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Author Archives: U0aFbrX0aI

  1. Move Forward By Listening Closer

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    Regardless of what kind of business you run, dealing with reviews in 2021 is more important than ever. Almost 9 in 10 people will read online reviews before making a purchase and customer testimonials are often the first port of call when people are looking for new hospitality venues to visit. 

    We place a lot of trust in the opinions of our peers because people do not have an ulterior motive when reviewing a company. You can tell people how amazing your business is but why should they trust you? The prevalence of online reviews in 2021 is bigger than ever and they are tied into search engine results too. Whenever somebody Googles your business, they will immediately see reviews. Positive reviews encourage people to explore further and visit your website, but negative reviews can instantly put them off. 

    However, having no reviews is the worst position you can be in because it immediately raises suspicion. There are a huge number of review sites with lots of active users posting all of the time so if a business doesn’t have any reviews at all, this can be a red flag. If you want to improve your digital marketing strategy, you need to encourage more people to leave reviews. These are some of the best strategies for dealing with reviews in 2021. 

    Ask In Follow Up Emails

    The easiest way to get reviews is to ask for them, and follow up emails are the perfect way to do this. After a customer has purchased a product, it’s always good practice to send them an email thanking them. At the end of the email, politely invite them to leave a review, whether they are happy with the service or not. You could even consider adding a link to your review platform in your email signature so you can encourage reviews in every marketing email you send. 

    Provide Incentives 

    When you ask somebody to write a review, you are asking them to give up their time. In some cases, people will need some kind of incentive before leaving a review. Offering a small discount on their next purchase or entering them into a prize draw, for example, is a great way to get more reviews. 

    Engage With Existing Reviews

    People are more likely to leave a review if they feel that it will have some impact. The way to demonstrate that you value reviews is to engage with them. Responding to reviews shows people that you listen to their feedback and it’s especially important to deal with negative reviews in the right way. Starting a conversation with your customers is an excellent way to build trust and when people see your responses, they will be more inclined to leave their own reviews. 

    Dealing with reviews in 2021 can be difficult but it’s a vital part of your digital marketing campaign. Here at AsOne, we can help you develop a digital marketing strategy that works for your business and make sure that you are interacting with customers online in the right way. Get in touch today to learn more about our wide range of services.

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  2. Customer Experience Tips

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    The current restrictions make it more difficult to deliver that but there are some great customer experience tips you can use to help you.

    This is especially important right now as there are delays to the lifting of restrictions and businesses must operate within the current guidelines for a while longer. If you are going to be able to rebuild your business and make up for lost revenue during the lockdown, it’s about getting the customer experience spot on. These simple customer experience tips can help you improve your operations.

    Provide The Right Safety Equipment

    Your staff must be able to provide the same personal experience that they normally would but in a safe way. The best way to facilitate that is to ensure that you provide all of the right safety equipment. Masks, visors, and hand sanitiser, for example, ensure that your employees can still approach tables safely and maintain good interaction with the customers. Although some businesses are using collection points for serving drinks, this can damage that all important personal touch that people like when visiting a hospitality venue. Instead, you should focus on creating an environment where it is safe for staff to interact with customers face to face at their table.

    Use Contactless Payments

    Contactless payments are another simple tool you can use to maintain your customer experience while also keeping people safe. Cash payments are not advisable right now as they increase the risk of spreading infection. Using a portable card reader with contactless payment options allows you to take payments directly from customers in a safe manner. Alternatively, you can take payments and orders through an app to reduce contact. Using contactless payments is one of the best customer experience tips even without COVID restrictions in place because it makes things much easier and quicker for them.

    Focus On Maintaining Efficiency

    All of your employees must follow safety guidelines while working, and this can lead to efficiency issues. This is especially true in restaurants with limited space in the kitchen. It may be wise to reduce your menu and focus on changing your operations to maintain efficiency. Although people will be more forgiving due to the current circumstances, long wait times can ruin the customer experience.

    These customer experience tips can help you walk the line between safety and customer service until restrictions are eased. However, it is equally important that you develop a digital marketing strategy that communicates this to your customers. People want to know that your business is safe but they also want to be assured that the experience won’t be damaged as a result. Here at AsOne, we can help you manage your digital marketing campaigns and get the right message out to your customers, while you focus on creating an amazing experience for them. Get in touch today to learn more about how we can help you get your business back on track.

  3. Up The Regulars!

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    Understanding how to get returning customers is crucial for hospitality businesses that want to generate a steady income as they get back on their feet. The visitors that come back time and time again are the people that keep your business stable. So, your main focus at the minute should be providing the best possible experience for them. 

    If a customer has a good experience with your business on their first visit, they are 40% more likely to return for a second time. If their second experience is also positive, they are 40% more likely to come back a third time. The likelihood of them returning again increases to 70% if the customer experience is spot on during their third visit. 

    The way that you provide this perfect customer experience has changed because there are other factors, like safety, that you must consider on top of all of the usual things. If you are unsure how to get returning customers, these are some of the best strategies to use. 

    Safety First 

    At the moment, people are unlikely to come back for a second visit if they didn’t feel safe. The way that hospitality businesses are protecting staff and customers from coronavirus infections varies from place to place. While some businesses have lots of great measures in place, others are lacking and these venues will struggle to get returning customers. 

    Make sure that you have plenty of hand sanitiser stations around, always adhere to social distancing rules, and put clear markings on the floor for a one-way system. When people can see that things are well organised and you put their safety first, they are far more likely to return. 

    Support Your Team

    The staff are a central part of the customer experience in any hospitality venue. If they are friendly and helpful throughout your stay, you always leave feeling as though you had a positive experience. But you have to remember that many staff members have been out of practice for a long time. They also need to get to grips with the new way of doing things. Make sure that you give them all of the information they need about safety measures etc and support them as much as you can. When they are able to do their jobs effectively, it has a positive impact on the customer experience and you are more likely to get returning customers. 

    Host Special Events

    Ordinarily, loyalty schemes are a good way to get returning customers. However, people are likely to want to try lots of different places as everything opens up again, so this strategy doesn’t work as well right now. Instead, you should focus on hosting events that people will want to bring friends to. If a customer has a great experience on their first visit and they see that you have an upcoming event, they’ll tell everybody to come along. That kind of word of mouth marketing is incredibly valuable right now. 

    Knowing how to get returning customers is crucial at the moment and these methods are all very effective. It’s critical that you leverage digital marketing to demonstrate to customers how you are making things safe or promote events that you are hosting. Here at AsOne, we can handle this side of things for you while you focus on creating the perfect customer experience to encourage repeat visits. Get in touch today to learn more about our extensive digital marketing services and how we can help your business now.

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  4. Social Feeding The Customers

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    Social media for restaurants is more important than ever as the country opens up and customers can return to their favourite places. Your old customers are excited to get back to you and there are plenty of new customers out there too, looking to make the most of the hospitality businesses in the area. 

    If you want to build a strong customer base in the coming weeks and months, you need to show people that you can provide a fun, safe atmosphere. Being able to harness the positive energy and excitement that people already have and turn it into great content is the key to success where social media for restaurants is concerned. 

    While you have been closed, your customers have been more desperate for social media content than ever. It’s their only way of communicating with your business and getting information about any potential changes. That increased focus on social media content will continue over the next few weeks and months. It’s crucial that you capitalise on this and use social media channels to communicate everything about your restaurant. Here are some of the key strategies you should use. 

    Show New Additions

    People want the familiarity of their favourite places, but they also want something new and exciting. Many hospitality businesses have used lockdown as an opportunity to make changes and additions. If your restaurant has been refurbished or you have made additions, highlight these on your social media to create more excitement around your restaurant. This shows people that you are not just reopening and operating as normal. Despite the circumstances, your restaurant is still offering something new and different for old customers.

    Encourage Sharing and Engagement

    Creating shareable content is an excellent way to generate a lot of buzz around your restaurant. When people visit and have a great time, you want them to tell all of their friends about it so they make a booking too. You can encourage sharing and engagement by creating hashtags for people to use on posts. Make sure to post lots of high-quality visual content too because it is more likely to be shared. Pictures and videos of new dishes or cocktails that you have added to the menu, for example, are perfect. Use your hashtag on this content and you can start a conversation about your restaurant and your menu, which will lead to a lot of bookings. 

    Don’t Forget Safety 

    Capitalising on the excitement that people feel about returning to restaurants is key, but don’t forget about safety. The situation is still changing all the time and many people are naturally a bit concerned about being in crowded indoor spaces for the first time in a long time. In some cases, this anxiety may prevent people from making a booking in the first place. So, make sure to address safety in your social media posts and show people that you are providing plenty of sanitiser and you have set up your furniture in such a way that social distancing is always maintained. Demonstrating that your restaurant is fun but also safe is the best way to encourage people to come back. 

    Social media for restaurants can be difficult to manage right now when there is so much else going on. It often gets neglected because restaurant owners are focused on adapting to the new way of doing things and making sure customers are happy and safe. 

    At AsOne, we can manage your digital marketing strategy for you, so you can focus on creating a great experience for your customers. If you are having trouble with your social media strategy, get in touch today to find out how we can help.

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  5. Attracting MICE Bookings: Hosting Corporate Events

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    Working practices have drastically changed during the pandemic and many office workers are still working from home. Now that restrictions are easing, business owners are trying to encourage people to come back into the office. This presents an excellent opportunity for hospitality businesses and it’s essential that you understand how to get corporate bookings if you are to capitalise on it. 

    Businesses will be looking to revitalise the office atmosphere and incentivise employees by putting on work drinks and lunches. As restrictions are rolled back further, large corporate events will be able to go ahead too. Attracting MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) bookings creates a much needed source of revenue for hospitality businesses as they rebuild after what has been a difficult year for many. 

    With a lot of competition around, it is crucial that you know how to get corporate bookings and create marketing campaigns that are tailored to the corporate crowd. Unfortunately, many hospitality businesses struggle in this area because they have not advertised to corporate clients in the past. If you want to attract more MICE bookings, these are some of the best strategies to employ. 

    Advertise Large Spaces

    Space is a key element for businesses when booking a corporate event. Large businesses with lots of employees need somewhere that can accommodate their team, and this is what you should focus on when trying to attract corporate customers. When creating content for your website and social media pages, take plenty of photos of the space and demonstrate how furniture can be arranged for large parties. Highlight extra facilities you have available, like free wifi, and give clear information on the number of guests you can accommodate. 

    If you have a large outdoor space, this is a huge asset right now. Outdoor spaces are more adaptable for large events and in the current climate, it is safer to host large numbers outside. So, make your outdoor spaces the focus of your marketing content. 

    Create Special Offers 

    Offering special discounts for corporate events is a great way to attract large parties. Package deals that offer rental of the space, food and some drinks make life much easier for businesses when trying to arrange a large event for a lot of people. In most cases, individuals attending the event will spend more while they are there, so you will bring in more than the original agreed upon price. Limited time offers create a sense of urgency and encourage more bookings in a short space of time. 

    Consider New Social Media Platforms

    Most hospitality businesses use platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook to market themselves. However, using platforms like LinkedIn can also be very effective when trying to get more MICE bookings. It’s a good place to connect with business owners and generate long term relationships that lead to regular corporate bookings. 

    Learning how to get corporate bookings can help your business thrive but creating marketing campaigns to do that is new territory for many hospitality venues. Here at AsOne, we can manage your digital marketing strategy and tailor it to the corporate world so you get more MICE bookings. Once you start seeing results, you can focus on providing an amazing experience so they book again in the future.

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  6. Hospitality Marketing: Advice From The Experts

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    On 17th May, hospitality businesses across the country will be allowed to open indoors again. This is amazing news for businesses that have been struggling, but it also presents a lot of challenges. Getting your hospitality marketing campaign right will be crucial if you want to capitalise on the increased demand over the next few weeks and months and strengthen your business again. 

    Many elements go into a good hospitality marketing campaign but in the current climate, it is important to adapt your strategy and focus on some specific areas. These are the key things that you need to get right when creating a marketing campaign in preparation for your business reopening on 17th May. 

    Social Media 

    Social media has always been a central aspect of hospitality marketing and that hasn’t changed. In fact, it has become even more important because it offers a line of communication between you and the customer while your business is getting back to normal. You can use social media to keep people in the loop about your plans for reopening, let them know how they can make bookings and how their visit is likely to be different now, and generate some excitement about the big reopening. 

    Communications Focused On Safety

    Naturally, people have safety concerns when returning to indoor hospitality venues. Although the situation is improving, there is still a big risk. People will not visit your business if they have questions about safety, so success in the industry after 17th May will be partly down to safety measures. 

    It’s vital that you think carefully about how to make the best use of space in your venue while also keeping people safe. But it’s equally important to show people how you are doing that. So, communications focused on safety should be a central part of your hospitality marketing strategy. Post photos of the new shields and dividers between tables or the one-way stickers on the floor. Give information about contactless ordering systems you plan to use. If you can show people that you are prepared and your business is safe, you stand a much better chance of recovering. 

    Build Hype

    People have been unable to enjoy their favourite hospitality venues for months, so they are excited about the prospect of being able to sit inside on 17th May. As a business, you should play on that excitement and focus on building hype. Post old pictures of the place before the pandemic and remind everybody how much they enjoyed it. Take plenty of photos and keep people in the loop while you are restocking and preparing to open again. If you can build hype in the days and weeks leading up to the reopening, you will have a big queue waiting for you outside. 

    Managing these key elements of your hospitality marketing strategy is crucial if you want your reopening to be a success. Here at AsOne, we have a clear understanding of how to manage these different elements of your campaign for you. In the meantime, you just need to focus on reopening and serving your customers. Get in touch today to learn more about how our digital marketing solutions can help you prepare for the next step and rebuild your business.

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  7. How To Get More Customers After Lockdown

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    Whether your open date is March, April, May or June, it’s going to be a real shouting match for market share – with every business in your industry clamouring for the waves of customers itching to get back to normal. With this in mind, your marketing strategies are going to have to be spot on from the first minute – and understanding how to get more customers should be at the centre of those plans. Luckily, digital marketing makes it easier to find, understand and attract new customers, as well as being able to see what’s working and what’s not in real-time.

    If you thought that a return to normality would mean less time spent in the digital world we have a feeling you’re sorely mistaken. Whilst getting outside might mean less time on Netflix, it will almost certainly mean more time with our mobile phones – aside from the co-ordinating of meeting people for the first time in months, contactless systems in place in businesses across industries are almost universally tech-based, with orders and payments in a host of businesses now taken via apps and QR codes. So, if your customers are going to be glued to their phones, it makes sense to advertise where they’re looking – and unlocking this is the key to understanding how to get more customers after lockdown.

    how to get more customers

    Digital marketing has a number of advantages over other forms of marketing when it comes to the question of how to get more customers. Any growth requires experimentation, and one of the benefits of digital marketing is the fact that you can instantly see whether your advertising is effectively reaching and engaging your target audience. From number of clicks to number of followers, you can quickly see whether what you’re doing is working.

    Getting more customers often means branching into new audiences, and finding them on digital is far easier than finding them by other forms. Demographic or interest targeting means that you can identify your next customer based either on a new market you want to reach or to capitalise on interest you’ve seen in your bricks-and-mortar locations. The flexibility of digital marketing means that you can weave your advertising around your business goals and targets – no matter how regularly they change. This agility is at the core of how to get more customers after lockdown, because the people interested in your business may have changed and it’s crucial you are able to react quickly to new data.

    Our strategies have been bringing more customers to businesses for two decades. From restaurants to credit unions, and healthcare to engineering, we have been helping businesses to grow in all sectors and industries, and we know how to reach demographics and interest groups that you need to penetrate. 

    For bespoke advice on how to get more customers ahead of your business reopening, contact our marketing experts today.

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  8. 8 Sure-Fire Ways to Convert More Customers

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    High traffic, low conversion rates? It’s a problem that thousands of businesses face, and you’ll be forgiven for scratching your head, wondering how to convert more customers.

    In 20 years of business, it’s a complaint that hundreds of businesses have come to us with – and we’ve been able to help all of them. Here, our expert team gives you an insight into 8 sure-fire ways to convert more customers – which could boost the revenues from your reopening business or services in Q2 2021, and maximise your post-COVID recovery.

    1. Make Your First Step Child’s Play
    2. Pop Up!
    3. Add Testimonials
    4. Take Away Distractions
    5. Yes, please
    6. Increase Your Conversion Value
    7. Eradicate Forms
    8. Try Other Offers!
    how to convert more customers

    Make Your First Step Child’s Play

    It’s human nature to want to finish something that you start. Your first form could always be one field (an email address), your first click could always go to checkout (and complete all other details there). Making this first step super easy to complete will create a definite “start point”, and help to push your customers all the way along the conversion journey

    Pop Up!

    While some people think it’s annoying, the numbers don’t lie. According to a huge study by Sumo the average pop up carries a conversion rate of 3.09% – as with everything else in marketing, we know that what people say and how people behave are often completely different.
    The top 10% of pop ups even manage to achieve a 9.28% conversion rate – what kind of impact would this have on your site?

    Add Testimonials

    Positive reviews of your services and products help to reduce the amount of risk that a customer feels at the point of purchase, and reassures them of the quality of your work. Some studies have suggested that more than 7 out of 10 consumers trust a business more after having read positive reviews – positioning these reviews at the point of purchase could give you a significant uplift in conversion rates.

    Take Away Distractions

    There’s a fine line in digital content between catching the eye to begin with and quickly removing distractions. On your conversion page, you need to be attracting eyes only towards your conversion actions – whether they be checkout buttons, or email sign-ups, or contact form completions.

    Yes, Please!

    “Checkout Now” or “Sign Up” are generic CTAs that can detract from getting your key buttons to stand out. Inject some excitement into your CTA copy and draw more eyes to your top priorities. Some studies have shown that structuring your CTA text in such a way that It begins “Yes,…” and uses the first-person voice – for example, “Yes, Sign Me Up!” – increases conversion rates significantly.

    Increase Your Conversion Value

    Whilst this doesn’t technically mean you will convert more customers, adding point-of-sale purchases can make each conversion worth more, which is another route to raising more revenue. In the same way that brick-and-mortar locations position items along the checkout queues, you can position small upsell purchases along your conversion journey. Offering bundles can also increase the value of conversions, as customers are more likely to buy more items in one click than they are to purchase the same number of items individually.

    Eradicate Forms

    Could you reduce the number of forms your customer has to fill out? There are shortcuts around a number of data entry systems. Instead of asking customers to create a dedicated account on your site, could they sign up with their Google or Facebook accounts, cutting out a signup form? Could a contact form be streamlined, with segmented forms on relevant areas of your website? Its likely that not all your customers need exactly the same thing and you can make judgments about the kind of customers that frequent different pages on your site.

    Try Other Offers!

    Don’t be disheartened if the first change you make doesn’t see the uplift in conversion rates that you were expecting. Every marketplace and every customer reacts differently to different ideas and offers, and it may take a little experimentation and testing to find the ones that work for your business.

    For some bespoke advice for your business, and for help with implementing any strategic or developmental changes you want to make, talk to the experts at AsOne today.

  9. How To Relaunch A Business

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    With the government announcement on February 22nd unveiling the roadmap back to normality, it feels for the first time as if there is a light at the end of the tunnel. When so much of the last 12 months has been spent in crisis mode and survival planning, it now feels like the first time that long-term planning can be done with some grounded knowledge that things will be back to normal in the not-too-distant future. However, after 12 months of turbulence, you might be looking at a business you operate today that is very different from the established model that you had before lockdown. If you’re wondering how to relaunch a business ahead of March 29th, April 12th, May 17th or June 21st, then take a look at the guide below from our business development and branding experts at AsOne.

    Relaunching your business after coronavirus requires you to do two things simultaneously. The first of these is publicity – people need to know that you’re back and that you’re open for business. Secondly, you need to rebuild trust. People understand why some services had to be suspended during the pandemic – you need to convince them that these services are now safe for use. 

