We’ll keep this one short and sweet but we’re always proud of what we do…check out what we did for Thermae Bath Spa….so next time you’re arriving (or even leaving!) at Bath Station, keep an eye out for this rather fetching piece of marketing we did for them.
You might expect us to say this but my GOD it is relaxing in that place! Get yourselves down there!
If you fancy seeing what we can do for you, give us a shout on 0117 9069902.
When North Bristol NHS Trust came to us and asked if we could help them with recruiting for one of the biggest and most high profile jobs in the NHS, we knew that whatever we came up with, it needed to be eye catching, memorable and bloody good. So we put our best people on it and that’s exactly what we came up with….even if we do say so ourselves.
We were told as part of the brief that the new Chief Executive would be joining at an exciting time for the organisation, because the successful candidate would be leading the Trust into Foundation status and the opening of a new £430 million hospital. As for the day job, well the new Chief Executive will also need to harness the substantial experience, expertise and enthusiasm of 9,500 staff to ensure all patients get the best care possible! We therefore felt that the creative needed to reflect this superhuman effort and focus on the strengths of the type of person who would be able to take on such a huge task. We hope you like what we came up with:
The recruitment ad ran in the Health Service Journal as a half page advert and different versions of flash banners appeared across run of site on HSJ.co.uk.
We also created a recruitment pack which included more background to the role, job description, specification and details on how to apply.
If you’d like to see what we can do for you get in touch today on 0117 906 9902
Apps, apps and apps – make sure you get the right developer!
It’s real boom time for app developers right now and everyone wants to jump on the band wagon. There are some seriously talented people out there but also some cowboys so here are a few tips to make sure you don’t make the wrong decision.
1. In or out?
Don’t agree to use anyone unless you know what their set up is – find out whether they have in-house developers or put everything out to freelancers to save money. You can’t be sure how well written the code is, what language it will be documented in and how much control you will have when working with a third party. If in doubt visit the offices to check for yourself.
2. Grabbing a bargain
We all love a bargain but with something like this you probably do get what you pay for. Don’t be caught out by developers who under price to get the job but then can’t deliver – or worse still go out of business owing you money and an app! Ask the developer how long it will take to develop the app and compare this to other quotes – it will probably be obvious who’s under quoting. You can also ask to see their management figures or annual reports and that will give you a good idea how secure the business is.
3. Half the job
Don’t be afraid to ask questions, invite advice or ask for a detailed proposal. There’s nothing worse than starting work with someone to discover they can’t actually do what you want them to do. Find out if they know the difference between MDM and MAM, can they design a functional design space you can sign off before the developers get going, do they have good User eXperience (UX) and User Interface (UI) specialists and can they help you market your app and evaluate how it’s doing?
4. Not doing your homework
You’ve only got yourself to blame if you don’t do a bit of work yourself. Have a look at developers and see what work they’ve already done – are their apps as good as you want yours to be? If you ask for references from their clients you can get to the nitty gritty with questions like are they a good company to deal with, would you use them again or was it a professional experience?
5. Plan B
All apps need to go through a planning and design cycle. If your developer doesn’t plan properly there’s a good chance your app will end up in the bin. Look for a partner who can do the ground work before the developer gets started and who can undertake an audit to ensure it’s good enough for mobile.
6. Stumping up the cash
Don’t be too forthcoming with the money and be suspicious if you’re asked to pay up front. It’s much better to break the project up and pay in instalments and then pay the balance once the project has been delivered. Also make sure you agree to own the code and ideally ask for it to be sent to you as soon as you’ve paid the final bill – you should never have to pay extra to ‘own’ the code.
7. One size fits all
Some companies claim to develop apps which work across all platforms. It’s unlikely that it will be that simple. Instead you’ll need to choose whether you want to go native (a phone app) or HTML5 (an app for the web) or something in between. This will largely depend on your budget, target market, functionality and brand equity. Worry if this is not discussed in detail!
This may all sound a bit scary but knowledge is power. Bear these points in mind and it will be easier to find the good guys out there who can provide you with a first class service.
And hey, if you fancy getting in touch with an agency that does all these things then why not give me a shout on 0117 9069902 or drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
This might be quite an obvious one. I don’t have to point out to you that visual media such as photos and videos will get you higher engagement on Facebook than your bog standard plain text and article posts.
