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What began as space for the youth to get away from their suddenly social media inclined parents has given birth to a powerful marketing tool. And since Instagram and Facebook “adopted” the ephemeral content format from Snapchat, its user base has gone above and beyond the young and their face filters.

In fact, Stories creation and consumption is up a staggering 842% since early 2016, with nearly 1 billion accounts across Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, Messenger, and WhatsApp creating and watching these fleeting photos and videos. According to Facebook Chief Product Officer Chris Cox, the Stories format is expected to surpass feed sharing sometime in 2019.

And with that big of an audience, the marketing opportunities are virtually infinite. Below is a brief discussion of the benefits of ephemeral content and tips on how to leverage it to boost your brand.

Why ephemeral content has been such a hit? Realness

There’s a reason why user-generated content is also on the rise, and it’s because more and more, people are leaning towards authenticity. According to one report, 60% of consumers say content from friends or family influences their purchase decisions. Meanwhile, 86% say authenticity is important when deciding which brands they like and support.

Keeping things on the real is an element that ephemeral content brings, making it resonate the way it has.

FOMO

The very nature of content that disappears after a day makes Fear of Missing Out an important component of ephemeral content. It could be a flash sale, a behind-the-scenes look at an event, or teasers for upcoming releases. Whatever it may be, the fleeting nature of ephemeral content motivates people to actively seek it, as not doing so could leave them out of the loop.

Source: https://www.mondovo.com

 

YOLO

Users just feel more comfortable posting raw content on their Stories. There’s no pressure to come up with the perfect shot (as they would normally aim for in their feeds). And it’s this rawness that makes ephemeral content appealing to both create and consume.

Benefits of using ephemeral content for your brand Authenticity

Because people are increasingly trusting their peers more than they do brands, ephemeral content presents a great opportunity for the latter to humanize themselves. Because Stories, by nature, are rawer – it provides brands with the platform to present themselves in a more authentic way, ultimately making them more relatable.

Better engagement

This authenticity helps build genuine, and if you so choose, quite personal relationships between brands and followers—making it a magnet for engagement. And with the engagement features platforms like Instagram continually introduce (question and poll stickers, swipe up feature, and searchable hashtags), users have every reason to engage with brands’ Stories.

           

Source: https://blog.rebrandly.com

Wider Reach

Try this on your own Stories, tag a popular brand like, say, GoPro when you post content shot using their product and add a related hashtag to boot. See how that skyrockets your views from its usual number.

As well, because Stories are on top of Facebook and Instagram’s feeds (even re-appearing in the middle), it’s easier for more people to see your content.

Higher content volume

Ephemeral content forces you to either create new content or re-purpose existing ones for the format. This high content volume helps you reinforce messaging and stay on users’ top of mind. And with a creative ephemeral content strategy, you can even streamline content creation and distribution at an even higher rate.

Traffic and conversion

Source: https://blog.rebrandly.com

 According to one infographic, up to 25% of Story viewers swipe up to follow a link and engage directly with a brand’s website. This is why 59% of brands take users to a shoppable page with their Stories. The CTA to swipe up, the 15 seconds (max) they have to decide, and the innately engaging nature of ephemeral content makes it an ideal format to utilize for boosting traffic and conversion.

How to leverage ephemeral content for your brand Capture your audience’s attention

Source: https://webcdn-adespressoinc.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Animated-GIF-downsized.gif

You only have a split second to catch users’ attention before they tap on to the next Story so you need to make it as eye-catching as possible. In the example above, Daily Harvest uses a series of rapid images accompanied by simple enough messaging and CTA to instantly grab users’ attention.

If you’re posting a pre-produced video, make it as fast-paced as possible, opening with quick flashy clips followed by brief scenes. Or, you can keep it real simple like the example below. Everyone likes to “WIN,” so opening up with that will surely get their attention.

Source: https://adespresso.com

Tell a story

It’s called Stories for a reason, and that’s because it works best when you tell one. Instead of posting just any random collection of ephemeral content, hook your audiences with a series of Stories that tell one story (messaging or CTA).

A great way to go about this is to tug at people’s emotions. Emotions are central to stories, so making your audiences experience strong emotions with your Stories can elevate your content from being merely temporary, to truly transformative.

Whether it’s inspiring, or laugh out loud hilarious, aim to create stories that can leave lasting impressions before it disappears.

Humanize your brand (and have fun)

As alluded to earlier, Stories are a great way to humanize brands and make them more relatable. By giving audiences an inside look at things like a company party or a CSR activity, you can give a face and a personality to your brand.

For example, the adventure may be the farthest thing on your mind when you think about GE, but by posting stories during product shoots, and product development, they’re able to make electronic products more human.

Source: https://voymedia.com

Tell them what to do

Often, the way to get what you want is to simply ask. This is why having a clear call to action is crucial to effectively leverage the power of ephemeral content.

Source: https://webcdn-adespressoinc.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Animated-GIF-downsized-5.gif

Whether it’s telling them to swipe up to get to a landing page, follow an event account to stay updated, or creating user-generated content, simply (but compellingly) telling users what to do should be part of your ephemeral content strategy.

Let them take over

Letting influencers take over your Stories is an excellent way to tap into their own audience. Just make sure that the influencers you tap complement your niche. For example, if you’re a sports apparel brand, letting a fitness influencer take over your Stories while giving audiences a BTS look at your event can create ample buzz for your brand.

Source: https://blog.rebrandly.com

 And you don’t even have to limit yourself to influencers similar to what GE did when they let a contest winner take over their IG account.

Source: https://blog.rebrandly.com

Post regularly to showcase your brand

You’re not always going to come up with a winning formula for your Stories, so you need to post regularly to find out what works. You can follow all the best practices from other brands and personalities, but if they don’t resonate with your own audience, then it’ll be all for naught.

As well, you have an assortment of content types to choose from with which you can showcase your brand and products. Be it product demos, tutorials, release announcements, and flash sales—you have plenty of reasons to keep posting Stories.

