Are you getting the most out of your social media marketing? The chances are, you are using social media channels to increase brand awareness and increase conversions. At some point, you would have heard of selling on social media using ads and content. These days, businesses can use social media ads and engaging posts to improve website traffic. Can it get you sales directly?
Yes and no.
It is likely that a prospective customer sees your Instagram photo and decide to visit your website for a purchase. It is also likely that a prospective customer book-marks your website so they can make up their minds in the future. Social media promotions has been called many things, including ineffective, but it does attract attention from leads.
Start selling on social media with these tips
Did you know that companies using social media marketing perform 78% better than their peers? According to Hubspot, social selling helped IBM increase their sales by 400%. It is fair to say that social media channels can be effective for companies with a strong social media marketing strategy.
When we talk about selling on social media, we mean this in the most unobtrusive way possible. There are subtle ways to get sales without resorting to annoying hard sell tactics. Here are the top 5 ways:
1. Use Calls to Action
‘Click here..find out more..contact us,‘ arecall to actions that can accompany your posts on social media. Your audience has a clear choice, and they will like the chance to act on a piece of content. If they are not interested, the call to action at the end of the content is not intrusive.
2.Provide value in your social media content
Advice, tips and links to useful content can build better relationships with your social media audience. They want to know what benefits they can get from following your account. The ratio of offering value to promoting your brand can be 10:1. If you do the content right, it will sell your brand by itself. Great content generates conversations on social media and increase website visitors.
3.Humanize your brand on social media
Be yourself, but a nicer version. Authenticity can strengthen relationships with audiences on social media and people like to do business with people they like. It is scientifically proven that people enjoy doing transactions with people they can relate to-culturally, intellectually and with similar experiences in life.
Even on social media, your brand is not a clinical corporate account. Great brands have feelings and concerns for other people. You can build connections through shared experiences or love for sports teams/entertainment/travel. You never know who is connecting to your content.
4.Optimize visual imagery on social media
On social medial, visual content gets the most attention. Tweets with images get 150% more retweets, 39% of B2B companies share visual infographics on social media, and video content is on the rise. Visual content is integral to selling on social media because viewers can’t resist clicking on it. Once they have invested some time to seeing the visual content, they will either reshare with friends or file it away in their mind. The human brain retain memories of visual content better.
5.Be responsive on social
Great brands know a thing or two about customer service online, offline and on social media. 24/7 social media management is a must for international brands; a dedicated social media team will make sure that queries are answered around the clock. In addition to answering customers, your brand needs to be the hub of knowledge that customers come back to. If you can be the expert and trouble-shooter, then your customers will grow to trust your brand. Sales will occur as a result of this trust. At the same time, you are learning more about your customers and using this information for better marketing.
Creating a plan before acting can save you a lot of time. Knowing the facts before creating that plan can save you even more time.
Indeed, knowing the facts about digital marketing will minimize drawbacks for your strategy. Although it is tempting to jump straight in, being realistic about marketing will increase your strength to handle it well. For whatever weaknesses it has, digital marketing is a worthwhile investment if you can weigh the risks and align it with your business goals.
What, then, are these facts about digital marketing?
Digital marketing fact 1: it is not that cheap to implement
Merely setting up a website, PPC ad campaign and social media profile is an oversimplification of what digital marketing entails. It is also an underestimation of the costs. The competition is too high for digital marketing; to remain competitive, you need the best minds and allocation of resources. Social media ads, PPC (pay per click), SEO services (search engine optimization), content marketing, coordination and multi-channel/device marketing becomes more expensive when you increase the reach and competitiveness of your campaign.
Therefore, you have to plan well and budget prudently for the process. Expenses will increase with digital marketing if you are expanding your business and reaching millions of potential customers.
Digital marketing fact 2: it is not for everyone!
Digital marketing works for some brands but not others. Some consumers are not aware of the existing market online. Despite figures showing Mcommerce penetration and more consumers searching for businesses online, there are consumers who don’t search online. These consumers find businesses from word of mouth, leaflets, the Yellow Pages, newspaper supplements and industry magazines. When assessing your marketing needs, the behaviors of your target consumers matter the most.
Do not replace your traditional marketing strategy with digital marketing. Combine them both to create an efficient strategy to acquire new customers. Social media marketing can also be a boost to your strategy, just optimize it and use it well.
Digital marketing fact 3: it changes with consumer behavior and technology
The fundamental principles of marketing, such as customer satisfaction and building connections remains the same. However, the mode and technology of digital marketing changes all the time. Your consumers may adopt new technology to communicate/shun certain social media platforms. Make sure that your marketing strategy really works by testing and tracking the results. In digital marketing, it pays to stay on top of all possible changes and updates of the digital world.
Digital marketing fact 4: reputation can be destroyed online
You need to be aware of activities that might destroy your hard earned connections or make a negative impression towards your customers. You might be targeted by competitors online or consumers with their own agenda.
Be on guard and be ready for the possible negative content that will impact your business online. The way you conduct and present yourself can either strengthen your customer relationships or damage it forever. Acting with professionalism and speed can mitigate any further damages to your reputation if it is a social media crises.
Digital marketing fact 5: hacking and cyber crime happens online
People can take your information or confidential data accessible for hacking. If you own an online business that collects sensitive marketing data, this is even more risky. Hackers can take your customer’s contact details and spam them. You will need to train employees about security and DDoS attacks.
Digital marketing fact 6: it is challenging
You need to undergo the difficulty with measuring the impact of your digital marketing. You need the skills of data analysis, testing and content creation. In a survey by Adobe, it was found that 47% of marketers had limited knowledge about digital marketing; 39% said that the fast pace of change in digital marketing was an obstacle. Outsourcing work to consultants and companies that specializes in digital marketing can save you money in the end, but justifying the spend to executives can be difficult.
Executing a content strategy that is coordinated and consistent is one of the biggest challenges to online businesses. This stems from lack of resources, skills and planning (targeting and using the right metrics).
