NZ Politicians Finally Discover The Information Superhighway

interwebs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Finally.

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

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

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

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

Are You FAILING in Social Media?

nz-biz-failing

Facebook and Other Social Media Can Be Highly Effective for Marketing …

… But Most NZ Businesses are Failing with Social Media

If you’re a Kiwi business, you need to read this NOW.

Unfortunately, too many businesses — in New Zealand, as elsewhere around the world — have the wrong idea about social media.

They spend most of their time on Facebook (and the other social networks) talking about themselves and their products.

If that’s you, sorry, you’ve got it wrong.

It’s called SOCIAL media for a reason.

Your followers are interested in a conversation, not a constant sales pitch.

THE REALITY

We track the performance of around 25,000 NZ Facebook pages on an ongoing basis.

More than two-thirds (69.5%) of those pages have NO engagement with 98% of their Facebook followers in a typical week.

Look at these three (sadly, all too typical) statistics for NZ businesses on Facebook. Hundreds and even thousands of followers, but hardly anyone’s talking:

Why no engagement?

Because too many posts are one-way broadcasts that get nobody talking or sharing, like this example:

victoria-khoss

Just 7 likes, and NO comments or shares, from a New York retailer with 7,088 Facebook followers!

(We’ve used an American example because we didn’t want to embarrass any of our local colleagues — but, as you’ll probably see from your own Facebook browsing, this is completely typical in New Zealand as well).

There is a solution.

Are Your Posts Actually Getting Seen by Your Followers?

Of course, we  shouldn’t ignore the elephant in the room — Facebook has dialled back on the percentage of your followers who will actually see your posts, with the result that (across the more than 25,000 NZ Facebook pages we track), on average just half a percent (0.55%) of those pages’ followers will engage with their posts.

Appalling? Yes. But YOU can do better.

In fact, our online training courses are all about teaching you how to use social media more effectively, so that you can dramatically improve on your performance on Facebook and other social networks.

Check out our online courses today:

Facebook Accelerator Programme
fba-banner

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

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

The Complete Facebook Marketing Course
completefb-banner

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

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

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

Social Media Marketing Essentials

Social Media Marketing Essentials

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

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

For those new to Social Media Marketing:

social-media-banner

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

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

For those who want to dig into Social Media Marketing in more detail:

advanced-banner-large

The Advanced Social Media Marketing online training course is designed to drill down into the specific details of the major Social Media channels, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, Google Plus and others.

For more details of the Advanced Social Media Marketing programme, please click here.

How to Prepare an Effective Social Media Brief
brief-banner

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

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

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

This is a seven-part online training eCourse providing a comprehensive introduction to LinkedIn, from the basics to detailed instructions on how to use LinkedIn to promote your organisation, build your personal reputation, find a job, recruit prospective employees and even make sales.

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

 

What You Need to Know About Using Video in Your Social Media Marketing

using video in your social media marketing

As you’ve probably heard, video is becoming more and more important for Social Media Marketing.

Want some numbers? Try these (from MediaKix):

  • Globally, traffic from online videos will constitute over 80% of all consumer internet traffic by 2020 (Cisco).
  • By 2019, the total U.S. digital video advertising spend is projected to eclipse $14 billionnearly 50% of that figure ($6.86 billion) is attributed to mobile video.
  • The number of videos published by U.S. users has exploded, increasing by 94% from January 2014 to January 2015. For international Facebook users, the increase in Facebook videos published is a still-impressive 75% annual growth rate (AdAge).
  • In November 2015, Facebook hit 8 billion video views daily (TechCrunch), doubling its figure of 4 billion from April just 6 months earlier. Each video view is counted after 3 seconds of watch time. At a linear rate, Facebook was expected to eclipse 16 billion video views by May 2016.
  • Facebook Videos have increased 360% across everyone’s News Feeds

And here are a few more stats, from Social Media Today:

  • One-third of all online activity is spent watching video
  • The average user is exposed to 32.3 videos in a month
  • 75% of online video viewers have interacted with an online video ad this month
  • 75% of executives watch work related videos on business websites at least once a week
  • 36% of online consumers trust video ads

So video is becoming more and more important in social media marketing. What does that mean for you?

