Thursday, 30 March 2017

Updates YouTube Advertising

What’s New With YouTube Advertising
In January 2017, Google announced it would make changes to AdWords to allow advertisers to reach more viewers on YouTube -- especially across mobile devices, where 50% of YouTube views take place. Among the changes it rolled out, possibly the biggest announcement was that advertisers will soon be able to target viewers based on their Google search history, in addition to their viewing behaviors YouTube was already targeting.

Marketers can now target ads at people who recently searched for a certain product or service to target the video ads they’ll be served on the platform. If the content of a video ad is closely related to a search the viewer has been researching, they might be more likely to watch the entire ad or click through the ad to the website.

Keywords are relatively less expensive to target on YouTube than in traditional Google Search: Views cost an average of $0.06 per click on YouTube, compared to the average Google Search cost per click, which is estimated to be between $1-2. When YouTube targeting includes search history, it may be a more cost-effective way to target your audience with a more engaging form of content -- video.

The 2 Types of YouTube Video Ads
TrueView ads are the standard video ad type on YouTube. Advertisers only pay for TrueView ads when viewers watch or interact with their ad (for example, by clicking on a call-to-action), and videos can be easily customized to share a variety of content.

Advertisers only pay when a user watches the ad for at least 30 seconds or until the end of the video or if the viewer takes an action, such as clicking on a call-to-action. YouTube requires that skippable TrueView ads be 12-60 seconds in length and that non-skippable TrueView ads be 15-30 seconds in length.

There are two types of TrueView ads:

Video Discovery Ads (Previously Named In-Display Ads)

Video discovery YouTube ads show up on the YouTube homepage, search results pages, and as related videos on YouTube video watch pages.

Sunday, 1 January 2017

Digital Marketing Trends to Watch for in 2017

Is it REALLY that time of year when industries start looking at what may lie ahead in the coming year? YES! It is, even though it seems like just last month it was 2015 and we were making predictions for 2016. WOW! Time flies; here we are in the fall of 2016 and we are starting to talk about digital marketing trends to watch for in 2017.  What are the digital marketing trends to watch for in 2017? We’ve been doing some research on this question and found that there are some interesting trends to watch on both the B2C front as well as the B2B front.

B2C Digital Marketing Trends
Augmented Reality & Virtual Reality
Google has just announced its VR platform Daydream.  The platform is to be built into the Android operating system and includes both hardware and software specifications. Basically, Google wants to create the Android of Virtual Reality by encouraging phone makers to build their phones around this new platform.  So far, Google’s Daydream has been well received. Additionally, Pokemon Go was THE PHENOMENON of the Summer of 2016.  In fact, a report in HEAVY  stated that Pokemon Go had been downloaded at least 15 million times and the game was seeing about 21 million daily, active users. Considering the response that both of these have gotten, it’s safe to expect to see more going forward, which is good news for digital marketers because placing advertising in an altered or virtual reality is now a possibility.

Mobile Dominance
Mobile devices have emerged as the preferred device, which has had a significant impact on how businesses connect to customers. Consider mobile messaging apps such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Snapchat and WeChat. These have become primary ways to communicate outside of the normal mobile channels and digital marketers are beginning to see these platforms as a means of reaching consumers with their advertising message.

Video is King
In the past year several video based social media platforms have emerged. Platforms like Parachute and SnapChat began the live video revolution and since then, any businesses have found it a great way to engage with customers. Facebook took this and ran with it to launch their video platform, Facebook Live. How will this benefit the digital marketer trying to get their message in front of potential customers? For starters, video messaging has become multi channel meaning it is no longer restricted to television. In addition, innovations such as VR and AR, which provide interactive mobile engagements, are likely to become even more important in 2017.

