Archive for the ‘Marketing’ Category

Why Video is essential in your 2020 Communication strategy

January 18, 2020

Mojo - Mobile journalism Fuzion Communications

Videos have saturated online content and all of our social media channels in recent years so it’s no revelation that the use of video as a content marketing tool has been top of the list in business strategies and I believe 2020 will be no different.

The use of video is incredibly powerful and effective as a communication strategy and it’s never been easier with Mobile Journalism (mojo). Mojo means you can simply record and edit videos straight from your mobile device.

If you haven’t already, here are three reasons why you should consider video content as a valuable marketing tool in your organisation.

 1. Increased engagement

With the introduction of IGTV on Instagram, Watchlist on Facebook and the emergence of Tik Tok, video content has never been so popular.

Nowadays, the quickest and best way to reach an online audience is through video content. In 2017 Hubspot.com carried out research in which they asked what content would consumers rather see from businesses, a whopping 54% of 3,010 consumers said videos. (Content Trends: Preferences Emerge Along Generational Fault Lines).

Give the people what they want!!

People are going to engage with your business if you’re posting popular and quality content.

It’s also been proven that infographics and visuals get processed quicker by the brain than text so why not give your audience the necessary information they need faster? 

Mojo training Fuzion Communications

2. Business Personality

Not only is video a great way to inform your audience about who you are and what your business is about, it’s also a great way to give your audience a feel of the unique personality of your businesses.

Depending on the content, videos can set the tone of your business and provide an insight, which may give the audience that likeability factor that motivates them to invest in your product or service.

SEO Dublin, Cork, Ireland

3. Search Engine Optimisation

If there’s one reason to add video to your communication strategy this would be it: Search Engine Optimisation.

(SEO) is the foundation of your business’s online presence (if you can’t be found you are not in the game!) and with a saturated online market it’s necessary to help drive people to your website.

Google’s algorithm prioritizes web pages that have content other than text, so put simply, search engines will increase your page ranking if you have rich content like videos. This will optimise your visibility to consumers who are searching and therefore boost the traffic to you website. 

Here at Fuzion, we’re experts in mobile journalism and offer specific ‘mojo‘ training to those who are interested in creating great videos themselves. 

Action ….. as they say in the movies!

Niamh 

Niamh Lawlor is an Account Executive with Fuzion Communications, a full service PR, Graphic Design and Digital Marketing agency with offices in Dublin and Cork.

 

2020 – Time to get Experiential !

January 16, 2020

Ardsallagh Cheese

When it comes to trends in Marketing to look out for in 2020 and beyond I think it will be all about ‘Experiential’ getting closer to the customer allowing them to touch and feel the products and services and to meet the people behind them.

We see ourselves that the noisy, over crowded, algorithm choked social media space, which not so long ago provided a fantastic opportunity to “get close” to customers is proving very challenging without substantial advertising budgets.

The social media “influencers” in the main who had a short moment in the sun, over cooked the magic by quickly switching from being genuinely passionate about their sectors to being “show me the money” merchants.

The cynical and very savvy consumer is seeing through all of this “BS” and is slowing returning to more trusted and reliable traditional media, which is really interesting as they are craving something authentic, something that does not leave them cold.

An interesting medium that we see doing well is podcasts, which if executed carefully is a very special way for your customer to get to know you better while they are commuting or in the gym.

I was judging the podcast category again this year for the Digital Marketing Awards and I could see some really great examples of companies using the medium to great effect.

I noticed with interest last November, Amazon the leaders in online retail, promoting their ‘Black Friday‘ sale with full page adverts in the national newspapers, billboards around the city and even customer events.

For the third year running in London they had a free four day “pop-up” event, ‘The Home of Black Friday‘ whereby customers were treated to all sorts of entertainment and demonstrations as well as being able to ‘touch and feel’ some of the special Black Friday deals.

As well as checking out the huge range of epic deals on offer throughout Black Friday and Cyber Monday, visitors to the Home of Black Friday had the chance to try out the latest must-have products from beauty to tech and preview the latest screenings from Prime Video.

