COULD GOING BACK TO THE BASICS IMPROVE OUR FUTURE MARKETING STRATEGIES?

By Sammy Sadler, Marketing Manager

The Festival of Marketing was back again for another year earlier this month with its two-day marketing extravaganza, bringing a whole host of industry leaders and famous faces including Louis Theroux, Gabby Logan and Eamonn Holmes to share their views and knowledge.

Alongside the celebs, some of the most prominent global brands also arrived in London to discuss all things marketing, from AI and data to branding and successful communication strategies.

But it was Richard Ingram, Europe’s global brand director of Asahi, that stole the show for me as he delved into Peroni’s latest strategy of ‘doing more with less.’ Ashai Breweries, which is based in Tokyo, acquired Peroni for almost £2bn in 2016 and has a whole host of other beverages under in its portfolio from popular Japanese brands to Grolsch and Meantime Brewing.

Speaking at the event, Ingram said:

“the only game in town right now is, what does your brand stand for? And how well does the content experience that sits around it, deliver?”

One of the things that the whole team at O are passionate about is brand storytelling. We recently picked out some of our favourite brand storytellers and looked at how their ability to tell a great story has enabled them to become a favourite in their industry. And although the world of marketing shifts constantly, the ability to tell a great brand story behind your product or service will always be an important factor.

But why is it really so important to look at brand storytelling now and why does Peroni’s simple approach appear to be so revolutionary?

Well the very fact that large brands are actually starting to look at their brand more closely is a huge step in audience engagement and trust in itself. We’ve all seen the increased worries about how to use influencer marketing correctly, it’s one of the topics that led me to write about making the most out of your influencer campaigns. It’s also difficult to ignore the speed in which technology is increasing and providing us with so many new opportunities regularly, which is fantastic but can also be exhausting trying to keep up with if you aren’t necessarily submersed in the marketing industry day-in-day-out.

However, by getting what your brand stands for nailed at the offset and crafting your content carefully around those ideologies, you can go a long way in creating that initial framework for a robust marketing campaign.

So, with this all said, is it now necessary to strip it back to basics to get that brand story right and build on from there? Do we need to have some form of ‘personality’ for our brand before we throw tens of thousands at influencer marketing or extensive visual advertising? If it can go a long way in building back that audience trust and interaction that is getting lost at the moment with the scare stories of ‘influencer engagement rates’, then surely it is worth it.

It would be great to see Peroni’s approach prompt other brands to look at what they are currently saying, how they are saying it and how exactly it works in line with their target audience. By doing this, we can create communication campaigns across PR, content marketing, influencer relations, social media and visual advertising more creatively and effectively than ever before.

It’s 2018 and one approach doesn’t fit all anymore. So maybe it’s time we all took a step back and get what our brand stands for right, before we focus on anything else.

O is a creative communications agency based in Newcastle upon Tyne with a passion for telling brand stories. For more information on how to get your brand story out there, drop us a line on letstalk@opr.co.uk

GET CREATIVE: STAND OUT FROM THE CROWD WITH YOUR INFLUENCER MARKETING CAMPAIGN

Stand out from the crowd with your influencer marketing campaign.

We’ve spoken a lot about influencer marketing on the O Blog, whether it’s around how to make the most of your influencer marketing campaign or how influencers can boost brands’ Stories. Having worked with social media influencers over the years, we know how effective they are for brand communications and it hasn’t gone unnoticed by everyone else.

Despite issues of transparency with some influencers/celebrities not using appropriate hashtags such as #ad or #spon, this marketing trend continues to grow in popularity and doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon.

Due to the increased number of brands using influencers and the number of individuals growing their following to reach influencer status, it’s now pretty common to get lost in a never-ending sea of content. We’re even seeing some influencers promoting things that they don’t particularly like, which often results in a basic photo of a product without any form of creativity or authenticity,

For the final part of our GET CREATIVE series, we’re looking at how you can ensure your influencer marketing campaigns are creating a buzz and how you can stand out from the crowd.

Host an exclusive event

So this isn’t a new one but hosting an exclusive event for influencers can be a great way to build noise around your brand. We discussed how to integrate social media with your event in a previous blog post to ensure that you are organising something that will make everyone want to attend and of course, share across their social media platforms.

