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We are very proud to announce that Bell has been awarded Highly Commended at the Transform Awards Europe 2024 for our work on Granary & Chapel by Durkan Homes in the category ‘Best visual identity from the property, construction and facilities management sector’.

The Transform Awards celebrates 15 years and continues to recognise excellence in brand development, rebranding and repositioning in Europe. The continent’s very best agencies and creative teams were once again recognised for the part they played in designing and strategising outstanding brand projects.

Bell has a long-standing relationship with the Transform Awards, with 18 wins across the years in different categories.

A special thank you to our client Durkan Homes, and the Bell and Transform Awards teams. Congratulations!

Transform Awards 2024
Transform Awards 2024
Transform Awards 2024
Transform Awards 2024
Transform Awards 2024
Transform Awards 2024

News and Interview

You can check out this year’s winners in the news article and explore the stories behind the award-winning projects in the 2024 winners’ book. Also, check out below the interview with our client Sophie Mitchell, Marketing & Media Manager at Durkan Homes and Bruno Alberini, Managing Director at Bell.

Dear client and partner,

I’m pleased to share some exciting news with you about Bell Creative & Digital Marketing. As we move into a promising growth phase and continue to evolve, I’m delighted to announce that I’m stepping into the role of Managing Director, after six years at the agency.

I’m honoured to work in collaboration with this talented team and also happy to welcome new team members to support us. The journey ahead is filled with opportunities for creativity and innovation. Our new offer seamlessly integrates digital marketing expertise, performance-driven strategies, and a blend of creative design and branding, empowering us to provide more holistic solutions to elevate the presence and impact of brands.

As a valued client and partner, your collaboration has played an integral role in our success, and we’re sincerely grateful for the trust you’ve placed in us. We’re confident you’ll find this to be a smooth transition and we believe these changes will only strengthen our partnership and increase the value we provide.

We’re pleased to have you alongside us as we embark on this journey and we welcome any thoughts or suggestions you may have as we move forward together.

Should you have any questions or if you’d like to discuss anything specific, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. I look forward to working with you and continuing to build on the success that Bell Creative & Digital Marketing has achieved throughout these 48 years in business.

Thank you for your ongoing support, and I look forward to the exciting times ahead!

Warm regards,

Bruno Alberini

Bruno Alberini

Managing Director
Bell Creative & Digital Marketing

In recent years, short form videos have seen a huge increase in popularity. So much so, that they have become a significant part of the advertising industry. 

The rise of social media platforms like TikTok, Instagram, and Snapchat has made short video content more accessible than ever before. It's easy to see why they have become such a powerful tool for advertisers.

Why should brands include video shorts as part of their marketing mix? We take a look at some of the key benefits they can have for advertisers.

1: ATTENTION SPAN

One of the key reasons why video shorts have become so popular is because they are a highly effective way to quickly capture people's attention.

In today's fast-paced world, attention spans are shorter than ever. Now advertisers have to work even harder to grab and hold their audiences' attention. 

Short videos, with their ability to convey a message quickly and efficiently through bite-sized, easy to digest information, are a perfect fit for this environment. 

Millennials and Gen Z particularly, are drawn to video clips because they are short and entertaining. A global study reported that TiTok users spend on average 23.5 hours per month on the platform.

TikTok (owned by Chinese company ByteDance) is even being considered as a direct competitor to Netflix. This is because time spent watching content on the platform is projected to surpass the time people spend on Netflix! This fact alone demonstrates the exponential growth video shorts have seen in recent times.

2. ENGAGEMENT

The ability to grab attention and engage an audience in a nanosecond is a real art. Captivating video shorts do just this. 

When posted on social media, this type of content is much more likely to benefit from high levels of engagement. Engagement drives reactions, likes, and shares.

When a post receives high engagement, this signals to the platform that users are finding the content enjoyable. The platform’s algorithm sees engagement as a positive social signal. As a result, it’s much more likely to serve the video up to even more users. The snowball effect of engagement and extended reach gives the post the potential to go viral. 

