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Seeing your website through the eyes of a customer (Part One)

By | January 23rd, 2018|Insights, Web design|

A fresh perspective can help you get the most out of your website, especially when approaching the experience from the point of view of your customers. The first of this two-part series examines the importance of readability and performance, and what you need to look for when improving your website.

Your website is your most powerful online presence, and, as such, it’s an effective tool for showcasing who you are and what you do. But it’s also important to remember that your website is not just about You.

Read more about bringing your brand to life through your website here

Sure, brand identity and personality are integral aspects, but it’s easy to become overly precious about these things, or slightly complacent as time goes on, and forget that a successful website is as much about serving your customers as it is a representation of yourself.

Because we now live in a primarily digital world, your website has as much of an impact on your customer service as any physical interaction — arguably more so. With that in mind, you should always be asking yourself: “What will a prospective customer experience when they visit my website?”

Seeing your website through the eyes of a customer, rather than looking at things purely from your own perspective, can help identify areas that could be improved upon and maximise its effectiveness as a marketing tool. With that in mind, let’s take a look at two very important aspects:

Readability — It’s not what you say…

At its most basic premise, your website is a directory for the purpose of serving your customers with important information; who you are; what you do; how you do it — everything a prospective client would want to know about your business. This means using the right words in all the right ways.

Inspiring text on your website can go a long way toward engaging readers and encourage them to buy into your brand. But often we forget about one of the main pillars of successful text — readability. If your content isn’t reader-friendly, there’s no amount of clever wordplay that will get your message across.

Website visitors only read about 20% of the words on a web page before deciding on its usefulness. Clarity and conciseness is key.

It’s fair to say that people don’t read a web page the same way they would a book or newspaper. Most of us tend to scan the copy, jumping from one point of interest to the next, always on the lookout for relevant pieces of information. In fact, a study by the Norman Nielsen Group revealed that, on average, we only read about 20% of the words on a web page before deciding on its usefulness — which is typically determined within about 59 seconds. If they can’t find what they’re looking for in that short amount of time, or can’t discern any semblance or relevance in who you are and what you do, they will most likely search elsewhere.

MSG Tours: A flying success — Marketing case study

By | January 23rd, 2018|Case studies, Marketing|

“The support from Koobr means our social channels are gaining extra traction, positivity, and engagement, whilst our website is now our strongest lead-generation tool.”

– Mark Gardner, Founder MSG Tours

At the end of last year, Koobr set off on an exciting new journey with MSG Tours, refining and refreshing the company’s marketing and brand communication activities. The specialist travel operator, based in Derby, has now seen a wealth of positive engagement across various channels, and has since enjoyed a continual increase in new business in 2018.

Marketing that’s on brand, on point, and on course for success

After establishing a new base of operations in Europe and expanding into new markets, MSG Tours required a fresh approach to its marketing activities (including changes to its existing website) that would be tonally consistent in communicating the company’s brand, ethos, services and products.

Changes were first implemented across MSG’s existing website in order to establish a stronger central touchpoint and maximise all subsequent ongoing marketing activities.

This wasn’t a complete rebuild — a review was conducted to determine which areas of the website needed improvements to the presentation, messaging, SEO, and user journey. This resulted in a website that was more consistent in overall brand communication, whilst serving as a more effective tool for successfully generating leads and conversions specific to the client’s commercial objectives.

Graphics and icons used to promote specific campaigns were also created (above: icons created to promote MSG’s upcoming Rugby tour to Japan) and displayed on the website as well as for use in any related promotional activities across web and print to ensure total brand consistency.

Speaking of print…

MSG Tours also required a new brochure as part of a targeted campaign promoting to schools and colleges across the UK. The objectives behind the campaign were identified in collaborations with the team to create a successful marketing asset, particularly when it came to demonstrating the company’s ethos and core offerings to audiences unfamiliar with the brand.

Working in close collaboration with the sales and operations team at MSG, an overall structure for the brochure was established, taking into consideration the most effective and engaging ways to display content across the 32-page format. It was extremely important to create a brochure that not only reflected the brand, but also successfully communicated the right messaging and information in all the right ways to relevant audiences.

“The graphic design support has delivered a 32-page brochure of high-spec imagery and brand messaging that makes us proud to deliver. Most important of all, our customers are noticing our facelift and continued interaction with them, which is the highest compliment we can pay to the decision to work with Koobr.”

– Mark Gardner, Founder MSG Tours

Whilst it was important to maintain much of MSG’s existing brand style and tone, a refresh was applied across all creative assets to help increase the impact of all subsequent marketing activities. This was not a rebrand — but rather an evolution that would

Google’s latest security update and what it means for your website

By | November 23rd, 2017|Insights, Web design|


The latest version of Google Chrome is set to mark more websites lacking an SSL Certificate as insecure. Here’s everything you need to know to prepare your website for the browser’s upcoming changes to security rules.

For quite some time, Google has been extending its efforts to encourage the web’s transition to HTTPS in place of the outdated and less secure HTTP connections — and that’s better for everyone. On the flip side of things, that’s going to leave websites without an SSL Certificate practically inaccessible to most users when the latest version of Chrome rolls out later this year.

If your website does not have an SSL installed, Google will mark your website as ‘insecure’ to its users.

HTTP and HTTPS explained — Why Google is pushing for one over the other

Go ahead and open up Amazon’s website in a new tab in your browser (or take a look at ours)…

See that little ‘https’ sitting in front of the web address in the address bar? Well, all websites are typically prefixed with either ‘http’ or ‘https’. To put it simply, both serve as variants of the same communication protocol over which data is transferred between your browser and the website you are viewing.

The version you are currently looking at (HTTPS) stands for Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure. It uses an additional protocol not present in the outdated HTTP counterpart called SSL (Secure Sockets Layer). And that’s the version Google is encouraging because all communications between browser and website are encrypted — effectively making HTTPS more secure than HTTP.

All of this comes as part of Google’s aim to create a better, safer web experience for all its users, which is why Chrome (with more than one billion users on mobile platforms alone) is one of the first browsers to front this initiative.

As of right now, it’s only HTTP websites with password or credit card fields that are being marked as ‘Not Secure’ in the browser’s address bar. But this is all set to change when Google Chrome Version 62 is deployed. From October onwards, this warning will be extended to any HTTP site where user data is entered. This basically covers a multitude of data entry fields commonly used by all websites.

Data security is a massively important issue nowadays, and Google is certainly doing the right thing by bringing these websites to the attention of its users in the interest of protecting sensitive information.

Read more about viewing  your website through the eyes of your customers here

But how does any of this impact you and your website? And if you’re unfamiliar with many of these terms, what does it all really mean?

The benefits of migrating from HTTP to HTTPS and why you need to switch

With these new security changes in mind, websites currently using the outdated HTTP connection are encouraged to migrate over to the more secure HTTPS connection. It’s a fairly quick and simple process that is best facilitated by

Koobrthon 2017 — A look back at our team fitness challenge

By | November 23rd, 2017|News|

Over the past eight weeks, we’ve been hitting the gym, tweaking our diets, and working together to improve our overall fitness and wellbeing as a team. But has all the hard work paid off? Here’s how we got on.

It’s seven in the morning (or 07:00 hours, if you’re really hardcore) and Team Koobr prepare for another busy Friday. But we’re not on our way into the studio just yet — oh no. You’d have to be crazy to turn up for work dressed in leg warmers and a bandana.

We’ve consumed our spinach, topped up our water bottles, and now we’re about to undertake another early morning group workout session at Columbo House gym. Welcome to the Koobrthon!

Partnering with Ellipse Health

For the past eight weeks, Koobr has been working in partnership with our good friends at Ellipse Health. The aim? To push ourselves physically and to see just how much we can achieve both individually and as a team.

“Everybody in the team already lives a fairly balanced lifestyle,” says Koobr’s Managing Director, Craig Barker. “We all eat pretty healthily, and we’re all actively involved in some form of regular exercise — whether that’s going to the gym, playing sports, or taking part in organised events within the community, including a successful participation in this year’s Derby Ramathon.

“So we thought it would be a great idea to combine our interests — along with our combined enthusiasm for getting into the best shape we possibly can be — and see how much it could benefit everybody. Not just individually but as a team also.”

Embarking on a transformational journey

Let’s rewind the clocks a couple of months: It’s the first Friday of our eight-week Koobrthon, and everybody is naturally apprehensive about what’s in store…

A 40-minute HIIT session (High Intensity Interval Training) that sees the group running, squatting, and pressing non-stop, punctuated only by a 30-second rest period between total completion of each circuit run.
Needless to say, it all comes as a bit of challenge. But it’s not long until we’re feeling energised for the rest of the day — as well as a massive feeling of accomplishment within the group as a whole.

“The benefits of corporate exercise extend far beyond the individual,” says Ellipse Heath’s Michael Pearce. “It brings energy and motivation that benefit the workplace as a whole.”

After we’ve worn ourselves out past the point of exertion, Michael gathers everybody together to stretch out and cool down before sharing some important nutritional advice that we’re all encouraged to implement into our day-to-day diets.

It’s important that every forward-thinking company does everything it can to ensure a healthy and happy work environment.

– Craig Barker, Koobr

For the next few weeks, we continue to refine our diets — reducing sugar and carbs and making a conscious effort to eat more fresh veg, essential fats, and protein.

In the studio, instead of milk and sugar in our coffee, we’re now taking coconut

Fosse Healthcare: A journey of discovery — Branding case study

By | November 23rd, 2017|Branding, Case studies|

“Koobr took the time to understand our services, our needs, and the challenges we face as a business. The quality of the work produced has been outstanding and throughout the whole process, Koobr has communicated with us effectively. We look forward to continuing our partnership.”

– Volt Sacco, Business Development Director, Fosse Healthcare

Earlier this year we embarked on a journey with Fosse Healthcare to rediscover what made them one of the country’s leading healthcare providers, to redefine their ethos as an organisation, their identity in the market, and reimagine their brand for new and modern audiences.

Getting to the heart of a successful brand

When developing a new brand identity for Fosse, we knew it was important to involve the very people who live the values of the company day-to-day from the very beginning of the process.

Members of the team — comprising of seasoned caregivers, health care trainers, and key management — joined Koobr in a Brand Discovery workshop: an interactive session where we explored the core values upon which the organisation was founded; how these values translate over to the services they provide; their commercial and cultural objectives for the company moving forward; and exactly what it is that makes Fosse Healthcare stand out from competitors.

