How to Choose the Right Digital Marketing Agency for Your Brand

Finding and choosing the right digital marketing agency for your brand can sometimes feel like a dreaded or daunting task. With the sheer power of social media nowadays, it’s super important you spend time digging through agencies to find one that suits your needs. A solid marketing campaign can lead to business-changing results. 

 

We’ve put together some top tips for you to consider to help you find the right digital marketing agency for YOU. 

 

1. Build your foundations 

Whether it’s a mind map or a bulleted list, brainstorm your business’ needs and aspirations. What are your core values? Think about your digital marketing goals. Are you keen to increase your following? Perhaps you want to target a different audience and form more of a community amongst your followers. You may even wish to generate more leads and sales by jumping on the paid ads wagon. There are a variety of ways in which the right digital marketing agency can elevate your brand. However, it is key that you think about your own business needs first to ensure you find an agency suited to you and your brand. 

 

2. Research 

This is often the most tedious step because the internet is FULL of so many different digital marketing agencies. The best way to go about this is to filter your searches. You’ve done the first bit, you know what goals you want to achieve so try to find an agency that supports this. Have a look through their previous work, have they worked with brands similar to yours? Even if the brand itself bears little resemblance to yours, they may have similar aspirations. Dig around the agency’s social media content. How do they run their own social media platforms? Finally, ask around. See what your peers think and stimulate conversation. Perhaps they will have an agency in mind that you can explore! 

 

3. Communicate 

Once you have narrowed down your choices, the best thing to do is reach out to the agency and speak to them. Make sure you tell them who you are (ie. what’s important to you) as well as what you are hoping to achieve and take away from the partnership. Prepare a range of questions to ask them – this will help you to compare answers against the other agencies and make your final decision. 

 

4. Meet the Agency 

Holding a meeting with the agency in person is the most effective way to find out if they are the right fit for you. This will give you both a chance to understand each other’s strengths and determine whether they are the one for you. 

 

 

Start the process today and get in touch with us to see if Pilot Fish Media would fit your brand today at lucy@pilotfishmedia.com!

In Other News: CSR Grows Larger, Holiday Shopping Goes Hybrid and Tik Tok Unveils Community Tok

It’s this time of the week again: let PFM give you the lowdown on what’s been happening in the digital marketing world this week. Get ready for the latest social media news and digital marketing insights!

 

 

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) gets bigger and bolder

While consumers’ interest in CSR is not new, the pandemic has shown us all how much of an impact businesses can have on the wider society beyond just selling their products. In our home city of Edinburgh, for instance, who could forget when, at the very start of Lockdown, Leith Spirits started manufacturing hand santisers for free when it was virtually impossible to find any!

Now more than ever, consumers expect more from brands. Not only do they value companies with sustainable (environment- or social-oriented) activities, an increasingly large proportion of consumers purposefully choose the brands they purchase from and work for based on their sustainable agenda and stay away from companies without one.

“More than ever before, brands will need to have an opinion on issues that affect our world. From racial issues to environmental topics, consumers want to see what brands will say and act and hold them accountable.” Chris Asahara, Global Head of Content and Social Media at Les Mills

What does it mean?

In short, it means that integrating CSR to your business strategy will be critical in 2022. But in more details:

  • Brands need to contribute to society at large to be noticed and valued;
  • To communicate this effectively, brands’ social media need to become value-oriented;
  • To show that they walk the talk, brands need to consistently weave their CSR agenda and efforts through their multiple channels and touch points.

 

Holiday shopping experience becomes increasingly hybrid

Here are some key metrics to get started

  • 48% of worldwide consumers plan to do 75% or more of their holiday shopping online
  • In that group, 47% shop on their mobile phones
  • 64% of US consumers use retail apps

In 2020, consumers got used to shopping online as physical options were limited or undesirable. This year, while most UK consumers are in a position to visit a store physically, they have had a taste of the ease and convenience of online shopping. As such, consumers will want to combine the best of both worlds this holiday season.

What does it mean?

The hybridisation of the consumer’s shopping experience has a few consequences, the first one being the need for an eCommerce platform. Beyond this, however, are the following:

  • For conversions, digital shopping experiences will need to be pleasant, fast, and seamless;
  • Investments in server capacity may need to be explored to make sure your website can cope with the increased traffic;
  • Successful digital shopping will require flexibility in delivery options (ie. home delivery, pick-up from store…) and returns;
  • Consumer service both online and offline will be paramount.

