ve never heard of Zoella, it’s probably not long until you do.

24 year-old Zoe Sugg has amassed a staggering 6 million YouTube subscribers by uploading videos of anything from the contents of her handbag to confessionals on social anxiety. She’s now crossing over from the YouTube sphere into mainstream media, alongside YouTube chums PointlessBlog (Alfie Deyes), Tanya Burr and Caspar Lee. This is facilitated partly by their management company, Gleam, which was created specifically to manage social media talent.

But what does any of this have to do with you?

Out of the top 5,000 YouTube channels, only 74 are brands – the majority of the rest belong to Zoella et al, who make a living partly through brand partnerships.

Working with YouTubers is a new art and one which hasn’t yet fully been explored or maximised. However, the partnerships working successfully mean big returns for the savvy brands who have jumped on it first. Skincare brand Simple, for example, have capitalised on the trend and affirmed their status as the staple of teen skincare by working with Zoella on an initiative called “Skin Social”. This encompasses YouTube videos alongside a Tumblr site featuring user-generated tips on looking after your skin as well as cheerful messages from Zoella herself. As a recent development (Zoella started working with Simple in July), the success of the partnership remains to be seen – but Zoella’s own YouTube video publicising the partnership gained almost 1.5 million views.

You can maximise this new phenomenon through collaboration, tapping into a YouTuber’s follower base and increasing your “velocity”, as YouTube likes to term it. For the best chance of success, keep your partnership authentic. Viewers increasingly appreciate transparency, so don’t hide the fact that they are witnessing a branded collaboration. It’s better to be up-front than to be found out.

Seek out content creators who have already shown an interest in your brand or who are of the correct demographic. As well as the big names like Zoella, the fee to work with whom would probably be out of budget for most, there are hundreds of successful YouTubers of all ages, interests and backgrounds meaning there’s one closely aligned with your target audience and brand values.

Customise Your YouTube Strategy.

The best thing about YouTube is that it isn’t only the preserve of the big brands. Who would you expect to find in the list of top performing brands on YouTube – Coca Cola, Pepsi, maybe? They’re not there, but relatively unheard of blender manufacturer Blendtec is, thanks to an innovative and highly successful “will it blend?” campaign. YouTube levels the playing ground for everyone, as it rewards innovation and creativity. If users enjoy the content you share, they’ll follow you.

But your strategy has to be right for your brand. It’s one thing to make unique, funny or memorable videos but what’s the point if there’s no connection to the product you actually sell, and if you don’t convert your users? As when embarking on any new platform, map out a comprehensive content marketing strategy before you begin. The last thing you want is to produce a couple of highly shareable and popular videos only for your success to suddenly drop off when you discover you have no budget or ideas left to carry on your momentum.

Not all brands are going to have success working with a big name like Zoella as Simple have, or monopolising the extreme sports market like Red Bull. But the best part of YouTube is that there are still so many ways to use it, which are yet to be discovered.

Clever Marketing - Hampshire Digital AgencyDoes your business need to capitalise on the rise of YouTube?

Surrey digital agency Clever Marketing can assist with your video marketing, so call 01276 534 680 or use our easy contact form to get in touch.

In addition to video we do SEO and are more than happy to manage your PPC campaigns.

Top Ten Web Design Trends You Need to Look Out For In 2015

Top Ten Web Design Trends You Need to Look Out For In 2015

Autumn’s here already, which means it’s probably time to decide how next year’s budget is going to be spent.

How much you attribute to your online marketing will likely affect the growth and success of your digital channel in 2015. But having a powerful website is not only about reflecting your brand, but about positioning yourself as an innovative player in the digital space. When you combine intuitive user experience with this innovation, you become the one to beat.

So how can you make sure your website is up to the task? Here we outline the top ten trends we predict will make you sit up and take notice in 2015. Read more

Increase the Efficiency of your Business with Web2print!

Increase the Efficiency of your Business with Web2print

As businesses continue to move online for the majority of their processes, it seems print is no exception. Web2print is a service born out of a need for streamlined, cost-effective and flexible online print ordering solutions.

