Video Marketing

Video marketing: why it works

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Are you using video marketing in your campaigns? According to Wyzowl, 63% of business wouldn’t be without it as part of their wider strategy. With good reason… it’s one of the most powerful, versatile marketing tools you can use. Include it on a landing page, and conversions can increase by up to 80%.

Why? Because videos are the quickest and most efficient way to digest information.

Five ways that video marketing benefits your business

  • Video boosts engagement. Research shows that adding a video to your home page attracts attention. It encourages sharing to Facebook, Instagram, Periscope and other social media channels.
  • Video gives a good return. You can make a video to an acceptable standard using just your smartphone. Content matters more than a perfect edit, in any case.
  • Video builds trust. Giving people interesting and useful information in an accessible and visually stimulating way makes customer confidence soar. Promotional videos present your products or services in a conversational way – bringing it to life rather than just words on a page.
  • Google loves video. Including videos increases the time visitors spend on your site and tells search engines you have good content – fabulous for ranking.
  • Video appeals to mobile users. Nine out of 10 people watch video on their smartphone: it lends itself to life on the move. We’re all too busy to read a long product description – let’s see it in action.

Make video marketing work for you

So what do you need to keep in mind when it comes to using video marketing in your next campaign?

First of all, get a cracking team on board. Choose Ketchup, and we’ll use our expertise and analytical tools to get a real insight into your target audience. Next, we’ll devise a strategy to help you win new business. See how we can do this here

Together we’ll think about the questions your customers will want your videos to answer – it’s a great way to kick off relevant topics.

We’ll choose your keywords carefully to help searches and keep titles and opening credits short. You’ll tell your audience in the first five to 10 seconds what they’ll learn. And you’ll pick clean images that reflect the content and avoid clutter. You don’t need to overthink timing… your video can be as long or as short as you want, whatever is reasonable for your topic.

We’ll end with a call to action – to share your video, watch more, call your team or visit your website. You could even throw in a special offer or incentive.

Finally we will embed your video on your website or in a blog post. We’ll upload it to YouTube , Facebook… wherever your target audience hangs out.

But this should be just the start. Generating regular new video content in a similar style consistent with your branding keeps things fresh.

Time for lights, camera, action? Don’t press pause on your marketing campaigns. Get in touch to fix a free consultation.

How to write great blogs

How to write great blogs in WordPress

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Publishing regular blogs means all-important new web content that Google loves. It also gives you something new to share with your contacts. Here’s our advice on how to write great blogs in WordPress…

Getting started

In the left hand menu on your WordPress dashboard, click on Posts and Add New. This takes you to a page with everything you need to create your new blog post.

Give some thought to the right title

This is crucial, partly to keep Google happy. WordPress generates the URL (otherwise known as permalink) for your blog post based on your title – you can override their suggestion, but the key thing is to make sure your title is relevant to the content and search terms you want Google to pick up.

Also, according to copyblogger, whilst 8 in 10 people will read a blog title, only 2 in 10 will go on to read the actual post. So, as well as including your main keywords in the title (to help Google find it), you should also make sure it’s engaging and intriguing to readers.

Oh, and keep your title short and sweet – 8 words or fewer if possible, so Google search results will display it in full.

Make your blog post easy to read

As a guide, your blog should be at least 300 words long – with enough keywords for Google to pick up on, and plenty of content to engage and inform your readers. 500-600 words is ideal – anything longer, and your readers are likely to lose interest.

Divide up the blog post into easy-to-read chunks – short paragraphs with sub-headlines are a good way to do this, like we’ve done in this blog!

For more information, check out our tried and tested guide to writing successful blogs.

Always include a ‘call-to-action’ – what do you want people to do after reading your blog? This may be to view other content on your website, contact you, or complete an enquiry form, etc. Thanks to the magic of Google, many visitors will come straight to your blog from a search – so remember to include everything they need to know on this page!

Add images

Make your blog more appealing by adding images. It’s easy in WordPress – simply position your cursor where you want the image to go, and click on Add Media. Then choose Media Library to add an image you’ve uploaded before, or Upload Files to add a new one in JPG, PNG or GIF format. When you’ve added the image, click on Edit Image to change the size and positioning.

Categories and tags

Wordpress CategoriesConsider setting up categories and tags for your blog posts to help readers find your other content on the same topic. Categories provide a broader grouping, and tags are more specific – usually keywords.

For example, on a recipe website, categories could include starters, main courses and puddings – and tags could be specific ingredients like fish, chocolate, fruit, nuts, etc.

