From Bricks To Clicks: Importance Of A Website For Small Businesses

 
importance of a website
 

A website is the cornerstone of marketing strategy for any business. It is a vital part of your digital ecosystem but it must be integrated with your marketing if you wish to get the best results. Some traditional businesses and professionals today rely on 'word of mouth' to attract customers. Referrals from your friends and clients can show enormous results in attracting new clients, who do not know you personally. 

When a client refers you to a friend they might mention your name, your business name or your service. These new referrals will 'check you out' on the on a medium of their choice: usually Google, LinkedIn or your website, or all three! But what if they cannot find you online? Or worse, what if they do not find you credible? 
'First impression is the last impression'. Yeah, this applies to you now! Your first impression on your prospects online could possibly turn into your last impression. If you don't match the perception in the prospect's mind, they will bounce and go elsewhere. This is the change in businesses today, there is a layer of digital in between the referral of your service and first point of contact from a new client. 

Let's elaborate and have a deeper understanding of the power of websites, see results of a successful business with a website, and how you can take your first step towards building a website.

The power of a website 

For example, when I google 'florists in Melbourne' this is what I receive. I see 14 million search results and offers for beautiful flowers at a very cheap price. But if I wanted to book a florist for a wedding or a conference, would I really just choose any of those options? No! I would visit their website and scrutinize every inch of their service. If I then feel satisfied, I would give them a call or visit the shop. This applies to every single business today. In today's world, the percentage of someone checking you out online as opposed to stepping in your shop is unbalanced.

 
google search
 

IBISWorld also depicts that 80% of the online population shops online. 71% of these people believe that they will score a better offer online compared to in-store shopping and 50% of the online population makes a purchase online every day. That's a mind-boggling customer base available to you. 
In comparison, 60% of small businesses in Melbourne do not own a website online yet. That's a whole lot of businesses that are straight out of competition due to lack of digital platforms. 
According to IBISWorld Australia, digitally active businesses are increasing by 4.3% per year on average. At this rate, most of the businesses will be online sooner or later and people without a website could potentially loose a fair bit of business. 

With a growth worth 4.3% per year it is a no brainer for any business to have a website.

The story of a florist 

 
Floral impressions
 

Kathleen is one of our great clients who received awesome results from turning her shop front into a digital world. Having worked with some of the most prominent florists of Melbourne including Panache in Hawthorn and Full Bloom in South Melbourne, she considers herself to be lucky to do what she loves and be a part of special moments in her customer's life. Kathleen has developed and honed her skill for weddings, corporates, and events. Having started her business in 2015, Kathleen felt the need for a website and that's when she found us. 

"Over the past few months, I have been working closely with Andrew and his team to transform my shop front into a digital reality. Tonight the website went live and it all came together. A consistent approach with a seamless strategy across several platforms that is just right for my evolving business. Best of all, I have control of it. Thanks, Social Star!" - Kathleen Farrell, Floral Impressions, Ivanhoe VIC

We are grateful to have worked with Kathleen and put a beautiful website together for her which people can love and trust. Check out the website here.
 

First step towards a website

Now that you are super excited to build a website, you need to find someone to build it for you. You don't have the skills to easily go in and make updates. Making changes on your website yourself is mandatory as it enables you to quickly fix errors, update changes in your business and add new content. Improving your website and adding new content frequently is one of the major drivers of SEO or how your site gets on the first page of Google.

 
squarespace
 

We recommend one of the new templated website systems as they are made specifically to be easy to use for the average business person. Squarespace is the system we recommend.

Once you have decided on a website template you need to get all of your content organized. For most clients, this is the hardest part! An example of the types of content you will need to gather includes the following:

  • URL location
  • Logo in .eps or .ai
  • Your biography
  • Professional photos of you and your team, products, events etc.
  • Images to use (these can be stock photos or your own photos)
  • Icons
  • Descriptions of your business and services
  • Descriptions of your products


Most Professionals don't have all of these in hand so it's important you choose a website company that can assist you in the creation of this content. Most Professionals don't have all of these in hand so it's important you choose a website company that can assist you in the creation of this content. You can also have a read of 'Top 5 Tips on Building a Website for Professionals' to learn more about website building

So you see, in today's digitally growing world it is imperative to have a website. Especially because not many businesses own a website and this can really give you and your business a competitive edge. If you would like to create a website for your own business and consult with a professional then give us a call. We would love to have a quick 20-minute chat with you. Click below to request a call.

