We are now offering again the opportunity for a student placement to assist you with your digital marketing needs. This placement is credited as part of their course MSc in Digital Marketing Management
To get our Masters students ready for the industry we have two modules:
Digital Marketing Strategy in Practice (Jan to April 2023)
This module will prepare a tri-partite agreement between the student, the academic staff and the organisation as to the focus of the project. During this time the student and the organisation will develop the working relationship and the student will receive access to the data and systems needed to carry out the initial assessment
First, the student will assess the existing marketing practice (using analytics, comparison against four competitors, best practice in the sector and discussion with the organisation as to what they are trying to achieve).
From the evidence strategic options will be prepared and discussed with the organisation and the strategy agreed for the placement. Finally, consideration will be given as to how to make the project sustainable (so that it can continue after the student leaves).
Once there is agreement the tripartite form is completed and signed. This work carried out between January to April 2023.
The Digital Marketing Work Placement
A credited work experience (600 hours) to deliver the project with the organisation concerned. (April to August 2023).
The project can be in any type of organisation e.g. private sector, public sector, charity or a university. It is not essential for the work project activity to take place at the premises – many of the projects have been remotely delivered due to COVID.
Here is the link to profiles of this year’s students. Please contact them direct to start a conversation. If you have any other issues please contact either Prof Jon Fairburn or Dr Muddasar Khwaja (emails below with other documents)
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
We’re not sure what we’re doing with our marketing can you help? You are very suited to a placement. The student will first review your activity and then in discussion with you provide you with options depending on what your needs are.
What is digital marketing? Digital marketing covers a very wide rage of techniques to both get your messages out and to get customers to engage with you. From website design , SEO optimisation, content creation (including podcasts, films and blogs), email marketing, social media, PPC campaigns and more – digital marketing is so much more than just social media. In fact we have found that in general in recent years social media has been quite a way down the list of effective strategic approaches that organisations can take to develop thier digital marketing.
We need someone to set up and run some social media accounts? This has been a common request but so often it is based on very little. What are you trying to achieve? Which social media channel matches the personas of your customers? What is the size of your marketing budget for paid adverts on these channels? Most social media channels have been tightened so organic growth can be very small without a budget.
We’re a B2B business can you help? Yes, B2B often requires a different approach to a B2C organisation. B2B organisations are often sitting on unused assets.
What resources will the placement need? A line manager who can respond to updates and proposed work to give feedback. To provide a recommendation on Linkedin at the end of a satisfactorily completed project.
Will we need to pay for the placement? We have had paid and unpaid placements on the course (the workplacement is credited). Placements that are paid are likely to have access to a wider range of possible students. Some companies have paid a stiped for satisfactory completion of the project. We would expect any organisation to pay for any transport costs and meal allowance if working on site.
During the last two decades, social media and review sites have provided opportunities to city councils, heritage, and tourism destinations to co-create value with citizens and tourists. The online channels facilitate the sharing of information and experiences using different types of content such as texts, photos, videos.
The high level of interactivity and reach of social media platforms may play a critical role in the city branding of Stoke-on-Trent taking into consideration the extensive increase in 1) number of users, (2) content generation and (3) content consumption during the last few years.
The city’s destinations and citizens generated content on social media platforms may influence the city branding which may have a positive impact on the long term societal and economic indicators. As residents of Stoke-on-Trent, we can influence visitors or investors attitude toward the city by collectively engage with social media accounts of its destinations, heritage places, visitor attractions, city centre, businesses, and many others.
The participation and involvement in Stoke-on-Trent city branding may seem complex, and as citizens, we might think that we need to be experts in content creation, photo shooting or video editing to support the city brand image. In fact, we can play a valuable role without being social media or technology experts by following the three steps formula (1) Awareness, (2) Engagement and (3) Co-creation.
Table 1. Percentage of the city population following the official visit the city social media accounts
Total number of followers on the official visit the city account on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram
Percentage of followers from the total population
The second step is to engage with the content of these accounts. Engagement behaviors include liking, commenting, and sharing the content. Previous studies have shown that engagement will increase visibility including reach and views that enhance awareness, and most importantly Stoke-on-Trent brand equity, image, word of mouth and loyalty. Further, this step may include rating and reviewing the destinations’ pages on Google or other review sites such as tripadvisor.co.uk. Much research highlighted the importance of these reviews during visitors search for information and before decision-making.
