Author: Phil Aston

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New Video Completed For ‘Of Mist and Moorland’

Sue Aston | Of Mist and Moorland

Here is our latest video production for the new single by Cornish Composer and Violinist Sue Aston

Sue’s latest single features haunting and melodic music which evokes the misty moorland of Cornwall.

The dramatic piano sound is softened and supported by layers of atmospheric strings, from which a solo violin emerges. A fusion of Classical and Celtic styles which is inspired by the natural landscape of Cornwall, the drama of the sea, and the evocative weather conditions shrouding the moors.

This is the official video for this new single which was released on Friday, April 16th.

It is available on all streaming and digital platforms.

The video was filmed at Dozmary Pool on Bodmin Moor in Cornwall by Genius Loci Media

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Social Media trends – Users Are Observing More and Sharing Less

Traditional Social Media is getting quieter as people start to share less. I began to notice this towards the end of last year, and now as we leave the first quarter of 2021, there is a definite shift in user behaviour.

During the first lockdown in everyone spent more time on social media. I think everyone saw an increase in friend requests and the use of live video etc. But then, as the year progressed, people started posting less. Perhaps it was the politics, Conspiracy Theories, increased Ads etc, but the public aspect of social media is quieter.

I feel users are logging in but doing more observing rather than posting. The one area which is increasing is in private groups and communities. Here we see users seeking out like-minded people and preferring to post away from the eyes of advertisers and others who may not share their point of view.

Another reason for social media becoming quieter is that with more and more people working from home, businesses and companies are now using social media to recruit and vet potential employees.
The result is many users are being careful and deliberately curating what they post. Personal profiles will see fewer updates, and what does get posted will be neutral and inoffensive.

On Facebook, I have over 3000 connections, and I used to have to click on ‘Most Recent’ or favourites to see posts from the key people I follow. I no longer have to do that. The ‘Most Recent tab’ brings up almost identical posts, and contacts who used to post regularly now seem to be doing less, sometimes weeks apart. In private groups, the opposite is happening. I run a private music group on Facebook called Now Spinning, and this is more active now than ever, with over 60 posts per day.

Facebook puts a lot of energy into groups, and I feel it is only a matter of time before targeted Ads start to run within them. When this happens, we will see an upturn in online communities based on websites and interests.

We are almost going back to the early years of the internet when people participated in online forums. The difference is people are using their real names and photos and being more open in these private and smaller communities. As for public profiles, some people may be thinking do they need to use them at all.

Phil Aston

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Digital Marketing Trends in 2021

Phil Aston SEO Cornwall Genius Loci Media

Digital Marketing Trends in 2021

These are my observations from the frontline of running a digital agency in 2021.


For what seems like years, various people have been saying the practice of SEO is dead. Perhaps the use of WordPress and Plugins like Yoast have given this impression. It is a bit like having an app on your phone telling you how many steps you have done. If you want to find out how healthy you are, you will need a different set of measures and data. SEO is more important now than ever.

The practice of SEO is a multi-disciplined set of skills now, but it still requires an intuition that comes from being aware of the real people trying to find you and the technology they are using to carry this out.

What I am seeing is people putting more effort and energy now into their websites again. Social Media (which I will come onto later) is going through many changes, and businesses are getting more nervous about relying on rented real-estate like Facebook.

SEO is at the heart of Content Marketing and Digital Marketing. When I see either phrase that is my first thought, how is the SEO going to be implemented?
Any content needs to start with the right intent and objective to help the people find it.

In 2021, your new content will more likely start as a video. The next steps might be extracting the audio for a Podcast, then the transcribed text used for blog posts. Extracts from these blog posts then become part of your social media strategy. The objective now is using all of your business channels to bring in leads and enquiries.

More than ever, customers are cross-checking social media posts with your brand pages and posts on your website. They ask questions on social media, forums, watching videos, reading reviews and then seeing what response they get when getting in touch via email or messenger.

Behind all this SEO is researching your market, key phrases, competitive data, hashtags and analytics across multiple channels and platforms.

2021 is the year you should be investing more in SEO and on a continual basis. Make sure you include your YouTube channel!

