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Colour is a powerful communication tool and can signal action, influence consumer behaviour, mood and mental reactions. For example, did you know specific colours are associated with increased blood pressure and induce anxiety?

How does colour psychology play into your social media performance and marketing strategy?

One thing to keep in mind, users tend to revert to the online world to pursue an informal retreat from reality. Although their goals and preferences may vary, they tend to opt for channels that are not cluttered and speak to them personally which in turn also affects their buying decision process.

That being said, we at Crowd have noticed an ongoing trend among top brands today.

For instance, take a look at Pottery Barn MenaLego, and Namshi. Even though there is a lot of action on all three Instagram pages, the colours selected are used to give off a calming, minimalist, and energetic feeling. It would not have been possible to evoke these emotions if the colours used were not carefully chosen. White, beige, and a wide range of pastel colours are carefully paired with powerful and influential colours like yellow, red, and blue which in turn are one of the main factors influencing the success of their brands online.

One easy way to put this theory to the test is for you to visit your favourite Instagram feed; you’ll notice colour compatible look or a similar feel. After conducting marketing research, we learned that up to 90% of the first impressions are based on colour.

Let’s talk about colours and how they impact your brand identity to transform a potential customer into adopting a habitual buying behaviour.

 

colour-psychology

 

Black, for example, makes your brand look powerful, whereas Blue brings a more pleasant and calming feeling to your brand. However, yellow is a great way to attract attention while also being cheerful, and the colour red sends out a bold message that can place you at the top of the food chain in terms of confidence, leadership, and power.

When you consider how different colours affect us, you can curate your Instagram feed to meet your desired effects. Our decision to purchase something has more to do with how it looks than we may realise, especially when we try it out for the first time.

We all encounter and interact with the world through colour, and it has an even more significant impact on our consumption of that world. Your brand’s colours help to communicate the moods and emotions that define it. For example, a company that sells sugary candy should avoid using yellow and green on their packaging instead of red, the colour associated with sweetness.

At Crowd, we strategically curate our client’s feeds to consider all the social factors we believe will impact the consumer’s purchasing behaviour and perception of the brand.

As part of our marketing plan, one of our initial steps is to identify our target audience and pinpoint their likes and dislikes. This way, we can gather the upper hand in presenting online users with content that captures their attention. Colour, tone of voice, topics, and imagery are all factors we believe influence how we assist our clients in expressing themselves successfully online.

It’s all about trying out what works for you and your brand. By taking the time to understand what colours your audience will respond to, you will be able to create a compelling and powerful feel that goes beyond just being aesthetically pleasing, for example, making your brand look strong.

Crowd’s international team of creatives have a deep understanding of colour psychology and use it to develop brands that create the right impression for new and existing businesses alike. Why not get in touch to see how we can help you?

 

Crowd have recently launched a new digital platform for our clients GigRealm.

The way live music events are managed is outdated and relies on a lot of word of mouth and manual management meaning that it can be difficult for new artists to get gigs and payments can be late.

GigRealm is a unique platform that exists to support both artists and those organising gigs. Artists can showcase their work and those organising one-off events like weddings or multiple events (such as pubs and clubs) find the artists to play.

It is a well thought through idea that makes event management simpler and easier with the automation of gig contracts and the streamlining of post-event invoicing and payments for artists.

With Crowd building GigRealm’s platform to pair artists with venues, we were briefed in 2020 to further the business model and expand the focus to include corporate entities. This includes venues owned as part of a chain. Once developed, this increased the audience and the market potential of the site.

To allow chains to get involved with the venues, an approval system was created, starting with tier 1 – head office, tier 2 – regional managers and finally tier 3 – the venues themselves. This system creates a reliable workflow for everyone involved.

Additionally, a custom hosted bank mandate form was created to allow seamless payments by BACS, as well as card, directly from the website via Stripe. Automatic weekly invoicing was also included to allow corporate finance departments to view consolidated payments in one PDF generated invoice which they can then always refer back to.

We have not found any other platforms which encompass both a fully integrated payments system, used by the venues to pay artists and the logic required for our client.

This original business concept required an immense level of unique coding for our web development team. It resulted in some of the most advanced integrations they have tackled yet, into a multitude of third-party APIs and systems.

