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Digital Marketing

Where to Invest Your Digital Marketing Dollars

Whether you own a bricks and mortar or eCommerce business, a major brand or large corporation, businesses of all sizes can benefit from digital marketing.
We take a closer look at some of the digital marketing options to consider for your business and brand.
Email Marketing
Email marketing remains one of the most successful digital marketing platforms for converting leads to sales. Recent figures show for every $1 spent, email marketing generates $38 in ROI.
Successful email marketers personalise emails to their consumers, offering real value and content of interest to engage the reader and increase that all important click-through-rate. Targeting niche consumer groups by grouping mailing list recipients into certain demographics such as age, gender, and purchase or browsing history, your company can more accurately deliver the content your customers really want, rather than sending generic mass emails to an entire subscriber list. One recent study found 81% of online consumers are likely to make a purchase after receiving a personalised email.
Websites and Landing Pages
Regardless of your industry, your digital marketing strategy should include a website, and incorporate designated landing pages to promote key offerings. In today’s digital age, your website is often the customer’s first impression of your business. So it not only needs to look great, but your website should also offer an optimised user experience (UX) and feature a call to action (CTA). Integrating easy to use CTA buttons such as ‘learn more’, ‘book now’ or ‘join my mailing list’ encourages time-poor customers to act quickly and engage with your brand.
Landing pages and CTA’s do involve an element of trial and error, as results can vary among different industries, companies and customers. Don’t let this put you off though. Capturing web traffic data from your own website through measures like Google Analytics will provide valuable information about the visitors to your site, and their online behaviour. This allows you to further develop and customise your website to accommodate your customers’ needs and organically grow your ROI.
Content Marketing and Blogs
All too often we see businesses neglect blogs or content marketing, because they can’t see the connection between words and dollars.
Content marketing is an extremely powerful, and underestimated sales tool, capable of engaging, informing and entertaining readers while influencing their purchase decisions.
Surveys have found content marketing generates three times more leads than traditional outbound marketing, and costs 62% less. While digital marketers who prioritise blogging are 13 times more likely to realise a positive ROI.
Blogs and articles have the unique ability to market to a consumer, without making the reader feel like they’re being sold to. Content marketing allows businesses to position themselves as industry leaders, demonstrating their knowledge and skill in a practical manner instead of merely advertising products and services through a display ad.
Social Media
Social media can be used in a variety of ways to market your business, from simply increasing brand awareness and consumer engagement, to being the core driver of sales.
Mark Zuckerberg recently announced the milestone of two billion users on Facebook, making it by far the largest social media network in the world. And that trend is reflected closer to home too, with the 2017 Sensis Social Media Report revealing almost eight in 10 Australians now use social media, along with 47 per cent of small businesses, 49 per cent of medium sized businesses and 60 per cent of large businesses.
The report also revealed 64 per cent of Australians are more likely to trust brands that interact positively with customers on social media.
Although setting up a social media account is free, there are costs involved to maximise your page’s content, reach and engagement. You’ll need to consider how much you’d like to invest in a monthly advertising budget, and think about the time and costs involved in managing and monitoring the page, and planning and creating the content – which might include professional videos, photographs and copywriting.
You can measure the ROI by making use of built-in analytical capabilities that can provide valuable data on how people engage with your social media posts, including click through and conversion rates to your website and sales pages. Most businesses however are happy to measure their success by the growth of their followers and likes, as evidenced in the Sensis report.
When Twitter first emerged, it was famous for being the platform with the 140-character message limit. Since embracing more visual and video content, Twitter has relaxed the word count, but it’s still entirely appropriate for users on Twitter to share a brief text-only message – which isn’t suitable on any other social media platform. Twitter claims 85% of its users believe Promoted Accounts help them discover new businesses on Twitter, which is a promising statistic for businesses looking for consumers in the social media space.
Instagram is a predominantly visual medium, allowing businesses to showcase their products and personality on a digital global stage. More than 80% of Instagram users follow a business, and promoted products have the highest engagement rates of all content types.
With more than 467 million users, Linkedin is the biggest social referrer to corporate websites. The platform provides a targeted approach to digital marketing and professional networking, particularly for engaging the interest of potential investors and corporate employees. 
Podcasting
Podcasts are an innovative and influential marketing tool being increasingly used by a growing number of businesses globally. A study by the Interactive Advertising Bureau and Edison Research showed that 65% of listeners are likely to purchase a product after hearing about it on a podcast, suggesting consumers are receptive to advertisements delivered in the right context or environment. While podcasting has been around for more than 10 years, the number of podcast listeners is increasing. Listeners tuning into podcasts come from a wide range of backgrounds, ages and interests. Recent surveys have found at least 22% of younger podcast audiences tend to listen to more than 10 hours a week, whilst older audiences aged 55 and above tend to listen to around an hour or so in the same time frame. With this in mind, companies have the opportunity to develop podcasts that target and grow their niche audiences, in order to deliver a desirable ROI. And you don’t have to create your own podcast. Brands can enjoy the same benefits from exposure in collaboration with other podcasters.
Google Advertising
Advertising through Google’s image ads allows businesses to reach all new heights of consumer targeting and engagement. Google’s highly detailed analytical features allow brands to target specific customers based on their online habits, web browser history and search information.
So if, for example you sell jewellery, fashion or car accessories in an online store, and you advertise using Google’s image ads, you can entice leads to become return customers by having your product galleries display on their web browsers, embedded as a display ad on other websites. Perhaps they visited your online store and popped a few items in the cart but didn’t check out? You can give them a gentle reminder by displaying those same items in front of them while they’re reading the daily news.
While a cost per click (CPC) element applies to this form of marketing, using Google image ads returns a 31 per cent click through rate, higher than Google’s text based ads of 23 per cent. These types of ads are displayed across sites that consumers commonly use including Facebook and other websites on Google’s advertising network AdSense, allowing you to market your business on multiple platforms with a single digital campaign.
Ultimately, all of these digital marketing measures work to drive traffic to your website, and can be used alone or in unison to build a synchronised and multifaceted marketing strategy. Web analytics allow you to track results like web traffic and sales conversions, illustrating the link between your marketing platforms like social media or blogs, and making sales. And while there are no one-size-fits-all solutions when it comes to digital marketing, you can certainly consider these options as some of the most popular and successful platforms for marketing in 2017.

The latest ways you can leverage digital marketing

It wasn’t so long ago that marketing for most Australian businesses meant securing a spot in the phone book and a fraction of a column in the local newspaper.
Those with a healthy budget might have had a radio commercial and for the lucky few doing really well, even an ad on TV.
Today, successful marketing isn’t driven so much by the advertising dollar as it is by audience appeal, the right timing, solid strategy and sometimes, just a bit of good old fashioned luck.
Long gone are the days of weighing up the ROI of a ? vs ¼ page printed newspaper ad. When it comes to digital marketing, there is no simple one-size-fits-all solution.
It’s an all-encompassing blanket term for the new era of marketing, extending beyond merely advertising products and services, to focus on connecting and engaging with potential customers.
What that involves, and how to get it right, is unique to each and every industry. And the perfect mix differs for every company too.
Digital Marketing in Media
In fact, it’s the newspapers and media outlets we once relied so heavily upon for advertising, that have had one of the most radical and successful takeups of digital marketing we have seen in Australia to date.
Only it wasn’t so much a tactical decision as it was a necessary response to changing consumer trends.
Print newspaper circulation has been in decline across Australia for the past 10 years as more readers choose to go online for their news fix. The 2018 Reuters Institute Digital News Report reveals the number of Australians reading print newspapers each week has fallen 10% in the 12 months to November 2017, with 82% of Australians now using online news sources and 52% relying purely on social media to read the headlines.
It is here we have seen major growth in the media’s digital presence, with both national and local newspapers, magazines, radio and television news programs all using social media to publish, and now even live stream the news as it happens. This shift has not only changed the way the news is reported and received, inviting feedback and commentary from readers and viewers like never before, but has also paved the way for a new generation of exclusively digital news platforms such as the highly successful BuzzFeed and Pedestrian.TV.
Not surprisingly, advertising revenue from traditional media is in rapid decline, with newspapers dropping from 27% to just 14% of total ad spend since 2009. Meanwhile internet advertising has risen from 17% to 35% in the same period and is expected to account for at least 50% of total ad spend by 2019.
Despite the uptake of digital news, customers simply aren’t paying to get the news anymore. Most Australian newspaper websites feature a paywall and offer exclusive member-only content, but the Digital News Report shows only 10% of Australians are paying for online news content and most of those who haven’t paid for it, said it was ‘very unlikely’ they ever would.
This continues to be an ongoing battle for the media industry as it writes its new digital chapter.
Fashion, Food and Facebook
Small businesses were among the last to embrace the online marketplace. The potential for a customer base outside their immediate postcode was inconceivable, even laughable, for many.
But that soon changed.
Facebook in particular made an online presence affordable and feasible for businesses that had never even considered ‘going online’.
Now it’s the norm for your local corner store to be on Facebook, have a mailing list and even an online shop. Embracing these digital marketing platforms is what has transformed some small businesses into very big success stories, particularly those in the fields of fashion and food.
Women’s fashion store St Frock is just one stunning example, born from humble beginnings in 2005 as a weekend stall at the Bondi Beach Markets.
For four years, it was simply a relaxing escape from a high pressure job in PR and marketing for founder and fashion enthusiast Sandradee Makejev.
But in October 2009, Sydney was hit by a dust storm. That and predictions of increased rain had Sandradee thinking of other more weather-proof ways to sell her garments. Tired and weary from a hellish day at the markets, Sandradee set up a Facebook page, uploaded a few fuzzy photos, invited some close friends to check it out, and went to bed.
She woke to find she’d made $350 while she was sleeping. Within three months Sandradee had 1600 followers and enough income to quit her job, instead spending her weekdays packing orders on her bedroom floor. Within ten months, she was turning over $480,000 every four weeks.
Today St Frock, the former hobby market stall, is an international online fashion boutique with a bustling team of 35 staff, a 500-square metre warehouse in Ultimo and close to 500,000 followers on Facebook from all over the globe.

