Get creative…

There are some great apps and online tools out there to help you create some great creative content.

So I thought I’d collate a short list of my current faves. 

Canva 

This is a great cost effective design tool, you can select the size of artwork you wish to create and then simply drag and drop the elements you want on to your design artboard.

There is a free version and a paid version where you can save templates and upload your own colourways.

Crello

Similar to Canva, Crello is an online design tool it’s super easy to use and has a wide variety of templates, photos and vectors you can use for free.

Coolors 

Coolors is a colour scheme generator which is very easy to use, you simply press the space bar until you have a colour scheme you are happy with. If you don’t want to create your own there are lots of pre-made colour palettes to choose from.

Perfect if you are creating a new brand or want some coordinating colours for some sales collateral.

Magisto 

A great online video editor which enables you to create content to share on social with your pictures and video easily. There are a selection of video styles and music to choose from in their library and the pricing options start from just $4.99 a month (which is about £3.90).

Promo 

Promo lets you brand pre-made video content which you can use to promote anything. The videos are around 15 – 30 seconds long and there are some great ones to choose from. The tool isn’t free but there are different pricing options to choose from.

Piktochart

Piktochart is a design tool that lets you create presentations, infographics, flyers and posters. There are a wide variety of slick looking templates to choose from and gives you access to over 4,000 free icons and images. Whilst the tool is not free the packages start from just $12.50 (about £9.80) and if you are a charity or school there are special pricing options. 

Got some other great apps / tools you use? I’d love to hear about them drop me a comment below and let me know about them.  

Writing captivating content

Copywriting is one of the most important parts of your marketing, its on your website, social posts and printed marketing materials. 

So how can you make sure that you are keeping it engaging enough to draw the reader in and respond to your call to action?  

Structure for skimming

We’re all busy so we tend not to read things in their entirety. To draw your reader in firstly ensure the focus is on them and what the benefits of your service / product are and what it means for them. 

Keep your copy concise, use clear headings and set the scene with an attention grabbing introductory sentence or two. 

Top load your content with all of your important messages so that even if your reader doesn’t finish reading they get the gyst of the message you are trying to convey. 

Easy AF to read

Back in the 90’s Jakob Nielsen published some research about how people read website copy.  His research revealed that essentially we don’t tend to fully read what we are looking at. Instead we tend to scan the top to or three lines, then scan the left hand side and occasionally look further along at bold text and images. Creating an F Shape. 

To write effectively online write a clear heading (preferably in bold or perhaps a different colour) and make sure your value proposition is one of the first things they see. 

Divide the copy using sub headings and white space taking care to front load each section with the key information you wish to convey first.  Then use bullet points (stick to a maximum of 5 points), links, bold text and images to draw the readers attention to other important information.  

Another great tool when you’re writing online is the Flesch reading measure which reviews how difficult copy is to read

Don’t use too many Acronyms 

It can be easy to forget that some of your readers may not be as ‘techy’ as you are. Make sure you speak your readers language and limit the use of acronyms. If you need to use them make sure you add in what they stand for somewhere in to your document.  

Put your personality in to it

People buy people so make sure you put some personality in to what you are writing. Not all brands suit a ‘hey, hows it going’ type vibe so make sure you consider your brand values and the reader when you are writing. 

 

 

How to market your event

You’ve chosen your theme, planned the programme for the day, booked your venue now it’s time for the easy part – getting people to your event. Gulp!

Event marketing can be a little daunting as there are so many things to consider but fear not, read on for some of my tactics and top tips for a successful event marketing campaign.

Pre Event 

Creative Design 

A creative design for all the communications flyers etc for your event can really help you stand out. After all there are a lot of competition when it comes to events these days, not super creative? Canva is a free design tool which can help you design all sizes of promotional material.  

Dedicated Event Webpage 

Before clicking the ‘buy tickets’ button most people like to take a look at the event in more detail, who’s speaking, the timetable and where they can stay nearby. Having all this information in one place will help your conversion figures, especially if people can buy tickets directly through your site (the less clicks the better).

