How to Make Your Content Contagious in 2016

According to Moz;
…without content, SEOs would have nothing to optimize for search engines.’

Every link earned by every marketer points to a piece of content, and the keywords that people type into search engines are an attempt to find—yep—content.’

By creating content, your audience has something to talk about. You create brand awareness, while putting your products or services at the forefront of your target audience’s mind.

Define your audience


Source: Flickr: Robert Scoble

Moz talk about how defining who your audience is, is important to ensure you’re reaching the right people in the industry – this is known as a ‘persona’ It includes understanding everything about your target audience;

  • Age and gender
  • What channels they use to communicate
  • Who their influencers are
  • What their pain points are – so that you can offer a solution with the content you’re providing.


BuzzSumo is an extremely helpful search tool that allows you to track content on all social networking sites, and ranks them in order of the most social shares on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ and the number of shares in total.

Their top trending articles include everything from sports and music, to news pieces, but even the best sites can’t replicate their content successes every time. Take a look at our steps below to stand the best chance of getting your content noticed.


Innovative thinking could lead to views, brand awareness and… conversions!


This video on ‘How It’s Made – Alloy Wheels’ by the Discovery and Science Channel’s episode has had 1,834,172 views to date. This shows what a little innovative thinking and information on your products or services could achieve.

This video did well because not only does it show what alloy wheels look like, but the narrator is explaining everything in her video – why aluminium wheels are better than standard steel wheels and the advantages of them ; they’re lighter in weight, require less energy to rotate, contribute to greater fuel efficiency, better handling etc.

The video then goes on to show and explain exactly how aluminium wheels are made. The audience are people that are interested in buying alloy wheels and want to know the benefits of alloys, but also want to see how they are made – making this video perfect for them! The detailed information and demonstrations are what made this video so successful – people can see exactly what they are purchasing.

Alloys 2

There aren’t any defined rules to creating fast, shareable and likeable content. We still need to come up with a formula for creating content that goes viral. However, there are a few tactics that can be employed to give both your blog and social media content the best chance at going viral.

The perfect ways to keep ahead of your competitors

You might ask yourself; ‘Why do certain pieces of content get shared more and go viral than others?’ but it can be quite hit and miss when trying to create contagious content.

Your content must be:

  • Visual – Steer clear of boring posts with no images, no videos and just lots of content that people will get bored with. Your audience demands something aesthetically pleasing. Unless what your writing about is purely informational, some of the most successful content is long-form. This ‘Welcome to Our New Website‘ post for The Swimming Pool Store had 234 unique page views, £824.44 worth of conversions in the first three weeks of being published and was the most popular news post on the client’s site.
  • Informative and factual – Your content must be both informative and have relevant facts. Offer something new on an old subject – don’t just replicate existing work. We created a piece of content for Goodwin Pest Management on ‘When Do Wasps Die off and All You Need to Know about Nests‘, this piece did extremely well. It was Google’s number one search for months when you typed in ‘When do wasps die’, it’s now gone down to number two after 9 months of being live:

When do wasps die

It’s had 4,125 views since publication and 6 contact view forms.

  • See what’s trending – See what’s trending in your industry with regards to your products and services and try to do 10x better. We wrote a piece of content for another one of our client’s; VIP Electronic Store ‘Cocktail Mixology Beginner’s Guide: How to Make Your Own E-Liquid Flavours‘– making an E- Liquid cocktail recipe guide, although other people have written posts on the same subject nobody had created a post quite like ours! We used our Technical team who created fun and interesting illustrations of what each cocktail would look like, then linking each ingredient back to the client’s E-Liquids. The aim was to drive traffic to the site and click-throughs, we had 792 views in 4 months and 79 event clicks to products and categories on the client’s website.
  • Headlines – Your headlines need to be to the point and contain 10-15% of emotional words. They must also be the right length. Emotional words are words which evoke emotions in the reader, for example, ‘affective’, ‘deep’ and ‘exquisite’. Use a headline analyser tool to see how powerful your headline is.

