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Andrew Shaw Marketecture Experience

Posted by | B2B marketing, Creative, Design

Let’s see where do I begin? I guess the most appropriate thing to say would be that my name is Andrew. For anybody who hasn’t had the chance to speak with me this week, my apologies, I’ve really just been concentrating as much as possible on the task at hand and I’m…erm a little bit shy I guess. My background is within fine arts, as soon as I left school I went to college to study a design course which varied over a number of different media types. When this came to an end I went on to Salford University to study Visual Arts which included a foundation year, this is where I really learnt how to progress skills I already had and developed many new ones too. I graduated in 2010 after five years, it was a great experience and I’m definitely glad I did it.

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The Gestalt law of closure

Posted by | Creative, Design, Digital, Food for thought, Psychology

Following on in this series of understanding the Gestalt principles of visual perception and comprehension we look at:

CLOSURE

“When seeing a complex arrangement of elements, we tend to look for a single, recognizable pattern.”

Closure seeks simplicity. Closure can occur when a series of visual elements suggest a connection between one another, when, in fact, they may never actually touch. Read More

Social Media Scottish independence

Can B2B social media marketers learn anything from the Scottish Independence campaign

Posted by | Digital, Social Media, Uncategorized

With a week to go, across the UK, all eyes are looking towards Scotland to find out if Scots are going to take a leap of faith and vote yes to becoming an independent nation.

The decision is, of course, one for the people of Scotland to make. However with the odds once so stacked against a yes vote, and a number of polls now predicting that the result is “too close to call”, it’s fair to say that from a marketing point of view, we’ve taken a professional interest in the campaign.

The Better Together team certainly have the force of the media behind them, with every major outlet in Scotland either openly or quietly behind a no vote. Add to this the not inconsiderable resources of the British government and some major business backing, and you have to question just why Yes Scotland has managed to generate the momentum it has.

Could part of the answer lie in the engagement power of social media?

In 2011, according to research by Ipsos MORI, the SNP dominated discussions on social media in the run up to the Scottish Parliamentary elections, and this has been mirrored by the wider yes campaign in the run up to the referendum vote.

Certainly, Strathclyde University, which has been undertaking a study on the use of social media during the campaign, shows that Yes Scotland has the advantage in terms of online enthusiasm. Furthermore, an FT.com article published this week, highlighted the yes campaign’s energetic and creative use of social media, with the distribution of campaign material and the rallying of support via Facebook and Twitter of real significance in winning over voters.

Whatever the outcome of the referendum vote, the closing gap between the two sides highlights the power of social media in helping politicians to gain the competitive advantage. And it’s no different in the world of b2b.

With a focus on clever strategy rather than huge advertising budgets, social media provides a level-platform for b2b marketers to compete with larger, and better funded, rivals. Unfortunately, however, too many b2b businesses are still failing to grasp the tremendous brand awareness and lead generation opportunities that social media can deliver.

If you’d like more information on how to create an effective social media strategy for your b2b brand, read our top tips here.

Fly high with Google Pigeon

Has your B2B website been s**t on by Google’s pigeon?

Posted by | B2B marketing, Digital, Technology

Move over pandas, penguins and hummingbirds, there is a new SEO critter in town, and this time it’s personal…to your home town.

At the end of July, Google released yet another algorithm update intended to improve the accuracy and relevancy of local search results. In the absence of an official name by Google, the update was quickly dubbed ‘Google Pigeon’ by the folks at industry news publisher Search Engine Land.

For b2b businesses with local offices or other premises, the update was big news. Pigeon brought with it a significant change to the distances made around searches, with Google now reducing the radius in most cases. For companies that cover a wide geographical area, this shifting calculation wasn’t necessarily welcome.

Ironically, while many of us have been writing off Yell.com and other such online directories as dead ducks when it comes to SEO lead generation, Google Pigeon may have just saved their bacon. Indeed, early stats are showing an upturn in traffic for these internet based directories over individual local business website rankings.

So just what do local b2b businesses need to do in order to fly high with the pigeon? Well, before you run out and open more offices, it’s important to first establish where you are and are not listing. Monitor your analytics to determine the impact that Pigeon has had on organic search visits to your site after 24th July. Once you have the facts at your disposal, if your site has been damaged by the changes you can then look to implement some fixes to get you back up the rankings.

  • Carry out some local research against the terms typically associated with your business and see if any online directories stack up well against these terms. If a particular directory is doing well in a particular area, you probably want to be in it.
  • Use a local phone number on your website and other listings and avoid generic 0844 or call tracking numbers that don’t use a local area code.
  • Leverage your location across your website. Make sure to associate your business with as many town/city names as appropriate and on each local page include as much information as you can about your local office, such as name, address, phone number, map, hours, directions, towns/villages served, etc.
  • Repeat the above process with your social media channels, and in particular make sure you’ve claimed and optimised your Google + location pages using unique URLs if possible.
  • Repeat again with any online directory listings.
  • Consider review sites as well as standard online directories and find out how you are stacking up in these. Encourage happy customers to leave reviews if at all possible.
  • Where you are still ranking but have lost position, focus your efforts on boosting your rankings in these areas through general good practice SEO and content marketing.
  • Consider employing long-tail or less competitive keywords in areas that you have lost ranking.

Whatever you do, it pays to remember that just when you think you’ve got Google figured out, it goes and changes the game all over again. Ultimately by combining the best principles of SEO with the power of brand and content marketing you’ll continue to meet your potential customers’ needs and stay ahead of the game. And while local SEO is important to build a strong local brand presence, as well as focusing on your online efforts, it’s vital to continue to develop real world local relationships that will stand the test of time. No matter what Google throws your way.

5top-tips

5 top tips for improving social media brand reputation

Posted by | Social Media, Strategy

While studies have revealed reputational damage to be the number one strategic risk for large companies across the globe, the importance of social reputation management to brand equity is often underestimated by business leaders. This shouldn’t be the case, as poor online reputation can rapidly evolve into negative customer sentiment, relationship breakdown and, ultimately, reduced profit margins.

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My first week in B2B Marketing in Manchester

Posted by | B2B marketing

Everyone’s first perception of working in B2B marketing is, this must be boring. Industrial clients, supply chains, none of the glamour of consumer marketing. My experience here in my first 5 days at Marketecture has convinced me otherwise. The vibe and good nature of the office environment is as much alive here as I’ve experienced in previous positions in Digital Agencies. This carries on through in the new surroundings of MediaCityUK in Manchester, a perfect place for me to start progressing my career as a Web Developer in this sector. Read More

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Pass me the bucket…

Posted by | Inspiration

The Ice Bucket Challenge. Yes, yes, I know. I can already hear you groaning. Videos of your mates pouring water over their heads is starting to clutter up your Facebook feed and you want to get back to pictures of dogs wearing hats and actually hearing about what your friends have really been getting up to. But here in B2B Marketing land, this whole Ice Bucket Challenge concept has proved to be really interesting.

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