Social Media Marketing

I feel Social Media has taken a few body blows in the last 12 months. Covid19, The Election in the USA, Conspiracy Theories, lack of trust, privacy etc. Many people are looking for alternative platforms or growing tired of spending so much time on social media.

Privacy, Apple and new laws are also making the advertising landscape look less and less attractive and more expensive. I have also seen a vast and worrying trend in businesses getting their Ad accounts suspended on Facebook and Instagram. You could lose your entire brand off Facebook if this happens.
Although I have helped a couple of businesses get their Ad Accounts back, it is getting harder, and it is impossible to talk to anyone on these platforms.

Social media is also fragmenting as other fledgeling platforms start to surface. Bibo is going to make a comeback and Club House the audio-only platform is already popular.

Another observation I will make is that each platform has its fans and try as you may; you will not get them to move or join you elsewhere.

I run an online music magazine called Now Spinning. It has a dedicated community within a Facebook Group. It also has accounts on Instagram, Twitter, a Facebook page, Linkedin page, YouTube and of course, a website!
Over the last 12 months, the communities on YouTube and Facebook have been the most active. Although there is some cross over with fans on each platform, most people have NO interest in joining or even being on any other platform.

The idea of sending out one post to every platform is doomed to fail or at the very least result in very little engagement.
If you have a video to upload you are looking at uploading to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube separately. I have run several experiments, and although posting links from YouTube seems a more manageable option, you will get far less engagement on Facebook if you do this.

Is Advertising Worth it on Social Media?

I believe that cold calling is dead in 2021, and this includes all uninvited email campaigns.
I do feel, however, that there are some benefits to advertising on social media. If your objective is to raise your brand profile, then Facebook works very well with Instagram coming in behind it. Simply trying to sell on Facebook is not as effective as it was and if you get your Ad copy wrong, you can get penalised.
I do not recommend advertising on Twitter as the platform now is more news orientated.

Video Marketing

From personal experience, nothing builds trust faster than video. Of course, meeting people face to face may be better, but a video has the potential to be discovered globally.
Another tip for 2021 is to make sure your YouTube Channel is optimised and has new content regularly.
The other thing I cannot emphasise more is answering every comment and in a timely fashion. The difference this can make to you getting discovered and gaining new subscribers is enormous.

Where Should You Post?

Youtube – This is essential and as I have mentioned your channel should be optimised and updated whenever possible. Use 1080dpi

Facebook – Also very important, I find uploading at 720dpi gets the best results.

Instagram – I find this is best for video of fewer than 60 seconds. You can post on IGTV up to any length, but a long-form video is not why people are on Instagram, so I have found engagement falls in the last 12 months.

Vimeo – There are many reasons to use these platform but if you want to be discovered by people who do not know you, use YouTube.

Twitter / Linkedin – keep them short otherwise use YouTube and your website.

Stop Trying To Be Everyone Else

I work a lot with hospitality businesses, and in the last few years, the tone of voice used for branding has become almost interchangeable. The introductions, the descriptions of the rooms, food, the photos all look the same. It can take looking at the contact information to realise that you are in a different location.
For most businesses in 2021, you have 30 seconds to grab someone’s attention. By the time they find you, they may have a dozen tabs open as they flick from one to the other.
The businesses that talk from the heart and do not try to be anyone else are the ones that will get the enquiries in 2021.

If you want any help or advice on any of the topics raised here, please get in touch.

Phil Aston 

+44(0)1736 719342 | phil.aston@geniusloci.co.uk

Quick linksSEO ServicesSocial MediaVideo Marketing / YouTube – Website / WordPress Management


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60 seconds on Content Marketing

60 seconds on Content Marketing

Edited video transcript below

There are many ways to add new content to your online world.
You could just post something onto your favourite social media channel and think job done.

But what about your audience and potential customers who could discover you from your other social channels and your website?

The issue could also be you have mentioned something in your post that is not mirrored on your website because you have yet to update it.

My advice is you should use your website as your main hub but at the same time utilise the power of video and text.

  1. Record a video like this on your phone
  2. Extract the audio and transcribe it to text
  3. Add the video and text to your website as a blog or update.
  4. Use snippets from the Blog for your social media posts with links back to your website or call to action page.

