Update on Digital Trends 4

Update on Digital Business Trends

Written as of 16:07 Thursday, 12th October – by Daniel H.

With our fourth instalment of ‘Update on Digital Business Trends’, we’ll be going over some of the recent trends in the past few weeks.

Monzo to Give Low-Pay Staff £1k

Monzo has joined a number of companies that are trying to provide for their staff during the cost of living crisis. The ‘challenger bank’ has recently implemented a policy that any employees earning under £40,000, will be paid an additional £1,000, although it’s not fully clear how many of their staff would be valid for it. 

Although this move, and the other moves made by other companies, have been questioned if the ‘one-off’ bonuses they’re giving is a good way to help their employees with the crisis. Some companies have failed in their attempts, for example, union workers at Rolls-Royce rejected an offer of a one off £2,000 bonus, as they said it didn’t meet what was needed to aid the workers. You can see where the argument comes from, as the cost of living crisis isn’t going to go away with just one bonus, higher wages are probably the better solution to the problem.

Musk-Twitter is Back

After some back and forth between Elon Musk and Twitter, Musk has decided on a U-turn, and is going to go ahead and continue the purchase of Twitter. His original stated goal for twitter was to ‘clean up’ the ‘bot’ accounts and ‘preserve free speech’ on the app, however attempted to back away from the deal because of the number of bot accounts- which Twitter sued him to continue the purchase.

Now Musk has stated that his purchase of Twitter is ‘an accelerant’ towards his new goal of ‘X’, an ‘everything app’ – a service that covers a broad range of different live services, from social media, to online chatting and gaming to e-commerce. His idea for ‘X’ is similar to the Chinese ‘everything app’ called WeChat, although, we don’t know if Musk plans to create new live services into ‘X’ or integrate already existing services. Creating a monopoly on live services may not be the best option either, especially under a controversial figure like Elon Musk.

The New Office Attire

Has working from home changed how you dress for work? Whilst workers in tech have had casual attire for a while, many employees since working from home have had a more relaxed attire compared to previously, not every company wants this to be the case. For most industries, casual attire would probably be preferred than suits and ties, however not every industry would be so willing or able.

Have you decided to dress more casually, or have you always dressed casually? Perhaps you do prefer suits and ties for work? Whatever the case, the landscape of the office attire is shifting to a more relaxed setting, and maybe it’s here to stay.

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How to Create a Social Media Strategy – Part 2

How to Create a Social Media Strategy – Part 2

Social media is a huge tool that businesses use to grow these days and it is becoming the most popular tool for advertising. Before creating a social media account for a business there are 7 components that need to be thought about:

  • Identify Business Goals

This is definitely the first thing a business should do before they create a social media account on any platform. You need to know what you want to achieve as you can’t move forward if you don’t know what you’re working towards. The main business goals that should be thought about when creating a social media account are; increasing brand awareness, reducing marketing costs and retaining customers. 

  • Identify Your Target Audience

If you have already established yourself on any social media platform and your engagement is low then you really need to consider whether you are targeting the correct audience on the correct platform. For example at Oracle we were using Facebook to sell our digital services and it really wasnt working and we were getting very little engagement so we decided to create an instagram account to see if that works better and so far our engagement on Instagram has been much better. Finding your target audience on the correct platform is the most important factor to think about if your engagement is very low.

  • Set Marketing Objectives

Following on from identifying business goals, you should set clear marketing objectives that you want to achieve. This could include you want to increase business leads by 30% or you want to gain 500 more followers. Having clear but achievable goals can increase motivation.

  • Research Competition

When it comes to social media marketing, researching your competition not only keeps you up to date of their activity, it gives you an idea of what’s working so you can integrate those successful tactics into your own efforts. Start by compiling a list of at least 3-5 main competitors. Search which social networks they’re using and analyse their content strategy. Look at their number of followers, posting frequency and time of day. Also pay attention to the type of content they’re posting and its context and how they’re responding to their customers.

