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Including a discussion on the changing world of joined up retail and eCommerce with lain Coplans, Managing Director of Stok.ly

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From the Blog

Best practices for brands in the photography market to use social media to increase sales: A three-part guide (Part 1)

8th April 2021
You want your services and products to stand out from the crowd, but wait a minute….so do your competitors.  And when you’re operating within the same field, it can be a real challenge getting potential customers to choose you over rival companies. You may know that the services you provide are a better quality or your product range is more extensive, but prospects don’t automatically know that or take the time to find it out either (sorry, but it’s true).  So what do you do? You need to get your brand out there – and quick. But if you have limited time and/or budget, it can add a whole new level of hassle to the equation. Fortunately there are several best practice tactics you can implement, such as having a marketing budget plan and brand awareness strategy, carrying out marketing for events and marketing for trade shows, as well as carrying out that all-important social media for your photography brand. Keep reading, because in this special three-part blog series, we talk you through how to stand out from the crowd using social media, according to the marketing and sales funnel. What do we mean by marketing and sales funnel?  The marketing and sales funnel is essentially the customer journey; the route every individual goes down when they make a decision to purchase a product or service. For instance, when you decide to buy your morning latte from Starbucks and not Costa, when you get a new piece of kit from Nikon and not Canon, and when you decide to get an Uber Eats over Deliveroo treat. From the moment you decide you want a particular product or service, all the way to the point of making that transaction, you will travel along the sales funnel. And, as you do so, you’ll go from the: Start – the awareness and recognition and research phase (also known as the Top of the Funnel or TOFU) and progress to the; Middle – where you’ll consider and evaluate the various different options available to you (also referred to as the Middle of the Funnel or MOFU) before finally ending up at the; Bottom – which is the commitment/conversion/purchase phase (also known as the Bottom of the Funnel or BOTF). You travel along this funnel. We travel along this funnel. And your prospective customers experience this funnel too. For some people, it can take days, for others weeks or months. The ideal for you, is for prospects to reach you at the end point and go with you when they’re at that all-important decision-making/purchasing stage. So that’s a quick whistle stop tour of the marketing and sales funnel. Why have we run through that? Because best practice dictates you tailor your marketing activity by each stage of the funnel – top, middle and bottom. Here are some practical examples of what we mean, particularly when it comes to using social media for photography exposure… 3 tactics for generating awareness and recognition on social  #1: Get

eCommerce Marketing Strategies to Increase Sales

26th March 2021
eCommerce as a share of retail has been growing rapidly for some time now. But in 2020, at the start of the pandemic, we saw unprecedented growth. The equivalent of 10 years of eCommerce growth happened in just three months. This huge spike was driven by a number of factors, with a significant contributing factor being the rise in food and beverage retail moving online.  However, it wasn’t only this product area and importantly, the growth wasn’t just driven by younger generations, the habit change has run across all demographics. Additionally, research shows that the growth in eCommerce over the next five years is expected to continue. Globally an increase of 8% of retail sales coming from eCommerce and in the UK specifically, a further 5% growth. But the growth in eCommerce as a sales channel creates a few challenges: Increased competition from less sophisticated retailers driving up customer acquisition cost (usually seen in increased spend on PPC) For new eCommerce entrants, customer experience, which is now central to online success is something which takes time to deliver and get right With customer acquisition costs increasing, customer retention is more important than ever Remaining single channel in approach to eCommerce leaves retailers exposed All of this means that eCommerce retailers need to: Get their customer acquisition strategies optimised and delivering Devote as much effort to customer experience as customer acquisition See customer retention as a marketing stream in its own right Ensure their systems can handle a multi channel approach in an intelligent way Customer Acquisition for eCommerce Effective customer acquisition for online retailers starts with sound SEO and PPC. Whilst good SEO requires a strong combination of on and off page work, eCommerce retailers should look at a number of key areas: Is your website copy SEO friendly? Is your platform mobile friendly? In the last few years we know that Google indexes websites mobile first. I.e. do you have a responsive design in place for your website. We also know that mobile shopping, particularly via social media is becoming more popular… Do you have SEO-friendly URLs? Bad URL structure can severely hamper your SEO performance, is yours easily understandable and readable or is it filled with unintelligible text? What’s a good page loading speed? About 1.5 seconds is a good rule of thumb, less than 3 is important. There are a host of page load speed test sites available, such as Google’s PageSpeed Insights.  Do you have a product feed optimised for Google? Ensuring your product feeds have all the information you need so that they’re appearing on Google shopping is becoming increasingly important. Does your platform have a built in blogging feature? Regularly updated and relevant content is as important for retailers and eCommerce websites as anyone else.  Do you use 301 redirects? When a product is no longer available, don’t lose the traffic and don’t let it fill your site with bad links. Implement 301 redirects and ensure good site performance and retain traffic. Are your

