Category Archives: 2017

Coming Soon: NZ Content Marketing Presentation 2017

We are now gearing up to release the presentation NZ Content Marketing 2017, on Monday July 3. This is the newest presentation in our New Zealand Marketing Insights series, which began last month with our NZ Consumer Trends 2017 presentation.

We just wanted to let you know a little more about it — and also let you know about a special hot offer, only available this week.

Content Marketing 2017 was originally scheduled for release later this year, but because it was one of our most popular topics we’ve bumped it up the publication schedule.

content-marketing-nz-2017

Content Marketing continues to blossom, especially in New Zealand, as more and more brands realise that consumers are doing their own homework online rather than seeking advice from salespeople (who may — how can we put this delicately? — not be entirely objective).

Content Marketing (sometimes called Digital Storytelling) is also, according to a recent US study, one of the top two trends impacting the future of both Marketing and Public Relations.

future-trends

That’s why Content Marketing has earned its place as one of the topics we cover in this year’s Marketing Insights Presentation Series.

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:

The power of Nearby and Micro-Moment Marketing
The ubiquitous smart phone continue to change the game. Where once longform content was king, now snackable snippets — served up in answer to queries like “restaurant near me” — have become the new currency. We explore the trend and its implications.

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 will 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

NZ Content Marketing 2017 is due to be released on Monday July 3.

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.

SPECIAL OFFER

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

As noted above, however, we are delighted to offer our NZ Content Marketing 2017 presentation, this week only, for just $497+GST, a saving of $100.

To purchase by credit card via PayPal, please click here:

sign up now

This offer is valid until the end of Friday 23 June.

After that time, and until Friday 30 June, the advanced purchase price becomes $547+GST. From July 1, the price becomes $597+GST.

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
1. Your purchase will be confirmed by email.
2. On Monday July 3, once the Content Marketing presentation is published, download instructions will be provided to you by email.

The Challenge For Kiwi Marketers

Today’s marketers clearly have a problem. And it’s one that’s facing businesses all around the world. The old marketing solutions simply aren’t enough anymore. Sure, consumers still watch TV, listen to the radio and read newspapers and magazines — but not as much, not as often, and certainly not with their full attention on the advertising messages that populate those spaces.

Most Kiwis, according to the World Internet Project NZ (2015), use the Internet:

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All this connectivity comes at a price, of course. However, thankfully, more than half of us are now on an Internet plan that includes unlimited data.

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We have the access — and we’re making heavy use of it. Today’s consumers are spending more and more time in the digital space.

Roy Morgan Research reveals that we now spend almost half of our media consumption time online

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… and the biannual World Internet Project NZ data reveals that two-thirds of us (in this instance, “us” means Kiwi Internet users) visit social media networks at least daily.

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In other words, where once the best place for marketers to find Kiwis in large numbers watching TV, listening to radio or reading newspapers or magazines, nowadays online in general (and social media in particular) is where we mostly choose to spend our time.

So how many of us can be found hanging out on Social Media networks in a typical month?

Nielsen New Zealand to the rescue:

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That’s a whole lot of cat pictures!

Another study, by New Zealand On Air, reveals that there’s still quite a digital divide between Kiwis Under 40 and older generations:

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Source: NZOnAir Audience Report 2016

The most notable intergenerational differences?

If you’re under 40, you’re:

  • significantly more likely to be watching online video (typically via YouTube and Facebook) than traditional (linear) TV
  • reading newspapers (whether in print or online) at around half the numbers of your older counterparts
  • five times as likely to listen to music online through services like Spotify
  • four times as likely to subscribe to video on demand services such as Netflix, Lightbox or Neon

Oh, and if you’re Under 55, you’re virtually guaranteed to have a smartphone

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All that consumer attention switching to digital devices rather explains why NZ advertisers are following suit, with the inevitable result that Digital Advertising now attracts more dollars than any other New Zealand medium.

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So if you’re one of those 47% of small businesses who still aren’t online (according to a recent MYOB “State of the Digital Nation” Special Report), or if you consider that you have only a limited understanding of Digital Marketing and how you can promote your business through digital activities, then we recommend you check out our NZ Digital Marketing 101 online training course.

digital-marketing-101

NZ Digital Marketing 101 online training course

We’ve drawn on our (gulp!) 30 years of online experience to introduce our first ongoing course, DIGITAL MARKETING 101, to take participants from a standing start (knowing very little about Digital Marketing) through to more advanced topics building on earlier lessons.

DIGITAL MARKETING 101 runs weekly across six months, and covers:

  1. Introduction to digital marketing
    The basics of Digital Marketing and what you need to know to promote your organisation and your brand online. In this lesson, we cover Digital Marketing Options available in the NZ marketplace and discuss which are the most important (based on your target market and your brand objectives).
  2. Developing a web presence
    In Lesson Two we discuss the various ways in which you can build your presence online (we assume that, like most NZ businesses, you’re operating on a shoestring so mostly we talk about free or low-cost options). We also look at the key online elements you should claim to ensure that you own your brand identity online.
  3. Claiming your Google My Business page
    In Lesson Three we cover the strategic importance of your Google My Business page — it’s how you tell Google your key information — and exactly what you need to do to claim that page.
  4. Understanding the customer journey
    The customer journey (also Customer Journey Experience, Customer Engagement Cycle) refers to the stages customers travel through in their relationship with a specific brand (as defined by DJS Research). In this lesson, we step you through what you need to know to map out your brand’s customer journey and market accordingly.
  5. Creating a digital marketing calendar
    As you market online, you’ll quickly realise that you constantly need to create fresh content, to feed your web pages, your emails, your social media posts, press releases and other online information — Google loves fresh and so do your customers. But what can you talk about (you can’t only talk about yourself, as you’ll soon discover). In this lesson, we talk about how to create a digital marketing calendar (and what to talk about).
  6. Secrets of effective outsourcing
    If you don’t already have existing arrangements with marketing suppliers, don’t miss Lesson Six. In this lesson, we talk about where you can turn for effective (and cost-efficient) marketing assistance, how to choose reliable suppliers and exactly what you should outsource to propel your business forward.
  7. Mastering email marketing
    It’s the oldest digital marketing tool of all, but it’s still the most effective for most target audiences. In this lesson we talk about email marketing strategies and best practices, and the tools you should use to promote your business as effectively as possible through email.
  8. Lead generation principles
    Generally speaking, as a business marketing online, you either want online buyers, online followers or online leads (those prospects who will convert into buyers later). In this lesson, we listen to highly-experienced digital marketers and draw on their collective wisdom to understand the best ways to generate leads (and turn them into buyers, consistently and efficiently).
  9. Search engine optimisation (SEO)
    Turns out that there’s quite a science to being found online (and an industry has grown up around the challenges of what’s now known as Search Engine Optimisation). In essence, if you want your prospects to find your web pages, those pages need to contain content that prospects are looking for. In Lesson Nine, we explore the How, What, When, Where & Why of SEO.
  10. Pay per click search advertising
    Not every page can be Number One on Google. So if you want to hit the top of the search engine rankings (especially for the most popular search phrases), sometimes you have to pay. In this lesson, we talk in detail about AdWords and other Pay Per Click advertising tools.
  11. Social media marketing explained
    Once upon a time — up until about 2012 — if you had a Facebook page and posted content to that page, all of your followers would see it. Sorry, not any more. In this lesson we explore exactly what you need to do to build an effective presence in social media.
  12. Creating effective Facebook posts
    What really works on Facebook these days? We spell out the characteristics of successful Facebook posts and identify 20 different posting formats that get noticed and get shared. Then we review the types of posts worth sharing, accompanied by a wide range of examples.
  13. Conversion optimisation
    In Lesson Eight, we talked about Lead Generation. In this lesson, we focus on what you need to do to convert those leads into sales. Every little improvement turns into extra dollars, so it’s definitely worth the effort optimising your conversion rates.
  14. What you need to know about 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 important for B2C as well. In this lesson we explore the principles of content marketing, including Creation, Curation and Content Pillars.
  15. Finding Kiwi influencers to promote your products
    Influencer Marketing has come from nowhere to become a hot buzzword these days, as more and more businesses turn to “influencers” — those who have already developed their own followers, especially in social media — and sponsor posts to promote their products. In this lesson, we explore the Dos & Don’ts of Influencer Marketing, and how to find Kiwi Influencers.

