The Rise Of The Chat Bots

The Rise of the Chat Bots

You’ve probably visited a website or contacted a company through their messaging platform and received instant responses; chances are, you’ve encountered a chatbot. 

Chatbots have existed since then and are gaining popularity in the customer service industry. Automated software programs that communicate with clients via text or speech to deliver answers, information, and support.

In this blog, we’ll discuss how chatbots are changing the customer service landscape and how they may help organisations enhance their services.

Understanding Chat Bots in Customer Service

A chatbot is a computer program corresponding to human communication to answer client questions. When a customer or lead contacts you through any channel, the chatbot will greet them and solve their problems, it can also assist clients with submitting a support request, sending an email, or connecting to human employees if necessary.

Chatbots have come a long way since their development. They were initially designed to provide automated responses and assist with basic queries. Yet, as technology advances, chatbots have evolved into intelligent virtual assistants capable of handling complex interactions. 

With advancements in natural language processing and machine learning algorithms, chatbots can now understand customer inquiries and deliver relevant and accurate responses. This evolution has led to a significant shift in the customer service industry. Chatbots have become integral to customer service strategies, empowering businesses to provide instant support and personalised interactions. 

They offer 24/7 availability, ensuring customers receive assistance whenever needed without being limited by business hours. Moreover, chatbots have increased productivity and freed human resources to focus on more sophisticated and specialised consumer questions by automating basic and repetitive operations. Chatbots not only increase productivity but also lower operational costs over time.

Benefits and Opportunities of Chat Bots

Chatbots can help businesses enhance their customer service by offering a wide range of benefits and opportunities, such as the following:

Customer Experience

Chatbots offer fast, consistent, personalised responses, meeting expectations and increasing customer satisfaction.

They can also provide support by sending notifications, reminders, and suggestions based on client preferences.

24/7 Availability

Chatbots can respond to common customer queries at any time and anywhere. This can help businesses expand their reach and cater to different markets and time zones.

Chatbots can also handle multiple chats simultaneously, reducing long queues and wait times. 

Cost Efficiency

Chatbots also help reduce operational expenses by automating repetitive tasks such as answering FAQs, processing orders, and gathering feedback.

This allows human agents to focus on more complicated and high-value issues, increasing productivity and performance.


Integrating Chat Bots into Your Customer Service Strategy

While chatbots provide convenience and benefits, many factors must be considered to ensure your chatbots are functional, reliable, and user-friendly.

Here are some tips on how to integrate chatbots into your customer support system:

Idеntify Objеctivеs and Usе Casеs

Before building a chatbot, you must clearly understand what you want to do and how to use it.

These questions can help you define your purpose and use:

Sеlеct the Right Platform and Tool

Depending on your goals, you must choose which platform and tools to use for your chatbot.

Do you want to use your chatbot on your website, mobile app, or social media channels?

Do you prefer tеxt-basеd or voicе-basеd chatbots? Do you want to build your chatbot from scratch or use a pre-built solution?

There are many options on the market, and you should do some research comparing features, benefits, and prices.

Dеsign and Tеst Your Chatbot

Once you’ve chosen your platform and tools, you must design and test your chatbot.

Consider aspects such as your chatbot’s personality, voice, and tone, as well as its conversational logic and content flow.

Before releasing it to the general public, you can also test your chatbot with a few users or employees.

Monitor Your Chatbot’s Performance

Analyse the data collected from user interactions to identify areas of improvement and make necessary adjustments to enhance the chatbot’s performance.

Regularly monitor and update the chatbot based on user feedback and changing user needs to ensure its continued effectiveness and relevance.

Chat Bots for the Modern Customer Service Industry

Chatbots have emerged as powerful tools in customer service, transforming how businesses engage with their customers. 

The benefits and opportunities they offer, from enhanced customer experience to cost efficiency, make them a valuable addition to any customer service strategy. 

By understanding their role and integrating them thoughtfully, businesses can unlock the full potential of chatbots and gain a competitive edge in the market. Embrace the rise of chatbots, and watch take your customer service strategy to the next level.


The Power Of Video Content For Social Media Management

The Power of Video Content For Social Media Management

The world is rapidly becoming more digital – the way we digest content is steering away from old forms of content and going towards social media. Creating content that fits this new type of consumption and audience can be a difficult challenge, but it should be something that creative marketers thrive in. Social media marketing is something mastered by the most able and savvy marketers out there, for the pure and simple reason that they understand what people want. 

As social media has become the key source for entertainment, information, news, and beyond, it has also become a hugely efficient digital marketing platform. The number of social media users continues to skyrocket after it surpassed 4.5 billion users, and this grows alongside an ever-rising amount of consumers buying from their social media platforms. Both B2B and B2C marketers have spotted this trend and jumped on it for campaigns and promotions, seeing more than plentiful results for their businesses. 

