Social Media Marketing

The social media can be a very powerful tool for a business. It gives a huge area for the company to talk with their fans and customers, and also gives the customers a place to see updates from the company, a place to see what they are doing. There a many social media websites which are able to be used by a business in a positive effect. Obviously, there are some which would be pointless for a business to go (e.g Tinder) but the big ones, with the likes of Twitter and Facebook, can have a huge impact for the business. As stated by Jayson DeMers (2014), “…an otherwise apathetic customer might become better acquainted with your brand after seeing your presence on multiple networks.”, this gives the best reason as to why social media is important for a business.

For Controll, I have decided to go for three social media platforms. Those being:

These three may not be a surprise as they are within the top 15 social media platforms, clocking in big income with Facebook pulling an estimated 1,100,000,000 unique visitors, Twitter on 310,000,000 and Instagram pulling 100,000,000 (eBizMBA March 2016). Now according to the data that I pulled this information from, it is clearly displayed that LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google + and Tumblr are ahead of Instagram, so why am I not using one of them to replace Instagram? For good reasons.

LinkedIn is hugely geared towards business to business/potential employee contact. Not a public area to gain maximum contact to the potential audience. Pinterest is for sharing ideas, not ideal. Google + and Tumblr are just difficult to efficiently put posts up front to the desired audience, whereas with Instagram, every single post will be seen by every single follower. Also, the ‘cycling’ hashtag has 5,760,056 posts, seen in the below screenshot image, which means it’s also a popular searched hashtag, too. Ideal for the company, Controll!

hg

To publicise on the Facebook of Controll and get the maximum effects from it, I will create daily posts, between 1-2 everyday, containing deals from the website, or sharing videos/media about Controll. Over time, Controll would gain a shop team. This shop team would be able to create promotional videos for Controll, as well as images for advertisements, too.

With Twitter, this would be a bit more hands on with the public, a more fun place. Here, I plan on posting multiple ‘Tweets’ per day, as this is more acceptable and bothers less people then multiple Facebook updates.

After these thoughts, here are the three social media sites:

 

 

References

J. DeMers (2014) The Top 10 Benefits Of Social Media Marketing [Online]. Available at: http://www.forbes.com/sites/jaysondemers/2014/08/11/the-top-10-benefits-of-social-media-marketing/#a85bea32a4d2 {Accessed 1 March 2016}.

eBizMBA (2016) Top 15 Most Popular Social Networking Sites [Online]. Available at: http://www.ebizmba.com/articles/social-networking-websites {Accessed 1 March 2016}.

Video Creation

To gain more recognition for the Controll brand, and to make it more memorable and perhaps gain more of a following by the audience, I will create a video. To begin, I will look at those who are in the same field (selling bike bits) and get an idea of how they create their videos. Below is Chain Reaction Cycle’s most recent video, followed by their most popular video.

Chain Reaction Cycles

 

Chain Reaction Cycles

 

From watching both of these videos, I can gather that the audience responds more to the relevant, jaw-dropping footage, rather than displaying what products they sell. There are moments where the camera focuses onto the bike, which allows the viewers to see the bike. This kind of gives the viewer the urge to buy those parts, because clearly they can be used and abused and allow those who have those parts achieve amazing things.

I will take all of this onboard for my video, and give a lot of footage rather than product shots…. But there will be some product shots. Controll is new and the audience needs to get the idea of what Controll do and what they sell.

Above is the final edit for the Controll advert and marketing video. The video was made on Adobe Premiere and Adobe After Effects, I have more experience in these programs and feel most comfortable making videos using these programs. While creating this video, I have kept in mind to keep the video in theme of the brand. I have done this by using the pre-selected colours for the text, and highlighting certain keywords to get the audiences attention, and perhaps make them remember that fact about Controll.

Within the video, I have used footage from other sources. The reason for this is because I wanted some of that jaw-dropping footage that I spoke of before, but I sadly, I do not own anything that fits that bill. The videos I used were filmed by The Col Collective (2015) and Red Bull (2015).

