WHERE LOCAL BUSINESS GROWS

Website Thinking

No business can be taken seriously without a website and yet, so many fail to deliver what the customer needs – having a website strategy is essential!

It is not so many years ago that a consumer would seek substance behind a website before giving trust  In today’s digital world the consumer sees a website as a sign of credibility and expects / demands to find the content they seek.  They are not willing to spend time searching through a site any more – it is your responsibility to build the trust, deliver the information and make their life easy.  This is a winning website strategy.

It is obviously essential to consider the purpose of the website, is it to sell through an e-commerce portal, it is an information site building trust, is it a lead generation site seeking to claim those valuable consumer details.

The web has rules one needs to respect, a privacy policy, a legal entity detailed, and a returns policy if it’s an e commerce site.  You need to ensure you comply with these rules and benefit from having an effective website strategy working to your advantage.

In this section, we discuss the various areas to consider … from domain names to hosting accounts, from DIY template sites to professional design, and from marketing your site to writing the copy for it.

As ever, when thinking for your website strategy you should start by truly understanding your customer and their needs and requirements.  Your website has to appeal to them and pull them to you.  Your message and ‘pitch’ should cover your USP’s and capture their attention rapidly.  And your site should tell your customer what you want them to do (your ‘call to action’) and lead them to take action.

Content kindly provided by www.yorkshirepowerhouse.com visit them for free business templates & much more. 


Selecting a domain name
 

Choosing a domain name can be an agonising task.  There are a myriad domain names to pick from ranging from extremely specific to more generic; that is if you can find one that is available still!

In the recent past it was important from a search engine optimisation (SEO) point of view to purchase a domain that contained an exact phrase for your primary product or service.  These are known as “exact match domains” (EMDs).

Google, and by proxy the other search engines, however, released an update to their search algorithm in 2010 that severely devalued the relevance of keywords in domains.  These trends are usually circular however so in a few years it may be relevant again but there’s no way of telling this right now.

This change was made to stop spammers bulk purchasing domains just to reap their SEO benefits.  As with most changes the major search engines make to their algorithms; despite the fact that many people make a living from SEO work, the search engines don’t actually want you to “game” their system.

The real use for EMDs today is centred around pay per click (PPC) advertising.  It’s been consistently shown that adverts containing domains with exact matches perform significantly better than generic or branded domain names.  If you are thinking of running a PPC campaign then this is perhaps something worth taking into consideration.

If the most important part of your business is your brand or brand name, then this is something that you should consider including in your domain name.

Recent changes to the kinds of top level domains (TLDs, the part at the end of your domain) that are available have also meant that more innovative names can be chosen as well.  For example the TLDs .expert, .boutique, .consulting, .rocks are all able to be used with other word combinations and as part of your branding.  Even with all these options, the .com TLD is usually still the king of TLDs and in Yorkshire, .co.uk is still a strong second place favourite.

Global thinking
It’s also necessary to think about the countries of the audience you’re targeting.  People react more positively sometimes to domains that are specific to their country,

“Oh, a dot co dot uk? They must be a British company.”

In fact, it’s usually considered best to pick a brand-able domain name over one that’s full of keywords for website’s primary/main domain.

There is also the option of buying multiple domains; this allows you to use specific domains for campaigns and other marketing or just to separate very specific parts of your website for any reason.  There are no limits to the number of domains you can use per website however it can be seen as spamming if too many are used incorrectly.

This does depend on how well known a brand you are presenting, bigger brands with more recognition or those brands that are international will struggle to convince anyone that they’re a “local” company!

A number of domain sellers make easy to buy a domain name and dealing directly with them is generally straight forward.  However, we would always recommend that you separate ‘managing your domain name’ from emails and website hosting.  You don’t need to buy everything from the same place.

Content kindly provided by www.yorkshirepowerhouse.com visit them for free business templates & much more. 

Hosting your website and emails
 

For almost any business their emails and their website are the lifeblood of their organisation and the cornerstone of their marketing.  So it should be obvious that a lot of thought would go into choosing the right hosting provider for both of these aspects.

Just imagine how you’d deal with your email service going down for any length of time.  Customers/clients would be no longer able to get in contact as easily, communication with remote workers becomes much more difficult, sharing information grinds to a halt.

And then there’s your reputation.  If customers/clients start getting bounce back messages for the failed delivery of emails, or you’re unable to send anything out to them, this can become very frustrating.  How about if customers/clients are trying to order your products or find information about you and your website is down, this doesn’t project a lot of confidence at all.  No one wants to have to deal with these kinds of headaches.

Thinking about hosting
Choosing a host can become overwhelming with the number of choices out there.  Any number of companies offer hosting from the exceedingly cheap to the exceedingly expensive and there’s no guarantee that you’ll get what you need at either end of the scale.

