Young woman traider working at night modern office.Technical price graph and indicator, red and green candlestick chart and stock trading computer screen background. Double exposure

Using ‘Branded Data’ To Grow Your Media Profile And Feed Your Content Machine

Every business now has access to mountains of data about their customers, their products and their industry. Mining that data and using it to create exciting and engaging content has become one of the most important ways to supercharge your media outreach strategy and build your reputation as an industry leader.

Branded data is any form or data you use to share with an audience to demonstrate your understanding of your customers’ needs, industry trends or product effectiveness. It can include almost any type of quantitative or qualitative data like customer surveys, market reports and product performance information.

At RGC, we work closely with brands like CartonCloud to develop branded data opportunities like the CartonCloud Logistics Index and real estate services group Oliver Hume on their Quarterly Market Insights report. On a larger scale, you can look at the success of things like the ANZ Job Ads survey or NAB’s Monthly Business Survey to see the value of branded data as a brand-building exercise.

Create News Flow

Increasing media consolidation, networking and the ‘pay to play’ attitude of niche publishers makes building a media profile harder than ever. Stories and ideas that were newsworthy five or ten years ago now routinely end up on the digital spike in newsrooms. As a result, identifying and executing earned media opportunities with a consistent cut through is the greatest challenge of any PR campaign.

The greatest challenge of maintaining an ongoing earned media campaign for many brands is generating a consistent flow of newsworthy stories.

Looking inwards at your proprietary data and compiling it into a tool for media outreach is not just a great way to fill holes in your PR plan but can be the foundation of your entire efforts.

Feed The Machine

The CartonCloud Logistics Index is a great example of using survey data to build effective branded data.

Even through the relatively narrow lens of earned media, branded data, done well, has an extraordinary ability to grow brand awareness and affinity. When you couple its earned media potential with other channels, the return on investment in quality branded data is well worth the extra effort required to do it well.

Effective marketing strategies have a voracious need for content. Your newsletters, social platforms, blogs, and website require a continuous stream of new content to keep them fresh and engaging. Breaking your data down to bite-size pieces can turn one piece of content into many. Turning a detailed report with seven data points into seven (or 14) different social media posts doesn’t require too much effort.

Go Beyond Surveys

When companies consider data as an earned media tool, most don’t get past a customer survey. These surveys are great for targeting specific audiences and investigating particular themes, but they can also be expensive, particularly for brands with modest marketing budgets.

It is well worth mining your proprietary data to create media outreach opportunities. Proprietary data is the information you already have on hand to tell a story about your business or industry. Australia’s largest real estate listing sites realestate.com.au and domain.com.au, are great examples of using their proprietary data to create valuable insights for their audiences.

Proprietary data is powerful because only your company has access to it, so insights drawn from it are inherently unique. Moreover, there’s also no additional investment required to collect this data because it’s already on hand.

That said, engineers don’t necessarily design their platforms for the purposes of data collection for the media. As a result, it can sometimes be challenging to pull standardised proprietary data that supports the story your brand wants to tell. This data can also be limited by the scope of a company’s platform.

While there can be challenges, crafting a story from proprietary data remains an excellent PR tool. The use of data in media relations is becoming more common, so it’s important that data is positioned correctly to the media and provides real value to journalists to stand out.

There are four key steps in generating media coverage that leverages proprietary data:

  1. Imagine your perfect headline. Start where you want to finish and work backwards from a great headline. Beginning the branded content process with the result in mind makes it easier to sift through data to uncover relevant insights that can tell that story.
  2. Understand your audience’s needs. Once you’ve identified the significant conversations in your industry, you can evaluate where your company’s data can support reporting on these trends and provide a new perspective or additional context.
  3. Mine and simplify your data. Data can be complex, and breaking it down into easy to understand terms is essential to amplifying its value. A great way to make data more understandable is to present it visually, so infographics, tables and graphs can be valuable tools.
  4. Understand your target media’s needs. Then, once you’ve built a story supported by your data, identify media contacts who would find these insights interesting and relevant to their reporting and determine your outreach plan.

Of course, the key to using your branded data, like all media outreach, is ensuring you are telling stories or imparting insights that are interesting to your audience. Creating or mining data is a waste of time unless you can package it into “news you can use”. This can only be achieved if you understand your audience and the problems you need to solve for them.

