29 short lectures on Digital Marketing

January 13th 2015, 2pm, Dublin

To kickstart 2015 I’m going to give a seminar in Dublin, possibly 90 minutes to 120 minutes long. What will it cover? Keep reading. It’s “almost” free to those that are clients or came along to the various Mulley Events in 2014. Spaces are limited. That last line was marketing bullshit making you think a resource is limited so you’ll want it more. They are though.

The seminar is called “29 short lectures on digital marketing” which is a total ripoff of the amazing “28 short lectures” given by Mary Reufle. There won’t be 29 lectures but they will be short.

This seminar is going to be on January 13th in Dublin City Centre (not booked venue yet, usually near Temple Bar) from 2pm to 4pm or a little beyond. Bring your own teas and coffees.

If you want to sign up, you can use this Eventbrite link. It’s €5 to book a place which won’t cover operating costs but ensures you might turn up. In Ireland, free events have a 50% no-show rate. 50% don’t bother turning up or letting you know.

And I’ll talk about:

  • Various elements on making Facebook work: Edgerank and all that, what updates are best, why if you ignore it for B2C you’re a dope.
  • Twitter: Growing, automating, lead generation, Twitter cards.
  • LinkedIn: This is B2B and it works a charm. How to use it to build an amazingly rich address book.
  • Google+: Haha, just kidding.
  • Mailchimp: Some quick tips from a non-expert.

Why am I doing this? Testing out new material and to gauge interest in the paid courses I’ll be running in January/February – Lead Generation, Digital Strategy, Advanced Twitter. And because I’m sound.

5 minutes can positively impact your business – Here’s how

Five minutes will transform your business

Your website:

Every webpage on your website has two interesting properties: One called a Title, one called a Description. If you add relevant keywords (based on what people search for) to these titles and descriptions, you can increase your website visitors easily by 20% and this only takes 5 minutes. The change takes 5 minutes, the initial impact takes 3 weeks depending on Google’s coming around.

Your Facebook:

Your Facebook Business Page has a tool called Insights that only you can access. It tells you the time of the week and time of the day that are the best to do updates in order to be seen by the most people. Look at these figures (takes 3 mins) and you can have your updates seen by more people.

Your Twitter:

Do you know when people that follow you on Twitter are most active, do you know what Tweets of yours were clicked on the most? Log on to ads.Twitter.com and Twitter will tell you. From that plan your Tweets to go out at the Prime times during the day and week

Mulley Communications does training courses and consultancy around strategy. Sign up to the courses list or our mailing list.

Your Digital NCT

Mulley Communications does training courses and consultancy around strategy. Sign up to the courses list or our mailing list.

If you want to start being serious about digital in 2014 and it’s a good idea to be so, then you need to up your game. Digital is going to get harder and harder in 2014, the easy days are gone, so you need to be more efficient and strategic about what you do.

So here’s a checklist on what you ought to be aware of. Pick one area to concentrate on or all. This is not a definitive list. (That gets me out of getting into trouble)

Overall Digital:
Are you mobile first in all things digital?

Website:

  • Is your website mobile first?
  • Make your website responsive by re-designing it or adding some responsive plugins to it.
  • If you can’t make it responsive, then have elements that allow the site to perform while being viewed on a mobile e.g. your number in text on the front page, same with email. No crappy contact forms.
  • Do you have a content and search optimisation plan?
  • Do you have Google Analytics or something better installed?

Facebook:

  • Learn about Edgerank.
  • Forget Page likes, the most important thing is your reach. How many people actually see any update of yours? It is less and sometimes WAY less than the number of likes.
  • What is your post engagement rate? How many people click on your post or Like it or share it or comment on it? The more people that engage with your updates, the more signals Facebook gets to keep sending your updates to your fans on the Page. Engagements are very low? Your reach is going to go down and down over time.
  • Are you updates short to be seen on mobiles?
  • Are you images using up as much of the timeline as possible?
  • What is your content plan?
  • Are you timing updates?

Simply put: Good content = good reactions = over time you retain or grow the reach of your page. Good content timed = reaching the best possible numbers each time.

Twitter:

  • Who are the people you are following?
  • Who are the people that follow you?
  • How many RTs would you get on a Tweet that’s business related?
  • How many new follows do you get a week?
  • Are your images the right size to be displayed nicely in the timeline?
  • Do you have a growth plan for Twitter?
  • Do you have a content plan for Twitter?
  • Are you timing updates?
  • How many clicks on average do you Tweets get? Are they going to your website?

