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From the Blog

How to stand out in the professional services industry

10th July 2019
In this increasing age of instant news and relentless promotion, it’s harder than ever for businesses to stand out and focus on being as relevant as possible in their respective sectors, especially in the professional services sector. Different companies face different challenges. A business with a seven figure turnover might be finding it hard to flourish in a different sector they’re looking to pursue, or a small company of less than 20 people might be struggling to promote their services and all of its portfolio work when competing against larger, louder companies with bigger budgets and more outreach. As a small, independent agency, Digital Glue knows all too well about competing against the bigger fish in the agency world. That’s what makes us efficient and effective in understanding client goals and objectives, and what we need to do in order to achieve them. Getting your fair share of the noise  Being experts in PR and social, it would be naïve to think that by using the same approach, this is going to give us the same level of success for each of our clients. Working across a number of areas, within the professional services industry, from venture capitalists to law firms and accountancy firms, we know how to be adaptable and understand what works best. Getting your fair share of the noise can be difficult in a competitive industry like professional services, however, if it’s targeted and in the right publication – you can get great results.  For example, we work with a Birmingham-based venture capital firm, from February 2018, we secured over 100 pieces of coverage before the year was out. This included strong regional titles such as Birmingham Post, broadcast opportunities with ITV, and national placements with Financial Times. It’s important to be covered in the right titles. The targeted coverage we achieved for our client led to more enquiries for a number of their investment schemes, and in turn more leads, which was a key objective. Digital PR Like traditional PR, digital PR contributes to brand awareness. However, one of the biggest benefits of digital PR, which traditional PR can’t offer, is its ability to increase your online presence, most notably your search engine visibility and ranking. A digital strategy involves gaining high-quality backlinks to your website, therefore improving your SEO and boosting traffic to your website. There’s no point in getting published on any old site, however. To really reap the benefits, you need to focus on hyper-relevant sites. What sites are your audience frequenting? For example, for our clients in the professional services industry, we focus on getting published on online recruitment, HR or accountancy publications, all depending on their area of expertise. Digital PR also builds trust, which is extremely important within the professional service industry. The first thing the majority of people do before they make any sort of service purchase is online research. When people type your brand name or a related search term into Google, you want to appear positively. Engaging

3 Reasons Why You Should Include Stories In Your Social Media Strategy

1st July 2019
Stories began in 2013, on Snapchat, as a way to share photos or videos with your friends or followers together and instantly, as opposed to sending individual messages. The concept proved to be popular and was later found on other platforms such as Instagram (2016), Facebook (2017) and WhatsApp (2017). Today, stories consumption is up 842% since early 2016 (click to download the full report). In Hootsuite’s latest ‘Social Media Trends Report 2019’, which is based on data from over 3,255 business customers, interviews with industry analysts, and exhaustive market research, one of the top five trends forecasted was to ‘storify social’. This means that company’s must once again adapt to the new formats available to them and implement stories into their social  media strategy, because as seen in the chart below showcasing the number of daily active users on stories – they are going to be around for a while!   Reason One – Is this the end of the feed? Stories are growing 15x faster than feed-based sharing, with more users wanting to share news with groups and smaller communities as opposed to creating status updates for the world to see. At F8, Facebook’s chief product officer Chris Cox said “the stories format is on a path to surpass feeds as the primary way people share things with their friends sometime next year.” This is primarily due to the switch between the desktop age, when Facebook had first launched, to the smartphone era, which we are living in now. It has allowed people to capture in the go moments that they are able to share instantly, and vice versa, users find themselves wanting to see what others are doing, where they are and who they are with on a regular basis. For brands, it means that you can connect with your community in different ways within your social media strategy, such as behind the scenes stories, storytelling about your brand and products, or by building anticipation for new products and services. Followers will stick around and engage with a brand that shows off their personality.   Reason Two – They don’t need to be refined! The great thing about stories, is that they don’t have to be polished. They are meant to be created and consumed on the go, with just a smartphone and a creative eye. With four out of five major brands already using the stories format, the majority have found that unrefined, personal and more realistic stories have performed better than those that are heavily edited and filled with calls to action. Remember, stories disappear after 24 hours, so have fun with them! However, if you do find yourself wanting to keep them around for longer you can use the highlight feature, enabling stories to stay on your page for as long as you want them there.   Reason Three – Showcase your brand in a new angle! Stories give your audience the ability to see inside your brand, to see what happens behind the