Corporates, Commercial & Professional Services
If a market stall can find fame on Facebook, anyone can right? That’s the false impression too many businesses have about digital marketing. It’s not a sure thing, it isn’t easy (well not often anyway) and there are no guarantees.
What works brilliantly for one business, won’t work at all for the next. And knowing which digital marketing platforms to employ, and when, requires careful consideration and skill.
Ultimately it’s about delivering what your audience wants, preferably before they even ask for it. This has seen many corporates, commercial ventures and professional services alike offer practical digital tools like client portals, apps and live chat services, as well as audience capture and engagement methods like blogs and content marketing, EDM and e-newsletters, and audio or video presentations now commonly distributed through social media and live streams.
It is within this sector we tend to see the greatest variations of success using digital marketing. There is a sense that many are still testing the waters with a hit and miss approach to finding what works for them and their target audience. But it’s important to remember every adventure on those ‘waters’ is embarking on unpredictable and unchartered territory.
This promo video of a government agency grad program is a prime example. The so-bad-it’s-good video has been viewed over 200,000 times since capturing the attention of the internet recently, with viewers shocked at how three minutes of corny scripting and forced acting could cost $40,000 to make. But, with the digital world being the unpredictable and ironic beast that it is, the value of the media exposure the clip has received means it has already more than paid for itself.
Image Sources:

Digital News Report 2018
Pixabay
Wikimedia

Colours for Conversion

The Importance of Colour in Digital Marketing

Did you know that the colour scheme of your website could be the deciding factor for converting leads and increasing sales?
Colour is an influential but often underestimated feature of digital marketing. Different colours can affect our moods and emotions in different ways, and they hold a lot of weight when it comes to forming an opinion on a brand or product.
There’s an abundance of research confirming the significance of colour, including this study which found that up to 90% of a person’s opinion about a product is based on colour alone. And that decision is made within just 90 seconds of an initial interaction.
If you think back to your pre-school days, deciding on your favourite colour was probably right up there on your list of priorities, along with learning to write your name and trying to keep within the lines of your colouring book. You might have even snuck your favourite coloured pencils and crayons home in your backpack once or twice. We’re conditioned from a very young age to have an emotional attachment to colour. So it’s not surprising when you consider the importance it has in our purchase decisions.
The Biology of Colour
You’ve probably never thought about colour in this much detail, so, bear with us here. When you look at anything, your brain automatically recognises and differentiates between the different colours you are seeing. But it doesn’t stop there. The eyes send a message to the area of the brain called the hypothalamus, which triggers signals to the pituitary gland, endocrine system and thyroid glands. This cascading effect floods our body with hormones which influence our feelings and behaviour – all in a matter of seconds. If you’ve ever laid eyes on a certain colour, be it in a shirt, a shade of lipstick or a new car, instantly fell in love and felt like you just had to have it – this is why.
The Psychology of Colour

Image from playbuzz.quiz
Earlier, we mentioned colours can affect our moods and emotions in different ways. But, the feelings colours evoke are different for different people.
That’s what makes the psychology of colour so complex.
Let’s start with favourite colours. Most of us have a few, and our favourites are likely reflected in purchases we wear or display like clothes, jewellery and vehicles.
Again, there are countless studies and surveys about colour, but this often cited survey reveals some solid findings about favourite colours according to gender. It found that blue was the most common favourite colour of both males (57%) and females (34%), followed by green (14%) and black (9%) for males, and purple (23%) and green (14%) among females.
So, according to this survey at least, blue and green make great unisex colour options if you want to appeal to a broad audience.
But when it comes to how colours make us feel, things get a bit trickier.
Some brands choose colours that naturally make us think of their product, think mocha brown for coffee, or orange for Fanta. But a lot of branding aims to evoke emotions or feelings in the viewer with the use of colour. This colour wheel illustrates the wide variety of symbolism associated with colours in different cultures. For example:
White commonly represents purity, marriage and luxury in Western society, but in Chinese and Hindu communities it’s the colour of death.
Red is symbolic of good luck in Africa, Eastern Europe and China, but more commonly associated with danger in Japanese and Western cultures.
Blue is associated with loyalty in Western, Japanese and Eastern European cultures, love in Africa and creativity in Hindu societies, but it represents unhappiness for Native Americans and trouble in South America.
Sometimes conflicts in colour symbolism can even occur within the same culture.
Green evokes thoughts of jealousy in Western and Japanese cultures, but also represents nature, good luck, and growth in these same countries.
Purple is associated with decadence and flamboyance in Western society, but also modesty, mystery, and cruelty.
And some colours seem to have mostly negative connotations across all cultures  
Yellow is the colour of illness and deceit for Hindu and Japanese cultures, mourning in Eastern Europe, danger for Native Americans and cowardice for Western and Japanese communities. (Just to confuse you even more, yellow represents health in China and happiness in Western countries.)
Black is associated with evil, death, mourning and unhappiness across Western, Japanese, Hindu and Asian cultures. But it’s also the colour of style and authority in Western society.
Confused? Don’t worry, we were too. But we’ve drilled down to find the takeaway message here, which is get to know your audience and define your brand’s identity. Who are you targeting? Where are they from? What should your colour scheme say about your business? And how do you want people to feel about your brand? For best results, limit your colour scheme to just a few colours, or apply several shades of a single colour.
This graphic by The Logo Company illustrates how major brands have embraced this colour psychology:

Graphic by The Logo Company
Colours that make us Click
Marketers are increasingly A/B testing the colours of links and Call To Action (CTA) buttons on websites and digital marketing campaigns.
The aim is to identify which colour combinations are more successful at influencing customers to click.
You’ve probably already guessed, the results are conflicting…
The Button Colour A/B Test by Hubspot found that Red Beats Green, with a red ‘Get Started Now’ CTA button outperforming the green by 21%.
In another case study, a Big Orange Button, affectionately termed BOB, increased conversions by 32.5%.
And in yet another test, a blue button beat orange by 9%.
We’ve analysed these studies and the underlying common factor is this: the most successful CTA buttons are in a contrasting colour that stands out against the background.
Seeing in Colour
A lot of people assume Facebook’s colour palette is mostly blue because it represents dependability and loyalty. But the main reason is founder Mark Zuckerberg is colour blind.
Colour blindness is more common than you might realise. One in 12 men and one in 200 women are colour blind. There are several variations of the condition, but all colour blindness makes most colours appear different to how they actually look.
Given the prevalence of colour blindness and other vision challenges, websites and marketing materials should be optimised for visual accessibility.
Some solutions for improving digital design for colour blind and vision impaired people is simple design elements, limited colour palette, high contrast text, and incorporating the use of symbols and patterns.
Our Conclusions on Colour

Choose colours that represent your product physically OR colours that are symbolic of your brand values
Take into account the cultural interpretations of colour according to your target audience
Limit your colour palette to no more than three major colours or use several shades of a single colour
Vary the prominence of each colour so they aren’t fighting for attention
Embrace white space
Avoid neon and low-contrast colour combinations which can be difficult to see
Test, test and test again. What works for one brand may not work for you.

As you can see, there is no easy answer to the question we’re all asking – what colours get conversions and sales success online?
By studying the psychology of colour and the many surveys and reports about the most influential colour schemes, we can conclude this is yet another area of marketing that should be customised to each unique brand and audience for the best results.
Source: How Colors Affect Conversions – Infographic
Image Sources:

Sourced with permission from

Your Biggest Digital Marketing Opportunities in 2017

We did it: we made it one more rotation around the sun, which means that it’s time for annual industry predictions roundups.
We’re most interested in what we can expect as digital marketers, and what will make brands the most successful at growing their content audiences and consumer bases in 2017.
You’ll probably hear a lot of the same things—content is still king, social is still growing, and marketers are looking forward to the future of virtual technologies, but we’re here with some actionable items that you can use today to kick off your wildly successful 2017 digital marketing strategy.
Use video to capture your audience’s attention.
In 2016, we almost heard about nothing else but video marketing. That’s because it works. The use of video as a content medium for marketers to leverage is only going to grow.
Video adoption is increasing at a higher rate than any other platform simply because marketers are seeing a good return. According to Forrester, including video in an email leads to a 200-300% increase in click-trough-rate (CTR). Not only that, but one minute of video is equal to 1.8 million words as it relates to content value.
It also gets you in front of more consumers than other types of content—According to ComScore, 45.5% of users viewed at least one video online over the course of the month.
The impact of video is growing—but let’s talk about the elephant in the room. It’s expensive to create quality produced videos for marketing purposes. The trick isn’t to max out your budget to make as many videos as possible, but to use your budget to make the highest quality, largest lead generating videos you can, even if you release them less frequently.
Genuine testimonials are a huge SEO opportunity now.
Testimonials definitely aren’t a new concept—getting your successful customers to talk about their experiences with you publicly will be key when it comes to marketing strategy success.
But it’s no longer adequate to just gather as many reviews as you can. Now, testimonials can be coded so that search engines recognize them as genuine, meaning they’re even more valuable than ever.
The more reviews on your website, the better your search engine optimization (SEO) will be—and they should be everywhere, including home page, contact page, and any other page in which a quote is relevant.
Wearables are the newest emerging market to reach consumers right now.
As marketers, we hear a lot about the future of artificial intelligence (AI) and virtual reality (VR) when we talk about trends—but these mediums aren’t large enough yet to give you a realistic ROI. ‘Wearables’ is the new medium you should be focusing on right now.
In 2016, 72% of the US population owned a smartphone. Smartphones aren’t going the way of the mixed tape anytime soon, but wearables will start to catch up in popularity very quickly.
Industry experts predict that by 2018, the global wearables market will reach $19 billion. A lot of people will have jumped on board the wearables bandwagon, and the medium won’t be saturated with content.
Consider adding a wearables marketing strategy to your 2017 planning, for an opportunity to reach a new set of customers with little competition.
Augmented reality is coming back.
Remember Pokémon Go? It seems like it was a flash in the pan in 2016 when it started, and then quickly died out. The success of the augmented reality game means it will be coming back—whereas this latest game was just a test, its success means there’s a huge opportunity for the gaming market, and therefore for marketers as a segway to the virtual reality environments of the future.
2017 is your opportunity to experiment with augmented reality campaigning, partnerships and lead generation from a medium that’s still brand new.
If you’re going to get ahead this year, you’ll need to be looking towards all sorts of technologies of the future.
Whether it’s video, SEO, wearables or augmented reality, the world of marketing campaigns is taking a step towards some futuristic mediums, which means it may be time to rethink how you’ll reach and influence your customers this year – and beyond.
Image Sources:
Shutterstock

Content Marketing

Why Your Brand Needs a Podcast

Can you imagine speaking directly to a captive audience of potential customers? I’m not talking about the room of people you might find at a conference or seminar, but potentially tens of thousands of prospective...

