Web Security from an SEO Perspective

At the end of November, we will be partnering with Acronym to bring you expert insights on how web security plays an integral part in your Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).

There will be a focus on incremental gains made by doing ‘the basics’ really, really well and using marketing experiments and careful measurement to create the winning formula for your marketing.

Learn more about website building services, web-enabled business systems and what you can do to ensure they are ready for google optimisation.

About our speakers

  • Dave Allum (General Manager of Acronym)
    With a background in engineering and marketing, Dave is able to deliver expert advice on how ICT can help facilitate business goals according to respective IT requirements and business needs.
  • Rebecca Caroe (CEO of Creative Agency Secrets)
    An experienced B2B expert, specialising in direct response marketing and new business development.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

7:30 am-9 am

Microsoft House

Level 5, 22 Viaduct Harbour Ave,

Auckland 1010

Use the code FIREWALL50 for 50% off!

RESERVE YOUR SPOT

Ask Me Anything (AMA) with Rebecca Caroe

How is your marketing going?   If you could make one change to your marketing for 2018 – what would it be? (Be brutally honest, tell us what being in control would mean to you).

Now’s your chance to start that change.

Rebecca Caroe is doing a national tour visiting these cities
  • Christchurch 24th November, 2017
  • Tauranga on 27th November, 2017
  • Wellington on 28th November, 2017
  • Auckland on 1st December, 2017
  • Blenheim on 4th December, 2017
  • Queenstown on 7th December, 2017
Meet Rebecca in the morning – anytime from 7 am to midday and get your marketing questions answered, so you can make that change happen for 2018.

Why should I?

Getting expert and independent advice will help you find out if you are doing the right things, whether a change could help your business and give you peace of mind.
Rebecca wrote on LinkedIn recently about “rip-off” marketing agencies and what best practice for Adwords and SEO should be.
She will showcase the Creative Agency Secrets local marketing process and you’re invited to come and learn.  Just tell us you’re available and we will send you the details and where to meet.

 What you could learn

  • How to test your business website is working
  • 8 top tips for local marketing (that you can do yourself)
  • How to make the one change you most want in your marketing
  • Why personalised coaching to learn skills is better than a training course
Doing the right thing at the right time with the right tools is what you need.  So ask Rebecca when she´s in your town.
Are you ready to raise your game for 2018 and improve the return on investment from your marketing spend?
Just tell us you want to meet and we’ll do the rest.  No charge – just invest your time and Rebecca will do the same.
Looking forward to meeting everyone.
rose thorne, buy bras online, Sue Dunmore, Rose and Thorne lingerie, good value strapless bra

5 Silly Mistakes Product Description Writers Make without Realising

Let’s be honest for a second: most of the product descriptions out there sound like they were written by robots, for robots. They’re bland, have no personality, and a lot of the times don’t even include everything a consumer may want to know about the product. Because prospects feel like they have no connection with the brand and its products, they move on to the next company.

Product description can have a major influence on the buying process. However, most small businesses ignore their importance and create something that is incomplete, ineffective, and just plain boring. Not to mention, they rarely address the questions and needs of their prospects.

Here are some of the most common mistakes product description writers make without even realizing and how to correct them.

Not Offering Enough Information

You’ve worked for months to design or source a product that you are certain will help and please your audience. Now, you’re so excited to share it with the world that you don’t take the necessary time to write a proper description. As a result, your sales aren’t as spectacular as you expected them to be.

Resist the temptation of hitting the publish button too soon. We understand your eagerness, but what’s the point in working so hard on something is your audience won’t know the benefits they can enjoy if they choose your product?

Put together a list of questions people might have about your product, even if they seem obvious to you. Remember, this is something new for your prospects, so take the time to describe your product in detail.

Not Being Specific

How many times did you read a product description that ended up confusing you even more? Skip the general explanations, and focus on the specifics, such as dimensions, quantities, and other information that might help your customer get a better picture of the product. After reading your description, your prospects should be able to understand what the product is, how it works, and how it can help them.

Not Offering Social Proof

Your product could be the best on the market, but your prospects aren’t just going to take your word for it. They need to know that others have made an investment and it has benefited them.

That’s where social proof comes in handy.

Testimonials play a vital role in how well your products sell. Whether you ask happy customers to review it or work with an influencer in your niche to promote it, social proof is a powerful tool that can help you get more people interested in your products.

Not Putting Your Personality into It

While it’s vital that your descriptions are professional and include all the information prospects need to understand what your product does, the way in which you present it matters just as much.