Additionally, since Stories are always on top of feeds and even autoplay, posting regularly affords you with a chance to get your brand in front of eyeballs consistently.

Takeaway

Since taking over mainstream consciousness in late 2016, Stories have become the norm for social sharing. When even your parents are posting Stories of their own, there’s no reason why your brand shouldn’t take advantage of all the eyeballs it attracts.

Take a look at what your current brand messaging is and get creative with translating that into engaging Stories.

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The SEO industry is constantly evolving. Inexperienced digital marketers often have a tough time keeping up with all the algorithms and updates.

What Is SEO?

SEO (search engine optimization) is the process of optimizing a website so that it can be ranked higher in the search results by Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc. It has two aspects – on-page SEO and off-page SEO.

On-page SEO is a process through which you optimize a site by improving its elements, such as content, images and videos, code, structure, etc. On the other hand, off-page SEO is a set of practices that refer to improving a site’s reputation through external sources, such as link building, blog posts, posting on social media, and similar.

Evolution Of Search Engines’ Algorithms

Today, Google is the world’s leader when it comes to online search. It controls 92.59% of the mobile and 72.87% of desktop traffic.

Over the last two decades, Google released countless minor and major updates to its search engine, among which the most notable were Panda, Penguin, and Hummingbird.

Each of them brought new, significant changes which have disrupted the SEO industry. Needless to say, everyone involved in the SEO industry had to closely follow and study these changes and adjust their websites accordingly. Failing to do so would entail degraded rank in the search results.

According to a 2018 research published on HubSpot, Google is responsible for 94% of the organic traffic, while being ranked among the first results brings 34% CTR for desktop and 35% for mobile traffic.

Irrespective of what you know about SEO, the infographic below will take you through the 72 stats that will give you a better understanding of this industry.

Here is what you will learn:

  • Important SEO stats and trends;
  • Evolution of search engines and their ranking algorithms;
  • Impact of search engines on the market;
  • Search engine trends;
  • Ranking factors and advantages on ranking on Google.

You will also read about useful hacks that will help you to make the most out of your SEO strategy.

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When it comes to digital marketing, Email Marketing stands as an evergreen and one of the most used methods to promote something. With new developments in the web technologies, these email-based marketing newsletters have become a lot more interactive and informative.

Did you know that videos have become a significant source of the way we consume information online? A lot of companies find success on platforms such as YouTube and Vimeo. The best thing about email marketing campaigns today is that you can customize your campaign newsletters to the last strain and add elements such as GIFs, videos and more.

A report from back in 2016 reveals that adding a video in a newsletter can boost your open rate by 19% and your click-through rate by 200 to 300%. Such a boost in numbers can bring significant improvements to your campaigns, and you will be able to interact with your mailing list in a better way.

In this article, let us have a look at the prospects of videos in email marketing and how you can easily set up a campaign with a video for more conversions or open rate.

Email Marketing with Videos – Why?

We did mention a bunch of reasons in the introduction as to why one can try experimenting with videos in an email marketing campaign. But to understand why videos have become a powerful tool in this sector, we need to look at some significant reasons in detail.

Videos are a Time Saver!

When it comes to writing an effective newsletter copy that attracts the receiver’s attention, one has to spend a lot of time optimizing and trimming down the text content to as little as required.

But with the addition of a video to your campaign newsletters, not only will you be able to interact with the receivers in a better way, but you can also creatively provide more information. A lot of companies take advantage of explainer videos to introduce a new product or to upsell something.

These explainer videos can also be used to introduce a new procedure or in a newsletter series where you have to inform the receivers about something one by one. The possibilities of how one can use videos in an email marketing campaign are endless. One can save a lot of time with a video where they can use videos instead of a written copy to explain more things.

Instant Boost in CTR & Conversion Rates

Adding a video in an email marketing campaign can significantly boost the CTR. We talked about this in the introduction but to discuss further on this topic, more CTR means a better chance of converting to a successful lead/sale.

As per some statistics shared by HubSpot, campaigns with videos in their email marketing campaigns saw a significant spike in the conversion. Campaigns that used videos in their newsletters had a conversion rate of 4.8% as compared to the 2.9% that the campaigns without videos.

Connect with your Audience on a Human Level

It has been noticed that consumers respond well to companies that have some human element to them. Taking an example out of content, Wendy’s Twitter account can be seen tweeting and replying to people with human humor which not only makes the brand more friendly but also adds a very nice impression on potential customers.

Imagine doing the same with a series of videos planned on a topic. Such email marketing campaigns can achieve great results.

One example of this is Marie Forleo. She uses email marketing campaigns to drive traffic to videos like the one below.

Setting Goals: Use This 2-Step Process To Achieve More With Less Stress - YouTube

Just head over to YouTube and check how people have responded to her video in the comments. Such videos create a human connection between you and your audience making your company stands out from the rest.

Better CTA – Boost your Brand Pages

In a report by Business 2 Community, it is revealed that pages with videos get about 94% more views as compared to pages with text-only content. Of course, this is an obvious fact since videos have become such a huge part of what we do online. A large chunk of our online clock time is spent on websites such as YouTube & Vimeo. Watching a YouTube or a Vimeo video in an email marketing newsletter is bound to drive curious audience members to your pages on YouTube and Vimeo. This is a huge benefit as you’re driving traffic directly to your pages where you can gather the attention that people have to offer and promote your brand.

Videos also provide a huge gateway to better call to actions, so you don’t have to spend a lot of time with scrabble trying to find out better words for these CTAs.

Getting Started with Videos for your Campaigns

Almost every email marketing service such as MailChimp, A weber, Constant Contact, etc. allow adding videos to your newsletters. In this section of the post, we will see how one can easily set up campaigns with videos.

Baby Steps

The first thing that you need to do while adding a video to your campaign is research and planning. This is the step that is going to define the end goal of using videos in your newsletters. You can set your targets but keep in mind that the videos that work best with your campaign will be the one you produce specifically for the purpose.

