Introducing Our New Designer

Johanna joins us with over 9 years of UX design expertise from agencies and in-house marketing teams in Australia, New Zealand and England. Her most recent role was the Senior Graphic Designer in a Brisbane Marketing Agency and is excited to have moved back to New Zealand and closer to family.

Johanna has taken on the challenge of her new role with enthusiasm and has already created some amazing design work for our clients. Her pro-active and quality-driven approach is evident in her work to date.

Her industry knowledge and creative flair will undoubtedly prove an invaluable addition to our team.


Google URL Shortener Tool Being Replaced

Are you using the tool to shortener your URL links for social media? Google have stated that from April, 2018 only existing users will be able to create short links on the console. You will be able to view your analytics data and download your short link information in csv format for up to one year, until March 30, 2019, when this service will be discontinued. However, previously created links will continue to redirect to their intended destination.

Example of the URL, the shortened URL and the number of link clicks on the console.

Google launched the URL Shortener in 2009 as a way to help people more easily share links and measure traffic online. Since then, many popular URL shortening services have emerged and the ways people find content on the Internet have also changed dramatically, from primarily desktop webpages to apps, mobile devices, home assistants, and more.

Google is replacing this service with Firebase Dynamic Links (FDL). FDLs are smart URLs that allow you to send existing and potential users to any location within an iOS, Android or web app. From now on it would be advisable to switch to this new service or to use a different URL shortener such as Bitly as your existing shortened links will not be transferred over to Google’s new FDL.

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The New Year Website Review Checklist

You probably have made some personal new year resolutions but what about some for your business too? Take the time to reflect over your business website. Review your metrics, such as Google Analytics, and use this valuable information as you plan campaigns for 2018 and beyond.

This is the ideal time to take a retrospective review of what has and what hasn’t worked during the past 12 months. Spend a few minutes going through our Website 7-step checklist – customers’ expectations are higher than ever and this could make all the difference for 2018.

  1. Develop a clear, specific, actionable and measurable 2018 website marketing plan. 
We all know businesses must take a strategic marketing approach to be successful but often this important step is overlooked. The purpose of your marketing plan is to identify 1) who your target customers are 2) how you will reach them 3) how you will retain your customers 4) what your unique selling proposition is 5) how you will measure your action.
  2. Online Research:
    1. Check out the top 4 ranking websites in Google for the keywords relating to your industry and look at what they’re doing well online
    2. Research all online directories and search engines to make sure you are listed and investigate if there are any key ones you should pay for an upgrade
  3. Challenge your views as to what your customers think about your business and their requirements – does your website content cover everything when you know nothing about your products/services?
  4. Ensure that all your printed marketing material includes your web and social media addresses and that your social media platforms link back to your website from the about section and from posts.
  5. Refresh your design
Does your site look fresh and consistent with what your brand is aiming to portray? Have some of your competitors’ sites started to look better than yours? Maybe it’s time to upgrade some imagery, add new page layout or do a complete overhaul.
  6. Discuss with your web designer/developer that there are back ups available should something go wrong.
  7. Finally, schedule a monthly reminder to track your performance against your planned objectives. Analytics is a great tool to monitor your web results. Your original plan may not be working as well as it should or factors outside of your control may mean that it is time to revise and refine your plan.
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Does Website Speed Matter for your Web Rankings?

Watch this useful video about the importance of speed, how to reduce page load time and improve conversions. It may not make total sense but it will give you an understanding and put you on a better footing to discuss such issues with your web developer. In fact, you can check the speed of your site and other factors by grading your website with this free tool

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Breaking News From Facebook – the End of the Newsfeed as We Know It

Mark Zuckerberg announced on the 11 January 2018 that significant changes to the Newsfeed are about to be implemented over the next few weeks. The focus being on posts from friends and family shown over businesses and publishers: "..prioritize posts that spark conversations and meaningful interactions between people."  The key here being people and no mention of organisations.

As for the future of the Facebook Newsfeed, Zuckerberg states users will see "less public content, including videos and other posts from publishers or businesses." See Mark's Facebook post below revealing this latest, significant update that will impact ALL businesses and organisations who use Facebook as a marketing tool to reach fans.

