Hire the right digital marketing agency – a guide

Here’s a great guide to how to find the best digital agency for your business brand needs.
Getting an organisation who matches your needs and is able to deliver to your brief takes time and careful analysis. Get yourself all the information you need in order to find the best agency and then you have to brief them well.

Writing an awesome creative brief is a challenge and one we can help you out with – even if we’re not doing the work for you. Getting the language and the articulation of your requirements correct will shortcut the selection process of finding the best digital marketing team for your needs.

Types of Digital Marketing Agency

Types of Digital Marketing Agency

 

Get the report from Search Engine Land – a Buyers guide to Digital Marketing Agencies 2013

 

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Trade show B2B marketing tactics – selling tech to the masses

Trade show stands are a strong component of most technology B2B marketing programmes and they are a great place to sweep up new leads for your service.

Our client, FeedBlitz, briefed Creative Agency Secrets to deliver collateral, case studies and a slide deck for their stand at the New Media Expo NMX in Las Vegas, formerly called BlogWorld.

Take a quick look jay-baer-case-study and erin-chase-case-study

Case study collateral for FeedBlitz Jay Baer

Case study collateral for FeedBlitz Jay Baer

2 Marketing Communications icon4 Profile raising icon6 Create Opportunities icon

erin Chase

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Facebook marketing for a drink brand on a small budget

Wests NZ LogoWests New Zealand is a Dunedin based manufacturer of Cordials and Soft drinks. Wests have been producing beverages since 1876 and are currently in the process of spicing up their branding.  This includes the purchase of a new bottling machine that allows them to customise their bottles.

Creative Agency Secrets spoke with them to discuss ways they can improve their marketing efforts using the Wests NZ Facebook page.

Facebook marketing goals

Their goals for Facebook include increasing their followers and developing more consistent levels of engagement.

By improving their Facebook marketing they also hope to maximise the potential that this new bottling machine will create. They want to achieve this by generating excitement and anticipation amongst their customers before the new bottles come into circulation.

Because of the investment required for the new bottling machine, they are looking to be as cost efficient as possible with their marketing campaign.

By leveraging their already established Wests NZ Facebook presence they will be able to achieve these objectives with minimal costs.

Wests had already created a solid foundation of Facebook fans, but found that they had reached a standstill. They weren’t gaining new followers and they weren’t consistently keeping their reach and engagement at high levels.

Creative Agency Secrets recommends Building Social Engagement

We gave them some recommendations on how they could go about improving these statistics, which can also be used for their promotion of their new bottling machine:

  • Regular posting to help stabilise reach and engagement of their Facebook fans.
  • Utilising and 80/20 rule when thinking about posts. 80% are aiming to build engagement and the other 20% are marketing their own products and specials.
  • Be active on other group pages (mainly by sharing and liking posts) that are in their product or geographical area. This is to get visitors to these pages to also visit the Wests page.

Would you like to know what ideas we have for your business?

Get in touch with us for a FREE 20 minute chat on the the phone or Skype.

How a creative brand idea becomes a campaign

There is sometimes a bit of ‘black box’ magic that seems to happen when a creative brief turns into an executed campaign.

Some would have you believe there’s ‘secret sauce’ but the reality is that expertise and years of experience are the best predictors of what will be a success and what will fail.

English: Idea for Fundraising 2010 campaign.

Funding appeal by website

 

English: Idea for Fundraising 2010 campaign

English: Idea for Fundraising 2010 campaign.

English: Idea for Fundraising 2010 campaign

I am a Wikipedian Campaign

Take this series of images we found online.

This year, Wikipedia, Row2K and other community funded websites will be running a drive to raise funds.  We have supported Jimmy Wales’ appeal last year and we’ll be doing it again this year.

But compare the lovely, sharable images above with the rather bland appeal text which are on the  Row2K site.  Which would you rather emote and pay out to?
So part of the success depends on creative quality of input.That may be hard to measure, and it’s certainly rarely guaranteed.
But there are inputs that will raise your chances: Starting with using an experienced team for your marketing. Get your agency team members to show you their own work from previous jobs.  Ask how they came up with a campaign and what the “signal moment” was when the core creative idea was articulated.  It’s not rocket science and it’s rarely a single burst of genius – frequently team work and careful development from an initial concept delivers the goods.

How to use List.ly as a Marketing tool

What is List.ly?

List.ly is a list building website that allows you to build and curate shareable lists. These  are then viewable by others.