They ticked the boxes on all of the customer demographics with complimentary workshops and experiences including, DJs, Rappers, yoga, cocktail masterclasses, beauty makeovers and Christmas workshops.

It turns out that clicking on images of items on our screens isn’t the “be-all and end-all” after all!

We witnessed it ourselves before Christmas with the weekend events that we ran for Dunnes Stores in some of their leading stores in Cork, Dublin, Galway and Limerick, whereby customers could meet the food producers, taste the food, meet the designers and see the fashion on models and watch some demonstrations by experts.

Dunnes Stores

I am now buying the Ardsallagh Cranberry Roulade Goat Cheese and Himalayan Salt Aged Beef on a regular basis after chatting with the cheese maker and the butcher from James Whelan Butchers, I’m wearing SPF skin cream protection for the first time after meeting Darren Kennedy and I am wearing a cashmere jumper from Paul Costelloe!

I also, as well as having more belief in the wine selection at Dunnes Stores, I have some new favourite wine brands after listening to the wine buyer talking about his favourite wines and the vineyards they come from.

In truth, no advert or social media posts would have had the same habit changing effect on me and there is a lot of money in our habits!

So for 2020 and beyond, I can see us all working really hard to create those new opportunities to get closer to the customer through real life experiences.

Greg

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion Communications, a full service Marketing, PR, Graphic Design and Digital Marketing agency with offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

The October 2019 Social Media Update – What happened?

November 5, 2019

October was a busy month for all our favourite social media platforms!

First up, Facebook!

Contrary to the belief that Facebook usage (including ourselves) has been declining, their Q3 update released showed that they are continuing to add users worldwide. However you will see that Europe and the U.S./Canada are quite static.

Facebook quarterly update 2019

Here are a couple of changes they’ve made this month:

They have removed the ability to schedule a post on desktop for some users unless you’re posting from the “Publishing Tools” page. This probably makes it easier for those of us that bulk schedule but it’s slightly annoying to lose it completely from a page post.

However, there is good news on the scheduling tools front!

Facebook is reportedly testing a new option within its post scheduling options which would enable Page admins to reach their audiences when they’re most active on the platform. It’ll be interesting to see if this comes in as it could be a very useful tool for marketers.

Was your business verified on Facebook via their grey tick?

From now on, all those grey ticks will be gone. Facebook have made this move because users were confused between those and the blue ticks, which are for public figures, media companies and brands.

Now my favourite…. Instagram!

Instagram (at least it feels like it to me when I’m updating my training presentation!) are always updating different things on the platform. Whether it’s Stories or different user tools, there’s always something new in the pipeline.

They’ve changed the whole layout of their Stories screen for users.

You were able to previously swipe along the bottom for the different tools such as Boomerang and Live, now there is a ‘Create’ option including different Story formats such as a GIF screen, templates to encourage engagement with your followers, and other options such as poll, quiz and countdown which were available previously as stickers.

They are also testing a new sticker as seen by Jane Manchun Wong, called ‘Invites‘ which allows users the chance to RSVP to the sticker once posted. If this comes to pass, it would be a great way to interact with followers working similarly to events on Facebook.

Instagram invites

Another interesting test coming soon will be Instagram sorting users ‘Following‘ lists into different categories including different topics.

Business accounts will fit under the different topics that they would have chosen in their Instagram settings. An interesting list to see will be the ‘least interacted with’ and ‘most shown in feed’, based on the user’s activity.

This could encourage users to unfollow some business accounts, so make sure your content stays engaging for your followers!

Messaging!

Instagram is finally introducing new features to their messaging to allow businesses to reply instantly to messages when they’re not available and also to set up an away message. This will be very useful to help communications with customers and ensure no-one is left waiting without an answer.

Instagram messaging

Finally…. LinkedIn are launching their own events feature!

It looks like it works similarly to Facebook Events, and it also gives you the option to invite specific people to an event. This will be great for anyone organising networking events, product launches or any other professional events.

That’s it until next month..thanks for stopping by!

