Podcasts – 7 Reasons Why Marketers Need Them

Earlier this year, I had the pleasure of attending the 2016 Asia/Pacific Podcasting Conference, held here in Auckland. It was a fantastic two day event that showcased a number of talented speakers and presented some interesting ideas towards the future of podcasts.

Asia-Pacific-Podcast-Conference-logo

We use some sort of variation of podcasting with a number of our clients, and the buzz remaining from the Asia/Pacific Podcasting Conference got me thinking:

Is there substantial value to be gained from adding a podcast to your marketing mix?

I would argue yes, absolutely. Let me explain why…

podcasts are taking off1 – It’s going to be huge!

Podcasting is currently experiencing massive amounts of growth around the world. There are over 1 billion subscriptions to over 250,000 podcasts right now. With technology constantly improving, it is becoming ever more popular among the digital savvy.

2 – But, it isn’t as common as blogging… yet.

Which is a good thing. As more people start podcasting, competition increases and therefore, so does the overall quality of podcasts. Can you afford to wait until your competitors are experts before you join the race? As an early adopter, you have free reign to influence this goldmine of a marketplace as you like! Being seen as original and a pioneer can do wonders for your brand’s credibility.

3 – It is incredibly easy to do!

Sure, you have to feel comfortable on a microphone and possibly a camera too, projecting yourself to what could be… millions of people! But you could record your podcast from your bed if you wanted, never having to see these people hanging on your every word, which should help alleviate some of those nerves!

Worried that you don’t have anything to talk about, or don’t know enough about a subject to be an ‘authority’ on it? Fear not! Some of the greatest podcasters out there started out not knowing what they were talking about, but they did it anyway because THEY wanted to learn. In the process, they helped educate their audience and became known as the authorities in their chosen topic!

4 – You need but a few resources to get started.podcast equipment

Actually, all you really need is; an idea, a passion for that idea, a webcam/microphone/laptop/smartphone, maybe a co-host or guest and you’re basically away! It couldn’t be simpler. With ever-improving technological advancements, it’s getting quicker and easier to publish your content online without the assistance of a film crew or recording studio.

This also makes it incredibly time-efficient to produce a decent show as well! If you know what you’ll be talking about and a rough idea how to use the equipment, you can put together a clean, engaging show in a few hours! Obviously, this is dependent on how much editing and fine tuning you may need. You can be sure though, with practice, that time will get shorter and shorter as you perfect your craft!

5 – People engage in it.podcasts build community

Who has time to read lengthy blog articles anymore? Well, still a lot of people. But the point is, a podcast, if done right, will entertain you in a way that words on a page cannot. We lose so much emotion and sentiment in text, but those elements are carefully preserved when you listen to two people passionately discussing a topic.

Podcasting also allows for direct contact with your community/audience. Who wouldn’t become a raving fan of your show if you were personally shouting out to them? The very nature of a podcast immediately makes the listener/viewer feel like a part of your conversation and therefore, more likely to engage with your brand.

Podcasts should also be fun!
Yes, it may be difficult to make something like tax accounting sound fun, but at least it gives you a stage and a spotlight to express your personality or your brand’s character. This alone may be enough to sway any potential customers from a competitor and into your corner.

friends6 – Podcasts feel genuine.

Podcasts are typically independent of any large branding agencies and thus are ‘uncorrupted’ by the guise of corporate advertising. That’s not to say they are all without their own agendas. However, people seem to respond better to marketing sales pitches when they are delivered through a conversation, instead of being forced upon us by advertising agencies. This creates a unique environment for you to promote and sell your product/services without feeling like an infomercial.

7 – Versatility.

Podcasts can be enjoyed in places where reading a blog cannot! Your commute to and from work, while you sweat out the kilometres on the treadmill at the gym, while you walk your dog, cook dinner, sit in the bath or simply drown out the distractions of your surroundings.

microphoneAre you ready to start podcasting yet?

As businesses look for new platforms to compete for and connect with their customers, podcasting is sure to experience a major growth spurt as marketers seek to capitalise in the near future. In an industry driven by building ‘community’ and offering tailored experiences for their customers, podcasting offers both one of the most engaging ways of connecting and creates the perfect platform to deliver incredibly high-value content.

Of course, these aren’t the only reasons to get into podcasting. Check out these interesting statistics: Big Time Podcasting Statistics and Demographics if you need further persuasion.

If you previously discounted the idea of adding a podcast to your marketing mix, perhaps now is the time to reconsider.

Know your audience better with Audience Industries Circles

Know your audience better with Audience Industries Circles

How well do you really know your audience?

Do you know what their interests are, what they want and need? Sure, we’d like to think it’s all about us and our brand. But there are strategies to reach your audience in a way that will get them engaged in you and your brand that goes beyond the surface of what you think they want from you. There are tried and true ways for you to know your audience better.

