Six marketing trends that will dominate 2019

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As we enter into 2019, it’s a great time to consider future trends in marketing for the next year or two. No matter what industry your business operates within, it pays to know about the next big thing around the bend. 

Six marketing trends that will dominate 2019

1. The diminishing power of digital ads

30% of all internet users are now experiencing the online world devoid of ads, thanks ad-blocking software they can install into their browsers.

This means that the Google Ad network isn’t perhaps as robust at reaching your audience as once thought.

Although that doesn’t mean you ought to abandon your AdWords campaign all together. There are still many ways to reach your audience through targeted PPC ads. Along with social media and interactive content marketing. The latter provides your audience with valuable, helpful and entertaining content that they want to see.

2. Marketing automation, bots, AI, machine learning

The existence of AI in relation to marketing is nothing new. Although in 2019 many businesses and their marketing teams will implement easy fixes to business challenges by harnessing the power of marketing automation and AI. This will be done in several ways. 

  • Customer profiling

CRMs and most analytics platforms allow for a granular view of the demographics of your target audience. From this data, marketers can produce more relevant and high quality content that will resonate with the audience.

  • Trend forecasting

Many analytics packages feature machine learning that can predict the likelihood of a result in a campaign. This is based on past performance parameters and the program makes an educated guess on how to proceed with marketing campaigns. Handy!

  • CRM personalisation

By harnessing the automation power of a CRM like HubSpot or Marketo, it’s possible to completely personalise the customer experience. You can personalise all touch-points and communications over email, phone, chat and social.

  • API integration

Workflows and business processes can be automated through using Zapier and other process automation tools.  

3. An alternative to Google

Search engine dominance belongs unquestionably to Google. Yet history shows that there will always be other search engines and tech companies waiting in the shadows for their big opportunity to shine. While Opera ascended and then disappeared from our lives and Bing is almost laughable in comparison to Google, don’t write off other contenders too soon. The competitive landscape is big and other players may still enter the game in 2019!

4. The power of voice

Voice-based Google searches are set to become more popular in 2019. Voice search is a helpful bit of functionality which arose out of mobile-first design.

As a result of an increase in voice searches on Google, the world of SEO and keyword research has to caught up. SEO’s new frontier is voice-powered search terms and phrases. These are going to be different to how people type written phrases into Google. 

Key to note here is that:

  • People speak in full sentences rather than a string of random words, as they do when writing search queries into Google. There is a semantic difference that needs to be accounted for.
  • Key to findability on Google for voice-search is therefore writing content as though you’re speaking to someone rather than writing. That’s possibly going to become a new comms and copywriting art-form in 2019!

​ 5. Interactive marketing and video marketing

Video is booming now thanks to countless mobile apps. It’s possible to tweak your face, add stickers and background, and even generate artistic wonders using a simple app.

Recently, marketers have attempted to blur the line between normal video content and native advertising. This is possible on platforms like Instagram stories.

Interactive content like quizzes, surveys, polls and videos create interactive, fun and educational information for users that blurs the line between regular content and advertising. 

6. Use outliers their strange creative ideas

It’s an obnoxiously loud online world with many players vying for attention. In 2019, only the most unusual and strange marketing campaigns will get attention and stick. Therefore you should push your brand outside of the norm. Don’t be afraid to take creative risks, often these pay off by increased interest in your brand.


Attention all of you closet weirdos out there. Let your true colours show also embrace a robot, you never know if one day they might be your overlord. To future-proof your marketing, make sure you enjoy a free assessment of your content!

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Stuck for blog post ideas? Here are 54 questions to loosen up your brain cells and blog posts!

Stuck for blog post ideas? Here are 52 questions to loosen up your brain cells and blog posts!

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Sometimes the ideas for blog posts just need some coaxing to come out. Then when they do…prepare for a biblical flood of content ideas. Here are some great questions to answer in your blog posts. These questions should help to get your creative juices flowing. They are ultra compelling and help you to grasp what’s important to you as a business owner/operator, as well as to your customers.