This means getting the video(s) ready as per your planning and then creating a newsletter around that. We will discuss some of the best practices for this in the next section.

Best Practices & Tips

Any step you take towards marketing something online requires proper research and use of proven things that work best. This is exactly the reason why people follow a certain set of guidelines while performing SEO.

This also stands true for video-based email marketing. This is because just adding a video in a newsletter will barely get you any results until you are doing it correctly. Let us take a look at how you can adequately add videos to your newsletters.

Embedding Videos in a Newsletter

With the modern web technologies available today, it has never been easier to add videos in a newsletter. But keep in mind that this has a few quirks in today’s mobile-first world. While adding videos in newsletter works fine for Gmail users, this might not be true for users on platforms like Outlook, etc.

The reason for this is the fact that apps for these services aren’t capable of showing videos inside an email. But to fix that, you can use services such as Viwo mail. Services like these use HTML5 to embed and auto play (you can turn it off) videos in your email.

Services like MailChimp or Campaign Monitor etc. have added native support for videos through third-party websites such as YouTube, Vimeo and more but embedding videos through HTML5 makes more sense. Alternatively, instead of adding a video directly to the email, you can add an animated GIF to drive traffic to some other page that hosts the video.

Using GIFs to Drive Traffic to Video Page

If your primary target is to drive traffic on a page where you are hosting your video, then adding a GIF instead of a video might make more sense. Not only can you drive traffic to your YouTube page (or any other brand page for that matter), but you can also drive traffic to a landing page where you can engage a user and convert them in a lead/sale.

This can be achieved by using a static image with a simple play button but we all know how dynamic creatives can gather more attention and this is precisely why GIFs come very close to adding a video in an email.

To Autoplay or Not – That is the question!

While adding a video that auto-plays as soon as the page loads are very annoying and it is also frowned upon by audiences, auto-playing a video in a newsletter is perfectly fine as gathering a user’s attention as soon as they open the email is of utmost importance.

Wrapping it up!

To summarize what we discussed here, let us take a look at the points mentioned in the article one by one.

Videos in Email Marketing Campaigns can boost CTR by 200-300% & Conversion by 4.8%

You can use videos in your campaigns to humanize your brand

Videos provide an excellent gateway for promoting your social media channels such as YouTube & Facebook

Starting a video-based email marketing campaign is very easy and saves time

GIFs perform better when you want to drive traffic to a page hosting your video.

Finally, with so many positive reasons to start a video-based email marketing campaign, you should plan one as soon as possible and always remember that you can be creative and use videos in the form of interactive explainer videos or a normal point and shoot video to promote something in an email newsletter.

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The holiday season is one of the sweetest, if not the sweetest, time of the year for eCommerce businesses. And it is almost here. A lot of your competitors are already on the move, heavily preparing.

With all of the excitement, a lot of business owners commit mistakes which can hinder you from realizing the maximum potential that the holidays can bring. The following are some of the most dangerous eCommerce marketing mistakes, and what you need to do to avoid them:

1. Recycling your old holiday campaign over and over again

The first one is a classic: you have a favorite campaign for the holidays so you choose to do it again, especially on account that it worked before so it might work again this time. While that may work, say, for a second time, you should definitely avoid making it a staple.

You are given enough time to think of unique holiday campaigns each year so that you may continue to impress your target audience. If you only recycle last year’s holiday campaign, and then do it again in the next, then you are limiting the potential that you may attain from the season.

You have a whole year to prepare for the next holiday – make sure that you craft unique and creative campaigns that are bound to win the hearts of your audience. Capitalize on what is hot this year.

2. Giving out discounts too early

Some of the most typical strategies implemented during the holiday season is giving out discounts. While this is a proven strategy, giving it out way too early does not put you in the best position. In fact, doing this will spoil the holiday seasons for you.

When you give out discounts way in advance, your customers will feel that there is nothing special about your holiday promotions anymore. With that in mind, it is advisable that you put serious consideration in coming up with a yearly e-commerce business plan where you can strategize the best time for you to offer discounted rates each year.

Again, discounts may bring in a lot of potential sales, but calling on them way too early may defeat that purpose because the perceived value of your promotion is simmered down. So, learn the importance of making them wait, then surprise them with truly exciting offers at the right timing.

3. Failing to establish a presence in social media

Social media is a marketing channel that you should not take for granted as it is one of the most effective channels to date. However, your social media strategy should not be just about sharing content and ads, but also about improving your engagement with your potential customers.

Social media offers an excellent opportunity to connect with your target market. There are many ways to do that. However, a lot of businesses fail to treat this as vitally important and take it for granted. They focus on promoting and promoting, without thinking that one good promotion is forging a great relationship with your clients.

Since it is social media, it makes a lot of sense to highlight the social aspect, especially around the holiday. To ensure that you maximize your engagement with your customers for the holidays, the following techniques may help:

  1. Respond to customers queries
  2. Listen to customer feedback
  3. Come up with engaging marketing strategies

If you can engage your target well, they are more likely to become actual customers. And being able to do that during the holidays can help you maximize your potential sales.

4. Not utilizing email marketing

A lot of businesses think that email marketing should be extinct. And this is one of the biggest mistakes that they can commit. In fact, email marketing continues to be relevant today, maintaining effectiveness, which is very important around the holidays.

Email marketing is a strategy that can help you realize a lot of holiday sales, but that’s all dependent on how you craft your marketing emails. When executed correctly, email marketing can work to drive traffic to your e-commerce site, increasing conversions in the process.

So make sure that you strategize your email marketing, and that you execute them at the right time for the best results. Always remember: email marketing still matters today, don’t take it for granted.

5. Sending the same message over and over again

A bit similar to the first item is when your campaigns relay the same message over and over again. While it is true that consistency is well-appreciated, this should not be overdone.

