What are the most common problems in content marketing?

Common Problems In Content Marketing

Problems In Content Strategies

Content marketing is not just about churning out content according to a content creation schedule. Many businesses find content marketing a challenge in coordinating, planning and integrating the efforts. Creating conversion optimized content is very different from mindless content that many businesses mistake for customer optimized content.

Focus on content Strategy

Content marketing is ineffective without a strategy. The strategy should be optimized for conversion; customer experience, content integration, content consistency and breakdown of marketing silos. When the term content marketing became popular, it was misinterpreted as company advertising. Content marketing is used for promoting businesses through customer care and education. Living in an ideas economy poses many problems for businesses who want their content marketing to convert. Not having a conversion strategy is a common problem in content marketing.

Integrating content marketing is one of the biggest challenges for businesses

Content marketing problem 1: No value added

Every piece of content created needs to add value to the business and customers. This value can be reference, knowledge for customers, and answers to specific questions. Before creating content, define the business goals and how it can add value and convert. If content does not benefit customers, it is worthless.

Content marketing problem 2: Copying what competitors do

Copying what others do is not the sincerest form of flattery. It is a waste of time and resources. Your business may need to tap into a sector that has to present content in a different way. The context of your customers is important and you need to work around that. Copying your competitor’s success on SnapChat may not be the best content marketing tactic for you. You may attain higher conversion rates through content marketing on YouTube.

Content marketing problem 3: Disconnection and silos

Silos in content marketing tasks hampers effectiveness. It is a waste of time to create duplicate content or content that does not connect with other content. Different voices/inconsistency in content marketing is a problem faced by larger companies and needs to be addressed.

Content marketing problem 4: No content strategy

Content strategy is all about planning content creation, content integration and content distribution. Finding the right content marketing channels and knowing what time to deliver it is crucial. This is easier said than done because most businesses fail at distribution and content optimization. Ignoring customer context is partly to blame and lack of focus.

Content marketing problem 5: No testing of content strategy

Businesses with a marketing budget have to know their content marketing KPI and ROI and track every effort. Analytic tools and A/B testing can filter out the ineffective content marketing methods and help businesses to regain focus.

Content marketing problem 6: Lack of integration within content

From digital footprints to CRM data, content marketing persona, customer segmentation, automation to user generated content, content marketing has to be unified. The lack of content marketing integration creates confusion for customers. The company has to look at the bigger picture of content integration whilst working on a granular level.

For a consultation about your content strategy, contact Alvomedia London inbound marketing agency at info@alvomedia.com

25 effective SEO tips

26 Effective SEO Tips For Your Website

 Simple SEO Tips For Better Rankings

If you have a new business website then these SEO tips can help rank your website for keywords in as little as 4-6 months time. For more advanced SEO or highly competitive keywords, you can hire a SEO agency to set everything up for you. Let’s get started on these top SEO tips:

1. Write high quality content on a consistent basis

High quality content is better than large quantities of average content. How do you know if the content is high quality? Make sure that what you write about is informative, interesting, adds value and include images or videos with the text. Write high quality content consistently to ensure more traffic and better rankings.

2. Write content that is relevant and targeted to your audience.

If you operate a website selling organic socks, write relevant content about organic cotton and how to look after them. Don’t try to stray from your main subject: organic cotton socks!

3. Keyword research for search volume and competitiveness.

Use Google Keywords Planner to help you find relevant keywords that gets searched a lot and use these as your website keywords.

4. Write good meta descriptions that tell the search engines what your website page is about

A meta description is the html description that summarizes what your page is about. For a web page about cleaning your organic cotton socks, the meta description can be, ‘how to clean and look after your new organic cotton socks.’

5. Write titles with the focus SEO keywords

The title of your web page should contain the keywords. If your web page is about organic cotton care, the title must contain ‘organic cotton care’ in it.

6. Make sure that the URLs are search engine optimized -with the main keywords

The URL should contain the main keywords for that page.

7. In the first paragraph of your content, make sure that the main keywords are found there.

The first paragraph of your blog or website content should contain the keywords near the beginning to communicate to the search engine what your page is about.

