High in the sky – the dizzy heights of drones

Drone Video Photography Marketing

The world of online content is alive with never seen before video and imagery. Today we can find spectacular visuals of absolutely everything, from beautiful places around the world to freerunners attempting crazy leaps of faith across skyscraper rooftops. Even life’s everyday activities can be seen with a bird’s eye view. Welcome the drone.

Drones are in themselves spectacular pieces of equipment – impressive remote controlled devices capable of flying the latest 4k and 8k resolution cameras safely around a radius spanning miles. Anyone can do it too. Worldwide sales, training programmes and licenses have grown enormously in recent times, resulting in a newfound accessibility to unique drone photography and video content.

This, coupled with today’s social media obsession and desire to document our lives, the world, and places we’ve been, has seen an influx of very shareable and inspirational online content. Social networks have been riding a visual trend for years, but what we are now seeing is an evolution in the quality, style and ultimately – wow factor. We as online users crave wow factor. Drones provide just that.

Social networks are playing their part in driving this too. Some in the industry now argue that the likes of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are in themselves video platforms, encouraging even further the sharing of visual and motion content. There are 2.3 million posts on Instagram with the hashtag #drone, with many highly-followed accounts dedicated to the sharing of amateur and professional drone content. @DroneoftheDay shares daily content using hashtag collation, with their feed a beautiful mix of all styles and locations.

Chicago sunrise
Chicago sunrise, courtesy of @razdood

We too have embarked on our own drone journey. Here is the latest video using drone footage for our client Woodhill Park, a camping and caravan holiday park based on the North Norfolk coast:

If you are interested in drone video or photography, please get in touch with us today.

Four reasons why you need UGC

Four Reasons Why You Need User Generated Content UGC

I wrote about UGC (user generated content) back in January highlighting it as a key content trend to look out for in 2016. Having recently returned from the annual Brighton SEO conference, it has further emphasised to me its absolute importance when it comes to content marketing and social media campaigns.

Here are four reasons you need UGC:

1. Content you can’t create

No matter how brilliant you may be at creating content, UGC is simply something you cannot produce. Likewise it’s equally as hard telling people to create it for you with no added benefit. Incentivising your customers and community (a prize wouldn’t go amiss) will often result in beautiful, rich content that celebrates your brand in ways you couldn’t.

2. Positive brand experience

When it comes to buying into a brand or product, personal experiences or reviews are often hugely influential in customers making their decision. There is no better endorsement than happy people talking about your brand in a positive manner. This can often lead to increased conversions and sales, making it a very important promotional marketing tool. Candid is a fantastic platform that pairs customer photos and videos to product listings, creating both an online community and inspiring browsers to buy. Clever.

3. Unique, powerful, emotional

UGC can tap into our emotions. So much of what we share online today is a visual experience or moment capturing an array of personal emotions, which can also make others feel. Again, getting people to ‘feel’ is often something, that for businesses in particular, is out of their hands – UGC can plug that gap.

4. Engagement

Content marketing and social media is all about engaging with an audience. UGC can make your customers feel part of a wider community, also showcasing care and a genuine interest in what they have to say. It’s also fun. I’m sure you all remember Three’s #DancePonyDance TV advert. This was also turned into an engaging ‘create your own pony’ UGC campaign. The result? 1.5 million ponies were created.

Want to find out more? Then please get in touch.

Whilst you’re at it, check out or current UGC campaign for Kelling Heath – #KellingMoments

Visit Norfolk Video Campaign – It’s a Wrap!

Visit Norfolk Video Marketing Campaign

Our video campaign with Visit Norfolk has come to an end (sad face). Over the past five months we have been to medieval reenactments, cruised the broads with toddler pirates, got lost in Thetford Forest and even managed to convince well-respected head brewers to hop on one leg all in the good name of tourism. It’s been a great campaign to work on and one which has achieved great results. Here’s how we did it.

The brief

We were asked to create a series of tourism-focused videos for the seven individual county districts in Norfolk. These were to be short and creative in style, away from traditional tourism messaging and advertised online.

Our approach

Working with Visit Norfolk we presented the notion of creating a series of tongue in cheek “How to” videos, each one building on a theme which would be paired to the individual county districts. This allowed us to explore the many different appealing factors of visiting Norfolk, from its historical significance to the beautiful great outdoors.

We wanted to grab the attention of potential viewers. Identifying Facebook as the main output for paid social promotion, we developed quirky titles built to both stop browsers in their tracks and to play with imaginations – always with the ultimate end goal of gaining views. Each video would begin with engaging “how to” advice and sign off with a powerful statement displaying unique information about Norfolk related to the district’s theme.

The campaign

The videos were planned, scripted, filmed and edited in house. Each video scheduled throughout the spring/summer period, hosted on YouTube and Facebook with paid advertising spends allocated to each. The campaign reached a total figure of 776,644 with 476,701 individual video plays (Facebook only, also includes a “how to” video for Gressenhall workhouse).

