The only briefing template you’ll ever need
Written by Kevan Barber
The value of a good brief is massive when it comes to developing impactful and original work that delivers on objectives. It can be the difference between the success or failure of an activity, and it can also ensure your budget is used in the most efficient way.
So, in the interest of saving you (and us) time, we wanted to share our briefing template with you.
You can download it here (just scroll to the bottom of the webpage in the link).
Use it internally, use it to brief us or use it to brief others – we don’t mind!
What makes a good brief and why is it key?
An effective brief sets expectation on both sides. For the client, it’s telling an agency what the ask is. For the agency, it’s giving them something to pit their skills against, helping you as the client see what that agency is capable of. Seems a bit basic, right? But receiving a ‘brief’ without a clear ask is a regular occurrence for many agencies.
And creating a good brief is relatively simple – whether you’re looking for a problem-solving strategy or blow-your-mind creative concepts – the fundamental information stays much the same.
The point here is quality, not quantity. It’s not about adding a speed bump in the process of working together – it’s providing a ramp from which a piece of work can really take-off from. Background is helpful, such as what the brand is about, why the brief has landed and what the campaign will support. Try and keep to the facts and try not to list preferences, as this will only limit thinking.
Beyond that, it’s about focusing on what the challenge is and what change you want to affect. This might be through a one-off campaign, to support a product launch for instance, but it can also be an ongoing brief that ensures all communications from the brand ladder up to an overall brief and challenge.
As Dave Trott says, all too often, “briefs are about a solution, defining the problem” rather than being a brief that changes, and reframes the problem. He sums this up well through a series of examples including this: The brief for Audi wasn’t ‘sell our cars’, it was ‘Audi is German’. He also quotes Einstein when he says, “If I had an hour to solve a problem, I’d spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem and five minutes thinking about the solution.”
In essence, we want a brief to be thought provoking, to demand creativity and to get your agency, team, or colleagues thinking in new and exciting ways.
It takes practice and care to write a succinct brief that is interesting to those tasked with responding to it. Here are some great example briefs from the 2021 D&AD New Blood Awards competition:
- Open young adults’ eyes to the world of languages and inspire them to weave language learning into their daily routine with Duolingo, with an integrated campaign launching at the start of the school year.
- Create a digitally led campaign that makes 21–27-year-olds stop, unplug, recharge and refresh with Coors Light.
- Create an evocative, hyper-relevant brand building campaign around the 100th Anniversary that will make young adults into lifelong Disney fans. The challenge: turn well-loved 90s and 00s nostalgia into hyper relevancy for 2023.
- Design an in-person and digital experience that helps Tesco build a trust-based relationship with the nation and tells them how Tesco are bringing to life ‘Every little helps’.
On first read, they may seem simple and functional – but each of these contains a lot of information. Take the final one for instance. Already, we know Tesco wants an in-person and a digital experience. The aim is to build trust with British people, and they want to communicate existing work under their brand tagline.
Ultimately, a brief that’s well-developed, concise and engaging is going to lead to routes and ideas that deliver on expectations. A long, rambling brief that takes hours for a team to decipher usually comes about because the person writing it doesn’t know what they want or need the agency to deliver.
So, you’ve nailed the challenge – now what?
The ‘surprise me’ and budget sections of our downloadable brief template are the ones that are most often deleted by those filling it out.
The ‘surprise me’ section probably is the most expendable of the sections on the brief. However, it’s a great opportunity to illustrate what you’re looking for and to add colour to the challenge from a brand perspective. What work is already out there that you aspire to? Are there interesting ways in which people already engage with your brand or challenge that you’ve unearthed? These are all questions the responding agency will also answer themselves during the insight gathering and strategic development leading up to creative.
Budget parameters are often overlooked when briefing. “We don’t want to constrain your thinking” and other such comments get more than an eye-roll from us agency folks. Often, this can mean ideas are developed and then pared back to a limited budget, losing their identity and spark along the way. Set parameters, even if there’s a massive range. That way, at least the team responding can put realistic proposals in front of you, at either end of your available budget. Take your agency seriously. Trust them to respect your budget. Ask for stretch or shrink proposals if you want to see what else might be possible on a bigger (or smaller) spend.
So, take our brief. Share it with your colleagues. And practice. In the same way we as an agency become more creative the more we have the chance to express our creativity, the ability to brief effectively can also be honed through regularly creating concise and thought-provoking briefs.
And don’t forget to fill out the budget.
If you’d like to send a brief our way, or have a collaborative session refining a brief before taking it on, get in touch with our Creative Lead, Kevan.
How wellness brands can capitalise on the ‘Roaring 2020s’
Written by Marie Allen-Moyo
A hundred years ago, the ‘Roaring Twenties’ was a decade of prosperity. It was a time of economic, technological, and societal progress. From art deco to flappers, to the birth of mass consumer advertising and women’s right to vote! A hundred years later and there’s another boom predicted for the 2020s.
Bring. It. On.
Despite a rocky start (ahem, pandemic, ahem), the light at the end of the tunnel is becoming brighter. Some real positives have emerged. For example, over the last 18 months, we’ve seen an increased importance placed on our personal and collective wellbeing, escalating the opportunity for an already burgeoning industry. For example, while working with Headspace, we educated consumers on how mental health is just as important as physical health. During a year of draining bad news, learning the value of slowing down and enjoying the little things was the silver lining. Wellness is now firmly front and centre within the news agenda and the brands who get it right will be major benefactors of this boom.
McKinsey estimates the global wellness market is worth more than $1.5 trillion, with annual growth of 5-10%. A rise in both consumer interest and purchasing power presents tremendous opportunity. In contrast, the yearly revenue of the global market size of alcoholic beverages (worth $1.49 trillion) decreased by 13.4%.
