Photoshoot: a day in a professional photography studio. . .

As a marketing professional, images play an important part in creating an impact; whether it’s making sure you have consistent, good quality representation of your products or you need to project a warm and welcoming impression, good creative imagery plays a key part in your marketing activities.

My own bio images were starting to look a little tired and whilst representative of my personality, I felt it was time to create a better impression by investing some time and money in a professional photoshoot.

Having met Ted Davis on several occasions over the years and collaborating with him on several marketing projects I had never actually experienced an actual photoshoot with Ted, who is a fabulous professional photographer based in Hove.

Studio 323 is located in historic Palmeira Square, overlooking the beautiful gardens and the sea and occupies a space that was once the first floor drawing room of a large Victorian house.

The studio provides 500 square feet of space, 14 foot ceilings, and is equipped with full blackout facilities for studio photography or generous daylight for naturally lit work.  The view from the windows of this magnificent space provides the perfect backdrop and setting for many types of photoshoot.

Here are some of the resulting images Ted created for me. . . .

Christine Davey Marketing Brighton

Christine Davey Marketing Brighton

CD5

CD4

Christine Davey
@DaveyMarketing

If you’d like some help implementing your marketing activities Tweet me or call me on 01273 772033 for an initial chat over a coffee!

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How to create engaging online content

Online content marketing allows you to communicate with your target customers and prospects without selling.

  • Instead of pitching your products or services you are sharing information to inform and make your buyer more intelligent; ultimately rewarding you with their business and loyalty.
  • The information you share needs to be relevant and valuable to attract, acquire and engage a clearly defined target audience to help drive traffic and profitable customer action.
  • The content needs to be consistent and ongoing; fresh and engaging content will fulfil your marketing objectives, drive traffic and build brand loyalty.
  • Effective online content is key to drive marketing, engage users and increase website conversions.

Here’s a really useful infographic from Mari Smith to help you on your way

How to create engaging content

I write your targeted online content, whether it’s for your website, blog or social media pages, which resonates with your target audience, capturing their attention and answering their needs.
I can also help you identify how to increase your online effectiveness through email marketing and get your social media sites up and running.
Contact me today by telephone 01273 772033 or on Twitter to arrange to meet for an initial chat over a coffee.

Christine Davey
Davey Marketing Brighton

Will Social Media replace Email?

SocialMediaI participated recently in a very interesting debate on a LinkedIn forum, which asked this very question. Predictably it generated a lot of debate, specifically from those specialising in Email Marketing who were fiercely defending their products!

At the moment, Social Media is nowhere near replacing Email, but continues to be complementary – an important tool in your marketing kit bag, so to speak.  Rather than being completely replaced, I think it will evolve to work even harder to integrate with Social Media.

Email has been around since the 1980’s and whilst it isn’t as permanent as a postal address – another form of communication which hasn’t died out altogether – consumers don’t tend to change email addresses; once you have a customer’s email address, you have a fairly assured way of getting a message in front of that customer.

Consumers do, however, migrate social media.  Remember when MySpace was the most popular social media site?  Then, when Facebook arrived and became more popular it seemed unthinkable that anything would take over FB’s position. Then up popped Google Plus, which has taken a big slice of the pie and still seems to be gaining momentum and I’m sure there will continue to be more contenders in years to come!

So, whilst social media evolves as a place to communicate with your customers in real time, keep up with news and enhance knowledge, Email continues to provide a more personal connection with more opportunities to repeatedly communicate with direct targeted messages.

But who knows?  Twenty years ago, who could have predicted the demise of the fax machine?  Maybe in another twenty years, we’ll be reminiscing the demise of email. . . .

Christine Davey
@DaveyMarketing

If you’d like some help on putting together some email marketing campaigns Tweet me or call me on 01273 772033 to set up an initial chat over a coffee!

7 Steps to delivering an effective Lead Nurturing Campaign

Davey Marketing: Lead NurturingTo stay engaged with future buyers, Lead Nurturing is a powerful way to deliver engaging and interesting content to your prospects – specifically those who have given you permission to stay in contact with them.

What you’re essentially doing is educating targeted sales leads, which are not yet ready to buy.  Valuable content that keeps your audience engaged can help you build a strong brand presence and engender trust long before they make a purchase.

