Lucy Freeborn speaking at BrightonSEO

On Friday 18th September our Insight & Strategy Director, Lucy Freeborn, will be speaking at BrightonSEO.

BrightonSEO is a one-day search marketing conference held, not surprisingly, in Brighton. It takes place twice a year and brings together some of the best speakers in the world of search.

Lucy will be delivering a talk about what we have learned from our recent engagement reports. She will look at which retailers are winning in the crowded premium and luxury brand space, how they engage audiences to grow market share and what lessons we can learn from them.

You can catch Lucy’s talk as part of the digital PR set of talks in the Old Court House which runs from 11:30 – 13:00. Places will be limited, so make sure you get there early!

Find out more about BrightonSEO here.

How to amplify your content & updates from Twitter, Google and Facebook

Here’s our round-up of need-to-know social media & content news from the last few months and what it means for your digital marketing.

Savvy content marketers adopt a multi-channel approach to amplification

Content marketing has and always will be about creating useful, relevant content and targeting it at a carefully researched demographic. So far this year, I’ve noticed brands jumping on board with social media with gusto… unfortunately, there’s a heck of a lot of them jumping on board with zero strategy in place. With so much noise from brands and individuals, savvy content marketers need to be more strategic than ever if they’re going to get their content noticed.

Having a dual approach is crucial, blending highly useful, shareable onsite content to attract inbound links and mentions, while driving more relevant website traffic, with an outbound approach to get the attention of major publications and influencers. One often overlooked tactic to do this and a highly cost effective one, is the use of social PPC advertising to alert industry influencers and journalists about your content.

Whatever your brand, next time you have a piece of content you want to shout about, stop scraping the barrel for journalist contacts and put the news right in front of them. A great way to do this is to create Twitter lists of highly influential people and then target a Twitter ads campaign to appear directly in their newsfeeds. You’ll then have a measurable metric for the success of your content (clicks, retweets etc.) and furthermore, increase your chances of it being picked up and published.

Tied in content marketing, using a blend of promotional devices – and in this case focusing on the power of social PPC – instead of relying solely on more traditional journalist approaches (email, phone) to get your content featured, is my top tip for your next big campaign.

Google and Twitter partner up again

Google and Twitter reached an agreement for Google to start indexing tweets again after granting access to its Firehose. Firehose pings out over 9,000 tweets a second, meaning Google will always have access to the most up to date Twitter conversations to make Google searches even more relevant and the information thrown back to searchers, hyper-relevant and real-time.

If you were in any doubt as to the efficacy of Twitter as a marketing tool, this partnership – and with it the ability to get your tweets in front of both Twitter users and non-users – should convince you to step up your efforts on the platform and find your audience both in search and social.

Storytelling and tapping into emotion – the sure fire way to generate campaign engagement

Whether it’s marketers shaping the story, or the customer directly, storytelling in campaigns continue to be a strong tool for capturing your target audience’s attention.

Last month, we ran a campaign for our client, RocketSki, who – as the name suggests – provide fabulous ski holidays for corporates, groups and families.

The campaign – #TalesFromTheSlopes – asked RocketSki’s Facebook followers and lovers of skiing across Facebook (through Facebook advertising) to share their most breath-taking, funny or scary moments from the slopes and a picture of them in their best ski pose.

In collaboration with influential ski and snowboarding bloggers, the storytelling element of creative brought the campaign to life, as people flocked to the contest page to tell their #TalesFromTheSlopes. The winner, Claire Lomas, had an incredible story to tell. In 2007, Claire had a freak accident while competing at Osberton Horse Trials. This didn’t stop her though, as she turned her attention to mono skiing – essentially flying down the slopes in a specially crafted seat on skis. Her #TalesFromTheSlopes story attracted nearly 400 votes, making her the clear winner and a testament to the power of such an emotional journey – a story that captured the attention of all involved in the contest.

The campaign achieved great results for the client, including reengaging previous website visitors and converting new users into paying customers. Storytelling can be the catalyst not only for brand awareness and social media engagement, but as a genuine tool for driving sales and tangible return on investment.