To capitalise on the opportunity, brands need to consider a number of factors, so here is a whistle-stop tour of the top trends to be mindful of (pun intended.).
Consumers’ preference for personalisation has trickled through from other industries into the wellness space. An influx of information online and on social media has educated consumers on their individual needs. They know their skin, hair and body best and want their requirements to be catered for. As they realise that one size does not fit all, customisation offers a solution for people who have traditionally not be catered for by mass-market products. Technology allows wellness brands to offer personalised experiences, whether it’s access to a PT, spinning class at home or wearable tracking habits.
Despite being digital natives, Gen Z still wants a mix of digital and in-person experiences from brands, according to a report by Bain and Depop. Personalisation presents the opportunity to give brick-and-mortar stores a new lease of life by turning them into spaces where consumers can experiment with products and new technologies – from simple diagnostic quizzes to sophisticated technology that analyses skin type, tailoring recommendations to customer needs.
The shift to digital channels is happening at speed. The majority of categories continue to project more growth in e-commerce than through other channels over the next few years. Creating campaigns that translate across different platforms will ensure that you meet your consumers where they are. Our client Noom, the behaviour change programme, provides the accessibility of a digital app with the support of coaches. It is challenging the traditional models that use methods like in-person weigh ins. Lululemon is tapping into the lucrative YouTube market via a partnership with Joe Wickes. The brand recently announced the nation’s favourite online PE teacher as their global ambassador in line with other activity to boost their virtual presence. Lululemon has also launched a virtual community called Community Carries On, allowing customers to stay connected with the brand now there’s less footfall on the high street.
CBD is a fast-growing sector in the industry and one that presents an exciting prospect. The current value of the CBD market in the UK has reached £300 million, larger than the total UK Vitamin D (£145m) and Vitamin C market (£119m) combined. This number is expected to triple by 2027.
At present, more than 8 million Brits take CBD, either for health concerns or relaxation purposes, and demand continues to increase. CBD can be helpful for a range of health issues including anxiety, inflammation, acne, and psoriasis.
There has been a lot of buzz and media conversation around CBD products, but no brand has fully claimed this space and capitalised on the opportunity it provides. CBD’s potential for integration and product collaboration is essentially limitless, given the right positioning and product innovation.
There has been a fusion of personal, social, and environmental wellbeing. Many consumers want greater transparency in the products they purchase and want to know where they come from and how they’re made. A combination of environmental awareness and greater knowledge of wellness is driving the demand for natural products.
This is true across all areas of wellbeing from activewear made with organic, sustainable materials to natural beauty products, free from synthetic chemicals. This trend shows no sign of slowing down with established brands releasing natural product lines to keep up with challengers.
The 2020s are set to be the decade where wellness comes into its own. The lessons of slowing down during a global pandemic will reverberate through all areas of life. Brands that can get the balance between digital and physical, personal and accessible, will be the winners in this exciting sector.
How to stay creative in a hybrid working environment
Written by Kevan Barber
The pandemic was a sudden shock to the way we worked. Overnight, almost all of us had to rely on screens and cameras rather than sitting in a room to collaborate. But what happens now that we’re in the office some of the time seeing some colleagues, while others remain consigned to a box on our screens?
And what’s the impact of all that on creativity? Creativity is something an effective, successful agency thrives from. As with all agencies, here at Eulogy we’ve had to adapt quickly and find the answers to the challenges and opportunities posed by hybrid working.
Here’s what we’ve learned so far.
Being together isn’t essential
What a relief, right? Despite the stories of doom around how creativity only thrives when we’re in each other’s company, it’s certainly possible to keep being creative no matter where we are.
Like with all good creative processes, planning is key. While creativity can of course be an individual adventure (and sometimes needs to be), if you’re planning a collaborative session, where are your colleagues going to be? How do you ensure everyone has a voice? How’s the session going to be structured?
One of our secret weapons has been Miro – in essence, a digital whiteboard. It quickly transformed the way we held creative sessions during lockdown, and it continues to play a vital role in the hybrid world. It’s no wonder the likes of HubSpot’s Vice President of marketing, Kieran Flanagan, uses it for his own remote brainstorms. Kieran says it’s the closest he’s gotten to the in-person experience since the pandemic began.
Using Miro, we’re able to design the outline for a creative session and, much like in real life, everyone can contribute simultaneously, talking about their ideas but also recording them on screen for others to see, build on, and riff off.
But the best fully-fledged ideas don’t often come from brainstorms. These sessions have a part to play in the creative process, but smaller groups or even individuals are most likely to unlock those breakthrough moments where a spark can transform into something meaningful and original.
Ultimately, that often comes down to time and space – something hybrid working affords us better than the pre-pandemic world of work. We’ll come onto more about that shortly.
Collaborative creativity can thrive
Interestingly, the hybrid way of working has enabled more interactions with clients when it comes to creativity. We’re more easily able to organise group sessions to brainstorm, test ideas or gather feedback. Before, these may have been in person or huddled around a phone.
In true hybrid fashion, we’ve found the happy medium. The speed of the phone, with the interactivity of an in-person session. We’re increasingly finding that a collaborative approach to briefs is working better than ever.
From defining the brief through an open discussion to tissue sessions and joint creative sessions, the pandemic has resulted in more collaboration during the creative process. This is helping speed up the process of landing the right ideas against briefs and, in turn, educating teams that are usually further from the creative process on the amount of work and process that goes into that.
Finding maker’s time is essential
Listening to Rory Sutherland and John Cleese at the recent Nudgestock event (held virtually of course) led to an interesting discussion around maker’s schedule versus manager’s schedule. Stemming from an essay written by Paul Charles back in 2009, they made the point that a manager is able to split their day by the hour with the ability to switch hours around to maximise interactions. However, the scheduling of meetings throws a maker – it changes the mode in which they’re working and can be a blocker to getting something started or having the time to develop thoughts fully.
