Why Business Owners Should Consider “Mobile Marketing”

By Sandra D’Souza

If there is one thing you couldn’t live without, what would it be?

You’ll probably answer this question with something practical like “food and water,” “shelter,” or “money.” After all, these are considered necessities and it is quite impossible to survive without eating and drinking or not having something to buy food and water with. Today, however, it seems that these basic necessities are not the only things most people cannot live without. If you ask your friends or your acquaintances the same question, chances are, at least one of them will tell you that they won’t survive a day without a smart phone or other similar device.

Today, we live in an era where most people are online. You only need to take one look around you to see almost everyone logging on to the Internet through their smart phones, PDAs, e-readers, and tablet PCs. In addition, it is very rare to see business establishments, particularly restaurants and coffee shops, that don’t offer complimentary wireless Internet these days.

Australia’s Growing “Mobility”

This trend only shows that Australia’s communications and media market has changed dramatically over the last few years. According to a report by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (AMCA), in June 2013, approximately 7.5 million Australians accessed the Internet through their mobile devices. This was an increase of 33% from June 2012 and a staggering 510% since June 2008. It was also revealed that 11.19 million people across the nation had a smart phone in May 2013, up 29% from May 2012. And for every 100 Australians, there were 133 mobile phones in the country in 2012.

AMCA Chairman Chris Chapman said if you’re going to take a closer look at the report, it seems that Australians are adapting “reasonably and seamlessly” to an Internet-enabled world. “(Internet) usage is up, choices and platforms are growing, mobility is all-consuming, and our online experience is getting deeper and more intense, as we do more and more activities via the Internet,” he added.

The advent of smart phones and other mobile devices with Internet capabilities has given consumers around the world the opportunity to shop anywhere, even at the comfort of their homes. As such, many people are taking advantage of this opportunity and are choosing mobile shopping over traditional in-store shopping to save time, money, and energy.

Take note, however, that shopping is not the only activity people do on their mobile devices.Research has shown that in the United States, before the annual Black Friday shopping spree, buyers are using their mobile devices to determine a store’s operating hours, location, contact details, and directions. Many of them are also using their tablets to identify the key qualities and specifications of a product before actually making a purchase.

And if you think that consumers leave their mobile devices alone and forget about them the moment they step into a store, think again. Because most people want to make sure they will get a bigger bang for their buck, many of them are still accessing their smart phones and tablets in-store to check product reviews and price comparisons before making a decision.

As the saying goes, “nothing is permanent in this world except for change.” From a marketer’s or business owner’s standpoint, times are indeed changing, especially when it comes to reaching out to potential customers. With tech companies like Apple, Samsung, Blackberry, LG, and Sony producing smart phones and other Internet-capable mobile devices every year, it looks like mobility is here to stay and will continue to play a prominent role in consumers’ lives.

And since many people find, review, and purchase from mobile devices every day, it is very important for businesses to incorporate “mobile marketing” in their overall outreach strategy. As such, it goes without saying that they can no longer solely rely on traditional and online marketing methods if they want to attract more clients, generate more revenues, and trounce the competition.

This article originally appeared in http://www.learnmarketing.com.au/digital-marketing/why-business-owners-should-consider-mobile-marketing/

BEE UPDATED  bee separator

Common Mistakes to Avoid on Pinterest

Pinterest is one of the fastest-growing content sharing sites on the web today. These days, thousands of people are using it to find various things online—from purses, recipes, and hotels to memes and quotations. In the United States, even the police use Pinterest to reconnect missing items to their owners. This is one of the many reasons why there are a growing number of brands and businesses that use Pinterest to reach out to their customers.

But just like any marketing strategy, there are crucial mistakes you should avoid if you want to successfully incorporate Pinterest in your overall digital marketing strategy. Discussed below are some of them.

Not using the ‘Pin It’ button

The ‘Pin It’ button exists for a reason. It makes it easier for your customers to re-pin images on your site to their own Pinterest boards, whether they are using their computer or mobile devices. It you don’t place this strategically on your web pages and blog, you’re missing out on the opportunity to encourage more people to spread and share your content.

