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.

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.

 

Marketing Online magazine features how to use RSS

Rebecca’s article ion how marketers can use RSS is in this month’s edition of Marketing Online (p22-23).

Really stoked that we’re getting online!

 

Grow your mailing list fast – with a Lightbox

One of the simplest and yet, most effective methods we have found to grow our mailing list at Creative Agency Secrets, has been with the integration of a ‘Lightbox’ or a ‘pop-up’ plugin.

For any business operating with an online presence (let’s face it, if you’re not, you should be!), one of your primary objectives should be to acquire email addresses of potential customers to sell your glorious products and services.

However, relying on customers to navigate your site and opt themselves in is like telling your dog to fetch a ball that it doesn’t know exists. You need to show them the ball and especially why they want to chase it!

Okay, what is a lightbox?

To put it simply, a lightbox is an extension programme on your website that jumps up at your visitors displaying a customised message, usually requesting visitors to supply their email address in exchange for some kind of benefit. These benefits are typically newsletter subscriptions, prize giveaways, eBooks, online courses and other free rewards.

Key factors to building an effective lightbox

  • Firstly, your lightbox needs to stand out. Web users are exposed to multiple lightboxes on a daily basis. You need to ensure yours captures their attention. Most lightbox software allows customisation of colour schemes and text which aid in making it visually appealing when it appears on your website. Aside from being eye catching, you need a powerful and enticing message that will draw them in as well as outline clearly what they get.
  • The lightbox should serve a single purpose – sign up here to receive benefit ___. If you make it too complicated, visitors will lose patience and simply close it without completing the signup.
  • Offer your visitors something that they want. No visitor is going to sign up for your offer if they have no interest in it or cannot see any real value from it.
  • Set frequency and page display settings to something reasonable that will not drive people away. Your lightbox should be a passive reminder, not an aggressive punch in the face to get visitors to sign up.
  • Associate it with your email client management software and it will directly import the email addresses it collects into that programme, saving you time and effort.

Once you have your lightbox setup, you simply launch it and leave it to acquire all those precious email addresses on its own. Easy!

bizsparkup lightbox creative agency secrets

An example of a SumoMe Lightbox on a client’s website

Some lightboxes work better than others however. Our previous (paid) lightbox on one client’s website appeared cluttered and ‘busy’ on the webpage. After some deliberation we decided we should see what else was available.

We assessed a number of alternatives across a range of features such as mail client integration, level of customisation, price and so forth. Although paid and free versions existed for most options, we discovered the benefits of many of the premium lightbox providers were not substantial enough to justify the purchase.

Our clear favourite at the end of the process was a product called ‘List Builder’ developed by SumoMe*. Their simple user interface meant it was pleasant for our visitors to engage with and the customisable colour and text allowed us to align the lightbox with our clients’ brands.

In the first few months, we saw the number of subscribers jump from roughly 20 – 30 per month to over 300! Our mailing lists continue to grow steadily and our lightbox is undoubtedly a key driver in facilitating this.

So what are you waiting for? Convert your web traffic into willing customers immediately, or get in touch if you would like us to help you get there.

*For a full breakdown of the lightboxes we compared, click here.

Help with email headlines – a short guide

We work day to day with clients on email campaigns, personalised cold emails, event invitation blasts and much more. Over the years we’ve become accustom to building effective email headlines that get emails read and replied to, and we’ve noticed that without that experience entire campaigns can be rendered useless. So if you lack experience building effective email headlines that get your campaigns read and replied to then you’ve come to the right place!

The Creative Agency Secrets short guide to email headlines

Email headlines are a lot like blog headlines. We’ve boiled it down to a few select simple rules:

  • Short and simple.
    Getting to the point quicker with fewer words helps grab attention and keeps it. Shorter headlines are also usually more exciting which entices further reading.
  • Promise what the full message contains
    If readers believe the title is misleading to the content, they’re more likely to discard your email after reading it! It’s all about trust, people.
    This also comes along with cohesion and comprehension because if you’re conveying two things at once the reader is less likely to understand what you want them to do and why.
  • Relevant to the target audience.
    This tends to be a given because again, the headline of the email should reflect on the content and your content should be getting sent to the right target audience. But too many times we see email headlines that reflect a part of the content which isn’t interesting or relevant to the target audience. Make sure the your next email headline brings out the part of the content most likely to interest your intended readers.
  • Make readers curious.
    Don’t give them everything, leave them wanting! This should be simple with our first rule of headlines being short but sometimes a “90% of x does y” type of headline isn’t as effective as “So how many of xes do ys, you think? Here’s your answer:”

You may be a cut above the rest now that you know these 4 simple rules, but we’re not done yet. We want to arm you with the best practices, so here’s some fantastic email headline examples (we found many of these on CopyBlogger! They’re a brilliant content marketing resource):

  • “Why you should always [content]”
  • “Your answer to [content]”
  • “10 ways to [content]”
  • “Your competitors do [content], why?”
  • “What everybody ought to know about [content]”
  • You Are Not Alone

Which is your favourite? Let us know how your next campaign goes!

 

Want to learn more about email marketing, or get an experienced marketer to build campaigns for you?

Contact us! We’re your next big marketing success.

How do you know that your business website is performing?

Business websites are no longer a ‘set-and-forget’ business asset. Any website which you haven’t touched for months or years is depreciating faster than melting ice cream in summer. It is not helping your business.

The race to perform on Google was thought to be an un-winnable chase for small businesses who don’t have huge marketing promotion budgets.

That is no longer true.