  16. What you need to know when writing for the web
    Writing online copy has become more important than ever — but there are processes to follow, and structures and formats that are forced on us by the various digital media channels. This lesson covers the key facts that you need to know when writing for the web, including the seven deadly sins you need to avoid.
  17. Mastering Visual Marketing
    Images and visual concepts are processed 60,000 times faster in the brain than text, according to 3M Corporation research. Add in our seven-second attention span (shorter than goldfish now) and it’s quickly obvious why visual marketing has become so important online. In this lesson, we explore how you can use visuals to multiply the effectiveness of your online content (and free and low-cost tools you can use).
  18. The basics of video marketing
    Online Video is no longer an “up-and-coming” marketing tactic — it’s here, and it’s a powerful way to communicate your brand story, explain your value proposition, and build relationships with your customers and prospects. This lesson introduces you to the basic principles and explores some of the available tools.
  19. Moving to Mobile First
    In his book “The Third Screen“, Chuck Martin points out that “the world gone mobile is not a simple story of technological change, it is a story of fundamental shifts in consumer behaviour that are forever changing the practice of marketing and how you should view its application with your business”. In this lesson, we talk about why “Mobile First” — ensuring that your content looks good on mobile devices, even before you see how it looks on a desktop device — is now essential.
  20. The principles of selling online
    More than half of New Zealand (58%) now buys products online! Seven out of ten Kiwi internet users aged 25-44 purchase online — and 94% of NZ web users who research products and services online (even if they eventually buy the products offline). In this lesson, we introduce you to the principles and practices of effective ecommerce.
  21. Mastering Google Analytics
    It’s free, and it’s packed full with information that can transform your digital marketing efforts. We’re talking Google Analytics, and a great many online marketers use the free Analytics service to track the performance of their digital marketing. In this lesson, you’ll discover exactly what you can learn from Google Analytics and how to master it (even if you hate maths and stats).
  22. Considering native advertising
    The technology known as Adblocking can cause havoc for digital marketers, with ads stripped from web pages before users can see them. Native advertising — ads that mimic the editorial format of the pages on which they appear — is one of the more powerful ways to combat Adblocking. Of course, it’s not new. In the old days, we would have called it Advertorial. But these days it’s more prevalent, and more valuable, than ever.
  23. Marketing through messaging apps
    Messaging Apps, also known as Dark Social, have gone from strength to strength in recent years, with Facebook’s own Messenger and WhatsApp leading the way. In this lesson, we explore Messaging Apps and tell you what you need to know to use them effectively for marketing purposes.

  24. The new importance of consumer reviews
    The customer has gone from being always right to now always having an opinion — and, through social media and specialist services such as TripAdvisor, Yelp and even Trade Me, now having a direct and powerful influence on their peers. Look no further than Amazon.com, where one-star and two-star reviews can quickly kill a product. In this lesson, we look at customer input, how you should monitor it and what you can do about negative ratings.
  25. When to use marketing automation
    Marketing Automation — software tools designed to handle repetitive tasks such as emails and web actions — can improve your efficiency and even (if used effectively) enable you to take actions that would otherwise not be possible. In this lesson, we explore the capabilities of marketing automation platforms and consider if and how you might use them in your business.
  26. Key new marketing technologies
    In this lesson, we peek into the digital marketing technologies of today and tomorrow, including such topics as programmatic advertising, voice search, chatbots & Artificial Intelligence. The digital tools are getting smarter and smarter, and you need to keep track of what’s possible (and what’s inevitable).

Please note: all materials are online and can be accessed anytime 24/7, so you don’t have to make yourself available at a specific time to take this course.

At the end of DIGITAL MARKETING 101, you’ll be given the opportunity to move on to DIGITAL MARKETING 201, which covers even more advanced topics.

WHO SHOULD TAKE THIS COURSE

Any NZ marketer or business owner who needs to understand and master Digital Marketing.

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

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.

Michael was chairman of the NZ Marketing Association’s Network of Digital Marketers from 2009 until March 2013.

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TIMING

This course begins on Wednesday 05 July, 2017.

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INVESTMENT

This ongoing online training course is available for $397 +GST per month (and you can cancel at any point). However we offer an EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT of $100 +GST — pay just $297+GST ($341.55 including GST per month) for bookings received by the end of Wednesday 28 June, 2017.

Bookings are confirmed on receipt of payment. 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

Your credit card will be billed monthly by PayPal for six months.

If you 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 Digital Marketing 101 online training course.

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

7 Facebook Advertising Tips for 2017

7-fb-advertising-tips-for-2017

Facebook advertising continues to evolve, so it’s important to keep track of the latest trends and developments.

If you’re planning to advertise on Facebook this year, here are seven key considerations:

1 Make it Video

According to statistics quoted by Social Media Today, video on Facebook accounts for just 0.9% of all posts but 7.15% of all reach on the network. And that number is growing.

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The popularity of video is driven by a number of factors, including:

  • Facebook’s algorithmic encouragement of video posts (Facebook is more likely to show your followers video content)
  • the spread of unlimited broadband (more than half of Kiwi households are now on unlimited data plans), so we now have the capacity for lots of video content
  • generational preferences (Gen Y and Gen Z prefer pictures and video to text)
  • limited attention spans, now less than a goldfish
  • scroll speeds on mobile — as we swipe through post after post on Facebook, moving pictures are far more likely to catch our eyes

In other words: if you can, go video, your posts are far more likely to be effective.

PS Check out our Online Video Marketing course if you need help with the medium

2 Use High Contrast Images

The AdEspresso blog suggests:

Ad images are the first touching point between people and your offer. And there’s a lot at stake. It’s either love at first sight or a sorry attempt to gain potential buyers’ attention. If your ad image catches people’s attention, they’ll read through your ad copy as well. It is incredibly important that your ad visuals manage to catch attention in crowded news feeds.

One of the best pieces of advice about Facebook ad design that I’ve ever heard is this: Use a high level of contrast.

Utilize contrasting colors and bold fonts, mix positive and negative space, and spice up your ad with complementary colors.

A high-contrast example:

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3 Use an image of a smiling woman

Yes, apparently, according to Kim Garst:

This little trick has proven itself again and again; images of happy, smiling women lead to the highest click-through rates. Facebook also suggests showing people using your products rather than just images of your products:

“Remember that your ad may show in someone’s News Feed, and it should feel like it belongs there. Your image is competing for people’s attention with stories from their friends and family.”

Here’s an advertisement that follows Kim’s advice:

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Our own view: if she’s relevant to your product and your target audience, sure, use a smiling woman in your advertisement. Otherwise, don’t.

 

4 Choose Your Target Location Carefully

Moz warns us to proceed with care when choosing a target location on Facebook:

Let’s say you want to target people who live in Wellington. You might type “Wellington” into the Locations box, leave it at the default 40-kilometre radius, and keep moving.

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But, if you did that, you might miss the small drop down menu above the map that says “Everyone in this location.”

See it now? Well, if you click on that drop down, you’ll find out that Facebook’s Locations targeting gets way more granular:

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That’s right — not only can you target actual residents whose home is in the selected area, but you can target people currently visiting Wellington who live more than 100 miles away, and people recently in Wellington.

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As an example, a 40-kilometre radius for Wellington shows 310,000 audience members for “Everyone in this location,” but only 290,000 audience members for “People who live in this location.”

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In other words, 20,000 people, 6% of the default audience, are irrelevant if you’re only trying to reach Wellington residents — which means you could have been wasting at least 6% of your ad budget.

 

5 Optimise your Ad Specifications

The ideal Facebook Advertisement specifications in 2017, for a single-image ad, according to Buffer, are:

  • Text: 90 characters
  • Image size: 1,200 x 628 pixels

If the post contains a link to a website, ideal link specifications are:

  • Link Headline: 25 characters
  • Link Description: 30 characters

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The recommended image size ensures that your image always looks high-quality. The recommended text length is how many characters of advert copy could be displayed on smaller screens (the vast majority of your audience will see your Facebook ads on mobile devices).

Your image should include a minimal amount of text, ideally less than 20%, otherwise Facebook will restrict delivery.

6 Add a call-to-action button

These days, Facebook enables you to include a call-to-action button as part of your advertisement.

It’s a familiar sight to Facebook users, and they are now well conditioned to clicking such buttons, so make sure you take advantage of the option.

You have ten different possibilities:

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Choose the one that  is right for you.

7 Track your ads to see which are the most effective

As Kim Garst notes:

There is nothing more frustrating than paying for ads and then having no idea if they are working. Conversion tracking solves this problem by allowing you to know exactly which ads led to conversions.

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For more on this, see Facebook’s help article on Conversion Tracking and Optimization.

LEARN MORE

There are, of course, plenty of other tips that we offer to help guide your Facebook activities and 2017 beyond. We recommend that you check out our Complete Facebook Marketing course (for those new to Facebook marketing) or our Facebook Accelerator course (for more experienced Facebook marketers).

How to Get Found on Google in 2017

how-to-get-found-on-google-2017

Let’s face it — getting found in the search engines in 2017 feels like a never-ending game of whack-a-mole. Just when you think you’ve identified an approach that will satisfy the great algorithmic idols, along comes another quaintly-named but terrifyingly-lethal update that stamps out all your gains.

Now, however, assistance comes from a highly unexpected source: the Gplex itself. In an article released a few days ago, Google tackles the issue of snippets — the words underneath your link in search results that describe your webpage — and recommends some best practices.