Personalised Content: The Best Way to Engage with Customers

With the incessant growth of digital communications, newspapers and other publishers have been forced to come up with new ways to tell stories.
Companies that are not in the publishing business, but use content as a part of their marketing strategy can learn a lot from these emerging storytelling tactics.
When it comes to personalised content, gamification is king. The more you can learn programmatically – primarily using data for better targeting – about your customer or audience member, the more personalised your content will be.
Here are some actionable tips on how you can incorporate personalised content into your content marketing strategy:
Quizzes Drive Content
Digital publisher Buzzfeed is famous for creating content based on user feedback. They collect feedback from visitors to their pages via a customised quiz and then release content based on the results. For example, they just released an “Add Yours” quiz calling all readers to add their favourite celebrity cookbook to their survey. Later, they’ll release a round-up of the top answers submitted.
This content is personalised to a group of your audience members, and is effective for two reasons:

It allows you to know that your content is of interest – the rationale being if people complete your survey, they’re interested in the topic
It’s user curated and your audience feels like they are taking part in your content.

Consider doing a survey round-up of a product, hobby or service that your audience might be interested in to drive a bit more engagement with your pages.
Story based on Personal Info
Another way to create personalised content is to sort your content by certain parameters that pertain to your customer. For example, this article from the BBC explains the changes that have happened to the planet during your personal lifetime.
While this type of content is still personal, the reader does all the customisation work as it’s self-selecting. The content is segmented and personalised, but is easy to create because it’s still general when being created.
Consider segmenting the history of your company, campaign preferences based on age, or maybe interests as another angle for your next content release.
Gamified Conversion Funnel
Finally, when it comes to getting your content to convert, the best way you can do so is to gamify the process. When people feel like brands really want to get to know them, they’re more likely to provide them with information about themselves.
For example, the clothing services Bombfell and Trunk Club have long conversion funnels, but they’re getting as much information as they can from their customers so they can better style for them.
Plus, the conversion funnel is fun. Customers get to pick styles, brands and clothing items that they think help define them.
The bottom line: personalised content boosts engagement with your audience, and makes them more mindful when they interact with your brand.
Image Source

Shutterstock
Bombfell

How to Make Your Content Actionable

Content is not a magical formula that will make your target audience find your product and then breathlessly buy from you.
The power of actionable content comes from your ability to attract the right audience, enabling them to interact with you and then to elevate that relationship to the next level i.e. for them to become a customer.
So, how do you make your content actionable? Most importantly, you must give the reader, viewer or listener a sense of how they can – and should – apply that information to their own problems and experiences.
To begin your journey towards making your content more actionable you need to start by understanding what actionable content isn’t. It’s not condescending, it’s not obvious and it’s not something your reader can easily Google and find somewhere else. Actionable content gives your reader assurance that they best know how to use the information you’re giving them.
Content, of course comes in many styles, shapes and sizes but the most important thing to remember is that it has to be useful. Check out this great example for marketers, helping them build a comprehensive strategy, step by step.
At its core, actionable content has a few key steps that give you the best possible chance of succeeding every time.
Get your story straight — create and keep a good narrative.
Good writing is essential to all content, of course. The trick to making your content actionable is taking your good writing a step further and framing a narrative for your readers.
The proof is in the science. Researchers at Washington University in St Louis found that instead of just being able to produce facts presented to them, listeners of a story were living the narrative right alongside their protagonist.
This is a powerful tool for brands who want customers to understand how their product fits into their audience’s own narrative, not just communicate what they do.
You can differentiate yourself through your voice, relatability and the delivery of useful content.
The Humane Society of Silicon Valley had this dog adopted by telling a, yes humane and entertaining story about him—shaping a narrative instead of the traditional sad angle taken by most pet adoption societies:

Here’s what some of their readers had to say:
“[I]f you’re looking for a floor-sleeping, speed bump of a dog that minds his own business, strike Eddie clean off your list.”
“Actually he’s kind of a jerk. But he’s a jerk we believe in. We’re not expecting you to want to meet him but if you must, we really can’t deter you.”
This organisation urged their readers to take action through their narrative, and accomplished their goal because of the way they framed their content.
Speak directly to your customers and prospects.
If you’re wondering how to make your audience act, look no further than those who already have. Tapping into the minds of your customers and prospects is the perfect place to start, as many of them have already taken the action you’re looking to obtain from others.
Lean on your customer service and sales teams and find out what experiences they’ve had with your current customers. What questions do they ask? What problems are they facing every day?
Directly addressing these concerns is a powerful step towards making your content actionable.
Barry Feldman of Feldman creative told Forbes how this has worked for him:
“A client asked me to give her and her staff an SEO 101 in 15 minutes. I responded with a post that did exactly that and it caught fire and became one of the biggest drivers of traffic to my site ever.” — Barry Feldman, Founder, Feldman Creative
Getting to the right pain points and questions is just the first step. To make your content actionable, you must know how to ask them what you should do next. And then do it.
Get your audience to connect with you in person, not just through an email newsletter.
The most common call to action that marketers use in their content is a mechanism to get the reader to fork over their email address. They ask prospects to sign up for an email newsletter, subscribe to a blog or possibly another content series.
If you’re looking to connect with your audience on another level, try getting them to meet you online at a specific time and place.
There, you’ll be able to interact with them directly, and create a platform that will better allow you to drive the conversation towards moving them down the funnel.
“Trish Witkowski the Chief Folding Officer at Foldrite invites website visitors to sign up for her 60 Second Super Cool Fold of the Week every Thursday afternoon. She’s set an expectation for her audience and delivered on it every single week for years. And it works.” — Andrew Davis, author of Brandscaping: Unleashing the Power of Partnerships told Forbes.
Think about promotion first.
The last step should be your first. Before you even begin writing, designing or recording, you need to think about how you’re going to get this piece of content in front of your audience.
The #1 downfall of brands when trying content marketing is producing excessively promotional content. Boring. No one (and I mean no one) wants to promote your product unless you make it relevant to them.
Start by researching different publications that your customers frequent—find out who the industry experts are and build relationships with them. Shape content that they might want to share.
Another tactic is leveraging social media listening for topic distribution. Spend a day or two on different social media groups, hashtags and topics to find where your content might fit best, or find the most traction.
The goal is to create a long-term relationship between the content creator and content consumers.
To transform your content from bland to actionable include strong narratives, direct customer/prospect feedback, in-person call to actions and a rigid distribution strategy.
Images:

bannersnack blog
Humane Society Silicon Valley

Patience Makes Perfect Content

Those advertising types have it soooooooooo easy! If you have the money you can shout wherever and whenever you like: ‘BUY NOW! 99% OFF! GUARANTEED TO MAKE YOU IRRESISTIBLE TO THE OPPOSITE SEX!’ And then the...

Social Media

Australian Brands and Social Media

How small, medium and large businesses in Australia are using social media in 2017
More people are using social media than ever before, but there is a glaring disconnect between the ways consumers and businesses are using social media in Australia.
The 2017 Sensis Social Media Report revealed record numbers of people are using social media to connect with brands they love, yet social media use is declining among Australian businesses.
The 2017 report has for the first time incorporated an exclusive chapter on business social media trends, providing valuable insight into how small, medium and large businesses are using – or not using – social media.
We’ve analysed the report to provide you with insights into what’s driving these trends, and how your business can gain a competitive edge on social media.
Snapshot of Australian businesses with a social media presence
Big business is leading the social media movement in Australia, and 6 in 10 large businesses (60%) are using at least one social network. But that number has fallen quite dramatically since 2016, when 79% of the large businesses surveyed used social media.
Of those still on social media today, only 42% of large businesses are optimising their online reach using paid social media advertising.
Social media presence has dropped among Australia’s small (47%) and medium (49%) businesses too.
With the declining organic reach of social media, paid advertising has become a necessity to effectively reach and grow audiences on platforms like Facebook. But the report revealed only one quarter of the small businesses on social media are investing in advertising, along with 37% of medium business.
As for businesses without a social media presence, 40% of the large businesses not on social media today had been in the past, as had 8% of small businesses and just under 1% of medium businesses.
These figures are a startling contrast to the consumer behaviour report, which revealed 8 in 10 Australians are now active on social media including 99% of 18-29 year olds, and 96% of people aged 30-39. Of that age group, 41% use social media to connect with brands and businesses. And three quarters of all consumers indicated they were more likely to trust a brand that interacted positively on social media. Unfortunately, without a social media presence many Australian businesses are just nowhere to be seen.

