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GDA Deaf Awareness video campaign interview

Another interview for my Epic Win talk at the Going for Growth networking event was with Gemma from Gloucestershire Deaf Association to find out why their Deaf Awareness video campaign was such a success.

Your organisation in 140 characters

Gloucestershire Deaf Association enables deaf and hard of hearing people to live independently, without fear, isolation or barriers. (that’s 132, well done!)

How did you come up with the idea

The idea of the videos was the brainchild of my colleagues James and Reg, both of who star in the videos. Reg is profoundly deaf and James is a fully qualified British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter so both have a very in-depth understanding of where deaf awareness is lacking. We were able to produce the videos thanks to some funding from a grant from the Lloyds TSB Foundation – the videos were the finale of the ‘Money Matters’ project that had been running over the last two years thanks to their funding.


What was the intended outcome and did you meet it?

The intention was to get the ball rolling for Gloucestershire to become the most deaf friendly county in Britain. Through the series of videos we hoped to reach as many businesses, groups, individuals as possible with simple and effective ways that could make them and their businesses more deaf friendly. Yes, I think we did, we certainly got the idea of deaf awareness out there thanks to the videos, social media and press coverage.

Was a series of videos better than just one?

I think so, each of the videos had the benefit of being short and concise meaning we could capture people’s attention much more. If we’d put the collection into one I don’t think we would have engaged as many people as we did. The series of videos meant we’ve been able to get across a number of simple messages rather than just one.

What channels (Twitter, Facebook, Email, word of mouth etc) did you promote the videos on? And which worked best?

The videos were uploaded onto Youtube and distributed mainly through Twitter. For us, Twitter offers a much wider audience. Our audience on Facebook is generally people GDA works with, so while it’s valuable they see these videos, given the objectives of the series it was important for us to use whatever means we could to reach a wider audience; local businesses, groups etc. Over the five weeks the five videos were viewed collectively 7,530 times, links to the videos were retweeted 719 times and we received 219 mentions specifically about the videos. Our highest viewed video was ‘Dave the Signer’, our first film which has been viewed over 3,840 times to date. Considering the average number of views for our videos is about 100 these figures are a huge success.

How important is humour in the videos?

We use humour a lot. We’ve found that our audience – mainly Deaf BSL users respond best to something that’s engaging and a little different from the videos that are normally thrusted at them. We get a much better response to the videos when we’ve incorporated Reg’s unique humour into them.

Have you seen an increase in website visitors, followers, likes?

We have yes, our YouTube subscribers have shot up from 11 to 68 at last count. Our Twitter and Facebook followers have both also increased and we’ve noticed a distinct increase in traffic: 24.51% more users while page views went up by 10.68%.

Any unintended consequences?

In response to the videos we’ve been able to make contact with a number of key figures including the Senior Equalities Manager for the NHS, Gloucestershire’s Police & Crime Commissioner as well as being invited to present deaf awareness to local groups.

Why use video over text?

Because video is so much more accessible to a Deaf BSL user. One of the misconceptions about a deaf person is that by writing something down you will break down the oral barrier – I myself used to believe this. However, for a Deaf BSL user, BSL is their first language, English is their second. In comparison to BSL, English is very complex – BSL doesn’t faff about with tenses or words like ‘the’ so to include those in text makes the message very inaccessible to a deaf person, getting these deaf awareness messages across on video meant we were being inclusive to our service users and leading by example.

What have you learnt from the campaign?

We’ve yet to have a full debrief session of the campaign, but personally I would perhaps consider releasing the videos closer to together, I don’t think we needed to have the week gap between each one. I think that way we may have caught people’s attention for longer and have continued the viewing figures of ‘Dave the Signer’ into the other videos.

What’s next?

What isn’t next!! As part of our overall campaign for Gloucestershire to become the most deaf friendly county we will be hosting a pre-election debate on the 16th April where Gloucester’s general election candidate will present their policies to our service users and who in turn, will have an opportunity to quiz them on matters that matter to them – if we can make local politics deaf aware we’re on the right road. We’re also going to be continuing to press for more local businesses to be more deaf aware by taking on board our simple tips and our next big campaign will be a campaign aimed at schools called ‘My Friend Dawn’. Using fun and interactive class room activities we want to make the younger generation more aware of how to be deaf friendly. All this is happening in the next three months so it’s a busy time at GDA!


Follow the GDA YouTube Channel, @glosdeaf on Twitter or find out more on their website

#MakeMyPersona Campaign interview

As part of my Epic Win talk at the Going for Growth networking event, I spoke with Lisa Toner from HubSpot on which marketing channels worked best for their MakeMyPersona Campaign.

Your organisation in 140 characters

HubSpot is an inbound marketing software company that provides valuable and educational content that helps marketers become more effective (that’s 138, close!)

How did you come up with the idea

Buyer personas is the first step in getting started with inbound marketing but it’s a step that many people skip in order to do more fun and sexy marketing activities. I wanted to try and remove some of the friction for marketers by making it quicker and easier to create their personas.

What was the intended outcome and did you meet it?

The goal of creating the persona tool was to generate new subscribers for HubSpot and then convert them into leads. We surpassed the goal we set within the first week.

What channels (Twitter, Facebook, Email, word of mouth etc) did you promote the videos on? And which worked best?

We promoted the tool via email, social, blog, guest posts, and communities like Out top sources of traffic to the tool were: Email (23%), Direct: 20%, HubSpot blog (18%), LinkedIn (13%), Referral (6%), Twitter (3.5%), Organic.

