Building A Champion Team




As Mohammad Ali once said, Champions aren’t made in gyms.. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them… A desire … a dream… a vision.


In content marketing we have champions. They are the leaders of the industry.. The people who inspire, succeed and critically, keep looking to the future. As a lion doesn’t roar after killing its prey… these champions too won’t rest on the laurels of their success… they continue to innovate, continue to find new peaks to conqueror.


It’s that story that the audience often want to hear, see, feel and experience… but so often happens behind closed doors. We know that by pulling back the curtains, buy showing our ‘human’ side, we often make ourselves more approachable… and in turn, audiences will lean into our business, our team… our brand.


One man who’s had to track that story and find the hidden gems, is Konrad Marshall. He has documented a journey, a story that shines and that moves the emotions of the audience, and truly helps others outside of the team appreciate where they’ve come from and what success means to them.


Newsmodo CEO Rakhal Ebeli talks about what it takes to become a champion, how to inspire and lead, and to be remember for generations to come.




About the guest

Konrad Marshall is a senior journalist at FairFax Media and a contributor of Good Weekend magazine. He is  also the author of ‘Yellow & Black – A Season with Richmond’ the book that covers the Premiership winning year for the Richard Tigers Football Club.

To keep up-to-date with his happenings and daily musings – follow Konrad on @KonradMarshall



Contact Konrad Marshall ..

Email | LinkedIn | Beauty&Strangeness



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Download the episode here



 Building A Champion Team




Header image credit: Pascal Swier

Voice Search Impacting SEO



How voice search devices like Google Home impact SEO

With the reach of the Internet of Things extending every day, homes are already becoming smarter.

And that has paved the way for voice-activated digital assistants like Google Home and other smart speakers, which can find information, turn on appliances and activate media.

This is a whole new world for searching on the internet and presents new questions and challenges for content producers.

So how do you ensure your content reaches the top of the pile on voice-activated devices?


Adopting a narrow focus

The good news, for the short term anyway, is that only two search categories on Google Home have opportunities for SEO.

So for those in the finance, nutrition, sports and travel industries – you can check out now. SEO is not yet available for these categories on digital assistants.

Many of the other other categories have little impact on business, including traffic, weather, music, alarm, games and home assistant functions.

The two categories that you should most be concerned with are ‘facts and info’ and ‘local guide’, which do have SEO functionality built into them.



How to tap into these SEO categories

When you factor both mobile devices and digital assistants together, 20 per cent of all searches today are made using voice.

Most of these searches are basic, like ‘how do I get here?’ or ‘play this song’.

But as this technology is in its infancy, it can be pretty easy to stump digital assistants. That is where businesses can tap into this new world, by finding the gaps and filling them.

One of the key things to remember is that these devices look for answers, not search results. But a No.1 ranking is still required for it to be able to give an answer.

Think about weaving answers, rather than standard SEO terms, into your content. Get a digital assistant and ask it questions about your business – a LOT of questions.

Find those gaps, build those answers into your SEO and all of a sudden, your content is at the top of the tree for new world devices.




 Rakhal Ebeli




Header image credit: Rucksack Magazine

Getting Inside the Minds of your Audience




A lot has changed over the years, since the days when TV, newspaper and radio advertisements were just about the only ways we as marketers connected with consumers. But now, both brands and their customers are much more attuned to what’s out there and have the ability to share moments of inspiration in so many profound ways.

As they say…“Advertisements sell offers, but successful branding and the meaningful connection it fosters, builds long-term customer loyalty.” So why are companies drifting away from promoting flash-sales, and showing off their brand “new and improved” creations to a more subtle approach that offers insight, entertainment and value?

As much as we love automation and technology because it makes our life so much easier; we know that ‘push’ marketing can only achieve so much… And that to truly connect on that emotional lever we need to recognise the intangibles that only we as humans can think, feel and share.

Understanding human behavior is something Keeva Stratton know all about.. What drives us, where we find joy and how to tap into the minds of our customers is as important as any other aspect of brand storytelling. By building relationships and bonds with our audience, we can in turn be rewarded with consumer loyalty, “micro” brand ambassadors and content amplification – As those who join us on that journey share it, like it and amplify it to others.

Newsmodo CEO Rakhal Ebeli looks at how to tap into our emotional side and get a read of the room when it comes to navigating the traits of our target audience, and what can we do to really move the needle on engagement through content that reaches out through the screen, grabs attention and tugs at heart strings.



