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Organic content and social media

Three reasons organic content is not dead

By | Stories | No Comments

Call me biased as a content marketer who makes a living out of organic content, but I take offence when people say marketing is ‘pay to play’.

Over the course of my career, I’ve seen proof that organic content can perform like a high-powered Ferrari on a race track, when it’s released in the right conditions.

Sure, organic content might not work like it used to (remember the days where you could put up a photo on Facebook and have it be seen by ALL your followers?). But it’s a far cry from being dead and buried.

In my experience, organic content that’s rich in value, timely in distribution and released into the right hands will have every chance of performing as well as any paid piece.

But rather than tell you organic content is not dead, let me show you three reasons why organic should still firmly sit in your marketing plans.

1. Launch and write a blog

If you’ve had a squiz at our portfolio, you’ll know we write a lot of blogs. At least 120,000 words of them each year and that’s a conservative guess.

You know the reason we sell so many blogs? Our clients know they are a sure-fire way to build their website traffic.

Blogs are seriously powerful, working twofold in driving more people to your site via keywords. Via the magic of long form content, blogs also keep them on your page for longer.

But does it work?

One of our clients publishes 16 x new blog posts per month (and we should call out, that’s a lot). Their blog is their single biggest website traffic driver, responsible for more than 100,000 sessions each month.

Another client, was able to lift the average time spent on site from under 30 seconds to over a two and half minutes in just six months.

Naturally, when you keep people online for longer reading blogs, you have more time to show value, build trust and ultimately hit them with a call to action.

And since stories drive sales, it’s not just your SEO-guru telling you to blog – as content marketers, we are too.

Good news! Starting a blog isn’t as hard as you think (in fact, we wrote a whole post to help you start your own). It all begins with making a plan for your editorial content (download a free template here). Then all that’s left to do (after a bit of SEO work) is watch your website analytics soar.

You’re welcome.

2. Build an organic social media following

Media Mortar content marketing_build an organic social media followingThere are only two ways to build an audience on social media:

  1. You work consistently at building an organic one over time, or:
  2. You use ads to do the heavy-lifting for you, or better yet, a combination of both

I won’t pretend for a minute that you don’t get faster, more efficient reach through paid means. We all know the Facebook and Instagram algorithms were designed to make advertisers part with their cash.

That said, we wouldn’t spend 80% of our week running organic social media accounts if we didn’t believe in the product we’re selling. I’m also sure, we wouldn’t have a full roster of social media management clients if they didn’t see results in what they’re buying.

What I see week-in week-out, is that a really good organic post can perform as well as any paid post.

Take for instance a recent organic post we shared about a snow event in Stanthorpe. When released into the Facebook wild, it had the same traffic as previous paid posts, without any of the paid spend to get it there.

The trick for making an organic post spike like this isn’t a formula. But it is as simple as knowing your audience. Organic content outperforms when the post is topical, meaningful and value-laden for your audience.

Beyond these three golden rules of content, your best chance of building and growing your organic content is simply by consistently showing up.

But does it work?

To prove it, listen to episode 10 of CONTENTious where we interview a client who has grown from 300 followers to 50,000 followers on Instagram through organic means only.

This isn’t an isolated example, we had one client whose Instagram grew under our management from 12.1k to over 41k in just two years. And they didn’t spend a dime on engagement ads.

So, is organic content dead? Sorry, not even close.

3. Get pitch perfect, start working on your publicity

Media Mortar content marketing_get pitch perfect with your publicityIn marketing terms there are two ways to get featured in a magazine, TV or online – you pay for it, or you pitch your way there through publicity.

Sure, advertising might be quick, controlled and a guaranteed message. But nothing trumps organic PR when it comes to trustworthiness or credibility in the eyes of the consumer.

But does it work?

If you’ve ever wanted to see how effective organic PR is as a form of conversion marketing, just ask any business who has been lucky enough to host the Today Show or Sunrise. Seriously, their phones won’t stop ringing.

Publicity isn’t just confined to print and the big screen. Don’t forget working with digital influencers is an important part of any organic marketing plan.

It will come as no surprise, our team are huge advocates for including an influencer strategy as part of any media plan. We’re so passionate about it, we even wrote you this guide if you want to DIY your influencer activity.

Organically speaking, influencer campaigns work so many ways. They can increase reach, awareness and content gathering – but most importantly in the context of organic content, growing your brand’s following.

Take for instance a recent campaign we ran in Roma. By partnering with an influencer who has more than 400k followers, we saw our client’s organic channels more than double during a seven-day campaign. This was purely through the influencer tagging their handle in his posts.

From where I’m sitting, I’d call that an organic content win, wouldn’t you?

Organic content might perform differently to how it once did, but it’s certainly not dead.

The next time someone tells you marketing is just ‘pay to play’, you might like to dust off this blog or this episode of CONTENTious. You can remind whoever is telling you to put down their grave-digging shovel – organic content is alive and well, and we’ve got the results to prove it.

By Hannah Statham

Hannah Statham is The Boss at Media Mortar. She’s a heavy weight wordsmith, punching with puns, analogies and metaphors that leave readers wanting more. When she’s not refreshing her Instagram feed, you’ll find Hannah walking her rescue greyhound Olivia.

The Fashion Heist_Brisbane Airport

10 tips for working with digital influencers

By | Stories

Did you know 71 per cent of Australian consumers are more likely to make a purchase based on a post by a digital influencer? Based on this stat alone, we think it’s time you considered adding digital influencers into your marketing strategy too.

Before you stop reading and start sending your product to influencers, pump the breaks.

There are a lot of steps required to find your perfect digital influencer match before the art of influencing happens.

Whether you’re a small brand or a global one, your purpose for working with an influencer should always be clear.

You should have chosen influencer marketing over say, paid advertising, because your purpose is one (or all) of these reasons:

  • To share your message in an authentic way
  • You want assistance to grow your channels organically
  • To build positive brand awareness
  • So you can increase your brand’s reach with a new (like-minded) audience

To help you get started with your first digital influencer campaign, think of this as your 10-step guide to working with digital influencers – from finding, minding and finalising.

1. Do you go micro or macro – and we’re not talking about calories

KB Sugarfree_Brisbane Airport_Seeds

Image by @kbsugarfree

Before you go down the rabbit hole of scrolling for hours on Instagram, you’ll want to first decide on the type of influencer to work with.

The easiest way is to break them down into two categories: micro or macro.

While micro-influencers have a smaller following (less than 10K) they often have a more engaged community within a niche interest group.

Meanwhile, macro-influencers are everyday names with large followings and are owners of the coveted blue tick. However, their engagement rate is often lower due to the size of their following.

You’ll need to be realistic about your budget if selecting a macro influencer, as a big one (with celebrity status) will charge five or six figures for a single post, sometimes more.

Research shows that micro-influencers have 22 times more conversion than macro-influencers, as they have a more personal connection to their audience. This is something to keep in mind before throwing your whole budget on someone with over 100K following.

2. Get scrolling with purpose

Ready, set, scroll – right?

Before you get a repetitive strain injury on your forefinger from hours of scrolling, it’s worthwhile refining your search to find the right influencer.

For example, the search bar on Instagram can be your best friend; search relevant hashtags or locations to find your perfect partnership.

