Category Archives: Technology Innovation

Posts related to innovation in technology

SEO and marketing Q&A with Alvomedia

Alvomedia SEO and marketing Q&A with marketing consultant Nelson Fuhr

 

Creating useful online content is important for any company, whether they are a B2B, B2C or non-profit government organization. To get ahead in marketing, we are told to produce ever more content, in competition with the huge volume of content that is being generated online every minute. In our Q&A we will discuss with Nelson Fuhr, digital marketing consultant at Alvomedia, about the relevance of SEO for 2015 and how this can be integrated with content marketing.

Let’s Talk about SEO and Marketing for 2015 and beyond

Q: Is Content becoming more important than SEO?

A: We use SEO to find the content, so one cannot exist without the other. In recent years, marketers have become more focused on content because creating valuable content helps their customers. Customers want to be informed and guided along the sales transaction, hence the need for relevant, useful content. SEO is very important for that content to be found by the right customers. Without it, customers do not know just how good your content is.

 

Q: How is SEO still important for companies today?

A: SEO is really important for any integrated digital marketing plan. Everything ties in together-the SEO for great organic exposure and traffic, and the content to convert customers once they find your webpage. Organic ranking is crucial for getting traffic and more visitors to your website. The more people that visit your website, the higher the chance of conversions into paying customers. Without customers, there is no business essentially. Google algorithms for SEO take into account mobile responsiveness, loading time and relevant content nowadays. This is all to help make internet browsing better for the user. Every business would want their customers to have a better user experience on their website.

 

Q: What is black hat SEO?

A: Unethical SEO that will get you penalized by Google. This includes keyword stuffing, spam and purchased backlinks.

 

Q: What do you write for content, how much is enough?

A: Firstly, know what your brand is all about. What industry is it in and what problems does it solve for customers? You have to know about the mindset of your target audience: what do they want to know and how can you tell them the information to make them take notice. Content that helps, addresses a concern, give guidance, provide information are very good basis for content writing. How often you write depends on what you can schedule time for. Content writing eats up time quickly so you need to be disciplined and have a routine/set goals of how much to write a week.

 

Q: How does social media help SEO if at all?

A: Social media amplifies your SEO efforts. Tweets and shares on Facebook will improve your search engine rankings. For Google search engines, Google+ has an impact on page rankings. If you can only have one social media platform to leverage for rankings, choose Google+. Social media works because of the wide reach and engagement. I would recommend social media as a research tool for trending topics and concerns. Companies need to stay relevant and knowing what their customers are talking about is helpful. You can also uncover new keywords phrases and connect with influencers who can help with your brand awareness.

 

SEO and marketing will change with changes in Google's algorithms

 

 

Q: What is your stance on link buying?

A: The money used on buying links can be used better elsewhere, such as writing a blog and creating valuable content. Link building is more expensive in the long run because of the maintenance costs in buying more. Google does not like backlinks that were bought, it could get your website penalized-too much risk.

 

 

 

Q: What takes the longest to do in SEO?

A: The most time consuming task in SEO is worth it in the long run. Link building

 

Q: When there are multiple versions of a page, have you seen a canonical link tag used successfully on the website?

A: Links suggested by the canonical tag do replace noncanonical links in a list. So canonical link element works fine in Google. Indexation decreases for noncanonical URLs and the canonical tags have an impact on Google sitelinks. This works for Google but not Yahoo or Bing at the moment. By using a canonical tag you are giving Google a hint which URLs should be indexed. In time, deindex your URL and redirect visitors using the 301 redirect.

 

 

Q: Things change so fast in the world of SEO. Is there a best way to do things?

A: The best way I can foresee for 2015 and beyond is to integrate SEO with what every other department is doing: content creation, social networking, front end design and UX. The reasoning behind this in my opinion is efficiency and effectiveness from collaboration. When SEO teams work in isolation, they do not know what is happening with content creation and website design. This was fine years ago, before Google rolled out new algorithms. In 2015, everyone has to take into account how responsive design and content works with SEO.

 

Q: Is SEO dead?

A: SEO will be around longer but not the way we know it. Google is changing algorithms constantly and for improved user experience. SEO professionals used to be technically competent but now they need to create high quality content to amplify the efforts. They also need to work with the website designers and bloggers so to speak.

 

Q: Does being first to the game give older online websites more advantage?