Productivity: How To Get More Out Of Your Time?

You started work at 9:00am this morning. It is now 5:00pm and you still have tons of work to do. How did that happen? You thought the 'To-Do list' will keep you on track. Then how did time catch up on you and rushed past you like a tornado? We all have the same problem! Losing time while we work long hours every week can happen to us all. But how come people like Jack Dorsey (Running two companies- Square and Twitter at the same time) be highly productive, when he has the same 24 hours as us? 

 
Productivity
 

 

If you are trying to use your time effectively then the first key resource to improve on is well.. Managing TIME!

You can’t increase or negotiate your time, therefore learn to make the most out of it! Here are 3 golden rules to time management. 

  • Create achievable goals
  • Learn to say NO
  • Use Pomodoro technique 

Create Achievable Goals  

We all know nothing kills time like vague and unrealistic goals. Imagine if your boss tells you to make a marketing plan. That's it! A marketing plan! you don't know what type of marketing plan it is, what for, or by when! Yeah, life would be much harder then! Therefore it is imperative to put these goals in order and have SMART goals.  

 
SMART goals
 

 

Now instead, imagine your boss ask's you to make a day-to-day social media marketing campaign for your company's twitter account and increase it's response rate. Now, is your goal-

Specific: What is it that you want to achieve? 

Measurable: How will you demonstrate and evaluate the impact?

Achievable: Is it realistic, given the resources you have available to you?

Relevant: Is it directly linked to the goal?

Timely: Will the work be done by the expected deadline? 

A good example of a SMART goal would be-

'Every workday, I will schedule and publish 10-12 tweets from our company Twitter handle, and I will respond to comments within one hour of receiving them.'

Learn To Say NO

Your kindness and tendencies to help others can cost your business. As your career rises and your business blooms, you will get a lot of requests from people for advice. I know, it feels good to help others. After all, helping someone 'for a minute' is not going to hurt your productivity, right? Now add all those extra minutes and multiply it with the amount of people you try to help. You many not realise it at the time but it puts a massive 'glitch' in your everyday work. 

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying don't help anyone at all. Instead learn this trick to minimise those efforts. 

Allocate specific theme to each day of your week. For example: you know on Thursday you need to focus on the development of your business and partnership with others that can benefit both parties. You can now book coffee meetings, Luncheons and more with these people weeks in advance. 

 
Theme your week
 

 

 

Pomodoro Technique  

Here is an example of how you could break a bigger task into smaller chunks according to time. If you had the task of preparing a content marketing calendar for the month of December, you would then allocate time to do this task and break it down into three sections-

 
Pomodoro technique
 

 

  • Research: check out your competitors as well as your customers. What type of content are your competitors publishing? Is there a specific type of content that your customers like to see from you? How often should you blog, offer e-books and free templates to your customers? Now, take a break for 10 minutes before writing up your calendar. 
  • Writing: I personally use a pre-made monthly calendar template to make my life easier and take the little tasks out of my writing time. Ps: Download this template at the end of the blog. 
 
Monthly social media campaign calendar template
 

 

  • Editing: After your quick break, go through your calendar & re-evalaute it before launching the campaigns

I know life can get in the middle of schedules. You may need to pick up your children from school, or make it to that dentists appointment, even paying bills can take a huge bite out of your time. Schedule specific time to complete 'small tasks'  in your day so that it does not disrupt your day to day schedule. Learn how to create SMART goals. Follow your fixed schedule and learn to say no to tasks that are not adding value to your business and life. 

As promised, here is a social media strategy kit for you to use and save your precious time. You’ll find tips and guidance in the form of audio, video, SlideShares, ebooks, benchmark data, Excel template (monthly calendar), PowerPoint templates, one-on-one help, and more! Click below to download your kit. 

 
Social Media Strategy Kit
 

Posted by Tina Dochana

[BLOG] what is your new year personal branding resolution?

