Friday, 23 December 2016

Wishing You All A Merry Christmas and Prosperous New Year!

2016 is drawing to an end, and I hope you’ve had a fantastic year. 

I want to wish you all the best and look forward to working with you again in 2017.

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Google Analytics Academy

Image result for google analytics academyLearn analytics with free online courses.  Take lessons from Google measurement experts, join the Google Analytics learning community and test your knowledge.

Click Here To Learn More

Marketing Strategy ¦ Ardean

Friday, 9 December 2016

Facebook 360

A stunning and captivating way for publishers and content creators to share immersive stories, places and experiences with their fans.  Click Here To Get Started;

Marketing Communication ¦ Ardean

Thursday, 8 December 2016

Monday, 28 November 2016

Test My Site

Test My Site is an easy way for businesses to measure their site’s performance across devices, from mobile to desktop, providing them with a list of specific fixes that can help their business connect more quickly with people online. Businesses just need to type in their web address and within moments they’ll see how their site scores. They can also get a detailed report with tips on what to do next, and where to go for help at no charge.  Test Your Site Here >>>>

Marketing Strategy ¦ Ardean

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Creator Playbook for Brands

Create a YouTube strategy to help your brand stand out in today's evolving digital era. Use these concepts and examples to help you create great content, devise a holistic channel strategy, use paid and non-paid means to promote your videos and learn the tools to measure your results.  Learn More Here >>>>>

Marketing Communication ¦ Ardean

Monday, 14 November 2016

6 Planning Tips for Online Video Success

Great creative deserves great planning to achieve the greatest possible impact. As you think about the right marketing mix for your campaigns, you'll likely consider the role that online video will play. As people watch virtually anywhere, anytime, and on any screen, brands have more opportunities than ever before to reach audiences on platforms like YouTube. So how can you effectively harness these opportunities and drive efficiency for your client or brand?  Find Out More Here >>>>>

Marketing Strategy ¦ Ardean

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Think with Google

Put Google research and insight behind your thinking.
Digital Innovation continues to propel the marketing industry forward, and the pace is mind-blowing. Think With Google, is Google's source for insights, trends and research in digital marketing. Get creative inspiration, industry intelligence and best practices for your business.
Learn More >>>>

Marketing Strategy ¦ Ardean

Thursday, 13 October 2016

National Minimum Wage rates increase from 1 October 2016

Reminder for employers that National Minimum Wage rates increase from 1 October 2016

National Minimum Wage rates increase from 1 October 2016.

The new rates are:

  • 21 to 24 years old - £6.95 per hour
  • 18 to 20 years old – £5.55 per hour
  • 16 to 17 years old - £4.00 per hour
  • Apprentice Rate - £3.40 per hour
  • In addition, the accommodation offset has increased to £6.00.

For workers aged 25 and over, the National Living Wage of £7.20 was introduced on 1 April 2016.  Read More Here >>>>>

Business Planning ¦ Ardean

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Start Up & Grow Show

An unmissable FREE event for pre-start, early-start and growing businesses in Northern Ireland; with World Class Speakers, Information Zones and 1-2-1 Clinics.

Thursday 20th October, Belfast.

Register to attend here >>>>

Business Planning ¦ Ardean

Friday, 7 October 2016

Google evolves from search to smartphones in five seconds

Google has long been trying to recast itself as more than a search company, and has posted a five second spot that shows how far it has evolved beyond the blank box.

The company launch a slew of new hardware this week, including two new own-brand Pixel smartphones, the DayDream virtual reality headset and the Google Home smart speaker.

Find Out More Here >>>>

Marketing Strategy ¦ Ardean

Monday, 3 October 2016

Google Apps Becomes G Suite

Google created Google Apps for Work ten years ago (back when it was Google Apps for Your Domain) to do just that—to help people everywhere work and innovate together, so businesses can move faster and go bigger.

G Suite is a set of intelligent apps—Gmail, Docs, Drive, Calendar, Hangouts, and more—designed to bring people together, with real-time collaboration built in from the start.

