Archive for the ‘Web Marketing’ Category

Online Trading Vouchers – Could be worth up to €2,500

June 10, 2015

Instead of us going into all of the detail about this scheme have a peep at the quite brilliant infographic that Ray Keohane of our Graphic Design team prepared to explain it easily!

Well done Ray …

Online Trading Voucher Scheme Inforgraphic

 

Ray Keohane is part of the Fuzion Graphic Design team operating from our Dublin and Cork offices in Ireland.

The Value of a Well Designed Website

November 11, 2014

Old shop

We’ve all experienced it at one point or another: you go to a website and find it lets down the organisation – dated design, chaotic structure and last updated over 5 years ago are typical issues, You dig around but can’t find the information you need, the home page keeps crashing, the links don’t work, etc., so you leave frustrated and with a poor opinion formed about the organisation to which the site belongs to.

And you most probably will never come back…

A bad or outdated website can make you look unprofessional and will cost you potential clients. A well-designed one, however, can impress quickly and will add credibility to your organisation and make you look instantly more progressive and professional. Internet users are much more sophisticated than they used to be and their expectations are a lot higher – they decide quickly if the website is relevant for their needs.

Capturing your story

When you are looking to design/redesign you must realise that your website is one of the most visible representations of  your organisation or business. What story is it telling the viewer and how will this affect the way people view your business? Is it professional looking, does it capture what you are all about? Does it capture the personality and ethos?

Purpose Your purpose?

It is important to keep in mind that your website also has to be well designed in order to get your visitors to do what you want them to do. When you build a website it is usually with a specific purpose in mind: be it to make direct sales through it, to have people sign up for your mailing list, direct them to your social media accounts or simply to provide them with useful information.

Mr.Google

Beautiful looking websites can be fantastic to make a great impression but they also need to be designed in such a way that there is sufficient opportunity to carry word content as this is essential for SEO purposes. Mr. Google loves words and you need to be sure that your site carries enough of them and in the right places so that people can easily find your site. Getting the balance right between imagery and words is important.

Responsive 

In recent years it is also vital to design sites that are responsive – this means that if a user is viewing your website from a smartphone or a tablet that it functions best for that device allowing easy navigation via touch-screen buttons, and only displaying relevant information and content for the users’ needs.

The 24/7 Salesman

Today it is quite possible that more people will potentially see your website than actually come to your physical location. It is accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to potential customers from all around the world. Your website is your most powerful marketing tool as no printed brochure or advert reaches more potential clients or offers the flexibility to easily update content as your business grows and develops.

However, you don’t have a well trained person greeting them and explaining what is great about your products and services and dealing with any queries and nor do you have a person gauging their reaction – this hard working website has a big job to do!

Getting it right ..

Don’t take shortcuts with your public online face, make sure it is easily found, looks great, that it tells the right story, that it functions well, clearly communicating your key messages and it does what it is supposed to do.

The design of your website may be the one thing that tips the scale between a potential customer doing business with you or going elsewhere… make sure it tips your way!

Basia Kozlik - Fuzion Graphic DesignBasia

Basia Kozlik is a Graphic Designer with Fuzion

Fuzion offer a full range of  Web Design and Digital services from our Cork and Dublin offices in Ireland

 

Is the old dog learning new tricks?

November 3, 2014

Teaching an old Dog new tricks

Recently a girl on work experience asked me about how I got into PR, what I studied, and how I’ve seen things change in the industry.

It reminded of one particular class in college in 2006 with John Gallagher, our Course Director for the MA in PR at DIT. John was chatting to us about these things called ‘blogs’ – not one of us, out of a class of 40, knew what a blog was, and it was only when one of my ‘brave’ class mates piped up and asked the question, that we were enlightened!

This got me thinking, and I doubt John has been asked that question since… things have changed so quickly in the 8 years I’ve been involved in the PR industry with the advent of social media and advancing technology.

