Seasonal Marketing: Learning What Works For Your Brand

By May.01, 2018

UK-Swimwear-research-brandsWhen I did my research as part of my Business Innovation Project at Salford Business School in 2014, I was not aware of the huge effect seasonality has in a brand or a business. While I was aware of the search trends and interests of the public, little I knew how much companies get affected by this matter.

Two of the brands I analysed in my research are affected by seasonal trends in a different way, and so, we have had to develop different seasonal marketing campaigns.

Let us drive you through a quick process to find out if your company, like ours, is more affected by seasonal trends than you had expected and figure out how what to do with these insights.

Step 1: Looking at seasonal trends

  • UKTights.com – While one may think tights are a seasonal product, a quick Google Trends search shows that the search of the term “tights” is quite constant along the year, with autumn clearly being the busiest time of the year for demand and late spring the less popular time for searching tights.
Seasonal-Marketing-Interest-Over-Time-Google-Trends

Interest over time: search terms “tights” and “swimwear” in 2017 – Worldwide (Google Trends)

 

  • UKSwimwear.com – Swimwear is clearly more affected by seasonality. We may go indoor swimming all year round, but customers certainly tend to search (and, hence, buy) their swimwear in spring. Although still warm, August is actually the time of the year when the search for swimwear drops more significantly. The interest starts to gradually pick up in December to grow steadily until June, which is the peak time.

Although the graphic below represents worldwide trends in 2017, data does not differ much when you look at previous years or the United Kingdom area, as shown in the graphic below.

Seasonal-Marketing-Interest-Over-Time-United-Kingdom-Google-Trends

Interest over time: search terms “tights” and “swimwear” in 2017 – United Kingdom (Google Trends)

Thinking Ahead: Two Approaches To Seasonal Marketing Planning

When you are able to predict when people are looking for your products or services, this allows you to focus all your marketing efforts ahead of that period of time.

In the case of UK Tights, we have decided to maintain a constant marketing activity through the year, with more intensity in the coldest months of the year. As this is generally the time we have most of our new collections, it seems logical that we send more newsletters out and we intensify our Social Media activity.

  • Seasonal SEO Marketing:

What about Christmas, Valentines and other seasonal campaigns? For some brands, seasonal campaigns are vital to balance their books. Creating landing pages for every seasonal campaign is time-consuming. Even more when your SEO team has to work hard to try to make them rank for the right terms. Our approach to seasonal marketing campaigns has reduced the number of specific landing pages for very festive seasons, ie: Halloween or Valentine’s day, and sale-related campaigns to a Sale section.

UK-Swimwear-UK-Tights-campaign-sample

On the left, an example of a Christmas campaign by UK Tights. Banners pointed to a landing page with a selection of gift ideas. On the right, UK Swimwear’s latest Cyber Monday campaign, which didn’t have a specifically-created seasonal landing page.

The case of UK Swimwear

For UK Swimwear, we have taken a similar approach, but we have involved the whole team in the process. As we know in advance when people are looking for swimwear, we can focus all our marketing activities towards raking No.1 in for the selected keywords by the time most people are going to be looking for swimwear. Planning in advance helps us decide when to spend our budget for advertising, as well as when to focus our Social Media and PR activity.

UK-Swimwear-Gottex-SS18-campaignFor SEO, this means establishing a link-building strategy that allows you be found when people really need it.

Or even better, to be found before your competitors can provide customers with the product or service you offer.

Fashion trends in fashion can change abruptly from one to the next season, even more, when you sell luxury and exclusive styles as we do. Hence, having a collection available before the high-street stores and our online competitors is vital for our company.

Due to the luxury nature of the products, UK Swimwear doesn’t focus its activity on customers who swim in their local swimming pool.

Instead, the target audience is those women who like to wear something special they won’t find in the high street stores… or they won’t find in the person sat next to them by the pool when they are away on holiday.

On the picture above, you can see a banner used to promote the collection Gottex Cruise SS18, which is UK Swimwear’s best-selling brand. This campaign was launched the first week of December 2017, right as the interest for swimwear grows.

  • Involving the Management team: 

For entrepreneurs and SMEs, knowing when is your peak time means you can manage your budget more efficiently. Marketing a tool for analysing and monitoring the health of your company, but also for innovation. You can get to know better when you are going to need more staff, for instance. If you work on several projects, seasonal marketing will tell you when you can “relax” and focus on other activities, too. Seasonal Marketing planning should involve the all management areas, as well as the marketing team: buyers, sellers, Human Resources, etc.

I hope this post makes you understand the importance of seasonal marketing planning. If you want to find out more about our latest campaigns or give us your thoughts about your post, follow UK Swimwear on Twitter or Facebook. We are always happy to exchange marketing ideas!