4 eCommerce Marketing Tips to Increase Sales

9th March 2021
If you have an eCommerce business you need a marketing strategy that will acquire new customers but also re-engage with your existing ones. To get started, here are four tips you can implement to make sure you bring traffic to your website, create trust in your audience and increase customer loyalty for your business. Leaders in eCommerce, including brands such as Amazon, eBay, Asos and Boohoo execute these tips in their own way, and in this article, we will show you how you can too. Shopping Ads Shopping ads are ads that have rich product information on them such as the product image, price, website URL and the merchant name. Quite often, shopping ads are referred to as the Google shopping ads program that enables you to submit a product feed to Google after you create a merchant account and start advertising on Google search network and display network. They appear when a search query matches the product name, title or description. They are quite an effective form of advertising as they display the product’s price making it easier for the user to decide if they want to purchase the product without clicking the ad. If you are not using Google Shopping ads you are missing out on a vast pull of potential clients as it is something really easy to set up which will increase sales for your eCommerce business. (Google Shopping Ads) Retargeting What is retargeting? Retargeting campaigns are reminding your existing customers of products that they have already viewed on your website and they have left without buying them. Retargeting is a simple form of advertising that engages users presenting them relevant visuals to the products they have viewed in the past. This kind of advertising has a really high conversion rate and a low of cost per click as these are users already engaged with your business. How many times have you found yourself buying something that you have seen before from a display ad, sometimes with a discount or offer? If you are not using retargeting ads you should start considering using them for your eCommerce business. (Google Retargeting Display Ads) Social Media Advertising Social media advertising is an essential part of a successful eCommerce strategy. You can advertise on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Youtube, TikTok and Twitter really easily today and offer your customers another way to buy your products. Facebook and Instagram offer a shop integration that you can connect to your website and have your customers buy the products directly from there. The targeting capabilities on social media networks are in favour of the advertiser as you can easily target and sell to your  audience. Social media advertising is another pool generating potential customers for your eCommerce business. (Facebook Shopping Ads) Reviews Potential customers now have the opportunity to read reviews and research products they want to buy. Online ratings and reviews for your business and the products you sell are a major decision making part of the whole buying process, having online

Rethinking Your eCommerce Strategy for 2021 – SEO vs. PPC

1st March 2021
It’s fair to say that given the current financial climate and state of global health over the last 12 months, we can now see a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel. You may have previously seen posts from the team explaining the importance of Digital Marketing as well as ways of adapting your SEO strategy during the COVID-19 onslaught. However it’s high time that we investigate how business owners and eCommerce management teams could be rethinking their strategies for the competitive times that are sure to come. This post will look at the which aspects of SEO and PPC you can review to result in impactful changes to your eCommerce strategy. Should I focus on SEO or PPC? Although these are both crucial elements to success, they each go hand in hand. Simply put, your PPC activity will not be as successful if you do not have an SEO friendly website. From the other perspective, you might have a flawless eCommerce website, but without a paid advertising strategy, you will not be channeling as many users to your online store. If you are prioritising work, we would recommend focussing on SEO first. The main reason for this is that you can utilise continual site traffic and increase organic visibility in the long term. Therefore SEO should and must be an ongoing effort which you or your marketing teams monitor and update frequently. However, any updates must be done in accordance with upcoming trends. Therefore, consistent and meaningful updates to content will help improve and sustain your organic performance. Once you have a healthy website with a clear SEO strategy in place, then you should start devising your PPC strategy to drive targeted traffic to specific pages of interest. This will increase awareness and lead to a greater volume of product sales for your e-commerce business. When done correctly, PPC will put your brand, products and services in the eyes of your clients. Our recommendation is that any digital marketing strategy for eCommerce businesses in 2021 should leverage both SEO and PPC. But which elements are important? This post will address what we know most eCommerce businesses miss. Please contact our team if you have any technical questions or wish to register interest in our FREE SL/CED event on eCommerce Marketing Strategies to Increase Sales. What aspects of SEO will benefit eCommerce Stores in 2021? Before taking any SEO advice from this post. It’s important to understand that SEO is an umbrella term that covers a whole range of elements, both on page and off page. You should also remember that SEO best practices continuously change. Sadly, this means there is no such thing as ‘evergreen content’. Therefore, your marketing teams will need to keep on top of your website’s optimisation and organic performance. Fundamentally, you should consider your SEO strategy as a long term investment. This will therefore mean you can maintain an up to date website and thus maximise your return on investment. With this in

Digital Glue, Agency Based in Birmingham

Digital Glue are a digital marketing, PR and web design agency based in Birmingham. Digital Glue are a results-focused digital marketing agency who provide integrated marketing services to clients. We use our core skills in digital marketing, public relations, website design, branding, graphic design and social media marketing to deliver quantifiable results for our clients. We work across many sectors and regions, and support businesses local to us in Birmingham, as well as across the UK and the rest of the world.

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