Month: May 2017

ContentCal sponsors SocialDay

We are delighted to announce that ContentCal has sponsored SocialDay, this is a tool that we at Socialday subscribed to and use for our own marketing, so we know it’s good. We are proud to have such a great content management tool aligned with us.

ContentCal is a simple and intuitive way to manage social media content, removing the need for the numerous painful Google Docs, Spreadsheets and Emails – allowing teams to maximise efficiency by planning, approving and publishing content in a familiar and intuitive calendar interface.

Having previously been a social media agency, we saw first-hand what an efficiency and productivity drain it is to plan and organise a content calendar, especially when there’s a number of stakeholders that need to collaborate on, or approve this content. We couldn’t find the right technology to support this process and help our agency grow, so we built ContentCal.

Since launching ContentCal to market in December 2016, we’re now used by over a thousand companies ranging from the likes of Sky and Odeon, to agencies like Dentsu Aegis through to Micro and SME businesses.

“The approval process of content is so much simpler using ContentCal. What could take a few days now takes far less time. Our improved workflow using ContentCal has both saved time and impressed clients.” – Lloyd Palmer

Go checkout out the website here:, they have a few different options for all sizes of social media account management


Launching live – build your business with Livestream – Chris Ducker

Launching Live – how to build your business with Livestream, we talk to Chris Ducker who has built up his own business using Livestream.

Chris talks through some of the common issues that face business owners and brand builders when it comes to trying to establish yourself online.  We talk about which accounts you should use, how to act and how to promote the content.

We also look at how to avoid going live for the sake of it and creating a culture of value for your audience and your business.

How to follow up on other channels and how you can re-target your views through adverts to drive better conversions.

Chris will be going into far more detail as the keynote of Socialday, if you have not already booked your ticket buy one today HERE


From satisfaction to advocacy: Using video to foster brand champions and take customer loyalty to the next level

Online retailers not only need to stand out from a sea of other e-commerce outlets to win an initial purchase, but to continue to do so again and again. In the third of a three-part series, Mark Blair, VP of EMEA at Brightcove explains how video content can be used by today’s e-tailers to help build and retain loyal brand advocates.


In the first two parts of this series, we explored how brands can use video to sustain shoppers’ interest, boost sales, enrich the customer experience and turn browsers into buyers. But once you’ve convinced your viewers to make the first purchase, how do you keep them coming back for more?
Video’s value certainly doesn’t end at the point of purchase – by learning how to automate, personalise and target video content, then analyse the results, you can move beyond simply satisfying customers to fostering true brand loyalty. Here’s how these elements work in practice and why they are so important for e-commerce success:


Building satisfied, loyal customers by staying one-step ahead

One of the surest ways to build brand loyalty is to make customers feel like you know them – because you do! By piecing together a kind of “digital body language” to discern where their interests lie, and paying attention to the preferences they demonstrate when interacting with your brand, you can tailor content to engage customers more successfully. These insights provide an essential understanding of the buyer’s journey, opening up your ability to welcome, remind, reward, retarget, and win them back with automated messaging.


Using historical and real-time engagement metrics, for example, you can set up marketing automation logic that will determine the next likely interaction the viewer will have with your brand. You can then direct your customer to this interaction by cueing up your video marketing platform to serve the most contextually relevant content.

Creating a personalised brand experience

Pairing personalisation with video, you can boost current video efforts while markedly increasing the affinity customers feel towards your brand. Using hyper-personalised videos, for example, which insert information – such as a person’s name – into the content, can be a great way of catching your customer’s attention. Similarly, consider adding dynamic CTAs to your video content – these smart CTAs are fed by everything you know about individuals and their interactions with your brand, ensuring you are serving different prompts based on where they are in the buyer’s journey.
Aside from personalising the videos themselves, there is also a lot of value in personalising the web content around them. Video-rich websites have a lot to offer customers, but it can be difficult to present all the options that would most appeal to each consumer. With website personalisation, for example, the CMS will react to the visitor’s viewing history and preferences to show the products of most interest – similar to how Amazon’s recommendation engine works. The more videos your customer watches, the more accurate the content and buying suggestions will be, and the better the chance at conversion.

Fostering brand champions

As you continue to take care of your customers with personalised video experiences, you encourage them to become increasingly dedicated and vocal brand advocates.


