Revised & Updated: Social Media Marketing online training course

We’ve just revised and updated our Social Media Marketing online training course for 2017/2018. Here are the details:

 

social-media-marketing-online-training-course

The Principles & Practice of Social Media Marketing

Now that social media is the place where most Kiwis spend a large amount of time online, there is a very real need for NZ businesses to learn how to make more effective use of Social Media Marketing to reach existing and prospective customers.

Here are a few of the reasons why NZ businesses need to know more about Social Media Marketing:

  • Two out of three Kiwi Internet users visit social network sites every day. If you’re not active in their favourite forum, will they think of you when they decide to purchase the types of goods or services that you sell?
  • Through those sites, they talk about what they need to buy and they ask their friends for recommendations. Are you listening?
  • They follow brands and organisations on the social networks, so that they can be in the know about what’s new, what’s hot and what special deals are available. If they care enough about your brand to follow you on Facebook or Instagram or the like, what are you doing for them?
  • They share stuff with their friends — the good, the bad and the ugly. If you’re being talked about and you don’t know what is being said about you and your products & services (and customer service successes and failures) in social media, you won’t have a chance to respond and fix any problems before they go toxic.

To help meet the needs of Kiwi businesses, we have revised and updated our well-established (since 2010) online training course which covers both the principles and practices of Social Media Marketing in New Zealand.

This is a thirteen-part online training course providing a comprehensive introduction to Social Media Marketing, from the Basics to comprehensive information on the leading social media networks relevant to New Zealand marketers.

This online training course is conducted on a web-based e-learning software platform, enabling course participants to proceed at their own pace, accessing materials online. This particular online training course provides content in a variety of multimedia forms, including videos, slideshows, flash-based presentations and PDF files. No special software is required to participate.

Course lessons will be provided in thirteen parts, for participants to access in accordance with their own timetables. Interaction with the course tutor is enabled through the platform software tools (with telephone backup if required).

Feedback from previous Social Media Marketing online training course Participants

  • “this was the best professional development course I have done in many years” – Mark R, senior Agency Exec responsible for social media
  • “thought the information within was outstanding” – Ed P, General Manager
  • “What I loved was that I started with a fairly rudimentary understanding of social media but have learned a lot – including where to find more information as I need it.” – Fiona W, Marketing Manager
  • “I found it relevant, informative, topical, insightful and a bloody good read. It’s never evangelical, too techy, patronising, assumes that you know too much or too little about digital and has a warm sense of humour in the communication throughout which helped faciliate the learning process for me.” — Adrienne B, new media senior executive
  • “Thanks for pointing me in the direction of this course! It’s been extremely enlightening” — Shayne P, design agency director
  • “Rapt with what I have seen of the course” — Julia R, fashion editor
  • “I’m really enjoying the course – learning a lot – and I know the two friends I persuaded to join us are also loving it.” — Lavinia C, designer
  • “Am thoroughly enjoying the content!” – Kara B, magazine co-ordinator
  • “I completed the first lesson today and found it really interesting and love the interaction already! I am so looking forward to the second lesson already …” — Annette B, public relations director
  • “I was already engaging with social media and have been doing so for about 6 years or so. Remembering the days when all of my friends were on Bebo and MySpace and seeing how this has now shifted so dramatically. But, did I know how to use social media in a marketing and business sense? No, I simply did not. This course was a great way to show me how to do that.” — Sheryl K, online marketer

COURSE CREATION AND TUTORING
This course has been created and is tutored by Michael Carney.

WHO SHOULD TAKE THE COURSE
Any Business Owner, Marketing, Advertising, PR or Communications professional who, while they may have a fair knowledge of what social media options are out there, don’t know how to use them effectively (and have a perfectly reasonable fear of doing the wrong thing in a very public arena).

WHAT YOU SHOULD LEARN AS A RESULT OF THE COURSE:

  • The principles of effective marketing in social media
  • Which social networks are strongest in New Zealand, who uses them and what works best on each network
  • What social media can do for your (or your clients’) business
  • The best tools and techniques for monitoring social networks
  • How to really understand and engage with the consumer
  • How to create relevant, informative, killer content for your social media programme
  • How to define and measure meaningful numbers to determine the success (or otherwise) of your social media activities
  • Answering those questions that (if you’re not prepared) could kill your career
  • How to watch for, and adapt to, the Next Big Thing in Social Media (whatever that is)

COURSE CONTENTS

SMM-Lesson1

INTRODUCTION:
WHY SOCIAL MEDIA SILENCE IS DEADLY

In which we put Social Media in context in the modern world; discuss the reality that the medium is a runaway success (regardless of whether marketers choose to participate or not); deal with marketers’ biggest fears about the medium; and discuss the key principles of effective marketing in social media.

LESSON ONE: THE BASICS
I’VE JUST ARRIVED FROM OUTER SPACE. TELL ME ABOUT THESE “SOCIAL NETWORKS”.

For those a little fuzzy on the basics: we introduce the concept of social networks; talk about the main players; show you how to check out and claim your digital identity at key online sites and services; and (if you’re not already there) invite you to sign yourself up to the primary social sites.

SMM-Lesson2

Lesson Two: Facebook

In Lesson Two, we examine what really works on Facebook for NZ businesses. We spell out the characteristics of successful Facebook posts and identify 20 different posting formats that get noticed and get shared.

We look at:

  • What you should talk about most of the time on Facebook (hint: it’s not endlessly flogging the products that you sell)
  • The 10 most important factors that consumers look for when deciding whether or not to buy from you (and how you can improve each aspect)
  • The four most important services you can provide that will have consumers recommending you to their friends
  • What you need to know about the new Facebook Marketplace (before it gets swamped)
  • What Facebook Remarketing is all about (and why it can almost miraculously improve your online business)

Then we review the types of posts worth sharing, accompanied by a wide range of examples, including:

  • Plenty of stories from local and international businesses who are using Facebook effectively
  • The hotel chain that has twice as many people talking about it as the chain has followers
  • The radio station that has truly mastered the art of Facebook
  • Examples of posts that really tug at the heartstrings
  • The Facebook page that had 247,756 Facebook likes but managed to get 775,600 people talking and 160,000 people sharing
  • Practical posts that get people sharing

And many many more.

SMMROS-Lesson3-online-video

Lesson Three: Online Video

Video is central to Facebook’s vision for the future of the platform. In 2014 CEO Mark Zuckerberg was quoted as saying “In five years most of Facebook will be video”. we’re not quite there yet, but 2019 isn’t very far away at all — and already online video is becoming dominant.

One of the reasons why video is so important for business: after watching a video, 64% of users are more likely to buy a product online.

In this lesson, we discuss exactly what you need to know about online video (especially on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube), including:

  • How much more likely people are to watch live video (compared to video which is not live)
  • The dramatically-increased performance of Facebook video posts compared with photo posts
  • The perceived benefits (and barriers) of live-streaming video and how live streaming is currently being used by businesses
  • Success secrets of online video – including the exploding watermelon video that reached more than 10 million people

Along the way, we explore:

  • 11 steps to creating an effective video content strategy
  • Essential tips and techniques from the YouTube Creator Playbook
  • Video marketing tips from the experts
  • 30 practical tips to help you create the best live-streamed videos
  • The surprising legal ramifications of live content streaming (what you don’t know could cost you bigtime)

SMMROS-Lesson4-400

Lesson Four: Instagram

Despite the newfound popularity of social video, images continue to be a vital part of the Social Web. In Lesson Four, find out what you need to know about Instagram, including:

  • What we know about Kiwi Instagram users
  • How leading brands are winning with this image-based network
  • How to use Instagram to its full potential
  • Smart visual content strategies
  • What you should include in your Instagram profile
  • Creative ideas for using Instagram for marketing
  • The importance of hashtags (but how NOT to overuse them)
  • Using Instagram for instant feedback (for better or for worse)
  • How often you should post to Instagram (and what NOT to post)
  • The vital intelligence you can gain, just by tracking Instagram usage
  • Five tips for amazing visual content

SMM-Lesson5-400

Lesson Five: Social Media Advertising

As the social networks limit organic reach — the numbers of your followers who might see your social media posts just because they follow your page — organisations have turned to advertising to communicate their messages. In this lesson we examine how to make the most of your advertising options across various social media networks — and how to really take advantage of the enhanced targeting opportunities that social media provides.

We also explore:

  • how to take best advantage of Carousel Ads, Lead Ads and other Facebook and Instagram options
  • Facebook’s Canvas, full-screen mobile ad experience
  • using Calls to Action more effectively
  • how leading advertisers are using social media
  • using your existing customer and prospect lists to develop custom audiences

SMMROS-Lesson6-pinterest

Lesson Six: Pinterest

If your target audience is female, you really should include Pinterest as one of your social media marketing tools. Here’s how Pinterest describes itself:

Pinterest is a Virtual Pinboard. Pinterest lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. People use pinboards to plan their weddings, decorate their homes, and organize their favorite recipes.

In this lesson, we explore:

  • The latest local and international statistics
  • How marketers are using Pinterest
  • Pinterest’s Business Pages
  • Pinterest case studies, best practices and inspirational guides
  • What you simply must know about Pinterest’s Secret Boards
  • how you can make the most of rich pins on Pinterest

SMM-Lesson7

Lesson Seven: Google Plus

Google Plus is strategically important, even though it really isn’t much of a social network (and has, not unreasonably, been described as a ghost town). Still, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use it. In this lesson, we cover:

  • Google Plus stats and demographics
  • Why Google Plus is so important for SEO — and for your online credibility
  • The implications of Google blending Google Plus with Google Shopping
  • Why Google Plus matters more than ever for local businesses
  • The controversial Google Plus sharing policies

SMM-Lesson8-400

Lesson Eight: LinkedIn

It’s the world’s leading network for business professionals — and if you don’t know how to use LinkedIn effectively, to conduct research, get introduced to warm prospects and to close sales, you could be leaving a lot of potential B2B revenue on the table. In this lesson, we share the latest developments and strategies for LinkedIn, including:

  • the marketing implications of Microsoft’s US$26.2 Billion purchase of LinkedIn
  • the importance of LinkedIn social selling
  • the three simple secrets of effective LinkedIn prospecting
  • what you need to know to close more sales through LinkedIn
  • five ways in which you (if you’re not careful) can ruin your LinkedIn profile
  • getting the most out of LinkedIn’s sponsored content options
  • why your organisation should have LinkedIn guidelines for employees

Plus Action Steps for each section.

