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Ad Astra’s 8 Digital Marketing Predictions for 2015

Digital Marketing has progressed at a rapid rate over the past couple of years and is now the primary tool in the marketing mix for every brand, company or businesses.  As technology evolves the way consumers use devices changes, digital marketing needs to constantly change to continue finding new way and creative ways to meet audiences.

We are very excited and intrigued by the way things are changing, looking ahead we are making our digital marketing predictions for 2015…  Here is what we think!


The decline of the mobile-only website

The days are over for companies building mobile-only websites, why pay for two websites on different platforms when you can pay for a single website that is responsive to both?  Responsive websites change their layout to fit the different device you are viewing on, its going to absurd for a company to need two websites in 2015!


The rise of pictures and video

2014 has seen the rise of pictures and videos, #selfie, so much that during the closing week of the year we hear that Instagram has overtaken Twitter with its number of users!  The end is not nigh for picture and video content, it has only just begun!


Content Marketing

Content marketing has risen dramatically as businesses realise it is the key to their online marketing strategy.  Content marketing builds SEO, meets targeted customers and engages your audience, gives reason to regularly visit your website and reason to follow your social media.  It is a fact that content marketing is going to continue to grow throughout 2015.


Personalised Content

Personalised content is going to be a hot topic of 2015, it is increasingly popular to visit a site and see content targeted specifically towards you.  The more relevant the content is to the end user the more likely they will interact with you, meaning longer time spend on your site and repeat visits; ultimately meaning increased satisfaction and sales.


Promoted pins on Pinterest

Promoted tweets, promoted Facebook posts, promoted tumblr posts, what next?  The answer is promoted Pinterest pins.  Until now Pinterest has been free from promoted pins


Analytics will boom

Analytic tools are daily life for digital marketers, you need to track results of your campaign to monitor its effectiveness, to see what is working and what is not.  At present there are many great analytic tools but we predict that with the rise of content marketing there will be new and more encompassing ways of tracking your digital marketing campaign.


Marketing budgets increased for online adverts

It has been proven that targeted ads are twice as effective as organic ads, it has also been proven that target ads will inspire 1000% more people to google the product.  Reading these facts and seeing the consumer behaviour digital usage prediction makes it obvious online adverts are going to be big in 2015.


Wearable Technology

Google Glass… Apple Watch… The future is wearable technology.  Digital marketers are going to have to stay well ahead of this trend in 2015 because its only a matter of time!


And that is the future!


So… What are your digital marketing plans for 2015?!





We are Ad Astra, the marketing agency of choice for Chichester and West Sussex businesses. Contact us to find out how we can help you.

Help for Chichester Businesses

There are many services out there to help Chichester businesses; you just need to know where to look! For this reason we have compiled a helpful guide to Chichester and West Sussex Business Help.

Whether you are a start up or SME, there are a range of help and advice available to you on a whole host of topics; services, loans, grants, help and advice!


Arun and Chichester Citizens Advice Bureau

A great source for localised business advice on a whole range of topics such as becoming self employed,  finance, book-keeping and accounting, insurance and premises.


Ad Astra Chichester Business Development and Marketing

Ad Astra are a helpful Chichester based business development and marketing agency, specialising in online and offline marketing they help businesses across West Sussex and Hampshire with their wealth of experience.  They write business plans whilst developing and implementing marketing plans.


Chichester BID

The Chichester Business Improvement District is a great network of Chichester Businesses, they offer a lot of advice on all aspects of starting a business in Chichester!


Chichester District Council

Chichester District Council offer lots of helpful advice on topics such as starting a business, business rates and business news.


Chichester City Council

Chichester City Council can help you with a range of business advice and have great sized meeting rooms to hire.


West Sussex Chamber of Commerce

Join the Sussex Chamber of Commerce to associate your Chichester business with a much larger brand, a great opportunity to network, grow your business and gain access to business advice and support.



From the Ad Astra office in Chilgrove, Chichester we have helped many businesses across West Sussex and Hampshire.  Online our marketing toolbox consists of website design, content marketing and social media marketing and management, email campaign, SEO and PPC.  Offline we write business plans, marketing plans, copywriting, branding and graphic design.

Contact Ad Astra to find out how we can help your business in 2015.