A: Older websites have many problems such as bugs and fixes. Their roadmaps require replatforming, taking up considerable time. In the meantime, new websites with search engine optimized pages can jump up the page rank pretty quickly. On the other hand, older websites have more inbound links built over the years. Whether those links work or not is another issue. Some of the linked websites may no longer exist; an SEO has to spend time cleaning it out.

 

Q: Are guest posts spam?

A: Many guest posts do not add value except for a link back to the poster’s website. Google sees some guest posting as spam and will penalize accordingly. There are high quality guest blogs that benefit the website where it is posted; it depends how the post is written.

 

Q: Is onsite SEO still relevant?

A: Onpage SEO is still important for meta titles, site architecture and menu navigation, internal linking, sitemaps and meta robot tags. It is there to help Google interpret the structure of the website. Creating onsite content involves pleasing the reader first and foremost.

 

Q: What tools for SEO would you recommend?

A: GetStat is a great ranking tool which allows you to monitor many terms for rankings. This is recommended for enterprise SEO where country level rankings and knowing the landscape of terms is important. The tagging feature for keywords lets you see where a drop in ranking is coming from. Screaming Frog is good for site crawling and Deep Crawl as well. Majestic SEO and SEMrush are great for off page analysis.

 

Q: What will Google do next?

A: Google will try to find the most relevant websites for their users.  With the huge number of well optimized websites Google may overhaul their algorithms to rank the more authoritative ones higher. One of the changes I foresee happening is authorship. This means authoritative content from an online influencer. Becoming an online influencer takes time and authoritativeness is hard to manipulate. Links can carry heavier weight when coming from an authoritative author. Only time will tell!

 

Q: How can one stay on top of changes in SEO?

A: Subscribe to SEO industry website RSS feeds and join in the conversion on Twitter with other SEO experts. There’ll always be dissenting opinions about SEO and that’s good. Learn as you do SEO for your own website.

 

 

 

Gain Customers Through Social Media Marketing

You business can gain loyal customers through correct social media marketing

With more than 2 billion social media accounts in the world, and 47% of internet users on Facebook, social media is a big deal for marketers. The reach of social media marketing is perfect for both online and offline businesses. You can create a social media account for your business and use excellent content marketing to keep it alive and growing.

No business marketer can ever deny the value of a loyal fan base. People are bound to generate large revenues (lifetime value LTV) if they are loyal to a certain brand. That is why every marketing agency tries to connect with leads emotionally using digital marketing ideas. Social networking is an excellent way to connect emotionally with customers because it is intrinsically human to interact with one another. Social media marketers tries to understand human motivations, interpersonal relationships and behaviours in such settings. They then apply the insights to socially targeted marketing.

Social media marketing practices that will improve conversions

Social media marketing has the potential to reach a wider online audience than ever before

The common perspective and the reality

For nearly all the new startups and online businesses, social media networks is an integral part of their marketing strategy. ‘Go where your customers are,’ is the popular saying, but what does it actually mean? In 2015, as shown by statistics, many people are active on social media networks. In order for businesses to reach potential customers, they have to roll up their sleeves and work hard on creating their social media personas. Oreo on creative social platform Vine and Ikea on Pinterest are just some of the brands that leveraged social media successfully to gain more conversions.  The common perspective in 2011 was that social media is a temporary fad and large companies were unwilling to invest much money on social media marketing. The tables have turned by 2015 when research by Econsultancy has shown that 71% of brands plan to invest more in social media to build brand equity. Convince&Convert recently published a study showing that 53% of Americans make purchases from the brands they follow.

Social media marketing can enhance the brand image and customer service

How to create loyal customers

A loyal customer can give you more benefits in the end than you can ever calculate. He/she leads to the generation of a steady stream of leads. You get more referrals and brand mentions. It is sort of a chain reaction in which you can trigger one person to attract many.  Follow these tips to get loyal customers.

1: Provide an excellent customer service

Customers cares only about how you treat them. Even if you do not provide the type of product they need, a courteous business manner can influence them in making a purchase. According to Forbes, 71% of customers that end a business relationship is because of bad customer service. It is therefore important to make them feel secure and cared for. Social media lets you communicate with customers in real time. This allows you to understand their problems, respond to them in a timely manner and come up with solutions.  It also lets others know how much you value your customers and thus create a positive feeling towards your brand.