SMM-Lesson9-400

Lesson Nine: Community Management and Influencer Marketing

Great! You have an enthusiastic following on your chosen social network. But how do you engage effectively with these followers? And how do you reach out to influencers — those who have significant communities of their own?

In this lesson we explore strategies, techniques and best practice, including:

  • taking full advantage of Facebook Groups
  • Influencer marketing strategies that work
  • the vital importance of customer service through social media
  • tips and wisdom from leading community managers
  • foibles and failures to avoid
  • identifying and connecting with Kiwi influencers

SMM-Lesson10-400

Lesson Ten: Twitter

Twitter has come under fire recently, with several potential buyers of the struggling social network operator seemingly turning up their noses and declining to bid. Even so, Twitter can still be a powerful marketing medium if you use it correctly.

In Lesson Ten, we bring you up to speed with Twitter, including:

  • what Twitter includes (and no longer includes) in its 140-character message limit
  • 7 tips for maximizing Twitter as a marketing and engagement tool
  • the best brands on Twitter (and why they’re so successful)
  • Twitter’s new people tagging and multiple photo sharing options
  • Twitter tools that will boost your productivity
  • Twitter and video: what you need to know

SMM-Lesson11-400

Lesson Eleven: Tools & Tips

Next, we take a look at the latest tools that will help you manage your social media needs effectively.

In this lesson, you’ll learn:

  • what you can and should measure as you use social media to market your products and services
  • the top tools recommended by leading social media experts
  • smart strategies for best engagement with your followers
  • new social media trends to watch for

SMM-Lesson12-monitoring

Lesson Twelve: Monitoring

DON’T SAY A THING. JUST LISTEN FIRST (EVEN FOR JUST 10 MINUTES A DAY), THEN THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU’RE HEARING. MAYBE THEN YOU CAN TALK.

We know you want to get your teeth into Social Media fast, but you need to start by just listening. And yes, you can do it for just ten minutes a day (if you’re very focussed). In this lesson, we show you where and how to listen (and where to find the mostly-free tools to do so); what to listen for; who to listen to (identifying opinion leaders); and we talk about how things can go wrong and how to react to problems when they arise. In this lesson, we also cover NZ’s Harmful Digital Communications Act and why it’s so essential to monitor your social media properties on a daily basis. Your homework will involve listening, listening, listening.

SMM-Lesson13-metrics

Lesson Thirteen: Metrics & ROI

OVERCOMING THOSE QUESTIONS THAT KILL MARKETING CAREERS

Social Media in its early stages avoided those awkward issues about Return on Investment and whether it really delivered value for the time and money involved. Now times are tougher, the budgets are tighter and CFOs are asking the hard questions. In this lessons we look at the metrics that are nice to have but more importantly at the ones that matter. We also identify strategies you can follow to develop useful, meaningful measures that satisfy the C-suite. You can guess what your homework is.

CONCLUSION:
WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE, AND WHO’S DRIVING?

Social Media (it seemed) arrived faster than a speeding bullet. What’s next for the medium, how do you tell, and what can you do to prepare? We look at the trends and offer some advice.

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TIMING

The next course begins on Monday 02 October, 2017.

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INVESTMENT

This thirteen-part online training course is available for $697 +GST. However we offer an Early Bird Discount of $100 +GST — pay just $597+GST for bookings received by Monday 25 September, 2017.

Bookings are confirmed on receipt of payment, which can be by bank deposit or credit card. We can raise an invoice in advance if you need it.

To reserve your place in this course, please pay by credit card through PayPal by clicking here:

Register Now for the next course

If you would prefer to pay by bank deposit, or require an invoice, please send an email to [email protected] with your requirements.

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?

You’ll receive our emailed confirmation of your booking. Then on the first day of the course we’ll follow up with details of your Login and Password, along with an Enrolment Key for the Social Media Marketing online training course.

If you have any questions, or would like more information, please email us at [email protected]

The Power and Influence of Instagram

We’ve been spending a lot of time lately analysing Instagram — we have assembled a database of some 61,000 New Zealand Instagram users as we develop Instagram monitoring software (about which, more in due course) — and we just came across a stunning example of the power of the medium.

This post — shared by Instagram itself to its 226 million followers — has racked up 209,412 likes in less than an hour.

the-power-of-instagram

The photographer, New Zealand’s sophiejanephoto, must be thrilled with the exposure.

That sort of serendipity — being featured by the medium’s biggest influencer — is not something that you can plan for, of course. But, like every success on Instagram, you can prepare for unexpected discovery by doing a number of things right.

Exactly what sorts of things? To answer that question properly, may we direct you to our two newest Social Media Marketing courses:

Lesson Four of each course tells you what you need to know to succeed on Instagram.

BTW, we mentioned that Instagram monitoring software that we are developing. If your organisation monitors Social Media, we would love to ask you a couple of questions about what you currently monitor — and what you wish you could monitor. Please just drop us an e-mail and we will email you back with those questions.

 

Interruption Marketing is Dead

interruption-marketing-is-dead

Interruption marketing is dead — though too many advertisers (and media owners) still haven’t noticed.

Consumers have had enough. They’ve been bombarded by mass media marketing since birth, and they just won’t put up with it any more.

Consumers are avoiding ads altogether wherever they can.

  • They’re fast forwarding through TV ads thanks to their MySky devices.
  • They’re subscribing to Netflix and other adfree subscription television services in record numbers.
  • They’re paying every month for Spotify, to enjoy their favourite music without endless commercials.
  • Their mailboxes are plastered with “No Junk Mail” signs.
  • Their computers are protected by ad blocking software.
  • And even six seconds seems too long to wait to skip ads on YouTube.

If they want to find out something about a product or service category, they ask Google. Or Siri. Or their friends. Or informed non-experts (via social media). They’ve learned from bitter experience that if they ask a marketer (or a sales-person), they can’t expect an objective answer.

Here’s where consumers now turn for product information:

trusted-sources

You really can’t blame Kiwi consumers. After all, we’re them, too. We’d rather gather our own information than be harassed by a sales-person with KPIs to meet.

So how do consumers find out about your products and services, if they’re avoiding and ignoring your advertising?

Alas, as Seth Godin put it (nearly twenty years ago), “finding new ways, more clever ways to interrupt people, doesn’t work“.

Short answer: you need to identify the sorts of things that consumers want to know about your product or service category — and provide that information to them, objectively, in formats that they like to consume, and in as neutral an environment as possible (without necessarily demanding contact details in exchange).

What you are doing is:

  • meeting consumers’ information needs
  • building trust and credibility (by being objective)
  • paving the way for a future relationship, so that when consumers are ready to buy you’re already within their consideration set

Marketers call this Content Marketing (PR professionals call it “Digital Storytelling“). Whatever the name, it’s been identified as one of the most important trends in communications today.

importance-of-content-marketing

According to the Content Marketing Institute, content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action. It’s particularly relevant to B2B marketers, but it’s become increasingly more and more important for B2C as well.

That’s why we’re now releasing our Content Marketing online training course, a nine-part course designed to show you how, when, where and why to use Content Marketing to provide relevant, useful resources to your prospective customers, in accordance with their wants and needs.

The Content Marketing course covers:

Lesson One: Customers & Convergence

In this lesson, we discuss the importance of content marketing and show you how the whole Customer Buying Journey has evolved. We point out how effective content creation can provide massive Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) benefits and — provided that your content is designed properly around appropriate keywords — content marketing can help you more easily get found in search engines.

We also discuss:

  • The power of organic search (rather than paid search)
  • How Google has become the kingmaker
  • Why you must avoid at all costs being an invisible brand (online)

Lesson Two: Micro-Moments

These days, more Internet searches are made via mobile devices than by desktop. That change, which happened in 2016, has significant implications in terms of the types of content that consumers are now looking for online.

In most instances, shorter is better — and images and videos are more important than ever.

In this lesson, we discuss what Google calls “micro-moments” — occasions when consumers are looking for immediate gratification — and what sorts of content is most appropriate to fulfil those needs.

We also discuss:

  • The search implications of “near me” queries
  • why consumers buy local (and how you can shape your content accordingly)
  • the times when appearing in Google’s Featured Snippets is a good idea (and when it isn’t)
  • if/why size matters
  • ideal durations of content
  • most appropriate headlines

Lesson Three: Search Intent

As IgniteRock observes, your audience has a specific intention when they search online and it is up to you to meet that intent with your content.

When you are coming up with a content idea, put yourself in the mind of your audience and think about what they really want to see on your site. Then give them what they want.

In this lesson, we discuss how to identify exactly what audiences want (which varies, of course, depending on exactly where they are in their Customer Buying Journey).

We also discuss the ways that search intent varies between devices, especially if searches are generated using voice search (which tends to be much more conversational in nature) and how you can cater to those different needs.

Lesson Four: Overcoming Content Shock

As more and more marketers crowd into the content marketing space, eager to re-connect with their prospects, they’ve started flooding cyberspace with (often trivial and salesy) information, overloading their unfortunate recipients. This information overload has been dubbed “Content Shock”, and it’s a real problem for marketers trying to get noticed with real, valuable, relevant content.

In Lesson Four, we discuss how to navigate around content shock, and how to gain a better understanding of your audience in order to do so.

We also discuss:

  • why people share
  • the 22 types of content most likely to be shared
  • the power of personalisation to cut through the clutter

Lesson Five: Visual & Video Content

Lesson Five is devoted to pictures, both moving and otherwise. In this lesson, we explore why visual content matters (especially to younger audiences) and share statistics that indicate that pictures are worth rather more than that legendary 1000 words.

We also discuss the dramatic increase in online video usage — driven by improved technology, unlimited Internet data plans and deliberate encouragement from the likes of Google and Facebook — and exactly what that means for the content you create.

