7 ways to use Print in a digital world.

7 Ways to Use Print in a Digital World

Nowadays, everything seems to be done digitally. Companies are embracing social media;

Use Print for digital, marketing,

7 ways to use Print in a digital world. Image license https://www.pexels.com/photo-license/

constantly spending money to update their web sites; and sending out endless emails to customers throughout the world, many of which will simply go straight to the junk folder. Despite this digital dominance, print promotion still has a very real use for businesses though, and can provide an absolutely invaluable way for businesses to get noticed and reach a targeted audience.

Sure, print marketing isn’t the same as it used to be. No longer is it as viable to simply drop thousands of leaflets through doors, but by adopting some more innovative strategies, businesses can still get stunning results. Below you’ll find a few different ways to jazz up your print materials, and really make an impact where it matters – on the streets, and in the homes of your potential new clients and customers…

Embrace Branded Merchandise

Print doesn’t just mean printing on paper – it also means printing your name, logo and contact details onto anything a potential customer might use. Do you sell a product online? Well, consider printing out some mouse mats, to remind people about you every time they use their computer. Or perhaps you could give away pens, balloons or all manner of other goodies at a local event? Every time someone sees your name, they’ll be more likely to look you up in the future.

Get More from Your Business Cards

Every half decent businessman has business cards, however most people have loads of them stuffed into their wallets. In fact, most people simply throw them away, without a second thought. That’s why you need to make your business cards stand out! You’ll find loads of fantastic ideas to add something new to your business cards when you look online, from innovative use of colour through to pop-out figures. So, why not get some inspiration?

Change the Format

How many leaflets do you get with the local paper? And how many of them do you actually read? To make someone actually want to look through your leaflet, it’s going to need to look extra special. So, perhaps it’s time to ditch the standard A5 size, and the tried and tested rectangular shape. Do something different, like experimenting with 3D designs that pop from the page, or having leaflets in different shapes. Basically, do anything to make your leaflet stand out from the rest!

Get Personal

People want to feel valued, and when they do, they’re more likely to develop a particular allegiance to a company. What better way to ensure they feel valued than to treat them as individuals? It’s not as hard as you might think though. If you have the birthdays of customers, you could print out loads of birthday cards, and you can certainly print out a huge heap of Christmas cards and send them out. It’s these little touches that will mark you out from the competition.

Competitions

There are loads of competitions online, but how about turning the whole thing on its head, and running print only competitions? For example, you could say that only those bringing the leaflet to your store will be eligible for the prize draw. That way, you should have loads of people heading to you, and some people might even purchase an item or two! The value of the prize you give will almost certainly have its cost covered by the extra purchases.

Be Cryptic

People love to be intrigued, and to have the opportunity to solve a mystery. You can capitalise on this by creating deliberately cryptic print promotions, that encourage people to speculate on the identity of the advertiser. Then, when enough people are talking about it, you make your big reveal – and everyone is suddenly talking about your company, and how innovative your advertising strategy is!

Don’t Deviate from the Essentials

Despite the changing landscape of print promotion, there are some things that will remain the same forever. So, remember this: while you are trying to innovate, ensure that you still keep the vital stuff in plain view. That means clear CTAs, easy-to-find contact details, and your company’s name in big, bold letters. You only need to tweak the mixture, not invent a whole new recipe!

So, there you have it: some great ways to improve your print promotion, and none of them cost huge amounts of money. A little bit of thought and a lot of effort are all you need if you want to make print promotion work!

You Have 1 New Message: SMS Marketing

As marketers, we’re always looking for new and interesting ways to engage with our target audiences. Email marketing, although still the most popular means of digitally communicating, often has limited success. So what else is out there which may have better results? Enter: SMS marketing.

What is SMS Marketing?sms image

It’s certainly not a new concept – you have more than likely received promotional texts from your mobile network provider. Offers such as limited time deals on their services or reminders to renew your credit. Perhaps you have received a reminder for an appointment at the dentist?