Table 2 highlights that the official visitor’s website of Stoke-on-Trent ‘Visit Stoke’ is effectively performing for the number of organic traffic per month. Further, the number of searches for Stoke on Trent on TripAdvisor is higher than other cities. However, the number of Stoke-on-Trent hashtags on social media platforms is an area for development, and this can be improved by following the third step for city branding.
Estimated monthly organic traffic to official tourism site
Estimated search traffic on TripAdvisor per month
The third step is to co-create content with the destinations, heritage, museums, and visitor attractions at Stoke-on-Trent. This step includes visiting these places and creating content such as images, videos or texts highlighting your experience and feelings, followed by sharing the content on your personal social media platforms while tagging the place and mentioning the related hashtags such as #stokeontrent #stoke #MyStokeStory #wearestoke #visitMAC #Smithfieldtoke #potteriesmuseum #LoveStoke #WhatsOnStoke #PoweringUpStoke #StokeIsOnTheUp #welovestoke. Further, you can develop a specific social media page or blog dedicated to showcase the best places to visit in Stoke-on-Trent including all the news, events and activities that may happen during the year. A good example is the Instagram named @welovestoke or the news and media page named @Babababoon.
During the last week of September, and during the welcome week at Staffordshire University, we have used the #stokeontrent along other Hashtags on Twitter. The photo below of the word frequency explains how we have influenced the #stokeontrent including the activities happening around the city and the Twitter accounts that they are using or re-tweeting with the #stokeontrent. For example, words such as students, amazing, appealing and Hashtags such as #staffsexperience and #proudtobestaffs were combined frequently with #stokeontrent. This is an example of a strategic use of Hashtags and how it may be beneficial for the city branding when it is searched online.
During the same week, the Twitter accounts in the figure below have used the #stokeontrent frequently. This represents an opportunity for other citizens to join and use the #stokeontrent strategically enhancing the reputation and supporting the vision of the City Council to transform the city into one of the region’s most important cultural destinations.
Angela Lawrence, Chartered Marketer, Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing and Associate Dean in Staffordshire Business School
I’ve always been a lover of clever marketing campaigns and frequently pondered on what makes a campaign so successful. Having identified some really smart campaigns over the years, I decided that four things matter and I developed my own model. There are already a couple of well-known marketing models with four-letter acronyms, to support marketing communications planning – Chris Fill’s DRIP model and Elmo Lewis’ classic, long-established AIDA model. I’d like to propose a third, MIMI. Here’s how it goes:
The first M stands for MEMORABLE. If you remember a marketing campaign then you probably talk to your friends and family about it. Word of mouth is like a bush fire – it spreads! Getting people to talk about your marketing campaign is a sure way to drive engagement and acquisition.
One of the most memorable campaigns of my lifetime was probably the 1971 Coca Cola advert which was absolute genius in its time and one of my first early memories of colour TV. “It’s the Real Thing”, the famous Coca Cola tagline will forever ring out to the tune of “I’d like to teach the world to sing” for me – most definitely memorable!
The I is for IMPACTFUL. If a campaign doesn’t make an impact, doesn’t drive a call to action, doesn’t change anything, then its probably a wasted investment. We invest in marketing campaigns because we want something to happen, whether that be purchase of a product or service, driving awareness or encouragement to sign up for further communications.
171 million banners with negative impact
5.5 million unique women
50% of the women who visited the Dove Ad Makeover site to create a message
The campaign extended beyond promoting a vision for beauty equality, by increasing sales of Dove from $2.5 to $4 billion in the campaigns’ first ten years. Dove soap bars became Unilever’s best-selling product company wide. That’s what I call impact!
The second M of my model stands for MEASUREABLE. Marketing costs money and every good finance officer will demand to know what the ROI will be before agreeing to your budget request. In todays world of digital marketing this is so much easier, with metrics such as Cost Per Click (CPC), Cost per Impression (CPI), Click Through Rate (CTR), conversion rate, number of visitors, post engagement, interactions, page views and many, many more. The hashtag has become a strong indicator of success – #MeToo, #BeKind, #LikeaGirl, #BlackLivesMatter and #NeverAgain resonate with me and illustrate the power of the online environment.