  1. What are the most frequently asked questions your customers ask?
  2. What is the biggest misconception people make about your business or line of work?
  3. What do your customers need to know to make good purchasing decisions?
  4. What is the story behind the founding of your business?
  5. How did your business get its name?
  6. What is a complete ‘how to’ that will guide customers through an important lesson?
  7. What is the story behind your new product or service?
  8. What is a hard truth your customers need to hear?
  9. Who are the people that you work with. How did they come to work with you?
  10. What are the first three things someone needs to become an expert in your field?
  11. Do you have a customer success story that you can share?
  12. Describe a day in the life of your company.
  13. Do a survey of your customers. Then run through some key insights and data about your customer base.
  14. What are your thoughts about where your industry is headed?
  15. How do you hire your staff? What do you look for?
  16. What are the unique selling propositions that makes your business distinct from all others?
  17. Recall and write about a daily process in your business.
  18. What are the most common mistakes you see people frequently make in your industry?
  19. Can you summarise some key pieces of news/advice/tutorials/opinions from the last week in your industry?
  20. Write an open letter to someone in your industry about a topic with broad industry relevance.
  21. Write about legislation changes that might impact your industry.
  22. What do your customers have a hard time doing?
  23. What is the biggest news in your industry – and what does it mean for your customer?
  24. What do you recommend customers read or watch?
  25. What are the lessons you have learned in the last year?
  26. Provide a checklist that’s relevant to something your customers might do.
  27. Create a printable/template to help customers to achieve something
  28. What were some key takeaways from a conference or industry event that you attended?
  29. What are the latest trends that are emerging in your industry?
  30. Who is an industry leader that you could profile/interview?
  31. Can you profile a key member of your team?
  32. What is the best suggestion you’ve had from a customer?
  33. What quote do you think applies most to your business/industry?
  34. What is the most innovative use you’ve seen for one of your products?
  35. Who is a customer you could profile/interview?
  36. Write up a talk or presentation you previously gave into bullet points or a summary.
  37. What was the biggest challenge your business has had in the past year?
  38. Ask 10 customers, peers and staff a single question. Then wrap an article around that.
  39. What two products could you compare and contrast?
  40. What two strategies could you compare and contrast?
  41. What is a hot discussion/debate that happened in your business recently that you could recap or involve your readers in?
  42. What is the history of your industry – from inception to today.
  43. Project forward – where will your industry be in 5 years? Make a prediction.
  44. Sum up your year just gone.
  45. Review a book that you believe your customers should read.
  46. Review a tool, product or service relevant to your customers.
  47. What things have you done in business that you regretted and learned the most from?
  48. What are the biggest secrets about your industry?
  49. Record a conversation your team is having (podcast or video).
  50. What amusing moment happened in your business this week?
  51. What is your biggest passion and how does this align with your professional life?
  52. What mistakes have you made and what did you learn?

Would you like a hand with ideas for your blog posts along with sorting through your existing content assets? Get a free content audit today by getting in touch below…

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Four important ways to build trust and rapport in remote teams

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Nowadays, teams are stretched all over the globe and this is only set to continue. Anyone who works remotely can tell you, it’s challenging to manage a decentralised and dispersed team. In terms of team building, there’s one core element that’s the glue between dispersed team members – trust! Here are five core ways to build trust.

Where possible, meet in person

Although in some cases this isn’t possible, meeting with your co-workers at least once builds a high degree of personal trust, teamwork and shared purpose. This occurs far more rapidly than remote working with no interaction. The physical meeting of minds is a self-sustaining way of maintaining rapport over long distances. Have lunch, a few drinks and get to know each other’s personalities and communication styles. This will prove to be invaluable later on for the project, especially when you face and overcome challenges together.

Sometimes meeting in person simply isn’t possible. You may be separated by large bodies of water or tracts of land. In this case have weekly chats on the phone or Skype and build rapport that way.

Share the same strategy, goals and expectations

Make sure that you’re all striving for the same end goal. This means that you’re all on the same page for implementing the team strategy and individual input. Avoid all possibilities of confusion about goals and expectations early on in your relationship. Make sure that individual roles and deliverables are absolutely clear. This transparency in turn promotes trust.

As a manager, you can keep the project on track, with regular email and telephone conversations. Obviously, it’s even better to have face-to-face meetings where practicable. Track the project against performance metrics.

Foster honesty and transparency

Another important way to build trust as a part of team, is by having clear and transparent processes and ways of working together. Use collaborative software like Slack or Basecamp. This easily promotes collaboration and shows progress of projects. Showing everybody how they are tracking is one easy way to boost productivity.

People thrive on keeping up with the other members of the team. This transparency and accountability fosters productivity and trust. When the project is visible in this way, any obstacles or issues along with way can be resolved in a collective manner.

Showcase everyone’s diverse capabilities

Make sure that in addition to the team members understanding their individual roles, they also have enough support to diversify their capabilities, and learn as they go. This will benefit them as individuals, and the team as a whole. Rarely do people understand everything about a task all at once. So it’s important to nurture knowledge and support professional growth.