With GigRealm launched and already in use by artists and venues, we’re certain that many successful events will be held thanks to the system and undiscovered artists may find themselves on the road to stardom!

If you need help turning your big idea into reality, get in touch!

 

Online events have enjoyed a massive increase in popularity over the past two years, as a consequence of international covid-19 lockdowns and restrictions on international travel.

Many big brands, individuals, artists and performers all tried hosting online events, in a bid to help keep their industries alive and keep us connected to the world outside of our homes.

As the world returns to normal, the benefits of holding online events have been retained, but there is still the need for people to get together – hence the hybrid event format which maximises the number of people you can reach with your event.

Add a solid data collection strategy and business leads are there for you to work for months!

Read more about the benefits of hybrid events in part one of this article.

Currently, 34% of event organisers expect to invest more in hybrid events in the next few years and Crowd are ahead of the curve.

Introducing hybrid events

Hybrid events are events that use a combination of offline and online platforms, with both elements of in-person and digital techniques. The mix of the two means it can be adapted for the audience and the company for an optimal experience.

Being described as ‘a physical meeting in which an online audience also participates’ both the physical as well as the online audience can come together and participate in the same experience or content. The audience can partake from different locations – their own home for example, at the same time as the natural flow of watching an in-person meeting rather than hosts talking individually on zoom calls.

So how can a company make the best of both worlds?

To host a hybrid event, start with activities such as interviews, panel discussions and tours whilst recording it all. Link the recordings to an online digital event for ticket holders to join and on this platform, from the comfort of their own home, they can gain access to the content of all the activities filmed. This is a great way to collect data from potential leads.

These uploaded videos can be created both offline and online. Having this exclusive video content will encourage the people at the event to also visit online. Filming and recording your event also means you can repurpose and reshare digital content for future use.

As well as pre-recorded videos, live streaming the events is also very effective and it doesn’t have to be difficult to do. Create a professional set-up with good quality cameras and mics for effective footage that keeps the audience engaged.

Once your live stream is set up, consider simulcasting. Simulcasting is when you simultaneously broadcast onto various platforms, such as Twitch, YouTube, Facebook, or with Crowd’s online events platform, GoDigitalExpo. This is exactly what Crowd has recently done for Trina Solar.

Overall, hybrid events are part of the future and are here to stay. They are the best of both worlds and have something that will work for everyone. With their proof of engagements, audience reach and environmental benefits over normal events, hybrid events will grow in popularity.

Why not speak to us to find out how to take your event to the next level.

Getting into the creative flow can be magical. You get lost in your work, forgetting all sense of time. Whether brainstorming ideas or writing content, it’s great to visit that space. The one where your creative juices flow.

But getting started can be challenging.

Creatives dread the silent room or the blank page. The part where you can’t seem to write anything down or think of an idea. And when you do, it’s just gibberish. The infamous writer’s block, as people call it – or the creative block. It’s that place where no creative wants to find themselves. But when we break down the creative process, we can find that writer’s block – in itself – is a myth.

The world requires those that generate ideas to do so consistently, keeping businesses alive and evolving. Copywriters show up each day to write new and compelling content for their clients without fail. Creative Directors come up with leading propositions and big ideas at the drop of the hat. Which makes us wonder – how?

The answer is pretty simple. It’s perseverance.

As Cambridge Dictionary’s 2021 Word Of The Year, perseverance is defined as a “continued effort to do or achieve something, even when this is difficult or takes a long time.”

So persevere through the silence.

Since the beginning of time, we’ve been storytellers. From cave paintings to myths and legends, passed down from generation to generation. We’re raised to follow the hero’s journey of recognising his or her faults, going through a catharsis and coming out better on the other side.

As humans, we’re trained to seek elements that make up a compelling narrative. In the modern-day, stories are everywhere we look. It’s in every genre of book, every Netflix show and every extensive Facebook post. Deep down, we’re all experts on what makes a good story.

Because of this, we’re able to transfer this inherent knowledge to brand storytelling and corporate writing.

If you were to take creative writing classes, you’d be encouraged to let your thoughts run free and to write whatever comes to mind. Apply this same teaching to painting, or brainstorming. It may be a waffling mess, and it might not all be good. We’re guaranteed that most of what we generate initially will be bad – almost every time.

