Content Collective 2015

The ad:tech Content Collective 2015 was created to give marketers the tools, strategies and actionable insight to evolve their businesses and create better and more effective content marketers. The 2015 Content Collective event will give marketers an understanding of the most effective tactics to utilize, along with the best platforms to use across a single day program comprised of keynotes, discussion panels and fireside chats that will allow participants to network and share their knowledge with marketing experts.

Intelligent Online Marketing Content – Avoid Over-Selling And Repelling

Intelligent Online Marketing Content – Avoid Over-Selling And Repelling

Whether you’re a sole trader or large-scale enterprise, newsletters, blogs, articles and other less intrusive forms of communication are highly beneficial marketing tools. These mostly online information channels not only provide the chance to engage, enlighten and entertain your target audience, but also add brand firepower to your business and its offerings.

“Blogging is a communications mechanism handed to us by the long tail of the internet.” (Tom Foremski, blogger)

Balance Is Critical To Online Marketing Content

An online presence is essential to just about every business in today’s ‘all-things digital’ marketplace. Few would argue that leveraging the many online marketing mediums often nurtures a steady flow of new and unexpected business opportunities. Yet it’s as much about maintaining a healthy balance of discretion vs. direct selling in your online marketing content, as it is about consistently using these digital channels.

“Your top of the funnel content must be intellectually divorced from your product but emotionally wed to it.” (Joe Chernov, Hubspot)

As Is A Sense Of Addressing Reader Needs

Obviously the purpose of online marketing content is to sell your brand. But most readers don’t want to feel submerged in ‘all about you’ data, particularly when it’s solely focused on winning their business. They’re far more likely to feel optimistic towards your business and its offerings if you’ve left them feeling informed and possibly even amused. Learn and understand what the common needs are within your target audience, and keep on subtly addressing them via your marketing tools.

Blogs, Newsletters And Articles Are Highly Effective

This is where blogs, newsletters and other intermittent online communications can play a pivotal role in your business marketing strategy – mediums where the reader chooses their level of engagement. With this in mind, below are some of the key reasons why these less intrusive online marketing tools are beneficial to your business.

You’ll be top-of-mind but not in-your-face: Sending out the occasional, industry-relevant newsletter, blog and article is a more subtle way of keeping customers and other followers up-to-date and interested. Think of this marketing ploy as the polite way of staying in touch without anyone feeling pressured or pestered.

In addition, the more you’re writing and posting online marketing content, the more likely it is that at least some of what you’re saying is going to resonate with readers. Once such an association has been established, they’re more likely to take notice of and remember the products/services you’re offering.

Your confidence will grow alongside industry awareness: As part of your online marketing content strategy, it’s highly beneficial to research what your competitors are writing about and to keep track of the latest trends and needs via industry publications, group postings, etc. With this up-to-date information at hand, you’ll likely to feel more confident and assured that what you’re writing about in your own online content is relevant and contemporary.

Perceived industry expertise attracts and sells: Consistent posting of newsletters, blogs and articles is also an ideal marketing channel for showcasing your depth of knowledge and your passion towards your areas of expertise. Don’t feel you have to ‘reinvent the wheel’ every time you write online marketing content, but be sure to do your research and put your own spin on each topic.

It gives you a chance to reflect and recognise: Whether it’s for a monthly company newsletter or a fortnightly website blog (or both), putting together online marketing content generally requires reflection and collaboration. All marketing strategies need a plan, and coming up with topics and news to include is often an opportunity to sit back and contemplate where your business has been and where it’s going.

You never know, previously unacknowledged milestones and goals may emerge and shine as you constructively write about them.

Your past and present customers will feel connected: Keeping readers up-to-date and aware of what’s going on in your business will possibly make them feel more involved. In addition, online marketing content written in a conversational tone is more likely to achieve longer and stronger connections – personalised language has a global appeal.

“Good writing is good conversation, only more so.” (Ernest Hemingway, author)

We live in an era where social and other media are continually relaying information, so adding a personal touch could be your business’s differentiator. As part of this, strive for one-on-one engagement with readers who acknowledge or comment on what you’ve written.