We’ll tell you what that doesn’t mean: you can’t just add your TV ad to Facebook and call it a day. Sorry.

Unless you’re Air New Zealand, of course, and have the mighty All Blacks for your talent pool, in which case you can simply get three million people to watch and 67,000 to share your inflight safety video …

men-in-black

For us mere mortals, however, we’ve got to try a different angle.

Social Media Examiner offers up some timely advice:

#1: Produce the Right Video for Each Social Platform

Each social network has its own opportunity for video content. Before attempting to post videos on every platform, commit to mastering video on one or two networks first. You can easily incorporate video into your social media content by featuring your business’s best content for each platform.

Facebook

As a social media giant, Facebook is among the essential video platforms.

When you plan video content for Facebook, understand what Facebook viewers actually enjoy. Captions are essential to Facebook video because most Facebook users watch video without sound.

According to Digiday, almost 9-in-10 Facebook videos are consumed without sound, a signal that brands should consider producing video content that can still be engaging, even in silence (Facebook). To that point, Facebook found that adding captions to videos increases the watch time by 12%, on average.

captioned

Facebook users also enjoy live video. Facebook Live video is watched three times as much as regular video content and continues to gain popularity. Viewers expect live video to be less polished, so you can produce it without a big-budget production team.

live-olympics

Instagram

On Instagram, you can add video to your story or post video to your feed. With Instagram Stories, you can stream live video or post a 10-second clip. Either way, your video stays on your story for 24 hours. Videos posted to your Instagram feed can be up to 1 minute long.

Because Instagram limits video length, planning for brief videos is important. This emphasis on short videos is different from other social media video networks. On Instagram, make your videos captivating, quick to digest, and direct.

This directness applies to your Instagram captions, too. Ensure your call to action is clear and concise and your captions support the story in your video content, not compete with it.

ben-and-jerrys

Ben & Jerry’s are regular users of Instagram video, to mouthwatering effect

Twitter

Twitter’s feed moves quickly, making it hard for organic Twitter content to stick. But when Twitter video connects with users, it can spread far and wide.

Twitter recently made live video available in the app, so you don’t need to use or download Periscope. This move shows the demand for live video within the native platform and the general need for video content on social channels. In fact, a Twitter report revealed that 82% of users watch video content on the platform.

Because 90% of users view Twitter videos on a mobile device, make your Twitter content mobile-friendly and watchable on the average smartphone.

kors

A Twitter video that’s part of a campaign by Michael Kors

YouTube

YouTube is a better place for evergreen content than news or instant video. In fact, YouTube should be the place where your premium video content shines. Although the platform does have live video streaming, at the end of the day, quality execution is more important for YouTube, especially because videos on your channel can be recommended to users watching similar content.

YouTube marketing videos often have high bounce rates because they’re too boring or dry. To improve your YouTube marketing, pique curiosity through storytelling.

On YouTube, content needs to keep users engaged until your sales pitch or call to action arises. You don’t have to rush with your time limit, but you always have to consider social engagement.

most-engaging

The most engaging videos on YouTube in 2016, according to research from ListenFirst Media.

Focus on ways to educate your audience before you start shooting. Rushed and poorly edited videos will drive users to the Back button. However, high-quality video can hold users’ attention and drive traffic to your most important pages.

Snapchat

Just like Instagram, Snapchat is all about visual content. To increase video on this platform for your marketing, start by being active and producing plenty of content. Snapchat reports its users watch 10 billion videos per day, and Business Insider reports that active users spend an average of 25-30 minutes a day on the platform.

#2: Define Goals for Your Video Content

When you start to craft your video content strategy, you should first know the purpose of video for your brand. Is it aimed at increasing brand awareness? Is there an educational component? Are you going to be heavily promotional or produce newsworthy content?

Before getting started, think about what you want to gain from investing time and resources in creating video content. Some of the most important metrics to consider include:

  • Site traffic
  • View count (video plays)
  • Shares
  • Video completion
  • Brand awareness
  • Lead generation
  • Customer retention

After you establish your goals, plan what types of content you’ll create to achieve those goals. Don’t think about videos as one-off projects. Instead, think through campaigns and themes you’ll cover and test over time. No matter what approach you choose, be consistent.