Digital marketing fact 7: mistakes are forever on record
Mistakes are inevitable every time you do or try something new. Some are easy to fix in digital marketing but others will harm your business. The problems with making mistakes in digital marketing is how to repair your relationship with consumers and make them trust you again. Bad content marketing, spamming customers with emails, and saying the wrong things on social media may or may not leave lasting damage. When content gets published online, it exists forever on record.
Prepare to be flexible and improve your content or approach as you connect to your customers. Your content marketing must be reliable, valuable and relevant to your customer with the ultimate intention of winning their trust.
Digital marketing fact 8: hedge your bets in digital
It is hard to put your bet on your online visibility knowing that the future of digital world is uncertain. You do not know what will happen next as the digital world paces fast. The rapid changes cause rapid updates that you need to cope with.
You must move cautiously but quickly. Cautiously means you should not make large investments without testing and tracking your efforts. Quickly means you can adapt and establish user-friendly marketing at every opportunity. That way, you can keep up with the times and boost your visibility online for target customers.
Digital marketing fact 9: consumers don’t trust advertising
Constant social media ads and promotional content that misrepresents the brand destroys consumer’s trust. Con artists can take advantage of PPC, social ads and emails to trick consumers. This can make your target customers suspicious of your brand too. In order to reassure consumers, you need to build brand reputation and stand behind the product or service that you provide. Allow for online reviews and build up trust through engagement on multiple marketing channels.
Digital marketing fact 10: the many variables make it difficult to measure
If you’ve spent money on traditional advertising, then you’ll know your return on investment (ROI). With long term digital marketing, such as social media connections, SEO and creating content, the ROI is harder to calculate. This creates difficulties in justifying the marketing spend to a decision maker. If you are the decision maker, this undermines your confidence in digital marketing. You need to know what metrics you use to assess the effectiveness of your digital marketing and how to track the data from your campaigns.
These ten facts about digital marketing can make everyone pause before developing an online strategy. Don’t panic; these facts may challenge you to explore all avenues to enhance, improve and develop effectiveness in your digital strategy. Evaluate your content marketing and the importance of your metrics. Knowing the worst can bring about the best in your marketing strategy. It is the stepping-stone to success.
By the time marketers catch up with consumers, the consumers are already ahead. Digital marketing is as fast paced as it is fragmented. When a channel or device of digital marketing is trending, marketers should plan a few steps ahead. Social media became an avenue of that constant trend. Many companies are increasing their investment in social media marketing, simply because it is the trendy/prescribed thing to do. After all, marketing gurus and blogs such as this one sing the praises of social media marketing.
The fact is: social media marketing can be very effective when it is done strategically and measured for results. Every company should know their social media marketing metrics, be able to see how social media can amplify their content marketing and work towards their financial goals.
As the saying goes, “There is nothing permanent in this world,” marketers should plan for paradigm shifts in digital marketing. The emergence of wearable devices, virtual reality and real time marketing can change many aspects of social media marketing as we know it today.
10 ways social media marketing will change in 2018 and beyond
Social media platforms are changing all the time. Emarketer even predicted that social network ad spending will reach $35.98 billion by 2017. Social media channels are bridging the gap between the ecommerce store and a social media profile.What are the other social media marketing changes we can expect in 2018?
Social media marketing thrives with mobile and faster Internet
With a mobile device at hand, social media users can readily access content and real time conversations. These days, trending topics on social media is the fastest way for news to get around. Faster broadband may become a fundamental right for people and companies will be able to reach many millions of consumers with their content. The ease of access and speed of access to social media platforms will make it the first choice for distributing your company’s content.
Social media will showcase brands like never before
Social media marketing can generate conversations about a company/brand; it is like word of mouth marketing on steroids! In 2018 and beyond, social media marketing will be unparalleled in creating buzz. Satisfied customers will spread the word about their favorite brands and products will divide people more than ever. Of course, this kind of 24 hour PR has its downside: companies will need to monitor conversations on social media 24/7 and respond quickly.
Visual competition on social media
With the influx of visual content on social media, it can make 2018 the year for companies to prioritize images in their content marketing. Customers recall visuals better, respond to and share visual content . Forms of visual content such as GIF, rich media, creative videos will become trendier in 2018 and beyond.
Video content will get even bigger on social media
Facebook and Youtube will dominate as the social networks for your video content. More companies will invest in video marketing when they realize the reach and value of social media channels. Optimizing video content for search engines is necessary for every company’s digital marketing strategy.
E-Currency will take social media marketing to another level
E-currency such as Bitcoin and Litecoin are already adopted by many ecommerce merchants. The ease of payments using e-currency makes this an appealing way to settle the bill. 2018 may still be too early for a widespread integration of e-currency with social media but it seems to be heading that way. Paying bills on social media, booking hotels and impulse purchases may just become the norm in the next few years. Marketing on social media will encourage instantaneous purchases using e-currency.
Social media marketing will be more strategic
In 2017, many companies are still coming to grips with social media marketing. Learning how to use the different social media platforms and what content to post on them is a daily challenge. With a better understanding of what social media users want and the social media marketing metrics, companies will be able to post and engage on social media in a more strategic way. Social media marketing will be geared towards ROI and improved relationships with consumers.
More personalized content on social media
Customer satisfactions tend to travel faster than advertising media. Firms that have loyal consumers surely stay on the market. Making all the possible way of dealing more personally with the needs of the consumer will surely assure satisfaction that guaranteed loyalty. Content that are more personalized can reach its potential because it can get what they really want. The more to get in touch with what the consumer really needs, the more it can attract and get a deal.
A new social media platform will gain traction
The stage is set for a new social media platform to emerge in 2018. In order to gain traction, the new social media platform will need a lot of users within a short frame of time to make it valuable. Businesses have to keep an eye on their consumer’s behavior and adapt to new social media platforms that their consumers use.
The development of the digital assistant
A digital assistant retrieves information and provide customer service to social media users. Facebook is ready to launch M on the Messenger App; this strategy tends to have more opportunities in dealing with the consumer in just one platform. It is reaching farther to what is expected. Marketers will need to work with digital assistants for their content to be found. They will need to create content that answer queries addressed to digital assistants.
