What does it take to generate leads for your business?
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is about making search engines like Google and Bing show your website in the first positions of the results page. With more businesses utilising digital channels for business, it’s necessary to invest in your SEO strategy to remain competitive. If your audience can’t immediately find you online, you are severely inhibiting both growth and profitability.
“SEO isn’t the icing on the cake, it’s baked in from the start.” – Brian Clark, CEO of Copyblogger
On Thursday 25th of May, you can learn the skills needed to generate leads for your business through SEO in less than two hours. You will learn how SEO sits in the broader context of your marketing and brand building. This will help to increase the visibility of your website, all through simple tips and tricks that you will learn over breakfast.
Creative Agency Secrets and ColabNZ host this FREE training breakfast to demystify SEO and show what you need to know about modern SEO that works for your business.
In this seminar you will learn:
Why 99% of Websites Fail – your site’s ranking potential
How to Build Stronger Website SEO – the balance between design and SEO
Link Building Today: the Dos and Don’ts – quality, relevance, trust and authority
How to Manage Your Brand’s Reputation and Reviews – from content to credibility to conversion
How to Feed Your Optimised Website – the tools you need to dominate
What previous attendees had to say:
“I was wanting to go to get educated and was interested to hear how the Google algorithms have changed over time and what they’re doing now. Building stronger websites and optimising them stands out as something new for me.”
http://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/SEO-for-Growth-FB-event.png295784Conrado Langerhttp://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgConrado Langer2017-04-27 13:19:122017-04-27 14:26:58SEO for Growth: Unleash the Potential of Your Website
Consultants offer all types of services from HR placement to IT, but when compared to other businesses such as selling cars or real estate, marketing a consultancy is much harder to drum up new business. Most of the time, your potential clients are not even aware that they need your services.
You must, therefore, come up with a consistent approach to marketing if you want your business to get traction. Diligence and persistence pay off when selling services.
So, if you are new to this line of work and need clients, here are a few ideas on how to market your consulting services effectively.
1. Send Direct Mail
Direct mail is an effective marketing tool since it accurately targets the right audience. To get started, first make a list of prospective clients. Next, send them a brochure, flier, or sales letter detailing the services you offer.
However, remember to address each recipient by name both on the envelope and in the sales letter. By personalizing a sales message, you increase your chances of getting a favorable reception. In the letter, describe the benefits of your services before listing your contacts. Finally, include an attention grabber such as “limited time offer” on the envelope.
Also, make sure that you play up your area of expertise. If you have an online masters in communication management and you’re intending to become a communications consultant, make sure that your qualifications like the master in communications is front and center on any of your sales material, especially your blog.
2. Make Cold Calls
Simply put, cold calling is making calls to prospective clients who do not expect to hear from you. Although many people resent cold calls, they are still worth giving a shot, especially when you are starting out. So, expect a lot of rejections. For every prospect who says yes, hundreds may say no.
Traditional advertising, which is expensive, may be out of your reach when you first start out as a consultant. So, focus on advertising in trade magazines and journals as well as in consultant’s directories. Also, use another (mostly) free, and often overlooked, advertising tool – the Yellow Pages. Other local Marketing tips include free directory listings.
Once you install a business phone line, your business name and phone number are automatically listed in the book. You can opt to leave it at that, for, after all, it is free advertising, but to look more professional, consider paying for a larger ad. It also makes your business more conspicuous.
Newsletters are another effective way of drumming up new business. They work by presenting relevant information about your trade to prospective clients. In addition, they remind your former clients that you still exist.
A typical newsletter includes helpful tips, your opinions on a particular subject, and any news of importance to your work. Remember to include local marketing news and information – most of your early clients are likely to be in your city or region – so let them know what’s going on locally where you could meet them to say hi. Here are more local marketing tips which you can action immediately.
This is probably the easiest marketing tool at your disposal. After you complete an assignment, send clients a note to thank them for their business, and to ask for the names of associates who might be interested in your services.
