Cork’s newest hotel officially opened by An Taoiseach

It’s been up and running for a few weeks now with its amazing new website, designed and built by the guys here at Granite, but today saw the official opening of The Kingsley by the Taoiseach.

Cork Chamber Chief Executive Conor Healy today welcomed the opening stating that “2014 has been a great year so far for the hotel sector in Cork with many hotels reaching capacity at peak times over the summer season.  The Kingsley, and its high quality offering offers massive potential to add to Cork’s capacity to deliver an attractive tourism product.”

The Kingsley is owned by the Fota Collection, and we have been a digital marketing partner of theirs for over 2 years promoting Cork’s finest 5 Star hotel . This year has seen us work with them on some web and app development projects and we look forward to continuing to build a strong partnership.

Congrats to them on the official opening today and here’s to many big days ahead.

 

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At Your Service!!

We were delighted to be asked by Millstreet Country Park to design and develop a new website for their amazing facility. Being honest, I never even knew the facility was there until we started working with them. The Park was featured on tonight’s “At your Service” with John & Francis Brennan on RTE. We are very proud of what we have produced and I think you’ll agree when you see the ‘Before & After’ shots below that the new site is a much better representation of the Park.  I hope we don’t have to tell you which is which 🙂

Best wishes for the future to Millstreet Country Park

millstreet-before

millstreet-after_sml

Digital Marketing Strategies in 2014

As the New Year progresses most companies a busy rethinking their digital marketing strategies for the year, as marketers read through article and article trying to figure out the latest or biggest trends for 2014. We must still focus on the main objective, Advertising.

There are three big trends to online advertising this year and we at granite have taken a detailed look into what we think will have the most effect and produce the most conversions for clients in 2014.

 1. Native Advertising / Sponsored Advertising

nativeNative advertising is the ability to tuck a brand message into the editorial experience in a seamless and responsible way, creating a story and target audience research is crucial for success. By working with influential and highly skilled individuals you can find, and sponsor content to promote your brand and product.

Native Advertising is probably the hardest style of advertising to master and it takes a lot of imagination and creativity,

To create good Native Advertising there are techniques and pointers to consider before creating a campaign –

  • Find influencers that lead not follow. There are thousands of bloggers and media personnel that don’t start the conversation, they follow it. By listening, following you gain a good understanding of what the current topics of targeted audiences are thus allowing to create your own opinion/spin on relevant subjects.You want to work with people that start the conversation not just people who amplify it. They will guide you towards connecting with their readers.
  • Create an experience. It’s not just the content. It’s about creating a user experience to draw someone in, piece with video, music, HTML 5, parallax effects, are all features to create a story and experience for the user. By creating a piece with well crafted edits, stunning images, immersive video with text overlay and innovative design to create a magical digital experience. Suddenly it’s hard not to get pulled in and feel something – in a whole new way.
  • Don’t compromise quality. Many companies clutter up space and ruin design with too much advertising thinking quantity creates higher conversion rates but this can be the complete opposite and can actually harm conversion rates, quality not quantity wins over in the Native advertising stakes and compromising quality is just as bad. Multimedia skills are what shine in this area a cross platform is essential to create that great user experience, Doesn’t your brand equity get damaged by sponsoring lame content?
  • Be transparent – and have fun with it. Work closely with you Native Ad content creator weather it be in-house or external. By fully understanding the goals quality will be produced and if it’s a great experience for the reader, everybody wins.

2. Contextual Advertising

Contextual Advertising is more of a direct root to the source so to say, there are different theories of exactly what contextual Advertising is some say Contextual advertising is designed to align with the media property in which it appears i.e. if you are browsing for cars then the user will see adverts for tyres, oil, crash repair garages content that is related to the page. Another theory is that contextual advertising refers to user behavioural targeting, if a user browsed for a product then went onto facebook that products advert will show up in the users facebook feed.

contextual

But there is a down side to contextual advertising and it all depends on the user and what they are doing at the current time

  • If the user is in search mode then Contextual Advertising has a positive effect and will provide the user the Answer, solution or product that they are searching for.
  • If the user is in browse mode then directing paid adverts at them will not return any conversions and will simple be over looked

 3. Re-marketing

Ad words Re-marketing is an action taken by marketers to reintroduce a product or service that a user desired but didn’t take any action at the time. Re-marketing has been steadily growing over the last 12 months and is surprisingly cost effective when compared to other forms of marketing it relies heavily on cookies so be warned Whether you are already doing re-marketing or are looking to start, you need to ensure that you are compliant with the cookie law. When a user views a website or product the user is tracked by cookies as the user continues to browse adverts for the product will be directed to follow the user. This is a very good way to get undecided conversions but re-marketing must be tracked in its self, if your campaign has acquired a conversion that intended user must stop being tracked to avoid irritation with the brand and wasted promotion expenditure.

remarketing

  • All site visitors – Basic re-marketing to increase brand awareness, increase traffic all pages of a website.
  • Undecided / Almosts – Physically clicked through or placed items into shopping cart but didn’t convert, here your re-marketing efforts should be aimed at shopping cart / landing pages
  • Members –  Some websites have log in areas to find out more information on products or services, targeting re-marketing on these pages the user is guaranteed to view adverts of interest.

.Cork, The Marketing Benefits of gTLD’s

Cork Independent recently announced that The Deputy Mayor of Cork is pushing for a .cork Domain to help promote local businesses and online sales.

gTDLCurrent Online spending in Ireland is a staggering 4bn a year, but the issue with this is that 75% of it goes to overseas companies and venders. Companies with .com .co.uk, and even .ie can be from abroad, where as .cork if properly regulated can be used to assure the customer the origin of the purchase and the locality of the service.

