Marketing your small business in 2017

Advertising, Digital Marketing


Small business marketing is tricky these days. There have never been more options available. Most of which you can do yourself. But, of course it’s not that simple!

With endless new marketing opportunities available, how do you choose the right ones?

What’s the most cost-effective way to find new customers?
How do you convince them to visit your website?
And, how do you get them to buy your product or service?

Fear not! We’re here to help you through the modern marketing maze.


Facebook Lead ads

Small business marketing on Facebook

In our experience, it’s crucial for small business owners to be active on Facebook.

Having recently hit 2 Billion users, it’s likely your potential customers are using Facebook. Right?

A couple of posts per week should be enough, your followers don’t need hourly updates. But keep posts relevant and fun. And link to your website or products often. Don’t forget you’re using Facebook to drive traffic to your site.

Video content is especially popular.

Hanapin Marketing wrote a great article on this topic, stating some have even suggested that Facebook will be all video in 5 years!


Facebook ads

The real way to drive traffic though is by using Facebook’s ever-growing ad platform.

The targeting and value for money are second to none.

Again video content works well. But other mechanics for driving traffic to your site are:

1. Competitions
2. Prize draws
3. Article links
5. Infographics
6. Games & quizzes

Bear in mind, the majority of your Facebook traffic will be from mobile. So a mobile optimised or responsive website is a must.

Marketing your business with SEO

SEO or Search engine optimisation, is often misunderstood.

But actually it’s simple. SEO is the process of getting a website to appear (rank) in search engine results.

Most businesses want to rank well for keywords relevant to their product or service.

Examples might be:

A company selling aluminium front doors would want to rank for “Aluminium front doors”.

An agency in Macclesfield wanting to rank for “creative agency Macclesfield”.

The art of SEO is optimising the website & content to rank for these words.

There are two parts to this.

1. Onsite SEO
2. Offsite SEO

Onsite SEO is things you can do to the website such as:
Page titles
Meta descriptions
Image names and alt text
Site structure
Internal links etc

Offsite SEO is the process of promoting the content you create on the website.

This could be:
Backlinks (other websites linking to your site)
Social media
Press releases
Business listings
Google my business etc

The older and more trusted your domain (in Googles view), the easier it is to rank content for keywords.

New domains and brand new sites will always struggle to rank in the early days.

We help clients build their brand naturally adding useful content for their audience. Eventually your site will become trusted and your organic rankings will come.

You have to stick at it, but the benefits of organic traffic will be your reward.


Marketing with Reviews

Review sites such as Reevoo, Trust Pilot and Feefo are a great way for potential customers to see how good you are.

These platforms often come at a cost though.

So if you’re on a budget, Google reviews and Facebook reviews are offer similar services and are free to use.

If you find that you are getting bad reviews that you feel are unfair, always respond.

Your response should be professional and honest.

Resist the temptation to respond emotionally or lash out at the reviewer. Remain positive and try to address their issue.

It’s normal for things to go wrong sometimes. No one is perfect, and customers may even be suspicious if you have only 5star reviews.

The important thing is to learn from reviews where you can and not to take things to heart.

Reviews are an invaluable way for customers to get a feel for your product or service. Most consumers look for ‘Social proof’ before buying. Look at an Amazon product page for an example of this.


Email marketing

Email marketing is still one of the best ways to market to customers. Building a list and sending relevant offers can be very effective.

For many of our clients, email is their top converting channel.

But how is it done?

Collecting email addresses by asking customers on your site is a good place to start.

This is usually in the form of a pop up or bar. It’s best to explain why the customer should give their email address.

I.e. We’ll send you special offers, and the latest hints and tips.

Facebook lead ads are also a great way to collect emails.
Emails are collected within the platform. Facebook already has their details so in most cases signing up is quick and simple for customers.

You can set up lead ads in Facebook, select “lead ads” from the ad type when creating your ad.

Once you have a list, its tempting to send out an offer to the entire list. This might work, but its not a great long term strategy.

Email works best when targeted offers are sent to relevant customers.

You can segment your customers by:

Customer type (Beginner, expert, professional student etc)

Product interest (customers who have expressed interest in a particular product or service)

Location (this works well for stores with many locations or events)

Behaviour (Browsed products, products added to basket, previous purchases etc)

Segmenting your list is the best way to ensure you send relevant email and reduce unsubscribes.

But, remember that people will unsubscribe eventually. So it’s important to keep gathering new email prospects to replace them.