Along the way, we talk about:

  • style predictions
  • making memories
  • time spent with online video

Lesson Six: Mobile First

New Zealand has gone mobile with a vengeance — NZ smartphone penetration is nearly universal for the under 50s — and so has most of the rest of the world.

Google is in the process of switching its search index to mobile first: the search giant plans to reorder its rankings to evaluate websites based on how they load and look on mobile devices. From a content perspective, that means you need to consider how your content looks and feels on mobile devices.

We explore what that means in this lesson, including whether or not you should opt for accelerated mobile pages or even mobile apps.

Lesson Seven: Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence is now more pervasive than ever. Google now uses a suite of algorithmic AI routines (known collectively as RankBrain) to deliver most search results.

And AI-driven content is now nearly commonplace, with AI creating news and sports stories (based on templates) fed by results from sporting and other events (eg election results).

And then there are “chatbots” — steadily increasing numbers of automated programs that respond to common consumer queries with answers drawn from standard databases.

In this lesson we review the types of commonly available AI that can streamline your content marketing efforts, and examine the key attributes of effective AI.

Lesson Eight: Content Optimisation

The top priority of any content that you might create is that it is relevant to, and interesting for, your prospective audience.

The second priority, however, is that the content is optimised for the search engines (whilst not sacrificing any readability amongst human consumers).

In this lesson, we discuss what Google and Bing are looking for when they examine your content, and how that differs across text, images and video.

Lesson Nine: Accountability

Finally, as always, it comes down to money. Is the time and effort that you devote to content marketing delivering a decent return on your investment?

How do you track that? What metrics should you be measuring? We look at your options.

Then we consider what makes a successful content marketer.

And we close by reviewing content marketing trends for the near and slightly more distant futures.

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WHO WILL BENEFIT FROM THIS COURSE?
Every Kiwi business wanting to promote and sell products or services online. If you want your customers to trust you, and buy products or services from you, you need to demonstrate your credentials by providing relevant, objective information first.

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WHAT CUSTOMERS ARE SAYING ABOUT OUR COURSES

Here’s a sampling of the feedback we’ve received from those who’ve taken our courses:

  • Thanks for an informative and interesting [Facebook Accelerator] course. Your presentation held a good balance of theoretical and practical information and was clear and simple enough for a non IT Facebook novice like me to follow. There are many ideas that I have gained that I will attempt to incorporate in the overall marketing plan my team is currently developing for our brand. Facebook can offer so much more than I thought as a medium for communicating with our current and prospective customers. Julie D
  • I found this course fantastic, i started off knowing very little about facebook (just how to run my own personal page) to now having a thorough understanding of ALL the things you can (and there is a lot). The course format was great and allowed knowledge to be built up over time. Course length was great and this will definetly be something i come back to constantly as we develop our facebook pages more within my company. Aleisha H
  • I have really enjoyed the course and the way it was structured. It was informative and interesting – liked the way you incorporated slide-shows, video, statistics and different forms of media to provide information. Lisa C

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ABOUT US

This course has been created and is tutored by Michael Carney, the principal of Netmarketing Services Limited.

Michael is a veteran marketer with an insatiable passion for whatever’s new, different, exciting or interesting in the world of communications (and especially in the digital space). Michael has been in the marketing game since 1971, online since 1987 —  and can be variously described as a digital marketing trainer, adman, media director, strategist, researcher, copywriter, consultant, playwright and dad.

He is probably best known for his many years as Media Director of a number of leading NZ advertising agencies, including MDA Mackay King (now Saatchi & Saatchi) and HKM Rialto (since merged with Colenso BBDO). More recently he worked in strategic roles with MediaCom New Zealand and Grey Worldwide and was Strategic Planning Director for the Media Counsel before setting up Netmarketing Services Limited.

Michael is also the author of “Trade Me Success Secrets: How To Buy and Sell Effectively on NZ’s Favourite Auction Site”, now in its second edition.

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TIMING

This course begins on Monday 02 October, 2017.

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INVESTMENT

This nine-part online training course is available for $597 +GST. However we offer an EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT of $100 +GST — pay just $497+GST for bookings received by the end of  Monday 25 September, 2017.

 

Bookings are confirmed on receipt of payment, which can be by bank deposit or credit card. We can raise an invoice in advance if you need it.

To reserve your place in this course, please pay by credit card through PayPal by clicking here:

sign up now

If you would prefer to pay by bank deposit, or require an invoice, please send an email to [email protected] with your requirements.

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?

You’ll receive our emailed confirmation of your booking. Then on the first day of the course we’ll follow up with details of your Login and Password, along with an Enrolment Key for the Content Marketing online training course.

If you have any questions, or would like more information, please email us at [email protected]

Are You Ready for Amazon’s Arrival Down Under?

amazon-down-under

As you may have heard, the online shopping gorilla Amazon will be arriving in Australia soon (perhaps as early as February 2018, according to some sources).

According to the NZ Herald:

After much speculation on its first Australian site, online retail giant Amazon appears to have settled on Melbourne, reportedly leasing its first distribution centre in the outer southeastern suburbs.

The Australian Financial Review reported that Amazon has agreed to lease the 24,387sq m former Bunnings distribution centre from Pellicano Group, one of Melbourne’s largest privately owned construction, development and investment businesses.

The site in Dandenong South is described as “the best distribution centre available in Melbourne’s South Eastern suburbs”.

The building sits on 7.7ha and became empty when Bunnings moved to a new warehouse.

At the moment, the Amazon.com.au website is minimalist, essentially offering Kindle ebooks, audio files, photos & mobile apps — i.e. just digital files and not much else.

amazon.com.au

However once the Amazon Australian warehousing and distribution facilities are operational, the shopping giant intends to offer its full range:

Amazon confirmed in 2017 that it would be launching its full offering in Australia – including Amazon MarketPlace, Amazon Prime Now and eventually Amazon Pantry and Amazon Fresh.

The online giant, founded by Jeff Bezos in 1994, has promised cheaper prices, faster delivery times and access to a greater range of products.

Amazon’s arrival is a big, big deal — not just for Australian retailers but for Kiwi businesses as well.

In March 2016, Richard Goyder, managing director of Wesfarmers – which owns the likes of Bunnings, Kmart and Coles among others – grimly predicted Amazon’s arrival in Australia would “eat all our [retailers’] breakfasts, lunches and dinners”.

Kiwi commentators have also warned Amazon’s arrival will affect the country’s retail sales.

What’s the big deal? Why should Kiwi retailers and online sellers be concerned?

Because more than half of New Zealanders are already comfortable buying products online. Here’s why people shop online, according to a FoamyMedia graphic:

Why-people-shop-online

Amazon USA already ticks most of those boxes for Kiwi consumers. The only downside is the cost of shipping products from the US to New Zealand, which for some products can outweigh the fiscal benefits of lower purchase prices.

Once Amazon is set up in Australia, however, it should be much cheaper to ship products from there to New Zealand — and it’s entirely possible that Amazon will offer its Prime membership package (free shipping on every Amazon-warehoused product for $99 a year) to New Zealanders as well as Australians.

American consumers already know the score, and visit Amazon in ever-increasing numbers. 33.8% of retail website visits during November and December 2016 were on Amazon, according to Internet Retailer. Expect similar numbers down our way once the mega-shopping-destination sets up shop in Australia.

How Can Kiwi Businesses Compete With Amazon?

We answer this question in detail in the latest version of our Mastering eCommerce course, and in our new Social Media Marketing for Retailers and Online Sellers course, but here are some suggestions:

1 Don’t Beat Them, Join Them

Amazon will actually sell your products for you, if you list them on Amazon, and will even handle the fulfilment if you sign up for their FBA (Fulfilment by Amazon) program. Refer to our courses for details.

(NB You will need to have representation rights for your products in Australia as well as New Zealand, which may cause a problem for some).

2 Go Niche & Market Your Content

As Kissmetrics notes:

Amazon’s weakness is in its greatness. It has everything for sale. Amazon can’t be good at everything.

You? You don’t sell everything. You just sell a few things. (At least you should.)

You will have a much harder time trying to rank for a lot of different keywords, even if they are all sort of in the same niche. Whatever you sell, Amazon probably has a few more variations, sizes, colours, and features.

It’s extremely important to narrow your ecommerce niche and dominate it.

How do you dominate it? Through content marketing, of course.

Amazon.com doesn’t do content marketing. They buy PPC, they do conversion optimization, they do SEO, they release products, they claim more verticals, and they do a lot of other things.

But they don’t do content marketing very well at all. They don’t even do email marketing that great!

This leaves you with a huge opportunity to go into your niche, content market the heck out of it, and start to rank for all kinds of awesome keywords.

Need to know more about Content Marketing? Check out our presentation on the topic or our new Content Marketing course.

3 Focus on Speed & Convenience

Melbourne is close, but it’s not next door. Goods still take time to cross the ditch. If you’re a New Zealand retailer with bricks and mortar stores, remind your customers that they can buy online and pick up instore (which they can, right?)

VendHQ sums up this option:

Online shoppers almost always have to wait at least a couple of days for their purchases to arrive (or pay handsomely for overnight shipping).

As a brick-and-mortar merchant, you can use this to your advantage by highlighting your ability to provide instant gratification to customers. When communicating with shoppers, emphasize the fact that they can walk out of your store with their items instead of having to wait or pay for shipping.

When selling speed and convenience, the best people to market to are those who are right in your neighborhood–you know, those who are just a few minutes away from your store. Deborah Sweeney, CEO at MyCorporation.com, advises retailers to put themselves in front of local customers. “Brick and mortar stores in smaller cities and towns still have convenience on their side. Remember that even with Amazon Prime, free shipping still takes two days,” she says.

Make yourself a visible, local presence both in real life and online. That means using whatever traditional marketing tactics work to ensure people locally know about your company and updating your online presence so customers can easily find your store during the research phase of the purchase process.”

