What to Expect In Digital Marketing As An Apprentice

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This guest blog comes from our Business Analyst Joe Penrice. Joe has recently completed his Level 4 Apprenticeship after starting as a Digital Marketing apprentice. 

Whether you have just come out of sixth form or you are at a stage where you are unsure what’s next, apprenticeships could be the best option. With apprenticeship popularity continuing to grow, it is important to know whether digital marketing is right for you.

First Digital Media strive to provide a strong platform where apprentices can thrive. With our guidance, apprentices are smoothly integrated into the digital marketing industry.

How Popular Are Apprenticeships?

In 2017/18, the number of people participating in apprenticeships had dropped by 94,000 people from 2016/17. With less than 900,000 apprentices in total in England, it can be easy to assume this isn’t the right option for you.

Despite this, 64% of teens being surveyed said they would be “very” or “fairly interested” in beginning an apprenticeship. With the common alternative being University and completing a degree, there are several reasons apprenticeships should be your first choice. Providing you with income from a young age and not leaving you with student debt, an apprenticeship can get you into the same job role and industry as someone who has just left university. The difference being, you can do this at a much younger age.

This also gives you experience in the industry, allowing you to push on or seek other business opportunities. This makes it surprising that there has been a drop in apprenticeships over the past two years. However, this could be due to 74% of 18-21 year olds saying they received poor information regarding apprenticeships. Hence, fewer people are receiving the option and benefits of being an apprentice and finding the right career path from a young age.

The Digital Marketing Industry

In the United States and Britain, spending on digital marketing grew by 44% from 2017 to 2018. According to Statista, spend on digital and online advertising in the UK in 2019 has already eclipsed figures from 2018. Not only does this demonstrate the success of digital marketing but how this industry can be perfect for new apprentices.

As I also started as an apprentice, I know this is a fantastic platform for young people to become involved in. There are several aspects of digital marketing that are included within marketing apprenticeships and your role at a marketing company:

  • Content Development
  • Google Ads
  • Google Analytics
  • Social Media
  • Technical SEO
  • Video Marketing
  • Web Development

Due to the huge range of tools used throughout digital marketing, this is an apprenticeship that only expands your future options. Many worries about apprenticeships stem from having the understanding and qualification for just one job role. However, this is not something I have encountered during my journey in digital marketing, as my knowledge and skill set has continued to develop.

Become A Digital Marketer

Digital marketing is very much a learning curve for each and every staff member. As an apprentice, you have the ability to experiment with many elements of marketing whilst constantly learning from your peers on the job. Whilst I believe pushing apprenticeships should be prioritised across every industry, marketing does offer a unique opportunity for young people.

Completing a university course may seem like the best option but it isn’t the only avenue you should explore. After completing a Level 3 marketing apprenticeship, I have quickly progressed onto a Level 4 at just 18 years old. As the equivalent of a foundation degree, this shows university isn’t the only way to gain higher level qualifications.

Apprenticeships At First Digital Media

First Digital Media give apprentices a huge opportunity to join our growing company and industry. Having previously taken apprenticeships in Web Design, Digital Marketing, Social Media and Customer Services within the Business Sector, youth is the future of our company to improve and drive us forward.

Regardless of which element in marketing you want to focus on, we will move you in the right direction. First Digital Media, throughout every apprenticeship, offer the support you need to successfully complete your course. As you develop and learn each area of the digital marketing industry, this expands your future openings to several businesses and industries where your expertise can be used.

Since I began my role on the marketing team, I have developed my knowledge in all areas of digital marketing. Working in an environment with a good mix between experienced staff members and emerging apprentices creates a fantastic atmosphere and allows everyone to get involved with all areas of the business. Making the decision to go into marketing was a difficult but rewarding choice. After 2 years in my role, I know it is something that other people can also significantly benefit from.

Call First Digital Media on 0845 094 1830 or fill in our contact form today for information on our marketing services.

Computer with love heart

Bullying In Social Media

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This guest blog comes from Digital Marketing Apprentice, Josh. His role is all things Social Media.

Social Media is used right, it is without doubt the most successful and creative platform in the world, but is it always used right? Find out in this latest blog.

Social Media

Did you know there 3.48 billion people are using some sort of social media platform in 2019? To put that into perspective, that is just under half of the whole world! A lot of these users, like me and you are just wanting to see the latest news, share our lives, get some followers and maybe even get Philip Schofield to follow us back (Please Philip). However, there are a number of users across these social media platforms that constantly insult, undermine and hate on people’s content, this is a form of Cyber Bullying and it has grown massively in the past decade. According to research 87% of young people have witnessed cyber-bullying on social media in 2019, that is a lot of kids who have read abusive comments and the majority of them will think it is okay to do the same. This needs to stop and fast.

