Category: Digital Marketing

Social Media and the Busy Business

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For social media and business, trends develop constantly and guidelines change, but as any one of these “How to” guides will tell you, social media requires time. One such book I recommend is The Digital Handshake at Audible.com. This audio book includes several hours of informational material on all the different methods of gaining exposure on social media.

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Including business social media into your schedule

Personally as a small business owner, I do not work the usual nine-to-five hours that most of the population do. While running my own business, the practice of finishing work hours late into the night is quite common. Working into this long day I have to spend considerable time seeking to engage new clients. When my potential clients days are winding down, is the time I have to spare on my social media marketing schedule.

Studies have shown that while in theory the internet is always on, and someone is always around, it seems the internet is still vulnerable to the highs and lows of regional based traffic.  The internet does seem to have a “nine-to-five” when it comes to reaching people within your area or country. You can see now how a business could be wondering how it could utilise the social media market if it has to set aside time during crucial business hours. Posting a blog can sometimes take two hours, and finding substantive material to tweet about can be time consuming as well.

There is a solution…

Schedule your social media

You might think a tweet on Twitter has to be instant but think again. Free services like Twuffer make it possible to sign into your twitter account and post tweets that will tweet when you want them to. The average recommended tweets a day is about three, so scheduling for the start, middle, and towards the end of the work day has the potential for great exposure. If you really want your followers to engage, keep your tweets personable or about a topic that could be helpful or is interesting. Scheduling your tweets leaves you to your work while your computer chirps your song for you.

Delayed Blog Posts

Most of the popular CMS’s out there like WordPress, Drupal, and my favourite MODx, have the ability to also schedule when new blog posts are made. I have often published a blog post at night, only for it to suffer from lack of exposure, lost in the next mornings news. This is where delaying the publishing time can greatly help to catch the eye of those subscribed to your feed. The best all round social media scheduling tool I have found so far is BufferThe incredible thing about Buffer is you can manage all your social media posting and scheduling through the one interface. Buffer allows you to schedule multiple social media profiles months in advance if that’s your strategy.

 Now you can plan your blogs and social media interactions with your customers on a more manageable schedule.

We Push Buttons take on outsourced social media campaigns for busy clients. Our expertise and commitment to your brand promotion will see an traffic to your website and social media points of contact with clients grow exponentially. If you would like to discuss your social media ideas and projects then contact us today.

YouTube for Business

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What other benefits are there to a YouTube channel for your business?

The benefits of a professionally produced video cannot be over-stated. You may have great content on your page, but users tend to scan, rather than read, at least until they find something that really grabs their interest. With a YouTube business video embedded on your page, you bring much more to the table than just data.

Your business videos need to be presented in a fashion that is easy to watch and is engaging (it is estimated that over 65% of the world are visual learners). Video production also offers you the ability to present information that might otherwise be considered dry or boring, in a much more interesting manner. A well-narrated video will help your content be readily absorbed, rather than quickly forgotten.

Achieving professional quality

Some people may have the necessary tools and skills to put together a video that will capture and hold the viewer’s interest and convey the information desired. But let’s face it… most don’t. It takes time and practice to become proficient at producing a decent video, and time is something many website owners are short of.

Even if you do have some ability in video production, there is still the issue of finding the time to film and edit, coordinate voice-overs or background audio, and finally upload your video. Is that the most cost-effective use of your time? Probably not. A brain surgeon is certainly smart enough to learn how to tune their own car, and also smart enough to employ a mechanic,using their time where it is most effective.

If you want to get the full benefit of having videos embedded on your site to showcase your abilities, then it makes sense to ensure those videos show your abilities in the best possible light. The surest way to do that is to hire a professional.

Don’t want to go on camera?

Just as you don’t need to produce your own videos, you don’t have to be the one in front of the camera either. If you hire We Push Buttons to do the job, all you have to do is give us the necessary information, and we’ll do the rest. Whether your video is a screen cast or involves an actor presenting the video, we take care of it all.

Let us tell your story.

We are passionate about bringing stories to life. Our resident video producer Ben Harding has interviewed hundreds of people and knows how to get the best results from even the most camera-shy person. He knows how to tell a story. Effectively. Inexpensively. You can learn more about our video production service here.

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A Social Media Campaign is Good for Business

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You can’t be in business these days without a Social Media presence.

If you’re dragging your feet about getting onto the social media campaign bandwagon then there’s no time like the present to get started.

You’d be surprised what a Social Media campaign can do for your business, so why not ask us today how to get started?

You need to know which social media platform is right for your business. Know your target audience and appeal to them on their platform of choice.

A few statistics on Social Media for websites:

  • Over 4 billion videos are viewed each day – mainly on YouTube
  • 250 million people use Facebook on their mobile phones world wide
  • Australia has 2.2 million active Twitter users
  • Over 50 % of Australians access news and information on their smartphone
  • There are 11.5 million Facebook users in Australia
  • 630,000 Australians are on Pinterest
  • The average Facebook user has 130 friends

