Google Dos and Don’ts – our content checklist infographic

February 23, 2016 / Infographic, Resources /

Another recent update in the midst of a website review prompted us to create this checklist infographic, which we thought we’d share.

Since 2012 Google has been telling us to concentrate on two key things: user experience and high quality content. It seems obvious that if you want a high performing website (not just one that ranks well in search engines), you should ensure that you deliver high quality information that is valued by your readers.

To achieve this you need to develop robust insight in order to define your audience(s) needs, wants and interests. You need to analyse the customer journey to match your user experience to it as closely as possible, providing relevant and unique content along the way. From this flows your content plan.

There are no short cuts (despite what some spammy SEO companies may promise)…short cuts will inevitably fail. And if a job’s worth doing…..

Content marketing checklist

Content marketing checklist

So, if you aren’t already planning in this way, make 2016 your year to create an insight-driven, robust, realistic plan for long-term success.



What makes for a good behaviour change programme?

October 6, 2015 / Infographic, Resources /

We create this infographic recently for an NHS client who commissioned Upshot Marketing to investigate local drivers to increasing A&E attendance among those with a low clinical need. We carried out face-to-face and telephone research with GP surgeries and hospitals to identify messaging and service developments that could help divert these patients to a more appropriate service.

It’s not just about GP availability we found. But more about tackling a complex range of factors – both national and local.

According to the National Social Marketing Centre (2011) the most successful behavioural change and social marketing programmes use at least two of the four elements. For these A&E projects, our research uncovered actionable ideas in all four strands.

Social media use in a B2B context

July 8, 2014 / Resources /
B2B social media use

We’d like to share some recent insight we gathered as part of a website project.

We know facebook and Twitter lead on social media take up in most countries from a general consumer perspective, but what about B2B? Forrester research among business people paints a very different picture:

Social media platforms used for business

Social media platforms used primarily for business

Source: Forrester Research, Inc (2013) Base: 382 US and European business decision makers at companies +100 employees 

LinkedIn dominates business use, whether you look at business use alone, or business and personal use combined. And facebook – always in the lead with Twitter in a consumer context – diminishes in importance.

To put these figures into context, the highest ranking information source for business people (81%) is independent (non-brand) communities or forums. So if you’re writing content for social media, consider the news angle too and offer it up to news site distribution sites.

B2B social media use

Social media use: business and personal combined

Source: Forrester Research, Inc (2013) Base: 382 US and European business decision makers at companies +100 employees 

Also worth considering is how platforms are growing. We couldn’t find growth statistics for the above four in one place. So the growth graphic below features latest figures taken from Search Engine Journal (UK and US statistics for facebook, Twitter and Google+) and Statista (Global internet users aged 16-64, excluding China) for LinkedIn.

If anyone has current statistics from one source for all four, please share it with us!

Social media growth statistics

Social media growth statistics

It’s early days for Google+ but it looks set to succeed, whilst Twitter continues to fly.

According to globalwebindex, Google+ (launched 2011) now has as many active users worldwide as YouTube (launched 2005) and Twitter (launched 2006).

We hope you found this useful. Please share your thoughts.


What’s your brand IQ?

May 7, 2014 / Comment, Resources /
Hi performing brand attributes

A report just out from TNS looks at what makes a brand irresistible. It calculates brand IQ by looking at the functional, emotional and social connections that brands make with consumers, plotted against brand usage, by category.

The sweet spot, according to this research, is an IQ of over 70 and the brand attributes displayed by these few high performing brands (an IQ of 80 delivers twice the performance of a brand with an IQ of 50) are defined in detail in the report.

Whilst it focuses on retail brands (and for some reason describes the brand attributes as apps) there are certainly recognisable attributes that are a worthy reminder for all brands, including those in the B2B space.

These attributes include:

  • Differentiation
  • Credible expertise
  • Momentum
  • Emotive meaning
  • Brand consistency
  • Brand connections
  • Integration across all touchpoints (cited by Top B2B brand IBM in their annual global marketing survey as the single most important necessity for marketers in 2014)
  • Brand unity across products and markets

The item that caught my eye the most is the graph showing how they plotted brand use against IQ. In the true spirit of “a picture is worth 1,000 words” it demonstrates how few companies manage to consistently pursue excellence across their key brand components. It reminded me of the recent Business Boomers programme on BBC2 (in conjunction with the open University) on Amazon leader’s mantra “start with the customer and work backwards” and it’s well worth a watch if you missed it.

Read the report and let me know your thoughts.

How to measure your email marketing

April 7, 2014 / Resources /

Content marketing remains a hot topic and with email marketing increasingly linked to the provision of useful content – and the mainstay of many outbound campaigns, particularly in B2B – it’s useful to consider metrics that focus on the content of your email marketing.

Email response rates are usually based on the following:

  • Deliverability (% successfully delivered) – this is a good indicator of your data quality.
  • Open rate (% opens/successfully delivered) – this is more an indicator of the relevance of your subject heading and first few words. It also reflects the relevancy of your brand to your recipients. The open rate can vary from around 16-34% in the UK, depending on which sector you’re marketing to.
  • Click-through (% clicks/successfully delivered) – is a good generic response rate that can vary from around 1.5% to 11% again, depending on sector.
  • Conversion (how many do what you are asking) is a great benchmark of overall campaign success and should be a metric established at the very outset of your campaign planning.
  • Unsubscribes is a good indicator of both data quality, perceived brand value (or rather the value of your communications) and relevancy.