The Impact Of Social Media Bullying

The Impact of Cyber-bullying has become more and more drastic over the years and there is a lot of reasons for this. Firstly the anonymity, people can create fake accounts and post the nastiest comments and think because they are sat behind a screen that it wont affect them or the people they are talking too. When in reality they could not be more wrong, words hurt people whether they are said in person or as letters on a screen, bullying is bullying and you are not an attention seeker for being hurt by someone’s comment! Another reason is that the hate comments that are posted online are there forever, and whilst this is good to track bullying it can also make things so much worse for the victim. Everytime they log onto their favourite social media to check out that new meme everyone keeps referencing (yeah I’m always the one who doesn’t get the meme), they will see the comment and it creates a constant reminder that they are “not good enough” and soon enough makes them believe it is true. There are many reasons as to why cyber-bullying has grown but they all lead to one outcome, sadness.

It is now a common fact that suicide is the third leading cause of death among young people, that is a very alarming statistic which no one seems to be taking seriously, the younger generation who are constantly being affected by this are now being branded as “Snow Flakes” which in my opinion is disgusting. These young adults are being forced to deal with constant harassment and mental health issues all on their own and to make matters even worse they are now being segregated and laughed at for it. Social Media bullying is lethal, will it be too late by the time people realise this?

Who Does This Effect?

Everyone who has used a social media platform can tell you that bullying is rife and can be witnessed on a daily occurrence, for example if you have been watching Love Island recently then you will have seen all of the abuse that is posted on Twitter whilst the show is on air. Every 10 seconds there is a new negative comment on the Love Island hashtag, that is a lot of insults and hate that the islanders will be reading when they come out.

My point is that social media bullying affects everyone from Influencers to Celebrities to your everyday guy who gets excited when pizza hut wishes him a happy birthday #guilty. Our comments on these social media platforms may seem harmless at first because we don’t know the person or think that we are joking but in reality, they can cause a lot of damage, shown by the suicides of Love Island’s Mike and Sophie. So please, before you post a mean comment on your mates Instagram “for a laugh” or tweet about a new Islander you don’t like. Think. Would you want someone to say that to you?

My Experience

Pretty much every social media user has experienced some sort of hate on the popular platforms, including myself, yet people are very afraid to speak about it. This is something we need to try focus on, we need to encourage people to speak up about the problems they are facing on social media and instead of just getting them to report it and have the comment taken down, we need to help them deal with these comments and make sure it is has no affect on their mental health. As a society we concentrate too much on taking action and reporting, rather than helping the victim learn how to cope with what has happened to them and stop it having long lasting effects.

My experience of social media bullying was never extreme but has had a long-lasting effect which I didn’t think was possible. When I was younger I used to post a lot of photos on Instagram which in all honesty were cringe, but at the time they made me feel good about myself, these posts were then met with hurtful comments and people laughing at me now this never made me depressed but it did stop me posting pictures and still has some effect on me today. If I go to upload a photo on Instagram I always have to think “Are people going to judge me for posting this?” and often I don’t post it because I’m afraid what people may say. We need to stop this, there are many people who have experienced a lot worse or are in the same situation as me and will feel this way. So, post that picture from your holiday, tell people how much you like Philip Schofield, do anything that makes you feel better about yourself. If you are feeling anxious about posting something or are worried about what people may say, just do it anyway, their comments do not reflect the person you are.

What Can We Do?

Social Media is great when we use it the way we are supposed to, it helps us make new friends, find new series to love and show our appreciation to the great Yewande. We need to start using these platforms properly, many campaigns are now being ran to fight back against Social Media bullying and it finally seems like we are heading in the right direction. However it is not all down to the companies to make this happen, we all need to help each other, so go out of your way to compliment your friend on that Instagram Picture, tag everyone in a funny meme and don’t post that hurtful comment just because everyone else is. Social Media is great for businesses, influencers and everyday users, we just need to use it properly.

If you are feeling suicidal or suffering from any other mental health problems due to social media bullying please speak out, I have left a number of links below to various helplines that you can visit and get the help you deserve, it’s time to rise up against Social Media Bullying.

Bully Busters

The Mix


Join the conversation!

If you would like to join the discussion and answer the questions within the blog then be sure to follow us on all of our social media platforms, we would love to know what you think!

Join the discussion

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Celebrating Pride 2019

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This guest blog comes from Digital Marketing Executive, Joss. Her role involves Content Marketing and SEO.

Celebrating love across the world is important. This June marks 50 years to the month since the Stonewall Riots in New York, the start of Pride as we know it today. More and more companies and brands support Pride and this year is no different.