A truly measurable campaign that I think was just brilliant in its time was the EPICA award-winning Mini Getaway campaign in 2010. iPhones had only been around for 3 years, so a campaign developed around an app, to engage and encourage involvement was truly genius. I would hazard a guess that not many readers of this blog have ever seen this campaign, watch the video at the link above and I think you’ll agree that it’s Memorable, Impactful and Measurable without a doubt.
Finally, there is another I, this time for IDENTIFIABLE. It’s imperative that receivers of any campaign messaging need to be able to identify the product or brand. Some brands are identifiable purely by their colour – did you know that RAC orange is a unique colour? What colour are the McDonald arches? If I mention Cadburys, what colour would you associate with the brand?
Other brands are identifiable by a tune
containing the tag line or even the brand name – think of Go Compare and you
will no doubt sing it. The monotone, single note tune for We Buy Any Car still
ring in my head, and as I’ve already said, Coca Cola is the Real Thing in the
song from the 70’s ad. Other brands are identifiable by a character, such as
the Compare the Market meercats, the Michelin Man, the Jolly Green Giant
providing your sweetcorn, the Pillsbury Doughboy and my personal favourite,
Memorable, Impactful, Measurable and Identifiable – I challenge you to apply my MIMI model to your favourite marketing campaign. In fact, why not come and study a marketing qualification with us at Staffordshire Business School, to learn for yourself how to develop and deliver marketing campaigns that truly hit the mark.
Paul Dobson, Senior LEcturer,Staffordshire Business School
It’s been a challenging, confusing and worrying time for
most industries during this current Coronavirus Crisis. But the hospitality
sector in particular stands to be one of the hardest hit as it struggles to
contemplate how it can continue to trade successfully keeping social distancing
in mind, coupled with a rapidly shrinking economy. As part of Staffordshire Business School’s
support to organisations I’ve been supporting the local and international hospitality
sector and as the French businesses are ahead of us in coming out of lockdown
I’ve noted some points to help prepare UK organisations.
After 2 months enduring some of the strictest lockdown
controls in Europe, France is slowly opening up its economy and society. And
the vast, hugely varied accommodation sector, which historically welcomes
visitors across the world, is undergoing a rapid and radical revolution to
ensure it can continue to attract customers in these unprecedented times.
The newly forced need to keep distance and natural sense of
personal safety has fallen well into the hands of some of the self-catering
sector. Private homes and villas, especially those that can offer generous
outside space as well as little or no contact with others, have seen a huge
demand since the 11th of May when the French Prime Minister
officially declared that travel up to 100km was now permitted. The public, who
have been largely “imprisoned” with massively limited scope to be outside their
own homes since the middle of March inevitably have an overwhelming desire for
a change of scenery. However, this is not a universal permission and policy,
and restricted zones still exist across France, and indeed many local
governments, even in the less-infected “green regions” are enforcing the
continuation of heavy trading restrictions and forced closures of accommodation
providers. But where these rules do not apply, the flood gates have opened and
demand, all from customers within the 100km radius, has been significant. Also
worthy of note is that the average length of stay has seen a dramatic increase
for this time of year.
That’s not to say that this is return to normal times for these accommodation owners. French hospitality organisations have had a massive increase in questions about sanitation, personal responsibility and uniform industry standards on cleanliness and contact that the UK accommodation businesses will need to be prepared for when lockdown restrictions are relaxed. As of today, these restrictions haven’t been totally clarified in France, and only “best practice” guides from local tourism authorities exist online. Some of the leading booking platforms and websites for this sub sector are advising “safety gaps” between customers of, for example, 24 hours to allow any surfaces to become less likely to cross contaminate in the future. What is apparent from discussions with French hospitality businesses is that there is an increased desire for customers to have “direct online contact” with the service rather than through online booking platforms. This could be a welcome shift in attitude as this not only allows peace of mind for the customer, but also less commissions for the business owner to pay to the booking platforms which have come under much public criticism and scrutiny of late because of their high charges. One of the French businesses I’ve talked to has had an 800% increase in Facebook messages, their analytics has shown an increase in both mobile and desktop visitors to their website and the number of emails has increased by over 200% compared to last year.
The B&B (Chambres d’hote) and Hotel sector have reported
an uphill challenge. With a mix of different guests under their roofs, all with
potentially varying attitudes to respecting the new government guidelines, this
poses a significant threat to their short- and medium-term existence. However, those
that can offer genuine space, especially outside, have a clear advantage over
those that cannot. Going from one restrictive box to another isn’t likely to be
a great draw for the new discerning needs of the Covid-19 era traveller. Forced confinement has brought about a new
desire to be out and about in nature, and burn off all those excessive calories
consumed since March.
