What work habits you should keep in a post-Covid reality?

work habits post covid

As we begin to come out of our homes and perhaps return to our offices, which professional routines should we continue to stick to?

A tight grip on content development

To make up for cancelled in-person activities and events, digital content took centre stage in the form of blogs, videos, websites and more. Repurposing material in a variety of marketing assets and with less tradeshows and face to face events, even one person was able to create enough content output to rival what an entire marketing team could have produced in ‘normal times’ (well, nearly!).

Since more than 50% of the buying process happens online, with content higher up on the list of priorities the chances are you’ve seen an increase in potential leads at a time when the interest in content is undoubtedly at one of its highest peaks.

Working together can be better apart

“Can you see my screen?” and “Can everyone mute themselves please?”, have very likely the most repeated phrases in homes everywhere! Though at times frustrating and sometimes technically challenging, the frequent online meetings did not seem to hinder creativity.

The pandemic has forced us to admit that much needed to be improved when it came to work-life balance as it became a necessity to carry out both in the same space. And in the same space as others.

The fact that there was no need to commute, potentially meant more energy for other tasks and the chance to focus more deeply on different projects. It would be nice to maintain some of these boundaries around our time, once things go back to ‘normal’.

Remote working can blossom into empowerment

When the world went into lockdown, one of the worries was not being able to share and bounce ideas off colleagues- marketing tends to be collaborative and isolation made it harder to quickly confront ourselves or a vision with some trusted advice from a co-worker.

This missing in-person validation, or if not missing certainly more difficult to achieve, has brought about an increased independence and encouraged trust in individual decision-making at a difficult moment, when it became a priority to keep things moving even through rough times.

To every challenge faced a solution has emerged and perhaps it’s time to look at those things that have encouraged us to do an even better job during this moment of crisis and hold on to them in the future, whatever that future may look like.

How much could a cyber attack cost your business?

Figures show fewer companies are using security tools to identify abnormal activity, meaning firms are less aware than before of the breaches and attacks businesses are facing. The average cost of a cyber attack on a business is £8,460. This figure rises to £13,400 for medium and large businesses.

Why are businesses failing to protect themselves against cyber attacks?

The pandemic has meant that digital transformation has become vital to the UK economy and with so many more people relying on technology and digital services, cyber criminals have upped their game with a variety of ransomware and malware attacks.

Nearly half of businesses (47 per cent) are allowing employees to use personal devices for work, could this be contributing to the rise in breaches?

Figures show fewer businesses are taking recommended cyber security measures

A new report released by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) suggests the cyber risk to organisations is heightened because of the pandemic.

Two in five businesses (39 per cent) report having cyber security breaches and attacks over the last 12 months.

The increase in employees working from home has meant a greater cyber risk to companies …

And phishing remains the most common threat followed by instances of others impersonating their organisation online, viruses or other malware including ransomware.

Digital Infrastructure Minister Matt Warman stated last month that the government is investing £1.9 billion in cyber security to make the UK the safest place to live and work online.

The government believe a new era of digital growth is at risk …

And it is urging organisations to follow expert guidance to boost their online resilience.

The Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2021 report shows that the pandemic has made businesses more vulnerable to attack as organisational resources are directed towards facilitating remote working for employees.

Here are useful guides on secure measures for:

Video Conferencing

Secure working from home

Moving your business from physical to digital

Is your boss watching you?

Monitoring software is on the up now that many are working remotely. How comfortable are you with always-on video services?

a young man looking through window blinds

The YouGov survey of 2,000 employers commissioned by Skillcast, showed that 10-20% of UK businesses are already using tracking software to monitor their staff remotely.

Monitoring software is flourishing during the pandemic but how comfortable would you feel about being digitally surveilled by your employer?

Employers have the option to install video cameras, read postal mail and e-mail, monitor phone and computer usage, use GPS tracking, and more to make sure that their workforce are still maintaining focus and productivity.

In today’s mostly office-free reality, can bosses still legally monitor their employees? The answer is yes! As long as the reason for monitoring is important enough to the business.

As working from home has become the norm, so has employee monitoring software and there are plenty of alternatives to choose from.

Some track how much time employees spend on social media, take screenshots of their monitors at scheduled intervals or record different tasks or even every single key pressed.

It is also possibility that you are being watched through your webcams via always-on video services like Sneek.

Most employees need to give their consent via agreements that imply they shouldn’t assume privacy when using work devices but the current situation raises some interesting questions when it comes to what is legal and what isn’t.