NZ Post, not unexpectedly, has launched a special unlimited shipping offer to begin its competitive response to the imminent Amazon threat. NZ Post has just announced the offer, in an email to customers of its YouShop international shopping service:

As a YouShop customer, we know you love shopping online, so we’d like to invite you to take part in an exclusive 2-month shipping trial with NZ Post’s new service Shipmate.

For a one-off payment of $12, you’ll enjoy unlimited shipping from four great New Zealand online retailers – The Warehouse, Warehouse Stationery, Torpedo 7 and Noel Leeming. This introductory price covers most parcels, but naturally some restrictions including weight, size and distance apply.

The trial runs from 14 August to 13 October and is only available to the first 5,000 Kiwis who sign up, so get in quick and pick up any items you’ve been saving in your online shopping cart.

It’s a start — although, in our view, if you’re already buying stuff from offshore stores and shipping them to New Zealand via YouShop, you’re probably not the best prospect for this new service.

For more tips on how to compete with Amazon, remember to check out:

New Course: Social Media Marketing for Retailers and Online Sellers

Social-Media-Marketing-for-retailers-and-online-sellers

As shopping online becomes mainstream — more than half of New Zealand (58%) now buys products online, according to Nielsen Online — and now that social media is the place where most Kiwis spend a large amount of time online, there is a very real need for retailers and online sellers to learn how to make more effective use of Social Media Marketing to reach prospective buyers.

Here are a few of the reasons why NZ retailers and online sellers need to know more about Social Media Marketing:

  • Two out of three Kiwi Internet users visit social network sites every day. If you’re not active in their favourite forum, will they think of you when they decide to buy something you sell?
  • Through those sites, they talk about what they need to buy and they ask their friends for recommendations. Are you listening?
  • They follow brands and organisations on the social networks, so that they can be in the know about what’s new, what’s hot and what special deals are available. If they care enough about your brand to follow you on Facebook or Instagram or the like, what are you doing for them?
  • They share stuff with their friends — the good, the bad and the ugly. If you’re being talked about and you don’t know what is being said about you and your products (and customer service successes and failures) in social media, you won’t have a chance to respond and fix any problems before they go toxic.

To help meet the needs of Kiwi retailers and online sellers, we have developed a new online training course which blends together teachings from both our social media courses and our ecommerce courses.

We are delighted to introduce our newest online training course, Social Media Marketing for Retailers and Online Sellers.

Here’s what the new course covers:

Social Media Marketing Essentials Lesson One

Lesson One: Facebook

In Lesson One, we examine what really works on Facebook for retailers and online sellers. We spell out the characteristics of successful Facebook posts and identify 20 different posting formats that get noticed and get shared.

We look at:

  • What you should talk about most of the time on Facebook (hint: it’s not endlessly flogging the products that you sell)
  • The 10 most important factors that consumers look for when deciding whether or not to buy from you (and how you can improve each aspect)
  • The four most important services you can provide that will have consumers recommending you to their friends
  • What you need to know about the new Facebook Marketplace (before it gets swamped)
  • What Facebook Remarketing is all about (and why it can almost miraculously improve your online sales)

Then we review the types of posts worth sharing, accompanied by a wide range of examples, including:

  • Plenty of stories from local and international retailers who are using Facebook effectively
  • The hotel chain that has twice as many people talking about it as the chain has followers
  • The radio station that has truly mastered the art of Facebook
  • Examples of posts that really tug at the heartstrings
  • The Facebook page that had 247,756 Facebook likes but managed to get 775,600 people talking and 160,000 people sharing
  • Practical posts that get people sharing

And many many more.

 Social Media Marketing Essentials Lesson Two

Lesson Two: Messaging — WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Snapchat, WeChat

Now that the mobile phone has become the dominant communications mechanism, more and more consumers are connecting with each other through one or more specialist messaging applications. Now the top four messaging apps attract more eyeballs than the top four social networking apps. So what are the implications of consumers’ move to what’s become known as “Dark Social”?

In Lesson Two, you’ll learn about:

  • The leading messaging contenders
  • how many people are using each app
  • customer service and messaging: natural partners
  • how retailers and other marketers are already using messaging services to advertise themselves to their audiences
  • what chatbots are and how AI just might reinvent messaging and customer service (and why that’s a big deal — and a big opportunity — for you and other online sellers and retailers)

SMMROS-Lesson3-online-video

Lesson Three: Online Video

Video is central to Facebook’s vision for the future of the platform. In 2014 CEO Mark Zuckerberg was quoted as saying “In five years most of Facebook will be video”. we’re not quite there year, but 2019 isn’t very far away at all — and already online video is becoming dominant.

One of the reasons why video is so important for retailers and online sellers: after watching a video, 64% of users are more likely to buy a product online.

In this lesson, we discuss exactly what you need to know about online video (especially on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube), including:

  • How much more likely people are to watch live video (compared to video which is not live)
  • The dramatically-increased performance of Facebook video posts compared with photo posts
  • The perceived benefits (and barriers) of live-streaming video and how live streaming is currently being used by businesses
  • Success secrets of online video – including the exploding watermelon video that reached more than 10 million people

Along the way, we explore:

  • 11 steps to creating an effective video content strategy
  • Essential tips and techniques from the YouTube Creator Playbook
  • Video marketing tips from the experts
  • 30 practical tips to help you create the best live-streamed videos
  • The surprising legal ramifications of live content streaming (what you don’t know could cost you bigtime)

  SMMROS-Instagram-Lesson4-400

Lesson Four: Instagram

Despite the newfound popularity of social video, images continue to be a vital part of the Social Web. In Lesson Four, find out what you need to know about Instagram, including:

  • What we know about Kiwi Instagram users
  • How leading brands are winning with this image-based network
  • How to use Instagram to its full potential
  • Smart visual content strategies
  • What you should include in your Instagram profile
  • Creative ideas for using Instagram for marketing
  • The importance of hashtags (but how NOT to overuse them)
  • Using Instagram for instant feedback (for better or for worse)
  • How often you should post to Instagram (and what NOT to post)
  • The vital intelligence you can gain, just by tracking Instagram usage
  • Five tips for amazing visual content

 Social Media Marketing Essentials Lesson Five

Lesson Five: Social Media Advertising

As the social networks limit organic reach — the numbers of your followers who might see your social media posts just because they follow your page — organisations have turned to advertising to communicate their messages. In this lesson we examine how to make the most of your advertising options across various social media networks — and how to really take advantage of the enhanced targeting opportunities that social media provides.

We also explore:

  • how to take best advantage of Carousel Ads, Lead Ads and other Facebook and Instagram options
  • Facebook’s Canvas, full-screen mobile ad experience
  • using Calls to Action more effectively
  • how leading advertisers are using social media
  • using your existing customer and prospect lists to develop custom audiences

 SMMROS-Lesson6-pinterest

Lesson Six: Pinterest

If your target audience is female, you really should include Pinterest as one of your social media marketing tools. Here’s how Pinterest describes itself:

Pinterest is a Virtual Pinboard. Pinterest lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. People use pinboards to plan their weddings, decorate their homes, and organize their favorite recipes.

In this lesson, we explore:

  • The latest local and international statistics
  • How leading retailers and other marketers are using Pinterest
  • Pinterest’s Business Pages
  • Pinterest case studies, best practices and inspirational guides
  • What you simply must know about Pinterest’s Secret Boards
  • how you can make the most of rich pins on Pinterest

 SMMROS-Lesson7-google-plus

Lesson Seven: Google Plus

Google Plus is strategically important, even though it really isn’t much of a social network (and has, not unreasonably, been described as a ghost town). Still, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use it. In this lesson, we cover:

  • Google Plus stats and demographics
  • Why Google Plus is so important for SEO — and for your online credibility
  • The implications of Google blending Google Plus with Google Shopping
  • Why Google Plus matters more than ever for local businesses
  • The controversial Google Plus sharing policies

Social Media Marketing Essentials Lesson Eight

Lesson Eight: Community Management and Influencer Marketing

Great! You have an enthusiastic following on your chosen social network. But how do you engage effectively with these followers? And how do you reach out to influencers — those who have significant communities of their own?

In Lesson Eight we explore strategies, techniques and best practice, including:

  • taking full advantage of Facebook Groups
  • Influencer marketing strategies that work
  • the vital importance of customer service through social media
  • tips and wisdom from leading community managers
  • foibles and failures to avoid
  • identifying and connecting with Kiwi influencers

Social Media Marketing Essentials Lesson Nine

Lesson Nine: Tools, Tips & Measurement

Finally, we take a look at the latest tools that will help you manage your social media needs effectively.

In Lesson Nine, you’ll learn:

  • what you can and should measure as you use social media to market your products and services
  • the top tools recommended by leading social media experts
  • smart strategies for best engagement with your followers
  • new social media trends to watch for

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WHO WILL BENEFIT FROM THIS COURSE?
Every Kiwi business wanting to promote and sell stuff online. Social Media is now embedded in the fabric of the NZ Internet environment, and if you haven’t mastered Social Media your promotional options will be severely limited.

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WHAT YOU WILL GAIN AS A RESULT OF THIS COURSE
After you’ve completed this course, you’ll receive a Certificate of Achievement. More importantly, however, you will have learned:

  • what works in each of the key social media networks (and what doesn’t)
  • how leading retailers and online sellers are achieving success in each medium
  • step-by-step guides to new features that can greatly enhance the effectiveness of your efforts
  • how to engage effectively with your prospects and customers — and their communities and influencers
  • tips and techniques that others are using to achieve better results
  • measurement tools to ensure you stay on top of your social media performance

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WHAT CUSTOMERS ARE SAYING ABOUT OUR COURSES

Here’s a sampling of the feedback we’ve received from those who’ve taken our courses:

  • Thanks for an informative and interesting [Facebook Accelerator] course. Your presentation held a good balance of theoretical and practical information and was clear and simple enough for a non IT Facebook novice like me to follow. There are many ideas that I have gained that I will attempt to incorporate in the overall marketing plan my team is currently developing for our brand. Facebook can offer so much more than I thought as a medium for communicating with our current and prospective customers. Julie D
  • I found this course fantastic, i started off knowing very little about facebook (just how to run my own personal page) to now having a thorough understanding of ALL the things you can (and there is a lot). The course format was great and allowed knowledge to be built up over time. Course length was great and this will definetly be something i come back to constantly as we develop our facebook pages more within my company. Aleisha H
  • I have really enjoyed the course and the way it was structured. It was informative and interesting – liked the way you incorporated slide-shows, video, statistics and different forms of media to provide information. Lisa C

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ABOUT US

This course has been created and is tutored by Michael Carney, the principal of Netmarketing Services Limited.