Mark Zuckerberg announces the end of the newsfeed for businesses as we know it

Due to the declining space availability in the Newsfeed, Facebook states that it wants to focus on "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."

Interestingly, when I shared this article on my personal Facebook page a friend commented how relieved she was that "Facebook listened" about how she was sick of seeing "sponsored ads" in her newsfeed. Many like her will be thinking the same -  they don't realise that it's the organic reach that Facebook is severely cutting back on. They certainly aren't reducing paid advertising. Now, more than ever, Facebook is a "pay to play" platform.
facebook announcement zero organic reach

What Will Be the Impact on Business Facebook Pages?

This latest announcement has caused a huge stir in the social media marketing world. And so it should.  ALL Pages will notice a significant drop in organic reach as Facebook clearly states "As we make these updates, Pages may see their reach, video watch time and referral traffic decrease."

We have seen a declining organic reach for the past few years, with reach dropping from about 16% to 2% with speculation rife that it would drop even further, potentially to 0%.

Develop New Strategies

Let's be 100% clear about this annoucement - Facebook is effectively deprioritising business' posts. There are some who say it won't matter as much as the hype leads us to believe - we just need to "post relevant content and generate meaningful conversations" However, most businesses don't actually understand what this means and have been getting it wrong for awhile now. It's absolutely critical for businesses and organisations to develop a Facebook strategy that covers how to get around the algorithm - and that businesses will have to 'pay to play.'

Your emphasis must absolutely now be on posting highly relevant, entertaining content that appeals to your target market and definitely do not use 'engagement-baiting' techniques. Any posts that have a 'passive experience' in other words, no interaction from Fans, will definitely lead to no organic reach and will impact negatively on future posts. Properly understanding how the Newsfeed and algorithm works is vital. According to leading Social Media Expert, Micheal Stelzner part of this update will affect the strategy of linking to your blog from Facebook "The days of traffic from the Newsfeed to blog posts are dead."

If you have engaged a social media company or individual to manage your Facebook Page, and, if they haven't been in touch, make sure you initiate a meeting to discuss a revised strategy for your Page. Don't have a social media company? We offer consultancy, private training or you can attend a Facebook Group Training Session coming up in February 2018 in Dunedin.

If you want further information or advice on what to do for your Facebook Page, you can email

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SWOT Analysis

SWOT analysis is an acronym for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats and is a structured planning method that evaluates those four elements of an organisation. This analytical framework that can help an organisation face its marketing challenges and find its most promising new markets.


Within the organisation and external strengths, such as client relationships.

  1. What are your strengths?
  2. What unique capabilities does your business posses?

Possible strengths in marketing might be:

  • An innovative product or service
  • The location of the business
  • The reputation of the brand for being trusted or perceived as being of high quality


Weaknesses are aspects of your business that detract from the value you offer or that place you at a competitive disadvantage.

  1. What are your weaknesses?
  2. What do your competitors do better than you?

Possible weaknesses might include:

  • Lack of a clear product/service differentiation
  • Weak distribution compared with competitors
  • Inadequate social media presence


Factors that could lead to your business prospering.

  1. What trends may positively impact you?
  2. What opportunities are out there?

Potential opportunities could include:

  • The use of technology to develop new products
  • Growing demand from overseas markets
  • The use of new social media platforms to reach new target markets


Includes external factors beyond your control that could place your strategy, or business, at risk. You have no control over these but you may benefit by having contingency plans in place.

  1. Do you have solid financial support?
  2. What trends may negatively impact you?

Possible threats could include:

  • Competitors introducing new products at lower prices
  • Changes in the economic environment
  • Changes in customer tastes and fashions
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What Facial Expression Works Best for Fundraising?

The face, with its endless capability for communication, is believed to be the primary non-verbal channel for emotional communication. Have you ever wondered why we always see sad facial expressions for fundraising? It follows that images of victims on charity appeals attempt to elicit reactions such as sympathy and subsequently encourage donations.

