Artificial intelligence, as the name suggests, is the ability of machines to think, analyze, and respond like humans or, in other words, mimic human intelligence. A self-driving car is the best example of how a machine can perform complicated tasks that involve intelligence, data analysis, and critical decision making. The idea of AI marketing covers a broad range of capabilities from voice and image recognition to machine learning and semantic research. Any smart device exhibits some level of machine learning machine learning and thus falls under the category of AI.
In online marketing, AI enables marketers to develop truly personalized and relevant interactions with their audiences. Marketers depend largely on tools that can streamline their operations by eliminating lengthy manual work such as sending personalized emails to thousands of potential customers. The ability of computer processors to collect and analyze huge amount of data can help marketer make better decisions. Following are some of the areas in online marketing where AI can bring about dramatic improvement:
It is of paramount significance for a business to understand its customers by categorizing them as segments. As a growth-oriented brand, your success largely depends on how well you segment your market and reach relevant audience. We live in a data-driven, hyper-connected world where technology plays a crucial role in shaping human behavior. AI systems have incredible filtering and associative power to hone and engage ever-growing data.
AI Powered Chatbots
Intelligent chatbots are transforming the way customers connect with the brands. Many businesses have already been using live chat bots or AI systems to deliver customer experience in which customers cannot tell if they are talking to a computer. Chatbots can really help you set your site apart in an increasingly competitive environment. Following are some of the unique benefits of AI chatbots:
Content marketing with AI generated content
It may sound impractical at this moment to say that content marketing will die to robotic AI one day. Nevertheless, machines have already started writing pretty good content for marketers. Gartner reveals that by 2018, 20% of business content will be authored by robots. Wordsmith is one of the examples of AI systems that turn data into human-friendly text. AI cannot fully replace human content writers. However, it can help marketers produce content based on market data and financial reports.
Personalized web experience
AI makes it possible for you to deliver personalized user experience. It helps you display personalized content and offers to all your prospective customers by analyzing their devices, interests, locations, age, gender, past interactions, etc. It also sends emails automatically to visitors based on their recent interaction with your site.
Also read these 15 examples of artificial intelligence in digital marketing
Businesses are all about solving complex problems for their customers. With the help of AI, companies would be able to deliver highly customized user experience.
Freelancing is currently a $300 billion dollar global industry, with everyone focusing and striving toward ‘work-life-balance’ and ‘a lifestyle-choice’ freelance career option is becoming more appealing. However, this radical change is only possible because of the growth of internet penetration at an exponential rate and with that, providing ocean of opportunities in the freelancing market.
African countries have lately seen massive outbreak in the field of internet and telecommunication. Statistics reveal that the progress is most significant in Nigeria, with more than 2/3 of the population having access to the internet connection. The number of internet users in the country have significantly increased from 1,749,138 to 67,101,452 in last 10 years. According to Digitxplus.com research the internet usage between year 2009-2013 has experienced a phenomenal growth of 102% in Nigeria. Having said that, majority of Nigerians are still unaware of the freelancing opportunities internet can provide as a source of earning income.
The available jobs within the country are simply not enough to meet the growing number of unemployed in Nigeria. The unemployment among the Nigerian youth has reached an alarming rate. According to Nigeria’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the unemployment stood at 6.4% in the year 2014 and had increased to 7.5% for the first three months of 2015. Every year 6 million Nigerians graduate of which only 10% are often employed, this is a shocking revelation. As they rightly say; “the devil finds work for the idle hands” leading to issues such as high crime rates.
Entrepreneurship is major drive of economic growth and development. This is where the concept of “Self-Employment” or “Freelancing” becomes imperative, not only for the individual but on the economy as a whole. Today, freelancers are working online more than ever before and many even earn 100% of their income online. It is mind-boggling to see how over 35% of the U.S. workforce is working as freelancers; in fast rising developing economies like India, freelancing is becoming increasingly relevant. Country like Nigeria too must take advantage of self-employment, considering its rate of unemployment.
One of the most effective ways to start freelancing is by starting a service based on the skill one possesses. If you have the skills, digital world has the plethora of opportunities for you to explore. You can be a writer, web developer, designer, HR professional, teacher, translator or even a photographer. For example, there are sectors like Agriculture which is a big boon in Nigeria. You can write a blog on crop farming, poultry farming or even fish and snail farming and promote your services online. There are also many freelancing websites such as freelancer.com, upwork.com, peopleperhour.com and freelancercareers.com one can register in. It is a great tool to showcase talent, gives you the freedom to work from anywhere, earn income way above average and above all be your own boss. Not only that, it will also help tackle issues such as unemployment, social unrest, mass migration or brain drain, and help reduce the frustrated youth. You can earn your income as freelancer from Nigerian sources as well as international sources.
Nigeria is at the threshold of opportunities; making the right move in the right direction will plummet Nigeria and the Nigerians into the realm of endless possibilities. There is a steady need to encourage the concept of freelancing. It will not only curtail unemployment but will contribute in earning income to live a good life thereby contributing to socio-economic development. As the economy grows and stabilizes, the social tensions associated with unemployment will gradually supress thus increasing the need for more freelancers. It is about time we realise how freelancing has so much of potential to bring about a positive change in Nigeria.
Can you believe it? It is actually 2017. Three years off the big futuristic 2020. While you are recovering from the Christmas period ( /eating your body weight in cheese boards and leftover dinners) we thought we would give you some top tips on how to market your business in 2017. Is marketing in 2017 that different to 2016 I hear you say… Well, yes, slightly. This year we can use what we learnt in 2016 with our predictions and knowledge of what 2017 will bring to create the best marketing strategy yet. So, stop what you are doing and read these tips on how to start 2017 with a bang.
The number of people that check websites, marketing material, and social media on their phone is enormous and ever growing. I exclusively use Facebook on my phone, very rarely logging in on my laptop. Therefore, any digital marketing material needs to be accessible and look good and professional on mobile devices. However, this is only going to increase in importance in 2017. But how? Well, the number of Americans sporting wearable mobile devices (e.g. smartwatches) is projected to increase by around 60% this year. This means that you need to produce content with this in mind and create specific content for this precise audience. This content needs to be great, look great and work great! There is a crazy statistic about how most users won’t wait any longer than 10 seconds for a page to load. If you make your mobile page slow, then you are seriously reducing your audience. The key message from this is that your content needs to be accessible on as many devices as possible and mobile does not just mean smartphone. So, get adapting!
2. Company Transparency
There has never been a time where this message resonates so strongly. With the freedom of the internet and privacy now being a novelty, companies now have to adapt to this. Competition is no longer restricted to your local area it is worldwide making it a much harder and more competitive market to work on. Working on this global market means that specific good business traits are key, transparency being one of them. Transparency (okay, maybe not complete transparency) will increase your customers trust in you and make you seem more like a person than a service. If you are open with your customers and honest when you have problems, then they are much more likely to be empathetic and become a reoccurring customer. However, if you lie, even if it is to cushion the truth of why you can’t deliver their expectations, then when they eventually realise the truth the relationship based on trust will be broken. This will make your customers a lot less likely to become a loyal customer and go to your other competitors. Every company experiences issues but transparency with your customers makes a huge difference. Marketing wise, you can market happiness guarantees as a unique selling point with the promise of discount or free services if the customer is not completely happy. Companies can also be transparent through social media marketing, giving customers and followers an insight into the companies work life allowing them to understand the inner workings of the company. The more your relationship with your customer becomes personal not just functional, the more your customer feels invested into your company and is less likely to change allegiances and use your competitors. 2017 will just increase this need.
3. Increase Email Marketing Budget
This may seem like an odd one. Email marketing has been around for ages, surely it is dying out? Well, no. How many times a day do you check your email whether it is for the latest ASOS sale or a reply from your IT support company about your printer breaking? Well whether it is 5 or 50 times a day, email marketing makes a difference to your life. Although email service providers are cracking down on spam and therefore the amount of emails getting to people’s inbox, email marketing is still a crucial marketing tool profits wise. The return of investment on email marketing is still the highest out of all marketing strategies- around £38 to every £1 spent. There are loads of handy tips, such as not using more than one call to action in an email campaign, which will increase your ROI (return on investment) once you have invested into email marketing. However, the key point is that email marketing should still be a priority. Creating short, concise, well-written emails will have a massive effect on your business. So, really if you are not investing in email marketing you are not making the maximum ROI.
4. Content is King but Appearance is Queen
You have heard it all before, content is king, without good content, you will not get readers etc. But if content is king, appearance is queen. How many times have you clicked on a website, realised it looked like a five-year-old made it and clicked off. Regardless of the standard of the content, I will not read a web page if I know that within a minute my eyes will start to blur at the rubbishy font, lack of spacing and no images or interactive content. Infographics are the new how-to blogs with better reader and click through rates. If you make the most incredible blog full of unique content that will undoubtedly provide so much value to your readers, make sure you break the text up into consumable chunks and put it on an appealing, well-designed website. The number of bloggers and help pages is only going to increase in 2017 so make sure your website is appealing to all your target audiences.
5. Videos are Winners
Following on from above is the idea that content is king if presented in the right way. Videos have revolutionised the way we learn, especially short, snappy informative ones. Perhaps the most watched videos on Facebook are the Tasty videos which show people how to cook delicious recipes in 30-second videos. These videos are the perfect marketing tool as they go viral in minutes. Creating videos in a similar template would help most businesses expand their audience and increase popularity. Animoto stated that 4X more people would much prefer to watch a video about a product than read about it. This means that if you placed the same information into a video, you could potentially get around 4 times more viewers- just like that. Creating webinars is also included in the winner section. They are a great way to provide a valuable tool to your audience, one that doesn’t involve hosting an event and providing snacks! This emergence of video popularity is only going to increase in 2017, so get reading, find a decent recording device and get creating.
6. SEO is Still Crucial
Maybe one day, when Google aren’t the leaders of the search engine world, SEO will be less important. However, looking at 2017, it does not look like we can start slacking on search engine optimisation. We need to continue to focus on the way we can up the ranks on our specific keywords, whilst constantly being adaptable to Google’s new algorithms. By finding small tricks and working really hard it is possible to get to the top of the list even on some of the most popular keywords. SEO is so important in driving more repeat visitors as the more they see you in their search results, the more you will become a company they recognise and trust. Pay per click is dependent on budget, organic search will always be based on hard work.
That’s it. Our initial tips for 2017. Nothing too revolutionary but important in seeking which trends are worth investing in. It is always important as a marketer to try new things but also to keep with the old worthwhile tricks and techniques which we know bring results. What are your predictions for 2017 or do you have your own New Year’s marketing resolution? Watch this space as there will undoubtedly be more marketing tips to follow.
Republished from Lucidica.com
It’s that time again. Time to start planning ahead for the New Year and setting goals for your business to reach in 2017. Content marketing has dominated 2016 and content marketing trends are only going to continue to raise the bar for businesses looking to elevate their brand. As you start strategizing with your team on ways to increase brand awareness and elevate your brand you need to start analyzing what strategies worked and what didn’t over the past year. Without that starting point you’re likely to repeat the same strategies that just don’t give you the results you need.
With that being said new trends are on the verge of booming in the digital marketing world and your business needs to embrace them. These trends are essential for both B2B and B2C companies and will enable you to position your brand as a leader in your niche industry.
Create a Real Content Strategy
It is a known fact in the marketing world that a company that has a clearly documented content strategy that is consistently reviewed and followed will succeed far more than a company who does not. Your team needs to start focusing on driving value outside of just your products and services. Focus on ways to elevate your brand through different outlets.
For example, towards the end of 2016 we saw live streaming really emerge online. It is only natural that 2017 will increase the popularity and creativity used for live streaming. Live streaming creates and effective way to offer tours of your office, product development scenes, launch events, and a surplus of exclusive content for your audience. There is no better way to personalize your brand than to give your audience and potential customers a look at who your company is rather than just what your company sells.
Don’t Skip Email Newsletters
So many people think email is dead. It’s not. Email marketing is very prevalent for brands that are looking to increase ROI are constantly improving and tweaking their strategies and results to elevate their brand; this includes email marketing. Email open rates are continually increasing and B2B companies who use email newsletters as a way to share information with customers and prospective customers really need to sink their teeth into email marketing going into 2017.
Review all your past newsletters and see which ones got the most opens and interest. From there with scrap what didn’t worked or tweak those newsletters going into 2017 into a product that will work.
Tell a Story
Even if you have the best eyeliner on the market, if you aren’t investing time to creating a story behind your products then 2017 will not be your year. Storytelling is looking to become an important part of content marketing in 2017 and your business shouldn’t fall behind the curb. We’re not just talking about blogging just to have a blog or tweeting just to tweet, we are talking about engaging with your audience and creating a story with them. Storytelling is an easy way to boost your ROI.
We will look back at 2016 as the starting point. A starting point for many trends that will elevate content marketing in 2017. Will your company go into 2017 conquering these trends? Or will you wait and see how these trends play out for your competitors? Think about it, start strategizing, and see your brand elevate in 2017.
Chatbots are offering companies the opportunity to interact with their customers to create a personalized experience. Most marketing firms say that chatbots will be one of the defining tools for any social media marketing strategy for 2017. As with any new technology, companies need to figure out how to incorporate them and how to effectively create a value-add for their businesses. This article will not only define chatbots but give five specific ways to use them effectively.
What is a Chatbot?
Chatbots are artificial intelligence that talk to clients on your behalf using scripts. They can recognize basic language and answer some easy customer questions by direct message. The nice thing about chatbots is that they are giving small and middle sized businesses a way to personalize the experience while also cutting employee costs. Businesses no longer need to hire a live person to answer the repeated basic questions that a lot of customers have. Research shows that most customers want the ability to use online messaging to interact with businesses day and night for customer service. However, customer service isn’t the only reason to employ chatbots for a business. When people think of artificial intelligence, they automatically focus on The Terminator. While chatbots are not dangerous droids trying to destroy the world, they can turn your marketing strategy into a killer.
Personalize and Target
Chatbots save information provided by your customers. Using chatbots allows businesses providing the individualized content that consumers want by talking with them. They also save information making future interactions even more personal and even more useful. This kind of marketing strategy is one of the top trends for 2017.
Furthering the Reach
Facebook, Apple, Google, and Microsoft have all opened up their messenger applications to chatbots. This means that with access to more people through more platforms using chatbots, a business can expand its reach. Instead of trying to guess what people want from the company, the company can now ask and tailor its supply to those demands.
No matter what service or product a business provides supplementary information always adds to the personalization of the marketing campaign. Using chatbots, companies can also send push notifications about events and other attributes. Chatbots that save and track personal preferences can create additional customer trust and loyalty.
Online business is global. A small startup can reach all the way to the other side of the world. However, an international marketing strategy traditionally requires being multilingual. With chatbots, a small company can translate its messages into a variety of languages. Instead of limiting yourself, you can expand not just in terms of interest demographic but in terms of physical location. Speaking in the same language as distant customers means that you are able to interact in new ways and build a new sense of trust.
With personalization becoming a strategic marketing tool for 2017, the cost effectiveness of that personalization needs to be determined. Companies looking to have more meaningful interactions with their customers with a strong ROI need to begin to use chatbots.
Video virality works along the same lines as good management. Instead of people managing employees, however, the video manages customers. In this way, the “heart, hand, head” management style woks to create a video message that your target demographic will remember in a way that makes them want to purchase your product.
What is the “heart, hand, head” management style and how does it apply to video virality? In management speak, you need to get people on board by building relationships, get them to act based on your goals, and plan for the future. Marketing works the same way except you aren’t the room with your team.
Neil Patel, the number one marketer in the world according to Entrepreneur Magazine, argues that virality is more likely to come from generating a list or creating an infographic than by making a video. https://www.quicksprout.com/2016/10/28/the-anatomy-of-virality-how-to-engineer-the-perfect-viral-blog-article/ However, Mr Patel’s anatomy of virality overlaps perfectly with work done by Wharton School of Business professor and video virality expert, Jonah Berger who argues that stories are the way to call consumers to action so that they are more willing to purchase an item because you’ve gotten into their heads. https://www.curalate.com/blog/jonah-berger-summit/
Video virality is about telling really great stories that get people talking. In order to do that, you have to tell stories that both get your target market emotionally involved and give the people sharing it a sense of purpose. In order to get them to share it, you have to somehow make people feel special in some way so that they feel that sharing it makes them look cool to their friends.
If you’re looking at an example of a perfect mesh of video virality, the Budweiser advertisement from the 2016 Superbowl is perfect. A tiny mule helps herd the much larger Clydesdale horses. As a human couple looks on, they smile saying “that’s true love” while the mule brings two horses together and the horses nuzzle. After that, the advertisement adds social currency by providing information about an equine therapy non-profit. This video hits every virality button. It tells a love story that appeals to the fundamental human desire for relationships. It leverages the triggers of social awareness through the partnership with the non-profit group which also gives the advertisement the practical value and social currency of insider information about a new way to help people and feel good about themselves.
So, what can you do with your marketing videos to make them viral?
Appeal to the heart by telling stories. Telling a story people want to share means creating a video that matches market values and endorses individual identity creating social currency. Start with things to which basic human emotions are drawn in order to build a relationship with your customers. Focus less on your product and more on the emotional connection your demographic has to an idea. There’s a million beers in the world, but only one has really fluffy horses.
Appeal to the hand by making people feel as though buying your product has a greater purpose than owning something and leads them to act on their emotional beliefs. When people distinguish your product or service as something that adds value to their lives or to their identity, then they will act on their desires more. This action is exactly what will motivate their desire to spend money and what your video marketing can do to enhance your product sales.
Appeal to the head by planning a series of advertising videos that all correspond to the same story or characters. This kind of forward thinking will help keep your product in your market’s minds even between video releases.
By applying the “heart, hand, head” marketing strategy to the six tips of video virality, you can effectively manage your marketing demographic into purchasing your product or service.
Digital marketing is at its peak. Small and large businesses are learning that without a digital marketing strategy they are losing out on large portions of prospective consumers. Even with a large amount of website traffic your business could fail without the processes that allow that traffic to convert to leads. Digital marketing has become a businesses best bet at beating out competition, generating leads and sales, and surviving in a fast past environment.
Creating a strategic plan, putting in the work and time can all help you reap the benefits of digital marketing. Below are 7 reasons why your business will grow with digital marketing.
#1 Digital Marketing is More Cost Effective
Traditional marketing efforts are costly. With digital marketing you can attract the right audience, increase brand awareness, and generate leads in a more cost-effective way than digital marketing. With digital marketing it’s also easier to modify your budget based on your analysis. If one method isn’t work you can lower your budget to fit another method or strategy that will work.
#2 Digital Marketing Converts
Digital marketing has become the easiest way to take a potential customer, start a conversation with them, and deliver a call to action. SEO optimization, a social media presence, and email marketing have all been proven to increase conversions rates with measurable results. More and more businesses are beginning to conversion tracking into their digital marketing strategies in order to learn what is working best for their business. This makes marketing your product or services online and measuring the conversion rate easy through accessing the emails you get through landing pages or the conversations you have on social media.
#3 Digital Marketing Builds Relationships
With digital marketing, businesses are able to discover what their targeted audience wants simply by conversing with them online. You can build your customer base, increase client retention, and show your audience your appreciation through email marketing discounts and coupons and on social media or blogs. By becoming more “real” instead of just a business people can begin relating to you and what you can deliver them. This will help them remember your business. Digital marketing also helps reputation management. Unsatisfied customer? Talk to them about their concerns via their Twitter mention and you could win back their business faster than you would be able to without that conversation.
#4 Digital Marketing Builds Brand Reputation and Awareness
Let’s say you have a customer who bought your product, they voiced what they liked or didn’t like about it on social media or their personal blog, you responded with a discount, and they told their friends about it. Instant reputation and brand awareness! Not only that but you’re building trust with your customers this way as well. People want to buy from companies they respect and trust. Digital marketing helps in those efforts.
#5 Digital Marketing Ensures Online Survival
The internet is everywhere. On our phones, tables, and even televisions. Businesses who don’t make the effort to build their online marketing strategy in order to generate leads and conversions won’t survive in the digital age.