Michael is a veteran marketer with an insatiable passion for whatever’s new, different, exciting or interesting in the world of communications (and especially in the digital space). Michael has been in the marketing game since 1971, online since 1987 —  and can be variously described as a digital marketing trainer, adman, media director, strategist, researcher, copywriter, consultant, playwright and dad.

He is probably best known for his many years as Media Director of a number of leading NZ advertising agencies, including MDA Mackay King (now Saatchi & Saatchi) and HKM Rialto (since merged with Colenso BBDO). More recently he worked in strategic roles with MediaCom New Zealand and Grey Worldwide and was Strategic Planning Director for the Media Counsel before setting up Netmarketing Services Limited.

Michael is also the author of “Trade Me Success Secrets: How To Buy and Sell Effectively on NZ’s Favourite Auction Site”, now in its second edition.

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TIMING

This course begins on Thursday 28 September, 2017.

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INVESTMENT

This nine-part online training course is available for $597 +GST. However we offer an EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT of $100 +GST — pay just $497+GST for bookings received by the end of  Thursday 21 September, 2017.

Bookings are confirmed on receipt of payment, which can be by bank deposit or credit card. We can raise an invoice in advance if you need it.

To reserve your place in this course, please pay by credit card through PayPal by clicking here:

sign up now

If you would prefer to pay by bank deposit, or require an invoice, please send an email to [email protected] with your requirements.

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?

You’ll receive our emailed confirmation of your booking. Then on the first day of the course we’ll follow up with details of your Login and Password, along with an Enrolment Key for the Social Media Marketing for Retailers & Online Sellers online training course.

If you have any questions, or would like more information, please email us at [email protected]

5 Vital Search Marketing Strategies for 2017 & 2018

5 vital search marketing strategies for 2017-2018

Let’s face it, search has always been important online. Now, however, with more than 1 billion websites out there (and more being created every minute of every day), getting found remains the most important challenge for any web marketer.

That’s not news. But there are new developments in search all the time, and keeping up with the play is a challenge even for the most dedicated marketers, whether you’re based in Timaru or Timbuktu, in Wellington or Wyoming.

So we’ve been putting together a comprehensive presentation about those search marketing developments that matter for 2017 and 2018. And here, from that presentation, are five vital search marketing strategies that you need to master today.

1 You must optimise for ALL search tools (not just Google and Bing)

As CopyBlogger points out:

YouTube has long been hailed as “the world’s second-most popular search engine.” If you’re producing videos, they need to surface for relevant searches on YouTube.

The same concept applies to Apple Podcasts (formerly iTunes). You better believe I thought long and hard about my optimization strategy for the world’s most popular podcast search engine when I launched a new show recently.

And think about how many searches Facebook must be getting these days. Even Twitter too. Your social posts are one step removed from your website content … but still one step closer than the person searching was a few seconds prior.

Implications for marketers: The Web is no longer “one size fits all”. If you are only optimising for Google, you could be missing a large chunk of potential customers who rely on Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, WhatsApp, Amazon, eBay, Trade Me and especially (as we’ll discuss below) Google Images to provide their content and their guidance. Review your search strategies to determine where else you might focus your efforts.

2 Lack of Speed Kills

As you may have heard, Google is currently testing a “Mobile First” index, aiming to roll it out “soon” (SearchEngineLand reckons it won’t be until 2018, but even that is just around the corner).

So what’s a “Mobile First” index?

Google explains:

Today, most people are searching on Google using a mobile device. However, our ranking systems still typically look at the desktop version of a page’s content to evaluate its relevance to the user. This can cause issues when the mobile page has less content than the desktop page because our algorithms are not evaluating the actual page that is seen by a mobile searcher.

To make our results more useful, we’ve begun experiments to make our index mobile-first. Although our search index will continue to be a single index of websites and apps, our algorithms will eventually primarily use the mobile version of a site’s content to rank pages from that site, to understand structured data, and to show snippets from those pages in our results.

There’s a problem, though. Google isn’t just looking for content when indexing mobile sites. It also evaluates other parameters, most especially page-loading speed.

AJ Ghergich shares some bad news for at least one big brand marketer:

I read an article the other day that Lululemon’s website was having some issues. They’re obviously a really big company – I picked them to test out their site.

Based on my initial tests, Google estimated that the page took 15 seconds to load, which Google says could be losing you up to 32% of your visitors. Also, the site didn’t pass the usability guidelines – that can come down site congestion, maybe they were having a heavy load, things like that.

When you test your site, test it every 5 or 10 minutes. Test it again and get an average going so that you have a fair representation.

The next test I conducted was seven seconds – still not great, still not passing usability guidelines. The next one was also seven seconds, and the one after that was eight seconds. I think the 7 to 8-second range is probably more reliable, but it does show that during heavy load, it might spike up to 15 seconds. Still not acceptable.

AJ’s blunt conclusion:

If your mobile metrics suck, your rankings will suck

Implications for marketers: You know all those fancy bells and whistles that you added to make your website look great? Sorry, these days that may be just enough to send your site hurtling to the bottom of the rankings (and not just that, but also driving your existing and  prospective customers away, screaming “Too slow! Too slow!”).

Also take a look at Amplified Mobile Pages, which can dramatically increase your speed (but do come with some cautions, which we discuss in our Search Marketing 2017 presentation).

We still remember (unfondly) the earliest days of the World Wide Web in New Zealand, when Xtra’s homepage consisted of a dominant, massive (in 1990s Internet terms) graphic that took simply forever to load. Learn from their example, and from endless Fast & Furious movies, about the need for speed.

3 Focus on “Searcher Task Accomplishment”

According to Moz:

… there’s a new ranking factor in town, and it’s a doozy. The idea of searcher task accomplishment is a compelling argument for how we should be optimizing our sites. Are they actually solving the problems searchers seek answers for?

Now, I want to be clear. This is not something that’s directly in Google’s algorithm for sure. It’s just that they’re measuring a lot of things that lead us to this conclusion. This is essentially what Google is optimizing toward with all of their ranking signals, and therefore it’s what SEOs nowadays have to think about optimizing for with our content. And that is searcher task accomplishment.

So what do I mean by this? Well, look, when someone does a search like “disinfect a cut,” they’re trying to actually accomplish something. In fact, no matter what someone is searching for, it’s not just that they want a set of results. They’re actually trying to solve a problem. For Google, the results that solve that problem fastest and best and with the most quality are the ones that they want to rank.

In the past, they’ve had to do all sorts of algorithms to try and get at this from obtuse angles. But now, with a lot of the work that they’re doing around measuring engagement and with all of the data that’s coming to them through Chrome and through Android, they’re able to get much, much closer to what is truly accomplishing the searcher’s task. That’s because they really want results that satisfy the query and fulfill the searcher’s task.

So pretty much every — I’m excluding navigational searches — but every informational and transactional type of search — I mean, navigational, they just want to go to that website — but informational and transactional search query is basically this. It’s I have an expression of need. That’s what I’m telling Google. But behind that, there’s a bunch of underlying goals, things that I want to do. I want to know information. I want to accomplish something. I want to complete an activity.

When I do that, when I perform my search, I have this sort of evaluation of results. Is this going to help me do what I want? Then I choose one, and then I figure out whether that result actually helps me complete my task. If it does, I might have discovery of additional needs around that, like once you’ve answered my disinfect a cut, now it’s, okay, now I kind of want to know how to prevent an infection, because you described using disinfectant and then you said infections are real scary. So let me go look up how do I prevent that from happening. So there’s that discovery of additional needs. Or you decide, hey, this did not help me complete my task. I’m going to go back to evaluation of results, or I’m going to go back to my expression of need in the form of a different search query.

That’s what gives Google the information to say, “Yes, this result helped the searcher accomplish their task,” or, “No, this result did not help them do it.”

Implications for marketers: Is your website content helping searchers to accomplish their tasks? If not, reconsider your content.

4 The Surprising Importance of Google Image Search

As it happens, the second most powerful search engine is in fact Google Image Search, accounting for more than a quarter of total web searches, as this Moz graph shows:

Search-share-of-top-10-web-properties

SearchEngineLand offers up some tips to improve your results on Google Images:

Google values relevance and quality in returning search results and thus, user experience feedback is a strong signal to Google for ranking purposes. Thus, the more popular an image and the more clicks it gets, the higher the ranking. Below are a few tips for providing a good user experience with your images:

Make sure that your images are of good quality and are appealing. That might seem obvious, but go on LinkedIn and see how many bad profile pictures people post of themselves. A survey by Shotfarm, which distributes product images for manufacturers, found that consumers say product descriptions and images are critical to their decision-making, with the vast majority of consumers saying they are important (30 percent) or very important (63 percent). In other words, consumers extrapolate the quality of an image to that of the product or service. So better pictures boost clicks which will boost ranking of that image.

While overly large image file size hurts page load time, reducing the file size does not mean you have to sacrifice quality. There are ways to strip out unnecessary data and many online tools that can help optimize images for your website.  Try JPEGMini, PunyPNG or Kraken.io

While Google doesn’t take the same liberties in cropping images in search results that they do with Google profile pics, it remains important to understand how the image will look in search results. Images that don’t fit the more standard image ratios, such as 16:9 or 4:3, tend to be resized to fit those dimensions. Also, images such as large group pics that lose any valuable detail when reduced to thumbnail size will likely fail to draw attention or clicks.

Implications for marketers: Images are far more important than you probably thought, and not just for the obvious “worth a thousand words” reason. We talk a whole lot more about images in our Search Marketing report, but even if you don’t read that, know this: sorry writers, images can be much more powerful online than words — but only if used correctly.

