What are the SEO predictions for 2017

2017 SEO Predictions

What will SEO look like in 2017?

2016 may be coming to an end but SEO is here to stay. Even for SEO professionals, SEO can be daunting in practice. There is no formula for success, only experimentation and adaptations to search engine algorithms. No one can say  what SEO will look like in the next month. We only know from statistics of its significance; 93% of all online experiences starts with a search engine and Google is the number 1 driver of traffic to websites. Of course, we can only predict what organic SEO will be like in 2017 based on current search engine behaviors and technology.

The 100% certain SEO predictions is to be ready for change.

 

Mobile technology will change search habits

 

Mobile first design and mobile friendly websites is a requirement of 2017. There is no excuse not to optimize SEO for mobile users. More and more people are using smartphones to retrieve content. According to Google guidelines, websites should signal to Google when a page is formatted for mobile, robots.txt should not block search engines from accessing resources and videos should be playable on mobile devices.  Mobile viewing experiences should be optimized for 2017.

Optimize for natural language search queries

 

Semantic SEO is simply another way of optimizing for search queries using a cluster of related words and natural language queries. Website developers should optimize for the questions users will put in search engines. For example, ‘I want to find 24 hour cafes in London,’ would be a semantic relation of ’24 hour London cafe.’ Optimize your content for both keywords and semantic phrases.

 

Voice search SEO

 

Voice search technology such as Siri and Cortana may still be in its infancy but website owners should be aware of its impact on SEO. In comparison to manual search, voice search asks a direct question in natural language format. Website owners are advised to optimize their content for natural language searches. An example of this would be:

Manual search: Battenberg cake recipe

Voice search: what do I need to make a Battenberg cake?

 

Artificial intelligence and SEO

 

Google, the world’s biggest search engine is investing heavily in artificial intelligence technology. The implications of this on their search engine algorithms is huge, although 2017 may be premature for effects to be seen. The impact of AI search engines would be highly relevant search results bolstered by predictive technology.

 

SEO and Accelerated mobile pages (AMP)

Towards the end of 2016, Google introduced AMP for mobile devices. In 2017 and beyond, AMP will be applied for more verticals and websites without the markup will be penalized. App builders must consider AMP for SEO in order to be more indexable.

 

Virtual reality marketing and SEO

 

One step ahead of visual content marketing, virtual reality marketing will allow viewers an experience in 3D. Viewers will be given an immersive experience of a product or service before they actually obtain it. Content can be experienced in an immersive way; SEO can be optimized for this new form of experiential marketing.

 

Organic SEO will dominate

 

Organic SEO earns audience’s trust, as opposed to buying the audience’s attention. Paid advertising can ‘buy’ people’s attention for a few seconds but organic search results may prove to be more persuasive in the long run.

Closer integration with content marketing strategies

 

SEO cannot exist in a vacuum in digital marketing-it will be even more closely integrated with the content strategy. From website UX to creating content, SEO will be implemented with the end goal of better, higher quality content that converts audiences. Videos, visual elements, texts and website design will be optimized for better visibility in search engines. In 2017 and beyond, search engine optimization will be integrated seamlessly with content creation for improved brand awareness and relevance.

 

Tips to optimize conversions for mobile devices

How To Optimize Conversions On Mobile Devices

Why you need to optimize conversions on mobile devices

Mobile users are increasing in numbers, as mobile is the most convenient gadget that you can easily access anywhere.  Marketers are increasing their hold on their target audience through mobile devices. An analogy for reaching customers through mobile is like going in front of the queue! Before customers access their laptops or newspaper subscription, they will check their mobile devices. In fact, 80% of Internet users now browse on their smartphones; 89% of mobile user’s time is spent on mobile apps (including social media apps).

Marketers everywhere are looking for mobile strategies to increase the conversion and engagement rates of content marketing optimized for mobile devices. To stay on top in digital marketing and to be globally competitive, optimizing conversions for mobile marketing is imperative. In order to reach specific mobile users, marketers have to test and develop new ways to increase conversion rates. They have to meet the real needs of their mobile customers. Mobile devices have smaller screens for display and this poses a challenge for marketers to engage with better design and visual elements.  Furthermore, mobile marketing has to hit the consumer’s emotional triggers to let them experience content, and not a hard sell.  In that way, they build a stronger relationship with you as draw them in with your mobile optimized content.

 

How to convert through mobile phones

 

With mobile marketing, content and UX is incredibly important to build a better relationship with consumers and guide them along the conversion funnel. Here are some of the most effective ways to increase your conversion rates through mobile channels of marketing:

 

1.Give instant gratification to your mobile audience

 

To make sure to engage your audience with your mobile content without losing its quality and richness, design it in such a way that your audience can get what they need from your mobile site instantly. People desire instant gratification.  If you are able to tap into what they need urgently; they can instantly have what they want now, it would be a conversion optimizer for your mobile marketing. Build a mobile site that is optimized for UX, stylish and displays the most relevant content.

Stylish mobile UX design can increase conversion rates

Responsive design for mobile is a flexible format that adjusts and adapts to fit different screen sizes, resolutions and gadgets or devices.  With this layout, your content in desktop design can adapt to fit mobile devices. Make sure that your website’s performance is great because instant gratification means fast!

 

2.Guide with clear calls to action

 

In shaping your mobile site, lead your audience along a direct route to the key conversion point. Always remember to give them the information they need to contact you or to act. Guide them when they arrive at your site.  You can simply put “call us”, “subscribe”, “get a quote” or “get directions” button right on your mobile landing page and make it easy to click.  Make sure to let your audience see your most relevant content instantly.