#6 Digital Marketing Works on Mobile
It has never been more important to market to your audience wherever they are and this includes marketing your business to the mobile market. Having an easy to navigate website, shop and buy options and easy access to your services from a mobile device will allow you to target an even greater audience to close more sales and help you build your brand and grow your business.
#7 Digital Marketing can Help Your ROI
The options are endless when you use digital marketing techniques to grow your business. Along with these top benefits, the one that you will see the impact on the most is your return on investment (ROI). If you implement your online marketing strategy the right way, it will start to become automated, more steady, target a larger audience overtime, and allow you to get better conversions which will increase your ROI.
Digital marketing has revolutionised the process of selling. It has meant that instead of your sales directly correlating to the standard of your TV/newspaper advert, it is now all about likes, follows and retweets. But how do you increase your social media presence in a way that doesn’t include investing in pay per likes or paid advertising? Social media is undoubtedly important in the new digital market which is why it is vital for all businesses to get the low down on when, how, where and what to post.
The infographic below is a breakdown on how to post on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram. They all have their different uses and therefore require different content and focus to be successful. I have used statistics and proven tips to show you how you can utilise social media within your business. Enjoy!
Republished from lucidica.com
With the advent of the camera phone, video “production” began to rise. Videocameras were and are more affordable and accessible than ever; they’re even built into our phones. This trend only continued with the sale of the GoPro, and the rise of YouTube. Now, there’s vine, Vimeo, and loads of other video hosting that are on the rise. More and more devices are able to play and stream videos, thus more and more people are watching videos.
This is incredible news for marketers. The popularity of video content is skyrocketing, giving businesses tremendous opportunity for SEO and sales through the use of video content marketing.
Video Opens The Doors to a Massive Market
By 2018, 79% of all internet traffic is expected to be video. After reviewing dozens and dozens of statistics, I have not found any indicators that do not suggest growth. And this trend in growth is expected to continue, or even increase. According to YouTube, the number of people that watch videos each day has increased by 40% within the last year . It’s simple: video content gives you access to all of this, and all of these people.
Why Is Video So Popular?
Not only does video open the doors to all of these viewers, but it also increases viewer engagement. According to this Forbes article, adults are 39% more likely to share video content and 56% more likely to ‘like’ video content than a traditional text blog.
Video content is so popular because audience engagement occurs so quickly. Assuming that you need to engage your audience within 10 seconds, video content is the best for achieving rapid engagement. Refer back to my previous article about marketing to millennials; you’ll notice that I mention that visual content is key. But if a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video is worth a million.
Search Engines Favor Video:
Video content has a direct impact on search results. Rich content, including video, is favored by search engine algorithms. Furthermore, search engines, like Google are constantly adjusting their algorithms to give their users a desired experience. Because videos are cherished by all, they are consistently featured as the top results on Google.
However, you must keep in mind that there are probably thousands of cute pet and baby videos out there, so standing out among them is no easy task. The first step to optimize your video content is to make sure that it is actually good content. Frankly, people will not share bad content. Your video should be engaging, entertaining, informative and easily sharable.
To make sure people are able to find your video when searching, you need to use keywords and tags in your title, filename, transcripts and headline. That said, it is extremely important that you ensure the tags are actually relevant. Sites like YouTube typically no longer prioritize videos based on number of views; instead they are based off of relevance of the search, and “view time“. Think of this like the bounce rate; the longer someone spends watching your video, the better. So if your tag includes “cute puppy,” but your video is actually about technology, then people will likely click out of your video pretty quickly, and this negatively impacts your ranking.
Does Hosting Matter?
For many, the first choice for a hosting site is YouTube. While it does have a great deal of unique visitors (and therefore a lot of people that could see your video), hosting through YouTube gives you less control over the ownership of the content.
Paid sites give you more ownership and control, and you can promote your video through social media to increase exposure. Ultimately if you have a good quality video that is appealing to your audience, and you properly promote your videos, you will get the desired audience and traffic.
Perhaps you are creating beautiful infographics, publishing quality blog posts, and deliver meaningful but quirky tweets on a daily basis. But, even with all this, if you aren’t delivering the needed results of your content strategy then this content isn’t worth much, is it?
With any content strategy, tracking and measuring to determine ROI is essential. It’s important to know how well your content marketing strategy is working and if you’re getting the reach and identified results wanted. There are so many choices to use in order to measure the success of your content marketing strategy but one that you’ll find most marketers using is Google Analytics.
Google Analytics is an extremely powerful tool, but it can be really confusing at times too. In order to not get lost in the innumerable amount of data Google Analytics offers it’s important to determine your content marketing goals. Once you determine your goals you can then look for the exact subsets of data that’ll tell you what you need to know.
Here are a few ways you can use Google Analytics to your advantage and get the measurements of your content strategy.
Time on Page
When measuring traffic on a page is important to remember that seeing a high volume of visitors on a page doesn’t mean your content is a success. You may have a great headline, or the SEO tactics you’re using on your page may be working. However, in order to determine if the high volume is really related to your content you should pay attention to the average time-on-page data.
If you visitors are spending a significant amount of time on your page then you can safely say there’s a reason for that – your content is working.
Each company has a different definition for what a conversion is. For some it’s an email and contact info (a lead), for others it’s a complete purchase. When it comes to content marketing, anything from a sign up to a download can be measured in order to determine a conversion rate. With Google Analytics, you have to set up a “goal” in order to track conversions effectively. There are different types of goals in Google Analytics:
By completing a specific goal a conversion rate can be tracked. For example, if “destination” is set as a “thank you” page for downloading an eBook when a user downloads the eBook and lands on the “thank you” page once done then that creates a conversion tracked by Google Analytics.
Knowing your conversions is essential because you learn how many people are consuming your content.
Did you know that referral traffic is another way to measure your content marketing success? Basically referral traffic is traffic to your site that originated from another source. Google Analytics tracks referral traffic when a user clicks on your site or page from a source like Facebook or Twitter. There are a couple of different ways that you can measure this traffic, by using the referral traffic report or from the list of secondary dimensions on a page-by-page basis by choosing “referral path” or “full referrer”.
There are a number of different ways to use Google Analytics to measure your content marketing strategy depending on your specific goals. Whether you want to measure overall traffic or conversions Google Analytics provides an analysis that is abundant and useful for measuring the success of your strategy.
Image source: http://www.eqtm.com
Nigeria’s economy is in recession and that is a direct consequence of a lack of economic diversification. For far too long Nigeria has relied on oil revenue almost to the point of neglecting other equally or perhaps more important economic drivers such as science and technology.
But a sharp decline in global oil prices coming at a time of over reliance on oil revenue has badly exposed the vulnerability of Nigeria’s economy. However, it is not too late to salvage the situation. The government must now support tech innovation because local startups have the potential to help the country deal with its burgeoning unemployment numbers and boost government revenue now that oil alone cannot be relied on to fund the national budget.
Things are so bad that the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has termed as the current situation as the worst recession Nigeria has seen in 29 years. According to NBS, unemployment is on the rise and unemployment rate among the youth is especially worrying. Unemployment rate in Nigeria rose stood at 10.4% in the fourth quarter of 2015, but rose to 12.1% in the first quarter of 2016 and rose further to 13% in the second quarter of 2016. Youth unemployment stood at 49.5% in the second quarter of 2016.
Despite the gloomy picture, there is an opportunity now for Nigeria to not only pull out of the prevailing economic downturn, but also protect against future economic recessions. Investing in technology is the answer. The government should allocate more economic resources to programs geared toward technology innovation and enable an environment that will support better utilization of new and existing technological capacity.
Pan-Nigeria innovation conferences can be used to light up the fire of technology innovation among the youth across the country. Though technology is helping transform many global economies, Nigeria lags in global innovation ranking of nations. Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, the minister of science and technology, recently disclosed that in the 2015/2016 Global Competitiveness Report, Nigeria ranked 106 out of 140 nations on Technology Readiness and ranked 117 out of 140 nations on Innovation. A shortage of government funding for technology R&D can be blamed for Nigeria’s poor innovation ranking on the global stage.
Private entities can be seen trying to help Nigeria raise its technology innovation profile. For instance, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI), run by Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg, and his wife Priscilla Chan, alongside organizations such as Google Ventures are among the backers of Andela, a startup focused on training and deploying software developers.
Andela has offices in Lagos and Nairobi and it is the process of expanding to more locations in Africa. Though Andela is on a noble mission, it only accepts a small number of applications from prospects. So far, out of more than 40,000 applications, Andela has only accepted 0.7%. That means that Nigeria needs more programs such as Andela to take advantage of economic benefits that come through technology if the country is to diversify its economy away from overdependence on oil revenue.
But fostering technological innovation relies heavily on the funding the government is willing to give to the sector. Perhaps it should dawn on Nigerian economic policymakers that technology has become so important in global economic growth that a country can only ignore it at its own peril. It is no wonder that in Africa Union’s Agenda 2063, innovation features as a major theme of economic transformation in Africa.
Video is an excellent platform to engage your target audience and build interest in your business to help you grow your brand. This is because people tend to respond better to visual media than text media; so it’s simply a better investment to include video content in your marketing campaign. You can convey many different messages through this format and reach a wide array of audiences. Here are some tips for using this format in your online marketing campaign.
#1 Use Video Ads – Video ads are among the most powerful online ad format for generating user engagement because they’re very flexible and versatile. Your video ads can be humorous, informative, cryptic and mysterious, or carry a social message. It’s a very personal way to connect with your audience and will lead to higher click rates and conversions. You just need to plan the ad carefully and make sure the ads appeal to your audience by optimizing them for keywords because poorly planned and filmed ads are just a waste of money.
#2 Use Video Content – Your online marketing campaign needs to be versatile and draw audiences from different sources. While ads will draw in paid traffic, video content like tutorials, product introductions, and how-to pieces, etc., will draw organic traffic to your website. Such content will also help you establish your reputation in the industry and improve brand visibility. The content should be well planned, informative, well-researched, and organized well; because poor quality content will just have a negative impact on your reputation.
#3 Research Your Target Audience – Before you start making ads and video content, you need to research your industry, competition, products, and target audiences thoroughly so that you can find the right keywords to use in your videos. The content in your video marketing campaign should tick all the boxes and connect with audiences that are interested in your products and services, and will convert if the content is convincing enough. This is easier said than done because audiences are bombarded with content every second of the day and they won’t be impressed with a half-hearted attempt. When you understand your target audience well, you can plan your campaign accordingly and choose when and how to expose your content to them.
#4 Keep it Simple – People are very busy and they don’t really have time to watch lengthy videos and ads. You need to create meaningful video pieces that are short, concise, and informative. For ads, you’ll need to keep the video within 60 minutes and for tutorials, try not to go beyond 20 to 30 minutes. The idea is to provide the maximum amount of information in the shortest amount of time without rushing through things.
#5 Always Assess the Performance – You can’t improve the quality of your online marketing campaign and video content if you don’t assess how your current campaign performs. It’s vital to keep track of how your videos are received, if they’re shared on social media platforms, or if people have responded negatively to them. You also need to track which video ads and content lead to website visits and conversions.
If you keep these tips in mind, you’ll be able to develop a solid online marketing campaign with high-quality video content.
Whether you want to admit it or not, the world and by association the Internet is going mobile. In the US alone 58 percent of adults own a smartphone and worldwide there are 2.03 billion smartphone users. It’s clear that the convenience of mobile is quickly taking the world by storm and yet only 3 percent of digital marketing budgets go towards mobile optimization. If you have not implemented a mobile strategy yet for your business, you are potentially turning away thousands if not millions of potential customers.
When the first iPhone came out, it was priced at an unattainable amount for most consumers. Now, there are plenty of budget smartphone and tablet options so people everywhere can now own a smartphone. Growth is especially strong in emerging markets and, in these areas, has become the main way people connect to the Internet. Even in more established mobile markets, mobile accounts for 28 percent of the total Internet traffic and accounts for 25 percent of the total search traffic as well.
As smartphones and tablets become more prevalent, visitors’ expectations of mobile sites have increased. Visitors are expecting sites to be fully optimized for mobile, which means: fast loading speed, touch-friendly navigation, easy-to-find information and, more importantly, easy to view on smaller screens. If your site isn’t optimized, then a whopping 61 percent of visitors will immediately navigate away and will ultimately have a negative impression of your brand. If you don’t want to send your potential customers to your competitors, you need to take a mobile approach to your website design.
Unlike desktop users that will spend hours researching to find more about a produce or simply to just satisfy a curiosity, mobile users are action oriented. In fact, 88 percent of users that perform searches take action within one day. Since mobile users tend to use their devices on the go, their search is with a specific intent in mind whether it’s food, products or nearby car garages. As well, mobile users are buyers. Mobile commerce has exceeded $114 billion with that number only expected to increase. It isn’t just online shopping that has increased due to mobile devices. In-store purchases are now spurred on by mobile searches. In fact, 79 percent of consumers use their phone to help with their shopping from price comparison to reading reviews.
Google has confirmed that mobile friendly sites have better page ranking in mobile search engine results. So if you aren’t optimized, your SEO will take a very hard hit. There are several different methods of smartphone mobile site design but the one Google prefers is responsive web design. Responsive sites alter the way a page renders on various devices through the implementation of a flexible CSS grid layout. This means that no matter what size the screen is, the site will always adjust to it. Google recommends this layout as there is only one URL, one bundle of content and one HTML code, which makes it much easier for its bots to index.
To take your SEO one step further, you should concentrate on localizing your business if you do have a physical address. Something as simple as listing your address and contact information can help improve your ranking when mobile users perform a local search. Considering that 95 percent of smartphone users have looked for local information at some point, just adding this information can get your site listed higher in local searches. As well, other simple features like click-to-call and embedded links to Google Maps direction can all improve your ranking and overall user experience.
Smartphones and tablets aren’t going to go away so not optimizing for mobile is no longer an option. But you shouldn’t just implement a mobile design and marketing strategy as an afterthought. Instead, restructure your marketing strategy with a mobile first mentality and then build from there.
About the author:
Ivan Serrano is a social media, marketing and business journalist living in the Bay Area of California.
Republished from blog.flatrocktech.com
In order to stay ahead of the competition and gain success for your company, you need to have a solid digital marketing plan in place. Unfortunately, digital marketing is a very complex and versatile field and it’s hard to develop a strategy that works for your business if you don’t have knowledge and experience. There are some strategies that you should include in your marketing campaign, especially if you want your business to grow and your revenue to increase. These strategies are listed below.
It’s not really possible to make the perfect website and create an online presence that ticks all the boxes on social media, but you can try to optimize for as many ranking factors as possible.
Content Strategy-If you want to bring organic search traffic to your website, build a good reputation, get great backlinks, and increase your authority in your industry, you need good content. That requires time, effort, and research. The content should be relevant to your industry, informative, and as error-free as possible. For this, you need to plan carefully because you have to post content on a regular schedule as well.
You marketing campaign can easily grow as required from this point on, because you have a good foundation in place.
Productivity means increasing the efficiency of your working speed, organizing your stuff and doing things in a smarter way. After conducting a thorough research, here’s our pick of top 5 productivity apps.
Evernote is the most popular note-taking app on both Play Store, App Store, and even on the web. The reason behind the success is its time management and organization tools. You can use it to make fast notes, create to-do lists, snap pictures and turn any of them into reminders. The cloud-based app self-synchronizes through all the platforms, so whether you took a note on your tablet, smartphone, PC, or notebook; the contents of the notes will be instantly available on all of them. Doesn’t matter where you go, Evernote is always with you. If there’s something interesting enough, you can share it with your friends as well.
Most think that Hemingway is a grammar app, but the truth is it just helps you write clearer and bolder just like it says. The app will not correct your grammar and spelling mistakes but it will tell you what are the better words to use and when to cut-off adverbs. Hemingway also indicates if your sentences are too short and simple or too long and complex.
There are countless apps on Play Store that claim to be like this app , but the true Pomodoro Time is only available at the app store and it’s quite popular. Users love it because it is the best time management app that can do the wonders for you, especially when it comes to improving your focus. You can create multiple tasks, allocate time to them and it is done. Now you have to hit start whenever you perform a test, Pomodoro does the rest for you. You can track your daily progress, weekly progress, monthly progress and calculate your working efficiency.
Canva is a designing software that is available on both web and smartphones. It is an amazingly simple software to create cards, flyers, posters, banners, resumes, certificates, infographics, photo colleges, book, magazine & album covers, presentations, social media graphics, business cards, letterheads, postcards and much much more. It integrates a free photo editor with many filters and effects.
For those who don’t know, DropBox is a free online storage service that you can use to store almost anything. The best thing about DropBox is that you can put file of any size on your free 2GB storage whether they are multiple files of various sizes or a one big 1.99GB file, the choice is yours. Sharing options are also available, better, you can create public links as well so anyone can download your shared file. But keep in mind the bandwidth is limited to 10,000GB per day. I wanted to put DropBox on the second position on our top 5 productivity app list, but it has done something naughty and deserves the punishment to be the last. Previously you could host .html files as web pages, but this feature is going away.
I hope you like our pick of top 5 productive apps that can make your life better, faster, and more manageable.
Having a good content marketing strategy is a great way to gain exposure and more traffic to your website. If you have good articles and content, you’ll attract visitors and show them your knowledge and authority in your field. This has an impact on your business reputation and can help increase your customer’s trust in you. However, content marketing needs to be handled carefully because only good quality, relevant content can impact website traffic.
To create good content, you need a solid team of skilled and creative people with a great content marketing strategy plan. You can outsource the content marketing services or create an in-house team capable of generating the right volume. You don’t need a large team with different skills to generate good content at a decent volume and fewer people can handle the job too.
Creating great content is just the beginning, it’s extremely important to have relevant keywords strategically placed throughout the content, titles, tags and images you place on your website.
How Can a Small Content Marketing Team Help Your Business?
Once you have a plan in place for creating and optimizing your content, it’s just as important to have a content marketing strategy on what you will write about, how often you will post and how long these types of posts will be. The optimal length for a blog post is between 500-600 words. The topics you choose for your posts can be about your businesses, products and services, industry news, and anything relevant that your audience will find beneficial or helpful. Your plan should be to write at least 1 blog post per week to keep your content fresh and keep your audience coming back to your website to look for more information.
Sometimes, less is more; and a smaller content marketing team can offer several distinct advantages. Most businesses can’t afford large teams with people of varied skills; but smaller teams work just as well if you hire the right individuals and plan content creation well. Here are some reasons why small teams are a good idea.
Investment – One of the biggest advantages of small teams is that they require smaller investments. You only need to hire a few good people and make room for them in your company. They’re a great option for business owners who’re on a limited budget and people who value quality over quantity.
Nimble – Smaller teams are more flexible and can alter content or change things around easily. They can adapt to new techniques and information quicker and implement them in content marketing more smoothly. Small teams have a distinct advantage over large marketing teams where communication is bogged down and slow.
Management – The more people a team has, the more difficult it can be to manage; and every business owner understands that. In large teams, you have to manage and plan around different tempers, skills, preferences, and weaknesses, which can be stressful and time consuming. It’s easier to keep track of individuals in small teams and encourage them to work as a cohesive unit. Managing a small team will still require strategy and effort, but it’s easier and less time-consuming, which is a big advantage for any business owner.
Varied Skills – Many people assume that small teams can’t handle different kinds of content marketing and can limit the potential of campaigns. That’s not necessarily true; because it depends on the kind of people you hire and how to manage the team. Smaller teams can easily generate email marketing copies, blog posts, long-form content like ebooks, etc. All you need is a skilled team, the right plan, and reasonable content-creating demands and timelines.
As you can see, you can create successful content marketing campaigns with small teams as well. If you have a small skilled, hardworking team, and a good plan in place, there’s no reason why you can’t succeed.
With Lagos Comic Convention 2016 almost upon us we want to take a look at its key theme this year: Creative skills as a tool for economic diversification.
