Sammy Greener

sammygreener

Sammy Greener is a PR Executive at Lava, an award-winning marketing communications agency based in Lincoln. Sammy plays an active role across both trade and consumer accounts, providing media relations, copywriting and administrational support. Sammy has a first class honours degree in Fashion Business from Glasgow Caledonian University, and has previously worked at Interflora and Bianca Jones Jewellery.


In an age where we turn to our local news website to read the headlines, Twitter to join the conversation and Google to find out, well, pretty much anything, it’s no surprise that blogs have also become a popular go-to medium for many internet users looking for tips, advice, reviews and the latest industry insights in our ever-growing digital world.

Although blogs are not a particularly new phenomenon – first appearing in the 1990s where individuals would jot down their musings in a personal ‘online diary’ – over the past few years they’ve exploded commercially to become a primary source of information for web users.

So why should your business have its own blog? For starters, research has found that a business with an active blog receives 55% more web visitors, B2C businesses generate 88% more leads and B2B businesses receive 67% more leads than those that don’t. It can also be a great, cost effective tool within your marketing strategy.

To explain further, I’ve put together five reasons why blogs can be beneficial for your business.

Boost your visibility
By keeping your website consistently updated it becomes much more ‘searchable’ for prospective customers – but how often do you update your homepage and ‘about us’ section? Blogs are a great way to keep your website active and help place it at the top of a Google search. Each time you add a new post, including a few relevant keywords, it’s one more opportunity for your website to show up in a search engine and drive traffic to your site.

Raise awareness
Additionally, each of your blog posts can be promoted via your social media channels, which not only boosts your social strategy by giving customers interesting content to follow, but it lets customers share your blog post, which increases potential to reach new audiences and, you never know, it could go viral.

Establish your brand as an expert
The best blogs provide their readers with valuable and interesting information and if you’re consistently keeping it updated with relevant industry news and interesting facts from your sector, customers will begin to value your company’s knowledge, continually return to your website and build trust within your brand, products and services.

Show off your team
By having staff members contribute to the business’s blog it will not only give a constant stream of new names and ideas, but gives your brand a personality and allows customers to see who the people behind the brand are – not to mention it lets each of your team members shine as an expert, too!

Strengthen Customer Relationships
In addition to showing your industry expertise, a blog can be an informal way to regularly communicate with your customers, letting them know about your company – what’s new, what you offer, your achievements and innovations – giving them another personal connection to your brand.

Does your business blog? If not, why not? I’d love to know your thoughts – tweet me @sjgreener1

Sammy Greener is a PR Executive at Lava, an award-winning marketing communications agency based in Lincoln. Sammy plays an active role across both trade and consumer accounts, providing media relations, copywriting and administrational support. Sammy has a first class honours degree in Fashion Business from Glasgow Caledonian University, and has previously worked at Interflora and Bianca Jones Jewellery.

If your business is currently using social media in its marketing strategy, more than likely you will be using Facebook and Twitter to reach out to your customers. While these remain predominantly the most popular social platforms, a report by Comscore has revealed that they have reached their peak and more visually-focused outlets are growing fast in popularity – one in particular is Instagram.

Since first launching in October 2010, the photo-sharing app has rapidly grown to 200 million active monthly users and continues to become one of the most engaging social platforms out there at the moment. In fact, a study found that Instagram had 58 times more engagement per follower than Facebook and 120 times more than Twitter!

The reason why this social platform can be such a hit with businesses is because it gives them a personal connection with its customers. Posting eye-catching pictures with relatable hashtags captures the attention and imagination of target audiences and gives intriguing insights into the industry without the wordy, sales-orientated posts that sometimes come with Facebook and Twitter – heightening their engagement.

If you’re considering expanding into the world of Instagram, I’ve put together a couple of key pointers that will help you maximise the benefits from each of your posts.

Be Creative
When formulating a strategy for Instagram – think outside of the box. Users don’t want to see sales-orientated posts. Instead, give them an insight into your company – think backstage passes, photos of your staff or new product exclusives as soon as they arrive in the office. This is also your chance to be creative with photography, so if you want to showcase your products and services, think about how you can portray them in a different and interesting light, setting or location.