Now that I have this video for Controll, I can place it on the Controll webpage, in Facebook or on Twitter – basically everywhere!

References

Chain Reaction Cycles (2016) Sam Hill and Mike Jones pre-season training video [Online]. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J1VgOg-m_xU {Accessed 27 February 2016}.

Chain Reaction Cycles (2011) Team CRC/Nukeproof at Mont Sainte Anne – Burning Through the Mist [Online]. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rig5Y2mxsI0 {Accessed 27 February 2016}.

The Col Collective (2015) Alpe d’Huez – Cycling Inspiration & Education [Online]. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nSjzaWKC_LU {Accessed 27 February 2016}.

Red Bull (2015) Hardcore Downhill MTB Racing – Red Bull Hardline 2015 [Online]. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fTbJ0kpiIZA {Accessed 27 February 2016}

 

E-Mail Marketing

With a brand, it’s all well and good to have it developed and get the odd customer coming in to purchase an item, but it’s going to get no where if you don’t remind that customer that the brand exists! With Controll, the way I will perform this task, is with the tried and trusted, old and friendly, e-mail campaign! To begin this campaign, it would be best to do some research into the area. If we are all honest, no-one likes e-mails, but some e-mail campaigns do work; so I need to find out why some do, and some don’t. Also, like Fat Rabbit Creative (2016) says, “With email marketing, your business can create deeper relationships with a wider audience at a fraction of the cost of traditional media.” and it’s very true. It’s free to send out an e-mail 1000’s of people, which would cost a lot of money if the same was done by letter in the post!

 

Paperless Post

Looking through some research, I can see that there is a common theme with a good e-mail marketing campaign: big and bold. Looking through this thread made by Lindsay Kolowich (2015), it is very clear that those which have been given credit are those which feature a large, bold statement as soon as the audience looks at the e-mail, allowing them to get to the point almost immediately. Another feature which is very common inside the e-mails in this list is the use of images. They get used differently, though. Some of the e-mails use large images, but very few, while other feature multiple smaller images. The use of images also correlates to the amount of text used, too. A good example of this is from the thread mentioned above, named “Paperless Post”, number 8 on the list. paperless-post-email-example

I like how simple this e-mail is, but still gets all of its points across, and also showing a lot of their products, too. The e-mail is clearly for Mother’s Say, with the first words written in large and bold stating to send your mother a card, with another line below asking if you have forgotten about her day. This is very clever, as it slightly makes the audience feel guilty if they have already not sorted out a Mother’s Day card. The next smart move is the instant supply of images of an array of different mothers day cards, trying to entice the reader to look at more or buy one of them that are shown. Further down, another statement which basically says that it’s not only a special day for your mother, but others too! Again, this gets the reader to possibly buy one of those cards instead of, or as well as, the cards above. A very simple but powerful e-mail. The logo is also situated very clearly at the top, making it very easy to see who this e-mail is from.

 

Sport Pursuit

Another e-mail marketing example is from Sport Pursuit.

This e-mail has been sent to my inbox as I once purchased an item from this online store. The e-mail immediately puts up a very large image of someone wearing a coat, by a brand named RedFox, clearly waterproof as it states below that it contains Gore-Tex, and Gore-Tex coats are usually very expensive. But to the side, in a very clear colour, is a sign which says “Up to 60% off”. This immediately grabs my attention as that’s a large chunk of money off usually very expensive clothing. Moving on down, there are multiple images of different brands, all with a product and all with a statement below about the savings. This is clearly an e-mail to let the audience know that they have a lot of high quality products for very good prices, without saying the price as they will still be expensive, possibly drive the audience away. Continuing down, there is a large image from a customer who has sent an image in to Sport Pursuit. This just adds a little fun to the e-mail, as people might be interested and want to get their image into these e-mails for everyone to see. A form of interaction through e-mail campaign.