Given that Upshot Marketing is a UK company – based in Sussex and the digital hub that is Brighton – the guideline figures quoted above are for the UK. But if you want to see more detail or figures from the US, Europe or Asia-Pacific you can find out more from a recent Smart Insights post that is really informative.

The figure that we like the most though is click-to-open rate, which measures the relevancy and context of an email – of the recipients who opened the email, how many clicked? This gem of a statistic (around 12% for B2B email marketing) reveals how useful the content was judged to be in an instant.

From this point, you will of course analyse your landing pages using Google Analytics, to measure action taken from this point. And these learnings can inform your next campaign, which will hopefully deliver better results.


Marketing Perspectives just out

April 3, 2014 / Resources /

Good to see the Marketing Week/SAS Marketing Perspectives white paper out this week.

Events websites and email have come out on top again in terms of spend allocation and confidence in the medium.

Interesting to see a new table this year which shows the skills required for 21st century marketing. Top three are web analytics, customer analytics and campaign management.

Content marketing was cited as the most important of all, which reflects the need for top notch web and customer analytics.

See the paper for yourself on Marketing Week’s knowledgebank.


Top ten email clients

January 24, 2014 / Resources, Web /

Which email clients should you be testing?

We all know the importance of varying copy and creative for different audience segments, along with the value in testing alternative versions to see what performs best.

But many people often overlook the devices people use to view their emails. Some people have yet to use a responsive design and others use a template that is not sufficiently adaptive to mobile.

This analysis from Litmus Labs lists the most popular devices used, based on 321 million email opens in December 2013 as measured via their Analytics tool.

If your email marketing designs are not responsive or adaptive to mobile, this graphic might make you switch….

Definition: push and pull marketing

December 30, 2013 / Resources /

A client asked me the other day to define what this meant. So I thought it would be helpful to share this more widely.

PUSH marketing is used to generate a response from customers and is about a company putting a message out there for general consumption. It’s cost-effective for communicating the same message to large, homogenous audiences (like traditional advertising for example, on TV, outdoor and print, or online advertising) but it can also be segmented to a degree, using direct mail and e-shots). The downside of push marketing is the wastage…..not all customers will pay attention and some of those who do might also be engaging with something else. To illustrate this, according to Google/Ipsos/Sterling research, 77% of the times that viewers watch TV, they are also browsing another device (nearly half of them with a smartphone and a third with a laptop).

PULL marketing (also known as inbound marketing) is when a company produces a great website that attracts customers who are looking for information or an experience. Those with high visibility perform well here, making search engine optimisation and engaging content vital components. This type of marketing can be more interactive, encouraging two way feedback, initiated by the customer. So the numbers reached are far smaller, but the quality of leads generated will be better, by the very definition that the customer has sought you out.

“So where does social media sit?” she asked. A good question….

In the middle really. It can be used for both push and pull marketing. For example, tweeting about a new service is a push, whereas a branded LinkedIn page is more PULL.

Our Christmas gift. A better campaign brief for all.

December 22, 2013 / Resources /

Agencies and clients agree that poor briefing wastes both time and money. On a more positive note, the better the brief, the better and more accurate the results.

So to help you on your way to better results in 2014, here’s six key tips for a good brief which will generate three outcomes:

Outcome 1: better, more effective, measurable work

  • The most important piece of information issued by a client to an agency, from which everything else flows
  • The brief should be considered the platform for a communications campaign
  • Stimulate the creative imagination, don’t restrict it
  • Ultimately you are buying creative ideas

Outcome 2: save time and money

  • A proper written brief makes the process more efficient– that’s good for clients and good for agencies
  • Don’t waste resources
  • Outline existing creative resource
  • Let the budget be known

Outcome 3: make remuneration fairer

  • Clearer objectives are easier to price and compare apples with apples
  • A crystal clear brief ensures no extras later on
  • Clarity and depth enables all options to be considered, avoiding costly changes at the later stage

View our perfect campaign brief and here’s to successful campaigns for all in the coming year!

2014 poll says content is King

December 20, 2013 / Resources /

According to digital marketing guru and author Dave Chaffey, content marketing polled as the single most important area of marketing in 2014, in terms of offering the greatest commercial benefits.

It’s not surprising really, given that good content underpins all digital marketing activity in one way or another.

If content marketing is new to you, here’s some basic principles.

  • A content marketing approach comes from the position that people now buy differently. Search engines and blogs have changed the landscape.
  • At its heart, content marketing is about giving your target audience(s) content that they will value – be it educational, entertaining or inspiring.
  • Value and quality go hand in hand. So as well as being genuinely useful, it needs to be creative and well produced.
  • You need to create content in multiple formats such as infographics, podcasts, video, webinars
  • Don’t just put your content on your website. Create a landing page for it; promote it on your home page; optimise it for search; promote it through your social networks
  • If it’s sufficiently valuable, you might want to run a Pay Per Click campaign (PPC)
  • Measure it! Make it a feature of your web analytics dashboard.

If you could benefit from some help creating a content plan, or developing valuable content to drive business growth in 2014, please get in touch.