Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Social Media Marketing

By Craig Allan
'FaceBook has over 800 million active monthly users (Dec 2011) across the globe, if it was a country in it's own right it would be the 3rd largest in the world! Social Media sites have become an effective way of businesses to communicate with their customers in a time effective way.'

New Article: Challenges for Business in a Facebook World - Read Here

(UPDATE: As of Oct 2013 Facebook has 1.5 Billion users)

Facebook and other Social Media sites are quickly becoming a valid and effective communication channel for businesses of all sizes, giving customers to opportunity to involve themselves in policy development, offer consumer insights to firms and also to be the first to hear about special deals on offer.

Social Media can serve as an additional channel to use as part of your existing marketing communications; press releases, newsletters, blogs, FaceBook posts and Twitter tweets will reinforce your message, but also deliver your message to additional listeners using various mediums.

FaceBook, for example, caters for business organisations very well with groups and actual organisation pages; key personnel within the organisation can continue a discussion topic by supplementing additional views on the same subject. Additionally Facebook has a relatively new, yet cost effective advertising offering that can increase a businesses reach.

According to global research company Nielsen, FaceBook, YouTube and Wikipedia are the top 3 social media sites around, with 22% of all time spent on the Internet visiting these and other similar sites - more than double than 12 months ago!

More than 50% of the Australian adult population are active Facebook users, making this and other Social Media platforms an ideal medium to engage with new and existing customers - the challenge to businesses is to adapt to this new communication with a shift in how to relate to the public.

Google+ has also demonstrated remarkable growth, with experts tipping 400+ million users by the end of 2012... another platform that needs serious consideration as a marketing tool.

With these staggering trends in mind, it's imperative that businesses of all sizes develop their marketing communications around social media... your customers are waiting for you!

Want to know how Visionary marketing can assist? Contact us now to discuss how we can help in developing your communications strategy - here!

Custom Websites for Smartphones

By Craig Allan
"Mobile devices are one of the fastest growing technologies ever seen in history, ownership of smartphones are being adopted at an unprecendented rate and business owners need to consider how their websites are delivered via smartphones - thus capturing a growing marketplace to benefit businesses."

According to Marketwire there will be in excess of 1 billion smartphone users by 2014 globally, this staggering figure represents a compelling argument for business owners to adopt a mobile version of their company website.  As this marketplace has developed, there has been a number of competing solutions to deliver a streamlined version of websites – often confusing business owners in their attempts to pick the best solution.

Currently, there are a number of issues that website owners need to consider:
  • Bandwidth: Smartphones tend to use a 3G network, therefore images and other media can slow down page load times – often resulting in a web user leaving your site.
  • Modem webpage design takes into account wider screens with high resolutions, however smartphone careens are a lot smaller – this could result in web pages being difficult to navigate and content being missed as it’s not shown on screen.
  • A special domain (.mobi) was developed in 2005, enabling a distinctly mobile version of websites to be developed and hosted under this domain – while this can be a good option, it also means that 2 or more websites need to be maintained, resulting in a significant cost to business owners

    At Visionary, we use a widely used open source Content Management System (CMS) called Joomla!, which is used for around 1 million websites around the globe. Joomla! provides a mobile solution plug-in that delivers website content via a mobile template; this provides all the benefits of having a full scale website, but also allowing smartphone users to access your company website simply and quickly.

    For more detail on how we can develop a mobile version of your company site – contact us now!

    Friday, 21 September 2012

    Online Surveys - A Streamlined Approach

    By Craig Allan
    "Running surveys from a traditional perspective can be costly and takes a lot of time and effort, by utilising the benefits of the Internet researchers are able to streamline several aspects of the process; the capture and analysis of respondent data is digitalised immediately, therefore cutting out manual tasks and ensuring more accurate results."

    From straw polls to extensive, in-depth research, almost every step can be managed using a range of online sources - this results in a significant reduction of data corruption, especially when survey results at entered into spreadsheets or statistical analysis programs manually.

    At Visionary we regularly conduct research for our clients and also for in-house use; such studies include membership quality studies, skills gaps research within the tourism sector, the uptake of ICT usage in regional SMEs, analysis of levels of reporting of sexual assault to police and many more.

    Anybody can use such online survey tools such as SurveyMonkey or LimeSurvey, however the essential aspect of successful surveys is the development of effective questions that flow naturally; this is something that comes with a lot of study and practice and Visionary is well placed to deliver.

    We also use a Content Management System called Joomla! that has a polling module as part of it's native install configuration; we've found this function very effective if clients require a quick response to a 'burning question', this often results in clarification for managers and business owners in setting strategy and direction.

    Want to know more? Contact us now to see how we can assist!

    Friday, 6 April 2012

    Internet Marketing Campaigns

    By Craig Allan

    A typical campaign would utilise some or all of the following activities:

    Development of targeted keywords to accurately describe your product and services; continual review of keywords and development of new keywords as new markets are targeted, your competition’s activities move, or new online analysis data becomes available.

    Implementation of keyword descriptors within HTML (ie. Meta Tags) and other areas of website pages, but also within the website copy – increasing ranking results of your site in search engine result pages naturally.

    Development and maintenance of Pay-Per-Click (Google, Overture, Microsoft Bing) online advertising campaigns for new and/or existing products and services – driving website traffic to your site or specific landing pages with quick results.

    Development and maintenance of external Internet marketing activities, such as directory listings, review sites, industry promotional sites and promotional campaigns such as banner/link advertising and online magazine advertorials.

    Analysis of website traffic and/or online advertising reports to explain trends and impacts of campaigns, but also to formulate strategies for further optimisation and Internet marketing activities.