Use the Categories and Tags module on the right hand side of the text area to add relevant categories and tags to your blog post. You can select existing categories and tags – or add new ones.

Maximise your SEO impact

You’ll want your blog post to work hard at attracting new visitors to your website, and WordPress is very SEO-friendly – especially if you use a WordPress plug-in application like Yoast SEO.

Along with a raft of other great SEO features, this clever piece of software evaluates your blog post as you write it, and gives simple traffic light results to show how well it is optimised for SEO. You can then adjust any elements highlighted in red to make them more SEO-friendly, before publishing your post.

Yoast traffic light analysis

And finally, don’t forget to share your blog post on social media and your LinkedIn page, so your contacts know where to find it!

No time to write your own blogs? At Ketchup Marketing, we can help with planning, writing and marketing your blog posts. Find out more – call us on 0330 088 9277 or contact us here.

data protection

Data protection: what’s all the fuss about?

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On 25 May 2018,  a new era in data protection will begin. This is when new rules around collecting, storing and handling personal data come into effect.

Under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), organisations will need to keep transparent records of how (and when) an individual gives consent to store and use personal data.

 

Built in, not bolted on

This isn’t just an evolution of the Data Protection Act – it has wider implications for the way that companies operate. It ensures that data is protected by design and default at a very intrinsic level.

Organisations will need to know exactly what personal data they hold and where it is located (on PCs, servers or in the Cloud). They must also have procedures in place to remove it permanently when an EU citizen requests this.

 

Why now?

We’ve moved on. The current Data Protection Act dates from the 1990s when only the largest companies had the means to collect and store significant amounts of data. Times have changed and the digital revolution is upon us. Thousands of SMEs now routinely access and store data about their customers.

As many of our clients are SMEs, we figured it would be useful to outline some key points about the new regulation. You have better things to do than read the official document’s 200+ pages.

 

What will the new data protection law mean for your business?

You will need to use simple language when asking for consent to collect data. You must explain clearly to customers what you do with their information. You’ll also need to have the functionality in place to respond to requests to delete data. In the future, all software will need to be capable of erasing data, rather than suppressing it. Quite a challenge.

 

So what’s changed?

The world has changed. Huge amounts of digital information are collected, exchanged and used every second around the globe. The GDPR will include,  for the first time, things such as genetic, mental, cultural, economic or social information that can be used to identify an individual.

It doesn’t matter where your business is based – after 25 May 2018, if you’re processing data about someone in the EU, you’ll need to follow the rules.

We’re all familiar with the small print on marketing materials. Things like the pre-ticked boxes that imply consent unless customers choose to opt out. Under the new rules, individuals have to actively give consent – and they can also withdraw this consent at any time. When this happens, their details must be permanently erased – not just deleted from mailing lists. It’s the right to be forgotten.

 

What happens in the event of proven non-compliance?

The penalty for breaching the regulation is eye-watering.

Serious violations will set you back up to £17 million or 4% of your annual global turnover, whichever is higher.

Here in the UK, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) will enforce the GDPR. It’s worth following their updates here before 25 May 2018.

Their intention isn’t to make early examples of organisations for minor infringements or to threaten big fines. There are other sanctions that they’ll use in cases of non-compliance… reprimands, warnings, corrective orders. As a result, it’s your reputation rather than your bank account that’s more likely to suffer.

Final guidance was published in December 2017 which you can see here.

Let’s end on a positive. You’re very likely to already comply with the terms of the Data Protection Act, so you’re well on the way to being ready for GDPR. If your website stores information about your customers, it’s a good idea to get in touch for an audit so we can help you identify the changes – if any – you need to put in place.

Getting your business started online

Getting your business started online

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It’s 2018 and every business has a website, right? Not quite. The most recent ONS data found that only just over half of all UK businesses had one. But if you’re behind the curve don’t worry, Ketchup is here to support you in getting your business started online.

The first step is to accept that for many consumers the internet is now their first port of call. It’s true to say web searches have largely replaced word-of-mouth referrals.

And some 80% of internet users in the UK do online shopping, too (the highest rate in Europe).

In fact, e-commerce now accounts for over a fifth of total business turnover. So if you haven’t got a presence online just think what a 20% uplift in your sales could do for your business? It means a website is no longer simply desirable, it is essential to a modern business.

Find and capture new leads

The good news is that bridging the digital divide and getting your business started online is not as daunting as it might seem at the outset.