Alma Brosnan Social Media Consultant, Fuzion CommunicationsAlma

Alma Brosnan is part of the Digital Marketing team providing Social Media Consultancy and Training services at Fuzion Communications from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

September 2019 Social Media Update!

October 3, 2019

As part of our work with clients we closely watch those social media trends to identify any shifts, any interesting developments and any opportunities that they might provide for our clients.

Some of the things that we have noticed recently could be of interest to you:

Facebook

Facebook has officially begun rolling out hiding likes on the platform in Australia.

It’s working similarly to the Instagram change where only the user can see how many likes their post has received and other users will just see the general “liked by Mary and others”.

It will be interesting to see how much of a difference this will make on Facebook compared to Instagram, where likes were the main unit of currency. I haven’t noticed a huge jump or drop in engagement once this change came through on Instagram and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down the influencer economy.

Companies that want to work with influencers are just engaging with the influencer and asking them for their stats directly. This can only be a change for the positive if it stops people judging themselves purely on the number of likes they get online.

Creator Studio

Who needs third-party scheduling tools when you can use Facebook’s Creator Studio?

The Creator Studio has all the tools you need to post, schedule and analyse your results for Facebook & Instagram. Creator Studio works well for Instagram because the main pain with Instagram was that you could only post from mobile unless you were using a third-party tool like Hootsuite or Buffer.

Now you can post & schedule posts directly from your desktop! This is currently only set up for posts to the feed and IGTV but hopefully, they’ll include an option for Stories soon enough.

Instagram “Positivity”

For more Instagram positive news, they’re launching a new policy that will restrict posts related to weight loss products and cosmetic surgery to users under the age of 18.

The updated policy is part of Instagram’s work to make the platform “a positive place for everyone” and to “reduce the pressure that people can sometimes feel as a result of social media.”

Users such as the Kardashians have previously been condemned for promoting weight loss products to their young audiences, this will ensure that their posts are monitored more closely and will be removed if reported for going against these guidelines. 

Pinterest

Pinterest is still plugging away and getting more relevant by the day.

Pinterest is now up to 300 million monthly active users, a 30% increase on a year ago. Due to the fact that Pinterest links back to websites easily, it’s a very relevant platform for any e-commerce, retail, household, interiors, food or tourism businesses. You may not consider Pinterest to be a key platform for your promotions, but research from Pinterest shows that its audience diversity and usage is expanding. The other great argument for using it is that there is a good chance that your competitors will not be very active on it.

That’s all from us folks for the moment, I hope you found this useful,

Alma Brosnan Social Media Consultant, Fuzion CommunicationsAlma

Alma Brosnan is part of the Digital Marketing team providing Social Media Consultancy and Training services at Fuzion Communications from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

PR Stunt – “Dove Real Beauty Sketches”.

September 2, 2019

Dove campaign

The company Dove is legendary when it comes to creating world renowned publicity stunts and one of my favourites has to be the short film they created in 2013 titled, “Dove Real Beauty Sketches”.

Throughout the short film , Dove investigates further into female self-loathing and hatred. It is safe to say that women in this modern era lack a great deal of self-esteem.

This self-hatred stems from the likes of social media, beauty magazines and gorgeous celebrity models. Women are forced to compare themselves to an image that is most arguably face-tuned and photo-shopped.

Dove believe that women undervalue their true selves and that women are “their own worst critics”. However, in order to battle this phenomenon of self-critique, Dove invited a number of women to describe their face to a sketch artist.

The comments made by these women in the video are extremely disheartening.

One of the most shocking remarks was from a woman who immediately stated that she had a “fat, rounded face” when asked what was her most prominent feature. This proves that most women immediately focus on the negative aspects of themselves and see it as their most prominent feature instead of a positive aspect, such as their eyes or smile.

Dove campaign

Thankfully the video includes a surprising turn of events in which each woman had to chat with a stranger after describing their appearance.

After a long chat, this new acquaintance was asked to describe the face of the women they were just talking to.