The move to a virtual workplace exacerbated this issue further. The need to engage with colleagues via video call several times a day has led to the well documented ‘Zoom fatigue’.
As we move into the next phase of work, the key is to become cognisant of how a Zoom-led way of working really favours the manager’s schedule over that of the maker. To allow creativity to thrive, the people tasked with coming up with ideas need the time and space to breathe, commit time to a brief and avoid interruption. Ultimately, this is something that remote working should allow more of, so long as the trust to get the job done and work on different schedules is respected.
Sort your tech out
Now is the time to invest. It’d be a fascinating insight to see someone like Zoom, Monday or Slack do a story on the cost to the economy of the words “You’re on mute” from the past 18 months.
Now, there’s a PR idea for you.
But seriously, now is the time. We know that this way of working is here to stay, so don’t let outdated, poorly performing tech get in the way. Get cameras and speakers for every meeting room, invest in the likes of Slack and Miro, upgrade your team’s laptops (written as I type on my brand-new MacBook) and let the creativity flow.
It’s still early days for hybrid working, but for us it’s far from the death of collaboration and creativity that some predicted. Whilst much of the above has focused in on the virtual elements of hybrid working, it’s worth stressing that the move to hybrid also lets us, on occasion, run creative sessions the old-fashioned way. In-person, surrounded by other creative minds. It’s time to be thankful that both options are on the table.
How a podcast can help your business
Written by Fraser Coupland
The past year has forced brands to rethink how they build brand awareness with consumers. In a matter of weeks city streets around the globe were all but empty. Huge swathes of OOH advertising were suddenly going unseen as consumers flocked indoors and onto their devices.
It’s hard to tell where consumers might physically be in the coming weeks and months. Some people will return to offices, whereas others will continue to work remotely or adopt a hybrid of the two. If brands wish to remain connected to their audiences, then they need to reach these people no matter where they are.
One of the best ways to do this is through a podcast.
Even if you’ve spent the Covid-19 pandemic under a rock, chances are you’ll have listened to at least one podcast in the past year (unless your rock doesn’t happen to get decent signal). The UK alone saw 15.6 million podcast listeners in 2020 – a statistic expected to rise to 20 million by 2024.
With nearly 30% of the UK expected to listen to podcasts by 2024, businesses are adding podcast production to their marketing mix, enabling greater brand engagement with their target audiences. We’ve had a look at the benefits of starting a podcast for your brand – and some things to consider before you do.
Why your business should start a podcast
You can reach your audience wherever they are
Creating a podcast isn’t just about how manypeople you can reach – it’s also about where you can reach them.
Whether you’re trying to engage B2C or B2B targets, chances are that your audience will be time poor. We all are.
Most of us have a dozen things to do every day and at least a couple of places to be. The benefit of a podcast is that it does not require your audience to stop – it lets your content be consumed on the go, wherever they are. On the tube, going for a walk, at the gym, driving children to school, even at work – your piece of downloadable, hands-free content will get your foot in the door during those periods of transition throughout the day.
A podcast can strengthen your position as a thought leader
People like to be educated – almost 75% of podcast listeners say they tune in to learn new things. And a recent study on memory found that people recall twice as much information from audio as they do from text. So, if your business is putting out written thought leadership content through your blog and socials, it stands to reason you should also be considering audio content.
A podcast is your chance to show your industry knowledge and point of view. One of the benefits of audio is that, if you choose the right speakers, listeners can hear your brand tone of voice in action. The spoken word is inherently familiar to us all, demonstrating the more human aspects of your business and therefore creating stronger relationships with your listeners.
Create content your own way – and on a fast turnaround
The costs to entry for a business podcast are low. Once you have a couple of microphones, a quiet room and some interesting speakers, you’re good to go – with complete editorial control over the topics you cover, the length of the episodes, and the format. Even if you’re tight for time, you can repurpose existing blog content for your podcast. Once you’ve created the podcast, you can repurpose snippets of it for social media on the different topics you cover.
There are loads of options for your format – discuss the latest industry trends, interview guest speakers, or offer insight into your company’s culture. Why not make it interactive, too? Host a competition for your listeners or a live Q&A through your social media channels. The choices are plenty, and they’re yours to control.
Drive traffic to your website
If listeners enjoy your podcast, they may want to learn more about your business. A shout out to your website in the podcast and having the link in your description will drive natural traffic straight there. And if you interview an influencer or a business owner, then their followers will probably be interested in what they had to say on your podcast and check it out.
This creates a snowball effect that leads to more traffic to your website and socials – which in turn can help boost your SEO rankings, which could lead to new business leads and new opportunities for your brand. All for the price of sitting in a room and talking.
Before you start your business podcast
- What are you going to call it and how will you describe it? (70% of people say they choose a podcast with an engaging description)
- Who are your audience and what do they want to hear about?
- How long will your podcast run for and how regularly are you going to release it?
- How much of it will be scripted? We recommend jotting down key points to ensure some structure but keeping the detail light to encourage a healthy conversational flow.
- How are you going to discuss these topics and in what format?
- How are you going to promote it to make it accessible? (Spotify, Twitter, LinkedIn)
How Eulogy can help you with your new podcast
Estimates on the number of podcasts out there vary – but the statistics range anywhere from 800 thousand up to 2 million. Given the benefits of podcasting we’ve seen, this popularity isn’t surprising. But it does mean you need a bulletproof strategy to help your business podcast step straight into the spotlight.
If you want your podcast to grow an audience and make an impact, you need to run a series rather than just a one-off episode. That means you need to plan and storyboard your content ahead of time – usually focusing on an overall theme with different topics for each episode.
At Eulogy, we’ve created our own podcast, The Headliner, where we dissect the biggest stories to help brands understand and influence the agenda. We’re also actively creating podcasts with a number of our clients right now. Our award-winning media experts know how to produce big, creative ideas backed by sound strategy and media nous.