Let’s connect on Instagram or Twitter

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Rainbow over Omeo | photo by Mitch Miller #rainbow🌈 #rainbows #australiancountryside #lovewhereilive
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Happy Halloween everybody! #halloween #illustration #poster #design You can download this image in hi res from our library on #pexels if you like it 🤡🔮🥶🤯😳
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NBN Co - Scam Alert! https://www.staysmartonline.gov.au/ #IsThisForReal #cybersecurityawareness
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Heather-Joy needed new posters and cards #tarot #tarotreadersofinstagram #design #psychic #brandingdesign #branding
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Just an ordinary day at the IGA carpark #Castlemaine #hotrods #hotrodsandmusclecars #vintagecars #igaaustralia
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Scams - Who are you really talking to? http://ow.ly/Xnho50vNcLx #IsThisForReal #cybersecurityawareness
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I imagine that the architect of this church decided “oh well, might as well make the whole thing look like it is about to take off to space any minute” #rocket #space #design
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Its #StaySmartOnlineWeek | if it's too good to be true, it's a scam http://ow.ly/GuZY50wGjIz #IsThisForReal
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Online Police Scams - Don't fall for it! | http://ow.ly/78XI50vNcTL #IsThisForReal #cybersecurityawareness
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Logo for Planet Earth #livestock Feed Solutions #logo #logodesigns #ecofriendly #designer
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Hungry King Brown spotted Aussie tradie in Bendigo #centralvictoria #australialife #snakes #tradie
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We love to contribute to our local community. Our talented designer used her spare time to create event posters for the Castlemaine Youth Theatre. Both shows look great and heaps of fun. #youth #theat
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Thank you to Gabriella Baxter for providing us with this beautiful graphic to use on the NNTC website we are building at the moment. #aboriginalart #aboriginalartists #graphic #landrights #webdesigner
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Centrelink scams | Watch out for bogus debt collection https://www.staysmartonline.gov.au/ #IsThisForReal #cybersecurityawareness
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Telephone Scams - Stay smart and avoid becoming a victim | http://ow.ly/2N2K50vNePx #IsThisForReal #cybersecurityawareness
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Online Booking System for Clients

Online Booking System

Our client, Michael Arthur Diamonds required an online appointment booking system for clients to be incorporated into his website. This allows clients to book directly through the website 24 hours per day, leaving the business to generate potential income when staff are not at work. The software has the bonus of syncing with Google Calendar to slot appointments smoothly into the day to day running of the business.

Easy to use online booking systems improve client experience, giving the option to choose the location, staff member, time and date to suit them. Michael Arthur Diamonds have two retail store fronts and two staff which clients can choose from for their own convenience. Also, clients of Michael Arthur Diamonds receive an automated text reminder alert 24 hours prior to their appointment.

A booking system is an essential tool for your website and a medium for increasing your earning potential. It is an opportunity to capture potential clients at the moment of impulse and provide the convenience of making a booking after hours when you are not there to take telephone enquiries.

It is also a time saver for you, creating bookings and calendar syncing without any effort from you, the busy entrepreneur. While you are busy building your business the booking system is taking care of clients and your scheduling.

Visit the booking page on Michael Arthur Diamonds here.

Optimise User Behaviour: Keep your Website Alive and Clicking

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Optimise User Behaviour

Anyone visiting your site and interacting with your content is a website user, and understanding user behaviour is one key to boosting your conversion rates through website optimisation. In order to optimise, you need to go beyond merely monitoring behavior, and analyse visitor interactions. Analysis will give you insights into when your visitor access and where. For example, segmenting data will allow you to see the devices your visitors use. This means that if your visitors numbers drop off on mobile devices, or the bounce rate is higher for certain pages, you can adjust the site to enhance the visitor experience. Monitoring segmented data also allows you to see which changes are effective.

The importance of ongoing research into user behavior

Just like you, your users’ needs are not static. Their preferences and behaviours will evolve, and it is the job of website optimisation to monitor changing user behaviours and trends, and take action to continue to meet the needs of your visitors. For example, if there is a downturn in browsing time, it is important to pinpoint the reasons why (e.g.: boredom or a cluttered site), and address them to avoid losing customers.

Assessment tools for user behaviour

If you are on a budget, the following free tools are specifically designed for researching the behaviour of your site users:

  • Google Analytics: a powerful analytics tool including Adwords and Adsense. Google Adwords offers conversion tracking and data integration with Adsense.
  • Awstats: a popular default log analyser
  • io: a premium analysis tool that has the capability to scale up for larger enterprise-level demand.

Using data to influence user behaviour

Collecting data is only part of the puzzle. It’s important to understand the context of your data, and use it to drive actionable change on your site. Segmented data can be excellent when you are experimenting, because you can compare findings to your baseline data, and check for movement while you make experimental changes to different areas of your site. Basically, the data is there to help you pinpoint the triggers that convert browsers into customers, or visitors into followers.

Influencing user behaviour can be achieved through compelling copy that includes a call to action, ease of usability, and offers that your demographic cannot resist. For example, some customers may find offers to buy two and get the third one free irresistible, whereas other customers may prefer free shipping. Keep in mind that the internet is a busy, and at times overwhelming, experience for users. Enhancing your site visitor experience through research and data will ensure your page remains alive and clicking.

What is a Heat Map and why do we need one?

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A heat map is a data visualisation tool that uses colour to highlight the areas of your web page that get the most attention from a user’s mouse. The colours range from cool to hot, which means when you look at your web page, the areas displaying the hottest colours are the areas where the most visitors click or hover with their mouse.

How do heat maps work?

Heat Maps is a software tool that collects user data and displays the results over an image of the actual web page. The data is aggregate, and allows the website owner to see the activity of every unique user, making it easy to see where your visitors are congregating, and which areas of your site are being ignored.

Is there more than one type of heat map?

Great question! Heat maps can be used to report on the origin of  click-throughs, scrolling, and other user behaviors.

Original heat maps give you a visual representation of the areas of your site that get the most activity. It allows you to pinpoint hot and cold spots on your website.

Scroll heat maps show you how far your users scroll before they bounce. Boredom is the enemy of online retailers. High levels of bounce at certain points on your site indicate a need to reconsider the length and type of content you are using. A high bounce rate may also be related to usability issues, or graphic elements that are not engaging viewers.

Confetti heat maps reveal usability issues. These maps are high-resolution and show individual clicks across the page. If users are clicking on non-clickable items and leaving in frustration, it shows they may be trying to access your product or service and failing. Using Confetti heat maps will help you change the layout and usability of your site to increase conversion rates.

When should I use a heat map?

Heat maps reveal user behaviour, therefore it’s sensible to have one going all of the time, and maintain a close eye on the data, of course. Monitoring data daily will help you tweak your site for improved visitor experience. Analysing heat map data over 6-12 months will help you efficiently redesign the graphic and written content of your website, and capture more conversions in the process.

