Facebook versus Google

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Hi, my name is Tony Cutting I own a digital marketing business here in New Zealand. I have been involved in digital solutions since I setup my first tech business ‘PeopleNet’ in 1999. Most recently I have made the change to focus on digital marketing, not only is it an exciting field to play in but it is also very rewarding.

I have over 120 business (mainly small business) customers across New Zealand and we are building digital marketplaces to help as many small to medium business grow as well as provide a FREE marketing platform for our local community groups.

OK that’s me.

A massive shift

In the last 12 months I have witnessed and experienced the most bizarre (almost self-destructive) move from the biggest digital marketing platform in the world. I can only put this down to American greed and the pressure these US based businesses have to increase their share price. Facebook has been on a 12-month journey to self-destruction and they still do not seem to understand this.

However, they are still the biggest player and I am still advocating to my clients that we use them. We will be looking at alternative solutions to start to take away the risk of Facebook absolutely destroying themselves. This is unlikely but what I have seen over the past 12 months it is very possible.

So what does this all mean.

24-36 months ago

If you had asked me where to invest your marketing funds it was a no brainer. Facebook gave the most value and I loved the fact that a community club or group could use the platform for FREE build a marketing system to help promote their club, events, fundraisers etc.

For small to medium business Facebook was the go-to low cost way to build your brand, promote your website and ultimately grow your business. This has changed.

Two major things have happened in the last 2-3 years with a massive shift in the last 12 months. Facebook has been making changes which are obviously driven by the shareholders greed for more. They have hiked the cost of advertising almost to the point that many small businesses have to rethink their digital marketing strategy and their service to businesses have been very, very poor. I will say in the last 3 months there has been a slight improvement with the introduction for ‘paying clients only’ of a customer support chat service. Secondly, the system keeps failing and annoying the very people who pay them. The constant changes are not well tested and there are errors nearly every week - this will pass once they bed down their ultimate goal - a higher paying advertising system. The product has been exposed to be messy and untidy and the constant changes make it very annoying for everyone. BUt they are still number 1 in terms of following (marketplace) and social media.

The big ace for Facebook Inc is Instagram (Facebook owned) which seems to be more stable and is now dominating in the 18-35-year market for personal use. So, expect this to attract more and more businesses in the next 12 -24 months.

So, here is the real-world example. 36 months ago, if my clients posted in a digital marketplace, we created we could have this small business reach 4000-8000 locals without paying a cent this represented at the time about 150% of the marketplace audience we had built. This has changed in dramatic fashion now they are lucky to reach 2-5% of the marketplace audience and need to spend at least $20 per day to consistently hit 2000+ views of their posts.

In terms of community groups that use to achieve great things for FREE now the reality is they need to start budgeting marketing funds if they want to reach the larger numbers.

Facebook Advertising have most recently also introduced bidding and for businesses this means very shortly they will be almost on level with Googles AdWords in terms of costs. Dumb. Let me explain why soon.

For business users who do not yet pay for advertising there is little support from Facebook.

Facebooks key strength remains (just) - Now it is still the most powerful and affordable way to ‘market’ your business. For $20 per day on average you can achieve some good things with the platform.

Google over the past 36 months

Other than conceding the failure of Google+, the major web player has been pretty stead with the most potent search / advertising system in the world. For some businesses using Google AdWords is very affordable (or at least some key words are) but for many you can be paying up to $50 for one website visit for the most expense keywords e.g. “insurance”

Google support is great and their FREE product Google My Business is a very valuable tool for all businesses. May this continue.

The power play for Google is that it is more of a sales system than a marketing system. This is because people are searching for something in Googvle and when they find it they are more likelyu to buy than someone who has randomly seen your post. The product is stable and is supported by a number of very cool tools like Google Analytics. The Google Advertising team also work hard to help clients get the most from the platform. They are easy to reach.

Google now is a toll most business need to revisit. Best budget is likely to be between $40-$50 per day. In fact, once you hit $50 per day Google assign a system expert to ensure your ads work. Pretty compelling.

So that’s it. If you have not used Google AdWords for some time and you are getting frustrated by Facebook it may be worth taking a new look at Google. Don’t drop Facebook but be smart and cover your bases better.