Lagos Comic Convention is one of the most important events in the comic and animation industry and is slated to take place this year on the 17th of September. Created by industry insiders, Ayodele Elegba and Austin Osas, the event made its debut in 2012. Its success soon resulted in support from with giants such as Disney/Pixar with Tomorrowland, The Lagos State Government and partnership with UBER Nigeria, City FM, Hotels.ng, Olisa.Tv, TechCabal, TechVoize, WordUpTV, UR4AFRICA, Violet Nirvana, SocialGood, DigitalLagos.TV, Dream Africa. With this year’s theme, the organizers are clearly looking towards a more diverse economy using creative skills.
Ayodele is one of the founders of Spoof Animation and has been in the business since 1999, starting out as a self-trained animator. He is well-respected in the community and brings an expert perspective to the role of creative skills in today’s swiftly-changing economic landscape. The 2016 Lagos Comic-Con boasts several noteworthy events including several seminars and workshops that are designed to help those who are interested in the industry. The panels and master-classes will help to underline how essential creative skills are to the success of this industry and how they can contribute to a flourishing economy.
It is safe to say the Nigerian comic industry is enjoying a period of significant success. It wasn’t always like this. The perception that there was no interest in African-inspired comic characters had previously meant that there was no serious weight thrown behind it. However, a serious boost has come in the form of several successful publishing houses.
Out of all of these publishing houses Comic Republic is the one that has walked away with most of the headlines. Their “African Avengers” has cultivated a dedicated fanIbase at home and earned an earnest following abroad. The US, arguably the comic capital of the world, has often dealt African characters a poor hand. Unable to reconcile the fact that Africa is made up of many different cultures, and peoples, US comics have tended to boil the entirety of Africa down to one or two stereotypes.
Successful entrepreneurs in the industry such as Jide Martin founder of Comic Republic, share a common vision with burgeoning artists, such as Roye Okupe of Youneek Studios, Peter Daniel of Peda Studio, Kuluya!, OurOwnArea! They see the promise of the comic and animation industry in Nigeria and envision a market that is more than just the usual US offerings. Industry leaders such as Jide Martin, Ayodele Elegba, Roye Okupe and Austine Osas are harnessing the best creative skills in Africa to create more African-based characters for the wider comic and animation industry.
Creations such as Guardian Prime from Comic Republic, EXO Comic from Youneek studios, B.O.L.A cartoons by Genii Games and New Born Saga by Peda Studio have been gathering interest and contributing to a change in the African comic and animation landscape. With culturally authentic comic characters Nigeria, and other African nations, can get across the image of their country that rings true to them. They feel there is a “real Africa” that is relatively unknown beyond the continent. The media seems to have colluded in offering the world only a glimpse of what Africa is really like and this glimpse does not include the thriving tech industry or Nigeria’s booming film industry.
With the theme of this year’s Lagos Comic Convention, it is clear that Ayodele, Austine, Shola, Raymond and the rest of the team believe that the economy can enjoy a positive impact from greater use of creative skills. The question is: how?
Businesses contribute to their industries and the industry sectors contribute to economy. In short, this is how things work. But what makes a successful business? Many different things. One of the few invariables is creative skills.
Creative skills are a way to strengthen an industry that could be of significance to fans but also of significant importance to the economies of Africa. With a greater focus on the creative skills, talent and cultures, that make African countries different to all others, those countries can export a wider range of creative products and bring extra revenue to their economies.
It is estimated that there are millions of Nigerians employed in creative jobs and this is no surprise when one considers that creative skills are fundamental to almost every business sector. The word creative is no longer restricted to meaning arts & crafts. It is now applied to design, branding, advertising, marketing – these are essential to all types of products and services sold throughout the world. Creative skills underpin many of the essential tasks necessary in these businesses to achieve success. The key to appreciating the contribution of creative skills is to the economy is in understanding that many of the tasks necessary from the beginnings of every business, and throughout, are performed using creative skills.
With confusion over what is and is not considered a creative skill it is difficult for staticians to give us hard figures on how creative skills contribute to the economy. However, in 2006 a study from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) in the UK revealed that creative industries contributed 7.3% of Gross Value Added (GVA) in the UK in 2004. At the time this amounted to £57 billion. As well as exporting £13 billion the creative industries also employed 1.8 million people in the UK out of a population of almost 60 million.
Demand is increasing for Nigerian comic book heroes, and not only in Nigeria. In fact, as much as half the digital downloads of Comic Republic comics/Youneek Studios are requested from the UK and US. A lot of this success is down to savvy use of social media and branding. Revenue is generated from sales of the books, but it is also generated from paid-for advertising and product placement within the comics.
With a still nascent industry and products that have nowhere near reached market saturation there is a lot to suggest that the comics and animation industry in Nigeria, and the rest of Africa, will continue to go from strength to strength. The drive is there with publishing houses and artists ready to show the world a side of Africa previously unseen in comic form. The market is there, ready and waiting to consume more superhero stories from Africa. Now we just have to see how successfully the industry players can sustain, expand and diversify. Perhaps it will not be too long before the comic and film industries join forces and cinema-goers in the US are queuing up for the latest Guardian Prime/ E.X.O movie/cartoons.
Every entrepreneur wants to ensure they run their business successfully and it’s why they seek to upgrade their knowledge, gain more experience and look for opportunities that will help them expand their business. When it comes to the latter, many entrepreneurs feel that taking up Internet Marketing courses will help them increase the visibility of their brand and boost their profitability. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
Points to Consider
The fact is that nurturing and expanding a business can be quite a challenging job; and if you want to succeed, you will have to use your resources in a more prudent manner. With this in view, take a look at why it isn’t really a good idea to spend money on Internet Marketing courses:
As you can see, Internet Marketing courses aren’t everything they are made out to be. It’s very important that you be realistic, understand how much you can afford and what type of courses will provide you with real value. Building a successful business is a lot about thinking on your feet, keeping your eyes open, learning as you go along and being consistent with your online marketing efforts.
Just recently I was approached by a coworker. He told me he was given a budget for video marketing to produce a corporate video for his department. As the marketing director he came to me for help. “The video will be all about what’s it’s like to work at our company”, he told me.
So he asks me to go ahead and create that video for him. I asked a few simple questions.
Do you have a script or outline? “No”, he said. Do you have a list of key points to be made? Again he said no. Is there a general theme? And what about style? This time his answer was, “I don’t know, I haven’t thought about it. I though you were the expert in corporate video”. I continued, “Is it live action, animated explainer, animated infographic?”. Same response, “I don’t know. Can’t you handle all those little details”
I realize video production was not his area of expertise, but clearly he was not ready to make this video. Just as the old handyman saying goes, “ measure twice, cut once” so it is also true in video production that you need to go in with a plan that is carefully thought out before diving into production. I’ve seen this scenario before; a very intelligent client with extensive knowledge of his business who is long on enthusiasm but short on specifics.
So for those of you in my colleague’s situation or on the other side of the table, here are the essential stages of planning you must complete if your are hoping to produce a successful corporate video project, training video, or any type of business or marketing video.
Stage One: Define Your Purpose
Before producing a video you must first know why you are creating it. You must know how you will measure success and what the video needs to accomplish.
Stage Two: Narrow Your Message
You may be tempted to want to tell your audience everything about your company from your origin to every service offered. This is a recipe for disaster. The result will be an unfocused collection of information with no point that runs too long. You should be able to state the main point of the video in one sentence. That can be difficult and sometimes in might be two sentences but no more. If you struggle with this here is a way to approach it. State the point of your video in 10 sentences. Narrow it to eight, then six, and so on until you have it narrowed to one, maybe two sentences.
Stage Three: Define Your Audience
To whom are you talking? CEOs, engineers, owners of a competitor’s product, etc? Why are they interested in your message? Are you solving a problem or introducing a completely new idea. You will want to know this so your script is written in language and terminology they understand.
Stage Four: Style and Tone:
Will this video be funny or more serious? Will it be live action or animation? Will you use actors or employees?
Stage Five: Call To Action
What should your audience do after watching this video. Call your office for an appointment, log in and sign up for something, visit a landing page? You also need to be specific about what will happen once they take that action. Is it to buy a product or schedule a demo? It’s important to make this clear at the end of your business video. Resist the temptation to include multiple CTAs such as; “give us a call, or just visit our website for more information”. Make the call to action clear and definitive and let them know why they are taking that action and your response rate will be much higher.
Each of these steps must be completed before one word of your script is written. If you have ever had a brilliant idea that would make a great corporate video but struggled to put that into a clear concise video script let us know. We offer a free consultation that will help you focus your message and create a good, effective business, marketing, or training video. Contact us at www.digitallagos.tv today.
Image credit: pixabay
In a competitive world, it’s important to get the word about your brand and products out there by every means possible. That’s why it’s important to have a solid digital marketing strategy in place. A good strategy will help you reach the right audience and convey the right message about your brand to them. Here are some tips that will help you create a solid digital marketing strategy for your company.
Start on Social Media
Social media gives you access to a readymade audience. You just need to choose the right platform and implement the right parameters to display your ads and you’re good to go. These platforms will give your brand the exposure it needs to establish a reputation and get recognition. There are many different platforms out there, so you need to explore all of them and see which one would benefit you the most. There are traditional choices like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube and Google+, but there are other options as well, including:
It’s a good idea to explore a few more obscure platforms as well because they might fit in with your business better and have a good user base.
Many business owners and marketers mistakenly assume that email marketing is no longer relevant or useful. Nothing could be further from the truth because it’s a beneficial marketing strategy that has proven its worth over the years. You just need to make sure you create converting emails. The content of the mail should be interesting, unique, and compelling. You also need to have a subject line that will immediately catch the reader’s attention and encourage them to open the email. If you personalize the emails, use the right language and tone, and stay relevant; you’ll have better success with your campaign. You can also use email marketing to bring audiences to your social media pages, blogs and traffic back to your website.
Every company should have a blog with interesting and relevant content. This platform services many different purposes. It will bring audiences to your website with the help of carefully placed keywords and phrases. It will help you establish your authority in the industry with the help of useful and informative content. It will also help you get backlinks from high authority websites, which will improve your credibility in the industry. That’s why it’s important to have a good quality and active blog.
People respond well to visual mediums, which is why videos and how-to tutorials work better than text ads and tutorials. A good video marketing strategy with high-quality videos, judicious use of keywords, and good content will help your company reach a wider audience.
No marketing strategy is complete without SEO (Search Engine Optimization). It doesn’t just help your website rank higher on the search engine results pages, but also ensures it’s of good quality overall. You should research the right keywords and come up with a good plan to ensure your website ranks high in the SERPs.
All of the points mentioned above are crucial aspects of creating a comprehensive digital marketing strategy so you should include them when you come up with your desired plan.
image source: pixabay.com
There are lots of social media sites out there, but SlideShare is arguably one of the most overlooked when it comes to marketing. SlideShare allows users to upload slideshow presentations to share with others. Then, people throughout the World can click through those same presentations to see what they have to say. What’s more, SlideShare is totally mobile friendly, meaning users can access it regardless of if they have a computer in front of them. Offering users the ability to grow their traffic to their own webpage, increase their SEO, build brand recognition and more, SlideShare is a great tool for any webpage. With that said, the following are 5 strategies you can use to realize these benefits for yourself.
Present slides that are attractive and catch the eye. Nobody is going to be enticed to go through your slides if their design is boring and unappealing right off the bat. Additionally, make sure the content you provide is easy to follow. You won’t be there to physically explain what you meant when people are reading your slides, so having slides that speak for themselves and don’t confuse readers is key to keeping their interest.
Use keywords strategically to optimize the placement of your slides within SlideShare. Research which keywords best apply to your presentation and what it is you are trying to say, (you can even use professional keyword research tools). Then use these keywords specifically in your file name and presentation title. These are the best places for your keywords because they are where SlideShare tends to get information regarding what your presentation is actually about.
A great way to increase traffic to your own site is to include click-able links within your presentation. Discuss a topic then include a link clearly labeled below as a source of additional information, include a link to your personal sign up page, etc. The point is to include multiple opportunities for people to move from your presentation to your actual webpage. Don’t oversaturate your presentation with links either however, as too many links may overwhelm a reader and lead to them just outright ignoring your links or leaving your presentation altogether.
This is a great way to increase traffic and gain members as well. Create a presentation that takes people through how to sign up or become a member of your website in a step-by-step way, or create a step-by-step guide to getting the most from your website. In short, make it as easy as possible for users to sign up with you and enjoy your site, and they will be more likely to do so.
Capitalize on your reader’s interest and suggest a clear-cut next step for them. This can be done throughout the presentation — perhaps at the end of each section as well as at the end of the presentation itself — and is an effective way to ensure your readers are more likely to continue on to do what it is you’d like them to do, (i.e. join an email list, visit your site, etc).
Now that you’ve read through these 5 strategies for how to use SlideShare to market your webpage, you are ready. Implement each of these tips into your presentations and watch as your website experiences growth, your brand gains recognition, your SEO standing rises and more.
With the advent of the camera phone, video “production” began to rise. Video cameras are more affordable and accessible than ever; they’re even built into our everyday phones. This trend only continued with the sale of the GoPro, and the rise of YouTube. Now, there’s vine, Vimeo, and loads of other video hosting and social media video sites that are on the rise. More and more devices are able to play and stream videos, thus more people than ever before are watching videos. Are you targeting this video loving audience?
This is incredible news for marketers. The popularity of video content is skyrocketing, giving businesses tremendous opportunity for better SEO and increased ROI through the use of video marketing.
By 2018, 79% of all internet traffic is expected to be from video. After reviewing dozens and dozens of statistics, I have not found any indicators that do not suggest growth. This trend in growth is expected to continue, and even increase. According to YouTube, the number of people that watch videos each day has increased by 40% within the last year. It’s obvious and simple: video content gives you access to a massive audience.
Not only does video open the doors to all of these viewers, it also increases viewer engagement statistics. According to this Forbes article, adults are 39% more likely to share video content and 56% more likely to ‘like’ video content than traditional text content.
Video content is so popular because audience engagement occurs so quickly. Assuming that you need to engage your audience within the first 10 seconds, video content is the best choice for achieving rapid engagement. Refer back to our previous article about marketing to millennials; you’ll notice that I mention that visual content is key. Think about this, if a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video is worth a million.
Video content has a direct impact on the search engine results. Rich content, including video, is favored by the latest search engine algorithm changes. Furthermore, search engines, like Google are constantly adjusting their algorithms to give their users a more desired and targeted experience. Because everyone loves videos, they are consistently featured at the top of the results in Google.
HOWEVER, You must keep in mind that there are probably thousands of cute pet and baby videos out there, so standing out among them is no easy task. The first step to optimize your video content is to make sure that you are making great, relevant and beneficial content. Frankly, people will not share bad content. Your video should be engaging, entertaining, informative and easily sharable.
To make sure people are able to find your video when performing a search, you need to use keywords and tags in your title, filename, transcript and headline. It is extremely important that you ensure the tags are actually relevant. Sites like YouTube typically no longer prioritize videos based on the number of views; instead their ranking results are based off of relevance of the search, and “view time”.
Think of this like the bounce rate; the longer someone spends watching your video, the better. So if your tag includes “cute puppy,” but your video is actually about technology, then people will likely click away from your video pretty quickly, and this will negatively impact your ranking.
For many, the first choice for a hosting site is YouTube. While it does have a great deal of unique visitors (and therefore a lot of people that could see your video), hosting through YouTube gives you less control over the ownership of the content.
Paid sites such as Vimeo, Wistia and SproutVideo, give you more ownership, guidance and control, and they will provide you with ways in which you can promote your video through other networks to increase its exposure.
Ultimately if you have a good quality video that is appealing and connects with your audience, and you properly promote your videos through sharing it with social sites and video hosting sites, you will get the desired audience and traffic to help boost your ROI.
Research has shown that color, movement, and sound are significant factors in grabbing attention. Just look around. The items in a store window are bright and accessorized; the computer background is flowing, colorful, and often accompanied by sound. Why have a dull, dry video when you can show the “personality” of your business or product. Visual content is of the utmost importance. Who would want to read black print on white paper or listen to a monotone person dressed in a plain suit when literally millions of options are available to captivate the attention of your audience? Explore the psychology of colors and sounds and add distinction to your videos.
Making tutorial videos has become a very popular entity of a video marketing strategy. The DIY generation wants a clear, concise, and easy to follow videos. One important item to remember is the fast-paced audience that you are serving. Time is a commodity that is pushed to the limit. Even so called leisure time is often calculated and scheduled. The old adage of short and sweet will apply here. Colorful, eye catching, videos with an end product that the viewers can show off will work every time.
Relevant equals “connected or appropriate to the matter at hand.” In thirty seconds, a consumer should be able to gather all the relevant information that you are trying to convey. Make sure that your script includes all the material highlights and those points that you want to especially stand out are offset by visual and auditory points. Additionally, remember your audience. Relevance will vary in tone according to your target audience. Above all, be truthful in your marketing. Social Media plays a huge role these days.
This does not mean to water down the content. If your audience contemplates that you are challenging their intelligence, they immediately turn it off. You should do the following steps:
• State the goal
• Explain how you can “help”
• Describe the product or service
• Tell your audience the next step to achieve success.
Wrap all of this in an attention grabbing video and you are on the way to a great video.
As stated previously, time is a precious commodity to people these days. But don’t try to fill your video with so much information that no one can digest it and it will get lost or turned off. Make a series of short videos, each building on the last. Include clips from previous videos to make sure that the flow continues. Remind your audience of the benefits often and give them the opportunity to reap the benefits after each video. Don’t just leave then hanging or you may miss the sale or service.
Now that you have created some great videos, get them out to the public. Find your target audience and the best ways to reach them. Select appropriate, but exciting titles and keywords and share those videos with the online world!
Content marketing has grown drastically over the last few years. Businesses are embracing it as a way to communicate with their audiences and build a trusting foundation that will retain their consumers. Knowing which metrics to use to measure how successful your content is, is essential. You don’t want to continually create content that your audience isn’t finding valuable. This will lead them to stop reading your blog or publications and look elsewhere for the information they seek.
The smartest businesses use content marketing to boost their website traffic. However, a little help from time to time isn’t a bad thing. In order to fully benefit from all that content marketing has to offer, your company will need to adopt the tools and applications available to increase your site traffic.
So many marketers ask how they can get the leads they seek without blogging 24/7. Well, utilizing these apps will help you customize your content to target a specific audience, boost your content marketing efforts and allow your target audience to define your content as valuable and high quality, thus rewarding all of your efforts.
We all know Ernest Hemingway was known for his simple, direct, short sentences. This is what this app is based on. The app highlights words or phrases that might be wrong in your writing, categorizes them so you know exactly what is wrong, and provides you with ways to fix them.
You simply copy and paste your text into the app and an evaluation will pop up. The evaluation will group parts of your writing by color in order to make it easier for you to distinguish what needs fixing and what doesn’t. If you’re writing does need work it’ll break it up by different categories, including: hard sentences, very hard sentences, phrases, passive voice and adverbs.
The app also provides a grade level that defines which level the writing you submitted qualifies as. While you may think that a college level grade is good, you should know that your entire audience needs to understand what you are saying as fast as possible so a lower level grade is what you should aim for. If your audience can read your content and know exactly what you’re talking about then your content marketing efforts will benefit tremendously.
No matter who your audience is you can bet that they’re visual beings. They find images attractive and use images as an incentive for reading your content. However, if you’re not a professional designer, Canva is a great way to create custom images. The tool easily allows you to select from an array of categories like social media, Twitter post or infographic among others. These categories automatically create an image in size proportions appropriate for specific platforms. Once you select a category you are directed to the customization page, this is where the magic happens.
You can choose from a variety of layouts and backgrounds, add shapes, text and images to your content all in a matter of minutes. Your image will look professional and campaign-ready and can be downloaded in a few seconds. Canva offers a variety of free and low-cost options to fit your budget with images costing only as much as $1.
Because the brain processes images 60,000 times faster than text, adding a will crafted, professional image to your blog post will increase the chances of your page being seen, read and shared.