Privacy is tightened in social media marketing
Privacy online is a concern for Internet users: results from a TRUSTe research found that 89% of British Internet users are worried about their privacy online. The demand for social media also creates a demand for increased online privacy. The most enduring social media platforms will be the ones that offer the most security for users; marketers will need to prioritize security in their social media marketing as well
Social media marketing will continue to grow and flourish in 2018. The trends of tomorrow will be focus on increased social media privacy, greater levels of user engagement and personalized social media content. In order to remain competitive in the digital space, marketers need to be aware of consumer’s behavior on social media and adapt to social media marketing change. In particular, the focus should be a better user experience for consumers on social media. As a form of outbound marketing, social media is indispensable.
Search engine optimization encompasses a lot of processes and information. At the same time, these processes are never fixed for long. Search engines tend to bring out new algorithms and release new guidelines on a regular basis so as to serve their users better. New SEO tools are also created to make the processes easier.
Due to the rapid changes that take place and the copious amount of information on SEO, it is easy for misconceptions to form. Such myths make it difficult for everyone concerned. In order to get the best results or hire the best SEO services, you must be able to separate the truth from the mountains of misinformation available. Given below are some of the more common misconceptions about SEO.
SEO Myth 1: Meta tags should be ignored because it is not a ranking factor
While it is true that Meta tags were once used by search engines as a ranking factor, it is no longer the case. Search engines do not even index these tags anymore. In fact, Google has publicly stated that Meta tags are not ranking factors anymore. Meta tags are used to display information about the website in search results. Therefore, they can still be important as it gives you an opportunity to attract the interest of the customers by writing an appealing copy. However, do not expect them to affect your rankings.
SEO Myth 2: More inbound links is better than less
This is quite a common misconception about inbound links. Google has made it abundantly clear that it gives preference to quality. As such, it has taken steps to ensure that a higher rank is given to webpages that have inbound links of a high quality.
Earlier, people used numerous inbound links of any quality to increase the ranks of websites. However, Google has ensured that such pages do not get higher ranks anymore. Instead, it is likely that the webpage will be penalized and marked as spam due to the high number of links in it.
You should, instead, strive to ensure that the inbound links you are using are of a high quality. Limit the quantity but increase the quality of the links in order to get a good rank.
SEO Myth 3: Anchor text should be scrapped
The importance of anchor text as a ranking factor has certainly decreased over the last few years. The newer algorithms of Google do not assign a lot of weight to this factor. However, this does not mean that anchor text is no longer useable in SEO. In spite of the lowered importance of anchor text, it is still quite useful. The correct placement of anchor text can increase your chances of getting a better rank which is certainly helpful for the overall SEO campaign.
SEO Myth 4: XML sitemaps is a ranking factor
XML Sitemaps are an important part of any website. However, they have absolutely no bearing from an SEO viewpoint. The sole purpose of these items is to help the search engines locate the content of your website and get it indexed faster. They are not considered as a ranking factor by Google.
SEO Myth 5: You will see the benefits of SEO in 6 months
This is a major misconception. It is impossible to run a successful SEO digital marketingcampaign by optimizing your website and content only once. Search engines keep updating their algorithms on a regular basis. Therefore, the processes you have used to optimize your website and gain a higher rank might be rendered useless or less effective. At the same time, your competition will be optimizing their websites and they may overtake your rank. Therefore, you must ensure that your SEO services are continuously keeping up with the changing times and ensuring a steady and high rank.
SEO Myth 6: Guest blogging is not effective
The fact is that marketers and experts often contribute blog posts and articles for a variety of reasons such as knowledge sharing. They are not always looking to promote themselves or create links. This behavior is taken into account by Google. Therefore, if you use guest posts, your website is not going to be penalized.
On the other hand, it is important to ensure that the frequency of contributions is moderate. Contributing too many posts in a short period of time may raise flags and attract a penalty from Google. You should also ensure that your posts do look like spam. In other words, your posts should be devoid of keyword stuffing or extensive usage of anchor links.
SEO Myth 7: SEO is dead because of voice search
There are many who claim that SEO is no longer useful. However, nothing can be further from the truth. The fact is that SEO is affected every time the algorithms are updated. If the SEO processes are not updated to reflect the changes, there will not be any effect whatsoever. This causes many people to claim that SEO is dead.
You should avoid believing these myths if you wish to make your digital marketing campaign successful. Research the facts and use the best methods to improve your website rank.
The trend for online video marketing is on the rise. There are many companies that are doing marketing for their products and services using video content. And, the best thing is, video works wonders in attracting and engaging your potential customers. The Forrester research found out that advertisements and promotions in the form of videos were more likely to get good ranks in search engines than the conventional web pages and blogs.
There are quite a few reasons for entrepreneurs to use videos marketing their products. One important reason for doing so is that creating and promoting videos these days is cheap and convenient. Anyone can create videos using their smartphone or affordable recording device. Professional video equipment and props are not required to create engaging video content. Moreover, once uploaded on the Web, this type of content remain forever on the Internet and is accessible to potential customers forever. Most of the social media sites allow video sharing. Thus, the videos you create can be uploaded to social media websites where millions of eyeballs watch your content. Just use the right content strategies for posting and promoting your video content. Given below are a few important and effective video marketing tips.
Provide an informative title for your video
Just like the headline of a news article and the topic for a blog post, the title of videos too should be attractive and interesting. It can help to pull the most traffic towards the video on the video sharing sites. You should not forget to add relevant keywords in the title. This would help to get better organic ranking in search engines faster. When people are searching for a video like yours, it will be easier for them to find it if you are using the right set of keywords and a relevant title.
The quality of your video content should be improved
The type of video content that you create should be interesting, short, and informative. Even if you are uploading long video content, the quality of it should not deteriorate. Make sure you are providing valuable information to your viewers. You can teach them various things using video tutorials and can also provide them with important information about your brand or company.”How to” videos are powerful in attracting viewers. Through the videos you post, you will be able to showcase your knowledge about a product or a service. This high qualityvideo content can help the growth of your brand and company. If you search for well known entrepreneurs in YouTube, most of them have a YouTube channel and playlist of videos. Remember, the video sharing site is maintained and managed by Google – the most popular search engine. So, you must make it a point to do some serious video marketing for your brand.