People can ‘like’, ‘dislike’, comment or even add items to the list.  This results in a list that re-organises items based on their popularity.  You can then embed these lists in your website or blog. So, rather than directing traffic to lists you’ve built on Facebook or Twitter, you can keep that traffic on your own site!  One of our first principles of marketing: build your own audience on assets you own.

Getting started with List.ly

Customised list header on list.ly

Creating lists is simple. Go to the list.ly site and click create a ‘new list’, then put in a name and description. Then all thats left is to add your content, simple.

By delving into the advanced options you can also create branding on your list. The advanced options allow you to add tags, a header image and links back to your website.  This means that Listly will also help you promote your brand through the header image, and also give you another backlink to your website.

How can brands and agencies use List.ly?

Product FeedBack

There is huge potential for brands to leverage Listly in order to gather customer feedback. Feedback is key in developing new products or making adjustments to existing products. Listly can be leveraged to create feedback, and even to get new insights into what your customers want.

Simply create a list of your products (or even future product ideas) and watch how customers interact with it. They will vote up the products they like, and vote down the products they don’t or they can leave comments.

In addition to this give them the opportunity to contribute their own ideas. If they add something to the list that resonates with your other customers it will climb up the ranks and give you new products/developments to consider. The best part of this is that not only are you getting ideas that your existing customers want and will buy, you’re getting them for FREE!

As a bonus you will also receive alerts from Listly when someone adds an item to your list. So you always know when something is added to your list, as well as who added it. You can also follow other peoples lists. This feature helps you to stay up to date with the how lists you’re following are changing and the new ideas that are being added.

Lists of Tips

Creating an industry specific list of tips allows you to easily find out what content your followers engage with the most. By following what tips people are voting up or down you are able to see what they want to know more about. This allows you to better plan out your blogs to appeal directly to your audience and will help to prevent you wasting time producing content that your audience isn’t interested in.

These ideas only highlight some of the potential that list.ly can offer in terms of content and product development strategies.

Do you have any other strategies? Have you used list.ly? Let us know your thoughts.


Battle of the Brands – A Sporting Engagement

After the success of the first Battle of the Brands post, I thought I would revisit the subject, but this time use the heavy weight of New Zealand, in terms of social media engagement.

The brand I am referring to, of course, is the All Blacks. With 1.87 million likes on Facebook and 170 thousand followers on Twitter, they are, by a long way, New Zealand’s most followed brand.
But how does their social media engagement stack up against some of the other top sporting brands in the world?

Step up to the plate, England Football Team and the Dallas Cowboys from the NFL. As we did last time, we will be looking at how these sporting brands engage with their huge number of followers/ likers and critiquing who does it best, as well as providing our suggestions for improvement along the way.

First up, The All Blacks:

All Blacks Cover Photo - Facebook

The All Blacks numbers speak for themselves, they are a head above any other NZ brand on Facebook or Twitter. I’ll start with Facebook.

Their Facebook page has just over 1.87 million followers (at time of writing) with an average of 50,000 Facebook users talking about it at any one time. They use the ‘favourites boxes’ in a basic but effective way, including; photos, videos, online store, E-calander, Youtube account, events, live streaming and an RSS blog feed.  Possible improvements here could be a competition box/giveaway box, or a Fan Photos box offering high quality All Blacks photos for fans to use as their own cover photo on Facebook.
They average 3 posts on any given day but this can change if events are happening or important news is being circulated. Every post includes a photo or video/news link as well as posting polls and finishing all posts with a question of sorts.
One of their most popular posts of late was ‘Who has the better signing pose, Ma’a or Dan?’ and includes a photo of the two players signing jerseys at school event. It is very simple, asks a question and has a photo. A great way to get involved and engage with their fans. The post received almost 3,000 likes and 400 comments.

The All Blacks Twitter account is also used in a very engaging way and has an impressive 175 thousand followers. They send regular tweets with news updates, promotional info, the live location of training’s and events and post twitpics of fans at the events. They use hash tags effectively and retweet mentions of the brand/messages of support.  A possible improvement for their Twitter engagement would be to tweet less (currently anywhere between 10 and 25 tweets a day) and mention fans as well as retweeting messages.  They could also start up hash tags that can reach certain players or coaches and think about a ‘Player Takeover’ – more on that soon. Read more

Marketing agency structures and business models

There are many different ways to organise your creative agency.  Reading in the news from the Guardian where Lorraine Ruckstuhl thinks small agencies are getting the advantageover larger networks with many service offerings.

Creative daydreaming

Creative daydreaming (Photo credit: HikingArtist.com)

This has to be balanced against what clients and brands want to get from their agency: New research from Avidan gives an assessment of what clients want from agencies – although there doesn’t seem to be much in the way of solutions – but do read the comments at the end where Bob Sanders has some good points.