Think about it this way: how would you present the products to one of your friends? What would you tell them and what words would you use? Write an authentic description, and your chances of capturing your audience’s interest will increase greatly.

rose thorne, buy bras online, Sue Dunmore, Rose and Thorne lingerie, good value strapless bra

Rose and Thorne bras use strong descriptive language

Not Spending Enough Time Editing

Whether you’re a professional product description writer or a small business owner who’s trying to create an accurate presentation of his services, editing is a crucial part of the writing process.

Take the time to prepare, plan, write and edit your content. Don’t assume that if you’re an expert and you’ve written numerous product descriptions in the past, then you are safe from mistakes. Read your text out loud and try to picture your target audience’s reaction. Would they get bored? Is the copy clear enough or will it confuse them? Rephrase it until you are satisfied with the content and are certain your audience will understand and connect with your message.

Don’t forget to be engaging even if the product you’re selling is highly technical. Talk to your prospects as you would with your friends and use an active voice.

Crafting the perfect product description is no simple task. But, if you learn how to do it and stay away from these common mistakes, it will help you get more prospects curious about your product and eager to try it.

3 Ways to Change Your Business Thinking & Actions for 2018 Success

 

Use the code “2018success” to grab a seat with a 50% off end-of-year special!

This November, we’ve got another breakfast seminar happening! We will be covering 3 ways to change your business thinking and actions for 2018 success. 

Has your business reached a standstill even with new business strategies and tactics implemented?  

Perhaps it is time to renew your thinking with us! Getting your thinking right is the key to developing the right business strategy and tactics. Digital marketing is one of the most effective tools to utilise when unlocking business growth and boosting brand awareness. To help you better understand how incorporating digital marketing and the right business strategy can unlock secrets that underpin success, we have this insightful breakfast seminar lined up for you.

About our speakers

An experienced B2B expert, specializing in direct response marketing and new business development.

A well-recognised leadership coach, workshop facilitator, keynote speaker and author, focused on entrepreneurship.

Practical tips you’ll learn

  • How to break old patterns of thinking to make fresh and effective plans
  • Which crucial steps to take to boost your digital strategy
  • SEO techniques to attract traffic to your website
  • How to implement ‘the basics’ really, really well for brand awareness

If you’re serious about starting the new year with the tools needed for success, you wouldn’t want to miss 3 Ways to Change Your Business Thinking & Actions 2017.
A light complimentary breakfast is included!

23rd November, 2017

7:30am – 9am

The Common

1 Faraday Street, Lvl 2, Suite 7
Parnell
Auckland

The Common

Use the code “2018success”at the checkout to get a 50% discount!

RESERVE YOUR SPOT

How to do a super simple competitor strategy analysis

When it comes to a marketing report, you may dread the idea of seeing pie charts, bar graphs and numbers floating around. That’s not to mention the accompanying dry, boring analysis of these results, written in what looks to be a different language.

If you think this, you’re so very wrong.

Recently, I wrote up a competitor strategy analysis for a client, Living Goodness. The results took no longer than 30 minutes, there were no graphs, and the report reads just over a page long!

Read on to find out exactly how I accomplished this – it’s super simple, I promise.

How to do a competitor strategy screenshot 1

Seriously, this is 97% of my report – short and simple!

#1. Find your competitor

If you’re running a business and have no idea who your competitors are, you need to remedy this quickly.

Open up your internet browser in incognito mode and Google search a few keywords on what your business is about. Why incognito? Well, the search results will be personalised to your search history so you want to find a competitor that is worth analysing.

Living Goodness sells sauerkraut, so I typed into Google, “sauerkraut nz”. Google has been working on improving localised searching since around 2015. While obvious searches such as “Italian food” will bring up local restaurants, I needed to localise Living Goodness keywords so that Google knows I want to buy this product from a local store, as opposed to just needing a sauerkraut recipe.

Living Goodness ranks on the front page for “sauerkraut nz” (yay!) but so does a competitor. This will be the target of my strategy analysis.

 

living goodness google ranking

Third place on the front page of Google! Yay Living Goodness!

 

In a new document for notes, I made three subheadings:

  • Website
  • Facebook
  • Instagram

You’ll need to adapt these to suit the media platforms of your client.

#2. Website

From the competitor’s website, I can see all their social media buttons on the top right. This is the first difference I note. Living Goodness’ social buttons are in the footer of every page, but that requires scrolling down to see. Placing additional social links somewhere on the homepage where they will be visible to visitors is the first thing I make note of in a section called “suggestions”.

living goodness website

There’s not much above the fold on the Living Goodness website…

I embark on a journey across the competitor’s website, making note of what they have and what Living Goodness don’t have on their website.

