Monday, 13 February 2012

Tiger Changing its Strips

While sitting around the table tucking into a Sunday roast someone mentioned that a three & a half year old girl had written to Sainsbury’s pointing out that their ‘Tiger Bread’ looks more like Giraffe Bread’. They went onto explain that the supermarket had replied to the infant, sending a voucher & had now changed the bread's name accordingly.

Whilst I’m not particularly a fan of large supermarkets, I think it’s worth signposting this as a good example of how to make the most of a choice slice of infant customer feedback.

Interesting just as the story was shared as the dinner table the supermarket have made use of Facebook to tap into its share-ability online. This included setting up a ‘Campaign to change Tiger Bread to Giraffe Bread at Sainsbury's, that featured images of the correspondence, & photos etc. The fact that the story had gone 'viral was in turn picked up and reported on by the BBC.

I’d be interested in hearing about any other similar examples anyone may have come across.

Monday, 9 January 2012

Textbook example of how YouTube can be used for online marketing

When I saw this open letter (below) on YouTube posted by Zen Magnets, an up & coming competitor to Buckyball, the market leader in the 'small magnetic ball' market, I couldn't help thinking it was an interesting demonstration in harnessing the power of a social network channel such as YouTube to convert an apparent threat into an opportunity.

The recorded-voicemail-delivered-legal-threat starts to backfire as an apparent PR own goal early on for Buckyballs, as Zen use its inclusion in the video to cast themselves firmly in the roll of hapless recipients of a threatening legal broadside from their competitor.

From then on, through the use of disarming lo-fi video editing, no nonsense science & amusingly irreverent delivery Zen deliver an impressive reply…(right up until the end of the video when Zen Magnets guy experiences a partial ‘charm implosion’, that they would have done well to have left on the cutting room floor).

Anyway, the video serves as a textbook demonstration that tools such as YouTube in the right hands, can be used to create compelling marketing ammunition that can neutralise more traditional threats such as legal challenges.

Sunday, 22 March 2009

A Blog for your Business.

What is a Blog?

A 'Blog' is a website that is regularly maintained by an individual or Business. The word 'Blog' is a contraction of the word 'Weblog'.

It is a series of 'diary style' postings which describe events, offer some kind of commentary, usually written but can also be in video format.

You are reading the Alpha State 'Blog' now. It is about web design and website marketing in East Sussex.

The facility for readers to leave comments after each entry is an important feature of Blogs. To leave a comment see the link labelled 'Comments' at the foot of this post.

A Blog can form part of your existing website (e.g. or it can located at a separate address (e.g. this one -

How can a Blog help my business?

A 'Blog' offers another way to speak to your existing clients and, at the same time, introduce yourself and your services to potential clients. As well as the Blog itself you can lead readers through to relevant pages on your principal website by linking keywords and phrases within your postings.

We use this Blog to discuss website design and website marketing techniques and offer the reader opportunities to visit our website for further information on our services.

Our postings also reflect the fact that many of our clients are businesses in East Sussex and try to include links that may be of more general interest such as the local county council's Business in East Sussex section on their website.

A Blog also offers a facility for your clients to feedback by leaving a comment after one of your posts. As the editor of the Blog you can review and approve their comments before they are published for others to read.

A second important benefit of Blogging is its ability to improve the visibility of your principal website in search engines results listings.

As the number of posts steadily climbs search engines will return more frequently to update themselves with the new content. Over time they should conclude that both the Blog and the principal business website are a vibrant and useful resource for its users.

The better the Blog the more likely it is to build a community of followers which should generate valuable inbound links from third party websites and so greater visibility and numbers of visitors.

How to get started?

It is free and relatively straightforward to set up a Blog yourself. However as website designers Alpha State can set it up and style it so that it complements your existing branding professionally.

To get started yourself using this website (Blogger) simply follow the link at top right of this page which reads 'Create Blog'. You will need to set up a Google Account (other benefits of a Google Account are discussed below).

For more information contact Alphastate Website Design or visit the Blogger home page (select Blogger logo at top left).

Monday, 8 December 2008

Go Local with Google Too

Central to the blossoming range of services available from Google is Google Maps. Google Maps carries local business information including business locations, contact information, and driving directions.