But just like any learning experience, as we progress and keep at it, we become better. Being a creative person requires practice at the craft every day. Use it or lose it. Whether we’re aiming to improve on a particular tone of voice or chasing down a thought that we think has the potential to be ground breaking, it needs to be practised to be perfected.

And so we need to keep thinking. Talking. Writing.

But as with anything, it doesn’t stay that simple.

The blank page might be a myth, but that doesn’t stop it from intimidating us. Tapping into our creative space can be daunting, and a lonely activity. But it can also be collaborative. A great example is bouncing ideas off others. Sometimes all it takes is a different perspective – a fresh view on the topic – where a single word or phrase uttered sparks an idea.

And so we run with it.

They say there is no such thing as an original idea; we’re all influenced by something. But take two unoriginal ideas and bring them together – and you might have something magical.

Two of the South Coast’s leading agencies; specialist social media agency South Coast Social and podcast agency Podcast Labs, have joined forces to create “The Ultimate Podcast & Social Media Package”, allowing businesses to benefit from a huge combination of marketing services from experts within both fields.

Designed to offer companies a money-saving bumper deal covering a wide range of content over a 4-month campaign period, businesses will receive a 10-episode podcast series plus full social media management to grow a loyal online audience, generate leads and build a reputation as experts in their field. This is the ultimate package for any new brand or business personality to rapidly be ‘seen and heard’, and create a name for themselves, or for existing businesses simply looking to boost their profile extensively and reach new audiences.

Including full strategy planning, a uniquely designed podcast series and all social media requirements being looked after throughout the journey, this is a marketing package that can propel any business to the next level of online presence during a time where digital content marketing is becoming even more integral to business needs by the day.

South Coast Social, a social media agency based in Bournemouth, have an impeccable reputation for social media marketing, service and innovation and pride itself on helping brands develop an effective and successful online presence. Managing Director Clare Groombridge says;

“These difficult recent times have highlighted the vital need for businesses to ensure they have a strong online presence, so I’m thrilled the team at South Coast Social have partnered with Podcast Labs to offer this innovative new package – designed to bring together the combined knowledge and expertise of our two specialist agencies. Whatever your sector or niche, we can help bring your business to life and showcase your voice through a unique marketing campaign that ensures you hit your target audience directly with your brand messaging”

Podcast Labs are a first-class, full-service podcast production and marketing agency, also based in Bournemouth. Kelly Butler, Podcast Labs Agency Director says;

“This unique package allows brands to break into the booming audio space, revitalise their content marketing strategy and build new audiences. This collaboration between Podcast Labs and South Coast Social is the ultimate new business and lead generation tool.”

To find out more about how The Ultimate Podcast & Social Media Package can help your business in 2021, visit: www.socialpodcast.co.uk

Crowd Commit To The Climate Pledge

Crowd are working towards halving our carbon emissions by 2022, to being a zero carbon emission business by 2025. Joining thousands of other businesses, we have committed to the pledge with SME Climate hub.

Like other businesses taking the pledge, we need to consider many aspects of our business and how we can improve, and using the tools and resources on the SME website will help us.

We have started by measuring our emissions, developing a climate strategy, reducing our own emissions and the emissions in our value chain.

What is Net Zero?

Net Zero means that you are putting no more carbon into the atmosphere than you are taking out of it, so we will need to consider our workspaces, our travel, communications and technical infrastructure and see how we can improve.

Becoming A B Corp

In addition, Crowd are continuing with our B Corp application as part of our ongoing work to become a sustainable company. As part of that process, we have looked carefully at the way we work, our partners and service providers and who we work with.

Working in a sustainable way is important for the health of the planet and our international team as a whole, so making this commitment will ensure a happy and productive working atmosphere for Crowd’s team both existing and new.

A New Engagement With Retail Giants – Sedar Global

With the world gradually returning to normalcy and businesses flourishing, Crowd is eager to announce its new business venture with Sedar Global for the next three years.

Who is Sedar Global, and how are Crowd helping them?