Before buying a book, people like to get a snapshot of how they’re about to spend a few hours reading. They’ll take a look at the synopsis, the preface, or even the prologue just to get a sense about whether they’ll like the book.

Search result snippets are much the same; they help people decide whether or not it makes sense to invest the time reading the page the snippet belongs to.

The more descriptive and relevant a search result snippet is, the more likely that people will click through and be satisfied with the page they land on. Historically, snippets came from 3 places:

1 The content of the page
2 The meta description
3 DMOZ listings

The content of the page is an obvious choice for result snippets, and  the content that can be extracted is often the most relevant to people’s queries. However, there are times when the content itself isn’t the best source for a snippet. For instance, when someone searches for a publishing company for their book, the relevant homepages in the result set may contain only a few images describing the businesses and a logo, and maybe some links, none of which are particularly useful for a snippet.

The logical fallback in cases when the content of a page doesn’t have much textual content for a search result snippet is the meta description. This should be short blurbs that describe accurately and precisely the content in a few words [think Executive Summaries for each page].

Finally, when a page doesn’t have much textual content for snippet generation and the meta description is missing, unrelated to the page, or low quality, our fallback was DMOZ, also known as The Open Directory Project.  With DMOZ now closed, we’ve stopped using its listings for snippeting, so it’s a lot more important that webmasters provide good meta descriptions, if adding more content to the page is not an option.

What makes a good meta description?
Good meta descriptions are short blurbs that describe accurately the content of the page. They are like a pitch that convince the user that the page is exactly what they’re looking for. For more tips, we have a handy help center article on the topic. Remember to make sure that both your desktop and your mobile pages include both a title and a meta description.

What are the most common problems with meta descriptions?
Because meta descriptions are usually visible only to search engines and other software, webmasters sometimes forget about them, leaving them completely empty. It’s also common, for the same reason, that the same meta description is used across multiple (and sometimes many) pages. On the flip side, it’s also relatively common that the description is completely off-topic, low quality, or outright spammy. These issues tarnish our users’ search experience, so we prefer to ignore such meta descriptions.

Is there a character limit for meta descriptions?
There’s no limit on how long a meta description can be, but the search result snippets are truncated as needed, typically to fit the device width.

Another Google article provides even more specific advice:

You can help improve the quality of the snippet displayed for your pages by following the general guidelines below.

The description attribute within the <meta> tag is a good way to provide a concise, human-readable summary of each page’s content. Google will sometimes use the meta description of a page in search results snippets, if we think it gives users a more accurate description than would be possible purely from the on-page content. Accurate meta descriptions can help improve your clickthrough; here are some guidelines for properly using the meta description.

Make sure that every page on your site has a meta description. The HTML suggestions page in Search Console lists pages where Google has detected missing or problematic meta descriptions.

Differentiate the descriptions for different pages. Identical or similar descriptions on every page of a site aren’t helpful when individual pages appear in the web results. In these cases we’re less likely to display the boilerplate text. Wherever possible, create descriptions that accurately describe the specific page. Use site-level descriptions on the main home page or other aggregation pages, and use page-level descriptions everywhere else.

If you don’t have time to create a description for every single page, try to prioritize your content: At the very least, create a description for the critical URLs like your home page and popular pages.

Include clearly tagged facts in the description. The meta description doesn’t just have to be in sentence format; it’s also a great place to include structured data about the page. For example, news or blog postings can list the author, date of publication, or byline information. This can give potential visitors very relevant information that might not be displayed in the snippet otherwise.

Similarly, product pages might have the key bits of information—price, age, manufacturer—scattered throughout a page. A good meta description can bring all this data together. For example, the following meta description provides detailed information about a book.

<meta name=”Description” content=”Author: A.N. Author,
Illustrator: P. Picture, Category: Books, Price: $17.99,
Length: 784 pages”>

In this example, information is clearly tagged and separated.

Programmatically generate descriptions. For some sites, like news media sources, generating an accurate and unique description for each page is easy: since each article is hand-written, it takes minimal effort to also add a one-sentence description.

For larger database-driven sites, like product aggregators, hand-written descriptions can be impossible. In the latter case, however, programmatic generation of the descriptions can be appropriate and are encouraged. Good descriptions are human-readable and diverse, as we talked about in the first point above. The page-specific data we mentioned in the second point is a good candidate for programmatic generation.

Keep in mind that meta descriptions comprised of long strings of keywords don’t give users a clear idea of the page’s content, and are less likely to be displayed in place of a regular snippet.

Use quality descriptions. Finally, make sure your descriptions are truly descriptive. Because the meta descriptions aren’t displayed in the pages the user sees, it’s easy to let this content slide.

High-quality descriptions can be displayed in Google’s search results, and can go a long way to improving the quality and quantity of your search traffic.

Oh, and here’s a (dated but still mostly relevant) video explaining even further:

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Work your way through as many of the above steps as possible. You’ll be amazed how well it improves your search results.

PS We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention our forthcoming Search Marketing Trends 2017 presentation:

search-marketing-nz-2017

This is a slide presentation, with accompanying notes, providing an examination of Search Marketing Trends as we head towards 2018.

Like our other NZ Marketing Insights presentations, Search Marketing Trends 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 2017. All presentations are unbranded, so you can add your own branding and comments.

Each presentation consists of at least 150 slides, dealing with as many key insights.

In this Search Marketing Trends presentation, to be published late July 2017, 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 thing)? 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 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

TO PRE-ORDER THE SEARCH MARKETING TRENDS PRESENTATION

The Search Marketing Trends presentation is due to be published in late July 2017, and will be available for $597+GST. We are currently offering a special advanced booking discount — pay just $497+GST (saving yourself $100) if you order before Wednesday June 14.

To pre-order, please pay by credit card via PayPal through this link:

buynow

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

1. Your purchase will be confirmed by email (if you have not received a confirmation within 24 hours, feel free to email [email protected]).
2. Once the Search Marketing Trends presentation is published, download instructions will be provided to you by email.

Marketing Insights NZ 2017 Presentation series

Following on from the success of our Marketing Insights for 2017 trends presentation (which is still available here), we’ve just launched a new monthly Marketing Insights NZ 2017 Presentation Series which focusses in on some of the hottest and most important NZ marketing topics and trends for 2017, 2018 and beyond.

marketing-insights-2017-nz-presentation-series

These presentations look 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 2017. All presentations are unbranded, so you can add your own branding and comments.

Each presentation consists of at least 150 slides, dealing with as many key insights.

We’ve settled on six of the most important topics of the year ahead, starting with a comprehensive look at the New Zealand consumer:

1 NZ Consumer Trends 2017 (available NOW)

consumer-trends-nz-2017

This presentation starts with a helicopter-level overview of the New Zealand consumer, drawing on local research to get an understanding of current Kiwi demographics, interests and behaviours.

Then, based on McKinsey research, we explore the dynamics (and the marketing implications) of five prevailing forces that are likely to have a lasting impact on Kiwis over the next few years — and which you need to factor into your marketing plans:

  • the changing face of the consumer
  • evolving geopolitical dynamics
  • new patterns of personal consumption
  • technological advancements
  • structural industry shifts

From there, we turn our attention to some of the specific trends influencing NZ consumer behaviour today. Here are just a few of the key issues covered in this Consumer Trends presentation:

The Longevity Economy
We’ve been warned about it for what seems like a very long time. Now it’s here: the baby boomer age wave has finally arrived, bringing with it all sorts of changes, not just for that generation but also for their children and grandchildren (and, needless to say, for marketers as well).

Kids in Charge
At the other end of the spectrum, we see younger children having a much greater influence on the household and its purchasing behaviours. What are the implications for your carefully crafted brand persuasion campaigns?

If They Don’t Know You By Now
One of the unintended consequences of the carefully curated, infinitely personalised Internet experience is that, as MINTEL notes, “many consumers find themselves in a perpetual cycle of being exposed only to ideas, beliefs, opinions and services with which they already identify“. When search results, social media posts and video suggestions are all tailored “just for you”, you’re unlikely to be served serendipitous content that doesn’t reflect your worldview. That’s true of brands and marketing messages as well. So how do you break through and get noticed?

Right Here, Right Now
Kiwi consumers, in common with their peers in other parts of the world, have moved to an expectation of instant gratification. With their trusty smart phones in their pockets or purses, they head out into the world confident that whenever they need food, fuel or shopping satisfaction, such delights are merely a swipe or a tap away. It’s a significant challenge for marketers, to rearrange their data geolocationally to meet consumer needs — and to make sure that the information is available in formats that our digital intermediaries Google, Microsoft, Apple, Facebook and Amazon (and their voice-activated minions Alexa, Google Assistant & Home, M, Siri and Cortana) can understand.