2. Interesting and useful posts

Attract potential leads towards your profile by creating highly creative or informative posts and articles. These posts should be interesting and easy to read as people are becoming increasingly indifferent to advertisements. Moreover, your content should be full of information about your product or services industry. The aim of creating useful posts is to get the content shared across the social media channels. The wider the audience reached, the more leads that will be generated. Widespread sharing of your posts create strong inbound and outbound marketing. It is more helpful than SEO.

3. Improve brand image through social marketing

When you know your customer’s perspective of your products, you can easily formulate targeted marketing strategy. You can remove the flaws in your marketing or else display your product in a way that is more socially acceptable and appealing for the public. This will get you more audience, traffic, and ultimately more loyal customers. Learn what are the demands and expectations of your customers to fulfil them and gain their loyalty.

4. Explain your products

Social media is an ideal platform to explain about your products. You can let everyone know about the benefits it provides without boring anyone. Interesting interactive posts and instructional videos can easily get you attention and loyalty of many. Creating tutorials, power point slides and guides can add to the information for your customers and help facilitate customer conversions.

5. Focus on networks that fits your brand image

Social media networking across different platforms can help your brand reach the right audience

When 22% of Americans use social media multiple times a day, brands cannot afford not to appear on several different networks. Choose the ones that are best fits with your audience and brand image otherwise it will be wasted effort.  For brand awareness, Facebook and Instagram works well (especially if your brand sells using a lot of visual content). Vine, Vimeo, Tumblr, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Twitter are other networks your brand should consider depending on what you sell.

6. Create content that supports your brand image

Sometimes, brands forget they need unified content across different networks. The content message has to be consistent but it does not have to be the same content. In fact, creating the same content across different social networks is a waste of time and shows lack of effort. What brands need to focus on is creating a good variety of cohesive content. If you are a serious company, posting light hearted gifs on a Tumblr account might not be cohesive with your brand and confuse your customers. Customers are mostly likely to convert when they trust the brand and the image that they project.

7. Using visual content to convert

Content with images receive 94% more views than text alone and prospects recall brands better when there is more visual content. Use images that are cohesive with your brand image and A/B test the effectiveness of visual content in different social media platforms.

8. Leverage the influence of social media influencers

Establishing your brand’s authority in your industry and gaining the attention of potential leads take time. You can leverage the audience of social media influencers by tagging them, writing about them or citing their works. Kindly ask the permission of the influencer if you are unsure. In order for influencer leverage to work, you need to create consistently great content.

9. Paid social 

Paid social ads can generate more leads and lead to conversions for your brand. Diminishing organic reach on social platforms such as Facebook means that brands have to pay up. Social media campaigns and contests now appear on social media and the most effective ones offer value.

10. Strategic Planning

Many people think of social media as a vague marketing method. The vagueness comes from not being able to measure the ROI for things such as social engagement and reach and lots of time spent on trial and error. Without a social media strategy in place, it can be frustrating. Decide your goal for social media marketing, be it conversions, influence or brand awareness and refine your social marketing to meet them.

 

Consumer futurist Higham offers his view on the future of digital marketing

A Consumer Futurist Vision Of The Future

Marketing To Consumers In The Future

Consumer Futurist William Higham may be onto something when he talks about the future of digital marketing. The CEO of The Next Big Thing thinks constantly about consumer behaviours and how this will impact marketing methods. Successful marketing strategies relies on the attitude and behaviours of consumers so this is what Higham says about marketing for future consumers:

Things a consumer futurist can predict about marketing to consumers in the future

1. Studying consumer trends will mitigate costly mistakes

Marketing for future consumers require the study of trends. Higham have worked with clients such as AOL, BBC and MTV-trends in consumer behaviour is essential for companies developing new marketing strategies.

2. Attitudes drive consumer behaviour

Every marketing trend has been influenced by consumer behaviour, and most consumer behaviour is influenced by social attitudes. Consumer attitudes are changing all the time, it is vital for marketers to observe it. For instance, do consumers value cost over convenience, or time over cost? It would seem from the recent marketing successes of Uber and AirBnB that consumers in 2015 value time and convenience.

3. The growth of personal technology has empowered consumers 

Technology is changing exponentially and consumers are empowered by the devices that are launched every few months. Consumers will use technology the way they want and brands must adapt to their behaviours. The consumers of 2015 are smart consumers informed about different technological options. Consumers of the future will be even more connected in real time than they are today.

4. Disruption caused by consumer behaviours

Companies can no longer ignore consumer behaviours if they want to survive. Changing consumer behaviours have wiped out entire companies (Kodak) and consumers always vote with their feet. This is the same with marketing for new technologies; consumers will not buy from brands that are behind in terms of social attitudes.