Greater online interaction equates to higher search rankings: The more interactive you are online (e.g. social media, electronic publications, websites), the more ‘electronically popular’ you’re likely to become. An online marketing strategy involving multi-platform blogs and articles can increase your audience spread and lead to improved search engine recognition.

Use your online channels to make announcements: Newsletters and blogs are ideal marketing tools for announcing something noteworthy that has occurred in your business. For instance, a new product you’ve introduced or a new team member who adds something different to the business.

When relaying such news via your online marketing content, just be sure to make it relatable to the reader, such as how this change/event will benefit and address their needs.

So What Can You Do?

Employing a multi-faceted, intelligent and engaging marketing strategy – including taking advantage of the many online marketing mediums – will enhance your brand reach and appeal. There are no doubt times where direct marketing is relevant (e.g. among current customers), but there are also times where more subtle marketing via newsletters, blogs, articles, etc. is applicable. Use a range of online marketing content to grow your customer base and increase your brand presence.


About the Author

Jeanette Walton is the founder of Walton’s Words. Walton’s Words provides freelance writing and editing across a wide spectrum of genres, industries and document types. From thoroughly editing book manuscripts and corporate reports to collaboratively writing career-selling resumes and business-selling marketing content, concise and effective communications are guaranteed (including keyword optimisation). Described as “having a sixth sense for weaving all the information together”, Walton’s Words thrives on producing communications that impact and engage with the target audience.


From the big names in broadcasting, technology, and top­-end production companies, to content creatives and innovative startups, NET-WORK-PLAY connects you with the best minds in the factual content creation and content delivery industries today.

NET-WORK-PLAY is presented by AIDC Ltd, a 27 year old peak organisation for the factual film and television industries. AIDC’s annual events have a strong reputation for bringing the Australian and international factual content industry together for an extensive conference program and marketplace.

Leading up to the 2015 event the direction of the event is changing to stay current in an era of media convergence, with a focus on content, technology and entrepreneurship. AIDC defines ‘content’ as television and streaming product, with an emphasis on documentary, specialist factual, factual entertainment and unscripted programs. AIDC’s 2015 event is called NET-WORK-PLAY.

Problogger: The Visual Blog – Donna Moritz

Problogger: The Visual Blog – Donna Moritz

Donna Moritz is a social media strategist and visual marketing specialist based in Queensland, Australia. She’s passionate about word of mouth marketing and content strategy and she loves visual social media. Her blog, Socially Sorted, won the Best Australian Business Blog for 2014, and she is a regular contributor for some of the biggest business and social media websites in the world, including Social Media Examiner and Entrepreneur Online.

Visual Connectivity

According to Moritz, human beings are hardwired to engage with images from the moment we are born. We’ve been doing this for centuries: right back to when the Egyptians hand carved hieroglyphs onto the walls of the pyramids to tell their stories. So, naturally, we engage with them much faster than written content; it takes us just 13 milliseconds to process an image. This means that we make decisions, based on visual content, very quickly.

And the social media stats prove it: Facebook has 350 million photos uploaded daily; a Tweet that includes an image is twice as likely to be retweeted as one without; and people using Pinterest are 15 times more likely to buy a product than Facebook users.

Blogging and Visual Content

Mortiz tells us that, as bloggers, we all need to be creating visual content that lives on our blogs. After all, as the saying goes,

“Don’t build your castle on the shifting sands of social media. Build it on the strong foundations of your blog.”

Moritz encourages bloggers to think of visual content as the Tardis of their blog (as in the Dr Who Tardis – it looks small from the outside, but underneath its chock full to the brim with content). Readers are still looking to click through to awesome written content from visual content. So, you need to make sure that there is some substance behind the pretty pictures that you share on social media. You need to be sure that your visual content is taking readers back to your blog, back to your strong home-base.