Heat maps can be used to identify:

  • which headlines on your site are working
  • distractions from your core content
  • navigation issues
  • how much content is being consumed (that is, not scrolled over)
  • images that attract the most attention
  • whether opt-in and call-to-action buttons are working
  • where most of your users congregate on the page
  • the best placement for content that converts your visitors to customers
  • the different needs of different groups (e.g.: men vs women; visitors from different geographical locations, or age groups)
  • the user experience, including interactions with images and text

So, what are you waiting for? Increase your conversions with heat map software by easily identifying problems on your website through targeted reporting of user behaviour. For a current list of the best heat map software available, click here.

If you would like to discuss heat maps, or have issues with your website, please don’t hesitate to contact the team at We Push Buttons.

Effective Content Writing: Converting Words into Action

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Effective Content Writing

Question: What does every website have in common?

The answer of course, is content. It takes less than five minutes browsing on any given subject to start drowning in content, and there is no denying that of that content poor quality and boring.  And we all know what happens when we are confronted get bored with a website – we bounce! Effective copy writing grabs attention, offers new information, taps into desire and calls for action. In essence, good copy converts visitors into customers.

Attention!

It’s hard to get in the digital space, and harder to keep. Research your audience and keep your content sharp. Use snappy headlines to compel the reader to find out more.

Information!

Remember what we said about drowning in content? Offer new information, or a new angle on readily available information that excites interest and is relevant to the headline offer.

Desire!

Impulse purchases are driven by desire. Use your research to highlight the benefits and qualities of your product or service that will appeal to your audience. If possible, include testimonials, favourable studies, and opinions from experts to strengthen the desirability of your brand.

Action!

Whether you make an offer or give a guarantee, the one thing you must also do is provide a clear call to action that is easily accomplished.  For example, “click now to secure your early bird deal” deadline offers are a particularly effective eCommerce tool.

Consumers have a short attention span because of the ocean of boring content on the net. Throw them a lifeline of focused, informative copy that fulfils a desire and you have an even chance of converting visitors into loyal customers.

3D Walkthrough features for your website

Matterport is a great 3D Walkthrough Feature on your website

We have been approached by clients to embed Matterport walk throughs into their website allowing visitors to explore architectural spaces in a virtual 3D format.

Matterport is a great digital solution for architects, real estate agents, and builders to showcase internal and external spaces to potential clients. It allows clients to navigate their way around a virtual interior and get a sense of how they would interact within the space of an existing building or floor plan for a future home or workspace. Rather than wait till a piece of realestate comes onto the market for inspection or the plans of architect designs to be built, buyers can get a feel for the internal space off site from anywhere in the world. This allows clients to see how they might occupy the space, modify plans to suit their personal taste, asses the fit of furniture or how they might occupy the layout of a workspace.

A space is scanned with a Matterport Pro 3D Camera, capturing the area in three dimensions and uploaded to a cloud based processor. The high resolution of panoramic images presents accurate detailed and beautiful light filled interiors. The result is just as if you were walking through the interior and looking around from floor to ceiling.

Matterport Scenes mobile capture is an app that is a tool for contractors to capture all or parts of a building or renovation job to record measurements without having to memorise or take notes.

With new navigation technology such as the Wayfinding apps, Google want images of every building inside and out is giving incentives such as better online visibility to companies and businesses that provide 3D walkthroughs of their properties.

Two of our clients have an embedded Matterport product:

Davin Bake Building and Design specialise in residential, commercial, renovations, extensions, high rise developments and shop fit-outs. Davin approached us to embed a Matterport 3D virtual tour on his website to showcase a high end domestic project. The result is a complete walk through of an elegant rural home in Central Victoria. This gives this gives Davin Bake Building and Design an extra edge over their competitors, an almost try before you buy taster, where customers can see the Davin’s craftsmanship, perfection of designed living spaces and mastery of mixed materials. Potential clients get an instant atmospheric feel of how their dream can be realised by employing this building company.

Becklegal is a central Victorian law firm offering a suite of legal services to the community. Beck Legal asked us to embed a Matterport 3D walkthrough of their brand spanking new offices to show off their builder’s work and to give customers a sense of confidence that they could expect a professional service from comfortable well fitted out offices.

What Makes a Good Community Directory?

What Makes a Good Community Directory?

A lot of municipal councils are building community directories into their budget, some of them are quite good, comprehensive and easy to navigate and some are visually messy and confusing to use.

An online directory is a convenient place to search for services, and community groups, and most people hop online for quick access to information these days. It makes sense to have a localised directory based on the needs of your citizens.

A good directory is a knowledge hub that builds connectedness between residents, community groups and services within that society. It empowers community engagement and charts community assets and resources in an online noticeboard that is of benefit to everyone.

What makes a good community directory?

Start with an engaging home page with a short introductory paragraph about the directory and the community it serves.

It should provide free public access to collated quality information, listing all services and community groups in a one stop shop, preferably with consistent and attractive page layouts. Quality images are a bonus.

Your directory should build on the most basic functions for a simple user experience with a straight forward easy to navigate interface, accommodating all community members, even those with limited internet experience. It needs a simple, readable and obvious search and filter bar at the top of the site so users can search by category, organisation or key word to find everything from small volunteer groups to large service organisations. There should be links to useful services per category.

For listings, you need a simple membership form to sign up online at the front end of the directory. Members should be able to submit their information for free and easily manage their profile via their login details. The membership form should provide fields that list name, contact details including address, opening times, listing category and a brief description with links to website, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter accounts.

Each entry needs a small introductory profile, who they service, the areas they service, whether there is disability access and a list of key words. You could get fancy by having an add to favourites button so users can bookmark their most accessed services.

Maximum usability

To maximise usability, email addresses can be rendered as a hyperlink that will generate a new email message for enquiries. Phone numbers can also be rendered to facilitate a click to call on mobile devices and websites can be hyperlinked to open in a new window in the browser. Address information can be rendered as a map and/or as a hyperlink that would allow the address to be viewed in Google Maps (preferably in an external window in the browser).