In 2020, the amount of money spent on social media advertising surpassed $132 billion, showing how critical social media marketing is to businesses both big and small. Even more, interestingly, that number is expected to go past $200 billion in 2024. This shows the influence and growth of social media marketing, and here are the reasons that make it such a key marketing component for a business: 

Gets The Audience’s Attention

In today’s world, it has been found that our average attention span is now 8 seconds, making a short social media video perfect for getting someone’s attention – – Unlike a long piece of text or some static piece of artwork, it is easy to consume – it does all the thinking and works for you. More and more of us are actively sitting on our phones and scrolling through Tiktok, Twitter, Instagram, and more – the social media scrolling feed is the perfect place to put some video content and grab a user’s attention. 

Video can allow you to get this attention and convey a message through concentrated information – the best social media marketers find the most inventive ways to get this information through to the user whilst keeping their face glued to the screen. You can find so many businesses now using memes, trending Tiktok dances, or parody posts to get attention and advertise their product – and this can be huge corporations too.

Perfect for SEO

If you are doing digital marketing right, you should be making sure all your content is optimised for search – this includes your videos. Social media platforms are quickly becoming the public’s go-to for search, so you need to ensure your content is adequately suited for this. Having your attention-grabbing social media snips is one part, but making sure they get into the trending section is the other. 

To make sure the SEO is perfect through your content, keep the headlines gripping and have your descriptions aligned with things that are trending or popular. Adding on relevant hashtags is the other piece to the puzzle, as social media use data analytics to push your content to related users and beyond. 

Creates Conversions

Just like with your other marketing channels, social media content will have a purpose behind it. With every quirky, funny, informative, and engaging social media video you will create, you will be encouraging the user to act on it. It could be anything from purchasing a piece of clothing in the small clip to signing up for your email marketing list. 

A CTA (Call To Action) in social media marketing is done by getting your viewer to the end of the clip. It is all good to have brilliant content in your social media marketing strategy, but it is equally important to get your audience to convert into successful customers. 

Allows For Specialised Messaging

When you engage with your followers on social media through your videos, you will find that it is not too dissimilar to building a relationship with them. The only other marketing strategy comparable to this personal level is email marketing, and even then you still cannot engage the audience the same way you can through a viral social media video. 

A successful social media video helps your business tell a story, input a CTA but most importantly leave them wanting more. If you have a social media marketing video that contains something that doesn’t link to the CTA, it should be removed. Efficient social media marketing allows your content to live on for months, whilst still speaking directly to new and old customers. 

Be Trendy

Through social media marketing videos, you can almost literally turn your business into trendy. When you create social media content, it has to be relevant and relatable. Social media videos bring your brand to life and give it colour, as well as allow you to join in trending news stories and topics that give your brand a voice. 

The best businesses jump on these real-time events to give their brand personality and a voice, which resonates with the average social media user. There are so many hashtags that contain a huge customer base with ranging demographics – positioning your business within these trending spaces can put your brand right in the middle of the conversation.

Gain Engagement Data

For every social media marketing campaign and video you publish, you will find amazingly-detailed analytics which can give you insights into the engagement of your campaign. Regardless of whether your social media videos are organic or paid campaigns, you can look into their conversion rates, engagement, and click-throughs to see how well they did. 

This kind of crucial data can help you shape and mould your social media marketing strategy to create the best videos for your audience and beyond. Views are a good indicator of your content being engaging and popular, but the number of comments and click-throughs is a true measure of how well it ranks for engagement. 

Roll The Credits

Putting creative and compelling social media videos in your marketing strategy can be a huge game changer for your business. Not only can you build a unique brand and market positioning, but you can use the analytics and data you receive to continue to build. 

With a strong digital marketing strategy behind it, social media videos can elevate your business through increased exposure, more conversions, and a stronger brand for your business.


Google's Helpful Content Update Everything You Need To Know

Google’s Helpful Content Update – Everything You Need To Know

Google is always working to better connect people to helpful information, hence why they are constantly updating their algorithm.

On 25th August 2022, they released what they are calling the helpful content update that’s part of a broader effort to ensure people see more original and helpful content. The rollout could take up to two weeks to complete.

In their statement, Google said that they want to reward content that offers visitors a satisfying experience, stipulating that content that doesn’t meet visitors’ expectations won’t perform as well.

Continue reading to find out more about the update and things creators should consider.

How it works?

Google’s helpful content update is a sitewide signal that identifies low-value content. It targets websites with high amounts of unsatisfying or unhelpful content or content written for search engines first.

With the number of blog posts increasing every day, Google wants to do something to counter the volume of content on the web. They advised content creators to audit the existing content and remove any unhelpful content to help the good pieces rank better.

How to create content that will be successful with Google’s new update?

Well, the only solution is to follow Google’s long-standing advice to create content for people, not for search engines.

Focus on creating human-centred content and only use SEO practices to bring searchers additional value. If you are not sure about whether your content is human-centred, answer the following questions:

  • Do you have an existing or intended audience that would find the content useful if they came directly to you?
  • Does your content clearly demonstrate a depth of knowledge and first-hand expertise?
  • Does your site have a primary focus?
  • After reading your content, will someone leave feeling like they’ve learned enough about a topic to help them achieve a goal?
  • Will someone reading your content leave feeling they had a satisfying experience?