The irony here is Facebook is becoming the biggest reason people are buying more Google ads and exploring other digital marketing tools. The big question is will they sort their SH%T out before they completely self-destruct? Time will tell.

Have a great weekend. I hope you found this helpful.

Tony C

Personal Coach / Digital Marketing Specialist
e. hello@tonycuttingdigital.co.nz
m. https://m.me/tonycuttingdigital
w. tonycuttingdigital.com

 

About Tony Cutting Digital

Tony Cutting Digital helps businesses of all sizes grow using both digital and sales strategies that work. We build digital marketplaces that enable start up business as well as established businesses accelerate their growth. We work with some of the best digital marketing providers locally and globally to offer a full solution for any sized project.

For more information visit www.tonycuttingdigital.com

Is your website easy to understand?

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One of the big mistakes businesses make with their content is loading it with business jargon. They think it sounds more professional but it actually works against them.

Your content should be easy to understand, you do not need to use business jargon to prove to your industry colleagues you are smart enough. You need to use words that your customers understand. Be authentic and connect with your customers using simple, easy to understand language so they can clearly see what you are about.

Novices feel the need to use business jargon so they can impress people and look like they have a whole lot of knowledge. Smart marketers use simple easy to understand language that connects with potential clients.

So, go check your website, newsletters and social media posts and see if you are acting like a novice or if you are doing your best to connect with your customers.

Have a great weekend. I hope you found this helpful.

Tony C

Personal Coach / Digital Marketing Specialist
e. hello@tonycuttingdigital.co.nz
m. https://m.me/tonycuttingdigital
w. tonycuttingdigital.com


Facebook tips for business owners

If you are using Facebook to help promote your business here are a few more tips for you that will help you get a lot more engagement and success.

  1. Post great content - I have said it before and will reiterate this one again. Make your content worth ‘liking’, ‘commenting on’ and most of all worth ‘sharing’. Good content gets engagement and the more your post is seen by the Facebook algorithm as something people are engaging with the more it will allow you to reach.

  2. Be great at Replying - Reply to comments and messages as promptly as you can. Again Facebook provides recognition for this and will reward you with more views.

  3. Place links in comments - Facebook does not like you linking away from your page. So simply placce the link in a comment under the post to avoid the penalties and get more reach.

  4. Build your partners - Businesses who work together by ‘liking’, ‘commenting’ and ‘sharing’ each others post will get a far bigger reach than a business who ‘goes it alone’.

  5. Post video - video is king, second to mulitple images then a single great image. Remember to leave the text to the text section and leave your images nice and clean.

  6. Ask for Engagement - At the end of a great post don’t be afraid to ask for ‘likes’, ‘comments’ and ‘shares’.

  7. Structure your post - A great heading or ‘Hook’ which is seperate from the main body of text encourages people to read on. A seperate call to action paragraph at the end encourages readers to take the action you would like. Space is the key here give each section space before starting the next.

  8. Write posts specifically for engagement - You may want to run a competition or specifically ask people to provide comments. Make your intention clear and see the difference in your results.

Well, I hope you found this blog useful. If you did please ‘like’ my Facebook page and send me a message. ocne in my message system you will recieve regular tips on everything digital to help you and your business.

https://www.facebook.com/tonycuttingdigital/

Until next time

Tony C
Personal Coach / Digital Marketing Specialist
e. hello@tonycuttingdigital.co.nz
m. https://m.me/tonycuttingdigital
w. tonycuttingdigital.com

Instagram for business - what you should know

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Can you promote your business with images? If so Instagram maybe a great platform for you. If you find it tough to come up with ideas it may just mean you need some inspiration. I suggest the first you do is signup (personal account) then search under the #hashtags you are most likely to be promoted through and see what results you would get i.e. how many other people are using those #hashtags. This will give you an idea of what, where and how to use Instagram for your business.

You can then connect your Facebook business page to your Instagram account and get started.

So, what is a #hashtag?

A word or phrase preceded by a hash sign (#), used on social media websites and applications, especially Instagram and Twitter, to identify messages on a specific topic.

