New Course: Social Media Marketing for Retailers and Online Sellers

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here’s what the new course covers:

Social Media Marketing Essentials Lesson One

Lesson One: Facebook

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

We look at:

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

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

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

And many many more.

 Social Media Marketing Essentials Lesson Two

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

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

In Lesson Two, you’ll learn about:

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

SMMROS-Lesson3-online-video

Lesson Three: Online Video

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

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

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

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

Along the way, we explore:

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

  SMMROS-Instagram-Lesson4-400

Lesson Four: Instagram

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

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

 Social Media Marketing Essentials Lesson Five

Lesson Five: Social Media Advertising

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

We also explore:

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

 SMMROS-Lesson6-pinterest

Lesson Six: Pinterest

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

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

In this lesson, we explore:

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

 SMMROS-Lesson7-google-plus

Lesson Seven: Google Plus

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

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

Social Media Marketing Essentials Lesson Eight

Lesson Eight: Community Management and Influencer Marketing

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

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

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

Social Media Marketing Essentials Lesson Nine

Lesson Nine: Tools, Tips & Measurement

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

In Lesson Nine, you’ll learn:

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

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

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

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

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WHAT CUSTOMERS ARE SAYING ABOUT OUR COURSES

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

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

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ABOUT US

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

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

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

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

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TIMING

This course begins on Thursday 02 November, 2017.

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INVESTMENT

This nine-part online training course is available for $597 +GST. However we offer an EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT of $100 +GST — pay just $497+GST for bookings received by the end of  Thursday 26 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:

sign up now

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

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?

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

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

5 Vital Search Marketing Strategies for 2017 & 2018

5 vital search marketing strategies for 2017-2018

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

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

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

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

As CopyBlogger points out:

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

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

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

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

2 Lack of Speed Kills

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

So what’s a “Mobile First” index?

Google explains:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AJ’s blunt conclusion:

If your mobile metrics suck, your rankings will suck

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

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

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

3 Focus on “Searcher Task Accomplishment”

According to Moz:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

4 The Surprising Importance of Google Image Search

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

Content-Performance-Rankings-cognitiveSEO

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

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

 

SPECIAL SEARCH MARKETING PRESENTATION FOR KIWI BUSINESSES

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

search-marketing-nz-2017

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

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

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

INSIDE “SEARCH MARKETING 2017”

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

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

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

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

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

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

google-height

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Search Marketing presentation also looks at:

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

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

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

sign up now

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

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

 

SEARCH MARKETING + CONTENT MARKETING SPECIAL OFFER

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

INSIDE “NZ CONTENT MARKETING 2017”

Here’s what the Content Marketing presentation covers:

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

And:

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

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

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

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

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

Other topics that feature in this presentation include:

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

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

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

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

Watch What You Say in Social Media

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

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

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

The BSA notes that:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

7 Reasons why Social Media Monitoring is Vital for Your Brand

social-media-monitoring

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

importance-of-social-listening

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

Here are 7 reasons why Social Media Monitoring is essential.

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

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

When you don't listen for complaints in social media

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

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

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

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

when you actively monitor social media for complaints and concerns

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

As David Alston of social monitoring software operators Radian6 notes:

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

3 You Can Listen for Expressed Needs

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

need-to-buy

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

4 You Can Keep Tabs on What’s Trending

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

twitter-trends

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

 

5 You Can Identify and Monitor Influencers

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

shannon

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

 

6 Get Early Warning of Potential Crises

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

crisis-early-warning

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

 

7 Collect Social Proof

Sometimes, people actually say nice things in social media.

best-restaurant-ever

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

 

What to Do When Things Go Bad

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

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

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

 

The Unfortunate Case of the Small Business Owner

unfortunate-small-business-owner

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yeah, nice dream, not gonna happen.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

INSIDE “CONTENT MARKETING 2017”

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

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

And:

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

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

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

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

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

Other topics that feature in this presentation include:

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Search Marketing presentation also looks at:

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

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

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

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

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

Facebook Takes Messenger Ads Global

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

fbmessenger

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ask a Marketer

ask-a-marketer

Struggling with marketing challenges for your organisation?