Advertising Algorithms
Every digital marketer knows it by now: algorithms change frequently. This fact will have more of an impact on how brands generate their content in the fututre. Rather than relying on keywords to boost search rankings ,artificial intelligence algorithms will begin to include creative components such as colors, fonts and copy. Advertisements will evolve and be updated based on reactions from users. This will require brand to execute a full digital marketing strategy to boost their over a web presence, rather than picking and choosing select elements. Furthermore, they will likely find that they will need to have generous media budgets in order to get the reach and traction they need, unless, of course, their content “goes viral.”

Conversion Rate Optimization
CRO is a marketing strategy that is used to influence website visitors into customers. The strategy is made up of several components such as audience segment testing, response tracking and advertising testing. These tools will continue to be important for businesses to use in their digital marketing strategy for 2017.

B2B Digital Marketing Trends
Digital Marketing as the Star
Digital Marketing has moved from being seen as an “additional piece” of the overall strategy to a more “front and center,” integral part of any business’ marketing plan. As society norms continue to evolve, so will the role of digital marketing. As long as lifestyle platforms such as Facebook and Google remain everyday activities for the majority of the market, this industry will continue to sky rocket. In 2016, digital efforts proved to be beneficial. In 2017, they will prove to be imperative and will likely surpass other marketing avenues in results.

B2B businesses are seeing value of bringing a personalized experience to their customers from start to finish. Marketing channels such as trade shows and have made B2B communication formal, but, that’s slowly becoming a thing of the past. Behind the business, is people running that business. People spend much of their personal time online, across various platforms. In 2017, digital marketing will enable B2B marketers to reach their customers via a more personalized medium, such as their Facebook News Feeds.

Advocate Marketing
Also known as “word-of-mouth” advertising, this old-school tactic is still very powerful and effective. However, where “word-of-mouth” used to mean exactly that, now it looks slightly different thanks to advocate marketing software platforms that offer referral and engagement reviews. More and more B2B businesses are making use of these to drive business online.  Reviews and referrals from existing, happy customers adds tremendous value and brings in qualified leads from potential new customers.

E-mail Marketing
Although many have expected the value of E-mail marketing to decline; it hasn’t thanks to mobile devices that allow customers to read e-mails on any device.  E-mail marketing is still a great way for B2B businesses to stay connected to their customer base as well as connect with new potential customers. It has proven to be a great way to add the personalization, mentioned above, as well as a means of increasing awareness, acquisition and conversion.

Social Media
Initially, B2B businesses neglected social media however, LinkedIn and Twitter have proven to be great tools for B2B businesses to connect and grow their business. However, it is important that B2B businesses prioritize social media and use the channels that are most effective for their business.

Video Content
B2B businesses can reap extreme benefits from video-based content for their business. Periscope and Facebook Live are a great way to offer a quick and easy solution to live streams while YouTube and Vimeo are still popular ways to share general video content. This content can used across platforms in advertising on Google and social media. Videos enable B2B businesses to offer tutorials, demos and cover business events.

While we saw many of these trends begin to gain ground in 2016, we expect them to continue to gain ground exponentially in 2017.  Regardless of whether you’re a B2C or B2B business, it’s important to be on top of the trends so that your business will remain on the cutting edge and continue to see growth through 2017 and beyond.

Top 10 marketing techniques in 2017

Let's now drill down into the key tactics and marketing technology within each of these tactics which will be important in 2017.

1. Content marketing trends

Content marketing has been in the top 3 for the last 3 years we have run this post, so we focus a lot on how to create an integrated content marketing strategy through advice in our content marketing toolkit.

Our research with HubSpot, illustrated in the Competing on Content infographic, shows that more businesses are now using a strategic approach (40%), so this is a trend we can expect to see continuing in 2017. We can also expect that there will be more focus on Measuring Content Marketing ROI as the cost and competition within content marketing increases.

At a practical level, Martech Guru Scott Brinker has talked about the 4th Wave of Content Marketing and I'm seeing more and more examples of interactive marketing apps - like our capability graders and also personalisation tools recommending content. Read his article, introducing it, a great read and you can check out the ion-interactive examples of interactive content marketing.

2. Big Data

As defined in our question, Big Data marketing applications include market and customer insight and predictive analytics.

