Relying on Facebook? Here’s what you should know


You only need to look at Facebook’s share price to see that the Cambridge Analytica scandal has hit the company hard. The scandal saw stolen data used to influence the outcome of the 2016 U.S. Presidential election by a political marketing firm (Cambridge Analytica) – a breach of Facebook’s privacy policy and, for many users, a breach of trust.

The company’s founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, spoke to U.S. lawmakers earlier this month in an attempt to win some of that trust back – but it seems to have backfired. This raises a question for social marketers, in agencies or in-house: should you be relying on a platform that’s losing credibility for your social media strategy?

Marketeers at Hubspot conducted a survey of 300 internet users to gauge whether Mr. Zuckerberg’s testimony made them trust Facebook more or less. The results should worry Mark, and if your preferred means of communicating with your customers is Facebook, they might worry you too.

The largest chunk of respondents (45%) said they trust Facebook less after hearing Mr. Zuckerberg defend the company than they did beforehand. For 28% of respondents, that translates into “much less” trust than they previously had, and for 17% of respondents it’s “somewhat less”. The next biggest chunk of respondents (43%) said that Zuckerberg’s testimony hadn’t changed their mind one way or another. And the smallest chunk (a paltry 12%) now trust Facebook more.


Facebook Pie Chart


Source: Hubspot

Just because Facebook users don’t trust the platform doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t trust people on it: if you have an established relationship with your online fans, it’s unlikely that Zuckerberg’s testimony will affect you personally.

However, it could easily affect a number of things you might be relying on: do you ask people to respond to polls? To respond to Facebook invitations? To sign up for services via Facebook? All of these features – along with many more – are likely to be less successful given the public’s current perception of the company. Given that Facebook has just announced it is “moving” 1.5 billion of the profiles on its platform to avoid compliance with the new data protection laws coming out of Europe next month, users’ are unlikely to become more trusting of its data policies in the short term.

In a separate survey of 5,000 internet users, an “anonymous workplace app for companies”, Blind, found that 14% of Facebook users deleted their account. A further 24% did not delete it, but “tightened my privacy settings”. This doesn’t mean the end for Facebook – the company is too big, and the platform too addictive, to go under so quickly – but it does highlight the dangers of relying too heavily on any single platform for your social media marketing.

At Kiss, we use a combination of social media platforms – including blogging and email – to ensure that no one we work with is exposed to the dangers of reliance on a single online network. If you don’t have the time to build a diverse and robust social media presence yourself, get in touch via the contact form on this website to see how we can help.



Need help rethinking your social media strategy? Then get in touch with KISS.


Why you need a professionally branded website

By Emma.

It has never been easier to start a business than it is today. Anyone can create a simple website at minimal cost to market their new company, and the benefits of a website are numerous.

You can reach people all around the world – or, if you spend a little on targeted ads, you can talk directly to people in your region. You can keep customers informed on the day-to-day progress of your business. You can have a virtual shop for your services or products that anyone can browse with no need to even leave their home. And, of course, people can contact you more easily than ever before through email forms.

But here’s the unpleasant truth: that’s not enough.

Make no mistake, in terms of public-facing marketing, a website is probably the most important asset a business can have. But, in a world where 571 websites are created every minute, standing out is nearly impossible. Well, if you try to do it alone. Plenty of businesses do just that: they build a free website with easily accessed web tools, fill it with content, and… nothing happens.

There is a solution. And that is to let a professional help you build something that can really stand out from the crowd, which is why you need a professionally branded website.

There are lots of tricks that a talented web design and development team can use to improve your site’s functionality and its reach in search engines and through digital advertising. It is often overlooked that strategies are needed to make sure customers can easily find your website, this together with ongoing customer engagement are paramount in this, the customer-age. Of course, if the content on your website is anything less than professional quality, that won’t matter – people will land on your site and leave it within seconds. So you’ll need a talented copywriter and graphic designer to make it look great and read well, and probably a wider team to deal with production, editing, and proofreading.