  • Looking for a food influencer in Brisbane? Search #BrisbaneFoodie
  • Want a travel influencer in New South Wales? Try @visitsydney and search their feed or tagged photos to see which influencers are actively posting and tagging in this location
  • Need a mummy influencer for your campaign? Find one you like and see who they are following and you’re likely to find a bevvy more.

At this stage in your influencer search, you’ll want to create a list of names – five to ten – that you can shortlist further (more on that coming up!).

3. Find an influencer who matches your brand

The Fashion Heist_Brisbane Airport digital influencer

Image by @thefashionheist

Now that you have a shortlist of Instagram handles to review, it’s time to ensure it’s a Cinderella glass slipper moment with your brand.

Review their feed with these questions top of mind:

  • Does the influencer post the style of images that fit your brand? If you’re selling running shoes, would you get a food blogger to post? Your brand needs to make sense on their platform too.
  • Do they post consistently?
  • Do they have an engaged following? If you’re new to this, there’s a range of free tools online that can help you with this step so you can compare engagement rates between influencers
  • What are their Stories like? Often people’s feeds are aesthetically pleasing but their stories might be politically charged which might not be the right fit for you

This process should help refine your list to only those you’re prepared to consider for your campaign.

4. Reach out to your influencer of choice

Rachel Thaiday_Brisbane Airport_Krispy Kreme digital influencer activity

Image by @rachelthaiday

With your shortlist in hand, it’s time to pick up the virtual phone and reach out.

Of course, by virtual phone, we mean sliding into their DMs (unless they have an email address listed in their bio).

Just like any business email, make sure you state who you are, why you are reaching out and what the campaign is all about.

If you’ve slid into their DMs, include an email address or phone number to continue the conversation – ain’t nobody got time for endless DMs.

5. Ask for a rate card

Depending on whether you’ve approached a macro or micro-influencer, they should have a rate card or media kit that outlines how much they charge per deliverable as well as a summary of their audience.

If they don’t have a professional document, just ask for a summary (in writing) of their fees. Also request a few screenshots of their audience and engagement rates from their social media platforms (making sure you have evidence of their reach on the channels you want to use in your campaign).

These two pieces of information are important to ensure your chosen influencer fits within your budget and will reach your desired audience. It also guarantees you’re investing in a legitimate influencer, not someone with fake followers.

6. Be prepared to pay for content

KB Sugarfree_Brisbane Airport_Glasshouse Bar

Image by @kbsugarfree

Speaking of budget… make sure you have money allocated for your digital influencer campaign.

We’re saving you from learning the hard way – being a good influencer is a craft and one worth paying for. The digital influencer industry is expected to reach 10 billion dollars this year, which shows the level of investment by brands and further proof this influence thing is big business.

We’re proponents for paying for content because it means you have control over what is posted and the messaging attached to it. As the old saying goes, he who pays the piper calls the tune.

Keep in mind, there are other ways to pay influencers than just dollars and cents. If you’re a hotel, you may wish to offer contra arrangements (a night’s accommodation and a meal in the restaurant for two guests) in exchange for a number of posts and stories.

Just remember from the brand perspective, there is still a hard cost to contra agreements, so make sure that’s outlined to your influencer of choice as you would a monetary arrangement.

7. Write a Memorandum of Understanding (aka MOU)

Just like you wouldn’t build a house without a contract with your builder, you shouldn’t engage with a digital influencer without one either.

An MOU ensures both parties are ‘on the same page’ with the contracted deliverables, timeframe, process and payment terms. After all, you can’t pay your staff or business expenses with an influencer’s reach alone.

At a minimum, these should be included in your MOU:

  • The total fee to be paid to the influencer or total value received in contra
  • The deliverables – how many posts, on which channels and required tagging or hashtags and what content (e.g. images) you’re going to own in-perpetuity
  • Timeframe – both the date range for posting and reporting
  • The process – approval or reporting requirements from the influencer
  • Your payment terms

If you’re unsure where to start with writing an MOU, we’ve got you covered with this downloadable template.

While your MOU is your official contract which your influencer should sign and return before any work is started, it should be supported by a detailed brief that gives the influencer all the information they need to ensure they deliver content that meets your campaign needs.

8. Create a detailed brief

The Fashion Heist_Brisbane Airport_Peter Alexander

Image by @thefashionheist

If you’ve ever worked with a photographer or graphic designer, you’ll understand the importance of a brief.

Without one, you are giving the digital influencer ‘creative license’ to capture the content as they see best, and believe us, this doesn’t always make for the most useable content.

A brief should include:

  • The campaign overview and objectives
  • Dates for the campaign and importantly, deliverables
  • Target audience
  • Key messages
  • Naming conventions
  • Required tagging and hashtags
  • What not to do

The last point is often overlooked yet probably more important than the other pieces of information in the brief.

For example, if you’re working with an influencer who is creating content for a tourism brand, would you want them taking pictures on the edge of a cliff and tagging your brand? Err – we think not.

To help you get started with writing the perfect brief, we’ve got a template available for download over here.

9. Get the stats, stat.

If this is your first digital influencer activation, one of the burning questions you’ll want to know is: did it work?

To answer this, you’ll need your influencer to send through their stats: likes, comments, shares, saves, reach and impressions in a campaign report.

Influencers should prepare this for you, but we recommend sharing exactly what you need for reporting to ensure it syncs with your internal template.

As people’s social media habits change, it’s important to have a holistic view of how people engaged with the content as likes and comments often isn’t enough anymore, it’s now all about the offline (DM) conversations.

Make sure you read this blog to ensure you’re also integrating these stats into your overall marketing objectives.
Got good results? Create a master spreadsheet with your favourite influencers to work with for future campaigns to make your next influencer campaign much faster to run.

10. Share their content on your channels

Fat Mum Slim_Brisbane Airport Corporation_digital influencer program

Image by @fatmumslim

Once the content created by the influencers has been posted on their channels make sure you plan it into your upcoming content calendars too.

While you may have engaged the influencer to promote your product or service to their followers, you need to remember that they are also providing content for you to power your own feeds – so don’t let it go to waste.

It’s your job to act as a megaphone for their content, including stories, during their time with you too.

Don’t forget, if you’ve negotiated high-res joint copyright images, you can start sharing these in the manner you agreed to whether that be website, print, magazine.

By Rochelle Vaisanen

When not climbing mountains on two wheels, Rochelle can be found on the hunt for the best almond croissant around town. A lover of good coffee, food and wine, and with a passion for travel, Rochelle is always on the lookout for new adventures locally and abroad.

5 marketing activities that won’t cost you a dime

By | Stories

If COVID-19 has taught us one thing with marketing activities (Eds note: if only it was just one thing), it’s how quickly marketing budgets can change.

We saw many of our clients go from hundreds of thousands of marketing dollars to a next-to-nothing budget. It made us think about the marketing activities that can be achieved when your marketing dollars run dry.

Regardless of if you had a large budget to start with or are just starting out in business, we’ve got five marketing activities you can implement to boost your brand that won’t cost you a dime – or cent, because #Australia.

1. Organic social media

Media Mortar_content marketing agency_Organic social media accountsDid you know social media usage has grown by nine per cent in the past year alone and has over 3.8 billion active users?

From where we’re sitting, that’s a whole lot of potential eyeballs on your product or service for the cost of downloading your social media app of choice (which is free) and being active.

To get started, all you need to do is to work out which channels are for you, complete one of these DIY marketing calendars for the month ahead and get scheduling.