The 3Vs of Big Data show why this is a key trend selected by many, who have experienced the increase in volume, real-time data and data formats in their business and want to exploit the value to increase sales through personalisation on websites and through email marketing through predictive analytics - a topic we have covered many times on our blog.  It's also closely tied into machine learning where Big Data is mined to identify propensity to convert given different customer characteristics and behaviour.

3. Marketing Automation (including CRM, behavioural email marketing and web personalisation)

Like content marketing, marketing automation has been in the top 3 for the last 5 years we have asked this question. Many businesses still have potential for improving their automation as our research on the State of Marketing Automation shows.

To help with this knowledge gap, I think I have given more webinars and talks on Marketing Automation than on any other topic in 2016. The most common questions at the end are 'where do we start' and 'how do we get to the next level'. These questions are answered in our Email marketing and marketing automation toolkit which includes a free interactive capability review to score your use of email marketing automation. As businesses progress up the learning curve I expect more businesses to be putting lead scoring in place, or refining it and learning the best places on the journey to feature content through predictive analytics.

4. Mobile marketing (Mobile advertising, site development and apps)

Mobile was in the top 3 three years ago, but as more companies have adopted mobile responsive web design and email templates they have seen less need to focus on it, or at least there are fewer opportunities for growth.

However, research shows that retail conversion rates are significantly lower on smartphone, so there is work to be done for many businesses to optimise conversion on mobile, although they will likely always stay lower than desktop.

Mobile also has a large impact on search marketing as Google vigorously follows its mobile first mantra. To me, it's a somewhat misleading mantra, since the reality is that many web users are still using desktop, laptop and tablet devices and there is a danger with mobile responsive designs that conversion on higher resolution screens may fall if mobile optimised. Instead, leading companies are looking at adaptive mobile design approaches which have the benefit of serving more relevant, contextual content and CTAs for users and reducing load times.

'Mobile first' is also misleading if we look at the overall customer journey since often different devices may be involved at different points. So a better vision for mobile strategy is treating it as part of a multiplatform or multichannel strategy. As this data from comScore highlighted in our mobile marketing statistics research shows, the multiplatform ribbons for all countries are much broader than users who are mobile only or desktop only.

5. Social media marketing including Social CRM and Social Customer Care

When I meet marketers at events and training I find there is still huge interest in social media, thanks to its reach and options to engage audiences and encourage advocacy or 'social media amplification' to give it the full treatment.

Our social media research statistics summary shows continued growth in social media usage overall, but with reduced popularity of some social networks in some countries. For example Twitter and Facebook are in decline or plateauing in many western markets while Snapchat, Instagram and Pinterest are still growing in usage.

Trends in social media marketing are often controlled by the efforts of the social networks to monetise and this has seen Facebook and Instagram, in particular make changes such that businesses now need to 'pay to play' to get the reach needed to have an impact. They have continued to innovate in their targeting and remarketing options. Jason DeMeyers has these interesting views on social media trends for 2017.

6. Conversion rate optimisation (CRO) / improving website experiences

This is the technique I selected a year ago as the way Smart Insights would see the most growth from in the year ahead. It's higher in popularity than previous years, but I still wonder whether many businesses are missing out on a more data-driven approach to increase leads and sales from their websites.

I saw this chart of the volume of structured tests presented by a major multichannel retailer who wanted to scale the number of tests they were running. It a great way to show the need to test extensively since only a third have a positive test. It also shows how competitors may be getting ahead if they are testing more extensively.

7. Internet of Things (IoT) marketing applications

IoT is one of the most important marketing technology applications of the last 2-3 years, but it is of most relevance to devices makers and retailers, so it is relatively high-up in this ranking of priorities.

There are expected to be 75 billion connected devices by 2020, meaning there will be ten times as many devices able to talk to one another as there will be people on the planet! The implications are huge and far ranging. All this sharing of data will transform the way we live our lives.