Guess what: even that is not enough.

While a professionally created website can do a great deal for a business, without good branding, it simply won’t push your business as far as it can go. Many people mistakenly think that having a brand is optional – it is not. Every business has a brand, because a brand is simply the core messaging that customers pick up from it. The difference when you design a brand is simply that you can determine what that messaging is. This is the most powerful truth in creative marketing.

Consider the following: 90% of customers expect that their experience will be the same across all platforms and devices. If you haven’t decided what your core values are, developed a suitable logo, tone of voice, and marketing strategy, your brand simply cannot deliver that. 91% of consumers are more likely to buy from what they consider an “authentic brand” – unless you have built your brand carefully and deliberately, that is not you. 77% of customers make their purchases based on a brand name: will it be yours? If you are relying on luck rather than the services of a professional, the answer is almost certainly no.

Perhaps the simplest way to think of it is this: Coca Cola has outperformed Pepsi for most of its life. That’s not down to the drink itself – blind tests demonstrate that people prefer the flavour of Pepsi. It’s down to Coke’s legendary branding.

At Kiss Design, we have a wealth of experience in building brands and websites together. We believe this is the simplest and most sensible approach: your brand is the most important marketing element of your business; your website is the very first thing it should be applied to. But don’t take our word for it: just check out the testimonials and case studies on this website – if you understand the value of branding, then perhaps the next business we add to these sections of our site will be yours.

A New Website Doesn’t Mean Starting From Scratch

by Emma.

Everyone knows how critical it is to have a beautifully designed, functional, website that portrays a clear message about what you do and who you are. Depending on your industry and the demographics of your customer base, a website may be their first – or even only – contact with you: it’s important to make a lasting impression that counts.

But it’s also true that the online world moves fast – what was “hot” a year or two ago might be decidedly “not” now. That’s why businesses that are serious about their online presence hire professional agencies to “refresh” their websites on a semi-regular basis. At Kiss Design, we’re frequently contracted to provide this service, meaning that we have an inside track on the things that businesses worry about when they’re having a new website built. One thing stands out: will I have to start the lengthy process of gaining visibility on search engines and SEO ranking from scratch?

The answer is an emphatic NO! There are a number of things you can do to ensure that you never rank lower than you should after a successful website redesign.

Effective Oversight

Don’t leave anything to chance: monitor everything from the get-go to avoid discovering mistakes further down the line. That means monitoring your keyword rankings, the organic traffic you receive from search engines, the total number of backlinks that link to your site, your domain authority, your Alexa global rank, the speed of your website, your spam score, your trust flow, and your safety ranking (i.e.: guaranteeing you’re not suffering from spam, viruses and malware!)

Build it Offline

Whether you’re sprucing up the copy on an old site, or creating something entirely new on your old domain, NEVER try to make changes on your site while it’s live. Website redesign can be messy, time consuming, and involve the correction of various mistakes: the last thing you want to is to do it in full view of the world. The best bet is to build your new site on an entirely new domain, then transfer it over to your current one when complete. That way, your site is never offline, and your customers aren’t left wondering where you’ve gone.

Stick With What Works

Web users like clear customer journeys and sleek functionality. Don’t try to redesign the wheel – assuming the structure of your current website works well, build your new site around it. That way, there’s no lag time while returning clients try to figure out where you’ve hidden their favourite page.

Save Your Original Information and use 301s

You might be taking down your old website, but that doesn’t mean you should get rid of it entirely. You should create a list of all the pages on your old website and use 301 directs to make sure that search engines are aware of the new URLs on your info – otherwise, you could lose trust, search engine rankings, and organic traffic! Using 301s correctly means that your social media and links from the web still take people to the right place – and it means your customers won’t get lost looking for something that’s moved.

Don’t Be Afraid of 404s

No one likes clicking on something only to open a 404 page not found message. But that doesn’t mean you can avoid them. Good 404 pages help users and search engines to find their way back to where you want them if they get lost – and you can make them less frustrating by including your website menu and a search bar on the pages themselves.

