The Rise of Augmented Reality Technology in the Marketing World

With shopping trends continuously evolving, marketers are constantly seeking new and innovative ways to capture the attention (and pockets) of the millions of consumers out there.

Since Augmented Reality Technologies were first introduced, it’s been a war of ‘who can do it better’ between the big brands. Now, we are regularly seeing Augmented Reality at the forefront of huge marketing campaigns in the hope that it will help to raise brand awareness and drive sales.

So, what exactly is Augmented Reality Technology?

Augmented reality (AR) is an interactive experience which uses modern technological advances to overlay computer-generated content such as images, data, and sound onto a real-world environment to enhance or change the user’s experience or view of the world, a product or service.

Here are some of the best examples of AR technology that some of the big brands have used so far:

1.  IKEA Place App

In 2017 IKEA launched the first of its kind ‘try before you buy’ homeware app, which enabled customers to test out the look of items in their homes before buying them. The app featured ‘true to scale’ images of thousands of items which users could place in and around their home to see what they will look like, and more importantly, see if they will fit.

2.  Amazon AR View App

Much the same as the IKEA Place App; Amazon created an AR experience allowing customers to test thousands of products in their home before purchasing them. This was an extension of their pre-existing app featuring thousands of products, such as electronics, furniture, home décor and much more.

3.  Nintendo’s Pokémon Go App

Just about everyone had a go at catching them all, or at the very least bumped into someone in the street who was trying to.

In 2016 Nintendo released the global gaming sensation that used a mobile device’s GPS to locate, capture, battle, and train virtual Pokémon, which appear as if they are in the player’s real-world location such as streets, shops and even in their homes.

How is AR used to market products and services?

  • AR Mirrors and Apps – Allowing customers to try on products, such as clothes, shoes, and makeup.
  • AR Catwalks / Showrooms – Providing a more realistic example of products or services on people’s screens.
  • Creative and interactive AR campaigns, such as billboards and bus stop signs – Helping to raise awareness of a brand or message

Why is AR so popular with consumers?

The use of AR can completely transform a person’s browsing or shopping experience, by providing them with a much more lifelike and realistic impression of a product or service.

Online shopping has increased year on year within the last decade, however, until recently, online shopping could never really offer the ‘try before you buy’ aspect that the high-street always could.

Now, with the use of AR, consumers can get the best of both worlds, by testing out products from the comfort of their own home; making shopping online easier than ever.

We are expecting to see the use of AR to increase rapidly over the next few years, becoming more than just a gimmick, and establishing itself as a permanent and fundamental part of the digital shopping experience.

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Avatar for Matthew Matthew 20th September 2019 0 Comments
Searching discovery perforated paper magnifying glass

16 Simple Ways To Improve Your Site’s Search Rankings

SEO is no quick fix, it can take weeks, months and sometimes even years (depending on your industry), to reap the benefits of your hard work. Follow the steps below to help improve your search rankings, or use it as a checklist to ensure you have the basics covered.

improve your site's seo

If you’re looking for ways to improve your site’s SEO, or need someone to help out, why don’t you get in touch with us at Square Media, our knowledge and expertise in all things Search Marketing can help you and your business! 

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Avatar for Ciaran Ciaran 16th September 2019 0 Comments

In What Ways Has Marketing Changed In The Last 10 Years?

Over the last 10 years, marketing has made a huge shift from traditional to digital strategies. During the last decade, static text with no visual content has become more irrelevant than ever before & now individuals have been taking digital advertisement as their sole career. The marketing world is forever changing and here’s what we believe are the biggest differences in the marketing world from 10 years ago!

Seamless Marketing Strategies

In 2019, companies tend to now have a marketing plan as well as a content marketing plan, social media marketing plan & several other documents where their plans and intentions are outlined clearly and simply.

Nowadays it makes more sense to combine these separate plans into a master document, as this enables different departments or employees to see more clearly the benefit of the work others are doing. Making the whole strategy a more seamless process for every employee within the company to understand.

New Social Media Platforms

What we often seem to forget is that many social media platforms were not around 10 years ago, the likes of Snapchat and Instagram have only been around since 2011 and 2010 retrospectively. Today, with channels like Snapchat, Instagram, YouTube & Twitter, all with billions of users, your company needs to be an open book.

Unlike ten years ago it is now essential that your whole business needs to adapt with the use of Social Media. No longer is there a necessity to send out promotional flyers or letters, when a direct, personalised newsletter is a touch of the button away!

Content Marketing

Content marketing is a less traditional advertising strategy what has been more appealing and also more apparent that it works in 2019; with the statistics showing that ”Visual Content” is more than 4 times more likely to be shared on social media than any other type of content.

The ways in which social media is going means that posts including static text and no visual content is becoming irrelevant and is more likely to lose you followers than to gain them!