So what do you think? Now that workspaces have changed is employee tracking fair game?

How can a small business with no digital experience get started?

Now that digital has replaced physical, how can a small business with no digital experience get started?

Women running a small business in the digital era

With everyone racing to the top of the digital mountain you’ve got to stand out across media to be seen. Brand awareness gets maximum results!

No matter what your budget is, digital marketing is accessible for businesses of all shapes and sizes.

Have you recently started a business? Or maybe you have a small business that you’re trying to get off the ground and running.
Here are …tips to get you off the ground and running.

1-Optimize your content for search engines

The visitors you need are the ones actively searching for the services you offer online. It is easy to convert these visitors because they are highly targeted.
What are the first steps to get started with SEO?

Keyword research-> this will allow you to improve your search engine visibility.
You will find the words your future customers are using on search engines through keyword analysis. You may use a tool such as @Semrush to start your keyword search to help. It’s easier to target long-tail keywords as a new enterprise (three or more words).

These long-tail keywords have three big advantages:

  • They have clear intent.
  • They have low competition (and therefore it’s easier to get those top spots).
  • They account for a large portion of searches.
  • Half of all search queries are long-tail keywords.

If your keyword/user intent strategy isn’t targeting these terms, you’re missing about half of your audience and half of your potential leads.

2-If you run a local business, optimize your business for local search.

  • Upload your business details to the local listings
  • Collect reviews from your customers

Once you’re ready to start with paid advertising your up and running SEO will mean quicker results as you target the best keywords that match your business.

3-A Blog that’s up to date!

Content is what is going to guide your potential customers. Customers read before they buy. The average person consumes 11.4 pieces of content before making a purchasing decision, according to Forrester.

Top tips:

  • Create posts that solve problems for your audience
  • Guest blog on other industry websites to reach a wider audience
  • Generate inbound links that lead back to your own website as this will boost your website’s SEO.

To keep up to date with what to publish consistently. To help, you can create an editorial calendar so that you can publish new content consistently on your blog.


What are the benefits of updating your blog regularly?

It helps you rank for more keywords which means more leads.
HubSpot found that companies that published 16 blog posts monthly got 4.5 times more leads than those with zero to four posts.


4-Personalised emails

Top tips:

  • Personalised subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened.
  • Invest in a provider of email services that support automatic emails. This way, based on their preferences, you can send emails to your subscribers and make sure that your emails are always customised, automatically.

Now, you need to send personalized emails to your subscribers to get them to open your emails and click-through to your website.

5-Invest in native and contextual advertising.

-> Content distribution to a relevant audience

  • Repurpose content to connect with your audience.
  • Use visuals like images and videos as they attract higher engagement.
  • Share relevant industry content with users who are already interested.
  • When you consider that consumers look at native ads 53 percent more frequently than other ads then you know you need to take it seriously.

With the right strategy, the right mindset, you’ll be much better equipped to stand out and generate real results from digital platforms.

Marketing newsletters: love them or hate them?

Is email marketing dead or alive and kicking? 5 tips to shake things up again!

Marketing newsletters

Ready for some tips for writing effective marketing emails and keeping your customers engaged?

Great! Now here’s how to give your customers the valuable experience they deserve.

1- Generosity

Yes! If you can, be generous and offer a little something for free and this will make your customers feel that they belong to your circle. It could be a free drink, a sample or even a downloadable image that can be used for free.

2- Step-by-step process

Employ a clear step-by-step process of how to get started with your products or services. Welcome emails will often contain the 1-2-3 method…Watch out for it next time you sign up for anything.

3- Include your voice ‘as a human’

customers love to get a glimpse of the people behind a brand and offer them a story that goes with it. You can also take the opportunity to say ‘thank you’ for allowing them to be part of your journey as a company. Sometimes it can be easy to forget that even behind the 100th email there is a person behind the screen grateful that you are receiving it.

4- Make it exclusive

Make your customers feel special by offering a product or service that is limited in its availability. It is no secret that people desire what is most difficult to get hold of.

5- Remind readers what you do!

We, for example, are a native and contextual advertising company working with top brands to distribute their content happily across relevant mediums.

Now your turn…Tell us about what you do!

Makeover 2021: How to Whip Your Digital Marketing into Shape

….And also what happened to Primark?

Primark during lockdown

When the facts change, I change my mind is an oft-quoted phrase, and have facts ever changed as quickly as they have in the past 12 months?