5. Consumers of the future have simple needs

Smart, tech savvy consumers of the future want a sense of community, security and humanity.

6. Consumers want brands to be omnipresent

Consumers want companies to be omnipresent but they appreciate the human touch. Personalised services and community spirit is preferred over slick, impersonal marketing.

7. Consumers growing up in the same decade have similar behaviours

Consumer attitudes towards socially acceptable behaviours, technology, privacy and lifestyles are similar if they grew up in the same decade. Generational influence is a big factor.

Google buy button will make shopping impulses easier to satisfy

Google Buy Button For Shopping Ads

Launch of Google Buy Button

On May 15th this year, the Wall Street Journal reported that Google will be launching a buy button for its search engine.  The WSJ speculated that this move will pose a threat to eBay and Amazon, both huge online purchasing platforms most consumers in the UK and US use. Now, according to Google’s Chief Business Officer Omid Kordestani, the buy button is imminent and will take impulse buyers straight to the product’s check out page on Google.

Google Buy Button will appear on search results

The significance of the buy button is that it will appear in search results instead of on the actual home page of eCommerce sites. The transaction length between browsing and purchasing will be significantly shortened and make Google search engine the preferred place to place all orders for purchase. Making purchasing easier for consumers mean one thing: more purchases being made for the good of the economy.

Google buy button may help generate revenue from location based searches

From 2014 to 2015, the number of location based searches on Google has doubled, which means increased revenue for Google when retailers vie for prominent positions on location based search results. Kordestani noted that despite the rise in online shopping, only 10% of purchases were made online. The launch of the Google buy button will make it easier for consumers to load their online shopping trolleys.

Contrary to popular belief, the Google buy button will not clutter up the search results. Only paid product listings will show this buy button next to their listings. For consumers searches on mobile devices, they will be taken to the Google webpage where they can place an order and pay.

 

Programmatic branding is used for advertising campaigns by 62% of marketers

Programmatic Branding Report Statistics

Programmatic Branding Statistics

According to the latest Programmatic Branding Report, programmatic branding is being used by 62% of marketers for brand campaigns. The Report was produced in partnership with Quantcast and is based on a survey of 100 senior marketing professionals in the UK and US. The report reveals that brands have been trying to reach audiences online by using programmatic methods. It was found that 37% of marketers expected to increase their budget for programmatics in 2016 and 2017. The survey asked for marketer’s perception of programmatic branding and this is what they said:

  • 64% said that programmatics increased efficiency in branding campaigns
  • 58% agreed that it reduced overall advertising costs
  • 56% opined that programmatic advertising targeted the right audience in real time
  • 52% said that programmatic methods gave them the opportunity to leverage first party data
  • 52% said that they had a higher ROI from programmatics
  • 49% stated that they could build more effective cross device campaigns
  • 49% of marketers said that they could gather better data and insights to understanding their customer
  • 48% agreed that programmatic had the ability to achieve scale
  • 45% of marketers said that programmatic advertising reduced time to launch campaigns
  • 45% said that programmatic advertising helped to leverage 3rd party data

Defining Programmatic Branding

Programmatic advertising is a way to buy media space in real time; the real time bidding is a digital strategy that is set to be the main form of advertising by 2020. In 2014 alone, revenue from real time bidding reached $1.6 billion. The main benefit of programmatic buying is in the automated system that helps to target audiences and save the marketer time. In real time bidding, the marketer can set the bid price and network reach in addition to adding behavioural parameter and other customer data. In other words, programmatic advertising is a sophisticated way of targeting a defined audience and adding many variables at the same time. Algorithms help to filter target the potential customers according to behavioural data, thus giving marketers more time to work on other things.

Using data that is relevant to a branding campaign, programmatics can serve ads that are optimised at the impression level. Running targeted ads based on customer behaviours is an efficient way of promoting a product. This building of a custom pool of consumers is what makes programmatics so attractive to marketers. Programmatic advertising has been compared to the stock market in the sheer size and scale of ‘trading,’ ad impressions.

Virtually any online business can benefit from programmatic advertising. The precision of programmatic is superior to paid ads where there can be inefficiencies in targeting the right customer. It is cost effective and operates well on cross devices as well. All the mechanics of real time bidding-such as setting a reserve price, displaying unsold inventory in real time and scoring higher bids adds to the transparency of the process. Ergo, you only bid for ads that your customers want to see.

