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What to Expect In Digital Marketing As An Apprentice

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Whether you have just come out of sixth form or you are at a stage where you are unsure what’s next, apprenticeships could be the best option. With apprenticeship popularity continuing to grow, it is important to know whether digital marketing is right for you.

First Digital Media strive to provide a strong platform where apprentices can thrive. With our guidance, apprentices are smoothly integrated into the digital marketing industry.

How Popular Are Apprenticeships?

In 2017/18, the number of people participating in apprenticeships had dropped by 94,000 people from 2016/17. With less than 900,000 apprentices in total in England, it can be easy to assume this isn’t the right option for you.

Despite this, 64% of teens being surveyed said they would be “very” or “fairly interested” in beginning an apprenticeship. With the common alternative being University and completing a degree, there are several reasons apprenticeships should be your first choice. Providing you with income from a young age and not leaving you with student debt, an apprenticeship can get you into the same job role and industry as someone who has just left university. The difference being, you can do this at a much younger age.

This also gives you experience in the industry, allowing you to push on or seek other business opportunities. This makes it surprising that there has been a drop in apprenticeships over the past two years. However, this could be due to 74% of 18-21 year olds saying they received poor information regarding apprenticeships. Hence, fewer people are receiving the option and benefits of being an apprentice and finding the right career path from a young age.

The Digital Marketing Industry

In the United States and Britain, spending on digital marketing grew by 44% from 2017 to 2018. According to Statista, spend on digital and online advertising in the UK in 2019 has already eclipsed figures from 2018. Not only does this demonstrate the success of digital marketing but how this industry can be perfect for new apprentices.

As I also started as an apprentice, I know this is a fantastic platform for young people to become involved in. There are several aspects of digital marketing that are included within marketing apprenticeships and your role at a marketing company:

  • Content Development
  • Google Ads
  • Google Analytics
  • Social Media
  • Technical SEO
  • Video Marketing
  • Web Development

Due to the huge range of tools used throughout digital marketing, this is an apprenticeship that only expands your future options. Many worries about apprenticeships stem from having the understanding and qualification for just one job role. However, this is not something I have encountered during my journey in digital marketing, as my knowledge and skill set has continued to develop.

Become A Digital Marketer

Digital marketing is very much a learning curve for each and every staff member. As an apprentice, you have the ability to experiment with many elements of marketing whilst constantly learning from your peers on the job. Whilst I believe pushing apprenticeships should be prioritised across every industry, marketing does offer a unique opportunity for young people.

Completing a university course may seem like the best option but it isn’t the only avenue you should explore. After completing a Level 3 marketing apprenticeship, I have quickly progressed onto a Level 4 at just 18 years old. As the equivalent of a foundation degree, this shows university isn’t the only way to gain higher level qualifications.

Apprenticeships At First Digital Media

First Digital Media give apprentices a huge opportunity to join our growing company and industry. Having previously taken apprenticeships in Web Design, Digital Marketing, Social Media and Customer Services within the Business Sector, youth is the future of our company to improve and drive us forward.

Regardless of which element in marketing you want to focus on, we will move you in the right direction. First Digital Media, throughout every apprenticeship, offer the support you need to successfully complete your course. As you develop and learn each area of the digital marketing industry, this expands your future openings to several businesses and industries where your expertise can be used.

Since I began my role on the marketing team, I have developed my knowledge in all areas of digital marketing. Working in an environment with a good mix between experienced staff members and emerging apprentices creates a fantastic atmosphere and allows everyone to get involved with all areas of the business. Making the decision to go into marketing was a difficult but rewarding choice. After 2 years in my role, I know it is something that other people can also significantly benefit from.

Call First Digital Media on 0845 094 1830 or fill in our contact form today for information on our marketing services.

Instagram Makes a Huge Move in the eCommerce Industry

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What Has Happened?

Recently, Instagram has taken a huge step into the field of eCommerce marketing which means the platform could soon become the biggest social media platform in the world. This step is called “Instagram checkout” and it is quite simply, brilliant.

In late 2018, Instagram released shopping tags. This allowed a business to tag their products into their Instagram posts. Users could then click on the tags and be sent to the business’ website page where they could buy the product. However, now these have been heavily updated, the shopping tags are part of a much larger concept called “Instagram checkout”. This is where users can click on the products shown in the posts and purchase them directly from the Instagram app. After, they just return to their Instagram news feed and are given updates on their delivery in the new few days via the app.

Instagram’s tweet announcing “Instagram checkout”.

Haven’t I Seen This Before?

