Category Archives: 2018

Social Media Trends for 2018

nz-social-media-trends-2018

Tis (nearly) the season to be prognosticating, as we head towards the usual end of year chaos.

We have already talked about some of the marketing trends we expect to hold centre stage in 2018. Now we turn the spotlight on social media trends for 2018, inspired by an infographic from Filmora (available here).

1 Video

First on the list is the least surprising of all: social goes video. Yep, all those moving pictures clamouring for attention on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram (now joined by LinkedIn, which has recently added its own native video offerings) will continue to get all the attention.

What that means for marketers: if you are not using video in social media, you are much less likely to get noticed — and even less likely to get remembered. According to data gathered by Filmora, 95% of video messages will be retained by consumers while only 10% of text-based posts will enjoy that privilege.

Oh, and if you can, make those videos live. Facebook Live videos are watched three times longer than regular videos.

2 Ephemeral is Hot

The move to short-lived content, pioneered by Snapchat and shamelessly copied by Instagram Stories, will continue to be a thing in 2018.

Why? There are a few factors at work, including:

  • increased concentration on the actual post content, precisely because it will disappear
  • fear of missing out, because the messages are limited and time-constrained
  • users can afford not to worry about little things like spelling, grammar or accuracy, because their messages don’t hang around long enough to be critiqued

3 Chatbots are multiplying

There are now some 12,000 active chatbots on Facebook Messenger and it is estimated that 30% of our chat conversations will be with the little creatures next year.

Why? Because, in many cases they are smarter than humans — at least when it comes to talking about what they know (are programmed) to chat about.

If you already know the most frequently asked questions about your products and services, a chatbot is the simplest, most efficient and friendliest (!) way to share that information with your prospects and customers.

4 Influencer Marketing is growing strongly

Influencer Marketing is the fastest-growing marketing channel, according to Filmora data.

That’s because, with all due respect to traditional media channels, Influencer Marketing is (or can/should be):

  • more targeted
  • more credible
  • more affordable

Influencer Marketing can also be more successful, according to 94% of those who use the channel.

And, since these days consumers put more trust in friends, whanau and peers, Influencer Marketing is an easy approach to gather endorsements that hopefully turn into sales.

5 Mobile, Mobile, Mobile

Yeah, we may never actually arrive at the long-promised “year of the mobile“, but this is pretty darned close.

More than 90% of Kiwis under 55 now have smartphones and, guess what, we actually use them — most especially, for checking in on social media many times a day.

And yes, that means that any marketing or promotion that you do on social media needs to be mobile-friendly — and, if you are sending anybody from a social medium to your own website, that better be mobile-friendly as well.

Want to know a whole lot more about NZ Marketing Trends for 2018? Check out our upcoming slide presentation (don’t miss our special November-only offer).

Need to know more about Social Media Marketing for New Zealand? One of our online training courses might be just what you need.

Oh, and if you don’t have Mobile Marketing all figured out already, we have a course for that as well.

5 Key NZ Marketing Trends for 2018

5-key-nz-marketing-trends-2018

As we plunge headlong towards 2018, it’s time to dust off the old crystal ball and see what sense we can make of the New Zealand marketing environment in the year ahead.

The recent change of government means that our predictive mode is worse than usual, but we will give it our best shot.

1 THE TRANSFORMATIVE IMPACT OF A NEW GOVERNMENT

Firstly, let’s consider what we already know about the plans of the new Labour-led coalition government.