Email is also a great way of grabbing customers who are not quite ready to buy. Rather than lose them, ask for their email address and a few months down the line they may be ready to buy from you.



Remarketing is the (slightly) creepy method of following your customers around the web with ads. Once a customer has browsed your site, you can create ads to remind them of your brand while they browse around. Sweet hey?

It does work well and can be set up in Google Display, Facebook and even in Google adwords. Adwords can retarget traffic that has already browsed your site. Promoting your ads above your competitors.



We hope this article has helped to de-mystify some successful marketing methods. If you need help with your marketing or brand, we’d love to talk.

How to export your contact data from Facebook Lead Ads

Advertising, Digital Marketing

We think that Facebook Lead Ads are great. The streamlined process for collecting data is simple to use and delivers results. Things might get tricky when you want to export your data though.

When our recent Lead Ad campaign finished we expected the data to be in Business Manager or Power Editor but it was nowhere to be seen.

After a quick google on the subject we found conflicting advice. Some articles said it is only possible to export data via the Facebook API. Others seemed to think you needed a third party bridge which involves a monthly subscription.

If you are having the same problem, read on…

How to export your contacts:

1. Go to the page you are advertising.

2. Go to the “Publishing Tools” tab.

3. In the left hand nav, choose “Forms library”.

From this page you will be able to export your data. No API knowledge needed!

If you want to sync automatically with MailChimp or your CRM though, third party tools like Leads Bridge will help you.

Hope you have found this useful.

8 of our favourite content marketing blog articles

Advertising, Digital Marketing

By now, savvy brands and ecommerce sites have realised that content marketing is central to long term search success.

But if you’re just starting out with content marketing it can be a daunting process. What if you have little (or no) budget? What content do you use? How do you measure success? If you build it, will they come?

Fear not, we have rounded up 8 of our favourite content marketing blog posts to help you. Covering topics like copywriting, quizzes, analytics, content tips and headlines, they should be enough to help you create a winning content marketing plan…



1. Seven golden rules for content marketing.
By Econsultancy


“Here are seven golden rules that we have identified to help you optimise your content marketing.”

Read more at Econsultancy.



2. How to Do Content Marketing on a Shoestring Budget.
By Kiss Metrics

Kiss Metrics Content Marketing

“Content marketing sounds expensive. For a lot of companies, it is expensive. Most of the businesses I work with aren’t exactly rolling around in piles of money.”

Read more at Kiss Metrics.



3. How should ecommerce brands be using content?
By Econsultancy

From Econsultancy

“Ecommerce brands have embraced content marketing over the past couple of years.”

Read more at Econsultancy.



4. 7 Ways to Write Damn Bad Copy.
By Copyblogger


“When a results-oriented writer says “creative” and an image-oriented writer says “creative” you have to understand that they are talking about two completely different things.”

Read more at Copyblogger.



5. 12 practical content tips from Google’s Page Quality guidelines.
By Econsultancy

12 practical content tips from Google

“Here’s a very simple checklist, based on Google’s approximation of highest and lowest quality content.”

Read more at Econsultancy.



6. Which Marketing Analytics Should You Be Looking At?
By Hubspot

Marketing analytics

“Access to so much data has made marketing analytics overwhelming for many a marketer. We have traffic data, conversion data, lead data, email marketing data, social media data … the list goes on. Figuring out what data to pull, and when, is the tricky part.”

Read more at Hubspot.



7. The complete guide to using quizzes in your marketing strategy.
By Econsultancy

From Econsultancy

“In January 2014, no one had ever heard of Playbuzz, a website that creates viral content, mostly quizzes. By May of the same year, was receiving 45m unique visitors each month.”

Read more at Econsultancy.



8. 5 Characteristics Of High Converting Headlines.
By ConversionXL

From Conversion XL

“Back in 2001, Consumer Reports put out a study that revealed the average American was consciously exposed to roughly 247 marketing messages daily, yet only really noticed around half of them.”

Read more at ConversionXL.


If you need a helping hand let us know and we’d be happy to discuss your marketing campaigns, plans or other communication needs.

The 4 most common questions asked by clients

Advertising, Design, Digital Marketing

1. So, you’re a design and brand agency then?
No, we are much more than a brand agency. Of course we do all the design work that you would expect, just like any other design and artwork house, but we offer a layer before that which we think is far more important.

We offer a point of view of your marketing, your consumer brand and your business, and only once we have a view of the market place and who your customers are do we even begin to put pen to paper.

Because for us, it’s not just about design, it’s about your message and what you stand for. In other words, what you say about yourself and how. So many agencies miss this and provide design for designs sake, or design work that has little meaning to the audience. We see it all the time.