Creating a unique experience for influencers is a great way to allow them to engage with your brand, touch, taste and feel your products or understand your brand story by meeting the founders. It allows them to interpret your brand for their followers and share it by being part of it.

Encourage influencer creativity

One of the best reasons to work with an influencer is that they’ll bring their own style to your brand – but nowadays this can get lost. Choose an influencer with bags of creativity and willing to take your product and create something unique – this will create much more conversation than someone simply posting a product shot.

Choose life(style)

Is the influencer already a fan of your brand, or do they lead the lifestyle that ‘fits’ with your customers? Choosing for number of followers is the most common mistake we see – we believe that you should always take time to choose influencers that are right for your brand, and ideally are already fans so you can nurture them into ambassadors and work together for mutual benefit.

Social media takeovers

A great way to engage an audience with your brand is to ask an influencer to take over your social media platforms entirely. This could be posting a weekly blog, uploading some snaps from their daily life or using Instagram Stories to share a day in their life (or yours) – the opportunities are endless. The influencer will bring their own audience along to follow on the Stories as well – creating more opportunities for your brand to be seen.

O Communications is a creative agency in Newcastle. If you need some help with your next influencer marketing campaign – why not drop us a message on letstalk@opr.co.uk.

STRONG BRAND STORYTELLING: GOING BEYOND THE PRODUCT

You’ve probably all heard the saying that “people buy from people” – when we interact with a brand and ultimately become a customer, we want to know that our business is going to someone who we relate to in some way.

You’ll often notice some brands doing considerably better than others in its industry and usually that’s down to its ability to tell a great story and entice the audience to choose them instead. Brands such as Coca Cola, Facebook and Hard Rock didn’t get so popular by just offering a product/service – they all took that and began to build a narrative. They spoke about the history, about what they could offer the audience and why they are so unique in such a creative way that it was, and still is, difficult to ignore.

With the three mentioned above, we now expect a level of excitement from them and regular new stories. With Coca Cola we eagerly await the Christmas advert, with Facebook we get excited over new updates to improve our experience and we actively seek out Hard Rock Cafes across the world to check out new musician memorabilia.

The history of a brand is very much something that an audience can get on board with, whether your brand is 100 years old or 100 days old. Learning about that journey, your values and your commitment to your product/service should all be communicated in a creative way to capture that audience and make it so much more than about something you are selling. Essentially, you are giving your audience an exclusive look at your brand beyond the product.

Nowadays, we have a whole range of tools at our fingertips to tell our brand story. Whether it’s through a strategic PR plan, a creative social media campaign or behind-the-scenes video series, it couldn’t be easier.

Below we’ve included just some of our favourite brand storytellers – why not check them out for some inspiration?

Dr Martens

English footwear brand Dr Martens has a rich history dating back to the 1900s involving great British shoe-makers, the Griggs family, and the invention of an air cushioned sole from injured German Solider, Dr Klaus Maertens. You can read the full story here into how the boot evolved from its invention and ultimately became a huge cultural symbol of working class pride, especially after the boots were worn on stage by The Who guitarist Pete Townshend in 1966.

Since then, Dr Martens has become one of the biggest footwear brands in the world due to its association with big names who are willing to share the Dr Martens story. For Dr Martens, it’s much more than just a brand. A symbol of rebellion, the company have created an image for the brand that goes beyond just a boot.

 

 

 

Fentimans

Botanical brewery Fentimans has crafted a brand story centred around its British roots, from the design on its website to the names of the drinks. Created in 1905 when Thomas Fentiman obtained a recipe for Fentiman’s popular botanically brewed ginger beer, the brand has been delighting fans of its products for over 100 years.

With a signature logo of Thomas’ pet dog Fearless who won the Crufts obedience title in 1933 and 1934, Fentimans continue to make beverages with a strong brand focus on heritage and founder, as well as the natural products that it uses. 