From temporary lockdowns to permanent shutdowns, it is still unclear exactly what the new ‘facts’ of living in a post-Covid world will look like.

With that in mind, now is a good time for businesses of all sizes to re-examine their direction of travel. Will film studios now skip the cinemas for streaming? And is the high street now truly dead?

If so, then e-commerce will have finally won the battle it has been dominating for the past decade-or-so. And that means businesses need to start taking e-marketing seriously….

Look at Primark. Great shop, fantastic brand, loyal customer base. But the company’s online strategy? Stuck in the past. And not even the recent pre-Covid past.

Though things will return to a reality closer to the one before 2020, it will never be exactly the same. Try to plan ahead and work out what this will mean for you in terms of a strategy that can work.

1- Consider E-commerce as an integral part of your business.

Primark lost £430m of sales during lockdown with 11 stores open 24 hours, at the end of last year, to try to make up for the loss and is now shut again. Often questioned for not having plans to sell online or have an e-commerce site retail consultant Graham Soult pre-Covid had stated: “While the high-street business is thriving and growing, Primark can make a convincing case of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. Well, it now undoubtedly ‘broke’ so this could be a good time to change things. Even if we were to go back to in-store shopping, undoubtedly e-commerce will never lose its grip again so it’s worth investing in this side of your business if you haven’t already.

2- Plan your social media posts

Plan your social media posts now so that you can advertise your product and hit the ground running for when sales increase. What tools are you tempted to try out?

3- Consider contextual forms of advertising

Consider contextual forms of advertising that appear as a natural continuation of your customer’s journey. Our proprietary technology offers the insight necessary for you to know when your audience is searching for something aligned to your product, even geolocation wise making the search more productive for all…check it out -> www.vertismedia.com

4-Create engaging content

The first step to getting content right is to ask yourself:

  • What do you spend the most time doing online?
  • How long do you think typical users spend online every day?

Recent studies show that on average consumers spend 8 hours or more a day engaging with digital content. Content is EVERYWHERE…it’s at the heart of every internet journey.

SO

What does online content mean to you?
How many of these would you included in your content strategy?

• text
• audio
• video
• photos
• images
• graphics
• animations

5-Think about integrating 3D/ AR elements to your strategy.

According to global augmented reality statistics, there will be about 1.96 billion mobile AR users by 2021 and 2.4 billion users by 2023. A BRP report showed that nearly 50% of consumers were more likely to buy products from retailers that were also providers of AR experiences. When customers experience advertised products in context, by placing three-dimensional (3D) holograms of the products in their physical surroundings this AR-enabled product reduces the effort required to create purchase-related imagery. Where customers are increasingly distant when it comes to the purchasing context, AR makes it easier to imagine the product.

Which of these 5 points have you already integrated in your strategy?

We’d love to know.

Image from The Times.

2020 Wrapped Up!

5 points it could be useful to bear in mind when it comes to your digital advertising strategy next year.

1) Videos are shared more than text and links combined.

It is a truth universally acknowledged that compelling video content is one of the most effective advertising tools. Why? Because people remember videos for longer and share them more often than other forms of media.

2) 90% of consumers read online reviews before visiting a business.

That’s a staggeringly high percentage, right? Also, customer reviews influence 67.3% of purchasing decisions. Sounds like people trust them just as much as personal recommendations which makes sense as the borders between people in real life and people we interact with online are blurring a tad more during lockdown life. This makes reviews an incredibly important resource for businesses especially at a local level.

3) Ad spending is on the up for 2021

eMarketer’s Global Digital Ad Spending Update Q2 2020 predicts that spending will achieve a moderate 2.4% growth this year but it is expected to bounce back with a growth of 17% in 2021.

4) Over 70% of YouTube watch time comes from viewers on mobile devices.

The number one gateway to internet access? Mobile phones. It follows that they have also become the most popular devices for watching video content. Nearly a quarter of the world’s population will watch a video on a phone this year.

5) 88% of consumers who search for a local business on their mobile call or visit that business within a day.

This staggering statistic shows the importance of making a good first impression on customers. What’s more, 18% of all local searches lead to a sale within 24 hours. It’s important to cater to your local clientele, as 72% of people who visit a physical shop choose one within five miles of their location.

Though these are just a few stats they point to the fact that this industry is in a state of rapid flux. As digital marketers get to grips with all the rapid technological advancements, an incredible wealth of opportunity has opened up. In this highly competitive landscape are you at the top of your game when it comes to standing out from the crowd?