 

Tik Tok introduces ‘CommunityToks’

In its latest promotional campaign, Tik Tok introduced CommunityToks, which consist of subnetworks within the app linked by a single shared topic or interest, and are marketed at advertisers. CommunityToks focus on driving engagement, fostering rich subcultures and allowing for more personalisation.

What does it mean?

CommunityToks make advertising more effective via more precise targeting and more personalised content:

  • Businesses can reach and leverage segments interested in the same key topic;
  • It’s easier for brands to become part of relevant conversations;
  • Brands can share their content with smaller audiences that are more in line with their strand of content, which increases their resonance with the content;
  • It’s an opportunity for branded content to be seen as peer-to-peer communication, leading to deeper connection with the audience.

 

Wondering how to successfully meld physical and digital shopping this holiday season? Book a complimentary consultation with us at maya@pilotfishmedia.com, we’d love to chat!

 

Sources

Hubspot 2022 Social Media Trends Report

https://www.marketingdive.com/news/future-of-holiday-retail-is-mobile-app-blended-experiences/609826/

https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/tiktok-launches-new-communitytok-promotional-push-to-highlight-subculture/610388/

https://www.tiktok.com/business/en/blog/communitytoks-authentic-connection-creativity-joy?platform=facebook&attr_source=social&attr_source=social&channel=social-organic-post-community-tok-44519&attr_medium=organic-post&attr_campaign=social-organic-post-community-tok-44519&attr_agency=gbmhq

Why Email Marketing (Still) Matters

When I say email marketing, what comes to mind? Mountains of spam, I bet. I think we can all agree that way too many useless emails are floating about, and that’s saying nothing about that nasty “won’t you leave me alone” feeling we all get when spotting one of them crowding our inboxes. Let’s get one thing clear: that (insert shudder) isn’t email marketing. It’s death by a thousand cuts, also part of How To Make Your Customers Disappear 101: Noise Pollution… or, in less heated terms, spam.

 

So what is email marketing?

Simply put, email marketing is the practice of using email to promote an organisation and/or its product and services to targeted customers. And here is the key: targeted customers. This means individuals who have opted to receive communications from your brand. Email marketing carefully curates engaging and compelling content to a meticulously selected audience. As such, indiscriminately bombarding anyone you can with emails about lawnmower sales does not qualify as email marketing.

 

… And what makes it worthwhile?

Email marketing enhances the customer experience

It enables you to tie the different touch points (your website, organic social media, partners, paid ads) your customers go through together to create a smooth and continuous customer journey across your multiple platforms and channels. Email marketing works as the bridge that links all your customers’ individual experiences on different platforms together so that they form a seamless, overarching experience.

 

It’s a brand awareness booster

This is the most obvious benefit of email marketing: reminding people you’re there! This is more important than one might think. All of us have a thousand and one big and small interactions with multiple brands each day, which makes it difficult to remember any one in the medium (let alone the long) term. Audience members may or may not stumble on your brand or its communications again, thereby rekindling the brand awareness spark, but it is not guaranteed. 

Email marketing is therefore a conscious effort on your part to fan the brand awareness spark into a brand recall fire. (Excuse the fire metaphors, I am writing this in the middle of a cold Scottish winter and had fireplaces and bottomless hot chocolate on my mind). Now, you may be thinking that you can do all of this through your organic social media. True enough, social media is a great tool for brand awareness… just not as powerful as email marketing. Unless you’re following a brand, you may or may not see specific brands’ posts appear on your timeline, so it’s a bit of a gamble. 

You will definitely see emails in your inbox (remember, we’re not spam so no reason for your comms to end up in the junk folder). While 14% of individuals check social media in the morning, 58% check their emails and check them about 20 times throughout the day. And now for the knock-out punch, on average the engagement rate on organic social media is 0.58%, while email marketing has a 22.86% open rate and 3.71% of views lead to website visits.

