We’re supporting Small Business Saturday!

If you’re not already familiar with Small Business Saturday, let us introduce you!

Small Business Saturday is fantastic, non-commercial campaign that celebrates UK small business success and encourages consumers all over the country to shop locally and to support all the small businesses doing wonderful things within their communities.

The event takes place annually on the first Saturday in December and is growing each year! Last year an estimated £748 million was spent on the day and is predicted to grow for 2018 as backing from local authorities is up to 87% from last year’s 80%.

We work closely with small businesses every day and we know how much they impact local communities so we’re keen to get involved and show our support! This year, we’re offering all small businesses a FREE campaign when 3 campaigns are purchased. To find out more about this superb offer, get in touch with our team!

You can find out more about the great work happening over the UK here: smallbusinesssaturdayuk.com

Top tips for gym managers in January.

All over the world, with every new year comes fresh starts; the perfect opportunity for a new years resolution.

The most common new years resolution, we’ve probably all made it a few times, is eat better, exercise more and generally take on a healthier lifestyle. The most common way to start this new lifestyle? Head down to your local gym.

As a manager of a gym, what’s the best way of ensuring your local customers are picking your gym over your many competitors?

To ensure you are getting as many memberships as possible this January, and keeping them interested, we’ve put together a couple of things  you should bear in mind in the run up to and during January.

 

Make sure your management process is running smoothly.
With the expected influx of customers you are likely to see in January, you need to actively ensure that all the customer account management processes are running smoothly, correctly and accurately and can deal with a sudden increase. Testing during December is a good idea, so that if you hit any bumps along the way, you can fix them in time without affecting your new customers on-boarding journey.

Run local online Advertising campaigns.
Local, Online advertising campaigns allow you to target specific audiences, to ensure you are reaching truly local audiences who are most interested and more likely to convert and buy a membership to your gym. The SeeLocal platform has access to 94%  of all online audiences,  through a range of networks such as local and national newspapers, community sites, council pages and local news blogs- all exclusive to the SeeLocal network. We’ve worked with many gyms up and down the country, including leisurecentre.com, which had an ROI of over 6000% click here to see for yourself!

Don’t wait ‘till the last minute!
People will often know they want to join the gym before January comes along, but if they don’t, it’s your job to convince them they should! If they are already thinking about it, they need to know well in advance that your gym is the best to go for, over all your competitors. By leaving plenty of time, you can run multiple campaigns targeted at different audiences appealing to what they want, or encouraging them to join your gym. Get in there before your competitors do.

January can be a tricky time, do you trust the industry and not run advertisements, or do you run advertisements despite the spike anyway? Here at SeeLocal, we’ve seen it year on year, and running advertisements for January sign ups really does pay off, so long as you’re organised , you’re guaranteed to see big increases in sign-ups from your targeted online marketing in January.

 

 To make sure you can handle the rush,  click here to sign up for your first campaign!!

Quote discount code  ‘Jan15’ at the checkout for 15% off your campaign!

Offer ends 5pm 31st January 2019

 

 

 

Online marketing at Christmas

Starting Christmas  online marketing early  is sure enough best way to ensure  you are keeping up with your competitors , but exactly how and why?

Key Christmas shopping dates now span across two months- November and December with Black Friday, and Cyber Monday marking the beginning of the Christmas shopping season towards the end of November, and often beginning weeks before leaving a good two months of Christmas shopping madness for retailers.

We’ve put together a few tips on how to ensure you are using online marketing  in the right way this year, and why you should be making the  most of it and getting your digital strategy sorted…

As mobile usage continues to grow, it is estimated that an approximate 45-50% of Christmas sales take place on mobile- and is continuously growing as the use of mobile phones and tablets ever increases. For this reason, it is important that you ensure you website and buying process is always compatible with mobiles and tablets and easy to navigate on smaller phone screens. If not, you could be saying goodbye to hundreds of potential customers who would prefer to buy on their mobile, simply because your site does not support their preferred method of buying.

