Category Archives: Business Tips

Business tips posts for startups and entrepreneurs

Vertical videos are preferred by mobile users

Shoot Vertical Videos For Apps

Vertical Videos Format Is On The Rise

Years ago, shooting your videos vertically was an amateur mistake that no one wanted to make. Watching vertical videos on a normal laptop screen format was a nightmare because of the black bars around it. However, things are changing fast in the digital space and horizontal video format are no longer de rigeur amongst tech savvy people.

The mass adoption of apps such as Snapchat, Periscope and Meerkat have changed our thoughts about conventional video marketing. Videos shot in a horizontal format looked bad on these new apps and where new apps lead, video formats must follow. Some will argue that due to the ephemeral nature of live streaming, the vertical video formats naturally compromise on quality. If you are looking to shoot a video masterpiece, therefore, a horizontal format is still preferred.

When it comes to adapting to the needs of millenials, digital marketing statistics for videos don’t lie. Snapchat reported in April 2015 that vertical ads were viewed nine times more frequently than horizontal ones. People using Snapchat watched videos with their mobile the right way up, the way it should be. The challenge for digital marketers will be to change the way they’ve been producing video content for the last 10 years. Despite the disruption in video marketing, changing the video format is inevitable as more smartphones are being used by consumers as their primary internet browsing device.

The popularity of video mobile advertising

Popular apps that stream vertically are also the ones used to reach millennials. Adding vertical video marketing is a smart move that will pay off in terms of engagement with millenials. In addition to short lived visuals, Snapchat also offers a network of media channels such as Comedy Central, Cosmopolitan and ESPN.

Vertical videos format for a new medium

Snapchat is a relatively new platform and many marketers are apprehensive about changes to a vertical format. In comparison to vertical video apps, other horizontal video sites have wider distribution. This may change in the future but the new medium is still at the early stages of implementation.

The Apple Watch will change the way digital marketers think

The Impact Of Apple Watch On Digital Marketers

Wearable Technology And Digital Marketers

The Apple Watch is finally here after years of anticipation. Aesthetically pleasing and intuitive to use, this piece of wearable technology certainly has the wow factor. The price point may not be for everyone, but the idea of wearable technology is. The Apple Watch is a sign of things to come and as technology becomes more integrated in our lives, we can expect to rely more on it.

The Apple Watch was designed to be worn at all times, and this is a shift towards ubiquitous wearable technology. The smartwatch is capable of doing much more than telling the time; users can engage with their Apple Watch, consume content and even use it to store personal information. The relationship that people will have with wearable technology is much more personal. The screen is much smaller too, which will change the way that people consume information.

Instead of ignoring the smartwatch format, digital marketers must adapt to emerging technology. Digital marketing methods are informed largely by advances in technology and consumer behaviour so it would be unwise not to go where the consumers are.

Digital marketers must adapt to consumer behaviors towards technology

The biggest difference in appearance between the smartwatch format and a laptop/tablet/mobile device is the size of the screen. The Apple Watch is tiny-only 1.5 inch to 1.7 inches-in comparison to a generous 4.7 inch screen on the Apple iPhone 6, and an Apple iPad 2 tablet’s 9.7 inch screen. If you thought digital marketing on a mobile phone device was fiddly, wait till you are confronted with an even smaller screen size!

Well, what does this all mean for digital marketers in the future when personal wearable technology gets smaller and sleeker in size? Here are some possible changes that digital marketers will have to make to their marketing strategy:

1. Social media marketing will fit on smaller screens

The future of social media is big, but the screen on which people consume social media will be getting smaller.  Instead of having to look on an unwieldy mobile device, social media users can now engage and tweet/post/share from their wrist. Social media content must get snap happy, shorter and straight to the point if marketers want more engagement. Bite sized information will become the norm for small smart watch screens.

2. Geofencing technology will change marketing for retail businesses

Apple app developers are moving towards technology that uses geofencing to alert wearers of Apple Watch when they pass by a specific location. The implication of this is huge for digital marketers. The way that retailers and businesses reach out to customers will change completely: they can communicate in real time about deals, special promotions, sales and other new stock in store. Geofencing can be set up in retail stores and other local businesses to ensure that they get the smartwatch wearer’s attention when they walk past.

