Tag: internet marketing

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:

Receive a free white paper on the condition that you sign up to their newsletter

Landing-Page-Design

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!

Small Business Guide to Internet Marketing

Small Business Guide to Internet Marketing- eBook

As many of you know we contribute articles every month or so to online magazines and publications both in Australia and overseas. From these articles we are often invited to be interviewed on radio, podcasts, newspaper articles and in this instance be part of a fantastic eBook series written by Thea Christie.

The eBook covers all manner of different topics such as How to Design a website, building an online strategy and how to create click-worthy content.

The eBook is free to download but does require an email signup for monthly tips for Small Business from Smart Company and Sensis.

Download the book here…

Why We Love Vimeo

Online videos are an important part of any marketing strategy. Its not as simple as producing a video, post it on the web hoping someone will find it among all the noise on the web. Its not a successful strategy. You need a platform for your video, one where all the sound-bite babble is hushed. And, that’s why we love Vimeo.

Vimeo is often described as a niche community of like-minded film and video enthusiasts, it is all that and much more. If you’ve worked hard on an online campaign for your business, produced a quality marketing video and are ready to launch, Vimeo is the best platform for you.

Many advertisers choose YouTube without question, believing that their advertising dollar is best spent with the online streaming giant, but there are some serious drawbacks. For a start, it is very easy for other advertisers to hijack your campaign by placing their ads on your video. Also, YouTube has no quality control, so regardless of content, your video may end up alongside videos of men dancing in chicken suits or cute cat videos. Due to questionable content, YouTube is blocked by many companies, so you may not be able to reach your target audience during business hours.

Yes it is smaller, but what it lacks in size it more than makes up for in quality. Vimeo offers a clean, stylish aesthetic, an engaged community and quality content. Most importantly Vimeo offers a spam-free environment where your marketing gem can shine – there are no banners or pre-video commercials to distract the viewer because Vimeo does not run advertisements on any of the videos you upload.

The Vimeo business plan is approximately $55 per month and includes:

  • FTP and Dropbox Integration
  • Mobile, Tablet and TV Compatibility
  • Easy Bandwidth Calculations
  • Customisable Video Player
  • Full HTML5 Compatability
  • Third party video player support
  • Statistical data

You’ve spent time and money creating your marketing video, so make sure you get the most out of your online presence. Vimeo may be a smaller platform than Youtube, but there are a couple of ways you can optimise your business experience and make the platform work for you:

  • Get engaged with the Vimeo community. Follow some channels with interests close to your own, comment on other users’ videos and make sure you reply to any comments your video receives
  • Make sure your video is available across a range of channels. Keep in mind that Vimeo has a smaller audience than Youtube, so you there is a greater need to cross-promote your video on social media, websites and blogs. This approach will help drive your audience on the Vimeo platform

With so much to offer businesses who are interested in creating intelligent, quality content, there’s a lot to love on Vimeo, so why not take a look?

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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.

Why your website needs a Landing Page

We’ve been privileged enough to have written an article on one of the web’s best resources for web designers and graphic designs: Creative Bloq Magazine. The article is on Landing Pages- what are they and how they can benefit your business?

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Here’s an excerpt from the article or see the full post at Creative Bloq here…

Good landing pages are designed to focus attention towards visitors engaging in one action. A landing page could be designed to convert traffic into sales, gather new enquiries, gain social media followers or email sign-ups. It sounds easy enough, but all too often companies don’t spend enough time and money on creating outstanding landing pages that convert.

 

Punishment: Google Style

Crime and Punishment – Google Style

This is nothing more than a commentary on selecting the optimisation tactics for a website, in terms of what is “safe”, productive or cost-effective, considering Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.

Some people say that search engine optimisation is not exactly the sort of business a fellow gets into, looking for stability and consistency. I’d argue that it’s a lot more consistent than many trades, at least as long as you’re not one of those that likes to flirt with danger.

And as a consultant, flirting with danger doesn’t seem to me to be the best philosophy when the stakes are your client’s livelihood. As a site owner, possibly with less familiarity of the risk/reward involved with various tactics, it’s equally unwise.

