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Every one in five minutes someone spends on their mobile device is spent on either Facebook or Instagram. Both Facebook and Instagram are extremely powerful social media platforms as your content is easy to see and interact with, they are user-friendly and great marketing tools.

Using both platforms can be highly beneficial for you business, ad campaigns do well on Facebook and Instagram and encourage growth in your reach and engagement. In 2015 Facebook bought Instagram and now you are able to run ad campaigns on a single interface. This can save a lot of time setting them up as well as monitoring them, you are able to control and survey all your campaigns at once.

Business Manager

create add
Business Manager allows you to access pages and ad accounts from social media all in one place. It’s a Facebook tool, but you are able to use it to run Instagram adverts too. Once you are logged into business manager, you are able to add all of your Facebook pages as well as Instagram accounts, you can claim pages you own and request access to pages also. Business Manager allows you to monitor and make changes to everything on both platforms in one place.


If you’re already on Business Manager then you’ll need to head over to business settings. This will lead you to ad accounts, here is where you’re able to claim business pages on Facebook and add your Instagram account. Once you’ve added your pages & accounts you are able to click the link on to them and create ad’s – located in the top right-hand corner.

Creating ad’s on Business Manager is simple, they do a lot of the work for you. One of the most attractive things about using this tool is being able to choose your objectives. You have the following options to choose from:


It’s important to think about your objective before you choose one. What’s going to benefit you the most and what is the purpose of your planned campaign? Business Manager has a wide range of options to suit almost everyone broken down into specific categories of; Awareness, Consideration and Conversion. It’s important to remember, not every single objective option is suitable for Instagram. If you select an option that isn’t compatible, you will not be able to run that ad on Instagram but will still be able to set it up for Facebook.

After you’ve decided your objective you’ll have to choose your ad set. Depending on which objective you have chosen, this could be broken down differently. Ad set is where you can choose a target audience, budget, schedule, placements and more. This allows you to personalise your campaign and make it work the best it can for your business. Finally, you’re able to create your ad and choose how you’d like it to look. Here you have the option of a single video, single image or multiple (carousel) images.

After you have made your final decisions, it’s time to run your ad. You are able to come back to Business Manager at any time to view your ad’s performance, you’re also able to extend ad campaigns if you feel it’s doing well and would like to continue. Thanks to Business Manager, setting up ad campaigns is easier than ever. Once you are confident with setting up campaigns, you’re able to set up multiple ad sets. This can be a huge time-saver if you have a lot of ads to run or have many different Facebook pages.

It is important to note: if you are not using Business Manager’s Ad Creation and are using Power Editor, you are still able to run Instagram ads as well as Facebook ads.


More than 1.8 Billion people use Facebook and over 500 million people use the Instagram app monthly. Advertising on these platforms has the potential to dramatically improve your reach, engagement, website visits and even sales. It’s simple to set up, non-time consuming and your ads are optimised for you, ensuring they reach the highest possible amount of users.

60% of Instagram users say they discover new products on the app, a further 45% take action after being inspired to by a post. Your product could be the next thing they discover.

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When thinking about building your new website there are a few difficult decisions to be made. The first one is whether you build it yourself, or hire a professional like a web agency or designer. Hiring a professional is of course the safest way to getting a quality website that generate business. However,  for a sole trader just starting out, the budget needed may not be available. Building a website from scratch on your own seems like a pretty daunting task at first but it doesn’t have to be.

There are a few steps you can take to make the process more manageable for yourself. While you do start at a disadvantage due to lack of knowledge and experience in making a website, you can learn some valuable things and use valuable tools to get a great start on your website.

You need a plan

Preparation is key when building your website. It may be tempting to rush into designing and trying to get something up and running but you need to do a bit of work before you get there. You need to know what you want your website to do and what you want from it. Before you start designing and creating content for your site you need a solid base.

