We create digital products and services from apps to websites for start-ups to giants from our web design studio in Farnborough

The Power of Images and the Rise of Visual Marketing

Digital Marketing - Father & Daughter

There’s plenty of truth in the saying ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’. There’s a fundamental difference in the way our brains process images and words. Our visual system has evolved to process images essentially in parallel, whereas text, which only appeared a few thousands ago, must be processed one character at a time. The result is that our brains process images 60,000 times faster than words, conveying complex ideas and emotions that stay with us for longer than words on a page. This is great for digital marketing purposes.

This biological leaning towards images is a prominent factor in the rise of the Facebook-owned photo sharing platform, Instagram. From January 2013 to September 2015, the number of Instagram users quadrupled, from 90 million to more than 400 million. At the end of 2015, there were 14 million active Instagram users in the UK, and this meteoric rise looks set to continue.

Digital Marketing: The rise of visual marketing online

Instagram is best suited to lifestyle brands that target younger consumers, typically the under 30s. One of the main attractions for Instagram users is the ease with which pictures can be uploaded and shared. This has helped Instagram carve out its ever expanding niche.  

Digital Marketing - Instagram

While Instagram is now the biggest and arguably the best photo sharing platform, it was not the first to tread this highly visual path. The first visual marketing platform of this type was Tumblr, which was followed by Pinterest, a popular picture sharing site that allows users to ‘pin’ or ‘re-pin’ pictures of interest.

The intent behind the use of these platforms differs, so it’s important you choose the right tool to sell your brand. While Pinterest is used by people to visually showcase their dreams and desires by creating a pictorial ‘wish list’, Instagram is predominantly a tool for users to document their lives.   

The power of visual content

Just a few years ago, embracing visual content simply meant putting a couple of pictures in your blog. Now, images are no longer just an afterthought. Lifestyle brands that produce a regular stream of high quality visual content are reaping the rewards, and with Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook, they have the perfect tools for the job.

One of the real benefits of a visual marketing campaign is the potential for user-generated content. This means your users can effectively do the job of marketing your brand for you. Until recently, very few brands understood just how powerful user-generated content could be, but now they’re finally starting to embrace this customer-led digital marketing opportunity.

Authenticity above all else

The real benefit of user-generated content (UGC) is its unmatched authenticity. According to research from Olapic, 66 percent of UK consumers seek out UGC when deciding which products to buy; while 39 percent of UK customers are more likely to buy clothing that’s been ‘modelled’ by another customer.   

Instagram #liquiproof

The conversion rates show just how powerful user-generated content can be, with 4.6 percent of customers making a purchase when photos of customers are used. This jumps to a conversion rate of 9.6 percent when shoppers actually interact with the customer photos. The same effect can be seen when UGC is used in Facebook ads, with some brands experiencing a 50 percent increase in click-through rate.

While the visual content landscape will undoubtedly evolve in the next few years, the principals behind visual content are unlikely to change. Customers want to interact with content they can trust. They are inundated with adverts and other marketing messages, but prefer to seek out user-generated content they can engage with. Brands that understand the power of UGC can use this supply of fresh, cost effective imagery to drive their digital marketing in 2016.

The help you need to connect with your customers

Digital Marketing Hampshire
Visual marketing isn’t just a growing force in digital marketing; it’s actually becoming the most effective way for businesses to connect with their customers online. As a leading digital marketing agency in Hampshire, we understand the power of content marketing and can help you create powerful visual messages that inspire and engage your audience. Please get in touch for more information.  

Back to Content Marketing

Content Marketing Focus: GIFs

The internet has introduced all manner of new words and terms into everyday parlance. Nowadays, if your content’s not going ‘viral’ then you could be guilty of producing ‘spam’. And if you don’t know your ‘hashtags’ from your ‘memes’, you might need a little refresh.

DGTL-gifs

uk.movies.yahoo.com

One form of content that has taken the online world by storm is the GIF. The term GIF is an acronym of ‘graphics interchange format’, which is a bitmap image format. With so many different forms of content hitting the internet at an alarming speed, content marketers are always on the look out for the next great way to cut through the noise.