In this episode

  • The parallels between emotional engagement and great branding
  • Being a source of knowledge invites consumer trust
  • Discover the power of strategic branding and audience connection


About the guest

Keeva Stratton has quite the arsenal in her toolbelt, with a Masters in Criminology and some other impressive achievements, she provides a unique insight into understanding audiences by looking at the behavioural patterns. She’s a much sought after communications specialist, helping companies give love to their branding – market position, attitude, persona, and most importantly their story.

To keep up-to-date with her happenings and daily musings – follow Keeva on @quipbrands



Contact Keeva Stratton ..

Email | LinkedIn | QuipBrands



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 Getting Inside the Minds of your Audience




Header image credit: Izzy Gerosa

The Strategic Advantage of Trust



“The biggest problems companies will face in the next 10 years will be about people not technology.”



Compared with people at low-trust companies, people at high-trust companies report*:

74% less stress

106% more energy at work

50% higher productivity

13% fewer sick days

76% more engagement

29% more satisfaction with their lives

40% less burnout



Sherif Mansour, principal product manager at Atlassian, said his business will continue to break technical barriers, but the underlying problems will be staff-related and most of these were about building trust.

He told the recent AFR Leadership Summit that Atlassian had found “lack of trust” consistently ranked as the biggest issue among employees.

This was backed up in a separate study from Google, which found “psychological safety” was the attribute ranked most important by its staff, when asked what was holding the business back.

Charles Duhig wrote in the New York Times that: “ As commerce becomes increasingly global and complex, the bulk of modern work is more and more team-based.

One study, published in The Harvard Business Review last month, noted: ‘‘The time spent by managers and employees in collaborative activities has ballooned by 50 percent or more over the last two decades and that, at many companies, more than three-quarters of an employee’s day is spent communicating with colleagues.”

In Silicon Valley, software engineers are encouraged to work together, in part because studies show that groups tend to innovate faster, see mistakes more quickly and find better solutions to problems. Studies also show that people working in teams tend to achieve better results and report higher job satisfaction.


In a 2015 study, executives said that profitability increases when workers are persuaded to collaborate more.

Within companies and conglomerates, as well as in government agencies and schools, teams are now the fundamental unit of organisation. If a company wants to outstrip its competitors, it needs to influence not only how people work but also how they work together.

The Google Study concluded that “Within psychology, researchers sometimes colloquially refer to traits like ‘‘conversational turn-taking’’ and ‘‘average social sensitivity’’ as aspects of what’s known as psychological safety—a group culture that the Harvard Business School professor Amy Edmondson defines as a ‘‘shared belief held by members of a team that the team is safe for interpersonal risk-taking.’’

Psychological safety is ‘‘a sense of confidence that the team will not embarrass, reject or punish someone for speaking up,’’ Edmondson wrote in a study published in 1999. ‘‘It describes a team climate characterized by interpersonal trust and mutual respect in which people are comfortable being themselves.’


How Trust Creates Joy

Experiments show that having a sense of higher purpose stimulates oxytocin production, as does trust. Trust and purpose then mutually reinforce each other, providing a mechanism for extended oxytocin release, which produces happiness.

So, joy on the job comes from doing purpose-driven work with a trusted team. In the nationally representative data set described in the main article, the correlation between (1) trust reinforced by purpose and (2) joy is very high: 0.77. It means that joy can be considered a “sufficient statistic” that reveals how effectively your company’s culture engages employees. To measure this, simply ask, “How much do you enjoy your job on a typical day?”

In her article for The Harvard Business Review Deepa Prahalad discusses why trust matters more than ever for brands.

“Brand leaders like Apple, Nike and P&G are design leaders. Advertising and marketing can amplify the success of a great design, but they can rarely compensate for a poor one. Here, trust is a function of the brand messaging lining up with the consumer’s actual interaction with the product or service.”

“Tech brands like IBM, Google and Intel are brands in and of themselves and have been forging the same kind of deep emotional connections with consumers that we used to see in other categories such as personal care and automobiles. This is not altogether surprising, because the amount and sensitivity of personal data that is entrusted to technology companies today is unprecedented.

“The most profound effect of the increasing share of intangible value, and the role of design and technology is that some of the metaphors of brand meaning have changed. It is no longer just about exclusivity and status. It’s also about networks, connections and communities.