Scalability

Directories are built to grow and therefore are scalable, expanding with new listings and information as needed. It should be able to be done inhouse by admin staff rather than outsourced to expensive web developers who charge by the hour to do minor updates.

SEO

A good SEO strategy will strengthen your directory, keeping up to date with keyword research and ranking high with search engines. This will increase traffic to the directory thus contributing to the connectivity of your community.

Calendar

A centralised calendar of events can be incorporated into the directory so members can enter events, course dates, council meetings and announcements, and the public can stay informed of happenings and increasing participation rates.

Here’s a few of our favourite directories (click on the image to follow through to the directory):

How to use Pozible, Australia’s Crowdfunding Platform

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Getting it right is Pozible!

Pop onto Pozible and scroll through past successes, and you’ll find projects spanning everything from the arts to animal and human welfare. Artists, innovators, educators and community and environmental groups have all benefited from successful Pozible campaigns: the diversity of excellent projects on offer is a testament to the strength of the platform, the growing audience base, and the passionate individuals and groups launching savvy projects. It may look like the only limitation to a Pozible project is your imagination, but there are a few things you need to know before you dive in and start a project of your own.

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Pozible Do’s:

  • all Pozible projects must have clearly defined outcomes, timeframes and goals. For example, you can raise money for your favourite charity, but you can’t run an ongoing appeal. Your campaign must run for a set time and have clear outcomes
  • your project must fit into one of the following Pozible categories: Art, Comics/Graphic Novels, Community, Design, Event, Fashion, Film, Food, Game, Music, Journalism, Performance, Photography, Technology, Video, Writing, Craft
  • you must be over 18 and supply an internationally recognised form of ID (passport or licence). You must also be able to supply a residential address, phone number and bank account
  • your intereactions with the Pozible community must be constructive. Make sure all messaging is quick and courteous
  • you must ensure you do not break any copyright or intellectual property laws

Pozible Dont’s:

  • offering sexually explicit material or services as rewards is prohibited on Pozible
  • selling shares, raising investment funds and providing any type of direct financial reward or incentive is prohibited
  • gambling services are prohibited
  • illegal items such as weapons, medications or illicit drugs cannot be offered as rewards
  • if you wish to use alcohol as a reward, you must check the liquor act in your state/country to ensure you are not breaking the law
  • obscene or abusive posts will be deleted and your account may be suspended

So, you’ve got your head around the guidelines, what next? Your audience will want to know why you are running your campaign and why they should get involved, so start preparing ahead of time. Do your research, test your audience, prepare your campaign video and give some serious thought to your rewards. Rewards are always better when they have a personal or exclusive touch – small artworks if you are an artist; after-party tickets or premiere tickets if you are a film-maker. Remember, Pozible is more than just a platform to raise money for your project.

By the end of your campaign, your idea will have been tested on the public, and they will have let you know if it is a good one!

Here’s some similar Crowdfunding websites to Pozible:

  • Mighty Cause: (formerly Razoo) for “people who want to make generosity a part of everyday life”. Over 14,000 nonprofits have used this platform
  • Causes: for people who want to change the world – categories vary from disaster relief to human rights.
  • Kickstarter: any organisation or individual can use this site to finance an event or project.
  • Indiegogo: an international crowdfunding site for creative ventures, charities and non-profit organizations.

When you are considering a crowdfunding platform, think about:

  • Ease of use: is it easy to set up your page? Do you need specialist skills to make your page look amazing?
  • Payment processing: what payment methods are available and how long will it take for donations to be deposited to your nominated account?
  • Social Networking: is it easy to link your campaign to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and You Tube?
  • Visibility: choose a well-established site with a high volume of traffic.
  • Payment: If you don’t hit your target do you still receive the money you raised? With some platforms if you don’t hit your target $ amount you don’t get any payment.

What is a Landing Page?

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What is a Landing Page?

If you are using a home page as your landing page, be assured you are losing valuable sales leads. The home page of a website is designed to be general purpose and explain what it is your business does, and why you do it so well. Imagine your home page is the shop front window: the buyer may stop and admire your products, but if you cannot engage the buyer’s interest, they are just as likely to continue walking and window-shopping, and you will never see them again. A landing page, on the other hand, might be considered an open door. It is a standalone page that appears in response to clicking on an advertisement or email link, engages directly with the potential buyer, and captures data to generate sales opportunities.

Why Your Website Needs a Landing Page

A landing page is more than simply a cyber door for through-traffic. A good landing page holds your visitor’s attention and captures information through a lead form. There is no point generating traffic if you are unable to convert interested passers-by into sales opportunities, so your landing page should effectively target the particular the demographic of your campaign, and have an interesting offer or call to action. Simply put, you should never start any online advertising campaign without a landing page in place to capture the leads you generate.

How do I make my Landing Page Work for me?

Before you start your advertising campaign and set up a page to capture traffic, ask yourself what you want potential customers to do when they get to your website. Do you want them to see the latest innovations you have to offer? Do you want them to leave their details for email marketing? Whatever your purpose, having a clear idea of what you want your landing page to achieve means it can be set up to prompt and direct traffic in a way that increases the effectiveness of your online marketing. If you want your landing page to consistently deliver leads, try to keep the following points in mind:

  • Short and simple is best: the internet is a busy place, and most internet users have notoriously short attention spans. Don’t bore people with large blocks of information to read. Forms should ask for minimum information – the less time it takes to fill in, the information, the more chance you have of gaining a lead.
  • Limit distractions: keep your landing page clutter free. You don’t want your leads exiting so hide website navigation and information on landing pages.
  • Value add: make sure the offer you make is compelling and clearly demonstrated to the demographic you have targeted.
  • Be sure to share: You page should have links to social media to enable your audience to share your information.

Here’s a selection of landing pages that serve different purposes:

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Simple sign up for the latest news:

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Large hero image with a simple join now form:

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Create an account in seconds:

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Creating a landing page to capture leads is an easy and effective way to improve online marketing strategies, drive sales figures and collect important data for future marketing campaigns.

