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Media Mortar_Content Marketing Agency_Image by Krista Eppelstun

19/20 Year in Review

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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.

Media Mortar_Report Social Media Marketing

How to report social media marketing and set KPIs

By | Stories

Since we’ve been presenting our social media marketing workshops across Australia, we’ve been privy to the questions small businesses have about marketing.

Most questions you expect [What is a hashtag? How do I find time for all this? Why do I need to do social media?] but other questions come out of left field. Like, what do I report and how should I set social media KPIs for my team?

*cracks knuckles*

Welcome readers to the dark art of reporting.

Here are our seven super simple steps to help you prepare the ultimate social media marketing report.

1. Report what’s quantifiable and inside your control

Media Mortar_Report Social Media Marketing_report whats in your control_1Put simply, if you can count it, you can report it.

Metrics on social media like reach, engagement, number of posts should all be stalwarts in your measurement each month.

There’s no point reporting anything you can’t control. But there is value in reporting why declines in the above may be attributed to things outside your control like global pandemics, flood, drought etc.

But really, if it doesn’t include numbers, it’s outside the scope of a social media report.

2. Don’t report vanity metrics

Media Mortar_Report Social Media Marketing_don't report vanity metrics_2We’ve made a lot of reports in our time and can guarantee the CEO of the company is usually only drawn to one thing: “how many followers did we get this month?”.

This is your permission to stop counting followers and educate your boss on the difference between followers and customers.

If you’ve read this post, you’ll know anyone with $5 and the right Google search words can buy followers. But if you’re looking for customers in the northern suburbs of Brisbane, thousands of followers in Lithuania won’t help.

Instead, report metrics that contribute to a sale (or conversion), like engagement. That is, did your customers action something when they saw your content, or did they scroll on by.

3. Report what your objective set out to do

Media Mortar_Report Social Media Marketing_report your objectives_3If we had a dollar for every customer who sat in our office with their arms behind their head and said, “I want to see ROI”, we wouldn’t be making social calendars anymore.

The key to achieving ROI, is to articulate your objectives and set up your social media to achieve them.

The reason most social media activity doesn’t achieve ROI is not because social media failed, but rather, because the objective and activity were totally incongruous. Allow us to explain.

If your objective is to reach more people, don’t be upset it didn’t generate more signups to your eNewsletter – that wasn’t the objective. You set it up to fail.

If you want sign ups to your eNewsletter, you should set up a lead-generation campaign.

Similarly, we’re not surprised your traffic ads didn’t sell tickets to your event, if they landed on a page with no information or a point of sale for customers to buy them.

You need to make sure your objectives are realistic and measurable. No matter how much money you throw to the advertising gods, social media marketing can only ever get customers so far – and marketers can’t achieve the impossible.

4. A report is only as good as the person reading it

Media Mortar_Report Social Media Marketing_reading a report_4In our esteemed marketing opinion, many people like to collect a report but never actually read the data or insights inside.

In fact, a colleague friend of ours who worked for a large hotel chain used to embed statements like ‘Gary is a purple dinosaur’ just to test if anyone read her tome-of-a-report.

Want to know the horrifying thing? No one picked up her humour in her seven years with the company.

Anything can be reported, but the real skill is being able to read through the clutter contained within pretty graphs pumped out by social media platforms.

Report what you want to know and keep it simple – the data tells the story, so you don’t need to. If you’re looking for a template report, you’ll find what we send to our clients in our Social Skills Handbook.

5. Conversion isn’t the only measurement tool

Media Mortar_Report Social Media Marketing_more than conversion_ 5Of course, we’d all like to have more money in the bank, but that’s not the only measurement to report.

Consider adding these into your report:

  • Total number of posts
  • Post reach
  • How many comments the post received
  • Was the post shared
  • Number of shares or clicks the post got

The sum of all these parts will allow you to ask important questions about what content your followers like, don’t like and what you could be doing to improve. And really, what you do next with the report, is the bit that counts.

