Eddison Media is pleased to announce the sponsorship of National Hunt Jockey James Cowley. The Jockey will be wearing Eddison-Media branded breeches during the current National Hunt season.

James is a Conditional jockey which is the National Hunt (over jumps) equivalent to the apprentice jockey on the flat. Conditional jockeys can claim a weight allowance until the point where he or she has won 75 races or reaches the age of 26. This knocks off a few pounds from the horses allotted weight in any handicap race. The weight allowance system allows for less experienced jockeys to compete for rides with the seasoned professionals.

James is learning his trade with Grand National winning trainer Donald McCain at Bankhouse in Cheshire. He is already well on his way to ‘losing his claim’ and turning professional, we hope our sponsorship will help this young jockey achieve his ambition.

We recently caught up with James at Bangor-On-Dee racecourse where he was riding in the Deva Racing Handicap Hurdle. Below you can view a gallery of the photos we took on the day.

If you’re interested in checking out the benefits of jockey sponsorship then you can read the PJA guide here. It’s worth noting that the average jockey covers over 40,000 miles traveling between racecourses in the UK and your branding can be displayed on their vehicles and clothing traveling to and from meetings. On course a jockey can display branding on one of three pre-approved areas of clothing: Breeches, Neck Roll and Coccyx. If your jockey wins a big race then you can be assured that your brand will gain additional exposure on television and in the press.

Building a website is the easy part of affiliate marketing, getting visitors to the site is the difficult part, but not nearly as difficult as converting those visitors into buyers! Of course you can help yourself by designing a useful website, one which is easy to navigate and gives the visitor exactly what they want. But what happens if you do all that, and they still won’t buy? Why are visitors leaving the site after 30 seconds? Why don’t visitors click on those great promotions you run? Could a different web page layout uplift sales? Unless you can stand over the shoulders of all your site visitors, you’ll never know the answers to these questions – unless you spend £1000s on usability studies and focus groups.

For small and medium sized affiliates these studies are just too expensive, until now. Crazy Egg is a new online usability tool that allows you to track visitor interaction with your website. You can use it to test a new design, test content and discover which versions work best, test placement of key elements such as ads or action buttons. See where you visitors click via heatmaps, follow the visitor journey via page paths. You can also view bounce rates on individual pages, view referring URLs and track visitor via referring URL.

So how much does this all cost? that’s the good news, it’s only $9 (£5) a month! Join for one month and cancel if you like, test multiple sites or just test your homepage. We ran Crazy Egg on a number of our websites and discovered lots of ways to improve them. So if you serious about making it in affiliate marking, give Crazy Egg a go.

Twitter is one of those web technologies you either get or you don’t, the main criticism leveled at twitter is “who care’s what you’re doing?” and it’s true to some extent, many people use twitter to announce their latest bowl movements to the world! but if you continue ignoring twitter as a marketing tool your business is going to regret it! Below we take a look a 5 great ways to use twitter to reach more customers.

The biggest mistake most people make is visiting twitter.com and thinking “what’s this all about?” they see a boring homepage and once signed up to a twitter account their own profile page is empty! Twitter isn’t really about twitter.com, in fact it’s not really about a website (it’s not another facebook) the best way to use twitter is via a desktop app like TweetDeck or via a mobile phone.

The way I explain Twitter to friends is describing it like a group SMS/TXT service, you know on New Years eve when you group txt everyone in your phones address book wishing them a Happy New Year, well that’s exactly like a Tweet. Only everyone in the world can see your Tweet (if you want them too), and people can reply privately or publicly to that message.

Sounds pretty unremarkable doesn’t it? Why not just send a TXT, well for one reason it costs nothing to use Twitter, that means you could reach 100,000s of people without spending a penny, try sending a TXT to 100,000 people at 0.10p per message. That’s a cost benefit but the real power of twitter is the ability to follow or to be followed (sounds sinister, but it’s not) if we continue using the TXT metaphor, you could only TXT people who’s phone number you know, Twitter users have the choice to ‘follow’ your tweets (individual twitter messages) I follow the tweets of actor Steven Fry and so do 700,000 other people! I’ve even helped Mr. Fry fix a problem with his Blackberry phone via twitter.

