In the old days, paper mail clogged up our letterboxes but in this digital age, it’s our electronic mailboxes that are bursting at the seams. So, if you’re trying to get your message out there, how do you ensure your email doesn’t get deleted among the hundreds – sometimes thousands – of automated emails people receive each day? Here are Air Social Digital Marketing Agency’s top five tips for a successful email marketing campaign.
First impressions count in the digital world just as much as they do in real life and so your subject line – the first thing the recipient sees – is of utmost importance. Personalisation is also an excellent method of getting your audience attention. The more personal you can get, the easier it is to build trust. You'll also have a better chance of your emails being opened – research suggests that emails with a personalised subject line are 26% more likely to get opened. You can pique the interest of the customer simply by including their name or their favourite products in the subject line. You don’t just have to stick to subject lines however, you could personalise the imagery, product offering or call to action depending on the customer.
Sending out blanket emails to thousands of email addresses in the hope someone will open it isn’t enough these days. Most unsuccessful email marketing campaigns fail because the sender treated every email recipient the same. Gather as much data as you can, from geographic location to customer buying habits and then study that data and compile lists that you can target specific emails to accordingly. Since GDPR has come into force, many companies have seen a reduction in subscriber numbers, so don’t forget to reward those who have remained loyal – perhaps an incentive to treat themselves or others.
Keep your layout clean and simple; it should look professional and be easy to navigate, or the recipient is likely to lose interest. Don't overload your design with flashy graphics, huge fonts and other in-your-face items. Equally, don't overload on copy either; economy of language is vital to get your message across quickly. Remember that people are time-poor and you need to grab their attention before they hit the delete button. Lastly, and especially if you're targeting Millennials or Gen Z, don’t forget to make sure your email-marketing material is mobile friendly.
Include a call to action
There’s no point in sending out emails publicising your products or services if you don't ask your customers to do something beyond window shop. Remember the point of your email – to get customers to click through to your website and hopefully buy a product or service. It doesn’t matter what the call to action is – from asking customers to fill out a survey to making a purchase or watching a video – make sure you include one in every email.
Before you do anything, it’s essential to establish why you are sending out the email in the first place, as well as what you are hoping to achieve.
What is the objective of the email marketing campaign, and how will it help you achieve your business goals? How will you measure the success of the marketing campaign? Set clear KPIs and work to those goals.
Are you struggling to get results from your email marketing campaigns? Contact us to find out how the experts at Air Social digital marketing agency can help.
Everyone loves a good Christmas advert to get them in the mood for the holiday season and give them that fuzzy, festive feeling.
What captures the essence of Christmas for the Air Social team? Here are some of our all-time favourite, festive adverts…
Alex: The Coca-Cola advert is sure to get me feeling Christmassy - ‘holidays a’ com’n!’ It captures the childish excitement and anticipation of Christmas and couples it with a catchy song. The sight of the bright lights of the Coca-Cola lorries winding their way through the dark, snowy scene is really iconic. It’s an amazing bit of advertising!
Oli: My favourite Christmas advert is definitely ‘Man on the Moon’ by John Lewis. The advert is about a little girl who does everything she can to make a lonely man feel loved at Christmas. It evokes so many emotions as the lonely man on the moon represents the many people who live alone, celebrating Christmas in isolation every year. The advert also touches on the message that showing just a little compassion and kindness can mean the world to someone. In this advert, John Lewis has successfully captured the essence of what Christmas is really all about.
Aaron: I think this advert by WestJet is pretty amazing. Obviously it’s not a British brand and it’s a few years old now but I think it’s incredible. What a great way of showing guerrilla and viral marketing tactics; the people flying had no idea that they would receive the gifts they requested, they believed they were just interacting with a digital billboard. A really amazing way to spread Christmas joy when they went to collect their luggage!
