Coronavirus support and digital marketing advice

Archive by Rosie Pugh

How Do Marketers Identify Primary Competitors?

30Nov

At Passion Digital, we always start every digital marketing programme with research and insight work. Very often our clients are excited to jump in and want to activate a campaign immediately, and we understand that – they have brought us on board to improve their ROI and want to see results as soon as possible.  

However, it’s our job to rein them in – just for a little while – because successful performance marketing is all about having a clear and focused strategy. As research and insight always underpin digital strategy, no matter the channel or size of the programme, in this case we really must insist that you…

via GIPHY

Competitor analysis is a crucial first step for any brand, as it allows us to:

  • Understand the category landscape
  • Hone in on important USPs and differentiators
  • Analyse other businesses for content, branding and channel strategy inspiration

In this post I will run through the different kinds of competitor research we carry out, and when you might use each one.

What is Competitor Analysis in Marketing?

Competitor analysis is the process of identifying and evaluating a brand’s main competitors in terms of product, target audience and marketing strategy. This might sound like an easy exercise, but in reality it’s possible to fall down a market research rabbit hole.

1. Business Competitors

When clients think of competitor research, they normally think of their business competitors:

Business competitors are brands competing for the same customers with the same service or product.  

In real-life terms, these are the alternatives to whatever you offer that a customer might consider before making a purchase. They may be listed alongside you in Google or on an aggregator website, or they may be compared with your brand in a ‘10 Best…’ article that aims to help customers choose between brands.

What is an example of a business competitor?

If you are selling cheap holiday packages for families, your business competitors would be other travel companies that also sell cheap holiday packages for families. However, you might also want to include competitors who offer slightly more expensive holiday packages for families; if their proposition is particularly strong they might still be able to persuade your target market to purchase their product instead of yours.

How do you carry out business competitor analysis?

Often clients will already have a clear idea of who their business competitors are, and we always ask for a list when we start a programme. If they don’t know yet, one easy way to start making a list is to look at the top rated companies in your business category on Trustpilot.

The businesses at the top of the list are your most important business competitors, as – based on their review rating – they are the most popular with your target audience.

  • A simple messaging strategy comparison is always a good place to start. Take a look at their home pages and analyse what they say and how they say it. Do they have reviews front and centre? Do they focus on price, quality, eco credentials or luxury? How does their presentation of the product compare to yours?
  • To delve into their paid social activity, Facebook’s Ad Library is a useful free tool that allows you to view the ads that any brand is currently running on Facebook and Instagram.
  • BuzzSumo has a good range of tools to assess the success of a competitor’s content and its viral spread.

via GIPHY

What is business competitor analysis good for?

  • Understanding your own USPs and how they help you to stand out from the crowd
  • Informing your digital strategy across all channels
  • Further content research, such as a competitor content audit
  • Further social research, such as a competitor social audit and social listening
  • Creating lookalike audiences for paid social ads

2. Search Competitors

Another key factor that you will probably want to consider are your search competitors.

Search competitors are websites ranking for the same set of key phrases and competing for the same traffic.

Although from a paid search perspective your business competitors are likely to be bidding on the same keywords as you are, from an organic search perspective there is no guarantee that your competitor list will look the same. Any website has the potential to rank above you in search engines – it could be a business selling a different service, a blog giving advice on a certain topic, news platforms, social media pages, review sites – the list goes on.

What is an example of a search competitor?

If you are an estate agent wanting to rank for a key phrase like ‘three-bed houses to rent in Clapham’, your search competitors won’t just include other estate agents. It’s likely that aggregator websites such as Zoopla and RightMove will occupy the top positions in Google. It’s also possible that content pieces – such as a newspaper article about “the best locations in Clapham to buy a three-bed house” – may rank above you and can be seen as a search competitor.

via GIPHY

How do you carry out search competitor analysis?

There are many SEO tools that may help you to gain insight into your search competitors, including SISTRIX, SEMrush and Ahrefs.

The following competitive positioning map from SEMrush, for example, is based on Passion Digital’s search performance. We’re in yellow, and we’re not doing too badly when compared with our competition – thanks to the expert efforts of our talented SEO team. 😉

What is search competitor analysis good for?

