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:

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.

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.

Air New Zealand Hits One Million Mobile App Downloads

Air-NZ-one-million-mobile-app-downloads

If you’re looking for impressive local numbers in the mobile app space, look no further than the nation’s flag carrier, which just chalked up a massive download total.

Air New Zealand’s mobile app is proving a hit with customers, clocking up its one millionth user download in late January. At the same time, the app’s popular coffee ordering function has just registered its two millionth coffee order.

The ability to order a coffee from the app while visiting many of the airline’s lounges was added in 2014, and is one of the app’s most used features. The app remembers the customer’s coffee preference and invites them to order a coffee at the touch of a button whenever they enter the lounge. The customer receives another mobile alert when the coffee is ready to collect from the barista. Of the two million orders placed to date, almost half were for Flat Whites.

Air New Zealand Chief Digital Officer Avi Golan says a million downloads is an important milestone for the airline which is very focused on delivering great mobile experiences for customers.

“We first launched our mobile platform in 2008, then relaunched in 2013 with enhanced functionality, and have continued to add new features as we build up its functionality.

Customer satisfaction with the app is high. Customers who participated in research groups told us they use it almost every time they fly with us, with many commenting about how it makes travel easier,” Mr Golan says.

Air New Zealand’s mobile app offers a range of features to enhance the check-in, lounge, and boarding experiences for customers, including the ability to check-in for flights, manage bookings on the go, track Airpoints balances and receive real-time flight information.

Mr Golan says customers can look forward to the airline continuing to evolve and develop the apps it offers to further enhance their travel experience – not only to manage their bookings and at the airport on the day of travel, but also earlier in the dreaming and planning phase.

In 2015, Air New Zealand also became one of the first airlines in the world to launch an app for the much anticipated Apple Watch. The airline’s app is also now available on Android Wear. These versions of the app allow customers to receive real-time flight information and notifications on their device. They also offer the ability to order coffee at certain lounges and act as an electronic boarding pass.

Congratulations, Air New Zealand.

mobile-header

And as for other NZ marketers: if you’d like to do better in the Mobile App space, may we recommend that you take a look at our Mobile Marketing online training course. It’s way past time for you to get active in the Mobile space.

Five Tips to Make Your Marketing Headlines More Effective in 2017

the power of headlines

Long ago and far away, advertising legend David Ogilvy pointed out the importance of headlines, declaring “when you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar“.

The point that Mr Ogilvy was making is that 80% of the value of an advertisement (or indeed any article or story) is in the headline. If you don’t catch a reader’s attention and interest then, you’ve lost the bulk of your audience.

Mr Ogilvy was writing in a pre-Internet world. Nowadays, we have cascades of data showing us the relative importance of powerful headlines.

For example (per Moz):

Traffic can vary by as much as 500% based on the headline: According to Upworthy co-founder Peter Koechley, tests show that traffic to content at Upworthy can vary by as much as 500% simply because of the headline. “The headline is our one chance to reach people who have a million other things that they’re thinking about, and who didn’t wake up in the morning wanting to care about feminism or climate change, or the policy details of the election,” he said.

And the New York Times shares the results of some of its headline split-testing:

The Times is using a tool that allows us to simultaneously present two different headlines for the same article on its home page. Half of readers on the page see one headline; half see the other. The test measures the difference in readers clicking on the article and lets us know if the numbers are statistically significant. If so, the winning headline goes on the home page for all readers.

And so, for a short while on March 15 [2016], one reader might have seen this:

$2 Billion Worth of Free Media for Trump

While another saw this:

Measuring Trump’s Media Dominance

Any guesses on which won the test, and by how much?

The top one got nearly three times as many readers, which underlines the crucial role of headlines in the digital age.

A story might be 1,000 words long, but tweaking the tiny handful of words that promoted this one on our home page gave us 297 percent more readers.

In other cases, headline tests have increased readership by an order of magnitude.

When this:

Soul-Searching in Baltimore, a Year After Freddie Gray’s Death

was paired against this:

Baltimore After Freddie Gray: The ‘Mind-Set Has Changed’

The test showed a 1,677 percent increase in readership for the second one.

More power to the headline, then.

So what can you do about improving your headlines?

Well, in our own headline we promised five tips to make yours more effective, so let’s dive right in:

  1. Use Numbers (and make them Odd Numbers)

    According to the book “Top 100 Growth Hacks” by Aladdin Happy (2015), headlines with numbers are twice as likely to generate clicks vs. “how to” headlines, according to research by Conductor. And a study of 150 000 headlines revealed that odd-numbered headlines have a 20% better Click-Through Rate (CTR) than headlines with even numbers.

