Category

Essex

Nova Sponsors Barking & Dagenham Chamber Of Commerce Awards 2015

By | Brand development, Business, Business advice, Essex, General | No Comments

The Nova Agency is proud to be sponsoring the Young Entrepreneur Award at the Barking and Dagenham Chamber of Commerce (BDCC) Business Awards 2015. At what will certainly be a fantastic evening, businesses from around Essex will gather to celebrate the best and brightest that the South East has to offer.

The Young Entrepreneur Award

This category is open to a young innovative business mind (under the age of 30) who has demonstrated vision and creativity in their work. Does this sound like you or someone you know?

The judges will want to know:

• Your vision for the business
• How you have achieved your objectives, and overcome obstacles
• Your plan for the coming year

This is an excellent opportunity to gain the recognition you deserve. Apply or register your interest here!

Where

The BDCC Business Awards will be held at the impressive function room at Dagenham and Redbridge Football Club. The perfect venue to celebrate such an event the function room will help to all to celebrate the Awards in style.

Dates For Your Diary

Entries are open and applicants can apply here.

Entry form closes at 5pm on the 7th of June.

Successful applicants will then be told and provided with free tickets to the event on July 16th! Get your finest wear ready!

How To Apply

So are you a bright young individual making strides in your industry? Or do you know someone who shines at the work that they do? If so get involved and sign up today!

5 SEO Tricks You Didn’t Know

By | Business, Essex, General, SEO, Social Media | No Comments

SEO

SEO or Search Engine Optimisation is a term that I am sure you are hearing more and more these days.  To put it simply SEO means ‘how to get Google (as the main Search Engine we will be using Google throughout) to notice my website.’  Think about a shop in a shopping centre and all the methods store managers use to make sure people visit them.  Leafleting and standard advertisement works but nothing is more effective than having the shopping centre promote them and push their offerings to visitors.  The exact same applies to your online store.  To drive more traffic to your website you have to be found on the 1st page of Google search, 2nd page at a push.

There are  2 main ways of doing this:

1)         Pay Google to put you at the top of the 1st page.

2)         Use a few of our simple SEO tips to appeal to the Google algorithms and push you to the top organically. Where are these Tips I’m talking about? Keep reading.

1.Social Media

Nova touched upon the relationship between SEO and Social Media in our blog post ‘Social Media & SEO A Match Made in Heaven’ where we emphasized that your page ranking can be directly impacted by your Social Media presence.  There are numerous reasons why Social Media is so great for your page ranking.  Firstly, it is a great platform to promote Specifically the more ‘shares’ you have the higher Google will rank you, and the best way so make it easy to share is the key point here.

Google’s newest algorithm update ‘Hummingbird’ specifically looks at the standing of your Social Media presence. Rather than backlinks it would seem Google is actively more interested in the amount of ‘Shares’ your FB page generates as well as the popularity of your Google + page.

2.Interesting Content

This follows on well from Social Media I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, genuine interesting content is vital to a successful SEO campaign. Remember one of Nova’s key rules:

If Content Is King Then Conversion Is Queen

The two go hand in hand. If you generate good content and put it out there conversations will start to happen. Google bots will pick up on the new interesting additions to your website as well as the ‘Shares’ ‘Likes’ and ‘Retweets’ that come with it, all of which ticks Google’s SEO boxes pushing your website up in their page rankings.

One of the best ways to do both is by regularly updating a Blog page on your website. Now we’re not talking once a week every week, but just once a month a 500 word post offering a genuine insight into your industry and what you do as a company can significantly help your SEO ranking.

3.Webmaster Tools

If you are serious about increasing your Search Engine ranking and I mean serious then you have to get to grips with Webmaster Tools. I use Google Webmaster Tools as it works well with Google Analytics. Where Webmaster Tools aid help you is in pointing out problems on your site that cause Google Bots to send negative SEO readings back to Google. Once rectified it will give you a positive SEO boost. So where Analytics tells you about the visitors you’re already attracting, Webmaster Tools helps you attract a whole new group of visitors.

4.Get more mobile friendly

Google have just reported changes to be initiated in the USA which will hit the UK soon.  Now Google will highlight when their algorithms find a website that is not mobile responsive, this will have the negative effect of encouraging people to avoid your site.  This then has a knock on effect on your page ranking and so should be a serious consideration when creating or re-developing your website.

