say less to be remembered more
agilemarketing, blogging, content marketing

Good Marketing

Good marketing uses technology, insights and the right questions.

It gives the right audience, the right message, at the right time.

It shows us how a brand can solve our problems. Sometimes problems we didn’t know we had.

It can either entertain you or make you feel more inclined to buy from a brand. When it does both, you’re onto a winner.

Why do we do this Content Marketing thing?

With content marketing we try to address our audience’s problems at various stages of the buyer’s journey. We help them discover a solution to their problem and keep them coming back to us – their trusted solution provider. Our constant battle is for the attention of that audience. Big companies are realising that they need to build or acquire their own audience, so as to not fall foul of Facebook Edge-rank or Google algorithm updates.

Companies need to start thinking of themselves as retailers AND media companies

One company that has done this well recently is Surfstitch. They acquired two media properties Magicseaweed and Stab Magazine (great names). Combined they have around 3 million visitors a year and they are interweaving articles featuring their products to become not only surfing’s biggest online retailer, but also the biggest industry content network.

If this video is anything to go by, they will have me discovering a whole range of solutions they have to my problems.

It seems I didn’t realise I needed a custom bike to ride up the Indonesian coast to go surfing. They’re appealing to the hearts and emotions of their audience – not to the features of their product.

Oh and if surfing/bikes/the open road is your thing – check this out

Their latest film – North To Noosa.

I can see there being more brands that will take to content creation as a source of brand value and distinction.

Netflix even paid journalists a good sum to create great editorial – like this piece on women in prison to link to their new series Orange is the new black

Empathy, respect and love will ultimately keep your audience, clients, coworkers, lover friends and family EVERYONE coming back.

If you can interweave your unique purpose, principles and pet peeves into entertaining them – you’ll stand out as their trusted provider.

Ways to repurpose your old blog content
blogging, content marketing, SEO, social media

6 Awesome Ways to Rejuvenate Old Content on Your Blog

There is one thing that Google and its assorted trawling bots love, and that is fresh content. If that fresh content is also linked from established websites, then Google has every reason to believe the content is quite good, assumes it has some kudos, and will rank it higher.

This, of course, is brilliant good for the content creator, and the website where the content is housed. Fresh content is the key to this process – the oil that keeps the engine running if you like – and is critical in a healthy inbound marketing strategy.

But often, creating bespoke singular content is an expensive process. So how do you get the most out of new content?  Hopefully this blog will go some way to identifying new content opportunities from old or existing content:


1. Switch the format up

As an example – if you’ve run surveys of your clients or market then reformat them. Oh and tweak for SEO as you go. Here’s some options:

  • Video summary of the findings to YouTube
  • Press release
  • Segment the full report – show industry cuts
  • Social media sharing of research nuggets. Social Media B2B do this very well embedding tweetable nuggets into an article. Like this article on content marketing stats.
  • Create an infographic from the summary
  • More social media sharing and discussion
  • Micro poll your users as to if the results still stand true
  • Publish results from the micro poll

2. The Friday roundup / in depth piece

Give followers a lean-back post to digest on Saturday or Sunday. Branding Magazine sends out a summary listing of their hot posts of the previous five days. Good for those relaxing on a Saturday morning with bacon and coffee. In contrast to a round up – the economist has a lean back section for a more in depth read on existing topics and themes.

3. Get all analytical

Find out which of your posts were the most popular in terms of traffic from various search terms. Promote them on social media.  Rework those that are off target.

Use Topsy to compare trending hashtags, or trending phrases and really target your next article.

4. Think of your old posts

Continuing the analytics theme – give your old posts will little traffic a tweet or a share if there’s something relevant in the news related to that post. Use this one sparingly though as it could annoy your close followers. And tailor it to each audience!

If your blog is on WordPress, you may even want to consider the plugin Tweet Old Post which will automate it for you.

5. Newsjack

Your products or services might not be famous yet but helping out someone in a broadcasted bad situation can be powerful content. Oakley sent a new model of sunglasses to those leaving the Chilean mines a few years back – it was global news and everybody saw it. It gave others the chance to create loads of content around them.