After tweeting with Mr. Fry I picked up lots of new followers, probably people with similar Blackberry phone issues. Are you starting to see the power of Twitter yet? If I sold Blackberry software apps or iPhones that could be a huge source of new sales! Celebrity users have massive followings on twitter, Steven Fry (700,000) Ashton Kutcher (3 Million) Barak Obama (2 Million) which is what you’d kinda expect and then there’s DELL with 976,721 followers, you know DELL! the boring PC manufacturer. Nearly 1 million people just waiting for the next marketing message from DELL to be sent directly to them and they will get the message wherever they are. Are you starting to see the power of twitter yet? If I haven’t convinced you here’s 5 great examples of how to use twitter to market your business.

Example One ~ Chester Tourist

chestertourist

This is one of my favorite uses for Twitter and one that’s still under exploited by most tourist towns and cities. Twitter has a dirty little secret that not many people know about, using an iPhone or other smart phone device you can find Tweets based on your exact location! I use it all the time, on my iPhone I have a twitter app called ‘Tweetie’ one of the features of the app is the ‘Nearby’ function, I just hit ‘Nearby’ and I can see tweets from people within 1, 2, 5, or 10 miles of me!

So how is that useful? Well if you’re visiting a town for the first time you can get a load of local knowledge in an instant from fellow twitter users. @chestertourist tweets everyday on things happening in Chester, places to eat and drink. Chester gets well over two million visitors a year, if you owned a restaurant or pub in Chester, how many extra customers could a daily local tweet pull in? It’s worth finding out, lots of people use the twitter ‘nearby’ feature to find local information, don’t ignore them!

Example Two ~ BetfairNews

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Betting is a subject close to my heart and business, I take a punt on the football and rugby every now and then, so it’s no surprise to find BetFairNews as one of my favorite uses of twitter. If you have a unique service or business like BetFair then twitter can really help you engage with your customers. Because betting is a constantly moving market twitter is the perfect tool to quickly update customers. BetFairNews tweets sports news, scores and the latest odds for major sporting events.

Constant updates is not the only reason why BetfairNews is a good example of a business using twitter. Fire off a tweet at @BetfairNews about the betting volumes matched on a football game and you’ll get a reply, ask who’s the favorite in the next race and you get an individual response. It’s this one-to-one dialogue with customers that makes BetfairNews a great example on how to use Twitter the right way.

Example Three ~ AngryBritain

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“So Sting is able to shag his wife for 5 hours without going off. I know how he feels. My wife was no oil painting either.” that’s the type of tweet you can expect from @AngryBritain with his sharp satire and commentary on the days news and events AngryBritain has used the power of twitter to build a website and a loyal following online.

AngryBritain allows you to tweet ‘rants’ and ‘beefs’ which are then published on the AngryBritain.com website. So you can use twitter to populate at website or blog with unique content everyday of the year without constantly thinking up new and interesting thing to write about, the more popular your tweets the more visitors you can drive to your website ~ simple but clever!

Example Four ~ SouthWestAir

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Many businesses use twitter to push services or products but American airline Southwest use twitter to track what people are saying about them online. For example, when Travis Johnson, Twitter handle, “pastortrav,” tweeted a complained  about Southwest’s check-in process, he received a quick, public response from an airline employee via twitter saying, “So sorry to hear it! What don’t you like about the check-in process? Did your flight get off okay?”