Overall, a consultancy advisory business is unique because prospective clients rarely know that they need your help. To stand out in the marketplace, use as many marketing methods as possible and deliver them consistently every month.
I saw the Barfoot & Thompson’s advertising sponsorship of the Auckland World Masters Games and was stunned by the ingenuity of the imagery. Here’s a poster near my office.
Barfoot And Thompson sponsorship of World Masters Games
And this prompted me to want to find out more about the context for the campaign.
Barfoot’s Chief Marketing Officer, Jen Baird, kindly answered my questions and also introduced me to Joe Holden, the Creative Director.
Why did Barfoots take on the sponsorship of WMG?
Jen Baird, CMO, Barfoot & Thompson
Sponsorship has become a larger part of our strategy over the years – a large part of our business is residential property sales – most people do this every 5-10 years.We want to stay relevant in their lives when they’re not thinking about real estate.
Being involved in the community is key – we have always been very involved because real estate is about community and people. WMG was an opportunity for us to be hugely about this amazing place where we all live.Our over-arching objective is to make Auckland an amazing place to live, work and visit.We are an Auckland-only real estate firm.Bringing the event to Auckland is about us giving back to the City.
Our sponsorship helped WMG happen.
What was the brief ?
The brief was quite broad – this is the largest sponsorship that B&T has undertaken.The event fits nicely with our philosophy of supporting the local area and also sports – we havebacked sport with sponsorship before.
We wanted brand awareness, and also to continue to build awareness of us as a strong community partner. We have a philosophy of being a family-run business.This is all about Auckland, a celebration of sport and Auckland tied together and made relevant for us.
We sent a full brief about what the WMG event was all about and what our sponsorship means to us as an organisation and what our goals are.It’s about celebrating the games and also the City and making the city amazing and creating great events that bring visitors here from overseas.
We felt that when the creative team came back with such as strong concept – we felt we didn’t need lots of iterations – it was so strong on its own and so we put everything behind it.
All the space has been booked by us. It was launched beginning of February with light touch digital – there’s more this month and again in April, it’s largely digital and outdoor media.
One of the things we’re excited about is an activation using a Cheer Squad – visiting competitors entered a draw to win their own “cheer squad” – we have 7 winners and they will have their very own squad to support while they are competing. … we did a Skype interview with the first winner, she’s a Professor from Yale University.She was entered in Softball with an Australian team.
The athletes who have won are competing in cycling, golf, hammer throw, triathlon, softball and 2 x athletics.
We are doing lots of local promotion with staff in our branches and local schools. One of the legacy goals is to get kids involved to try out sports.There are 42 venues across the region – we are also down at the entertainment hub at the Cloud.We’ve got a sports arena set up there, for try-outs for a load of sports.
And the medals are also branded in corporate colours, Blue and gold, blue and silver, blue and bronze.
[Watch out for Jen in her running shoes as she will be doing the 10k run from the Cloud to Orakei and back.]
This was sold to us as the biggest sponsorship Barfoots had ever done.We needed to really reflect that as in the past these sponsorships have had ideas that have tied in with selling real estate. This time the brief was more open – the background to the sponsorship is that B&T love Auckland, and giving to the City, and enabling Aucklanders to benefit from the big events, which may not come here without their sponsorship.They did it in the past with the Triathlon World Wide Naming Sponsor for 2 years.
This is all about participation – not spectatorship.It’s a massive event and unless they’re participating the people in the street won’t know much about it.Awareness is mainly with the competitors but Day 1 on April 21st everyone is going to realise something massive is on.
How did the team set about brainstorming the concepts?
We kicked around a lot of different thoughts – upfront normally when you brief a campaign it’s a minimum of three different executions.But we did come up with a lot of multi-execution ideas.So we struggled in a way – there are 28 different sports and sub-events within them.We couldn’t use ideas that only showed one sport because that would be ignoring 27 others; so multiple executions would not be possible.
