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Marketing Agencies, Are They Worth It?

Marketing Agencies, Are They Worth It?

I’ve been there, directing or managing a sales and marketing operation and needing marketing support to deliver. You don’t have dedicated marketing resources for what you need, or you do have marketing resources but there are aspects that you need more support with.   

Then you get a warm referral from someone you know, you start talking needs and prices, and then you sign up with a marketing agency for support of some kind.   

Maybe it’s putting articles out, or looking after your social media. Maybe it’s keeping your website updated with case studies. Or maybe it’s PR, or just maybe you go as far as wanting creative support and ideas.  

Then, gradually, after several months, you find yourself wondering… 

Is it all WORTH it? 

You might find yourself feeling like marketing agencies are a waste of time if your experience is like many others! Feeling like you are either being pestered to provide all the content and ideas that you thought you were paying them for, or that you are chasing them to deliver what they said they were going to deliver!  

You don’t have TIME to check up on these folks all the time to see if they are delivering what they promised. If you find you are being let down, you can find it is a bitter pill to swallow and it leaves you heavily biased against marketing agencies in the future!   

What I Tell People Who Ask “Is a marketing agency worth it?” 

Marketing is a widely misunderstood subject with a great many subcategories that are often even MORE misunderstood.  

Marketing agencies are worth it if you find the right people to work with who understand your business AND have the skills to make a difference, PLUS have the time to do what they say.   

If I tell people we focus on HELPING people with content marketing and organic SEO through blogs and web page updates, they mostly look at me as though I am talking in a foreign language.  

When I tell people we are a marketing agency, they will often assume we make flyers and posters, or we do PR campaigns.  

“If I have learnt anything through 20 years in Technology and Engineering companies, outsourcing is never easy.” 

Whether that’s getting hundreds of engineers set up in a faraway country with an aim to save time and money on a multi-million-pound development (which is hit and miss), or trying to get people to understand you and your business so that they can market you, without you having to spoon-feed them constantly, it can be a thorny road.  

I also know that employing people directly, trying to get as many competencies and skills in as few people as possible for the best price can be just as frustrating and challenging, not to mention how many people get comfy and a little lazy in their jobs past their probation period.  

Determined to Be DIFFERENT… 

So, having been down the road where so many companies find themselves, when my partner and I decided that we were going to launch a marketing agency and focus on helping people get found, I knew we were going to be DIFFERENT.  

We were determined to be different. 

With my background in industries like F1, Aerospace, H2 Fuel Cells, Rail, Electronics, IoT and Software through a career climbing from a project engineer to director overseeing sales & marketing operations, we knew what was MISSING from those I want to help.  

How many marketing agencies have a chartered engineer and engineering fellow on hand to translate for you?  

Add to that my partner, Andrea, who has 20 years of being a successful marketeer for her own business start-ups, running networking organisations, and has amazing communication skills which help her get over the line with businesses and allows her to easily translate technical terms in a simplistic way.  

Let’s not forget about our marketing team who are highly motivated, always on top of the trends and full to the brim of innovative and inspiring ideas. 

Andrea and Fred, Marketing agency

How many agencies have this kind of SUPPORT on hand?  

Imagine a world where a techy oriented company can talk to a marketing agency, and for those marketing folks to GET what they do, really UNDERSTAND them, have TECHNICAL competence, and a passionate and motivated team focussed on getting you found?  

Well, that’s what we’ve done with CREATIVE in TIME!   

Working With Us 

Does it sound too good to be true?  

That’s because there aren’t many agencies like us. It works perfectly. Once you’ve explained your business and how you help your customers, we can delve into the technical depths of what you do. This ensures we can translate it into simple language for your customers to understand HOW you can help THEM, and WHY they would choose YOU!  

I hate to say it but WHAT you do is of mostly no interest to your potential clients.  

With over 20 years working around techy oriented companies, I always found myself being the bridge between the proper techies and the more financial and business’ type folks. I could understand both sides without being an expert in either.  

I could explain the benefits of developing a bit of tech in a way a techie couldn’t, they will tell you all about what they need to do, I will tell you the benefits of what they need to do, and how much it will all cost.  

So, we realised we would be the bridge for complex or techy companies that need marketing support, we have built a team of amazing marketing execs that get trained by us in what our customers do, how they help people and why they should work with them.  