Research into the online data explosion reveals that, every minute:

  • Facebook users share nearly 2.5 million pieces of content
  • Twitter users tweet nearly 300,000 times
  • Instagram users post nearly 220,000 new photos
  • YouTube users upload 72 hours of new video content
  • Apple users download nearly 50,000 apps
  • Email users send over 200 million messages

In today’s fast-moving, mobile-centric world, image based content which is easy to understand and eminently shareable can help you make your mark in even the most crowded markets. So, could the image-video hybrid, the GIF, be the next best way to engage your customers and fans?   

Some GIF examples

The good news that as well as paying for GIFs that have been created and licensed for use by third parties, there’s also a decent stockpile of free GIFs you can use courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.  

In today’s age of instant gratification and shortening attention spans, this medium demands more attention than an image, without demanding the commitment of a video. What more do you need? Here’s how a well placed GIF can spruce up your content…

1 Add some personality

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The value of a GIF lies in its unique ability to express what can be complex concepts or emotions in just a few seconds. GIFs draw on a tremendously diverse range of cultural references that let your company’s culture shine through. Whether you get creative, be clever, or choose to showcase your fantastic sense of humour, GIFs are an incredibly effective way to inject stale content with a little personality.

2 Bring data to life

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Presenting complex data in interesting and engaging ways can be particularly problematic for some online businesses. Brands and news outlets are increasingly turning to the GIF to solve this problem. GIFs can be used to animate maps, concepts and diagrams to make data more digestible and entertaining.

3 Create educational resources

Educational

The image-video format of a GIF lends itself perfectly to informative, educational and instructional guides. For example, if you’re producing a guide to explain how to use a new tool or product, what better way than via the GIF? Adding a visual component to the instructions in this way can help deliver information concisely, and keep the audience engaged for longer.

To GIF or not to GIF?

Research has shown that humans process visual information much faster than written content, and are also much more likely to remember it in the long-term. For this reason, a GIF can be the perfect way to bring a little life to your content. As we’ve shown, there are plenty of GIFs you can use completely free of charge, adding value to your content without costing you a penny.

The Cinemagraph

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A cinemagraph isn’t your ordinary GIF, think of it more like a living photograph. It is an amalgamation of the still image and animated GIF.

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Parts of the image are isolated and can be seen as moving. Conversely, other parts of the image are left static. This stark contrast of movement and static imagery mean that certain features of a cinemagraph can appear as though they are stuck in time. The result? An eye catching piece of media that’s great for social media marketing (if done right!).

How can we help?

Need a little expert assistance incorporating GIFs or Cinemagraphs into your content or digital marketing campaign? Get in touch with our GIF friendly team today.   

Back to Content Marketing

Content Marketing Boost

How can Content Marketing Boost ‘Boring’ Businesses?

Content Marketing Boost

First things first, we’re firm believers that there is no such thing as a ‘boring’ business. Every industry is interesting to someone, with plenty of opportunities to create informative, relevant content that might not always be exciting, but will still be incredibly valuable. The truth is that helpful things are rarely boring, even if objectively they might be a bit dull.

Of course, in certain industries it is a lot easier to create a buzz and build on the level of interest that already exists. But in what we might term ‘drier’ industries, there are still plenty of opportunities out there; you just have to work a bit harder.

There’s no such thing as a boring business

Boring content isn’t boring to the people who need it. Some businesses believe a content marketing agency won’t be able to help them because their industry is bland, but that really isn’t the case. Effective marketing produces sales, regardless of the industry you operate in.

On the surface of it, the company selling snowboards is more interesting than your insurance business. But if you’re willing to get creative and trust a content marketing agency to do their work, your insurance business can be relevant, informative and interesting too.