Make sure that you craft unique, but well-coordinated messages throughout your campaign. But don’t go on saying the same lines unnaturally across your campaigns, especially if this is not your business’ slogan. There’s a creative way to be consistent with what you say so please go with that.

6. Disregarding market and competition research

Something that a lot of businesses, even outside of the realms of e-commerce, fail to do is to have a full understanding of the arena that you are playing on. A lot of business owners fail to understand that it pays for you to know your market and your competitors.

If you are aware of these things, you will be able to strategize your campaigns holistically. You will know what works for your customers, and you will also be able to come up with better strategies than those of your competitors. To do this, research is vital.

Execute research with the goal of making your strategies the best ones for your target audience, and better than what your competitors offer.

7. Zero customer support

With similar products, and sometimes identical offers, customer support may be the only differentiator that your business has over other providers. But a lot of your competitors fail to see its importance.

Customer support is a marketing strategy on its own right. It pushes forward your relationship with your customers, and also address concerns that are hindering them from successfully transacting with you.

But with the right quality of customer support before and after sales, you may be able to beat your competitors, especially around the holiday season.

Some of the things that you can to push customer support forward are:

  • Highlighting customer-centric messages in the site
  • Offering tools that foster communication with you
  • Providing after-sale service
8. Not using analytics or tracking

Finally, a lot of businesses fail to see the value in investing in analytics. For them, gathering data and insights is a tedious and costly process, and doesn’t give a lot of purposes. Businesses who think that way make uninformed decisions and are just basing on a pure hunch, or just simulating what your competitors are doing.

To ensure that you always come up with the best strategies, make sure that you do an analysis. And the holidays are some of the best time to do this because there is a lot of data for you to capture and make use of.

Avoid these common mistakes and make the most out of the holidays

The holidays are almost here, so you best be prepared. But preparation with the wrong strategies will only fail you. So be aware of these eight mistakes and more, and always do your best to come up with the most thought-of plans. Make the holidays the best time not only for your customers but also for yourself with this guide.

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With the rise of adblockers, influencer marketing seems like the only effective strategy for digital marketers. In 2018, marketers have spent almost $1.6 billion on Instagram influencer marketing alone. That’s reason enough to believe that influencer marketing is both popular and effective.

But what about the ROI from this form of marketing? Let’s take a look at some of the results you can expect from influencer marketing.

But first…

Are You Going to Pay in Cash or Kind?

Whether you pay in cash or with products/services, it will definitely cost you something. If you hire the services of a celebrity influencer, it can even cost you millions per Instagram post.

However, there are many micro-influencers who might be willing to promote your brand for much less. The cost will ultimately depend on their reach, engagement, and your negotiation skills.

Keep the Commission in Mind

You can also choose an affiliate model in which you need to pay some amount of commission for every sale generated by an influencer.

Will You Hire an Agency or Buy Software?

If you work with multiple influencers and want a realistic measure of the ROI, you definitely need to invest in either of these.

Don’t Forget to Factor in Your Time

Needless to say, you do need to put a lot of time into your influencer campaigns and that’s definitely a huge investment.

Returns from Influencer Marketing Brand Awareness

Influencer marketing can help generate greater brand awareness for your business. Your brand will be visible to an engaged target audience when you collaborate with an expert in your niche.

Followers and Engagement

Influencer marketing can also help you grow your social media followers and engagement. Some of this engagement can even translate into traffic and conversions.

To learn more, check out the infographic below.

Image courtesy: Grin.co
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There are a lot of ways to market your products and services, but one has stood the test of time as a force to reckon with. That is none other than email marketing. Based on extensive researches, I can tell you that no marketer today can ignore digital marketing trends. There are always new outcomes that corroborate this claim.

However, just like any other power out there, most people don’t fully grasp the amount of leverage they could enjoy through email marketing. At best, they have a mediocre email campaign, converting just a tiny percentage of their leads.

So, this raises a question: What are the essential elements to focus if you want to reap the full benefits of email marketing today? I will start by listing 8 important factors below, and we will discuss each of them. Here they are:

  • Subject line
  • Sender’s name
  • Personalization
  • Email body
  • Call to action
  • Image
  • Mobile optimization
  • Unsubscribe link
SUBJECT LINE

I probably don’t need to tell you this. A subject field is the first element of an email, and through it, a receiver decides to proceed further and read it or leave it. If the subject line fails to trigger the curiosity of the reader, you also not bother responding it.

For example, a simple tweak just like personalizing the subject line has been reported to improve the open rate by up to 50%.

One of my friends showed me an email came from MHR Writer; an online service provider. I am sharing their email as an example.

This company wanted to offer a special discount to their users. The subject line was “We are offering a discount on our assignment writing services for one week”, but that sounds too boring. It probably won’t arouse much curiosity. However, if it was replaced with something like “Cindy, grab this time-sensitive 50% coupon today”, this would naturally generate, more open rates. Little tweaks like this could make all the difference.

There is a low chance of your recipients opening your email if it fails the subject line test. If the subject line doesn’t hook them immediately, your carefully-written copy would most likely end up in the trash or, worse, in the spam folder.

SENDER’S NAME

After the subject line, the next vital element is the sender’s name. I still cringe whenever I get emails sent “from [Company name]”. Who still does that? Those days are gone when businesses were pitching their products with a dead email account and even expect results. While nowadays, human interaction is necessary for email marketing.

At least, you should include your name. Let me share my experience. One day, I received an email from Premium Jackets; an online leather jacket selling website. The email shows sender’s name “Frank Joseph | Premium Jackets.” I opened it and read the whole content inside it. Furthermore, I noticed that this is the second attempt by this company. The history beneath to this email shows another email I received from the same website, and I sent that in the trash folder. The sender’s name on the first email was only company name, i.e. “Premium Jackets.”

In case you are wondering who Frank is, I don’t know either. I just made it up! Can you see how a single personal identification cleverly inserted can breathe life on an otherwise lifeless element?