  • Choose the Correct Platform

Many businesses create accounts on the most popular social media platforms including Instagram, Twitter, Tiktok and Snapchat without researching which platform is best for their business. You don’t want to waste your time by creating an account and putting effort into a platform that essentially won’t bring anything in for you. If your engagement is still low but you’re on the correct platform for your business you could think about investing in the ad services the platform could offer you e.g. Facebook Ads.

  • Create a Content Strategy

Once you have considered all of the above you really need to think about the type of content you are going to post. To grab people’s attention you will need to have something colourful and unique as, if people see a blank poster they’re not even going to give it a read as it wont even grab their eye. You will also need to post frequently enough so people get your brand in their head, you need that constant branding so people remember you.

  • Create a Reporting Plan

To track all your data, creating a data report would be a great way for you to keep track of all your data. By doing this you will be able to see what aspects are working and which aren’t. You will be able to see which posts of yours are performing the best so you can change the ones that are not performing as well.

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Update on Digital Trends 3

Update on Digital Business Trends

Written as of 15:49 Thursday, 8th September – by Daniel H.

On our third iteration of ‘Update on Digital Business Trends’, we’ll be going over some of the recent trends in the past few weeks.

Will the Cost of Living Crisis kill WFH?

With the cost of electricity and gas skyrocketing, many fear that they can no longer work from home and would have to return to the office. However this may not actually be the case. 

Whilst it is true that prices are going up, the cost of commuting to work will also be increasing, and travelling is not only a monetary cost either. Travelling but a car still requires fuel, and charge if your car is electric, which costs a pretty penny on its own, but adding into travel time and distance, workers might still find it more beneficial to work from home then to head back into the office.

Not to mention, remote working is still on the table. If you needed to, you could go to a Library or another place that is closer to you than your office, if the office is not already closer of course. Although it would still involve travelling, Travelling to somewhere closer or that is a better environment for you to work in, could be more beneficial than an office. 

Of course I’m not saying you cannot go to an office if you want to, the choice is ultimately up to you where you work.

What is House Swapping?

You may have heard of the term ‘House Swapping’, and wondered “what is that?”, we’re about to talk about it. House Swapping is a new trend that has emerged where remote workers, you guessed it, swap houses with each other, so that the workers are closer to what they need to do, or just fancy a change of scenery. 

If you’re now wondering, “Why do people do this?” – don’t worry I have the answer for that too! Many of these remote workers find it way cheaper to swap homes with someone nearby to their destination than staying at a hotel or AirBnB, making their travel and stay a lot less costly. With it costing a lot less, it also gives these remote workers the chance to stay for longer wherever they end up.

But don’t worry, rather than relying on social media to find similar minds, there are services you can subscribe to, from £20 – £255 (depending on which service you use), that provide and match other potential home-swappers with you, so you don’t have to worry about any risks using these services.

The New ‘Moments Economy’

Now this might be one only a few of you have heard about, there has been a rise of a new ‘Moments Economy’ in the holiday market. What this is, is a reaction to the pandemic and the cost of living crisis, where people would rather have smaller events that cost less, like a small dinner party to celebrate an event, rather than splurging money on big events or holidays.  

John Lewis has reported a sales increase of ‘occasion hats’ by 168%, as more customers show a trend of buying for small occasions than buying large like pre-lockdown numbers. In fact, John Lewis themselves have started advertising themselves in a way to promote ‘small occasion shopping’, rather than the usual holiday selling points.  

So if you’re in the business of selling holidays or holiday products, you might want to take this part into consideration, in general it could be a sign for a lot of businesses that customers wish to buy smaller rather than larger.

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Using Google Analytics To Achieve Business Goals

Using Google Analytics To Achieve Business Goals

Your first step in using Google Analytics is: asking the right questions. 

Asking the right questions means considering your business goals at all times. By doing this, you ensure that the metrics you track answer your questions directly, and that your future decisions are well-informed.