3: MEMORABLE

Content that resonates with users is much more memorable. A funny and engaging video will leave a lasting impression. 

Recognition builds brands, so this poses a fantastic opportunity for businesses to strengthen their brand presence and following.

Posts don't have to be funny, they can be informative or educational too. As long as the video appeals to the target audience in an engaging way, it has the potential to be very successful.

4: PEOPLE LOVE PEOPLE

Social platforms are a place of expression. Now, more than ever, users want to see real people sharing real life experiences. A connection between creator, user and likeminded folk is forged through a mutual understanding, experience or emotion. The attraction of fame is also a big draw.

Anyone with a smartphone can create a video reel. Fame is no longer reserved for influencers and superstars! All you need is a good story to tell that will captivate people.

Advertisers now have the ability to tap into huge audiences with the added benefit of influencing consumers (whether they realise it or not) to create user generated content to advertise their products.

TikTok is a great example. Users that buy products sold on the platform are inspired to create their own video short to share their experience with their followers, along with the caption ‘TikTok made me buy it’.

This poses a lucrative opportunity because brands can leverage social media users to provide free advertising for their business for very little upfront cost.

5: EASY TO SHARE

Another reason why short videos are so effective is because they are highly shareable

People are much more likely to share short form videos on social media compared to longer videos or text-based content. This means that advertisers can get more reach without having to invest in expensive advertising campaigns.

6: EASY TO CREATE

Low advertising production costs are a big attraction for agencies and businesses alike because they offer a cost-effective way to reach large audiences. 

Short videos can be created quickly and inexpensively, making them a highly attractive option for businesses of all sizes.

With the unstoppable rise of social media, advertisers no longer have to plough vast amounts of money into expensive advertising campaigns in order to get their message in front of people. 

TV advertising, out of home and print media are bearing the brunt as the internet takes an ever-increasing share of advertising revenue.  

TV ad spend is forecast to decline by another 5% overall for 2023. Print media has been on a downward spiral for years and this has been recently highlighted by the Daily Mail announcing redundancies due to declining readership. It’s not hard to see why traditional forms of advertising are suffering when social platforms offer up huge audiences that are increasingly addicted to consuming short form content.

7: Gen Z Purchasing Behaviour

According to a recent study, 55% of Gen Z consumers reported that social media was their main channel for discovering new brands. 75% said they made a purchase from a brand after engaging with it on a social network. 

These stats show the importance of having social media in the marketing mix. With 60% of Gen Z consumers favouring TikTok as their preferred platform, it’s glaringly obvious that short videos can equal big bucks.

WHAT PLATFORMS SHOW VIDEO SHORTS?

Short videos can be posted on any social media platform that allows it but these are the top platforms for video distribution:

  • TikTok
  • YouTube - Shorts
  • Facebook - Stories & Reels
  • Instagram - Stories & Reels
  • LinkedIn - Stories
  • Snapchat - Spotlight

CONCLUSION

In conclusion, short videos have become a highly prominent and important tool for advertising agencies and brands. This is because they are incredibly effective at capturing people's attention quickly. They’re also shareable, adaptable and versatile, and offer a cost-effective way to reach large audiences. 

As social media continues to evolve, it's likely that we'll see even more innovative uses for video shorts in the world of advertising in the years to come. 

If you need help to leverage your brand on social media, contact the team at Bell Digital Marketing for a chat!

Yesterday (7th February 2023) Microsoft officially announced that they are soon to launch AI-powered versions of Bing and Edge which claim to be more powerful than ChatGTP. These systems will utilise OpenAi’s large language model wrapped in Microsoft’s Prometheus model (a safety system to control and filter out inappropriate results). 

This news comes as no surprise seeing as Microsoft recently announced a new £10 billion investment into phase three of its partnership with OpenAI. It’s also hot on the heels of the launch of ChatGTP last year that is currently taking the world by storm. Some are saying that AI presents the highest risk in decades to search engines of today. 

How does it work?