Facebook continues to repress brand published organic content – less eyes on brand content

At time of writing – the last update from Facebook being on April 21st 2015 – titled ‘Balancing Content from Friends and Pages’ appears to lend itself to the following: “Dear brands, ‘If you were in any doubt, it’s time to use Facebook PPC to promote your brand message”.

Facebook is of course laser-focused on optimising content so that users’ eyeballs land on content that is relevant and interesting to them, so while organic posts are likely to see a further dip, it is still important for brands and the media to publish a rich variety of content. Whether it be videos, quizzes, thought provoking or humourous imagery, through to creative contests that reward followers for their support, brand pages will still play an important role in getting a return from social media efforts. Just don’t ignore the not so inconspicuous ‘paid social elephant in the room’… it’s time to up your social paid advertising budget if you really want to get your content seen.

The Weekly Shop (8th – 12th Dec)

Welcome to one of the last Weekly Shop’s of the year – where has the year gone! This week we have featured some stories you may have missed around ecommerce returns, the importance of mobile-friendly websites in 2015 and the future of Google’s search algorithm.

Social engagement within the premium furniture sector

During the latter part of this year, we have been investigating how premium retailers are delivering relevant content and engaging socially with their customers. In the first report of the series, we have looked at 20 leading retailers in the premium furniture sector and assessed how well they are engaging their audiences which produced some interesting insights. You can download the full report here.

Men shop very differently from women online and require a completely new approach

Moving onto some retail news, this article from Internet Retailing looks at how men and women shop for clothes in a very different way online and looks at how websites can cater to the male market.

15 tips for improving ecommerce returns policies

With Christmas being the busiest time of year for returns volumes, how should retailers handle returns? In this next article, Econsultancy have rounded up 15 best practice tips from various retailers.

Why a mobile-friendly website is essential to a successful SEO strategy in 2015

Moving onto search news, this article from Search Engine Watch looks at the importance of having a mobile-friendly website in order to have a successful SEO strategy in 2015 .

Press releases are not an SEO strategy

This next article from Clickz explores how press releases and press release websites are not an SEO strategy and explores how you can get much better results contacting journalists directly.

Why SEOs Need To Care About User Experience

Next up, URL profiler looks at how Google doesn’t really care about SEOs and that they only really care about user experience and optimising the experience of Google for their users.

The Future of Google’s Search Algorithm: Refinement Vs. Overhaul

To finish of this week, some interesting reading from Search Engine Land on Google’s search algorithm and specifically where Google search is headed and the signals it relies on.

That’s it for this week!

How to get creative with your content marketing

Creativity is a strange concept. When flowing freely it’s one of the most satisfying and rewarding parts of a content marketer’s daily work.

So, what happens when you get ‘creative block’?  Blame it on the work you’re doing? After all it’s not your fault – there’s just no way to make accounting / car parking / [insert chosen industry perceived as more straight-laced than others here]. WRONG! Getting creative with your content marketing should never be dependent on the perceived ‘coolness’ of a business’s products, service or sector.

In this blog post I will highlight some great tips for creating engaging brand content.

1. Use data creatively

Imagine you’re creating content for a car parking business. The way to generate unengaging, non-sharable content is to focus on the details and nothing else. A blog post or maybe downloadable guide with pricing for each car park the company owns. Boring, right?

What if you flipped that pricing data on its head, creating an online app that worked out the cost of a taxi home after a night out in direct comparison to leaving the car in an overnight car park? You could launch it in tandem with a drink driving awareness campaign, perhaps results could be sharable and each time an app user shares their savings they are entered into a contest for a month of free parking.

Takeaway: The data is there – it’s being creative with it that governs a campaign’s success.

2. Widen your perspective

In order to think bigger picture and step away from the detail of a brand, it’s important to connect the dots to discover creative opportunities that are not immediately obvious. Creating a mind-map is a great way to help make these new connections.

One of our own clients, Flexioffices, provides serviced office space throughout the UK. On first impressions you could think that all content needs to be about available space and current property offers. In reality, there are so many topics linked to office space, such as business issues, or top tips for creating a happy workplace.