 

My Campaign

For my campaign, I wanted to let the customers know that there is a 10% off sale currently on at Controll. This is the main goal of the advert. It’s also geared to remind the customer that the summer season is coming, which usually means that the audience is looking for new gear. Hearing both this, and the 10% off deal should get the customer thinking to buy at Controll. Further down in the e-mail, I have attached the video advert for the company, to get the audience in the mood for some summer riding. This, and the reminder of the delivery policy directly below, should get the customer very interested and purchase their new gear from Controll. At the footer of the e-mail, I have attached all of the social media links for Controll, along with an e-mail link and a link to the website. Finally, at the very bottom, is the hashtag “NEVERSTOP”, which is Controll’s own personal hashtag for people to link with the company. Makes everything a bit more fun!

 

References

Fat Rabbit Creative (2016) 5 Key Benefits of E-Mail Marketing [Online]. Available at: https://www.fatrabbitcreative.com/blog/5-key-benefits-of-email-marketing {Accessed 3 March 2016}.

L. Kolowich (2015) 12 of the Best Email Marketing Examples You’ve Ever Seen (And Why They’re Great) [online]. Available at: http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/email-marketing-examples-list {Accessed 3 March 2016}.

 

Use of SEO and Keywords

SEO is a very interesting feature to look into when creating a website for a business. It stands for Search Engine Optimisation,  and it simply is the task of scoring higher hits when searching with a search engine, such as Google. I enjoy the way Search Engine Land (2016) explains SEO, “All major search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo have primary search results, where web pages and other content such as videos or local listings are shown and ranked based on what the search engine considers most relevant to users.“.

One of the main ways of creating more hits/getting higher up on the Google searches is by implementing keywords into the website’s main page, or in the introduction. Below, I have put together a large list of things that I, and my friends, usually search for when looking for a bike store. Obviously these words would be combined, as ‘Road’ alone would not bring back anything I would be interested in, but ‘Road bikes’ would.

  • Bike
  • Bikes
  • Mountain bike
  • Road bike
  • Downhilling
  • Downhill
  • DH
  • Road
  • Bike gear
  • Bike stuff
  • Road cycling
  • Mountain cycling
  • Dirt
  • Mountains
  • Race
  • Racing
  • Gear
  • Road clothing
  • Protection
  • Protective gear
  • Mountain bikes 2016
  • Mountain bikes 2015
  • Road bikes 2016
  • Road bikes 2015
  • MTB

With all of these keywords, I have a large array of words which the audience could type in and increase the chances of ending up on the Controll website. At the moment, if we look at the screenshots below, I have got very few of these words within my website.

So how do I fix this? With SEO, it searches the text within a web page and tries to find any keywords that the user has searched for within a web page. The higher word count match, the more likely the user will see your webpage on the top of the list, or at least the first page (who looks at any other pages when searching?). Of course, at the moment I have created paragraphs which make sense, even if they lack the content for a SEO. So we need to get the magic combination on the home page and about page where the webpage will likely appear higher up on the search engine, whilst also making sure everything on the web page makes sense.

To improve the SEO, I am going to use a plugin named Yoast SEO, by Joost de Valk (2016). This plugin helps to make sure that my keywords are also found within the text on a page. This will help me to increase my SEO for the website. It helps by setting out a user interface of traffic lights. If the traffic lights are red, then you can expect that webpage to get pretty low on a search engine. However, get amber or green, and you will be moving your way to the front page!

When I began, I lacked a lot of keywords, and very little text for my pages to be acknowledged by a search engine. I was also given a red light by Yoast! But now, I am on a steady amber on both of these pages. I do not wish to go any further with the SEO, as it will start to disrupt my web page flow with regard to reading them. I also want to keep the front page minimal, with very little text. But I have added alt-text to the images which help to increase the SEO score, and a much higher amount of relevant keywords, too! (I also added the promotional video on the front page with relevant SEO tags!)