8. Be careful about keyword stuffing

Instead of stuffing keywords into your content at every opportunity, incorporate them in a natural way that flows when you read the text. A keyword density of around 9% is ideal.

9. Optimize images on your website for SEO

When using images, and you should be using images in your content, use your keywords in the alt description. If your page is about cleaning organic cotton with the keywords, ‘washing organic cotton,’ write this in the alt description of your image to accompany the text.

10. Use -hyphen in URLs, not underscores_

An URL for the title ‘Washing your organic cotton’ should be ‘washing-organic-cotton,’ and not ‘washing_organic_cotton.

11. Use Robots.txt files.

This is a file at the root of your domain site that indicates those parts of your site that should not be crawled by search engines.

12. Use no more than one H1 tag per page.

One H1 tag is enough to communicate to Google what your page is about. More than H1 will present a problem of prioritizing what the subject matter is about.

13. Structure your page using H1, H2 and H3 tags accordingly.

For example, the page structure for a piece of content about washing organic cotton can be:

<h1>Cleaning organic cotton</h1>

<h2>What fabric cleaners to use with organic cotton?</h2>

<h3>How to make your organic cotton socks last longer</h3>

14. Make sure that your website is user friendly and clear to understand

When a visitor clicks through to your website, they should know immediately what it is about, where the contact information is and how to find different sections of the website that interest them.

15. Check for broken URLs and fix them, or delete from the pages.

The http response 404 not found error is the sign of a broken link. Using a link checking tool such as Screaming Frog SEO spider, you can crawl the website and find any broken URLs.

16. When building links, build slowly and link to relevant, high quality websites.

There are so many things written about link building, it will require a few blogs to cover it! Generally, avoid building links too quickly (it would appear manipulative to Google) and link to high PR sites related to your website. Using Open Site Explorer, you can research website backlinks and any reputations relating to trust.

17. Use Google+ in your social marketing.

In a Google search ranking factors test, it was found that Google +1s had the single highest correlation with Google search ranking (0.4).

18. Use Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and LinkedIn for your business website.

The biggest social media platforms for reach and targeted customers are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn. You can search for demographic of audiences with Facebook, engage target customers with eye-catching images on Pinterest and use search hashtags for Twitter and Instagram. LinkedIn is suited for contacting professionals in specific industries. The greater your social presence, the more traffic directed to your website and the better your search engine rankings.

19. Links from .edu and .gov sites are very reputable and great for SEO

Websites on .edu and .gov domains have the advantage of age, trust and domain authority every link builder wants.

20. Create a sitemap for your website

Using XML sitemap generator you can build a sitemap quickly. A sitemap is important in telling Google and other search engines about your site content and organization. You need to update your sitemap often.

21. Video marketing using YouTube is effective

YouTube videos are 53 times as likely to rank for Google than simply text alone. This makes sense when you consider that Google wants website visitors to find the most relevant and information rich content. After creating your YouTube video, you should embed the videos on your website as well.

22. Use paid search marketing

Google adwords and PPC (pay per click) will direct more traffic to your website. Do not buy traffic because it will not be targeted for conversion. Traffic is vanity whereas actual sales are what you should be aiming for.

23. Delete/redirect any duplicate content

Duplicate content confuses Google and does not translate to user friendliness. Use a 301 redirect from the page with duplicate content to the one with the proper content. You should redirect any duplicate content URLs to the proper canonical URLs.

24. Use internal linking to other pages within your website

Internal links will connect relevant pages to each other in the same website. Do not link pages under your main domain website for the sake of internal linking. It must be helpful for the reader. A page about cleaning organic cotton under the domain www.organiccottonsocksshop.com can link to another page about colourful organic socks under the same domain name.

25. Check that your website is mobile friendly

Mobilegeddon has made it harder to rank for websites that are not mobile optimized. If your pages are static then consider installing AMP for your pages. You can check if your website is mobile friendly using Google’s Mobile Friendly Test.

26. Optimize website content for natural language search

With the emergence of voice control and search, Internet users are turning to digital assistants to retrieve information. Instead of over optimizing single keywords, website content should be optimized around natural language search queries.