Sound like a lot of effort? Don’t worry our Social Media Handbook takes you through a step-by-step approach to setting up your channels for your business.

While you might need to dip into your business wallet to book a professional photographer to build a photo library to get going, don’t forget your smartphone is a great tool if you need to DIY.

For DIY photography tips, you’ll love Episode 7 of our Contentious Podcast where we sit down with Krista Eppelstun and talk all things smartphone photography.

2. Ask for a review

Media Mortar_Ask for a client review_Marketing activities that won't cost you a dimeShow of virtual hands if you’ve ever gone down the rabbit hole of TripAdvisor when planning a holiday or Google Reviews before deciding where to eat? Yep, us too!

In fact, we’ve been known to not even read the host’s description on Airbnb but go straight to the guest reviews to get a real read on how ‘spacious’ the New York studio apartment is.

If you’re looking at reviews when deciding where to go, stay or eat, what makes you think people aren’t screening the reviews of your business too?

Reviews are so powerful, we even called reviews the secret sauce your business needs, but if you don’t believe us, these stats will have you starting on your review strategy:

  • 97% of people read reviews for local business
  • 93% of people say their online reviews impact purchasing decisions
  • 92% of B2B buyers are more likely to purchase after reading a trusted review

You know the secret to getting more reviews?

It’s not a trick question – you just need to ask for them.

The best way to do this is to build asking for reviews into your standard operating procedures or point of sale.

Remember, your best chance of getting a customer to leave a review is in the moment. As soon as they cross the threshold of your business, they’re onto the next thing and next request for review.

3. Call your current customers and see how they are

Media Mortar_content marketing agency_check in with your customersEvery single business has two audiences – existing customers and ones who don’t know about you yet.

Most businesses make the mistake of only marketing to the latter, rather than pointing their efforts inwards on existing customers and giving them a reason to stay.

Now more than ever, communication and connectivity are important. Use this time to engage on a personal level with your customers and ask how they are. The cost? Just your time.

If you’re waiting for the next enquiry to drop in your inbox, you could be missing out.

Ask yourself these two questions:

  • What if my client has been too swamped to reach out but needs help with a job
  • What if my client doesn’t know I can help with a certain job

Eliminate any room for doubt and reach out to your existing customers. Too often these ‘what ifs’ are just confidence blocks standing in the way of your next sale.

4. Write a blog post

Media Mortar_content marketing agency_write a blog postTap, tap, tap – can you hear the keyboard working its magic?

While you’ll find us at Media Mortar HQ crafting words for clients, we also dedicate time to write our own blog posts. Case. In. Point.

Put pen to virtual paper and share your knowledge and expertise with your audience. Create an editorial calendar of value-laden blog posts you can share with your audience.

What you’ll find is your website traffic starts to grow and time spent on your website rises. This is a powerful combination that anyone who sells online will know drives new sales.

Not sure where to start? We’ve got you covered with this blog post (see what we did there…).

5. Ask for a referral

Nailed a recent job? Delivered an exceptional campaign? Designed the ultimate creative that’s going straight to the pool room?

That’s all great but did you ask for a referral from those satisfied clients to turn your homerun into something more?

We’re yet to meet a business owner who doesn’t say word of mouth referrals are their best sales-tool. So many miss the opportunity to capture the glowing sentiment of a happy customer by asking for a referral.

It’s not just us who swears by referrals, some companies report referred clients are three times more likely to convert than someone who wasn’t.

Not sure where to start? We recommend asking your golden clients if they are happy to refer you to their industry connections (if they’re ok with it, of course).

Leave those feelings of awkwardness at the door, because we’ve never met a client who wasn’t happy to help when your request comes from a genuine place.

Just remember ‘what you appreciate, appreciates’ so don’t be shy to also pass on the favour and refer your clients to others too.

What are your favourite free marketing activities?

By Rochelle Vaisanen

When not climbing mountains on two wheels, Rochelle can be found on the hunt for the best almond croissant around town. A lover of good coffee, food and wine, and with a passion for travel, Rochelle is always on the lookout for new adventures locally and abroad.

Media Mortar_4 ways we marketed during a pandemic

4 ways we adapted to market our business through a pandemic

By | Stories

You know who needs a tourism marketing agency when the world can’t travel through a pandemic? Very few people it turns out.

But if three years of running a business have taught me anything, it’s that you don’t wish for more business, you work for it.

Needless to say, we’ve been busy these past three months through the COVID-19 pandemic, adapting our way of doing business to meet our market (the tourism and events industry) where they needed us most.

I wanted to share four ways we’ve changed our way of working to respond to these times, because it looks like we’re all about to take a step back into more restrictions across the country.

What I know for sure is that we all need to be ready to adapt again, are you ready?

1. We launched our podcast CONTENTious

Media Mortar_Hannah Statham_Contentious podcastIn any other non-pandemic year, by August, I’d be seven or eight speaking gigs into the year.

But since COVID-19 wiped my speaking agenda, I decided to create my own speaking circuit – launching CONTENTious – a fortnightly content marketing podcast that debunks storytelling myths.

I now speak to hundreds of people without leaving my office, or in fact, my listeners having to leave theirs.

In fact, our Media Mortar voice is now heard by more people than any IRL speaking gig has ever allowed for – and it’s all through the power of a RODE USB Microphone and a Whooshka account.

While many people (*cough, ABC*) mocked those who started a podcast during the COVID-19 pandemic, to them I say – ‘it is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change’ –Charles Darwin.

And really, that’s what this is all about, adapting to change (something I’ve become quite adept at).

If you haven’t given it a listen yet, you’ll find our latest CONTENTious episodes over here.

2. We created a 365-day Content Calendar

Media Mortar_52 week content planner for the tourism industryContrary to what our Instagram account might have you believe, 70% of our week is spent managing social media accounts for brands from behind the desk.

So, when the COVID pandemic hit and many of our retained client database could no longer afford our full social media managed services package, our model was forced to adapt.

We’ve always believed social media management should be accessible for everybody. We provided three levels of social media solutions from $21.99 (our Social Skills Handbook), a middle-tier social media bootcamp to teach you all the skills to run the accounts yourself and finally, our full-scale outsourced managed services where we take the reins.

What we didn’t have was something in between that took away the pain of running the accounts for businesses still reluctant to DIY.

Over COVID-19, we met the market where they needed us. We developed a 365-day Content Calendar for tourism and event operators – to provide a caption cure and thought-starter for every single business day of the year.

Essentially, it’s our brain, strategy and caption ideas if we were managing your accounts for 12 months, but all for an investment of 63 cents per week.

In one calendar, we eliminated the question “what will I post today” and banished any excuse for running unscheduled social media content.

Our 365 Content Calendar has now been downloaded by operators in three Australian States already and we love seeing it in action. You can get your mitts on a copy, over here.

3. We launched Quarterly Marketing Mentoring

Media Mortar_Quarterly Marketing Mentoring sessionsIf the COVID-crisis taught us all anything, it’s that a good communication manager is worth their weight in gold.

Over the past three months, we’ve all seen instances where a brand sent the wrong message into market (virus-protection leggings anyone?) and ended up in the media for the wrong reasons.

The pandemic provided clear demand for businesses to have a senior communications manager to set the strategic course for the business. But due to the aforementioned financial limitations, hiring one was outside most businesses scope.

