20th September 2017 - No Comments!

Social Media & Digital Marketing: Brand Consistency

As an agency creative, digital marketer, or social media manager, it is difficult to simply scroll Instagram in the same way that the average consumer would. Why? Because we can spot brand inconsistency from a mile-off, and cringe at shabby product shots or one-word, generic hashtags.

80% of Instagram users follow at least one business profile, where a huge 30% of whom say they have bought a product that they first discovered whilst using the app. So we know it is an invaluable platform, but what makes a good Instagrammer? Some may argue it is all about the numbers: the likes, the followers, and the comments. But with spam accounts at an ultimate high, and influencers slowly taking over the world, we think step one for your business to do well on Instagram, and beyond, is consistency.

Your feed, your grid, your profile - several names, but only one thing matters: is there a theme? Are you consistent, not only only in your imagery, but in your frequency and timing of publishing posts? What about your captions, keywords and hashtags? Do you have a colour theme, a house font and do you use your logos in the same way each time?

Is this seeming like another language? In most cases, it is best left to the professionals. One of the biggest mistakes many new business-owners make, is neglecting the importance of social media, and treating it too alike to their personal account. You wouldn’t use iPhone snapshots on your menu, in a print ad, or on your website, so why are you using them on this powerful marketing platform? Since a whopping 65% of top-performing brand posts on Instagram feature products, it is important to put more focus into showcasing your products through professionally created content that is in line with the latest styles and trends on the platform. For example, you should be sharing your products implemented into lifestyle shots, whether it be a flat-lay, a still life, or with a model; you should also be posting gifs, cinemagraphs and videos, and experimenting with grid photos.

For now, follow this brief guide, where we’ll give you the low-down on the basic Dos and Don’ts in maintaining your brand’s agency-approved online presence.

Do post often, but not excessively. Plan your posts using a free app like UNUM, but if you are lacking content, try not to post for the sake of it, if it does not fit your style.

Do your research, and check your insights, to figure out the best time for you to post on social media, or send your eflyers. Do stay consistent with this timing, it will produce the best results.

Do experiment with using graphics over your images, and social squares. However, don’t use any random font. Pick a house font, and stick to it, as well as a size, style, and position.

Do feel free to overlay your logo on images, but don’t do this too often, and do try to position it the same each time.

Do structure a colour theme, and style your images with this in mind.

Do ensure your content in high resolution, and it looks professional.

Don’t overuse filters. Just don’t. Realistically, content should be properly edited before even uploading to the app - try an app like VSCO.

Finally, whatever you do, don’t copy and use shabby stock images from Google. Period.

Feeling overwhelmed? Contact matt@vastdigital.co.uk and let Vast take your Instagram content to the next level.

15th September 2017 - No Comments!

You’re Already Late For Black Friday 2017

Yes, you read that correctly! If you haven't started working on your Black Friday 2017 campaign, you’re already behind the competition. Get ahead of the game by following our 6 essential marketing strategies to maximise sales this holiday season.

Of all the traditions our friends across the pond have brought us, Black Friday has got to be the most beneficial - and simultaneously straightforward - for your ecommerce business. With a 12% rise in online sales in just one day last year, it appears we Brits would rather avoid the dreadful queues and confrontational situations, making the most of the Black Friday from the comfort of our own living rooms.

Considering a total of £6.5bn was spent by consumers online throughout the whole week, it is essential you make the most of this marketing gem. The concept is already in place, you just need to execute the following steps successfully.

1. Be the best in their inbox

Email marketing is a timely classic, claiming over a quarter of last year’s sales. It is the first step to reaching out to customers, but you’re up against the big boys. Keep it brief, but interesting; recipients want to see low prices and key dates, not lengthy product descriptions. Make sure you use this opportunity to drive traffic to your site, by announcing a competition or offering valuable discounts.

2. Keep things interesting

Plain text is not enough, so your content has to be the best of the best, and embedded into the e-flyers, the social media posts and your website, in time for the influx of traffic. Swap a plain product shot for an animated gif, with heaps of colour and interesting composition. Do you know what a cinemagraph is? You should. Do your research, find the latest trends in creative content, and jump right on them!

3. Chase the abandoned carts

You’re halfway there - they loved the email, were drawn to your site, found the product for them, but ditched the trolley half way down the aisle.  It may be difficult to believe, but on average, over 90% of new customers do not convert on their initial website visit, so it is important to chase them until they buy! Use retargeting techniques such as PPC, relevant keywords and selective placement of ads to increase visibility; urge customers to join the mailing list with an incentive, then target their mailbox when they abandon the cart.