Phil Aston
Genius Loci Media

SEO Content Marketing Support from Cornwall

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SEO Tips

SEO and Content Marketing are very much joined at the hip. The most important thing is to turn up and be consistent.

Produce a piece of content that can be shared across your channels but keep the message personal for each audience. Experient with the times of postings and write from the heart.

This is about building trust with humans before search engines.

We can all get bogged down with trying to be super creative and spending far too much time scrolling the creativity of others. I find it easier to think about what I am trying to achieve rather than just thinking well that’s the blog post out the way!

Document what you are doing and if you are between projects, document your thinking, your ideas. Let your potential clients/customers have a peek around the curtain.  Also, try and use imagery that stands out, try and avoid stock photos and just think outside the box. It will be fun!

Phil Aston

Genius Loci Media

+44(0)1736 719342

SEO Services | SEO Prices


SEO Cornwall with Daleks - got you looking ! Genius Loci Media

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Evergreen Content Will Always Have a Life of its Own

Evergreen Content Will Always Have a Life of its Own
I had a client a couple of months ago say that they were getting very little traction from their blogs and perhaps they should just concentrate purely on Facebook as that is where they got the most engagement.

I tried to convince them that putting all your content on one platform (which you have no control over) could be a big mistake but they decided that was what they wanted to do.

Three weeks later they noticed in Google Analytics that a blog post from 2017 had suddenly started to get shared over 100 times a day, first from Youtube, then Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin. Other pages linked from this were also getting way more traction.

The piece of content was timeless, it had been discovered and was now introducing a whole new audience to the clients business and knowledge.

Everything you post is there to be discovered, you might think it has had its day but for someone else, it could be just what they wanted at that moment.

Phil Aston
Genius Loci Media
+44(0)1736 719342

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Content Marketing Tips – Blogging, Podcasts and Video

Video Duration 5 mins (Transcription Below)

How often should you blog? That’s a question I get asked a hell of a lot.
Another way of looking at it is what kind of medium do you also want to use? Because there are so many options now.
Are you going to use video? And if you are, are you going to do ‘live video’or is it going to be pre-recorded video?

Perhaps you should be looking at podcasts?
Everyone’s talking about podcasts now. Should you be doing that as well? But again, what about your blog? And what do you even put on your blog and how often should you do it?

Try and see it as one piece of content. I would recommend video as your starting point. I don’t go live because it can come across as an interruption unless you have been promoting it in advance.

On Facebook you might get some people looking at your broadcast, but I tend to find presenters spend too much time saying ‘Hi’ to the people they see pop up in the newsfeed. This behaviour can take away the focus and most people will start to get bored very quickly if you do not stay on message.
Also, it is a major commitment to go live at the same time every week. What if you have a dental appointment or when your cat is sick!

A pre-recorded video has many more options because that pre-recorded video can also be a podcast and once transcribed a blogpost as well.

You can decide if you want to do this monthly, biweekly or weekly and this will be a lot easier to stick to.
The key thing with content marketing is to be consistent and ensure you turn up. Search engines will know there is fresh material coming onto the website, and your audience also knows to check because will not want to miss anything.

This takes us to the other key point. What do you talk about?
This is where a lot of people get hung up thinking they’ve got to find this incredible piece of quality content every time they post. Maybe you do sometimes, and you have lots of engagement, and then you have a nightmare thinking how do I top that!

Rather than getting hung up about being Uber creative, why don’t you document what you’re doing throughout your working week? You will be working on projects for clients, which you could talk a little bit about, perhaps a problem comes up that you solve, the solution could be the topic, or maybe you’ve gone out for a walk, and you got inspired by something that is also a possible blog post.
A photograph from your week and a few lines of texts is a blog post.

Another way to look at this is to see the main pages of your website as your corporate look. Your services are there, your about page etc.
This is the part of the website that wears the business suit, and your blog post is the jeans and tee-shirt version part of your brand.informally
It is more chatty, like meeting informally by the drinks machine. you can talk about what you are up to, maybe talking about what music is playing on in your home office (Deep Purple here!) and bring that into your client work.
So rather than getting hung up, which means that you’ll miss a week or keep putting it off. Pick a day when you are going to publish and make notes during the week and remember it doesn’t have to be long.