For all of those thinking that they have seen eCommerce on social media for years, you are right. A lot of competitors have used some sort of eCommerce platform in the past few years, especially Facebook. Facebook created the very popular “Facebook Marketplace” way back in 2017. Since then it has rivalled with the biggest eCommerce companies such as Amazon, Ebay and Etsy. The reason Facebook Marketplace has done so well since launching is due to the 1.5 billion reach it has.

The reach is so big that the marketplace is split into two sections, ‘Local Marketplace’ and ‘All Marketplace’. ‘Local Marketplace’ is self-explanatory, you buy and sell using cash, within your local area and then go collect or drop off the items and it works very well. Every single location has at least 5 buy and sell groups with at least 100 products being put up for sale every day.

‘All Marketplace’ is also self-explanatory, you search all of the products being put up for sale on the marketplace, and you can search for specific items, prices and locations. This doesn’t work as well as it could. If you are buying an item which you can not collect, then you will have to get it delivered and pay through your bank. Facebook do not provide users with a specific way to get an item delivered or pay without cash. The only way to do it is through a private message where PayPal can be used, but this isn’t very secure and could be done a lot better.

Making Valuable Improvements 

These changes seem to have been done with Facebook’s sister company Instagram. Once you click on the product you want to buy through a post you can choose to checkout with Instagram. This allows you to pay with card and PayPal. As soon as you have added payment once, you can also remember it and not have to type it again for future transactions. It is a simple yet effective tool and could be a game changer!

If Facebook is going to use a developed idea of Facebook Marketplace for “Instagram checkout” then Instagram is going to become huge. It could even take over Facebook itself as the lead social media platform. The reason for this is that Facebook Marketplace is already a proven success. It has many success stories where small business has transformed and boosted its sales massively.

Now, if Instagram can follow in the same steps as Facebook then we will soon be seeing the biggest upcoming eCommerce platform since eBay. The question is will Instagram take over Facebook Marketplace or will it flop?

What Are Other Competitors Doing?

The other two Social Media giants, Twitter and Snapchat, have also used eCommerce on their platforms in the past. It is fair to say Twitter’s success has been non-existent. One of the first social media platforms to try eCommerce was Twitter when they incorporated the “Buy” button into tweets way back in 2014. The idea behind the “Buy” button was that a business could tweet pictures of their products and link to the button to their site. If a user clicked the buy button, then they were taken to the business website. It seemed like it would be pretty effective. However, when the head of commerce left Twitter in 2016, the buy button was quickly taken just 8 months after. Twitter then sent out emails confirming that:

“The Twitter team is pivoting way from their ecommerce focus”.

Since then there has been no concept for any sort of eCommerce for the platform and has left Facebook to dominate. Is Twitter going to release something in eCommerce or are they a finished product themselves?

Snapchat and eCommerce 

On the other hand, Snapchat has been growing its eCommerce since launch. Thanks to a few big brand deals, it has put it self on the map. Snapchat launched ‘Collection Ads’ back in November. This is where advertisers can showcase their products on the Snapchat Discovery section. If users want to find out more, they click the ad it takes them to the businesses website.

Adidas and Amazon then had a short-term partnership with Snapchat, leading to 30 other partnerships for Snapchat! The company said they are looking to increase their eCommerce this year and if they make the right deals, they could overtake Instagram.

Will Snapchat become the king of eCommerce?

What Does This Mean For Marketing?

This “checkout” concept came out today for the whole of the US as a trial for some advertisers and it is going to be massive for marketing. Instagram is great for getting your name out there and increasing your profiles following, visibility, and now marketing. Small businesses will be able to post their products on Instagram with a visual aid of what their product is. Users can then see these through hashtags or their feed and buy the product with ease.

It is also great for the advertisement side of marketing. Think about it – have you ever seen a blogger or celebrity wearing a really nice jacket, but you can’t find it anywhere? We know you have! Well, now it’s simple. All you have to do is tag the product and the jacket you were spending hours trying to find can now be bought within a few clicks. This is great for advertising because businesses can get people to wear their products and tag it, this then gets the products visibility up and sales will increase. One thing is for sure, Instagram revenue is about to become massive. The platform will charge companies for every sale made on their app. If this concept is going to be as big as we think it will be, then Instagram will become the number one social media platform.

Will Instagram make the most money in 2019?

Join The Conversation!

If you would like to join the discussion and answer the questions within the blog then be sure to follow us on all of our social media platforms. We would love to know what you think!

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If you would like to generate more sales and traffic for your business but don’t know how to do the marketing, then get in touch with us today and let us transform your business.

