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Interview: Dean Murphy Founder of Crystal Adblocker App

Dean is an app developer who Ben met when he was invited on to the delightful Mac & Forth podcast.

Ben was particularly interested in Dean’s app Crystal, an iOS ad blocker that in many ways it actively works against the companies in an industry adjacent to ours, advertising. Although we see ourselves as the good guys when it comes to promotion.

Ben finds out how Dean started in app development, identified his very specific niche and got his app out to market.

 

 

Image Credit: Founder Dean Murphy. Banner Image Credit: Girl Holding Crystal Ball courtesy of Pexel

Something Inventive 29: Bath Digital Festival Special – Part two

In this episode as well as giving you a round op of the days events we also feature an interview with Jim Morrison the festival director and ask him pointed questions such as ‘why are the workshops so far apart’.

Part one available here

If you have any feedback, ideas or topics you’d like covered on our podcast we’d love to hear from you. Please get in touch via our contact page, leave a voicemail on 0800 881 5805 or mention @RatherInventive on Twitter.

 

 

Listen on Apple Podcasts app

Something Inventive is an entertaining and lively podcast on creativity and the web. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts or search for ‘Something Inventive’ in your favourite podcast player.


Episode sponsored by our SEO report

Check out our laser focused SEO report. If you need to build up your traffic then this report is for you! Mention our podcast when your order and get 10% off.

Show notes

  • Bath Digital Festival 2018
  • Secrets Of Successful Calls-To-Action and Landing Pages
    • It’s about motivation – Convert action and urgency
    • Test. Test. Test.
    • Exit pop ups can bring in more clicks for email signup
    • (In their tests) video less effective on landing page when the offer is simple
      Gertie Goddard, Noisy Little Monkey
  • Revealing The Mysterious World Of Marketing Automation
    • Lead nurturing campaign: Early research -> CTA -> landing page -> Follow up emails
    • Lucid chart for high level flowcharting of user experience
      James Mulvaney, Noisy Little Monkey
  • The Psychology Of Sales Emails
    • Nurture people towards a close: Attract -> Convert -> Close
    • It’s all about them. Use the word you more than we/me and yse their name in the email subject line
    • Use video as part of proposal process
    • Use a PS, often people skip straight to this
      John Payne, Noisy Little Monkey
  • Evershare.io – Where Fans Can Buy A Share in a Song
  • Why Your Business Needs a Blog
    • Share the why (your story) in your blog. To help with this describe what you do to a friend or colleague then ask them to summarise it back to you. This is your story.
    • Give stories to customers so they can share them and convert others
    • People use Instagram because they are looking for images they can step into or a person they can be.
      Sal Godfrey, Sal’s Kitchen
  • The Tech is Not Enough
    • Bring the audience to you. Find out how to help them
    • Understand: who will face this challenge? Who do they trust for recommendations? How can I reach them?
    • Maximise content: what do you have already? What can you easily create? Video has 130% additional engagement. What else does your audience need? Create stock image library of product images or shareable content
    • Maximise engagement: look for a slow burn acceleration. Ask questions? Polls! What are there anxieties/fears/hopes? Pick the right tone of voice. Listening to customers and adding features that add value.
    • Make your tech shine. Move from spec (what is it made from) -> Features (what does it do) -> Benefits  (how does that help me) -> Value/Impact (why customer busy).
      Emily Perkins, OggaDoon
  • Bristol and Bath Cyber meet up
    • Company of the lovely chap Ben met at the bar www.showup.global
    • Shout out to these guys for an interesting event with free beer!
  • Successful CTA and Landing Pages
    • Simple, clear, targetted, bold
    • Dont be afraid to lose your site nav on landing pages
    • On exit popups were more effective than bottom-right panels
  • Designing for a better World
    • Draw up your own goals and aims, as an agency or freelancer
    • It’s ok to say no to a project but keep it professional
    • Its ok to work for an ‘evil’ company if you are trying to change them for the better
    • Check your pension and what it is funding!
  • Digital Brands__ready
    • 50% of purchases are on phones
    • Traditional shopping model totally altered by peer reviews and trust
    • 81% read reviews before buying a product. 1 in 3 comment or interact with brand in some way. 79% wont buy from again if mobile experience was bad
  • Lean Content – Jo Duncan
    • Simple, Single Channel, Straightforward content
    • Really, really put yourself in your customers shoes. Feel what they feel.
    • 80% planning / 20% doing
  • Why you need a blog
    • Write new posts once a week or 2 weeks ideally
    • Give people a story to talk about and to share
    • 300 – 1000 words perhaps
  • Bring a product to market
    • People want problems solved, but not get sold to
    • Who does your audience trust?
    • How-to’s, guides and manuals really important.
  • Equality in workplace discussion
    • Returnships – for people returning to work after career break – new concept
    • Offer fair paternity/maternity policies, dont get stuck in traditional policy
    • Home or flexi working opens up new potential workforce
  • Really interesting anecdote; when a successful male recruiter used his colleagues’ computer while she was on holiday it mistakenly added her email signature to his emails. He found that he got loads more negative responses from recruiters in particular.