It could also be a way to reassure your clients that this won’t happen to them – like password protection. A great example of newsjackking was Lastpass providing a tool to check if your LinkedIn password was stolen. They re-purpose this piece each and every time a new website is hacked or comes to the limelight for security breaches.


6. Croudsource an article from your comments area

I love when people point out an idea you’ve missed on a comments section from another article or blog. Use those ideas and expand on them in another post.

Your Turn

Did I miss anything? Let me know in the comments section. I’d love to create another post!

blogging, social media

10 Reasons the World’s Most Popular Blogger Gets 1M Hits Per Post

Han Han is a self-proclaimed “ordinary” blogger, but the hype and numbers tell us something entirely different; at little over 30 he was voted the second most influential person by Time magazine in 2010.

The truth is that the double-barrelled, hard-hitting Chinese blogger is probably the most popular blogger in the world. Ordinary, he is not. The numbers are staggering.

With over 500,000,000 hits to his blog and an average of one million reads for each post, he’s renowned for attacking (which he plays down) the local government and commenting on state funded movies that fail. A modern-day Robin Hood? Possibly, a rebel/player/geek? Definitely.

Han Han is also a best selling author and pro-race car driver and his magazine Party (cover left) sold a million issues before being censored and shut down. Although a super blogger he’s not a big fan of Sina Weibo (China’s version of Twitter). He thinks he’ll get too distracted looking at sexy profile pics rather than reading tweets.

Having already set your view of Han Han as a partying Fast and Furious extra – why am I interested and why should you be? Well his success as a blogger is down to a formula that translates to any language.

Here are ten reasons why Han Han thinks he has something over his blogging competitors:

1. Practice – slightly arrogant perhaps, but he believes he writes better than others, and as we all know the secret there is practice.

2. Be amusing – Han Han says humour is a great way to separate himself from other bloggers.

3. Write simply – if you’ve got something to say don’t wrap it in acronyms, waffle or hyperbole hard to read/understand words.

4. Appeal to your audience – he takes what’s happening around him and turns his observations in to speak his community understands.

5. Take time to post – just because it seems instant to get out a tweet, status update or blog post, doesn’t mean you should forget to research your article and switch on spell check.

6. Cover what’s hot – and don’t just photocopy what you are seeing. Give your users some perspective and explain why they should care.

7. Remember what happens in Vegas stays online – Han points out that the freedom social media and blogging give him to get things out means censors can’t remove it as it’s already reposted, shared etc. He also says it means there’s no editorial team there changing the meaning. But he does have to keep an extra eye on proof.

8. Be a contrarian – Han Han pushes boundaries, challenges local officials and breaks the shackles of traditional Chinese media.

9. Know your limits – if you’re throwing down something controversial or contrarian be prepared to back it up. And if its really controversial, understand the repercussions. “I thought i’d have been questioned by officials by now,” Han Han told News Asia.

10. Be Cocky (confident) – Han turned down an interview with Barak Obama because it meant he would have had to get up early before his Race that day. A few lessons to take form that is: by appealing to a new audience, Han could have alienated his loyal fans – so don’t switch your focus just to meet a new niche. Stay consistent. Secondly, by being slightly aloof, Han Han has increased the hype surrounding himself even more.

This interview with News Asia highlights perhaps why Fast Company placed him as the 25th most creative person in business globally, up there with Oprah, Yuri Milner and Scott Forstall in 2012.

What else did you guys get from Han Han?

agilemarketing, blogging, mobile

Will 2014 be the Mobile Only Year?

Well as 2014 edges it’s way closer I thought it would be interesting to throw this question out and see what everyone thinks. I believe there will be a new wave of businesses that won’t bother with a desktop focused website but start from scratch thinking mobile only.

Are we going to see a new tidal wave of touch, shake, app, responsive and HTML5 enabled online presences?

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Catching waves in Long Bay

A post shared by Nick Allen (@nickwallen) on

Instagram have paved the path for mobile first products, with their stellar figures and acquisition price. In part for doing one thing exceptionally well: making the most of phone cameras and SHARING instant moments.

But when I say mobile only I wonder, how many businesses can put their desktop user experience to the wayside and focus on making the most of the new mobile world. Really using the impressive data connections we are getting.