Remember the purpose of the report is to finetune your social media marketing activity so it can continually improve. If your followers aren’t connecting with the people photos, swap them for landscapes if they are proven to work – and to hell with what everyone else thinks.

When it comes to social media marketing, the only stakeholder you should be concerned about is the customer. The biggest barrier we see to social success is internal thinking, rather than external speaking.

6. KPIs can be whatever you like – so long as they’re achievable

Media Mortar_Report Social Media Marketing_achievable KPIs_6There is no one size fits all KPI – but you want to make sure they are achievable.

If you’re not paying for social media advertising, accept that your staff are realistically only going to move the engagement needle by very small increments year-on-year.

Given the average Instagram engagement rate is only 4.7% (and brands are often much less), you want to be realistic about how many people you think will like, comment and share your content.

We often sit down to new client meetings where the KPIs proposed are more than six times the average engagement rate.

This is a beyond reasonable expectation, especially when the company isn’t prepared to provide six times the advertising dollars to get the attention of the consumer.

7. Benchmark yourself against competitors

Media Mortar_Report Social Media Marketing_benchmark your competitors_7If you thought your growth was slow – wait ’til you start benchmarking your competitors – and you’ll see you’re in a race set at a snail’s pace.

When we report monthly, we’ll not just focus on our own gains, but our competitor set too.

This allows us to see where our growth is consistent, and equally where it’s falling behind.

If it’s falling behind, we ask the important question – why? Sharp growth in your competitor’s follower numbers generally reveal one thing, your competitors are out spending you.

If that’s the case, it’s time to sit down and set an online strategy. Lucky for you, we’ve made just the thing.

If you want more information about social media marketing reporting, you’ll find a whole chapter in our Social Skills Handbook or you can book a training session with us.

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 | 5 marketing activities you can put in place to support your tourism business

Coronavirus and the tourism industry: Marketing tips to support your business

By | Stories

We’ve been asked a lot this week about our top marketing tips during this time of crisis.

There’s no doubt about it, the corona crisis is unprecedented.

For tourism operators across the world, it’s devastating.

For tourism operators in Australia, excruciating.

And for our Queensland clients who’ve come off the back of seven years of drought, only to be hit with bushfires and floods back to back, it’s crippling.

But in the darkest tourism times, there is hope. Where there are challenges, there are opportunities.

And we believe for tourism operators in Queensland, the opportunities lay in content marketing.

Here’s our marketing tips for why:

Time is your new best friend

Media Mortar | Time is your new best friend

⁠What we know about tourism businesses now is that they are slow (understatement of 2020, or what?). What we know about content marketing, is it’s time-consuming.

You now have the opportunity to use this perfect storm to your advantage and knuckle down to write that marketing strategy (here’s a DIY one we prepared earlier) you’ve never had time to do before.

Your new marketing KPI is awareness (be real, you’re not converting anyone in self-isolation), which in content marketing terms, has a lot to do with showing up consistently.

We always say good content marketing is 99% momentum, and you finally have time to build yours.

Like anything with momentum, the first step is always the hardest. Here are our top five marketing tips to get started:

1. Think big, strategise and pivot

Media Mortar - Think big and strategiseWe get it – it’s easy to run gym classes online, package up food into take away containers and host webinars instead of conferences. But how the hell do you pack up an accommodation business with bricks and mortar in a time of crisis? Truth is, you can’t.

But what you can do is re-think how your customer experience looks. Consider how your customers book and if you can frontload booking deposits to ensure if this happens again, you have more money in the bank.

You might want to consider instead of the usual “pay two, stay three” style deals, are there offers you can put to market like “book and pay now, stay later” to bring cash back into the bank?

Can you offer accommodation to high-risk people who live-in high-risk areas, to wade out the corona-storm with you at a low-cost tariff? Therein pivoting your business into long-stay accommodation for now.

You can also look at your revenue streams – what we know is our tourism clients with a foot in the business market were the last to feel corona’s impact, while the leisure market was first hit.

Audit your business and ask is there another way you could bring in revenue to your business?

