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The Evolution of Internet’s Data Usage (Infographic)

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Have you ever thought and considered just how much data is shared through the internet every day?

A commonly quoted statistic is that 90% of the world’s data has been generated over the past two years. Still, what does that actually mean, in terms of storage and expansion, and where is all that data being utilised? To put this in perspective, the following infographic examines the evolution of internet data. It consists of how it’s grown, where the demand is coming from, and what it means in terms of gigabytes, petabytes and yottabytes.

It’s a fascinating overview of the explosion of online data. Take a look at more detailed information below.

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Infographic credit: Broadband Wherever

Spying on Your Competitors: 6 “Ethical” Tips

ethics on spyingThe moral or ethical issues on the subject of spying are a bit dodgy. On the extreme end, conducting industrial espionage may be illegal. Hiring someone from inside the enemy camp and transforming him or her into an industrial spy may violate all sorts of commercial and legal laws. It can be a constitutional violation, criminal, federal or whatnot. But those days of finding a willing insider and turning them against an organisation, they’re long gone. Today, you can spy on your competitor—by yourself—without leaving your desk. Or your home, for that matter. You don’t have to hire someone from the enemy camp and offer him or her heaps of rewards to reveal the enemy secrets. The Internet has changed all that. In this era of digital revolution, a lot of online tools exist and are free for you to use. Here are six tips to spying on your competitors, with the corresponding tools, of course.

1. Keywords

A lot will depend on keywords. Knowing the keywords your competitors use will give you a clue to what is driving their traffic and leads to their website. Most websites include the keywords in the coding of their pages. Go to your competitor’s website and look at their pages’ source codes. To those who don’t know how to do this:

  1. For Chrome, click the browser’s menu, then go to ‘More Tools’ and click ‘View Source’. A new window will open showing your competitor’s website code.
  2. Find the word ‘keyword’. You should find the keywords with the tag, meta name=”keywords”.
  3. Analyse and compare it with your own site’s source code and see what you’re missing.

view source 2. Load Time

Examine the load time of your competitor’s website. There are plenty of tools that will give you this information. Here’s one that’s really reliable. Useful tool: Google Pagespeed Insights http://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/ With this tool, you can analyse the loading speed of any website, including your competitors, on both platforms: desktop and mobile. Aside from analysing the loading time, this wonderful Web developer tool suggests how to improve site performance in terms of loading time. It would not hurt to try inputting the URL of your own site. You might even learn how to improve the loading speed of your own website.

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3. Indexed Pages

The more indexed pages, the better performance in Search Engine Results Page (SERP). To find out how many indexed pages your competitor has is to determine how many you should have to level out the playing field. Useful tool: Google Query site:[competitor URL]

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4. Code Accuracy

To access your competitor’s technical skills is to see how solid their codes are. You can use a free Web service to do this. Input the URL of your competitor and see how many errors their page shows. You can also use this on your page to improve your page’s code accuracy.

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5. Twitter Presence

Of course, you have to assess how strong are your competitors’ social media presence. Find out who’s tweeting about them.

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6. Ads

One way of checking out your competitors’ ads is by using a free online service called Moat dot com. See what your competitors’ ads look like. moat

Conclusion

Knowing the enemy is half the battle. The knowledge you obtain about them will be your ticket to stay on top of your game, and conquer all competitors.

3 Successful Tips For Modern Digital Marketing Campaign

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Digital marketing is growing rapidly in the current marketing playing field. Furthermore, it’s possible that digital marketing could soon supplant most traditional forms of marketing altogether.

If you haven’t yet integrated digital marketing into your marketing mix for your business, it’s time to adapt, and fast. Not only is digital marketing more affordable than traditional forms of marketing, but it’s also more accountable, with specific tracking and monitoring options at your disposal.

Although developing a comprehensive digital marketing strategy is a complex and time-consuming task, the three following steps are key in creating an impactful digital marketing campaign for your business and will get you started and aiming in the direction for success.

1. Clarify Objectives and Strategy

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No digital marketing campaign can be successful without clear objectives and a strategy to make it happen. Read up on a few case studies to inform and create your best strategy, consider what some measurable results are that you’d like to see as a result of your efforts.

Outlining your campaign goals will determine the direction for your entire campaign, and should be specific, measurable, realistic, and should also be purposeful and align with real business objectives.

For example, getting more “likes” is great, but how does that improve your bottom line or deliver more meaningful results?

This step also includes the most frequently overlooked, yet most important aspect of a digital marketing campaign – identifying your target audience. Be sure to study your target market and use your findings to inform your strategy to meet your objectives.

2. Create Brand Consistency

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Consumers want a consistent, personalized, and on-brand experience on all platforms, including your website, social media platforms, e-mail marketing communications, and any other platforms you may be including in your digital marketing campaign strategy.

Create brand consistency on all platforms by using the same fonts, colors, taglines, images, features, and copy. Feel free to mix it up and create variety, while adhering to the respective platform’s dimensions and layouts.