Include the URL of your official website in the video. After the shooting is done, when editing, make it a point to put URL in the end credits or bottom of the video. You can add text boxes inside the video and showcase your website URL. Adding URL to the video is a great way to get a maximum exposure.
Video marketing highlights your brand
Video marketing is very important for companies who are doing extensive branding for their products and services. On the video screen, you need to put your company’s logo and slogans. If not throughout the running time of the video, the logo and the slogan should be there at key points inside the video.
When writing the description for the video, you must make it a point to provide the link you’d want to drive the viewers to. No entrepreneur should miss this opportunity and should provide the links to the website to the video that he/she is using for branding.
You must make it a point to upload the video both on the other video sharing sites and also on the official website. Having interesting videos on your company website will reduce the bounce rates. Moreover, you can be sure that the visitors are taking an interest in the products and services that your company is dealing with. Google algorithm also tracks the number of times a video has been viewed by the audience and based on that, the position of the link on the search engine is decided. Posting the video on multiple sites increases the chance of it being viewed by a maximum number of potential customers. Thus, the video will have a lot of views, which is good for the ranking of the video URL on the search engines.
There are many things that you can do with a video format. You can promote your business and brands through it in the most interesting and engaging manner. Instead of just filmed content, you can also upload slideshows, screen captures, and PowerPoint slides on the video sharing sites.
Remember, the benefits of video marketing are many. It has been found in a survey that around 81% of the senior marketing professionals use video content for their marketing programs. And, around 52% of the employees watch work-related videos. Thus, you can be sure that video marketing will work for your company and company image.
Most businesses, whether they are B2B or B2C will agree that delivering great quality content is the way to go for their marketing strategy. The term content marketing encompasses a lot of different strategies and it will evolve constantly with time. What are the content marketing trends that we forecast for 2017 and beyond?
Content marketing techniques are constantly changing. One of the trends we have observed at Alvomedia is how many clients ask for the use of visuals in their marketing campaign. More and more businesses are using videos, attention grabbing images and infographics to deliver interesting and informative content. Did you know that when looking at the same piece of written content, 94% of readers will look at the written content that has a picture? Big, bold and relevant images are the most effective.
Targeted Marketing on Social Media
Depending on your targeted demographic of consumers, you should grab their attention using social media. This is a huge content marketing trend and shift towards targeting users of social media. The big social media platforms are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, SnapChat, Instagram and Pinterest. Businesses are beginning to realize that customer engagement is just as important, if not more important than putting out an expensive advertisement. Businesses that take the time to engage with their target audience on social media will spread the message of their brand wider and more effectively than business that ignore social media in their content marketing.
Businesses Want Metrics for their Marketing Efforts
Many businesses know that content marketing works, but not many know how successful their content marketing strategy. There is a trend now towards measuring the ROI of content marketing and marketing agencies on brushing up their analytics when looking at distribution channels of marketing, the form of content marketing and the content itself. Businesses don’t want to throw a lot of money into ineffective marketing strategies and this is one of the biggest trends towards measurable content marketing.
Increase of A/B Testing Software
Content marketers are using softwares such as ScribbleLive, Visual Website Optimizer and KISSmetrics more than ever to gauge how successful their marketing efforts have been. A/B Testing just means testing one variance in their marketing compared to another. It allows marketers to explain why they go for one strategy as opposed to another.
Better Curated Content
The quality and relevance of content trumps all other factors when it comes to content marketing. Content marketing used to be unfocused, but markers are moving towards the direction of very well curated content. In niche subject areas, this is essential; readers will want selective and high quality content that address their needs specifically.
Google has changed its algorithms in favor of Google AMP more mobile friendly websites amongst many other changes. If you are an online marketer, you must know what those changes are in order to understand how they are going to affect the search engine optimization or SEO of a website. The search engine company has set in certain website development guidelines recently that is also having an impact on the ways mobile users browse the Internet – mobile SERPS presentation, Google Play, and a few other website development related guidelines. All these are in cohesion with the changes in the algorithm that the search engine giant has recently brought in.
Google algorithms is now focusing more on mobile and mobile-friendly website design. It is the hottest trend as growing numbers of users are using their mobile devices to browse the Internet. Google is trying to give mobile users the best Internet experience possible. It has made mobile websites efficient and quick. No matter where a user views it – mobile or desktop, he/she should be able to check out all the components of a website easily and conveniently.
The mobile versions of the websites have easy navigation features to browse and find pertinent information. The websites that are optimized for mobile also fit well within the screen of the smart phones. Now you do not have to shift or pinch to see the contents of a site. It has become more convenient and easy.
Why are Google algorithm updates important?
Changes in Google algorithms reflect the needs of internet users. The main reason for the mobile friendly updates is due to the large number of internet users on mobile devices. Changes in Google algorithms are important because they will affect the ranking of your website as it appears on organic SERPs. If you did not pay attention to visitors accessing your website through mobile devices, it will result in lower visibility for your website. At first the lower visibility may not seem important, but over time it will impact greatly on your website’s income and the potential for you to generate more leads. Paying attention to Google algorithm updates will ensure you have the most optimized website for your customers and business.
What are the other recent updates in algorithm from Google?
Google algorithms change frequently and are impossible to forecast with accuracy. It is better to react quickly to any changes instead of trying to change your website before any update rolls out.
Recently, Google indexed around 30 billion links of the websites that have “app indexing” enabled. The android users noticed that the links of the websites for which the users have apps installed are getting included in the search results. Google has started App Indexing as an important ranking signal. Now, the search performed on any of the android mobile device will include links to the respective apps of the websites that the user is searching. The links would also be linked to the apps that are yet not installed in the device of the user. According to a spokesperson from the Google, “If you’ve implemented App Indexing, when indexed content from your app is relevant to a search done on Google on Android devices, people may start to see app install buttons for your app in search results. Tapping these buttons will take them to the Google Play store where they can install your app, then continue straight on to the right content within it.” This change in algorithm is beneficial for the app developers as this will help them get new users and maintain the old ones too.
