Author: Laurence Borel

B2B Marketing Awards 2015 winner!

I am still buzzing from the B2B Marketing Awards 2015 night a couple of days ago. My work on the Portrait of an Inventor Video series  received an Award for best use of Social Media.

The Portrait of an Inventor series features well-known engineers/inventors discussing their inventions from prototype through to being sold globally via RS  Components in a documentary format. The primary  aims of this video series were to emotionally engage our customers, reinforce our brand values, but also drive sales.

The series launched in September 2014 with music hacker Adam John Williams to promote RS Components’ sponsorship of Music Tech Fest. We subsequently launched another four additional episodes in 2014-2015 featuring;

  • Adrian Bowyer inventor of the RepRap Project, an open-source self-replicating 3D printer
  • Eben Upton inventor of the Raspberry Pi
  • Matt Johnson inventor of electric paint, Bare Conductive
  • Jordan Daykin inventor of Grip It Fixings, backed by Deborah Meaden on BBC’s Dragon’s Den.

You can read the full case study on my SlideShare.

Two awards nominations!

B2B Social Media NominationsWow, wow, wow! What a year it has been! I am thrilled to announce that myself and my team have recently been nominated for two different awards! I first found out a couple of months ago, that a video series created for my most recent employer RS Components had been shortlisted in the B2B Marketing Awards, category Social Media. RS Components is a B2B eCommerce business catering for the needs of engineers, a sort of Amazon for engineers if you will. The Portrait of an Inventor series was created to use emotional appeals in a fundamentally very rational industry to create engagement around the RS brand. It is a fully fledged branding piece of content which reinforces RS’ brand values.

I’ve embedded the Portrait of an Inventor video series below, should you wish to take a peek!

My second nomination came as a complete surprise last night. I am part of the Yuno Juno community of freelancers, and have apparently been shortlisted in the Strategy category for the 2015 Freelancer Awards. What a year it has been!

Case Study: Social Media and Content Strategy at ICORIA 2015

ICORIA header

This year I had the privilege of presenting my MRes hashtag research at the 14th International Conference on Research in Advertising (ICORIA 2015). ICORIA-collage The conference was very special for me as it was being held at Birkbeck, University of London where I am currently working on my PhD research, but I was also appointed to oversee the social media and digital marketing communication for the conference.

Universities as one might expect, do not have an awful lot of marketing budget, but we managed to create something amazing on a shoe-string budget from imagery, through to videos and Tweets before, during and after the event. The social media objectives were two-fold:

PRE-ICORIA (October 2014 – June 2015) – To drive interest in the ICORIA 2015 conference by:

  • Encouraging call for papers (CfP), Doctoral Colloquium entries thus driving traffic to the ICORIA website
  • Reinforcing the conference theme ‘Bridging the Gap’ by sharing advertising and branding industry news

DURING ICORIA (2-4 July) – To drive engagement around the ICORIA conference by:

  • Engaging with users in real-team using the #icoria2015 hashtag
  • Providing information about the conference (e.g. registration times, sessions times etc.)


  • 697 pieces of content created across Facebook and Twitter including
  • 19, 100 Twitter impressions
  • 1,022 Facebook Likes on photos / content
  • 4,518 users reached on Facebook by ICORIA content
  • 1,048 views of the CfP, 531 of the colloquium CfP

ICORIA did not have a proper media strategy with universities creating new pages for the conference each year. The accounts created for ICORIA 2015 (Twitter and Facebook) have now been handed over to the next university hosting the conference, a tradition which will hopefully continue for the years to come!

If you need help with your content or social media strategy (including imagery and video production), get in touch!

Case study: Brand identity, website rebuild and SEO optimisation

Project objectives: Branding and identity development, website rebuild and SEO optimisation

I have known the founders of Gastronhome for quite a few years, and was absolutely thrilled when they approached me to help with the branding of their restaurant. After identifying their brand essence, we came up with the porte-manteau brand name Gastronhome and accompanying slogan:

Gastron-home [noun]: the art of selecting, preparing, serving and enjoying fine food in a homely environment

Gastronhome slogan


As a small business with limited budget, the Gastronhome founders originally built their website on Moonfruit, which lacked functionality and did not suitably reflect the premiumness of their restaurant. They needed a contemporary and highly-visual website to promote their French fine food restaurant. was moved onto a self-hosted WordPress website, thus offering enhanced functionality, better navigation, and a sleeker visual identity.

Gastronhome new website


And the new website hosted on WordPress with a clear visual identity to reflect the brand’s core values. Particular care was taken to ensure that the new website offers a fully mobile-optimized experience, to ensure that users can contact the restaurant or book a table directly from the website’s homepage. The website was also fully SEO optimized and ranks on the first page of Google.

Gastronhome old website
Old Gastronhome website
Gastronhome new website 2
New Gastronhome website built on WordPress

An analysis of Hashtags and brand emojis #shareacoke #RedCups

Following the footsteps of Coca-Cola, Starbucks unveiled today a new #RedCup brand emoji, Twitter’s latest ad format. Aside the novelty (and branding power) factor, the new emoji drove brands and consumers to engage in a series of hilariously funny Tweets (entire conversation here).

But how do these brand emojis exactly impact hashtag engagement? Remember the hashtag research I conducted last year? Brand hashtags are a fully-fledged brand element, but they can also be used as part of campaigns. By engaging with a hashtag, users behaviorally engage with the brand (the other types of engagement being cognitive and emotional), but are also a very public testament of consumers’ brand affiliations.


First let’s take a look at Starbucks… A quick look on BrandWatch shows that the brand received on 84K mentions from 1st September – 3rd November i.e. 41K mentions per months, which equates roughly to 1380 mentions per month. Since the campaign launched today, the brand brand has already received 1935 mentions at 4PM GMT, a 71% increase compared to a standard day thanks to an emoji (and a red cup).

Starbucks #starbucks and '#RedCup hashtags


As for Coke and their #ShareaCoke hashtags, the brand received 12K mentions of the #ShareaCoke hashtag vs. 15K mentions of the #Coke hashtag between 1st September and 3rd November. Interestingly the 8733 mentions of #ShareaCoke were on Twitter vs. 3365 on Instagram (i.e. 38.5% of all hashtag mentions), a proof that #ShareaCoke’s selfie campaign is still alive and kicking

#Coke and #shareacoke hashtags

Is an emoji worth it then? The ad format is still novel thus driving engagement but pricey. I heard on the grapevine that a custom emoji campaign costs £200K, but don’t quote me on this. I would be curious to see how this additional engagement translates into sales…

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