News | Bastion & Flowe | Marketing Platforms For Emerging Markets


01Oct 2018

Having a website is very much like having a retail store. Your store may be gorgeous and sell some really great products, but if your customers get lost, find the layout frustrating, or get really slow service, they will go elsewhere.

If your website is struggling and suffering from a high bounce rate, it’s likely you may have a speed problem. In my experience, this is a super common problem, but one that could be really costing you.

In 2017, the BBC found they lost an additional 10% of users for every additional second their site took to load. I have found that the most effective websites completely load and open in, or under, 4 seconds.

So the first step to solving your problem is to figure out if you have one. Try this free speed test tool from Google to see how fast your site loads on a mobile phone using a 3G internet connection: here.

How to hurry things up

So now that you have established that your site is struggling, here are 3 relatively simple changes you can make to solve your speed problem:

1.    Those big, beautiful images

By adding beautiful backgrounds, banners and high-resolution product images you may end up with a website that looks stunning, but is dramatically slowing down its loading speed. Luckily you don’t have to remove all the eye-candy from your site.

Free tools, such as, allow you to reduce the actual file size of your images by up to 75% without any loss in quality. That means that you can still have those stunning photos and get your site to load a lot faster.

If you are using a content management system, such as WordPress, plugins like Optimus and PageSpeed Ninja can automatically optimise your images (and make them an appropriate size) as you import them.

2.    Themes and preloaders

Some sites and content management themes show a loading screen, or animation, to the customer while the page loads. I find that a lot of users simply close a website the second they see a loading screen.

I always recommend to my clients at Bastion & Flowe to ditch the preloader, and rather prioritise the content that needs to be shown by having it above the fold, so it gets loaded first. Above the fold is the part of the site you see on screen without having to scroll down.

It lets the user know that they are in the right place right away, so they’re less likely to leave before the site finishes loading.

3.    Caching

You can speed up your site even further by making use of browser caching. This feature allows a copy of your site to be saved on a visitors web browser, so next time they visit they don’t have to download all the content and images again.

Another caching option is Cloudflare. They offer a service that creates and hosts a “cached” version of your website on their servers all over the world. Meaning that your site can load faster, as there is less strain on your web server, and the user will actually be downloading it from a server closer to them. Another benefit is that if your web hosting server goes down, your site will still be accessible. You can sign up for a free account and learn more about Cloudflare: here.

These changes may seem small and simple, but by implementing them, I have seen great improvements and real results on the sites that I’ve worked on. Good luck and good-speed!

26Sep 2018

Is it a snack? Is it a game? No! They are the technical terms for the most exciting thing to ever happen to digital marketing and its essential for remarketing.  

A website pixel or tracking tag is a simple piece of “code”, added to your website, that allows you to track all the user traffic, where they come from, and what they do on your site.

This kind of info and insight into how users engage and behave on your website is digital marketing gold! It can show you what’s working and what you’re doing really wrong. It’s like getting real, actionable feedback from customers, without having to corner (or bribe) them to fill out a survey or questionnaire.

Plus, this piece of code can also help improve your remarketing efforts, by allowing your ads to follow your customer around on the net, constantly reminding them about your business, product, and offer.  


How does it work?

Every time someone visits your website or mobile app, these small snippets of code share information back to your advertising and website monitoring services. They help to supply you with invaluable analytics and insights on the performance of your website and digital advertising campaigns.  

Information such as: if the user has actually made a purchase, consumed cornerstone content on your site, how many pages they visited, the amount of time they spend on your site, how frequently they visit your site, what devices they use, and more.  

This information allows you to make informed decisions on changes you may need to make to your website, how to better optimise your advertising campaigns to drive better results or identify content that may not be getting any attention.


Where does remarketing come into it?

Knowing how many people actually made a purchase, or what percentage of people abandoned the purchase at what stage in the acquisition cycle, is obviously very handy. But what if I told you that you can communicate specifically with the customers that browsed your site but did not make a purchase, and bring them back to your site with a different message or a special offer?

This is what we call Remarketing. It is a powerful tool for boosting conversion rates and driving sales; that keeps your business or brand visible to people who have visited your website, or used your app, and not taken a desired action.

For example, ever wondered why you keep seeing ads for flights after you visited a booking site? Or after looking at that new gadget online, ads for it follow you around everywhere? Well, that’s remarketing, and Facebook and Google Pixels allow you to do exactly that.  

Remarketing, with the help of Tags and Pixels, allows you to group the different visitors to different sections of your site, and display bespoke ads that specifically talk to that content. It can also be used to cross-sell products, or promote another desired action, to customers that have already bought something for your site, for example, get them to sign-up to your newsletter.

There are almost endless applications, and a wealth of information to be had, using Tags and Pixels in your digital marketing mix. If you have not done so yet, I strongly recommend you set up a free Google Analytics account on your website and start exploring how much you can learn about your visitors, and their behavior on your site, and then use that information to improve the performance of your site and advertising campaigns.