We chose to look at what affects employee productivity, making the link with exercise during the working day and exploring the benefits of a lunchtime run. This allowed us to collaborate with fitness and running bloggers, getting them to run a route around Flexioffices’ Shoreditch office locations – securing natural links to the homepage and Shoreditch location page in the process.

The results – increased search visibility, enhanced brand awareness and fantastic blog coverage on blogs not immediately obvious in their connection to an office space provider’s brand.

3. Tap into a story – tap into emotion

A fantastic example of a brand positioning itself as a beauty product for ‘real women’ is Dove. This wonderfully emotive series of videos focuses on the story of several women who have lost sight of how beautiful they truly are, with the subtext being a story of today’s media pressures on body image and expectations of women.

I will let the video do the talking, but it’s a moving example of how emotion and real people make for captivating viewing. If you can create emotional connections with your brand, you are onto a winner.

4. Create newsworthy onsite content that attracts links and visits

‘Newsworthy content’ is the type of content that you yourself would read – irrespective of whether you were specifically on the lookout for it.

It’s not just about a catchy headline, your newsworthy content needs substance and one great tactic is to run a survey. This is because journalists know that the stories they create are given far more weight with some well-placed data involved. If you can provide that data for the journalists, without them having to do the legwork, then you’ve got a great chance of your story being picked up.

The key here is to create a ‘hook’ for the journalist, giving just enough information in your press release, leading into a link to your blog or website’s news section where the full story / full results from a survey will be hosted.

Reaching out to journalists with interesting content for their publications is a sure fire way to increase awareness of your brand and even establish valuable links back to your website. Google’s algorithm rewards fresh, highly relevant onsite content, so it should be a key focus of any content marketing strategy.

NB it is important to note that any ‘follow’ links you generate from PR outreach should be from reputable sites with high domain authorities that are relevant to your brand. Google frown upon ‘follow’ links from article placement sites and as such this is a big no-no.

5. Monitor results, learn and repeat successes

Analysis and monitoring is always the key to developing future campaigns that fly. Make use of Google Analytics, social reporting, press coverage tracking tools and brand listening to learn what worked and what didn’t during and after each campaign you run.

When your brand’s campaigns ooze creativity, you will frequently reap what you sow, achieving results above and beyond your original campaign objectives. We have delivered several campaigns at Leapfrogg where enhancing search visibility was the primary objective, but a by-product is often sales transactions, enquiries or improved rates of social media interaction.

Go forth and let your creativity run wild!

Tis the season to start planning for Christmas

So it seems summer may very sadly be on its way out as we enter September. For retailers, this can only mean one thing – Christmas is well and truly on its way. Earlier in the month, Selfridges even opened their Christmas shop – making it the first retailer in the world to do so. You might not want to be purchasing your baubles just yet, but with Christmas being the busiest and most important time of the year for online retailers – it’s never too early for retailers to start planning for the festive season. Being prepared and identifying a strategy now can make or break a successful year for retailers – in other words the difference between a lump of coal or the latest gadget from Apple in your stocking!

With only 115 days until the big day, we’re already hard at work planning for Christmas with our clients. In light of this, I thought it was worth sharing a couple of tips and tactics from the Leapfrogg team to help get you started.

What do your customers want?

Rosie, Leapfrogg’s Managing Director, recommends running a survey and asking your customers what they think they will want to buy from you at Christmas. You can ask them if they are likely to shop with you for Christmas gifts this year and if so, what categories, price points and people they will be shopping for.

It may well be too late for this insight to influence your product range for Christmas, but what this will do is give you a good steer on where to spend your marketing budget. If you know that your older customers are likely to buy a certain product from you in store, then make sure you remind them via email to pop in store as Christmas approaches. If you know that your younger customers are likely to buy a particular product from you online, then ensure you promote that product to them via all online channels in the run up to Christmas. A quick survey via email with an incentive for completion is an easy way to do this.

You could even go one step further and ask your customers to help you develop a new product for Christmas. If it isn’t too late and your products are applicable, then use social media to showcase a few product ideas or ask your customers to submit ideas for voting that you will be able to put into limited edition production. A loyal fan base will be very engaged with the process and will be likely to buy the product and others when it is released.

Can you offer free delivery?

