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Five Digital Marketing Take-Aways For Aussie Businesses in 2014

In the past couple of years, there has been a seismic shift in the way Australian consumers approach technology. This should signal a coinciding change in the way that Australian SME’s and corporates do business and market themselves to their audience. Here are a couple of key trends and the take-aways that Australian businesses can use.

1. Desktop is Dying

The days of browsing from a desktop PC are numbered in Australia. This 90’s phenomenon has started to grow stale, with plenty of Australian users opting to browse instead from multiple devices like tablets and smart phones running on Android, iOS or Windows.

Experian Marketing Services recently discovered that the proportion of time spent browsing social media from a desktop device has dropped across many countries. This includes Australia where usage dropped from 27% in 2011 to 24% in 2012. One surprising take-away from this survey is that despite this trend, many Australians still used their PC for browsing news, 6% versus 5% in the UK and 4% in the US.

So how does this translate for Australian SME and corporates wanting a slice of the consumer market? Well it follows that the best marketing strategy for 2014 involves making mobile native apps or mobile websites for multiple devices. Mobile eCommerce is going full steam ahead into the future. So it’s advised to get on that bandwagon early, by investing in mobile-optimised online shopping and by having a mobile-friendly web presence.

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2. Aussies Love Smart Phones

In case you’ve been living underneath a rock in the Simpson desert, here’s some news – Aussies love smart phones. In fact according to recent research by eConsultancy, around 20% of Aussie homes have a tablet device and 64.6% of Australians own a smart phone. Australia has a world-leading appetite for smart phones, we are sixth globally in terms of smart phone ownership. Again as a take-away it’s important to consider mobile eCommerce and mobile website design as a vital part of your marketing assets.

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3. Online Sporting Goods Are Booming in Australia

Move over Rebel Sport and other well known purveyors of sports equipment. It seems that the biggest mover and shaker in Australia’s online economy is sporting goods. This shouldn’t be a surprise, given the number of rabidly enthusiastic sports fans there are in Australia.

According to eConsultancy, Australian’s online recreation goods industry will reach $1.04bn by 2018. This is in part due to the changing landscape of retail goods, with the big shift to online.

Online retailers that sell camping gear, exercise and fitness gear (excluding apparel) and bikes will see an increase in revenue of an estimated 6.3% over the next five years. This is also a result of Australians living a much more healthy and fitness-conscious lifestyle which is driving up sales. As a take-away, use these revealing statistics on sporting goods to rethink your online shopping strategy. Ask yourself, are you selling enough jock straps and mouth guards?

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4. Don’t Underestimate Baby Boomers

Historically ignored by online marketers in favour of tech-savvy Gen X and Gen Y; the Baby Boomer generation is becoming increasingly more tech-savvy and a vital part of the online landscape. According to a recent Mi9 report, only 10% of ad spend is directed at this group. However we are all missing a trick here, as the over-55’s have a high level of disposable income.

Despite their reputation as technophobes, 55 to 69 year olds are actually open to new technology, trying new devices and shopping online. On average these individuals spend about 21 hours per week online and browse about 3,000 internet pages per month. As you probably already know, we are an ageing population in Australia. So capturing the Baby Boomer market means big business. If you need any more reasons to rethink your marketing strategy to make it Baby Boomer friendly, here are some more:

  • They are jetsetters: 75% of Baby Boomers have no kids at home. This makes them open to the possibility of travel. 61% of them have travelled within Australia in the past year, while 32% had travelled overseas.
  • They are working: Although many are past retirement age, 84% of Baby Boomers are still in the workforce and desire to spend money.
  • They are financially comfortable: 42% claim to have a disposable income to spend on themselves and own their own home free-hold.
  • They are open to technology: Despite the stereotypes, Baby Boomers generally embrace technology. Around 72% said that they have a positive attitude towards new technologies. Around 29% said that they have replaced paper and ink newspapers and magazines with online subscriptions.

It’s clear from the research that Baby Boomers are vital group for SME’s and corporates to tap into in Australia. Going forward it’s possible to rethink a marketing strategy to be inclusive of this large and affluent group.

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5. Australians Hate Targeted Ads on Social Media

Aussies treat Facebook ads with the same unwavering contempt as uninvited telemarketing phone calls. In a recent government report, 90% of consumers said that they despised telemarketing calls. In much the same way, Australian consumers hate Facebook ads.

A recent study by Ipsos Australia showed that Australians are getting offended by Facebook ads. Ads about how to lose weight, look younger or dating for seniors were seen as particularly repellent. As there is no method for blocking these ads on Facebook, this further compounded respondents’ level of annoyance.

