Category Archives: search marketing

The Unfortunate Case of the Small Business Owner

unfortunate-small-business-owner

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yeah, nice dream, not gonna happen.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

INSIDE “CONTENT MARKETING 2017”

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

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

And:

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

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

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

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

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

Other topics that feature in this presentation include:

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Search Marketing presentation also looks at:

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

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

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

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

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

How to Get Found on Google in 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Another Google article provides even more specific advice:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In this example, information is clearly tagged and separated.

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

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

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

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

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

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

0-action-step

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

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

search-marketing-nz-2017

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

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

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

In this Search Marketing Trends presentation, to be published late July 2017, we’ll wax lyrical about a wide ranging collection of topics, including:

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

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

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

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

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

google-height

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Search Marketing presentation also looks at:

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

TO PRE-ORDER THE SEARCH MARKETING TRENDS PRESENTATION

The Search Marketing Trends presentation is due to be published in late July 2017, and will be available for $597+GST.

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

buynow

BILLING OPTIONS

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

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT

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

Marketing Insights NZ 2017 Presentation series

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

marketing-insights-2017-nz-presentation-series

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

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

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

1 NZ Consumer Trends 2017 (available NOW)

consumer-trends-nz-2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Other Shopping trends we review include:

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

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

Try these:

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

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

3 Content Marketing 2018 (to be published June 2017)

content-marketing-nz-2018

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

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

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

Here are some of the issues we feature:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Other topics that will feature in this presentation include:

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

Scroll down to order.

4 Search Marketing 2018 (to be published July 2017)

search-marketing-nz-2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

google-height

So how do you get chosen to be the answer to such a query? We explore the options.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Search Marketing presentation also looks at:

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

4 Influencer Marketing 2017 (to be published August 2017)

influencer-marketing-nz-2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

im-trends

How hot is Influencer Marketing, really?

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

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

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

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

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

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

In the Influencer Marketing NZ Presentation, we also examine:

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

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

 

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

online-video-nz-2017

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

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

video-by-device

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

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

In the presentation, we cover:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Other topics featured in this presentation include:

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

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

 

6 Messaging Apps 2017 (to be published October 2017)

messaging-nz-2017

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

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

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

The presentation covers:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Other topics that this presentation will cover include:

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

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

 

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