According to Nielsen, 83% of shoppers place the most trust in the recommendations of friends and family, and 66% of consumers trust the opinions of other consumers online – so if your video marketing efforts leave customers happy enough to talk to others about you, the benefits are clear.


Encourage this kind of behaviour by integrating user-generated video into your social campaigns –giving customers an easy way to share their love of your brand and allowing them to feel part of its story.


With our own research showing that eight in ten (79%) social video viewers agree that video is the easiest way to get to know a brand online, user-generated video can be a powerful advocacy tool, and goes a long way to making your brand more approachable and engaging. It delights other advocates while also stimulating interest from those just beginning the buyer’s journey in the awareness stage.

Top online retailers know e-commerce success is determined by a seamless, frictionless, and enjoyable user experience. Video is now a vital part of any marketer’s strategy and leveraged throughout the buyer’s journey it can reap truly tangible business results.
For e-tailers, it creates an easier and more engaging online shopping experience, engages existing customers and prospects, builds brand loyalty and, ultimately, can create brand advocates who will help you drive sales again and again.

you can view part one here – unlocking the value of video

and part two here  –  Beyond Awareness – the growing role of video

How do you create content that is not boring?

Social Day talk exclusively to Andrew and Pete about content for Social Media Marketing, we look at how often you should produce content.  Especially content that is not boring

Get an insight into how the guys plan their own content each week and hear about how you can make your own content interesting, even if your business is a little bit well, dull.

You can see this award winning pair speak at SocialDay London on 16th June you can find out more about the guys here


Andrew and Pete will take you through how to create really awesome content (even if the subject is a bit, well, dull) Fresh from Social Media Marketing World in San Diego and Social Day Birmingham, this award-winning partnership will help you and your clients get engagement and traction when it comes down to the nitty gritty, your content.  You can have the best strategy in the world, you can execute it perfectly but if your contents dull, well its dull and will not be shared!


Andrew and Pete run the content marketing company called – ‘Andrew and Pete’, where they help businesses create share-worthy content that builds brands people love. They are international speakers, authors, and consultants with a fun and engaging style.

They are regular contributors for Social Media Examiner, speakers at Social Media Marketing World 2017 in San Diego and have been featured on Entrepreneur on Fire and Huffington Post. They also won Digital and Social Media Company of the Year at Newcastle Business Awards and were finalists for The Entrepreneur of The Year Award at Living North Awards.

Book your ticket to see this dynamic duo supercharge your content – click here 

Visual Social Media Toolkit: The tools that make social media image and video creation easy

Social media marketing is tough, you need to be present, you need to be creative, you need to be strategic. So then how is it possible to do all of this when perhaps as either business owners and marketers our time is limited and all of these things are different skill sets? TOOLS of course!

Over the last few years as social media has become a mainstay in marketing the tools for managing social media have become more and more sophisticated. Tools like Hootsuite and Buffer are the norm in a social media managers life now as being able to batch schedule to free up time for engagement is key to a successful, consistent social media strategy.

There are more impressive tools out there for image and video creation too, if you haven’t heard of Canva yet… where have you even been? – Canva is a visual social media tool where you can create fantastic images for your social media profiles without the need for a designer or photoshop skills.

These tools above are more or less staples of a social media managers business tool kit. How did we even manage before Canva and Buffer? I suppose there was Pic Monkey... Actually Pic Monkey is also pretty good, having had a major update recently, also you can’t really crop with Canva (or at least I haven’t worked out how to) with Canva you can crop and create transparent PNG images, with Canva you can but you have to pay for that, not much mind you but I always think it’s best to have a few tools in your bag. For cutting your images out onto a transparent background normally you’d have to use photoshop or pay a designer to batch crop your products, well no more is that the case, there’s 2 tools I use to cut out busy backgrounds and they are clipping magic and background bonanza. Both have a free version and both have a paid version and you are talking a few small pounds per month and the tool literally evaporates your backgrounds in a click of a switch.