You can use trust, an emotional trigger, to engage your customer to take an action.With your responsive design or mobile version of your site, you can increase ease of navigation by decreasing some elements using grouping methods. Your website visitor will be able to make sense of this information immediately. If in doubt, always ask for feedback from website visitors about the call to action buttons and design layout. For example, you can present your phone number, as mobile users normally make a call after a local business search, as a click-to-call button right at the top of your landing page. You can A/B test your call to action to see which ones make your website visitors act more.

Mobile optimized websites and call to actions

3. Eliminate waste in your mobile content

 

You can create value for your mobile audience by eliminating less relevant content. With that knowledge of emotional triggers for your audience, you can encourage and help them to find the right products they are looking by narrowing down the list of products.  You can allow your audience to avoid the chaff by using prominent site search.  This is a mini search function on your landing page. If your website visitor is able to search and find instantly what they are looking for, then it is easier for them to engage and convert.

 

4. Make use of images and videos for your mobile content

 

The great way to capture the attention of your audience and to communicate your marketing messages is through images and videos.  However, make sure to limit the number of images on your website, as it slows down the loading and it does not really contribute to your mobile content. Be sure to improve your images and videos through testing and feedback to get a higher chance of conversion.

 

5.Encourage sharing of your most relevant content

 

Less is more.  So stick to your most relevant content to engage and de-clutter your pages. Encourage sharing as it leads to social proof that increases the visibility of your brands or products.  You can place on you mobile site the sharing buttons strategically so the desired action becomes part of your content.

Use of social sharing buttons on your mobile website can encourage sharing of your content

6.Focus on relationships in mobile marketing

 

Make your mobile site interactive where you can encourage website visitors to engage with you in regular, meaningful ways. This leads to commitment and conversions.  To keep your visitors actively involved in a brand relationship, you can use features in your mobile sites to increase engagement rates. Make sure your content marketing gives value to your website visitors.

 

More challenges for mobile conversion optimization:

 

  • Cater to the increased amount of website traffic through mobile devices by enhancing your browsing experience.
  • Create a user-friendly interface when your audience browses your mobile websites. Update this in line with consumer preferences.
  • For mobile conversions, optimize your responsive design and make sure your products can encourage your audience to solve their problems. You have to give specific benefits and the concrete reasons to convert.
  • Use of visual mobile analytic tools to measure, understand and improve the mobile users experience in your website. This can help you monitor how your audience interacts with your website, what actions they are taking and what problems they are experiencing.

Mobile becomes the easily accessible bridge that connects your audience to the virtual market and the physical market. Seize this opportunity to help your website visitors find what they are looking for and guide them along the sales funnel. With the challenges ahead, all you can do is to test, iterate, ask for feedback and implement changes strategically. The benefits of higher conversion on mobile devices will soon be yours.

Why measuring your internet marketing strategies is vital and how to go about it

Why You Should Measure Your Internet Marketing

The effectiveness of Internet marketing strategies

Building up a concrete marketing strategy is vital for the success of any online business. It is important for fresh businesses to make a place for themselves and gain market share. It is just as important for existing businesses to keep themselves afloat and ahead of times. Let us assume you are aware of the role Internet marketing plays in achieving these tasks. But are you also aware of how to really measure if your online marketing strategy is working fine? Here is a walkthrough to guide you about what to look out for and how to use the data and convert it into information that will be essential for your online marketing strategies.

Establish clear-cut goals and milestones for your online marketing

Before diving head first into the pool of marketing, know what you want to achieve. Having this goal will enable you to estimate how far you are from the checkpoint and whether you are on the right track or not. Create yearly, biannual, or quarterly marketing goals. This will serve as the indicators during the strategy analysis. After all, you need a reference point to know where you are standing. These goals can be the amount of sales increment you want to achieve, the traffic you want to generate and the number of repeat customers you should have by the next six months.

The Internet marketing tools that you need

Many website offer free software that help you analyze accurately the functionality of your marketing attempts. Among these are Google Analytics, Search Console (formerly Webmaster Tools), Hubspot, and Act-on.  Learn how to use these and know how to interpret them. To gain the most out of them, you should be an expert marketer and analyzer who is able to read the data and squeeze the valuable part from it and then utilize it to improve, develop and evolve. If you can’t analyze data, no worries; you can get a digital marketing agency to do the job for you.

After reaching this point, many business owners appear at a loss about how to proceed. You have the goals, tools, and the data. Now, what do you need to do?

Now you need to get things working for you. Here are the basic things you need to look at.

Measurements for Internet marketing success

Your website is SEO optimized, you have invested precious time and money on digital marketing methods like social media marketing, content marketing, inbound and outbound marketing, and goodness knows what. Still your business growth is stagnant or otherwise too slow.

At this point, you need to find out the total visits you are receiving, the percentage of unique visits, return visits, visitor to lead conversion, visitor to customer conversion, the number of referrals and links, the way your information is being used and the bounce rate. Having this set of data, you will know the health of your system. If the total traffic you receive has, more number of unique visits than return visits, then it is an indicator that you need to work more on the services you provide.

Measuring the digital marketing metrics will help you make informed and better decisions. Digital marketing is unpredictable but having a strategy with you and knowing how well it is doing is never wasted effort.

What are the essential qualities of a great content marketer?