With a deeper understanding of the organisation and its aims, Koobr worked to establish the framework for a new brand identity — starting with visual and conceptual experimentation, eventually leading to a visual style and brand voice that was developed in tandem for total consistency.

Once these foundations were in place, we began to word-craft mission statements that would dictate the tone and content of key marketing messages, distilling the information as we went along until we had a suite of succinct brand messages and a leading strapline.

We worked to develop a friendly, reassuring brand identity that reflected the caring and professional nature of the Fosse Healthcare family. One that would fulfil their marketing objectives and endure over time.

The look of the new brand was influenced by existing trends within the healthcare industry, but never exclusively tied to these limitations. Colours, icons, and the eventual logo were all dramatic overhauls of the organisation’s previous visual style. We wanted to address conventions and heritage whilst at the same time reimagining Fosse for a more contemporary, digitally-led era.

RDS Global: Success and results – Website case study

By | November 17th, 2017|Case studies, Web design|

“Having known Craig and the Koobr team for several years, I knew where I had to take this project. This new dynamic website has already seen an increase in not only traffic but also conversions for new business.”

– Sean Price, Marketing Director, RDS Global

After working with Koobr in 2017, RDS Global has received more than double the number of monthly inquiries for new business and won two substantial contracts as a result of their new website.

Creating a stronger marketing tool for Derby’s leading IT Support provider

Recognised as Derby’s leading IT support provider — supporting customers in over 200 locations across the UK — RDS Global required a new website to better reflect the high level of customer service for which the organisation is known, whilst serving as a successful marketing tool used to promote services and generate new business.

This decision came out of meetings with the RDS marketing team, who felt the previous build was outdated and, in many ways, hindered a lot of their marketing activities. We worked closely with the team to establish their objectives for the project, enabling us to pinpoint areas that could be improved upon in the new build, whilst identifying other areas to help the success of all future marketing efforts.

From the the outset, RDS Global wanted a website that would enable its sales and marketing teams to co-ordinate and maximise their efforts. In order to facilitate this, the new website was specifically built to be integrated with customer relationship and email marketing systems — providing the team with the necessary tools to access customer data and employ a more successful marketing campaign and sales strategy. Meanwhile, an easy-to-use content management system was implemented to assist with ongoing communication. The team is now able to create, organise, and maintain customer-targeted content across the entire website that will assist with marketing and brand recognition.

The RDS team are now left with a far more effective communication, marketing and lead generation tool.

With the project objectives, target market and key messages in mind, the website structure was designed to highlight appropriate action with clear targeted calls-to-action in the most appropriate places — thereby maximising chances of conversion and fulfilling the client’s need to use the website as a tool for capturing data and increasing customer activity/enquiries.

Design, user experience, and tangible results

As part of delivering a positive user experience for visitors, it was important to build a website that worked for every kind of user.

Everything was designed and put together with responsiveness in mind, ensuring seamless functionality and readability across all types of devices (desktop, mobile, tablet), on all types of screen qualities and sizes. The new site was also built to ensure it can be accessed on all browsers without any issues.

The overall look of the new website communicated a more up-to-date representation of the RDS brand; consistent with all other RDS marketing channels, thereby strengthening brand communication and marketing activities aimed towards visitors referred to

Koobr welcomes new graphic designer Phil

By | October 17th, 2017|News|

It’s great to be able to bring something new to the table, working collaboratively with such an experienced team of marketers and creatives here at Koobr.

– Phil Willan, Koobr

Meet Phil Willan, creative graphic designer and the latest addition to Team Koobr.

It’s always exciting when a new member joins the team, so it’s with great pleasure that we get to announce the arrival of our new graphic designer, Phil Willan.

Phil joins us with a wealth of design experience, working on creative projects in association with Disney, Marvel and Sega. (Chuck some of that pricey merchandise our way in time for Christmas, eh Phil?)

Now Phil is helping Koobr’s customers to connect with audiences and realise their marketing objectives. Busy getting his teeth into projects for some of our longest-standing clients, he says he’s looking forward to bringing something new to the table: “It’s important for any creative agency to keep their output fresh and unique. That’s why businesses choose to work with Koobr.

Businesses work with Koobr because they want their brand communications to be fresh and unique.

– Phil Willan, Koobr

“I look forward to working with the team. They’re a really talented and collaborative bunch, and that’s the kind of environment that brings out the best creative work for clients.”

Koobr’s Managing Director, Craig Barker, added: “As a seasoned graphic designer, it’s always exciting to see new talent shine through. We’ve always strived to attract the best creatives, thinkers, and strategists — and that’s how we’ve managed to grow from strength to strength every year to become one of Derby’s leading brand communication companies.”

Koobr finalists for Marketing Campaign of the Year Award

By | September 17th, 2017|Marketing, News|

Team Koobr is delighted to announce that we are through to the finals at this year’s East Midlands Chamber Business Awards.

After being shortlisted for Marketing Campaign of the Year 2017, we are proud to announce that Koobr is through to the Derbyshire finals at this year’s East Midlands Chamber (Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire) Business Awards.

Koobr’s Managing Director, Craig Barker, was in attendance at the Chamber President’s Summer Celebration where this year’s finalists were revealed in June: “This is the second year we’ve been shortlisted, and our first year going through to the finals — we’ve certainly progressed as a company during that space of time.”

“To be recognised not just for the quality of our work, but also the marketing success it has brought our customers, it really means a lot. We’re a creative agency, but we’re also extremely focussed on delivering tangible results. We work very hard to help our clients get the results they are looking for in their marketing activities, and that’s what we live for as a team – getting through to the finals for Marketing Campaign of the Year is the icing on the cake.”

Speaking of cake, Team Koobr is looking forward to the Derbyshire gala dinner where we’ll be out in full force to celebrate with our fellow finalists where the winners across 11 award categories will be announced at the 3aaa County Ground in September.

Delivering the results our clients look for in their marketing activities is what we live for. Winning Marketing Campaign of the Year would be the icing on the cake.

– Craig Barker, Koobr

“More than anything, I’m thrilled for the team,” says Craig. “I’m privileged to say that I work with a group of tremendously talented and creative people. These awards are a real testament to the innovation and hard work put in by businesses across the counties. The standard this year has been extremely high, so we’d also like to congratulate everybody who was shortlisted and wish all the finalists the best of luck on the night.”a

Team Koobr completes the Ramathon — Thank you to everybody who supported us

By | September 17th, 2017|News|

After weeks of training, semi-strict dieting, and running up and down steps a la Rocky Balboa, Team Koobr took part in this year’s Ramathon. Here’s how we got on.

First off, we want to express our gratitude for everybody’s kind messages and generous donations. We are truly overwhelmed by the support Team Koobr received during this year’s Ramathon — helping us to raise more than £500.00 for Asthma UK.

In an earlier blog post, Koobr’s Managing Director, Craig Barker, talked about why this was a very worthy and personal cause. So, a great big Thank You to all who helped us to exceed our goal. We could never have possibly done this without you.

Secondly, we would like to say Well Done to all the runners and race organisers. It was a touching display, and an absolute privilege to run alongside the fantastic people of Derby. With so many worthwhile causes being supported on the day, it really made us proud to be part of such a positive and inspirational city.

Thanks to Simon Smith from JAKT Photography for the above two photographs.

Friendly faces across the finish line

In addition to all the friendly faces cheering us on from crowds, it was a pleasure to see quite a few friends of Koobr — Yvonne Gorman from Essential Print Services, Sean Price from RDS Global, and Rob Hodgkinson from Hodgkinson Builders — also fundraising for good causes.

Both Craig and Rebecca, Koobr’s Marketing Manager, managed to beat their earlier predicted times and finished the thirteen miles in around two hours twenty minutes. Which just goes to show that all that extra training and clean eating does pay off. They’ve since had a well-deserved drink, though, to celebrate, and a couple of large pizzas to make up for lost time.

And it’s fair to say they’ll be easing off on the running. Until next year, at least.

Running for a reason — Why I’m taking part in this year’s Ramathon

By | August 17th, 2017|News|

In a couple of weeks, runners from all over the county will participate in the Ramathon.
For Koobr’s Managing Director, Craig Barker, this grueling half marathon is about more than a test of physical endurance. Here he explains his personal reasons for taking part.

I’ve always been an active person. I believe exercise is an important part of a balanced lifestyle, whether that means working out in the gym, going swimming with my kids, or making the conscious effort to cycle to work instead of taking the car. After taking up karate a couple of years ago, it quickly became one of my favourite ways to stay in shape and I’ve just very recently qualified for my blue belt.

In short, I’m pretty happy with my overall level of fitness. But there’s one area where I’ve always struggled, and that’s running.

People who know me closely and know my health background think it’s crazy that I’ve decided to enter into the Ramathon — a gruelling half marathon that starts and ends at Derby’s Pride Park Stadium — this year in June.

But I’ve got my own personal reasons for taking part. I’ve also found myself a willing running partner (which definitely helps) in the form of Koobr’s Marketing Manager, Rebecca Shaw.

Breathing difficulties — Am I crazy?

So why do my friends and family think I am crazy and I why is it unexpected that I would be able to do something like this?

Growing up, I suffered regularly with breathing difficulties, the kind that kept my parents up in the night, worried that I might stop breathing altogether! I was eventually diagnosed with asthma at quite a young age, but it got progressively worse as I got older, often suffering from uncontrollable coughing bouts, so I went back to see the doctor.

I told the doctor that it could not be Asthma as the medication was not working. I was quite worried and explained that there must be something else causing the problems, I was severely debilitated by my chest problems. The doctor told me that I was on the strongest medication that he could give and there was nothing more he could do.

I was referred to the hospital again and saw several doctors, one of which was newly qualified, but luckily, he did not just look at the Asthma ‘label’ and looked for an alternate diagnosis. After various breathing and lung function tests it was determined that I had Bronchiectasis.

Bronchiectasis is a form of lung damage that means I am prone to chest infections. It can be serious, but you can lead a full life and the condition can be managed. This was likely to have been caused by a severe infection that went untreated in my earlier years, but they cannot be sure.

Asthma UK has helped countless people and we are privileged to be supporting them with this challenge.