Chichester Business Help

‘Do More Online’ Government Campaign

There is a great new government initiative to get small businesses online in 2015 called ‘Do More Online‘, it aims to help small businesses develop their digital skills to find more customers, be more efficient and save money.

Research shows that total website sales in the UK are worth £164 billion, but almost half of small businesses do not use the internet for their business… they are missing out!

The new campaign aims to help small businesses understand a range of online activities such as building a website, engaging through social media, being efficient with online finance, marketing online and staying safe online

Here is a Government video to accompany the campaign:


Building your website

With people no longer visiting the high street, your website is your new online shop on the digital highstreet, it is the opportunity for people to visit your store and browse your products or see what you do.  Small businesses are put off by costly websites that charge a fortune to make changes to, this is no longer the case because our websites cost just £1 per day and are CMS (Content Management System) websites meaning you can go easily go on yourself and change anything as and when you wish.


Engaging through Social Media

The campaign shows small businesses the benefits of connecting with their customers through social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+, the reason being that they are great opportunities to network with customers and start conversations.  Most small businesses overlook social media marketing however because they don’t think they have the time or expertise, that is where we come along and manage all your social media activities so you can concentrate on your business, what you do best.


Being efficient with online finance

There are many tools that can help you save time and money online, Digital Skills is a great website offering a free service advising on the online tools available to small businesses.  Another great site for small business online finance management help and advise is the British Business Bank.


Marketing online

Reaching your customers online is different to the way you would reach customers offline, the ‘Do More Online’ campaign aims to guide small businesses in how to get the word out to their customers using online marketing.


Staying safe online

If you are new to receiving/making payments online then you may have heard dreaded horror stories, but don’t worry managing finance online is safe as long as you use your head. The best site we can recommend is Get Safe Online which offers a range of information such as invoicing payments, transferring money securely, receiving payments online and what the cloud means for small businesses.


At Ad Astra we help small businesses get online everyday! We build professional websites, write engaging content marketing articles and manage social media marketing campaigns.  We go one step further with our unifido product which compiles a website, content marketing and social media into a simple package where we grow and manage your online presence for as little as £1 per day!

From the Ad Astra office in Chilgrove, Chichester, we have helped many small businesses across West Sussex and Hampshire to establish their place online, growing and managing their online presence.  Here is another another article title Chichester Business Help which will not only be beneficial to Chichester businesses but all those across the UK.

Please contact Ad Astra to find out how we can help you.

Integrating Social Media into a Communication Plan

Social Media is everywhere. Used wisely, you can avoid all the disaster-potential and increase your communications effectiveness.

Social Media has the power to move information faster than traditional news outlets and is available on nearly all internet connected devices. Here are four steps you can take to improve your communications strategy using social media.


1) Prepare a Social Media Communication Strategy.

Do you have a social media strategy? Do you plan to use social media to communicate with the public, your employees, or both? Drafting a social media strategy should include relevant stakeholders, including Corporate Communications, Marketing, and Public Relations departments in addition to those responsible for continuity.

Ensure that the strategy includes awareness on company policy so employees fully understand how their posted content must appear on Social Media, i.e. ‘remain professional at all times’.


2) Draft your messaging / Practice by Posting content regularly.

Have you ever written a message later to find that it was misunderstood or misconstrued? What makes sense to an individual may not have the same meaning to a wider audience. Prepare messaging that your organisation would use to respond to calendar based holidays and events that may occur, depending on certain days.

Develop a double-check process so that posts on social media do not contain information that is inaccurate, personal, reactionary, or otherwise unprofessional. Content posted to Social Media should be considered permanent, even if retracted. Although each

event will require different messaging, having a basis for what should be included in each message will help.


3) Praise Participation.

As users become increasingly aware of your company’s social media presence, they will begin to share relevant content. You should contemplate encouraging participation by incentivising both employees and users to contribute meaningful content for the social media effort. As the user base grows, so will the collective trust in the platform. This in turn makes users more comfortable, and therefore more likely, to continue using it.


4) Provide alternate resources.

Some employees may not want their personal content to be associated with their company. Providing an alternate means for employees to contribute meaningful content outside of a social network, such as email.

You can also use internal platforms for collaborative work such as SharePoint. Ensure that all employees are comfortable sending and receiving messages using their preferred method.