#3: Develop a Consistent Theme or Format

Building on the last tip, it’s great to have a social video theme or common message to your content. When you know the purpose of your content and the style you’re pursuing, think of a theme you can use to inform your video content.

#4: Invest in the Right Equipment for Your Budget

Most brands wanting to produce social media videos are stuck because of one major reason: cost. Cameras, microphones, lighting, editing equipment, and actors can add up quickly. If you’re not careful, video can cannibalize your content-creation funds.

However, you can be money-conscious without sacrificing quality. For starters, try to do as much in-house filming as possible, because production companies can be costly. Check out rental options or even better, use your own devices. For example, this video explains how to create your own lighting setup for about $100.

Here are the essentials of shooting quality video for your company:

  • An affordable camera: Cameras on smartphones are just as powerful as some recording equipment. Don’t waste your money on a brand-new camera when you have something highly useful in your pocket.
  • Simple lighting kit: Great lighting is essential when you’re filming video. Try to invest in a standard lighting kit or build your own.
  • Quality microphone: If you’ve seen a low-budget commercial that makes you cringe, it likely had poor lighting and cheap microphones. Purchase a quality mic. Don’t use the built-in mic on your smartphone.
  • Tripod: Your video needs to be stable and clear. Luckily, several tripods are built to fit your smartphone.
  • Editing software: Several affordable or free video-editing software options are available. Smartphone apps like Videoshop and Splice give you essential editing functions.

Social Media Today tells us about video marketing trends that matter in 2017. We’ve singled out these two as being of particular note:

1. The Rise of 360-Degree Videos

A recent case study by Magnifyre revealed something noteworthy about the 360-degree video format – the average percentage of people who viewed a 360-degree video was 28.81% higher than for the same video in a non 360-degree format. The case study also showed that twice the number of viewers watched the 360-degree video to completion.

2. Videos Watched on Multiple Devices

According to a Think with Google report, 85% of adults ages 18-49 use multiple devices at the same time. It also reports that two thirds of YouTube users watch YouTube on a second screen while watching TV. This tendency to watch videos across several devices (including TV) will probably increase.

It’s Time to Upskill in Online Video Marketing

With all this stuff going on in online video (and this is only the tip of the iceberg), we reckon it’s way past time for Kiwi marketers to upskill themselves in video marketing.

We have two courses that directly address the topic:

Online Video Marketing - Short Course

As you’d expect given the name of this course, that’s what it’s all about. It’s a four-part short course designed to bring you up to speed on online video marketing.

For full details of our Online Video Marketing course, please click here.

Social Media Marketing Essentials

This course, on the other hand, covers online video as just one of its topics as it delves into the most important social media developments of 2017.

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

Solving Your Biggest Marketing Challenge

challenge5

Back in October, we asked you about your biggest marketing challenge.

A common issue was the problem of keeping up with what’s new in digital marketing (which changes all the time).

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

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

So, for a very limited time, we’ve created a very special ALL-ACCESS VIP PASS.

Sign up for one of these and you’ll get unlimited access to all our courses for the next 12 months. All our social media courses, our ecommerce courses, our online video marketing course, our TripAdvisor course and anything else we come up with between now and the end of March 2018.

ABOUT US

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Don’t just take our word for it:

Now let’s talk about the All Access Pass:

The pass offers you access to what will be a total of at least 14 courses (total value $5,558+GST), all for one low price – $1197+GST for individuals.  Access more than two courses and you’re already saving money!

all-access-individual-700

Just click here to sign up for our individual All Access pass for just $1197+GST:

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

 

CORPORATE SPECIAL OFFER

all-access-corporate-700

We are also offering a similar very special offer for Corporate Buyers. Sign up for an All Access pass for your organisation for just $3,197+GST and we’ll provide access to all of our courses for up to 5 of your team. That’s potentially more than $25,000 worth of training for a fraction of the cost.

Pay just $3,197+GST for an All Access Corporate Pass for up to 5 staff.