If its a large event you may want to create a whole site, plus if you run the same event again you can just re-purpose the site. Alternatively you can an event discovery platform like  Eventbrite or Billetto, you’ll be able to out all the event info on the page and potential customers will be able to find your event using their event browsing features.

Press Release 

Bagged an amazing keynote speaker? Got some great seminars or pop ups stands at your event? A press release is a great way to shout all about it.

A good press release has a great headline, is just a few paragraphs long (about 300 to 400 words) and is very concise. So you’ll just want to include details of the event and a call to action, so visiting your website or calling you to buy tickets. 

When you are happy with you release send it over to your target press contacts, with a brief overview in the body of the email along with 1 or 2 relevant images they can use if they decide to run your story.  

When sending over press releases copy and paste them in to the body of the email, busy journalists are unlikely to open an attachment, 

Social Media 

Social media is a brilliant way to spread the word about your event, its cost effective and you can appeal to different demographics depending on which platform you use. 

Creating a hashtag for your event is a great way to create engagement throughout the whole campaign as not only can you use it for your promo posts but your attendees can also use it to shout about the event to. Before you settle on a hashtag do some research to ensure that its not being used by anyone else. 

Giveaways 

On the run up to an event running a giveaway is a great way to create a buzz. You can run the competition yourself via or partner with a local magazines or newspaper. Most publications add these competitions to their website so you can leverage their visitor count and database.  

Keynote Speakers 

If you have keynote speakers at your event get them to promote the event via their social media channels and their database, it might help you reach a demographic you hadn’t considered beforehand.  

Does your keynote speaker have a podcast? Perhaps they can give your event some coverage on there to. 

Advertising 

Advertising doesn’t have to be expensive there are many cost effective ways of advertising your event…

  • PPC (Pay Per Click) with PPC you can set a budget, geographical location and also keywords to target. For an event I would say PPC works best if you have a dedicated event website but you can also link the ads to the ticket purchase page to. 
  • Leaflet drops can be seen as a little ‘old school’ but they are a cost effective way of mass marketing.  Once you have a stand out flyer design you work with your distribution house to reach your target market. (e.g families, affluent consumers etc) 
  • Local press and radio can be surprisingly inexpensive ways to advertise and depending on the type of event will sometimes give coverage for free or include an editorial piece in with their advertising costs. Depending on the type of event you are running you could also consider inviting local journalists to attend in return for a review in the local paper.     
  • Promoted social posts can help you reach a wider online audience, you don’t have to have a large budget and if you want to keep it simple you can just promote tweets you have already created as part of your campaign.

Emails 

With most email distribution channels its easy to create a beautifully designed email to support your event marketing campaign. Don’t send too many on the run up to the event as you don’t want to annoy your potential event goers but sending an update of new speakers you have booked or showcasing the pop-ups that will be there is a great way to build momentum. 

In most cases you can also set your email platform to send automated ‘thanks for your purchase’ emails which gives a professional feel and takes something off your list of things to do. hurrah! 

Haven’t got any data? Not to worry in most cases email platforms have a list builder feature which encourages website visitors to subscribe to your mailing list. Check out Mail Chimp for some great examples.

At the Event 

Local Influcencers 

Working with Influencers is a great way to boost your marketing and build your brand. In terms of events its a great way to showcase your event from the perspective of an attendee. 

You could get them to do a takeover of one of your social media channels, post content from their channels tagging your accounts or even publish an event review blog post or vlog. If you work with the influencers pre-event to it could help boost attendance 

Engagement 

The task of keeping attendees engaged doesn’t stop when the event starts in addition to the great seminars, speakers, acts you have planned there are also a few extra things you can do to keep the excitement levels high.  