There is nothing to lose and sales to gain!

What’s the Ultimate Content Marketing Team?

The Ultimate Content Marketing Team?

The Ultimate Content Marketing Team?

When it comes to content marketing you need a plan, a sufficient timeline, and a realistic budget as well as several different people with complementary skills in order to gain traction.

So how can you get the best content from your team by identifying what each member wants to do most? For many smaller businesses, the one person will wear multiple hats, however by establishing clear content marketing roles people know what they are meant to do ensuring the content creation process is far smoother.

A rock solid content marketing team will vary according to each organisation depending on the niche, budget and company size, however every organisation will need someone with the following skill set:

  • Chief content writer: this is the main content writer or storyteller who is responsible for setting the overall editorial plan and writing much of the content.
  • Editor: never underestimate how important an editor is. Good online editors not only correct grammar and spelling but also improves the stories by consolidating the tone, style and language of each article.
  • Graphic Designer/ Videographers: people are visual creatures. We love looking at beautiful, funny things and if you want content that cuts through you need fantastic graphics that make you stand out from the rest of the pack. Video is becoming increasingly important when it comes to content marketing but you don’t need to hire a professional video company, often a smart phone and a snappy 30 sec clip will be just as effective.
  • Social media manager: more people get their news from social media these days than they do through newspapers. You need to be on social media regularly on 2-3 platforms that suit your niche. Stay consistent in tone and stay consistent in your regularity of updates.
  • Assistant content writer: this could be a part-timer, another staff member, a friend or partner who contributes a second voice to the content writing articles from a different angle to the main content writer. Depending on the size of the campaign there might be several of these people.
  • Idea contributors: Whilst most staff members won’t be actively involved in the content creation, however by allowing input from staff members some of the best ideas will flow directly from people at the coal face of the organisation.
  • Content promoters/ publicists/ SEO: content promoters need to spread your content far and wide by a variety of means whether social media, newspapers, online magazines and vitally importantly regular newsletters to current clients and customers.
  • Content Analyst: understanding what content works, what doesn’t, what time of day to publish articles, what day to publish them, what day of the week to issue your newsletter and what content leads to the most business is important no matter what your budget. Anyone can teach themselves basic content analysis. If you have a reasonable budget then ask your Search Engine Optimisation consultant to dig deep into the stats to extract the most pertinent information for your organistion.
  • Technical Search Engine Optimisation: having someone conduct keyword research into what terms people are searching for online will remove the guest work from your content strategy. Are people searching for ‘Web Design Melbourne’ or ‘Melbourne Web Designers’? The difference could be thousands of dollars each year to your bottom line. You also need to ensure your articles have been correctly marked-up according to Google’s rules and that the code of your website complies with the online best practice regulations.
  • Most importantly; a CEO or business owner who is involved each week in reviewing, assessing and suggesting improvements to the content and relaying what is working from the organisations point of view. It’s all well and good to have 200 likes on a Facebook post but does that translate to new business? Having regular input from the business owner, CFO or CEO can do wonders to keep the content marketing goals aligned with the businesses goals.

Obviously in large organistions you might have several writers, an in house pod caster or a YouTube specialist but for most small- medium sized companies this should be more than sufficient in order to make your content shine.

In our experience content marketing delivers the best results for propelling small businesses to the next level but don’t expect immediate results.

A Podcast Might be What You’re Looking for

audio-podcasting

Have you thought about Podcasting?

A Podcast can transform your static web page and turn it into so much more. In fact, audio quality can often be the most neglected area of an otherwise professional web presence.

Make your webinar sound as professional as the content:

Speech on the internet has to be clear, loud and consistent. A poor podcast simply distracts from the message being conveyed; and if people can’t hear you properly, they’ll simply head to a competitors website for better, clearer and more easily understood information.

Most computers these days come with a built-in recording device that runs alongside a web-cam, yet often the quality leaves a lot to be desired. If you’re publishing regular videos and uploading them to your website it is well worth getting Scott Sanders in for a consultation to ensure your audio is set up properly from the start.

Broadcast-quality Audio:

Have a blog?  Why not podcast it, with radio broadcast-quality audio? With today’s iPhone / Android prevalence, an entertaining and quality podcast makes your blog available wherever your clients are, whether driving, on the train or even at home relaxing in the garden. At We Push Buttons, we can ensure that you’re given the best advice on software solutions, hardware to suit your budget and even teach you how to upload your audio files to your blog or website to give your business maximum exposure.

Why not offer an audio transcript for instructions, blogs, highlights, specials & manuals on your website?

Different people learn differently – some visually, some auditory. The internet is mainly visual but you can avoid alienating your potential clients with an audio version of important messages. These days, most websites use video to successfully sell and review products- why not create an podcast that stands out from the crowd?

A personal message from your company:

Recording a personal message helps to remind prospective clients that there are real people behind the computer screen. A human voice also increases the chance that your message will be remembered and reinforces the visual information on your site.

Reinforcement of important guarantees, subscriptions and messages:

Why not reinforce screen messages with a recorded message? For example, after a client enters their details to join your mailing list, play the recorded message thanking them and reminding them to check their email to confirm their subscription.

Other in depth articles on audio podcasting:

Need some more music in your life? From simple background music to full featured podcasting, music can subconsciously set the mood to reinforce your image online.

If you feel creating some audio or setting up a podcast could be a great way to connect with new customers, why not get in touch with Scott Sanders from We Push Buttons.

Thought about using your blog for Marketing purposes?

Have you thought about using your blog for Marketing purposes?

These days if you are online then it’s vital for your business to have a blog – to get some conversations going with both customers and prospective buyers. Blogging and social media are really the only ways to have any two-way conversations with people, when you’re not face to face. It’s a way to give your business a personality that will establish your image in your readers’ minds.