To mark the 50th anniversary, several companies have been running their own marketing campaigns to show support for the LGBTQ community. The LGBT+ community is a part of my life and many others, which is why it is important to celebrate what makes our world great.

The Stonewall Riots, June 1969

marsha-p-johnson-quoteIn the early hours of June 28 1969 the NYPD (New York Police Department) raided the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village, New York City. After years of homophobic legislation and brutality, it was time for change. This raid had not been the first one and was nothing new, but something was different.

People refused to co-operate and hand over IDs to prove their gender. As a crowd started to gather outside, pressure fell on the police and violence erupted. One transvestite was pushed and hit in the face with a purse. Storme DeLarverie spoke to the crowds about the tight handcuffs and was beaten with a nightstick by police offices in retaliation.

A number of bystanders including activists Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P Johnson, started to throw bottles, cans, bins, bricks and more at police. Rioting continued for several nights afterwards and the iconic evenings led to the creation of the Gay Liberation Front as well as Gay Activists Alliance. In 1970 the very first Pride Parade took place, marking a huge shift in attitude towards LGBTQ rights.

Impact Today

Despite the Stonewall Riots, it has still taken decades for more rights to come into force. It wasn’t until 1999 that Bill Clinton declared June officially as ‘Gay and Lesbian Pride Month’. In 2009, Barack Obama extended the title to include all members of the community including bisexuals and transgender. Parades take places across the globe and this year more people than ever have been celebrating the event.

Today, the LGBTQ community have more of a voice in culture, government as well as the media. One of the best examples of the impact of Pride and the media is RuPaul’s Drag Race. Since airing 10 years ago, the programme has had 11 seasons, 4 seasons of an additional All Stars competition (with a 5th in filming), world tours, and supported Pride events around the world. The show has helped to grow equality and develop awareness, showing everybody just how important pride is.

Companies and Pride

Businesses in the UK have been doing their own marketing to celebrate 50 years of Pride. From Facebook adding a profile picture filter to Boohoo releasing their own Pride collection, there have been endless organisations getting involved.

Absolut Vodka are one of the longest supporters of Pride, having backed the LGBTQ community for over 35 years. Their ‘Kiss With Pride’ campaign aims to raise awareness that being gay is still illegal in 72 countries. Boohoo’s #LoveWithoutLimits collection is donating 10% of all sales to OutRight Action International and the LGBT Foundation.

pride-2019-marketingEven popular food company M&S are marking 50 years of Pride. The LGBT sandwich is a twist on the classic BLT, with the G standing for the added guacamole. As well as raising visibility, M&S are donating £10,000 to the Albert Kennedy Trust (akt), the national LGBTQ+ Youth Homelessness charity organisation, as well as €1000 to the BeLonG Youth Services in Ireland.

Is It Right?

However, some people are questioning whether it is right for a business to use Pride in their marketing. M&S have faced some backlash with people criticising them.

However, the akt’s Director Carrie Reiners has spoken out about the LGBT sandwich, saying:

“We’re thrilled to see M&S show visible support for the LGBTQ+ community this Pride, and are extremely grateful to be one of its two chosen charities. The donation from M&S will enable us to continue providing safe homes and better futures for the young LGBTQ+ people we work with, through our Purple Door safe house, host programme, mentoring and youth engagement work.”

Future of Marketing and Pride

Whilst Pride marketing campaigns may not be liked by all, they are still making a difference. As well as raising money, companies are raising awareness of the importance of love and equality. Big brands including Tesco and Amazon are supporting Pride events across the UK, bringing sponsorships as well as coverage with them.

Although, there is still room to grow. It is important for companies to not just support the LGBT+ community during June, but all year round. There are some that already do this and the Stonewall List of Top 100 Employers highlights organisations who are supporting equality every day. Taking part in Pride month is a huge step, however being an ally is the next and most crucial step.

How Google Chrome Changing Effects My Role – Guest Blog

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This guest blog comes from Digital Marketing Team Leader, Becci. Her role is all things marketing related as well as focusing on Google Analytics.

It was only last week I was at my friends’ house and I actually watched her open her laptop, open internet explorer, use the default browser Bing to search for ‘Google’ and then carry on with her tasks… I was gobsmacked.

I said “Why don’t you just set Google as your default browser”, after all, Google Chrome is the worlds most popular web browser out there with more than 60% of users using their site. This simple moment in time got me thinking about how important Google really is to all of us and how its changes effects my role as a digital marketer every day.

30th Birthday Celebrations

The web celebrates it’s 30th birthday this year and in the last 30 years (some before I was even born) we have all seen how certain updates have changed the way the world works both online and offline.

Although there has been significant developments in the last 30 years, this will not stop and moving forward into the very near future, we will be so shocked with what is to come.