In order to figure out what’s right for your needs you need to consider the following:

  • Purpose – What kind of website are you hosting?  What technology do you need for this website?  Different kinds of websites have different requirements; there’s a plethora of software out there and each has its own needs and platforms.  Even within these needs and platforms there can be specific version requirements.
  • Service – How reliable is the host you’re looking at?  Do they offer an uptime guarantee?  What’s their service level agreement (SLA)?  Can they handle the sort of traffic your website gets?
  • Growth – Is the platform scalable?  As your business grows your host will need to grow with it, if your website starts to get more traffic will your host be able to offer the resources the website needs?  Shared hosting is a good example of this, a lot of small businesses who organise their own hosting will go with a shared host but these hosts will not scale at all; after all, you are sharing your web space with a lot of their other customers.
  • Restrictions – Are there any usage restrictions?  Some hosts have fair usage policies, bandwidth restrictions, storage space restrictions, email account size restrictions etc.  These all need to be researched and evaluated to see if they will have an impact on your website/emails.
  • Location – Do you want a more personalised service?  Local hosting companies will be able to offer services that give you an extra layer of support, they often go above and beyond what you will get from a bigger host.  However, this sometimes comes at the expense of having to abide to restrictions that you wouldn’t have with a bigger host.  HOWEVER – do ensure that any hosting is UK based as a non-UK host for a UK business will look weird to Google.
  • Responsibility – Do you want to manage it yourself or do you want it to be managed?  Managing it yourself is obviously the most cost effective method but it also means that you are responsible for almost anything that goes wrong.  Your host will only fix things they deem to be their responsibility.  Should a specific part or “script” break on your website break and it isn’t related the hosting account this will become your problem to fix.
  • Cost – What kind of budget do you have?  This obviously plays a big part for small businesses, hosting for both emails and websites can be as cheap or as expensive as you choose it to be.  Larger companies will need separate dedicated services for their emails and websites whereas others can get by on a single shared platform.
  • Upgrade – What kind of upgrade/migration options do they offer?  If the answer is none and you’re planning on growing your business it would be a good idea to avoid these hosts in the long term.
  • Separation – Should you host your emails separately from your website?  A valid question these days even for small business especially since at least two of the tech giants (Google & Microsoft) offer dedicated email services in a way that a lot of people are used too.  You can have your emails on your own domain but hosted in the knowledge that you have all of the features that these companies offer as well as the reliability and safety of being able to use your emails even if your website host goes down.
  • Security – Will you need an SSL certificate?  Will you need to meet any levels of PCI compliance?  If your website is ecommerce you need to take into consideration both of these things and more.  This can be a lot of extra work and cost if you’re not careful.

All in all, there’s a lot of things to consider when picking a host and for those who aren’t technical experts, all of this can seem like too much.  It is a very important and regularly overlooked aspect that does need some consideration however based on its importance to your business.

It is best to speak to an expert about this topic if you have any further questions as it often an area that requires specific expertise.

Content kindly provided by www.yorkshirepowerhouse.com visit them for free business templates & much more. 

Do it yourself website or professional build
 

With the abundance of “easy to use” software on the web (think WordPress, Drupal, Prestashop etc.) and the thousands of ‘template website solutions’ available, it seems like it should be easy to create a DIY website.  Each of these software programmes or websites promise that almost anyone can build a site in them.

Let’s use WordPress as an example, you don’t even need to sort out hosting, you can get a WordPress site on WordPress.com up and running in a matter of minutes.  You’ll soon find that if you want it to look nice, if you want it do anything not just “out of the box”, if you want to customise it in any way … it will start to cost you.

The same holds true for any of the other website software ‘solutions’ out there as well.  You can have a website very quickly but will it look like it represents your brand/business?  Will it be easy to use for your customers/clients?  Will it work how you want it to work?  Will Google index it and pay attention?

If you want anything that isn’t just the standard functionality of the software or template you’ve chosen, you can find it becomes an arduous task to surmount.  If you’ve gone the DIY route this will usually result in having to accept a solution that only does half of what you want, or accepting the costs associated with hiring professionals.

The usual reason for going down the DIY route is to save some initial capital.  Why pay to have something done when you can just do it yourself, right?

Do I need a professional website?
A website is a very important presence for any business no matter how big or small but it’s easy to get blinded to just the financial investment needed.  The question of whether you should create a DIY site or get a professionally made one comes down to a few things. Predominantly though it comes down to the following three points:

  • Are you capable of creating all of your own branding, graphics and visual styles?
  • Do you have the level of technical skill required to manage it yourself in order to keep it up to date, secure and as functional as you want it to be?
  • And the most important question: can you afford to pay a professional company to build it?
If you have the time, knowledge and motivation to do it yourself then perhaps a DIY is the option for you.  There are some very successful companies that exist these days by people who have self-built them … but these are nearly always technology based services/platforms (think Facebook or Twitter).

Content kindly provided by www.yorkshirepowerhouse.com visit them for free business templates & much more. 

Marketing your website
 

So you’ve had your new website built by a professional, it looks great and you’ve put useful content in there that is of value to your customers.

But, just because it’s built and it’s online doesn’t mean that people will find it.  ‘Build it and they will come’ is not something to believe in here, you need to let people know that you are online and marketing your website has never been more important.  That said we are not just looking for anyone to visit your site, you want high quality views on your site from people in the market for your product or service.

  • Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) – We have written about this in our article Search Engines (PPC/SEO) but it is important to point that this technique can be very useful to getting relevant traffic to your site.  In brief, SEO is about putting the right words in the right places to ensure search engines like Google know you exist.  You also need to build up ‘search authority’ for your site making it a relevant place of interest for people searching for specific terms that match what your website is about.  There will never be a complete guide to mastering SEO.  Even Google themselves tell you that if you are caught trying to cheat the system you will be ‘blacklisted’ and won’t be seen on their search engine … but genuinely putting good quality content on the site, keeping it up to date and getting other ‘authority sites’ to link to you covers the main points.
  • Pay Per Click (PPC) –Different from SEO, PPC means you can be at the top of Google or other search engines today.  SEO can take several months and even years.  PPC can be very effective if set up effectively, driving very highly targeted traffic to your website.  However, if done wrong it can be a very costly mistake, seek expert advice from digital marketing agencies or PPC experts.  Find out more in our other post Search Engines (PPC/SEO)
  • Social media – There is a lot of noise out there about social media and the power it can have at bringing in new leads to your business but tread carefully.  If you are selling to businesses, there is little point trying to promote your website through Facebook or Twitter because they are fundamentally based on social content.  LinkedIn might be a stronger platform to reach your target audience.  That being said, if you are selling to consumers Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media might be a good way to market your website as long as it’s done properly because like PPC it can be a costly mistake if done wrong.  However, it’s important that when you’re thinking about marketing your website on social platforms, you do so in a creative, sociable and shareable way – not easy!
  • Quality & Unique content, regularly – Blogging is nothing to be fearful of, in fact it is a great way to drive traffic when you are marketing your website.  Blogging ‘forces you’ to create content that is relevant to your business and that your target customers will value.  If you are not sure what to write about, start by thinking what your ideal customer would want to know about your product and write educational articles on the benefits of your product/service.  If you are still struggling to write content or you don’t have time, you can hire individuals or businesses to create high quality content for you to use on your site.  Always ensure your content is unique and high quality.
  • Email marketing – Email is still the most used form of communication in the business world.  Using email to drive traffic to your site can be very effective.  If you are creating quality and unique content (i.e. blogging as above), you will want to share this with your audience and adding links in an email newsletter is a great way to stay in touch with your customers and reach new customers.  Done effectively this can drive some high quality traffic to your site.
Don’t forget old-school traditional marketing too.  If you meet someone at a networking event, often the first reaction when back at your office is to take a quick look at their website.  Make sure your website address is clearly displayed on all marketing materials, include it on adverts, vehicle livery, brochures and leaflets, business cards and letterheads.  You just don’t know when your next opportunity is going to crop up!

Content kindly provided by www.yorkshirepowerhouse.com visit them for free business templates & much more. 

E-commerce implications
 

You’ve got a product you want to sell and everyone’s doing this online now so it must be easy, right?

In fact, most people who are in this position seem to think that in order to sell their product all they need is an e-commerce website to sell it on.  What they don’t realise is that there are a lot of considerations to take into account when setting up an e-commerce website.

This can range from something relatively simple such as what shipping services they will use, to whether or not they should be worried about PCI compliance.  It’s not uncommon for the amount of work involved and the implications of e-commerce to be greatly underestimated.

Let’s run through some of the things you need to consider:

  • Platform – There are lots of e-commerce technologies on which to build an online store – but do you even need a platform or should you consider Ebay and Amazon first?  Will you use an “out of the box” package or will you go for bespoke?  Will you buy a theme or have one made especially for you?  Of course no package works “out of the box” for all the reasons below and some platforms can become very expensive to get a custom look for.  There are a number of places offering cheap or even free themes but these can be difficult to install, painful to manage, or just be plain not suitable for your products.
  • Shipping – What shipping will you offer?  Will there be next day delivery?  Will you offer free delivery to customers who order over a certain amount?  Will you accept returns on any products?  Will you ship internationally or just to a single country?  Do you want to exclude certain countries?  Is your shipping and delivery policy clearly defined and transparent on your website for your customers to see?  For some services you will even need to generate documentation from the site in order to ship anything at all, for example FedEx.  And then if you want to offer onsite tracking for shipments this is something else to think about, not all services offer this.
  • Payment – How will you transact payment?  Will you offer PayPal or take credit cards (there are lots of credit card transaction service providers out there including Stripe, WorldPay, SagePay, etc)?  What about more traditional methods of payment such as cheque or purchase order?  Does the customer enter their credit/debit card information on the website itself or somewhere else?  These questions come with a whole load of other issues surrounding PCI compliance and data protection issues.  If you’ve never heard of this then you’ll need to brush up on what you know fast!
  • Products – What type of product are you selling?  How should they be presented?  How do competing sites present their products?  Obviously certain kinds of products should be presented in different ways, a store selling confectionery wants to present differently from a store selling boutique clothing … in turn they want to look different from a company selling the latest high tech gadgets.
  • Selling – How will you reach your customers and how will you market your e-commerce website?  If you’re a new store you need to find your point of difference.  Why should potential customers buy from your store over any other online store selling the same or similar products?  How will they find you?  Will you advertise on pay per click (PPC) mediums or through social media?  What about on other e-commerce sales channels such as Amazon or eBay?  Will you run any concurrent marketing such as newsletters or offers?
  • Legal – Be aware that there are legal issues here too.  It is a legal requirement to provide a full company name declaration and to provide clear terms & conditions, returns policies, etc.  Ignorance of the law is no excuse and you should seek legal advice here.  There are 4 main laws you should observe compliance to: The Electronic Commerce (EC Directive) Regulations 2002, The Data Protection Act 1998, The Distance Selling Act 2000 and the ICO Cookie Law.