Social media is a must for every single marketer, but you’re well aware of that. In order to master social media marketing while remaining efficient you’ll need a tool that’ll optimize your results. In comes Buffer. With Buffer, you can connect multiple Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn accounts to your dashboard. You can schedule posts with targeted, set times that Buffer generates based on times your audience is online. This makes it much easier to increase your engagement levels and get your content seen.
Generating more traffic to your blog or website is always a goal with content marketing. While there are a ton of tools that can help you achieve this goal these tools stand out as the best of the best on the market right now. Just keep in mind in order to increase your traffic you need the right content to go along with these apps. Make sure you are creating quality, informative content your audience wants to see and combine that with these apps for optimal success.
Businesses small and large are using video marketing as one of their medium to reach customers. Video tells a lot in a short time, offering a superior marketing tool for those who know how to wield it (and a great tool for shooting yourself in the foot for those who don’t)
Businesses can use their gadgets and download tools to help them create their videos. But it is still important that you apply the right strategy for your video marketing activities to capitalize and extend your reach. Here are 4 tips to help you with your video marketing.
When creating your videos, you need to focus on the keywords you are targeting. To optimize your videos, include the keywords in your video titles, descriptions, tags, and transcripts. You should then capitalize on your opportunities of generating traffic from the search engines for relevant searches done by users. You can also target specific search phrases and not just words.
At the end of your video, create a call to action slide. This is one mistake that most marketers’ commit; they usually forgot to add a call to action slide. Customers may enjoy watching your video, but if they have no idea what to do next, your hard work will be wasted. The call to action can also turn into valuable conversions for your brand. You can also ask a question at the end of the video to start a conversation among your viewers.
Sharing your videos on your social media networks is an inexpensive way to promote your website. It is also the best way to keep your present and new customers chatting about your business. If you don’t have any followers just yet, you can ask your friends, relatives, and even your neighbors to share your videos. Through this method of sharing, you can reach more customers without spending a lot of money. Some of the popular social media sites where you can promote your videos are Facebook, YouTube, Google+, Twitter, and Pinterest. When used properly, these sites will help drive customers to your business.
You can also promote your videos through using an email subscriber list. Each time you post new videos on your YouTube channel, your subscribers will be notified by email. Your subscribers become your fan base and will help you promote your videos via social sharing. You need to grow your subscriber list as your subscribers watch twice as many videos than other viewers.
Getting your visitors visit your website again is important to your video marketing success. Adding videos to your website and creating a blog about them is a creative way to get noticed and have an edge over your competitors. Videos provide lots of benefits to your website and company. One is that you can easily deliver your message using this medium. This does not mean that you should replace written content altogether, but it can help to send and strengthen your message.
Focus on SEO strategies to get your video ranked in the search engines. Your video title can attract powerful traffic. One reason is that it can get viewer’s attention easily. If you use the right keywords in your title, your video will show up in the search engines when people search for your topic. It is best to include your URL in your video. You can get better exposure once you have this in your video. If you embed your video in your own website, it will increase the time spent by your visitors on your website and it will help grow your audience. Get your free video consultation
Explainer videos are an efficient way to connect with your prospects and accustom them with your business. Crazy Egg used one on their homepage, and it worked so well that it generated an extra $21,000 a month in income. Dropbox reported that they got up to 25% of their customers through explainer videos.
So, why not create one of these videos for your site? If they helped other businesses boost conversion rates and increase sale, it should definitely work for you too, right?
Explainer videos are, indeed, a powerful conversion tool, but only if you get them right. Most of the times, they are only draining marketing dollars without generating real value or growth. That’s not because your idea sucks or your product is bad, but because you are making these crucial mistakes.
Most business owners pay a lot of attention to the quality of the video, investing in sophisticated equipment and editing tools. The truth is that it’s all about the script, not the video. It doesn’t matter if your video is shot in HD or with a smartphone. Ultimately, content wins the hearts and wallets of your customers.
You want to give your prospects as much information as possible about your business. As a result, your videos are multiple minutes in length. Remember, an explainer video should act as a hook that entices your customers’ curiosity.
Most of the best explainer videos are no longer than 90 seconds. Of course, there’s nothing stopping you from making your video a bit lengthier, if you can add value to your prospects. But, the longer your video is, the fewer visitors will pay attention to it.
If you want to keep an explainer video as short as possible, you need to keep its message simple. Focus on these four elements to ensure that your prospects are getting the most value out of your video:
Nothing can destroy a video faster than poor delivery. A monotone voice tells your client that you don’t really believe in your product. If you are not excited about your business, why should they be?
That’s why it’s important to work with a specialized company that can provide the professional tone and delivery your videos need.
Most business owners show off their product’s features when creating their explainer videos. They talk about storage space, quality, unlimited users, and so on. However, features don’t sell, benefits do.
The reason features don’t sell is because consumers don’t care about them. Your prospects don’t want a 12-megapixel camera. They want to take beautiful pictures. So, instead of blabbering about technical data, tell your customers how your product can improve their lives.
After a few days of hard work, you explainer video is finally ready. You are confident your script is engaging, and the quality is good. So, you upload it on your homepage hoping that will improve your conversion rates. But, you’ve made one crucial mistake: you never tested it.
An explainer video may be the first thing your visitors see, so it’s essential to get it right. If the experience they get is poor, it can impact your bottom line negatively. Test your videos before publishing them and ensure that everything is working properly.
It’s crucial to adjust the tone of your explainer videos to match your audience profile. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t have a little fun. Whether your video targets CEOs, kids, or soon to be moms, you can include some humor in it, as long as it makes sense to your customers. That way, you’ll entertain your prospects and help them connect with your business.
If you want to create effective explainer videos, you have to take the time and address these mistakes. If you don’t have the time or skills, don’t waste your money on inefficient videos. Instead, you can hire us to help you.
Check our website to find out what we can do for you.
If all your recorded lectures are no more than PowerPoints with audio, a flipped classroom is no more thrilling or engaging for students than just attending class in person. So why not add some interactivity to your videos and have some fun? According to Phylise Banner, director of online teaching and learning at Clarkson University, your students will thank you.
Banner and her colleague Frank Tomsic, director of the McCormick Educational Technology Center at Rush University Medical Center, are the original masterminds behind the “Technology Test Kitchen,” a phenomenon introduced at an Online Learning Consortium (OLC) event that has since cropped up at multiple conferences where faculty, instructional technologists and instructional designers congregate. The idea: to provide an interactive space “where people can come and play with the [technologies] we’re talking about.” Every event features a different roster of experts sharing their favorite tools and showing others how to use them.
Last year, OLC “master chefs” published an ever-changing Creative Commons-licensed “recipe book” with brief descriptions of almost three dozen tools and applications for use in the lecture hall to “foster creativity in learning.”
Banner shared seven of her favorite tools with Campus Technology, specifically for making video content more interactive — and the Test Kitchen recipe book offers three more.
It used to be that students watched videos and then headed to the learning management system to enter their comments in a discussion forum. Now, they can do both in one place. “Video does not have to be static anymore,” said Banner.
For example, Zaption lets an instructor add text, questions and images to existing online videos, allowing students to reflect on what they’re watching. Students can also add comments, thereby “building more content around a video.”
Those extras allow the teacher to act as a bridge between what’s being shown in the video and what he or she is hoping the student takes away from the viewing experience. Likewise, the instructor can give an assignment to students to make a video and create a lesson around it as an assessment format.
On top of that, Banner added, the online program “has good analytics” that are “easy to use and valid.” The instructor can see not only the students’ answers to questions, but also how many rewinds or fast-forwards there are and to which spots in the video. Viewer data like that can help the instructor know what parts of the video are boring, too complex or really get the conversation going.
“If we’re using any video content, we think that that’s it. It’s done. That’s content consumption. But it isn’t,” she insisted. “Now we have content creation in the video space. That’s what makes Zaption so great and so much fun.”
The basic version is free; an $89 annual subscription “pro” version allows the instructor to add multiple video clips to a unit, include more interactive elements such as discussions and integrate Zaption within the learning management system.
Another option that Banner has used is Vialogues, an early entrant into the education space, which allows instructors to open up their videos for student commentary. The “vialogue” may be shared in a group or made private.Voicethread, a twist on Vialogues, allows users to upload and share any kind of files – documents, presentations, images, audio files and videos – and then let others comment through the appropriate medium – text, audio or webcam.
Banner likes how Echo360 allows the instructor to integrate video into courses through an institution’s learning management system. Originally gaining traction as a lecture capture application, the software has expanded “to allow you to create a whole channel right within your course,” she noted. “You can have a video and a forum with discussion questions right there.” The teacher can pick specific spots within the video to open the discussion.
The idea of the channel is to simplify student access to the videos. Like any playlist feature, she explained, it allows for a “consolidated space – whether closed or open.”
In the vein of simplifying access to video content, Banner emphasized the importance of providing not just video files in MP4 format, but also audio files in MP3 format. “We can’t forget about that,” she said. “I think that anytime we’re feeding our students video, [we need to] give them audio too.” That will enable them to listen to lectures while they’re doing other activities, such as exercising or commuting.
Veescope Live is a simple “green screen” app for iOS devices that allows the user to record video with switched backgrounds using any photo or movie on the device. (Green screen technology is what’s used to place your local weather person in front of a dynamic map of your region while showing the forecast.) Combined with a green screen, blue screen or even plain white wall, the program “enables you to key out the background,” explained Banner.
“Let’s say you’re teaching disaster management and you want to put yourself at FEMA headquarters,” she suggested. “You get a photo of FEMA headquarters. You put it on your iPad. You take your video. You key out the wall behind. Then you’re standing there in FEMA’s headquarters. I love Veescope.”
This free app for the iPhone and iPad helps the user create animated videos with no actual filming. You create your video by picking images from an extensive, searchable set or your own collection, add your presentation slides, then record your voice and let the app take it from there. Adobe Voice cleans up the quality of the audio and even adds background music. The program is integrated with the Noun Project, a fee-based library of icon images, which can be individually dragged into the presentation.
Banner finds Adobe Voice useful for simple development of video. “Let’s say you want to talk about what to do when a tornado is coming. You can press the icon button, search for ‘tornado’ and get these great images to bring in, simplifying visualization of your information as an instructor and creating a stunning visual,” she explained. The app records your audio with the push of a button. If the audio for a given image goes past a certain amount of time, say 30 or 40 seconds, the app reminds you to keep it short. “You don’t want to be rambling on,” Banner added.
Banner said she always shows up to the Test Kitchen with Google Cardboard, inexpensive virtual reality glasses that work with smartphones to provide immersive 3D environments.
Although these technically don’t fall into the category of videos, they do provide a new way for students to experience visual content. At a recent event, for example, Banner shared images from Poland’s historic salt mines. These have been photographed in panoramic form and made available on Round.me, an online service where photographers share their images.
“Everything is carved out of salt. So you can show pictures of it, but [with pictures] you can’t really feel what it’s like to walk down the stairs and turn around and look up and see a chandelier or look around,” said Banner. Using Google Cardboard, “when you’re talking about spaces like that, you can have that immersive experience. You can even walk through that space. It’s crazy!”
Reblogged from https://campustechnology.com
If you want to succeed in the highly competitive world of business, you need a solid marketing plan in place. Business owners can promote their brand through several avenues. They can improve the search engine rankings through SEO, create PPC ads, and market their brand and products through social media. All of the following social media tools are very effective and will help your business gain all the recognition it needs.
Social media marketing in particular, will help spread recognition and reach a large number of audiences. However, it’s not easy to manage various social media accounts and provide regular updates. There are some tools available in the market that can help and they are listed below:
Hootsuite is one of the most comprehensive and effective social media management tools available in the market. It can easily help you manage the entire social medial marketing campaign from a single platform. It offers a variety of features like:
Buffer is like Hootsuite; a comprehensive platform to handle all of your social media marketing needs. Some consider Hootsuite a more efficient and thorough tool but Buffer has its merits too. You can perform all of the tasks mentioned in the previous tool with this platform. It’s ideal for scheduling your posts in advance and will help you manage your business as well as personal social media accounts.
Canva is a great tool to use to create diverse forms of content that would engage your social media audience and followers. You don’t need any special design skills to create great images, presentations, documents, ads, invitations, and other such content. You can use this tool to generate high-quality visual content without the aid of a professional. The platform has thousands of images and templates and is very easy to use.
You won’t be forced to confine your posts to texts and comments, thanks to Canva’s efficient platform. This can help business owners who are on a tight budget and still want to offer their clients diverse content.
4 – Brand24
It pays to keep an ear to the ground and be aware of what people say about your brand. Internet gossip can be a valuable tool to improve products and services, understand customer preferences, and stay on top of negative feedback. Brand24 is a CRM social media-monitoring tool that would keep a watch on Internet for you. This tool will:
5 – Edgar
Edgar is a content reposting tool that allows you to recycle your content and post it in front of fresh eyes. This would help you reach a wider audience and make sure you get the most out of your hard work. It also allows you to track and categorize points and content you might use later.
These tools will help you create a comprehensive and efficient social media marketing strategy at very little cost and effort. They will also help you keep an eye on the campaign and ensure everything runs smoothly.
With so many apps and tools at our fingertips, one would think digital marketing has never been easier. Not so. As the freelancing or “gig” economy takes off, remote teams are becoming commonplace; and digital marketing with its many moving parts can pose real logistical challenges. Upwork estimates one-third of American workers are now freelancing, and project work, digital or otherwise, demands that everyone stays talking, collaborating and informed.
It can be frustrating to roll out a collaborative tool only to find it doesn’t have the functionality to facilitate a team or do what is needed. Over the past several years, my team has found that some of the tools we use for our digital marketing projects consistently make the “A” list. So, I thought I would share! Whether you’re a small business mostly managing your own marketing efforts or a large cross-border team, there is something on this list for everyone.
Here is the Resourceful Business list of ten go-to digital marketing tools:
Graphics are a necessity for online marketing and often need to be created. While Adobe Photoshop is best for more complex projects, Canva is a simple drag-and-drop design platform for creating social posts, documents, banners and other visuals. It is an important tool for our social media team. The canvas size you choose can be customized by social network (e.g., Facebook post, Instagram post, Pinterest graphic), and pictures and watermarks can be maintained in an Uploads library. There is a wide selection of fonts and templates; and in the premium version, designers can create brand folders, save brand colors, and resize images for different social platforms.
Favorite Canva feature: Team stream, which allows different team members to share their work and comment on team submissions
It’s impossible to be in digital marketing and not utilize imagery. According to Hubspot, “Content with relevant images gets 94% more views than content without relevant images.” It’s only one of 37 must-read visual marketing stats in a recent Hubspot article. Stock Up is a unique website that aggregates photos from 27 free stock photo sites. There are close to 14,000 pictures, and the number continues to grow. Users can put keywords in a search bar to search for images, and the photo selections are expansive and varied.
For any business that has the luxury of beautiful product visuals, Instagram is an essential social platform. As a digital marketing agency creating social media for clients, we prefer not to do things on the fly. ScheduGram is a scheduling platform for Instagram posts, and it is available on desktop. In our view, this feature is mission critical. Posts can be scheduled in advance, and first comments–the preferred location for hashtags–can be as well. ScheduGram allows us to review, edit and see our posts on a desktop prior to posting. Tagging photos, or identifying other people or businesses in the post, through the Schedugram platform is currently in test, and we hope the ability to add location will follow in short order.
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Favorite Schedugram feature: First Comments field so that hashtags can be scheduled in the first comment at the same time you schedule the post itself
Social media work for clients should be a collaborative, tag team effort. Content can be written by one part of the team and then edited and hashtagged by another. Creatives can design graphics, and if the client uses paid social campaigns, other team members can manage the ads too. For us, scheduling social media posts is a must because it drives consistency, quality and collaboration. We use Hootsuite for social media; it allows us to schedule posts and use different team members in the creation process. Recently, Hootsuite added an integration with YouTube, so now you can schedule videos too.
Favorite Hootsuite feature: AutoSchedule, which will send scheduled posts at optimal times
When a “#” is put in front of a word, it creates a hashtag, or clickable link, that directs you to content which also contains that hashtag. Hashtags are an important tool in marketing because they can drive a person to your content–and ultimately your business–via the hashtag. If a person doesn’t know about your company, (s)he may never find your brand through traditional search. However, hashtags can attract an audience with an interest in your subject matter. The Hashtagify portal allows a user to type in a hashtag and see other related, popular hashtags. Visuals like the size of a circle that surrounds a hashtag and the thickness of connecting lines that extend from the hashtag being analyzed cue the user to a hashtag’s popularity. You can even see Top Influencers and compare performance between hashtags.
Favorite Hashtagify feature: The Hashtag Wall which gives a tiled, visual representation of recent posts for a hashtag
Grammarly is a writing app which has a handy Chrome add-on. It highlights grammar, syntax and spelling errors. The interface is incredibly user-friendly. Errors are underlined in red and then upon hover, fixes are suggested in green. It is easy to see errors visually, and Grammarly offers an explanation for the problem. You can take the suggestion or decline it. Although not currently integrated with Google Drive, a quick workaround is to download your Google Doc as a Microsoft Word document and just pick the errors up from there. Another alternative is to copy and paste the copy into Grammarly directly. A Google Drive integration is apparently in the works.
Favorite Grammarly feature: explanation cards for errors which describe the mistake, suggest the correction and offer an “Add to Dictionary” option
Whether it is a website information questionnaire or input for a logo design, every business needs client input. The collector must be user-friendly, gathered in an organized way and viewable by the team. Google has a cloud-based solution for survey creation, Google Forms. There are several ways to receive and view the responses. Our favorite is to have the responses automatically populate a Google Sheet, which is accessible by the entire team.
Favorite Google Forms feature: basic customization tools for branding such as a header image for logos and a color palette
Great content begins with a talented writer or creative. Better content is a collaboration of many inputs and viewpoints. Google Drive, a cloud-based file creation and storage service offered by Google, is our go-to tool for team collaboration. Notwithstanding the importance of all of the work being in the cloud for accessibility by the team, the Google Drive interface allows for direct editing, review, and comments. A user can see past revisions and which team member has recently worked on the document. In fact, our team will drag and drop almost everything a client sends us into organized Google Drive folders, and the search toolbar functionality is robust. One handy feature is the ability to see Recent items that have been worked on or viewed, which makes finding current work a breeze.
Favorite Google Drive feature: Suggesting mode so team edits are seen as suggestions and only incorporated if accepted
As any business grows, so too does its client base, project list, and task complexity. Our agency needed an application that would allow the management team to assign out the various moving parts of each project, keep track of progress and deadlines, and allow other members of the team to provide input. We landed on Wrike. As projects come in, they are scheduled on Wrike and assigned out to team members. Tasks can be made recurring, moved around on a calendar, and organized by folder. The team can add comments, upload attachments and mark assignments as complete.
Favorite Wrike feature: Daily To Do emails that show tasks and overdue tasks, each with a link back to the original Wrike task
There are projects and then there are projects. Large, complicated client engagements–websites, for example–have many inputs and require the involvement of multiple parties, possibly even outside freelancers and creatives. Basecamp is one of the most versatile project applications around, and it has a great dashboard–my personal favorite of any of the applications I use. In the various sections on the dashboard, project team members can see documents, the project schedule, team chats in the campfire section, and the running to-do list. It shows team profiles across the top of the dashboard so you always know who is involved, and importantly, it will email or “ping” people to keep them posted on updates and communications.
Favorite Basecamp feature: Link a Google doc, where you can add a document by just linking the URL of a Google Doc
No doubt you will have noticed some consistencies in our list of go-to digital marketing tools. They offer user-friendly dashboards and portals, utilize the cloud for accessibility and storage, and facilitate the many inputs and stages of complex project work. Tools that are emerging as best in class facilitate teams collaborating from all corners of the world.
Think of the possibilities!
Re blogged from Resourceful Business blog.