Shopping Glocal
As the Internet caught on down under, Kiwi online shopping was quick to go global, especially for those products unavailable in New Zealand (or too expensive to source locally, for a variety of reasons). Even so, the perceived complexity of global shopping limited its adoption amongst the tech-timid.

Times have changed, particularly because leading US retailers have come to recognise the potential revenues to be gained from global audiences. Over the last few years, famous brands such as Macy’s and Neiman Marcus have been welcoming Kiwi visitors to their websites with the news that they are:

  • now shipping to New Zealand
  • displaying prices in Kiwi dollars
  • offering low international shipping rates
  • calculating duties and taxes at checkout
  • providing guaranteed landing costs

All in all, it’s an attractive mix — but it is now becoming even more so, as global retailers move into the neighbourhood. Already, many of the biggest sellers on Trade Me are now international operators. H&M, Top Shop, David Jones and Zara have begun colonisation of local shopping precincts. And Amazon is about to open distribution centres across the Tasman, reducing shipping costs even further.

“Glocal” (Global+Local) is a horrible neologism — and an even worse reality for Kiwi retailers. We examine the trend, its implications and possible solutions.

Other Shopping trends we review include:

  • Fashion for “Real bodies” — clothing tailored for real people, not just supermodels
  • Healthwear — clothing that monitors (and sometimes helps with) health conditions
  • Fashion’s fast lane — leading fashion designers are slashing the timelag between runway shows and getting products instore

What other topics do we cover in this NZ Consumer Trends presentation?

Try these:

  • Authenticity and its importance in a world of fake news, overblown hype and unsubstantiated promises
  • The expectations (and the perils) of Personalisation
  • Subscription Everything — curation meets recurring revenue
  • Fitness on display — “look at me” sportwear
  • Experiential Digital — what Pokemon Go taught us about blending real and virtual
  • Gone Incognito — hiding in plain sight, consumers rebel against the death of privacy
  • The Ethical Consumer — we won’t pay more but we expect brands to behave
  • Addiction in your pocket or purse — the smartphone breeds subservience
  • Always On, unlimited — the connected majority
  • Streaming Video changes us all — bingewatching, your programmes whenever and wherever
  • Adblocking goes mainstream — display ads are under threat as adblocking gets built into browser software
  • AI everywhere — Skynet takes over, one “OK Google” at a time
  • Voice input ascendant — voice recognition software is now faster and more efficient than keyboard entry
  • Biometric ID — your face, your eye or your fingerprint is now your password (and much easier to remember)
  • The Sharing Economy — cars, bikes, accommodation: what else can we share?
  • P2P Financing — why should the banks make all the money?
  • Maori Cuisine — coming to a restaurant near you
  • Back to Traditional Products & Tastes — a return to authentic values
  • V Power — plant-focused formulations wow the mainstream
  • Night Foods — food ingredients designed to help us sleep

All that and plenty more (many of which we’re keeping under our hats for now), in the NZ Consumer Trends 2017 report and slide presentation, to be published in May 2017. To order this presentation, see the available packages below.

3 Content Marketing 2018 (to be published June 2017)

content-marketing-nz-2018

Content Marketing continues to blossom, especially in New Zealand, as more and more brands realise that consumers are doing their own homework online rather than seeking advice from salespeople (who may — how can we put this delicately? — not be entirely objective).

One of the solutions: provide helpful, relevant content online so that when consumers do their homework, you’re able to shape their thinking accordingly.

That’s why Content Marketing has earned its place as one of the topics we cover in this year’s Marketing Insights Presentation Series.

Here are some of the issues we feature:

The power of Nearby and Micro-Moment Marketing
The ubiquitous smart phone continue to change the game. Where once longform content was king, now snackable snippets — served up in answer to queries like “restaurant near me” — have become the new currency. We explore the trend and its implications.

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 will 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

Scroll down to order.

4 Search Marketing 2018 (to be published July 2017)

search-marketing-nz-2018

Next: an examination of Search Marketing Trends as we head towards 2018.

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? 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 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

4 Influencer Marketing 2017 (to be published August 2017)

influencer-marketing-nz-2017

Our next special report/presentation deals with the fast-growing topic of Influencer Marketing.

If you’re not sure exactly what Influencer Marketing is, allow TapInfluence to explain:

Influencer marketing is a type of marketing that focuses on using key leaders to drive your brand’s message to the larger market. Rather than marketing directly to a large group of consumers, you instead inspire / hire / pay Influencers to get out the word for you.

Influencer Marketing has evolved from humble origins to end up as the preferred buzzword to describe the current iteration of a well-established and familiar marketing tool: using “celebrities” to promote your products.

There’s a bit more to Influencer Marketing than just plunking a few celebrities into a TV commercial, however. Today’s definition of “celebrities” (Influencers) has broadened to encompass those who are, in the words of Andy Warhol, “famous for 15 minutes”.

At the same time, the number of celebrity followers that an Influencer might attract has shrunk from hundreds of thousands to, sometimes mere hundreds (whose celebrity leaders have been accordingly dubbed micro-influencers).

The Internet in general, and social media in particular, has brought us thousands of influencers and micro-influencers, whose hustling on behalf of a product can encourage many of their followers to actually purchase said product.

Why? Because, according to a report by Nielsen, 92% of people trust recommendations from individuals over brands. And, let’s face it, many brands have brought that fate upon themselves by their own less-than-trustworthy behaviour.

Anyway, here’s how Google Trends depicts Influencer Marketing’s growth in search popularity over the last few years:

im-trends

How hot is Influencer Marketing, really?

Here’s one indicator: 84% of US marketers are planning to use Influencer Marketing this year (according to Acorn Influence).

So, to bring you up to speed with Influencer Marketing, we’re producing this special presentation, whose topics include:

The Seven Most Effective Influencer Marketing Strategies
As it turns out, there’s a bit more to Influencer Marketing than simply tracking down people who seem to have a lot of followers in social media. We share proven strategies which will help lessen potential heartache.

How to Choose the Influencers Who are Right for You
Not all Influencers are created equal (and there are more than a few pretenders to the throne out there). We discuss what to look for (and what to avoid) — and why you should proceed slowly as you assemble your Influencer team.

Best Practices on Connecting with Influencers
Once you’ve determined the most appropriate Influencers for your brand, it’s time to reach out and connect. If you’re not careful though, and haven’t thought through the right approach, you might be turned down — or end up paying too much. We share lessons from others that will help ease the way.

Where and How to Find Kiwi Influencers
There are surprising numbers of influential New Zealanders who have attracted a wide following through their efforts on YouTube, Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and elsewhere. We show you how to find them — and also sound a few cautionary notes.

In the Influencer Marketing NZ Presentation, we also examine:

  • the top Power Words to use
  • creative ways to incentivize influencers
  • Influencer Marketing measurement, KPIs & ROI
  • the four Rs of effective Influencer Marketing
  • how to run successful Influencer Marketing campaigns
  • what Google’s purchase of Famebit tells us about the future of Influencer Marketing
  • why major players are now buying Influencers
  • Influencer Case Studies
  • Influencer Marketing Tools
  • why Influencer campaigns fail
  • the fastest way to destroy your Influencer Marketing efforts
  • twenty trends that will shape Influencer Marketing in the next year

All that and of course much more, in the Influencer Marketing NZ 2017 report and slide presentation, coming out in August. Again, to order this presentation, see the available packages below.

 

5 Online Video Marketing 2017 (to be published September 2017)

online-video-nz-2017

Online Video is no longer an “up-and-coming” marketing tactic — it’s here, and it’s a powerful way to communicate your brand story, explain your value proposition, and build relationships with your customers and prospects.

And the statistics show that it’s working its socks off, especially with younger audiences:

video-by-device

The 2016 Nielsen New Zealand Multi-Screen Report, covering trends of Kiwi video viewing, reveals that around a quarter (26%) of New Zealanders watch TV content through other devices (not a TV set) in an average week. Besides the TV set, the most popular devices for watching video content across a week are desktops/laptops (39%), smartphones (27%) and tablets (18%).

We offer a training course covering Online Video Marketing, but the topic has become so important that we’re also creating this special report/presentation to bring you up to speed with the latest developments in Online Video.

In the presentation, we cover:

Google Loves Video
It’s not always evident down our way, but Google gives priority in search results to those that include videos. Which spells opportunity: add videos to your pages, optimised for relevant keywords, and feel the Google love.

Customers Now Expect Moving Pictures
When you realize that 25% of consumers will lose interest in your brand if you don’t have a video explaining your product or service, you’ll quickly decide the videos are really important for your brand as well.

The Transformative Nature of Live Video
Facebook and YouTube have gone all-in on live video, giving live content pride of place on their respective networks. If you can create relevant, entertaining live video for your brand, this just could be the most effective weapon in your marketing arsenal.

One Size No Longer Fits All
Gone are the days when you could make one video on Youtube and share it all over social media. Nowadays, it’s vital to create content that’s relevant to each platform.