So, if you are interested in starting a business podcast, get in touch today to speak to a member of our team.
Influencer marketing for B2B – why it works, and how to get started
Written by Giulietta Avenia
When most people think of influencer marketing, they’re thinking of it as a B2C strategy. Instagram accounts with millions of followers, Youtuber creators whose videos get thousands of views within minutes of going live, these kinds of lifestyle influencers can help raise awareness, increase sales, and lend credibility by association.
Influencer marketing can have the exact same impact when used for B2B.
There is often a long cycle of education and research involved before any purchase in the B2B buyer journey. Thanks to podcasts, mailing lists, webinars, livestreams, and social platforms, B2B decision makers are better informed than ever before. Rather than trying to cut through all that noise, savvy marketers are instead opting to utilise it, putting themselves where they know their audience will see.
Working with influencers is new territory for many B2B brands, but the guiding principles are the same as traditional influencer marketing.
Think of who you follow on LinkedIn, the posts you always read, the newsletters you always check – the people creating that content are likely influencers in your industry. If you’ve ever signed up to a webinar or listened to a business podcast purely for who was speaking, that person is a good candidate to use in B2B influencer marketing.
No matter what industry you work in, there are people making waves and building a following that you could potentially use in your marketing strategy.
Why B2B influencer marketing works
B2B influencer marketing works thanks to the fact that these thought leaders, CEOs, and disruptors have proven they know what they’re talking about by building successful businesses and brands.
But it isn’t the brands people are interested in, it’s the people that built them. More people follow Bill Gates on LinkedIn than Microsoft.
And in this Ceros survey, 95% of respondents said that credible content from industry influencers was their top preference of content.
Prospects respond to B2B influencers because they offer:
- A unique point of view, an original thought leadership angle
- Tried and tested methods of success
- Wide-ranging and valuable networks
The campaigns allow for a wide reach while also leveraging the credibility of the influencer. Influencer marketing of this type provides the audience with insights from a source they already trust, meaning that potential buyers will be more receptive to your messaging.
How to start a B2B influencer marketing strategy
Decide what action you want your influencer strategy to drive
First, consider what outcome you want from any influencer activity. Are you a start-up looking for awareness? Website traffic? Direct sales?
This should help shape the kind of content you and the influencer will create together. A long-form discussion podcast would be great for thought leadership, but might not drive sales.
Similarly, the desired outcome should impact which influencers you go after. An industry leader with half a million followers might not be as useful as someone who works in the exact niche you’re targeting.
Decide which influencers to work with
As with B2C influencer marketing, it’s not always about who has the most followers. Consider why these influencers are followed, who their audience is, and whether they’re the right fit for your brand in terms of style and tone.
Any influencer campaign should be mutually beneficial for both parties, so taking the time to make sure you have the right influencers on your shortlist pays dividends in the long-run.
How do you find these influencers? Begin by immersing yourself in your industry. Search it on YouTube, Spotify, and LinkedIn, see who is posting about it and regularly gets high levels of engagement. Who encourages discussion? Find out whose opinion matters on the big topics that are going on within your industry.
Once you’ve found some potential influencers to work with, it’s time to check them over. See what they post about, how regularly they post, and how much engagement they get. Do they talk about topics that resonate with your brand purpose?
Remember, to work with a good influencer, you’ll need more than money. You’ll need to work in the same industry, to have similar ideas, styles, and tones, and to offer a genuine creative partnership, one that ultimately results in good, useful, and interesting content for both their and your audience. It’s more of a business relationship than a simple transaction.
Analyse and maintain campaigns over the long-term
Once you’ve launched a B2B influencer marketing campaign, it’s important to monitor activity to see exactly what benefits you’re getting from it. If you’re aiming for increased awareness, how many impressions are the posts getting? If you’re aiming for website traffic, how many users are travelling from the posts to your site? There are a variety of social listening and analytics tools that can help you make sure your influencer campaign is driving the right impact.
Only 19% of B2B marketers that utilise influencers are running ongoing campaigns. This is a huge missed opportunity, as B2B purchase decisions can often take months of research and deliberation. You want your brand and content to be top of mind, and ongoing influencer activity is one of the best to achieve that.
On top of this, once you’ve built a good working relationship, both parties can stand to gain from ongoing work. The brand gains the compounding benefit of repeated exposure to the influencer’s audience, and the influencer gains a steady pipeline of content relevant to their followers.
Ditching the one-off campaign model and switching to a more long-term focused approach can help B2B marketers create a consistent drumbeat of content that reliably converts.
However, 60% of B2B marketers say that they don’t have the knowledge in-house to execute a successful B2B influencer campaign. If you’re looking to grow your awareness, bring in more leads, and ultimately drive more businesses, get in touch with us today to launch a B2B influencer campaign.
Read more of our advice on creativity in marketing, or find out how Walmart is turning its own employees into influencers.
How to use PR and comms to scale your tech business
Written by Jack Terry
The road to recovery from Covid-19 is in sight.
Throughout the last year of anxiety and separation, tech has helped us stay informed, stay in touch, and stay in control of our lives as best we could.
Technology now has a central role in every business, every social group, and our personal lives. Communities are built online, big moments can be shared and celebrated, and work can get done from anywhere on the planet.
As we begin to leave lockdown behind and the economy reopens, there are opportunities on the horizon for tech businesses willing to seize them.
Why you should focus on PR and comms in 2021
The UK tech sector has had a record investment of nearly £5.7 billion in the first months of 2021, showing there is a huge appetite for growing businesses.
How you talk about your brand over the remainder of the year could have a profound impact on whether your business climbs to new heights, or is left behind as new start-ups and competitors emerge from this influx of funding.