A great way to plan your website out would be to make a blueprint. Doing this allows you to make changes to the plan easily if something needs to change. It also gives you a good structure to follow, ensuring you don’t miss anything out. Set goals for your website and give yourself a clear picture of where you want to be.


Do your Research

A lot of the work that goes into making a website is research. There are a few areas that should be of interest to you.


In order to have a successful website, you have to look at your competition. Looking at a website selling the same, or similar, products to you is a great step to take. Check the standards of their websites so you know where yours needs to be. You can learn a lot from investigating their marketing strategies and CTA’’s.

Studying competitors websites gives you insights into essential parts of a working website. While you’re researching make sure you look at each aspect of the websites including their appearance, how easy it is to use/navigate around and their marketing techniques used. Looking at your competition is an essential step to making a successful website as it gives you an idea of what standard your website should be.

User Experience

Making your website easy to navigate around is crucial when building your website. You want users to know where to go and how to get there. It’s important users are able to get from one place to another on your website with ease. This applies to desktop, mobile and tablet. Many people work very hard on their site for a desktop user but are lacking when it comes to mobile or tablet use.

When building your website you should ensure your content is laid out in a way that is appropriate for the user. For example, condensing your content and using a read more option could be highly beneficial for you and your users. This allows users to find content faster as they don’t have to scroll through pages of information and content that’s irrelevant to them.

Marketing Techniques

If you’re not focusing on marketing it is highly unlikely you’ll generate many sales through your website. Getting your website up and running is only part of the work that needs to be done. People won’t just automatically find your site, in order to gain visitors you need to use marketing techniques.

Having a good knowledge of online marketing is key. It requires research, unfortunately many sole  traders building websites don’t have experience in online marketing. Looking at what your competition is doing would be a great start to give you some ideas. If you study techniques, do good research and educate yourself enough you could learn and implement some great marketing techniques.

We’ve built a full, easy to follow course teaching you how to create a successful website. The course takes you through the whole process of building a website as well as teaches you techniques you need to know. Throughout the course you’ll gain essential knowledge you need to build your website. You can access it here:


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Many people underestimate the power a good plan and structure can have when it comes to blog posts. Aimlessly writing about topics that may, or may not, interest your audience could leave you with less traffic than you had hoped for. Luckily there are a few steps you can take to writing a successful blog post.

Plan the Post

Planning is an essential step in writing a blog post. Making sure you have everything structured will help you a great deal when it comes to writing the post.

One of the first things you want to do is make sure you’re aware of your target audience, who they are and what they would be interested in seeing in this particular post. Researching into who will be reading the post will ensure users find it informative and interesting, hopefully bringing them back to your website for future posts.

Once you’re aware of your target audience the next step would be to plan a topic to write on. When initially choosing your topic you don’t need to be too precise, knowing the topic you want to cover is a great start. Some people benefit from choosing their topic and thinking of a few areas around the subject they would like to write about. Giving yourself different options is great if you’re still at this point not entirely sure what you want to post or have a few different ideas floating around and want to see which would work best.

Eventually, when you’ve chosen your specific topic you’ll need to title it. Remember, you can always edit a title so if it isn’t exactly how you want it to be in the beginning, that’s not a problem. Your first title is a starting point for yourself, a general round up of what this post is about. For example, my first title for this post was ‘How to Write a Good Blog Post’. As you get deeper into the post and it’s more structured you can change the title accordingly.

An extra part of planning is the visual aspect of your blog post. Before you start writing make a short list of any graphics or images you want to use in your post. Even if you don’t have the specific post to hand, planning the placement and theme of the images could save you scrambling around for fitting visuals once you’ve finished.

Structuring the Post

When it comes to structuring your blog post you need to have a very clear idea of what you’re writing about, this is why you need to have a set topic first. As you already have your rough title, the first thing you’d want to do is set out an intro.

