Well thought out and well designed websites are essential in making a good impression. According to the Nielsen Norman Group, most website users stick around less than 59 seconds. So, if you don’t capture a user’s attention in less than a minute, you’ve lost them. Around 55% of visitors spend less than 15 seconds on a website! That gives you even LESS time to capture their attention.
“The first impression is the best impression” – says every mother, everywhere!
Content marketing is essential. Putting out well written content on a regular basis across all platforms will most definitely improve your custom. These ‘platforms’ include websites, of course, but also social media, email campaigns and printed collateral too.
Your focus needs to be on giving customers information that is:
- Will help build your reputation
At Magnificent Stuff, we offer the whole package. Unlike most marketing agencies who thrive on design work, we deliver content which will work alongside your design and brand, all in-house. We love getting to know our clients and their products/service, so who better to write about it than us?
We have compiled our top tips for content creation so that you will have more success in winning clients and customers:
1. Know your audience and know their requirements
2. Be clear and concise
3. Share your knowledge and passion
4. Be consistent in tone of voice and format
5. Tell stories!
6. Spread the word via social media
If you need any help with content creation, please contact us today!
Magnificent Stuff and Best Mailing Services are thrilled to announce the launch of their creative services, marketing & fulfilment hub.
In response to growing demand, the strategic partnership will deliver a one-stop marketing & fulfilment solution for clients. Meaning both consistency and efficiencies can be passed onto clients.
“As client confidence in decent agency offering continues to be challenged, creating an exceptionally high standard of service with a trusted one-stop solution is more important than ever. Our knowledge and understanding of the industry fused with the years of experience we have between us allows us to work on some very exciting projects together. The multi-function offering means we can develop innovative solutions from initial research stage right through to fulfillment and the measurement of effectiveness. It’s a really exciting time”.
Continuing to operate under the Merlin Way address, on the perimeter of North Weald airfield in Essex, BMS have been joined on-site by creative content marketing and digital specialists, Magnificent Stuff.
The development of the marketing & fulfilment hub is in response to a clear and very obvious requirement to deliver clients of all sizes a fully integrated solution.
“You tend to find that so many local agencies are really just designers pitching themselves as a marketing agency. Where we differentiate, and offer value is by fusing design, content marketing, reputation management and now fulfillment together seamlessly to provide clients with a multi-discipline offering under one roof.”
Given that BMS, who have been established for 32 years and have worked with clients including, BAFTA, LAING and Hilton, have been collaborating on a number of projects with Magnificent Stuff over the last few years making the hub feel like a very natural progression. Magnificent Stuff has been trading for 3 years and this move marks the significant growth experienced by the agency.
“With the re-launch of the HDCC B2B magazine we were very keen to explore how we could further expand our offering to clients. In BMS we have found not only a hugely experienced partner, but one with genuine enthusiasm, knowledge and creativity”.
For more information about the hub or to contact us regarding work please call +44 1992 522452 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Anything Other Than Magnificent Simply Isn’t Acceptable
Is blogging really a necessary element of running a business? Are you swaying towards the YES vote, but deep down, as an SME owner, you don’t feel that you have the time or the skills to regularly post any interesting, high quality, original content?
The sinking feeling starts and the procrastination kicks in; surely you’re thinking there are ‘more important’ things you could be doing to grow your business (apart from currently doing a sterling job in talking yourself out of starting a regular blog?). Hmmmm, sounds to us like you are firmly stuck in the blog bog; totally stuck about what to write.
Blogs give customers an inside look into your company as well as an overview of your brand, your aims and values. Your customers feel valued that you want to connect with them, whilst building your brand, client trust and giving your business some seriously free PR. In fact, according to a recent HubSpot survey, 60% of businesses who regularly blog win more customers.
Here at Magnificent Stuff, with wellies at the ready, we can quickly pull you out of the blog bog. How? We blog for you! Simply put, we do everything – we create strong editorial content, research topics and industry articles that are of interest and turn them into content-rich blogs on your behalf. We can magically turn bits of your existing website into bite-sized, easily digestible, useful blogs that keep you relevant and present. Even if you choose to blog about a specialist topic, we have a team of content writing professionals who we can outsource even the most complex blog briefs to.
So, now there really is no excuse not to start blogging and just to help you a little more (apart from all the ‘techy’ bits) we have a few magnificent facts that might help you realise how effective blogging actually can be:
Fuel your Search Engine Optimisation
Search engines recognise valuable content and reward you for creating it, by helping you climb up the results ladder. Adding another indexed page to your website offers you a better chance of showing up in organic listings and driving traffic to your site, which in turn generates new leads and revenue.