  2. Use Brackets

    In an analysis of over 3 million headlines, Outbrain found using [brackets] in a headline bumped up CTR by 38%.

  3. Consider These Top Five Headline Types

    Moz analyzed a large sample set of headlines across multiple online publications and social networks to determine if there are general ways in which headlines are written. Moz determined there were five high-level headline types:
    Normal (Ways to Make Drinking Tea More Delightful)
    Question (What are Ways to Make Drinking Tea More Delightful?)
    How to (How to Make Drinking Tea More Delightful)
    Number (30 Ways To Make Drinking Tea More Delightful)
    Reader-Addressing (Ways You Need to Make Drinking Tea More Delightful)

    These were their results:
    headline-analysis

  4. Be Careful with Superlatives

    Moz also tested respondent tolerance for superlatives in a headline, showing consumers several different headlines that had between 0 and 4 superlatives in the headline and asking them to pick their favorite:The 27 Ways to Train a Dog (0 superlatives)

    The 27 Best Ways to Train a Dog (1 superlatives)
    The 27 Best Ways Ever to Train a Dog (2 superlatives)
    The 27 Best Ways Ever to Train a Perfect Dog (3 superlatives)
    The 27 Best and Smartest Ways Ever to Train a Perfect Dog (4 superlatives)

    The data shows more than half of respondents (51%) like the understated approach, preferring to click headlines with 0-1 superlatives. Interestingly, tolerance for superlatives tailed off until the headline packed with 4 superlatives, which had a full quarter of respondents stating they preferred it. These findings suggest readers prefer an understated approach or that the author shoot for the stars and tell the reader in strong terms why their content is worth reading, but the middle ground is to be avoided.

    superlatives

  5. Follow the advice of The Times of London (who know a thing or two about headlines)

Are You Getting Value for Money for Your Sponsorships?

getting-value-for-money-for-sponsorship

A quick quiz. Think of your own favorite sport — the one you try to watch most often. How many sponsors of that sport can you name?

Now, for each sponsor you can remember, ask yourself these questions:

  1. Apart from the fact that they sponsor this sport, what else do you know about them? Has the fact that they sponsored your favourite sport affected your view of them? Made you think of them more often? Kept their name and brand in your mind? Have you become “a raving fan” of their product(s)?
  2. If you’ve purchased a product or service in their product category in the last twelve months, did you choose their brand? If so, was it (at least in part) because of their sponsorship? If not, why not?
  3. Do they use the sponsorship as a means of interacting with you and/or keeping in touch?

In those three areas of questioning, we’ve pretty much encapsulated the core benefits that sponsors should be seeking from sponsorships:

  • Brand & Product Awareness
  • Direct Sales (or sales influence); or
  • Customer Relationship building.

 

What Do Sponsors Want?

Research (the IEG/Performance Research Sponsorship Decision-Makers Survey), drawing from 165 sponsorship decision-makers around the world provides some interesting insights into sponsorship.

These are the key findings:

Which category do you expect your company to be more involved with this year?

  • 41% of the respondents cited Sports
  • 27% Causes
  • 27% Community Events
  • 23% Online sponsorship
  • 16% Entertainment
  • 12% The Arts

And less?

  • 26% Entertainment
  • 20% Online sponsorship
  • 21% The Arts
  • 15% Community Events
  • 12% Sports
  • 10% Causes

How do you typically go about selecting a property to sponsor?

  • 75% set strategy and then sought the right property
  • 73% were approached directly by property owners.
  • 28% received details about a sponsorship property from a sales agency
  • 13% consult a sponsorship specialist to determine strategy

What percentage of your marketing budget is spent on sponsorship?

  • 43% – 1-10% of the budget
  • 26% – 11-20%
  • 15% – 21-30%
  • 7% – 31-40%
  • 7% – 41-50%
  • 3% – 51-75% of the budget

On top of the rights fees paid for your sponsorship, what is the ratio as to how much more your company typically spends on leveraging and activation?

  • 17% – less than 1 to 1
  • 48% – 1 to 1
  • 14% – 2 to 1
  • 12% – 3 to 1
  • 9% – 4 to 1 or more

During the past 12 months, which of the following marketing communication channels have you used to leverage your sponsorship programs?

  • 90% social media
  • 77% public relations
  • 76% on-site interaction
  • 71% traditional advertising
  • 67% hospitality
  • 66% digital/mobile promotions
  • 65% internal communications
  • 41% direct marketing
  • 40% business to business
  • 28% sales promotion offers

What do you consider the most valuable benefits to your organisation?

