How to

If content is king, credibility is queen!

I was cooking around some marketing ideas on the weekend. Pinging them back and forth and have coined a new phrase.

“If content is king, credibility is queen!”

What does it mean for your website?

When Bill Gates pitched up content being king everyone jumped on this little blue and white windows wagon and puffed out so much content that no one can manage the sheer volume of it anymore. So Google came along and helped everyone by making it easy to search through the content. Now I do a lot of searching and I am sure you do too. Do you just hate it when you come to a page from Google and the content is just a dog. And the pages with all the popups are dogs with fleas. That is the cyber waste of content being king. The one thing those sites are missing is credibility. I wouldnt touch those popup infested, banner ad flashing websites with a ten foot clown pole.

5 ways to build your website credibility

1. Clear contact us details – Have a easy to navigate clear contact details. Every single detail you have to contact you. Street address, phone, fax, email, Locked bag, dogs kennel address, office former address. If you are a real business I want to know where you are so if I get in trouble I am going to go to it and talk to you.

2. Pictures and believable about us content – You About us page needs to be credible. Have a picture of your office. A picture of your CEO. Some revealing information about your business like where you started and how the idea of the business was originated. Stories are the key.

3. Testimonials with links to real business websites – The key here is the website where the testimonial comes from. If it is possible to verify that person is at that business from the website (e.g. A photo of them is on the website) then it will be even more credible!

4. Third party endorsements and logos – If a third party endorses you with their logo this means that someone else apart from a dodgy self written testimonials likes your business! I like the way Newegg have done their 3rd party endorsements (Look at the bottom). Note Newegg are the 9th biggest internet retailer in the United States with around $500,000,000 of sales in 2005. Not bad for a couple of third party endorsements.

5. Reviews and comments – Real live people making comments and reviewing content or products makes for a believable website. Amazon and Ebay have built their business from trust networks with these 2 simple mechanisms. Reviews of products on Amazon and comments on sellers and buyers in Ebay.

Google has become concerned with their credibility with some of their adwords. The pages that the ads point to have become quite ridiculous and they are starting to stamp this out and improve their credibility.

What else do you use to build trust and credibility?

Blogging and blog marketing

Hit the right note with your blog marketing

Let me tell you the story of how I got into blogging…

It all started when one of my mates, Dylan, began Though quite aggressive in its content, this blog has slowly built up a following of over 1,000 visitors per day.

Dylan and his blog contributors have similar types of humor. They have created a huge following by attracting those with the same humor. “Birds of a feather flock together,” as they say.

This concept was also explained to me by guru marketer, Michael Kiely, using his “Theory of Marketing”. Essentially, he says, each person resonates at a particular note, just like a tuning fork. As they resonate, they naturally attract others who also resonate at that note. The same thing happens when you bring a tuning fork which is resonating, really close to another that is not. The fork that isn’t resonating starts to, because they are on the same wavelength.

Customers are similarly attracted to companies; the company just naturally resonates with them. Look at all the Harley Davidson riders. Look how the customers and company resonate together. Some people prefer Google compared to Yahoo! search engine because it resonates with them.

The key here is to understand what your note is and resonate it through different channels that makes your note sound good. E.g. Google’s corporate blogger, Matt Cutts, is the perfect channel for Google, as their customers are online and the anonymity rings their bell. What is your customers note?

After seeing this phenomenon take place I decided that Freestyle Media clients must have a note, I must have a note and Freestyle Media must have a note. So I launched (Freestyle Media’s official blog). It is designed for corporate online marketers looking for new ideas and a channel to share ideas and build their profile.

Angela Schuster, Online Marketing Manager at has been the first contributor to the blog with a superb article about enewsletter frequency.

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I look forward to seeing you online. Maybe we can make some music together – your tuning fork and mine.


Latest Work at Freestyle Media

So Good Banner advertisements “A taste for Tuscany!” and “So Good Active free sample” banner advertising campaign! View the banner advertising case study

Online marketing

Online Markeitng Review: Surin Restaurant

Tim from Surin Restaurant in Ramsgate, Kent in the UK has asked me to do a review of his online marketing.

Surin Restaurant website –
The Surin Restaurant has A LOT of websites and online activities going on. They have:

Now that to me is an impressive amount of online marketing platforms for a restaurant. But Tim unfortunately with all of your properties that are out there I have to cut this praise short and give you some comments.

