Do people still read blogs?

Clients often ask us if having a blog is worthwhile. The short answer is, yes. Absolutely. 72% of online marketers described content creation as the most effective SEO tactic, in other words, the number of visitors to their website increased. Blogs were recorded as the 5th most reliable source for gathering online information. Still questioning the benefits of blogs?  


The Internet has radically transformed how your customers receive the latest information. It’s become non-negotiable for businesses to be present and consistent via social media. How often have you searched up a brand on Instagram or Facebook to find out more before committing to a purchase? It can be tough for brands to keep on top of current trends in marketing, but simplicity is usually key.  

Before creating an effective marketing strategy find out how your website is performing. Where does your traffic come from? Which keywords are ranked the highest? What web pages performed the best? Is your site mobile-friendly? According to HubSpot, the number of unique mobile internet users stood at 4.66 billion in 2021.   

Key words or phrases are what users type into a search engine such as Google to find the sites that best match their search. Those keywords tell us how many users are searching for a specific term, and how much competition there is for a given keyword. 

How often do you update your website’s content? Not that often, right? Blogging is more than a means of attracting new traffic, it can build a community of readers who visit your site regularly. So, each new post is an opportunity to rank higher in organic search, generate new leads, and drive long-term results. 

But what type of content to post?  

One of the first steps is to find out what type of content aligns with search intent. Tools like ‘Google Keyword Planner’ and SEMrush offer powerful and versatile ways to identify which keywords reach the right audience, fit the type of content, and drive the most traffic. Do a quick search on Google for your target keyword, and analyse what pages rank the highest, as well as the kind of content that’s produced. 

What are the long-term benefits of blogging?  

Blogging can be time-consuming, but don’t underestimate it as a worthwhile component of your marketing strategy. While you may not see immediate results, over time, you’ll have built up a loyal audience base of leads and traffic for your business with limited additional investment. Blogs are also a way to share company news, updates, or events, that can be easily highlighted on social media. And remember, people buy from people: so, use blogging to share your personality with your existing and potential customers. 

Using carefully considered marketing and communications strategies, Instinct will help you communicate with your existing and potential customers to grow your business. From brand awareness, media relations and email marketing to copywriting and social content creation, our experienced team can provide the support you need. Get in touch to find out how we can help. 

Marketing in an economic turndown: stay the course

 As the cost of living crisis dampens consumer spend, marketing budgets across the country are likely to feel the squeeze. With a forecast for economic headwinds, companies will, rightly so, be looking at where they can reduce costs.  Marketing is often the first casualty. But studies have shown that such a knee-jerk reaction tends not to be the best approach for the long term success of a business and can do more harm than good.  Rather a considered reflection on where budgets can be better spent and to focus on how you can get more with less, marketing more efficiently.  
Digging a little deeper we can see why. 

  • Play the long game

Marketing budgets are often first for the chop when times are tight because their benefits are generally realised in the long rather than short term. So while a decrease on marketing spend may seem like a good plan, it doesn’t bode well for the longevity of your brand or your communication with customers, without which, you run the risk of becoming irrelevant to them. Your brand awareness will drop, and with it, your search engine ranking and brand loyalty. Instead, use the opportunity to review and revise your marketing spend – it’s a time to tune into customers and the impact the downturn is having on their buying behaviour, and adapt your communication accordingly. View marketing as an investment, not a cost. 

  • Exploit the quiet

If you’re considering scaling back your marketing efforts, you can bet your competitors are having similar thoughts – and many of them will have already made cutbacks, leaving plenty of room for you to fill the void and take the lead on attracting any customers they’ve left behind. People still spend money during a recession, and fewer competitors to choose from spells good news for your business. 

  • Focus on the clear winners

While marketing your well-loved, tried and tested products and services should certainly continue in a precarious economy, a time of reduced competition is ideal for bringing your brightest and best ideas into the spotlight too. Economic challenges can drive innovation, as entrepreneurs focus on how to do more with less, and a well-structured marketing budget should accommodate new as well as existing offerings. 

  • Seize the attention of a captive online audience 

With lower disposable income, people go out less, so the number of people accessing online content increases – good news for digital advertisers. Although a significant portion of your audience may not be buying now, it’s a chance to connect with key audiences, and build a relationship that will last a lot longer than the downturn. 

  • Adapt and thrive

Marketing during a financial crisis will always be challenging – not least because it goes against our instincts. Consumer spending changes drastically in difficult economic circumstances – and the most successful marketing changes in response, shifting messages and channels, re-packaging and reinventing value propositions.  Past recessions have shown us that companies who bolster their marketing efforts, rather than reduce them, are better placed to survive the slump, and come out stronger on the other side.  