This video ended up being about five minutes, but it could be just two minutes next time.
The key thing is to turn up and be consistent because if you don’t do that, you will become invisible!

If you need any help with content marketing or how to feel comfortable in front of a camera, just let me know and I would be delighted to talk to you.
Thanks very much.

Phil Aston

Genius Loci Media

+44(0)1736 719342

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How You Make People Feel – Is How You Will Be Remembered

How You Make People Feel – Is How You Will Be Remembered
I work a lot with hospitality businesses, Hotels, Restaurants, Pubs, Holiday parks etc. Part of what I do is look for trends and monitor these via SEO and Social.

I have to say that I am appalled by what many of these businesses are having to deal with. I am hearing tales of Staff dreading going in and in tears at the end of a shift.

Establishments that had wall to wall 5-star reviews are now getting 1-star reviews and abuse because customers don’t like current the restrictions or have lost all empathy via online booking and payment apps.
It seems like the personality changes we see some people have when they get behind a wheel is spilling over into those that are using a QR code to book a table.

Be kind, be supportive and be remembered for the right reason.

Phil Aston
Genius Loci Media

Working in a restaurant after lockdown is a living hell – From Wired


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Are You A Perfectionist

Are You A Perfectionist?

(Video Duration 6 mins)
Do you have a project or idea that never seems quite ready, then this will help.

Video Transcript Below
This is not advice about marketing as such it is about how you apply yourself to your business, projects and passions. A friend of mine Thad Cox shared a post on his Facebook Group recently and he was talking about the problems of being a perfectionist. If you’re a perfectionist, you tend to not get things done or you have projects that just stick around for ages because they are never quite ready.

It is a bit like if you take on anything new, you have to make sure you buy all the right equipment, all the right software and read all the right books before you even start it. Then ironically all these things can mean you never actually start at all!

I have never really been that kind of person, my approach has been I have an idea and when I am about 50 to 60% ready and I launch it. I just go for it, even though it’s not quite ready (sometimes nowhere near ready). I just launch into it, this is because I have always felt that the best ideas come once a project or an idea are actually running. It is also when you start to see what doesn’t work. You start to see things from a different perspective and you start to adapt and come up with things that you would never do otherwise. If it was still in the kind of laboratory stage, or you were still writing your business plan you may not see these new ideas or a way ahead.

But the reason I’m saying all this is that I have noticed that I’ve changed.

When I read Thad’s post it made me realise that I have got a couple of projects that really should be further down the line than they actually are. Basically I have been copying them over from my weekly to-do list from one week to the next. I might make a note that it has to be launched by Friday, and then I cross it off at the end of the week and on Monday write it in again!  As I said this is very unlike me, so why is this?

The reason is that when I look back at when I started my business or whatever projects I have done in my life, I have basically just used my gut feeling and maybe touched base with one or two people. I have then just thought, that’s enough info and I move to the next stage of implementation or launch.

So what is different?

Now I have access to the whole world via the internet.

I have access to unlimited voices via social media from Twitter to Facebook, to LinkedIn, to YouTube, whatever my concern is, I can type that concern into a search box and what will return will be 1000s of pages, videos and posts of people’s opinions and experience on what they think.

So then I have to go through all of this data and media thinking should I listen to that person or follow that path, do this or do that. There will be some people saying it will not work or has been done before even though each answer it actually not 100% relevant to what you are trying to do. The result can be a feeling of being overwhelmed and as a result, you put off doing anything and park your idea yet again.

The problem with perfectionism is that we now don’t have the confidence in our own gut feeling because we feel that whatever we’re going to do we need to check with others before we do anything. It could be something as simple as watching a film on Netflix.  Instead of just thinking, well, that looks good, we Google it to see what other people think. Then we read a few reviews and then see that only seven out of ten people rated the film. So worry if it worth watching it?

So if we that over watching a film, what happens when it is something bigger like a project that’s going to have financial implications attached to it?. We can have worries about what people may think and keep collecting more data carrying out more searches until our perfectionism just says let’s look at this again next week.