If you can, offer free delivery – your investment really will pay off and may make the difference in a customer choosing to order with you rather than one of your competitors. A customer experience design project we ran for one of our clients revealed that a major barrier to conversion was a relatively high delivery charge on a low average order value. By offering free delivery, they increased online revenue by 20% within eight weeks.

Be clear and simple

Ensure all your delivery messaging is clearly displayed on your website across all pages, as well as your last online order dates for pre-Christmas delivery to ensure there are no nasty surprises for your customers and their expectations can be met at all times.


House of Fraser Christmas

Image source: Econsultancy

In addition, ensure that your returns policy is also clearly displayed across your website– especially if you are offering extended returns over this period.


asos Christmas Delivery

Image source: ASOS

Have a look at what questions you were asked last year and ensure your FAQs are up to date with the answers to those questions. Doing this will make life easier for your customers, and remove the need for them to contact you for questions that can be easily answered.

Also spend some time making sure that your product information is as detailed as possible. It’s worth bulking these out now, so your product pages contain as much information about the products as you can, again, making life easier for your customers.

Concentrate on improving your basket and checkout pages now to ensure you have a well converting process in time for Christmas. Maybe run some user-testing to check it’s as user-friendly as possible, and if you don’t already, offer guest checkout and consider a one page checkout.


Macy's one page checkout

Image source: Econsultancy

Be mobile responsive

We all know the importance of having a mobile-optimised website by now. If you don’t have one yet, definitely make this a priority as soon as possible as mobile searches increase over the festive period as more shoppers use their phones whilst on the high street to research products. According to the IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark, last Christmas, mobile traffic grew to 58% of all online traffic, an increase of 42% over 2012 and we can only expect this figure to rise even more this Christmas.


John Lewis mobile website

If you do already have a mobile website, take some time to ensure it provides a seamless purchasing journey for your customers.

Content planning

Ben, our senior and social media content consultant suggests preparing a content schedule that includes relevant seasonal content such as tips, videos and blog posts. Rather than just pushing products, try and tap into your customers’ needs and help solve their stressful shopping problems. This type of content will help ramp up your audience in the run up Christmas and you can link in an association of how your products can fit into Christmas preparations. Ensure that this messaging is published in a steady flow throughout the Christmas period.

Generate Christmas discounts as a special reward for your social followers, which will make them feel special and like they are getting a bargain before the New Year’s sales. This can aid revenue flow and attract any buyers that usually wait until the sale period to purchase.

Offering competitions and promotions around the 12 days of Christmas are always a winner as they encourage people to keep coming back to your website and making purchases throughout the Christmas period. The Whistles annual advent calendar is a great example of this.

Think in advance about tying in in-store services with ways to boost social following and brand loyalty. For example, offering a free gift wrapping service to customers could be tied in with a data capture exercise to capture customer email addresses and dates of birth in reward for the free gift wrap. This data can then be used to target customers through email marketing and also through custom audiences advertising on Facebook.
Create any new pages well in advance of Christmas

Our senior natural search consultant, Ben and website optimisation manager, Suze, both recommend keeping your Christmas landing pages/categories the same year to year. This ensures Google keeps them in its index and all trust associated with those pages remains. You can always hide the URLs from the customer visible sitemap, but maintain them in the XML sitemap.
If you need to create new pages or categories, ensure you create them well in advance of Christmas to allow Google to index and begin to assign trust to the new pages. Again, link in from the XML sitemap, and if you don’t have your Christmas range confirmed yet – create a holding page for them. You could always include an email signup form on this page, so keen customers can find the page and register interest before you have the range finalised.

Paid search recommendations

Our paid search analysts, Joe and Andy, have a number of recommendations for planning paid search campaigns for the festive season:

  • Have a solid marketing plan in place, so you know exactly what promotions will be running and how they will be promoted e.g. which channel, paid search feature, and site/ad language and also the budgets available for each period building up to Christmas and after Christmas.
  • Look back at which promotions have worked best in the past and test again e.g. a flash sale, free P&P or exclusive discounts.
  • Plan paid search budgets to anticipate shifts in search volume such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Take a look at your historical data for this to see which days last year were popular and plan accordingly.
  • Upload all new ad creatives well in advance of their launch to ensure they are reviewed and approved before your campaign starts – this includes text and image ads.
  • Migrate any changes made in Google across to Bing Ads to ensure consistency and more visibility for your ads.
  • Make sure product feeds are fully optimised for Google Shopping. New feed requirements are coming into effect by the 30th September, so ensure you’re ready for this change now so you don’t run into any problems in build up to Christmas. Google Shopping will be a key channel for retailers this Christmas.