Your web properties are not updated or are lacking content. The blog especially needs content. The Restaurant store is superb and the club is a great concept although I just dont have an immediate reason as to why I would want to signup. Give me a reason like group booking bonus bottle of champagne since this is the kind of business you want. Large orders looking to spend lots of money on alcohol (high margin).

I also want to see more search engine marketing. I cant seem to find you on
Thai Restaurant in Google.

I have signed up to the club and we will see what kinds of offers I get?

0.5 / 5 – Good start to the marketing and ideas but needs some delivery and updates.

SEO Search engine optimisation

Farm out your SEO and SEM dont do it…

A recent article in B2B talks about a key insight. “If the guy who is fixing your computer does your SEO and SEM as well you need to find yourself a specialist.”. I wholeheartedly agree because I am a search engine marketer myself. It has taken me 3 years to gain the knowledge I now have about search engines and this knowledge is gathered from all over the place. For some reason there is no course or book you can read about search engine optimisation that will tell you all the answers. This is because that information is worth more implemented by that person than sold to someone else.

I am really quite concerned about the interest in search engine marketing right now and how much big mainstream media agencies are struggling with the concept. They just have no idea. Its offending me. Big media agencies game is a volume game. They need to sell as much media as possible to make money.

I would never go to a big media agency to get a good Cost per click let alone a good cost per acquisition.

Instant messaging

5 rules for business MSN'ng

These days more and more businesses are adapting to using MSN within the business to communicate internally and also externally. When I started Freestyle we used MSN immediately for internal communications and we still do. Yes, we have colleagues sitting next to each still typing to each other as opposed to speaking. For us this is ok because we are online marketers and are used to this kind of communication. We are always in touch with each other and always know where something is up to and what someone else could need. Its just faster to MSN someone as opposed to emailing them.

Now I have had some experiences in using MSN externally to clients. Now that is intense. Its a different game because you have to be on the ball all the time. There is a new level of account management required. Its almost like 24hour service! Since I am online a lot I am a little wary of speaking to clients over MSN because you need time to do things and it can create a strange expectation of you always working on their business. I can imagine for account managers dedicated to one client this will work but when you manage multiple clients there needs to be some lines in the sand.

Here are my 5 tips for keeping out of trouble:

1. Choose a good profile picture – People when MSN’ng each other, especially in business look at that picture scrupulously. I suggest something personal but also quite business like is best. I tend to have a little message in my profile about something I am advocating in online marketing.

2. Manage your profiles status – You must manage your status if you are talking to clients with MSN. If you appear online all the time when you are actually away from your computer you can create quite a bit of agnst.

3. Use correct language – Just because you speak in shortnd sentnces w yr txt msgs dosnt mean u can when you are business MSN’ng. You can do it to some degree but you mustn’t go over board or you will miscommunicate with the client.

4. Less typing and more listening and waiting – Not every client you work with will be a complete speed typer. You must slow down your communication length slightly until you synchronise well with the clients speed of communication. Otherwise you will again fall into the trap of miscommunication.

5. Email or MSN? – Some things are better in an email and some are better as MSN. Sending a proposal to a client would probably best be done through MSN where as confirming a meeting could be done through MSN. Remember that MSN is instant and you dont want to stop someone and get their opinion of your proposal then and there. They need to set some time away, print it out potentially and read through it. They will not make the decision that you want them to pinging it to them and expecting an answer then and there.

Banner marketing

Make the Most of your Marketing Budget with Internet…

Given today’s media consumption habits, it is essential to allocate a portion of your marketing budget to online. But are you getting the most from your investment?
Working with an online marketing expert ensures you use the right mix of tactics for each campaign. These could include:

  • Banner advertising
  • Pay-per-click advertising
  • Blog marketing
  • Article marketing
  • Email marketing
  • Viral marketing
  • promotional websites and
  • Search engine marketing/optimisation (SEM/SEO)

Banner advertising

The original online marketing tool and still used widely, these days banner ads can include page takeovers, large format sizes and with new technologies, be updated with real-time content on-the-fly, to maximise an effective message or tie-in with a current event.

Pay per Click advertising

This strategic and highly targeted approach offers best value for money, as you only pay for ads or links that are clicked on. However, using this niche approach you may miss a potentially wider market. There is also the risk of losing your targets if the message doesn’t resonate. Some fine-tuning may be required to get the results you expect.