Videos are great….they’re also fantastic for your Edgerank
I spent a lot of last week trying to read the Howard Marks biography Mr Nice, but realised I had spent about 95% of my time actually looking at the pictures. Those lovely shiny photos they put in the middle like a naughty magazine centrefold. They know what they’re doing…ooooooooh those sneaky publishers with their glossy pictures and stuff. My housemate came through the door about half an hour later, sat down, picked the book up, and then went straight to the lovely glossy pictures in the middle. Then put it down again. I see a pattern emerging.
Facebook's Edgerank in all its glory. Don't worry you don't need to actually memorise what any of that squiggly stuff means
I guess the point here is that humans like visuals. As children, no one is ever drawn towards a book because it has wads of really lovely looking text. It might well be the best story ever written but they’d rather look at a 10 page cardboard cut out with pictures of some dog playing with a ball. Or a ruddy caterpillar eating stuff that you expect a caterpillar to eat. Whatever, I’m not so cynical that I’m going to start bashing Spot The Dog quite yet.
What I’m saying is that I don’t think this desire ever goes away. Children want to read these things because it entertains them. Adults still need to be entertained – I still find myself choosing books because the cover looks nice…and that’s why Facebook is great for this - because most people on Facebook at any given time are clearly not on there for academic or work purposes (Though this is not what I told people at uni). Therefore, posting an essay on there will probably get you a ‘too long, didn’t read’. Posting a picture means that once someone has seen it, they can’t unsee it. If they happen to like what they see then the chances are quite high that they will share, comment or like it. The same goes for a video – visually it’s right there already – no need to read a long paragraph to get the point. Maybe this is an indictment of the human attention span. Nevertheless, we work with what we have, and the book analogy is what I’m clinging on to right now – treat the visuals as a book cover. Something to entice those that don’t know about you, in order for them to look beyond that and see what’s inside the cover. In this case, the cover is the video and the book is the rest of the company.
So now I’m just going to get straight to the point – We posted a video on Facebook the other day. Here it is below (note we have uploaded it to Youtube since then…);
Now this took me no more than 5 minutes to knock up whilst on my lunchbreak in the office using Vine. I promise I’m not trying to plug Vine here but it’s a really great way of producing short and easily editable clips that would otherwise take a much longer process for you to get the same results with. So let’s then take a look at engagement;
Wawaweewah! Well would you look at that, the video gets over double the amount of engagement that our next most popular post (which happened to be a picture).
Now it was previously the case that Facebook’s Edgerank algorithm weighted videos and photos of higher priority than your standard text posts but this may well not be the case now following Facebook’s recent modifications to the algorithm…
However, if anything, these stats mean that regardless of weight or importance to a post, videos are popular! I mean, it’s simple enough. Pictures and videos are clearly worth a thousand words…Just ask yourself, are you more likely to share a video that shows up on your timeline, or a big piece of text that someone has plonked on their page. No prizes for guessing the winner in this case.
So what’s the result? Well the result is that the more people that share your media, the higher the given Edgerank to it. The higher the Edgerank, the more likely Facebook’s algorithm will see your post amongst the many hundred that are eligible for news feed publishing. The more your post appears in the news feed, the more it will reach people who are not directly looking for you. As we’re showing off stats n’ all…this is what it did for our reach this week;
Look at that reach! Remember it's all about your reach - that's the true indication of how your content is performing. You can have al lthe likes in the world but if none of them are active then it all amounts to not much at all
So there it is. It’s not rocket science. Put interesting content up and people will look at it! Back in the early days, posting some interesting articles may have been enough to get you great viewing figures, but as Facebook pages become more and more homogenous, it takes more to grab someone’s eye in the news feed. The truly innovative marketers out there are still finding ways to be different – it just takes a little bit of creativity.
Lots of companies are now waking up to the importance of their employer brand. They want a reputation for being a great company to work for, they want their staff to be happy, loyal and highly motivated, and they want the best candidates to aspire to join them. Companies that achieve this will naturally attract and keep the best talent and then their business will prosper.
Social Media - It's really no different to this...