So there you have it – a few tips from the Leapfrogg team on how you can start preparing for the festive season. With only 115 days to go, the time is definitely ripe to start getting into the Christmas spirit and planning ahead. By doing so now, you’ll definitely be in a better position this festive season.


The Weekly Shop (30th June – 4th July)

Welcome to a new edition of The Weekly Shop. This week we look at how Google’s search algorithm is an ongoing challenge for anyone selling online, SEO for content marketing, the future of PR newswires, and what you need to know about the Google Shopping upgrade.

Searching times: Keeping up with Google (£)

Our first article this week explores how Google’s search algorithm is an ongoing challenge for anyone selling online. Our commercial director, Ben, has contributed to the article and provided his thoughts on the recent Panda and Penguin updates (please note – you will need a Drapers subscription to read the article).

SEO for content marketing: seven success factors

This next article from Econsultancy looks at how content marketing and SEO should go hand in hand. Great content attracts links and can rank highly, while good SEO means the content you produce brings searchers to your site. In this article, Graham Charlton provides insight into how Econsultancy approaches SEO and content and their seven tips for success.

Does Google Panda 4.0 mean the days of PR newswires are numbered?

Back in May, Google rolled out its latest Panda 4.0 algorithm update, which was again aimed at clamping down on sites with low-quality or thin content. Press release websites were heavily affected by this update which has put into question whether the days of these websites could be numbered and if press releases will have a future in digital PR.

Back To Basics: 5 Fundamentals Of Link Building That Will Never Go Away

Despite all the changes we’ve seen in SEO and link building over the past few years, the qualities that make a good link have remained largely the same. This article goes back to basics and offers five fundamentals of link building that will never go away. A useful read.

Google Shopping upgrade: what you need to know

Earlier this year, Google released Shopping campaigns to all advertisers in AdWords, which offer a simpler and more flexible way of managing Product Listing Ads on Google. Prior to this announcement, campaigns were managed using regular Product Listing Ads (PLAs). Since Google will be retiring PLA campaigns at the end of August, our senior paid search analyst, Andy, has put together a useful checklist of important things you can action now to make sure you are fully optimised for Google Shopping.

The 10 Most Important Paid Search Developments So Far In 2014

Following on from the above, there have been a lot of changes this year for product listing ads on both Google and Bing. Now we’re halfway through the year, Search Engine Land have taken a step back and explored what’s happened so far in paid search.

Thanks for reading!

A round-up of Brighton SEO

At the end of last month I attended the best Brighton SEO yet. From the opening keynote to the afternoon’s content-focused talks in the Corn Exchange, the day was packed with actionable takeaways. However, the five talks that really stood out for me were:

  • How I Earned Loads of Links by Ignoring SEO – Malcolm Coles
  • The Habits That Land You Links – Stacey Cavanagh
  • How journalistic principles will shape the digital marketing of tomorrow – Julia Ogden
  • Using Content for Direct Response – Matt Evans
  • The Content Marketing Blueprint for Boring Industries – Mike Essex

Below, you’ll find my summaries (largely taken from my frantically scrawled notes) of the key points from each talk plus links to slide decks where available.

How I Earned Loads of Links by Ignoring SEO – Malcolm Coles

The conference kicked off with a keynote from Malcolm Coles, General Manager at The Daily Mirror and founder of UsVsTh3m. Malcolm spoke about how UsVsTh3m’s goal has always been to gain the biggest share of their traffic through social rather than search. They’ve achieved this through creating topical, highly shareable content in the form of games and quizzes, such as:

  • The ‘Where’s Damascus?’ Game – thousands of people played the game online and failed miserably, including people from the Houses of Parliament, which resulted in news coverage.
  • How Much Are You Hated By The Daily Mail? – though impossible to get to the end of unless you’re Michael Gove, this short piece of interactive content attracted over a million players, multiple pieces of online coverage with hugely authoritative links and caused UsVsTh3m to rank 3rd for the search term ‘Daily Mail’ for months.