Chromium Blog

This is something I hadn’t heard of myself until I did a bit of digging and research. This blog comes directly from Google and outlines all the upcoming changes that we should look out for. They have listed the following as changes that will effect Google Chrome functions within 2019:

  • Speed changes
  • Increasing the Power
  • Extra transparency
  • Improved Developer experiences
  • Increased security and privacy

Google Core Updates

There are updates all the time that marketers won’t even know have happened and there are some that will shift the way in which websites and SEO work hand in hand.

In March this year we were all made aware of Google changes due to websites dramatically dropping on both visibility and keyword rankings. Google never made anyone aware this was happening and they also didn’t let on what was changed, good work Google, good work.

A common question after any Google algorithm update is “How can I fix my site?” and the real answer is, “there is no set way”. You just have to roll with the punches, update your websites following SEO best practices and hope for the best that Google likes what you are doing.

“For marketers, the full impact of these changes and how users respond to the tools likely won’t be seen for months, but stand to have a significant impact on remarketing, analytics and attribution efforts”, Marketing Land.

My Role with Analytics

Looking at how this will change my role with Google Analytics is really important to me as it is becoming increasingly more difficult year on year to track users on my client’s websites due to their rights to privacy and security.

As the first change Google Chrome is making is all about cookies and privacy online, Google Analytics is surely going to be effected.

“This change will enable users to clear all [cross-site] cookies while leaving single domain cookies unaffected, preserving user logins and settings. It will also enable browsers to provide clear information about which sites are setting these cookies, so users can make informed choices about how their data is used.” Ben Galbraith and Justin Schuh from Chrome Engineering.

This will also affect re-targeting marketing methods that will follow users from website to website and advertise their products. This is something we urgently need to look into to ensure that we can still provide the same level of service to all of our clients.

Staying Optimistic

While there are lots of marketers panicking about the upcoming changes, I am staying positive. By now, we must all realise that Google runs the game and why would they make changes that would push users away? They wouldn’t.

In my opinion, we should all embrace the changes, work with Google and reap the benefits that will come with an improved web presence and space for digital marketing. Check back later in the year if I have had a meltdown about it or have fully embraced it.. who knows!


Rebranding: How To Do It Successfully

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As a business, having a solid brand is crucial to success. It will be your name, logo and approach to marketing that helps you to stand out from the crowd. However, sometimes there comes a time for a fresh start. Deciding to rebrand can be exciting but it is important to do this right. Poor rebranding can cost you money, time and customers.

Here at First Digital Media, our blog looks into how you should approach this and who has done it in the past.

The Past and Present of Rebrands

Over the years there have been some successful rebrands and others which have fallen flat. In 2011, Starbucks new redesign showed that you don’t need your name on a logo to stand out and be recognisable. McDonald’s did something similar by rebranding their logo as a solo ‘M’. Despite this, we all know who they are.

That being said, not everybody has been as successful. One of the most memorable in the previous decade has been Gap who, in 2010, decided to launch their new logo. It met with so much dislike that they reverted back to their original logo 6 days later.

Two rebrands that thankfully never happened were Pizza Hut and Netflix. Back in 2009, it emerged that Pizza Hut wanted to launch a new logo to target the ‘mobile generation’. Two years later Netflix thought it was a good idea to rebrand their online streaming service as ‘Qwikster’. Thankfully following criticism, both of these ideas were left to the side.

Who’s Doing It

There have been some brave rebrands over the past year which have caused a stir. Popular in both the US and UK, Dunkin’ Donuts received a few questions over their decision to drop the donuts from their name. Now known simply as Dunkin’, the brand said they made the move as they no longer did just donuts.

Even recently there has been a large company attempting to rebrand. In a blog Bing Ads announced that they would now be known as ‘Microsoft Advertising’, saying it was a “simple shift” that would improve business. As part of this, they are placing more focus on AI and plan to use this to personalise advertisements.

Why is All This Important?

Looking at how other companies have done it allows you to pull off a rebrand successfully. People become attached to logos and company names, so any changes need to be done carefully and with them in mind. If you rush into the process you could end up throwing away money and putting off your current customers.

Any branding needs to be carefully planned and thought through. Because of that, there are a few things to consider. From what your audience wants to what you need, it’s important to find balance.

Things to Consider

Changing how your business appears in public can bring endless benefits. Although, you need to make sure it is done correctly – nobody wants to do a Gap U-turn. The very first thing to do is to consider whether you need a rebrand. It may seem obvious, but it isn’t worth risking what you’ve built so far if there isn’t a genuine need. Think about whether your brand represents you, the company and what your customers are looking for.