Freddie: The John Lewis advert with the boxer dog is my favourite as it really captures the excitement of Christmas. The dad building the trampoline at night to surprise the kids feels really nostalgic and the sight of foxes and badgers jumping on a trampoline sticks with you! The coming together of animals that would normally avoid each other, and their sheer enjoyment of jumping on the trampoline is quite a good metaphor for how Christmas should be a time where we set aside our differences and celebrate together in the season.
Sally: It has to be the John Lewis ‘Bear and the Hare’ advert for me. It captures a really sweet moment and focuses on the magical feel of Christmas. All the elements just come together in this ad - great animation, memorable music and a sweet story. It is a beautiful little tale of friends looking out for each other and embodies the idea of thoughtful gift giving at this time of year.
Vanessa: Perhaps an unusual choice, but a memorable Christmas advert for me was the 2015 Sainsbury’s advert featuring Mog The Cat. Mog was a character that I used to enjoy reading about when I was a child, so it evokes a feeling of nostalgia for me. The advert does well to draw the viewer in by telling a story of a calamitous situation that rapidly escalates. The ending, with the whole neighbourhood coming together to help Mog’s family out, relays a great message about the importance of helping others less fortunate than ourselves.
Tilda: My favourite Christmas advert is the 2011 John Lewis advert about the little boy who can’t wait to give his gift. I feel it really captures how I feel about Christmas. I don’t lose sleep over the presents I’ll be receiving, but I get overly excited over the presents I’ll be giving to family and friends!
I relate to this little boy a lot-except the part where he falls asleep right after finishing his peas! I’ll be surviving on 3 hours sleep on Christmas Day, after spending the whole night anticipating the day ahead!
When I walked down the high street on Monday morning, I had a good feeling about my work experience with Air Social. I knew I wanted to learn something new, but I didn’t know whether I was going to be given work that I would enjoy. I decided to keep an open mind and I was really pleased that I did. I ended up being given an opportunity that I couldn’t miss - and I am glad that I didn’t miss it, because I ended up working in an environment that suited me better than I could have hoped for.
Let me take you back to four days ago, before my work experience started, when I received an email from Alex (Managing Director of Air Social and my boss for the week). She explained that Air Social would be delighted to offer me a work experience placement for the week! In the email, Alex asked me to contact her to organise when to come in and to chat about the sort of experience I wanted to gain from coming to Air Social. After a few texts, Monday at 9am was decided upon.
Monday morning came, and initially I had that Monday morning feeling, but my mood soon changed as I entered the office. I arrived a few minutes early and, as instructed, I rang the Air Social buzzer which, may I say, was not the easiest to find! I was greeted by a cheerful voice, and moments later I met Alex. I expected a stereotypical office- rows of chairs and desks, and an army of workers in suits, but I was wrong. As I entered the office, my line of sight first directed me to a plump blue bean bag, and to my right was Oli. In front of Oli was Aaron and Vish, and to my left was Freddie. Although I was wearing a short-sleeved school shirt tucked in to my school trousers, I did not feel out of place, as every single member of the team made me feel welcome and at ease. Already I was surprised at the relaxed, but professional impression the team had made on me.
Vish, my mentor for the week, took me through my tasks for the first two days. My job was to draft social media posts and create content for different companies that Air Social works with. At this point, my uncertainties about whether I would enjoy the work were gone. The management of social media accounts was a task that I found both engaging and enjoyable.
Now, I said that I wasn’t sure whether the work environment was going to suit me, but I quickly found out I was wrong. The atmosphere in the Air Social office was not at all boring, and although everyone was working hard, there was one key difference in the office culture compared with what I had expected - everyone seemed to have a genuine interest and passion for the work they were doing, which consequently increased productivity and made the atmosphere more enjoyable.
One of the last tasks I was given was to research how to write a blog, and then to write one. I watched videos and read other blogs for inspiration, and after mind mapping a few ideas, here I am.
