Winner: MorrisonsLaceby, Grimsby, Lincs”A credit to the baking industry,” was how the judges described this ISB’s bakery manager Steven Mumby. They were particularly impressed with his on-shelf presentation and cited his excellent team as one of the reasons for his success.A baker for 25 years, Steven has been running his 13-strong department (which includes four qualified and one trainee baker) for five of those. Some 80% of products are made from scratch bread, buns and doughnuts with others, including croissants and Danish, baked off from frozen.The monthly-changing Baker’s Table showcases handmoulded breads, including the department’s single biggest-seller, Spelt & Rye. Baking throughout the day, the department turns over £13,000 a week, and Mumby credits his “supportive and quality” team for increasing sales and improving customer service. “Staff are doing internet research so they can tell customers about the products,” he says.Finalist: Sainsbury’sGambrel Road, NorthamptonBakery manager Robert Pither did his bakery apprenticeship with Sainsbury’s and was an ISB manager with them for 10 years before going to work for a bakery specialist. He arrived in his present department at Christmas last year. “First, I addressed quality issues, then availability and poorly performing areas,” he says. One such area was confectionery, where Robert’s ability to challenge the 23 staff and empower them to run their own department has resulted in rapid growth.Availability in the bakery has risen from 86.5% this time last year, to 95.2% today.Finalist: AsdaWolstanton Retail Park, Newcastle under LymeWhen bakery manager Claire Chadwick joined the Wolstanton store last year, she felt morale was low. “Some of our staff were stuck in a rut,” she says. “I asked them which areas they would like some training in and we took it from there.”Now, her 22-strong team, including five fully-trained bakers, pull together. Product knowledge and customer service are improved and weekly turnover has risen to £22,000.Up to 70% of products are scratch-made, including the white, brown and Granary loaves.Finalist: TescoCrieff Road, Perth, PerthshireStella White, bakery manager, took over her department just a year ago, after the 11-strong team had been without a manager for nearly five months. “The staff were very focused on the products,” she explains. “I needed to raise morale and get them looking after the customers.”Now, she says, her team, with five qualified bakers ensures good availability and customer service. The department turns over up to £15,000 a week. Loaves, including speciality breads, are made from scratch, while patisserie is supplied frozen and baked-off.
I recently got into a conversation with a good friend who has a new cool social media tool that helps businesses manage their blog content, their bloggers, and the scheduling of their posts. Looks like a cool product, and I think we’re going to give it a try. Anyway, as we often do, he and I were bickering amiably over the recommended length of blog posts, and I thought I’d take a look at the posts we’ve put out there over the past nine months, and see whether or not our shorter or longer posts do better.Some opinions on blog post lengthMy friend claims that they recommend blog posts of between 300 and 500 words in length. I mentioned that our SEO / SEM advisors had previously recommended we go higher than 500, and ideally over 750. We’ve therefore targeted 750+ words for our posts.There are a great number of opinions and calculated research statistics on the topic of blog post length. This post on Hubspot from Corey Wainwright says (essentially) that it doesn’t matter too much. This post from Matthew Barby, also on Hubspot, from 2015 says that longer is better, and – more specifically – that blog posts between 2,250 and 2,500 words in length get more organic traffic (and his data set was pretty big). He also shows that blog posts over 2,500 words get shared the most on social media.Image Source: This great blog post from HubspotSo I thought I’d see how RewardStream’s blog compared.A little about our blog postsBetween October 1, 2015 and June 30, 2016 our content team turned out a modest 57 posts. For a company our size, we could do worse. That’s an average of about 6 posts per month. We’ve written about 59,000 words, averaging 1,115 words per post. These posts are waaaaay too long according to my friend, and possibly overkill.I put together a little Venngage infographic to show the results. (You can click on the image below to bring these up).Essentially the results show that:Blog posts averaging 1,300 words in length generally performed the best (the longest time spent on page)Blog posts averaging 929 words generally performed the poorest.That would seem to make sense, right? It should take people longer to read longer posts. However of our five (5) weakest (or lowest-engagement) posts, two were over 1,000 words in length, and one of those was over 1,700 words in length.And of our top ten high-engagement posts, four were under 1,000 words. Some of those had infographics included, which explains the longer engagement times. Our top five posts were all over 1,000 words, and three were over 1,400 words in length. These were also some of the posts that had the most social shares. This kind of agrees with the 2015 Hubspot blog post from Matthew above.Our post that garnered the longest average engagement was 1,491 words in length.Our post that garnered the least, was 938 words in length.In reality, the engagement levels are all over the map. Some shorter posts engage better, and many longer posts cause people to disengage quickly. Overall, I think my friend was more right than me (although I may never admit that to him). We don’t need to write 1,000+ word posts to engage with our audience. And maybe our data set is just a little too small for projections.We’ve still got a lot to learn about optimizing our blogging process, and we’ll be writing more about it in the upcoming months.By the way, this post is 620. words in length. How was it for you? 14SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Neil Parker Neil Parker is the VP Product Management and Marketing at RewardStream. Neil has 20 years experience in Product Management and Marketing at companies such as Glenayre, Infowave, Sierra Wireless, Contigo … Web: rewardstream.com Details
Swedish football superstar Zlatan Ibrahimovic celebrated his goal against Caen by taking off his shirt to reveal several tattoos of 50 hungry people feed through charity organization, United Nations World Food Programme.UK’s Daily Mail reported that the move was a show of support for the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) after Paris Saint-Germain striker scored 72 seconds into the Saturday game which ended 2-2.“Wherever I go people recognize me, call my name, cheer for me,’ said the PSG striker, who found the net after just 72 seconds in the Ligue 1 encounter at the Parc des Princes.’But there are names no one cares to remember. That no one cheers for: the 805m people suffering from hunger in the world today.’I have the supporters all over the world. From now on I want this support to go to the people who suffer from hunger, they are the real champions. ‘So whenever you hear my name, you will think of their names.