Many organisations have successfully integrated social media into their business tools and plans, to allow the benefits of modern technology and contemporary lifestyles to aid their business mission.

When used alongside a strong strategy, social media is an economical addition to the communications tools that you use today to further your organisation’s client reach, leading to conversions.


We offer free marketing tips on our social media sites so please follow us on Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn!

At Ad Astra we understand Social Media and how it can be used effectively as a marketing tool.  Please contact us to find out how Ad Astra can develop and manage your successful social media strategy.

Ad Astra is a full suite marketing agency with a range of online and offline marketing tools.  Online we build websites, content marketing, social media management, email campaign and PPC.  Offline we write Business Plans, develop Marketing Plans, branding, graphic design, advertising and copywriting.

The 5 P’s of a successful Social Media Marketing Strategy

With smaller budgets and generally fewer employees, small businesses must have a social media strategy in place in order to be effective at social media marketing.

Jeremy Juhasz, a social media strategist, at EMSI Public Relations, said despite the challenges they face, small businesses can find just as much success in social media marketing as large corporations do. But, in order to do so, they have to have a plan in place and stick to it.
Plan, Patience, Persistence, Pay & Prioritise
“You can succeed with social media even if your organisation doesn’t have the brand recognition of a multibillion dollar corporation,” Juhasz said in a statement. “If you remain even-keeled and set realistic goals, the return on investment will follow.”
Juhasz said when it comes to social media, small businesses must remember the five P’s in order to have success:



Identify what you hope to accomplish and create a strategy to take you there. Too many small businesses dive into social media because they “have” to and don’t consider a plan of action before they do so. Make a list of what you want to accomplish before getting started.



Nothing happens overnight. It takes time to develop relationships and establish credibility with your brand and your target audience. Over time, a steady pace will win out. Rushing leads to mistakes. The type of patience I’m referring to is a long-term mindset. When day-to-day activities seem arduous and, at times, unfulfilling, know that each day builds to the greater goal.



You must be stubbornly committed to your goals and your strategy. Keep plugging away and give your plan a fair amount of time and analysis before you pull the plug. If you know the plan is a good one, don’t panic and change course simply because you’re not seeing results as quickly as you’d like.

That said, circumstances change, not every strategy works and you also need to be willing to recognise that it is time to try something new. Be persistent in implementing your plan and in monitoring whether you’re reaching the objectives that will take you to your goal.


Pay (what and when you can)

These days, especially on Facebook, it’s a pay-for-play landscape. Pay where you can, if you can. The results can provide the spark you need to drive a specific campaign or to increase your overall visibility to your target market. It can also be a very affordable alternative to other digital advertising options.



Time management is critical when it comes to social media. If your marketing staff consists of only one or two people, it’s essential that you stay on top of your social media strategy by prioritising your quarterly, monthly, weekly and daily objectives and goals. Small businesses face countless new daily challenges. Sometimes we lose track of what’s most important. Take the time to identify those tasks that are critical to your success and make them a priority.


If you are interested in any of our copywriting and content marketing services, or have any questions for us, please call us on: 02392 160960 or contact us here.

For more information, blogs and tips, please follow us on Twitter or sign up for our newsletter.

5 Business and Marketing lessons learnt from The Apprentice 2014

The Apprentice has been a hot topic towards the end of 2014 and as ever had anyone remotely interested in business and marketing glued to their seats and discussing in the office the next morning. Everyone has an opinion so we’ve decided to give ours along with the top business lessons you can take away from the final candidates of the series!


  1. Have your business plan sorted.

One of the most important parts in the early stages of your business is your business plan. What are you going to do? Who are your target audience? How are you going to grow?

Solomon walked into the interview without a professional business plan and lost all credibility, he may have his plan in his head but without it in writing its not going to get you very far!

Also its good to remember that you won’t be able to gain financial backing if the bank or investors don’t see your professional business plan in writing, they will want to see the written plan showing their return of investment.


  1. Be in touch with your target audience

You need to be in touch with your target audience so you truly understand the product or service they want.   You can’t market a product without truly understanding the ideal consumer, this is where Marks ‘Climb Online’ excelled as he knew exactly what his customers wanted, an online presence for the local area.