Marketing these days is more complicated than ever. How do you make sense of it all?

We can help, with our new “Ask a Marketer” service (in limited release – see below).

If you have any advertising or marketing questions, just ask us.

What sorts of questions can you ask?

Anything to do with advertising or marketing. Typical questions include:

  • How do I decide which customers to go after?
  • How do I get traffic to my website?
  • How do I build an email list?
  • How do I choose what products to sell?
  • How much should I spend on advertising?
  • How can I spend my marketing dollars most effectively?
  • I have a very limited budget, but my marketing needs an overhaul. What can be done?
  • Should I extend my brand to a new product?
  • How is email marketing different from traditional direct marketing?
  • What metrics should I be using to measure email effectiveness?
  • How important are “looks” when it comes to marketing communications, including web sites?
  • What’s the difference between a product feature and a product benefit?
  • I’ve got a new marketing initiative underway–how do I best prepare for its success?
  • How can I sell products directly online but still keep my retail partners happy?
  • I have a new product, but I don’t know how to price it. Where do I start?
    What should I include in a marketing plan?
  • How do I measure my marketing, especially considering I don’t have a large budget?
  • How do I determine the lifetime value of my customers?
  • I have a pretty limited search budget — should I spend it on Facebook Advertising or Google AdWords? Is one better than the other?
  • Is influencer marketing better than traditional online marketing?
  • How do I choose social media influencers to promote my products?
  • What types of content marketing will work best for my industry?
  • I’ve just been attacked on social media. What should I do?
  • I’ve been approached by a magazine about advertising in a feature on my industry. Should I take part?

And a million more, as specific to your industry or business as you wish.

Why you should ask us for marketing advice

We offer professional advice from a highly-skilled marketer with more than forty years’ experience in New Zealand advertising and marketing.

The Ask a Marketer program has been created and is administered by Michael Carney, Managing Director of Netmarketing Services Limited.

Michael is a longtime NZ marketer, employed in various marketing roles since 1971, online since 1987, involved with digital marketing since the mid-90s. He has worked on advertising campaigns for New Zealand companies across virtually every product and service category, and has been creating and tutoring online training courses in Digital Marketing since 2010. You’ll find Michael’s profile at http://linkedin.com/in/michaelcarney

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

Client Recommendations:

recommendations

 

How to Ask a Marketer

We offer two standard options with our “Ask a Marketer” service (and if neither suits you, feel free to email us at [email protected] and together we will develop the solution that’s right for you).

Option 1: Ask an individual question

You may have a particular issue that you believe would benefit from professional advice.

In that case you can choose this option.

We will give you an answer of up to 500 words for just $197+GST.

Our order form does allow you to purchase additional words (at $197+GST for every 500 words), if you believe that you need a more detailed response or if you wish to ask more than one question.

To purchase Option One, please click here to purchase by credit card via PayPal:
aam-single-sale

 

Option 2: Ask four questions a month

On the other hand, you may see an ongoing need for marketing advice. In this case, we recommend that you sign up for our ongoing “Ask a Marketer” service, which will enable you to ask up to four question a month, in return for a small regular subscription. We will send you weekly reminders of your participation in this program, responding to any questions you have asked.

Answers will be up to 250 words per question and our subscription fee is $197+GST ($226.55 including GST) per month.

To purchase Option Two, please click here to purchase by credit card via PayPal:
aam-subscription

Your credit card will be charged monthly on the same day of the month as your initial purchase, and you can cancel at any time.

 

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT

Whichever option you choose, your purchase will be confirmed by email within a few hours and you will be invited to respond with your question(s). Once we receive your question(s), we generally aim to respond within 24 hours (weekdays).

PS THIS IS A LIMITED RELEASE

As we noted above, this is a limited release. Because answering your questions requires direct, one to one customised responses, we only have a limited amount of time that we can devote to the “Ask a Marketer” program.