It's that time of year again! With all the fun of approaching festivities and holidays taking over our work lives & social lives, we know it's hard to look past the fun and remember that there are things to be done. 
We are here to remind you that the New Year is on the horizon and now is the perfect opportunity to refresh your business, marketing and rebrand yourself and your image in the coming year. Your businesses deserve a chance to freshen up and come ready in the New Year with a clean slate too! Do not wait until the festivities are over, start planning and taking actions now.

 
Creating a unique brand
 

Remember what you said last year, or the year before? 'This can wait, I will start working on my brand when I come back from holidays', 'I will start when I have some free time earlier next year', or 'I will get on it when I'm less busy!'. Reality is, you are not alone, most people think the same way! But let's face it, first day back to the office, it's likely that you will get lost in the day to day running of your business and get so caught up in keeping things running smoothly that you won’t take the time to look at the bigger picture. 
Time flies! As time passes, your branding runs the risk of becoming outdated. Which is why NOW is the perfect time to take a look at your business as a whole to find ways to refresh your brand. So think different! Let's beat the competition and put the ground work before the festive season, so that you'll be kicking off 2017 from a running start and ready for success. Here are 4 main protocols to follow in the digital branding world. 

Let's make 2017 your best year ever!

 
statistics on businesses
 

Personalise your brand

In order to connect with your target audience it is important that you have an authentic brand. To build a brand that represents you, you need to answer these questions: 
1. What do you and the service you are providing stand for?
2. What value are you and your service adding in your customer's life?
3. How would you like to be perceived by your target audience? 

With these answers, you can now re-evaluate your unique message and position it to your target market.

Have a read of 'Fat Duck Comes To Melbourne: Lessons On Personal Branding' for more examples of personal branding

The Importance of having a Website

60% of small businesses (including solo businesses to 2-5 people businesses) in Australia do not have a website. However, 83% of the businesses that have a website agree that it gives them a competitive advantage over other businesses. A Website lets you provide information about you and your business as soon as your target market come in contact with you. Therefore, it is important to keep your personal & business websites looking good and updated.

Read 'Top 5 Tips On Building Websites For Professionals' for more tips

The Importance of LinkedIn

50% of linkedIn users think they are more likely to use a service/product if they were connected to the business through LinkedIn. 
LinkedIn is a great networking tool to help you display your talents and that of your business, share educational content that attracts new leads, as well as connect with other professionals that may be helpful to your business. As in the case of websites, it is highly important to keep your LinkedIn updated if you want to get the most out of it.

To learn how to improve your LinkedIn profile read '7 Tips For A Professional LinkedIn Profile' here

The Importance of Blogging

Leveraging the information you have provided online can be done in a few different ways. But researchers believe that after websites and use of social media, the most effective way to attract clients to your unique brand image is blogging. It informs your target customer that you are a knowledgeable & skilled person/business and you know what you are doing. Spreading your knowledge also makes you the leader in your industry. The "go-to" person for all! But if the content of your blogs or frequency of you blogging regularly is low, then the results wouldn't be as effective.

Read 'Unstick Your Blog: 6 Strategies To Get Back In Writing Flow' for more insight

Personal branding is a powerful marketing tool for you and your business. It is important to build authentic brands & keep it updated. Click here and let us know what you need help with. We will give you a call before Christmas to help you set up for next year. 

STOP STRESSING: Three tips to stay stressless while presenting [By Andrew Ford]

Do you love presenting in front of people? Standing in the spotlight, all eyes on you, hanging on every word, just waiting on some universal truth to spill forth from your mouth.  Umm, err, ahh....Phew it's enough to make an Eskimo sweat.

If you are like 90% of people who count the fear of public speaking right up there, loosing your smart phone, these quick three tips might be helpful.

 
Stop Stressing
 

Tip 1. Control what you can control: 

'Ahhh..deep breath' he says, holding his chin and nodding knowingly!  Unfortunately this isn't my line, I got it from Confucius at Content World 2010, who said, "when presenting using a Macbook Air always bring spare VGA and HDMI adaptor cables". Powerful stuff. I know he said it because I was in the audience. He nailed it BTW!

