It’s that time of the year again where we remind you about the benefits of good ol’ directories! Before the internet, we relied on finding services through the big yellow brick of a book we received each year. Thanks to the world wide web, we now find them stuffed under uneven table legs or as a booster seat. Today we find what we’re looking for with a click of a button. Does your business stand out?
In 2016, Google took away the right-hand sidebar where the paid adverts were displayed. Now the paid posts soar straight to the top, making it a tough battle for smaller companies to get noticed. Directories can be a cost effective way to help get found via search engines. Being active on directories increases the chances of your business getting noticed.
Why updating your information is vital
It is important to keep your business updated in directories. If your business has gone through a recent change and you didn’t update your information, you could lose a lot of potential customers!
Never forget to NAP, this means not sleeping on the details. Make sure your Name, Address and Phone data is accurate and up to date. Location and accessibility are two of the most important factors when it comes to customers. If your telephone number is an old one and a customer can’t get through to you, they’re unlikely to try again. Likewise, if you were to put your address as a small town in South America, a New Zealand customer wouldn’t follow up with your business!
Pro tip: Check the directories your company is listed in and confirm your details are correct. Some websites take their information from others; resulting in a cycle of incorrect information.
Updated List of Directories
This year, we bring you an even bigger list of potential directories your business may be found in. Take a look to see where your business is listed and where it isn’t.
It’s the only thing standing in between you and your next big client.
NB: Not all directories will apply to every type of business, some are more specific to particular fields. (eg. Tripadvisor will benefit restaurants and hotels over a telecommunications company.)
http://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/map-local-directories.jpg8531280Anagha Sridharhttp://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgAnagha Sridhar2017-06-19 12:48:422017-06-21 12:04:46Boost Your Business with Local Directories
Working with a client who makes animated explainer videos – Case Study of how to grow referrals. We discuss three ways they can get more referral business.
Image by NWeSource
1.Innovations in your specialism
Every market changes over time – fads pass, new ideas surface. So write about what’s happening in your market. Consider writing about styles, techniques, innovations to be added onto an explainer video (if that’s your business). So which new styles are coming about? Where did each one come from – background and timeline of the evolution.
In the writing analyse the change, what are the component parts, which elements stand out. You could add in new uses for explainer videos – for example in a PitchPack video brochure.
Give the reader the education and tools to make an analysis themselves of whether their archive of explainer videos is getting dated
Show your opinion as a market leader on what’s good, what’s new and what’s to be avoided
Create content which you can share with past clients and encourage them to update their videos and re-buy from you. [This is referring back to prior clients, not new ones.]
2. Create a Call list
You need to speak to people if you sell in Business to Business (B2B). The best way to start a dialogue is with Open Questions. These encourage a longer response from the other person and give you insight into their views on a topic. Any insight enables you to position your services as a solution to issues they raise.
Here’s an example of a call prompt (not really a script).
“Hello, Rebecca. I sent you our article about new styles in explainer videos. I just wanted to get your opinion on it. What did you think?”
Can you imagine how the call will develop into a discussion?
Yes, so can I.
Whether you get a new job immediately or not, you stand a good chance of doing some good things
Checking your contact database is still current – add new names in if you can
Finding out the current situation in the client business with regard to your service offering
Reminding them that you exist and have been trusted with work in the past
Updating your CRM with lead status (cold, warm, hot)
Possibly opening new opportunities for new business.
Create this call list from a list of all your clients from the past 3 years (more if you’ve been in business longer). Also add to the list from your Linked In connections and those from your co-workers. Goal to have 100 people on the list to call.
Plan on making 3 calls per week, per person in your team. Yes, new business development requires discipline and is hard. We can teach you how…
3. Getting Referrals
Start to build a referral marketing engine into your daily project work as well. We find what works best is to connect with them early in the project.
Start with a “Happy call” when you ring asking for feedback on how the job is going.
Then build on this with a similar call just after the project has been delivered. Remind them of what they said on the earlier call. This is the moment to ask for a testimonial for the project team.
After getting this, I usually wrap up by asking
Do you know anyone else who might like to meet us?