But with the high season fast approaching during which these
businesses would traditionally run at maximum occupancy, the reality is that
these organisations will be forced to not only give “buffers” in between guests
checking out and the next ones checking in, but also run at a lower occupancy
to ensure that interaction between different customers is minimized. Therefore
“Making Hay whilst the sun shines” will this year inevitably bring about a
lower yield, and reduce the vital cashflow which sustains many of these
businesses during the quieter months.
An example of changes implemented is the hotelier Tim Bell and Ingrid Boyer in the Auvergne region of Central France. Tim has developed their website to include a link to their Covid-19 guidance on their home page (see https://chabanettes.com/). This is updated on a regular basis and outlines their commitment to client’s safety. He implements rapid alterations to its usual offerings and has created the foundations for business continuity and customer confidence. He has also set up a Facebook forum for like minded accommodation owners in Europe seeking support and advice. Tim collates industry data, statistics and best practice ideas from all over the accommodation sector and share his opinions and advice with the group.
The sector in which he operates is having to rethink more
radically about its traditional services to ensure competitivity and customer
confidence. This ranges from the provision of catering which is leaning
initially more towards a “Room Service” culture to a complete overhaul of the
check-in/check-out customer touch points, looking to technology and globally
recognised physical safety barriers to reduce risk of viral spread. For an
industry which relies heavily on close, personal contact for their reputation
and overall experience, keeping a balance between customer satisfaction and
safety is proving challenging, but not impossible. Clients now expect a more
sterile and distanced world, with supermarkets leading the way in some innovation
and rethinking of the customer journey that the hotels are learning from, such
as one-way corridors.
Until the world is safely vaccinated against the virus, the accommodation industry will have to adapt quickly and radically to guidelines, legislation and customer fears. History has told us that businesses that do this will have the best chance of survival, and those that don’t not only fear a downturn in business, but also a very visible online reputation for ignoring what is now the number one priority for the 2020 traveller – Safety.
Chatbots are the cost-effective way for a business to stay engaged with their customer 24/7, this blog will discuss why businesses should be including them in their next marketing implementation.
On a very simple level, a bot is just a bit of software that can carry out pre-determined actions on its own without being actively controlled. This is discussed in further detail by Neil Patel who describes it as a “wind up toy”, you build it to carry out what you want it to, you wind it up, and then you let it perform the action it was designed for.
The Customer comes first
The first advantage that a business will notice when introducing chatbots to their marketing is the speed in which the bots reply to customer support messages. This is extremely important as its very common for customers to get very frustrated when made to wait for a human over the phone on through a chat. There is no way to accommodate enough human customer support workers for every customer with a query which results in long wait times. TheModernFirm did a study on customers who have had to call in order to reach customer support, these numbers were found:
of customers hang up out of frustration when they can’t reach a real person.
of customers think that it takes too long to reach a human being.
of callers who reach an automated/recorded phone line will hang up.”
will result in lower customer loyalty and eventually a loss of profits.
Implementation of a chatbot would eradicate these problems, A chatbots response is immediate and a customer can have their query solved in a matter of seconds. Customers are also more likely to reach out for support if they see a ‘Live Chat’ button.
Businesses today put a lot of emphasis on knowing everything about their customer, this is normally done through primary research. Information such as what a customer is buying is available as a company can just look at sales statistics, however, products that a customer is choosing not to buy is harder to work out as there are far more variables involved. The best way to gain this information is straight from the customers their selves, this is made possible by the mighty chatbot. Email doesn’t result in as accurate information due to the back and forth nature, a live chat allows the customer to reply naturally which leads to more accurate information.
LearningHub stats show that Chatbots will power 85% of customer service by 2020 and by 2022, chatbots will help businesses save over $8 billion per annum. If these stats stay true, which information is leaning towards, companies who HAVEN’T introduced chatbots into their marketing strategy will be left behind. Customers will simply stop doing business with company’s that require extra steps to get what they want. Together with the cost efficiency of the chatbot, It makes less and less sense to continue to pay a human to do an AI’s job. Speaking of humans, its very common for somebody working customer support to make a ‘human’ error, this could be something as simple as interpreting the meaning of a question slightly wrong which can lead to frustration or a loss of sales from the customer.