Half the presentation is won before you even enter the room. It's called preparation and it is kinda important to ensure you hit the mark with your material. The best presenter in the world, talking about an amazing topic is useless if the audience doesn't care about it.

Let me illustrate with an example. A speaker friend of mine did a paid gig and thought his material about bucket lists would rock. He had this great part where he would get the audience to draw 80 squares and cross them out for how old they were - making them realise that life was short. Unfortunately, the audience were retirees with an average age of 75. "Add another row" he said! Opps...

Ensure you know who the company is, the main executives in the room, the audience, the objectives, the room set up, AV requirements (always bring your own stuff) and of course build your own slides so you know them backwards.  I have a little form on my website (click here) for the people hiring me to fill in. It helps me to get prepared. Feel free to copy it :)

When you arrive on the day, get there super early. Get to know the audience, chat with them about their business and needs. See the room, get a feel for the space and set up. 

Nothing is worse that arriving in a rush and having to go straight into your presentation. I once was running late for a University lecture at RMIT. I ran across town and got there just in time, breathing heavy and sweating. Lucky for me they were filming this presentation for their overseas campuses. Imagine this, I walk in and there are 40 MBA students looking at me, lights are beaming heat and highlighting every pore, I have to set up with everyone watching and trying to subtly wipe the sweat from my brow and seem cool. Not! Seemed to go ok but not the ideal situation.

Tip 2. Less is more

Another pearl of wisdom! I know, right. I learnt this from Gandhi who rocked Social Media World in 2014 and said to me "Too much powerpoint killed a good story". Profound. 

Visual aids are there to help the audience follow your story, not to tell the story. That's your job. No one remembers all the facts and information from presentations, we might remember 2 or 3 points. But we can retell a story if it is engaging, funny and heart felt. Take your material and make a story from it! It doesn't matter if it is a business presentation, you can still reinforce the points you made with examples and anecdotes. 

Remember that every time you transition a slide, the audience is taking their attention off you and looking at the screen. What a perfect time to break their concentration and let them just have a quick peak at Instagram...

Tip 3. It's about them, not you!

This gold came from an unlikely source. Sometimes it's hard to trust Memes on Facebook but this one looked reliable. It was from one of my favourite speakers Abraham Lincoln and he posted that: "To communicate effectively, stand in the shoes of those who listen." Good one Abe! 

Remember why you are at the front of the room, it's to share a message with others. Don't stay in your head and follow your own movie reel. Be present with the audience and focus your energy and attention to them. See how they are reacting and adjust your material accordingly. This only comes when you have prepared well, so revise Tip 1

The measure of a good presenter is how much the audience was impacted. It's emotional impact and recall of the content. Make it about them! Engage them with questions, get them to do activities, encourage them to think and tell stories that make them feel. 

Everyone likes to talk about themselves, and they might be interested in your story. But remember to help them apply this learning from yours to their own lives. That's the key.

Well there you have it, twenty years of learning in 500 words. If you follow my quick 3 tips to presenting, you will stop stressing about presenting and embrace it as the opportunity to build your brand and share valuable thoughts when you are next asked to step up the microphone. 

As a last thought from my good friend Thor when I was last in Asgard "the power is in your hands" he quipped. I think he was talking about a hammer or something, but you get the idea.

Finding the piece of jigsaw with Simon 'Sharky' Clark

 Simon is a profound business coach, one damn nice bloke and a long term friend of Social Star.   Here is a blog written by his own hands about achieving greater clarity in business and life.

Simon is one of the bloggers that we follow regularly. So when we asked 'Sharky' if we could borrow this particular blog for our fans, we were delighted he agreed.

We hope you enjoy the read!


 
Finding Clarity
 

Lack this piece and you may as well throw away the entire jigsaw.

If you’ve been reading my posts for long enough, you’ll know I’m a huge fan of clarity. Being clear on what you’d like to be, do, have leads to doors opening all over the shop. This planet has a very cool way of putting things in front of us that we need, when we know what it is that we want. And if you want to see that effect multiplied, be clear on the reasons as to why you want it.

Any idea you begin to conceive should have an associated reason why. Without one, you’re unlikely to have your thoughts move from daydream land to real-world reality. The clearer you are on why you’re wanting to achieve something, the more likely you are to achieve it.

