Tag Archives: Digital Marketing

Hyundai’s Augmented Reality Guides, Google+ New design and Pinterest Promoted Pins

This week in Digital Bytes: Hyundai takes an innovative approach to its car owner’s manual with a detailed virtual guide; Google updates the look of Google+; and Pinterest gets set to launch Promoted Pins in the UK.

Hyundai Owner’s Manuals In Augmented Reality Form

augmented- reality-fastwebmedia
Source from Flickr

Hyundai plans to revolutionise its car owner’s manual with a detailed virtual guide (available on a tablet or phone)

Hyundai has announced a modern take on the traditional owner’s manual usually found inside a car’s glove box. The automaker will soon be launching an augmented reality guide to help users with repairs, maintenance and vehicle feature information.

In the future, virtual manuals like this could be implemented in other categories, such as furniture assembly, household appliances, or electrical devices.

Hyundai’s AR manual aims to make owners more familiar with their vehicle’s capabilities. It will enable them to use their smartphone or tablet to get how-to information. Initially, the Hyundai Virtual Guide is compatible with the 2015 Sonata model, and soon after it will become available for additional models.

Users can position their phone or tablet’s camera over the part they want to learn more about. The guide can virtually identify and provide info on features such as the air filter, smart cruise control, Bluetooth phone pairing, warning indicators, clock, engine oil, brake fluid, fuse box, and smart trunk.

Google+ new design aims to focus on community

Source from Pixabay

There have been quite a few new changes for Google+ this year. Recently Google has updated the look of Google+ as it looks to respond to user feedback and focus on communities and collections.

Now focused around interests, Google+ is simpler and easier to use and has been rebuilt across web, Android and iOS for a faster and more consistent experience across all devices.

Eddie Kessler, Director of Streams says Google’s rework of the network is “focused around interests” and adds that it wants users to connect to those with whom they have things in common.

Communities, which in its present form has 1.2m ‘joins’ from people each day, the company claims, allows people to join sections they’re interested in — such as Game of Thrones. Collections gives a view of the latest content on broader topics — Google gives surfing as an example — and allows you to gather material from across the web to share.

Promoted Pins ad platform to Launch in the UK

Source from Flickr

Pinterest announced it will launch its ‘promoted pins’ ad platform in the UK during the first six months of 2016.

The service has already been running in the US for over a year, so it was only a matter of time before it made its way to the UK. A promoted pin is a paid ad that ensures pins appear in the most relevant places on Pinterest. Marketers can target specific consumer groups, track data and pay on an engagement or click-through basis.

Tim Kendall, Pinterest’s General Manager of Monetisation said: “We are trying to do for discovery what Google has done for search and by that I mean stitching together a catalogue of ideas on your smartphone every single day.”

He says Pinterest’s UK users have more than doubled over the past year and that three million items, from clothing to food and drink, are pinned daily. Pinterest, which has 100 million users, “will surpass one billion over time” according to Kendall, who says that discovery is a “universal need”.

Check out our Digital Bytes from last week:


Tune in next week to get more Digital Bytes; bringing you the latest from the digital world

Or follow Fast Web Media on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+, to keep up with the latest digital news

Top 10 Invaluable Digital Business Elements from The University of Salford

salford-university-blogAs a Digital Account Manager at Fast Web Media, it is imperative to have a deep and practical understanding of all aspects of online marketing to ensure you are able to bring maximum value to clients.  To help me to achieve this, I recently completed the 10 week long Search and Social Media Marketing (Combined) course at Salford Business School.

Having already developed a strong understanding of a number of digital marketing techniques through hands-on experience, the training course allowed me to take my knowledge to the next level.  As well as comprehensive, in depth lectures, the course offers the chance to interact with industry experts and other like-minded individuals.

The information provided in the course was invaluable, so in this article I’ll share my top 10 key takeaways for creating effective digital marketing strategies. The list below is a useful guide for digital marketing beginners and a support for experienced industry leaders:

1. What is your marketing plan?

It is essential that any business wishing to take on the digital world has a digital marketing strategy in place, whether this be integrated into your general marketing strategy or as separate document.

There are many points to consider when putting together a fit-for-purpose marketing strategy, however, for the purposes of this article, please bear in mind the following key components; competitor analysis with a focus on their digital activities, a set of achievable goals, and a defined target audience profile.

2. The STEPPS model

A key element of any digital marketing strategy is content.  This has been a common theme throughout this blog with articles around how to create fantastic quality content and how valuable it is. Creating quality content is easier said than done, however Jonah Berger’s 6 STEPPS framework should make creating contagious content smooth and straightforward.

The first step in the framework is SOCIAL currency.  Just like an offline conversation, people on Social Media want to appear intelligent, interesting and funny and are therefore more likely to share content that reflects these positive traits.  TRIGGERS is the second step in the process of creating quality content and it’s all about easily memorable information. This type of content is always at the top of mind and tip of the tongue.

One of the key motivators for sharing content is EMOTION.  If a user sees something online that stirs genuine emotion, they are more likely to want to share that emotion with others. Every message you send should absolutely stay true to your brand, while remaining focused on your customer.

PUBLIC is ensuring that the content is publicly available, easily shareable and formatted in a way that lends itself nicely to the channels that you wish the user to share upon.

The content needs to have PRACTICAL value so seek to ensure that the knowledge and expertise is useful and is presented in such a way that it can be utilised by the target audience.

