Content Marketing Revolution

For the past 8 months, I’ve been writing a book called Content Marketing Revolution, which aims to helps businesses and individuals to attract more customers, increase sales and excite brand loyalty…all using highly-targetted content.

It’s no secret that traditional marketing tactics have been struggling to deliver the same results as they once did. Today’s consumers are looking to make more educated decisions based on information, trust and brand affinity. This is where content marketing comes in…

“Dane Brookes inspiringly guides you through the five key steps to success. This book is a must for marketers of all levels.”
Mark Langshaw, Digital Spy

Over the last decade, I’ve worked in marketing andcontent strategy in a variety of sectors, from small one-man-bands to FTSE 100 companies, from local traders to television companies in Nashville and New York. The book shares everything I have learnt along the way, with examples of tried and tested campaigns.

The book guides businesses through my five key steps towards developing, executing and monitoring a content marketing strategy to take control of their market. It also includes contributions from a selection of leading content experts I’ve worked with over the years, including Olivier award-winning writer, Mark Davies Markham, Emmy award-winning television producer, Debora Fougere and the University of Liverpool Media Relations Manager, Samantha Martin. The icing on the cake comes in the form of the foreword by Matt Warnock, Digital Editor in Chief at Philips.

The book is published by Giant Leap Media and is available in paperback and Kindle format. Find out more on the Content Marketing Revolution website or get a copy on Amazon.

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New content marketing hub
The book represent the first step towards a new content marketing hub Group Dane is creating in Liverpool. The hub will pull together a collection of the best content producers and strategists in the UK.

The new hub will pull together content specialists from all over the world, providing a range of services and resources to businesses of all sizes.

Sign up to find out out more about our new content marketing hub, Content Kicks.

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Dane Brookes, Author and Director at Group Dane

Driving the digital hotel experience

This week, we launched a new digital initiative for our client, Beaufort Park Hotel and Conference Centre, starting with the launch of a new website.

The Beaufort Park Hotel has long been delivering superior guest experiences, as recognised recently when it was named Best Place to Stay at the Flintshire Food and Tourism Awards, but until now the online experience didn’t deliver the same standard of service.

The old website wasn’t mobile-friendly and, after a few years service, the design was beginning to look dated and uninspiring. Cumulative content bloat was also blunting the structure and flow, making it increasingly difficult for users to find what they were looking for.

We worked closely with the team at Beaufort Park, along with a customer focus group, to plan, design and develop a new website that is built with logical information architecture and drives satisfying user journeys.

The new, responsive website is the first in a series of customer-facing outputs that will use various channels and technologies to help to create the best possible online experience for guests before, during and after their stay at the hotel.

beaufort-park-hotel-homepagebeaufort-park-hotel-responsiveSusan Warnock, General Manager of the Beaufort Park Hotel, said: “We’re delighted to now be offering an improved online experience for new and existing customers. Our website is often the first line of contact with new customers, so it’s important that we immediately send out a message that customer experience is at the heart of our business.”

We’re excited about the nest stages of the project with Beaufort Park and we’ll keep you updated on its progress.

Find out more about the work we’re doing with Beaufort Park and some of our other clients.

Group Dane launches award-winning TV company website

pvp-slide1We’re thrilled to have just launched a new website for the award-winning American TV company that produces stars like including Taylor Swift, Aerosmith/RUN DMC, Keith Urban, Blake Shelton, Janet Jackson and Billy Joel.­­

Picture Vision Pictures, based in Nashville and New York City, has created some of the most iconic TV concerts, music videos and TV shows for the biggest names in music, all played out on networks like HBO, Disney, MTV, Fox and BBC.

We’re proud to have been chosen to design and develop the new website, after beating off competition from companies on both sides of the Atlantic. This is the second time in just over a year that we’ve won an American media client, so not only is this a very exciting time for us, it also further demonstrates that small UK creative companies can compete on an international scale!

Take a look at our case study for more on this project, or check out the finished product by visiting the website: www.picturevisionpictures.com

Hello, What Next?

We’ve just launched a new website for Northwest-based HR and coaching company, What Next Consultancy.

We developed a bold new brand identity, which not only provides a distinct and recognisable look and feel, but also act as a vehicle for delivering core marketing messages.

Here’s a taster…

wn-homepage1Check out the snazzy video interludes on the homepage:

wn-homepage2Does this page make you want biscuits and coffee?

wn-blog1Most importantly, what did the Jo say about the result?

