How content marketing can grow your business

For anyone who is yet to hear the news, let us break it to you gently: businesses need content marketing like humans need oxygen. If you don’t know a whole lot about content marketing, take a read of our last blog post and then come right back.

Trust us, if you want to keep your company ahead of your competitors you’re going to want to start thinking about why you should invest time into nailing content marketing. Here are just a few ways this strategy can grow your business:


  1. Raising public awareness

In order to successfully make an impact on your target market, you must first exist to it. In other words, if people don’t know who or what your business is, how can you expect them to buy into it? Content marketing provides a platform through which real interactions can be made on social media and in return, developing an audience that knows your brand.

For example, if you are an interior design company you could produce content (in the form of blog posts, videos, infographs, etc.) on the following:

  • Top tips on how to pick a colour scheme for your bedroom
  • Behind the scenes of refurbishing a kitchen space
  • List of favourite retailers to buy from
  • How to accessorise a mantelpiece or coffee table

Those suggestions might not blow you away but it’s a starting point, and every business needs a starting point to build a successful content marketing campaign.

  1. Showing your customers that you know what you’re talking about

One of the biggest assets of producing quality content is that your audience can see you know more than just a thing or two about your area of expertise, making them more likely to trust you and your company. And as we all know, trust between a company and its customers is crucial especially when even the most niche of markets are ever-expanding and becoming more competitive.

  1. Providing useful information without expecting anything in return

It’s going to seem like a slow and unrewarding process at first, and you may start to resent handing out free information without getting anything in return. However, patience is a virtue and patience is certainly a must-have when it comes to building a relationship with your audience. Nobody is going to jump ship from one brand to another unless you give them good reason to. And if the content you’re producing is good enough, you should see plenty of jumping in the coming months. Letting the customer come to you is far more attractive than hunting them down and begging for business.

  1. Improving your SEO and Google search rankings

If nothing else, content marketing is the one sure-fire method of boosting your rankings in Google’s search engine. Basically, someone is more likely to find your website or social media if they search for particular keywords that may have featured in your content, as Google rewards you by placing you higher in its search rankings. How kind, eh?

In all seriousness, SEO and content marketing go hand-in-hand like two newly-wed lovers, and one will always compliment the other. So, even if you don’t see the immediate benefits of implementing content marketing strategies, stick with it and you’ll be rewarded in time.

Here at Zeus we work hard to ensure our clients have quality content to provide to their audience at all times, and on a daily basis we see the effects a successful content marketing campaign can have on business growth and customer satisfaction. So, take it from us - it works!

What is content marketing?

For those of you mind boggled by the term “content marketing” but hesitant to admit it for fear of societal rejection, fear not – you are in company. Content marketing is an overwhelmingly vague term that has become all the rage for successful businesses in 2017, but what does it actually mean?

According to the Content Marketing Institute, an online encyclopaedia for all things content marketing-related, the definition is as follows:

“Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”

Having the definition doesn’t always provide a clearer understanding of the term though, does it? However, there are two keys words we should take from the above definition: valuable and relevant. If your content isn’t providing value to your consumer or isn’t relevant to your business, you won’t reap the rewards content marketing can earn you.
Another great way of understanding content marketing is by simply looking at examples. Below is a list of the most effective types of content marketing we work on with clients:

• Infographics
• Blog posts – e.g. ‘How-to’, lists,
• Articles/case studies
• Videos
• Images
• Testimonials
• Podcasts
• Email newsletters

Something many of you may be wondering by now is what the difference is between content marketing and traditional marketing strategies.

Unlike traditional marketing which is all about pushing your product or service in the customer’s face in the hope they bite, content marketing focuses on enticing the customer by offering them information they can relate to, and as a result, they become more aware of your business and its services.

Content marketing allows the consumer to feel in control of the information they are digesting rather than feeling like it’s being forced down their throats. And with a population that has the shortest attention span in recent history, it’s always more effective to entice your audience rather than force. If you don’t believe us, have a look at the following statistics published on marketing advice website, Smart Insights:

As well as being a reliable source of traffic to your site, content marketing goes hand in hand with SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), resulting in higher Google search rankings for your website. It’s a win-win, right?

Here at Zeus, we work with clients to deliver effective content marketing to an increasingly demanding online audience and in doing so, we improve your visibility to potential customers.

It’s safe to say 2017 will see an even bigger growth in businesses using content marketing strategies to their advantage, so we say hop on board the bandwagon now while it’s still rolling past!

Social Media Healthcheck for B2B Businesses

Not many businesses today would doubt the value of a good social media strategy to developing their customer base. Offering a great opportunity to engage with potential, as well as existing customers, social feeds should be integral to any B2B PR & marketing strategy.

Well populated social media feeds are highly valuable for publishing and targeting specific content, building brand awareness and driving traffic to your website.