Donna Moritz
Image courtesy of

Tips for Visual Content Creation

  • The biggest, most important piece of advice when it comes to visual content: ensure that it is new, that it is original. Create new content for people to share. Don’t be just the same as everyone else. Create differently.
  • f you want to talk to people while they consumer their entertainment, then you have to actually be their entertainment. So, try to think natively about how people are using content on different platforms. Take your readers with you on the journey.
  • Quotes and funny photos work well on Facebook, because when people are on Facebook, they are usually connecting with friends and family. They are looking for nostalgia, humour, light entertainment.
  • Make visual content snackable. Visual content should be just a quick snapshot of the more detailed content available behind it. It should be easily processed, and digested.
  • When creating visual content, think about it from the perspective of your audience: if I click on this image, how will it improve my life, or entertain me? Be useful, not just pretty.
  • Be clear on where you are sending traffic when someone clicks on your visual content. If you don’t, they’ll end up on someone else’s blog.
  • Remember that reach means nothing without the attention of the eyeballs.
  • Content that is perfect for sharing in a visual form includes quotes, tips, how tos and checklists.

Visual Content Creation Tools

According to Moritz, her top three essential image creation tools include:

  • For use on a desktop or laptop: Canva and Picmonkey
  • For use on a smartphone: WordSwag and LIttle Moments App on iphone and Over on iPhone and Android.
  • For Infographics: Piktochart. This tool has a whole swag of templates that can be easily customized for colour, images, branding, logos and style and layout.

Take Action

Mortiz encouraged the bloggers in the audience to take some action as a result of her incredibly insightful presentation:

  • Start by doing a Pinterest source check. You can do this by simply Googling
  • Think about visual content differently. Work out exactly how you can start creating even one type of original visual content. This might be just one image per day, or an infographic, or a presentation on slideshare. Whatever that piece of content is, be sure to think of it in terms of how it can be useful to your audience and how it will drive traffic to your blog.
  • Visit your website and your blog, pretending that you are a reader. Visit it both from a desktop, a laptop, and a mobile. Is it easily navigable (particularly on a mobile device)? Is the content easy to share? Do your social media sharing buttons actually work?
  • Start experimenting a brand new tool. You could choose Canva, PicMonkey, or WordSwag. Use them to create an original image or two, and then share these on your blog. Monitor the response, and the sharing momentum. See how far they go.
  • Step back, take a deep breath and try to work out what the special spark of your blog actually is. What is that your readers respond to? What do you most enjoy? Focus on those topics and work how you can generate some visual content in these areas.
An Interview with Tim Washer: Taking Your Content From Boring to Found

An Interview with Tim Washer: Taking Your Content From Boring to Found

Earlier this year, Tim Washer gave an inspiring address at Content Marketing World in Sydney. It gave hope to all corporate, cubicle-bound B2B marketers: it really is OK to add a dash of humour to your storytelling. Today, we bring you a round up of Washer’s speech, but first, an interview with the man himself.

Tim Washer is a Webby-nominated producer, event emcee and social media keynote speaker. He served a vice president of IPG’s NFO Interactive division, and as head of social video for IBM where he helped to launch the Smarter Planet campaign. Today, he is the Social Media Senior Manager at Cisco System. His comedy credits include Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, Conan O’Brien, SNL and The Onion Sports Network. Tim’s work has been featured in Ad Age, ADWEEK, FastCompany, and The New York Times.

An Interview with Tim Washer

1. How has the value of content changed over the last 10 years?

For content, not much has changed in the last 10 years except that in February 2004, ‘The Facebook’ was launched. Then in April 2005, the first video was uploaded to YouTube. The modern day marketer now has to think like a TV Network executive, and focus on developing programming that will captivate viewers.

My hope is that we’ll return to the golden era of branded content. Deep down inside, we all long for more classic industrial musicals, like GE appliance’s “I’ve Got a Wide Range of Features.”

2. What is the most important factor for content marketing success?

Content should compel the audience to take the next step. It might simply be watching a video that creates awareness. Or registering for a webcast. I’m also a big fan of dedicating a small portion of the content mix to showing appreciation to customers. Share a small gift of entertainment without pushing a “call to action.”

3. What do you think are some of the most effective uses of content marketing? What is it that makes these examples effective?

Jay Baer pointed me to Lowe’s #FixInSix Vine series. It’s a perfect example of what Jay calls ‘Youtility’, answering customers’ questions with a fun-to-watch six second video.