My goal is to get two names of people as an introduction. My big tip to make this successful is to ask the question and then to stay silent until the other person has come up with a name…. stay silent as they “ummm” and say “maybe”, “well”, “I’m not sure” and still stay silent and they will 80% of the time come up with a name. If they firmly say no, you can prompt with – maybe a co-worker in a different team or maybe someone from your previous job and see if that can deliver a name.
How to use the introduction….. write an email to BOTH people. This is my template email that works.
Subject: NAME OF THE INTRODUCER
Our AGENCY NAME has just completed a job for INTRODUCER and s/he suggested you as someone who might like to get to know us.
We completed an explainer video (link) for INTRODUCER.
I took a look at your website and [something helpful here which they can use immediately].
Looking forward to connecting.
Lots of love from Rebecca (only joking… use an appropriate sign off).
I always cc the introducer in this message so they know what I said.
In the email you could tell them about the customer satisfaction scores or Net Promoter Score which your team has acquired over time. Or link to TrustPilot Reviews or your Google My Business Review score.
The follow up call is just a friendly get to know you call. No selling. But if you feel it’s gone well you can follow up with an email linking to a helpful resource from your website. Here’s one I use frequently.
This is an example of the type of helpful marketing tips which Creative Agency Secrets writes in our newsletter and blog.We want to enable you to buy web services as an informed consumer (and we don’t build websites, we help our clients to use them actively to win new client business).
Then you have to put them onto a stay-in-touch programme or ask if they will allow you to stay in touch with a newsletter subscription. Either way, one call won’t win you business but a dedicated process to provide utility (usefulness) to them, will ensure you are remembered and they take your calls in future.
http://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/referral-NWeSource.png420596Rebecca Caroehttp://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgRebecca Caroe2017-06-08 17:13:202017-06-09 14:58:42Case Study: Three ways to increase referrals
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
My philosophy of marketing is that every part of your marketing toolkit that you’ve spent money developing should be working hard to generate sales for your business.
Creating a strong visual identity is a given.But what about extending it into other marketing areas?
We have been experimenting using content marketing to reinforce visual identity branding and the USPs (unique selling points) and key points of difference of the brand.Here’s how.
Your business philosophy
When applying content marketing tactics we find that the effectiveness is enhanced when the content is aligned with either buyer personas, pipeline stage, business philosophy or point of difference.These all help to bring a prospect closer to purchase.
A strategic marketer will help you define a positioning can demonstrate continual advantage and which you can defend against competitors.
Helping your prospective clients to recognise this positioning and then to relate their experience or their expected buying experience to it is the job of the tactical marketer.
Once you’ve established the philosophy positioning, identifying each part with an unique visual identity or icon is a neat way of enabling the customer to recognise elements in your content marketing and their relation to each other.From this, they can navigate to find other related content pieces on the same theme or topic.
Case Study – the sports coach website
This client identified five buyer personas and now has a unique landing page for each one.Their website has over 20,000 pages because they have been blogging since 2007.This means new visitors find navigating the site challenging.We identified a deep resource of ‘evergreen’ content which was not getting traffic and so not getting read by visitors.From this we evolved a segmentation strategy built around a landing page and a visual icon for each visitor type.
Customer segmentation as icons
The landing page includes links to the most popular evergreen articles and also gives guidance for the visitor on where to look for similar content.
Case Study – the marketing agency
At Creative Agency Secrets, we have 8 icons which are all steps in the new business development process. On the blog sidebar are our list of categories – the first eight are numbered and each relates to one step in the process.
Working on our own blog, we needed to reduce the bounce rate and encourage deeper browsing.And so we leveraged our 8 Step New business Development Process.This identifies a clear set of stages for a tactical marketer and a framework for their marketing year planning.Each stage has a small icon and links to all the blog posts written about that topic.
Marketing segmentation icons
It’s easy to read, easy to cross-link articles and also to reference more than one icon in each blog post.
Case Study – the financial advisor
Selling services is often harder than products – defining a clear point of difference is even more challenging for the marketer.Collaborative Consulting was set up in response to the same-ification of the financial advisory marketplace.The founder, John Milner, uses his long experience to advise clients differently from others – he calls these the Six Max Factors.And using a simple graphic, each one is named and ordered.