Qualities Of A Great Content Marketer

What Makes A Great Content Marketer?

Marketing today is all about how effective your content is in converting and engaging your audience.  Content marketing is a strategic approach in attracting and retaining an audience. Imagine what your content have to communicate about your product; is it informative, interesting and impressive? Your prospective customers will want to know what benefits your brand can provide them. It does not matter how good you think your product is, your audience must be convinced of the value.

In a recent research by Forrester, it was found that 65% of buyers saw B2B content marketing as useless. Content marketers compile information and comparisons about a product but they often miss the mark in convincing buyers. Buyers are human, with fears and individual pain points that needs to be addressed. A content marketer needs to know the value of a product to a potential buyer and they need to get personal in getting that answer from buyers.

 

Effective content marketing starts with the content marketer

 

Digital marketing can become successful with great content. Great content has the power to magnetize buyers through multi-channel and cross device marketing. In fact, content marketing is so important that 68% of lead marketers think that this is an essential skill to look for when hiring a marketing professional. When you look for a content marketer to take your content marketing to the next level, the following qualities should be present along with a stellar portfolio of content.

 

Passion for creating high quality content

 

A great content marketer will be brilliant at communication and express themselves prolifically through content. Content marketing requires content in different mediums: text, visuals, rich media and even VR (virtual reality). The content marketer must possess the skills for editing and creating high quality content consistently. If in doubt, ask for a portfolio of published content from a prospective hire. These days, companies hire teams of specialized content marketers with expertise in content strategy, content coordination, written and visual content formats. Here is a great article by Chris Lake of Econsultancy about the content marketing team matrix.

Great content marketers can form a team of expert content marketers with different areas of content expertise

An understanding of what the audience wants

 

According to the Forrester research, the majority of B2B content marketers did not know what their audience wanted. Understanding what the audience wants is not just about segmenting the demographics and customers according to their purchasing behavior. Content marketers have to engage with audiences on social media, unearth insightful answers and map the content according to different personas. As you can see from Chris Lake’s content marketing team matrix above, skills in listening and getting insightful answers is key to a successful content marketing plan.

 

They are creative and rise above the noise

 

Great content marketers think outside of the box constantly. They temper creativity with execution skills to get the impactful content they need. Companies have to stay one step ahead of the game and this is how they keep their content fresh and relevant to their audience. In a world where everyone creates content, at an alarming rate, content marketers need to know how to get attention with content.

The vast amounts of content created every minute means content marketers need to work harder to rise above the noise

There are many ways for content marketers to get the audience’s attention, which will not be covered extensively here. Defining the audience persona and finding the best channels for content distribution helps in getting attention from the target demographic. There are subtle ways through visuals, headlines (here is a useful article about headline psychology), and content positioning.

Many content marketers experiment with content timing and frequency to gauge the best content strategy. Content published at regular intervals, optimal viewing times and holiday seasons have yielded better conversions. Earning the right to the customer’s time and having a content marketing schedule can make the content rise above the noise.

 

They are curious to learn and develop new content marketing tactics

 

Great content marketers will keep their eye on current content marketing trends and learn about the different platforms to produce content marketing for. You never see a great content marketer getting complacent about their style, form or channel of content marketing.

According to the B2C Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends — North America | CMI and Marketing Profs, organizations are increasing their content marketing tactics. Infographics and online presentations are some of the areas content marketers increased their skill sets to.

What content marketers want to produce in terms of content for 2016

They have a clear vision of their content marketing goals

 

A content marketing strategy should never be vague. Great content marketers know where they are headed in terms of their marketing goals and will pursue this single-mindedly. When you work with a great content marketing team, they will let you know about their vision for the content in line with your business goals and keep you updated about their progress.

Here is another slide from the Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends 2016 report from CMI and Marketing Profs showing the content marketing goals organizations have for 2016:

Content marketing goals 2016 for organizations

Measure where they are headed in content marketing

 

Successful content marketers have metrics and tools to track their content marketing progress. They will measure the metrics for a marketing campaign and keep you in the loop. Using metrics will show you how effective their efforts have been in generating traffic, leads, and conversions into customers. If you do not see results within a certain time-frame in sales and conversions after implementing your content marketing strategy then you should consider hiring different content marketers.

Alvomedia digital marketing agency forecasts the trends in content marketing

Content Marketing Forecast

Content Marketing Trends 2017 And Beyond

2017 is only half a year away.

As we head into the second half of 2016 it is time to start assessing the content marketing trends that are predicted to be the most important over the next year. Today’s blog is all about content marketing trends that will affect digital marketing in the years to come.

 

Content marketing for influencing

 

Content marketing-the techniques in content creation and distribution-will inevitably change with technology. What will never change, however, is the purpose of content marketing: to influence people’s decisions. Great content marketers will always have an intuitive understanding of buyer’s emotions to get what they want. Technology is simply there to facilitate the process.

An improved understanding of consumers emotional state will better inform content marketing in the future

Appealing to consumer’s emotions will influence the course of all future content marketing

A move towards increased personalization and emotional connectedness will be a trend in future content marketing. So, what are the other trends?

 

Optimization for mobile devices will become more important

 

It is estimated that nearly 40% of all online commerce occurs via mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, and this number is estimated to increase dramatically over the next five years. If your website, booking engine or shopping cart is not optimized for mobile devices, and Google AMP, you will be left behind – and more importantly, you will lose sales and hurt your financial performance. 