Sedar Global is currently present in ten countries, with 22 outlets in the Middle East, offering the region the highest quality, long-lasting, and fashionable home solutions. Sedar Global’s product range varies from curtains and foldable doors to designer pillows and wallpapers, making them a one-stop-shop for innovative and chic decor for more than 125 years.

Their mission is simple; providing customers with a clear, consistent, and high-quality end-to-end immersive retail experience that will leave them feeling at ease and taken care of.

With Sedar Global undergoing a brand transformation earlier in 2020, challenges became apparent with communicating their new brand offering that would connect and resonate with new audience segments. Crowd were brought on to conduct a deep social media competitor audit to better understand the landscape and market. We then gathered these learnings and insights to redefine a tailored social strategy that would amplify Sedar Global’s core values and reposition them as the region’s leading trendy home decor retailer across the GCC.

Our love of all things digital and the latest trends has allowed us to collaborate closely to build a whole new approach for their social media and spread the word through organic posts and paid campaigns with newly designed and colourful content.

Crowd will also be managing all of Sedar Global’s paid social campaigns, helping drive brand awareness, increase site traffic, online conversions and store footfall.

We are eager about what the future holds and how this partnership will grow.

Crowd Relaunches Luxury Shopify Store For Longmire

Crowd have recently relaunched a new Shopify store for a luxury brand.

Longmire is an independent, high-end British jeweller specialising exclusively in cufflinks of exceptional quality and timeless style. The brand began in 1979 when Paul Longmire was wandering through St. James in London and discovered a cufflink in a shop window. He fell in love with the cufflink so much that he decided to buy the shop and reopened it under his own name. The rest as they say is history.

Like many businesses that have had to adjust through the pandemic, Longmire realised the importance of digital marketing, and the potential of reaching a global audience. Crowd was briefed to redesign and launch its new e-commerce website built in Shopify, and develop a creative proposition to help boost awareness and sales at home and abroad.

The key inspiration behind our creative approach was to position Longmire cufflinks as highly collectable items, on par with fine art, antiques and wine. Crowd also added the word ‘London’ to Longmire’s logo to emphasise the brand’s rich heritage to a global market eager to buy into authentic British brands.

To showcase Longmire’s exquisite cufflinks and collectability, Crowd wrote and produced a brand video. High level photography and videography displayed each item at its very best, and will form the basis of a cut-through social media campaign to ensure Longmire’s legacy continues into the 21st century.

If you’d like to speak to us about giving your online business a boost, get in touch.

An effective social media strategy with regular activity can let you build awareness for your brand and reach new audiences that you are unlikely to touch through other forms of advertising. It can also help you to build strong relationships with your customer base, developing loyalty and promoting a strong brand image. Especially in the current climate, businesses are discovering the strong results which follow from a strategic social media presence: more sales, more new and returning customers, better return on investment and more awareness for their brand, resulting in stronger growth.

Social media is not only a strong marketing tool in itself, it also supports and assists other marketing activities and will help you achieve broader results. Here are five ways that social media can support and promote other marketing efforts;

1. Public Relations

PR will give you external news articles which can be shared across your social media channels, effectively increasing your brand’s credibility. Social networking enables instant sharing of information and can be easily picked up and posted by other bloggers and online journalists. This offers you wider coverage of your news and ensures it reaches a larger audience. You can also help nurture your business relationships by tagging the sources in your content.

2. Customer Service

Customer service can be enhanced with a click of a button through social media. Nowadays, customers tend to enquire about products and services through DM (Direct Messaging) and comments on posts. Social Media gives you the ability to reach your customers 24/7 and offer first-class customer service in the palm of your hand. Make sure you’re fully up to date with settings on all of your social media platforms so that it’s easy for your customers to get hold of you, for example, set up ‘auto messaging’ where your customers will automatically be prompted with an acknowledgement message if they contact you out of office hours.

3. Case Studies

Highlight your key stats by sharing some example Case Studies. One way of doing this would be to share a link to a case study and tag the customer in the post. The trick here is to post your case studies in a way that attracts the right people to click through, rather than just a generic message. LinkedIn is a great platform for getting your case studies noticed by fellow businesses. Add your case studies to your list of publications and/or share them in relevant LinkedIn Groups.

4. Pay-per-click

Successful PPC marketers know that testing is key, so bring that concept over to your social media. For example, use Facebook Audience Insights to get a better handle of your best-performing demographics and share some of your results.