Quality Content Will Help You Survive Another Google Algorithm Apocalypse

Quality Content Will Help You Survive Another Google Algorithm Apocalypse

It’s happening again, June will herald the beginning of another significant change to the Google Search algorithm. News of this broke in November 2020, in which Google announced that the ‘page experience update’ would roll out as early as May 2021, but a recent post on April 19 has walked that release back to mid-June.

Algorithm changes like the page experience update are always spun as the literal end of the world by every single SEO blogger. The lynchpin of this update is to improve the user’s experience on the page they are visiting. It applies pressure to website owners to improve three Core Web Vitals scores: Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), First Input Delay (FID) and Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS).

While a constant algorithm would make for a predictable playing field, it would ignore shifts in search trends, device usage, network infrastructure and software/hardware improvements. Take a moment to examine what search would look like if we were still using ranking strategies from 2005, when only 56% of the Australian population had internet access, and 16% had broadband. Nearly all of that internet access would have occurred on a desktop device at that time, as opposed to being primarily mobile in recent years.

In this piece, I’ll cover what you need to know about the newest update, and give you one simple tip to keep your head above water.

 

Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)

Largest Contentful Paint is the time taken for the largest object above the fold (be it an image or text box) to be fully rendered within the device’s viewport. Google say that this is reflective of the time taken until the user can actually decide whether the page they are loading is useful or relevant to the reason they are on the page in the first place. LCP shouldn’t be confused with a 90s clown-themed horrorcore hip-hop duo that somehow still exists today.

We’re all guilty of leaving a slow-loading page before the LCP. You’d probably be surprised at how many people do the same thing; or are more impatient than you! A page load time of up to 10 seconds increases the probability of a bounce by 123% – scary stuff.

 

Where is the LCP in relation to a page’s fully-loaded time? On a handful of websites I analysed it often occurred around 1 second after the First Contentful Paint, and 2-3 seconds before the fully-loaded time.

On a less-optimised page, it occurred much later than the (already slow) FCP, 1 second before the fully-loaded time.

There are a few reasons why it would occur so late, on a WordPress website with a third-party page builder, bloated theme, Google fonts and plugins aplenty, it has to download a lot of different scripts, stylesheets and images. By default, those assets are downloaded one-by-one in a queue, with each asset relying on the successful completion of the last.

Google’s ideal LCP score: 2.5 seconds or less.

 

First Input Delay (FID)

How many times have you been on a website, clicked a button, and it just hasn’t done anything. So you click it again, and again, until it responds like you’ve just dropped a whole sleeve of Mentos into a Diet Coke bottle.

Unlike LCP, First Input Delay is a measure of user experience when interacting with an element on your page after you’re able to interact with it. FID is the time delay between when a user clicks a button, link or JavaScript control, and when the browser begins to process the event as a response.

Casual gamers will draw an immediate parallel to lag, the leading cause of broken controllers worldwide. This input delay can mean the difference between a game-winning headshot and a being on the receiving end of an impromptu tea leaf infusion.

The biggest cause of increased FID lag is other processes holding up the main thread queue. Think of it like when your boss tells you that he’s got a quick 5 minute job for you and doesn’t realise you’ve got a backlog of 89 other 5 minute jobs already – something just has to wait!

This is exacerbated if you’re trying to click something before the page has fully loaded, the main thread is busy doing other things like trying to get that page served, but you’re here trying to speedrun the website like a sub-5 minute 36 second playthrough of Doom. Because you’re interrupting the browser while it’s busy, it will only respond AFTER it finishes the task it’s currently working on. That delay/lag is the FID for this page.

Google’s ideal FID score: 100ms or less.

 

Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)

How nice is it when you load a website, and all the elements show up in the right place without unfolding like some sort of demonic digital origami in front of you. This is Cumulative Layout Shift, and Google thinks that it is just as annoying as you do, and will now start penalising offenders.

If your CLS score is higher than you’d like, then the first place you should look is your images. If they don’t have defined height and width values then they will contribute to your CLS score when they load and push elements out of the way, or expands the size of their parent container. The more elements you have on the page that contribute to the shift, the worse your score will be.

I’ve found ad placeholders are especially bad for this, particularly if you’re using the Google Publisher Tag (GPT) script for your banner ads with collapseEmptyDivs set to true. I found this setting grossly inflated the CLS on two of our websites, resulting in a CLS score of around 0.63 on one. What it appeared to be doing was collapsing the ad slot divs prematurely, before it had a chance to load the ad creative. The div had a minimum height of 90px, which would then collapse and shift all content up by 90px. It would then shift it back down by the same amount once the GPT script realised the div wasn’t actually empty.