Vertical Videos Are A Thing
The near-universal adoption of smartphones, as both capture and viewing mechanism, means that Vertical Video is now a valid — and desirable — format. But you do need to develop content that’s optimised for that format.

More Videos Will Be Designed to Play Without Sound
According to Digiday, 85 percent of Facebook video is watched without sound. Suddenly, that stark statistic underlines the necessity of providing effective captions for your videos. In this section we reveal a surprisingly easy way to create captions for Facebook.

Other topics featured in this presentation include:

  • the steady growth of VR and 360 degree videos
  • how brands have already started integrating videos into their website design
  • the unexpected value of video voicemail
  • skyrocketing Video Advertising budgets
  • the accelerated growth of Video Retargeting
  • Increase in A/B Video Testing
  • Crisis Management and Video
  • the viral ingredients of successful videos

All that and the latest breaking news and trends, in the Online Video Marketing NZ 2017 report and slide presentation, coming out in September. Again, to order see the available packages below.

 

6 Messaging Apps 2017 (to be published October 2017)

messaging-nz-2017

According to Evan Wray, Co-Founder and VP of Swyft Media:

Messaging today is very similar to where traditional social media was in 2007/08. Brands know that there are hundreds of millions/billions of highly engaged users, but these same brands are also still trying to figure out exactly how to engage these users effectively. This is a massive opportunity for first movers in the messaging space, just like there was in 2007/08 for those brands that took advantage of social.”

Well, we’ve been there done that in the social media space, so we know an opportunity when we see it — and we’re more than happy to share it with you through this Messaging NZ 2017 presentation.

The presentation covers:

Users Getting Older
In the early days of messaging, early adopters were largely drawn from younger generations. Now, as they usually do, the grown-ups are getting into the act. By mid-2016, 29% of those aged 30-49 used messaging apps compared with 42% of 18-29s (US data).

Chatbots becoming useful
Chatbots have been around a whole lot longer than you think (since 1994, according to Wikipedia, when they were first described as chatterbots). But they’ve only really gone mainstream in the last couple of years, thanks to messaging apps in general — and Facebook Messenger particular. At the Facebook f8 developer conference in April 2017, Facebook announced that Messenger has grown to support 100,000 developers who have made 100,000 bots. Most don’t do much — but the technology has now moved from novelty to utility, especially in terms of enhanced customer service and truly personalised results thanks to machine learning.

The Top 5 Chatbot Capabilities
According to a study by the US interactive advertising bureau, these are the top five capabilities that chatbots make possible:

  • personal connection
  • discovery
  • curation
  • utility
  • online to off-line connection

What Else Might Messaging Apps Do?
To peek into the future of messaging apps, turn our attention to China’s own WeChat.
WeChat provides what several different apps would normally provide – text messaging, voice messaging, group messaging, video conferencing, video games, content sharing, location sharing, payment options and more. You can perform almost any task within the WeChat app – buy a mortgage, trade a stock and even grocery shop. Most recently, WeChat announced that users will be able to pay for Starbucks via the app’s payments.

Brands Will Embrace A2P (application-to-person) Messaging
Received a text message with an appointment reminder or an authentication code whilst banking online? That’s A2P, and is a great opportunity for brands to enhance their offerings and communicate more effectively, one-to-one, with customers.

Minimum Effort
Many of the development opportunities within messaging and machine learning are embodied in the notion of “minimum effort”. In a nutshell, when communicating with a company, consumers want their interactions to be made easier because the company already “knows” certain things about them (such as their clothing and shoes sizes, for example, or their preferred pizza flavours). Such knowledge is not typically available to front desk staff in the real world — but should be available in the virtual world once the customer identifies himself or herself.

Effective Enterprise Messaging
The majority of workers today prefer and expect to communicate with colleagues and receive company-related content on their mobiles.

Other topics that this presentation will cover include:

  • Chat-based commerce and payments
  • Security issues and opportunities
  • and the latest developments in messaging trends when the presentation is released

This presentation is due to be published in October 2017. Scroll down for ordering details.

 

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If you would prefer to pay by bank deposit (not available for the subscription option), 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

1. Your purchase will be confirmed by email (if you have not received a confirmation within 24 hours, feel free to email [email protected]).
2. If you selected anything other than the “all presentations” or subscription options, we will email you to determine which presentation(s) you wish to purchase.
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Writing for the Web – new online training course

writing-for-the-web-online-training-course

It has been apparent for some time that effective writing has become an absolutely core competency when communicating online. We’ve moved away from the pseudo-words beloved of text messaging and are now at a stage where true wordcraft is vital to communication.

Not just any writing, however. Different media require different approaches. The headline that might have looked wonderful in the newspaper probably won’t fit within the constraints of Facebook or Instagram character counts.

And the few seconds that represent the average time-on-site for typical web browsers means that we simply don’t have the luxury of indulging in long paragraphs.

Yes, writing for the web requires a whole different approach — and you can either learn that the hard way, by discovering it for yourself, or learn from us.

A couple of years ago, in response to this need, we developed a popular half day workshop to take marketers through the requirements of writing for the web.

Now, in response to demand from New Zealand businesses, we have repurposed that workshop as a full-blown online training course, complete with content that’s been refreshed and updated to reflect today’s needs.

Writing for the Web – online training course

Here’s what the course covers:

Introduction

Why writing for the web requires different approaches to writing for traditional media (and how this course takes you through the key elements you need to know).

Lesson One: Understanding the Essentials

1. WHO
Who are You Writing To? Before you create a single sentence, you need to understand your target consumers — otherwise your words may be wasted.

In this part of Lesson One, we cover:

  • Profiling your ideal customers
  • Determining their motivations and attitudes
  • Reviewing their media habits
  • Understanding their preferred communications formats
  • Determining their needs & wants
  • Identifying their concerns, goals & challenges
  • Shaping your solutions accordingly

2. WHAT
What are you writing about? Take a closer look at your self and your organisation, so that your communications reflect exactly who you are. We review:

  • Understanding your brand personality
  • Staying true to your brand values
  • The importance of authenticity and credibility

3. WHERE
Where should you promote your products and services? Not all digital media are alike. For every Trade Me that has more than 700,000 visitors a day, there are a million websites that have 1 visitor or less. Don’t waste your time putting your content where no-one will see it. Instead, take a look at this section of the course, where we discuss:

  • Selecting the most appropriate digital media vehicles
  • Reviewing the performance of your own digital assets
  • Evaluating traditional media website offerings
  • Determining the most appropriate social media options

4. WHEN
When are consumers most likely to be exposed to your messages? With consumers bombarded by messages all day every day, you need to know exactly when your followers are online and most likely to see what you’ve written.

In this section, we show you:

  • What you should know about your email open rates, by day and by time
  • How to identify when your Facebook followers are online
  • How to determine the most appropriate times to use messaging apps

5. HOW
What format(s) should you use for your messages? Not every format is equally popular. We explore which formats are right for your followers, and identify:

  • Average shares by content type
  • The most popular content formats
  • the importance of pictures
  • The runaway popularity of video

 

Lesson Two: The Content Formula

What should you talk about online? Too many organisations are too busy talking about themselves to even notice that their followers just aren’t bothering with them anymore.

In Lesson Two, we share:

  • The content sweet spot
  • The seven attributes of effective content
  • Google’s Zero Moment of Truth formula and why it matters to marketers
  • The new importance of listening
  • Seven consumer comment types and what they mean

Lesson Three: Keywords

How can you make your writing insanely popular? The answer, as you’ve probably guessed from the title of this lesson, is Keywords.

But not just any keywords. There’s an Art and a Science to effective keyword usage, and in Lesson Three, we’re going to tell you:

  • What you need to know about keyword search patterns
  • The importance of longtail keywords
  • The hotlist of buyer keywords
  • The essential knowledge that you can learn from the Google Keywords Planner

 

Lesson Four: SEO

How can you shape your content so that Google will notice that you exist — and will give you priority over your competitors?

Lesson Four tackles Search Engine Optimisation — more popularly known as SEO — from a writer’s perspective, and tells you:

  • How to analyse your competitors’ keywords
  • Best practices for optimising your content for search engines
  • Headline length, keyword density, using alternative wording and other key strategies to get noticed by Google

 

Lesson Five: Seducing Your Digital Visitors

How can you best lure visitors to your content? In this Lesson, we discuss the gentle practice of luring interested prospects to you, which involves:

  • Crafting an effective description
  • Teasing your story
  • Capturing the essence of your offering
  • Placing keyword phrases as effectively as possible
  • Avoiding duplication
  • Developing unique descriptions
  • Using SEO plug-ins

 

Lesson Six: Sharing

How can you get people to share your content?