The Hosts

Al Osmond (@inventiveal) – An unusual mix of logical thinker with a creative eye
Ben Kinnaird (@benkinnaird) – Knower of Social media, SEO and ‘the Web’

Be part of the show

Tweet a service or product you’d like to promote, mentioning @RatherInventive and the hashtag #podvert and we’ll read it out over the coming episodes.

If you like the show please give us a rating in iTunes and we’ll read out your comment. You can do this from the podcast player on Apple.

Thanks for listening!


Audio edited by Clare Harris – ‘Goofy Vocal Groove‘ intro music by Dave Girtsman–Image courtesy of Bath Digital Festival

Hey, looking for constructive feedback? Then SayHola

Happy people holding speech bubbles

How do you ask for feedback from your customers?

I don’t mean to sound negative but, these days, in this saturated business environment, only those businesses who listen to and act upon the feedback received from customers have any chance of succeeding. It is this feedback that gives one company the edge over another.

But how do you ask for feedback?

Look someone in the eye and ask them what they think of your service or product, and they are likely to say something along the lines of ‘wonderful, fabulous, best bacon roll I’ve ever tasted’ or something similar.

But are they being truthful?

No one likes to give negative or ‘constructive’ feedback directly. Many people are just too polite or too busy to criticise openly. Saying everything is ‘fine’ is easy, even if it’s untrue. I do it myself, all too often, and then kick myself for not giving that business the opportunity to grow and improve. If customers answer the same way – that everything is ‘great’ or ‘lovely’ every time, there’s nothing you can do with that. There’s no room for improvement.

You need to know that your coffee tastes weak or your web design is not up to scratch, otherwise you’ll start to lose business and you won’t know why. But more importantly, you need this feedback to convince new customers to buy from you. They don’t know you, your product or your reputation – why should they buy from you? A good review can explain why your product is the best and remove all doubt from a potential customer’s mind.

So, what can you do, as a business, to ensure that you get the feedback that really matters? You improve by asking the right questions, of the right people, at the right time.

Let me introduce SayHola, an independent review site that allows your customers to feed back to you. A SayHola review can tell you why customers decided to buy from you, how they use your product and most importantly, why they love it. By adding this to your website, you can improve conversion by showing you understand your customer’s needs.

Simply sign up with SayHola, send your customer a request to review with the link, which they click on to leave feedback about your business. Really, it couldn’t be simpler. It gets straight to their inbox, and they leave an honest review, and you can receive the feedback that really matters.

Here’s the process:

  1. You send your customer to SayHola and they click on the thumbs up or down to say if they are happy with your service.
  2. If they pick thumbs up, they are then presented with the opportunity to write a testimonial for you. If they select thumbs down, then we change the question slightly to ask how to improve the experience.
  3. After they submit their feedback an email will then be sent to you with the details of and rating of the review which you can choose to share publicly.
  4. If you also use Google My Business, Facebook or Twitter then your customer will be taken to another page to provide additional reviews on these services.

If you want the opportunity to ask for your customers’ views on your service or product, then sign up for a free trial of Sayhola.

Something Inventive 29: Bath Digital Festival Special – Part one

Al and Ben have been on location at the Bath Digital Festival, soaking up talks and workshops on everything to do with technology, marketing and business. We thought we’d do something fun for this episode and have to recorded our experience through-out the two days in video as well as audio.

We hope you like it. Part two available here

If you have any feedback, ideas or topics you’d like covered on our podcast we’d love to hear from you. Please get in touch via our contact page, leave a voicemail on 0800 881 5805 or mention @RatherInventive on Twitter.