How many times have a lack of communication and disparate working documents caused delays and unnecessary spend in your organisation? This is where bespoke web2print services aim to make marketers’ lives easier by providing a flexible remedy to internal pain points.

How does Web2print work?

Web2print pioneers the idea of publishing on demand. Whether you need help managing your marketing collateral across channels, agencies and departments, or are looking for a system that allows you to make last minute changes to website landing pages and emails, Web2print services offer simple yet powerful hosted solutions. Fundamentally, by centralising product communications, web2print enables supply chain collaboration on the creation of media assets.

Using web2print you can create a safe, functional and accessible online portal of assets such as brochures, stationery, images and advertising campaigns. Also offering flexible access within your organisation, partner and reseller or distributor network, web2print systems are quickly becoming the key way for printers and businesses to communicate. Here are the top 5 ways web2print can help you increase efficiency within your business:

1. Control Your Marketing Budget

If you’re a multi-national organisation with numerous suppliers or buyers, it can become all too easy to lose track of a dwindling marketing budget, especially when it comes to the essential creation of printed assets.

Web2print solutions not only give you complete visibility over your outgoings, but also allow you to ensure marketing departments don’t overspend. You can set channel partner expectations by delegating a monthly or quarterly budget, aiding successful collaboration. By presenting your budget in an intuitive and easy to understand way, web2print allows you to take one step back and see a more holistic view, helping you to better plan strategies and expenditure. Ultimately, web2print places the creation of media firmly back in the hands of marketers.

2. Reduce Waste

When all parties are clear on expectations and what is to be produced, incorrect or redundant versions are kept to a minimum. For areas such as artwork and administration, web2print provides a slick and seamless interface for all marketing users regardless of where they are, so geographical location is no longer an issue when selecting your suppliers. Web2print also saves man hours in your organisation, meaning talented individuals are freed from tedious admin and can utilise their skills elsewhere.

The nature of this interface gives you immediate distribution to all involved parties and print is only triggered by demand, so you enjoy improved stock control and excess reduction.

3. Protect Your Brand

Have you struggled with the distribution, communication and most importantly the safeguarding of your brand guidelines and corporate identity? Web2print keeps everything immediately accessible and in one place, therefore eliminating the possibility of your brand guidelines being misunderstood or diluted as marketing materials change hands during development.

You can set pre-defined templates to minimise deviation so that everyone has access to the same resources, ensuring consistency. Your custom templates also allow repeat orders with no need to start from scratch, reducing training for your new hires and minimising any potential mistakes.

4. Save Time

Creating and executing a new campaign can be time-consuming as well as expensive. When you have a business to run, you don’t always have the time to meet with printers and discuss requirements at length. Web2print streamlines the printing process, meaning you can transition from creation to delivery in just one click.

Collaboration online makes constant face to face visits obsolete. Best of all, repeat deliveries can be automated, reducing your time to market and meaning you can focus your responsibilities elsewhere.

Web2print also has benefits for simplifying workflow. Changes and amendments can all be dealt with online by simply changing a template or reordering. Easy approval functionality and intuitive editing features serve to further improve and streamline the ordering process. Elapsed time from delivery to receipt of assets is greatly reduced with web2print, meaning you can create new media assets in seconds.

5. Gain Flexibility

Gone are the days when errors were inevitable when your job went to the printer. Web2print solutions now offer you more flexibility than ever before, as your online portal is accessible by all in the supply chain 24/7.

If last minute changes do need to be made, web2print can facilitate this, minimising any last minute panics. Many web2print systems offer flexible payment plans and options and can also be integrated with existing or legacy systems, so your data and insights can be shared throughout your organisation.

Clever Marketing - Hampshire Digital AgencyFind out more about the web2print solutions we offer here at Clever Marketing, thew Hampshire SEO, Pay Per Click (PPC) and print specialists.

Call us on 01276 534 686 or complete our easy contact form.

