3rd November 2020

Meet our new Web Developer, Sian!

Despite the difficult climate, Walnut has seen staff expansion over the pandemic and it doesn’t stop there as we welcome to the team our new Web Developer, Sian!

Sian will be working alongside Web Developers’ Adam and recently promoted, Tom. Joining us in October, Sian is supporting us during a busy season for web development projects.

Self-taught Sian began her passion for all things web when she started making ad hoc sites a couple of years ago. 

This then gave her the opportunity to become a developer in a software company focusing on software to website integrations, website development and maintenance. 

Sian applied for our new role as she wanted to set her sights more on web development, and to her, Walnut seemed a modern company, with a lovely group of people with a similar mindset!

Our new web developer said: “I’m most looking forward to being apart of a creative team and I'm excited to bring some of the amazing designs done by the incredibly talented designers here to life!” 

Glen Crossland, Director at Walnut, said: “Our list of web development projects has grown rapidly over lockdown, so having Sian as a new member of the team will really support the department. 

“Sian has a great deal of experience and we’re thrilled to have her on board.”

28th October 2020

How To Stand Out On Social Media

Social media is a competitive game. It can be difficult to get your brand to truly stand out, especially if you have limited resources and/or time.

We’re all guilty of scrolling aimlessly through our feeds, but how do you make people stop and take notice of your business?

We thought we’d share a few tips on how you can make sure you’re standing out on social media!

Get Animated

Looking to do something a bit different on social media? How about an animation?

Animations are a great way to stand out from your competitors, and to show off your business in a fun and engaging way.

Animations can also be really useful for explaining complex or long processes quickly and effectively. Remember, when tweeting you only get 280 characters to say what you need to say, and sometimes that isn’t enough.

You also don’t want to bombard your audience with a load of text on other platforms!

An animation can help you get around the character limit, and avoid boring your audience with chunks of text, and if done well it can also look super professional and innovative.

Be Unique

Perhaps an obvious one, but if you’re wanting to stand out on social media, make sure you’re posting unique content!

If you’re posting similar stuff to your competitors, you’re just going to blend into the crowd. Is there something that your competitors aren’t offering or posting about? Could you fill that gap? What could you do differently to them?

Strong Imagery

All social media platforms tend to be quite visually-led, especially Instagram!

Therefore, it’s key that the imagery that is going out with your posts is going to catch people’s eye, capture the essence of your brand and look impressive.

Imagery can allow you to show off your products/services, allowing users to see first hand what they can expect from your business.

Whether that be a picture of a new jumper you’re selling, or a dish on your menu, there’s no better way to communicate the quality and appeal of a something than with a picture!

Creating on-brand graphics can also be a great way to catch people’s attention, and is a great option if you’re a bit short on photographs.

Strong Branding

Having strong branding is also another way to make sure you’re grabbing the attention of potential customers and clients.

A bold profile picture could be the thing that pulls a user into your profile, and smart branding will only reflect positively and professionally on your brand.

Good branding also sticks in people’s heads, just look at brands like Coca Cola and Apple!

Strategy

Having a strategy in place to shape your content is another great way to really stand out on social media. Users don’t want to be seeing any old thing popping up randomly on their feeds.

Do you have a new product or service that you want to push? A new menu, or perhaps you’re running a competition?

Strategising how and when you’re going to post this information out on social media is really important, to help build intrigue and to catch your audience at the right time.

For example, if you’re launching a new product and have a launch date, why not spend the week prior to the launch teasing it on social media?

Keep Content Fresh & Engaging

This one should go without saying, but don’t keep posting the same old! People will quickly get bored of your content, and might even unfollow you.

Keep your content as fresh and engaging as possible!

Feel like you’ve got social media block? Why not check out some of your favourite brands on social media, to see what type of content they are posting?

Finding inspiration can be a great way to come up with some brilliant ideas that really grab your audience, and encourage them to engage with your brand and take action.

Choose The Right Platforms

Our final point is all about choosing the right platforms for your brand. Do some research to find out what platforms your target audience use the most!