A question that will benefit all Google Analytics users is, what is my objective? When you’ve decided on your objective, or even multiple objectives, you know how to make Google Analytics work for you. Your objectives could be

  • Telling more people about your business
  • Selling more of your product / service
  • Identifying your most valuable customers
  • Finding new ways to engage with previous customers

To simplify the extensive reporting capabilities of Google Analytics, you can segment it into Audience, Acquisition, Behaviour and Conversions. And to understand which of these is useful to you at which stages, these can be defined as:

  • Audience – find out who they are
  • Acquisition – how did they find you
  • Behaviour – what are they doing on my website
  • Conversions – what are they worth to me

If you consider the customer journey in these four stages: Reach, Engage, Activate and Nurture, you know which questions to ask depending on how far you’ve progressed through your marketing campaign.

 What to askWhere to go
ReachHow are people finding me online? What are my target customers searching for?GA – Acquisition – All traffic – Channels report
EngageWhat are people engaging with once they find me online? Which of my online communications are people engaging with the most?GA – Behaviour – Site content – All pages
ActivateWhich channels are achieving my goals? What does this tell me about my customer?GA – Acquisition – All traffic – Channels
NurtureAre my customers talking about my business online? Do my customers buy from me repeatedly?GA – Conversions – Ecommerce – Custom reports

So, by understanding what you want to gain from Google Analytics, and knowing where you can find this information, you give yourself an advantage over your competitors because you really know your audience and how you’re performing.

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Update on Digital Trends 2

Update on Digital Business Trends

Written as of 14:35 Wednesday, 27th July – by Daniel H.

Following our last blog on updating you on recent digital trends, there have been some more interesting developments in digital business trends over the past few weeks. We’ll catch you up on some now.

Musk vs Twitter 

As we discussed in the last Digital Trends, Elon Musk was in the process of purchasing twitter. But at this current moment in time, Elon Musk had tried to back out and terminate the deal, but Twitter argues that the deal was already made – and is now taking Musk to court over the situation. Most recently the judge has agreed to Twitter’s proposed Trial date in October over Musk’s in February placing Musk as the underdog in this trial. The ruling has caused a jump in Twitter’s Stocks of 5%, from the drop of 22% when Musk announced his plan of terminating the deal.

Yell Closes Offices

With more and more companies switching to a hybrid or WFH work style, Yell joins the fray. The CEO of Yell, Jeremy Stoppelman, called Hybrid working ‘hell’ and has closed down some offices, allowing staff the permanent ability to work from home, Yell has even downsized their San Francisco Headquarters to convert to a ‘hotelling’ styled approach, meaning staff would reserve their desks in advance if they wished to work in the office. However, Stoppelman isn’t just making these policy changes because he wants to, company surveys have shown that 85% of the staff prefer to work from home most, if not all of the time – which has even increased their efficiency as well. 

Hiring Freeze

In less fortunate news, big tech companies like Apple, Google, Meta and Microsoft had been on a hiring ‘frenzy’ since the pandemic, and have recently decided to put their expansionism on pause. Apple has decided that in some areas, the hiring pace needs to be slowed, as well as Google who’ve announced a two week pause for all their new job offers, and only time will tell if the pause will actually last two weeks. Microsoft has also cut down many of its new job openings, and Meta has also warned its own employees that the company is facing a ‘downturn’.

Getting The Most Out of Social Media

Getting The Most Out Of Social Media

82% of buyers trust a company that is active socially

Research has shown that buyers trust a company more when they are active across social media. Not only does this benefit the buyer, but developing a social media presence is also reflected in your social media rankings. This means that if there is a specific action you want your users to take, such as signing up to a mailing list, listening to your latest podcast, or even making a purchase, you’d be more successful directing them to your website from social media.

The point being, when your social media presence has so much influence over your search engine rankings, website traffic and overall reputation, it’s important to know how you’re performing on these platforms. To do this, you need analytics.