What’s your common denominator?

Find out what you have in common with your audience so you can be the brand that they trust. Engage them to keep them coming back to you. If you’re a marketing communication manager, in public relations, an agency marketer or have done the Audience Industries Sequoia curriculum, you should understand what to do, how and when you need to to make sure your audience comes back to you… every time.

Get to know your audience better with Audience Industries Circles

Audience Industries is coming to a town near you in May and are bringing Circles with them. Really good news for you. The course is broken up into 7 modules that will help you to really get to know your audience. Audience Industries wants to show you how to bring your audience to you, over and over again. Keep them coming back by speaking their language, learning their paths and optimize your ads to deliver maximum value for your site. Because we know, it’s all about the money.

Here’s what’s in store for you if you sign up for Circles:

  • Module 1: Learn what your audience has in common with you
  • Module 2: Be the brand/business that your audience trusts
  • Module 3: Find out what your audience wants and needs
  • Module 4: Break down the elements of compelling stories and apply them to YOUR story
  • Module 5: Understand what makes your audience take actions on your site and use the information for good
  • Module 6: Get the strategies that create likes, clicks, shares… real engagement on your social media channels
  • Module 7: What you should know before you optimize your ads

Sound like something your business needs?

We thought it might. That’s why founders Dan Morris and Rachel Martin are bringing Audience Industries to New Zealand for the second time. The Circles curriculum is coming to these big NZ cities this May, so book your tickets now while there’s still time:

It’s not just the Circles curriculum that’s coming to town.

If you think the Circles curriculum is good… you’re right! But Audience Industries has 3 other curricula that we think you should take a look at, too, to help you grow your business in an online world. Read more about the Audience Industries NZ Tour from Creative Agency Secrets to see just what else you can learn from Dan and Rachel. Don’t waste any more time wondering how to grow you business revenue online! Book your tickets for a city near you now.

Audience Industries Will Help You Drive Revenue Online

Audience Industries Will Help You Drive Revenue Online

Are you new to digital communications, work in marketing or as a web admin? Good. You’ll want to hear this:

Your online activities for your business can significantly monetize your audience!

Maybe you knew this already but, if you’re here, you may need a little help getting to that point. Lucky you, we have just the thing! The Audience Industries NZ tour is coming to town!

How Audience Industries Will Help You Drive Revenue Online

The Audience Industries program is made up of 4 separate curricula, which together cover everything you need to know about increasing your online profitability.

Let’s focus on the most widely applicable course, the Sequoia curriculum. With 6 modules and 4-8 hours of your time, learn how to turn around your online efforts in simple ways that will make a huge difference to your business.

  1. Learn your audience’s ladder of value, where they came from and when they’ll be ready for you.
  2. Keep the audience coming back for more with pro marketing.
  3. Build the ultimate audience with every word you write.
  4. Stand out so your audience can find you.
  5. Find out how to get your audience from each of your social media platforms to you.
  6. Don’t sell yourself short. Your knowledge is worth a lot more. Start to understand pricing, format and what to expect in the future.

Intrigued?

I thought you might be. When it comes to your business, what you’ll take away from the Sequoia course will be invaluable. There’s no question.

Dan Morris and Rachel Martin

Founders of Audience Industries and your online marketing gurus for the tour, will be arriving on our shores in May to share their marketing expertise with us.  Are you in or near Auckland, Dunedin, or Wellington? If so, read more about the tour and book your spot now while the going is still good!

If you want to improve your online revenue for your business, don’t let this tour pass you up. Book now and take the first step towards maximising the potential of your website.

Twitter is Deprecating TweetDeck Creative Agency Secrets

Twitter is Deprecating TweetDeck

If you’re a TweetDeck user, get ready for a shock: Twitter is deprecating TweetDeck.

Twitter is Deprecating TweetDeck

What’s the good news?

If you don’t know about Hootsuite already, you can set up a free account. Hootsuite is very much like Tweetdeck in its appearance and I would recommend migrating to that. You can continue to manage your Twitter conversations with Hootsuite, keep track of retweets and mentions, etc. You can also manage your other social media profiles with Hootsuite, like LinkedIn. And there’s the Autoschedule function which puts your Tweet in the queue to post when the majority of your followers are actually on and looking at Twitter so they’re more likely to see it.

Althought Hootsuite would definitely be an easy migration for current TweetDeck users, I’m a big fan of Buffer because you can set up schedules for when your posts go out. Also, they show you a graph indicating when the best time to post is using their Optimal Schedule (much like Hootsuites Autoschedule, but they don’t have a pretty graph). But you can’t manage conversations through Buffer just yet. They’ve come out with a Beta program called Respond which also looks a lot like Hootsuite but right now Buffer and Respond are two different social media management tools as opposed to Hootsuite, which is literally the two in one.