One Way We Are Different 

There’s one more ingredient in our mix other than our techy know-how. Whilst we are extremely familiar with CORPORATE environments including CxO level folks, we are persuading those same types to allow a little more fun to be injected into their messaging and put a little less “corporate” out there. 

People engage with FUN content, rather than the same old boring corporate messaging saying how amazing they are and how people should just buy their products over and over again.  

So, if you want to engage with people in a fun (and not quite so corporate way), if you do techy things that are often hard to explain to people outside of your business, then you could do with some help from some honest, decent and hardworking marketing folks just like us! You’ll be glad you did!  

Click here to get in touch with us now!

Fred RJ Warner 

What are SEO backlinks? 

What are SEO backlinks? 

SEO, backlinks, ranking, domain authority, do all of these words mean nothing to you currently? Well once you’re finished here you should be well versed in the world of backlinks. 

Did you know that 55.24% of pages don’t have a single backlink? 

This is even more mind-blowing when you hear that the top results on Google’s first SERP have 3.8 times more backlinks than results below them! 

Backlinks are alive and kicking and just waiting for you to make the most out of them… 

Simply put, backlinks (aka incoming links and inbound links) are links from one page to another. 

Backlinks are seen by search engines, such as Google, as “votes” for the page.  

The more backlinks a page has, the more likely it is to have high organic search rankings and be found. Here at CREATIVE in TiME, we are alllllll about being FOUND! 

A backlink can be compared to a positive vote. Each time your website receives a backlink, it tells search engines that your content is useful, relevant and trustworthy. 

As you may know, Google makes changes regularly to its algorithm however backlinks have always remained as a key ranking factor, building backlinks isn’t going out of style anytime soon so hop on the trend! 

No, having a high number of backlinks is perfect however this is only the case for high quality backlinks. 

Quality over quantity. 

Having a few high quality backlinks is more desirable than having 100 low quality backlinks. Think of it this way, are you more likely to trust a recommendation from a sketchy guy’s website or from Forbes? Exactly. 

1. It comes from a trusted website 

As we have previously mentioned, the website from which you have a backlink is important. This is called having “domain authority”. Domain authority means that the more authority a website has, the more it can pass onto your site through the link. 

Backlinks from authority sites have more weight under Google and can easily boost your organic search traffic. This does mean that quality backlinks are harder to get than low quality links, but they are absolutely worth the effort. 

What is anchor text, I hear you ask? Anchor text is the visible text part of your link which people click on.

If possible, you want the anchor text in your links to include your target keyword. Including your target keyword has been shown to cause higher rankings for said keyword. 

If you are thinking “this sounds too good to be true”, well you aren’t totally wrong. You want to be careful not to go overboard with keyword-rich anchor text as this can harm you if you’ve done too much. 

This is likely the most obvious of all, Google wants to see a relation between your website and the website which is linking to you. 

For example, you have written a blog detailing how to bake a cake. 

Google will put significantly more weight on backlinks from websites that are related such as baking, cooking and recipes as opposed to websites about fitness and electronics. 

Reach out to other people in your industry, you likely already know people who will have relevant websites and may wish to host each other’s backlinks. 

Backlinks from new websites are more effective than websites who have already linked to you. If a website links to you more than once, all links after the first will have lower returns. 

Once you have a link from a domain, do not focus your efforts on being linked to AGAIN.  

The number of websites linking to you is more important than the total number of links. 50 links from 50 websites is better than 100 links from 1 website. 

If you want to get backlinks, then you need something for people to link to. You need something that other people will recognise as being worth linking to. 

We would recommend: 

  • Blog posts 
  • Videos 
  • Quizzes 
  • Surveys 
  • Software 
  • And anything else that people will want to link to. 

For people to link to your website, it needs to be useful and relevant content. Here’s a tip, when creating your content, look at what other people AREN’T doing.  

If you are writing a guide then check out what other people are missing, maybe they haven’t included examples or do not have enough detail. If people are looking for the best guide on a topic, ensure that yours will be the most relevant. 

Another way to build backlinks is through guest posting. Writing guest posts for quality sites in the same field as you is ideal. Avoid guest posting for unrelated topics as this can look suspicious to Google. 

Find websites in your niche that support guest posting and try reaching out to get the ball rolling. 

You should now know what backlinks are, why they are important and what links are most desirable for your website. 