The doorway pages are those pages that the webmasters use only to get good ranks in search engines, without having any other significant value to the website or the company. These doorway pages actually affect the users’ search experience negatively and thus, the search engine company said that it will penalize the companies that develop websites with the doorway pages.
The “Quality” update
Through this update Google announced that it has changed the way it determines the quality of a website. Following this announcement many websites found a change in their rankings. The search engine giant has changed the core ranking algorithm itself to determine the way it processes quality signals from a website. In short, all these changes in Google algorithm indicate that if your SEO services company is using legitimate SEO techniques and is avoiding the “black-hat techniques” of SEO to get ranks in Google, your website will achieve good ranks and will not be affected in any way. In case you notice a drop in the rank of the website, you should check your SEO methods, content, and the page structure of the SEO services provider you are choosing.
Engaging and content rich, videos are quickly becoming the preferred medium for digital marketing. In recent findings by eMarketer, more than 50% of adults in the US watch online TV shows at least once a month. This shows the traction of digital video content and this trend is gaining momentum. People are biologically wired to pay more attention to visuals and the rich visual content delivered by video content is unmatched by any other format. In fact, viewers retain information much better after watching video content and increase their intention to purchase by 97%. Brand association increases by 139% after being viewed on videos.
Effectiveness of video content marketing
If there is anything brands can conclude from these statistics is that video content marketing is really effective. 93% of marketers already use video marketing; 66% use blogs and 44% use photography. If you are contemplating using video marketing or have already integrated video content into your content strategy, here are tips that could improve your digital marketing efforts.
Here is a recent survey by Hubspot showing the share-ability of video content compared to other forms of content.
1. Relevancy is key to video optimization for search engines
When you optimize a video for the search engine, the content matters greatly in terms of relevancy. Invite Google to rank your video content highly in searches for relevancy to your chosen keywords. If you are familiar with SEO for written content, then this will seem self explanatory. Make your company name or main keyword search terms visible in the title of your video. Make sure that all pertinent information to link to your company, and contact details can be found next to the video. Add external links to your Twitter handle or Facebook/LinkedIn page; if you have a recognizable logo use this to remind people that you are a brand. Some marketers forget to make their videos public or add the right URL to the video caption for links to their company website. If you are creating video content for YouTube, the Java script will prevent Google from crawling your video, however you can load a caption file. You can also annotate your video to contain the relevant keyword search terms.
2. Get the setting right for video content
Make sure that your video setting is in public, and not private. Once you have created a video, put it in a featured box or prominent position on your company landing page or YouTube channel page. There are settings to ensure that your video plays automatically, Once your video is on auto-play, viewers are more likely to watch. In the video description, add your company name and link to website; for videos on your website or anywhere else always make sure that the video description contain the keywords you want to be searched for. The setting needs to be visually appealing as well so clear out any clutter in the descriptions box, put texts in readable paragraphs and select an attention grabbing icon or thumbnail for your video.
3. Use video content marketing strategically
Video content marketing used correctly can make your brand message viral, or at the least gain more attention. Identify where you need video marketing and create content that is informative and relevant. The most popular video content include product demonstrations, lectures, information shorts, tips/how to guides, customer testimonials, peek previews of a teaching seminar, interviews, behind the scenes, case studies and creative shorts. Your content strategy should be very clear about how video content will further your goals towards growth. Getting more attention, more shares, more engagement and ultimately brand awareness are all goals for your video content marketing.
4. Think about how you convey your message via video content
Once you have figured where video content fits into your business, you should about how convey the message. Hiring the right actors, or filming the CEO are part of this decision making. Do you want your company to have a professional tone or a more relaxed, trendy one? Some video content needs to convey expertise, trustworthiness and authenticity. How will you convey these qualities in your video? If you are hiring a professional video team, communicate clearly with them about how you wish to convey your message.
5. Budget carefully for your video marketing
Professional video production is costly and no one gets their first video right. Even if you have the most advanced equipment and experienced team, there will be areas of improvement after you’ve shot your first video. Sometimes, ongoing video content is required, for instance you might need to shoot weekly interviews, behind the scenes or Q & A sessions. By budgeting carefully, you will be able to shoot more videos or amend any mistakes you’ve made previously through professional editing. Putting all your money into shooting one perfect video is a bad idea; your viewers will not remember you in the busy digital space, and your competitors will be churning out quality video content consistently.
6. Use video content you already have
Using footage from interviews or conferences is a great idea, because 1. It saves you time and money and 2. it has a better feel of authenticity. If there are archives of video media in your company, upload this as video content on YouTube or use snippets for your new video.
7. Informal does not mean unprofessional in video marketing
In an age of authenticity, candid video footage can make your viewers feel more connected to your company. If you do not know what material to choose, staff interviews, a day in the life footage, company office tours and footage from speaking events make excellent content. You can edit out any inappropriate language and behaviors before making the video content public.
8. Edit video content for maximum distribution
Maximum distribution is the name of the game when it comes to video content. Consistency and quality will get your video content noticed but maximum distribution will ensure that a wider audience can have brand awareness. Instead of using the same video for every video platform, you can edit the video footage so it can appear different-or make it into a DVD for training or customers to purchase.
9. Optimize video content across devices
Video content is consumed across multiple devices such as iPads, smartphones and tablets; you must make sure that your content is optimized for every screen and your own website is mobile responsive. If your video has call to action and other conversion rate optimization features then they must also appear prominently around your video for cross devices.
10. Use metrics to target your video content for the right audience
Keeping track of your viewing metrics will help you know:
How long your viewers watch your videos for
Which videos are watched most often
What times do most viewers watch your video
What device does your viewers use to watch your video content
What is the audience retention rate
How many viewers subscribed to your channel on YouTube
For metrics, watch time is far more important than number of views. Number of impressions are vanity metrics and what is more indicative of your content’s success is the number of shares, audience retention and subscriber rates.
A relatively new form of marketing, many companies have made the transition to promotions in the digital space and many more will follow suit in the next decade. Despite the vast amounts of information about digital marketing, there are still lies circulating around about the methods, channels and ROI of digital marketing. As a result, people miss the vast opportunities available to them through digital marketing. This blog attempts to expose some eminent and common lies related to digital marketing so that people can reach their marketing goals sooner in 2017.