The ink is still barely dry on the coalition agreement, but here’s what’s been announced for the first 100 days:

  • Make the first year of tertiary education or training fees free from January 1, 2018
  • Increase student allowances and living cost loans by $50 a week from January 1, 2018
  • Pass the Healthy Homes Guarantee Bill, requiring all rentals to be warm and dry
  • Ban overseas speculators from buying existing houses
  • Issue an instruction to Housing New Zealand to stop the state house sell-off
  • Begin work to establish the Affordable Housing Authority and begin the KiwiBuild programme
  • Legislate to pass the Families Package, including the Winter Fuel Payment, Best Start and increases to Paid Parental Leave, to take effect from July 1, 2018
  • Set up a ministerial inquiry to fix our mental health crisis
  • Introduce legislation to make medicinal cannabis available for people with terminal illnesses or in chronic pain
  • Resume contributions to the New Zealand Superannuation Fund to help safeguard the provision of universal superannuation at age 65
  • Introduce legislation to set a child poverty reduction target and to change the Public Finance Act, so the Budget reports progress on reducing child poverty
  • Increase the minimum wage to $16.50 an hour, to take effect from April 1, 2018, and introduce legislation to improve fairness in the workplace
  • Establish the Tax Working Group
  • Establish the Pike River Recovery Agency and assign a responsible minister
  • Set up an inquiry into the abuse of children in state care
  • Hold a Clean Waters Summit on cleaning up our rivers and lakes
  • Set the zero carbon emissions goal and begin setting up the independent Climate Commission

Those plans will probably not directly impact on most marketers. However the abandonment of the previously-legislated 2018 tax cuts will mean that, if you were considering strategies to target consumers with a little more disposable income in their wallets come April, fuggedaboutit.

2 MORE FOCUS ON KIWI-MADE

The incoming government is expected to put more focus on the purchase of Kiwi-made products and services in preference to overseas suppliers. If you sell, or wish to sell, to the New Zealand Government, put renewed focus in your sales and marketing literature on the Kiwi provenance of your offerings. Departments and ministries can be expected to be particularly sensitive to local suppliers in the early days of the new government.

3 BEAT THE PRICE RISE

Inflation is expected to increase as a result of a number of factors, including the increase in the minimum wage, elevated government spending and currency fluctuations. Expect to see the return of “beat the price rise” marketing and other price-related messages as businesses move to drive sales.

4 INFLUENCERS EVERYWHERE

Influencer marketing is becoming more and more of a ‘thing’, both in New Zealand and around the world, as mass media continue to splinter. Opinion leaders of every stripe and persuasion are picking up followers across social media (and are more and more willing to convert some of that following into sponsorship income).

The old dangers of celebrity marketing — choosing a spokesperson who turned out to have feet of clay — are even more prevalent in influencer marketing, when we typically know so little about the opinion leaders we choose (except that they have X number of followers). Proceed with caution.

5 TELEVISION ACCELERATES ITS MIGRATION ONLINE

The late-2017 announcement of Vodafone TV, which brings New Zealand’s television channels into the home via UltraFast Broadband, is but the latest step in the migration of television from wireless to wired.

Vodafone TV will provide streamed 4K video services for Vodafone Unlimited Fibre or FibreX customers via the Internet (no satellite required).

Vodafone TV will include unlimited broadband and Sky Basic but customers will need a separate Netflix subscription and will also need to pay to add premium content like Sky Sport, SoHo and SKY Movies.

The Vodafone TV packages will also include all free-to-air channels such as TVNZ 1 and TVNZ 2, THREE, Bravo, Maori Television and Television 33 – premium subscription applications such as Netflix, as well as easy access to TVNZ OnDemand, ThreeNow, YouTube, iHeartRadio and Love Nature 4K.

Sky itself is planning to distribute its own services via the Internet as well. It is the first step in the replacement of satellite-delivered television (offering limited channels, each accompanied by a hefty pricetag for broadcasters) with virtually unlimited-capacity Internet services.

No, the satellite services won’t be switched off overnight — but, as with the transition from analog to digital TV, the changeover will happen first slowly and then swiftly.

——

What other marketing trends can you expect in 2018? Well, that’s the subject of our upcoming special report, to be published in December (available for pre-purchase right now for a special, discounted price).

NZ Marketing Insights 2018

Our NZ MARKETING INSIGHTS FOR 2018 presentation and slide deck,will be available in early December [but see below for a special pre-publication offer available only during November].