2. Schedule like you’re going to be inundated for the rest of the year, because truth is, you probably will be

Media Mortar - Social media schedulingSocial media is one of the biggest time-drains on your day-to-day operations (spoken like true social media managers), so use your self-isolation time to get organised with future-content.

Map out your content using a social media scheduling tool so that when things pick up (which all tourism experts say it will and in a big way), you’ll be ready and waiting with Instagram and Facebook posts to serve your digital customers, while you’re busy serving IRL ones. ⁠

If you’re unsure what scheduling looks like, we have a manual planner available for download, but we personally schedule all of our Media Mortar and client content digitally via a platform called Later. We believe is the best scheduler in market, and you can trust us, we’ve tried THEM ALL.

Don’t let your scheduling timing put you off – you can always shuffle your posts around if things change. Scheduling isn’t set in cement.

3. Write those blog posts

Media Mortar - Marketing tips - Write those blog postsYou know those long-form stories that your SEO specialist is always talking about, but you never have time to complete? Self-isolation is just how every freelance writer actually works – now’s your time to give it a go.

If you’re wondering what to write about – start by collating a list of your frequently asked questions in your tourism business. Find out what people are worried about and package them into a blog post.

Your customer is the best focus group you’ll ever have. As an example, the question we’ve been getting throughout COVID-19 is ‘what should I be doing’ – and this post was born out of that.

Batch content over this period to distribute over the year. If you’re in need of some thought-starters, finish these sentences:

  • X things you never knew about Y
  • X best things to do in Y
  • 48 hours in X- X reasons to visit in summer, autumn, winter, spring

4. ⁠Write that website re-development brief for later

Media Mortar - Marketing tips - Write that website briefWe understand that contracting a web-developer to re-design your whole site is outside booouuuu-getttt (read in a French accent), but writing a brief and getting really clear on how you’d like it to look like won’t cost you a cent.

Spend your time trawling your site and determining what works, what doesn’t and what you’d like to change.

Research your competitors, play on their websites, take screen grabs of what you like about them and then build yourself a website brief.

When cashflow is back to normal levels or the government drops a round of digital grants to corona-affected tourism businesses, you’ll be all “here’s one I prepared earlier.”

Whether you decide to completely overhaul the website or just tweak little tiny bits, well, that’s up to you.

5. Tidy your email contact lists

Media Mortar - Tidy your email contact lists Cleaning your database is about as fun as washing your car but it’s SO important for making sure your message is delivered into the right hands.

Use your newfound time to tidy yours up, divide it into groups (segments) so you can send more targeted newsletters moving forward.

Won’t your audience be caught by surprise when your next email opens with “Hi Hannah” rather than “Hi” with your new personalisation under way.

Jaws will hit the floor when their normal booking triggers an automated sales funnel, which sends an automatic confirmation, and then a week out of travel information about the destination, restaurants to book and things to see and do before they arrive.

We know times are tough, but time is your greatest gift now. How you choose to use it, is up to you.

If you’re not sure where to start, we’re happy to help whoever is in need of marketing tips – reach out to us hello@mediamortar.com.au

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.

Content marketing agency_Business New Year's Resolutions_Mt Tamborine view red wine

Five Business New Year’s Resolutions we’re adopting

By | Stories

I don’t know about you, but I’m maniacal about setting New Year’s Resolutions.

Ever since I read this stat from Dr. Gail Matthews, a psychology professor at the Dominican University in California – which outlined that you’re 42% more likely to achieve a goal if you write it down – I realised I wasn’t crazy in my goal setting, merely, setting myself up for success.

This year, I’ve taken a new twist on resolutions, writing both personal ones and business New Year’s Resolutions. My business New Year’s Resolutions, I’m proudly typing up here and sharing widely on social media as accountability (that’s from you, dear reader).

If you haven’t set business New Year’s resolutions yourself, I’d strongly encourage it – even if only to put yourself in that top 42% more likely to achieve them.

Our job now is to action them. Yours is to keep us accountable. Are we clear?