Although we are all acutely aware of the existence of SMS Marketing, it is yet to become a widespread means of connecting brands to their audience.

Okay, what makes SMS appealing?

 

There are a few really powerful advantages of SMS marketing, which give it a competitive edge over more traditional campaigns, such as email marketing.

  • Instant Delivery – There is no delay from the time they are sent, to the time they arrive on your customers’ devices.
  • Super High Engagement – SMS messages have significantly higher open and read rates (97%) compared to email (<33%).
  • Highly Accessible – Most mobile phone users have their phones on them throughout the day. As a result, your target audience is almost always accessible.
  • Cost – In many cases, due to the simplistic nature of the messages being sent, SMS marketing is much cheaper than email.
  • Easily Filter Customers – Targeted keywords allow decisive filtering of your subscriber list and effectively manage the marketing funnel.
  • Short powerful messages – Limited to 160 characters, your message has to be punchy to get the right response. This also increases the likelihood of your recipient reading your message.

How does SMS Marketing work?

Essentially, it works in a similar fashion to email marketing. Subscribers are added to a list and a programme sends specific messages to their provided contact mobile number.

Telecommunications providers were of course the pioneers of this form of marketing, having full access to databases of customers, but it has since been picked up by a number of other businesses ranging from .

Subscribers ‘opt in’ via texting a certain code (keyword) to a specified number. Once they are on the list, you can send them SMS messages. This is a great way to establish your ‘true’ followers. The ones who subscribe are genuinely interested in your products and thus, are valuable as potential customers.

Campaigns are created using software similar to email marketing programmes. They are then converted into SMS messages and sent out to your specified lists.

Replies are received by the same server and converted into email files, which are then sent back to the marketer.

With devices becoming ever-more powerful, you can also enable additional analytical features to your campaign (depending on provider) such as Geotracking.

Many providers also offer forms of A/B testing in their campaigns, so you can improve your response rates.

Who is it best suited to?

Although it is generally used by SMEs and Hospitality/Retail businesses, there’s no reason why you couldn’t apply it to a larger business. Just be sure to convey your marketing message in 160 characters or less! Whether you use it to send reminders for bookings, confirmation of transactions or to actively promote deals and specials, there is bound to be an application that suits the needs of your business.

Would you use SMS marketing in your business? Let us know in the comments!

 

Twitter is Deprecating TweetDeck Creative Agency Secrets

Twitter is Deprecating TweetDeck

If you’re a TweetDeck user, get ready for a shock: Twitter is deprecating TweetDeck.

Twitter is Deprecating TweetDeck

What’s the good news?

If you don’t know about Hootsuite already, you can set up a free account. Hootsuite is very much like Tweetdeck in its appearance and I would recommend migrating to that. You can continue to manage your Twitter conversations with Hootsuite, keep track of retweets and mentions, etc. You can also manage your other social media profiles with Hootsuite, like LinkedIn. And there’s the Autoschedule function which puts your Tweet in the queue to post when the majority of your followers are actually on and looking at Twitter so they’re more likely to see it.

Althought Hootsuite would definitely be an easy migration for current TweetDeck users, I’m a big fan of Buffer because you can set up schedules for when your posts go out. Also, they show you a graph indicating when the best time to post is using their Optimal Schedule (much like Hootsuites Autoschedule, but they don’t have a pretty graph). But you can’t manage conversations through Buffer just yet. They’ve come out with a Beta program called Respond which also looks a lot like Hootsuite but right now Buffer and Respond are two different social media management tools as opposed to Hootsuite, which is literally the two in one.

Besides that, they both allow you to connect a few social media profiles for free. If you went with either of them, it’s likely you would not have to pay for the service. But, really, check out Hootsuite, TweetDeck users, the transition will be smooth, I promise!

Shuttlerock | New Zealand Software for User Generated Content

Shuttlerock | New Zealand Software for User Generated Content

PLEASE NOTE: Some of the details in this article have been rectified per recent conversations with Shuttlerock. These new details are noted below! Thanks for your feedback, Shuttlerock!

