Monthly Archives: February 2016

Blog-Post-Instagram

A beginners guide to instagram for businesses

In 2016, there is now an overwhelming choice of social media channels readily available to your business; from Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest and Youtube to name a few, choosing the right platform to showcase your brand and company culture can be a daunting task. For this reason, we have put together a beginner’s guide to highlight one particular platform, Instagram, which we believe to be an important marketing tool for all businesses. Instagram currently has 300 million active monthly users and these users have shared over 30 billion photos to date, and now share an average of 70 million photos per day. From these figures making Instagram part of your marketing strategy is an obvious choice; it gives millions of users across the globe the opportunity to discover your business, explore your visual identity and is an ideal platform to build your brand.

instagramStep-By-Step Guide

1. Research and Strategy

Before launching into creating an Instagram account, it’s essential you take time to research the platform, plan your strategy and think about key goals you would like to achieve as a result of being online. First and foremost, we recommend getting to grips with Instagram by researching how other businesses and your competitors use the channel. This will both inspire and educate how to get the best from your account. It is also advisable to create a personal Instagram account to practice uploading photos, writing copy and using the category hashtags and @mentions. After having explored the platform thoroughly and once you’re confident with how it works you should plan your Instagram strategy  and make sure it aligns with your broader social media and marketing strategy. It is key to establish aims which you’d like to achieve – this can be anything from giving your business a more personable feel and allowing users a better insight to your company values and culture to driving product sales and increasing traffic to your website. It is also important to carefully consider your content strategy and choose how often to post, what time to post and the content of your posts to support your business and marketing plan. There are several tools available to help you with your posting schedule, which release your posts at predefined times to free up more of your time or post on a weekend or late at night.

2. Style and Cohesion

Instagram is the perfect platform for emerging and established businesses to display and build a recognisable brand identity. Therefore the photos which you post should reflect the brand image you want to portray to your customers. With this in mind, its important to be consistent with your posts and your tone of voice when writing captions. Choose a filter which reflects your visual style and stick with this rather than employing a confusing mix. The same can be said of your content – pick a focus and try to always post relevant images. For some companies such as fashion brands or restaurants the content is obvious, however for others it can be more of a challenge. Products were the top content types for the top 200 global brands in terms of engagement, at 60%. However for companies which offer a service rather than a product we’d recommend posting lifestyle photos which show off your company in a fun and entertaining manner – images of staff in the office or celebrations of achievement to represent the character of your business.

insta two

3. Engaging with Your Audience

Although it is the images you post which will make users stop and look at your brand, it is essential to write interesting captions to keep users engaged and wanting more. If your captions tell a story this is more likely to generate likes and follows. Use branded hashtags for your business such as #CreativeEmporiumLife for lifestyle images and category hashtags for product images such as #fashion, #retail, which will drop your images into the relevant category and therefore make them more easily found, creating more likes and more follows. Instagram is a great way to create a buzz around your brand and competitions, promotions and discount codes are a perfect way to keep your followers hooked and excited to see your next post.

4. Insta Analytics

Don’t forget to monitor the success of your Instagram account by using Instagram analytics – there are several options available which can measure a variety of key indicators such as your top followers, photo lifespan and follower growth.

insta picsTop Insta Facts

– Photos and stills generate 36% more likes than videos

– Photos tagged with a location receive 79% higher engagement rate for top brands is 58 times higher than on Facebook and 120 times higher than on Twitter

– The most popular Insta account is @kimkardashian with over 25m fans

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We hope you found this masterclass useful – look out for our next masterclass next month!

PS If you’re wondering where our Instagram feed is, our marketing team are working on a strategy as we speak and we’ll be going live shortly! We’ll keep you updated…

Meet-the-Team

Say hello to the uniform team at creative emporium

We have a fantastically talented team of uniform specialists on hand to deal with customer enquiries, understand your brief, and come up with the best solution. Say hello to:

Geoff our Business Manager (and Uniform Guru)

GeoffGeoff has spent all his working life in the clothing industry, starting out in the retail sector before entering the world of uniforms over 20 years ago. Geoff manages our uniform business ensuring our high profile customers are well catered for. Geoff oversees our motivated Account Management and Business Development teams to support him on his quest for greatness! He knows everything there is to know about fabrics, fitting and corporate clothing which is always useful in uniform consultations. As a lifelong supporter of Newcastle United you’ll often find him on the terraces at St James’ Park cheering on the lads.