6 common company branding mistakes to avoid

6 Common Company Branding Mistakes

Company Branding Mistakes To Avoid

The business world is competitive, and the rise of the internet and social media profiles has made branding more important than ever.

Your brand is how you communicate information about your business with new and returning customers. Unfortunately, this also means that when a company makes mistakes with its brand, the toll on the company’s value and recruitment is heavier. A simple mistake can undermine years of work in building up a company’s brand and marketing strategies.

Avoid making the same miscalculations that other company’s make.

Here are six of the most common branding mistakes that businesses commit, with advice on how to prevent your company from falling into the same traps.

Inconsistent Messaging

When your company develops its brand, there is a certain message and image relayed to your customers. If you’re not careful, over time it can become easy to lose focus and send mixed messages that are inconsistent with your company brand. This is unappealing to customers and deters brand loyalty.

Remember, it’s important to stay in control of what comes up when someone looks you up online. Online reputation management often governs the rise and fall of web-based companies, and a ton of that has to do with branding.

Inconsistency may occur if brand guidelines are not communicated to the entirety of your staff. Everyone employed by your company should reflect messaging consistent with your brand, using the same voice and imagery.

This may involve some training, but such efforts will pay off. Your employees should be able to effectively explain the company’s attributes, culture, and offerings.

And speaking of consistency…

Forgetting Branding Guidelines

Keep your brand cohesive. You want your brand and message to always be recognizable, no matter which social media account or medium you’re promoting through, whether that’s Facebook or print media.

Create branding guidelines for your company that include imagery and colors related to your logo, taglines, fonts, and mascots.

The colors and fonts used by a company’s brand will stick in a customer’s mind. Over time, customers will begin to recognize these features and associate them with your company and work.

If your branding is inconsistent, you are working against building these associations. Communicate your brand guidelines to staff, clients, and customers early and often.

Trying to Appeal to Everyone

There’s psychology behind why a customer chooses one brand over another.

It can be as simple as liking one color or font more than the other one. The fact of the matter is, you can never appeal to absolutely everyone, and this applies to areas outside marketing as well.

Customers are going to pinpoint certain features and images that appeal to them, and your brand can’t have it all, even if you try.

If you try too hard to appeal to everyone, your brand might end up looking either bland or confused.

Messaging can become inconsistent and in the end, you might be making customers disinterested rather than appealing to them. Work to gauge what customers your brand appeals to most, and focus on drawing them in and appealing to similar demographic samples.

Resembling Competitors

Doing research on your competitors is a good idea, but don’t let their brand imagery influence you too much.

Your company brand needs to be unique, entirely different from how other business present themselves. Avoid using the same colors and similar tags — you should be trying to be different.

If your brand too strongly resembles your competitors, you’re giving your customers fewer reasons to choose you over them. Or worse, they will think that you are copying other ideas too closely.

Ask yourself: What makes your company different?

Incorporate these answers into your branding. Search for competing companies to see what images they are cultivating, and do something different. Being unique will pay off.

Overlooking the Small Stuff

Every mention of your company online can negatively or positively affect branding.

Companies that have built successful brands know this, and use every opportunity to make them stronger. On the other hand, some companies overlook the small stuff.

Some companies let the comments sections on their social media profiles go unanswered or get out of control. Others have errors on web pages that haven’t been fixed in months. Even the way a company writes a job post can influence the way people think about the brand.

Branding is not just limited to the highly visibile, big-picture stuff. Overlooking the small stuff can get you in some serious trouble.

Becoming Stale

While being consistent and sticking to branding guidelines are both important, don’t let your look get stale.

Think of all the subtle variations you have seen from popular brands, like Coca-Cola or Apple. These brands are always recognizable, yet still have changed in interesting ways over time.

You don’t need to do a complete rebranding, but mixing things up a bit every few years goes a long way.

The idea of a subtle rebrand may be daunting, but don’t worry. With a careful, thorough approach, you can give your brand a much needed facelift. Everything changes and evolves over time, and your brand should too.