John Lewis is always held up as the icon of an employer brand, rightly so as culturally they have things bang on. They are helped by their unique ownership structure which means all staff have a company stake, but it’s far more than just this. They get the basics right in terms of respecting their employees, their policies and processes encourage their staff to have a real sense of belonging and loyalty and therefore motivation is easily achieved.
It’s not always that easy…
The companies that talk about wanting a great employer brand are not always the ones that actually achieve this. It isn’t easy, there isn’t a formula or a silver bullet and it certainly doesn’t happen overnight. It is a journey; John Lewis has been on the journey for decades and it’s only in the relatively recent past that they have really cemented their outstanding employer brand. The first part of the journey is all about learning about the journey, deciding what you’re trying to achieve, knowing what needs to change, having a strategy and ensuring that you take things slowly and that at each stage you embed the required cultural change and make sure it is entrenched before moving on. It’s about having a vision and then building strong foundations before the employer brand cascades through the whole company, then on into the local community, then nationally and perhaps even internationally.
Communication both internally and externally has a big role to play and this is where social media can help. But tread carefully, companies who try and paint a false picture about their culture and personality using social media will get found out, and this approach will backfire with negativity and resentment internally which will be followed quickly by a poor reputation externally…if you want to see how that looks, take a look at DKNY’s social media hoo-ha
One of John Lewis's slogans used in-store. Branding and public perception is clearly all important to John Lewis
To get the most out of social media from an employer brand perspective you need a strategy and you need consistent, relevant and honest output. The content needs to come from within but you shouldn’t be too formulaic or corporate. The activity you put out must reflect what it’s really like to work for you, and success will come by promoting all the positive aspects in a fun and friendly way. But it’s a thin line, put too much emphasis on the fun side of things and people might think the workplace is too relaxed and this might alienate clients or customers. The trick is to ensure from the start that the senior management and the key staff at all levels are in tune and they all agree and sign up to the strategy. Then you need to work to a project plan where over a period of time all the benefits of working for the company can be developed in a social media context.
It is relatively straight forward and it needs to be kept simple to be effective, but having the resource and the drive to really make it happen consistently and creatively is where most companies fail. If you’re really serious about developing an employer brand and using social media to promote it, call in the experts – we have the creativity, the resource and the experience to make it happen for you and all at a surprisingly low cost!
Ok so this is a bit of an off-the-cuff blog post but today as I sat at my desk and trawled through Facebook and Twitter I saw something that really could not be ignored. Probably the best example of social media justice and customer backlash that I have ever seen in real time unfolded before my very eyes.
Social Media Justice ALWAYS Prevails
Basically, it all started about 5 hours ago…whilst doing some client research on Facebook I came across a page by a street photographer named Humans Of New York (http://www.facebook.com/humansofnewyork?fref=ts …and obviously that’s not his real name). On it he had made a post detailing the fact that the multinational high fashion brand DKNY had previously approached him to buy several hundred photos for $15,000 to use in displays and promotions worldwide. After politely asking for more money and then declining the initial offered fee, the photographer thought that was the end of that….
…except that wasn’t the end. The rest of the Facebook post detailed how a fan had sent him a note and photo of a Bangkok flagship DKNY store using his photos despite the refusal! Of course this represents copyright infringement on quite a offensive scale, considering the size of the organisation involved. No prizes for telling you that a massive company ripping off an amateur photographer’s photos AFTER being declined permission is not going to sit well with the denizens of our social media world. Of course, lo and behold, Facebook wouldn’t let this one go and that original post has since been shared well over 20,000 times in the space of less than 5 hours. Not least on DKNY’s many social pages.
Below is a screenshot of the original post being reposted to the DKNY official FB page
One of the many reposts and posts that have since swamped every nook and cranny of DKNY's social media presence
Since starting to write this, DKNY have made desperate (and rather futile) attempts at speed-deleting all the comments appearing on their Facebook pages…however, one look at Twitter means that this is rather a pointless exercise…
You don't have to be a rocket scientist to see that this graph does not bode well for DKNY's PR department
Since finishing this blog, the story has made it into several major online publishers and sites including Adweek (http://bit.ly/W7WqVY) and Gawker (http://gaw.kr/15K2PZ1). I would post some of the messages left on Facebook and Twitter but the vast majority are definitely NOT SAFE FOR WORK in the slightest.