Our article covering opportunities and examples of marketing applications of the Internet of Things has this useful summary of alternative applications:

Smart Products Road Map

8. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO or organic search)

Mobile marketing SEO techniques will be particularly important in 2017 with Google's recent announcements about the mobile index and AMP. We have seen huge increases in AMP smartphone traffic since September 2016 when Google rolled AMPs out beyond Google News. AMPs are targeted at publishers, but should be considered by businesses with an active blog too in my opinion.

We have been covering these announcements and improvements in our other alert posts:

How Google's mobile-only index will change search in 2017
Google to start penalising sites that use pop-ups
Stop everything and implement AMP pages
9. Wearables

Wearables are one of the hottest consumer consumable commodities (e.g. Apple Watch, activity trackers, augmented reality)

10. Paid search marketing

Google AdWords is the most important form of Pay Per Click and here Google has been pursuing their 'Mobile-first' strategy by building out these features.

Friday, 30 December 2016

Simple Tips That Can Significantly Improve Your Online Marketing

Tips for Great Search Advertising:
1. Know the Text Ad Format – All text ads aren’t created equal. Bing, Yahoo!, and Google all have slightly different text ad formats, so identify and follow the rules of each before running your search advertising campaign.
2. Optimize the URL in Your Search Ad – Text ads feature a URL along with the title of your ad, so make sure it’s relevant to the product or service you are promoting and that it doesn’t conflict with the publisher’s requirements.
3. Include Target Keywords in Your Ad – Use keywords in both your headline and text ad copy that match or are closely related to the keywords you bid in order to help your ad show up in search results for those terms.
4. Write a Strong Call to Action – Tell consumers who see your text ad what action you want them to take, like getting a free estimate or downloading a coupon, so they are more willing to click through to your site.
5. Use a Call Tracking Number – If you use a click-to-call extension in your ad, consider using a tracking number to identify the calls that come from your ads and to measure the results of your search advertising.
6. Don’t Include Your Business Name in the Ad’s Headline – Headlines have limited character space, so don’t waste it on your business name. You can include your business name in your optimized URL, and use your headline for more critical content.
7. Use Title Case – Capitalizing the first letter of major words is a text ad best practice. Just don’t go crazy with all caps. (NEVER go crazy with all caps.)
8. Include the Right Punctuation – Using correct punctuation in a text ad is mandatory at the end of your ad, but it can also be used within the rest of your ad to ask a question or make a point.
9. Don’t Use Trademarked Terms (Unless You Own Them) – This is just a no-no. You can bid on trademarked terms if they are relevant to your ad, but using terms you don’t own can go against the publisher’s requirements.
10. Don’t Use Unknown Abbreviations – Nobody will know that “WFWAM” means “We Fix Windows and More.” There are many ways to include your message in your text ad without using abbreviations that only you can decipher.
To see the full tips for search advertising, check out our search advertising 101 blog post.
Tips for a Better Business Website
11. Update Your Website – It’s 2014, so your business website shouldn’t look like it’s still stuck in the early 2000s. And it’s about more than just looks. Best practices and Web standards change often, so a refresh can help you make sure your website is at the top of its game.
12. Make Your Website Mobile-Friendly – The 2014 Local Search Study from Neustar Localeze found that nearly 80% of local searches on a mobile phone ended in a purchase. If you’re website isn’t mobile-friendly, you are missing out on these local consumers.
13. Complete and Optimize Your Site’s Metadata – Metadata on your website (like title tags, descriptions, and alt text) is a critical component of your website’s SEO. Leaving it out can negatively impact how you show up in search results.
14. Create and Use a Business Blog – Blogging and your business should be best friends. Maintaining a business blog can help boost your site’s SEO; plus, it can set you apart from the competition and demonstrate your knowledge and expertise. It’s a win-win situation.
15. Optimize Your Website for Local Search – If your law practice only handles cases in Albuquerque, New Mexico, then it doesn’t do much good to get it seen by consumers searching for legal consultations in Crawford County, New Hampshire. Make sure your business website includes local information, like a phone number, address, and geo-targeted keywords so that local consumers call you.
Get the full scoop on website best practices in our blog post about the 5 most common website mistakes.
Tips for Effective Search Engine Optimization:
16. Regularly Post Quality Content – Creating and promoting fresh, original, and sharable content on a business blog can help increase your visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs) because these social shares signal to search engines that your site is knowledgeable and relevant in a particular topic.
17. Be Present on Maps – This is especially applicable to consumers searching for your business on the go using apps like Google Maps and Apple Maps. Make sure they not only find you by claiming your local listings and making sure information like your phone number and address are correct.
18. Claim Your Google+ Local Page – Claiming and optimizing a Google+ Local page is key to showing up in Google Maps and Google’s local search results. Plus, this page provides users with important information like your phone number, operating hours, and ratings and reviews that they use when deciding whether to use your business.
19. Engage Your Social Media Fans – Social media is a great way to build your brand and interact with potential and current customers. Post engaging content frequently to generate shares and connect with consumers, which can positively impact the number of those who see your content.
20. Use Local Keywords – Include geo-specific keywords in your website, blog, and even social media copy to drive visits and interest from consumers in your area.
21. Generate Backlinks – High-quality links, such as those from influencers, are great for building your authority. Plus, they tell search engines that your business is credible, therefore ranking your website or other sites higher in search engines.
22. Get Positive Reviews – What people say in reviews matters to consumers. In fact, one study determined that 79% of consumers trust online reviews as much as they trust a personal recommendation. And as these reviews are visible in search results, having positive reviews with high rankings can help persuade interested consumers to give your business a chance.
23. Set Up Google Authorship – In addition to building your business brand, building your personal brand can be a great way to get new consumers. Google Authorship can help you do this.
See more about what gets your business found in Google in our blog post about what Google loves.
24. Complete Your Business Information – Yelp is a great hub to host all kinds of information about your small business. From operating hours to business type to payment options to parking information, it’s a great way to help consumers find you and your business.
25. Post Realistic Images – Images speak volumes, and Yelp features them loud and clear. Post inviting and realistic photos of what consumers can expect when visiting your business.
26. Promote Positive Reviews – Since Yelp reviews are featured in local search results on all major search engines, generating great reviews is more important that ever. Plus, you can promote these reviews in other places, like your website and social media sites.
Read more about how your small business can get the most out of a Yelp Business Page in our blog post featuring these tips.
Tips for a Glowing Social Media Presence:
27. Think Before You Post – It’s becoming more impossible to take back what you say in social media (hello, screenshots). In order to keep yourself from putting your foot in your mouth, make sure to think before you speak, er, post.
28. Have a Social Media Policy – Social profiles for your business aren’t the end-all and be-all of your brand. Your employees also represent your brand, both in person and online. Having a social media policy today is important so employees know the rules and expectations for posting online as well.
29. Be Careful when Newsjacking – Staying in the know is a great idea for generating timely social content. However, if you jump in a conversation online without knowing the origin of the topic, you could risk looking like a social media newbie and potentially coming off as insensitive.
30. Stay Alert – Social media is the place where consumers voice their opinions about you, good and bad. Having alerts set up to notify you of mentions, comments, or messages can help you make sure you address situations before they get out of hand.
Find out more about how your small business can use social media to build and promote your brand and tips to prevent social media mistakes.

Top Online Marketing Strategies for Local Businesses

Improving your online sales and leads can seem like a labyrinth of possibilities. Below we discuss several ways to expose your business on the internet to increase your customer volume.

#1 - Identify and Target Your Buyer Personas

When it comes to generating sales, it’s all about focus. Rather than trying to please everyone, it helps if you target a select group of customers. We like like to refer to these targeted groups as buyer personas.

Buyer personas are fictitious profiles based on your ideal customers.

By focusing or your designated customer, you maximize your ability to attract quality leads. This also allows for you to spend your time concentrating on every possible concern that could be associated with just a few ideal customers, thus enabling you to become an expert in your field by deepening your skills and knowledge.

