Halal Branding and Easter

When cultures clash there will be fallout. Take Pauline Hanson’s rather bizarre attack on Halal certification and relevant branding of Easter Eggs from the Cadbury company.

Halal certification is presented as a major issue by its opponents. Curiously Kosher certification, a standard that has been applied to foods selected to be eaten by members of the Jewish faith, has never been subjected to the same scrutiny. Nor have the allocation of profits by Sanitarium, or the gifting of funds to the Australian Christian Lobby by the Gloria Jeans coffee chain, both Christian companies.

Halal certification is simply branding. It alerts people of the Islamic faith that the particular food is considered ‘clean’. In the case of meat, the sticker guarantees the animal has been treated with dignity and respect and not made to suffer. This is a subject of great debate, with some saying the standards are antiquated.

But in many respects this type of branding is simply no different to many other ‘add on’ brands that are perceived to add value to a product. For example ‘Made in Australia’, ‘Ethical’ branding on coffee, ‘Certified Organic’ (NASAA) and others do exactly same thing as Halal certification. Each product has a very small amount deducted from the sale of each item to pay for the license that permits the product to display such branding. It is generally very low and may be as low as a fraction of a cent.

Halal certification opens Australian products up to huge markets to the North such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Bangladesh and other markets such as Saudi Arabia, The United Arab Emirates, Qatar, etc.

All such licensing funds are overseen by ACCC legislation. Funds are tracked and monitored. With Halal certification, monies are generally directed to Education initiatives or social welfare programs organised and orchestrated by Muslim groups.

islam-halal-logoBranding is highly regulated. Trademarks must be registered. License agreements must be documented. Fund allocation must address the regulatory requirements of ASIC, the ACCC and the ATO.

So when you decide to purchase that chocolate bunny or the egg with a Halal symbol, rest easy. It’s really just another arm of marketing in action. Hope you get lots of chocolate this Easter – Happy Easter from all at MBC and have a great break.

Are You Visible on the Net?

It’s time. It’s time to claim your place. You’ve had a nice website built, got all the social media links – Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, etc. It’s time to deliver what Google tells us it will allocate searchers enquiry upon – good relevant content – across all web mediums.

social-media-content

 

You need a blog – loaded with content, published every week with a minimum 300 words. It should contain ‘keywords’ and ‘key phrases’ from your website. It should have links to your website. It can refer to articles, blogs and information pertinent to your products and services. It can, in a nutshell, keep your ‘content’ fresh and renewed – and that is Google’s favoured position – you provide fresh and up to date content via blogs, site updates and external articles. Your site will achieve a higher Google ranking. You will receive more referrals from Google. Why? Because your site is relevant – relevant to the searchers enquiries. Your website is recognised as one of the best sources of information on the searchers enquiry. Why?

Because you have continually, on a weekly basis added content to your blogs with keywords and key phrases and this all points back to your website.

social-media-image2-1040px

types-of-social-media-content

Repetition? No? Really? Sometimes it can actually help – but not if it’s straight off your website. Big no no.

So moving on, can videos help? It certainly can! Especially when presented on YouTube (as we said, owned by Alphabet which you probably know as Google)

From week to week look for topics that profile your business. If you run a cafe, have a set menu – talk about the items on the menu, ingredients, cooking, customer response, new items, new flavour trends – be seen and be innovative, having a point of difference.

20161110a-rgb

But if you can’t spot a point of difference why do people continue to return to your business – what for? Is it the variety, the quality of ingredients, your staff, the ambience, the music, the location? Or all of the above – so tell the audience. Refer to Google Maps. Reprint good reviews. put up videos of the cook/chef in action – the barista doing a good long machiato. It’s your time to shine and there are so many simple easy ways to do it. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Trip Advisor, Eat Out… Find the options, get press releases out to Good Food, the Weekly Review, Broadsheet – there are so many great options. And when you find you just don’t have the time to do it but realise the complete importance of a regular campaign, of maintaining an online presence, of holding a strong Google ranking, call us – the Marketing and Branding Company and for a modest monthly fee (starting from $459) we will create an excellent Social Media and Blog campaign that both raises your profile and drives customers to your business.