I loved Volvo’s Epic Split video, although I didn’t ‘click to buy’ a diesel truck. But the full series demonstrates that if you don’t have an interesting story to tell, go with spectacle.

We experimented by improvising a short scene with our CIO customers in a restaurant. It was a chance to create something different than the typical executive interview.

Simplicity and humour can create content brilliance and impressive metrics, but don’t expect to earn 180,000 Facebook ‘likes’ with a three-word post.

A touch of humour, a touch of humanity

By his own admission, Washer has worked the majority of his life in B2B. So, he is acutely aware of the prevailing viewpoint of most B2B marketers. The much higher price points lead to a longer, more complex sales cycle run by committees. We feel that our marketing must match that complexity and be serious. Boring.

Before we go any further, stifle that sigh of despair. There is a shining beacon of hope. According to Washer, in marketing for non-consumer brands (just as in marketing for consumer brands), we are really just communicating with people. So, there is no need for boredom. It’s OK, in fact, it’s better than OK, to make your audience laugh.

“If you can make someone laugh, that’s the best, the closest, kind of relationship that you can forge with someone, without getting a call from HR,” says Washer.

We should all be telling stories with a touch of humour, a touch of humanity.

The Cisco Case Study

Case in point: Cisco was set to launch a brand new, whizz bang industrial router, sold only to large service providers like Telstra. It’s price tag started around USD 80,000. The team wanted an interesting, entertaining marketing campaign, pushed out via YouTube. With a launch date of February 9, they cleverly positioned the router as the perfect Valentine’s Day gift for your lover.

And that was it. An amusing YouTube video. And yet, the response was amazing. The New York Times wrote it up, and then it filtered down into the technology trade magazines; where Cisco’s core audience and core buyers picked up on it.

Making someone laugh is a powerful thing.

“If you can entertain someone and if you can make them laugh, they’ll share your story for you,” says Washer. Laughter helps you recruit a team of marketers along the way.

This was certainly true in the case of Cisco’s video. David Meerman Scott included the case study in his bestselling book, Real Time Marketing. This got Cisco’s video in front of a much wider audience and, as a result, CC Chapman presented it as a case study at a bloggers conference. Cisco got even more airtime.

The IBM Case Study

IBM also told its story with a touch of humour, and a touch of humanity, in the Smarter Planet Campaign. When the campaign was launched, IBM was still developing solutions. The team focused on the problem that IBM wanted to solve: challenges around food transportation, and the fact that we don’t really know what’s going on from food to fork.

The result was this hilarious, captivating video.

A hot tip from Washer: sometimes when he starts with a script, he thinks about what factoid is fascinating, and most likely to be tweeted. And then he builds the script around that. In the case of IBM’s video, it was the statistic that food loss and wastage between field and fork can be as high as 50%.

Drivers of Boring

Complexity and Redundancy

The first driver of boring is complexity. Washer contends that there is an inverse correlation between the number of PowerPoint slides you have in your presentation, and the knowledge you have about your topic. Editing is tough.

But one of the biggest contributors to being boring is redundancy. So, Washer suggests that marketers should be writing every day. Write at least one blog post every day. Even if you don’t publish it. Then go back and edit it, removing all information that isn’t absolutely necessary, that is even mildly redundant. It will go a long way towards making you more interesting.

The Committee

The second driver of boring is the committee. Washer points out that this is not a blanket statement, not all committees foster boring. Sometimes though, a committee can take a marketing team in the wrong direction.

“While committees are supposed to be about creativity and collaboration, sometimes they end up being about taking credit, placing blame, and reducing risk. That’s not where you want your creative idea to live,” says Washer.


While Washer believes that analysis is important, and that you need to know your audience, he does not think that writing specifically for them is the best approach. An audience shouldn’t completely drive an idea. Rather, marketers need to come up with their own stuff, develop their own voice.


Be careful not to let fear get in the way of a good story. We all have this inner critic, this little voice in our head that tells you that your idea is rubbish, that it’s not funny, that it won’t work.