    Your communications and digital marketing serve to achieve both of these goals, and understanding how these tools work is crucial to understanding how to relaunch a business.

    how to relaunch a business

    How To Relaunch A Business: Communication

    One of the most important places for you to communicate with your customers is on social media. The best blanket advice that we can give is whichever platforms you used most frequently before your business or services were interrupted, should be the platforms that you prioritise relaunching on. If that’s Instagram or Facebook, then highly visual content or even video could be a really important tool.

    However, it’s not the only place to communicate, and there’s always a chance that your social media messages are lost amongst your customers’ feeds. Many social platforms do not show page followers 100% of the posts from any given page to stop the user feeling like the platform is stale. Communicating on your website gives you total control over what content is prioritised and how long it stays there. Consider dedicating space on your site to your relaunch, or even a pop-up or permanent banner – so that whatever the reason someone comes to your site, they know about your relaunch.

    How To Relaunch A Business: Rebuilding Trust

    We’re looking at reopening a society after months of being told how unsafe the outside is. If you run a close-contact service that had to be suspended or a service which congregated large numbers of people, it’s possible that your customers feel apprehensive about returning. To relaunch this part of your business effectively, you’ll need to deal with the doubts and worries of your customers.

    Sharing images of new furniture or spaces (eg individual booths or perspex screens) is a great way to show people that you understand their worries. Other pictures of staff wearing protective gear might help too. Lean into ideas of returning to normal, rather than something unfamiliar and different. If relevant (and true), reassure that your staff are vaccinated.

    Email marketing is a great way to proactively start conversations about safety with previously engaged customers. Getting ahead of concerns, rather than waiting for them to be raised, demonstrates that you are in tune with your customer base, and will put minds at rest over a whole host of issues.

    Relaunching your business after COVID-19 doesn’t mean starting all over again. By harnessing the power of your digital, you can reignite the customers that you had to disappoint a year ago. For more advice on how to relaunch a business, and a bespoke relaunch strategy for your business, contact our experts today.

    how to relaunch a business
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  10. The Real Cost Of Free Marketing

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    When the coronavirus pandemic struck, many businesses scrambled to survive. Ultimately, planning for the long term was almost impossible, but one way that people tried to make sure they could see the pandemic through was by cutting any outsourced work and taking it on themselves. Many businesses were able to use the exceptional circumstances to get out of contracts that may have otherwise crippled them, and we know that senior staff took on far more than they usually would. We also know that one of the tasks that often moved in-house was marketing – and with a plethora of purportedly “free” tools available, it seemed a task that senior staff could manage during a crisis.

    It’s been nearly a year since then and, whilst you may not have realised it, lots of the free tools that have been so popular over the last eleven months are not free forever – and some of these charges are hidden away when you first sign up. If you aren’t up to speed with your own renewal dates, lots of sites are not too forthcoming with reminders. If you miss your renewal or cancellation dates, you could be locked into fees you weren’t willing to sign up for.

    We’ve picked four of the most popular tools in four key areas of marketing that offer free trials – the ones that you might have signed up to last year. We’ll take a look at how much you need to spend to get all of the features that the sites advertise and to get the same access that your previous marketing teams would have had.

    free marketing tools

    SEO

    If you’re serious about SEO, then you should really be using Moz to track your Search performance. It’s a wonderful tool that allows you to track your own listings against a number of competitors, and segregate your keywords into distinct campaigns, allowing for granular assessments and detailed analytics. If you cancelled a contract with a marketing agency, then you’d have been getting the benefits of unlimited, uninhibited access to Moz. You may have opened an account with the 30-day free trial they offer, but to get the same service you used to get, it’ll cost you up to $599 per month

    Social Media

    Next is social media – and there are a host of scheduling and analytic tools available, but one of the most popular is Sprout Social. Again, this comes with a 30-day free trial which you might have taken advantage of, and then a rolling contract begins. You might want to spread out the daily social media tasks as business picks back up and your senior staff return to their day-to-day roles. To get a multi-user, multi-profile account with the kind of features that your old marketing agency provided, you’re looking at another $249 per month

    Email Marketing

    One form of marketing that became more popular with people spending more time working from home was email marketing, and the biggest platform provider of this by far is Mailchimp. Whilst simple text emails might have resonated well in the early months of the pandemic, life is beginning to return to normal. More than 15 million adults in the UK have now been vaccinated and a roadmap to normality is in sight – and with it, a return to the marketing emails which caught the eyes before. With customers’ attractions back on their normal jobs and lives, they won’t have the time required to absorb the plainer emails which became commonplace. To create the kind of custom messages your old marketing company did, you’ll need to sign up for the package which comes in at $299 per month

    Design

    Finally, we’re looking at design. Whilst the Adobe Suite is very popular, it’s commercial license does not offer a free trial and as such many businesses did not turn to it when costs were being cut. One alternative is Canva, which does have the option for a forever free account, but that level is so limited that it is not feasible to entertain running a business off it’s setup. The Pro account is a much more viable option, and it comes in at roughly $15.29 per month. Whilst still far more limited than the £72/month Adobe suite, it does come with a huge amount of assets free for you to use commercially.

    Across these platforms, you would be spending $1,162.29, equivalent to £839.56 at the time of writing, per month.

    Time is Money

    The other “cost” factor to consider is of course the time that it takes your senior staff to complete the tasks normally done by professionals. 

    Without the capability to schedule social media posts, we think allocating an hour per week, or 5 hours per month for this task is fair.

    We think spending 4-6 hours per month on your SEO is probably about right, so we’ll split the difference and call it 5 hours per month.

    Time spent on email marketing can vary depending on the frequency of emails you send, but roughly four hours per email should give you time to design, write, test and finalise any work. So if you’re only sending one per month, that’s another 4 hours per month

    Designing is again hugely variable, but one thing for certain is that it’s a task that takes novices far longer to complete than experts. We’ll allocate 6 hours per month for designing, including any time spent learning tools and techniques. 

    If you have any paid advertising accounts, then these would take up a huge amount of time, especially for a novice. Moreover, these also require a budgetary spend which we won’t even include in our evaluation. Not including any training time, we’d recommend at least 4 hours per week to manage the accounts – or 20 hours per month

    This lands us on an incredibly conservative 40 hours per month. If the staff member you assigned to this role is on £52k per year – for the ease of the maths, then you’re paying them £270 per month in basic salary to complete work in which they have no formal training or expertise. Add this to the £839.56 that the free-trial marketing tools are costing you, and you have a monthly outlay of £1,109.56 per month, for work to be completed, with all the best intentions, by an amateur.

    DisciplineCost of Tools/Month (£)Number of Hours/MonthTotal Cost/Month (£)
    SEO431.935465.68
    Social Media180.305214.05
    Email Marketing216.344243.34
    Design10.99651.49
    Paid Advertising20135
    TOTAL839.56401,109.56

    That seems like a hell of a lot of money to be putting in the hands of someone doing the job in their spare time with free marketing tools.

    Going with a marketing agency makes financial sense. It takes square pegs out of round holes, and allows your business to make best use of all your resources. If you weren’t happy with the performance of your last agency, or want to see how your business could benefit from using one for the first time, call our expert team today.

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    free marketing tools
  11. Reviewing Your Listening Strategy

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    Your business social media pages are not adverts. Your posts are not static – they are not like print or radio advertisements, where it takes months to find out whether your message was well received. On social media, it’s as easy for your fans to respond as it is for you to put out a message in the first place. Indeed, your replies are just as important as your original post in shaping your brand’s tone and voice. In this article, we’ll look at interacting with your customers and how to deal with reviews from them.

    how to deal with reviews

    Use Your Reviews

    For the vast majority of businesses, the most common interaction you’ll have with your customers are reviews. Beyond dedicated reviewing sites like TripAdvisor, social media is the online hub for opinions and reviews, and as such, any listening strategy that you have in place needs to account for comments and questions you receive on your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn pages.

    There are few marketing tools more powerful than recommendations and positive experience – some studies have shown that up to 80% of consumers online think that reviews are one of the most important stops on their journey to purchase. When you get positive reviews, it’s important to acknowledge and appreciate them – not only will you cement that experience in the person’s mind and enhance their loyalty to your brand, but by replying to their review or comment, it will push those positive comments to more people’s news feeds

    Be There To Help

    It’s easy to interact with the good stuff – responding to negative reviews and comments is a much finer line to tread. Of course, these experiences don’t have to reflect badly on your business, and in lots of cases, your reaction to a negative review can actually inspire confidence in other customers.

    By responding courteously and helpfully, you show that your business can deal with any problems that arise. Indeed, people don’t expect every review to be perfect, and you actually see a better impact from your reviews if some are of negative experiences, which give authenticity to the positive ones. Asking a customer to send you more information in private messages is a great way to show people that you’re dealing with the problem without having all the details aired in public.

    We hope this blog has helped you learn how to deal with reviews from customers on social media. If you need bespoke advice for your listening strategy, talk to the experts at AsOne today.

  12. Bossing It On Social Media

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    More than two-thirds of the UK population is on social media, and at least 96% of these are active at least monthly. To put that into perspective, more people in the UK were active on social media last month than voted in the 2019 general election. Facebook has more than 1 billion active daily users, and there is no marketplace in which your business can advertise cheaply with a larger potential reach. However, with such opportunities for business comes competition – and it can be hard to stand out from all the noise. Here are some of our top social media tips for business – also downloadable as a handy cheat sheet to print off and have at your desk, to remind you of our tips every time you go to post.

    1. Have a Plan (What Am I Posting?)
      In our personal lives, social media is more often about “in-the-moment” posting; tweeting your reactions to live, unfolding events, or asking Facebook for recommendations in moments of need. For business, strategy takes on a more important role, and using your social channels to guide your fans to convert. This doesn’t mean that you can’t react to live events and be personable on social media – but it does require that you take extra steps of consideration before you do.
    2. Define Success (Why Am I Posting?)
      You can achieve a number of business goals via social media, and many sites have both organic and paid routes to success. You should define early what success on these platforms would look like – do you need to see a tangible lift in acquisitions, or do you see value in growing your channels and driving up engagement on them? Setting targets and expectations early in the strategy phase allows you to structure your content and tone towards achieving them and will help you to outline the approach your brand takes.
    3. Select Your Platforms (Where Am I Posting?)
      One of our top social media tips for business is that “social media” is not a homogenous block. Different platforms are popular amongst different demographics, and suit different styles of content. Below, you can find a table containing the ideal markets and content for the major social media platforms
    PlatformMajor DemographicMost Suitable Content
    Facebook16+, rapid growth amongst 50+Short video, images with short, informative captions.
    Instagram16-45 you, femaleVisual content which conveys most of the message
    Twitter16-35 yo, maleSuccinct text content. Longer “threads” also popular if they are found by the right audience.
    LinkedIn20-60, businesspeopleLong form text content via native “articles”
    Snapchat13-18 yoShort, explosive video
    YouTube18+ (skewed)Deep video which explains topics fully
    1. Vary Your Content (What Am I Posting?)
      Whilst each platform has content that typically performs best, that’s not to say that you should only post one form of content on each platform. If you’ve got a great video, for example, you should post it everywhere. It’s important to not allow your social media channels to become stale, both for your users and for the channel’s algorithms.
      Think of it this way – if a channel allows you to post multiple forms of content, it’s because the platform’s developers want to see a variety of content on their site – and as such, they’ll promote the pages which produce a variety of content to their users. Be part of that crowd.
    2. Know Your Audience (Who Am I Posting For?)
      Which events and opportunities might your audience be interested in? If you have an opportunity to break out of your brand, and become a source of useful information, your conversion posts might be better received. People don’t want to feel like they’re being bombarded by business postings, and as such, the 80-20 rule is a good rule to follow – where 80% of your content should be targeted towards entertaining, educating and informing your audience, and only 20% should be primarily geared towards selling products and services.
    social media tips for business

    By following these social media tips for business (plus a couple of sneaky extras available on our downloadable cheat sheet) you can begin to reach the millions of UK citizens that use social media every day. By ensuring that they can see your brand, you open the door to starting conversations and product journeys with the largest marketplace in the world. For a more bespoke strategy and implementation guide for your business, call our marketing experts today.




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  13. #KeyToSuccess

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    Social media can be a confusing place for businesses. There seem to be a million ways to prosper and yet all of them seem to be just out of reach. It’s important, therefore, to focus on achievable goals that, when performed in stages, can lead you to success on social media, One of the most effective routes to growth on these platforms is by using hashtags to expose your content to more people – but how do you use them? Here’s our guide to how to use hashtags on Instagram and Twitter.

    how to use hashtags for instagram

    Why Use Hashtags On Instagram & Twitter?

    Using hashtags on Instagram and Twitter exposes your content to a wider audience, by co-opting trending topics and popular ideas.

    You spend hours devising and creating your content, and then you find the perfect time to post it, complete with an ideal caption. You don’t want all that work to go to waste – hashtags are essentially what makes your content discoverable. Users can search for hashtags specifically or, if they see one piece of content they like, they can reach hashtags by tapping directly and following.

    Engage Your Audience

    Lots of popular brands have their own hashtags, such as #PLT or #MUFC. This helps them to build campaigns that use UGC (user-generated content) and to spread their brand messaging across more posts and boosting their visibility. However, you don’t need your own hashtag – if you can find popular ones that fit your brand messaging, then using them can show your business to likely customers.

    Followers engage with hashtags, and, therefore, brands that regularly use them see more engagement than those that don’t.

    How To Use Hashtags On Instagram And Twitter

    Using hashtags couldn’t be easier on Instagram on Twitter, and we have three simple rules to make sure you always get the best out of them:

    Be Selective, Be Consistent, Be Authoritative

    Whilst there are obvious benefits to using hashtags, you won’t see good returns from filling your captions with blocks of blue. You need to pick a select few – no more than four or five – and stick to them.

    Hashtag searches can usually be filtered by “most popular” or “most recent”, and so regular posting will keep your business near the top of these feeds.

    Allow your selected hashtags to shape the content that you post so that your content is either adding to or answering a question posed by the hashtag so that its followers see value in your content.

    If you need any more advice regarding your use of hashtags or any other part of your social media strategy, call the experts at AsOne for bespoke advice today. We have a proven record of generating social media success.

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  14. On Time & On Budget, Yet Again

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    Not only did we deliver on all the technical requirements of the build, but of equal importance, we delivered the project on time and to budget, managing and guiding the internal team through the process and technical elements from beginning to end, and offering our continued support to maintain the site.

    With the launch of the new Kingston Hospital Foundation Trust website, we have been able to help the NHS and the patients who use it every day. We are particularly proud that our technical expertise and industry knowledge has meant that we are able to make the site as secure as possible, and we are working towards CE+ certification. As such, the new healthcare website has its own dedicated server, as well as active threat detection technologies and additional web firewalls, further protecting the hospital and patient data.

    The Kingston Hospital Maternity wards were previously managed on a separate healthcare website. Not only did this increase hosting and maintenance costs, it also added unnecessary workload onto the administrative staff. In our development, the Kingston Maternity site functions as a microsite within the larger Kingston Hospital site. By merging the two onto one CMS, we have been able to save the NHS money and staff time in managing the content. We have also made it easier for patients to find where they need to be without having to navigate to a completely separate site. To ensure the best possible user journey, many of the forms use complex conditional logic in the background in order to provide the simplest possible user experience.

    healthcare website

    Throughout the whole site, we make it easy for the internal comms team to reflect the current focus of the hospital’s needs quickly and react within moments. Our commitment to reflect the in-hospital activities led us to using our digital expertise to ensure that the hospital could keep providing it’s advice to patients during the COVID-19 epidemic. We were able to build in functions to the healthcare website that allowed for video consultations to adapt to the social situation. Additionally, in response to the changing situation of the pandemic we built a dedicated COVID swab application procedure for the healthcare staff, as well as ensuring that the site is flexible enough that internal comms teams can react quickly to changing situations. The content is malleable and visitor focus is able to be shifted regularly and quickly, according to daily demand and requirements.

    healthcare website

    Huge thanks to Sam, Joel and the AsOne team for all their hard work on our recent website development. With their positive, can-do attitude, no problem was too big for them, always finding a timely and effective solution for us.

    They helped us with migrating from an old Umbraco system to a modern WordPress solution. Providing our team with all the training required for making regular updates to the content of our website. We couldn’t have done it without them.

    Holly Goodyear-Farhan, Kingston Hospital Communications

    If you are currently considering a new or updated healthcare website, NHS or Hospital website make sure you talk to our experts who have a proven track record of delivering on time and on budget when it matters most

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  15. Effective Competitor Analysis in 2021

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    The new year is here. Congratulations on getting through 2020 – we know it was tough and for many businesses, the conditions created by the pandemic meant that survival was the most important thing. The thinking was done in the here and now, often looking just until the end of the month, and there was very little room for grand strategy. Now though, the future looks more clear, and with two vaccines now in roll-out across the UK, a mid-February kickstart has been promised by the government. Now is the time to look ahead, and to invest in a longer-term strategic plan that may have escaped you in 2020. To create long term strategies for our clients, we begin with a structured, effective competitor analysis – and at the end of this article, we’ll include the template for our own work, free for you to download.

    Conducting an Effective Competitor Analysis

    Choosing the Right Competitors

    What’s the purpose of your competitor analysis? Your business is likely to have a number of competitors. Generally speaking, there are three types of competitors in the digital space
    Direct competitors are businesses that offer the same solution to the same customers as you
    – There are also two kinds of indirect competitors. These businesses will offer either the same solution to a slightly different customer or a slightly different solution to the same customers.
    – In the digital space, there are also visibility competitors. These are companies which may offer a totally different service to you, but may have gargantuan advertising budgets so that they are able to dominate a wide space online. This encroachment might prevent your business from appearing on the first page of search results. The more vague your keywords are, the more of a problem this is likely to be.

    It’s important to include a mix of your competition in your analysis. Direct competition is obvious, but it’s important not to dismiss your indirect competition or your visibility competitors as well. Ultimately, your customer only has one wallet and it is only so deep, and thus any business which is marketing to them is your competition. Moreover, if you can bring in marketing techniques and angles from other industries, you might be able to stand out in yours. Effective competitor analysis isn’t just about seeing what other companies are doing – it’s about understanding why they’re doing it and whether it’s working.

    How Are They Performing?

    Once you’ve chosen your competitors, it’s important to gather as much data as you possibly can. Check their website – have they published any end-of-year summaries? Have they acquired any desirable or high-profile clients in your sector? Look on sites like Indeed and Glassdoor to see if they are hiring and read the job adverts, and look on LinkedIn to see how many employees they have.

    To conduct an effective competitor analysis, you need to have an understanding of the outcomes as well as the input. Moreover, if your competitors are not doing as well as you are, don’t dismiss the analysis. They might have some processes which you can take inspiration from, or they may be giving you an illustration of how not to go about business in your sector. Either way, analysis of a worse-performing company can still provide important feedback for your own strategy – and knowing what they’re doing even in your rear-view mirror will give you as early as possible an indication that they may be planning an overtake.

    What Are They Saying?

    Analysing your competitor’s marketing messages is critical. How are they advertising their solution? How do they imagine the customer and what do they think is important to them? Do they have a USP which sets them apart from the competition and how do they go about introducing that USP?

    Aside from just their messaging, it’s important to analyse the media and the platforms on which they are distributing their adverts. From plain text to video, and from social media to search engines, how a company advertises is often just as important as the content of the advertisements. 

    What Are People Saying About Them?

    Social listening tools are a great way of finding out how a company’s image is being received. If you don’t have access to this technology, a manual search in the main social media sites for the company name can give an indication of how people are reacting to their messages – although you may have to sift through messages which do not apply to the business, as you will simply be running a keyword search.

    Understanding how your competitors are being reacted to can help you to pinpoint exactly how they’re connecting with the audience, and effective competitor analysis that incorporates social listening might give you some quick tips that you can replicate in your own strategies.

    Benchmarking for Success

    Fundamentally, effective competitor analysis has to inform your future strategy. There are a few ways of setting benchmarks, depending on your goals and where you are in relation to your competitors. 