Whatsapp messaging for B2C could be a new feature for the instant messaging app

WhatsApp Messaging For B2C

WhatsApp Messaging Is Changing

Facebook’s chief financial officer David Wehner has announced that B2C, or business to customer interaction could be  a feature for the Facebook acquired instant messaging app WhatsApp in the future. Unlike Facebook, WhatsApp is not known for business user bases. People using WhatsApp were not businesses looking to engage with potential customers. In addition to being more appealing for brands, the proposal could lead to more revenue if WhatsApp goes ahead with the new feature. WhatsApp has a user base of more than 800 million people and this is very promising for brands to build relationships with users.

Will WhatsApp Messaging be the last place to remain advertisement free?

Facebook already has Businesses on Messenger app that allows customers to be informed about shipping and orders of products. The B2C strategy used in Businesses on Messenger is effective because customers only get information when they want and only after signing up. If this initiative is anything to go by, then WhatsApp could really help consumers to stay in touch in real time with brands that they have opted in to hear from. When Facebook acquired WhatsApp in 2014 for $22 billion, they said that there would not be any advertisements on the instant messaging service. However, this is entirely different from permission based advertisements where the user wants to be actively informed about brands. There will be choices for users of WhatsApp if the B2C messaging feature goes ahead: people can opt in to receive B2C messages from brands or they can opt out.

Implication for marketing and WhatsApp users

The advantage of using WhatsApp is connecting with other users around the world. Although SMS marketing in commonplace in the US, it is not so in other countries where email and more traditional forms of marketing are used. If WhatsApp was to go through with the new initiative, it will open up communication of brands with customers all around the globe in a seamless manner. As long as marketers adhere to the rules of SMS marketing such as timing, relevancy and quality control of content, the scope for international SMS marketing is huge through WhatsApp.

The implications for consumers if the move goes ahead will be manifold. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has said that WhatsApp will need to scale to 1 billion users before it is a meaningful business. How, the benefits of a SMS based eCommerce may make the implementation occur faster. As mentioned before, Facebook has a business on Messenger feature already where customers are offered support, updates and payment options for buying products. The international dimension will make sending payments via SMS very appealing to users of WhatsApp. The ease and personalisation of SMS payment will make brands eager to adopt this eCommerce feature.

 

Fast Growth of Mobile Marketing

Global mobile users statistics 2015

2014 was the tipping point for the number of mobile compared to desktop users

Every where you look, people are using smartphones, tablets and hybrids to keep connected with the world around them. The Digital, Social and Mobile survey conducted by We Are Social in January 2015 shows that 3.6 billion people use mobile devices with a penetration of 51%. In that same survey it was found that there was a 5% increase in the unique mobile users from January 2014 to January 2015.

According to GO Gulf Web Design Dubai, conversion rates on mobile devices is 300% that compared to a desktop. Mobile devices already accounts for a third of all sales transactions online around the  world and the figures point to growth for 2016 and beyond. In the State of Digital Marketing 2015 infographic, it was found that 80% of people primarily accessed the internet using their smartphones.

Implications of mobile marketing growth

Mobile marketing is taking over desktop marketing. What are the implications for marketers and brands?

1. There will be an increased investment in mobile apps

The Adobe Mobile Marketing Survey 2014 found that there has been increased investment in mobile app development. Although it is possible for brands to market using Facebook and Twitter (there are 1.2 billion Facebook monthly active users with 30% only ever logging in from a mobile device), marketers will want to write their own code for apps. A mobile app has the advantage of being user friendly for customers and for data collection, targeting, location tracking and push notifications. Customers will be notified immediately when a special offer or advertisement is published; it is hyper targeted marketing.

2. Created for mobile users

Mobile marketing requires responsive design and mobile first features

The tipping point occurred for mobile when the number of mobile users surpassed desktop users (ComSCORE, 2014). The implication of this statistic is that marketing should be focused on being mobile first. A mobile-first approach includes mobile responsive website designs, touch friendly ad banners, optimally placed CTAs, QR codes and other ad placements.

3. Marketing based on location

mobile marketing can use more GPS and geofencing to target prospective customers

Real time location based marketing is a powerful method to target customers. The technology requires GPS and geolocation; there is insufficient advances in this area so far. Location based targeting is different from check ins where the customer does not receive ads prior to checking into a location. Implemented properly, location based marketing can track customers and adopt different personas for ad campaigns. Customers can be notified of special promotions when they are in close proximity to a venue. There is greater scope for interaction and customer conversions when the mobile technology senses a lead.