Using an unverified account

Unverified accounts on Pinterest have no access to two very important things: customer’s trust and Pinterest’s free analytics report. In an article on OhSoPinteresting.com, Cynthia Sanchez stressed out the importance of verifying your account for business owners. According to her, linking your Pinterest account to a verified URL gives you a sense of credibility and could be the “tipping point” for a potential customer. In addition, it gives you access to the Pinterest’s free analytics, which lets you know which of your content pieces is working or not.

Verifying an account is quite simple. You can check out Pinterest’s Help Centre and follow their instructions.

Not keeping track of your analytics

Speaking of analytics, one of the biggest mistakes you could make when running a Pinterest campaign is not keeping track of your analytics. Just like monitoring the performance of your main site, it is also important to be aware of how much traffic Pinterest is generating for your website. According to Albert Costill of Search Engine Journal, setting aside a time every week or fortnight to review your analytics will help you determine how effective and efficient your Pinterest marketing strategies are. In addition, it gives you a glimpse into the behaviour of your audience, who are they and what they are looking for.

Having irrelevant boards

Both Costill and Sanchez agree that posting irrelevant content on your Pinterest board won’t get you anywhere. If anything, it can do more harm than good to your business. Therefore, make sure to post relevant content so your audience will easily know what your business is offering.

Having an incomplete or vague profile

Just like with all of your social media accounts, it is important to set up a complete profile on Pinterest because it is what potential customers look at to obtain more information about your business. Therefore, ensure that your profile has been set up with the correct information and designed properly so people can easily find you. Use the right keywords and phrases that are relevant to your niche or industry. Costill also recommends doing this for every board and pin you post to improve their online visibility.

Being a wallflower

Pinterest is still a social media site. Therefore, it is very important to socialise with other Pinterest users, particularly your followers. You need to get your business out more and engaging people is one of the best ways to do it. Costill said re-pinning or liking a local or relevant product from another company might even get you a re-pin or like for your account.

BEE UPDATED  bee separator

Corporate Branding: How to Do It Right

No matter how big or small your business is, your brand is an integral part of your company. While some business owners and entrepreneurs don’t believe in the importance of branding, many marketing experts will argue that it is one of the elements that make up a successful business venture. But what exactly is branding and why is it important?

In an article on Entrepreneur.com, John Williams defined brand as “your promise to your customers.” According to him, it tells your customers “what they can expect from your products and services, and it differentiates your offering from your competitors. Your brand is derived from who you are, who you want to be, and who people perceive you to be.”

In other words, your brand is much more than your company’s logo, which is just a visual representation of your business. It encompasses a lot of things. To put it simply, your brand is very important because it gives your business an identity.

Define your brand

The first step towards establishing your brand is to identify the core value of your business. According to Williams, when defining your brand, you should be able to answer these questions:

  • What is your company’s mission?
  • What are the benefits and features of your products and services?
  • What do your customers and prospects already think of your company?
  • What qualities do you want them to associate with your company?

To answer these questions, a great deal of research should be carried out. Also, a series of discussions among the leaders of your organisation – not just your marketing team – about what your company stands for is also required. While Williams acknowledges the fact that defining your brand takes a lot of time and effort, it can make significant contributions to how you present your business to the world and how you want people to perceive it.

Get the word out

Once you have defined your brand, there are many ways for you to spread the word about it. For starters, you can come up with a unique logo that you should place in all instances of your brand communication, not just on your products. Williams also suggested developing a memorable tagline that “captures the essence” of your brand, as well as creating branding guidelines for the company and its marketing materials, which are an important way to ensure your team follow a certain approach to communicating externally.

Integrate your brand

As mentioned earlier, your brand is more than just a visual representation of your business. Therefore, you should integrate your brand in all aspects of your organisation. From the way you answer customer enquiries, your staff’s uniform, your email’s signature, to how you deal with people, your brand should reflect everything your business stands for and what you promise your customers.