“When I decided to completely revamp my website, I approached Group Dane because of the unique and very different websites I’d seen them produce for their clients. I wanted a website that was quirky, but chic, reflecting the personality and ethos of my company. I was not disappointed; I’m now the proud owner of a very individual website, which matches my brief exactly and is streets apart from my competitors. I have been extremely impressed with Group Dane’s professionalism and how they truly go the extra mile. Their customer service is exemplary and I’d recommend them to anyone.”

– Jo Banks, Managing Director at What Next Consultancy (UK) Ltd

Take a look at the finished product: www.whatnextconsultancy.co.uk and find out more about the project on our case study.

Putting customers first: UX and customer experience

You’ve probably read and heard lots of people in the digital marketing industry talking about user experience (UX) and how important it is to achieving your website’s objectives. Similarly, more biz-wigs are talking about how important customer experience is to your business. Both of these whisperings are true, but how do they relate to each other?

User experience versus customer experience

The term user experience (UX) refers to your customers’ relationship with your digital interfaces…how they feel about these interactions and how they behave and interact with your brand online through your website and any other digital platform or software you’re using.

On the other hand, customer experience refers to the complete experience, perceptions and interactions with your company as a whole. This includes how they found your business (for example online, on the high street, in the yellow pages, etc), their experience or interactions with your business (i.e. online, on the telephone, at your office or shop, etc) and how the relationship has progressed through continued contact (such as repeat purchases, product support, marketing emails and advertising).

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Get on UX

UX is just one piece of the overall customer experience jigsaw, but it is also likely to be one of the first points of contact between your business and its customers. This is because, like you and me, many customers check out a company’s websites before making any kind of contact. It’s really important that customers (existing and potential ones) have an online experience that is positive and reflects the overall desired customer experience.

Ensure that your website’s UX is strong by checking accessibility standards and carrying out user testing; take a close look at design, content and site architecture.

Consistency is key (and lovely)

Once you have your UX polished, you need to consider how this relates to the overall customer experience. There’s no point having a great UX if it isn’t supported by a great customer experience when it comes to the quality of communications, complaints handling, brand perception, etc.

It’s a good idea to build the general principles of great UX into your overall customer experience strategy. How do your customers feel about each stage of their interaction with your company? Have you made customer-facing processes as simple, efficient and easy to follow as possible? Does the customer experience reflect your desired brand image?

The main thing to remember when looking at UX and customer experience is that your visitor/customer should be at the heart of everything you do. They will thank you for it in return business, recommendations and a generally warm and fuzzy glow when they think of you. Never forget that your customer has a choice.

For help with user experience or customer experience, get in touch for a chat.

Also see our blog post: How is your UX affected by responsive design?

Group Dane hits New York!

This week we’ve been in New York City for the launch of the brand new Red Stiletto Media website, designed and developed by Group Dane.

Wow, what a city! It seems everywhere you look there is something interesting to look at. It’s amazing to think 1,619,090 people are crammed in to the 22.96 square miles of Manhattan.

Times SquareThere is a real buzz about New York, a sort of magic you can’t pin down or give any justice in expression. Is it the energy, the strength, the elegance, or is it the grit and realism?

Freedom TowerThe new Freedom Tower, which has risen in the footprints of the Twin Towers, is a symbol of hope and resilience. It sums up the whole spirit of the city and its people. It represents progress in the face of adversity. It sends out a message that New York will get back up whenever it takes a knock. What can we learn from this in our own small way? For me, I hope it will encourage me to keep going, to always try to rise and overcome set backs and challenges.

Dane Brookes

For Group Dane, our on-going relationship with a company in New York City is an exciting prospect. But beyond what this means for us, it is a great coup for Liverpool and the North West. The level of talent in digital marketing in our region is on a par with anywhere else in the world. The future looks bright.

Check out the new Red Stiletto Media website. The launch was also featured in the Liverpool Daily Post.

– Dane

From Liverpool to New York City

Taxi! On Thursday this week we’re off to New York City to launch the new website of fashion and lifestyle production company, Red Stiletto Media.

Group Dane New YorkRed Stiletto Media is an award-winning media production company, focusing on the fashion and lifestyle industries. The company’s glittering portfolio includes some of the biggest names in fashion, lifestyle and PR, including People’s Revolution, Elizabeth Arden Red Door Spa, Douglas Hannant and Libertine.

We’ve designed and developed the new website, which boasts robust and user-friendly functionality with striking visual features and a strong brand identity. Beyond the launch of the new website, we’ve been appointed Red Stiletto Media’s digital marketing and communications partner. This pleases us greatly!

New York CityWe’re very proud to be based in Liverpool and hope that our relationship with a company based in New York City reinforces the message that Liverpool has a strong international offering, with world-class talent in digital communications.

We’re off to start packing our cases…

Stay posted for the link to the new website later this week!