Barbour

English luxury fashion brand Barbour has amassed a huge audience since its inception in 1984 for its quality clothing, which includes the iconic wax cotton jacket. Behind the products, Barbour is very much a people brand which focusses on its leading position as an outdoor fashion provider alongside more personable content.

With a nod to its British heritage throughout its fashion lines, Barbour is easily recognisable and keeps its audience engaged through hashtags and campaigns such as #BarbourWayOfLife.

Barbour has also harnessed man’s best friend and alongside offering just products for dogs, the website boasts a Barbour Dogs section with ‘interviews’ of dogs wearing the products and there’s even an exclusive loyalty scheme.

Miller Homes

UK housebuilder Miller Homes has been building houses for over 80 years and prides itself on its dedication to working in the community and customer service.

The company has embedded itself into local communities across the UK by partnering with charities, schools and events to share its passion for the area and show that it cares about its surroundings.

The firm has launched initiatives on developments so that residents hold regular get-togethers, an incentive scheme aimed at local employers and introduced wildlife campaigns, educational visits, weekend break competitions and charity bake sales to engage its audience.

Miller Homes’ ability to tell stories of not only its work within the community but the stories of its residents and community spirit on the developments, has easily positioned the housebuilder as both trustworthy and dedicated to its customers.

Flymo

Gardening superbrand Flymo has been popular for years now and is easily one of the most recognisable names for lawncare. Far from a ‘one size fits all’ approach, Flymo has a whole range of products to suit different abilities and needs.

Alongside featuring their products online, one thing that Flymo is incredibly good at is offering out expert advice as well as hints and tips, such as ‘how to make leaf mould’ and ‘how to stripe your lawn’. This isn’t just on its website either, the brand often appears across national and trade titles showcasing its products alongside content pieces on improving your gardening.

Flymo has very much built up a brand story beyond just offering tools to make your garden presentable. The brand is educating, informing and entertaining gardeners at home and it has succeeded in securing itself as a firm favourite.

Being involved in the creative world, O has been committed to brand storytelling from the beginning. We wholeheartedly believe that each brand has a story just waiting to be told and we work with our clients to communicate that to the audience.

If you want to discuss how to create a story and excitement beyond your product or service, drop us an email on letstalk@opr.co.uk

 

 

GET CREATIVE: ADD SOME SOCIAL TO YOUR EVENT

Hosting an event can be very exciting but it can also be pretty daunting if you aren’t sure where to start. The venue and catering bit can be the easy part, but how do you really create something unique? For the next part of our GET CREATIVE series, we’re looking at how you can add some social shareability to your next event, making it the must-attend date of the year.

As we’ve moved into 2018, one important thing we’ve learned is that it couldn’t be more important to create experience-led content for your brand. There is a real hunger amongst audiences now, especially millennials, to be given something unique to experience and share.

From stunts such as ‘Jim’s Yard Party’ from Jim Beam at multiple festivals across the summer to get attendees to interact with the brand through games to Adidas’ launch of its new ‘Cold Blooded’ collection with an instore experience on Oxford Street, London, the stakes really are high.

With all of these events going on across the country, it can be even more of a challenge to convince media to attend your event and with the rise in popularity of bloggers and social media influencers to market brands, their time is increasingly more precious as well.

So how exactly do you a host an event for your brand or your client that’ll really have people desperate to be on that VIP list?

Luckily, you don’t have to have the budgets that Jim Beam and Adidas do. You can create something on a much smaller scale with just as much success.

Here is our guide to ensure that your next brand event is the talk of the town.

Planning

Before you start booking those venues or ordering that really awesome audio system, you need to have a full understanding of the objective of your event. Is it for brand awareness or to highlight a specific area of your business? Are you looking to raise money for a cause? Identify this early on and ensure that everyone is on the same page. For us, size isn’t always important – often an intimate event with just a handful of the right people (armed with their iphone and Instagram feed) is enough to get the word out in the right way.

The Content

Start to plan out what interactive elements you want for your event. You could have live competitions and games to win prizes, workshops such as jewellery making or an exclusive cocktail tasting experience. Live music is also a great addition and you could even ask attendees to contribute to a DJ playlist before the evening.