Find out more about GSuite >>>>>

Business Planning ¦ Ardean

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Rural Business Investment Scheme

The next round of funding from the Rural Development Programme in Mid Ulster is open.  It is targeting Rural Innovation, businesses in IT, Creative, Tourism and Rural Services; those delivering innovative services or products.

It is also targeting Rural Youth, business owners aged 18-30 years.

To apply you must attend a workshop:

Thursday 29th September, 10.00am, Cookstown Leisure Centre
Thursday 29th September, 6.30pm, Ranfurly House
Monday 3rd October, 10.00am, Ranfurly House
Monday 3rd October, 6.30pm, Magherafelt Council Offices
Thursday 6th October, 10.00am, Magherafelt Council Offices
Thursday 6th October, 6.30pm, Cookstown Enterprise Centre

For further information contact the Rural Development Team at Mid Ulster Council.  Contact Info.

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Rural Business Start Scheme

The Rural Business Start Scheme is a one year, pilot initiative that aims to test the impact of targeted funding on addressing financial poverty in rural areas. The Scheme is one element of DAERA’s Tackling Rural Poverty and Social Isolation Programme (TRPSI).

At present, the Scheme is only open to applications from young people (aged 18 to 30 years of age) who live in the Mid Ulster District Council area.

Find out more information here >>>>>

Funding For Business ¦ Ardean

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Reduce Your Costs & Become More Competitive

Invest NI’s Sustainable Development team helped NI businesses identify over £7.2m of savings last year.

Invest NI are now hosting an event which will cover best practice in Energy Efficiency and will look at how businesses can save through energy management, refrigeration systems and renewable energy technologies.

The Resource Efficiency presentation will cover topics such as water efficiency, environmental management systems & accreditation and waste management.

Other partners involved in delivering Invest NI’s Sustainable Development Support Programme will showcase 0% finance support and resource exchange opportunities available and attendees will also hear first-hand from NI businesses that have directly benefited from the teams support.

Book your place now >>>>

Funding For Businesses ¦ Ardean

Friday, 2 September 2016

Digital Marketer’s 101 Best Email Subject Lines of 2015

In 2015, DigitalMarketer sent 134 million emails…

…emails centered around promotions, blog posts, charity, and certifications. And they learned a thing or two about what works in the process.

They have now produced their list of their 101 best email subject lines of 2015, see full list here >>>>>

Marketing Communication ¦ Ardean

Thursday, 1 September 2016

Go Inside With Indoor Maps

Create a more convenient and enjoyable visitor experience at no cost, available on Google Maps across all devices.

With indoor Google Maps, visitors can spend less time searching for building directories and more time discovering new points of interest. Simply zoom in and out of a building and go floor to floor with indoor maps.

Learn More >>>>

Marketing ¦ Ardean

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

The Modern Guidebook to Email Marketing

Email is a form of communication we depend on.  To help create, send, and track effective and engaging emails, Campaign Monitor has put together a Modern Guidebook to Email Marketing. This guide is meant to be a one-stop shop for helpful and actionable advice, tips and know-how to help you be a better email marketer.  Check out the guide here >>>

Marketing Communication ¦ Ardean

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

InterTradeIreland – Helping businesses navigate through BREXIT

In light of the recent BREXIT referendum decision, a key objective for InterTradeIreland is to ensure that cross-border trade continues to grow and SME benefits are exploited. Cross-border trade in goods and services on the island of Ireland has grown exponentially over the past twenty years and now stands at circa £5bn Sterling or €6bn Euros equivalent. Over this period cross-border trade has proven to be robust recovering strongly from other shocks such as the banking crisis. While local businesses have proven to be resilient, InterTradeIreland will assist SMEs to adjust to any new trading relationships that emerge from BREXIT negotiations so that they can continue to avail of these opportunities.

As part of their initial response Intertrade Ireland have produced a BREXIT Factsheet for Businesses to outline their role post BREXIT referendum, give some immediate practical advice and highlight 5 key BREXIT supports that InterTradeIreland are currently putting in place.