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

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

For those new to Social Media Marketing:

social-media-banner

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

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

For those who want to dig into Social Media Marketing in more detail:

advanced-banner-large

The Advanced Social Media Marketing online training course is designed to drill down into the specific details of the major Social Media channels, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, Google Plus and others.

For more details of the Advanced Social Media Marketing programme, please click here.

For those who want to upskill themselves on Social Media Marketing for 2017:

Social Media Marketing Essentials

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

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

Mobile Marketing course

mobile-header

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

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

Mastering eCommerce
ecommerce-banner

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

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

 

Facebook Accelerator Programme
fba-banner

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

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

The Complete Facebook Marketing Course
completefb-banner

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

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

How to Prepare an Effective Social Media Brief
brief-banner

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

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

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

This is a seven-part online training eCourse providing a comprehensive introduction to LinkedIn, from the basics to detailed instructions on how to use LinkedIn to promote your organisation, build your personal reputation, find a job, recruit prospective employees and even make sales.

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

 

Advanced Selling on Trade Me
trademe-banner

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For full details of this course, please click here

Online Video Marketing - Short Course

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

It’s well past time for you to upskill yourself in online video marketing.

That’s why we’re launching our newest short course on the topic.

For more details, please click here.

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

Don’t Post to Facebook at Weekends? Opportunity Lost

not-posting-at-weekends

If you’re like most organisations, you probably don’t post to Facebook — or indeed, any social medium — on Saturdays or Sundays.

Sadly, you’re missing out on the opportunity to engage with a large slice of your prospects and customers, while your competitors are snoozing their way through the weekend.

Mobile has changed everything

Sure, many people don’t go near their computers at the weekend. But did you know that the vast majority of consumers now access Facebook through their smartphones and tablets?

An incredible 1.74 billion Facebook users access the social network through their mobile device in a typical month (February 2017 data) — and more than a billion of us ONLY connect with Facebook via mobile.

And mobiles are always with us — and always on.

And, Facebook being where so many of peoples’ friends are, it’s easy to see why we spend so much time on our Facebook feeds, especially during the weekend when our time is not so taken up with work and other distractions.

 

Higher Engagement at the Weekends

So what exactly can you expect if you post at the weekends?

32% higher engagement, for one. Take a look at this data, drawn from a 2016 infographic summarising 16 research studies.

best-times-to-post-on-facebook

A 2016 study by Hubspot ranked 12-1 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday as one of the best three windows to post on Facebook.

That makes sense, of course, since life does still go on at the weekends. We still have things to do. But checking Facebook over (a later) breakfast and lunch is typical behaviour.

 

What Brands Actually Do at Weekends

This consumer behaviour isn’t new, of course — we’ve seen similar behaviour over the last seven years that we’ve been creating social media courses.

So have brands been paying attention?

Not enough, it seems.

Everypost shared the results of Marketing analytics firm TrackMaven analyzed 4,618 blogs published by brands over a year and evaluated which days of the week actually generated the most engagement across social media. Here is what they found, which may come as a surprise to social media marketers who focus mainly on posting content during the weekdays.

Average Posting Frequency by Day of the Week
Mondays: 17.2%
Tuesdays & Wednesdays: 18%
Thursdays: 17.9%
Fridays: 15.9%
Saturdays: 6.3%
Sundays: 6.8%

Average Social Shares by Day of the Week
Mondays: 12.5%
Tuesdays, Wednesdays & Thursdays: 14.1%
Fridays: 12.7%
Saturdays: 18%
Sundays: 14.6%

So what does this tell us? Even though most brands are posting content during the week, the 13% of posts that were published on Saturdays and Sundays actually generated the most social shares overall.

So here’s our recommendation: post at the weekends* (doh!), as well as during the week.

You’ll have less competition from other brands, and more engagement from consumers. Win win.

*You don’t actually have to be at your computer at the weekends. Social posting tools such as Hootsuite, and even Facebook itself, allow you to pre-prepare and pre-schedule your posts.

Are Your Posts Actually Getting Seen by Your Followers?