If you’re struggling to think of ideas, have a look at what other people are doing or ask your target attendees what they’d want. A simple survey could narrow down some key ideas so that you’re delivering exactly what will make those people want to come in the first place.

Goodie bags are an absolute must and it’s always a lovely idea to gift attendees with something unique that they can take home. It’s also a great way for them to remember the brand and the event, as well as providing a great tool for social sharing.

Go a little different with your décor and get creating something that’s ‘instagrammable’. Step and repeat boards, on-trend flower walls, pop-up vendors, branded areas and photobooths are all popular at the moment and can drive further conversations.

Above all it has to be authentic, visual and something you’d love to experience yourself. Whistles and bells mean nothing if everyone else has done the same – dare to be different.

After your event

So, you’ve hosted a brilliant event that’s created buzz on social but it doesn’t have to end there. Don’t be afraid to follow-up with your attendees to ask for their feedback and keep the momentum going on social media as long as possible.

If you’ve had a photographer there, make sure you share those photos with lifestyle publications so that those who couldn’t attend, will want to be at the next one.

At O we know how important it is to get your audience involved. So, whether you are launching a new product, opening a new venue/store or simply want to shout about your brand through an event, we can help!

From building a buzz in the run-up to the event through strategic PR and creative social media content, to media and blogger liaising and ensuring your guests have a great time, we can work with your team to put on an event to remember. Get in touch with us on letstalk@opr.co.uk

MODERN PR AND SEO – A MATCH MADE IN DIGITAL HEAVEN

PR and SEO used to be worlds apart, with traditional PR focussing on offline strategy for a long time and SEO covering online website activity, but in recent years, demand for digital PR has risen dramatically and as a result, the two disciplines now work harmoniously.

Google’s priority at the moment is its users and brands are putting a lot of energy into ensuring their websites are safe, user-friendly and understood by search engines. Once your website is performing well from a technical point of view and optimised for people, then the fun starts.

Content Is Still King

Creating content as part of your marketing strategy is really important, although what’s fundamental is that the content is genuinely interesting, useful and answers questions that people are searching for. This is true for both PR and SEO content.

Before creating any content though, wider business goals need to be communicated and understood, then a detailed strategy can be designed to impact on those goals, allowing PR and SEO to work simultaneously. For example, seasonality and themes can be used to build a content plan and PR and SEO activity can be integrated into the plan to support one another, maximising the outcome of each campaign.

In both disciplines, quality content is paramount. For PR, it’s about satisfying the journalist and offering something that stands out and adds value. For SEO, it’s about satisfying the user and ensuring content is optimised for real people.

Link Earning

We like to use the term ‘link earning’ in place of ‘link building’ – it makes more sense when it comes to great content that deserves recognition. The higher the quality of content, whether that is because of its uniqueness or the detail and research behind it, the more links it’s likely to earn. It’s worth noting that content doesn’t have to be in written form – it could be a video, image, or an infographic for example – these are your digital assets.

Of course, links don’t just roll in overnight – there’s some hard work involved in getting content seen by the right people, and this is where PR comes in. Building meaningful relationships with people who work at credible, authoritative publications is key – and supporting them with strong content when they need it will help to create a lasting relationship. PR professionals know a thing or two about getting businesses featured on high quality sites and SEO professionals know that individual outreach is key. Building a targeted list of potential prospects, rather than offering content to anyone, and taking more control over the link equity passed to your website makes link earning much more effective.

Google has moved away from ranking websites based on the volume of links they have. Instead, they are championing quality, user intent and user experience. That’s not to say that links are no longer powerful – in fact, they are still very valuable, and PR activity can work as a catalyst for earning links.

Brand Authority

Brand authority is becoming increasingly important as Google hones in on the actions and opinions of users, and features such as reviews are more visible and important for brands online. Google review partners such as TrustPilot make it easy for customers to share their experiences and gives companies the chance to listen. If you are confident in your product or service, implementing a review system could give your website a boost in online visibility, as well as persuade potential customers to buy from you. Reviews will have to be monitored closely of course, as part of a brand’s reputation management – once a core element of PR, and now seemingly blurred between PR and SEO.