“Finally, the issues that companies have set their sights on today require an unprecedented degree of collaboration. Delivering great consumer experiences today means combining the capabilities of many companies.”

We are all networking and collaborating more than ever meaning that trust is more important than ever before, and it can be an important source of strategic advantage.




 Alistair Ebeli

Senior Content Strategist





Why Consistency Matters



Why Consistency Matters in Content Production

You have just produced some ripping content for your business.

Social media is lighting up, so is your email and phone lines. Life is good, right?

It is important to remember not to get blinded by early success, even traditional content marketing (like newsletters and subscriptions) never relied on one-shot releases for ongoing success.

That is why consistency is the key to content engagement – creating that ripping content on a regular basis.


Consistency leads to credibility

If you want to be an authority in your field, you need to be remembered.

This is no mean feat in a world of smart phones and short attention spans. The trick is to bridge that attention span without resorting to spam.

Remember your awesome content piece? It won’t mean anything if your competition is producing two of an equal standard every week.

That doesn’t mean you have to be a slave to the keyboard, or employing someone who is. There is specific content that can be re-used again and again, which brings us to …




The importance of cornerstone content

These are your hero pieces. The ones that reflect your organisation’s personality, brand and values.

Articles like these occupy prime real estate on your website and they tend to stay there.

These are the pieces you want your prospective audience to read first, so they know what you are all about.

From within, you can link out to all your other content and keep readers on your page and learning about you and your organisation.

The best part is these pieces are often timeless (to a degree), which means they can be rolled out on social media repeatedly to get more bang for your buck.




 Rakhal Ebeli




Header image credit: Veronica Benavides

What is the Answer to Successful Marketing?




Have you ever been a part of something that unexpectedly fell apart? A project, a company or a relationship that one day, you’re all apples.. And the next, it’s curtains?


During times that really push us to the edge, that challenge is to find another level of strength and make us go way out of our comfort zone… where do you fall back back on? For some, it’s religion and our beliefs, perhaps it’s family and friends… In business, we tend to go back to basics and work from the ground back up until we rise from the ashes.


What’s important is that from day one… before we get big, before we get successful and before we potentially fall… there’s a structure in place. In content marketing, we call it a strategy. A strategy that aligns business objectives, our audience, our channels, and our content output; and not just a set of instructions that are used like an ikea guide… used once and thrown away, but a living, breathing guide… a shepherd to steer us through the dark times and a beacon to follow.


Today’s guest is one of the best content marketing strategists on the planet. Formerly the head of strategy at King Content, Phil Brown says “The shift from analogue to digital caused a ridiculous quantity of new channels for us marketers, and it is impossible for us to keep up with all of them… So don’t. Transform your marketing and your business by getting the critical basics right. Be simple. But be smart about it.”


Newsmodo CEO Rakhal Ebeli talks dialling it back and focusing on what’s important. What is most important to your company? Your brand? Your customers? By focusing on 2, 3, or even 4 things instead of 10 or 20 we can really hone in and perfect what matters most.



In this episode

  • Content strategy – what is it and what isn’t it
  • The slump in content marketing
  • How having a solid strategy can kick-start the execution of the content


About the guest

An award winning content marketer, Phil Brown is one of the best content strategists around. Formerly the Head of Strategy at King Content – he’s now consulting to businesses around Australia, working his content magic.

Phil is passionate and vocal about the state of content marketing and marketing in general, you can keep up-to-date by following him on Linkedin.



Contact Phil Brown..

Email | LinkedIn



Subscribe on: iTunes | TuneIn | or an RSS feed of your choice!


Download the episode here




 What is the Answer to Successful Marketing?




Header image credit: Martin Reisch

Is A Photo Worth a Thousand Words?



The power of pictures and video in digital marketing

Content marketing is built around engagement.

While industry specific blogs, value-add articles and informative and educational content remains king, the power of images and videos cannot be ignored.

As of July this year, there were 9 million monthly active Australian users on Instagram – putting the social platform well ahead of others like Twitter, LinkedIn and WordPress.

Facebook’s ‘Live’ video option is not new, but has taken time to warm up and find its place in the social media universe. And both of these platforms are key ways to enhance your digital marketing.




Going Live on Facebook

For the unitiated, Facebook Live is an option where you can stream video immediately to your audience.

And the data is showing that it works, with viewers 10 times more likely to engage with this content than other types of posts.