Of course, we  shouldn’t ignore the elephant in the room — Facebook has dialled back on the percentage of your followers who will actually see your posts, with the result that (across the more than 23,000 NZ Facebook pages we track, just half a percent (0.55%) of those pages’ followers will engage with their posts.

Appalling? Yes. But YOU can do better.

In fact, our online training courses are all about teaching you how to use social media more effectively, so that you can dramatically improve on your performance on Facebook and other social networks.

Check out our online courses today:

Facebook Accelerator Programme
fba-banner

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

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

The Complete Facebook Marketing Course
completefb-banner

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

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

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

Social Media Marketing Essentials

Social Media Marketing Essentials

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

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

Today Only: Save $200 on Any Online Training Course

Sorry, this promotion has now closed. But check out our courses for yourself and don’t miss our Early Bird Special Discounts saving you $100 on each course.

 

 

Why Ad Blockers Are A Very Real Threat – And What You Can Do About Them

600-million-devices-now-block-ads

If you’ve ever wondered if you should worry about Ad Blockers, the answer is now Yes.

The Next Web reports:

Last year, some 11 percent of all internet users globally used ad-blocking software to thwart digital advertising on their favorite websites. All told, that equates to approximately 600 million devices ranging from smartphones, to tablets, to desktop computers. This figure represents a 30 percent increase annually, according to a new report published by PageFair.

Closer to home, Marketing Magazine Australia confirms that the ad-blocking menace is well-represented down under as well:

Almost 30% of Australian consumers are now using ad blocking technology on one of their devices (IAB Australia and Pureprofile ‘IAB AdBlocking in Australia’, November 2016).

The same study also found ad blockers are used primarily on desktops and laptops, with only 6% of people having ad blockers on mobile devices (and, even then, the vast majority of time spent on mobile is in-app, where ad blockers don’t reach).

The fact that consumers want to avoid ads if they can is hardly new. All of us have plenty of personal experience with annoying, intrusive, irrelevant commercial messages. That’s why so many of us have “No Junk Mail” notices on our letterboxes, are on the “Do Not Call” register, use spam filters on our email and skip merrily through commercials thanks to Personal Video Recorders like MySky.

Ipsos UK did a study in 2016 to gain a better understanding of why consumers block ads. No surprises with the results:

Why-consumers-block-ads

Ad blocking technology, unfortunately, is a baby & bathwater approach – every ad is blocked, our own wonderful creations along with everybody else’s rubbish.

So, if you’re a marketer, what can you do about Ad Blockers?

1 Create better, more relevant ads

Research about Personal Video Recorders found that relevant, entertaining TV ads (particularly movie trailers and big brand story-type ads) were least likely to be skipped.

No, we don’t all have Hollywood- or Air-New-Zealand-sized marketing budgets, but we can still be creative on a shoestring — and, thanks to the many digital targeting tools available to us, we can really focus in on our target audience.

Yes, the 11% who are using ad blockers won’t see our ads — but the remaining 89% will, and if we can improve our performance with the majority, we won’t even notice the missing 600 million.

2 Consider Native Advertising

More and more publishers and marketers are turning to Native Advertising as a way to avoid the Ad Blockers.

So what exactly is Native Advertising? It is (says Wikipedia) a type of advertising, usually online but feasibly elsewhere, that matches the form and function of the platform upon which it appears. In the old days, we would have called it Advertorial.

The notion is simple enough: if your advertising mimics the style and format of the other content on a platform, the Ad Blockers have no way of identifying what is advertising and what is editorial.

That should do the trick, at least until the ad blocking companies develop AI that’s smart enough to tell the difference.

3 Connect With Influencers

As Shawn Fergus of Ambassador notes:

Word-of-mouth is perhaps the oldest and most effective type of marketing. Consumers are always going to react more positively to recommendations from people they know than they are to brands. Ad blockers are no match for referrals from those we trust. It’s why we rely on recommendations from advocates, be they customers, employees, partners or influencers.

Influencer Marketing is catching on, not just in response to Ad Blockers, but because the advent of Social Media has seen the rise and rise of Influencers whose utterances are treated like words of wisdom by the tribes (both big and small) that follow them.

NB For a whole lot more about Influencer Marketing, check out Lesson Eight of our Social Media Marketing Essentials course.