This list is by no means exhaustive and if this seems like a lot of questions already then good, selling online successfully isn’t easy; it takes time, careful thought and plenty of planning.

If you are thinking about starting an e-commerce business, then you should make sure you’ve thought about all of the above questions and you have a considered answer for each of them.  You should also have answers to questions that aren’t even on this list as there are, in actual fact, many more things to take into account – largely focussed on ‘customer experience’ and trust.

If, for any reason, you feel you need to brush up or learn more about any of these issues then there are experts on hand to help you with this.

Content kindly provided by www.yorkshirepowerhouse.com visit them for free business templates & much more. 

Writing content for your website
 

Your website is the cornerstone of you marketing efforts.  How you present yourself online is effectively your shop front and so the importance of writing content in an engaging way becomes more and more important.  As you are not there to do the talking when someone visits your website the quality of the content is crucial to how effectively it engages the reader.

If you are going to have a go at writing content for your website, here are the main things to bear in mind:

  • Make it obvious – You will not hold your reader’s interest for long.  They will exit your website very quickly if they land on your site and can’t fathom what you do.  When writing content, use an introductory headline to pinpoint what you do which will encourage them to read on.
  • Write for your reader – The temptation is to try and prove your worth and expertise with long-winded, technical explanations full to busting with industry speak and acronyms.  This is often a mistake which turns the reader off.  When you are writing content think about your ideal customer and write for them.
  • Benefits – when writing for the reader, consider how the customer is advantaged by what you sell.  Explain all the features and how these form benefits to them.  When you are writing content you should explain what you do differently that give you the edge over your competitors.
  • Brevity is key – lengthy, nuance-stuffed pages are not necessary on a website.  Leave this for your blog pages and further reading articles and put links to them for people who do want to drill down into more information.  Use catchy, explanatory headlines and fairly short paragraphs.  The headlines will draw the reader in and they will stay engaged longer with shorter paragraphs.
  • Calls to action – Don’t forget your website is there to engage and to capture information as well as give it out.  Don’t forget to include calls to action on all pages such as an enquiry form or a free download in exchange for an email address.
  • Keep in clean – Don’t use multiple font styles, font sizes or a mix of colours in your content, it makes it very hard to read. 1 font, 3 sizes (2 headings and one body content) and 2 colours is a good benchmark to use.
  • Check your work – Have someone you trust proof read and sense check your content.  Don’t do it yourself as your brain will always translate what it expects to see instead of what is actually there.  Writing content with grammar and spelling mistakes will dent your credibility.

Content kindly provided by www.yorkshirepowerhouse.com visit them for free business templates & much more. 

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Around Town In the Huddersfield Live Hygge Tipi

Wednesday 15 November 2017

What better time to get together than Christmas? Around Town believe that connecting the business community of Huddersfield in its iconic locations and organisations is a brilliant way to share ideas, hear inspirational stories and have some FUN. Organised by Oli Smith, Michelle Crowther and Chris Buckley Around Town create memorable events every 3 months. 2018 plans are already underway; “as well as meeting at some amazing businesses we are walking Around Town in Spring - a fantastic way to get to know each other whilst experiencing some award winning locations and scenery in Huddersfield “ says Michelle And with Huddersfield Live December promises to be a memorable Around Town event. Hosted in the Hygge Tipi in St Georges Square, hear Sam Watt and Poppy Stahelin tell of the fabulous work the team at Huddersfield Live are doing and some of the stunning events planned for next year. Laura Drury sets the backdrop of how she formed the The Hygge Tipi and how it creates a convivial atmosphere for Huddersfield folk to mingle, drink mulled wine, and keep the winter night out in front of the log fire. All In the heart of Huddersfield. Tickets are limited and can be reserved FREE here. Chamber members old and new are very welcome. Around Town Events for 2018 confirmed. March 1st - Valli Opticians May 17th - Owen Scott Tailors May 25th - (Walk) Around Town - 15miles (approx) Breakfast Sarnies, The Kirklees Way, Finish in a Brewery!
Posted by The Alternative Board
Applegate Properties achieves double award recognition

