Sunday, August 18, 2013

Australia Is Ready For Content Marketing

We're super connected, everyone is now a publisher, we're busy and trust levels are low.  So it's time for a new approach to communicating as Australians move from mass audience to  niche communities. 

(Summary of a recent address by Contentgroup's David Pembroke and myself at the National Press Club in Canberra.)

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

The Template: A Content Marketing Secret

Peter Yorke is one of India's top content marketers.  In this interview he reveals how content marketing tools and templates can guide staff, save time and help clients.

 I have known Peter for years and always look to him for great insights into creating great communications.

(Sorry about the sound quality.  There were some Skype issues during our conversation)

See Peter's views on when you should outsource your content marketing.  

Friday, August 9, 2013

Little Marketing in People Smuggler Campaign

Pity the Government marketers saddled with an expensive mass media campaign to reach such very small numbers. 

They must be scratching their heads and cursing the backroom operatives who dreamed up this campaign to 'win votes rather than stop boats' 

For several weeks ads like this have been appearing in Australian newspapers and broadcast on radio.

They support a recent change to the Australian Government's asylum seeker policies.  From 20 July unauthorised boat arrivals will no longer be settled in Australia but sent to Papua New Guinea or Nauru where their refugee claims will be determined.

Fierce criticism has sprung up about the ads in recent days. The Opposition claims they breach Election caretaker conventions which stipulate what governments can and cannot do once a poll is called.  

Bipartisan agreement is needed when communications campaigns run during an Election period. And in this case there is no such agreement.

The people smuggling ad spend is rumored is be around $30m, a hefty sum for the cash strapped government agency managing this campaign and which has probably struggled all year with its marketing budget.  

There is no issue with ads targeted at environments likely to reach people smugglers overseas or their collaborators in Australia.  I would have thought these audiences are tiny, and already known to the Intelligence services - or at least they should be. 

But how many people smugglers or their accomplices live, for example in Canberra or Sydney, where full page ads are regularly appearing in the metropolitan press. 

Why spend tens of millions of dollars for a mass audience campaign to reach a small handful of people here in Australia and overseas?  The Commonwealth must have other, far less expensive communications tools to send a stern message to these criminal elements?

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Rudd and Abbott Use Social Media For Election. 7 Things to Watch

We're off and running to the ballot box.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has set 7 September as the date for Australians to go to the polls to choose a new government.

In the 2007 and 2010 elections social media was seen as something of a novelty. That makes 2013 Australia's first real social media poll because Australians are now terminally addicted to social through devices, phones, laptop and desktops.  In fact there has never been a more connected and potentially better informed electorate than today's voters.

Preparing for the upcoming battle the Labor Party recently hired three top American social media types who worked on the 2012 Obama campaign.  You'll recall that campaign set the gold standard for politics and social media.

So as we start the Election trail, how do the chief contenders rate on social media?

PM Rudd starts with a well established social media presence.   He's been in that space a long time. He has 1.3 million followers on Twitter and tweeted over 9500 times.  On Facebook he has almost 94 000 likes.  That's impressive, and the tone and level of his conversations on both platforms shows Rudd is comfortable with new media.

Mr Abbott starts the Election campaign with only 148 000 Twitter followers and 1350 tweets. His Facebook following of around 39 000 fans is almost one third of Rudd's numbers. In comparison Abbot's social conversations come across as more formal than Rudd's dialogue and at this stage Abbott does not show much online interaction with others. Still it is early days!

Interestingly both Labor and Liberal Parties have similar numbers of Youtube subscribers (around 3500 each).  This is likely to grow with many predicting Youtube will be where it all happens as the parties turn negative as they invariably do during Australian elections. 

Over the next five weeks it will interesting to see how both contenders adapt and adjust to social media.  

So keep a mouse ready and eye out to see how the two candidates use these new channels in their bids to win high office.  

Among the things that would indicate the candidates are serious about social, are their:
  • Frequency of using social media to get their Election messages out.
  • Level of interaction with followers and fans or do they stick with one way conversation?
  • Cross linking to others' commentary such as media and third party endorsements to portray credibility.
  • Ability to persuade voters to donate money or volunteer their time.
  • Use of imagery to bring emotion into messaging and cut through the clutter.
  • Willingness to bypass traditional media and use social to break news.
  • Capacity to inspire others to produce and share favourable content.

...and of course look out for novel or unusual online tactics as the campaign unfolds.
It is interesting times ahead.  So in the coming weeks check your screens for what could well be Australia's first social media election campaign.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Content Marketing Is Like a Bullet Train

Stop, go, pause.  Stop, go, pause.

Traditional marketing and most PR moves from one campaign to the next. You plan, implement, await  results, adjust and start over again.  

These traditional approaches are like a milk train chugging from point to point, stopping at all stations along the way.  The journey is slow and steady.  There is lots of shunting and grunting with station masters along the way putting themselves between you and your customers. The passengers continually hop on and off.

Content marketing on the other hand is more like a hi-speed inter-city bullet train. You step aboard for a journey with few planned stops until you reach your destination.  

There are no third parties between crew and passengers, and hopefully the passing scenery (your content) is so engaging your travelers enjoy the journey with time and kilometres flying by.

Related post:  Content marketing: why now?