Cutting Through the Noise: Why Brands are Struggling to be Heard in 2020


It’s literally everywhere.

Even during lockdown, when consumers the length and breadth of the country had to stay away from bus shelters, motorway billboards and coffee table magazines, the saturation of digital content was very real. With Zoom fatigue affecting workers who are spending all day, every day glued to their screens, it’s inevitable that brands will get drowned within the endless drone and chatter of Netflix, Prime, Spotify, NOW TV, YouTube, TikTok, Premier League advertising billboards, canned crowd noise, letterbox mailings… the list goes on.

Add to that the surge in free, accessible content, and the struggle is very real.

The Joe Wicks effect

No sooner had gyms shut, that Joe Wicks launched his daily TV exercise programme and the world became home fitness fanatics. The health and wellbeing industry has had a monumental battle to be cut through the noise and navigate through availability of free content, offering something of added value whilst generating revenue.


The same can be said for a number of service driven industries – adapting to an online marketplace ten years ago would have been seen as innovative; dynamic; creative; forward-thinking and industry defining.

In 2020, it’s seen as the norm. The done thing. The question is not “are you online?” It’s “where can I find you online?” Whilst July 2020 has seen the reopening of non-essential businesses and shops, the online marketplace is still thriving, with June’s growth being the highest annual result since March 2008.

But what does all this mean for UK-based SMEs?

It’s time to refine your messaging

OK, so we all know how to read and write.

Since the dawn of time, Mankind has communicated through shapes and symbols – visual communication has been as important and as prevalent to our development as a society as the spoken word. But let’s be honest – there are somewhere in the region of 5.9 million SMEs in the UK. That’s 5.9 million businesses communicating a message to their target demographic. And whilst these organisations are targeting different segments of the marketplace, there are only so many people to choose from. That means an awful lot of overlap.

You are not alone

Just because your fabulous new fitness businesses is targeting Mrs. Richards at no. 42, doesn’t mean that there aren’t thousands of other brands striving for some prime real estate, front and centre of her day-to-day life. They all want to be seen.

  • 7am – The alarm clock that wakes her up every morning.
  • 7:10am – The shampoo (to which she is brand loyal – sorry hygiene competitors) that she uses on her hair in the shower.
  • 7:40am – The cereal that she pours into her bowl.
  • 7:41am – The Coffee machine that she prepares her daily fix with.
  • 8:00am – The smartwatch that she glances at on her way back up the stairs.
  • 8:05am – The PC that she switches on with a sigh.
  • 11am – The food delivery that arrives during her morning break.
  • 1.10pm – The ready meal that she shoves into the microwave before…
  • 1.30pm – her virtual meeting, using a software carefully chosen and selected by her and her team.

I could go on, but there are 8 more hours of her average day, filled with a plethora of brands, and you get my point. Every single tangible and visual part of Mrs. Richards’ day has been researched, considered and purchased.

It’s no wonder that a multitude of brands have fallen by the wayside along the way, whilst others have not just survived, but thrived.

40% alcohol. 100% success

Make no mistake – it’s not all doom and gloom, and there is an enormous amount of opportunity for UK brands – small and large.

Absolut vodka won the coveted prize of social media hero from The Spirits Business for its interaction with customers on Twitter and its Instagram Live activity.

bottles of absolut vodka on shelf

Getting involved with major trends such as #DenimDay and giving guidance on DIY facemasks, the alcohol brand gained some prime online visibility and as such was able to cut through the noise at a time when home alcohol sales had risen by a third.

More than just a flash in the pan

New Wagada client and chef-made home delivery food suppliers, fitchef, saw a surge in branded search from April to June, increasing by over 400%.

With an active social media following, dynamic website content and a clearly refined message, fitchef have worked hard to be a serious market contender – and they’ve succeeded.

fitchef’s online presence has quickly grown, and with a strong product to match, the future is bright for owners Matt and Will.


A personal favourite of mine, Budweiser reignited their infamous Whassup campaign for a quarantine ad with a difference. Whilst other brands were working hard to think of something new, the noise was… well… noisy, and Budweiser relied on the strength of their past successes and re-imagined them for a new audience.

Couple that with the #togetheratadistance message on social media, and Budweiser managed something that other brands often fail to do – be original and nostalgic, all at the same time.

