Fears of breaching compliance and regulatory rules, together with undefined grey areas regarding digital promotions, have understandably meant that financial service companies lagged behind many other business sectors when it comes to digital marketing and online promotions.

However,  times are changing and this is partially due to the publication of the FCA guidelines FG15/4, which clarifies many areas of uncertainty and also because financial service companies are taking on board the many positive aspects of online promotions and communication.  

So what  is digital marketing?

It covers all online advertising and promotion whether it be social media networking sites, such as Facebook, Twitter,  Snapchat and Instagram to name a few, through to email marketing, CRM integration, SEO, AdWords, video promotions, and anything that promotes your company in a digital form such as your website.

This is a brief outline to highlight how aspects of digital marketing can be used in order to create more effective targeted campaigns and provide that necessary ongoing contact with clients. So let’s take a brief look at social media marketing first.

What Are The Benefits Of Using Social Media For Marketing Your Business?

  • It is cost effective – little to no set up fees
  • Immediate effect – can be set up very easily, content can be distributed quickly
  • Real time measurability – most platforms have bespoke free tools to measure success, such as Facebook Insights and Twitter Analytics
  • Improved customer service
  • Can view the competition and analyse what they do, this will inform your own strategy
  • It can be integrated with  other forms of online marketing to improve targeting and visibility

Social media can  also enable your business to do the following:

  • Acquire new clients
  • Retain existing clients
  • Encourage engagement and enquiry
  • Showcase your expertise

Integrate Social Media With Other Forms Of Digital Media Marketing

Email Marketing

Use platforms such as LinkedIn in order to obtain contact information which can be used for email marketing. Contact information can be uploaded and integrated with most CRM systems and used to specifically target particular groups of people and is especially useful for targeted communication. This would fit into FCA guidelines on being specific with individual promotions, instead of using blanket one size fits all communications and for encouraging ongoing dialogue with clients.

What is the Benefit of Email Marketing?

  • It can provide ongoing regular communication with current clients and contacts
  • It can be used to nurture new contacts.
  • You can keep clients and contacts up to date with company and industry news.
  • It can separate clients into different sectors and areas of interest.
  • You can incorporate links to blogs/videos and areas of your website to create interest and inquiry.

Find out more about email marketing

Improving Basic SEO Through Content

One of the basic functions of digital and social media marketing is to push  targeted audiences back to your website.  For example links from social media very often take the audience back to content such as blogs or informational pages.  Having well written content is not only essential for engaging your audience, promoting your brand and promoting your company as a market leader, content has a principle function in improving SEO (search engine optimisation) and for getting higher in the search rankings.  It therefore needs to be professionally written and should take into consideration keyword optimisation, in order to provide high value links.

Optimising content is about making your website stand out amongst a wealth of others. Not being found easily results in lost viewings, no interest and loss of future prospective clients.

If you have any questions or would like to know more about the areas covered then we would love to hear from you.

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6 Easy Ways To Get More Prospects On LinkedIn

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Increase Your Social Media Presence – Optimum Times To Post.

Catching the attention of your target audience is of prime importance when posting on social media.  Knowing the best times to post will enable you to extend your reach and gain maximum exposure.

Through careful analysis of our social media data it appears that the optimum times to post are:

Facebook (business)

Best Posting Times: . 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm The peak time is Wednesday at 3:00 pm.

Worst Posting Times: .  8:00 pm – 8:00am

LinkedIn

Best Posting Times:

7:00 am – 9:00 am and 5:00 pm -6:00 pm. Peak days are Tuesday through to Thursday.

Worst Posting Times: . Traffic fades between 10:00 pm – 6:00 am

Traffic is less on Mondays and Fridays.

Twitter

Best Posting Times: 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm. Traffic starts to increase after 11.00am

Worst Posting Times: 8:00am-9:00 am and after 3.00pm. However in contradiction to this, specific hashtag hours can prove very popular  with 8pm-9pm seemingly a common time.