It’s a waste of everyone’s time if you’re posting out your content on every single social media platform if you don’t need to be. Not only does it mean more work for you, but your efforts will potentially fall on deaf ears.

Remember the saying, square peg in a round hole!

If you choose the platforms that are the most likely to host your target audience, you can ensure your content will be reaching the right people and standing out.

Hopefully our tips will come in handy when you’re planning out your future social media content.

If you don’t really have the time or the resources to maximise your social media pages to their full potential, why not get in touch with our team of social media experts?

Leaning on our team of talented graphic designers and photographers/videographers, we can help to take your social media content to the next level.

Email our Digital Content Executive Alisha on alisha@walnutcreative.co.uk.

19th October 2020

The Effectiveness of PR For A Business

If you’re not currently thinking about PR for your business, you should be!

Public relations is a great way to boost your brand's credibility and reputation, and get your name out in the press for everyone to see.

The world of PR can be a daunting one to approach. How do you get started? What parts of your business do you talk about? How do you change or improve the public perception of your brand? What publications/journalists do you target? How do you write a press release?

There’s a lot to consider (which is where our team of PR experts can help), but first we thought we’d take a look at the ways that PR can prove effective for your business.

Increase Brand Awareness

A huge benefit of PR is that by securing coverage in a variety of publications, you can guarantee it will expose your business to new audiences who previously may not have heard of you, raising your profile and awareness of who you are and what you do.

Highlight Business Success

Doing PR gives you the opportunity to shout from the rooftops about the good things that are going on with your business, whether that be a new hire, an investment, a huge deal, an office move, a new product launch, charity work, or maybe even something else!

Position Business As Industry Experts

You don’t just have to write your own press releases to get strong PR coverage. Is there a relevant national story that your business could comment on for a journalist to use as an expert opinion? Could you write an opinion piece for a publication in your sector?

This a great way to position your business and your staff as industry experts who know their stuff, helping to raise your credibility.

Just make sure you do your research so you know which journalists to reach out to.

Builds Trust With Potential Customers/Clients

Shouting about good news and securing coverage in key publications is going to help relevant people see that news, and hopefully remember it!

This is a great way to build trust and make a great first impression with potential new customers/clients.

Cost Effective

Got an interesting, newsworthy story? Organic coverage won’t cost you a penny! This might not always be the case - if your story doesn’t have much news value, publications may offer to run it as an advertorial, which will cost you.

However, it’s great news if you have a strong story.

So if you’ve got a good story about your business, with a strong news angle, you should be good to go!

If you’re not sure on the next steps, however, our team of PR experts are here to help you. You can email Victoria or Emily, our Content Marketing Coordinators, on victoria@walnutcreative.co.uk or emilyquinn@walnutcreative.co.uk, to find out more.

12th October 2020

A four-way tie for September’s Employee of the Month!

There was a very different result for September’s Employee of the Month, with four (yes, four) winners!

This result wasn’t really surprising however, as each and every one of these Walnutters went above and beyond to smash targets, deliver exceptional work for a range of projects and continue to be just the kind of amazing people we need on the team.

Our content gal, Vick, design dream team Shauna and Ruby and our chief web developer Tom shared the crown this month, and the rest of us agree that this was very well deserved.

Vick’s organisation and communication skills continue to amaze us day in day out, Shauna and Ruby’s immense design work for all their clients always shines through, and Tom’s leadership, professionalism and work ethic always help him to get the job done - just some of the comments that were given by the rest of the Walnutters!

The whole of the Walnut team couldn’t do their jobs without the support of these incredible people and we’ll always be so lucky to call them a part of our family. Thanks again to the four September winners for working so hard this month and every month!

Keep your eyes peeled for who will be crowned October’s Employee of the Month!

8th October 2020

World Mental Health Day: How We Maintain A Positive Outlook In The Office

This weekend marks ‘World Mental Health Day’, a day dedicated to raising awareness of mental health and due to the toll of the pandemic, this year’s campaign is arguably the most significant in the movement’s history.