Some of the key topics featured in our NZ MARKETING INSIGHTS FOR 2018 presentation include:

Social Listening
Consumers, as they do, may well already be talking about you and your brand online, and if you don’t know what they’re saying, they could do significant brand damage. We consider what to listen for, how to listen and what to do next.

Influencer Marketing
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.

In this report, we consider the importance of Influencer Marketing — and explore how to identify effective Kiwi micro-influencers who will be good ambassadors for your brand.

Amazon’s Arrival Down Under
What happens when the online shopping giant arrives in your neighbourhood? We look at the good, the bad and the ugly implications for NZ retailers and marketers.

Machine Learning & AI
The machines are taking over. All hail our new robot overlords. No, it’s not Skynet — but when you ask Google a question, the answers are powered by RankBrain, machine-learning algorithms that are getting smarter every day.

And then there’s chatbots, which are making a big difference for both customer service and sales conversion funnels. We bring you up to speed on this significant technology.

Google Goes Mobile-First
In early 2018, Google is expected to launch its mobile-first search algorithm, which will give priority to mobile-ready results (hardly surprising, given the high proportion of searches now conducted exclusively on mobile devices). So what does that mean for Kiwi marketers?

Dark Social
It’s a catchy name — typically describing consumers talking to each other via messaging apps, email and other non-social channels — and it’s now a major force to be reckoned with.  With dark social reported to be responsible for 84% of outbound sharing it’s an area that marketers can’t afford to ignore in 2018.

But Wait, There’s More

Now let’s look at some of the other marketing trends that will impact on Kiwi marketers in 2018.

The Big Picture
This first section of the presentation takes a look at what we can expect in 2018 from an economic and political perspective, in the wake of NZ First’s decision.

Who We Are
Then we review our demographic and behavioural profile, based on the latest consumer lifestyle studies and statistics.

New Zealand Media
We delve deeply into the new breed of television offerings as the medium continues its inexorable migration online. We examine new Internet-delivered services from Sky and Vodafone TV and consider the potentially-far-reaching implications for marketers.

We then turn our attention to newspapers and explore what might happen as a result of the Fairfax/NZME merger High Court appeal — if it succeeds or if it fails.

The latest Radio and Out of Home developments come next, closely followed by what’s new in Magazines.

We look at up-and-coming movie blockbusters for 2018.

Then we turn our attention to Experiences, review their importance (especially for millennials) and run through upcoming major events for the year.

Then it’s time to turn our focus to digital.

We review some of the staggering statistics as a majority of New Zealand opts for unlimited data and consider the implications for NZ marketers now that Mobile dominates Internet usage.

We delve into the latest developments in Social Media, covering Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and Google Plus.

We update the latest online video numbers and then dig deep into Messaging Apps.

A roundup of key marketing technology trends follows, including Personalisation, the Internet of Things, Augmented Reality, AI, Programmatic, Virtual Reality, Drones, Context Brokering, Blockchain and Wearables.

And we close with a brief look at Future Technology trends that will impact in later years.

Purchase your copy today

As we mentioned, our MARKETING INSIGHTS FOR 2018 presentation (comprising at least 150 slides) will be published in early December. It’s unbranded, for you to present as you see fit to your clients.

This presentation looks ahead at what marketers should expect and plan for in 2018, across a wide variety of industries and technologies — based on local and global trends you may not yet have had the opportunity to examine — turning those forecasts into a comprehensive NZ MARKETING INSIGHTS FOR 2018 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 towards 2018.

The NZ MARKETING INSIGHTS FOR 2018” report and slide deck will be available for just $597+GST.

However we have a special pre-publication offer for bookings and payment received during November:

Pay just $497+GST and SAVE $100!

Click here to pay by credit card through PayPal:
https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=F38UV54BEUHCW

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

Once we receive your payment, we’ll drop you a quick email confirming your order. Then in early December we will send you download details for your copy of the NZ MARKETING INSIGHTS FOR 2018 report & slide deck.