About the businesses using social media
The hospitality sector is the most socially savvy, with 70% of Australia’s cafes, restaurants and accommodation providers now on social media.
Other industries with an above average representation on social media include Cultural Recreational and Personal services (66%), Retail (58%), Communication, Property and Business services (58%) and Wholesale Trade (53%).
The bottom performers were Transport and Storage businesses (27%) – down from 38% the year before, and Finance and Insurance services (32%) down from 41% in 2017.
This indicates Australian businesses are switching off social media, probably due to lower than expected reach, ROI and ultimately sales. Which is why it is so important to understand how to maximise your online presence and make social media work for your business, in any industry. 
The highest use of social media among small and medium businesses is occurring in the Northern Territory (55%), followed by New South Wales (51%) and Queensland (50%). Less than half of small and medium businesses are using social media in Western Australia (47%), Tasmania (45%), Victoria (42%), ACT (39%) and South Australia (36%).
There is very little difference in social media presence between regional and metro businesses, at 47% and 46% respectively. In the previous year, regional businesses had a higher rate of social media use with 51% uptake, leading their city counterparts by 5 points. 
Social media channels used by Australian businesses
Continuing to be the platform of choice, Facebook is used by nine of 10 businesses with a social media presence. LinkedIn is the second most used platform overall, but it’s more popular with large businesses (82%), over their medium (41%) and small (35%) counterparts.
Instagram is being used by four in 10 medium businesses, compared to just 20% of both the small and large organisations, and Twitter usage grows with business size, from 24% of small businesses to 36% of medium and 55% of large businesses.
The survey revealed very little uptake of other social media platforms, with only 16% of small businesses on Google+, 11% on YouTube, 4% on Pinterest and 1% on Snapchat.
This is perhaps surprising, considering the Sensis consumer report revealed Australians are significantly increasing their time using video-based platforms, with 51% of Australians now regularly using YouTube, and some users spending up to three hours per day on Snapchat.
Businesses switching off social
The use of social media among Australian consumers grew 10% in 2017, to 8 in 10 people. But the social media presence of businesses has dropped since 2016, by as much as 19% among large business, prompting us to question why they’re switching off.
The Sensis Social Media Business Report found more than half of all small and medium businesses, and four in 10 large businesses, do not have a presence on any form of social media.
Of those, nine per cent of the small businesses and 11 per cent of the medium businesses said they hoped to start using social media within the next year. But none of the large businesses had these intentions.
The most common reasons large businesses gave for not being on social media, was the belief it took too much time (70%) and they couldn’t see any benefit (65%). Almost half (48%) admitted to not understanding social media, while 43% were afraid of having a visible public rating system. Five per cent of small businesses felt being on social media was ‘too risky’, while 3% said it was too expensive.
Overwhelmingly, these figures show a majority of Australian businesses still do not understand the capabilities of social media as a marketing or sales tool, and they’re missing out on the opportunities, customers and profit it can provide.
Importantly, Australian businesses need to realise they don’t need to manage their social media marketing themselves, and engaging a professional social media manager and content developer with digital marketing experience is the best way to get the greatest results from their social media investment.
Why businesses are using social media
 Of the businesses that are on social media, most are using a mix of written content, images and videos.
We know Facebook posts with images see almost 2 ½ times more engagement than those without, yet 30% of small businesses post exclusively written content on social media.
Similarly, 34% restrict their social media posts to either photos or images, which fails to take advantage of the benefits of content marketing.
The leading reason for maintaining a social media presence was advertising or promoting a business, followed by acting as an avenue for customer contact and interaction. Surprisingly, only 4% of small businesses are using social media to actively increase sales and only 7% of large businesses use social media to drive new business and grow their customer base.
Discounts and giveaways were identified in the consumer report as the main offering customers want from businesses and brands they follow on social media. These reasons topped the chart at 54% and 48% respectively, up from 41% and 30% last year.
However, only 17% of large businesses are offering incentives to consumers via social media, along with 25% of medium businesses and 29% of small businesses.
The report also revealed small and medium businesses need to pick up their act when it comes to engaging with and responding to followers on their social channels. Only 51% of medium businesses and 61% of small businesses engaged with people who provided reviews or ratings on their social media pages, compared to 93% of large businesses. 
Marketing and advertising on social media
The rate of paid advertising on social media has increased among SMBs, but dropped 20% among large businesses.
A vast majority of businesses paying for social media advertising are doing so on Facebook, and 100% of large businesses that did advertise on social networks found it effective, compared to 74% of medium and 69% of small businesses.
Bigger organisations are also showing interest in other platforms, with 24% of large businesses advertising on Twitter and 20% on LinkedIn.
Annual budgets for social media investment have dropped across the board, and one quarter of small businesses now have no budget for social media spending at all.
Two out of every 10 small businesses using social media only have up to $500 per annum to spend, while 80% of large businesses are spending less than $5000 a year. This figure is significantly lower than five years ago, when the 2012 Sensis report found large businesses were spending an average of $100,480 on social media per year.
Interestingly though, a majority of these businesses now allocate more than half of their annual marketing budget to social media, investing in advertising (54%), strategic management services (24%) and content services (22%). 
Managing social media channels in business
Most Australian businesses are continuing to manage social media internally, with small businesses being the most likely to outsource social media management (8%).
Seven in 10 small business owners manage their own social media, compared to just 10% of large business owners, who are more likely to enrol the help of their marketing department (85%), up from 53% the year before.
Daily social media updates are increasing among all sectors of business, and 88% of large businesses now post on social media everyday, up from 65% in 2016.
This reflects the response to growing consumer demand for social content, with 59% of Australians now using social media daily, and more than a third checking their newsfeeds at least five times a day.
Interestingly, the report shows almost 50% of small businesses are only posting content on social media once a week or less, while 4% of medium businesses and 3% of small businesses never update their social media channels. It comes as no surprise then, some of these businesses are not achieving their sales and marketing goals.
How businesses measure the ROI of social media
One of the most important elements of social media strategies for business, is to set clear and measurable goals. This can include specific social media elements like page likes and engagement on posts, but should also measure leads, conversions and sales in real terms.
Facebook’s inbuilt analytics and marketing tools provide businesses with this capacity, but according to the figures, many businesses are missing the mark when it comes to measuring their social media success. Only 33% of large businesses, 20% of medium businesses and 23% of small businesses analyse their performance, so most Australian businesses aren’t measuring their ROI from social media at all.
Of those that do, eight in 10 large businesses determine their ROI on the number of responses they receive on social media. While 95% of large businesses and 52% of small businesses measure their success based on the number of likes and followers.
This fails to provide insight into how many of those responses and followers are being converted to paying customers, or whether they’re positive or negative interactions. Vague or irrelevant measuring could be further contributing to the downward trends revealed in the 2017 report.
Future plans and expectations
Perhaps many of the holes in the performance of social media efforts among businesses can be explained by poor strategic planning. The 2017 Sensis report revealed only four in 10 SMBs have a social media strategy in place, compared to 90% of large businesses.
And if the figures are accurate, perhaps not a lot will change, with a vast majority of businesses expecting to maintain the same expenditure on social media in the year ahead. Medium businesses (39%) were the most likely to increase their social media investment.
Three quarters of medium businesses also believed social media could contribute to an increase in sales, while only 53% of small businesses and four in 10 large businesses shared this enthusiasm.
Overall the report demonstrates some Australian businesses are turning their backs on social media because it isn’t working for them, yet the figures clearly show us why.
Lack of strategic planning and advertising investment, failure to set targets and measure performance, and a lack of professional knowledge and experience in content development and social media management are all contributing to the downfall of this digital marketing tool.
While those businesses that are dedicating sufficient advertising budgets, setting measurable goals, and engaging the expertise of trained staff or external agencies to manage their social media marketing for them, are more likely to experience greater success in converting those virtual likes and thumbs up to paying customers and real dollars.

How Australians Are Using Social Media

The must-have consumer behaviour report to boost digital marketing for your business
From staying in touch with friends to posting snaps of Sunday brunch or sharing viral cat videos, many of us now live our lives through social media.
Facebook remains the world’s largest social media platform and recently reached the record of 2-billion monthly active users – that’s two thirds of the world’s population with internet access.
The rise of social media is reflected here in Australia too, where the 2017 Sensis Social Media Report has revealed eight in 10 Australians now use social media.
Understanding who these people are, and how, when and why they use social media, is key to making this important digital marketing platform work for your business.
The 7th annual Sensis Social Media Report reveals that while social media use is increasing, what consumers want from brands on social media and why they use it continues to change.
We’ve read all 81 pages of the report to bring you a summary of must-have information to maximise the ROI of your social media marketing, starting today.
A snapshot of who is using social media in Australia in 2017
According to the report, 8 in 10 Australians are now using social media. That figure rises to more than 99% of Australians in the 18-29 age group using social media, with use gradually dropping off as the ages progress, down to just under half of senior Australians aged 65+. (Sensis Social Media Report 2017, p13)
Females are slightly more active on social media, as 60% of Australian women use social media at least once a day, compared to 58% of men.
Daily social networking is highest in the Northern Territory with 82% of Territorians using social media at least once daily, followed by Tasmania and South Australia with 75% and New South Wales with 62%. Social media appears to be less popular in Queensland, with 26% of Queenslanders saying they never use social networking.
Social media users in Australia have potential to connect with, and importantly influence, hundreds of immediate contacts.  The average Australian has 234 Facebook friends, and an average of 469 people in their networks across the six top platforms including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Google+ and Instagram.
Why Australians use social media
The 2017 Sensis Social Media Report reveals the main reason Australians use social media is to catch up with family and friends (89%). This has dropped since the peak of 95% in the 2014 report. (Sensis Social Media Report 2017, pp33-34)
Other top reasons Australians regularly use social media are sharing photographs and videos (57%), watching videos (43%), getting information on news and current events (37%), playing games (34%) and making new friends (30%). Of all reasons people have ever used social media, 45% have posted a selfie, 40% have posted photos of food, and 39% have deleted friends.
Australians aged 30-39 are most likely to use social media to follow or find out about particular brands or businesses (27%), and more specifically to obtain offers or promotions (22%). Internet savvy seniors aged 65+ are the most likely age group to use social media to research products and services before they buy.
Men are more likely to use social media to engage with a brand for customer service issues rather than using email or telephone, 11% vs only 8% of women.
Products and services Australians are searching for on social media
Clothing and fashion used to top the list of social media searches in Australia, but this year more Australians are using social media to search for items for their homes. Electrical goods are the most common product search (47%), followed by furniture and ‘other things’ for the home (42%).
Among the people who regularly use social media to research purchases, their most recent searches were for clothing and fashion or appliances and electrical equipment (both 17% respectively), holidays, travel and accommodation (10%), movies or TV shows (9%) and entertainment, furniture or things for the home (8%). A total of 15% of people indicated they were searching for something other than the provided options on their most recent search.
Products and services are more likely to be researched on mobile devices (52%) compared to computers (35%).
And in tracking the pathway to purchase, the survey found 52% of social media product research led to a purchase, slightly down from 59% in 2016. Of those purchases, 61% were made online. (Sensis Social Media Report 2017, p36)
When and where people use social media in Australia
Seven in ten Australians are active on social media in the evenings, still the most popular time for social media usage across all gender and age brackets.
The biggest gender divide occurs at lunchtime and during breaks, when more males use social media than females. Overall, 21% of Australians are using social media while they are working, but this figure rises where almost half of Australians aged 18-29 admit to using social media while at work (46%).
Ironically, most Australians are getting social while at home, with 96% using social media in their own house. This is followed by 43% on public transport, up from 25% in 2016, 37% in the car, up from 20% last year, and 33% at restaurants, bars or parties, up from 19% previously. Despite those requests to switch off, 5% admit to using social media at the cinema, and 9% use it at the gym.
The living room is the most popular room of the house for accessing social media (84%), followed by the bedroom (59%) up from 42% in 2016, and the kitchen (34%) up from 22%. Overall, 14% of Australians are using social media while on the toilet, but this is most common among the younger age group, where 29% of 18-29 year olds admit to social networking while on the loo. Facebooking from the toilet is a popular pastime in the Northern Territory, too (35%). (Sensis Social Media Report 2017, pp28-29)
How Australians access social media
We are all opting for the convenience of mobile devices, and now 81% of Australian social media users access social networking on their smartphones, up nine points from 2016. Smartphones are most popular with 18-29 year olds, with 97% accessing social media this way.
Desktop computer usage has plummeted from 60% in 2011, to just 28% this year, and even laptop use has declined, from a peak of 69% in 2012, to a low of 30% in 2017. Females (31%) are more likely to access social media on a tablet than males (18%).
With mobile devices so popular, most people are accessing social media on apps rather than websites (68% vs 9%). Seven out of 10 social media users prefer using apps, but the number of people using both websites and apps has almost doubled since last year, from 12% to 23%. (Sensis Social Media Report 2017, p27)
The most popular social media channels in Australia
It is the largest and most popular social networking platform in the world, so it comes as no surprise 94% of Australian social media users are on Facebook.
Snapchat has seen the biggest jump in Australian users, doubling from 20% to 40% in one year, but it is still topped by Instagram (46%) and YouTube (51%). Twitter’s popularity has also increased from 20% to 32%, likely due to the increasing visual capability of the network.
LinkedIn and Google+ are least appealing to those aged under 30, and more females than males prefer Facebook (97% v 91%), but males have higher usage of all other platforms. (Sensis Social Media Report 2017, pp17-18)
Snapchat is the most frequently accessed social media platform, with its users averaging 42 uses per week, while most Australian Twitter users Tweet more than 5 times a day (67%).
In each individual session, Australians are spending an average of 32 minutes on Snapchat, 28.1 minutes on Twitter, 26.9 minutes on Instagram and 23.2 minutes on Facebook. This equates to up to three hours a day on Snapchat for some users, and 10 hours per week on Facebook. (Sensis Social Media Report 2017, p22)
What Australian consumers want from brands and businesses on social media
It’s the question on the lips of every business and social media marketer – what do they want from us? Well, the 2017 Sensis Social Media Report has the answer for you.
Free stuff!
Discounts and giveaways are the main offering consumers want from businesses and brands they follow on social media. These reasons topped the chart at 54% and 48% respectively, up from 41% and 30% last year.
Three in 10 followers are looking for product information, while 22% want information about the company, or invitations to events. Twenty per cent would like free tips and advice, and 19% are looking for feedback forums. Unfortunately 29% keep us guessing, indicating their reasons for following businesses don’t fit into any of the provided categories.
The types of brands and businesses people follow on Facebook have changed too, with lifts in sporting brands and clubs, work or profession related pages, and electronics and technology businesses, while telecommunication providers and fashion brand follows have declined. Interestingly, this was reversed on Twitter, where the only increase was in fashion and clothing related businesses, while there was significant drop off in interest in sporting brands and work related content.
Attitudes towards social media advertising are softening, with more users welcoming suggested pages. Fewer people are ignoring social media ads (44% down from 53%) and compared to last year, more people are more likely to inspect a brand’s social media presence before making their first online purchase with them.
Business can build trust with users by interacting positively with customers on social media, as indicated by 64% of survey respondents, up from 52% last year. Engaging and relevant content is also key to building trust (63%), as well as regularly updating content (59%). These reasons were all more important than having a large number of followers (46%).
Consumers won’t hesitate to unfollow a brand on social media if they share irrelevant or unappealing content (43%) or show too many ads (35%). Interestingly, showing too much content is more likely to get a page unfollowed than sharing too little (28% v 7%).