So what’s next?
Context is the new focus for 2021. But not all environments are brand suitable and safe. Vertis Media offers personalised, brand-specific expertise that works to optimise and get the most from the heart and soul of a page in order to accurately gage the content.
As marketers we know that getting to the heart of the context of content is the number one route to connecting with the ideal audience. Head to our site to contact us and let us know what the project you are focusing on now is and how we can help you get the best results www.vertismedia.com.

What does 2021 hold for digital marketing?

The sectors that came out winning from 2020 were media streaming businesses, mobile gaming and e-commerce propelled forward by peoples’ increased confinement for long periods of time.

As we creep towards 2021, however, our hopes are also tentatively gearing towards normality returning so let’s see what we think the two main trends for brands are:

  1. Creativity: In order to build unique and engaging experiences the future of native includes, without a doubt, the increasing integration of creative features and assets. Brands were already demonstrating more involvement in how its messages were being marketed but with Covid this process has accelerated, with brands using their in-house resources to develop new ideas when it comes to promoting what they have to offer.
  2. Flexibility: Given the historical moment we are currently experiencing, flexibility is everything. As distributors of digital campaigns Vertis Media are having to adapt extremely quickly in order to react to the changes that are occurring, sometimes on a daily basis, with the brands we work with. In a world in which things are changing at a faster pace than we could have ever imagined before (and that’s pretty fast because we basically lived on-the-go before anyway!) monumental changes are taking place which will affect how people behave. As a company we are supporting clients through a process that needs to reflect and adapt to the change in order to continue supplying users with the necessary support.

There are two important messages that we as a company assisting in the distribution of brand messages need to be sending out right now:

  1. Reassurance: brands need to let their consumers and audience know that they aren’t just still up and running but that they are, even more so than before, here for the long haul. Brands need to show that they are still able to provide the products, services and offers as they have done before…even in a situation of drastic change as with Covid.
  2. Innovation: ensuring that how the company is adapting to the current change is being made known to people as this is a demonstration of flexibility and strength at a time when many of our certainties are crumbling.

At this stage, it is impossible to predict what will happen and what our new normal will be. One thing is for sure: gone are the days when companies and brands were able to plan their marketing strategies months in advance.

It is of the utmost importance, therefore, to adopt a strategy that has within it the potential of adapting rapidly to changing messages that reflect the rapid change of the unpredictable times we are living in.

So how do you get started with native and contextual advertising? It’s easier than you think.

With 10 years’ experience, we’re experts in taking ideas, injecting creativity and distributing your branded content to the right audiences with your marketing objective in mind. To get things rolling contact us.


Are you doing these 5 things to look after your customers?

If there is anything you can do to make your digital marketing customers happy then now is the time to ‘do a Nike’ and JUST DO IT.

Is it time to shift the focus from making completely new customers to instead investing energy in those “casual customers”?
Who are casual customers? They are those new visitors that have already purchased something the one time and are just one step away from making that valuable second purchase.

Consider this likelihood of success:
Selling to an existing customer 60-70% vs selling to a new prospect 5-20%. Now is the time to build a solid relationship, company to customer, by interacting with them with informative content during each phase of their journey.

Here are some of our tips on how to turn one-time buyers into loyal customers:

  1. Use special occasions to promote your products. Is it New Year? Xmas? An anniversary or 5 years since you launched your business? Celebrate this! It’s an occasion to talk about your brand by reminding customers when they first bought your product or send them wishes on their birthdays. These a great way of reminding them that you are there. Even if they don’t take you up on your offer of a discount they will appreciate that you remembered their birthday!
  2. Let your customers know about price changes. If your customer was one step away from making a purchase then some additional information on the price can really influence them when it comes to making that transaction. What’s important here is conveying a sense of urgency when it comes to them adding the product to their basket. These messages with purchase updates create more engagement and promote stronger ties with the brand.
  3. Send a top-up reminder. Has the customer already bought a product that could be running low now? Ink, water filters, copy paper? Now is the time to send a reminder that they should reorder and this will encourage repeat purchases and make sure they don’t go to a competitor for the same product.
  4. Reward Loyalty. Make sure you make the customers who stay loyal to your brand feel that you appreciate their support. Either premium content or exclusive early access to a sale, for instance, encourages commitment to your business.
  5. Reviews. Has your customer made a purchase? Following it up with a request for a review will make sure that your company gains visibility in the eyes of other customers- especially if it’s positive!