How to Make Data-driven Marketing Decisions

As marketers, we like to think we’re creative thinkers. And we need to be, to an extent: innovation and thinking outside of the box are essential if you want to stand out in a crowded marketplace. However, there’s more to being an effective marketer than just creativity. We also need to be highly analytical, and be able to back up our decisions with cold, hard facts. How do we do this? Read more

The A-Z of Digital Marketing Jargon

SEO, PPC, content marketing, re-targeting… if you’re new to digital marketing, the sheer amount of terminology and phrases to get your head around can seem daunting at first. Don’t get left behind – here’s our comprehensive A-Z of the most popular terms to make sure you stay in the know! Read more

Clever Marketing, digital agency in Hampshire.

Meerkat and Periscope – is Livestreaming the Future of Social Media?

If there were ever evidence needed that the social media world moves quickly, video live-streaming apps Periscope and Meerkat are it. Both have sprung up out of the blue in the last few weeks alone, and have been causing a frenetic furore online about what they mean for social media marketing.

Live-streaming apps are platforms which allow you to stream live video taken on your smartphone online. While this concept isn’t new (comparable software can be dated back to as early as 2007), Meerkat and Periscope have emerged as the most usable and exciting prototypes, and both are desperately vying for your attention. But what do they do, and why should you care?

Here’s everything you need to know about Meerkat and Periscope, and why live social video streaming is about to change the way you – and your customers – consume information and interact online.

Periscope

The aptly named Periscope was recently unveiled by Twitter. Available only on iOS (for now), it allows others to watch your lived streamed video feed and comment. This can then be shared on Twitter. You can save videos to watch for later, removing any limitations of purely live content.

Periscope has reportedly been under development for over a year, however Twitter failed to quickly bring it to market, which allowed its main competitor, Meerkat, to poke its head over the parapet.

Meerkat

The Meerkat live-streaming app garnered major attention at the SXSW Texas conference in March. Much like Periscope, Meerkat relies on Twitter for social sharing and at time of writing is said to have more than 400,000 users.

It hit a roadblock recently when Twitter withdrew Meerkat’s permission to use its social graph, which it had previously used to gain momentum and information about followers. It’s also emerged that in order to help secure success for Periscope, Twitter has turned to even dirtier tactics, such as directly contacting celebrities and prolific Meerkat users to tempt them over to Periscope.

Who’ll come out on top?

It’s fair to say that the two apps are more similar than they are different, and both surfaced only weeks ago. While Periscope was comparatively late to the party and therefore hasn’t yet made the same impact as its rival, it does in fact offer the more polished and pleasant user experience. But this hasn’t dampened the enthusiasm for Meerkat; Madonna recently unveiled her new single, Ghost Town, on the platform.

According to Meerkat founder Ben Rubin, there doesn’t necessarily need to be one winner in the livestreaming social sphere.

“We don’t look at [Periscope] as a rival. In fact, we’re very happy to see a big company moving in this space”.

Judging by the crumbling of Bebo and MySpace at the mere sight of Facebook, the truth of these words remains to be seen.

UPDATE: And indeed, Meerkat was discontinued in October 2016 so Periscope is the winner.

Live streaming – what’s the big deal?

Prior to both Periscope and Meerkat, video as a medium was restricted by time – clips could be edited and shortened before being uploaded. This placed an extra step, or a barrier, between creator and viewer. Live video removes this, leading to an instantaneous sharing of information, mirroring the appetite for quick, real-time content on social media.

Social media as a movement has always hurtled toward real time commentary, and live-streaming apps are perhaps its final tactic to move into the current moment.  A look into someone else’s life, as it unfolds, becomes just a tap away. You can even influence and change the course of events by interacting with the content creator.

However, just as Facebook, Twitter and even Snapchat have evolved from frivolous consumer playthings into powerful content platforms for brands and news producers, both Meerkat and Periscope show potential for long-lasting value. For example, the apps have already been recognised for their live news broadcasting qualities, as they allow journalists and news channels to stream video straight to consumers from live events as they unfold. Surprisingly, The Economist, which is 171 years old, was one of the first platforms to trial Meerkat for news commentary, while Sky News gave Periscope a go when providing viewers with a behind the scenes look at a pre-election Q&A recently.

These platforms are in such early stages, that it’s near impossible (and probably futile) to attempt to predict their future, especially in terms of business and brand usage. But there’s one thing we can say for certain: the world social media is speeding up more than ever, and live-streaming is one of the most exciting developments we’ve seen in a while.


Clever Marketing - Surrey Digital AgencySo there you have it. What do you think of Meerkat and Periscope? Do you think live streaming is here to stay?

If you need any assistance with integrating Meerkat and Periscope into your digital marketing strategy then do let us know. We’re on 01276 534 680 or you can write to us via our contact form.