By the way, also make sure you create a personal email to send this emails. Emails sent from noreply@companyname.com wouldn’t do as great as emails sent from john@companyname.com. Make sure you stay consistent with your choice of sender’s name and email hence, that your users can get familiar and trust them over time.

PERSONALIZATION

Do you remember when you could send a generic sales letter to a million users and get a great response? I am sorry, but those days were past. Now, people only attend those emails that they believe are relevant to them. A report showed that 4 out of 10 people mark emails as spam because the emails were irrelevant to them.

The easiest way to make your email relevant is by showing them that you know and get them. Yes, this includes adding their first name in the email, but that is just one part of personalization. You can also monogram the email based on demographics. Things like age, sex, location, interests would help spice up your email marketing. You will be able to speak to your readers in the very language they speak.

Premium Jackets, for instance, could send different emails to those who prefer brown jackets to black, and vice-versa. Would it not make more sense to promote black jackets to those who love them and brown to the others? Can you see how this could easily drive sales up?

This would be easier when you break your list based on demographics and behaviors of clients. Do you think to advertise a 20% discount to someone who already bought the jacket at a higher price last week worth anything? Of course not. An excellent campaign is perfect for those who got to the sales page but exit without purchase anything.

EMAIL BODY

The body of the email is where the magic happens. Every sentence in the center part must be deliberately written to pull your readers towards the goal. While talking with a member of a digital SEO service provider, Sussex SEO in a business fare, I come to know that they consume 80% energy over setting up this section. That member told me that they edit the email body several times to make it perfect. He further said to me that email has to be long enough to be captivating, but not so long that it becomes boring. It is smartness of the author to cover the necessary points with minimum words.

Make sure you are direct with your choice of words, as you take them on the journey. This is where you make your promises and provide a way to fulfill them.

CALL TO ACTION

Whenever you send an email, the primary intent is to make your reader take action – just one action. Understand what this action is, as you write, and make sure your script compels your reader to take this action. The call to action could be for your users to watch a video, download a report or purchase a product. Whatever it is, make sure to make it as clear as possible.

Are you trying to make them take some actions in the same email? Don’t do it. That would only confuse them. Make sure your primary call to action is easily recognizable. It has to be clear enough. It must be the main goal of the email and, for your readers, the next logical step to take.

If MHR Writer wants their users to try out their essay writing services, the copy should lead to this action. It would be wrong also to try promoting this other online assignment service they should try. While this is beneficial to the users, this could make them experience what we call analysis paralysis.

IMAGE

There are times when you want to spice up the looks of your emails. Pictures are an excellent way to achieve this. Images add color to an otherwise lifeless text. You can also use an image to present data or visual information for your audience. There are many good uses for images, and they can’t be discounted.

For example, a close-up, high-definition image of the black jacket that Premium Jackets wants the users to buy would improve their eagerness to buy when compared to the case of plain text emails.

MOBILE OPTIMIZATION

In the past, many businesses design their newsletters to look good on the desktop. However, most people now access their emails from their mobile phone. Any true marketer would understand the importance of optimizing their emails for mobile. No one is ready to pinch and zoom in on your emails, just because they want to buy from you.

A statistics show that now Google is increasing the value of the mobile-friendly pages and websites. 80% of readers will delete your emails if they are not optimized for mobile. The readability of your email is your responsibility. Make sure that every element of your email is optimized for mobile.

UNSUBSCRIBE LINK

This might sound preposterous, but it is not. In fact, this is really important. If someone doesn’t want to be on your email list anymore, why keep them there? Shouldn’t you supply the link for them to opt out anytime?

For many, this sounds counterproductive. But think about it. If someone decided they don’t want your emails anymore, but couldn’t find a way to unsubscribe, what do you think they would do next? Of course, they would send your email straight into the spam folder. This is way worse than unsubscribing.

When your spam rate is too high, email services start trusting your emails less and sending them into the spam folders of your users, including those who would have loved to receive your emails.

Now, you can see how important the unsubscribe link is in an email. Just don’t let it compete with your primary call to action. It should be the last element in your email, and the font should be smaller.

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Social Media marketing and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) are the cause as well as the effect of each other. Both, when combined, help create an identity, value, and authority for a brand. The better your brand’s SEO strategy, the better will be your social media reach. Vice versa, your social media presence betters your search rankings.

1. Social media presence builds credibility that helps in better search engine ranking.

Given the impact of social media in today’s world, the presence of a brand in the virtual world is inevitable. Moreover, brands social media presence. High social media acceptance enhances the credibility, trustworthiness, and value of your brand. Increased activity and popularity on social media signal search engines give your brand better search rankings. It implies social media presence acts as a catalyst for a more noticeable online presence.

2. A growing number of social media followers influence search rankings.

A brand with a million followers on Facebook and Twitter will always compete better with the brand with say 1000 followers on the same social media platform. A brand’s large and growing number of genuine and organically built follower base acts as a positive ‘brand signal’ for search engines.
Good quality content, open forums for discussions and conversations, quick response, and regular updates are some of the keys to attract new followers and encourage current followers to stick on with the brand.

3. Quality content promoted on social media helps in search rankings.

Social media is a platform for showcase and promotion of content of every form. Be it a video, audio, vivid image or written material; social media effectively broadcasts the content through several channels. If the content quality is good, the audience will engage better and for longer durations. Content shared over various social media platforms creates links and reaches more and more people. Higher audience engagement is valued and sends positive signals to search engines.

4. Positive interaction with the content communicates value to search engines.

If a consumer searches for a particular brand coupled with generic keywords and ends up with a positive interaction or engagement with the content, then this communicates value to search engines. Constant participation would signify that your webpage is good for generic keywords and the related keyword phrases. Over a span of time, continued positive interaction will potentially allow search engines to place your webpage higher even for the generic keywords.