Along the way, I kept asking, “why?” For example, the competitor lists recent recipes on a sidebar on their landing pages. Why is this? Well, as a mere consumer searching for sauerkraut products, I can see that it will prompt me to head to the recipes page, especially if there’s a delicious concoction that catches my eye.

A sidebar can easily be installed into websites as an automated widget – this means any new recipes uploaded will reflect in this sidebar without additional action, thus providing fresh content for each time I visit their website.

#3. Social media

Next, I compared the social media platforms of Living Goodness with their competitor. I pulled up their Facebook and Instagram pages, and scrolled through like a scorned ex-girlfriend.

How often did they post? What sort of content were they posting? Did they do something different on their social media pages that Living Goodness didn’t do?

Who had more followers? Why and how? These were all very important questions that I needed to ask.

I also compared the hashtag activity because everyone knows that behind every successful Insta-famous account is a strong hashtag game (also pretty photos, of course). As this competitor sold products that were pretty similar to ours, I derived a list of hashtags that our client doesn’t use but should do.

Living Goodness’ products are very visually appealing, so their Instagram needs to reflect that.

#4. Suggestions

Of course, I didn’t want Living Goodness to copy their competitor post for post. This strategy was merely to boost their digital presence, just based on my observations of their competitor.

One important thing I had to keep in mind at all times was objectivity. I had to see Living Goodness’ competitor from the eyes of a hungry 20-something-year-old who just wanted buy sauerkraut.

This allowed me to cruise through their website and social media platforms from a fresh perspective. What would I first notice if I wanted to buy some of their products? What would annoy me if I were trying to see their stockists? If I needed to read reviews of their products, was it easily accessible?

With this frame of mind, I also turned my attention to Living Goodness’ own platforms to see what needed to be changed.

From all this, I wrote out a brief but very useful competitor strategy, using clear subheadings and bullet points. Easy to write, easy to read!

Living Goodness facebook page

I all but stalked the social pages of Living Goodness. As you can see, this is a proven and justified technique.

#5. Client meeting

I scheduled a meeting with the lovely Fiona from Living Goodness and ran through this report with her. It was important that she took the same journey I did, so in a few cases, I got her to open up the social media platforms to see exactly what I was referencing.

Next time I conduct a competitor analysis, I could include screenshots to highlight my points. As it was, Living Goodness only have one major competitor, and as I had explained my strategy clearly, it wasn’t just another boring report to be tossed aside.

When it comes to working for a client, it can be too easy to lose sight of the bigger picture. This report showed that we like to keep an eye on the industry to boost the presence of Living Goodness.

 

Now are you ready?  Here’s another article about How to Compare your Website with a Competitors

Innovation game, conteneo

Interview: Luke Hohmann, Conteneo Weave

Luke is in town for the Agile NZ conference and graciously agreed to give us an interview.

Innovation game, conteneo

Prune the product tree innovation game

I first ran into Luke because I am a particular fan of his Innovation Games sub-brand.  Check out these for your next team brainstorming session.  There are 12 games all explained in detail.  Some are part of the Conteneo Weave platform e.g. Speed boat. I can see good uses for “Buy a Feature” and “Prune the Product Tree” games for marketing and new product development.

What’s Your latest work?

Conteneo has recently introduced some powerful new capabilities to the Weave platform, most notably, anonymous participation in forums. This means that organizations dealing with sensitive or challenging topics can create a truly safe – and scalable – means for internal and external stakeholders to collaborate. We have also completed localizing our Weave platform in German, Spanish and French, greatly expanding the ability to promote collaboration around the world (with more languages to come).

What’s impressed you?

I’m a curious person, so I’m impressed by a lot of things! I was impressed when Kevin Durant joined the Golden State Warriors and they won the NBA Championship. Mostly, though, I am impressed by our customers. They keep doing things with our Weave platform that we’ve never imagined – and once we see them, they make complete sense.

What’s the next big thing?

Historically, Conteneo has focused on serving large corporations who want to increase engagement and improve operational effectiveness by identifying, shaping and aligning on their customer’s priorities and their internal priorities. These entities have hundreds to thousands of teams in multiple locations who need to collaborate at scale. What we’ve found is that smaller organizations are facing similar challenges!

Like larger companies, smaller companies have project portfolios that exceed available funds. They need to better understand customer needs and align their organization to deliver products and services to these needs. Accordingly, our next big thing is quite profound: we are extending our business model to make it radically easier for small companies to use the Conteneo Weave platform. Specifically, we’re creating a self-service approach that will enable companies with teams of arbitrary size to leverage collaborative frameworks. We’ll be releasing these improvements in Q1 2018 – and we’re really excited about how we’ll be able to help organizations of arbitrary size and scale.