Sensis Social Media Report, p42
And while only 22% leave business reviews or ratings, 44% of Australian social media users read business reviews and blogs, and 60% of those will read up to five reviews before making a purchase decision.
 
While there is still a very delicate path to tread in order to get your social media mix just right, the 2017 Sensis Social Media Report provides valuable insights into consumer behaviour in Australia.
With the right management and digital marketing team on your side, this information can help you make the most of your brand’s social media presence in 2017.
 

The Social Media Labyrinth

How to Choose the Right Social Media Platform

Whether you’re running a bricks and mortar store, a large corporate, or a start-up in the digital space, social media offers universal benefits for every business.
Initially seen as a gateway to connect with customers and promote products and services, social media has evolved to become one of the most powerful sales and marketing tools available today.
Realising this potential, many businesses make the mistake of rushing in and launching multiple social media accounts without any planning or strategy. The 2016 Sensis Social Media Report found only 31% of Australian small businesses using social media have developed a strategic plan, compared to 76% of large businesses.
Pretty soon, they realise they can’t keep up with the demand for content across every channel, and their efforts aren’t rewarded with the ROI they’d like for their precious time.
Then there are those businesses still resisting the social movement. Although social media uptake is growing, less than half of Australia’s small and medium size businesses use social media, compared to 79% of large businesses. Some are simply overwhelmed by the growing number of social media platforms to choose from. Often though, they are corner stores and real-world businesses that struggle to see the benefits of an online presence. Key to realising this connection is understanding that wherever and whatever your business is, chances are your customers are using social media.
The latest statistics show 69% of Australians have a social media profile, and 50% use social media every day. For 49% of Australians, social networking is the first thing they do when they wake up. What business doesn’t want that kind of exposure?
Whether your business is new to the world of social or you’re thinking about a social media makeover, we take a look at the benefits of some of the most popular social media platforms to help you find the best fit for your brand.
Facebook
Facebook has become a virtual home for almost two billion people right across the globe.
Now the largest social media platform in the world, Facebook has transformed from a social networking site to a multi-faceted virtual reality that allows people to bring almost every element of their real-world lives, online.
It’s where we connect with friends and family, watch and broadcast videos, shop online, find and review businesses, research interests and hobbies, listen to music, network in social groups with colleagues and peers, and even buy and sell secondhand goods.
Brands have realised the potential of being in this always-open digital marketplace, with more than 70-million business pages now active on Facebook, including 5-million active advertisers investing USD$7.86-billion in advertising revenue in Q1 2017.
Facebook’s following continues to grow, reaching a record 1.94-billion Monthly Active Users in the first quarter of 2017. With 90% of that audience accessing Facebook on mobile, marketers now have the unprecedented ability to deliver brand messaging direct to their target group’s fingertips.
Facebook’s wide-ranging features provide businesses with a suitable platform for a variety of content, including blogs, videos, live streams, images, competitions, even messenger bots and of course, targeted advertising. But perhaps one of its greatest features is the diversity of Facebook’s following, with user age ranging from 13 to 65+. Worldwide, people aged 18 to 34 make up 59% of Facebook users, while the largest demographic is males aged 18 to 24, accounting for 18% of all users on Facebook.
Closer to home, the Sensis Social Media Report found 95% of Australian social media users are on Facebook, towering above the next most popular platforms of Instagram with 31%, LinkedIn 24%, Snapchat 22%, Twitter 19% and Pinterest, 11%.