You can test a preview right now on Bing.com. Simply type into the box or chat with the search engine and it generates relevant answers for you. It is very easy to use. If you choose to chat with the bot it will speak back to you, sometimes just saying ‘here is what I found’ and sometimes giving a short vocal answer. 

We tried to have a chat exchange with the preview version but it didn’t seem to remember what we had asked before, instead generating new search results based on the last vocal prompt. But this is just a preview with very limited capabilities. It turns out that you only get access to ‘new Bing’ if you join the waiting list, so we expect to see more exciting developments in time.

Can I download the latest version of Edge now?

The full launch hasn’t happened yet, but you can download the Dev channel version of Microsoft Edge here. To request access the latest features you need to click on the Bing logo in the top right corner and ask to join the waiting list. Microsoft claims this waiting period can be sped up by making Edge your default browser and setting MSN as your homepage. Features are currently limited on the desktop version. You can also download the app but you’ll still be in the queue for access to the new Bing. 

Screenshot of Bing

Digital marketing is a fast-paced industry. This month has seen a number of important updates, so here is our round-up of the latest news and trends from the world of search.

Organic search

Google Search Console gets a new filter

Man using Google Search Console on a laptop

Google Search Console, formerly known as Google Webmaster Tools, is a free platform for anyone with a website. It allows owners to monitor how Google sees their site and optimise for organic traffic. 

Google Search Console has a very well-known, classic layout. But if you’ve used it in recent weeks, you'll have noticed that Google has added a brand-new feature to the performance report.

The new feature is called translated results, and it lets users see which landing pages are being automatically translated by Google Chrome. The results are currently limited to mobile devices and Indonesian, Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Tamil and Telugu languages. But there's a good chance that more will be added in the future.

Google announces a 50% reduction in ‘irrelevant’ results

A person holding a black android smartphone

Danny Sullivan, Google’s Public Liaison for Search, recently revealed that Google has reduced the number of what it terms “irrelevant” results by 50% and made improvements to how users interact with the platform:

“Since 2015, we've seen a more than 60% increase in natural language queries in search. This means people can find what they need more easily… using language that's closer to the way we normally write and speak".

The revelation is probably drawn from Google’s internal data. But the findings are interesting and indicate the future of search lies in natural, localised language – a fantastic insight for marketers!

Google introduces new ‘highly cited’ trust label

Scrabble tiles spelling out trust

E-A-T – or Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness – is intrinsic to SEO.  The concept is covered in great detail in Google’s Quality Rater Guideline, and this latest update proves that it, as well as Google’s repeated efforts to weed out misinformation, aren’t going anywhere soon.

The new label works like this: upon users searching for factually important information, a new label will appear in the image carousel of Google’s Top Stories results, indicating which stories have been frequently cited or linked to.

The new badge will allow users to identify which publishers they can trust, and is likely to affect click-through rates and organic traffic. To optimise for this feature, make sure your content is regularly earning links from trusted websites.

Paid search

Customer match lists will soon be eligible for smart bidding

A blurry Google logo

Customer match lists are useful for reaching existing customers. They use identifiers such as the searcher’s email address, phone or physical location to target prospects on platforms like Gmail and YouTube.

Today, advertisers have to manually apply these to a campaign. However, thanks to a new feature coming to Google Ads, advertisers will soon be able to use these lists for smart bidding and optimised targeting.

This is good news for PPC marketers as it will streamline their work and give Google more data to analyse for automation. If you work in an industry with low repeat customer rates and don’t want to use customer match lists, you’ll be able to opt out at the advertisement account level.

Google is changing how smart bidding strategies are organised

The Google logo on a smartphone screen

Starting from next month, Google will rename their existing standard 'Target CPA' campaigns to 'Maximise conversions' with a target CPA, and your standard 'Target ROAS' bid strategy campaigns to 'Maximise conversion value' with target ROAS. 

Ramin Miakheyl, a PPC account manager at Bell Digital Marketing, commented on the news, adding: "This name change won’t impact bidding behaviour. Using 'Maximise conversions' with a target CPA will still have the same bidding behaviour as 'Target CPA', and using 'Maximise conversion value' with a target ROAS will continue to have the same bidding behaviour as 'Target ROAS'."