But what if you could have a senior communications manager on-demand?

Enter our Quarterly Marketing Mentoring program, which includes a 1.5-hour strategy session with me, followed by two, one-hour accountability calls in the next two months.

The result after launching the Quarterly Marketing Mentoring on Instagram only? A fully booked marketing mentoring calendar with clients in a range of industries from tourism, construction, beauty to fitness.

4. We started showing our faces more

Media Mortar_Hannah Statham_Marketing during a pandemicDespite telling everyone else (for years) to show up on Instastories and LinkedIn videos, we used the time over the pandemic to walk our own talk.

With production value officially out the window and everybody working from home, we experimented with DIY filming. We created a weekly Marketing Minute series on LinkedIn and made a commitment to show up in June on IG Stories (ashamedly for the first time).

Proving necessity is indeed the mother of invention, we had a heap of fun learning how to create video content for ourselves. It was a refreshing change of pace after spending years making content for everyone else (meanwhile, forgetting ourselves).

If you’ve already read our year in review, you’ll know we’ll be taking this to new levels this financial year. We’ll be introducing more regular eNewsletters, a formalised YouTube channel and LinkedIn appearances.

While I wish it didn’t take a global pandemic to give us as much perspective as it did – I’m certainly glad we now have these four rock-solid offerings to add into our suite of services for when we all return to the new normal.

How did your business meet the market where it was at during COVID-19?

By Hannah Statham

Hannah Statham is The Boss at Media Mortar. She’s a heavy weight wordsmith, punching with puns, analogies and metaphors that leave readers wanting more. When she’s not refreshing her Instagram feed, you’ll find Hannah walking her rescue greyhound Olivia.

Media Mortar_How to start a blog post for your business

How to start a blog for your business

By | Stories

So, a marketing specialist has told you that you need to start a blog. What next?

Don’t sit in front of your computer wondering how to put pen to virtual paper.

Pour yourself a cup of creativity (aka coffee) and start working through this step by step guide for how to start a blog.

Your new blog is about to become one of your most valuable marketing assets – just keep an eye on your Google Analytics to see why.

One of our client’s blogs single-handedly is responsible for 110,000 visitors per month to their website, the kind of web-traffic we know most small business owners would trade their best employee for.

Results like this are yours for the making when you know what to do.

Want-to-be-bloggers, pick up your pencils and get ready to start a blog for your business with this guide.

Step 1: Know your audience

Media Mortar_Knowing your target audience to start a blog for your business

If there’s one tip to start a blog worth stringing up in lights, it’s this – write with an audience in mind.

Before picking up a pen, start by asking, who do you want to talk to? Who don’t you want to walk to? And start seriously questioning why your audience should read your blog in the first place.

Once you’ve articulated who will be motivated to read your new blog, you’ll find the words and the creative juices flow more freely.

If you’re unsure where to start a blog, we wrote a five-step guide to defining your target audience, over here, which will get you crystal clear on who’s listening.

Step 2: Create a blog editorial plan

Throwing blog topics at the wall like spaghetti is never a good idea. If you want to be a strategic communicator, you need to plan like one.

We’d suggest downloading this template to map out your editorial plan, to ensure you stay on track.

It’s no coincidence the first step in our DIY Content Builder is determining how frequently you intend on blogging.

Most small business owners start with the intention of one post per month when they start a blog, but the reality is a quarterly blog is a more realistic commitment.

Step 3: Research keywords

Media Mortar_research keywords to start a blog for your business

The actual writing of your blog post should be driven by two things:

  1. The relevance of the topic to your target audience (see step 1)
  2. The volume of keywords from people looking for it

Before writing, we always consult Google Keyword Planner to find the search volume of people searching for the exact topic we were intending on writing about.

The reality is that if no one is searching for your blog topic, your blog post will fall on Google’s deaf ears.

That’s not to say a blog topic with low search volume shouldn’t be written or considered in your editorial calendar, but if the search volume is alarmingly low, we would argue you need to be even more clear on your target audience.

Some blog topics are so niche, that although the volume of research is negligible, those who do search for it are such super-fans of this interest area. If that’s the case, there’s still good argument that your content will pack a powerful punch, even only for a micro, but super-engaged audience.

Step 4: Set up the blog page on your website

Let’s talk technical-turkey for a minute.

Before launching your new blog, you’ll need to login to the back end your website for this to set up a ‘blog’ page, pin it to the website home page and choose a format that works for you.

Within most CRM theme-builders you can choose your page layout, including a hierarchy of text size to make reading easier.

We strongly recommend you build a style guide for this process so you can ensure all blog posts look and feel the same on your site as you continue to upload.

If you’re unsure – your web developer will be able to make some recommendations for you.

Step 5: Start writing

Media Mortar_How to start a blog for your businessDust off those memories of creative writing from primary school – start mapping out what inclusions you might add to the start, middle and end of your blog.

You’ll notice most blogs follow a series of ‘frequent formats’ – whether it be a listicle (like this one), ultimate guide to something (with fixed headings), collection of the 10 best items (similar to a listicle but driven by images), long-form feature or a review style.

Use your headings like the bumper rails in a game of ten pin bowling and simply write between the heading-rails.

Spend extra time getting your introduction right, as this is likely to be the part of the blog that the audience is going to spend the most time engaging with.

Step 6: Proofread your work

In the words of Ernest Hemingway, the first draft of anything is shit. And any professional copywriter will tell you the same thing.

As part of your process, review your work at least twice before going live on your blog.

We are so passionate about the proofreading stage that in our content builder template we insist you check your work twice, marking your draft as a Version 1 (v1) and Version 2 (v2).

Better yet, print your post out and coax someone else to review it for you, red pen and all.

Step 7: Make it pretty and optimise your upload

Media Mortar_Start a blog for your businessWords are only one part of the blog equation. You’re going to need images and formatting to go with it too.

Since skim reading is the new norm, you’ll want to arrange your content with lots of white space, bullet points, headings and breaks, so the reader can scurry to where the pertinent information can be found.

When it comes to visuals, you’ve got the option of stock imagery, but our preference, if possible, is to create custom images that relates to your topic to keep the reader engaged on the page.

Beyond images, your chosen CRM will have nuances when it comes to uploading your content to make sure it performs at its best.

A few of the optimisation steps we take on each of our posts, is to ensure any links like this, open in new tabs, ensuring all our images have ALT text and the keyword in the description of the image in the backend.

Small things most of you won’t see – but make a big difference to the delivery (and your SEO, but more on that later).

Step 8: Give people something to do at the end of the post

Never underestimate the power of a call to action.

Very few people are writing blog posts just to fill people’s day with well-crafted words. Chances are you’re starting a blog because the blog post contributes to a higher purpose, i.e. generating a lead or driving a sale.

Calls to actions can be seamlessly woven into blog posts, whether it be contact us, book now, download now.

Or, if you’re unsure how to weave a call to action into your work, email one of our content crew hello@mediamortar.com.au … see what we did there?

Step 9: SEO the shiz out of it

Most CRM’s are smart enough to include an SEO wizard which takes a lot of the guesswork and confusion out of Search Engine Optimisation.

If you’re using WordPress, you can use the Yoast plugin which uses a traffic light system to denote how good your SEO-juice is to the website.

As content creators first and foremost, we don’t like to obsess too much over a glowing green SEO light.