Consistency is key

As with everything in life, consistency is vital in developing and maintaining a solid corporate brand. Natalie McCatty of Search Engine Journal wrote that businesses that cannot make up their mind about their identity usually find it hard to establish a strong brand that consumers can easily recognise.

Citing McDonald’s as an example, McCatty said the fast food giant has a strong and highly recognisable brand because everything they do is branded. McDonald’s is consistent with everything, from their social media strategies to their offline marketing tactics. For the last 50 years, McDonald’s has been using the golden arches logo to represent itself and everything it stands for. As a result, it is fairly easy for everyone to associate the golden arches with inexpensive food and quick meals, among other things.

BEE UPDATED  bee separator

4 Common Web Design Mistakes That Can Lose You Visitors

By Sandra D’Souza

According to research, 94% of people do not trust a particular website because of its design. This shows how vital a website’s design is. After all, if people don’t trust your website because of how it looks, you’re losing out on customers or visitors.

However, having good website design is only a part of the equation. It is also important to ensure that all key elements of your website are organised, functional, and relevant to your niche or industry. They should load quickly, too, because nobody wants to wait a long time for a webpage to load. If you’re creating and designing a website for your business, here are some common mistakes you should avoid.

Creating complex navigation. Creating a complex navigation system is one of the biggest mistakes you can commit when designing a website. Always remember that one of the main objectives of your site is to enable visitors to find what they are looking for as quickly and easily as possible. Otherwise, it will frustrate visitors and cause them to leave

To make navigation much easier, you can divide your content into sections that visitors can identify easily. Experts recommend developing a site that branches out from big ideas to smaller ideas. For instance, your home page identifies your business and who you are. Then, links within the page take the visitor to subpages that contain your products/services and so on. This kind of layered approach works very well for many web users. Setting up a search box and allowing users to search for specific content will also help. And more importantly, don’t forget to get rid of dead links.

Crowded images and content. As much as possible, don’t cram too much images and content in a single webpage. If your site has a bunch of pictures, links, and blog posts scattered throughout a single page, visitors will have no idea what they’re looking at. Not only it makes the site look cluttered and hard to read, it also distracts visitors from your website’s goal. Always remember that simpler is better.

Auto-playing music and/or videos. While it is great idea to embed multimedia on your website, make sure they don’t play automatically as soon as someone visits your site. Your visitors may be at work, in a library, or somewhere else where loud audio might cause them to quickly close their browser or navigate away from your site. If you’re going to embed music or video on your site, you should always give visitors the choice to watch and listen to them or not.

Content that loads slowly. It was said that an average person will wait a maximum of seven seconds for a webpage to load. Any more than that, he will leave and go to one of your competitors. Therefore, you should avoid excessive flash images and content that load slowly. Use simple images and texts instead or invest in a server to reduce your site’s loading time.

 

This article originally appeared in http://www.learnmarketing.com.au/digital-marketing/4-common-web-design-mistakes-that-can-lose-you-visitors/

BEE UPDATED  bee separator

How to Make Your Content Marketing Strategies More Google Hummingbird-Friendly

Image sourced: Twin Design / Shutterstock.com

Ever since Google released its Hummingbird update in 2013, the face of online search has changed significantly. Gone are the days where creating keyword-laden articles and blog posts is the norm. Today, you have to change your content marketing strategies if you want Google Search to positively rank your articles or blogs. But how do you exactly make your content marketing tactics more Hummingbird-friendly?

Over the last few years, Google has been putting emphasis on the need to put quality content on your site for it to rank. If you have been doing this, then you’re definitely ahead of the game. But with the Hummingbird update, it was said that Google has started to rank content based on user search intent and the context of the content itself. There are also certain types of content that are more likely to stand out and get the search giant’s attention. Here are some tips to help you develop such types of content and improve your content marketing strategies in the face of the changing search landscape.

Choose content topics that aren’t too time-sensitive.

If you want your articles and blog posts to have more staying power and, therefore, have more SEO juice, consider creating “evergreen” content. Breaking news is only of interest for a short period of time. On the other hand, “evergreen” content, or those with topics that aren’t too time-sensitive, can be relevant to online searchers well into the future.