Too often the stigma surrounding mental health leaves people afraid to talk openly, and this is especially common in a workplace environment.

At Walnut, our focus is on workplace wellbeing and how it affects staff and the office setting. We want to ensure that mental health is not only considered on its campaign date, but on all the other 364 days of the year.

That’s why we have put together some of our key recommendations for maintaining positive mental wellbeing in the office:

Promote a work/life balance

The pandemic has shown how easy it is to move the office into people’s homes and while remote working was initially seen as a temporary fix, many companies, like Walnut, have decided to implement home working and flexible working hours into the permanent routine.

For most of us, the balance of office and home working is key to supporting positive mental wellbeing. It also allows staff to work around periods of time during which they are dealing with personal issues, counselling or doctor’s appointments.

Open to discussion

When it comes to mental health, a problem shared is most definitely a problem halved. Discussing   a personal or workplace problem is how solutions are made.

As a company, we feel it’s essential to promote a healthy, supportive organisational culture. Which is why we encourage discussion - as this not only supports positive mental health, it also encourages personal growth and creates a comfortable environment for staff.

Access to help

We know not everyone feels comfortable enough to discuss their mental health openly which is why we wanted to ensure our staff have the appropriate support systems in place to help with personal and workplace anxiety.

Recently, Walnut signed up with Perkbox, a platform bringing employee benefits, wellbeing, feedback and recognition together. The site offers a 24/7 employee assistance programme, a free online GP and a library of help resources to help staff struggling with their mental health. We think it’s key that resources are in place for those who need them.

Workplace perks

Employee perks and benefits are not a quick fix solution to resolving workplace anxiety, but they can be fundamental in supporting an overall happier company culture.

Company benefits, access to resources/training or even a free lunch (aka Greggs!) are all ways to help employees feel valued. Often small gestures are the kind of thing employees notice and appreciate and plus, who doesn’t love a freebie?

30th September 2020

Building A Content Marketing Strategy

Many companies will already have a killer content marketing strategy that really works for them and brings in the sales and customer attention they need to thrive. Others may not have a clue where to begin, even if they know a content strategy is something they should have to succeed.

Here at Walnut Creative, we do everything in our power to keep our clients relevant and always at the top of their game. A content marketing strategy isn’t simply the creation of content. You have to do your research, create tailored content suitable for your audience and promote this content in a way that will bring the right people to you.

Before we begin, there are a few questions you need to ask yourself:

  1. Who is your audience?
  2. How can you help potential customers?
  3. How do you stand out from the crowd and what can you bring that other businesses can’t?
  4. Which platforms are your audience using?
  5. How do you plan on managing your strategy?

The answers to these questions will be the foundation in helping you build that content marketing strategy, or when choosing Walnut Creative to manage this side of things for you! More on that later…

Where do you start?

Before you start to see measurable results, you need to know your business goals and what you want to get out of your content marketing plan. Want more sales? More eyes on your content? More people signing up to your monthly newsletter? Whatever it is, you need to know this before you start to further tailor that content.

Review your previous content

Perhaps you’ve noticed when your audience really loves a piece of content. You’ve probably also noticed when your content doesn’t get the attention you’d like. This should give you a good indication of what your customers are interested in and the kind of content you should be putting out there. Always make sure you use more of the good stuff to keep your customers happy, whether they’ve done business with you before or not.

Types of content

There are so many different types of content:

  • Blog posts
  • Social media
  • Email
  • Video
  • Infographics
  • Podcasts
  • Case Studies

From blogging and infographics to video and email, content is everywhere. You may find that your audience reacts better through video and blogging than email, for example, so you need to think about really tailoring your content to your audience. It’s pointless putting too much effort into areas where your audience isn't active unless you have the time and resources to grow in a particular area. Focus on what you know works before you expand.

Publishing and managing content

Creating an editorial and social media calendar can help immensely when planning and managing your content. Knowing company news and updates in advance, what you want to put out on your blog or promote to your social media following can make life so much easier, and will allow you to prepare weeks, even months ahead.

