Coronavirus support and digital marketing advice

Archive by Passion Digital

Chrome Extensions the Passion Crew Can’t Live Without

30Jul

Here at Passion, we love a lot of things: digital marketing (duh), a cold beer with our teammates after work on a Friday (oh, how we miss this – virtual drinks just aren’t the same!), videos of cats doing funny cat things (exhibit A) and, of course, Chrome browser extensions.

 

If you’re anything like us – and, since you’re reading this blog post, we think you might be – you love anything that makes getting your work done quicker, more efficient and enjoyably easier. Our team is always working online (again, duh) and most – if not all – of us have Google Chrome as our default web browser, so we like to stay up to date with the best Google Chrome web extensions.

 

From Pocket (oh, that one is a fan favourite) to MozBar, here are some of the favourite Chrome extensions of some of our favourite Passionistas.

 

The Best Google Chrome Extensions

Our PPC Executive Johnny’s pick

PPC Keyword Wrapper: PPC Keyword Wrapper is something I use very frequently. It allows you to change keyword match types in bulk easily and quickly – it’s saved me countless hours of work.

 

Our Content Marketing Manager Rosie’s picks

Screen Shader: As I suffer from migraines caused by bluelight, I couldn’t live without this extension. It tints the screen in Chrome (turning it into a pukey orange that I used to hate but now find comforting!). The content team works almost exclusively with G Suite, so I can use it on Google Docs, Google Sheets and Google Slides and avoid the harsh white of a blank page.

 

SEMrush SEO Writing Assistant: This extension is absolutely essential to our content process – and is another key reason why we switched to writing and storing all of our content work as Google Docs. The tool provides content optimisation suggestions based on the text in a Google Doc, essentially mimicking the Google spider and highlighting any SEO issues. It tells you the optimum word count for an article based on the specific keywords it is targeting, plus a range of additional keywords that will help your content rank above your competitors.

 

It is only available with a paid SEMrush account, but if you are producing regular content then I would recommend it as a must-have!

 

MozBar: MozBar has tonnes of SEO functions, but I mostly use it as a quick way to check follow/no follow/internal/external links without having to dive into the code of a web page. It’s great for non-technical SEOs!

 

Our Junior Paid Social Manager Katy’s picks

Facebook Pixel Helper: Facebook Pixel Helper is the main extension I use to check whether a site has a Pixel installed, which Pixel it is and if it’s working properly. Definitely one of my favourites.

 

Eye Dropper: I use the Eye Dropper extension quite a lot to replicate a particular colour from a website either in reports or Photoshop. This is a great extension for anyone who works with design.

 

Our Front-end Developer Ian’s pick

Social Share Preview: This has been a bit of a life saver recently. As the name suggests, it lets you see what a link preview will look like on websites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest – this is a great extension for everyone from devs to blog owners.

 

Our Junior Full Stack Developer Stephen’s picks

Pocket: Great for sharing links, especially if you’re a data hoarder like me. It lets you search the links and organise them into categories. It helps to stop my browsers from being cluttered with hundreds of links and integrates with all modern browsers, so if I save something on Firefox I can see it on Chrome.

 

Showing the pages I’ve saved to the archive.

 

Noisli: A “music” extension to help you focus/chill/motivate/etc. It’s got tonnes of variations of background noises from coffeeshop to thunderstorm. It can drown out any office noises, which works great when I’m up against a deadline. You can set it to work on a timer as well so it will turn off when you want to tell yourself to take a break. My favourite combo is wind, rain, thunder and coffeeshop – very cosy.

 

Playing wind, rain and thunder.

 

Muzli: This one is Chrome exclusive. It replaces your default tab with a feed of links that are constantly updated. Very similar to Microsoft Edge’s or Firefox’s link feed but much easier to tailor to your interests – you can change it so your feed is more geared towards what you’re interested in which, for me, are web topics like UI/UX, dev and tech. Kind of similar to old school RSS feeds from back in the day.

 

 

When you open a new tab in Chrome.

 

BrowserStack: Lets you emulate different browsers, devices or operating systems to test a website. Since there are so many different screens or browsers on mobile devices it can be a pain to test these all manually so this allows us devs to test for a device we mightn’t have immediate access to. For example, you can see if there are any errors with how the site is displaying on Safari on an iPad.

 

Emulating a Galaxy S9 and showing the best website on Earth.

 

Xdebug: This helps us devs debug any PHP errors/issues our website builds have. It integrates with our IDE as well so it’s a massive time saver, especially if you end up “inheriting” some older sites that haven’t been worked on in a while.