Google+

Best Posting Times: 9am-11am. Traffic tends to increase after 11am.

Worst Posting Times: 6pm – 8am. Decreased traffic after 5pm.

Don’t forget these are general guidlines and are based on our findings, so experiment a little, use analytics and see what works for you.

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Which Social Media Platform? Part 1

There is a multitude of social media platforms to choose from, but from a business point of view, you have to decide which ones are going to be most beneficial in helping you reach your target audience and be most successful in promoting your business. It is always better to choose a few platforms that are more specific to your needs and will optimize your presence, rather than spending precious time and energy being spread too thinly.

So let’s take a look at a few of the most popular platforms in order to ascertain their usefulness as a business tool, in relation to their individual characteristics.

Facebook

Facebook is the biggest social network site and therefore has extensive reach. Having a Facebook business page enables you to connect and interact with your target audience. The benefits:

  • Extensive search capability.

  • Good for sharing information.

  • Photo and video sharing.

  • Good for engagement and building a brand personality.

  • Useful for customer service.

Twitter

Twitter enables you to grow an audience quickly. Speed is the optimum word when describing Twitter. Everything moves at a fast pace, conversations move quickly and there is a constant flow of information. Activity therefore has to be regular in order to stay visible. Conversations due to word limitation are short and brief, however Twitter cards can be used to extend the word usage.

  • Great for breaking news and real time announcements.

  • Good for increased visibility.

  • Useful for driving traffic to a certain destination, for example your website

 LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the social network for businesses, the overall feel is a professional one. It is an excellent place to search and target specific audiences and groups, due to it’s advanced search capability. It is also an amazing data base. With now over 15 million UK business people active on LinkedIn, representing a range of business sectors, the ability to use and search this data base effectively has benefits for any business sector.

  • Good for B2B and B2C networking.

  • Promotes you and your brand.

  • The advanced search enables the targeting of specific professionals, individuals or groups.

  • Accommodates large or small businesses and individuals.

  • Good for information sharing, blog posting, relationship building and driving traffic back to your website

  • Group membership is good for sharing ideas and discussions or asking questions.

Instagram

Beneficial for photo-sharing good for creatives. It has a useful search tool facility and like Twitter searches can be conducted through hashtags.  Enables engagement by following others and sending likes.

  • Promotes the visual element of brands

  • Can be linked to other social media sites.

  • Creates a visual element to posts.

  • Can create short videos for post integration.

  • Less about selling more about creating a brand personality

Vine

Vine is a mobile video sharing  app owned by Twitter, allowing short videos of 6 seconds duration on a loop system and is one of the fastest growing sites. Videos are produced through an in-app camera and once completed can be saved or shared on Vine, Twitter and Facebook. The popularity of a Vine can be accessed through a loop count.  Vine suggests that every month 100million people watch Vines across the web and there are more than 1 million loops per day!

  • The visual element is great for advertising your brand .

  • Good for introducing a new product.

  • Looping provides continuity of presence.

  • Used by large brands such as Orio, Xbox, McDonalds.

  • Reaches a wide audience.

Pinterest

Pinterest is basically a scrapbook of ideas and enables members to pin images to their pinboards, these can be shared, liked and commented on. It is a way of promoting ideas and allows the user to save, sort and categorise. Images are linked to profiles and provide access to websites, so that activity can be directed back to your brand.

  • Good for visual representation.

  • Good to promote creativity.

  • Useful tool to promote brand awareness

YouTube

Video based marketing which enables creativity and visual capture. Excellent means of having world wide reach.

  • Allows users to view, upload and share videos.

  • Personalised channels can be created. Brands can be promoted by incorporating company logos and banners etc.

  • Videos can be shared on most social media sites in order to create more interest.

  • Can be embedded into websites. Good for webinars, webcasts, tutorials,product demonstrations and client testimonials.

  • Videos are categorised and enables searches by phrases, keywords and tags.

Keep a look out for Part 2 when we shall examine Google +