    A great way to start benchmarking is by choosing your primary weakness, and setting a target which is in line with your competition. You could aim to surpass your top competitor, to beat the average of your competitor output or, if you have the data, to bring the percentage of your revenue attributable to said area of business in line with your competitors.

    These benchmarks will help you to evaluate the success of your strategy in the long term. 

    effective competitor analysis

    Effective competitor analysis allows you to draw inspiration from the businesses around you and, by incorporating it into your development strategy you can make strides towards a successful 2021. To help you, we’ve made our competitor analysis template free to download for any business – the one we actually use for marketing analysis. Enter your information below, and an email will automatically be sent to you to retrieve your download.




  16. When Are Old Customers Better Than New Ones?

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    2020 has been a topsy turvy year, with uncertainty at every turn. However, there are inevitabilities in every year, and one of them is Christmas. It’s coming, and with it is an opportunity for businesses to recover, with people potentially splashing out even more than usual, with many normal spending avenues, such as hospitality venues, shut. It might be a time where many people branch out further online than they ever have before, and will be buying from stores where they wouldn’t normally shop. Keeping these customers into the New Year could be critical to your business recovery in 2021 – and with a digital marketing package, retargeting customers has never been easier.

    retargeting

    Retargeting: Who, Why, How?

    Before the age of the internet, retargeting was effectively impossible. A shopper would come into your store, browse, potentially make a purchase and leave. Now though, in the digital age and particularly with the widespread popularity of social media sites, this is not the case.

    In the Christmas period, you will get visitors on your website that don’t usually shop with you. Perhaps they’re buying for a friend, or looking to try something completely new for the family this Christmas. In any case, they’re on your site, and it’s your chance to turn them into a repeated customer throughout the year.

    By setting up your analytics tracking correctly, you’ll be able to see how each user

    a) found your site
    b) used your site
    c) left your site

    And you can use retargeting to maximise all of these pieces of information

    If users found your site on Facebook, for example, then you could run a retargeting campaign on the platform to entice them back. You could run products with a promo code for revisiting users, or you could use other customer reviews to push browsers to purchasers

    If your customer entered your site on a specific product category, viewed a few products within that category and left without purchase, you need to make sure you stay in that customer’s mind. By serving ads to them either on Google on or social media sites, you’ll keep that decision fresh in their mind and if they do need to make that purchase, they’re more likely to do it from you.

    The page a user left your site from could tell you a lot about what stage of the buying process they’re at, and you can shape your marketing messages accordingly. If they left on a product page, then they might need more information about that product. If they left the site with items in their basket, but without completing their purchase, then perhaps offering a small reduction or promo code could nudge them the final part of the way. With retargeting campaigns, you are able to maximise revenue from all of your customers, by providing the most bespoke and tailored information possible over the internet.

    Your marketing department should be able to configure your website and your marketing campaigns to incorporate retargeting, and it should be part of your strategy already – but if it isn’t, it should be easily incorporated into your mix. If this isn’t happening at your company currently, then you need to be asking serious questions about why that is. Can you afford not to retarget these customers?

    To reap the benefits of retargeting over the festive period and into the New Year, talk to the specialists at AsOne today.

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    retargeting
  17. Reap The Benefits Of Click And Collect

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    With customers stuck at home, and restrictions in place right up until Christmas and into January, it’s essential to implement systems now that not only leave your business in a good position under relaxed rules, but also minimise the changes you might have to go through under tighter restrictions. Futureproofing your business has never been trickier, with the social landscape changing almost monthly, but considering the benefits of click and collect stand you in fantastic stead for whatever Christmas and 2021 may bring.

    benefits of click and collect

    The Benefits Of Click And Collect

    Click and collect is a service which has been used by large department stores and supermarkets for years – and if the behemoths are doing it, then there must be a value to it. Of course, for these stores, they actually want people spending less time in the shop, rather than more, knowing that on average, more customers shopping more quickly will outspend fewer customers shopping slowly. One of the benefits of click and collect is that you can sell products whilst keeping your shop floor relatively clear, enhancing the shopping experience of people in the store.

    In other industries, click and collect is used to get people into the store – for example, in stores with leading products- such as tech dealers, where people may reserve a large item like a laptop online. Here, a click and collect service gets a user into the store whereyour staff and product layout can help to upsell accessories, such as memory cards and protective cases. One of the benefits of click and collect is its versatility in purpose, and the opportunity it brings to every business that implements it.

    Of course, in these times, even when your store is allowed to open, having a click and collect service may help to protect you, your customers and your staff, reducing the number of people with whom they have prolonged contact. If you have a loyal customer base – even if it is smaller than the Sainsbury’s and the Tescos of the world – both your customers and your staff could benefit from a click and collect service.

    One of the other benefits of click and collect in the current situation is that, at the time of writing, it is one of few permissible reasons to leave the house. This is important to millions of people around the country who feel cooped up indoors – generally, these are young or fitter people whose normal life involves outdoor and/or lots of sociable activities meeting new people as well as connecting with existing friends. Consider your target demographics, and if these people are likely to be your customers, they may be grateful of the chance to get out of the house, even if it is just to come to your store and collect their items, and may lead them to further purchases.

    To find out more about the benefits of click and collect, and implementing the service on your ecommerce website talk to our business development experts today. We have the expertise both to assess your business needs and to build the functionality onto your website – so you won’t need to pay multiple agencies to achieve your goals.

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  18. A Beginner’s Guide To Click And Collect

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    If you’ve been forced to close, it’s vital to find ways to maximise revenues in the Golden Quarter. One of the ways to keep trading is via a click and collect service – but this has not historically been offered by SME’s, and has instead been the reserve of conglomerate supermarkets and department stores. This year, that’s changing, as more and more businesses realise the benefits of click-and-collect in the face of the global pandemic. To get you started, here’s a guide to click-and-collect for businesses who need to implement it.

    click and collect

    What Is Click And Collect?

    The clue is very much in the name with click-and-collect services – customers reserve items online, and pick them up at pre-arranged points. This pick up point is usually in-store, and shops are allowed to remain open for click and collect customers, but there’s nothing to say that this collection would have to take place in-store – for example, if you work in partnership with another business that has an open location, you could have your customers pick up from that location, saving you money on opening your own up. 

    What Are The Benefits Of Click And Collect?

    The main benefits of click & collect services when compared to postal delivery options are that when a customer collects their items, you can be sure that the customer receives them in a good condition. With deliveries, there is always a risk of damage or loss in transit which could leave you having to reimburse customers. With click & collect, returns are far less common, as the quality of the product can be checked by the customer in your presence.

    In the current restrictions, people need a reason to leave the house, legally. Some customers value the opportunity to get out of the house and as such, click & collect services are preferable for them, allowing them to go out to collect their items. Consider who your target market is – if the demographic is one that is largely active and outgoing, then the effects of lockdown on their mental health is a good thing to consider.

    How Do I Offer Click-And-Collect?

    You need to be able to take payment before the customer arrives, and this could be done over the phone, for example, but it’s by far easiest to set up your eCommerce website to be able to provide the service online. This might mean a simple modification of an existing eCommerce store or a little more work for a more extensive build, but by enlisting the help of eCommerce experts like the developers at AsOne the work can be completed in a matter of days.

    To begin offering click-and-collect services, contact the experts at AsOne now.

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  19. Deck The Halls With Online Shopping, Tra La La La….

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    It’s inevitable – even in a year filled with as much uncertainty and, in many ways, misery as 2020 has, Christmas will always come and with it, the opportunity for celebration. For businesses, it’s a time when many of us see increased sales and revenue, with products or even services gifted to people during the festive season. We often see a huge spike in online shopping at Christmas – and we dare say that will be even further exaggerated this year, with bricks-and-mortar shops still forcibly closed.

    Even in a “normal” year, we see a boom in online shopping at Christmas, and according to the Centre for Retail Research, more than £25 billion was spent online in the UK last Christmas, more than 10% up on the previous year. This demonstrates just how normal online shopping is at this time of year, and the vast majority of UK consumers would have bought at least one item online this year regardless of current coronavirus restrictions.

    online shopping at christmas

    To meet the Golden Quarter expectations this year, your business will have to embrace eCommerce in some form or another – whether that be a delivery service or a click-and-collect feature, you’ll have to be able to meet the demand for online shopping at Christmas. 

    Delivery services have the advantage of not requiring the customer to leave their house at all, meaning that your market is as wide as possible. Some customers may be shielding and some may be more worried about leaving the house than others, especially if they are likely to have to use public transport to get to your store. It’s also possible that you could make more small margins on delivery costs, which may help your business during these times. However, there are costs associated with delivery services, which include extra packaging, fuel and personnel, as well as the risk of damage in transit and delivery to wrong addresses due to human error. 

    With a click-and-collect service, customers travel to the store to collect items which have already been reserved and paid for. This service has been common for a number of years at large supermarkets and department stores but had not been maximised by smaller enterprises until the COVID-19 pandemic hit. The advantages of this are that your responsibility for the product ends when that product leaves the store, and you can ensure it gets to the right person. Returns are more easily dealt with as they often take place in person, rather than via telephone or email and the post. On the other hand, it requires users to leave their homes and you will have to open your physical location for collection, which may have associated utility costs as well as staffing needs.

    Ultimately it’s crucial to consider your target audience when choosing how your products will reach your customers. Delivering your products in the most accessible way will ensure that your business gets its slice of the pie while people conduct all their online shopping at Christmas.

    To build or modify your website to prepare for online shopping and click-and-collect this Christmas, talk to the expert developers at AsOne now.

    online shopping at christmas
  20. How To Really Stand Out On Google

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    The face of the internet has changed dramatically in the last decade, and this is true for even those things we think are constant – indeed, because we use them every day, we might not even notice the changes implemented one by one. Sites like Facebook are constantly tweaking the way your home page looks, for example. One of the biggest changes has been on Google, whose results pages now are almost entirely different to how they looked 10 years ago – meaning that SEO executives now need to learn techniques, such as how to get images into snippets, that didn’t even exist for their predecessors.

    Any SEO executive worth their salt knows that Google’s face has changed. Gone are the days of line-by-line text entries, and now you might have to compete with any number of image ads, text ads, locations, position zero boxes, featured questions and video entries before any plain text entries are even considered. The goal of SEO strategies should be to penetrate these elements, ensuring stand out positions on SERPs.

    how to get images into snippets
    As you can see on this Google Search, organic results compete with & below image ads, text ads, and a location card.

    On mobile devices – which are responsible for a rising majority of searches – images can appear in snippets, along with meta descriptions and the SEO title. This is because truncated meta descriptions may not give as much information as a picture could, allowing the user to make the best decision.

    Penetrating these elements of SERPs involves setting up your blog posts not only in the text they contain but also in the content that they present, and ensuring it is readable & understood by both humans and crawlbots is of paramount importance. It is understanding this setup that lets you understand how to get images into snippets.

    Getting images into snippets is not an exact science, but there are things you can do to make it more likely that an image will be dragged by Google – which, in turn, dramatically increases your organic CTR.

    Using featured images is a great way to tell Google’s crawlbots which image is more important than the rest – and discerning this is critical for Google to display an image in snippets.

    Failing that, using some kind of schema markup can also tell Google which image is most important & relevant to the topic covered on-page. This can be done manually or via a plugin, such as the “Create How To” plugin (if your blog is a “How To” blog or can be framed as one).

    To get more information on how to get images into snippets, talk to our expert team today on 0161 368 9100

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    how to get images into snippets
  21. How May I Help You Today?

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    Lots of people think – erroneously – that the one part of the shopping experience that could never be replicated by an eCommerce site is the personal, customer service that many stores have prided themselves on for decades. That simply isn’t the case, however, and online customer service is one of the most important considerations for any thriving ecommerce store – both before and after a customer’s purchase.

    Good customer service has long been quoted as a primary reason for people choosing their favourite bricks-and-mortar stores, and its no different online. Often people have outdated preconceptions about what’s possible with online customer service, and the image of customers stuck on hold with anonymous centres is not one which we want to recreate. With modern approaches to online customer service, users can have their issues resolved quickly, accurately and reliably.

    online customer service

    Guide Your Users Around Your Site

    In-store assistants are always on hand to point out flagship products, or help users to exactly what they’re looking for. With well-divided pages and products, even the most technophobic users should be able to find their way to their desired items. If it’s relevant to your products, providing sizing guides as well as both measurements and “sizes” of items in easily and often accessible places is a great way to replicate the human experience online.

    Dealing With Returns

    This is one problem that people think can’t possibly be done online. The image of the angry customer looking to return products and asking to speak to management is one which people think cannot be addressed by a website. 

    The first thing to remember about online customer service is that customers are very rarely this angry – what’s more, customers online haven’t been inconvenienced nearly as much by their return as someone who has had to travel to your store and return an item in person. Moreover, with an understanding of the most likely issues somebody might face with your business, you can guide users to the correct departments or actions via user flows and FAQs.

    Many businesses also allow their customers to return items for free by providing postage equipment, such as postage labels and packaging. This has a dual benefit of making life easier for the customer and ensuring that items are posted back to you correctly, ensuring no loss of product in transit.

    Use Live Chat

    Of course, you don’t need to take a prescriptive approach and there will always be problems which you haven’t been able to predict. By using live chat features, online customer service can also include human-to-human interaction. Many users are reassured by speaking with someone about their specific issues and having a human interaction can make them feel listened to by your company. 

    Online customer service can be quicker, easier and more efficient, especially at a time when the people are facing another lockdown. Speak to one of our expert team today to best prepare your business for the times ahead.

    online customer service

  22. 7 Expert Tips For WooCommerce

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    By now, it’s pretty clear that any business which is hoping to grow over the next year needs to have an ecommerce store. Probably, you’ve already had this developed and it’s more likely that your site is built on WooCommerce than on any other platform. However, it’s one thing having your ecommerce store – it’s another to use it as effectively as you could. At AsOne, we’ve been building eCommerce stores for nearly two decades and over that time, we’ve amassed 7 top tips for WooCommerce to streamline your admin and begin to automate the way your store runs.

    tips for woocommerce
    7 Tips for WooCommerce
    1. Guide Your Users With Featured Products

    Lots of our tips for WooCommerce concern “customer journey” – by simplifying this user journey, customers are more likely to both purchase on any given visit to a site and more likely to return in the future.

    If you have a flagship product, consider flagging it as a featured product in the back end of your site. Depending on the theme or build you are using, this might give it a place of prominence on your home page, or even a place in a sub-menu category.

    1. Use Custom Labels On Product Pictures

    Using the Advanced Product Labels extension, you can use product labels to add CTAs directly to your product pictures. This simple change can draw your customers to new products or reduced-price stock that you might need to get rid of.

    1. Let Your Customers Zoom Your Product Images

    Having the ability to zoom images can make a company seem more professional and generally boost the opinion of a business, according to some surveys. With Zoom Magnifier plugin, you can make a tiny change to your site that makes the world of difference to some customers on the internet. It also allows customers to closely inspect items like they would in a store, going some way to restore the normal shopping experience if users are confined to their homes again.

    1. Sync Up Your Store & Your Ads

    By using a product stream, you can ensure that your shopping ads are fed by the same product feed that populates your store. Don’t worry if that sounds complicated to you – your web developer should be able to set this up for you. By ensuring that your product feeds are consistent, you can be sure that your ads will never be struck down for incorrect pricing during or after a sale or incorrect product names – giving you the greatest possible visibility.

    1. Write Great Product Descriptions

    One of our top tips for Woocommerce is about boosting your site’s SEO. By writing effective, keyword-rich product descriptions, you’ll get more interested users on your site. It’s important here not just to think about exactly what your product is, but what it could be used for and taking into account the fact that user searches are often very vague to start with. 

    For example, if you sell a white polo shirt, consider optimising for more vague terms such as “white top” or “PE kit” as well as the specific descriptors of your products.

    1. Include Reviews!

    Reviews are a powerful marketing tool and – if possible – customers like to not only see reviews for your business, but also for individual products. If possible, include visual elements on these reviews that allow them to easily be understood, such as a star rating system.

    1. Integrate Your Shipping & Warehousing

    The last of our tips for WooCommerce will help to reduce your administration time and integrate your business more seamlessly with itself. By integrating your shipping and warehousing, you can set up your site to send instructions straight to the relevant places and departments, and generate your shipping labels if required. All of these solutions can be shaped to exactly fit your business flow, so speak to our experts for a bespoke design.

    These are our 7 top tips for WooCommerce to take your store to the next level. If you need some help to implement them, speak to our experts today. 

    tips for woocommerce

  23. Fundamentals: Local Marketing

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    Current coronavirus restrictions mean that consumers are in a strange hybrid situation, where they are being encouraged to support in-person businesses, via schemes like Eat Out to Help Out, but they are being discouraged from travelling much further than their town or city to visit these businesses. This paradigm means that local marketing has never been more important.

    There are lots of businesses who still think local marketing still means dropping flyers down a few selected streets and hiring a schoolgoer for one Saturday morning holding a sandwich board outside the store. In the age of the digital consumer, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Though it may be the World Wide Web, there has never been a more effective vehicle for local marketing than the internet.

    88% of mobile searches for local businesses result in a call or a visit in less than 24 hours

    97% of people learn more about a local company online than via any other method

    local marketing

    How Can You Do Local Marketing Online?

    Get Local On Social

    Claim Your Local Listings

    Know The Website That Knows Your Town (And Everywhere)

    Localise Your Paid Advertising

    Get Local On Social

    Social media gives you a huge range of tools to let people know exactly where you are. 

    On Instagram, your location tags appear underneath your account username, appearing even higher than your picture. Instagram cares about where you are, and users can search by locations as well as keywords and hashtags; meaning that local marketing is a route to huge success on the platform.

    On Facebook, not only do users have similar searching options to the Instagram product, but users can also ask for local recommendations. Ensuring that your profile – particularly your address – is up to date can open your business up to being suggested to new customers. Moreover, the power of a personal recommendation by a friend can never be overestimated in business – don’t miss out because your local marketing strategy isn’t up to scratch

    Claim Your Local Listings

    Decades ago, it was The Yellow Pages

    Before that, it was the phonebook. 

    Today, it’s tripadvisor & yelp.

    Local directories, whilst they’re not so popular in hard copy nowadays, have never had more readers or viewers. In 2018, TripAdvisor generated more than 730 million user reviews. 

    On many of these sites – and be aware, there are often much smaller local directories that exist too –  you can claim your business listing and modify it to be as useful as possible. By updating your opening hours, services provided and even pictures of your storefront as often as they change, you can ensure that users know you’re there and that their experience lines up with expectation. A good local marketing strategy means that you control as many facets as possible. If there’s an online local community, however small, you need to be a part of it

    Know The Website That Knows Your Town (And Everywhere)

    Google is the world’s most visited website. It’s used by basically everybody and everywhere. It’s search engine blends seamlessly with it’s map functionality to provide a local service, globally. On Google, you are not only able to claim listings for your business but you are also able to claim map listings. Here, people only looking at the area, and not for a service, will be able to see your business. Local marketing can also help you to pique customer’s interest in you before your service, snatching them from the pool of business as early as possible. 

    The other element of local marketing which goes hand-in hand with Google is Local SEO. Setting your pages up to be easily recognised as about a specific place means that Google’s algorithms can pick up more easily when a user in your area is searching for your service, and show your site. Some studies have shown that users are up to 70% more likely to make contact with a business they find on Google if that business is within a 20 minute drive of their searching location.

    Localise Your Paid Advertising

    It’s not just search listings that you can set up for local marketing. Paid advertising on search engines & social media that includes local references can both lower your cost per click and increase your interaction rate. This could mean simplifying adding localised keywords into your PPC campaigns or ad copy, including phone numbers with local area codes or reference to events happening in your area. In any case, including a local area makes people feel familiar with your business – and breeding familiarity is at the foundation of any successful local marketing strategy.

    Local marketing is a commitment, and for businesses prepared to put in the work, is an avenue towards great success. To speak to an expert about your business today, call us now.