Read on for an overview of how you can start to build a successful PR and comms strategy, or download the full report for an in-depth look at the media landscape and how best to position your business for building awareness with the media, generating social engagement, and fuelling long-term growth.
How to create a PR and comms strategy that gets results
You want a PR plan that gets your brand featured in the top titles and online publications. But coverage alone isn’t enough, it needs to drive your key business objectives and help drive growth.
The key to this is making sure your comms build authority and trust.
While the world may be opening up again, buyers and investors remain cautious. The landscape is constantly changing, so you need to remain stable and agile, demonstrating your expertise, showing that your business is a safe bet and able to navigate market challenges.
When thinking about PR and comms, consider what you want to achieve, not just in terms of sales or downloads or sign ups, but also in terms of thought leadership, branding, and market positioning. What do you want to be known for? Are you speaking to the right audience? Are you landing the right message in the right way at the right time?
Consider your positioning
Tech businesses have provided the infrastructure and support to keep the world moving during lockdown. 38% of consumers perceive the tech industry more favourably now than they did at the start of the pandemic.
Much of that has come down to businesses evaluating their purpose, their mission, and ensuring everything they do, and every piece of comms they put out, highlights and reinforces their commitment to that mission.
Not only does this help communicate why you do what you do, but it can also galvanise and inspire your workforce as well as your audience.
Think about how your customers’ mindsets have changed
A year of lockdown has given everyone time to think, and many of us have re-evaluated what we want from our work, our personal life, and our relationship with technology.
People want transparency more than ever, especially from tech companies that may have access to our personal data, but businesses across all industries are taking a more human-led approach, ensuring that people are at the heart of every decision.
When it comes to your messaging, ask yourself if it is centred around an issue that effects your audience or customers. If your campaigns talk about a real-world issue, in a clear and simple way, they’ll resonate not just with journalists, but with the people you’re trying to reach.
Invest time into your content
As our route out of lockdown continues to ease and the economy reopens, there’s going to be a flood of content from tech brands and given that 20,000 of these were developed during the pandemic, there’s more content to deal with than ever before.
There’s more pressure than ever before to stand out, so how do you do that?
Put yourself in the place of your audience.
Podcast consumption has more than doubled on Spotify during the pandemic, but just because this media format is on the rise, doesn’t mean you have to jump on the bandwagon. Ensure your content is on the appropriate platform for your audience and tailored for that format to really see the benefits.
Whether it’s LinkedIn to catch the eye of potential investors, Tik Tok to grow your audience among Gen Z, or YouTube for more widespread exposure, your content should be hyper-specific to your audience, this includes the platform that its hosted on.
The days of recycling content across platforms are well and truly over, we go into more detail with content marketing for tech brands in our guide.
Nurture leads through consistent comms
The current climate has made buyers and investors harder to convince than ever. They need more evidence of success and demonstrations of your authority within the industry.
Consistent thought leadership pieces in relevant industry titles can help cement you as a serious player that is engaged beyond your business with a key opinion on wider market conditions and news, while at the same time helping move potential targets down the marketing funnel as their awareness of your business continues to grow.
There are record amounts of dry powder ready for investment in 2021. Ensuring you have the right comms strategy in place will help you get noticed and take your business to new heights in the coming rebound and recovery.
Following these steps can help your PR strategy evolve by landing media coverage, appearing in front of key audiences, and growing your businesses, all while ensuring you and your business are industry leaders in the eyes of potential investors and customers.
What are Google’s Core Web Vitals, and what do they mean for SEO?
Written by Jack Terry
Google is constantly tweaking its algorithm which dictates how well websites perform in organic search.
There are many different ranking factors, from the words on your page to how fast your site loads, the amount of traffic you get to how long people stay on your site. All of these factors build on top of each other to give Google a picture of how user-friendly your site is. The easier it is to navigate, the better, and the higher you’re likely to rank in search.
Google is set to double down on this in May, and will be rolling out new performance signals to judge sites. This could have a big impact on the SEO industry, as well as how every website ranks in search, so we’re taking a look to see what can be done ahead of time to get ahead of the curve.
How Google’s Core Web Vitals will impact search rankings
Google’s Core Web Vitals will be launched as part of Google’s Page Experience Update, so if you’re looking to outrank your competitors in search, now’s the time to start optimising your website to climb those search rankings.
Google has always been concerned with how user-friendly, responsive, and helpful sites are, this is just the latest iteration of what they’re looking for when it comes to performance. As always when it comes to Google, they’re looking to reward sites with a good user experience.
Once this is rolled out, sites with healthy metrics will have a little icon next to their URL in search, sort of like a verified tick but for Google, which may become synonymous with a good user experience.
If you want your site to be number one in Google, you need to be following these metrics, and making sure your site is healthy, fast, and providing value to your visitors.
What are Google’s Core Web Vitals?
Largest Contentful Paint
This is the time between the start of a page load to when the largest image or text block is loaded.
I’m pretty sure ‘contentful’ isn’t a word, but since Google can more or less call this whatever they want, we just have to play ball.
This should happen in under 2.5 seconds. The less time it is, the better.
First Input Delay
This is how long it takes for your pages to actually become responsive to clicks after they load in. This should take less than 100 milliseconds.
If users can’t engage with your site quickly, they’re more likely to bounce, to leave and go somewhere else than wait for your site to load.
Google tracks this, and will move sites that don’t perform lower in search, so it’s crucial your site can keep people engaged and clicking.
Cumulative Layout Shift
This is how much your page features move around while the page is loading. If you have a lot of banners or pop-ups, that causes the content blocks on your page to move around, which can be jarring for users.
Your CLS (cumulative layout shift) score should be as low as possible to ensure a good user experience and a positive ranking boost from Google.