Authority can also be achieved by generating coverage and links from relevant, reputable sources which allows you to position your business as an expert and helps you to gain credibility for your brand.

Ultimately, your PR and SEO activity can and should be working in tandem, and be completely aligned with your wider goals, to give your business the best possible results and to build a brand that lasts.

O Communications is an integrated creative agency in Newcastle. Need some help with your combined PR & SEO strategy but not sure where to start? Drop us an email on letstalk@opr.co.uk 

The travel and tourism companies that are nailing it on social media

Travel photography is arguably one of the most attractive types of photography out there. Whether it’s a luxurious beach on the billboard in the middle of October urging you to book that winter break or a canvas of New York’s skyline in your home décor store – for many people it doesn’t get much better than seeing and visiting stunning places across the world.

And of course, it is images and stories that make us want to visit those destination in the first place. In 2017 alone, 39.2 million overseas visitors came to the UK and spent £24.5 billion and although this figure keeps increasing, with the uncertainty of Brexit on the horizon it couldn’t be more important for the tourism industry to take action now to engage tourists.

With an array of creative assets to wow across advertising campaigns, it’s no wonder that the travel and tourism industry are really nailing it when it comes to their social media platforms.

Whether you’re looking for images, tips, videos and podcasts, reviews or stories, social media can be THE place to find them and this has only strengthened with the rise of the travel influencer.

So if you’re a fan of travel and tourism, who should you be following for that spark of inspiration? Here’s our pick of 5 companies that have got their social media right, from the content they feature to the tone of voice to suit their audience.

  1. Booking.com

One of the most popular sites for planning a trip away, Booking.com excel at social media as well as their holiday packages. With millions of followers across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, the travel website shares gorgeous images to entice you to visit a new destination.

social media - Booking.com

They are also quite good at responding to queries that are left on their posts, even negative ones, and the addition of their Facebook booking chatbot means you can search for your next holiday without leaving the platform.

2.National Trust

Conservation organisation National Trust is the largest membership organisation in the UK and has a whole range of beautiful sites across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

social media - national trust

Across social media they share stunning images submitted from visitors, hints and tips in the form of podcasts and useful information on upcoming events across all of their sites. Often accompanied by witty remarks, their posts usually receive high engagement figures and their weekly #NTChallenge on Instagram is a firm favourite with top followers. For those looking to engage their audience a bit more, they are a great company to keep an eye on.

3. Parkdean Resorts

Packed with competitions and discount offers, holiday park operator Parkdean Resorts are great to follow on Facebook and Twitter if you’re looking for that next family getaway.

social media - parkdean resorts

Combining images and video content across their posts, Parkdean Resorts ensure that their content is interesting and always relevant to their target audience.

Their video content is fantastic, from walkthrough videos of accommodation to exciting promotional videos featuring their range of activities and facilities at the parks.

4. Airbnb

One look at Airbnb’s social media profiles and you’ll be desperate to get on holiday. The platform has the highest combined followers out of the five we have featured on this list, mostly due to rise in popularity of the ‘home away from home’ holiday and the desire to stay in an instagrammable property.

As well as featuring snaps of their most luxurious properties across the world, the online marketplace also shares stories from users, tips for destinations and new experience opportunities available on the platform.

Airbnb are also extremely good at offering quirky and unique prizes to their audience and they recently used a sponsored video on Facebook to promote a competition to win a #NightAt the Great Wall of China. Naturally, the post racked up plenty of interest for those desperate to bag the chance.

social media - Airbnb

5. Visit Kielder

Kielder Water & Forest Park is a popular visitor destination in Northumberland and their social media channels are jam-packed with ideas for days out and updates on what is happening at the park.

social media - Kielder

For fans of animals, the area is home to a wide variety of wildlife including inquisitive red squirrels, otters and foxes, and photos are often shared from those lucky enough to spot them! Make sure you use #wildatkielder to share your finds at the park and get involved in the conversation.

Feeling inspired to improve your social media channels but not sure where to start? As a creative agency, we have plenty of experience in social media management, so why not drop us an email on letstalk@opr.co.uk and we’ll see if we can help!

