Make the Most of Google Online Tools to Grow Your Business

Google is everywhere. It is even a verb now: “Google it!”.

In this highly competitive online environment you must ensure your organisation is easily found online. An important first step for any new organisation is to create a ‘Google My Business’ account, which is now the main dashboard for managing and tracking your online presence across Google’s various platforms including Google Local (Google Maps), Google+, Google Analytics and Adwords.

Once you create a My Business Site (and verify it), Google automatically creates a Google+ Page for your business, so all you have to do is add text and images.

Google+ is very important for your business as it shows your company in the search result.

Google Search Result

 

Google My Business has a range of useful features: Insights shows you the number of views your business has received divided into search, post, photo and profile views. Further important metrics such as clicks, shares and comments from customers using Google + are also viewed here. Google My Business allows you to upload Images, which are then linked to your business profile and will turn up in search results.

Related to Images is the Business View, where you can upload a virtual tour (tutorial on Google My Business) of your business that will be an addition to your business's location on Google Maps.

Establishing your Google My Business page should be a high priority for all businesses aiming to be found online.

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12 Key Factors to Creating Successful Websites

The majority of businesses today have a website but how well is it working? Is it drawing in new business and helping to retain existing customers? When potential clients want to research products or services they go online. If the business website does not adequately reflect the quality of your company, then you risk losing revenue opportunities and credibility in the marketplace.
When you are considering building a new site or reviewing an existing website there are some key factors you should include in your process.

1. Website Strategy – you should have a plan for your site, i.e., what are your goals? What are the keywords you want to target? What will be the layout? Get other staff members involved in the planning stage as they may highlight factors you haven’t considered.

2. Define your audience (target market) and listen to them. Tailor your website to appeal to them and find out what your customers want from your site and give it to them. Remember, it’s not about what the company or board think are important but what your customers think is important.

4. Online Research – look at your prospective online competition. What are they doing? What can you learn from others here and overseas and those in different industries? You should always keep a close eye on your competition for new technologies, keywords and new ways to communicate.

5. Make sure you have a well-designed site – this is subjective but there are some golden rules that will always apply: simple, clean and elegant.

6. Protect your brand – make sure your brand is prominently displayed and consistent everywhere it appears on the site. Also, your Brand personality must be on your website. This is where you look at your colours, your typography and all the traits of your brand, to ensure a consistent presentation through your site.

7. A user should be able to easily find what they are looking for. Try not to fill your web pages with unnecessary data – just makes it harder to locate the relevant information amongst the clutter and you end up making your visitor work – eventually they will leave and go to your competition.

8. The content should be current and relevant – allocate a maintenance budget or resources to ensure the site is regularly updated. The content should also have correct spelling, free from typos and grammatical errors.

9. Regularly check your website (customer’s point-of-view) and consider a professional evaluation from time-to-time.

10. Tie in social media intelligently – it shouldn’t dominate your website but it definitely needs to be easily found.

11. Consider how mobile devices – ipads, tablets and smartphones will be able to view your site – ask your web developer if you have a Responsive Design.

12. Promote your website on all marketing material and make use of the Google tools such as Google My Business.

And remember, a website is NEVER finished. A ‘buy it and forget it’ approach just doesn’t work anymore. You have to be constantly updating, refining and optimising. If you’re not keeping pace, you could be losing customers to more dynamic sites.
For further help you can take a look at the website strategy diagram or email philippa@cre8ive.co.nz for assistance.

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Responsive Design for Websites

Responsive Web Design (RWD) is a way of coding a website to provide an optimal viewing experience (a minimum of resizing, panning and scrolling) across desktop computers, tablets and mobile phones. Play the video for an easy explanation of Responsive Design.
Smartphone and tablet/ipad adoption is rapidly rising – 64% of New Zealanders aged between 15 and 65 currently own a smartphone, and ownership levels are expected to grow strongly reaching 90% penetration in 2018.
Your business or organisation must look at investing in a mobile-friendly website.

The 4 core benefits that a Responsive Design website could bring to your business include:

  • Ensuring customers can easily find what they’re looking for when using the small screen of a smartphone including product and service information and contact details.
  • Giving your customers the ability to have ‘One Touch’ calling to your business.
  • A dedicated design that fits perfectly to a small screen enhancing the appeal and brand of your business.
  • Easy to update as their is only one website

View some of our Responsive Designed sites:
Emerson's Brewery Dunedin   Hammond Davidson   Dunedin-Course

 

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Which words in Email Subject lines drive the best response?

Who ever complains that they don’t receive enough emails? Email overload is a reality in today’s fast-paced environment. Nearly everyone’s inbox is bombarded with email communications, all of which are competing for the recipient’s time and attention.

To filter out unnecessary messages, most people spend just a fraction of a second evaluating email subject lines. If the subject line doesn’t immediately capture their attention, they move on to the next message in their inbox. It becomes extremely clear that your subject line may be your first and only chance at enticing your recipient to open your email.

The team at Smart Insights did some research into which words seem to drive the best responses and assigned a quality score – which was derived from a combination of response metrics, time-decayed results, and external factors. It’s called the Phrasee Score™. Scores range from 1 to 100. The higher the score the more reliably a phrase drives response.