I still have Asthma, but I have been left with the feeling that because I

Why local customers matter and how to market to them

By | August 17th, 2017|Insights, Marketing|

Are you marketing to local customers? Current statistics show that the majority of people searching online are looking for businesses nearby. Here’s our essential guide on how to successfully market to them.

When you’re trying to reach bigger, broader audiences as your business continues to grow, it’s easy to overlook those customers closer to home. Marketing is now fully digital, enabling us to connect with customers on a global scale easier than ever before, but neglecting the local market is an oversight that can prove detrimental.

Google says that half of mobile searches lead to local in-store visits within a single day, whilst 34% of people who perform a local search on a desktop or tablet have the same outcome.

That means a significant percentage of inquiries and sales comes from the local market, which makes this audience extremely important to the success of your business.

With that in mind, here are 4 ways to strengthen your local marketing.

1. Search Engine Optimisation

We’ve already mentioned how ranking in local search has a direct impact on in-store traffic, so let’s begin with a few SEO basics for local business.

A great place to start is by signing up with Google My Business to create your free business listing on Google. To maximise how often your customers see your business in local search results, you’ll need to fill out your profile with as much information as you can to create a relevant and enticing listing. This means using relevant keywords in your business/locale descriptions where appropriate. Customer reviews also play a huge role in local search results, as does a well-optimised website with fresh and informative content.

To make things nice and easy, Google Support provide a descriptive breakdown of all the elements you need to consider for an effective listing profile right here.

Speaking of a well-optimised website, Google’s own SEO guide is a good place to start in order to make sure domain-level and page-level optimisation is fine-tuned. The document covers optimising page titles, meta descriptions, site structure, URLs and navigation. It was first published in 2008, yet it covers the basics well enough and still holds true today.

Half of mobile searches lead to local in-store visits within a single day.

– Google

Finally, there’s good old-fashioned link-building.

Some sources will tell you that link building is an outdated practice, whilst others will say it’s a necessity for search rankings. Even Google’s official stance is a little mixed: informing us to “make sure other sites link to yours” while at the same time “avoiding link-building as it can do more harm than good”.

The fact of the matter is, domain-level link features and page-level link features are still the top two ranking factors even today (as of 2017). But keywords and content factors aren’t far behind.

Build something worth linking, to begin with. Start by making sure you have a well-optimised website with fresh content first; getting your Google My Business profile sorted second, and then move

Bring your brand to life through your website

By | July 9th, 2017|Insights, Web design|

Does your website successfully reflect your brand identity? If not, here’s our essential guide to why and how you can use your website to enable your brand to flourish.

Your brand identity is the absolute summation of who you are and what you do, while your website is your most powerful online presence. It only makes sense for both of these things to ‘work together’.

If the look and feel of your website don’t correspond with the way you orchestrate the perception of your brand, you’re going to experience a massive disconnect between the way customers view your organisation and the way you want them to.

Let’s say, for example, that you provide software as a service. Your brand identity would most likely convey authority in the IT industry. Therefore, it would be extremely disconcerting if your website was not optimised to work across all browsers and devices, or if the navigation was cumbersome and unintuitive.

Likewise, the types of images, words, and graphical elements used throughout your website are an extension of brand representation. Everything you choose to put out there conveys a certain tone and feeling that needs to be right for your brand identity. But really, you should already know this. This is ‘marketing 101’ for any organisation that wants to deliver a consistent brand experience online.

Read more about viewing  your website through the eyes of your customers here

With that being said, thoughtful and deliberate web design can also maximise the impact of your brand identity, bringing it to life in ways you probably never even thought were relevant. That’s why we’ve shortlisted the top changes you can make to your website in order to strengthen brand identity.

Revisit and rewrite your content

One of the simplest ways to change your website for the better is to revisit the words on your website from a different perspective and rewrite it accordingly.

Brand identity isn’t always at the forefront of people’s minds when creating their own website content, often writing from a purely commercial or technical viewpoint instead. Whilst this may include elements of who you and what you do, it isn’t necessarily reflective of your personality and company values.

Zendesk are a friendly brand that focusses on the human-centric side of software usage for businesses. This really comes across in the copy used on their website — it’s easy to read, emotive, and makes benefits crystal clear to customers.

Having a definitive tone of voice throughout your website content (one that should correspond with the tone of voice across all your marketing channels) will help visitors to engage more and connect with your brand. After all, the internet can be a typically anonymous environment, and, at the end of the day, people will always buy from people.

Impactful homepage

The homepage is effectively the first thing visitors will see when they land on your website. Like the front over to a book, or the packaging of a product, a successful homepage needs to be aesthetically

3 web design trends you should be paying attention to in 2017

By | June 8th, 2017|Insights, Web design|

As we move into the next quarter of 2017, it’s the perfect time to take a look web design trends everybody should be implementing.

Every year we see articles talking about the ‘next big trends’ for the year ahead in terms of web design. Often, these trends go beyond appearances and provide real technical benefit in terms of SEO, UX and conversions – the ones we should all be paying attention to. But we also regularly see so-called trends that are based solely on appearance and are frankly of no real benefit.

So, as we move into a new quarter for the year, just what trends are out there those can be of real value? Which should you be implementing on your own websites?

1. Multi-responsiveness

Bigger brands have been pioneering this process for a few years now, but it’s now time for all businesses to be ensuring that they don’t just have an ‘out the box’ mobile responsive site.

With multi-responsiveness, multiple sites are built for various devices, spanning different sizes of tablet, smartphones and computers. It’s a greater way to optimise your websites dependant on the screen it’s being viewed on.

Although keeping your website looking and feeling great for the end user is something you should always keep in mind, if you’ve got your website looking good, only invest time and money where further changes are going to make a real impact. Focus on metrics that are measurable when introducing new design elements so that you can work out your ROI and track results.

2. Typography

Of course, all websites use typography to define themselves, and fonts are often synonymous with a brand. However, in the 6 months leading up to 2017, websites have been designed more and more to focus on a stronger statement piece of type, usually on the homepage.

Sites are embracing custom, beautiful hand rendered fonts, which are now easily displayed in high resolution across most devices.

But why should you pass up valuable real estate to focus on one, large message? The answer is simple. Impact. A stunning yet simple homepage enticing customers directly into a product range or promotion is like the cherry on a cake.

3. Redefining the ‘fold’

Any marketer knows the importance of content above and below ‘the fold’. Trends in design have now made the fold a lot more difficult to define, and as such designers have been getting creative with scrolling.

Parallaxes are now transcending from just showing different elements of text. Sites are now utilising the feature to showcase offerings in bold colours, and even using animation to engage users in exciting new ways.

Koobr are recruiting – 3 reasons a career in marketing might be for you

By | May 5th, 2017|Marketing, News|

Koobr are recruiting for talented new members, but do you have what it takes to join our team of creative revolutionists? It may well be the start of a promising new career.

Why would you not want to be in marketing? It’s a sexy profession, it gets the creative juices flowing, it’s full of variety – ask any marketer, no day is ever the same – and it’s versatile.

It’s also, arguably, taking on increasing prominence in the business world. At the end of the day, you could have the best product in the world or the greatest invention since, well, sliced bread, but it’s pointless if you can’t get the word out.

84% of businesses spent more time on their marketing in 2016 than the previous year.

– ReachLocal survey, 2016

As an agency, that’s where we come in — enabling our clients to communicate exactly what it is that they want to get across to target audiences, helping them to achieve their commercial and marketing objectives.

But marketing is a different beast to what it used to be. It’s evolving all the time. According to Adobe, 76% of people feel that marketing has changed more in the past two years than in the previous 50 – and it takes someone with a bit of va va voom to stand out from the crowd in a profession that is increasingly competitive.

From brochures to websites, logos to entire brand identities and campaigns, the digital age has dramatically re-shaped the way marketing works today. Think an exciting career in the world of marketing might be for you? Here’s three ways of knowing it might be right up your street.

You’re a creative soul

It doesn’t matter which marketing route you take, it pays to be creative if you want a successful career in marketing. Of course, there’s a place for all types of personalities, but the best campaigns, the best websites, the best adverts; they all have one thing in common… the creativity behind them helps them stand out from the crowd. And creativity is not limited to the actual ‘production’ side of things, it’s also evident in your personality, and the enthusiastic way you engage clients on behalf of an agency. Does your creative spark set you apart? Then a career in marketing might be for you.

You’re an obsessive thinker

You’ve got a killer idea and you know you’ve got the tools and ability to make your marketing campaign look great. But can you afford to leave the results to chance? Good marketers think analytically and take every little detail into account. Pre- and post- analysis is so important. Before you embark on your campaign, what do you want to get out of it? Afterward, what have you learned about what worked well, what didn’t, what can be improved on? What has the behaviour of your target market taught you and how will it influence future campaigns? If you’ve got an eye for detail and can see the

Why a strong customer journey is important to your brand

By | March 3rd, 2017|Insights, Marketing|

No customer experience should be accidental. Everything needs to be by design. That’s why having a customer journey is important in your brand communication.

– Craig Barker, Koobr

Does your business have a customer journey in place? If not, you could be severely neglecting the needs of your customers, as well as seriously impacting your brand communications in a negative way.

Whether you’re thinking from the point of view of a business or a customer (because we’re all consumers, at the end of the day) it’s easy to recognise the value of products and services, but customer experience is an important part of the entire package as well. Not only influencing the customer’s motivation to buy, it can also establish a positive connection that transcends customer satisfaction – emotional attachment.

When we form an emotional attachment to something, it’s because it has a deep, meaningful affect that leaves our experiences more pleasurable and our lives that little bit better.

Consequently, we attribute greater value to these attachments; 86% of buyers surveyed will pay more for a better customer experience.

It’s a principle that companies like Apple, Google and Amazon have been advocating for a long time – differentiate yourself based on the experience you deliver to customers, not just on the products you sell.

Customer journey – Engineering better experiences that are on-brand

With the idea of ‘customer experience as product’ firmly in mind, it makes perfect sense then to apply the same level of deliberate engineering in its delivery as you would to everything else.

Customer experience can be broken down and mapped as a ‘journey’ charting the customer’s interaction with your business – from start to finish, across multiple touch points – and fit to align personalised customer needs with your objectives. This is what’s known as the ‘customer journey map’ (above).