Setting collapseEmptyDivs to false resulted in the CLS dropping to 0.2 – while still not the best score, it represented a huge improvement. Leaving it set to true was ultimately useless, as we’re always serving ads, so there is no point in having that functionality, particularly if it affected a major Google ranking factor so significantly. Easy wins are the best kind.

I performed the same change on another website using an identical GPT snippet, and it yielded a similar result, 0.67 down to 0.37. Worth noting that while that website is similar in structure (WordPress, same theme, same GPT snippet) it does have different elements that I’ve discovered are contributing toward a higher CLS score.

Google’s ideal CLS score: 0.10 or less.

 

SEO Talk Is Un-bear-able

As you can see, Google are trying to reward businesses who actually care about user experience. Simply put, this update is about prioritising how quick a page loads something of value, how quick a site can respond to a user input, and how well structured the page being loaded is. COVID has taught businesses that they need to readily adapt to change, and an algorithm update is no different.

I’ve covered a lot about performance metrics above, but the one constant that will get you through any significant Google algorithm change will always be good quality content. You might have a lightning-fast website with incredible metrics, but if your content isn’t up to par you’re not going to rank for anything.

The perfect example of this is the speed test I did on the RGC website in the CLS section above. Despite being slow as hell, my McDonalds Monopoly Gamification story I wrote over a year ago consistently ranks number 1 for several search term variants based on it’s title. This little SEO engine that could rakes in hundreds of pageviews every month. I’m lovin’ it.

The sooner you realise that SEO is like running from a bear, the better. Remember, you just have to be faster than the guy behind you to avoid getting eaten.

Beauty blogger demonstrating how to make up and review products on live broadcast use smartphone, life of an influencer

The Power Of Video Marketing

In 2012 a startup subscription razor service called Dollar Shave Club launched with a quirky and hilarious video filmed in their warehouse. The video quickly went viral, propelling the company to massive growth and 2016 it was acquired by Unilever for $US1 billion. Not a bad ROI from a low-cost piece of video content.

While the power of video content has been known for many years, it has been brought into new light over the last 12 months. With face-to-face communication either banned or extremely limited, businesses have had no option but to embrace video for a range of communication, both internal and external.

In 2021 RGC launched its own video studio to help clients create high-quality, cost-effective video content.

Why Video?

Video is a versatile and engaging content format that not only gives us a real-life picture of what is going on; it’s also easy to share across multiple platforms. Consumers like it because it’s easy to digest, entertaining and engaging, and marketers like it because it can give a potentially huge return on investment (ROI) through many channels.

Video is also very accessible to anyone with internet access, both to watch and to produce. While there is certainly a trend towards higher quality video on a professional level, anyone can hop onto their laptop and create their own video in under an hour.

Need more evidence of the power of video? Here are a few stats.

  • Demand for Video Content is Increasing – The preference for video content is not just limited to entertainment purposes. Video extends to brands. Studies show that 54%of consumers want to see more video content from a brand or business they support (HubSpot, 2018).
  • Videos Are Consumers Favorite Type of Content – Users are seeing videos increasingly on every platform. Whether it’s on blogs, Instagram videosor simply YouTube, they are expecting more video content. Videos are a consumers’ favorite type of content to see from a brand on social media (Animoto, 2018).
  • Videos Deliver Great ROI – Nearly 90%of video marketers are satisfied with the ROI of their video marketing efforts on social media (Animoto, 2018). The same report shows us that 80% of marketers also claim to be satisfied by the ROI of video ads that they have posted to social media.
  • Videos Helps Consumers Understand Brands – About 97% of marketers claim that videos help customers understand products (Hubspot). Consumers and businesses don’t’ need to be sold to; instead, they’re doing a quick internet search to find the best product in their neighbourhood or even in the world where they’ll proceed to order it online.
  • Videos Is Great For SEO – Over 80% of all traffic will consist of video by 2021. (Cisco) Search engines love videos because they see them as high-quality content, so to this end, using videos in various types of content as well as on your main web pages can work wonders for your SEO — as long as the videos themselves are optimized properly as well. This means incorporating the right keywords, a solid meta description, and also a strong title.
  • Videos Drive Conversion – 90% of consumers claim a video will help them make a purchasing decision. (Social Media Today). Wyzowl claims that 74% of people who get an opportunity to see a product in action via an explainer video will buy it. And landing pages are great places to place videos, too. — supposedly boosting conversion rates by up to 80%(just be sure to keep autoplay off so as not to scare the customer away with loud noises).