Before you start looking through the extensive analytics available on social media platforms, you need to ensure you have clearly defined business goals – when you know what you’re looking to achieve, you know what metrics are most important to you. For example:

  • If your goal is building awareness, look at impressions and reach
  • If your goal is connecting with your audience, look at likes, retweets, comments, shares and engagement rate
  • If your goal is sales, look at your click through rate whilst incorporating Google Analytics for even more information. From this, you can see where your website visitors are coming from, if it’s social, you can see which social. Not only would this tell you which platform you should be putting your time and effort into, but also it could show a significant increase after you’ve implemented a new campaign, for example, which lets you know what works and what doesn’t.

With social media, you’re able to monitor any and all customer feedback, for example any comments made on your content or about your business in general. You can see here what they’re saying about your company, giving you the opportunity in turn to speak to them directly and answer any questions. Regardless of whether this feedback is positive or negative, always respond to it. Negative comments have even more of an impact when they’re ignored by a business, but if you respond professionally and offer solutions to the problem, potential customers are less likely to be put off.

When considering social media from a business perspective, it’s important to know how it could support the organisation’s goals – by understanding the capabilities of each platform. Overall, social media can help you reach a huge, global audience, grow organically as well as drive website traffic.

Finally, it’s important to choose the right social media platform for you, to ensure your marketing efforts here are relevant and reach the right people. See our recent blog on which social media platform is best for your business, for more information. In summary:

  • Facebook: for creating meaningful interactions; useful for Retail, Hospitality and Fashion
  • Instagram: provide exceptional visual content and create networks / groups through hashtags; useful for Food & Drink, Interiors and E-commerce
  • Twitter: creating a community through “networking hours”, finding where your target audience are all talking and what they’re talking about; useful for Customer Service, Education and PR
  • LinkedIn: connecting in a professional way, particularly successful if you’re a B2B company; useful for Recruitment, Marketing and IT

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Getting Into Teaching

Getting Into Teaching

Interested in teaching?  We have a range of Teaching and Learning apprenticeships at Level 3 (equivalent to two A-Levels) which can be the starting point for getting into the teaching sector. The following apprenticeships are available to you, to begin your teaching journey.

This role is based on identifying learning or training needs then either designing or sourcing the necessary solution to support them. This role can exist within a wide range of organisations however, this is not limited to educational institutions – the key responsibility being to contribute to and influence improved performance in the workplace at an individual, team and organisation level.

Whilst this role might not be what you expected as a starting point to education, a career in Learning & Development diversifies your skills and experience, whilst playing an essential role in the organisation.

A Learning Mentor will support the development of learners’ knowledge, skills and behaviours, specifically by applying theoretical learning in practical work environments – either on a one-to-one or small group basis. These learners could be of any age or level such as apprentices, trainees and/or new recruits in the workplace or any vocational learning environment.

This role allows you to encourage and empower a learner’s personal development whilst identifying and correcting gaps in skills or knowledge. From this sector, there are many opportunities to advance your career and increase your opportunities as well as developing transferable skills such as time management and networking.

For those looking to get into teaching in Primary and Secondary education, this role is an excellent starting point, working across all age ranges encompassing special educational needs and emotional vulnerabilities. The key responsibilities here include supporting the class teacher and ensuring pupils understand the work set and make progress.

In this role, you’re able to support pupils separately whilst having the opportunity to gain teaching experience and work with classes as a whole.

Options for progressing to higher qualifications:

This could be an option for those with or without a Level 3 Assessing qualification, but is an opportunity to progress from any of the above teaching apprenticeships. In this role, responsibilities include coaching and assessing apprentices, trainees or new recruits in the workplace, usually on a one-to-one basis and in a range of learning environments.

A Learning & Skills Teacher is a higher role, as progression from any teaching background, responsible for teaching young people and adults within all parts of the Education and Training sector; this can include:

– Work based / independent training provision

– Further, adult and higher education

– Offender-learning

– Voluntary sector

To support this, the Level 4 Education and Training qualification allows trainee teachers to teach in a wide range of contexts, expanding the knowledge they’ve already developed and providing opportunities to teach in different environments.

Visit our Apprenticeships and Training Courses page for more information on all the opportunities available to you, and start your career in teaching today!

