The Digital team at Macmillan is involved in some pretty great stuff at the moment, and this is our shop window/soapbox to show and tell you all about it. Whether you're interested in how and why we're redesigning our website, what's going on in our online communities, how we're using digital technologies to deliver our services or what's inspiring us this week, you'll find it here. Feel free to share your comments either here or over on Twitter.
A hand pointing to a graph of traffc analysis

Ad servers and Google Analytics: who to believe?

Sharing her tips and tricks, Rebecca Buchanan, Digital Marketing Officer, writes about how to analyse Facebook campaigns to achieve the most accurate results. 

3 simple steps to building customised campaign URLs

Digital Comms Officer, Rebecca McCormick, shares her top tips about building customised campaign URLs and finding them in Google Analytics. 1a. What are customised campaign URLs? Customised campaign URLs are destination URLs that have campaign tracking (or “parameters”) added onto the end of them. These “parameters” allow you to easily…

Social Media: The Importance of Being Aware

Social Media Officer, Hayley Devlin, discusses the importance of awareness days/weeks/months. As a cancer charity, we see awareness days a lot. October, famously, is for Breast Cancer Awareness. In January, we have Cervical Cancer Prevention Week and in June it’s Cervical Screening Awareness Week. In November, it’s a…

Screen with illustration example of a Google text ad

Say hello to Google’s new expanded text ads

This week, Rebecca Buchanan, Digital Marketing Officer at Macmillan, gives us an overview of the recent changes to Google AdWords and its impact on our search ads, as well as tips for creating expanded text ads. Have you heard about one of the latest changes…

Inside UX: An Interview with Bruce Waskett

Curious about UX? Bruce Waskett, former Head of UX and UI at Macmillan explains what it is, and how it fits in at Macmillan. What is UX and why is it important? User experience (UX) has become a very over-used and misunderstood term in our…

Periscope and Facebook Live logos

Live video: Experience the world through someone else’s eyes

In this post, Bernard Muscat, Senior Social Media Officer at Macmillan, aims to demystify live video, identify key live-streaming platforms and provide best practice tips for creating engaging live content. We are seeing a large increase in live video content on social media.  By tuning in…

Mailbox with envelopes flying out of it, representing email

Using automation to personalise email campaigns

This week, Bryony Ashcroft, Digital Editor at Macmillan, spoke to our Email Marketing Officer, Fearn Sandison about how she is using automation to personalise our email campaigns.

Instagram Stories: New feature launched today

In this post, Social Media Officer, Alice Hajek, talks about the introduction of Instagram’s new feature – Instagram Stories and…
Icons of graphs and devices to represent google analytics

Google Analytics: An interview with our Digital Analyst

Hattie Biddlecombe, Digital Analyst at Macmillan Cancer Support, uses Google Analytics to provide insight into Macmillan’s online presence. I sat down with Hattie earlier this week to discuss how Google Analytics helps her in her role and the impact that it has on Macmillan.

Cancer patients steer clear of exercise despite proven health benefits

Charity reveals what puts people off getting active   New findings from Macmillan Cancer Support reveal why some people with cancer struggle to get physically active, despite evidence published earlier this week showing that it can reduce the risk of cancer coming back and of…

Snapchat logo with QR code background

Get snap-happy

If you’ve had the pleasure of seeing a dog-face or rainbow vomit lens and felt scared, confused, or indeed delighted, you have Snapchat to thank for that. Social Media Officer, Hayley Devlin explains the who, what, and why of Snapchat - the five-year-old chat app that’s surprised everyone.…

I no speak digital

As the digital world continues to grow, so too does its language. Annabel Howarth breaks into smaller chunks, some of the digital fodder she’s been served so far. When I moved from the Campaigns team into the wonderful world of digital, I was not prepared for the fact that I…

Google removes all right-hand side ads

Last week Google removed all of the ads which appeared down the right-hand side of tablet and desktop search results. Instead, ads will only be shown at the top and bottom of the page, with up to four ads shown at the top of the…

Instagram prioritises views over likes for video

This month Instagram is beginning to give more insight into how the app’s 400 million plus users are interacting with Instagram videos. You’ll now be able to see how many times an uploaded video has been viewed. View counts will now appear directly underneath the…

We’re getting emotional over the new Facebook emotions

SHOCK! HORROR! GLEE! Oh wait, those aren’t part of the six new reactions Facebook has recently rolled out… If you haven’t already heard, Facebook is now allowing you to express yourself in new ways. All you need to do is hover over the original like…

Why I love Instagram (and why Macmillan should love it too)

In this listicle Macmillan Social Media Officer, Alice Hajek talks about why Instagram is her favourite social media network and the opportunities that #throwbackthursdays and #motivationalmonday posts can provide an organsation. Instagram boasts 300 million active monthly users worldwide. Despite this rather large figure, it is a relatively new social platform for…

Storytelling: The superhero of communications

In the first of three blogs, Craig Melcher, our Digital Content Manager, opens the book on the most enduring and powerful form of digital content. ‘Storytelling’ was once an innocent word, belonging to the bedtime ritual between parents and children or legend-sharing rituals within indigenous…

Digital trends blog post image

Digital trends in 2016

With January behind us, Hamilton Jones is considering some of the digital trends set to come our way this year. 2016 is already shaping up to be an exciting year for digital, and we in the digital team are always keeping an eye out for new trends, looking…

R.I.P Twitter?