Your introduction paragraph is the first paragraph your visitors will read so you want to make it captivating and informative. In this paragraph, you should ensure you’re telling the reader what they are going to gain from reading this post, what they will learn. The more you draw them in the more likely they are to read your entire post.
After you have your intro done it’s a good idea to start planning your subheadings. Subheadings break your post down making it easier to read. People would rather ready 4-6 smaller broken up sections of writing than one long post. It also makes it easier for them to find a specific piece of information they’re looking for as they can search for it under the relevant subheading. Once you have these planned out, you can start writing the bulk of your post.

Lastly, your conclusion. Here you want to round up the post and sum up your key message. Your conclusion doesn’t have to be long but it should still be informative. You should include a CTA in your conclusion to encourage engagement with your posts. A call to action is when you ask the reader to do something, for example, ‘share this post if you found it useful’ or ‘comment if this post helped you out’. Encouraging the reader to take part in engagement is an important step to growing your blog.

Adding Visuals

It’s a proven fact that people prefer to read articles with something else to look at, not just writing. You could include diagrams, charts, images, graphics… Anything to make the post look a little more interesting. Your readers will appreciate the post more. Visitors are more likely to stay on the page and read the entire post if they aren’t just faced with 3000 words. Visual aspects break the post up, just like subheadings. Make it interesting.

Add your images or graphics in after you’re done writing. This way you can find the place they fit best. Refer back to your plan but if you need to change the placement of something you can do so.

Editing and Proofreading

You’re not done when you finish your conclusion. A crucial step in writing a blog post is your proofread. You wouldn’t want to write a top quality, informative post and publish it with spelling mistakes and errors. Leaving in mistakes can damage the quality of the post so reading through two to three times is imperative.

Check for spelling mistakes, grammatical errors and any information in your post that may need tweaking. Here you may find parts of the post you’d like to remove and even space to add information in. When you’ve highlighted all the aspects that may need changing you can edit your post accordingly. One of the things you should look for is the flow in the post, make sure each section leads on from the other and it isn’t extremely choppy. Everything should be in your post for a reason. Remember to give it a final proofread to make sure everything makes sense and you didn’t miss anything.


Search engine optimisation is the name given to the action of trying to improve your websites ranking on search engines.

Search engines, like Google, rank pages based on relevant useful content that has been linked back to by other pages. Essentially, creating content that others find useful and interesting or something they learn from means people will want to share it with others. A lot of people do this by posting a link to the page on their website.

How to Incorporate SEO into your Posts

The most important thing is to write relevant, useful content that uses keywords used by people searching for information. Choosing your keywords is an important part of SEO. You need to make your page easy to find. When choosing your keywords think about what potential visitors would type into a search engine to find the information. You also want to make the blog post appealing to the reader.

Make sure your content is easy to share and easy to link to. You want people to be able to quickly and easily share your content. The easier it is for a visitor to do, the more likely they are going to do it. This is where share buttons are useful, many blogs have them at the bottom of posts. This makes sharing that specific page on to social media very easy and extremely quick. Including a CTA at the end of the post, like we talked about doing in your conclusion, reminds people they are able to share your content. Make sure you lead them to these share buttons or tell them exactly how they can do it.

When focusing on SEO it’s important to remember that the quality of your link backs is far more important than the quantity. Great websites won’t link to poor content and this is why it’s essential that you are focusing on making your posts the best that they can be.


As mentioned earlier, keywords are what enable people to find your post. They are the words and phrases people will use when searching on engines like Google. Keyword research is the best way you’ll find what words and phrases you should be using. Researching how people are looking for the information you have or the product you’re writing about. Looking at similar websites or posts that rank highly in search engines is beneficial as you can see what keywords and phrases they have used in their quality posts.

Developing a list of keywords to use throughout your posts and website should be one of your priorities when it comes to SEO. Keywords that are relevant to your content and what the reader is looking for are going to really help when trying to rank higher on search engines. You can use your editing stage to add in more keywords if you feel your post is lacking. It’s also a good idea to use a keyword in your post title.