In addition to providing a flexible marketing platform for all industries and all ages, Facebook also offers businesses built-in analytics and tools to help manage and monitor social media performance, from scheduling posts, to recording click through rates and conversions.
Best for: Facebook is an extremely diverse platform that almost any business can use efficiently. Facebook combines the best features and functionalities of all social media platforms, with the ability to post photos, videos, live streaming, clickable links, long-form copy, blogs, competitions, promotions and targeted advertising. If your business is just getting started on social media, or you only want to use one social media channel, Facebook is probably the best place to start.
YouTube
We all know there are only 24 hours in one day. That is of course except on YouTube, where an average 1 billion hours of video content is consumed daily.
As of the first quarter of 2017, YouTube has 1 billion users, or around one third of the world’s internet users.
And while its primary purpose is a video hosting site, YouTube also qualifies as a social media channel because it allows users to interact with each other, building relationships between the YouTuber and their audience.
The world’s most popular YouTube stars each have a cult-like following of tens of millions of viewers, and a handsome salary to match. The number one YouTuber known as PewDiePie has over 54-million subscribers and made an estimated US$15-million in 2016. The top-rated YouTube content ranges from beauty vlogs and comedy to gaming commentary and well, however you define WhindersonNunes.
While businesses can also launch YouTube accounts to broadcast their own branded content, placing an advertisement on already viral videos provides a much easier pathway to reach large audiences. And although nearly half of all millennials think YouTube has the most annoying ads, YouTube’s video advertising revenue reached USD$5.18-billion in 2016 alone.
So who is watching all these videos? Not surprisingly, mostly young people, but the audience is probably more diverse than you think. YouTube reported it reaches more 18-49 year olds than any cable network in the US, including 91% of US internet users aged 13 to 17. But the older generation is also embracing digital video. The time spent on YouTube by viewers aged 55+ tripled between 2015 and 2016.
Best for: Unless your business has a budget for high quality video production, or experience in vlogging, creating DIY YouTube marketing videos might not be the best solution for you. But advertising to YouTube’s captive audience is certainly an option for brands to consider. Companies can also store corporate and promotional videos on YouTube for distribution via their other social media channels.
Instagram
Instagram has grown from strength to strength since the Facebook acquisition in 2012.
The photo-sharing app had only 30-million users and zero revenue when Facebook purchased Instagram for a reported USD$1-billion. Official advertising revenue figures are not released, but with more than 700 million monthly active users now on Instagram, the app’s revenue for 2017 has been estimated at more than USD$5.3-billion.
Instagram’s capabilities and features have grown too, expanding from simply sharing photos to creating collages and videos, Boomerang animations, and more recently, Instagram Stories (disappearing videos and images), Instagram Direct, and digital stickers.
For businesses, this means a multitude of different ways to market your brand and promote your products. And best of all, the Instagram audience is primed to buy. More than 80% of Instagram users follow a business on Instagram and products have the highest engagement of all content types on Instagram.
Globally, 90% of Instagram users are younger than 35. While in Australia, Instagram is our second most favourite social media platform behind Facebook, and people aged 18-29 make up the greatest user demographic, accounting for 58% of the Australian audience.
Best for: Instagram is primarily a visual medium, allowing businesses to showcase their products and surroundings on a digital global stage. The addition of features like Instagram Stories gives businesses even more flexibility and creative freedom to connect with customers in new ways. Above all, Instagram’s association with Facebook makes it easier to integrate the two channels together, including cross-channel advertising, and automatically sharing posts from Instagram to Facebook, saving you time and money.
Twitter
It’s the social media platform of choice for celebrities, media outlets, and corporate companies. And it has an audience of 328-million monthly active users, and growing.
Twitter’s short and sweet 140-character limit makes it the best network for getting a message out fast. Although recent changes to Twitter’s messaging structure mean you can now fit more content in each Tweet than ever before, including links, images, videos and live streaming.
Twitter is also the birthplace of the hashtag, used to categorise themes in posts. The hashtag continues to play a key role in this and other social media platforms, identifying trending topics and making Twitter the modern day go-to source for breaking news and world events.
Engagement rates for businesses on Twitter are notoriously low, achieving a 0.02% interaction rate for major brands with at least 10 million followers, and 0.18% for smaller brands with an audience of 1-1000. Yet an estimated 65% companies use Twitter for marketing, indicating Twitter is achieving results and reach not measured by the traditional likes-driven analytics of competitor platforms like Facebook.
Twitter claims 85% of users believe Promoted Accounts help them discover new businesses on Twitter, while 75% feel better about a small or medium business after following its Tweets, and 69% have been influenced to purchase something from a business because of Twitter.
In Twitter’s Q1 2017 Letter to Shareholders, the company revealed quarterly revenue was $548-million, including $474-million from advertising. In the same period, total ad engagements had increased 139% year over year, and cost per engagement was down 63%; results Twitter attributed to ongoing improvements to algorithms for accelerated ROI and engagement rates for advertisers.
Twitter’s audience continues to be dominated by the younger generation, with 55% of users aged 25 and under in the first quarter. Closer to home, 19% of Australian social media users are on Twitter, and of them, 53% are aged 18 to 39.
Best for: Twitter is a great option for corporate companies unsure about the bright and colourful world of the more visually dominant social media platforms. While Twitter’s imagery and video content is significantly increasing, it is still an appropriate platform for a brief text-only message, which isn’t suitable on any other platform. Still, companies in all industries should embrace any opportunity for sharing content and storytelling, corporate doesn’t have to be all black and white.
Pinterest
If you’re in the wedding industry, and you haven’t already, go and open a Pinterest account right now.
Same goes for any business specialising in food and drink, home decor and art, DIY and craft, women’s fashion, health and fitness, travel, technology, hair and beauty and tattoos.
These highly visual business categories are among the most popular searches on Pinterest which now has 150-million active users worldwide. Perhaps not surprisingly, a reported 85% of those are female. Pinterest is the 6th most popular social media platform in Australia, and women aged 40 to 49 are the leading demographic of the Australian audience (19%).
Pinterest users or ‘Pinners’ are encouraged to create digital vision boards of their favourite images, including artworks, products, and an inspirational quote (or 12). It is believed this time spent curating images encourages greater brand affinity, which might explain why Pinners spend 50% more compared to other shoppers referred from different social channels.
Best for: If the core offering of your business is visually appealing, or female oriented, consider setting up a Pinterest Business Account.  As with the other social media channels, Pinterest allows you to pay to expand your reach and target specific audiences, as well as track and monitor your performance. The key to success here is to use high quality imagery, update regularly and ensure all pins are linked back to your website or online store.
Snapchat
Snapchat is still the new kid on the block when it comes to social media marketing tools. Which is also why it has some of the most exciting growth potential. Snapchat has 158-million daily users globally, and each Snapchatter spends an average of 30 minutes using the app over 18 sessions each day.
With those figures, what was perhaps first dismissed as a passing fad or entertainment app, is now being realised as an influential marketing platform. Snapchat’s advertising revenue has been estimated at $770-million in 2017, and that amount looks set to grow with the introduction of Snapchat’s new advertising products including Snap Ads, Sponsored Geofilters and Sponsored Lenses.
But you don’t need a big budget to reach people on Snapchat. A growing number of businesses are using the app as a way to connect with customers on a more human level, sharing ‘stories’ (pictures and short video clips) snapped or filmed with a hand-held smartphone camera.
In Australia, Snapchat is ranked the fourth most popular social media platform, capturing 22% of social networking users down under. Young people aged 18 to 29 make up 60% of Australian Snapchat users.
Best for: A great add on to the more mainstream social media channels, especially for bloggers, retail and commercial businesses with a young target audience. Best of all, Snapchat is still a new and evolving platform so it’s an exciting opportunity for marketers to pioneer this new technology.
……….
For some brands, a combination of several social media platforms is often the best way to reach multiple niche markets within target audiences. For others, focusing more time and resources on just one social media account will reap the best results.
We’ll leave you with some takeaway considerations for solving your social media struggles:

Identify your audience and their social media platform (or platforms) of choice, and put your brand and products in that space.
Develop a social media strategy, content plan and image archive to ensure continuity and consistency BEFORE launching your social media account.
First impressions last. Remember your social media presence might be a customer’s first and only interaction with your business. Make sure the personality, appearance, messaging and tone of your social media matches that of your brand.
Monitor and measure your results. If you’re investing time and money in social media, you want to know what’s working, and what’s not. Unfortunately, more than a quarter of Australian small and medium size businesses and over one third of large businesses don’t even know how much they’ve spent on social media advertising. And only 21% of Australian small businesses measure their ROI on social media, compared to 61% of large businesses.
Consider and plan your response to customer queries, compliments, complaints, negative reviews, trolls and cyber-bullying, and appoint several page admins or hire a professional digital and social media marketing team to ensure appropriate, responsive and timely action.

The Latest Social Media Fails

There’s one big flaw that all brands have that no one likes to talk about: they’re run by fallible, emotional and sometimes careless human beings.
Every once in a great while, these humans make mistakes—they slip up all too publicly on their brands’ social media properties.
When this happens, most us watch the disaster unfold with bewilderment at the stark stupidity of it all. While these mistakes often create backlash for brands, and sometimes a bit of recovery work, they’re not necessarily the end of the world. Having said that, it may be the end of the career line for the people who caused the problem/s in the first place.
In the interest of learning from the mistakes of others, following are some of the worst social media fails of the last 12 months:
Total Beauty: Confusing Oprah Winfrey and Whoopi Goldberg
Total Beauty made a pretty serious social media faux pas when they confused two hugely popular African American female celebrities; Oprah Winfrey and Whoopi Goldberg.
Both are not people whose bad side you want to be on, and the brand may have done so when they praised Oprah Winfrey for having tattoos while it was in fact Whoopi Goldberg in the picture.
To make matters worse, the tweet was released during the Oscars, meaning that Total Beauty not only received the attention of the fans of both women, but of all the viewers tweeting about the Oscars that night.
To their credit, they reacted quickly, taking down the photo as soon as they could and apologised for the misstep.
 
ALDI: Inciting Negative Responses
ALDI Australia didn’t offend other people, but they did accidentally incite others to upload questionable content on their Twitter page. The popular discount retail outlet wanted to run a campaign that would prompt their customers to post positive memories about shopping at Aldi.
After the ‘Fill in the blank’ tweet went live, Aldi received many distasteful responses, with people filling in the blank with offensive imagery like diarrhoea, poison, and many other less pleasant responses.
Fortunately, Aldi quickly stopped the campaign.
Key learning: consider all possible outcomes – negative and positive – when palnning you next social media campaign. Remember, consumers are not constrained by policy, guidelines and corporate imperatives like you are.
Coca-Cola: Released the Wrong Russian Map
The biggest social media rule is the one that always seems to be broken the most: do your research.
In this case, Coca-Cola incited a #BanCocaCola hashtag after they published an ad with the wrong map of Russia.
When you take a closer look, the map is outdated. It doesn’t include Kaliningrad, which was annexed after World World II. Russian patriots were not happy with the ad, and began posting pictures of themselves pouring Coca-Cola into toilets. Ouch.
Seoul Secret: White Skin Helps You Win
There are times when you just scratch your head and wonder what a brand’s marketing/social media department was thinking. This is one of those times.
Beauty brand, Seoul Secret ran an incredibly inappropriate campaign, that basically implied that one of their models was more successful because she has white skin.
To make matters worse, the campaign was called “White Makes you Win”. What was it promoting? Skin lightening cosmetics.
Seoul Secret tweeted about their campaign and included a video of Thai actress and singer Cris Horwang.
In the video, she spoke about her career and made direct comments about her white skin and why it has made her more successful than others.
Seriously.
Most brands fear social media mistakes like the ‘Wrong Russia’ one made by Coca-Cola. Taking it to a whole new – and worse – level is running a blatantly racially offensive campaign. Imagine having to clean up that marketing mess.
There is Life After a Social Media Fail.
While these social media fails were clearly a headache for these brands, you shouldn’t panic if you should stumble into/create a social media firestorm.
The best way to recover from a social media campaign that has gone wrong is to act quickly, apologise (invariably) and show that you’re genuinely trying to fix the mess. A good social media strategy is all about planning and balancing sensitivity with common sense.
If having a successful social media program is something you’re worried about, speak with a social media expert about how to do it right; and what to do when things go wrong.
Tick Yes is a digital and social media marketing agency based in Sydney that uses proven social media strategies to help clients improve their brand. For more information on how we can help manage your social media strategy, contact us.

Email Marketing

Email Marketing is not dead

Why Email Marketing Runs Rings Around Social Media

Just like the fashion trends, marketers tend to change their mind about email marketing, particularly when it’s compared to social media.
It’s a case of: RIP email marketing. Wait, it’s alive! No, it’s actually dead. Hold your horses, it is ALIVE! What’s going on?
As a team that works with email marketing every day, we believe quality engagement and sales leads can still be generated through email. As long as it’s done well, of course.
I know what you’re thinking, how dare I turn my nose up at social media; it’s the way of the future, it’s going to solve world hunger and have your babies! It will wake you up with a skinny latte every morning.
Don’t get me wrong; social media can be an important part of your marketing if it makes sense for your business. But don’t put it ahead of email marketing.
Where’s the Proof?
You want evidence that email marketing is the digital performance king? Here are a few figures:

Email marketing acquired 40 times more customers than Facebook and Twitter combined (McKinsey).
72% people prefer to receive promotional content through email, compared to 17% who prefer social media (Marketing Sherpa).
Email marketing drives more conversions than any other marketing channel, including search and social (Monetate).
For every $1 spent, email marketing generates $38 in ROI (Campaign Monitor).