Instead of hiding under the covers, Washer encourages marketers to run after the idea that petrifies them most. “The idea that scares you the most, that’s the one you’ve got to take. And part of it is it’s just because that’s going to lead you to an experience that you’ve never explored before in your life. And that’s why it scares you. When you come up with an idea that you fear, listen to it and write down immediately. Pay attention to it and stay with it,” says Washer.

Story Telling Inspiration


The proverbial writers block should not be a barrier to storytelling in marketing. Washer suggests that we look for stories of invention as well as stories of failure. The emotion of failure is incredibly powerful, according to Washer. It is right up there with humour. Everyone has failed at some time in their lives, so if you tell your story well, people will be able to connect with it on a personal level. Of course, as a company, you can’t just leave it there. You need to demonstrate how you’ve learnt from the mistake, how it has helped you create the new, improved model. You need to end on a high note.

Washer’s Rugged Router story for Cisco does this well.


Every company, and every industry, has a history. A history brimming with people, and characters, all with their own stories. Look at using some of these for the basis of your next storytelling campaign. Washer produced a documentary series, “The Network Effect,” partnering with a top industry influencer, Steven Shepard, as narrator. It was recognized as a Webby Honoree last year, and broadcast on television.

The Suits

In a B2B environment, getting the suits involved in blogging, content marketing, and social media can be tough. Washer reckons that the easiest way to get the suits on-board is get them to stop thinking about work. Instead, ask them what they like to do on the weekend, what their hobbies are, and get them blogging about that. “Let them find what they love to do and what they have opinions on and teach them in that – lead them in that direction,” says Washer.

For instance, when one of Cisco’s executives was planning a road show to visit customers in Asia Pacific, one of Washer’s teammates, Deb Strickland, suggested a video series. This particular executive is a foodie. So, the team suggested that she begin each video with the restaurant she was eating at for dinner. She explained the local culture, customs, and what sights she’d seen that day. Then she talked about what she learned from her meetings, the business challenges the clients were facing, and how Cisco was going to help them. Washer’s biggest piece of advice to this executive, “It will be easier to keep the video conversational if you don’t mention Cisco, or our products. Avoid saying words like ‘collaboration’ or ‘innovation’ or anything that rhymes with those. If the tone is the same as your phone call home to your family, the video will be very inviting, and bring in a new audience. We can use the blog to link back to more solution-specific information.” The video series was a hit on the Service Provider online community. One TED speaker shared the video on his Facebook page, commenting “She talks about her food adventures and Malaysian hip-hip. What a great way to engage with customers, partners and employees”

Washer’s Simple Tips for Professional Videos

  1. Convert your smart phone into a video production studio. Buy a tripod for your smartphone. That way, you can use it to do quick, impromptu interviews, with reduced shaking.
  2. Turn your phone horizontally. Take photos and videos in landscape view. They look better on Facebook, and when you convert the video to HD, it is already in 16:9 ratio.
  3. Download YouTube Capture. The app makes shooting and editing videos simple.
  4. A lavalier microphone (a lapel mic) that plugs directly into your phone will vastly improve the sound and reduce background noise. Your audience will put up with less than perfect video, but not poor quality audio.

SEO 101: Google Ranking Factors for 2014

SEO is still going strong – many had predicted it to be dead over the last 18 months, notably with the advent of Social & Online Reputation and the diminishing value of links into Google’s algorithm. Truth is that 2014 still sees a major need for page and website optimisation in order to rank well. What should be your focus in 2014?

Albeit it had been said numerous times SEO is a thing of the past, it actually is not the case. Yes, websites can rank with little to no on-page optimization but if you are aiming at that sweet first ranking spot, brush off your skills and focus on what works in 2014¹: a combination of technical brilliance, incredible content, top notch usability and first class branding.

Technical brilliance:

  • Your website must load in less than three seconds. If it’s too slow, your visitors will click away. If it’s way too slow, your online visibility will suffer. Search Engines will not display your website on their first page if they know its catastrophic loading time frustrates users. Test your website loading time² from different locations and see for yourself. Slow loading times are usually triggered by too many blocking JavaScripts or large files – your web developer will be able to tackle those.
  • You need a responsive design – so your pages are perfectly visible on any support (phone, tablet). No need for a dedicated mobile website anymore (which solves potential issues of having multiple websites to update or to promote).