  • 64% Category Exclusivity
  • 54% On-Site Signage
  • 45% Broadcast Ad opportunity
  • 43% ID in property collateral materials
  • 41% Title of Proprietary Area
  • 39% Sponsor ID in Property’s Media Buy
  • 38% presence on property website
  • 36% Access to Property’s Database
  • 31% right to use propertyy marks/logos
  • 23% Access to Property-provided research

Which of the following do you typically analyze when making your sponsorship decision?

  • 92% Demographics
  • 82% Attendance
  • 73% Fan passion/affinity
  • 50% What your competition sponsors
  • 49% Psychographics
  • 49% Growth trends in property category
  • 42% Interest in the property amongst trade/dealers
  • 36% TV Ratings

The above data gives some useful insights if you’re planning to get involved in sponsorship. But (especially if you’re being constantly approached for sponsorship dollars) we reckon you need more. So we’ve come up with a tool to help you reach some useful and meaningful conclusions about prospective sponsorship proposals. We’ve even given it a snappy name:

Sponsorship Evaluation Checklist

We’ve put together a comprehensive 60-Step Checklist that leads you through the process of evaluating potential sponsors, whether for sports, arts, cause-related, online or community-interest properties.

Here’s a sampling of the issues you need to consider as part of any sponsorship assessment:

  • Alignment of brand values: looking at the big picture, would being associated with this sponsorship send the right messages and make consumers more rabidly enthusiastic about your brand?
  • Audience reach: even if the sponsorship property is a really good fit with your brand, does it reach enough people for the money?
  • Sponsorship levels: will you be the top dog in this sponsorship, or at a lower (associate sponsor) level — and how does that impact on your ability to get noticed and leverage the sponsorship?
  • Consumer profiling: what can the organisers tell you about the people who support this property (and how do they know)?

There’s a whole lot more, but for that you’ll need the Checklist.

The What Sponsors Want Report, plus the Sponsorship Evaluation Checklist (provided as a download in PDF format) is yours for just $77+GST. If you’re considering any sort of sponsorship, you you really should get this Checklist. Click on this link for instant ordering via PayPal.

Are You Making These Facebook Marketing Mistakes?

facebook-mistakes

Just how well are YOU really doing on Facebook? Are you making classic mistakes like these:

1. Too much self-promotion

Do your Facebook posts only talk about You, You, You?

As Jeff Bullas notes:

It is okay to share your achievements with your loyal followers but you should never overdo it. If you are not offering value to your visitors or are not providing them with the information they are looking for, you’re missing out a lot. People spend time on Facebook to get entertained, inspired and interact with like-minded people. So in order to promote your brand, you should find innovative ways that inspire visitors and give them a reason to connect.

If you become too promotional, you will soon see the ‘Likes’ turning into ‘Dislikes’.

Here’s a typical example, from Acer Australia & New Zealand:

acer

The local page has more than 50,000 total likes, but this post (a typical recent example) could only attract one thumbs-up.

We’re not picking on Acer — it’s just a typical big brand example, seeing Facebook as yet another broadcast mechanism rather than a chance to interact with customers.

 

2.  Being Boring or Predictable

As Leyl Master Black observes:

When they’re thinking about marketing, some business owners forget that Facebook is a social place where people share things they find funny, interesting or useful with their friends. Think about what kind of content your fans would actually want to share when planning your posts.

Peter Shankman, social media consultant, entrepreneur and author of “Customer Service: New Rules for a Social Media World”, also cautions against becoming too predictable. “Status updates by themselves get boring. But then again, so do photos, videos and multimedia as a whole. Your job is to mix it up. The moment you become predictable, boring or annoying, they’ll hide you from their feed. So keep it varied and personal—a video here, a photo here, a tag of one of your fans here.”

Creating too much “filler” content by auto-publishing content from your blog or Twitter feed can also derail your efforts. Joseph Manna, community manager at Infusionsoft, recommends using Facebook’s native publishing tools to gain the most benefit from Facebook.

“Whatever you do, don’t automate everything,” says Manna. “It’s nice to ‘set and forget,’ but the risk is two-fold: publishing systems sometimes have issues, and Facebook places low-priority on auto-published content.”