Monday 13 November 2017

Yorkshire-based residential estate and lettings agent Applegate Properties has won both gold and silver accolades, at a prestigious industry awards ceremony. The Negotiator Awards – the UK’s leading programme for estate and lettings specialists – were established in 2008, and since then have grown in stature to now be acknowledged as the most recognised awards scheme for the residential property industry. With 30 categories in total, 2017 proved to be the largest year yet for the presentation, as over 750 directors, senior managers and business owners attended the event. Applegate Properties was shortlisted in three categories – Yorkshire and the Humber Agency of the Year, Small Lettings Agency of the Year and Small Estate Agency of the Year – each of them celebrating businesses with 1-3 branches, that are prominent stand out within their town. Amy Wray, Applegate’s managing director attended the London ceremony alongside, sales advisor Chloe Byrne and lettings advisor Laura-Anne. Held at the Hilton Hotel on Park Lane, the event was hosted by Jimmy Carr who presented Applegate with a gold accolade for the Yorkshire and the Humber Agency of the Year, and silver for the Small Lettings Agency of the Year. Amy commented on their success and said: “With our three previous years of victory at the awards – winning bronze in 2014 and 2015 and then silver in 2016 for the Yorkshire and the Humber Agency of the Year – myself and the team were and still are absolutely elated to have been shortlisted again for such a prestigious award. “But the 2017 event was something else. The night itself was lots of fun and we were extremely shocked to receive both gold and silver, as we were up against such strong competition. We have worked hard to offer a completely different estate agency experience, so it was extremely humbling to have this acknowledged in such a prestigious arena!” Applegate Properties was founded in 2010 and has built an exceptional reputation for being the fastest growing property experts in the Huddersfield and Holmfirth area. Now a team of 10, this latest accomplishment has helped to recognise and solidify their continued success.
Posted by Scriba PR Limited
Huddersfield-based Leach appointed by international outdoor leisure brand Regatta

Friday 27 October 2017

International outdoor leisure brand Regatta has overhauled the visual merchandising strategy at its Manchester headquarters, with the help of Huddersfield-based display specialist Leach Impact. Regatta’s showroom is a regular destination for corporate customers, keen to be among the first to see what could soon adorn their retail shelves. But with footwear previously housed on a dark, permanent wooden wall, the 180sqft space struggled to do the hero products justice. The brand has therefore invested in a 6.8m x 2.5m state-of-the-art bespoke display from Leach’s Product Wall Lite range. At only 65mm thick, the streamlined wall-mounted system integrates eye-catching graphics with ultra-bright LED illumination and slick magnetic shelving, for maximum impact as soon as a customer arrives. “Following an initial design consultation, we knew the team was interested in the flexibility of this graphics display alternative,” elaborated Dale Broadhead, Leach’s project lead. “However, to meet the exact requirements of this brief, our in-house innovation team built a number of prototypes to evaluate how to best showcase Regatta’s footwear range.” The finished solution was then installed only one day, which included full magnetic assemble, graphic installation and 180 shelves added and aligned. Regatta’s marketing director Jo Hawkins expanded: “We were initially drawn to the system because of its brightness and large-format photographic quality. But the construction of Product Wall Lite now allows us to change the graphics and products as often as we like, without any external input or specialist shop-fitting expertise. “This means we can refresh our showroom campaigns in line with the changing seasons, which should deliver an ongoing wow factor and a lasting impression, much more in-keeping with what we’re trying to achieve as a brand.” On the back of positive feedback from visitors to the Manchester HQ, Regatta now plans to roll the Product Wall Lite system out into its store environments. Established in 1981 with a 12-strong team, Regatta now has 200 stores and concessions throughout the UK and operates in 55 countries worldwide.
Posted by Scriba PR Limited
Social Progress at 2017 Chamber Business Awards

