Organic Search Engine Opti-‘what’?!

COVID-19 certainly changed consumer behaviour, and while our community is up and running (almost) as usual, some learned behaviours are here to stay. People are still online…a lot! It’s more important than ever to make sure your website is ticking all the boxes in Google’s eyes… yes, we are talking Organic Search Engine Optimisation. This is a long-term strategy to increase Google’s ranking of your website (and reach more potential website visitors). The time to start is now! But where do you start?

  1. Get your data

First of all, make sure your website has Google Analytics to track how people come to your website and what pages they visit on your site. Having the data gives you the power to learn more about the behaviour of YOUR target market.

  1. Learn what your customers are actually searching for

You can’t optimise your website without knowing what your customers are searching for. This is as simple as it sounds. Make a list of words and phrases people might search for when they look for your business online. You can do this by digging into your Google Analytics or doing some research with Google auto-complete or ‘related searches’. These search terms will become your keywords, and a handful or so is enough to begin with.

  1. Organically optimising for keywords.

Now, let’s optimise your website by using those keywords in content on your site. Quick tip: it is not just using the keywords on your site but also the placement of those keywords. Google takes hints about the page’s topic from the top of a webpage, so try getting your keyword in the first 25 words. But don’t get spammy! Remember to speak like a human being and not some robot!

  1. Don’t ‘set and forget’.

There is a ‘set and forget’ mentality when it comes to websites which doesn’t do anyone any good. Help Google see you as an authority by talking in-depth about what you do, why you do it, who you do it for and importantly giving insider insights to your industry. How do you do this? Create and post more content! Time to start that blog. Google is trying to help searchers get the information they need – so be helpful, discuss problems, answer questions.  The more people click on your helpful content, the higher you will rank on a Google search results page (winning!).

The best thing about organic SEO is that it’s free if you want to give it a crack yourself. The more you put in, the more you’ll get out of it. So, go on, give it a go! And stay tuned to learn more about how organic SEO compares to a paid SEO strategy.

Getting back to business after lockdown

Over the last few months, we've had to pivot towards a ‘new normal’ (due to Covid-19), by adapting and shifting business operations to stay within the government guidelines and directives.

Amongst all this change – how on earth does a business keep up? Are you ready to bring your product and/or service to market better than ever before? Indeed, our locals may know and love you, but what about those impending visitors from all around the state due on the Northern Rivers doorstep any minute - are you ready for them?

Let's look at some tips on how to get “Back to Business”:

Capture the online researchers

Google my Business is how potential customers can find you online. If you don’t already have it, get it. You don't need a website and it’s a simple thing you can do right now to ensure you are being found. Update it with current photos and trading hours. Your customers can also leave a review, which increases trust with new customers. Another way to be found is Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). SEO utilises key search terms that your customers may be using to find businesses like yours e.g. “restaurants in Lennox”. SEO is key to making sure you are being found online.

Seek out new customers 

Now is the perfect time to set up Facebook or Google Ads to find new customers or leads. Both platforms are so highly sophisticated that they can seek out your ideal customers and communicate exactly what you have on offer using targeted audiences. Pair this with an amazing offer and you’re well on your way to building a new database with new customer leads.

Communicate with your loyal fans

If you haven’t yet sent an email to your existing customer base…now is the time. Make your content worthy of reading. It’s fair to say we are over hearing about social distancing policies! Another great way to cut through the clutter is VIDEO - don’t be shy. If you don’t have a database the next best thing is Instagram or Facebook stories. Use these tools to communicate what you are cooking, where you deliver, what clothing range have you just received, special offers.…the possibilities are endless. Plus, stats are showing that more people are looking at stories over their regular feeds.

Reset and refresh 

With the entire country in reset mode, it could be time to think about your branding. Does your logo need a refresh? What about your collateral, outdoor signage, menus, flyers, brochures or business cards? With the unprecedented amount of domestic travel predicted, you want to ensure that you are looking polished when visitors start arriving.

In a few months’, we may very well be missing our quiet beaches. But at least our business community can start to get back on their feet and that’s a major win!