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  24. Shaping Your Store For Success

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    Shopping online for consumers can be an anonymous experience. In physical locations, your store layout and design leaves an impression on customers – think Footlocker’s iconic colour scheme or the vastness of Selfridges which is difficult to convey online. If you can find a way to make your ecommerce store stick in the mind of the user, amongst the various sites that they visit that day; one of the best ways to do this is via ecommerce personalisation

    eCommerce Personalisation

    Using personalisation techniques makes your shopper’s experience easier, smoother and more memorable – which, in the competitive online space, are emotions and feelings which will make your business stand out from the crowd.

    ecommerce personalisation

    There are a number of ways to implement ecommerce personalisation onto your webstore, the simplest of which involves users creating accounts through which you can track their orders – and by learning which products and services they prefer, you can offer them faster routes to their favourite purchases.

    Using customer’s order histories is one way of determining for certain their favourite products and services; but, by definition, it requires you to have already made a sale to that user. As a remarketing tool it is highly effective, but what if you could have an insight into a user’s choice before they’d made a purchase?

    By successfully incorporating analytics tracking into your site, you might be able to give users the extra information or persuasion they need to make a first time purchase. Information such as their search query, landing page and scroll depth could all give you an indication of the specific products or services that they seek, and through ecommerce personalisation you can signpost them directly to these parts of your webstore.

    To explore your ecommerce personalisation options, and to give your business a boost this Christmas, call AsOne today to speak with one of our expert team members.

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  25. Stepping In To Support Your Business

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    Meet Covid regulations by using our free track and trace system

    Free track and trace system – easy and free solution for any consumer-facing business

    We are thrilled to announce the launch of CHECKIN21.com, a free track and trace system, available to any business now required to record track and trace information from their guests. The COVID-19 pandemic has wrought havoc on the hospitality industry and also deeply impacted all other consumer-facing industries; from barbershops to ball games, thousands of businesses have seen the world turned upside down in 2020. Government communications have been confusing and vague at times, with some legislation announced just minutes before it came into effect.

    free track and trace system

    We see businesses scrambling to keep up with changes. Some businesses have paid over the odds for the first solution they find, rather than finding the best fit. Others have reverted to paper and pen, which has left them with extra admin to do, worries about managing the data collected, and visitor concerns over shared pens and writing surfaces.

    We want to do everything we can to support businesses in the UK. That’s why we created CHECKIN21.com – a free track and trace system that is available to your business now. 

    This is how it works:

    • Sign up and create an account for your business – absolutely free
    • Receive a unique QR code which you can display throughout your venue
    • Customers scan the QR code upon entry which takes them to your unique URL where your visitor data is collected
    • Visitors fill in the contact details required of them, which goes into our secure database
    • If you are contacted to supply track and trace data, you can easily retrieve the required data and supply it in a simple spreadsheet 
    • Our database automatically removes entries older than 21 days, in line with government regulations.

    While we don’t know what changes will hit the social landscape going forward, we can promise that we will never charge you for this service. Every CHECKIN21.com account will have lifetime free access to our free track and trace system. With the uncertainty that has become commonplace to businesses over the last six months, we hope that this support can provide peace of mind as well as practical assistance.

    We know that you have worries, questions and concerns; and we know that a free track and trace system won’t solve all of them. But we feel that it’s the absolute least we can do.

    When asked why AsOne would build this system and offer it free of charge Joel Rush, founder of AsOne, said “We knew that we could help businesses even if it was in a small way. Therefore if we could, we should.”

    To sign up for your free account on our free track and trace system and get your unique QR code go to CHECKIN21.com now.

    Any questions? 

    Please check out the FAQ’s on CHECKIN21.com, or contact us directly.

    We look forward to providing this service to you.

    free track and trace system
  26. Follow Your Customers On eCommerce

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    The global pandemic has seismically changed the way that we operate, both in our business and our personal lives. While customers have begun to see some customers back again, with rising cases across Manchester, ecommerce stores and sites protect our businesses against the reintroduction of lockdown laws, such as those that have been announced in Bolton this week.

    Whilst some consumer’s itches to get back on the high street have finally been scratched, we see the vast majority of people in the UK continue their habits of the last 6 months, with sales via ecommerce sites continuing to rise and rise. Where some businesses are facing greater restrictions in areas surrounding Manchester, e-commerce stores allow them to mitigate the effects of the reimposition of lockdown.

    manchester ecommerce

    For example, where hospitality venues can no longer serve customers in physical locations, ecommerce stores might allow them to arrange takeout meals and drinks, prepare-at-home kits or other service-related innovations which businesses across the country have sought in the last half-year. Moreover, with all meetings of more than 6 people now illegal, 

    There are some fundamentals of business which have been illuminated by the COVID-19 pandemic; one of these is the importance of making the customer feel at ease throughout their entire journey. For some customers, in some markets, perspex screening and ample bottles of hand sanitizers are more than enough to inspire a comfortable, safe atmosphere.

    For other consumers across Manchester, ecommerce stores provide the safest possible way to shop, away from the crowds in stores and on high streets.

    Being agile and flexible enough to follow your customers has always been vital to the success of your business – that isn’t a new concept or idea. Showing that you understand the needs of your customers now isn’t simply limited to your product offerings, but also about how those products are offered to people – which is where an ecommerce store has become paramount.

    If your store is in Manchester, ecommerce solutions are the best way to safeguard your business. Contact AsOne today for a local team of experts who can support you today, and get your business back on track.

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  27. Marketing Fundamentals: Customer Profiling

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    If there’s one thing the coronavirus pandemic has taught the business world, it’s that there are actually very few things a business needs to operate. Many would have previously said that a business needs an office, for example, and that has been proven untrue. Ultimately, a business only needs two things to be viable – a service to provide, and customers to whom they provide that service. As one of the fundamentals of business, very few activities in marketing are as important as customer profiling.

    customer profiling

    At AsOne, nearly two decades of experience across a multitude of industries and sectors, we believe there are 4 pillars of customer profiling – and here they are.

    Intended & Actual Use

    How and why do your customers use your products? Do all your customers use your products in the same way? It’s unlikely that they do, even if your product fills a particular need. For example, if you ran a company that produced stairlifts, then whilst some of your customers will be users of the products, but many will also be people who are looking on behalf of a user. These two distinct users will relate to your products differently and have different priorities. By effectively customer profiling, you can then identify the best ways to reach all of your customers, and which brand messages to present to them.

    By understanding how your products and services are used will allow you to present more relevant, persuasive information and allow your business to shadow your customers more effectively, presenting them with a more whole solution.

    Brand Impact

    Customer profiling doesn’t always mean understanding the people that currently buy your product, but also markets and demographics that you want to reach. The kind of customers that you have can impact how your brand is seen and what messages other people or organisations attribute to you. Does this image fit with your brand mission?

    One of the starkest examples of a brand whose customer profiling allowed them to enhance their brand image is Stella Artois. A generation ago, there was a negative stereotype associated with people who liked to drink Stella Artois – the business recognised that this was hindering any marketing activity they were doing. 

    By profiling the customer they wanted to reach, they were able to identify subtle changes to their product and service offering – they changed the shape of their glasses and emphasised the quality associated with French beer in their branding – with which they could enhance their brand. 

    Demographic Identification

    When you build a customer profile, you should be able to point to a number of characteristics which will shape your marketing messages. These should be a mix of personal characteristics, such as age or gender,  and circumstances, such as geographies, budgets and interests, with a view to using these demographic identities to shape marketing messages, and digital marketing allows us to place only relevant messages in front of each customer profile. Customer profiling not only allows us to form marketing strategies to each demographic, but also to identify whether there are more valuable customers, and prioritise our efforts.

    Feedback & Survey

    The most important part of customer profiling is the fact that it is a continuous process. People change, and their needs change too. To make your business the most effective it can be, it needs to be responsive to these changes. Whilst customer profiling will help you hugely to predict the flow of a customer’s attitudes, it’s best not to guess, and a huge swathe of customer profiling is about listening. Offering short feedback surveys to mailing lists or in-store, perhaps incentivised, will allow to build real pictures of actual customers, meaning that your profiling is more well-grounded, allowing a far more solid basis for ideation and strategy.

    Customer profiling is one of the most fundamental elements of marketing, and without it, strategies cannot remain relevant, persuasive or effective. At AsOne, we’ve been understanding customers in all sectors and markets for nearly 20 years. To tap into our experience, and boost your business today, call us to speak to an expert member of our team.

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    customer profiling
  28. Coping With Coronavirus

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    While we are always looking to take on new work with new clients, we know that the best confirmation of the quality of our work comes when our existing customers come to us for subsequent projects, such as business or website rebranding & business development opportunities.

    That’s exactly what happened when the coronavirus pandemic threatened to put a spanner in the works of Katie Sheen’s business Soul Nutrition, which champions the power of mindfulness and meditation in the face of adversity in our personal or professional lives. Putting what she preaches into practice, she remained calm when COVID-19 put an end to her in-person workshops and audiences could no longer gather to hear her expertise. 

    Rather than panicking, she tackled the problem head-on. The pandemic and ensuing lockdown has been a stressful time for all of us and she knew that the demand for her services and knowledge would remain. With our help in both the delivery and the website rebrand, she now delivers classes online via video chat software to ticketed groups. She also delivers a course hosted on Udemy, and the website allows her to directly promote these.

    website rebranding

    With these classes taking on slightly different direction to her corporate workshops, we decided that her old Soul Nutrition branding would be best left reserved for free resources, with a new Katie Sheen brand adding to the value of her personal influence.

    website rebranding

    In terms of the website, rebranding has meant a change-up online as well. Now, eye-catching event tabs allow users to easily find the right classes and the professionalism of the website has been enhanced, with the opportunity to purchase tickets to multiple classes without leaving the site. 

    website rebranding

    A member’s area allows users to keep track of their own upcoming events and manage their account.

    What’s more, using code “asonefriend” will give you access to one class free of charge.

    Valid until the end of September, try first-hand Katie’s approach to mindfulness and mediation, and fully immerse yourself in how embracing digital with AsOne has enhanced her business in the “new normal”

    At AsOne, we know how important it is to meet moden challenges with modern solutions, and that sometimes circumstances take your business in new directions. Whether you’re a new or long-standing client, we come to each project with the same enthusiasm, energy and innovation, knowing that your breakthrough moment could be just around the corner.

    To discuss your website rebranding project or your digital business development with an expert, call us today or get in touch via email using the details on our Contact page.

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  29. By The Order Of The Peaky Blinders

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    AsOne are thrilled to announce our partnership with our latest client, Caryn Mandabach Productions, working on their headline project, BAFTA-winning TV series Peaky Blinders.

    Social media monolith LADBible ran a poll which led to Peaky Blinders being named the greatest TV show of all-time – where it beat Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones & Chernobyl – and with season 5 launching to more than 6 million people, we’re hardly ones to disagree. It’s with great pride that we announce our partnership with a truly global brand.

    While we aren’t quite running Shelby Company Limited, we are providing the web support that any successful TV show needs to maintain their audience intrigue between seasons and indeed during the release of new episodes. 

    When filming of Season 6 was suspended in the aftermath of the coronavirus outbreak in March, the team was able to take stock of the non-production parts of their business, all of which contribute to the success of their show. Always striving for more, they felt they could get more from their digital – and so looked for ways in which they could enhance their online presence.

    During the ensuing lockdown, the website has become more important than ever for fans of the gripping drama, housing exclusive interviews and unseen footage for fans to get their fix. AsOne will now be responsible for ensuring the continuing success of the site.

    By the order of the Peaky Blinders, our support staff will be on hand for any technical issues that arise as well as facilitating new uploads and additions.

    Speaking on our new partnership, Managing Director Joel Rush said,

    “This is an exciting win for AsOne. Our team are huge fans of the show and are looking forward to immersing themselves into the Peaky Blinders world. Being a part of the story as we await season six is thrilling.”

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  30. Why The World Loves WooCommerce

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    Building a website isn’t just about graphics, or about content, it’s also about how you present yourselves and by extension, how easy it is for the user to navigate and understand your products and services. In many ways, picking the best website platform for your business is as important as any branding or marketing choice you might make. While Magento and Shopify have their advantages for particular sizes of firms in specific niches – and you can read more extended comparisons of those platforms here – WooCommerce is almost always the best website platform for your ecommerce business.

    First and foremost, WooCommerce is easy to use and navigate for the user. It is familiar to internet shoppers even if they don’t know it, with 22% of the top million ecommerce sites (by gross revenue) using WooCommerce for their online shop floor. With its easy integrations with payment providers, clear checkout process and easy assimilations with membership plugins and basket accounts, WooCommerce is the full package for end-users. Ultimately, the most important thing for anyone purchasing goods online is trust – and with more than 3.3 million live websites using WooCommerce, familiarity breeds trust among consumers.

    woocommerce

    Not only is WooCommerce easy to use for the user, it’s also incredibly easy to maintain without eating into your profits. The ease of managing and updating a Shopify store comes with the cost of transaction fees, punishing you for success. Indeed, if any of your products are low-margin, high-volume sellers, you’ll struggle to make a fair profit on Shopify; if your products are high-cost, low-volume, then the percentage of transaction fees will be paying will be astronomical compared to the cost of a WooCommerce site. Similarly, Magento’s approach requires you to employ several dedicated personnel just to maintain security.

    WooCommerce gives you ease of management without coming at the cost of transaction fees – just as the best website platform should. With just a small amount of training – included in the price of any ecommerce site built by us – you can quickly learn to update your product offerings, promotional prices or even add in whole new ranges as your business expands.

    To find out more about why we think WooCommerce is the best website platform for ecommerce, call us today to speak with an expert.

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    best website platform
  31. How To Start Dropshipping In 2020

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    “Dropshipping” is a term which may be unfamiliar to anyone from outside of the word of e-commerce and digital business, but is a practice which is central to the business model of thousands of successful companies in the modern world. In this blog, we’ll explain what dropshipping is, looking at some advantages and disadvantages before finally looking at how to start dropshipping for your business.

    What Is Dropshipping

    Drop-ship (vb): to ship goods from a manufacturer or wholesaler directly to a customer instead of to the retailer who took the order

    If you’re wondering how to start dropshipping, though, you might need a more workable idea of the term. Put more simply, a business which runs a dropshipping website doesn’t hold any stock – instead, they send customer’s orders directly to their suppliers, who fulfil the orders and ship them directly to the customer, without their business ever receiving the products.

    how to start dropshipping

    Advantages of Dropshipping

    Most of the advantages of dropshipping relate to the fact that it’s possible to start up your business without having to generate a huge amount of capital beforehand. When you think about how to start dropshipping, you don’t need to invest in:

    • Thousands of £s of stock
    • A warehouse or storage facility
    • Staff and systems responsible for tracking stock and packing & shipping deliveries
    • Dealing with inbound deliveries and returns

    Additionally, because you aren’t selling-on stock that you have purchased upfront, you are at far less risk as a start-up, without the overheads that a physical location or even traditional ecommerce setup comes with. Moreover, without any fixed locations that you need to be responsible for, you can run your business from anywhere where you set up a reliable connection to your suppliers and your website.

    Not only is your location flexible, but so are your product offerings. Since you aren’t purchasing stock upfront, you are able to operate in a hyper-agile fashion, and respond to your customers’ needs with a range of trending products. Your offerings rely on the stock of your suppliers, so anything they offer, you can also offer.

    In the long-term, dropshipping is super-scalable. In a traditional business, exponential growth might pose a lot of problems and challenges. With a dropshipping model, most of these challenges are faced by suppliers and distributors who already have the systems in place to deal with much larger order quantities, allowing you to expand with fewer growing pains

    Disadvantages of Dropshipping

    All of these benefits might make you wonder why every business isn’t a dropshipping business – but, as we’re sure you’re aware, dropshipping has its downsides, and low risk rarely comes with the highest of rewards.

    The first, and major disadvantage of dropshipping are low and decreasing margins. With starting a dropshipping business being so simple, and overhead costs so low, you usually find a hypercompetitive marketplace and a real race to the bottom in terms of pricing. With suppliers often under no requirement to sign exclusive contracts with dropshippers, you can’t rely on your product being superior to others on the market, as you may find the same product being sold in multiple places at varying price points.

    If the competition is operating at miniscule margins, then you can use a high-quality website and top customer service to differentiate and add value to your brand, but that won’t stop some customers looking at the bottom line.

    You may occasionally run into inventory issues, where your suppliers are temporarily out of stock. Where you save time and money in not maintaining your own stock levels, you are required to keep in constant contact with your supplier(s), who are probably also dealing with other stockists. It’s also possible that there are faults with products which, as you haven’t physically handled the products, might only be brought to your attention by angry customers. In fact, any errors made by your supplier and you will have to take the blame – customers will only expect to interact with you & ideally, would not even know that a third-party warehouse shipped their product.

    How To Start Dropshipping

    Whilst there is far less to set up with a dropshipping store than other business models, there are some things to consider when you are wondering how to start dropshipping.

    Online Store – £95/month

    Obviously, you need to build an online ecommerce store to sell products on. With AsOne, we can build and host your ecommerce dropshipping site on WooCommerce for just £95/month. With WooCommerce, you can avoid the transaction fees of Shopify eating into your already small margins, and without a warehouse or shipping to manage you really have no need for Magento.

    Domain Name – Estimated cost £5-20/year

    Domain names are really important for establishing trust amongst customers, and we wouldn’t want to rely on finding a free one – and the odds of finding a free one which also inspires trust are even slimmer.

    Test Orders – Cost dependant on your product

    Given that you won’t see your products between supplier and customer, it’s a good idea to order some of your products to come to you, so you can check for yourself their quality and durability. If you list a faulty or poor-quality product on your site, then you can expect lots of returns and these might be difficult to co-ordinate.

    Digital Marketing – Scalable, and we recommend at least £500/month to start

    Digital marketing is absolutely vital for a successful start to dropshipping, as all of your competition is online and competing in the same space as you. Without digital marketing, you will not be able to acquire customers, therefore you won’t turn over any revenue. For startup dropshipping sites, search engine marketing (SEM) and social media marketing are often the most effective routes to market. AsOne’s expertise extends to digital marketing and by having just one agency for both your website maintenance and your marketing, you can minimise the administrative tasks for your new business.

    How to start dropshipping is in some ways a simple process, but it requires technical expertise in the setup to ensure that the business won’t run into problems. AsOne have 20 years of experience and expertise in working alongside startup projects, and working to fixed management fees mean that you won’t pay extra for your success. Contact us today to speak to an expert about your new dropshipping site.

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    how to start dropshipping

  32. Shape Your Business With Data-Driven Decisions

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    In your store, you can watch people who come in and out. You can see what they look at, whether they stop for a closer look at any products, and at what time they leave. Sometimes, you can see or find out where they’ve previously been, and you might be able to see where they go next, and these all give you clues into that customer’s psyche, allowing you to amend your sales approach for the next time they return. By tracking website users, you can do the same thing with your ecommerce store.

    With some technical coding, you can set up your ecommerce store for tracking website users, and you can use this data to shape your marketing tactics &even how you present your website.

    tracking website users

    Tracking Website Users: What Can I Track?

    Tracking website users can give you huge amounts of data, and knowing how to use and interpret that data can be the difference between your business surviving and thriving online

    • Where Users Come From

    How are users finding your website? If you are getting lots of visits from social media, but very few from Google, you might need to spend some time developing landing pages or reconfiguring your SEO. If you get lots of direct or referral traffic, you might need to spread word about your business more – some paid adverts will introduce your business to a huge new audience for just a few pennies per click.

    • How Users Find You

    Which pages do your customers land on? If your business sells clothes, and a particular range or line sees more entries than another, then it might be worth making sure that line is clearly visible on your homepage – it’s obviously popular! Contrary to a physical location, every page on your website is a possible door into your business – it’s only by tracking website users that you can find out which doors people want to go through, and centring those above the others.

    • What Users Pay Attention To

    Which pages are users spending the most time on? If it’s a blog, users might be engrossed by the content – consider adding in a few more CTAs to make the most of the attention you’ve captured. If it’s a product page, why are they taking so long to convert? Try running a flash sale to see if a promotional price might turn some more users into customers. 