 

Small business SEO – Digital Marketing Strategy for Ivory Promise Brides

By Jan.04, 2018

Pnina Tornai wedding dress from Ivory Promise BridesDuring the Christmas break, I’ve been helping out Ivory Promise Brides in Bolton with their small business SEO strategy. Like a lot of small companies Ivory Promise have a WordPress website. They are selling designer wedding dresses from the likes of Pnina Tornai, Eve of Milady, Naama & Anat, Blue by Enzoani, Mon Cheri and Charlotte Balbier. 

I hadn’t heard of these designers before – but they are really impressive and there’s clearly a market here for affordable luxury. The shop are also offering competitive prices and exclusivity to the UK or Europe, so there is a clear value proposition. They have even had enquiries from Dubai where people will fly across the world to their shop in Bolton to see their exclusive dresses.

The first thing I did was try to define who the buyer persona is and then think about the appropriate channels, content and data in order to inform the digital marketing and SEO strategy. This is of course from our very own #Passion4Digital Buyer Persona Spring (shown below) from our book Digital and Social Media Marketing: A Results-Driven Approach. It’s ideal for Small business SEO strategy or indeed for larger companies!

Buyer Persona Spring - useful for Small business SEO strategy

I logged in to their WordPress dashboard and then looked at the data they have from their social media channels, Google Analytics and Google Search Console to start snooping around for data and insights.

What I found was that the site was driving a pretty reasonable amount of traffic, but not really generating many enquiries or conversions. The majority of users are female between the ages of 25-54 and generally from the UK. They were browsing the site usually on mobile (60%).

Small business SEO - demographics

Analytics shows that the buyer persona is female, age 25-54 and usually on a mobile from the UK

I’ve also recently been reading the excellent book E-Commerce Website Optimization: Why 95% of Your Website Visitors Don’t Buy, and What You Can Do About it. Ivory Promise isn’t an ecommerce site in that, it doesn’t sell through the website, so the goal is to generate interest and enquiries. That said, there are a lot of useful insights in the book around user experience, copy optimisation and testing. Basically, the book advocates testing and subtle changes, which can make a big difference.

I formulated a list of things for improvement such as:

  • Install the Yoast plugin for SEO and use to optimise pages
  • Do some keyword research using Keyword Planner and Search Console
  • Split the product pages up so that each could be SEO optimised
  • Create unique titles and meta descriptions based on keyword research
  • Create and encourage more external links including from social media, suppliers and others
  • Make sure the pages are mobile friendly, no errors and explore AMP (accelerated mobile pages) through an AMP plugin
  • Add a contact form and make the contact page clearer and linked from key pages and AMP
  • Take into account the buyer persona in terms of use and behaviour
  • Added a goal in Analytics for the contact page and derived keywords used, demographics, traffic etc.
  • Various other tweaks, copy changes and others
  • Sat down with the client and talked them through the changes and what needs doing on an ongoing basis

Pleased to say, soon after the changes were made, page views have doubled and the shop had a record day for enquiries through the website. Still much work to do – but I think this goes to show that some small changes can make a big difference. It is still a work in progress of course, but shows that you don’t need to spend a fortune, sometimes some small tweaks and attention can make a difference. Have you got any similar experiences or thoughts about small business SEO? We also run short face to face or distance courses in Search and Social Media Marketing. Please Drop me a line on any of this, I’d love to hear from you!

 

Advertising in Manchester

By Apr.13, 2017

Manchester, viewed by many as the UK’s second city, is a magnet for activity. Whether it’s the music scene, the shopping, the sports.. it has everything. With the population now being over half a million (Greater Manchester – 2.5m+) and with this figure growing by the day; there has never been a time where advertisers have been able to reach out to as many people and achieve local fame. Have you considered advertising in Manchester?

Clear Channel Direct specialise in Outdoor advertising for Small to Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs); with their reach of 89% of people across Manchester meaning they are able to effectively target practically any audience (Source: Talon Outdoor).

Read more…..

 

How to manage online corporate reputation #unitedairline

By Apr.13, 2017

Corporate reputation, corporate reputation management and online reputation management are all becoming familiar terms to the world’s largest companies and their leaders. We at Reputation Consultancy are helping them to make sense of them all.

As they come to terms with the consequences of digital communications; with a new generation of connected and engaged stakeholders and with the rapid speed of online conversations, the appetite to understand, measure and manage online reputations has never been so strong.

And many are struggling.

From the corporate reputations of the FTSE 250 and the Fortune 500 to the local electrician at the end of your street, businesses across the world are waking up to the fact that reputation can make or break a brand and a business, in hours. Knowing how best to manage and measure that reputation in a digital world is now crucial for sustained success.