Resolution One: Create Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for everything

Content marketing agency_Business New Year's Resolutions_Standard Operating Procedures_Mt Tamborine room with a view

Over the Christmas break I devoured Michael Gerber’s E-Myth Revisited, a book I’m going to say is officially my favourite read in our recommended business reading list. To date, it’s the book that’s had the most profound impact on the way we’re going to do business – I can’t speak highly enough about it.

The premise of Gerler’s book is simple – you need to run your business like it’s a franchise, rather than the small operation it is today.

What he means by this is that there should be a standard operating procedure for everything. Aka anyone should be able to pick up the manual and press go on any task. Think McDonalds, where every store runs identically, with or without Ray Kroc.

To be honest, I’ve known we’ve needed these for a while. But we’ve used the guise of ‘offering creative services’ as a crutch for not implementing SOPs because every job is truly different – even down to the way we win the job and onboard the client.

That said, when we stepped back to really look at how we do our work, there were a lot of similarities. All jobs require a brief – so why not create our own re-brief template? Why not formalise how we send drafts and how we document our revisions – both internal and external?

And just like that, SOPs have been born.

Given the breadth of our services, we’re still working through SOPs for every possible combination of services, but by the end of 2020 I have no doubt these will be a well-oiled machine, especially if Kristy and Rochelle have anything to do with it.

Resolution Two: Ask for reviews

Content marketing agency_Business New Year's Resolutions_Ask for reviews_Mt Tamborine diningLast year I was asked to present workshops around the State about managing online reputation and management.

About two hours into the workshop the same awkward thing would happen – I’d have to show the workshop room what a Google My Business Listing Profile looks like, showing them our lonely eight reviews.

We have so many more than eight success stories – but out of sheer laziness to follow up with clients – few reviews tell that tale. Quelle embarrassment!

Since the first step of receiving is asking, we’re going back through the client archives to politely ask clients to review their experience with us.

Cue SOP ‘client onboarding’ which now has a final step, ask each customer to leave a Google Review at the end of their experience.

Resolution Three: Quit being the cobbler without shoes

Content marketing agency_Business New Year's Resolutions_Promote yourself_Mt Tamborine road side produce stand

You know how a builder’s house is never finished? A cobbler doesn’t wear shoes? A mechanic drives the worst car? Well yeah, the same thing can be said for marketers. We’re often THE WORST at promoting ourselves.

This year we’ll be marketing ourselves big time – and are setting ourselves the challenge of consistently promoting our product and services. We’ve started in January with an SEO dive into every corner of our website. Boy, has that found some cobwebs we didn’t even know existed!

To make our resolutions SMART (that’s Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely), this is what we’re going for:

  1. Posting on Instagram and Facebook three times a week and scheduling our content a fortnight in advance
  2. Posting on LinkedIn once a week with original Media Mortar content
  3. Developing Media Mortar blog content (like this) once a month

Oh, and maybe adding something audio-visual soon too! But more on that later.

Resolution Four: Spend 20% of the week acquiring new business

Content marketing agency_Business New Year's Resolutions_New business_Mt Tamborine garden walk

If you missed our announcement in November last year, we opened a new office, Media Mortar Melbourne *cue the pom poms and online cheer squad*.

Since opening its doors at Thrive Network, it’s been like being back in start-up mode. You know the time in your business where everyone is a stranger, every day is a hustle and networking becomes a good excuse for mid-week drinking?

In walking Rochelle through our new business process, it’s put the spotlight on me to tidy up and formalise my own BDM process. After all, it seemed only fair that I be committing the same amount of time and energy to driving sales as she is.

So, in 2020, I’m putting on my woolly-jacket for cold calls and pitch emails and officially spending twenty per cent of my week on new business – coffees, networking, meetings, emails and conferences.

If you start to see me cropping up in your inbox more than usual, you know what I’m up to.

Resolution Five: Get seriously organised

Content marketing agency_Business New Year's Resolutions_Get organised_Mt Tamborine waterfall

I’d describe myself as organised, but when it comes to the business, I feel like we have a million ‘organisation’ tools and schedulers but use them all to about five per cent of their capacity. It does my head in.