Malcolm also spoke about how The Daily Mirror now sees more mobile traffic than desktop. Therefore, you must ensure that any content you outreach to publications (e.g. infographics) needs to look good on mobile. Your outreach email will probably be read in mobile too. What’s more, infographics sent as huge JPEGs won’t look good on mobile – these should be created in HTML and should be responsive. When UsVsTh3m launched their ‘Northometer’ quiz, 85% of plays came from mobile. In fact, the entire UsVsTh3m site is designed for mobile – Malcolm even went as far as to say that they “don’t really care” how it looks on desktop.

The most important takeaway of Malcolm’s talk was about content headlines. The best-performing headlines are interesting (you want to read them) and mysterious (they don’t give too much away) – these are the headlines that get you clicks AND shares.

Essentially, online content can be divided down into four categories: 

  • Gets clicked AND shared (what goes viral)
  • Gets clicked NOT shared (tends to be content that includes swearing – after all, “your Mum is on Facebook”)
  • Gets shared NOT clicked (rubbish headlines, but good content)
  • Doesn’t get shared OR clicked (most online content) 

You want your content to fall into the top category and sites like Buzzfeed work extremely hard to get this right – it’s standard for them to A/B test up to 25 different headlines for each piece of content.

Three more key points from Malcolm’s talk were:

  • If you’re creating content that’s getting shared, the most important thing is that it’s visual – this means people writing about it are forced to link to it because it’s not something that they can describe with the same level of impact
  • The reason quizzes work so well when it comes to generating content that gets shared is because people want to share content that’s self-affirming – i.e. it reinforces the way that people perceive themselves and/or want to be perceived by others
  • Use Facebook Ads to deliver niche content to the right people – when people in a niche start talking about something, it’s likely to get picked up by relevant publications

The Habits That Land You Links – Stacey Cavanagh

Next up was Stacey Cavanagh, Head of Search at Tecmark, talking about getting into the habits that land you links. Stacey spoke about the importance of allowing time to be creative, championing the 6-3-5 method which enables six people to generate 108 ideas in 30 minutes. Next, you should use NUF testing (New, Useful, Feasible) to work out which ideas are worth following up – score each idea out of ten for each of these things and prioritise the highest scoring ideas.

Additional takeaways from Stacey’s talk were:

  • Use a tool such as to A/B test the effectiveness of your tweets
  • Don’t underestimate the importance of having a Flickr page with high quality, original images – ensure all images have a Creative Commons attribution license and include direction as to how to attribute
  • Have regular image reclamation sessions – helps to find sites using your images, then you can request attribution and a link
  • Create stories from surveys – this is a great tactic for getting news links, even if you just write a story about it (you don’t need a fancy infographic to get quality links)
  • Don’t underestimate the effectiveness of offline content – e.g. doing something “real” that results in coverage; links are a by-product of coverage
  • Old-fashioned communications are disruptive – when it comes to outreaching to your contacts, doing something like sending a hand-written letter will get you more attention than an email

How journalistic principles will shape the digital marketing of tomorrow Julia Ogden 

Julia was a journalist before she went on to work at Zazzle. Her talk was about how she’s used the skills she learnt while working in local media to inform her digital marketing tactics. Key points were:

  • Most people don’t read more than 250 words of a piece of content so make sure all the important information is at the top – the introduction to any piece of content needs to hook the reader and make them want to read on
  • The internet is crying out for high quality, well-written content – in essence, this is all that “SEO content” is
  • Content marketers should take advantage of the citizen journalism approach and crowd-source content from brand advocates and social influencers
  • Google rewards a website/business which has a range of followed links, no follow links and even just online mentions – Google recently released a patent to reward content that just mentions a brand or associated keywords, but has no links
  • When you’re creating content, always think about what’s new or different – why should people care about what you have to say?