The truth is, the “acceptable” practices for optimising a site’s visibility to search engines hasn’t really changed that much in the relatively short life of the Internet. Certainly, there have been exceptions, but I think it’s safe to say that any practice that was once allowed and is now frowned upon by the search engines (SEs), fell from grace because of abuse.

Injecting Some Common Sense

Just a few of the previously acceptable practices that can now cause problems for a site include reciprocal links and EMD (exact match domain names), as well as using keywords for anchor text and ads plastered all over a page (specifically, above the fold). That’s not to say, however, that those things can no longer be done at all – simply that excessive use is no longer tolerated. Unfortunately, the threshold of “excessive” is up for debate.

As the search engines’ algorithms have evolved, their ability to spot patterns of behaviour have developed considerably. A reciprocal link or two with a couple of sites isn’t going to do you any harm. If a significant percentage of your links are reciprocal, however, that’s almost certainly a different story.

Of course, “significant” is highly subjective, and the search engines aren’t inclined to share the thresholds embedded in their algorithms. So all we can do is make educated guesses, based upon our observations. Even then, there’s still an element of risk in employing any practices that go against the webmaster guidelines.

Since Google is the search engine we tend to deal with the most, their guidelines are those most cited, and frankly, as theirs are the most stringent, it’s usually those we find ourselves crosswise of when we’ve gotten caught tempting fate.

I think most SEOs would agree, the “safest” way to proceed is to simply ensure you’re always operating within the acceptable limits of the gospel according to Google. I think most would also agree, though, that the safe method isn’t always the fastest. And for those of us that are consulting for clients, one of the most common complaints is that “it’s taking too long”.

So What’s the Best Course?

Depending upon circumstances, there may be a number of tactics that can get quicker results, but there’s usually some element of risk involved. The site owner needs to be fully aware of those risks and make the final decision on whether or not to employ any risky tactics.

Aside from the obvious risks of a penalty or filter affecting the site’s ranking and traffic, the client also needs to understand that short-fused results usually have a correspondingly short lifespan – lasting results simply take longer to realise.

An understanding of how algorithms work can be helpful in determining how to proceed, too. An algorithm is nothing more than a mathematical equation, applied against the pages being examined. There’s a fine line between that and a detection mechanism, which is essentially just a true/false statement.

Google probably runs a number of true/false detection programs, but it’s a safe bet that the vast majority of their harvesting is considerably more sophisticated. That makes it probable that most algorithms render a pass/fail grade based on some sort of threshold. Whether that threshold is based upon percentages or absolute numbers is a matter of conjecture, although evidence suggests that most of their thresholds appear to be based upon percentage.

In addition, I think there’s an even more important consideration: even if a site falls short of the threshold in one regard, it may still be at risk if it also approaches the threshold in another. Here, I think that “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts” may apply.

Suppose for instance, that if the “allowable” threshold of reciprocal links in a site’s link profile is 5% and a site is at 3%; and if the threshold for the “allowable” use of EMD anchor text is 10% and that same site is at 8%, then the SE might form an aggregate level of evaluation that finds the site to have passed an acceptable level of deviation from its guidelines. Observance of many sites that have suffered from significant loss of ranking suggests that this is probable.

If so, then even “colouring within the lines” can still be hazardous, if a site is approaching the limits in two or more areas. If true, then it may also be the case that the more areas in which a site is out of compliance with the guidelines, the less deviation in each aspect might be permissible. That could create an aggregate score that puts a site over the collective threshold.

Understand, this is only theory, based upon observation of many sites in various situations, some of which were out of compliance in several areas. But, it is still conjecture. So if you care to test it, do so with caution.

Summary

As I said, some folks think Google makes us walk an optimisation tightrope, but I think that’s only true if you’re pushing the limits. There are few things that have really been significantly changed from acceptable to forbidden fruit, and in my opinion, those have all been changes that were prompted by extensive abuse.

If you or your client want to stay safe, then play by the “rules” – the search engines’ guidelines. On the other hand, if you can’t afford the luxury of slower progress, then at least be sure that you or your client are fully aware of the possible consequences. It’s also advisable to be aware that any tactic you’re using that’s presently allowed, could suddenly be frowned upon if it sees widespread abuse.

It’s much easier to stay out of trouble than it is to get out of trouble.