#hashtags have a presence of their own. For example I live in Wellington, New Zealand. So one of the first #hashtags I would consider looking at are my local tags #wellington #newzealand and with a little research I would discover that #wellingtonnz is a very well used tag. If I post on Instagram and used these tags people also posting using these tags are likely to look through the feed for #wellingtonnz, they can even follow this #hashtag so any posts under this tag are promoted in their personal feed - objective find posts that are relevant (in this case local).

You can use #hashtags for all searchs e.g. The #digitalmarketing is one for me as it is relevant to what I do and it has 5.4 million posts. So when I have a relevant post where I use this tag I have the potential to hit quite a few people, building followers, likes and maybe, just maybe a sale.

Facebook & Instagram

Well, just in case you did not know, Instagram is owned by Facebook and is the number two social platform in the world for Business to Consumer marketing. Facebook is number one and by a long way. Instagram allows you to push you post from Instagram to your Facebook page, but Facebook does not allow you to this unless you are buying paid advertising. My advice do neither. Each platform has differences and to maximise your reach and message you need to posts different things using the rules that apply to each platform.

Making Instagram work

Build a great profile, include a great photo and in your details add your website address maybe your Facebook messaging system address or email and a bio that is clean and clear so people know who you are and what you are about.

It probably goes without saying, but if you want to offer a better, more attractive, cleaner feed for your followers, you’ll need to start with better pictures in the first place. Your ‘Wall’ tells alot about you to potential followers make sure you have great images with consistent quality e.g. if you use a filter for your images make it the same one.

FYI: Your wall is the block of pictures people see when they first check you out on Instagram.

Learning how to great photos using your phone is important, so is getting a phone that is capable of taking great photos.

Building your audience

When you start out you need to build your audience and the best way is to connect with people on Instagram who are interested in the same things you are promoting. This is critical no matter what marketing you produce. You might create the most beautiful Instagram content in the world, but if it doesn’t appeal to your target buyer, what’s the point?

Don’t talk at people, talk to them. It’s all about them your posts should be about the audience not you. Take this approach and you are going to be ahead of 95% of Instagrammers today.

Be consistent and persistance, two to three posts per week of high quality will work much better than bombing the market with posts every second hour. Also, don’t go missing make sure you plan your posts and you do post on a regular basis.

Check out your Business insights

To track whether you are getting things right you should look at your insights. You don’t necessarily want millions of people following you from around the world if you only provide local services or products. You maybe more interested how many people in your region are engaged with you.

As we mentioned Facebook owns Instagram, and they’ve introduced a similar ‘Insights’ tool to help ‘Insta’ Users.

The tool offers some interesting insights into the people following and interacting with your account. 

  • Impressions: How many times your content was viewed

  • Reach: Total number of unique accounts that viewed a piece of content

  • Website clicks: How many clicks the link in your business profile has received

  • Follower activity: How often your followers are on Instagram daily

  • Video views: How often your video content has been viewed

  • Saves: How many people have saved your posts

Insights also includes demographic information, so you can see where your followers come from, their age, and their gender.

With this, you’ll have plenty of information about your existing Instagram audience. 

I hope you found this helpful. If you would like to hear about more digital marketing tips please join my message system on Facebook here https://m.me/tonycuttingdigital

I’ll let you know when I post my next blog and you may even go into a draw to win some FREE 1:1 training either Face to face or via Zoom.

Happy Posting

Tony C
Personal Coach / Digital Marketing Specialist
e. hello@tonycuttingdigital.co.nz
m. https://m.me/tonycuttingdigital
w. tonycuttingdigital.com

Digital Marketing Tools - iPhone

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If you are keen to become a competent Digital Marketer or Social Media Influencer you will need to understand and learn how to use the tools of the trade. One of your most important tools is your smart phone. My choice is Apples iPhone as it comes with a whole bunch of features that makes life so much easier for you.

Like any tool. I suggest you search out great training. I can help if you choose to invest in an iPhone.

My iPhone has been used for many projects and has helped me build my business. Once you have mastered how to use the functions and hold it steady your iPhone will be your go-to tool of choice.

Here are some handy tips to get you started.

Creating incredile still shots with your iPhone

Still life photography might seem tough, but it doesn’t have to be.

Use A Tripod For Perfectly Sharp Still Life Images, To get a beautiful still life, you must avoid camera shake. So for product shots especially your investment in a tripod will be well rewarded.