Monday 23 October 2017

Social Progress, a Social Media & Digital Marketing Agency from Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, has been crowned one of the winners in the Yorkshire and Humber heats of the Chamber Business Awards 2017. Now in their 14th year, the Awards are a highlight of the business calendar, recognising the key role that local businesses play in driving the UK economy. The Best Use of Social Media award winner, Social Progress will now go forward to represent the Yorkshire and the Humber region in the national finals, which take place in London in November. Janet Bebb, Owner & DM of Social Progress said: “The announcement took us completely by surprise. We entered but never thought we’d be selected as Regional Winners. “The entry showcased the interactive social media software we’ve developed called Big Screen Social that can be used at events. It’s a highly visual Twitter & Instagram Wall which, because of the unique visual presentation, is designed to encourage delegates, sponsors and exhibitors to post throughout the day or evening using the event’s specific hashtag. This gives added media exposure to the event. “Big Screen Social is going down a storm at conferences, award evenings, etc. Mid Yorkshire Chamber have used the software at two of their events this year, the Kirklees Business Conference and the Wakefield Business Conference. Francis Martin, President of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) said: “Businesses are the backbone and driving force of the UK economy. Even in the face of uncertain times, they continue to show their resilience and strength – creating opportunities for employment, investment and growth. “Our judges are always impressed by the high standard of submissions, and the calibre of entries this year was no different. The finalists in the Chamber Business Awards represent the best of this country’s entrepreneurial spirit, creativity and hard-work. “The Chamber Business Awards are the perfect opportunity for us to celebrate our business communities’ achievements, to take stock of the outstanding performances of UK businesses over the past year, and to encourage and inspire others to follow in their footsteps.” Social Progress is a Yorkshire based Social Media Agency specialising in social media strategy, social media training and social media content management on behalf of clients. Our client base stretches from micro-businesses to large corporations and all training and services are tailored to suit their requirements. We ensure training is suitable for the individuals involved and tailor the teaching to suit their skill-level and learning pace to ensure they make the most of the training and feel confident enough to go away and have a go themselves. We offer Content Managed Packages for clients who wish to out-source their social media management ranging from low-level to detailed social media strategy and support. All packages can also have additional training bolted onto them to ensure the client is confident to manage their own social media after a time. Social Media Strategy Packages help to focus business owners and marketing department on the what, why, how and when of using social media for business. We help give them a purpose to using social media and help them to use if more efficiently and effectively. We also strive to encourage authenticity and to show their personality through their social media channels/activity. We’ve also developed a highly interactive and visual Twitter & Instagram Wall called Big Screen Social which is designed to enhance any event. Be that conferences, exhibition stands, award evening, charity functions, festivals, music concerts, weddings & parties. Big Screen Social can be purchased to use for a day or on an ongoing basis by event planners, social media agencies, PR agencies, advertising and marketing agencies and AV technicians. The display posts using a given hashtag. It can be moderated and customised to suit the branding of the event.
Posted by Social Progress
Roots and routes the key themes at Huddersfield’s inaugural Design Conference

Wednesday 11 October 2017

180 creative practitioners, students and enthusiasts gathered at Bates Mill in Huddersfield last week for the town’s first Design Conference. Organised by Wilson’s Republic, the inaugural event brought together a number of high profile speakers, many of whom grew up in the Huddersfield district. And those roots proved a popular theme throughout the packed day of seminars and workshops. Headline guest James Sommerville stole the show with an honest insight into his journey from an ambitious young punk from Paddock, to the founder of world-renowned design agency Attik and now Vice President of Global Design for the Coca Cola Company, based in Atlanta. Like the creator of Coca Cola John Pemberton, James shared how he found success almost by accident – in his case because he couldn’t get a job. This led him and a friend to set up by themselves in James’ grandmother’s loft. Like Coca Cola, Attik’s ambition was to do things that would capture attention and disrupt the market, and both are now iconic brands within their respective fields. Other highlights included a two-part presentation by John Lee, who told his story from a Colne Valley High schoolboy to model maker for the soon-to-be-released Star Wars: The Last Jedi film. He spoke openly about the lack of careers guidance available as a youngster wanting to get into the seemingly unattainable world of special effects, but with passion, self-motivated research and a vast amount of hard work with another local friend, they went on to realise their childhood ambitions. Huddersfield-based photographer Christopher Nunn shared a powerful account of his image-led documentation of the Donbass war in Ukraine – the country of his mother’s roots. Craig Oldham, from Barnsley, illustrated the often-overlooked use of creative expression from the opposite worlds of the professional football field and the front line of the miners’ strikes – again something close to Craig’s own roots. And Eve Warren from Robot Food stressed that a designer’s roots – and career progression – needn’t be London centric, especially given the movement going on in the North. Commenting on the very different presentations, the Design Conference’s co-founder Darren Evans said: “I think the audience were particularly inspired by the honesty within all of the talks, which is perhaps another Yorkshire trait. James Sommerville encouraged delegates to consider potential ‘failures’ as simply stepping stones, for example, and urged people not to always worry about completely reinventing designs in favour of making refinements to preserve legacy and evolve a concept. “There was also a great deal of talk about collaboration – commonplace in Huddersfield, as evidenced by the expansion of the Wilson’s Republic design network over the past two years,” continued fellow event co-founder Aidan Nolan. “The design community’s sharing of ideas and knowledge is ultimately what is driving the prolific reputation of the creative sector in this region. The talent hub here is rich and people are recognising it. And, the number of filled chairs in the room last week, and speakers’ eagerness to contribute, really evidences this.” Numerous other workshops were delivered on the day by The Engine Room, Crowther Chartered Accountants, the Intellectual Property Office and Foilco. The Design Conference looks set to return to Huddersfield in 2019.
Posted by Scriba PR Limited
James Sommerville set to headline Huddersfield’s first Design Conference