Women in Tech: Celebrating International Women’s Day

By | Blogging, First Digital Blogs, Women in Tech | No Comments

As a booming industry, there are thousands of people working in marketing and technology. From blogging to backend website development, endless tasks are completed every day.

Here at First Digital Media, we are very proud to have a strong female marketing and tech team. Following on from International Women’s Day, our blog this week looks at women working within technology and how people are trying to change the gender gap.

About Women in Tech

In the UK there are around 47,000 digital technology companies. In 2015, Career Builder estimated that employment in this industry would grow by 5.4% by 2020. Although, despite being a developing field, there still remains a clear divide in gender. Last year Tech Nation’s annual report concluded that only 19% of the workforce were women.

It’s not just the UK that experiences this gap. According to statistics gathered from Evia, in the United States less than 20 per cent of women accounted for the technology workforce in 2018. On top of this, fewer women work in the industry now compared to the 1980s.

The Gender Divide

In 2017, Axonn conducted a survey on the roles of gender in the marketing industry. Even though more women are taking up careers in this field (21% vs 16% of men), more men occupy senior positions. One respondent to the survey, a B2B director in Scotland, said:

“Average men are overpromoted.”

Another interesting discovery was gender representation at industry events. According to 43% of the women asked, there were more men present on panels. In contrast, only 24% of men pointed out this same imbalance.

Research conducted by Axonn shows the average ratio based on several marketing events held in 2015:

Below is another graphic outlining the ratio of men and women on judging panels at British media awards in both 2015 and 2017:

How Does This Compare Across the Population?

According to Catalyst, in 2016 more women had completed post-secondary education compared to men (46.5% vs. 45.5%). This includes universities, colleges, vocational schools and technical training. However, those entering STEM fields are significantly less, with just over a third of women taking up employment.

When it comes to the labour force, there are more women working than ever before. Of those aged between 16 and 64, 70% are employed. This is a huge leap from an estimated 53% in 1971.

Despite this, women in full-time employment are still being paid less than men. As of 2017, women make 80% of a man’s median hourly wage.

However, it’s not all bad news. The number of women in senior leadership has stayed low (22% in 2018), although there are more women on UK Boards.

What is Happening?

There has been a huge decline in women entering the tech industry, showing a major problem within media. According to stats released by The Muse, under 5% of women have their own start-ups. Shockingly, the pay for women under 35 is 29% less than men in this age group. Additionally, the quit rate for women working in tech is twice as high as men at 41%.

The Observer has put all of this into perspective:

“Women in tech face sexism and harassment. Tech is blatantly unfriendly to family planning, from being pregnant to nursing. There’s also a wage gap that no one is doing anything about—even Google, the second most valuable company in the world, recently said that collecting wage data for the company is too expensive and burdensome.”

Source: ‘12 Statistics About Women in Tech That Show How Big the Gender Gap Truly Is’, Sage Lazzaro, 6.5.17.

Yet despite this, a female-led company still performs 3 times better than one led by male CEOs. So, what exactly is happening and what can we do about it?

Showcasing Female Success

Up in Lancashire where we are based there has been a massive move towards celebrating women and their involvement with tech. Both Ladies, Wine & Design Lancaster (led by Louiza Rabouhi) and Digital Lancashire’s ‘Women in Tech’ are doing more to highlight women’s successes.

In the future hopefully this will continue to happen. To keep up to date with events going on across Lancashire, check out the following groups.

Ladies, Wine & Design LancasterInstagram & Twitter

Digital Lancashire Women in TechFacebook Group

Pitching the Value of Holiday Homes

By | Blogging, Caravan Parks | No Comments

A report this month by the UK Caravan & Camping Alliance has shown how much money is generated by holiday parks. As the first ever economic report conducted, this has given a valuable insight into the industry.

The report, known as ‘Pitching the Value’, was published this month (February 2019). Major findings include financial gains and positive impact on employment in the UK.

About the Report

Put together by The UK Caravan & Camping Alliance (UKCCA), the report brings together a number of leading bodies. This includes The Camping and Caravanning Club, BH&HPA, the National Caravan Council, and the Caravan and Motorhome Club. Tourism is one of our largest industries in the UK and so far no research has been conducted into the area.

An assessment was carried out independently by Frontline Consultants Ltd and began in November 2017. As of summer 2018, 6,243 member holiday parks/campsites were in operation in the UK. These accounted for 438,076 pitches in total. Of these, 51% were owned and 35% were for tourers.

In this report, 790 parks took part which represents 13% of those located in the country. The graph below shows the sizes of these parks.