When I joined Fuzion in 2007, Facebook was just rearing its head, Twitter had barely been heard of in Ireland – and as for Pinterest and Instagram, well they were more commonly known as ‘Post-Its’ and ‘Polaroids’! Now me, I’m ‘old-school’ when it comes to PR, I love to pick up a newspaper or magazine, and see a physical press clipping for my clients, but I can’t deny that social media and technology have certainly been a big help in my job, particularly when it comes to event planning and management.

In the ‘olden days’ hours would be spent drawing up invitation lists, and gathering people’s postal addresses, and stuffing envelopes with snazzy invites that so much time had been taken designing and printing. While now, I simply walk down the office to the guys in our design department, brief them on what I want the invitation to look like, and voila…. A file arrives in my inbox that I can simply upload to a system like Mailchimp along with my database of invitees and their email addresses (very little need for postal addresses anymore), I click send, and off it goes into cyber space, arriving in inboxes of everyone I want to reach within mere moments… simples!

But that’s not all, I can analyse exactly who’s opened the invite, how many times they’ve viewed it, if they’ve clicked hyperlinks to bring them to social media pages for the event; the list goes on. If I really want a particular person at the event, but they haven’t opened the invite for some reason, at least I know, and I can make sure to get in touch with them.

As well as sending invitations by email, I also have the opportunity to share details of the event on the various social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Never has it been so easy to communicate with target audiences. To ensure I’m reaching them, I can allocate a small advertising spend targeting a certain demographic if necessary; as well as interacting with them and sharing updates and news about the upcoming event.

Managing a guest list is so easy now. I either receive RSVPs directly into my inbox and manage the guest list from there, or I can set up a registration page using an online ticketing service like Eventbrite, where all registrations are tracked and I know how many tickets are remaining for example. This saves hours of phone calls, making this sort of event preparation and management so time efficient for us and cost efficient for our clients.

As I already said, I’m ‘old-school’ so I won’t dismiss the more ‘traditional’ methods, and will certainly make that call or post that letter if required; and I’ll almost always recommend that we issue a press release with a great PR photo to help promote an event.

For me, it’s a combination of the ‘old’ and ‘new’ that go a long way to making a great event come together.

Alison O’Brien

Alison O’Brien is a Senior Account Director with Fuzion PR, Marketing & Design which has offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

SEO and the Impact it has on your brand

September 20, 2014

Jeff Bezoz, Amazon - Branding quote

A Simple test ….do a Google search using the keywords that describe what your organisation does and see how your website performs.

Crisis PR in Ireland’ , ‘PR firms in Dublin‘ …. Do your own search for your relevant keywords and see what happens. Include your location in the search, which is what most people normally do when they are searching.

From a business point of view it makes clear sense that if someone is looking for what your organisation is offering that they find you easily online. The very best way is for your website to perform for these ‘key‘ searches organically or naturally. If this is not the case your website is more than likely not properly optimised.

If you have done all you can to optimise your website and it is still not performing well enough then it makes sense to implement a Google Adwords campaign to ensure your website is appearing for ‘key’ searches in a prominent position.

While your website performance is essential for business is this the only reason your site should perform well for searches?

I feel another big reason your website should perform well is that it is an integral part of your overall brand. This might seem like an unusual reason at first as we normally thing of ‘descriptors‘ when we discuss someone’s brand attributes.

Jeff Bezoz of Amazon described a brand as ‘what other people say about you when you are not in the room‘. While it might be up to others to describe you this can clearly be shaped by how you portray your organisation through your actions, behaviours, products, services and all the visual cues or representations of your brand.

Your website plays a key role in this, not just in how it appears but also where it appears when searched for.

It’s difficult to appear as a ‘leader in the sector‘ if a random Google search for the services and products you provide has you appearing well below your competitors or possibly so far back on the search results you are not found at all.

If this is the case you need to optimise your website, which is mostly a very straight forward but methodical process and if necessary support this with Google Adwords pay per click advertising.

Where you appear is just as important as how you appear!

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion provide online consultancy and website optimisation services from our offices in Dublin and Cork in Ireland

eCommerce – ‘Take Off’ with Online Trading Vouchers

June 22, 2014

Take Off

Fuzion are delighted to be working on two great initiatives that have been introduced by the Government and are being operated by the Local Enterprise Boards.

