The Website Marketing Group Blog

About The Website Marketing Group Blog

Michael Doyle - Managing Director of The Website Marketing Group

After 14 years of working in this industry, every day is a new learning curve which is why I love the job.

Here are some of our findings on the “best of the web” to keep you up to date with the latest news in the Internet business strategies.

From small businesses to Australia’s leading brands across multiple sectors and disciplines, this means we know what works and what doesn’t, allowing us to deliver tangible results that benefit your business where it really matters.

Whether it is a new brand identity-logo design, a social media marketing,  a complex website, an email marketing campaign or all of the above and more, our team can deliver the solution for your business.
Contact us today on 1300 911 772.

.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Congratulations to the TWMG Team ! The Website Marketing Group has been successful in making the Smart50 for the SmartCompany Smart50 Awards 2011.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Please subscribe to our Facebook page to keep up to date with the latest news in web strategies.

Business On Messenger: Now You Can Display Your Brands On Facebook Messenger

facebook-messenger

The social media giant, Facebook, announced the opening of its Messenger apps to developers, giving them access to its third-party data.

Facebook made the announcement earlier this week at its developer conference, F8, with the social network releasing a raft of new add-ons that had already been developed for the app. More than 40 add-ons have been developed including GIFs, extra stickers and Messenger now gives users to use external apps to share content directly into the chatting area. This move takes the the service from not only an app but to a platform where developers can enter the apps ecosystem.

facebook-messenger-for-brands

Facebook’s founder Mark Zuckerberg said on the conference that the Messenger app now has 600 million users and this is an exciting next step for the app.

“Messenger Platform is a new platform that developers can use to build apps that help people connect with the more than 600 million people that use Messenger to communicate every day. By opening up Messenger as a platform we’re going to express how people express themselves in rich new ways and make their conversations better. There’s going be a lot of things we can do with Messenger platform over time, but this is a really exciting big new area and opportunity but we want to start small and focused today.”

Zuckerberg also told the conference that Facebook has plans to launch an associated service called Businesses on Messenger. This means that brands and businesses could use Messenger instead of email, meaning that brands could have conversations with people through the Messenger app, about everything from product information to potentially purchasing products through Facebook’s Messenger platform.

This move is quite similar to that of what China’s WeChat already allows, people can currently book movie tickets and taxis for the app, however with no concrete information around if this will be a paid service it is unclear if Facebook will be using Messenger for Business as another revenue stream.

This could also reignite the debate around privacy and Facebook, if the social network is allowing brands to buy their way into its app ecosystem. However, if done right brands could have a more personal and engaging conversation with its consumers. If brands get it right and there’s value in it for consumers, it will outweigh any controversy around the service.

“The cool edgy brands, the innovative brands, will be the first to play in the space because they have less to loose and more to gain. The big global brands and the family brands will sit back and wait to see how the public reacts to the data intergeneration to their personal chat app. In the long run the controversy will be swapped for utility.”

The Ultimate Guide To Create Visually Appealing Content (Infographic)

content-2015

In the era of online marketing, a visually striking content is a must.

Do you want to create content that people can’t wait to share? Are you looking for effective ways to create more fresh content easily and quickly? In this infographic, you’ll discover why visual content is so important, what types of visual content work best in social media, and the best tools and tips for creating visually appealing content.

guide-to-visually-appealing-content-infographic

Click to Enlarge

 

Local Businesses Are Getting More Positive Support From Google

google-my-business-new-2

Google is introducing a new program it’s calling Let’s Put Our Cities on the Map. This new feature (Get Your Business Online) is almost similar to Facebook’s Blueprint and Learn How sites which have launched earlier this week.

It offers resources to business owners (and potential partners) to help them get online or correct and complete their online presences. Each user who visits will see a localised version of the site (based on IP detection). In addition to various FAQs, videos and other information, Google invites business owners to search for themselves and then tells them whether their listings are present and complete. If “incomplete” it asks businesses to update their information.

google-my-business-new

Click to Enlarge

For those who are not online at all, Google is also offering a free domain and hosted website (for one year) through Startlogic. Consistent with its AdWords reseller strategy Google is also trying to reach out to local chambers of commerce and other organisations locally to assist in the effort of getting business data into Google:

“We’re also forming partnerships with local organisations (like chambers and small business development centers) and equipping them with free trainings and customised city materials to run workshops. These local partners know the challenges for local businesses more than anyone—and they recognise the value of getting businesses online.”

