Inbound & Social Media Marketing

Waterstones’ and The Westminster Collection’s Approach to Inbound Marketing

Waterstones

  • Clear and logical headings and subheadings with logical subcategories
  • High-quality images on the website
  • Variety of call-to-actions (CTA) about new book launches, competitions etc. to attract users’ attention and arouse curiosity
  • Searching panel is highly visible to search for specific products or information
  • ‘Help’, ‘FAQ’ and Contact pages can easily be found, and contact details are categorised, for example: Event Tickets, Press Office, Book Shops etc.
  • Regular compelling blog posts with specific CTAs
  • Opportunity for registered users to rate and comment books and blogs
  • Regular newsletter with videos, images and CTAs
  • Waterstones are active on all of the most popular social media channels: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube. Social media icons appear on the website
  • One-click buttons available next to every product and event to share
  • The website is optimised to mobile and tablet
  • ‘Waterstones Plus’ programme to enjoy exclusive offers and benefits
  • Both short and long-tailed keywords are used to optimise the website
  • Social media channels are updated regularly with compelling contents such as blog posts, videos, podcasts and images
  • Use cross-link reference
  • Use geosocial networks for link building

Figure 1: Main page of Waterstones’ website showcasing clear navigation panel, call-to-action, high-quality image and a searching bar. (Waterstones, 2019)

Figure 2: Logical subcategories make navigation easier for users highlighting the most popular books and authors as well as allowing visitors to search by age groups or even characters. (Waterstones, 2019)

Figure 3: Social media icons can easily be found on Waterstones’ website. (Waterstones, 2019)

Figure 4: One-click social media icons can be found next to each product and blog post on Waterstones’ website allowing users to share the page instantly on their own social media channels. (Waterstones, 2019)

Figure 5: Call-to-action and user comments under a recent blog post on Waterstones’ website. (Waterstones, 2019)

Figure 6: ‘Waterstone Plus’ programme offers exclusive benefits for registered users and students. (Waterstones, 2019)

Figure 7: An author linked Waterstones in one of his posts on Facebook. (Facebook, 2018)

Figure 8: Neatly categorised compelling pinboards on Waterstones’ Pinterest page. (Pinterest, 2019)

Figure 9: Waterstones’ YouTube channel is regularly updated with compelling contents such as interviews with authors, vlogs, book launches and reviews. Playlists are also created with interesting topics such as ‘Food, Drink and Healthy Living’. (YouTube, 2019)

Figure 10: Compelling blog posts with keywords in their titles. (Waterstones, 2019)

The Westminster Collection

  • Clear, logical headings, subheadings and categorisation on the website
  • High-quality photos on the website
  • Mostly vendor provided CTAs throughout the website
  • Recommendations based on registered user preferences
  • Searching panel available on every page
  • Customer service, contact details and ‘FAQ’ are easy to find and varieties of contact details are available. Facebook messenger is embedded in the website
  • Regular, categorised and compelling blog posts with tags on the website. Registered users are allowed to comment
  • Regular newsletter with images, embedded videos and simple CTAs
  • The Westminster Collection are active on all of the most popular social media channels: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Snap Chat. Social media icons appear on the website as well as one-click icons next to the products
  • Most of the social media channels are regularly updated with compelling original posts, images and videos to generate conversations
  • Actively use hashtags, share and retweet other users’ posts
  • The website is optimised to mobile and tablet
  • Short and long-tailed specific keywords are used on their website and social media channels, however, the website not always appears on the first page of Google

Figure 11: Clear and logical heading and categories make navigation easy on The Westminster Collection’s website. (The Westminster Collection, 2019)

Figure 12: The website shows recommendations to registered users based on their previous purchases and interests. (The Westminster Collection, 2019)

Figure 13: Several call-to-actions appear on the website’s main page. The latest news and blog posts are highlighted under the main heading. (The Westminster Collection, 2019)

Figure 14: High-quality videos and images show all the significant details of the products on The Westminster Collection’s website. (The Westminster Collection, 2019)

Figure 15: The Westminster Collection deliver regular compelling blog posts on their website to generate conversations. The blog posts are tagged and categorised. Registered users are allowed to comment on each blog posts. Specific CTA appears under each blog post. (The Westminster Collection, 2019)

Figure 16: Regular newsletters are sent by email to promote an offer, for example: to announce the newest coins, blog posts and stamps. The newsletters come with high-quality images, varieties of CTAs and social media icons. The newsletters, however, are neither based on users’ previous purchases or interests nor tailored to different buying personas.