Does SEO still matter?

Yes, if you do it right.

Although Google is earnest about having a people-first content approach, that does not invalidate following SEO best practices. You can still optimise your content for SEO to boost your ranking but avoid taking search engine-first approaches like:

  • Writing topics outside of your niche simply because they are trending
  • Creating high volumes of content on different topics in hopes that some of it will perform well in search results
  • Summarising what others have to say without adding more value
  • Writing content that leaves readers feeling like they need to search again to get more information from other sources
  • Writing a particular word count because you read that Google has a preferred word count
  • Using extensive automation, specifically, AI content writing and copywriting tools to produce content on many topics
  • Entering a niche topic area without any real expertise with the sole purpose of getting search traffic
  • Promising to answer a question that has no answer. For example, suggesting there’s a release date for a product but it hasn’t been confirmed.

What can you do to prepare for Google’s new update?

Google’s helpful content update will cause radical changes in search results in the next few weeks. So, how can you prepare for the changes about to come? Here are a few dos and don’ts.


  1. Audit your content

Taking unhelpful content off your website and leaving what is relevant is a good place to start. If you have over-optimised content or scaled content on your site, get rid of it now. Doing this before the update rolls out will give your good content a chance to be indexed and ranked by Google.

  1. Look at changes on the keyword and URL level

Sometimes your website loses rank because of irrelevant keywords. Keywords reveal a searcher’s true intent, so make sure that you’re using words and phrases that align with your target audience’s needs. Additionally, check your URL to ensure that visitors are able to make out what the destination page is about. Using relevant keywords in your URL can help improve your ranking, but don’t create an unuseful URL just to include a keyword.

  1. Look for shifts in user intent

Core algorithm updates can lead to a different understanding of what users want to achieve with a search, so if you lose ranks, search for patterns across keywords that changed in rank.


  1. Don’t draw conclusions when updates are still rolling out

Google’s helpful content update is still rolling. Shuffling things during the rollout will only cause more confusion, so allow the dust to settle before you make any drastic changes.

  1. Don’t go with your first assumption

Out of the need for preservation, you will be tempted to start making changes as soon as possible, but don’t. before you make any conclusion, gather as much data as possible, compare your conclusions with other content creators and look for commonalities.

  1. Don’t panic when your site dips

This might sound counteractive when your site is losing rank, but drastic overcorrecting can do more harm than good in the long term. If you haven’t been aggressive with SEO tactics, take your time, plan, and make small changes as you go.

If you are well acquainted with digital marketing, it will help to have a digital marketing expert to walk you through the changes about to happen.

Contact us today, to speak to one of our digital marketing experts.


Want Your Business To Survive The Coronavirus Crisis Keep Marketing It

Want your business to survive the Coronavirus crisis? Keep marketing it

After a week of Government-imposed social distancing measures, it feels like Great Britain is now closed. The streets are all but empty. Only essential retail businesses continue to trade whilst their neighbours’ shopfronts are dark. The world is turning, but it turns behind closed doors.

We have battened down our hatches, stocked our cupboards and hunkered down while we try to process what has happened and what the effect will be on our businesses.

But it won’t always be like that. One day, in the not too distant future, this extraordinary period in our history will end and businesses will return, slowly and gingerly, to some new version of normal in a very changed economy.

The question is: Will yours be one of them?

We know it really might not feel like it right now, but this really could be a perfect opportunity for you and your business – a period where you have the time and chance to really focus on ensuring you’re ready to be successful when this ends.

At times of crisis, the instinct for some business owners is to do nothing slowly. They go into ‘wait and see’ mode. Decision making is paralysed. Anything that, in ‘normal’ times, would be considered a normal cost of doing business is choked off.

But while that may save in the short term, it breeds inertia and creates space in the market for competitors who have used the time away from their day-to-day business as usual activities to plan how they will bounce back and be more successful than they were when the crisis struck.

At FOME, we’re still here. We’re planning for a successful future in which we will thrive and grow, and our absolute priority is to make sure that we’re there to help our clients be ready to get off to the quickest possible start when the current restrictions are lifted.

We’ve spoken to many of our contacts and peers and we know that smart businesses are using this time to engage with their clients and customers, to build their profile and create soft leads so that when they get back to work they have a pipeline that’s fully formed.

Because it’s not going to be enough to try to do it when the Government announces GB PLC is open for business again. It will be too late. And your existing and potential customers and clients are online right now, with lots of time to engage with you.

None of those smart businesses have simply assumed they’ll automatically get back the clients they’ve lost to the Covid-19 crisis. All of them are maintaining those connections and – crucially – building new ones.

The ugly reality is that if you’re not doing that, too, you may not have a business to come back to.

Now is the time to invest strategically in your digital marketing, to create a presence online. When this situation does finally end, people will be ready to spend, and by working together – now – we can try to ensure that they choose to spend with you rather than your competitor.