#2 - Optimize Your Product and Service Pages

We’ve all heard that less is more. Surprisingly, some SEO gurus recommend that the fewer goods or services you offer on your company’s web page, the better. This is especially for those customers who may suffer from indecisiveness when presented with a ton of product or service options.

These same visitors may even leave your website because you are offering too much at one time and they are simply overwhelmed.

Now, this mostly depends on your target audience; therefore providing the bare minimal as far as services go this might not work for your needs.

However, for those of you who offer a broad range of products, we suggest organizing your product pages by categories or emphasizing only your primary, most profitable products.

#3 - Be Accessible, Make Your Contact Information Visible

If people can’t get in touch with you, they can’t buy what you’re offering!

Most contact information is listed at the bottom of the page and can be anywhere from a mailing address to a phone number to an email address.

The important thing is to make it accessible and easy to find for users. The can be accomplished by (1) including a link that leads to your contact page in your top navigation; and (2) making sure your name, address, phone number and all links are up-to-date.

#4 - Utilize Data from Google Analytics

If you set up your Google Analytics correctly, you should be able to determine the source of your online traffic (Acquisition > All Traffic > Sources/Medium). By identifying your top traffic source(s), you can pinpoint the online channels which to focus all of your digital marketing, to better reach your audience.
Google Analytics also allows you to observe the behavior of your website visitors and learn about bounce rates and exit. If you notice that your bounce rates and exit are abnormally high for individual pages, we suggest can taking the necessary steps to improve these content on these pages, to increase your conversions.
#5 - Create Forms with Quantifying Questions

Creating a customized form that lists a series of quantifying questions helps engage your target audience, and gets you more involved with your base.

It can help you evaluate where you currently stand as a business and gives you ideas on what your customers are looking for and how you could improve.

Remember, to keep your forms simple, yet effective. You want to ask the right questions, but you don't want to ask too many questions.

#6 - Nurture Leads via Email

Lead nurturing is how a company establishes a relationship with an individual prospect that is still in the early stages of the buying process. This strategy focuses on creating a bond so that when the time comes to purchase, the lead turns to you instead of to another company.

An excellent way to build these types of client bonds is through email, which you can use to foster customer relationships continually and find the best-qualified leads from your generation efforts.

#7 - Adopt Engaging Social Media Strategies

There is no better way to capture customers and built a long-term relationship with them than by connecting on the diverse digital rainbow that is social media. From Twitter to Facebook to Instagram, these platforms offer a huge trough of opportunities just waiting to be mined.

Through social media marketing, you can directly speak to and engage with your customers to extend your leads far beyond your local area, and reach thousands of people within your local market.

#8 - Publish Customer Testimonials

Did you know, authentic customer testimonials create social proof?

They also build trust among your website visitors by showing you are credible. And best of all, testimonials and reviews aren’t "sales-sy" and remove any skepticism visitors may have upon discovering your business.
The easiest way to generate testimonials is to seek your customers for feedback. Once you receive their feedback ask if you can highlight a portionof  testimonial on your website, such as your homepage or landing pages. But remember, keep it real; you should never spin your clients' words.

 #9 - Encourage Your Current Customers to Leave Product/Service Reviews

From Yelp to Google My Business, online reviews not only increase your online sales, but they impact your local search ranking.

People trust reviews. They also play a significant role in the customer buying decision process. For this reason, we suggest you begin requesting reviews from your current clients or customers if you haven't already.

#10 - Improve Your Website Checkout Process

Are customers starting your checkout process, but exiting the process before completing a purchase? It could be due to friction in your checkout process. According to a recent survey, 84% of shoppers will abandon websites that have complicated online checkout processes.

Here are some tips for improving your checkout process:

If you are forcing visitors to log in before starting the checkout process, you should also include a guest checkout or social sign-up option.
Entice your website visitors by offering incentives (discounts, special offers or promotions) that will encourage them to complete a call-to-action.
Simplify your checkout process by eliminating unnecessary steps, pages or distractions and get straight to the point.
Offer a range of secure payment options.