This year we’re becoming Asana pros, we’re learning how to make TimeCamp speak to Xero and we’re focussing on our file storage systems – world, why so many file transfer systems?

We’ll be getting bossy too. We won’t be starting projects until we have everything we need to set us up for success – a trap regrettably we fell into too many times in 2019 when trying to be helpful.

We’re not being difficult, just more organised. And the more organised we are, the better service we know we can provide to our clients.

And in the spirit of organisation, we’ll be sticking these resolutions on the wall as a constant reminder of what we want to achieve. Why? To be part of the 42% more likely to achieve your goals only works if you regularly revisit them.

Now it’s over to you to help keep us accountable. According to Marie Forleo, if you have an accountability partner (that’s you reader), you’re up to 60% more likely to achieve your goals.

We like the sound of these odds.

Do you have any Business New Year’s Resolutions you’d like to add?

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_Marketing to millennials_Hannah Statham presenting at Adventure Queensland

Why your business should be marketing to millennials

By | Stories

Millennials don’t need much of an introduction. The press they’ve been given in recent years unfortunately does most of the talking for them.

Narcissistic. Entitled. Bratty … these are just a few adjectives that are thrown around the media. Maybe you’ve seen or heard a few of these delightful monikers?

It’s fair to say the world hated millennials … that is until they became a $3.3 trillion industry and businesses globally started to sit up and pay attention.

If you run a business, whether you’re in the product or service industry, lifestyle, tourism, construction or something completely different – it’s no longer a question of if you should start marketing to millennials, but when.

What makes millennials such an important segment?

You only need to follow the numbers to realise millennials matter.

As at 2020, they’ll make up 50% of the workforce and by 2025 statisticians put the generation at 75% of the world’s workforce (Source: Inc).

And dear readers, this is the reason you need to make marketing to millennials a priority. They’re not just a target audience, they are soon to be your ONLY target audience.

Considering this generation will live longer (if current age projections are to go by) and they’ll work longer (at least, if the bar to accessing superannuation and pensions keeps moving higher), it makes sense this group will be a key purchaser for more years than any other generation that’s gone before them.

I put it to you, if your business is in the business of making money (whose isn’t, right?) you’re now officially in the business of marketing to millennials.

So, stop mocking their avocado toast and the fact they live at home for longer, here’s what you need to know.

What makes millennials so special?

Millennials might be the butt of media jokes for wanting to be ‘special’, but the truth is, they are.

This is a generation that’s more educated than any other, with university enrolments and graduates rising year on year in Australia – with just shy of a quarter having completed a Bachelor’s degree or higher (source: ABS).

They’re also driven (not lazy, thank you very much) with 87% taking on managerial positions in the past five years (source: Hubspot).

They’re used to getting things on demand – and when they don’t like the status quo, they disrupt it with technology and solutions that are far more effective than any that have gone before.

Now these are qualities we should be celebrating, don’t you think?

Millennials are diverse and their diversity makes them like catching smoke

Content marketing agency_Marketing to millennials_Coffee at the airportWhen marketers talk about target markets, we’re told to get razor sharp – but this is tricky with millennials who share a 17-year age gap.

It’s not just nearly two decades of difference, it’s a deep chasm of technology evolution that distances their eldest constituents (born in 1980) and youngest (who joined us earth side in 1994).

As a generation, they have members who grew up with a mobile phone in their hand and others who learnt how to send messages when keyboards had text on nine keys.

For the oldest members of this generation, going to the movies with friends was something that needed the session times printed in the newspapers and for the youngest, the choice at the flick of a Netflix switch.

You’re starting to get the picture – no two millennials are the same. And before we start dismissing this group as a generation who lives at home with the parents, only to leave it when there’s a Pokémon to be caught, let me just remind you 25% of all millennials are parents themselves (Source: Adobo).

So, if millennials are the most important target market but are so damn hard to talk to, how do you go about marketing to millennials?

Over the past two years, we’ve made it our absolute passion to study this group and to learn from them.