As you might expect from a modern digital agency, we’re still open for business because our entire team is able to work from home as effectively and efficiently as we can from our offices.

We’re here to help you to build a strong online presence across social media and through clever investment in SEO to take advantage of the opportunities your competitors are giving you by not doing the same thing.

If services can be converted into a digital offer, we can help you to set up and then market and promote those services and courses, giving you a revenue stream while the enforced closure of your physical premises is in place.

And by looking at the long game and prioritising your SEO, it’s the ideal time to steal a march on your competitors by using this time to put in the hard yards that go into improving your Google ranking.

Are you ready to invest in your success?

Because we are – and we’re ready to prove it during this crisis by providing website maintenance, implementing changes and adding new developments at no charge to allow you to focus on putting your business back in front of your customers while they have the time to engage with you.

Come and talk to us. We’re in this with you.

New Technologies From Emerging To Everyday

New technologies: from emerging to everyday

New technology is emerging everywhere around us. We live in a time when phrases like Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality and Artificial intelligence have already made their way out of science fiction media and into our day-to-day dictionaries. Most of us spend considerable amounts of time on our phones, which are getting smarter by the minute. We’ve also got smart home appliances – TVs, microwaves, refrigerators, precision cookers and coffee machines connected to the Internet of Things and there to make our lives easier.

As most tech enthusiasts would put it – we live in the digital age now. And we, at FOME wholeheartedly agree with that. We’re surrounded by technology, have got very used to it, and living without the conveniences of Google, YouTube and Facebook seem impossible.

This is called an Emerging Tech Life Cycle – the progression of technology from an exciting innovation to something that everyone uses.

A look at the emerging tech lifecycle

Innovation Peak

When a new technology is first introduced, interest spikes through the roof. This is the point at which research investors typically get involved in emerging tech projects and developers get to really dive into things.

Expectation Peak

As the mass public gets wind of the possibilities, various influencers will tend to hype up the technology, posing numerous “What if?” questions. This is when mass pre-orders, unboxing videos and trending social media tags tend to happen. Generally, the prices will be at their all-time-high during this period

Trough of Disillusionment

Even though this doesn’t happen with every piece of technology, things will generally quiet down once the initial hype wave passes. People will realise that, even though new and exciting, this particular technology might not affect their own lives as much as they originally thought.

Slope of Enlightenment

As more and more big companies pick up the product, it slowly becomes more and more accessible, up to the point where everyone can have it. There is barely any hype now, coming only from the most die-hard brand loyalists and fans of the product.

Plateau of Productivity

If the technology turns out worthwhile (like smartphones did, for example), it lives to become an integral part of our everyday lives.

And while investors and while business owners and the public debate the risks and benefits of these emerging technologies, designers are preparing for the new user interfaces that these technologies will require.

Designers that tackle digital products and online experiences, for example, have to consider the rise of VR, which is being used more and more in the web design industry.

This experience, created to celebrate 50 years of Swiss Music Charts, is a good example of this in practice. It’s a VR website that maintains a strong desktop UX, a relatively new concept and therefore a fresh challenge within the world of digital design.

The introduction of biometrics to our smartphones is another example of this. Anybody with an iPhone 6 or higher will be familiar with the below Touch ID icon, which is used to prompt users to use their fingerprint to access protected data. Such an icon would never have been necessary on classic smartphones, and is, therefore, an example of how technological innovations create challenges for designers.

The future will no doubt give rise to more disruptive technology that will once again change the way we think about digital design. In fact, we’re usually privy to these breakthroughs beforehand – if we look hard enough.

Looking Forward: Thought Control and Holograms

This section of the blog might seem like science-fiction to some readers, but the technologies discussed have been heavily researched and could realistically materialise in the next decade or so.

One exciting example could be the rise of Brain-Computer Interfaces, which will allow users to interact with computers and other devices using thought alone. Much like the rise of ‘gesture’ interactions that touchscreen technology brought with it, Brain-Computer Interfaces could give way to a whole new brain-wave of interactions to design for…

Pun definitely intended.

And software innovations aren’t the only new technologies that designers will have to look out for.

Volumetric displays – or holograms as they’re more commonly known – represent another exciting and potentially paradigm-shifting technology for designers. If sufficiently implemented, this technology could be much more than science fiction; it could end up replacing computing displays and making standard hardware like keyboards and mice obsolete.

Changing the way that users experience computers and mobiles would provide a brand new challenge for a lot of stakeholders, but none more so than designers.

In Conclusion

The last 20 or so years have seen a boom in digital innovation, creating new and exciting platforms for UX and UI designers to work with.

As new technologies continue to emerge, new interfaces and experiences have to be created to support them. At JBi, we know the importance of preparing for these advances, and our designers are ready to embrace the technology that we now see as science fiction.

Who knows, we might all be viewing this blog inside a contact lens by the time it’s published.