Headline analyser

The impact that the right display of content can have

Look at this example, when you type ‘makeup’ into Buzzsumo the following content ‘Woman Demonstrates The Power Of Makeup’ has had 4,760 shares just on Facebook. This, not only created brand awareness (of herself), but also frequent visitors to her site, she’s now started a relationship with each of those customers, who in turn may want to buy the products or services that she’s supplying.

Makeup 1


The writer used before and after images to portray the huge impact makeup has on the woman, alongside information about why this video is different to the other hundreds and thousands of videos about makeup out there. This is the sort of content that is trending in the industry currently, and an eye-catching headline was utilised to tell us exactly what this piece was about before we even watched the video. Nikkie is a hair and makeup artist and must get lots of enquiries due to creating brand awareness and showing how extraordinary she is at what she does.

Not only this, but the success of the video has led to Google trusting the resource – something all business should be aiming for. When you type ‘power of makeup’ onto Google, this is the first result in the search engine:

Power of makeup

Choose the correct format

Ensuring you have used the correct format for your content is vital, whether that be a list post, quiz, infographic, long-form post or anything else. This needs to be researched correctly before creating your article. You will get to this conclusion by asking yourself the following questions:

1. What is the main aim of your content? Is it for brand awareness, increase time on page, social or to get people to enquire?
2. Who are you speaking to?
3. What message are you trying to get across?

The perfect ways to make your content better than your competitors include; to ensure your content is visual (depending on the aim and message you’re trying to get across), informative, factual, has an emotional headline and is in the correct format. All of these factors will help your content to stand out from the rest.


Audience image source: Flickr: Robert Scoble

Why Case Studies Should Be A Part Of Any Marketing Strategy

We all know that customer trust is key to repeat business, as well as ensuring growth and a positive reputation remain in good stead. Case studies are a prime example where, customer stories, add huge value to a campaign.

Unfortunately, many businesses still aren’t bought into the idea of promoting the work they’ve undertaken, and this can be due to the labour required to source such information.

So, it’s my mission with this article to change that way of thinking, and show that the on-going rewards case studies can provide outweigh the investment of time needed.

The Difference Between Reviews & Case Studies

One thing to remember is that case studies are not the same as reviews; case studies are in-depth articles about the experience from both a consumer and a business, and their journey of working together.

Although reviews are also crucial to gaining trust, they are often one-sided and don’t give a full picture of the relationship between consumer and seller.

Think What Makes You Purchase

When deciding whether case studies are worth your time, consider your thoughts and decisions as if you were a buyer:

  • What helps you decide to choose a company?
  • What information do you value?
  • What would help you decide between 2+ companies?

Although you are a business owner, you’re also a consumer, so understanding what makes you part with you money should be applied to your own marketing strategy.

Case Studies Support Branding

If you’re a relatively new business, then your reputation and brand exposure may be high on the list of your marketing strategy; especially if you’re a little fish in a big pond.

Fortunately, many consumers follow a growing trend of wanting to support the smaller businesses, but convincing them you’re the right one can be harder without the recommendation of others.

Case studies offer a solution to this and not only allow people to see the ups and downs of the projects but, by relating to a real story, that connection is something more than what a faceless corporate may be able to offer; despite their 30 years’ experience!

Video Case Studies Are The Way Forward

We as consumers are becoming lazy, which means spoon-fed information is always preferred over having to work for it. Case studies pack more of a punch if a buyer can see and hear the story first hand, making video the perfect format.

Think of television adverts and the success of these for many businesses; they often use case studies as part of their advertising strategy. A modern take on this is the case study videos Google Chrome used for an ad campaign, such as this one for The Cambridge Satchel Company. The end result of this campaign was increased trust and visibility for both brands – Google and the businesses of its video case studies.

Most Importantly – Create Trust With Customers

As with all content, case studies are pointless if no one appreciates the value of what you’re trying to show. In short, this type of content should invoke emotion from clients which triggers a reaction, whether it’s to share the story, use your services or purchase your products, or voice an opinion on their experiences.

Case studies are worth investing time into for marketers to tell the story about a business relationship. Case studies aren’t just suited to businesses that deal with big projects or contracts; if you provide any kind of solution for your customers, then discover what they have to say and how they found the services through the most suitable means. The end results you get from doing so may just surprise you.