Finally, the film concludes with each woman examining two pictures of themselves, one drawn with the details they had given and the other with the details given by the stranger. What is completely unbelievable is that the two images are strikingly different.

The image described by the stranger is clearly more flattering and complimentary of the woman. This image is also a lot more similar to the women’s actual appearance. The images described by the women themselves seem to be more depressed, older and fatter than the other picture.

Dove campaign

This short film is revolutionary in my opinion as it reminds women that what we see every day in the media is not real and most importantly extremely unattainable.

I find myself looking at bloggers and celebrities on Instagram and comparing myself to them and discovering faults in my own appearance. However according to Dove I must realise that I am more beautiful than I think.

I hope every woman watches this film and gains a sense of confidence and comfort in their own skin. I also believe that the media has a moral obligation to promote real beauty and beauty diversity rather than an unrealistic photo-shopped image.

This in turn could demolish this common self-hatred among women.

Eimear

Eimear McKenna wrote this blog post when she was on a week’s work experience with Fuzion Communications, a PR, Marketing, Graphic Design and Digital Marketing Agency in Ireland with offices in Dublin and Cork

About Eimear (in her own words!)

I am 19 and currently studying English, History and Classics in UCD. This course has unleashed a true desire within me to write and elaborate stories. I am also a fully qualified associate teacher in Speech and Drama.

As a Drama teacher I meet many people every day and organise events such as the Feis and musicals/plays. It is a combination of these interests that has created an aspiration of mine to fulfill a career in PR. As a teenager I also love to follow many different influencers and fashion bloggers on Instagram, which has also added to my interest in PR as I would hopefully be working with these influencers every day

What is the cost of being “influenced”?

July 30, 2019

influencers in PR- Fuzion Communications

I unlocked my phone, and my finger (without thinking) automatically clicked onto the Instagram app.

The first thing I saw was a stunningly beautiful girl in a bikini with an amazing figure, on a picturesque beach in some dreamy location, holding a bottle of sunscreen.

How random? Well actually, it’s not. The brand of sunscreen that this beautiful influencer is holding, paid her (quite a lot of money) to post a picture of herself with their product.

We like to think that we are clever and that we don’t buy into what these influencers are selling, but we do.

We love to follow them and we do seem to value their opinion. We know that these people are paid to promote products but once they say that they “love” them, we try to resist their “influence”, but more often than not, we will purchase the latest product off the back of our favourite influencer’s recommendation.

It is a guilty pleasure of mine that I love to follow some fabulous, Irish influencers.

However, when I scroll through their Instagram feed for some outfit inspiration for an upcoming event, I can’t help but notice the #AD #SP #AF at the end of a large number of their posts.

Okay, yes, they are acknowledging that their post is an AD or Sponsored but not everybody is aware of what these hashtags mean.

The Advertising Standards Authority of Ireland (ASAI) have enforced rules, which influencers MUST comply with when posting content which has been paid for by another brand/ company.

For a long time, influencers have been getting away with posting content and hiding the fact that they have been paid for it. With the rise of online influencing, the ASAI has been keeping a much closer eye on these posts and making sure that the “paid for” content is clearly marked and not misleading to the influencer’s followers.

It is quite clear that ITV’s, Love Island has been the most watched and talked about TV show of 2019, with over 3.4 million viewers per night, and the show takes over Twitter’s Trending and Moments sections every night.

Many of the contestants social media following has jumped from just a couple of hundreds or thousands to nearly hitting the million mark in just under eight weeks. So it is without a doubt that the Love Island contestants are set for “influencer-dom” and are guaranteed multiple sponsorship deals the moment they get out of the villa.

The ASA in the UK has partnered up with ITV to supply the contestants with a workshop and a “social media advertising” survival kit for when they leave the villa. This is to ensure that the contestants comply with all of the advertising rules and clearly mark that their posts are sponsored or an Ad.

It is quite difficult now to work with influencers and negotiate their job without having to go through their agents.

Many people wonder if it is worth paying Instagram/ Social Media Influencers such large amounts of money for one static post on their feed and three frames on their story (30 seconds)?