Once you’ve done all this, think about the changes you want to make if any at all. From there you can determine how large the rebrand needs to be and estimate costs and time. Updating a logo is often the largest part, so make sure you have somebody creative on your side to give you a variety of ideas.

After any branding is done, you’ll need to plan a successful marketing campaign and relaunch. Companies have approached this in many different ways, so have a look round to see what appeals to you.

Making the Move

If you are going to rebrand, it is important to consider all aspects. If your current branding doesn’t suit your business or your customer’s needs, then chances are it’s time for a change.

At First Digital Media we can help you to rebrand your business, adding a fresh approach to your marketing. For more, please do not hesitate to contact us today.

Instagram Removes Likes!?

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What has happened?

Earlier this week, Instagram revealed a new test that if used correctly will completely change Social Media for good. It is no secret that Social Media has had a huge impact on our lives for many years now but many people are starting to wonder whether this is such a good thing. In the past 5 years, depression and anxiety levels have risen by almost 20% and is shown to mainly affect teenagers, which uncoincidentally are the majority of Instagram’s user base. Research now shows that 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem each year! That is a horrifying statistic and it seems Social Media is the main cause for this, Instagram has picked up on this and have begun to make massive changes to their platform to try and reduce anxiety and depression when users are on Instagram.

The new test is the removal of likes on Instagram posts and is set to be trialled in Canada this week, this will mean that users will no longer be able to see how many likes other people have got on their posts, they will only see their own. Instagram has done this in the hope that users will stop basing their self-worth on how many they likes they get on Instagram and therefore reduce anxiety when using the platform. Not only will this help users mental health, it will also stop third-party companies offering services where users can buy likes and comments because there will simply be no need.

Do you think Social Media is the leading cause for the growth in mental health problems?

How will this work?

Since most social media platforms use the “Likes” format on their apps, it will be interesting to see if Instagram are able to maintain a functioning yet still fun app for their users due to the “Likes” format playing a big role in the algorithm of Instagram, they will need to change a lot of features. The question is, will this be detrimental to their app or will it encourage other platforms to follow suit?

The way that Instagram looks will not change for users during the test, the only thing different is that they will no longer see a number of likes it will just say “liked by others”. However, Instagram will not be removing likes completely from their platform, they have announced that the creator will still be able to see how many likes they have gotten on their posts but the way they can find this information will change. This is because Instagram tells you straight away how many likes you have on your post and therefore users are believing this is in an important factor which is proven to have negative effects on their mental health, the change will aim to stop this and only show users their likes if they want that information.

Will these changes result in Instagram becoming less active?

An example of Instagram’s new format.

Are there going to be any other new features coming?

In this attempt to fight back against mental health problems, Instagram is reportedly also looking at tackling Cyber Bullying on their very popular platform. Due to the outstanding 1 billion users on Instagram today, it is very hard to track cyberbullying and because of this, it has become quite common. Users have been sharing negative comments on people’s posts and the only punishment for this is that the comment is taken down when reported but by then the damage has already been done.

Although, Instagram is now supposed to be working on some new features for their platform to stop cyberbullying all together. The new features include a “nudge” message where Instagram will send the user a message if they are about to comment something offensive or hurtful, this new way of addressing bullying could be a major success as it will keep a record of users who are commenting hurtful content and it can be taken further from there. Another feature aimed to stop hurtful comments on Instagram is the new “Manage Interactions” setting, this will allow users to choose how different people can engage with them, for example if a user is being tormented online they can choose to not allow that certain person to comment on their posts. These features could have a very positive effect on mental health as they will no longer have to worry about being bullied on their posts and will be free to post whatever content they choose.

Are these new features a big step forward in the anti-bullying campaign?

What are other competitors doing?

As you know Facebook does own Instagram and therefore it is likely that if this removal of likes does prove to be a success then Facebook will do the same and will need to change their whole algorithm in order to do so. Another platform that has been following Instagram’s test is Twitter, who have now reportedly started a prototype app called “twttr”. This prototype aims to remove like and retweet counts on their popular platform so that users will stop doubting themselves because someone has else has more likes.

It seems that all of the Social Media platforms have realised the damage their apps have caused to user’s mental health and are now aiming to rectify this by adding these new features to make Social Media fun again.

Will Social Media become a fun place again?

What does this mean for marketing?

There is only one disadvantage to this new Instagram test and that is because Instagram Influencers will no longer be able to gain money by posting products on their profile. This is because the sponsored content is measured on how many likes they get and if they get enough then they will be paid. However, with the like count being removed companies will no longer be able to see who is getting a lot of engagement on their profile and therefore users will lose the opportunity for paid promotions. Instagram has said they are thinking of ways to make sure that paid promotions still happen on their platform but for now, it looks like it will stop.