We think that Kerry Bodine, customer experience consultant, perfectly sums up the premise of a customer journey map in the below quote from her video post on the Moz blog.

The goal of the customer journey map is really to get a holistic view of what the customer is going through from their point of view and really what it’s like for them on a personal level, that human level.

– Kerry Bodine

Whenever we use the phrase ‘customer journey’ it’s most commonly thought of in terms relative to website design (the user journey), with the aim of developing a website that provides a user-friendly experience in order to facilitate conversion. Well, this is precisely the same concept we’re talking about here, only on a scale that encapsulates every experience the customer has with your brand as a whole.

Consistent brand communication at every step

A customer journey map is certainly a useful tool for identifying pain points between customers and business processes, removing barriers and optimising conversion-rates. But to view it from a pure sales perspective would an oversight on how it improves customer experience and brand communication.

The rise of omnichannel marketing

Why your B2B website needs to be more commerce-like in 2017

By | February 3rd, 2017|Insights, Web design|

Another year, another opportunity to strengthen your business. But what does 2017 hold in store for B2B firms looking to improve their online marketing?

As we move closer into 2017, many business-to-business (B2B) firms will be taking this time to re-evaluate their marketing strategies. Especially those who are actively, or, at the very least, planning to sell to their customers online.

So, where should your primary focus be? Content marketing and social media?

Sure, it’s no big secret that B2B organisations are still playing catch-up with businesses who market on a consumer level (when it comes to embracing digital technologies). But to say that B2B marketing is still confined to meeting rooms, networking events, and stilted conversations over the telephone is something of an antiquated view.

The percentage of B2B firms that now incorporate online content (comprehensive articles and / or white paper documents) as part of their overall marketing strategy has grown massively in the last year — with 88% of surveyed B2B firms stating they now use content marketing.

As for social media, B2B firms now use a broad range of platforms to distribute content and / or engage with audiences directly. In a 2016 study by MarketingProfs, it was shown that LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube was said to be the leading platforms in terms of their effectiveness for many surveyed B2B organisations.

Read more about web design trends you need to consider here

Whilst content marketing and social media are both equally important aspects of your overall marketing strategy for 2017 (and if you haven’t already, we strongly suggest you click the link above to read more about that), it seems that many B2B firms are placing their focus elsewhere, taking cues from one of the world’s leading eCommerce websites.

Taking a leaf from Amazon — How B2B firms are improving business through better online experiences in 2017

Another area where B2B firms have been typically lacking compared to their business-to-consumer (B2C) counterparts, is customer experience — or rather, to be a little more precise, online user experience.

The rise in eCommerce has forever changed the way customers expect to engage with businesses online. Today’s buyers are accustomed to quick and simple shopping experiences; regardless of whether they are new or existing customers; browsing on a desktop, a smartphone, or a tablet.

In short, better experiences equate to better business, and now it looks as though B2B firms are shifting their approach to be — as one report puts it — more “Amazon-like” in their approach to selling online.

The study was conducted by eCommerce solutions provider Gorilla Group and surveyed the websites of 78 B2B wholesale distributors and brand manufacturers in the US, following up on similar research conducted a year earlier.

The biggest change for B2B firms comes in the form of website design that is responsive to work across all mobile devices. Only 26% of B2B websites studied in 2015 implemented mobile responsiveness. This percentage doubled in 2016.

Twice as many B2B

Twitter for business: How to ensure it’s your friend… not your foe

By | January 3rd, 2017|Insights, Marketing|

Twitter has become a standard platform for businesses looking to strengthen marketing and broaden their customer outreach. But there are a few Do’s and Don’ts you should stick to, if you want to get the most out of every Tweet whilst avoiding any public mishaps.

For businesses, especially customer-facing ones, Twitter seems a no-brainer.

Let’s crunch the numbers. As of November 2016, in the USA, 74% of Twitter followers follow SMEs to get regular product updates while 47% users who follow a brand on Twitter are more likely to visit the company’s website.

Back this side of the pond, there are currently 13.1 million UK Twitter users.

Used well, it can be a marketer’s dream and can catapult a company’s reputation – and its bottom line – to new heights.
A timely tweet, a bit of quick thinking and sound judgement can turn 140 characters into money-can’t-buy exposure.

Take Oreo as a case in point. Back in 2014, a blackout at the 2014 Super Bowl plunged one of the sporting world’s most iconic events into darkness.

Whoever was in charge of everyone’s favourite milk cookie (other biscuits are available!) earned their money and then some. The hastily-posted tweet ‘’Power out? No problem. You can still dunk in the dark’’ has become a legendary tweet. Did it result in people going out the next day and buying Oreos? Almost certainly. Brand reputation enhanced? 15,000+ retweets certainly would suggest so.

Of course, you don’t need to be an international brand to harness the power of Twitter. If you’re an SME, the personal touch, great tone of voice, engaging content and a killer hashtag can see you ride the crest of the Twitter wave.

However, Twitter can be a cruel mistress.

What’s the worst that can happen? You achieve no direct sales. But then, you’ve not lost anything, you’re simply in the same position as you were in before you set up your Twitter handle.

But what about your brand’s reputation? Can you really afford to potentially jeopardise years of hard work building your reputation in 140 characters or less?

Read more about how to recover from a social media disaster here

As of right now, there are 13.1 million Twitter users here in the UK.

Let’s take a look at Tesco. Back in 2013, the supermarket giant scheduled a tweet to go out to followers in the evening saying “It’s sleepy time so we’re off to hit the hay. See you at 8am for more #TescoTweets.”

All good practice, you would think. However, this just so happened to be the day the horse meat scandal hit. Cue thousands of complaints and a grovelling apology. All publicity good publicity? Not in this instance.

Rules to follow when using Twitter for business

Twitter is great. Done properly, it can be incredibly beneficial to your company. Here are few simple rules to follow that will help your company flourish through Twitter:

  • Embrace it! You live and breathe your company’s culture, visions, and values. Make

Derby Food and Drink Awards 2016 — Why celebrating local businesses is so important

By | November 3rd, 2016|News|

Team Koobr was out in full force at this year’s Derby Food and Drink Awards. More than an excuse to dress up and get our drink on, it was a perfect opportunity to showcase the importance of celebrating local businesses.

At a glitzy ceremony at Derby’s Roundhouse, Team Koobr was in attendance at this year’s Derby Food and Drink Awards. The guest list comprised of some of the best and brightest of our city’s food and drinks scene, including bars, pubs, restaurants and cafés — as well as some of Derby’s most successful businesses in other areas.

With recipients of ‘Best Pub’ award The Greyhound Derby

As sponsors of the event, Team Koobr was given the honour of deciding on a winner for the ‘Best Pub’ award — an arduous task, quite frankly, which involved drinking lots of alcohol and sampling some of the tastiest grub these fine establishments had to offer.

As you can imagine, it was pretty exhausting, but we persevered in the name of celebrating our local businesses in the food and drinks sector — because isn’t that what business should be about?

Recognition for achievement, success and flying the local flag

When we think about the places we live, local businesses are not always the first thing that comes to mind, but they do so much for our cities, from employment and economical growth to nurturing local talent and putting regional places on the map.

Koobr client Lorentes won ‘Best International’

Not to mention the countless ways local businesses strive to make all our lives better, whether providing goods and services, insight and guidance, or, as is the case with this year’s crop of food and drink candidates, pleasurable experiences that make living in Derby so enjoyable.

That’s why it’s so important to find opportunities like these types of events to give businesses the recognition they deserve.

As for our involvement in choosing the winner of Derby’s ‘Best Pub’, we’d also like to congratulate all of nominees in this category, each of which had their own strong points. It was by no means an easy decision, but one we enjoyed making very, very much. You are all fine, shining examples of what businesses can truly achieve and offer to the city of Derby.

See a list of this year’s Derby Food and Drink Awards winners here

3 reasons why Sonic the Hedgehog is the king of marketing

By | November 3rd, 2016|Insights, Marketing, News|

2016 marks the 25th anniversary of one of video gamings most beloved icons. But did you know Sonic the Hedgehog was conceived as a marketing device first, consumer product second?

Forever immortalised as Sega’s official mascot, Sonic the Hedgehog took the mediascape by storm in the1990’s, turning the Japanese video game company into a household brand practically overnight.

Whether you are old enough to remember playing those games as a kid, or a little older to recall being pressured into forking out your hard earned cash at the persistence of your own children, it will probably leave you dazed and confused to learn that 2016 marks the spiky blue hedgehog’s 25th birthday.

That’s right, Sonic the Hedgehog is now a quarter of a century old. Mind blowing, yeah?

But get this: If you thought Sonic was just another IP to entice consumers then you’d be wrong. He started out as something far more strategic in nature, conceived as a marketing device to improve brand communications between audiences and Sega.

Here’s 3 reasons why Sonic the hedgehog is the king of marketing.

1. He’s the ultimate ‘blueprint’ of brand recognition

One of the biggest struggles that Sega faced in the early days, was a barrier in brand communications. Whilst bigger rivals Nintendo had already established themselves within the market, Sega lacked the same level of recognition with consumers.

They had just a 6% share in the home console market when they first arrived on the scene. Nintendo dominated because they had already built a loyal customer base, helped massively by one of their biggest, most recognisable characters — Super Mario

The name Sega didn’t carry enough clout and needed its own figurehead that audiences would be able to instantly associate with the company. The outcome of this endeavour was Sonic the Hedgehog.

Whereas Mario was plump and cutesy, Sonic was fast and cool. This is exactly how Sega saw themselves compared to Nintendo, revelling in an identity that was decidedly edgier, now personified in Sonic’s electric blue quills that matched the company’s logo and fierce attitude.

2. Values and personality — connecting with target customers

Even before Sonic’s conception, Sega had already established their own identity within the company, audiences had simply yet to realise what that identity was exactly. Compared to Nintendo’s family-friendly values, Sega was edgier and more mature; producing games targeted to teens and older audiences.

These values were reflected in Sonic the Hedgehog, aligning Sega’s values with those of an entire generation that no longer wanted to play games for kids. They wanted to be cool like Sonic. They wanted their parents to buy them Sega products.

3. Multi-channel marketing

Sonic transcended the games he starred in almost immediately. While other characters were only defined by what appeared in their actual games, Sega gave Sonic the Hedgehog something more: multiple, diverse platforms to amplify brand communication.