 

 

Listen on Apple Podcasts app

Something Inventive is an entertaining and lively podcast on creativity and the web. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts or search for ‘Something Inventive’ in your favourite podcast player.


Episode sponsored by our SEO report

Check out our laser focused SEO report. If you need to build up your traffic then this report is for you! Mention our podcast when your order and get 10% off.

Show notes

  • Bath Digital Festival 2018
  • Janusz Stabik, Grow Your Digital Agency
    • Compete on knowledge not price.
    • Grow to sell even if you don’t sell it – Think franchise
    • Review your strategy (where we’re going and how we’re going to get there) every 90 days
  • New frontiers in digital creativity – Nick Ellis, Halo
    • Purpose is the why. Know this and you will deliver valuable insight
    • Blogs are ‘b****cks’ on the whole
    • Hear your audience, listen to your instinct
  • Jamie Ellul, Supple Studio
    • Just say yes!
    • Follow your passion and the paper (aka money) will follow!
  • Kate Gorringe,Mr B & Friends  7 golden rules:
    • 1. Be creative, not digital first.
    • 2. Stop colouring in wireframes.
    • 3. Blend real and virtual worlds.
    • 4. This rule was skipped over…
    • 5. Let your imagination run wild.
    • 6. Never forget your brand purpose.
    • 7 be a cynic.
  • Pedigree SelfieStix case study
  • Build a Computer Game – Charlie Coggans, Mayden Academy
    • Great fun building a HTML, CSS and Javascript game
  • Digital PR and SEO @stekenwright
    • Don’t forget about Bing (it helps answers Alexa queries)
    • Google looks for EAT in your site, and sites linking to you; Expertise, Authority and Trust
    • Good content can beat inbound links
  • Secrets of Social Media -Paul Wickers – Huggg
    • Look for the Human story, not just data journeys – and meet the real people
    • People remember how they feel more than other factors
    • For every success story, there are multiple failure stories
  • Swoon Gelato
    • Social media is extremely time-consuming
    • Peoples attention span dropped from 14 seconds in 2000 to 8 seconds in 2018
    • Try and turn a negative into a positive on social media
  • Lightning Talks
    • Talk to customers
    • People learn in different ways
    • Limit your time in fixing a tough problem to 2-3 hours (timeboxing)
  • Digital Creativity
    • Your brand is co-owned by you and your customer
    • Purpose before profit
    • Don’t just colour in wireframes to create your site design
  • Immersive Stories
    umm, there’s lots of clever people researching the future of AI right now

 

The Hosts

Al Osmond (@inventiveal) – An unusual mix of logical thinker with a creative eye
Ben Kinnaird (@benkinnaird) – Knower of Social media, SEO and ‘the Web’

Be part of the show

Tweet a service or product you’d like to promote, mentioning @RatherInventive and the hashtag #podvert and we’ll read it out over the coming episodes.

If you like the show please give us a rating in iTunes and we’ll read out your comment. You can do this from the podcast player on Apple.

Thanks for listening!


Audio edited by Clare Harris – ‘Goofy Vocal Groove‘ intro music by Dave Girtsman–Image courtesy of Bath Digital Festival

The stickiness factor – How video will help your SEO ranking

We have all been there, trying to get our site to be number one on the google search engine and have felt that no matter what we do, Google seems to move the goal post. However, there are many things you can do to make your site appeal to the search engine algorithms and to get your site up to speed with the ever-adapting requirements.

Google loves video content

I will let you into a little secret; ever since Google has owned YouTube there has been a significant increase in how video affects their search engine ranking. In fact, I would be bold enough to say that Google prefers a video to a 2000 word blog. Why? Because watching a video is easier than reading an essay. Don’t get me wrong, written words very much have their place and are an important part of getting your website to rank but it has been speculated that by having a video on your landing page you are 53% more likely to  be on the first page of Google, blogs that include a video are 57% more likely to be read and this is projected to grow, as technology and the digital era continues to develop to be 75% by 2020.

Search engines will always favor sites with quality and relevant content as it increases the amount of time that is spent on the site, reduces the bounce rate and increases the number of pages visited per session. This is often referred to as the ‘stickiness’ factor, the longer you can keep your customers engaging with your site the better Google will rank it.