However, in my opinion, yes it is worth it (product dependant obviously) as long as this person is genuine about the product they are endorsing and is not there ‘just’ for the money.

Influencer’s are still able to “influence” their followers to purchase the product that they are paid to promote even with or without the #AD at the end of the post!

Abigail Shaw - Fuzion CommunicationsAbigail 

Abigail Shaw is a PR Executive with Fuzion Communications, a Marketing, PR, Graphic Design and Digital Marketing agency with offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

 

PR Professionals navigating the world of Online Journalism 

July 25, 2019

Online Journalism

There is no denying that the face of the media industry is steadily changing over time.

Print journalism is in decline and the move to online journalism is the new age of media. Over the past few months alone we have witnessed the print edition of The Times Ireland close down to solely concentrate on its digital outlet, and there have been major changes in Independent News & Media as sadly redundancies took place across a number of its newspapers. 

As print media goes deeper into decline, a number of long term print journalists are making the more stable move to online media.

Leslie Ann Horgan, former Editor of Irish Independent Weekend Magazine is now Head of Content with Her.ie and Ellen Coyne, former Senior Political Correspondent with The Times Ireland has taken up a role as Political Correspondent with Joe.ie.

The changing face of traditional to online media is often lamented among PR people and this can come with good reason. As out of date as it may seem, the PR industry needs print media.

For many PR professionals having a client appear on the front page of a newspaper tends to win out over an online piece and is often still deemed as more valuable to the client. 

Perhaps it is the case that there is still a great amount of value placed on print media coverage as this is traditionally how positive PR was measured and there is a slight reluctance and slowness to treat online coverage with the same respect.

It also takes time for PR professionals to build relationships with journalists and we tend to have ‘go-to’ print journalists that we have worked with over the years depending on the content we are pitching. It is important for the implementation of successful PR that positive relationships with online journalists are formed in the same respect. 

Online news media is growing at a rapid pace in Ireland with companies such as Maximum Media continuing their expansion into areas such as politics. As the shape of the media industry continues to change, new adjustments and relationships need to be formed as the PR industry navigates how best to work with online news media.

Regardless of print or online, PR still shines through as a way of valuable third party verification of positive news for you and your brand adding momentum and credibility to your other promotional activities.

Michelle Lynch, Fuzion Communications, PR, DublinMichelle

Michelle Lynch is a PR Account Manager in the Dublin office of Fuzion Communications, a full service agency offering Marketing, PR and Graphic Design services from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

 

The end of the Business Card?

July 3, 2019

Business Card etiquette

I was having a chat yesterday with a businessman who was saying how LinkedIn was his new business card – that when he meets a new business contact, instead of handing them a business card he connects with them on LinkedIn, so he has that electronic connection.

This is a perfect use of social media tools for business, but I think he is missing a big point of the business card.

For me my business card is an opportunity to showcase my brand to a new contact “Look who I am and where I work”, ““Look at what we can do”, “Look how well we look”.

I just love the Chinese and Japanese culture around business cards, how it is considered rude not to present your business card properly and then to examine a business card respectively and carefully when you are presented with one.

They almost have a ceremony around business cards – how they present it with two hands and you are expected to receive it in both hands, study it and put it beside you if you are at a meeting with them. The business card is considered to represents the person.

I remember 20 years ago when I first started Fuzion Communications, I didn’t have a fancy office, I was working with a borrowed laptop, but I invested in my branding and my business cards, as out and about meeting people, my business cards were my shop window!

Even in our digital age, I still like to present my business cards – and I always watch how they are received. I think it’s a great way to judge if someone is actually engaging with you, to see how they react when you hand them your business card.

So next time you present a card to someone, see how they receive it – and when someone gives you a business card, accept it with honour – you never know, they might have read this blog post too!!