2. You say you are a full service agency, what does that mean?
It means we take a holistic view of all your marketing, because for us whatever you say, and wherever you say it, it has to be joined up in terms of the message and the image. It’s what’s known as a fully integrated approach, which is a bit of jargon that simply means everything works together.

So in a nutshell we do it all, from planning and strategy, through to all the design, writing and artwork for whatever communications channel is right for your business, or in other words, whatever communications channel your clients or customers are looking at.

So that may mean advertising and packaging, or it may mean websites and ecommunications (email marketing), right through to online advertising, social media, poster sites, direct mail, TV and video or social media.

3. How can you be great at everything?
There are digital agencies, media agencies, brand agencies, PR agencies and artwork houses who offer specialist advice and expertise in their own area, so surely a one stop shop can’t specialize in everything and do the best job?

Actually that’s exactly the point, specialist agencies used to work really well in the dawn of new media, and there are some great digital shops out there offering expertise on just digital marketing. However because people now consume advertising in so many different ways as they go about their daily lives, it’s really important to ensure that your core message works right across all channels. So fragmenting your advertising and marketing across lots of different agencies isn’t as wise as it once was. Our approach ensures your message stays on track so that means we create great work that works for all channels online or offline.

Plus, because we start from thinking about your business, we develop ideas and campaign themes from the inside out, so whatever we do for you is designed to be flexible enough to evolve over time and also work in any channel or space.

4. Branding, that’s a logo isn’t it?
Most people think branding is a logo, a colour or a typeface. When actually all those things are simply part of your brand assets (like your fixtures and fittings). Branding is your message, it expresses to your customers who you are, what you stand for and how your talk to them. A bit like your DNA. It’s what makes you special and different, whether your brand is a product or a service.
We certainly don’t invent this for you! But what we do do is create something that is unique to your brand that brings to life everything it stands for.

David Ogilvy. The Rolls Royce of Advertising.


“It takes a big idea to attract the attention of consumers and get them to buy your product. Unless your advertising contains a big idea, it will pass like a ship in the night.”

The wise words of one of the industry’s founding fathers, David Ogilvy.

Founding father not merely of the industry but of Ogilvy and Mather.

Or, he might have said, like a car.

Because one of the ads with which Ogilvy made his name was for the biggest, most prestigious marque in the automotive industry, Rolls Royce.

So put these two things together: a passionate commitment to big ideas and the world’s biggest motoring marque and what do you have?

Why, bigness of course!

Mega budgets, massive sets, jawdropping special effects, big location shoots.

That sort of carry on.



Because for Ogilvy, good, much like God, was always in the detail.

Like all trailblazers, Ogilvy was a master of the unexpected.

And it’s the unexpected, subverting preconceptions, that’s at the heart of all great ads.

So Ogilvy found the key to revealing the magnificence of this most magnificent of vehicles in one of the smallest details of all.

And one of the quietest.

Its clock.

‘At 60 miles an hour the loudest noise in this new Rolls Royce comes from the electric clock’.

So ran the headline.

The loudest noise comes from the clock.

It’s worth noting here that the Roller’s clock was not just any old windup tick tock but a whisper-quiet electric number.

It speaks volumes.

Or rather it speaks of no volume at all.

Instead, what it speaks of is a smooth susurration utterly befitting the nomenclature of Phantom, Ghost and Wraith.

And the fact that Ogilvy has described the suppression of engine noise by talking not about the engine itself but about the clock is both surprising and telling.

With the barely-discernible whirr of the clock drowning the galloping steeds under the bonnet.

It’s one of the most powerful and compelling juxtapositions in advertising history.

Of course we know nothing of the problems (if indeed problems there were) that Ogilvy encountered in trying to sell in his ‘little big idea’ to the doubtlessly impeccably tailored suits at Rolls Royce HQ.

But one can only imagine the waves of opposition that might well have bounced off the company’s boardroom wall.

“A clock….a CLOCK…..but what of the engineering excellence, the brobdingnagian engine, the epic nought to sixty times, the top speed, the sumptuous upholstery, the handcut walnut veneers, the handbeaten coachwork, the….the….the…the….the….but a CLOCK?!”

“Yes….that’s right….a clock….”

One can but imagine the smooth as silk Fettes and Oxford-educated adman’s unruffled response.

“But a clock that tells you a good deal more than just the time.”


photo credit: graphistolage via photopin cc

Rolls Royce
Rolls Royce