How to: Retain Customers and Build Brand Loyalty

How to: Retain Customers and Build Brand Loyalty

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to invest half of your budget in “flashy ad campaigns” or a new sales team in order to build your customer base. The real secret to longevity and expansion for your business may just be customer retention, rather than attraction.

Customer turnover, or “churn”, can be more costly than it first appears.

According to the American Marketing Agency, the average business loses 10% of customers on a yearly basis by failing to nurture existing relationships. When a business focuses purely on acquisition, it limits its growth and therefore may experience financial difficulties further down the line, by having to continually invest in new sales strategies.

But how do you ensure a customer keeps coming back to you, time after time? How do you maintain their interest in a crowded marketplace of competitors with catchy sales pitches and low prices? Here are our tried and tested ways to build your customer loyalty.

Know Their Brand

Taking the time to understand your client’s business demonstrates your commitment to them as a brand. Only by really knowing the company’s history, its challenges as well as its goals, can you provide the most comprehensive and tailored service. Such personalisation makes consistent results more likely, helping to ensure your customer renews their contract with you.

By dedicating time and effort to immersing yourself in your client’s business long after the initial sale, you get the opportunity to become an integral part of their vision and business strategy. Keep providing invaluable support, and you become indispensable.

Part of building this vital relationship with any business is to set realistic expectations from the beginning of your agreement. Customers will remember negative experiences, so always make it your aim to under-promise and over-deliver rather than the other way around. Similarly, small to medium businesses are becoming increasingly reliant on outsourcing and external services, so make yourself an expert in their field. By truly understanding both your customer and their industry, you can cultivate shared values, such as their direction and success, aligning your mutual interests.

Reward Loyalty

Loyal and repeat customers deserve better deals and discounts than new prospects, but this is not how the majority of businesses actually operate. Many companies spend the majority of their budgets on value add-ons and incentives designed to entice new customers, who have not yet shown any loyalty to them, only to abandon them if they cross that first hurdle. If your CPA (cost per acquisition) is at an unsustainable level it’s time to consider your cost per retention, which as you have already converted these customers, can be potentially much less expensive than your CPA.

Reward loyal customers with superior service, rates and quality. Measure your opt-out or customer lapse rates and provide unmissable deals or rewards at these essential touch points to avoid or minimise drop-off. Make your customer feel important and exclusive by offering one, two, or three-year incentives. Consider rewards schemes or a system built on points accumulated over time— such strategies will help you to stand out from your competitors and will also build and maintain customer trust.

Listen to Your Customers

Customer retention is really another term for customer satisfaction. Keep your customers happy and then they will keep coming back to you; it’s as simple as that. The best way to make people happy is to listen to what they want and respond accordingly.

Using customer surveys allows you to pinpoint pain points and target them, ensuring your customers feel you’re listening to them and their needs as a business. Surveys also allow you to identify potential areas of dissatisfaction in high-risk customers before they leave, so you can constantly evolve and improve your product or service. However, as your company grows, it’s important to know how to manage your scalability. Most customers appreciate a large company that delivers a “small company” service that is personal and genuine, even when you are experiencing high growth.

You can incorporate any customer insights you gain into your relationship marketing strategy. Don’t just include existing customers into your general marketing communications – they need specifically targeted information and calls to action. For instance, instead of introducing them to your business again and again on a mass marketing email, serve up relevant information such as expanded services or developments which would be of specific interest to them.

In reality, it is not enough to implement a customer retention strategy; to really ensure results it must become a culture, an essential pillar of how you conduct your business. Take all criticism on board and use it as a learning – in this way, even if you do end up losing a customer from time to time, you learn from the experience. Also, you are much less likely to lose the next one.

Clever Marketing, full service digital agency.Building brand loyalty takes time. If you need an agency to manage your brand identity then look no further than Clever Marketing.

Take a look at some of the brands we manage and then give us a call on 01276 534 680.