Instagram, Vine, Snapchat

  • Are your audiences on Instagram? Find out.
  • Should you be using Vine? Will quick 6 second videos get you customers? They could.
  • Are many of your demographic under 20? Yes? So why are you not on Snapchat?

And you’ll never guess who does this stuff for companies? Yeah.

Contact us if you want a full evaluation or an evaluation of on one of your channels.

Mulley Communications does training courses and consultancy around strategy. Sign up to the courses list or our mailing list.

Snapchat: Why isn’t your brand on it?

Updated as of June 2014.

Every now and then someone will write a post encouraging you to bandwagon on to the latest trend in digital. This is such a post. Snapchat is now mainstream and pretty huge in Ireland. IPSOS MRBI says 21% of adults aged 15+ are on Snapchat in Ireland. 9 months ago it was 11%.

June 2014 Snapchat in Ireland stats

The data is there to show that for younger demographics, it’s not just Facebook anymore. And these younger demographics marched Bebo, Instagram, mySpace and Facebook into the mainstream. Right now, there are 500 Million photos or videos uploaded to Snapchat every day. That’s about the same as the number of photos uploaded to Facebook and 5 times as many as Instagram.

Snapchat, the sexting thing?

Get over yourself. People were sending silly pictures of themselves well before Snapchat but Snapchat is seen as one of the enablers of this. Snapchat is a great little app that allows you to send pictures or videos taken right now to your friends and they are guaranteed to expire/evaporate in ten seconds or less when clicked on. You can write a teeny amount of text on the image or video and draw on it too. The images are not on their phone, they’re not on the Snapchat servers. Lost forever like tears in the rain. Ephemermal media they’re calling it.

SnapchatPicture

If someone manages to take a screenshot, Snapchat informs you of this so you know not to trust that person again. In extreme cases, when you basically hack into the phone and connect it to a computer, you may find a picture in a temporary file on the phone but that’s it. Pretty safe really.

So your brand isn’t there, why?

Hardly any companies are using Snapchat in Europe to market, which is a shame. If one of your core audiences are Irish people ages 15-20 then Snapchat is one place they’re at. Some companies in America are using Snapchat to connect to the “right audience” and do stuff around competitions and vouchers. Still, hardly any case studies right now. 16 Handles and Taco Bell are rolled out again and again right now but that will change.

What some companies are doing to Market on Snapchat:

  • Vouchers: Discount codes, 10% off vouchers. Show at till type things.
  • Contests: Submit a picture type contests. Take a picture of a product and add a comment.
  • Interactions: Just having a fun back and forth with users e.g. Holding a sign with loads of people’s names.
  • Exclusives: Tell Snapchat first before other channels. (A great way to build numbers)

Snapchat Stories are made for brands

Now that Snapchat has serious investment and it has a huge audience, it needs to commercialise what they’re doing. Everything these days is about the timeline so Snapchat is now going to try and do something with that. First comes creating something that end users will appreciate and then they can make money off it later. Enter Snapchat Stories.

Snapchat Stories allow you to weave Snapchats you made into a piece of content that is viewable for 24 hours. You can add to this Story any time you want and it gets tacked on to the end of the story. When people log in, they can see in the timeline, any Stories from friends. This is mine:

SnapChatme

This is a Vine of a Snapchat Story I made:

And stats released this week (June 23rd 2014) show that Snapchat Stories are getting … dun dun dun, 1 billion views PER DAY. Highly successful. There still aren’t any tools for brands to use but give them time, they’ll have them.

In the week that Facebook (who?) released Slingshot (what?), Snapchat announced a new feature for a single brand (for now). People will be able to add their content to the Snapchat Story of a brand at a specific location. It’s called Our Story. Done around a music festival for now. Body and Soul was last week and various Snapchatters were keeping me in the loop via photos and videos. Perfect alignment. Expect to see big brands host these around music festivals, launches, fashion weeks etc.

Some tips:
If you bung a load of photos or videos together on to your Story, they can become quite boring, even if just a minute long. Make the shots snappy and have an actual story in place. This means pre-planning for it. Use text in your Story to accentuate or explain the content. Fail fast and fail cheap: Try things, mess about. It’s Snapchat, silly mistakes do disappear.

I await a band making a music video and sharing it as a Snapchat Story. 10 second bursts, it can be done.

Snapchat Drawbacks

Right now Snapchat is mobile only and everything needs to be done through the mobile app for iPhone or for Android. There are no official apps for businesses that can be used. You can’t “officially” upload premade material to Snapchat so you can’t have highly produced content. (There are obviously unofficial ways around this, same for Vine) I’m sure if you are a huge brand though, there probably is a tool you can use for Snapchat that does allow uploading of pre-made video. Vine definitely has this.