A domain such as .com is officially known as a gTLD generic Top Level Domain. As domain names have become scarce over the years,  a new way of naming domains had to be created. There are currently 22 gTLD’s such as .com .net .gov .ie .eu. ICANN’s  (The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) aim is to promote competition, branding, consumer choice, localisation,  Digital marketing and innovation while ensuring the security and stability  of the Domain name system (DNS) with the new plan for gTLD’s and people wanting to register a unique domain will have to go through an application process.

BlogThe application window recently opened on Jan 2012 and a total 1,930 applications for new gTLD’s have been received. By March 2013 we saw the initial results of the process and in Aug 2013 the public saw the new gTDL’s that were deemed “eligible”.

So what are the benefits of unique domains?

The .cork domain will greatly benefit local retail and web development business’s within the Cork area and it will improve on more specific search results. New gTDL’s will also offer the following benefits –

  • Entrepreneurship. Create your own business model and establish accessibility policies for your TLD. If your customers want tighter security, make your TLD a high-security zone.
  • Increased control. You set the rules and the price for those registering your TLD.
  • Innovative marketing opportunity. Build better brand definition, brand awareness, brand loyalty and trust by having full control over your own TLD.
  • Internationalised Domain Names (IDNs). Increase market reach by making the Internet completely accessible to users whose local languages use non-Latin characters.
  • Engage your community. Create a rallying point for supporters of your cause, community or culture to unite with a community-based TLD.
  • Bring together your geographic area. Celebrate your local citizens, commerce, activities, and culture with a geographic TLD.

Overall the theory of a .cork is good within itself,  but you really have to ask the questions is this just clever P.R to grab the headlines of being on the pulse of web technologies or has this been planned out and will be a serious proposition to localise, unify and benefit the people and city of Cork.

Top 10 Gadgets for Tech Heads this Christmas

The future is here!

Number six of Granite Digital’s Top Ten Best Gifts for Tech Heads this Christmas is defiantly bringing the future to the present (pardon the pun). What used to be in futuristic sci-fi movies is now a reality.

#6 Google Glass

Google Glass is a new device that has been talked about over the past 2 years although not fully established Google Glasses are now available on the market.

Google-Glass-G02

We already carry around technology with us everyday in the form of our smart phones or smart watches and we constantly have our heads buried in them, so why not incorporate the use of the glasses at least we can feign interest in other people with eye contact rather than looking down into our smart phones!

The Google Glasses has many great features; as many as a smart phone does and gradually we are being exposed to magazine photo shoots, celebrities, models and journalists using the product as Google begins to build on the reputation of this item

The design itself is just an average pair of glasses you will notice it is thicker on one arm to incorporate the features and touch buttons, it also comes in several different colours and some additional accessories such as a sun-glass cover.

Google-Glass-G03

The Features of Google Glass include photo, video, makings calls, face time and voice recording. You will also be able to read emails and browse the Internet.
The Google Glasses are inevitably something that will be popular in the future but why not be one of the first to start the trend now?

Google-Glass-G06

 

Google Glass comes at a hefty price tag of €1000. But this gadget is high on the list of Trend setting Tech Heads.

Rumour: McLaren set to announce Samsung

F1 Worldwide

General paddock consensus is that McLaren will announce Samsung at their car launch in January. The announcement was due to go ahead on December 2nd, however the team thought it may be able to generate better publicity fore the brand at the launch.

It follows the announcement by Vodafone at the beginning of the year that they would be withdrawing from the sport. That deal for the title sponsorship and branding on the cars, driver overall and other team merchandise was said to be in the region of $50m per year.

Samsung pulled out of sponsoring the British Superbike team Honda Racing earlier this month which has added fuel to the rumours.

The other leading contender is Procter & Gamble using their Gillette brand. Gillette starting its partnership with Mclaren earlier in 2013 at the Chinese Grand Prix. The companies main focus was on expanding into the Asian market.

Many insiders have…

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Snapchat a new marketing tool?

As stats begin to show Snapchat is fast becoming the new facebook for younger users, Over 350 million images have been sent over Snapchat and it is growing fast! Today’s youth have realised the publicity issues that arise on facebook whether it be images permanently staying online, Parents, Employees, and friends of the family seeing their antics, They are now  beginning  migrating to Snapchat.

What is Snapchat?

Snapchat is a new service that allows the user to capture an image and send to their friends and followers. So what makes this different from any other photo sharing platform? Snapchat has a time limit on every image up to 10 seconds making this app a fast and fun service to capture a moment. Receivers have an option to screenshot this image if they wanted to keep it, share it, or show it to somebody else making that image ever more a bit special while other images are discarded. There is also a story option in Snapchat which images can last for 24hours and can create a narrative of the day or a promotion.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9LAnB2rRbD8

This now offers a new platform in Digital marketing in Ireland and a Dublin Night Club has taken advantage of this opportunity by issuing Invites to a club night. The idea consisted of Snapchatting an invite to their targeted audience and asking people to screen shot the invite to produce on the door of the nightclub.

Dublin_Club

This fast promotion generated hundreds of numbers to be added to their Snapchat account and generated a high success rate. How can you market on Snapchat?  Buy building a following on Snapchat a user can create a marketing opportunity by Snapchatting a promotion, a lunch time special or a weekend Discount offer for Snapchatted screen shots.