We live in a world of intense competition and it’s vital to maintain a unique identity and brand online. You need to have a solid, recognizable brand presence that will help you stand out in the crowd. The only way to achieve this is to cultivate and market your brand thoroughly. Thankfully, modern technology has made is easy for you to establish a solid brand identity. All you need to do is put in some effort and have a solid plan in place. Here are some tips that can help you:
Choose a Platform that Will Support Your Brand
Before you start brand promotion on social media, you need to understand the platform you want to work with. Different social media networks have different characteristics. They also cater to different kinds of audiences. Once you understand the nature of the social media network, you can come up with a sound strategy that would help. Consider the points listed below:
Facebook – Facebook has over 1.59 billion active users that log in on a regular basis. Needless to say, this isn’t a platform you can afford to ignore. No matter what kind of business you run, you should promote your brand on Facebook because it has a very diverse user base.
Instagram – Instagram is the ideal platform for companies that rely on visual impact. For example, this platform would be great if you’re in the fashion, food, jewelry, or photography industry. Visual media has a great impact on your prospective customers so this is a great platform if you want to share images of your products. The user base on Instagram is largely young and tech-savvy.
Google+ – Google+ is geek heaven and usually has several developers, programmers, and graphic designers in the user base. So, if you’re a company that operates in the tech industry, you should promote your brand on Google+.
Pinterest – This platform is very popular among women and young people. Like Instagram, Pinterest is a photo-sharing platform and is a great option for brands that work in the fashion, jewelry design, cooking, fitness, and clothing industry.
LinkedIn – This is the best platform for B2B businesses and brands. You can promote to professional and influential people in the business community.
Provide Good Content
If you want to establish a good brand image, you need to publish excellent, well-researched content. Content will help you establish authority and develop a great reputation. Here are some things you need to keep in mind:
If you just copy-and-paste regular content, no one will take any interest in you. You need to generate unique and exiting content that would provide new information to your prospective customers.
If you have a good blog that you update regularly, you should share posts or articles that you have recently published.
If your prospective customers comment on your posts, it’s important that you respond and engage them in a conversation. This will help them develop a great connection with you and your brand.
Support your Brand
You should showcase your logo and company name in as many places as possible. This will increase the visibility of your brand and ensure that your logo stays prominent in your prospect’s mind.
Influencers can help spread recognition for your brand so it’s a good idea to engage them as much as possible. You can mention them by name in your posts. You can also share their content or quote them in your comments and content. Some influencers will also help you if you request their assistance. You can approach them through emails and messages and ask them to share your content or links.
If you follow these steps, you’ll be able to effectively promote and build your brand on several social media platforms.
Image credit: Pixaby
Developing an effective content marketing strategy isn’t as easy as it sounds. It requires doing your homework, figuring out what your audience is interested in and what keywords are going to attract them to your work. 93% of B2B & 86% of B2C marketers are using content marketing as the most important part of their digital strategy, which means what you post on your website, blog and social media profiles contributes to your audience’s perception of your brand. The content you share provides your target market something to talk about, especially when marketed correctly.
We know what you’re thinking: that all sounds costly. Well, it can be. But here are a few ways to produce high-quality content and market them for next to nothing out of pocket. Once you’ve studied your audience and come up with the content you want to share you can easily devote the time to curate it.
If your website doesn’t have a blog you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to get your brand seen. Optimizing your blog content with SEO keywords is the best and easiest way to get your rank higher with search engines. So how do you use keywords properly? It’s simple. Blog about your industry. Focus on questions that will allow you to naturally incorporate phrases and vocabulary your audience is most likely to use into your content.
Of course you have to remember that even the most optimized blog won’t get much traffic if you fail to post on a regular basis. Now, we’re not talking about once a week or four times a month. Posting at least three to four times a week is optimal when making sure that your content creation efforts are noticed.
It also doesn’t hurt to comment on other blogs. It not only does it get you more traffic and exposure it also counts as a backlink.
Use Social Media
Social media is a must nowadays, especially when you want to engage with your audience. But you already knew that. What you might not know is that social media provides the biggest boost to your content when posting it to your social platforms. Creating engaging content when talking about your blog, simply posting the blog title and a link won’t likely get you very far. When you send out social media updates, make sure that you include a great image that is compelling and can help to gain some likes and shares. And don’t forget a hashtag on appropriate channels. Hashtags = gold.
But, just remember that not all content is right for every platform. Distributing and sharing content on social media through the right social channel is very important. Plan separate content strategies for each social channel. This will reduce the risk of losing out on conversions to your website and blog.
Share Content More Than Once
Something that is easily overlooked with content marketing is sharing content more than once. With the amount of news and shares that pop up in people’s newsfeed it’s easy to miss a post or two. Don’t be afraid to share your content more than once. Maybe post an update on a blog you wrote at the beginning of the month and reshare the same content at the end of the month as well. This will increase your chances of getting fresh eyes to read your content.
Start an Opt-in List
Create an opt in list on your website and offer something of value – ‘ a call to action’ free report, free consultation, etc. This will give your audience an incentive to sign up for your list and expose your content to them. From there your list can be sent emails detailing your latest blog or any relevant news. But remember to include social sharing links for optimal exposure.
Social media is a powerful tool especially if you use it well. It has a widespread influence and can help you increase your audience and revenue. Marketers and businesses have used social media to bring visibility to their brand. There are several ways in which you can engage prospective customers and audience on social media. However, if you want to stay ahead of the game, you should use new techniques and opportunities. Here are 3 new trends that you can implement in May to improve your social media marketing game.
Real Real-Time Engagement
Today, prospective customers and audiences expect a rapid response to their questions and comments. They want businesses to resolve their problems quickly and communicate openly. That’s where real-time engagement can be useful. When you answer questions quickly or send a note of acknowledgment to the customer, it shows you take them seriously.
Research and surveys suggest that people expect an answer to questions and comments published on social media within 24 hours. You can set auto-replies or messages that are trigged the moment your page receives the comment. For example, if a customer complains that a product doesn’t work on your Facebook page, you might actually benefit if you react to the comment immediately and help your customer.
If you can’t answer immediately, set an automatic message stating, ‘We apologize for the inconvenience and will get back to you on the matter.’ You can specify a time. So, you check your Facebook feed by 10 AM every day, you can state in the automated message that your customer can expect a reply from you between 10 AM to 12 PM. A definitive timeline will help.
Live Streaming Videos
A few days ago, actor Robert Downey, Jr, engaged his fans on Facebook with live streaming video. He replied to questions and comments immediately, gave a shout-out to some of his fans, and took them along his London premier tour for Captain America – The Civil War. This generated intense amount of interest and recognition.
Imagine the benefits. You can immediately read comments and questions and answer them. You can actually schedule these live streaming sessions on Facebook, Periscope, or Snapchat and actively engage your audience and customers. It would allow customers to connect with you and your brand.
Facebook recently introduced the shop section on business pages. It’s still in the testing phase but it does have considerable potential. Setting up a shop section on your Facebook is very easy. You just need to go to your business page, click Add Shop Section link, agree to the terms and conditions, add business and payment process information, and create. You can add products easily as well. All you need to do is click on Add Products, upload a photograph, enter the details, and click Save. It’s as easy as that.
These tips will help you improve your reach and gain some brand visibility and it won’t take much effort to implement them either. If you take the initiative now, before the trend catches on, you’ll surge ahead of the competition and stand out.
The recent years have seen a tremendous shift in the marketing landscape. With the emergence of new inbound marketing methodologies and the lead conversion techniques, businesses are now able to engage even more visitors and drive more sales. One such powerful technique that is quite in buzz these days is video marketing. While the idea of using videos for promoting the business is not new, today it has become more of a necessity than just need.
Today, it has become quite challenging for the marketers to survive in this competitive marketplace. Especially if you are not a well-established brand name yet, you need to be extra diligent in terms of promoting your products and services. Video marketing helps businesses differentiate themselves from their competitors. 3M Corporation in a PDF cites that our brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster than text. According to another finding by Forrester Research, it is 50 times easier to rank on first page of Google with a video. These research statistics give us enough reasons to prove that videos can be a powerful addition to content marketing strategy.
Well, if you also want to take advantage of this powerful technique, here are a few tips that will help you get started. Check them out:
As cited on MarketingSherpa, site visitors spend 100% more time on pages with videos on them. This means when it comes to audience engagement, nothing could beat an informative and well-crafted explainer video that provides value to the viewers. Using explainer videos, you can personally connect your brand with your audience and provide an exceptional user experience to them.
So for example, if you offer a service that can be best represented using a storyboard, go ahead. If you want to demonstrate your product in front of your clients, a video is a far more effective option than a textual presentation.
According to an internal study conducted by Implix, an email marketing leader, an introductory email that contains a video receives 96.38% higher click-through rates than non-video mails. For SMB marketers especially, getting attention from the email receivers is often challenging. Even if they open the email, they hardly bother to read it till the end.
By embedding a video, you increase the chances of your email being viewed and read till the end. Readers are likely to take more interest in what you are offering when they realize that your marketing strategy is up to date.
Marketers can incorporate compelling CTAs (call-to-action) in their marketing videos to move their viewers to the next stage of the marketing funnel. After all, the objective behind any marketing campaign is to drive action from a user and videos can be an effective medium to achieve this. Moreover, the videos provide you the opportunity to incorporate several call-to-action which otherwise would be overwhelming in textual form.
For example, if you run a non-profit organization, you can take the help of videos to put forth your organization’s objectives and ask for both voluntary services and donations. You can emotionally connect your viewers with a heart-warming video and then politely ask them to do a favor through effective calls-to-action.
According to a research conducted by Axonn Media, 7 in 10 people had a positive perception towards the brand that offered interesting video content. When users see your product demonstration video, they realize that you are putting efforts to promote your products/services and that you move with the world. Reading a long text takes time and effort which nobody today wants to devote to unproductive tasks. Videos offer them a convenient way to get what they are looking for.
This positive impression makes users return to your site again and again for more stuff. So, videos are a perfect way to make your brand voice even more powerful and compelling.
You might be using several analysis tools to evaluate the outcomes of your marketing campaign. The video is another tool that can help you figure out the bottlenecks. If you are having too low video viewers, you can analyze the user engagement using certain tools. You can fragment your video in sections to comprehend where the views are dropping. For example, if you have a five-minute video and views are dropping off at the third minute, you can figure out where you are lagging and what you can do to improve.
These insights will help you restructure not only the video content, but you will be able to identify and improve other pages on your site too.
At the end, the best thing about this marketing technique is its affordability. Any business even with a modest budget can take advantage of video marketing to build a strong creative impression in front of their customers and improve their online visibility.
Video content is a great way to engage prospective customers and target audiences. A visual medium always attracts attention, especially if it’s well made and conveys the right message. However, videos need to connect with the target audience or they will fail to engage them.
In fact, you have just a few seconds at the beginning of the video to catch and retain the attention of your audience. The Internet is choc-a-bloc with articles and guides on how to create great video content that will accomplish this goal; but not all that advice is good. Here are some of the worst pieces of advice we’ve ever heard about video content.
#1. Not Promoting the Brand
There are many online articles that expressly warn people against promoting the brand and products too heavily. Because of this advice, people create videos that don’t promote brands and products at all. Brand promotion is relegated to an afterthought. The advice suggests you should never blatantly promote your brand but you can do it subtly. Take CocaCola as an example in this case. All of their video marketing campaigns promote the brand but they do it in a way that appeals to the viewers and convey a good message. You need to follow the same tactics.
#2. Not Adding a CTA
Even if you’re creating how-to or tutorial videos, you need to remind your audience about your brand and your company. You need to give them easy access to your contact information. Most of your audience won’t bother to seek out that information themselves. A clear CTA at the end of the video with your company name and contact details will bring in more leads. This isn’t blatant promotion; it’s a gentle reminder.
#3. Creating Amateur Candid Videos
Candid videos are very appealing and they allow your prospective customers to connect with you and your brand on a personal level. But that doesn’t mean you should publish bad quality videos from your cell phone cameras. Even candid videos need to be of good quality and clarity. You audience should be able to see it and hear the audio clearly on all devices. The video should also have a set structure and flow. If that’s not present, it can confuse and frustrate the audience and compromise your reputation.
#4. Making Long Videos
Your audience won’t have the patience to watch a long, rambling video. Online audiences have a very short attention span and will turn away from the video if it’s too long. You should keep the content short and sweet, and deliver all the advice in a clear and precise format.
#5. Creating a Video For Everybody
The video should be directed at your target audience. For example, if you’re a company that sells make-up or grooming products, you should create video reviews and tutorials targeted at your intended audience. In this case, it might be targeted to young women and men in their 20s and 30s. You should spend time understanding your audience and creating content that they would love.
If you’re still uncertain about creating the right video content for online marketing, you should consider getting help from a professional marketer.
The world loves videos, and for good reason! Video is an entertaining way to communicate information that is often perceived to be less entertaining. Because a video appeals to more senses than words, information retention increases exponentially. As a business, video may be the perfect way to showcase what makes you unique in your industry. And yet most companies don’t use video to its full potential.
Why is it that so many videos fail?
Let me say this plainly… just because you have a video camera doesn’t mean you are a videographer. Video equipment has come a long way in the last five years. It’s no longer difficult to purchase a more-than-adequate camera and basic editing software at a reasonable price. Because the technology barriers in this industry are lower than ever, everyone who has ever dreamed of having a career in the movies is jumping on the video bandwagon. So if technology isn’t the barrier to making a quality video, what is? Without question, it’s content. Without a marketing plan, a brand to reference, and a clear message, your videos are useless. Just think, all that work for zero return.
How do you guarantee your content is successful?
First let’s talk about the length. A 1-3 minute video seems to be the marketing-video sweet spot. Yes, you can stretch it to 5 if you’re feeling bold and have a great story to tell, but I suggest not going any longer than that. When people see a video that’s more than 5 minutes long, their finger immediately moves to the mouse to click on the next shiny web page and your prospective customer is gone.
Three minutes for a video doesn’t seem too tough to accomplish. You can do that in an afternoon, right? But wait… what do you have to talk about? If this is your first marketing video, you must focus on three things:
Now is not the time to get creative. If your prospective customers can’t figure out what your business does, you’ve failed.
Take a couple of minutes and write this down… Company X (your company name here) does X (what services you offer, what you sell, etc.) for X (who is buying your stuff – age, gender, income level, etc.) This may seem like marketing 101 to some of you, but without this clearly defined information, your video is guaranteed to lose your viewers focus within the first 20 seconds.
Now that you have your company overview written down, I want you to think about how you make people’s lives easier. What do you want people to feel after they purchase your service/product? Use that emotion to help decide every graphic, every song, and every word you write.
If you stay true to this newly found voice, this customer focused attitude, and the true brand of your company, you’ll set yourself miles ahead of your competition.
Remember, you can always make a follow up video that is more artistic or more flashy, but if you throw too much at your viewers in the beginning, they’ll feel confused and lost. Once they are confused or lost, they may never come back.
“People think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on. But that’s not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully. Innovation is saying no to 1,000 things.” – Steve Jobs
Creating a great video for your business is only half of the battle when it comes to online marketing. Getting your video ranked in the search engines is the other half (and the most important half). If you want your video to be visible by your prospects, you need to know how to target the right audience. Getting in front of your audience requires you to use the right keywords and know a little bit about Search Engine Optimization.
Here are some things you need to do in order to help get your video ranked in the search engines.
Your video needs to be full of relevant and great quality content in order to get prospects to share, like and take action on what you have to say in your video. You should try to make sure the production quality is appealing and that the content is interesting and very beneficial to your viewers.
If your video isn’t of good quality, it will not get ranked in the search engines. You don’t need to invest a lot into making a great quality video, you just need to be smart about it.
Titles and Keywords
Your title should contain at least one of your keywords and it should also be catchy and engaging.
Before you begin creating your video, you need to know what keywords you should be using first so that you can be found in the search results. Some great keywords and topics to use are: how to videos, reviews, tutorials and anything else that would benefit or entertain your viewers. In order to find great keywords, use the Google Keyword Planner tool for guidance.
You should also place your keywords in your tags section, your video file name and in the description box. Do not leave the description box blank as this is a very important space to fill out with some key information such as: your link, keywords, a great descriptive paragraph about the video and a call to action at the end.
Uploading and Sharing Your Video
YouTube may be the largest video site, but it isn’t the only video source around. You should also upload your video to some other top video sites such as Vimeo, DailyMotion and Metacafe. Uploading your videos to multiple video sites will also help you gain more high page authority backlinks. Getting backlinks from great sites will help your video get ranked better in the search engines.
Sharing your video is key to getting ranked in the search engines as the more views you have, the better your video will be ranked. Here are some ways you can share your video.
Copy the link and embed your videos into your blog posts, signatures, social media updates, email follow up campaigns and mention your video on forum and Q & A sites.
Call to Action
At the end of your video, you should include a call to action step. You should invite the viewer to like, share and subscribe to your video. If they share the video, you will have a great chance of getting more views and likes from a wider audience and getting found in the search results.
Seasoned marketers understand that audiences respond better to visual media than they do to text. A photo, an infographic or a video will have more impact on the prospective customer compared to any other medium. We just find visual medium much more appealing but that doesn’t mean every video you publish is going to be a hit.
The world of online video marketing is highly competitive and the attention span of an online audience is very limited. Naturally, your strategy and content needs to be excellent in order to get their attention. Here are some tips you can use to stay ahead of the competition in 2016.
1 – Create an Interactive Video
Traditional videos lead to passive participation. The content has to be great to keep the audience engaged. It’s not uncommon for the audience to lose interest halfway through the video or simply become distracted by other things. For years, marketers looked for ways to engage the audience and keep them interested in the video throughout its duration. Interactive videos are a great way to do that. They make the audience curious and allow them to control the direction of the video. It’s a good idea to include them in your strategy.
2 – Use Social Media
Video is very popular on social media. According to research, about 50% of the people on Facebook would watch a video every time they log in. You should take advantage of this and post videos with great content. Social media is a powerful tool and great videos often become viral. This is an ideal platform for posting content with a social message or something that’s humorous. They attract attention quickly and promote your brand.
3 – Consider Virtual Reality
Yes, that’s a thing now. With Google Cardboard and devices like Oculus Rift, virtual reality is growing in popularity. It also opens a new avenue in online video marketing. You can help customers experience the product with as much realism as possible. For example, if you’re a travel agency that regularly conducts tours to Hawaii, you can create a virtual reality video, offer people a close experience of Waikiki or Diamond Head.
They can explore all popular tourist destinations in VR, which will motivate them to make a purchase. Virtual reality has a lot of potential if you utilize it correctly. Yes, it might seem that it’s a bit early in the game but if you want to stay ahead of the competition, you might want to invest in VR today.
4 – Focus on the Message
You don’t always need to create content about the products. In fact, such videos command the least amount of viewership. If you want to promote a brand, it’s best to create something that would be of value to the audience. As mentioned earlier, videos that have a social message or humour are very popular. You can also create how-to videos that would help your audience and teach them something new.
These four tips will help you create a successful online video marketing campaign in 2016. All you need is a little creativity to get audience attention.
Millennials. The world is fascinated by them; evident by news coverage, political campaigns, the number of times you hear that word each day, and of course marketers trying to crack the code for how to reach them. Yet despite how much attention millennials are getting, the rest of the world is still having trouble trying to understand what makes them click, and how to sell to them.
Millennials are ambitious, but broke. They are diverse, and always on the move. They think everything is free, so they don’t buy anything. And they are so unlike any other generation, making it extremely difficult to target them when marketing. So why should companies even bother wasting their time marketing to millennials?
Turns out, the notion that millennials don’t buy things is wrong. Millennials do buy things, they just buy things differently. You may find it surprising that they annually represent $1.3 trillion in buying power. Thus far, few companies have been successful at reaching out to millennials, but that is not to say it can’t be done.