We had different views of Auckland – Bean Rock as a shuttlecock and North Head was a cycle helmet…. but that iconic view of downtown from the water with the key things like Sky Tower and Vero Tower we felt that was the strongest one.
To do it well, we realised we needed to put all our eggs into one basket – it was a craft job and had to be done really well to work on any format – you get prolonged enjoyment by seeing more detail.
I’m really happy with the standard of the execution. There aren’t many jobs where you don’t have a thought about how to improve it afterwards.With this one we had a long time to do it and we had ultimate control and we could control all the variables
How did you shoot the image?
There was no photographic shooting – it was all done by 3D modelling.All the elements of the sporting equipment pieces were sourced as 3D models and skinned, lit and textured and coloured and logos removed.Or they were created from scratch.You can buy models of sports equipment e.g. Nike shoes – but it’s a rudimentary model and you have to put the colours and textures into it.So you start with that and build each one of them and then have the arguments about what goes where!
For example, the concrete texture in the front of the picture – we felt it should not be water.It’s not a photoshop collage, it’s a representation of Auckland but isn’t Auckland. So it’s concrete.
We got every sport represented – all 28.Some sports are covered off by one element in the image e.g. Cycling is also Triathlon and running shoes also cover a couple of sports.
Which were the hard ones to do? Rowing was a challenge for us (it was going to be a bike end-on as the Sky Tower but itdidn’t look right) then we thought why don’t we use a sculling skiff?We couldn’t find a model of that – we had to do it from scratch. There were endless arguments about the Cloud – we used bike helmets which do approximate to the right shape even though they don’t look exactly like the City.
I hope you all agree this is a wonderful piece of work – congratulations to Barfoots team and also to all the competitors.
http://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpg00Rebecca Caroehttp://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgRebecca Caroe2017-04-03 10:00:082017-04-03 10:50:31Backstory on Barfoot's World Masters Games advert
http://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/seo-for-growth-event.png7681024Peter Stromberghttp://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgPeter Stromberg2017-03-29 14:32:012017-03-29 14:36:05SEO For Growth in Auckland
I was reading my Facebook feed and a US based content marketer of my acquaintance posted this request.
“OK, we write blog posts every month for a beach client. We’ve been writing for him for several years and the team is getting a little brain dead trying to drum up fresh ideas. Would love your help. They are a family-friendly vacation rental company (houses for a week, no weekends). Please leave your brilliant suggestions below & thanks!”
I couldn’t resist the challenge – but first, I started to read the answers she’d already garnered from her community.
What did I find out?
That there are a ton of creative folks whose minds are happy to help out when asked.
And so instead of stunning you with my amazing insight, I’m going to reproduce below the long list of suggestions made about what content to write about for a beach client. And show you how you can adapt and learn from this list for your own business content marketing.
How to use this content insight for your business
First, print out this article onto paper (old-fashioned, but helpful for this exercise).
Pick up a writing instrument (mine’s a fountain pen with liquid ink).
Draw two columns alongside the list of articles.
Go though the list and in the first column write down the underlying theme of the article title.
Then in the second column write down what an equivalent theme would be for your business.
Lastly, brainstorm 3-5 topic titles for each theme you write down for your business.
Have you got over one year’s worth of content already?
Here’s how to make the most of your archive and to lock good content into strong keywords and hashtags that convert.
The goal of content marketing is to get your website found, your brand recognised and aligned with the reasons people buy from you. Creative Agency Secrets does local marketing. I have many local marketing keyword phrase-laden articles on our website. So when the local “grease monkey” in Pukekohe (don’t try to pronounce that if you’re not fluent in Maori) searched online for a local marketing agency, we showed up in the list, he called us; we’re meeting on Friday. This is a marketing tactic that works and starts dialogue. And you can do it.
But if you think that ‘build-it-and-they-will-come’ is the tactic, you’re wrong.