As a take-away, be incredibly careful when attempting to target ads of a sensitive nature on Facebook. Often ads pertaining to sensitive issues can have the opposite of the desired effect, ensuring that a target audience is going to be repelled by the ad, not enticed by it.

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What Does A Search Engine Optimisation Consultant Do?

Since search is very dependent on keywords, incoming links, and site structure 90% of the analysis and work you search engine optimisation consultant performs is around those areas.

Site Structure

Your search engine optimisation consultant reviews the basic structure of your website. What pictures, banners, words and videos appear on your web pages is very important, but there are often technical problems with a website preventing it from achieving high search results. Broken links, insufficient internal and external links, poorly designed page hierarchy and navigation can prevent search engines from accessing all your pages. Worse, it can prevent people from connecting to your pages and offerings.

Your search engine optimisation Australia team works to correct these deficiencies. Our goal is to produce a website design that provides targeted results so that people find your website because it ranks at the top of search engine results. Search engine optimisation is designed to improve search engine rankings.

We became one of the leading SEO companies in Australia because we are results driven. These days, it doesn’t make sense to ignore the power of using the web to get more customers. Your competition is not getting any easier. As your search engine optimisation specialists, we efficiently create a website design that uses best web design practices coupled with SEO and content strategies.

What Makes You Different – Your Unique Position in the Marketplace

Your search engine optimisation consultant will ask questions to understand your unique selling proposition. We ask questions to understand what makes your company different from your competition. Your search engine optimisation Australia team works to ensure that the content is optimized for your brand and for what makes your company stand out in its industry. Then our copywriters meld relevant keywords into compelling content designed to attract buyers into your sales funnel.

Using search engine optimisation for new keywords means that you attract people searching for those new keywords. Our search engine optimisation strategy takes these new keywords and crafts them into engaging, relevant material. It all adds up to more highly ranked pages that bring in more traffic and ultimately more customers to your business.

Does Your Website Design Drive Away Mobile Customers?

In our article introducing mobile website design we discussed how consumers are using their Smartphones and mobile devices to research products online. Some people are even purchasing products, setting appointments and looking up office hours using their phones.

If you don’t have a Smartphone you may be wondering how people can see anything on those small displays. That is a good question. Mobile phone displays are gradually becoming larger. There is, however, an important piece of technology the mobile phone designers and manufacturers can’t change – your website.

Recently, a friend of mine tried to purchase a product using her Android tablet. The experience was so frustrating that she finally asked me why this website was so contrary. The problem was that the website design was very computer friendly, but a mess for mobile users. This merchant is losing money because people can’t navigate or purchase products from them using a mobile device. {Mental note to contact them about a new mobile website design.}

Over the last couple of years, there have been so many changes in HTML, CSS, XHTML and other programming languages that even those who have long had solid proficiency in creating their own websites are throwing up their hands in despair, and outsourcing to full-time web designers.

Yet some principles apply to creating a mobile friendly website design. Below are some areas that we consider when reworking an existing website or for creating a fresh new mobile website desing.

Use of Graphics

Unless you’re an artist or photographer with a portfolio site, making your site graphics-heavy is likely to please no one except other artists (and your graphic designer).

Entry pages

Get right to the important content either by a list of menu items right on the “front page” that your mobile visitor can click on easily to see more or by putting the actual content just right there on the first page.

Consider the smaller display

Think in terms of how much space is on a mobile device and make your content more friendly to the device. Short drop down menus may be more useful than really long menus other types of menu options.

Review what browsers visitors are using

Install Google Analytics to learn what browsers people use when browsing your website. This will indicate if you are getting mobile traffic at all. Another option is to survey your customers to determine what types of mobile devices are used most often.

The Bottom Line
When you create a mobile friendly website or blog you will open up a totally new way to market your products to your potential customers. For instance, if you normally bookmark your new blog posts to Twitter, maybe your visitors would enjoy getting a text alerting them to new content as well. However you do it, the time is now to design a mobile website and add mobile content marketing to your overall marketing strategy.

What Are Brands Anyway?

When you set up your business, you probably did things to make sure that what you offered stood out from the competition. Whether you’re selling products or services it’s very likely that yours isn’t the only game in town. So you had to find ways to be different from the rest of the crowd. That gave you a bit of an edge over the competition.

When products or services don’t have anything unique to offer, then the only differentiator is price. Needless to say, attracting sales by lowering prices becomes self-defeating. When you have a brand, it consistently represents your company’s uniqueness to consumers.