To ensure that you don’t miss out, we recommend that you sign up as soon as you can. We reserve the right to stop accepting new participants at any time.

 

 

5 Reasons Why Content is So Important for Marketers in 2017

Marketers consider that Content Marketing is one of the two most important trends impacting the future of marketing, according to a 2017 study by the University of Southern California’s Annenberg Centre for Public Relations. That’s the case in the US, but it’s also equally true down our way.

importance-of-content-marketing

So why is Content Marketing so important?

There are plenty of reasons why, but here are five of the most significant:

1 More and More Ads Are Being Blocked

Thanks to decades of interruption marketing, of mad men standing up and shouting at consumers, advertisers have well and truly worn out their welcome. As a result, consumers have retreated inside their shells. Their mailboxes are plastered with “no junk mail” signs, they MySky their way quickly through seemingly-endless TV commercial breaks, they loudly tweet their displeasure at Hyundai ads placed between hakas and live rugby and they hand out fake email addresses and erect filter fortresses to protect their real email inboxes.

Oh, and then there’s banner blindness, where consumers don’t even notice most online display advertising.

Now, AdBlocking is becoming a fact of life. Even Google is getting in on the act, adding an ad blocker to its Chrome browser in early 2018. The Independent notes:

“It’s far too common that people encounter annoying, intrusive ads on the web – like the kind that blare music unexpectedly, or force you to wait 10 seconds before you can see the content on the page,” wrote Sridhar Ramaswamy, Google’s senior vice president of ads and commerce, in a blog post.

“These frustrating experiences can lead some people to block all ads – taking a big toll on the content creators, journalists, web developers and videographers who depend on ads to fund their content creation.”

Google’s answer is to provide adblocking technology to screen out the unworthy ads.

Our answer is even simpler: content marketing. As Business2Community notes:

People want to block ads because most digital ads are useless, annoying or both. The promise of content marketing is to create helpful, audience-focused content that your audience actually wants to consume.

Content marketing is such a clear antidote to this battle between branded customer. Rather than continuing to give your customers something they’ve quite clearly stated they don’t want, give them something they do want. Help them. Extend the olive branch.

Create and distribute great content and you’ll never have to worry about ad blockers ever again.

 

2 SEO and Content Marketing are Converging

The truth is, SEO and Content Marketing have always been two sides of the same coin. If you’re using Google or Bing to search for something, the search engines will always be looking for content that meets those 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.

What has changed, or rather has evolved, is the 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 and Siri and Cortana (and Samsung’s new Bixby) are smart enough to understand what they 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.

3 Catering to Micro-Moments

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.

As you may have heard, today’s consumers have an even lower attention span than that of a goldfish. At least some of that can be attributed to the endless flow of data that we all must wade through in these difficult times. 140-character limitations on previous generation text messaging and Twitter can take their share of the blame, along with 6-second blipverts on YouTube and a constantly refreshing newsfeed on Facebook.

Whatever the cause, we now have to deal with the consequences. Can you sum up the essence of your content in one single sentence (or image)? That may be all to which your prospective audience is exposed, before they swipe their way to their next fix.

 

4 Whoever Rules Google Becomes the Authority

The traditional method of gaining pre-eminence in your industry tended to involve acquiring external qualifications, sitting on industry bodies and generally gaining acknowledgement through your peers.

So twentieth century! Nowadays, you can have as much authority as Google says you have. Provide content that meets the needs of prospects and customers as they proceed through the buying journey and Google will anoint you accordingly.

 

5 If You Can’t Be Seen, You Won’t Be Heard

How do people know you exist?

No, it’s not a metaphysical question but rather a commercial one. If you operate a retail business, with a desirable storefront location, then you will at least be visible to those who walk past.

Otherwise, your existence depends on your visibility to prospective and actual customers. They might hear of you through radio, television, magazine or newspaper advertising — but, more and more (as consumers spend around half their media time online) your visibility depends upon your online presence.

That, in turn, derives from the content you post to the Web, whether on your own website, on your social media channels, through other peoples’ websites or through online advertising.