Of course, it’s easy saying you can publish and manage your own content, but it becomes increasingly difficult to create consistent content when you have every other aspect of your business to take control of. That’s where we come in. Here at Walnut Creative, we have an experienced content team filled with copywriters and social media gurus who can plan, create, manage and publish quality content that turns the right heads! Get in touch to find out more.

Choose our expert content marketing team

Our own content marketing team is driven, talented and passionate about what they do. If you’d like more help with your content marketing strategy, or any other area of marketing for your business, chat with the Walnut team today.

14th September 2020

Calling all Web Developers, we’re recruiting!

If you’re an experienced and dedicated web developer looking for a new and exciting opportunity, we think we have something that will be right up your street…

We’re looking for a web developer to join our team full-time, who will work with the existing web team as well as our graphic design and content team on a range of projects.

To be considered for this role, you must have a clear knowledge of HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript, and Jquery as well as being familiar with PHP.

You must also be able to write clean and reusable code and be responsive with web design, grid systems, frameworks, and also cross-browser development and accessibility.

The ideal candidate should have good time management, organisational and communication skills, and the ability to work well within a team, as well as having experience in the development of websites for desktop, tablet and mobile and CMS systems.

What would be beneficial, but not compulsory, for this role is that the candidate has two years of work experience in a development role and experience with SCSS and Ecommerce CMS systems, with a thorough knowledge of Version control (GIT).

At Walnut we offer a range of fantastic benefits for our employees, including a competitive salary based on experience and ability, flexible working hours, and a company pension scheme.

We can also offer you a great working environment, alongside a fantastic group of people, team social events, and an early Friday finish!

If you think you’ve got what it takes, please send your CV to info@walnutcreative.co.uk (strictly no recruitment agencies please).

14th September 2020

The Importance Of A Responsive Website

One of the first places your customers will go to find out more information about your business is likely to be your website.

Not only can they find out more about your offerings, but they can get a sense of what you’re all about, find out any information they need, and even make a purchase.

Your website is your central hub so ensuring that it looks good, contains optimised and relevant content, and is also user friendly is vitally important to ensure a smooth user experience.

It’s also key that your website is responsive, being able to easily adapt to both mobile and desktop formats.

But why is this so important?

Improves Your SEO Efforts

You’ve probably heard the term SEO (search engine optimisation) a million times, but it’s really important to consider if you’re wanting your website to rank highly on search engines.

Google began using mobile friendliness as a ranking signal back in 2015, rewarding websites that were fully optimised for mobile platforms. Since 2018, Google follows mobile-first indexing, which means they now primarily crawl, index and rank the mobile version of your website.

Achieving a high ranking not only adds credibility to your business and your products and/or services, but it also means more users will visit and convert, so ensuring your mobile site is up to scratch matters!

Desktop And Mobile Usage Is Almost The Same

Research conducted from July 2019 to July 2020 showed that mobile and desktop usage in the UK is almost the same, highlighting how important it is to consider both formats when designing and developing a website.

You don’t want to be alienating and missing out on any potential customers!

Improved Seamless User Experience

As well as helping it to rank higher, having a responsive website also means that the customer journey should be smooth sailing.

It’s important that no matter the screen size or device that your website is being viewed on, it works seamlessly. If someone visits your website on a mobile device and it takes forever to load, or your pictures do not have the proper resolution, it can appear unprofessional.

Your website should create a consistent user experience, helping your customers to easily navigate around your site whether that be on mobile or desktop.

The more seamless the user experience, the more likely your customers are to convert, and whether this means more sales, or more people getting in touch with your business, it’s golden!

If you're looking to give your website an update, or maybe even start one from scratch, drop our Lead Web Developer Tom an email on tom@walnutcreative.co.uk.

7th September 2020

A Day In The Life Of A Social Media Executive

Social media has completely changed marketing, becoming a powerful tool to connect directly with your audience.

It allows you to shape conversation around your brand, increase brand awareness, build loyalty with your customers and even attract new business.