Offline to Online marketing

Often seen as he biggest change in the last ten years is the shift in movement from offline to online marketing, this continues with the popularity of “Inbound Marketing”. Ten years ago, many businesses bombarded their potential clients with promotional messages to sell their product or their services. However, this is often ineffective, and a waste of your time and it was very often the case it discredited the company and their brand.

Fundamentally, this has resulted in an influx of B2C & B2B businesses have began to create Blogs, Podcasts, Videos and so on to promote their brand. The reasoning behind this is because it creates direct and engaging content which is easier to analyse and ultimately cheaper and more effective.

The issue that arises with this however is many businesses forget the golden ratio of 80:20 – 80% of social media posts should be indirect and the other 20% should promote and sell your services / products. Constant promotion of products dampens your brand equalling a lower engagement rate with your target clientele.

If you’re interested in marketing your business to the masses, but you’re unsure of how to go about it, drop us a message and we’ll be happy to help you out! Get in touch with us today!

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Avatar for Matthew Matthew 23rd August 2019 0 Comments

Ranking Algorithm Updates – What Are They?

You’ve probably heard the term “Ranking Algorithm Change” or something similar before if you’ve ever dealt with a marketing agency or digital marketers. It’s a term that’s used to signify when Google or other Search Engines have changed how their ranking algorithms rank websites. But what does this mean for you?

What Are They?

Algorithm Updates happen most days, but they are tiny and generally you won’t see much difference, but every once in a while, Google will roll out a major update which can impact sites in a variety of ways. These bigger updates generally focus on certain things, in the past we’ve seen algorithm updates that have impacted sites who don’t have mobile friendly websites, and updates which have penalised sites with low-quality/spammy content.

Recent Major Algorithm Updates

Site Diversity Update – June 6th 2019 

The Site Diversity update impacted sites with multiple organic listings on one page to give more variety & diversity.

June 2019 Core Update – June 3rd 2019

Core updates happen a few times a year. This one impacted sites previously affected in other core updates.

March 2019 Core Update – March 12th 2019

Google confirmed a third major core update since they began using that label.

Medic Core Update – August 1st 2018

The Medic update mainly targeted health & medical sites, it was rolled out over the course of a week.

To see a full list of Google Ranking Algorithm Updates, please see here

Why Do They Matter?

While the small ranking updates shouldn’t have too much of an affect on your site & rankings, you should be aware of the major updates and the possible implications they can have.

These bigger updates can make or break your rankings, as we’ve seen countless times, for example, the Daily Mail lost 50% of their traffic from Google’s most recent major algorithm update. If you go onto the Daily Mail‘s site, you can see they’re not abiding by SEO best practices. That should show you how important making sure your website follows SEO best practices and Google’s guidelines.

How to Optimise for Ranking Algorithm Updates

While we can’t guarantee your site won’t get negatively impacted by an algorithm update, we can advise on the best practices to follow which should minimise any negative impact.

  • Make sure your content is unique and relevant to your site/industry.
  • Don’t spam keywords into your pages and content, this may have worked in the early 2000’s, but not anymore.
  • Make sure your website is mobile friendly, as Google now gives priority to mobile optimised sites.
  • Don’t build your SEO from Black Hat techniques such as link spamming and cloaking.
  • Follow Google’s guidelines, as these are the best ways to get your content to rank.
  • Gain natural links from reputable sources, rather than paying for them.

By following SEO best practices, you’ll minimise the risk of your site being deranked, and also reap the benefits when a major update comes around, as Google will see you’ve been following their guidelines.

At Square Media, we can help optimise your SEO by following Google’s Guidelines. While we mainly work in the following areas; Corby, Northampton, Kettering, Wellingborough and Leicester, but we’re more than happy to work with customers all across the UK. Get in touch with us today to find out more about our services and how we can help you.

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Avatar for Matthew Matthew 15th August 2019 0 Comments

What Is Local SEO & Why You Should Be Optimising For It

With Google and other Search Engines giving more leverage to local searches, any business wanting to show up in their local area for searches should really be investing in optimising their Local SEO presence. Otherwise you’ll find your competitors will be appearing instead.

What is Local SEO?

Local SEO is the process of optimising your website to rank better for local searches. While similar to ‘standard’ SEO, there are some key differences, because Local SEO isn’t just about Search Engines.

Local SEO is all about getting your business to rank when someone searches for a service, near them. For example, “plumbers near me”. This search query will bring up some of the closest and best optimised businesses near to you. Here is an example below.

Local SEO Agency Near Me
The results which were delivered for the search term "seo agency near me".

The benefits of optimising your Local SEO is that you can bypass normally competitive terms, as Google is giving much more weight to local businesses over the big corporations when it comes to local searches. This is one of the many reasons why you should be optimising your website for local SEO.