Overview of the Findings

Importantly, this report brings to light the major benefits to holiday parks and caravan sites. In total £9.3 billion is generated for the UK economy through visitor spending. This accounts for 8% of the country’s entire GVA (Gross Value Added). On top of this, the industry supports more than 170,000 jobs.

The leader of the UKCCA group Bob Hill has said:

“This is a ground-breaking report that clearly demonstrates the important benefits to the economy brought by the UK’s many holiday parks and campsites.

“Pitching the Value will help the industry attract more investment and ultimately improve opportunities for it to grow, develop and create new jobs. Our findings reinforce the importance of holiday parks and campsites to the country’s tourism economy. That will help us to improve holidaymakers’ on-site experiences and choice, which in turn will also attract more overseas visitors to these shores.”

How People Spend Their Time

One of the most interesting aspects of the report is into visitor’s behaviour whilst on site. Firstly, survey respondents were asked to explain why they had chosen the park they were in. This shows that a local area has a dramatic impact on where people stay. In total, 57% said they either wanted to visit or return to a specific area.

Alongside this, we can see how people spend their personal time while on holiday. When it comes to relaxing, 64% took part in this activity. Although, 55% said they also enjoyed short walks of under 2 miles.

Interestingly, 91% agreed that they feel less stressed when they are visiting a campsite or holiday park. This demonstrates the strengths of the industry and the positive impact it is having on health and wellbeing.

Economic Impact

In all 4 countries in the UK, there have been endless benefits to the economy. The graph below shows the breakdown by region, with England and Wales leading visitor expenditure and employment. This has also been broken down using the type of responder’s accommodation.

The report shows that £4.1 billion is generated from owned caravan holiday homes. Additionally, another £3.41 billion is made from touring pitches. This includes motorhomes, touring caravans, tens, and campervans.

Main Points

Over the next 6 years, the leisure industry is expected to grow by an annual rate of 3.8%. This is much faster than the UK economy which is estimated by 3% per annum. As a result, the outcomes of this report are more important than ever. If we consider the successes of caravan and holiday parks, then improvements can be made to the UK’s economy.

Below are some of the key points to be taken away from ‘Pitching the Value’:

  • Visitors stay at UK campsites and holiday parks longer than the national tourism average
  • Overall, a healthier lifestyle is achieved as a result of flexible accommodation, local community support, facilities, and the surrounding environment
  • More money is spent in this industry by visitors than the national tourism average
  • There is an improvement to the health and wellbeing of park visitors
  • Local industries and suppliers make gains from this tourism

Working With The Industry

Here at First Digital Media we work with a number of clients based within the leisure park industry. As members of the BH&HPA, you can rely on us to provide any marketing assistance you need.


The Visual Marketing Approach: Using Video and Visual Content

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With busy lifestyles, it becomes a challenge to find free time. It is important that all businesses consider this when they approach their marketing strategy. Luckily, visual content is a great way of grabbing the attention of the tired consumer.

Nothing stands out more than a stunning picture or an easy to digest video. Here at First Digital Media we work with our clients to establish a marketing approach that works for them.

The Future is Video

We all want to relax after a busy day. Social media is a large part of our lives and it is important that marketing campaigns target this. Sometimes the easiest way to reach an audience is with something visual.

Most platforms support videos and these have become a common feature on social media. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram have seen rises in the views of these. According to HubSpot, in 2018 around 78% of users watch online videos each week and a staggering 55% do this every day.



On top of that, YouTube is now the second largest site visited after the search engine Google. If that doesn’t show you the importance of video marketing, then nothing will.

Impact of Visual Content

If you need more convincing on the power of videos, then there are plenty of other reasons. A recent survey from TechCrunch determined that over 100 million hours a day are spent watching videos on Facebook. Alongside this, Wordstream reckons that videos on social media generate 1200% more shares than image and text content combined.

Some other fascinating statistics include:

  • Video content is watched by 82% of Twitter Users
  • Around 45% spend more than an hour watching videos on YouTube or Facebook each week
  • On Snapchat, users watch more than 10 billion clips a day

How Videos Can Change Your Marketing

Whether you realise it or not, a short video can make all the difference. Customers claim that they are 4 times more likely to find out about a product if they’ve seen a video about it. Also, companies have found that their CTR is higher as a result of this form of content.

For a return on investment, you need to use the latest techniques. Video marketing is rising at a fast pace and more and more marketing campaigns make use of this feature. These features make information easy to digest.