 

References

Search Engine Land (2016) What Is SEO / Search Engine Optimization? Search Engine Land [online] available from: http://searchengineland.com/guide/what-is-seo  [accessed 11/03/16]

J. de Valk (2016) Yoast SEO [Online]. Available from: https://wordpress.org/plugins/wordpress-seo/ [Accessed 11/03/16]

 

Controll Image References

Home Page

 

Grinduro (2015) Volunteer [Online]. Available from: https://grinduro.com/?page_id=52 [Accessed 5 November 2015]. – GLOVES

Kaz Yamamura (2014) Troy Lee Designs A1 Helmet: Reviewed [Online]. Available from: http://nsmb.com/troy-lee-designs-a1-helmet-reviewed/ [Accessed 5 November 2015]. – HELMET

Upper Downs (2015) Upper Downs [Online]. Available from: http://upperdowns.com/ [Accessed 5 November 2015]. – JACKETS

Vital MTB (2015) Sam Hill [Online]. Available from: http://www.vitalmtb.com/photos/features/PIT-BITS-Crankworx-Rotorua,8738/Sam-Hills-New-Bike-and-Shoes,88106/sspomer,2 [Accessed 5 November 2015]. – SHOES

Red Bull (2014) Sven Martin [Online]. Available from: http://www.redbull.com/uk/en/bike/stories/1331659027251/watch-the-2014-leogang-final-highlights [Accessed 5 November 2015]. – MTB

Matt Lawton (2015) Lance Armstrong back on the Tour de France circuit as Geoff Thomas persuades disgraced former winner to ride stages ahead of peloton for cancer charity [Online]. Available from: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/othersports/article-2995097/Lance-Armstrong-Tour-France-circuit-Geoff-Thomas-persuades-disgraced-former-winner-ride-stages-charity.html [Accessed 5 November 2015]. – ROAD

Choosing WordPress Theme

When I was thinking about the creation of the website, I knew I wanted it to be very clean, minimal, and easy to get around to each page. The first area I looked at to start this was the WordPress theme store. The store has hundreds, if not thousands of options for themes to then customise to your own needs. My needs were to create this minimal design bike store.

I experimented with a few different themes, some looked okay, while others went completely against what I wanted. But all of them had a problem in the area of customisation and theme support for the user. I wanted to put my own colours and design my whole pages from top to bottom, so I wanted the theme to have a lot of options available.

I took to Google and started a search for the best WordPress theme 2015, of course this brought up many blogs and posts about what people thought were the best themes for using in WordPress. I chose to look into Colorlib (2015) and their recommendations on their website, which led me to my current theme.

screenshot

Customizr (2015)

I finally reached a decision to use Customizr, by Nikeo. I felt that the theme held a lot of possibilities with it’s basic structure, which was what I really wanted. This allowed me to mess around with the CSS of the pages which allowed me to get what I wanted on most pages. Some things could not be changed unfortunately. This can be seen with the signature green, or other set colours which could not be changed, and I was unable to get any help via the creator to change the colour through CSS modifications either. But overall, I am very happy with using Customizr!

 

 

References

Colorlib (2015) 30+ Best Blog WordPress Themes For Corporate, Personal, Fashion, Travel, Photoblogging And More [Online]. Available from: https://colorlib.com/wp/best-personal-blog-wordpress-themes/ [Accessed 5 December 2015].

Nikeo (2015) Customizr [Online]. Available from: https://wordpress.org/themes/customizr/ [Accessed 5 December 2015].

 

Webpage Structure

The structure of a webpage can become a very complicated, but also extremely vital design area when creating a website. The webpage goes in a certain pattern that makes it more pleasing to the eye of the audience. There has been researched placed into finding out how the audience generally browses a website. Looking below, we can see they results of that test in the image.

heatmap

Understanding the F-Layout in Web Design (2012)

The user browses the page from top left, straight to the right, then moves down just below the initial area, and scans to the right again. Once they have done this, the user starts to scan the page in no particular order. The shape of the scanning is like the form of an ‘F’.