 

5 Content is, it turns out, indeed King (of the Search Results)

We were just about to do this (yeah, right!) but then Cognitive SEO popped up with some fascinating results gleaned from examining 40,000 keywords and around 4 million pieces of content. Here’s what they found:

A high content performance will (almost) guarantee you a top Google position. There is a very strong correlation between a high content performance scores and ranking on a high position.

In essence, the better the content quality, the higher you can expect to rank on Google.

Content-Performance-Rankings-cognitiveSEO

To be honest, we’re not that surprised. We already saw, as we were putting together our Content Marketing presentation, that Content and SEO are intertwined. This research simply confirms that situation.

Implications for marketers: If you want to be found in the Search results, do the hard yards and create effective, compelling, relevant content. It’s that simple — and that difficult.

 

SPECIAL SEARCH MARKETING PRESENTATION FOR KIWI BUSINESSES

You’ve just read about five important strategies for effective Search Marketing, but there are plenty more to consider as well. To meet the demand for useful, up-to-date, NZ-relevant information about Search Marketing, next week we will release the presentation NZ Search Marketing 2017. This is the third presentation in our New Zealand Marketing Insights series, which began with our NZ Consumer Trends 2017 presentation and was followed by our NZ Content Marketing 2017 presentation.

search-marketing-nz-2017

We just wanted to let you know a little more about this new Search Marketing presentation.

The presentation looks ahead at what marketers should expect and plan for in 2017 and 2018 — based on local and global trends you may not yet have had the opportunity to examine — turning those forecasts into a comprehensive report & slide deck in PowerPoint format (with accompanying notes) – information that you can easily present to your team and your clients, bringing everyone up to speed on the latest New Zealand Marketing Insights as we accelerate through what remains of 2017. All presentations are unbranded, so you can add your own branding and comments.

All of our presentations in this Marketing Insights series consist of at least 150 slides, dealing with as many key insights.

INSIDE “SEARCH MARKETING 2017”

In this presentation, we’ll wax lyrical about a wide ranging collection of topics, including:

Mobile Really Must Be First
In May 2015, Google reported that mobile searches had surpassed desktop searches on its search engine. Since then, the company has taken many steps which signal that mobile, not desktop, should be considered as the default user experience. Google is moving towards giving priority to mobile-centric indexing, which means that your website must as well.

Three Seconds is the New Fast
According to a study Google presented in late 2016, website that gain priority in search results will be expected to load in three seconds or less. That’s simply a recognition by Google of the impatience of mobile-wielding web surfers. As you might imagine, that has direct implications for your website structure — and whether or not you opt for accelerated mobile pages (AMP) or Progressive Web Apps (PWA), which allow a website to work as if it were an app.

How Machine Learning is Revolutionising Google Search
Google CEO Sundar Pichai laid out the corporate mindset: “Machine learning is a core, transformative way by which we’re rethinking how we’re doing everything. We are thoughtfully applying it across all our products, be it search, ads, YouTube, or Play. And we’re in early days, but you will see us — in a systematic way — apply machine learning in all these areas.”

Perils of the Google Answer Box
In 2017/18, brands will need to place value on optimizing their digital content based on intent rather than specific keywords. As you have no doubt noticed, Google has become more and more likely to offer up specific answers rather than simply links to search results.

For example, here’s Google’s answer to the query “what is the height of mt egmont”:

google-height

So how do you get chosen to be the answer to such a query (and is it a good idea to be the Google Snippet)? We explore the options.

Google Shopping Now in NZ
Google Shopping has arrived in New Zealand and is likely to play a larger and larger role in commerce-based search queries. We look at the players so far and examine the possibilities.

Big Data + Search = Attribution Challenges
Today’s conversion paths are extremely complex and as a result, micro-moments matter more than ever. Engaging with customers’ days, weeks, and even months before they’re ready to convert is going to be the new norm.

Reconsider Bing
Bing is a big player amongst the new breed of digital assistants. It’s fueling the search of Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa, apart from being the default search engine of Microsoft’s Cortana. Ignore it at your peril.

The Move to Natural Language Queries
Why does Google have this irresistible interest in natural language? Sure, on an ideal level, it’s because Google wants “to provide the better answer to users’ needs,” and to do that, Google must:

  • Understand what each web document is about (semantics);
  • Understand what users are actually searching for, now that more and more using their voice to search

Voice Search
Already 20% of mobile queries are Voice Search (and will be 50% in 2020, according to Microsoft). Voice Search is going above and beyond voice recognition and evolving into voice understanding. This involves several changes with respect to:

  • previous searches
  • location-based context
  • context based on frequently used apps
  • personalised information
  • keyword research based on spoken queries

How should marketers modify their content to cope with those new voice search parameters?

The Search Marketing presentation also looks at:

  • the big challenges of cross-channel marketing
  • getting to know Google RankBrain
  • image recognition searches
  • Key SEO Stats
  • Google’s top 3 ranking signals
  • User Experience Optimisation
  • Content Marketing That Impacts SEO
  • and, of course, a whole lot more

Each Marketing Insights presentation is available to purchase and reuse, for $597 plus GST (with volume discounts available for purchases of multiple presentations).

To purchase the Search Marketing presentation by credit card via PayPal, please click here:

sign up now

BILLING OPTIONS
If you would prefer to pay by bank deposit or require an invoice before making payment, please send an email to [email protected] with details of your request. (The service provider will be shown as Netmarketing Services Limited in your transaction and on your credit card statement).

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT
Your purchase will be confirmed by email and download instructions will be provided to you, usually within a few hours.

 

SEARCH MARKETING + CONTENT MARKETING SPECIAL OFFER

We’ve already talked about the relationship between Search Marketing and Content Marketing. You might also like to check out our Content Marketing presentation:

INSIDE “NZ CONTENT MARKETING 2017”

Here’s what the Content Marketing presentation covers:

  • The three types of content regarded as most important for effective content optimisation in 2017
  • The convergence of SEO and Content Marketing and what that means for marketing and communications professionals
  • Search intents across mobile and desktop, how and why they are different and the implications
  • The surprising new importance of voice search (and what marketers are doing about it)
  • What marketers think about artificial intelligence and its importance for the future of content marketing

And:

Content Marketing as Defensive Mechanism
So many people are talking — not always positively — about brands and companies online, and organisations don’t always get the chance to present their own point of view as part of that conversation. As a result, many are turning to Content Marketing as a means to get their message out there.

Talking to Your Own
Content marketing has also seen itself become an internal PR tool, used to communicate in a planned and more effective manner with staff, dealers and suppliers. How are you ensuring that your own people know what they should about your organisation?

Overcoming “Content Shock”
Even when marketers do invest in Content Marketing, there are challenges. One of the biggest challenge: getting heard out there, amongst the ever-increasing cacophony of social media posts, blogs, video and all. It’s been dubbed “Content Shock” — and we look at how to deal with it.

Content Will Get useful or Get Ignored
Smart marketers will begin to invest in bigger content projects such as creating free and robust online tools, writing the go-to books in their industries, and creating environments where their customers can build a community to share knowledge

Accountability
content marketers will be held accountable not just for how much content they create, but what it does for the business (much like demand generation teams).

Other topics that feature in this presentation include:

  • Personalisation
  • Engagement
  • Data-driven Insights
  • Interactive Experiences
  • Face-to-face Opportunities & Live Events
  • challenges of developing engaging visual content
  • the talent shortage
  • Algorithm-driven content distribution
  • Live video
  • compelling content experiences
  • the emergence of AI journalism
  • Immersive Content Formats
  • Science-based content marketing
  • The rise of the Content Librarian
  • The continuing rise of paid promotion and the decline of organic reach

You can purchase BOTH the Content Marketing and Search Marketing presentations together for just $1094+GST (and save yourself $100). Click here to pay for the two presentations by credit card via PayPal.

BILLING OPTIONS
If you would prefer to pay by bank deposit or require an invoice before making payment, please send an email to [email protected] with details of your request. (The service provider will be shown as Netmarketing Services Limited in your transaction and on your credit card statement).

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT
The Content Marketing presentation will be provided to you right away, as soon as we process your purchase. The Search Marketing presentation will be provided to you as soon as it is published.

Watch What You Say in Social Media

watch-what-you-say-in-social-media

You will know doubt be as shocked as we were to discover that Kiwi consumers do not like the idea that journalists are poring over their social media entrails, looking for juicy and salacious tidbits to share in mass media.

That is the unsurprising finding of a new NZ Broadcasting Standards Authority research report.

The BSA notes that:

Despite a strong information-sharing culture on social media, the public expect broadcasters to observe strict privacy standards – suggesting there is a double standard at play.

  • In general the public do not consider that broadcasters can just take any social media content and use it in the broadcasting context.
  • The public expect their social media content will remain in the context in which they published it because taking it out of that context can significantly affect its impact and message, and the likely audience.

Broadcasters and mainstream media, on the other hand, have quite a different perspective:

  • When selecting social media content, the starting point for many broadcasters is whether the content is newsworthy – but they are also alert to issues around individual rights, privacy and consent.
  • Broadcasters rely on the general principle that it will usually be okay to republish information already in the public domain.

The whole “yes I said that in social media — but I didn’t mean for it to become public” issue has been a challenging one across many years, and has led to many consumers modifying their choices of social media network and switching to messaging apps and other closed-user platforms.

We shouldn’t be particularly surprised that, in an era dominated by clickbait headlines, paparazzi pursuits and “it’s okay to hack celebrities’ cellphones as long as you don’t get caught” attitudes, social media posts are considered fair game.

Although the BSA talks about issuing new guidelines for broadcasters, recommending that they seek consent to use social media content, today’s “first, fast and five minutes sooner than anyone else” editorial mantra is that it is unlikely that things will change any time soon.

Businesses, as well as individuals, should simply take note that whatever you say in social media can and often will be used against you. Or, to hark back to an earlier era, “loose lips sink ships (and careers)”.