Download the factsheet now >>>>

Business Planning ¦ Ardean

Monday, 27 June 2016

10 Tips for Improving your LinkedIn Profile

10 Tips for Improving your LinkedIn ProfileThis guide will easily help you stand out from the crowd. Especially now that there are over 400 million users on LinkedIn, building your online professional brand has never been so essential.  Read More >>>>

Marketing Communication ¦ Ardean

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Creating and optimizing animated GIFs for email

An animated GIF is a great way to bring some life to your emails. To delight your readers with something fun. Because video in email is still not supported in every email client, animated GIFs are a great alternative if you want to add moving content to your emails. But as with many things in email, creating animated GIFs specifically for email requires a few thoughtful considerations.  Learn How To Create An Animated GIF >>>>>

Monday, 13 June 2016

The Rise of the Bots – What marketers need to know about chatbots

A bot is a piece of software that impersonates a user. A new wave of bots are built to help marketers, For example a bot on a travel site could ask you about your preferences, provide you with some personalised hotel options, compare prices and then book the one you liked best for you. There is currently a rudimentary bot in the messaging app Kik that you can talk to, (it's there to promote the film Insidious: Chapter 3, and it is trying to be one of the characters). Bots are still an emerging technology, and clearly aren't quite there yet. Learn More About Bots >>>>

Marketing Communication ¦ Ardean

Friday, 27 May 2016

9 emails every marketer should be sending

Email marketing has the highest ROI for any marketing tactic with a whopping $38 for every dollar spent.

With a wide reach and enviable conversion numbers, all at a low cost, it’s easy to see why email marketing is a marketing tactic you can’t ignore.

With all that potential, you’ve got to be taking advantage. This guide covers 9 emails that every modern marketer should be sending.  Read More >>>>

Marketing Communication ¦ Ardean

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Video Might Be Your Best Bet With Facebook's Algorithm Update

Facebook’s algorithm will change -- yet again. The algorithm update is twofold this time: Facebook will analyze the time spent on a given piece of content and will spread out content from the same publisher (challenging pages once more).  Read More >>>>

Marketing Communication ¦ Ardean

Thursday, 19 May 2016

Facebook – “Somebody That I Used To Know”

Facebook is changing and it’s something that marketers need to be aware of. This year’s Facebook Developers Conference (F8) saw Mark Zuckerberg explain these exciting changes. Aiden Carroll, senior digital marketing specialist and IDM trainer, shares his opinion on what these changes mean for marketers.
Read More >>>>

Marketing Communication ¦ Ardean

Monday, 16 May 2016

4 Steps to Awesome Email Automation

Marketers love efficiency—so email automation makes them happy!

If you’re just getting started with email automation, there is no need to go it alone, Campaign Monitor put together a quick-start guide of best practices to help you achieve email automation awesomeness.  Read the guide >>>>

Marketing Communication ¦ Ardean

Monday, 9 May 2016

How to adjust SEO strategy to Google’s new SERP ad layout

Google's recent changes to their search results pages threw paid search marketers for a loop, but what about organic search practitioners?

Removing the ads from the right rail of Google search results pages was a long time coming (well, a long time for digital). An eye-mapping study from last year showed that people have gone from viewing the SERPs in an “F” pattern to doing a quick vertical scan down the left side, mostly ignoring the ads on the right side. People are also scanning the page faster by taking only eight or nine seconds to click, down from 14 to 15 seconds in the 2005 study.

It only makes sense that Google would eventually react to how searchers are adapting to the line of links they are used to by taking away the right bar. This is also further evidence of Google’s continued gravitation toward being a mobile-first search engine, since the right column of ads was not visible on mobile search.
Learn More >>>>>

Marketing Communication ¦ Ardean

Monday, 2 May 2016

10 retail email campaigns you will love ......

Data shows that for every $1 spent, email marketing generates $38 in ROI–and that’s just one figure in a long list of email marketing statistics that prove how essential email marketing is for businesses of all shapes and sizes.

Email marketing not only helps you stay top-of-mind with your audience, but it drives revenue, too.