The fact is Google prefers responsive web design not just for you, but for them also.  It’s more efficient for Google bots to trawl through the site, additionally if your site is repsponsive therefore combining your desktop and mobile site onto one URL it makes the site easier to share and for people to engage with.  If a visitor is unhappy when trying to view a mobile site on a desktop it creates a higher bounce rate causing problems for Google’s external link algorithm which will then harm your SEO.

5.Change the way you think about keywords

Previously Google focused on the words used in a particular search to evaluate the keywords you use in your site.  Now Google will also be looking at the intent of the searcher and will look to predict the answer of their next searches dependent on a previous search.  For example if you were to search “Who is Jennifer Lawrence?” then it will come up with her Wikipedia and IMDB pages.  If you were to then search “What films has she been in?”  then Google will presume that you mean Jennifer Lawrence and provide you to links about The Hunger Games, Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle.  To get to grips with this new SEO style start thinking about the subject of your website, what information it provides and where your service is located.

Do you have any great tips for increasing your Page Ranking?

What do you think of Google’s developments?

As always we would love to hear from you! Either in the comments section below or Tweet us @TheNovaAgency

 

How To Block Game Invites & Spoiler Accounts On Facebook & Twitter

By | Essex, Social Media, Technology | No Comments

Do-You-Want-To-Play-Candy-Crush

To celebrate Social Media Day we thought we would share with you two of our favourite tips for Facebook and Twitter. Trust us these tips will vastly improve your Social Media experience!

So without further ado here they are!

Our Favourite Facebook Tip

How to Block An App on Facebook

This is the one that I see crop up over and over again on my Facebook newsfeed.  In fact posts begging for people to stop sending them ‘Candy Crush’ or ‘Farmville’ invites is such a regular theme that it is what prompted me to write this blog post in the first place!  I’m sure you’ve been on the receiving end of one of these annoying requests, the mosquitos of the online world.  Or you are one of those who love the games and in order to progress to the next level send out pleas for help to your loyal, wonderful friends.

And who can blame you that is what friends are for right?  But whether you are the receiver or the ‘sendee’ there is something you can do to save your friendship before the addiction of the game or the influx of invites breaks you down to the point of despair.

Follow these simple steps for your own peace of mind and enjoy an app free Facebook today!

1)   Log into your Facebook account.  Select ‘Settings’

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2)   Look to the left and select ‘Blocking

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3)   It will bring you to the following page:

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This is a pretty helpful page that can help you conquer a few different annoying notifications on Facebook.  You can restrict what a certain friend sees on your profile (without their knowledge) or block event invitations if someone you know is prone to doing so.

But that’s not what we’re here for right now, right now we want to know how to block a specific App and any invites it comes with.

To do this there are two different options:

1)   Type the name of the friend who keeps sending you the invite.  This works if there is only one repeat offender and there is the added option to block any future App invites no matter the App.

2)   Block an app completely.  This will prevent the App from gaining any information from your Facebook Page and will block all invites from any of your friends playing that particular App.  This is the option I tend to opt for.

And there you have it!

Our Favourite Twitter Tip

How To Mute An Annoying Twitter Account

Has your Boss started Tweeting about and only about work?

Is a particular friend of yours posting spoilers about Game Of Thrones?

Is a company spamming you with uninteresting content a bit too much?

Yet still you do not want to un-follow them in fear of rudeness (A very British problem) or even worse that it might force their hand into un-following you.

Well Twitter may have presented you with an answer. In their infinite wisdom Twitter recently introduced (with little fanfare) a mute function that allows you to effectively ‘silence’ another account.

To do this, like with Facebook, there are two ways:

1) Straight from your newsfeed. All you have to do is click on ‘More’ at the bottom of the tweet and click ‘Mute @_________’

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2) From their account. If you have taken some time to look through their account, debate whether you should, and then come to the decision that yes you need a break from their tweets for just a little while you can click on the ‘gear’ symbol to the left of the ‘following’ tab then select ‘Mute @_________’

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Once you have selected the mute function their Tweets will no longer plague your Twitter feed. More importantly they will not know that you have blocked them ignorance really is bliss in this instance.