Secondly, you need to ensure you are getting in front of your target audience in as many ways as possible, 57% of shoppers have no idea what they want to buy when they go online to start Christmas shopping, so it’s up to you to persuade them  that your product is the one they didn’t know they needed so much.

Targeted online advertising is a highly effective way to target specifically online,  ensuring that ads are shown to relevant audiences based on

Things to do before paying for advertising

Before starting to use paid advertising for the first time, whether it be through an agency or independently, there are a few steps you need to undertake to ensure your campaign can be as successful as possible. Online advertising is possible at a minimum cost, such as social media marketing, however to really see results from your campaign, you need to be paying, whether it be just boosting social posts yourself, or conducting a full campaign with professional help. Nobody wants to see money wasted, so before you begin paying for your advertising, there are a few things to take into consideration…

  1. Know what your audience wants.

Which trust indicators within your ads are likely to get the greatest response from your target audience. Do you need to be featuring testimonials or other credibility boosting factors, depending on which has the best effect on your target audience.

You should also consider offering something helpful for free in exchange for the chance to speak to a member of your team, such as a free demonstration, sample or newsletter to encourage users to respond to your ads.

  1. Figure out what you want to achieve

Set some SMART targets, to ensure your expectations are realistic and achievable.

Specific- are you being clear about exactly what you want your campaign to achieve?

Measurable- are you able to clearly measure results?

Achievable- are you likely to achieve your goals?

Results-based- are your predictions based on previous results?

Time-bound- do you have a realistic timeframe in which to achieve your goals?

  1. Perform a competitor analysis

In doing this, you can see things from your competitors point of view, and evaluate your current strategy making changes inspired by your competition.

You need to ask yourself the following questions:

  • Who else is advertising similar products to yours?
  • What is their ad messaging like?
  • Are they offering anything?
  • What does their landing page or website say after you’ve clicked on their ad?

Using these will enable you to better your competitors with clearer more engaging ad copy, enticing offers and a better website experience.

For all your local, online advertising needs, SeeLocal is a platform that has access to all available online networks from one place, allowing businesses to easily run campaigns across multiple platforms.

 

Top tips for a great landing page

Firstly, what is a landing page? A landing page is used in online advertising, is the page in which users are taken to after clicking on your ad online. When advertising online, it is one of the first impressions a user gets of your company, brand or product, so it needs to be flawless. But what does it take to make a truly great landing page?

Firstly, you need to establish what your goal is, and what exactly you want your users to do upon clicking on your site. Do you want them to fill in a contact form, sign up for a newsletter or download a brochure. Whatever it is you want them to do, you need to make sure this is clear and that your conversions are defined, so you can easily track them.

Next, you need to establish who your competitors are, and what they are doing that you’re not. How are they succeeding, and what can you take from their strategy that could imitate their success? It’s completely fine to imitate competitors, if anything they’ll probably see it as a compliment…I say probably…

You need to know your audience inside out in order to create a landing page  that appeals directly to them and will entice them in, not turn them away. You can alter your ads depending on the location of your audience such as the way they speak and include images of things that will be familiar to them, to be more personalised and hopefully increase your engagement. Ask yourself, for example, what is the age of your targeted audience, what are their interests, where do they live, how much do they earn? Without knowing really detailed information about them, you will not be able to effectively market to them.

Finally, it’s worth knowing how your users got to your landing page, so you can tailor that page depending on where they came from.

Some final tips on how to ensure your landing page is successful and effective are the following:

  • Keep text short, sweet and to the point. If there’s too much text, users simply won’t bother reading so make sure your information is clear, and that your font is clear.
  • Any imagery, branding, text or decoration need to have a purpose- any clutter will just make your page look too crowded and will distract users from the real purpose of your page.
  • Ensure your content and images are of high quality, this is one of the first impressions users get of your business so you want to show high quality to reflect your business.

For more information about landing pages in SeeLocal campaigns, feel free to contact us!