Conclusion

An artful rebranding can keep your brand relevant and fresh for your customers. If need be, you can even work with a graphic designer or graphic design agency to help develop a fresh rebrand.

Quick tips to optimize your website

Tips To Optimize Your Mobile Website

Optimizing Websites For The Mobile Age

Mobile is a word frequently mentioned in the same sentence as website optimization. With 3.64 billion mobile users globally and mobile internet browsing surpassing desktop browsing in 2014, website designers cannot ignore the penetration of mobile devices. Mobile friendly website designs is absolutely essential for success in a mobile user’s world.The 2015 algorithm updates from Google, called Mobilegeddon, has made website owners take action. When 78% of mobile searches for local businesses results in a purchase, it makes sense to make mobile responsive designs a priority in website optimization.

Effective ways to optimize your mobile website

You can test whether your website is mobile friendly by using this link.

Perhaps it is time to update your exiting website for the better. To make your website more competitive in the online world, here are some effective tips:

1. Choose a simple mobile website design

Simplicity is the height of sophistication, or words to that effect. A website designed for business has to convert and focus on the conversion optimization. Everything from the functionality to the layout and call to action buttons has to help visitors make that purchase decision. A website is the first point of contact with potential customers so it has to make a good impression. A clean, simple design with easy navigation is the best.

Here is an example of great style and simple navigation in a website:

Simple and easy to navigate website designs are best for website optimization

 

To improve the clarity of your website, ask yourself: what can I eliminate to make it easier for my visitors to find what they need on the website?

You can ask your business partners for feedback, or better still, a customer. Generous use of banners and call to actions can clog up the space on a website page. You will want all the menus, navigation and order/checkout buttons to be easily found. Some images are unnecessary if they are not optimized for search engines. This means they don’t have an alt text description or title to help Google understand what it is about. Delete anything that does not help your SEO in any shape of form.

2. Think mobile first website design

A mobile device is pretty small compared to a desktop screen so any mobile optimized design has to be scaled down. Minimal, clean designs works best for mobile.

Here is an example of mobile first website design

Mobile first website designs will make navigations and conversions easier on smaller mobile device screens

 

 

Easy to find navigation buttons and bigger texts are some features of mobile friendly websites. Images that appear on the desktop versions of a website would be enlarged even more on a smaller screen. It is important to eliminate any text and image clutters for a mobile optimized design.

A question to ask is: how many times do I have to pinch/enlarge my mobile device screen just to read the information on the website? If the answer is a lot, then you have to improve the design.

3. Search engine optimization at all times

Search engine ranking positions correlate to website conversions. 70% of people never go past page 1 of organic search results and a hefty 18% of organic clicks go to the first ranking. Keyword research on Google Adwords for your specific industry is important as is the placement of your keywords or phrases. The best thing about keyword research is that it will tell you the popularity of the words and projected traffic if you use them for your written content.

Another way is to register for Google Places for your business. In local search results, your website will have a higher chance of appearing at the very top. A pin on the Google map will add further credibility to your business and target leads based on location.

4. Keep your website content up to date

Updating your website information on top of operating the business is hard yet important. You can update the information yourself or outsource it to a marketing team. Keep all the information about your products, services, promotions, special offers, opening times, contact details and images up to date.

Start to optimize your website today

Optimizing your website step by step from today will guarantee you more conversions. The concept of website optimization is not difficult to grasp but it will take patience and effort to implement. Outsourcing your website optimization to a SEO agency is one way to work on your business whilst you make improvements to your website’s design and functions. In a world where every company look for smarter ways to conduct their online marketing, getting the website right is vital to your business success.

Tips for holiday ecommerce marketing

Holiday Ecommerce Marketing

Getting ready for holiday ecommerce

The holiday season is a busy time in retail. With 47% of online website traffic coming from smartphones, online retailers must optimize their summer holiday marketing for mobile devices and desktop. Needless to say, retailers have to be prepared many months in advance. Some of the ways ecommerce businesses prepare for Holiday Ecommerce marketing include:

Seasonal discount strategies

Retailers should optimize content marketing for their summer discounts. Discounts should be shown clearly on the ecommerce websites, social media profiles and other channels of digital marketing.