We know what you are thinking, as online marketers are we not worried that you will now go and mute our Twitter account. Honestly it hadn’t even crossed our minds because even if you were to ‘mute’ our account as long as the content we send out is interesting and of value you will still see it.

How?

Well you will still be able to see a Tweet from a muted account if it is Re-tweeted by an account you follow. Or if we think that a Tweet will be of particular use to you and directly tweet you via your handle you will still be able to see the Tweet.

So if you put out great content (and we think we do) then the mute function will not affect you!

We hope these two tips help you, if you would like to talk to anyone about how to make the most of your Social Media experience feel free to tweet @HWalshNDM or e-mail her on h.walsh@novadigitalmedia.com

Why Websites Are Not A COST To Your Business!

By | Business, Essex, Web Design | One Comment

Cost:

‘an amount that has to be paid or spent to buy or obtain something’

Two words that resonate from that definition by Google are:

• Paid
• Spent

Well what do those words mean?

Paid:
• To give
• To settle
• To suffer in retribution
• To transfer money
• To repay
• To pay in debt

Spent:
• Used up; Consumed
• Having come to an end
• Depleted of energy
• Tired; Worn Out; Exhausted
• Used Up, Consumed

Do these sound like words you want to use to describe the process of acquiring your businesses most valuable asset?!

Nova Digital Media have coined a phrase we use to describe the commercial release of funds to create a digital presence online for your business:

Corporate Digital Investment

Why use “’Investment’ to describe a website?

Define Investment: (thefreedictionary.com)

• Property or another possession acquired for future financial return or benefit
• A commitment, as of time or support
• The act of investing effort
• A thing invested in such as a business

Sound more like the words you want to hear?

One of the largest problems Web Designers face when selling their wares is cost, as soon as you concern yourself with cost you are fighting a losing battle, there will always be someone else out there willing to offer cheaper website than you.

At Nova we sell on value, our websites are valuable assets that increase revenue and give your business a direct online benefit.

For example an ecommerce website that brings a business 40% of their revenue should have at least 40% of the marketing budget allocated to ensure that revenue is sustained right?

Then why oh why do most people buy on price and not return of investment?!

It’s crazy!!

The best analogy I’ve ever used to accurately describe this insane buy on price situation is the “Build me a house” model.

Picture, if you will, someone asking a builder they have never met before, “build me a house!”. The builder then a little surprised by this blunt request agrees reluctantly, then without anymore being said the Home owner follows up with a classic question…”Oh and how much will that be?”

How would the builder then explain what considerations need to go into building a house:

  • What plot of land to use and where?
  • Which Architect to use…?
  • What size is the house?
  • How many rooms?
  • What is the function of the rooms?
  • What materials are required (structurally / aesthetically)?
  • What materials are wanted (wood / metal / glass)?
  • Which professionals do you want working on the job?

Imagine the huge variables involved in the “costs” that are building up.

As you can imagine there are too many assumptions to make for the builder to simply pluck a figure from the air. Of course with experience the builder could say a figure and constrict the buyers dreams by fitting limiting their choices but we’re not building a house and we don’t believe in constraint.

One way to do it would be to say to the buyer, “My hourly rate is £xxx, resources are not included within that fee and I do not know how long the build will take.” Not a very comforting concept, you may as well hand the builder a signed cheque and let him fill out the amount.

Our considerations for Internet Marketing are in many ways the same as the builder but we have “revenues” coming back to consider building into your Internet strategy.

The main question is – How much money do you want to make from your website?

  • How big is the site?
  • What does the site do?
  • How much content have you got / do you need?
  • Do you have photos / Are they good enough?
  • Which coders will we need?
  • Will you need photography or copy writing services?

Consider we are building your online shop front, your 2-way communication with your clients and integrated marketing solutions to grow your business.

Deciding what is best for you and your business and what other external considerations need to be used in tandem with your website should not be something you rush into with the best “price”, and definitely not something taken without serious advice and consideration.

Long term goals, milestones and task need to be considered. Does the company you’re working with match your values and ideas? Are you comfortable with them? Do you trust them? Will they be there to support you in a year or two?

30% of all start-up businesses fail in the first year so it is important to consider if the company you’re working with is established, respected and most of all if you like the work they have done in the past.