By the way, if the content you are creating is irrelevant to prospective customers’ needs, either they will ignore you or Google will.

So are you creating content worth talking about?

IF YOU NEED ASSISTANCE WITH YOUR CONTENT MARKETING

(A) We can help (we handle content marketing on behalf of a select group of clients). Email michael (at) netmarketingservices.co.nz or phone 021 1493 403.

(B) We can review your content marketing needs, develop a content marketing programme and even train you and/or your team. Again, email michael (at) netmarketingservices.co.nz or phone 021 1493 403.

(C) To upskill yourself, grab our Content Marketing Trends presentation (details below)

 

SPECIAL CONTENT MARKETING PRESENTATION FOR KIWI BUSINESSES

To meet the demand for information about Content Marketing, we have just released the presentation NZ Content Marketing 2017. This is the newest presentation in our New Zealand Marketing Insights series, which began in May with our NZ Consumer Trends 2017 presentation.

We just wanted to let you know a little more about it.

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 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

 

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 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.

Facebook Hits 2 Billion Members

facebook-2-billion

Facebook just hit another major milestone – 2 billion members – less than five years after reaching 1 billion in October 2012.

In New Zealand, we contribute just 3.1 million of those members — not bad in the context of our population size, but a mere drop in the social network ocean.

So — have you mastered Facebook Marketing, now that the social giant’s presence is so significant and influential?

If not, check out our online training courses:

The Complete Facebook Marketing course: ratecard value $597+GST, with Early Bird Discount $497+GST

Facebook Accelerator course: ratecard value $497+GST, with Early Bird Discount $397+GST

Principles & Practice of Social Media Marketing course: ratecard value $497+GST, with Early Bird Discount $397+GST

Advanced Social Media Marketing course: ratecard value $497+GST, with Early Bird Discount $397+GST

Social Media Marketing Essentials: ratecard value $597+GST, with Early Bird Discount $497+GST

Click on any of the links for more details about each course and to book.

21 Reasons Why You Need Social Media Marketing Training

21-reasons-why-you-need-social-media-training

Too many businesses unfortunately seem to think that they can simply delegate their social media marketing efforts to a young(ish) staff member and then walk away.

“After all,” they reason, “these people grew up on social media. They already connect with their friends through Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and WhatsApp. Should be easy for them to run our social media marketing campaigns.”

Ummm, not so fast. Sure, it can work — but, far too often, it doesn’t.

Here, for your interest and edification, are 21 reasons why you and your team need training in the fine art of social media marketing:

First, as suggested by Business2Community:

1 Protect Your Brand

Training employees on the responsible use of social media protects the brand from employees sharing information (often unintentionally) that they shouldn’t have done about their work or the company.

2 Build Their Own Brand

If employees are able to build their personal brand online, they can establish themselves as thought leaders in a niche area that can help influence and educate potential buyers. By enabling employees to become ‘social’ with their own personal brand, you create a wealth of opportunities that you could only dream of with your brand channels.

3 Socially trained employees are more likely to share branded content

In my experience, when you educate employees on the importance of having a personal brand and building their network first, they are three times more likely to start sharing content than those that haven’t been given that context. By the time you introduce social sharing into the training model, employees will understand how this will impact their profile. They will have done the basic ‘profile’ updates. They’re in a place where they’re READY to start sharing and they know what to share, how often and to which channel. They are confident.

4 Socially trained employees will yield more impressions

Typically a trained employee will yield three times more social impressions per share than a non-trained employee and this is mainly because they have invested time in building their network first. I always emphasise the importance of building and nurturing a strong network around your personal brand. Once you’ve achieved this you’re ready to start sharing. For example, it makes no sense to jump into sharing content if you’re only connected to 20 people on LinkedIn.

5 Socially trained employees will increase your engagements

Naturally, if you’re gaining more impressions you will attract more engagements including likes, comments and shares. I’ve found that trained employees will generate anywhere between 30-50% more engagements than non-trained employees and this is because they know what kind of content works well on which network. They know how to encourage engagement.