Here are three tips to keep in mind when creating content for your ‘boring’ business…

1. Capitalise on the opportunities

If you operate in a boring industry then believe it or not, in terms of content marketing, you are actually at a distinct advantage. While there will be hundreds of pieces of content targeting every keyword in more glamorous industries, competition for keywords and topics in your industry is likely to be low. This means you can enjoy excellent search engine rankings for the content you produce without too much hard work.

This presents an excellent opportunity for your business, allowing you to carve out a niche and become an industry authority without having to spend a fortune. That’s an opportunity businesses in more exciting industries simply don’t have.

2. Keep content relevant

As it can be more difficult to brainstorm ideas for businesses in less exciting industries, the temptation is to create content that’s less relevant in the search for backlinks. We’d advise you to steer well clear of this strategy.

Instead, you should focus on producing high quality, relevant content that serves a genuine purpose by answering your prospective customers’ questions. Even if link building opportunities are few and far between, it’s better to build a reputation as an industry authority, rather than going in search of users who are not part of your target market.

3. Inform your readers

 Consumers in every industry love data that provides them with new insights and shapes their purchasing decisions. Presenting this data in clear and compelling ways, such as infographics, charts and images, is a great way to grab their attention and keep it. Framing your content in such an attractive and readable way also makes it more shareable, thereby increasing traffic and spiking interest in your supposedly ‘boring’ business.

How can we help?

DGTL is a web design and content marketing agency that helps a diverse range of businesses capture the attention they need online. From keyword-rich articles to infographics and videos, we create content that turns your ‘boring’ business into the next big thing.

Back to Content Marketing

Best Practice for Creating a Cohesive Content Marketing Strategy

Content creation is the search engine optimisation method ‘du jour’, and has been ever since Google’s Panda update algorithm changed the way the search engine ranked web pages. Websites with thin content and lots of ads were shunned in favour of those that were stacked full of relevant, high quality content that met their users’ needs. Ever since, webmasters in the know have been filling their website with top quality content in a bid to help their customers and work their way up the search engine rankings.

Quality content marketing is not something that can be done without planning. Creating content for the sake of content marketing, without thinking about how it should be structured, presented or delivered, is a waste of resources and time. Putting a strategic plan into place helps to focus your resources and maximise the effectiveness of your content marketing.

What is a content marketing strategy?

A content marketing strategy is the high-level vision that guides the development of content against a specific business objective. It dictates the planning, creation, delivery and governance of content to produce online assets that are well structured, easily found and can improve the user experience of a website.

Content marketing strategy basics

In more simple terms, a content strategy will help you identify what content already exists, the gaps in the market, and customer questions that are going unanswered. In this context, the term ‘content’ refers to infographics, white papers, videos, online guides, how-tos and anything else that helps your users.

To draw up a successful content strategy, you need to focus on the content you intend to create, and the people responsible for creating it.

  • The content – Identify your goals and think about the types of content that will help you achieve them. This includes the most appropriate content type (videos, blogs, guides etc), the intended audience, the voice and the tone. You also need to think about how the content will be structured to make it accessible for the user.
  • The creators – Focus on who is responsible for managing and maintaining the content and draw up a calendar that dictates when it will be created. You should think about the standards and guidelines that will frame the content creation process, and how the content will be managed throughout its lifecycle.      

The content lifecycle

The beauty of content marketing is that once it’s posted, it’s online forever. This makes it an extremely cost effective form of marketing. It can also appreciate with age, working its way up through the search engine rankings as the content matures. The lifecycle of content can be mapped in the following way:

  • Audit – Take a look at your current content and identify the gaps. What questions do your customers frequently ask? If you’re not answering these questions online, someone else will.
  • Strategy – What are your particular areas of expertise? Think of the topics you can write about with confidence and create a workflow for your content production. You should also define your brand’s tone and voice.
  • Plan – Carry out keyword research to identify terms that attract plenty of search but have low levels of competition. Think about metadata, sourcing pictures and where you’ll publish the content.
  • Create – Now it’s time to write the content. Make sure all content is optimised and proofed before it’s published online.
  • Maintain – Plan to audit and update published content to keep it relevant and fresh. Are there any pieces of content that are performing particularly well? Perhaps you can create similar content in the future?

