Agency

1024 530 Lauren Harrison

#ThrowbackThursday: JBH Vs. Food

It’s #ThrowbackThursday and to kick off 15 weeks of our favourite campaigns I’ll be reflecting on my personal fave – a simple yet gloriously satisfying interactive we created with BuyAGift back in the day.

Cast your mind back to 2014. It was a simpler time: Obama was president, Ellen Degeneres was taking world-class selfies at the Oscars and Adam Richman was still on our screens, scarfing down mountains of oysters and 10lb breakfast burritos – inspiring my fave JBH infographic ever …

This BuyAGift.co.uk “Get Stuffed” infographic was the first campaign I ever worked on for JBH and it was a copywriter’s dream. The concept was easy as pie: an interactive chalkboard filled with the UK’s biggest (and often grossest) eating challenges.

The Brief

BuyAGift were looking to secure some top-tier links with an interactive infographic that would pass on value to their gifts for men page. Beyond that, the brief was quite open. As the focus was on man-friendly content we seized the opportunity to create something outrageous and fun.

Our interactive infographic took man culture to the extreme. With Man vs. Food-style American eating challenges trending across British TV, we thought we’d carry out an investigation to find out if there were any similar challenges available across the UK. We weren’t disappointed. Research took us from trash can challenges to big daddy burgers and curries with nicknames like “The Widower”.

The Interactive

The key to a good interactive is simplicity. I immediately loved the pared-back restaurant-style chalkboard layout dreamed up by the design and dev teams. To make the infographic truly interactive the guys incorporated two sets of filters – one set based on the type of challenge (“Meat,” “Heat,” and “Compete”) and the other relating to the the level of the challenge (“Noob”, “Novice” or “ Pro”). Users were able to apply whichever filters they were interested in and navigate around the challenges – those which did not apply were “rubbed out” on the chalkboard so they were only half visible.

I loved being able to have fun with the copy – conceptual stuff is my favourite, even if I tend to get carried away with a theme …

JBH #ThrowbackThursday

The client was delighted with the finished product. We had a really positive response from journalists and the campaign was featured on HuffPost, Zoo and the Daily Star. Most importantly, it helped the client hit their objectives, generating digital coverage and boosting the profile of the “Gifts for Men” page.

Ok, I’m starving now. See you next week, #ThrowbackThursday fans!

Interested in an interactive infographic? Send our design and digital teams a brief and let’s get creative.

981 529 Lauren Harrison

We’re on a Roll! JBH Scoops Best Social @ CIM Awards

Well, what can we say? Last Thursday, the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) held its annual Marketing Excellence Awards ceremony at London’s Grosvenor House.

We’re delighted to announce that we brought home Best Use of Social Media. Who did we beat? Only Facebook – no biggie.

The CIM awards ceremony, hosted by Katherine Ryan, saw marketers from all over the world come together to celebrate their achievements and the moments that helped shape conversation in the industry over the past year.


The winning campaign

CIM Marketing Excellence Award… Never a doubt. #teamjbh

A post shared by JBH – The Content Agency (@jbhinfluence) on

Our campaign with The Wall of Comedy boys beat off strong competition including De Montfort University, the National Gallery, Boost Energy Drinks, Filippo Berio and even Zuckerberg himself. To say we’re feeling excited is an understatement.

Not all campaigns have big, glossy budgets. We’re proud to work with some huge global brands but we are equally proud to work closely with niche organisations to make their brands and campaigns stand out creatively.

Umbrella brand Reed in Partnership gave us total creative freedom to develop the campaign and select the most effective channels. Opportunities like this don’t come along often in our industry and we were excited to be offered a blank canvas and work with an inspiring nonprofit brand we were confident people would be interested in.


Why we believe it’s a winner

Our target audience of young BAME Londoners are difficult to reach and harder to engage. We had to attract their attention in a way that was relevant, authentic and inspirational.

Research told us that social video (specifically Facebook) would be the most effective way of reaching the target demographic:

  • Social is the most popular source of video content among people aged 13-24
  • 91% are watching social video for an average of 5.9 hours per week

We believe that influencer marketing only works in the hands of the right influencer; not just someone that the target demographic recognises, but someone they identify with and trust. We knew that getting the right influencer on board would bring a level of reach and credibility to the campaign that we couldn’t achieve on our own.

We had seen content from The Wall of Comedy on social media. They had everything we didn’t: a network of social platforms that reach 35,802,000 people, a Facebook audience where 46% of their audience is 18-24 (the target audience) and a proven track record in creating funny content. Most importantly, they had credibility and trust with our target audience. In their own words:

“We don’t just know our target audience – we are them and they are us.” – Joivan Wade, CEO The Wall of Comedy

We thought it was going to be difficult to persuade a government-backed initiative to work with such an edgy influencer but the client could see the value of working them immediately. The team trusted us with our edgy idea and it paid off big time.