Social Media – it’s the buzz. Get with the program

Brands That Work – Be Seen, Be Rated

Look down the street, or the train or bus you’re riding. People are viewing their smartphones. Actual calls is now but a minor issue. Your smartphone is your personal information device. Data is continually being sent to you and you are continually transmitting data. So is your website ready for this? It is responsive? Can your website be easily read on a smartphone? Do you pass the Google responsiveness test?

Do you show videos on your website? You should, especially YouTube videos. Why? Because Google gives YouTube videos very high value in ranking your website and social media activity. (Google, or Alphabet as the parent company is now known, own YouTube)

Do you use Instagram? Do you upload your Instagram to Facebook? You should. (Facebook owns Instagram)

Do you do all this yourself? You shouldn’t. You don’t have the time, the experience or access to materials that a Professional will have. Images, videos, copy – all is available if you know how. But if you don’t do it properly? No good effect is achieved and you can be penalised.

The Marketing and Branding Company offer a complete Social Media / Blog package. We achieve multiple links through our methodologies and create interesting and exciting copy – no matter what your business.

Be seen, be prominent, be profitable. You have the story, let us tell it for you. Creatively, with panache.

Social Media and Blogging keep your business, its services, its products top of mind. When people seek your products or services you WILL be their first option!

Call us now on 03 8696 9700 or contact us online for a free, no obligations quote. Prices start as low as $300 per month. Let us create real exposure and sales for your business – Now.

It’s Time.

So you wish to create a ‘Content Marketing Strategy’? What exactly is a Content Marketing Strategy?

In all the material you create (or have created on your behalf) to promote and communicate your particular business and its opportunities there must be a focus on ‘content’. But Content Marketing takes this direction and goes just that little bit further. It’s about presenting content as a business asset, driving buyers to your website and ‘owning’ your patch of cyberspace.

shutterstock_544685149meme1040

It’s about having a plan, and the plan is to ensure your product, your business, your service is the Google response in answering what are potential customer enquiries. To do so your website has to rank and to rank you need it to have real relevance to people’s enquiries. Google doesn’t just consider your website. it considers the links to your website, and any material published on the web referring to your business, products or services. This in fact is your opportunity to carve out your ‘place’ on the web.

In creating a content marketing program, it’s important to set goals. For instance increased page visitation based on keyword recognition, establishing links to your website on a monthly basis and developing Social Media and Blog activity in a manner that helps achieve this. In setting your strategy, consider your key business needs and those of your customers. And ensure that there is a ‘buy-in’ from all participants active in the field within your business.

shutterstock_407092741meme1040

It may be that your business requires an entirely new platform. Your website built 4 years ago is now dated. It’s not mobile responsive and it’s way short on Google’s text requirements. In reality what seemed like a good idea then now just doesn’t cut it in the fierce competition that is E-Commerce. Or your social media pages sit there like cobwebs with no activity on your Facebook, no increase in your LinkedIn network and no company page. You could have a sub-domain selling site with little or no difficulty on the right platform, but it’s ‘too hard’.

If you sell Architectural Mouldings, when somebody enquires about ‘Parapets’ you want to come up top of that enquiry. If you sell fine furniture or aluminium balustrading – same. Old School keyword manipulation isn’t enough. It has to be content and it has to be constant. Blogs each week of minimum 250-300 words, Facebook posts each week a minimum. Add to this YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram and you’re getting there.

shutterstock_558042127meme1040

Get the website you need, the Content Marketing package that works and claim you place, your space on the web. Or you can always let your competitors take it. For further details, contact MBC via email or phone. We’ll be happy to assist you.

Creating Content that Informs and Sells

Imagine your customers looking forward to receiving material and information from you, then actually spending time absorbing it. You will become their reference point. Michael Nelthorpe explains why content marketing is the new way to make social media work.

happy-couple-online.jpg

Talk to your customers about their interests, not just your product or business

Web business strategy is simple: embrace ‘Content Marketing’. Content Marketing enables you to claim your patch. A simple example would be a Native Plant Nursery engaging in the following strategy:

Every week – on a separate but related page to your website, say your blog page – the nursery provides a story on its featured plants for the month. Divide this into four stories. Each story (blog) must be 250-300 words. Add pictures, videos or artists impressions to support the copy and add colour. If the varieties are available on your website then tag them with a hyperlink. (Set up a WordPress site on a subdomain to do this.)