Incredible content:

  • Write around your business and be the expert in your industry! Bring insights, take a stance, solve problems – there are many ways to create great content online; something that will prove popular to your users and Search Engines alike. Don’t rehash last year’s data – create something new and unique that will make Google rank your website higher in the search results page.
  • Forget about individual keywords to focus on – build your content around keyword clusters. Clusters are groups of keywords around a similar topic, including synonyms. Search Engines know about synonyms and they will assess which page of your site should rank for which key phrase.

Top-notch usability:

  • Review your website and make sure it’s perfectly clear for every user what you expect from them. Don’t sit on your pages: they have a purpose – craft them around it. Test and measure, refine and start again.
  • Measure everything – using a tool like Google Analytics will allow you to gain incredible insights on how your website performs and how users interact with it. Implement A/B testing on your pages and see how they work for you.

First class branding:

  • Where should your business be listed? And where does it have to be listed? The most valuable links will come from websites that show a relevant relationship with yours. The value and importance of the page on which the incoming link is posted matters tremendously.
  • Links are important, and so is how your brand is perceived online. This will affect your visibility and your rankings. Monitor what’s being said and react – never take it personally. The sentiment around your brand is crucial to its online success – and is worthy of all your efforts

The key aspect here is value. Your website has a purpose – it has been built to convey a message, to convert users, to generate leads, and to drive brand awareness.

The following questions need to be asked when considering the Google ranking factors for 2014:

  • What is its added value?
  • How can you make sure your pages bring something to the Internet as a whole?
  • Does your website solve problems?
  • Is your brand trustable?

Optimise your website around your key strengths – this is how you will reap SEO benefits in 2014.



Are You a Rule Breaker? Content Marketing’s 80-20 Rule

Are You a Rule Breaker? Content Marketing’s 80-20 Rule

According to a number of social media commentators, there’s a storm (in a teacup) brewing about the 80-20 rule of content marketing.

(For those of you that don’t know what content marketing is, here it is in a nutshell: it’s all about creating compelling, informative and entertaining content, tailored to meet the needs of your audience. Think blog posts, online articles and the like. What you are reading right this very minute constitutes content marketing. Also, check out our previous article What Is Content Marketing? for a quick refresher.)

Derek Halpern of Social Triggers sparked the debate with this article. According to him, marketers should spend 20% of their precious time creating content and the remaining 80% distributing that content.

“It’s smarter to find another 10,000 people to consume what you’ve already created as opposed to creating more. Or, in other words, create content 20% of the time. Spend the other 80% of the time promoting what you created,” Halpern contends.

There is some truth to what Halpern has to say. What’s the point in spending the same amount of time creating ten blog posts – each read by 1,000 people – when you can create one blog post, and have it read by 10,000 people? That’s an extra 9,000 pairs of eyeballs. Makes sense, doesn’t it?

But then, Mark Schaefer weighed in. He’s not so convinced about the whole 80-20 rule. In fact, he went so far as to call it a myth. According to Mr Schaefer, we all need to do the sums. If you compose two blog posts a week, spending perhaps six hours writing this content, that means you need to spend another 24 hours promoting this content. If, like the rest of us, you are trying to run a small business, you simply won’t have a spare 30 hours a week.

Instead, Mr Schaefer contends that you should spend your time gold plating your content. He reckons that, “Only quality builds a loyal audience. Only a loyal audience creates business benefits.”

I kind of tend to agree. Personally, I’d prefer to read a really well-put-together blog post than have it repurposed and shoved down my throat on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest and so on and so forth.

Then Heidi Cohen chimed in. She reckons the rule should be more like 50-50, than 80-20. That is, content needs to re-purposed to suit the medium. Marketers can’t just regurgitate exactly the same content for every platform. It needs to be tailored somewhat. It might be that an article headline is tweaked. Or that you use different images to appeal to the different audiences that view different social media channels.

“The truth is that there’s more to the 80-20 Content Marketing Rule debate than content creation versus content distribution. The reality is that marketers can no longer place the same piece of content across multiple media entities the way the Mad Men did with traditional advertising,” states Heidi.