While your SEO is important, the number one objective is making sure your post offers value to the reader, rather than stuffing them full of keywords that your reader will automatically tune out of.

Step 10: Share your work far and wide!

You know the biggest mistake we see when it comes to company’s blogging? Not doing anything with them once they go live.

Once you’ve written a blog post, make sure you share it far and wide, and cut it up into as many social media captions you can muster.

For us, every post makes an Instagram and Facebook post to announce it live, fills a spot in our regular eNewsletter and can also make for a regular LinkedIn post too.

Suddenly, each blog post is now cut at least three or four ways and all the time you’ve invested into writing those words will become well worth the effort.

By Hannah Statham

Hannah Statham is The Boss at Media Mortar. She’s a heavy weight wordsmith, punching with puns, analogies and metaphors that leave readers wanting more. When she’s not refreshing her Instagram feed, you’ll find Hannah walking her rescue greyhound Olivia.

Media Mortar_Content Marketing Agency_Image by Krista Eppelstun

19/20 Year in Review

By | Stories

Amidst closing out finances for EOFY 19/20, one of my favourite tasks each June is to take time out to reflect on the year that was and share our Media Mortar year in review.

Consider it like one of those Christmas emails you used to receive from a family friend – with a little teaser of what happened and some insights into what’s to come.

Like most business owners, our FY 19/20 will undoubtedly be remembered by the current global pandemic.

But don’t worry, this is a blog post about hope – not the doom and gloom that started for us 11 March 2020 (not to be precise about it or anything).

I say this because as devastating as the effects of COVID-19 is (and was) to our business, it’s given us much to celebrate – clearer focus, tighter processes and new service offerings – to name a few silver linings through a dark time.

It’s my belief that COVID-19 was the setback that’s going to provide for the FY 20/21 come back, so this year’s review is as much about celebrating the end of a financial year as welcoming a new one.

Grab a cuppa and join me as I take you through the highlights and lowlights of FY 19/20 – what we did well and what we learnt along the way.

What we did well

According to Instagram memes ‘a lot can change in a year’, and our FY 19/20 makes a good fist of showing you how.

When I look back at what we’ve achieved, it’s hard to beat our expansion, with the opening of Media Mortar Melbourne. In October 2019, Rochelle made the move south, and we opened an office in Thrive Network, South Melbourne. With a new state came new clients, which Rochelle has been busily acquiring and serving since she lay down roots in postcode 3000.

In line with the expansion, our team transitioned to a completely online project management and time management software system, which allowed our team to work remotely, long before COVID-19 forced the rest of the world to do so.

I am so proud of the way we didn’t really need to adjust our way of working with the pandemic – we were already set up to work remotely and able to run our day-to-day as if it was business as usual.

I truly believe in working remotely and have always managed with the mindset that so long as the work is done, we don’t need to sit together. One of my greatest hopes from COVID-19 is that more businesses realise sitting together is overrated (and expensive).

Last, but certainly not least in our list of big wins, we diversified our service offering with the introduction of paid speaking and webinars nationally. At the start of the year, I set an audacious goal to book at least one speaking engagement per month, something we’ve been able to meet across the year, even through COVID-19 with the introduction (and acceptance) of webinars.

Our speaking engagements, workshops and webinars are services that I significantly want to grow in FY 20/21, as it’s the kind of work that truly lights me up. And, if the feedback we’re getting is anything to go by, it seems to be the kind of work that seems to light our audience up as well.

So, shameless plug – if you’re reading this and know of anyone looking for a speaker, please keep us in mind – you can book us here.

What we learnt

Media Mortar_Content Marketing Agency_Image by Krista EppelstunMany will tell you they learnt to pivot this year, but truth is, I don’t actually believe in pivots. I believe in meeting the market where it is – not spinning in circles creating products and services no one wants or needs and exhausting yourself with the dizziness of it all.

Like most businesses, COVID-19 was the mother of all lessons for us. Most of which we had to learn the hard way, unfortunately.

Take for instance our contracting. It hadn’t been as tight as it could be – every client had an iteration of a contract but the contracts were silent on terms to cover a global pandemic. In the absence of force majeure clauses, we had to negotiate outcomes with clients who had paid deposits for events that were now no longer running and other clients who put us on ‘pause’, unpaid out. This prompted a much-needed contract tightening within the business. Thanks to Sarah and the team at JHK Legal, you can expect to see a 14-page contract before we start work – no exceptions (you’ve been warned!).

The pandemic was also the catalyst for formalising our social media offering. Like most small businesses, we had legacy clients paying a fraction of what we now charge for the same work. Through the pause (I’ll clarify again, we didn’t pivot), we were afforded the time to crystalise the pricing and inclusions of our social media packaging. Realising we only have 15 seats at our social media management table (i.e. we can only run 15 accounts at any one time), we need to reserve them for clients willing to pay our full-service offering – photos, management and advertising – not a fraction thereof.

Accordingly, in the midst of the crisis, we actually offboarded clients, anticipating a potential over-index of tourism clients that would come through once travel bans had lifted. A gamble, that I am so proud to say is now paying off.

In line with this, COVID taught us to listen to our gut instinct more when it comes to clients and how they treat us. We’re now running with the policy that if it’s not a hell yes about your project from us straight up, we’ll politely point you to another supplier. So, to the lovely sportswear store who came price shopping, it was a no. Ditto to clients who show any signs of dishonesty – sorry, we’re straight shooters and don’t have time for you.

What we could do better

Media Mortar_Content Marketing Agency_Image by Krista EppelstunIn a bit of a departure to last years’ process-driven ‘what we could do better’ – this year we’re taking a more spiritual turn.

I’d like us to show more gratitude to our clients.

Oprah has a great quote “what you appreciate, appreciates” and that’s something I’d like to focus on – showing gratitude towards the dream clients we have in our portfolio.

So, if you suddenly start finding thank-you’s in your inbox, you know what’s going on.

We’re also going to walk our own talk a lot more this year because it’s come to our attention through presenting webinars that we often exemplify the old adage “do as I say, not as I do”.

Take for instance Instastories – we’d never actually done piece to camera style stories until this June – so you can be expecting a lot more of them this new financial year.

Similarly, eNewsletters – we’ll be upping that ante since we regularly tell people they have the highest ROI of any form of marketing – and yet only send one per year.

We used the COVID ‘pause’ to segment our send and will be sending our DIY tips and tricks out in line with our Monday Mentor program we started over COVID-19 on our LinkedIn.

So, there you have it – we’re primed for a big year ahead. Let’s hope our prediction comes true and indeed this COVID-19 setback has just been the foundation for an FY 20/21 comeback.

 

Media Mortar_Content Marketing Agency_Image by Krista Eppelstun

By Hannah Statham

Hannah Statham is The Boss at Media Mortar. She’s a heavy weight wordsmith, punching with puns, analogies and metaphors that leave readers wanting more. When she’s not refreshing her Instagram feed, you’ll find Hannah walking her rescue greyhound Olivia.

News Travels Book Store Brisbane Airport

6 reasons you should schedule your social media content

By | Stories

You know what we hear a lot of in our line of work? “I don’t have time to manage my social media.”

To be honest with you, we get it. Our feedback from more than 300 different small businesses we coached over the past three years revealed business owners were spending more than two hours a week struggling with their social media. That’s 4.3 days of the year wondering “what do I post.”