It’s important. It gives you a chance to talk to them, without selling to them, which they’ll appreciate. And more importantly, it gives them a chance to talk to you (and if you’re smart, for you to listen to them).

But once you have a blog set up, how often should you post? I’ve seen some that post several times each day, while I’ve seen others that only post once or twice per month. It’s important to find the right level and then be consistent.

Finding the Sweet Spot

I think the how much is too much question is very dependent on your specific situation. Your niche, the general flavor of your blogging, your typical reader’s interests – these all can influence your decision.

As for how much is enough, if your blog is passing along tips and tricks, a daily post might be an effective way to gain and maintain the interest of your blog’s followers. On the other hand, if you tend to blog tutorials with complex steps, once a week might be more appropriate.

You need to consider how digestible your posts are and try to find that “sweet-spot” where the majority of your readers are ready and eager for your next post. Don’t force-feed them or they’ll tire, both of it and of you. Keeping them just a little bit hungry for more is usually the best approach.

The bottom line is, there is no rubber-stamp too much or not enough.– each situation is unique.

Blogging For SEO Purposes

There is, however, a reasonable number to be found between those extremes. It varies somewhat too, primarily based upon the characteristics of the niche (mostly, the competition level), and is a bit subjective. But as a rule of thumb, here’s what I have found for most of my small to medium business clients:

  • One post per week seems to be the minimum level for sustaining traffic. Typically, unless you’re unleashing some incredible earth-shattering wisdom each and every week, however, you can’t expect to really accomplish a lot toward improving your rankings at this level.
  • For most very small businesses (home-based and up to 4 or 5 employees), I’ve found that posting in excess of three posts per week will usually offer diminishing returns. For slightly larger small businesses (up to 20-25 employees), posting daily can deliver better SEO results, all other things being equal. For medium-sized businesses (up to 100-500 employees), posting daily is probably a good minimum schedule to follow.

Setting your Priorities

Blogging is a great way to build customer loyalty, get feedback on your products and services and communicate company news to your customers and prospects. Strangely enough, as straightforward as that may sound, it’s surprisingly easy to stumble and fall. Here are some basic rules that can help you stay on the right track:

  1. Remember your primary goal – you’re trying to build relationships and trust, first and foremost. Don’t turn your blog into nothing but a broadcast channel, or you’ll soon find yourself with no readers. Communication is a two-way process, so invite your readers to give you feedback – and LISTEN to it!
  2. Whatever schedule you select for your posting, try to be as consistent as possible. If you’re going to miss a day or two, try to get someone else to fill in for you in your absence. If you can’t find a stand-in, program some posts ahead of time, and tell your readers you may be slow to respond because you’ll be out of the office for a couple of days.
  3. Your blog is an opportunity to put some personality to your company’s image. Professional and honest are obvious qualities you want to convey to them, but that doesn’t mean you can’t also be humorous or playful from time to time. Your readers will identify more with you when you show them some human qualities. Besides, you can have fun with your blogging, while seeing increased interaction.
  4. Respond to comments quickly and completely. If a reader takes the time to ask a question or remark on a post, they deserve (and expect) the courtesy of being acknowledged.
  5. Don’t ignore or sidestep complaints. Ignoring a problem only allows it to grow. If your company made a bad decision, own up to it, and make things right. Immediately. This is probably the single most important aspect of customer service, and as your company’s public face, you become its image. People understand that businesses make mistakes. How you handle those mistakes is what can set you apart from your competition.

So, what are you waiting for? Start sharing with your customers and let them share with you. You’ll find it’s well worth the effort.

If you’d like some advice on setting up a small business blog for marketing then why not get in contact?

Choosing a Self-publishing Platform

Choosing a Self-publishing Platform

Any writer who has made it to the end of a manuscript (and through the various edits) knows how hard it is to finish, however, there’s something waiting for you that’s even tougher than finishing that book – marketing and publishing it! Nevertheless, it’s not impossible and with self-publishing no longer the domain of Vanity Publishers, there are more choices available than ever before.

Smashwords smashwords-logo

Smashwords, founded in 2008, distributes indie ebooks through most of the major retailers. The platform is free and provides marketing, distribution and sales reporting. Authors retain control over their work and manage sampling pricing and marketing. There are over 100,000 independent authors, publishers and agents using Smashwords, so the platform has to be doing something right.

It can be hard to find what you are looking for on the Smashwords site, but once you get going, it’s relatively easy to use. There are plenty of answers to newbie questions, and an excellent guide to pre-order distribution. One of the most appealing aspects of Smashwords is the fact that it is entirely free. All you need to do is correctly upload your ebook, and they supply a free ISBN, free conversion to multiple formats and distribution with multiple retailers. You can also make changes to your manuscript without incurring extra charges.

One drawback is their arrangement with Amazon. According to Smashwords, “Although we have a distribution agreement with Amazon via their Kindle Direct Platform, they’re unable to receive our entire catalog.  In the meantime, we’re only distributing a few hundred titles to Amazon out of our catalog of over 370,000. Unless you earn over $2000 on Smashwords, they won’t distribute your title to Amazon – you will have to deal directly with Amazon. Also, authors outside the US will require an ITIN. If your knees turn to water at the sight of forms in triplicate, enlist the help of a paperwork-wizard friend.

Bookbaby        eBook-publishing

The Bookbaby website has more publishing options, but it is easy to follow. You’ll find most of your questions are only a click away from being answered, and there is a dedicated customer service line (US based). Unlike Smashwords, Bookbaby charges for publishing and cover design and will charge extra for changes made after publication. On the plus side, Bookbaby distributes on Amazon, and you retain 100% of your royalties whereas Smashwords does take a small cut. Having said that, Bookbaby can only pass on what is paid to them by retailers. Take a look at this comparison for an idea of an actual return for dollar spend.