If your website has backlinks and is still struggling to be found, get in touch with us now. Our team of SEO experts are just waiting to get stuck in! 

CiT October Roundup of Marketing News & Updates 

CiT October Roundup of Marketing News & Updates 

Bad news first, chilly weather is here to stay for a bit, the good news is that the season of festivities is beginning. Yay! Before you don your fancy dress, we’ve got a roundup of the best marketing news and straight off-the-shelf marketing updates for you! 

Not a week goes by without a change to social media or Google, it’s exhausting, we know! It is vital for your business to stay up to date though on all the latest shenanigans so that you and your business can thrive – not just survive.  

First up; 

Instagram Merges IGTV and Feed Videos 

In early October, the Instagram account @creators announced Instagram is merging IGTV and Feed videos into a single format: Instagram Video.  

Head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, has been hinting at a more “simplified video experience” on the platform for a while. By merging IGTV with Feed videos, Instagram has a single destination for longer form video content – providing a clearer distinction between Instagram Reels. To support this change, Instagram is introducing several new features for Instagram Video:  

  • A new Video tab on Profile 
  • Trimming 
  • Ability to upload video captions 
  • People and location tagging 
  • 60-second Feed Previews 

You’ve probably already seen it by now, but the new Video tab will replace the old IGTV tab on users’ profiles, with a new “play button” icon. 

CREATIVE in TiME say:  Don’t know about you, but we likey the sound of this one! 

Goodbye Facebook? Facebook changes name to ‘Meta’

Chief executive Mark Zuckerberg has announced that Facebook is changing its name to ‘Meta’. The parent company will now be known as “Meta”, he said. It will also get a new logo, with a blue “M”.

In a presentation at the company’s annual Connect conference, Zuckerberg detailed how his company aims to build a new version of the internet, he said, “We believe the metaverse will be the successor to the mobile internet, we’ll be able to feel present – like we’re right there with people no matter how far apart we actually are”.

On Twitter, Meta announced, “The metaverse is the next evolution of social connection. It’s a collective project that will be created by people all over the world, and open to everyone. You’ll be able to socialize, learn, collaborate and play in ways that go beyond what’s possible today.”

The move comes after a tumultuous time for the social media giant. They’ve been battling criticisms from lawmakers and regulators over its market power, algorithmic decisions and the policing of abuses on its services. Not only this, but we cannot forget about the six-hour outage, on October 4th affecting all its platforms. What a crazy month for Facebook. Wait…we mean Meta?  

CREATIVE in TiME say: Things must be bad when you change one of the biggest company names in the World! 

More than Half of Marketing Emails are Threatened by iOS 15 

Apple’s popularity as an email service, and the company’s push into data privacy, means that advertiser’s ability to understand the performance of their email marketing campaigns is being challenged. This is according to data from email marketing company Litmus. 

Apple recently launched iOS 15 and as part of this Apple says the Mail Privacy Protection feature “hides your IP address, so senders can’t link it to your other online activity or determine your location. And it prevents senders from seeing if and when you’ve opened their email”. 

More than half of all emails opened are at risk – the iPhone Mail app is the market leader and is responsible for 40.3% of all email opens, with the Apple Mail app on Mac devices third (11.3%) and the iPad Mail app seventh (1.4%).  

This comes at a time when email marketing has grown in importance for many brands – it can be a cost-efficient way of enhancing first-party data and can allow personalised messaging in the absence of third-party data. 

CREATIVE in TiME say: Although e-mail still one of the most effective direct marketing tools out there, do we really need more challenges to getting them past the gatekeeper!? Sigh! 

Facebook tests option for Cross-posting Facebook posts to Instagram 

Users are currently able to cross-post their Instagram stories and posts to Facebook but in this new feature, cross-posting can flow the other way. The feature is yet to be formally announced by has begun to roll out this month to a small group of people. 

Facebook has begun to interlink their multitude of apps in recent months.  Allowing cross-communication between Instagram and Messenger users is one of the ways Facebook is connecting apps. By interlinking apps, they make it more difficult to fully leave Facebook. 

With this new feature, users will be able to cross-post: 

  • Up to 10 photos 
  • Single photos  
  • Single videos  

Currently other imaging formats such as GIFs and text-only posts are not able to be cross shared. This may be in a bid to keep Instagram relevant and popular amongst young users in response to growing popularity of other social media platforms like TikTok and Snapchat. 