 

High quality content still rules

 

You’ve heard it before, and you will hear it again: to ensure you are practicing results driven online marketing, you must regularly publish high quality content that is of use and interest to your key marketing demographic. This will not only appeal to your existing clients, prompting them to share your links across their social media platforms, it will also attract new potential customers who are intrigued by your thoughtful output. According to recent studies, 80% of business decision-makers prefer to get company information in a series of articles versus an advertisement. Most importantly, a steady stream of unique content is guaranteed to organically boost your SEO rankings, as it is the most effective of all of the inbound marketing strategies.

 

Improve your ‘dwell time’ for the best SEO results

 

You must prioritize the visual content on your website in order to maximize your search engine ranking. By including numerous photos, infographics and videos, you will increase your “dwell time” – that is, the amount of time your visitor spends on your page.

 

Video content will overtake other mediums

 

Video content is becoming more important for SEO ranking. According to Forrester, ‘on Google, videos are 50 times more likely to receive first page ranking than traditional web pages.’ Video SEO (using the correct tags, meta description and text will help Google crawl the video content). Content marketing using videos will use a lot of social sharing as well.

 

“Cookie Cutters” marketing strategies are out

 

 The days of formulaic, ‘one size fits all’ SEO marketing services are ending, as search engines become increasingly savvy to the tricks and strategies that unscrupulous marketers have long used to boost their clients’ rankings. Heading into the future, you need to ensure that your content marketing services are tailored tightly to your unique brand, and customized for your target clientèle.

 

Semantic SEO becomes even more integral

 

Building on the last point, semantic SEO is more important than ever, and so you must ensure that your digital marketing agency is fluent in this concept. With the release of their Hummingbird update in 2012, Google takes contextualization into account for its searches. Therefore, keywords mean less than user preferences, search engine history and website quality – randomly popping keywords into your text is therefore less and less effective.

Should you choose a mobile app or mobile optimized website for your business?

Mobile App Or Mobile Optimized Website?

Should You Invest In A Mobile App Or A Mobile Optimized Website?

If you intend to hit off big business with customers, you’ll need to engage them on mobile. Mobile apps and mobile optimized websites are both viable engagement platforms, but they’re entirely different from one another. While, at first glance, both might look the same, both carry different toolsets, dynamics and benefits.

 

First and foremost, you should determine your primary engagement platform from your budget’s needs. Consider your target audience, purpose and needed features. Check out this article, first, to figure out your core mobile marketing sales strategy. Then, align your end-game goals with the following sides of mobile website and mobile app marketing. Determine which works better for your brand’s overall strategy.

 

The Mobile Optimized Website Versus the Mobile App

 

Both a mobile website and a mobile app engage customers via smartphone access. Whether you’re encountering Android, Blackberry or iPhone users, you’ll be able to increase retention, boost e-commerce participation and buffer your sales funnel with a smartphone-centric strategy. Regardless of your initial choice, you should channel consumer attendance with an SMS strategy. SMS marketing is expected to contribute to 40 percent of marketing revenue growth by 2017. More importantly, it fuels both mobile app and mobile website populations.

 

The Mobile Website

 

The modern mobile website it powered by HTML pages linked across the Internet. They’re incredibly useful for portraying quick brand messages, calls-to-action, e-commerce portals, images, data, text content and video. Really, a mobile website is a one-size-fits-all vehicle for customer interaction.

Benefits of a Mobile Website

 

Mobile websites can offer location-based mapping services, click-to-call options and even in-store digital demos. Any company running an e-commerce platform needs a mobile website. If you’re operating solely online, or if your brick-and-mortar establishment deserves comprehensive information through mobile, you should adopt a mobile website strategy immediately. 80 percent of consumers check their phones immediately upon waking, and they’re using them to browse goods, find store hours and take part in the sales funnel.

 

The Mobile App strategy

 

The mobile app, while not as far-reaching as the mobile website, succeeds in targeting segmented consumer populations. Brands hosting a mobile app can section off their own, private corner of the mobile world. Mobile apps can be attached to SMS strategies, too, pulling customers across multiple mobile channels. Retail outlets, travel agencies and restaurants are well-known mobile app endorsers. The mobile app, in essence, is a brand extension. It increases company value while assisting the purchasing process.

 

Benefits of a Mobile App

 

Your consumers don’t need to engage a web browser to use an app. They won’t be steered away from your brand’s engagement strategy. Mobile apps offer incredible personalization, and they’re commonly used as purchasing tools by consumers. If your brand operates within a niche industry, or if it’d benefit from higher consumer power, it should invest in a mobile app first.

 

Mobile apps are also incredibly powerful calculation tools. Modern mobile marketing is powered by data measurement, and a mobile app can jumpstart your SMS, MMS, social media and email game. Quick processing and native functionality are the perfectcombination for data retrieval, and a mobile app should be preferred by any brand offering location-centric deals and services.

 

The Verdict:

 

Regardless of your initial investment decision, you should, eventually, conduct business operations on both a mobile app and a mobile website. Remember: Think locally. 97 percent of buyers research nearby products and services. They’re relying on mobile Internet to do so, and they’re engaging in-app options capable of hosting location-specific options. If you’re just starting a business, begin by investing in a mobile website. Then, extend yourself into the mobile app world. If, however, you’re operating in a niche environment—invest in a mobile app. Either way you go, you need to promote your brand by reaching out to influencers in your niche that has the power to share your message with their audience.