Meta Description

Another large part of SEO is your page’s meta description. The meta description is the small excerpt below the page title that shows on a search engine. It should be a descriptive piece of text around 160 characters that lets the reader know what the post is about. If you look at quality pages that rank highly on search engines you’ll see that their meta descriptions often start with a verb such as learn, master and discover. Let the reader know they’re going to take something away from the post.

Keep going! Upping your rank on search engines won’t happen overnight. Be consistent with uploading content to your website and continue to make sure they are all of a steady quality. Creating posts using a structure and planning is something that will become more natural the more you do it. You should use a structure for every post you write. It ensures all your posts will be the same sort of quality which is imperative for ranking higher on search engines. Practice makes perfect and there is always room for improvement so take your time looking into ways you can write your posts and research into what you should include.

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smartphone-2271722_960_720In 2016 Facebook launched a feature enabling you to start a live broadcast, shortly followed by Instagram introducing live stories. Live broadcasts can be extremely beneficial for you business if you know how to use them. Live streaming is a great way to improve your reach on social media and engage with your audience better.

How do I go Live?

Both Facebook and Instagram allow you to go live from your smartphone very easily. On Facebook head over to your newsfeed, underneath your ‘what’s on your mind’ box there is a tab that says ‘live’, press it and you’ll be able to start streaming. On Instagram head over to your story, click as if you were about to add to it, swipe left along the bottom from normal to live and you’ll be able to start your live story.

If you wanted to go live on Facebook on your PC or laptop you would need to download a streaming software. On your software, you’ll need a streaming key. To find this head over to your Facebook page, press publishing tools, you’ll see a video tab, once you press that you should see a live button. Once you press the live button you’ll get a pop-up with your streaming key on it, this is what you’ll put into your software.

Facebook vs Instagram

Facebook and Instagram live are very similar in many ways. Live sessions on both platforms share these features:

  • They both allow you to see how many people are viewing your live stream.
  • They both allow likes and comments from viewers so you are able to engage with them.
  • Both platforms will send followers a notification, as long as their push notifications are on, as soon as you start a live stream.

The main difference between the two is permanency. On Facebook, you are able to save your video and have it stay permanently on your page. This enables people to continuously engage, like and share after you are done streaming live. This is a great option to have especially if you’re trying to reach people worldwide, who may not have been able to watch your live broadcast.

Unfortunately on Instagram once it’s gone, it’s gone. After you are done with your live story there is no option to save it, it’ll just disappear. One thing Instagram is great for is enabling you to reach new people. If a live story is popular enough, it could end up in the ‘top live’ section on the explore page, enabling new people to see it.

Why Should I go Live?

Live streaming on both platforms can have many benefits for your business. Going live allows you to connect with an audience at the touch of a button, it’s a fast and effective way to get a message across to your followers.

Behind the Scenes

Most people love getting in on something new, live streaming is showing your followers an otherwise ‘off-limits’ world that they don’t usually get to see. Everyone loves to see behind the scenes so make the most of it. Show them what it’s like to work with your brand, how a product is made or the thinking process behind new things!

Product Previews

Live streams are a great way of showing a new product to your followers and giving them information on the launch. It lets people see how something works before they buy and gives you a chance to promote it as well as answer any questions they may have.

Host an Interview

Interviews are seriously popular on live streams. You could interview a brand owner, a co-worker, an influencer or a special guest. It’s up to you who you choose but it should be someone who can speak about your brand and give your viewers a new opinion.

Tutorials and Demonstrations

Live broadcasts are the perfect place for tutorials. Show your viewers how to best use some of your products. You can also use this time to answer FAQ’S about certain products or your brand in general. You could use products you have already released or include a new product you want to inform viewers about.


This is one of the most common uses for brands on a live broadcast. It’s a time for you to sit and engage with viewers and customers, answering questions about your brand. This stream allows you to bring a personal touch to your business, showing you want to help and answer as many questions as you can. It also makes great use of the fact people can comment on your live broadcast and watch you respond instantly.