They’re taking our jobs!
While the AI in a chatbot can usually accommodate for most requests from a customer, it’s very easy for a chatbot to get stuck if a customer’s query is slightly different to its base algorithms that its been taught. Also, as a chatbot learns from the responses it receives from a customer, it can sometimes make the wrong decision internally due not being able to actually choose which decision it wants to make, it is just following the code. An example of this is a Microsoft chatbot used on Twitter being taught racist and misogynistic responses by customers in less than 24 hours, to avoid this, the chatbot must be optimised properly.
There is an endless supply of advantages when it comes to assessing chatbots, they can save your company money and time, improve your customer relations and customer loyalty and ultimately create a better brand image. Although, an influx of AI and bots makes the whole customer service process very impersonal and cold as suggested by Neil Patel. Neil also suggests that chatbots should most definitely be used in their marketing strategies but the businesses should also be careful as to not “water down” their marketing.
The MSc in Digital Marketing Management is one of our awards to meet the changing demands of industry. Marketing is going through a fundamental change with ever more marketing carried out online – a major consequence of this is the incredibly detailed data that is generated which leads to data driven policy.
To get our Masters students ready for the industry we have two modules:
‘The Management of a Digital Marketing Project’ – this module will prepare a tri-partite agreement between the student, the academic staff and the organisation as to the focus of the project, existing benchmark measures, what is to be achieved and how to make the project sustainable (so that it can continue after the student leaves). This is carried out between January to March/April
The Work Based Digital Marketing Project – a credit work experience (450 hours) to deliver the project with the organisation concerned. (April to August)
The project can be in any type of organisation e.g. private sector, public sector, charity or a university. It is desirable but not essential for the work project activity to take place at the premises, or it could be a mix with some days in the company and some work off site.
We have built in flexibility to the work-placement so it could be that you would like a portfolio of tasks to be completed rather than just one main project. Examples could be – creation of a digital marketing strategy, audit and re-launch of social media, budget and investment plan for marketing, devising and implementing a training plan for existing staff.
As the module is part of the course then paid remuneration is not required. However, we would expect travel expenses and any other identified costs of the project to be paid – these can be discussed and agreed before the placement starts.
Below are profiles of some of the students on the course so reach out direct to them if you are interested or if you want to discuss it with a staff memebr contact Jon Fairburn 01782 294094 email@example.com
a lot of experience developing and leading teams to achieve results. This is
proven through a history of achievement working with Active Lives Education, Cheshire
Football Association, Birmingham County Football Association, Walsall Local
Authority, Sported UK, Sports Across Staffordshire, and The Football
I have a keen interest in Digital Marketing. I am pursuing a Master’s degree in Digital Marketing Management. I have experience in creating and managing marketing and communication strategies and also have experience in website management, email and text marketing, social media management, content curation, and online paid advertising.
I currently run a business called Active Lives Education however am looking for a project that helps me gain further experience in digital marketing, to develop my skills and develop a career or business in this field.
I hold a foundation degree of science in Film and Television Production and have recently graduated from my BA degree in Events Management (2 year fast track) which I gained a 2:1 in. I have a large work experience portfolio from volunteering to paid work. For 4 years I was a manager of a Children’s play centre then moving onto the cash manager of B&M. I now work as an Events Assistant at Moddershall Oaks. For my volunteer work I have experience of working for the likes of Channel 4, Woman of the Year and Stone Food and Drink Festival. I have also worked several corporate events such as the Hotel Marketing Conference and Land Rover.
I have skills within Web design, as well as using all social media
platforms for brand building. I also have quite a good understanding with
photoshop and other computer software that may be needed, I am a quick learner
and can pick up things fairly quickly.
Ideally, I would like a placement within a sector that holds
Events, but I would be open to offers.
Or if you’d like to have a look at some of my volunteer work you can find this on Instagram: @amottevents
I have recently graduated from my BA Events Management (2 Year Accelerated) in which I achieved a first-class honours. I have previous work experience as a bar supervisor for three years as well as voluntary work experience with Channel 4, The Stone Food and Drink Festival as well as being a student representative for my course.
I currently work for The Student Hub at Staffordshire University as a Digital Marketing Ambassador. In this role I manage multiple platforms (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) as well as improving the overall engagement and reach of the platforms.
I am able to use social media
platforms to build and uphold brand image. I have experience in using analytics
to improve the reach of posts as well as identifying demographics which not be
being reached and making steps to target them.