I can say that the opportunity given to me by Alex and the team has benefited me in two key ways. Firstly, it has opened my eyes to a different way of working. Air Social has introduced me to a whole new world of digital marketing and what goes on behind the scenes when managing social media accounts. Secondly, I have been inspired to work hard for what I want and have been reminded of the importance of doing a job that I find enjoyable.
As Alex said to me, my life is still an open book, and I'm still not quite sure what I would like to do in the future - whether I will work in social media marketing or not. What I do know is that I have enjoyed working and gaining priceless experience with Air Social, and now I have a genuine interest in digital marketing.
When Instagram burst on to the social media landscape in 2010 the brief was simple; here is a square, fill it with something beautiful. Almost 7 years and 600 million monthly active users later Instagram is so much more than a photo sharing app; today Instagram’s co-founder and CEO Kevin Systrom says that the company’s mission is “strengthening relationships through shared experiences”. In short, it’s a social network.
Instagram’s transition has been a slow but steady one. In 2012 Facebook bought Instagram and it’s 13 employees for $1billion. This transaction was a catalyst for the many changes to come, starting with the introduction of sponsored posts to targeted audiences that started to roll out in 2013.
Luckily the simple format of Instagram complimented these changes well and the adverts easily slotted into Instagram’s scrolling timeline; in fact the initial success of Instagram can definitely be attributed to simplicity of the original app and the simple brief has given rise to some fantastic artwork people started to use other apps to expand the possibilities.
Nevertheless people started using apps such as Squaready and Whitagram to fit different sized images into the restrictive format and apps like PicStitch to fit multiple images into one post.
So what did Instagram do? They adapted, and in 2015 that the square format was made optional and even more recently, only in the early months of this year, we now have the option to post more than one picture per post.
Instagram embraced that people had expanded on their initial brief and they accommodated it. Perhaps the most revolutionary update to the app has been the ‘story’ function, a Snapchat-esque feature that allows temporary posts that followers can choose to view. This may be due to the changing nature of Instagram’s usage; as the app became used more and more as a social network people might post personal images that might perhaps spoil the aesthetic of their whole page, rather than deleting posts after a day, as many people do, they can now simply add an image or video to their story.
That was in August 2016 and it’s now almost impossible to image Instagram without its new assets.
With the introduction of live video, Boomerang and other features such as the Layout app Instagram has expanded hugely since it was bought in 2012. No longer is it a photo sharing app but an idea sharing app, a place to connect with like-minded individuals.
But what does this mean for us? Well for the marketing industry Instagram is still an amazing canvas to market things with an even wider brief to be creative with.
The beauty of social media marketing is that the outcome is very measurable, and Instagram allows insight into what visual trends work for a brand. Now with the story function it also allows us to keep customers updated without compromising brand aesthetics. All in all, Instagram, you’ve got a huge thumbs up from us!
At this time of year all anyone seems to be talking about is their New Year’s Resolution; the latest fitness regime or tasteless clean eating diet, but here at Air Social we are more concerned with keeping our social media profiles healthy. So here, as a belated Christmas gift to you, are some tips from the experts (us).
1. Maintenance. There’s only one thing that looks as sloppy as a lack of internet presence and that’s an out of date, underutilised internet presence. An unkempt social media profile is a bit like bad dental hygiene, it needs looking after, otherwise people will literally stay away from you. If a Google search were to show two similar business and one was fully up to date – and the other hadn’t posted since 2012, some may well assume the business no longer exists. Frequent posting also keeps your business in the forefront of people’s minds so next time they need the services you provide – you’ll often be the first they come to. So, like brushing your teeth, social media has to be maintained daily – and no, not just the once.
2. You get out what you put in. What happens when you eat junk food? You may put on weight. What happens when you post spam? You will lose credibility and your potential customers will lose interest. Finding meaningful, relevant content that will keep your customer engaged can seem like an ongoing slog, but it’s worth it.