No wonder small business owners say they don’t have time for social media!

We have good news – you don’t need to be sitting in front of the computer wondering what to post anymore.

We’ve made you a content calendar which has 52 weeks of content prompts, so you aren’t left wondering what to write again.

Still not convinced? Let us give you six reasons why you should be scheduling your content.

1. Good social media content makes you money

Media Mortar_Mecca Maxima cosmeticsWe’re not even biased when we say this, social media is a good cost to your business.

Marketing drives sales and sales brings the money through the door – and we’re yet to meet a business owner who couldn’t do with a few more high-paying customers.

For most businesses, the only cost of organic social media is time, which is likely your preferred currency of choice too.

2. Scheduling social media content saves you time

If you’ve been to one of our LIVE sessions you will have heard us use the grocery shopping analogy.

Just as if you did the grocery shopping once a week, you might spend 40 minutes gathering ingredients. But if you shop every day you’ll spend 20 minutes and twice as much to get the same result – dinner on the table.

Social media is exactly the same.

Pre-planning your content is the only way to speed up the curation and creation of content – sitting down to assign captions to your business images and videos.

52 weeks of content prompts for tourism operators

If writing the captions is your sticking point, we wrote this blog post to help you DIY. Alternatively, let us help you on your way with our content calendar with 52 weeks of content prompts to save you the headache.

3. Your social media content becomes undoubtedly better

When you sit down to write content in advance, you’ll have the benefit of a birds-eye view of the week, fortnight or month ahead rather than working in 24-hour cycles.

This allows you to treat your social media as a marathon, not a sprint.

With a helicopter view, you’ll be able to see these key international dates in advance and prepare content ahead of time.

Take it from us. It’s too late to create Mother’s Day content the first Sunday of May – you need to be thinking of getting that perfect photo to share, months in advance.

4. You don’t have to be online to post

Media Mortar_News Travels Brisbane Airport best readsWe’re surely not the only ones who don’t want to be online on a Saturday night sending our posts into the wild.

Automation is key and social media means you’re active when you don’t want to be – after hours, weekends, when you’re on holidays, when you’re out of range – you name it.

Scheduling gives you the opportunity to show up online 24/7 without you having to press ‘go’.

5. You get oversight of how it looks in your feed

Media Mortar_Tanqueray Gin_Lotte Duty Free Brisbane AirportFor our Instagram lovers out there, you’ll be happy to know most scheduling tools provide a visual view of how your content will look in your feed.

Forget uploading two sunsets next to each other and ruining your aesthetic, with a little planning.

A visual-view will allow you to move content around in your feed, so your feed remains aesthetically pleasing.

Coordinate your feed according to colours, or like we do – one graphic design tile for every three squares to create a consistent feed of content.

6. Your social channels will lead with strategy

Last but not least, scheduling ahead of time will mean your social media is strategic – and isn’t what this is really about?

How can you possibly expect to be a strategic communicator when you don’t allocate enough time to do social media properly?

Strategic communication is not born out of rushed posts at 6pm at night while juggling the kids’ bath time and dinner.

It’s born out of dedicated time to think about connecting the right message, to the right audience at the right time.

You need to think like the Chief Marketing Officer of your company, not someone doing social media because someone said you had to.

As a starting point, define your target audience, write an online strategy, and create content pillars for your channels.

And of course, if you need a little help, there’s always our 52-week content planner, brimming with caption cures and content thought starters.

For more social media tips like this, you might like to subscribe to our eNewsletter for regular updates from our team.

By Hannah Statham

Hannah Statham is The Boss at Media Mortar. She’s a heavy weight wordsmith, punching with puns, analogies and metaphors that leave readers wanting more. When she’s not refreshing her Instagram feed, you’ll find Hannah walking her rescue greyhound Olivia.

Media Mortar_Birdsville Big Red Bash_event pitfalls_Image by Tourism & Events Queensland

6 event marketing pitfalls and how to avoid them

By | Stories

Want to know one of the unexpected benefits of working with so many different events over the years? We get to have a bird’s eye view of how really good events run.

The flip side is we also get to see the most common marketing pitfalls not-so-good events seem to fall into.

The perplexing thing about these marketing mistakes (like these small business ones we wrote earlier), is they are usually totally avoidable and don’t cost money, just time.

Our belief is that being forewarned is forearmed. So, if you’re looking to take your event to the next level, we’d suggest you double-check you’re not falling into one of these simple event marketing traps.

Pitfall 1: Not getting your tickets online soon enough

Media Mortar_Birdsville Big Red Bash BRB_Image by Tourism & Events Queensland

Image by Tourism & Events Queensland

Did you know for some regional towns in Australia, the lead time for a customer to consider booking and planning their trip, is between six to nine months?

Put simply, if you’re not online at this time, you’re doing yourself out of a pre-promote campaign.

In our experience, the dates for the following event are usually set at least 12 months in advance. But the ticket sale functionality is not added to the event website until much later.

The solution:

  • Choose a web-developer that you know and trust, but more importantly, actions things quickly. You should be working with someone you’re happy to call and request a new ticket page be built as soon as you have new event dates.
  • Retain a skeleton events committee between event years to oversee tweaks to the website, like updating the ticket sales.
  • If you don’t have the skills within your committee, appoint an advisory board so you have someone to recommend when your content should be online.

Pitfall 2: Hiding your checkout behind copious website pages

Media Mortar_Birdsville Big Red Bash Busby Marou_Image by Tourism & Events Queensland

Image by Tourism & Events Queensland

Do you know the secret to a really good website sales funnel? Only a couple of clicks between thinking about the product, purchasing it and its postage.

Why then do so many events bury their checkout behind unnecessary website pages and make it so hard to buy tickets?

A good website points to the very thing you want people to do – buy from you.

As fun as treasure hunts are, they’re not so good when website design stands between you and getting patrons to your event.

The solution:

  • Work with a web developer who understands consumer behaviour and the need to have your cash register front and centre (especially for Facebook ads).
  • Count how many clicks it takes for a customer to purchase a ticket on your website. Better yet, time someone doing it.
  • Once you know how long it takes for someone to buy tickets, measure it against your website’s bounce rate. If it’s taking too long, chances are you’re contributing to that data.

Pitfall 3: Not arranging a community manager to answer customer questions during the event

Media Mortar_Birdsville Big Red Bash hands up_Image by Tourism & Events Queensland

Image by Tourism & Events Queensland

We know firsthand how hard event organisers work. When it comes to the day of the festival they are busier than a termite in a sawmill answering everyone’s questions.

Therein lies the problem – who is answering the questions, comments and spot-fires which might be burning online?

The committee can’t be two places at once, so you need to resource accordingly.

The solution:

  • Allocate someone in the event committee or your social media manager to sit in a media centre/war room to respond to any questions/queries online.
  • Batch answers to commonly asked questions e.g. Lost Property for your community manager to share with people online.
  • Task just one person with the responsibility of online comms during the festival to ensure messages aren’t being lost and the notification disappears.

Pitfall 4: Spending more time making sponsors happy than consumers

Media Mortar_Birdsville Big Red Bash_boarding down Big Red_Image by Tourism & Events Queensland

Image by Tourism & Events Queensland

We’ve seen too many times events focussing on getting the sponsors logos correctly placed, rather than connecting with their customer and building a community at their event.