Oh what a night!

Why not. #teamjbh

A post shared by JBH – The Content Agency (@jbhinfluence) on

So well done to us! Another awards ceremony, another well-deserved hangover. We had a fabulous night with Reed in Partnership, eating, dancing and partaking in the occasional orange juice. Victories like this really spur us on. We’re committed to the cause and can’t wait to see how our campaigns will shape up over the next year.

Well done to all of the night’s winners – there were some truly incredible work on display and we feel honoured to be counted among the established agencies and brands represented in the Grosvenor last Thursday.

Lastly well done to our team for all their hard work. Though we be but small – we are mighty. #TeamJBH 🙂

Looking for some award-winning content for your brand? Get in touch with our content marketing team and let’s get cracking – next year’s awards season is only 12 months away!

1024 682 Lauren Harrison

Officially an Award-Winning Agency!

Last night we spent an unforgettable night celebrating with our awesome clients Reed in Partnership at the CMA International Content Marketing Awards where we were up for two awards for our YESldn campaign.

We’re absolutely thrilled to have received Gold in the Best Social category and Silver in the Best Video – Series category. We were so excited to be shortlisted and have our big night out we didn’t dare to hope that we could place – let alone win!

Hearing our lovely host Katherine Ryan announce us as the winner of the Gold prize in the Best Social category really was a magic moment. When Katherine said that the winning team had produced big results on a small budget realisation and excitement flooded across the table and when we finally heard the name of our campaign we just went crazy!

This was a campaign we are exceptionally proud of. We are a small team competing in an arena populated with some hugely successful agencies and global brands. Being recognised for what can be achieved with a little creativity feels like a big win for the little guy.

The CMA had this to say about our achievement:

“JBH were tasked with delivering a campaign that would inspire the target audience to sign up to the YESldn programme via the campaign website, driving a surge in sign-ups and creating awareness of the service. With a limited budget and hard-to-engage audience, the content agency chose online comedy trio The Wall of Comedy to film a series of videos showing extreme, funny scenarios that could be related back to common job-related anxieties.

The results thrilled both client and agency. Facebook video views topped 650,000, with over 4,600 engagements, while overall reach came in at almost 2.5m. More importantly, sign-ups to the YESldn service increased by 1,425% as a direct result of the campaign.

The judges were unanimous in giving this entry Gold, thanks to its “outstanding results on a low budget and fantastic resonance with the audience.” Iris’s work for adidas pops up again to claim Silver for its Neo Snapchat campaign, which the judges called a “fascinating creative solution that overachieved on its KPIs,” while MEC Wavemaker grab Bronze for their #Wimblewatch campaign for Evian, deemed a “fresh approach to Wimbledon content that has great brand synergy.””

All that was left to do was celebrate and we partied the night away in style. The Content Marketing Awards are something else, the room was buzzing with positivity and it was great to spend the evening in the company of so many accomplished creatives.

With a set of matching sore heads we’re back in the office, excited about our success and what it might mean for the future of our agency.

The boys share a victory hug

Andy is obviously not bothered

Aran celebrating with Oli from Reed in Partnership

Home safe and sound

1024 651 Lauren Harrison

We’ve been nominated in the CMA International Content Marketing Awards!

The nominations have been announced for the CMA International Content Marketing Awards and JBH are proud to have been shortlisted in the Best Social and Best Video categories.

The CMA International Content Marketing Awards

The International Content Marketing Awards are a key event in the industry calendar. This year the CMA received more than 400 entries, from 135 agencies, in 23 countries. 

Interview Fails

Our nominations are for the video series we worked on with The Wall of Comedy for Youth Employment Skills London (YESldn) – a campaign we are exceptionally proud of.

“Things Not to Say In a Job Interview” – one of the videos we collaborated on with The Wall of Comedy

The success of the campaign demonstrates the power of influencer marketing. YESldn were new and virtually unknown when they approached us. They had a very small budget and were trying to attract a notoriously hard to reach target audience.

Despite these hurdles, identifying and working with the right influencer meant we were able to generate a 1,425% increase in service sign ups, a huge spike in site traffic and even some press coverage in the Evening Standard.

“When You Lie On Your CV”

Interested in working with us on an influencer campaign? Get in touch and we’ll discuss what we can do for your brand and budget.

YESldn is a free service which supports young people from different backgrounds not currently in employment, education or training. You can read more about the campaign here.