Our Top 5 Easter Marketing Campaigns

Our Top 5 Easter Marketing Campaigns

Easter provides a great chance for brands to get creative with their marketing. While a lot of businesses find their sales have slumped following the pre-Christmas rush, the festivity, frivolity and four-day weekend that Easter brings makes April the perfect time to get back on even keel.

However, there also tends to be a lot of noise in the market at this time of the year, making it hard for you to make yourself heard. Struggling for original ideas to help you stand out from the crowd this Easter? Here are our top 5 Easter marketing campaigns to inspire you, all of which have had eggcellent (sorry!) results:

Read more

How to Produce Good Content: The 9 Golden Rules of Content Marketing

Although content marketing is still a relatively new idea, the message that good content equals more sales is filtering down from the niche to the masses. According to a recent study from, the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs, 90% of B2C marketers said they were using content marketing in 2014, compared with 84% the previous year.

[We’ve updated the report to the latest 2020, version for you: Ed] However, the study also revealed that only 34% consider themselves to be effective at content marketing. We think that’s due to confusion about what the term actually means, and a lack of commitment or strategy from the outset (less than half of those said to be using content marketing actually had a dedicated plan in place).

In this post, we’re going to look at a tangible definition of content marketing and why it’s important for every business, before letting you in on the 9 golden rules of producing good content. Let’s start with the basics.

So…what is content marketing?

We turned to the Content Marketing Institute again for a clear definition:

“Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience – and ultimately to drive consumer action.”

There are a few key things to take away from this summary: firstly, “content” is what it says on the tin: information in a range of forms – nothing more complicated than that. Copywriting, brochures, social media, flyers, emails… it’s all content. Many businesses get too caught up in trying to work out whether or not what they’re producing can be deemed as content when actually, the term refers to all collateral you produce for marketing purposes.

Secondly, content marketing should be strategic, with the end goal of driving a customer to take action, whether that be to walk into your shop, visit your website or buy your product. More importantly though, is the term “clearly-defined audience”. Producing content is one thing, producing it with a specific audience and consequence in mind is content marketing.

The 9 Golden Rules of Content Marketing

As we’ve already mentioned, it isn’t enough to randomly churn out emails and brochures with the hope of converting customers. Here are our hard-and-fast rules for making your content marketing a success.

1. Plan, plan plan

A strong editorial plan or calendar will help keep you on track when other business priorities tempt you away from content production.

2. Set goals

Like any other marketing activity, if you don’t set goals for your content you won’t know whether you’re over or under-performing.

3. Be realistic

We get it, it’s easy to become excited about content. It’s fun to produce and once you start seeing results, you don’t want to stop. But before you commit to producing 5 e-books and 30 emails a month, consider your resource. Content marketing is very much a “quality over quantity” scenario, so don’t stretch yourself.

4. Get creative

As a marketing agency, we’re used to hearing “but we can’t produce interesting content – we’re a plumbing/HR outsourcing/carpentry business”. It’s easy to think that if you aren’t Virgin Atlantic or Coca Cola, then your business is boring and you have nothing to say.

That’s when it’s time to start thinking outside the box. Look to brands like Charmin and B&Q – toilet paper and DIY probably aren’t the most exciting topics in the world, but creativity and storytelling help to bring them to life for a customer.

5. Go evergreen

The term “evergreen” applies to content that will not grow out of date quickly, if at all. This means it will stay relevant and interesting to your customer long after you’ve produced it, making it more valuable to you as a business.

6. Google is your friend

If you’re writing something which will appear online, it’s best to get to grips with SEO to make sure your content has a good chance of ranking in search engines and actually being found by customers.

7. Put your audience first

A big mistake that a lot of companies make is assuming that their customers will want to read whatever they produce.

Instead of pushing out the first thing that comes to mind, ask yourself: what is the audience looking for? Can I answer a question or provide a solution?

8. Find your voice

Tone of voice is a lot more important than many people think. Nailing the right tone of voice for your brand can make your communications more authentic and effective, as well as giving you stand-out in the marketing place. Identify the tone of voice that works best for you, and keep it consistent across your communications to build up a brand identity.

9. Stay fresh

Two tweets per day, one email a week, one direct mail piece every month… sound familiar? It’s easy to get stuck in repetitive patterns with content, especially when your budget can’t stretch to much more. But it’s important to try and keep your ideas fresh in order to keep consumers engaged. Try different things, different outlets, different tactics – but most importantly, learn from your mistakes.


Clever Marketing - Hampshire Digital AgencyIf you’re looking for assistance with your content marketing then do give us a call, we’re happy to assist with your digital marketing strategy.

Call us on 01276 534 680 or complete the contact form.