If you are looking for support on your digital project – whether it’s AR, VR, or just a good old website build – please don’t hesitate to get in touch at

How Artificial Intelligence Is Set To Affect Marketing

How Artificial Intelligence is set to affect marketing

More than half of marketers are already using artificial intelligence (AI) in some way or another, with a further 27 per cent planning to in the next two years. That’s according to a recent survey by Salesforce that looked at AI and its implications for marketers in the future.

Now that AI is becoming more commonplace with marketers beginning to gain a more thorough understanding, there will be some huge changes. Among them will be:

Ad targeting and audience segmentation

The use of artificial intelligence (AI) in emerging channels is set to become more sophisticated, with applications in ad targeting and audience segmentation growing. In research carried out by eMarketer, it was found that these two areas are already among the most popular ways that the technology is being used.

Advanced television – a term that encompasses a number of digital features, including interactivity, time shifting and interoperability – will be particularly affected by AI in 2019. Here, marketers will be able to improve one-to-one targeting accuracy at scale.

Proper segmentation and the development of more sophisticated personas is also likely to come about as the result of AI. Presenting the right message to a potential customer at an appropriate time is paramount for converting leads and something the technology will be able to facilitate in.

This will continue to accelerate the move to personalisation and make it truly useful for both parties. The specific needs of customers will be able to be addressed more quickly, which in theory should lead to long-lasting relationships with brands.

More transparency in data insights

Like most digital platforms, martech (marketing technology) is facing calls for greater transparency and artificial intelligence will help to achieve this. As brands and agencies seek more data insights to inform their activity, AI will be leveraged to see how it is used and ensure that the practice follows basic principles.

Artificial Intelligence education

It’s not enough for brands and agencies to have access to more advanced technology; they must also have the expertise to understand it. Employees will need to be educated on the advancements on artificial intelligence in order to make full use of its potential.

Companies must know which type of AI will be the best to use for the job at hand. Everyone wants access to the latest technology, but using it in the wrong way is as useless as not having AI in the first place.

Like most new things, it takes time to come to understand them properly and huge leaps forward in AI methodologies are expected. Among the places where they will be useful will be neural networks, regressions and decision trees.

In turn, the benefit to marketers will be that business needs can be addressed in a more productive manner. Compliance, transparency, cost, goals and timing will all see an impact from the applications of artificial intelligence.

4 Marketing Trends You Need To Get On Board With For 2019

4 Marketing Trends You Need To Get On Board With For 2019

With 2019 just around the corner, it’s time to start planning your marketing strategy for the year ahead. As new technologies and trends changing the business landscape, 2019 looks set to be a year of real change for marketers.

But what should your business be looking out for in the new year to enhance your own marketing strategies? Here are just four marketing trends that your brand needs to get on board with for 2019.


We are increasingly seeing more and more search queries performed through voice assistants such as Siri and Alexa, and with good reason. It’s quick, convenient, and saves the searcher trawling through reams of text to find their solution.

Recognising this trend are dozens of big-name brands, who use voice search throughout their marketing strategies.

Take the fast food chain Burger King for example, whose “What is the Whopper burger?” ad hijacked viewers’ Google Assistants to provide a definition of the brand’s iconic burger. While it was eventually blocked by Google, the ad was a fine example of how brands can exploit voice search for their marketing.

Voice search has been massive in 2018, and with voice assistants becoming increasingly common in households around the world, they are ripe with opportunity for savvy brands to market to the masses.

Takeaway tip: optimise your website for voice search. Increase your page speed and create snippet-friendly FAQ sections to answer the most commonly-asked questions from your customers. A little work now prepares you for a trend that shows no sign of slowing in 2019.


First introduced by Vine back in 2012, ephemeral content has gone from strength to strength in recent years.

Snapchat made the concept of short, temporary videos its own, but Instagram perfected it. And with YouTube’s recent addition of seven-day stories for creators, ephemeral content is only gaining traction.

Ephemeral content forces brands to get creative with their marketing. The successful ephemeral story is one that speaks volumes in mere seconds, breaking down the essence of their brand and communicating it creatively.

It’s hard to nail, but once you get it right, it makes for a story that hits a chord with your customers and drives sales and engagement.

Takeaway tip: if you haven’t introduced stories into your marketing strategy yet, 2019 is the year to do so. And if you have, it’s the year to take it further. Create stories that play on customer FOMO and build a sense of urgency to compel them to swipe up or click through to your business.


Raw, candid, and unscripted, live video is the marketing trend that only the bravest of brands dare to embrace. But embrace it they must, because its popularity is only set to soar in 2019.

Like ephemeral content, a range of social platforms have introduced live streaming options for their users. The most recent of these is Instagram’s IGTV, through which users can upload videos up to an hour long.

Live video’s popularity lies in its intimate, off-the-cuff nature. Rather than a scripted, often predictable narrative, viewers take the journey with the brand. It’s exciting and dynamic, and as brands become ever more creative with its application, it will surely continue well into 2019.

Takeaway tip: Events, product launches, and behind-the-scenes peeks all make for perfect live content that customers love. And don’t be put off by its unrehearsed nature. Create a rough script before hand as a fallback, but don’t feel like you have to stick to it.