A major reason companies are failing at marketing to millennials is because a lot of the tips they’re reading about how to do it are wrong. In doing research for this blog, I saw this on a first-hand basis. But luckily, as a millennial, and as a marketer, I am here to set things straight for you. I have explored all the tips out there on the world-wide web to create a list of 5, simple and accurate tips for you. I made my decisions based off of my perspective of being a millennial consumer. I combined this with my experience as a marketer. So here’s what I came up with:
1) Digital Content: Make It Authentic and Organic
Some say the word “authentic” became a buzzword with the millennial generation. It is understandable why; we grew up in the start of the digital revolution, a time when content became easily and widely accessible. Because of this, we have had to sift through all of the content to find the authentic, good stuff. Along the way, we have run into many advertisements, and poor quality content, that have become rather obnoxious. Ads have actually gotten to the point where they turn us off of a sale.
According to a study by the McCarthy group, 84% of millennials don’t like traditional advertising, nor do they trust it . Therefore it is important that when you create your content, it is actually relevant, interesting, well-done, and is not associated as an ad. Your content should show customers that you are interested in bettering their lives. The marketing blog, Hubspot described this perfectly, “Millennials want to feel like your content was created with their interest (not their wallet) in mind.” If you can win millennial’s hearts, you can win their dollars. You can achieve this by creating tutorials, or how-to videos that your millennials customer will find very helpful.
You can also send a message through your content. A great example is Hostelworld’s campaign, “Meet the World” which you can find here. This is an advertisement, but one that says “live” and “explore” but it does not scream “buy.” This campaign was successful, going viral and attracting the attention of many new customers.
2) Social Media
Creating content simply is not enough…you must promote it too. This is done via social media. Social media accomplishes 2 things: it builds followers and gets people talking about you.
Most social media platforms are great tools for people to use as discovery sources. Millennials spend hours scrolling through online feeds daily in search of new, interesting things. If you post and promote authentic content, people will want to see more and will follow you. It also is a great way to get millennial followers to engage with you. They may be less likely to fill out a survey, but they will tag you in a post they write about your product or service. This is important because millennials trust the word of their friends, and other people in general. Therefore, if people are saying good things about you on social media, they are more likely to believe it.
When building a social media strategy, ensure that you do no leave out some of the key “millennial” platforms. Most people immediately think that Facebook is the most important. While it remains a part of any social media strategy, it is often not number one in a millennial’s mind. As other generations began using Facebook more and more, many millennials transitioned to using other platforms, like Instagram and Pinterest. Snapchat is also on the rise and quickly becoming a useful tool for connecting with the millennial crowd.
3) Digital Content: Make it Visual
As mentioned in the previous “Digital Content” section, millennials are accustomed to seeing a lot of content. We sift through the bad stuff, and often times we are not even conscious of this. At this point, our brains require something very stimulating in order to get our attention.This is why visual content can be a great tool for capturing the attention of millennials. But visual content does more than just capture our attention. By providing us with something entertaining and enjoyable, it shows that you are interested in providing us with something. In this case you are providing an experience. This is exactly why Etsy became so popular so quickly.
Therefore if you don’t already have one, I suggest you open an Instagram account. Another great service to engage with is Pinterest. Although it is still considered to be social media, it is rapidly becoming a visual search engine. They have over 100 million active users, and the number searches done on Pinterest has increased by 81% in the last year.
This is another indication that millennials love visual content. They are replacing traditional search engines with those that offer visuals as results.
4) Mobile-Friendly Marketing
A great way to connect with millennials is through the tool we use the most; roughly 85% of millennials own a smartphone. We have smartphones, not to send texts (a flip-phone works fine for that), but to browse the internet. Therefore, it is vital to have a mobile-friendly site. You can use this link to check if your site is mobile-friendly.
Also ensure that your site does not include any intense graphics or videos that are not optimized for mobile. This will slow down the loading process, and millennials are too “efficient” to wait 80 years for a page to load, and you’ll quickly lose their attention.
Make sure you are visible on product and discovery apps, such as on Yelp. You can also create your own app that is relevant to your product. For example, if you sell fitness equipment, start a tabata or fitness app. Make it solely about fitness, but offer reward points after each workout is complete. The reward points can be traded in for discounts for your products.
Finally, I would like to note that two of the popular and on-the-rise social media sites are apps. As of now, both Instagram and Snapchat remain apps where you cannot post without the app. This indicates the importance of mobile marketing.
5) Market to Values, Not Life Stages
Companies seem to be waiting for millennials to “grow up.” To get married, buy houses and have kids. But what they’re forgetting is that we are grown up. Millennials are now between the ages of 20 to 36. We just didn’t grow up like previous generations, so our purchasing habits do not revolve around these life stages.
We grew up in a time of economic hardship and recession, limiting our ability to follow this typical path. But, we also grew up in a world of choice; we know we have options. Options about our life, and options about our purchases.
So, while others continue to wait for us to grow up, you can start marketing to us now. Instead of marketing to the life stages, connect with us through our values: happiness, diversity, efficiency, social identities, travel and discovery.
This takes us back to the Hostelworld example. They saw that millennials value exploration, fun, and living life to the fullest. They marketed that message, and that value- and we loved it.
On March 15, photo-sharing service Instagram announced that it will be changing its current display system. Instead of the reverse chronological feed that users have become accustomed to, all Instagram feeds will adopt an order based on a users’ likely interest in each post, relationship to the poster, and the post’s timeliness.
According to Instagram, users currently miss roughly 70 percent of their feed in the chronological order. The new algorithm is designed to help Instagram users see more important posts on their feed and see fewer posts that they don’t care about. All of these changes are an attempt to enhance the user experience.
Several other social media platforms have already adapted this popularity-driven approach. According to the New York Times, Facebook adopted a new algorithm in 2009 based on popularity, among other things. Twitter followed suit in February 2016, introducing older-yet-popular tweets at the tops of users’ feeds when they log in.
The new Instagram algorithm will be similar to the one used by Facebook, its parent company. The new set-up is an attempt to streamline the sheer amount of content that Instagram’s 400 million regular users are seeing each day. “Instagram plans to rely on its machine -learning technology and a mix of signals to determine the order of photos and videos in users’ feeds,” according to the New York Times.
Many people are opposed to this upcoming change. Over 210,000 people have signed an online petition on Change.org to “Keep Instagram Chronological.” These users are urging for a community opt-in option, as opposed to a mandated switch, making it clear that not all users are pleased with the change.
However, “It appears likely that the changes will happen, regardless of the opposition,” according to AdWeek.
One main complaint of the opposition is that this new system will cause problems for brands both big and small. While followers may increase, according to AdWeek, because “users can follow more accounts with less consequence,” the organic reach of each account with likely be lower. This means brands, while potentially increasing followers, will have their posts seen by fewer users.
Instagram has become the most important social media platform in terms of engagement, with interactions outpacing LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook at a rate of 13 to 1, according to analytics firm TrackMaven. Because of this, brands will need to quickly adapt to the changed format to remain relevant, engage current users, and discover new users.
To do so, brands will likely have to rely heavily on influencers. These influencers, who already will have a high follower count and a high engagement rate on their personal accounts, will endorse and promote particular brands, increasing both brand awareness and visibility.
Additionally, brands will likely have to rely more heavily on paid Instagram advertising. It is no surprise that Instagram would implement this strategy to increase monetization across the platform. Because organic reach will be lessened, brands “will open up new revenue opportunities as brands seek ways to gain greater access to their audience (and new ones),” according to AdWeek.
Only time will tell how the new algorithm will truly effect users and brands, but in the meantime, “Brands would also be smart to figure out what type of content starts conversation,” said Digiday.
Getting started with social media marketing for your small business can seem like an overwhelming task at first but it can be a lot more simple than you might think if you break it down. You don’t actually have to be a social media marketing expert to be successful with using social media marketing to promote your business. Here are a few tips to help you out.
The top social media sites that you’ve probably heard about by now are the following: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, LinkedIn, YouTube and Instagram. You do not need to use all of these social media sites to market your business. It’s best to choose your top 2 or 3 to focus on so that you don’t spread yourself too thin across too many sites.
If your business is in a niche that works with a lot of visuals to drive your customers into buying your products or using your services then sites like Pinterest or Instagram will work really well for your brand. If your business is more service based or B2B based then sites like Facebook and Twitter will work best.
When it comes to posting, you need to make sure that you don’t overwhelm your audience by posting too often, or non-relevant information. You need to keep your audience interested in what you have to say in order to drive them to your website and make a purchase.
You need to post information that is relevant and helpful for your target audience. You should aim at posting 25% promotional content and the remaining 75% of your content should be based on beneficial information such as; great quotes or images, diy tips, how to information, helpful blog posts, free resources and more.
There are many different approaches you can take when it comes to social media marketing and advertising your business. Once you’ve decided which social media sites to use to promote your business, it’s time to start gaining fans and followers. In order to generate a large following, you can use many different methods. You can choose to create and post ads for a more direct and quick approach to getting your target audience to like your social media sites. You can also choose to build a targeted following slowly by using offline techniques and online techniques like networking in like minded groups and connecting with industry leaders.
In order to help grow your loyal following, you should have your social media sites listed everywhere you can online and offline including:
– Your email signature
– Your business cards
– Forum and blog comments
– Your website and contact page
-Local ad sites and papers
Social media marketing for small businesses can be a fun and effective way to generate leads and sales if done properly. The most important thing to remember is that you need to make your posts fun, interactive and make people curious about what it is you have to offer.
Webinar, which is short for Web-based seminar, is a presentation, lecture or a workshop that is conducted online. It allows a real-time communication between one or more participants. The information exchanged during the webinar is in the form of text-based messages, video, voice chat and slide show presentations.
Today webinars provide the opportunity for people all around the world to learn and communicate and the only requirement is to have Internet connection. They are valuable tools often used for education, training and business.
You learn about an upcoming webinar and you register for it. At the appointed day and time, you click on the sent link and you enter a virtual room where the webinar is held. Some webinars may include just a presentation with a voice behind, while others use a live video stream. A typical seminar lasts for an hour and it involves a conversation with the participants at the end where a ‘Questions and Answers’ section takes place.
There are a few important steps that you will need to follow in order to host a successful webinar:
If you are a small business and you would like to organize a free webinar, the best option is to use a third party software or an already created platform for this purpose. It should include screen sharing or file sharing, audio and video options, Questions and Answers or a Chat window. The registration for it should be made as simple as possible in order to make sure that your attendees will not give up because of that. Usually just a click on the link to the webinar, a name and an email address are enough.
During this step, you will need to consider ways of promoting the event – write an article in your blog, organize an email campaign, inform all your current clients and partners, spread the information throughout the social networks, etc. It is also important to consider how much time in advance you would like to start promoting. If you start too early, you will have enough time to popularize the event, but you risk people to forget about it at some point. While if you start promoting 1-2 weeks in advance you will have enough time to organize all the promoting activities and to add them to the participants’ calendars.
You have two options of presenting – to either share your desktop or to upload a slide show. You can focus on a consistent and nice-looking design, pictures corresponding to the content, videos or polls that will make the presentation look better and at the same time keep your audience involved.
The webinar marketing does not finish with the end of your webinar. Depending on your business goals you can after that follow up the attendees and send them the slides, the recording of the event or just information about your business, which is related to what you spoke about during the webinar.
A good webinar will create loyal customers, will keep them involved in what you do and will popularize your company’s name in and outside of the community. Webinars can be free or paid, but the most common business strategy is to make them free of charge in order to attract a greater audience. In this way, they can be used as a marketing tool for generating new leads, boosting brand awareness and for SEO purposes. Such events will generate immediate feedback from the attendees and this will help businesses adapt easily to customers’ expectations.
Once you organize a webinar, you will receive the participants’ emails and you will have the option to create your own mailing list, which later on you can follow up and use for marketing services.
We should never forget that webinars are one-to-many approach, which makes it highly marketing effective and provides the ability to reach a worldwide audience through only one presentation.
Reblogged from FlatRock Technology
With social media pretty much the centre of the universe right now, you can be forgiven for thinking that a broad online presence will dramatically increase visits to your website. But in reality that’s not the case. It’s best to concentrate on two or three social media channels to really give yourself any chance of building a following online. But which network do you choose?
Facebook is a giant in terms of numbers (currently more than 1.2 billion monthly active users) so will always be at the top of people’s lists. But consider Pinterest, Tumblr or Instagram too, particularly if you have stunning visual content. But for this post, we’ll concentrate on Zuckerberg’s behemoth.
Perhaps you created a Facebook page for your business a while ago and you post 2-3 times a day yet you barely get one new ‘like’ a month. Chances are you’re doing it all wrong. Yes, Facebook has a big potential audience but unless you find a unique way of connecting with people it’s not going to work too well. So consider these steps:
Don’t worry if your Facebook page doesn’t get attention at first. Keep trying. The key is to be consistent and post every day. It’s not a ‘build it and they will come’ scenario, you really have to be persistent and take it seriously. Social media is not something you can spend 15 minutes a day on and expect to see results. But the more you put in, the more you’ll get out of it.
Reblogged from lucidica.com
Due to the popularity of the smartphone and tablet, the app market is growing rapidly and there’s no doubting apps are a great source of revenue, with the average user having 41 apps installed on each device.
That’s a lot of competition. So how do you get your app downloaded? There are numerous things you can do – but your secret weapon might just come in the form of a web video production.
It will come as no surprise that videos are more popular than they have ever been; YouTube has more than 4 billion views per day! So you can maybe understand why using a web video will help you gain more app users. Video is a great marketing tool no matter what your business, and can be particularly beneficial for those who need to entice potential app users, and here’s why…
34% of shoppers say they are more likely to buy a product after viewing an explainer video.
Sharing an explainer video about how your app works on your App Store, or Google Play page, will help users to understand exactly what it does and doesn’t do before they download it. This can really help give potential users the nudge they need to hit the ‘Download’ button. More than half the video marketers out there state that video leads to increased conversion rates. Therefore, using a video to help explain your app seems like a no brainer!
If you create a particularly impressive video, you may even find that users are happy to share your video to tell their friends about your app. This kind of referral marketing is a powerful way to spread the word about your app.
Again, one of the best things about a web explainer video is its ability to help your users grasp exactly what your app does and doesn’t do.
Explaining this in a video format – as opposed to long passages of text – often resonates much more strongly with your target audience This is because video is a combination of audio and visual elements – a powerful concoction that’s fantastic in engaging users with different learning styles.
More to the point, according to Dr James McQuivey of Forrester Research, a one minute video is worth a staggering 1.8m words (do you fancy writing that many words about your app?) Plus, 80% of video marketers agree that video has given people a greater understanding of their product or service.
It’s an unavoidable fact: the modern internet is a crazy, fast-moving environment and there are distractions all over the place. Very few people have the time to read reams of text – whereas a quick 1-2 minute video is often much more appealing.
Now, because your users have a better understanding of how your app works, they’re more likely to have realistic expectations when they download it. This means, theoretically, there’s less chance they’ll end up disappointed. When you’ve worked hard to attract users to your app and hit ‘Download,’ the last thing you want is a mammoth churn rate.
On average, 20% of people who download your app will use it just once. And 37% of app users say the reason they stop using an app is because it didn’t meet their expectations.
It’s important to keep your users engaged – and including a web video to help understanding is a great first step.
We know how the industry works; as an app developer, you’re more than likely already thinking about your next app. But your users still need help with the one you just launched – and, unless you work for a large company, in all likelihood, the responsibility for providing that help is going to rest in your inbox.
Video is a phenomenal learning tool and can dramatically alleviate this problem. In a recent survey, 30% of marketers told us that video has reduced the volume of support calls they receive. Anything that gives you more time to do what you love has surely go to be a good thing! Include the video and give yourself more time to create great apps for your users. If you’re experiencing any particularly common questions, why not include the answers in your video?
In a time when everyone is on the go and needs to have everything at the touch of a button, a web video is a good idea. Online video now accounts for 50% of all mobile traffic and 69% of traffic on certain networks. This statistic is no doubt one that will keep growing, and underscores the point that people don’t want to read about your app: they want to find out about it quickly!
Video content is one of the most shared visual tools on the web, another great reason to get involved. Social media is a great way to get your message heard – and it’s fun! Video content tends to go down extremely well on platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, and that’s without even touching on YouTube. Did you know that 500 years’ worth of YouTube videos are watched daily on Facebook and more than 700 YouTube videos are shared on Twitter every Minute?!
Another valuable point is that video on social media can affect organic Google search results. making it even easier for potential users to find out about you. This leads us nicely in to the last benefit…
Did you know that 70% of the top 100 search listings on Google are video? Or that video views in the Google Play store count as a view on YouTube, which is the web’s second largest search engine? What’s more, this is tied to actual Google search rankings, meaning the more views you get, the higher you will rank in Google. YouTube is a huge deal these days, and the only way to get a piece of the action is by creating video content.
Video offers a range of benefits that can be a huge help in attracting and retaining new app users. Showing your app in the best light will give you the best possible chance of converting users once they land on your app page, while viewers will also get a realistic and authentic view of how the app works – what it does, and what it doesn’t do.
Just yesterday we learnt Nigeria ranked top in Africa. This was based on a study by the Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4Ai). Nigeria is the second leading country of the African emerging economies with the highest internet access and are accurately so in offering internet services at affordable rates.
Today though, one of Africa’s giant economies, South Africa, having seen the future, a possible shift of continental economic dominance, launched an ambitious plan to boost high-end practical IT skills among South Africans. The industry based partnership between one of South Africa’s top corporate organizations, KPMG and Digital Skill Academy will boost development of digital products and services including mobile phone applications.
Ok… let’s put this into context. About 313.2 million Africans have access to the internet. This is an estimated 6839.1% increase in internet access and use since the new millennium. According to A4Ai, Nigeria emerged second only to Rwanda with an estimated broadband penetration rate of 10%.
The study indicated Nigerian government had invested in plans to increase the penetration rate to about 30% by 2018. It showed the government had prioritized key drivers of int. affordability such as; regulatory independence, transparent policies, and regulatory capacity. However, this is expected to take a sharp increase by the year 2017.
According to MTN and the Nigeria Information Technology Reporters Association (NITRA), the Nigerian broadband penetration rate is expected to have risen way past the projected 30% by the year 2018. This would be based on implementation of the national broadband penetration plan by the government in collaboration with stakeholders, mass rollout LTE technology coupled with an increased rollout of smartphones at affordable costs to the Nigerian populace by the stakeholders.
With the increase in internet accessibility, broadband penetration, and a general use of technology, Nigeria cannot afford a slack. Not when notable other Africa’s top emerging economies like Kenya, Rwanda, Morocco and Uganda are up in arms in a competitive race to embracing that which may be termed commercial adoption & use of internet centered technology and a digital based marketing.
The IT skills shortfall is not a digital crunch limited to South Africa. The 313.2 million Africans using the internet hopefully on a daily basis is an online market not exploited in totality. Back home our own fast growing Nigerian market remains unexploited for reasons tech. Ask me then, why the future of Nigerian Marketing and by extension the economy lies on new generation of technology? I’ll tell you!
One key pillar of any successful business is demand. The other is availability of resources including capital and infrastructure. These two are guaranteed by the snowballing internet accessibility and affordability in Nigeria. What remains is the creation of several marketing platforms to match the growing online market and the ability to locate & manipulate digital data available online to suite the micro-and-macro enterprises.
This is the gap South Africa noted and is in the front line dealing with. In another place, the Kenyan government noted this too and launched an inspiring program to aid acquisition of technology skills by giving laptops to their grade one pupils so they too, like in the UK, can develop digital skills early on in their development.
In the face of the digital crunch, IT specialists are the most sought after. There are various thoughts we can draw from this. One of them is that we need these guys as soon as yesterday. And another is we need them now. However we must not forget we will need more of them in a near future. This is why our kids need to take computer studies very seriously. Proper investment by the Nigerian gov’t in the same is a step in the right direction. Early adoption of comp. programming skills and specific coding languages is key to getting them interested in software revolution and marketing innovation.
There are a few concerns that should be clear though: Coding is not so hard as is perceived often, most of the time it is exaggerated, it does not necessarily lead one to programming, it is an art, and that there is no final level to sit and relax a pro. There are so many methods around coding. It should be practiced routinely, especially since there are new innovations every day. And that new software applications hit the technology market every single day.