Seek to ensure your content (and content strategy) provides a narrative or STORY.  If the content is unlikely to feature as conversation in everyday life, it’s unlikely to do so online.

3. The growing importance of video

Video content may provide the perfect medium for satisfying all the STEPPS.  As video content becomes increasingly popular, digital marketers are (or should be) using video to complement their overall digital marketing strategy.  To put the growth of video into perspective, Youtube, which was bought by Google in 2006, processes more than 3 billion searches per month compared to Facebook’s 600 million.

For a number of years now, the way users view content is shifting.  To illustrate the point, it was reported recently that BBC journalists have been instructed to create 60 to 90 second videos as the BBC believes that these will perform better on mobile devices and social media.

The benefits of brands producing unique video content are far and wide.  Here are my top three: Firstly, video offers “rich” and unique content that you can tailor specifically for your audience.   Secondly, Search Engines see video as a key factor for determining your website’s search ranking.  Finally, video when done correctly, is easily shareable and mobile friendly.

4. Google Analytics

One of the best tools to assess the impact that your quality content is having is Google Analytics.  It is a must-have tool for any business as it will assist you (by providing empirical data) when making any number of critical business decisions, including; whether to fine tune your website, produce new content for your target audience, or begin a PPC campaign.

Google Analytics is split into four key reporting areas; Audience (who is visiting your site), Acquisition (how are they getting to you site), Behaviour (what are they doing on your site) and Conversions (have they completed what you wanted them to).

By using the analysis above, you will be better placed when deciding where best to invest future budget.  For example, you may identify that 15% of your users are coming from Manchester, therefore you may decide to run a geo-targeted PPC Campaign to take advantage.

Alternatively, you may see that 70% of users are viewing the site on a mobile device, therefore it may be time to invest the money needed to make your site is responsive to ensure those viewing the site on mobile get the optimum experience. We put together a great Google Analytics Guide that is extremely useful for ecommerce brands.

5. Google’s Zero Moment of Truth

First unveiled by Google in 2011, Zero Moment of Truth  (ZMOT) positions digital as the first touchpoint for consumers when they’re considering making a purchase.  The rise of multi- device consumer journeys has changed ZMOT significantly, making it much more granular.  This has generated what Google is now referring to as Micro moments.

A micro-moment is a key moment that can happen at any time of the day when consumers turn to Search to learn an important piece of information or answer a question about a product.  To take advantage of these Micro Moments, brands must put themselves in a position to answer questions with high quality, trusted, relevant information that can be easily found by Search Engines (and therefore the consumer).

6. Importance of Schema

To ensure that your website stands a good chance of securing a user’s attention during that zero moment of truth, you should be ensuring schema is correctly implemented on your site.  In June 2011, Google, Yahoo and Bing announced that they all had started to support schema.org tags.

Schema microdata helps search engines to understand and parse the underlying meaning of any given web page more effectively, which can then assist search engines to display more relevant information in the search results.

It should be noted that Google does not use the inclusion of schema microdata as a ranking signal but instead improve your site’s rich snippets, which should assist with improving your click through rate.

7. Google Alerts

This simple to set-up tool packs some serious punch when used correctly.  It allows you to keep track of trends, interesting topics, and, most importantly, monitor mentions of your company.

If there’s a mention of your company anywhere on the web, you’ll receive a notification from Google.  You can then quickly check the link to see whether or not they have linked to your website.  If not, you can look super responsive and engaged and quickly send them a polite email requesting that they add-in a link to your site.  More links plus stronger domain authority equals higher ranking.

8. Social Media

Everyone by now is either involved in, or aware of, the social media phenomenon.  Take Facebook for example, who recently announced that on Monday 24th August one billion people used the platform in a single day.  That’s 1 in 7 people on Earth just waiting to absorb you latest digital marketing campaign

Before you begin any social media activity, you should consider the following questions: What do you want to gain from social media?  This could be brand awareness, increased sales, customer service, or website traffic.  What social channels are your target audience using and how are you best reaching them?  Social Media can require a lot of care and attention, do you have the necessary resource?

9. Clarify your objectives and budget

Referring back to the importance of a clear marketing plan, it is important to highlight that a business’ overall marketing and digital marketing strategy should be aligned and, crucially, that companies take great care when allocating marketing budget between offline vs. online (and across which digital channels).

According to the Forrester Research Digital Marketing Forecasts, in 2016 the average firm will allocate 30% of its marketing budget to online, this rate is expected to grow to 35% by 2019.

The key points to consider when allocating online budget, whether that be to email marketing, SEO, PPC or social media, is how best to reach your target audience and the typical buying journey, your competitor’s activities, and available budget.

10. Collaborate with your team and experts

One of the last elements of creating a strong digital marketing strategy is having the ability to collaborate with different departments within your business and work together as one unit rather than separate functions. This provides an opportunity to exchange experiences and knowledge and create a synergetic environment.

In conclusion, these 10 key takeaways will help you to elevate your own knowledge in digital, build stronger and more powerful marketing strategies. Which elements will you start implementing today? Comment below with your thoughts. If you would like to discuss this with our experts and you’re a looking for digital marketing advice for the future of your brand, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Did you enjoy this article? If so, check out our presentation about advanced keyword research that our expert team delivered at the University of Salford:

advanced keyword research


FWM shortlisted for UK Search Awards 2015

UKSA 2015 Shortlisted greenFast Web Media is delighted to be nominated for an award at the UK Search Awards 2015.

Our work with Scorpio Partnership has been recognised in the ‘Best Use Of Search – Finance’ category.