Content marketing

FAQs are making a comeback

A blue question mark on a pink background

According to RankRanger data and SEO evidence, Google appears to be displaying more FAQ rich results in SERPs.

This means setting up an FAQ page and being more strategic with content – such as writing more detailed answers so users are encouraged to click through rather than stay on Google – could make a big difference to how much space a business occupies in SERPs.

 

Get in contact with our team for more information about how to improve your SEO, paid or content marketing activities. Follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook for the latest updates.

Bell-Digital-Marketing
Bell-Digital-Marketing

 

June is Pride month, an annual celebration recognising LGBT+ communities around the world.

Pride events have been an enduring source of LGBT+ visibility for decades, which got many of us at Bell Digital Marketing thinking: what is the most Instagrammed Pride event in the world? Here's what we found out.

How we determined the results

To determine the most photographed Pride event, we collected hashtag data from Instagram in multiple languages, measuring engagement in the official hashtag or the most popular local hashtag, whichever was greater. We also collated annual hashtags dating back five years (e.g #prideevent2017).

Overall, the number of hashtags totalled 1.7 million.

Rank

Country

Pride Event

Total

1

USA

NYC Pride

342,722

2

UK

London Pride

258,011

3

USA

San Francisco Pride

209,375

4

Australia

Sydney Mardi Gras

99,400

5

Canada

Pride Toronto

65,573

6

Sweden

Stockholm Pride

64,554

7

Finland

Helsinki Pride

53,766

8

Italy

Milano Pride

48,366

9

Germany

CSD Berlin

47,318

10

Ireland

Dublin LGBTQ Pride

44,172

11

Netherlands

Pride Amsterdam

41,139

12

Denmark

Copenhagen Pride

36,999

13

Brazil

São Paulo Gay Pride Parade

32,630

14

Czech Republic

Prague Pride

31,706

15

Norway

Oslo Pride

30,673

16

Israel

Tel Aviv Pride

30,399

17

Italy

Roma Pride

28,950

18

Germany

Cologne Pride

28,200

19

Spain

Orgullo Gay de Madrid

27,629

20

Canada

Fierté Montréal

22,834

21

Spain

Pride Barcelona

19,712

22

Tokyo

Tokyo Rainbow Pride

18,646

23

Vietnam

VietPride

18,569

24

Poland

Warsaw Equality Parade

18,173

25

Austria

Vienna Pride

16,731

26

Greece

Athens Pride

16,510

27

Hong Kong

Hong Kong Pride

15,857

28

Taiwan

Taiwan Pride

13,786

29

Hungary

Budapest Pride

12,546

30

France

Paris Pride

11,831

31

Argentina

Buenos Aires Gay Pride

9,681

32

Switzerland

Zurich Pride

9,314

33

Iceland

Reykjavík Pride

8,937

34

New Zealand

Auckland Pride

5,772

35

South Africa

Johannesburg Pride

4,565

New York takes the title

NYC Pride takes the title of most Instagrammed Pride event in the world, beating out London Pride by almost 100,000 hashtags.

Interestingly, NYC Pride saw the most Instagram engagement in 2019 when the city commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, a key event in modern LGBT+ history.

European cities rank prominently

European Pride events are some of the most Instragrammed on the planet, ranking 13 times in the top 20 and amassing over 800,000 hashtags.

The most photographed European Pride event is London Pride (258,011 hashtags). Second is Stockholm Pride (64,554 hashtags) then Helsinki Pride (53,766 hashtags).

Pre-pandemic popularity

Between 2017 and 2019, hashtag engagement in Pride events grew by an average of 180% on Instagram. There was a significant drop-off in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic, which forced many Pride events to cancel.

 

Today, I have the pleasure to announce that Natasha Davids has joined Bell as Chief Operating Officer – Digital.

Natasha’s appointment comes at a time when we can really build on our momentum and meanwhile ensure we deliver continued success and service for our clients.