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Email Marketing Tips

Email Marketing Tips 

Email Marketing has been around for a while now, the first one regarded as being sent in 1970 – around 50 years ago! Whilst it has been a staple of marketing for this time, most of its mechanics have stayed the same, although some additional ones have appeared over the years. And now, we go over a few tips and tricks to help your own marketing campaign.

Tip #1; Eye-Catching Content

When designing your Email, make sure the content is attractive and colourful, including images as well as text to spice things up. The more interesting and eye-catching the content is for the email, the more likely your email recipients will read through your email. Just make sure not to go overboard and use moderation, you want your email to seem appealing to the viewer and not hurt their eyes and put them off reading your emails.

Tip #2 Easy to Understand

A very important part of an email is for the recipient to be able to read and understand the email with ease, use words that are easier to understand and aren’t complex, make sure spelling and grammar are also on point as well – these can really change the meaning of sentences and understanding what is being said. That being said, you don’t have to use the simplest of words for them to understand, if you do that, you might come off as condescending, avoid using slang too, not everyone uses the same slang as you do and might not understand what you’re meaning, plus most of the time slang isn’t very professional.

Tip #3; Content Balancing

Finding a good balance of content length is vital for having an appealing email, you don’t want paragraphs advertising your product or service, no one will read that. And you definitely don’t want it to be too short, where you can’t even fully mention what you do or at least in a well explained way. And those two reasons are precisely why it is important to find some middle ground, although you’d probably want something on the shorter side – easier to read. 

Tip #4; Personalisation 

Making your email more personalised to the recipient will also make them more likely to open and read your email. Making the recipient feel like someone is actually emailing them rather than receiving some advertisement, will also increase the chances of responses back, don’t forget to be friendly as well. But like in a previous tip, don’t go overboard and be over friendly, it might come off as unprofessional and put them off.

Tip #5; Implied Consent

Whilst the UK is in the process of removing GDPR, for now let’s use it like it’s still valid, it’s against GDPR to cold call someone, and email marketing can get pretty close to that. Something that’s worth a shot and is completely GDPR compliant is gaining what’s called ‘implied consent’. This is where you can email someone first asking how they are, if they’d be interested in your service or product, and if they respond positively and not negatively – you can begin the advertising phase.

Tip #6 Experimentation 

When you’re looking for what design works, send out some emails to different recipient groups of roughly the same size and see which design gets the best responses. Compared to 50 years ago, there’s many different things you can use now to track how well the email did: 

  • Open rate

The amount of recipients who have opened the email 

  • Click-through rate

The amount of recipients who have clicked a link in the email 

  • Unsubscribe rate

The amount of recipients who have unsubscribed from receiving emails 

Using these, you can use the statistics gathered from different tools available to decide which email design is better, a high open and click-through rate with a low unsubscribe is the way to go.

Tip #7 Best Timing

When sending your emails, timing is perfect for getting noticed. What’s considered the best time to send emails is considered 9 am to 11am – during working hours is also considered a good time. It’s also considered better to avoid sending during rush hours – 8am and 5pm.


Whilst some of these tips depend on your type of business, most of these can apply to all. Try to find a method that works for you using these tips, or adapt from these. 


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The Career Options in Digital Marketing

The career options in digital marketing 

Digital marketing is one of the fastest growing markets. Nearly every business needs it and will now choose it over traditional marketing methods. Here are some of the career options in this sector…

  • Social media manager

As a social media manager you will be responsible for tasks such as social media strategies, creating content and advertising. Social media managers also identify trends among customer interactions to help plan digital campaigns.

Skills / behaviours needed for the role include –

  • Good communication skills
  • Knowledge of online marketing channels
  • Have good knowledge on SEO and Google analytics 
  • Creative and imaginative thinking skills
  • Ability to deliver creative content

Typical responsibilities may include – 

  • Communicate with online followers, respond to queries
  • Monitor SEO and track web analytics
  • Stay up to date with social media trends 
  • Create and publish creative content daily
  • Set marketing objectives and create reports
  • Blogger

As a blogger, your primary job will be to write, edit, and publish content to a website or blog. Your goal is to increase traffic to the site by writing content that is relevant to and educational for the reader.