The UK Search Awards have been celebrating the expertise, talent and achievements of the search industry for half a decade and are regarded as the premiere celebration of SEO, PPC and content marketing in the UK. The awards attract hundreds of entries from the leading search and digital agencies from across Britain.

Previously Fast Web Media’s has won ‘Best Agency’, ‘Grand Prix’,
‘Best use of Search- Retail (Bravissimo)’ and Best Integrated Campaign (Coors Light Closest to Cold) awards.

The awards will be presented at a gala dinner and awards ceremony on Thursday 26 November at The Ballroom, South Bank, London.


FWM CEO Mike Flynn shortlisted for North West Entrepreneur Award 2015

North-West-Entrepreneur-of-the-Year-featuredFast Web Media’s CEO, Mike Flynn has been shortlisted for the headline category, the North West Entrepreneur of the Year Award at EN Magazine’s North West Entrepreneur of the Year Awards 2015.

EN’s Entrepreneur of the Year Awards is now in its fourteenth year as the North West’s premier business awards evening, celebrating and recognising the outstanding contribution to business that this region has to offer.

This is one of the most talked about events in the region with previous guest speakers such as Sir Alan Sugar and Michael Portillo and a judging panel consisting of highly successful entrepreneurs (including a dragon from TV’s Dragon’s Den) and previous winners such as Simon Nixon (Moneysupermarket.com), Jennie Johnson (Kids Allowed), Antony Preston (Pets at Home) and Tom Bloxham (Urban Splash).

This year the host and speaker is Nick Hewer, Lord Sugar’s former right-hand man on The Apprentice and host of Countdown.

Last year Mike won the Digital Entrepreneur of the Year Award at this ceremony, which he was previously nominated for in 2013, so it’s exciting to be nominated three years in a row. We ‘re extremely pleased as this headline category nomination reflects the good work that FWM has been doing over the last year.

The winners will be announced at the awards gala dinner on the 21st October at The Mere Golf Resort & Spa, Cheshire. 

Star Wars: The Marketing Awakens

One week ago in a toy shop just down the road…

Last Friday (4th September), Star Wars fans across the globe were united in a celebration worthy of the Ewoks as the first merchandise for the new film, The Force Awakens, hit shops. Toys, video games, clothes, and anything else you can slap a yellow and black logo on have been a key part of the Star Wars brand ever since the first film hit cinemas back in 1977, but Force Friday (as the powers that be at Lucasfilm and Disney dubbed it) was something different, something altogether more Death Star-sized in magnitude.

Force Friday kicked off on the stroke of midnight on 4th with Target, Toys R Us, and Disney Stores across America and the globe opening to a deluge of fans hoping to get their hands on the newly-released goodies. It was preceded by a continuous 18 hour global unboxing event, which was broadcast live on YouTube from countries around the planet and featured hosts opening the merchandise in front of the camera. If that sounds slightly mad, don’t worry. It’s an undoubtedly odd way to launch a product, but just as immutable is the intelligence behind its thinking and success with which it was greeted.

I find your lack of faith disturbing

Unboxing is a relatively recent phenomenon that’s been powered by consumers and their skill on YouTube. The idea is simple: you set up your camera, bring out your latest purchase, and set about opening it up. Done! The phrase first came to prominence in 2006 according to Google Trends and while it may seem strange, it’s a profoundly important and effective tool for consumers (and ultimately brands) because it showcases the product stripped of the artifice we’ve come to expect from traditional, official brand imagery; instead portraying it how it truly is.

Google research shows that views of unboxing videos grew over 57% last year, with uploads growing over 50%. And why does that matter? “We found through research with TNS and Ogilvy that 66% of recent purchasers of beauty products said YouTube allowed them to visualize the product they’re going to buy,” Google says. “So it’s no surprise that according to the recent Google Consumer Surveys, 62% of people who view unboxing videos do so when researching a particular product. In this sense, unboxing videos can help marketers build anticipation while providing useful product information during the holiday.”

Force Friday certainly helped build anticipation and provided useful product information for consumers, just on a massive scale. It did something more than that though. It bridged the gap between offline and online in a more effective way than most brands achieve, and in doing so, became a deeply social, deeply integrated product launch that became something consumers didn’t just want to share, but were proud to share.

I am a Jedi; like my father before me

Star Wars occupies a unique position in pop culture. Equally popular with parents who loved the original trilogy in the 70s and 80s, and their children, who loved the prequel films and subsequent animated spin-off series, the franchise is truly cross-generational. This enviable position meant that Force Friday wasn’t just about buying stuff but sharing it too. US supermarket Target even created a campaign around it, Share the Force, allowing parents and their children to share their Star Wars story with the world. And share they did – anywhere and everywhere they could.

If you’re even vaguely connected to the film world on your social network, a visit on Friday would have been greeted with a barrage of Force Friday messages. Fans took to their network to express excitement about the day, the products in particular and Star Wars as a whole. A number of entirely unrelated brands got in on the action as well, with Haribo, Jacamo, and Domino’s all posting Force Friday related messages, and even using the hashtag #ForceFriday. How many times do you see brands tweeting about other brands’ product launches? Such is the power of the Force.

When not simply discussing Force Friday, fans also showed off their purchases, taking photos, writing reviews, and above all else, recording videos. With native Twitter video, Periscope, Vine, Facebook native video, and Instagram video all available, there was no shortage of options for consumers to record their excitement and purchases on. And so, post by post, tweet by tweet, Force Friday itself, not just the preamble, became one giant consumer-powered unboxing event.

star warsstar warsstar warsstar wars

So how did this benefit the brand?