    • When Users Leave

    How far down the conversion funnel do users get before they leave? If users are abandoning purchases on a certain page, it might be worth looking at the technical setup of the page – is it particularly slow to load, or is there another reason that your customers are losing confidence? Could your checkout process be shortened, giving users a quicker journey from ideation to purchase? Tracking website users can not only show you how to maximise your profits, but also where simple fixes can massively improve your performance

    At AsOne, we have all the technical experience and expertise to allow you to begin tracking website users, and maximising your sales online. To tap into our knowhow, get in touch with our expert team today.

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  33. Fighting Back With eCommerce Stores

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    The coronavirus pandemic has meant that businesses have had to find new ways to safeguard their revenue and protect their profits. This has meant that businesses in industries which have previously relied on face-to-face interactions, such as hospitality, have had to think radically about their business models – and many have opened up an online ecommerce store with innovative products and delivery methods to keep the cash flowing.

    online ecommerce store

    In this blog, we’ll look at some of the radical ideas that, through the use of an online ecommerce store, have helped businesses who couldn’t traditionally sell online.

    Restaurants

    The hospitality industry has been one of the worst-hit sectors by the pandemic, with more than 3.2 million furloughed workers – not only because of the ban on face-to-face meetings, but also because, superficially, their service seems too anchored in personalities to ever translate to a product which could be sold on an online ecommerce store. However, radical thinking means that some have found ways to keep the cash flowing. 

    • To keep some money coming in, some restaurants sold gift vouchers, which could be redeemed when the doors re-opened.
    • Some sold “tickets” to webinars with chefs, teaching their audience how to make their favourite dishes for themselves.
    • Of course, some have been able to adapt their premises and menus to sell takeaway dinners

    Pubs & Bars

    With no reliable locals, and no post-work rush, the struggle of pubs and bars is self-evident, and this struggle continues even with the lifting of some lockdown restrictions. These establishments are often smaller than restaurants, making it harder to impose social distancing regulations. Whilst you can’t quite buy an e-drink, an online ecommerce store has meant that these businesses have managed to survive the pandemic

    • Cocktail courses and instructional videos have allowed some people to “bring the bar home” – some bars have been able to capitalise on this by selling bundles of equipment and specialist ingredients, making life easier for the customer and keeping revenues up for the bars
    • Some pubs have managed to use their partnerships with breweries to strike up creation deals, brewing, bottling and selling packs of their own beers on both websites in order to sustain their symbiotic relationships.
    • Lots of these businesses have sold takeaway pints and drinks, allowing people to still enjoy a drink with their friends.

    Barbers & Beauticians

    Environments in which users are necessarily in close contact with staff are going to be difficult to re-open – and places like nail salons are still not allowed to open their doors. Nevertheless, these industries have adapted in the last four months and an online ecommerce store has been crucial to the success of many in this time.

    • Some of these businesses have gone mobile, visiting loyal customers in their own homes and gardens. Having an online system by which appointments can be made & paid for is crucial to ensuring the success of this model.
    • Some barbers & beauticians have taken to selling individual products or full DIY kits – coupled with instructional videos, this has led to some lucrative returns for some businesses.
    online ecommerce store

    If your business revenues have been affected by COVID, it’s easy to feel like it’s an impossible road to recovery. Traditionally, you may have baulked at the idea of selling online, rightly believing your service or product was one that required the personal touch of your staff to be enjoyed. And whilst, for many businesses, this will still be true post-pandemic, it may still be years until customers freely return to public, shared spaces. In that time, an online ecommerce store could propel your business to new heights – and indeed, there may be some customers whose behaviour changes forever, and by adding an online ecommerce store, you can continue to reach them.

    Has your business responded to the pandemic in an innovative way? Mention @AsOne in your tweet telling us what you did, or tag us on Linkedin, and we could feature you and your idea in a future blog!

    We love innovation at AsOne, and as a consultative digital agency, we not only bring the technical expertise to bring ideas to life, but we also seek out ideas to help your business in times of need, drawing on 20 years of experience with countless clients. To tap into our knowledge, call us today.

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  34. eCommerce Is The Key To Unlock Your Business

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    Just because it’s now legal to reopen your physical store, doesn’t mean that it’s the best decision for your business long-term. With the high streets a shadow of their former selves, and the very real risk of lockdown restrictions being reimposed – like is happening in Leicester – setting up an online store is still by far the best way to protect your business and safeguard your revenue.

    Online stores come without some of the risks that physical locations face today. They are not reliant on a public who are happy to travel to shopping centres; the longterm overhead costs can be far cheaper, without utility bills and property taxes to worry about. If you’re thinking about setting up an online store, but worried about the long-term viability of such a choice, then it’s critical to realise that an online store isn’t just a knee-jerk response to a lockdown – eCommerce stores have been thriving for decades, and adding one to your arsenal can only benefit your business, opening you up to markets which could never access your physical locations.

    setting up an online store

    As you might expect, something that is of such business benefit isn’t always easy to do. It takes years of experience and expertise – and if you don’t have this expertise yourself, then setting up an online store could get very difficult. Using an agency means that you can tap into the experience and expertise required to make setting up an online store easy, and when you choose a consultative agency like AsOne, we commit to training and digitally upskilling you, giving you the knowledge and confidence to update your website yourself, ensuring that customers online get first look at any sales or changes to your business or products.

    One of the major considerations when setting up an online store is the platform that you will build your store on. Whilst Shopify might seem easy, to begin with, high transaction fees means that, effectively, you pay to put your products on the shelves and then you pay again to sell them, sometimes up to 3 or 4% of the value of the item. This makes it unviable for stores which stock high-value items or move significant quantities of stock.

    Similarly, Magento allows a huge amount of integration and automation, allowing you to shape your store perfectly to your business – but, with such a technical platform, your development costs just to maintain the site and it’s security are high, as you will need to hire dedicated staff to manage the store.

    At AsOne, we are experts in WooCommerce developments, which comes with the accessibility of Shopify, the flexibility of Magento and without the high costs of either. When setting up an online store, it’s important to choose a platform that allows your business to grow without needing major redevelopment – and that platform is WooCommerce. Read more about WooCommerce strengths here.

    For help, support and advice setting up your online store, contact the experts at AsOne today.

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    setting up an online store
  35. Cut Out The Middleman & Go Direct On eCommerce

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    For the world of business, the turbulence caused by the coronavirus pandemic has presented challenges and obstacles that weren’t prevalent before – out of these challenges, new solutions have allowed businesses to thrive in new ways to expand revenue streams. One example of this is the rising popularity of manufacturers selling direct to consumers.

    With consumer shopping habits being radically altered, the benefits of manufacturers using distributors and retailers have been juxtaposed with the models of going direct to consumers. Ultimately, manufacturers have always had to sell their products, even if this has traditionally been sales reps selling to distributors and retailers – and in industries where consumers would rather buy in-store, this has created the need for “middle-men”, who buy in bulk orders at trade-discounted prices, and then sell your produce at a profit for themselves. You are, in effect, paying your sales reps to sell your product once, and paying your distributor to sell it again.

    Until mid-March, this symbiotic relationship was at the heart of countless successful business models.

    manufacturers selling direct to consumers

    The pandemic has trapped people in their homes, and online stores have thrived whilst physical locations have starved. Without reliable footfall, distributors and retailers can no longer guarantee that your products will be more visible in their stores than on your website, and across all industries, users and customers have adjusted to purchasing online, without trying or seeing products before they buy them. In some industries, there was an understanding that users would never part with money before they tried or saw the product, and that these viewings had to take place in central locations showrooms or warehouses. 

    Mercedes have recently opened their online showroom. No expensive showrooms, no test drives, no trying out extras – a purchase of several thousand pounds made online from miles away, shipped to order at market prices. The profit margins for manufacturers selling direct to consumers are huge, and far more than any bulk deal with a distributor can offer.

    Manufacturers are already producing and shipping stock – by taking the decision to ship in smaller quantities and selling direct to consumers, the rewards are easy to see. Not only are these rewards financial, but you also become less reliant on other distributors and retailers being competent online salespeople – skills they may only just be learning for themselves. 

    Hesitance over such a decision is easy to understand – many manufacturers have built long-standing, personal relationships with their dealers and distributors, and worry about upsetting or disturbing these relationships. However, it is this hesitancy that creates space for new, foreign manufacturers to enter the market, and massively undercut your retail price by selling directly to the consumer. 

    manufacturers selling direct to consumers

    Manufacturers selling direct to consumers will always be able to undercut distributors and retailers – there are simply fewer costs for them to consider.

    If you wait to react to an insurgence, you might find yourself left high and dry, as distributors switch suppliers to the new, cheaper model. They often don’t show the same loyalty as your initial hesitancy showed – and you can make the transition to selling directly without torching your relationships with distributors.

    You can update your contracts to agree not to undercut your distributors in certain areas, or share profits on certain products. You could agree to cut them in if they broker large deals for you using their contact book. Changing your relationship doesn’t mean ending it. It’s simply responding to a change in the business world – and the business world has rarely seen a more seismic change than the coronavirus pandemic. Manufacturers selling direct to consumers are the future of eCommerce; we’re not just giving an idea here, we’re helping our clients to move forward.

    To see how your business could benefit from cutting out the middleman, talk to the experts at AsOne today.

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  36. The Goldilocks Effect In eCommerce

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    One of the commonest examples of the Goldilocks effect is on wine lists in restaurants, where it’s commonplace that the wine with the greatest markup is placed in the second-cheapest slot on the menu; curators know that people don’t want to choose the cheapest bottle, but also cannot justify the most expensive bottles, so plump for somewhere in the middle.

    As humans, we love making choices; when presented with options, we tend to want to make a decision. When there is only one product on the screen, the user chooses whether to buy or not to buy, and this, for argument’s sake, represents a 50/50 choice. When presented with 3 products, suddenly the user is choosing between products, rather than whether to buy or not. Subconsciously, they begin to forget that not buying a product is an option – and when they do remember, not buying a product now represents 1 of 4 possible choices, rather than 1 of 2.

    the goldilocks effect
    Even here, your brain automatically wonders which door you would choose – it takes a second to realise that staying where you are is also an option.

    This formula is repeated across every sector – bronze, silver and gold packages or memberships is another prime example. In eCommerce, the technique can not only be replicated across product ranges, but even across entire websites.

    Some customers online see price as a barometer of quality, and assurance of credentials. These are the customers who are accustomed to a particular brand, and willing to pay premiums to maintain brand loyalty.

    Conversely, there are some customers who reject brands in favour of chasing a deal. For them, price is all-important, and they will scour the internet for the cheapest deal – even if that means waiting weeks for delivery and other inconveniences.

    Most people, however, are looking for something of both these worlds. A price which they could call fair, or affordable, without being cheap – the security of buying from a recognised or semi-recognised brand, but without wanting to pay over-the-odds for a product online.

    The Goldilocks effect in eCommerce works not by presenting 3 product variations on one page, but by actually developing three separate sites, with distinct branding and appearance.

    On the first site – the cheap site – all effort goes into enhancing the “budget” look of the site, and products are sold at a price where you make money, but not the price at which you would ideally sell your items.
    On the second site – the more expensive site – there is more emphasis placed on development and branding, and some marketing budget is set aside; after all, if products are bought on this site then you are making more money than you normally would!

    On the third site – the one that’s just right – you list your products under your brand name at your normal price.

    The data suggests that the vast majority of customers will buy from the middle-priced site; and that purchases on the cheaper site are at least counterbalanced by purchases on the more expensive site.

    Online, your customers will always compare you. They’ll find other sites selling the same products and see how those product packages and businesses differ. If you own all three of the ‘competitors’ they find, then regardless of the choice they make they’ve become your customer and they’re buying your stock.

    Employing the Goldilocks effect in eCommerce and marketing is a commitment, and requires careful strategic planning, but done right, can see firms swallow up a huge market share of their industry. To find out more, and for a huge discount on your 3 sites, contact our expert team at AsOne today.

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  37. The World Of WooCommerce

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    Deciding to build an online store is the most important decision to make to safeguard the future of your business – but it’s not the only decision you need to make. Building an online store is a process and it’s one that without real expertise is can be intimidating and confusing. At AsOne, we can build your online store in just three days because we are Woocommerce experts, and we know the platform inside out.

    With more than 82 million downloads, Woocommerce powers 22% of the top million ecommerce sites in the world. For businesses of almost all sizes, it’s scalability and affordability make it the clear choice for starting out online. It comes without the transaction fees of Shopify or BigCommerce, which punish you for success, and it comes without the technical requirements of Magento, which necessitates that you employ a dedicated team to maintain and improve the site.

    woocommerce experts

    When you come to the woocommerce experts at AsOne, you are dipping into 20 years of expertise and experience in building WooCommerce sites for all sizes of business in all manner of fields and industries. We understand what’s important to you and, perhaps most importantly, we understand what’s important to your customers. We have nearly 2 decades of experience in experimenting with WooCommerce, finding combinations of settings and options which make the user experience as easy as possible in a host of market sectors.

    As a WordPress plugin, you know that WooCommerce will be simple for you to learn the basics of. It’ll be easy to maintain, once it’s been set up by woocommerce experts like AsOne. Introducing price promotions or uploading new products entirely is a simple and intuitive process, and including multiple payment options will always benefit the user – WooCommerce makes this easy.

    True experts should not only be able to do, but they should be able to teach. When you work with the woocommerce experts at AsOne, we will upskill you and your team by providing you with training sessions, allowing you to add your own products and update your business information easily, meaning that you can take control of more of your business. We’ll still be here for the more difficult elements and for any larger changes you might want to make, and you’ll always have our advice, guidance and support when you work with us.

    Take advantage of the benefits of Woocommerce by working with the woocommerce experts at AsOne. Contact us today to start your project.

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  38. Online Stores Are Here To Stay

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    However, there are still hundreds of stores that are not opening their doors yet, and millions of consumers will be incredibly cautious about returning to the high street. Indeed, it is only the clothing cathedrals and hypermarkets which can really implement the social distancing standards required to reopen safely. For almost all other store owners, the choice to build an online store is still the most effective route to revenue.

    In the last three months, we’ve seen consumer habits change seismically and even the most technophobic of customers are now shopping online. With a total lack of confidence in government across most of the country, many people will not return to the shared spaces of the high street even when lockdown restrictions are legally lifted, preferring to continue shopping online instead. For this reason, considering what’s important when you build an online store is crucial – because your business may demand it of you.

    build an online store

    The biggest consideration when you build an online store is always going to be price. Can you afford to host, run and maintain a webstore? With AsOne, you can. You can pay just £95/month to open up your business to the millions of people who are still staying at home, either because they are still being advised to shield or through individual caution. The real question, then, is not whether you can afford to build an online store – it’s whether you can afford not to.

    Another cost to consider is the time that trying to build an online store yourself would cost you, and the lost revenue that would come from errors in its setup. For these reasons, opting to benefit from the expertise of long-standing specialist will always be the best option for businesses looking to add digital to their arsenal – and with 20 years of experience, you won’t find the same combination of knowledge and cost anywhere other than AsOne.

    A third factor to consider is the platform on which you want to build an online store. While Shopify and BigCommerce might look appealing to start with, you’ll find your business quickly outgrows the platform, and the costs spiral and spiral as the transaction fees start to eat into your profits. AsOne specialise in WooCommerce stores – which is currently used by more than 3.3 million live websites, including 22% of the top 1 million ecommerce sites. You can see more of why we love WooCommerce here, and why we think it’s almost always the best choice for your business.

    AsOne’s offer means that you can get the best platform built by the best experts at the best price – so if you’re looking to build an online store, there’s only one place to start.

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  39. Business Blooming After eCommerce Development

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    At AsOne, we commit ourselves to helping you succeed in business, which is why we’re always on hand to help even years after you undertake work with us. Once a client, always a friend, and our commitment to digital business development means that we see ourselves as part of your business, always looking to help you grow.

    For Blue Door Flowers, an independent florist in Heaton Moor, the lockdown meant that their physical store was inaccessible to the public. It meant that their customers could not see all the delights that they had to offer, and it even meant that the store could not be opened up by its staff.

    Instead of remaining paralysed by the pandemic, however, they took steps to succeed in business. As the agency who were originally contracted to build the website 6 years ago, we were delighted to hear that the business now wanted to add eCommerce functionality to their site, embracing the imposed lockdown and adapting in order to succeed in business. Moreover, they had been receiving more enquiries for flowers in a time where people are not allowed to meet and send greetings in person, so they realised they needed better systems to be able to meet customers’ needs.

    succeed in business

    Chiefly looking to increase their capacity to fill orders for bouquets, Blue Door Flowers also wanted a site on which they could sell their other “beautiful things”, such as candles, soaps and chocolates. Our eCommerce development allows these products to be given pride of place alongside the flowers, just as they adorn opposing shelves in the physical store. Initially available only as add-ons to bouquets, discussions with AsOne during development meant that we opted to list these items as stand-alone products and even in the first week of going live we saw the value in that decision, as a number of orders came through for these items without floral accompaniments – revenue that may otherwise have been lost. This underlines the fact that our experience in the digital world is helping Blue Door Flowers succeed in business.

    succeed in business
    With such a personal product, it is vital to ensure a range of options throughout, such as size, message, and extra information.

    It’s not just our past experience that helps businesses, though, it’s also our up-to-date technical expertise. On this development, it was crucial that users could select specific days on which they wanted their flowers delivered, and we were able to build this functionality into the site.
    Equally important for this independent florist to succeed in business was the ability to stratify delivery cost by postcode, in order to avoid losing money on further journeys. We were again able to build this function into the site, illustrating that our expertise can find solutions for the pragmatic problems that the lockdown poses for businesses.

    The checkout area features a Date Picker, Variable Shipping and a Cross-Selling section.

    With over 40 orders taken in just the first week of going live, we think that the new addition to the Blue Door Flowers website has been a resounding success. If you think that AsOne could help you succeed in business too, don’t hesitate to contact us, where a member of our expert team will be on hand to help.

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  40. Making the Most of Lockdown

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    Although stores are being allowed to reopen in June, it seems as though we’re looking at months, rather than weeks, before consumers are returning to stores like before. It’s clear then that in order to survive and thrive under lockdown and in the midst of the pandemic, you need a bustling eCommerce store, and a prime eCommerce marketing strategy to drive people to it.

    There are a range of decisions to make regarding your eCommerce marketing strategy – but whether you need one isn’t one of those choices. Once you’ve built your eCommerce store, having digital marketing that captures web users that match demographic or geographic criteria that you set. Employing these tools as part of your eCommerce strategy leads to huge increases in traffic and revenue on your online store, meaning that your business can continue to thrive under the social distancing laws that have seen life across the world change drastically in the last two months.

    One of the most effective tools at your disposal is PPC, which allows you to show your store to people who are searching for your services – and you can only pay for the ones who actually click on your adverts and see what you have to offer. With the furlough scheme extended to October at least, most people still have a reliable portion of their wages coming in and they are increasingly spending the disposable income that they have online, unable or cautious to get out to the non-essential shops that most products would usually be sold in.

    ecommerce marketing strategy

    Another facet of your eCommerce marketing strategy that is absolutely crucial is social media, both organic and paid. Organic social media means the posts that you might make which keep people up to date with what your brand is offering and how a user can acquire your service under lockdown; paid social media refers to the adverts that you run on social media sites which attract potential customers to your pages or sites. By using social media adverts, you can target people who have a known interest in the services you offer, even if they aren’t actively searching for it at the time.

    AsOne’s expertise goes beyond building eCommerce stores and into digital marketing, as proven by our work in the past. Our strategies have helped businesses in all sectors and industries to boost their incomes and we pride ourselves on our results – which you can look at for yourself in our case studies section here.