The Pitch Final: What Went Down

The Pitch is a UK wide small business competition that provides a platform for buzzing entrepreneurs and switched-on businessmen and women to pitch their ideas to a large audience and a panel of expert judges. The competition runs throughout the year with contestants taking part in road shows, bootcamps and the final.

The Pitch is all about supporting and advising new businesses and entrepreneurs as they get up and running and this year, Creare were thrilled to be sponsoring the competition. We’ve written some cool content, taken our Digital Health Check on the road to some brilliant events all around the UK and met hundreds of inspiring entrepreneurs who have ideas that I really wish I’d thought of!

Our Digital Health Check working its magic at The Pitch 15 final

The Pitch 2015 came to a head last week with the final that was held at the ultra-stylish Paintworks venue in Bristol. So, what happened? Who was the best pitcher? What did Creare do to help and most importantly, who won?! Here are some of my personal highlights…

The Fiesty Mentor

Ever wondered how you go from a quiet person with a great idea to a confident person with a solid business pitch? Well for many people, Annette Kramer is the answer. Annette is a successful performance coach and business development professional with over 20 years experience across the globe and she definitely put her expertise into practice with The Pitch finalists!

The opening session of the day involved Annette asking for pitching volunteers from the audience to go up on stage and do their pitch. She then gave them pointers and techniques to use that improved their performance. One of these techniques included telling Nick from KitShare to take a magazine and hit a chair as hard as he could ten times before pitching. You may think this sounds a little crazy, but it worked! Nick’s confidence, passion and enthusiasm hit the roof following this odd activity and it got me thinking about situations where I may be able to get away with such behaviour around the office…

The Inspiring Pitches

Getting up to do a presentation in front of people you know from work is one thing, but presenting in front of 300 people you’ve never met before and pitching your passion to them is undeniably tough. Firstly, to all of you pitchers who are reading this and did that so honourably last Thursday – well done! Many of you have spent years of hard work, determination and pure grit to get to where you are and you are inspirational to us all.

The pitches at the final covered such a wide range of businesses from Tamara’s Helper Bees, the safe and confidential service that provides help to new mothers with everything from cleaning, cooking to ironing and shopping, to Hire An Artist a business founded by Gareth Cravens that connects users with artists who can produced top spec artwork for them. We were also treated to pitches from the likes of Tea Guice, the company that makes green tea so tasty, Choosic, the music discovery app that brings you personalised music recommendations and fast playlist building and LawyerFair, the service that compares lawyers and costs for your businesses completely free of charge!

Tea Guice
@teaguice in action!

The Team Spirit

The biggest thing that struck me at The Pitch Final 2015 was the fact that everyone was spurring each other on. Ultimately, there could only be one winner, but all the pitchers wanted each other to do well. From giving advice on pitches, to last minute partner practises before hitting the stage to loud cheering and pats-on-the-back after making it through your turn, the finalists were working as a team to help each person better themselves. The sense of community was evident.

The Winner

There were many worthy winners at the final but as with all competitions, there can only be one true champion. And so, at 5.30pm on Thursday 12th November, Resolver were crowned the winners of The Pitch 2015. Founder and CEO James Walker has built a company that guides people through the customer complaints process. With some big partnerships in the pipeline, James and his team have built an incredibly useful and sustainable platform that takes the frustration out of the complaints process for a consumer but it also helps businesses manage the complaints they receives. It works both ways for both parties. Watch Resolvers Brand Manager, Matt Rigby’s initial reaction after winning here. A huge well done to the Resolver team, we’re excited to see how your business unfolds!

@resolvercouk claiming their winning trophy

Well done once again to all of The Pitch 2015 contestants, it’s been a privilege to walk through the last 12 months with you. Remember that we’re still writing content to help you develop your digital marketing strategy and if you didn’t get chance to run through your Digital Health Check with us at one of the live events, you can take it here and then we’d love to chat about it.