 

Thinking differently in these crazy times

Our local business community has suffered so many blows over the past few months. But, nothing could prepare us for the current COVID-19 situation.

While you are self-isolating (and provided you aren’t already overloaded with homeschooling) here are some proactive things you can do right now to nurture your business. Your community still wants to hear from you – even if your doors are closed or your services have been temporarily shut down.

Step 1

The first step is to get your digital ducks in a row. Assets like social media accounts, websites and sales and marketing software have become vital during these times of reduced human contact. This is a fitting time to start posting more on your Facebook page or Instagram account. Or perhaps learn about Ads Manager and email platforms like MailChimp. You can then integrate your digital platforms. For example, put an Instagram feed on your website and direct your Facebook ads to a landing page. Tidying all these things will help make sure they deliver in the most effective and efficient way. There are endless resources such as webinars, YouTube videos and step by step instructions to assist with this.

Step 2

Once you have sorted the best ways for you to keep the conversation going with your community, take the time to consider your tone of voice. This can vary, but it should suit your brand and be authentic. It will likely be best received if it is calm, positive, helpful, informative or empathetic. Tasteful humour is a good one, but please be sensitive and very mindful about how others may interpret your messages. Additionally, people are already bombarded with information about the virus, so it's worth thinking about ways your voice can stand out from the crowd.

Step 3

Now that you have established lines of thoughtful communication, brainstorm ways to adapt your service delivery. Be the solution to the problems that people are experiencing. A great example is how quickly most of our cafes started offering home delivery. Another example is how local fitness trainer Rikki Lee started a Facebook group with free daily workouts. Think creatively about how best to utilise your skills. You could become a virtual consultant, providing useful information that is relevant to what you do and to your customers. Zoom chats, Facebook live, Watch parties and Google Hangouts are all relatively easy and fun ways to deliver your messages.

 

Staying in contact with your business, employees, customers and suppliers could be a wonderful way to stay focussed on your passion. Share that passion whenever possible. There is no better time to surprise and delight your customers with excellent service. Your kindness, compassion and attention to detail WILL be remembered when we all come out the other side.

We are all in this together.

From the Barefruit Team

Plastic Free July

In the Barefruit Office, we pride ourselves on being as plastic-free and minimal waste as possible. Since 2018 we have been participating in Plastic Free July, Clean up Australia day, and the local ‘Reduce Single Use’ initiative.

Recent health restrictions due to COVID has meant some of our good habits have slipped (e.g. the return of single-use coffee cups!), but this July we are ready to reset and form those good habits again. We might not be perfect, but if we all make small changes, we can make a big difference.

 “We don’t need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly." - Anne Marie Bonneau

 Here are our top 5 tips for starting out the plastic-free journey in your office:
  1. Ditch takeaway coffee cups:

This is one of the easiest changes to make, and if you’re not already doing this – start NOW! To get everyone on board, we implemented a rule – if you get caught with a single-use coffee cup in the office, you have to do 10 burpees.

Go and buy yourself a keep cup to keep in the office. Forgot your keep cup? No worries…just use a mug from the kitchen, or ask your barista to make your coffee in one of their mugs and return it….most cafes will be more than willing to do this if you are a regular.

 

  1. BYO lunch

Bringing your own lunch is a great way to cut down on food packaging. Just remember to use reusable containers, and ditch the plastic wrap. We have invested in silicone food wraps which are reusable. We got ours from local company Seed & Sprout.

 

  1. BYO crockery

If you do buy lunch from a café, take a bowl or plate with you so that you don’t have to get it in a plastic container. Our local cafes are now on board with this!

 

  1. Upgrade your coffee pods

We now only use biodegradable coffee pods in the office kitchen, from Urban Brew.

These go into the general waste, but instead of taking 500 years to break down like some coffee pods, these take only 2 years.

 

  1. Say no to plastic bags

We have a supply of reusable shopping bags in our kitchen so we never get caught out when doing a lunch shop. We also ditched the bin liners from our desk bins (which saves money too!), and we use plant-based bin liners in our kitchen bin.