What is Google My Business?

Google My Business, or GMB for short, is a platform for businesses to advertise and showcase their brand, almost like a mini social media profile, but it’s optimised for Local SEO.

Square Media GMB Local SEO
Our Google My Business listing.

As you can see above, there’s a lot of information you can put into a Google My Business listing. By adding relevant information to your GMB listing, you’ll increase the chances of your listing appearing when someone searches for the services you offer. You can add the services you provide to your listing, along with a description of your business, opening times and many more items.

It’s also wise to set up a Bing Places for Business listing as well, as this will show if someone is using Bing, or a voice assistant like Amazon’s Alexa.

Citations – What are they and why are they important for Local SEO?

A citation is any listing of your business’ NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number).

You’ll want to make sure all your citation information is exactly the same across outlets, as incorrect information can stop a browser from becoming a customer.

Citations are one of the most important aspects of Local Search, as this allows Search Engines to pull in data from multiple sources to verify that you’re information is correct, and more citation listings increases the chance you’ll appear for local queries. Some citation listings also allow you to insert a link to your site, which also helps with Local SEO as some high quality directories are held in high regard.

Social Media profiles also add to the citation side of Local SEO, because a business Facebook profile will allow you to add company information, such as NAP and other information.

How to Rank Well in Local Search

There are three main factors you should take into account when optimising your business for local search.

Proximity

How near is your business to the searcher? If you’re only down the road from the searcher, you’re more likely to appear over another business 2 miles away.

Relevance

How relevant is your business to the searcher’s query? For example, if you’re local business that sells Audio/Visual products, and the searcher’s query is “computer shops near me” it’s unlikely you’ll show over a business who solely provides computers and computer services.

Prominence

What are other customers saying about your business and the services/products you provide? Reviews have a big impact when it comes to local SEO. A highly reviewed business will have an easier time ranking over a business which only has 1 star, but might be closer. As Google and other search engine value how well perceived your company is.

At Square Media, we can help improve your local Search rankings. While we mainly work in the following areas; Corby, Northampton, Kettering and Leicester, we’re more than happy to work with customers all across the UK. Get in touch with us today to find out more about our services and how we can help you.

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Avatar for Matthew Matthew 9th July 2019 0 Comments

Today Square Media Turned 6 Years Old

That’s 6 fun-filled years of developing brands, 6 years of helping start-up businesses make their mark in their respective industry, and 6 years of giving well-established brands a fresh look and a new lease of life.

The business has progressed through referrals and recommendations, and our team has grown significantly; equipping us with the knowledge and ability to expand our service offering.

We now have a wide client base ranging from sole traders to national corporations. Our services now range from social media marketing and SEO, to entire website re-builds and complete rebranding.
We look forward to continuing our work and reaching our next big milestone as a business.
For a bit of fun, here’s a bit of June 14th trivia..:

  1. On this day a mere 374 years ago in 1645 (and not very far from the Square Media offices) Oliver Cromwell & Thomas Fairfax beat royalists forces of English King Charles I in the Battle of Naseby.
  2.  The 14th June 1942 was the day Anne Frank started her famous diary.
  3.  Donald Trump, 45th US President was born in NYC, New York in 1942.
  4.  172 years ago in 1847 Robert Bunsen invented the Bunsen burner.
  5.  The much-loved British stand-up comedian and television presenter Alan Carr was born on this day 43 years ago.

Now for some cake!

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Avatar for Matthew Matthew 14th June 2019 0 Comments

How to Optimise for Voice Search in 2019

Voice Search is becoming an increasingly popular way to search on the web, so here are some tips on how to optimise your site for Voice Search in 2019.

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Avatar for Matthew Matthew 27th May 2019 0 Comments

What is HTTPS and Why is it Important?

Whether you are visiting a website to buy a product or hosting a website to sell a product – whichever side of the server you are on, security is paramount. Purchasing a product through an unsecured website can have implications such as identity fraud and viruses and hosting an unsecured website can lead to security [...]

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Avatar for administrator administrator 6th March 2019 0 Comments

How to Optimise Your 404 Page for Better User Experience

What is a 404 page? A 404 page ( also known as ‘page not found’ or ‘error page’) is the page that appears when a user tries to navigate to a page that no longer exists due to a broken link or a page being deleted. Why is it a bad thing? A 404 error [...]

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Avatar for administrator administrator 27th February 2019 0 Comments

What is User Generated Content? + Our Favourite Example

For the brands of today, user-generated content is becoming an increasingly important part of their marketing strategy. But what actually is user-generated content? User-generated content is content that has been created and shared by a brands followers or fans, primarily shared on social media or on the their website. This content can be viewed and [...]

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Avatar for administrator administrator 21st February 2019 0 Comments