Ideally I would like a placement
in tourism, events or hospitality but I am open to offers.
I have recently graduated with a First-Class BA (Hons) Degree in Events Management and have now started studying MSc Digital Marketing Management. I have a large work experience portfolio from both paid and volunteer work. I have been a chef for the past three years at The Orange Tree Bar and Grill, I also hold a range of customer service skills which I have been able to develop by working at a bar and on a hotel reception. To broaden by experience in events management I have volunteered at numerous events such as Woman of the Year 2018, Stone Food and Drink Festival and The Royal Oak Gin festival.
I have skills in web design, brand building and analytics, I
can also use all forms of social media and some computer software which may be
required. I am a reliable team player who learns quickly, I enjoy expressing my
creativity when carrying out jobs and ensuring all tasks are completed to the
best of my ability.
If possible, I would like to find a placement within the
events, tourism or hospitality sector although I am open to other
have recently graduated with a 2:1 in BA (Hons) Events Management and am now
currently studying MSc Digital Marketing Management. I have a wide work
experience portfolio varying from paid work to voluntary. Over the last three
years I have been a bar staff member for Stonegate pubs working for Walkabout
until it closed down in April this year and now Yates Newcastle-under-Lyme.
Within my role at Yates I tend to work on the bar and occasionally the kitchen,
but recently I have taken on the role to be more involved in the social media
for the business. To help to widen my knowledge of events and volunteers I
volunteered for the Stone Food and Drink Festival in 2017/18.
main stills revolve around social media and helping to design promotional
material. I am a reliable person with work ethic and put all my effort into
anything that I do.
ideal placement if possible would be within the events, tourism or hospitality
industry. However, I am willing to try anything new that may broaden my
knowledge and skills
graduated from Staffordshire University with a 2:1 BA (Hons) degree in Business
management and I’m now studying an MSc in Digital Marketing Management. I am a
team leader at the Staffordshire
University Students’ Union. This role requires excellent communication
skills, the ability to delegate tasks to the team I am managing and making sure
the venue (LRV and Verve) is running as smoothly as possible. This has taught
me a multitude of transferable skills within customer service as I have
developed my interpersonal and leadership skills. This is reflected within my
dedication to the Staffordshire
Stallions American Football as a team player and a defensive captain.
looking for a digital marketing placement for my work based digital marketing
project. This will give me a chance to utilise the skills and knowledge that I
have learnt within my masters and apply it to a professional environment. Any
opportunity to be able to get this experience would enable me to further my
My degree has
given me an insight into a variety of different aspects within Business
Management. This has given me fundamental knowledge on topics that also relate
to the MSc in Digital Marketing Management. I have extended my academic skills
and abilities by studying into a specialised area of Business. An MSc has enabled me to have a greater
understanding of analytics, search engine optimisation and the ability to
design a global digital marketing strategy.
I have graduated with a BA (Hons) Journalism and I am now studying my MSc in Digital Marketing Management. Throughout university, I worked as a venue member for Staffordshire University’s Student’s Union in front and back of house customer service roles and as a Student Ambassador. These roles have instilled me with strong interpersonal skills and self-organisation through working in these multifaceted positions.
I have experience working as a Trainee Journalist at The Sentinel newspaper and Staffs Live, where I was responsible for researching and writing feature and news content for print and online publication. I utilised my qualifications in Reporting and Shorthand at 100WPM from the National Council of Training for Journalists, ensuring accuracy and time management.
I am an experienced CRM Marketing Assistant, where I was responsible for curating content for email marketing campaigns and market research. Studying Digital Marketing has developed my knowledge within integral marketing theories, brand development and content curation/SEO. I am now implementing this in the creation of my own lifestyle blog, The Wordsmith.
am interested in opportunities in the content marketing sector, and I am open
to writing diverse content in an array of industries.
Leah Mahon, MSc Digital Marketing Management student
Influencer Marketing (IM) is the latest marketing trend to take the digital plethora by storm – one like and re-post at a time. According to Influencer Marketing Hub, IM combines the use of old and new marketing strategies, and turning it into modernised content fuelled marketing campaigns through collaborations between brands and “influencers” who set up their own social media pages and create their followings.