Already on my blog and other New Zealand websites (if we place tablets and the iPad in the mobile bucket) there’s over 60% accessing posts via a mobile device.
Facebook and Twitter tout similar or even more progressive numbers for users who access over a phone or tablet primarily.

Going totally mobile for me means not only having all the functionality we have come to expect on our desktops but also taking advantage of the mobile device. Not only on your website but your entire online presence.

So let’s see about the off site presence

  1. Geotargeting of advertising is the first measure. Google can now let you run campaigns down to neighbourhood level in many large cities (even in little old New Zealand). This means targeted campaigns focused on activities and people in that area. Like burger discounts to people leaving stadiums, hotels nearby or pushing people to physical stores.
  2. Making mobile friendly Facebook apps, that load ultra fast and ask little that your phone already knows
  3. Using smart urls in your advertising that serve up the right experience for device location and even operating system.

And what about your website?

Once you have made the decision to go responsive or have a mobile version of your site ensuring the basics are there like a functioning enquiry form or even better a functional shop should come next.

What I’m hoping to see are greater use of sensors and the abilities of our phones. Things like:

  • Heightened contrast in your style sheet when the device points away from the sun on sunny days
  • Shake to purchase or double your order?
  • Get your mobile “Share” buttons working, including thumbnails and short descriptions that where possible include location references
  • Guide visitors to the nearest physical store
  • Find tops or accessories that match what you’ve currently got on (using the phone)
  • Listing books you’ve brought and are happy to loan to friends
  • Prompting users to pick up milk or takeaways if your partner is running late (combining data on a family’s location)
  • Oh and my latest one from today (after sitting at the beach) – scanning your photos for potential cancer/melanoma spots

Making the most of device functionality is one part. But true winners will be looking at the data, leveraging insights to hyper customise websites based on as many useful signals as they can from devices. Then, together with the user, sharing in the creation of joint experiences, content creation, products and services. The new economic age will be the connected sharing age.

Who will really take advantage though?

There’s so much potential I can’t wait to see what we’ll get in the coming months.

Thanks followers

Happy New Year to all and I wish you and your families a fantastic, productive, challenging and rewarding 2014.

Note: Post and all content, shot, edited, written, recorded and shared from my Xperia Z1. Not as easy as my iPad, but I wanted to prove it was possible. Even the typing bit to fix the dictation errors.

blogging, user experience

Website Accessibility Around the Globe

As I log onto our WiFi here in the hotel hopefully for the last time I’m reminded of the infrastructure required for a truly global web presence.

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My new skyline – Auckland

A post shared by Nick Allen (@nickwallen) on

Although my blog is hosted on WordPress I use a number of peripheral services such as Flickr, Soundcloud, YouTube and Google for hosting rich media. Many of which rely on the Amazon Cloud or their own servers in multiple locations to replicate your content. Serving it to you via the closest server in the fastest method possible. Cloud replication of content also ensures there’s a backup (well now that Amazon have been through the 2012/2013 outages) for your content as well.

Hosting your own site on a dedicated server in a single location limits the ability for users to access it from distant time zones. It also opens you up to the threat of downtime. Host your content management system and backups on servers nearby and you also run into the risk of loosing your site completely.

Another point to consider is rendering multiple file resolutions dependant on the browser, PC, tablet or Internet connection that the user is connecting over. This ensures optimum user experience and also spreads server load over multiple files. Rather than everyone trying to download that huge video all at once, those on mobile can access a lighter version.

Subtle UI notes can also hint to those on a phone to save the page for viewing on a faster connection later. It is also good to note that Google penalises pages that load slower than average. I believe from memory this is around the 3 seconds upwards arena. They measure this from various locations, not just over 4G or UFB in a big city.

Tailoring the experience to mobile and limiting heavy files to PC or desktop viewing lets mobile users get to where they want to be. Rarely do we access video content over our phone due to data caps, so ensure your sites prioritises to mobile paths and usage such as finding addresses, browsing product prices, finding contact numbers and getting to those points quickly.

Even better, if your site uses forms or has e-commerce functionality allow transactions started on mobile to be easily picked up from other devices.