Although this is a very small disadvantage in a rather large cause to fight back against mental health problems. The way we see it is that mental health is a much larger priority then influencers advertising products to gain more money.

It’s time to speak up!

If you are struggling with any mental health issues or are experiencing anxiety when using Social Media please take a break from it and talk to someone. The links to a number of helplines are below and we urge you to contact them if you are feeling down.

YoungMinds –

Childcare –

Mind –

If you would like to join the discussion and answer the questions within the blog be sure to get in touch.

First Digital Media –




Why You Should Protect Your Online Reputation

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We all know that your reputation online is important. As a business, it is crucial that you do everything possible to maintain this. Luckily, there a few things you can do to achieve a successful online reputation.

At First Digital Media our blog this week looks into reputations online and why you should invest time into them.

Developing a Successful Brand

Wherever we go we’ll always notice a brand that we recognise. From a person walking past carrying a Starbucks coffee to the scent of a familiar perfume brand, clever brand awareness is everywhere. However, without a carefully cared for online reputation, all of this work can go to waste.

A 2018 study launched by IPSOS MORI and Forbes demonstrated the importance of reputation. Of those businesses asked, a staggering 97% said that online reputation management was an important aspect of their company. Alongside this, 92% said the same for social presence and a further 98% agreed that online reviews were crucial.

The Impact of Reviews

When trying to find a business the first place many people go is to reviews. Using Facebook recommendations or Google reviews allows an insight into previous customer’s experiences. According to Moz, 67% of customers will be influenced by the online reviews they read.

In fact, this survey also suggests that just one negative review can cost a company 22% of customers. For those that have 3 or more, around 60% of customers are put off using their services.

Researching Before You Buy

There is nothing more important than knowing that the product you are about to purchase is worth your money. This is why people take the time to research a company before they invest. Customers visit a variety of platforms online to help make an informed decision.

Find Out Your Reputation

As a business owner, reputation should be high up on your priority list. One of the best things to do is to read any reviews you can find about your company. This will give you an insight into how you are performing and whether you need to make any adjustments.

Once you have an idea of where you are review wise, you can put a plan of action into place. These will depend on whether you are wanting to build reviews from scratch or are wanting to improve how people view you.

Popular Review Platforms

There are plenty of places online where people can leave reviews. This can often make it difficult to know where to start, although there are a few standouts. The platforms that people use most include:

  • Google
  • Yell
  • Bark
  • Facebook
  • TripAdvisor
  • Amazon

However, it is not just here that people leave comments. With the rise of social media, there are more people sending messages, tweets and more to companies to complain and celebrate services.

This week it was announced that 54% of users on Instagram have bought a product after finding it on the platform. On top of this, 87% said that they took some form of action after viewing a company or product on Instagram.

As more companies take advantage of social media platforms, it becomes even more important to take care of your online reputation.

To find out more about building reviews, please feel free to contact us today.

Social Media: Engaging With Clients in the Future

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Using social media is often seen as a crucial approach to any successful marketing campaign. As well as giving a brand exposure, online profiles offer companies a chance to engage with potential customers. However, with news that Lush have decided to quit social media, questions are starting to emerge about the future of the platforms.

At First Digital Media, our blog this week looks at the future of social media and how it is going to change.

Why is Lush Leaving Social Media?

As a shock to most people, popular beauty brand Lush decided that this week they were going to close their platforms in the UK. They have 596k followers on Instagram, 202k on Twitter, and a further 423k on Facebook. However, the profiles in North America are to remain open.

In a statement released on Twitter, a series of tweets outlined the company’s position:

They continued by saying they would be “opening up the conversation between you and us instead”. Although, not everybody is happy about Lush’s decision:

A Growing Movement

Despite the backlash, Lush aren’t the only ones to step away from social media. Towards the end of last year pub chain Wetherspoons came off of social media, stating:

“We are going against conventional wisdom that these platforms are a vital component of a successful business”.

Alongside this, they also claimed that they had concerns about “the addictive nature of social media” as well as the “misuse of personal data”.

In February, Unilever threatened to pull ads from Google and Facebook if the platforms did not do more to tackle illegal and extremist content. Chief Marketing Officer, Keith Weed, said the company could no longer support an industry where fake news, extremist material, political manipulation, child exploitation, sexism and racism were commonplace.

On top of this, well-known entrepreneur Elon Musk removed the Facebook pages for SpaceX and Tesla last month. Attributing to the #deletefacebook movement, he tweeted:

Is Social Media Declining?

With more and more companies moving away from the platforms, it would be easy to assume that there is a decline in those using it. However, that is not the case. StatusBrew provided statistics of the average amount of users per platform:

Making Changes for the Future

As more companies and users have raised concerns about the content being published across social media, steps are starting to be taken against this. Earlier this week it was announced that the government were putting forward measures to regulate social media platforms. This means that they will work harder to fight back against harmful content.