In the 25 years since the creation of Sonic it’s easy to image how social media, content marketing and mobile would

Happy International Coffee Day – How cultural shifts are driving changes in marketing

By | October 1st, 2016|Insights, Marketing|

Today is International Coffee Day. So grab yourself a cup of your favourite blend and find out why your business needs to re-think its approach to marketing.

Marketers have been making the most of public holidays since the birth of advertising. In fact, you can probably trace the first Christmas promotion to a business-savvy innkeeper posting a “room to let” sign in the window of his barn.

That’s because the power of cultural marketing is truly staggering.

I’m not talking about marketing to specific groups of people based on culture and demographic, I’m talking about taking something as broad and relatable as, say, Christmas and New Years, and using it to encourage customer engagement.

We’re all familiar with the spate of festive ads the big brands roll out during the November/December months, perfectly capturing the nation’s excitement with timely precision. And then there’s Valentine’s Day, Easter, et al. But these have, up until more recently, been strictly seasonal, probably because businesses have always had limited tools for reaching out to audiences.

Digital marketing enables even the smallest businesses to connect directly with customers or broaden awareness of their own brand.

Businesses today, however, are communicating with audiences across multiple digital platforms, always connected, always striving to be relevant, and with such a constant level of connectivity comes a need for new ways to prompt the same kind of customer engagement as you would expect during those standout times of the year.

Happy International Coffee Day (or the timely equivalent thereof)

Incase you didn’t already know, today marks International Coffee Day in the UK. If you’re reading this article on any other date than October 1st, however, it’s more than likely going to be something else entirely.

Obviously you’re not going to see major brands invest huge amounts of advertising spend to capitalise on the occasion — no Coca Cola trucks handing out streaming mugs of coffee to people in the streets (although you can bet the likes of Costa and Starbucks will be!).

What you will see, on the other hand, is social media light up with posts from businesses of every size, across multiple industries celebrating the occasion in the name of marketing and brand awareness.

Participatory holidays have seeped into today’s modern culture — so much so, in fact, that every day in a calendar year is thought to now mark something — increasing alongside the growth of digital media, at the convenience of marketers in need of regular, culturally recognisable content.

In other words, it’s the cultural shifts that drive changes in today’s marketing just as much as technologies do, whether it’s sociological, historical, or so-called ‘popular culture’.

Then again, maybe the two are intrinsically linked. Social media has given rise to a culture entirely of it’s own; where users are the architects of their own content; a generation of boxset bingers and meme artists; and creative, fashionable, finger-on-the-pulse content is the true key to customer engagement. Either way, it’s a perfect marriage that allows modern

Apple Event 2016 – Lessons in brand dominance and communication

By | September 3rd, 2016|Insights, News|

Alongside the latest iPhone and smartwatch reveals, this year’s keynote was another opportunity for Apple to reconnect with audiences and once again establish brand dominance. Here are our insights that demonstrate why every business should take a page out of Apple’s marketing tablet.

The end of the quarter keynote from Apple has become, in every sense of the word, something of a calendar event — a chance for loyalists to catch a salivating glimpse at the latest products and service updates — ever since Jobs introduced the iMac back in 1998, or forever changed the face of music with the original iPod unveil in 2001.

More than just another tech company, Apple has established itself as a lifestyle brand; something that has cut across the traditional retailer/consumer relationships and deeply rooted itself in a way that transcends customer satisfaction.

Emotive. Cultural. Philosophical. These are the levels to which the Apple brand has permeated meaningful aspects of day-to-day life. For many, it has become as much a part of their own identity as their more indicative selves, and has managed to dominate the market in the process.

Looking at some of the things included in this year’s keynote, it’s easy to understand how and why.

Our invitations must have got lost in the mail, naturally. Thankfully, the event was live streamed on Apple’s website to keep everyone in the loop as announcements unfolded.

Here are a few highlights that showcase some of the things Apple did as a ‘brand’ that every business should pay attention to:

Reconnecting the disconnect

It’s fair to say that despite Apple’s global popularity, consumers have fallen ever so slightly out of love with the tech giant in recent months.

Sales for the iPhone and iPad have slumped, innovation between recent product iterations have been considered lacklustre at best, and the current “tax haven” stories in the news have tarnished an otherwise ethical image consistently upheld by the company and its brand values.

Even before it was officially announced that Apple would be removing the standard 3.5mm analogue headphone jack from the new iPhone, consumers were in an uproar: “What about all us audiophiles that have already invested in expensive music gear?”

Apple has, somewhat apologetically, threw a Lightning to 3.5mm Headphone Jack Adapter in with the new iPhone to appease traditional users. EarPods are now plugged in via the Lightning connector, you see, and there’s also the new AirPods for those brave enough to go completely wireless.

Well, “courage” was the actual word that Apple used. An emphatic way of giving power back to the people whilst taking away their beloved analogue jacks.

I know, I know, I realise I sound a bit cynical here. Apple aren’t exactly know for their humility, and the whole thing smacks of pretentiousness. But doesn’t that ever so slightly sum up the entire Apple community?

Whether or not you agree with Apple’s creed and culture, you can’t overlook the fact that the company has them, and will use them in

Should you be using emojis in your marketing?

By | May 3rd, 2016|Insights, Marketing|

Emojis play a large part in how we communicate with others digitally. However, as a marketer, should we approach their use differently?

Whether you like it or not, emojis have almost become their own language amongst young people, and are in themselves also used as a new type of slang. Apple increased emoji size by 300% last year and also finally allowed consumers to enjoy emojis in the skin tone of their choice. They’re certainly not going anywhere.

Instagram found this interesting correlation between the use of slang and it’s replacement with emojis – highlighting further that emojis are fast replacing written word (even though some wouldn’t consider ‘lmfao’ a word – you get the picture)

In hindsight, replacing text with emojis was only going to be a natural progression that millennials would use to maximise on their 140 character world.

At the very least, the inclusion of an emojis can massively alter the way that digital messages are perceived. A similar example of how symbols can affect the way a message is read is the use of ‘x’ in a text message or email. Virtual kisses. Personally, if a friend didn’t include one to me, I’d think I was in big trouble. I wouldn’t necessarily expect ‘xxxx’ at the end of a promotional email – unless that kind of informal communication was part of their brand personality.

If you are talking to someone face-to-face, you don’t need an additional word or symbol to express “I’m smiling” because you would, presumably, be smiling.

– Tyler Schnoebelen, linguistics Ph.D.

Anything that can add to a message will be picked up by marketers – if we can say the same thing in 3 emojis rather than a tweet, why wouldn’t we? But should we, though?


• Non-verbal communication – ideal for social media such as Twitter
• A modern way to engage with a millennial target market
• Can fill the emotional void that short posts possess
• Add a little fun and humour to your brand appearance
• Easy to spot in email subject lines


• The person posting misunderstands the context
• Potentially annoying/confusing to the wrong audience
• Intent isn’t always obvious to the customer, even to millennials
• Emojis display differently across platforms
• May make your brand seem unprofessional

Although no emojis were actually used in this instance, Hillary Clinton’s social media team encountered the wrath of Twitter’s millennials when they posted the following:

If you’re going to use emojis as part of your marketing efforts, you need to be sure that your target audience is going to be receptive of them. Even taking millennials as an entire group wouldn’t be such a good idea. A 36 year old won’t necessarily understand the social connotations of certain emojis the same way a 22 year old would. Don’t even try and use them unless you’re totally aware of the connotations of certain emojis (🔥 💯 💦 – to ‘name’ a few).

One of the single most

How to be happier at work

By | May 3rd, 2016|Insights|

Our work environment has a massive impact on our lives, not to mention on our physical & mental health. A great work environment is motivating and even when stressful, leaves you feeling fulfilled.

Of course, the business you work for should aim to keep their staff happy, but alongside this there are also ways that you can help yourself to stay positive and upbeat.

It’s important to make sure you look after yourself at work, and by keeping the following points in mind, you should start to see some positive changes happen and an added spring in your step.

You should feel comfortable, yet motivated, in your work area. Try and add items to your desk such as a plant, photos and a mug with a quote that makes you smile.

If you’re spending 40 hours a week mainly in that space, you need to make sure that you add the little touches to make it your own.

It’s important not to keep quiet about any problems you have in the workplace. Speak with your manager, or HR team, if you feel that you have an issue to raise – you’ll feel much better in the long run tackling things head on.

78% of employees who report having a meaningful discussion with their manager about their strengths feel their work is making a difference and is appreciated.

Have Purpose
Everyone is an important member of staff, no matter what their role is and you should feel that that is always the case. Make sure that you’re provided with a clear job description so you’re aware of the expectations of your role.

There won’t be any harm asking for more responsibilities, and any company worth working for should actively encourage developing their employees.

Looking to be happier at work? Challenge yourself, and you’ll feel much more rewarded and enriched in your role.

Another thing that often gets neglected, is rewarding ourselves for our hard work. When we have a high-pressure job, we can often forget to still treat ourselves because we’re used to stresses of the job being the norm and don’t feel as though we’ve “gone above and beyond” recently. No matter what your job entails – on your day off, evenings or in your spare time make sure you treat yourself.

Whether that’s a new item of clothing, haircut, a cinema date, a night out with friends or even just a takeaway pizza, make sure you reward yourself for being awesome. This is sure to make you happier at work.

Switch Off
A lot of us are guilty of taking work home with us, or bringing home to work.

In order to maintain a good work/life balance, you should keep both your work life and your home life as clear separate identities. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should shy away from socialising with colleagues, or discussing your home life with them, but it simply means the stresses and strains from either part shouldn’t affect

Why you need to up your B2B marketing (and how not to let it fall on deaf ears)

By | April 23rd, 2016|Insights, Marketing|

Are you taking steps to improve your B2B marketing?

Whenever we talk about marketing and promotion there’s typically a divide between businesses that market directly to consumers (B2C) and businesses that market to other businesses organisations for commercial gain and partnerships (B2B).

Whilst B2C marketing has really embraced digital technologies, B2B marketing, on the other hand, has been relatively slower to adapt, preferring to continue investing in more traditional channels such as in-person events and other traditional techniques.

But with the buyer experience evolving towards increased online interaction and personalisation throughout the buying process, it is more important than ever that B2B marketers rethink their strategies.