Adobe not wanting to be left out of the easy templated image creation space launched Adobe Spark, it’s free, it’s fantastic and it’s very easy to use. Again no photoshop skills required, perfect for your blog headers, facebook and twitter images. All cropped to the right size for each social network. Actually Spark has even more to offer than the Canva’s and Pic Monkey because it also offers a video creation template (well several actually) you can upload or use the free stock images and video provided to create some great videos with text overlay and music, you can also easily record your voice over the top with a click of a button. They also include story templates which takes the planning out of the videos slightly, meaning if you have a creative video / slideshow idea then it’s easy just to populate the story very quickly. It’s also worth mentioning that Buffer have an Image creation tool too called Pablo (awesome name, I know) It’s very easy to batch create images and you can schedule them straight out though buffer.


Then there’s the image apps for your phone, i’ve personally been in love with Wordswag App for a long time now, it so easy to use and to create attractive images within seconds from your phone. There is an issue though, now that so many people are using it some of the designs do look a bit samey.. so it’s okay to have the tools but I think you still have to think creatively in terms of the images you create.. have you seen someone else using the same images and fonts? if so try to change it up a bit. Typorama is also a staple on my iPhone, it’s practically the same as wordswag, in fact the free images library they use is the same (pixabay) but the font are different. With both you have the ability to upload your logo to make your images look branded. It’s worth sticking to a design type or colour scheme for all of your brands content this way you’ll become instantly recognisable over time to clients and potential customers on social media. Some other similar tools I have on my phone for this reason are PicsArt, Photocandy and of course Canva (There you go Canva…. is that enough of a shout out for you).

Not only have the image creation tools exploded over the past couple of year but video tools are also getting more and more sophisticated. The more we use our smartphones to create the more there became a need for post production video tools that we can use easily on our phone, not only that but many of us don’t want to be on screen and so there are tools that make it really simple to create video (literally drag and drop) with stock image and animation just like Adobe Spark I mentioned earlier. These include web tools like Biteable, Biteable is one of my personal favourites it’s free or low cost (I would get the paid version to remove the Biteable branding literally £100 for the year). They have heaps of animation and footage available that you can drag drop and edit easily. Then there’s Animoto, again Animoto is a great tool for creating drag and drop animation.


The video apps for your smartphone are so easy to use, so easy that it even makes video creation fun! Now you can be creative without needing the technical skills to see your stories instantly come to life! Tools like Ripl are fantastic for creating templated short video for social media. Like Typorama (I mentioned earlier) there is Videorama which literally does the same thing but for video. If you are an iPhone user i recommend that you use iMovie the app for post iPhone video production, it’s so easy to use and it’s free! Perfect for editing short pre recorded video.

Gifs are trendy again, remember myspace? it used to be bursting with fun and colourful animated gifs! Well, they are back! Since the major social networks started to accept Gifs we’ve all gone gif mad. If you aren’t in on the Gif action, then download the Giphy cam app or Gif X, these tools enable you to create fun and eye catching images right from your phone that you can embed in blogs and share on social media. Oh again, they are so simple to use.






Avatars of yourself are a fun way to show your personality without having to show your face, BitMoji is wonderful for creating your own avatar to share on social media or to add to your Canva images and so on. It’s actually owned by Snapchat and so integrated seamlessly. This app is available for your phone or even as a Chrome extension. You can even dress up in different outfits depending on the way you feel. Get the keyboard extension too so you can reply to social media massages with a simple avatar that gives a visual representation of how you are feeling. Emoji Me is also top for this, you can literally create an emoji that looks exactly like you wrinkles and all!

Influencer marketing a new phenomenon since 1840

Influencer marketing, It’s been a while (well not that long) since something has come along and divided opinion so radically amongst content creators, marketers and those in the digital marketing sector.  Strange given that something so straightforward in its explanation and definition can offer so many wide ranging views.

Let’s start by looking at the definition of an influencer, let’s go with Oxfords definition

(mass noun) The capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behaviour of someone or something, or the effect itself.
1.1 The power to shape policy or ensure favourable treatment from someone, especially through status, contacts, or wealth.

A person or thing with the capacity to have an influence on someone or something.

We’ll fix on the 1.2 – A person or thing with the capacity to have an influence on someone or something, which is why “word of mouth” has always been the earliest form of influence, humans have been bartering and selling to each other since we lived in caves.  Over the last few hundred years, sports stars, actors and actresses have endorsed products countless times, but it was the royal family who began the trend for “influencer marketing” no seriously! The biggest celebrities of the day were the royals, their influence was spread across the globe by the “British Empire” 

In 1840 the royal warrant was established, A Royal Warrant of Appointment is a mark of recognition of those who have supplied goods or services to the Households of HM The Queen, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh or HRH The Prince of Wales for at least five years, and who have an ongoing trading arrangement!