The key findings for the top 5 and bottom 5 words are as follows:

Action words
These are call-to-action phrases that are intended to elicit a specific behavior.

call-to-action
Questions
These are subject lines formed as a question.
Subject-lines-as-question
Sale phrases
These are phrases that relate to a specific offer, discount or sale.
sales-phrases
Superlatives
These are nouns or verbs that elicit emotional response from email recipients.
superlatives-words
Urgency
These are phrases that use time or stock limits as an action driver. Clearly, anything to do with Midnight doesn’t work too well.
urgency-words
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The Importance of Integrated Marketing

This concept is about carefully combining and coordinating your marketing efforts to deliver a consistent and compelling message about your organisation and products/services. The challenge is ensuring consistency and uniformity across the many media channels available. And importantly, it has to not only be simple for the target audience to connect with and understand, but it also has to work in the marketplace. In an already saturated and cluttered environment of media and advertising, success requires more than ‘throwing darts’ at individual communication avenues. In an integrated campaign, advertisements, direct mail, PR, online marketing, and all other aspects of the campaign must be consistent in message and approach. The goal is to achieve a seamless communication with your target markets that ripples through the re-determined variety of channels. But for an integrated campaign to be great, it takes more than just consistent messaging across the board. A truly excellent integrated campaign takes the multi-platform approach to the next level by using each channel to feed into a complete and encompassing story.

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Social Media & SEO

Digital marketing is critical to business now days. We know that when customers are looking to purchase their initial search will be an online one. Search engine optimisation is essential for customers to find your organisation, which is the art and science of getting your website ranking high enough to be noticed in web searches.

Search engine algorithms rank web pages based on numerous factors (over 200 that we know of). Most understand that relevancy and authority are critical for your site to rank well but did you realise that social media is playing an increasingly important role?

In the past couple of years, though, social media marketing, which means engaging with customers on sites like Facebook and Twitter, has grown in importance. Social media interaction done right has the power not only to drive traffic to a website, but also to change the public perception of a brand and to win fans who will recommend a product to their friends.

More and more, search engines are incorporating social context into their search results. What does this mean for your website/seo strategy? Your organisation should be adjusting what you are posting/tweeting to align with the changing character of search. Review your list of keywords for which you want to rank highly. Does your content you are sharing on social media match these keywords? If not, you should focus on a couple of your most desirable keywords and find ways to make content about them.

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12 Top Email Marketing Tips

Email marketing is even more important that ever. A way to connect to your customers and a tool that you have full control over, unlike social media. Done in the right manner, this method of marketing can generate critical business leads. Detailed here are some helpful tips for organising a successful email campaign.

1. Don’t use email to only sell
If you exclusively send the same message repeatedly to your clients, trying to sell, i.e., product offers, discounts and offers such as free shipping then you risk turning off your clients and devaluing your products.

2. Earn the attention of email subscribers
Each time you send out an email message to your database it is important to grab their attention immediately with the subject line and then always include something of value. You might want to share a link to a video, a new webinar, some type of industry report or an infographic. In this way, your recipients will be excited to open your messages because they will expect to see real value in them. Avoid sending emails with exactly the same headline each time as the reader isn't given an incentive to read further Continue reading...


What is Social Media?

Social media includes a countless array of internet based tools and platforms that facilitate and enhance the sharing of information. It can be text, photos, audio and videos. Online communities have been created where people and organisations can share as much or as little information as they want.

Some of the more recognisable names of social media platforms include Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Linkedin. However, social media is a big umbrella term for a lot of unique sites and services. Others include blogs, Flickr, Del.icio.us, MySpace and Foursquare, to name just a few.social media brands

Social media is becoming increasingly important for businesses – not only as a marketing tool for branding and relationship building but also in contributing to your website’s search engine ranking.

Social media can be a powerful marketing tool if used correctly. Businesses need to start thinking about how they want to get involved but be wary – just doing social media is not the point, you need to have some kind of meaningful objective or clear focus. While social media is an important component of your marketing strategy – it is not ‘free’ and not a magic tool for generating sales – it takes hard work and planning.

Here at Cre8ive we can assist with a strategy for social media and its integration into your overall marketing. Being a small business ourselves, we understand that you have to prioritise your resources towards activities that deliver the most impact. With social media, it’s easy to feel like you need to have a presence on every social media channel. It’s also easy to get lost in managing too many networks.

Being on a multitude of social networks will divide your precious time and resources and ‘half-effort’ will not generate results. We suggest that you concentrate on one or two platforms that match your target markets and develop a strategy to engage them. Rather than spreading your energy across multiple channels, put 100% of your “social focus” on the best channel for your audience and do it well. If you’re successful there, you’ll have a much easier time justifying the additional investment to replicate your success on another social media network.

Like any serious marketing effort, it takes commitment, time and clearly defined goals that are measureable. Call us to discuss how we can help 03 474 1075.

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10 Social Media Tips for the Holiday Season

  1. Start Early & Build your Base of Followers
    Use social media to create a buzz around your brand leading up to the festive season. Try Facebook advertising as a low cost way to increase your audience reach.
  2. Establish your Holiday Season Goals
    Without goals you won’t be able to measure the success of your campaign. Examples of goals might be to increase sales, increase volume of website traffic or have more enewsletter sign ups. You can use website statistics such as Google Analytics and Facebook Insights to measure the effectiveness of your campaign.
  3. Create a Content Calendar
    Detail key dates, special offers, ideas on how to get your audience talking about their festive activities etc. There is no right or wrong answer to when to post or how much to post but establishing a regular cadence that your audience can come to rely on is a great start. Measuring post effectives in terms of content and timing is critical to ensure you are hitting the mark with your social media content.
  4. Follow the 80/20 Rule

    Ensure that 80% of your tweets/posts drive interaction and offer value to your followers. The other 20% use for direct offers or ‘selling’ type messages.
  5. Continue reading...