Start Your Marketing Today

Our digital marketing executives here at First Digital Media are experts in video marketing. To find out more, please do not hesitate to get in contact with us today.

Why is Brand Awareness So Important?

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As a business it is crucial that you have an established brand. An effective logo and marketing improves visibility amongst potential customers. After all, we all want to be immediately recognised when we pass a works van or notice an advertisement.

Here at First Digital Media we work with you to ensure that you have the right approach to your digital marketing and brand awareness.

The Right Approach

Following the Christmas period isn’t always easy. According to reports, like-for-like sales at Argos and Sainsbury’s were down 1.1%. Other businesses struggled as well, with Marks & Spencer down 2.2% and Debenhams at a shocking 5.7% loss like-for-like.

A nervous market, impending Brexit and reluctant spenders only adds to the struggles. However, this doesn’t make it impossible to improve sales. Creating strong brand awareness and identity can make all the difference.

Focus on The Local Area

This is especially relevant for small, local based businesses. Your main aim should be to develop awareness across your target locations. This helps to build trust among your customers as they will grow to recognise you as a local and loved company.

A great way of doing this is to use content on your website and social media channels that makes the most of this. Try mentioning local events and post examples of your previous work.

A Strong Design

With a strong logo and coherent website design, you can achieve all your goals. Using the same colour palette, font or name develops a clear identity.

Entrepreneur, author, speaker and business expert Ramon Ray has said: “People immediately recognize a Starbucks logo or a BMW logo because those logos are consistently displayed and used by each Brand.

“Smaller businesses might think that they don’t need to be consistent with their identity, but they are mistaken. People recognize businesses based on their brand identity.”

As a small business, it is still important to create a recognisable design and logo. You should work to develop something which is clear and helps you to stand out above your competition.

Make Use of Social Media

As one of the most powerful marketing tools out there, it is necessary that you make full use of your online profiles. Natural ranking and paid ads on search engines will bring you results. However, when it comes to brand awareness, becoming a familiar face on social media helps.

Using the same branding and posting regularly helps people to find you. Sharing blogs or recent news that relates to your company helps too, as it shows that you are in the loop.

As well as using Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, you should consider using LinkedIn. This platform is useful for those wanting to explore connections and can bring your business to a wider audience.

Contact Us

If you would like to find out more about our digital marketing services, please feel free to get in contact with us.

5 Top Marketing Trends For 2019

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With the right approach to marketing, you can bring your company endless benefits. Experts have been working hard to pull together the top trends for this next year. In 2019 there are a few approaches to look out for and we’ve put them all in one handy blog.

Here at First Digital Media we are experts in digital marketing. For more information, get in contact with us.

Communication is Key

It may seem like an obvious point to make, but communication is important. No matter what you are trying to do, you need to communicate with your customers effectively. It is important to outline a plan and define what you aim to do over the year as a business.

Sit down and think about it all. Consider what your aims are and how you want to achieve them. In most cases, achieving your goals will need successful and carefully produced content of some form. Whether visual, audio or written, using communication should be high on your list for 2019.

Video Marketing

As the largest search engine after Google, YouTube has made a huge impact on how we access information. As a result, it is predicted that video marketing will rocket over this next year. Both live streaming and pre-recorded videos can be useful to any business, whether small or large.

A short yet effective video about your services or an update on an important topic can drive traffic and improve engagement.

Social Media

There are so many different platforms available that it is impossible to avoid social media. With Instagram and LinkedIn growing along with old favourites Facebook and Twitter, you can be on to a winner. Regular posting along with visually impacting graphics can draw people in. Whether you use influencers to boost posts or share videos, it all counts.

Voice Search Optimisation

Chances are that you’ve used some form of voice search, either out of curiosity or convenience. However, the Global Web Index estimates that at least 1 in 5 adults use mobile searches once a month.  As people start to use more Siri and Alexa, we need to adapt our businesses to survive.

An aim for all in 2019 should be to update their websites and content to be more inclusive of this search approach. Using specific and well researched keywords can dramatically improve the amount of people accessing your website. Furthermore, making use of Google snippets where possible is also another way of improving SERP appearances.

Informative Content

To this day content remains an essential part of marketing. Whether it’s long tale informative blogs or short and snappy social media posts, you need to get it right. Google is starting to rank pages more based on the quality of content and whether users can benefit from it.

Generic content and keyword stuffing have been bad practice for a long time. In 2019 it is important for tailored writing along with customer-focus to become the main aim.

Get In Touch

If you would like assistance with your marketing in 2019, please do not hesitate to get in touch with our specialist team today for more.