No greater thing for a brand to have the royal thumbs up, so the royal family has been using their influence since the early 1800’s so this is an established market then? surely as we’ve been seeing it for at least 200 years there should be no confusion?

Yeah, you would think so, but here is the issue, fast forward and the speed of technology, change in user habits and barriers to audiences have all been removed.  Now where journalists, TV presenters, performing arts and sports stars of our time used to be the reserve of holding influence almost anyone can amass a large social media following and not always legitimately (those who buy followers)

I am no fan of red tape but here especially regulation is lacking, in any other form of advertising or marketing buyers can usually get a good steer on how well a campaign is going to do by looking at the audience breakdown, user metrics such as platform used, frequency of engagement, type of content consumed, although with influencer marketing  we don’t yet have an industry standard to rely on (see abc.org for print or Nielsen ratings) and it is here without common benchmarks for business owners especially it can feel a little like the wild west.  Is the solution regulation, I am nit sure but certainly self-regulation from those who do provide value for marketers is essential to protect the good name they have built up and not be tarred with the same brush.

 So what’s the issue with large numbers?

Nothing the matter with large numbers, especially if you are into consumer marketing media, technology, music, sport, food, fitness, travel, pets and gaming have lots of highly active influencers and “Brand Advocates” in fact you could argue the higher the number of followers the bigger the reach, which is great.  Even at this level the marketing only works truly if the content is believable if you have the right audience and the audience engage.  The big problem goes back to the issue of measuring, and this is something that has always existed in advertising especially back in the days of print, radio, and TV.  The advent of digital has to a degree made this easier tracking links etc but with social, it’s not always clear cut and this causes some of the issues.

We often make the assumption that a large number of followers equates to the ability to influence, it really does not, at best a large number of follower gives you the ability to raise awareness.  However, if you want to raise awareness are their better avenues that can be more trackable and give you the power to have greater control over the audience you reach? such as advertising?

Influence is exactly that, the ability to influence another person to make a decision, in this instance buy something.  Is the Queen an influencer? for some yes, if it’s good enough for her it will be for them.

Should we not use influencer marketing?

There are lots of great examples of influencer marketing, and used properly it can be an effective tool, more so in niche markets where individuals have built expertise in a sector and have earned trust and respect (especially in B2B) You only have to google to see countless “successful” marketing campaigns with product placed in pictures taken by influencers, not for me though one of the best examples I have come across was the simple “Spotify” campaign #ThatSongWhen which is a few years old now but was highly engaging for music influencers and advocates alike.


There are loads of great campaigns to look at, and Nike had some definitive stats from their work with Christiano Ronaldo over the 2015 campaign, of course, you will also find loads of examples of where it has gone wrong.  before you jump on either side of the fence do your own research.


What about the big debate?

The debate will continue, that I am sure, for now though take away these few key points

  • Make sure the audience you are trying to target is the right one, do your homework and check out engagement levels, is it the right audience for you?
  • What content is going to be produced, how often, and what is the context
  • Is this the best way to spend money for this particular campaign, are you better of with other forms of advertising?
  • Are your expectations realistic?


We will be covering Influencer Marketing in-depth at Social Day London on the 16th June, Join agencies and Influencers who face questions from our audience, we have pulled together a panel of differing views and specifically those who have been working in this sector for the last few years.

What is influencer marketing

How should it be used

difference between Influencer marketing and Brand Advocates

How to avoid the cowboys

Measuring Retun on Investment

To get the answers to these questions make sure you are part of the debate – book your ticket today 



Oh what a day! Social Day Birmingham… 27th April 2017 was a day not to be missed if you work in social media or you run a business where you are responsible for the content and social media. Why? because we got together and learnt, we networked, we created and we laughed. And if you didn’t make it don’t worry, i’ve put together a roundup to give you a flavour (just a flavour… you should have been there!) of what went on…. So I want you to grab a cup of tea and relax, soak it up and imagine what it’s like to be part of something so special..

Social Day Birmingham kicked off with Julia Bramble, Julia talked about the importance of human interaction in a digital world. She threw colourful paper around the room exclaiming it was just like the content people share on social media… colourful rubbish. Julia asked us to think about the content we create and to remember the importance of just making more in depth connections with our customers.