5 easy tips to ensure your blog gets noticed

5 Easy Steps to Ensure Your Blog Gets Noticed

The popularity of free and intuitive blogging platforms, such as Blogger and WordPress, has meant that anyone with an internet connection can now create a blog and publish their opinions to their heart’s content.

In such a busy marketplace, it can be difficult for your own posts to get the attention and traction they deserve. Whether you are launching a company blog or just trying to get more eyes on your existing personal blog, there are a number of fool-proof ways to ensure yours stands out from the crowd.

1. Carve out your niche

Start by asking yourself: what makes my blog different from every other beauty/fashion/finance/lifestyle blog out there? Why should someone stop and take time out of their day to read this blog? What is my unique selling point?

The most successful blogs know what they’re about from the outset and stick to it. Or, they answer a very specific need of their audience. For example, you might offer money saving tips tailored to a certain demographic, or specialise in easy to follow DIY guides. Your blog might concentrate on beautiful imagery, or it may become known for its well-crafted copy. The key is to be different; be interesting; be creative.

That isn’t to say you should let that niche limit you or prevent your blog from evolving naturally, but your identity and the proposition you offer your readers needs to be present from the outset or you risk becoming lost in the noise.

2. Be Consistent

If you work full time or have many other responsibilities, researching, drafting, editing and publishing a post on your blog can seem like a lot of work for little benefit (in the beginning). It’s suddenly very easy to let it slide to the bottom of your priorities list.

You’re not alone in this. One of the biggest reasons that many blogs fail is a lack of consistency, and simply failing to post frequently. In fact, there is a blog dedicated to profiling those fledgling blogs that only survived for one post, with humorous results.

Blogging can be a case of “if you build it, they will come”. Keep posting rich and relevant content, and you will soon attract an audience that will thank you for it. Which leads us on nicely to our next point.

3. Develop a Following

Many people believe blogs are for self-promotion or should centre on SEO and link-building purposes. The truth is: a successful blog will hardly ever start this way. The secret to making your blog stand out and giving it longevity is to build it for your followers. Write and deliver original and useful content on a subject in which you are the authority, and your following will naturally increase.

Other proactive ways to build your following include reaching out to other businesses and bloggers in your field and tapping into their influence, as well as networking within the industry. Building relationships will get your name out there, helping to ensure that your blog gets noticed and talked about.

4. Promote Yourself

So, your blog is ticking along nicely. You’ve decided what your niche will be, you’re posting consistently about relevant subjects, and you’ve built a small but loyal following who engage and share your posts. Well done. However, there’s always more work to be done.

It’s all very well delivering your content to your dedicated bunch of followers, but if you don’t actively promote yourself, you won’t see huge jumps in traffic or engagement anytime soon. These days self-promotion is all about the savvy use of social media, so make sure you invest some time in setting up dedicated Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn accounts. Reach out to others in the industry, let users know when you’ve posted something new, and if you can, engage them in competitions and giveaways.

Social media does demand time, effort and knowledge, and the pressure to be “live” all the time is intimidating to those new to blogging. However, there are a lot of tools such as Tweetdeck to help you schedule posts or retweet old ones, ensuring your self-promotion is always ticking away in the background in your busier moments.

5. Get to grips with SEO

In the early days of your blog, it’s important to lay the SEO groundwork. Try not to skip this point or assume the requirements are too technical or complicated – the time and effort you spend now will reap dividends later.

Firstly, make sure your blog is indexed by search engines and build a basic sitemap to make it easy for Google to crawl. Set up a Google Analytics account to track traffic, and create an account on Google Search Console (formerly Webmaster Tools)* to ensure you’re up to date with things like broken links. Spend some time doing keyword research around your chosen subject and choose some terms you may have a chance of ranking for. Use these to target your posts and factor them into your content brainstorming ideas.

The more you consider both Google and your audience in your blogging activity, the more it will reward you with higher rankings and visibility, and the more you’ll find your blog rises above the masses.

*NB: Other tools are available such as Bing Webmaster Tools.