Southwest spokeswoman Christi Day said “We monitor those channels because we know these conversations are taking place there, and we can either watch the conversations or take part in them,” Twitter can be a great way to proactively manage customer complaints or comments. Along with negative comments you might also discover what people really like about your company! (Ryanair is not yet active on twitter, they’re currently trying to work out how to charge customers £5 to receive their tweets)

Example Five ~ Tehran Bureau

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Gil Scott Heron famously sang “The revolution will not be televised” and he was right, because the revolution will be twitter’d! During the recent Iranian election protests the majority of information coming out of Iran was via Twitter, mainstream broadcasters like CNN, BBC and FOX had to resort to showing tweets onscreen from Iranians posting about the protests. The twitter user @tehranBureau was a main source of reliable news about what was happening on the streets of Tehran. Traditional journalist would warn about publishing information which cannot be verified or checked and I agree in principal, but when events of this nature take place it’s almost impossible to check facts completely until after the event.

What we can be sure about is the ability of Twitter to connect millions of people to a news event instantly. Via the use of the hash tags like #iran, #iranelection news of the protests spread rapidly and seemingly took the Iranian authorities by surprise. For the authorities the only option was to close down access to Twitter from Iran, which they did. Until it was realized that many Iranians were still posting to twitter by text messaging via users in other countries or via proxy servers. Eventually the Iranian authorities closed down the Tehran cell phone network and started confiscating mobile phones ~ a desperate act of a regime that maybe the worlds first government toppled by tweets! The ultimate in twitter power.

May is traditionally the month for cup finals, the FA Cup and Champions League to name but two. So it was great news to hear that the football team we sponsor have reached the Chester District Junior Football League Cup final.

Sports team sponsorship is one of the oldest forms of marketing, but you don’t have to spend millions to get involved. Shirt sponsorship of a local or junior football team is a great way to get your business noticed. We’re currently looking at more opportunities to sponsor sports teams and individuals, recently we’ve helped a junior jockey realised his ambition to ride in the Shetland Pony Grand National!

Newton AFC will play the final at Chester F.C. on Sunday 18th May against Ellesmere Port JFC. Eddison-Media have sponsored the Newton AFC kit via our football website RetroFootieShirts.co.uk for the past two seasons. The team have made real progress in that time by achieving their highest league finish this year, coupled with a great run in the Cheshire cup competition.

The match will be a tough test for Newton who have beaten Ellesmere Port only once before. However, this year looks like a good one for the underdogs, Athletico Madrid have just won the La Liga title and reached the Final of the Champions League. Lets hope that Newton can pull off a similar shock this weekend at the Swansway Stadium.

To celebrate the teams achievement in reaching the final we’ve splashed out on personalised polo shirts for each player.

¡Vamos Newton!

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Paddy Power are already famous or rather infamous for their gorilla marketing campaigns. Lately The Irish bookmaker has been having the craic with golf fans at the Ryder Cup. Paddy Power ‘the masters of free publicity’ decided to support the European Ryder Cup team in a rather unusual way. They tweeted fans support for the team in clouds above the Ryder Cup course in Chicago!

It’s sounds like science fiction, but if you watch the video you’ll see how they achieved another marketing first. The letters of the tweets are spelt out my a team of aerobatic planes. Each pilot has a smoke canister attached to their plane, a central computer then coordinated the release of smoke from the five plans to spell out the tweets. It’s simple yet genius, like most of Paddy Power’s marketing campaigns this one has generated a huge amount of interest.

Getting the tweets to the pilots was pretty simple, Paddy Power just sent them via SMS to the pilots. From there the messages where then inputted into the onboard computer and outputted via the smoke canisters.

That’s how the skies above Medinah became the worlds biggest advertising billboard! Of course this is Paddy Power, so most of the messages had a fun angle to them, yet one message seemed to inspire Europe’s golfers to the biggest come back in sporting history… the message just read ‘Do It For Seve’.

Eddison Media has taken it’s first step into the world of iPhone apps with the launch of ‘The Game Hunter’ app on the iTunes store. The new app features the best reviews from the Game Hunter website plus the live RSS feed.