One of these is the Online Trading Vouchers initiative, which is designed to encourage and assist Irish businesses with eCommerce potential to get trading online and not miss the opportunity to expand their business. Vouchers of up to €2,500 are available to qualifying businesses.

This is a huge opportunity for the right business to literally ‘Take Off‘ by reaching new online customers for their products and services.

With the trend ever increasing towards online spending it is estimated that only 23% of small Irish businesses are engaged in any meaningful way in eCommerce sales.

For businesses employing less than ten people this percentage could be even lower. It is now believed that of online purchases made in Ireland that 70% of these are done in overseas markets. This is a huge lost opportunity for Irish businesses.

There is now an urgency to ensure that businesses recognise that this is happening and that they are encouraged and supported to respond to this digital reality in a meaningful way.

In order to support this goal, the National Digital Strategy aims to get a further 2,000 businesses trading online by the end of 2015.

The Online Trading Voucher scheme has been introduced to support those who wish to grasp this opportunity to expand their business.

Applications are now being accepted in the Pilot Regions of: Dublin City & County, Cork City & County, Kerry, Louth, Sligo and Waterford.

The €2,500 match funded Online Trading Vouchers are targeted at:

  • Small businesses that have a limited online trading presence
  • Less than 10 employees
  • Turnover less than €2million
  • Registered and trading for a minimum of 12 months
  • Located in one of the pilot areas under this phase of the scheme

The Online Trading Vouchers can be used for the development or upgrade of an e-commerce website such as implementing online payments or booking systems.

Other usage includes the purchase of internet related software, online advertising, development of an APP, implementation of a digital marketing strategy, consultation with ICT experts for early stage adopters of online strategy and training/skills development specifically to establish and manage an online trading activity.

In order to make an application those interested must attend one of the information seminars which will provide all the details as to how to apply but also how to best use and gain value from the voucher to support the business online trading proposition.

This is an opportunity not to be missed by anyone who has a small business with products or services suited to eCommerce sales.

Please spread the word and advise anyone who is interested that they must attend the seminars – Attendance is FREE and pre-registration is essential.

Are you ready for Take Off?

The Fuzion Crew..

Check out the other terrific initiative, Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur, which is a new competition to find Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur, with a total fund of €2 million available to invest in winning businesses and entrepreneurs in every county in the country.

 

Google + Your Business = Success

June 16, 2014

No one cares about Google+

I think the very savvy bunch taking my social media classes as part of the Digital Marketing Institute, Digital Diploma programme spotted my lack of enthusiasm for Google+ from a mile away. In truth they would have spotted it from nearly 10 miles away!!

I don’t get it, I don’t see the use for it and with the other main social media platforms Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn each having their own separate uses and roles I find it hard justifying any precious time on Google’s social media offering.

Aoife O'Donovan - Starwood Hotels & ResortsI had one enthusiastic social media soldier who made a case for Google+ at the session so instead of me trying to wrestle some inspiration from deep inside me for a blog post I asked the very lovely Aoife O’Donovan, Social Media specialist with Starwood Hotels & Resorts to do the honours.

She didn’t let me down..

Over to you Aoife!!

Your potential customers are everywhere. If I whip out Google on my phone and I’m Googling “Pizza Cork Ireland”, you better jump out at me!

In the age of procrastination and Social Media marketing you cannot go wrong by spreading your Social Media presence a little wider to reach Google+.

A lot of Businesses focus on SEO and getting high in the search results. While Google+ may be the more anti-social member of the social media family it is a small but deadly weapon in your businesses arsenal.

Don’t ignore the giant search engine as Google will look more favourable on you if you play with their toys!

People are looking for you, Get found!

Get in the local Carousel, and get those stars. This is higher than ads folks on your search results so don’t turn your nose up at the benefits. Allow your business to be reviewed; it is not a bad thing. People are used to reviews and expectations are high.

Make sure you address customer service issues and use it as a learning opportunity.

Google+ Screen shot

 

“The Mappy Way”

You receive extra exposure around the location of your business.

