The Wonders Beneath Daydream Island

Daydream Island Resort and Spa’s resident marine biologist and Living Reef manager, John Gaskell, is so impressed by the diversity of marine life found around Daydream Island that he decided to document it in a new book, Beneath Daydream Island.

Daydream is located just off Queensland’s Whitsunday Coast and only a two-hour boat ride from the heart of the world-renowned Great Barrier Reef.

Mr Gaskell said that Daydream has a rich diversity of marine life immediately off the island supported by a complex fringing reef habitat.

daydream island

“You can view much of this by simply snorkeling around the island or by scuba diving,” Mr Gaskell said.

“If you’re experienced then a night dive reveals a whole other world of animals and colour.

“The fringing reef off Daydream is one of the healthiest ecosystems in the Whitsundays.”

There is a combination of tropical species found throughout the inshore and outer reefs and a diversity of life comparable to some of the densest Australian marine habitats.

From tiny coral polyps to seasonal humpback whale visits, most major marine animal groups are represented here. This includes corals, reef fishes, sea turtles, crabs, shrimps, octopuses, sea stars, sharks and rays.

Some of the amazing marine animals to be found include sea snails, sea jellies, marine worms, sea cucumbers, surf parrotfish, honeycomb cod, and everyone’s favourite, red and black anemonefish – commonly known as clownfish.

“One of the more spectacular events we’ve witnessed here at Daydream is the coral spawning which occurs each year in late spring at night, roughly four days after a full moon,” Mr Gaskell said.

“The stony corals around Daydream have such a high density which makes for a spectacular sight. The spawning can be compared to a silent underwater snowstorm where millions of pink, yellow and white specks rise slowly to the surface.”

Mr Gaskell took all the images in the book during his many diving and snorkeling trips around the island.

“This book was produced in the hope that many others will be inspired to experience Daydream Island’s wonders first hand,” he said.

Beneath Daydream Island can be purchased at any retail outlet on Daydream Island for $20.

For more information on Daydream Island Resort and Spa visit www.daydreamisland.com

A New Year Means More Digital and Social Media Changes

Another year is underway and nothing’s more certain than the changing social media landscape. It’s important to keep updated with relevant changes to your social media accounts and initiatives.

Here’s a wrap of a few recent changes and trends which may impact your social media strategy:

News Feed Update Now Responding To Surveys
Facebook continues to tinker with its News Feed as it tries to improve the experience and show more relevant stories. This will of course assist with targeted marketing activities.

Facebook news feed

Facebook has traditionally used technology to hone the News Feed, tailoring the experience based on your likes, clicks, comments and shared posts. Facebook of course recognises that technology is not perfect in assessing your varied interests. It is now using qualitative research to have users rate their experience and assess posts in their feed. By surveying users and asking the question “how much did you want to see this story in your News Feed?”, Facebook is gaining a better understanding of what people are interested in seeing regardless of whether they interact with the post.

According to Facebook people are having a better News Feed experience when the stories they see at the top are stories they are both likely to rate highly and and likely to engage with.

Facebook is making an update to News Feed to incorporate this likelihood based on their research.

These changes will have a varying degree of impact depending upon the composition of your audience and posting activity. Facebook says that in general this update should not impact reach or referral traffic meaningfully for the majority of Pages.

Overall you should continue to post content that your audience finds meaningful and interesting.

Facebook provides some good information on News Feed Best Practices and also Page post best practices. Review these regularly and track the effectiveness of your posts to give you greater insight into your most valued content and best posting habits.

Facebook Sports Stadium
Facebook is clamouring to get a slice of the real-time chatter which goes on during big events, particularly big sporting match-ups.

Facebook sporting stadium

Photo by Donald Miralle for Sports Illustrated

This has long been the domain for Twitter where people can instantly share news, scores, opinions and generally vent about the last score. Twitter registered 28 million tweets for Superbowl 49 – up from 24 million the previous year and is favoured because of its immediacy.

Facebook has responded by launching Facebook Sports Stadium aimed at their 650 million followers who like sports. It’s a place where you can see:
-posts from your friends and their comments on the game
-expert commentary and posts from those who cover the game and access to their Pages
-live scores and stats
-other game information like TV schedules.

Facebook Sports Stadium

Currently available for American football games it will soon cover other sports around the world. We’re bound to see it in Australia soon.

It apparently struggled to keep up though with traffic during the recent Superbowl 50 between the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers and was a number of minutes behind with the scores.

Facebook will persevere and it will be hard to bet against them making an impact during these live events. Soccer and the Olympics will surely be a huge worldwide draw card.

Instagram Multiple Accounts
InstagramOne eagerly awaited Instagram feature, which has been a long time coming, is the ability to run multiple accounts on Instagram. Up to now, you had to log off Instagram and log in under another account if you were, for example, using a private account and also managing a corporate account.