Skills / behaviours needed for the role include – 

  • Creativity and adaptability 
  • Creative writing experience
  • Strong understanding of the companies target audience
  • Exceptional writing, research and communication skills
  • Have a good understanding of technology software

Typical responsibilities include 

  • Generating, pitching and researching ideas for blog posts
  • Maximising site traffic by using search engine optimisation (SEO) keywords
  • Creating engaging and interesting topics people will read
  • Write, edit, publish and advertise promoting content
  • Advocating and educating your audience on your product / service
  • PPC manager

As a PPC marketing manager, your role will be to oversee pay-per-click campaigns. You will be responsible for running client campaigns in Google Ads and on Bing, Facebook, and Instagram. 

Skills / behaviours needed for the role include –

  • Ability to think creatively and identify and solve problems
  • Attention to detail
  • Ability to learn new industries and new business types quickly and can apply this knowledge to internet marketing initiatives and achieving client goals
  • Ability to clearly and effectively articulate thoughts and points

Typical responsibilities include 

  • Keep up to date with search engine and PPC industry trends and developments
  • Monitor and evaluate search results and search performance across the major search channels
  • Manage, review, and perform daily account responsibilities associated with Google Ads, Bing and other search engine and social media platforms for a variety of clients
  • Provide creative copy suggestions and graphical ad templates
  • SEO manager

As an SEO manager, you will oversee the company’s overall SEO strategy from planning to implementation. Your main objective is to improve the company’s ranking in search engines, particularly Google.

Skills / behaviours needed for the role include –

  • In-depth knowledge of research principles and methods and experience in analysing data 
  • Critical thinker and problem-solving skills
  • Ability to work in a team and independently
  • Can use your own initiative

Typical responsibilities include 

  • Plan, develop and implement a SEO strategy
  • Regularly perform thorough keywords research
  • Monitor redirects, click rate, bounce rate, and other KPIs
  • Suggest improvements in process and productivity optimisation
  • Stay up to date with the latest SEO and digital marketing latest trends and best practices

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Software Tester Apprenticeship

Software Tester Apprenticeship

One of our digital opportunities for you is a Software Tester apprenticeship, which has many benefits to a range of industries and involves a varied and interesting learning experience. Not only this, but Software Testers are growing in demand due to our dependence on digital and this qualification can open up many opportunities in the digital sector.

Learner’s Responsibilities:

The role of a Software Tester is to ensure that software operates as intended; they will typically design and prepare test plans and conduct software testing as appropriate to ensure that software is fit for purpose. This also involves documenting and reporting the results of testing activities.

Skills / Behaviours Required:

  • Logical attitude
  • Creative thinking skills
  • Analytical and problem solving skills
  • The ability to work independently and to take responsibility
  • Thorough and organised approach
  • The ability to work with a range of internal and external people
  • The ability to communicate effectively in a variety of situations
  • Able to maintain a productive, professional and secure working environment

How this benefits a business:

  1. Ensures software and applications are flawless, from a marketing perspective this would also provide value to your target customers which attracts them to your brand
  2. Focuses on digital security, helping to prevent any disruptions or threats such as malware attacks
  3. Eliminating any performance issues guarantees a better user experience which in turn improves customer acquisition and loyalty
  4. By having a specific person involved in testing, security and digital improvements, the rest of the business can run efficiently, being supported by the Software Tester
  5. As their role is to ensure software is fit for purpose, by identifying any errors early, maintenance costs are reduced in the long run

Industries Involved:

Whilst you may think software testers are primarily found in digital companies, with the expansion of digital in our work lives, these are actually useful for a range of businesses, including:


If this apprenticeship sounds interesting to you, contact us today for more information on how this can benefit you and your business. Also, visit our Apprenticeships page for more information on the qualification!

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