So let this be a lesson! When you’re as high profile as DKNY, keeping track of social media is a two way thing – I’m almost certain that after this debacle they would have offered a whole lot more than the initial $15,000. Oh…and make SURE you reply to your customer complaints! The lack of any communication from DKNY is doing nothing but compounding the whole situation.
It’s not a good look (mind the pun) – It’s certainly going to cost them a lot more than 15 grand that to rectify this. Hindsight is a great thing…unfortunately for DKNY, social media has eyes everywhere.
It’s not hard to understand why mobile devices are proving so popular. Gone are the days when we had to fight our kids for five minutes on the home computer, or wait until lunchtime at work to find out if we’d won that rare Michael Bolton album on ebay.
In these wonderful times, we can all walk around with our hand-held devices, keeping ourselves up- to-date on the latest world news, football score, bidding activity or what our friends have just been served up for lunch – OK so some of it’s completely unnecessary! I don’t think I’m an unusual case but you’ll find me checking my phone when I wake up, last thing at night, walking to work, at work (obviously only if I’m waiting to be briefed on a new job), on the bus going home, waiting for pasta to boil, when I should be upholding my domestic duties or when watching TV. This means that I’m a captive audience pretty much throughout my waking hours so if you want to sell me something or influence my thinking, here I am ready and waiting to be pounced on.
Why haven’t you got a mobile site yet?! We’re not impressed
Obviously all the big players have caught on to the fact that with so many people using smart phones rather than computers, their websites need to be mobile optimised so customers/users get an easy experience when viewing their sites. I don’t know about you, but if I go onto a site, I don’t stay there long if I have to spend time pinching or expanding the view or scrolling across the page to see what I’m dealing with – life’s too short and it’s just all too much of a faff. I’m likely to just click out and go elsewhere – somewhere it’s all made a bit more easy for me.
This is what happens when you spend to much time impulse buying on your phone....you end up with a pinata
And that’s what it’s really all about. If companies make it easy for me to find their site, view what they have on offer in a neat and concise format and allow me to find the ‘add to basket’ or ‘pay’ button without finding myself lost somewhere in the midst of a page, I’m much more likely to become a customer rather than just completely exasperated.
It’s not rocket science, but it’s amazing how many sites I’ve visited in the last few months which I have left rather swiftly when faced with a page which says nothing to be about my life (knew I’d manage to get a Morrissey lyric in here somewhere!). Now I just click and go.
If you’re reading this shame-faced because your poor customers have to suffer a site which doesn’t work on their mobiles (you know who you are),you need to think about it now. I’m not an expert but I know someone who is. Call Daren on 0117 906 9902 and he’ll help you get your site looking and working great on any format but especially my phone. That would be lovely, thank you.
Here we are with a new recent-work-blog to show everyone. Recently, a local play-area design company going by the (rather awesome) name of Jane’s Pond asked us to design visuals for a direct mail campaign.
We spent some time discussing ideas and came up with something we thought got across the outdoor/natural feel of what Jane’s Pond did without losing touch with what it actually does, which is keeping kids both healthy and entertained!
We kept the logos and existing design in line with their online presence, ensuring uniform branding across all platforms.
If you’d like to know what we can do for you why not give us a shout on 01179069902?
Why outsourcing your company’s social media makes economic sense.
If you are reading this then chances are you are taking a well-earned rest from your usual day-to-day, when what you should probably be doing is updating your Twitter feed, improving the SEO on your website or posting a new picture on your Facebook (or asking someone else to do said things). The purpose of this blog is not to convert you, there are countless other blogs which explain ROI and why a social media presence is so important to your business – this blog is just a few of our thoughts on why outsourcing your social media requirements might be the best thing for your business.
So, how does outsourcing social media management help my business?
It’s more cost effective than hiring a less experienced social media exec
You might not know how to do it yourself and need advice
An outsider can often spot your brand’s strengths and weaknesses better than you can
Autonomy means partners or other directors do not get to vet every post that goes out, giving more creative freedom
You can still have control – brief your agency to ensure the correct types of message are being sent out
Even small businesses can compete with the big brands
Why not hire a part-time social media executive?
Why not? If you can have that sort of commitment to your social media strategy and can afford at least circa £10k then fantastic go for it.