Influencer marketing is less a trend and more a defining marketing strategy in itself, experiencing its own internal trends and evolutions. Partnering with popular social stars to promote a brand, product, or service is a powerful marketing tactic at a brand’s disposal.

But where businesses previously sought the likes of Kim Kardashian and Zoella for their marketing collaborations, savvy brands today have visions of smaller targets: micro-influencers.

These are social stars with far smaller followings than their macro counterparts, commanding a following around 10-100K strong. Despite this apparently small following, micro-influencers deliver something highly valuable for brands: engagement.

With such a close, intimate following, micro-influencers are able to connect on a more personal level with their fans. As a result, their followers pay more attention to their content, which includes their branded posts.

And part of micro-influencers’ allure lies in their accessibility: every business, large or small, can take advantage of these niche social stars. They’re affordable but effective, and brands for virtually every industry have a number of influencers in their niche to choose from.

And as the world of business also becomes more accessible, the micro-influencer trend will only become more important in 2019. The rise of easy ecommerce store builders makes it easy for people to start a business. And with an increasing number of online businesses for sale, it’s even possible to simply buy your way into entrepreneurship.

Startups and SMEs will benefit hugely from micro-influencers in 2019. They’re an inexpensive but fruitful marketing solution that form the bedrock of a growing online (and offline) business.

Takeaway tip: identify micro-influencers within your business niche using a content research tool. Reach out to them to start a collaboration that drives engagement for your brand. Aim for more than just products: real engagement with a brand lasts forever, so create a relationship with your business rather than just your products.


In an age of fake news and alternative facts, consumers increasingly demand authority and truth in their content. And with the rise of alternative news sources such as Breitbart or the Canary, customers seek sources who can deliver genuine, fact-based thought.

And what better authority than a brand that owns its niche? From essential industries such as healthcare to leisure and entertainment brands, businesses can position themselves as authorities within their field.

Many brands’ success is down to this position of expertise. By showing their customers that they know their industry and its deeper machinations, their product or service is naturally informed by this.

More and more, we are seeing brands look to scientific research and studies to educate their customers.

Take the beauty brand L’Oréal for instance. Alongside its products, how-to guides for skincare and detailed ingredients lists help promote the brand as a beauty publisher. These intelligent and comprehensive resources lift L’Oréal out of the commercial and position it as an expert — a powerful thing in 2019.

Takeaway tip: by virtue of owning a business in an industry niche, you are (or have the capacity to be) an authority. Create detailed resources that educate your customers about your industry. In doing so, you become more than simply a business — you become an authority.

2018 has been a whirlwind year for brands and marketers everywhere. We’re in a very different place to where we were a year ago, and 2019 looks set to promise just as much, if not more, change. Pay close attention to developments in the fields above, and keep your business ahead of the game in 2019.

Google Speed Gif 1516226876

Is your site being affected by the Google Speed Update?

A small number of SMEs could be affected by the latest change to Google’s algorithm, after it rolled out its Speed Update to all users. It is not something that everyone needs to worry about, as it will only be the slowest sites on the internet that are affected.

Zhiheng Wang and Doantam Phan, of Google, said: “The Speed Update, as we’re calling it, will only affect pages that deliver the slowest experience to users and will only affect a small percentage of queries. It applies the same standard to all pages, regardless of the technology used to build the page. The intent of the search query is still a very strong signal, so a slow page may still rank highly if it has great, relevant content.”

How to assess if your site is affected by the update

Google implemented the Speed Update in July, 2018, so if your website visits have dropped significantly since then, you may have seen your position in search penalised as a result. As ever, the search engine has not released specific metrics to find out for certain, so it may take some detective work.

What it has said is that it uses a combination of methods to assess the speed of a webpage, with several tools representing good places to start. These include the Chrome User Experience report, as well as the Lighthouse and PageInsights features.

Has page speed been a ranking factor before?

Page speed has long been among the factors that Google takes into account, but it highlighted in 2010 that this was based on desktop searches only. After years of promising to extend the reach to mobile, this type of search will now be considered too.

How to improve mobile page speed on your site

To improve mobile page speed, it’s a good idea to look at several different contributing factors and make changes where you can. The first is elevating your server response time, which can be achieved through better web server software or configuration; the quality of web hosting; and the resources needed by your pages.

The second measure you can take is avoiding redirects, as these routes take up vital milliseconds, therefore slowing down the page. This issue is exacerbated on mobile, which often uses less reliable networks to meet requests.

Another way to circumvent speed problems is to ensure your website is loading above-the-fold content first. Even if the rest of the page isn’t yet available, users will get the impression that content is ready sooner and therefore their experience will be improved.

Lastly, migrating a website from HTTP to HTTPS has also been shown to reduce load time. In fact, Velocity, Load Impact and Mozilla have found that the improvements can be as much as 50 to 70 per cent, making it a no-brainer for SMEs wanting to make sure they’re not falling behind their competitors.