Debunking digital marketing for 2017 and beyond
It is easy for marketers to be misinformed about digital marketing practices. The conflicting views about digital marketing trends and the lack of information to back up statements make this very confusing for everyone concerned. A survey conducted by Adobe: Digital Distress revealed that 52% of marketers (in a poll of 1000) lacked confidence in their digital marketing skills. When the pressure is so great to show digital marketing ROI, only 9% of respondents were confident enough to say their digital marketing strategy was working.
Perhaps the biggest obstacle to debunking digital marketing myths is the way decision makers measure marketing ROI. Linking digital marketing to financial performance may just be the biggest myth of them all. Digital marketing is not a ‘one time capital project,’ and measuring the ROI may not reveal the true value that digital marketing is bringing to the company.
Nevertheless, here are some of the most harmful digital marketing lies people should dismiss in 2017…
1. Digital is just social media marketing
Social networking and digital marketing are interconnected. Social media performs an important role in digital marketing but it does not all simplify down to social media. Many marketers like to think of social media marketing as the common denominator, but the fact is; it is only one channel of digital marketing. Basically, to attract a wider community of audience, digital marketing needs to be facilitated by social networks. With 2.206 billion global active social media users and 30% penetration, social media marketing is not an opportunity digital marketers want to miss. Social media allows for word of mouth marketing on a global scale.
If there was another way to reach the target demographic of customers via digital channels, marketers would pursue that. Despite the popularity of social media marketing, it is not suitable for every business. Niche businesses may not connect with users on Facebook or Twitter. Businesses many sabotage their reputation by some social media faux pas. In fact, many businesses don’t have, or need, a social media strategy to acquire customers.
2: Only some businesses need digital marketing
Digital marketing sets no limitation in terms of business size. Regardless of how big or small the business entity is, digital marketing serves its purpose in the digital age. In 2015, there are more than 3 billion Internet users around the world; 39% of all global Internet is high speed broadband and the share of web traffic via mobile devices has exceeded that of desktops. Regardless of the business size, customers are using the Internet to find businesses and increasingly through their smart phones.
Businesses have to adopt digital marketing because their customers find content on digital channels.
In fact, this strategy allows small entrepreneurs to compete with larger enterprises. Furthermore, major corporations often have a complicated process involving several departments in creating content or tweeting compared to small business owners who have more flexibility to do so. Breaking down the silos is an issue larger corporations face that smaller businesses do not.
3: Digital marketing doesn’t work for B2B companies
A notion that digital marketing doesn’t work out for B2B trade is a false assumption because all business institutions can use digital marketing tactics. Numerous B2B companies have content marketers and social media accounts as a proof that digital marketing strategy works in B2B sales. There is a great article by Jay Baer about the social media strategies used by B2B marketers. Every business, regardless of B2B or B2C, will discern who their intended customers are and implement their social media marketing accordingly.
The other myth about B2B companies is ease of content marketing. Because B2B have a smaller customer base, people think that there is less competition in creating great content. Content marketing for B2B companies is no piece of cake though, according to the survey of content marketing trends by the Content Marketing Institute and Marketing Profs:
This content marketing survey of North American B2B companies suggests that producing enough content to engage the audience is the biggest challenge for B2B content marketing.
4: Older consumers doesn’t respond to digital marketing
Digital marketing efforts are certainly not wasted on senior citizens because the Internet is no longer just for little whippersnappers who grew up with technology. According to the Pew Research Center, 59% of people age 65 and up are online, and 47% have high-speed Internet. Contrary to popular belief, older Americans are not still trying to get on AOL using a dial-up connection. Many of them are probably doing the same things you do online, like using Facebook Messenger to talk to their friends, and setting up profiles on multiple online dating sites.
There are elements in digital marketing such as UX design, SEO and PPC where older customers can benefit from attention to detail. Finding out how older customers use search engines and what size font is best can impact on sales. If your company targets an older demographic of consumers, then UX design, website content and knowing the optimal times to post is imperative. Tools such as Google Analytics will provide data on when your target customers are online and most likely to see your content.
5: Digital marketing is too hard to measure
According to Forbes, some of the main digital marketing metrics you should be keeping track of are website visits, bounce rate, customer’s retention rate, conversions and cost per lead. Keeping track of everything is hard to maneuver and a daunting prospect if you’re among the 20% of B2B marketers who don’t measure their marketing ROI.
Be that as it may, you can still measure your digital marketing effort. By doing so, you already have a competitive advantage over the 87% of senior marketers who say they don’t feel confident in forecasting the sales as a result of their marketing. Even if you use a few marketing metrics, this is better than no metrics at all. When you invest your time into strategic digital marketing, with goals in mind, this can help position your company for success.
6: Digital marketing should completely replace traditional marketing channels
Both traditional and digital marketing plays a valuable role in industries that revolve around consumer’s preferences for effectiveness. Most organizations still need a mix of marketing tactics and channels, but that mix may vary. Your “blend” may be 50 / 50 traditional and digital marketing or it may be 80 / 20 depending on your organizational culture, your customer preference, your sales cycle and more. There is no one-size-fits all mix when it comes to how much you spend on digital vs. traditional marketing. There can be such a thing as “too much” for just about everything, and that includes digital marketing as well.
7: Your digital marketing project can be done easily, quickly and cheaply
In digital marketing, there are three forces at work; the cost, time and quality. You cannot choose to have all three at the same time. Digital marketing services can be inexpensive but at the cost of time or quality. High quality/effective digital marketing requires time, and expertise in digital marketing is never cheap.
When you hear a digital marketing agency promising to deliver work on time, cheaply and with expertise; there are usually compromises on time, cost and quality.
8: Success in digital marketing has nothing to do with money
There is a common misconception that digital marketing is cheap. After all, signing up for a Google Analytics and social media account is free. Compared to traditional forms of marketing, PPC, social media ads and even programmatic marketing are cheap. Be that as it may, becoming a success at digital marketing can cost you extra money.