Nova have adopted a very simple 4-stage process to guide our clients through the battle field of unlimited choice and infinite possibilities and it all begins with professional and serous consultancy in the form of a fact finding meeting. This meeting can be in person or over Skype or phone, and takes anything from 30 minutes or more.

After all we have no idea what you want to achieve from your website! Our mission is to fact find and discover what it is you would like to have, what you need and what you have to have to do to hit goals.

For example; Do you need to be found on Google for certain search terms? Do you have systems in place to sell you services internally? Do you have a CRM and would you like your web leads to be injected straight in? Do you use Social Media and if not which platforms would be best for you?

This is just the tip of the iceberg and there are plenty of other considerations to take into account as well.

If you want to have a serious Internet presence, if you need results driven solutions just call a company like Nova that acts professionally enough not to just take your money without question.

For clear blue-sky solutions for your business call Nova Digital Media or The Nova Agency Today on 01708553320.

Happy Birthday Nova

By | Business, Essex, Technology | One Comment

Nova’s One Year Birthday

Last Friday witnessed Nova’s 1st year birthday and we do not take it for granted that we have made it. The statistics are not on our side with a third of all new companies failing in their first year. We have had a lot of help along the way whilst putting in some serious hours ourselves to make it work.

Time has flown by since we first begun and so we have attempted to document some of the biggest changes since we began taking our first steps in the big bad online world. We have evolved and adapted and expanded in all directions, but more importantly we have remained a company we can proud of.

Moving Onto Bigger And Better

Our first big step was to move offices from Basildon to the CEME Centre of Innovation and Excellence in Rainham. Closer to London and boasting an inspiring environment the CEME Centre encouraged our upward trajectory and cemented Nova Digital Media as a serious Digital Company.

We love our new offices, the team here understand our goals and offer a helping hand whenever possible. There’s room here too if you fancy being our neighbour!

Congratulations It’s Twins!

Well not quite. Our most recent piece of news takes the form of a brand new exciting company: Nova Connect. Pushing the boundaries of technology Nova Connect aims to deliver solutions that will help you to engage with your clients like never before. Aim to be different with Nova Connect.

With Nova Connect we are pushing harder than ever talking to a whole range of new clients. We have time for everyone from SMEs to Governmental Departments to Blue Chip Companies we’re talking to as many people as possible!

New Faces

We have gone from one man’s dream to a team of nine. With a dedicated Web Design Team, PR inspired Social Media gurus, avid networkers and out of this world creative team. Together they produce some of the most unique and effective campaigns that can be found on the web.

Included within this growing team are the core employees of Nova Digital Media with the notable addition of John Wallace as Managing Director.

Rebrand

Here at Nova we are vain beings and understand how a change in style can make the world of difference. It is for this reason that we have planned a few makeovers during the last year ready for our second. We have brand new business cards, and an exciting new look about to launch in the coming weeks. Our new websites are almost ready promoting some of our newest tech and the wonderful Nova Connect.

A Clear Process

In order to have a machine work at maximum capacity there has to be some element of trial and error. Over the past twelve months we have worked hard to create a process that allows our team to become an extension of your company rather than an outsourcing cost. If you were to pick up the phone today then you would begin a clear journey towards success.

To put it simply after the first ‘hellos’ we would:

• Consult
• Conceive
• Design
• Deliver

Over the past year we have witnessed a few lows (nerf guns in the office and chocolate during diets) that are completely out-weighed by the highs (new offices, new company, new tech, new Nova). Come and enjoy the next year with us!

Social Media And SMEs

By | Business, Essex, Social Media | No Comments

Yesterday on Radio 4 a guest speaking on behalf of last night’s Brit Awards explained how they have made this year’s show more exciting than ever by, “having the ceremony streaming live to over 150 countries on Youtube and allowing viewers to vote on Twitter for the first time. Social Media is central to everything we’re doing this year.” And it worked. Not only has #BRITAwards2014 remained a Top trend since the event but it was flooded with Tweets casting votes for a particular boy band, who like Voldemort I refuse to call by name.

Now of course a British SME will not be looking to the Brit Awards as a business model that can realistically be followed. Social Media does not have to be ‘central’ to everything that you are doing but now more than ever it should have a more pivotal role within your company. A recent report of survey answers from American companies show that 90% of small businesses are actively engaging in Social Media every day.