Social Media Manager, Carol Naylor, talks about Twitter’s proposed character limit change. Is Jack Dorsey set to ruin the clarity of our 140-character lives? Or is this a change that we will slowly grow to love? I heard it on Whatsapp first; one of my team…

Image of various devices. Mobile, laptop, tablet and desktop.

Scrolling beyond the fold

How have UX trends shaped website design and why have some of our favourite homepages changed this year? As 2015 draws to a close, Hamilton Jones gives us some last-minute answers. For many years, website page design has been dominated by above the fold design, a trend deriving from traditional print…

Illustration of a crowd of people holding a sign that reads 'For Sale 1,000,000 likes'.

Why you shouldn’t use auto-follow apps on Twitter

We’re learning a social lesson this week! Senior Social Media Officer, Bernard Muscat, uncovers the mystery of all those misplaced likes. At Macmillan we don’t use auto-follow apps, but there are apps that can be linked to your Twitter account, that automatically follow back anyone who follows…

Our journey towards a more personalised experience

Digital Project Manager, Ellie Donithorn, gives me the low down on Macmillan’s ongoing aim to give our users a more personalised website experience. What’s new? We have created an exciting new feature allowing users to find their nearest information and support centre. Here’s a quick how-to: Step 1: Enter your postcode…

Macmillan for Gamechangers logo

Online charity gaming with Macmillan and Twitch

From 14 – 15 November 2015, some of the biggest gamers in the business took part in Macmillan’s Game Changers – a 24-hour marathon of online gaming, streamed live on our Twitch channel from Twitch HQ in Soho. For those of you wondering what Twitch…

Thumbs up and thumbs down - pros and cons of introducing long copy to social media

Long copy takes to social

Digital Editor Hamilton Jones sheds light on the introduction of long copy on social channels, weighing up the pros and cons for the Macmillan website. Since the rise of social media, people have been accessing information online in a completely different way. Driven by short character…

We’ve been migrating content again

The Digital team have been busy over the summer moving content from our old system (Contensis) to our new one (Tridion) and the latest sections to benefit from the migration are Volunteering and About Us. The new sections have cleaner formats and layouts, updated content…

Our Head of Digital talks to Zoe Amar about creating an innovative culture on social media:

Read Zoe’s blog post

Happy Twitterversary: Digital Twitter account's 5th birthday

We celebrate our Twitterversary

It’s been five years since we launched Macmillan’s digital Twitter account @mac_digtal and what started as a digital hatchling in 2010, has blossomed into a hashtagging T-Rex.  Over the years, not only has our Twitter following grown, but the Digital team here in the office has more than doubled…

This post makes for some easy reading

This month’s blog post is a collaborative effort from our digital interns Sam Russell and Donald Lam, who explore readability and its place at Macmillan. In the past few years, readability has become an important feature of digital content. We spoke to Abigail Howse, our Quality…

Macmillan's Online Community Champions

How to engage online volunteers

In the digital age in which we live, volunteers are no longer solely managed face-to-face. Online Community Support Officer Jess Evans shares her expertise on getting the best from online volunteers, who in our case, have helped make Macmillan’s Online Community of over 90,000 users, the success…

Macmillan ecards

Say it with an e-card

In this post from our Digital Project Manager Vicky Hallam, we get some insight into the success of Macmillan’s eCards microsite. I recently attended the Institute of Fundraising Technology Group conference along with WPN Chameleon, one of our digital agencies, to talk about our eCards…

Facebook logo

Facebook changes

Social media manager Carol Naylor tells us about some of the 25 changes planned for Facebook. Follow Carol on Twitter for more social media insight. Find Macmillan Cancer on Facebook to see what we make of these changes over the coming months. At F8 last…

A still from the animation showing three community members on their devices chatting to each other online

Making the Online Community animation

In this post from our Senior Online Community Office Priscilla McClay we hear about our brand new animation for the Online Community. We all support each other. That’s the message behind the new animated video that we created to promote the Macmillan Online Community, featuring…

Feverbee logo

How to keep your community safe and supported – SPRINT community management conference

Priscilla McClay has written a blog post about a recent conference she presented at including lots of tips for keeping online communities safe. Follow Priscilla on Twitter. Last month, I was fortunate enough to present at the Feverbee SPRINT event – one of the top conferences…

Someone uses our new website on a tablet with the words Our website is changing above

Macmillan.org.uk has had a makeover

The new home page and information and support section of the Macmillan website are now live, the latest section of the website redesign project to launch. It’s been available for the last month alongside the old cancer information and how we can help sections of…