4 Implement Content Marketing

If you’re a B2B marketer, RUN, DO NOT WALK and find out more about Content Marketing.

Why?

Because 87% of B2B buyers now conduct their own research BEFORE they make any contact with potential suppliers.

What sorts of research? Prospects gather information about your product or service category, read white papers, watch slide presentations and videos and read reviews. All the while, they’re deciding exactly what product or service they need – and, through their research, determining exactly who should be on their shortlist.

If you’re not contributing meaningful thought leadership content, but are instead relying on advertising or cold-calling to carry your message to prospective customers, sorry, that’s no longer good enough. Just 3% of B2B sales now come from cold calls (DemandGen 2010).

You should be creating thought leadership pieces that shape prospects’ opinions as they go through their research processes. Through such contributions, you’ll be able to help define the agenda when prospects move into the buying phase — and you’ll also be establishing yourself as an expert, someone to add to the shortlist of possible suppliers.

We’ve created a sponsored Thought Leadership project for NZ marketers who provide marketing services to Kiwi businesses – and we invite you to join us.

It’s an opportunity to reinforce your position as a thought-leader in your category (and get seen by prospects for your products and services as they conduct their research).

Here are the details:

MARKETING INSIGHTS
from New Zealand’s Leading Marketers

As the title suggests, MARKETING INSIGHTS is a special report collecting advice and opinion from leading NZ marketing professionals, enabling them to demonstrate Thought Leadership in their category. This is a content marketing project featuring sponsored contributions from many of New Zealand’s leading marketers.

The first edition was published in May 2016 and you can download a free copy here.

Here are just a few of the unsolicited comments we received about the first edition:

  • What an amazing amount of information! Ian C, general manager
  • Some really insightful stuff in there! Really appreciate you sharing this with us. Aaron S. business development director
  • I found it an awesome read. Tony, senior account director
  • Really helpful info! Andre D, sales manager
  • Wow that’s a beast of a report! Lots to digest and looks terrific. Adrienne B, general manager sales and marketingThe second edition will be published in April 2017 and will be distributed free of charge in electronic form to a wide range of New Zealand marketing decision-makers, from small, medium and large organisations.

Topics which marketers are invited to contribute include:

Marketing Trends, Challenges & Opportunities in 2017

Marketing Insight topics

 

CONTENT PARTICIPATION

This is a sponsored Content Marketing project. Marketers are invited to sponsor an article on one of the above topics and provide 500-1000 words on the agreed topic. All topic selection is subject to availability at time of booking. Relevant images are welcomed (high-resolution please).

A fee of $1295+GST applies for each sponsored contribution, due March 31 2017. However this fee reduces to $995+GST for payment in full received by February 28 2017.

All sponsored articles will include:

  • Author Credit
  • A sponsorship box at the end of the article, featuring the name & logo of your organisation, along with phone, email and website details.

The article can be written on your behalf, based on the topic you choose and featuring any key copy points that you wish to specify. Writing fees are $400+GST for 500 words, $750+GST for 1000 words.

Limited advertising may also be available in the publication.

Topics shown above are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Other topics may be proposed by sponsors and will be considered by the publishers.

The booking deadline is February 28 (if you wish us to write the copy) or March 22 if you are providing complete copy.

DISTRIBUTION

This book will be distributed initially as an ebook, offered free of charge via email, to New Zealand marketing decision-makers on our 1600-strong marketing database, to 3000+ current and former participants in our online marketing courses, and also via marketing blogs and social media and through participating industry associations and trade media. It will also be made available to members of at least a dozen NZ LinkedIn business and marketing groups with a combined membership of more than 50,000 Kiwi business people.

The ebook will also, of course, be available for contributing sponsors to distribute freely to clients and prospects.

To participate, email us at michael (AT) netmarketingservices.co.nz

7 Social Media Pitfalls to Avoid in 2017

pitfalls

Social Media Marketing can be a disaster just waiting to happen.

If you’re not careful, Social Media can be a forum for very public brand failures. Even veteran marketers have been known to stumble.

So what can you do? Take a note of these 7 social media pitfalls to avoid.