4. Personalised for mobile

The close proximity of a smartphone to their user makes this more personal compared to tablets and laptops. The ease of access implies faster intake of information. 76% of people in a survey by SAP 2014 said that they were more likely to read a message delivered via SMS and that SMS was the best way for businesses to contact them.  The psychology behind mobile marketing is increased personalisation. Getting the mobile user’s attention using their name, recent purchases and updates on discounts are all examples of mobile personalisation. Allowing the mobile user to opt out and disable notifications when in different time zones should be considerations.

5. Payments via mobile

Mobile security and customer’s perception of mobile security has been increasing in recent years. Mobile payments are now completed through mobile apps when the customer finds the product in store and there are many retails outlets that participate in mobile payments. PayPal, Apple Pay and Google Wallet are the mobile apps available in 2015 but marketers are interested in customers paying through their own apps. Mobivity, a patented technology that drives sales, has projected a 60% increase in mobile payments for 2015.

6. The serious matter of privacy

Any device that collects data will be vulnerable to hacks and other privacy breaches. A mobile app contains a lot of sensitive data which is why customers are reluctant to opt in. Sometimes, the benefits will override the risks, such as personalised ads and promotional offers. Customers are willing to hand over data only if the marketing is clear about what will be done with the data and if there are parameters of data usage. Difference Data Protections laws should inform mobile marketers about how to deal with sensitive data.

Conclusion

Mobile marketing is growing fast and will disrupt the way ecommerce companies target and advertise to customers. The statistics supporting this growth should give marketers plenty to think about in the coming years. Mobile marketing is no longer a matter of speculation-it will happen and it will be led by customer demands for mobile friendly shopping.

 

 

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.

virtual reality technology is transforming the way retailers can market to consumers

Virtual Reality Technology in Retail

Virtual Reality Technology Changes The Shopping Experience

Virtual reality (VR) technology has had great press coverage thanks to Facebook’s $2bn acquisition of Oculus VR company in 2014. Mark Zuckerberg’s announcement of this acquisition on Facebook explained why he believed so strongly in VR technology for the future: 
you enter a completely immersive computer-generated environment, like a game or a movie scene or a place far away. The incredible thing about the technology is that you feel like you’re actually present in another place with other people. People who try it say it’s different from anything they’ve ever experienced in their lives.
And,
This is really a new communication platform. By feeling truly present, you can share unbounded spaces and experiences with the people in your life. Imagine sharing not just moments with your friends online, but entire experiences and adventures.
Many people have heard of virtual reality technology but have not experienced the immersive environment that Zuckerberg talks about. That is, until now.
An industry that thrives on great customer experience and shared feedback/reviews, retail is a hot target for virtual reality. This was tested at London’s Westfield this March and April when shoppers were invited to put on an Oculus Rift virtual headset and see themselves as avatars on an interactive screen. Westfield partnered with Inition to create this experience for shoppers and many were able to create styleboards and browse the latest fashion styles in 3D. 

Virtual reality technology coming to a high street near you

Virtual reality is here to stay and retail stores are adapting to this new technology. Stores such as Debenhams and TopShop have already ventured into digital realms. Topshop in Oxford Street staged a Topshop virtual reality catwalk show at their store in 2014 and Debenhams allowed shoppers at select stores to change their outfits on an app as far back as 2011! The purpose of the virtual reality catwalk show was to engage potential consumers in a way that videos can never achieve. Upmarket fashion has an exclusive audience at their catwalk shows but the emergence of virtual reality technology may make this more accessible to everyone without the fashion connections. From a sales point of view, virtual reality is effective in making customers remember the brands and has potential for better lead nurturing.

7 for all Mankind embraces virtual reality technology

For their Spring 2015 campaign, 7 For All Mankind will be sending DoDoCase cardboard VR viewers to customers in order to view their ‘Visions of California’ on Android devices. The stunning VR campaign (produced by VR company Jaunt) will feature palm trees, sounds of the sea of visions of beautiful models in 7 For All Mankind Apparel. Traditional forms of fashion campaigns would feature 2D models with a static pose. The VR fashion campaign allows fashion designers to showcase their new collection in a more memorable and impactful way. Viewers can connect better with the model and buy into the story of the product.