All businesses run on Key Performance Indicators and so today I am going to run through a few important measurements that you can use to see if your website is performing well.

Going Web Mobile

The first one – and the most important is mobility. Google has announced that it will be including mobile-friendliness as part of its algorithm from 21st April.
Test your website here 

If your website fails the test – get in touch with your developers and build a mobile friendly website.

Machine readers for key words

The second one is a quick test to see how a “machine” reads the words on your website. We all know Google, Bing and Yahoo are search engines. What we forget is that engines aren’t human. When machines read web pages they find different emphases than we humans do.

Here’s a test you can do – take the words from your website home page and paste them into the Open Calais Viewer  Click ‘submit’ and then they tell you which words and phrases a machine thinks are important in what you’ve written. If those words are not the most important key words for your website – re-write them until they align.

Clever humans have written another machine reader which also shows sentiment analysis – what subtle messages are communicated using the tone of voice and context of your home page texts. Take the same words and paste them into Alchemi API Language . The keywords tab on the left is colour coded to show positive (green), negative (red) and neutral (grey) sentiment. The size of the squares shows the perceived importance of each phrase.

Expert copywriting for the web combines both human and machine reading – it’s very worthwhile getting these right.  Creative Agency Secrets are copywriting experts.

If you can write clearly about what you do, show off pictures and short articles and work with social media, email marketing and old-fashioned direct mail then your business can stand out.

Get local

Did you know that Google, as the premier search engine, is getting increasingly local? You do not have to compete with a huge national firm who does the same thing as you. It’s easy now just to set your search horizon to the local geography that you serve.

Let me prove it to you. Open up a search engine (Google, Yahoo Search or Bing) and search for “Your business name” and “Your suburb”. Do you show up? Probably yes.

Now change the search to “Your business type/profession” and “Your suburb”. Same answers? Or not?

Narrowing the search terms you show up for allows local businesses to shine as beacons to the local prospective customers they want to work with. And for New Zealand business owners, this is a godsend. Google’s Webmaster Tools are free supports that allow you to register your physical location with them so you can include a Google Map with a red pin at your location. Then customers can easily find your premises and load directions into their mobile phone maps for driving directions.

The hard part of web marketing

There was always going to be a “BUT” in this article…. well here it is.

You cannot get the search results you want with a static website that hasn’t been updated or changed for months.

This means that business owners need to learn how to rub and maintain their websites, just like driving a car – this means acquiring a knowledge of how to present your business to its best advantage, how to show off your skills, how to find the right audience and encourage them to come to your website – not just once but over and over.

In short, you need to learn how to Drive Your Website.

We are running training during May 2015 in 5 cities in NZ to teach you how to do this.  Blogging Concentrated NZ starts on May 1st in Auckland and ends in Christchurch on May 9th.

Improve The Way Your Website Appears On Google

We’re often asked by clients when we begin working with them to increase their Google presence. So what’s the easiest way to do this?

Simply put – you need to help Google to help you.

Follow the steps below to increase the size of your “Online Real Estate”.

Map/Contact Details (The Red Boxes)

The easiest thing to do add to your “property portfolio” is create a Google+ Page for your business. Go to http://www.google.co.nz/business/ and register your business.  Chances are, Google has already added your site to their index and simply wants you to verify the information before it displays it as it does in the red boxes.

After locating your business (and verifying if need be) you’ll be greeted with your Business Google+ Dashboard. It’s here you can add phone numbers, office hours, address and map location.

Google_Meta_Descriptions

Sitelinks (The Yellow Box)

Most sites don’t have what is known as “Sitelinks” when you search for their business. These are drawn from Google’s index of your website and are based on what Google thinks are the most important pages on your site.  Sometimes you and Google disagree on this!

Getting The Sitelinks

Enabling Google to index your site and enable Sitelinks is simple – submit an effective Sitemap to Google Webmaster Tools and ensuring your robots.txt file isn’t blocking the pages you want as Sitelinks.

These steps assume you’ve already verified your site on Google Webmaster Tools (click here if you haven’t)

  1. Generate a sitemap.xml file (using either a sitemap plugin or a generator such as http://www.web-site-map.com/).
  2. Upload your sitemap to your site’s root folder (the URL will most likely be www.yourcompanyname.com/sitemap.xml).
  3. On your Webmaster Tools home page, select your site.
  4. In the left sidebar, click Crawl and then Sitemaps.
  5. Click the Add/Test Sitemap button in the top right.
  6. Complete your sitemap.xml URL into the text box that appears.
  7. Click Submit Sitemap.

Checking Your Robots.Txt File

  1. Still in Webmaster tools, under Crawl, click robots.txt Tester.
  2. At the bottom of the page, enter the URLs you want to be sitelinks and ensure Googlebot is “Allowed” to index them.

Choose Which Pages Are Linked

Although most of your site hierarchy is decided in the Sitemap (Google “page priority levels” if you’re not sure), how Google deals with multiple pages with the same Priority Level is purely random.

Therefore to make sure the ones you want to appear appear you have to “demote” certain pages from appearing. On the left menu under “Search Appearance” you’ll find “Sitelinks”. On this page you’ll be able to enter in the URLs of the pages you don’t want to be used as Sitelinks on your Google search results.

*Don’t forget to shorten the metadata description on the pages that are Sitelinks – most SEO guides suggest 160 characters or fewer – however for best results we try to use 90 (that way Google won’t shorten your description, cutting out important information).

Of course, if you’ve got any questions about setting these up or other best practices do please leave us a comment or Contact Us – we’re always happy to help!