Interruption marketing is dead — though too many advertisers (and media owners) still haven’t noticed.
Consumers have had enough. They’ve been bombarded by mass media marketing since birth, and they just won’t put up with it any more.
Consumers are avoiding ads altogether wherever they can.
- They’re fast forwarding through TV ads thanks to their MySky devices.
- They’re subscribing to Netflix and other adfree subscription television services in record numbers.
- They’re paying every month for Spotify, to enjoy their favourite music without endless commercials.
- Their mailboxes are plastered with “No Junk Mail” signs.
- Their computers are protected by ad blocking software.
- And even six seconds seems too long to wait to skip ads on YouTube.
If they want to find out something about a product or service category, they ask Google. Or Siri. Or their friends. Or informed non-experts (via social media). They’ve learned from bitter experience that if they ask a marketer (or a sales-person), they can’t expect an objective answer.
Here’s where consumers now turn for product information:
You really can’t blame Kiwi consumers. After all, we’re them, too. We’d rather gather our own information than be harassed by a sales-person with KPIs to meet.
So how do consumers find out about your products and services, if they’re avoiding and ignoring your advertising?
Alas, as Seth Godin put it (nearly twenty years ago), “finding new ways, more clever ways to interrupt people, doesn’t work“.
Short answer: you need to identify the sorts of things that consumers want to know about your product or service category — and provide that information to them, objectively, in formats that they like to consume, and in as neutral an environment as possible (without necessarily demanding contact details in exchange).
What you are doing is:
- meeting consumers’ information needs
- building trust and credibility (by being objective)
- paving the way for a future relationship, so that when consumers are ready to buy you’re already within their consideration set
Marketers call this Content Marketing (PR professionals call it “Digital Storytelling“). Whatever the name, it’s been identified as one of the most important trends in communications today.
According to the Content Marketing Institute, content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action. It’s particularly relevant to B2B marketers, but it’s become increasingly more and more important for B2C as well.
That’s why we’re now releasing our Content Marketing online training course, a nine-part course designed to show you how, when, where and why to use Content Marketing to provide relevant, useful resources to your prospective customers, in accordance with their wants and needs.
The Content Marketing course covers:
Lesson One: Customers & Convergence
In this lesson, we discuss the importance of content marketing and show you how the whole Customer Buying Journey has evolved. We point out how effective content creation can provide massive Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) benefits and — provided that your content is designed properly around appropriate keywords — content marketing can help you more easily get found in search engines.
We also discuss:
- The power of organic search (rather than paid search)
- How Google has become the kingmaker
- Why you must avoid at all costs being an invisible brand (online)
Lesson Two: Micro-Moments
These days, more Internet searches are made via mobile devices than by desktop. That change, which happened in 2016, has significant implications in terms of the types of content that consumers are now looking for online.
In most instances, shorter is better — and images and videos are more important than ever.
In this lesson, we discuss what Google calls “micro-moments” — occasions when consumers are looking for immediate gratification — and what sorts of content is most appropriate to fulfil those needs.
We also discuss:
- The search implications of “near me” queries
- why consumers buy local (and how you can shape your content accordingly)
- the times when appearing in Google’s Featured Snippets is a good idea (and when it isn’t)
- if/why size matters
- ideal durations of content
- most appropriate headlines
Lesson Three: Search Intent
As IgniteRock observes, your audience has a specific intention when they search online and it is up to you to meet that intent with your content.
When you are coming up with a content idea, put yourself in the mind of your audience and think about what they really want to see on your site. Then give them what they want.
In this lesson, we discuss how to identify exactly what audiences want (which varies, of course, depending on exactly where they are in their Customer Buying Journey).
We also discuss the ways that search intent varies between devices, especially if searches are generated using voice search (which tends to be much more conversational in nature) and how you can cater to those different needs.
Lesson Four: Overcoming Content Shock
As more and more marketers crowd into the content marketing space, eager to re-connect with their prospects, they’ve started flooding cyberspace with (often trivial and salesy) information, overloading their unfortunate recipients. This information overload has been dubbed “Content Shock”, and it’s a real problem for marketers trying to get noticed with real, valuable, relevant content.
In Lesson Four, we discuss how to navigate around content shock, and how to gain a better understanding of your audience in order to do so.
We also discuss:
- why people share
- the 22 types of content most likely to be shared
- the power of personalisation to cut through the clutter
Lesson Five: Visual & Video Content
Lesson Five is devoted to pictures, both moving and otherwise. In this lesson, we explore why visual content matters (especially to younger audiences) and share statistics that indicate that pictures are worth rather more than that legendary 1000 words.