 

What’s Next?

 

What do you think of what I’ve covered so far? Will you adopt mobile as your tool for marketing?  I would love to read your comments below.

 

Author Biography: Sophorn Chhay

 

Sophorn is the marketing guy at  Trumpia, the most complete SMS software with mass text messaging, smart targeting and automation.

Follow Sophorn on Twitter(@Trumpia), LinkedIn, Facebook and Google+

 

Great examples of mobile app UX

Stunning Examples of Mobile App UX

The Importance Of Mobile App UX

Mobile user experience (UX) is all about meeting the mobile users’ demands in the most stylish and practical way. If you believe that stylish and practical should not belong in the same sentence, then think again. Mobile apps in 2016 are designed for great user experience and visual appeal. They go beyond the intuitive navigational interface to being enjoyable. They allow the user to engage fully; be satisfied, committed, happy, amused, curious, intrigued and entertained with the mobile app. Who does not want their mobile app to fulfill all of these?

The experience of using a well designed mobile app can be described as fluid, sensory or uplifting. It gives the UX department a lot of challenges as they think about optimizing content for this experience. For many businesses, it is an ongoing challenge to enhance their mobile apps for a better user experience. It is a process of trial and error, feedback and inspiration. Behind every excellent mobile app UX is a team that just does not give up!

Examples of mobile app UX that really helps their users

Here are some of the best mobile apps for value and usability:

1.LivingSocial

 

LivingSocial mobile app ux

 

ValueLivingSocial is the best place to find and share unique things to do within your area.  Everything you need to save money and explore your world can be discovered with the LivingSocial app. The mobile app can be used to find dozens of deal categories, offering unforgettable local experiences, travel packages, products, and services.

Usability– with LivingSocial mobile app, you just need to scroll and tap on information. Buying and sharing is very easy. You can quickly and easily purchase deals with the simple descriptions in the design.

2.AirBnB

 

Mobile ux design for Airbnb mobile app

 

Value – in the AirBnB mobile app, users can find plenty of photos, maps and text as well as a video of “How it works”.  There are plenty of content to check to find a place to stay when traveling. The value is finding accommodation/renting out accommodation on the move.

Usability– even if you do not have the intention to book a space, it is easy, fast and enjoyable to explore.  The functions are basic and you can use this easily on the move. Buttons and instructions are very clear and there is 24/7 available customer support.

3.SoundHound

Mobile UX design for Sound Hound

ValueSoundHound is a music search and discovery experience that identifies what is being played around you. It is very useful for music lovers trying to source a piece of music.

Usability– the interface is beautiful and intuitive to use. You can search by humming and it will give you the song and lyrics using sound search technology. It recognizes songs being played and you can save and add on to your playlist. You can also view the lyrics, access the artist, band photos, watch YouTube music videos and more.

4.Any.Do

AnyDo mobile app UX

 

Value – Any.do mobile app offers a quick and playful experience whilst helping you plan your day every morning. You will be reminded of the important things to do as it syncs across devices.

Usability–Any.do features a daily planner, sync across devices, notes, list management, action shortcuts, share and delegate, comments, upload files, subtasks, reminders and advanced recurring tasks.It is simple to use and users can adopt it in no time.

5.Taasky

 

Taasky mobile app UX

Value–With Taasky, you can focus on your priority tasks and organize your tasks into colorful lists.  It provides innovative features, unique and visually appealing design and you can set a priority task so you can truly focus on what is important.  It is a beautiful task manager.

Usability – using the app is very intuitive and simple with new intelligent reminders that you can sync with iCloud. The colorful lists stand out so that you can really focus on your priority task.

6.Pocket Guide

 

Pocket Guide App Mobile UX

Value – Pocket Guide Audio app helps you to travel and learn easily about new places. You can quickly learn about tourist attractions and local amenities.

Usability – The Pocket Guide app is packed with practical tips and feature interesting city tours including marked routes, descriptive texts and brief audio commentaries. It is beautiful to look at and easy to use.

7.Costa Mobile App

 

Costa Mobile app UX

 

Value – Costa’s new mobile app is an intelligent and beautiful tool for Costa lovers to keep track of their loyalty points, new coffee flavors and locations for Costas.

Usability – Through this unique application, you can save more time in your coffee quest. If you are saving Costas coffee points then this app is a quick and easy way to tally points up. The app appears friendly and simple to use.

8.iCare Medical

 

iCare Medical mobile UX

 

Value – iCare app features a clean and modern design to help people store their doctor’s appointment, medication and insurance information. It was created for convenience and peace of mind.

Usability–The design of iCare app is simple and very modern; minimal colors help you feel calm and organize your medical appointments better. The fonts and navigation are user friendly.

9.PowerAmp

 

Mobile app UX PowerAmp

Value– This music player app for Android allows users to hear music on the go. It is a cool alternative to other music player apps.

Usability– Poweramp main screen has large album art, is sensitive to touches or gestures. There are a number of useful options and settings allowing high levels of customization such as startup screen selection, themes, music folder selection, headset, lock screen customization and more.

10. Portfolio

 

Portfolio finance mobile app UX

 

Value– Portfolio is the stock trading app for the man or woman on the go. It helps you to organize your holdings and plan ahead with relevant company news. This is an organizational app with a difference.

Usability – Easy to use, stylish features makes the app come alive. It gives users live updates of their portfolio and the interface is elegant to look at. This is an app that is enjoyable to use and contains indispensable features for trading.

