Last Thursday (21st November 2013) Primary Image attended the Shell LiveWIRE 2013 event, which took place as part of Global Entrepreneurs’ Week. It was held at the top of Millbank Tower in Altitude 360, with breathtaking views across London’s skyline!
Setting up in business
First up was Jamie Dunn from Spark Global Business, who gave a passionate talk on his experiences in setting up his business. He told the audience of young entrepreneurs:
- You’ve got to have passion in your idea. Establishing a business will probably mean putting in a lot of hours and getting little sleep, so your heart has to be in it!
- Surround yourself with motivated people. They will rub off onto you and you’ll learn from them, so it’ll help you become more successful.
- Do it now – otherwise you’ll regret it later if you don’t!
Making online marketing work for businesses
Following several other sessions, one of our favourites was by Richard Robinson, Google’s Director of Business Markets (UK), who talked about making online marketing work for businesses.
He said there’s no point, of course, having an amazing product or service if nobody has heard of it! After giving some stats on UK and worldwide internet usage, he shared four ways to stand out from the crowd and be successful in business:
- E-commerce – it’s still growing and it’s here to stay! The internet has changed how people research and find information about new products.
- Mobile usage – make sure your website is mobile and tablet ready. People are swapping between devices at different time of the day, so ensure there’s a consistent customer experience across all platforms, e.g. by implementing a responsive website (one that changes shape depending on the screen size). If somebody can’t use your website easily on a smartphone, that will create a bad brand image of your company.
- Create videos – they’ll help convey your products and services in new ways.
- Social media – engage with new and existing customers, plus monitor what they’re saying (as a customer having a bad experience can now broadcast that right across all their friends!).
The Four S’s to having a sucessful website:
Richard talked about being there at the right time, with the right info, and shared his Four S’s to Success:
- Site: Get a good quality website built.
- Search: Get found in search engines and have a SEO strategy (Search Engine Optimisation). This may, he says, include paid-for ads (cue the plug for Google!!).
- Syndication: Have a presence on other websites and share your content with them.
- Social: You must have a presence across the platforms your audience uses, which almost certainly includes Twitter and Facebook. Find out who are the influencers in your business sector as they can help amplify your message.
Using some tools from Google
Richard then went on to demonstrate Google Trends, which he says can be useful for businesses to find out what’s happening in the world and what people are interested in. The online tool shows search trends over time and therefore what’s gaining or losing popularity.
He used an example of chicken coops!
Chicken coop searches over time!
You can see not only that the trend appears to be increasing (although some of that could just be down to more people using the internet perhaps?). but also the real seasonal aspect of chicken coops. It peaks consistently in April each year. So, Richard’s point was that whatever your business is in, this kind of information can really help with your marketing.
We decided to do another search in an area a bit closer to our hearts, and that’s WordPress! Have a look at the graph to see search volumes over the past eight years and it’s clear WordPress (in blue) is rocketing up, whilst Drupal (in red) and Joomla (in yellow) appear to be declining in the number of online searches made for them:
WordPress search volumes over time (blue), compared to Drupal (red) and Joomla (yellow)
Another tool he mentioned was having a good website visitor analytics / stats package, to be able to find out how well your website is performing. He said it’s crucial that you understand your visitors.
By using analytics, Google was able to test 42 shades of blue for the link colour on their adverts to see which one people preferred. There was a marginally higher click-through rate on one of the colours, which equated to a huge number of dollars when rolled out over Google’s millions of users!
Richard briefly covered the benefits of using online advertising and how this is becoming even more powerful. He says that once people have left your website, you can continue to display adverts for your business on other third-party sites, meaning you have an opportunity to remarket to potential customers and get them back to your site. (I’ve seen this in action, where a quick search for hotels one day means that I now get prompted most days whether I’m still looking for a hotel in that area!).
Finally, Richard recommended businesses use Google+ (Google’s own social network) as it means your logo and other information can display in the search results pages and it’ll help you company stand out. (And if you do join, make sure you follow our Primary Image account!!).
Also do check out the Shell LiveWIRE website too…!
Mike is the founding director of Primary Image. He specialises in the WordPress website platform and speaks regularly at national web design conferences. Mike became a member (MCIPR) of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations in 2015. Outside of work, his interests include photography and politics.