Sort The Pieces.

Take bucket-lists as an example. Plenty of people have them and in various sizes. They’re likely to contain a variety of items big and small. But you’ll tick more things off your list if you’ve attached a reason why. Eat that exotic food because? Visit that country because? Run that, ride this, meet that person, do that thing, jump off, land on, raise this, enjoy that. Why?

The best reasons why for doing something, are clear and concise. They have absolute clarity around them. I want to do X because Y and help myself/others achieve Z, and my reason why is this …..

Let me blunt. Your reason why is your key to getting shit done. So get clear on it.

Start With The Edges.

When it comes to the big things in life, a reason why has to be deep and meaningful. These goals I refer to as “Big fat hairy goals”, they take a while to achieve and require massive amounts of motivation. At times your reason why will be the only thing that keeps you going.

For example, I help people in business and in life to regain control of their overwhelm, increase their clarity, improve their mental health, and get back to their business of achieving. Why? Because I know what it’s like to live a life drowning in the fear of failure. It almost cost me mine. I want to help people avoid living such a life, too afraid to know how awesome they can be. From that reason why, I started a business that’s focussed and effective, and I operate with passion and purpose. Big fat and hairy, deep and meaningful too.

Work Inwards.

But enough about me, more about you. If you’re stuck in the land of doubt about what it is you’re aiming for, revisit your reasons why. I’m a huge believer in KISS theory (Keep It Super Simple) so start small, maybe that bucket list of yours? Look back over it and check in with the reasons why. For the fun of it? For the fun of it with others? For the fun of it with others in another country? You get the picture, simple and clear reasons why guaranteed to motivate you.

And when it comes to the bigger things in life, ramp up the clarity on your why factor. Go deep, dig plenty, move that mindset around. If you’ve been daydreaming about a business idea for years now, could it be you’ve not yet started because your reason why lacks clarity? If you’ve been dreaming for ages about a huge travel adventure but nothing’s happening, why is that? The levels of clarity outlining your reasons why is what’s going to get you stamps on passports, and securing investors for your start-up.

A Picture Appears.

If it stirs you enough, you’ll stand a good chance of getting it done. But if you really want to hit your targets, add a compelling reason why. Big stuff or little stuff, it doesn’t matter. Power your ideas with a reason why of equal size, and be prepared to see what you’re capable of. Why do you want to do that? What’s driving you? Does it make you tingle a little? Or a lot? If it does, you’re a shoe-in trust me on that.

Don’t say just because, say with absolute clarity “because this!” Clarity leads to motivation, which leads to achievement, which leads to happiness, which leads to a positive mindset, which leads to you enjoying better mental health, which leads to you learning how to repeat the same process that might just lead you to where you’ve always dreamed of being.

So what is The Future of Marketing? We got it answered with the 4 Andrews’!

 
 

The 4 Andrews' on the panel

What a night! So many ideas, so much to take in! The 4 Andrew’s covered a range of topics as they moved through three key subjects.

  1. Advice for students, getting started with a job in marketing.
  2. Working with agencies, understanding their structure from employee and customer perspectives alike.
  3. The future of marketing, where to from here, and with what?

For those who kept a keen ear on proceedings there was some real gold to be had. And by the size of the crowd still hanging around at the end of the event, there were plenty of keen ears! It’d be almost impossible to let you in on what we heard and learned, but we’re going to try anyway. So here’s a brief wrap-up of some of that gold we managed to pan from the rivers of The 4 Andrews.

#1 Advice for Students.

 To some on the night, it seemed out of place to talk about the young, university educated marketing hopefuls. But this event was about the future of marketing, and those kids ARE the future. As we heard what it takes to stand out from the pack of candidates in this modern marketing age, we also heard what’s considered the important culture and character components of any marketing business.

Some great points for potential employees to consider are:

  •  The organisations’ cultural diversity.
  • Staff Retention.
  • Innovation, are they trend aware and moving with their customers?
  • Growth opportunities.
  • Work Culture.
  • Having fun

And the two points that all 4 Andrew’s elaborated on? Cultural Diversity, and having fun with people you enjoy working with. Here’s some key quotes for you.