References

“Trust Makes the Team Go ‘Round”; Harvard Management Update; Judith A. Ross, February 27th, 2008. 

By following these key steps, you can build a cohesive, strong and formidable team with a high level of trust and camaraderie between individuals. If you would like some advice about content marketing then claim your free content audit and race ahead of the competition!


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6 ways to stimulate social media engagement

6 ways to stimulate social media engagement for the real estate industry

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Here’s an industry guide on how to structure your social media and content strategy for the real estate industry. In my experience, employing these tactics will help you to get the best outcomes, such as qualified sales leads and call-back requests.

1.   Plenty of visual and video content

This principle is really a no-brainer. It applies equally to all industries. Visual and (even better) video content are the clear winners for engaging with prospective buyers.

Research shows that 74% of social media marketers use visual assets in their social media marketing, ahead of blogs (68%). And Tech giant Cisco projects that global internet traffic from videos will make up 80% of all internet traffic by 2019.

The importance of great quality renders of the interiors and exteriors of the homes/buildings can’t be emphasised enough. This is the bedrock of any real estate social strategy. From these renders you can build stories about the new development that are future-focused and aspirational.

In terms of generating this high quality visual and video content – many real estate developers enlist the help of a creative design agency. Although your social media manager should able to generate this content themselves using affordable or free tools like Canva and HitFilm Express.

6 ways to stimulate social media engagement for the real estate industry

2.   Updates on construction through timelapse footage 

Social media updates on construction will help to allay the concerns of prospective buyers. This is particularly important for buyers who have already made a deposit. These people need reassurance that the build is all going to plan and that they can move into their amazing new home on schedule. 

Social media is a way to showcase construction progress through the use of timelapse footage of buildings going up. Not only does it have a practical purpose of addressing buyers concerns, but it’s also a remarkably engaging piece of visual storytelling which can be used in a multitude of ways. A timelapse could be pitched as a part of a media kit to real estate media, used in the property or development ad, or used on social media.

Timelapses demonstrate the competency and care taken by the developers and all those involved in the construction process too. Failing the ability to obtain timelapse footage, the next best thing is still images. 

6 ways to stimulate social media engagement for the real estate industry
An example of a Facebook post I created, containing a timelapse video and used in both a paid campaign, with the mainstream media and in organic Facebook posts.

3.   Don’t forget the middle of the sales funnel

Although a lot of time and effort goes into attracting prospective buyers, not as much effort goes into maintaining the communication once the customer is over the line and has put down a deposit. 

This is a mistake, because there is a huge opportunity that is missed. The interim period between putting down a deposit and the settlement date is a great time to nurture and grow the relationship between the developer and the buyer.

This is “middle of the funnel” time. It’s an opportunity to inform and entertain people about their new neighbourhood. You could provide future-focused content about the community in five or ten years time. This allows prospective buyers to get the complete picture of the economic, social and cultural landscape they will be experiencing once they move in.

You could use a private Facebook group or a segmented eDM for specific buyer profiles such as owner-occupiers or investors, or local versus foreign buyers. Then you can provide content relevant to this audience in a language they will respond to. This builds thought leadership for the brand, and generates a sense of anticipation from buyers about what’s to come. Also this tactic makes the audience feel valued and listened to. As they should, after all they’ve just committed to making possibly the biggest purchase of their life from your brand! 

4. Quizzes and Surveys

Traditionally, quizzes and surveys on social media are treated with disdain across the board. They are considered to be fluffy, silly and pointless. 

But the truth is that quizzes and surveys can yield some of the most valuable insights into the audience. This is the “top of the funnel”, awareness and consideration phase.

It’s important to note though that you mustn’t make the quiz overtly promotional. This is an exercise in giving people a fun exercise to do, while also providing them with information about your product along with other general information. It’s infotainment, but if it’s too promotional you won’t get any quiz completions – don’t treat people like they’re stupid! Assume they know as much as you do about marketing.  

An example of a good quiz:

For a new development showcasing luxurious apartments with over 50 apartment plans on offer, a social quiz could be about ‘What kind of apartment décor suits your personality?’. 

The quiz can match personality traits and behaviours to different kinds of interior design trends along with beautiful images. You could also talk about the different design options in your brand’s new development.  

There’s no scientific veracity to this kind of quiz; it’s purely for fun. But, as a result of the quiz answers you can find out the most popular design preferences for your audience, their motivations and desires, and their age, gender and other demographic information. 