Search your feelings…

It may not seem it given the frenzy it induced, but Force Friday was a powerful example of another vital facet of digital commerce: Google’s Zero Moment of Truth. A consumer journey model that draws out the importance of digital research to a consumer’s buying choices, ZMOT was first struck upon in 2011 to reflect the fact that consumers no longer journey to stores to discover more about a product, but take to the internet, reading reviews and looking at videos and imagery. Since 2011, the model has changed further to take into account the multi-device journey (desktop, tablet, phone) that most consumers now undertake. Now we don’t just have one single monolithic Zero Moment of Truth, but a series of ‘Micro Moments’ within that core moment.

“The ubiquity of smartphones means that ZMOT is no longer defined by a single discrete moment (“when I open my laptop and search”). Instead, it’s an integral part of the constantly connected consumer’s entire day. Search is always accessible – from anywhere, on any device and at any given time… Micro-moments occur when people reflexively turn to a device—increasingly a smartphone—to act on a need to learn something, do something, discover something, watch something, or buy something. They are intent-rich moments when decisions are made and preferences shaped. In these moments, consumers’ expectations are higher than ever. The powerful computers we carry in our pockets have trained us to expect brands to immediately deliver exactly what we are looking for when we are looking. We want things right, and we want things right away.”

Force Friday moved so quickly that everybody wanted things and wanted them right away, and the internet was on hand to help out. Not just on Twitter and other social networks, but blogs and websites, where more detailed information was available to flesh out what was seen on social. “What should I buy?” What version of that thing should I buy?” “What represents the best value proposition?” Consumers could hit the internet and find all the answers to these questions thanks to fans posting, sharing, and analysing the products in their very own mini-unboxing events. I admit, it even worked on me…

Stay on target!

On Friday, I followed Force Friday on my Twitter feed and Star Wars blogs I’m familiar with. I knew I wanted to pick something up, and knew the character I wanted: the female hero Rey and her awesome droid BB-8. Problematically, there are three different kinds of action figure available: the Standard series, the slightly more uptown Black Series, and the premium quality die-cast Elite Series. Standard will set you back around £10, Black Series around £11, and Elite Series closer to £20.  Which item offered the best quality and value proposition? I took to the internet to find out, checked out the videos and images, and eventually landed on the Elite Series.

I had, essentially, ZMOTted my way to a purchase.

STIMULUS: The desire to choose between the different variations on the same basic product.
ZMOT: Using the internet to discover more about the products, watching videos, viewing pictures, and reading reviews to understand the value proposition of each product.
First Moment Of Truth: Having made a choice, I visited the store to shore up the decision and followed through on the purchase I had decided upon during the Zero Moment of Truth.
Second Moment Of Truth: Having made the purchase, I tweeted about, took pictures, and essentially became an ‘unboxer’ myself, feeding in to other peoples’ ZMOT experience.

We would be honoured if you join us

It’s easy to scoff at unboxing and Star Wars, especially when discussing them in the context of grown adults buying children’s toys. But Star Wars is no mere geek object of passion; it’s a huge global franchise, sold from one of cinema’s leading lights to one of its biggest studios for over $4 billion just a couple of years ago. It’s no different from a mega-brand like Coca-Cola, Nike, and Red Bull, and any major marketing activity can be ignored no more than any piece of activity from any of those brands. So what do we, mere Padawns, need to learn?

  1. Unboxing is a viable marketing tool. By presenting the product as it really is, rather than how the brand wants consumers to see it, Star Wars spoke to consumers on their level, controlling the conversation as much as possible while at the same time empowering their fans to make good choices. Good brand reputation was established, and a truly global, truly modern piece of event marketing created.
  2. There is no online and offline. By adding a digital focus to an event that primarily took place in-store, Star Wars bridged the gap between online and offline better than any brand has yet. Products could, of course, be bought on the internet, but the act of shopping, the act of physically going to a store to view and buy the products, was an event in itself, so people got out there and took part.
  3. ZMOT is real, achievable, and powerful. Content was king. Whether pictorial, video, or text-based, consumers looked to the internet to find the information they wanted to inform their purchasing decisions. Micro Moments abounded, and consumers had no problem finding their Zero Moment of Truth. Star Wars succeeded with Empire-esque efficiency at ruling the online galaxy and making it work for them.

Presented with such power, brands simply cannot ignore these rules. Brand sites must become promotion tools, ‘heroing’ the product in an always-on way and speaking in the language of the consumer to ensure the quality of the product is seen, without the emptiness of modern brand visuals. As it develops, we’ll see this model more and more, and anyone not following it will be left floundering, adrift far from their competitors a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away.


Do you want to take advantage of innovative marketing techniques? If you’re looking for support, why not contact our team of marketing experts to see how we can help?  Get in touch via our website or via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Google+, we’d love to hear from you! 

If you found this article interesting, why not take a look at our post about real-time marketing, simply click on the image below: 

real time marketing fastwebmedia

iBeacons In The UK: Are They Lighting The Way?

ibeacons-fastwebmediaI spent quite a bit of time back in 2014 researching the uses and benefits of iBeacons and writing about some very interesting first use case studies. This was shortly after the technology first entered the market, with brands in the USA being the first to make headway in how best to apply it. We saw brands like Macy’s, Major League Baseball and Safeway taking the first steps, sending strategically timed messages to customers while they were within a specific venue and prompting them to take a certain action.