 

In mobile UX, there are vast areas of improvement as more app features are demanded by consumers. Mobile UX is an interesting and complex area of digital marketing where creative and quantitative skills really come together.  As you can see from the mobile app UX examples, the value of a mobile app is dependent on the users. It needs to adapt to their lives and make them feel better when using it.

Digital marketing for the hospitality industry faces many challenges such as website optimization and lead generation

Digital Marketing In 2016 For Hotels

Disruptions For The Hotels Industry

Digital marketing for hotels has come a long way. The transition from traditional channels of marketing to online marketing is not smooth but the entire hotels industry is placing more value on paid social media content and mobile marketing than ever before. In an era of real time social media engagements and 24/7 content, the hotels industry is finding their footing.

Perhaps the biggest shock to the hotels industry in recent years has been disruption of the hotels model. AirBnB, a website that connects rooms to rent with lodgers, challenges established hotel names such as Marriot and Hilton in scale and market share. Hotel businesses such as AirBnB are savvy about digital marketing, and the integration of digital content (user generated and paid) with offline channels. They are also agile enough to improvise with content marketing.

Keys to digital marketing success for hotels in 2016

Digital marketing for hotels in 2016 will involve content optimization, multi-channel marketing approach and forays into user generated or interactive content. Before implementing a digital marketing strategy for their hotel, managers have to define the hotel brand’s unique selling point (USP), who their target customers are, marketing objectives and what actions are effective in reaching them. Once this is defined, they can  measure and evaluate their digital marketing efforts.

Here are the 10 key areas of digital marketing for hotels in 2016

1.Programmatic buying for hotels

According to a study by Business and Leadership, more than a third of marketing budget is being spent on programmatic bidding in 2014-2015. This number is certain to rise in 2016. Programmatic marketing allows marketers to place ads automatically in front of audiences that are interested. Marketers in the hotels industry will invest more in programmatic buying to target their customers.

2.Reputation management across multiple channels

Social networks are a double edged sword for hotel reputations. Online travel review sites are another cause of concern for hotel brands (139 reviews are generated every 60 seconds on TripAdvisor alone).Constant monitoring and fast responses to complaints are the only ways to mitigate harm to your hotel brand. Resolving complaints in a professional and timely manner is expected.

There are several advantages to proactive hotel reputation management for hotel brands

On social media, hotel brands can engage in social listening to gauge what consumers are saying about their experiences. Social media managers employed by the hotel may address public complaints sincerely and in real time. Maintaining a good reputation on social media requires PR skills and quick thinking when crises breaks out.

3. Conversion rate optimization for hotel websites

The hotel website is integral for engaging and converting website visitors. There are many opportunities to engage through the website photos, descriptions and special offers. Visitors to a hotel website already have the intention of booking, so having a user friendly website that is intuitive to navigate towards payment/checkout is vital. Furthermore, hotel websites should be mobile friendly or responsive to different viewing devices. 69% of people planning travels begin their search through mobile devices.

4. Hotel video marketing

Video content is ideal for the hotels industry where story telling can say more than an entire brochure. A website with video is 53% more likely to appear on the first page of Google so this can boost your online visibility. Creating video content and then optimizing the video for the major search engines could be one of the smartest investments in hotel digital marketing.

5.Remarketing hotel websites

Statistics show that 92 website visitors never return to a website. A very high percentage of new visitors is not ideal for hotel businesses where the cost of customer acquisition needs to be minimized. Remarketing content, or retargeting, allows hotel marketers to customize content for website visitors when they have left the website. Hotel brands can create messages or videos that follow website visitors so they can guided through the purchase conversion funnel. Retargeting hotels customers is the perfect solution for abandoned hotel room checkouts or incomplete email signups.

Example of Hilton hotel retargeting consumers

6. Optimize content for all social media networks

Every social media platform is different and presents opportunities for the hotel to showcase their brand persona. With 60% of hotel guest using more than one social media platform, it is vital to maintain a unified presence on all of them. A well designed Facebook page, beautifully formatted Flickr and engaging YouTube page, for example, can amplify your brand.

Twitter cards allow hotel marketers to attract Twitter users with exciting content that links back to the hotel website. You can insert engaging media or use a large gallery card to entice leads. To implement Twitter cards, hotel websites require a markup using html within the webpages. Hotel brands already using Facebook can use Open Graph, Facebook Open Graph protocol-to generate Twitter cards.

7. Share content across different digital channels

Hotels can really utilize the interconnected social networks by sharing positive content about themselves. Glowing guest reviews from TripAdvisor, user generated content from guests, articles, hotel marketing videos and influencer content should be distributed amongst the social networks for faster uptake.  Sharing creates greater brand awareness and can reach more leads over time.

8. Mobile optimization for hotel websites

Increasing mobile traffic and use of mobile on the move means mobile optimization is a priority for hotels. Mobile optimized content should also be consistent with the hotel brand image. Instead of treating mobile optimization as an afterthought, hotel brands can make mobile an engaging platform for guests. Many guests book hotels at the last minute and will want all the booking information at their fingertips. Hotels can design their mobile websites in such a way that contact, pricing and room availability information is immediately accessible. A mobile app created just for guests to book rooms on the move is a viable option for hotels with corporate guests.