 

Redirect Path: Shows any redirects you’ve been sent on when you visit a page and flags any HTTP status codes that are happening on a web page. It’s a subtle plugin and a time saver, meaning you don’t have to go searching for any meta issues in the console.

 

When you visit a 404 page.

Our Founder Mike’s picks

BuiltWith: BuiltWith is one that I know a lot of our Passionistas use. It crawls the internet to tell you what technologies a specific website is using – really useful for anyone looking to analyse technology trends or stay up to date with what your competitors are doing.

 

Pocket (again!): I also really like this one! I think Pocket is a great app/extension for saving content quickly and easily that I can then read through when I’m offline or on the tube.

 

What Google Chrome extensions do you use in your work and personal life? Let us know down in the comments. Or, if you’d like even more recommendations from our team of digital marketing experts – perhaps about your next web build or content strategy – get in touch with us today.

 

Copywriting Guidelines During the Coronavirus Outbreak

17Jun

Since the coronavirus hit earlier this year, it’s hard to go anywhere without hearing about it. It’s all over your social newsfeeds, companies everywhere are releasing coronavirus support landing pages on their websites (yes, including us) and you’re always eagerly awaiting the next update about the loosening of lockdown restrictions.

 

Sure, we’re all talking about it, but how are you meant to go about writing about it? Whether you’re a copywriter, a content marketing professional, a blogger or an SEO, it’s important to adjust your copywriting techniques to the realities of the coronavirus pandemic.

 

From perfecting the ideal tone of voice to maintaining accuracy, here are some copywriting guidelines you can use during the coronavirus outbreak from the content marketing experts here at Passion Digital.

 

Have a look at how we helped our clients adapt to the coronavirus!

 

 

Copywriting Tips During the Coronavirus Outbreak

Adapt Your Strategy

 

During these times, it’s important to make sure that the content you’re producing is relevant, useful and sensitive. For example, if you’re a business trying to sell a product or service, now may not be the best time to produce scarcity-driven content that says things like Order now before it’s too late! or Limited spots are left, so book now! It’s likely that this approach won’t resonate with your customers, who will probably be worried enough already about their careers, health and family.

 

It’s also important that businesses modify their content strategies to fit the current climate – especially those in the travel industry. We helped one of our travel clients, Teletext Holidays, in this regard. While it wasn’t safe to encourage people to travel during the heights of the pandemic, we found lots of other ways to create relevant content that was responsible, useful and most of all: entertaining.

 

The ‘Viral Virus’ blog post became Teletext Holidays’ best performing article.

 

 

We helped Teletext turn their blog into a stay-at-home holiday hub. They produced blog posts to inspire the reader to have a holiday from the comfort of their own home, from cooking international cuisine and learning a language to creating a beach getaway in the back garden. Once countries began to reopen for domestic and international tourism, we created blog posts for them that feature the most recent information on each country’s current status, which are updated as and when things change.

 

 

The launch of Teletext Holidays’ Reopening Hub resulted in an unprecedented spike in traffic to the blog.

 

 

This is just one of the many ways you can create useful, unique content that is relevant to your business and interesting to your customers, while maintaining a responsible, realistic and sensitive approach.

 

Accuracy Makes for Great Copywriting

Since the coronavirus hit, many things have been postponed or cancelled completely. Whether you’re a business or a freelance copywriter, it’s a good idea to go through your scheduled press releases, blogs, landing pages, social media posts, automated emails – the list goes on – to ensure that you are not suggesting that people attend an event that is no longer happening, visit a facility that is now closed or participate in an activity that is not safe. You should also stay on top of the latest coronavirus updates, which will help you with all future content you produce.

 

Pay Attention to Your Tone of Voice

Anyone who writes copy knows that tone of voice is important and that there is a power in the words you choose. This means that, especially during the coronavirus outbreak, you should pick the words you use very carefully and make sure that your tone of voice doesn’t come off as insensitive. While puns and a casual tone of voice may be a part of how you or your brand normally write, it’s a good idea to dial it back a bit for the time being so you don’t come off as too flippant, which could put off the people who read your content.

That being said, positivity and puns are not the same thing – maintaining a positive tone and looking on the bright side makes for uplifting content, which many people are very much in need of right now.

 

 

As for the words you choose, it’s for the best to avoid terms like ‘contagious’ and ‘infectious’, as many people now negatively associate the meanings of these words. It’s never a bad idea to avoid newly common cliches as well, such as ‘unprecedented times’. You’re a writer, after all – you know the benefits of spinning overused terms and phrases into something fresh and unique. And, of course, Thesaurus.com is a friend to all.