Check out Luke’s website where they integrate games with problem solving and project prioritisation.

 

Wanted – Graphic design for B2B brand

Real Estate services brand needs print collateral for distributed salesforce.

The client is rolling out a nationwide service and needs consistent branding and messaging in print for the team to take out to prospective clients.

Leading with a “leave-behind” brochure and business cards, everything needs to be perceived as the local representative of a national brand.

The client is also developing a training programme which needs a printed brochure and all course materials branded and paginated ready for print.

Get in touch for a full specification find out more from Rebecca Caroe

How does Sub-Contracted Services Work?

We send you a brief against which you do a quotation.

We send your quote to the client who makes a selection.

You deal direct with the client – bill direct – brief direct.

Creative Agency Secrets does not take a fee from you for this work, nor do we want you to pad the quote in order to pay us commission.  Transparency is key as it builds trust.

We are frequently retained as project managers for the job and so you will find yourself working alongside us.

Are you an agency needing more work?

If you are an agency or a freelancer looking for the easiest way to get new client work – you’ve found it.

Join our “Sub-Contracted services email alert”.  Enter your details below and you’ll automatically be emailed every time we have new projects available.

Enter Your Email To Receive Our Latest Projects instantly.
Raz Chorev, Marketer, Australia,

Raz Chorev talks Email Newsletters

Raz is CMO of Orange Sky CMOs in Sydney, Australia.  We caught up recently and got his insights into the latest in email newsletters for business marketing.

Raz Chorev, Marketer, Australia,

Raz Chorev

You’ve been doing email newsletters for years. How frequently do you change something major e.g. layout, frequency, type of article?

Every couple of years: content, structure and design.

When you assess the analytics on a newsletter, what are the top 3 metrics you use?

Open rate, engagement rate, and unsubscribes. This keeps me focused on people opening the email, reading / engaging with it, and not getting pissed off or bored with it.

Do you have a view on whether B2B brands should re-use blog content in newsletters?

Content can be repurposed, based on the audience. not the sender. You can use blog posts, videos, images, tweets, quotes – anything to engage your audience and add value to them as they read.

What’s one tip for the future in newsletters?

Talk to your audience, like as a person, like in a conversation. See what I’ve just done here? Don’t talk AT them. Try talking WITH them – and they’ll respond.

What’s your favourite AdTech for newsletters?

I’m not fussed either way. they are all pretty similar. it’s your content which is the most important, not one fancy feature over another.

Connect with Raz via LinkedIn or Orange Sky outsourced CMOs.

team work, teamwork, teamwork.com, bad example payment update, payment expiry date,

SaaS renewals that are easy for customers

A robust, scalable business is always based on strong processes.  And if you are in the business of offering a Software as a Service (SaaS) product, you will doubtless have a recurring revenue model.

Our business debit card expires tomorrow and so I’ve been in the throes of receiving alerts, notifications and emails from a range of providers asking me to update my card details so they do not lose their revenues.  The experiences were very varied from the best, smoothest, least painful to the worst where I had to raise a support ticket.

Given SaaS firms risk losing revenue from non-renewals, this is a critical business process.

Here’s what we found

  1.  The earliest “nag” emails came from Hootsuite, Unbounce, Xero and MailChimp.  They were sending them 30 days prior to expiry.
  2. The laggards include Upwork, Skype, FeedBlitz, Teamwork and LinkedIn (from 10 to 5 days in advance),
  3. The “best” process just allows me to update the expiry date on the card (PayPal) without having to re-enter all the other information
  4. The “worst” don’t send me a link into the EXACT page on my account where I can update my details after logging in.  Skype was particularly irritating with a hideous UX on their mobile browser. They leave me failing to find the right billing page detail and resorting to search / help / customer tickets.
  5. The Very Very Worst was Teamwork where they successfully hide the link in an upgrade screen which is not where I’d look to find my payment information (see below)
team work, teamwork, teamwork.com, bad example payment update, payment expiry date,

Hard to find link for payment information on Teamwork.com

Mystery shopping

Any customer process needs testing and constant monitoring to keep it relevant and improved.  Clues which may indicate you have this problem can be found:

  • Check the exit pages on your website
  • Check the long dwell time pages (that you don’t expect)
  • Check the customer service enquiries
  • Check the Searches on your website

When did you last mystery shop your business?