Kelly our Account Manager

KellyKelly heads up our Account Management team and looks after our key clients ensuring they are supported in line with the needs specific to their own requirements. Her objective is to ensure we deliver a first class service to our clients and to effectively support them, ensuring total satisfaction from the wearers of the products/services we supply. Kelly is always out and about visiting our clients on-site, gathering feedback and making sure she is up to date with any contract developments. Kelly has built up a wealth of experience in the customer service and hospitality sector. Her favourite things to do outside of work are traveling and keeping fit.

Jessica our Business Development Executive

JessJessica began her journey at Creative Emporium as an Account Executive, working alongside Kelly, looking after some of the team’s largest contract clients such as intu. She has recently moved over to a new role aimed at generating leads for the uniform team, finding and contacting companies within the sectors in which we specialise. She is also responsible for setting up and looking after clients from initial enquiry, costing and sampling through to when the account is mobilised and handed over to our capable account management team. Jessica is a big fan of music, she also loves the seaside and cooking.

Lauren is our Account Executive

Lauren-FLauren manages the day-to-day activities of our clients’ needs and works alongside Kelly in the management of our key accounts,  which can be very diverse across different sectors – from public sector, which encompasses Central and Local Government, through to the private sector which incorporates clients in Retail, Holiday Resorts and Facilities Management Organisations. Lauren is well known for her having a lot of knowledge about music and random facts, so she’s a good person to have on your team at a pub quiz.

Ebony is our Account Executive

EbonyEbony is the newest member of the uniform team, with a background in retail she has developed impeccable customer service skills. Since starting at Creative Emporium she has shown off what she can do by supporting Kelly and Lauren servicing our clients through sourcing products and ensuring that every garment goes through embroidery and print production successfully and are shipped out the door to a super high standard. Away from the office she’s a keen Liverpool FC Supporter but can also be seen on the stands at York City or Leeds United when she’s watching with family members.

Przemek our Warehouse Representative

Przemek leads a capable team of warehouse staff who specialise solely in picking, packing and despatching uniform orders. He makes sure that all internal processes run to schedule so that our customers get their orders on time. Przemek individually man-packs and dispatches deliveries to hundreds of locations each and every week. With a keen eye for detail, Przemek can spot any errors from a mile away.

If you’d like to speak to one of our competent uniform team to discuss any clothing requirements you may have please get in touch, we’d be very happy to help you. Our hands on, consultative approach helps to simplify uniform sourcing, which can otherwise be seen as a daunting task.

Contact us today!

Promo-trends

Promotional product trends 2016

For many brands promotional merchandise is a key part of their marketing strategy. But gone are the days where a pen with a printed logo can effectively communicate your brand message. Today effective merchandise must be relevant to and wanted by a mass audience. Being able  to match your merchandise to the latest trends can increase brand awareness and ultimately the success of a campaign. Here we look at what we think is going to be on trend in 2016.

Virtual Reality

virtual realityAlthough virtual reality marketing is still in its infancy it has started to build momentum with the launch of ‘Google Cardboard’ to a mass market. Using a specifically designed app, a mobile phone into the headset behind two stereoscopic lenses in order to provide the user with the sense of a virtual reality. Offering users  the opportunity to have a totally immersive preview of a product, consumers are able to feel like they are interacting with the product before they purchase it. Recently used by Volvo in the launch of the XC90, potential buyers were able to virtually test drive the car, cleverly made from just folding cardboard, Virtual Reality Headsets are completely customisable for a low cost making them an ideal giveaway as well as a premium gift that creates an engaging campaign, which is well ahead of its time.

Activity Trackers

Activity trackersWith an increased awareness and interest in healthy living, well-being and fitness products are beginning to dominate the market, Made popular by the FitBit, activity trackers or fitness watches are becoming a ‘must-have’ product. Designed to analyse your lifestyle, these gadgets can count your steps, record distances, amount and quality of sleep, calories burned, allow you to set goals and view notifications. With big brands now making their products available on the promotional market there is the opportunity for high-end customised gifts as well as suppliers developing more cost effective options to suit smaller budgets.

Power Banks

power banksAs technology continues to drive innovation in today’s markets it is only natural accessories for our smart phones and tablets are a growing trend in the promotional industry. 2014 saw the introduction of the power bank and many tech products, which often rapidly reach maturity, the power bank is very much here to stay. Stylish and practical these useful and portable products have become the ultimate promotional product. Now available in a range of styles with different print and technical capabilities there is one to suit every budget with premium versions becoming ever more stylised and unique. Custom shaped 3D power banks are truly able to bring a brand to life as well as creating a quirky and unique gift, which is sure to stand out from the crowd.

