Tracy - 13/49 - Digital Marketing Agency

Will We Pay for Online Content?

By | Internet News | No Comments

A PricewaterhouseCoopers survey, recently written about in the Australia newspaper, has supposedly found that readers may be willing to pay as much for online newspapers, as they do for print versions.

Sound-bites like this would be soothing balm for the owners of the many newspapers going under at the moment, with the possibility of revenue generation and content protection at the same time, but it just doesn’t seem realistic to me.

The study found that readers would be most likely to want to pay for business and sports news – and only in the case where there was no good quality free alternative.

This is a huge caveat – in how many cases would there not be a good quality free equivalent? In the competitive online world, where advertisers pay publishers depending on eyeballs, there is always going to be big incentives to provide quality content.

News Corporation chairman Rupert Murdoch announced at a briefing last week that his organisation will be charging for some of their online content within the next 12 months. He acknowledges that this is a risk, but said that to build a successful online model, things are going to need to be tried and tested. At the same time, he knows that overcharging for content will not be feasible.

A different idea, which I feel might have more possibility, is the introduction of an electronic device which could distribute their dedicated content – similar to Amazon’s Kindle. The issue with this, would be  an extra device being needed, which could be inconvenient, so perhaps an iPhone type application would be better.

The other issue with this is that the habit of reading online (while at work for example), is very different from reading off a discrete device.  I can imagine people doing it for business news, but not so much for sports news.

The PWC study found that there would be resistance against using electronic papers or mobile devices, and more support for paying for online content.

Government Drugs Campaign on Facebook

By | Digital Marketing | No Comments

If you live in Sydney, you probably have noticed a big new anti-drugs campaign by the Australian Government. The new campaign is targetting the use of ICE specifically, and the ads can be seen all over bus stops and train stations.

Also, this morning, I can see that the Government has really got ‘with it’, and have now started advertising on Facebook. In the right hand margin of my home page, where the sponsored ads go, was this:

Ice Facebook ad

I would love to see the analytics associated with this campaign – how many people are actually playing that ad?  Who rings this number? Who clicks through to the website (if you even can)?

I am obviously in the ICE target demographic, since I am being shown this ad. Isn’t it kind of depressing the kind of profile advertisers have of you? They send me ads about get rich quick schemes, losing weight, finding a partner – and now telling me not to use ICE! They obviously have a very poor opinion of me.

When it comes to awareness, this Ice campaign has definitely worked on me, however, like all public interest campaigns, whether it is a well known ad is one thing, whether it prevents usage is another.

Google Local Results – Now Searching Postcodes

By | Search Engine Marketing, SEO | No Comments

I noticed this new postcode search box while on Google today…


Over the last month or so, we know that Google has been attempting to refine their local search, to try and make it so that if you search for something generic, like hairdressers or restaurant, they will return related local sites or ads. This meant that towards the top of the page you would usually get a Google map with the local vendors like below. (The pushpins are looking unusually 3d to me today, do you think?)


This new method means that you get more generic results, and if you WANT local results, then you can have them by entering your city or postcode.

I think this is an excellent improvement (though obviously not permanent, as I can’t find it again), because:

1. It lets you tell Google if you are wanting local rather than generic results – rather than Google just guessing.

2. It lets you tell Google the location, rather than them guessing from your IP address – which is particularly useful if you are searching for something for a friend, somewhere you want to go, etc.

3. It gets rid of that annoying big map picture, which you might not be interested in.

I have seen the new post code search on .com and but not yet on, which was still showing the local business results.

If Google rolls this out as a normal service, businesses can expect to be able to increase their visibility to searchers who are actually looking in their area, but not necessarily for generic searches.

Social Media – Still Too Many Companies Getting it Wrong

By | Social Media | No Comments

Social Media is without question one of todays biggest opportunities online, because not that many companies have yet figured out to harness its power.

Skittles tried to use Twitter in its brave redesign of replacing its home page with its Twitter search stream. This predictably ended in spamming of the term “Skittles”, and the eventual reinstatement of a normal Skittles home page. The Twitter stream is still there though, just a click away on their site, and unsurprisingly, people seem to have gotten sick of the spamming.

Meanwhile, over on Facebook, brands continue to create pages, which is not a bad thing, but it could be done so much better. For example, there are a tonne of  ‘Tesco’ facebook groups out there, all uncoordinated and disjointed. The one which comes top of the list if you search Tesco is unfortunately called “You know you’ve worked too long at Tesco when…” which has over 18k members. The next group down for Tesco has around 3k, and after that each small group has less than 50 members.

This brings me to the first step of creating a social media campaign – You should do your research. Yes it seems obvious, but I think too many companies are in a rush to have a social media presence that they don’t take their time to see what is already out there.  If you are starting out a group on Facebook, take some time to check first if there are groups which you could use as a starting point and build on them. Or maybe there are members of similar groups you could try and attract to your page? Could you have a response page to an existing negative profile? Don’t just build another replica, give it a strategic position in the social media ‘market’.

Secondly you need to have a reason for being on Facebook. You might ask what anyone‘s reason is for being on Facebook? Well, the average person wants to keep in contact with friends and raise awareness of what they themselves are doing. So do that – listen to others and try and contribute in a non-sales, non-spammy way. Build up a friendly, engaging profile. Update it regularly so it stays relevant, and let people know what is going on with your brand. Make sure you are connecting with your audience and letting them know why everything you tell them is relevant to them, not just another press release.

Lastly, you need to be patient, and monitor what goes on. A social media presence is not going to work or seem genuine if you rush or force it. Try and build it up in a natural sense. Sure you can try and attract new visitors quickly with offers, gadgets or applications, but you also need to have other things on site which might hold interest, and make you a worthwhile profile to check back on in the long run.

Oakley for example, has a stand out official page for Oakley, Inc with over 50k fans. On it they showcase designs, new concepts, pics of their office, and classic ads. The problem – the profile was started in April 2008, was added to constantly for one month, and has had no activity since then.  It was obviously flavour of the month (literally) in April last year, but has long since been forgotten. For ongoing benefits, social media strategies need to be sustainable.

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