The plan, if passed through government, is to impose “substantial” fines on those that abuse the rules. Currently most platforms run on self-governance. If the government does step in, it would be an interesting take on democracy and freedom of speech.

Germany passed a similar law, known as NetzDG, in 2018. The regulations apply to companies with over 2 million followers and means that anything deemed illegal can be removed in 24 hours. On top of this, the company would also face a fine of up to €50m.

Perhaps in the future there will be more control over social media, preventing the spread of hateful or harmful media. However, any control must be done carefully.

If you would like to find out more about social media, please feel free to get in contact with us today.

Instagram Makes a Huge Move in the eCommerce Industry

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What Has Happened?

Recently, Instagram has taken a huge step into the field of eCommerce marketing which means the platform could soon become the biggest social media platform in the world. This step is called “Instagram checkout” and it is quite simply, brilliant.

In late 2018, Instagram released shopping tags. This allowed a business to tag their products into their Instagram posts. Users could then click on the tags and be sent to the business’ website page where they could buy the product. However, now these have been heavily updated, the shopping tags are part of a much larger concept called “Instagram checkout”. This is where users can click on the products shown in the posts and purchase them directly from the Instagram app. After, they just return to their Instagram news feed and are given updates on their delivery in the new few days via the app.

Instagram’s tweet announcing “Instagram checkout”.

Haven’t I Seen This Before?

For all of those thinking that they have seen eCommerce on social media for years, you are right. A lot of competitors have used some sort of eCommerce platform in the past few years, especially Facebook. Facebook created the very popular “Facebook Marketplace” way back in 2017. Since then it has rivalled with the biggest eCommerce companies such as Amazon, Ebay and Etsy. The reason Facebook Marketplace has done so well since launching is due to the 1.5 billion reach it has.

The reach is so big that the marketplace is split into two sections, ‘Local Marketplace’ and ‘All Marketplace’. ‘Local Marketplace’ is self-explanatory, you buy and sell using cash, within your local area and then go collect or drop off the items and it works very well. Every single location has at least 5 buy and sell groups with at least 100 products being put up for sale every day.

‘All Marketplace’ is also self-explanatory, you search all of the products being put up for sale on the marketplace, and you can search for specific items, prices and locations. This doesn’t work as well as it could. If you are buying an item which you can not collect, then you will have to get it delivered and pay through your bank. Facebook do not provide users with a specific way to get an item delivered or pay without cash. The only way to do it is through a private message where PayPal can be used, but this isn’t very secure and could be done a lot better.

Making Valuable Improvements 

These changes seem to have been done with Facebook’s sister company Instagram. Once you click on the product you want to buy through a post you can choose to checkout with Instagram. This allows you to pay with card and PayPal. As soon as you have added payment once, you can also remember it and not have to type it again for future transactions. It is a simple yet effective tool and could be a game changer!

If Facebook is going to use a developed idea of Facebook Marketplace for “Instagram checkout” then Instagram is going to become huge. It could even take over Facebook itself as the lead social media platform. The reason for this is that Facebook Marketplace is already a proven success. It has many success stories where small business has transformed and boosted its sales massively.

Now, if Instagram can follow in the same steps as Facebook then we will soon be seeing the biggest upcoming eCommerce platform since eBay. The question is will Instagram take over Facebook Marketplace or will it flop?

What Are Other Competitors Doing?

The other two Social Media giants, Twitter and Snapchat, have also used eCommerce on their platforms in the past. It is fair to say Twitter’s success has been non-existent. One of the first social media platforms to try eCommerce was Twitter when they incorporated the “Buy” button into tweets way back in 2014. The idea behind the “Buy” button was that a business could tweet pictures of their products and link to the button to their site. If a user clicked the buy button, then they were taken to the business website. It seemed like it would be pretty effective. However, when the head of commerce left Twitter in 2016, the buy button was quickly taken just 8 months after. Twitter then sent out emails confirming that:

“The Twitter team is pivoting way from their ecommerce focus”.

Since then there has been no concept for any sort of eCommerce for the platform and has left Facebook to dominate. Is Twitter going to release something in eCommerce or are they a finished product themselves?

Snapchat and eCommerce 

On the other hand, Snapchat has been growing its eCommerce since launch. Thanks to a few big brand deals, it has put it self on the map. Snapchat launched ‘Collection Ads’ back in November. This is where advertisers can showcase their products on the Snapchat Discovery section. If users want to find out more, they click the ad it takes them to the businesses website.

Adidas and Amazon then had a short-term partnership with Snapchat, leading to 30 other partnerships for Snapchat! The company said they are looking to increase their eCommerce this year and if they make the right deals, they could overtake Instagram.