Besides that, they both allow you to connect a few social media profiles for free. If you went with either of them, it’s likely you would not have to pay for the service. But, really, check out Hootsuite, TweetDeck users, the transition will be smooth, I promise!

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.

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.

 

Be Innovative with How You Get Testimonials

Be Innovative with How You Get Testimonials

When you’re new, or growing, and need social proof to prove your worth to the world

So, you’re starting out your business and you know you’ve got a good thing going. But something you don’t have yet from your clients: their endorsement of you and your brand or your product. Sure, they’ve told you they liked working with you and, of course, that made you feel good on the inside. But, with the interwebs, you need to have hard proof that says someone used your services and liked it enough to write it down in a social internet space. Like Google Reviews. Or Facebook. Or even just in an email and with your clients’ blessing. Okay, so, how do you do it?

Be Innovative with How You Get Testimonials

As I’m sure you’ve guessed by now, or deduced from the title of this blog post, we’re talking about testimonials. Or reviews. Either or, they can be one in the same, if they contain ratings and words as friendly companions in whatever social app you’re using. There are multiple ways to get those testimonials so that, when a new possible client happens to Google you, lo and behold, they see other people like you and have used you and have provided their friendly feedback. Well, we rolled out with a fun and ‘give-back sort’ of way to request from our clients and those that have worked with us in the past. I think you’ll like it.

Be Innovative with How You Get Testimonials

Before the holidays, our Chief in Command, Rebecca, came across a non-profit organization called StarJam. Briefly, I just want to let you know that what they do is amazing. Through music and performing arts, StarJam lifts kids with disabilities up, helps them to learn new skills, and gives them confidence. Just take a look at the photos they have on their website, every time I do I just want to be a part of that! Anyway, back to the story. Rebecca wanted Creative Agency Secrets to be able to give to StarJam. We also, you guessed it, wanted to get testimonials. Testimonials in one hand, giving to a good cause in the other… hmm. There’s got to be a good way to put these two together.

And SMASH!

It’s the holidays, right? We can send out a good will email to our clients! WE will donate money in your name to StarJam if you can write a few words on Google about your time with Creative Agency Secrets. So, we reached out to StarJam to get their permission, find out if they felt comfortable with our plan, requested a few images to use and then started crafting an email.

Be Innovative with How You Get Testimonials

Key items we made sure to have in our email

  1. Make your headline engaging
  2. Make your text interesting to read
  3. Tell the reader what you’re doing or what you’re asking them to do

Be Innovative with How You Get Testimonials4. Hyperlink to wherever they need to go or whatever you’re referring to

5. Use images

The main thing we wanted to make sure to do was inform our followers HOW to submit a review. Some people don’t have Gmail. I know, crazy world, but we had to come up with a foolproof way to say ‘This is easy! Here, we’ll show you’.

Be Innovative with How You Get TestimonialsVoila! We created this easy to read image with everything needed to tell our audience how to do what we were asking them to do.

Then what? Well, we could wait around with baited breath. But, by this time, it was Christmas and we decided we’d come back to it in the New Year with fresh eyes and suntans.

And when we did… no reviews! We could have been sad and wallowed a bit but that’s now how you get good reviews. So we sent a follow-up email. Sort of a, “Hey, we know you were busy over the holidays, but…” reminder. Good idea, right? Of course.

But when you’ve asked the same way twice and you still get no response

You try another tactic. This time, we called, or in some cases walked over to, those who had worked with us in the past to ask them, oh so kindly, to provide us with a review while we donated to a good cause in their name. Sometimes it just takes the glimmer in your eye, the inflection in your voice, or just good ole human contact to make the connection you need.

And now we’re on the MAP!

Be Innovative with How You Get Testimonials

Tips to those using Google reviews!

  1. For one, you need 5 reviews to be able to see your star rating.
  2. For two… even if you have 5 star ratings for all 5 of your Google reviews… somehow you still only rate 4.8 stars

Number two will remain a bit of a mystery.

I hope this helps any startup businesses out there looking to get on the map as well with testimonials and reviews. As they say, right now, the BEST way to get business is by word of mouth. And online rating systems like Google, Facebook, and others are the next best things with the worldwide web!

Fast-track your social media skills

When you know you need social media skills and don’t want to hire an agency to do it for you – the best solution is to get trained.

The excellent Wanita Zoghby-Fourie is hosting Social Media Conference on 18th September in Auckland.  

Her talents have persuaded BOTH Facebook and Google to share the platform to enable you to learn faster.  (Believe me, these guys normally don’t ‘play together’, this is a huge achievement.)