The technology has since made its way to the UK with retailers like Tesco, Ted Baker and House of Fraser experimenting with ways to apply it. Early buzz was good and iBeacons appeared to offer a viable solution to help tackle showrooming, increase customer loyalty, and drive sales and revenue for brands. However, over the last year or so, that buzz seems to have diminished, with only a handful of brands really experimenting with the technology in a creative manner.

Is this the technology’s fate, or does it still have an important role to play in UK retail? To answer that question let’s first take a look at how brands in the UK have adopted the technology.

How are brands embracing iBeacons?

Tesco and Waitrose were among the early adopters, with Waitrose using the tech in its app to send price promotions to iPhone users while shopping in its Swindon store. The app also allowed customers to scan products, read reviews of the product, add items to a shopping basket and then pay for the goods via the phone.

Tesco is perhaps one of the more innovative UK brands adopting this technology. In 2014, it began testing iBeacon technology to help customers using its Click & Collect services in its Chelmsford, Princes Road store in Essex. Customers who placed an order online to collect at the store would have the iBeacon detect when they arrived at the store and tell them where they could collect their order from. It would also send them reminders and potentially offers.

Tesco then partnered with Unilever in June 2015 in its biggest iBeacon trial to date. Unilever gave consumers the chance to get money off Magnum ice creams when using their smartphones in 270 participating Tesco Express stores across London, via its ‘Mpulse app’. This came about after Unilever’s first iBeacon trial for Knorr in Sweden where it used iBeacons to determine how amenable shoppers were to its brands in-store so it could later retarget them with relevant mobile ads.

Other retailers using iBeacons include Ted Baker, House of Fraser, Hawes & Curtis, and Bentalls, who used Iconeme’s beacon-enabled mannequins to allow customers to receive details about the clothes on display.


Beyond actually inspiring a purchase, iBeacons can enhance the user experience and strengthen the connection between the online and offline, enabling brands to get much closer to their audience, and on a more personal level.

Beacons were used for the first time at Wimbledon and Southfields tube stations this year, where people arriving were sent messages through the Wimbledon app with directions and advice on where to queue. This was among the first innovations in a ‘masterplan’ to enhance the on-site experience, and Wimbledon no doubt took a cue from Major League Baseball in the US, who were one of the pioneers of beacon technology. Not exactly ground-braking stuff, but a pretty good start and a significant milestone.

Beacons were recently installed in 500 London buses by Exterion Media, allowing brands to target their messages at London commuters through the location and offers app Loka. The beacons were installed on 59 routes across London, signalling a big opportunity for brands to get creative with their messaging. Although a significant development, there has been no communication yet about which brands have signed up, and the nature of the messaging they will communicate via this platform.

More recently, takeaway delivery service Hungry House experimented with iBeacons at the Notting Hill Carnival, sending users of the brand’s app larger than usual discounts when they were in proximity of the ‘Fun Bunch’ stage, which was sponsored by Hungry House. The brand plans to continue to roll out the technology in order to gain an understanding of behavioural patterns of users and learn when and where messaging is most effective. Although not the most creative use of this technology, it’s an important first step in learning how best to make the most of it in future.

What is the verdict?

Though they may be the first, all these case studies have one thing in common: they’re not exactly very ground-breaking, creative or highly innovative. The limited depth and breadth of innovative case studies on beacons is what has led many industry observers to dismiss this technology as the latest buzzword set to fade into obscurity. So what’s stopping these brands from being more creative with their use of beacons?

For one, the challenges in adoption are substantial. In order to receive a message from a beacon, a customer needs to have their Bluetooth switched on, they need to have downloaded the brand’s app and agreed to receive marketing messages. Only then will the consumer receive push notifications when in range of a beacon. That’s a lot of steps needed before consumers to even see a message from a beacon. There’s no disputing the value of beacons data to marketers but getting people to opt in remains a challenge that no brand has yet been able to overcome at scale.

From a brand’s perspective, after these initial hurdles have been overcome, the onus is on them to provide value and an enjoyable experience via beacons. Currently, brands are using these mostly to send out push notifications with offers and discounts, offering limited personalisation and a lacklustre experience. By upping their game, and providing users with a truly enjoyable experience via the use of beacons, as well as demonstrating real value for customers, there could be a bright future in store for beacon technology to truly take off.

Beacons allow brands to target consumers around time and place, and promotions and discount offers only scratch the surface when it comes to creativity. So the answer to the question ‘does it still have an important role to play in UK retail?’ is ‘yes, there is certainly potential’. Brands need to focus on creating an enjoyable customer experience with beacons and delivering relevant content to users. Bridging the gap between physical and online is within arm’s reach thanks to innovative technology such as beacons, but how to apply it in the best way is yet to be uncovered.


Do you want to fix issues surrounding digital marketing? If you’re looking for support, why not contact our team of marketing experts to see how we can help?  Get in touch via our website or via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Google+, we’d love to hear from you! 

If you found this article interesting, why not take a look at our post about Amazon Dash, simply click on the image below: 

amazon dash button internet of things

Unlocking The Potential Of Multi-screening

multiscreening trends fastwebmediaNowadays, people tend to manage their lives through various screens like smartphones, tablets and laptops. These behavioural changes open the doors to new opportunities in digital advertising, because each of these “new” distractions provides an opportunity for additional and engaging connections that were never possible when consumption involved just one screen.