The Complete Social Media Glossary

social-media-content-marketing

Social media has shifted the way consumers and businesses go about their daily routines.

Unfortunately there are few, if any, could have imagined the boom that social networks have seen over the past few years, with social media becoming the number one activity on the Internet. As with any market, however, there are various terms that are unique or have special meanings within it and this post aims to help brands to become familiar with those digital jargon. You might also want to check our digital marketing glossary.

A

Aggregator – a Web-based tool or application that gathers and displays content from a variety of sources to an end-user.
Avatar – the primary image associated with a social network member’s account.

B

Board – a Pinterest feature that allows users to organize the content they have “pinned.”
Bolt – an Instagram offshoot, Bolt is a messaging app that lets users take and send photos to friends.

C

Check-In – an action that connects a person to a physical location. People can “check in” to locations on social networks like Facebook and Foursquare.
Circles – a Google+ feature that allows users to put people together into specified groups. Through this feature, Google+ users have the ability to share updates with specific groups of people in pre-defined “circles.”
Comment – a public response to a status update or other piece of content.
Community – a feature on Google+ that allows members to create niche groups where people with similar interests can interact. Communities can be made public or kept private.
Connection – people who are part of a LinkedIn user’s personal network. Similar to a Facebook “friend” or a Twitter “follower.”
CrowdPost – a proximity-based iOS social media app that connects users based on their location.

D

Dashboard – an administrative interface that typically allows users to monitor social network activity as well as take actions like sharing content.
Direct Message (DM) – a private conversation between two users on Twitter.

E

Engagement – a vague term that describes participation with a brand’s content on social networks. Typically, brands take fan and follower actions such as likes, retweets, shares and comments into consideration when measuring engagement.

F

Facebook – the world’s largest social network, with 1.23 billion monthly active users.
Facebook Audience Network – a mobile ad network that targets users in other apps using Facebooks demographic information.
Fan – a Facebook user who follows a brand or business Page.
Favorite – an action that represents a user’s approval of a piece of content on Twitter.
Filter – an image customization tool which users can leverage to change the tone and look of their photo.
Flickr – a photo sharing community that allows both amateurs and professionals to post images they have taken and receive comments and even negotiate purchases with those who are interested in the photos.
Follower – someone who has chosen to receive your tweets in their Twitter timeline.
Foursquare – a location-based social network that enables users to discover new locations and check-in, share and save places they have visited.
Friend – a Facebook connection between two people. Both parties must agree to become “friends” before a connection is made.

G

Google+ – a social network created by Google where users can share content and connect with other members. Businesses can add photos, contact information and more that will appear in Google’s search engine result pages.
Group – this feature is available on both LinkedIn and Facebook. It enables users to create a niche community where people with similar interests can communicate with each other. Similar to Google+ Communities.

H

Hangout – a feature available on Google+ that allows a group of people to have conversations and share content with each other. Users also have the ability to start video hangouts with up to 10 friends.
Hashtag – an interactive feature that allows social network users to relate a status update to a broader topic.
Handle – the name a Twitter member chooses to represent themselves. To interact with another Twitter member, users must address them with the @ symbol and the person’s handle, such as @WebsiteMagazine.

I

Influencer – a brand’s most valuable audience members. Typically, influencers are active in the social community and have the ability to sway the opinions of their followers.
Instagram – an online photo-sharing social network where users can share filtered photos and videos. Instagram is owned by Facebook.
Instagram Direct – a communication method that allows Instagram users to send photos and videos privately to another user.
Instagram Explore – a new tab that helps users discover new content that is relevant to their interests.

L

Like – an action that social network users can take to show their approval of a status update. In addition, Facebook users can “Like” pages in order to receive the Page’s status updates in their newsfeeds.
LinkedIn – a social network for professionals, users are able to post their job experience and skills, find personal and professional contacts, search for jobs, blog and much more.
LinkedIn Ads – a self-service advertising solution that allows its users to create and place ads on the LinkedIn.com website.
Lists – a curated group of Twitter users.