860 450 Aran Jackson

Creating a Fair Culture for Content Creation

It can be tricky working in an organisation devoted to great content marketing – every department wants to carve a big slice of the content pie.

In content creation, you need to produce something that is of interest to your audience, but also encourages action, something that features relevant keywords, but is also compelling for the consumer.

This sounds like a tall order, but is well within the realms of possibility – provided you have a culture in place that brings everyone together and promotes the shared ownership of content. This principle is something we hold at the heart of our own collaborative content approach at JBH.

 

Ideals and objectives

When defining your company’s content-centric culture, start with one message that unifies the whole organisation. This should align content creation with core values, business targets, and the company’s vision. Your main message can then be broken down into smaller, more specific meanings depending on the audiences and personas you are targeting.

Every piece of content you create must have some sort of objective behind it. Think about what you want to achieve with your content from both a business and audience perspective. Understand the value that content creation can bring to goals and KPIs but don’t lose sight of what your audience wants.

Also, choose your mediums and formats carefully. Infographics are great at building brand awareness, but email newsletters could prove more influential when trying to encourage action.

 

Roles and workflow

“Given so many moving parts in effective content marketing programs, it’s imperative that everyone involved knows who is responsible for each task, and that all the most essential tasks are documented in your content marketing strategy,” says Joe Pulizzi of the Content Marketing Institute.

To this end, Pulizzi created a range of content marketing roles that organisations can define and delegate to. Although your business might not need or be able to fill every role, it is advisable to have one individual in a unifying role that drives strategy, refines processes, and streamlines communication.

Such cohesion must be echoed in your content creation workflow too. There should be someone that not only knows what is required to create content, but also recognises the importance of post-production responsibilities such as social media promotion.

 

Advice and approval

For greater consistency with your most frequent types of content =, offer advice to your team and establish a framework that facilitates support as and when required. This can be as simple as providing a short description or brief, samples of similar work, or even a step-by-step guide.

But even if they follow your advice to the letter, it still makes sense to approve content before publication. Otherwise, you could be releasing content that doesn’t spark audience interest or fails to deliver your intended message.

For content that does make it to the end of the production line, remember to measure and track the results in accordance with your initial objectives. This is imperative if you want to optimise the effectiveness of your content.

 

 

860 450 Lauren Harrison

Musings of a Content Marketing Agency: How to Master the Art of Conversation Marketing

Whether on social media, in presentations and talks, on content marketing agency blogs and in conversation itself, the term “conversation marketing” has started to pop up more and more.

It seems like as an industry, we’re being asked to jump on board with the concept without being given any real background. So first things first – to master conversation marketing, it’s probably best if you know what it is.

Traditionally, marketing has meant speaking to your customers – telling them who you are, how your products and services work and why they should care. Conversational marketing means less talking at your customers, more talking with them. Listening.

Conversation marketing bridges the gap between your content marketing efforts and customer experience. It involves overhauling your whole approach to be more human, more approachable as a brand, more relevant. Literally having a conversation with your customers.

It’s personalisation on a grand scale. This will, of course, cost you a great deal of time and effort. Getting it right won’t be easy – but it’ll definitely be worth it.

Get involved in one or more of these conversational techniques and turn your marketing into a dialogue.

Reply to as many comments on social media as you can

This should be your first port of call and is perhaps the technique most worth embracing. In this mobile age, your brand’s presence on social media is absolutely critical to its success. Your customers take to social media when they have questions, when they like something, when they love something and when they are totally unimpressed. All kinds of comments can work to your advantage. Thank your customers for their kind words, answer their questions and handle their criticism with good grace. Be friendly, eloquent and helpful.

Speak to your customers like you would your friends

How would you chat to your friends on WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger? For bonus points, don’t just reply to comments, reply to them with photos or even video! Taking a couple of minutes to make a short video in response to a comment on social media is a great way to show you care – your customers will be thrilled you’ve made the effort to connect with them in this way.

Interactive Content

We’ve posted a lot about interactive content and infographics  (it’s kind of our thing) but it’s definitely worth a mention here. Making your content interactive is a sophisticated way of having a conversation with the user – you’re posing them questions and reacting to their responses. The key is finding that clever concept.

Adopt a conversational tone in your company blog posts

Knowledge is power, but without the right tone of voice it’s not enough. However tempting it might be to lapse into the jargon of your industry, forget it – you’ll sound boring! Whatever industry people are in, they’re still people – remember this when you address them. 

There are always more advanced routes you can take when you feel comfortable as a brand, specialist concierge services, embracing messaging apps like Uber did via its integration with Facebook Messenger earlier this year and even building your own chat bots if you’re feeling ambitious.

