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Perspectives

Insightful ramblings; sideline passion projects; even a little insider industry knowhow...
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The Content of your (Brand’s) Character

The Content of your (Brand’s) Character

The importance of good content cannot be overlooked. Whether it’s written, verbal, visual, or experiential, it all evokes an emotional response. This can be positive or negative. We’ve written about the first impression your website can make on a potential customer and this is also true for every other brand touchpoint you control.

What you write, say, or post online, offline, or standing on the front line, shows your customers the content of your brand’s character.

There is a common misconception that brand is not much more than a logo and the colours used in an organisation’s website and promotional material. But the true value of a well designed brand goes much deeper. When dealing with people, we go beyond looks to the heart of the person. The same is also true when selecting which brand to invest in.

Every single time a customer comes into contact with your team or brand, it builds a picture of who you are as an organisation. They get an idea of what you stand for, what you care about and what they are likely to get when they deal with you and your team.

So you want to make sure you’re doing content right, right? Let’s explore what it takes to build and maintain a brand that your customers want to engage with.

Plan

User journey diagram sampleWe’ve all heard it and have probably said it at some point, but you can’t argue with the phrase “Failing to plan is planning to fail”. Having a plan that includes different messaging for different seasons and overall story development, as well as the more detailed tactics will make it a lot easier than sitting with a blank page at the start of every day.

Know your people

Make sure you understand your people. This includes your employees, stakeholders and your customers, or other intended audience. You need to get to know them, what makes them tick and understand what problem they want you to solve. Only then can you communicate with them about how your product or service can benefit them. Note that we include employees and contractors in this, because if they are being looked after then they will go out of their way to convey your brand’s message.

Be consistent

Consistency of messaging, tone of voice and brand representation across all your content is crucial to achieving solid brand awareness among existing, as well as potential customers. Remember, your target market can come into contact with your brand across any number of platforms and you don’t want there to be any confusion in the key message, or disconnection from the experience in one space to another.

Tell stories

Storytelling is an art. Each piece of content should form part of your unique story. But remember it’s not just your story, people want to know what’s in it for them. So weave your customer into your story by highlighting the benefits of using your product or service. But please, please don’t make every social media post an opportunity to sell, sell, sell. Instead ask yourself if every post is offering something that the audience will value. Sometimes that will happen to be the product/service solution to a problem they are facing.

Keep it real

That story I mentioned earlier that you should tell? It should be your organisation’s true story. People make a very quick judgement call about whether an organisation is authentic in its content. Transparency across the board. No one believes that everything always comes up roses. If your social media feed is all one sided, your customers may begin to lose trust in you. So make sure you use a critical lens on your content and include some of the other side of your experiences. Whether it’s a story about learning from a recent failure, or a fun, blooper reel from a recent project, share the good with the bad. This will make your brand more ‘human’.

Share and share alike and give credit where it’s due

Not every single piece of content you share on social media needs to be your own. Sometimes someone else has said something absolutely perfectly and you want to support their idea by sharing it with your own audience. But to maintain an ethical approach to your activity, if you do share someone else’s work, please, please give them credit. That way you’re supporting them too.

Use plain English

People are put off by jargon. Using the latest industry speak may seem impressive to you and your team, but it can make someone turn off your content as fast as a switch does to a light. You may think industry jargon gives you credibility, but what you’re aiming for is approachability. If someone doesn’t understand your content they’re not going to hold out much hope of a smooth or easy process when dealing with you.

So, are you content with your content?

If this article has sparked some ideas and you’d like to talk them through, give us a call.

Learning Management Systems Pros & Cons

Learning Management Systems Pros & Cons

Bespoke vs Off-The-Shelf vs Hybrid

When we work with customers on their elearning projects, we choose to work with a hybrid Learning Management System (LMS) that allows cost-effective customisation of learning modules and course content. Think of it like a hybrid vehicle engine… maximum fuel efficiency without losing the torque of your 3L diesel.

But don’t take our word as gospel… you’ll want to do your research into what type of LMS is best for you. So here are the pros and cons of the different online training platform options that are out there.