  • Informing your SEO and PPC strategies
  • Identifying your top organic search competitors and understanding where you can make short term and long term gains
  • Further SEO research, such as a competitor backlink audit and keyword gap analysis
  • Assessing what competitors might be spending on PPC and how you would rank against them with your budget

3. Brand Competitors

The third type of competitor analysis I want to mention is what I am calling “brand competitors”, or businesses that embody the same ethos or look and feel as you do to talk to a similar audience, but aren’t direct business competitors.

Brand competitors are entities that don’t necessarily sell the same product as you but use a similar brand proposition to appeal to your target audience.

They don’t have to be businesses at all – they could be magazines or groups on sites like Facebook, Mumsnet or Reddit. What’s important is that they’re saying the same kind of thing that you want to say, in a way that appeals to the same kind of people you want to reach.

What is an example of a brand competitor?

If you’re a luxury premium alcohol brand looking to appeal to affluent 25-55 year olds, brand competitor research might involve analysing the strategies of other businesses that sell to that demographic. You might look into Bentley’s paid social strategy, for example, or Prada’s organic search performance. Alternatively, if you’re an eco-focused tech startup looking to appeal to London-based millennials, you might analyse the strategy of successful startups like OLIO or HumanForest. You know that you will never directly compete with them, but it’s useful to analyse what works when it comes to targeting your chosen market.

How do you carry out brand competitor analysis?

This is a more exploratory process than the others mentioned above – deciding which brands to look at in the first instance is a case of thinking laterally and googling feverishly.

Once you have a list, you can use the same tools and processes as you did for the other competitor research angles, scrutinising their SEO, PPC, organic social, paid social and content activity.

What is brand competitor analysis good for?

  • Informing your digital strategy, especially if you’re a new brand or if you sell a disruptive product/service that doesn’t have any direct business competitors
  • Shaping your tone of voice and branding
  • Inspiring your blogging and social content

This exercise is more about getting inspiration than it is about targeting competitors and planning to overtake them.

via GIPHY

Looking for Digital Strategy Guidance? We Can Help!

Whether you’re a new brand looking for a launch strategy or a mature household name in need of some fresh thinking, we can help. Our strategic thinkers can help you to identify, analyse and create a plan to beat your competitors, while our channel experts can execute that plan with a firm focus always on ROI.

Everything we do, we do with passion. Get in touch to start your digital marketing journey today.

SEO Poetry: Is Search Intent Stifling Creativity?

04Aug

Rosie takes on the challenge of writing poetry specifically optimised for SEO.

Jump straight to…

How to Write for SEO

Applying SEO to Poetry
Read My Free Verse Poem

… and My Meta Description Haiku

Hi, I’m Rosie, Passion Digital’s Content Marketing Manager.

I have always considered myself a ‘creative type’. From the time I could spell I was writing poems, which became stories and finally full-length novels. I became interested in digital marketing because of the incredible capacity for creativity – here’s a career that will allow me to flex my creative muscles, I thought.

via GIPHY

And yet I’ve come across many internet-dwelling writers on forums and blogs who bemoan the evils of SEO writing. Why should we pander to the Google algorithm to get our poetry found? they cry self-righteously. How can I possibly maintain the quality and integrity of my writing if I’m optimising it for search engines?

Wait and see, chums.

How to Write for SEO

I like to think of SEO copywriting as an art form rather than a hindrance. In order to write a successful piece of content capable of ranking in Google, you have to work within a set of clear parameters. The rules have changed somewhat over the years – take a look at our introduction to search intent for more on that – but the fundamentals remain.

Search engines work by allowing users to type in a search query and producing a set of results that it thinks will answer that query. If no one is searching for whatever it is you are writing about, your page will not get found – because NO ONE CARES.

OK, that’s a bit harsh. And, of course, there are plenty of other ways to get your content seen by people online other than SEO. For example, you could share it on social media, show it to online communities that are interested in the same subject matter or approach journals or zines with large audiences that take submissions.

A search engine will include your page in the SERPs (search engine results pages) if its algorithm considers your page to be relevant to the search query. If your content gives no indication that it is relevant to the search query, it will not get found.