To assist you stay on track, we have listed below some pointers which we hope you will find useful:-

  1. Firstly, identify who is your audience - who are you looking to speak to? Work with? Are they searching for advice? Or simply some relief from their heavy workload.
  2. Which social feeds will your target audience be following / regularly engaged with? Unless you are a major B2B brand, the opportunities to grow your Facebook following are particularly limited - despite its seniority in the social hierarchy Facebook is still viewed as largely a personal network.   Twitter is maturing however is still growing its user numbers, a great tool for businesses, offering the opportunity to heighten brand awareness, boost your SEO, promote your content, and so forth. Looking at the value from a pure business network - LinkedIn, the main recruitment vehicle for the vast majority of recruiters, company page subscription is restricted, with person to person individual interaction taking by far the lions share of engagement - use this to your advantage, and encourage your motivated team members to engage, engage, engage!
  3. Focus on the major B2B social feeds for the biggest impact - Twitter and LinkedIn- and save Instagram, Pinterest, What's App, etc for social use. Make the most out of LinkedIn Company Pages, and Twitter feeds  and also enlist your workforce in sharing on their own feeds your good news,  company insights, press coverage, surveys, industry comments, and include links back to your website where relevant.
  4. As you work hard to build up your follower bases, ensure your social content isn't one way traffic or too promotional. No one likes being sold to, so gently does it. Mix up the content as much as your can whilst ensuring anything you post remains on message with your brand and taking care not to offend. Use images and infographs for added interest.
  5.  Tag in and reference other brands / suppliers etc, to build your network, earning yourself as you go brownie points from other accounts with greater follower numbers - share and comment on their content and the likelihood is they will start to do the same for you. Being positive and supportive can develop for you a strong digital fanbase, who one day might need to contract or refer your services!
  6.  Use social media as part of your competitor monitoring activity - who are they following and engaging with? Are they using their feeds to promote specific messages or promotional offers? This allows you at first hand to monitor their competitive strategy, and ensure you are ahead of the pack.
  7. Finally extend your media reach - published articles editorial features or news pieces on your business, are a great form of secondary endorsement, however in today's increasingly hectic society, your target audience is not with the-best-will-in-the world going to be able to read every trade title or regional business title, so take time to share your press coverage as you go, generating excitement and again driving interest in your proposition and offering.
    We manage for many B2B clients a proactive, hard working social strategy, designed to support their business objectives, and are more than happy to offer a free consultation to businesses looking to enhance their social media and content marketing strategy.

Getting to Grips with Writing a Blog


For many Planet Zeus clients we write monthly blog posts, whether it is on something seasonal for example; Summer, Christmas, Valentine’s Day or regarding a recent event a client has held.

Keeping your website fresh with new content is important, especially when you’re looking to improve or maintain your position in search engine results. It is also a great talking point on social media and encourages traffic to your website.
We have put together some top tips on how to write a successful blog piece for your website:

  • Understand Your Audience

Before you get started, it is vital you know your audience and think about what they would want to read. Having the right tone of voice is important, whether you want to be formal or chatty, it’s best to stick with your preferred tone for every post you write and upload. Of course there is a fine a line, don’t be too jokey as the reader may not take you seriously and being too formal your audience may find the content boring.

Once you find your balance, have confidence and stick with it.

  • What’s your topic?

Picking the topic can be the easiest part, but coming up with a title for the topic can be a different story. Draft some ideas first and choose the preferred heading once you’ve written the piece. You never know, by the time you come to select one you may have thought of a better, catchier one.

  • Getting Started

At this point, you’re probably chomping at the bit to get writing and get all your ideas down on paper in case you forget anything! But be sure to plan the structure of the blog post and have a captivating beginning, informative middle, and a logical ending - this way it will flow with ease and readers will come to an informative conclusion.

  • Tidying up

Once you’re dotted the i’s and crossed the t’s, it’s time to have a good read through. Does it make sense? Is it punctually and grammatically correct? Is it concise?

You may need to edit parts of it, or even all of it, but this is vital and a great a way of ensuring the messages and information is accurate. Better still, ask a colleague to look over it and feedback any changes you may have missed.

  • Dress it up

There is nothing less appealing than just plain text, after all a “picture says a thousand words”, so add in images whether it’s of a product relating to the blog piece, or from a recent event, it is important to add colour and make the page look eye catching!

  • Last minute checks

Once you’ve uploaded it to the site, be sure to preview the post – make sure all text is the same font / colour / size, everything is formatted correctly and images are aligned perfectly.

Then you’re ready to hit upload!
We hope this helps but if you’d like to talk us about how we can take all the hard work away, call us on 01260 271429.

Forging Brand Partnerships to Extend Your Reach

A great opportunity to grow your customer base lies in the value of brand partnerships. This involves linking up with brands in the same customer demographic space allowing you to share access and cross promote your products and services.

Of mutual benefit to both your brand and that of your chosen brand partner, you can then exchange social media sharing, instore or weblinks and even develop bespoke promotions.

For many Zeus clients from fashion to healthcare clients we employ this campaign tactic to great effect.

As well as the customer acquisition, brand exposure and digital optimisation benefits, it is highly cost effective so implemented wisely it will deliver considerable cost savings to your marketing budget - allowing you to cut back on advertising, PPC and so forth.