Support your social media initiatives
Blogs keep your social media pages active and popular. It’s all well and good sharing other people’s posts, but you need to publish your own content and drive the interest back to your own site. It also opens up an opportunity for dialogue through comments on social media channels as well as saving you time creating separate social media posts when you can utilise snippets of your blog content. Blogging demonstrates that your business is alive, well and very much loved by you.
Be an expert and be human
Blogging is a perfect way to give you the spotlight – your time to shine. Let your audience know that you are confident and knowledgeable in what you do and establish yourself in your chosen field by offering useful and informative content. Your website may be an all singing, all dancing top-notch bit of design, but by posting a regular blog you can add a human voice to your site, bring to the fore your brand, your character and your professionalism.
Blogging for business just makes sense. With minimum financial investment or even effort if you let us take on your blogging requirements, you can rapidly build credibility, boost search engine rankings, increase traffic, be heard and build stronger relationships with your audience. Blogging is a marketing tool that creates opportunity after opportunity and everyone should be doing it.
Definition: adjective [before noun] UK /ˌɔːl.weɪzˈɒn/ US /ˌɑːl.weɪzˈɑːn/ Always On – available or operating at all times.
The media landscape can be an intimidating place for SMEs. Primarily because they are greater in number (representing 99% of all EU businesses) and therefore face more competition from peers, but also because they lack the vast budgets and ability to generate the standout and market recognition larger organisations can. An Always On strategy should be considered.
An Always On strategy – where small amounts of information or content is delivered constantly rather than a more traditional “campaign” model, is ideal for smaller businesses on a financial level, as it is easier to spread the cost over time instead of crippling your bottom line with a major fiscal hit every few months. It also means that your message is continuous rather than being reinvented each burst.
A further advantage of Always On content is that it engages you and your audience in an ongoing two-way conversation, a key driver for building your customer base. Your audience, like the rest of us, live in a world where they have become accustomed to constant information- when that drops off at the end of a campaign, a lot of that engagement can be lost. Of course attracting their attention in the first place is important, but equally crucial is being able to retain it. An Always On strategy can help to develop a relationship – keep them coming back.
“A good analogy would be with web browsing – getting people to click on your page is one thing, but what you really want is for them to bookmark it”.
Allows you to be both reactive AND proactive
Always On is key when it comes to maintaining relationships because it enables you to be nimble, and adapt to changing circumstances or customer feedback on the fly. A campaign which is generally more proactive, is a commitment, and if poorly-judged can be very difficult to come back from and can even be damaging.
“To summarise, with Always On marketing, even if you are using it in combination with campaign marketing, you will have much less trouble turning the ship around if you reach choppy waters!”
If you would like help with an Always On strategy for your business please email email@example.com or visit our CONTACT page
Using Instagram for Business
In the five years since its launch as a free mobile app, Instagram has ballooned in popularity with great advances in the use of Instagram for business. 300 million people used Instagram as of this time last year. In 2013 alone, it grew in value by 23%. The same year it introduced sponsored post advertising in the US, with big name brands such as Ben & Jerry’s and General Electric quick to seize the opportunity. The function was rolled out in the UK the following year. With a total of 30 billion photos having been shared through Instagram, the opportunities for marketing are obvious, especially for products and services which rely heavily on their visual aspects. Holidays, for example, or interior design and decorating.
According to a study by Socialbakers, Instagram’s “post engagement rate” (a measure of activity on any given internet page, taking into account the amount of people who have seen it as well as the amount who have directly interacted with it) is 3.31%. With Twitter only coming it at 0.07%. It’s fairly obvious that there is plenty of potential here.
Of course, there is as always, slightly more to it than that. “Interaction” can cover many things, not all of them profitable. But if you know what you’re doing, it’s not hard to make Instagram work for you. Key to this strategy is the use of hashtags. Hashtags on Instagram work in much the same way as they do on Twitter, and Instagram will allow you to incorporate up to thirty of them in your post. Research by Trackmaven shows that, despite conventional wisdom having been to restrict hashtags to one or two, the level of interaction rockets for posts using eleven or more. So it’s vital not to underestimate their importance – and remember, each hashtag, used wisely, is another hook to draw in an audience for your product at no extra charge. A mixture of popular hashtags and more specific ones will help you reach a wider audience while at the same time narrowing that pool down to your customer base – essentially, you can cast your net wide and still only catch the particular fish you are aiming for.
With the addition of 15-second video clips, Instagram is ideal for when you want your customers to actually see what it is you’re selling. By smart use of hashtags and the incorporation of video clips, you too can harness the power of Instagram for business to maximise your marketing reach.