CREATIVE in TiME say: Meh. Not sure this is the best rollout idea ever. We will reserve judgment though. 

Potential Google Search Algorithm Ranking Update between October 15th – October 18th

Google is known for updating its search algorithm ranking frequently and October was no exception.  

A flurry of chatter in the SEO community revealed that within this timeframe, many people noticed changes in their rankings, and most were not positive. Huge ranking changes were experienced with some people revealing 20%, 30% and higher drops in their traffic and ranking for their keywords! 

Did you experience a drop in your SEO within this period? Due to quiet changes in the algorithm, many businesses will feel the negative repercussions. If your SEO rankings and your traffic dropped, this may be why! 

Do you even know where you can find your analytics? Have you got them but don’t know what they mean? Fear not, we are here to help. Get in touch to discuss your analytics with the experts. 

CREATIVE in TiME say: Yup, some of our customers definitely felt this in the gut, some were absolutely fine. Either way we always knew what was happening because we monitor results weekly. #brushesshoulder 

News just in, every Instagram account will now have access to Instagram Stories Link Stickers. Yes, even those with less than 10K followers!

Instagram Stories link stickers were first introduced last month for accounts with 10K followers, replacing the “swipe up” link.

According to Instagram, “We made this decision based on feedback we heard from the community about how impactful it would be for creators and businesses of all sizes to benefit from link sharing to grow in the same way larger accounts do.”

So how do you add it?

  1.  Head to the Instagram Stories sticker tray and select the link sticker (if you don’t have access yet, sit tight. It’s coming don’t worry!)
  2. Paste your link into the link field.
  3. Switch the text and color by tapping on the sticker.

And hey presto! You’ve just added your first story link! You’re welcome.

CREATIVE in TiME say: We’ve been waiting on this one for a looooong time. If you’re a business, you NEED to utilise this feature!

We hope you enjoyed our monthly roundup, check back in next month for our November roundup! You can even have it delivered straight to your inbox by signing up for our newsletter! Just send your email over to [email protected] (subject to iOS 15 🙈 of course).  

Whilst you wait, does your business need a hand staying up to date? Maybe you’re struggling to keep on track with all of the new marketing changes? We’ve got your back!

Book in now for a discovery call and our marketing business can help you with all the latest strategies and changes. 

An Interview With Andrea Warner

An Interview With Andrea Warner

Starting your own business can appear daunting, and making it succeed can feel like an uphill battle. Andrea Warner, Director of CREATIVE in TiME, talks to Darren Jones from Instinct HR and gives her unique insights into the world of business.

I am an entrepreneur with a business focus” says Andrea.

Darren has captured some of Andrea’s most insightful quotes here. Learn about the mindset of a successful businesswoman and hop to the end to listen to the podcast in full!

What Is Your Approach To Business?

Andrea has a hand in running multiple businesses both alone and with her husband, Fred Warner, and has experience both good and bad in business. Her approach is to not spread yourself too thin and to know when you need assistance.

Andrea said “Business owners take on all of the tasks by themselves and it doesn’t help growing quickly. You just can’t do it by yourself.”

Having a great team is very important, Andrea told Darren about how her team is evolving and growing: “I have a great team, we recently employed a couple of kickstarters and they are amazing! Abbie and Elizabeth are just wonderful, and we don’t have an office, so everything is virtual. The girls are eager and they want to be exceptional, if I ask for some work, they always over deliver. You can’t ask for more than that…I am so excited to help them develop..”

What Drives You To Succeed?

“I’ve always succeeded in spite of others support until I met Fred and now I’m succeeding because of his support.” 

With new husband, Fred Warner (who is equally as impressive a businessman), they have enjoyed creating and growing their successful Marketing and Business Agency ‘CREATIVE in TiME’ together and are looking to create their very own unique brand “Fred & Dre” where they will take us on their business and life journey from day one.

What Is One Piece Of Advice You Have To Offer

“One piece of advice, I would say follow your own heart with things…listen to yourself and your gut instinct. When I stop listening to my gut instinct, it always comes back to bite me. Don’t always listen to fear in others.” 

This is a memorable piece of advice, businesses cannot be entirely based on statistics, listening to your own gut instinct can motivate you to make your business the best it can be.

What Lessons Have You Learnt In Business?