Figure 17: Social media icons appear on the website as well as one-click icons next to each product allowing users to share the content immediately on their own social media platforms. (The Westminster Collection, 2019)

Figure 18: Pay-per-click (PPC) advert on Facebook, showcasing a ‘The First Man on the Moon’ commemorative medal. This advert reminds the targeted audience that the medal is still available for their collections. Similar adverts often navigate the prospects to a landing page giving a special offer, for example: discount or no parcel-and-package (P&P) charge.

Figure 19: The Westminster Collection are able to generate conversations on social media and often participate in them by answering questions or making suggestions. (Instagram, 2019)

Strength and Weaknesses of the Inbound Marketing Approach Used by Each Organisation

Waterstones

Strengths

  • Clear, professional and easy to navigate website even to first-time users
  • ‘Help’, FAQ and contact details are all in one click away
  • Chatbot available on the website
  • Searching panel available on every page
  • High-quality images illustrate the products all over the website
  • Registered users can rate and comment on the books
  • The website contains a blog page which is updated regularly and contain CTAs that are normally a link to a specific book and/or other related books
  • Active on all of the major social media channels, generating regular compelling original contents and participate in conversations
  • Wide variety of contents on social media channels such as videos (interviews with authors, book reviews), images, podcasts, polls etc.
  • Share and retweet other users’ posts and cross-reference, link and mention authors regularly in their posts to contribute a better SEO
  • CTAs are always used at the end of each post
  • Regular email campaigns to promote an offer or event
  • ‘Waterstones Plus’ programme offers benefits to those who register

Weaknesses

  • No contents available on the website other than images and text
  • Wide variety of contents are available on Waterstones’ social media channels only
  • Seldom use hashtags in social media posts
  • Mostly use basic CTAs on their website, newsletters and the social media channels (buy now, pre-order now)
  • Newsletters are neither tailored to different buyer personas nor to each of the stages of the buying journey

The Westminster Collection

Strengths

  • The website is clear and easy-to-navigate
  • A searching panel helps users to find specific items
  • Simple CTAs appear on the main page along with the highlighted latest blog posts
  • Product recommendations for registered users on the main page of the website based on their previous purchases and interests
  • Regular compelling blog posts on the website with images, videos and CTAs
  • High-quality images and videos to showcase the products on all over the websites
  • Images and videos are being shared on The Westminster Collection’s social media channels
  • The Westminster Collection is active on most of their social media channels
  • Posting and sharing original contents and generating conversations in which actively participate in
  • Social media icons are available on the website along with instant icons next to each product
  • Hashtags and cross-referencing are regularly used on all of the social media channels
  • Regular newsletters sent to registered users
  • Newsletters usually deliver an image or video and simple CTAs
  • The website is mobile and tablet compatible

Weaknesses

  • No opportunity to sign up for a newsletter without registering on the website
  • The newsletters are not tailored to different buyer personas or to the stages of the buying journey
  • Not active on all of their social media channels: YouTube was last updated three months ago
  • No chatbot or live chat services available
  • Long-tailed and specific keywords are moderately used to keep the website optimised: as a result, the website does not always appear on the first page on Google

Which Organisation Was Best at Inbound Marketing and Why?

Based on my research I found that both of the organisations deliver strong inbound marketing strategy and leverage their useful and compelling contents. Both of the organisations have strong online presence and strong social media activity.

Having learnt more about the organisations’ inbound marketing approach, I found that Waterstones was best in inbound marketing compered to The Westminster Collection.

Why?

I have found that Waterstones’ website is clearer and more professional compered to The Westminster Collection’s website. On Waterstones’ website users have more opportunity to share their opinions by rating the books and blog posts or start conversations.

Waterstones provide multiply contact details on their website: different telephone numbers for customers within the UK and outside the UK, chatbot and other categorised contact details related to gift cards, events or ‘Waterstones Plus’ programme.

Waterstones use a wide variety of content on social media: video interviews, video book reviews, podcasts, images and interesting stories about authors and publishers in history.

‘Waterstones Plus’ programme offers a variety of benefits to prospects to enjoy, for example, discount tickets to author events or unique, no-purchase-necessary prize draws. Student discount also available.

Waterstones are active on all of the social media channels they use and fill them up with attractive and interesting contents such as categorised pinboards on Pinterest, playlists on YouTube or sneak peek into a new audiobook on Facebook.

Waterstones successfully use short, long-tailed and specific keywords for better search engine ranking.

Waterstones has significantly more followers on all of the social media channels than The Westminster Collection, thanks to their well-structured inbound marketing and SEO strategy.