3. Stay connected. It may seem obvious to some, but so many small businesses still fail to have a cohesive set of social media profiles. By not linking your website to your Facebook, Twitter and Instagram you make it harder for customers to keep up to date with your business developments and conversely by not making your website accessible from social media you may lose out on real business.
4. Engage. The clue is in the name. ‘SOCIAL’. The beauty of social media is that it gives an informal platform to listen to your customers’ needs, solve their issues and answer any queries; failure to respond to your online customers will simply be viewed as bad customer service.
There are many ways in which your social media profiles may not be selling to their maximum potential, and for most people even the four things listed may be a lot to juggle on top of running a company. For more advice and information on how Air Social can help you and your business call 01483 789 434 or email email@example.com
It’s no coincidence that the fall of Vine coincided with the ability to put videos on Instagram. This happened only a year after the photo sharing giant was bought by Facebook. Now it’s Snapchat under attack as Instagram has launched its own ‘story’ function that mimics the whole concept of the app, but conveniently tucked into a corner of the Instagram interface. Rather inconveniently for Snapchat, it’s only growing in popularity.
The reason for this is quite simply that Instagram is a much more open platform; the beauty of apps like Instagram and Twitter is the ability to gain an insight into the lives of people we wouldn’t normally encounter. We can get up to the minute insights into what the Kardashian’s are wearing or the latest diet fad is first hand, something that is much more difficult on Snapchat.
Of course there are benefits to Snapchat; Snapchat isn’t based on likes or followers so there is no scope for fake news to be spread, features such as ‘Discover’ are heavily vetted so that content is of a certain quality and, most relevant to us, advertising is integrated into the customer experience so it is un-intrusive whilst also interactive.
There is a reason for this. “Snapchat makes discovery of people who aren’t in your phone book extremely difficult because they believe peer-to-peer sharing is stickier than a so-called influencer model,” says Rob Fishman, co-founder of Niche, a company that connects brand with social media influencers.
The combination of this and Snapchat’s venture into wearable tech means there may be a future for the app but whether it will able to hold its own against the Facebook empire remains to be seen, as in 2017 Instagram’s influence is set to grow even further. In terms of advertising Instagram is predicted to usurp Twitter, meaning Facebook will hold the gold and silver medals in the social media marketing race, a truly astonishing feat. Luckily for Twitter, Facebook has already adopted some of the character traits of Twitter, such as hashtags and an increased ability to share content and news, but has never been able to mimic the balance of intimacy and worldwide scope that Twitter delivers – it remains safe for the time being.
In our expert opinion Snapchat remains a contender – for now. And there is no doubt that Twitter will be around as a major social media platform for a long time to come, but Facebook ultimately reigns almighty.
There has been more than a little speculation over the relevance of Google+, in fact, last year Forbes declared it dead; as a social media platform it is widely known to be redundant and you wouldn’t be foolish to think it doesn’t exist anymore (in fact Google+ pages are now managed through Google My Business). Nevertheless as a tool for business, Google couldn’t be more vital.
In the battle of the search engines, Google undeniably dominates with 81.42 percent of desktop browser traffic in the US and over 11 billion desktop searches per month. The statistics are even more astonishing if you take into account mobile usage, where a vast 92.91 percent of searches were done through Google.
This year marks the first in which mobile internet access surpassed desktop usage, and is predicted to increase even further, with estimates of mobile making up 75 percent of global search traffic next year. Google’s stronghold on the mobile market means that, if we combine this information with the fact that search engine queries ultimately generate 300 percent more traffic to content sites than social media, we can see how the curtains might not quite be drawn on Google+ yet.
By having your business on Google you too can benefit from this kind of traffic, as your SEO is improved just by having a Google+ page; as a completely free service it would therefore be foolish not to have your business represented on Google with accurate, up to date information.
Aside from increased SEO, filling your Google profile with correct information and pictures builds a level of trust with potential customers as it enhances your legitimacy.