Clever Marketing - Hampshire Digital Agency - We're good at converting leads into salesGetting your blog noticed takes time and effort. If you need a professional digital agency to help you get those results then consider Clever Marketing for your social, PPC and SEO. Hampshire, Surrey, Berkshire and London, we don’t mind where your business is, we will help you with your lead generation.

Need to speak to us right now? Call us on 01276 534 680. Or you can leave us a message via our easy contact form.

Either way, do get in touch and we can help to ensure your blog gets noticed…

5 Reasons Why Infographics Should Be Part Of Your Content Marketing Strategy

5 Reasons Infographics Are Essential to Your Content Marketing

Infographics first became mainstream in content marketing a couple of years ago, and have been increasing in popularity ever since. Countless brands have used infographics to communicate data to their audiences, with successful examples belonging to LinkedIn and Samsung. But if you’re yet to hop on the bandwagon, you may wonder what infographics are, and how they can benefit your marketing plans.

Also known as data visualisation and information design, infographics offer a way of presenting data using compelling imagery, illustration and iconography alongside text. They’re used widely to communicate statistics and relationships between ideas, and are more common than you might think – consider the tube map, for example.

Whilst they are definitely nice to look at, there has been an influx of infographics over the years which have arguably prioritised style over substance. They can also be time-consuming, and are an added expense to your budget. So why should you make the effort to incorporate infographics into your content? Read on for our top 5 reasons to make them an integral component of your marketing strategy.

1. Infographics can boost traffic

If your infographic is genuinely useful and compelling, it naturally becomes shareable. When other bloggers, social media users or websites share your infographic, you reap the benefits of associated traffic and back links. Just make sure that whoever is using it always includes a link back to your site and credits you. As search engines are cracking down on guest posting and irresponsible link building activity, infographics are the perfect way to earn a genuine and reputable link.

In the same way, such shareable assets have the potential to go viral, and the more eyes on your infographic, the more recognition for your brand. Organic spread like this can potentially afford you more quality coverage than paid ads or print media could ever do.

Google favours popular and relevant content, so your infographic can help to draw in new visitors through organic search. The best part about this is that your infographic will provide you with some straightforward metrics, such as citations, social shares and backlinks, allowing you to build a comprehensive idea of your ROI.

2. Infographics are portable and reusable across your communications

When you build an infographic, you not only get a standalone or one-off piece of content, you get a versatile asset to use across your communications, from your website and social media to email and brochures. Infographics can be recycled and repurposed in whichever way you wish, and once your editors or writers have invested a certain amount of time in researching the data required for an infographic, it only makes sense to maximise this resource to ensure added inbound marketing opportunities.

Unlike a news story, infographics also retain their relevancy over time, proving an “evergreen” marketable asset, in a sense.

3. Infographics make information beautiful

According to blogger Jeff Bullas, 40% of us respond better to information when it is presented visually, and a staggering 90% of information entering our heads is visual. In short, infographics are much more fun and engaging to look at than a page of plain text.

You can make an infographic of almost anything, even the dullest of subjects, and present it in an aesthetically pleasing way that is many times more likely to make a reader stop and look than copy alone. Using illustration and design in unison with your copy allows you to convey nebulous concepts and large numbers simply, as well as visually depict relationships and comparisons between data and information.

So whether you need to demonstrate the ins and outs of commercial property law or detail the evolution of the “geek” (this one really exists), infographics allow you to do so in a concise, eye-catching and unique way.

4. Infographics are easily scannable and digestible

We’re now exposed to more online media than ever before. According to Bullas, we generate 1.5 billion pieces of content a day, so the key to the success of your content is making it stand out from the rest in the eternal quest for attention.

If your audience is time poor, they want to find the information they need immediately, especially if they’re on the go and using mobile devices. Infographics provide a tool to cater to this need, by taking complex ideas and making them quick and easy to understand. When you display your content in this form, your audience is able to scan the image and pick out the key facts to take away, and are more likely to remember the information you tell them.