You must understand why people buy, what attracts them and then double down on the tactics and topics that already work for you.
Get canny with advanced content marketing
Make a keyword theme map with a few hundred keywords you’re probably not targeting. The keywords should dictate the content you write. Use an independent, non-Google, non-Bing keyword discovery tool like SBI (we have an account and can do this for you).
Now you have that keyword theme map, which of the keywords are on page 2 of search results that could benefit from relevant, internal backlinks on your site?
Also, does your business-model actually need new content? What does any single, new piece of content do for the business? Instead, how about focusing on the 20% of content that is already producing results and instead of writing more – promote that content more aggressively?
Re-purpose the content that converts and share each piece more often also put it into every format (i.e. image square, image rectangle, video, audio, cinemagraph, infographic, ebook, slideshow, podcast guest) to maximise both its impact and its re-useability.
If the location is a very small place that is not overly commercial use the social content which is already being shared by visitors by searching “nearby” or local name hashtags. The smart folks at from Socialize.co.nz demonstrated this to the Paeroa Chamber of Commerce members. They brought up content on social media that tourists and visitors were sharing. This already had the place name tagged on photos and other socially shared content. If local business owners re-shared that content, while tagging each other, they could build up some serious momentum around the town name on social media. And all this without creating any original content at all.
So thanks to Karen, she has helped us write your masterclass on advanced content marketing.
46 Content Article Suggestions for a Beach Client
What to pack (by season, by age of child, when Grandma is staying)
Activities for road trips
Kid friendly restaurants/ attractions
Road trip checklist to make sure your vehicle is road ready
What to do when the weather is less than perfect
First aid tips
Disaster relief while on vacation at the beach
Books to read on a beach
Local beach walks
Meals using local ingredients and where to buy them
Newest spots to check out this year… There are always new restaurants opening
A feature on Oregon inlet fishing charters… My next door neighbor will be on the newest edition of wicked tuna, on fishin’ frenzy.
The history of the area is also very interesting… And there are a wide array of topics, from casinos to shipwrecks, to boat building.
The different types of architecture you can find out here is neat, too… Flat top houses (there is a tour each year), nags head style cottages (what do each of the different ornamental elements on them mean?), life saving stations, etc
Beach nourishment is coming to the northernmost beaches this year, too. What is beach nourishment? They are dredging sand from the ocean and pumping it onto the beach to widen them.
Top reasons people didn’t go to the beach, but should have
How to make the best sand castles
Top 5 reasons not to bury a sibling in the sand
Food that goes best with sandy fingers
Beat the heat with these 3 things
How to avoid sand spurs
Top 3 things kids really want in a beach vacation
Top 3 things adults really want in a beach vacatio,
Don’t leave___ until you have eaten the____
What NOT to do when you’re at the beach (leave the work and technology at home)
What to do when you want to sit on the beach and your spouse doesn’t
Fun stuff off the beaten path
Volunteer options when you’re staying at the beach (relax and do good at the same time)
Best place to get coupons to save money on local attractions
Do this, not that (places to go, places to avoid, etc.)
Top movies to watch on netflix while you’re at the beach
How to tell if you shouldn’t wear a bikini or speedos
Top reasons to visit in seasons other than summer. There are lots of events in the spring and fall
Sea glass and shells are best found in the winter months
The Secret to finding the best shells and sea glass
Best places to take your kids out to eat
Which restaurants are best for a date night
Art projects for the beach
10 things to bring with if driving to save $$
What to do in the rain
Playing card games for 5-8 year olds
Camps or other activities they can do
Fun community activities if you want to meet others
Where to shop for food
Best source of local restaurant discounts
http://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/light-bulb-984551_960_720.jpg540960Rebecca Caroehttp://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgRebecca Caroe2017-03-08 17:09:502017-03-10 15:19:02A Masterclass In Content Marketing - When You’re Out Of Ideas.