Next up came Daniel Knowlton. To kick off his talk Daniel ran a giveaway asking the audience to post up a tweet with a selfie on social media, the winner was to take away 2 emoji cushions and bottle of bubbly, this got everyone creating content and interacting straight away. Daniel then took the topic of Influencer marketing and flipped it, telling the audience how they could become influencers online in their own right by creating incredible content, giving away valuable information for free that actually helps people. Daniel has used this strategy in his business to become on of the top influential digital marketers in the world.

Desi Dobreva talked about how to really use instagram for business sharing her top tools and ideas for growing a following. Desi explained that using hashtags in Instagram posts should be a key strategy. She also talked about the importance of branding in Instagram and social media. A great Instagram feed should be instantly recognisable as your own brand, in your own brand colours and style. To do this Desi explained that you should stick to certain colours and if possible stay away from the selfies! Again make sure you are posting consistently and using the stories and livestream capabilities available in the Instagram App.

After the break we heard from Cas Majid. Cas took us through his 8 steps to social media strategy success. Before he began his step by step talk he reminded us that with social media there are no silver bullets and that everything is different based on the objective of each company. Cas took us though his social media strategy beginning with: Start with the end in mind meaning that we need to have a goal to work towards, you can’t have a strategy without an objective. He then said before jump in we should analyse the platforms to see what fits in best with our objectives. Cas discussed the importance of social listening, curating and creating content and how being consistent is really important. He touched on social media post timing, looking at trends and things happening in the calendar and media as well assesing our values. Lastly Cas discussed the importance of mesaurement and testing.

Victoria Taylor was up next. Victoria spoke about the importance of customer experience. But first she explained what customer experience is: Victoria explained that customer experience is the product of an interaction between a business and a customer over the duration of their relationship, this interaction is made up of three parts:

1.) The customer journey

2.) The business touch-points a customer interacts with

3.) The environments the customer experiences (including digital environment) during their experience

Victoria asked up to think about experiences as mini moments

“All of these elements are mini experiences that someone has with you… you are only as good as the last ‘moment’ that you had with someone, so how do you make each moment memorable every single time? Victoria gave the audience a practical exercise asking them to create a mini moment about their best moment from social day and post it on social media. The 2 winners will receive a copy of Brian Solis book. 

Lucy Hall (yeah that’s me) then came to the front to discuss tools, including visual, video and content creation tools such as Canva, PicMonkey, Bitmoji, Wordswag, PicsArt, Clips, Biteable, Animoto, iMovie, Giffy. Then tools for instagram: Planoly, Tagomatic, Layout. Boomerang. Scheduling tools included: Buffer, Hootsuite, SmarterQueue, Sprout Social, AgoraPulse. We then discussed analytics and passed over the to the audience to give their own tool suggestions which included: SEM Rush… (Stay tuned for a full list of tools discussed during social day – there were lots!)

After lunch we welcomed Andrew and Pete with an energetic performance about content, called ‘contents a beach’ – Equipped with beach balls. They explained the importance of being different and asked the audience to stop creating boring content. They asked us to put more effort into a post after working out that they spent a week on a social media examiner post so why don’t they do the same for their own blog? And since they took the time to create they have seen their business and clients business grow.

Next up came a really powerful testimonial for livestream from the inspirational Mr A Singh (Amrit Singh) Amrit told his livestream story showing how he was also able to use social media and livestream for good with his humanitarian efforts. He also managed to grow a business, He gave his tips for success.

Mike Hacker (Also known as Hax) took us through how to create great video using your mobile phone.. wow this was cool, mike did all his talking through video showing real life examples of how to improve your production including and this tip is good! – ‘Remember to clean your phone camera lenses”… it smudges you know? And if you stand further away from your smartphone the sound quality deteriorates so ensure you use a lapel mic. Some great takeways here, it was like having 2 Hax’s for our money in the room! We were seeing double…

Abdul Shakur discussed social selling and explained that relationships are key, that making your content and message all about the customer is best and reinforced the fact that education, help and nurture will often lead to the sale.

Then came the panel session, all the speakers got together at the top to answer the audiences burning questions. Here are some of the top tweets about that!

So there you have it… It’s not over though, it’s not. I don’t hear any fat lady singing. See you in London. 😉

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