I have implemented this into my website by putting the logo on the top left, and a large product and advert banner just below. This will attract the user into the website and take them to a new product, or allow them to see a sale very quickly.

This method can be seen on a website from Two Seasons ( http://www.twoseasons.co.uk ). They have their sales, new products, and everything that they want the customer to know directly on the front page via a slider, just underneath the main logo.

Capture

Homepage (2015)

I think this is a very good and efficient way of getting what you want to the audience, so I employed the idea to my own website. The top image is a slider, which goes through mulitple images, displaying different things on each one.

image1

The main site has also forgone a process to get the design layout complete. I have used wireframes and site maps to get my ideas down and get the basic structure. It initially started with the idea of going with a bike and technology website, but it developed into a specific bike brand only website.

IMG_20151102_154011

Over time, the website would gain all of those products which would fill out the website, giving the audience a large array of items to choose from. This site map makes it very easy to know what menus lead to where, and how products/pages are accessed by the consumer.

The transformation of the main web page can be seen here, the left is the initial design by using the method of wireframe, and the right image is the final basic design. When I began creating the actually webpage, I added extras, too.

 

References:

Brandon Jones (2012) Understanding the F-Layout in Web Design [online]. Available from: http://webdesign.tutsplus.com/articles/understanding-the-f-layout-in-web-design–webdesign-687 [Accessed 5 December 2015].

Two Seasons (2015) Homepage [Online]. Available from: http://www.twoseasons.com [Accessed 7 December 2015].

Business Idea

brandWhen given the option to choose from any business plan, I almost instantly narrowed down my choice between two sports: snowboarding and mountain bikes. With a strong passion in both fields, it was a pretty obvious thought to have. But sadly, I could not have both sports, (unless I diversified the business idea between snow sports and cycling, but those businesses always struggle), so I decided to stick to the category which would have more breadth and a wider range of choice in the field. I decided to go with cycling. Cycling is an extremely large sport, with about 4 different cycling disciplines, (mountain, BMX, road and track), within each discipline is at-least two more defined fields, which needs it’s own separate equipment to the rest of the variations within the same discipline. Plus, cycling is on the rise in the UK, with sites like CTC (2012) showing us that the cycling trend has been on a steady increase for some years before 2012. It allows the ability to create an extremely successful business, and with so many routes to go down in cycling, there is no shop which dominates the whole cycling category.

Specialized (2012)

The idea is simple, to create a cycling business which provides people with brands that they sought after, but unable to get because the larger companies choose to go with the brand loved by the majority instead of the brands loved by the passionate. The company will sell bicycle parts and clothing which are adored by almost all cycling enthusiasts, and leave out the general brands which everyone knows, as they are usually already offered at extremely competitive prices by the extremely large bicycle store, like Chain Reaction Cycles ( http://www.chainreactioncycles.com ).

 

 

References

CTC (2012) CTC Cycling Statistics [Online]. Available from: http://www.ctc.org.uk/resources/ctc-cycling-statistics [Accessed 6 November 2015].

Jakub Svoboda (2012) Specialized [Online]. Available from: http://www.bikeandride.cz/2012/07/specialized-novinky-2013/ [Accessed 15 November 2015].

Colours

For the colour palette of the “Controll” website, I have decided to go with a calm look, with a little accent of a pale orange which complements to two shades of blueish green. When I look at similar websites which sell bicycle equipment, and specific to the mountain bike field, the webpage and the shopping experience is usually, in my opinion, pretty ugly, but I completely understand why they have chosen the colour palettes that they do use.

For example, a very large and very famous online bike store called ‘Chain Reaction Cycles’ ( www.chainreactioncycles.com ) features a colour scheme that is pretty erratic. We have blue as the main colour, the same shade which is featured on the logo, accompanied by black and white or multiple light shades of grey. Along with these is a yellow which stands out very strong, and is associated only with sale/clearance items on the website. The colour pallet and the web page of a shopping page for an item type can be seen below.

chainreaction-scheme

Even though the colours are very different and bold, I don’t think that it harms the site. I do not agree with the current banner which states “THE BIG BIKE SALE IS NOW ON” as the colours are completely against the rest of their scheme. I think it makes it look messy, perhaps even giving the idea that it is an advertisement for a different webpage.