In this lesson we explore the types of content that people love — and love to share. You’ll learn about:

  • Why people share
  • The 20 types of sharing styles that are most effective in social media
  • Finding and using hash tags effectively
  • How you can help your content travel

 

Lesson Seven: Content Structure

How can you best plan out your content so that you don’t end up staring at a blank page and wondering what to write about?

In Lesson Seven, we cover:

  • How to create an effective content calendar
  • Optimal sizes and word lengths, by medium
  • Most popular lengths for blog & social media posts
  • What you need to know about email subject lines

 

Lesson Eight: Online Advertising

What should you know about online advertising now that it’s become New Zealand’s most popular advertising medium?

All these and more:

  • How to create an effective AdWords advertisement
  • The secrets of dynamic ads
  • What you need to know about Facebook advertising
  • All about Pinterest Promoted Pins
  • Video advertising explored and explained

 

Lesson Nine: Content Curation

Much of your online activity can, and often should, involve sharing other people’s content. So how do you find and share that content?

In Lesson Nine, we reveal:

  • Curation tools you can use
  • Where to find trending topics
  • How best to share

 

Epilogue

We close with a warning, as we reveal the seven deadly sins of writing for the web.

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WHO WILL BENEFIT FROM THIS COURSE?
Every organisation and every person who needs to prepare online content, whether for your website, for your blog, for social media or for video.

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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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TIMING

This course begins on Wednesday 05 July, 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 Wednesday 28 June, 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 Writing for the Web online training course.

 

Hottest Facebook Categories: NZ April 2017

hottest-nz-facebook-categories

As we do from time to time, we’ve taken a deep dive into our database of 24,836 New Zealand Facebook pages to see what we can learn.

This time, we’ve sliced and diced by category to determine which are the most popular Kiwi categories on Facebook.

CAVEAT

There are a couple of cautions we wish to issue before we get into the details, however, just so you know why some of your favourite categories aren’t represented in these top 20 lists.

Firstly, you should know that before we started any number-crunching we removed most of the top 50 “most liked” NZ Facebook pages. That’s because those pages, typically NZ variants of international brands such as McDonald’s, KFC, Walt Disney, Nivea, Nissan, Cadbury and even Facebook itself, are displaying cumulative global likes rather than merely local numbers. As a result, total likes are somewhat out of alignment with local performances. It’s great that Facebook has 186 million likes, but such numbers tend to skew the averages.

For example, if we leave the global data in place, the average New Zealand Facebook page is rated as having 39,037 followers — a number that’s only surpassed by the top 500 or so Kiwi Facebook pages (out of our nearly 25,000 total).

Once we’ve stripped out most of the global pages, however, we arrive at a far more realistic and attainable average of 5,075 likes.

In the last seven days, just 146 people were talking about the average NZ Facebook page, an engagement percentage of 2.88%.

CAUTION: STATISTICAL ANOMALIES MAY LIE AHEAD

Secondly, we did want to point out the statistical dangers involved once we drill down into individual categories.

For this report, we have separated our database into the 700 different categories that Facebook offers (all of which are self-selected choices when a business creates a page).

As a result, more than a third of the available categories feature only one or two businesses — which, as you would imagine, means that the success or failure of the category depends on the performance of individual Facebook pages.

So, for example, if we look at the category “automotive storage facility“, that category tops the list of best performing Facebook pages in terms of engagement.

That category, however, represents a single business: Storage King Riccarton, which had a blinder of a pre-Easter promotion (requiring likes and comments to win a box of Easter treats).

storage-king

So, with those warnings in place, let’s take a look at some numbers.

1 Facebook Likes

Firstly, let’s look at the categories that have attracted the most overall likes:

NZ FACEBOOK PAGES BY CATEGORY: AVERAGE LIKES APRIL 2017

fb-categories-april-2017-most-liked

The top category, “Society/Culture Website”, is again skewed by a single page, for Oh! Baby — but, in this case, the page’s performance is steady across multiple posts and reflects effective use of Facebook. Take a look at the Oh! Baby page and see what you can learn for yourself.

2 Facebook Talks

Our second view of our category averages is by talks — the average number of people talking about pages in the category over the last seven days.

Results are very similar to likes:

NZ FACEBOOK PAGES BY CATEGORY: AVERAGE TALKS APRIL 2017

fb-categories-april-2017-most-talks

3 Facebook Engagement

Finally, if we examine the Facebook page categories by Engagement (which we define as the number of talks compared to the total number of likes, expressed as a percentage), we see quite a different picture:

NZ FACEBOOK PAGES BY CATEGORY: MOST ENGAGEMENT APRIL 2017

fb-categories-april-2017-most-engagement

Again, as we noted above, the results will be skewed by individual page performances (and we don’t have time to dig much deeper right now). Still, the results give us an interesting perspective when we consider that:

  • dry cleaners are more interesting than government organizations
  • car dealers get a better rap than the public service
  • dog walkers are more popular than psychics (who should have seen that coming

(Of course, if you’d like to know more about Facebook, and how to perform as well as some of these marketers, check out our courses):

Facebook Accelerator Programme
fba-banner

So you have a few hundred (or a few thousand) followers on Facebook but now you want to know how to get to the next level? Our Facebook Accelerator seven-part online course will lead you through the steps necessary to supercharge your Facebook presence and get Kiwi consumers engaging with you and your brands.

For more details of the Facebook Accelerator programme, please click here.

The Complete Facebook Marketing Course
completefb-banner

For those who wish to master Facebook Marketing in its entirety, we’ve created a ten-week online training programme which will take you from absolute beginner on Facebook to highly effective Facebook communicator.

For more details of the Complete Facebook Marketing programme, please click here.

If you want to improve your performance beyond Facebook, check out our Social Media Marketing Essentials course:

Social Media Marketing Essentials

Social Media Marketing Essentials

Social media is an ever-changing environment and unless you’re involved on a day to day basis you’re unlikely to stay up-to-date with the latest developments in the medium. So we’ve devised this social media marketing essentials course to capture the latest developments across the expanding world of social media for 2017.

For more details of the Social Media Essentials course, please click here.

The Continuing Devolution of LinkedIn

devolution-of-linkedin

We’ve seen it happen with Facebook, so we really shouldn’t be too surprised as LinkedIn continues to move in the same direction: the steady erosion of once-free services, all aimed at improving the social network’s bottom line.

B2B marketers have been spoiled for many years by the free availability of information on LinkedIn that allows the more astute among us to research prospects and competitors and to promote ourselves and our organisations using the professional social network.

Over time, however, we’ve seen a number of free services fall by the wayside as LinkedIn has refocused itself to concentrate on those products and services that actually make money for the company.

We can’t actually blame them — it’s their sandbox, after all — but it can be intensely frustrating, especially when core capabilities, those that organisations have relied upon heavily, are arbitrarily removed or placed beyond paywalls.

Take, for example,Tags, once a simple way to filter and organise your connections on LinkedIn (e.g. tagging customers, prospects and suppliers so that you could sort them easily).

Earlier this year, LinkedIn announced that “we’re removing the Relationship Section of your profile, which allowed you to add Reminders, Notes and Tags to your connections. If you want to download your existing Notes and Tags, you’ll have the option to do so through May 31, 2017.”

Brutal, for those who relied on the tagging system to make sense of their hundreds or thousands of connections.

There is a (paid) alternative: “if you are looking for similar functionalities, consider our Sales Navigator or Recruiter Lite products that allow you to transfer and view your existing notes and tags”.

But Wait, There’s Less

Late February/early March 2017 saw even more change, with the release (for most) of a whole new look for LinkedIn. We’ll let Fatima Williams describe what she calls “The Day of Disaster“:

Yes, I got switched to the new interface and it won’t let me do anything. You hide everything . I can’t see images they are so tiny, my eyes are fine.

The stickers to make work a little fun while sending messages is removed. I can’t see candidates who are outside my network. I know I can’t connect with them but if I don’t see them how am I to even connect with them???

The hope’s of one finding a job by anybody is now gone. Don’t tell me try premium — been there, done that No Thank you!

Should I start an online petition to get them to get us back to the old interface so I can help those candidates out of my reach!