All these elements impact the overall user experience, and Google has always ranked sites based on this. While you should still try to optimise your on-page SEO in terms of keywords and heading tags, you must also make sure your site is fast and easy to navigate.
Crucially, Google has said that sites must meet the minimum criteria across all three areas before they can expect a ranking boost.
How do Google’s Core Web Vitals mean for your SEO?
If your site is slow, you won’t rank
Given how we use the internet now, slow sites are almost a thing of the past. Think back to the last time you were on a site took more than two seconds to load – either you can’t remember because it hasn’t happened for months, or you got annoyed and went somewhere else.
It’s more important than ever that your site loads quickly. There are ways to improve any website’s speed, from cutting unnecessary assets to shrinking file sizes.
If your site is clunky, you won’t rank
Your site shouldn’t overload visitors with pop-ups, banner ads, or videos. It is also has to be mobile optimised. Fewer and fewer people are using desktops for browsing, and Google’s mobile-first approach means you can’t afford to have a site that doesn’t perform well on mobile.
Some start ups aren’t even bothering to create desktop versions of their websites when they launch now, opting to focus entirely on the mobile experience instead.
It’s possible to rank higher in search thanks to Core Web Vitals
The good news is that with some relatively minor tweaks to your site, you can likely expect a reasonable boost in search rankings if you jump through Google’s hoops, but really everything they’re asking for correlates with a good user experience that you should be providing anyway.
SEO has always been about trying to figure out what Google wants, but also about helping the end user who is visiting your site. The two go hand in hand.
While these aren’t the only ranking factors to take into account, they will start to have a big impact on how your site (as well as your competitors) will appear in search, so the sooner you start looking into your site’s performance, the sooner you can start making changes to improve how you rank in search, and get more traffic, leads, and conversions.
Get in touch with Eulogy today to start an SEO campaign and boost your search rankings.
Google vs Australia: How much power does Google have over search?
Written by Jack Terry
Internet search engine giant Google is currently battling multiple court cases, including an antitrust case in the US. The latest is with the Australian government, with Google recently threatening to pull its search service out of the country.
This has raised questions about just how powerful Google is. Can it really dictate government legislation? And what are the alternatives to search engine most of us use dozens of times a day?
How powerful is Google?
Google has a 91% share of the worldwide search engine market as of 2021. That number is higher in Australia, between 90-95%.
Google has collected and organised more information than any other company or organisation in human history, is often the default search engine installed on smart phones and laptops, and can deindex any site it decides has violated its terms.
Suffice to say: Google is very powerful. If it is removed from Australia, it could have significant impact on how its citizens access and navigate the internet.
Why has Google threatened to remove its search engine from Australia?
New legislation is being debated by the Australian government which would force the company to pay all news companies in its search results. Unsurprisingly, Google isn’t thrilled about this development.
This legislation would require Google to enter into negotiations with news media to decide how much to pay to access and display their content in Google’s search engine, with the cost going to arbitration if a figure is not mutually agreed upon.
Google has claimed the cost would be too great, and it threatening to pull its service from Australian users. Google Australia made A$134 million in profit in 2019, so paying expensive fees for big news sites would likely have a significant impact on Google’s bottom line.
Prior to this case, Google has made around 450 deals with news companies around the world to access their content, and has said that a different model could be more cost effective for them than the one being proposed by the Australian government.
This boils down to the fact that in private negotiations with individual news companies, Google will have the upper hand: deals will be made on their terms, for significantly less than they’d have to pay under Government mandated law.
The reason Google is fighting tooth and nail to ensure this law doesn’t happen is because it would set a precedent for other governments to do the same, which would really eat into those profits they don’t pay tax on.
As well as the financial element, Google is also making the argument that unrestricted linking between sites is fundamental to how search operates. That point is directly undercut by their own business model, with anyone able to bid for ads at the top of Google’s search results.
So, could Google really stop serving search results to Australia?
Could Google really leave Australia?
Google has done similar things before, having pulled out China in 2010. Google also threatened to leave Germany when the German government introduced an ancillary copyright law back in 2013. The EU has also been looking at tightening regulations around Google’s influence on the web, so the company certainly has a precedent for doing this, and for ensuring it uses its power to dissuade other nations from bringing in similar legislation.
If Google is removed from Australia, that would mean the 19 million people who use it every month would no longer have access to the world’s most popular (and arguably most effective) search engine. It would also probably put more than a few Australian SEOs out of a job, who would be the real victims here.
Google has already admitted to ‘experimenting’ with removing certain results from Australian searches. It is, of course, a private company, and as such does not have to operate anywhere that doesn’t make financial sense for it to. Google could leave Australia.
This would set a worrying precedent, as Google plays a fundamental role in how the internet works. In a way, it’s the foundation for how we access information in the modern age.
Google has a lot of power, and it’s clear the giant is willing to use it to get its way.
What would this mean for Google’s reputation?
If Google does leave Australia it will have a huge impact on how they are perceived globally. Such a blatantly punitive move would require some heavy-duty PR to shift focus, and would also severely undercut their message of caring about an open internet for everyone.
What does the Australia case tell us about Google’s power over the search market?
When a private company can attempt to bully a country into changing their laws, it’s a pretty big sign that maybe these guys have too much power.
There’s an argument to be made that the internet was made to share information freely with no one platform having an advantage over any other, that introducing a law which alters the balance of who can and can’t access the news is fundamentally undemocratic, and that things should stay as they are.
Of course, the reality is that this idealised version of the internet never really existed. To the average person, Google is the internet. An independent news site that gets deindexed by Google may as well give up, because no one is going to find their content unless they go to the source.
At a time when the ability to access the news is more important than ever, Google arguably have a responsibility to shoulder the cost to ensure that news organisations remain viable, and that the public have easy access to finding their sites and articles.
We’ll continue to write about how this could impact the digital marketing and SEO industries as this story develops.