5 Ways Content Could Be Killing Your Website

5 Ways Content Could Be Killing Your Website

“Marketers allocate 28% of their total marketing budget, on average, to content marketing – the same percentage as last year. The most effective allocate 42, and the most sophisticated/mature allocate 46%” says the Content Marketing Institute. If we didn’t before, now we know that a strong content strategy is key to success. So, let’s look at the five ways in which your current content could be killing your website and your brand. Continue reading

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Top 10 Habits of Successful Email Marketers

Are your email marketing campaigns generating the best possible return? Are you struggling to get your customers and prospects to engage with your content?

To help you think more strategically about your email campaigns, we have looked into the habits of successful email marketers in our Top 10 Guide:

Top 10 Habits Of Successful Email Marketers

In order to become a successful email marketer and implement our tips, you also need a great platform to work with. Here at at Creare we are proud to partner with email platform provider Constant Contact and to get you ahead of the game, we are offering all of our readers a 60 day free trial. Sign up here to get going with it!

Our Work: Slideshare for Blossom Lingerie

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We are always discussing the innovative work we create for our clients, helping businesses to rank on Google and driving traffic to their websites. So we thought we would start showcasing the amazing work we are doing in our Content Marketing and Outreach Teams; this month we’re looking at one of our E-commerce clients.

Blossom Lingerie

First up is a Slideshare piece that we created for Blossom Lingerie based on the history of Prima Donna, one of the brands they sell. This promotional piece is informative, interactive, and extremely visual, showcasing the success of one of the most popular lingerie brands in the industry. You can take a look at this content on the Blossom Lingerie website.


The Aim

Blossom Lingerie’s aim was to use the knowledge they had of the Prima Donna brand to create an engaging piece of content that would showcase both their own brand and Prima Donna’s products. We decided to use a program called Slideshare so we could create a visually interactive piece as well as benefit from the views and shares of those in the Slideshare community.

The design needed to be modern, eye-catching, and branded – something that would create a lot of engagement, encourage readers to buy their products, and help them to remember the brand.

Slideshare is in the top 120 most visited websites in the world, averaging at 3 billion views every month. 20% of those who visit Slideshare come directly from Google and the site receives 500% more traffic from businesses than Facebook, LinkedIn, Youtube and Twitter. 


The Outreach

As part of our comprehensive marketing strategy, we outreach the pieces of content we create to drive traffic to our clients’ websites, encourage a growth in sales, promote their work, and increase brand awareness. As part of this project, our outreach team worked with numerous websites who promoted this piece, one of them being who directed 920 readers to the content.

The Result

‘The History of Prima Donna Lingerie’ went live on 22nd April 2015, and these results were collected 3 months later:

1 2

Not only was this content a success on Slideshare, but these statistics showed us how our outreach had significantly improved the traffic to Blossom Lingerie’s site. You can see the top 5 countries that viewed this content in the table below:


Since it went live, this post has had the highest amount of engagement and the largest number of views out of all posts on Blossom Lingerie’s newsfeed. In addition to the increase in traffic, Blossom Lingerie saw £230 worth of sales made from the newsfeed alone since the piece went live, highlighting the direct link between good content and conversions.

As well as these statistics, over one third of the traffic was driven to this content naturally through Google and other search websites, rather than through clicking on ads or being referred. Organic views are the most valuable as it means the content will drive traffic to the website constantly – next week, next month, next year – and that search engines such as Google value the content enough to push it to the top of searches.

Keep an eye out for the second post of the ‘Our Work Series’ that we will be sending out to you next month.

Featured image by 10ch on Flickr

Where Can I Find Images For My Website?

In recent years images have become a vital content tool when it comes to creating a website.

However, finding images that you can use on your website can be a daunting task. The first stumbling block for many website owners is the uncertainty over whether or not an image can be used. This is a totally understandable reservation to have, as nobody wants to be on the bad end of a copyright claim.

So before we start, lets take a quick look at the most common licenses that you will come across when it comes to sourcing images:

Public Domain 

These are images in which the intellectual property rights attributed to the image have expired, or the owner of the image has released them into the public domain free of charge. Put simply, these images can be used any way you see fit.