M

Meme – a generally recognized piece of content that typically pokes fun of a person, place or situation. Typically, memes are shared by many people and quickly go viral.
Message – a private communication method between two or more users on Facebook.
Messenger – an app to which Facebook transferred all of its messaging power. Users are able to chat with their friends in a similar manner to text messaging.

N

Newsfeed – the homepage of a social network that is continuously refreshed with activity updates from a user’s friends or followers.

P

Page – a Facebook profile for a business or a brand. Facebook users can “like” pages but they cannot be friends with pages.
Pinterest – a pinboard-style social network where users can share content and create theme-based collections.
Pin – a piece of content shared by Pinterest users.
Poke – a Facebook action that allows one user to interact with another user through a virtual “poke.”
Profile – the Web page of a social network user that displays any content that the user has shared.
Promoted Content – a way to increase the reach of a profile or a specific piece of content on social networks. Promoted content is paid for and thus an advertisement.

R

Reddit – the so-called “front page of the Internet” has hundreds of subpages (called subreddits) for various topics from Space Jam to Astronomy and Politics where users can submit posts and comments to drive discussion.
Retweet – an action that allows users to share another user’s content on Twitter.
Rich Pin – pins that feature extra content, such as a map, product pricing, recipe details and more. There are multiple types of Rich Pins, including Place Pins, Article Pins, Product Pins, Recipe Pins and Movie Pins.

S

Sentiment – the implied attitude behind user comments. Social media monitoring tools can help brands measure sentiment in order to gauge the overall perception of a company or specific marketing promotions.
Share – an action that allows someone to publish content from another source. The content is “shared” to that user’s personal social network.
Snapchat – a photo messaging mobile app that allows user to take photos or record videos and send them to selected friends. Each piece of content sent has a time limit (1-10 seconds) for viewing. After the content has been viewed it is not able to be seen again unless it is part of a Snapchat Story.
Snapcash – Snapchat users are able to send and receive money from Snapchat friends after entering their debit card information.
Snapchat Ads – Snapchat introduced its first ad in Oct. 2014. Users are able to view ads in the Stories section of the app.
Snapchat Chat – Chat enables users to have a private conversation with friends via text, snaps and previously saved videos and images.
Snapchat Discover – a storytelling feature where users are able to find Stories from a variety of sources including CNN, Comedy Central and Food Network.
Snapchat Story – Snapchat users can put content into a “story” for 24-hour viewing. Typically, stories are made up of a string of content that creates a narrative.
Social Listening – a tool that enables users to monitor and measure what is being said about a brand on social networks.
Social Login – a sign-in form which allows users to leverage their social media credentials on a third-party website instead of having to create separate login credentials.
Status Update – a piece of content shared by a social network member.
StumbleUpon – a social discovery engine that helps users discover new and unique things from across the Web through recommendations.
Subreddit – a community subpage on reddit like r/pics and r/tech that discuss relevant topics to the community.
Swarm – a social meetup app spawned from parent Foursquare that lets users check in wherever they are.
Syndicated Promoted Tweet – a promoted Tweet that can be seen off of Twitter.

T

Timeline – Facebook’s newest profile layout that display’s a user’s collection of shared content.
Trending Topic – the most popular topics currently being discussed on a social network.
Tumblr – a microblogging platform owned by Yahoo. Currently, Tumblr has more than 172 million blogs on its platform.
Tweet – a Twitter status update.
Twitter – a popular social network that allows users to post 140-character status updates.
Twitter Discover – the Discover tab enables users to find new hashtags which may be of interest to them.

U

URL Shortener – a tool that converts a long URL into a shortened version that is easier to share, especially on social networks.

V

Vine – a mobile app owned by Twitter that allows users to share short videos that play in a continuous loop.
Viral – a piece of content that is rapidly and organically shared.

W

WhatsApp – acquired by Facebook, WhatsApp is a mobile messaging app.
Word-of-Mouth Marketing – an unpaid form of promotion by a customer on behalf of a brand.