This level of consistency in your campaign will not only increase your credibility and authority as a company, but it will also ensure that your audience actually receives your message, instead of just seeing it and failing to take action.

3. Build Your Digital Marketplace

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Think of your website in your digital marketing campaign to be as important as your storefront.

Your website is your virtual home, and can greatly influence your audience’s perception of your company, whether your brand resonates with them, your level of professionalism, and whether or not you can help them solve the problem they’re coming to you to solve.

Ensure that your website is responsive and engaging, updated, and mobile-friendly. To test your site’s mobile-friendliness, check out Google’s free test. Many business owners believe they need to add a mobile app to their digital media strategy, but if your site’s mobile-friendly, it creates much more ease in the user experience and improves your SEO.

A successful digital media marketing strategy should provide the opportunity for customers to lead the way. This means brands should be focused on providing experiences for their consumers, rather than simply delivering messages. It’s not enough in the digital age to tell consumers what you do and don’t do; instead, focus on action and delivering an exceptional experience. Be painfully obvious and clear with your call-to-action, and make sure that signing up or otherwise completing the call-to-action is effortless for your consumer.

Don’t make them jump through hoops or visit multiple social media platforms to get where you want them to do. Keep it simple, and you’ll be successful.

5 Tips To Improve Your Site’s Conversion Rate

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Having a website that showcases products is useless if customers don’t buy the products. In fact, we have no business calling them customers if they don’t buy. Because the rule of business is: we sell, they buy. 

What good is a website if it just sits there in the cyberspace, taking up space and waiting for the domain and hosting to expire? Unless this is the original intention, which I’m sure it is not, then a website is not really a website in every sense of the word. To use the analogy of a once great leader, “Your website is less useful than crap.”

Conversion rate is the percentage of site visitors who actually buy the products and services being offered. The higher the ratio of customers, the higher the revenue. That is how this game is played. Revenue is the name of the game, and conversion is the rule of the play. Websites must convert users, plain and simple. Site visits must have ROI for without it, businesses are doomed. 

Conversion Rate Optimization or CRO comes into play. CRO is the process of maximising the efforts of making site visitors take action. It takes time and lots of research and resources. In short, CRO is a costly venture. Big firms spend lots of money hiring other firms that specialise in CRO. For indeed, there are firms and agencies dedicated solely to CRO.

But what about the small and medium businesses that have no budget for CRO? Good news then that the Internet is a level-playing field. And it being a platform where SMEs have an equal footing with the big boys, the power of CRO can be harnessed DIY style.

Here are some tips you might want to consider to raise your site’s conversion rate.

1. Conduct Split Tests

This reliable method has been practiced ever since the beginning of the business era, when ancient galleon trade merchants studied markets and sold products based on their conclusions. Split testing, sometimes called A/B testing, is the process of creating two different versions of a landing page and testing it to two sets of users. Whichever converts better, we go for it. Below are particular sections that we need to focus on.

2. Call To Action

Call to Action, or CTA is the button or link that we want users to click. It is simply where the action is going to take place. Every click on the particular button is potential revenue.

That being said, make sure that you place the CTA where users can see it immediately. Meaning, above the fold or on the upper section of the page, before the users even begin to scroll down. Placing the CTA above the fold is strategic simply because users see it right away before they change their minds. 

But this does not mean that we skip the CTA at the end of the page. Some users would want to read first before they take action. So if they don’t click on the upper fold, they continue to read the content sandwiched in the middle, then they can still take action at the end of the page. A website or a landing page can have many CTAs as long as they are strategically placed and lead to only one action. 

3. Make it Clear

The purpose of CTA is to lure potential customers. You don’t want potential customers to get lost in all the content and finally leave the website. Or worse, get carried away with the aesthetics and art, and forget that we are actually selling something. Your CTA, as the name suggests, must drive the user towards your goal. In design-speak, that means proper layout and fonts. Avoid using artsy fonts and elements that make the headline hard to read. Keeping it simple often works better.

4. Forms

Studies show that users have little patience with step-by-step actions. Modern users who are most likely using a smartphone or tablet instead of a laptop or PC, have little patience in filling-up forms. With this in mind, make the forms shorter and concise. There’s no point in making it complicated for the user. Think: we are about to convert! The user is already filling-up our form! Instead of adding additional steps for him, by all means, let’s carry him on our shoulders all the way to the check-out counter if this would convert him to become a buyer.

Take note: studies based on years of experience state that a lot of potential customers walk away just because of the failure of captcha images to load. What a shame!

5. Testimonials

People tend to believe in products and services especially if they see other people buy them. That means “people”, not “celebrities”. You don’t need celebrities endorsing your products. First of all, you don’t have the budget to do it. In fact, using famous people is not a testimonial but a commercial. Testimonials are the exact antithesis of commercials.

Consumers have outgrown product endorsements from celebrities. People tend to believe people who are on their same level. Small and medium businesses would want to see other small and medium businesses saying your products worked for them. People don’t want to see stock photos but actual pictures of people proclaiming your product rocks. Testimonials breed trust.