Read more…..

 

The beginners guide to researching, creating and marketing an online business

By Apr.13, 2017

All entrepreneurs have a dream of starting a business, watching it grow and making their millions, but to do that in this day and age without using the internet would almost unthinkable. 

The internet is a global phenomenon with an estimated 3.2 BILLION users. 45.9 Million in the UK alone, 89.8% of the population!

If that isn’t the perfect playground for entrepreneurs I really don’t know what is. Nothing even comes close to the reach the internet has.

The internet can be used in almost every aspect of an entrepreneur’s journey to success. The thought that you can come up with an idea, check to see if there is a market, find someone to develop/produce your idea, then sell it to a potential customer base in the billions without even leaving the comfort of your own home never ceases to amaze me.

Read more…..

 

SEO courses in Manchester #passion4digital review

By Apr.13, 2017

I started this course because I wanted to learn how to utilise the Internet and social media to start selling any kind of product or service… The problem was I didn’t know what I wanted to sell, so I just began brainstorming. It was very daunting and I was really nervous as I thought I would never have a chance in the industries that I was interested in. To top it off, my computer skills were very basic and I had never used any social media platforms before. So, I just started googling SEO courses in Manchester and guess what…

SEO courses Manchester

Read more…..

 

How to advertise

By Apr.13, 2017

“How to advertise my business” is the question that most small businesses are asking. Unlike large, national companies who have a near-unlimited advertising budget, small businesses have to research heavily, evaluate and decide which type of advertising is suitable for their business and, more importantly, is the most cost-effective. Small businesses simply cannot afford to waste their budget on the wrong people, at the wrong time; it has to reach their desired target audience in the right mindset.

With so many advertising options available to small businesses, it’s no surprise that business owners are left scratching their heads. Online advertising, social media, press, radio and outdoor – the list goes on. Clear Channel Direct was launched in 2014 with a focus to help small-to-medium sized businesses grow and, since launching, has worked with thousands of organisations, enabling them to advertise locally on billboards, bus shelters and various sizes of digital screens.

Bristol Billboard in high traffic area

Read more…..

 

What is SEO? How to create a great business strategy: The Basics

By Apr.12, 2017

I wanted to start by covering 2 of the most common questions searched online according to results on www.answerthepublic.com: What is SEO? What is a great SEO strategy for my business? and relate them to the experiences I’ve had with a friend and colleague who runs her own online business.

Please let me know in the comments below if you find this helpful or like and share the post with your social media.  This blog follows my completion of the Search and Social Media Marketing course at The University of Salford.

What is SEO?

First of all, SEO means Search Engine Optimisation and describes how we take your business and increase your rankings on a search engine such as Google or Bing.  The aim is to bring the listing for your website or physical store to the top of the search results and ultimately increase your business revenue.

There are many different search engines worldwide, I have listed the top 2 in the western world; however, the same strategy can be used no matter which engine or device is used to find you.

Read more…..

 

User Experience for SEO #UX #SEO

By Apr.12, 2017

Implementing user eperience for SEOTechnologies such as Google’s search engine and the other search engines out there have made our life easier. We now live in an age where people rely on search engines for answers to their problems. Online business now rely on  search engine and good user experience help to improve their product and services which leads to the topic of how you can use user experience for SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). I work for a company called HX Training and this post outlines my experience trying to optimise our web pages for things like our Legionella Awareness training and learning more about search and social media marketing.

The speed at which search engines give answers to queries also makes it so reliable that some people trust search engine results more than what a fellow human says. Have you ever been in a gathering of friends who are trying to remember or establish a fact which leads to an argument and someone says let’s “Google it” which almost seems so obvious? While a search engine provides immediate access to information, sometimes we still tend to get personal answers from official and reliable resources, or a friend.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) – the process of making your digital profiles visible on search engines for a range of relevant search queries – has changed drastically over the last few years. Google is the market leader in the UK and has reshaped the SEO landscape. Google is one of the top leading search engines in the world, believe it or not. Where Google goes others follow. Read more…..

 

What is SEO and the benefits it possess?

By Apr.11, 2017

What is SEO?What is SEO

What is SEO? That is a great question, and one that will be explained in detail throughout this blog post. SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) has vastly become an essential part of any digital marketing strategy, due to its proven effectiveness and wealth of benefits (don’t worry I will explain in detail later).

Search engine optimisation is a marketing technique where you aim to grow your visibility organically in the SERP’s (Search Engine Results Pages). SEO is done to improve rankings, increase the awareness of your product or service and drive traffic to your website. However, an important tip to take away is that with SEO, you shouldn’t just create a search engine optimised page, you should make the page user friendly, relevant to your audience’s needs and easy for search engine robots to understand.

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