And with some professional input you’ll find and capture new leads. Take a look at company website design page for some examples of easy-to-navigate sites with eye-catching designs and compelling content. They are putting businesses like yours ahead of the competition.

In many ways getting your business started online is not dissimilar to starting your venture in the first place and you’ve done that successfully.

You’ll need a plan but drawing this up will break down the process into a number of tasks, making the whole thing easier to get your head around.

Here is our step-by-step guide:-

Write a lean business plan which should include market / SWOT analysis and how you’re going to fund the project

Research, register and purchase your domain name and ask Ketchup to host it for you

Make it legal – there are specific online business regulations relating to how you capture and store customers’ personal information. Make sure you comply

Write copy that sells but think images, audio and video, too. Ketchup’s expert copywriters can work with you on content.

Commission an expert to design and build an easy-to-use website. If all your website needs to do is provide company information, testimonials and contact details then a brochure-style website will suffice. If you need to incorporate a blog or e-commerce functionality to sell good or services you’ll need a more advanced website platform. This will also require a merchant account and shopping cart tool.

Make sure your website is mobile friendly – analytic data shows a clear shift from majority desktop to majority mobile based traffic. And let Ketchup’s experts make sure that your shiny new site hits all the right buttons when it comes to Search Engine Optimisation

Consider having a Content Management System (CMS) so you can update your website regularly (good for Google rankings) without any knowledge of HTML or having to rely on external support

Think how you can keep in touch with visitors to your website. You’ll be able to build up a database and send out regular promotional emails. Online mailing system such as Mailchimp are free to businesses with 2,000 or fewer subscribers

Launch and maintain your website to keep it looking fresh. Use your social media channels to direct existing and potential customers to it. Install Google Analytics to help you track your visitor traffic patterns over time.

That’s a lot to take in all at once but talk to us and we’ll listen and put you in control. Get in touch here https://www.ketchup-marketing.co.uk/contact/

the power of social media in marketing

The power of social media in marketing

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The way businesses interact with their customers is changing – it’s no longer enough just to have a website and send out the odd newsletter.

Social media helps you to get your content seen by a community of people interested in you and what you offer. Build a relationship with them, and they’ll view you as someone they trust – and people buy from those they trust.

The first recognisable social media site, Six Degrees, was created in 1997 and combined personal profiles, instant messaging and friends. While they feel like they’ve been around forever, it wasn’t until 2006 that YouTube, Facebook and Twitter really took hold.

Social networks help you engage with your customers in real time. Simply put, they allow your brand, your business and your customer to interact freely and quickly.

So how can you harness the power of social media in your marketing?

Sign up to a social media platform that suits your style of business. Start a dialogue with your customers. Be authentic. Encourage them to leave reviews and feedback. Capture their interest. Step into their world. Make sure you reply to queries and respond to comments. Positive user-generated content is a powerful endorsement for your business.

Let’s take a quick look at some of the most popular social media platforms.

 

Facebook

facebookA few years ago, people thought Facebook was just for keeping up to date with friends and family (let’s not mention tracking down old girlfriends…).

Now it’s one of the most effective tools for reaching new audiences and engaging with current customers, generating leads, profile raising and making some brand noise.

Not to mention being able to target specific audiences based on location and demographics to behaviour and interests… it’s cost-effective, it’s easy to do and it works.

Top tip! Use images abundantly as they tend to attract the most likes, shares and comments. According to Facebook, images account for 75% of content posted by brands.

Speak to our experienced team about how your business can get the most out of Facebook.

 

Instagram

instagramEvery month, 600 million active users tell us about their lives via Instagram.

Every day, one billion photos are liked. This is where quality beats quantity. According to Forrester Research, Instagram user interactions with brands is 400 % higher than on Facebook and Twitter, delivering 58 times more engagement per follower than Facebook and 120 times more engagement per follower than Twitter.

As with all social media sites, it’s about keeping your followers entertained and engaged, so you’ll need to post photos that will inspire your target audience to be part of the lifestyle that your business represents.

There are some fantastic tips available online to make the most of your business the Insta way – all you really need is your phone and a great picture – but if you’d prefer to talk to a human, ask our friendly team for a few pointers.

 

LinkedIn

linkedinLinkedIn is the network for professionals. Our top tip? Writing posts just for LinkedIn grows your brand and your connections. It’s also a great platform to build a relationship with influencers. Learn the rules. Follow them, share their content, engage and interact. Give people solutions to problems they don’t know they have. Like Zig Ziglar said:

“If you help enough people get what they want, you will get what you want.”