  • Use social media throughout the day (don’t forget that event hashtag) RT attendees comments, replying where needed and using posts to remind people of what is going on (to save you time you could schedule these using Hootsuite). You could also go live at key points throughout the day.
  • Polls are a great way to keep event audiences engaged. Sli.do is a great option for this as they have lots of pricing levels. You can also use this tool to get the crowd to send in their questions for keynote Q&A’s. 

Post Event 

Survey 

The event may be over but how do you know it was a success? Surveys are a great tool to measure the overall success of your event. Whilst ticket sales are a strong indication, if  attendees didn’t enjoy the event as a whole its unlikely they will book again in the future. 

Use the survey to see how you compared against the KPI’s you set for the event and gain valuable feedback on everything from the speakers to the venue. 

Survey Monkey is a great tool for this as its easy to use, there are different price plans and you can customise the survey to match your brand.  


Phew well that was a long post so thanks for bearing with, hope you found some of my tips and tricks useful. Don’t forget if you need help with your event marketing don’t hesitate to get in touch

something a little different blog post

Something a little different …

We all know that advertising forms a big part of how you grow your audience and reach your target markets.

In this digital era PPC, social media and email tend to dominate campaigns, but sometimes it pays to try something a little different. Here are 5 advertising ideas that can help you stand out from the crowd. 

Please, Please Mister Postman …

As the most popular way to contact people is by email a creative and targeted piece of direct mail can really stand out.

Try getting creative with the look and feel of the mailer using different shapes or print finishes and a call to action that really catches the eye.

If you’re on a budget you could try something more cost effective like sending over a packet of biccies and couple of tea bags along with a letter explaining more about what you do and asking to pop in for a cuppa and talk to them about it a bit more.

Let me give you my card … 

Even though we are all trying to be as paper free as possible business cards are still very popular. 

Why not think about a creative design for your cards or even use the back of the card to advertise a special offer, an upcoming event or showcase your products with a stunning image and a catchy slogan. 

Need some inspo? You can check out some super creative business card designs here.

Going underground

Is your target demographic London based? Advertising on the tube is a great way to reach your audience, especially as nearly five million passenger journeys are made daily.

Some studies show that tube ads get more positive engagement than social media ads with commuters finding them a welcome distraction.  

To ensure your ad makes an impact you’ll need a catchy strap-line and image(s) and if your brand guidelines allow it perhaps a cheeky joke or pun to grab the attention.

Release your inner Banksy

Street art is a great guerrilla marketing tactic and can really grab people’s attention, plus if you get it right you could gain a lot of coverage on social media.

Its also relatively cost effective as you’ll just need the materials, the help of a local artist and an area of your shop front, restaurant that you can paint on.

If possible create a piece of art that people want to be part of or have their picture taken with (like the angel wings outside of Redeption Bar in Shoreditch). Something like this will not only help you get coverage on social media but also more footfall to your premises as people will want to see it.    

Include a hashtag somewhere in the design which people can see and also use when uploading images to their social media accounts. You can then use it for your social media strategy to. 

The BIG screen

Whilst this may be a little more spendy (o.k i know that’s not a word) cinema is a great way of advertising your business.

Campaigns can be targeted by a demographic profile based on the cinemas geographic location of and unlike radio ads is not reliant on great frequency to have effect.

If you have a good quality ad seeing it just once should bring in some good results as the cinema audience is so engaged at the time of seeing it.

Don’t have a big product budget? Not all ads need to be a blockbuster with a celeb voice over, in some cinemas you can use a simply designed slideshow. Just make sure you get creative with your artwork and calls to action.

Want to advertise your business but aren’t sure where to start? Whether you want a digital campaign or want to keep it traditional I can create and deliver the perfect campaign for your needs.

Sound good? Let’s talk

Under the Influence

Influencer marketing is a great way to build your online brand.

On average people spend about two hours day on social media so it’s no wonder more brands are using  influencer marketing to promote their products and services

Facts and figures … 

Last year (2017) saw influencer marketing really take off with around 86% of marketers incorporating it in to their marketing strategy.  Of these marketers 92% of them found it to be an effective marketing tool with reports of over 600% ROI being achieved. (amazing!).