Dispelling the myth that B2B and B2C are different

Perhaps the biggest reason that B2B marketers find it so difficult is the emphasis on ‘differences’ in best-practices between B2B and B2C marketing — with B2C practices supposedly lending themselves more favourably online — when in actual fact, the real focus should be on the similarities.

There are going to be differences, sure, mainly in terms of measurability and motive, but the principles of promoting/marketing/selling are basically the same for both instances. Consumers and company buyers may have different reasons for wanting to hear from you, but that doesn’t mean the ways in which you go about it need to be worlds apart. In fact, B2B marketing is a lot closer to B2C marketing than you might think.

The key is understanding what those differences are, where any limitations may lie, and finding suitable ways of adapting in order to leverage the most effective outcome in your B2B marketing campaign.

In fact, a report by Forrester Consultant showed that 46% of B2B sales this year will be a result of marketing across online channels such as websites, social media and email. If you haven’t already thought about stepping up your B2B marketing efforts, now is definitely the time to do so.

Inspired, influential and informative – Creating effective B2B marketing content

First impressions hinge on strong and effective content. But what kinds of content should B2B organisations be putting out there? Whilst consumer-based marketing focuses more on the emotional appeal of the product/service, you can still appeal to B2B buyers from an emotive standpoint but in a more professional way.

The motive for B2B buyers is ostensibly from a more pragmatic standpoint, but your marketing efforts will fall on deaf ears if your content does not resonate with your audience while emphasising the unique and interesting parts of your brand. Personality and engagement are as equally important in B2B marketing as in B2C marketing, make no mistake about it.

Like B2C marketing, the above B2B campaign uses concepts and interesting ideas as a means of promotion rather than just serving up raw facts and information, appealing to buyers on a level beyond the pragmatic.

Of course, B2B buyers are still looking for those tangible ‘pragmatics’ in order to find a reason to buy from you. Knowing what they are and using them to underpin your

Keeping pace with the mega-marketers

By | April 23rd, 2016|Marketing, News|

“A man who stops advertising to save money is like a man who stops a clock to save time.”

– Henry Ford

In all its forms, marketing and promotion enables your business to grow. But consider everything that’s involved from an investment perspective and it’s easy to see why many SMEs tend to shy away from it.

Budgets constraints, staffing, creative methods and strategy — all of these things differ greatly between small and large businesses, which doesn’t make the playing field exactly level.

Understandably, smaller businesses are spending less when it comes to their marketing — as little as 2% of revenue, compared to 14% and upwards in bigger businesses — but this kind of conservation doesn’t necessarily equal strategic success. Like Henry Ford infamously said, “A man who stops advertising to save money is like a man who stops a clock to save time”.

In other words, the marketplace is always shifting, always changing, and you can’t afford to stand still and hope for the best.

Understanding the mega-marketer mentality – Why marketing is important for SMEs in 2016

The IPA Bellwether Report for 2015 revealed that marketing spend in the UK reached £20billion last year, the highest it’s been in almost a decade.

The vast majority of big marketers in the UK see driving new customers as their highest priority at the moment (73%), that’s according to last year’s AFL Marketing Spend report.

This definitely makes a lot of sense, considering that customers (both B2C and B2B) are generally spending a lot more right now. After a few tough years, the economy is picking up again. Internet usage has gathered momentum also, providing marketers with greater opportunities to reach out to their customers.

Increasing customer engagement and driving value from existing customers is also high on the agenda for big marketers — the same report shows — with the ultimate objective being to enhance customer experience right across the board.

In short, big businesses are now on a post-recession marketing blitz. If SMEs are going to keep pace, they need to adopt a similar mindset.

That’s not to say smaller businesses should go irresponsibly blowing their revenue on marketing and advertising, it simply means they need to look at what the mega-marketers are doing and find ways of scaling those processes to achieve the same things.

You don’t need a costly in-house marketing department to get your message out there. All you need is the support of a skilled and knowledgeable team to effectively facilitate your brand communications.

What the big marketers are doing. Are you?

Developing fresh, regular and engaging content

Content marketing is fast becoming one of the leading channels for customer engagement and brand awareness, with the focus very much on quality and delivery. There’s a lot of it out there at the moment, all competing for the attention of your customers, so it’s more important than ever to have a proper content marketing plan in place if you’re going to cut through the

Bluu Sky – Case Study of a Branding Project

By | April 6th, 2016|Branding, Case studies|

“Koobr has reimagined our brand identity and brought it spectacularly up to date – helping us to redefine who we are and how we can communicate with our customers for the better.”

– Geoff Seymour, Managing Director, Bluu Sky

Earlier this year, Koobr worked with Bluu Sky to develop a new and exciting brand. We wanted to bring out the warm and personable side of this East Midlands based company while demonstrating their prowess in the field of telecommunications.

Communicating the right feeling

Customer service is very important to Bluu Sky, so we worked closely with the team to unearth their values and core beliefs as a business, which we then polished and refined in a very real and tangible way.

This allowed us to word-craft phrases and marketing messages around an authentic, emotive and engaging brand voice – in addition to a primary strap line to sit alongside promotional material – resulting in a consistent, impactful and authentic tone of voice for the brand overall.  

A breath of fresh air

From very the start, we wanted to make sure the new brand had a look that was contemporary and timeless, sophisticated yet simple; all important aspects for any tech-based service provider.

We also wanted to visually communicate the idea that using the service was a pleasurable experience – a real breath of fresh air – and so a minimalist style was adopted, using a positive and palatable colour scheme.

How to avoid (or recover from) a social media disaster

By | April 3rd, 2016|Insights|

It’s important to keep in mind that no social media plan is ever going to be guaranteed problem-free. The very nature of social media is that it is totally unpredictable, and that’s why preparedness is absolutely crucial to see a successful turnaround in the event of the dreaded social media crisis.

Hopefully these tips will help you ensure that you’ve streamlined your social media crisis management, and also have avoided a few potential no-nos.

Social media has revolutionised the way that businesses communicate with their customers, and more importantly, how customers communicate with businesses.
It’s never been so easy for customers to publicly make their opinions heard and seen. This transparency can be both a blessing and a curse for any business with social media platforms.

Providing excellent customer service should be a key pillar of any business, but this alone will not always guarantee happy customers, 100% of the time. An angry social media post that goes viral is bad enough, but combine this with a poorly handled response, and your business’ reputation is in serious trouble.

Even if your company prides itself on being first class in it’s approach to customer service, there are still a whole host of reasons things can go awry and lead to a social media disaster.

The rogue employee

Employees with access to social media hold your business reputation in their hands.

As HMV learnt the hard way in 2013, disgruntled employees can have a significant impact on a business if they decide to go out in a blaze of glory. Social media page hijacks, personal detail sharing and abusive responses to customers are just some of the cringe-inducing scenarios that have happened before, and will undoubtedly happen again.

So, how can you and your business make sure you aren’t one of those featured on ‘Social Media Fail’ blog posts at the hands of an angry employee? We think that Anca perfectly sums this up in the below quote from her post on the Entrepeneur.

There’s no reason that your social media team should be treated any better, or any worse, than any other employee. Just because they have the ability to post something damaging on your Facebook page, shouldn’t mean they’re given additional privileges. Creating a culture that keeps your entire workforce happy, and addresses any issues they have, goes a long way to avoiding a rogue employee in any capacity.

Be human

Some of the best success stories from corporate social media accounts are down to the hilarity, empathy, or above and beyond service of the person responding on the company’s behalf. Stop training your staff to give out robotic responses, but instead set out clear guidelines on what shouldn’t be discussed on social media.

Allowing your social media team to put their own personal stamp on their social posts will also allow them to feel as though they are responding as themselves, and not as a nameless person copying and pasting approved responses all day. Let your social team add

Something to believe in – Is brand more important to your staff than to your customers?

By | March 23rd, 2016|Branding, Insights|

A company that publicly displays brand values and culture without buy-in and the belief of the team can be disastrous for a business ona
many levels.

– Craig Barker, Koobr

The idea that a brand is all bells and whistles for the benefit of attracting, engaging and capturing customer interest is an outdated one; the benefits of brand go way beyond this, strengthening one of the most performance-critical areas of your entire business — your staff.

It’s not enough to have your frontline staff enforce branding across all types of customer interactions, they need to live and breathe your brand, and believe in everything it stands for. Only then will your customers believe in it too.

Brand communication starts from within

Nothing impugns brand integrity more than a disconnect between marketing PR and company staff. A successful brand relies on communication that is consistently strong and has the full support of your employees, regardless of whether customer interaction is part of their job role or not.

That’s because brand communication starts from within. It permeates every level of a company’s infrastructure, from top decision-makers to the person who answers the phone, and reinforces brand values, vision, and ethos from the inside out.

There are many great examples of how companies effectively communicate brand through their employees, who are, for all intents and purposes, ensconced in that brand.

Apple is well known for instilling brand into their staff, and it shows when you call up their customer service centre or walk up to an Apple store “Genius Bar”. Their staff are attentive, friendly and interact with customers in ways that are indicative and in accordance with brand values and personality — encouraging customers to explore products in fun, informative and creative ways.

Even customers who do not actively purchase during a visit to one of their stores are still left with a positive lasting impression of their overall experience with the brand.

That’s not to say a consistent brand emerges from conformist employees, far from it. Each individual needs to determine how he or she can deliver on the corporate brand promise in a way that’s authentic, leveraging the corporate identity with what ignites them and makes them exceptional.

A company that publicly displays brand values and culture without buy-in and the belief of the team can be disastrous for a business on many levels. A proper brand should provide impetus and direction, but that’s only possible when your staff feels connected and engaged.

Working with employees to help shape the values of your brand — allowing staff to individually interpret their roles as brand ambassadors — will not only secure buy-in, it also provides clarity and understanding, enabling staff to deliver on customer expectations.

The application of brand on the inside

Otherwise known as ‘internal-marketing’, the application of your brand within the company is no different to how you would use it to capture and engage your customers. It’s about creating and maintaining an emotional connection to your company that

Comech – Case study of a branding project

By | March 6th, 2016|Branding, Case studies|

“Simply put, they hit the nail on the head. Koobr created a contemporary, polished brand and now we are well positioned for rapid growth.”

– Keith Pallett, Managing Director, CoMech Metrology Ltd

In September 2015, CoMech secured one of the biggest contracts in the company’s longstanding history. This contract was to provide calibration services for the London Underground.