” The new interface is of no use to poor unemployed job seekers who have no hope and cannot afford the premium membership. Forget the premium members who are now asked to pay for features they lost. Your customers/users (job-seekers) are the source of your revenue – Fatima Williams

A few other comments from some of the 1356 mostly-disgruntled LinkedIn users who responded to the post:

  • Less functional and certainly not user friendly! please back to previous one – Didier Bassleer
  • Innovation shall not mean regression. We are humans and have our habits of humans. Previous visual was friendly enough to find our way easily and get what we were needing quickly.-Patrick LR Le Guirriec
  • The new one is only cosmetic, less organized and less functional. – Marco Koelink
  • The removal of the ability to view one’s news feed in reverse chronological order (i.e., ‘recent first’) was a devastating loss. Extremely useful for tracking one’s news from login to login; a user could “pick up where he/she left off”, but now it’s gone. Too bad – Jim Kracht
  • I’m OK with the new design. It’s the removal of functionality that bothers me. Just like FB, they now tell me what they think I want to see in my news feed Denny Russell
  • How about posting suggestions here for other platforms we can each explore, evaluate, and migrate over to if they seem better? I acknowledge the scope of my network on here is broad, and that any competing platforms are likely to need our support to power up to an equivalent reach. But holding onto the tail of a dying dinosaur is perilous. And with Microsoft’s inevitable strangling of service in pursuit of forced extraction of profits, they have signaled the slow death of this beast. So what else is out there for us to explore? – Erik Van Lennep
  • I agree this latest version is one of the worst they have put out over the past 8 yearsShane Null
  • Is anybody at LinkedIn listening to the Voice Of the Customers? So much efforts fostering the sharing of professional content and so little walking the talking… – Sergio Berna
  • YES. The new LinkedIn stinks! I used to log on and get notifications telling me when someone had replied to my posts. Now I no longer do. Nor is there any other way to easily find my way back to the conversations I’ve been involved in in the forums. So I hardly bother logging on at all anymore. – Andrew Horn
  • Leave it to Microsoft to take away the networking component of a networking site. – Ronald Regnier

Heartfelt angst, right there (although many LinkedIn members won’t actually know what Fatima and the other correspondents are talking about, because they simply don’t use LinkedIn that much).

So what can be done?

Well, LinkedIn is simply going to continue to change (especially as new owners Microsoft start to implement their own plans).

You can either (A) turn your back on LinkedIn (except as a CV-replicating tool); or (B) learn how to master the new, “improved” LinkedIn.

If Plan B sounds like you, we can help, with a couple of options:

1 IN-PERSON WORKSHOPS

For larger organisations, we’ve developed a couple of hands-on Workshops for you and your teams:

  • LinkedIn Masterclass, half-day sessions designed to help participants re-work and develop their LinkedIn presence to really sell themselves and their organisation
  • Using LinkedIn as a Sales Tool, a two-hour workshop specifically designed to help B2B sales-people use LinkedIn to sell their goods and services

If you’re interested in in-person Workshops, email us at michael (AT) netmarketingservices.co.nz or phone 021 1492 403.

 

2 ONLINE TRAINING COURSE

Alternatively, you should certainly consider our online training course “How to use LinkedIn Effectively, updated to reflect the latest changes:

linkedin-banner

LinkedIn operates the world’s largest professional network on the Internet with (as of January 2017) more than 467 million members in over 200 countries and territories.

New Zealand now boasts more than 1,540,000 LinkedIn members, according to the latest LinkedIn data. Yet far too many of those members simply don’t know how to use LinkedIn effectively to promote themselves or their organisations.

In response to this need, we’ve developed a course that will show you how to use LinkedIn to best advantage, taking account of the developments being rolled out regularly by the LinkedIn team.

About the Course

This is a seven-part online training course providing a comprehensive introduction to LinkedIn, from the Basics to detailed instructions on how to use LinkedIn to promote your organisation, build your personal reputation and even make sales.

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 seven 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 those who have previously taken one of our courses:

  • “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
  • “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

COURSE CREATION AND TUTORING
This “How to use LinkedIn Effectively” programme has been created and is tutored by Michael Carney. Michael has been in the marketing game since 1971, online since 1987 and keeps tabs on a wide range of trends and developments, locally and around the world. He is the author of “Trade Me Success Secrets” (now in its Second Edition) and a regular magazine columnist. Michael is also the creator of a number of online training courses, covering social media, eCommerce and other aspects of digital marketing.

WHO SHOULD TAKE THE “HOW TO USE LINKEDIN EFFECTIVELY” COURSE

Any business professional who wants to master LinkedIn, whether to further their own career or to develop their business presence on the world’s leading Social B2B network.

COURSE CONTENTS

Lesson One: How To Set Yourself Up Effectively On LinkedIn

You’re probably one of the hundreds of millions who already have a profile on LinkedIn — but is it just a transplanted CV? We show you how to turn your basic profile into a living, selling document that:

  • showcases your unique talents and experience to best advantage
  • reinforces your personal brand with a compelling headline that’s the first thing any visitor will see
  • highlights your achievements, not just your history
  • provides a platform for your future success

Lesson One also covers:

  • The most effective ways to ask for recommendations and endorsements
  • How to use the principle of Reciprocity to sharpen your profile
  • Trojan Horse Marketing and how it can really work for you
  • How to claim your name on LinkedIn (and why it matters)
  • How to optimize your profile for SEO
  • How to use LinkedIn’s Mobile Apps and how you can ensure that your profile stands out on every platform
  • The power of an effective profile summary
  • How to re-shape your profile to make it sizzle (and show off your best bits)

Lesson Two: How To Use LinkedIn For Business

Once you have your own personal profile up and sizzling, it’s time to turn your attention to your organisation (especially if you operate in the B2B space). LinkedIn has now surpassed Twitter as the most popular social medium for distributing B2B content, with 83% of B2B marketers using LinkedIn to promote their organisations. So where do you begin? We start with Company Pages (which were recently redesigned to make it easier for LinkedIn users to find, follow and engage with companies of interest).

Topics covered in Lesson Two include:

  • How to use LinkedIn Banner Images to showcase your company brand and really bring your page to life
  • How to attract keen followers to your company pages (and what that does for your organisation’s visibility on LinkedIn)
  • What you can now say about your company’s products and services
  • How to harness social proof to best effect
  • Why you must make your updates valuable, relevant and interesting (and what that really means)

Lesson Three: How To Use LinkedIn To Find A Job

You’ve probably heard that LinkedIn is very useful when you’re looking for a new job — but where do you start?

In Lesson Three, we talk about:

  • How to use LinkedIn to get the word out that you’re in the market
  • How to polish your LinkedIn profile even further, to highlight your best (and most employable) characteristics
  • How to find out where people with your skillset are working
  • How to check if a company is still hiring
  • How to identify new recruits (and perhaps pick their brains)
  • How to find out who’s who in your target industry
  • How to network shamelessly to future-proof your career
  • How to build your personal brand
  • How to enhance your Resume with LinkedIn Testimonials
  • How to find (and capitalise on) inside connections at potential employers
  • How to search the hidden job market for opportunities
  • How to use LinkedIn to prepare for your job interview

Lesson Four: How To Use LinkedIn To Generate Business

Can you actually use LinkedIn to create business? Yes, indeed you can, and we’ll show you how. Along the way, we’ll talk about:

  • How to use LinkedIn to find business opportunities
  • How to Use LinkedIn Groups to build relationships with prospects and attract new leads
  • How to decide who you should connect with (and who doesn’t make the cut)
  • The power of a clear Call To Action
  • LinkedIn Special Offers (and where it’s appropriate to make them)
  • How LinkedIn’s Advanced People Search feature can be your very best prospecting friend
  • How to use LinkedIn for sales success

Lesson Five: How To Use LinkedIn’s Paid Services

You’ve probably noticed that, whilst many of LinkedIn’s services are free, you are occasionally encouraged to buy some stuff there. Reportedly, around 2% of LinkedIn members have paid-for subscriptions. So should you dip into your pocket?

In Lesson Six, we evaluate the pros and cons of:

  • LinkedIn paid advertising — how it works, what you can expect to pay and what results to aim for
  • The surprising response rates of LinkedIn InMails (and when using them is worthwhile)
  • How to use LinkedIn’s Profile Organizer
  • The LinkedIn paid account options and what they provide

Lesson Six: How To Use LinkedIn To Promote Your Business

So far we’ve looked at how to use LinkedIn to make sales and build your reputation. But LinkedIn is also an ideal vehicle for promoting your organisation to other businesses.

In Lesson Six we’ll look at the promotional potential of LinkedIn, including:

  • How (and how often) to craft status updates that will appeal to your target customers and clients
  • Best practices for sending out mass messages and invitations (without being a pest)
  • How to use Groups to build your authority and keep in regular touch with your prospects
  • How to connect from LinkedIn to the rest of the web, using widgets and plugins and other automated services
  • How to share useful articles and resources without overdoing it
  • How to add videos and presentations to LinkedIn
  • How to use the right tools to manage your LinkedIn content to avoid getting overwhelmed

Lesson Seven: How To Use LinkedIn For Recruiting

We’ve already covered using LinkedIn to find a new job. In Lesson Seven we look at the flip side of the coin — how to use LinkedIn to find the most appropriate candidates for vacancies within your organisation.

In this lesson, we consider:

  • why LinkedIn is a fertile ground within which to find perhaps 80% of your prospective employees
  • How to use LinkedIn to tap into the most effective recruiting source of all
  • The crowd-sourced accuracy of LinkedIn profiles
  • LinkedIn’s job-posting facilities (and whether you should use them)
  • Soliciting introductions: the appropriate protocols
  • How to use LinkedIn to search and compare

TIMING

The next “How To Use LinkedIn Effectively” course begins on Monday 03 July, 2017.