#11 - Optimize Your Website for Mobile

Today, people are performing more online searches and making purchases via their mobile devices than desktops. Research has found that 67% of customers are more likely to buy a product or use a service from a company whose site is mobile-friendly; while 61% will abandon a site that is not mobile-optimized.

In addition to this, did you know Google penalizes websites that are not mobile-friendly?

Here are a few pointers to keep in mind when creating a unique mobile experience for your customers: make sure your mobile site is fast, keep your content clean and straight-to-the-point, include a search box and large buttons, and add relevant calls-to-action.

#12 - Highlight Products or Services with Video Marketing

Did you know: 4 out of 5 customers would rather watch a product video than read about a product?

Video marketing is one of the most engaging online methods you can use to increase your sales. By incorporating video marketing to sell your products and services you not only educate customers but you give your potential customers a closer look at what you have to offer and any value it may bring to them.

#13 - Be Honest, It is The Best Policy

Do not exaggerate your sales copy in hopes that it will entice website visitors to make a purchase. By being dishonest, you not only bring harm to your reputation, but you lose any trust in your brand.

If you’re a small business, act like it, express it and let the world know. Today, more consumers are choosing small businesses over major chains, so there's no need to craft your website copy in a way that makes you appear as if you're a multi-national company.

We hope these thirteen strategies take you far in the online world.

Does Digital marketing help businesses that operate on a person-to-person basis?

In a word, the answer is yes, but this is something that many local business owners overlook.

Today, virtually everything consumers do orbits around the web. When a customer wants information, reviews, directions, or details on products, the likelihood that they’ll turn to Google is huge. If you don’t have an online presence, they may well choose to do business with one of your competitors instead.

Because of this, small and medium-sized brick-and-mortar companies are beginning to use digital marketing to boost local traffic and improve in-store performance.

Why Digital Marketing Matters For Local Businesses
While many small business owners assume that having a storefront and some physical marketing material is enough, this is not longer true in today’s world. According to Search Engine Watch, four out of every five consumers use mobile devices to search for information on local companies.

This is massively important because 50 percent of people who conduct a local search visit a physical store within 24 hours. What’s more, 18 percent of local searches lead to a sale.

With this in mind, it’s clear that companies who aren’t optimizing their digital marketing for local search are missing out on a tremendous potential for traffic and revenue in their businesses.

5 Steps To Drive Traffic To Local Businesses Using Internet Marketing
If you’re interested in using digital marketing to boost your local traffic, follow these five steps:

1. Build Your Engagement On Social Media Platforms
Too many local brands only have a dull, seldom-updated Facebook page. If you want to make the most of digital marketing, now is the time to update this. Use your social platforms to drive engagement with your brand.

If your Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest profile is a bit out of date, refresh it with a new profile picture, an overhauled bio that includes relevant long-tail keywords, and current name, address, and phone number information for your company.

Once you’ve done this, it’s time to start posting. While the best way to drive engagement on social media is to post original content, responding to comments on your page, interacting with similar brands, and getting involved in conversations in social media groups are all powerful forces for engagement as well.

2. Optimize Your Content For Local SEO
To fully take advantage of the prevalence of local searches, you’ll want to optimize all of your content for local SEO. This means targeting geographically-specific long-tail keywords, claiming your local business listings, keeping your name, address, and phone number (NAP) information current at all times, and adding your location to a map for simple navigation.

3. Ensure Your Web Presence Is Mobile-Friendly
Last year was the first year that mobile search eclipsed desktop search. It’s never been more important than now to optimize your web presence for mobile devices. Responsive website design is the best way to do this. You can evaluate your site with Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test Tool to figure out what, if anything, you need to improve.

When your site functions well on mobile, it serves searchers better. This increases the likelihood that people who initiate local searches will convert fully and decide to make their way to your storefront.