A video can speak a million words

As the saying goes if a photograph can speak a thousand words, what can a 60-second video speak? 1.5 million words to be precise. In a matter of seconds you can convey a vast amount of information in such a short space of time. In this time you are able to build a rapport, integrity for your product and an honest connection. In a world where many of us find it hard to put down mobile phones, a video should be at the top of your marketing toolkit.

After Google, the second largest search engine on the internet is, in fact, Youtube with 1000’s of hours of content being uploaded daily, and 30 million viewers engaging a day. Why not tap into this network? Quality content will only draw traffic back to your website and help boost your SEO, which will help push you up the search engine rankings.

If it’s possible, you should also try to transcribe your videos, highlighting keywords which are relevant to your site. The Google algorithms can index this content which helps them to determine that video is relevant to your site which will also help boost your SEO ranking.

Finally, make sure you also share your videos on your social accounts, it’s easy to do and the more social signals you gather i.e. likes and shares will only help build your site’s reputation on Google.

 

Image courtesy of Pixabay

How to make your website visitors feel welcome

A recent visit to a hotel left me confused. I didn’t know whether I was in the right place – I couldn’t make out whether it was actually a hotel or a conference centre. There was no reception desk or concierge and there were few signs to direct me, so I made a swift exit.

In contrast, Husband and I stayed at a lovely hotel in Belgium. The reception was spacious, sophisticated, clearly signposted and the concierge was friendly and welcoming. They even offered us some coffee and Hors oeuvre upon arrival. We were impressed!

Why am I telling you this? Because your home page is the entranceway to all the wonderful things that your website is offering so it should be impressive. Don’t be that first hotel.

Your homepage is about more than just a few words and a few pictures. It has an important job to do. Just like the Belgian hotel, your homepage should be welcoming, with lovely décor (good design), clear signage and a friendly concierge (clear and welcoming copy) and clear directions to your room (the product or service you need).

So, what’s important to include in the homepage?

Your design

Grab their attention without being overbearing. Well-designed websites are no longer about standing out through busy design, bold colour and all-singing-and-dancing graphics. There’s no need for bells and whistles, that just confuses the eye and sends readers off in a panic.  To stand out these days you need to use the less-is-more approach, using design that it easy on the eye. By all means, express your creative side, but be subtle and delicate. You want a refreshing quality to your home page – some calming, soothing design with simple creative appeal.

Your brand

Like the grand desk of a 5-star concierge, the logo for your company should be represented clearly but not too overpowering. It should include a tagline that gets to the heart of your mission.

Your words

Ensure that you don’t put people off by overwhelming them with words (that’s what blogs are for) or being enigmatic with too little direction. Just like Goldilocks, your website homepage should be “just right” because you don’t have long to make a good impression and you’ve a lot of information to put across.

Your navigation

Page layout and navigability is crucial to the success of your site. And the home page is the signpost that gets readers to where they want to go, with ease. The main navigation area should be prominent – next to the main body of the page or directly underneath it, for example. And group similar navigation items together.

Your connection

Include links to your social media accounts on your homepage if you want to expand your web presence. Sharing icons to your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, at the footer of your homepage will allow your audience to share your site’s content easily.

 

Your website homepage is usually the first page customers come to when they click through to your site; it’s the first impression that you give to your readers. And they need to feel comfortable, be impressed and stay a while to browse. Create something that not only attracts visitors but settles them down for a nice cuppa and some Hors d’oeuvre, before they go to their room, (or browse your website with the intention to buy).

 

Image courtesy of Pixabay

Something Inventive 28: Fake it until you break it

In this episode Al and Ben talk about the emergence of deep fakes, which are video and audio fakes that are so good that they can used to put Nicholas cage in almost every film imaginable.

If you have any feedback, ideas or topics you’d like covered on our podcast we’d love to hear from you. Please get in touch via our contact page, leave a voicemail on 0800 881 5805 or mention @RatherInventive on Twitter.

Listen on Apple Podcasts app

Something Inventive is an entertaining and lively podcast on creativity and the web. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts or search for ‘Something Inventive’ in your favourite podcast player.


Episode sponsored by our SEO report

Check out our laser focused SEO report. If you need to build up your traffic then this report is for you! Mention our podcast when your order and get 10% off.