Make sure your brand cuts through the noise

Don’t be a brand that falls by the wayside. Stand out from your competitors and be seen and heard in 2020.

For more support and advice on how your brand can cut through the noise, get in touch with the Wagada team today and find out more about how we can support you.

Digital Marketing and the AIDA model in 2019

User habits are changing. Voice search is on the rise, screens are getting bigger again and the decision-making process online is becoming more and more involved.

The AIDA model is a basic marketing model which has arguably been used for centuries and is a simple acronym standing for: Attention, Interest, Desire, Action.

If AIDA isn’t in your strategy yet, read on. It could be the final piece of the puzzle and exactly what you need.


The first stage of the process. At this point, the consumer needs to be made aware of the product or service. These users do not yet know that they want or need it and are in the early stages of discovery. In order to generate awareness, content needs to be created as part of a brand awareness piece. Consider blog content that is tailored towards this. Information pieces designed to catch people at the very first stages of discovery.


Once consumers are aware, there is a key opportunity to create an interest. This is the hook, the content that drives the consumer to take further action. They may begin to research further, search with questioning terminology. Consider the opportunities in your email marketing campaigns to speak to these consumers and keep them engaged with your offering.


Marketing is about creating customer value, and driving an emotional response is key in this. As a marketer or advertiser, your digital content should be tailored to inform, educate and explain, but ultimately to connect the product, service or brand with the consumer. In doing this, an emotional response is generated, leading the consumer to the final stage of the process.

Have you ever introduced video marketing into your strategy? Users respond exceptionally well to visual content, and this could be your chance to bridge the gap between your brand and the target market. But remember: don’t cut corners. Your brand needs to be front and centre and the quality of your content needs to match the quality of your offering. Enlist the services of a professional video production company to create high-quality, branded video content for online distribution.


This content is designed to drive the final action. Content needs to have a comprehensive call to action and a clear message. This is the stage where an interested consumer makes the choice to purchase, subscribe or get in touch. Do you have effective sales pages on your website? Are there buttons encouraging purchase, subscription or contact? Do you have an effective online booking system? Is it easy to complete a contact form? All these things need to be considered and more to ensure that your marketing efforts do not go unrewarded.

How does AIDA fit within a digital marketing strategy in 2019?

It is important to consider all four aspects of this model, as too much of a focus on one could sacrifice the overall effect of your digital marketing content. If content is too light and top-level, reaching consumers in the awareness or interest stage, driving the final conversion can become challenging.

Likewise, if your digital marketing strategy is packed with sales focused campaigns, driving continuous calls to action and booking encouragement, users will become disengaged and walk away – or click off! This is because the early work hasn’t been done in order to make the all-important connection with the consumer.

How do I ensure that my Digital Marketing Strategy ticks all the boxes?

Users see content everywhere they go. From bus shelters to billboards, TVs to mobile phones there is an array of content at every turn. Marketers need to think creatively in order to cut through the noise and ensure that their content is digested ahead of the competition.

In order to do this, a comprehensive content plan should look to speak to consumers at different stages of the decision-making process – or different stages of the sales funnel. Consider this when compiling a marketing strategy, and see the positive effects when you review your sales figures and customer satisfaction levels at the end of the year.

Wagada offers an array of digital marketing services to business across the UK and internationally. If you’re looking for help and advice on how to build an effective digital marketing strategy, contact us today and find out how Wagada can help.

UnGagged 2019

What better way to kick off April than a trip to one of our favourite conferences! The SEO team took the short journey down to London to attend UnGagged 2019, a two-day SEO and digital marketing conference packed with exclusive content and cutting-edge insights from industry leaders.

Unusual in the technical world, the use of video recording devices is banned from the sessions. This allows the experts to openly share their tips and tricks to everyone that attends, without being held back by any large corporate constraints. From local SEO to content marketing, it was brilliant to hear the lowdown from some big industry names.

Located on the iconic Southbank with the London Eye at etc.Venues County Hall, we were not only treated to incredibly interesting, thought provoking and engaging talks, but were thoroughly looked after with a wonderful breakfast and lunch spread! SEO and delicious food is always a winning combination for the Wagada HQ team!