10 steps to a successful SEO strategy

24th June 2019
Before we get into how to make your SEO strategy successful, let’s start with what SEO is – search engine optimisation is the process of optimising your website to help it rank on different search engines, resulting in the growth of organic traffic and visitors to your website. Now, let’s talk about SEO strategy. SEO can often be over-complicated and therefore difficult to completely understand what SEO is and what it does for your business, it can also be overlooked, especially when you don’t see results instantly. SEO is like joining a new gym, hear me out… At first, you’re excited by the prospect of starting something new, something that’s going to get you the results you want. Then you plan to make time for it but after the first few months, you start to lose that motivation because you’re not seeing the results you want, and then you stop going altogether. Just like going to the gym, SEO takes time to get going, it takes time to start seeing results and in the end, all that hard work will eventually pay off. In this blog, we’re going to talk about 10 key things every SEO strategy should include. This will help you drive qualified, organic traffic that’s relevant to your business, and will help you start generating more leads from your website. Step one: Start with a website audit The first step in your strategy is to run a website audit. This is an extremely useful tool and something we discussed in our previous blog about the importance of an SEO audit. The audit quickly identifies what is working on your site and what needs to be changed. The audit also identifies any weak areas that can be improved, and if your website is updated in line with current SEO trends, making up an important part of your SEO strategy. Performing a website audit will create a strong foundation for a successful SEO strategy for your business. Step two: Set the right goals  Every website should have goals, this should be based around what action you want a user to take when they visit your site. If you don’t have any goals, start by reviewing how much traffic your website is getting every month and think about how much you want to increase that number by. Or look at how many enquiries you’ve been getting through the website and set a target based on that number. A goal could be that a user completes an action such as submitting a contact form, making a purchase or getting information about different services or products that your business offers. Generating traffic to your website is good but pointless if you don’t have a goal or a conversion put in place. If your website does not provide value to the end user, it will impact your ranking in a negative way. Avoid this by putting the right goals in place. Step three: Define your targets An SEO strategy should be KPI driven

Influencer Marketing – should I believe the hype?

17th June 2019
The term ‘influencer’ is used a great deal in marketing circles. For many it’s becoming a new ‘go-to’ movement for marketing. The thinking is, that if we get our product into the hands of someone with a big social media following then we’ll get exposure and we’ll grow sales and our brand. We see individuals on social media who have no knowledge or experience with a brand, doing something completely unrelated to the brand, and then mentioning the name. And they’re getting paid vast sums of money for it. Whether their channel is Instagram, YouTube, Twitch or any other social channel, it can be seen as a quick route to reach a specific demographic. The problem with influencer marketing As I’ve observed this growing phenomenon, it’s struck me that surely the only people doing well out of this is the guy with the social media following. People with a large following but no real product understanding or knowledge are earning many thousands of pounds a time to do something – anything, on their social media channels. It feels like the influencer with a social media following has become a replacement for TV channel with the right demographic. It’s more about association than it is about product sales. An influencer with 2.6million followers who couldn’t sell 30 items of clothing for her own brand illustrates the point well in this example below. Following does not equate to sales. The idea of association with a TV channel, or even sponsorship is a credible one though. The brands being invested in are usually strong, established and clearly representative of their target audience (football clubs, large TV channels etc,). The risks involved in allocating similar budget to individuals with a YouTube channel are quite something else. I could rant on… The danger all of this has, is that it devalues influencer marketing. Good influencer marketing is a genuinely powerful medium, it always has been! How to get influencer marketing right So how do you ensure your influencer marketing strategy is on the right track. The answer to that question is a longer piece than this, but, to start on the right footing, there are three core elements to consider before starting successful influencer marketing: 1. Finding people with a genuine connection with your brand/product Does the person you’re looking to work with use your product, and do they like your product? If they don’t use your product, but you’d like them to, are they in your sector and are they interested in your kind of products? These are important tests, because when it comes to influencers and ambassadors for your brand, we want the person to be a genuine advocate. The kind of quotes/language we’re looking for from our influencer might be ‘I use x product because it is better, faster, more accurate, gives me confidence… etc.’ 2. With real knowledge To be an advocate for a product you have to understand it. You have to be able to answer questions about it. If

Digital Glue – Marketing, Public Relations and Web Design Agency Based in Birmingham

Digital Glue are a marketing, PR and web design agency based in Birmingham. Digital Glue are a results-focused 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 results for our clients. We work across many sectors and regions, and support businesses local to us in Birmingham, and across the UK and the rest of the world.

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