The goal is to enable readers to become familiar with each icon so they quickly recognise them and can relate to the marketing content more easily.
This tactic will serve to reinforce the firm’s investment philosophy, remind readers why they chose Collaborative Consulting as their advisor and set the firm apart from competitors who are less explicit about the foundations of their advice and investing activities.
How to spot an opportunity to use icons
The key insight a marketer needs to bring to using logos as a sales device is to discover
Is the company able to articulate its USP?
Can you split that USP into several subsidiary elements?
Does your content marketing strategy allow the use of visual and written elements?
Can you measure changed customer and prospect behaviour as you make these changes?
That’s a great starting point – off you go!
http://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/CAS-icons.png428820Rebecca Caroehttp://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgRebecca Caroe2016-11-10 15:27:272016-11-10 15:27:27How to use brand icons to drive sales
This week I’ve had two clients get frustrated by media comments which did not allow a talk-back response.
Set up your company policies and publicise them.
Why policies are a point of difference
In both cases, bloggers and journalists were doing their job and calling out the client brand on key issues.
Professional disagreements are normal.
By stating your position on key issues, your brand can become better known and also has the ability to influence the way the whole industry thinks on these points.
How to market using your policies or principles
Create a page where you list your principles. e.g. We believe in transparency and not charging markups [that happens to be true for Creative Agency Secrets].
Create a menu link to the page
When a blogger or journalist contests a situation, write your answer on your blog. Also, write it in the comments on their site if you can.
In writing your answer, refer to your principles/policies and link through to that page on your site.
Create categories in your blog that relate to each principle e.g. transparency; fair pricing
Also, make icons so each has a clear visual image associated with the principle – this helps readers further identify with each principle – you can link from each icon to the category in the blog so that case studies and examples can be read in more detail.
Be prepared to stand by your principles and to be called out by media.
http://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/policies.jpg341845Rebecca Caroehttp://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgRebecca Caroe2016-10-03 10:00:102016-09-29 12:02:51When having clear policies is a marketing advantage
Google alerts are an extremely useful resource for promoting your business online. First of all, if you aren’t using Google Alerts to track your business, you’re missing a seriously useful hack. They are particularly handy for staying up to date with relevant and timely information regarding your business, so you can react immediately to any publicity or news as soon as it happens.
But that’s not all Google Alerts are good for…
Google Alerts can also be used via RSS as a news aggregator on your website or blog! This is particularly useful for showing your visitors you know what is happening around you as well as demonstrating a position of authority with regards to your particular topic. Displaying the latest, relevant news results provides a great reason for your fans to continue returning to your site. Tailored, niche content is much easier to digest when it is a subject aligned with your own browsing interests. It may even help increase the likelihood of your visitors purchasing from you!
The best part about this is it can be totally automated, so you don’t have to spend time curating material. But make sure you have tested and refined your alert keywords in order to get the best results. Or, be sure to check the results from time to time in order to filter out anything that doesn’t fit with your brand.
We will be putting together a guide explaining how to get Google Alerts displaying as an RSS feed on your website shortly…
The next application for Google Alerts is a little more intricate: With a bit of research and a thorough understanding of your target market, you can even use Google Alerts to find new business!
Example: How to use Google Alerts to Generate Leads
Our client provides storage equipment solutions to the global rowing community. Although they can retro-fit single pieces of equipment inside an existing boathouse, their biggest projects come from clubs and organisations who have or are building brand new facilities. These new facilities obviously require a complete fit out of storage equipment and therefore, are our client’s ideal market. So how do you know when a new facility is built and looking for storage equipment? Timing is everything – if you find them too late, they may have already sourced a supplier and you’ll have missed the boat. Google Alerts provides the answer!
By setting up alerts with keywords such as “new rowing boathouse”, “rowing building new boathouse” and “new rowing club” for example, you get a nice summary of boathouse developments happening around the world.
Of course you have to continue your research beyond the alert itself to determine the lead’s value. Sometimes, results are completely irrelevant, and sometimes they are duplicates of material you have already covered. However, on the whole, they are incredibly useful at identifying future projects, as they are often newsworthy topics in their local area.
