Catriona Ferguson reports

On 28 April we held our first ever digital marketing workshop. Digital marketing has been top of the training request list from PANZ members for a wee while now and the jam-packed room at the National Library in
Auckland certainly reflected that enthusiasm.

We welcomed delegates from as far as Invercargill, Wanaka and Wellington and some publishers even went as far as to send two or three participants along. The enthusiasm and buzz in the room was fabulous.

The day got off to a lively start with the enterprising Claire O’Connell from The Classroom. Claire took the group on a tiki tour of all things social media with nicely tailored advice for her bookish audience. She gave an overview on the most popular social media platforms here in New Zealand, highlighted the kind of accounts that could prove inspiring for local publishers and gave some examples of which companies were out there nailing the whole digital thing. Facebook remains the queen of the social media marketing platforms but it was hard not to be seduced by some of the delicious book-related Instagram accounts that Claire profiled. The session also offered some hands on tips and tricks for defining audiences, boosting posts and measuring and reporting. More on The Classroom here.

After lunch Nevena Nikolic from Neilsen offered up some insights on book buyers, with a focus on older millennials (that’s the 25 – 34 year olds for the uninformed). Apparently this group is highly social, well-connected and aspirational – and happily they also have some spending power. Nevena steered us through how their book buying habits have influenced the market (colouring-books, grip lit and healthy eating for example), what influences their decision making and where they go to finally buy those books.

Fee McLeod (General Manager of Unitec’s MindLab) picked up the conversation after Nevena with a focus on how The MindLab has managed to grow their work in
the educational space. They offer a whole range of collaborative and digital learning opportunities for teachers around the country finding fresh ways of using technology to be adaptable, flexible and technically skilled.

The afternoon was wrapped up by Anna Dean who’s company Double Denim (more on Double Denim here) crosses both traditional and online media. Full of ideas and suggestions for inventive marketing campaigns, Anna talked about her own successful campaigns in the wider cultural sector and how the book world might gain some traction in a crowded online space.

Throughout the day delegates enjoyed the opportunity to natter between themselves during the breaks. And so at 4.30pm we did a little more of that accompanied by some wine and nibbly things.

We’re currently gathering feedback from those who came along to the workshop and planning phase two. So, if you have any thoughts or ideas on what you’d like to see next please do let us know.