Holiday marketing is in the details

From changing your ecommerce website design to adding a few festive details in your email marketing, your holiday season marketing should be up to date. Summer themed email newsletters and social media profiles are especially popular.

Summer ecommerce marketing gets social

With more time on your customer’s hands for Twitter and Facebook, social media marketing during the holiday season should be more effective. Sharing, liking and commenting across social media channels are a must for your brand. Social advertising can be cost effective during this time too; promote your special offers and target your ads at specific audiences.

Seasonal content marketing

Sales related content and other ways to get potential customer’s attention should be the focus of your holiday ecommerce content strategy. Videos, blogs, articles and gamified features on your website can be part of the content strategy.

Optimize your ecommerce website

To deal with the increased number of orders over Summer, retailers are advised to

  • Edit product pages
  • Consider out of stock options
  • Fix any broken links
  • Check the checkout is working properly
  • Improve their website performance and speed
What are the digital marketing facts for 2017?

Digital Marketing Facts For 2017

Digital Marketing Facts To Know In 2017

Getting your digital marketing to yield positive ROI is a feat even for experienced marketers. One of the most challenging aspects in recent years is content marketing, which is both unpredictable and time consuming. The volume of content that is published by brands will continue to rise in 2017, intensifying the competition for consumer’s attention. 

Despite the demand for digital marketing, the skill set required for successful marketing is in short supply. It was revealed in a ‘Digital Distress‘ survey by the Adobe that only 48% of digital marketers felt proficient in digital marketing. Indeed, many felt intimidated by the implementation and measurement of digital marketing methods.

What does the future hold for digital marketers? No can can predict 2017 with 100% accuracy. Or even 40%. We can make informed guesses based on what happened in the digital space in 2016. For anyone on the pulse of digital marketing will know that social media, video marketing, data, user generated content and better contexts are just some of the areas to get our heads around. You don’t have to be a genius to succeed at digital marketing; however, it helps to keep an eye on your customer’s behavior and marketing trends. So, what are the digital marketing facts for 2017?

 

Digital marketing fact 1: not all content is created equal

 

In recent years, we have been told by various experts to churn out high quality content at a consistency that rivals a news site. The definition of high quality content really confuses a lot of B2B and B2C marketers. Many companies produce huge amounts of content but are failing to get good conversion rates from it.

We are under the impression that content is everything; it will sell your brand with ease. The fact of the matter is, high quality content is collateral to other things such as SEO, consumer targeting, social media marketing, mobile optimization and behavioral analysis of your customers. A Smart Insights survey discovered that only 30% of marketers found content to be their most effective digital marketing method.

 

Digital marketing fact 2: defining high quality content is relative

 

We live in a very competitive era for gaining consumer’s attention. Despite the low barriers to entry for digital marketing, getting noticed in hard. The definition of high quality content is not even that clear cut; it is relative to what your competitor is producing. Perhaps they have better content creators and resources than you. If you are in a very competitive industry, such as retail, hospitality or professional services, then 2017 could be the year for you to assess your content and focus on your strengths in various channels of marketing.

 

Digital marketing fact 3: no resting on your marketing laurels

 

One of the harsh realities of digital marketing is that you can never think you are good enough. The complacency from resting on your laurels will make it easier for a competitor to take away your business. You need to commit to constant assessments, iterations, A/B testing and tracking your digital marketing data. You also need to be flexible in your digital strategies and anticipate change.

 

Digital marketing fact 4: you need to measure and monitor everything

 

To improve on your methods and know what resources to invest in digital marketing, tracking data is essential. It will strengthen your decision making and help persuade decision makers in control of the marketing budget. Hire a digital marketing agency if you are not comfortable with analyzing data yourself.

 

Digital marketing fact 5: it is a continual process

 

Being open to learning in digital marketing can make the difference to your bottom line. Read the latest blogs, articles and opinions of your industry leaders. Participate in forums or relevant conferences. Implementing new digital marketing methods requires discernment. Be ready to learn new things constantly.