We’ve come across marketing software created by a business here in New Zealand called Shuttlerock. It sounds sort of science fiction-y and futuristic – something you might see in a Rae Bradbury novel. In a way, it could be next gen technology in content sharing and revolutionize how businesses aggregate and manage user content to their benefit.

Shuttlerock New Zealand Software for User Generated Content Creative Agency Secrets Aucklance

What Shuttlerock does with user generated content…

If you’re a business and have social media channels, have you ever wanted to capture all your customer feedback and testimonials in one place? Sure, leaving it in the platform from which it originated is perfectly acceptable. But, what about putting it in the one place in which your put the majority of your efforts, i.e. your website. Right now, this information has to be collected manually and configured in an appealing way so that your traffic, your customers and followers, can see: Hey! Other people like this product and have gone so far as to say something about it on the internet!

Shuttlerock New Zealand Software for User Generated Content Steps Creative Agency Secrets Auckland MarketingIncluding content aggregation, Shuttlerock takes it a few steps further

Besides collecting user content for your team to sift through, sort, and put on display on your website, Shuttlerock also helps you promote your brand to get more user generated content. How? Contests and promotions, of course! We know that one of the best ways to get engagement online is to incentivize your followers to promote you and your brand. You can get them to share their visual content promoting your brand and reward them for doing it. If done right, you’ll get a flood of content that you can then share, directly on your site. Not only do you get to share their excitement with your other followers but they’ll also be excited to see that their content is being shared with the world. What better way to encourage and reward loyal followers!

Who is using it and how.

Shuttlerock operates in its home country of New Zealand and now Japan and the US. In recent Shuttlerock news, Lady Gaga used the program to allow her followers in Japan to upload their content to her website. These photos, directly from the source (her fandom), will be collected and used to create a poster for her Japanese ‘Cheek to Cheek’ album. Now, that’s innovative.

What I find interesting about it.

This program puts power into the hands of your marketing team in a way that can really make a difference for the brand. For one, your team can manage the content via apps, as well as share their own related content, which gives the brand a more approachable, human aspect that’s approachable. And, for two, they will have social proof of what is and is not working for the brand that can be shared with upper management. I find that extremely valuable for businesses to really make a dent in their market and bring exactly what their customers want based on their feedback.

Shuttlerock New Zealand Software for User Generated Content Dollar Sign Creative Agency Secrets Auckland Marketing

The cost.

So, the only thing that I’m hung up on is this bit: the flat fee of $500 per month. For big businesses with marketing budgets that would make you swoon, $500 a month is a drop in the ocean. However we can’t forget about smaller businesses with much tighter marketing budgets – to whom $500 a month is completely unattainable. Shuttlerock, there’s nothing inherently wrong with your fees. I’m just suggesting you have a tiered option for businesses big and small. It could be based on company size, or social media following, even the amount of content that gets shared. Just saying.

UPDATE: From our recent contact with Shuttlerock we’ve been informed that the fees are $5,000 per month and are focusing on enterprises… BUT! they’re currently powering their way through some key partnerships with the goal to, eventually, have options for small and medium enterprises. Until then, we’ll look on Shuttlerock with starry eyes!!

But, way to go!

In a world where brands are continuously vying for attention from consumers, having visual, word-of-mouth content directly from other individuals on your website is amazing. And, as a consumer, seeing that other people just like you or from all the way across the globe also like this particular product, it just makes it more endearing! You want it, seeing and knowing that other people want it and are willing to share their opinions about it, all over the web.

How to use Google My Business to improve SEO

How to use Google My Business to improve SEO

It’s frustrating when you search for a business and get the wrong answer.  Did you know that you can edit how your business listing is displayed in Google search results?  It’s called Google My Business.

This short slide deck shows what you can do in the tool and then how to use it to improve how your business is listed.

Grow Your Online Marketing Programme with Audience Industries

Grow Your Online Marketing Programme with Audience Industries

Grow Your Online Marketing Programme with Audience Industries

Let’s get serious about your online marketing programme

Do you want to make your business work? Of course you do. So get serious about your success and let’s talk about what it’s really going to take for your online marketing programme to get you the numbers you want from your website.

