Friday, 30 September 2016

Make the most out of Twitter’s new character count rules

Contrary to rumours early this year, Twitter will not be allowing 10,000-character posts anytime soon. But the popular microblogging site has rolled out a new policy that will give social media marketers like you more space—and more words—when you tweet.

Twitter on Monday, 19 September, announced that it will keep the character cap per tweet, but this will no longer include links to uploaded media. “Rolling out now: photos, videos, GIFs, polls, and Quote Tweets no longer count toward your 140 characters,” Twitter said.

This means that a post that says “I love @sydney_business!” with a photo of the Abercrombie Building attached now only count as 24 characters (spaces included). Under the old rules, it would have been some 51 characters because the photo upload would have generated a link in this form:

It also means that you may start retweeting or quoting yourself, a feature useful for long posts, explaining a previous tweet without losing the context, or simply for those times that you feel like talking to yourself on the Internet (we absolutely get how you feel.).

When Twitter hinted at the plan in May, it said the goal is to make the 140 characters all about the message. It’s a step in the right direction. You can now add images, videos and GIFs without compromising your text space. How can you maximise the opportunities the 140 characters present to engage your audience? Here are three tips:

1. Add a call to action. When you have to fit a sentence and a media link in 140 characters, the words “Make a choice today” or “Act now” can easily be set aside. The new rules give you more leeway, so you might want to consider prompting users to complete a transaction, share your tweet, or at least check your website.

Without a call to action, your Twitter followers might hesitate about what they ought to do with the content. Your photo might be great or your message witty, but should they share it, like it or just scroll past it? Let them know exactly what you hope they would do.

2. Use infographics. Even with the new character rules, there are some messages that simply need more words. Mechanics for a new promo, for example, or an exciting new menu, won’t fit a single tweet, and sometimes wishing users will click on your website link is too much to ask for.

Work around this limitation by attaching to your tweet a photo with inlaid text. This also makes the tweet more prominent, as the image will occupy more space in your audience’s feed. Of course, it goes without saying that you should use relevant and eye-catching photos.

3. Move with videos and GIFs. When images aren’t enough, you can always go for videos and GIFs to achieve maximum effect. Take note, however, that the videos should be short enough for Twitter. You need to upload the video directly on Twitter, since links to YouTube, Vimeo or any external site will count against your character limit.

Twitter watchers also report ( about plans to exclude from the 140-character limit user handles such as “@sydney_business”. This means that the tweet “I love @sydney_business!” with a photo of the Abercrombie Building attached will only count as 9 characters (spaces included) as opposed to the 24 under the present rules and 51 in the old rules.

The plan also involves broadcasting replies—that is, tweets that start with “@”—to all your followers. It used to be that for someone to be able to read a reply, the user has to follow both you and the other person in the conversation. You no longer need to prefix usernames with “.@” to make your replies readable to all.

Whether on Twitter or any other social media platform, however, it is important to remember that content is king. Make your messages straightforward, active and engaging. Twitter can give you 10,000 characters or more, but if you don’t have a well-thought-out message, what’s the point?

Kim Patria
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School

Monday, 26 September 2016

New authors at Marketing Matters

Hello Marketing Matters readers!

Thank you for following this blog. We hope that you have learned a thing or two about marketing through the articles we have been publishing. Marketing Matters is produced by marketing students for marketing students and we hope that this blog will evolve more as a conversation space for everything marketing.

We now extend our appreciation to Lauren Musat and Alejandro Catalan, who have done wonders for the blog the past seven months. They have come to the end of their studies at the university and are stepping down as Marketing Matters authors. They have been an integral part of the team and will be deeply missed. We wish them the best for their future and we hope to have them here again from time to time as contributors.

From this point on, you will be hearing from Stanley Ritz and Kim Patria, both Master of Marketing students at the University of Sydney Business School. They are taking over as authors, supervised by Prof. Pennie Frow. Here’s what they have to say about themselves:

My name is Stanley Ritz and I am currently in my last semester of the Master of Marketing program here at the University of Sydney Business School. My background is in photography and illustration design and I run my own photography business, Stanley Ritz Photography. I also have a passion for the performing arts and I have recently ventured into the world of Youtube. You can check out my channel at Stanley Ritz and don’t forget to subscribe! I will be assisting with the programs social media from a creative space; you can expect lame analogies and a sometimes hard-to-swallow sense of humour.

I am Kim Patria, a media and public relations specialist from the Philippines now in my first semester in the the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School. Before enrolling in graduate school, I worked as publicist for a Philippine senator who ran for president in the May 2016 elections. I was also news producer for Yahoo Philippines and a reporter for a business daily. My foray into marketing is guided by two projects I launched back home: See Sorsogon, a social media-based tourism marketing experiment for my hometown, and Technablers, Inc., a digital solutions and business development startup.

Expect from us more about marketing trends, insights from our courses and marketing-related comments on the news. We also hope to increasingly engage faculty and students to share their views on marketing. Please feel free to speak to us or ask us anything in the comments section.

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Agency Perspective: 10 Tips to drive value and improve relationships

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The value that marketers bring to businesses and brands is irreplaceable. The marketing team is responsible for creative ideas and helping to build brands. Without them, most businesses and brands find themselves in the middle of nowhere. 
Although it’s the marketers work to build brands or businesses, they need to add more value to themselves and the work they deliver so that they become entirely indispensable to the clients they serve. 

Here are ten authentic tips through which marketers can drive true value:
1. Visit Clients: and this just not means that you only visit them once. But make a habit of doing so every once in a while. Focus on dedicated content campaigns and revisit your clients to address everything that you think that needs to be addressed. This will give your client a greater sense of involvement.
2. Communicate: this is highly essential if you want to get an insight on the inner workings of your client. Try to keep up to date on everything that goes on. Build relationships through communication and you’ll get in all priority conversations that need your attention.