    For more information, and to enquire about how an eCommerce marketing strategy could benefit your business, call us today on 0161 368 9100, where a member of our expert team will be happy to help you.

    ecommerce marketing strategy

  41. Adapt, Survive, Thrive – Businesses Respond To The COVID-19 Pandemic

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    The world may have been turned upside down by coronavirus, but business has continued to move forward. As always, it is businesses that have found ways to adapt that have both cemented their existing markets and expanded their reach, exposing their brand to huge numbers of the population who would not have otherwise come across them. It’s also not too late to position your brand in this crisis; in any case, it looks to be that we may be required to adjust to the new normal or some time. In this post, we’re highlighting the best responses to the pandemic, so that you can draw inspiration for your own business and brand – as well as some pointers for how not to go about things, which might be just as important.

    How have brands joined the conversation?

    Offers & Discounts

    Offers & Discounts

    The quickest, and possibly the easiest, route to positive PR has been for brands to offer discounts on their services to NHS staff and essential workers – those jobs which can not be done from home and are necessary to keep this country’s society going. There is widespread agreement that these workers deserve our thanks, and brands like McDonald’s and Pret A Manger (before their closures were forced) capitalised on this, offering free drinks and discounts.

    There are other brands and sectors which have been able to get involved in this way. Some hospitality venues who have been worst hit by the legal and social ramifications of the virus have managed to open their doors to NHS staff – particularly tose situated close to hospitals, such as Gary Neville’s hotels in Manchester. In allowing NHS staff to stay free of charge, the brand has increased it’s value and managed to get ahead of crowded competition. 

    It is highly likely that their generosity will be rewarded by consumer choices when lockdown is lifted. 

    Adapting Services

    ADapting Businesses Due To Coronavirus

    Some businesses have been able to change their services or the way they deliver these services. The best example of these has been supermarkets – who have introduced specified shopping hours for more vulnerable customers – and the food sector, where restaurants first introduced delivery services, and subsequently those delivery services have become contactless.

    Small businesses, too, have been able to adapt their services. There are small shops which have introduced priority hours, like some larger chains, but there are some businesses which have undergone more radical changes.

    Many small businesses have looked for opportunities to turn their expertise into consultancies; barbers, dentists and chefs have all been able to use social media to give advice and tips for people to cut their hair, look after their teeth and make better food whilst in lockdown. They have understood that by making a name for themselves now, and by exposing what might otherwise be a trade secret, they are likely to build a fanbase and secure more business after this crisis. 

    Perhaps, however, the best example of adaptation comes from Jay Flynn, who took the forced closure of his pub and realised that his customers still wanted to interact with each other – and so he started the Virtual Pub Quiz. In little over a month, his Facebook page now has more than 200,000 subscribers, and some of these new users will be local to him, and he will be able to send them direct messaging about the re-opening of his pub when that happens.

    Joining the Fight

    Some companies have managed to go a step further, and adapted their expertise to lend support to the fight against coronavirus. Clothing companies such as Nike and Zara have begun producing PPE, which there is much furore around a national shortage. BrewDog have been using their breweries to manufacture hand sanitiser, and Mercedes-Benz have turned their production lines to ventilators, harnessing their scientific equipment and knowledge to help save lives.

    Of course, these are multinational organisations, but the principles here can apply to businesses of any size. Rethinking your skillset and imagining any way in which your company could contribute is both the right thing to do for now, and is also likely to be rewarded with positive PR and by consumer choices when normality resumes.

    What Not To Do

    Just as some brands have got it very right with their response to the pandemic, a couple of huge corporations have got it wrong. Virgin Atlantic asked their employees to take 8 weeks of unpaid leave, and Wetherspoons advised their employees to find other jobs. In both of these cases, profit was prioritised over people, and wealth over health. This led to huge backlash, and many Wetherspoons locations were defaced in the week following that announcement. There has been huge appetite for a boycott online when normality resumes, but we are of course yet to see whether that comes to fruition.

    Brands have gone about responding to COVID-19 in a huge variety of ways, and those that have been able to adapt their services, offer discounts to key workers or even join the fight, and find the positivities in this crisis, are the ones that are making the most in the present and will be best placed to return in the future, with their positive actions now introducing them to more consumers than ever before.

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  42. eCommerce Solutions For Your Online Selling Problems

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    Discovering and researching eCommerce solutions is laborious, time-consuming and ultimately confusing for the average business owner, especially in light of the current situation, where you know that decisions need to be made quickly to ensure the health of your business.

    There are a number of eCommerce solutions available and some of these are more suited to different kinds of businesses. If you’re just starting out, then there are arguments to be made for Shopify or BigCommerce, which are simple and easy to use but get to be expensive once you start selling more of your products. If you’re already a large, automated corporation, then you might have been tempted by Magento – which is a competent platform, but it’s development costs can quickly spiral out of control when it comes to securing your user’s payment credentials and personal data.

    However, we believe that, amongst all of the options regarding eCommerce solutions, there is a platform which stands out. One which has the user-friendly interface of Shopify and BigCommerce, but without the transaction fees; one which has the scalability and scope of Magento, but without the demanding development fees. What’s more, this platform seamlessly integrates content with commerce, offering your users the easiest routes to purchase.

    We are of course talking about WooCommerce.

    In nearly two decades of experience, we have come to realise that the vast majority of businesses – especially those who, like so many others at this time, are established in physical locations but are taking their first forays into looking at eCommerce solutions – are most suited to a WooCommerce store. There’s a reason that it is the most popular plugin on the internet, and that 93% of WordPress sites for eCommerce use it.

    Due to the coronavirus pandemic, eCommerce is the only method of selling and delivering your products to users. To get your business back on track, we’re helping out with a lockdown offer the like of which we’ve never done before

    For just a £500 setup fee, you could be trading online before the UK lockdown is lifted.

    And that trading can continue beyond lockdown for as little as £95/month. You can have your business on the world’s pick of eCommerce solutions for less than a day’s rent in a physical location – massively reducing your overheads at a time when the rest of your business is so uncertain.

    To find out more, visit ecommerce.asone.co.uk or call and speak to our expert team on 0161 368 9100.

  43. Illustration Design To Bring Your Brand To Life

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    Getting your branding right is so important in business; ensuring that your logo is clear and that your brand clearly reflects the services you provide and the values which you hold dear. Once that’s been established, the next thing to create is your website, ensuring that your branding is consistant throughout the experience. From the layout and the structure to the illustration design, having a visually recognisable brand is absolutely critical to standing out in your industry.

    AsOne’s expertise includes digital marketing, website development and visual design, and these skills are all present amongst our in-house team. We know that many businesses fear multiple agencies working on the same project. With many teams to keep updated, you may end up spending more time than necessary juggling relatonsh=ops rather than moving the project forward. With AsOne, you have one team through which all of your marketing, website development and illustration work is managed, meaning that your project can be completed as quickly and efficiently as possible.

    You might be worried that in providing all of your digital needs in one place, you might be employing a jack of all trades, master of none agency. That couldn’t be further from the truth. We have a team here whose expertise is as broad as it is deep, and whilst you may only have one point of contact, you will get the expertise of the entire team on your project. 

    To underline our skills in marketing, website development and illustration design, you can view our case studies, which take an in-depth view at what we achieve for our clients. In terms of visual design, one example of what we can do is what we have done for ourselves. 

    So, what goes into making the illustrations that bring asone.co.uk to life? What better way to show you than to, well, show you? Below you can see the process that our design team goes through when tasked with designing illustrations that are both intriguing enough to arouse interest and clear enough to illustrate a brand.

    Illustration Design
    Illustration Design

    Illustration design has to start with ideas and real-life sketches. Brand values are turned into concepts which are then transposed onto themes, creating the ideas which inform the illustrations that give your brand depth

    Illustration Design
    Illustration Design
    Illustration Design

    Digitised drawings take the form of layers and it’s crucial to build your images in the right order, from the background to the foreground.

    Illustration Design
    Illustration Design
    Illustration Design

    Beginning to add smaller details to your elements, this is where your illustration design really comes to life.\

    Illustration Design
    Illustration Design

    Adding your final touches and ensuring that what you’ve ended up with meets the criteria you set out with at the beginning, you’ve finished! 

    If you think that your website could be enhanced by professional illustration design, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the team here at AsOne to start your project today.

  44. Managing Marketing Budgets Through Challenging Times

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    Finding ways to reduce your digital marketing budget is a priority for all businesses, but it can be incredibly difficult to do that without negatively impacting results. However, working with the right agency can make it a lot easier to manage your budget while also implementing an effective strategy that gives you a good return on your investment.

    Improved targeting is one way to reduce your digital marketing budget because money spent on interacting with unqualified leads is wasted. By analysing social media metrics closely and adjusting your campaigns based on the results, you can potentially make some simple cutbacks and direct resources towards strategies that reach more qualified leads. In some cases, this allows you to reduce the number of posts or pay-per-click ads and save a little money. However, the savings that you make may not be that significant in the context of a large marketing campaign.

    A lot of marketing agencies may also be reluctant to take this approach because they pay themselves via commission based on a percentage of your overall spend. That means that if they focus on improved targeting and quality of posts in an attempt to reduce your digital marketing budget, they will lose money. This is a very common problem and the reason that a lot of businesses are unable to manage their marketing budget effectively is that they are working with agencies that use this payment model.

    Often, the most effective way to reduce your marketing budget in a significant way is to work with agencies that charge a flat rate for services provided, instead of using a commission-based model. Here at AsOne, we charge a set fee for the services provided, which means that we do not lose out when we find ways to reduce your digital marketing budget.

    If you find that your digital marketing budget is too high, you may benefit from switching to an agency like ours that does not use a commission-based model. When we run your digital marketing campaigns, we will always work to implement strategies that focus on quality of content and improved targeting, so you can reach more qualified leads with as little financial investment as possible. Our fee will not change if your digital marketing budget is reduced, so we will always be working to find ways to save you money wherever we can.

    digital marketing budget

    Making small adjustments to your digital marketing strategy can help you to reduce your budget in a small way. However, the savings are relatively insignificant if you are running a large digital marketing campaign and the best way to make meaningful savings is to use an agency like AsOne that has a more beneficial pricing structure.

    Whether you are looking to work with a digital marketing agency for the first time or you are already working with one but you are unhappy with your current digital marketing budget, we can meet your needs.

    Get in touch today and we can discuss some of the ways that we can improve your strategy and find ways to save you money on your digital marketing budget. Contact us

  45. Becoming a successful Coronavirus Business

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    In all times, and at all junctures, business has to react to the world around it. In order to be successful, we must adapt, innovate and adjust to overcome challenges of the day and provide our solutions to our customers. In the face of a global pandemic, like coronavirus, business is faced with yet another challenge – how to keep trading in a world where we cannot meet or greet our customers.

    The answer to this question, like so many other questions, relies on seeing what we already have. We already have a system by which thousands of users are accustomed to purchase without interaction; systems which they trust and in some cases actually lend credibility to some products or brands. In the face of coronavirus, business must now turn to eCommerce.

    Millions, if not billions, of people each year spend money on the internet, without testing a product and without meeting a salesperson. Almost any service can be digitised and transport to any person’s house, computer or phone within minutes and it has now become the only viable way of trading and continuing to operate your business.

    COVID-19 will claim many casualties and it’s imperative that you act to ensure that your business isn’t one of them. These are hard times and in the face of coronavirus, business needs to take hard decisions.

    If in the past you previously thought that ecommerce solutions were not fit for your brand – the world has changed.

    coronavirus business

    If in the past you felt that digital marketing was not reliable – the world has changed

    If in the past you felt your brand suited a more “traditional” approach, like print editorials and billboards – the world has changed.

    If in the past you believed that your product or service simply could not be sold without meeting your clients, talking to them and building a relationship – the world has changed.

    Of course, elements of these skills are still important – relationship-fostering online is a crucial part of ecommerce, editorials appearing in e-magazines may still help to boost your profile – but, due to coronavirus, business must re-evaluate its choices.

    AsOne can help you to put your business back on track, with a WooCommerce store from as little as £95/per month, delivered to you in just three working days – and you won’t pay a penny more than the setup fee until UK lockdown is lifted.

    We know that times are uncertain, but we have the solution for you. Visit ecommerce.asone.co.uk or call 0161 368 9100 or send us a message.

  46. So, You Need ECommerce – But Which One?

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    There are literally hundreds of options when you are looking for a new eCommerce platform, and you could be forgiven for feeling lost and confused in making your choice. What’s more, making the wrong choice could land you with a shop over which you have little control, is too expensive for your needs, and that might require expensive redevelopments should you want to adjust just the smallest details. If you’re wondering what the best eCommerce platform is, then you can’t go far wrong in picking the world’s favourite – WooCommerce.

    With its simple integration of commerce and content, WooCommerce is by far the most popular eCommerce platform on the market. It currently powers more than 3,000,000 live eCommerce stores and accounts for nearly a third of all such sites across the internet. It is the most popular plugin on the internet and 93% of all WordPress sites which have an eCommerce functionality have opted for WooCommerce. If popularity can be taken as a measure of a platform’s performance, then it has to be concluded that WooCommerce is the best eCommerce platform.

    best ecommerce platform

    WooCommerce is not just the most widely used eCommerce platform, but it is also the preferred choice for the top businesses too. WooCommerce is the platform on which 22% of the top 1 million eCommerce stores are built. One of the most important qualities of WooCommerce is its scalability – and its presence across eCommerce sites of all sizes and industries proves it’s ability to do just that. With over 82,000,000 lifetime downloads (as of Jan 2020) from more than 70,000,000 firms, the platform can be trusted to handle your eCommerce needs.

    These are just some of the reasons that we believe that WooCommerce is the best eCommerce platform, and why we specialise in building WooCommerce sites for businesses of all sizes and sectors. With the current COVID-19 pandemic sweeping the globe, selling your products or services online has become the only viable method of business in a contactless world. 

    As an agency, we’re the people you turn to when you need help. We’re not in the business of confusing you, or tempting you into long, expensive contracts you don’t need – we only make decisions that we believe will benefit your business. At this time, it’s clear that your business would benefit from an eCommerce store, and we believe that WooCommerce is the best eCommerce platform.

    That’s why we’re offering it to you for just £500 setup, to get you trading again.

    For just a £500 setup fee, we can build you a WooCommerce store in just three days, and you won’t pay a penny of hosting and maintenance fees until UK lockdown is lifted and some normality returns to the world – but you can begin trading as soon as you get your site.

    We have a number of payment plans available that begin from as little as £95/month so that your business can get going again as quickly as possible. For more information, go to ecommerce.asone.co.uk or call us on 0161 368 9100 today.

    best ecommerce platform
  47. E-Commerce: The Prevention And The Cure

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    Online stores, or ecommerce sites, are becoming the hallmark of a forward-thinking business that is open to global trade. Now, in the midst of the coronavirus crisis, they have become the only viable method of selling your goods and continuing to turn over revenue – but building an online shop should not be seen as a short term investment just to keep you going during a time of crisis. Indeed, the benefits of ecommerce are far greater than that, and there are a number of reasons you should be thinking about an ecommerce store.

    benefits of ecommerce

    Whilst a high street store means that you can sell products to people in your city, owning an ecommerce store opens your business to the world. Users from across the globe with access to the internet – which has been a UN human right since 2016 – are able to shop with you, opening you up to a much wider market. You are also able to do business with the millions of housebound individuals worldwide, who for a whole host of reasons are unable to get out to your physical locations. This increased accessibility is one of the major benefits of ecommerce stores.

    Another one of the major benefits of ecommerce stores is that you are able to service your customer’s needs as and when they are relevant. Your store is triggered by user searches and proactive placements, ensuring that your brand is at the forefront of user’s minds in their times of need. Easily browsable setups, like that provided by WooCommerce, mean that gone are the days of lost shoppers wandering around your store aimlessly – online, your shoppers are much more likely to have real intent to purchase.

    Part of the reason that your users are more likely to have real intent on your ecommerce store is that, once online, you can send out targeted marketing messages to users who you already know are interested in your products or services. Where in physical locations you might be relying on A-boards or the printed press, which are circulated to all people regardless of their interest in your products, digital marketing can be targeted so that only those who fit interest groups and demographics which you select are shown your brand. This leads to far higher conversion rates and far cheaper advertising, which is another one of the major benefits of ecommerce stores.

    The coronavirus crisis has underlined some of the major benefits of ecommerce stores, but they’ve been a sound investment for decades and will continue to be a sound investment for years to come. To help you get online as quickly as possible, AsOne can build you an ecommerce store in three working days for just a £500 setup fee, and you won’t pay a penny more until the UK lockdown is lifted – but you’ll be free to trade in just three days.

    Talk to us today on 0161 368 9100 or visit ecommerce.asone.co.uk to get your business moving forward today.

    benefits of ecommerce
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  48. Shop Closed, Business Open: Surviving the Coronavirus Crisis

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    When we talk of viral marketing, we normally mean creating content that spreads across the world very quickly; now, however, we are living through a time when a real virus has seemingly brought the world to a stop. Nevertheless, with governments around the world stepping in to make sure people still have their wages coming in, many people’s immediate financial futures are safe. The question for businesses, therefore, is how to sell online to customers who they’d usually meet face-to-face?

    how to sell online

    Whether you’re a B2B or B2C enterprise, many sales funnels still have elements where you meet the customer, whether it’s in a boardroom to discuss consultancies or in a shop to exhibit products and offer assistance. With lockdown laws coming into place across Europe and the rest of the world, understanding how to sell online and how to communicate your product benefits online are going to be the key skills which determine those businesses which survive and thrive, and which fall victim to the coronavirus catastrophe

    Indeed, for those businesses which manage to continue trading, there could be huge benefits in just 12 or 18 months time, when the world returns to normal. Famously, Cadbury’s were the only British chocolatier to continue production through the Second World War, for example, and look where that decision meant they ended up in the immediate aftermath and they retain a huge market share today.

    how to sell online

    In this crisis, knowing how to sell online is crucial. It’s one thing setting up your ecommerce store correctly, and ensuring that the purchase experience is easy for your customers, but how do you get them to your site in the first place? That’s where digital marketing comes in. Our experience in bringing customers to ecommerce sites in a host of industries informs the predictions that we have for successful digital marketing approaches during the coronavirus pandemic.

    Stay Social While Distancing

    how to sell online

    Whilst people everywhere work from home, or are not working completely, there is likely to be a surge in daily active users on the most popular social media sites, who are not only keeping up with friends but these sites are also used as real-time news outlets, with updates often breaking on Facebook and Twitter before they are announced by government officials. On these platforms, you can put branded messages in front of tens of millions of users, both organically and paid-for, in an environment where users expect to interact with company updates. An increase in usage coupled with a scaling-back of budgets by some companies might lead to opportunities for some incredibly cheap clicks.

    Reach Out To Bored Customers

    how to sell online

    In the hustle and bustle of life in 2019, many marketers saw email as history – clogging up inboxes that busy workers had no time to read. Now, though, that may all have changed. People have been given time back – they are no longer undertaking lengthy commutes, and days at home might mean they are more likely to open their email notification as it comes in. A slowdown in business trading might lead owners and managers to more eagerly refreshing their inbox, more interested in that which arrives. It’s all part of the digital sales funnel and learning how to sell online means understanding all the places in which you can generate a lead.

    Sofa Surfers

    how to sell online

    On lockdown, there’s only so long before the boredom kicks in. There are only so many video calls with increasingly distant acquaintances before you realise that very little news is happening, and plunging yourself into the Internet provides respite to the monotony of daily life. Impulse purchases are likely to be made on everything, from kit to master new skills to board and video games and home improvement tools, and everything in between. Knowing how to sell online is about knowing where to sell your products, and having a great inbound SEO strategy combined with paid-for adverts on the world’s biggest search engines means that you could find your next customer amongst the 3.5 billion daily Google searches. It’s also crucial to keep your business information on search engine records up to date, such as you Google My Business profile, so that internet users can’t mark your business location as permanently closed whilst you trade online.

    Much will become clearer over the next month, but what we do know is that people are more heavily relying on technology than ever, and even the most technophobic of customers has now been thrust into a world in which their social needs can only be satiated by technological solutions. Once this crisis is over, they may not return to old habits, instead realising the benefits of operating online. Setting your business up for the coronavirus world does not mean investing in the short term – learning how to sell online lays the foundation for your business success in a post-COVID-19 world.