What we’ve observed, which is confirmed by social scientists, is that millennials are all motivated by three things:

  1. Freedom
  2. Change
  3. Choice

With these motivating factors top of mind, we’ve broken this down further and compiled our biggest learnings into seven steps we’d recommend integrating into your marketing plans if you want to successfully market to millennials.

Step 1: Stand for something

If this blog post was a meme (and if you’re marketing to millennials, it pays to think like one) it would read: ‘your vibe attracts your tribe’.

Millennials stand for something and they expect you to as well.

If you really want to connect with this generation, you need to think about your business differently. You’re no longer in the business of selling a product or service, you’re now in the business of selling your purpose.

This isn’t just nice fluffy stuff, your service to others will drive sales. In fact, according to Millennial Marketing, 50% of all millennials are more likely to make a purchase from a company if they think the purchase supports a cause.

What’s more, 37% of millennials are willing to buy more from a brand that actively supports a cause (Source: Medium).

If you’re looking for inspiration, check out local brand Outland Denim who wear their purpose (and their denim) on their sleeve.

Tip 2: Advertise differently

Content marketing agency_Marketing to Millennials_Airport diningWhen it comes to marketing to millennials, a group who’ve been overrun with advertising their whole lives, it’s time to put down your AdWords and create social proof instead.

Don’t just take our word for it, according to Hubspot, 84% of millennials don’t trust traditional advertising. Now, that’s a majority, too great to ignore.

Creating social proof is relatively easy – you just need to get other people to do the talking for you. We wrote a whole post about mastering your online reputation which will get you started.

While most businesses we work with are fairly good at getting testimonials, most are terrible at doing anything with them once they’ve been written.

Millennials more than any other generation lean on testimonials for their decision-making. In fact, all disruptors like Uber, Airbnb and Airtasker all lead with two-way testimonials and reviews – they are that important to doing business in the modern world.

Tip 3: Get social & stay social

It might be obvious, but you wouldn’t believe how many people are still placing print ads to capture ‘young families’ attention.

If 25% of millennials have children, they are the definition of this audience segment and Nielsen Data shows this group spends more time on social media than any other demographic. So, if you’re making TVCs and print advertising, make sure you’re using social media to support them.

Invest in making your product and experience Insta-worthy from all angles and take your product to the social media market your customers like to shop at. [Eds note: we are not advocating you replace good product and service for flower walls because your business will soon be out of business if that’s your operational strategy too].

Social media is so important for millennials, in fact, 34% of them use it to influence their purchasing decisions (Source: B&T).

If you’ve read this post about six common marketing mistakes you’re probably making, chances are you will have avoided the cardinal sin of social media – posting and then walking away.

When it comes to marketing to millennials, 62% say they are more likely to be a customer if a brand interacts with them on social. So, with this generation, you quite literally have to talk-the-talk.

Tip 4: Communicate instantaneously

When you’re talking to a generation who is used to everything on demand, it makes sense when millennials want it, they want it now.

This is a group who doesn’t wait for a session time to see a movie – they watch it on demand. They don’t wait or walk for a cab … they get an Uber from their door and they don’t even date IRL … everything is done with a swipe left or right.

We get time poor business owners can’t be all places at once, so automate as much as you can to ensure millennials are getting their answers as quickly as possible.

On social media you can set up a Facebook chatbot with the flick of a setting-switch and Instagram can automate DM’s too based on keywords. You’ll find these step-by-step instructions in our social media handbook, over here.

Whether you’re automating responses or not, on social it’s important to dedicate one person to respond to queries so nothing is missed.

Tip 5: You do you

While I’d love to play a drinking game in meetings where we take a shot every time the word ‘authentic’ is bandied around, it is a buzz word in the industry for a reason.

When it comes to talking to this group transparency is key – millennials will know when they are being sold to.

Cut through the noise by being yourself. And if you don’t have anything to say – just remember that silence often has the loudest sound.

And remember, if you’ve made mistakes (and don’t pretend no business hasn’t), own them.