Link each week’s blog to the previous week’s blog, but under no circumstances use the same exact sentences or phrases from your website. Duplicate copy will gain you a penalty. As well post snippets from your blog onto Facebook, Twitter and then on other social media sites like Pinterest and Instagram with more pictures and images. Do extra posts on social media, refer to your website and tag references.

Content tips

Content is the key to driving inbound enquiry and sales.

  • PPC: ‘Pay Per Click’ simply doesn’t work without good content.
  • PR: Talking to your customers about their interests – not your business.
  • SEO: The reward from Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is a higher search engine ranking where good content is provided.

launching-balloons-to-the-social-media-cloud.jpg

Recently I saw Content Marketing given a well defined description: “Content Marketing is a strategic marketing approach focussed on creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience – and ultimately to drive profitable customer action.” (Source: http://www.contentmarketing.com)

launching-balloons-to-the-social-media-cloud.jpg

Using content marketing well enables you, the business owner to change or enhance customer behaviour. It’s about regularly and consistently creating and managing relevant and valuable content, with the express purpose of actually ‘owning’ the media you’re using, not just paying for or ‘renting’ a space. Ensure an ongoing content strategy before commencing a social media strategy.

social-media-content

Quality, relevant content on Social Media will lift your search engine ranking

Content Marketing is an art form. It is the ability to communicate directly with your customers without the ‘hard sell’. It’s delivering information that lifts your customer’s awareness as opposed to simply putting an image and a few words in front of them as is done in traditional advertising. Good content creates an ‘informed’ marketplace where traditional advertising then triggers the knowledge already gained through exposure to Content Marketing. The reward for this is consumer ‘trust’ and ultimately loyalty – and purchases!

Google Ranking

This year Google again updated its algorithms to achieve a higher accuracy for searchers genuinely searching for information. The Google search engine is now more sensitive to detecting trickery, including false links, duplicate copy and online manipulation.

google-content-marketing

Content Marketing is the key to improving your search engine ranking

Google penalises websites with dubious links to unrelated sites or so called web-farms. Two to five years ago these were often used by less scrupulous ‘SEO’ companies to gain instant prominence. Many website owners didn’t even know that they were back-linked , with other websites linking to their site. If your website hasn’t been overhauled or checked in the past year you may have these unwanted links that Google now has the ability to detect. If so you will loose ranking until the dubious links are removed.

Effective content marketing means you can ‘own’ your patch of cyberspace. your Google ranking will improve and ultimately your business is seen as a valuable source of information with products to back that up. This means a much healthier bottom line. Get an expert to do it for you or do it yourself, but start blogging, tweeting, Facebooking or Pinning now. Own your space, it’s really worth it.

 

Update Your Website Now!

20161110a-rgbAt least every 12 months, often every 6 months, Google comes up with significant changes in its Algorithm policies.

What does this mean for someone operating a website? Often it means you are significantly ‘out of date’ virtually overnight.

For instance if anyone has a website that is over 2 years old with no real maintenance or attention, the chances are your site is probably only receiving a maximum of 60% of your potential visitors. Why? Because your site may well not be considered ‘responsive’ by Google. Google now insists your website must be mobile friendly, or as it calls it ‘responsive’. Essentially this requires a separate application of your current site that mimics it on the small screen.

Hey, and remember those nice fellows from the sub-continent? Yes the SEO ones. Wow, immediately you saw your ranking improve. But then you had no idea they connected you and backlinked a Romanian Web Farm to your site with over 20000 non relevant sites lighting up your relevance. Oh hang on! Google penalise that severely? And they are able to discover these links and duplicate copy much easier now? And ‘we got penalised’ you say? Lowest ranking?

Your website is a very important piece of your capitalised equipment for your business. You need up to date Social Media links with actual regular contributions. You must avoid duplicate content. You need to blog and provide good, healthy links (backlinks) to your website from all these sources.

20161110b-rgbWant to learn more? Contact us at the Marketing and Branding Company for more information. And for those needing an update, the first 2 enquiries confirmed and proceeding with theri web projects will receive a genuine 50% reduction in costs.

Call now on 03 8696 9700 for a free consultation and ask for Michael Nelthorpe.

It’s All Changing – Again!