For example, if your web page is entirely made up of images of cute puppies with no alt text, the search engine crawler will be unable to recognise its relevancy and it will be unlikely to rank for any queries relating to ‘cute puppies’. 

via GIPHY

An important marker of relevancy is the presence of key phrases related to the search query. If the search engine crawler can find relevant key phrases or search intent indicators on your page, it will rank it more highly than other pages that it deems less relevant.

Algorithms – especially Google’s – have become increasingly sophisticated over the years. You no longer have to ‘key phrase enrich’ your content with multiple instances of the same key phrase to score relevancy points. More on that later.

Search engines know that users value a pleasant reading experience. Quick loading speed, headings and subheadings, easily digestible paragraphs, rich media including images, GIFs and videos, bullet points, numbered lists, etc. – anything that makes the page easier to read and enjoy. Your page will be rewarded if it offers a great user experience (UX) to your reader.

To find out more about user experience, check out this blog post from our resident UX designer, Nathan.

If lots of other people find your content interesting or useful – by staying on the page for a while to read it, by commenting on it or by citing it as a source on their own website – the algorithm will deem it more useful than other results that are just as relevant. The more signals you give out that your content is popular and useful, the better it will rank in search engines.

Google has been saying for years that social shares are not a ranking factor in its algorithm, but it is clear that there is a strong correlation between social signals and ranking position. 

Applying SEO to Poetry

So there is the basic theory of SEO (there are many nuances but I did the best I could in 500 words!). When it comes to putting those fundamentals into practice, there are a number of excellent digital tools at our fingertips that we can use to make the process easier.

My personal preference is SEMrush’s suite of tools. It offers some fantastic content-related features that I use every day as a content marketing manager.

Keyword Magic Tool

The first step to creating an SEO-friendly piece of content is to find out what key phrases people are typing in to search engines and deciding whether you would like your page to rank for that phrase.

Keyword research continues to be the vital first stage of any SEO writing project.

I started my keyword search by typing the phrase poetry online into SEMrush’s Keyword Magic Tool. These were the results I got:

The first column shows the keyword; the second column shows the average number of monthly searches for a given keyword over a 12-month period; the third column shows the interest of searchers in a given keyword during the same 12-month period.

As you can see, the majority of these search queries are not suitable for my poem. I doubt that anybody typing in watch endless poetry online free is going to be interested in reading my SEO poetry. However, there are a few from this list that might be of interest to me:

As I want to write my poem on the topic of SEO, I also carried out another search with SEO-related search queries:

By picking and choosing the search queries that are relevant and have a decent search volume, I can collate a list of key phrases that will form the basis of my search intent modelling.

SEO Content Template

The next step is to paste my selection of keywords into SEMrush’s SEO Content Template tool. This gives me some specific insights into the parameters I need to set for myself when writing my poem:

The tool is suggesting that I enrich my text with a range of semantically related words. As search algorithms have improved, they have become better at identifying sense-based relationships between words in the same way that humans can.

For example, in the past a search engine would not have been able to recognise that the word dog relates to the words canine, pooch, spaniel, chihuahua, etc. Nowadays the Google algorithm is able to understand that these words are all semantically related and will therefore pull up results with relevant search intent indicators as well as those pages that contain the word dog.

Based on the top 10 key phrases I entered, it is suggesting that I write a piece of content that is 1,757 words in length in order to rank above my rivals.

Having used this tool a fair amount, I have been surprised how this number changes depending on the topic of your key phrases. I have seen recommendations from 500 words all the way up to 2000 words. The number in this example is particularly high because the content that ranks for SEO-related key phrases tends to be long-form blog posts by other experts in the industry.

Needless to say, I am not going to write a poem that is 1,757 words long – I don’t think that any readers will have the patience for that (and it’s all about serving their desires, after all!). However, I can easily make up that word count with my commentary, which I will include on the same web page.

NB: I’m going to skip over the other two fields that you can see in this screenshot, purely for reasons of expediency. Gotta hit that 1,757-word quota!

Start Writing

So now that I have a list of words to include in my poem if I want to optimise it, it’s time to start writing.

The process isn’t really so different from writing in a highly structured poetic style such as a sonnet, or any form with rules about rhyme, meter, length or syllable count.

Read My Free Verse Poem

Quit your yammering, I hear you sigh. Just let us read the poem! 