You’ll find that when you apologise for poor actions, decisions or practices of the past, you build up trust capital with your audience and they find you more human, credible and relatable.

If you’ve read this post, you’ll know that trust is the key deciding factor in whether or not a customer will convert to a transaction.

Be humble, true to yourself and most importantly, own your mistakes.

Tip 6: Appeal to FOMO

You only need to talk to a millennial home alone on a Saturday night to find out the fear of missing out is very real.

Tap into a millennial’s desire for being involved – making it so enviable to be a part of that they have no choice but to accept.

A simple way of doing this is to build anticipation for a new product launch or something being unveiled.

We work with lots of brands who are great at coming up with launch plans, but to date, no one’s ever asked us to come in for the sneak peek planning.

The pre-launch I would argue for this demographic is even more important than the real deal to build anticipation and hype and plant the seeds of FOMO-doubt.

Tip 7: Do more of what you’re currently doing

If you’ve stayed with us for this long, we’ve left the best point ‘til last – keep reading, keep learning and keep talking to millennials.

The best way to market to millennials is to spend more time with them.

Considering very few millennials sit in CMO roles (or chief decision maker positions), it’s important for brands to create internal millennial masterminds. Give them buy-in, ask them how they want to be spoken to, create campaigns collaboratively.

Anyone who has ever hired a millennial will know all about their ambition. What better way to give them opportunities to grow in the organisation than set them a challenge or a task so they can rise to the occasion?

If you want to ‘make an impact’ – create a millennial mastermind or taskforce and give them the sole goal of making one with a marketing campaign that targets millennials. Inception is a beautiful thing!

Give it a go and let us know below how it worked out for you in the comments below.

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_Caption Cures - Champagne Pools Moreton Island

Our cures for Instagram caption-block

By | Stories

Have you ever found the perfect photo to share on social media, but as your fingers hover over the keyboard to write a Pulitzer-prize worthy Instagram caption, your mind goes blank? Yep, it even happens to us too.

You’ve got a case of Instagram caption-block. Aka the crippling stall of ideas and creativity that usually kicks in when you’re short on time and in a rush to send your post into the Instagram wild.

What if we told you we have a guaranteed cure that will have your posts live and on their merry way to engagement and conversion-heaven?

Enter our eight ways to cure your Instagram caption-block that will banish the words “what should I write” forever.

Cure 1: Use a quote

Media Mortar | Content Marketing Agency Brisbane | Instagram caption cures - Brisbane Airport New RunwayLost for words in your Instagram captions? Why not use someone else’s?

We’re not talking about plagiarism but searching for inspiration from someone that’s appeared on television, radio, a movie screen or newspaper and let their words do the talking for you.

Make sure you know your audience (to find them, check out our how to find your target audience resource) before you start quoting anyone and everyone from the bright lights of Hollywood.

Speaking to a younger crowd? Chances are you’ll be looking for inspiration from someone with a blue certified star on their Instagram account rather than a John Wayne film.

Either way, we strongly suggest the quote comes from a stand-up citizen who hasn’t been on the wrong side of the law.

Quoting Rule 101: don’t forget to reference who said it.

Cure 2: Channel your inner comedian

Media Mortar | Content Marketing Agency Brisbane | Instagram caption cures - Western Downs Sausage DogWe’re all funny in our own way, right?

Although psychologists, neuroscientists and philosophers are still trying to understand how humour differs for everyone, what we call ROFL-factor remains one of the most effective ways to gain cut through on social media.

Why? Because just like the adage “laughter is the best medicine” – humour allows your audience to become distracted from their day-to-day stress.

If your target audience is Millennials, Gen Y or Gen Z, you’ll want to put humour on the top of your caption-cure list. These generations are reportedly the most open and responsive to humour.

Strategically speaking it makes sense too – studies show the odds of your post being shared to friends or family is higher when you make them laugh.

If you’re lost for places to start, Google puns related to your images. You’ll be surprised how quickly the creative juices start flowing with a bit of pic-spiration.