Check out the 10 examples of retail email campaigns that companies are using to boost both engagement and sales. With each example you will be shown what they do well and how you can replicate their effective strategies in your own email campaigns.

Let’s look at the examples >>>>>>

Marketing Communication ¦ Ardean

Thursday, 28 April 2016

How to Customize Your Facebook Page: 7 Tips and Tricks

As the hub of your business presence your Facebook Page has the potential to be a valuable marketing asset. From educating prospective customers to sharing company updates and educational resources with your existing customers, you can use your Facebook Page to target nearly every stage of your marketing funnel.

But in a world where 40 million+ small businesses have Facebook Pages, simply creating a Page won't guarantee you much in the way of results.

In order to attract and engage your target audience, you need your Facebook Page to stand out from the sea of sameness.

Check out this guide on 7 Ways to Create a Custom Facebook Business Page >>>>

Marketing Communication ¦ Ardean

Monday, 25 April 2016

How do I calculate my holiday entitlement?

Holiday is one of the few employment benefits enjoyed by almost all workers in the UK.

The right to paid time off for holiday accrues in almost all circumstances, and paid holiday features in full time, part time and even temporary contracts.

In the UK, the legal requirement for holiday entitlement is 28 days’ paid annual leave per annum, for anyone who works a full-time, five day per week job. This entitlement is easily calculated by multiplying the number of working days in a normal week, by the annual entitlement of 5.6 weeks.  Learn More >>>>>

Business Planning ¦ Ardean

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Twitter Cards

With Twitter Cards, you can attach rich photos, videos and media experience to Tweets that drive traffic to your website. Simply add a few lines of HTML to your webpage, and users who Tweet links to your content will have a “Card” added to the Tweet that’s visible to all of their followers.  Learn More About Twitter Cards >>>>

Marketing Communication ¦ Ardean

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

7 essential technology upgrades for your business

When it comes to running a business, regular technology upgrades aren’t always seen as a priority. But falling behind the curve with outdated software or tech equipment can put your business at risk. Here are top seven tech upgrades that can help you run your business more safely, easily or efficiently, without breaking the bank.  read more >>>>>

Business Planning ¦ Ardean

Monday, 11 April 2016

Email list building

You probably know that email is one of the most effective communication channels available to you today. However, the success of your email marketing efforts largely depends on the size and quality of your email list.

So how do you build a great list that gets results for your business?

Here is a link to a guide that will make it easy for you. By reading it, you’ll learn the 2-step process for capturing email addresses and get a number of tools you can use to build a massive email list that grows your business.  Click Here For Guide >>>>

Marketing Communication ¦ Ardean

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

31 E-commerce Conversion Rate Optimization Ideas You Need to Try in 2016

Like most eCommerce store owners, optimising your conversion rate is probably high on your list.  The problem, however, is figuring out what exactly you need to optimise for. From copy and design to social media and checkout process, there are so many things you can test that can add to your bottomline.

Here is a list of eCommerce conversion rate optimization ideas you can try out in 2016.  Click Here For List >>>

Marketing ¦ Ardean

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

A look at what is changing and what is not on Google desktop search results.

On February 19, 2016, Google confirmed that search results pages on desktop will no longer show text ads in the right sidebar. Instead, as many as four text ads will display above the organic listings, and three text ads will show at the bottom of the page.  Read more >>>>

Marketing Communications ¦ Ardean

Friday, 18 March 2016

Budget calculator: How will the Budget affect you?

Use this Budget calculator, developed by Deloitte, to find out how the tax measures may affect you in the coming year.

Budget calculator>>>>

Business Planning ¦ Ardean

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Funding Workshops

If you are a rurally based businesses located in the Mid Ulster District area, and would like to apply to the Rural Business Investment Scheme, you must attend a workshop in order to be eligible to make an application.  A full list of workshop locations and dates is available here

Funding ¦ Ardean

Monday, 15 February 2016

The National Living Wage

In April the Government’s new National Living Wage will become law.