Creative Commons

These images could be attributed to several available Creative Commons licenses. Some licenses require a credit to be given, whereas some allow the image to be used as long as it is unchanged. You need to ensure that you read the license attributed to an image before you use it, and follow the correct procedures where appropriate.

Royalty Free

Now, the name of this one can sometimes be deceiving. Just because it says ‘Royalty Free’, doesn’t mean that the image can be used for free. Simply put, it means that once you have purchased the image you can use it as many times as you want.

Rights Managed

With this license, the image can be used a limited amount of times. If you want to use the image more than the amount defined within the license, you will have to pay for the privilege.


There are numerous other licenses available online and ultimately it is down to the individual to ensure that they follow the correct procedure. However, if you are ever unsure, hold off using the image and email the owner or service to clarify – it is better to be safe than sorry.

It is also worth pointing out the importance of ensuring that you have the right account for the service that you are using. Some image services offer accounts for organisations whereas others don’t, so make sure that you have signed up for the type of account that is in keeping with your project and the work that you are going to be undertaking.

So, now that we have briefly covered the legal side of things, lets take a look at our top picks for sourcing images.



Shutterstock lets subscribers download a certain number of photos per day during the length of a subscription, for which you sign up for and will have to pay a fee. For example, as a one-month subscriber you can download 25 images per day.


iStock is another paid service that offers millions of royalty-free images. There are two different types of subscription services, the ‘essentials subscription’ and the ‘signature subscription’, that can be paid for either monthly or yearly. iStock also offers a pay per download service that offers credits for downloads.


Flickr is a site that continues to grow in popularity everyday. It is relatively simple to use; simply search using the creative commons license for free images and ensure that you provide attribution and a link back to the source.


Unsplash is a simple site to look at. However, they have a really great collection of fantastic high-res images that are updated every 10 days and can be downloaded for free.


Pixabay offers users use of a rapidly growing database of public domain images. These images can be included on your website without any attribution to the source.


Pexels is another great source for free images. The website is updated daily with 10 new, high quality images and the license for each image is also conveniently located to the right.

Bonus source – Your own images

An option for image sourcing that is often overlooked is to create them in-house. Whether you have a photographer on the team or you create the images personally; they are free and you own the rights, so it is well worth giving it a try.

And there you have it. Happy sourcing!

Top writing tips to engage your audience

Learn how to create content that compels your audience to keep reading with these simple tips.

Not all of us are gifted wordsmiths, or naturally know how to weave together paragraph after paragraph of perfectly crafted copy. However, filling your website with writing that encapsulates your brand’s USP while making grammatical sense is essential for standing out in the digital world.

Professional copywriting is a constantly evolving art, but you can master the basics by following these simple rules.

Keep it relevant

One of the most common misconceptions about writing for business is that you need to spend hours crafting hundreds or even thousands of words about your brand. Complex, jargon-packed white papers have their place among the experts of particular subjects, but when you’re writing to engage an audience, your first consideration should be ‘how do I keep this relevant and on topic?’

If what you’re saying takes up 5 pages, so be it, but if what you’re saying can be discussed within only a few paragraphs don’t stretch it out. Throw any word count out of the window and stick to what you need to say.

Keep it simple

You don’t have to use flowery language to convince your audience that you’re worth listening to. If a reader comes across a word that they don’t understand, they’re far more likely to switch off from what you’re saying and seek out someone else who’s willing to talk to them in their own language.

Imagine you’re speaking to your reader – would you really use long and elaborate words if you were face to face? Replace any verbose synonyms with more common, everyday language to increase your chances of engagement.

Keep it topical

Articles that are seasonal or focussed on a specific event aren’t just more interesting to read – they can also boost your page analytics due to users searching for a particular topic. In turn, you should also get more of a response from users commenting and tweeting about the subject.

Analyse high performing content

By using a tool such as BuzzSumo, you can determine which websites and bloggers are gaining the most hits for their take on a particular subject. This information can then be used to reach out to key influencers and link them to your article on the same subject – a simple retweet from the author of a viral post could send thousands more viewers to your website.

Know your reader

The secret to producing any engagement is knowing your reader. Once you understand their motivations, their desires and the reason why they should be interested in what you have to say, you’ll be able to craft all of your writing with the ideal customer in mind.