Earlier that year we embarked on a journey with CoMech to develop and introduce a new brand to their community of worldwide clients in the railway and aerospace industries.

Rebranding one of the country’s leading specialists in metrology

For more than a quarter of a century, CoMech has been servicing safety-critical industries in the fields of dimensional metrology and technical innovation, so rebranding was a huge opportunity that also carried a great deal of responsibility.

We spent a lot of time getting to know the company, their history, the integrity of their work and the team in order to understand CoMech’s heritage and vision for the future. This was important for putting together a fresh, contemporary brand that would help drive the company forward, whilst being mindful and respectful of the strong identity they had carefully built over the last 25 years.

Finding the right look and feel

From the very start, we wanted to create a brand that was both wrought and slick. It needed to retain CoMech’s character as a very ‘industrial’ organisation, with a rich, well-established heritage, but it also needed to slip comfortably into today’s digital age.

How the brand should look from a digital perspective was taken into consideration as early on as the initial conception stage. This re-surfaced later on when we crafted graphics for the new website concept, distilling CoMech’s  services into salient icons that were universally recognisable but equally on-brand and unique.

Chamber Apprenticeships – Case study of a branding project

By | March 6th, 2016|Branding, Case studies|

“Koobr displayed lots of positivity and enthusiasm when we briefed them on this creative project. They shared their creative process every step of the way, understood our requirements, gave useful insight, and delivered the best possible solution for the Chamber Apprenticeships brand values and target audience.”

– Alison Gray, Marketing Manager, East Midlands Chamber (Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire)

In 2015, the Chamber launched the new brand for their Chamber Apprenticeships scheme across Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire. Koobr is extremely proud of the work we produced and everybody on the team who was involved throughout the project.

Reimagining the Chamber to inspire a whole new generation

To capture and inspire an entire generation of school-leavers and under-21s, the Chamber needed a brand that not only fostered trust but also felt fresh and exciting. From the very beginning we set out to develop a contemporary brand that, whilst moving away from the Chamber’s primary branding, retained much of the core identity and ideals

This decision came out of meetings with the Chamber’s representatives – as well as representatives of the Chamber Apprenticeships scheme – and really getting to understand how much they cared about the cause, and how passionately they felt about getting the scheme and its benefits across to the right demographic.

Finding a voice that speaks the truth

It was apparent to us from the very beginning that authenticity was key to communicating to a younger audience. We wanted to be positive without coming across as sounding patronising, we wanted to be definitive without sounding preachy. It was a fine balance. We started by testing different word combinations and concepts, thinking about ways in which they would accompany visuals for the desired effect.

Once we established a voice we felt represented the ideals and values of the Chamber Apprenticeships scheme, we began to craft phrases and marketing messages to communicate the service in the same style.

Getting the right look

Crafting the overall style and look was done in conjunction with developing the brand voice, ensuring complete consistency across the board. Our brand developers worked alongside our designers for this, experimenting with word and visual combinations to get everything just right.

The new logo was developed using the Chamber’s existing colour palette in a way that showed momentum, direction and choice.

Social media

The new Chamber Apprenticeships brand was launched alongside a social media campaign, using stylised messages across Facebook and Twitter to showcase the new brand and increase awareness of the available courses and the Chamber Apprenticeships service as a whole.

Developing the website

It’s important to establish how a new brand looks and feels before diving into the development of a new website. Because we understood and created the brand from the very start, it was easy to translate this over to a new website build.

Why you need to use dedicated landing pages

By | February 6th, 2016|Creative Resolutions, Insights|

Online advertisement that uses dedicated landing pages typically sees a conversion increase of at least 25%

– Omniture

Whether your campaign is capturing leads or direct downloads and sales, dedicated landing pages are a highly effective way of increasing conversion-rate (the number of successful actions performed by visitors).

Unfortunately, many businesses still neglect the use of dedicated landing pages, promoting a campaign solely on their main website instead. This is not the best way to maximise your conversion-rate. So in order to get the best results out of your marketing campaigns in 2016, you need to start using dedicated landing pages.

One page, one purpose

Landing pages are created for a single purpose, typically lead-generation, and consist of a single web page, where visitors ‘land’ on after clicking through from an ad banner or URL link. Because there is no navigation, engagement is focused rather than explorative, which means visitors are only tasked with one thing at a time and this makes conversion-rates much higher.

Capturing people’s attention is what captures leads

The key to why landing pages are so effective is their ability to capture people’s attention, which based on relevance and usefulness.

Because you are sending the user straight to a landing page, which consists of dedicated content, optimised marketing, and a simple way for customers to complete a purchase or signup, there’s very little reason for them to leave your page and look elsewhere for what they want.

Below is a visual breakdown of how a landing page is used to capture interest once the user is taken straight there (instead of the main website) via an online ad.

1. Engaging headline

With just a few seconds to capture the user’s attention, the landing page headline parallels that of the headline in the original ad to quickly establish relevance and leads with value to keep the user engaged.

 2. Main image

Imagery is used to support the headline. It also helps the user to connect with the promotion on a deeper level, as people are more receptive to visual communication than written text.

3. Main copy

Dedicated copy, rich with motivational language, is used to expand upon the initial lead-in and keep the reader engaged, all the whilst selling the promotion so that the user is prepped for conversion.

4. Call to action

The call to action (CTA) is where the user performs the desired action. This might be a sign-up, purchase, or download, and should involve nothing more than filling out a simple form or clicking a button. The CTA is really the whole point of having a landing page in the first place – making the process as clear and simple as possible.

Why you need a responsive email template

By | February 6th, 2016|Creative Resolutions, Insights|

Mobile email attributes up to 70% of email opens, depending on your target audience, product and email type.

– eMailmonday

With the number of smartphone users in the UK dominating other forms of internet browsing, as well as the growing number of users at home migrating from desktop to tablet, now is the time to ensure your marketing efforts are optimised for mobile, which includes email.

Email is still widely regarded as one of the most effective platforms for businesses to distribute content and market their products and services. So, it only makes perfect sense to optimise your mailer template to work across all mobile devices.

How mobile-optimisation can improve your email marketing performance

In the same way a non-responsive website renders differently on a mobile device, so does a non-responsive email template, sometimes failing to open altogether. This significantly reduces the number of people successfully reached, whilst negatively effecting your marketing spend, as each unsuccessful email is unlikely to generate any financial return.

Furthermore, unresponsive emails that fail to open or look clumsy on mobile devices will set a bad precedent for your company image, which can lead to once loyal subscribers unsubscribing from your communication efforts.

Make a good first impression

Be mindful of what you put in your ‘from’ label, subject line and pre-header text (this is the short summary line that follows the subject line when viewed in the inbox), as you only have limited space to get your point across and grab the attention of your readers.

Make it readable

With such a small amount of screen space available on mobile devices, it’s so important to make mobile-optimised emails as succinct as possible. Avoid long paragraphs in the text-body and place the most relevant information at the top. This will ensure the reason/meaning for your email is understood right away.

Buttons instead of hyperlinks

The mentality for mobile users is to ‘press’ rather than ‘click’, so if you want them to perform specific actions, use a button instead of a hyperlink. Make it easy to spot and clearly signposted to explain why users should press that button – “Tap here to get your free download”, for example – and leave plenty of space around it to prevent any mishaps.

Why you need to use email marketing

By | February 6th, 2016|Creative Resolutions, Insights|

74% of UK consumers prefer to receive commercial communications via email, with more than half going on to make a purchase.

– Econsultancy

Even today, in this age of social media and mobile communication, email is still the preferential and most highly rated marketing channel in terms of its effectiveness by both consumers and marketers.

Few things are more valuable to your marketing efforts than the data you have accumulated pertaining to both new and existing customers. And if you have yet to cultivate a mailing list, then now is the time to start building one.

How email marketing can improve your business

There’s a lot more to email marketing than pushing your latest products and services. Yes it’s an effective way of generating sales, but email marketing also has the capacity for long-term customer retention. It’s also great for brand awareness.

Providing regular high-quality content via email – content your clients can really use – is a surefire way of retaining that relationship, keeping your business fresh in their minds for when they require your services in the future. It also demonstrates customer value. And quality content that’s shared beyond your existing customer-base is likelier to extend your reach and generate new business.

Below is a visual representation of how the email marketing model works.

Why you need to cleanse your mailing list

By | February 6th, 2016|Creative Resolutions, Insights|

Cleansing your email list now and again will not only help make it easier to measure the success of email marketing campaigns, it will also reduce marketing spend and save your business money in the longterm.

So, with it being the start of new year, now would be the perfect time to go through your mailing list and make sure it’s in tip top shape for the rest of 2016. Here’s how:

Re-engage longstanding inactive contacts first

If you haven’t been through your mailing list in a while, there’s a good chance a fair number of contacts will have gone dormant over time. It’s likely that the majority of these contacts have simply tuned out to your regular send-outs, either because you weren’t offering relevant content, or because they’ve simply forgotten about you.

Your first job is sorting these contacts from those who are permanently inactive by re-engaging them with a targeted campaign. This will allow you to identify which contacts are still valuable to your business and which ones are not.

It’s important to know that any old, unused email addresses currently sitting on your list are potential spam traps; addresses that are used to identify organisations guilty of indiscriminately sending out emails for marketing purposes.

Stagger your re-engagement campaign send-outs to avoid triggering any multiple spam-traps in one go, other wise you risk damaging the reputation of your brand through spam association. You could also get blacklisted altogether.

Hard bounce vs soft bounce

Evaluate the different bounces you receive upon sending out your first few campaigns and note the differences between ‘hard bounces’ and ‘soft bounces’ – your email platform should be able to tell you which is which.

Create a suppression list

When you’ve identified email addresses you no longer want to include in future campaigns, place them in a suppression list instead of deleting them. This will prevent them from somehow reappearing in your master list, as can often be the case.

Consider double opt-in for future email signups, asking them to confirm their subscription to your communications, as customers often will sometimes agree to relieving emails without realising. This will likely reduce the number of contacts obtained, but the quality of leads captured will be significantly increased.

Why you need to re-evaluate and (maybe) refresh your brand

By | February 6th, 2016|Creative Resolutions, Insights|

A re-evaluation of your existing branding doesn’t mean you have to go ahead and change absolutely everything, let’s just get that out of way now. We’re not here to tell you that a new company name is needed for 2016, or that your website is outdated, oh no.