For example, if an individual uses Google to search for “dry cleaner in Woking” and two suggestions come up – one of a dry cleaner with good Google reviews and details such as opening times and professional looking photos; and one with just a name and address – which one are they more likely to choose? With this example, we can see how minimal browsing on Google can lead to potential business, and conversely, incorrect or out of date information can lead to lost business and customer dissatisfaction, therefore anyone not taking the time to update their Google profile will almost certainly miss out.
On top of this, Google+ could potentially make a comeback having last year streamlined the concept to resemble something more akin to Pinterest or Twitter, rather than standing as a direct rival to Facebook. With their change of direction there may be a future for the platform as a whole and anyone with an established profile will already have a head start.
Whether this comeback will materialise can’t be foretold but in a world where marketing is becoming more and more holistic, it is important to have as many strings to your digital bow as possible, and Google is no exception. Even though its failure as a social network is undeniable (so far) Google is a vital platform for your business and, if nothing else, a great way to get traffic on to your other social media accounts.
If, like us, you’re serious about your business then you needto embrace all facets of social media, let us help you.
In the year that has seen Donald Trump become president, said goodbye to Ziggy Stardust and Severus Snape and, of course, seen families country-wide feud over Brexit, 2016 has been a year of mass upheaval. But how has the world of digital marketing changed?Well, most obviously we have witnessed the continued rise of social media. In the US Presidential Election race we have seen how crucial social media can be; Trump attributes much of his success to his large social media presence, particularly on twitter. However, it’s not only been his social media presence but the presence of Twitter ‘bots’ that automatically tweeted pro-Trump propaganda and used hashtags to firstly infiltrate the Clinton support and then use the platform to smear her. Social media has been intrinsic to the success of many other unlikely campaigns; take the recent example of A-Level student Nick Jablonka’s fake John Lewis advert which went viral after social media users mistook it for the real thing.
The power of visual media platforms such as Instagram and Pinterest also continue to grow, where many consumers review and recommend products, and, with the continued popularity of audio and audio visual media such as podcasts and YouTube vlogs added into the mix, the power of word of mouth between consumers cannot be underestimated.
However, next year’s innovations look set to be on a whole new level. It’s now commonplace to see advertisers using Snapchat, making it possible to ‘try on’ a new lipstick from your own home, or transport a person into the scenery of an upcoming blockbuster. In 2017 experts predict this trend will develop into companies creating more specific apps to immerse the individual into their product. Nevertheless this is just a small dent in comparison to the impact virtual experience is going to make.
The dawn of virtual reality is upon us and there’s no wondering why people want to utilise it for their marketing strategies. A recent survey says that 90% of business owners now say they prefer personalised content rather than mass outreach. It’s becoming easier and easier to target advertising so to stand out content will need to be more unique, of higher quality, and as engagingly interactive as possible in 2017.
In the current digital landscape, engagement is everything, and marketers succeed when their audience not only consumes content but also enjoys and acts upon it, which is why interactive content will be so important going forwards. The facts back it up; static content generates conversions 36% of the time whereas interactive content generates conversions moderately or very well 70% of the time. So expect to be inundated with ground-breaking apps and virtual reality experiences and in the coming year.
But the innovation doesn’t stop there, not only will consumers be immersed within technology but they will be wearing it. After a slow start for wearable technology 70% of consumers now say they are ‘ready for wearable technology’, giving yet another platform for advertisers to take advantage of.
To summarise, marketing in the new year is only going to become more diverse; we predict that the tried and tested methods such as social media advertising will still has its place in digital, but new developments such as interactive content and virtual experience are going to enrich the digital marketing landscape. It’s up to marketers to embrace the changes and approach marketing in 2017 holistically.
Social Media is the heart of all marketing.To understand how social media can impact your business with Air Social’s tried and tested social media lead generation expertise, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or come and meet the team at our Guildford office for a complimentary social media training session.
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