7 Steps to delivering an effective Lead Nurturing Campaign

  1. Identify who could be interested in your product/services and obtain their details. (This could be easily done through consistent networking within your business community)
  2. Follow-Up these contacts with an acknowledgement and the reference point of contact.
  3. Offer them information they can instantly use, even if they don’t choose to do business with you; ‘how to’ guides which relate to your business and might help them.
  4. Offer them a special place to interact with you; website, twitter page, LinkedIn, email etc.
  5. Get permission to stay in touch through an opt-in link to email newsletter/ downloads etc.
  6. Stay actively in touch and offer added value such as an e-Book or white paper or a special offer/package deal.
  7. Above all track the content and results of all interactions and use this to spot the times your prospects indicate their willingness to buy and ask for their business.

Remember!  It’s not all about hard selling anymore; it’s about building relationships and trust with your prospects in a way that is both consistent and relevant.

Christine Davey
@DaveyMarketing

If you’d like some help on managing your marketing activities Tweet me or call me on 01273 772033 to set up an initial chat over a coffee!

6 Top Tips to create good Content

ChristineDaveyContentMarketingIt’s all about having relevant and timely messages!

Good content can create more sales leads, drive traffic to your website, create brand awareness and educate your existing and prospective customers.

Follow these six top tips to get the most out of your content marketing.

1.  Make sure it’s not promotional!
Anything which is blatantly salesy and promotional will not inspire or excite your target audience; two of the most critical components of content marketing

2.  Make it relevant and targeted
It has to be relevant and of interest.  Make sure you make it useful to the reader – even if this means it doesn’t necessarily support your company’s main service message.

3. Answer a niggling business question
Give your readers added value. By imparting useful information gives you the ability to nurture important leads and positions you as the ‘expert’ in your field.

4. Make sure it’s well written
Thought leadership needs to be written well – poorly written copy may be detrimental to your company’s reputation.  Well presented and free of errors, it needs time and effort; outsourcing might be a wise investment!

5. Keep your business goals in mind
Does your content support your business objectives?  Is it relevant to your company?  Creating content which does neither, is a waste of resources.



6. Make sure it’s substantiated
Writing to support your business goals, may seem biased; content needs to be supported with ‘proof’; either quotes and testimonials or actual statistics.

Christine Davey
@DaveyMarketing

If you’d like some help on planning your Content Marketing, Tweet me or call me on 01273 772033 today.

The importance of the Follow-Up

Follow-upAs a sole trader, I need to be able to ‘sell’ myself to both existing and potential clients together with generating leads through various forms of marketing – all of which need to be followed-up.

Going in person to networking events, engaging online and working with people on projects on a daily basis gives us loads of content and conversations; juggling multiple communications both on and offline.

With millions of images, messages and insights relentlessly bombarding us on a daily basis, it’s easy to fall through the communication cracks and to a certain extent we seem to have lost the art of follow-up, which still remains the most important activity to engage in after meeting new people, and the keystone to relationship building and retention.

Timing is Essential

Follow-up with people you have met or been introduced to as soon as you can and try to make time to respond to people who have taken the time to contact you (unless it’s an obvious spam)!

Research, research, research

Knowing something about them and what they do will give you a powerful advantage for opening a conversation; taking the time and trouble to research their company beforehand will give you a smart strategic edge.

Be engaging

Exchange knowledge which will add value and help to forge a strong mutual connection; using all the social and online tools shows you are willing to engage and gives you a series of touch points to develop that connection.

Change their perceptions

Small gestures can go a long way to change a potential customer’s perception of you.  Provide an endorsement or introduce them as an expert in their field to someone looking for their help; this doesn’t need to be reciprocal and will have a big impact of how people perceive you, demonstrating you as someone they can trust.

Don’t give up at the first hurdle

Time is such a challenge these days, it’s too easy to give up early when it doesn’t look like you’re getting anywhere with people you have a relationship with or feel a potential with.  Be persistent, but respect people’s time and know when it’s time to step away if you can’t add value straight away.

Keeping in touch is so much easier than it’s ever been – so never fail to follow-up!

Why aren’t my customers opening my emails?

Davey Marketing Email MarketingI had a conversation with someone this week about email open rates and a concern that, even though his recipients had signed up for information, they didn’t seem to be actually opening the message, let alone responding or engaging with him.