On a positive note the snowballing adoption of technology by the Nigerian consumers has begun to have a toll on the Nigerian market, making it the fastest with the potential, and more room for expansion. We have always said this. Increased broadband connectivity is also set to boost home networking in the near future. This coupled with the aspect of Internet of Things (IoT) will lead to high tech driven product, service delivery that will definitely come along with new challenges.
Other than the need for a new coding language taught in simple IT code alphabets to our next generation and the need to up our game in the increasingly growing online market, Nigerian marketers should jostle ready to take up the challenge. Notable is the fact some manufacturers are already catering for this new demand with IP-enabled devices that can provide appropriate insights on new customer demands. Others have taken a leap into the next level, they are making significant investments in marketing innovation, an aspect considered the next face of the digital advertising.
Here are a few tips that will not only ensure healthy competition between the Nigerian product service providers but also ensure the Nigerian marketers fare well at a global marketing stage.
They must not only perfect the art of product service delivery but also ensure a globally competitive customer experience.
According to Gartner, customer experience is the practice of designing for and reacting to customer interactions to meet and exceed customer expectations, to increase customer satisfaction, loyalty, and advocacy. So, why, exactly, is customer service the ultimate marketing tool? Let’s explore just that.
As technology evolves, the bar is being pushed higher for more intuitive user interactions and usability. Achieving a customer experience (CX) that exceeds the customers’ expectations is becoming increasingly challenging. But know that, in general, ease, speed, and accuracy are the 1-2-3 punch that will keep your customers loyal over the long haul. And that customer experience is more than just customer service or quickly answered queries. It encapsulates the entire lifecycle of your customers.
In the past, the responsibility of the customer experience has typically been divvied up between customer support, product, and other departments. Rarely has the responsibility rested squarely on one department, which means the authority to ensure top notch CX throughout every phase of the funnel or customer journey has been spread too thin.
A top-level view on CX reveals that it best fits under the umbrella of your marketing department (which is why marketing typically controls the majority of the customer experience budget).
So why the sudden focus on the customer experience? Offering great service has always been important, but is that what is really going to make a difference for your brand? Yes, the answer is an emphatic YES!
Your competition is growing and gaining more accessibility to your customers, learning where they hang out and how to ease their pain points. Meanwhile, there has been a customer-facing shift—they are now self-empowered, educating themselves thoroughly before each purchase decision, engaging your brand via whichever channel they deem fit and expecting the kind of service that is always there. This has disarmed the product battlefield and opened up a new realm for you to conquer in order to win and keep customers—the customer experience.
Branded, personalized moments at each and every point of customer engagement is what market leaders are seeking. The gap must be closed between customer demand and what brands are actually delivering.
With that being said, here are five checkpoints that your company should focus on in order to get your customer experience strategy up to snuff:
This is the first checkpoint you put your entire customer experience through. You can erase the need for other fixes along the journey by ensuring that your website/product/service is intuitively built to cater to your users’ expectations and needs.
You definitely need to hire some talent to stay abreast on the ever-changing reality of user behavior—having a smart design is only one fraction of this equation. Perhaps even more importantly, you need to test like crazy, analyze, adapt, and then test again. A/B testing is a brilliant approach for configuring the best marketing strategies for your business and it is also an incredibly intuitive method for testing your CX. User-centered design is crucial for learning about your customers’ needs and wants, enabling you to cater to the consumer through marketing strategies and, of course, providing optimal customer experience.
It’s true that sometimes, personalization isn’t crucial. Some engagements are general and don’t require the extra finesse of personalized content. However, when personalization matters, it really matters. This is important throughout the entire funnel or customer journey. If your visitors have to dig and search to find relevant information on your website, you are creating more effort and, in essence, driving a huge wedge of inconvenience between you and them. This is especially true if you consider the fact that your competition is likely investing in these top-funnel, personalized experiences.
By the same token, once your prospects have become paying customers, any query they present to you must be personalized. Don’t neglect your valued customers by displaying information that is geographically and contextually irrelevant to their account, needs, or past experiences with you. Seek out an automated solution that easily enables you to create a personalized experience for your customers.
Not every customer engagement with your brand will be cut and dried. Sometimes technology cannot satisfy your customers and the human touch is required for more urgent issues. When the path to resolution is anything but a seamless straight line, it adds effort to the customer journey and puts a damper on the customer experience.
Re-channeling should be intelligent and immediate. If the first engagement is with a dynamic contact center or other self-service platform, then escalation to phone, chat, or email should be easily accessible and targeted to the right agent, with the right skill set. Having a clear mind on your customer’s needs is a positive side effect of knowing your target audience. Naturally, the course of your customer intel will evolve as your company tests and grows. However, your initial target audience will tell a lot about the type of queries you may receive, and it’s wise to cater the design and CX accordingly. This is a customer’s dream—but it unfortunately does not occur often enough. Be the change!
As I eluded to in point #3, if you want to knock your customers’ socks off, then make them tell their story only once. Throughout the escalation process, each point of contact, or agent, should have the full customer story from every previous customer engagement. They also must show a high regard for customers’ time by referencing this information to speed up resolution. (As a consumer myself, I’m thinking YESYESYES when I read this!).
Remembering your customers is a process that harkens back to gathering and analyzing the details of your target audience through market research. Assuming that your company is not the first service they’ve used within your industry, learn the drawbacks of the previous companies they worked with and use these shortcomings to better your own service and hone your strengths in a highly saturated marketplace.
By the time your customers engage with you because of a problem, question, wrong service, or faulty product, they are probably not in a particularly chipper mood. Having to revisit and explain the issue over and over can, and likely will, exacerbate any frustration they may feel. It also is proven to decrease confidence in your brand as it shows a lack of care and indicates antiquated technology where your CRM is concerned. Show up for your customers and know what they want before they have to ask…again.
Mobile customer service is in the spotlight lately and your customers often defer to social channels when seeking resolution via mobile devices. According to the Wall Street Journal, Americans spend an average of 37 minutes daily on social media, which is more time spent than on any other internet activity, including email. It’s almost impossible to offer the kind of always-by-your-side support, across all social media platforms, that is necessary in order to pacify and even delight your customers.
If you have noticed unresolved questions, comments, and tweets on your social channels, or if your CRM is not syncing and recording these highly valuable customer engagements on social, it’s time to invest in a real solution.
Social customer service platforms, like Conversocial, can help put your mind and customer experience at ease. It’s the era of the customer, and they’re calling the shots. When they pull the trigger on social, you need to be there with the answers they need.
If you’ve been on any social network lately, you’ve probably heard — or seen — a lot about Periscope.
Purchased by Twitter in February, Periscope is a new live streaming app that allows you to broadcast video and audio to anyone who wants to watch. Notifications, Twitter sharing and live discussions, and feedback features encourage real-time viewing and conversations. Broadcasts are captured for replay for up to 24 hours, and you can save them to your mobile device for sharing like any other video.
Entrepreneur magazine recently reported that Periscope is the No. 1 fastest-growing social network to date. Within 10 days, the app had 1 million users; within four months, more than 10 million were using the network. Every day, 40 years of content is viewed on Periscope.
These are just a few of the creative ways businesses and schools have used Periscope. But can this new platform help you tell your story?
Make your brand more “human” by showing a different side of your organization. Introduce employees your customers might not typically meet, or provide a glimpse into an interesting room at your school or off-limits area of your company that plays a key role in your business.
Acquaint new audiences with your organization in a visual way. Host an open house for prospective students and parents, give a live, guided tour of your school campus, or host a virtual open house to introduce your business to new audiences.
Broadcast events at your business or school – or promote them in advance. For example, schools can offer working parents a way to see their child sing in a daytime concert, or offer the community a preview of an upcoming theater production by broadcasting a few minutes of the dress rehearsal. Businesses can offer previews of an upcoming sale, broadcast live from a trade show booth, or show how employees are giving back to the community during a charity event.
Demonstrate a product or process in real time – or provide your audience bonus content that you don’t offer elsewhere. If you’re a childcare center, for example, demonstrate a lesson that parents can practice with their children at home. A home décor retailer could share insights into approaching a project like an interior designer… the opportunities to share your expertise are vast.
Periscope’s live discussion feature provides the perfect platform for broadcasting a live Q&A. Host a focused discussion around a particular theme or expert, or address audiences’ burning questions with an open forum.
Get your news out farther with a live press conference or speech, and answer media and audience questions immediately.
Like any social network, Periscope can and should be used for two-way engagement. In addition to pushing out information, welcome the opportunity to gather it from others. Promote and host live focus groups to gather valuable feedback on your organization, product or service or to vet a budding idea.
Rebolgged from http://www.business2community.com/
The best way of boosting your brand reach and making your products and services known to potential customers is through the use of online content marketing. Content marketing is the fusion of SEO and traditional PR tactics that when used properly can grow your profile, as well as increasing the engagement you have with new and potential customers.
The Internet has had a direct impact on the way in which businesses market themselves as it has opened them up to a now global audience. Here they are able to connect with users on personal and engaging level. It has also has an influence on the mediums we can now use for marketing.
One of the most effective ways of connecting with your target audience is via online video. According to research from Cisco, they predict that consumer internet video traffic will go from 64% (in 2014) to over 80% by 2019. Moreover, they also estimate that consumervideo on demand traffic will essentially double by 2019.
Although it has been identified that online video content can help you to engage with your target audience, one aspect that many businesses fail to incorporate into their content marketing strategies is the specific devices that users are utilising to access online content and consume online video.
In order discover user habits in the UK, Hyperfine Media have just conducted survey of 1000 people across the UK specifically asking what device they use the most to watch video online. Although the overall results reveal that 41.6% of the British public prefer to watch video on a desktop, there are clear trends outlined in the variousdemographics that took part in the research.
The top responses include 41.6% of the respondents who prefer to view online video via desktop 41.6%, 32.3% choose to view this content on a smartphone 26.1% view on a tablet. However, when the results are broken down by gender and age, particular preferences are presented. For example, when it comes to the gender break down, almost half of males (45.4%) and 39.3% of females prefer to view online video on a smartphone.
The key findings were revealed when the various age groups who took part in the survey were singled out. It would appear that there is a clear preference towards desktop and smartphone focusing on individuals aged over and under 35. The respondents aged under 35 have a greater tendency to watch online video on smartphones. 47.8% of the respondents aged 18 to 24 years old, as well as 42% of respondents aged 25 to 34 years old said that they prefer to watch this form of content on smartphones.
Conversely, the results reveal that people aged over 35 prefer to watch online video via a desktop. The data exposes that 40.3% of 35 to 44 year olds, 42.9% of 45 to 54 year olds, 53.3% of 55 to 64 year olds and 51.4% of people aged over 65 confess to preferring to watch online video on a desktop.
No matter what demographic you are looking to target with video content marketing efforts, it is imperative that you understand the way in which this audience interacts with online content.
Reblogged from http://ceoworld.biz
Even though this year’s edition of Africa’s largest startup event DEMO Africa has come and gone, memories of the impressive event still lingers on in my mind. I’m not just talking about the beautiful DEMO Africa stage, the impressive turnout of foreign investors or the new venue. In addition to these and many more, I still find myself thinking of the numerous impressive startups that pitched this year – they are the major reason why I said African startups now mean business.
This list is in no particular order and they got my attention because of the interesting market demand for them, peculiarities, ability to easy scale beyond their local market and global potential.
One of the startups that I saw at DEMO Africa is Bozza which is being pitched as Africa’s marketplace for the next generation of African talent selling directly to anyone on a connected device.
With approximately 60% of Africans under age 25; a deep culture of music and storytelling; and broad-scale, rising economic prosperity, young Africans represent one of the most promising consumer markets for entertainment today. The size of the formal Film, Music and Television industry across just Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa is estimated at over billion. Bozza allows for any musician, filmmaker, poet across Africa the ability to self publish and sell directly to their audience, globally. Currently Bozza covers over 3000 mobile devices and desktops.
Another interesting startup that pitched at DEMO Africa this year is Shield Finance which leverages on mobile money to offer unbanked staff affordable salary advances on phones.
The FinTech company uses proprietary technology while leveraging on mobile money to offer under banked employees affordable salary advances directly to their mobile phones.
Shield Finance targets about 3 million Kenyans in the formal sector employees, generating revenue on interest charged on salary advances. The company has a Pan Africa strategy. In their pitch at DEMO Africa 2015, the Shield Finance team said they were looking to raise US $215,000.
The third DEMO Africa 2015 startup that caught my attention is focusing on energy – if you live in Nigeria, a country where energy is still is still a major issue, you will be attentive and inquisitive when you hear of a startup that is focusing on tackling Africa’s energy problems. Moreover, the South African startup recently secured US$1 million funding.
The startup referred to as LiGE pitched their product,Eco-mc2, which is an alternative solution to conventional battery storage and can store energy that has been harnessed from renewable sources. This new stride in both technology and energy landed the local electrical storage solutions provider Leaper Innovate Green Energies (LIGE) an award, the 2015 World Wildlife Federation Climate Solver award for its Eco-mc2 compressed air energy storage technology.
Patents in South Africa and off and running with a 5 year contract for 90 storage systems per month – LiGE is now ready for substantial investment into manufacturing the Eco-mc2 Storage Systems from 40KWh to many MWh Systems. This contract translates to more than USD200 million. Needless to say the startup is on a league of its own.
InsureAfrika.com is another impressive startup, so impressive that I wasn’t surprised it made the cut by being named one of the top five startups at DEMO Africa and will be pitching at Silicon Valley in USA. From its name, the startup is into insurance for Africa and the platform enables users to compare insurance quotes across insurance categories.
The online comparison platform enables users to compare insurance quotes across insurance categories like car insurance, health insurance, travel insurance etc. from leading insurance providers in Kenya. During their pitch at DEMO Africa 2015, Gagan Hayer of InsureAfrika.com said that the company was looking for investors to bring in USD 1 million.
InsureAfrika.com allows users to see quotes within seconds by filling a simple form. Users can also select the quotes they prefer with a simple click of a button. Insurance providers then get in touch with the consumers to close the deal.
The startup founder noted that the insurance sector in Kenya is primarily driven by intermediaries, who dont pass accurate information to both consumers and the companies thereby disconnecting consumers from the insurance companies.
“Insurance sector in Kenya is targeting KShs 250 billion in premium revenues in 2015 and is growing at a very rapid pace. The commissions payable to intermediaries is 10-15% of the total premiums. This coupled with the growing marketing budgets for online medium, is the total market size that InsureAfrika.com can potentially tap into,” he said.
Before I mention the fifth startup that got my attention at DEMO Africa, I will like to give a bonus – a startup that is also worthy of mention. DEMO Africa 2015 saw the debut of a startup that call itself the continent’s first childcare technology company which aims to become the leading provider of childcare technology services in developing economies.
The team said they are working to deliver peace of mind to eliminate childcare concerns for parents. Pitching at DEMO Africa 2015, Molawi Adesuyi, founder of the company, said that mytoddler is out to make the lives of parents easier. The company is looking for USD 150K to sky-rocket their business.
The fifth African startup that got my attention at DEMO Africa 2015 is Ghana’s Flippy Campus. Interestingly (but not surprisingly), it was the first startup to be selected for Demo Africa 2015 in Lagos, Nigeria.
Flippy is a social application that improves campus experience by keeping students up to date on current campus happenings. On Flippy, students can get to know other people on their campus, department and halls, they can also discover trending hot topics as well as events happening on campus.
The startup won ‘A Tale of Ten Startups’ and went on to shine on the DEMO stage where the founders asked for USD500,000.
As the curtains were drawn on DEMO Africa 2015, I asked myself whether any of the startups could get the sum of money they asked for on DEMO Africa 2015 stage. A pessimistic voice in my head said no but then I remembered the golden advise that the continent’s startups were given by Candace Johnson, the President of the European Business Angels Network (EBAN).
She said, “To all entrepreneurs: don’t forget to think big!”
DEMO Africa 2015 is the second edition of the continental event that would be held in Nigeria. Coincidentally, it’s also the second one I would be attending – both in Lagos and on the island. Even though the caliber of startups that pitched last year were quite impressive, the class of 2015 took it to a new height and I can boldly say that as far as tech innovation is concerned, Africa is set – and the rest of the world is aware of this.
On Wednesday, the ABAN Investor Summit ushered in DEMO Africa with ABAN Investor Summit that was presented by the African Business Angel Network (ABAN), Lagos Angels Network (LAN), organizers of DEMO Africa and VC4Africa, with the theme The African Opportunity: Angel Investing in Africa.
The summit which was attended by more than 100 investors from across the world ended with stakeholders identifying non-availability of exit options as one of the major reasons why investors are not yet willing to invest large resources in potentially great African startups. One of the speakers was Candace Johnson, President of the Brussels-headquartered European Trade Association for Business Angels, Seed Funds, and other Early Stage Market Players (EBAN) who shared lessons from the European ecosystem with participants. She spoke on the potentials of the angel investment ecosystem in Africa focusing on lessons the playmakers can learn from the more advanced ecosystems of various countries in Europe.
In the hall where the sessions were going on, the interest to invest in Africa was written on the faces of most of the foreign guys that were in attendance – it was as if they all came with the goal of getting adequate information. Even at that, you couldn’t convincingly say who is willing to invest and who is just paying lip service. So I did what any serious tech journalist would do, I interacted with them on the sidelines.
The first person I spoke to was a guy from Dubai who said he has invested in several startups in UAE, Europe and USA. I first spoke to him on why he is yet to invest in Africa and he admitted he was reluctant to invest because of the numerous stereotypes about Africa as an impoverished continent that is in need of aids.
“But after interacting with those who are making money at DEMO Africa, I am going to look around, consult and see where I can be part of,” he said.
He added that the quality of startups that pitched at DEMO Africa this year are those that could scale globally if they get adequate support and access to bigger markets and opportunities.
Nigeria got the highest number of startups this year and someone from South Africa said there is a strong connection between the number of problems of a country and the number of available opportunities. Statistically, this seems to be true as Nigeria dominated the education category but not the finance and banking category.
It’s no news that Nigeria’s education sector needs serious and urgent intervention, several attempts had been made in the past, many are trying yet no solution had proven to be very effective yet thus creating a wide array of opportunities for startups to explore – and they certainly explored them, getting international applause in return, maybe some dollars too.
I saw several other non-educational startup from Nigeria that attempt to solve problems being faced by Lagos residents and citizens living in other cities. OgaVenue is one of such. They are making it easier for individuals and event organizers to get venues for their events. I was even surprised that no one had thought of that idea before – quite genius!
Nigeria’s flag was well flown this year at DEMO Africa and during her opening and closing remarks, Nigeria’s former Communication Technology Minister Omobola Johnson confirmed that the continent of Africa and Nigeria as a country are ready for investors in order to take entrepreneurship to the level of Silicon Valley and other globally revered ecosystems in the world.
Other countries are also impressed with the advancement in the ecosystem in Nigeria. I spoke to someone from mLab in South Africa and he described the shocking scenario over there – opportunities and support are abundant but the entrepreneurs over there are not hungry enough for success. This is not the case in Nigeria as the startups know that without ensuring the success of their companies, they may not be confident that they will be able to foot their bills. This is why ‘startup’ isn’t a fancy word to describe computer geeks in Nigeria, it is the only chance for survival for many aspiring young Nigerians who can develop solutions to the problems citizens face daily.
They are more serious than the rest and I wasn’t surprised when it was announced that SimbaPay, Zuvaa, InsureAfrica, CarPartsNigeria, BambaPOS – three out of the five selected startups are from Nigeria, Lagos to be specific.
My take home quote as I pack my stuff to leave the hall on the last day of DEMO Africa 2015 was by Omobolaji Johnson who described entrepreneurship as a long hard road.
She said, “Be flexible. Be open. Plan to fail.”
The 2015 edition of the DEMO Africa startup event takes place in Lagos, Nigeria, today, with 30 startups launching their businesses in front of an audience of investors.
Disrupt Africa reported in July 26 startups had been selected to pitch at DEMO Africa in a number of categories, with four having already won their places after pre-pitch events held in Accra, Nairobi, Harare and Cairo.
