We took ourselves along to the My Biz Expo in Auckland this weekend; it was good to chat with the businesses there, although many were not really geared towards smaller sized businesses like ourselves. We were particularly impressed with Outbox and Localist, in terms of their offering for small businesses. The seminars were great too, particularly the seminars by Tony Keusgen, Google Country Manager New Zealand and Nik Bowditch, Facebook SMB Manager Australia & NZ. What follows are some interesting statistics & tips from these speakers; read on if you want some online marketing ideas...

SMB NZ: Making the most of the web

Tony Keusgen, Google Country Manager New Zealand 

  • 43% of media consumption in NZ is online, but only 15% of advertising dollars are spent on online avenues - that's an un-tapped resource right there!
  • When looking for a product or service, 80% of people search online first - are they finding yours?
  • To tap this potential, it's important to get a website (Airsquare's favorite tip, of course!)
  • Create a marketing strategy and promote the website (see our SEO article for more tips here)
  • Speed/usability/simplicity are key aspects of a great online presence
  • Create a mobile strategy, targeting people searching locally on their smart phones (a growing number) and where a listing on Localist is handy.

When using Google Adwords:

  • Test different ads (different title, text, offers) to see which ads work best
  • Use a different contact phone number on different ads, so that you can see what ads result in the most contacts
  • Use Google Trends to find out what is trending on Google search
  • Employ evidence based marketing - use Google Analytics to figure out where you get the best return on your investment.

Build a thriving business in a connected world

Nik Bowditch, Facebook SMB Manager Australia & NZ

Nik shared tips for using Facebook as a marketing tool for your business:

  • Create a Facebook business page - In New Zealand, 2,224,640 people (51% of population) use Facebook - quite the captive audience
  • Post regularly and publish visually engaging posts
  • Post high quality content
  • Use the Page Insights to optimise your posts - ascertain what types of post people engage with most and stick with those
  • Highlight your most important posts through Promoted posts (you have to pay to do this) to ensure that you influence friends of fans too
  • Use Facebook Offers
  • Use Custom Audiences - load in your contacts list and then you can target Facebook ads to them (if they are on Facebook)
  • Facebook Gifts is currently being rolled out in America, whereby you can buy things online and send them to a Facebook friend via Facebook. You don't pay until the gift is accepted (& the recipient can decline the gift)
  • Use Facebook Ads, which can be very targeted to very specific groups - think 'narrow-casting' rather then broadcasting
  • Sponsored stories can also be used to reach people you're connected to & their friends too; with sponsored stories, it's good to use great imagery and lots of 'calls to action'
  • Check out Facebook.com/marketinganz for Faecbook marketing guidance
  • The NZ phone number for Facebook marketing assistance: 0800 445 150

(See credit for photo used here)