If you are a walk in business it is crucial to give your customers directions via Google Maps.

Google + Screenshot

 

Connect with your customers:

With your Address, Phone Number, Website and Opening Hours you will never be more exposed.

Get your information right!  Link all your social icons on your website to be contactable so you never miss out on an opportunity.

Google + Screenshot

 

Easy to use

Google+ is visually appealing and really easy to use.

Even if you are copying and pasting an offer from Facebook to Google+ it looks cleaner and gives you exposure across more channels. Hashtags are a key trend and feature of Google+ posts.

Google + Screenshot

 

Communicate with communities

Share your business offers with communities and invite them to events of benefit to them.

As with all the social platforms don’t over spam these people, and make it personal and valuable to your potential customers.

Google+ Screenshot

 

If you haven’t yet set up your Google+ business page, why not start today by visiting this link.

If you need any more convincing Google it!

Aoife …you are a star, you make great, clear arguments for my favourite platform (not!!!) and you have given me some motivation for doing a little more with the damn thing – Google+, I hate you!! 

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion offer Social Media Consultancy and Training in Dublin and Cork

Murphy’s, When it Rains it Pours and other Freebie Guilt

May 25, 2013

Murphys, When it rains it pours

Both myself and Jonathan received our reminder at the same time on our phones while working in the office..

You have one day to redeem your free pint of Murphy’s

This is part of the very clever “When it rains it pours” campaign being run by Murphy’s. It works in a really simple way – you register for the APP and when it rains the kind brewery give away a thousand free pints!

When you log onto the APP you claim your pint and you are then given four days to redeem your free pint.

The free pints are available from participating pubs and the APP gives a listing of pubs as well as a convenient “pubs near you” guide. You reclaim the free pint by showing the barman your phone and they give you a unique code that you enter on your APP.

We are both Murphy’s drinkers, it was late on a Friday afternoon after another busy week so why not!

On the way over we had a chat about “free” stuff and how it makes you feel..I always feel like a skinflint when I’m not paying for something.

I feel mean and I feel like an inferior customer when I’m not handing over money. I feel strange when I hand over a discount card and I even feel slightly awkward when producing a voucher to pay for something in a restaurant. Whenever I claim “free” stuff or I end up using a voucher I always feel I should buy something extra so that I don’t feel as bad!

The last time I tried to use the APP in a bar that was listed in the scheme they told me they knew nothing about it. Embarrassing!

As we were ordering our pints we had our phones armed and ready and we tentatively asked the barman if they were doing the Murphy’s scheme …”sorry we don’t do that here“. Ground…open up and swallow me now!

Already feeling like a skinflint and a little red faced, I just paid for our pints and decided I wasn’t going to use the APP anymore – its just too embarrassing.

The initiative is a really clever one that should be great at building customer loyalty and one that also helps to recruit new customers. Due to poor execution (Sorry Heineken – get a sticker or POS for participating pubs and make sure the staff know about it it – make sure the pubs listed on the APP are actually participating) it instead just becomes a phone gimmick that runs the risk of making customers feel bad.

I’m sure this was a million miles away from the great original intention when the scheme was devised.

With any voucher, scheme or discount initiative you are using in your business it’s important that the execution is simple and efficient, your team are fully informed and there is no risk that a customer is left feeling guilty, inferior or with a big red face!

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion are a Marketing and PR firm with offices in Cork and Dublin.

Are you leaving breadcrumbs?

April 22, 2013

Leaving breadcrumbs

You are doing a lot of work in Dublin these days” she said to me.

We are, but how did you know that?” I asked

Oh ..I figured that out from your Facebook posts” she said

That conversation was about five years ago and it was at an event for a client in Dublin – for me it was what I call my “penny drop” moment about social media. At that time I was using Facebook, just like everyone else posting the odd thing about what I was doing and where I was going. In fact, I think I wasn’t that sure what I should have been posting and even how relevant social media might be for business.

It dawned on me that with every post you make people are watching, digesting and forming impressions about you and what you are all about. Often they won’t comment, reply or even “like” your posts, but they are listening and soaking up what you are saying.