More Numbers
Picture a full cup of rice as the number of emails sent out every day. In comparison, daily posts on Facebook and Twitter would be just ten miserable grains. That’s because email has almost three times as many user accounts than all social media channels combined (MailMunch). That’s 2.9 billion emails all up.
In the same breath, every single web search made on every search engine every single day is just 1/100th of daily email traffic.
Too many marketers are too busy chasing the latest Google algorithms and keyword magic bullets that they’ve neglected their email marketing strategy.
Quality Over Quantity
You’ve now seen email’s reach and the amount of traffic it has compared to social media platforms. If you’re thinking traffic doesn’t mean much and a small quantity of well-targeted marketing aimed at quality traffic will nail larger amounts than a couple of hundred shotgun pellets sprayed at random; you’re right. That is precisely why email trumps social media for quality and quantity.
MailMunch compared the performance of email and social media marketing in an interesting way. Let’s assume you have 2,000 people on an email database, 2,000 Facebook fans and 2,000 followers on Twitter. Based on industry averages, this is the exposure/engagement your target market would have with your messages:

435 people will open your email
120 of your Facebook fans will see your update
40 Twitter followers will see your tweet

But it gets worse. Here are the average click rates by channel:

Email marketing: 3.57%
Facebook: 0.07%
Twitter: 0.03%

Email is Personal
You thought Facebook was the most personal medium? Think again.
First, consider the above stats and comparisons. Second, the majority of people don’t go to Facebook for 1-on-1 online conversations; they open their emails.
The inbox is like the Holy Grail – people guard it highly and once someone allows you access it means that they’re interested in you or your offering on some level.
Email Gets More Attention Per Customer
You are more likely to get face-time with your leads if you use email, not because they’re hanging around their inboxes more than their Facebook pages or searching Google, but because email makes room for repeated contact.
In fact, it’s ‘invasive’ contact. It’s right in their mailbox, and that’s very different from posting a status update or tweeting which can get lost in the tsunami of online content.
Provided your content is worth reading, your customers and prospects are more likely to take a minute to open that email.
Email is a Transactional Medium
People expect to receive offers in their inbox, so their tolerance levels are a little higher than on social media where they just want to be, well, social.
Through email, you can train customers to expect offers from you while imparting value and positioning yourself as a thought leader. In turn, customers will start to look forward to receiving your emails.
And since you can make unlimited contact with them over time, you are significantly more likely to catch them when they are ready to buy.
Image Source: Shutterstock

The Email Strikes Back

Imagine a time long, long ago: 2002.
Facebook was but a twinkle in Mark Zuckerberg’s eye. ‘App’ was nothing more than my nickname. Big data sounded like a Clint Eastwood movie. And digital marketing, well that meant banner ads, websites, My Space profiles and spam emails.
Good times.
Fast forward to today and boy, it’s SO much more exciting! Digital technology is infinitely more ingrained in our lives and all manner of platforms, programs and strategies are now available to digital marketers.
There’s only one problem: those pesky bean counters keep on wanting you to deliver a profit from your investment in digital.
Hate that.
There is good news, however.
If you thought Facebook’s 1.4 billion users was impressive, how about another digital platform that has 3.9 billion users. It has a 300% higher conversion rate than social media with sales that have 17% higher value. And here’s the kicker: for every $1 spent on this platform, the average return is $44.25. That’s a lot of beans to count.
So what is this amazing digital platform? It’s, wait for it, EMAIL!
Email? Are you serious? Email is so, well, old and boring.
Yes, compared to all the latest digital, mobile and social media thingamies, email marketing has whiskers. It hasn’t had the digerati WOW factor since the 90’s. And if you’re waiting for an invitation to deliver the keynote at a digital marketing conference dissecting your highly successful email marketing program, don’t hold your breath.
For a time there, the figures suggested that email was on the way out. According to the McKinsey iConsumer survey there was a 20% decline in email usage from 2008 to 2012, inversely proportional to the increased popularity of social media, instant messaging and mobile apps.
Given that many marketers have the attention span of a tsetse fly, the endless new digital tools to play with are tailor made. You get your head around Instagram and then along comes Pinterest. You master YouTube and then you have to contend with Periscope (or Meerkat). Heaven!
The key problem that digital technology has created for many marketers is that there are so many new platforms and methods to learn about that the ‘what to do’ has taken the focus away from the ‘why to do it’.
I’ve seen millions of dollars spent on ‘doing digital stuff’ with no clear strategy as to how the activity will lead to increased sales, awareness, new customers or more satisfied existing customers. As for a longer-term vision that builds on the momentum that’s been created by the initial digital campaign, forget about it.
Of course, it’s not all doom and gloom. Smart marketers have been focused on building digital assets since the 90’s; starting with opt-in email databases through to active communities on target market appropriate social media platforms.
While the jury’s still out on putting all your eggs in the social media basket, there has been a clear resurgence in email marketing’s appeal.
Salesforce Marketing Cloud’s 2015 State of Marketing report found that for 73% of marketers email is core to their business. Tellingly, 60% see email as a critical ‘enabler’ of their products and services this year compared to 42% in 2014.
Even though there hasn’t been anything new to get excited about with email since Adam was fretting over the Y2K virus, the savvy among us know that if it’s results you’re after email marketing is what you should be doing.
Not that the humble email in and of itself is anything special. As with any type of marketing, the magic is not in the technology or the delivery method, it lies in the ability of that marketing initiative to take the target market from point A to point B.
As you’ve no doubt experienced, in the hands of amateurs and villains, email has the power to damage and dilute a brand. How many deathly dull email newsletters have you received that talk all about the sender and nothing that’s remotely interesting to you?
And then there’s spam.
It could be argued – convincingly – that any commercial email that doesn’t focus on what your market is interested in and what can help them is spam.
So be warned. You don’t have to be selling dodgy medical cures or timeshare apartments for recipients to hate you for wasting their time and clogging up their inbox.
Conversely, effectively crafted email marketing is still what it has always been: an incredibly flexible, highly targeted, trackable and results-generating strategy.
Here’s a fun exercise: compare the cost per personal contact for email versus any other sales or marketing method. We did this recently for a client’s Business-2-Business email marketing campaign and compared it to their salespeople calling on the same number of customers who opened the email. There was around a $275,000 difference in favour of the humble email. It’s enough to give those bean counters palpitations.
By all means do the fun digital stuff; it may not achieve terribly much but it sure as heck can look good on your CV.
However, if you’re the person responsible for generating leads, driving sales and serving your customers more effectively, email marketing could well be the solution, digital or otherwise, that you need.
 
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Email Marketing

 
 

Is Email Marketing to Health Care Professionals Worthwhile?

1995 is acknowledged as the year the internet first became commercialised. Since then, electronic communication strategies have been deployed by numerous industries and millions of companies. So digital marketing is not new.
With pharmaceutical companies cautious and risk-averse however, digital marketing has never been wholeheartedly embraced by the industry as a viable way to achieve objectives. This has clearly been changing over the past 12-18 months.
With the traditional rep model – and its costs – under review like never before, many pharma companies are tentatively looking at digital, particularly email marketing to HCPs as an effective means of engaging, detailing and even servicing. Of course central to the effectiveness of such a strategy is the willingness of HCPs to firstly opt-in to receive eDMs from pharma companies and to then react or respond in the desired way.
What we know with absolute certainty is that digital has changed the way medicine is administered by HCPs. In a Tick Yes survey conducted in September 2014 of a sample of 1,000 Australians, 88.6% said they researched their symptoms online before visiting a doctor. Not surprisingly, 94.2% said the credibility of that medical information was moderately to extremely important.
So HCPs are being confronted with better informed patients every day thanks to the internet. Naturally, better informed does not mean correctly informed. That’s why the personal interaction patients have with HCPs is crucial and will never be replaced by a website.
So what does this mean for pharma companies? Logically, as your HCP customers’ world has changed, so too the strategies for marketing to them should evolve as well. Reps still play a vital role of course, but email marketing in particular can reinforce key information that has been or is about to be delivered by the rep.
While that sounds all well and good, it’s at about this stage of conversations with pharma marketers that the objections start coming out: Why would HCPs opt-in to get emails from lots of pharma companies? I get 100’s of emails a day; no-one would read our eDM. It would just be seen as spam. We have nothing new to say.
They’re all valid points. My contention is that most pharma organisations look at direct electronic communications around the wrong way. Instead of looking at digital as new and risky, look at it as a way to better reach and inform time-poor professionals at a time convenient for them. Instead of worrying about spam, look at creating content that is unique, engaging and useful for your audience. Instead of worrying about getting opt-in, focus on giving HCPs meaningful reasons to do so. You don’t worry about how many other pharma reps are knocking on the doors of the doctors you’re targeting, so why worry about other eDMs they may be receiving.
As with your treatments, it all comes down to quality. Put together a confusing eDetailer, deploy a mediocre sales team, have no engaging story to tell and your efforts will fail. The same applies with email marketing. Don’t make the mistake of magnifying the objections to the extent that it seems all too hard and the risks are too great. Then there’s the other strategy killer: only talking about what’s important to you. I don’t care that your rep from south-eastern Queensland has been with you for 25 years; what can you give me that will help me to better care for my patients? If this sounds like a rookie mistake why do so many organisations keep making it?
Just over a decade ago we created an opt-in email database of GPs for a major pharma company and then proceeded to communicate very successfully with the GPs using eDMs targeted to their interests and needs. So this is not a new strategy.
Email marketing to HCPs can be effective and is worthwhile but you need to think of it as marketing strategy first and a digital marketing strategy second. As with all things, the best results await the people who do it best.
 
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News & Views

Is All Publicity Good Publicity?