    Start selling online?

    For limited time only for just £500 you get your eCommerce store off the ground with AsOne in just a couple of days. Find out more

    AsOne’s expertise means that your business can get online as quickly as possible, capitalising on the business that is still very much to be done. Our commitment to digital business development means that, whilst we work together, we’ll teach you how to sell online, and how you could adapt the delivery of your services to a new world. Call us on 0161 368 9100 to move your business forward today.

    how to sell online
  49. Improving ROI on Google Search

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    If you want to increase your return on investment from Google paid advertising, you may want to consider working with an agency. The right agency will help you to manage your keyword strategy and improve the results from your paid ads. However, choosing the right agency to work with is so important when it comes to strategy, implementation and budget. 

    Businesses often find that the agency they are working with does not offer value for money and their Google paid advertising is taking up a large proportion of their marketing budget. This may be because their strategy is poor and you are not getting enough qualified leads on your site. However, poor return on investment may also be down to the payment structure that they offer. 

    The majority of agencies pay themselves via commission, based on a percentage of your overall spend on Google paid advertising. This is not necessarily an issue if you are running a small campaign with a low budget because your overall spend will not be very high, so the commission that they charge will be relatively manageable – although you may find that high minimum fees apply which may even exceed your budgetary spend. 

    However, bigger companies that invest a lot more in their Google paid advertising campaigns may be losing out. Even if you see an increase in website traffic and conversions, this is offset by the big bill that you get from the agency. It also means that the agency benefits if you spend more money on your paid ad campaigns, so they have no incentive to save you money. As a result, these agencies may focus more on the quantity of keywords, rather than quality because this will earn them more commission. 

    google paid advertising

    There are, however, alternatives to the commission-based model that could save you a lot of money on Google paid advertising. Instead of charging you a commission based on a percentage of your overall marketing campaign, we will charge a flat rate based on the services that we provide. All businesses can benefit from this and save money, especially those that are running a large paid ads campaign. 

    Our fee will be the same even if your overall spend changes, which means that we do not lose out if you save money, and we will actively find ways to help you do that. When we are running your Google paid advertising campaign, we will focus on improving the quality of keywords and creating a strategy that drives more qualified leads to your website. With our zero commission model, customers tend to find that they get a much better return on their investment. 

    If your business is looking for an agency to handle Google paid advertising campaigns or you are already working with an agency but you are not happy with the service that you are getting and the fees that the agency charges, you may want to consider switching. Our zero commission model is one of the most effective ways to cut your marketing spend without making any compromises. 

    Get in touch today and speak to our team to learn more about the services that we offer and our beneficial zero commission pricing structure.

    google paid advertising
  50. How Embracing Digital Can Save Your Business From Coronavirus

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    At times of crisis, maximum flexibility is required in order to keep your business running. Undoubtedly, the current coronavirus pandemic is a crisis and one that few predicted coming and fewer had already worked in a strategy to accommodate for the public health demands and sacrifices currently being imposed across the world. So, in a year bookmarked by a global pandemic demanding intercontinental social distancing, how well-equipped is your business to deal with people in self-isolation?

    This doesn’t just mean implementing remote working policies, or cancelling group meetings in favour of conference calls and video chats. If the current rate of infection continues (and some top virologists are expecting up to 7 months of worsening disruption) you’ll need to be looking at seismic changes to the way that your business operates. Remember, it’s not only your workers that are self-isolating – your customers are in self-isolation too. 

    Digitisation across your business is looking to be absolutely crucial in ensuring that you can continue to trade in this time. With thousands of people taking up self-isolation plans, using cloud-based solutions, such as Google Drive over Microsoft Office, is one way to ensure that your business keeps moving forward – or at least stays afloat – in these times. 

    self isolation

    We don’t want to scaremonger, but COVID-19 might well be here for some time, until a vaccine is developed and distributed, and we believe that the businesses who best adapt, and find ways to implement wider digitisation across their company are likely to thrive, both during the periods of social distancing and then when people do come back together.

    This transition is not just about internal documents though. You need processes that can run with minimal involvement from teams working together, and products which do not discriminate against users who have chosen to self isolate. 

    Companies who choose to embrace digital even further than before can reap real benefits.

    With digital marketing, there’s no billboard that a user has to drive by; there’s no salesperson for them to interact with, shaking their hand and sharing their space. Search ads and social media marketing appear on a user’s own phone, they can interact with your brand at their own pace and in whatever space they want. As people stay away from the workplaces and schools, we can only speculate over the increased hours of YouTube video will be watched, the social media sites seeing a spike in daily active users, the days of Spotify and Apple Music listened to, the millions of extra Google searches. These are all heightened opportunities to get your brand in front of more people in self isolation, awakening them to your ideas and values.

    self isolation

    We don’t know about the mindset of self isolation, but think about times that you’ve spent a day in your house alone, for whatever reason. We’ve all found ourselves making impulse purchases and toying with brands that we simply would not have otherwise encountered. Can your brand be seen by a whole new market, a demographic of people looking to fill their time with something new?

    It’s not only the flexibility of your business that needs looking at in a crisis. Seismic change requires the ability to evaluate every part of your business, and to survive and thrive in a world governed by self isolation, ways in which your product and its delivery can be modified have to be considered.

    If you’re a restaurant, you might be looking at a huge lack of covers, giving you a real cashflow issue. Staff still need to be paid, even if that is sick pay, produce needs storing and premises need paying for – so you’ve still got money going out. At first glance, it may seem impossible to digitise food. But, with some clever thinking, you might be able to recover some of your cash flow by changing the way you deliver your service.

    Can you set up a temporary delivery service for your meals? While there is still some human interaction here, it is far less appealing to sit in a restaurant full of other people. Crowded shops may also not be where people in self isolation want to be, and they still need to eat. Could you offer to double bag your meals, meaning that contamination during delivery is far reduced? Done the right way, delivery services are going to be required for far more users than ever before.

    Another option might be to offer gift cards which can be redeemed when guests feel safe and happy enough to return to their normal lives; and, indeed, when that comes, you can be sure that they will be itching to get back out, having been stuck inside for so long in self isolation. These gift cards may be some of the best presents that friends can give to each other in these crisis times and by offering gift cards, you can keep cash flowing through your business.

    self isolation

    With some expertise and some innovation, embracing digitisation is the only way that you can keep cash flowing through your business. Making your business accessible to it’s workers, and your services accessible to their users, you need to find a way to combat the self isolation sacrifice that responsible citizens are being asked to make.

    Indeed, you might find that some of these changes propel your business forward in a world that may be fundamentally changed due to the current crisis. There are many speculating that among the casualties of COVID-19 may be the office, as thousands of businesses implement remote working patterns which have until now been shown to enhance employee happiness. Of course, these are different circumstances, and after six, eight, more weeks at home, we may all be clamouring for our desks again. 

    What is certain, though, is that more flexibility in business will be required than ever before to navigate through self isolation and the pandemic and also in returning to normality once the threat has subsided.

    self isolation
  51. Consulting A Facebook Marketing Expert

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    Facebook is a very effective marketing platform for all businesses because it has a huge user base. However, if you want to take full advantage of the platform, it is usually best to hire a Facebook marketing expert to direct and improve your strategy. 

    A lot of business owners are unsure about whether they should hire an agency to help with their Facebook marketing campaigns because they worry about the cost. It is important to manage your finances well, and so you may decide that you will handle your own social media campaigns instead of hiring a Facebook marketing expert. But this strategy only works if you have the expertise and experience to run an effective Facebook marketing campaign, which is not usually the case. When you use an agency and take the advice of a Facebook marketing expert, you can expect to see a reduction in your cost per acquisition and find ways to cut your marketing costs, so you will actually save money overall. These savings, coupled with the increase in sales that come with an effective campaign, meaning that hiring a Facebook marketing expert is almost always the most cost-effective decision. 

    facebook marketing expert

    Once you have made the decision to hire an agency, you need to decide which agency you are going to go with, which can be difficult. It is important that you find a Facebook marketing expert that will deliver value and find ways to save you money without compromising on the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns. 

    When you are comparing different agencies, you should first take a look at the services that they offer. Most agencies will manage your paid Facebook ads, but marketing should always be seen as a holistic venture, where many different facets need to be worked in accordance with one another. If your agency doesn’t offer services beyond Facebook marketing, then they might struggle to contribute real value to your marketing mix. Here at AsOne, you will benefit from a Facebook marketing expert that can help you to create compelling video marketing campaigns, for example. By introducing more visual elements to your marketing posts, we can reduce cost per acquisition and increase engagement with users. Facebook marketing is about more than just simple paid ads, and you need to find a Facebook marketing expert that knows how to utilise all of the different features that the platform offers. 

    As well as the level of service, you need to consider the pricing structure that the agency offers. A lot of digital marketing agencies will charge a commission based on your overall marketing spend and that pricing structure is not beneficial for the client in most cases. The agency benefits if you spend more money on marketing because they get a higher commission, which means that they do not have any incentive to help you save money. 

    At AsOne, we use a different billing structure that is designed to deliver the best value for your business. We charge a flat rate based on the services that we provide, so you pay the same amount regardless of your marketing spend. This means that we are incentivised to save you money, and we will always work to find ways to cut your marketing spend. 

    If you are looking for a Facebook marketing expert that can deliver an excellent service and find ways to save you money, get in touch today and we can discuss your needs. 

  52. Reducing Costs Without Reducing Your Power

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    Finding ways to reduce marketing costs is very important for small businesses, but you need to make sure that it doesn’t hurt sales. Cash flow issues are one of the most common reasons that businesses fail, especially in the first few years, which is why it is vital that you manage your marketing costs and don’t overspend. However, you will also run into cash flow issues if you cannot find ways to increase sales and generate revenue, and if you want to do that, you need to invest in marketing. 

    You should always start by taking a close look at your current marketing campaigns so you can get a sense of how effective they are. If you are not reaching the right people and the return on your marketing investment is low, you are losing money. But if your marketing efforts translate to increased sales, you shouldn’t have a problem. You need to know exactly what your return on investment is, and if it is low, consider adopting a new strategy. 

    reduce marketing costs

    When trying to reduce marketing costs, you also need to take advantage of the more cost-effective marketing strategies, like social media, for example. Social media is such an effective tool because it has a very broad reach and it does not require a huge amount of investment. With a clear social media strategy, you can generate a lot of organic traffic for your website and build a strong brand for your business. It is also a useful customer service tool in some cases because it gives you an opportunity to interact directly with customers. 

    Pay per click ads are another great option if you are looking to reduce marketing costs without compromise. The targeted ads help to bring a lot of qualified leads to your site and, most importantly, you only pay when somebody clicks on the ad. 

    These are both very effective ways to market a business with a small budget. However, they are only effective if you know how to manage your strategy properly, which is why it is important that you hire a digital marketing agency to help you. Unfortunately, this can be an issue for businesses that are trying to reduce marketing costs

    When you hire a digital marketing agency, they usually take a commission based on your overall marketing spend. The more money you spend on marketing, the more money they will earn, so why would they want to help you reduce marketing costs? The short answer is, they wouldn’t. 

    But that doesn’t mean that you should give up on digital marketing agencies because there are alternatives to the commission-based model. At AsOne, we charge a flat monthly rate based on the services that are provided. That means that our rate does not change if you spend less on marketing, and we are dedicated to finding ways for your business to reduce marketing costs

    The most effective way to reduce marketing costs without losing sales is to work with a digital marketing agency that does not use a commission-based system. If you get in touch with us today, we can give you more information about our services and discuss some of the ways that we could save you money.

    reduce marketing costs
  53. Confused By Other Agencies? Marketing Jargon-Buster By AsOne

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    As technology expands, language expands with it, and just like any other profession, there’s a whole host of marketing jargon that is used every day in our industry. However, that’s not always helpful if you’re comparing agencies, or looking to get into it yourself. To help you, we’ve picked out 50 of the most commonly used pieces of marketing jargon and explained what they mean in simple terms. They’re ordered by what they are – for example, if you need to know an acronym, these are explained in the first section, and if you’re learning about social media, that’s the second section, and so on. Our list is set out as follows

    • Acronyms
    • Social Media
    • SEO
    • PPC
    • General Marketing
    marketing jargon

    Acronyms Marketing Jargon

    B2B – Business to Business – If you sell your products to other businesses, then you are marketing your products from one business to another; B2B

    B2C – Business to Consumer – Selling your products straight to consumers, rather than other businesses

    CPC – Cost-Per-Click – The average amount that you were charged for each click on your adverts. It’s calculated by dividing the total amount spent by the total number of clicks

    CPM – Cost-Per-Mille – Sometimes, you might want to pay for your adverts based on how many people see them, rather than click on them. Cost-Per-Mille tells you how much it costs you for 1,000 users to see your adverts.

    CRM – Customer Relationship Marketing – Marketing strategies that build intangibles like customer loyalty and brand value

    CTA – Call To Action – This is anything that encourages the user to take the next step in the customer journey; whether that’s making a purchase, contacting the business or signing up for a newsletter

    E-A-T – Expertise-Authority-Trustworthiness – Closely linked to YMYL, but this is a rating that your whole site gets. Who is your main contributor? What’s the quality of conversation on your forums? Do you have a Secure Socket Layer on your website?

    KPI – Key Performance Indicator – You can measure marketing success in thousands of ways – your Key Performance Indicators are the metrics that you choose to measure in any campaign.

    PPC – Pay-Per-Click – Methods of advertising which charge you only when someone actually clicks on your advert.

    ROI – Return on Investment – Revenue taken/Costs = Return on Investment

    SEO – Search Engine Optimisation –  This is the practice of setting up a page on your site to get it as high in search engine rankings as possible – don’t worry, we’ve got a whole section on SEO marketing jargon later on.

    SERP – Search Engine Results Page – The page that appears after you make a search in a search engine, which lists entries from many different websites.

    YMYL – Your Money, Your Life – With certain posts, it’s more important to be right. If your content could genuinely affect a user’s happiness, Google imposes stricter checks on who the author of the post is, and posts without an authoritative author will not be shown highly in Google’s results. Examples of this kind of post are any advice relating to medicine, finance, the law, and parenting – and there are others.

    Social Media Marketing Jargon

    Engagements – The number of times that people interacted with your post or advert; there are a number of different types of engagements, such as saving a post, liking it, sharing it, or commenting on it, as well as some others which are platform-specific.

    Impressions – The number of times that your posts or adverts were seen – one user seeing your post multiple times counts as multiple impressions.

    Influencer – This word seems to be everywhere nowadays, but it doesn’t just mean Love Island contestants; it can apply to any individual who has the power and means to influence an audience’s purchase decisions.

    Pixel – This is a bit more for your developers, but Pixel is code that Facebook gives you to put on your website so that you can accurately track the actions of users that come to your site via Facebook.

    Reach – The number of individual people who saw your posts or adverts.

    SEO Marketing Jargon

    Alt text – Is an HTML attribute applied to image tags to provide a text alternative for the image. This brief image description breaks it down for crawlers and also provides information about the images if they don’t display on a users computer. You should set alternative text for all the images on your website.

    Anchor text – Is the visible clickable text in a hyperlink, often blue and underlined.

    Backlinks – If other websites link to your website, that’s a good thing, especially if those websites are reputable. The links between websites are called ‘backlinks’

    Crawl – To work out what content there is on your site, and how authoritative your site is, search engines send bots which read the information – this process is called crawling.

    Cornerstone content – The most important content on your website. Other blogs should link to it, and it should be longer than the rest of your content. If you’re an authority search engines want to promote the content that you think is most important – this is one way of showing them.

    Domain Authority – How reputable your website is. A high Domain Authority means that your posts will rank higher in SERPs

    Keyword – a keyword is a word or phrase that best describes the content on your page or post best. When writing content, you should always have a keyword. This is the word that the content is geared toward explaining or promoting. For example, if you run a clothing store, you may have a blog on “sweatshirts”.

    Meta Description –  The listings in SERPs contain information which you should specifically set – and it’s crucial to include your keywords and, if you can, a call to action

    Meta Tags – Snippets of text that describe a page’s content which exist in the source code of a page and are not visible to users. Meta tags are essentially little content descriptors that help tell search engines what a web page contains.

    No-index – If you have content on your website that you don’t want to appear in SERPs, you can use a no-index tag. This tag tells crawlers not to publish the page on search engines. This might be the case if you have your Privacy notice on your website, or Terms & Conditions.

    On-page optimisation – Elements of SEO can be broadly split into technical – the background function of the website – and what is actually on the page viewable to the users. Ensuring these latter elements are correct is called on-page optimisation.

    Organic Search – At the top of most SERPs, adverts appear. Rankings which appear without users paying for the clicks are said to be appearing organically. This is the distinction between Organic Search and Paid Search.

    Ranking – The position which your content occupies on the SERP.

    Sitemap – Your site’s skeleton, comes in the form of a simple text document which lays out the content on your site, designed to make it easier for search engine crawlers to navigate around your website. Not designed to be followed by people.

    PPC Marketing Jargon

    Acquisition – The gaining of a new customer for your business.

    Broad match – You have to set keywords to trigger your adverts, but AI in the platforms means that your adverts might show for similar keywords, that you didn’t necessarily set. For example, if you have an advert set for “sports trainers”, your advert might appear for some searches like “tennis shoes”

    Click-through rate – The number of times that your adverts were shown divided by the number of clicks you got.

    Conversion – When a user who has clicked through an ad takes an action that you have defined, often with a monetary value. Usually, this is buying something, but it could mean contacting your business to enquire further, for example.

    Landing Page – The page that a user is taken to immediately after clicking on a PPC advert or a search engine result.

    Phrase match – Similar to broad match, but this gives the AI less scope for variety. For example, an advert for “tennis shoes” might be triggered by “men’s tennis shoes”, but not by “sports trainers”

    Quality score – is a rating given by Google which measures how relevant your ads, keywords, and landing pages are to a person who sees your ad. Google gives all your keywords a ranking out of 10. The higher your quality score, the less you might have to pay for a click.

    General Marketing Jargon

    A/B testing – Testing two versions of the same advert to see which is more effective.

    Automation – Software that is designed so that marketing departments do not have to repeat the same tasks, such as the ability to post messages on all your channels from one place.

    Branding – Creating a name, design or value set that differentiates your products from your competitors’

    Bounce Rate – If a user bounces on your website, it means that they came onto the landing page and left without looking at any more pages or taking any action on that page. The bounce rate is the number of users that bounced, divided by the total number of users, multiplied by 100.

    Channel – A method of communication between your business and your targets

    Content marketing – A style of marketing where you create and share content that increases interest in your products and services.

    Copy – Any piece of writing, which could be as short as a tweet or as long as a thesis.

    Gated content – You might choose that some of your content is good enough that your users need to give something up to read it – whether this be an email address, or complete a short survey, or maybe even pay for a subscription.

    Offer – NOT “2-for-1 this Christmas”, a marketing offer is a product or service of value you give to users who complete a call to action that is of no cost to them.

    Persona – When building a campaign, you should have an idea of the profile of the target individual. This individual is the persona.

    Remarketing – Sending marketing messages to users who have already interacted with your brand. This method of marketing is shown to yield better results for lower spend – but you need to do the work to establish your brand before this is effective.

    Session – The time that someone spends on your website is their session, from the page they enter on, throughout their journey to the page they exit from.

    We’re not in the business of duping or bamboozling, and we always look to empower our clients with the digital skills that we use every day. If you’ve been left in the dark by an agency that uses too much marketing jargon, and you’re not seeing the results you expected, talk to AsOne today on 0161 368 9100.

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  54. The Value Of A Social Media Advertising Agency

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    The majority of the time, businesses put most of their efforts into creating good quality content which encourages users to engage with the business and share posts. This is a central part of social media marketing and it will help you to drive traffic to your website. It will also help to strengthen your brand, especially if you can interact with customers in a meaningful way. However, this is not the only way to use social media to your advantage because it is also a great place for paid ads, and that’s where the social media advertising agency comes in. 