3. Marketing smart watch apps will be a different ball game

Apps for smart watches will have to take into account different functionalities (e.g heart sensors) and screen sizes. Apps for smart watches also need to convey information without needing keypad input and long form content. At the moment, owners of an Apple Watch must have an Apple iPhone so this allows for complementary apps for the smaller smart watch screen. In the future, digital marketers may have to find ways to market stand alone apps made just for the smart watch format.

4. Digital marketers must find tactile ways to get attention

The taptic engine used in Apple Watch allows alerts to be felt by wearers. At the moment, digital marketing relies on visual, textual and audio content. The future of digital marketing may involve more tactile ways to convey information.

Websites that are not mobile friendly will be penalized by Google's mobilegeddon

Getting Ready For Mobilegeddon

Mobilegeddon 2015

From 21st April 2015, Google will overhaul the algorithm to penalize sites that are non-mobile friendly. The extent of penalties are unknown, but it has been suggested that this change will be ‘significant.’

The news about Google using mobile responsiveness as a signal for ranking is nothing new. In 2012, it was announced at the iSEO panel that Google preferred a mobile responsive website whenever possible. Arguably, the mobilegeddon of 21st April is nothing but a reminder by Google to make that transition to become more user friendly for smartphone owners.

Many websites are still not optimized for mobilegeddon

Many websites are still not optimized for mobile. They include: Versace, Nintendo, Windows Phone, The European Union website, the British Monarchy’s page, American Apparel, P&O Cruises, Cotton Traders, RyanAir. What this indicates is that the user experience is not great for visitors to these sites through their smartphone. Since mobile phone traffic to websites is second only to laptops and tablets, websites that do not have mobile friendly websites will lose many potential customers. Their profits are likely to dip after Google’s mobilegeddon.

What businesses can do to prepare for mobilegeddon

Updating to a mobile responsive website cost money and effort, which is why some businesses are willing to assess the effect of mobilegeddon on their search rankings before calling in the website developers.

Some of the actions that businesses can take include:

  • Use the Google Mobile Friendly Test to determine if your site is mobile friendly
  • Plan your website’s design around being more mobile responsive. For example, thinking about the clarity, aesthetics and user friendly layout of your new website should inform you about how you would like your new website to look.
  • For smaller websites it is worth comparing different website developers and deciding what design and fee to go with.
  • For websites that were created using software such as WordPress, Joomla!, Drupal, it is best to refer to the respective guides about mobile optimization.
  • For websites that were created by an outsourced design agency, ask if they are familiar with responsive web design (RWD) and inquire about their past client’s portfolio to see examples of previous work.

When the mobilegeddon catches you by surprise

There are many businesses out there that are not aware of mobilegeddon and the implications for their bottom line. Even if these businesses were aware of mobilegeddon, they may not take any action. Here are some reasons why:

1. The business in question do not rely on smartphone traffic or internet traffic at all. They rely on other forms of advertisement.

2. The business did not see drastic changes to their page rankings since Google implemented the Panda, Penguin, Pigeon and Humming algorithm changes. They assume there to be no drastic changes to their search engine ranking page (SERP) after mobilegeddon either.

3.  The business finds it too bothersome and costly to change their entire website.

As you can see, reasons (1), (2) and (3) may all cost the business loss in future profits if they do not adapt with consumer use of mobile devices.

At the same time, there are many businesses that are panicking about the impending changes in Google’s algorithm. A fine balance should be struck between inaction and action towards making changes!

Panicking about mobilegeddon will not change the fact that your business website will rank a little lower than competitor websites that have mobile responsive sites. Google will still rank your website, only this time less favourably than before.

Instead of worrying about your website dipping in popularity,  you could hire mobile responsive website developers to redesign your website to fit different screen formats, or design a separate mobile friendly site altogether. Businesses still have time to do this after April 21st and they should be thankful that Google has given them this reminder. The future of internet traffic will be through smartphones and other smart device so this is the direction businesses should be heading for their future marketing.

Marketing Lessons we can learn from the HBO series Game of Thrones

Marketing Lessons From The Game of Thrones

Game Of Marketing

The Fifth Season of Game of Thrones is airing in the US and UK this April 2015 and millions of viewers will tune in for this popular HBO TV Series. The Season 4 Finale alone attracted more than 7 million viewers, and this coincided with effective digital marketing efforts that grew from Season 3. What is the secret of Game of Throne’s online digital marketing, and what marketing lessons can we learn from this mighty TV Show?