Save the British High Street!

With news breaking at the end of last week about the closure of Gaucho restaurants, putting around 1500 jobs at risk, we are really starting to see how the British High street is rapidly decreasing. With not just independent stores, but big brand chains now feeling the pinch, will we soon be waving goodbye to the high street as we know it?

In the last 10 years, more than 11,000 high street names have gone out of business, not to mention countless small individual businesses. In 2018 alone we have seen many big brands including restaurant and retail chains struggling to maintain large numbers of shops, such as Byron, Carluccio’s, Cote, Prezzo as well as Carpet Right, Marks and Spencer, Mothercare and New Look. For these companies, closing down a store is a big step, so the pinch must be extremely tight to be closing down tens, sometimes hundreds of stores nationwide.

The British High Street, for centuries, has been a buzzing place for socialising, browsing and purchasing necessities. Before the ability to shop online, the high street was the only place available to buy goods- shops of all varieties tended to the buyers every need. You had your candlemaker, your green grocer, your butcher, fishmonger, tailor, jeweller…you name it, the high street had it, each with their own individual purpose to the public.

It’s not all bad news though- as humans, we crave social interaction and forming relationships with other humans. Although there has bene a significant rise in online shopping, for the shear convenience of it, the high street will always have its place in the hearts of British communities…but how can we do this?

One way of raising awareness of the high street, is to bring back the community feeling. Back in the days of High street success, there was no other place to be, the high street was the social hub of the town or city, the place to go if you wanted to be in the know. Councils, along with shop owners and managers, to come up with ideas to get the community involved, and supporting the high street once again. Street parties, carnivals and markets can all be great starting points in building up the community spirit. Putting the heart back into the high streets is key to ensuring a future  for socialising, culture, creativity, health and wellbeing.

Here at SeeLocal, we are here to help business of any size market directly to their local audiences through our local online advertising. With the rise in reliance on internet and mobile devices, online is exactly where businesses should be targeting to get people knowing about their brand, and generating local leads by wanting to get out and about to visit in person.

Why location based marketing is so effective.

Location based marketing is arguably the most exciting development in the marketing industry, to date. With the ongoing increase in how people use and rely on mobile phones in day-to-day life, using these devices to personalise messages to potential customers, in real time and based on their current location is an extremely effective, successful way of marketing. Depending on where they are in the world,  advertisers can choose to send  different ad types, such as display ads, banner ads or search ads, to appeal to a particular activity or area.

At SeeLocal, our speciality is running highly targeted, local online advertising campaigns across multiple advertising platforms. We tailor ad campaigns to be shown to particular demographics, based on your target audience, and make sure ads are shown to relevant users, so your budget is not wasted and your campaign is a success.

Being so personalised, means that your potential customers who are seeing your ads, are more likely to convert as the information they are seeing is relevant to them. Using a particular dialect in an area, for example Yorkshire, means your ads are appealing to the specific ways of speaking in that area, which makes ads seem more personalised and therefore encourages more sales.

Ads are served up in real time, meaning they are seen in the moment. Ads shown based on location are relevant to what the user wants to see at a particular time, and encourages them to complete an action simply based on where they are. For example, in the retail industry, apps can serve up unique discount codes for nearby shops to encourage impulse purchasing. After all, we’re all human, we are much more likely to make a purchase if we have the opportunity to pay less than it is supposedly worth.

The fact that location based ads are so highly targeted, means they are even more relevant to users. Over time, due to consistently seeing relevant ads, this then increases the attention that users pay to display ads, due to reduction in generic irrelevant ads. In the past,  statistics have shown that around 46% of people used ad blockers due to seeing irrelevant ads, but with the development of location based marketing, truly relevant ads can be shown to those who are actually interested, which in theory should lead to a reduction in the use of ad blockers.

When targeted properly, location specific ads are almost certainly relevant to the audience you are targeting, making them more likely to be noticed and lead to a sale. Better, higher quality ad targeting means businesses are spending less money on ad campaigns to people who simply are not interested.