Social Media is now really starting to impact on web activity in a serious way. The Google algorithm measurement is tipped towards social media activity in providing the highest website rankings. The new buzzwords are ‘Social Media Optimisation’, and as regular readers will know, it’s a strategy we have been recommending for some time now.

Stand-alone webpages are no longer effective. Google with its algorithms has changed the way Search Engines work. Now over 50% of people check their emails on their smart phone when they first awaken. Then they will check out other stuff like Facebook, Twitter, the weather, shares and other sites of interest. Upwards of 80% of online users currently use their smart phone to access the internet rather than a PC. So your ‘website’ must be responsive to tablets and mobiles to gain the optimum ranking score from Google.

social-media-image2-1040px

What is Social Media Optimisation? Is it really the new gateway to higher Google rankings, leading to more traffic and greater enquiry levels?

Worldwide the Social Media phenomenon is simply breathtaking. Facebook is the leader with over 1.55 billion active users, 1.01 billion daily users and 894 million mobile active users. [Facebook Stats Sept 30th 2015]. Short videos attract 4 billion views a day on Facebook and YouTube.

Twitter commands 1 billion users with 500 million users ‘following only’ and not tweeting. LinkedIn has over 400 million business users and 6 million business listings. Instagram and Pinterest have a combined 400 million participating users.

You must admit a marketplace of over 3 billion people is pretty impressive.

Commentators have noted across the board that social media is producing double the leads when compared to trade shows, telemarketing, print media daily press and pay-per-click combined.

For most this phenomena is interesting and impressive. But if you’re running a small to medium business tucked away in the suburban antipodes of Australia, how can this huge upsurge help your business?

Target the whole of Australia, target your city; your location. You have immediately massively expanded your market opportunities.

In Australia there are over 14.1 million Australians aged over 18 with Facebook accounts and millions accessing other social media platforms too!. They are using  their PCs and mobile devices (smartphones, iPad etc.) to access social media.

But to take advantage of this broad market you must be ‘Social Media Optimised’. Personally I hate IT buzzwords, so what exactly does this mean? And what are the advantages of being an early adopter?

We’ve all got used to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube. 2013 saw new entries in Instagram, Pinterest and Google+ all gaining traction. Now the new frontier is video driven social media – Snapchat, Meerkat, Blab and Periscope. And with these new mediums, traditional advertising and adwords in particular are becoming less relevant. With a well-structured social media program most websites receive a very good organic ranking. And if you’re top of the page in your category then why pay the Google tax for AdWords campaigns?

Google rates video activity very highly. So adding videos in any format that accepts them and tagging them or linking them to your website is Google gold.

In the last 6 months Social Media providers like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn and YouTube have become particularly business oriented and business friendly. Facebook are pushing for businesses to add a vendor page – a page whereby this business sells its products and services. It offers specific local advertising options that can work well for small businesses.

The keyword is strategy. So, what is your is your social media strategy for your business? “The road to hell is paved with good intentions” is a well-known saying, and it applies only too well in this instance. Social Media is always on the ‘to do’ list, but like many other things, no-one gets round to doing it!

There are two options, the first option is often the simplest – outsource the task to experts; there are many companies now offering Social Media Campaigns. The second option is to create an internal staff based Social Media Campaign.

The strategy, whichever option you choose, must ultimately be based on frequency, with at least 250 to 300 words of fresh content per week via your blog page, multiple posts on Facebook weekly, frequent tweets on Twitter and videos, if possible, using YouTube, Meerkat, Periscope or Blab.

The other holy grail of marketing is reach, and you need to look at opportunities to extend this. Duplicate the content in your blogs for a company/business Newsletter and distribute to your database using a free program, such as MailChimp, linking to your Facebook page, website and blogs. On Facebook boost posts and your page weekly, you can select your targeted demographics. Charges vary, depending on the reach and location. Do the same with other Social Media like Twitter and LinkedIn.Run digital campaigns to connect with your customers, who are bound to be staring at their phones like everyone else.

This is the year of mobile enactment, the year of Social Media Optimisation and engagement. This is the year of Video enactment. This is the year for your business to develop a winning social media strategy and gain the attention and ultimately the sales it deserves.

[Michael Nelthorpe is the Marketing Director with the Marketing and Branding Company. Contact him at michael@marketingandbranding.com.au for further enquiry and information. Acknowledgement to Marna Smith, Social Media and Content Writer]