GET CREATIVE: HOW TO SPICE UP YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA

Social media is arguably one of the most popular and most effective way to market your brand and engage with your customers. Whether it’s customer service tweets, streaming live videos on Facebook or snapping gorgeous photos on Instagram – the opportunities really are endless.

As a creative agency, we talk about social media a lot at O and that’s because we really do recognise how powerful it can be. In our Social Media Spotlight series, we looked at Instagram, Linkedin, Facebook and Snapchat and how you can use all four of them for business and we’ve explored social influencer marketing in more detail on numerous occasions.

Working across every social media platform each day, we’ve seen what works and what doesn’t. So for the second part of the GET CREATIVE series, we’re looking at how you can spice up your next social media campaign to create something really exciting.

With social media, you can reach people at the click of a button. There are 2.19 billion monthly active users on Facebook, 1 billion monthly active on Instagram, 336 million monthly active on Twitter and 191 million active daily users on Snapchat*. That’s A LOT of people. But with that many people all competing for their voice to be heard as well, it can be a daunting task to come up with something fresh and engaging to increase those followers and get an audience interacting.

Social media is all about creating eye-catching content, but what else can you be doing?

Here are some of our tips to make sure you’ve got a robust social media strategy to tell your brand story.

Talk to people

Engage, engage, engage! The most important part about social media is the conversations it can create and unfortunately, it’s one of the features that is often forgotten. Scheduling posts is great way to ensure that you have a constant stream of content out there but don’t forget to share current news and comment on content from other profiles. Replying to tweets that are sent to you or starting a conversation with someone that you don’t know yet is a great way to build trust and networks. A like can go a long way..

Have an opinion

Following on from being sociable, don’t be afraid to share your own opinions and passions. There’s a fine line between being clear on your opinion, and being opinionated (we all know a few of those) so getting the balance right is important. By talking about something that matters to you and being relatable, you can open doors to conversations with likeminded people.

Add some humour

Making your audience laugh can go a long way in building up engagement and increasing your following.

Greggs is brilliant at this. The bakery chain knows who its target audience is and how to communicate with people in a lighthearted way. Last week they accidentally posted a reply to a disgruntled customer as a separate tweet, but look at how it played out.

social media - greggs Tweet

Naturally their followers flocked to comment on the post with lots of ‘U Ok Hun?’ and what did Greggs do? They joined in! By engaging with customers their RTs quickly rocketed to over 1,700 and the comment thread is a hilarious read.

It isn’t the first time Greggs has made its followers laugh and it certainly won’t be the last. Although it was unintentional, why not think more like Greggs and use light humour to raise a smile?

Use more video

We spoke about video in more detail in the first part of our GET CREATIVE series as now really is the time to start putting more video out there. Whether it is a live video stream on Facebook/Instagram or short promotional videos on Twitter and Linkedin, consumers are watching more and more video each day so don’t miss out on a golden opportunity.

If you don’t have a proper video camera, grab your smartphone and shoot something. You don’t always need fancy equipment to create something great.

Tag it up

Hashtags have been a big part of Twitter and Instagram for a while now and for good reason. Engagement and followers increase when you use hashtags related to your content and geotags are a great way to show people where you are – you can even interact with others who have been in the area. Don’t forget to explore other hashtags and experiment which ones work best with your content to attract your target audience.

O is a creative communications agency in Newcastle. If you want to get more creative with your social media strategy, drop us an email on letstalk@opr.co.uk

 *Figures correct as of August 2018

 

 

THE GREAT EXHIBITION OF THE NORTH: O’S BEST BITS SO FAR

The Great Exhibition of the North (GEON) is just about reaching the halfway mark and what a journey it has been so far. Opening on Friday 22nd June, the summer-long celebration has been aiming to showcase everything that is great about the North of England.

From stunning exhibitions to live performances, events to innovative displays, there is something for everyone throughout the 80 days.

As we’ve had a good month to digest everything, some of the O team have highlighted their favourite parts so far…

Tegan Denwood, SEO and Social Manager

“I really enjoyed visiting the David Almond exhibition ‘Where Your Wings Were’ at Seven Stories. It was so interesting to see David’s work come to life and read his old notes and schedules – very inspiring.”