This is a time not to stop spending money on marketing, but to change how you spend it, with a view to boosting efficiencies and maximising ROI. From researching customers and re-working a past success to creating compelling offers and price-sensitive portfolios, use this time as an opportunity to be there for new customers and maintain the loyalty of existing ones. 

Why cold calls leave us cold – and a few things to try instead

Picture the scene – it’s 6pm on a Thursday, I’m cooking dinner amidst the usual domestic chaos that is week-day teatime in a family of five. One child is trying to read me something from the latest book he has home from school, another is asking if I’ve seen his shin guards anywhere ahead of his football practice “IN HALF AN HOUR!!”, the third is exceeding the agreed amount of screen time in his bedroom. My phone rings. Like a fool, I answer it.  

A tired and slightly bored-sounding man at the other end introduces himself and after some incoherent rambling, explains he’s calling from a beer company we once bought from several years ago, on the ‘off-chance’ that we might be interested in making the most of a discount campaign they’re running to celebrate the company’s forthcoming birthday. I am at once irritated and baffled. Does anyone still say yes to this stuff?  

Suffice to say the call prompted not a beer purchase, but a mental list of all that is wrong with making cold calls in the 21st century. Outdated, annoying, intrusive, statistically proven to be unsustainable, damaging to a company’s reputation… the list goes on.  It got me thinking about what the misguided beverage seller could be doing instead though… 

  • Cold emails 

Cold emails are far more effective than cold calls, especially if you personalise them and spend time selecting the recipients. To pique readers’ interest, include a punchy or surprising subject line, and make your email about them rather than what you’re offering. Be clear but brief, concisely highlighting how your product or service helps to solve a problem. Some great examples of good and bad cold emails here. (The Best Cold Email I’ve Ever Received (and… | Proposify [Free Trial]) 

  • Monitor your web visitors’ behaviour 

By tracking when users are looking at certain pieces of content on your website, you can decide on the best time to reach out to them. Using tools like Google Analytics (insert link Create and manage custom alerts – Analytics Help ( you can receive mail notifications when people are browsing your site, then when you do reach out you know you’re contacting a warm lead who has already demonstrated an interest in your offering. 

  • Networking – virtual and IRL 

Virtual and in-person events are an excellent way of finding out about the needs of your customers and prospects. Rather than pitching your offering, use events as an opportunity to ask questions and engage with people’s answers – the more you ask, the better you’ll understand your target market. 

  • Online networking 

If social media was an effective tool for building relationships with prospective clients before the pandemic, in a post-pandemic world it’s essential. People browsing your content may leave questions and comments, giving you an opportunity to interact with potential leads. Crafting considered, insightful responses will show that you care, and help to position your business as a valuable resource or an authority in a particular field. But retain a focus on authenticity – if visitors share or comment on your content, avoid instantly offering a demo or free trial – let the relationship evolve naturally. You could also join industry groups on LinkedIn and Facebook and engage with prospects by liking, commenting on and sharing their posts, gradually building authority and earning trust in your field. More on how to become an online networking guru here: 10 Guaranteed Tips to Become an Online Networking Pro 

  • Online content 

Be active on forums related to your product or service. Platforms such as Quora and Reddit are a useful space in which to build awareness, authority, and trust. Browse different threads and identify places where you could share your expertise and answer others’ questions. Rather than pitching or selling, aim to be genuinely helpful, and only reference your product or service if it’s directly relevant. This will ensure your name is front-of-mind when they’re next looking for your kind of help. 

  • Word of mouth 

We all love a good recommendation. Word-of-mouth referrals act as powerful social proof that your product or service is a safe bet and reassures customers, they’re onto a good thing. Ask satisfied customers to leave you a positive testimonial – and be sure to share them online – or refer you to others who might benefit from your solution.  

  • Webinars 

Sharing your expertise via webinars is another way to reach potential customers. Collaborating with others in your industry and holding sessions with helpful and actionable content will help prospects see your business as an industry authority as well as a helpful source of information. They may then research your offering and consider purchasing it. 


Using carefully considered marketing and communications strategies, Instinct will help you communicate with your existing and potential customers to grow your business. From brand awareness, media relations and email marketing to copywriting and social content creation, our experienced team can provide the support you need. And not a cold call in sight. Get in touch to find out how we can help.

To share or not to share: the perils of reactive social for brands

It’s only human to want to share our experiences. And with instant photos, real-time recording and unlimited reach at our fingertips, the desire to share is greater still. Made all the stronger by a global pandemic that prohibited real-life contact with so many of our nearest and dearest. Overnight, virtual connections became a lifeline. It’s hardly surprising then, that posting our reactions to global events and current affairs and how we make sense of them on social media has become the norm. But should it be the norm for brands too? 