Learning about digital marketing and implementing an effective strategy requires time and money in hiring experts. According to Econsultancy, companies are increasing their marketing spend on digital channels. This should not be a surprise in light of the competitive marketplace and how customers behave along the buying funnel. To create an impact through digital marketing methods, a certain change and investment is required. According to eMarketer, the global ad spend on digital channels is 30%; by 2018 56.5% of all ad spend in the UK will be via digital channels and in China, 57.2% will be digital.
9: Everyone in digital marketing is a SEO expert
It is likely that all digital marketers have heard of SEO. Some have dabbled in it and others are more successful in practicing SEO. Expertise in SEO is not a prerequisite of becoming a digital marketer. There are so many peripheral techniques to great digital marketing that learning about SEO could just be one of them. These days, it is impossible to be effective in digital marketing without a foundational knowledge of how search engines work. Online visibility depends so much on search engines that any digital marketing method needs to work in synergy with the search engines.
Finding a digital marketing team with expertise in SEO is paramount to your company’s online success. Because of the changing nature of search engines and SEO, it is best to work with a digital marketing team that is up to date with SEO guidelines.
10: I don’t sell anything on my website; calls to action (CTA) aren’t important
Although a website isn’t transactional in the traditional sense, you should consider it a vital part of the conversion funnel. Calls to action are still relevant, even if they do not directly lead to purchasing something.
Calls to action brings attention to the purpose of your website. Even if you don’t sell any tangible product on your site, there are still things you would like your website visitors to do. You might need them to join your social media group, sign up to your newsletters or register as a member. Conversions does not always relate to sales. It can be a subscription or action you’d like your visitors to take. Calls to action are effective because they tap into the human psychology of expectation, curiosity and reward. Most people visit websites with the expectation of reward (valuable content).
11: Digital strategy and digital project management are the same
Bothdigital strategy and digital project management are considered skills within the umbrella of marketing but the point of view vary. Both skill sets can most definitely be held by the same person, but they really should be separated on small to medium digital marketing projects. When running a digital marketing team, there should be an appropriate staffing between strategy and project management.
The way a digital strategist and a project manager implement their tasks are different. Your digital strategist may plan on a different time scale and think about areas of continual improvement. Long term brand equity, market share value and client retention may be the goals of a digital marketing strategist. A digital product manager, on the other hand, will want results within budget and delivered within a certain time frame. Resource allocation and project functionality becomes a main concern. You can say that the digital marketing strategist thinks further ahead in time.
12: You can measure everything in digital marketing
From one extreme to another…
There are marketing tools available today that allows marketers to study all kinds of data collected from websites. Theoretically, it is possible to measure everything in marketing and put a number to it. However, there are shortcomings to every method used for measuring and this can affect your interpretation of marketing data.
Some parts of the customer purchasing journey is so intertwined; knowing what to measure is hard. And then, there is the issue of what to do with all the customer data? Everything can be measured, but should marketers bother? A consumer centric approach is to measure the effectiveness of digital marketing. Does the marketing effort deliver the solution to customers at the right time? When marketers measure the transactions taking place-such as a customer purchase, they want to know how this can inspire customers to make a purchase again in the future. Measuring transactions is the basis of real time programmatic marketing. Marketers have always wanted to measure what influences customer purchasing behaviors: relevancy, identification, accessibility, value and risk.
13: The same thing that worked for a competitor will work for me
There are many variables which affects the outcome of digital marketing campaigns. One size doesn’t fit at all in content strategy. Your competitor may have different organizational structures, target customers and reputation. When marketers compare their company with a competitor, they are assuming that all things being equal; they will achieve the same results. This does not work in reality at all.
Another problem is competitor data. Publicly available data about competitors only reveal a small glimpse of their digital marketing strategies. Even within the competitor’s company, most staff do not know the marketing strategy behind implementation. It is far more effective to conduct market analysis and test the methods. Companies cannot rely on what they hear; testing will produce a more accurate conclusion. When it comes to your competitor’s content strategy, it is useful to know why they are doing it rather than copy what they are doing. By monitoring your own metrics, you can improve the conversions with a strategy that is tailor made for you.
14: Digital marketing should be 100% outsourced
Outsourcing digital marketing is a way to save time and improve your company’s efficiency. However, it does not replace the need to know about your customers and what marketing metrics to measure. In order to gain the most from outsourcing areas of marketing such as email marketing, marketing automation and content creation, you have to be the conductor of the orchestra.
There are several practical reasons why outsourcing digital marketing may be a challenge. Firstly, outsource agencies in non-English speaking countries may have the language barrier in communicating with you. There may also be delays as a result of the distance. Secondly, quality control may be harder when your marketers are not nearby to discuss issues. Thus, finding reliable outsourced marketers is a must. Thirdly, there is a risk of copyright issues and security breaches when 3rd party providers have access to sensitive company information. Outsourcing can be a great business decision as long as the pros and cons are carefully weighed.
15: Digital marketing strategy is the responsibility of CMOs
These days, digital leadership from senior level executives is key to the company’s success. The CMO and CTO should work together to guide the digital marketing direction of the company; every member of the C-Suite has to have responsibility in digital. Forbes even predicted the role of C-suite members in 2017 and beyond. Formal responsibility has to be given to executives but a digitally led culture within the company should be nurtured. By raising the digital IQ of the organization from top down, marketing in a digital world can be more effective.
The obstacle to digital initiatives is the disconnection of roles between the organization’s members. By isolating digital tasks to only a few members, any digital initiative will be weakened.
16: Digital marketing campaigns can be executed without the support of the IT department
Every digital marketing campaign requires analytic data skills. These days, the interconnection between technology, data and marketing channels allows marketers to target consumers effectively. Programmatic marketing is an example of digital media informed by real time data. Companies are beginning to invest more in people with strong quantitative and data skill sets.
Data science, or the extraction of knowledge from large volumes of data that is structured/unstructured, is a skill that marketers will need to embrace in the next decade. Companies are collecting customer data from purchase transactions, CRM systems, supply chain systems and servers in order to gain a better understanding of what their customers want. With this data, marketers can do predictive modeling and tweak their marketing strategy. It is simply not enough to plan marketing campaigns based on intuition; insightful data has to form the backbone of all digital marketing campaigns.