Say if ‘YourBrand footwear’ keyword phrase directs to your webpage and consumers have a positive interaction, then the keyword ‘footwear’ alone might direct to your webpage after a constant rate of engagement.

5. The more the external web links linked to your content, the better your brand’s reputation in the eyes of search engines.

Quality is the essential key to success. Quality content sooner or later does attract the audience. But then, in the generation of the data boom, it is important to broadcast your content on suitable social media platforms. If the quality of your content commands attention and engagement, then more and more external inbound links get connected to your content. A diverse number of links attached to your content conveys the authority of your content to search engines.
Usage of hashtags can help in gaining visibility at least in the beginning phase.

6. Brand archetype helps a brand outstand in the clutter and attracts the attention of the audience as well as search engines.

What are the archetypes? An Archetype provides identity to a brand and complements the brand’s story. It sums up the emotions, themes, and value that make up a brand, beyond what words can explain. An archetype not only differentiates your brand but it sets the tone for brand experience while tapping into customer desires. Your brand’s archetype might be a hero or a sage, innocent or a rebel, and it communicates what your brand truly stands for. This differentiation attracts the right kind of audience, which increase the probability of positive interaction and increased engagement with your content, which in turn would make search engines believe in your content’s authority.

7. Social media builds an audience for your brand resulting in increased click-through rates on search engines.

Social media can build and destroy a brand. With the number of people on social media platforms and the kind of reach of these platforms worldwide, a brand can attract the audience in no time. An increased audience would mean increased popularity which in turn would lead to increased clicks on your brand’s content displayed on search engine results. Once your brand starts to gain an increasing number of clicks, the higher will it start ranking in search results.

8. Social media lets your brand connect locally which in turn sends local-specific signals to search engines.

The more you let the social media know about your presence in a particular locality, the more are the chances of your content getting ranked in major search engines for the locality-specific keyword phrases. You can conduct an event locally, say a blood donation camp or a seminar or any other thing and involve the residents. Get them talking and invite them to like and comment. That will interconnect your brand with the locals who in turn allow you to rank better in search results of the locality-related keywords.

Social media in today’s generation is indeed an indispensable tool for any Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy. Be it building an audience or building credibility, letting your brand outstand or letting it attract attention worldwide, the benefits of social media in the context of SEO in as immense as its reach.

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If you’ve just started a new blog or website, you must already be aware of the importance of getting it ranked quickly and effectively on Google. While there are other traffic sources, Google is still the number one search engine with, huge 77% market share. For many businesses, it’s their only source of traffic.

So, if you’ve got a new blog and you want to achieve a high rank for it, you’re in the right place. We’re going to give you a step by step walkthrough of exactly how to rank your site effectively on Google.

   Source: http://www.smartinsights.com/search-engine-marketing/search-engine-statistics/

Why is Google still so important?

While there are other sources of traffic that are extremely relevant, Google is still the best.

When I first started trying to market my new blog, I didn’t realize how important Google was going to be for me. I thought that I could get traffic from loads of different sources without placing any extra emphasis upon Google. I was wrong. The reality was that when I managed to get a rank on the first page of Google, my visitor numbers went up dramatically.

If you just miss out on the first page on Google, you might as well be nowhere! Research shows that 11th place on Google (top of the second page) only gets around 1% of the hits for that search.

Source: https://gravitateonline.com/2011/04/12/2nd-place-1st-place-loser-seriously/

What that means is – if you’re trying to rank for a term with around 10,000 monthly searches, failing to get on the first page could at best get you around 100 clicks. If you’ve got a conversion rate of around 2%, this translates into two sales a month. Is that enough to make your business viable?

Before we get deeper into how to rank your site – let’s have a look at why keyword selection is so important.

Carry out some detailed keyword research

If you want to make your ranking efforts a success, you need to target the right keywords. So, before you start optimizing your content or looking for backlinks (we’ll get to that), you need to know which keywords to target.

There are a number of tools available that’ll help you do this, including Google’s very own keyword research page. The idea is to find a keyword that can generate high search volumes and thus ensure heavy traffic for your bolg or site. At the same time, the keyword should only face moderate competition, so that it is able to rank high on a search page.

Obviously, it is harder to get first page rankings for the highly competitive terms . If you’re new to the ranking business, try and go for more niche terms that are less competitive. Don’t just pick one keyword, choose a few so you can mix them up when you need to.

If you’re looking to make your keyword selection more niche by adding “long-tails” to the end of broader terms – make sure you target active long-tails rather than the passive ones. One great example of such addition is “discount”. It effectively targets and engages people who want to save on their shopping. If you can help them with their saving targets – you could make a sale.

Other great additions are things like the current year. With tons of outdated information available on the internet, people like to add this to ensure that they’re getting the most relevant and up-to-date information.

Try and avoid additions like “free” as these largely encourage people who are looking for a free ride.

Create quality content

People think there’s a shortcut to this and that they can play the system without creating good content. There isn’t. This might have worked in the past, but it doesn’t anymore. You’ve got to create relevant, high-quality content. Not only will this be more shareable (giving you more SEO juice as other people post links to it), but Google can also recognize quality these days.

You shouldn’t overlook the power of getting other people to share your content. Content sharing acts as an effective marketing tool and thus, helps in getting quality backlinks. – . But, all this can only be achieved with great content.

So when you create your content – make sure it’s good. Also, keep the keywords you already researched in mind and mention them enough in your posts. Not too much, but just enough – and use them in headings occasionally if you can.

Get your sitemaps sorted

One thing that Google looks for when trying to rank a page is its sitemaps file. Make sure you’ve got one and that it’s kept up to date (there are plugins that’ll do this for you). Your sitemap will notify Google of any changes so that it knows when to rank new posts or pages.

Make sure all your on-page SEO is fixed

Before we start looking at off-page SEO (backlinks), you need to make sure your on-page optimization is completely sorted. Hopefully, you’re already using your keywords in the posts you create, but you also need to make sure everything like META tags and descriptions is filled out and all your on-page content is fully optimized. Don’t worry – the highly popular Yoast SEO plugin will guide you through this in WordPress so that all your posts are optimized for the right keywords with the right metrics and densities.

