11 Great Free Resources To Help With Your Digital Marketing

11 Great Free Resources To Help With Your Digital Marketing

The most common difficulty businesses face when it comes to their marketing is time.

We understand this; there are so many different platforms you need to have a voice on to help you engage your audience and drive traffic to your website all whilst staying on brand and hopefully generating sales and interest.

As time consuming as it can be, we live in a society that is internet obsessed and so digital marketing is the most effective way to reach your audience.

To help you with the key tasks of creating your content and then scheduling it effectively, here are some great free resources anyone can use:

11 free resources to help with your digital marketing

Google search console– a quick and easy way to see the search terms people are using to find your website. It’s a great insight which you can then use to further develop your SEO strategy.

Canva– great for editing images, creating thumbnails and Pinterest graphics.

Piktochart– perfect for creating infographics. Lots of free templates that can be easily edited to fit with your branding.

Air Table– a fabulous editorial calendar to plan blog posts and social media content.

Imgflip– a meme generator; create funny memes in a couple of clicks with this site – great for engaging an audience on social media.

Pexels– lots of high-quality free stock images ready for you to use on your website or social media.

Google Alerts– get the news articles that are of interest to your business straight to your inbox.

Hootsuite – no time to tweet? Set up Hootsuite to do it for you.

Grum– a great Instagram scheduler.

Yoast  – the quickest and easiest way to make your content SEO friendly. Install it on your website and follow the advice to get the green light.

Moz– Moz will show you where your websites back links are coming from and how they are performing.

If you’d like to find out more about any of these resources, or it still all seems like an alien language to you, fear not, we can help. We’re always here to answer your marketing questions, please get in touch if you wish to discuss any of our services.

Midlands Expansion for The Collective

Midlands Expansion for The Collective

The Collective, Dorset’s premier video & digital marketing agency for industry and the education sector, has opened a new office in Birmingham. The company aims to further expand its reach across the country and to take advantage of the many engineering and manufacturing companies based within the Midlands.

The Collective has seen strong growth over the last 12 months, particularly within its video and animation capability, and feels the time is now right to take the next step in expanding this capability targeting a wider geographical market.

Midlands manufacturing is regarded as being at the heart of the UK economy, with economic output figures of over £34bn, and key sectors including aerospace and automotive, as well as many others. Approximately 610,000 people are employed in the manufacturing industry across the Midlands region, highlighting the importance of the industry to the region as a whole.

Alongside its complete in-house video and photography capability, The Collective specialises in offering a full marketing support service to companies, including social media, website design and build, PR, literature design and marketing strategy. The company was established over 4 years ago and works extensively within the manufacturing and engineering industry including the defence, aerospace, marine, composite and power generation sectors.

The business has also built a strong presence within the education industry, designing and building websites for schools and producing a range of videos including values videos, teaching aids for schools and prospectus videos.

James Howes, Managing Director at The Collective, is delighted to be opening the new office in Birmingham:

“This is a real milestone for The Collective and something we have been keen to do for some time now. Having worked across the Midlands with diverse clients including Indestructible Paints and Dudley Associates, having a permanent base in Birmingham will allow us to better serve our local clients. We are excited to become involved in an area of the country that has huge potential, as focus shifts away from the traditional London and South East markets.”

The Collective’s new Midlands office is located within the Colmore Building in central Birmingham. The Colmore Building has 310,000 square ft of highly specified office space, arranged over ground, mezzanine and 12 upper floors.

To discuss any aspects of The Collective’s marketing and video support capability, please contact Zoe at zoe@thecollectivegroup.co.uk or telephone: 01202 682322.


How often do you work on your business?

How often do you work on your business?

I received an email today from a Marketing Agency, offering me their services as a Marketing Consultant for our business. Now, bearing in mind we are a Marketing Agency and that’s what we do, I went through a range of emotions. It started with contempt, spread to laughter, then curiosity and finally to grudging respect. I did, of course, what any self-respecting marketing person would do on receiving an email from a competitor, and googled them. This told me they were a) quite a large business and b) they actually know what they are talking about (at least in print). 

This got me thinking… were they just a little bit slack with their database cleansing and hadn’t checked they were sending their email to competitors… or was it a deliberate ploy, based on the very credible notion that, actually, many businesses are so busy working for their customers that they forget to work on their own business. 

Using that logic, you could be forgiven for considering the idea of an agency such as ours using another agency to do their marketing. You would of course have to address the issue of pride – why would I pay for an agency to do something I do for our clients every day? The answer is time of course, and the fact that sometimes you can be too close to your business to see the best way to market yourself.

Many of our industrial clients are busy and successful organisations, with significant client bases that need servicing. We regularly talk to companies who are struggling to find the time to invest in themselves as client business always comes first. We get that completely, which is why we have developed our approach of offering our customers the option of outsourcing their marketing to us. By working alongside, and often actually within the business itself, we can provide a guaranteed level of support on a monthly basis, so our customers have that peace of mind that says 

we are continuing to market ourselves without having to think about it, or devote a resource to it, that could be better utilised elsewhere in our business”. 

So, maybe, the original email doesn’t sound such a silly idea. If you are thinking something similar, why not drop me a line and we can compare thoughts.


Making a Success of Your Social Media

Making a Success of Your Social Media

Social media is a vital tool for promoting your business. Making a success of your social media can be tough but sticking to these simple steps can really help you stay on track and keep an engaged audience.