So this made me think on this one particular project I have been putting off for a while.  I sat and did my best to think of all the variables and started to go down another rabbit hole and still could not see a way forward.

There was only one solution, something I would have always done before – I just launched it and stepped back.

What happened Next

And as soon as I launched it, literally within two minutes, the answer to the problem appeared. This was because I could see it in a live instance and straight away I could see what I needed to do.

As humans, we are like a ship that has been launched. It’s too late to go back to port for a complete refit. However, we can fix and tweak things as we carry on with our journey. This is your journey of life,  your projects and your passions. Even when you tweak things along this journey, it’s not going to be perfect. Each tweak will either push you forward or you may slide back, and then you’ll see a different way and you’ll go forward again.

The real problem in being a perfectionist is you are trying to control every outcome and imagine every possible variable. This is impossible. Once your idea has wings it is time to fly. It may feel scary but that is where the real creative opportunities are.

Phil Aston

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Digital Marketing August Update

Video Transcript
Hi, this is Phil Aston from Genius Loci Media in the far West of Cornwall

Is your Facebook business Page a website?

No, it’s not a website. It’s a page on someone else’s online space, and you are at the mercy of whatever that organisation decides to do now or in the future. (Remember Google Plus?)

Do you remember when Facebook was really keen in wanting people to set up their own business page on the platform? You set up our Facebook Business Page and asked lots of people, contacts etc to like your page and then you posted content and everyone saw it.  Basically you helped build Facebook’s business. Then as soon as it became successful, they then stopped everyone seeing your posts. (it is less than 2% now).  So then they encouraged you to actually advertise to the people that already liked your page. So again, you were building their business.

So what is happening now since the world changed with COVID?

Well, even those Facebook Ads (or any Ads!) do not work the way they used to.

If you are building brand awareness, there’s still some mileage in Facebook Ads, but if you’re trying to sell products or services, people aren’t going to take your word for it anymore.  Users can now say they do not want to see your Ads and can block them on their mobiles. Running Ads is really is kind of a cul-de-sac right now.

So your Facebook Business Page is not your website, and this is not a video to try and make you build a new website. It about is aimed at people, who have a website but have neglected it due to all your focus being on your social platforms.  Your website is perhaps sitting there and had not been updated for a while and the message it is out of sync with you recent Facebook posts. I see a fair few websites where the last blog post merely states they are going to do more blogs posts and even that was a few months ago.

Social media is actually more important now than ever as it is where your customers can share information and read reviews from real people but they are still going to check out your website to ensure the message is the same and read material which will help build trust before they make a decision.  Your website should be where you post your content first. This is where you are in control, it is your domain and online space. Whatever social media channels rise or fall your website will remain as your content mothership representing your brand online.  This is where SEO comes in and having good quality content that answers questions from your customers and fans.

It is from your website that you can then share your content to your Facebook Business Page, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube etc, Your website is your content hub. You’re probably thinking,  that’s a hell of a lot of work to keep on top of this (it is). But what this current Pandemic situation is telling us is that this is when you should be investing in your content strategy. This is when you should also be thinking about connecting with people through video to build trust even more.

I have personally learned a great deal during this period. I am based in Cornwall and have been a fairly regional business, but now through video, I can connect with new clients anywhere in the world.  I’ve got just as much chance of getting a client in New Zealand or Los Angeles as I have in getting them in Truro or Camborne. This also puts emphasis on the role of your website. You may be talking to people via Linked or Facebook but your main brand representation is your website. 

I can talk to people anywhere in the world. I no longer think of clients and having a face to face meeting once a month, I can jump on to a video call via Zoom to have a quick update at any time.  Thinking regional can restrict your business or even your creativity. You can have a zoom call with someone in Los Angeles or mountain time in America and then just carry on with other tasks. You might be thinking you can’t build relationships the same way via video as face to face. I would argue that. Yes, you can.

If you want help on anything I have mentioned in this video from SEO, updating your website or even knowing what microphone or what video camera to use for video calls please get in touch.

Phil Aston
Genius Loci Media
+44(0)1736 719342

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