Sammy Sadler, Agency Marketing Manager

“So far, my highlight of GEON has been the Northern Powerhouse Business Summit at the Boiler Shop, Newcastle. Running over 3 days, it was fantastic to pop down and hear from innovative business leaders in the region and beyond. I also really enjoyed the Multiverse Arcade on the Innovation Trail at The Mining Institute, a space to discover and explore thoughts from young people on how to change the world and our perceptions.”

Sally Crossley, Account Manager

“The opening night of Great Exhibition of the North was a night to remember. Crowds were captivated by the impressive display of the UK’s largest water sculptures on the River Tyne and the North Star motifs that lit up the sky drew upon on the North East’s heritage perfectly.”

Lauren Regan-Ingram, Senior Account Manager

“I have had the pleasure of knowing David Almond for almost ten years and to see his incredible work brought to life in the ‘Where Your Wings Were’ exhibition at Seven Stories, The National Centre for Children’s Books, is fantastic. Interviewed in the lead up to the exhibition launch, David talked passionately about growing up in the North East in Felling, where he was asked ‘what are you going to write about son? Nothing ever happens.’ Now the first major exhibition of his work has opened as part of the Great Exhibition of the North. The exhibition explores themes of love, loss and hope and it’s must-see stop on the Design Trail.”

Kayleigh Hepburn, Senior Account Manager

“I’ve been working with some of my hospitality clients to develop exclusive offerings for their customers as a nod to Great Exhibition. One of these is an overnight stay at a Newcastle hotel plus a history tour of the city’s best bits. Not only do promotions like this allow businesses to deliver one-of-a-kind experiences to their customers, it’s also great content for us to share.”

Laura Ivory, PR Executive

“The city has such a buzz right now and I’m loving it! As I’ve lived here most of my life, I’ve almost taken what Newcastle has to offer for granted so I would say that that Great Exhibition of the North has made me realise the city’s beauty again.

“A stand out event for me would have to be Fenwick’s Hepple Gin Window Experience. What a treat it was to have the opportunity to partake and be one of the first people to step inside of Northumberland Street’s iconic window.”

 Rebecca Connolly, PR Executive

“I really enjoyed the Great Exhibition of the North Launch on the Quayside. I loved the street performers, there was so much to see and it was such an amazing atmosphere. The drone light display definitely stole the show, it was just fantastic!”

Kari Owers, Managing Director

“I’m in love with the whole atmosphere and vibe along the Quayside, especially when sitting at the new By the River Brew Co, opened just in time for the Great Exhibition of the North – a great spot to enjoy the fountains in the river Tyne.”

For more posts from the team, head over to the O Blog! 

GET CREATIVE: THE IMPORTANCE OF USING VIDEO

Crowded marketplaces and busy social media feeds can make it seem like an impossible task to get your brand noticed. But with a bit of creativity, you can turn anything into something that’ll grab your audience’s attention.

The digital world offers us vast amounts of opportunities when it comes to getting creative. Ideas and the ability to collaborate with anyone in the world is available at the click of a button and that’s just the start. The amount of media types available to us on digital platforms are growing each day, whether that’s Apple releasing a new software update or Facebook adding a new feature.

In our new mini-series we’re going to show you how to get creative with your brand storytelling. To kick off the series, we are looking at the popular format of video and how you can make your videos stand out.

Video is quickly becoming the most preferred way to consume information. This shift in audience behaviour has prompted journalists to implement much more video content into their news outlets and marketeers are now scrambling to create exciting videos to include in their campaigns.

With mobile video consumption having already grown by 16% in the UK, which is likely to rise with smartphones and their ever-expanding features for social platforms such as the IGTV, it really is time to consider using video marketing.

But how can you ensure that you’re creating something exciting? How do you really stand out from the crowd even if you’re only using simple tools?

Live Streaming

Live streaming isn’t a new feature but it has certainly increased in popularity recently. When Periscope began waving the flag for live streaming over on Twitter, it was a huge deal for vloggers and users of the social media platform alike. But it hasn’t been until the addition of Facebook and Instagram’s live streaming feature that the tool has really been taken notice of.