Who should attend

Predominantly for solopreneurs,  small  and medium business owners, and people working on social media roles either within corporates or externally. Although the conference is aimed towards small to medium business, we believe that the same rules apply across all businesses. Everything online is scalable depending on size.

This conference is for you if you are wanting to use social media and online marketing to maximise your business online.

Get a discount – just for you

Creative Agency Secrets clients can get a special discount of $200 use the coupon code SMCONNZ15

Our Speakers are

  • Annah Stretton, known for growing her small business into a fashion franchise,
  • Evan Hick from Facebook and Simon Laird from Google – the two giants in Social Media who have the latest information,
  • Natalie Cutler Welsh who is a social media and networking guru from Gotogirl and has come back from the San Diego Social Media Conference with fresh perspectives to share,
  • Troy Rawhiti-Forbes from Spark who is the online communities specialist.
  • Cassie Roma who hails from San Diego and has helped small business owners with social media and now works for Air New Zealand as their Social Media Manager and
  • Leon Jay who is the founder of Fusion HQ, was the Director of Marketing for Mark Joyner, featured on the Internet Marketing Magazine (a space only reserved for those who have generated more than seven figures online),  and has grown his small business into a million dollar enterprise.

Sign up today – you won’t be disappointed!

Interview: Cecilia Robinson from My Food Bag

Creative Agency Secrets were honoured to meet Cecilia Robinson the dynamic and fast-talking founder of MyFoodBag.  We met in their delightful offices (fit out by Adam Mercer, Architect).

Spaceworks does My Food Bag offices

Amazing balustrade of a tree branch

offices 2

Spaceworks does My Food Bag offices

In an e service – the ability to scale is the most important thing – service based businesses are really hard to scale.

Building that in for My Food Bag is an ecommerce business was key.

The first idea – my concept was in 2010 but we weren’t exploring it at that stage.  I had been at home just before I had my baby and I was really sick of it doing cooking, cleaning – I wrote a business plan 40 minutes later clicked save.

What marketing are you doing now?

Growing brand awareness.  We aligned Nadia’s brand with us – it was about concept education – teach in the market around what the service is – people may not like to be told what and how to eat.  We did that through social, PR and the TV and that continues.  

Re-engagement – we call it on-boarding process – we employed a CMO from Taste Australia – these customers usually stop buying because it doesn’t suit their family lifestyle – we have high retention and low churn – it’s a priority to maintain them.

Measured churn since we started – we are world class in terms of retention – and we benchmark against other key suppliers.

It grows month on month – there are customers who have bought 104 weeks worth with us.

We have focused more on acquisition – life-stages are key.  If they go across  a certain point in our delivery service we know they’ll stay with us.

The recipe folder is a key piece of collateral and it becomes a collection, it’s all about the experience.  We do programmes of freebies or recipes for Mother’s and Father’s Day and Christmas.

Surprises are frequent in your bag – chocolates, children’s yoghurts – Easter will be hot cross buns and a recipe.

We’ve done big giveaways too  e.g. trip to Vanuatu.

Partnerships are possible but with 15,000 subscribers – it becomes a big task to get enough free product often we have to sponsor it ourselves or bigger suppliers give it away free.  We never give small samples – it has to have tangible value.  Paneton gave us croissants for Christmas morning – it has to be sharable… small giveaways wont’ work.

Experience – every single product we’ve done has been an experiment.  $50m run rate business – the CFO is protective of our revenue streams.  We are about to launch childrens lunch boxes but you never know if it will work.  General we’ve done well.

We have given away books and trips.  Social media is a really big avenue for us to talk to customers and they talk back.  Issues are always responded to and we often get told our customer service is good.

We do it all in house, it’s all personal contact.

Bring values – all staff members have 50% discount scheme for all our products.  They have to eat using our products if you don’t know and love it you can’t sell it. It is part of their lifestyle – that is part of the way we are.  The guys cook us lunch every day and today we are doing cake tasting.  We are doing a 2nd year birthday party too soon.  We have to taste 10 different cakes….[no sympathy from me].

Anton is our test chef – we do 14 recipes a week – one recipe takes 10 hours from testing to photography and it is 140 man hours a week.

We run “just on time” – we do recipe planning some time out.  On a Tuesday we may have to make a last minute change if there isn’t broccoli because it isn’t there in the shops. It switches from rocket to spinach.

We educate customers so that if we make changes they have to just live with it – we advise changes  by email because once the recipe cards are printed, we can’t re-print in time.

Utter delight – our customer feedback is amazing. 

I’m in chemotherapy and its a life saver.

We get a lot of heartfelt replies and you’ve saved my marriage because I can cook.    

Key for us to focus on our growth to build a really good brand with Nadia it has been a fantastic journey.

What next?

We are building a mobile recipe site and want to integrate Nadia’s site into the my food bag site.