Types of Video

There are lots of different types of videos out there and part of creating an effective content marketing strategy is having a solid understanding of your purpose before you sit down and create the video (or any other type of content, for that matter).

You want to make sure the both the type of the video and the channel purpose (if you’re posting on social) fit the purpose of the video itself. Here are some of the different types of videos that your business could use to grow awareness and engagement.

  • Explainers can help educate people about your product and can be used in conjunction with instructions, customer service activities, and a whole other range of applications.
  • Interviews can help to encourage conversation between sides, or showcase a special guest or influencer. If you are creating videos featuring guest experts, for instance, you can always re-use the audio and market it as a podcast. Below is a video RGC created for its MBA News site and promotional partner the University of Queensland Business School

  • Product reviews and demo videos can be created by brand ambassadors in exchange for free products. If you can find people in your industry looking to boost their social following, this can be a great way of essentially getting free advertising.
  • Live video is the best chance to get up close and personal with your audience, and it works well on social channels in particular.

If you want to make video part of your 2021 please feel free to contact RGC Media & Mktng on 1300 854 502 email us at info@rgcmm.com.au.

email marketing

Back To The Future: Email Marketing

With ongoing algorithm changes to Facebook and Instagram in particular, the ability to communicate directly with your own database is more important than ever.

One medium of communication that is seeing a resurgence in value by organisations and marketers is the now humble email.

But what is it about email messaging that has lasted and brought it back into vogue as a valuable marketing tool?

Put simply, it is the only guaranteed-delivery option the internet has left.

As The Wall Street Journal’s technology reporter Christopher Mims recently wrote, “In the #deletefacebook era, it’s become a way to fight back against the algorithms that try to dictate what people see.”

Readers sign up to receive email communication and whilst your communication remains relevant, that should prevent them from hitting the unsubscribe button. Email is still free and a direct way of communication which can be personalised.

The key is take the view that you’re building a loyal and engaged community. Members are looking for you to provide insight, authenticity and interesting information — not just sales spiels.

And whilst the Snapchat generation may view email as being antiquated and not immediate, they all have email accounts. The truth is that you can’t rely on email marketing alone and you will ignore social media platforms at your peril. However, email marketing should hold a key place in your marketing communications mix.

email marketing

Mims quotes Wales-based jeans company Hiut Denim co-founder David Hieatt as saying, “If you ask me, would I want a mail­ing list with 1,000 peo­ple on it or 100,000 fol­low­ers on Twit­ter, I’d take the 1,000 emails all day long, be­cause the busi­ness you get from 1,000 emails will be much more than you get from 100,000 peo­ple on Twit­ter or In­sta­gram.”

Your email database is valuable and can be maximised from a marketing perspective very cost effectively. Ensure you build your database and gain the contact details of each new client or prospect.

Two very effective marketing programs which enable you to market effectively to your email database include Mailchimp and Marketo.

Mailchimp is a marketing automation platform that helps you to create marketing campaigns and share with clients, customers and other contacts. Mailchimp will assist with your list management and compliance with direct mail requirements. The platform enables you to manage subscribers, generate custom reports, view click-through and success rates, track your emails, and ensure full transparency of campaigns.

Marketo is a powerful engagement service offering a cloud-based email marketing platform with a range of capabilities including marketing automation, social marketing, lead nurturing, budget management, analytics, sales insight, and website personalisation. One of the big benefits is native integration with CRM suites such as Salesforce.com. A leading digital marketing suite, Marketo will streamline your email marketing processes and enable you to provide unique customer offers through personalisation.

Zuckerberg

Facebook News Feed Changes Will Bring About A Rethink

Facebook has announced changes to its news feed flagged last year which will have the effect of prioritising posts from friends and video content over posts from media outlets and businesses.

For news outlets and pages this will change the likelihood of their posts appearing in your news feed.