Y

YouTube – a video-sharing platform owned by Google.
YouTube Kids – specifically designed for kids, YouTube Kids has a variety of videos for kids to learn from and parental control settings to make sure kids watch only age appropriate videos.

Instagram’s New App “Layout” Is Perfect For Creating Photo Collage

instagram-new-collage-layout-1

With Layout, Instagram has taken a similar approach to collages as Hyperlapse did for time lapse videos: a simple interface with with rich features that will appeal to casual and power users alike.

If you take a lot of photos, quickly finding the ones you want can be a challenge. Instagram has included three different tabs to quickly sort your images: all, recents and faces. Faces is able to detect people in images and only displays photos that have people in them. When you add one of these to a collage, the app does another neat trick: it automatically centers the image based on the location of the face. Of course, you can always manually adjust the position of the image within the collage, but it’s a handy feature to have this automated.

instagram-new-collage-layout-2

Alternatively, you can use the “photo booth” function to take a series of rapid-fire selfies (up to four) to automatically populate your collage. This feature only work’s with your iPhone’s front-facing camera so you can’t use flash or set the time between shots, but it could be useful for spontaneous photos as well.

Once you have selected the photos and the collage style, the app automatically arranges the photos for you. This highlights one of the best parts of this app’s user experience: how simple it is tweak collages. You can rearrange the photos by dragging them around to different positions in the grid, resize the photos or make last-minute replacements with the “replace” tool.

You can also make more artistic adjustments by using the flip and mirror tools. The flip function rotates the photo upside down and the mirror function creates a reflection of the image. These sound like pretty basic image editing features (they are), but when you use them in a collage it opens up some pretty creative possibilities. For example, the collage below is actually two different images used nine times. I mirrored the photos in the far-left column to make it look like one connected landscape image, which gives the photos a look I couldn’t otherwise achieve.

When you’ve finished a collage, you can share it to Instagram or Facebook, and if you share the collage directly to Instagram, you can still add a filter or make other adjustments within that app. Notably, the app emphasizes sharing with other apps outside of Facebook’s ecosystem and you also have the ability to share it with several other apps, including Snapchat, Tumblr, Do Camera and Slack.

To find the apps you can share to, tap “more,” scroll all the way to the right and select “more” to switch on additional sharing extensions. Twitter is, predictably, absent from this list, but you can work around this by saving the collage to your camera roll (which happens automatically when you save a collage) and sharing it directly through the Twitter app.

The free app is available only iOS for now, though Instagram states an Android version is coming in the next few months.

Develop Your Content Marketing Strategy In The Right Way (Infographic)

Have you prepared your best content marketing strategy?

Content marketing is one of the fastest growing marketing strategies. Fueled by an increasingly media-rich and capable web technology, your customers are craving for compelling and engaging content. Are you prepared? Will you capture their attention or just simply left behind? Take a look at the following infographic to find out more.

developing-content-marketing-strategy-infographic

Click to Enlarge

 

Facebook Is Incorporating Money Transferring Feature To Messenger

facebook-money-transfer

Following Snapchat’s move, Facebook has released a new way for friends to send each other money without having to leave its Messenger app.

To take advantage of this new feature, users must first add either a Visa or MasterCard debit card to their Facebook account. Then, for an added layer of security, users also have the option to create a PIN or, if they are on an iOS device, enable Touch ID.

Once users have their payment information entered into Messenger, the process to send friend money is simple: just tap the “$” icon while in a message thread and enter the amount of money you want to send. Recipients of the payment do not have to do anything to receive their money unless they do not have their debit card information already stored on Messenger in which case they must do so before receiving the payment.

The feature will be released across Android, iOS and desktop.

LinkedIn Job Search Is Available On Google Play

linkedin-and-coffee-cup

Just last year LinkedIn launched its official Job Seeker app for iOS, now the company has revealed a similar app for Android.

The world of job seeking can be time consuming. From secretly stalking the open requirements page of your dream company to sending endless applications into the black hole of online job listings, your job search can quickly begin to feel like a job in and of itself.