17: Keyword optimized content is good enough
High quality content is the obstacle to many digital marketing campaigns. Sometimes, it is not a lack of intellectual capacity for content, but a misjudgment of what content the consumers want. There are many reasons why producing high quality content is not as easy as it seems. Most marketers misunderstand what high quality content actually means.
Let’s take Google’s Quality Rater guidelines, which has been leaked online, and talks about what constitutes high quality content. Firstly, marketers need to create content at an expert level-amateurs need not apply. Secondly, there is an emphasis on the user experience; a satisfying user experience is necessary for content to be considered high quality. Thirdly, Google recommends fresh content (frequently updated websites) with a satisfying amount of website information. This implies more, rather then less content. Lastly, Google recommends interactions with other authoritative sources to draw upon their expertise.
These days, content marketing can be in various mediums (infographics, blogs, white papers) and distributed along various digital marketing channels for different demographics of consumers. No matter what the content, content marketing has to be aligned with the marketing goals and this is a continual challenge in the changing digital landscape.
18: Digital marketing means getting millions of website traffic
In effective digital marketing, one must consider quality rather than quantity of website traffic. Attracting specific, and targeted website visitors has higher probabilities of conversion than thousands of visitors with no interest in the website. Marketers call this targeted traffic and there are many discussions ad nauseam about getting traffic to the website.
Large amounts of website traffic used to be considered an assurance of potential customers, but in reality, it is not an assurance of paying and profit-generating customers. The most successful marketing campaigns do increase website traffic but they also increase conversion rates at the same time. Large amounts of traffic without conversions is a vanity metric, and therefore meaningless. It would be to the greatest advantage of a particular business to have only 100 website visitors where most would convert into paying customers, instead of getting thousands of traffic that do not generate any profit at all.
19: SEO is dead
SEO is very much alive, although the digital landscape have changed. These days, people trained in SEO have to continuously update their practice with each search engine algorithm update. The major search engines such as Google are preventing bad content from being found by users. This means manipulative tactics (buying links, spamming, private blog networks) and poor quality websites are slowly being eradicated. When people say that certain SEO practices no longer work, this does not mean that SEO itself is dead. After all, most searches start from the search engines and this will be true as long as search engines are alive. SEO is simply becoming more sophisticated and less partial to manipulative tactics. Instead of wasting time in fooling the search engines, marketers should create better content that people will want to find.
20: “My competitors are not into digital marketing, so why should I?”
This is a notion wherein no action is being taken until there is an indication of attack. This attitude is a complacent one, trusting that their current customer will continue to patronize their businesses through traditional means and channels.
Much has changed in marketing and the behavior of consumers is the driving force. Consumption of content via digital channels mean marketers can no longer ignore their customer’s needs. In the competitive marketplace, consumers can quickly find a more reliable and up to date brand.
The marketplace decides the victor in their digital marketing efforts. Potential shifts in the digital landscape means marketers have to adapt quickly to new channels of marketing and technology. Digital marketing lies once had a grain of truth in them; the evolving marketplace does not care for that, only results. Businesses have to be prepared for paradigm shifts in marketing or they will be left far behind. What works today may not work tomorrow so businesses cannot hold onto the same marketing concepts for long.
Structured learning or deep learning has come to the fore again as many of the world’s biggest tech companies start to buy into this intelligent technology. Google, Microsoft, Baidu and Facebook are just some of the brand names implementing artificial intelligence.
But what is deep learning and how will it impact search for users of search engines? How will the implementation of AI change SEO (search engine optimization) for the future?
Using Artificial Intelligence SEO
The concept of deep learning started with Geoffrey Hinton, who works for Google and the University of Toronto. For the last two decades, Hinton have pushed forward the idea of neural networks and sophisticated deep learning. As a result artificial intelligence technologies are quickly making an impact on search companies. Real behavioural learning in artificial intelligence is relatively affordable to implement and can impact search algorithms greatly for the future. The reason why deep learning didn’t take off in the 90s was due to inadequate data and chip processing abilities. In 2017, technology has evolved to the extent that deep learning can be implemented by companies. A forerunner in augmented intelligence, Clarifai uses this technology for content curation and advertising. Rand Fishkin of SEO company Moz have said that deep learning involving neural networks may well be the future of SEO. Currently, IBM’s Watson Analytics allows small startup businesses to find relational and predictive information in their data.
As the world’s most valuable search engine, Google is at the forefront of analyzing images and language. In 2014 Google acquired DeepMind and deep learning is constantly tested on the image captions and description of visual content. For example, after watching a video on YouTube, search engines aim to use deep learning technology to describe the content. Facebook AI Research (FAIR) shows commitment to deeper learning as well in the facial recognition software and open source modules for Torch. Recently, Facebook’s CIO Mike Schroepfer stated that Facebook’s AI technology has the ability to recognize actions in videos uploaded. Another example of machine learning applied is the how-old.net facial recognition created by Microsoft Project Oxford. The setting up process from the Machine Learning APIs to the analytics took 24 hours.
Using Artificial Intelligence SEO would change the way internet users input search and get search engines to retrieve the relevant information. Firstly, deep learning for algorithms will allow for more accurate search results according to the user’s needs. Secondly, irrelevant information will be filtered out using AI technology; it will be harder for SEO marketers to spam or trick search engine algorithms. Thirdly, search engines will create a profile for the user so that all future searches are customized for interest, location and purchasing intention.
Marketing implications of artificial intelligence SEO
The integration of artificial intelligence in search is imminent and marketers will have to adjust the way they do SEO. Marketing is becomingly increasingly user centric and SEO is no exception. Social networking sites and visual content can bring more value to users than ever before. What catches the eye and deliver valuable content will have greater authority on search engines. Hubspot’s research shows that interesting visual elements could generate 94% more views and 37% more engagement; this is the determining factor of future search rankings. In addition to better rankings for visual rich content, black hat SEO methods will be eliminated by intelligent algorithms. Another possibility for SEO is knowing what content is optimized for which device screens. Some of the highly visual content may be ranked higher for virtual reality devices than for mobile.