Adam Mosseri, Facebook’s head of News Feed wrote in a post that Facebook was built to bring people closer together and build relationships

He wrote: “With this update, we will also prioritize posts that spark conversations and meaningful interactions between people. To do this, we will predict which posts you might want to interact with your friends about, and show these posts higher in feed. These are posts that inspire back-and-forth discussion in the comments and posts that you might want to share and react to – whether that’s a post from a friend seeking advice, a friend asking for recommendations for a trip, or a news article or video prompting lots of discussion. We will also prioritize posts from friends and family over public content…”

“Because space in News Feed is limited, showing more posts from friends and family and updates that spark conversation means we’ll show less public content, including videos and other posts from publishers or businesses.”

You can read Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s announcement here in full:

So, what types of Page posts will show higher in News Feed?

According to Mosseri page posts that generate conversation between people will show higher in News Feed. For example, live videos often lead to discussion among viewers on Facebook – in fact, live videos on average get six times as many interactions as regular videos. Many creators who post videos on Facebook prompt discussion among their followers, as do posts from celebrities. In Groups, people often interact around public content. Local businesses connect with their communities by posting relevant updates and creating events. And news can help start conversations on important issues.

If you still want to see all content from a favourite page or business, you will still be able to; you’ll need to change the appropriate preference setting to see posts from your favourite pages.

This change is a sure-fire reminder that Facebook is there to make money and not just to give a business or publisher a free platform to promote itself and drive traffic. Organic reach will continue to decline for them and necessitate a rethink on the sort of content they provide and the level of sponsorship they will need or future posts.

If you’re a brand and can generate engagement, discussion and sharing then you may still be able to generate organic reach. However, all brands will need to rethink their content marketing strategies and decide how important Facebook is to their marketing programs.

Facebook has introduced these sorts of changes before and now it’s up to users and advertisers to react and respond.

Hopefully one meaningful change to news feed will be the penalising of publishers who seem to thrive on clickbait-type articles and headlines.  We’re looking at you, Fox Sports!

Image copyright: grinvalds / 123RF Stock Photo

iStock-596377036

What Is Cornerstone Content?

Put simply, producing cornerstone content is about getting your web or blog page to rank highly by Google.

Of course, it is helpful to have informative content for the benefit of your customers and site visitors, but ultimately Google will need to be told which of your articles are the most important – especially where you write a number of posts about similar topics.

Cornerstone content then are those articles (or a static page on a topic) that you feel are the most informative and that you would like to rank highly in search engines. The key then is to create internal links to that page of content or article.  Internal links are an important ranking factor.

It’s possible to have more than one cornerstone page on a website. You may have one for each of several key topics.

cornerstone content

Cornerstone articles can be long, including everything relevant and important for your readers about the topic. Make sure it uses good SEO practice – keyword focused, headings, imagery etc. Smart internal linking can push this article up in the search results. It’s a good idea to update it regularly and expand on it when possible.

You should link all your other posts about a similar topic to that article. An internal linking structure will increase the chance of your content article ranking in Google.

If you’re using the WordPress platform, the Yoast SEO Premium plugin makes it easy for you to identify which are the cornerstone articles and to be prompted to link to them.

Blogging guru Brian Clark outlines the two core goals of cornerstone content succinctly as:

  • The first goal of cornerstone content is usefulness and relevancy to the visitor, no matter how they arrive.
  • The second goal is to make that content so compelling and comprehensive that people are willing – no, make that excited – to link to it.

cornerstone content

Benefits of creating cornerstone content

  • It provides a very informative source and value to readers
  • Google is responsive to these sort of articles and they rank well in search engines
  • Cornerstone content helps you boost your blog’s credibility
  • People will be more likely to share this content on social media
  • It can attract back-links from other authoritative sources
  • Ultimately direct a lot of traffic and hopefully new subscribers and customers.

The benefits of linking can be seen by Fairfax media in all their articles and newsletters where they are constantly linking back to their own stories. They are forming content clusters with their authoritative journalism and feature articles.

cornerstone content

The Australian Financial Review will link back to a feature article (hyperlinked in blue) on the imposition of the big bank levy in all their articles related to this topic – a cornerstone article.


A content article that amazes us on our own blog with the constant traffic it receives is an article about the difference between publicity and public relations. It works because it provides answers on a topic, is informative, responds to a search query, and is shareable. And, as you can see, we will link back to it wherever possible as cornerstone content.