So why does it work so well? Well when it comes to influencers approximately 88% of consumers say they trust their reviews of products and services as much as they would trust a recommendation from a friend. I personally feel this is because the accounts are so authentic and allow followers in to their day to day lives people feel like they know them really well even if they haven’t met.

Nearly 40% of Twitter users say they’ve made a purchase as a direct result of a Tweet from an influencer

Choosing the right influencer 

To get the best results you first need to consider your customer base, check all of your social channels to see which one are you getting the best engagement on. Then consider the main goals of your campaign e.g. customer acquisition, brand awareness or purchases

Once you have this key information you can start looking for an influencer.

As a rule of thumb its best to look at influencers that are popular on the platform that the majority of your customers use. This will help you get the best engagement and return on investment. 

To find the influencers that are best aligned to your brand you can use social listening tools (Sprout Social is a great one) see what relevant trending hashtags there are and who is contributing to them. Check out any social media communities that are relevant to your brand to see who are the most active members. If you have a B2B marketing strategy its a good idea to take a look at relevant industry publications and see who is regularly featured. 

Sometimes its good to work with smaller influencers 

Don’t forget it’s not just about the amount of followers (followers can be purchased)  content needs to be engaging and they need to be authentic and relate to your brand and in turn your customers.

In the past I have worked with influencers that have a smaller followship as their content was amazing and so well aligned with the customers. This campaign still saw incredible results (uplift in purchases by 20%) and also formed the basis of a great relationship with some influencers who have grown in popularity since.   

Its not just for B2C marketing … there is a huge amount of business influencers out there to. LinkedIn 

Working together 

When approaching an influencer remember that they get approached on a daily basis so keep your initial contact polite and brief but give enough detail about how you want to work with them. 

It’s worth bearing in mind that some social influences have a full-time job as well so give them a day or two to come back to you. 

Opportunities need to be beneficial to both parties. One of my tips would be to make sure that you either ask for a rate card or offer some form of remuneration in addition to freebies. Exposure doesn’t pay the bills and being asked to work for free is the bug bear of a lot of influencers.  

In terms of the projects you could look at an Instagram takeover at an event you are hosting, a blog review of your products or services or simply a few posts showcasing them wearing or using your products.

As the relationship grows you can work with the influencer to piece together more creative campaigns such as look books, videos or an IGTV broadcast.   

Always be clear about what content is paid / sponsored to your audience  

Need help with an influencer marketing campaign? Don’t hesitate to get in touch. 

Future Shapers Live Event

Future Shapers Live – 2018

On the 9th June I headed over to Sofitel, London St James for the Marie Claire Future Shapers Live event. 

The theme for the day was playing to your strengths and the programme was jam packed full of interesting and inspirational women speakers. 

I hadn’t been to one of these events before so wasn’t really sure what to expect but; it was fabulous to spend the day with like-minded people and I came away feeling super inspired and with a head and notepad full of ideas.

Opening Keynote 

The day kicked off with a keynote panel session with Trish Halpin (Editor-in-Chief of Marie Claire), Rosena Allin-Khan (Labour MP for Tooting), Brita Fernandez Schmidt (Executive Director of Women For Women International), Victoria Pendleton (Olympic champion and jockey) and Stephanie Phair (Chief Strategy Officer for Farfetch). The conversation focused on what the workplace looks like now, their personal experiences and how we can set ourselves up for success in what we want to achieve.  

All of the women on the stage had amazing stories to tell and showcased the sheer determination to achieve their personal goals without losing sight of who they were and what was driving them to succeed. 

One of the main things I took from the session was to not let setbacks or other peoples negativity deter you from what you want to achieve. 

“when a door closes, find a window with a crack in it and smash through the window” Rosena Allin-Khan

Breakout Session – Starting a Business from Scratch  

There were three breakout sessions to choose from but I felt this session was most relevant for me as Marketing Mixology is a relatively new venture. 