November Specials

Our October Special Offers are over but we have some November-only specials you really should consider:

OFFER 1: Access to all our courses until the end of 2018, with the All Access Pass.

The pass offers you access to our current 14 courses (total value $6,849+GST), plus any new courses we offer in 2018, all for one low price – $1,495+GST per person.  Access more than two courses and you’re already saving money! (In fact, even if you sign up for our All-Access Pass and just take our Digital Marketing 101 course, you’ll be saving hundreds of dollars on the standard course cost).

all-access-individual-700

Just click here to sign up for our individual All Access pass for just $1,495+GST (this offer valid only until midnight November 30):

That’s the link to make credit card payments by PayPal. If you would prefer to pay by bank deposit, or require an invoice, please send an email to [email protected] with your requirements.

CORPORATE SPECIAL OFFER

all-access-corporate-700

We are also offering a similar very special offer for Corporate Buyers. Sign up for an All Access pass for your organisation for just $4,997+GST and we’ll provide access to all of our courses for up to 5 of your team. That’s potentially more than $30,000 worth of training for a fraction of the cost.

Pay just $4,997+GST for an All Access Corporate Pass for up to 5 staff (this offer valid only until midnight November 30):

Full details here: https://socialmedia.org.nz/2017/10/surviving-digital-marketing-challenges/

 

OFFER 2: SOCIAL MEDIA MONITOR

Our Social Media Monitor is a snapshot of NZ social media activity for the previous month, across Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn, for the major players in a specific industry.

socialmediamonitor-900

Social Media Monitor reports can be created for any highly-competitive industry sector in any country. A few other sectors we’ve identified include:

  • Automotive Manufacturers
  • Major Retail Chains
  • Airlines
  • Fuel Companies
  • Power Companies
  • Telecommunications
  • Beverages (non-alcoholic)
  • Hardware/Home Improvement
  • Fast Food (Quick Service Restaurants)
  • Appliance Manufacturers
  • Health & Beauty
  • Clothing
  • Financial Services
  • IT providers
  • Charitable Organisations
  • Insurance Companies
  • Real Estate Agencies
  • Travel & Tourism

Social Media Monitor pricing is based on the number of brands analysed, at $250 (+GST) per brand, plus $495+GST for industry overview and analysis.

As a introductory special, however, we are making a special offer of just $1595+GST for analysis of up to five brands (this offer applies only until November 30). Additional brands may be included for $220+GST per brand.

If you would like to know more about the Social Media Monitor, email us at [email protected]. Or simply take advantage of our special November offer, only until midnight November 30, by clicking here to pay via PayPal:

sign up now

Full details here: https://socialmedia.org.nz/2017/10/are-you-listening-to-your-customers-and-prospects/

 

OFFER 3: MARKETING INSIGHTS 2018

NZ Marketing Insights 2018

It’s that time again, when we dust off the crystal ball and peer into the future of New Zealand Marketing for the year ahead.

Then we wrap our findings up into a comprehensive slide presentation and make it available for you to present to your clients and colleagues as a preview of what to expect in 2018.

Launch 2018 with a comprehensive presentation to your team or your clients

Our MARKETING INSIGHTS FOR 2018 presentation (comprising at least 150 slides) will be published in early December. It’s unbranded, for you to present as you see fit to your clients.

This presentation looks ahead at what marketers should expect and plan for in 2018, across a wide variety of industries and technologies — based on local and global trends you may not yet have had the opportunity to examine — turning those forecasts into a comprehensive NZ MARKETING INSIGHTS FOR 2018 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 towards 2018.

The NZ MARKETING INSIGHTS FOR 2018” report and slide deck will be available for just $597+GST.

However we have a special pre-publication offer for bookings and payment received by midnight November 30:

Pay just $497+GST and SAVE $100!

Click here to pay by credit card through PayPal:
https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=F38UV54BEUHCW

Full details here: https://socialmedia.org.nz/2017/10/marketing-trends-for-2018/

Surviving Digital Marketing Challenges

challenge5

What’s YOUR biggest marketing challenge?