Well, here you are:

The Spider

It lurks.

Hunkering down in its nest

Of glittering binary,

Silken zeroes and silvery ones,

Gossamer sheer but strong as steel.

Then,

The vibration.

A tug, setting the search strings bouncing.

The spider raises its head,

Eight eyes blinking, pincers clicking,

Greedy for the query.

Fast

This crabbing beast

Scuttles along its web,

Its movement like poetry on lines of search silk,

Intent and aware.

The web

Is a cathedral of code,

A vast metropolitan map of stop signs, crossroads and

Serpentine site structure,

Tangled, twisting, towering, unnavigable?

Not for those who know.

Spider

Searches.

Skyscraping tower blocks of blog posts,

Topped with helipad landing pages,

Neon meta arrows calling “THIS WAY!”

Still

It searches.

Past the flashing carousels of product pages,

Barely a glance for the stuffed, graffiti-slick slums

And underground forums in the crypts and sewers

Where gaseous vents steam with sex and conspiracy.

Quick,

Brisk, slick with practice

It runs its skittering limbs over those lucky few,

The best, the brightest,

Luminescent with relevancy.

And there,

Just milliseconds later,

All lined up rank and file,

Spit and polish,

As if the chaos of the netherweb never existed at all,

Are the results.

Spider

Retreats, unbidden.

Back to its binary burrow,

A creature of code ready for its next query to

Recreate, content in its feast.

spider on web

 

Use of Key Phrases and Search Intent Indicators

Ok, you may have noticed that I didn’t manage to fit in all of the words and phrases that I had on my list – but that’s fine. Enriching has to come across as natural and unforced to the reader; cramming how to learn seo writing into this poem would, in my opinion, be inappropriate. I did, however, manage to include the following:

Can you spot all of these? Some of them (marked red below) are sneakily hiding within other words that convey a different sense when read in the context of the poem:

I’m particularly proud of sneaking SEO into the word ‘gaseous’. If you love to play with language in this way when you write content, I would recommend using a tool like the Word Finder on the Free Dictionary. It will give you a list of all of the words in the dictionary that contain a specific sequence of letters, which is very handy for fitting in difficult keywords:

Use of Imagery

Incorporating many of these phrases became a lot easier when I realised that the language we use to describe SEO is so expressive. It’s common to talk about the Google spider crawling the web – there’s a ready-made poetic motif! We talk of mapping and navigating site structure, which is evocative of topography and construction. Even the term skyscraping is an SEO tactic.

There is beauty in the language that we consider ‘technical’.  

A Meta Description Haiku

But I didn’t stop there…

One of the important elements of onsite optimisation is the meta description. This enticing snippet – which should be fewer than 160 characters including spaces and ideally contain a keyword – is your chance to hook search engine users into clicking on your result rather than anyone else’s in the SERPs.

Seeing as the rules for meta descriptions are so prescriptive, I decided to write a classic haiku for mine:

Notice how I got one of those tricky-to-integrate key phrases in there.

NB: If you came to this blog post via a search engine and decided to read it because of its intriguing meta description, let me know in the comments! 

So How Did I Do?

Now that I’ve written this blog post, I can engage SEMrush’s SEO Writing Assistant. This is by far my favourite content tool – here at Passion we use it on every one of our online content pieces. It’s a Chrome extension that processes what you write in a Google Doc and gives you SEO recommendations based on what it knows of Google’s algorithm.

Here are my results for this blog post:

(Ok, I admit, I went over the recommended word count – don’t tell Google!)

The result: In theory, this page has all the ingredients it needs to rank in search engines.

Only time will tell if my little SEO poetry experiment works. What I can conclude right now, though, is that optimising content for search intent is not bad news for those who want to get creative online. Challenges such as integrating phrases naturally, hitting a specific word count and working within a specific semantic field offer the kind of writing exercise that creatives should embrace rather than vilify.

Feeling inspired by my efforts? I’d love to see your SEO poetry! Share it with the content team here at Passion Digital. 

Are You a Yoga Business? Here’s What You Need to Know About Coronavirus Search Trends

27Jul

Rosie, our Content Marketing Manager, delves into the intriguing world of Google Trends to assess the state of the fitness and wellness sector during COVID-19. 