You may have to undertake separate demographic research in order to learn exactly who the ideal customer for your product or service is. Once you know, work hard to make every piece of writing consistent with the needs of your target audience.

Bonus tip! Spelling and grammar matters

Whether or not you struggle with spelling and grammar, it’s always worth ensuring that every sentence you publish as part of your marketing is free from errors, as simple mistakes are a key sign of an amateur brand.

Get an experienced proof-reader to check your work, or at the very least ensure that the spelling and grammar checker on your word processor is set to your local language (British audiences don’t always appreciate being addressed with American spellings, and vice versa).

These are just some of our key points to engaging an audience but feel free to do further research to make sure there is nothing else you’re missing when it comes to attracting and retaining readership.


5 Big Companies Killing It With Content Marketing

Content marketing is a powerful way to promote a company and spread a specific message to consumers by engaging them with media that they genuinely want to read, view or interact with.


Creating dynamic content that appeals to your target audience can inspire loyalty, engagement with your brand, spread the message via social media and build momentum for a full-blown viral campaign.

You only need to look at successful brands who have used content marketing to realise its potential. Here are five household names that have nailed content marketing and used it to capture their target customers’ undivided attention.



ASOS understands that its customers love more than just clothes – the fashion choices that they make are dictated by the culture around them. Using the power of content marketing to appeal to its customers, the websites publishes regular blog posts for both men and women, looking at fashion through the lens of pop culture. Blogs on topics such as music, film, TV and showbiz draw traffic to the site and establish ASOS as a leading authority in both fashion and culture. The company even manages to reach its customers when they’re offline by producing a high quality magazine and mailing it to shoppers.



Far from the uninspiring safety videos that you expect to watch ahead of your flight, Virgin Atlantic proved that they are pioneers of in-flight entertainment when they unleashed this beautifully animated and well-pitched short film.

Repackaging safety procedures in a journey through cinema’s most iconic genres, the video tells passengers where to stow their handheld luggage via a tense cowboy shootout, explains how to use the escape slide in a far-out ‘60s head trip montage and even makes the non-smoking section engaging by in a conversation between a pair of cigarette -toting film noir stereotypes. The video is so memorable that Virgin customers have felt inspired to share it with friends post-flight, leading to thousands of YouTube and Vimeo views while establishing the airline as a fun and creative brand.



Price comparison websites aren’t the most glamourous or exciting pages for customers, so it’s understandable that their advertisers channel their efforts into creating memorable characters to represent their brands – think the cute meerkat and plump opera singer.

Go Compare certainly understands this, using content marketing to drive traffic to its website by producing ‘Covered’; an online magazine containing helpful, fun and shareable articles that translate unexciting topics into engaging pieces of content. For example, a subtle plug for Go Compare’s motor insurance comparison service is hidden in an article titled ‘Five awesome vans from TV and film’, while an informative piece like ‘How to make your rented property feel like a home’ proves that the firm understands its customers’ needs and wants to help by providing genuinely useful advice.

Establishing itself as the energy drink for people who need energy the most, Red Bull’s branding is centred around dynamic content that includes dramatic daredevil stunts and incredible athletic feats. Hosting everything from short viral clips to full-length episodes of its own extreme sports TV show Red Bull Signature Series, the company’s YouTube channel has amassed over four million subscribers – a whole lot of potential customers.


Waitrose customers are typically more affluent than shoppers at discount supermarkets, choosing to buy food that’s fresh, flavoursome, attractive and healthy. The brand’s content marketing strategy conveys these values beautifully – its loyalty card holders benefit from free copies of its high quality customer magazine, which includes columns from idealised celebrities like Pippa Middleton and Philip Schofield. Online, its recipe site is packed to the brim with gorgeously shot photos and seasonal dishes, with dedicated sections for chef ambassadors Heston Blumenthal, Paul Hollywood and Delia Smith helping customers to find ideas meal ideas tailored to the personalities they aspire to be like.


So there you have 5 brands who we feel have one some of the more exciting types of content marketing strategies. Are there any brands that you feel we’ve missed that you’ve been impressed by?