Hotel apps uses mobile optimized content and user friendly features to increase conversions from leads

9. Diverse and niche channels of hotel marketing

Relying on a single channel of marketing is bad for any hotel. By diversifying the distribution channels to different travel booking websites, hotels can attract more guests and market themselves in a different angle. Travel websites such as MrandMrsSmith.com and Jetsetter.com are especially good for marketing hotel brands as luxurious boutiques or honeymoon resorts.

10. Flexibility in digital marketing methods

Digital marketing is constantly changing to facilitate the way guests communicate and book hotels on the move. At any time, hotels may have to reevaluate marketing campaigns that are not effective and start something new. At other times, a digital marketing strategy may need to be adjusted in line with unforeseen changes. At the core of hotel marketing is customer service and proactive approach to meeting customer’s needs. Marrying the traditional approach to hospitality services with agile technology is the way forward for hotel marketing.

Marketing Lessons From Tinder

5 Awesome Marketing Lessons From Tinder

Useful Marketing Lessons From Tinder App

With a user base of 50 million, and 85% of that between the ages of 18-34, Tinder has become the preferred dating app of millennials everywhere. You can call it tacky, even offensive (choose to swipe left or right to pictures you find hot), but you can never call Tinder boring.

Tinder is a location based dating app launched 15th September 2012, based on the theory that social discovery was a lot less awkward when two strangers wanted to meet each other. There was no other social app like Tinder at the time built for the purpose of meeting strangers in your immediate neighborhood. Although dating apps existed, they didn’t take advantage of the location and social networking features Tinder had. What marketing techniques did Tinder employ, or more to the point, how did it grow so fast?

Here are the marketing lessons from Tinder we can all learn from.

Marketing techniques that helped Tinder to grow

Marketing lessons from Tinder dating app

1. Tinder offers a novel and gamified user experience

Users of Tinder can swipe left or right, look through many dating prospect’s profile within the shortest amount of time and are rewarded by reciprocation from their admirers. The addictive factor is high with Tinder, due to the fun and gamified features. In this great article by Convince And Convert, gamification is effective in motivating and engaging users. By letting users pick one date after another, Tinder dating creates a feeling of competitiveness and empowerment. The average user spends 90 minutes on Tinder daily just to play on the fast user interface. Tinder is not the only brand nor will it be the last to engage users with gamification.

2.Tinder introduces new norms in dating

With increasing numbers of Tinder users, the idea of localized dating becomes the norm. Users don’t feel stigmatized for using such a casual dating app and the huge numbers of desirable Tinder users makes this app seem more acceptable. If Tinder attracted a less desirable userbase, it would not be as popular as it is today. Social validation through peers and normalization of the app all helped Tinder to grow.

3. Tinder markets to specific demographics

The founders of Tinders marketed to a small and specific group of people in college campuses. They knew who their target demographic were, and focused on making the user experience great for them. By refining the user experience for their target users, Tinder was able to compete with and surpass any other dating services they were using.

4. Social networking features of Tinder provided fuel for growth

Tinder uses Facebook, Instagram and other forms of social networking to grow their user base. When a Tinder user knows that their Facebook connections are using Tinder, they are more likely to contact them for dates. Tinder uses user’s profiles on Facebook to create a compatibility profile on Tinder. Instagram integration also allows users to see what photographs their love interest likes to post.

5. Word of mouth marketing is highly effective

Tinder uses word of mouth marketing to gain brand equity and build credibility with their users. According to a study by Nielsen, 92% of consumers believe friends and family more than all other forms of advertising. As more people joined, the greater the brand awareness for Tinder. Tinder’s global expansion is entirely reliant on their impressive client retention and word of mouth marketing.

With the right digital marketing strategy you can gain more Instagram followers for business

How To Get Instagram Followers For Business

How To Get Instagram Followers For Business

With 300 million active users on Instagram, there is huge potential for businesses to reach wider audiences that could potentially be purchasing customers. The Facebook acquired photo posting site is most popular with 18-29 year olds (53% of users) living in urban areas (28% of users). If you are a brand that targets such demographics of customers, then Instagram could be a valuable social media channel for you to amplify the presence of your product or service.

In recent years, social media influencers such as fashion and lifestyle bloggers, brand names and celebrities have had huge impact on consumer’s intention to buy. Influential fashion blog Man Repeller have increased cross over audiences for H&M and TopShop by 26% and 25% and it is projected that audience reach could reach 223% if  the blogger collaborated with River Island. Instagram is a visual rich content platform and industries that sell using high quality visual content can generate more revenue if they target users of Instagram. Visually driven industries such as fashion, travel, lifestyle, hotels, real estate, luxury goods and food all have the potential to reach millions of potential customers on Instagram.

Get Instagram followers for business the right way

There is no best way to get followers for your brand on Instagram, but there are ways which will:

  • Improve the reputation of your brand in the eyes of social media users
  • Generate great shares and engagement within the Instagram community

Instagram is populated with many brands that equate great reputation with the number of followers they have. The number of followers on Instagram is a vanity metric and has no bearing whatsoever on the reputation of a brand. A large number of followers on Instagram can be bought with money, gained through spam hashtags or through social media management agencies. The number of followers a brand has does not indicate their trustworthiness, transparency or willingness to add value on social media. It is not advisable to buy your followers, use a lot of spamming techniques, bots, or outsource your Instagram management to inexperienced people.

If you gain Instagram followers for your business the right way, there will be a greater responsiveness with your customers, better engagement to let everyone know what your brand is about and ultimately more influence in user’s intention to buy.

Tip 1: Post at least once or twice a day on Instagram.