Bespoke LMS

Pros

Customisation: You can get exactly what you want down to the last minute detail.

Cost: You only spend money on the features you need.

Bugs: You can report bugs and have them dealt with quickly, as opposed to on the next mass software update.

Support: Good bespoke software companies will have great support services. You’ll likely have an account manager who will dealt swiftly with enquiries, concerns and reporting of any bugs.

Cons

Cost: Large up front investment and each change further down the track involves further investment as it has to built from scratch specifically for your organisation.

Bugs: Because it’s newly developed, there are highly likely to be a few bugs to iron out.
Speed: Developing software from scratch takes time. However spending time and money initially, can lead to smoother sailing in the long term.

Stability: Relying on a custom platform supplier could leave you in the lurch if their business closes its doors for whatever reason.

Try Before You Buy?: You might be able to see an example or two of an LMS similar to yours, however you won’t have certainty over what yours is like until you make the decision to go ahead and get your first sample of the software for feedback.

Off-The-Shelf LMS

Pros

Speed: Because very little work is required to setup an off-the-shelf solution, this is usually the quickest option.

Bugs: have been ironed out because of the volume of people using the platform. Any that arise are dealt with swiftly.

Try Before You Buy?: You’ll be able to view many examples of the solution.

Stability: Companies that provide off-the-shelf solutions are usually large and have great reputations (if you do your research to find the right one), therefore there is less chance of you software becoming obsolete because the provider has shut down.

Cons

Customisation: Limited customisation (or even no customisation) is available to individual organisations option to use an off-the-shelf LMS. It will depend on the solution you choose as to how much of the look and functionality of the program you can change. You may have several obsolete functions available to you.

Support: Again, it depends on the provider, but usually you’d be going through a mass online support platform. How good the provider is will depend on how responsive they are to your requests.

Cost: Many off-the-shelf solutions operate with per user pricing. This can be prohibitive for many organisations.

Bugs: Issues with software are often logged and dealt with in waves that are put together into the latest update. Depending on the company managing this, in a worst case scenario it could be months until a particular bug is resolved.

Hybrid LMS

Pros

Customisation: Your hybrid LMS can be relatively customised so you get the functionality you need and look that fits your brand, without having to pay someone to build every aspect just for you.
Cost: While the software has the capability to offer many different functions, you only pay for the ones you need for your business.

Stability: Hybrid learning management systems often have the benefit of a large software development company in terms of the likelihood of the company being around for as long as you need your software to be.

Bugs: The bulk of bugs will be ironed out through the volume of users reporting issues on a daily basis. Anything finicky in the customised parts of your system should be handled swiftly by the support team.

Support: Choose the right company to deliver your Learning Management System and you’ll have that on-tap, personalised support, combined with the ease and speed of working with off-the-shelf solutions.

Cons

Customisation: While many different aspects of hybrid learning management systems are customisable, not 100% of them are.

Speed: While it won’t take as long as a bespoke solution, there’s more development time in the beginning with a hybrid system than there is with an off-the-shelf system.

So if you’re looking at implementing e-learning for your organisation and like the sound of working with a hybrid system to get the elements you need in the most cost effective way, then get in touch with the friendly and efficient team at 360 New Zealand Ltd today.

Integrating 360 Degree Video into E-Learning

Integrating 360 Degree Video into E-Learning

What if you could give your trainees an online learning experience that was as close as possible to being there in person?

E-Learning courses have come a long way from the days where people read the text and then ticked the multi choice answer box. Online training is becoming more common, less cost prohibitive and far more innovative. As a result, its effectiveness is also increasing.
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First Impressions Count: 5 key ingredients for a great website

First Impressions Count: 5 key ingredients for a great website

When people want to find a product or service these days, they jump straight online and search, just as they used to do with the Yellow Pages in the 90s.

Your website is therefore the first impression that these people have of your company.

How does your online presence stack up? Does it reflect the impression you would create if you met your potential customer in person?

It should.
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