Law of diminishing returns

Like everything else before it, Snapchat Stories will work really well for the first while but as more people and more brands start to saturate your timeline, they’ll become less effective. Same has happened with Banner Ads, Google Ads, Facebook Ads and it will happen with Twitter promoted tweets too. Get in early, make the most of it and then analyse what is coming next and be ready for it.

Do have fun on Snapchat.

Update: June 2014

Mulley Communications does training courses and consultancy around strategy. Sign up to the courses list or our mailing list.

When Jamie Heaslip Tweets about you…

So what happens when someone with about 100,000 Twitter followers Tweets about you?

Recently Jamie Heaslip tweeted a link out about a project:

When Jamie Heaslip Tweets
When Jamie Heaslip Tweets

It gets 9 Retweets and 11 favourites.

Since Jamie used Bit.ly as a way to link, we can measure the clicks: https://bitly.com/1eh2TAL+

So it got 1096 clicks and you can see all of them were in the first few hours and then nothing.

1096 lifetime clicks
1096 lifetime clicks

400 in first hour. Bit.ly timestamp is EDT, 8pm EDT = 1pm Ireland. (add a + to any Bit.ly link you see and you too can see the stats)

Clicks on a Jamie Heaslip Tweet
Clicks on a Jamie Heaslip Tweet

So 1% of Jamie’s followers clicked that link. 99% didn’t. We could argue that it was a Saturday so less clicks but sport fans might be tuned in more that day too though and just before 1pm would seem like a good time, no?

So what if you’re just a small fish in a big pond?

Have a look at this Tweet from Sex Siopa, a Sex Shop looking for help. Boy do they get it:

Sex Siopa 133 RTs
Sex Siopa 134 RTs

133 Retweets later and a few new followers for them. They get mentioned on Broadsheet.ie and Joe.ie and other places. They seem small and genuine so people in a way are more interested in helping them out. To date they only have 401 followers but this small fish makes a lot of waves in the big pond.

133 Retweets means that Tweet was easily shared into the timelines of 40,000 ore more people. (The average active Twitter user is followed by about 2-300 accounts.)

So being rough about the numbers, that sex shop with all their RTs got half as much reach as Jamie Heaslip’s Tweet. So you don’t necessarily need to have big numbers if you have a genuine message to share or if the message is fun or controversial or anti-establishment.

Tweetrank: Is Twitter going to do their own Edgerank, charge to push all your Tweets?

Twitter are apparently going to rank our Tweets on quality. None, Low, Medium and eventually High. High maybe being like the “Top Tweets” you see in searches. This will allow the “Best” tweets to be seen. The worry for me is that will also allow other tweets to be hidden away. This is a bit like Facebook’s Edgerank where you don’t see all the updates from your connections but will see more updates from friends or brands you interact with more. Twitter too adopting the filter bubble. With 150k or so people on Twitter in Ireland daily and they allegedly sending out a 1 Million tweets in total, filtering may need to happen.

I’m not the only one that was wondering about “Tweetrank“. Facebook allows you to promote posts on your personal Profile on your business Page to ensure everyone sees your update. So will Twitter start doing the same? €50 and a guarantee your own followers see that Tweet of yours.

PromotedUpdateFB

But with Edgerank doing what it does, you can pay to promote an update so everyone sees it. Is this what Twitter will do too? Pay to ensure everyone that’s connected to you sees your tweet? One of the reasons I like Twitter is that I can dictate the filtering, Facebook doesn’t give me that choice. Now if Twitter allowed people to choose No filter, medium filter, high filter, that would be a great compromise that still makes them money.

Update: August 18th 2013
Twitter is now doing surveys about prioritising your Tweets. It does feel like they are going to do some kind of filtering as the noise on the network goes up.
TweetRankSurvey

Irish teens and the digital world

Or getting into the Irish Times for 500 euros.
Or doing your own R&D on the cheap.

Ages back on Twitter I remember seeing a teenager talk about the rarity that email was to him. Most of his communications online were around Facebook IM/Messaging. Mix that with various marketing research groups telling us what teens are interested in, without asking them and I thought it might be good to put a survey together. That’s where the Irish Teen Survey of Digital Trends came from.

Firstly, I compiled some ideas/questions I wanted answers for. Then I asked Eleanor, Aidan, Adam and Ian for some feedback on these. They suggested questions to ask, they laughed at some of the notions I had about teenagers and they listed options for some of the multi-choice questions. With that information I then collated the questions and employed someone to put them into some surveying software. I used Surveys.ie by SensorPro for this as I had also worked with them previous to this on surveys.