Firstly, as suggested by Bower Web Solutions:

1. Using a hashtag without understanding what it really means

After the Twitter hashtag, #WhyIStayed, began trending in order to promote awareness and speak out against domestic violence, Digiorno Pizza tweeted this…

pitfall1

ALWAYS do your due diligence on the significance and purpose of hashtags before trying to use them in your post. This is one of the more offensive social media pitfalls- pay attention!

2. Poorly relating or being insensitive to holidays and special events

Often companies create cheesy posts for holidays that are ineffective. However, sometimes they can be extremely offensive if they do not respect the meaning of the holiday. In the example below, where an advertiser sought to leverage Martin Luther King day for commercial purposes, the post was outright ignorant and a Facebook user shamed this as another one of the worst social media pitfalls.

pitfall2

3. Using images without fully knowing their source and meaning

To celebrate July 4th, American Apparel posted a picture their social media administrator believed to be a cloud or some type of firework, but in reality was a picture of the Challenger exploding.

pitfall3

4. Faiing to respond to and resolve customer feedback

Smuckers has donated and supported the production of GMO crops, which they use in some of their products, and received questions from their followers on their Facebook page about it. Instead of responding to the post and explaining their position and belief on the situation, they resorted to deleting the negative posts and in turn created an uproar on social media. One of the easiest social media pitfalls to fix is to simply be nice in your comment section.

pitfall4

5. Only talking about yourself and your products

The purpose of your business for utilizing a social media platform should be deeper than simply adding another medium for generating business sales. It should be a way for you to create truly loyal fans and followers, by giving them an insider’s look into your company. Below is an all too common example of businesses’ social media accounts that lack a deeper purpose and are therefore ineffective.

pitfall5

10 likes from 1,459,815 page followers

Circles Studio adds:

6. Having an intern or assistant do it all

While it’s fine for interns to help execute your social media, it’s vital that there is someone from management that is driving the strategy, planning and content. If not, then your social media marketing can quickly become unaligned with your brand. Just like you wouldn’t send an intern alone to a tradeshow or press conference, you shouldn’t have them posting content online without strategic guidance and oversight.

pitfall6

7. Not engaging with followers

Social media should not be a one-way street. To be successful and build a following that matters, you have to be social! Share others’ posts on Facebook. Ask questions. Answer questions. Retweet. Share articles. Thank people for retweeting your posts. Repin. Like others’ posts. These are all ways to be involved in social media. The more engagement, the better; so don’t forget the social in social media!

pitfall7

Such are the common pitfalls of Social Media Marketing.

If you want to know what you should do in social media marketing, take a look at our online training courses, which will help you to succeed in Social Media.

For those new to Social Media Marketing:

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

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

For those who want to dig into Social Media Marketing in more detail:

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The Advanced Social Media Marketing online training course is designed to drill down into the specific details of the major Social Media channels, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, Google Plus and others.

For more details of the Advanced Social Media Marketing programme, please click here.

For those who want to upskill themselves on Social Media Marketing for 2017:

Social Media Marketing Essentials

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

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

We also offer detailed courses about Facebook and LinkedIn – see the listings under “eCourses” in our top menu.

Is Facebook Working for You?

is-facebook-working-for-you

It’s New Zealand’s most popular social network, with more than 2.5 million monthly Kiwi visitors (Nielsen Online Ratings September 2016), but Facebook isn’t necessarily meeting the marketing needs of NZ businesses.

For the last several years, Facebook has been dialing back on what’s called Organic Reach — the percentage of your followers who actually see what you’ve posted on your Facebook page.

According to our latest analysis, in January 2017 on average just 0.46% of NZ Facebook followers – less than half a percent – were engaged with posts on pages they follow.