 

It allows for personalisation

Most channels your brand will use have you addressing your entire audience at once. While this means more people will hear your message, it may not be worthwhile for everyone to pay attention to, meaning that some individuals may get the wrong impression about your brand and what it can do for them. 

Email marketing allows you to segment your messages to fit your different target audiences. This way, each type of customer gets a message that is valuable to them and aligned with their wants, needs and values. And this is the beauty of carefully built mailing lists: personalised communication is also more effective. By tailoring your message to your customer segments, you increase its readership, the perceived value of your brand, and in turn, sales.

Bonus: by using different messages per target segment, you can learn about their preferences, what works best for them and their behaviour. The better you know your audience, the best you can serve them… and increase your sales.

 

It helps you to nurture and deepen relationships

With email marketing, you are communicating with a warm audience: individuals who already know of your brand and who like it to an extent (remember, we’re not talking about spam, here). Through regular communication, email marketing enables you to slowly reveal other compatible facets of your brand to your target audience for them to get to know you a little better.

If you are clever with this tactic, you can also adapt your timing and content to fit major relevant moments in your audience life. This would demonstrate your understanding of your customer base but more importantly that you can be a partner in their lives. If you can achieve this, it will be absolute gold for your brand. This shift in perception deepens your relationship and upgrades your connection from a rational to an emotional one, which is stronger and longer lasting.

 

It’s an owned channel

Contrarily to paid advertising, email marketing is an owned channel, which means that you have complete control over the following:

  • Your message
  • Its visual aspect
  • The timing and frequency
  • The audience

This type of control is not that common when it comes to marketing. With email marketing, there are very few restrictions and templates you need to follow, allowing you to design every detail of your brand’s appearance, message and communication style.

 

It’s cost effective

In part because it is an owned channel, email marketing is an economical way to reach your audience. In the grassroots stage, all you need is a little time to write your message, basic computer skills, repurposing your brand assets (pictures, videos, GIFs) and you can send the lot through your regular email platform. At this stage, your emails are cheap and not too time consuming.

Once your business and brand stabilises a little, you can move to email marketing platforms like Klaviyo, Mailchimp and the like for a more polished look, scheduling and analysis capabilities. These platforms are relatively inexpensive, with varied levels of subscriptions to fit your brand’s needs, and they save you some time by giving you templates to work with and automating some of your work. When your brand gets even bigger, you can opt for a higher-level subscription, saving you even more time for a reasonable price.

 

Performance is easy to track and has a high ROI

Last but certainly not least, performance is easy to track and highly successful. By UTM tagging the links you include in your emails, you can review the behaviour of users who clicked on it. With this tool, you will be able to know by audience segment how many users visited your page, how many times, how long they spent on it, how many pages were visited on the website, and how many conversions (purchases if your brand is in eCommerce) were made. All of this will give you a good idea of how well each segment email performed and the overall interest in the content you have published.

Not only is email marketing performance eminently trackable and measurable, its return on investment is high, with email being one of the highest-ranking marketing tactics. In 2020, for every £1 spent on email marketing, £35.41 was earned in return! Hard to argue with those numbers.

 

… So, have we convinced you yet?

 

Want to get into email marketing or upgrade your game? Get in touch with us now at maya@pilotfishmedia.com, we would love to hear from you!

 

Sources

https://optinmonster.com/email-marketing-vs-social-media-performance-2016-2019-statistics/

https://www.statista.com/statistics/283067/return-on-investment-roi-for-email-marketing-in-the-uk/

https://www.kub-uk.net/insights/email-marketing-stats/

In Other News: YouTube Introduces Live-Stream Shopping, Snapchat announces new deal with Sony Music, and Linkedin shares insights into Gen Zers

Another weekly digital round-up is here with the latest social media news! This week we’re diving into Youtube shopping live streams, Snapchat and Sony Music’s new deal and LinkedIn’s insights into Gen Zers!

 

Youtube Introduces Live-Stream Shopping

With Live Stream shopping becoming a key focus for social apps, it’s no surprise that YouTube is getting involved with shopping live streams before the holiday season. After all, Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest have already been running these live streams with high profile creators. 

These streams will allow viewers to interact live with influencers/celebrities and then purchase products in the app. Think TV shopping channels but the viewers are tuned in because they are interested in the influencer/celebrity. It’ll be very interesting to see how successful these are and what effect it’ll have on the industry moving forward. Is Twitch next?