3. Be nostalgic

Pull out the stats from last year, read them, know them. The more you know about your demographic, their habits, interests and routines, the more successful your targeting techniques will be. As well as understanding your customer, you must also analyse your competition: their strategies, pricing and highest performing route to market. There are some great (free!) sneaky tools available such as Spyfu, which will give you an overview of your competitors’ top performing paid keywords and Ads. Brand awareness is the secret ingredient in any efficient and successful marketing campaign - so make the most of this for Black Friday 2017.

4. #BlackFriYay

Social media is undoubtedly another fundamental tool, but are you using it correctly? It is important to stay fresh, post your most engaging content and use more authentic hashtags like #BlackFriYay to improve organic reach. You should now be thinking about strategized campaigns for your promotions, and how you can get the best results from boosted posts. Be daring, jump onto the internet’s most weird and wonderful trends and go guerilla - this is the best platform to do so.

5. Be smart

In order to make money, you have to spend money. Invest into PPC, SEO and social media advertising to successfully retarget, and source potential customers. By knowing your customers, you can implement the most relevant keywords into your ads, and publish them at the peak time, to truly maximise sales this Black Friday. Also, know the platform that works best for your product; for instance, Google Shopping has a 26% higher conversion rate than standard text ads. Finally, be smart and ensure your site is mobile-friendly, to avoid missing out on impulse buys from the 42.7million smartphone owners of our nation!

So if you haven’t already, now is the time to get started on your Black Friday 2017 campaign! Don’t get left behind, be original, and ensure you maximise the potential of all available resources this season.

Ready to take take your Black Friday campaign to the next level? Drop a line to Matt at matt@vastdigital.co.uk.

31st August 2017 - No Comments!

The Importance Of Finding Your Social Media Target Audience

John Partridge Facebook
It is no secret that social media plays a vital role in any 21st century business. Having an online presence is essential, whether the main objective is to build a community around your brand, globalise your reach or simply improve revenue. However, to widen visibility of the brand online, the first step is knowing your target customer base.

Over the past two months, we have been working with John Partridge, a country attire brand based in the West Midlands. With countrywear similar to brands like Barbour, Joules and Country Attire, but at more cost effective price point, they hoped to reach new customers, but maintain a reputable, admirable brand known for its locally manufactured, high quality goods. A target audience soon became clear: those hunting for a “Barbour jacket” without having to buy into the international Barbour members’ club.

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17th August 2017 - No Comments!

The Rise of Video Engagement

Video is on the rise, year on year YouTube watch time rises by 50%, Facebook Videos are generating more than 8 billion views per month and even the word “Video” can boost email open rates by up to 19%.

Now is certainly the time to join in to ensure your content is as or more engaging than your competitors. In 2016 a Hubspot survey concluded that 43% of consumers wanted to see more video content. The trends forecast clearly that consumers are more willing than ever before to interact with the content you as a company provide.

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10th August 2017 - No Comments!

Sales up by 100% for Archie Foal

As an online digital design agency Vast help to improve not only the aesthetic quality of our clients sites, but the sites overall visibility across a range of platforms such as Google search and popular social networks. After all why spend time and money on creating a beautifully designed website that no one knows about. The key is to understand your target market and the traffic channels they use to reach your site. Once you understand your route to market, you can introduce the necessary attributes to help maximize conversions in those key areas.

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5th July 2017 - No Comments!

Debenhams AW17 Collaboration

As one of the largest high street retailers, Debenhams requires little introduction. The high street giant has favoured Vast’s digital design expertise for a number of years now, mainly for lifestyle imagery for their mens suiting offering, but we also get involved with conceptual themes for their windows too, as an extension of this support.

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28th June 2017 - No Comments!

Is your website making the right first impression?

It’s long been said that your website is your digital shop front, so why are you letting it turn people away? Poor design, lack of UX and cluttered product descriptions are all huge turnoffs for the end user.

Take a step back from the minutiae of your site, and try and view it with fresh eyes – would it make you want to buy from it? If the answer is no, let Vast help you make your site a place customers want to visit again and again.

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14th June 2017 - No Comments!

LFW Men’s with The Industry X Société

Having over 25 years of experience of working with clients in the fashion industry, Vast have seen the retail industry go through various changes. Being creative, agile and innovative with the digital strategies presented to our clients, this approach has kept Vast relevant and at the forefront of exploiting technology to make the shopping process easier and more effective.

So, to attend a panel discussion on the impact of technology on the menswear market at London Fashion Week Men’s, was an opportunity we simply couldn’t turn down.

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7th June 2017 - 1 comment.

Landing Page Best Practices

Landing Pages are the holy grail of modern day marketing campaigns. Whether you're running a PPC campaign, social campaign, competition or building up your mailing list, a landing page can maximise conversion goals across your entire marketing strategy.

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