It could be a great idea to have a schedule for people to get used to, you could go live on a certain day at a set time once a week. Regardless of if you have a timetable or not, it’s great to promote your broadcasts before you go live. Make sure people are aware of when and where you’ll be going live so they can make sure they’re free and with a device they can watch you on.

Many people have a preference when it comes to platforms but it’s a good idea to use both to reach a different audience on each. Over 100 million people watch a video online every day, as long as you’re using your live streams to bring your audience useful, interesting information, you should get great engagement and improve your reach quickly.

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Instagram_logo.svgInstagram is a great social platform to share some of your favourite photographs or videos but it’s also a fantastic marketing tool. In one day, 400 million people use Instagram and around 4.2 billion posts are liked. The power Instagram could have on your website’s traffic is unquestionable but there are a few steps you should take to make the most of it.

Have your website link in your bio.

Instagram haven’t made it particularly easy to drive traffic to your website as the only place they allow a clickable link is in your bio. One of the most effective actions you can take to generate website traffic through Instagram is making use of the space in your bio and add your website’s URL. A great tip is to include a caption in your bio, directing users to the link that appears below it.

You are able to change the link as many times as you wish, meaning you can direct traffic to a specific page whenever you like. This is particularly handy when promoting new blog posts or new products. It’s always a good idea to track traffic coming from social media channels, you can do this by using a Bitly link. Bitly allows you to shorten links and measure clicks so you know exactly where your traffic is coming from.

Using Call’s to Action

With Instagram only allowing you one clickable link in your bio, you need to be clever with calls to action. Every time you upload a new post you are able to write a caption, this is where you can include your CTA’s. You need to encourage users who are seeing your posts to go to your account and click the link in your bio. There are many clever ways you can include CTA’s in your caption’s such as ‘click the link in our bio for more information’ or if you’re selling something you could use ‘order through the link on our profile’. You’re also able to leave a CTA in your bio for new followers.

The main thing to remember when using calls to action is to keep them as simple as possible. You want your audience to be able to follow the CTA with very little effort, making them more likely to complete the action.

Use Relevant Hashtag’s

Hashtags are the best way to achieve exposure on Instagram. It’s important to use hashtag’s relevant to your brand so like-minded users or potential customers can find your posts.

Researching the most used hashtag’s in your niche is the best place to start. Don’t be afraid to try different hashtag’s in different posts to see how they work for you.

91% of top brands use seven or less hashtag’s in their posts, quality of your hashtag’s is much more important than the quantity. It isn’t recommended you use over 10 hashtag’s per post. Using the best high-quality hashtags for your niche will bring you more exposure than using less relevant ones.

Engage with your Community

Building a relationship between you and your audience can be a simple but highly effective step in driving traffic to your website. Instagram really do it best when it comes to community, it’s so easy to connect with like-minded users.

There are many different ways you can engage with your followers on Instagram. One of the best thing’s you can do is encourage conversation on posts, you can do this by including a CTA in the caption. Something like ‘comment your favourite products from our brand’ or even just asking how their week is going so far works really well. Once your followers are commenting on your posts it’s important to try and reply, this can add some personality and helps build trust with your audience.

Another great way to engage with you community is re-posting their posts. If someone has posted about a product or service they purchased from you and has a positive caption, it is a good idea to re-post this on to your page. This can benefit both of you as well as help to create extra content for your page.