Why Celebrity Endorsement Is Here To Stay

celebrity endorsement Why do brands embrace the faces of celebrity? It’s not a new phenomenon and has been part of our daily consumption for many decades; in fact, it’s difficult not to name a product or company that hasn’t engaged in some form of celebrity endorsement. Celebrities can be a vehicle for brands to reach out to new audience niches as well as the mainstream. Some well-known and successful brand associations include George Clooney (Nespresso), Jennifer Aniston (Emirates), Nicole Kidman (Etihad), Michael Jordan (Nike) and Jamie Oliver (Woolworths). Success can add millions in brand value through positive association and the power of aspiration. Consumers are well aware that these arrangements are paid for but will see past that if the association is credible and real. Guy Sebastian has recently been announced as AirAsia’s brand ambassador in Australia in a deal that promises to work well for both parties. AirAsia receive the benefit of a very likeable personality with a clean image in the vast entertainment industry. AirAsia sees the synergy of entertainment and travel working together in a lifestyle brand sense to appeal to their audience, produce engaging content and attract attention across borders. Sebastian in turn is looking to promote himself further across Asia and AirAsia’s massive reach will assist. The airline has worked before with musicians in other markets and several top executives are former music industry executives including the co-founder, Tony Fernandes. AirAsia X Group CEO Datuk Kamarudin Meranun said the airline was thrilled to have Guy on board calling him a “natural fit for AirAsia”. “Guy embodies AirAsia’s values and ideals with his support of the community through charity work and will promote AirAsia’s brand,” he said. guy sebastian In an interesting twist, about the time Sebastian was announcing the arrangement with AirAsia, controversial Australian tennis player Nick Kyrgios parted ways as an ambassador for Malaysia Airlines after just one year. Sometimes the relationship just doesn’t work out, or maybe, wasn’t a good fit to start with. In another format, Australian radio and TV personality Jules Lund has established a marketing start-up called Tribe which targets brands that want to get active in social media through associating themselves with brand personalities or ‘influencers’. The marketplace model allows users (influencers) to bid online to provide services or endorsements for a product or brand which can then be purchased by that brand. Tribe promises ‘authentic advocacy’, with influencers choosing brands, not the other way around. Tribe has just completed a round of funding to fuel expansion in technology and markets. It has claimed to have worked with more than 500 brands and have about 4500 influencers on its books. If you’re considering a brand ambassador here’s a checklist of some key considerations:

  • Choose the right brand ambassador! What are they going to do for you and who do they appeal to? Is their association with your brand or product believable? Do your research thoroughly.
  • It needs to be a two-way relationship with real benefits for both parties. It’s not just about dollars.
  • All obligations and terms need to be set out in writing for executing. And, also allow for the arrangement not working out.
  • Meet regularly to manage obligations under the contract and explore new opportunities.
  • How will you measure the success or otherwise of your investment? Is it in sales, audience recall, specific brand attribute measurements, or digital media traction? Be clear with your own goals and expectations.

5 Social Media Tips For Tourism

If you’re in the tourism industry and looking to enhance or begin your social media and online presence, then there’s some key considerations to think through and some planning required. Have a look at what other successful businesses are doing and learn from their efforts. seeaustralia Think about what types of online media your audience is likely to use. Is it Snapchat, Facebook or Twitter? Or something else? And don’t forget about TripAdvisor. Many consumers rely on online reviews for their decision making. Peer influence is very important in the process. Over 50% of Facebook users say their friends’ photos have inspired their choice of holiday and shaped their travel plans. Here are five key considerations to shape your tourism social media efforts: 1. Be informative Your goal should be to become an authority on your region and its attractions. Avoid the temptation to simply plug your own business at every opportunity. You will win a loyal following if you’re able to provide a regular flow of useable information that provides advice and tips for visitors. Provide accurate updates on local happenings and interesting events, new tourism product, travel conditions and yes, even the weather. Suggest a list of key things to visit, great photo spots, provide maps and amazing photos.

If you employ an imaginative and informative content strategy it will help in SEO and have your business rank more highly on search results. If you give potential visitors value in terms of superior content, they are more likely to have a connection with your brand. 2. Be authentic Be real and believable. The effect of ‘gilding the lily’ can be a loss of confidence in your business by visitors and result in negative online reviews and an erosion of trust with your audience. Show what the experience is that visitors can truly expect – accommodation, activities, scenery, food and most importantly the character and characters around you. A rising tide floats all boats, so the more you can accurately enhance the profile of your region the better for you. There’s not a finite amount of success available. 3. Involve your audience Social media is very much a two-way street. Interact with and have a conversation with your online community. Ask questions, ask for feedback and invite them to contribute content. You’ll be amazed at how many gorgeous photos, stories and experiences can be shared from your own visitors.