At this stage in 2020, we really don’t need to tell you that coronavirus has caused the biggest disruption to business in living memory. The global health crisis has forced businesses across the UK to pause, pivot and – in some regrettable cases – pack up shop for good.

At this time of unprecedented uncertainty (sorry!), there’s no way we can understand what customers are thinking about using specific products and services, or how their feelings might have changed. Or is there?

Let Me Look into My Crystal Ball…

If you’re not an SEO, you might be extremely surprised by how much customer insight can be drawn from search trends. It may be a nerdy pastime, but I regularly check in with Google Trends to understand the search landscape and inform any content topics I might want to produce in the coming month.

What is Google Trends?

Google Trends is a free tool that analyses the trillions of searches made on Google every year, allowing you to understand overall market trends. It’s very useful for understanding how search volume for a particular phrase or topic has changed over time, or in relation to another phrase or topic.

When you’re looking at results in Google Trends, it’s important to remember that the main metric is ‘interest over time’. This is defined as follows:

“Numbers represent search interest relative to the highest point on the chart for the given region and time. A value of 100 is the peak popularity for the term. A value of 50 means that the term is half as popular. A score of 0 means that there was not enough data for this term.” (Source: Google Trends)

Bear in mind that you’re looking at search interest, not search volume when you’re analysing the data.

If you’re unfamiliar with Google Trends and how it works, take a look at this video for an up-to-date guide:

As an example of how to use the tool, here are three trends that I identified as relevant to the yoga market.

Yoga vs Gym

Key takeaway: there is a huge opportunity for yoga businesses to capitalise on the rising interest in yoga in 2020 and convert the people who took it up for the first time during lockdown into regular customers. 

Source: https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?geo=GB&q=%2Fm%2F087zy,gym

This graph shows the interest in ‘gym’-related search queries and ‘yoga’-related search queries over the past 12 months in the UK.

What can we learn?

July 2019 to December 2019 was pretty steady in terms of interest, with ‘gym’ phrases 300% more popular than yoga phrases. We see a significant rise for ‘gym’ in January 2020 – this is a seasonal fluctuation we see every year as people make New Year’s resolutions to get fit. What is not normal, however, is the sharp decline in searches for ‘gym’ phrases in mid-March 2020: aka UK lockdown, which came into effect on 23 March. As of early July 2020, this interest has not yet picked back up to its pre-coronavirus levels.

In contrast, ‘yoga’-related phrases saw their biggest surge ever around lockdown. We can speculate why: people were looking for an online exercise programme that they could do with limited space at home. I think we can also assume that stress levels in the country were at an all-time high, so the relaxation and meditation aspects of yoga would have been particularly attractive.

For the first time ever, in March and April 2020 the interest in ‘yoga’ was at the same level as the interest in ‘gym’.

This suggests an unprecedented opportunity for yoga businesses to engage that new audience with an interest in yoga and retain them after lockdown. We can see from the trend chart that ‘gym’ interest is starting to rise again and ‘yoga’ interest is starting to fall – now is the time to be aggressive in your marketing campaigns to tempt people away from the gym and into your yoga studio.

What could you do?

  • Continue to offer remote yoga sessions that allow new yogis to practise in their own homes
  • Push the benefits of socially distanced yoga classes in contrast with the gym: you touch less equipment, you breathe less heavily, you have time set aside for relaxation

Online Exercise

Key takeaway: although there was a big spike in people searching for ‘online exercise’-related terms in lockdown, in the summer months it has tailed off – online classes are no replacement for real classes, or for sunshine! 

Source: https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?q=online%20exercise&geo=GB

This graph shows the interest in ‘online exercise’-related search queries over the past 12 months in the UK.

What can we learn?

It won’t surprise anyone that there was a huge surge in searches for ‘online exercise’ as soon as lockdown hit, when we were limited to only leaving the house once a day for exercise. You only have to look at the soar in popularity of figures like Joe Wicks, who broke the Guinness World Record for ‘most viewers for a fitness workout live stream on YouTube’ on 24 March 2020 (the day after national lockdown started) with 955,185 households tuning in to watch.