However, it is a good idea to use this time to take a good look at your brand identity as it stands, checking whether the current branding accurately represents your business as it is now; your marketing objectives, company values, and your customers. And whether it can continue to represent your business well into the rest of the year.

Then and now

If your business has experienced significant change, perhaps adding to, or streamlining your services, maybe even growth, then you want this reflected in the branding for all your customers and competitors to see.

A brand refresh, no matter how subtle, is an excellent way of demonstrating positive change within any organisation and shows signs of progression and success. This may involve changes to your website, developing new marketing messaging to align with new marketing objectives, or a subtle or dramatic adaptation of your company logo. Whatever you decide to implement, sometimes the simplest of changes are the most impactful.

More than skin deep

Do your employees and staff care as much about the success of the businesses as management do? This might sound like a strange question to ask in the context of things, but branding is so much more than just what’s on the surface. Branding extends to every facet of an organisation and this includes company culture.

When branding is present behind the scenes as much as it is on the outside, it helps to create a sense of solidarity and investment amongst everybody inside the organisation; working together towards the same goals, reinforcing the same values and company ethos. If this doesn’t sound like it’s the case within your organisation then a brand refresh could be what’s needed to get everybody onboard. It also helps promote consistent brand messaging across all forms of client-customer communication across all areas of your company’s infrastructure.

Revisit your company values

The place to start when thinking about a new brand is the ethos that your company is founded upon, otherwise known as your core values. These are principles for starting a business to begin with; whether you wanted to make a social or cultural impact, provide a service that was not offered elsewhere, or change the way things are done in your specific industry.

Why you need to develop a brand promise

By | January 24th, 2016|Creative Resolutions, Insights|

A brand promise isn’t just about assuring your customers, it’s about establishing your ideals and values, making sure everybody on board buys into the same concept.

– Craig Barker, Koobr

Developing a brand promise is something every business should consider, particularly when you’ve got specific selling points, pertaining to the quality of your service, that you would like to get across to your customers.

But more than that, it’s about pinning down your company values and ideals, and that’s what consumers really buy in to, and the same thing goes for invested staff and employees. So if you haven’t already crafted a brand promise, now is the perfect time to come up with one.

Connecting your purpose to the needs of your customers

The whole point of marketing is to establish a solid, unquestionable connection with customers who are in need of services, and a strong brand promise is a huge part of that.

It’s not a description of what your company does in a literal sense, it’s the reason for doing why you do what you do, conveyed in such a way for the customer to draw instant parallels with their own specific needs.

This not only helps assure customers that your services are right for them – essential, in fact – it demonstrates a synchronicity of values, which goes a very long way towards forming a longstanding and trusted relationship.

Some of our favourite brand promise examples…

Apple – “Think Different.”

Whilst IBM’s “Think” slogan was a testament to itself and their logical stance on all things technological, Apple’s sly alteration spoke to a whole generation of customers looking for something truly different than the same old corporate offerings in their IT products.


Coca-Cola – “To inspire moments of optimism and uplift.”

Without mention of the product itself – as if they even need to – Coca-Cola instead talk about their purpose in such a way that it resonates with the feelings, and the reasons, people typically have when reaching out for bottle of the world’s most famous fizzy drink.


Rackspace – “Fanatical support.”

Web hosting companies aren’t the most fascinating of industries to brag about, but the quality of their service and customer support is massively important to customers who require it. This is established as something Rackspace provide in their brand promise, emphasising the level of their commitment to ideological status.

Why you need quality digital content

By | January 1st, 2016|Creative Resolutions, Insights|

If your website is the shopwindow of your business, then content is all those things a shop needs to stay relevant on the high street; marketing, customer service, brand communication – everything.

– Lee Currie, Koobr

Fresh, interesting and insightful content is essential to your online presence. Unfortunately, many businesses neglect their content output because they either underestimate its importance and effectiveness, or they simply don’t have the time to create content that is good quality.

Putting content into context

The internet is no longer built for pragmatic users only and anybody can connect with your business online, regardless of whether they are an existing customer or not. What you effectively have, is a shop for people to come and visit, browse your offerings and check out your brand.

More than just a blog post, content is marketing. It’s customer service, brand communication – everything a customer expects when they engage with a professional business. It’s how you convey your personality and how you reflect the needs of your clients. Content is the digital voice of your entire organisation.

All content is performance-driven

Yes, some types of content are more directly focused on selling your products and service offerings, but all types of content have their place in improving the performance of your business online.

When you’re writing about your industry, it establishes your business as an authority and helps to foster trust. When you’re writing for your target demographic, it generates engagement, and delivering engaging content to clients on a regular basis demonstrates customer value. And let’s not forget that your outreach is amplified when content is shared across social media, such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. 

Oh yes, and when you upload fresh content to your website on a regular basis, it shows Google that you are maintaining a useful, relevant and active website, which will help towards improving your search engine rankings. So you see, content isn’t just good for business, it’s a Must for your online presence.

Be dynamic – Relevance is good, but only writing about your business, with a narrowed focus on your industry, isn’t going to please your readers all of the time. Broaden the topics of your content by thinking carefully about what else interests your target demographic.

Be personable – Professionalism is ever so important when building lasting relationships, but so is personality. How much ‘personality’ you inject into your writing will depend on the nature of your business, so find a tone of voice that matches your brand. Writing how you speak (so long as spelling and grammar is correct) is usually the best way of engaging people.

Be clear and concise – Break up lengthy bodies of text with headers and distill information into salient points for readability. People want information quickly, most probably because they’re browsing on the move or in the habit of consuming information in bite-sized portions, so format accordingly.

Be different – There’s a lot of businesses competing for the attention of your customers, so

Why you need to optimise your website for mobile

By | December 24th, 2015|Creative Resolutions, Insights|

Overall, smartphones are considered the preferential browsing device by internet users in the UK…

– media.ofcom

If your website is not optimised to work across mobile devices, you’re neglecting a significant proportion of users, resulting in far fewer people successfully connecting with your business online. Make 2016 the year you rectify this issue with a mobile-friendly website.

Mobile is (literally) getting bigger

Remember a time when mobile phones were getting smaller, when anything bigger than the size of a wallet was considered a cumbersome “brick”?

Nowadays, mobile phones are used very differently. The majority of mobile phone users in the UK own a smartphone with internet access, spending twice as long online on their phones than on desktop devices.

Changing customer engagement with your business

The exponential growth in mobile browsing has led to a dramatic change in the way people use the internet, specifically the way new and existing customers engage with your business online.

Whether your website is eCommerce or not, people will be viewing your website on a mobile device for any number of reasons; perhaps reading your blog, reviewing your service offerings, or finding out more about your company before getting in touch. If your current website is not optimised for mobile devices then mobile users are going to have a hard time doing any of these things.

Mobile optimisation is essential for ranking on Google

If your website is not optimised for mobile, it will no longer appear in the Google search results on a mobile device. And even if users did find their way on to your site, the likelihood is that content would not format properly and functionality would be hindered, making it difficult to navigate your site and access your services.

The update was introduced in April last year and Google says it’s their way of ensuring mobile users are only provided with useful, relevant websites. Without a mobile-optimised website, your business is missing out on a significant number of customers, no matter how relevant your current website is to their needs. In fact, Google say that not having a mobile-optimised website is like closing your business to new and existing customers for one extra day in the week.

How mobile-optimisation can improve  website performance

Better usability and functionality

Websites are interacted with differently on a mobile device than their desktop counterparts; swiping, pinching, and tapping to initiate actions. So it’s important to implement mobile-specific functions to improve usability. Content is also properly formatted, improving readability and making it easier for visitors to find what they need.

Quicker performance

Mobile-optimised websites are streamlined for quicker performance without compromising content and functionality. This prevents slowdown in load times which would otherwise deter mobile users.

Cohesive brand experience

When your website is optimised to work across devices other than just desktop, such as smartphones and tablets, it creates a better, more consistent brand experience for the user, fostering trust and reliability.

Biggest website trends you need to know in 2016

By | December 6th, 2015|Creative Resolutions, Insights|

Whether you are thinking about a new website, or making a few tweaks to the old one, it certainly helps to know what’s fresh in the longterm. We take a look at some of the biggest website trends in 2016.

Every year brings a new set of trends, especially in the ever-evolving world of tech and design. Whilst this can seem a bit of an imposition, it’s also a fantastic opportunity for businesses who want to freshen up their image and online marketing channel.

Your website is the epitome of both those things, so it definitely pays to keep ahead of the curve. Here’s a few of the biggest website trends across design and functionality you need to know in 2016.

Hero images are topping our ‘must haves’

Eye-catching imagery is kind of a big deal, it’s what users are drawn to when browsing on their desktops, smartphones, and tablets. Not just that, improved screen resolution across these devices has influenced the way we consume content to be more visual-centric.

Hero images sit at the top of your webpage and are the first – sometimes only – thing that people see when they first arrive. When used correctly, hero images can capture the attention of your customers and communicate your marketing messages far more quickly and effectively than a simple text header.

More businesses are starting to incorporate hero images across their websites, particularly on their homepage. Advances in bandwidth and data compression prevent slow load times for users, meaning more images of a higher quality are being used to full effect.

Hamburgers are back on the menu

Some people call it a slide menu, others refer to this three-lined navigation tool as a ‘drawer’ or a hamburger menu. Whatever you want to call it, this little button has received a moderate degree of criticism in the past for hiding off-screen features and being too nondescript in appearance.

However, popularity of the so-called hamburger menu has grown with website owners who are looking for a cleaner, less is more approach, which itself is a growing trend in contemporary website design.

In fact, widespread use of the hamburger menu has made this function more easily recognisable to users than initial concerns would have led you to believe. We’ve all become increasingly aware the functionality the hamburger menu offers through ubiquitous mobile apps and mobile-optimised webpages.

Responsiveness is essential

Speaking of mobile-optimised, responsiveness is not just a trend for 2016, it’s now essential. But many businesses have still yet to optimise their website to work across mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, which means they are neglecting a significant portion of their customer-base.

Last year’s Google update now means websites that are not responsive will not appear in the search results listings on a mobile device. And even if users did find their way on to your site, the likelihood is that content would not format properly and functionality would be hindered, making it difficult to navigate your site and access