Have you seen an increase in website visitors, followers, likes?

Yes, we used an exit-intent pop-up which drove traffic back to the HubSpot site to a relevant landing page which has generated over 1,000 conversions on that page.

Any unintended consequences?

Our sales team told us that a lead using that tool was more valuable to them for having meaningful conversations than if the lead had requested a demo or trial.

What have you learnt from the campaign?

On the next round I would think about how to integrate it more tightly with our product and show that off a little more.

What’s next?

We are translating it into 3 languages; spanish, german and portuguese.


Go ahead and make your own persona at

Follow @hubspot on Twitter or find out more on their website

Help others to help yourself

The best way to build your social network and to win followers and advocates is to reach out to support others in whatever way you can. Do the talking for them and there’s a good chance they’ll reciprocate.

When you say positive things about other companies, you help to bolster their reputation and build up their brand. For example, re-tweeting or sharing what others in your network say, especially if you’re highlighting their unique skills or offering information about what distinguishes them from others in their particular market, is a good way to help promote their business. And, not only does it enable you to connect with the company you are promoting but this seemingly altruistic action will have lots of lovely benefits attached. In the process of promoting others you’ll be indirectly promoting yourself because the more you say nice things about others and highlight their accomplishments, the more they’ll love you for it and the more likely they’ll reciprocate.

So why does this happen? Well, think of it this way, if you go round telling everyone that you’re great at tennis, they’ll be inclined to think you’re bragging a bit and will likely want to see the proof before they believe you, (and even then they’ll think you’re a bit conceited). But, if one of your acquaintances, colleagues or buddies goes around telling everyone you’re great at tennis, they’ll more likely be believed, right? And you’ll be known as the guy or gal who’s great at tennis. So, any endorsement or approval of others that you offer will come across to third parties as more genuine than self-promotion, and the company in question will be eternally grateful.

I like to think of it as ‘credits in the bank’, very few people will walk away if you’ve helped to bolster their reputation, instead you’ll find that the majority of people will be only too pleased to help promote you in turn and form a mutually beneficial alliance. It’s a win win!

Discovering her Bounce an Interview with Nicky Marshall

While on a diving holiday Nicky suffered an accident that changed her life. I find out how she pieced her life back together. She also shares some advice on marketing including the power of 3!

Contact Nicky on TwitterFacebook or her website.

(We recorded the interview in Chiquito’s restaurant in Bristol and as such there is some background noise)

Being sociable on social media

Look it up in Wikipedia and the very first definition of Social media is the interaction among people in which they create, share or exchange information and ideas in virtual communities and networks.

Most of us know how to act when we are out socialising in the physical world, but with social media being such a new thing, relatively speaking, can we be sure that we’re engaging with people in a way that optimises exposure?

If we approach social media in the same way we might approach, say, going to a network event or even a party, we can’t go far wrong.

Engage with people – we wouldn’t stand at a party talking like an automaton would we? A few strange looks might ensue. No, we’d talk naturally, casually, explaining any technical details of our work to ensure people don’t glaze over or phase out with boredom. The same goes for social media – talk like you would to a real person (minus the Ums and Ahs) and you’re more likely to get real responses.

Be where the party is – Everyone who is anyone will be at that new Networking event in the city tonight, right? So, by the same token find out where the best people hang out online and join them, making sure you discuss topics you know they’ll be interested in.

Break the ice – At an event you don’t hang around waiting for someone to come and talk to you, you could be waiting a long time, instead you’ll get right in there, wont you? Be the first to comment on an interesting tweet, or share a blog post of your favourite company for a little bit of audience love.

Dare to be different – the one way to stand out at a party/networking event is to do something different. Wearing a DJ at a relaxed social event will get you noticed for sure. So, be creative to attract attention on social media. Innovative companies do new and exciting things and are not short of a follower or two, take a leaf.

Voice your opinion – say nothing at a networking event and people will quickly pass you by looking for a more interesting prospect, be opinionated and the crowds will flock to you. Need we say more?

From Cobol to Conferences an Interview with Joel Hughes

Joel’s worked on main frames, web programming, design and now run’s his own conferences – He’s a true Tinkerer. Ben finds out about his events, accessibility, Mac setup and some advice on running events amongst many other things.

Contact Joel on Twitter, Instagram or his website.

The ideal length for everything on the Internet

I’m often overwhelmed by yet another measurement of one social channel or another but this extract from a recent Buffer article caught my eye.

The ideal length of a blog post is 7 minutes, 1,600 words

When measuring the content that performs best on their site, Medium focuses not on clicks but on attention. How long do readers stick with an article?

In this sense, an ideal blog post would be one that people read. And Medium’s research on this front says that the ideal blog post is seven minutes long.”

Importantly they dicsuss about measuring attention or the time someone has spent on a particular page. Generally more time spent on a site or page is a good thing but on some pages you might not want people to linger so long, such as checkout pages, either way I find it a more human metric of what people find interesting rather than shares or clicks.

(As a follow on I also found this article on the Verge interesting about how many people may share an article but do they read it?)

Sadly our blog readers only reach an average of 1 and a half minutes, too short?

Follow @BenKinnaird on Twitter for marketing ideas, inspiration and other interesting things

Why is my website not #1 in search anymore?

Matt Cutts from Google explains why having a long established site on an old domain may not be enough to keep above new upstarts in Google search results.

His key points were:

  • Take a fresh look at your site.
  • Don’t coast on your number one position
  • Update your site regularly

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