In the world of Digital Marketing, there is a constant need for innovation to stay ahead of competitors and create the next novel experience in order to sell to customers. We saw it first with the use of email marketing communications in the 90s which was a bandwagon – everyone jumped on board and our in-boxes got swamped with newsletter.
Nowadays there are a plethora of services available to the digitally savvy, but how effective are they, and are they likely to oust the tried and tested methods?
So our thesis is that email newsletter subscriptions are falling because we get too many of them. EdgeRank removes the free postings by businesses on Facebook and Twitter is too crowded.
BUT people want high quality content.
So how can we deliver content from our website without using a newsletter or social media?
To answer this question, let’s look at a relatively new service to enter the market, Push Notifications –and how they compare to our most powerful channel at present, the good old fashion email/newsletter subscriber list.
So before we go any further, what exactly are Push Notifications?
Push notifications are simply alerts that pop up on your computer or mobile, on demand when the publisher releases something of interest to you.
“Hmm well this sounds kind of invasive though…“
I hear you. Pop-ups generally are annoying and frustrating, however these alerts only appear when you opt in to the list. A cookie is placed in your browser and each time the publisher wants to send out a notification, every browser containing that specific cookie receives the alert, regardless of whether they are browsing the web or not. In some ways they are less invasive than the hassle of having to enter your contact details to download an eBook.
To find out if Push Notifications were a worthy substitute or indeed even a necessary supplement to our tried and tested marketing methods, we asked ourselves the following questions:
Are consumers growing weary of newsletters and email marketing?
I recently unsubscribed from at least 5 different brands’ emails because of the constant bombardment of marketing material. If others are finding themselves doing the same, does that pose a risk to the future of email marketing communications? And if so, are Push Notifications a smarter way to engage?
Are people still interested in content?
The old adage that ‘content is king’ may have held weight in the past, but do customers actually want to receive endless articles and information related to products they might purchase? With every brand under the sun fighting for your attention as a consumer, how much is too much?
My answer is yes. Emphatically. Good content gets liked, shared and commented upon.
Will people actually engage with these invasive interruptions?
My initial thoughts are yes, if used sparingly. Too much of anything can be bad. I feel the key to making the most out of Push Notifications is moderation. Subscribers aren’t going to respond well to being pestered several times a day while they browse the web. But they may be interested in what’s been going on if it is restricted to once a week, for example. Similar to SMS notifications, users must interact with the push notification in order to view it or close it. Compare this with email, where readers can simply delete, filter, file or ignore without having to open the message at all. Push notifications by-pass this barrier to opening email by displaying the message title straight away.
You have to respond one way or another!
Would Push subscribers never have joined the email list anyway?
Perhaps. Even if there is no clear preference for one over the other, having both allows your brand to capture your audience’s attention in a medium that works for them. Without having to provide an email address, we may never know who has opted in to Push Notifications, which makes communicating outside of Push challenging unless we can cross-match against other subscriber actions.
With email and push running simultaneously, which one performs better?
We ran Push Notifications for the second half of February on a client website.Our provider of choice was OneSignal – a service that promises to remain free forever! An interesting claim, but what’s the REAL cost? I suspect Edward Snowden would fall off his стул (chair) in frustration – let’s save it for another day.
Results from Push Notifications test
At the beginning of February, we had 5,334 email subscribers. At the end of the month, that figure had risen to 5,426 – a gain of 92 subscribers.
Push Notifications began on February 15th. Two weeks later we had 63 push subscribers.
Our Push Notifications were promoting the same material as our emails, so which one performed better?
The Push list is much smaller than the email list; that is a significant difference.
This was obviously only one campaign and we have not yet built up a data set large enough to draw significant conclusions.
So do we think Push could supersede email? Well the jury is still out on that one, we’ll continue to test them both and come back with our conclusions in the future.
In the mean time, what do you think about Push?
http://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/webpushnotifications.jpg330520Jeremy Peskeyhttp://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgJeremy Peskey2017-03-02 17:06:532017-03-30 15:10:41Push Notifications: Is this the death of email newsletters?