Friday 29 September 2017

He began his career as a street artist, before going on to co-found and sell what became the globally-recognised design studio ATTIK. And now James Sommerville – currently Vice President of Global Design for the Coca Cola Company – is returning to his Huddersfield roots to headline the first ever Design Conference to be held in the town. Set to deliver his keynote speech via live video link from his Atlanta base, James will talk to 200 delegates about his astonishing career both in the UK and overseas. He will speak openly about his journey from chalking pavements in Britain, to establishing ATTIK using Margaret Thatcher’s £40 weekly Enterprise Allowance. Event attendees will also hear about some of his acclaimed work for famous brands including Sony, Heineken and Schweppes, as well as the reasons why he still champions Yorkshire design, despite living on the other side of the Atlantic. James is the latest in a series of heavyweight names to be added to the line-up for this inaugural North of England event. Set to take place in Huddersfield on Thursday 5 October, The Design Conference will also welcome Huddersfield-born John Lee – a celebrated prop and model maker who has spent 34 years in the film industry. Having begun his professional design journey working on The Wind in the Willows, he has gone on to be involved in blockbusters including Aliens, Casino Royale and the soon-to-be-released Star Wars: The Last Jedi. He is also a frequent lecturer at The National Film and Television School. John will be joined by Tom Foley, Creative Director of international typography specialist Dalton Maag, who has recently hit the headlines for designing the new BBC Sport ‘Leith’ font. As well as taking to the stage to talk about the performance of typefaces across different print and digital environments, Tom will also be leading a 2-hour logo refinement workshop on the day. Eve Warren, an established designer from Robot Food who is known for her colourful and expressive creativity, is also on the programme. Eve has worked with pioneering brands including The Marshmallowist and Hanami, and was also involved in developing the identity for Europe’s first dedicated arts and wellbeing island Obonjan. The conference additionally features Craig Oldham. Founder of The Office of Craig Oldham, he runs a celebrated studio that creates brands, books, websites, films and exhibitions, as well as being passionate about teaching, writing, curating and consulting with industry. And delegates will hear from Chris Nunn – the most recent addition to the line-up. A Huddersfield-based photographer, Chris has worked a lot in Ukraine over the past for a couple of years documenting the war in Donbass. The event will take place at Bates Mill, a converted textiles mill and popular venue for the cultural sector. It is the conception of Wilson’s Republic, a not-for-profit design network in the town, founded by Huddersfield-based designers Darren Evans and Aidan Nolan. Aiming to bring creative practitioners, students and enthusiasts together to tell their stories, share experiences, collaborate, question, learn and create, the venture is becoming a noted name on the design events scene. Commenting on the Design Conference launch and the buzz that has emerged so far, co-founder Darren Evans said: “There is no shortage of both budding and established talent across the North, and Huddersfield’s location in the very centre – not to mention the town’s history of world class invention and creativity – makes it a befitting destination for this inaugural event. “Although it was logistically difficult to get James over to Huddersfield, the fact he wanted to speak is a great boost for us and just shows how much respect exists for design in this region.” “By bringing inspiring speakers together in a relaxed, collaborative environment, we’re hoping to help further stimulate the profile of design, in what is becoming a very prolific part of the UK, for the arts sector as a whole.” With such a packed line-up of presentations, the event has pulled registrations from throughout the region and beyond, with 70% of tickets already gone. Tickets can be pre-purchased at www.wrconf.com. There are no ticket sales on the day. Updates can be found on Twitter via @wilsonsrepublic and #WRConf.
Posted by Scriba PR Limited
Scriba PR scoops up national award

Thursday 28 September 2017

The Forward Ladies National Awards has announced its winners from the Yorkshire, North East and Scotland region, and Katie Mallinson – MD of Huddersfield B2B PR agency Scriba PR – is one of the twelve lucky recipients. Established eight years ago, the accolades aim to acknowledge the work of enterprising female talent within the workplace and celebrate respected businesswomen across a wide variety of industries. The regional awards ceremony took place on Friday 22nd September at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Newcastle, where the category winners were announced. Despite tough competition, Katie succeeded in scooping up the bespoke glass trophy for Start Up of the Year, which champions distinctive women in business whose companies are within their first five years of trading. The three-course gala lunch presentation included talks from inspirational women, including keynote speaker Pamela Petty, who is a board member at the Entrepreneurs’ Forum. Formerly the managing director of Ebac – the UK’s only washing machine manufacturer – Pamela is passionate about British manufacturing and spoke emphatically about her personal and professional struggles of succeeding in a male-dominated environment. Following the event, Forward Ladies’ managing director Griselda Togobo expressed her pride in the winners and said: “This has been a fantastic year for women, and through our National Awards we are once again delighted to be working in partnership with HSBC to showcase the very best women in business in the UK. “The calibre of entries has been increasing year on year, but this year we had a number of outstanding entries and it was a wonderful afternoon of celebration and sharing their remarkable success. The standard of all our shortlisted entries was truly exceptional.” Katie founded Scriba PR in 2013, and provides comms support to technical B2B companies. Commenting on her achievement she said: “It was a great day celebrating women in business, and I am delighted to have won the Start Up ‘gong’. It came as a huge shock as I was shortlisted alongside some hugely successful women in a very crowded category, so I feel privileged and honoured to have been chosen.” Following the final regional ceremony next month, November will see all of the winners take part in a judging day in Manchester, before a distinguished panel of business leaders. The finalists from all regions will then be invited to the grand final ceremony on 1st December in Leeds, where the overall national winners will be announced.
Posted by Scriba PR Limited
KC Communications Announces Launch of Training Academy