 

Follow us on Instagram for more tips throughout the month!

Are you ready? Join the Plastic Free July challenge now!

The New Financial Year is Here!

We’re two months into the easing of restrictions and everyone is out and about, getting back into their usual pre-COVID habits. It’s no longer feeling like such a novelty go out for a coffee with a few friends. And, the weekends are busy again. We have lots of visitors coming to enjoy the beautiful Northern Rivers. You could almost say, things feel pretty much back to normal for most of Australia.

In saying this, the situation in Victoria is a bit different. Things are certainly not back to normal with the tightening of restrictions in parts of Melbourne. These so-called 'hot zones' have reverted back to the same restrictions from the start of the pandemic in order to slow the spread of the virus. It's disheartening to hear, but we have our fingers crossed this is only a little bump in the road for affected Victorian businesses.

Considering all of this, the new financial year already here! It’s time to reflect on the financial year that was, reset focus and plan for the one ahead. This is the perfect time to adapt branding and business operations to new consumer behaviour and appeal to new markets in innovative ways.

So, let’s take a look at 4 tips for planning for the Financial Year 2020-21.

  1. What is your Point of Difference?

In order to stand out against your competitors, you first need a point of difference. Something distinct and novel that consumers recognise, remember and come to you for. Maybe this is your brand story or brand personality. Or perhaps there is something unique about your delivery of your product or service. Is your customer service different or special in some way? Whatever it is, make sure your offer to consumers includes a point of difference that entices consumers your way. And spread the word about it.

  1. Organise a Content Calendar

At the moment, your social media presence is more important than ever with consumers turning towards online communities to connect and share with others. For businesses, social media is key to building trust and transparency and for keeping your audience up to date with new information. And so, now is a great time to get your social media content organised for the next little while. Think about what messages and content you want to share, make a plan and schedule your posts into a calendar. Why? This will help keep you on track and hold you accountable to your social media marketing. Along with your social media strategy, remember to mix it up a bit with well-chosen local media outlets, like radio, community magazines etc.

  1. Set a Marketing Budget

The new financial year means it is time to think about your budget. Considering the last few months have been a bit of a roller-coaster (to say the least) for every business, your budget may very well look a bit different to last year. With everyone in re-set mode, do set aside some money to market your business – a general guideline is 5% of your turnover. It is so important right now to make sure your brand messages reach your target audience, increasing awareness and desire to purchase your service or product. And trust us, a bit of money, especially in the digital marketing space, can make a significant difference.

  1. What’s your Digital Marketing Strategy?

Your consumers are online, and the best way to reach them is to be online too (no way!). Traditional marketing and advertising in print is still great, but online marketing is so flexible and in times like this, flexibility is what you need. With no lead times or deadlines, you can change your online messaging instantly to suit any situation.

If you need some help with your FY21 planning, check out our Back to Business programs.

 

Supporting Local Businesses

In these crazy times, it’s crucial for us to pull together and act with purpose. There is a light at the end of the tunnel so let’s prepare now, so we are strong for the recovery phase.

As a small business ourselves, we are taking a step back and looking at things very differently. Customer behaviours are changing and we all need to adapt to that. Some of the things we are doing for ourselves and our clients include:

  • Reviewing marketing strategies to ensure budgets are being spent in the most efficient and effective way
  • Changing the focus of marketing promotions in keeping with the Government-enforced changes taking place
  • Doing stuff, not saying stuff. Showing our integrity and helping people at this time, ensuring no-one is seen to be ‘exploiting’ this situation in any way
  • Ensuring we have robust but fluid strategies in place, so when this time of uncertainty ends, we will be strong businesses ready to take on the growth period that will come
  • Digital marketing will be a focus now more than ever and it’s important we retain a strong presence in this space. Bricks and mortar businesses can see online as an opportunity at this time – it just needs us to ‘think differently’. Physical events that have been in existence for years are finding ways to reach audiences by embracing the online space in lots of unique ways.