Which channels are best for engaging with Gen Z? Stats, tips, and research
Written by Jack Terry
Generation Z encompasses anyone born between 1996-2012, a group that is of increasing interest to brands. They represent 35% of the world population, and require more sophisticated marketing than previous generations.
In many ways gen Z will dictate marketing trends for years to come. They’re responsible for vast amounts of the culture that will be formed – both online and offline – they’re vocal about what they want, and their demands have a real-world impact on how brands market themselves.
How to market to Gen Z:
A safe and simple advertising campaign won’t be enough to get their attention, and we’ve seen big brands fail to strike a chord with this new generation.
More and more brands are trying to be seen and liked by members of gen Z. With gen Z spending more time online than any previous generation, it should be easy for brands to get engagement, yet with marketing campaigns spending millions entirely to cater to gen Z, why are brands going to so much trouble?
Is marketing to gen Z worth it? We think so.
We’ve compiled some of most important stats for any brand looking to market to gen Z, and included some tips on how best to engage them on social.
Why brands are trying to engage gen Z:
Gen Z has bigger spending power than you might think
Worldwide, gen Z has an estimated $143bn spending power.
When the global economy begins to rebound post-pandemic, gen Z will be at the forefront of many marketers’ minds.
They engage with branded content
Gen Z live on social, and follow the brands that they care about. While branded or sponsored content might have been strange to older users when it first arrived on our social channels, it’s a part of everyday life for gen Z.
They aren’t shy about engaging with branded content, sharing it, and even talking to brands directly. This can really help brands be seen, and grow their social following.
They’re loyal to brands that deliver consistently
Brands that put quality first are more likely to find success with gen Z. Consistent style, tone, and overall approach in the content they put out will be received better than a scattergun approach.
Facebook found that 60% of gen Z surveyed wish they could communicate with more businesses via direct messaging. Brands that go the extra mile to create a personalised relationship where their gen Z audience feel like what they want matters will reap the rewards of a loyal customer base.
How brands can engage gen Z through content and social:
Campaign Monitor found that gen Z’s favourite way of interacting with brands was through social media. 85% are on Youtube, 72% are on Instagram, and 69% are on Snapchat. If you want to market to this audience, you need to be too.
A third of gen Z questioned in the survey reported buying something after seeing it on social media once in the past month, so it’s clear that it has a real impact beyond just engagement: gen Z are making purchase decisions based on what they see on social.
But how do you make sure your social content stands out?
Use quick videos
Gen Z watch twice as many videos on mobile than any other age group. Video is the most engaged with form of content for a reason: it gets the messages across quickly.
Generation Z has an attention span of around 8 seconds on average, so your video can’t afford any long introductions. Hook the audience first, and then follow with something of substance.
Show your brand values up front
As with millennials, gen Z want brands to be making the world a better place. 90% of gen z expect brands to help with environmental and societal issues, so if you’re not making a positive impact, you should start thinking about how you brand can start making a difference. Your social media channels should show what your brand is doing, not just what you’re talking about.
Over 70% of gen Z say they want ads to have more diversity. But this goes beyond advertising: if your business is made up of one demographic, with only one point of view, gen Z will leave you in the past.
Have a unique tone of voice
Later, an Instagram marketing platform, found that the more unique a brand is, the better it performs with gen Z. All brands claim to have a tone of voice, but most play it safe with their comms, their style, and their social media presence. For certain demographics, this is boring. Gen Z want to see something exciting, something different, something that has impact.
Old school marketers are often afraid of taking bold creative leaps, as it may not play well with a wide audience. But time and time again, gen Z rewards creative campaigns with attention, shares, and purchases.
Brand collaborations that would never have made it through a brainstorm ten years ago are now some of the most successful and memorable campaigns of recent years, such as the KFC X Crocs. Did some people think those shoes were ugly? Yes. Were they right? Absolutely. But those ugly crocs sold out.
The reason these shoes did so well was because they were weird, because they were different, something no one ever thought a major brand would come out with. That’s why they were a hit with gen Z.
Which channels should you use to engage with gen Z?
We’ve talked about Youtube and Instagram, but the fastest climbing social channel for gen Z is Tik Tok. Up until recently around 70% of the app’s user base was made up of gen Z.
Tik Tok’s exploded in popularity during lockdown. It has now been downloaded over 2.6 billion times. In Q1 of 2020, the app was downloaded 315 million times, the best quarter for any app of all time.
In fact, around 21% of gen Z feel they’re spending too much time on Tik Tok. Keeping up with the latest jokes and trends can feel like a full-time job, and brands would be well to pay attention to the wider eco-system in the app.
Out of Home
While many marketers might focus solely on social activity to attract gen Z, out of home advertising can help support any campaign, especially one focused on social purpose. Big bold adverts in famous locations can make an impact and ensure your brand’s values are known by your target audience.
It goes without saying that anyone trying to reach gen Z should invest in digital advertising. Whether they’re on Google, Facebook, or Youtube, ads can provide a big return for relatively little investment.
Tailoring your ads to cater to and target gen Z will help ensure you’re getting in front of the right people. Luckily it’s easier than ever to customise your ads and who they appear for.
But it’s important to make sure your ads are to the taste of your target audience. 63% of gen Z prefer real people to celebrities when it comes to advertisements.
If your marketing lands with gen Z it can make a big difference to how your brand performs online.
Read more of our marketing tips and predictions here.
CES 2021: Consumer tech trends
Written by Kathryn Venediger
Key takeaways from Kathryn Venediger, Tech Senior Account Executive
CES 2021 was a little different. Replacing the January rush to Las Vegas was an all-virtual affair. As with all aspects of life right now, Covid-19 dictated where a proportion of brand and media focus was directed. Clean tech and health tech were therefore well represented at the show’s many online unveilings.