Wednesday 27 September 2017

Huddersfield based marketing agency, KC Communications have announced the launch of their training academy following the relocation to larger premises earlier this year. KC Communications, who primarily work with SME’s and educational organisations to support them with marketing, PR and social media requirements, have launched the academy following the demand for training services that match the standards of professional training institutions but are delivered by individuals who undertake the activity on a daily basis. Identifying a gap in the market for professional training services, the planned workshops delivered will be accessible to SME’s and sole traders to help them on the path to marketing and ultimately, business success. Commenting on the launch of the academy, founder and Managing Director Katrina Cliffe commented: “CPD is one of our core values and from the top down all staff regularly undertake a variety of training activities to ensure we deliver both the highest level of service and results for our clients. Over the years we have received many requests to deliver training but haven’t had the facilities to be able to do so. However, our relocation to Independence House in Lindley has been instrumental in allowing us to build on the opportunity to deliver workshops due to improved facilities and ample free parking. Now our refurbishment is complete; I am delighted to be progressing with the academy”. The agency will deliver workshops on a monthly basis with the first workshops in the pipeline focused on “How to write a marketing plan” and “How GDPR will affect the marketing function”.
Posted by KC Communications
Huddersfield digital agency completes biggest project yet for multinational brand

Tuesday 19 September 2017

Huddersfield-based digital marketing agency Splitpixel has completed a mammoth six-month website redevelopment project for multinational brand Sodexo, marking the team’s largest assignment to date. Sodexo Group is the 19th largest employer in the world, operating in 80 countries with annual revenues of more than €20 billion. The UK division known as Sodexo Employee and Consumer Engagement has been a Splitpixel client since 2009, but as the organisation has grown so too has the complexity of its online footprint. At the start of 2017, the decision was made to consolidate 15 individual sites – attracting over 600,000 visits per year for 11 different brands – into one. Now – more than 1,500 man hours later – the 330-page, fully-responsive and truly insight-driven website has been successfully crafted and launched. Commenting on the project delivery, Splitpixel’s co-founder Charlie Herke said: “Sodexo wanted to provide a seamless, engaging and information-rich hub, something that better represented the whole of their product and service portfolio. The site had to communicate with a range of target personas to improve the user experience and, above all, generate leads. “A project of this scale was – perhaps unsurprisingly – far from straightforward, and not least because of the tight timescales. But we drew upon the expertise of everyone within our 11-strong multi-disciplined team to nail this challenging brief.” The new site design was carried out in parallel to a two-month digital audit of the 15 disparate domains, which then saw the team move on to user journey mapping and strategic content development. 200 blogs were hand-selected, reworked and optimised for relaunch on the new site, 130 new pages were written as a result of collaborative workshops with Sodexo’s brand champions, and a number of engaging visual elements were incorporated to bring the creative to life. The WordPress build was complemented with the integration of HubSpot to host the blog and all gated content, making the two platforms work together in ways that the technical community for both tried to tell the team were impossible. Finally, 8,500 pages were manually redirected and a month of testing completed prior to the launch. On the completion of the project, Ms Herke said: “Despite the site housing a very complex navigation and content architecture, the result is an easy-to-use, results-driven and agency-style website, totally unlike anything they had before. It’s extremely bold, but we're happy to say the client loves it.” Splitpixel will now continue to support Sodexo with ongoing ecommerce, SEO, PPC and lead generation projects moving forward. Jamie Mackenzie, Sodexo’s director of marketing concluded: “Splitpixel has captured the essence of our new branding and delivered it, not just to a market-leading standard, but also on time – and with minimal hiccups along the way. I wouldn’t underestimate the complexity of simplifying our business into one site.”
Posted by Scriba PR Limited
KC Communications scores hat-trick of new clients

Wednesday 06 September 2017

Huddersfield-based marketing communications agency, KC Communications, has announced that they have added three new accounts to their growing roster of clients. The accounts include North Yorkshire based electrical wholesaler, Oldfield Group, insolvency specialist, Poppleton & Appleby and Huddersfield based tailors, Owen Scott Bespoke. These latest contract wins continue the momentum of business growth for KC Communications who are set to increase turnover by 50% by the end of this financial year. In addition, they have recently recruited two new members of staff; an Account Manager and an Operations Manager have joined the team. Charles Brook, Partner of Poppleton & Appleby commented: “We are delighted to be working with KC Communications. After my firm Brooke Business Recovery merged with Manchester based Poppleton & Appleby, we are looking to broaden our customer base across the Pennines and expand our service offering. We feel that with the help of the team at KC Communications we will see some great results in raising our profile for our newly expanded practice over the coming months.” Katrina Cliffe, Managing Director at KC Communications added: “We’re extremely proud of our recent client wins and are hoping to continue our growth into the next financial year. We’re very excited to be working with such a broad range of businesses, from an electrical wholesaler to a bespoke tailor, and we’re looking forward to delivering some fantastic results for all three businesses.”
Posted by KC Communications
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