Next was propagating the survey. Once again I asked teens to send the survey to their friends. To get the survey completed, all those that did the survey were entered into a draw for an iTunes voucher and all those that got a friend to do the survey and their friend mentioned them, were also entered into another iTunes draw.

After the survey was done, results were collated and a summary and press release made. There was converage in the Irish Times, Silicon Republic, I was talking about it on Phantom1052 as well. Lots of coverage on Twitter too.

What does this survey do for Mulley Communications?

  • Insight. Seeing what teenagers do online, how they consume content, what and why they pay for items will help the day to day work of the company. Presentations, training sessions and marketing plans will be better as a result.
  • Traditional media coverage. While it’s people that are online and connected to me/the company gives us the business, the enforcement of the company being trustworthy to their bosses happens in the Irish Times, Radio 1, the Business Post etc.
  • Practice. Being able to ask new questions and create mechanisms to get the answers is good for future projects
  • Serendipity. You never know what new products for you or a client could be created from data you collate.

Costs:
Between the vouchers and the work to collate the survey, it cost about 500 euros.

Some lessons learned:
While 101 surveys were completed, there was a very large rate of those who never completed the surveys. Too many questions. Next time I might split the survey in two with maximum 20 questions, if even that. Also, have a few publications in mind for each survey, perhaps offer sections of the survey to each publication. Sample size is low too. Shorter surveys would almost double the numbers. Widen out the survey to rely less on people that receive this from friends on Facebook or Twitter.

This survey follows on from our Facebook eyetracking survey, Google eyetracking survey and iPhone survey.

Shortcuts through quicksand

There’s a very good post on Buzzfeed about the use of infographics (Diagrams displaying information in a useful and understandable way) to help rig Google results. It’s the new gray hat SEO manipulation technique.

Simple idea: Create an infographic. Make the content tabloid enough/interesting enough to get linked to and offer code for people to embed it on their site with of course a link back to the site with your golden key words.

Already we’re seeing website and blog owners being emailed and asked for links to these infographics and to use certain keywords with the links. Nefarious to say the least especially when there isn’t any thought on who might be interested in the content. “We thought you might like this health insurance graphic since you er blog about food and please link with the text: cheap health insurance Ireland”

Traffic Control.  Sparks, KS.
Photo owned by PV KS (cc)

It’s common for a client and an agency to want a quick win. Good traffic and lots of links. That’s the goal, right? Social media/online marketing is simple to set up, free to do and so people seem to think that there’ll be instant success as a result. The case studies we show and are shown make it seem that way too. Organic growth by creating content, interacting, getting feedback and moving on again is much more stable. But traditionally the marketing industry bought volume. Buy an ad on the Late Late, stick something in every paper and you’ll reach everyone with your very bland ad.

Quantity is still the catnip for many. That’s why you see so many company blogs mentioning celebrities and trying to shoehorn their offerings into some scandal. Good luck with aligning nipple slips into recruitment news lads. There was an old Irish Politics blog that started getting into mentioning all kinds of celebrity sex drivel. Traffic exploded but so did respect for the blog’s political analysis. This here blog for Mulley Comms gets 1/10th of the traffic as my personal blog and something blogged over there will do very well in Google but talking online marketing or online PR here means it won’t get first position on Google. That’s ok though as the blog here is new enough and still finding the way.

You see it too with Facebook campaigns that push for people to become fans. Win an iPad or iPhone for anyone that’s a fan of your Facebook Page. How many of your new Facebook fans genuinely care about what you do and how many clicked Like to enter the iPad draw?

Now counter that with what Sabrina Dent highlights for newsletter list building. She talks about Ciara Crossan going to Wedding Fairs. That’s where Ciara’s constituents are. Those who subscribe to her newsletter are the right demographic, not any old sod joining to get to the prize. Good leads at targeted events. There would be plenty of ways for Ciara to get 1000s of randomers on her mailing list but how many will take the content seriously then? A polluted database costs you more in the end.

So as clients, consultants and agencies should we keep pushing for the slow and more intelligent game instead of cheap tactics like link rigging and begging friends and strangers to Like client status updates? Should part of a company’s social media policy to ban staff from clicking on that Like button and leaving comments? The same way for competitions staff, their families and suppliers are banned from taking part? Should you train your own thoughts into thinking longterm?

Links this week – 24th March 2010

Facebook will get serious about location, very soon.

There’s money in virtual goods, we know this and money in location sensitive virtual goods too.

Genius. Tech support for your company via your Get Satisfaction Facebook Page Tab.

Paul links to a free e-book on pricing.

The big big news is what Facebook is going to evolve to. Facebook Pages all over the web.