There’s lots of info available about marketing at LinkedIn but we know you’re busy people and are short on time so give us a call if you’d appreciate our help.

Snapchat

snapchatRelatively speaking, Snapchat’s the new kid on the block. It can help you build an engaged following, increase loyalty and boost your brand visibility if your target market is teenagers to 25 year olds.

These fast delivering platforms don’t like contrived messages. It’s about being spontaneous rather than scripted, memorable rather than mass market. You have just seconds to create an impact…

For a snap shot about Snapchat and its capabilities, just give us a call.

 

Pinterest

pinterestPinterest is visually led by definition – in the word of its co-founder, it’s a dream catcher, helping you plan, turning thoughts into reality and keeping a close eye on the latest trends and influences in the marketplace. Perhaps even inspiring them.

We’d love to tell you more about the power of social media for your marketing campaigns so please get in touch …any way you choose!

cyber security - protect your website

Why it’s vital to back up and protect your website

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Everyone’s heard of WordPress – it’s one of the most popular content management systems in the world, used by nearly 75 million websites. Like facts and figures? 409 million people view more than 23.6 billion pages each month while users produce 69.5 million new posts and 46.8 million new comments every month. That’s a lot of words.

This kind of global presence and popularity makes the ubiquitous platform an irresistible target for hackers looking to damage sites for their version of fun – or to gather confidential information for more illicit purposes – as the news story a few weeks ago showed.

The security flaw in WordPress’s blogging software allowed hackers to attack and deface tens of thousands of sites. They were able to edit posts and change titles, but left unrepaired, those devious types would have been able to insert code, text and links… all very damaging indeed. These people are low on principles.

While WordPress caught the world’s attention back in February, a recent government survey revealed that nearly half (46%) of British businesses have discovered at least one cybersecurity breach or attack in the past year. That figure rises to 66% for medium and large companies.

Here at Ketchup, cyber security is a big deal for us.

It’s why we want to help every client protect their website, their business and their integrity: it’s not just an issue that affects major organisations – everyone using the Internet is potentially at risk.

WordPress tend to act swiftly to provide patches and other solutions when such vulnerabilities are discovered – but that is little consolation to those people whose sites have already fallen prey to hackers. That’s why we believe that it is far better to be prepared and protected – prevent the attack, rather than deal with the fall out.

Your WordPress admin area is normally only protected by password. Securing your website with additional features such as two factor authentication helps to secure your log ins, so that more than one link in the chain needs to be broken before an unwelcome visitor can access your site. It’s done by adding a second requirement (usually a code that will be sent via email) giving you an additional layer of protection… and in the light of recent news stories, this extra vigilance makes perfect sense, which is why we’ve made it part of our portfolio of services.

Keeping you safe

We’ve developed an advanced WordPress Protection Package exclusively for our clients, designed to maintain the security of your site and ultimately to give you peace of mind. KetchupProtect incorporates a whole raft of security and protection features that aren’t usually part of the WordPress platform, including:

  • 2 Factor Authentication – Users are required to enter both a password AND a secondary code sent to your email. Both the password and the code are required to successfully log in to a user account. Two-factor authentication adds an extra layer of WordPress security to verify it’s actually you logging in and not someone who gained access (or even guessed) your password.
  • Google ReCAPTCHA – this adds an extra layer of protection to your most vulnerable pages such as the WP login, user registration and comments.
  • Protection against bad users – this feature limits the number of failed login attempts and locks out bad users.
  • Enhanced admin security – this makes the administrative area inaccessible at certain times and alternates the URL for that area so that attackers won’t know where to look.
  • 404 detection – this identifies the high number of 404 errors that are generated when a bot scans your site and locks out the IP addresses which produce these.
  • File change detection and comparison – the security plugin will detect file changes that can be tell-tale signs of hacking and assess whether the change is malicious.
  • Malware scanning – scheduled scans check for malware and allow it to be combatted and removed.
  • User action logging – tracking when users log in, edit content and log out to help identify suspicious behaviour.

Choose KetchupProtect, and you’ll benefit from all the above safeguards as well as plenty of other features. You’ll also have peace of mind that we will check your website every week to ensure all plugins and software are current and make regular backups.

Protect your website, and you protect your business.

For more information about how we can make it much harder for the hackers, please get in touch on 0330 088 9277. We’re here to help you stay safe.

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