3. Understand Stakeholders: the best value you can give to your client is by understanding them. When your client feels fully understood by you, they feel free to discuss ideas and opportunities with you as compared to other agencies.

4. Ask For How You Can Improve: asking your clients how they think you can improve and add more value allows them to understand your commitment and involvement with their projects. Make sure you know your strengths and weaknesses to have a worthwhile conversation with your clients.

5. Show That You Are Goal Oriented and Work with Goal Oriented People to add to their Plan: when your client knows that you care as much about success and performance as they do, they will trust you more for their projects.

6. Share: and this could involve sharing just about anything you consider to be of value to your client. It could be resources, technologies, good books or anything that might be of interest for them.

7. Always Get Your Team On Board: and do this pronto. Present yourself as a monster with two heads, ready to take on everything. Show your client various perspectives on one matter, brainstorm to bring the best idea forward and show them you’re putting your best efforts. 

8. Give Your Client a Future: your client is really after a future. They are after the confidence that you will make their brands as fresher as possible because they themselves cannot. Show them the bigger idea and then make it happen for them.

9. Give Your Best Ideas: don’t wait for your client to take the lead. If you have a brilliant idea, don’t hesitate to share. Chances are it could be what they’re after.

10. Treat Your Client like You Would Treat Someone You Care for: try and go beyond the traditional. Show your client you’re concerned and you care about them. Connect with them on a personalised level to drive more value and hit home.

Alejandro Catalan
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School

Monday, 12 September 2016

Proximity Marketing – Getting closer to your customers

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Modern day technology has revolutionised marketing in ways that no one ever imagined. Who knew that marketers could interact with consumers on their mobile devices directly? Cellular technology was a big hit in the business sector as it became very handy for companies to send marketing messages to their potential customers. Marketing is a tool that plays a significant role in promoting a product or service for a brand. However, with competition rising companies need to reach consumers with the intent to purchase before their competitor does. The growing use of mobile phones while shopping has led to businesses to adopt ‘Proximity marketing’ which is also known as ‘hyper local marketing’. It is a unique approach to communicate with customers that are found in close proximity of a business. The foundation of this interaction lies upon Bluetooth and WIFI technology that enables the company to connect digitally by sending marketing messages to customers.

The message is sent to those who are most likely to visit the store at their present location. The mobile user is sent a short message that engages them to spur into action. It is pivotal for the company to consider adding an opt-in component to their campaign. The content in those messages should be to the point and appealing, as unwanted solicitations never encourage buyers to pay attention. If a company plans on going ahead with this approach, it needs to skim the content that is to be sent. The message should give a preview of the benefit that comes along with the purchase of the product. It should be clear enough for the customer to understand, and it should be able to influence their buying decision. 

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Your company needs to persuade its customers to install their mobile app because once the customer has his/her Bluetooth enabled on their mobile phones, all it takes is a beacon signal to send them a notification of the message. The beacon signal only works if they have the app installed in their smart phones. Informing the target customers about the app can help them realise its significance. Customers do not want to receive spam messages all day, and an app helps them out of this situation. This channel of communication needs you to have the right software that can easily run the location based campaign without any delays.

The main objective behind proximity marketing is to drive in as much traffic as possible to the business and generate a good amount of sales that day. If your retail store already has a high turnover rate, then proximity marketing can help you retain customers and gain valuable insight to their buying behavior. Proximity marketing can turn out to be a great source of adding value to your products. Businesses can make product recommendations and inform about current discounts or offers. This way you can target the right customers and their needs. It also provides you with access to consumer analysis which can give you survey statistics and other metrics to improve your sales strategy. 

Monday, 5 September 2016

Provide the best content experience

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There are many businesses that underestimate the value of optimised content.  The key to getting an influx of traffic, is providing your customers with high quality content. Well-structured content can differentiate you from your competitors and help communicate with your customers. If you really want to capture the attention of customers and keep them coming to your website, then customizing the message you want to convey is essential. The content needs to be balanced so that users aren’t overwhelmed and confused with too much information. Positive reactions only surface when you connect with your customer emotionally and mentally. This makes them realise that they are an asset for the business. 

Here is a list of features that your content needs, to give customers the best content experience ever:

Useful and Informative
You need to provide as much as information about your business as possible. The content should give details about what you offer, what benefits are attached to your offerings, where you are located, what your USP is and your contact information etc. 

High Quality
The content should be unique and well presented in a good format. It should be refined and delivered in the tone depending on the type of communication you want with your customer. If your content is mediocre and not up to the mark, customers will sense that there wasn’t much effort put in it. You need to bear in mind that your content should be created to give customers a good user experience, and not just to rank well in search engines. 

You need customers to trust your brand and be something that is verified. The content needs to have reliable information about your business. Sloppy content that seems false can be highly damaging to your brand image.

If a customer doesn’t get what they want from your content, then why would they read it? The content has to be intriguing in ways that draws their attention.  

When you market your product through your content, you gain the power to generate niche levels of willingness for purchase, but on a mass scale.  Lead generation is stimulated by content. When you personalise content to the user’s interests and behaviour, your content creates a powerful connection and converts more leads into sales qualified leads (SQLs) and marketing qualified leads (MQLs). You can introduce various methods of getting insight on what the customer wants to see in your content. Make sure your content is linked to one or more social media platforms which are very necessary for the right amount of exposure. All you have to do for a better content experience is to keep it simple and familiar. Always try to improve and bring something new to the table, because customers want something fresh and upgraded. 

All of these tips will lead your search traffic down an open path to increase the opportunity for conversion.

Alejandro Catalan
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School