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INVESTMENT

This seven-part online training course is available for $497 +GST. However we offer an Early Bird Discount of $100 — the course is just $397 +GST for bookings made and payment received by Monday 26 June, 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 our “How To Use LinkedIn Effectively” 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 “How To Use LinkedIn Effectively” online training course.

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

Outsourcing Your Social Media Marketing Activities Effectively

outsourcing your social media activities effectively

Now that Social Media has evolved from being “nice to have” to becoming an essential digital marketing tool, more and more businesses are outsourcing their social media.

However, to outsource your Social Media effectively — or even to brief others within your organisation — you need to be able to prepare an effective social media brief.

Most marketers are confident in their ability to prepare a brief for a poster or a billboard or a television commercial. But there’s a whole lot more required if you’re going to achieve success in Social Media.

So how do you prepare an effective social media brief?

The need for a comprehensive answer to that question has led us to evolve and expand our online training course covering the topic.

brief-banner

Here’s what the course covers:

Module One: Setting Social Objectives

What exactly do you and your organisation want to achieve through social media? We review possible answers to that question — taking into account not merely the obvious communications objectives that organisations typically set, but also those distinctly social attributes that most marketers overlook.

We show you how to review your own brand’s story and personality and how that will colour your social media efforts. We encourage you to re-examine your existing customers and prospects and determine what they might hope to hear from you through social media (and how frequently). And we take a look at social media objectives set by other organisations, for inspiration and guidance (and, in a few cases, as cautionary tales of what not to do in social media).

As a result of this module, you’ll be able to provide those who will be operating your social media programme with clear, agreed social objectives that (a) reflect your organisation, its heritage and the interests of its customers; and (b) take advantages of the rich possibilities inherent in social media.

Module Two: Agreeing Social Strategies & Tactics

Once your objectives are in place, it’s time to consider possible strategies to communicate through social media. Strategy in this context means figuring out what you want to be different after you’re done implementing your social media marketing — and that evaluation process should NOT be left to those carrying out the programme (because they’re seldom in a position to determine the relative priorities for an organisation).

Is the appropriate primary strategy based around reputation management, customer service or just getting people talking about your products? Or are you looking for specific leads or even sales (and how should you do that in social media without offending everyone)?

Once the strategic possibilities have been winnowed down to a chosen few, then it’s time to look at tactics to turn those strategies into reality. Most of the tactical decisions can be carried out at an operational level — but it’s still very much worth your while understanding the sorts of tactics that are relevant in the social space. That information may shape your views on decisions such as who is the most appropriate team to implement your social media programme as well as identifying the people within your organisation who should be points of contact for the programme (it won’t be just you).

Decisions on tactics will lead in turn to decisions on which social tools should be used: Twitter, Google Plus, Facebook, YouTube, Snapchat, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, Slideshare, the list goes on.

From Module Two, you’ll develop a solid base with which to have constructive discussions (and even perhaps robust debates) with your social media implementation team.

Module Three: Planning your Programme

What should you talk about in social media? One thing you shouldn’t be is merely reactive, responding to situations and comments as they happen.

Perhaps the most neglected part of the whole social media process is planning an effective, proactive social media communications schedule. Not only do you have to provide killer content that’s relevant and engages your constituents — you also need to plan out what you’re going to say in advance, tied in to topical events, matters of the moment and your own communications programme. That’s not something that can simply be left to that nephew of the CEO who’s running your Facebook page in his spare time.

In this module, we step you through the processes you’ll need to consider when developing an effective INTEGRATED social media schedule that’s linked into your other promotional efforts. We’ll also encourage you to talk to your implementation team about Content Optimisation — identifying your customers’ hottest topics and using the most popular keywords in their posts.

Module Four: Effective Facebook Posts

Facebook is New Zealand’s most popular social network by far, so it gets a module all to itself.

The biggest challenge for any business using Facebook pages these days? Creating Facebook posts that get noticed and get shared.

So this module tackles that problem head on, identifies the secrets of effective Facebook posts and shows you exactly what you need to do to stand out on Facebook.

We also discuss twenty different creative approaches that really work on Facebook (and show you how to determine which might be most relevant to your own organisation), so that you can brief your people accordingly.

Module Five: Images

Images continue to be a vital part of the Social Web. In Module Five, find out what you need to know about Instagram, Pinterest and other leading players, including:

  • How leading brands are winning with the image-based networks
  • how you can make the most of rich pins on Pinterest
  • how to use Instagram to its full potential
  • smart content strategies across the image-based networks

At the end of this module, you’ll know the visual content assets you need to use to take maximum advantage of image-based social media.

Module Six: Video

At the end of 2014 Facebook hosted approximately one billion video views per day. By the close of 2015, that figure had grown to over eight billion. While there’s still some debate about what qualifies as a video view (3 sec vs. 10 sec. vs. 30 secs?), the overall trajectory of Facebook video consumption is undeniable.

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”.

In this Module, we discuss exactly what you now need to know about video and social media, so that you can brief your suppliers accordingly.

Module Seven: Implementation

Finally, we turn to the processes required to make all this happen. We provide you with an appropriate framework for briefing your social media supplier, allocating internal and external resources and responsibilities and agreeing how the effort will be measured.

We also suggest a timetable for reviewing and adjusting your campaign, and how to evaluate the campaign effectively — do “likes”, “+1s” and “retweets” matter, how do you measure social engagement and what does it all mean?

OUTCOMES

By the end of this course:

  • you should be confident that you can effectively brief a supplier on your social media requirements
  • you should be able ensure that the results you are achieving don’t just “seem” good — they meet a concrete set of objectives consistent with your overall organisational goals

TIMING

The next seven-module programme begins on Tuesday 04 July, 2017.

PROGRAMME CREATOR
The “How to Prepare An Effective Social Media Brief” programme has been developed by Michael Carney

INVESTMENT

This programme is available for $497+GST.  However we offer an Early Bird Booking Discount of $100 — the course is just $397 +GST for bookings made and payment received by Tuesday 27 June, 2017.

To register and pay by credit card through PayPal, please click here

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?
1. Your booking will be confirmed by email (if you have not received a confirmation within 24 hours, feel free to email [email protected]).
2. On the first day of the course you will be supplied by email with the first part of your How to Prepare An Effective Social Media Brief programme.
3. Follow-up lessons will be sent out over subsequent weeks (but please note that you take the course at your own pace).

NZ Politicians Finally Discover The Information Superhighway

interwebs

For decades, NZ electoral allocations — money provided by the Government to fund political advertising in the lead-up to general elections — have been legislatively restricted to paying for “broadcast” advertisements — defined in law as radio and television advertising (and the production thereof).

In a dramatic turnaround, a mere thirty years after the Internet arrived in New Zealand via CompuSerce, the politicians last week (March 15) saw fit to allow electoral funding to encompass Internet advertising as well.

As the Broadcasting (Election Programmes and Election Advertising) Amendment Bill (approved by 108 votes to 12 and now just awaiting Royal Assent to become law) notes, public monies may now be applied to fund radio and television and also:

all or part of the publishing costs incurred in relation to the publication of election advertisements on the Internet during the election period; and all or part of production costs, whenever incurred, in relation to election advertisements published on the Internet

Politicians (and their advertising agencies) should now brace themselves. Inevitably, they can expect to be inundated by approaches from any and every New Zealand digital medium, now that there’s a bucket of money just waiting to be spent.

(If that’s you, may we recommend you familiarise yourself with some of our online training courses, which will help you to understand the most effective ways to use digital media).

Opening & Closing Broadcasts Gone
The revised legislation also removes the compulsion on Television New Zealand and Radio New Zealand to screen opening and closing broadcasts.

Finally.

As Chris Hipkins (Labour—Rimutaka) noted during the debate about the legislation:

“When the rule around opening and closing broadcasts for election campaigns was introduced, there were two TV channels in New Zealand—only the two. If you were sitting at home watching TV and the opening and closing broadcasts were broadcast on both of those channels, as they were back in those days, you had no choice other than to watch them or turn off the TV. The reality now is that that is simply not the medium any more. People can be watching live-streamed content on Netflix, they can be using MY SKY or any other type of device, they could be watching all sorts of other things, or they could be accessing content via social media.

“The idea that we have these opening and closing broadcasts, which are expensive to produce because they are quite long-form and very few people watch them, and the idea that we should lock that into law and lock political parties into spending some of their broadcast allocation to do that simply does not make sense. It is not good for the broadcasters either. Let us be really frank about this. TVNZ had 25 percent fewer viewers in the timeslot that it set aside for the opening and closing broadcasts at the last election campaign [in 2014] than it would normally have had during that timeslot.”

Welcome to the 21st Century, esteemed leaders. Glad you could join us.