A brand is a promise. You build your brand by living up to your promise every time someone comes in contact with your name, your goods, or your business. No matter how customers interact with your business; whether it’s a business card, letterhead, signage or your appearance, your brand image is consistent.

Your brand is the promise your customers can believe in.

Brands create consumer trust and an emotional connection to your business. Your brand is building relationships with consumers 24 hours a day.

What Brands Do

Brands create consumer trust and emotional attachments. As a result, they foster relationships between consumers and products which withstand price wars or occasional lapses in product or service excellence.

Great brands are trusted, even loved. People remember your brand and the characteristics that it represents. Whether you’re selling computers, denim jeans, or French fries, people who are aware of your brand have a connection to the characteristics your brand promises. These are things they consider long before making a purchase.

Brands Change the Selling Process into a Service Process

Since consumers believe in your brand and its promise, your sales force can spend more time making sure they understand what customers want. Instead of having to sell a new customer on why they should buy your product or service, the customer is already aware of your brand promise. Without a recognizable brand, you have to build a case for the reason why someone should buy from you with each and every sale.

In the world of Internet commerce, your brand pre-sells visitors to your online shop or website. When you are selling or advertising online, you have a world of competition. It’s ever more critical you have a solid brand statement in place so you stand out from a Web-full of competing services and products.

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Apple platforms not supporting Flash

Flash is entirely banned on all of Apple’s mobile platforms (iPhones, iPods and iPads) for several reasons. Check them out below.

Apple wants a more open source – Instead of using Flash, Apple has chosen HTML5, CSS and JavaScript, which are all open standards. Aside from the capability to replace Flash video players, HTML5 allows web developers to produce sophisticated graphics and animation, which perform better without requiring plug-ins that awfully slow browser down.

Flash is huge and heavy – Viewing Flash content consumes a high CPU percentage and slows down the loading time of a web page. Very particular about positive customer experience, Apple wants smooth and intuitive performance, not jumpy and slow.

Flash is buggy, unstable and insecure – Apple CEO, Steve Jobs, mentions that Flash is the primary reason Macs crash, and that it has a terrible security record, as per Symantec. Adobe hasn’t done much to fix these issues for many years now. Apple doesn’t want to risk the stability and security of its mobile devices by ruling out Flash.

Flash quickly depletes battery juice – A video running on a Flash player only gives 5-hours of battery life. But watching it with an H.264 decoder (an industry standard that Apple, Google (YouTube) and other companies use), offers 10-hours of play time. If websites adopt H.264 format on their videos, they can totally forego Flash.

Flash is unfit for touch-screen devices – Flash was created for PCs using mouse, not for touch-screen devices using fingers. Used by several Flash-based websites, there’s no concept of “rollovers

Web 2.0 – All You Ever Need to Know

Web 2.0, what does it mean? You’ve probably heard it by now, but still clueless of its significance. Web 2.0, pronounced as “web two point oh,

What you Should Look for in a Web Design Agency?

Selecting a web design agency can be quite difficult if you don’t know what you should look for—especially nowadays when there are a lot of companies that claim to be the best in the industry. You need to be extra careful who you hire. Remember that a poorly designed site can cost you a huge amount of money, drive away potential clients, and hurt your credibility.

To help you choose the right web design company that meets your needs, here are some useful tips to look into:

Portfolio – Ensure that the web design company has some experience to boast of. Since any agency can claim to be the best, you should check out their accomplished projects. To effectively evaluate a website, you should asses the quality of design; ease of use and navigation; and overall look. Also, they must have a broad range of past projects in a variety of industries.

Services – More than just a web design agency, the company should also offer other relevant services to meet your requirements. These can be anywhere from e-commerce, Internet marketing, to list a few of the things that can help you promote your website. To save time and effort, choose a company that can provide all your needs.

Customer Service / Technical Support – Apart from creating professional design, a good web design company should possess a reliable customer service and technical support. This means that they should be able to provide prompt responses to your queries, as well as timely assistance should you encounter any technical issues.

Pricing – While everyone wants everything cheap nowadays, unfortunately, you’ll just get what you pay for. As you know, prices vary from a few hundreds to thousands of dollars. So, assess whether you can afford them. What’s really important is that the price quoted is reasonable enough to accomplish what you’re looking for.

With the tons of web design agencies in various sizes and shapes available these days, it’s really quite tricky to choose one. So, remember these practical tips above to ensure the success of your website and your business.

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