7 Reasons why Social Media Monitoring is Vital for Your Brand

social-media-monitoring

Social Listening (i.e. Social Media Monitoring) has been cited in a recent survey of marketers as THE most important marketing trend of the next 12 months.

importance-of-social-listening

Actually, it’s a topic that’s been of vital importance ever since Social Media Marketing became a thing, and for good reason: consumers, as they do, may well already be talking about you and your brand online, and if you don’t know what they’re saying, they could do significant brand damage.

Here are 7 reasons why Social Media Monitoring is essential.

1 They May Already Be Talking About You, But You Don’t Know It

Fullers Ferries was criticised on Facebook in January 2017 by an unhappy patron (who also happens to be an Auckland city councillor):

When you don't listen for complaints in social media

The post garnered 44 reactions, 25 comments and 1 share. Unfortunately, none of those responses appear to be from anyone working for Fullers — and the tone of the comments is uniformly negative.

The discussion might have been more moderate if a company spokesperson had stepped in and responded to the issues raised. Unfortunately, the opportunity was lost.

2 They Are Talking About You, And You DO Know It

Sometimes, as in the example below, the complaints are directly addressed to the offending company.

when you actively monitor social media for complaints and concerns

If you’re addressed directly in social media (or if your social media monitoring is real-time and picks up a complaint or question), then you need to respond fast — ideally within an hour.

As David Alston of social monitoring software operators Radian6 notes:

Catching something early means getting a chance to show how responsive you are. A complaint is an opportunity to demonstrate problem-solving abilities. A posted complaint may also draw out other comments from people with the same concern, which provides an opportunity to reach out to them as well. And who knows, impressing customer with great customer service may generate some positive posts about how you resolved the problems.

3 You Can Listen for Expressed Needs

Sometimes, consumers will be talking about products or services that they need. If you’ve set up your monitoring keywords and terms correctly, you may be able to get in ahead of your competitors.

need-to-buy

The best way to watch for expressed needs is to look for keywords often used to describe those needs. People shout out what they are doing and ask the general public for advice occasionally when they are about to make a purchase. Both of these situations provide an opportunity to reach out with an offer of assistance or a free demo for example. While this may seem intrusive at first glance consider that great retail clerk who offers to help when you are trying to locate a pair of shoes in your size. A social media poster often appreciates that someone is listening and does not mind an offer of assistance especially if it’s done in a helpful way.

4 You Can Keep Tabs on What’s Trending

Topics will often pop up online that draw huge crowds from a page visits or commenting perspective. There is a lot to be learned in discussion threads especially when they have the potential to affect your brand. Following the swarms can give you a better understanding of current sentiment and thinking towards a certain topic and who the players are that have opinions on it. It also may point out a topic that you will need to monitor going forward. Tracking a topic’s viral nature and how long it lives can give you an idea of its relative importance. You may also decide to participate in the crowd discussion thread early in the process, giving your company exposure to those currently involved in the discussion and to those yet to join.

twitter-trends

You can see what’s trending near you on Twitter, just by visiting the front page of Twitter.com.

 

5 You Can Identify and Monitor Influencers

Influencers within a space can carry a lot of weight. They gain their power either from the number of times they post on a topic, the number of people who link to their posts on a topic, the number of people gathering to comment and how engaged visitors to their posts become. The hive that forms around an influencer helps spread an opinion on a brand faster and that opinion express potentially carries more weight. Often an influencer’s post appears prominently in a topic’s Google search results thus affecting the views of even more potential customers. Knowing who these influencers are and their opinions of your brands helps you determine who to reach out to for help as advocates or to understand why they currently hold a negative view.

shannon

Shannon (Shaaanxo) is a Kiwi influencer with million-plus followings on YouTube and Instagram

 

6 Get Early Warning of Potential Crises

Discussions happening in social media can serve as an early warning system before an issue goes mainstream. By using advanced tools you can observe new words popping more frequently about your brands. If you were an airline, as an example, the sudden appearance of the word “cancellations” along with the words “bad” and “customer service” would immediately trigger a need to drill into the posts driving them. Tracking these “crisis” words over time on a go forward basis would also then help gauge the effectiveness of any outreach campaigns to address the underlying issues.

crisis-early-warning

When prospective customers react this negatively, it’s time to reconsider your policy

 

7 Collect Social Proof

Sometimes, people actually say nice things in social media.

best-restaurant-ever

Compliments can come in many forms. It could be a congratulations message about a recent award. It could be a customer raving about the experience they just had with a product or with customer service. Social media compliments are the online equivalent of those old school references or testimonials of days past. Save all of these compliments in a list for future use. Potential clients looking for reassurance on a purchase decision would love to see what others think of your company and products.

 

What to Do When Things Go Bad

Even when you get into Reputation Management proactively, it won’t always go smoothly. Marty Weintraub, President of aimClear Search Marketing Agency, captured the moment in a presentation entitled “The Dark Side of Reputation Management”:

  • Expect to make mistakes. First, any active social marketer can expect to make mistakes which cost sleep, cause angst, and alienate others—it’s the reality of the game. Subscribe to the theory that “nothing ventured is nothing gained” and forgive yourself in advance for inevitable screw-ups. Social media is just that: social. Humans tend to be unpredictable, especially in groups. Anyone who dives into social media without accepting that the results will be a mixed-bag-learning-curve risks being prematurely discouraged at inevitable rejection. Hell, several record companies said “no” to Elvis. Not everyone is going to love you.
  • Do not lose your cool (or, stupid is as stupid does). This can’t be stressed enough. No matter what the appropriate PR crises response turns out to be, there is seldom equity in hasty emotional comebacks. It rarely works to respond during the heat of anger, so get a grip. When rejected, it’s normal to feel hurt, anger, sadness, and even rage. Count to 350, wait until tomorrow, eat some comfort food, or find another way to chill out..
    Not a good idea:
    belgian-beer-cafeIt’s true that some disasters require an immediate online response, but these instances are truly rare. There’s nearly always 5 minutes or 2 hours available to wait without impacting the ultimate outcome. Pay attention to emotional red flags and be the most mature party at the table.
  • Fight fire with water, not fire. When some social media twit unfairly flames your company (or you personally), it’s tempting to nuke them. As professional marketers we usually know the forums to post to, blogs to comment in, and have a good understanding of what it might take to completely trash someone in revenge. As human beings, we’re wired to defend the home turf by any means possible. That said, take a moment to distinguish the degree of response necessary. Fight the heat rising off the back your neck whilst your ears turn red and ask if a “high road” response will suffice in this situation.Often we advise clients to actually thank the flamer for initiating what could become a productive dialogue. There’s very little comeback for the provocateur if his or her rant is met with the response, “Thank you for the insight. We appreciate you raising your concern.” We’ve seen multiple cases where this tactic converts the provocateur to a friend. Online or off, this approach is a timeless technique for dealing with angry customers.
  • Don’t anger the natives. Preempt debacles by holistically participating wherever online networking takes you. Many—OK, most—passionate social community members either dislike or downright hate marketers. Their concerns are valid in many cases. Be a responsible social media marketer instead.Reckless or selfish marketers dilute the neighborhood content stream, wrecking it for everybody. This common phenomenon particularly irks long term tagging and bookmarking site users. Be cognizant of the norms. Give exponentially more than you take. Respect the indigenous cultural and join in to preserve what’s best about the community. Give a hoot—don’t content pollute.Never spam.Don’t bash the hornets’ nest (i.e., intentionally provoke). I should take my own advice about this one and will vouch for the fact that troll hunting makes for excellent sport. Don’t do it. One obvious method for avoiding a fight is not to start one. Taking the initiative to preemptively attack someone who hasn’t bothered you is an unfortunate tactic favored by losers.
  • Get input from others. It’s uncanny how approachable the “stars” in our business are to unknowns in need. I actually approached Danny Sullivan (a leading US Search Engine & Social Marketing guru), as I had heard him speak on this topic. He was completely unselfish and helpful in bringing the entire affair into perspective. I learned a thing or two about the mutually supportive qualities of our community. I have never met a competent social media expert who was unavailable to a respectful approach seeking insight in a difficult situation. When you’re in over your head, get advice from a master.
  • Don’t try to save the world if the injustice does not really matter. Get over it. It’s not your place to solve all the injustices on this green earth. Saving the planet is a time consuming endeavour and should only be partaken in the rarest of circumstances.
  • Cast your ego aside. A savvy lawyer gave me incredibly useful advice at my wedding. He said, “When my wife and I disagree, I tell her that she ‘might’ be right.” He pointed out that responding with a non-binding statement ceding to the other’s perspective really gives nothing away at all except respect. Success and peace is what matters, not who’s right.When you are attacked in social media and every fiber in your body wants to throttle someone because they’re so totally wrong, check your ego and take a breath. It doesn’t matter if your side “wins” if the flamers have already burnt your reputation down. It’s rather difficult to unring a bell.
  • Pre-plan to deal with crisis & opportunity. Ideally, it’s best to have a contingency plan in place for when things hit the fan. We teach clients to create a designated PR council, of which we’re a member. Depending on the size of your organization, this could be as basic as running the situation by your spouse or as complex as assembling the board of directors. Regardless of what’s appropriate in your situation, think ahead and have your resources lined up and ready to go.Out there on the street, there’s a palpable fear of user-generated media. Most marketers understand that at least some component of their marketing mix may indeed be somehow rooted in social media. A commitment to preemptive and responsive tactics to deal with negativity can be essential to overcoming apprehension.

We do offer a Social Media Monitoring service, to a limited number of clients. If you’d like to talk to us about your social media monitoring needs, drop us an email in the first instance to [email protected].

 

The Unfortunate Case of the Small Business Owner

unfortunate-small-business-owner

We were talking yesterday to a small business owner who made a chilling observation: “I decided that I was tired of paying for Google Adwords, so I simply stopped advertising. All of my enquiries and all my sales instantly stopped. Nothing.”

We asked the obvious question, “What about natural search results? Didn’t you get some traffic from that?”

Her reply: “I couldn’t even find myself on Google. I was somewhere about page four on the results.”

Needless to say, she quickly restarted her search advertising campaign and business went back to normal.