Natasha will be responsible for our PPC, SEO and Social business units foremost, while working alongside her counterpart Bruno Alberini (COO - Creative) and myself to lead Bell.

Natasha brings over 20 years of experience to the team. Over recent years, Natasha has held similar roles in other independent digital marketing agencies, beforehand has worked client-side and started it all off as an agency account manager herself.  

On behalf of Bell and our wider group, I am absolutely delighted to welcome Natasha.

Oliver

Oliver Hunt
CEO & Head of Sales

Bell-Digital-Marketing
Natasha Davids

Natasha Davids
COO - Digital

Bell-Digital-Marketing

 

Over recent months we have become Bell Digital Marketing to join the dots once and for all with our sister agency Bell Creative. Alongside we have refreshed, harmonised and modernised our branding – we hope you like it.   

Since Bell was acquired by the group back in 2017, we have gradually become one agency internally as we shared offices, infrastructure, clients and expertise at an ever-increasing rate. So it made sense to be one agency externally too, but with two front doors to ensure we penetrate both our target customers with digital media and creative needs.

Bell is now a digital marketing and creative agency with vast local and international expertise from eCommerce to education, part of an independent group. Other group agencies include ESV (France) and  MyAgency (Luxembourg).

We grow brands both in the UK and internationally, online and offline. We structure our strategies around the most efficient channels and actions to accelerate customer growth. We empower our customers to communicate with flair and grow at the optimum ROI year on year. We go bold to make you go beyond.

Bell was established in 1976 and ESV in 2004. We hope to be serving our customers successfully for many years to come. If you want to learn more about what we could do for you please get in touch

Oliver

Oliver Hunt
CEO & Head of Sales

Bell-Digital-Marketing

Instagram is a constantly evolving platform. Regularly, it offers new features to its users. Here are the latest developments of the platform in 2021.

#1 Update on your friends' content

For a few months now, many users have been complaining about the evolution of the Instagram algorithm. You may have noticed that you don't see your friends posts anymore? Instagram is now about to test a feature on your friends’ content. The platform will display suggestions within the posts of the accounts you follow. Accounts that are lucky enough to test this feature will be able to add themes to their interests. This will allow suggestions to be displayed on their feed. This test will only be available in English-speaking countries for the time being.

#2 Visual search for Instagram shopping

Instagram has announced that it wants to add visual search to shopping on the social network. Therefore, it will soon be possible to find an item for sale on Instagram by taking a photo of it. This is a very handy feature, which you may have already seen on sites like AliExpress and Pinterest.

#3 A step forward for more inclusiveness

With the evolution of society and recent talks about inclusivity, Instagram launched a dedicated section on account profiles to add pronouns, so users will be able to specify their gender identity and display the pronoun they want to be referred to. The new field to be filled in (after the name and before the nickname and bio) is optional, and the user can decide whether their pronouns appear on their public profile or for their followers only. The new feature allows users to share up to four pronouns selected from a pre-approved list of common pronouns including she, he, they, ze and others.

#4 The "link" sticker that redirects to a site

The days when you had to have at least 10,000 followers to be able to redirect to a website will soon be over. Since last April, Instagram has been testing a "link" widget. This feature is one of the most anticipated by Instagram users.

#5 Instagram tests the stories vertical scroll

Today, stories are read as a kind of carousel by tapping on the right to go to the next story. Instagram is working on a prototype that allows stories to scroll vertically, up and down. This will look surprisingly like its competitor TikTok.

#6 Live videos with up to 4 people arrive

Used to Instagram calls with up to two people? Instagram has now increased the number of participants to four accounts introducing Live Rooms, allowing more people to get involved.

#7 Experimenting with automatic stories captioning

Testing a new sticker: "closed captions" that automatically generates a caption in stories. The text appears on the screen as the speech unfolds. A bit like the widget for song lyrics, but here the caption will be generated directly from your voice.

If you need advice on how to optimise your posts and increase the reach of your organic or paid social media content, don't hesitate to get in touch. Follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook for the latest updates.