 Using Content for Direct Response Matt Evans

It was Matt’s first time speaking at Brighton SEO and I thought his talk was one of the most useful from the day. Matt spoke at length about selling through content and provided some really great takeaways.

In essence, we’ve stopped stuffing Google with keywords and started stuffing it with content – but what so many online marketers overlook is that the sales funnel is content.

Matt outlined that there are four stages of the sales funnel that your consumers go through:

  • Unaware – content at this stage should catch peoples’ attention
  • Know the situation – content at this stage should inform people of the situation
  • Product awareness – content at this stage should inform people about the product
  • Purchase intent – content at this stage should push people to sale

Too often, content created “for SEO” overlooks this and completely misses the sales process:

  • Your content should inform your audience – because an informed audience is more likely to purchase
  • Get your content in the right place at the right time – tailor your content to what your audience want / need to see at each stage of the buying journey 
  • Re-market to your content, not just your products – use your content to move your potential customers down the funnel until they’re ready to purchase
  • Don’t underestimate the importance of post-purchase campaigns – it costs 5 x more to acquire a new customer than to sell again to an existing customer
  • Stop thinking about links first – create content with a real purpose

The Content Marketing Blueprint for Boring Industries – Mike Essex

Mike Essex from Koozai spoke about how we’re so obsessed with “great content” that we often totally overlook that fact that “boring content” is actually the best opportunity in content marketing. Great content might achieve awareness, but boring content is what sells.

Opportunities to create boring content include:

  • Your ‘About’ section
  • Technical specifications
  • Press releases (these are still important and great for targeting niche audiences, which can be critically important)
  • Company location pages

Ways that you can achieve stand-out “boring content” are:

  • Repackage boring content in a visually interesting way  – e.g. highly visual technical specification pages
  • Distil your product information down into simple-to-follow comparisons – sometimes you have to focus on what stops people buying and create content to address this
  • Think about customer aftercare – for example, other sites were ranking for Vax user guides so Vax invested in creating their own
  • Have great product pages – Aviva are a great example of a company which uses its product pages to give them a competitive edge

Above all, remember that on-site content such as this MUST convert – that should always be your end goal!




Fever London’s Perfect Fit Model Competition

Fever London is one of Britain’s most exciting independent fashion brands, with collections inspired by beautiful vintage prints and feminine silhouettes. We’ve been working with the brand since October 2013 looking after their natural search strategy. To date, this has involved integrating their content, social media and online PR activity to help establish the brand as an authority on vintage fashion.

As part of our on-going work, last month we supported Fever London with the launch and promotion of their Perfect Fit Model Competition. Our mission was to find five ‘real life’ models in a variety of different dress sizes who would take part in a photo shoot in and model key pieces from Fever London’s SS14 collection. From April 2014, these images will be featured on product pages on Fever London’s website to show exactly what each design would look like on real women in sizes 8 to 16.

We developed this campaign specifically to grow and increase engagement of Fever London’s social media audience across all platforms, particularly Facebook. We also wanted to boost online brand awareness for Fever London by contacting relevant fashion and vintage bloggers and publications about the competition.

The competition launched on Facebook in January and we were thrilled with the coverage and buzz it received. There were 65 entries for the competition and a whopping 11,900 votes were cast! The final winners were Catherine of Not Dressed as Lamb, Deborah of Bang on Style, Elizabeth of What Lizzy Loves, Celina and Nikki who all received the most votes in their size category from Fever London’s Facebook fans.

Last Saturday, the five competition winners headed up to Fever London’s headquarters and spent the day being pampered and styled for their photo shoot. Our senior social media and content consultant Alice also went along to capture all the action on the day and we thought it would be nice to share some of her photos. I think you’ll all agree the models looked fabulous!

This campaign received a huge amount of buzz online and some of the positive coverage the campaign received is below:

Should we have models that are all different sizes? 

What online retailers can learn from Fever London’s ‘perfect fit’ campaign

The final images from the models’ photo shoot will be up on the Fever London website on the 1st April and we will also be sharing a full case study about this work shortly. Watch this space!

Deborah being made-up with her vintage-inspired hair do.

Nikki modelling in the Fever shop window.

Celina modelling the Chelsea Pencil Dress outside the Fever London studio.