 

Maintain High Standards

 

Now more than ever, it’s important that you maintain high standards with your writing. As a copywriter, you have one of the most important jobs right now. You have the power to uplift, inform and support the public with your writing (the pen, after all, is mightier than the sword). So double check your facts to ensure they’re correct and up to date, stay informed, be sensitive and empathetic to others, have someone proofread your work and, above all, don’t stop writing – we need copywriters now more than ever.

 

To learn more about Passion Digital and our values, click here

 

 

 

 

Steps B2B Businesses Must Take with their Paid Advertising During Crisis

20May

The recent coronavirus pandemic has affected all of us, and we’re all handling these unprecedented times differently. However, there are still many B2B companies out there who are unsure how to proceed. This infographic presents some key points and insights that will help you to learn more about the next steps you can take.

 

 

If you’ve been at a loss for how to manage your paid advertising during this crisis, you’re not alone, we’re here to help. Do not hesitate to contact us. We’re looking forward to hearing from you!

 

 

Best Practice Tips for Remote Management

19May

Despite having over a decade of experience in digital marketing, our Head of Digital Owen has had to face new challenges during the coronavirus lockdown period. Here are a few of the insights he has gained into managing a team – and a business – completely remotely.

 

It’s been almost 2 months since Passion Digital moved to remote working and whilst it has been quite nice at times not having the commute, or setting up shop in the garden on a sunny day, the reality is that this has been a tough adjustment for everybody in the business.

 

Our Marketing Manager Kat wrote a fantastic and inspiring article about how to stay healthy and sane during a lockdown and I wanted to follow up with a few little bits that I have adopted around effective remote management. These have helped me along the way but if I am honest have only worked because I am lucky to have the support of a resilient, pragmatic, compassionate and dedicated team!

 

Regular Check-Ins

One thing that became very apparent was how important those little 30-second chats over the desk or in the kitchen are to day-to-the-day workflow. That natural interaction is not easily replicated virtually, and no-one wants more emails!

 

 

Making a conscious effort to increase the frequency of team catch ups – or, in my case, just dialling into the ones that were already happening – has been the most effective way I have found to stay in the loop. As sighted human beings we communicate so much physically so I think it really helps to use video calls as much as possible, not talking to a blank screen.

 

Being More Flexible

When we went into lockdown, we were keen to impress upon the team that “all that’s changed is the location – everything is as we were in the office”. Had it been just a week or two of working from home that probably would have been the right message. But as the situation progressed and more started to change around us, the more we have had to adapt.

 

Things aren’t as if we were in the office: we have staff on furlough, we are having to overhaul our short-term strategies and everyone is having to pick up more new business. Trying to rigidly stick to the business-as-usual process wasn’t necessarily the right solution.

 

 

Replacing our structured, fortnightly management team meetings with more regular weekly meetings that have a more fluid agenda has helped keep the focus on the most immediate agency priorities. Similarly, some departmental projects have had to be deprioritised and managers have had to step in to more of the BAU account management – not ideal, of course, but as a manager it’s important to acknowledge that and make those decisions to reprioritise consciously.

 

Being Respectful of People’s Time

Not everyone is able to keep normal office hours; childcare, home-schooling or trying to maintain a healthy work-life balance has meant that everyone is working slightly different hours. Again, it has been important to acknowledge that and to be respectful of individual situations.

 

 

Things like adjusting meeting times, booking time in to catch up in advance or just not asking to do long calls at 4.30pm are just a couple of examples of the little adjustments that we have made as managers to adapt to the new norm.

 

Being Transparent

We have increased the frequency of our management meetings, all agency meetings and individual 121s. We need to be communicating honestly and transparently about furlough, client status, business projections, etc.

 

 

It can be tough at times as we don’t always have all the answers, and when I reflect back in months to come I know there will be things I would have done differently. For me it’s about trying to put yourself in the position of others, being conscious of their concerns and endeavouring to communicate honestly and transparently.

 

Being Positive and Giving Feedback

Lastly, It’s very easy to get wrapped up in your own day but it’s so important to acknowledge the hard work and long hours the team are doing in such challenging circumstances. We need to support each other and I think even something small like receiving Kudos from a colleague makes a big difference to my day!

 

 

We are two months in and it looks like we are now on the road back to normality. As much as I am looking forward to getting back into the office with the team I think some of these little changes in behaviour are still very applicable and I will be making a conscious effort to adopt them as the norm.

 

 

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