6 Socially trained employees will generate more clicks

Marketing will understand the importance of this one because in the paid media world, every click costs dollars. In my experience, employees who share content generated 50% more clicks than when I shared the same piece of content via branded social channels. WOW!

Employees who were social media trained generated twice the amount of clicks than employees who weren’t trained.

This has a lot to do with making sure that the content is relevant for the employee’s personal brand and that it’s good content. Well written, full of useful insights and easy to read. Poor content won’t fly with your employees…or on any social channel for that matter.

PRSay adds several more:

7. Social media is a team sport

On social media, reach is a factor of engagement. The more people like, comment, retweet and +1 a share on a social network, the broader and further it travels. Posts that attract the most engagement are also the most visible. When someone interacts with a post on a social network, they do so in front of their online friends. If any of their friends engage, that message gets passed along. If you train the whole company and teach how to engage in company communications, the result is social media marketing at scale.

8. Policy isn’t enough

A social media policy is a critical component of any social media strategy. However, a policy only provides value if people actually read and understand it. “Probably as important as the policy itself is the training and the guidance that you give people around the policy. The best policy in the world is kind of useless if it sits on a shelf or it’s on your intranet and either people don’t look at it or really understand the nuances,” Daniel M. Goldman, general counsel at the Mayo Clinic, told me in a recent episode of the social media podcast On the Record…Online when discussing HIPPA compliant social media policies.

9. Official channels are less trusted

As much as digital natives have the impulse to share, most organizations have the impulse to channel communications through a public relations representative or their leadership. Now that everyone’s on social media, that strategy doesn’t work as well. Here’s why: there’s an increasingly wide gap between the degree of trust we have in institutions versus their leadership. It’s even wider for government than it is for business, and it shows that relying exclusively on CEOs and official spokespeople for external communications is a losing strategy. We trust subject matter experts more than the PR of the C-suite, research shows.

10. Industry leaders are tech savvy

Digital leaders in business outperform their peers in every industry. Businesses that invest in technology-enabled customer engagement and internal operations initiatives are, on average, 26 percent more profitable, and enjoy 12 percent higher market valuations, says a new report from CapGemini and MIT. Given the ease with which it enables collaboration, social media has the potential to supercharge customer and employee communications.

11. Training helps minimize employee turnover

Over the last two years, nearly half of all employers have had to deal with the misuse of social media by employees (or former employees). During that same period, nearly half of all employers have allowed access to social media sites at work, and these numbers are steadily rising. But less than one-third actually train personnel on the responsible use of social media at work, according to a recent report by Proskauer International. Providing access to social networks in the workplace without offering social media training is an ineffective way to achieve compliance.

Your colleagues are already using social media in the workplace to stay current on industry trends, collaborate with their coworkers, and to source and procure suppliers and service providers. Search tools and social media make it easier for them to get their jobs done. Why wouldn’t they take the shortest path to achieving their objective, and why wouldn’t you encourage them to do so? Remember, the by-product of all those online discussions is an arsenal of tweets, status updates and posts that become a trail of digital bread crumbs that lead back to you.

And Half a Bubble Out supplies four more:

12 Understanding Platforms

One thing that most people don’t understand is that there is a difference between business social media accounts and personal social media accounts. The back end looks different and the setup process is different as well. For people who aren’t trained or don’t have any experience with social media business pages, understanding this can be confusing. Since platforms constantly have updates and changes, business accounts need to be constantly monitored, have a strategy, have a planned message and be deliberate.

13 Strategizing for Goals

One of the best ways to improve your social media efforts is to strategize your message and actions before you do it. Then you can analyze the success of the strategy and make improvements from there. But everything that you do on social media should have a purpose. You might not have thought that social media training would include strategy, but this is important to an excellent social media presence.

14 Creating Relationships

Social media is great for creating engagement, and also for nurturing relationships on the different networks. These platforms can help build trust and credibility when you share helpful and relevant content to your followers. And most of your conversations are public, so how you handle situations and comments can speak loudly for your business.