It’s also worth noting that the search trends indicate a significant increase in buying-related phrases for home exercise equipment compared to 2019:

  • ‘Free Weights’ search terms +500% YoY
  • ‘Exercise Benches’ search terms +300% YoY
  • ‘Yoga & Pilates Mats’ search terms +300% YoY
  • ‘Exercise Bands’ search terms +300% YoY
  • ‘Power Towers’ search terms +200% YoY
  • ‘Exercise Bikes’ search terms +200% YoY
  • ‘Weight Bars’ search terms +200% YoY
  • ‘Aerobic Steps’ search terms +200% YoY

Source: https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/feature/category-trends/uk/year/en

However, I think it’s important to acknowledge that the search interest in specifically ‘online exercise’ phrases has dropped off significantly through May, June and July, in line with both the easing of lockdown and the improvement in the weather.

The online exercise trend doesn’t look like it will be here to stay.

Although Zoom classes, free video resources and step-by-step infographics were a fantastic stop gap during the lockdown period, it is unlikely that uptake will remain high once coronavirus measures are further relaxed and exercise classes, gyms and studios are allowed to reopen.

What could you do?

  • Communicate a clear reopening plan with your client base to reassure them that you are able to return to BAU (or ‘the new usual’) as soon as it is safe to do so
  • Outline all of your hygiene and social distancing measures in a way that reassures clients rather than puts them off

Breathing Techniques

Key takeaway: an uplift in interest in phrases related to ‘breathing techniques’ could provide the opportunity for a video, image or blog post content series.

Source: https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?geo=GB&q=breathing

This graph shows the interest in ‘breathing’-related search queries over the past 12 months in the UK.

What can we learn?

An intriguing trend that I didn’t expect to see was an increased interest in phrases related to breathing. If we take out the symptom phrases (‘coronavirus breathing problems’, etc.) there is still a significant list of breakout search queries in 2020:

  • ‘breathing exercises for covid 19’ – breakout YoY
  • ‘breathing exercises for coronavirus’ – breakout YoY
  • ‘covid breathing technique’ – breakout YoY
  • ‘4-7-8 breathing method’ – +3,700% YoY
  • ‘box breathing technique’ – +2,600% YoY
  • ‘jk rowling breathing technique’ – +2000% YoY
  • ‘wim hof breathing benefits’ – +250% YoY

As a content marketer, this kind of interest in specific methods and techniques is music to my ears – it allows me to go to my client with a content idea based on solid search trend indications.

It seems natural for a yoga teacher to take advantage of the trend and serve this kind of wellness content to their client base, followers and potential leads.

What could you do?

  • Create a piece of key phrase-enriched onsite content that outlines the main breathing techniques, how they work and how they can improve lung health and mental health, with an aim to achieve rankings and drive organic traffic to your website
  • Create a video series showing how to do each one – if you’re new to the practice, it could be a ‘I tried xx technique for the first time and this is how it went’ video, with an aim to achieve engagement and exposure for your brand on social media
  • Promote any onsite content on social media, targeting it specifically at Health and Wellbeing audiences

Staying On Trend

I only dipped my toe in the ocean that is Google Trends to find these three topics. With an inquisitive mind, a few hours with your laptop and a bit of search savvy, anyone can take advantage of this free tool to find actionable insights for your business.

If you would like some help with your SEO or Content strategy, please do get in touch with our friendly team. We’re a trendy bunch here at Passion Digital, so rest assured that we can use all of our know-how to stay agile and help you navigate these trying times.

How to Cope with Working from Home Indefinitely

16Mar

In light of recent events (re: the coronavirus) people who are able to work from home are doing just that. For some – I’m looking at you, fellow introverts – this is a dream come true. For others it’s a nightmare.

Regardless of whether you’re jumping for joy at the prospect of spending the entire day working from the comfort of your home office (which we all know means bed) or are wondering How the heck can I possibly work from home?!, the fact of the matter is that this is now a reality for many people. Here at Passion, it’s no different. Although we’ve always had the option to WFH every now and then – and we even have some full-time remote workers in Spain and Germany – we now think it’s in everyone’s best interest to spend their work days at home until the immediate threat of coronavirus has passed.

Some of our Passionistas’ home office setups

Keeping Our Employees and the Community Healthy

You’d have to be living under a rock to not have heard about the coronavirus through social media, the news and your friends, family and colleagues – although that may arguably be the safest place for you to be right now! To ensure that our Passionistas stay healthy and avoid accidentally spreading the virus, we’ve decided to implement a recommended working from home policy until further notice.