TV and online activity

TV content drives a huge amount of multi-screening activity.  From texting to tweeting, gaming to gossiping, activity tends to be driven by three things: researching content, sharing with online friends and participating with TV content and ads.

Let’s dig in into some of the examples that show how TV content affects online activity. Advertisements during the Super Bowl tends to trigger online searches for the advertised brands immediately, within one minute, with smaller effects persisting up to an hour after the ad’s broadcast time. So here marketers have an opportunity to catch TV viewers that are using other devices while watching TV through a PPC ad or through an extremely well designed mobile website. Such online search is obviously important to the brands that sell primarily online, but it also matters to offline retailers, as it allows interested consumers to learn more about an advertised product before visiting the store.

Another brilliant relationship between TV content and products mentioned is that it also affects the other products in the brand’s portfolio. A study by Ebiquity found that, on average, 38% of TV’s total sales effect was felt by products not directly advertised creating a ‘halo effect’ across a brand’s entire portfolio. So, if a beauty brand advertises a shampoo product on TV, the campaign is likely to boost sales of its other products, such as body spray or moisturiser. If a bank advertises a mortgage product, its home insurance and current accounts will benefit as well.


When is the best time to take this opportunity and capture the audience?

Razorfish recently explored the relationship between television advertising and consumers’ online behaviour.  The study found that a quarter of multi-screen users go online immediately after seeing a TV commercial. 26% go directly to an advertiser’s website and 25% conduct an online search based on the television commercial they have just seen. Television also enhances the performance of other media used within the marketing mix.

This seems to be a perfect space for TV content producers and advertisers alike to boost brand awareness, sales and website traffic through multi-screening. We have been investigating multi-screening trends for a number of years now, and our study back in 2013 analysed the success of Twitter hashtags used across TV advertisements, providing tips for running a successful multi-screening ad campaign for other brands. The findings at the time revealed that the placement of a second screening cue is very important in an ad, as it determines how successful the prompt will be amongst viewers. But let’s take these trends and push the limits even further. By implementing simple calls to action within TV content like hashtags for social media which advertisers have been implementing a lot more, marketers are only scratching the surface. By making TV consumption and second screening experience via other devices easier and more streamlined through targeted online activity, marketers will win even more passionate participants and consumers. This participation could be increased at the moments when consumers tend to multi task and start browsing through other devices like mobile phones while watching TV.

The top five categories that attract multitaskers are:

  1. Reality
  2. News
  3. Comedy
  4. Sports
  5. Food

These top results are interesting, but not extremely surprising as the content through these categories is easy to consume. The results further down the list showed that drama beat genres like talk shows, music videos, how-to and others. This means that intense and gripping content like drama or action/adventure categories are still embraced by distracted consumers that are seeking more content online while watching TV.

Is multi-screening the future?

Multi-screening is the path forward for advertising. The frequency and centrality of mobile devices in consumers’ lives opens the door for a perfect marketing space if brands can optimise communication across devices and integrate the brand within the content that audiences are consuming. Smartphones are best used for calls-to-action like polls or sharing opinions via social media.  Laptops are best for detailed digging into TV content, search, and lower funnel behaviours, like product research and purchase. Tablets are best suited for extensions of the TV experience with additional video content, like behind-the-scenes video.

Here are a few of the examples that showcase what kind of TV content has an effect on a variety of brands:


  • Analysis that we undertook for our client Bravissimo showed that website traffic to its website doubled whenever the brand was mentioned on ITV’s “This Morning”.


  • We saw an increase in website visits and ticket sales for bands and artists for our client The Ticket Factory whenever they promote a tour in an interview on “The One Show”.


Second screening through smartphones and other devices will continue to broaden the TV viewing experience beyond the living room in the near future. How will your business take advantage of this window of opportunity? Let us know in the comments below.


Do you want to unlock the potential of multi-screening? If you’re looking for support, why not contact our team of marketing experts to see how we can help?  Get in touch via our website or via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Google+, we’d love to hear from you! 

If you found this article interesting, why not take a look at our post about personalised content, simply click on the image below:


EasyJet’s App, Kit Kat’s rebrand and Domino’s emoji order service

This week in Digital Bytes: EasyJet launches its Mobile Host app that guides passengers through the airport via Google Maps, ‘YouTube break’ replaces the Kit Kat logo on limited edition wrappers, and Domino’s launches an emoji pizza ordering service.

EasyJet launches Mobile Host iOS app to guide passengers

Source from Flickr
Source from Flickr

EasyJet has launched the Mobile Host app, which guides passengers through the airport process (click to Tweet). EasyJet already has a mobile app that has many significant features. Beyond storing electronic boarding passes, the app lets you manage bookings, track flights and even check in using a photo of your passport.

The app tells travellers via their smartphone where to drop off their baggage, which gate to board their flight from and, upon arrival, which conveyor belt to pick up their bags from.

Once it sees you’ve arrived, a push notification will tell you where to dump your bag, and direct you there using indoor maps courtesy of Google. If you’re just taking carry-on, then it’ll point you towards the departures area instead, and once through security, you don’t need to keep checking the information screens, since it’ll let you know when your gate opens and how to get there.

After the flight, Mobile Host will notify the travellers and tell them what baggage carousel they need to head to.

For now the app will use live data collected from London Gatwick Airport’s database to present passengers with flight itinerary information and maps of the airport using Google Maps’ indoor plans.