Research has shown that 64 per cent of customers are more likely to buy a product online after watching a video about it, which gives this option on Facebook enormous marketing power.



Instagram’s influence is rising

Once considered the domain of dinner time snaps and health blogger motivational posts, Instagram is growing up.

Not just in terms of the volume of people using it, but how they are using it.

Engagement on Instagram posts is 45 per cent higher than Facebook and 40 per cent greater than Twitter.

But that doesn’t mean you should bring in the professionals, Instagram is built on organic content.

Research has shown that 77 per cent of users are more convinced by user-generated images, which means you can use your own audience to market your product.




Is A Photo Worth a Thousand Words?




Header image credit:

3 Steps to Naturally Attract a Target Audience




Teaming up again with the University of Melbourne and their Masters of Journalism Program,
Samar Khouri has joined us as an intern during the second year of her uni life. 


Writing and producing cohesive, engaging content is needed everywhere and getting the right message to the right people at the right time is really important in order to have a loyal following and grab people’s attentions. So, here’s three steps to naturally gain organic traffic, build a reputation and establish an online presence today.  


Build that website/blog

Newsmodo has a network of journalists, content specialists, bloggers, videographers, influencers and creators around the world, writing and creating high quality, authentic content and coverage for global brands from different sectors.

Every one of them are experts in certain areas. So, blogging and creating a portfolio online is necessary to build a professional brand. By doing so, focus on a specific area or offer expert knowledge in certain places.

According to Content Marketing Institute, infographics, white papers, date/research, webinars and videos are best for link-building content in 2017. Content increases a website’s optimization. Therefore, writing original blog posts regularly allows more engagement with readers and builds public trust in this new media ecosystem.



Produce a podcast

Podcasting is a personal and work-intensive medium. It may be smaller than other media sectors, listeners seem to be targeting episodic audio series. The Age stated that 10 billion podcasts were downloaded on Apple devices in Australia last year. Australia’s national broadcaster ABC, received “153 million podcast downloads or streams in 2015-16”, suggesting that their podcast listeners grew by 14 per cent.

Also, Edison Research found that monthly podcast listeners range from 25-54 year olds while weekly podcast listeners listen to an average of six podcasts.

Before producing a podcast, know your listeners and what they would like to hear. To stand out from competitors in the marketplace, bring something new to the market rather than a passionless show. People want to listen to niche topics rather the same content covered already. Interview experts within your field or in any other industry. They can, in return, promote the podcast to their followers.

Creating authentic audio content also helps also build your interviewing and production skills as well as teaches you how to listen.

By exposing your content to thousands of listeners, publishing podcasts on well-known platform such as iTunes or TuneIn is a way to slowly reach and grow audiences.


Create engaging videos

Videos are not all about showing hard facts but it’s also about telling the story. What does your brain spend half the day doing?” asks Founder & CEO of Virable, Jonathan Creek, to Newsmodo’s team one Thursday afternoon. The right answer is …. daydreaming.

A former award winning Investigative Journalist for Channel 7, Jonathan Creek decided to launch his own company, Virable, because of his obsession for viral content and the science behind how human brain works when clicking and sharing content.

Mr Creek gave the Newsmodo team a little discussion on the latest trends in viral video content creation and distribution, a topic that is of interest to those wanting to build an online brand in this fast-paced, competitive industry.

The way we consume information has changed and it’s a fact that most engaging content online always wins, but what makes a video viral? Engaging content that tell stories and connects brands with humans.




Samar Khouri




Header image credit: Tom Pumford

Creating Viral Content




Teaming up again with the University of Melbourne and their Masters of Journalism Program,
Samar Khouri has joined us as an intern during the second year of her uni life. 


Easy Steps To Create Viral Content

We live in a world where building online traffic, creating engaging content and competing for high search rankings is vital in today’s market. Well-known companies such as Coca Cola and American Express have switched from advertising to content marketing. New articles go viral everyday but seem to fade into oblivion by the next day. But there’s always a demand for new, out-of-the-box content. According to Content Marketing Institute’s 2017 research, 37% of B2C marketers and almost half of B2B marketers experienced content-creation challenges. So, here’s a few tips and tricks that will make your content stand out from the crowd.