Expert info

We were lucky to listen to a number of seminars from some fantastic speakers. Greg Gifford treated us to a sci-fi themed talk on local SEO, giving us insight into the impact of mobile search on local SEO. He covered everything from local link building, reviews and citations, and covered in depth how we can maximise the impact of Google My Business. An entertaining listen that has got us very excited about local SEO.

Lukasz Zelezny is one of the top 10 social media influencers in the UK, as well as a judge for the UK Search Awards. Travelling up to 75,000km in a single year speaking at social media and SEO conferences all over the world, he truly is an expert in his field so it was fantastic to have the opportunity to hear what he has to say.

Link building low down

We also enjoyed a talk from Judith Lewis on all things link building. She discussed how to get brands noticed more and by more people – from determining what links are safe links and her top tips for 2019, she graced us with a truly insightful talk that has given us a lot of ideas for our clients!

Other speakers that stand out are Hannah Thorpe, for her honest insights regarding the future of SEO, and Luke Carthy for his open talk on all things e-commerce.

As the second day drew to a close, we were left feeling fulfilled and eager to get back to the office so we could put all of our new insights into practice. We look forward to implementing our learnings into our client’s strategies and can’t wait for BrightonSEO next week, for another chance to explore all things SEO.

How to Maximise Your Brand’s Online Exposure for Black Friday 2018

This Black Friday is set to be the biggest yet, with Amazon already offering huge discounts off top technology products including the Kindle, Echo and Fire TV Stick. With high street retailers across the length and breadth of the UK following suit and with consumer-driven sales at the forefront of everyone’s mind this week, the possibilities are endless; but we’ve managed to narrow it down to these five top tips on how to maximise your brand’s exposure this Black Friday.

Make the most of your Google Ads campaigns

Google Ads is currently using a unit specifically promoting Black Friday sales offers in an isolated ad card. This enables brands to put their sales message front and centre ahead of standard search advertising listings.

Behind the scenes, Google has also introduced a trend overview, enabling advertisers to see at a glance how they are performing comparative to last year’s Black Friday event. This will provide advertisers with valuable insight, as the competitive landscape of advertising through Google often throws up significant seasonal trends that can inform future strategy.

Post updates on your Google My Business page

As Rand Fishkin highlighted during his keynote at this year’s Brighton SEO, Google is making every effort to keep traffic on the search platform. With this in mind, your Google My Business page should act as your second homepage and it will often be the first touchpoint for consumers who are Googling your brand.

The good news is that Google My Business is now offering a number of ways for you to engage with customers and potential customers. Post promotional activity and news updates surrounding your Black Friday offerings and ensure to add links encouraging click-through to specific landing pages on your website that support this sales message.

Ensure your website is engaging

It’s important to ensure that your website is geared up for the Black Friday weekend with strong communications promoting your sales. From banners to visual links and striking artwork, your website needs to pop. Produce blog articles and visual content designed to fuel desire and drive engagement and make sure that your messaging is consistent throughout your site.

Remember, if you are a luxury brand promoting luxury goods, your sales message needs to remain the same even during these flash sales. Likewise, if you are offering a budget product, make sure that you position yourself as such even for this short period of time.

Advertise across Facebook and Instagram

You may already be actively promoting your Black Friday and Cyber Monday campaigns on social media, but have you put plans in place to advertise? Facebook’s ad platform has sparked controversy this week by temporarily going down ahead of Black Friday weekend (check out what CNBC had to say about this here), but with one of the biggest shopping days of the year just around the corner, we anticipate that companies will flock towards the social media platform to advertise their sales message and your brand needs to be at the heart of this bidding war. Advertising on Facebook and Instagram will drive brand awareness this weekend, but it can also increase website traffic and, ultimately, conversions.

What comes after Black Friday?

Cyber Monday! Don’t just restrict yourself to a one-day sale. Maximise the opportunity by spreading your sales across a weekend of events culminating in a show-stopping Cyber Monday deal. Four days of sales equals four times the chance of getting your nose in front as brands face a race against time to increase and maximise online brand exposure.

These innovative tactics are tried and tested and are guaranteed to set you on the right track this Black Friday weekend, but if you’re keen to find out more, take a look at Wagada’s Marketing Strategy and Planning services and stay ahead of the curve in the build-up to Christmas.