Here are a couple of GOOD examples of a local driving school changing things up and providing interesting content while still staying relevant to their product category:

alert1

And:

alert2

Some more common mistakes, as identified by Dummies.com:

3. TLDR

A study by BuddyMedia found that status updates of less than 80 characters received a 27 percent higher reaction than longer updates. This makes sense when you think about how you use Facebook and how fast the News Feed flies by.

Too Long:

too-long

Posting lengthy paragraphs as a status update is like giving your Facebook fans homework. On the other hand, short updates such as questions and short polls get a higher reaction simply because the barrier to participation is very low.

Much better:

cancer2

4. Ignoring Comments

Facebook fans are people, like you. If they make the effort to leave a comment or reply within a thread on your Facebook Page, they want to know that you’re listening. Pages that consistently ignore posts by fans aren’t as successful as Pages that participate in comment threads. Fans are less likely to return if they don’t feel heard.
The other reason why you want to reply to posts from fans is that Facebook sends that fan a notification, bringing him back to your Page!

Here’s an unfortunate  Twitter example (dating back to 2013 and hopefully resolved these days) of customer service only during working hours:

wpid-baa-2

Need help to avoid these Facebook mistakes? Check out our Facebook online training courses:

Facebook Accelerator Programme
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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
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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.

Avoid these Marketing Mistakes in 2017

marketing-mistakes-to-avoid-in-2017

So here we are in 2017, plunging ahead and (for many of us) starting to make marketing plans for fiscal 2017/2018.

Just because it’s a new year, however, doesn’t mean that we are any more likely to have a trouble-free time than we were in 2016.

In the interests of helping you minimise the common problems that we all face, here are a few pitfalls to avoid (thanks to Business2Community.com for the thoughtstarters):

  1. Spreading yourself too thin
    Don’t try to be all things across all digital media. Focus, first and foremost, on the media most used by your target market.
  2. Not tracking your results regularly
    If youre not looking at your analytics on a regular basis, you’ll have no way of knowing if your digital marketing efforts are working as well as they should. How often you should check the numbers depends on your own particular circumstances — but we recommend at least weekly.
  3. Not posting regularly
    If youre using social media to reach out to your customers and prospects, then not having a plan, or posting inconsistently, is a mistake. Posting too much will lead people to stop following you. Not posting enough will leave people out in the cold because they will not know what’s going on. So, how often should you post? That’s up for you to decide for your own business, however, here are some general recommendations:
    • Facebook: 1-2 times/day
    • Twitter: 5-6 times/day
    • Pinterest: 5-6 pins/day
    • Instagram: 1-3 times/day (depending on your business)
    • LinkedIn Company Page: 3-5 times/week
    • Snapchat: TBD based on your business type
  1. Not Staying Up with the Latest Social Media Developments
    Social media is ever-evolving. Platforms change. Rules change. You cannot rely on articles and advice from two years ago. What everyone was suggesting in 2015 honestly is not applicable in 2017. When you seek advice or look at articles on Google, make sure to check the date of the article or source.

This last concern is probably why we’re seeing so many people signing up at the moment for our new SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING ESSENTIALS course.

One of the biggest challenges for Kiwi marketers (as they told us in a recent survey) is keeping up with the constant changes in digital marketing.

To help, we’ve just released a new online training course which will bring you up to speed with the latest happenings in Social Media Marketing.

Are YOU ready to succeed with Social Media Marketing in 2017?

To succeed with Social Media, and to do so consistently, requires an effective, repeatable system that you can use time after time, post after post, to get noticed and liked and shared.

That’s why we’ve put together our latest course, SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING ESSENTIALS, a step by step guide to the main social media networks, their newest features and what you need to do to succeed in social.

Social Media Marketing Essentials

Why this course? Why now?

We’ve been training Kiwi marketers in Social Media Marketing since 2010 (based on the knowledge we’ve gained over forty-something years in marketing and more than twenty years of digital marketing).

We’ve developed this new course because we see a desperate need for continuing digital education as social media continues to evolve. In fact, respondents to a subscriber survey we ran recently told us that their biggest challenge is simply keeping up with the constant changes in digital marketing.

Here’s what this new course covers:

Social Media Marketing Essentials Lesson One

Lesson One: Facebook

In Lesson One, we provide a simple, straightforward guide to what’s new, what’s different and what’s important on Facebook. The social giant’s teams are constantly hard at work developing and evolving their offerings. Here’s where you’ll find out what’s fresh, what’s tired and what’s expired.

