Archive for February, 2011

The importance of marketing in a recession

Andrew Cave from the FSB

A few weeks ago we spoke to Andrew Cave, Head of Policy at the Federation of Small Business, about quite a few things. You can find out more on our YouTube channel. But one of the key takeouts was the need for businesses both big and small to continue their marketing efforts during the economic downturn.


Now this isn’t to say that businesses should pile lots of money into marketing. As a small business you don’t have the budget, but their are so many ways of marketing to customers both old and new on a shoestring. Take us for instance. We have yet to spend one penny on marketing and we have only been live for 3 and a half weeks. To date we have had well over 4,000 visitors to the site and 17,000 page views and the vast majority of that traffic has come from Social Media. Twitter to be precise.

Using my network, the board’s network, the network of our respective networks we have been able to spread a message and engage an ever growing audience. It is very much a snow ball effect. It starts small and if you keep going it starts to get bigger and bigger.

We’ll write more on this in the future, but my advice for now would be to set-up a Twitter account if you haven’t already. You can find loads of great resources on Twitter’s business site and just get the ball rolling. It takes time and effort, but fast forward a few months and it could be an important new business tool for you.

How to track visitors to your website

Woopra

Any business, whatever size, should be tracking all activity on their website. Why? Because you need to know who is coming to your site, where they are coming from and what they do when they get there. Take a look at a short video we filmed with Kelvin Newman (Internet Marketing Podcast & Site Visibility) if you don’t believe me.

In my time I have used lots of analytics tools and all have them have done a job, but some of my clients paid silly money for them. Now I am running the Concept Cupboard website I rely solely on two analytics packages – Google Analytics & Woopra. Both are extremely easy to add to your website and best of all, they are completely free.

This post is all about Woopra. I’ll get to Google Analytics in Part 2.

So Woopra. I know what you are thinking. Weird name. And I totally agree, but  it really is the most exciting online tool I have used since Mailchimp. It basically gives you real-time information about who is on your site right now, who referred them, what they are looking at, what browser they are using, etc. The list is endless. Please be warned in advance, it is addictive.

Here are just some of my favourite features:


YOUR DASHBOARD SHOWING HOW YOUR SITE IS PERFORMING RIGHT NOW

Your dashboard shows you a few things:

  • Snapshot of how your site is performing right now compared to other days
  • How many people are on your site
  • What they are doing
  • What pages they are looking at
  • How they got to your site

The dashboard itself gives you so much rich information, but you can click on each visitor and find out more about them. It will even show you how many times they have been to your site and when they first visited.

Woopra - Dashboard


REAL-TIME CHAT

You can also chat with individual customers on your site. This is really handy if you have an offer for them, or are trying to do a bit of market research, because this is enumerated on https://www.salesforce.com/solutions/small-business-solutions/resources/small-business-marketing/ as one of the top methods through which one can market properly. We haven’t been brave enough to do this yet, but I am sure we will try it soon.

Woopra Chat


GENERAL OVERVIEW

You can see in a really easy to view snapshot how many unique visitors you get each day, how many visits they make and how many actions they perform on your site.

Woopra analytics - overview


WHERE HAVE YOUR VISITORS COME FROM

From this simple report you can see where visitors to your site have come from.

Woopra - where have your visitors come from?


MOST POPULAR PAGES ON YOUR SITE

You’ll get a list showing all of the pages you are tracking. This is really handy information, for numerous reasons.

Woopra - most popular pages


HOW TO AVOID COUNTING YOUR VISITS

If you are visiting your own site regularly it is worth excluding yourself from the results. This feature has allowed us to exclude myself and the board from reporting so we know the stats we are looking at are not bolstered by our numerous visits every day.

Woopra - exclude feature

So you might be thinking that all this analysis is going to mean that you have to do a lot of work to your site. Wrong. It is as simple as adding some code. The only snag is that you have to add the code to every page you want to track. If you want to find out more about the snippet of code you need to add go to http://www.woopra.com/docs/tracking/

Enjoy.

Does your uni have what it takes?

university face off logo

The University Face Off is on!

university face off logo

Using Facebook, this innovative new student competition has students across the country battling it out to determine the “most supported” university in the UK. There are loads of prizes up for grabs with further prizes, like a trip to Amsterdam, unlocked when the Facebook page reaches certain targets. When we last looked they already had well over 8,000 likes.

With students wanting to show support for their University and also get their hands on some great prizes we think this is a great idea and hope to see the battle for top spot go to the wire. If you haven’t already show support for university by visiting facebook.com/universityfaceoff.

The idea came from the clever chaps behind savethestudent.org, who have effectively created a new way of ranking universities. Lead developer Jamie Akthar says:

“Status and size no longer matter; this project is all about the community. Students often say that university is as much about the social aspect as academic achievements. So let’s provide a new way of ranking universities in a completely social way.”

If you haven’t visited savethestudent already then take a look. Some great offers and awesome advice.

Teaming businesses up with students

Simon Devonshire talks to Concept Cupboard

Simon, co-founder of Concept Cupboard and SMB General Manager at O2, explains why we’ve teamed up businesses and students.

Encouraging young entrepreneurs in Bournemouth

Enterprise Pavilion

Our recent trip to the Arts University College in Bournemouth was a real inspiration. Pete McKinley, the Photography course leader, very kindly gave us a tour of the campus where were able to take a look at the fantastic facilities and equipment on offer to the students. The galleries, workshops & studios had a great buzz about them.

One of the highlights of the tour was the Enterprise Pavillion (eP). To quote the University “The (eP) works to increase graduate retention and support the growth of creative businesses within the region. The eP contains 20 incubator units in 15,000 sq ft of serviced office accommodation, and also incorporates superb conference, meeting and technical facilities.”

Enterprise Pavilion

For approximately £120 a week a graduate of the University can get a fully serviced office, broadband, plus professional reception services for their business. Not only that but the University provides them with plenty of networking opportunities as well as support from the course tutors.

It is a really inspiring set-up and something that the Concept Cupboard team would definitely like to see plenty more of in UK universities. Hopefully Concept Cupboard will help encourage more entrepreneurialism in students/graduates and provide them with a solid foundation for the future.

If you want to find our more check out these links:

A long list of thank yous

Thank you

Any startup needs a bit of help to get things going, and Concept Cupboard is no exception. We’ve been extremely lucky to get help from friends, colleagues, other businesses, etc and this post is just a little token of our appreciation.

And so thanks go out to…

  • Ed Gossage & Sam Page
  • Jag Bhachu
  • Andrew O’Sullivan
  • Carlo Schifano
  • Mike Wilkie
  • Kelvin Newman
  • Myra Appannah
  • Holly Brockwell
  • Caroline Hogg
  • Paul Pearson & Laila Milborrow
  • Ollie Agius & Pete Iouliano
  • Triona Maddick
  • Emma-Jayne Parkes
  • Andrew Cave
  • Kresse Wesling
  • Chris Cole
  • MacWet gloves
  • Burn marketing
  • One Water
  • Charlotte McConnell
  • Plus all of the other people who have tweeted about us
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