Twitter and Facebook has had this capability for a while and finally it has come to iOS and Android in the latest Instagram version, 7.15.

You now have the ability to add up to five accounts and you will be able to see which account you have active from several points in the app.

This will be a huge time saver.

Podcasts

Podcasts are poised to become one of the fastest growing mediums for individuals and brands wishing to reach new audiences according to smk (social media knowledge).

Podcasts have been around for some time and were first mentioned back in 2004. The rise of smartphones and tablets has certainly boosted their popularity.

smk identifies a defining moment in the rise of Podcast being when ongoing true story Serial became the first to pass five million downloads in 2014.

Podcasts are great to consume whilst you’re on the move with most listeners loving to learn about new things.

Some of the most popular Podcasts in Australia currently include:

Serial
Stuff You Should Know
Hamish and Andy
TEDTalks
Conversations with Richard Fidler

podcast

How To Help Your Content Make Friends With Google

LinearsearchIt used to be said that today’s news is tomorrow’s fish and chip wrappings. Meaning what was written today is gone forever tomorrow.

The rise of Google and search has changed all that. Today, the number of people who find your content days, months or even years later through search engines can far exceed the number who click on it initially through your direct or social channels. A well written piece of content with simple search engine optimisation can have value for many years.

That means it is vital to ensure that your content is well ranked by Google and other search engines and that it comes up when people are searching the right keywords. While there are now an incredible array of complex SEO strategies available and an entire industry dedicated to the skill, the basics can be understood and used by anybody capable of publishing on the web

Regardless of the number of times Google updates their indexing algorithm the five most important aspects of any article written for the web remain the same.

Title

The first step is to choose which keywords you are targeting and include them in the title of your article.

Meta-Description

SEO copywriting is not just about ranking. It’s also about what your content looks like on a search engine results page. The meta description of your content is the “snippet” for the search result below the title, and it influences whether or not you get the click.

Lead off your meta-description with the keyword phrase and briefly summarize the page as a reassurance to the searcher that your content will satisfy what they’re looking for. Try to keep it under 165 characters so the full description is shown.

Article body

For search optimization purposes your writing should be tightly on-topic and strongly centred on the subject matter of the keyword phrases. Very brief content will have a harder time ranking over a page with more substantial content so try to have a content body length of at least 300 words.

Keyword Frequency

Keyword frequency is the number of times your targeted keyword phrase appears on the page. Keyword density is the ratio of those keywords to the rest of the words on the page. Keyword frequency affects ranking so try to use the word regularly, but be careful. If you keyword density is over 5.5 per cent, Google could think you are “keyword stuffing” and it will de-rank you.

Linking Out

Search engines want to know you’re sufficiently “connected” with other pages and content, so linking out to other pages matters when it comes to search engine optimization. It is best if you link to relevant content fairly early in the body copy. Ideally you should link every 120 words of content.

Three Simple Tools To Define Your Brand’s Voice

Ben Ready is Managing Director of RG Communications. He has been a journalist and communications professional for nearly 20 years.

Ben Ready is Managing Director of RG Communications. He has been a journalist and communications professional for nearly 20 years.

How you say something can be just as important as what you say. Developing a unique voice for your brand helps your customers understand what your brand is all about. If they like your voice they are more likely to build an affinity with your brand and feel comfortable with the underlying messages of your content.

Email technology group MailChimp is one brand that has put a lot of thought into their voice and use it to help people understand their own writing. They explain their ‘voice’ as :

MailChimp’s voice is human. It’s familiar, friendly, and straightforward. Our priority is explaining our products and helping our users get their work done so they can get on with their lives. We want to educate people without patronizing or confusing them.

A well defined brand voice primarily serves the purpose of making your content more readable by your audience. Defining your brand’s voice can be as complex or a simple as you want. The process of finding your voice is appropriate can be done in a range of different ways:

Understand your brand’s ‘personality’

Your voice should be a reflection of your brand’s personality. One of the best ways to understand your brand’s personality is to use the same framework developed by psychologist Carl Jung to better understand humans. Jung defined 12 primary archetypes that symbolise basic human motivations. Each type has its own set of values, meanings and personality traits.

Jung types

 

Many financial services companies often adopt a Sage archetype. Sages are driven by a desire to understand and know the world around them. They represent wisdom, asceticism and destiny. The Everyman demonstrates the virtues of simply being an ordinary person, just like others; they are unselfish, faithful, supportive and friendly. Everyman brands give people a sense of belonging or being part of a group, of friendship and care. Ikea is a great example of an Everyman brand.

See where your brand fits and develop a voice that reflects your personality.

10 minutes, three words

A simple way to develop and quantify your brand’s voice is to get your marketers and executives in a room for 10 minutes and agree the three words which accurately reflect your brand. Are you passionate, quirky and funny? Are you mature, stable and assured? Are you relaxed, comfortable and friendly?

