Key Changes in GDPR.

The EU General Data Protection Regulation, is put in place to ensure data privacy and is the most important change in data privacy in the past 20 years. The change is due to be enforced on 25th May 2018 at which time all regulations must be adhered to. For this reason, it is important that you are well prepared. Below we have highlighted some of the key changes that are likely to affect businesses of all sectors.

The GDPR applies to anyone who considers themselves a ‘controller’ or ‘processor’. A ‘controller’ is someone responsible for determining the purposes and means of processing personal data. A ‘processor’ is responsible for processing this data on behalf of the controller.

Processors are responsible, under new GDPR law to provide and maintain records of personal data and processing activities within your company. In the case of a breach, you will be held legally responsible so it is very important that this change is implemented as soon as possible, and kept up to date consistently.

The GDPR applies to any sort of ‘personal data’, relating to an identifiable person who can hence be directly or indirectly identified. It applies to both automated and manual filing systems where any personal data is available.

Even data that has been key-coded can fall within the boundaries of GDPR depending on how difficult the coding is to attribute to an individual.

The GDPR refers to special data as “special categories of personal data”, which include genetic and biometric data, which are processed to uniquely identify an individual.

The main, and most important change, is the Increased Territorial Scope. Regardless of the companies location, any data of EU citizens being processed will have to adhere to the GDPR. The GDPR makes it very clear that it will apply to “processing personal data of data subjects in the EU by a controller or processor that is not established in the EU, where the activities relate to offering goods or services to EU citizens, and the monitoring of behaviour taking place within the EU.” Any non-EU business processing the data of EU citizens will have to henceforth employ an EU representative for their company, to ensure that regulations are being met.

The new GDPR could also see companies being fined up to 4% of their global turnover, which can be imposed in the case of serious infringement. The approach is tiered, for example a fine of 2% for not having their records in order or not notifying the authorities and data subject in the case of a breach.

The terms for consent have also been improvised and strengthened. Companies will no longer be able to use long terms and conditions including legal jargon, requests for consent will have to be easy to understand and interpret, as well as being easily accessible to the subject. The purpose for the data collection will also have to be disclosed, and must be as easy to withdraw from it as it is to give.

Rights for the subjects will also change under the GDPR. Subjects will now need to be informed of any breach in privacy that is likely to cause “risk for the rights and freedom of individuals”. This information must be given within 72 hours of first becoming aware of a breach. Data processors will be responsible for notifying  their customers, the controllers, as soon as possible.

Data erasure, or the right to be forgotten gives subjects the right to have their data erased due to withdrawal of consent, or the data becoming irrelevant to the original purposes of the data process, and have the right to receive and access their personal data.

Controllers are required to only hold and process data that is absolutely necessary to the task, and limiting access to those processing the data.

Finally, another big change in GDPR is the appointment of Data protection Officers, for companies whose core activities are processing operations requiring regular monitoring of data on a large scale, or special categories of data relating to crime. Data protection Officers will now be assigned to each corporation, rather than responsible for a specific area.

The Data protection Officer must be an expert in data protection, and responsible for overseeing all tasks of data protection, and advising where necessary. They will also act as the first point of contact  for authorities and individuals whose data is being processed.

These are just some of the changes outlined in the GDPR. Don’t forget to analyse where your company fits in with these regulations, and to have made any necessary changes by 25th May 2018. For further information, and for full details of exactly what these changes mean for your business, you can view the key changes on www.eugdpr.org.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Email Marketing

Some may say that email marketing is a thing of the past, but this is not necessarily the case. With approximately 2.5 billion email users worldwide, a staggering 33% of the population using email regularly email marketing is far from out. It is still a very popular method of online advertising.

However, email marketing can be tricky to get right. It’s easy to spam your audience with 3 plus emails per day, but the chances of generating any positive result from this is slim. People don’t want information pushed onto them, they want to be gently informed, or you run the risk of being blocked by many of the existing and emerging ad blockers.