The age of Artificial Intelligence is here and it’s powering up the simplest things in our daily lives. In a nutshell, Machine Learning is the science of giving computers the ability to learn without being explicitly programmed. Kinda like showing it pictures of kittens until it creates enough patterns to identify another kitten by itself from new images. It’s very similar to how our human brains learn while we are kids. A few companies already have this type of technology running (and evolving by the second), like Facebook and Google. Every day we input more and more content online as check-ins at favourite restaurants, search queries for hotels for our next vacation, pictures with friends and peers. The list goes on.
Big Brother is watching and he can help sell your stuff
This is a bit of a futurology exercise, I know. But don’t get it confused with any supernatural nonsensery, I’m certainly not writing this article on an Ouija board. It’s pure (computer) science that you don’t have to understand completely, just harvest its potential.
Taking advantage of the massive quantity of data stored online is incredibly useful to pinpoint your target audience, facilitating conversions. Because we blindly “agreed to the terms and conditions” of most online services, social media platforms can freely record information and trace it back to your profile for future use. In a world where virtually everyone is connected 24/7, this is actually a cool thing from the marketing perspective (if you ignore the obvious user privacy issues of having every move tracked online).
Ever noticed how Facebook shows (mostly) spot on sponsored content on your timeline? By analysing everything you like and share, Facebook creates a detailed persona of each user to target ads in the best way possible. And it’s not only what you do on the platform, they can track your footprint in other websites thanks to their Facebook Pixel.
Machine Learning helps predict your client’s future actions
As you probably know, we humans are creatures of habit, which makes recording our behaviour a simple task to the machines. Knowing that, Amazon and Netflix have mastered how to give the best “related products” suggestions you can find online. Their state of the art database is taking advantage of Machine Learning to predict your next clicks offering highly tailored content. Forget one-size-fits-all. To thrive in the current market, companies must pay attention to User Experience like never before.
A simpler (and free) way to implement something a lot less fancy as that is two tools called Content Analytics and Heat Maps, both part of the SumoMe suite. They record data of how far down your readers are getting in your articles and what links are generating more clicks on your pages. With this information, you can do very good educated guesses regarding what’s working and what to change on your website. This is not the “machine learning” approach, but I felt it was worth mentioning.
Forget that “beep-boop” bullsh*t R2-D2 has been feeding us for decades
Artificial Intelligence is also being used to write texts without human supervision. For example, the biggest Wikipedia contributor, Sverker Johansson, with more than 2.7 million articles published, is actually using a bot called Lsjbot to create all content.
If you think it would be obvious to differentiate between human or computer generated articles, think again. According to a study from Karlstad University, Sweden, “the readers are not able to discern automated content from content written by a human“. The researchers used two sports articles (these tend to be more factual and analytical) one written by a journalist and another by a software previously called Statsheet (now called Wordsmith). Big media outlets as Los Angeles Times and Forbes already use similar technology as a base for some articles, with humans later improving the content before they hit publish.
And what if I told you that the previous paragraph wasn’t actually written by me, but by software?
Well, I would be lying.
But for one second you actually thought about the possibility, right? Welcome to the future.
Get creative, experiment, innovate
And how can you take advantage of this in your business? There are a few services (like the IBM Watson) that offer the power of “computer minds” to businesses.
One experiment that I believe is worth the try is applying “robot talk” to your images SEO. Using a free tool like Microsoft’s CaptionBot you can let their machines determine the Alt tag for your image in your website. With Google giving more autonomy to RankBrain and relying more upon machine learning to deliver the best search results, it’s not about how you describe an image anymore. It’s how the machines see it.
http://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/artificial-intelligence-machine-learning.jpg456810Conrado Langerhttp://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgConrado Langer2017-02-16 17:05:082017-04-19 16:06:28Machine Learning Impact on the Future of Content and SEO