A little while ago, we surveyed a number of Kiwi marketers. They told us that one of their biggest challenges is simply keeping up with what’s new in digital marketing (which changes all the time).

That’s not exactly surprising – and we now offer more than a dozen courses (listed below) to help Kiwi marketers stay up to date.

Still, we get it – not everyone can afford to purchase as many courses as they might want.

So, for a very limited time (only until November 30), we’ve created a very special ALL-ACCESS VIP PASS.

Sign up for our ALL-ACCESS VIP PASS and you’ll get unlimited access to all our courses for the next year.

All our social media courses, our digital marketing courses, our ecommerce courses, our TripAdvisor course and anything else we come up with between now and the end of December 2018.

** You can, of course, take any of these courses at any time – they’re available 24/7, for you to sit at your pace, anytime until the end of December 2018.**

ABOUT US

We’ll tell you more about the All-Access Pass in a moment, but first let’s talk a little about us.

All the courses we offer have been created and are administered by Michael Carney, Managing Director of Netmarketing Services Limited.

Michael is a longtime NZ marketer, who has been employed in various marketing roles since 1971. He’s a real technology Early Adopter: online since 1987, involved with digital marketing since the mid-90s.

Michael has been creating and tutoring online training courses about Social Media Marketing (and other digital marketing topics) since 2010. You’ll find Michael’s profile at http://linkedin.com/in/michaelcarney and you can see our current range of courses at https://socialmedia.org.nz.

From 2009 to 2013, Michael was Chairman of the Network of Digital Marketers, the digital special interest group of the NZ Marketing Association.

He is also the author of the book Trade Me Success Secrets, the top-selling book about New Zealand’s leading online auction website.

In other words, Michael knows a thing or two about Digital Marketing.

Don’t just take our word for it:

Now let’s talk about the All Access Pass:

The pass offers you access to our current 14 courses (total value $6,849+GST), plus any new courses we offer in 2018, all for one low price – $1,497+GST per person.  Access more than two courses and you’re already saving money! (In fact, even if you sign up for our All-Access Pass and just take our Digital Marketing 101 course, you’ll be saving hundreds of dollars on the standard course cost).

all-access-individual-700

Just click here to sign up for our individual All Access pass for just $1,497+GST (this offer valid only until midnight on November 30):

That’s the link to make credit card payments by PayPal. If you would prefer to pay by bank deposit, or require an invoice, please send an email to [email protected] with your requirements.

CORPORATE SPECIAL OFFER

all-access-corporate-700

We are also offering a similar very special offer for Corporate Buyers. Sign up for an All Access pass for your organisation for just $4,997+GST and we’ll provide access to all of our courses for up to 5 of your team. That’s potentially more than $30,000 worth of training for a fraction of the cost.

Pay just $4,997+GST for an All Access Corporate Pass for up to 5 staff (this offer valid only until midnight on November 30):

That’s the link to make credit card payments by PayPal. If you would prefer to pay by bank deposit, or require an invoice, please send an email to [email protected] with your requirements.

SIGN UP TODAY AND GET UNLIMITED ACCESS TO ALL OF THESE COURSES (AND ANY NEW COURSES WE RELEASE) UNTIL DECEMBER 31 2018.

CURRENT COURSES:

For those new to Social Media Marketing:

social-media-banner

The Principles & Practice of Social Media Marketing is a thirteen-part online training course providing a comprehensive introduction to Social Media Marketing, from the Basics to detailed instructions on how to build and run a Social Media Marketing programme.

For more details of the Social Media Marketing online course, please click here

Digital Marketing 101

digital-marketing-101

Digital Marketing 101 is a 26-part online training course designed for students who may know very little about Digital Marketing, touching on a wide range of Digital Marketing topics over a six-month period.

For more information about Digital Marketing 101, please click here.

Content Marketing course

content-marketing-course

Our Content Marketing online training course is a nine-part course designed to show you how, when, where and why to use Content Marketing to provide relevant, useful resources to your prospective customers, in accordance with their wants and needs.