We also discuss the dramatic increase in online video usage — driven by improved technology, unlimited Internet data plans and deliberate encouragement from the likes of Google and Facebook — and exactly what that means for the content you create.
Along the way, we talk about:
- style predictions
- making memories
- time spent with online video
Lesson Six: Mobile First
New Zealand has gone mobile with a vengeance — NZ smartphone penetration is nearly universal for the under 50s — and so has most of the rest of the world.
Google is in the process of switching its search index to mobile first: the search giant plans to reorder its rankings to evaluate websites based on how they load and look on mobile devices. From a content perspective, that means you need to consider how your content looks and feels on mobile devices.
We explore what that means in this lesson, including whether or not you should opt for accelerated mobile pages or even mobile apps.
Lesson Seven: Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence is now more pervasive than ever. Google now uses a suite of algorithmic AI routines (known collectively as RankBrain) to deliver most search results.
And AI-driven content is now nearly commonplace, with AI creating news and sports stories (based on templates) fed by results from sporting and other events (eg election results).
And then there are “chatbots” — steadily increasing numbers of automated programs that respond to common consumer queries with answers drawn from standard databases.
In this lesson we review the types of commonly available AI that can streamline your content marketing efforts, and examine the key attributes of effective AI.
Lesson Eight: Content Optimisation
The top priority of any content that you might create is that it is relevant to, and interesting for, your prospective audience.
The second priority, however, is that the content is optimised for the search engines (whilst not sacrificing any readability amongst human consumers).
In this lesson, we discuss what Google and Bing are looking for when they examine your content, and how that differs across text, images and video.
Lesson Nine: Accountability
Finally, as always, it comes down to money. Is the time and effort that you devote to content marketing delivering a decent return on your investment?
How do you track that? What metrics should you be measuring? We look at your options.
Then we consider what makes a successful content marketer.
And we close by reviewing content marketing trends for the near and slightly more distant futures.
WHO WILL BENEFIT FROM THIS COURSE?
Every Kiwi business wanting to promote and sell products or services online. If you want your customers to trust you, and buy products or services from you, you need to demonstrate your credentials by providing relevant, objective information first.
WHAT CUSTOMERS ARE SAYING ABOUT OUR COURSES
Here’s a sampling of the feedback we’ve received from those who’ve taken our courses:
- Thanks for an informative and interesting [Facebook Accelerator] course. Your presentation held a good balance of theoretical and practical information and was clear and simple enough for a non IT Facebook novice like me to follow. There are many ideas that I have gained that I will attempt to incorporate in the overall marketing plan my team is currently developing for our brand. Facebook can offer so much more than I thought as a medium for communicating with our current and prospective customers. Julie D
- I found this course fantastic, i started off knowing very little about facebook (just how to run my own personal page) to now having a thorough understanding of ALL the things you can (and there is a lot). The course format was great and allowed knowledge to be built up over time. Course length was great and this will definetly be something i come back to constantly as we develop our facebook pages more within my company. Aleisha H
- I have really enjoyed the course and the way it was structured. It was informative and interesting – liked the way you incorporated slide-shows, video, statistics and different forms of media to provide information. Lisa C
This course has been created and is tutored by Michael Carney, the principal of Netmarketing Services Limited.
Michael is a veteran marketer with an insatiable passion for whatever’s new, different, exciting or interesting in the world of communications (and especially in the digital space). Michael has been in the marketing game since 1971, online since 1987 — and can be variously described as a digital marketing trainer, adman, media director, strategist, researcher, copywriter, consultant, playwright and dad.
He is probably best known for his many years as Media Director of a number of leading NZ advertising agencies, including MDA Mackay King (now Saatchi & Saatchi) and HKM Rialto (since merged with Colenso BBDO). More recently he worked in strategic roles with MediaCom New Zealand and Grey Worldwide and was Strategic Planning Director for the Media Counsel before setting up Netmarketing Services Limited.
Michael is also the author of “Trade Me Success Secrets: How To Buy and Sell Effectively on NZ’s Favourite Auction Site”, now in its second edition.
This course begins on Monday 30 October, 2017.
This nine-part online training course is available for $597 +GST. However we offer an EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT of $100 +GST — pay just $497+GST for bookings received by the end of Monday 23 October, 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:
If you would prefer to pay by bank deposit, or require an invoice, please send an email to [email protected] with your requirements.
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
You’ll receive our emailed confirmation of your booking. Then on the first day of the course we’ll follow up with details of your Login and Password, along with an Enrolment Key for the Content Marketing online training course.
If you have any questions, or would like more information, please email us at [email protected]