1. Take an Audience-First Approach  

Knowing your audience is important when creating content because they decide what, when and where to consume the right content at the right place and time. According to CMI, it’s vital to “translate your brand’s description of your audience into the ordinary world of your audience”. For example, food brand Maggi, had a more niche approach by creating “help” content that includes a “digital meal planner to fill out with kids”. Keep up with how your audience it interacting with you on social media and blog comments to get an idea of what they already know and what they want to know more about. The below model is a 12-step audience journey tool to give you an insight on contents for audiences and how it works.

2. Write longer posts

Believe it or not, the longer the posts the better. BuzzSumo released data stating that longer articles have a higher percentage of getting more shares on social media than shorter ones – with 3,000 to 10,000 word counts get around 9,000 shares while 0 – 1,000 words receive less than 5,000 shares. This finding comes after researchers found that long, intellectually challenging New York Times articles were likely to be emailed. Also, lengthy posts with keywords appear higher in search engine rankings so make sure to do your research when writing original, high-quality content without leaving your audiences unchallenged or bored.

3. Create original and trustworthy content

Writing trustworthy and original content is the only successful way to get your content out to a wider market. Big tech companies like Apple recently announced that they’re investing over $1 billion in original video content. This proves that brands want to be consistent and original, without losing their image, by building a loyal audience and getting clicks on trusted content. Including a byline or biography to articles have a role with content sharing.   

4. Make it visually appealing

A great and effective way to increase audience engagement is by adding infographics, images, charts, audio and videos in an article. This not only makes it visually appealing to the readers but also helps them easily digest information. Your target audience are more prone to return to your website or blog if you’re engaging, entertaining and educating them, with new, interactive content. In return, more people will remember you and share your material on their social media channels.

5. Use analytics softwares

The best possible way to track your audience engagement and online traffic is by using analytics software such as Google Analytics to help you understand the weaknesses and strengths of your content. This will save you time from writing ineffective posts and help you think more about posting alternative, engaging angles at a specific time in order to gain more readers for your company’s online site. In this case, research is key for successful content marketing!




Samar Khouri




Header image credit: Nicole Honeywill




A Graduate’s Perspective of Newsmodo




Teaming up again with the University of Melbourne and their Masters of Journalism Program,
Samar Khouri has joined us as an intern during the second year of her uni life. 


People would questionably ask whether my choice of a career that involves telling stories or typing loudly on a keyboard. They probably assume that journalism is either an easy profession or a fading one.

President Donald Trump’s frequent use of the term ‘fake news’ towards well-respected news outlets ever since the US election campaign may or may have not damaged the credibility or reputation of news organisations and journalism as a whole.


Much to the distraught news back in May, Fairfax Media has let go a quarter of the journalists from their newsroom.

According to the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA), the journalist’s union stated that over 2,000 journalists have been made redundant since 2011. This amount may be unsettling, suggesting that journalism is declining in this era.

All those factors don’t seem to stop me from pursuing journalism. There’s always stories to be told. The quality of storytelling may have decreased but journalism is not dying.


Entering the workplace as a fresh journalism graduate in a small organisation feels like a stepping stone to becoming a writer. I initially thought starting in a fast-paced environment was the right way to start my career but figured working at a content marketing agency like Newsmodo would help me grow the skills that I acquired at The University of Melbourne.

Founded by former Channel 10 News Journalist and Presenter, Newsmodo has a world-wide network of content creators, journalists, bloggers, influencers and videographers that create high quality coverage for their clients and delivers them to a whole range of publications.


Much like Dubai’s workplace, Newsmodo’s employees are a mix of individual talents with a wide variety of responsibilities and professional backgrounds, having previously worked at Fairfax Media, Channel 10 and NBC Universal Digital Media in the US. So, it’s an additional bonus interning at Newsmodo because as an aspiring media writer, I have the opportunity to learn from the minds of diverse, experienced professionals.

Based on the friendly-like, supportive atmosphere and the flexibility of the office space culture, with upbeat tunes constantly playing in the background, I knew that Newsmodo would be a perfectly comfortable organisation to intern.


As an intern, I will learn not only how to research and write business-to-business pieces for their audience and prepare for the real life of tight deadlines, short notices and tasks of pressured newsrooms but also the company’s creative process and the way they work with global brands such as ANZ Bank, Coca-Cola, NBL, La Trobe University, Fairfax Media, Expedia, News Corp and many more.

So, it would be exceedingly informative to observe and understand how to generate content and the great detail and immense planning Newsmodo goes through to satisfy their clients.




Samar Khouri




Header image credit: Dmitry Ratushny