Pronoun pronoun-by-vook

If you want to get in on the ground floor, why not try the new brand for eBook distributor Vook. Pronoun combines the creation, marketing and selling of eBooks to major retailers on one platform. The platform is not charging fees to publish and will not charge royalties. This means authors keep 100% of earnings after retailers take their cut. Like Smashwords, Pronoun pays quarterly, and a PayPal account is required. It is unclear whether an ITIN is required, but it’s best to assume that non-US-based authors will need to wade through the paperwork to avoid withholding tax.

Pronoun offers optional services that will enable writers to put together a publishing team – these services will no doubt cost money. On sign-up, you are directed to reserve an author page and asked to wait until given the go-ahead to publish. Approximately 7000 authors have signed up to date, but the platform is not live yet so it’s hard to tell how successful it will be.

These are not the only self-publishing platforms available. Research as many platforms as possible to help crystallise your publishing wish list and needs. You may dive right in and epublish or decide a traditional publishing deal will serve your situation best, but at least you’ll have the opportunity to make the decision yourself.

Disqus: the only commenting system worth contemplating

Why we recommend Disqus as our preferred commenting system:

If you are running a blog or website and want your commenting system to be real time, fast, effortless and user-friendly, Disqus is the only plugin worth contemplating. Disqus is free and readily available on platforms like WordPress, and it’s a quick and painless process to replace your current commenting system on most blogging platforms. Once you’re signed up, you can start commenting immediately and site users can create their own Disqus profile and take it with them to other sites. This makes it easier for people to leave comment on your site, because they can use their Disqus profile on all sites that have the plugin integrated.

3 reasons to make that comment with Disqus:Disqus-logo-vector-blogger

  1. Less Spam – If you are serious about reducing spam, Disqus is one of the few commenting systems with powerful detection technology that is designed to keep the robots (and repeat anonymous offenders) out! Some best practice strategies include:
    1. Changing pre-moderations to ‘non-verified’ to avoid comments with fake emails going live straight away
    2. Including a requirement for links in comments to be reviewed
    3. Receiving notification if a comment is flagged by readers. You can set a flag amount and when it is reached, an automatic removal of the comment will be generated
    4. Blacklisting trolls who use repeat anonymous logins
    5. Sending comments for review that contain restricted words
  2. Social Integration – the three major social networking sites, Facebook, Twitter and Google+ are currently supported by Disqus, so anyone who doesn’t wish to become a Disqus user can still leave a comment using social media. Conversations can be easily promoted or shared, and people invited to the discussion by simply adding social media buttons under comments
  3. Personal Control – you can manage the look of your comments, change avatars, and even export and import entire threads. Not only that, email notifications give you greater real-time commenting control, and you can approve, delete and reply to comments from your email inbox

Last, but certainly not least, Disqus opens up a huge online community through ‘Discovery’. This feature not only brings popular discussions that are internal to your blog into focus, it also points commentators to related links on your blog. The external arm of ‘Discovery’ has a monetisation program available that is based on CPC (Cost per Click), but due to the volatility of this type of revenue, the external feature is of more value due to increased visitor engagement and traffic generation to and from your blog.

Tim Flannery Event

An Evening with Tim Flannery

The team at MASH have exceeded themselves yet again by organising Australian of the Year, Tim Flannery to Castlemaine Town Hall on September 26th. Tim Flannery, will be talking at the Castlemaine Town Hall about how Australia can prepare itself for a clean energy future in the light of the remarkable growth of renewables in Australia.

Professor Flannery is an inspirational speaker on climate change and we’ve loved being involved in the project. We Push Buttons have been working on marketing, ticketing system and fingers crossed a Live Video feed of the event online which will be embedded on all manner of different Climate Organisations across the globe. All from little ol Castlemaine…

See the event here.

TimFlannery_Main_Image_web_xsmall

Crowdfunding for the Arts and Charity Industry

Crowdfunding for the Arts or Charity: How to Stand Out in the Crowdfunding Community

We’ve all heard stories about the fundraising idea that goes viral, netting the lucky newbie thousands, or making a cause instantly famous, but let’s face it; successes like potato salad are the exception, not the norm. With less than 50% of causes reaching their targets on Crowdfunding sites, it’s important to choose your funding site wisely, plan your campaign carefully and take your supporters seriously.

Finding the Right Fundraising Site

If you want to raise money for an artistic venture or a charity, the following sites offer the best platform for your campaign. Before you decide on a site, take the time to think about the statement you want to make and the values that are important to your campaign. Visit plenty of sites and poke around in a variety of campaigns. The more insight you get the better, so pledge to a cause that grabs your attention – you’ll see how the process works and get an idea of how it feels to be a supporter.

The following sites are in the top ten worldwide:

 Razoo:  for “people who want to make generosity a part of everyday life”. Over 14,000 nonprofits have used this platform.

 Causesfor people who want to change the world – categories vary from disaster relief to human rights.

 Kickstarter: any organisation or individual can use this site to finance an event or project.

 Indiegogo: an international crowdfunding site for creative ventures, charities and non-profit organizations.

Pozible.com: Australian based site geared toward creative projects and ideas, but also supports charitable campaigns.

When you are considering a crowdfunding platform, think about:

  • Ease of use: is it easy to set up your page? Do you need specialist skills to make your page look amazing?
  • Payment processing: what payment methods are available and how long will it take for donations to be deposited to your nominated account?
  • Social Networking: is it easy to link your campaign to twitter, facebook, instagram and youtube?
  • Visibility: choose a well-established site with a high volume of traffic.
  • Payment: If you don’t hit your target do you still receive the money you raised? With some platforms if you don’t hit your target $ amount you don’t get any payment.