The main thing is not to get too hung up on any one person’s point of view. Content marketing, as a concept, is still in its infancy. Even the experts are still working out how it all works. And that’s what you should do. Figure out what rule (or what percentage) works best for you, for your product, your company, your audience. Then go with that. And, if it doesn’t work, just remember: rules are made to be broken.




Top 10 Articles From 2013

Top 10 Articles From 2013

Here at, we believe that before we can commit to New Year’s resolutions and plan for the year ahead, we must take stock of the year that was. In this spirit of reflection, we thought we would take a look at the most popular articles of 2013.

So, just in case you missed them, we’ve put together a summary of the 10 most popular articles of 2013. Unlike every flashback sit-com episode ever compiled, our 2013 retrospective is sure to educate, inform or, at the very least, entertain.

7 Free Marketing Budget Templates

Not only did this little gem of an article include seven ready-to-download marketing budget templates, it also provided some valuable introductory information on compiling marketing budgets. Our article ran through what a marketing budget actually is, why every company needs one, and how to compile one. Read more:

Australian Social Media Statistics 2012 vs 2013

Based on David Cowling’s website,, this article explored the changing landscape of Australian social media. Most notably, the statistics indicated that the number of active Australian social media users had increased by 14% in the twelve months since July 2012. Facebook and YouTube were still the favourite platforms for Aussies, with Instagram experiencing a 68% usage increase, Tumblr had a 52% usage increase, and LinkedIn had a 27% increase. Read more:

27 Ways To Improve Your Content

Content is King. Or so the marketing world told us in 2013. This article included 27 ways to make your content king among kings. These tips ranged from making content scannable and using a conversational tone, to using keywords, anecdotes and case studies. With content marketing set to explode in 2014, if you haven’t already read this article, make it a priority. Read more:

2013’s Best Marketing Campaigns

As the headline suggests, this article featured the top marketing campaigns that us Aussies were privy to in 2013. In no particular order, the campaigns included Dove’s Real Beauty Sketches, Metro’s Dumb Ways to Die and Devondale’s Soy After Taste Face. If for no other reason, we suggest that you check out this article (and accompanying video) out for the giggle-worthy bloke in Devondale’s campaign. Read more:

Harnessing The Power Of Pricing

One of our more academic offerings for 2013, this article explored the importance of pricing within the realm of marketing. It contended that pricing is essential to product positioning. The marketing campaign for an expensive, luxury vehicle (think Mercedes) will be completely different to a cheap and cheerful car brand (like, say a Suzuki). It went on to explore three main pricing strategies: mark-up pricing, target-return pricing and perceived value pricing. Read more:

Australia’s Generous Gen Y’s

Based on research conducted by Optus RockCorps (a partnership that rewards volunteer work with tickets to live concerts), the editorial explored the volunteering habits of Gen Ys (those people between 1980 and 1994). According to Optus RockCorps, Gen Ys donate more than 192 million hours to Australian charities annually, equating to around $3.1 billion. Surprisingly, this makes Gen Ys (often labelled self-obsessed) Australia’s most charitable generation. Read more:

7 Fantastic Australian Facebook Pages To Inspire

With the objective of inspiring Facebook greatness, this article highlighted seven of Australia’s foremost Facebook pages. The success of all these pages was built on community engagement and effective communication. We won’t leave you hanging any longer. The seven pages belonged to: Lorna Jane, David Jones, Bonds, Kogan, Masterchef Australia, Cadbury Dairy Milk Australia and, last but by no means least, Coles. Read more:

Outsourcing Is Not Just For Global Companies

Penned by one of our contributors, David Iwanow, this article demonstrated the worth of outsourcing business activities, to enable you to focus on running your business. David covered a range of outsourcing websites, including Elance, Freelancer, oDesk, 99Designs, CrowdFlower, Get A Coder, Copify and Textbroker. Read more:

Top 10 Promotional Tactics

This list included our top ten promotional tactics, designed to boost your sales figures. Our tactics ranged from cumulative discounts and product giveaways to free shipping and sponsorships deals. It even delved into the world of social media promotional tactics, featuring Facebook special offers. Read more:

How are Australian Marketing Budgets Being Spent In 2013

Simon O’Day, Vice President Responsys Asia Pacific, kindly lent his expertise to this interview. Our interview explored the data presented in the Responsys global annual Marketing Budgets Report. The report revealed that 71% of companies planned to increase digital marketing spend, but that the biggest challenge to digital investment was company culture. Read more:



How to Spend Your Marketing Budget in 2014

How to Spend Your Marketing Budget in 2014

So, we’ve reviewed our predictions for 2013, and now it’s time to look ahead to what the future might hold. While we don’t have a crystal ball, we can still posit an educated guess about what year ahead holds for the world of marketing and your marketing budget in 2014.

Our number one prediction: if you take note of our predictions below, and integrate even some of them into your marketing plan for the year ahead, you will be on the right path to marketing success. Happy integrating!

Content is (Still) King

According to the experts, 2014 will be all about customised content (even more so than 2013). Content marketing shot onto the marketing stage this year. A recent study estimated that 27 million pieces of content are shared each and every day. Almost 50% of companies already have a content marketing strategy in place. Clearly, this is something on which you want to capitalise. The solution is not as simple as doubling your status updates on Facebook though. You need to be producing high-quality, engaging content that educates, informs or entertains your audience. You need content that is able to whistle a happy song above the ‘white noise’ of all the other marketing guff in the marketplace.

B2B Content

There is no one definition of high-quality content. But, for B2B companies, the most effective type of content tends to be case studies that demonstrate successful outcomes. Businesses want practically implementable insights to improve their own operations.

B2C Content

For B2C companies, you need to show your audience what’s in it for them. Prove that there is value in your content. Demonstrate, from the very first line that you are going to educate, instruct or entertain.

Get that content out there

Once you have your high-quality, compelling content, you need to think about content distribution. There is no point in manufacturing ground-breaking content if no one reads it. So, next year will be all about integrated content marketing, about repurposing content to suit your blog as well as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Consider how your content will look on a variety of platforms. Here’s a hot tip for 2014: think about using email to disseminate content. According to recent statistics, emails with social sharing buttons increase click through rates by over 150%.

Strategise your content

In 2014 you can’t be seen to just be ‘doing content marketing’. You are going to have to drive and measure its results. Take a breath and step back. Assess exactly who your audience is, how you are going to reach them, and what key messages you want to convey. You can’t keep producing content for content’s sake. You need to set measurable, objective goals and measure ROI. Just like you would for any other marketing campaign.

Location-Based Marketing

All the marketing industry big-wigs (Nancy Bhagat – VP of Marketing Strategy at Intel, Michael Brenner – VP of Global Marketing at SAP) have pinpointed location-based marketing as the must-do for 2014. With our ever increasing dependency (note that we said dependency, not just use) on mobile devices, there comes an expectation of personalised, location-based campaigns.

Image and Video Centric Platforms

Images and image-centric platforms (like Pinterest and Instagram) will keep outperforming words in terms of engagement in the year ahead. Twitter’s hashtag will become an even more popular search tool. Mobile marketing will be more popular than any other form of online advertising. Social media will be an essential, expected part of any business’ marketing program. And we expect that image messaging (like Snapchat) will continue on its meteoric rise.

Meaningful Connections

We’re not talking about the e-harmony type of meaningful connection here. 2014 will be all about creating meaningful brands with which your audience can connect. Apparently, when it comes to social media and content marketing, a good rule of thumb is: 20% about your brand, 80% interesting, engaging or informative content. We all need to stop pushing the promotional speak, and start providing useful information for our clients. Put your story first.


Industry thought leaders are predicting the rise of brands becoming publishers; brands setting up their own specialised newsrooms and production studios. Examples from 2013 include Red Bull’s Media House.

Bite-sized meaningful content

Most importantly, you’ll have to connect with your audience through clever, engaging, bite-sized content. You will have to master the art of telling a compelling story within a six second Vine video. You will have to bewitch with nothing more than a 140 character Tweet. You will have to enchant with a single frame on Instagram. This year will be all about speed, personality and fun.