Following these content strategy basics will help you create meaningful and relevant content that:

  • Reflects the culture and goals of your business
  • Communicates with customers in a way they understand
  • Can easily be found through the search engines and your internal navigational structure
  • Is genuinely useful
  • Is up-to-date, relevant and factual
  • Is consistent with your brand

Drop us a line

Want to know more about how a content strategy can help you achieve your business goals? Get in touch with the DGTL team today to find out how a content marketing agency can bring in more traffic and position your brand as an expert online.

Back to Content Marketing

Terminator Genisys

When John Connor (Jason Clarke), leader of the human resistance against Skynet, sends Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney) back to 1984 to protect his mother, Sarah (Emilia Clarke), from a Terminator assassin, an unexpected turn of events creates an altered timeline. Instead of a scared waitress, Sarah is a skilled fighter and has a Terminator guardian […]

Pixels

When aliens intercept video feeds of classic arcade games and misinterpret them as a declaration of war, they attack Earth, using the games as models. Knowing that he must employ a similar strategy, President Will Cooper (Kevin James) recruits his childhood pal, former video-game champ and home-theater installer Sam Brenner (Adam Sandler), to lead a team of old-school arcade players and a military specialist (Michelle Monaghan) in an all-out battle to save the planet.

Read more

Aloha

In ALOHA, a celebrated military contractor (Bradley Cooper) returns to the site of his greatest career triumphs – the US Space program in Honolulu, Hawaii – and reconnects with a long-ago love (Rachel McAdams) while unexpectedly falling for the hard-charging Air Force watchdog (Emma Stone) assigned to him. From Academy Award®-winner Cameron Crowe, the writer-director […]

Bonux

Following our Tumblr theme we were tasked with constructing a microsite for P&G’s Bonux brand. For those of you who don’t know Bonux 3 in 1 is a detergent. As with all our other Tumblr microsites they were done through Yahoo. This particular microsite involved making a few custom tweaks to the theme we were given. You can see a screenshot of the results below.

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Spy

Following on from the Raid Tumblr microsite we put together we had a chance to sink our teeth into a microsite for the hilarious action/comedy ‘SPY‘. This again would  hosted by Yahoo. We localised all this content across 8 different countries – AU, BR, DE, ES, FR, IT, MX,  UK. Come take a look at the screenshots.

Raid

Every now and again we get given a job that is a little outside of our typical ‘web design’ box. In the not too distant past Yahoo acquired Tumblr. This would see the gradual integration of many of Yahoo’s resources implemented into Tumblr, including ways in which companies can advertise. Raid, a prominent pest control company with […]

Website Design Surrey and Hampshire

CC Communication & Events Limited

 

CC Communications & Events Limited are a prominent events agency based in London. They offer strategic and creative event management that engages audiences. They are renowned for delivering exceptional results. Corporate websites require a professional aesthetic whilst maintaining a degree of creativity. We work within a fine balance to achieve this. The result is a sleek design that can inspire the audience and effectively communicate CC Events message. Come Take a Look

Website Design Surrey and Hampshire

Al Macdonald Photography

We recently had the opportunity to create a website for renowned photographer Al Macdonald. Al happens to be a good friend of ours and when he came to us with the proposition of a new project we were delighted to step in and be a part of it. Over the years Al has photographed a whole host of high profile celebrities. His latest venture in the photography world revolves around original fine art ‘sandscapes’. You can have a ganders at his work here.

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Storybook Montessori Nursery

We had great fun designing a website for Storybook Montessori, a Montessori style nursery based in Ascot. The Montessori style of education heavily promotes freedom, expression and creativity. Coming from a creative background ourselves it was the ideal opportunity to show Storybook what we were made of. We were able to express ourselves without too much limitation, this made for a superbly crafted final product that we’re proud to be a part of. Storybook Nursery opens it’s doors in Spring 2015. Having had the the pleasure of seeing their nursery transform from construction site to a child’s dream playground, we can honestly say they’ll do great!