However a part time social media exec:
will need to be managed
will need to be immersed in your business,
will need to be trained
will need to both be free from other distractions and devoted to the cause
will not be able utilise the experience of those around them to come up with fresh forward thinking ideas and
will need to be sacked if they aren’t up to the job.
Is outsourcing my social media management right for me?
For many companies, outsourcing their social media requirements, makes no sense at all. Reasons for this also apply to social media as a whole:
You will not instantly win new business from increased social media presence
If you expect people to like or follow your company without committing to publishing interesting and engaging content
If you are only going to ‘do’ it for a few months until you have some followers
If you don’t believe Social Media contributes towards your business’s brand image
A Good Social Media Management Agency
If you have made the decision to outsource your social media requirements you will need someone who:
Will take the time to understand your business and how you should be represented in the social media arena
Understand the reasons why you want to be represented – a legal client would require a very different social media strategy to a healthcare client
Will be able to support you with creative solutions and aid you with other technical problems e.g. ensuring your website is mobile friendly
Here at SBW Advertising, Bristol we take pride in our approach to social media strategy. We will come to meet you; get to know you, your competitors and your brand (if you don’t have a brand then we can also help you with that as we are a full-service advertising agency) and understand how best to deliver your social media requirements. If you would like an informal chat and for more information on how we can help call Daren at SBW Advertising on 0117 906 9902.
It seems that everyone is still going mobile crazy. In the UK, a staggering 60% of people now have a smartphone and nearly a fifth are tablet users. Just take a look next time you use public transport and nearly everyone will be head down, checking out the latest news or updating their Facebook or Twitter accounts whilst on the move.
Android is still out in front and accounting for 72.4% of global smartphone sales but no one has managed to overtake Apple when it comes to tablets. It’s been a rapid rise but with each new launch, a broader audience is being reached and the user numbers are set to soar even higher. This is what we think will happen this year:
Tablets for all
Coming in at a much lower cost, there is sure to be a rise in sales due to the Nexus, Amazon Kindle Fire and Windows tablets. They will also broaden the market as more people consider them an option than previously.
Apps on the up
Life is still sweet for Apple at the moment and with 250,000 apps designed especially for iPad that’s not likely to change any time soon. However as the Android market continues to grow, more tablet-specific apps will be launched to meet the demand. Tablets, especially the iPad are also increasingly being used in business – 94% of Fortune 500 companies are currently either testing or using iPads for enterprise use.
Mobilisation for business
Businesses know they need to go mobile but they may not know how. It will be crucial that they enlist some help and get good advice on their mobile strategy and with all aspects of their mobile roadmap, including integration with their back-end systems.
The suite life
We think there is going to be a demand for entire suites of apps – especially when businesses realise the potential ROI of enterprise apps. There are a few reasons for this. Firstly, as one department reports an app success story, other departments will take note and want a piece of the action. Secondly, businesses are now much more likely to consider their entire mobility roadmap and prioritise the development of various apps across the business. Lastly, people are realising that an app which tries to do too much is likely to fail so are looking to create a number of simple apps which work really well.
We’re all shopping, searching and working differently thanks to mobile. Banking is a classic example – consumers are now checking balances or transferring money on their devices rather than at the counter. But this is also happening in retail where purchasing is increasingly easy on line and even if you go into a store, you’re likely to use a device to compare prices or check reviews prior to a purchase.
After Facebook dropped its hybrid iOS app for a native one, it didn’t look good for hybrids. Fortunately, Sencha developed a web version which proved that well-architected hybrid apps can be every bit as good. It seems to make sense that businesses will go for the effectiveness and flexibility of HTML5 running across different platforms and go for a hybrid solution.
Two screens are better than one
The appetite for consuming media is growing at an amazing rate. A study by Nielsen on multi-screening habits found that 40% of smartphone owners and 41% of tablet owners regularly use their devices while watching tv. Some brands are already starting to use second screening as a marketing opportunity.
Whatever does happen this year, mobile is sure to figure highly and it seems that our love affair with devices is as strong as ever.
Want to get mobile? Here at SBW we offer a great mobile service, whether you want an all singing, all dancing mobile experience or just want to optimise your current site, why not give us a shout and see what we can do for you? Give us a ring on 0117 9069902