Deirdre Waldron, Fuzion Communications, PR ConsultantDeirdre 

Deirdre Waldron is the founding partner of Fuzion Communications, a Marketing, PR and Graphic Design firm with offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

Local Elections, old codgers and phone zapping…

May 21, 2019

Old codgers - Inniscarra Bar, Cork

We were in our local, the Inniscarra Bar, one of the most authentic old style pubs you will find in the country, part of that dying breed where the walls will talk warmly to you about everyone who has sat there before you and before them.

It was early on a Saturday evening and we were having a sneaky pint before heading home to cook some grub.

The two old codgers sitting at the bar sipped quietly on their  pints and every now and then there was some chit chat between them. One of the guys had a battle weary black dog with him who was busy going from one patron to the next, sniffing and being friendly.

For some strange reason there was a large election poster leaning up against the wall for one of the local candidates, Shane Fallon. I’m not really sure if this was a practical joke or if it was a serious election tactic by the candidate?!

Out of nowhere the two men got very animated and their conversation got louder and louder..

Those f##king posters are a f##king disgrace and they should be banned as they are ruining the environment

Wow….it went on..

Sure, don’t they have email and don’t they have the internet and..and don’t they have, you know yourself, can’t they just zap phones the way they do?

You are so right, a f##king disgrace!“, followed by lots of huffing and puffing and then back to their pints.

Were they right??  

It’s funny …just a few days beforehand I was standing in front of my Dublin Chamber Council colleagues presenting them an overview of our business sector.

To do this I reached out to many of the member companies, both large and small and looked for their feedback about trends in the sector.

A BIG MESSAGE was that there was a huge shift from traditional media to digital but this was loaded with a gentle warning that clients need to be very careful not to put all of their eggs into this one channel as you just won’t reach your audience in a way that your message will land.

As I walked back from the pub I noticed all of the election posters – who do I like the look of?

When I pushed opened the front door open I looked at the flyers that had been pushed through the letter box – who are you and what are you promising?

And if I believe you really care about the location I do expect you to knock on my door and chat to me.

I tweeted three of the candidates who had dropped in their literature and two responded. One just took herself out of the running!

It’s great that the old codgers got so animated about the environment (there probably should be a limit to how many they put up), but unfortunately a candidate who relies only on email (GDPR has that one squeezed to death!!) and zapping phones (I’m taking this to mean social media) will not be successful.

The candidates need to integrate their social media with their traditional media and however they manage it, they need to be recognised, liked and if possible connect in some real way with the voters.

Get out and vote this Friday!!

Greg 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion Communications, a full service Marketing, PR and Graphic Design agency with offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

Show your brands personality just like ASOS did!

May 13, 2019

Recently, online shopping giant ASOS received a lot of applause for backing one of their customers who had been disrespected online by a stranger.

The lady, who was wearing a dress from ASOS, was told by the male who she was messaging that the dress was awful and that she should shop somewhere decent!!

He then told her to grow up before politely signing off, “Thanks. Hope this helps.

 

Girl in ASOS dress on Twitter

 

Following this unpleasant remark, she decided to upload the conversation along with the picture of her wearing the so called “awful dress” to Twitter.

The Tweet, which has racked up over 100k likes and 9k RT’s, caught the attention of ASOS who decided to do something really great.

ASOS uploaded the photo of the lady wearing their dress to their website and in my opinion, she showcased the dress even better.

ASOS received a great deal of applause for uploading the photo to their website, showing their support for a more than likely loyal customer, who I can only imagine got a great boost from seeing her image featured on their website.

 

 

ASOS featuring customer pic

The situation, which was turned from a negative into a positive by ASOS, is a great example of a brand showcasing their personality and engaging with its customers.

In doing this, ASOS demonstrated their loyalty for their customers, while showing a caring but also fun side to the brand. With online trolling at an all-time high, along with the pressures of looking perfect on social media, ASOS really did a great job with this personal touch.

For all businesses, it’s good to show the personality behind your brand. Whether it’s supporting your customers like ASOS did, or showing the team behind the brand online, you increase trust with your customers leading to much better engagement.

Well done ASOS!

Saidhbh

Saidhbh Sweeney is a PR Account Manager with Fuzion Communications: PR, Marketing and Graphic Design, with offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland


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