The session was facilitated by Tracy Ramsden of Marie Claire with panellists Pavan Ahluwalia (Pavan Henna), Anna Gibson (Micro Scooters UK) and Rachael Flanagan (Mrs Bucket Cleaning). The panel had down to earth honest advice and although all three businesses were very different the advice coming from all three was very similar – seize any opportunities that come your way, build relationships and focus on your passion. 

“you’re learning lessons all the time, you need to look at your mistakes and figure out how you are going to solve them and avoid them next time” Rachael Flanagan

Lunchtime Inspiration Talk – Aimee Bateman

Aimee’s passion for what she does really shone through in this session which focused on finding your ‘why?’. We were all encouraged to take a step back and think about why we are doing what we do, really breaking it down so you could see what makes you tick. 

This session also encouraged us to get to know ourselves a bit better to help create an authentic personal brand.  My favourite bit of the session was thinking of three words to describe yourself (mine were empathetic, honest and loyal) this task really got you thinking about your personality and what makes you tick.   

‘The biggest prison we live in is the fear of what other people think – if we change that mindset, we can be whatever we want to be” Aimee Bateman 

Afternoon Session – The Power of You 

This was the session I was most looking forward to as it was all about harnessing your individuality for career success. 

Again facilitated by Tracy Ramsden (who was amazing throughout the whole day), the panel were Emma Gannon (author and podcaster), Coral Garlick (Brand Me Collective) and Jasmine Hemsley (wellbeing expert, chef and author). 

I really liked that all three panellists had different personalities and careers as I felt everyone in the audience will have related to at least one person on the stage in one way or another. 

The conversation was very much around owning who you are and being as authentic as possible which is important regardless of whether you are working for yourself or a business. 

It was great to hear Emma say that you don’t need to do everything at once as I think sometimes you can put so much pressure on yourself to be perfect at work, life and everything in-between. I also really like she is leading the charge on changing the view on being a jack of all trades, as you can pick up such diverse skills in the workplace now it a shame to pigeonhole yourself in to just one job.  

There was also more spiritual side of the conversation to and as someone who has a vision board it was lovely to hear Jasmine talking about manifesting and putting out what you want in to the universe. 

“Own that you can be good at multiple things” Emma Gannon

Afternoon Session – Boost Your Profile 

The focus of this session was all about building your personal brand and although I feel it was aimed at people who work from themselves the topics covered and advice given could easily help people working in organisations to. 

Facilitated by Marie Claire’s, Lucy Pavia (also super amazing!) the panellists were Purvi Farahi (J&J Consumer) Olivia Wollenberg (Livia’s Kitchen) and Hollie de Cruz (London Hypnobirthing). 

Purvi had some excellent advice for networking and finding a person you aspire to be and finding out how they got where they are, but the main messages were to have no fear and ask for help if you need it. 

Olivia and Hollies passion for what they do really shone through and it was fabulous to hear of businesses that started in their homes becoming such a success. The key being the amazing customer service they provide and that they are essentially the brand and the driving force despite the grow both businesses have seen. 

“Love what you do, it will help you to grow your business organically” Olivia Wollenberg 

Closing Keynote 

For the closing session Trish was joined by Alesha Dixon (eek!) – thankfully I managed to resist the urge to sing any Mystique songs at the top of my voice. 

Alesha came across as really a really genuine person and was very honest about the highs and lows she has faced during her career. The story about her moment on Strictly when she knew everything was going to be o.k was lovely and did put a little lump in my throat. 

Confidence and fearlessness radiated from Alesha and she approaches everything wish such tenacity and that was my main takeaway from this session and is something I am going to try and bring to my everyday life. 

“The universe only wants good things for us – you just have to be fearless.” Alesha Dixon

Treats 

As well as fabulous talks there were fab pop ups where we could go and be glammed up and pampered. 