Here’s a selection of our top picks and what they mean for the year(s) ahead.
Consumer Tech trends for 2021:
Gaming will continue to grow in popularity
Gaming is mainstream. It’s not, as some may report, the next big thing. Gaming has been a big thing for decades.
However, gaming isn’t mainstream when it comes to our homes. Avid gamers may have a powerful PC setup, but for the majority of console gamers the PS5 or Xbox Series X are an extension of an existing entertainment setup. Razer showed us with their Project Brooklyn concept how far a standalone gaming setup can go.
With its full ergonomic construction, immersive rollout screen, dynamic lighting and haptic modules, the Project Brooklyn seems to us like the arcade machine of the future. A fully standalone space that’s ruthlessly dedicated to gaming. We can expect to see gaming given more prominence in homes as tailored and optimised solutions like this come to the fore.
Clean tech will thrive post-Covid
‘Clean tech’ was one of the big stories of CES 2021, which comes as no surprise at all of course. A key question remains: just how much will the obsession with cleanliness continue post-crisis?
That question depends on the things changing in the near future. Regardless, the Motrex smartphone sanitization pod feels future-proof. It fits into a car’s cupholder, and both charges and sanitizes your device. Whilst phones may not carry Covid-19 in years to come, they will continue to harbour germs. The University of Arizona calculated that devices carry ten times more bacteria than most toilet seats, so I’ll be buying this as soon as I can.
Masks will get smarter
With medical masks acting as one of the most crucial deterrents of Covid-19, it is little wonder the tech industry has looked to enhance the trusty N95.
In addition to its impressive new gaming setup, Razer is making moves in the health-tech sector, with its Project Hazel prototype. Self-proclaimed to be the “world’s smartest mask”, we would struggle to disagree.
Razer’s surgical N95-grade face is not only made from recycled materials but also uses a replaceable and rechargeable disc-type ventilator, reducing the need for disposable masks entirely. It’s also transparent, in order to benefit those who rely heavily on visual cues for communication.
Even better, it comes with a built-in microphone and amplifier, therefore reducing the ‘mask muffle’ and its charging case disinfects the mask using ultraviolet light to kill bacteria. As mask-tech goes, this is one of the most forward-thinking examples we’ve seen, and there’s certainly the market for it.
Educational technology will empower teachers around the world
Where Brexit looks to limit us with the loss of the popular Erasmus scheme, tech steps up with an opportunity for learning without borders. Schools and universities have adapted during the pandemic, but the majority of them have been making do with tools like Zoom that were ultimately designed for the world of work rather than schooling.
Step forward Engageli. What it lacks in succinct naming is made up for through features that prioritise teachers in classrooms over CEOs in boardrooms. The features focus on ensuring class engagement, helping teachers by tracking participation and alertness. Breakout sessions take Zoom’s feature to the next-level with the ability to synchronize videos across groups and the creation of polls and quizzes to drive further interactivity from students.
And what could all this mean in the long term? Potentially that could be a more engaging way to learn remotely with the world’s best universities. Or a way to spread the world’s best teaching talent to a wider range of schoolchildren that may normally be receiving a substandard education.
Emotional support animals get intelligent
We all know the emotional strain that the pandemic has had on much of the population, leaving many of us craving the companion of a cuddly pet.
Far from Boston Dynamics’ Humanoid robots, Vanguard Industries presents Moflin. This little AI pet robot may look a lot like a boom mic with eyes, but it’s actually equipped with a unique algorithm and built-in sensors. This provides it with ever-evolving “emotional capabilities” and the ability to learn and interact with people as a normal pet would. It’ll even make little noises and twitch in its wireless charging “nest”.
Moflin is an example of how AI is expanding into new parts our lives and could well set the precedent for a new branch of the wellbeing market. And, for city dwellers, this could be the future alternative to a loyal pet without breaching any landlords’ contracts. A support animal without the vet bills? Sign me up!
GoodMaps makes good progress
In addition to a plethora of entertainment and Covid-focussed tech and gadgets, CES 2021 also reflected the increasing focus to accessible and inclusive tech.
Despite most outdoor and public spaces being well documented through Google Maps, indoor spaces have been largely ignored. Until now.
The GoodMaps Explore app intends to solve the issue of navigation of indoor environments for an often overlooked demographic when it comes to day-to-day tech. Using the app, those with visual impairments will be able hear a snapshot of their current location and direction, just with a shake of the phone.
Nominated for the CES Innovation Awards, GoodMaps Explore is a great start in transforming accessible and independent travel for everyone, visually impaired or not.
Finally, it wouldn’t be a CES roundup without mentioning the latest announcement from the mobile industry.
Just as the world is beginning to warm to the notion of foldable phones, we’re hit with the aptly named LG Rollable. Feature-wise, little is actually known about the device other than that it will extend to create a small tablet and could be launched this year.
That’s it. That’s all we know. So, do we think that rollables are going to be the next foldable smartphone? Possibly.
Samsung has already had great success with 88% of the global foldable smartphone share in 2020 thanks to its Galaxy Z Flip and Galaxy Z Fold 2. This shows that there is certainly appetite for novel smartphone designs, especially when it is said to increase productivity thanks to being both a phone and tablet in one. However, for most of us, spending £1400 on a phone is just not realistic, no matter how cool we think we would look whipping one out in public.
The rollable phone rounds out our top picks from the first ever virtual CES.
2021 is predictably unique in terms of the huge number of health-tech and smart home gadgets, but it is nonetheless exciting to witness epic progress being made across sectors. We’ll stay tuned through the year as these trends take shape and concepts and prototypes turn into fully fledged products and services.
Are you at a tech brand with a big 2021 lined up? Eulogy is ready to help develop your communications approach, helping new and established brands cut through at a time busy with innovation. Get in touch with James Steward, who heads up our tech division: [email protected]