Barefruit have a live web event taking place this Thursday 26th March at 11am (NSW time) open to any business owner or manager. The purpose of this web event is to offer some sound (and sane) advice to businesses who are feeling, let’s face it, a bit confused at the moment.

We all need to stay relevant to our customers and think about their pain points and how we can help them overcome them. Life will go on and your customers will still need you, so let’s be positive and think ahead, adopting strategies for our businesses that are affordable and scalable.

We hope to see you on Thursday at our web event, feel free to pass on to any friends or colleagues you think could benefit.

Thinking of all our clients at this time. Stay safe and healthy

Claire and the Barefruit team

International Women’s Day: Event Marketing

In honour of International Women's Day (March 8), Barefruit Marketing hosted a charity event to bring our local women together for a fun & inspiring night out. Held at Beef & Beach in Lennox Head on Friday 6th March, the event attracted over 140 local women and raised just under $10,000 for Lennox-based charity, Rafiki Mwema.

The night was hosted by Mandy Nolan - one of Australia’s strongest female comedic talents – and featured a panel of four local female speakers, sharing their inspirational stories of bravery, friendship and standing strong.

Over 35 local businesses donated over $10,000 in raffle prizes. 100% of ticket and raffle proceeds will go to Rafiki Mwema, to support a social enterprise project for their older girls so when they leave Rafiki’s care at 18 years old, they can do so as strong, independent and self-sufficient young women. Rafiki’s purpose is to support vulnerable children who have been victims of sexual abuse in Kenya and work to stop the cycle of abuse. Find out more info, or join the Rafiki family by donating or sponsoring a child, at rafikimwema.com

“The event was a huge success – tickets sold out within three weeks, and we had a lot of women on the waitlist. We are already planning next year’s event with a bigger space so we can cater to more people. We are blown away by the generosity of local businesses who sponsored the event and donated prizes and by the women who supported by attending and buying raffle tickets. The money raised is going to a great cause and we are so honoured that we are lucky to be able to help” said Barefruit Marketing Co-founder and Director, Claire Harding.

The speakers included Claire Harding Co-founder of Barefruit, Sarah Rosborg, Co-founder of Rafiki Mwema, Rikki-Lee Petrie, Founder of Bod Squad and Stuntwoman Marese Emanuel. They were interviewed by Mandy Nolan followed by lots of laughs and plenty dancing to The Soundrop DJ’s.

International Women's Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity, with the 2020 theme being #EachForEqual.

If you’d like to be notified when tickets go on sale for our next event, sign up for our mailing list here.

Thank you to everyone who supported this event, include:

Event Sponsors:

Our wonderful speakers: Claire Harding, Sarah Rosborg, Rikki-Lee Petrie & Marese Emanuel

To each of the wonderful businesses who generously donated prizes for our raffle (listed below), and all of our helpers on the night.

And most importantly thank you to everyone who came along, bought raffle tickets, listened to the speakers, laughed along with Mandy and had a night out with friends to celebrate just how awesome women are!!

Prizes donated by:

 

Fluro Friday to Free the Funk!

October is Mental Health Awareness Month, so to help break the stigma and start a conversation about mental health, some of the Barefruit team joined the community Fluro Friday event on Friday 11th October in Lennox.

Organised by Trent Chapman from Movement Function Fitness, the morning included an anti bad vibes circle, surfing, a dance workout, breakfast and some stand-up comedy. Barefruit was there providing OJ for all of those who braved the dark, cold morning!

Fluro Friday was born at Bondi Beach 6 years ago – a weekly sunrise session where the community dress up in the brightest outfits possible and share stories, surf and do yoga to raise awareness of mental health.  It has now spread to more than 200 beaches worldwide, and offers surf programs to people facing mental health challenges. You can read more about the OneWave foundation and all they do here, and check out what beaches run regular Fluro Friday events here.

1 in 5 people experience mental health issues each year and 65% of these people don't seek treatment. Having a safe space to talk about mental health can save lives, and that is exactly what OneWave is doing…..sometimes one wave is all it takes.  Yew!