“We have fun together, go through the good, and bad together”- Andrew Hardwick

“I want to be working with people that I can trust and have fun with” - Andrew Ford  

‘Fun, Fame, Fortune: This is our mantra’- Andrew Mackinnon

But from their side of the desk, when it comes to hiring, they each gave away their own valuable insights.  Here’s a list of some great tips for marketing job seekers;

  • Marketing is all about being curious.
  • Never be afraid to ask your potential or dream employer or someone you respect and want to learn from to have coffee with you.
  • Turn up to that coffee with your best pitch, show you’re industry aware.
  • Be passionate about what you want, know it. Then reach out.
  • The good jobs don’t get advertised so network. Connections drive everything
  • Culture is vital, stay where the culture suits you, stay where the fun is. 

Here’s a few more key insights that will help any potential candidate;

“What we’ve always done is 25% brand engagement, 65% customer engagement, and 10% change management. We want people who can bring customer engagement to our business through digital or personal interactions”- Andrew Baxter

The best jobs are never advertised. Connect with people on platforms like LinkedIn. Make your brand known and show it to people’- Andrew Ford

 #2 Working with agencies.

There’s two distinct points of view here. Again there was discussion from the perspective of being an employee within an agency. Oddly enough this can give you, from a customer perspective,  valuable insight to go about selecting a quality marketing firm in the future. And of course when it came time to discuss things from the perspective of present and future customers, the gold kept flowing. Here’s some points we feel best share both sides of the employee/customer equation. Read between the lines carefully here folks. Those who care about their people, are more likely to give you the best campaign results. Now and into the future.

  •  The 4 Andrews all agreed that cultural diversity within an organisation creates an environment that is full of new and unique ideas. It creates a space for experimentation which in turn leads to campaigns that really stand out.
  • In their eyes, businesses need to make sure they are hiring someone who will fit into their culture and their environment. Important when you consider you might have to spend up to 12 hours a day with these people.
  • Statistics suggest that 89% of Millennials would rather take a cool job with cool bosses that pays less than a job where the cool factor just doesn’t exist. Fun and enjoyable work environments are produced when people get along and openly share their ideas. Nobody wants to work with grumpy colleagues and/or bosses. 
  • Andrew Mackinnon believes every project him and his team work on should be fun, offer them the ability to attract more work, and of course make a bit of money. He also encourages his staff to pursue their own side-business so they can learn first-hand what difficulties and challenges organisations can face.
  • Vitally important that businesses keep innovating. They should be aware of and move towards trends that their customers and their markets are following.
  • Organisations should create their structure based around what their customers want
  • Everything can be outsourced, and just about anyone can manage social media channels now. Organisations should keep the bulk of their customer’s important work in-house and outsource as much of the grunt work as feasible. Keep your best people on what matters most.
  • It’s been suggested that if you increase investment in employee engagement investments by 10 percent, it can increase company profits by $2,400 per employee per year.

#3 The future of marketing

OK if you’ve skipped ahead and started reading from here, then you’ve missed a heap of great info. Go back and read everything, otherwise you’re missing the best parts that back up this next section.

Spoiler alert; the future of marketing is unknown. I know right, SHATTERRED! But there’s a shift happening and if you are not aware of it, you’re going to fall behind, and quickly.

According to the 4 Andrews there’s four possible futures for marketing.

  1. Digital
  2. Diverse
  3. Data
  4. Disruptive.  

Of course we all know digital is here to stay, but it’s morphing with some of the older not-so-digital formats. This means that the older channels are still likely to remain effective, such as TV and billboards. This can help create diversity in a digital landscape, as there’s likely to be a stronger convergence of online digital with offline traditional. If you hadn’t noticed already allow me to prod you. Mobile Strike or Clash of Clans being advertised on prime time TV for instance. There’s even YouTube adds on billboards now too!

Data remains as something powerful for marketing’s future. You’ve got to have your content in the exact same spot your customers are most likely to consume it. Data on your target will become important as there’s so many channels now, the future is likely to be extremely noisy so cut-through should be a priority.