Snap your support or pledge your support to our General Election campaign

100 days to go…

Until the General Election. In those 100 days, almost 100,000 people will be diagnosed with cancer in the UK, almost 24,000 people will die from cancer, and almost 2,000 of them will die in hospital when they wanted to die at home. That’s why cancer must be…

Beta

beta launch

We have just launched the new information and support section of our website in beta. The new section replaces our existing Cancer Information and How we can help sections. We wanted to give you a preview before we launch officially to see if you have any…

Tips from The Source

The Source

This week we launched a new site to help people know what to say when someone they know has cancer, it’s called The Source. It can be really hard to know what to say or do for the best when you hear that someone you…

Check out our Head of Digital Amanda Neylon’s interview in Figaro Digital ahead of her appearance at their Figaro Digital Marketing Conference next week.

Read the interview

Some of Macmillan's easy read format publications

Open to all: our journey towards accessibility

Wonderful web editor Flo Stuart-Leach gives us the low-down on accessibility and what we’re doing at Macmillan to make sure that as many people as possible can access our website. I can’t be the only web editor who’s been confronted with quizzical stakeholders asking “what…

Woman using a computer

Upgrading the Online Community

Macmillan’s senior community officer Priscilla McClay updates us on the upcoming Online Community upgrade, the first since 2011. Follow Priscilla on Twitter. The Macmillan Online Community is a support forum for people living with and after cancer, their families and friends, and people who’ve been…

Person browsing our new information and support section on a tablet

Website redesign: Information and support

The all new information and support section of our website is almost complete and we’re getting ready to share it with you soon. The area will replace our existing cancer information and how we can help sections. It has been completely redesigned based on detailed research…

Digital does The World’s Biggest Coffee Morning

See a timelapse video of our office Coffee Morning Thanks to Altitude London at Millbank Tower and Bermondsey Square Hotel for having us at your lovely Coffee Mornings, and to everyone who has baked, bought or eaten a cake today. Find out more about The…

a group of men around a laptop

Geeks saving the world: hack4good 0.6

This week content strategist Craig Melcher reports from #hack4good 0.6 where the easy-peasy task of saving the planet was being worked on. The hackathon was led by Dan Cunningham who is working on our website redesign project when he’s not busy saving the world. Climate…

Multiple devices displaying the Macmillan website

‘Mobile first’ and Agile: hand and glove

This week our mobile project manager Andy talks about how mobile first and Agile are the perfect fit for each other. Follow Andy on Twitter. I joined Macmillan in 2010. Only one year after the release of the first Android, three years after the first…

Fountain pen on a paper

Being kind to writers and editors

September is Be Kind to Writers and Editors month, I know you’re probably frantically thinking about all the ways you can show your editors and writers some love. So to help you, Libby and Rebecca from the editorial team have pulled together some tips for…

Man writing on project board

How do you even begin to project manage a whole new website?

Will Jones, the Senior Digital Project Manager for our website redesign gives us a small insight into the work he’s doing. Being presented with the challenge of re-designing the Macmillan website could be considered a daunting prospect. However, it’s really a case of working through…

Two girls post-ice bucket challenge

Why we got all hot and bothered over the #IceBucketChallenge

Macmillan’s Head of Digital Amanda Neylon talks about the recent social media activity and how we’re working together to respond to our audiences. The #IceBucketChallenge has reached social media nirvana in the past two weeks. My mum’s done it. Your mum’s done it. This guy…

Personalisation is the future of Digital

CEO of Flipboard Mike McCue stated in a recent article that personalisation is the future of Digital. Macmillan’s head of Digital Amanda Neylon agrees, but what does it mean and what does it look like for Macmillan? Rebecca Cryan looks at some of the ways…

Venn diagram: Me, You, Us

Collaborating to deliver services online

Priscilla McClay from our online community team recently blogged about how we’re collaborating with the services teams to deliver some of our services digitally. This post originally appeared on Together We’re Better. You can follow Priscilla on Twitter at @millionmonkeys. The Macmillan Online Community is…

Macmillan website mobile and tablet view

What does ‘mobile first’ mean at Macmillan?

Macmillan’s content strategist Craig Melcher talks about what ‘mobile first’ means at Macmillan and some of the digital projects that exemplify this approach to web design. Follow Craig on Twitter @CraigMelcher. ‘Mobile first’ sounds like a right-wing political party somewhere. Or step one of some…

Volunteer gardening

Nominet Trust: Using digital technologies to address social issues

I read this interesting article from Dan Sutch at Nominet Trust this morning and thought it was really relevant to the ways that we try to use digital technology here at Macmillan. I thought it might be useful to talk about one of our projects Team Up,…

Woman using tablet computer

Redesigning our website

Yes, we’re building a new one. The last time we redesigned was in 2008 and things have moved on since then. Some of the websites we use the most now were mere toddlers back in ’08: Facebook was four years old, YouTube was three and…