If you have another ten minutes get the thesaurus out and add some flavor to each of your brand’s characteristics by further defining each one of your traits. You could end up with a brand voice something like this:

  •  Mature – established, complete, settled
  • Friendly – welcoming, approachable, responsive
  • Assured – secure, confident, poised

The three c’s of brand voice

As explained on Marketing Land, you can start developing a voice for your brand by examining your culture, community, and conversation.

  • Culture – What does your company stand for? What makes you stand out from all the others who are after the same audience? Your unique qualities make your culture special, and these should be a pillar of developing your voice.
  • Community – Listening can reveal how your community speaks and can help you speak easier with them and to them. You can use their language and meet them on their terms.
  • Conversation – Personality and authenticity are key here. What do you want to add to the conversation? As you think about what you can offer, you’ll start to see a better picture of where your voice might fit.

Ultimately, how you develop your voice is not as important as having one. Once you have found your voice, it may also be worth considering your tone. What’s the difference?

 

 

6 Reasons Why Your Business Needs Content Marketing

content-marketing-pic-01

It seems like everyone today says you need content marketing. But why?

Content marketing has proven to be effective because it educates rather than pushes products or services. It allows consumers to engage and learn, making their own informed decisions through the different forms of content your create.

When it comes to search rankings and having an online presence, the importance of developing solid, relevant content cannot be stressed enough.

If you’re still not convinced here are six reasons why you need to incorporate content marketing into your overall marketing strategy:

1. Positions your brand as a leader

Producing and curating great content will position your brand as a leader in its field, helping to push word-of-mouth recommendations. This is particularly important as consumers today are less likely to trust sales messages. Establishing your reputation as a leader through word-of-mouth is much more valuable than paid endorsements and advertising.

2.Boosts awareness

Creating content is largely about increasing brand awareness. The more real, relevant content you produce, the more likely it is to be shared online and gain exposure. When your content does get shared on social networks it’s going to rank higher in search engine results, helping to boost your business and brand’s visibility online.

3.Increase sales

One of the main reasons businesses invest in content marketing is to improve or increase sales. By aligning your content with your customer’s needs it encourages them to take action whether that means booking appointments, purchasing your product or hiring your services.

4.Drives traffic

Traditional marketing tactics such as social media accounts, pay-per-click and digital banner advertisements don’t work well without any actual content to promote. To drive traffic to your website you need well produced content to advertise and click through to. This content is the reason consumers will come to your website and return in the future.

5.Keeps your website up to date

As your business’ website is usually the first point of call between you and your customer it’s important that it makes a strong first impression. A sparse, stale website is much less engaging than one with a wide range of interesting content and images. Customers who are researching their options will often visit numerous websites selling or offering the exact same thing. If your website stands out with new and relevant content, it’s more likely you’ll win the business over your competitors.

6.Growth

Building relationships with your target audience is key to growing your business. To build these relationships you must establish yourself as a reliable source, a place consumers come to find the best product or service. By offering customers engaging content you are successfully building these relationships. Once there your customers will return the favour through referrals and word-of-mouth recommendations.

Content marketing develops relationships with customers through each stage of the sales cycle. More sales convert when the customer trusts the brand. If you haven’t taken advantage of content marketing in your business strategy, what are you waiting for?

Dog Breeds

Why Short And Sweet Web Content Always Wins

Dog Breeds

We live in a world that is constantly moving.

Every day people are being bombarded with messages, whether they are advertisements on the local bus, text messages on their smart phones or the latest posts on their Instagram, Twitter or Facebook feeds.

If you want to cut through the noise with your web content, your message needs to be on point. Here’s how:

1. Be Brief

Your web content should always be short and sweet. Why, you might ask? I don’t know about you, but my eyes tend to glaze over if I see a wall of text. In this day and age, it’s all too easy to click on a different story if you get bored. You need to grab the reader’s attention quickly and hold it. Be concise, but engaging.

2. Use Headings and Bullet Points

Remember what I said about text heavy content? No one likes it. Be kind to your readers and break up your content into easy, readable chunks. Use headings, subheadings and bullet points to draw attention to each section. Readers will appreciate this – they can quickly skim the content and determine if they want to read a particular section or skip it.

3. Condense Your Copy

One A4 page of content is more than enough to keep your readers engaged, but not too long that they will lose interest. An ideal word count is 250-400 words.

4. Images and Videos

As mentioned in points 1 and 2, readers are terrified of too much text. Keep their interest by interspersing your copy with interesting and relevant photos, graphs or videos. Hey presto! Your story instantly becomes more exciting.

5. Use Spell Check

Enough said.

So there you have it. These are just a couple of simple ideas for ensuring your web content is appealing and easy to read. Now go get ‘em!