Instagram Ad’s

Ad’s are a brilliant way of reaching new users and potential customers. You are able to set a specific target audience, or you can let Instagram show users it feels are appropriate based on gender, age group and interests. There are a few different types of ad’s you can display on Instagram:

Carousel Adverts – Users are able to swipe through a number of photo’s, or video’s in one advert. These adverts are highly beneficial to advertisers as it allows brands to showcase more than one product or service at the same time.
Video Adverts – You are able to advertise through a 3 – 60-second long video, with or without sound. Many potential customers find video’s more engaging than picture’s which is why this is a great option.
Picture Adverts – adverts will appear in the form of whichever image you choose to promote. As with any of the above options, these include a space for you to add a caption which could include a
Stories Adverts – In August 2016 Instagram introduced stories. Here you are able to place a video advert. These ads will appear after, or during, someone Instagram story. Anyone who views that account’s story will be able to see your advert.

All four types of adverts have multiple benefits but all include a direct link to a web page you would like to drive traffic to.

Use Influencers

In the last few years, social media influencers have become a huge marketing tool on most platforms but especially Instagram. The power an influencer has to bring you new website traffic is huge but you want to choose your promoters wisely.

Each influencer is different. Some require payment for promoting a product whereas some will show and review a product or service if you are willing to give that product to them for free to test themselves.

When it comes to choosing influencers, bigger isn’t always better. For example, it would be more beneficial to select an influencer who has 10,000 followers with great engagement over an influencer with 50,000 followers and low engagement. People with higher engagement are more likely to have a good relationship with their audience, meaning their followers would trust their reviews more.

Create Exciting, Relevant Content

Your content is what most users see first on Instagram. You want to create inviting, intriguing content that is exciting to the eye and makes your audience want to see more. Users are going to see your pictures or video’s before they read the caption, so you want to make sure it’s gripping for them.

Some great ways to make your content more exciting are mixing between video’s and pictures, incorporating bright colours and even having a theme. Themes have become a big trend on Instagram, they make sure all of your content matches in some way to make it flow nicely on your page. A lot of accounts go for a white theme with pops of colour and some use a certain filter on all their content. Themes aren’t everyone’s first choice, they’re very hard to keep up with, especially if you are re-posting other users content.

Your audience is following you because you create content that interests them. Keep your content relevant to your niche as this is what your followers are most likely to interact with. Over time you will be able to gather information on what type of posts do best with your audience and will be able to post more of what they like to see.

You are able to generate good website traffic through Instagram as long as you are aware of your analytics and what your audience want to see. By following these 7 steps, whether you are just starting out on Instagram or have been there a while, you should see an increase in your traffic very quickly.

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Why third-party reviews?

Customer reviews really influence the online shopping experience. They can make or break whether prospects choose your firm or a competitor. HubSpot, for example, place customer reviews third in their top ten influencing factors for online shoppers. And 61% of shoppers check online reviews before they decide on a purchase.

Just as people check goods out, they also check you out as the service provider. As a firm you put a lot of hard work into delivering the best service to your customers, and your relationship with clients is proof of that. Having third-party reviews on your site showcases the care you take in satisfying clients, and this really helps convince new visitors that yours is the company to trust.

Third-Party Reviews Codastar
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Responsive Web Design Codastar

With 16 years in the business, London Video Productions have chalked up a broad range of successful projects and industry experience. They came to Codastar for a website that could showcase their work and attract new clients.

The firm make videos for business, marketing, events, education and charities, music videos, drama and documentary. We needed a site that could quickly establish the range of genres LVP work in.

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Codastar responsive website design

At Codastar we had a growing number of case studies and new design and marketing services to show off. Our old website just couldn’t do them justice. A new site was needed, and while we had our design hats on we decided to create a slick and responsive site that visitors could explore easily on any device.

We were free to create easily navigable areas for all of our services, with portfolios of our work for clients old and new. In terms of maintenance we could also give ourselves a site that is very simple to maintain and update, and that can readily incorporate future services and developments.
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The world of digital marketing has become increasingly competitive over the past few years, and as of late it has taken its biggest hit yet. Not from other agencies of course. Oh no. There has been a disturbance in the force.

Google have gone to the dark side, and on top of their ever changing algorithms, have increasingly introduced their ‘not provided’ notification. Read more »