Kit Kat rebranded as ’YouTube Break’

Source from Flickr
Source from Flickr

‘YouTube break’ replaced the Kit Kat logo on over 600,000 limited edition wrappers. (click to Tweet) This forms one of 72 different types of “breaks” that feature on more than 400 limited edition designs across two and four finger variants as well as Chunky bars.

Fans can also use Google’s Voice Search feature. Those who speak “YouTube my break” into their phones will be served a Kit Kat video as well as the top four trending YouTube videos anytime, anywhere worldwide.

Lisa May, Head of Kit Kat at Nestlé UK and Ireland, explained it would use the data collected from the campaign to help attain a better understanding of how people consume video content.

“The way people take their breaks today is very different to how they took them in the past”, she continued. “We want consumers to know that Kit Kat is still the perfect accompaniment for their break, however they want to have it. YouTube is an extremely common platform that consumers use to have a break. We want to ensure Kit Kat remains relevant and is present where our consumers are.”


Domino’s lets customers order pizza through emoji

Source from Flickr
Source from Flickr

Domino’s is introducing a service in the US through which you can make an order by a simple tweet that includes a pizza slice emoji (click to Tweet) to the chain’s Twitter handle.

Regular Domino’s customers will not even have to type in their pizza choice once they have entered their ‘easy pizza’ preference on their Domino’s Pizza Profile, which is linked to their Twitter account. To take advantage of the new service, pizza-seekers will need to have set up both an online Domino’s Pizza Profile and an Easy Order pizza choice.

The Domino’s app already makes it as simple as a few taps to order a preferred pizza or repeat a previous order, and sending a tweet with an emoji is probably about as easy as it gets. Domino’s is planning to launch it in other counties, including the UK, as well.

Patrick Doyle, Domino’s Chief Executive, said: “It’s the epitome of convenience. We’ve got this down to a five-second exchange.’’

Domino’s is embracing technology, launching many innovations including being able to order pizza through an Xbox gaming console; allowing people to use their smartwatch to order.

Tune in next week to get more Digital Bytes; bringing you the latest from the digital world

Or follow Fast Web Media on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+, to keep up with the latest digital news.  

#HolidaySpam and Oculus Rift Roadshow

This week in Digital Bytes: CNN and McLaren ink their content and branding partnership, Three extends its #HolidaySpam campaign, and The Army launches its latest campaign with an Oculus Rift roadshow.

CNN and McLaren ink content and branding partnership

Source from Flickr

CNN International and McLaren Technology Group have struck a multi-year partnership, which includes the production of a number of programmes to air across the CNN network. (click to tweet)

The news network will act as the new McLaren-Honda partner for the 2015 Formula 1 season, with CNN’s branding set to appear on the front-wing endplates of the new car, which will be unveiled in an online launch on 29 January.

Rani Raad, Chief Commercial officer at CNN International, said: “The added exposure CNN International will gain through our association with McLaren is part of an expansive consumer engagement initiative to capitalise on the power of our brand and consolidate our position as the world’s biggest international news brand.

“The additional business, broadcasting and cross-marketing opportunities made possible by this multi-year deal will forge a close relationship between two companies on the world stage. In CNN International’s 30th anniversary year, I will be incredibly proud to see the CNN brand on the new McLaren-Honda car when it lines up on the starting grid in Melbourne.”

Three extends #HolidaySpam campaign

Source from Flickr
Source from Flickr

Three has launched the latest ad in its #HolidaySpam series, showcasing the mobile operator’s feature that allows customers to use their phones abroad at no extra cost. (click to tweet)

The 60-second ad shows three Welshmen regaling the viewer with tales of surfing in Byron Bay, Australia.

The first in the series featured an apology to those receiving holiday snaps and Tweets from friends and family in sunny places.

As with the previous ad, this new work warns the viewer to expect plenty more snaps from Three customers abroad.

Tom Malleschitz, Director of Marketing at Three, said: “Our campaign is inspired by a genuine insight into people’s behaviour while they’re on holiday. ‘’

“We’ve tapped into this and created an ad that prepares the UK for the onslaught of holiday spam generated by Three customers using their phones abroad at no extra cost.’’

Army launches latest campaign with Oculus Rift roadshow

Source from Flickr
Source from Flickr

The Army will be taking an Oculus Rift roadshow around the country (click to tweet)  so people can see what life is like in the Army Reserve as part of its “more than meets the eye” series.

The TV ad features slow motion shots of soldiers at work, firing weapons, in a fast-moving boat, repairing equipment underwater and, finally, jumping into a jungle pool.

Neil Godber, Head of Planning at JWT, said: “This activity encapsulates what’s unique about the Army Reserve. It gives motivated people the chance to experience the adventure, challenge and camaraderie of Army life within their current career and home life.”

The campaign is supported by video-on-demand, radio, digital outdoor, social media and digital display, and a roadshow featuring 360-degree 3D Oculus Rift presentations.

Major General Chris Tickell, Director General of Army Recruiting and Training, said: “People feel their jobs are lacking a challenge, excitement, the opportunity to travel and a decent salary – all of which are available at a world-class standard with the Army Reserve, which this campaign aims to showcase.”

Tune in next week to get more Digital Bytes; bringing you the latest from the digital world

Or follow Fast Web Media on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+, to keep up with the latest digital news.  