Audience Industries is coming to New Zealand for a second year in a row and these two international experts from the US, Dan Morris and Rachel Martin, want to sit down with you and show you what you need to know to operate your business online and make it successful.

A sneak peek of what you’ll take away from the courses: Escape Velocity

Do you know how much you make per visitor? Per pageview? How much should you really be spending on your online marketing efforts? You’ll get the tools you need to find out and take action to make your online business pump out the numbers you want to see. Set your goals and learn from Dan and Rachel just how to achieve them with Escape Velocity.

Sound like you? This is just one of four courses in the curriculum for the Audience Industries NZ tour. You want to grow your online marketing programme? This is it. Sign up for Escape Velocity in Auckland for April 29th and learn how to tighten up your goals and really reach them.

What else can you look forward to in the 2016 Audience Industries NZ tour?

  • Auckland, April 29th – Escape Velocity Curriculum

  • Auckland, May 1st – Sequoia Curriculum

  • Dunedin, May 3rd half day – Sequoia Curriculum

  • Dunedin, May 4th half day – Circles Curriculum

  • Wellington, May 5thSequoia Curriculum

  • Wellington, May 6thCircles Curriculum

  • Auckland, May 9th – Circles Curriculum

  • Auckland, May 10th – Clusters Curriculum

Click through to read about each course in depth including the curriculum.

If you’re ready for Escape Velocity, book now and ready yourself for an event that will take you straight to the heart of the 5 key metrics you need to know as a business to operate successfully online.

Is content syndication a good idea for articles?

Periodically I answer questions on www.Clarity.fm – a broking website for experts and entrepreneurs. This questioner is a startup and wants to know if having his blog articles syndicated will be helpful for his business. The answer applies to established businesses who write articles as well as startups.

The advantages of Content Syndication

I would say that it is 100% a good idea with a couple of caveats.

First, your syndication destination should already have an audience who aligns closely with your startup’s desire clients / customers.

Second, the syndicator must allow link-backs to your website.

So definitely go do it – if it builds audience with prospects and also if it can be made to drive traffic back to your website.

The key to appraising whether these things are appropriate, are all about building audience, testing the market and getting early adopters.

So consider your articles and whether a call-to-action can be added to the bottom of each one that drives the interested reader to your website. When they get there, can you capture their details by offering something to the reader?

Improving your local SEO is an important part of your business marketing.  It’s all part of Getting your website working hard for your business [there’s a free ebook telling you how].

Read more blog posts about Profile Raising by clicking the icon below. It’s one of the steps in our 8 Step Methodology 

4 Profile

Audience Industries New Zealand Tour

Audience Industries New Zealand Tour

Announcing the Audience Industries New Zealand Tour

Creative Agency Secrets is proud to be collaborating with Audience Industries for the second year running! Together with founders Dan Morris and Rachel Martin we’ll be running an 8 date tour, making stops in Auckland, Dunedin and Wellington, learning how to drive online business success.

Learn how to grow revenue with your best tool: YOUR website!

Find out how to build new revenue streams and grow audience engagement with your website with the leading edge of best practice with these two leading practitioners. Here’s a taste of what’s in store for you when you attend Audience Industries:

  • Audience engagement with community marketing
  • Persuasion and action techniques
  • How to tell a story (that people WANT to read)
  • Using data dashboards to improve conversions
  • The copywriting words that create engagement
  • How to use custom sidebars to optimise your adverts
  • A YouTube strategy to keep viewers on your videos

Get past using buzz phrases and marketing hype! You’ll learn practical solutions that you can use immediately.

Want to find out more?

Read all 4 curriculum options in detail!

We know these techniques work, and you will learn the practical solutions directly from expert, knowledgeable technicians. Don’t believe us? Look at just a couple of the testimonials we captured from last year’s attendees:

Rachel and Dan have a really lovely style and they have ‘been there and done that’ so they are talking from experience.  They’re constantly tweaking their own approach and there is an emphasis on practical application. I found them very generous with their information. No holding back.