Planning Your Campaign

crowdfunding

There’s no point putting an idea out there without support and planning. Ideally, your campaign will run for six to eight weeks. Any shorter and you may not have gained enough traction to attract supporters, any longer and people may lose interest. Follow these basic steps to give your campaign a head start:

  1. Identify and build a network before you launch. Approach community-based charities and companies that may be interested in supporting your project or cause. Utilise your own network too – make sure everyone you know tells everyone they know about your upcoming campaign.
  2. Consult a tax adviser before you receive your first donation.
  3. Test your idea before you launch – ask friends to read your script, watch your videos and rate your page layout.
  4. Make sure you’re easy to find – start building an online presence via social media, blogs etc. Get your project/cause into conversations and get people engaged.
  5. Create a page that fascinates and convinces – your story should be personal and appealing and include mages and videos. Make sure you explain how much money is needed and where it will be spent.
  6. Set a launch date and link it to a local event to create a buzz in the first few hours
  7. When you go live, link your page to your social media accounts, and make sure your local media is on board. Word of mouth and invitations via social media will help create traffic and show that your campaign is serious.
  8. Reward your supporters – rewards should be attractive and cost-effective. Keep rewards as personal as possible and always say thank-you, but remember an electronic pat on the back is not a reward. Supporters expect tangible rewards for their donations.

Start building that network and get your plans rolling: crowdfunding sites don’t offer guarantees, but they do present an opportunity to reach a larger audience than ever before. The rewards of an effective campaign will more than repay your efforts.

Who’s Afraid of the Marketing Man?

Marketing for Writers

If you’re like me you probably think heaven is being left alone in a room where you can mutter, giggle and punch the air with excitement while you write reams and reams of words that will never see the light of day. The first problem with this scenario is, other people just think you’re mad or lazy. The second, more pressing problem are the bills you can’t pay. Being paid to mutter to yourself and be generally anti-social changes the dynamic of your situation: you’re no longer a hobbyist or dreamer, you’re a professional writer. Yes, I know it all sounds too easy doesn’t it, because you’re a writer and you know how hard it is to get paid to write. It is hard, but not impossible if you’re prepared to treat your writing like a business and market your skills accordingly.

If you’re like many writers I know, you want a publisher in shining armour to come along and do all that icky stuff for you but those times are long gone, even for published authors. If you really want to be a professional writer, it’s time to treat your writing career as you would any other. There are certain unique attributes you possess that are marketable, so sit down with a pen and go through the following checklist to see if you’re marketing ready:

  • Accept that your novel/script/poetry cycle may not be published in the short-term, and when it is, it may not make enough money for you to live on.
  • Accept that you may have to work for less than you’re worth when you begin. Most freelancers, regardless of what they do, have to charge less than their established counterparts. This doesn’t mean you’re worth less; it’s an indicator of a very competitive market.
  • Make a list of your formal training and life knowledge. For example, perhaps you are a dog-groomer and you write part-time. You can use your grooming skills in a pet care blog, or approach grooming companies to write their advertising copy.

Once you’ve established that you’re ready to dip your toe into the shark infested waters of marketing (you’re a writer, you know what I’m talking about), don’t go mad and spend up big on stationery and hardware. Most people you contact will be via email or skype, and if your current computer has worked until now it will last a few more months. Set yourself the following tasks:

  • Start a Facebook page. If you don’t have an account, admit defeat and join. A Facebook page gives you a ready-made forum of your friends, and their friends, and their friends….you get the picture. List your writing successes, share a link to your blog (we’ll get to that) and generally waffle on about writing without fear of censure. Just remember though, that this is not a ‘love me, love my work’ page. I use my page to send updates of current Australian competitions and happenings in publishing. I sometimes offer information about myself, but this is the exception, not the norm.
  • Start your own blog. Building your blog doesn’t need to be expensive or difficult. Google the subject and you will find plenty of advice on cheap, easy options. Good reasons to write a blog include:
    • Write interesting blogs and you will get a following, and may even get advertising
    • You can send your blog link to potential employers to give them an idea of your style and interests – this proves you are actively writing and somewhat social media savvy
    • There are blogging gigs out there that pay well, but you need a track record
  • Join online writers’ groups that have similar interests to you. Often the key to getting a job is being in the right place at the right time. Online Writers’ groups regularly post publishing updates and commercial gigs.
  • Join twitter. Again, don’t indulge in a love-fest. This is about getting your profile out there and engaging with like-minded people, groups and companies. Don’t use twitter to spam people about the amazing experience of being you! Use it wisely and you will build a solid following that will be looked upon favourably by would-be employers.
  • Get an ABN and PayPal account, join Skype and make sure your social media links are listed in your email signature.
  • Last but not least, be active in your own community. Go to writers’ festivals and offer creative writing courses for students at your local school. If you have teaching skills, design and run one-day writing courses at your local Community College or Writers’ Centre.

Freelance websites for writers:

So now you’re online and looking for your first writing gig. There are a huge number of  Australian freelance websites out there. You could sign up for a number of them to keep the income flowing. Here’s a couple of Australian sites you might find useful:

Freelance writing websites come and go, so doing regular Google searches for writing jobs will keep you up to date with the latest jobs.

 

 

 

 

 

Savvy Social Media Marketing for Artistic Types

If you’re like a lot of creatives out there, you probably dread the thought of wasting hours on twitter or facebook, but social media doesn’t have to consist of mindless comments and unwanted attention.

savvy-social-media-marketingGetting savvy with social media can help grow your creative business in the following ways:

  • Facebook pages are one of the cheapest ways to get you and your work noticed. You don’t have to do a hard-sell. Maintaining a page with a showcase, or links to, your work, and updating with daily/weekly discussions on current news and events relevant to your particular field can generate useful leads. You can join creative groups in your field and post updates to the group. If you want to grow followers quickly, you can boost your page for a fee.
  • Use a Twitter account to keep up with breaking news and connect with agents, publishers, galleries, film companies, etc. You don’t have to tweet about your every waking thought: use twitter to stay up to date with the latest opportunities and build online relationships with the people who hire and fire in your field.
  • If you work in a creative industry, having a LinkedIn account will help connect you with individuals and companies in the same field, making it easy for prospective employers or agents to connect with you quickly. This can save hours of résumé building and door-knocking (virtual or otherwise).

Social media isn’t the answer to all advertising and media needs, but use it wisely and it can be a valuable tool in your creative business kit.