NB: Camera shake results in crappy photos.

This is because the best still life photos are taken in indirect light. So you’re not going to be taking still lifes under a bright sun. Instead, you’re often going to be taking still lifes indoors or in the shade. And these are places where the light is weak.

That’s why a tripod is essential. I like to arrange my still lifes on the ground. That way, I can shoot from a standing height. I recommend you do the same.

This also gives you a lot of flexibility when choosing a tripod.

Here is a great article on tripods from the iPhone photography school. https://iphonephotographyschool.com/iphone-tripod/

Use Indirect Natural Light For The Best Still Life Photography

But what light is ideal? How do you get stunning still life photos?

Use natural light. And make sure it’s indirect.

Because indirect light will result in soft and even lighting–perfect for still lifes and portraits. I love taking portraits with my iPhone in some of my favourite Cafe’s. The indirect lighting and iPhone ‘Portrait’ setting help me to create wonderful, natural shots of my clients.

Ana Hetem (Life Coach, NLP Practioner) Photo: Tony Cutting iPhone. Location Peppermill Cafe, Porirua NZ.

Ana Hetem (Life Coach, NLP Practioner) Photo: Tony Cutting iPhone. Location Peppermill Cafe, Porirua NZ.

By “indirect” natural light, I’m speaking broadly. For instance, one of my favorite types of indirect light is window light. As you can see with the shot of Anna the indirect sunlight provides great lighting on my subject - Ana.

Ideally, the light coming through the window is indirect–that is, the sun isn’t shining straight through.

Another method of lighting your still lifes is to photograph outdoors–but only on cloudy days. Clouds act as a giant diffuser. They’ll make sure that your still life is lit softly and evenly.

The rule of Thirds

The final tip I am going to share with you today is a photography tip used by nearly all professional photographers. The rule of thirds is a "rule of thumb" or guideline which applies to the process of composing visual images such as designs, films, paintings, and photographs If you notice the photo of ‘Ana’ above she has been taken in 1/3rd of the photo. This allows for space and creates a story in terms of the location.

For more tips and tricks

If you are truly interested in becoming a Digital Marketer or Social Media Influencer please feel free to message me through my messenger system. I send out regular notifications to those in my messenger system providing more tips and tricks to help you get started.

Message me here https://m.me/tonycuttingdigital

Have a very Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year.

Tony C
Personal Coach / Digital Marketing Specialist
e. hello@tonycuttingdigital.co.nz
m. https://m.me/tonycuttingdigital
w. tonycuttingdigital.com

How do Social Media InfLuencers make their money?

Photo by    rawpixel    on    Unsplash

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

Have you ever wondered how social media influencers make their money? Does it just seem like they have a lot of fun doing the things they love but maybe they just have a rich dad or something? They are all just either on holidays taking photos or wearing the latest fashion or frequenting Cafes and Restaurants…

Far from it.

As a Digital marketer who has built his business from scratch, I figured there was much more to becoming a successful Social Media Influencer and making a real career or business from this activity. So, I have done some research and here is what I have found to share with you…

To qualify as a Social Media Influencer, you don’t have to make money, however those who do work hard to build a business or career just like other successful people do. The cool thing though is they seem to LOVE what they do!

You can fast track your social media influencer business or career by learning from those who have gone before or working with someone like me who can leverage my networks and reach and help fine tune your approach.

Anyway to whet your appetite for a career as a Social Media Influencer here are some of the ways you can make money.

1.      Build a following then simple sell them products you love (Products that match your brand/style). There are brands who will pay you a commission on sale if you can sell their products.

2.      Sell you own digital products - can be low cost to develop. Build your followng then offer them something they will love. Kayla Itsines is someone who has done just that. Another of my favourites is Ty Moyer from iPhone Photography School

3.      Becoming a brand ambassador is another viable way for people to enter the career as a social media influencer. Here is a good example of a very talented Brand Ambassador who has been developed by a major organisation JP Morgan she is awesome and possibly not what you would think of as a brand ambassador. This is an example of securing a career and developing into a ‘Employment’ Brand Ambassador. So, does this make you think “there are a lot more options out there for me to become a brand ambassador”…

4.      Social Media sponsored posts. Be careful here, your followers follow you for a reason but if a product or service connects with your market then yes you can make money promoting a sponsored post. You will also need to declare to your followers it is a sponsored post so choose wisely.