Research reported in the AMA Journal of Marketing Research - The Face of Need: Facial Emotion Expression on Charity Advertisements  found that sad faces prompt more giving:

"people are more sympathetic and give more to a charity when the victim portrayed on the advertisement expressed sadness than when a victim expressed happiness or neutral emotion.... Taken together, the findings imply the importance of subtle emotional cues that sway sympathy and giving."

One of the findings showed higher response rates for the sad child than the happy or neutral one:

Donation by image, Happy child, Neutral Child, Sad Child, Cre8ive Marketing If you have a fundraising campaign, think carefully about the emotion expressed on your lead image.

Six Principles of Great Content

Six principles of great content


The six principles of great content is a great starting point for your marketing plan that specifically relates to content. It should include details such as the key topic areas you will cover, what content you will create, when and how to share your content and specific calls to action you will include.

Content Marketing Strategy

At its core, your content marketing strategy is your “why.” Why you are creating content, who you are helping, and how you will help them in a way no one else can. Organisations typically use content marketing to build an audience which they can then leverage for increased sales or to develop loyalty.

Content comes in a variety of options such as blogs, whitepapers, how to guides, infographics, webinars, podcasts and videos.
Check out this '25 Ways to Wear a Scarf in 4.5 Minutes’ video that is a very creatively visual way of illustrating the different ways you can wear your scarf. It has close to 40 million views.

Develop Your Value Proposition

When it comes to choosing a product or service, customers have more options at their disposal than ever before. For your brand to stand out, you need to clearly define what your organisation offers that’s different to your competitors. To do this effectively, you will need to write a value proposition. It’s the primary reason a prospect should buy from you.

Basically the value proposition is a clear statement that tells your audience:

Believable and persuasive reasons people should notice you and take the action you’re asking for.
  • how your product/service solves customers’ problems or improves their situation
  • what specific benefits customers can expect
  • why they should buy from you and not from the competition

What makes you valuable?

People won’t buy from you if they don’t understand what you are offering and how it relates to them.

Develop Your Value PropositionWhat the Value Proposition consists of

There is no ‘right’ way to formulate your value proposition but here are some suggestions:

  • Headline. What is the end-benefit you’re offering in one short sentence. Can mention the product and/or the customer. This is the attention grabber.
  • Sub-headline or a 2-3 sentence paragraph. A specific explanation of what you do/offer, for whom and why is it useful.
  • 3 bullet points. List the key benefits or features.
  • Visual. Our brains process images 60,000 times faster than text. Show the product, the hero shot or an image reinforcing your main message.

A truly great value proposition paints a picture of your brand for prospects


Evaluate your value proposition by checking whether it answers these questions:

  • What product or service is your company selling?
  • What is the end-benefit of using it?
  • Who is your target customer for this product or service?
  • What makes your offering unique and different?

Examples of Value Propositions

Send Better Email
Just three words. That’s all that MailChimp needs to tell you what its brand is all about. It’s simple, direct, and clear. Use its service and you will send better email - end of story.


Shorten. Share. Measure
Known for its link shortening, Bitly is all about removing clutter and being concise, so it’s natural that the company’s value proposition reflect these traits as well.

The Uber homepage excellently conveys the simplicity and ease that lies at the heart of what makes it such a tempting service:

  • One tap and a car comes directly to you
  • Your driver knows exactly where to go
  • Payment is completely cashless

What the value proposition is NOT

It’s not a slogan or a catch phrase. This is not a value proposition:
L’Oréal. Because we’re worth it.

To assist in the development of your value proposition answer these questions

  1. Who is your customer?
    Demographics as well as details such as who influences the purchase, what are their values and what is the timeline for their purchase.
  2. What problem do you solve?
    From your customer’s perspective, what challenge are you solving for them?
  3. What are your distinctive benefits?
    List three to five benefits your customer gets from choosing your product/service that customers don’t get from going elsewhere.
  4. What’s your brand promise?
    This is like a pledge. What will you always do for your customers? It could be something like a money‑back happiness guarantee on every order.
  5. How does it fit together?
    Create a single paragraph from your answers so far, with the aim to end up with a unique message.
  6. Can you make it shorter?
    Now, refine. Take your time, review again and again until you’ve distilled your value proposition to one clear line that captures what you want to say.
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