Chain Reaction also uses gradient in the menu bar. I think that it doesn’t quite fit in with the rest of the design of ‘CRC’. All of the buttons, the logo design, and the general setup of the page are very flat. There are no shadows, no gradients anywhere, except for the menu bar, and I just think that it also needs to be made flat in order to complete the design of the rest of the site.

Below we can see what colours can be associated to some common emotions, too. Interesting if I was to want to provoke a certain emotion from the person looking at the website.

q4-colour_byquestion (1).gif

Colour Emotions (2012)

For my website I will be using a much more subtle and calmer approach to the whole design in terms of colour. I will be using a little bit of monochromatic colouring, but with a bold accent. I don’t want the colours to be the main thing for the website, so the colours will just accent the logo, or the buttons, but the large segments of the page will have a dark or light grey, so the product or wording on top will stand out and provide a much nicer experience for the user who is using the page. Below is the colour scheme for the Controll website.

Controll-colour-scheme

 

I found a very interesting read from Ian Barclay (2015) which states that “Other colors in your field of vision will affect your color judgment.”, which I find very interesting. Because of this, I will be using a lot of white as the main webpage background too, just to make sure my colours come across clearly to the audience through the website.

 

References

Emotionally Vague (2012) Colour Emotions [Online]. Available from: http://www.emotionallyvague.com/img/q4-colour_byquestion.gif [Accessed 4 December 2015].

Ian Barclay (2015) Color Matching in a Retail Environment [Online]. Available from: http://www.colormatters.com/color-resources/research/73-color-resources/research/81-color-matching-in-a-retail-environment [Accessed 4 December 2015].

 

Logo Design

After my research of many other bike related websites, I came to the realisation that people usually stick with a gear, wheel or mountain theme. The latter is not a preffered logo simply because it looks so messy. If we look at web stores such as Chain Reaction Cycles or Winstanleys, we can see two completely different logos but both competing in the same field.

Chain-Reaction-Cycles-Logo-2010

Logo (2015)

Chain Reaction’s logo is very old, and it has gone through multiple revisions over time, but it has stuck with basically the same design. It is not very smart or compact or attractive, but I don’t think they want it to be either. The reason I think it look sold is doe the use of so many words, it is not at all simple, which seems so old. They plaster their logo everywhere, which is their website url, so it is extremely good for advertisement, and it’s so bold and garish, that people recognise and remember it without a problem. But, they do have a large problem when they create their own products, as people are not willing to display such an ugly logo. It would help them if they had two variants of logos, then they could use their main logo for the larger events, and then the smaller, minimalist, more attractive logo for clothing, bike carriers and other items which Chain Reaction produce.

Controll-logo

For my own logo, I have decided to go with a minimalist approach. I wanted to create a design which would look good wherever you put it, but also a simplified version of the logo for placement on photographs, or own-made products. I want to use monochrome colours, and I want to use a shade of blue as the signature colour within the logo. I believe having a splash of colour in the logo is important, at least for the main logo, as it cements a colour to the brand, and if people see that colour anywhere, they might remember the brand too.

Untitled-1

The following logo is not related to bikes,but it displays the idea of linking a colour with a brand, so people will think of the brand when they see the colour.

nike-colour

Of course, this colour is related to the sports brand, Nike. The linked colour makes it a lot easier for creating products or advertisements for the company.

Nike_Swoosh_Logo_Orange_original

Nike Swoosh (2015)

References

Chain Reaction Cycles (2015) Logo [Online]. Available from: http://www.chainreactioncycles.com [Accessed 12 November 2015].

Nike (2015) Nike Swoosh [Online]. Available from: http://news.nike.com/news/nike-media-resources [Accessed 5 December 2015].