Show notes

 

The Hosts

Al Osmond (@inventiveal) – An unusual mix of logical thinker with a creative eye
Ben Kinnaird (@benkinnaird) – Knower of Social media, SEO and ‘the Web’

Be part of the show

Tweet a service or product you’d like to promote, mentioning @RatherInventive and the hashtag #podvert and we’ll read it out over the coming episodes.

If you like the show please give us a rating in iTunes and we’ll read out your comment. You can do this from the podcast player on Apple.

Thanks for listening!


Audio edited by Donalize – ‘Goofy Vocal Groove‘ intro music by Dave Girtsman–Image courtesy of Pexel.

Don’t stretch yourself too thin on social media – Do one and do it well

With so many social media platforms to choose from, it is easy to get carried away and take on more than you can chew. Before signing up to a new account, think about whether this is an effective way of engaging with your customers.

Rather than signing up for every social media platform possible, start by going – what Business Insider refers to as – platform native and just focus on one or two accounts. Think about what kind of presence you would like to have and the types of product or service you offer? What services most of your audience use? Whether your product is best represented as video, in photos, text, audio or a mix of all of these. Whatever you decide, try to limit yourself to 5 accounts as no full-time employee would ever have enough time to effectively manage more than this.

Remember, social media is a two-way street and should be used as a tool for engagement rather than a soapbox. By focusing your efforts it will allow you to have more time to build a relationship with your readers and develop your brand which will, in turn, create a more authentic network based on quality interaction rather than a quantity of disengagement. Otherwise, you can risk becoming annoying and just add to the stream of noise, which will only push away your potential customers. It is really important to try and engage your audience and to get them to respond and react to your content in some way.

Here are my tips on getting the most out of your social media accounts.

Plan your posts

First and foremost make sure you create a social media strategy and outline your tone of voice, how you would like your brand to be perceived and what kind of content you would like to post. Make a document, a simple excel spreadsheet which lists relevant links, shareable content which you can reference.

Be consistent

Post regularly to maintain the interest of your following but don’t spread yourself too thin. Remember quality over quantity. Research the optimum times of engagement for your particular audience to get the most out of your post. CoSchedule recently compiled their own data and compared them with 23 studies from other social media platforms to find the optimum time to post your content.

Be a professional

Don’t treat your business accounts like your personal account. What your friends and family might find interesting and be supportive of, may not be what your potential customer will find interesting.

Use images and video

Where you can include images and video as this will help catch your audience’s eye and help them digest the information more easily.

Build alliances

Build business alliances that complement your own business but are not a direct competitor. Engage and support each other’s posts to share networks and audience reach. You never know when you might need an ally.

At a certain point, once your account has got to a certain size you will encounter trolls. Don’t take it personally and don’t fall into the trap of entertaining them. Always handle them professionally and know when to respond publicly, when to let it go or to delete their comment (if you can).

Know when to switch off

Don’t fall into the trap of syncing your phone to your social media accounts as before you know it you will come 24/7 and taking work home with you is never healthy.

Educate and entertain

Don’t use your social media platform as a sales platform, capture your audience more creatively and provide useful insights, educational information or entertainment.

Here are some of our earlier blogs which might be able to help you:

Check your spelling

Grammar matters, so check and double check as a small typo can not only be embarrassing but can also cause a whole world of hurt. Have you ever left the L out of Public Service…. Well these days you simply have no excuse as there are free programmes out there like Grammarly which will make sure those cheek blushing moments don’t happen.

Analyse your impact

Create some realistic goals of what you would like to achieve through social media so you can evaluate and justify the amount of time and money you put into creating content. There are many free tools such as Hootsuite, Buffer, Sprout Social, Buzzsumo, Google Marketing Platform, Google Alerts and so on which can you help you. If your posts are not performing particularly well, evaluate them and work out whether you can improve them or is it time to call it quits.

 

Once you have established a good presence on one platform then consider whether you could replicate that on another platform. Remember, don’t spread yourself too thin, keep it simple and stay consistent.

 

Image Credit: Group of people, dressed in black, in stretching stances Courtesy of Pexels

SEO Affiliate Domination interview with Greg Jeffries

Ben has always been fascinated by the seemly unending ways people can make money from the simplest things, and affiliate marketing is one of them.

So in this interview he spoke with Greg Jeffries who has a ton of experience in this area and shares some of the ways he uses SEO to generate income.

 

 

Image Credit: Headshot image courtesy of Greg Jeffries and Idyllic Beach and Boat scene by Pexels

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