Andrea has had experience in a variety of jobs and from a young age has been working: “I was a door to door salesgirl at 13. I had to get used to rejection real fast” said Andrea.

“I want to do my due diligence now, I’ve learned a lot of lessons in growing businesses over the years so now I’m more hesitant about things but equally I want to always get excited about the stuff that is worth getting excited about.” 

We would recommend for any business owner or entrepreneur to listen to this podcast in full, there is a wealth of knowledge that could not be included in one blog.

Click Here To Listen To The Podcast

If you would like help from Andrea and her team with all things Marketing & Business, click here to book a discovery call with CREATIVE in TiME.

A Beginners Guide to SEO

A Beginners Guide to SEO

What is SEO?

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the way in which you increase your website’s visibility and chances of being found in search engines.

SEO drives organic traffic onto your website. A recent study found that 28.5% of people click through on the first organic search result demonstrating that people trust an organic result more than a paid advertisement.  Therefore, the higher you rank, the more organic traffic you should receive.

In our guide we aim to show you what SEO is and how to utilise SEO strategies in your website.

How Search Engines Work

To understand SEO, you need to understand the basics of a search engine.

Firstly, search engines are machines which scour the internet for content to determine which is most relevant to your search.

To scour the internet, search engines work through a three-step process:

  1. Crawling: They look through the internet for content and read the text/code from each URL. They do this to discover new and fresh pages with updates, images and videos. The exact amount that Google crawls a day is unknown but can be estimated at 45,000 pages a second.
  2. Indexing: Google then files the findings of their crawling into an organised index to be displayed to searchers on a search page. Check how your site pages are indexed by heading to Google and typing “site:yourdomain.com” into the search bar.
  3. Ranking: The final step is ordering organic content on a search page from most to least relevant in relation to the original search query.

Did you know there are three types of SEO?

On-page SEO

On-page SEO are activities on your website that help search engines to understand & rank your content e.g., keywords, image optimisation, content quality, and title tags.

Without On-page SEO you miss out on opportunities to rank for search enquiries related to your business. SEO is one of the most popular and cost-effective digital marketing strategies

Here are our top tips for optimising your webpage!

  • Title: The reader will see your title before they even reach your page. Create interesting and stand out titles to catch the reader’s attention. Use KEYWORDS to help the search engine understand your content.
  • Meta descriptions: This is the small piece of text below your page title on a search result. REMEMBER to always add these and edit these to be concise and useful.
  • Headings: Make sure to use the correct headings, they should match the search page title. People will stop reading if they are not relevant or informative.
  • Share-worthy content: Make content that people will want to share and link to. Add all the keywords that are relevant, make sure that you completely answer the question asked.

Off-page SEO

Off-page SEO is any SEO strategies that occur outside of your website. These could be link building, social media, reviews, and more.

It is important to monitor off-page SEO as you will potentially rank higher than a competitor if your off-page SEO is higher. It is a factor in determining how valuable your page is to a search question, a website with no off-page SEO is unlikely to be found.

We have compiled some easy tips to get you started with your off-page SEO:

  • Links: Ensure that you have no broken links. You can build links to your website by guest posting on authoritative sites and submitting work to high-quality directories.
  • Social media: Build connections with influencers and create unique content to form a positive social media presence. REMEMBER to keep your audience in mind and ensure your content is compatible.
  • Content: Make quality content to make it easier to get backlinks to your site. Long-lasting, quality backlinks are very useful to off-page SEO.

Technical SEO

Technical SEO refers to the parts of your website that are not content such as behind the scenes elements that are not visible to the public (yes, these do matter!), e.g., indexation, site speed, and accessibility.

These activities directly impact the indexing and crawling of your site by search engines. By making your website as search engine friendly as you can, you ensure that it can easily index your pages, and make it readily available to searchers.

This can seem intimidating to a beginner, but here are a few simple steps to start:

  • Make sure your website is mobile-friendly (check now by clicking here) to ensure your page can be accessed from anywhere, by anyone.
  • Check how quickly your website loads (check now by clicking here), the faster your website loads, the more pages are indexed and the higher it will rank. Site speed is a very important ranking factor for Google.

SEO can be daunting when starting out, if you are feeling lost or feel like your business could use support, click here to book a discovery call with CREATIVE in TiME, our marketing business would love to help!