2019 Communications Strategy Template

2019 Communications Strategy Template

The ability to communicate is vital to the success of any business no matter the type, size or location. It’s important to remember that communication doesn’t just happen, it must be planned, developed, and implemented. To help you on your way, we’ve created a FREE 2019 Communications Strategy Template! Simply email [email protected] for your full template copy or grab a cuppa and enjoy the snippet below. (more…)

Wanaka’s Treble Cone ski area celebrates the start of winter on opening day

Keen skiers and snowboarders came from near and far to help Wanaka’s beloved Treble Cone ski area celebrate the start of winter today (Saturday June 23).

Close to thirty riders arrived at the crack of dawn to ensure they were first on the Home Basin Express lift when the gates opened at 9am sharp.

The hardiest six – Mike Handford, Macca Wills and Phil Masack from Wanaka, Hailey Neutgens and Paul Rumore from Montana (United States) and James Cootes from Twizel – were rewarded with distinctive red ‘First on the Chair’ T-shirts.

Excited for the season ahead, Mike Handford was stoked to be on the first chair.

“What a day to open! I’m looking forward to the bluebird day ahead and hanging out with the crew,” he says.

“I’ve been riding Treble Cone for nine years and love the terrain, people and epic sunrises.”

And the wait was worth it, as earlybird riders were rewarded with a glorious sunrise and cool clear conditions over Treble Cone’s Home and Saddle Basins.

The ski area opened five days early thanks to healthy pre-season snowfalls and General Manager Toby Arnott said staff were “pumped” to welcome their first guests of the season.

“The atmosphere’s been amazing this morning and there was a real sense of celebration in the air as we enjoyed some free Amisfield bubbles and welcomed back our loyal season pass holders with breakfast rolls,” he says.

“Anyone who’s ridden at TC over the years knows that this is an experience well worth waiting for, because as the largest ski area in the South Island we’ve got a massive 700m of vertical and some of the country’s longest groomed trails.

“If you want to go out and play, there are backcountry areas still within the ski area boundaries that are a playground of open faces, natural half pipes and fun drops.

“With 550ha of ski terrain, it’s no wonder our slopes are renowned for being wide open and uncrowded, and wherever you are on the mountain there are outstanding views of Lake Wanaka and the Southern Alps.”

TC’s opening has coincided with a cold snap that’s set to deliver a significant snowfall over the next two days.

“We couldn’t hope for a better start to our season,” says Toby.

All mountain facilities will operate from today onwards including rentals, lessons and a full F&B service with a new menu delighting hungry guests.

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How to make Instagram Stories work for your business

Let’s talk Instagram Stories. Most of us watch them, but do you use them for your business?

With over one billion monthly active users*, Instagram’s popularity and growth continues to skyrocket. As savvy business owners, we need to stay ahead of trends and learn to communicate with our audience on their level.

One of Instagram’s most popular tools, their ‘Stories’ feature has over 300 million active users and is basically a free marketing tool. When used correctly, Instagram Stories can be more advantageous than traditional advertising, so here’s how to make them ‘work’ for you.

Instagram Stories vs Instagram Feed

It’s important to acknowledge that your audience wants to see two very different things from your Instagram. Firstly, they want to see an ‘on-brand’, gorgeous, well-thought-out feed.

Secondly, they want to see an ‘insider’s perspective’, something the average person won’t see. Because Instagram Stories only last for 24 hours, businesses can present an unembellished, real-life look at what goes on behind the scenes.

Instagram’s algorithm

Since Instagram updated their algorithm in late 2017, it’s much harder for your brand to be found if you only post to your feed. Stories on the other hand always appear at the top of a follower’s feed and helps your brand remain visible. Popular Stories also appear at the top of the Explore page, and if you’ve tagged a location it appears in location-based Stories automatically compiled by Instagram, helping your profile gain an even wider reach.

What should I put in my Stories?

They’re called Instagram Stories for a reason. If you’re boring, people won’t come back to your feed for more.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

Behind the scenes – Show your business has real people with personalities. Give your audience an insider view into your brand, who are you and what you represent.

Use stories to get real-time feedback – Question your followers about a new product or idea using Instagram’s poll feature. This provides you with live feedback and makes your audience feel valued.

Collaborate with other brands – Find likeminded brands and work together on a project, event or giveaway.

Create live tutorials – Use your Stories to give advice, make ‘how-to’ slideshows or answer FAQ’s.

Try an Instagram takeover – Hand over your Instagram account to someone else for a day or two. This could be your CEO or a special guest (think influencers, local photographers etc). This gives a different voice to your account and shows a new and exciting perspective.

Take your e-commerce to the next level – Bring your ‘shop-able’ looks to life using your Stories. With Instagram’s rollout of new Shopping Tags, which enable businesses to link to their website using price and description tags, you should be looking at how to best optimise your e-commerce capabilities.

Story Highlights

Back in December 2017, Instagram released a new ‘Highlights’ feature that has changed the way people interact with the platform. It enables you to select a series of Stories and feature them below the bio section of your profile.

NOTE: THIS IS SIGNIFICANT FOR BUSINESSES!