For businesses – big and small – it is worth getting to the know the person behind the filter before letting them influence which directions your business goes down. Here are a few things to keep in mind…
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Guidelines came into full force after numerous followers of popular YouTube and Instagram accounts were collaborating with brands and not making aware that they were receiving a profit in return from their content. To ensure transparency among the audience you’re trying to reach through your Influencer, clarifying that a simple #ad or #sponsorship can save them and your business some major thumbs down.
The Influencer has to believe in the brand and the product or service it is promoting. Microsoft collaborated with world-wide influencer, Oprah Winfrey to endorse their new Microsoft Surface tablet. Social Media Today describes how Oprah sought out Twitter to promote the new technology – only to do so via her iPad, one of the product’s direct competitors. Despite her global influence, not even she could increase sales if her influence doesn’t even believe in the product itself. It’s important for businesses not to collaborate just for the number of likes and followers, but what the Influencer believes in too. Right down to what tech they like to send their Tweets and DMs off.
Instagram Stories in particular will be relevant from a marketing perspective because, compared to other transitory video platforms, Instagram metrics are eminently trackable.
A final note on Instagram Stories: Their foundation is social media engagement gold. Video drastically outperforms all other forms of content on every test.
2. Influencer Marketing Makes Major Contributions to Social Media Engagement
Influencer marketing is big business — a billion dollar industry by some counts. There is an exhaustive list of micro-celebrities who earn six figure incomes. And this isn’t a fluke. Influencer marketing is uniquely keyed to exploit certain facts about a growing number of buyers.
As Millennials advance their careers, and Generation Z starts theirs, an enormous population’s purchasing power is increasing swiftly. These two groups — who, combined, literally comprise most of the world’s population — are uniquely influenced by this marketing method.
3. Generation Z to Decide Social Media Trends
We’ve mentioned Generation Z in both of the previous topics for good reason.
RetailDive had this to say about Generation Z and their associated social media trends:
“Gen Z is two- to three times more likely to be influenced by social media than by sales or discounts — the only generation to value social media over price when it comes to making purchase decisions…”
Furthermore, 81% report watching at least one hour of online video per day, or more, according to a study by Fluent, covered by AdWeek. Combine these facts and realize that droves of Generation Z will graduate college and/or start careers next year, and you start to see the powder keg.
4. Messaging Platforms Make Companies Accessible
What do you know about WeChat? They’re a wee little Chinese messaging company . . . errr, one that’s looking to cross 1 billion users this quarter. WeChat and WhatsApp are absolutely ubiquitous across either ocean, reaching across many different functions to dominate social media, direct messaging, and even purchasing and commerce.
Every year more and more buyers are Millennials and Gen Z, and fewer and fewer are older. In case you’re not aware of these people’s overwhelming preferences when it comes to talking to a company, we’ll illustrate in their native language:
5. Live Streaming Explodes
Live streaming isn’t about live streaming. At least not in the way we’re going to be talking about it. You’re going to see a lot more of it in 2018, and the people who do it well will be fully with the times and accelerating. Its prevalence will increase because it works.
But there’s something more at work here.
It’s actually about technology. We get better phones every year. Does that mean that we’re running the same apps better? Sometimes. But once the technological baseline of the average user has clearly moved up a notch, it becomes about making more robust apps that do more and fully take advantage of that new technology.
The smartphones of today are better than what we used to have by orders of magnitude. Furthermore, our data speeds are better, and are poised to make yet another insane leap in the next few years when 5G becomes the standard.
Live streaming is a medium or implementation of social technology that’s uniquely positioned to take advantage of hardware improvements for the next several years. The resolution of an image the size of a phone screen can only get so good before you have to zoom in to see a difference.
But better video processing across the board means all devices involved can handle more streaming at a better quality across more channels at the same time. This is such a huge change that it’s possibly unclear that anyone is even capable of fully understanding the ramifications.
6. Twitter is Going to Change
And they themselves might not even know how just yet.
Online hangouts go hand-in-hand with the live streaming trend, and with Generation Z. Consider Houseparty — an app for multiple friends to essentially FaceTime with each other in a group setting.
Houseparty made quite a wave in 2017 with rapid growth, and hit its stride well enough to inspire copycats, including perhaps an effort on the way coming from (no surprise here) Facebook.
The online hangouts trend is also going to intersect with VR. Sure, everyone promised everything this year with VR and AR, and all that ultimately came of it was two weeks of Pokemon GO.