 

There you go, folks. CRO presented DIY style. Your goal is to convert without spending too much money in hiring experts to raise your conversion rate. These simple tips would help you get started. 

Now convert! And forever make your website useful.

2016 Ultimate B2B Online Marketing Guide (Infographic)

B2B Social Media

Nowadays, everybody is doing B2B. If you are not updating your knowledge concerning the latest B2B news and techniques, you’ll definitely miss a big point.

Simply “doing” B2B online marketing is not going to maximise success. Truth to be told, your website isn’t going to just magically generate new business just because it looks good and you “employ” B2B. You need the right strategies to attract visitors and convert them to customers.

There are a lot of moving parts with a B2B online marketing and lead generation program. Take a look at the following infographic to help you visualise the components and all the important process you need to know.

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Infographic credit: Circle Studio

Using Reddit As Customer Research Source (Infographic)

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Have you ever felt that your ideal customers are all meeting in some secret location? What if you haven’t been invited to this source all this time?

Well, you’re not exactly wrong. In 2015, Reddit has received 82.54 billion pageviews. People visit Reddit to read, comment, and socialise. The good news is, it covers just about every topic under the sun, including your business’ niche. The site and its users are somewhat intimidating at first, but Reddit is a vibrant community full of open, (sometimes painfully) honest, oddball dialogue. Your target customers are here pouring their hearts out, so it’s time that you to take advantage of this gold mine of customer research.

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Infographic credit: Salesforce

Finding The Right Marketing Strategy For Your Business (Infographic)

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Every business owners know that online marketing is very important for the longevity of their business.

For new startup to succeed you need to market it. However, it is easier to say than to be done. There is a mile-long list of internet marketing opportunities for startups – from Facebook advertising to viral videos to search engine optimisation.

Feeling confused yet? Don’t be. In today’s infographic, we will help you deciding which marketing strategy is right for you. Take a good look at it.

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Infographic credit: Ranky and Backlinko

5 Useful Online Marketing Tips For Small Business (Infographic)

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Small businesseses have little to no choice when it comes to marketing options due to their limited budget.

Let’s say you have came up with a great, unique idea and have a product that you want to sell. You tell all of your friends and they all recommend that you start your own business. After taking the time to think about it, you decide you’re going to do it. You are going to start your own small business. You may be thinking, “Well, where do I start? or How am I supposed to get my product out there?”

Don’t be afraid. In today’s post, we will present a handy infographic that proposes five ways to promote your small business.

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Infographic credit: Trellis

Australian Brands Suffer From Poor Ads

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The majority of Australians say there is too much advertising, most is forgettable and it can’t be trusted.

Grey Group Australia has conducted research in partnership with Zing Insights for its Eye on Australia report, looking at how brands are fairing in a new media world. However, the study has found that brands are suffering and that advertising might be to blame.

According to the report, 79% of Australians think there is too much advertising and as a result none of it stands out. A further 78% think most advertising is forgettable and 73% don’t think they can trust branded messages.

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Grey Group Australia national planning director Danish Chan says:

“Advertising doesn’t work the way it used to. It can still be an engine of influence – but it needs to adapt,” Chan says. “Technology has changed the way Australians consume media and run their lives. Continuously connected and always-on, Australians may be easier to reach but are tougher to influence.”

While 40% of respondents feel that brands are all similar nowadays and another 53% are not loyal to any brand, the vast majority – 73% – believe brands are important in helping make judgements about quality. Furthermore, the report says that given the figures, brands need to change the way they advertise if they want to see results.

 

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Essentially, brands take the wrong tact with social media, with too many using it to broadcast rather than create participation. It says brands need to move from ‘storytelling’ to ‘story-making’, which makes other people the storytellers of the brand.

In addition, the report says “brand experience” is also more important than advertising campaigns, with a relentless focus on the customer increasingly important.

Is This The Demise of Video Advertising?

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Most media companies are pouring resources into video. However, it may not be the holy grail for much longer.

Everyone’s raving on about video advertising, but many tech experts opined that it could all end up being a fad. While there’s no denying the rise of video ads, we must question the real value of our customers.

As media companies search for new sources of revenue, everyone seems to be focusing on video as the new holy grail. Why? Because video advertising is one of the few remaining places in the media business that is still producing significant amounts of revenue. Still, how long can that last with the supply of video content continuing to increase exponentially?

Everywhere you look, you can see news and media organizations devoting more resources to video. Several big names in media, including Mashable recently restructured the entire company and laid off dozens of people so that it could focus more on video, and the New York Times has set up a team just to do Facebook Live video. BuzzFeed has an entire content arm called BuzzFeed Motion Pictures, not to mention several standalone Facebook pages that primarily do video.

The urge to produce more video is being driven by a number of converging factors. One is that traditional display advertising on the web is an increasingly terrible business—the amount of money that a traditional news or entertainment outlet can earn is minimum and getting smaller every day. That’s why so many media companies are driven to add pop-ups and viral-marketing “related story” links and other gimmicks.