The death of Her Majesty the Queen this month dominated the headlines at home and abroad, with millions of tributes pouring in from every corner of the world. Companies and brands were no exception – keen to express their sorrow, their gratitude, pay their respects and mark a moment in history. But some of them seemed to get it so wrong (Brands Post a Flood of Bizarre Tributes to Queen Elizabeth II ( 

Before responding as a brand to global events and social issues on social media, it’s worth running the idea through a few filters first: 

  • What would your customers expect? 

Staying silent on social media can feel odd, especially when everyone else seems to be saying something. But it doesn’t mean you don’t care, and if there’s no direct link between your offering and the global event, saying nothing is perfectly acceptable. It’s not compulsory to join every social media conversation.  

  • What can you add? Are you qualified? 

When it comes to reactive social, it’s worth considering whether your brand has the authority to join the conversation – and whether there’s more to lose than to gain by joining it. If you’re not 100% sure, it’s usually safer to leave. After all, if you can’t add anything meaningful or relevant, do you need to say anything at all? Or might it come across as a token gesture? 

  • Timing is everything 

If you conclude you need to say something, timing is key. It’s tempting to try to be first on social media, but acting too soon can be perceived as insensitive, while taking too long can come across as indecisive, so tread carefully. 

Timing of other posts is also important following a global tragedy or crisis – watch out for those pre-drafted scheduled posts, and be sure to sense-check everything due to be issued or posted that day. 

  • Avoid selling 

We all love a bit of brand publicity, but exploiting global events and social issues to raise your profile isn’t a good look, so beware of posting only to be seen to have a response. 

  • Think brand personality 

Does your brand really care? Does posting sit well with your brand personality? Would keeping quiet – perhaps a period of dignified silence – ultimately say more, or better align with your brand values? 

  • Consider alternatives 

Maybe a gesture would have greater impact. In the case of the late Queen, Fortnum & Mason, which has held a Royal Warrant from the Queen since 1954, lowered its flag to half-mast, stopped the clock on the façade of its flagship store in London’s Piccadilly, and blacked out its famous window displays. 

  • Exercise caution 

If in doubt, it’s probably better not to post. A cautious silence probably won’t trigger a backlash, but getting it wrong certainly could. 

Instinct welcomes new staff

Instinct has appointed two new staff following a re-branding exercise earlier this year. Joining Managing Director, Debbie Rennie, are established copywriter, Sally Wallis, and tourism and marketing graduate from RGU, Cara O’Brien. The appointments reflect a busy period of growth for the company.

“I’m delighted to be welcoming Cara and Sally to the team at such an exciting time,” says Managing Director, Debbie Rennie. “Our recent relocation and re-brand have helped to re-position us in an increasingly dynamic market, and with the addition of two new employees we’re well placed to cater for the demands of a wide and complex client base. With a background in corporate communication and copywriting, Sally brings a wealth of expertise across multiple sectors from energy to tourism, while Cara’s degree in Digital Marketing and recent academic experiences provide a great range of insights which will translate to added value for our clients.”

Previously a freelance copywriter, Sally joins Instinct as Marketing & Communications Executive, and is pleased to be part of a team again: “The freelance existence has its advantages, but I’m sociable by nature and had been on the look out for an opportunity with a small team for a while, so joining Instinct was an obvious choice.” Sally’s background in Science Communication stands her in good stead for technical clients, while her experience juggling clients across energy, tourism, conservation and construction, has equipped her with a broad understanding of multiple industries. “We’re fortunate to work with an interesting range of clients at Instinct, and I’m looking forward to getting to know them all as we help to raise their profiles at home and further afield.”

RGU graduate, Cara, comes fresh from the academic coalface, having achieved a 1st Class Honours degree in international tourism management in 2021, and now completing a Masters degree there in Digital Marketing, alongside her new role as Communications & Marketing Assistant at Instinct. “The Masters gave me a wide range of experiences – from working on creative projects for clients such as Greyhope Bay and Walter Gregor’s, to gaining the IDM Certificate in Digital and Data Driven Marketing. My dissertation looks at how brands use female-targeted advertising to impact consumer purchasing decisions,” she explains. “The learning continues in my new role at Instinct, where I’ve been creating content for social media, filming with clients for PR stories, and brainstorming ideas with the team for future projects. I’m looking forward to improving my knowledge and skills within the industry, creating high quality work for clients and improving my confidence by occasionally stepping outside my comfort zone!”

Debbie added: “It’s fantastic to be growing the team with such a range of backgrounds and experiences. Cara and Sally add a great combination of skills to the mix, giving us a robust platform for collaboration and growth, and we look forward to building on our continued success in delivering marketing and communications services to our diverse client base.”