And where America goes the UK, and some may not be happy about this, tends to follow. Alongside this growth in Social networking participation these American SMEs also witnessed a 42% increase in customers gained with online and social channel driving the most business. Already 57% of small businesses in the UK use Social Media and the number is growing every day.

Can your company really afford to miss out on Social Media when in the next 2-5 years Social Media will be the one of, if not, the primary channel of communication between businesses and consumers.

You may be sitting there saying that your key demographic isn’t on Social Media, well Twitter’s largest user group are 55-64 year olds and Facebook well Facebook has over 1 billion members so if you can’t find your target market there I’m not sure where you will find them.

Markets were created because people began congregating to discuss daily life and then needing somewhere to buy products. Sellers seeing an opportunity set up stalls to flog their wares. Ask yourself, where are the majority of your customers now> Now when you are not limited by physical restrictions and can attract new custom all around teh world, where are they congregating to gossip, discuss, and debate. Where are they looking and asking for new products.

The answer is, if you haven’t already guessed it, on Facebook, Twitter, Google + and Pinterest to name but a few.

But be warned it’s not just about tweeting and posting about deals and offers. It is not a ‘traditional’ method of communication. The everyday user has dictated the etiquette on Twitter, and it’s companions, it is a social place and so the majority of your posts should be relaxed and invite conversation.

Social Media gives with one hand and takes away with the other. That is why a guiding hand can make all the difference between getting lost amongst the chatter or transforming into the ultimate conversationalist.

The scary fact is that many SMEs are going to have to step out of their comfort zone and embrace Social Media. Albert Enstein once said, “A ship is always safer at shore but that is not what it is built for.” Your business needs to be heard, whether it’s to tell people about an offer, or to show off a testimonial it needs a forum to do this and the new slightly scary world of Social Media is this forum.

But don’t worry Nova Digital Media can help you every step of the way. Whether it’s simply setting up your accounts and showing you how to ‘Tweet’ or running a fully fledged campaign across multiple Social Media we have a team of self-confessed Media addicts ready for you.

Give us a call today for more information, just ask for Helena: 01708553320

7 Reasons Why You Should Outsource To A Social Media Agency

By | Business, Essex, Social Media | One Comment

Why Do I Need a Social Media Agency?

Social Media is fast becoming one of the more integral parts to many companies online marketing strategy.  Many SME companies will look to use Social Media and their first reaction will be to either do it themselves or bring it in-house. The option that many of them should be taking however, is to bring in the expertise of a Social Media Agency.

“I can do Social Media myself”

“I already have a Facebook Account”

“Our IT guy takes cares of all that.”

How many times have you heard those comments from potential clients?  How many times have you said this to a Social Media Agency?  It may not be the exact same words but surely you have heard a variation of these words, scrambled but conveying the same point: “I do not need someone else to control my Social Media presence, I’m not even sure I need Social Media for my business.”

Unfortunately for the majority of business’ out there this is simply not the truth.  Social Media will be a vital aspect of your business in the next five – ten years and should be invested in before you miss out.

For those of you that believe that you can simply get someone In-house to do your Social Media here are 7 reasons why outsourcing to a Social Media Agency would be a far more efficient and cost effective method to implement.

 

THE BIG SEVEN

1)   Accountability

Any agencies worth their salt professionally provide Social Media every day for a minimum of 8 hours a day per employee week in week out.  Our Social Media Managers are graduates with London PR experience and have an aptitude in literacy and a passion for Social Media.  They thrive for a challenge and understand the digital landscape better than anyone.

They may have a great understanding on system platforms but would they be able to predict upcoming trends?  Would they be able to generate genuine content that the public wants to interact with?

Running campaigns here are professional Social Media Managers that understand the Social Media platforms for business use and use these to promote, test new methods and create new systems for promotions every-day.

As this is a professional service there are certain levels of accountability required for clients’ expectations and results need to be measured and proven. If a member of staff is not equipped properly to lead a business’ expedition into the jungle that is Social Media it can and will ruin a client’s relationship with their staff.

2)   Defined Systems

Our systems are monitored, measured, tweaked and tested every week and we are continually developing them to ensure that you are getting the very best from our efforts.   That’s a job in itself I assure you.