Keep it real.

860 450 Lauren Harrison

Musings of a Content Marketing Agency: What’s With “Manly” Rebrands?

Green may be the new black, but all the evidence points to one puzzling truth; men are simply not interested in eco-friendly products in the same way women are. As a content marketing agency, we were interested to find out why.

A recent study from the University of Notre Dame found that an interest in saving the planet is largely seen as a feminine quality. Whether we are thinking this consciously or unconsciously – the fact is that irrational gender stereotypes are being projected onto surprising products and sectors.

We look at the issues faced by four industries and products attempting to master the art of manliness and counter the feminine stereotypes plaguing their sales.

Eco-Wary to Eco-Warrior

According to the study, the fact that men are more reluctant to buy environmentally-friendly products and live environmentally-friendly lifestyles is a direct result of pre-existing stereotypes surrounding the notion of masculinity.

Such attitudes are in desperate need of an update; after all, we all have a duty to protect our planet.

The study found that men are far more likely to buy eco-friendly products if the relevant branding reinforces masculinity – brands have reported significant improvements from making small changes to anything from language to imagery and colours.

Meanwhile, while surveying potential customers, a BMW dealership in China found that men were far more interested in an eco-friendly car when its name was changed to “Protection” (a masculine term in China).

While not so serious, the next four manly rebrands are just as mysterious – why weren’t these products unisex from the get go?

Body wash

It used to be soap and water – but at some point, shower gels and body washes came along and for whatever reason, they were aimed at women.

In recent years, companies like Unilever and Axe have developed  several personal care lines that have mastered packaging for men. The interesting part? Axe’s packaging doesn’t explicitly say that it is for men, instead letting the colours and imagery do the talking. This at least implies that people can choose the product they want, rather than the one prescribed for them based on their gender.

Diet soft drinks

Diet Coke did the damage with THAT ad in the early nineties and it has been difficult for soft drinks to recover since.

Upon discovering during the course of research that ‘diet’ was a term mostly associated with women, Coca-Cola rebranded its range of soft drinks to the more man-friendly ‘zero calorie’.

Diet Coke did eventually make a UK comeback as part of a more diverse range of products, presumably when the brand thought that men had evolved to become health-oriented enough.

Random foodstuffs  

At what point in history did we decide that only women like yogurt and cream cheese? Think of any TV ad for one of these products – what can you see? It usually comes down to women being served yogurt by exotic men in swimming trunks. Ditto ice cream and chocolate.

The new breed of yogurt for men (“Brogurt”, we think it’s called), is protein-packed, comes in red and black pots and is so thick you can stand a spoon up in it. Ads usually involves a focus on sport and exercise. Weird, in a way, (women exercise too, no?), it is at least showing a tangible benefit for previously alienated male yogurt lovers.

Arlo’s Skyr got it right with its campaign launched in 2015 – the TV ad is the story of the ancient dairy product and its traditional role in Icelandic culture told through the eyes of one Icelandic boy/man.

Final Musing

It seems to us that this is a tricky matter. It’s the pink-toys-for-girls-blue-toys-for-boys thing, only for adults. On the one hand, branding and rebranding according to your target market makes a lot of sense. Even so, branding for men usually seems to rely on a lot of tired tropes – insert dark grey and green/ blue/ orange branding here, insert aggressive product name there.

As demonstrated in the case of Unilever earlier this year, we’re becoming ever less accepting of female stereotypes in ads. Well, men aren’t all the same either. Brands serious about equality need to look for new, innovative ways to bridge the gap. It won’t necessarily be an easy transition – as noted by the BBC, brands are having to cater to a liberal audience while not alienating the conservative audience they already have. This indicates the need for us to try and stay open-minded as consumers as well.

860 450 Lauren Harrison

7 Unmistakable Signs You Need a Content Marketing Agency

Just because you can create your own content doesn’t mean you should. A good content marketing agency will make sure all of your marketing efforts are actively moving you closer to your business goals. If any of these sound familiar, it may be time to call in the big guns. 

1. Your social feeds are so boring you want to unfollow yourself. 

Morning GIFs - Find & Share on GIPHY

Unvaried and uninteresting social media posts are a one way ticket to people losing interest in your brand. If your posts have always been about your products and services, it may be time to change tack. Bring in someone who knows what kind of content your audience is interested in and who is paid to come up with the goods. A content marketing agency will know how to humanize your brand and treat your followers like friends.