But this year actually has the potential to be different. Many promising programs have another year of beta testing still left under their belts, but the technologies are improving in exciting ways. Once again, Facebook is at the epicentre, with Facebook Spaces.
We’re likely going to see companies revisit this in a more significant or longer-lasting way, and definitely more proactive than reactive.
As leveraging social media outlets for marketing first took flight, some were dubious of their staying power. The years since have changed sceptic’s into believers, and what’s on the forefront will clearly and easily amplify the channels’ relevance even further.
2018 is here… but were you prepared?
2018 social media trends predict that time on social media platforms will increase. This means you will need to improve your online presence in the year to come.
In order for the consumer to have an overall positive experience, it is strongly recommended that your project is designed to be inclusive. If the right accessibility isn’t in place, it could exclude consumers who may struggle or even be unable to interact with the project. The information that will be covered in this blog series can be applied to digital projects ranging from websites to computer games.
Visual: Colours and shapes
Visual aspects are crucial in any digital project, the appearance of your content is the first thing most consumers see, and influences how they will interact with it.
Using colour schemes/overlays
This can be a tricky one, the use of colours can aid the experience for some consumers, it can however also hinder others if substitutional elements aren’t implemented.
Let’s start with how colour can aid experience, consumers with conditions such as Dyslexia and/or Irlen Syndrome can struggle to read against certain contrast and colours, due to struggles including the processing of spectral light, which influences how they process visual information; the use of coloured overlays to tint colours in front/behind the text can ease readability for them.
There is software that can help them with this online such as ColorVeil and nOverlay, although other platforms would benefit from access to alternative text colour schemes.
Alternate text colour schemes refer to the colour of the text, and the background behind it, especially in sections containing large bodies of text, or requiring quick reference during interaction. Providing options for the consumer to alter them provides an opportunity to not only tailor the experience to their needs, but also make it their own.
Colour schemes to take into consideration are shown in the image below
Text-Comparison on different colour backgrounds
Taking font style and size into consideration can also aid this experience, Sans-Serif style fonts tend to be more comfortable to read, an extensive list of similar/other fonts to consider can be found at Dyslexic.com.
Communicating through shapes
If you rely on only colours to communicate functionality or change to consumers, it will be inaccessible to anyone who has a form of colour-blindness. Colour-blindness is a colour vision deficiency that affects how many colours a person can see in general; average colour vision is formed by three colour receptors in our retinas that process red, green, and blue, whereas a colourblind person will lack one or even all of them. The image below makes an accurate comparison of how people with various conditions perceive colours through their vision.
This is why using various shapes can also help communicate your design, for example: how iOS Mail uses circles and Flag symbols to identify content you may wish to check, or how Twitter “fills” the Like/Love symbol to indicate you have Liked/Loved a post (see example below).
Following these steps in your project design will take it one step further to becoming an inclusive experience for consumers. Next time, we will be looking at how to communicate information that can’t always be seen or heard.
Asking for ‘likes’, ‘tag a friend’ or ‘share this post’ is now being marked down by Facebook. A prime example below…
Yes, we’ve all done it…
“Tag someone who might be interested”
We all do it because it works (or did work).
That post back in October ’17 on Weston Cricket Clubs Facebook Page reached over 2000 users, whilst updates without a ‘nudge’ are lucky to reach 200. This was achieved by simply asking followers to engage with the post.
Last month (18th December 2017) Facebook announced a new crackdown on what it calls Engagement Baiting.
What Is Engagement Baiting And Why Doesn’t Facebook Like It?
Engagement Baiting is the process of ‘tricking’ users into engaging with a post. The practice is designed to make a post or page rank higher in Facebook user newsfeeds by achieving more engagement.
Facebook has named 5 forms of Engagement Baiting it is taking action on:
Vote Bait – Using a different reaction to represent a vote on a post;
React Baiting – Asking a Facebook user to express how they feel about a post;
Share Baiting – Asking you to share a post or page with a friend;
Tag Baiting – Asking you to tag your friends in a post;
Comment Baiting – Asking users to respond with a specific phrase, word, or number to a post.
Posts, where people ask for help, advice or recommendations, will not be considered as Engagement Baiting and as such, will not be impacted by the update. These include missing person reports, charity work or asking for tips on writing a blog.
How Will Facebook Do It?
According to SEJ, Facebook will collect hundreds of thousands of examples of Engagement Baiting posts and pages and train an algorithm to detect the different versions. This will happen automatically.
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