5 Reasons to Use Outbrain in 2015

small-blog-imageIf you haven’t heard of Outbrain yet, here’s what you need to know. Outbrain is a “content discovery platform”, partnering with publishers in over 55 countries. It’s a relatively cheap way to promote content, whether it sits on a blog or within a website. The headline of the article (and sometimes image) appears in the “you may also like” section of news sites. Users pay on a cost-per-click basis, not impressions, therefore it’s relatively easy to see if a headline has generated a lot of views but no clicks.

How it works

When setting a campaign live, place a maximum daily budget, cost per click, and select which countries to target. There is no functionality to add keywords as in PPC, but Outbrain does allow you to add different headline variations. It’s important to ensure there is UTM tracking on each headline so you can clearly analyse which one drove the most traffic using Google Analytics.

We used Outbrain for the first time late last year and want to share with you the 5 reasons we recommend using this platform as part of your content marketing campaign in 2015. So here goes:

1) Amplify content

We used Outbrain for the first time to promote our own blog post about Tumblr to see if it would increase its visibility.

outbrain-blog post imageOur first trial of Outbrain went swimmingly and resulted in some great stats. The campaign generated:

  • 199 clicks
  • 773,166 impressions

This was all for just £54! We wanted to find out the impact Outbrain had and therefore looked at our analytics. From analysing the data, looking at the traffic report for Sept 3 – Sept 10 and comparing against 8 days prior, we saw the following increase:

  • 37.19% increase in Sessions
  • 44.63% increase in users
  • 53.72% increase in new users
  • 16.05% increase in referral traffic
  • Outbrain referral channel sent 195 clicks
  • 20,700% increase in traffic to the landing page we promoted!

We didn’t keep the campaign running long enough to have a conclusion on the titles that worked the best and if having an image increased CTR. However, we did have a 0.05% CTR for the Titles “5 Surprising Things You Never Knew About Tumblr” and “5 Things You Never Knew About Tumblr”. The original title “Tumblr: Aren’t you missing an ‘e’?” only had a CTR of 0.03%.

2) Promote a blog

Launching a blog takes a lot of work, not just building and designing the site, but generating ideas and writing content. Posts need to be unique and original and most of all, attract the readers’ attention. However, it can be difficult to drive lots of traffic as soon as the site goes live, so one way to promote a new blog is to use Outbrain to push out key blog posts. One of our clients launched a blog just before the holiday season; therefore we used Outbrain to ensure the blog posts were being promoted and traffic driven to the blog.

The Outbrain campaign ran for five days in total and we spent a maximum of £100, splitting our budget to £20 per day. We saw some great results!

  • 294 clicks
  • 248,681 impressions
  • CTR =12%
  • CPC = 34p a click

Outbrain has a minimum budget of £10 per day, but we set ours to £20 for this campaign. It was a very efficient and cost effective way of driving traffic to the blog.

3) Drive More Engaged Traffic

As shown in the previous example, promoting content via Outbrain is one way to drive more traffic to the site. In the case of some of our clients, the visitors who came to the site via Outbrain were more engaged. They spent longer on the site than the average. These users also viewed more pages, per session. When we ran Outbrain promoting the Fast Web Media blog post, we saw a 44.63% increase in users. If we split the total amount spent on Outbrain by the number of extra visitors we drove to the blog, it works out to be 25 pence per visitor, which is very economical indeed!

4) Attract new users

Outbrain helps promote content to new users and to new channels for a fraction of the cost it would be to place an advert on some of these sites. Some of the news and publisher sites that showed our clients’ content include PC Advisor, TechGeekBox, Android Authority, Venture Beat, The Guardian, Sport Network, UK Yahoo News, ESPN, CNN, Fox News, and Bauer Media. When we ran Outbrain promoting the Fast Web Media blog post, we saw a 53.72% increase in new users because these visitors were coming from these publishing sites and media sites who may not be aware of the Fast Web Media blog.

5) Test headlines

Headlines are an important element in content marketing; if the non-marketers in the team are not convinced of this, Outbrain will clearly show the importance of spending time to create a unique, clear, and attention-grabbing headline.

Neil Patel stated that 8 out of 10 people will read the headline copy and when we ran Outbrain for one of our campaigns, this theory was proven correct.  Sometimes when uploading your blog post to Outbrain, it will set an alternative title for you. When working with our client, we found this alternative headline generated all the clicks for the designated article.

Use negative words and numbers in your headline, for example “Amazon loses 50% of its Online Sales”. We found the negative headlines performed better than the positive ones. Creative writers may want to come up with a title that is long and ambiguous, however, we found these headlines generated just impressions and not clicks. When we changed the headline, the shorter and clearer headlines with adjectives like ‘essential’, ‘incredible’, and ‘unique’, generated clicks.


Outbrain is a great platform to use with clients who have a blog or have content on their site that needs more visibility. It is a cheap and efficient way to promote content and generate clicks, thereby showing clients a clear ROI. In this way it is a step towards clearly showing the impact content has on a website (for those clients that may not be 100% on board with content marketing).

It is also a great tool to use to test out different headlines. Many people in marketing are aware of the significance of headlines with their articles, but sometimes it can be difficult to persuade others of its importance, especially those coming from a more traditional press background. A good way to see which headline performs the best is to allow the campaign to run for 2 – 3 days and analyse the results. If the campaign has not generated any clicks, it shows people may not be interested in the article and the headline may need to be amended.


What about you? Have you used Outbrain to amplify your content marketing strategy? Let us know in the comments below.

If you’re looking for other ways to amplify your content marketing strategy, why not try Reddit? Read our case study, simply click on the image below