Analyse the speed of your website with Google’s PageSpeed Insights Tool.

Is your site being affected by the Google Speed Update? For more information, advice and help, please get in touch us us here.

Gdpr (1)

Do consumers want to share their data with your company?

In May this year, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into force, changing the way that businesses of all sizes handle the personal information they have on clients and consumers.

Companies have had to alter their privacy policies, update their mailing lists and let customers know exactly how their data will be stored and used in order to ensure their compliance with GDPR. The consequences for failing to do this can be huge, with potential penalties of up to millions of pounds.

This means that businesses need to be more careful than ever in obtaining and using personal data, but how do consumers themselves feel about this?

Are consumers happy to share their data post-GDPR?

According to new research carried out by DMA UK and Acxiom, more than half (51 per cent) of consumers are happy to share their data with companies, as long as they can see a clear benefit to doing so.

This finding featured in a report entitled ‘Global data privacy: What the consumer really thinks’, which also found that almost three-quarters (74 per cent) of people do have some degree of worry regarding their online privacy where their sensitive data is concerned.

What’s more, 78 per cent of those questioned said they believed businesses benefited from data sharing more than consumers did, which they felt was unfair.

The research involved consumers from across the world, finding that, across the board, 83 per cent of people would still like to have more control over their personal information. Although this was one of the principal aims of GDPR, it suggests that there is still a long way to go before consumers are completely happy with their data privacy.

Chris Combemale, chief executive of DMA, commented: “We are in a new era of data privacy. Questions have been raised about whether major data breaches and increased talk about the value of our personal data is impacting consumer anxiety over how their information is used.

“In fact, our research shows that even though consumers are more aware than ever and have concerns about their online data privacy, the majority will continue to share their personal information if they trust the organisation and gain something in return.”

How can companies ease consumers’ concerns?

The efforts that organisations put into getting their affairs in order in the run-up to GDPR coming into force, such as making their privacy policies clearer, should have gone some way towards easing customers’ data security concerns.

However, people spent the week before GDPR officially came in being bombarded with emails from brands and websites, which many simply ignored due to sheer volume. This means that many are still a little unsure how exactly their data is used and by whom.

With this in mind, it wouldn’t hurt for companies to get back in touch with their mailing lists (making sure anyone who did request to be deleted from it pre-GDPR has been removed, of course) to remind them where they can access your privacy policy, and go over how their data will be stored and used once more.

This will help to show that you foster a culture of transparency and value your customers’ concerns, and that you take their data privacy 100 per cent seriously.

Source: AM Online, ADMA

Linkedin Video Ads

LinkedIn introduces video ads for sponsored content and company pages

In today’s media-rich online landscape, it’s becoming harder and harder for businesses to really stand out with their digital marketing initiatives – a particularly pressing issue for small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which are often reliant on online communications to raise awareness of their brand and services.

As such, these companies are likely to welcome the news that the professional network LinkedIn is once again expanding its video advertising capabilities to allow brands to include video as part of their sponsored content and company pages. This follows the successful introduction of video content for member pages last August, and will add another useful tool to SMEs’ comms arsenal.

How will the new video ads work?

The addition of native video ads for LinkedIn sponsored content will allow companies to incorporate video content directly as part of their news feed as a standalone post, making it easier than ever to engage with business decision-makers. This works hand-in-hand with LinkedIn’s existing B2B targeting capabilities, allowing brands to aim their visual content at a tailored audience using metrics such as job titles, seniority, company name, industry or skills.

It will also be possible to measure the performance of a campaign by analysing the insights and detailed breakdowns provided about the types of professionals watching, engaging with, and converting on these video ads, with LinkedIn’s Conversion Tracking tool integrated into the new platform to make it easy to measure the number of leads, sign-ups, website visits, and other actions generated by the content.

Meanwhile, the new video options enabled for company pages will provide SMEs with a more visually engaging and dynamic way of showcasing their corporate culture, products, news and events, helping them to attract talent and drive engagement and conversation. Both of these features will be available to all businesses in the coming weeks, with Oracle Moat software tools to be made available to facilitate third-party video measurement and viewability later this year.

What benefits might be achieved?

These new services have been launched by LinkedIn in response to growing demand. A recent survey carried out by the social network revealed that 46 per cent of B2B advertisers saw finding a quality environment for video campaigns as a major challenge, and the new offering has been designed to help address this.

Since launching a private beta test in October last year, more than 700 advertisers – including GE, Philips and Audi Canada – have tested video for sponsored content to highlight their products and services, as well as their company mission, customer success stories and thought leadership content. It has been shown that this has had a significant impact on brand engagement, with LinkedIn members spending almost three times longer watching video ads compared to time spent with static content.

Renske Siersema, social media manager at KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, explained how the addition of these video services is creating tangible benefits for her organisation, saying: “Video stands out because it doesn’t tell, but it shows. On a platform where there’s more business content, a video stands out more, especially on LinkedIn.”