5. Infograhics increase brand awareness

If done well, infographics should have a dual benefit; they entertain, they engage and they educate in a way that’s informative and memorable. However, what’s the use in all that if no one knows the infographic belongs to you?

It is so important to brand your infographic to truly maximise its benefit as a marketing tool. When you do so, you get eyes on your brand every time it’s shared, demonstrating your knowledge on a certain subject and carving out an identity for yourself as an expert in that field.

This is why infographics should never be created simply for link-bait – if they reflect well on your brand, educate a user and just happen to be shareable, your content marketing strategy will soon see the benefit.

And to finish off, would you like to see an infographic about infographics (2014)?

Infographics for SEO

Clever Marketing - Hampshire Digital AgencyIf you need a graphic designer in Surrey to produce an infographic for your business or organisation then pick up the phone and call Woking digital agency Clever Marketing now! We’re on 01276 534 680.

If you want to write, you can email us on or you can fill in our super easy contact form.

We look forward to hearing from you :-)

Are You Communicating Responsively?

Are You Communicating Responsively?

Future-proof your Website with a Responsive Design

Internet usage on mobile devices has now reached 52%, overtaking desktop, according to the latest report from IMRG released in September.

As more and more people turn to their phones and tablets to not only use specially designed apps and games, but to find out information and shop online, it’s becoming increasingly essential for businesses to make sure their website is optimised across all devices. But how can you ensure your website delivers a positive and useful experience across desktop, tablet and mobile without designing three separate websites?

The development hailed as the solution to this challenge is responsive design. Responsive design refers to sites which have been built to automatically scale and fit the screen resolution of the device they’re being used on, and work in a way that’s equally intuitive and aesthetically pleasing for both desktop and mobile.

While it might sound simple, delivering the same content effectively across devices makes a huge difference to user experience. To put this in to practice, simply visit or on your mobile, and compare it to the website of your local takeaway. Chances are, you experience a cleaner and more satisfying visit on the responsive sites (unless your local takeaway just happens to employ some serious digital marketing specialists).

How Responsive Design works

Before the days of responsive design – skills now pretty much essential in every self-respecting web designer’s portfolio – websites were created in what’s known as tables. These were easy to set up and pleasing enough to the eye at the time, but were designed exclusively for desktop and laptop and in the dynamic and ever-changing world of web design, they have quickly become outdated.

The unprecedented growth in mobile called for a more flexible approach. Responsive design works by responding to customer preference through use of elastic grids and layouts, effectively eliminating the need for multiple designs for different devices by intuitively adapting to each screen size. It uses fluid layouts in addition to CSS media queries, applying various style sheets according to the device being used.

However, responsive design is not just a framework but also a philosophy, built on the idea of designing from the mobile up, and delivering a fluid, dynamic and above all, uniform experience.

Why Responsive Design Works

It makes your customers happy

Whether you need to find information quickly or just want to browse products on a long journey, the last thing you want to do is pull and pinch at an uncooperative, unresponsive site that hasn’t been optimised for mobile. Frustration, inconvenience and dissatisfaction inevitably lead to unhappy customers and ultimately reduced online conversion rates. We live in an increasingly impatient world, and according to Google’s Think Insights, if a user doesn’t immediately find what they’re looking for on a site 61% will bounce straightaway.

Responsive design delivers a superior browsing experience by ensuring navigation, layout and payment processes are simplified and streamlined, no matter what device your customer is using, meaning they can get the information they want quickly and easily. A responsive design gives your brand a confident and forward-thinking identity and above all, provides a useful tool for your customer.

It boosts your SEO

As the world’s largest and most influential search engine, Google only wants to deliver the results that its users will find most useful and return to again and again. And Google loves responsive design.

Google will serve mobile-optimised results for a search query performed on a smartphone, and as designing your site responsively means you only have one URL, it makes it easier for search engines to index you. Additionally, if a user searches one of your key words and visits your website only to find it awkward and returns straight back to their search, Google will take note. This could potentially lead to loss in rankings.

Responsive design also ensures you aren’t penalised for duplicate content across devices; all of your content exists just once, cleverly redesigned.