Don’t get us wrong, sponsors are important.

But the thing about sponsors is, they won’t be so interested in sponsoring your event unless it’s got consumers at it. So don’t lose sight of your number one stakeholder, the customer.

The solution:

  • Allocate one person to be the sponsorship relationship officer (more for bigger events, of course). The rest of the team can get on with marketing to the consumer.
  • Ensure your marketing plans are created and executed with the customers’ needs first. Your sponsors logo placement is important, but it shouldn’t sit before delivering an incredible experience.

Pitfall 5: Losing your passwords between event years

Media Mortar_Birdsville Big Red Bash_view from Big Red_Image by Tourism & Events Queensland

Image by Tourism & Events Queensland

If you’d have asked us at university what we’d spend most of our careers doing, we wouldn’t have said untangling social media accounts where people have lost the passwords. No sir, but here we are.

Losing your social media passwords is the same as losing your car keys, only there are no locksmiths on the internet if you don’t have a username or a password. It’s a nightmare!

The solution:

  • IT people: block your ears – write them down (somewhere safe).
  • Given event committees change hands frequently, it pays to set these accounts up with a generic username that’s not attached to a person e.g. admin@yourevent rather than janesmith@gmail. When you add a person’s private email as the admin to your Facebook account and they move on, no amount of ‘forgot my password’ is going to trigger the password to come to you.

Pitfall 6: Letting social media lay dormant between event years

Media Mortar_Birdsville Big Red Bash crowd_Image by Tourism & Events Queensland

Image by Tourism & Events Queensland

If you’ve read Social Skills, you’ll know that organic social media is built on momentum. Just like a snowball gathering more snow, you need to keep your social media engagement rolling.

The most common trap we see is that most events only talk about themselves on social media six months out of the event.

That leaves a downturn of six months of the year where your channels are sitting completely dormant, with your engagement rate gathering dust.

Your job for the rest of the year is to build consideration; consideration to visit your destination and consideration for your style of event.

The solution:

  • Build a content calendar for the entire year using content that’s less about you and more about where you host the event. Schedule your content so it goes live without the committee needing to work their regular hours (although note, you will still need someone to community manage the account)
  • Share behind the scenes to create anticipation of the event
  • Make sure you have someone employed to keep your social media channels running all year round. If you get stuck coming up with 52 weeks of event-related social media content,  check out our 365 Day Content Calendar designed to cure content-block.

If you enjoyed this post, you might like our blueprint series: how to market your event. It takes you through a step by step guide of how to market your event.

If we’ve missed a pitfall you think you’ve fallen victim to, drop us a line or comment below and we’ll send you our solution.

By Hannah Statham

Hannah Statham is The Boss at Media Mortar. She’s a heavy weight wordsmith, punching with puns, analogies and metaphors that leave readers wanting more. When she’s not refreshing her Instagram feed, you’ll find Hannah walking her rescue greyhound Olivia.

Flinton Races race day_Event marketing with social media_Image by Krista Eppelstun

Event marketing: Using social media to market your event

By | Stories

Believe it or not, the most powerful way to connect with your customers through your event marketing is completely free. It’s also probably sitting 10cm away from you right now – your mobile phone.

If you’ve read Social Skills, you’ll already know how powerful social media can be. Many events struggle with how they can stay relevant with their event marketing for 365 days of the year. Especially when their event is only 2-3 days of the year (and for many events, even less).

Truth be told, most event co-ordinators usually #nail their pre-promote event marketing. When the actual event comes around, they are generally so fatigued that event post-promotion is the last thing on their mind.

Rather than tell you what to do, read on and we’ll show you.

This is our guide to event marketing and how to use social media to market your event (both large and small).

Divide your marketing plan into three key stages

It doesn’t matter if you’re opening a small art gallery or organising the Olympics, every event has three core areas – pre-promote, during and post-event.

Each stage requires its own marketing plan to ensure your marketing materials elicit what you want the customer to do.

At a very basic marketing level your phases can be defined as follows:

Pre-promote: Your purpose is to sell tickets to this year’s event.

During event: Your core task is to create enough content and materials for next year’s event.

Post-event: Your job is to create raving super-fans from this year’s event, so they become your sales machine for next year’s event.

Pre-promote

Entry to Flinton Races_Event marketing with social media_Image by Krista EppelstunTip 1: Get clear on your audience

Before picking up any pen to marketing-plan paper, start by getting crystal clear on your audience.

The success of any marketing activity hangs in the ability of the creator to answer one simple question, “who is it for?”.

If you’ve read this post, we’ve made a step-by-step formula for defining your audience.

Tip 2: Write a marketing plan and allocate budget

With a target audience in sight, map out a plan of how you’d like to reach them. Include how much money you’re willing to spend to hit them with bullseye accuracy.

If you have no money, that’s fine, but you need to be realistic about your marketing options, likely organic social media and free creative tools like Canva.

We often sit down with regional events with no marketing budget to speak of, who still list Sunrise or the Today Show as part of their plans.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but if you don’t have the budget to even host the crew’s breakfast, how do you expect to get them there in the first place?

Pssst – if you’re serious about PR for your event, you’ll want to read our DIY PR Guide.

Tip 3: Get seriously organised

What we know about event committees is they wear three or four different hats, and running an event is usually not their core business.

Given you have the benefit of time in the pre-promote phase, get organised by drafting all your social media posts for the lead up to the event.

We use a scheduling tool called Later on all our client accounts. This tool allows us to draft, plan and visualise how all Facebook and Instagram content will look in the feed.

While you’re busy organising food trucks, tent city and portaloos, your content will be firing without you needing to trigger it. For six more reasons to schedule your social media, you’ll want to read this guide.

During the event

Tip 1: Invest in content creation

Unlike tour guides who get to perfect their experience with each and every tour, you only get one shot at running an event.

It’s imperative you use this year’s event to gather all the materials you need to set up the promotion of next years’ event.

If you want to show up four times per week on social media for the next 365 days, you know you need 208 different images to run your social media channels for the year. Use this as the basis for your shot list for the photographer.

In our opinion, a professional photographer and videographer are your best marketing investments. Use them to create social proof that your event is worth attending.

Remember when briefing a content creator, your photographer/videographer only has so many hours in a day and cannot be in two places at once.

If you’re running an event where there are multiple stages in operation at the same time, you’ll need two shooters if you want content of both.

Tip 2: Go Live

Events were made for live streaming. Good news – both Instagram and Facebook have free live technology built into them.

Both algorithms also favour live video so you’ll be seen by more people and the results speak for themselves.

According to Facebook Data, users comment 10 times more when their video is live, as opposed to uploaded after the fact.

More than just engagement with content, live videos at events have been proven to move the needle on attendance too.

In fact, 30% of people who watch a livestream of an event will attend the same event the following year (Source: EventBrite).

Tip 3: Combine IRL activity with what’s happening online

The best live events in our opinion, build a bridge between what’s happening online and what’s happening in real life (#IRL).

Take Coachella for instance. You don’t actually need to go to the event to feel part of the zeitgeist of it. You only need to hop onto Instagram to know what’s happening in the middle of the Colorado Desert.

It’s easy to create smaller Instagrammable social media moments for people at your event. It can be as grandiose as a flower wall or as simple as a corflute Instagram frame.