As for disruptive, that was a bit harder for the 4 Andrews to pin down. Then again let’s face it, if you knew what could potentially change the marketing landscape, would you share it? Nah me neither!

Andrew McKinnon best summed up where the disruption should come from though. He states that today’s consumers are aware, educated, and very discerning. You can’t sell coke as a refreshing healthy experience. That type of advertising BS is dead.

Again the 4 Andrews agree on two or three points.

  • Everyone understands digital now, so this is no longer a special skill.
  • The numerous channels we have now, and how ever many the future brings, will require their own individual expertise.
  • Less is more. Stick with the channels the bulk of your market uses, the channels you can manage, and manage them well. 

What’s selling product nowadays is stories. Particularly the stories behind the brands. To create successful stories in the future will likely require several collaborators. For instance, your audience, preferred customers, associates. Collaborate with them and fill them with your content/message.


Missed This Event? Stay Tuned For Our Next Event and Tips HERE

3 Questions with Andrew Mackinnon - how to market to the new generation of millennials?

Who is Andrew Mackinnon?

If you are in the marketing or advertising industry in Melbourne and don't know Andrew Mackinnon from Taboo agency - well you should!

Andrew has been behind many of the brand driven campaigns over the last decade with his agency Taboo, which he started at the tender age of 19!

He is also the owner of one of the coolest bars in Melbourne – Ponyfish Island – yes the floating one under the Pedestrian Bridge, Southbank, a haven for wonderers and wanderers, a part time DJ, creator of Unlikely Larger beer and tech parter in Skymorials the fastest growing online memorials site in the world. 

Now 15 years on, Andrew and a carefully curated creative team has created a full scale creative agency, delivering campaigns for the country’s biggest brands: Nike, NAB, Cadbury, Schweppes, TAC, Sensis, Old El Paso, Witchery, Mimco and CUB.

A born go-getter has also culminated in Mackinnon’s role as Membership Chair and President Elect of the Entrepreneur’s Organisation Australia – Victoria Chapter. It’s this affinity with EO’s core principles that prompted the organisation to honour him with the Values Award in 2014.

Check out our quick chat with Andrew when Social Star founder – Andrew Ford (Fordy) caught up with Mackinnon (Macca) over a green smoothie this week

 
 

 

Social Star: Some marketing experts say that online media is the most efficient medium for marketing. Do you agree with this comment and where does experiential marketing fit into a company's marketing plans?

A. Mackinnon: I think it's about developing creative ways that integrate the two. Digital/online media is integrated so much into our 'real life' experience today (from tap and pay mobile tech to Uber to the like of Snapchat video), it would be foolish to think that just experiential on its own generates enough cut through.

At Taboo, we're all about making authentic experiences that are worth telling, that have an innate talkability that people want to tell their friends about. Digital amplification of this is always part of our consideration set when we're planning especially as it lets us play into the 'live' element of something taking place across certain times and locations. 

 Social Star: Being youth marketing experts, how do you suggest companies market to the new generation of millennials? 

 A. Mackinnon: I think now, more than ever, attention spans are fragmented and expectations of brands are high. A few things:

  • Thinking mobile-first: this is the centre of their world
  • Integrating social media opportunities in all moments of a branded experiences
  • If you try to be cool and fail, you will hear about it
  • Understanding trends: both culturally and technological

Social Star: A lot of marketing people say Facebook is being replaced by Instagram and Snapchat. What is your opinion of Facebook as a social medium for business?

 A. Mackinnon: The squelching of Facebook's algorithm after essentially a five year free trial for brands meant a huge commercial growth for the platform. But what we're starting to see the likes of Instagram and Snapchat start to infiltrate people's suite of daily apps, Facebook is losing its monopoly of the one 'go to'.

It's still a great reach platform and a key consideration, I just think the way we look at it has changed. The more immersive content discovery, the better brand engagement you'll get. Alternatively, the more you push your brands with traditional words and pictures, the less engagement. So yes, it's still relevant, but now part of a larger matrix of social platforms to consider, with video and customisation the biggest trends within this space.

Wise words, thanks Andrew!