2. Your blog is either stale or non-existent

Disney GIFs - Find & Share on GIPHY

The same rules apply to your blog – keep it varied and keep it often. A study by HubSpot found that companies that published more than 16 blog posts per month got almost 3.5X more traffic than companies that published between 0 – 4 monthly posts. To be at the top of your game your blog needs to examine your industry from every imaginable angle, and will ideally extend its gaze even further. A great content marketing agency will be able to anticipate what kind of blog content your audience will be interested in because it will be able to look beyond their potential interest in your brand and products.

3. After every piece of content you post you have to shout, “Helloooooooo? Is there anyone out there?”

Waiting GIFs - Find & Share on GIPHY

There are plenty of reasons people aren’t finding, reading, or making it to the bottom of your content. Even if your content is technically on point, you may need a professional content marketing agency in to take care of the little extras like optimising it for SEO, applying some good ol’ design values and getting it seen by the people who matter.

4. You lack the time and inspiration needed to come up with big viral ideas.

Cat GIFs - Find & Share on GIPHY

It’s ok to be busy doing other things with your brand – the demand for a constant stream of fresh and exciting content is relatively new. One great viral idea can really get your brand in the spotlight. From unique blog content to super sophisticated interactive content, it usually takes an experienced content marketing agency to create a really juicy viral

5. You know what kind of thing you should be writing but are being taunted by a blank screen and the blinking cursor of doom.

Pointer GIFs - Find & Share on GIPHY

 

 

Ah, that. Content is an unavoidable part of business, but when your business isn’t writing or designing content – not knowing what to write is perhaps inevitable. Agencies have a team of specialists; researchers, copywriters, designers, marketers and so on. Let them do it and your problem is solved.

6. You don’t have anything remotely resembling a content strategy

Strategy GIFs - Find & Share on GIPHY

Your content marketing agency will work through this with you – setting objectives, planning content, creating an editorial calendar, deciding on a tone of voice and so on.

7. Nothing is happening

Tumbleweed GIFs - Find & Share on GIPHY

It doesn’t matter how great your content is if you’re not seeing any ROI – no more customers means no more money. A content marketing agency will help you direct your marketing efforts towards achieving clear goals and revise and adjust those goalposts with you every step of the way as your strategy evolves.

Sources:
Hubspot

1000 523 Lauren Harrison

5 Awkward Questions to Ask Your Content Agency

Don’t be shy. When it comes to discussing your future with a content agency – there are no awkward questions.

Given free reign (and unlimited budget), what would you do with this brief?

Whether you have something specific in mind or are seeking new ideas, it’s always worth asking this question.

The team at your agency will comprise a broad range of disciplines, tastes, passions and expertise. Importantly, they will (hopefully) also have a shedload of creative talent.

They might be able to unlock the full potential of your concept. They may suggest a bold, new direction. They might dream up ideas you haven’t even thought of.

However limited your brand guidelines or tight your budget, a good agency will be able to take inspiration from the best ideas and adapt them to suit the exact requirements of your project.

Who is this content for?

It might sound obvious, but it’s crucial that everyone is on the same page here.

From concept development, through research, copywriting, design and development – a good content agency keeps the marketing goals of your brand in mind throughout every stage of the content development process.

A great one will take the above as a given and work to develop an exciting piece of content, aimed at capturing the imagination of the audience you already have, as well as the ones you hope to gain.

Its team will go to extraordinary lengths to research your audience; their motivations, their habits, their interests. You know your audience better than anyone. if there is anything you feel your agency need to know about them, speak up.

The result will be a great piece of content – perfectly in line with your brand’s values; perfectly valuable to your target audience.

Where have I been going wrong in the past?

It’s always good to get an outsider’s perspective on what can be done to improve your marketing efforts, content strategy and overall brand image.

Even if you don’t agree, just opening a dialogue about potential problems can give both your brand and your content agency lots to think about when moving forward with your strategy.

Where have I been going right?

You’re not paying someone to butter you up, but it’s well worth finding out what has been working for you. Chances are you already know, but it’s always nice to get it confirmed.

It could be branding, it could be your presence on social media – it could even be one brilliant piece of content.

Take the praise on board and if something’s been working, stick with it.

Why should I trust you?

This is something many of us are afraid to ask – but it’s so important to find out the answer, even if you phrase it slightly differently!

When you hand your brand’s marketing efforts over to an agency, you aren’t going to be there to see how everything gets managed on a day to day basis. You won’t know what’s on going on behind the scenes.

For this reason you need to know that your agency is an authority and has niche expertise in great content – the thing you’re paying them for.

Don’t just find out who their clients are – find out what work they’ve done that is specifically relevant to you. Beyond this, find out what results they’ve had.

If you’re feeling unsure about your agency, we happen to know a fantastic team – why not get in touch?