It helps you keep up with competition

If you’re considering going responsive, chances are, your competitors are too. If you don’t provide a convenient and positive experience on mobile and tablet, you push your valuable customers into the waiting arms of the competitor who did.

Some business owners might feel that a responsive design is out of their budget, or too much hassle. This may have been the case a few years ago but today, depending on where and how you design your responsive site, it is so integral that many developers will simply build it into the cost of a redesign. One site also means one CMS, making it easier for you to manage and keep your site up-to-date.

Responsive design is one of those digital marketing trends that is most likely here to stay. We only need to apply it to our own lives; how many times do you check live train departures on your phone? Check in at the airport, or browse the news and sport on your morning commute? Responsive design answers a consumer preference, of information accessibility and browsing on the move, and it delivers a seamless browsing experience to keep that customer coming back.

Clever Marketing - Surrey Digital AgencyIf you haven’t got a responsive website by now then you are way behind on the curve. Call Surrey digital agency Clever Marketing on 01276 534 680 or fill in our easy contact form and we will be happy to discuss how to drive your website forward.

If you need more traffic then we are happy to do your SEO and if you need that little extra boost, PPC campaign management is our forte.

Are my photos good enough for my brochure?

Are my Photos Good Enough for my Brochure?

How many times have you had to send photos to the company producing your brochure, only to be told they are not suitable, or to be disappointed with the final result?

I would guess you’ve experienced this more than once.

Image Resolution

There are a number of factors that will determine whether your images will give you a good result, but the easiest to look out for are the pixel dimensions.

Photographic images are made up of pixels, and different reproduction processes require different numbers of these pixels per inch or dots per inch (DPI) – this is known as image resolution.

If the image resolution is too low, you end up with jagged edges and an overall lack of clarity.

Knowing the required image resolution, and the physical dimensions of the image when it’s printed means we can check the image’s suitability in advance on any computer, without the need for specialist software.

Below are some guide dimensions based on ‘A’ paper sizes.

Litho printing (on a printing press):

  • A4 = 2480px x 3508px
  • A5 = 1748px x 2480px
  • A6 = 1240px x 2748px

Digital printing:

  • A4 = 1240px x 1754px
  • A5 = 874px x 1240px
  • A6 = 620px x 874px

If your image is going to be printed full page (edge to edge), you will need to add a little bit extra on the dimensions for bleed.

  • For litho bleed, add 70px to each dimension
  • For digital bleed, add 36px to each dimension

So, you know how big your image needs to be, how do you find out how big it actually is?

Sadly, at the time of writing this article, there is a problem with the Apple’s Mavericks OS not showing image dimensions properly – and as a diehard Mac user you’ve no idea how much that pains me.

JPEGs and image quality

Most of the photos you will supply for your brochure will be JPEGs. If your photos were obtained from a library such as iStock or were commissioned from a photographer, you won’t have much control over their quality. But, if you are taking the photos yourself, you can make sure you are getting the best results possible by setting your camera’s JPEG quality to its highest setting.

Lower quality JPEGs use less storage space, but they give a poor result by professional print standards. People often talk about “JPEG compression”, but this is a misleading term as JPEG achieves its small file sizes not through compression, but by permanently removing image data which is why low-quality JPEGs will always give low-quality results.

Good old fashion values

Following these guidelines on image size and JPEG quality will go a long way to improving the end result. But if you’re taking your own photos, don’t forget the two things that can’t really be improved down the line – composition and lighting.

  • A picture taken on a dull grey day is always going to be just that.
  • A person standing side-on, when you really wanted them facing the camera, can’t be changed.

On a PC, simply open Windows Explorer and the image dimensions are available by switching to ‘Content’ view. There are other ways of viewing the dimensions in Windows Explorer, but I think this is the easiest.

Clever Marketing - Hampshire SEO & Digital AgencyHave a look at our graphic design portfolio and if you’d like more advice or want us to design and print your brochures for you then please do get in touch.

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