Below are a few tips and tricks to get the most out of your email marketing campaign…

  1. Send emails with a clear goal in mind. It is vital that you know what you want to achieve, use content that reflects this and get your timing right to ensure maximum impact from your campaign.
  2. Don’t spam. Only send emails when they will make an impact, and only ever use email addresses that have been given to you by the user them self. It is also important to include clear contact details for your company, and a clear and easy way to unsubscribe from your emails if users wish to do so. You want to show your users that you are a genuine, respectful company, not drive them away by creating untrustworthy content and sending too many emails in a short amount of time.
  3. Automate your outreach process. Make things easy for yourself, by scheduling emails to be sent at certain times, so you can carefully plan what you want to say and when, rather than panicking and leaving it to the last minute resulting in poor quality emails that will have less of an impact.
  4. Keep it interesting! Try not to repeat the same old pushy emails, think of exciting things happening within your company or industry and inform your customers about them. If they are engaging and informative about interesting events or issues arising in the industry, they are more likely to read and be enjoyed by users, rather than deleted or moved to the spam folder.
  5. Personalise. There are many email marketing tools available that allow you to personalise your list depending on the behaviours, interests ad demographics of your customers. For example, finding out why certain users have visited your website can really help in then sending emails that will be useful to them if they were looking for a certain product or service that you are able to provide. Ensure to use names as much as possible, and take note of the time and location you are sending in, make reference to an event happening or a particular time of the year, Christmas for example.
  6. Call To Action. Your readers need to know what you want to achieve from sending them these emails. Do you want them to visit your website? If so, include the link, and tell them to click on it. Are you promoting a new product? Include the link to buy it, make it easy for your readers to see exactly what you want to achieve from the email.
  7. Compatibility with all devices. Research has shown that most people access their emails through a mobile device most of the time, so what use is an email that is only available on desktop? Test your emails out before sending, to check that they are as effective and readable on mobile devices as they are on desktop, otherwise you are losing a huge majority of readers simply because the content is not clear on their preferred device.
  8. Track and monitor the process. Keep a note of how your emails perform in terms of clicks and conversions. The only way to improve is to keep trying, so if something doesn’t work as well as you had planned, analyse why that was and make changes for the next time. Equally, if something works better than expected, analyse why that is too, and implement these factors into future campaigns.
  9. Never send without proof reading. Read it, read it again , get someone else to read it and then read it out loud. You can never be too careful when it comes to proofreading. Errors show sloppiness, which is not something you want to be conveying to potential customers. Content always sounds different when reading out loud, and often you can spot mistakes easier. Getting someone else who has not written the content to read it is also a good routine to get into, as they are likely to spot things you’ve not noticed, or reinforce doubts you may have had about the grammar or words used. If they point out something you also noticed, change it because most likely, your readers will notice too.

How to successfully use infographics in your marketing strategy.

Did you know, that the human brain can consume visual content 60,000 times faster than text? With this information in mind, it is easy to understand how infographics are so effective when it comes to getting your message across on social media. Not only are they easier to interpret quickly, people generally prefer viewing images as opposed to text, so  if you’re not already using infographics within your marketing strategy…why not?

However, the power of infographics is only as effective as how they are put together. We have put together a few tips and tricks on how to get the most out of your infographic. After all, they can be very time consuming, so it is important that you aim to get the most out of your time and hard work by following some simple steps.

Make a visual story-  Don’t make it all about the statistics and data (even though it pretty much is). Try and take your viewers on a journey through the information, to make it  more engaging  and interesting rather than a load of numbers in an image. Tell the story of where the data evolved from, how it evolved and why using interesting shapes to guide the eye across the image.

Keep it simple- although the design needs to be eye-catching, avoid making it too complicated that it distracts from the message you are trying to convey. A good way to test whether your audience will understand your design, is to get somebody else to read it once, If after that one time reading, they can then relay the information from the infographic clearly, then you’ve done a good job. If not, you need to rethink your design and layout to make it simpler.

Be wise with your colour and typography- It’s very easy to get carried away using lots of bright colours and fancy fonts, you may even think this will make your infographic stand out to your audience…wrong. The most effective way of using colour for promotion is to use no more than three colours, and stick to light backgrounds for maximum impact. Be aware of what your fonts say about your company too, it may be worth using the same fonts you use in other work in order to maintain consistency with your company’s artwork.

Try not to make it all about you- obvious self-promotion is no fun for anyone, and will drive customers away. Of course a little bit of branding is fine, but make sure you are still providing strong, interesting and useful content that will appeal to your target audience and encourage them to feel positive about your company.

Have a strong strategy for sharing your infographic- Ultimately, you want as many people as possible to see your infographic, so you will need to find other websites that are happy to post your content in order to reach a wider audience. It’s a good idea to write a blog post to accompany your infographic, to give some further information (not repeating) for your reader on the topic, making the infographic the perfect memory for readers to share with their followers and friends about an interesting article they just read.

At SeeLocal, we specialise in helping businesses set up and run successful local online advertising campaigns across all available online placements. Our platform is uniquely designed, to make it easy for businesses to manage their ads across all networks by accessing them in one easy to use online dashboard, and choose specific target audiences to expose the ads to. We can create and design bespoke advertisements and landing pages, to ensure your campaigns are eye-catching and generate positive results every time.