5. Events and Sponsorships

Attending and sponsoring events are a great way to network with other businesses and will allow you to discuss your services face to face with potential suitors. Many of these are being moved online to ‘virtual networking events’ but can still give you the chance to connect with your new contacts via social media. Connect with each other on LinkedIn and post lots of Instagram stories throughout your event.

In order to get the most out of your social media, you need to make sure that your social media plays the right role in your overall marketing plan and spend your time and energy in ensuring your social media management backs this up. If you don’t have the time to do this in house, then hiring a social media agency can take care of the whole process for you.

Local agency Crowd have been featured on the UK Creative Industries Council’s ‘Ones to Watch’ list! This is a list of the top 100 companies which are selected through a rigorous application process to be part of the annual showcase of innovative, UK-based, companies. CIC’s CreaTech web portal is to exhibit B2B and B2C businesses that show innovation and creativity.

To make it to the list, your idea and company must impress the panel of industry judges on; Surprise, Purpose, Disruption, Opportunity for global collaboration/cross-sectoral impact and Commercial impact. Crowd are one of the 9 selected established businesses. 

Their new online conference platform, GoDigital Expo, has made the cut. Due to the national lockdown, many businesses had to quickly adapt, changing how they originally led their face to face meetings. Experience and technical knowledge of virtual events was instantly needed in order for businesses to survive. Along came GoDigital Expo!

As an ambassador for UK creativity, being seen as a CIC CreaTech One to Watch 2021 provides Crowd with greater authority as a global spokesperson for the UK. The award would not only boost their own potential to secure new business, but would help open the door for other UK agencies looking to export their creativity.

Running an online event can pose challenges, but with the right planning and tools, online events can increase your ROI without compromising on user experience.

As the current global pandemic began in early 2020, in-person meetings, shows and presentations pivoted to virtual events. And despite vaccinations around the world increasingly bringing us back ‘normality’, virtual events seem here to stay. Indeed, online events appear to be the emerging event model. Online events present challenges, but after more than a year of organising and attending virtual events, we have found great advantages to the virtual model and fine-tuned the keys to successful online event organising.

The challenges of running online events

Before discussing the keys to successful online events, there are few challenges that need to be acknowledged. The first of these are the technical difficulties that can arise due to a dispersed audience outside the organiser’s technical control. A survey conducted by Eventify showed nearly 40% of all organisers felt recurrently apprehensive about technical malfunctions. In addition, there is also the risk of breached security and being hacked.

Another area where online events can often fall short in comparison to traditional ones is attendee engagement, especially during single presenter events. Moreover, if people are attending a virtual event from the other side of the screen, their attention might be diverted by childcare, housework or visitors. This aspect can, therefore, be challenging for event hosts trying to keep their audience focused and interactive. Organisers need to consider their audience’s attention spans while planning. The content needs to be designed to accommodate the natural attention span and movement needs of most people. This is an aspect which needs to be thought about on both micro and macro levels, as it involves everyone: the hosts, sponsors and exhibitors.

Lastly, online events mean decreased personal contact and a potential barrier to human interaction. It has been proven multiple times, face to face communication is the best mode to effectively interact with other people. Many nuances can only be gleaned from a facial expression or body language.

Why take your event online?

However, there are several ways in which virtual events have overcome these challenges and become future-proof solutions for events. A recent survey conducted by Eventify again showed that, because of the ease and increased accessibility of virtual events, they register much higher attendance levels, up to 29%, compared to in-person ones. The reasons behind this are easily comprehensible— participants can sign up to events from anywhere even if the event is taking place in a different time zone or continent. This aspect removes all geographical barriers, making the distance between people irrelevant.

Similarly, networking and talent recruitment on an international level becomes easy on a virtual event: global recruiters can reach out to talents, experts or graduates coming from all over the world by just creating a meeting link. Moreover, the live chat options and tag-based interactions available on online platforms, peer-to-peer networking opportunities are more accessible.

Digital events offer greater flexibility for attendees, indeed, participants can attend one live session, and watch all the recorded others happening simultaneously later on as convenient. As physical presence is no longer a requirement, this new kind of event reduces risk and increases comfort. Attendees can join in safely and comfortably from their homes.