 

Digital marketing fact 6: patience pays

 

Social media connections takes time, content marketing takes time; that new YouTube channel takes time to gain traction; everything requires patience. Digital doesn’t mean fast. Digital marketing is a long term commitment but your efforts will pay off in years.

 

Digital marketing fact 7: get your semantic SEO sorted

 

Google is looking into deep machine learning for their search engine functions. If you want to be visible on search engines, relevancy in your content and understanding the semantic context is necessary. In 2017, SEO should be integrated in your content; be informed about the changes in algorithm and write for human usage.

 

Digital marketing fact 8: data driven marketing

 

Collecting data may seem straightforward, but analyzing it requires different skills. Most marketing teams are made up of creatively minded people, however, digital marketing in 2017 and beyond require quantitative skills. Intuition alone cannot form a digital marketing strategy. It has to be backed up by insights from data.

 

Digital marketing fact 9: connecting marketing channels in the customer journey

 

Connecting the customer journey between different marketing channels is vital in 2017. Opportunities for conversions are lost where there is a disconnect. It is a digital marketing fact that brands are failing to meet customer’s expectations for the purchasing experience.

 

Digital marketing fact 10: optimize for mobile devices

 

Optimizing for mobile involves Google AMP, mobile SEO, personalized mobile content and making the desktop to mobile customer experience seamless. 2017 will be a year where mobile optimization becomes increasingly important.

Tips for selling on social media

Tips For Selling On Social Media

Tips On How To Sell On Social Media

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,‘ are call 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. 

What are the differences and overlaps between digital versus traditional marketing strategies

Digital Versus Traditional Marketing

Traditional Marketing Tactics Evolving With Technology

If your company deals with certain products and services, it is obvious that you need to do extensive marketing to promote and sell those. Different marketing techniques have been applied since time immemorial. Traditionally, marketing techniques include advertising in newspaper, magazines, television, radio, and billboards. However, nowadays, one of the biggest trends in marketing the products and services of a company is to use digital technology. Digital technology mainly revolves round the Internet. This technology has been proved to be one of the most effective forms of promoting products and services and expanding the reach of the company to the maximum number of potential customers. In the digital space, social networks, website banner advertisements, and website promotion are done largely to promote a product or service business. There appears to be some difference and overlap between digital versus traditional marketing tactics.

 

Differences between digital and traditional marketing

 

Given below is a list of differences between digital and traditional methods of marketing:

  • Communication: In traditional marketing, communication has a one-sided flow. This one directional flow is from the company to the target audience. However, as the users cannot communicate with the company or between themselves, communication is not as effective as in the case of digital marketing technology. With Internet marketing techniques, communication can be multi-dimensional. There are various digital channels through which companies and customers can interact with one another.
  • Another major difference between the traditional and the digital communication is that the former is better planned and generally takes longer than the modern techniques. This is because publication through mass media takes longer to execute. In digital marketing, communication is instantaneous and occurs in real time. This means that it is possible to reach a large number of customers at the same time and the potential customers can respond immediately and join in conversations with the company.
  • Flexibility: the way advertisement campaigns are planned and scheduled makes traditional and digital marketing different from one another. Traditional marketing takes time to plan. The campaigns are well planned and follows a specific schedule. There is not much scope of changing plans and making changes in the campaign plans in the middle. However, in digital marketing, there is a lot of scope for changing plans and adjustments along the way. These schedules are based on the behavior of the target audience which in turn will depend on the reactions that the target customers are showing towards your newly launched products. In digital marketing, there is a heightened participation of the customers in the launch and promotion of a new product or services.
  • Availability and response: In digital marketing, a company is always approachable to the customers through various means. The customers are happy to be able to reach the company 24/7. Whereas, in the case of traditional marketing techniques, response from the company would come either on weekends or during the working hours only. The customers would have to wait for responses from the company.

 

Advantages of digital marketing strategies

 

1. Speed

One of the major differences between traditional and Internet marketing is that Internet marketing is fast and more effective. Traditional methods are time-consuming processes and require a substantial amount of time for the results. However, in the case of digital marketing, the result is immediate and you can measure the behavior of your target customers.