Deborah of the blog ‘Bang on Style blog’ modelling the Arlington Maxi Dress.

Three of the lovely competition winners modelling a Fever London top and skinny jeans.

 The five competition winners posing outside Fever London.

Wedding Rings Direct ‘Bride of the Year’ campaign

In light of our recent nomination for the European Search Awards we thought the time was ripe to share a few more details about our work with Wedding Rings Direct and the ’Bride of the Year campaign’, which earned us a nomination in the ‘Best Use of PR in a Search Campaign’ category.

Wedding Rings Direct offers the largest collection of quality engagement, wedding and eternity rings in the UK. We first started working with them at the beginning of 2013 when they approached us to help them increase brand exposure, customer acquisition and revenue having suffered a significant drop in natural search traffic as a result of Google updates and subsequent penalties.

As part of their strategy, we came up with the idea of a Bride of The Year campaign, aimed at raising brand awareness and boosting social media engagement, whilst also building a number of high quality editorial links.

At the launch of the campaign, we asked friends and family of brides set to marry in 2014 to nominate the brides-to-be with photo and the reason they deserved to be Bride of the Year. We then approached wedding related businesses with strong blog domains to help us publicise the competition, whilst also inviting them to donate items or services for the winner’s prize package in return for media coverage.

When the competition launched, we used an ‘old school’ PR approach via press releases and calls to the local media and relevant wedding bloggers. This secured us coverage in the main local newspaper, whilst also gaining editorial links from bloggers.

In order to generate social media buzz, we created a contest app for Wedding Rings Direct’s Facebook page where brides-to-be could be nominated and then voted for by family and friends. To encourage the highest number of entries possible, we supported Facebook activity with advertising, accompanied by sponsored stories to extend reach even further.

Bride of The Year Competition

There were a total of 28 entries to the competition with each entry receiving an average of 65 votes and six comments per entry. Bride of the Year content was shared on Facebook 12,322 times during the two months the competition was live.

In October– after receiving more than 800 public votes– Rosa Lee from Brighton was crowned Bride of the Year 2014, receiving a set of bespoke wedding rings as part of a prize package worth more than £1,500.

The winning bride receiving her wedding rings from Wedding Rings Direct

Campaign highlights included:

  • 17 pieces of coverage from the media and wedding bloggers about the competition and winner
  • 10,185 unique visitors to the competition on Facebook
  • 84% increase in Facebook fans
  • 41 high quality, editorial links from a variety of domains over the four months of the campaign (exceeding the target of 30)

In addition, year-on-year natural search traffic is now tracking above the pre-penalty level for the first time in twelve months.

Kate Rivera, Marketing Manager at Wedding Rings Direct said “We are so pleased with how the Bride of the Year campaign performed from both a brand awareness and social activity perspective. We increased our Facebook followers significantly and the campaign also allowed three months of daily social interaction with our audience across multiple social platforms including Facebook, Twitter, G+ and Pinterest.”

We’ve thoroughly enjoyed working on this campaign and were very happy to hear that due to the success of the competition, Wedding Rings Direct would like us to repeat and expand the competition nationally in 2014.

Watch this space for more details… and wish us luck with the European Search Awards!


European Search Awards Shortlist Badge




Leapfrogg nominated for a European Search Award

We had a great start to the week on Monday when we discovered that we had been nominated for a European Search Award!

Our work with Wedding Rings Direct and the Bride of the Year campaign has been shortlisted in the Best Use of PR in a Search Campaign category demonstrating outstanding public relations integration into a search campaign.

We were particularly proud of this campaign as it represented tremendous success for our client Wedding Rings Direct – such a success that they have requested we repeat and expand the competition nationally in 2014!

The project attracted 28 entries and drove 17 pieces of coverage across the media and wedding blog network. The social stats were also very impressive with 10,185 unique visitors to the competition on Facebook which was shared over 12,000 times within the two months the competition was live and increased their number of Facebook fans by 84%. We also exceeded the target of 30 high quality links, achieving 41 from a variety of domains over the four months of the campaign.

The winners will be announced at The European Search Awards ceremony in Reykjavik on 28th March. We’ll be keeping our fingers crossed until then!