For more information about our Content Marketing course, please click here.

Influencer Marketing course

influencer-marketing

Our Influencer Marketing online training course is a nine-part course which covers the importance of Influencer Marketing, helps you to determine the smartest and most effective strategies — and to explore how to identify effective Kiwi micro-influencers who will be good ambassadors for your brand.

For more information about our Influencer Marketing course, please click here.

Writing for the Web course

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

Effective writing has become an absolutely core competency when communicating online. 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.

Our Writing for the Web course covers the key elements you need to know to communicate effectively to online audiences.

For more information about our Writing for the Web course, please click here.

 

Mobile Marketing course

mobile-header

Smartphone usage has hit the tipping point, in New Zealand as elsewhere. According to Google’s Consumer Barometer (July 2015), three-quarters of New Zealanders now have smartphones — and these devices are dramatically changing consumer behaviour, with significant implications for Kiwi businesses.To help you master this challenging mobile environment, we’ve created a dedicated online training course about Mobile Marketing.

For more details of the Principle & Practice of Mobile Marketing course, please click here.

Mastering eCommerce
ecommerce-banner

Our online course, “Mastering eCommerce”, tells you what you need to know about selling effectively online in a seven-week programme that steps you through the principles and practices of eCommerce in New Zealand.

For more details of the Mastering eCommerce programme, please click here.

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.

How to Prepare an Effective Social Media Brief
brief-banner

Even if you don’t intend to become directly involved in social media yourself, you may still need to understand the principles, practices and opportunities of social media — for example, if you need to brief someone about running a social media campaign. This programme is designed to provide you with the insights necessary to prepare an effective brief.

For more details of the How to Prepare an Effective Social Media Brief programme, please click here.

How to Use LinkedIn Effectively – For Your Business And Your Career
linkedin-banner

This is a seven-part online training eCourse 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, find a job, recruit prospective employees and even make sales.

For more details of the How to Use LinkedIn Effectively programme, please click here.

Advanced Selling on Trade Me
trademe-banner

This is a seven-week eCourse providing a comprehensive masterclass on selling on Trade Me. The course presumes you are already familiar with the basics of selling on Trade Me.

For more details of the Advanced Selling on Trade Me programme, please click here.

How to Use TripAdvisor to Promote Your Travel, Tourism or Hospitality Business

How to Use TripAdvisor to Promote Your Travel, Tourism or Hospitality Business - online training course

Online travel review site TripAdvisor is, says travel and tourism news site Tnooz, “becoming terrifyingly important in a traveller’s decision making process”. In fact, according to a late 2013 study by PhocusWright of 12,000 travellers across the globe, more than half are not willing to book a hotel until they read reviews about the property. And 93% of travellers worldwide say that their booking decisions are impacted by online reviews.

TripAdvisor, the biggest online review site on the planet, plays a huge role in helping travellers make travel purchasing decisions.

Our seven-week online training course, “How To Use TripAdvisor To Promote Your Travel, Tourism & Hospitality Business”, takes you step by step through the process of marketing your business effectively on the world’s leading travel review website.

For full details of this course, please click here

Online Video Marketing - Short Course

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.

It’s well past time for you to upskill yourself in online video marketing, with out four week course on Online Video Marketing. For more details, please click here.

PS If right now you’re only interested in one of our courses, no problem. Just click on the link associated with that course, for more details and to sign up for just that course.

SIGN UP TODAY AND GET UNLIMITED ACCESS TO ALL OF THESE COURSES (AND ANY NEW COURSES WE RELEASE) UNTIL DECEMBER 31 2018.

Marketing Trends for 2018

NZ Marketing Insights 2018

It’s that time again, when we dust off the crystal ball and peer into the future of New Zealand Marketing for the year ahead.

Then we wrap our findings up into a comprehensive slide presentation and make it available for you to present to your clients and colleagues as a preview of what to expect in 2018.