Because they don’t have expiration dates, such articles and blog posts will only grow stronger in authority, ranking, and traffic over time. And something that ranked well over time has been crawled repeatedly. This gives the content the opportunity to remain visible and to meet the objectives of the new Hummingbird update.

Address “natural” questions.

Creating content for natural questions and queries your existing or potential users might have is one of the best ways to make your content marketing more Hummingbird-friendly. This can be done by creating “How to” types of materials.  When building this type of content, however, avoid using too much jargon or obscure titles.

For instance, if your site is offering cooking tips, try to structure the title of your content to match a question. So instead of using the title “Experimenting on Different Cheesecake Recipes,” you should try using this one: “How to Make A No-Bake Cheesecake In Under Ten Minutes.” It is more relevant, specific, and it addresses a question a potential user might ask.

Go in-depth.

True, most users turn to Google to answer quick questions.However, research has shown that up to 10% of users’ daily information needs involve learning about a broad topic. This is one of the primary reasons why in August last year,Google introduced new search results for users looking for in-depth articles.

With the search giant basically giving a nod of appreciation for those who take the time to create long and detailed content, this clearly shows that in-depth articles are the type of content Hummingbird favours. As such, you should try creating detailed content that provides new ways to answer existing problems. To make it much easier for you to come up with such materials, you can conduct surveys, assimilate data from various sources, or include the results of tests you have conducted yourself.

BEE UPDATED  bee separator

Content Marketing and How Using NewzSocial Can Help You Nail It on the Head

Providing your audience with good and relevant content is one of the vital ingredients of a successful social media and online marketing campaign. In fact, even Matt Cutts, head of Google’s web spam team, said himself that “good content trumps SEO.” Just take a look at the success of websites like Buzzfeed and Wikipedia. These two websites are very popular because they provide their audience with a wide variety of content that is informative, interesting, and highly “shareable” on social media sites.

However, creating good content is often one of the major roadblocks experienced by many businesses and online marketers. Often times, it is the cause of bottlenecks and delays for most of their projects because of the following reasons:

  1. Preparing content is difficult and time-consuming
  2. Not everyone is a talented writer or photographer.
  3. Sharing content on social media requires consistency.

Then, there’s also the issue of engaging your audience. Even if you have come up with a good content and posted it on social media sites, it doesn’t necessarily guarantee that your audience will eat it up like pie in a pie-eating contest. While 86% of marketers say social media is important to their business and acknowledge the fact that it can make a huge impact on their profitability and online visibility, 88% are having difficulties engaging their audience properly and only 13% say they can measure the outcome.

See the challenges of creating and posting good content online?

Despite the difficulties that go with it, however, content marketing and curation is very important, as pointed out by Matt Cutts. It attracts prospects and helps establish you as an expert in your niche or industry. It also paves the way for engaging your audience, as well as the creation of online communities and loyal brand advocates.

Fortunately, there is a program that allows you to conveniently and easily manage your overall outbound social media campaign, including content marketing. NewzSocial’s platform for outbound social media marketing allows marketers and businesses to execute social media campaigns that attract visitors and scale audience engagement.

Basically, it simplifies the process of creating content and engaging one’s audience by connecting and aligning groups within an organisation on individual expertise. By connecting groups based on individual expertise—not experience—the software allows members of your staff to contribute what they know best without having to become social media experts themselves.

And since consistency is key when it comes to content marketing for social media, NewzSocial helps create consistent messages and approaches, and delivers them to a targeted group of audience, thus, improving the impact of your brand. The software also eliminates the often tedious and time-consuming process of creating and posting content as it can replicate campaign processes and workflows.

Indeed, this platform is a huge help for businesses and marketers that are still struggling with content marketing and audience engagement. If you’re one of them, then it makes perfect sense to give NewzSocial’s platform a shot. Because everything you put online is a reflection of who you are and what you represent, you will need all the tools you can get to ensure that your social media and online marketing campaigns are a huge success.

BEE UPDATED  bee separator