If you’re working and aged 25 or over and not in the first year of an apprenticeship, you’ll be legally entitled to at least £7.20 per hour. That’s an extra fifty pence per hour in your pocket. The Government is committed to increasing this every year.

If you’re an employer, you’ll need to make sure you’re paying your staff correctly from 1st April 2016, as the National Living Wage will be enforced as strongly as the current National Minimum Wage.

Read More >>>>

Business Planning ¦ Ardean

Monday, 8 February 2016

The New Round Of Innovation Vouchers Are Open Monday 8th February. 

Innovation VoucherWhat can you use an Innovation Voucher for? Innovation is about making your business better by doing things differently or doing different things. An Innovation Voucher can help you take a creative approach to tackling specific business issues or exploring new opportunities by accessing the expertise of a university, college or research body in Northern Ireland or the Republic of Ireland.

Typical projects are:

  • Ideas for new or improved products, processes and services;
  • Access to information and expertise on new materials;
  • Tapping into research and scientific expertise.

For information on how to apply, click here.

Funding ¦ Ardean

Friday, 5 February 2016


£525m made available to UK SMEsA total of £525m is being made available to UK small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) after Assetz Capital secured a major funding boost from several financial institutions.

The peer-to-peer alternative finance platform has revealed that £325m has been secured from two funds and a further £200m from retail investors. These funds are available now to bidders who successfully complete the application process.

This is in addition to Assetz Capital's retail investor base of 11,000 individuals now lending through the platform.

Assetz Capital offers a range of financial products to smaller businesses including commercial mortgages, secured SME term loans, development finance and bridging finance.

Learn More >>>

Funding ¦ Ardean

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

The Digital Garage from Google, helping small businesses grow online.

Image result for google the digital garage

The Digital Garage is part of Google’s commitment to train one million Europeans to learn digital skills, which includes building an online training hub to support businesses anywhere in Europe continue their learning through training online.  

Sign up here

Marketing Communication ¦ Ardean

Monday, 25 January 2016

Mid Ulster To Benefit From £8m In Rural Development Funding

Rural communities and businesses in Mid Ulster are set to benefit from over £8M in LEADER project funding through the new Northern Ireland Rural Development Programme.

The information sessions will take place on:

  • Monday 1 February, 6.30pm – 8.30pm in Corick House Hotel, Clogher;
  • Thursday 4 February, 6.30pm – 8.30pm in Tullylagan Country House Hotel, Cookstown;
  • Tuesday 9 February, 6.30pm – 8.30pm in Walsh’s Hotel, Maghera;
  • Thursday 11 February, 6.30pm – 8.30pm in 3rd floor, Corn Mill, Coalisland.

For further information on LEADER Rural Development funding and the application process, contact the rural development team at Mid Ulster District Council on 028 8676 4714 or email  

Business Planning ¦ Funding ¦ Ardean

Monday, 18 January 2016

10 Epic Email Marketing Predictions

10 leading industry experts were asked to look into their crystal balls and make some bold predictions about email marketing. Find out their predictions and see if you are ready.

Read more >>>>

Marketing Communication ¦ Ardean

Friday, 15 January 2016

Intellectual Property Rights are becoming increasingly important to Northern Ireland businesses. 

Invest NI, in conjunction with the European Patent Office (EPO), are holding two workshops in this specialist area.  The workshops will be held on 02 and 03 February 2016, at Signal Centre for Business Excellence, Bangor.
The workshops will showcase EPO’s search engine Espacenet, an essential business tool when developing new products, with the database holding more than 50 million patent documents from around the world.
These workshops will be hosted by an EPO expert who will highlight how proficient use of patent literature is an essential tool in improving innovation and knowledge management, offering attendees a great opportunity to advance in these critical areas.

Book your place here >>>>

Business Planning ¦ Ardean

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Are You Aware Of Enterprise Europe Network?

Through direct access to Europe's largest database of business opportunities, currently 10,000 live offers, they can help SMEs find new international partnerships with excellent growth potential.  They can also advise on the best opportunities to expand internationally, providing targeted market intelligence and personalised support.

find out more here >>>>

Business Planning ¦ Ardean