How to be Queen of the castle

District: West Norfolk & Kings Lynn
Theme: historical and royal connections
Video plays: 66,710
Reach: 120,757

How to be a pirate

District: South Norfolk
Theme: outdoor activities, broads
Video plays: 50,901
Reach: 77,385

How to rock ‘n’ roll

District: Great Yarmouth
Theme: family entertainment
Video plays: 57,395
Reach: 76,851

How to be a fisherman

District: North Norfolk
Theme: coastline, seaside destinations
Video plays: 89,395
Reach: 128,001

How to get lost in the woods

District: Breckland
Theme: great outdoors
Video plays: 45,273
Reach: 133,552

How to hop

District: Broadland
Theme: artisan producers
Video plays: 53,357
Reach: 84,522

How to be a flaneur

District: Norwich
Theme: city living
Video plays: 51,631
Reach: 90,612

In you are interested in video marketing, please get in touch with us today. We’d love to help.

Shorthose Russell’s Whistle-stop Guide to Blogging

Guide to blogging by Shorthose Russell

To some, blogging might sound like one of the dark arts but writing a blog post is actually relatively straightforward. You may have written countless emails, presentations and web copy even, but perhaps the thought of how to structure a blog post leaves you feeling a little blank.

This post explores just a few helpful tips from us to help you get started. These ideas each use a different form or structure, which aim to aid you in writing a short and succinct piece that will engage. Although this brief guide aims to inspire, the rules for blogging are flexible. The more informative and original your piece is, the more likely it is to engage with your audience.

The three most important qualities of a blog post are: Make sure what you’re writing about is interesting, helpful or in some way unique; the tone is lively and engaging; and the structure is easy to follow.

What does a blog post look like?

Once you’ve decided what you’re going to write about, bear in mind that blogs are often around 500 words but can go up to 1,000 – as a guide, try not to exceed 800 words if possible. The main idea is to provide a really broad range of views, thoughts and ideas in your post and to have a space for a real leveling of experiences, opinions and views. No matter who you are, your voice is relevant and has something to say.


Remember to pitch your blog post using a conversational tone. Blog posts are not a formal means of communicating such as a report, so when you’re writing your piece, imagine that you’re telling a story or explaining something to a colleague you’ve worked alongside for some time: conversational, personable, professional and relaxed (remembering to be concise).

7 Ways to Structure your Blog Post

1) ‘How to’ blog posts

‘How to’ posts allow you to pick a subject or theme and explain to others how they can do something. A ‘how to’ post could be along the lines of: How to find a cheap last minute holiday online or how to entertain your children over the summer. You can spend the rest of your post, featuring advice and tips on ‘how to’

2) List blog posts

A list blog post is as it sounds – a list of things people can do to approach an issue or overcome something. For example: 10 Top Tips to Manage Your Weekly Shop or Top 7 Websites About Secondary Education, 5 Things to Do in Suffolk.

(You’ll have noticed that the format of this guide is in the style of a list post: 7 Ways to Structure Your Blog Post.)

3) Your views on a survey, media story or legislation

For inspiration, you may wish to select a recent survey, a story which featured in the media or a change in recent legislation. You can introduce your blog post by summarising the findings or article and then spend the rest of the post, reflecting, commenting and debating the angle. Alternatively, you might like to start with a famous inspirational quote or quote taken from the media.

4) Ask a Question

A simple and effective way to start a blog post is by posing a question at the beginning and then spending the rest of the post, answering and debating the question. Remember to end the piece by reflecting and summarising your personal thoughts and opinions on the matter.

How will Brexit impact the way we holiday in Europe?

5) Anecdotal Posts

Start the post with an anecdote, a personal experience or story that resonated with you, remembering confidentiality when recounting your story. This will set the scene. You can then make various related points to this anecdote throughout the piece. End by reflecting on the anecdote and what you think now compared to then? What’s changed since or how has it changed the way you think? What did you learn? What would you like to see happen in the future?

6) An Insider’s View

People like to see ‘behind the scenes’ and get a sneak preview into other people’s lives. Consider writing a blog about an event, a visit to a consumer or trade show or a conference you attended recently. Perhaps include some anecdotal aspects: How did you feel before the event? Who did you meet? Was it a notable day? Detail what you learned and share your findings and views on this.

7) Myth Busting

People like to read things that explore common myths. Select a myth or preconception many people might have about the field you’re in and explore this in your blog post.

Things to remember

  • Tell the reader something new
  • Back up any arguments with research, data or expert quotes
  • Be topical and feature current trends or initiatives where possible
  • Possibly one of the hardest things is keeping your blog post original. This means having a fresh perspective, challenging the expected or perhaps its how you deliver your piece. Be inventive where you can
  • Be yourself. People will engage more on an emotional level.

The power of social, the power of PR – #ZaksBIG40

Zaks BIG 40 Marketing Campaign Norwich

We have been working with local restaurateurs Zaks American Diners for just under 18 months. They are a great client to work for; full of enthusiastic, energetic people who genuinely care about their business, not just in terms of performance but also about its history, heritage and uniquely strong connection with generations of customers from in and around Norwich.