2. Cost effectiveness

These days, most of the companies are opting for Internet marketing services to help them promote their products and services.One of the benefits of choosing digital methods for marketing of products and services is that it is cost-effective. Unlike the traditional forms, the Internet is a cost-effective medium for promoting the products and services of a company. The money you spend on marketing produces predictable and effective results!

3. Digital marketing is measurable

You can definitely count the number of people visiting your website and the number of customers you are getting (conversion rate) from Internet marketing. However, this is not possible in the case of traditional form of marketing. It is not possible to calculate the number of people who checked out your banner advertisements or the number of potential customers who have watched your television advertisements.

4. Better brand development

Digital marketing is better for developing a brand. A business that is regularly updated with valuable content on a well designed website can establish a brand and sell the products and services. Creating a website is one of the best brand-building investments that you can make, if you are planning to promote the goods and services of your company. Be sure to contact professional web designers to create a user friendly and responsive website to showcase your company.

Conclusion 

Although there are various benefits to digital marketing, it is most effective when used in conjunction with traditional forms of marketing. This is because the audiences for traditional and digital marketing are different and your company may target specific demographics of the population. Maintaining a balance between the two and knowing what to spend on the most cost effective methods is the challenge.

What can you include in your social media marketing plan?

What To Include In Your Social Media Marketing Plan

Optimizing your social media plan

Social media marketing is no longer a marketing channel businesses can opt out of. In the first quarter of 2017, Facebook is the biggest social media platform with 1.94 billion monthly active users, followed by Instagram with 700 million. Consumers are connecting with each other and sharing content in different formats. 47% of Millennial consumers say that social media content influence their buying decisions; if these statistics are to be believed, then businesses have a lot of opportunities in social media marketing. The real question is: how can they reach their marketing objectives? 

The first thing to do would be to create a social media marketing plan. This will outline the goals, timeframe, metrics and the action steps to reach those goals.

Let us say that your social media marketing objective is to increase retreat sign-ups by 300% for your vegan health business. You want to achieve this within 6 months; the social content strategy includes vlogs, blogs and photos shared on social media. In addition to sharing visual content, you also plan on running some social media competitions. The right hashtags, social media ads and influencers will be leveraged to help you reach this objective.  To monitor the plans, social media tools will be selected and used.

 

The caveat with social media marketing

 

As you can see from the example above with the vegan health retreat, you can create a general outline of what you can do on social media to attain the objectives within 6 months time. This is easier said than done, however, because patience is required on social media to build valuable relationships. Your content about vegan healthy living has to appeal to your target audience and provide the value that they are looking for. Users of social media have their own agendas to pursue and they may not take too kindly to self serving content published by others.

 

Social media marketing with a strategy

 

Knowing thyself is a great advantage in social media marketing. After all, you will be building relationships with like minded people over time and strengthening your brand image. Once you know your brand’s persona and specific audience, you will be able to target better on social media.

In defining social media marketing objectives, you need to pursue realistic results that has a timeframe. Realistic objectives depends on your available resources such as time, money and talent. You may need to prioritize certain activities or spend more time in doing them:

Time management for social media marketing

You can go into as much detail as you like in implementing your social media marketing. How will you create content/how often will you publish it/what social media management tools will you use to manage your strategy?

Once you implement your social media plans, the next important thing to consider is social listening. What are social media users saying about your brand? Can you add some input to their conversation? What are they saying about your competitor’s products? All throughout your implementation, you should be measuring your social media efforts; with social media tools, you need to track the metrics and see whether adjustments are necessary..

 

Planning for unforeseen events on social media

 

You can plan everything carefully in social media marketing and still find surprises. Your audience may not respond to your content as you would expect and events may make your brand trend overnight (for better or for worse). Flexibility is required to deal with any contingency in social media, and tact! As you will see, a social media marketing plan is revised constantly for reaching those long term objectives.

10 awful facts about digital marketing that every entrepreneur should know

10 Facts About Digital Marketing

Facts About Digital Marketing In 2017

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.

Conclusion

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.