Advertising with Social Media
When the phrase “Web 2.0” started appearing around the turn of the millennium, few people other than hardcore tech types took much notice. But fast-forward to 2015, and it’s hard to remember a time when the web wasn’t like it is today, with our electronic lives dominated by social media, user-generated content and online app development.
The entire focus of the internet has shifted from being a world where the vast majority of us were silent observers of provided content to one where we are all participants in the biggest collaborative project in human history. Where we’re invited to participate through commenting, sharing and creating our own content. The likes of Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Reddit constitute an enormous conversation in which we are all taking part. Which means, in short, that there will always be someone ready to listen to what you have to say.
According to studies, a full 50% of 18-24 year olds visit Facebook first thing when they wake up. Combined with a statistic from the Social Media Examiner, that 83% of business reported that social media was important, if not critical, to their business, this all adds up to a golden opportunity for marketing.
The key difference today is that you no longer have to reach all your audience individually – if you can reach and impress some of them, then they will do the rest of the work for you, by passing on your campaign to their social network, who will then do the same with theirs, and so on. The speed at which gossip can travel through a community has been recognised for thousands of years – today’s social networks increase this speed exponentially, and on a previously unimaginable scale.
If you can get people talking about your product, then it’s a short jump to going viral.
But it’s not just Facebook, of course. Pinterest recently added “rich pins”, which are paid-for pieces of content carrying more information and ideal for advertising, while Twitter has been supporting promoted tweets since 2010. People all around the world are constantly talking to one another. If you can get them talking about you, then you have access to the biggest advertising audience ever seen.
With nearly 2.1 billion people having accounts for various social platforms, the social media revolution shows no sign of coming to an end any time soon.
Pinterest for Business
In the six years since its creation by Cold Brew Labs, Pinterest has expanded to cater to 100 million users worldwide, with roughly thirty percent of all social media users visiting the site. The introduction this year of Rich Pins, containing a greater amount of information and allowing users to purchase items or services direct from their providers, has turned Pinterest into an unparallelled marketing opportunity for businesses, not only in the realm of online shopping. According to Ahalogy, over half of Pinterest’s daily users say they consult the site in-store to help them make decisions about their purchases. Over eighty percent would rather follow a brand than a celebrity.
The way Pinterest works is by allowing users to upload and “pin” photographs to a personalised “pinboard”, which can in turn be browsed by other people according to their interests. Globally most of these users are women who are more likely to book holidays or designers. That said, the number of men using Pinterest has increased dramatically recently especially in the UK. Men are reportedly twenty percent more likely to purchase items after seeing them on the site. Of course, the visual nature of Pinterest makes it ideal not just for impulse buys, but also for services such as interior design, where a picture can convey far more of a sense of what is on offer than mere text could ever do.
Once you start to view Pinterest as a search engine rather than a social media platform things start to become very interesting indeed. Especially for anyone wanting to push their products to a wider audience and, crucially, for anyone wanting to know how effective this marketing strategy is proving. Like most online marketing platforms, Pinterest is equally valuable as a market research tool as it is a virtual storefront, allowing advertisers to react quickly and dynamically to shifting demographics as well as customer response.
Given its rapid expansion and increasing popularity, which shows no signs of abating any time soon, now is the ideal time for brands to take advantage of this unprecedented marketing opportunity. Pins seen by your followers will be spread to their own followers, essentially meaning that the people to whom you are marketing become your brand’s marketers themselves, This makes it very easy for your content to go viral very quickly. Let’s face it, who hasn’t dreamed of harnessing the power of the public (and a very 21st century form of word of mouth) to build a huge audience?
In today’s increasingly overcrowded digital marketplace, search engine optimisation is now more important than ever before if you want your site to stand out from the crowd. Video content is a great way forward.
Whereas in the past a handful of keywords would do the trick, increased broadband speeds and the popularity of streaming media (an estimated 100 million people a day watch online video content) mean video is now one of the most important additions you can make to your marketing arsenal. This has as much to do with advances in the search engine technology itself as it does with the changing nature of the marketing landscape – a process which is only going to continue, making it vital that you jump on board now rather than find yourself left behind.
When you consider the advances being made by Google Labs in pattern recognition, the necessity of using video content becomes obvious for anyone wanting a boost in the markets of tomorrow.
Of course, search engine page ranking is just the beginning of your target audience’s engagement with your site. Once you have them there, you have to maintain their interest, and what better way to do that than with a slick video presentation? According to the Cisco Visual Network Index, by 2019 80% of all internet traffic will be video, making it the ideal way to connect with your customer base. And as a means of measuring how effective that connection is, video has a lot to recommend it over text. Of course, you can see how many pages a visitor has looked at but there is no way of telling how much of each of those pages they have actually read. Compare this to video, where information about how far through a piece each visitor has played is far easier to collate, making it equally useful as a tool for market research and refining your strategy.