The app is your complete free guide to casinos, poker games and bingo. Plus all the latest gambling news via RSS feed, updated daily with stories, tips and bonus deals. In the coming months we will look at developing more apps from the iPad & iPhone. Development of the app was provided by the excellent www.mobiomic.com

A bad day at the races is still better than a good day at work! With that in mind Eddison Media is sponsoring the 20:15 at Chester racecourse on the 9th of July, the race is over 1m 2f and has an £8,000 prize fund up for grabs. The race will be shown live on the Racing UK channel. The race is officially called the www.grand-national.me.uk Handicap Stakes (Class 4), it’s a bit of a mouth full but we hope it will raise the profile of our dedicated Grand National website.

We will be attending the races on the day to dish out the trophy to the winning jockey, Chester race course is always a brilliant day out and we hope that the weather stays fine for our first sponsored horse race.

If you’ve never heard of QR Codes (Quick Response Codes) then prepare to experience the next big thing in Web/Mobile/Marketing convergence. Like most technological innovations this one started in Japan.

DENSO Corporation invented the system to track automobile parts around it’s various factories. QR Codes are basically barcodes that can store lots of data and what makes them unique is that you don’t need a barcode scanner to read them, just a mobile phone with a camera and some free QR reader software.

Already Sony Ericsson is signed up to include free QR and 2D Barcode reader software on it’s phones. The apple iPhone already has a numerous QR reader apps available to download for free on the app store.

OK, so far I can tell you’re not impressed!
Why would anyone want to use this system? Well all I can say is that once you try it, you’ll instantly see it’s real world possibilities. Here’s just a few way to use QR Codes…

Embed Website Addresses In QR Codes
You can embed a website URL into a QR Code because as we know typing URL’s into cell phones can be tedious and mistyping a URL is a common problem. Wouldn’t it be much easier to print a QR Code on a poster or press ad and have the reader snap the code on a camera phone and be directed to the website instantly? Remember not everyone in the world uses the standard English alphabet! QR Codes will overcome language barriers and make visiting websites easier than ever before.

Embed Geotags Into QR Codes
Let’s say that you’re holding a special event or sale and you want to direct people to it, just embed the Geo co-ordinates of the event into a QR Code. Nearly all high end mobile phones now have GPS and google maps as standard (soon even low cost phone will have them) and Embeded QR Code geotags can link directly to google maps on the users phone and let them know where to go. Large shopping malls or stores can use this to guide shoppers. Even tourist boards in major cities can use it to direct visitors to attractions and places of interest.

Send SMS Messages With QR Codes
That’s right, you can even embed SMS messages directly into QR Codes. As a business you might run a special offer or promotion via SMS service and explaining the instructions to customers can often be long winded and confusion can easily arise. Why tell someone to “TEXT ‘OFFER’ to 2654”? Why not just show them a QR Code! I can imagine that QR Codes will soon be flashed up on TV screens to enable people to vote in reality TV shows or to receive a promo code from advertisers.

Basic Information QR Codes
How about using QR Codes to give basic information? Your business card may have your phone number, address and email details buy why not just print a QR code on a business card and link it to a webpage with your full contact details? If you ever change premises or telephone number, just update the website. No more reprinting business cards!

These are just a few of the real world ways to use QR Codes and I’m sure, over time, people will come up with even more innovative ways to use them. Eddison-Media is really excited about technology, so much so that we’ve registered a few QR Code domains already. So far we have qrcodez.com, qr-barcodes.co.uk and qr-code.me.uk. We also plan to run a QR Code promotion in the next few weeks.

If you want to test a QR Code then try this one! It links to one of our websites.

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A quick video to show you how fast QR codes work.

You can find out more about QR Codes and 2D Barcodes by following the links below.

Make Your Own QR Codes

QR Code Article On Wikipedia

QR Codes On Mashable

QR Codes On BCC Click

If you need a free QR Code reader for your mobile phone then try these…

Barcode Scanner ~ Android OS

QuickMark QR Reader ~ Various Phones Including: Nokia, HTC, Samsung, iPhone