 

Feeding time at Lovers Cove 🐠🐟💦 #fishfeeding #daydreamisland #lovewhitsundays #thisisqueensland 📷@dream.living

A photo posted by Daydream Island Resort And Spa (@daydreamislandresortandspa) on

They’ll give you honest feedback and recommendations. Thank them for their reviews and don’t ignore their communication – good, bad or otherwise. Consider what competitions, promotions or incentives you can run on your platforms, big or small. Encourage guests to tag your accounts on their posts on their own pages. 4. Employ a content marketing strategy A lot of great content doesn’t happen by accident. Much of it is planned and thought out. A simple but effective tool is to utilise a content marketing strategy and it can be as simple as using a calendar. This can be a spreadsheet, online doc, or paper diary.

  • What advice pieces can we create?
  • Consider the time of year e.g. Christmas, Easter or school holidays
  • List local events we can post about
  • Look at seasonal opportunities
  • Are we running any promotions for specific booking periods?
  • Look at a theme for a certain period – e.g. to coincide with Mothers’ Day, or a local food festival.

Once you start its pretty easy to brainstorm a whole list of topics and specific pieces that can form your content platform. You will also need to consider what medium it’s best for – your website, blog, newsletter, Facebook, Instagram, local or national media, or all of these. Don’t forget to include video. It’s one of the most powerful forms of delivery and all platforms are embracing it. Your videos don’t need to be long or elaborately produced productions. Once you’ve got a calendar settled it will help drive your activity and keep you focused and motivated. It needs to be flexible but with a bit of effort should help fuel your content creation. Here’s an example of what a calendar may look like: tourism Source: Webbedfeet.com.au 5. Post regularly across all channels Don’t allow your content or online presence to wither on the vine. Post regularly across all your social and online assets. It doesn’t need to be every day for each medium but you should feature regularly and make sure you are responding to messages and thanking your community for their involvement. They will like being appreciated. And, don’t forget to share… https://youtu.be/V3OJkky52c0  

3 Time-Saving Tips to Manage Your Social Media

Manage your social media community before it begins to manage you. This is good advice if you’re building your social media presence and intend to use it as a useful marketing tool and a source of information for your audience including potential customers. A dedicated social media presence takes time and requires daily attention and some planning. Don’t feel you need a presence on all social media accounts, especially if your resources and time are limited (Do you really need that Pinterest account?), but narrow down the key ones to a manageable few and make a concerted effort on those. It’s better to do a few channels well than a lot poorly. Here’s some other key tips to help you save time and be more effective. Implement a content management plan A proactive social media presence requires a solid content marketing plan. Your audience will respond more positively if your content is well thought out and timely. It doesn’t need to be complicated. Maybe call it an editorial calendar and identify key dates, events, holidays or seasons. Work out a monthly plan and break it down into weeks. Is there a specific theme for the month? Is it a holiday or a summer related activity you wish to promote? Try and mix up your content so it’s not too repetitive but make sure it’s all relevant.  Indicate which platform it will be posted on and what external resources are required e.g. images, video etc. Identify your clear target audience for each post and keep them in mind when you create the content. social media Use a social media management platform There are various tools that help you manage multiple social media accounts and platforms. Some of these include Hootsuite, SproutSocial and TweetDeck. There are others but these are three popular suites that can integrate your Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn accounts (and others), enable posting to different accounts from one central dashboard, view numerous feeds and schedule posts in advance, which can be a lifesaver. These tools also have the added advantage of giving you metrics of all your accounts in one place like your reach and levels of engagement. SproutSocial also has a nifty service called Landscape for resizing an image beautifully for each social media platform. Practice social media listening Social listening is the art of listening in to conversations taking place and being willing to engage or join in the conversations. If you’re not monitoring your accounts then you will be missing out on important feedback and insights into your community and customers. It’s important to note that many customers may not say exactly what they feel directly to you or on your page; their criticism may be on an anonymous page or competitor profile. Put simply, you need to expand your efforts in just looking in the obvious places for feedback. The above companies also incorporate social media monitoring into their tools where you can monitor sentiment and search for key words or terms. Put simply, there’s no point in engaging in a social media marketing effort if you’re not going to monitor and interact with your audience. Image copyrights: rvlsoft / 123RF Stock Photo and 2nix / 123RF Stock Photo