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Barefruit Marketing shortlisted for the My Business Awards and Northern Rivers Business Awards

Following our recent win at the Ballina Business Awards, we are proud to announce that Barefruit has been shortlisted for three more awards!

We are finalists in the My Business Awards, one of Australia’s longest-standing business awards programs, the Media, Marketing and Advertising Business of the Year category.

We have also been announced as finalists in the Northern Rivers Business Awards, in two categories - Excellence in Small Business and Excellence in Business & Professional Services.

The My Business Awards is the premier awards program celebrating Small to Medium (SME) businesses. It acknowledges the achievements of business owners and showcases their talent and excellence. The Awards span 32 categories across defence, finance, hospitality, travel, tourism, business, trades, retail and more.

“Small and medium business owners work exceptionally hard, and do so amid a complex regulatory framework, an uncertain economic outlook and a rapidly changing marketplace, thanks to the pace of technological change,” said My Business editor Adam Zuchetti. “This year’s My Business Awards finalists are shining examples of how these challenges are being faced head-on by Aussie businesses to deliver outstanding service to their customers, become attractive places to work and be a force for good within their local communities. On behalf of the My Business team, I warmly congratulate all of our finalists for 2019 and wish them the best of luck on the night.”

Evan Harding, Co-Founder and Head Harvester said he was humbled by the nomination. “These awards recognise some of the country’s innovators within our industry, so it is an incredible honour to be shortlisted. It is a testament to our workplace culture and attracting highly skilled individuals who are passionate about what they do.”

Claire Harding, Co-Founder and Chief Juicer added “I started this agency in my dining room seven years ago, knowing that I wanted to do what I enjoy, with people and brands that interest and excite me.  I love watching our agency and clients grow and thrive!”

Barefruit Marketing certainly has grown from its humble beginnings in 2012 in a dining room in Lennox Head.  Since then, the duo has grown into a full-service in-house team of 13 and multiple contractors across a variety of disciplines including photography, graphic design, copywriting, public relations, and strategic brand management. More recently, Barefruit secured a ‘Digital Marketing gun’ Felismina Jom and Creative superstar Alex Wales.

The My Business winners will be announced at a black-tie event held at The Star in Sydney on Friday 15 November, and the Northern Rivers winners will be announced at a gala evening on Saturday 19 October at the Ballina RSL Club.

Fingers crossed for our local agency representing our region. Wish us luck!

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Barefruits top 5 tips on Keeping Australia Beautiful

Over the past few years Barefruit has been implementing strategies and practices to lower our environmental impact, including banning all single use plastics in the office. A litter free and sustainable future is one of Barefruits main goals for the future and we love encouraging other local businesses to participate also. So, as it’s Keep Australia Beautiful week, we thought it was only fitting to share our top 5 tips to keeping our local community beautiful!

Reduce Single Use – An initiative produced through the collaboration between Barefruit Marketing and the Ballina Shire Councils ‘Waste Warriors’. Established to encourage other businesses in the local area to be more accountable. Including no single use plastics, eco-friendly office practices such as double-sided printing and using online filing systems, reusable crockery provided for staff lunches and the use of keep cups on coffee runs!

Take three for the sea – Residing in the coastal town of Ballina we all know the impact that microplastics and litter are having on our beautiful waterways. On our morning walks or afternoon runs we all consciously make an effort to clean the areas we are in and encourage others to do so too!

Shop local – Farmers markets, wholefood shops and road side stalls all offer great produce and supplies that don’t come over packaged. From fruit, veg and meat to natural products or loose-leaf teas. It’s a great way to support your local economy also.

Be prepared – Keep extra reusable bags in your car or in the workplace, invest in a keep cup and some good quality lunch containers. Being prepared will mean you won’t be left with no other options.

Recycle – Easy peasy lemon squeezy recycling. Check out the council’s great A-Z resource to learn what items go into what bin.

Find out more about Keep Australia Beautiful week and how to get involved here.