Launch 2018 with a comprehensive presentation to your team or your clients

Our NZ MARKETING INSIGHTS FOR 2018 presentation and slide deck,will be available in early December [but see below for a special pre-publication offer available only during November].

Recent US research gives us a few hints about what we should (and do) cover:

importance-of-social-listening

Some of the key topics featured in our NZ MARKETING INSIGHTS FOR 2018 presentation include:

Social Listening
Consumers, as they do, may well already be talking about you and your brand online, and if you don’t know what they’re saying, they could do significant brand damage. We consider what to listen for, how to listen and what to do next.

Influencer Marketing
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.

In this report, we consider the importance of Influencer Marketing — and explore how to identify effective Kiwi micro-influencers who will be good ambassadors for your brand.

Amazon’s Arrival Down Under
What happens when the online shopping giant arrives in your neighbourhood? We look at the good, the bad and the ugly implications for NZ retailers and marketers.

Machine Learning & AI
The machines are taking over. All hail our new robot overlords. No, it’s not Skynet — but when you ask Google a question, the answers are powered by RankBrain, machine-learning algorithms that are getting smarter every day.

And then there’s chatbots, which are making a big difference for both customer service and sales conversion funnels. We bring you up to speed on this significant technology.

Google Goes Mobile-First
In early 2018, Google is expected to launch its mobile-first search algorithm, which will give priority to mobile-ready results (hardly surprising, given the high proportion of searches now conducted exclusively on mobile devices). So what does that mean for Kiwi marketers?

Dark Social
It’s a catchy name — typically describing consumers talking to each other via messaging apps, email and other non-social channels — and it’s now a major force to be reckoned with.  With dark social reported to be responsible for 84% of outbound sharing it’s an area that marketers can’t afford to ignore in 2018.

But Wait, There’s More

Now let’s look at some of the other marketing trends that will impact on Kiwi marketers in 2018.

The Big Picture
This first section of the presentation takes a look at what we can expect in 2018 from an economic and political perspective, in the wake of NZ First’s decision.

Who We Are
Then we review our demographic and behavioural profile, based on the latest consumer lifestyle studies and statistics.

New Zealand Media
We delve deeply into the new breed of television offerings as the medium continues its inexorable migration online. We examine new Internet-delivered services from Sky and Vodafone TV and consider the potentially-far-reaching implications for marketers.

We then turn our attention to newspapers and explore what might happen as a result of the Fairfax/NZME merger High Court appeal — if it succeeds or if it fails.

The latest Radio and Out of Home developments come next, closely followed by what’s new in Magazines.

We look at up-and-coming movie blockbusters for 2018.

Then we turn our attention to Experiences, review their importance (especially for millennials) and run through upcoming major events for the year.

Then it’s time to turn our focus to digital.

We review some of the staggering statistics as a majority of New Zealand opts for unlimited data and consider the implications for NZ marketers now that Mobile dominates Internet usage.

We delve into the latest developments in Social Media, covering Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and Google Plus.

We update the latest online video numbers and then dig deep into Messaging Apps.

A roundup of key marketing technology trends follows, including Personalisation, the Internet of Things, Augmented Reality, AI, Programmatic, Virtual Reality, Drones, Context Brokering, Blockchain and Wearables.

And we close with a brief look at Future Technology trends that will impact in later years.

Purchase your copy today

As we mentioned, our MARKETING INSIGHTS FOR 2018 presentation (comprising at least 150 slides) will be published in early December. It’s unbranded, for you to present as you see fit to your clients.

This presentation looks ahead at what marketers should expect and plan for in 2018, across a wide variety of industries and technologies — based on local and global trends you may not yet have had the opportunity to examine — turning those forecasts into a comprehensive NZ MARKETING INSIGHTS FOR 2018 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 towards 2018.

The NZ MARKETING INSIGHTS FOR 2018” report and slide deck will be available for just $597+GST.

However we have a special pre-publication offer for bookings and payment received by November:

Pay just $497+GST and SAVE $100!