  1. Be Genuine

Your business will never succeed if you are not genuine, people buy from people so you need to show that you are honest and relatable. This comes down to the brand message across all communications, in person, online and on social media. Bianca’s down fall at the interview was that she came across robotic and too professional, showing no sense of humour as a cold-hearted businesswoman made people question working or buying from her.


  1. Don’t cut corners to deliver to your clients

Your customers, clients and partners are the most important thing to your business, so make sure your over deliver at all times, always give them what they want and they will continue to grow the relationship. Did Felipe really think he was going to get away with the foldable skeleton?!


  1. Don’t stay under the radar

Now is the time to act on growing your business for 2015. Have you written your business plan? Have you developed your marketing plan? Because if you haven’t the chances are you will not succeed in 2015! There is only one way to get noticed and that is to be out there developing and marketing your business.  This applies to many of the candidates throughout the series, they didn’t speak up when they had the opportunity and missed the chance of a lifetime.


Mark winning with his ‘climb online’ business was of particular interest to us as it is exactly what we already do!

At Ad Astra we work with a broad range of SME’s from our office in Chichester, across West Sussex and Hampshire, we assign each client a personal account manager, have regular face-to-face meetings and give monthly success reports so you can see the benefits in writing as well as in customers.

We are specialists in Internet marketing and know how to put your page on the digital map, we use content marketing to populate your website and blog so that it climbs the Google ladder to the first page and can be found by your ideal customer.

At Ad Astra we offer a whole lot more than Climb Online with our Unifido internet marketing packages, we build you a professional website if your don’t already have one or if it needs updating, we manage your content marketing to make you visible on Google and we manage your social media marketing to connect and engage with your followers, customers, clients and partners.


Please contact Ad Astra to find out how we can help your business grow in 2015.



Twitter Networking with West Sussex Businesses

Many start-ups, small and growing businesses use social media marketing to network with one-another to promote their services and meet new clients and partners. One of the easiest ways to do this and meet other businesses active in the online community is through Twitter ‘local hours’ meetings; where everyone goes online at the same time to network with similar West Sussex businesses.

At Ad Astra we are regularly asked how to use Twitter as a social media marketing tool and getting involved with these hours is something we always promote. So to help get you involved we’ve decided to list the local hours and hashtags to find them, so you can meet other West Sussex businesses on Twitter!

Before your begin networking, follow Ad Astra on twitter for free marketing tips!



Bognor Regis Hour: 7.30pm – 8.30pm #BognorRegisHour

Brighton Hour: 8.30pm – 9.30pm #BrightonHour



Chichester Hour: 8.30pm – 9.30pm #Chichester Hour

Guildford Hour: 8.00pm – 9.00pm #GuildfordHour

Midhurst Hour: 8.00pm – 9.30pm #MidhurstHour

Petworth Hour: 8.00pm – 9.30pm #PetworthHour



Horsham Hour: 8.00pm – 9.00pm #Horsham Hour

Worthing Hour: 8.30pm – 9.30pm #Worthing Hour



Sussex Hour: 8.30pm – 9.30pm #SussexHour


At Ad Astra we specialise in developing and marketing Chichester and West Sussex businesses with our full suite of marketing tools; online marketing, digital marketing, internet marketing and offline marketing.  Online we build websites, manage social media marketing, content marketing, email marketing and PPC marketing.  Offline we develop business plans, marketing plans, marketing strategy and planning, advertising, branding, graphic design and copywriting.

Please contact Ad Astra to find out how we can help you.

How to Climb the Google Page Rank Ladder

Working with small businesses and start-ups this is one question we are regularly asked…

“How do I get on the first page of a Google search?”


The answer to this question is fairly simple, in fact much more simple than the process of actually doing it! It is…

Targeted keywords, regular content, regular updates


It used to be all about SEO on your website and how many times you could fit in certain keywords, there were many ‘cheeky’ ways to doing this quickly, the most well known being the case study of BMW putting their three letters repeatedly in white text on a white background all across the site.

The days of SEO as a simple online marketing tool are dead; many marketing companies claim they are SEO experts but Google is wise to their simple tactics and although they might get you on the first page of a Google search, you will not stay there for long!