Instagram Stories Highlights gives you the ability to have unlimited links for an unlimited time in your bio (a clear departure from the 24-hour Stories format we have previously seen). This means you can now direct your followers to any number of external pages like your website, an event, other channels etc, through a simple tap.

The placement of Story Highlights allows you to go beyond the 150 of character limit of your bio to show people what your account is all about and why it’s worth a ‘follow’.

Here’s some ideas on how to use Highlights:

  • Colour coordinate or create branded Highlight cover images – enabling you to stylize your page even further
  • Announce new products or services and keep followers updated with ‘what’s new’
  • Highlight your ‘best of…’ moments
  • Complement your other channels by linking your Highlights to external blogs, website etc
  • Showcase giveaways and collaborations rather than flooding your feed with promotional posts
  • Display recent events, meetings or special occasions
  • Promote user-generated content and encourage your audience to tag and hashtag your brand to be featured
Brands leading the way:

Airbnb’s Interactive Quizzes

Airbnb’s Travel Tuesday series showcases user-generated content from Instagram to provide its followers with inspirational travel ideas. Rather than just posting the pictures, Airbnb transforms each photograph into an interactive quiz. By incorporating user-generated images and polls into their stories, Airbnb increases engagement and creates ways to measure their followers’ interests at the same time.

instagram-stories-airbnb

E! News’ Snappy Stories

E! News keep their followers updated on the latest celebrity drama by sharing news stories directly on Instagram Stories. These ‘short but sweet’ news blasts meet the needs of their target audience, who may not want to read a full article, but always want to be on top of the latest celebrity news.

instagram-stories-enews

NASA’s Behind the Scenes Pass

NASA uses their Instagram Stories to share ‘behind the scenes’ news and information. They provide background stories, additional information, research and visuals that complement their regular Instagram posts, giving their followers a ‘backstage pass’ to the inner workings of NASA.

instagram-stories-nasa

Instagram is constantly evolving and keeping your pulse on new trends and tools is vital to creating a successful social media strategy.

Understand the importance but don’t know where to start? We’ve added an Instagram Stories Workshop to our portfolio, so if you think your business would benefit upskilling in Stories then get in touch today.

 

*Statistic from Social Media Today

 

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Remarkables Residences development in Queenstown launches Stage Two

The property market in Queenstown is showing no signs of a slowdown, with the second stage of a $200m residential development being launched this week.

The Remarkables Residences townhouse development in the popular Frankton area of Queenstown is launching another 46 homes onto the market, following the successful sell down of all but one of 56 Stage One homes.

Stage One comprised three to five-bedroom multi-storey townhouses, offering buyers the chance to get their foot in the door of the Queenstown market for a competitive price.

Construction is well underway on the first homes, with completion expected in summer 2019. Roughly half of the purchasers have been Queenstown locals who have bought as an investment property or to live in, while the remainder are a mix of Auckland based investors and holiday home owners.

Local realtors Sheryl Williams and Mark Martin from Bayleys Queenstown said buyers saw superb value for money in the homes and loved the configurations of the properties that had flexible living and renting opportunities.

Another 46 terraced homes are available in Stage Two, with prices ranging from just over $1.1million.

The new release properties have slightly different layouts to Stage One, after designers took buyer feedback on board and made the majority of the homes four-bedroom properties with four ensuites.

The development is being driven by GYP Properties Pte Ltd, a subsidiary of Singapore public-listed Global Yellow Pages Limited, and marketed by the Bayleys Realty Group.

Bayleys Projects’ General Manager Suzie Wigglesworth said the company was “very pleased” with the successful sell down of Stage One and that construction was underway.

“Remarkables Residences appeals greatly to owner occupiers as well as investors, with functional layouts and a location that provides convenience and accessibility,” she said.

“The annual capital growth in Queenstown continues to rise and the demand for residential properties is still at an all-time high.

“We believe Remarkables Residences offers what buyers are looking for, and its central location with the airport, major ski-fields, retail and dining all a walk or a short drive away makes it highly desirable.

“We’ve already received a high volume of interest in Stage Two and we expect these homes to sell out fairly quickly.”

The development aims to have a vibrant community of owners from all walks of life, from owner-occupiers through to seasonal-based workers.

The Remarkables Residences display suite at Five Mile Centre is open 12pm – 2pm weekdays and 12pm – 3pm Saturday and Sunday. To register interest or request further information go to www.remarkablesresidences.co.nz

About Remarkables Residences

Master-planned and designed by Auckland-based Ignite Architects, these are well-built, stylish and low-maintenance homes that are a very modern interpretation of popular developments of this kind.

Different building forms within each street offer individuality amidst a community, while each residence is thoughtfully designed to optimise sun and natural light. Quality fixtures and fittings are used alongside energy-efficient design elements for year-round comfort.

Green spaces incorporated in the development include a main public square and smaller Pocket Parks throughout the area. There are good links to surrounding biking and walking tracks, as well as easy access to public transport.

Remarkables Residences is in one of the most accessible parts of Queenstown, close to the airport and a very short walk to retail and hospitality outlets. It is just 15 minutes from central Queenstown and Arrowtown, and 30 minutes to ski fields.

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