Virtual events present economic and time benefits as well. First, they are more cost-effective for both hosts and participants. Costs such as venue charges, on-location staff payments, travel and accommodation expenses, normally associated with a physical event are all avoided. In a nutshell, virtual events require lower per-event costs, while delivering a much higher ROI. And second, since the events take place digitally, shorter time investments are required for marketing and promotional purposes. Registration and virtual check-ins are much quicker than onsite procedures.

How to run a successful online event

With the new process of registering all the attendees online, organisers have all the data and facts to make informed decisions and adjust their event strategies accordingly, based on the attendee analytics, trends and preferences. Indeed, online software and tools make tracking participants’ wants, sentiments and activities possible, allowing the organisers to personalise more and more the experiences for every participant. This safe method to satisfy attendees is key to marketing, indeed as they will see their desires realised and wishes satisfied, they will surely remember the organisers’ name. Getting analytics of an offline event is surely possible, however an online setting and browser based tools make it far more feasible and viable.

Online events certainly require new skills and creativity, but they offer unprecedented potential to reach a large number and diversity of people. The most successful online events are able to make use of this reach by prioritising the audience experience. Treating online participants as in real life, ensuring that they experience a high quality of the event and have the same networking and learning opportunities as in offline events are the keys to success.

Online events can present technological challenges and engagement obstacles, however, attention to detail and proper planning can make an online event as efficient and memorable as a traditional one, while saving money and time. Therefore, adopting a versatile online event management strategy and platform such as godigitalexpo.com can ensure that organisers can satisfy thousands of attendees without compromising on participation, quality and engagement.

What do search engines want?

The easiest way to approach search engine optimisation (SEO) is by treating search engines like a store and your website is a product. They want to make their store attractive by offering good products. If your product (website) is better than your competitors, then they will put it closer to the front of their store or to stretch the analogy further in the window or the front page.

At the end of the day, search engines are businesses. By providing results that their users will find valuable, their users have a good experience and will come back again in the future. When they come back, they will see more adverts and search engines will profit from those repeat visits.

What is valuable content?

Valuable content is basically any content that people want to find. We should just pause and reiterate: it must be relevant to your business. By using content as a lure on search engines (and social networks), it must talk about what your company offers in terms of goods or services. Otherwise, your visitors will just bounce off having found out what they wanted to know.

Good content should attract visitors and excite them enough to engage further. This is the subject of a white-paper in itself. We can establish the potential popularity of a piece of content by looking at search volume data which is mainly made available for the use of paid advertising to justify higher rates for popular searches (and larger ad impressions).

You can use Google Trends to find popular search trends at the moment as well as general data on the popularity of search terms. Tools like this are used to establish keywords that may be valuable in developing content that is popular, but at the same time it shouldn’t be used to write content that isn’t relevant to your business.

We wouldn’t recommend a real estate company start writing about Taylor Swift, but we might recommend the content focus be skewed slightly to take advantage of relatively higher volumes. For example, a real estate company with properties near Dubai, can take advantage of higher Dubai based property searches by writing about the benefits of being near Dubai without actually being in it: lower costs, more space, great commuting etc.

The real estate company educates its readers and latches on to higher traffic sources without misleading searchers or search engines.

It’s a popularity contest

“Google only loves you when everyone else loves you first.” Wendy Piersall

One of the ironies of search engine marketing is that the more popular a piece of content is, the higher it will rank. But how do we make our content popular from page 2 of the search results?

We use all the other channels to drive traffic including Social Media, PR, Backlinks and Paid Advertising.

If your article, product or website is generating a lot of buzz, the search engine will assume that the content is useful or interesting to many people and will boost your rank accordingly.

Likewise, if content is talked about on other respected sites such as news outlets or Wikipedia, then it assumes the content is notable enough to warrant a boost in position.

These tactics help boost domain authority or in other words boost your credibility as a trusted and noteworthy source of information. If Wikipedia (which uses real people to review content) is happy to feature you, then you must be OK!


In Part 2, we’ll look at technical SEO and how making it easy for search engines to understand your site is a key technique to learn.

 

If you’d like to discuss your optimisation challenges, then get in touch!