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Greece – Mobile Advertising on Shazam


Shazam - Web design Farnborough, Hampshire
We have just launched our first Shazam mobile advertising campaign. It was a pleasure to work with these guys on a beautiful set of creative for one of the most beautiful countries in the world! Go on… Visit Greece… A world of destinations. This creative was lovingly crafted in our Farnborough design studio, based in Hampshire.


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Outsider fashion - website localisation

Outsider Fashion eCommerce website design and development

Outsider Fashion E-commerce - web design farnborough, web design hampshire

Outsider Fashion – A sustainable, luxurious, organic, ethically made womenswear collection. Developing this website was great fun and the client (a close friend of ours) was an absolute privilege to work with. The design process involved; User experience consulting, Website development, E-commerce & payment gateways. As with all things DGTL, we take great pride in all the content we create and invite you to take a closer look – Visit now. eCommerce website Design from our web design Farnborough studio in Hampshire.

 

 

Web Design in Farnborough

Billa voucher purchase – responsive web design from Farnborough

Billa voucher purchase - responsive web design farnborough, web design hampshire

BILLA Voucher is an innovative online service that allows for fast and convenient sending of funds to Bulgaria in the form of a voucher, with which the recipient can shop at all BILLA stores within the country. We were tasked with creating a responsive website design focused around quality user experience. The website development was also localised in Bulgarian. We worked with Cash Wave to create an intuitive voucher purchase process for a top 20 global retailer. One of our proudest accomplishments to date. Designed & developed in our flourishing Farnborough office, based in Hampshire. – DGTL

 

Web Design and Development in Farnborough

Intern Avenue User Experience Design

Intern Avenue User Experience Design - Web design Farnborough, web design Hampshire

User experience design for the Winner of Best Recruitment Startup in Europe. The Dragons Den said ‘yes’ but Intern Avenue needed a little UX help to ensure their TV debut went without a hitch. Designed in our Farnborough, Hampshire studio.

Web Design Farnborough

The National Museum of Computing – Website Design & Development

The National Museum of Computing -  Web design Farnborough, web design HampshireOne of our first experience’s designing a website for a museum. In this case, the National Museum of Computing. The museum is home to Colossus, the world’s first programmable electronic computer, without which our computers here at DGTL might not even exist – Praise thee to Colossus! Website design, development and content management took up the bulk of the project, nothing too flashy but the result; A user friendly website with a clear & concise design, accessible to all ages. If you’d like a closer look – Visit the museum. Designed in our wonderful Farnborough, Hampshire studio.

 

Mazda Mums - Web design Farnborough, web design Hampshire

Mazda Mums Website Design & Development

Mazda came to Yahoo! looking to raise awareness of the new Mazda5 with young families. Yahoo! put forward a proposal for extending their successful Lifestyle property with a special sponsored section aimed at parents.

The ‘Mazda Mums’ site featured a number of articles with useful tips on parenting in general and motoring advice for families. To help drive traffic to the site (if you’ll excuse the pun), Mazda Mums also included a competition, with entrants being asked to supply their top tip for travelling with children. These tips were then displayed around the site, with a simple voting mechanism to bubble popular entries to the top of lists. Users could also publish their entries to social media such as Twitter and Facebook.

Dgtl worked with Yahoo! to refine their proposal, going through mockup and wireframe and then continued on through build stages through to delivery & launch. As with all of Yahoo’s development projects, the site was based on their custom build of PHP, and employed their own profanity filtering extension and abuse reporting mechanism.

The site was a great success, and generated a huge amount of traffic on the Yahoo! network, so much so that it warranted a mention in Carol Bartz’ (Yahoo! CEO) keynote speech at the Internet Advertising Bureau 2010 conference.

Designed and developed in our web design Farnborough, Hampshire studio.