As you can imagine these freebies were in high demand but I manged to sneak in and get a hand massage which was incredible and a lovely hair stylist  from Headmasters gave me an infinity braid which I am desperately trying to re-create at home.

On the way out all delegates were handed what I can only describe as an epic goodie bag full of skincare, haircare, make up and other treats. The Neutrogena Hydro Boost facial serum is delightful!!  

All in all it was an amazing day and I will definitely be booking tickets for next years show and who knows maybe one year I’ll be speaking at the event *puts this on vision board and starts making plans on how to get there*

Empowered Women, Empower Women 

Blog Post - Top Tips for Social Streaming

Top Tips for Social Streaming

Going live on social media is a major marketing trend.

Not only is it a cost effective way of trying video marketing for your business it can also help you build your brand personality further and strengthen customer / brand relationships.

Thinking of going live on social media? Here are my top tips for getting it right.

Lights …

First of all, think about what your goals are for this activity. Are you looking to widen your brand awareness, generate more leads or will there be a more specific call to action for your audience such as buying a certain product or service?

Then take a look at your social media channels, which one do you have the most interaction or followship on. If the majority of your audience interact with you on Twitter, doing a Facebook live isn’t going to work for you.

All platforms have post video analytics so you’ll be able to see how many unique viewers you had and how many people you reached. You can then use this information to tweak your plan for next time and optimise your next broadcast.

Select a good time. Look at your target audience, when will they be online and able to view and interact with your live broadcast? 

If you’re new to video marketing or videos in general, practice what you’re going to say so that you’re comfortable in front of the camera on the day.

Once you have an idea of what you want to achieve and when you are going to make your debut, start thinking about the topic you’re going to discuss. Live streams are a great way to demonstration new product, introduce new members your team or event give viewers a sneak peak of an event you are running. 

If you are going to demo a product it’s a good idea to have some pre-prepared questions or content you can discuss to avoid dead space at the start of the chat.

Make sure people know when the broadcast is happening. As well as promoting across all your social channels you could look to promote the broadcast in other ways to such as adding to an e-newsletter, having a pop-up on your website or even by adding a banner to your email signature.

Camera …

So you’ve got your goals, content and promotion all sorted the only thing left is to make sure they quality of broadcast is the best it can be.

  • Look at investing in a tripod (ebay have cheap ones if you don’t want to invest too much money) there is nothing worse than watching a wobbly live video 
  • Make sure the sound quality is good where you will be filming (e.g no noise from roads etc)
  • If you are doing a demo or a more scripted live make sure you are in a space where you won’t be interrupted. (mobiles on silent, nobody bursting in to the room / space where you are)
  • Make sure what you are filming is well lit so your viewers can clearly see what you are showing them. If you want to invest in some professional lighting ebay have some great options both new and pre-loved
  • Finally and perhaps one of the most important things … double check the wifi connection where you are going to film is good – you don’t want to lose connection half way through

Action!

Social media is all about interacting with your audience. Where possible so try and give people a shout out by name when they join or comment and try to answer as many questions as you can on air.

Try and get an assistant lined up to help you with this so you aren’t so focused on saying hello / answering questions that you don’t deliver your key messages.

Most importantly, HAVE FUN! Social is all about showcasing your brand personality and helping you and your business connect with your audience. Don’t be afraid to be yourself.

That’s a wrap?…

So what happens after you have ‘gone live’? Well the video content is also automatically turned in to a post. This enables your followers to view after the broadcast has finished.

Don’t forget you can re-share these posts again on your feed at anytime. You could use them for a ‘Throwback Thursday’ post or as part of a wider campaign. 

You can also save the content to your device to use again and again. There are lots of video creation apps out there at the moment (MagistoPromo & good old iMovie to name just a few)  so you could use some of the content and mix in a few fresh elements for other campaigns.


If you’d like help with your social media strategy please do not hesitate to contact me. I’d love to help you develop your online persona and promote your business further.