Now things are a lot harder and the goalposts are constantly being moved, so it involves a lot more work. It all comes down to Google’s little robots analysing your site taking into consideration many aspects such as page content, regular content changes and regular site updates.

We’ve put together a guide to give you a little help in achieving this through understanding what you need to do!


Website Content
Google takes into consideration the amount of time visitors spend on your site, as well as their actions navigating pages; great content that makes people stay and read your pages is the key. If you have a high bounce rate and people are leaving your site very quickly it will have bad effects on your Google ranking.


Create original content
Google values the content on your page; if you duplicate content across your pages then the Google robots will notice, they will not like this! The same goes for copying other people’s content – don’t do it!


Google looks for pictures and images on your website because they make your site better viewing for your visitors. Images need to be properly labelled and tagged.


Your keywords are the key search terms people will type into Google to find you. These are your keywords that you need to use regularly across your website, your blogs and social media.


Choose a good domain name
Google favours websites that are titled towards the content and nature of the website, so choosing a good domain name to suit your business is important in climbing the ladder of Google ranking.


Work to create back links to your site

Back links to your site are one of the key performances measured by the Google bots, they monitor who is coming to your website and how they are finding you. Sites that are considered relevant by Google are the best to achieve links from, the more people to visit your site clicking through these links the better your Google Ranking. Links from Social Media sites are highly valued and trusted so work on these!


Update your site regularly
Google likes to see your site regularly updated with new content. Up to date current information on your pages that are regularly edited is great in helping your Google rank. Adding a blog to your site and posting regularly content pieces will mean a boost in Google rank through content and a better viewing experience. Try to take some time each month to change the content on your pages, upload some new images and keep the page fresh.


Contact Ad Astra to find out how we can help you climb the Google ladder.

These tips have been compiled from our Ad Astra Fun Fact Friday feature on Twitter, every Friday we tweet tips and facts throughout the day on a marketing topic chosen by one of our followers!

Ad Astra are a Chichester based full suite marketing company with a wealth of experience helping start ups, SME’s and large corporations.  Our services include online marketing, website design, content marketing, SEO, social media marketing and management.  Offline we work in branding, design, graphic design and write business plans and marketing plans.  We are your one stop marketing shop for Chichester and West Sussex businesses!

18 Content and Copywriting Tips

Currently, in business, it is more important than ever before, that companies communicate effectively. With such a steep rise in the utilisation of Social Media, Blogs and Website Content aimed specifically at customers, business need to correctly navigate through the minefield of Copywriting.

We’ve decided to help businesses by offering our key copywriting tips, so you will learn how to write and promote engaging content, allowing you to attract visitors and make conversions. This is done by being able to put yourself into your customers’ shoes. By doing this, you should also be eye-catching and unique in your content.


Start Creating/Updating Your Copywriting Today!

We have created 18 copywriting tips for you to take away with you. They centre around the 3 main areas of copywriting, these are; Design & Imagery, Content and Technical additions, with a focus on content..obviously. The technical additions are for users who are competent at utilising copywriting for SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) to help raise their rank on search engines.
Current technology allows marketing content to be seen by thousands/millions of people – get it right!
Here are our 18 Copywriting tips:


Design & Imagery

Learn to Write Powerful Headlines. – All your copy is worthless if your headlines fail to entice visitors to click-through and read on. We have found some resources from Copyblogger to help you write headlines that grab attention: How to Write Magnetic Headlines, How to Write Headlines That Work & The Cheater’s Guide to Writing Great Headlines.


Balance Text with Images

This might not seem like a web copywriting tip, but incorporating various media (like photos, videos, infographics, slides, and more) in your content marketing strategy can make a big difference. There’s a reason websites like Pinterest and YouTube are so popular!

Content Marketing
Put Important Information in Image Captions

When you see an image in a blog post, do you read the caption below it? Everyone should! Take advantage of this prime real estate by writing a descriptive, informative caption to emphasise a point.


Use Active Voice

When you use active voice, the subject does the action instead of being acted upon. That makes it powerful. Sentences that follow this structure are easier to understand, convey movement, and are naturally more interesting.
For example: “We wrote our new ebook to help you work smarter, not harder.” vs. “The new ebook written by our company can help you work smarter instead of harder.”