Cure 3: If you can’t make an original joke, adapt one

Media Mortar | Content Marketing Agency Brisbane | Instagram caption cures - Western Downs - Ludwig & Will CoffeeChannel your inner five-year-old and remember the jokes you shared in the schoolyard, like why did the chicken cross the road? Knock knock, who’s there?

You don’t need to be the funniest person in the room to make people laugh with your Instagram captions. Simply use a bit of creative licence to adapt a joke to fit into the context of the image.

To give you an idea, we had fun horsing around with this picture for @experiencewesterndowns above.

Cure 4. Use popular sayings or rhymes

Media Mortar | Content Marketing Agency Brisbane | Instagram caption cures - Brisbane Airport Planes on a RunwayRemember the old colour rhymes or proverbs your teachers drilled into you growing up? Blue and green should never be seen, or red sky at night, a shepherd’s delight?

Clever wordplay is as simple as interchanging the words to suit the image.

Take this post above we made for @brisbaneairport where shepherd was replaced with passenger for an instant Instagram caption cure. It’s not rocket science, but is guaranteed to get you out of your caption rut and onto other things in your day.

Cure 5. Let national holidays do the heavy lifting

Media Mortar | Content Marketing Agency Brisbane | Instagram caption cures - Brisbane Airport Weekend TravelsSchool holidays, Easter, Christmas, or even the fact that it’s the weekend, is one of the oldest tricks in the caption-creating book.

Diarise all the national holidays or international dates in your calendar – from Labour day to Talk like a Pirate Day (or, check out our calendar of international dates to save yourself the elbow grease) and use them as Instagram caption thought-starters.

Once you have the days diarised, make some notes on how you can best utilise these posts. Such as:

  • A Willy Wonka quote for International Chocolate Day
  • Emojis for International Beer, Champagne, Donut or Pizza Day
  • Countdown to Christmas, Easter or School Holidays
  • Research Pirate-speak for Talk like a Pirate Day

Just don’t forget to also diarise when you’ll need to take photos of the content too. It’s too late to get the team together in Santa hats on Christmas day.

Check out how we used a long weekend to promote this photo above for @brisbaneairport.

Cure 6: If words fail, use emojis

Media Mortar | Content Marketing Agency Brisbane | Instagram caption cures - Western Downs Windsor Hotel MilesIf engagement is the flame 🔥, consider emojis the moth 🦋.

Don’t think we’re promoting a lazy approach to solving your Instagram caption-itis – emojis can increase engagement.

Social Media Today reported posts with zero emojis received lower engagement than those with between one to three, and over 10 per posts receiving the highest.

Although emojis are well equipped to take centre stage for a post, it never hurts to add a few words as the backup dancers if you can – like the example above for @experiencewesterndowns.

Looking for engagement? Why not tempt your audience to get creative with an answer to a question, answering only using emojis too?

Cure 7: Tell people why you shared the post

Media Mortar | Content Marketing Agency Brisbane | Instagram caption cures - Media Mortar Digital TrainingSometimes you need to let your guard down and get personal to cure your Instagram caption-block.

Is there a backstory to your post? If so, share it.

Harvard Business Review highlights sharing your story as a powerful way for your followers to feel more connected to your brand.

So, this is your permission to get personal about why you selected that photo and what it means to you.

Cure 8: Share a tip

Media Mortar | Content Marketing Agency Brisbane | Instagram caption cures - Brisbane Airport Lord LamingtonDid you know Deloitte listed the need for continued learning as one of the top-rated trends for 2019?

Why not speak to the 80% of social media users who are looking for ways to continue learning by sharing a tip in your caption.

Work in the marketing industry like us – why not share your knowledge (for free), such as when it’s best to post on social media or other industry best practice?

You’ll find this knowledge exchange works both ways. Not only will your customer likely learn something new, but when you share value to customers, you’re proving yourself as a subject matter expert.

If you want your followers double-tapping on the post, make sure what you share is relevant to your audience.

Work in tourism and want more?

Let us know your best Instagram caption hacks below!

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.