The next step is to track all your leads in a spreadsheet. Information such as who to contact and where they are located is particularly important. Additional research on the lead’s website often provides the necessary information to point you in the right direction.
In our client’s case, we were interested in contacting the architects of the boathouse, so that we could get involved with the club and their design process, as early as possible.
We have experienced great success building up a database of quality leads for our client in recent months. It is then up to our client to continue the dialogue with the prospective club and come to an arrangement. We have had a great deal of success converting these previously unknown prospects into happy customers, and have done so without investing hugely in advertising, outbound mailing campaigns or other conventional outbound marketing activities!
We have been able to minimise the time taken to research new sources of business through alerts and have increased the prevalence of new business, while making it easy to filter out results of no value. And as it updates you each time a new boathouse is being developed, you don’t waste time searching for them manually. A weekly check of your alerts inbox provides you with enough
Regardless of your industry or business, there’s bound to be a positive application to use Google Alerts for. Whether it is direct lead generation, building a database of bloggers and journalists to share content between, or even researching a network of businesses whose interests align neatly with your own, the uses for it go on and on.
http://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/google-alerts.jpg341845Jeremy Peskeyhttp://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgJeremy Peskey2016-08-11 10:00:402016-08-11 18:32:34How to Use Google Alerts to Drive Business
When a business is struggling to acquire new clients or increase profits, creativity and innovation are the best tools to create a new reality. More accurately, in Nintendo’s case, an augmented reality.
On July 6th, the videogame giant launched Pokémon GO and took the lead of the download rankings on both iPhone’s App Store and Google Play by storm. Just a few days after its initial release in the US they added UK, Australia and New Zealand. Thanks to this bold move, Nintendo’s shares rose 56% in a week, setting Nintendo’s market value at unbelievable 34 billion dollars. Nintendo is also generating direct revenue by in-game microtransactions and will include adverts shortly.
What is Pokémon GO?
If you don’t know what Pokémon GO is, let me explain it while you defrost from the cryogenics: it’s a free-to-play location-based mobile game where you can capture fantasy monsters and train them to challenge other players to a weirdly cute pit fight. Using augmented reality (mixing real-world and virtual elements) with the assistance of your smartphone’s GPS and camera, the player searches for creatures while actually walking around the local streets. He can then snatch it with a PokéBall, a special contraption built to hold these monsters.
Even though Nintendo is a “lovemark”, thanks to classic games like Super Mario Bros. and The Legend of Zelda, the console war wasn’t gentle on the business for the past years. With the Japanese company losing a huge market share to Sony Playstation and Microsoft Xbox, many predicted that Nintendo was in a descending curve.
Now it’s up to you. Is your business going to take advantage of this massive opportunity? And what can you do to transform your local business and be the next Pokémon GO?
http://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/pokemon-go-marketing-local-business.jpg341845Conrado Langerhttp://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgConrado Langer2016-07-15 17:12:572017-04-19 16:16:59How Pokémon GO is influencing marketing for local business
Have a plan about how you are going to set up the business process to get new testimonials regularly from clients and customers.
Also ask for testimonials on your Google My Business page. Note, you have to have a gmail address in order to upload these so it can be a big ‘ask’ for some clients for whom that’d be a challenge to set up.
Now, where else can you get testimonials….. Linked In, Facebook, Neighbourly (NZ local media), Yelp, Finda….. over to you to share yours.
http://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/how-to-get-testimonials-for-your-business.jpg341845Rebecca Caroehttp://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgRebecca Caroe2016-06-21 11:53:462016-06-17 11:57:22How to get testimonials for your business
Growth Hacking is a new phrase meaning to aggressively make a step-change in business success. It’s not just a cute phrase, there are specific techniques which can make significant improvements to website success.
You define success and we’ll teach you how to make it happen.
What is your #1 marketing and sales problem?
Get the answers about how you can growth hack your web success with USA experts Dan Morris and Rachel Martin during May 2016.
http://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Learn-How-to-Growth-Hack-your-Website-in-May-B.jpg321845Rebecca Caroehttp://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgRebecca Caroe2016-04-14 16:30:012016-04-14 16:49:58Learn How to Growth Hack your Website in May