Consistency is important on social media where everyone has a huge quantity of content competing for their attention. Instagram is no different; every day, millions of photos are uploaded (40 million in 2015) under different hashtags and it is easy to get lost in the noise. Once you have set a niche subject for your account, post consistently around the clock so your followers can be reminded of your brand. The optimal number of posts for a brand could be 2-4 times a day and there are brands that post up to 10 times a day by scheduling throughout the day. As a brand, the most dangerous thing to do on Instagram is not posting consistently at all; this will make your brand appear lackadaisical and uninspiring. Other users might also base their decision on becoming followers by gauging how consistently you are able to deliver great photos related to your brand.

Tip 2: Great Photography will get more follows on Instagram.

Photo editing and learning to take better photos will help you gain more Instagram followers for business

Great photography skills will give you the competitive edge when it comes to getting followers on Instagram. When photographing for your brand you have more scope for lighting, presentation and creativity. Instagram users look for beautiful images and a brand like MAC Cosmetics leverage great visuals to get more attention and followers. If your business does not have professional photography equipment then all is not lost. Depending on the personality of your brand, informal photos could attract target users by being creative, quirky or just authentic. If you represent a luxury brand then professional equipment and skills are non-negotiable. For tips on Instagram photography, we recommend:

Tip 3: Time your posts for optimal engagement on Instagram and space out the posts.

Timing your post can optimise instagram followers for business

Instagram users do not operate the same 9 to 5 time frame as people do at work. Anecdotally, the morning and evenings are the best times to time your posts for Instagram; some brands will stick to a fixed schedule that serves them the best so a little trial and error may be required. In another study by Latergramme, it was found that Wednesday was the optimal day for Instagram posts.

Instagram followers best time to post on Wednesdays

When a brand posts something on Instagram, 90% of activity occurs within 10 hours of posting, so it is highly advisable to schedule posts for when you can engage and respond to other users. You want to catch the action in full flow within the first 4 hours of posting a new photo. Lastly, leaving an interval of time between your posts, i.e spacing them out is a technique many successful brands on Instagram use. They get followed for posting consistently, but do not get unfollowed by posting too much and clogging up their follower’s feed.

Tip 4: Emotions, Engage, Enthuse

Social media channels are great for showcasing the personality of your brand. Many brands focus on cultivating a following based on their persona; there are success stories where the brand is associated with their passionate and vibrant personality. Tourism Australia and Christian Louboutin are two such examples. Social by definition means interpersonal relationships so it is vital to fire on all cylinders of human engagement. Understanding the purchasing emotions of your customers will give you an advantage when posting content on Instagram. Customers like to feel valued and they love to share their emotions with the brand. A brand that responds emotionally will connect strongly with customers, resulting in higher life time value (LTV) of customers. Engaging with users on Instagram means responding in a timely manner, addressing issues quickly (faulty items or delivery problems), and liking other people’s pictures. By actively engaging with Instagram users, your photos will get more likes, re-posts, resulting in more brand awareness. Enthuse when users post something nice or mention your brand name in their posts. People like to be acknowledged and you will get more followers by demonstrating how much you care.

Tip 5: Patience is rewarded on Instagram 

Gaining attention on social media takes time as every successful brand knows. If you are an emerging brand, it will take consistent effort and posts for Instagram users to follow you. To give you an idea of time, it takes about 6 months of daily posts before you see a good ratio of followers to following. In 12 months time, it is possible to get a strong following of thousands through persistence, and in 24 months followers in the five digits. Users on Instagram mostly unfollow brands due to the following reasons:

  • The posts are uninspiring and dull
  • The photography lacks creativity or is of low quality
  • The brand posts too much and clogs up the follower’s feed
  • The brand posts too little and followers lose interest
  • The brands spam followers with hard sell messages, or annoying comments
  • The brand does not put any effort in posting original content. They reuse material from their website.
  • The brand does not respond when users like and comment their photos. This makes the brand seem dismissive
  • The brand does not stay up to date with their posts (some of the photos are very outdated)
  • The brand is unwilling to step up their game by investing in better photography and better products.

Tip 6: Link your Instagram account to your official websites

Do link your Instagram account to your official business website, your Twitter, Facebook or other social media accounts. This way, you might gain more cross over followers. Distribution of your visual content is a big factor in gaining brand awareness. Letting people know about your Instagram account is a great way to do this.

Tip 7: Reward existing and potential Instagram followers

Successful brands on Instagram are grateful for their followers and award free products using competitions. They notify followers about the competition by posting a photograph and adding the competition hashtag beneath. Walkers started an adventure holiday competition when they first launched deep ridge crisps. Loyal followers love to win, be acknowledged or receive a prize for participating so work out how you can incorporate this in your Instagram business marketing. Other brands have used a prize draw as incentive for users to follow them.

Get more Instagram followers using your brand's competition draw

Tip 8: Be inspiring and relevant on Instagram

Inspire your existing Instagram followers with content that they would find uplifting and helpful. If you are a brand in the food, travel, hospitality, luxury, fashion, real estate and design business then there are many things you can post to inspire followers and  gain new followers. Once other Instagram users see the valuable content that you post, they will want to follow to get your great content in their feed!  Valuable content depends on your brand niche. If you target customers with a passion for luxury holidays, then include recommendations for places to go, beautiful photos of holiday resorts, restaurants and luxury travel accessories. Some brands such as Victorias Secret go one step further and create a photo journal about their brands and behind the scene photos.