15 Abiding by Guidelines

Every company should have different guidelines so the expectations are clear. If you have a light-hearted audience like we do at Half a Bubble Out, then posting a picture of our employees enjoying a glass of wine to celebrate the week would be appropriate. But this might not be appropriate for all businesses. Training your employees to use their best judgement and following these guidelines is crucial to keep the integrity of your brand.

Oh, and here are another half-dozen reasons that we wrote about, back in the day:

Social Media Warning Signs

Get yourself social media training fast if your business makes any of these mistakes:

16 Getting into an argument and insulting your customers and followers

It was the customer service disaster heard around the Internet. An Arizona restaurateur, fed up after years of negative online reviews and an embarrassing appearance on a reality television show, posted a social media rant laced with salty language and angry, uppercase letters that quickly went viral, to the delight of people who love a good Internet meltdown.

Amy & The Cakes #fail

17 Not replying to questions and comments on your social media platforms.

Too many brands simply ignore what’s being said to them, with entirely predictable results. This graph from SocialBakers shows which industries are the best (and worst) at responding:

socdevfb

18 All you talk about in social media is yourself

Only 10% of what you talk about in social media should be yourself and your own products or services. The rest of your discussions should be about things that matter to your followers. Don’t be like this Donut shop, constantly posting meaningless pictures of donuts and drinks to an audience that couldn’t care less (3416 followers but less than a dozen likes per image).

donut posts that nobody cares about

 

19 Nobody’s talking about you

As you may have heard, Facebook is dialing back its organic reach. What that means, in a nutshell, is that even if someone likes your Facebook brand page, it’s most unlikely that they will see your posts in their newsfeed. That means, to all intents and purposes, that you’re invisible to your followers — unless (a) you promote your posts to them; or (b) you write posts that are sufficiently interesting and engaging that they get shared by the few that do see them (and thus get out to a wider audience).

The Star Wars page on Facebook, for example, despite 11 million followers, was only averaging around 15,000 weekly talks — until May the Fourth (“be with you”), when interest surged and more than a quarter of a million people found Star Wars worth talking about again on Facebook.

May the Fourth Be With You

20 Everybody’s talking about you (but not in a good way)

Justine Sacco, head of public relations for UK media giant IAC, flew towards Africa in December 2013, blissfully unaware of the uproar caused by her final tweet before boarding her 12-hour flight.

Justine Sacco

Even though Ms Sacco had a mere 200 followers, the tweet went viral even while she was flying. Her tweet was universally condemned as racist, resulting in the hashtag #HasJustineLandedYet trending worldwide. Unsurprisingly, Ms Sacco lost her job, her former employer apologised profusely and several AIDS charities received donations from appalled twitterati.

 

21 You post too often (or too seldom)

How often should you post to your social networks? That depends on (a) your networks; and (b) your followers.

If you’re posting to Twitter, for example, and reaching out to a business audience, then posting (variations on the same information) at three-hour intervals during the business day is acceptable — very few will see more than one post, given the transient nature of Twitter.

On the other hand, posting to a consumer audience via Facebook should be less frequent, because posts are likely to linger more there. Take a look at your Facebook page Insights data and view “When Your Fans Are Online”.

when your fans are online

Post perhaps twice a day, at times that coincide with most of your fans being online.

fans online

 

Once you realise you need Social Media Training

We would be remiss if we didn’t point you to our range of social media marketing courses:

  • If you want a comprehensive overview of Social Media Marketing, its principles and its practices, start here
  • If you want a rundown of the various social media channels, check out our Advanced Social Media Marketing course here
  • If you already have a solid understanding of social media but need to keep up with the latest developments, check out our Social Media Marketing Essentials course
  • If you want to market your business on Facebook but don’t know how, our Complete Facebook Marketing course is the place to start
  • If you’re already active on Facebook but think you could be doing it better, our Facebook Accelerator course could be the one for you
  • If you operate in the B2B space, we strongly recommend you learn How To Use LinkedIn Effectively
  • If you plan to use social media but won’t be hands-on yourself, you should take a look at our course covering How To Prepare An Effective Social Media Brief