Article Marketing

As well as paid online advertorials, many businesses create libraries of resource articles which both explain, as well as subtly sell, their wares. These can be published on their own site/s, and also provide content to others. On top of using the information to engage and convert potential buyers, highly ranked articles can also boost a site’s search engine ranking, if many others sites link to it.

Email Marketing

A well established form of communicating with existing or prospective customer, an eNewsletter can inform, sell and entertain, with the most effective doing all three in a succinct format. With today’s spamming laws it is mandatory to maintain an up-to-date database which respects a recipients’ contact preferences.

Viral Marketing

Spawned and supported by email, viral marketing success depends on creating an entertaining or interactive piece that people wish to forward to friends and colleagues. This type of activity is created everyday in the form of puns and jokes, and can be used a guerrilla tactic by brands to engage or inform.

Blog marketing

Evolving the community aspect of online a step further, blog marketing uses a tribal environment to create a culture of inclusion. In this way blogs also become a useful tool for mining opinions and behaviours of key targets. It is imperative than any corporate voices driving the blog are pitched to suit the participants.

Promotional sites

In one form or another all websites provide an aspect of marketing support. Promotional sites however have been built specifically as a campaign element to support a promotion, as an entry mechanic and/or a loyalty builder. They are the perfect avenue to run sampling and can provide additional tie-ins that cost very little to deliver such as screensavers, cursors etc.

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) & Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

The ultimate requirement in web marketing success, SEM and SEO drive traffic to your site. Smart copy and build will ensure your site is easy for search spiders to mark. To rate on the most popular engines you will need to submit and sometimes pay for the privilege. Other sites linking to yours will improve rankings. You can also buy search engine listings to ensure a higher placement.

Use an online marketing expert

More than any channel, the web enables marketers to track consumer actions and closely monitor ROI. If you are not getting high value for money from your web marketing dollars, you may need to revisit your strategy. Talk to me about how we can help you.

Blogging and blog marketing

The business case for blogging

Here is an article I have been reading which is very interesting in regards to the business case for blogging. An online jewelry store tried quite a few things in terms of blogging and writes about the results they experienced.

I like the concept here of the blog being au naturale. It makes it believable and real as opposed to fake and over corporatised.

What have your experiences been with blogging for your business?


Myspace launches in Australia

No one could say that dot com wasn’t back when News Corp purchased Myspace for $580m. Now it has just signed a $900m contract with Google to allow them to provide paid search listings on the website. Myspace says that its going to be used for paying back the purchase. What a deal! Thats good dot com business.

Myspace just launched the Australian version of the website Myspace successfully launched in the UK in June and now here comes Australia!

I like it, I think Myspace has legs in the music business. It still reaks of dot com to me but time will tell. Revenue is revenue, and with 17million overseas signup per month how can you deny that kind of traffic. I am just waiting for the traffic to plateau out and see what the end residual audience of the website is. I think we are seeing big signups because everyone is working out what is going on and everyone is buying yo-yo’s. I think the novelty of the Myspace Yo-Yo will die down soon and we will see it for what it really is. I dont think all the people who are signing up now and are dedicating huge amounts of time managing and maintaining their myspace will continue forever.


Treat Googlebot just like a normal user

I have found some very interesting videos from Matt Cutts vlog. Ok for the noob:

1. Noob = New person to something
2. Matt Cutts = The Google Blogger that all the SEO guys listen to and read because he actually works at Google and what he has to say most of the time is what everyone knows but he does drop a couple of little snippets of gold in there every now and again.
3. vlog = Video blog. Videos instead of words.

Matt Cuts Vlog

Matt here talks about treating Googlebot just like an ordinary user. Now that stuck with me and I thought. What type of user? There are many users in my mind. The Geek with 1 million windows open and knows how to navigate from page to page finding the content they want and need. Compare this with the 52 year old who understands how to use the mouse and can click some buttons but give them a drop down navigation and they can’t find the content you want to give them.

Anyone got any ideas on what Matt was inferring here?

Fred Schebesta


Nasty, Nasty, Nasty, ooohh good advertisement!

Im not sure if everyone has seen the Queensland holidays ads? I like them. Like I just get that feeling and I like it.

Just listen to that music. The imagery makes me feel alive. Its aspirational. Its … well just perfect for travel and The gold coast.

I think this client has struck upon something !

Congratulations Queensland tourism. I’m not congratulating the agency because that is up to the client to do. The agency is there to make the client famous and the client needs to thank the agency for this. All the marketers should also be congratulated as they have done very well.