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5 Must-Read Pieces from our Blog in 2020

We take a tour through our back catalogue to bring you the unmissable blog pieces from 2020. Over the past year we’ve covered topics spanning the breadth of Digital Marketing, from consumer behaviour trends to Covid-19 communications advice. Here are 5 articles that are worth reading again and again.

Has the Pandemic Changed Shopping Behaviour for Good?

Written during after the initial lockdown, we explored the impact Covid-19 has had on consumer behaviour, particularly when it comes to shopping. Using research and studies from credible sources, we illustrated 5 key trends that we expect to last beyond the pandemic. Most notably, the dominance of online shopping and the rise of the conscious consumer, which we explored later in our Green Marketing piece. We also present an argument for why certain trends might die as ‘pandemic trends’, such as hyper-local shopping.

Why Are ‘Stories’ So Popular?

sepia shot of a smartphone with Instagram open

Nothing captured the imagination of 2020 quite like vertical video. Words like ‘TikTok’ have entered the public discourse and aren’t going anywhere. We took a look at how Stories, the vertical format that gave rise to Reels and TikTok, become so unbelievably popular. The answer lies in a combination of classic consumer behaviour and digitally-enabled social trends. We don’t regale the history of social media. Instead, we look at the state of Stories in 2020 and what lessons can applied to your own digital marketing output.

Our Guide to Live-Streaming from Home

Live-streaming emerged as an unlikely hero during the pandemic. As lockdowns and social distancing rules restricted the possibility of live events, we brought the events to you. The E1MA have had a lot of experience producing live-streams for clients ranging from We Are FSTVL to Marvin Humes. We wanted to share our knowledge in a succinct but informative guide that covers the before, during and after of live-stream production. We also highly recommend reading our recent follow-up piece, which provides further advice on live-streaming this winter.

Should You Be Using Hashtags in 2020?

It’s a good question that we wanted to find out the answer to. Hashtags have been around since the early days of Twitter, but are now found everywhere. But in the age of algorithms and paid social, are they actually needed? We used analysed our hashtag use for Noisily Festival using Sprout Social and found some interesting results. We also include some of our best practices for hashtags, such as which to use and where to use them.

E1MA’s Top 5 Tips for Marketing Venues

massive crowd watches musician at electric brixton

This may have been written just before the pandemic tightened its grip on the UK, but the tips inside are still relevant today. This guide focuses on what you can do to make your venue more appealing to potential customers. Using our work with Phase, Platform and Noisily Festival as examples, we outline how to use photography to produce thumb-stopping social media feeds. We also emphasise the importance of consistent branding across your channels, and why micro-influencers are the best promotional vehicles you’ve never heard of.

Our Top Tips For Working From Home

Remote working isn’t going anywhere. Despite the promising news of a vaccine, it’s likely we’ll see a combination of office and home working become the norm.  The E1MA team share their top tips improve your productivity, health and wellbeing whilst working from home.

Maintain a morning routine

It can be tempting to hit snooze on your alarm clock and lethargically dragging yourself to your desk 5 minutes before you switch on for the day. Having a clear, structured morning routine is the secret to productivity according to our finance manager Maha:

“For me the best WFH tip would be to get yourself into a good morning routine. My morning coffee at my desk, my comfy (anti slouch) chair, and a working from home playlist combine to get my head in the game. Start your day as you mean to go on. “ – Maha

Understand online communication

Now the working day is fully underway. You’ve opened Slack, checked your emails, and prepared for your Zoom calls. Our Senior Digital Consultant George raises an excellent point regarding online communication – don’t jump to conclusions:

I Read an article and found a good WFH tip, which was to “try and always assume positive intent”. Sometimes when you’re WFH and communicating much more with clients/colleagues via slack/email etc, quick messages can come off as rude or flippant. It helps if you use emoji’s (where appropriate) so people can gauge the tone of your messages.” – George

Take a lunch break

A theme that appears in many work-from-home tips is separating your home life from your working life. Seeing as you don’t need to pop out to grab lunch, it can be tempting to have a ‘working lunch’ – sitting at your desk (or dining table) and working whilst you eat. Our general manager Joey suggests this is a bad idea:

“Often working from home means you are closer to a kitchen which can lead to casual grazing throughout the day. Doing this with lack of movement can make you lethargic. Make sure you make time for a lunch break. Take a breath of fresh air, put your gadgets down and eat a healthy meal. It will allow your mind to rest, recharge and refocus on the what you need to do for the rest of the day.” – Joey

Choose the right music

Playing music whilst you work can improve your mood and in some cases, your productivity. We always play music in the office, but if you need some inspiration whilst working from home check out our latest playlist. Our Digital Marketing Intern Bryce believes the perfect soundtrack is everything:

During the week, music is the soundtrack to your career (I know it’s cheesy but it’s true). And at work, the best playlists are diverse playlists, you can listen to music that matches the energy of the project you’re working on. Video game and movie soundtracks are excellent at this. In the movie or game itself, this lyric-free music is designed to help you focus, it only makes sense that it would help you focus on your work as well.” – Bryce

Switch off

At the end of the day, it can be tempting to squeeze in an extra hour, or religiously check your emails throughout the evening. Whilst there’s no denying that this is sometimes necessary, our Head of Digital Joel suggests clearly defining your working hours and leisure hours:

I think it’s important to know when you’re on and when you’re off whilst working from home. Whenever possible, set a time where you say “my work day is finished now” and pivot from work mode to leisure mode. It can affect you more than you realise when you’re constantly ‘on’ so it’s important to set boundaries where you decide you are going to relax in your space as opposed to working in your space. This helps to keep your performance at a higher level by keeping you focussed for shorter periods of time.” – Joel

Read more

We don’t mean Twitter either. Reading has had a major resurgence in popualarity during the pandemic, as people look for more pastimes that can pursue at home. Our digital marketing executive Ben explains how reading can benefit your work in more ways than you think:

“Throughout my time working from home I’ve been using my ‘commuting time’ to read more – I spend at least two hours a day reading. Every morning I read the news and check out the latest industry insights. Reading novels helps improve my creativity and copywriting skills. I also read non-fiction books around the subjects of business and psychology. One book I recommend for improving your productivity whilst WFH is ‘Deep Work’ by Cal Newport.” – Ben

Exercise regularly

With gyms frequently closing and classes being cancelled, it’s easy to stop exercising and instead sit at home watching Netflix. Our Managing Director Nick stresses the importance of regular exercise. Not only does it improve your health physically, but can do wonders for your mental health as well. Being in your peak condition will only improve your productivity when you hit the desk. Nick walks our office dog Ziggy every morning and religiously jogs around the park – even in winter.

E1MA’s Favourite Xmas Ads of 2020

It’s that time of year again! The E1MA team share their favourite Christmas ads of the year. We all know this has been a year like no other, and this has certainly been reflecting in the team’s picks.

Nick – Joules & The Woodland Trust

Joules’ ad this year is a nice departure from the big budget activity from the supers and high street retailers. Or worse making a fuss about not spending a big budget ‘because 2020’. 

Instead, the online retailer has endeavoured to plant a tree in partnership with The Woodland Trust for every item sold on its Christmas list, a similar pledge that we implemented for our ‘Living Thing’ clothing brand.

The video itself is a sweet short story, the character showing that she cares for someone important.

Joey – Coca-Cola

Directed by Oscar-winning filmmaker Taika Waititi , this year’s Coca Cola advert was always set to stand above the rest. 

The story follows a Dad on his mission to deliver his daughter’s Christmas letter to Santa Claus. This mission is like a 3 hour movie, fast-tracked into 3 minutes. An advert starting with great depth and adventure leads into the iconic Coca Cola Christmas truck, restoring faith in the magic of Christmas. No cheesy emotional soundtrack, but still managing to pull on heart strings at the end. 

This year has demonstrated the importance of friends, family and community. Coca Cola have managed to reflect this, showing that deep down the most important thing we need this Christmas is each other and through thick and thin, nothing can keep us apart. 

Bryce – Branston

My favourite advert this Christmas time is Branston’s ‘Hit of Home’. Not your stereotypical Christmas advert but what it symbolises is all the same, There is a very personal feel to the advert which makes it more relatable and endearing than many others.

Its portrayal of a challenging time for the protagonist who is then cheered up at the end with the arrival of a very personal, gift that only someone that knows and cares a lot about you would send, regards a lovely sentiment that a personal touch can mean a lot at Christmas.There’s not a more comforting taste than one that reminds you of home. It reminds me of when I was traveling last year and i’d do anything for one of my parents’ amazing Christmas dinners! 

As this festive period we will all be spending it at least slightly more independently than previous years, I feel it’s important that in some way we should all aim for the warm taste of home.

Ben – Disney

Disney were always going to produce a tear-jerker, and I think they’ve nailed it this year. I’ve always found it impressive how xmas ads manage to be so emotionally moving in such a short space of time. At the 3-minute mark, Disney’s is longer than your typical tv ad, presented as a short film.

This year tells the story of Lola and her granddaughter’s Christmas tradition of sharing Disney dolls and making lanterns – a tradition that fades as they both grow older. The granddaughter later realises how much it means to Lola, and makes up for it in a heart-warming fashion.

A Mickey Mouse doll acts as the vehicle for this story, a perfect choice as its iconic and instantly recognisable. The background song is a powerful yet stirring number by Griff, aptly named ‘Love is a Compass’. A creative juggernaut such as Disney always had an advantage over smaller brands, but I still believe this is the standout ad of the year.

Joel – TK Maxx

I like this year’s Christmas advert from TK Maxx because it’s funny. As opposed to trying to pull on the heartstrings with a soppy whitewashed cover of a classic song, it’s simple to the point and made me laugh out loud.

It’s only 30 seconds long and the wobble in the farmer’s voice when he says “she blooming well deserves it” is hilarious to me.

George – Barbour

I’ve gone with the Barbour ad – this ad features Santa reading Christmas lists from kids. Instead of a gift, one child asks for his dad’s Barbour jacket to be repaired and the ad shows Santa trying and failing to repair it before taking it to the Barbour factory to be repaired.

I really like the animation style and it’s nice that they’re advertising mending their jackets rather than buying new ones considering the state of the climate, especially over Christmas which will be a key sales period for them. Plus the message of passing them down through generations is a nice touch too.

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