Enter the brand new LinkedIn Job Search app for Android, a one-stop shop for Android users’ job seeking needs. The app brings all of the features iOS members have come to rely on with their app counterpart, but was built from the ground up specifically for the Android experience. The app features left and right hand navigation menus and an action bar at the top of all main pages so you’re never more than a tap away from discovering your next career move.

The LinkedIn Job Search app for Android provides users with the same features the iOS app offers, including customisable search and recommended jobs. That said, the app was created specifically for Android, as it features left and right-hand navigation menus and an action bar at the top of all main pages.

linkedin-job-search-on-android

According to LinkedIn’s announcement, more than 40%t of the social network’s members are already leveraging its Job Search Apps. The app is currently available in all English-speaking countries in the Google Play store.

“Having your job search at your fingertips can help the entire experience feel more manageable. Whether you’re on Team iOS or Android, let LinkedIn do the heavy lifting for you. We’re here to help you get hired.”

Four Maturity Levels Of Content Marketing (Infographic)

brand-publisher-1

Content marketing has become one of the primary needs of every modern business. The question is, how far can you push the boundary?

Experienced marketers understand that fresh and legitimate content is one of the most important ways to engage with both loyal customers and prospects. However, developing and planning the most appropriate assets intended for customer consumption can be challenging (and confusing at times) if there is no solid content marketing strategy in place.

In the following infographic, you will get a quick guide to assessing your business’s content marketing based on its maturity level. Question your competencies and sophistication around areas such as creating buyer personas, editorial calendars, audits and analysis. This is the only way where you can discover solutions that will help you plan the content that will most resonate with your customer base and achieve your business objectives.

content-marketing-maturity-level-infographic

Click to Enlarge

 

How To Become A Successful Brand Publisher

brand-publisher-2

What does it take to become a brand publisher?

A brand publisher has solid processes and structures that allow its team to create the types of brand content needed in a repeatable and scalable way.

Let’s face it: Magazines like Vogue and newspapers like The New York Times didn’t become successful without operating as a well-oiled machine. They didn’t sometimes publish content. They didn’t sometimes have all the resources in place. And they didn’t sometimes follow writing guidelines.

Many brands struggle to figure out how to create that type of operation – how to establish the best in-house structure to develop content and devote the necessary time and people to the publishing division of the brand.

In today’s post, you will learn the steps you need to take to be a successful brand publisher. They will help you lay a foundation in terms of the roles, processes, and guidelines to support your content house as you scale from small to large.

Team

Start small (think party of one) and scale from there; it’s just a matter of understanding the skill sets and roles, when to bring in more staff, and how to divide one person’s role into many.

Let’s take a closer look at the three necessary roles on your brand publishing team.

1. Editor-in-Chief

Ideally suited for someone who has his or her finger on the pulse of your industry, this editor role oversees the creative direction for all of your brand’s content. In a niche vertical, you also may need someone with hands-on experience in the thing you do to create better-quality, more-informed content.

The person in this role should be well versed in the brand so every piece of content created in the department is informed and relevant, and upholds the brand. This person also orchestrates the editorial calendar and makes the assignments.

Tip for success: As the editorial director, this person must work closely with the brand’s executive team to understand the company’s business strategy and goals, then align the content with those objectives.

2. Writer or Brand Journalist

Think of the writer (writers as you scale) as the brand journalist, someone who finds and tells the stories that are happening at your company.

The brand journalist goes out into the field at the editor-in-chief’s direction, meeting with people, listening and observing at meetings, and extracting the stories on the topics assigned.

With the right access to the right people and resources, good brand journalists should be able to communicate a subject well – even if they don’t have direct experience in the industry. However, industry knowledge certainly helps.

Tip for success: From the top on down, the brand must communicate why the brand journalists exist so the staff understands why they see these professionals embedded in meetings, for example, and accepts their requests for interviews and information.

3. Administrative Support

A publishing department involves quite a bit of administrative and operational work. You need someone who can help manage the day-to-day activities, including setting meetings, uploading and publishing blog posts, making edits to the editorial calendar, coordinating design work, managing people and paperwork, etc.