From that moment I realised the power of social media and the importance of having a clear idea about what picture of you and your business you want to portray.

Every status update, every tweet, every retweet, every like, every share, every favourite, every discussion, every hashtag and every blog post are all little breadcrumbs that you leave to bring the reader to a place you wanted to take them.

Are you leaving breadcrumbs?

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion with offices in Cork and Dublin offer social media training and consultancy in Ireland.

Game Changing Interviews

February 3, 2013

job vacanciesJust before the New Year we decided to publicise a vacancy for a Senior PR post in our Dublin office.

We deliberately wanted to leave the job description open so that it would invite interest from  a wide range of people leaving us with the opportunity of shaping the role around the successful “right” candidate instead of letting everything be dictated by a very specific role ..it has been an interesting journey with some really good learnings!

  1. The job vacancy posted on our website and the use of social media alone was enough to generate a huge number of responses and enough quality candidates
  2. From the minute we tweeted and posted the link for the vacancy we could see huge traffic hitting our website
  3. People are really happy to retweet and share news about job vacancies
  4. So many people apply for jobs without reading what the job is about!! – I would say about 40% of the enquiries were totally irrelevant
  5. The role attracted a lot of attention because of the way we described it – avoid cliches (dynamic person…)!
  6. People in really good roles are now prepared to move to new jobs – is that recession fear easing off?
  7. Some people are caught in fur lined” mouse traps – they are getting no satisfaction from their jobs but are stuck because their packages are too good to leave. We met a few of these!
  8. Many people have taken roles in the recession because they needed the money – most are really unfulfilled now, which is bad for them and their employers.
  9. There are a lot of really talented, hard working people out there – the quality of the people we met was amazing
  10. Employment agencies – I can’t see us ever having to use one..

After just one week of searching we found more than one ideal candidate for the role but we also met a number of quite diverse people all with something unique to offer who we know we will stay in touch with and work together in some way on various projects..

The game of recruiting is changing, the game of looking for a job is changing and hopefully this simple interview process could turn out to be a valuable “game changer” for us.

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion are a Marketing & PR firm with offices in Dublin and Cork

Me and Kim Kardashian splashing in the sea!

January 11, 2013

Kim Kardashian Why is it so hard to build followers on twitter?” I get asked frequently by clients and at my courses.

Kim Kardashian has over 17 million followers on Twitter. Maybe she holds the answer to that question?

What’s the magic? Does she say incredibly inspirational things, is she really interesting, does she have unique insights into the mysteries of life?

A quick peep at her tweets over the last few days ..not a whole lot going on really except a few posts with links to some old pictures of her (very nice!) and some articles that she is featured in.

She’s obviously one of those A-List Hollywood stars, famous from the “Keeping up with the Kardashians” reality TV show, she has a colourful life and of course she looks really well !! In 2011 she was the celeb who was searched on Google more times than anyone else.

While Kim is extremely popular on twitter she isn’t too bothered about what other people are saying – she follows 160 people on twitter, a mixture of her own fan sites, some beauty and fashion brands, designers and even Sylvester Stallone gets a look in!

Apparently on twitter Kim just has to open an account and the numbers of fans will flock to her..

Then there is me and you!

For some reason us mere mortals don’t have the exciting lives and magnetic lure that Kim has, so when it comes to gathering followers on Twitter we need to sweat a little harder to gain some followers. It’s not going to happen for us by sitting back, posting the odd nugget of wisdom and waiting for the hordes of followers – nope!

We have to do the leg work, we have to start following others, we have to do the interacting, we have to reply and comment on posts, we have to do some re-tweeting, we have to start posting really clever things, we need to be funny, we need to be genuine, we need to be helpful and nice, we have to build rapport, trust and visibility so that we will first get noticed and then followed – we have to jump into the sea with everyone else and start splashing!

Let’s face it ..I’m not like Kim and it”s highly unlikely that she will ever swim in the sea with me but if I want to get noticed I’ll have to start splashing!

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Greg is a social media expert who provides Social Media Consultancy and training in Dublin and Cork


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