Set goals

It may seem like common sense, but goal setting is essential when measuring your social media success. Once you have clearly defined goals, you have something to measure your results against.
Ask yourself: “What do I want to get out of social media for my business?” – your answer will effectively dictate your goals.
Make sure your response is specific. For example, wanting to increase your website traffic is not a well-defined and measurable goal. On the other hand, wanting a 10% increase of website traffic is both well-defined and can be measured. 

Create a policy

Making the decision to promote your business through social media is a huge step. Before even getting started, be sure to set some boundaries on social media use.
Include some of the do’s and don’ts and set the tone of your social media channels so that they’re reflective of your company. Consistency across the tone, images and language is important to your business identity.

Offer training

Once you have your goals and a policy set in place, it might be of value to offer some sort of basic social media training.
Offer advice on how to set-up and use the different social media channels, with information like how to target your audience with the right information. This will help employees to understand what you want to get out of social media for your business and help to make it a success.

Plan ahead

It’s tough juggling everything, and unless your company has a marketing team, finding the time for social media will likely push it to the bottom of the to-do list. The solution: plan ahead.
Having a calendar of content for the week/month ahead will save you time and the distraction of what and when to post.
Most companies will have set projects with dates, which can be used to form your calendar. This will allow you to react to additional events as and when they arise.


It’s a good idea to monitor and measure your results, so that you can see which posts are working well and which aren’t working so well.
Using tools such as Google Analytics or the social media’s own analytics will give you an insight into which posts received a high reach or a lot of engagement. From this, you can tailor future posts to make your social media even more of a success.

Whether you are just about to set-up social media for your business, are looking for some guidance, or even looking to outsource your social media, drop us a line – we can help when it comes to Making a Success of Your Social Media!

How to create SEO rich content

How to create SEO rich content

In web terms, if content is King then SEO follows up very closely as Queen. There is very little point in spending your time and resources creating well written, informative content if the search engines aren’t going to find your site. In this post we are going to give you the tools to easily create SEO rich content.

SEO (search engine optimisation) is all about getting your website ranked well in the eyes of search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo. Creating the best SEO rich content to benefit your website can seem like a mammoth task but following these few simple steps will see your ranking within search engines increase significantly over time. Remember, SEO is not a quick fix – you have to work at it and keep working at it over time to yield the best results.

Keyword  Research   

Keyword research is a vital part of seeing the best results from SEO. Start by looking at the keywords that are bringing people to your website – hopefully you have a Google Analytics account set up for your site, that allows you to see what keywords people are using to land on your website.
Make a list of those keywords and phrases and build on them. Put yourself in the shoes of your audience and imagine what they would be typing in to find your website. For example a key phrase for us would be ‘Digital Marketing in Poole’ or ‘Video Production in Dorset.

Top hint: ‘Keywords’ tends to be a generic phrase, but increasingly people are typing more intricate and detailed phrases into search engines as they become more savvy on looking for exactly what they need. So ‘keywords’ don’t have to be a single word, they can be a phrase as well.

There are some great free tools for planning your keywords and phrases such as Google Keyword Planner. Bear in mind, any term that has a high level of search volume will be harder to rank for, than those with a low/mid-range search volume, so it’s worth taking some time looking for key phrases that describe your business but are not too generic.

Stay relevant

While researching what is popular is one thing, you will still need your own content to be relevant to you and your brand. Don’t create a random news article on current affairs that‘s nothing to do with what you do just to gain clicks. Staying on top of the news and tips in your own industry will position you as a front-runner and leader in your industry and your SEO will benefit from it.

Incorporating keywords into your text

So now you have your keywords/phrases and you know the type of article you should be writing – it’s time to start putting pen to paper, keeping in mind the above points. Include your keywords in your title and first paragraph of the article. In addition include them in the alt text & meta data, but remember to keep the text natural. Keyword stuffing will not work, as it will make your article hard to read and search engines either won’t pick it up or will discount it.

Good luck!

For support and help with any of your SEO requirements or if you have any more questions on creating SEO rich content please contact us at team@thecollectivegroup.co.uk

The importance of using visual content

The importance of using visual content

The importance of using visual content in all of your marketing has never been greater. 84% of all marketing communications are predicted to be visual by 2019. Now really is the perfect time to start working on using visual content and investing some time into getting it just right.

How should you be increasing your visual content?   

Let’s start with a plan. Have a think about your community, and your marketplace, and the sort of content they would like to see. You know your industry; so what interests you on social media and on websites. If you like it the chances are your audience will. Have a look at what performs well by way of re-tweets, shared posts etc. Then think about how you could put your own spin on this. Don’t be scared of having a go – short vlogs with the right content will be much better received than pages of text. Think about the images that represent you and your business but always ensure they are of the highest quality possible.

Where video or photos aren’t appropriate, think about the use of infographics. Using an online tool like Canva will give them the professional look.

How will using visual content increase engagement?   

People prefer visuals. We are in essence visual learners. Online consumers will only take in 10-20% of the information they read, but once your content is paired with using visual content that percentage goes up to a whopping 65%. Tweets with images receive 150% more retweets than those without.

Tip: Compile a group of high quality images for your brand so you always have some relevant go-to images. Photographs of your business and products are always going to be the best option. You can also supplement these with a few stock images.  

Why is video so important?     

By 2019 80% of the internet’s traffic will consist of video traffic. An online audience is increasingly preferring to watch video rather than read plain text. 64% of consumers are more willing to make a purchase after watching a video. It’s often the quickest way to get a feel for a product before buying.

Getting video right can be tricky – read our recent article with 6 simple tips for creating better videos or contact us to have a chat about your next project. 

Hopefully you found this post useful for planning your next marketing strategy. Using visual content is so important right now. So if you need help with videography or photography send us an email at team@thecollectivegroup.co.uk.