Nigeria and Kenya are best represented with eight startups each. South Africa has three representatives, while Ghana, Egypt, Cameroon and Zimbabwe each have two. Uganda, Tanzania and Ivory Coast are represented by one startup each.
There was a record number of applications for this year’s event, which is sponsored by Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) Legatum Centre for Development and Entrepreneurship and Microsoft.
Director general of Nigeria’s National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) Peter Jack congratulated the startups and welcomed them to Nigeria for the event.
“We are excited at the opportunities that technology has presented to our African youths in creating jobs and wealth. This is a great moment in the history of Africa, steadily rising to establish its digital footprint in the world,” he said.
“I would like to congratulate every entrepreneur that took part in the DEMO Africa challenge, though the stage can only accommodate thirty entrepreneurs this year, our pride is particularly in the large numbers of entrepreneurs that continue to support the cause to have Africa generated solutions,” said Harry Hare, executive producer of DEMO Africa.
The selected startups have undergone a mentorship programme aimed at sharpening the pitching skills of the entrepreneurs.
Aside from the startup launches, there is plenty more happening at DEMO Africa. An investor summit took place yesterday, while a number of top industry players, including Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote, Jorn Lyseggen, founder of Ghana’s Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST), Tomi Davies, president of the African Business Angels Network (ABAN), and iROKO TV chief executive officer (CEO) Jason Njoku, will lead the discussions.
Reblogged from www.disrupt-africa.com
No, that’s not a typo in the title – these are predictions for marketing in 2016. There are plenty of articles and blogs predicting what will happen in marketing in 2015. Wading through them and gleaning the valuable predictions from the self-serving or just plain silly ones is at least a day’s effort for you. I‘m bypassing 2015 entirely and going right to 2016.
“Does she have a crystal ball?” you may ask. No, something much better. In six research surveys done with marketers in companies with revenue over $500M in 2014, we’ve asked questions about their plans for two years from now.
Here are five themes for the future which resonated across multiple surveys and form the basis for these predictions. Remember, they are made specifically for large and extra-large companies.
1. Customer Experience Will Be the Battleground Marketers Are Fighting Over
Consumers now enjoy abundant choice and transparency thanks to search tools and social networks. As this erodes traditional product-based competitive advantages, marketers must look to new sources of differentiation. Most companies expect to compete primarily on customer experience in the next two years.
In 2016 customer experience will garner the highest level of marketing investment; it is one of three areas in which CEO’s expectations of CMOs will increase the most; and bleeding-edge technologies to improve it will be the top innovation project marketers undertake. Marketers will lead the customer experience cross-functionally across all touch points in the majority of companies by 2016. My colleague Jake Sorofman has some great blog posts and Gartner research on this topic.
2. How Marketers Use Customer Data Will Determine their Level of Success
Ask progressive companies about their use of data and analytics in marketing and an unmistakable theme emerges: These companies value data more than their less progressive competitors. This isn’t just “lip service.” They spend much more money than others acquiring and analyzing data, and they derive more value from it, both directly (by selling it) and indirectly (by distributing it throughout the organization and acting on it).
Managing, collecting and making use of internal and external data was the second highest area of CEO’s increased expectations for CMOs. Marketers will analyze data less and synthesize it more, leading to better and more actionable conclusions. Distribution of the data to decentralized groups such as brands or business units will occur to allow for informed recommendations/decisions about what action to take. Outsourcing the data analysis to top-notch analytics business process outsourcers will be more prevalent. My colleagues Martin Kihn and Andrew Frank have written blogs and Gartner research about this.
3. Digital Commerce Will be Inextricably Linked with Marketing
Leading and supporting digital commerce was called out as the second highest priority for CMO investment over the next two years, after customer experience, in a recent survey Gartner undertook with The CMO Club. Recent research with several hundred marketers tested this hypothesis -“As companies transition from operationally focused e-commerce to customer-centric digital commerce, greater marketing investment is required to create digital offerings and design compelling involvement at all touchpoints in the customer buying journey.”
We found that in 25% of organizations, marketing has total responsibility for digital commerce, and in 46% of companies, marketing owns a digital commerce P&L now. Whether you lead or support your company’s digital commerce efforts, plan for higher investment and a greater role in crafting compelling commerce experiences. My colleague Jennifer Polk has published extensively on social, mobile and digital commerce.
4. Marketing Will Set the Strategy for Not Just Marketing Technology, But for All Customer-facing Technology
This may seem like a bit of a stretch, but listen to my reasoning. Almost 50% of marketers are now responsible for all of the traditional “4 P’s” of marketing – product, price, place and promotion; and for a significant role in strategic planning and major investment decisions that shape company business strategy and results, as well as in digital business transformation. That number has been increasing every year.
No one knows customers better than marketing. Marketing will be intensely involved in all technology that touches the customer as it works on improving the customer experience with customer service, sales and operations. It already sets the strategy and develops the roadmap for marketing technology in over 90% of companies. In a growing number of companies it is moving into different elements of revenue management, including former sales systems. By the end of 2016, customer-facing technology strategy and roadmaps will be led by marketing in at least one quarter of companies.
5. Marketing Innovation Will Come Out of the Closet
For the second year in a row we found that marketers are setting aside more than 9% of their budget for innovation. Leading a culture of change and company-wide innovation was the third highest ranked increased CEO expectation of CMOs. More marketing executives have innovation in their title. An increasing number of CMOs manage product development as well as product management. Digital business transformation is causing many industries to shift their business model and offerings to digital vs. physical; putting marketing squarely in the middle of such innovation. GE’s CMO, Beth Comstock, explains in an HBR blog “Part of marketing’s mandate at GE is to find ways the company has not thought of before to promote ongoing innovation.”
Then there are innovation technologies. Recent research found more than half of marketers have already deployed or are piloting and implementing bleeding edge emerging technologies such as automatic content recognition, artificial intelligence for marketing, and the use of virtual assistants for marketing purposes. If your company seeks competitive differentiation, you won’t find it in off-the-shelf technologies – that will get you to competitive parity at best. Over one third of companies currently have an incubation fund to invest in emerging marketing technologies, and we expect that to increase by 2016.
Predictions Are Always Risky…
because they won’t apply to all companies equally. The ones you read here were put together for large and very large companies. But as an ex-strategic planner and inveterate “data junkie”, I’d rather read them and judge for myself how they might impact my company, and whether I should build them into my planning.
This week and the following week, Gartner for Marketing Leaders is featuring a recap of our 2014 research survey results for clients. The third annual marketing spending survey slides – CMO Spend 2015: Eye on the Buyer – are available as free research at http://gtnr.it/1E8xZJI
Reblogged from gartner.com
Social video marketing plays on the most important aspects of basic human nature: the art of storytelling. Where viral videos are all about numbers, social videos are all about connections and conversations.
Here are three ways social video marketing can be good for your business.
It has been scientifically proven that emotional connections build loyalty and influence purchasing decisions. Psychology Today reported that functional magnetic resonance imaging, or fMRI, neuro-imagery showed areas of the brain light up in scans as people tapped into their emotions when making purchasing decisions. The article explains that research showed a three-to-one bias to purchase a product based on an emotional response to an ad vs. those which viewers felt no emotional tie.
By creating videos that truly harness the power of emotional responses, you’re much more likely to drive brand loyalty and purchases over other brands.
Some good examples include the Liberty Mutual “pay it forward” ad series or the “Seeds” Google Glass ad. Both these ads are subtly branded, yet play more like a heartfelt short story than a traditional ad. There are no rates or prices or sales advertised, just the thread of heartfelt stories that draw the audience in.
Just like emotional connections drive brand loyalty, it also helps to establish trust. Part of that trust, like in the earlier examples, is not to push your brand but to share the emotional context of your message.
As an article in the Harvard Business Review points out, you want to illicit the maximum emotional response and keep branding to a minimum. Heavy use of branding can cause many viewers to disregard the content as spam.
A great example of a minimally branded series is Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty videos, which unites women under a common cause of seeing their unique beauty. Women often struggle with poor self-image and one particularly compelling video series “beauty sketches” asks women to describe themselves to a sketch artist, before revealing to the camera and the artist what they actually look like.
The stark contrast helps bring to light the epidemic of low self-esteem and unites women in a powerful, emotional message of loving their unique beauty. This is a great way to connect a powerful company message with a social cause and in doing so Dove is creating brand loyalty and trust.
Conversations are the main goal of social video. Another way you can establish a strong emotional connection with your audience and spark conversations is to tie your business to messages related to public good or social issues.
Take, for example, the somewhat shocking and intense social video series put out by AT&T to highlight the terrible consequences of texting and driving. As part of its “It Can Wait” campaign, AT&T hired acclaimed filmmaker Werner Herzog to create an emotionally impactful social video about the deadly nature of texting while driving.
With more than 3 million views and more than 3,000 comments, AT&T has certainly started conversations with this powerful social video.
You don’t have to have a major brand to benefit from the power of social video. Take the time to research how you can authentically tie your brand into a powerful story and develop a series of videos that can help propel your business.
Reblogged from www.entrepreneur.com
A friend asked me yesterday at a dinner party, “What do you do for business today?” When I looked surprised she quipped: “With all due respect, I never know your business. It morphs every time I talk to you”…and she is right!
We started the social media branch of our company when Facebook “grew-up” and opened its doors to the over 20-year-olds. We saw an opportunity with new age advertising and jumped on the bandwagon. Since then, every day is a new day! Social media platforms morph right before our eyes and we have to keep up with the changes. So we are continuously forced out of our comfort zones.
Now, how do you explain this to our clients who are paying good money to increase engagement, impressions and sales? Managing expectations is one answer but not the only answer. Most people come to us with the strong hopes of building their business and their brands. When we accept the contract there is a silent agreement that we will do what’s in our power to help them succeed.
Once we work with a new client, every aspect of their business is examined. We discuss goals and objectives and are very clear about what we would like to do and what we can do. Given that platforms change we make it very clear that what worked last month does not necessarily work this week. For example, Facebook makes changes on the fly and it sometimes affects the advertising budget. All of this including potential “hidden costs” have to be outlined from the start. Then a client has the choice to add to the budget or stay put. Financial control should always be on the customer side. Next we tackle sales.
If the client wants sales from our social media efforts, then we have to go to the source — the sales team.
Time to get under the hood; who are the customers, what do they want? We mostly work with consumer products that in turn work with retail and e-tail partners. In this changing climate we have noticed that as an advertising agency, we no longer tell the consumer what they want – rather,consumers tell us what they want! And, we have to listen. Social media makes it possible for their voices to be heard.
We strongly encourage the client’s sales team to check their social media channels to get an idea of what the consumer responds to and what he wants. We then collaborate to push promotions that will resonate with the consumers.
When a client comes on board they usually have previously worked with a social media team. Many times, there is confusion due to all the technology changes. As busy people they have no time to sit down and try to “figure out” what is happening; that’s why they are paying us! A strategic social media marketing plan is created with specific benchmarks and timelines for measurement.
You can’t blame your customers for being confused and suspicious when so many changes take place in the industry. We try to build trust by being crystal clear on what we can and can’t deliver.
Imagine this scenario: you offer a proposal to a client with a great campaign idea that is free…Wait, that was last week! Here is this unanticipated cost that is not in the budget. If we don’t want to add any money to the estimate then we include additional initiatives that are “optional” and out of the scope of the project.
Every so often we revisit all of our client’s marketing strategies and carefully go over changes and expectations. We make adjustments accordingly so a comfort zone is met on all levels.
It’s best to position yourself as your client’s partner or as a member of their team. In this business, flexibility is of the essence. But also keep in mind that you as an agency have been navigating tech changes for many years and you are in the best position to guide your clients.
Are you overwhelmed by social media marketing changes? You can continue to chat with me on Twitter @websuccess
Reblogged from www.business2community.com
How do you use keywords? If you’re only using them to optimize your website for search, then you’re missing out on many ways to get visibility amongst your target audience. In this post, I’m going to share with you the best ways to use keywords across your entire online (and even offline) marketing strategy.
I don’t want to spend a lot of time on this one, especially since you can read all about it in theBeginner’s Guide to SEO. But just for a quick review, here are the places that you should use your target keyword phrase on each page of your website that you’d like to optimize for search.
Now, let’s look at more ways you can utilize your keywords beyond simple website optimization.
Content topic development
If you are developing content (blog posts, podcasts, videos, etc.) in order to get more visibility in search, then you’ll want to create content that’s based on keyword phrases that people are searching for. There are two ways to go about this.
First, you can create great pieces of content with only your readers in mind. Once you’ve created your content, you can go back, find the keyword phrases that fit best, and optimize that content accordingly using the webpage optimization steps I’ve listed above.
Second, you can research keywords for your industry, determine which ones would make for great content, and use those as a basis for your topic ideas. For example, let’s say you wanted to create a website about dog training. If you search this on Google AdWords Keyword Planner, you can download 801 suggested keyword phrases, all with estimated search volume.
Take your downloaded spreadsheet and turn it into a content topic idea generator using the keywords that best fit your content goals.
Expand your spreadsheet to include additional notes about your topic idea, the content type you want to create (blog post, podcast, video, etc.), the best person to create the content, and much more. You can then use this spreadsheet to create content that you know your audience wants.
With this approach, you can use keywords to plan your content strategy, a side benefit of which will be creating content that has the potential to drive lots of organic search traffic to your website.
Do you want to create a strong brand for yourself or your business? If so, you need to think of the one keyword phrase that sums up your core offering and make sure it’s what you use everywhere you go, online and offline. I don’t mean in the anchor text kind of way, but in more of a “I am a freelance writer” or “Moz is a marketing analytics software” kind of way.
This will help you brand yourself or your business by what you want to be known for. When people ask who you are or what your business does, you’ll have a consistent answer, eliminating any confusion. You don’t want to be the subject of conversations where one person believes you’re a web designer, while another thinks you’re an SEO consultant. Regardless of what’s true, both people will end up confused as to whether they’re discussing the same person.
Once you have that one defining keyword phrase, you will definitely want to use it for the following:
Social media profile optimization
Want to increase the likelihood that people will find your social profiles and pages on social networks? Keywords are the answer. If you aren’t optimizing your social profiles and pages for your target keyword phrase, you may be missing out on the customers who are searching for you within each social network.
While you can’t optimize the “SEO title” field for your profiles and pages (those are reserved for your name or your business name), you can optimize other key elements within your profiles and pages with your target keywords and phrases. These include the following:
As with any other webpage, you shouldn’t overstuff your social profiles and pages with keywords. Doing so can cause visitors to assume you’re a spammer and move on. But adding your main keywords and phrases in a natural way to the above areas should help you rank better in searches on each respective network.
If you’re not sure how to best utilize your keyword phrase in your social media bios, look towards your competitors. Analyze each of their top social profiles to see what keyword phrase they use most. You can also use tools like Rival IQ to get a quick overview of their bios for faster analysis.
Social media update optimization
In addition to your profiles and pages, your social media updates themselves can be optimized with keywords. While most of the benefit will be seen on social search within each respective network, it never hurts to think about keyword optimization so your social updates can be found on Google search, like these tweets for current events:
Reblogged from www.moz.com
Navigation menu is a key element for any website. All design tricks and visual manipulations will be useless if a visitor won’t find the necessary information and leaves the site fast. Navigation menu is one of the most popular ways of conducting people to that info.
Many years menus were seen as a simple bar in the header that guided visitors through the site’s categories. The latest trends show that navigation menu design has changed and nowadays menus are not the same they were yesterday.
Prominency is a key concept in navigation design. To make navigation menu clear and visible, tabs are grouped into blocks that are created in one size and style. Such blocks are usually lined up and placed in a prominent part of the site.
Most menus are based on words. It’s a set of keywords or labels that are simple and easy-to-understand for most visitors (Home, Contacts, Shop, Blog etc.) Many sites use these standard labels or their synonyms that are associated with the page information. Today sites start using so-called “speaking” labels that include explanation texts. Such explanations make keywords more prominent and easier to perceive. They make sure the visitor will find exactly what he or she needs.
Another popular trend is addition of icons and pictograms to the menu tabs. The idea is the same as with “speaking” labels – to make the menu functions more clear, prominent and… fun. Nice attractive icons make menu a playful design element that makes site browsing a pleasing act. “Speaking” labels may be used in combination with icons to attract attention to the tabs and make their contain more comprehensible.
The only restriction: such icons and images should be clear and “speak” unambiguously about the content they link to. This example below shows not the best use of icons for the menu, because they don’t offer a clear recognition of the site category where this icon leads.
Menu position also changes today. Most websites are still placing the navigation blocks at the top of the screen, above the header. However, the responsive design trend requires moreflexible menu position. That means navigation menu tabs can be placed in any part of the screen to make it possible using menu on any type of device.
Modern designs include navigation menu positioning in center what makes it prominent for visitors and draws their attention. Left- and right-side positioning is also popular. It makes navigation menu not only functional but emphasizes the style of menu as a design element.
Reblogged from www.motocms.com
Free Online Marketing | In today’s economy, you need all the help you can get to make sure your company is noticed amid all the noise. In the digital world, where getting lots of attention means cash in the bank, it is getting more and more difficult to even get your target audience to notice you. Marketing is key, but which approach to use?
Not only do you have to compete with big businesses that have huge marketing departments, but you also have to compete with social media, and many other distractions. However, this does not mean your online marketing strategy has to be over the top, or cost you tons of money to get you in front of your potential clients.
Your marketing strategy will never be successful if you do not have a clearly defined target audience. Before you spend even a dime on marketing, define your target audience first. Once you have a thorough profile of your ideal client, deciding how and where to reach them is a lot easier. If you start marketing before you have a clear client profile though, you will most likely be wasting your money in places where you will never reach your clients.
Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus are all popular social platforms that you should be using to your own advantage. Create profiles on each of those sites as they are a good source of traffic. Don’t just sign up for these services and then forget about them. Start being active on social media websites. You should use these platforms to promote your blog posts, and communicate with clients.
This is a quick and simple way to solidify your online presence. Just by claiming your business on review websites and Google Places, for example, you’re letting people know where you’re located and that, yes, you’re indeed a real business. Claim, verify, and update your Google Local Business listing. This is very important. Google Local Listings have been implemented into Google+, and it can greatly improve your search engine rankings.
And don’t just start one – stay committed for at least 12 months so to give yourself a chance to see effects. This is a long-term project that deserves your attention, and dedication. The more content on your website, the more chances there are for search engines to pick it up. Blogging can be a great (and free!) way to create leads and links to your website by sharing blog posts across social platforms.
An easy way to get your business out there is to write guest blog posts on other people’s blogs. You can reach out to them by email, website forms, or phone, and simply offer to write a post for their blog. Make sure you already have a couple topics in mind, and that you’ve done your homework, before contacting them. You want to offer their blog substance, and value, so pick a topic that will blend nicely with the rest of their content.
When deciding what your company will give away, be sure it’s something your potential clients won’t want to throw away, or easily lose in their desk or bag. You can also offer an exclusive reward to your regular clients — only your regular clients. Notify them via email, or other contact methods, and direct them to an otherwise inaccessible page on your website where only they can see the offer.
Re-blogged from www.medianovak.com
Windows 10 was launched last week, leaving questions in the minds of individual users as well as businesses that run the Microsoft based operating system. My previous blog edition addressed some of your common questions that you have in your mind before updating to Windows 10. Digitallagos will open this week’s technical blogs with an attempt to answer some more concrete questions. I’ll also talk about certain features that are added to the new version and share some news going around.
So here’s a discussion on what’s new, what’s can push your business to upgrade and what can hold you back.
Having read the key points about the new features, what do you think about the update? Companies who were planning to deploy 8.1 in near future should think of going with 10 now. Companies having rock solid performance yields from 7 should not do an upgrade at all till the time Microsoft force updates everything. This may be around 2020. My verdict will be to give it some time. New bugs and problems will be identified and rectified in this time by Microsoft like it is done in every release. Though this wasn’t the case with 7 as it came as an early stable release. Let Digitallagos know about your views by commenting below. Stay tuned for the next technology news.