2016 marks 40 years of Zaks

We have developed a year-long communications strategy celebrating just that, with a series of short-term campaigns bringing things to life.

The main event?

The #ZaksBIG40 celebration which happened outside The Forum, Norwich to mark their official birthday on June 25.

The theme?

Heading back to 1976 – bringing back the original Zaks van (which so many customers reminisce about) and… selling burgers at 1976 prices.

Hello 56p burgers!

Live entertainment throughout the day included performances by Lucas Soul Sound, Angel Baton Twirlers, and a top secret flash mob by Norwich Theatre Royal. A collection of vintage cars were also on display.

Here are the highlights:

Attendance on the day was huge – above and beyond what we all expected. Queues stretched from outside The Forum, round to the top market and back again past Next, the BBC shop and towards Chapelfield.

ZaksBIG40 - menu

It was a great success which reaped the rewards of an integrated approach to marketing. Social media and PR worked in unison to promote the event, generating pre, live and post event coverage. Creative content in the form of interactive quizzes, blogs and an official event page on Facebook supported the promotion, with many thousands of people engaging with the campaign and Zaks brand throughout June and into July.

The results:

  • 1172 burgers sold at 1976 prices
  • 4 burgers sold every minute from midday until 5pm
  • Over £1000 raised for Connects & Co
  • 172,000 people reached through the official Facebook event
  • 1,600 stated their attendance on Facebook, a further 2,600 stated interest
  • Facebook page likes grew 3.2% in one month
  • Live video streams reached combined audience of 14,400
  • 8,700 Twitter impressions on event day
  • 43% increase in monthly Twitter engagement
  • Pre and post coverage in the EDP and Norwich Evening News, on and offline


The relationship between vloggers and PR

Vloggers and PR - Camera

On the evening of Tuesday 21st June 2016, we headed down to London for a seminar exploring the relationships between vloggers and PR professionals, headed up by PR Moment.com. Speakers included the founders of OP Talent and Channel Mum.

Blogger outreach has become a huge part of PR and is quickly catching up with the work that we traditionally do with journalists. For example, inviting bloggers to review a short break for our travel clients, or trying out new recipes from our food brands. Vloggers are just another extension of this model.

Here’s what we learned:

Kids up to 24 years old watch YouTube more than TV

The numbers are confirming what we’ve all been thinking, that the younger generation are tuning in to YouTube more than TV. For brands that are looking at where to focus their spend, YouTube is a real contender and it’s often cheaper to work with influencers than to create a TV ad.

Big subscriber numbers doesn’t always mean the most engagement

YouTube channels and influencers with a smaller audience have shown that they receive more engagement than larger channels. By using a view to subscriber ratio you can measure this engagement. The average YouTube channel should see an average ratio of 14%, we were shown a great example of a famous YouTuber receiving a 9% engagement rate and a smaller YouTuber with a 26% engagement rate. Also look around the stats and check out their social channels, video likes and comments to get a good idea of how responsive their audience is.

It’s not always about YouTube

Influencers are on all different social channels. There are Instagram influencers with millions of followers and no YouTube channel. Not everyone needs to be an all-rounder. If a certain social influencer suits your brand or client more than a vlogger then engage with them!

Paid vs earned

This caused a bit of a stir around the room, with a mix of professionals in both fields in attendance, one brave soul asked the question:

‘Who should be approaching these vloggers, should it be PR or marketing?’

Dan Neale, Co-Founder at Alfred, was very honest, he said being approached by marketing professionals is naturally easier because they often have a budget. Although there was a consensus that because of the storytelling aspect of a vloggers content the approach has been found to sit better with PR. There just needs to be an understanding that sometimes there will be talks around payment.

The YT generation has grown up and is having babies

The term ‘mummy blogger’ is one we come across time and time again. Channel Mum founder Siobhan Freeguard was on the speakers panel to give us an insight into how these mums have turned to YouTube to create their content.

Millennials now have families and naturally these mums and dads want to get their information from YouTube, but there is very limited, appropriate info, out there. That is why Channel Mum was founded.

A key point Siobhan shared was that mums do not tend to subscribe or follow YouTubers like younger fans might. Don’t be discouraged from working with low subscriber numbers. Check out their social channels and video comments as well.

Grow with the influencer

‘Famous’ YouTubers are just the tip of the iceberg. Why work with someone huge for one video when you can engage with a growing vlogger, who your brand or client can champion and grow with, creating more content along the way?

Tailor your ideas to their voice and content

A vlogger’s audience watches their channel for a reason, because they love their content! A collaboration won’t work if you are planning on approaching them with an idea that doesn’t fit with what they already do. Don’t be afraid to get the opinion of the vlogger ask yourself what would they add to your idea to make it a fit for them?

There is no secret formula to finding talent

You need to put in the leg work – take the time to browse YouTube and social media to find influencers who are already naturally talking about your brand. Sentiment check their channels and go with your gut instinct, you will know when their content is and isn’t right for your brand or client.

If you have any questions about working with bloggers and vloggers or want to discuss how blogger outreach could work for you, get in touch with the PR and Content team.