If you haven't known yet, next Thursday evening, the 6th October, Social Star has the pleasure of hosting Andrew Mackinnon (and 3 other Andrew's, including our own Andrew of course) for a panel discussion to explore the future of agencies and marketing. Well worth the time to hear from 4x Agency CEOs and network with some very cool people too over delicious nibbles and drinks!

Check out the event HERE !

I look forward to having you there.

(Use passcode SSGUEST30 for 30% discount on ticket sales)

 

 

Top 5 tips on building websites for Professionals

A website is the digital front door to your business. It is seen more often by your clients and prospects than your 'real' office so it's important to have it looking good at all times. Websites can be tricky for those who are not ex IT managers or not very tech-savvy, so we have put together top 5 tips on how to make the process as easy peasy as possible.

website

Tip 1 - Understand a website fits into your marketing

A website is the cornerstone of your marketing. It's a vital part of your digital ecosystem but must be integrated with your marketing to get the best out of it.  Most Professionals that we work with (Accountants, allied health, consultants etc) rely on word of mouth referrals for their new business. Some of them think that their website doesn't matter because their new clients get referred by existing ones. However this is no longer true. There is a layer of digital in between someone referring you to a friend and them contacting you - it's called 'checking you out'. 

When a client refers you to a friend they might mention your name, your business name or your service. You can't control how they choose to refer you and once your prospect has this information they will 'check you out' on a medium of their choice: usually Google, LinkedIn or your website, or al three! This is the change in business today, there is a layer of digital in between the word of mouth new business and having prospects contact you.

The job of your digital ecosystem is to ensure that these leads finds you and not your competitor. If you can't be found on Google or LinkedIn, chances are your prospects will be looking at your competitors. Then, if they do find you, do you look credible? If you don't match the perception in the prospects mind, they will bounce and go elsewhere.

Finally if you pass the first two tests, are your contact details easy to find? The Contact page is one of the most important pages and plays an integral part of your website, allowing visitors and potential customers connect with you.

Tip 2 - Choose a website system you can use

Another common problem with websites is that once you get someone to build it, you don't have the skills to easily go in and make updates. Making changes on your website yourself is mandatory as it enables you to quickly fix errors, update changes in your business and add new content. Improving your website and adding new content frequently is one of the major drivers of SEO or how your site gets on the first page of Google.

We recommend one of the new templated website systems as they are made specifically to be easy to use for the average business person. Squarespace is the system we recommend.

Tip 3 - Gather your brand assets

Once you have decided on a website template you need to get all of your content organised. For most clients this is the hardest part!  An example of the types of content you will need to gather includes the following:

  • URL location
  • Logo in .eps or .ai
  • Your biography
  • Professional photos of you and your team, products, events etc.
  • Images to use (these can be stock photos or your own photos)
  • Icons
  • Descriptions of your business and services
  • Descriptions of your products

Most Professionals don't have all of these in hand so it's important you choose a website company that can assist you in creation of this content.

Tip 4 - Decide to do yourself, own or rent

There are many ways to create a website. If you are IT savvy, you can try to build it yourself. If you take this option I would highly recommend getting a web agency to assist you in the design and again once you have it built.

You can outsource and pay an agency to do it all for you.

The final option is to rent the website from the agency. In this model they take care of the ongoing hosting, maintenance and ensuring the website always looks awesome for a consistent monthly fee. 

Tip 5 - Keep it updated

The final tip is to keep your website updated at all times. Your website is the public face of your business and it's important that it has fresh content regularly. This can take the form of a blog, podcast, articles or news. If people join or leave your business, if you move offices or change your contact details, you need to be reactive quickly and update your website. If you create new products or promotions these also need to be reflected on your website.

Gone are the days when a website was updated once a year. It's now more like social media where you need to update it on a monthly, if not weekly basis. It takes some time and effort to get right, but the benefits of increased referrals and more leads will far outweigh the time spent. That is why the choice of website system is vital, if you can't use it easily, you will not use it!  If you are too busy to do it yourself, get someone to do it for you.

There you have it, our top 5 tips for a new website for professionals to get more referrals. We hope it was helpful and if you want some individual advice please feel free to get in touch with us.

PS: If you wonder what a Squarespace website looks like, check out the new Social Star website and the new Andrew Ford personal site. Freshly updated for our birthday!