04Sep 2018

So here we go, part two of the series on remarketing – one of the best and easiest routes to boosting conversion rates and driving sales.

If it’s missing from your strategy, and you haven’t tried remarketing yet, you’ll be doing your competitors a favour when they scoop up all the opportunities that could have been yours. Not to mention the missed opportunities to maximise on your current advertising spend and re-engage customers and prospective clients.

How exactly can remarketing help my business?

With remarketing you can serve up an ad tailored to a potential customer or “lost user” (a consumer who visited your site but didn’t make a purchase), with something you know they have already shown an interest in.

It allows you to reconnect with consumers when they have more time to think about your offer, at specific times of day, when they are spending time on Facebook or Instagram, or even when they are nearer to your store.

My remarketing clients have reported an improved ROI (return on investment) of up to 60% on their current lost users. Remarketing ensures you, and your brand, are there when the customer is ready to buy and thus preventing your competitors from intercepting the sale.
Remarketing in action: The story of Joe’s Plumbing

Still not convinced? Not sure how remarketing could be applicable in your business? How about a practical description of remarketing in action? I’d like to use the story of Joe’s Plumbing:

You know you have a leaking tap at home and you need a plumber. During your day at work you Google “plumbers in my area”. A Joe’s Plumbing Google ad comes up as the first result and you click on it (You should know Joe paid Google for that click).

Just as the website opens, you get distracted: your phone is ringing and you’re now late for an important meeting. Plumbing needs will have to wait – you leave the tab open on your browser with every intention of calling Joe when you get back to your desk.

You’re back at your desk but your day hasn’t got any calmer. In a flurry of online activity, while busy with emails, you accidentally close the tab. Not the end of the world, you tell yourself, you can just find it again later.

It’s later now and you are back at home, scrolling through Facebook. And guess what pops up in your feed? An ad for Joe’s Plumbing! It says: “Still looking for a plumber, why not book a callout on our website now!” And that’s what you do, the reminder comes at the perfect time (plus if you listen carefully you can actually hear the leaking tap in the other room), and you book a call out.

Without the well-timed remarketing ad there is a chance the customer in the story may have ended up forgetting to search Joe’s Plumbing by name, and ended up giving the business to another local plumber.

This same, simple principle could be applied to any businesses that advertise online – the real moral of the story is, that if you are not using remarketing in your digital marketing mix, you are missing opportunities and your competitors will probably thank you for it.

23Aug 2018

Have you cottoned on to one of the best and easiest routes to boosting conversion rates and driving sales? The intelligent way to re-engage customers and prospective clients? The great way to maximise on your current advertising spend? Are you remarketing yet?

What is remarketing?

Let’s begin with the basics: remarketing is a clever way to keep your business or brand visible to people who have visited your website, or used your app, and not taken a desired action.

For example: they looked at a product on your app but didn’t make a purchase, or they visited your website but didn’t give your business a call or fill out a contact form. These desired actions, or conversions, are the goals of our advertising efforts and spending.

I’ve seen a lot of businesses that come to me for help after having spent a lot of money driving traffic to their websites or platforms – hoping that when users land on their pages they will purchase what’s on offer – but not seeing this reflected in sales.

These days consumers have a lot more resources to first do research, compare yours to other offerings, and consider their purchase before making it. Getting them onto your page the first time is not guaranteed to end in a sale – in fact, this buying behaviour leads to a higher percentage of your first-time visitors not making a purchase.

This is where remarketing comes in. Remarketing allows your offering, call to action, or ad, to follow that visitor around the internet, making sure your brand is visible and at the top of the customer’s mind when they are ready to commit.

It lets you to deliver a reminder of your offering, so the customer does not have to begin their search for your site or product again, and accidentally end up on one of your competitors’ sites. Ultimately maximising your return on your current advertising spend.

How does remarketing actually work?

To get to the nuts and bolts of remarketing, we first need to talk about cookies.

Unfortunately, not the delicious, yummy, baked kind: similar to the way every website you visit gets added to your web-browser’s history, websites also create “cookie” records for your browser. This web cookie helps websites to recognise and identify your individual web browser. Google and Facebook use the information in cookies to also determine what your interests are, and what ads you may be interested in.

This may seem a little creepy to you, but cookie and interest-based marketing means that the ads and content shown to you online will be of more interest to you. Without it, you would be bombarded with ads about products or brands you have zero interest in.

Cookies help to customise your online experience to your personal needs.

There has been some recent news and debate around privacy, cookies and the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), but that’s a BIG topic for another day.

What you need to know right now is that remarketing uses cookies to offer website and app owners the opportunity to show targeted messages or ads to people who have visited specific products or sections of their site or app.

We call those specific people a remarketing audience: a list of people that have visited the specific section of your site / app in a specific time, that did not complete a specific action. That’s a lot of specifics to be sure, but that’s how targeted and personalised remarketing can be.

To find out more about the specifics of how remarketing could help your business, be on the lookout for part two, Remarketing 102: Why you should care about it…

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