5.      Podcasts/Webinars/Online Courses all work in similar ways. If you have something to teach your followers and they are willing to subscribe here is another way to generate a good income. This is how you turn your hobby or skill into an online income maker whether it be how to weave flax’ or ‘how to draw pictures’ the scope here is endless.

6.      Coaching other Social Media Influencers - Once you are making a living from your craft, others will always want to know how they can too. There are multiple ways to deliver this training including (5) above.

7.      Become a digital marketing consultant. Use your skills to build a following for other people/businesses and get paid for it.

The fact is there is so many ways you can generate an income once you have something other people are interested in. Whether you do this part-time after school or work, during your lunch hour or even before you start you start the day give it a go. You may find a way to leverage your way into a career or business that you LOVE too.

Smile and have a great day

Tony C
Personal Coach / Digital Marketing Specialist
e. hello@tonycuttingdigital.co.nz
m. https://m.me/tonycuttingdigital
w. tonycuttingdigital.com

For more tips on Digital Marketing or becoming a Social Media Marketer please feel free to follow my Facebook page Tony Cutting Digital

PS. If you liked this blog please share it with someone you know who would like it too :-)

12 Facebook Tactics to increase engagement for your Business Page

Photo by  William Iven  on  Unsplash

Photo by William Iven on Unsplash

Engagement is the key ingredient for success with any Facebook page. In terms of business pages if you are not consistently thinking about how to improve your engagement then you are missing the boat in terms of what your followers are looking for.

The ultimate engagement is to have your posts shared organically. So how do you create posts that are likely to be shared?

Here are my top 12 tips to help you create more engagement and more shares.

1.      Posts about your business will quickly run out of steam and to be frank possibly will struggle to get the engagement you need to succeed. So, focus your posts on content that provides useful information for the reader - it’s about them not you.

2.      Encouraging followers/audience to ask you questions is a great way to attract engagement and responses. Be thoughtful about what you are asking and make sure you give a timeframe and explain when you will have the answers to the questions.

3.      Share a genuine offer. Personally, I think people are getting wary of the American style of ‘A FREE giveaway’ instead give a really good discount on a product or service for a short period of time (not repeated until next year) and build on this sale to capture clients who will become great testimonials and help to promote your business. Of course, this only applies if you are offering a great product or service. In my book if you are not, then maybe running a business is not for you.

4.      Share your passion for what you do. Genuine passion is super attractive to a large percentage of your audience. Do not be afraid to let people know who you are and why you are doing what you do.

5.      Share you values - This is a tactic which follows on from sharing your passion. Let people know what you and your company value. If you are genuine, and you have strong positive values then this will get results.

6.      Ask for feedback. People love to be included and feel like their opinion matters. Asking your audience for feedback or help with making specific choices in your business? This should provide you with immediate engagement.

7.      Know your audience. Running surveys and engaging with your clients and followers creates engagement. The better you know and understand the people you want to attract and interact with, the easier it is to share information they value.

8.      Sharing relevant posts with your audience. Sharing what’s happening in ‘your followers’ world is a great way to encourage responses. This lets you join in the conversations that are already happening, cementing your place as a concerned, thoughtful friend rather than just a business.

9.      Promote community causes, so you stand for more than just your business - People love people and businesses that stand for more than just making money. On your Facebook page, share updates about local community events, non-profits you support, fundraising activities etc. Whether you are involved in them or not.

10.  Share heart-warming posts. Be careful to be discerning. However, sharing posts that you know will hit the heart. Be genuine and ensure your comments paint a true picture of who you are and why this post was important for you to share.

11.  Share humorous posts. As above be careful and genuine ensure your comments paint a true picture of who you are and why this post was funny for you. Be tasteful!

12.  POST NATIVE VIDEO. It’s simple - loading native videos that contain compelling content that is not too long (1-3 minutes) will get great engagement. This tactic will get more engagement than all of the above.

Hope you found this blog helpful. Please feel free to leave a message on my Facebook page
https://www.facebook.com/tonycuttingdigital/ and let me know how this worked for you. Always happy to share success stories with my audience.