If there was ever a clear case for content marketing, combined with Search Engine Optimisation, this was it.

If you don’t feature interesting and (above all) relevant-to-your-customers’-pain-points content on your website, why would Google suggest your website to people looking to solutions for their problems?

Once you have suitable content on your website, it’s so much easier to optimise your website for search engines.

As we note in our just-published Content Marketing presentation:

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and Content Marketing have always been two sides of the same coin. According to the BrightEdge Future of Content Report (June 2017), 97% of marketers believe that SEO and Content Marketing are converging or have already converged.

If a consumer is using Google or Bing to search for something, the search engines will always be looking for content that meets those specific search parameters. If you are writing content, you will only be effective — i.e. be found — if you use keywords and phrases that consumers are looking for.

Then you need to optimise your content — ensure that it’s in a format suitable for both search engines and human visitors.

Unfortunately, SEO is not a task that you can perform just once and then you’re sorted.

It would be wonderful if every prospective customer used the exact same words and phrases to refer to your products and services.

Yeah, nice dream, not gonna happen.

Then there’s the evolution of phraseology. Nowadays, consumers using voice search on mobile devices are far more conversational in their choices of search keywords. They tend to be less structured in their searching, confident that Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, Siri and Microsoft’s Cortana (and Samsung’s new Bixby) are smart enough to understand what searchers actually mean.

In turn, marketers need to ensure that their content includes both formal and conversational keywords and phrases, to cater to the differing searches conducted across both desktop and mobile devices.

Oh yeah — and you also need to be aware that more and more of Google’s searches are being powered by RankBrain machine learning software, so you need to ask yourself “what would an artificial intelligence make of this sentence?” Do try to avoid the types of linguistic contortions that would trouble non-native speakers. No pressure.

If you want to avoid the unfortunate fate of that small business owner, we recommend that you check out our Content Marketing presentation (available now) and our Search Marketing presentation (due to be published at the end of this month).

Here’s what’s included in the Content Marketing presentation:

The presentation looks ahead at what marketers should expect and plan for in 2017 and 2018 — based on local and global trends you may not yet have had the opportunity to examine — turning those forecasts into a comprehensive report & slide deck in PowerPoint format (with accompanying notes) – information that you can easily present to your team and your clients, bringing everyone up to speed on the latest New Zealand Marketing Insights as we accelerate through what remains of 2017. All presentations are unbranded, so you can add your own branding and comments.

All of our presentations in this Marketing Insights series consist of at least 150 slides, dealing with as many key insights.

INSIDE “CONTENT MARKETING 2017”

Here’s a little taste of what the presentation covers:

  • The three types of content regarded as most important for effective content optimisation in 2017
  • The convergence of SEO and Content Marketing and what that means for marketing and communications professionals
  • Search intents across mobile and desktop, how and why they are different and the implications
  • The surprising new importance of voice search (and what marketers are doing about it)
  • What marketers think about artificial intelligence and its importance for the future of content marketing

And:

Content Marketing as Defensive Mechanism
So many people are talking — not always positively — about brands and companies online, and organisations don’t always get the chance to present their own point of view as part of that conversation. As a result, many are turning to Content Marketing as a means to get their message out there.

Talking to Your Own
Content marketing has also seen itself become an internal PR tool, used to communicate in a planned and more effective manner with staff, dealers and suppliers. How are you ensuring that your own people know what they should about your organisation?

Overcoming “Content Shock”
Even when marketers do invest in Content Marketing, there are challenges. One of the biggest challenge: getting heard out there, amongst the ever-increasing cacophony of social media posts, blogs, video and all. It’s been dubbed “Content Shock” — and we look at how to deal with it.

Content Will Get useful or Get Ignored
Smart marketers will begin to invest in bigger content projects such as creating free and robust online tools, writing the go-to books in their industries, and creating environments where their customers can build a community to share knowledge

Accountability
content marketers will be held accountable not just for how much content they create, but what it does for the business (much like demand generation teams).

Other topics that feature in this presentation include:

  • Personalisation
  • Engagement
  • Data-driven Insights
  • Interactive Experiences
  • Face-to-face Opportunities & Live Events
  • challenges of developing engaging visual content
  • the talent shortage
  • Algorithm-driven content distribution
  • Live video
  • compelling content experiences
  • the emergence of AI journalism
  • Immersive Content Formats
  • Science-based content marketing
  • The rise of the Content Librarian
  • The continuing rise of paid promotion and the decline of organic reach

 

Each Marketing Insights presentation is available to purchase and reuse, for $597 plus GST (with volume discounts available for purchases of multiple presentations).

To purchase the Content Marketing presentation by credit card via PayPal, please click here.

BILLING OPTIONS
If you would prefer to pay by bank deposit or require an invoice before making payment, please send an email to [email protected] with details of your request. (The service provider will be shown as Netmarketing Services Limited in your transaction and on your credit card statement).

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT
Your purchase will be confirmed by email and download instructions will be provided to you, usually within a few hours.

And here are details of the Search Marketing presentation, to be published on July 31:

In this presentation, we’ll wax lyrical about a wide ranging collection of topics, including:

Mobile Really Must Be First
In May 2015, Google reported that mobile searches had surpassed desktop searches on its search engine. Since then, the company has taken many steps which signal that mobile, not desktop, should be considered as the default user experience. Google is moving towards giving priority to mobile-centric indexing, which means that your website must as well.

Three Seconds is the New Fast
According to a study Google presented in late 2016, website that gain priority in search results will be expected to load in three seconds or less. That’s simply a recognition by Google of the impatience of mobile-wielding web surfers. As you might imagine, that has direct implications for your website structure — and whether or not you opt for accelerated mobile pages (AMP) or Progressive Web Apps (PWA), which allow a website to work as if it were an app.

How Machine Learning is Revolutionising Google Search
Google CEO Sundar Pichai laid out the corporate mindset: “Machine learning is a core, transformative way by which we’re rethinking how we’re doing everything. We are thoughtfully applying it across all our products, be it search, ads, YouTube, or Play. And we’re in early days, but you will see us — in a systematic way — apply machine learning in all these areas.”

Perils of the Google Answer Box
In 2017/18, brands will need to place value on optimizing their digital content based on intent rather than specific keywords. As you have no doubt noticed, Google has become more and more likely to offer up specific answers rather than simply links to search results.

Google Shopping Now in NZ
Google Shopping has arrived in New Zealand and is likely to play a larger and larger role in commerce-based search queries. We look at the players so far and examine the possibilities.

Big Data + Search = Attribution Challenges
Today’s conversion paths are extremely complex and as a result, micro-moments matter more than ever. Engaging with customers’ days, weeks, and even months before they’re ready to convert is going to be the new norm.

Reconsider Bing
Bing is a big player amongst the new breed of digital assistants. It’s fueling the search of Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa, apart from being the default search engine of Microsoft’s Cortana. Ignore it at your peril.

The Move to Natural Language Queries
Why does Google have this irresistible interest in natural language? Sure, on an ideal level, it’s because Google wants “to provide the better answer to users’ needs,” and to do that, Google must:

  • Understand what each web document is about (semantics);
  • Understand what users are actually searching for, now that more and more using their voice to search

Voice Search
Already 20% of mobile queries are Voice Search (and will be 50% in 2020, according to Microsoft). Voice Search is going above and beyond voice recognition and evolving into voice understanding. This involves several changes with respect to:

  • previous searches
  • location-based context
  • context based on frequently used apps
  • personalised information
  • keyword research based on spoken queries

How should marketers modify their content to cope with those new search parameters?

The Search Marketing presentation also looks at:

  • the big challenges of cross-channel marketing
  • getting to know Google RankBrain
  • image recognition searches
  • Key SEO Stats
  • Google’s top 3 ranking signals
  • User Experience Optimisation
  • Content Marketing That Impacts SEO
  • and, of course, a whole lot more

The Search Marketing presentation is also available for $597+GST. You can pre-order your copy of thta presentation by clicking here to pay by credit card via PayPal.

BILLING OPTIONS
Again, if you would prefer to pay by bank deposit or require an invoice before making payment, please send an email to [email protected] with details of your request. (The service provider will be shown as Netmarketing Services Limited in your transaction and on your credit card statement).

Alternatively, you can purchase BOTH the Content Marketing and Search Marketing presentations together for just $1094+GST (and save yourself $100). Click here to pay for the two presentations by credit card via PayPal.

The Content Marketing presentation will be provided to you right away, as soon as we process your purchase. The Search Marketing presentation will be  provided at the end of July.

Facebook Takes Messenger Ads Global

As reported by Marketing Week UK, Facebook is now rolling out ads in its Messenger app globally as it looks to offer advertisers more ways to reach consumers beyond its core social network.

fbmessenger

The move comes after what Facebook says have been “promising tests” in Australia and Thailand. The rollout means any advertisers, large or small, will be able to buy ads that appear in the app, which has 1.2 billion users globally.

We’ll now offer businesses around the world a way to use Facebook targeting to extend their reach to people in Messenger,” says Facebook in a blog post.

‘This means businesses of every size get a new tool for creating meaningful connections with customers and prospects. More than 1.2 billion people use Messenger every month, which gives marketers an opportunity to expand the reach of their campaigns and drive more results.”

The rollout will mean on the Facebook Messenger homepage, users will now see ads appearing amid their list of contacts. Ads will not appear within Messenger conversations.

The ads themselves will work in a similar way to those across Facebook and Instagram, with advertisers able to send consumers to a destination of their choice such as their ecommerce site. However, they will also be able to send them to a Messenger conversation.

The decision to show more traditional display ads in Messenger marks a shift in strategy from Facebook, which originally wanted to monetise the service by convincing brands to shift their customer service operations to Facebook by creating chatbots that could talk directly with customers. While this is still the case, and a number of brands such as Mastercard and UKTV have created chatbots, this use is yet to see widespread implementation.

The shift will also enable Facebook to meet ever-growing demand for advertising on its social network. It has previously warned that it is reaching the limit of how many ads it can show in the News Feed, leading to analyst concerns that revenue growth may slow.

Opening another area where it can show ads should help to slow that deceleration.