If a picture can be said to paint a thousand words, the power of video is exponentially larger. It has a substantial effect on click-through rates, page rankings, audience interest and deal closures. If you look at the research, as well as the tangible benefits gleaned by those businesses who have already joined the video marketing boom, there really is no good reason not to get involved yourself. It’s not just sound business sense, it really is the future of online marketing.
From testimonials through to promotional videos and training produced, directed and edited by experienced, qualified experts. Increase your customer engagement and improve your search engine listings with bespoke, quality video content produced to your specifications. Contact Steve at Magnificent Stuff via e-mail or on 07723024865.
Marketing Support for organisations of all sizes.
We like to think we can help with most business objectives, just a few of the areas of marketing support we specialise in include the following:
Content marketing strategy
Small agency consultancy support
Market research – surveys, questionnaires, focus groups Subscriptions and distribution
Loyalty marketing/membership marketing
E-commerce setup and management
Readability/tone of voice
Contract Publishing – B2B and consumer
Print and publication management – full service offering (inserts, magazines, brochures, catalogues)
New business development/strategy
Commercial consultancy – advertising sales support/setup/management Subscriptions management
Distribution management/targeted placement
Search engine optimisation
Social media strategy
This list isn’t exhaustive but covers the type of work we do. For costs and more information on marketing support in-house or offsite please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call Steve on 07723 024865
Tips to help with Presentations
Do you get nervous presenting? Do you spend the entire time whilst waiting to perform panicking, sweating, shallow and fast paced breathing or practising your speech over and over in your head? Either way you’re barely listening to anything else going on around you, everything is focused on you – trying to keep you calm, focused, and minimising the pressure you’re placing on yourself to perform.
I’m this person, I’m entirely terrified of standing up and having no clarity, complimented by a lack of incoherent thoughts and being unable to translate anything into grown-up speech and worse still, boring everyone and having no hope of holding the crowd.
I should be excellent in my position and with my background, And surely, with all the sales courses, pitches, self-help and training I’ve had I should be on the TED talk stage!
I thought it fitting to share some of the more realistic and productive tips to help with presentations I’ve been given over the years to see if it can help you more than it has me!
- Have an elevator pitch at the ready – and have it very well-practiced (an elevator pitch is a short, sharp couple of sentences that explain why people should do business with you (derived from ‘if you were in a lift with Richard Branson / A.N.Other business mogul, what would you tell them about your business/you?’)
- Always have the first sentence of your presentation ready and prepared. If you get up and go blank this first sentence will really help get you back on track.
- There is a lot to be said for breathing… It’s entirely underrated and we make so little effort with it when we really should be doing it properly. Every course and training session I’ve been on focuses on the breathing. Slow, deep inhale, so your chest puffs out a bit and being conscious of your breathing really helps calm your body down physically so can rid you of the sweaty palms, twitchy hands, dry mouth and anxious heart pounding in your head thing you may have going on. If you need help count to 10 on each breath in and then again on out.
- Silence is golden. Don’t be afraid to stop, pause and collect your thoughts at the end of a paragraph during your presentation. This not only refocuses you but re-engages the audience and gives them a moment to digest what you’ve just said.
- Nice knickers and shaved legs… Or clean pants and a good wash if you’re a guy. Being presentable not only makes people warm to you and not focus on your negatives (and as much as any trainer has told me this isn’t what people do, I know it’s a lie – we’ve all silently critiqued the poor bastard standing presenting to us instead of hanging on every word he utters!) it subconsciously makes you feel better and more confident, even if you don’t realise it! So, having a new top on or polishing your shoes, whatever you need to do, do it is and as much of it as you can do to ensure your are perfectly groomed and presentable!
- SMILE! People want to like you, and on the whole they are really interested to hear what you’ve got to say. Smiling not only makes a connection between you and your audience it will also help relax your face and in turn your mood. Smiling is so underrated in our opinion.
- Watch the big politicians and public speakers. Loads of them hold their hands together or press their fingertips together, this focuses your energy and helps curb the shakes and sweats
- Practice. Practice. Know your shit. If you know your subject matter you can wing any presentation or talk…
Failing all of these tips I’ve been crippled with nerves during one presentation before and found myself in the loo downing a miniature gin before going on… It didn’t touch the sides, I still cried after it and I still flunked the presentation, but the gin helped me laugh about it after… a long time after!