Use Hashtags
Incorporating popular and relevant hashtags to your posts is your chance to have your business seen by new audiences because people are actively searching for similar content, which makes your post more visible. However, the general rule of thumb is not to use more than seven hashtags in one post and to include popular trends like #throwbackthursday, or key dates and events such as #earthday.

Involve your Audience
Use this opportunity to involve your customer with your brand. Ask them to take photos of themselves using your products with your own personal hashtag or create a competition asking customers to think of creative ideas for your business like a new product idea or ad campaign – it also shows your customers that you value their opinions.

Does your business use Instagram or do you prefer to stick to Facebook and Twitter? I’d love to know your thoughts, tweet me @sjgreener1

Sammy Greener is a PR Executive at Lava, an award-winning marketing communications agency based in Lincoln. Sammy plays an active role across both trade and consumer accounts, providing media relations, copywriting and administrational support. Sammy has a first class honours degree in Fashion Business from Glasgow Caledonian University, and has previously worked at Interflora and Bianca Jones Jewellery.

In the past, if you wanted to find out about the latest news, trends or products, you had to search through print publications or pick up the phone and call customer services. Nowadays however, anything you want to know is just a click away, and as the digital age continues to move forward, online videos have become one of the most useful ways of finding information.

Although videos are not particularly a new phenomenon, with the first motion picture created in the late 1800s, today’s consumers operate with a stronger “want it now” mind set than ever before. People are looking for quick fixes to satisfy their wants and needs – something YouTube provides with its huge directory of content.

From interviews with experts, how-to guides, and fashion and beauty tips to the latest news stories all in short, it’s only natural that including digital videos within marketing strategies is becoming the norm.

According to a study by comScore, the average internet user will watch 32 videos per month, and 64% will go on to make a purchase after viewing – which are pretty impressive statistics for video content marketing. Digital videos give businesses the opportunity to engage with customers on a personal level and are easily accessible thanks to social media sites such as YouTube and Vimeo. They can show customers a company’s personality, put a face to the brand, bring case studies to life and give a fresh insight into products and services.

With this in mind, I’ve put together a few key points to bear in mind when introducing online video into your marketing plan.

Be creative

There are many different ways video can enhance your marketing. Think of what your customers would like to see; for example, testimonials and case studies, expert interviews, instructional how-tos or a behind-the-scenes insight into a company. These are great alternatives to showcase your product without the use of obtrusive advertising. Plus, these are clips customers will actively seek out whilst researching a product or service.

Keep it short and simple

On average, viewers will only watch the first minute of your video, so to avoid customers turning off too soon: keep online videos succinct but engaging. Similarly, although digital video has its benefits, a poorly constructed one could have the reverse effect. If you don’t hire a professional videographer, keep in mind the lighting and sound of your location and always have a steady camera.

Consider distribution

Once you have uploaded your video, think about how you will make it accessible. Some ways to share your creation are to embed it in your website and utilise social media to promote it — providing consumers the opportunity to spread it with their family and friends. A great example of how strong social media sharing can be is American company, Cardstore, promoting Mother’s Day. Its video was shared internationally, and now boasts 16 million views for this creative marketing clip.

Vloggers

If creating your own video is something you feel unsure of, there are thousands of video-bloggers (vloggers) that create regular short films and have a large following of subscribers, which can be a great PR tool.

For example, vlogger Zoella talks through her beauty regimes and fashion purchases to four million subscribers, and this clip alone has showcased the mentioned products to 1.5 million viewers. Customers find the opinions and reviews from vloggers as trustworthy and reliable, so build relationships with these rising stars and they may feature your products in their content.

Have you utilised online videos to help promote for your company? I’d love to see them – leave me a comment below or tweet me @sjgreener1.

Sammy Greener is a PR Executive at Lava, an award-winning marketing communications agency based in Lincoln. Sammy plays an active role across both trade and consumer accounts, providing media relations, copywriting and administrational support. Sammy has a first class honours degree in Fashion Business from Glasgow Caledonian University, and has previously worked at Interflora and Bianca Jones Jewellery.

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