Owen, our Head of Digital, had this to say:

“There was obviously a lot of uncertainty last week and a lot of mixed messages about the severity of the coronavirus situation. Channing, our Recruitment and HR Manager, kept us up to speed on all the government guidelines, and attended webinars throughout the week advising businesses on how they should respond. By Thursday afternoon there was no clear directive from any authoritative source.

At that point Mike, the Founder of Passion, decided to advise people to work from home if they felt more comfortable doing so, as the welfare of our staff and their families comes first. We made sure we got that message out on Thursday and made sure that message was very clear.

We are well-equipped to work from home, and this doesn’t affect our ability to meet our client commitments. Our staff can WFH until we have a clear directive from the government announcing that it is no longer necessary.”

Working from Home: Tips from Our Passionistas

While in theory a home-based work policy is great, many people may be worried about how they’ll handle it, especially now that it’s probably not the best idea to head to your local coffee shop and work from there. We asked our Passionistas for their top tips for staying productive and properly balancing a personal life with a working life.

If you’re one of those many people worrying I’ve never done this before – what work can I do from home? Will I get it done? Will I fall behind? Will I go crazy?, here are some tips and tricks to help you stay sane, healthy and productive.

“Definitely wear PJs all day*, but get up every hour and take your eyes off the screen, make sure your desk is neat and tidy and go for a walk at lunch… and, of course, tea on the hour!” – Kyle, SEO Manager

“Wake up early, do some meditation and have a short workout at home to prepare yourself mentally and physically before starting the day. This will keep you motivated and awake throughout the day.” – Carolina, Marketing and PR Assistant

 

“Stick to a routine and don’t wear your PJs all day*, go out for a walk or do some type of exercise at home during lunch and use Pomodoro to make sure you do work and take breaks.” – Kat, Marketing and PR Manager

 

Slack calls, video calls and team meetings in the morning. It’s what the web team does.” – Stephen, Junior Fullstack Developer

 

“Incorporate structure – even if it’s as simple as going for a walk every morning before work. Consider work and rest space separation. If you and your flatmates are going to be home together more, promote open and honest communications. For example, possibly agree on virus talk being kept to a minimum or at least not allowed during work hours. It can drain you and bring you down. Also remember to be anti-nest – it’s tempting to burrow in when you have all your amenities easily on hand, but make sure you do get out and about and stay active.” – Nathan, UX/UI Designer

“I love working from home. My tips are always get up and showered at your usual time, take your lunch and don’t be a slave to Slack. Lots of people will say ‘set up a proper desk’, however I usually just work from the sofa – but that’s each to their own. DON’T TURN ON THE TV, instead put music on here and there and go outside at some point for a run or a walk. When I first worked from home about 10 years ago, I wasted the day. The following day, I regretted it and felt guilty. Keep that feeling in mind. Above all else, it’s a great opportunity to get your head down and focus in a familiar environment. Embrace that concept and you’ll be dandy.” – Michael, Head of SEO

“Always have a good, non-invasive playlist on so that you’re not sitting in silence for eight hours solid.” – Rosie (that’s me!), Content Marketing Manager

* Uh oh, looks like our Passionistas can’t quite agree on a pyjama best practice – guess you’re on your own with that decision!

We’re lucky enough to be in the digital marketing business. Each and every one of us has a work-sanctioned laptop and the ability to easily get our daily tasks done from home. However, not everyone has that luxury, such as those who work in retail or customer service. In this time of uncertainty, it’s important that we look out for one another and support ourselves and our friends, family and colleagues however we can, whether that’s making time to video chat with loved ones who are far away, spending extra time with our pets or ensuring we stay safely inside if we suspect we’ve contracted COVID-19.

My WFH setup

If your business has recommended you work from home, make sure that you maintain a routine, look after your mental health, keep in touch with your colleagues and remember that you’ve got this! And, if you’re a homebody who much prefers your new 10-second commute to the living room over your usual 45-minute journey on the tube, enjoy that extra time in bed.

We're recognised by

Digital Marketing Agency London +Mike Grindy