See how the first sentence is not only shorter, but easier to follow? Active voice sentences can also begin with a verb, as in a command.

For example: “Learn how to market your business smarter, not harder, with our new ebook.”

Remember the Important Details. – Who, what, when, where, why, and how are critical for all good copywriting, not just journalism. Your readers want them because they make your copy real, concrete, and trustworthy.


Make It ‘Skimmable’ Part 1

Readers online don’t read word for word. Instead, they scan to find what they’re looking for faster. Making your copy and content easy to skim gives them what they want, keeps their attention longer, and is easier for everyone to read.Use a variety of formatting techniques that break up the text and draw the reader’s eye down the page.


Make It ‘Skimmable’ Part 2

Some of the best ways to make web copy skimmable are:
– Use several headings and subheadings
– Create bulleted and numbered lists
– Format text with bold, italic, underlining, or colour
– Include images, video, and other media and captions for each
– Write single-line paragraphs
– Vary sentence and paragraph length


Be Concise

People have shorter attention spans than ever. Use short sentences, short paragraphs, and short overall messages to hold their attention. The only exceptions to this tip are if you’re creating an epic resource, such as an ultimate guide or tutorial, or if a part of your appeal is long, thorough blog posts or books. Other content should still be as concise as possible.


Use Short Words

Sometimes, in copywriting, it is very easy to add in complicated words, sometimes it just comes naturally. However, simple words communicate better than big words and pompous language. Stick with short uniquely English words instead of more complex Latin-based words. Marketing is viewed by a whole range of customers!


Try to avoid Jargon and Corporate Speak

In the spirit of using simple words, being concise, and writing in the active voice, avoid these types of pompous language. They’re difficult to understand, and nobody wants to read them. If you have to use technical terms, spell out what they mean, so people can understand.


Incorporate Scarcity

A powerful copywriting tip is to make something scarce, so prospects have to act quickly or it will be gone. Scarcity doesn’t work for all types of content, for instance, blog posts, but you can use scarcity for anything you’re promoting in your content. A webinar or conference may only have so many spots, a special deal will end in a few days, or a popular product could only be available at certain times of the year.


Create a Sense of Urgency

Like scarcity, urgency encourages a prospect to act quickly. Limited-time offers, a 3-day free ebook promotion, and coupon expiration dates are all great examples of urgency.


Use Positive Language

If you use negative words, that’s usually what people remember. Rewrite the sentence to use positive words. For example, “Don’t get left behind” might become “Get ahead of the competition.” Sometimes negative language is necessary, and sometimes it adds variety to your copy. But overdoing it can leave a negative impression.


Make it Feel like a Conversation

People don’t want to be sold to. Tone down the hype and write your web copy like you’re talking with your ideal customer face-to-face. Your audience can tell the difference, and will be more likely to participate.


Tell a Story

Storytelling is powerful. It draws readers in and engages them. And the honesty and transparency involved in storytelling is one of the top ways you can build your credibility and authority even in your web copywriting.


Create an intriguing CTA (Call to Action)

All the epic content in the world is useless if it doesn’t help visitors become leads and customers. Learn to write powerful calls to action that guide prospects through the sales funnel.


Don’t Worry so Much About Keywords

They’re still important for search engine optimisation, but the goal of every search engine update is to improve the algorithm and return the best results. When you write SEO copy primarily for your audience, not search engines, you help them reach that goal. Google, for instance, now checks the whole text for content and relevance so Keywords are taking more of a back seat.


Link to Reputable Sources

Nothing online exists in a vacuum. Linking out to high-quality websites in your web copywriting helps your visitors and makes you more credible by association.



We hope you found this blog very beneficial and have taken away some of Ad Astra’s copywriting tips, which will help your copywriting success in the future. If you feel we have missed out some vital tips or you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us here.

You can also interact with us on our Ad Astra Twitter page, where we regularly post information and tips to help all forms of businesses, especially Start Ups and SMEs.

Ad Astra is a business development and creative marketing Agency based in Chilgrove, Chichester, with a large portfolio of clients across West Sussex and Hampshire.  Online our skills are web design, content marketing and social media marketing and management.  Offline our skills are business plans, marketing plans, branding, graphic design and copywriting.

Contact Ad Astra to find out how we can help you.

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