In this lesson, we talk about:

  • the massive impact of Facebook video and how organisations are optimising video creative for the social experience
  • native advertising and its growing importance in social in a mobile, ad-blocking world
  • Facebook newsfeed content streams, instant articles and branded content and their implications for marketers
  • how consumers have stopped talking to each other so much on Facebook, and how the social giant is responding
  • the new Facebook Marketplace and its implications for marketers
  • new Call To Action buttons for Facebook pages and how marketers can use them effectively
  • what works (and what doesn’t) in today’s social networks
  • the push to minimise clickbait (“you won’t believe what these social networks are doing to spoil your fun!”)

At the end of this lesson (and each lesson in this course), we provide easy-to-implement Action Steps and a downloadable checklist of the key takeouts for each lesson.

Social Media Marketing Essentials Lesson Two

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

As the mobile phone becomes 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 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

Each section includes clear, ready-to-implement Action Steps and a Checklist to guide you.

Social Media Marketing Essentials Lesson Three

Lesson Three: Live Video with Facebook Live, Periscope, Meerkat, Blab, YouTube

Live video has come from nowhere to represent a major development in social media. In Lesson Three we examine the key providers of live video services and show you how you can determine whether live video will meet your promotional needs.

We also cover:

  • Facebook’s new Live Video API (so that more and more devices can send live feeds to Facebook)
  • The surprising benefits of using live video within Facebook groups
  • what you should and shouldn’t do with live video
  • how marketers have already been using live video (examples and inspirations)
  • What YouTube is doing in response
  • What you need to know about 360 TV and augmented reality

Don’t forget our recommended Action Steps and a step-by-step Checklist to help you master Live Video.

Social Media Marketing Essentials Lesson Four

Lesson Four: Pictures: Instagram, Pinterest, etc.

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 the leading players, including:

  • How leading brands are winning with the image-based networks
  • how you can make the most of rich pins on Pinterest
  • how to use Instagram to its full potential
  • smart content strategies across the image-based networks

All this and Action Steps and a comprehensive Checklist too.

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 — 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

Plus Action Steps and your Lesson Five Checklist

Social Media Marketing Essentials Lesson Six

Lesson Six: Twitter

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

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

· what Twitter no longer includes in its 140-character message limit

· 7 tips for maximizing Twitter as a marketing and engagement tool

· the best brands on Twitter (and why they’re so successful)

· Twitter’s new people tagging and multiple photo sharing options

· Twitter tools that will boost your productivity

· Twitter and video: what you need to know

All enhanced with Action Steps plus an easy-to-follow Checklist

Social Media Marketing Essentials Lesson Seven

Lesson Seven: LinkedIn

We share the latest developments and strategies for LinkedIn, including:

· the marketing implications of Microsoft’s US$26.2 Billion purchase of LinkedIn

· the importance of LinkedIn social selling

· the three simple secrets of effective LinkedIn prospecting

· what you need to know to close more sales through LinkedIn

· five ways in which you (if you’re not careful) can ruin your LinkedIn profile

· getting the most out of LinkedIn’s sponsored content options

· why your organisation should have LinkedIn guidelines for employees

Plus Action Steps for each section, and your very own Checklist

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 and LinkedIn 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

Again, with Action Steps and a Checklist

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

Will these topics rate their Action Steps and Checklist? You bet.

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WHO WILL BENEFIT FROM THIS COURSE?
Every Kiwi marketer, or anyone who is responsible for marketing for their organisation, will benefit – Social Media is now embedded in the fabric of the NZ Internet environment, and if you haven’t mastered Social Media your 2017 marketing 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 social media networks (and what doesn’t)
  • how leading brands and organisations 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 constituencies 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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TIMING

This course begins on Monday 03 April, 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 Monday 27 March, 2017.

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

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

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

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?

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

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

REALITY CHECK: 3 QUICK REASONS WHY YOU NEED THIS COURSE

1. Your customers are spending more time on social media than anywhere else online. If you want to reach them, you need to be where they are.

2. Most Kiwi marketers are failing in social media – more than half of the 24,673 Kiwi Facebook pages we follow have less than 400 likes and less than 10% have more than 100 people talking about them. Start getting Social Media right and you’ll immediately start to stand out.

3. Things change fast in Social Media – all the major networks keep developing new features, dropping old ones and competing with each other to grab customer share. If you’re not learning the latest tricks and techniques, you’re falling behind.

PS You really do need to stay up to date with Social Media, it’s now a significant part of every Kiwi marketer’s arsenal. SIGN UP FOR OUR SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING ESSENTIALS COURSE TODAYgrab this EARLY BIRD SPECIAL saving you $100! Here’s the signup link via PayPal: https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=B9HZ9P972FJNL