Why backlinks are so important for SEO

If you really want to get your site noticed – you need backlinks. Backlinks allow Google to assess the relevance and importance of the web pages on their subject matters. While earlier, it was possible to spam backlinks from various sources to boost your site up the Google rankings, you can’t d that anymore. Now, You need to abide by quality.

Get good quality backlinks

Try partnering with relevant authorities in your domain in exchange for backlinks. Not only do these give you great link juice, they’re also great for relevant residual traffic.

You can also offer testimonials to other relevant authorities in return for a backlink. Post your content to social bookmarks and other social media sites. Make sure, you use the keywords you had picked as anchor text – but vary it a little instead of using the same one again and again.

One great way to get good quality backlinks is to look for the mentions of your site or brand that don’t include a link. Try to “recapture” thereby reaching out to their authors and requesting them to add an anchor link to their mention.

Don’t fall for those gigs on Fiverr that offer 10,000 links instantly. These seem too good to be true because they are!. Using these methods can actually get your site penalized or even blacklisted from Google.

Look for good quality backlinks from relevant, reputable sources and you should be set…

Hopefully, these tips are enough to get you started on your way to ranking success.

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Content Marketing is all fun and games and extremely thrilling until you sit down to track your ROI. Calculating your ROI for content marketing seems like more daunting a task than the entire process itself.

The trouble is that most people only associate content marketing with vague metrics that cannot be quantified. Whereas it is totally agreeable that Content Marketing does have a lot of unquantifiable impact on your business, still, there must be a way to calculate your ROI because after all, business is a number game.

Before we go ahead and tell you how to calculate content marketing ROI within an Hour, let us first talk about your objectives.

Define Your Content Marketing Objectives

Before launching your Content marketing campaign, you must have defined your objectives- what is it that you wish to achieve through content marketing. The objectives differ from business to business and marketer to marketer.

You might be doing content marketing to establish thought leadership and branding. You might as well have a lead generation strategy aligned with your content marketing plan. Or else, you might also be looking for an enhanced search engine presence.

Calculating direct ROI in all these cases is not feasible. When you are not looking for revenue increase through Content Marketing, you measure performance instead of monetary ROI.

Difference Between Performance Analysis and ROI Calculation

These two are often mistaken and used synonymously. However, the difference is huge.

Consider this scenario:

Scenario 1:

You have started your blog section and the goal of your blog section is to educate your audience in order to establish yourself as a trustworthy source of information and generate brand recall.

Analysis 1:

In this case, you are not generating content to get leads and you are not even trying to do that. When your goal is not leads or revenue, what do you track? You track whatever is your objective at the first place. Branding being your primary goal, you do a performance analysis on how has your branding improved through content marketing. There are various ways of tracking brand awareness such as tracking your direct traffic on Google Analytics.

Now, consider another scenario.

Scenario 2:

You published an eBook and promoted it in order to generate leads for your new service launch.

Analysis 2:

Lead generation being your primary goal, you can quantify the number of leads generated and number of leads converted thereby calculating your monetary ROI.

Now that you understand the difference between calculating ROI and performance analysis, let’s understand how to calculate ROI within an hour. Yes, it’s that simple.

Step 1: Calculate Investment of Time

This has to be extremely accurate. You can even use chrome extensions like Toggl to keep a track of time you invest in the process of content creation and distribution. If you have an individual specifically assigned with this job, it gets even easier for you to track because in that case, all you have to do is to consider the salary you pay to your resource.

Considering you have spent 10 hours creating and distributing content, you translate it to the compensation of those hours. If it is $5 per hour, you end up investing $50. Like I said, if you have an individual doing it full-time, it’s easier for you to calculate.

Let’s suppose it took $50 of man hours to create and publish a piece of content. We will use this as a standard in our examples.

Step 2: Outline Your Metric

If you are doing Content marketing for revenue generation, you could possibly be doing it in one or the other of two ways possible.

You are either targeting direct online sales through your content- like in the case of an e-commerce website, or you are looking to generate leads that then convert into your offline customers- like in the case of a home cleaning service provider.

Step 3: Calculate Gross Returns

Putting a utm-sourced call-to-action to your website, you can track the number of clicks that land on your sales page from your content page. Further, you can also track how many people of those who clicked have finally made a purchase. It allows you to track the amount of purchase made on your targeted page because of your content. Though the calculations can be complex depending on your entire model, figuring out total amount of purchase is totally possible.

Suppose 20 people from your content page land on your sales page where you are selling handbags. Out of these 20, 10 have made a purchase of $20 each leading to $200 sales. Your gross return is $200.

In case of lead generation, you can track how many leads could you end up with and how many of them transformed into a customer. Suppose 1 out of 20 leads converted leading to a sale of $400 for your home cleaning service business. This is your gross return.

The calculations here are rather straightforward, but in your case, it will depend on various other nuances of your pricing.

Step 4: Choose an attribution model

This is the most critical part of your ROI calculation. You need to do it smartly so that you don’t end up wasting more time calculating the ROI than doing the actual work. It’s a one-time activity so you will not have to do it every time you are calculating your content marketing ROI.

Attribution model is how you attribute your revenue to various steps in the funnel. It depends on how many phases do you have in a funnel. If you get 15 leads and there’s a sales guy who pitches the service to these 15 people, this guy needs to be attributed too. The larger the funnel, the complex is the calculation.

There are two types of attribution models you can choose from- multi-touch attribution and last touch attribution.

In last touch attribution, you assume that the last step taken by the customer before purchasing receives full attribution. So if the last step before purchase was reading your content, the content gets the full credit.

In multi-touch attribution, you give credit to each phase in the funnel. Since it is almost impossible to attribute a fixed percentage to each phase, you can give equal credit to each phase, which is again unrealistic, but still more accurate than last touch attribution.