According to recent research, an average email account receives about 65 emails a day so it’s inevitable that a lot of those messages are instantly trashed, without even a second glance.  So it’s a dilemma lots of businesses face if their emails are constantly being unread and ignored; how do you make sure your emails don’t end up in the trash can?

Simple answer: make sure your emails are relevant to each recipient – this way they are more likely to open and digest the information – they might not respond immediately, but at least the seed is sown.

Taking the following simple steps will ensure a better chance of getting responses and eventually results.

Clean up your data (regularly)

Your database is the most valuable part of any marketing.  Make sure your information is up to date and you have a clear idea of who are existing customers and prospects.

Keep a record of the products/services they are interested in and which emails they have responded to in the past; assuming your opt-ins have an interest in what you’re ‘selling’, or at least have some affinity with the industry you operate in, this should be easy to evaluate.

Divide and conquer

Once you start consistently evaluating your data, you can send your recipients relevant information by segmenting your database into different categories.

For instance, if you’re a wine retailer and have a section of customers who only ever buy white wines, it would be obvious to target them with information about white wine.  This way you would be communicating with them personally, providing them with relevant messages.

Don’t be tempted to send the same email to each list in the hope that those who only drink red will start loving white because they couldn’t possibly live without this amazing offer!

And if they’ve just bought a case of Australian Chardonnay, don’t send them an email containing the same offer the following week; the last thing they want is an endless stream of useless emails, which will inevitably lead to them opting out altogether.

To put it into context, think about the last time you went into Boots and bought some shampoo.  Did you notice the next set of loyalty vouchers you received were for money off the same brand of shampoo, valid for 6 or so weeks? Where are you likely to buy your shampoo when you next run out?

This is smart targeted marketing!

So, spend your energy dissecting and evaluating your data on a regular basis, especially after you’ve sent out an email campaign.  This will allow you to devise a series of future emails with relevant targeted messages which will help to increase your open rates and give you a better chance of converting a sale.

Christine Davey
@DaveyMarketing

If you’d like some help on devising and sending your email marketing campaigns, Tweet me or call me on 01273 772033 today.

Social Media Networks. . . the new kids on the block

Davey Marketing Social Media MarketingWe’re all now pretty familiar with the more established social networks such as Facebook and Twitter and getting to grips with their importance when developing marketing campaigns and connecting with our customers.

But, did you know that there are more than 200 active social networking sites out there?

Early contenders like Classmates.com was launched way back in 1995 followed by Friends Reunited, in 2000 and LinkedIn in 2003. Flikr and Facebook came snapping at their heels in 2004 and Twitter in 2006.

Whilst we’re all becoming slaves to social giants Facebook and Twitter, maybe we need to come up for air and see what else is out there, specifically those being tipped as the ones to watch.

For whatever reason, the following 3 sites are being heralded as the next Social Media networks to keep an eye on.

Whisper
An iPhone app promising anonymity, Whisper is a place where users can post secrets (known as whispers) that appear in the form of an online postcard.

According to US online business forum, Business Insider, more than one million people have uploaded around 8 million whispers. Gaining steam among college students on campuses in America and a recent $3M worth of funding, could this be destined as the next big thing?

Medium
Being heralded by its founders as an extension of Twitter, Medium is quite simply a blogging site promising “A place where you can find and share knowledge, ideas and stories – specifically, ones that need more than 140 characters and are not just for your friends.”

Created by Evan Williams and Biz Stone, the guys who started Twitter and Blogger, you’d assume Medium has a fairly good chance of being the next big Social Media contender.

Sina Weibo
With twice the number of users, Sina Weibo is China’s version of Twitter and has been embraced by large brands such as Pizza Hut and some Western celebs like Tom Cruise, who apparently has more than 4.2 million followers.

According to Mashable, 22 percent of China’s internet population are signed up and there’s now a US version; only decipherable if you understand Mandarin Chinese!

I’m sure it’s going to be a while before any of these networks overtake the likes of Facebook and Twitter, but I’m sure we’ll all be whispering and Weibing to our customers in the not too distant future!

Christine Davey
@DaveyMarketing

If you’d like some help and advice to increase your effectiveness through online marketing, Tweet me or call me on 01273 772033 today.