Tip for success: Many brands, particularly those on a smaller scale, rely on the same person who writes to administer the content program. That can be a mistake. You can see how all those administrative responsibilities could hinder the productivity of a good editor or writer.

These are the three basic roles or functions required for the foundation of a publishing team. As you scale, you can add more staff to expand productivity and add positions with more granular responsibilities such as assistant editors, research assistants, etc.

Guidelines

After you have a team in place, the first thing a brand publisher needs to do is establish guidelines for content creation. This means:

  • Creating a publishing process: a framework for content creation.
  • Establishing a content lexicon: the brand’s definitions of content-specific terms.
  • Defining style guidelines and editorial procedures: the bible or master guide.

Publishing process

Workflow needs to be established, indicating who does what, when they do it, and how. The editor maps each phase of content creation from research to writing, reviewing, and publishing.

The process must include the answers to questions such as:

  • What does the writing process look like?
  • How does the writer get the information he or she needs?
  • Where and when will the writer sit in on meetings?
  • How will writers schedule interviews?
  • Who gets the first draft and who reviews it?
  • How does the review and editing process work?
  • What sorts of rules are in place for editing between the editorial department and other internal stakeholders?
  • What happens when a completed piece is ready for publication?

Tip for success: Consider assigning writers like traditional media does – give them a “beat,” an industry or topic that they are responsible for covering.

Establishing a publishing process isn’t a one-time event. It will develop over time by trial and error within each unique business culture.

Content Lexicon

Do you know what the CEO means when she says she wants a white paper? Does she know what she means when she says that? If there hasn’t been any formal education around what a content asset actually is, people have incongruent ideas that could become problematic later in the process.

It’s extremely important to get clear from the start on the lexicon of your content-asset library. Create a content lexicon for every content asset that could be created for the brand. With each type of content, write down:

  • Name of the content asset
  • Purpose of this type of content
  • General length, approach
  • Tone
  • Style framework
  • Cases when and where it would be used

Tip for success: Get as granular as you need to. Instead of just naming and describing one type of blog post, break it down into all the possible types of posts, such as:

  • In-depth
  • Reviews
  • News
  • Opinion
  • How-to

This lexicon should be your editorial procedures manual.

Style Guidelines and Editorial Procedures

In traditional media, journalists follow the AP Stylebook. In colleges, many follow The Chicago Manual of Style or MLA style. These established style guides set standards and consistency for writing.

With a professional style guide chosen, you have a good starting point and a professional guide to which you can refer when trying to decide whether to use “adviser” versus “advisor” or whether to use the serial comma.

However, your brand has its own style, too. And sometimes that style overrides the guidelines in your chosen standard stylebook. For example, AP Style treats Charity: Water with proper-name capitalization. But the non-profit spells it as “charity: water.” That difference would be noted in its custom style guide as an exception to the standard guide.

In addition to a style guide focused on spelling and punctuation, you need an editorial procedures manual – to help create a consistent feel and approach for your content across the brand’s business units and content creators, from in-house staff and outside vendors.

When creating the manual, you should work with those in charge of the brand to flesh out the do’s and don’ts such as “don’t ever mention this competitor’s name in any content.”

Editorial procedures template

Here is a sample of what information could be contained in an editorial procedures manual:

  • Brand and editorial mission.
  • Professional style guide used.
  • Brand’s style guide, including common terms used in the industry, preferred spelling and punctuation (that differentiate from the standard style guide) and preferred references of brand products and services.
  • Documentation for all content procedures, such as how to create a newsletter, how to write for the blog, how to format the blog, how to create a press release, how to publish a case study and how to secure review and approval.
  • Collection of executive biographies – short and long versions
  • Logo and brand guidelines and usage
  • Geographic-specific guidelines if applicable.

Tip for success: The editorial process manual should be considered a living document. It shouldn’t belong to any one person so that it can remain a staple facet in communication no matter who is in the department.

Conclusion

Becoming a successful brand publisher is about building something from the ground up that can operate as its own venture within your company. It requires putting in place the people, processes, and procedures to ensure your content is high quality, consistent, and aligned with the brand. When you create that kind of experience, you firmly stake your claim in the brand publishing world.