Now suppose there are three phases in your funnel. You divide the total revenue by three and attribute it to your content.

In our examples, let’s suppose both the businesses have three funnels.

So, $66.6 can be attributed to content in the case of online handbag store and $133.3 in the case of home cleaning service provider.

Step 5: Calculate ROI

Time to calculate your final ROI! You are now only left with simple straightforward calculations.

With $50 of man hours spent on creating and publishing the content in question and $66.6 of gross returns in the case of online handbag store, our calculation says $16.6 of returns and i.e. 24% ROI.

Following the same equation for home cleaning services leads to $83.3 of returns and i.e. 62.4% ROI.

Hurray!

Just a little bit of ground work and you have your Content Marketing ROI in less than an hour. The entire calculation does not take much of your time and with that knowledge, you can calculate the ROI of every single piece of content. Now imagine the power it gives you. By calculating ROI of every content marketing effort, you have a lot of data to back your future decisions and strategy. Data driven marketing fuels your digital campaigns and brings precision in every effort that you put forward.

Calculating ROI gives you insights into what works and what does not thereby facilitating better results. If you have yet not measured your content marketing ROI, you should start doing it right now to use the power of data to its full potential.

This post was originally published on YourStory

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The Paralysis of Possibility is a trap and no one, trust us on this, no one would want to fall into it! The fact that you are bound and unable to take a step forward leaves every professional man bewildered. And this scenario is most commonly faced when you have a vast source of information/data. The information overload, especially in the field of web designing and marketing (the digital realm), puts great stress over the marketers and developers. Knowing that more than 55% of all the websites developers use analytics, it is easy to decipher that most of them must be facing the analysis paralysis phenomenon. It is a position where the marketer has so much information that he is unable to decide what action to take.

And when search engine optimization is the target, the professionals face this issue quite often. With search engine optimization it is hard to decide how far to dig and what to discover, the field is so vast and the targets so profound that picking or prioritizing them one by one becomes difficult. Thus, to help you surpass this tough stage, here are the 10 questions that you need to ask yourself to break the analysis paralysis:

  • How many times have you stressed upon the fact whether the analysis is boosting your SEO presence on the web or not?

Well, this one is a bit philosophical approach but what’s life without a little meaning in it! The more options you have the more you find yourself in a difficult place to deal with the situation. Getting loads and loads of information can be stressful; when you have no idea where, how and when you are going to implement it. The key here is to devise a plan to boost your website SEO, prioritize your goals and see which efforts would help you achieve your desired goals.

  • How does the data at hand help overcome the shortcomings you face while serving the customers?

Keep on asking yourself what will benefit the customers. The whole digital world is dependent on the visitors and customers. Discover ways through which you can utilize the data you have, to improve the customer’s experience. For example, the trend of voice search and AI is on the rise and the data you have collected must have proven this. Thus, this calls for implementing these trends in your web services! The real idea is to make the online journey for the visitors cheerful. Hence, first jot down all the things that would positively affect it and then work on it.

  • Oh wait, did you give yourself a deadline to analyze it?

Tada! Here’s the golden rule that will help you a lot to escape the paralysis by analysis!

Whatever goal you have in mind and no matter on what project you are working, make sure you have given yourself and your team a deadline. Working within a specific time frame gives you the boost that is actually required to finish the task at hand. It allows you to plan the task and divide it into days which are required to achieve the end result.

  • Did you give priority to understanding the visitor’s behavior?

This is more or less the continuation of question number two. In order to overcome the shortcomings you face while dealing with the customers, you need to understand their behavior. So, did you try to do that? The main things you need to look into include how the visitor found your website, the pages they visited and how much time did they spend there along with the action they took.

  • Have you decided on your main key performance indicators?

With so many KPIs to analyze the digital efforts, it is hard to take actions to improve them all. Therefore, you need to pick a few best ones that would directly reflect the performance of your business and analyze them to produce more effective results.

  • Are you in the process of learning how to test a hypothesis?

Ask yourself this question and measure how far you have come in the journey of breaking the analysis paralysis. The real barrier that we face is the concern of whether our idea is going to work or not. In this regard, Ross Simmonds in 2017 in his keynote at Webbdagarna discussed the benefits of testing a hypothesis and how experimentation simplifies the whole process. All you have to do is build, ship, learn and decide. He says, “By embracing this very lean and straightforward model, it allows me to come up with ideas quickly, but kill them even quicker. It allows me to experiment without fear.”

  • Have you considered using the Google Analytics dashboard?

This is another simple way of managing the data to break the analysis paralysis. The Google analytics dashboard offers a productive report of the main metrics that you are following. It carves your path and helps you focus in the right direction. The main metrics on the dashboard include users, number of pages viewed, bounce rate, audience distribution, the most popular content and a lot of other things.

  • Do you majorly rely on the ‘page visits’ to measure the output of your business?

Many beginner e-commerce owners make this mistake of relying on the number of page visits that the customers make. Instead, they must be looking into the leads and conversions made and the number of clicks on the purchase button to measure the success of the online shopping project. The whole idea of using the analytics is to see whether the business is making progress or not and for this you need to look at the right place.

  • Shouldn’t you process with the approach of ‘you should solve problems when they actually become the problem’?

The Google analytic program strictly conducts its function of analyzing every data and all the business efforts made every now and then. Thus, providing an ocean of information but, not all of it needs instant attention. Some problems can be dealt with after some time and so you should focus only on the ones that need immediate attention.

  • Have you considered viewing the analytics in a visual presentation?

The visual presentation of the data rather than the numerical one influences the worker to take action. The stats are right in front and the visualization keeps the mind’s attention intact. The graph bars and the charts make it easy to understand the logistics and you can then take action accordingly.

Final thoughts

Google analytics is a blessing for the digital experts and specialists and by keeping these ten questions in the plan, the curse of analytic paralysis can be easily broken.

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