Click here to pay by credit card through PayPal:
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If you would prefer to pay by bank deposit, or require an invoice, please send an email to [email protected] with your requirements.

Once we receive your payment, we’ll drop you a quick email confirming your order. Then in early December we will send you download details for your copy of the NZ MARKETING INSIGHTS FOR 2018 report & slide deck.

Revised & Updated: Social Media Marketing online training course

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

 

social-media-marketing-online-training-course

The Principles & Practice of Social Media Marketing

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Feedback from previous Social Media Marketing online training course Participants

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

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

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

WHAT YOU SHOULD LEARN AS A RESULT OF THE COURSE:

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

COURSE CONTENTS

SMM-Lesson1

INTRODUCTION:
WHY SOCIAL MEDIA SILENCE IS DEADLY

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

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

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

SMM-Lesson2

Lesson Two: Facebook

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

We look at:

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

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

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

And many many more.

SMMROS-Lesson3-online-video

Lesson Three: Online Video

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

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

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

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

Along the way, we explore:

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

SMMROS-Lesson4-400

Lesson Four: Instagram

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

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

SMM-Lesson5-400

Lesson Five: Social Media Advertising

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

We also explore:

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

SMMROS-Lesson6-pinterest

Lesson Six: Pinterest

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

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

In this lesson, we explore:

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

SMM-Lesson7

Lesson Seven: Google Plus

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

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

SMM-Lesson8-400

Lesson Eight: LinkedIn

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

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

Plus Action Steps for each section.

SMM-Lesson9-400

Lesson Nine: Community Management and Influencer Marketing

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

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

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

SMM-Lesson10-400

Lesson Ten: Twitter

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

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

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

SMM-Lesson11-400

Lesson Eleven: Tools & Tips

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

In this lesson, you’ll learn:

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

SMM-Lesson12-monitoring

Lesson Twelve: Monitoring

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

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

SMM-Lesson13-metrics

Lesson Thirteen: Metrics & ROI

OVERCOMING THOSE QUESTIONS THAT KILL MARKETING CAREERS

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

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

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

————————

TIMING

The next course begins on Monday 04 December, 2017.

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INVESTMENT

This thirteen-part online training course is available for $697 +GST. However we offer an Early Bird Discount of $100 +GST — pay just $597+GST for bookings received by Monday 27 November, 2017.

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

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

Register Now for the next course

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

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?

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

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

Are You Ready for Amazon’s Arrival Down Under?

amazon-down-under

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

According to the NZ Herald:

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

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

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

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

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

amazon.com.au

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why-people-shop-online

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

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

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

How Can Kiwi Businesses Compete With Amazon?

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

1 Don’t Beat Them, Join Them

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

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

2 Go Niche & Market Your Content

As Kissmetrics notes:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

3 Focus on Speed & Convenience

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

VendHQ sums up this option:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

5 Vital Search Marketing Strategies for 2017 & 2018

5 vital search marketing strategies for 2017-2018

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

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

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

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

As CopyBlogger points out:

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

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

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

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

2 Lack of Speed Kills

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

So what’s a “Mobile First” index?

Google explains:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AJ’s blunt conclusion:

If your mobile metrics suck, your rankings will suck

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

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

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

3 Focus on “Searcher Task Accomplishment”

According to Moz:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

4 The Surprising Importance of Google Image Search

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

Content-Performance-Rankings-cognitiveSEO

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

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

 

SPECIAL SEARCH MARKETING PRESENTATION FOR KIWI BUSINESSES

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

search-marketing-nz-2017

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

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

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

INSIDE “SEARCH MARKETING 2017”

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

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

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

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

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

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

google-height

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Search Marketing presentation also looks at:

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

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

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

sign up now

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

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

 

SEARCH MARKETING + CONTENT MARKETING SPECIAL OFFER

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

INSIDE “NZ CONTENT MARKETING 2017”

Here’s what the Content Marketing presentation covers:

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

And:

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

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

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

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

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

Other topics that feature in this presentation include:

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

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

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

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

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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