    You should already be familiar with paid Google Ads, and you are probably using them. They’re a great way to drive targeted traffic to your site, and as long as you have a well thought out keyword bidding strategy, you will see a good return on your investment. However, you should not invest your entire paid ad budget in Google Ads because paid advertising on social media is equally as effective and can help you reach different customers. 

    social media advertising agency

    The extended reach is one of the biggest advantages of social media advertising. Regardless of which demographic you are trying to reach, you will be able to find them on one of the major social media platforms and, if you hire the right social media advertising agency, they will put together a strategy to target those customers. It is a very direct marketing strategy, and often, you get better results than you would with Google Ads. Ideally, you should be using a combination of Google Ads and social media ads. 

    Facebook’s organic reach has dropped significantly in recent years, and you may think that it’s best to focus on other platforms. However, it still has the largest user base, and paid ads do very well on the platform, as long as you have the right social media advertising agency to direct your strategy. 

    Twitter has a much better organic reach, and it’s a great platform for interacting with customers and building a brand. It can also be a good platform for B2B marketing. However, you should also take advantage of paid ads on Twitter if you want to increase your marketing returns.  

    LinkedIn is a platform that is often overlooked but it is the best option for B2B marketing. With help from the right social media advertising agency, you can get very fast results. You can see a great example of one of our B2B social media ad campaigns here.

    If you are looking for a social media advertising agency to help you improve your ad campaigns, it is important that you find one that can work within your budget. This can be difficult because a lot of agencies charge a commission based on your overall marketing spend. This means that they benefit if you spend more, and they do not have any incentive to save you money. In fact, they are incentivised to encourage you to spend more. 

    But our model is different. We charge a flat monthly fee based on the services that we provide. That means that we are always looking for ways to save you money on your social media ad campaigns. If you are looking for a social media advertising agency, get in touch today and we can discuss your needs.

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  55. The Value Of A Paid Search Specialist

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    Careful money management is essential in business, especially when you are first starting out. It’s important that you save money where you can, and only spend on things that will drive sales and push the business forward. However, a lot of business owners get this wrong, especially where paid search marketing is concerned. Instead of outsourcing to a paid search specialist, they assume that they will be able to save money by handling it themselves. Unfortunately, this approach rarely works. 

    Business owners assume that there is no need to use a paid search specialist because it’s a simple process. Just bid on a few relevant keywords and watch traffic levels on your site shoot up. But in reality, it is far more complicated than that, which is why paid search specialists exist in the first place. 

    paid search specialist

    In some cases, you might bid on the wrong keywords and you won’t get any clicks. Even if you do get clicks, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you will notice an increase in sales. A lot of business owners find that, when they are trying to handle their own paid search marketing, they see an increase in traffic but no increase in sales. This is most likely because you are not bidding on the right targeted keywords and the people that visit your site have no interest in your products. If that happens, your marketing budget is wasted and you will soon find yourself in financial difficulty. 

    A paid search specialist understands how to select the right keywords and implement a bidding strategy that will not only drive traffic to your site but will also ensure that the traffic is targeted and your conversion rate increases. It is a big mistake to think that paid search marketing is simple and anybody can do it because that isn’t the case. 

    Marketing is a complex discipline that requires a lot of knowledge and experience to get right. Unless you have that expertise, it is unlikely that you will run a successful paid marketing campaign without a paid search specialist to advise you. 

    However, it is still important that you manage your spending, so you need to find a paid search specialist that can work within your budget. One of the most important things to consider when comparing different marketing agencies is the pricing structure. 

    A lot of paid search specialists will charge a commission based on your total marketing spend. This means that it benefits them if you spend more money on marketing, and they are likely to encourage you to do so. When you are trying to keep a close eye on your budget, this is not a great option for you. 

    The good news is, there is an alternative. Here at AsOne, we charge a flat rate for marketing services as provided. That means that we do not earn more if your overall marketing spend increases, and we will always work to save you money wherever we can. With us, you get the benefit of a paid search specialist without having to worry about rising marketing costs. It also makes it easier for you to manage your finances because you know exactly what you will need to pay each month

    If you are looking for a paid search specialist to help drive your business forward, get in touch today and we can discuss your needs.

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  56. Multichannel vs Omnichannel Marketing

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    As we start a new year and a new decade, you might have decided that now is the opportune moment to review your marketing strategy and see what you could be doing to bring even bigger and better results. Since you’ve decided to do that, you might have found yourself hit with a wall of marketing jargon. As technology and methods evolve, so too does language, so let’s begin to demystify the difference between Omnichannel and Multichannel Marketing.

    omnichannel marketing

    You have probably encountered the prefixes “omni-” and “multi-” before – meaning “all” and “several” respectively – but you might be confused by the use of the word “channel”. In marketing, Channels” means any method of communication between your business and your customers; this could be via social media or an email, in print, or on a billboard, for example: in digital marketing, channels can also mean any route to your website or sales point that a user can take.

    We can’t think of a better time to lend a hand in a debate where lines are so blurred and offer a definitive distinction between the two concepts. In marketer’s terms, the two concepts are defined as such:

    Multichannel marketing refers to the practice of businesses reaching customers over the maximum number of channels or touchpoints, giving them as much space to interact with the brand as possible. It acknowledges that different channels have different strengths and places emphasis on finding good messages for the channel.

    Omnichannel marketing places critical importance on consistency and cross-channel customers. Whilst it also uses multiple channels to reach users, it also ensures a seamless experience across channels, ensuring that the messaging is unified and consistent.

    Primarily, the reason that the lines are blurred between these two strategies is that fundamentally they use similar tools to achieve their goals; both are ways in which you can use multiple channels to reach your target market. 

    That, however, is where the similarities end.

    Multichannel marketing ensures that as many channels as possible are used to pump out marketing messages, merely aiming to get the word out as quickly as possible to the target market. 

    Omnichannel strategies place the customer experience at their core; ensuring that, regardless of how many channels a customer uses, they find familiarity in your brand. The focus is on building that relationship, honing and crafting it over several months.

    This key difference means that these strategies manifest differently and suit different business types. Omnichannel marketers are more likely to carefully assess which channels they use and select only those over which they can confidently communicate their brand values  – what’s important is that the right message is communicated.

    Multichannel marketers are more malleable with their messaging – what’s important is that the messages are exposed to the maximum number of users and that the message is right for the channel. These messages might be disparate from one another, though, morphed through each channel.

    Where omnichannel marketing places importance on consistency and customer journey, multichannel marketing places importance on frequency and coverage.

    Why might I choose one strategy over another?

    Very few businesses should be choosing a multichannel strategy – and, for the vast majority of firms, an omnichannel strategy is really just a multi-channel strategy done right. In the digital age, there are virtually zero single-channel customers, and as such your brand messaging needs to be consistent across your channels. Failure to do this will leave customers on your site feeling confused and insecure, enticed by the messaging on one platform and disengaged by the messaging on another.

    So, there you have it. Armed with your new knowledge, go and explore and evaluate your marketing strategies, and make 2020 the best year your business has ever had!

  57. Maximising Your Google Ads Budget With A No-Commission Agency

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    Google Ads is one of the most effective marketing tools for new businesses that are trying to drive traffic to their site. Using Google Ads is faster than SEO, and it is incredibly cost-effective because you only pay when someone clicks your ad. Unfortunately, a lot of businesses do not use the service in the right way and their Google Ads budget doesn’t go very far. 

    Some small business owners feel that Google Ads are not the best way to spend their marketing budget and they opt for different strategies instead. However, Google Ads can be a very effective way to boost website traffic and increase brand awareness for small businesses, as long as you know how to make your budget go further and, most importantly, reach people that are likely to convert

    When you are trying to set a budget, you should consider how much you can realistically afford to spend. One of the best things about Google Ads is that you can spend as much or as little as you like, so there is no need to go over budget.  

    google ads budget

    Once you have decided on the total spend per month, you need to start making bids on keywords, which is a lot more complicated than people realise. The major reason that businesses struggle to make their Google Ads budget go further is that they don’t have a full understanding of how to choose the right keywords. Unless you know the system inside out, it is always advisable to hire a marketing agency to assist with your campaign. 

    The majority of small business owners already recognise the need for agency assistance, but they struggle with the financial aspect. If you hire an agency that takes a commission from your overall ad spend, it works in their interests if you bid on more keywords and increase your budget. This strategy of bidding on more keywords will increase traffic and could even inspire an increase in sales. However, it does mean increasing your spending and that simply isn’t an option for a lot of small businesses

    The good news is, there is another agency model that is more suitable for small businesses that want to keep a handle on their Google Ads budget. Here at AsOne, we do not charge based on commission. Instead, we charge a flat rate each month based on the services that we provide. That means that it does not work in our favour if your Google Ads budget starts to shoot up. 

    When you work with AsOne, we will focus on making your budget go further by improving keyword selection and bidding strategies so you see an increase in conversions, without the need to increase your marketing budget. 

    If your Google Ads budget is starting to get out of control, get in touch today and find out how we could save you money.

  58. Boosting Online Sales Without Increasing Your Marketing Budget

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    Uncertainty and risk are part and parcel of running a business and sales can fluctuate wildly from month to month. When things are going well, you can afford to invest more money in digital marketing and increase online sales even further, to keep the momentum going. But things are a lot trickier when times are tough and online sales are lagging behind.

    You need to increase online sales to kickstart your business, but you cannot afford to increase your marketing spend without stretching your finances. You’re stuck between a rock and a hard place, so what are you supposed to do? 

    The good news is, you do not necessarily need to spend more money in order to improve your ROI from marketing campaigns. In many cases, you need to rethink your strategy and find ways to cut costs, so you can make your marketing budget go further and increase online sales without increasing your overall marketing spend.

    increase online sales

    Unfortunately, this is difficult for many businesses because the digital marketing agencies that they are working with are not incentivised to save them money. Many digital marketing agencies charge their clients using a commission-based system, so the agency receives a percentage of a client’s overall ad spend. If you spend less money on marketing, your digital marketing agency will lose money, and that causes a major problem.

    Although these agencies are incentivised to help you increase online sales, they are actually disincentivised to help you save money. That’s why it’s so difficult to increase online sales without increasing your overall marketing spend if your business is working with a digital marketing agency that charges based on commission.

    However, there is an alternative to commission-based digital marketing. Here at AsOne, we charge all of our clients a fixed management fee for the services that we offer you. If your overall marketing spend changes, that doesn’t affect our fee in the same way that it would if we were taking a commission. As such, we have every incentive to help your business save money wherever you can, so you can still increase online sales and manage your budget effectively at the same time. 

    Our model also makes it a lot easier for you to manage your finances because you have predictable monthly payments. With a commission-based system, your costs can fluctuate quite significantly, and as all business owners know, an unexpectedly high bill can make things very tricky for you. 

    You may think that it’s impossible to increase online sales without spending more money on marketing but that isn’t the case. When you work with AsOne, you don’t have to worry about any conflict of interest due to commission-based pricing, so we will always be looking for ways to save you money.

    Get in touch today so we can discuss your digital marketing needs and start looking at ways to improve your strategy. 

    increase online sales
  59. Brand Positioning – Marketing to Your Ultimate End-User

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    While you may sell your products via a distributor or supplier, it pays dividends to think about the needs of the real end-user. 

    While a business customer may make the short term buying decision, ultimately they are swayed by the user’s needs and the demand from their own customer base.

    Benefits of proactively improving your brand positioning

    Investing in a B2C marketing campaign to raise the profile of your business and intentionally alter your brand positioning has several key benefits:

    • Increase your reach – If you take control of your marketing and run your own campaigns, you are no longer limited by the reach of your distributors and can do more to proactively increase the reach of your business. This could include entering new markets or selling to new demographics. 
    • Put pressure on suppliers – By marketing straight to the end-user you put pressure on your distributors and suppliers to stock your products and also give yourself more bargaining power when it comes to cost. If their customers are repeatedly asking for your brand, they may be inclined to take products at a lower margin than usual to avoid losing the business.  
    • Support for add-on products – Building brand awareness among your end customers can create a halo effect, making it far easier to sell additional extras or follow on products. If you want to build a business with real longevity, having a portfolio of products is important, and your brand recognition will make each subsequent product easier to sell. 
    • Collect data – Data is an increasingly important part of modern business. By running marketing campaigns you can start to collect data and analytics which will feed back into your overall business strategy.

    Selling D2C – Direct to Consumer

    Another key benefit of raising brand awareness among your ultimate end customers is that long-term, it could give you a strategic opportunity to cut out the middle man and sell direct to consumer. If you’ve built sufficient traffic to your website and your social platforms, you can greatly increase your margins by engaging customers directly and therefore not paying commissions, or selling at wholesale prices to distributors. 

    This is becoming increasingly popular among product manufacturers as a means to increase revenue and profitability.

    Brand positioning support from AsOne

    At AsOne, our approach has always been to look at digital marketing from the broadest possible context, thinking about the holistic digital business development strategy and commercial goals. Correctly positioning your brand to reach the right audience is vitally important and something that we regularly work on with clients from a wide range of industries.  

    If you’d like more information on how to make brand positioning work for your business, don’t hesitate to get in touch and speak to one of our marketing strategy experts. 

    For businesses based in the North East, you may be eligible for financial support from the NEBSF funding scheme, which provides up to 40% off the cost of qualifying projects.

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  60. Google Ranking – Which Factors Should You Focus On?

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    Even if you’re not selling your product or service directly via the internet, it is likely that your customers will want to review your website before making a buying decision. Failing to rank well in the search engines for key terms relating to your business, and making it difficult for customers to find you, could raise questions about the quality or professionalism of your operation. 

    Significant Google Ranking Factors

    Although the Google Ranking algorithm is a tightly guarded secret, they have alluded to several important aspects that will give your pages the best chance of ranking well. These factors evolve over time as the algorithm changes, but some of the important ones currently include:

    • Mobile friendly – As more traffic has switched from desktop to mobile, Google wants to reward pages that are the most mobile-friendly. It is therefore really important that you have a responsive design and check how well it performs on different mobile devices. 
    • Social signals – Social media is a growing source of traffic for website, and Google will look to see whether you have a presence on social media as an indication of your credibility. This applies in both directions e.g. do you have accounts set up with the major search engines and do you link to them from your site, but also, do your customers talk about you on social media and link back to your products and services. 
    • Backlinks – Links from other pages have long been recognised as a key factor in the Google ranking formula. Outside of social media, is your site linked to from other blogs or news articles?
    • Tactical SEO – There are also several technical and tactical changes that you should keep on top of to help improve your search engine performance. For instance, a properly configured robots.txt will ensure that search engines are indexing and crawling all your pages correctly. 

    Google Ranking with AsOne

    At AsOne we have a wealth of experience helping customers achieve a consistently high rank in the search engines. As the algorithms evolve over time, we work closely with our clients to conduct regular experiments and stay abreast of the latest developments. 

    We are also able to leverage our depth of knowledge from working with clients across a range of industries to highlight emerging SEO trends early on in their lifecycle and put them to work for our customers.  

    For more information on how to maintain a consistently high Google ranking for your business, don’t hesitate to get in touch and speak to one of our SEO experts. 

    Eligible businesses based in the North East could benefit from up to 40% off the cost of their project via a grant from the NEBSF funding scheme.

    google ranking
  61. Successful marketing campaigns – Getting your Website Right

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    Your website acts as your digital shop window and your automated salesman, so investing in new web designs to keep your site up to date is always money well spent. 

    Continuing the theme of looking back at some of our work from 2019, this article reflects on some of our key web design projects.

    Websites for Successful marketing campaigns.

    New website – Multiquip UK

    Multiquip is one of the leading suppliers of equipment to the construction industry. Though part of the broader Multiquip group, they are not currently as well known in the UK. To help address this, we worked with them on a new site, which serves as a centrepiece to a wider digital marketing strategy.  

    The project set out to:

    • Take advantage of the latest web / mobile technologies to bring the site up to speed
    • Allow customers to easily compare products
    • Capture customer data

    The project was a great success, with the site taking some of the pressure off the existing sales team. Check out the site here

    Website redesign – Langley Interiors

    When Langley Interiors approached us to help with their website redesign, they already had mockups for the pages they wanted to update. The specialist provider of bespoke fitted furniture wanted us to help ensure that the new site was as user-friendly as possible – and you can see the finished article here

    Optimising the navigation to improve the user journeys around the site ultimately resulted in much high average time on page.  

    This project was also an excellent demonstration of our philosophy of working in close partnership with our customers to achieve the best results. 

    Video autoplay – Laurent at Cafe Royal

    When Laurent at Cafe Royal approached AsOne to help improve their website, we explored a number of options to best highlight their luxury dining experiences. 

    Ultimately we decided to use autoplay video to give potential customers an instant, multimedia feel for what the restaurant is like – watch it and see the website here

    We also added functionality to make it easier to book a table online. 

    Understanding the customer base and the exploring novel approaches to meet their needs and pique their interest is imperative to get this type of project right.

    Successful marketing campaigns for 2020

    At AsOne we pride ourselves on bringing fresh thinking and innovation to the table. Our wide range of experience from working with clients across a multitude of industries gives us a unique insight as to what works where. 

    We’re excited to continue on this path for 2020, identifying some of the key trends that will impact on the digital marketing space, and working in close partnerships with our clients to deliver these campaigns.  

    For more information on some of the successful marketing campaigns we’ve run this year, and an overview of how they might apply to your business, don’t hesitate to get in touch

    If you’re based in the North East, you may also find that you’re eligible for up to 40% off your order through the NEBSF funding scheme which AsOne are proud to support. 

    successful marketing campaigns
  62. Our Best Marketing Campaigns of 2019

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    Best Marketing Campaigns

    Our digital marketing campaigns incorporate the latest developments in the digital marketing landscape and are tailored to meet the needs of our individual customers. We’ve worked on a wide range of projects this year, from social media to content marketing and every combination in between. 

    Two of our best campaigns include:

    1. B2B PPC Marketing – Matthews Environmental Solutions UK

    Matthews Environmental Solutions UK is a world leader in cremation and incineration equipment and they approached AsOne to help them acquire new leads and also increase brand loyalty. Our campaign then ran on two major pillars:

    1. Customer Analysis – Identifying target customers and the platforms they use online.
    2. Targeted PPC Campaign – Targeting the specific customer profiles via pay-per-click ads.

    The project was a fantastic success, achieving excellent visibility for the brand, and was definitely one of our best marketing campaigns of the year. 

    Our adverts were ultimately viewed over 700k times by stakeholders from relevant target businesses, with an excellent CTR of 0.04%, which is higher than the industry average. 

    2. Content Marketing Strategy – CLEVR Money

    Blackpool based credit union CLEVR Money engaged AsOne to increase the overall volume of traffic to their website, and boost Christmas loan applications during the festive season. 

    We employed a content marketing strategy, based on the following components:

    1. Quality Content – Creating a calendar of unique, innovative content designed to appeal to the target customer base. 
    2. Optimisation – Optimising the content using on-page SEO techniques helped to boost the visibility of the content in search engines. 
    3. Email – Proactively promoting content to customers via email with a targeted call to action. 
    4. Social media – Sharing content with customers on social media and further boosting the digital footprint of the brand. 

    The project was also a great success, ultimately resulting in a 600% increase in loan applications and an 18% increase in approved loans – which is exactly what the best marketing campaigns can deliver you. 

    Finding the Best Marketing Campaigns for you

    At AsOne we work in close partnerships with our clients, gaining a deep understanding of their businesses and goals before designing the best marketing campaigns that can achieve the desired results. 

    We’ve had some great successes in 2019 and we’re looking forward to pushing the boundaries with exciting new projects next year. 

    For more information on how AsOne can help craft the best marketing campaigns for your business in 2020, don’t hesitate to get in touch and speak to one of our expert marketers. 

    Eligible businesses from the North East will benefit from up to 40% off their first order as part of the NEBSF funding scheme which AsOne is proud to support.

    best marketing campaigns