4. Start A Blog & Publish To It Often
When it comes to building an online presence, content creation is the best and most reliable way to do it. Many small businesses assume they don’t need a blog to get noticed. However, publishing a company blog is a hugely effective method for providing your customers with information. This will make your business more relevant in the eyes of consumers.

In addition to the fact that companies that blog earn 67 percent more leads than their non-blogging counterparts, blogging is also a great way to develop your brand voice, showcase new products, goods, or services, and start a conversation with your customers. Plus, since every blog you publish is one more page that Google can index, blogging regularly helps you rank higher in the SERPs.

5. Start An Email Newsletter
One of the best things your local business can do for recognition and traffic is to start an email newsletter. By providing your customers with weekly updates, nicely laid-out content, and any relevant bits of information, you can boost your engagement and drive more people to your store.

For an example, look at this email newsletter from a small, brick-and-mortar home goods store:

Digital Marketing: The New Best Strategy For Your Business
While digital marketing is something many small businesses overlook, things like social media and email newsletters provide a massive boost when it comes to connecting with your customers and promoting quality interaction.

For assistance with any aspect of digital marketing, contact Thrive Internet Marketing.

Thursday, 29 December 2016

Indian E-commerce is in full BOOM....

India is becoming a strong market with fast growing potential in the e-commerce space which has lured many western biggies like Amazon and eBay who want to cash in on the business that this promises. studies over the last few years by noted agencies show that online shopping is becoming the preferred mode of shopping.
According to an in depth study released by leading Indian venture capital firm Accel partners on the Indian e-commerce market Indian e-commerce will quadruple from a $ 2 billion industry in 2013 to nearly $ 8.5 billion by 2016 at a CAGR of 63% . There will also be an increase in the number of Indian shoppers online from 20 million to 40 million by year 2016. These numbers do not consider travel ticketing and online food ordering but only physical goods commerce. The associate Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) expects the size of the online retail industry to touch Rs. 7000 crore by 2015 up from Rs. 2000 crore now at an annual growth rate of 35 per cent. A study conducted by TNS Australia on behalf of Google India in November 2012 reported that online shopping in India saw 128% growth in interest for the consumers in the year 2011 to 2012 in comparison to only 40 % growth in 2010 to 2011. In terms of product categories consumer interest on Google search for apparel and accessories (30%) emerged as the second biggest product category after consumer electronics (34%). The figures continue to grow.
As mobile internet users grow in number mobile phones is also contributing to a boom in online shopping in India with Google witnessing two times growth in number of queries from mobile phone in the year 2011 to 2012. At present 30% of all shopping queries in India come from mobile phones. These trends were also validated with the help of an online research conducted by TNS Australia of the internet users in the age group 18 to 50 from Delhi. Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Ahmadabad Hyderabad and Pune. Rajan Anandan VP and Managing Director of Google India said "With approximately 8 million Indians shopping online in 2012 online shopping industry in India is growing rapidly and will continue to see exponential growth. By looking at the trends in 2012 we expect 2013 to be a strong growth year for players who're focused on fast growing categories like apparels and accessories and niche product categories like baby products, home furnishings and health - nutrition. We expect the growth to come from outside of 8 top metros as was evident in our recently concluded "Great Online Shopping festival" which saw over 51% of traffic from non-metros.
Talking to one India's leading magazines in an article on changing patterns in internet shopping a senior executive of Flip kart noted that customer behavior was changing dramatically. Online shopping is no longer just for booking air tickets and movie tickets, but also to buy mobiles, laptops and other consumer electronics and home appliances. To tap this growing potential not just large brands, but even general retail chains are upgrading their sites for e-commerce making it more convenient for customers to place online purchase orders some of the biggest motivators for online shoppers are daily deals and discount offers with good delivery services. Factors like cash back offer and cash on delivery (COD) to attract shoppers.
The online shopping industry in India is fast catching on not just in the larger metros but also in the smaller towns. At present the market is estimated at Rs. 46000 crore and is growing at 100 per cent per year.