It’s our 8th birthday this week, which, as ever, is a time for reflection (and a nice lunch). Mostly, I've been thinking about how much we enjoy doing what we do - creating original content and helping clients to communicate more effectively through strategy and training, also known as digital marketing.
So what is it about what we do that gives us so much job satisfaction? Here are eight reasons...
1. We get to work with smart people
Being based in Cambridge, with its well-deserved reputation for being a powerhouse of academia, science and tech, we rub shoulders with some very intelligent people. We're on London's doorstep too, and have clients overseas in places like Vienna and Singapore.
Wherever they're based they share a common problem; how to use digital marketing to get their messages across. This is where we come in. Our job is to translate complex concepts into something much more easy to understand, for the web, for social media, for email marketing and through video.
We're talking about folk like OpenIOLabs, a startup who came to us and explained they were developing this incredible hardware which lets you monitor and control all your devices, even if they’re written in different programming languages. Just imagine how much time and money that saves you in setting up your lab. We’re helping target those valuable early adopters through social media, attention-grabbing website content, graphics for presentations and through design for their stand at tech conferences.
And then there is Elektron Technology Ophthalmic, whose screening devices detect glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness. As well as looking after their social media channels, we write their whitepapers, put together infographics and have helped with the copy for the website redesign (launching this month – and looking great too!)
2. We get to learn lots of new things
In the past year we have written copy on a very wide range of topics. Email invites for global property giant Jones Lang LaSalle (above). How-to guides for Sage, aimed at all sorts of business owners from driving instructors to landlords and private tutors. Website copy for a 300-year-old Cambridge college, and for a tech startup in its very first year.
We have to become subject matter experts very quickly. Which is great. Every day's a school day! We now know about the never-knowingly-under-moustachioed French art of cane fighting. We know that ‘keep away from fire’ has to be displayed on clothing labels in bright red capital letters, in bold, and in Arial font at least pt.10 in size. We know how to look after your eye health (tip: eats lots of leafy green veg and please, stop smoking). And just the other day, Rory was explaining to me the concept of Chekhov’s gun, in the context of homepage design. Interesting.
What I’m saying is, if you’re ever stuck in the kitchen with one of us at a party, there won’t be any awkward silences.
3. We get to help other people
As well as creating content ourselves, we spend a lot of time sharing our expertise to help other people do it better. You might want to keep your marketing in-house but need a guiding hand from people who understand digital. We'll come up with a realistic and achievable strategy to help you sharpen up your content and reach your target audience more effectively.
We have a couple of these projects bubbling away. Strategic advice to a leading distance learning provider with several million Facebook fans, for example, has seen reach on their Facebook page increase to 35%, and them rising to 10th, not 12th against the competition.
We supported See Change Films as they launched their annual graduation ceremony in Islington, to ensure we got maximum bums on seats. And we’re working with a retailer of luxury aprons to plan activity in the run-up to Christmas, which will help her create a buzz around the business – while being very targeted so every penny is spent wisely.
4. We get out of the office (and into your workplace)
We run in-house training session for businesses who need help with SEO, copywriting, digital marketing or using social media platforms more effectively. We always prefer to visit you, rather than have you come to us, so we can really understand the environment in which you’re working and the tools you’re using.
We love sharing our expertise, and tackling those nagging questions which people have been scratching their heads over. Having produced content for so many different formats and worked in such a wide range of sectors, we always have lots of best practice examples to hand and can offer straight-talking advice which you can apply the very same afternoon.
We’ve run social media training in Bradford with a packaging design company and in Ely with a telecoms company. We spent a day with a large engineering firm in Huntingdon helping them improve their writing in lots of different formats. We ran sessions throughout Cambridgeshire on digital marketing for small businesses, in partnership with NWES. Our first session with University of Cambridge staff on writing for the web was so oversubscribed we ran six sessions in total, and have plans to come back and focus on related topics.
5. We get glowing compliments
Behind the scenes, we're adept at studying the data so we can analyse what's working for our clients and plan the next steps.
We take a lot of pride in what we do, so it’s always great to get public recognition too. Which is why it was such a thrill to pick up two silvers at the Cambridgeshire Digital Awards 2015, for Responsive Website and Website: Marketing & Creative.
We have also just been added to the Recommended Agencies Register, a real nod of approval because to be included you need to receive high ratings from genuine clients – no asking yer Mum to leave a five-star review.
We’re just given the Sookio website a little polish, and you’ll see the testimonials taking pride of place. It’s about time we started blowing our own trumpet. People are happy with our work, and it’s time to shout about it!
6. We get to work in a fast-moving landscape
Working in digital isn’t like, say, making shoes. People have always wanted shoes, and people have always made them. We provide a service which didn’t even exist a few years back. On top of that, the tools of the trade are always changing, and there is always a new trend around the corner for us to get to grips with. But rather than just jump on each trend we have to have a strong sense of perspective and think what will actually work for our clients.
The most common question we get asked at the moment is, “Should we be on Snapchat?” In almost 100% of cases, the answer has been NO! But that’s because we work with so many clients in tech, science and healthcare whose customers are B2B. For retail, news, fashion, or if you’re a public figure, it might be a different answer.
This feeling of being in an industry where everything is changing around us is exciting. It doesn’t stand still, and we don’t want to either. Which is why over the last year we’ve introduced some new services…
7. We get to do words AND pictures
When we wrote a whitepaper, we wanted to offer an infographic to go with it. A blog post promoting your new product would be so much better with a video explaining how it works. We wanted to be able to offer so much more in the way of visuals to complement our traditionally wordy content.
So we now offer video and design as a service. Design has been quickest to take off; as well as our work for Elektron and OpenIOLabs mentioned above, we have created packaging design, swing tags, business cards and care instructions for a retailer, and eye-catching infographics for NEN.
A media kit for the Internet Watch Foundation, saw us bring everything together – press releases, example social media posts, posters, website buttons – to promote the launch of their new reporting portals in territories across the world. If just one person reports an image of child sex abuse as a result of seeing a poster that we prepared, then that’s a very good thing indeed.
We get to help with your project too!
Are you the next client that'll make us say, "We love what we do!"? Tell us more about your project and we'll make it a success through expert copywriting, training, strategy, video and design.