 

The Importance of Online Reviews

Online reviews, even for small businesses are so important in terms of getting your brand noticed online, and driving new customers. Even if you think online advertising methods are irrelevant to your business, perhaps your clients are mostly local foot traffic, you would be surprised at the difference online reviews can make to the way businesses are viewed by the public.

Content included in online reviews such as google, trip advisor and Facebook can be a major factor in the success or failure of a business. Companies in the Hotel or Restaurant business can be affected massively by reviews, even if your company does not directly interact or rely on them, the affect they can have on current and potential future customers is massive. Statistics have shown, that positive comments from customers or clients can produce an average sales increase of up to 18%, and that customers are likely to spend on average 31% more because of reading positive reviews. In contrast, statistics have also shown that 22% of customers will not buy from a company after reading just one negative review, and a company with over four negative reviews or comments are likely to lose 70% of potential customers.

Similarly, if a company has no reviews, this can also ring alarm bells for potential customers- how are they to base their assumptions on a company that has no feedback from previous customers? By finding very little or even no information on a company, customers are made to feel apprehensive on whether or not to trust your company. Users nowadays use smartphones as part of every day life, so you can be sure they are googling your business to find out about you, before deciding to purchase your product or service. Make sure you are providing them with an accurate, positive depiction of your business, to encourage as many sales as possible- even if you don’t think your business is targeting online audiences, who’s to say online audiences aren’t targeting you?

As well as online reviews, simply just being present online can be a huge benefit to businesses of all sizes and industries, due to the fact that users nowadays are constantly online. If you want to reach new audiences and customers, you have to be present in the places they are- online. Local online advertising allows businesses to target customers based on their postcodes, so you can still target local people, but in new and exciting ways that are sure to bring a wider variety of customers to your business.

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.

How to Improve January Sales.

The new year is the perfect opportunity to review and revise your marketing strategies, and implement changes where necessary. The run up to Christmas is busy and often stressful, meaning one vital area of the Christmas season often gets missed out…January sales. With all the hype about Christmas sales, so many companies forget to advertise their January sales offers, or even acknowledge that they exist until January 1st. Local online advertising is the ideal way to target those customers who are most likely to produce sales, rather than wasting time targeting those who are less interested.

The new year is often seen as a quiet time for sales due to being directly after Christmas. The truth is, it doesn’t have to be this way.

  1. January is the perfect time to introduce a wide variety of new deals and offers, to your customers. Time these offers wisely, limit the amount of time to ensure a significant rise in traffic. Try giving gift card discounts for those who have received them as Christmas gifts, giving users the incentive to purchase rather than leaving them and forgetting to use them.

 

  1. Reward your loyal customers. What better time to be sharing rewards, discounts and special offers with customers that have shown loyalty to you throughout the past year. Try sending targeted emails with exclusive deals and offers to your most loyal customers, to build up a relationship and encourage further sales throughout January, by making them feel more valued.

 

  1. Use New Year’s resolutions to your advantage, especially products related to New Year’s resolutions. For example, fitness and health can be very successful during January due to people wanting to start the year with a healthy lifestyle, restaurants and food vendors can also benefit from this, offering special New Year’s healthy dishes to encourage those with this resolution to try new healthy options from their favourite restaurants and shops.

 

  1. The run up to Christmas often sees a spike in new customers. The secret to keeping these customers, is keeping them engaged even after the Christmas period with an active, engaging and interesting social media strategy. Be responsive by replying to any reviews or queries that your customers make, and ensure you have plenty of interesting offers and insights to keep your customers interested and stop them clicking that dreaded unfollow button…

 

  1. Another tactic for maintaining customers you have acquired over the festive season, is to give sneak peaks of new products or services you have lined up in the forthcoming months, using various social media channels. This will help keep your current customers interested and intrigued, but may also encourage more followers before you launch new products, increasing the amount of potential sales you could be generating.