We’ve all seen those marketing campaigns that went, oh, so very wrong. They’re often around to clog up our social media feeds for a couple of days, garner some negative attention, and then they die off.
But the real question for marketers is: how damaging was the campaign to the brand?
We’re taking a look at whether or not all publicity is good publicity, and whether you can expect to recover from a serious popular culture blunder.
Everyone’s Goal: Good Publicity
Logically, no marketers set out to epically fail when it comes to their latest marketing campaign. One company — Dollar Shave Club —ran that risk but nailed it when it made a promotional video filled with swear words (something most marketers would never do).
The Dollar Shave Club is a subscription service that delivers men’s razor blades. The video that we’re talking about featured Michael Dubin, the startup’s co-founder. It cost roughly $4,500 to make and within a week it had three million views.
In this case, the video greatly helped grow Dollar Shave Club’s brand — even though the swearing may have been offensive to some. They started their own YouTube channel, and they now have two million subscribers to their service. Unilever were so not offended that they paid $1 billion to buy the then 5 year-old start-up company.
But not every attempt at twisting humour is so successful. One hugely controversial example is the Protein World campaign that has marketers divided.
Walking the Line: Good or Bad Publicity?
The now infamous Protein World advertisement appeared across London Underground stations. It featured a model in a bikini and the tagline, “Are you beach body ready?”
The relatively straightforward ad led to a huge ‘body shaming’ backlash and marketers today still can’t determine whether running an ad that’s so controversial is a good idea.
Protesters gathered a petition calling for the ad’s removal and collected more than 70,000 signatures. The campaign even collected it’s very own hashtag – #everybodysready – that took off on social media channels.
According to Protein World, they think the ad was a good move. They maintained that they did not mean to imply that everyone should look like the model, and they became a household brand name. They also claim the ad resulted in 30,000 new customers and an extra £2m in one week.
Maybe the ad drove sales, but it’s a very fine line to walk as a marketer when you disregard public opinion in order to generate leads.
You’re Doomed: Bad Publicity
Sometimes, you just can’t come back from your mistakes. They can’t all be spun into something positive like Protein World’s controversial ad.
When Carrie Fisher, the world-famous actress died, Cinnabon tweeted an image that generated a hugely negative backlash from social media.
The baked goods brand posted a drawing of Fisher as her best-known character, Star Wars’ Princess Leia, with her famous hair buns replaced with Cinnabon’s trademark cinnabon product. They commented “RIP Carrie Fisher, you’ll always have the best buns in the galaxy.” The backlash was enormous. And in this case, there’s no public proof that the campaign increased Cinnabon sales.
The problem with these types of campaigns is that hindsight is 20-20. How do you know when you’re producing something that it will be seen as funny, middle-ground or widely negative?

Guidelines You can Follow
While predicting the outcome of sarcastic and cultural campaigns is next to impossible, there are some guidelines you can follow.
First, promoting news to people who aren’t likely to become clients or customers, just for publicity’s sake is almost never worth it. In the event that it creates negative public relations (PR), you might end up reducing traffic to your website.
If the outlet or medium through which you’re distributing doesn’t have the best reputation, you can harm your reputation by association. You can control this by posting your content on your own site where you can take it down if needed — just be prepared to take the full brunt of the backlash should the campaign turn out to create negative feedback.
No one knows your audience and your customers better than your brand. Use your best judgement when it comes to generating the best publicity to help your organization stay successful.
 
Image Sources:

Huffington Post
CBS News

Don’t Forget to Pat the Dog

A few days ago I posted an article called The Stupidity of Silence where I suggested that ceasing all contact when someone doesn’t give you what you want is a really dumb strategy.
Here’s another one.
We’re looking to sell our house at the moment. Part of the process is interviewing real estate agents. Theirs is an incredibly competitive business where all they’re offering is reputation and the perceived ability to persuade people to buy.
The first agent who came to our home said all the right things, had all the requisite collateral detailing sales successes etc. and was a nice guy. The only problem was that he completely ignored the adored family dog.
It’s a small point, I know. You could say that his job is to negotiate hard and to sell real estate on our behalf, not to get all cutesy with every pampered pooch that may slobber on his expensive suit.

But you could also say that his job is to effectively engage people and a simple short-cut to doing that is to understand what their emotional hot buttons are. It’s not much of a stretch to assume that a spoiled pet fits the hot button bill for the person – the property’s owner – the agent is trying to influence.
Not surprisingly, that agent didn’t get the business. The agent that did pat Mocha closed the sale.

For those of us who need to emotionally engage and influence people for a living, it’s easy to forget that little things to us may be major things to our market/s. Recognising what that is (by research, experience or assumption) and reacting accordingly can make the difference between success and failure.
 
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1. 
2.

The Stupidity of Silence

For my sins, I’ve been brought up to say “please” and “thank you” and even, heaven forbid, open the door for ladies. I know that such behaviour is archaic, uncool and totally unexpected in today’s ‘every man for himself’ age, but it works for me.
That’s not to say that all people don’t appreciate manners. Take me, for example. Not surprisingly, I love it when people are polite. Mainly because it shows that they actually give a damn about our interaction.
That’s why it always astounds me when people in business don’t follow-up with a simple thank you email or even a note – when was the last time you received a handwritten thank you note? – after we’ve had some type of interaction.
This is particularly the case when someone has unsuccessfully asked for a meeting, a job or a sale. Most of the time, if I say “no thank you” I get nothing back. Silence. They’ve moved on to new prospects because I didn’t give them what they wanted.
How stupid. As the old sales expression goes ‘No doesn’t mean no, it just means not now.’
For the cost of spending 2 minutes writing a “Thanks, sorry we couldn’t do a deal this time. Maybe we can work together in the future…” email, their last impression with me would have been a positive one. Instead, their silence showed me that the decision not to work with them was probably the right one.
We’re all in sales, so rejection comes with the territory. You have to look beyond today’s no and focus on the long-term relationship you can form with the person who has just rejected what you’re offering. It’s important to remember that they didn’t reject you, they rejected what you were selling.
Some of the best clients I’ve ever worked with said no for several years until the time was right for them to say yes. The only person who misses out if you don’t keep in touch with the person who just said “thanks but no thanks” is you.

Keep in touch. Keep showing up. Show you care. It’s the smart thing to do.
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Digital Marketing Lessons To Be Learnt From Donald Trump

Donald Trump teaching you marketing lessons? Seriously? Yes, seriously.
Love him or hate him, Donald Trump has made the race for the White House fascinating. And fascinating doesn’t happen by chance.
Exceptional marketing combined with good old fashioned, in-your-face salesmanship are central to the success of his campaign – so far.
So putting aside your opinion on his politics, let’s look at what can be learned from Trump’s ‘Making America Great Again’ campaign.

Know Your Audience
Contrary to the opinion of many, Trump is no fool and knows his audience incredibly well. He has identified the pain and passion points of his supporters and has moulded his campaign accordingly.
As a digital marketer, this should be the first thing you do when devising a strategy. You need to know who you’re targeting, how to address their needs with valuable content and then get them to take action.
Yes, it sounds obvious but it’s astounding how many digital campaigns don’t have any compelling customer reasons for being.

Engage Your Audience at Every Touchpoint
Trump is particularly well-known for his power to motivate, outrage, and entertain his audience on Twitter but it’s not the only platform that his campaign uses.
Today’s campaigners are connected through multiple digital channels and are faced with an array of methods to reach out to their voters. This brings opportunity and challenges in equal measure. Get your content’s message, tone, and platform right, and you’ll win loyal supporters. Get it wrong, and your audience clicks over to the next hot thing.
Engaging with your audience through relevant social media platforms is important. While Facebook will always take a leading role, this year’s election campaign has seen candidates reaching beyond the social giant to more niche platforms like Instagram and Snapchat.

Zig when Everyone Else Zags
From suggesting he paid Hillary to attend his wedding to the claim that Ted Cruz’s father was involved with JFK’s assassination, Trump marches to his own beat.
He does the opposite of what other politicians have been taught to do, but clearly it’s working.
Hillary Clinton says that all is wonderful with the USA; Trump says the complete opposite. By graphically highlighting the country’s problems real or supposed he offers the ultimate solution: him. America will only be great again if you vote for Trump.
The takeaway here is to take chances. Do something different. When everyone is focusing on eBooks and blogs, create a podcast or set up a Periscope account. When everyone goes horizontal, go vertical.

Want to Stay in the Game? Don’t Be Boring!
How many times have you listened to Hillary Clinton, Jeb Bush or Ted Cruz? Do you remember a single thing they said or tweeted? I can’t either.
So how about The Donald?
Like most of us, I can easily rattle off any number of quotes, tweets and incidents from his campaign. Many of Trump’s tweets have taken on a life of their own, garnering enormous global coverage.
What does this tell you about his marketing?
Right from the outset, Trump has been outrageous, disrespectful, rude, controversial and, without fail, utterly compelling.
While his opponents were trying to cut through by spending many millions of dollars on advertising, Trump’s messages and style have earned him more free publicity and media time than all of his erstwhile Republican opponents: combined.
In the marketing world, Trump’s content stands head and shoulders above his competitors and makes people take notice. As a marketer, if you market the same old boring content everyone else is putting out there, no one’s going to see it or care.
From a content marketing perspective, be like Donald, not Jeb.

Build Rapport with Everyone, Even the Haters
This is a risky way to approach a digital marketing campaign but if your brand is ready to take a little heat, you can even get value from your haters.
Of course, while most of us don’t want to “feed the trolls,” Trump has a knack for beating his detractors
to the punch. When Ted Cruz didn’t endorse Trump on day three of the RNC, Trump was quick to tweet about it and turned a negative into a positive. Brave and smart.

Manage Your Brand or Domain
You may have heard about Trump redirecting Jeb Bush’s website to his own. Due to poor brand management, Bush’s team forgot to renew payment for their domain which meant that the address became available to anyone else. Trump’s team grabbed the opportunity and automatically redirected all visitors to his website.
Lesson: don’t be a digital dill. Make sure your domain payments are up-to-date or outsource management to someone who knows what the hell they’re doing!

Lessons Learnt
Trump understands just how dramatically digital communication has changed the way we engage and has invested in his online presence. He has more than 23 million social media followers / likes, dramatically more than any his competitors for the Republican nomination. And 50% more than Hillary Clinton.
Like any successful digital marketer, Trump maintains an active presence and regularly tweets, posts and interacts with both friends and foes alike. He also stays abreast of the latest digital trends (he announced his intention to run on Periscope).
Offensive, buffoonish or smart? Whatever you feel about the man, there’s no denying his masterful use of digital marketing. There a thing or two we can learn from The Donald; or at least from his campaign.

Images:
a) Getty Images, Tom Pennington
b) Twitter
c) CNN Money