Will Snapchat become the king of eCommerce?

What Does This Mean For Marketing?

This “checkout” concept came out today for the whole of the US as a trial for some advertisers and it is going to be massive for marketing. Instagram is great for getting your name out there and increasing your profiles following, visibility, and now marketing. Small businesses will be able to post their products on Instagram with a visual aid of what their product is. Users can then see these through hashtags or their feed and buy the product with ease.

It is also great for the advertisement side of marketing. Think about it – have you ever seen a blogger or celebrity wearing a really nice jacket, but you can’t find it anywhere? We know you have! Well, now it’s simple. All you have to do is tag the product and the jacket you were spending hours trying to find can now be bought within a few clicks. This is great for advertising because businesses can get people to wear their products and tag it, this then gets the products visibility up and sales will increase. One thing is for sure, Instagram revenue is about to become massive. The platform will charge companies for every sale made on their app. If this concept is going to be as big as we think it will be, then Instagram will become the number one social media platform.

Will Instagram make the most money in 2019?

Join The Conversation!

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If you would like to generate more sales and traffic for your business but don’t know how to do the marketing, then get in touch with us today and let us transform your business.

Women in Tech: Celebrating International Women’s Day

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As a booming industry, there are thousands of people working in marketing and technology. From blogging to backend website development, endless tasks are completed every day.

Here at First Digital Media, we are very proud to have a strong female marketing and tech team. Following on from International Women’s Day, our blog this week looks at women working within technology and how people are trying to change the gender gap.

About Women in Tech

In the UK there are around 47,000 digital technology companies. In 2015, Career Builder estimated that employment in this industry would grow by 5.4% by 2020. Although, despite being a developing field, there still remains a clear divide in gender. Last year Tech Nation’s annual report concluded that only 19% of the workforce were women.

It’s not just the UK that experiences this gap. According to statistics gathered from Evia, in the United States less than 20 per cent of women accounted for the technology workforce in 2018. On top of this, fewer women work in the industry now compared to the 1980s.

The Gender Divide

In 2017, Axonn conducted a survey on the roles of gender in the marketing industry. Even though more women are taking up careers in this field (21% vs 16% of men), more men occupy senior positions. One respondent to the survey, a B2B director in Scotland, said:

“Average men are overpromoted.”

Another interesting discovery was gender representation at industry events. According to 43% of the women asked, there were more men present on panels. In contrast, only 24% of men pointed out this same imbalance.

Research conducted by Axonn shows the average ratio based on several marketing events held in 2015:

Below is another graphic outlining the ratio of men and women on judging panels at British media awards in both 2015 and 2017:

How Does This Compare Across the Population?

According to Catalyst, in 2016 more women had completed post-secondary education compared to men (46.5% vs. 45.5%). This includes universities, colleges, vocational schools and technical training. However, those entering STEM fields are significantly less, with just over a third of women taking up employment.

When it comes to the labour force, there are more women working than ever before. Of those aged between 16 and 64, 70% are employed. This is a huge leap from an estimated 53% in 1971.

Despite this, women in full-time employment are still being paid less than men. As of 2017, women make 80% of a man’s median hourly wage.

However, it’s not all bad news. The number of women in senior leadership has stayed low (22% in 2018), although there are more women on UK Boards.

What is Happening?

There has been a huge decline in women entering the tech industry, showing a major problem within media. According to stats released by The Muse, under 5% of women have their own start-ups. Shockingly, the pay for women under 35 is 29% less than men in this age group. Additionally, the quit rate for women working in tech is twice as high as men at 41%.

The Observer has put all of this into perspective:

“Women in tech face sexism and harassment. Tech is blatantly unfriendly to family planning, from being pregnant to nursing. There’s also a wage gap that no one is doing anything about—even Google, the second most valuable company in the world, recently said that collecting wage data for the company is too expensive and burdensome.”

Source: ‘12 Statistics About Women in Tech That Show How Big the Gender Gap Truly Is’, Sage Lazzaro, 6.5.17.

Yet despite this, a female-led company still performs 3 times better than one led by male CEOs. So, what exactly is happening and what can we do about it?

Showcasing Female Success

Up in Lancashire where we are based there has been a massive move towards celebrating women and their involvement with tech. Both Ladies, Wine & Design Lancaster (led by Louiza Rabouhi) and Digital Lancashire’s ‘Women in Tech’ are doing more to highlight women’s successes.

In the future hopefully this will continue to happen. To keep up to date with events going on across Lancashire, check out the following groups.

Ladies, Wine & Design LancasterInstagram & Twitter

Digital Lancashire Women in TechFacebook Group