They were genuinely concerned about the group getting the information and being able to use it.  They wanted everyone to succeed and it’s unusual to find that in presenters.

They want the whole sector to grow.  Very personable, nice and the information was extremely useful and It was easy into put into practice.  

Jayne Richardson, @jreltd, Auckland attendee 2015

Book your ticket now

  • Auckland – April 29th – Escape Velocity Curriculum
  • Auckland – May 1st – Sequoia Curriculum
  • Dunedin, May 3rd half day – Sequoia Curriculum
  • Dunedin May 4th half day – Circles Curriculum
  • Wellington – May 5th – Sequoia Curriculum
  • Wellington May 6th – Circles Curriculum
  • Auckland – May 9th – Circles Curriculum
  • Auckland – May 10th – Clusters Curriculum

Get details on the detailed curriculum of what you will learn at each event.

We’re offering single-day tickets, or get a SPECIAL for two dates in one city.

Don’t miss out on the Audience Industries New Zealand Tour! Dan and Rachel will teach you the tools so you will become the CEO of your website.

 

Have you forgotten about directory listings for local search?

Yet again, Google has changed its search page layout – the right sidebar went last week…. Now, does that matter for your business or not?

The old sidebar had adverts in it and now adverts only appear at the very top of the search listings.  This is a “reduced real estate” situation in the lingo.  Where 8 adverts used to appear, there are now only 4.  That means that competition for advertising space is doubled – prices may rise.  What that means for most business owners is that if advertising gets more pricey, you can choose whether to adjust your budgets.  I recommend spending on natural site search as an alternative.  Every recent Google algorithm update has hit the ‘game-the-system’ players hard and rewarded websites with strong on-site content.  Put your money into your own website rather than into Google’s pockets.

Local Search Matters

So first, let’s check your business and how it shows up in the Google local pack.  This is the map and associated listings with pins showing locations.  Google are showing a map of local businesses into your search results.  This allows the physical location of a business to influence whether prospects choose you or not.  So it’s important to get listed accurately.  Go first to Google My Business https://business.google.com and start registering and verifying.

Local google search showing map and address

Local google search showing map and address

Is your information accurate?

Step one is to clean up your NAP citations.  NAP is the acronym for Name, Address and Phone data. This clearly tells a visitor that a business is local.  You should claim your business and get listed accurately.  Be consistent, don’t shorten words like Street or use different variations of ST. St, and Street.  [Did you see the comma and full stop there?]

Now, what about other citations?

Do a broad search for your business name, owners names and all possible variants as well as geographic searches.  List every website where you can be found.  There may be many as most directories are aggregators of others’ content and so mistakes get flicked on and on to more websites.

In the good old days every business was on Yellow Pages and I still think that’s a great place to start your directory listings.  But Yelp is increasingly important..  go and search for your business on yelp.co.nz and ‘claim’ it.  Then you can log in and edit the details.

Yelp claim your business

Yelp claim your business

When you claim your listing, be very careful to select the correct category for your business. And please, be consistent – write down a standard short and medium length text description which you can use everywhere.  Also write one about your products or services.  And another about the business owner(s).

Now here’s a list of the local directory sites where it is worthwhile “claiming” your business listing and this is the process I recommend you run through for each one. 

  1. see if you are already listed
  2. is the information NAP accurate?
  3. edit or insert for the first time as necessary
  4. keep a record of your logins so they aren’t lost to the business when you leave
  5. set a future diary date every 6 months to review and update the listing.

Selected New Zealand online directories

Please share your tips for other directories as we can all learn more!

This article was first published on 

Improving your local SEO is an important part of your business marketing.  It’s all part of Getting your website working hard for your business [there’s a free ebook telling you how].

Read more blog posts about Who You Are and Profile Raising by clicking the icons below. Each is a step in our 8 Step Methodology 

8 step new business process. Step 1 Who are you?4 Profile