To ensure people share their content in the right place, plaster your hashtag and handle everywhere and hot tip, keep your hashtag evergreen. For example, use #MediaMortarLIVE rather than #MediaMortarLIVE2020 so you can reuse your signage time and time again (as well as the hashtag for future use).

Post Event

Tip 1: Create a highlight reel

Just as footballers get interviewed as they come off the field, not three days later, the best time to capitalise on the excitement of your event is straight away.

Contract your photographer and videographer to submit their content within a few days of the event (better yet, same-day delivery). This way you can share the highlights of the event with your followers.

Share social-style albums from the event, asking followers to tag themselves to extend the reach of your content as you go.

You might also like to share your social style images with the local paper for feature – and plant the seed for next year (for more free PR ideas like this, swing over here).

Tip 2: Report it

We love a good learning, because without them, how else do you improve?

Take time at the end of the event to report what worked and didn’t work, following this reporting structure.

Just remember to save it down somewhere for next year’s festival coordinators to find before they embark on this journey again. Please.

Tip 3: Ask for reviews

While you’re fresh in everyone’s mind, ask your attendees to leave a review for you on your preferred channel.

In my experience, most events are great at sending a Survey Monkey to attendees asking for feedback. But that’s for internal purposes and doesn’t help build trust for new customers on your consumer channels.

This distinction is important because reviews are external facing. They have the core purpose of attracting more people to your event (it’s also our single biggest marketing play).

While we’re not dismissing internal feedback for improvements, you don’t want to dismiss the fact that according to Qualtrics 93% of customers read reviews before purchasing anything and are about to form probably your biggest marketing channel for next year’s event.

The best tip for last

Our final tip for all events in running their marketing – be brave and bold.

In our experience, most people opt for the strategy that’s least likely to fail, rather than the one that’s most likely to work.

Give your wildest ideas a go. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

P.S. – if you liked this post, you might find our common marketing pitfalls blog helpful too.

By Hannah Statham

Hannah Statham is The Boss at Media Mortar. She’s a heavy weight wordsmith, punching with puns, analogies and metaphors that leave readers wanting more. When she’s not refreshing her Instagram feed, you’ll find Hannah walking her rescue greyhound Olivia.

Media Mortar_Define your target audience_Moreton Island

Step-by-step guide: How to define your target audience

By | Stories

In the words of our favourite marketing guru, Seth Godin, “everyone is not your target audience”.

And yet, this is without a doubt the most common misconception we encounter when onboarding a new client.

On behalf of marketers across the globe – can we please ask you to define your target audience, so your marketing messages reach someone who is actually listening?

We’re not talking about writing tomes of strategy or complex Gantt charts; we’re only asking you to answer one simple question: who is your content for?

It’s not a hard question, but it’s a loaded one. That’s why we’re here to walk you through our step-by-step guide to defining your target audience.

Step 1: Find what Seth calls your ‘true fans’

Media Mortar_Define your target audience_Moreton Island WrecksThe biggest mistake we see brands make is trying to appeal to the masses.

At its core, marketing is about changing the minds of people.

It’s therefore incongruous to think you can change everyone’s mind. To do so would be too hard – and what we know for sure, is no one buys as a result of indifferent marketing.

Instead, try and change one person.

Start by thinking small, carving out an audience niche with the smallest viable market in mind. That is, what is the smallest market you need to convince to make your marketing efforts worthwhile?

The idea is that when you build true fans, they do the marketing for you. And just like mice, true fans breed more true fans.

We subscribe in a big way to the theory that it’s no longer about the mass market but the micro one – and we have a target audience resource to help get you clear on yours.

To help you complete this step, finish this sentence: My product / service or event is for people who __________________.

Step 2: Know what you stand for, know what you don’t stand for

Media Mortar_Define your target audience_Moreton Island lighthouseIt’s ok not be a product, service or event that suits everyone. We’re not – and we’re not even slightly concerned by that.

According to Seth, telling a customer “we’re not for you” shows respect that you’re not going to waste their time, pander to them, or change their beliefs – and this distinction is important. Not only does it release your customer, it frees you up to do more work that matters.

If you’re not selling a product for everyone – start by narrowing down who you are not selling to.

We do a lot of work in rural communities, and this exercise is possibly even more important than the first step. Because driving 1500km in the name of an ‘adventure’ is not for everyone, and it would be wasting everyone’s time, energy and marketing spend to convert the Bali traveller to say, Barcaldine.

To help you complete this step, finish this sentence: My product / service or event is for people who do not __________________.

Or better yet, finish this one: People don’t choose my product/service or event because __________________.

Step 3: Define your USP

Media Mortar_Define your target audience_Girl on Moreton Island beachIf you’ve read this post, you’ll know one of our biggest bug bears is that most businesses can’t define their USP.

Most default to this as their standard response “but we’re better than the competition”.

It’s important to call out that “better” is completely subjective. To some people, podcasts are better than TV, and to others, books are better than podcasts. This doesn’t actually make one better – it’s merely subjective.

In our industry, we might think we do better website copy than our competition, but the truth is for someone who wants a website wanting a very serious tone of voice, we’re not the better choice. You just have to read our work to know that.

To help define your USP, finish this sentence: Customers will tell their friends ___________________ about my product.

Step 4: Design your creative so it’s less about you and more about them

Media Mortar_Define your target audience_Moreton Island wildflowersWe hate to break it to you, but no customer actually cares about what you do. They only care about what it will do for them.

You may have heard the old marketing adage, Features vs Benefits?

It goes something like this – people don’t walk into Bunnings wanting a drill. They go in wanting to drill a hole. More than this, they want a hole to install a shelf to store their clutter.

See where we’re going here? You’re no longer in the business of selling drills, you’re actually selling storage solutions, peace of mind and the mind set that goes along with uncluttered spaces (*waves slyly at our girl Marie Kondo*).

To do this, you need to lead with what your customers are going to think, feel, gain out of your product or service.

And if you haven’t connected the dots, the only way you’re going to know what your customer is thinking, is by being crystal clear on who they are and what they need from you in the first place.

To help define what your customers motivations are, finish one (or all) of these sentences:

My customers are afraid of _____________________.

My customers are short on _____________________.

My customers are frustrated by ____________________.

Step 5: Report how it hit your customer between the eyeballs

Media Mortar_Define your target audience_Moreton Island campingIf you read this post, you’ll know we’re serious about reporting – especially since Facebook Ads Manager allows you to target audiences with absolute specificity.

The biggest gap we see however with clients is that they report on numbers that weren’t directly correlated with the campaign.

For example, running an awareness campaign and reporting conversions is the same as ordering apples and wondering why they don’t taste like apple crumble. They both start the same but end up very different based on the process that happens in between.

If you want a true read on whether you successfully targeted your audience, you’ll want to make sure you’re reporting the correct metrics.

To help define whether you were successful, finish this sentence:

We successfully targeted ____________ customer through _____________ campaign using _____________ tactics.

Save this down, because if it worked, you’ll want to do it again.

When you’re hitting your customer with bullseye accuracy, you’ll find you save marketing dollars and leave more impact with your message every time, which really, is what this is all about.

By Hannah Statham

Hannah Statham is The Boss at Media Mortar. She’s a heavy weight wordsmith, punching with puns, analogies and metaphors that leave readers wanting more. When she’s not refreshing her Instagram feed, you’ll find Hannah walking her rescue greyhound Olivia.