Source: LinkedIn Business


What your small business needs to know about getting ready for GDPR

The introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) on Friday May 25th 2018 is set to be one of the most important events affecting businesses this year.

GDPR will change data security and storage rules, giving consumers more rights than ever before over how organisations use their personal information, including their contact details, as well as things like their website URLs.

Businesses need to spend the next few months making sure they know exactly what personal data they have on file, where it is stored and who has access to it, letting their clients and customers know this information and giving them the choice to opt out of having their data stored by the company.

If someone wants to know more about what data you have on them or wants it deleted, your business will be legally required to respond accordingly, or face a significant financial penalty – not to mention potential reputational damage as well.

Basically, GDPR is all about improving data transparency and security and giving more power to the consumer over how their personal information is used.

What if I’ve not started preparing for GDPR yet?

If your business hasn’t started its GDPR preparations yet, don’t worry, you’re not alone.

According to recent research from Mailjet, two-thirds of small firms aren’t yet compliant with GDPR, and will need to spend the next few months preparing. Among new businesses, this figure rose to 91 per cent.

Depending on the nature of your business, the volume of work you’ll need to do in order to get ready for the legislation will vary. Everything from old CVs you’ve got on file to your marketing database and past client information will need to be audited ahead of GDPR’s arrival – even those boxes full of paperwork in the store cupboard that have been lying there for years untouched.

A report from Cleardata found that as many as 66 per cent of small businesses in the UK have no proper document management strategy at present, and could be putting themselves at risk of GDPR-related fines as a result. A total of 17 per cent of survey respondents even admitted to storing old paperwork in a staff member’s garage or shed – a serious data security risk.

As David Bryce, managing director of Cleardata, explained: “This can leave vital and sensitive information open to theft and damage and also make it difficult to find quickly if needed for legal or data compliance purposes.”

Regardless of what your approach to data storage has been in the past, the upcoming arrival of GDPR presents an opportunity to sort through everything and make sure you have the correct permissions for the data you do have on file.

How long will preparing for GDPR take?

Getting ready for GDPR will require investment of time and resources, but it’s important to spend that time now, rather than risk a fine for non-compliance further down the line and to prevent any more time from being wasted.

Research from Senzing predicts that unprepared businesses could end up spending up to 172 hours a month carrying out data searches once the legislation comes in if they aren’t investing time now in bringing their data in line with GDPR.

However, some companies will be required to appoint a data protection officer under the legislation, so they will be the main contact responsible for ensuring compliance, which should help to ease some of the burden on the rest of the organisation and its staff.


4 Hot Online Marketing Trends For 2018

4 hot online marketing trends for 2018

Happy New Year! 2018 has arrived and we’re sure you’ve got lots of exciting plans for your business over the next 12 months.

As a small business owner, your website is invaluable in letting clients and potential customers know who you are and what you’ve achieved. Therefore, it’s important to keep it as up to date as possible to demonstrate how seriously you take your business and that you’re prepared to compete with major players in your field.

But what aspects of online marketing should you be focusing on in 2018?

Top US-based marketing consultant Cameron Conaway has revealed what he believes will be the biggest digital marketing trends of the year in a recent piece for the Huffington Post. Here, we look at a few of the most important for you to focus on:

Voice search

Voice-enabled search looks set to be huge this year, particularly after voice-controlled home assistants Google Home and Amazon Echo were among the most popular tech gifts this Christmas.

As a result, it’s vital that you take steps to optimise your website with appropriate keywords to boost the chances of it being picked as a result in voice searches. These artificial intelligence-powered devices might be clever, but they can only work with what you give them, so make sure you’re organising your website with voice search in mind.

Journalism marketing

Mr Conaway also highlighted the growing trend for journalists to make on marketing roles, applying their writing and reporting skills to the products or services companies are trying to sell, in a similar way to the growing content marketing trend.

Consumers increasingly want to read about the products they are thinking of purchasing, searching for reviews from other buyers, expert opinions and comment pieces. With this in mind, you should assess your content marketing strategy and look at applying some journalistic skills to your website to make you sound as authoritative and knowledgeable about the area you work in as possible.

Move your website to HTTPS

If your website isn’t on HTTPS, it’s unlikely that it will appear highly in search results this year, Mr Conaway warned. As a result, you could find yourself losing valuable traffic and even new business opportunities.

Websites that aren’t on HTTPS are not deemed to be as secure, but it can be a big task to move over a site that has a lot of content and a complicated structure.

If this is a challenge that you find yourself faced with, consider starting from scratch with a new simpler website and rebrand, employing all of the latest SEO best practice. It might be a lot of work now, but it should pay off in the long term.

Data visualisation

Big data has been big news for several years now, but are you managing to gain informative and useful insights from the data you collect? If not, you might want to explore new ways to visualise your data – another of Mr Conaway’s tipped hot trends for online marketing in 2018.

Being able to see your data more clearly could help you to gain clearer insights from it, which could help to inform your future marketing and wider business decisions.

© Fast Online Marketing Experts