For example a search on Google Maps for 'fish and chips hastings east sussex' will return a list of local fish and chips shops with their location marked on a map of the local area.

For each listing you can
  • read (and write) reviews
  • send details to
    • your mobile phone
    • email account
    • some selected car navigation or GPS systems
  • get directions from wherever the starting point of your journey
  • visit their website (if they have one)
  • 'search nearby' for other local businesses
The facility for uploading photos and videos is already available and more features are sure to follow.

Creating a listing for your business is free, it simply needs to be submitted to Google Maps. Once created it can be updated at any time if your details change.

One of the most advantageous reasons for getting a 'local business listing' is that, just as with Yahoo Local, your listing is featured above the organic results on the regular search if a locality is specified.

Compare the search fish and chips hastings east sussex with the listings for the same search on Google Maps.

To learn more about submitting your business visit the Google Local Business Center. You need to sign in to your Google Account. If you don't have one follow the link to 'Create a new Google Account'. If you would like us to give you a hand please get in touch.

Your can read more on our website about other Google Tools that might assist your website optimisation.

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Get Local with Yahoo! Local

A useful marketing tip for those serving local communities and visitors is to submit their business details to Yahoo! Local. It is an initiative from Yahoo to help their users find things they need in their neighbourhood.

Yahoo! Local supplies the names and numbers of local services and businesses and displays information related to them. Its a kind of 'Yahoo! Yellow Pages'. As Yahoo! Local evolves, it hopes to provide expanded information to make its search results more comprehensive.

To try it out click on the "Local" tab at the top of or just type into the address bar of your browser.

Enter a search term like Website Design in the 'Search for:' field and Hastings in the 'Location:' field.

Importantly the top results displayed on Yahoo! Local will also appear above the organic results in the main Yahoo! results listings if a geographic reference is entered. Try the search phrase website design hastings on the main Yahoo! website for example.

Yahoo! gets its classified information from Infoserve Group plc who also manage Yahoo! Local’s sponsored advertising.

Now this means that once you have submitted your business to Yahoo! Local you may well get a call from an Infoserve employee offering to set up a sponsored listing for you. A sponsored listing will cost you if it is used to reach your website.

You ARE NOT obliged to take a sponsored listing although it may be something that interests you. I found my their sales pitch more educational and less hard sell. If you can spare the time, see if you can gleam any tips and suggestions. I learned for example that their are more searches on the term Website Design East Sussex than Website Design South East and so I have tweaked our website optimisation for east sussex accordingly.

To get your business into Yahoo! Local complete this simple form.

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Google's Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide

Yesterday Google posted a handy 'Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide' on their Webmaster Central Blog.

It is a clearly written introduction to the 'Dos and Don'ts' of optimizing your website for the search engines. It uses examples for each of its key points drawn from a fictitious website.

Most of it will be familiar to those of us creating web sites on a day to day basis but it does draw attention to one or two recent Google initiatives that look useful.

I've already added 404 widget, still an experimental feature, to the Alpha State custom 404 page. Its yet another feature available through Google Webmaster Tools.

Its greatest value though is as an introduction to the subject for the website owner as it stresses the importance of carefully written Page Titles, Meta Descriptions, Headings and the need to generate compelling content, logically presented. It is required reading!

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

In Our October 2008 Newsletter

Following frantic selling on the financial markets at the end of October we included three items in our most recent newsletter that we think will help our clients sell their products and services in the coming months!

Search Engine Performance and Submission to Google
Google has introduced Webmaster Tools giving you an insight into how Google sees your site. This is the first step towards improving your site's performance on Google.
Read more about Google Webmaster Tools

Article: Copywriting for Search Engines
Search engines look for keywords in various places on the page such as title, headings and body copy. Consequently, following the guidelines in our article, 'Copywriting for Search Engines', can improve your website's performance.
Read more about Copywriting for Search Engines

E-mailing Newsletters to Clients
Where clients are likely to respond well to regular contact about your products or services, email newsletters are an excellent way to develop client relationships.

You can communicate your messages quickly, cheaply and tailored to specific types of customer.

Reporting tools offer valuable information on customer response to the mailshot including who opened the email and the links followed.
Read more about E-mailing Newsletters to Clients

Read the full newsletter in full.

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