Look Who’s Not Being Talked About

Of the 23,859 NZ Facebook pages in our January 2017 sample:

  • 8,260 pages (34.6% of our total) had no-one talking about them
  • 8,622 pages (36.1%) had between 1 and 10 people talking
  • 3,653 pages (15.3%) had between 11 and 50 people talking
  • 1,205 pages (5.1%) had between 51 and 100 people talking
  • 835 pages (3.5%) had between 101 and 200 people talking
  • 597 pages (2.5%) had between 201 and 500 people talking
  • 274 pages (1.1%) had between 501 and 1000 people talking
  • 318 pages (1.3%) had between 1001 and 5000 people talking
  • 53 pages had between 5001 and 10,000 people talking
  • 20 pages had between 10,001 and 20,000 people talking
  • 19 pages had between 20,001 and 100,000 people talking
  • 3 pages had more than 100,000 people talking: NZ Herald, Stuff and Hokonui

So how are you doing? Want to do better? We can help.

Want better engagement with your followers? Check out our Facebook online courses today:

Facebook Accelerator Programme
fba-banner

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

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

The Complete Facebook Marketing Course
completefb-banner

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

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

How To Create Effective Facebook Posts

Creating Effective Facebook Posts

How To Create Effective Facebook Posts

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

So we’ve created a four-part online training course that tackles this problem head on, identifies the secrets of effective Facebook posts and shows you exactly what you need to do to stand out on Facebook.

For more details of the How To Create Effective Facebook Posts short course, please click here.

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

Social Media Marketing Essentials

Social Media Marketing Essentials

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

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

Can You Answer These 7 Digital Marketing Questions?

digital-marketing-questions

So how knowledgeable are you about what’s happening in digital marketing in New Zealand?

Here are seven questions to test your digital marketing knowledge:

1 Which is expected to grow more strongly in NZ in 2017, digital or non-digital spend?

2 What are Facebook Instant Articles and why are they important?

3 What are the names of the digital voice assistants belonging to Apple, Google, Microsoft and Amazon — and which was the one most in evidence at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas?

4 Snapchat recently released what new type of video?

5 Who recently purchased LinkedIn and how much did they pay?

6 How many Kiwis belong to Facebook, according to their latest membership data?

7 There are now at least 600 million AMP pages on 700,000 domains. But what exactly is AMP and what does it do?

(Email us with your answers at info (at) socialmedia.org.nz — all correct answers will go into a draw to win a free course)

 

PS If you feel you’re falling short, upskill yourself in Digital Marketing for 2017 with our online training courses – SAVE $100 with our Early Bird Rates

Available Courses

 

Here are the current courses (click on the links for more details about each course):

SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING COURSES

Social Media Marketing Essentials

Social Media Marketing Essentials

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

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

 

Advanced Social Media Marketing course
advanced-banner-large

This course is designed to drill down into the specific details of the major Social Media channels, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, Google Plus and others.

For more details of the Advanced Social Media Marketing programme, please click here.

Facebook Accelerator Programme
fba-banner

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

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

The Principles & Practice of Social Media Marketing
social-media-banner

This is a seven-part eCourse providing a comprehensive introduction to Social Media Marketing, from the Basics to detailed instructions on how to build and run a Social Media Marketing programme.

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

The Complete Facebook Marketing Course
completefb-banner

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

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

How to Prepare an Effective Social Media Brief
brief-banner

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

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

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

This is a seven-part online training eCourse providing a comprehensive introduction to LinkedIn, from the basics to detailed instructions on how to use LinkedIn to promote your organisation, build your personal reputation, find a job, recruit prospective employees and even make sales.

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

How To Create Effective Facebook Posts

Creating Effective Facebook Posts

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

So we’ve created a four-part online training course for New Zealand organisations that tackles this problem head on, identifies the secrets of effective Facebook posts and shows you exactly what you need to do to stand out on Facebook.

For more details of the How To Create Effective Facebook Posts short course, please click here.

ONLINE VIDEO MARKETING COURSE

Online Video Marketing - Short Course

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

Remember the old cliche that a picture is worth a thousand words? According to an estimate by Dr James McQuivey of Forrester Research, one minute of video is equal to 1.8 million words.

So let’s cut to the chase.

It’s well past time for you to upskill yourself in online video marketing.

That’s why we’re launching our newest short course on the topic.

For more details of the Online Video Marketing course, please click here.

 

ECOMMERCE COURSES

ecommerce-banner

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

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

Advanced Selling on Trade Me
trademe-banner

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

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

MOBILE MARKETING

mobile-header

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

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