Examples of How Each Organisation Could Improve Its Inbound Marketing

Waterstones

  • Use specific hashtags in their social media posts to reach audience more effectively
  • Tailor their email campaigns to different buyer personas and audience on different stages of the buying journey
  • Use a wider variety of contents on their website
  • Use a wider variety of CTAs on their website, social media channels and email campaigns
  • More PPC campaigns on social media channels
  • Use landing pages created to different buyer personas and different stages of the buying journey

The Westminster Collection

  • Use more content on their website around keywords
  • Use a wider variety of contents on their website
  • Allow prospects to sign up to newsletter without having to register on the website
  • Tailor their email campaigns to different buyer personas and audience on different stages of the buying journey
  • Update all of their social media channels regularly
  • Link and mention other social media users in their posts
  • Share and retweet more from other relevant social media users

References

Figure 1 – Waterstones (2019) Main Page [Online] Available at:  https://www.waterstones.com/ [Accessed 30 April 2019]

Figure 2 – Waterstones (2019) Main Page [Online] Available at:  https://www.waterstones.com/ [Accessed 30 April 2019]

Figure 3 – Waterstones (2019) Main Page [Online] Available at:  https://www.waterstones.com/ [Accessed 30 April 2019]

Figure 4 – Waterstones (2019) ‘Losing Earth: The Decade We Could Have Stopped Climate Change (Hardback) Nathaniel Rich (author)’ [Online] Available at: https://www.waterstones.com/book/losing-earth/nathaniel-rich/9781529015829 [Accessed 08 May 2019]

Figure 5 – Waterstones (2019) ‘The Waterstones Interview: Pat Barker on The Silence of the Girls’ [Online] Available at: https://www.waterstones.com/blog/the-interview-pat-barker-on-the-silence-of-the-girls [Accessed 08 May 2019]

Figure 6 – Waterstones (2019) Waterstones Plus Programme [Online] Available at: https://www.waterstones.com/plus [Accessed 08 May 2019]

Figure 7 – Facebook (2018) Author Robert Galbraith [Online] Available at: https://www.facebook.com/CormoranStrikeNovelsOfficial/ [Accessed 08 May 2019]

Figure 8 – Pinterest (2019) Waterstones’ Pinterest Page [Online] Available at: https://www.pinterest.com/waterstones/ [Accessed 08 May 2019]

Figure 9 – YouTube (2019) Waterstones’ YouTube Channel [Online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/user/Waterstonescom/featured [Accessed 08 May 2019]

Figure 10 – Waterstones (2019) Blog [Online] Available at: https://www.waterstones.com/blog [Accessed 08 May 2019]

Figure 11 – The Westminster Collection (2019) Main Page [Online] Available at: https://www.westminstercollection.com/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI8brl16eO4gIVy0PTCh0W3gXCEAAYASAAEgJc_vD_BwE [Accessed 09 May 2019]

Figure 12 – The Westminster Collection (2019) Main Page [Online] Available at: https://www.westminstercollection.com/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI8brl16eO4gIVy0PTCh0W3gXCEAAYASAAEgJc_vD_BwE [Accessed 09 May 2019]

Figure 13 – The Westminster Collection (2019) Main Page [Online] Available at: https://www.westminstercollection.com/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI8brl16eO4gIVy0PTCh0W3gXCEAAYASAAEgJc_vD_BwE [Accessed 09 May 2019]

Figure 14 – The Westminster Collection (2019) ‘The First Ever Spherical Shaped Moon Coin’ [Online] Available at: https://www.westminstercollection.com/p-W145/The-Moon-Landing-50th-Anniversary-Spherical-Coin.aspx [Accessed 09 May 2019]

Figure 15 – The Westminster Collection (2019) Blog Page [Online] Available at: https://blog.westminstercollection.com/category/royalty/ [Accessed 09 May 2019]

Figure 16 – The Westminster Collection (2019) Daily Newsletter Being Sent to My Inbox [Online] Available at: Once a new user registered on The Westminster Collection’s website [Accessed 09 May 2019]

Figure 17 – The Westminster Collection (2019) ‘Faith, Love, Hope, and Luck – send Good Luck to your loved one today’ [Online] Available at: https://www.westminstercollection.com/p-432P/Good-Luck-Gold-Plated-Medal.aspx [Accessed 09 May 2019]

Figure 18 – Facebook (2019) Sponsored PPC Advert [Online] Available at:  https://www.facebook.com/westminstercollection/ [Accessed 09 May 2019]

Figure 19 – Instagram (2019) The Westminster Collection’s Instagram Profile [Online] Available at: https://www.instagram.com/p/Bwm3nNyC9fO/ [Accessed 09 May 2019]