Nowadays, it couldn’t be easier to document something as it is happening. The beauty of live streaming is that it doesn’t have to be polished and perfect, it’s supposed to be raw footage and people tend to expect mistakes.

Experiment with live streaming by capturing your workplace in action – it could be behind-the-scenes sneak peeks of the office or going live at an event you’re attending.

Filters & Stickers

Gone are the days that Snapchat filters were just for those wanting to add cute dog ears to their selfies. You are now able to create your own Snapchat filters which can be used when someone is in your geographical location or during an event. This is a great way to engage an audience and stamp your brand identity across multiple Snapchat Stories.

On Instagram and Facebook you have the options to add stickers and there is quite a selection. Tag your location, boast about the temperature, embellish with emojis or ask your viewers a question – as well as adding the fun element to your Stories, it adds much more depth to both videos and images and can create conversations.

Animation

Video doesn’t have to be all footage that you’ve taken from a camera – why not experiment with animation like we have in our showreel? If you have someone who’s a dab hand at videography, spice up your usual videos with some animation in there to add extra information in. Short and snappy videos that communicate your message thoroughly and quickly are ideal in keeping your audience engaged.

O is a creative communications agency in Newcastle. If you want to get more creative with your video marketing, drop us an email on letstalk@opr.co.uk

 

CONTENT MARKETING AND PUBLIC RELATIONS: WHY YOU SHOULD BE COMBINING THE TWO

It’s no secret that creating great content captures attention. Whether it’s a well-written blog post, behind-the-scenes video footage, an eye-catching infographic or a witty social media campaign, content is the bread and butter in raising brand awareness both online and offline.

Content can inform, entertain, shock and trigger conversations and it’s something that we use in both public relations (PR) and marketing. So why do we often treat both communication branches separately?

Although there are differences between PR and marketing, their goals are essentially the same – to attract attention and engage an audience. With an increased demand to create exciting, consumable content on digital platforms, it couldn’t be any more important to combine marketing with your PR strategy. And that’s where content marketing comes in.

A robust PR campaign, whether it is created by a PR agency or in-house, will tell your brand story far and wide and manage your reputation with the world. Content marketing is actually an extra string to your communications bow, where you begin to create content that your customer will find valuable to themselves or their company. For example, a how-to guide on creating a social media campaign.

But what exactly is content marketing? According to Content Marketing Institute, it is:

Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.

When that interesting press release goes out or that exciting profile appears in a glossy mag, that will initially attract an audience from the publication that it appeared in. Chances are that they’ll go to your website or social media platforms, but what do you have on there that will make them stay? It’s likely that many of those who have taken the time to dig deeper into your brand are going to be your target audience – so how do you get them to return to you at a later stage and potentially become a customer?

Look at it this way – PR is the initial building blocks to get your story out there and raise awareness of your brand. Content marketing continues to build on that momentum, creating content that will interest and be of use to the audience you’ve attracted from that press release.

With that in mind, here are 3 ways in which you can combine PR & content marketing to attract that audience that keeps coming back.

  1. How-To Guides

A how-to guide can be created by doing some research into common questions people are asking online that your product or service can solve. You could create a visual how-to guide in the form of a step-by-step infographic, a downloadable booklet or a behind-the-scenes video with one of your experts showing how it’s done – get creative!

  1. Thought Leadership

If you are an expert in your field, sharing your expertise can ensure you are in front of the right audience and are seen as a ‘trusted source’ in the right circles. From a reactive opinion blog to something happening in the news, to a full white paper of detailed analysis, don’t be afraid to share what you think and know.

  1. Behind-the-Scenes

Content needs to be authentic, and what better way to open up the doors of your business and showcase your people and processes, brand values and day-to-day life?

You can do regular ‘meet the team’ style blogs and videos on your website, or create events that you can share a behind-the-scenes look on social channels like Stories or Facebook Live. Why not even go so far as social media takeovers by members of your team?

O Communications is a creative agency in Newcastle. If you’d like to hear more about combining your content marketing and PR strategy, drop us an email on letstalk@opr.co.uk