 

Snapchat Announces New Deal with Sony Music to Expand Sound Options

Snapchat is continuing to expand its audio options with this new deal with Sony Music. This agreement will allow users to incorporate more songs into their snapchats. 

As time goes on and TikTok has more influence over the world of music, it’s no surprise other apps will look to compete in this highly lucrative space. TikTok changed how we all consume music and how artists think about releasing singles. This proved that social media is more powerful than ever when it comes to influencing the music industry. 

Will the ability to use certain songs attract more users to Snapchat? Only time will tell.

 

LinkedIn Shares New Insights into key Trends and Traits Among Gen Zers

For those who don’t know, Gen Zer is the term for those born between 1997 and 2012. They’ll soon be the largest consumer group, accounting for over $140billion* in direct spending in the US alone. Unsurprising really when you consider that Gen Z is the first generation to be digitally intertwined since birth. As LinkedIn notes: “That helps explain their affinity for social media, including LinkedIn. Gen Z members are joining LinkedIn right after graduating high school, and today more than 78 million global Gen Z professionals are LinkedIn members. Most (71%) of Gen Zers spend more than an hour on social media every day; 63% visit LinkedIn more than once a week.”

Key points to take from the insights and traits are:

  • Forbes research shows that by 2025, Gen Z workers will make up 27% of the workforce and will soon be the pivotal generation to the future of B2B;
  • Approximately 78 million Gen Zers are on LinkedIn;
  • Most Gen Z members join LinkedIn after leaving high school;
  • Almost 20% of Gen Z members in North America study in a business-related field;
  • Gen Z is leading the ‘Great Reshuffle’ with 54% of Gen Z workers considering quitting their jobs and 41% of the global workforce considering resignation;
  • Gen Z has a +80% year-on-year increase in job transition on LinkedIn;
  • Only 23% of Millenials think they were similar to Gen Zers at the same age.

The above are some key insights from LinkedIn that apply specifically to their platform but they can also be applied to how we all think about marketing to Gen Zers going forward. 

 

For more information on capitalise on these LinkedIn insights, pop us an email at marius@pilotfishmedia.com!

 

Sources

https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/linkedin-shares-new-insights-into-key-trends-and-traits-among-gen-z-infogr/610080/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2BpPqzmL7EI&t=18s

How To Add Festive Cheer To Your Social Media

As the festive period gets into full swing, we’ve put together some tips on how you can infuse your brand with holiday cheer and drive engagement.

 

Write what you know 

Your customers/clients appreciate your specific expertise –  ask yourself how you can leverage this more at Christmas. Find ways to target elements of your brand, driving engagement and informing your audience e.g. Can you offer tips on decorating? Do you have a festive cocktail recipe you could share? Can you talk-up festive sales? What about your employees?…

 

Let your employees speak

Everyone celebrates differently and the festive period offers you an opportunity to highlight how your employees and coworkers mark the occasion and the stories they have to tell. Do they go about singing carols? Do they eat mince pies and stick on the Beach Boys Christmas Album on the 1st of November? Or are they a bit bah-humbug?

 

Be specific

It can be tempting to hit every aspect of the festive season, but it’ll serve you better to think about what parts of Christmas fit your brand. e.g. Are you more family oriented? Maybe you can talk about gifting, or complain about the atrocious (and/or wonderfully festive) weather.

 

Don’t repurpose assets

Make sure your festive assets are bespoke for the season as much as you possibly can. Your audience will often recognise repurposed assets from previous years and content can age very rapidly (particularly from the 2020 festive period). So it’ll always serve you better to book some time to create new assets, take new photography, refresh your menus etc…

 

Think about your tone of voice

Consider your brand’s tone of voice and how you can leverage this element during the festive season. Do you load your copy with emojis? Consider this a time to change up your usual tone of voice a little and emphasise warmth and humour. There’s a-million-and-one holiday puns and this is a tree-mendous opportunity to absolutely sleigh it, and that’s a snow joke. Believe in your ‘elf, you won’t get a frosty reception.

 

Would you like a consultation on how to upgrade your organic social media this festive season? Contact me at gra@pilotfishmedia.com, I would love to chat!