There are plenty of ways to utilise social media in your marketing strategy to reap the rewards, from paid advertising, community management, organic content and more.

We thought we’d get the inside scoop from our Digital Content Executive, Alisha, who specialises in social media here at Walnut…

Check For Notifications

The first thing I do in the morning is check for any notifications on my clients’ social media accounts, which is extremely important to ensure I keep on top of customer comments, or any trends that might be relevant for clients to jump on.

This can take a little while, as each client often has two, three, or even four different platforms (such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram) that I need to check through.

After this, I’ll check my emails and respond accordingly.

Check Paid Accounts

Once I’ve done this, it’s time to check my paid social media accounts! This is primarily on Facebook Business Manager and Google Ads/Analytics. Paid social is a great way to reach new audiences who might not have heard of you yet, rather than having to rely on your organic followers.

I check the performance of any ads that are running, make sure budgets are being used efficiently, and make any necessary tweaks to help boost performance. Paid social can often be a lot of trial and error, so testing different ad copy and creatives to see what works best with your target audience is vital.

There is usually a bit of data to sift through, especially on the larger campaigns, but it’s always satisfying to see an ad you’ve created bringing in great results for clients, whether that be conversions, increased website traffic, more leads, or something else!

Stay On Top Of The News

One thing I find really useful to help me keep on top of the latest trends and news in the social media community is to be signed up to any relevant email newsletters (Social Media Today do a really good one!), and to spend some time each day reading through them.

It’s also useful to sign up to any client industry-specific newsletters to keep on top of the latest news in their sectors! This is a great way to find interesting and relevant talking points for social media.

A Bit Of Everything

The rest of my day can vary. I might be pulling together social schedules for clients, scheduling in content to go out, having a call with a client, writing new ad copy, briefing in new ad graphics to our amazing design team, looking at what kind of posts have been performing well, researching future content, analysing data, pulling together social media reports, the list is endless!

I’ll always take a little break away from my computer and what I’m doing on my dinner break. You’ll usually find me scrolling through Tik Tok or Instagram, but this can actually be a great way to accidentally stumble across some good content to take inspiration from!

It can be hectic at times, but that’s one of my favourite things about working in social media. Every day is so varied as it’s such a fast paced industry that’s always changing, and the day-to-day tasks can vary massively.

Tips

Having a to-do list is definitely useful when working in social media, as often I could have lots of little tasks to do, so it can be easy for things to slip your mind if you’re not really organised. A diary is also useful to keep on top of things!

And Finally…

Social media can be very unpredictable, which can sometimes make it difficult. It can also be very rewarding though, proving time and time again to be an extremely powerful, creative and interactive way to reach your customers.

If you’re looking for some support with your brand’s social media, email Alisha on alisha@walnutcreative.co.uk.

3rd September 2020

Emily S is August’s Employees of the Month 

The Walnut team haven’t let Emily S’s hard work go unnoticed and that’s why for August, she was voted Employee of the Month by the rest of the Walnutters.

Our Senior Graphic Designer, Emily was nominated by the rest of the team for her ability to hit targets with ease and showcase some truly high-quality designs.

Not only that, but her communication and support offered to both our clients and the rest of the team is what made her stand out in particular last month.

She is incredibly flexible and often alters her schedule to ensure direction and support is provided.

The team is all grateful to have her here at Walnut and know she is a well-deserved winner for this month’s accolade.

Thanks again for working your socks off, Emily, and congratulations on being our Employee of the Month for August!

Who will be the winner of the award in September? Stay tuned!

Footer Graphic 2-02
Walnut instagram icon
Walnut facebook icon
Walnut twitter icon
Walnut linkedin icon

SIGN UP FOR TOP NOTCH NEWS

SIGN UP FOR TOP NOTCH NEWS

SIGN UP FOR TOP NOTCH NEWS

© 2019 Walnut Creative Ltd | All rights reserved

© 2018 Walnut Creative Ltd | All rights reserved

© 2018 Walnut Creative Ltd | All rights reserved