Social Media is not a ‘flash in the pan’.  It’s been around for years and Nova Digital Media has been there to watch the rise of Facebook, the fall of Myspace and maybe even it’s phoenix like rise from the ashes.  We scoff as new Social Media Platforms get absorbed into others like a method of Software osmosis.

As a result some Social Media Agencies have tried these social platforms and found where they are comfortable in the industry.  They will then specialize in Twitter or Facebook but are never good at both.

A Social Media Agency cannot afford to be a Jack-of-All-Trades, OR a master of none.  Here at Nova Digital Media are Social Media experts who understand the key Social Media tools and platforms.  Additionally we pride ourselves on our in house systems that we have in place so we can utilize all the platforms at once offering a well-rounded and thorough experience for you, your users, and us.

It is literally impossible for a single member of staff to specialize in all areas, our expertise is not focused on one individual and is instead spread over 3-4 members of staff who all have an input into campaigns.

Our systems are monitored, measured, tweaked and tested every week and we are continually developing them to ensure that you are getting the very best from our efforts.   That’s a job in itself I assure you.

3)   Knowledge

In order to be truly successful in Social Media you will have to have a knowledgeable individual running your campaigns.  Whether this is a member of staff or you have outsourced the work this is inevitable.

However being knowledgeable is not enough and that individual has to be supported by a variety of people with experience in other fields who can help build a campaign.

If you are prepared to support that one person with a team of others who can help on campaigns then so be it, but many companies cannot afford this.

If you were to hire an agency however, then others will automatically support that one person who runs your campaign with experience in a variety of online skills.

I for example have 12 years Web design and development experience combined with a sales driven background.  Therefore, my experience is different from someone that learnt how to be a Social Media Manager from a home study course and was a Plumber for fifteen years before that.

It is this eye for design, graphical skills, industrial knowledge and experience that all add maturity of using a Digital Agency instead of a member of Staff.

4)   Content

Being an insider may deter you from communicating your ideas to your audience in a way that they understand and appreciate fully.

Having a certain communication tendencies could dissuade people to talk and communicate with you due to the language you use.  We call this Social Media etiquette.

How you behave online should be the same way you behave with your staff and your clients.  Although old habits die hard, mistakes are made and the odd roughly edged comment or un-PC term here or there could completely devastate your Social Media efforts and brand.

Agencies often implement a sign off system to avoid such errors whether they be grammatical errors or off-message posts that do more harm than good..

5)   Fun

One of the most important things to remember is that you don’t need to flog us to get the job done.  At Nova Digital Media we LOVE Social Media, it’s a whole new frontier to do business on and best of all it’s our playground.

This is where many of us grew up and we have used these platforms, as real life communication tools for many years.  Applying them in a business environment is not a struggle for us it is a pleasure.

6)   Reliability

The hardest and most risky aspect of hiring someone to work for you as a Social Media Manager is how reliable he or she is.

This is not only from a quality of work perspective; after all you might not be hiring someone if you if knew what you were doing so how can you reliably judge whether that person truly knows their stuff.

Most companies are at the point of looking into a new employee or have already tested an Agency out when they come to us.

At a Social Media Agency we are never sick, if we are there’s plenty of us here looking after accounts to have you covered.  You won’t have us taking you to an employment tribunal, we won’t expect you to pay our tax or pensions, you don’t need to train us.

Most importantly you are paying us £26k per annum and for the services we offer you would get 3 members of staff for the price of one.

7)   Cost

A decent Social Media Manager will cost you in the region of £26-£36k per annum, they will be qualified with a degree or oodles of experience and have certain expectations of your and your time.  For example, gathering content and copy for the campaign can take many hours.

There are of course benefits to having the right person doing that for you if you can afford the £1300 a month it will cost you.  However, there are so many aspects to hiring the right person that getting it wrong is VERY risky business.  How do you know that they will be good at managing a Social Media campaign?

If you do decide to outsource to a Social Media agency not only are you guranteed a professional who knows the ins and outs of Social Media but you get one for less money.  Additionally this professional will be supported by a whole team, so for LESS money you get FAR more.

Convinced? You Should Be.

Ultimately you need seasoned professionals you can rely on and here at Nova Digital Media we are full of those seasoned professionals.

If you have any questions at all about our services and how we can transform your Social Media presence then ring us now on 0845 900 7770.