Packaging

packagingOne of the biggest trends set for 2016 is not just the product but how it is branded and packaged. The last few years has seen numerous advancements in production techniques, allowing brands to fully bespoke products in smaller quantities and smaller budgets. With the current focus on giving gifts that are high quality and useful, the presentation of those products can make a huge difference to the recipient. Packaging is an important detail in retail which can affect the perceived value of a product, message and tone. Unique and creative packaging and design can make your merchandise stand out from the crowd and get your brand noticed.

Complete Branding Solution

Wondering if your merchandise is on trend for 2016? We’re experts in providing the complete branding solution for our clients, so please get in touch today to discuss your requirements and how we can help you with your branded merchandise and clothing. Call us on 08707 500057 or drop us a line by email.

The-future-of-digital-marketing-1-2

Waiting for the gift of sound and vision – Digital trends for 2016

Update. Like. Share. Comment. There’s no two ways about it: the world has officially turned digital. Even my nanna, who, if I’d have told her a few years ago that she would be reading her favourite bestsellers from an electronic device, would have happily told me not to be silly. Now, every saturday she pops round, iPhone in one hand and Kindle in the other, asking what new books she can download or if I can help her set up the new Marks and Spencer’s app.

2015 was a big year for the digital world; to me it was the year that brought about the age of Contactless payments. No longer did I have to remember the pin numbers of credit and debit cards. One quick touch of my card on the reader – or even better – one fingerprint on my iPhone and that £23 Charlotte Tilbury lipstick, that I didn’t really need, was mine. Who knew that spending my hard earned cash could be so fun.

So what does 2016 have in store for us digital geeks? How can the digital world advance from the year of the iWatches, the Selfie Stick and Contactless payment?

Lets begin with the biggest digital interface in our lives: our beloved phones. Over 87 percent of this digital generation admits to never being without their phone. And it looks like 2016 isn’t going to let us put our trusty old phone down. This year is all about the interaction we have with our devices. Voice assistants are no longer going to be a fun little extra on our phone that we use when we’re bored.  In 2016 we are going to see the growth of brands utilizing the likes of Siri, Amazon Echo and Google Voice to create a deeper connection with customers. Google Voice already allows its users to discover ‘new music with Shazam’ or to ‘travel like a local with Trip Advisor’ all through voice control. This growth in communication with our mobile devices will only continue to grow as technology becomes even smarter and more interactive.

Next on the list is the rise of the No Filter apps. This year will see the diminishing of apps where we can oh-so-simply add a Valencia filter and blur out that unsightly blemish that popped up just as we were about to take that #shamelessselfie. Instead, apps like Meerkat, Periscope, and Beme will become the new up-and-coming social media platforms for millennials. These apps, much like Snapchat, allow users to quick-fire their life moments to the world. There’s no chance to overthink captions or worry if you’re going to get double figure likes. You take the picture or video and share your experience: unfiltered and raw.

Periscope app image for the blog

Last on the list is wearable tech. In our hectic lives, which modern man or woman has the time to count calories? Make it to the gym five times a week? Not many of us. 2016 is therefore the year of the tech savvy health conscious individuals. According to The American College of Sports Medicine, for the first time in fitness history, wearable technology is seen be the number one trend for fitness in 2016, outstripping HIIT and Body Weight Training. These wearable technologies will, in 2016, move away from the standard pedometer apps and move towards actually breaking your bad habits. Technology like BitBite – a device worn in your ear to monitor your eating, chewing and snacking habits – are the first steps towards breaking these habits. 2016 is the year where digital technology can be seen as promoting healthy lifestyles instead of being a leading reason as to why we lead such unhealthy and inactive lives.

Bitbite image for blogSo what is 2016 saying about digital trends? To me, this is the year where we stop seeing digital trends in isolation. The digital world encompasses our lives from the individual consumers to the large multinational corporations. For any business to succeed they need to understand the key technologies and embrace the new technological developments. On a consumer level, these digital trends are key to our modern lives. We don’t have the time nor the energy to overanalyze our photo captions on Instagram anymore; waste precious time using our fingers to navigate through our phone when our voice can lead us straight to the finish line; or monotonously type out how many grams of kale we had for lunch on our fitness tracker. I for one welcome these new digital trends of 2016. Well most of them. I don’t think I’m quite ready to give up my Valencia filter quite yet!