Marketing Lessons from a Premium Satellite Television Network

1. Let your viewers become your marketers

Whether it is letting viewers upload videos on Youtube, dress up for Game of Thrones Cosplay or submit fanfiction, artwork, gifs, blogs and other creative contents online, Game of Throne understands the power of their viewers as marketers. Much of the content produced by Game of Thrones viewers are shareable and able to reach even wider audiences.

2. Produce fresh and informative content for fans

Some of the Game of Thrones content generated online are purely targeted at fans and movie buffs. Interviews, behind the scenes and even exclusive videos from Game of Thrones Youtube page deliver interesting and informative that would whet fans appetite to know more. There are other websites such as Winter is Coming which serves as sources of news for upcoming seasons and any behind the scenes gossip. The effect of such fresh content is building viewer’s anticipation and also in creating content that is relevant to the entire Game of Thrones Series. Viewers love to research and read about such content and Game of Thrones marketers have nailed this.

3. Allow viewers to participate in Social Media

Game of Thrones Twitter page allows fans to interact via social media

Social media is a big part of Game of Thrones marketing from the 3rd Season onwards. Social media marketing is fantastic for reaching wider audiences and for interactions between viewers and the Game of Thrones entity. Social Media platforms such as Game of Thrones Twitter, Game of Thrones Instagram, Game of Thrones Tumblr and Game of Thrones Vine focus on viewer interactions and producing shareable content in the form of tweets, quotes, gifs, photos, and videos.

4. Focus on the end goal

Every marketing effort needs an end goal and the Game of Thrones is very successful at achieving theirs: reaching wider audiences and converting them into viewers. It is a valuable marketing lesson to always keep focused on the end goal and find ways to deliver value to existing viewers at the same time.

5. Use cross channel marketing 

Game of Thrones use cross channel marketing to reach wider audiences

The Game of Thrones marketers know how to engage viewers through different channels of marketing. The content delivered across these channels, whether it is a 2.0 site, social media or the HBO’s own Game of Thrones landing page are mostly consistent, cohesive and content centric. Game of Thrones may appear on many channels of marketing but they exploit the uniqueness of each channel and do not post the same things. For instance, Game of Thrones Instagram feature playful character dolls whereas the Youtube channel features interviews and behind the scenes snippets from the sho

Alvomedia Marketing Agency offers digital marketing solutions for long term results

Alvomedia Marketing Agency of the Future

Reliable Digital Marketing Agency

When you mention marketing, the first thing that should come to your mind is how to build a strong relationship between the brand and potential customers. The way to do this is so simple in theory but hard to execute for many marketing experts. Building a great relationship requires integrity, delivering value and offering content that is always relevant and fresh.

In this day and age of smartphones, tablets and smart watches, access to information overwhelms us with choices. The best information must cut through the noise and give potential customers what they are looking for. Have you noticed how quick readers are to dismiss information that are found even on the first pages of Google? People are becoming increasingly selective about the quality of content they read and businesses have to take note of this in their future marketing efforts.

Increase your future brand equity with Alvomedia Marketing Agency

The world of marketing is changing so quickly on a daily basis. The change is brought about by different technologies, social media platforms, consumer behaviour and other disruptive events. A successful long term marketing strategy will require the following components:

  • Flexible Marketing experts that can adapt quickly to change
  • Marketing strategies that evolve fast with emerging technology, softwares and consumer behaviours
  • Focus on nurturing the leads
  • Focus on building strong customer relationships
  • Focus on building a brand equity that withstands tests of political, economic and social change

People are often confused by the different services offered by a digital marketing agency. If you can boil everything down to one goal of any marketing agency, it is to build your brand equity.

The world of digital marketing is changing fast, and here are some predictions that you should take account of now when looking for a marketing agency and strategy.

1. Search Engines of the future will become harder to manipulate

Let me advise you on one thing. If you want to fight dirty in marketing, then forget about long term gains in leads and conversions. The major search engines are becoming smarter about unethical marketing practices and websites that try to exploit loopholes for fast results will be destroyed.

In 2015, Google is still the most powerful search engine in the world and the different algorithms it has implemented suggest that it intends to stay for a while longer. Gone are the days of keyword stuffing, black hat SEO, spammy back links and negative SEO. Google’s Penguin, Panda and Pigeon updates took care of that.