Backlinks Matter

Backlinks are a vital part of keeping your search ranking high and can bring traffic from all over the web directly to your site. Unsurprisingly, the number one concern that people have when their website is being rebuilt is that they will lose all of these precious leads. But that doesn’t have to happen: in an ideal world, you can contact the people who supply your backlinks and ask them to change the URL – or, failing that, more judicious use of those 301 redirect pages!

Tidying Up

Once the big work is done, you’ll be left with a collection of fiddly little jobs to finish off before you’re site’s ready to go live. This includes things like optimizing images for SEO, using the right meta-descriptions, submitting the website to Google (and other search engines) and compressing images so that your site loads faster. These things might seem minor compared to what you’ve already done, but they’re unavoidable if you want your website to be a professional level piece of work.

Test, Test, Test

Once your site is live, it’s time to check that everything’s working the way it should. That means monitoring your bounce rates compared to your old website, and keeping an eye out for improvements or declines in your search engine ranking. As a tip, Google recommends keeping your old site active with 301 redirects for at least 180 days. This should make sure that traffic doesn’t slow, and your transition to a new look is as easy as it can be.

Of course, at Kiss Design, we can do all of the above for you, ensuring that you have a smooth transition to a great new website with a minimum amount of hassle. To find out more about what we can do for your website, get in touch with Emma at


How powerful is video online? Too powerful to ignore

By Emma.

According to Dr. James McQuivey of Forrester Research, one minute of video is worth 1.8 million words, when it comes to online marketing. That means that if you’re online but you don’t host any video at all, you are most definitely missing a trick.

More than 100 people log on to watch online videos everyday, and 90% of online shoppers who browse major retailers websites find video helpful in making shopping and buying decisions. The reason that videos get this widespread use is that users really engage with them. According to ComScore, 45.4% of internet users go online to find video content at least once per month – that means they are looking to be engaged by a particular type of media. Put another way: 100 million internet users go online every day looking to watch a video.

Check out ten of the best viral videos online.

But do these viewing figures actually mean anything? You bet they do. A whopping 80% of internet users recall a video ad they’ve watched over the last 30 days. And, according to the Online Publishers Association, almost all of these viewers took some kind of action: 26% looked for more information, 22% visited the website named in the advert, 15% visited the company represented in the ad, and 12% purchased a specific product or service on the back of it. Those are conversion rates that many companies dream of.

Don’t get us wrong – there are things video can’t do. When you have to convey complicated information, or want to provide users with a handy guide to refer back to, for example, the written word is likely your best friend. But what these facts show very clearly is this: when video can do something, it can do it really well. Is it time you included a video in your marketing materials?

The importance of mobile

By Amie.

It is often said that too many people nowadays are glued to their phones. Between chatting, watching, reading and browsing social media we spend too much time looking into their palms. Sometimes we don’t even know that we’re doing it!

With my marketing hat on, I think this increase in mobile dependency and the rising amount of people doing their shopping and browsing via smartphones is fascinating, and has definitely changed traditional attitudes towards advertising.

A recent report by eMarketer found that digital ad spending is set to rise by 12% in the UK this year, with this growth being driven by increased mobile spending to keep up with the mobile rise. However, as these growing investments from companies of all sizes appear, brands need to make sure that their mobile adverts are actually engaging their audience, or they risk getting disregarded sub-consciously (or with an ad blocker!)


Source: Digiday

The rise in availability and performance of mobile and tablet devices has meant that there is no longer a ‘hierarchy of screens’. If you doubt this, just think, how many Christmas presents did you buy? And how many of them did you order on a mobile device…?

Whether you are doing it via email marketing, social media or other forms, digital mobile advertising is an excellent chance for your business to be creative, engaging and unique in their messaging.

It can sometimes be daunting to look at a new form of marketing your business, with mobile being a great example of this, but it is a massive opportunity. If you want some direction over your online marketing, or think it is about time you started spreading the word about your business, why not get in touch?