At the end of the quiz you can include a lead form which when completed allows them to get a call back from your sales team about the properties (subtly) mentioned in the quiz. 

5. Embrace marketing automation

It’s possible through the almighty power of marketing automation to sync and organise all of your sales leads, email subscribers and social media followers into one CRM. This means that you can see a clear pathway through the sales funnel for each customer. 

This has the advantage of offering the ultimate in transparency across teams. Or, if you would like to keep it simple, you could set up automated zaps using Zapier. This will ping or trigger a certain action, once a certain marketing action is taken. This is relatively easy to set up and requires no coding experience. It can automate an enormous range of actions from Google’s products, many CRMs and payroll programs, social media, scheduling apps, you name it. 

Using bots to complete your marketing activities for you is highly effective. You can implement a bot as a chat pop-up on your landing page which will speak to visitors and segment them, without you having to lift a finger!

Bots nowadays can be made to sound human and natural and can be used on Facebook messenger and in your website chat for great results. It has gotten to the point now where it’s difficult for people to distinguish between a bot and a real person. 

6. Sync your media and social strategies

Sales leads through Facebook will peak when positive news coverage appears in the national news media. 

Make sure that your media strategy harnesses plenty of milestones and opportunities to get the message out there. The mainstream media still hold some clout in terms of building the reputation of your real estate brand. All positive news coverage should be shared on social media and reflected upon through the brand’s lens, in order to increase sales and engagement.

I hope you have found this guide to social media marketing helpful for your real estate business. If you would like a fresh perspective on your marketing, get a FREE CONTENT AUDIT today, give me a call on +61 3 9028 7745 or message me below


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Eight sassy design principles that underpin great web design projects

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Here are eight core fundamentals that tend to underpin website design and development work. Although take these with a grain of salt. Perhaps, if you’re in the mood, add some lemon and vodka which tends to add further creative fuel to design projects.

1. Be innovative

The best graphic design pushes the boundaries and involves critical thinking about approach and UI. It’s always a good idea to stay abreast of changes to industry standards and then know when to break the rules too.

2. Start with a problem

All design from graphic design to web design to industrial design, should take a problem and solve it. Think in terms of UX and the presentation of information. Make sure that the content on the site is useful to human visitors. And also useful to robots parsing the site. SEO and exceptional content are equally important to good design and should work hand in glove.

3. Be unobtrusive

Keep the design as simple, clean, unobtrusive as possible. Create systems and navigation that are transparent and simple to use. The best design doesn’t scream out for attention, but is subtly beautiful. It announces itself with a whisper and a murmur.

4. Understand aesthetics

Space and Grid: Information on websites should be ordered in a logical way for the eyes of visitors. Work the white space really carefully.

Typography: Keep it tight with only three different types in a maximum of six sizes used throughout the site.

Colour Choices: Keep in mind colour choice, along with integration of an overall brand identity. There’s an intricate psychology to colour choice in design. It’s important to be aware of that.

5. Keep the end goal in mind

Don’t obfuscate the website or design by adding too many elements. Have one call to action. Then neatly and simply guide the user towards this through the design.

6. Design for a long shelf life

Great web design and graphic design employs classic design principles and isn’t faddish or fashionable. You should use a flexible template that can be changed or modified with new content, images and other small modular iterations. It should be mobile-first and driven by the user experience, rather than pushing an obvious agenda. Future-proofed design looks beautiful on all devices. It uses HTML and CSS that’s easy to read and change as required.

7. Build integrity

The purpose of design is to be open, honest and provide everything that a user needs. A great user experience provides all of the sign posts, guidance and help that is required for the user to achieve clearly defined conversion goals on the website. The purpose of design isn’t just about creating the ‘wow’ factor. It’s also practical and helps visitors to reach a specific goal (or conversion) or to gain a deeper understanding into a subject.

8. Aim to fail fast, and pick yourself up

In order to completely capitalise on your skills, you need to fail fast and early on. Sounds rather counter-intuitive but it’s really not.

James Dyson of the bagless vacuuming empire failed with his prototype vacuum 5,127 times before perfecting his bagless model. Through an iterative process of trial and error he eventually made it. This required some grit, perseverance, determination on his part. In order to succeed, one needs to fail over and over again.

Agile Project Management 101 teaches us that failing fast and early on is a low-risk strategy. This means a project may be more likely to ‘break on through to the other side’ and succeed.


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