  • agency roster sizes being reduced
  • agency tenure shortening
  • client demands for ‘agency accountability’

Avi later writes about agency compensation in another article where he links the incentive to come up with a big idea to how we get paid for our work.

This is a topic that will run and run – but for many smaller agencies, the opportunity to get new revenue streams exists from new product development [apologies it’s firewalled for subscribers].

What do you do?  Have you got new income streams from non-traditional work?  Or are your clients still happy to pay percentage media fees?

 

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Fan Engagement – has a real ring to it doesn’t it?

Following up to yesterdays post, I’m now going to look at the top NZ brands on Facebook and compare them to our most engaging brands, our most trusted brands and the most engaging brands on Facebook in the US.

top NZ brands by number of fans  Top NZ brands by average engagement

Interesting side note: The All Blacks were left off this list despite have 1.8 million fans. I guess rugby teams aren’t brands??? More on this later.

As you can see, there are stark differences between the top brands by numbers and the top brands by engagement with only Air New Zealand and Nutella (Aus & NZ) truly engaging with their large number of fans.
What does this tell us? Numbers aren’t everything! Just ask Barack Obama.  If anyone figures out how to engage with fake Twitter and Facebook accounts , let us know.

To add a further factor of interest, not a single brand from New Zealand’s Most Trusted Brands list appears on either of these facebook lists. This shows us you don’t have to be the well known knight in shining armour to engage with people online, you just have to know how to do it right.

So lets focus on the most engaging brands on facebook as the more realist statistic on social media success. In the Top 10 most engaging brands in New Zealand we have four alcoholic drink companies, two foodstuff companies, two communication network providers, one airline and we can’t forget Persil NZ washing detergent.

Compare those brands to the most engaging facebook brands in the United States we see a huge difference. Leading the way are five television networks, followed by one sporting event (non US), one supermarket, one alcoholic drink company, one restaurant and one motorcycle manufacturer. Its safe to say that if Kiwis have a drinking problem then Americans have an even bigger television problem.

So we now know who is engaging the most with their fans. The  next question is, how are they doing it??

Tomorrow we will put two brands from each list head to head in our ‘Battle of the Brands’ feature to showcase different ways to engage with your fan base.  See you then.

Alexa Rank Demystified: Part 2 – How to interpret Alexa Rank

Alexa provides users with 7 different categories of information that can be used to get an idea of how their website ranks.

This information can be extremely effective when trying to determine where the strengths and weaknesses of your website lie, and how to go about fixing any weakness. However at first glance, these tools may not appear as self-explanatory as you might think, but once you understand them they can provide you the insights you require to improve your overall Alexa rank. In addition to this, these analytics can be directly compared to competitors in order to gain an idea of the areas where each website is lacking, or holds an advantage. Here is a run-down of the statistical tools that Alexa can provide;

  • Daily Traffic Trend: The Daily Traffic Trend does exactly what it says it will. It tells you your daily traffic and how this trends over time.
  • Daily Reach (%): The Daily Reach lets you know what percentage of internet users, monitored by Alexa (ie. Toolbar users) that you reach on a daily basis. Therefore a ranking of 1 means you reach 1% of all traffic reported to Alexa.
  • Daily Page Views (%):  Daily page views are a request to load a single page off of your website.
  • Page Views per User:  This takes the page views a step further. This tool tells you how many pages each visitor views once arriving at your page.
  • Bounce Rate (%):  This is the amount of times that a visitor will load only a single page of your website. This is where the tools get more interesting. A high bounce rate can suggest that there are problems with your website, which need to be addressed in order to improve your standings.
  • Time on site (Minutes): This once again does what the name suggests; it tells you how many minutes are spent viewing your website.
  • Search Visits (%): This tool shows you what percentage of your visits come from search engines, once again this can help identify issues, especially if you have a high bounce rate.

What can these tell me?

Well these seven tools can be used to gauge where your websites strengths lie, and also what weaknesses need to be remedied. For example a website that receives huge amounts of traffic, but has a high bounce rate, and low minutes spent on the page suggests people are being drawn in, but does it not fulfil on the promises used to get people onto the page. Combine this with a high percentage of search visits and you get the message that your SEO is effective, but your content is letting you down, and letting your visitors escape.

So what’s next? If you can, search for your website’s statistics, and try to find where your strengths and weaknesses lie, so that you can determine where you need to make changes, and let us know how you go in the comments.

If you can’t see more than your page rank, the next post in this series will be all about improving your ranking, so this will be for you.