The Kiss Design Christmas advert review

By Everyone.

At Christmas, a few things are certain. As well as lots of nice food, mulled wine and Michael Bublé playing on repeat, there will be a whole range of Christmas adverts on television from all the major high-street brands and chains.

It has become an annual event, waiting for the release of adverts from these different companies and watching them go viral, with some adverts making us laugh, others making us cry, but all of them letting us know that the holidays are approaching. (And that we really should get a start on all that shopping!)

Of course, everyone has their own opinions, but we thought we would review a few of the special adverts that jumped to our attention.

John Lewis.

Where else could we start? John Lewis is renowned for its Christmas adverts, with the last few years’ examples impressing, and causing waves. This year, the retailer went away from their usual route of sad yet inspiring Christmas stories to focus on the more light-hearted and funny story of Buster the Boxer.

This year’s tale, which has already racked up over 21 million views on YouTube, is of a dog that is infatuated with his owner’s trampoline, and longs to bounce. The advert has been met with mixed reviews but we give it a 9/10 for emotional engagement.


The next entry on the Christmas advert review is from Sainsbury’s. The supermarket chain has put together a musical cartoon created with stop frame animation and featuring the well-known vocals of James Corden.

Coming in at a whopping three minutes and thirty-five seconds, Sainsbury’s tell the story of Dave, a hard-working dad, who realises that the best gift he could give his family at Christmas is his time and attention.

This advert has been produced in partnership with Great Ormond Street Hospital, as part of Sainsbury’s on-going effort to raise money to help patients’ families stay closer to their children during their difficult and sometime heart-breaking times.

We give Sainsbury’s festive effort an 8/10 for emotional engagement…it was very close to a 9 but just that bit too long to keep some viewers’ attention.


The Robin is one of the best-known Christmas symbols, and this year Waitrose have based their advert around one red-breasted bird that just wants to get #HomeForChristmas, as an eagle-eyed young girl waits for its arrival.

This has pitted them against John Lewis, in being based around an animal-driven story, but they have gone for a beautifully shot, almost nature documentary-style production that is truly impressive.

This effort from the up-market food retailer certainly pulls on the heartstrings – we are giving it a 7/10 for feeling Christmassy, but a whopping 10/10 for emotional engagement!

Marks & Spencer.

This year, Marks & Spencer, went down a slightly different route, with their advert focusing around Jake, a ‘six-but-seven-in-two-weeks-year-old’ who drafts in the help of Mrs Claus, to try and make amends with his sister.

There are some genuinely funny bits, but a strong and unashamed helping of cheese scattered throughout the advert. Also, there is something to be said for such a fresh approach, focusing on the role of Mrs Claus, instead of the bearded bloke himself. We give this a 7/10 for emotional engagement…it’s just a little bit too ‘M&S’!

Keep track to stay on track


Having a well-functioning website that is easy to use as well as engaging social media accounts are vitally important for the health of a business, no matter what sector they operate in or where they are based.

However, it is not as simple as it seems, once you have established a website, a Facebook page, a Twitter account and other various forms of social media, this is where things get interesting and you can start to reap the benefits for your business, big or small.

It is vitally important to keep track of the performance and usage of your website, so that you can make better-informed decisions behind what type of content you are going to upload. By going through the statistics behind how many people are visiting the website, where they are going once on there, and when, you can tailor your approach.

This approach is also suited to monitoring your company’s Twitter page, or in fact any social media account. It is important to get to grips with the inner workings of your social media platforms and investigate and answer a series of questions:

  • What type of posts are driving the most engagement?
  • Are posts that go out in the morning/evening proving to get more traction?
  • How are you doing in terms of followers, as opposed to in previous months and years?

A lot of people look at the creation of a beautiful website, or an informative, well-branded social media account as the end of a process, when in fact they are just the beginning. This is where you need to put together an on-going marketing plan to take advantage of the interest your websites and accounts have created.