To cite examples of how this works in practice, we are midway through a 3 year NHS campaign running across Cheshire East, Cheshire West and Chester to promote their sexual health provision across the region - and by teaming up with sports, food and entertainment venues and colleges & universities, which are closely aligned to each of the key social demographics - we are rolling out the new gosh brand. Brand partners are displaying the gosh brand partner logo on their marketing materials, online on their social channels and in their facilities with gosh posters in toilets, and other public areas.

However this campaign tactic works equally well in a more commercial sense - for instance we have teamed up a high end luxury travel brand Just Resorts with Living Ventures - the premium restaurant group, to offer a holiday in return for significant data capture and in-venue brand exposure.



How to Enhance Your B2B Sales Drive

For B2B businesses, there is no better way to grow your credibility with potential customers then to be regularly referenced as 'an authority' in the very media that your business and trade customers read cover to cover every week.

As an agency focussed on working with clients to grow their sales pipeline, we use our vast media relations expertise  and contact base to generate significant profile in the print and digital media read by your customers.

On many occasions, we have had feedback from clients that they have been speaking to a B2B prospect, who references that they have seen them commenting on a salient industry issue, or read their news in one of the trade magazines - what great endorsement!

Even better still, is the feedback we receive from clients that they have had a number of inbound calls from potential customers who have read their feature and news articles in the trade press, and feel confident enough in their services or products that they have picked up the phone!

And often, as a much sought after by product, the digital magazines will give you a link directly to your website - just like having your very own gold dust when it comes to enhancing your Google visibility.

We work very successfully across numerous industry sectors (from food and drink industry providers and manufacturers to core B2B service firms) to deliver for clients significant reputation building profile through editorial feature placement and news flow creation.

If this is of interest to you and your business, we would be delighted to have an informal discussion on how we can support you in growing your trade media profile.




Top Tips for Planning a Photocall

Like milk to a good cup of tea, a visually strong photograph is essential to accompany any press release that hopes to be published in the media. A photocall is an opportunity for the journalist to attend an event to take photos to accompany their story, and it also offers an opportune moment for them to gain any interviews that they may need.

Putting together a photo call is like writing a party invitation, only more formal, and much less ‘BYOB’. There needs to be clear information about what the event will entail, where, and who will be attending, as well as a clear itinerary setting out the order of proceedings, and a set time for photo opportunities. Ideally these will be at the very beginning of the event before the important guests filter off or the crowds disperse. At the same time, the photographer isn’t going to want to hang about, so make life easy for them where possible.

Securing the perfect shot isn’t easy, so where possible have a clear idea of the photos that will work well - talk to the photographer beforehand about these and the best ways to set them up. Images taken outside or against a bright backdrop work well, but directing animals or small children can be tricky.

Your images need to be striking and tell a story, so it’s best to have something interesting going on in them, such as a balloon release or a pose with a celebrity. Alternatively, you could try the emotive angle, such as children stood by a favourite playground that has been vandalised. Try to avoid the cliché of a cheque presentation – try to make the ideas original, try presenting the monetary figure on a cake instead.

Like any party, there’s bound to be people who have promised to make an appearance but don’t show up, so have a contingency in place. Always make sure you have a fully charged camera on hand to take the photos that otherwise would have been taken by the photographer, and send these out to the press instead, along with the full press release.

The winning pitch - 5 consumer press tips from Zeus PR

With top consumer journalists receiving 100’s of pitch calls and emails a day from PR hungry brands and other PR agencies – the scramble for reputation building editorial has never been fiercer!

As an agency we spend much of our day with the phone glued to our ears, or typing emails to bestow the virtues of client products to magazines, national press and the increasingly more important bloggers.

If like most of our clients, you don’t have the budgets of M&S or John Lewis to stage major press events – then go back to basics with our top tips on approaching the media:-

1. Channel your call or email. Think carefully who you need to speak to – the larger titles have specific editors for interiors, fashion, beauty, features, food, and so on. All the major publishing houses list their titles on their websites so this information is usually available.

2. Consider editorial lead times – this can be up to 4/5 months for the consumer monthly magazines, while the weekly magazines general operate on 3-6 weeks and newspapers and bloggers/digital magazine sites days or even hours! So if you have a Christmas range for example, start thinking about contacting the media from July for maximum exposure.

3. If you are calling the journalist, you have a matter of seconds to interest the journalist – be friendly and clearly state why you are calling ie I have launched a new range of innovative sleep aids which I thought may be of interest to your pages…. Similarly on email – get straight to the point.

4. Press always want the details on email even if you have called them first, and it’s in your interest to put everything in writing so any editorial is fully accurate. Therefore make sure you follow up by emailing a short press release containing the product spec, rrp and stockiest information. And attach a decent product shot – see tip 5.

5. Photography is key to securing decent editorial space – so we recommend to our clients that we/they arrange professionally styled images (a mix of product cut out imagery and also propped i.e. the products set in a lifestyle setting). Jpeg format is generally best with a minimum of 300 dpi. Send just one or two images to the journalist, as otherwise you might get them offside from the very start by filling their inbox with big files.

Good luck - and happy pitching!