 

January sales don’t have to be about shifting unwanted Christmas stock, they can massively benefit your business. By making the most of January sales, you can increase the amount of sales, customers and engagement your business receives, rather than a quiet month selling all your unwanted goods, you can set your business up for the rest of the year- a strong

How Much Do Consumers Spend During the Christmas Period?

The way we spend money at Christmas shows a dramatic change, not only in how we spend money but also in the change of attitude we have towards day to day life in the run up to Christmas. According to the Bank of England, the average household in the UK spends around £2000 in an average month…in December, it is unsurprising that this spend creeps up to £2500 due to the increase in going out, food, alcohol and gifts for friends and family.

Research shows that the average spend on food increases by 20% in December alone, 30% on alcohol and a whopping 80% on books, compared to any other month of the year.

Not only are consumers spending more, they are also spending in different ways. The number of online sales compared to physical has increased dramatically over the last few years, with £1 in every £6 we spend being online sales. New trends and events such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday also now means that Christmas spending is lengthened to November too, as well as December.

For these reasons, each year it is getting more and more vital for businesses to be selling online, and ensuring their site is not only accessible for desktop, but for mobile and tablet also. Customers are more likely year on year to be conducting product research via social media channels, so businesses must also ensure they are active and engaging through social media sites, and responding to questions or comments. At SeeLocal, we specialise in local online advertising, helping businesses to target specialised markets based on factors such as previous search history, interests and location. Christmas is the ideal time to begin your online marketing, particularly for encouraging sales after Christmas and into the new year.

If you are interested in starting a campaign, contact us for help and support.

What Are Native Ads?

The way native advertisements differ from traditional advertisements, is in how they are positioned. Over 70% of people prefer reading about a product rather than seeing an ad. Native ads are a form of online advertising, positioned in a way that makes them appear part of content or editorial, which according to research means viewers are 25% more likely to view native ads as opposed to banner ads, and look at them 53% more frequently.

There are many types of native ads that appear in various situations. Native advertisements can be extremely effective forms of paid media advertising in all areas of marketing campaigns, particularly local online advertising.

 

Examples of Native Advertising

Online advertorials

Blogs on company websites may seem as though they fit in with the overall website content…however most blogs featured on websites are often sponsored or branded content. Sponsored content is paid for by the advertiser, but written and posted by the publisher, whereas branded content is written and paid for by the advertiser and still posted by the publisher. This content serves as brand awareness, by not stating a call to action, but includes links back to the advertiser’s website, and can often be surrounded by ads from the advertiser company in the attempt of getting readers to click on them.

Product Placement

One form of native advertising that most people are aware of is product placement. This is when a brand or distinctive product is featured in imagery online, in print, television ads and even film and television productions. This type of native advert works best for large established businesses, as a strong brand logo or image is required for it to be successful and noticeable by viewers and potential customers. Therefore, small businesses wanting to build their name will not generally choose to use product placement alone unless combined with a large amount of building brand awareness.

In-Stream ads

Most commonly used by social media sites for retargeting, in-stream ads feature whilst scrolling through a page, based on previous views or searches. Ads appear as part of a news feed on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook, often showing who of your friends or followers already like the brand and will most likely feature some incentive and a link to their website. Statistics show that 85% of consumers are often unaware they are viewing an advertisement when browsing social media. At SeeLocal, we design ads that will stand out amongst news feeds, and are targeted towards relevant audiences for maximum impact.

Boosted posts

Social posts can be boosted to appear on relevant users’ news feeds, on all social media platforms. Similarly to in-stream ads, they are made to blend in with content and often don’t include imagery. Users are often unaware they are viewing advertisements which generally increases views and engagements for these types of ads.

By keeping ads in similar format to website content, users are less aware that what they are viewing are in fact adverts, as they blend in with the format of the site, being viewed 53% more frequently than banner ads. The use of native ads are increasing, and expected to bring in around 74% of advertising revenue within the next five years.

For help generating native ads for your business, follow the link to contact us for more information.