Any future marketing strategy must be ethical and work with the search engines as opposed to against it. Many unethical marketing agencies will try to manipulate search engines for fast ranking but these agencies have no longevity for the future.

2. Ingenious Inbound Marketing methods will take over

Good inbound marketing takes time but they will convert more customers in the long run. The future of marketing favours thorough and ethical methods that literally bring targeted customers to a business website. The business will become an authority of the best information. Already, businesses are starting to create information rich blogs and videos that takes content creation to the next level.

3. Targeted Lead Nurturing will replace mass untargeted marketing

Gone are the days of sending masses of email to everyone who happens to be in your subscription list. First, inbound marketing will draw customers in using great content and then businesses can nurture a lead by providing great advice and services. Again, nurturing a lead takes time and the results are significant in the long run. Nothing beats great client referrals, testimonials and customer loyalty.

4. Responsive and adaptable web designs

A website’s landing page has seconds to make an impression. It is worth investing more time and money in designing a beautiful website that is optimised for every new technology in the future. From 21st April 2015, mobile optimised websites will become a factor in the Google page ranking algorithm. Emerging technology such as the smart watch will no doubt change the format of websites again. Always remember that a user friendly website has the ability to convert visitors, so make it worth their while.

5. Ranking Metrics will change all the time

When choosing a digital marketing agency for your long term marketing, it is imperative to see how versatile and adaptable they are to change. For example, a marketing agency that only specialises in SEO is no good for your long term marketing plans because we all know that Google change their ranking metrics. Using the right <h2>, backlinks and keywords may have less say in the ranking metrics as social media or content creation in the future. A marketing agency that uses ethical methods to improve brand image should be hired.

Alvomedia Marketing Agency Offers Bespoke Long Term Marketing Solutions

If you are a business that is serious about your image in the long run, then a marketing agency that focuses on inbound marketing, high quality content creation and moving forward with the times should be your choice. Marketing is a marathon effort and the brand equity that comes a long term and ethical marketing plan is well worth it. Adapt or let your competitors win the long game.

Proving value for social media simply means being informative and helpful to your audience

Providing Value For Social Media in 2015

Marketing Using Social Media

In the past, social media marketing was unheard of. Following the success of popular social networking websites, it would be unwise not to engage potential customers through social media. The sheer number of social media users meant that brands could really exploit this channel for marketing. The question is, how do you connect with social media users and turn them into followers or buyers of your product?

Provide Value for Social Media Users

Businesses that only want to dabble a few weeks or months in social media will be disappointed by the results. Social media marketing is a long game, and believe me, the wait is worth it.  Creating a good social media profile is the starting point for your social media marketing. After that, you will need to nurture the relationships you build with potential customers through social media. Be a listener and provide value, value and more VALUE!

Create a Facebook Page

In 2014, Facebook users reached 1.35 billion per month. Facebook is still the largest social networking channel and fertile ground for your brand to get attention. Creating a Facebook Page will make you look more professional and let Facebook users engage with your business page through likes and comments. The ripple effect of Facebook Page advertising is great, because for every like and comment, other Facebook users will see this on their friend’s wall.  Find out your target demographic of potential customers on Facebook and make your content relevant, or interesting to them.

Tweet Valuable Content

Twitter has a reputation for being fast paced! You can connect with potentially millions of Twitter users and get your information across quickly. When setting up a Twitter account for your company, it is a temptation to tweet about your product or services constantly. Find valuable content, tips or information that your followers will find helpful. You can alternate promotional tweets with tweets that offer tips and other valuable information.

Get Down to Business on LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the professional version of Facebook so build business networks and forge professional connections through this channel. You can post blogs, start a discussion or reach out to potential employees, and join groups relevant to your industry. Creating a polished LinkedIn profile will make you look more professional and serious in offering your products and services.

Be Short and Sweet on Youtube

Don’t upload videos that are over an hour long. Or even, more than 30 minutes. Video marketing on Youtube is powerful but you have to remember there are millions of videos being uploaded. Shoot short videos that get straight to the point and provide both informative and interesting content. People search on Youtube for answers so get to the point.

Google+ Your Way to More Exposure

Google+ has communities of passionate users that are connected through a similar interest or profession. Once you know who your targeted audiences are, you should be able to post both informative and interesting content on your Google+ page to get their attention.