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As a newbie in the digital marketing field, I have a lot to learn. While watching a YouTube video that Ms. Krista LaRiviere talks about the Optimized Content Marketing, there is a couple of new things that I was particularly fascinated about. The biggest surprising fact she pointed out (from the study done by Group M and Nielsen Research) was that the Paid Ads have only 6% of Click Through Rate (CTR). Yet, so much marketing dollars are invested on them. On the other hand, Organic Search results have the rest of 94% CTR. But somehow, the marketing investment amount is less than half (or sometimes one-third) of the other. These facts are shouting out for the importance of analytics. We truly need to be clear about how things work and come up with a good game plan. It is definitely a smart idea to focus on optimizing contents, so that they appear as Organic Search results, which we can expect more out of it (impressions, etc.). Another thing that I learned from the video was the Keyword Gap, which is so important to be aware of. At first, I thought it is like wordplay, but it is so significant—I had a light bulb moment. When I look for a product/service, I type a keyword (or two) into the search box to look for it. However, the keyword I enter may not be exactly the same one as the business/provider thought I would use. This “gap” is called, “keyword gap.” One of the examples Ms. LaRiviere listed up was: “High-end pet food (business)” and “Organic cat and dog food (consumer).” This example clearly taught me that it is important to see things in consumers’ perspective (in everyday life/conversational tone; appropriate expressions/wordings to the target audience). No matter how you perfectly set up your infrastructures and contents, they don’t mean anything unless keywords are right on the target. Search engines have been evolving and improving dramatically every day. Google tweaks its algorithms very frequently and conducts some updates once in a while to get rid of spammy websites/contents. I think that Google+ has a different (community-base) approach to it (as if it is a different ball game) with additional factors (like Search plus Your World, etc.). The elements, such as Social Signals, must be considered more than ever if you want to win a higher placement on the Organic Search result. From a user’s perspective, it is a bit scary in a sense; however, as a consumer’s point of view, it may be the best way to receive personalized and optimized results. We need to educate ourselves and stay on top of the game. If you are interested, the YouTube video I watched can be found at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1v7PVF4g7Nk  “The of Three: Content Marketing + SEO + Social Media” by Krista LaRiviere, Co-founder & CEO of gShift Labs
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Mobile Marketing Rocks!

“We’ve already seen the massive ripple effects mobile has had on the digital marketing industry. I believe we’re going to see this accelerate in 2015 and beyond. We’re going to see further advancements in how Google indexes apps in search. And we’ll see it become harder and harder to track and measure important data across users and devices.” – Dan Shure, Owner, Evolving SEO According to an article of Forbes magazine(6 Predictions About the State of Digital Marketing in 2015), one of the trends in digital marketing that you should pay attention to in 2015 is “mobile”. Mobile has been taking more and more influence on digital marketing. A report of the marketing company Creteo in 2014 shows that the top 25 % of the American retailers generate about 40% of their eCommerce transactions from mobile. A cell phone with several applications floating above it as an example of Mobile Marketing Source: http://www.stateofdigital.com/mobile-marketing-revolution/ Accordingly, more and more businesses competitively try to connect to social networking services to approach their customers with personalized information. To be successful in mobile marketing, businesses should pay attention to three basic strategies.
  1. The same experience across devices: Even though customers today use different devices such as PC, smartphone, or tablet, they expect the same experience and convenience.
  2. Optimization for mobile devices: While offering the same experience, businesses should optimize their service for every individual device type. The design approach for the smartphones with the smallest display should be different from the approach for other devices. Many people avoid using an application when the initial loading of the first page does not work as fast and attractive as the service per PC.
  3. Constant update of application: Once an application is launched, it should be constantly updated and improved to accommodate newer mobile marketing trends an needs. Don’t forget the users of mobile services, mostly urban hipsters, expect a constant evolving service.
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Digital advertising fuels your fashion label!

Paid media is surely the most traditional promotion channel for fashion labels: TV, radio, in print, and, most recently, online. Online advertising can be more affordable for fashion labels than the other elements of paid media if it is deployed intelligently with specific goals. Running online ads for designers and consumers can help drive sales especially to e-commerce sites as long as the creative elements are strong and in line with the continuity of the rest of the communication strategy. Online ads can be targeted and measured much more effectively than the print ads. From rapidly changing digital advertising trends, business models to evolving customer behaviors, there is a lot to consider for today’s fashion brands in order to focus which online platform and technologies are the best for their marketing strategies. To create a common brand experience across the digital experience brands should first focus on understanding their customers.  As we see today, it is usually a smart way for fashion labels to focus on highly visual social media platforms such as, Instagram and Pinterest where they can promote their designs to the components of the fashion industry. Fashion trends followers expect to access and consume latest fashion trends across platforms, apps and devices and in order for brands to “exist” wherever buyers are looking, they will need to figure out what is next and where to focus. For instance, Instagram, even thought it is a hard place to drive sales as it does not currently allow live links in image captions, is an excellent platform for fashion brands, as it is highly visual and enables fashion labels to demonstrate the essence of their designs and products. It is also important for fashion brands, no matter which digital platform they choose to focus, using digital marketing is a great way to listen to their followers and gather important feedback for their fashion lines.
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Social media for small business owners can be easy!

A thumbs up with social media icons that represents Social Media for Small Business Source: http://www.adweek.com/socialtimes/sme-social-media/484189 Social media for small business owners can seem daunting if you don’t know where to start. But think about the impact it can have on your potential customer base. Say you’re visiting another town and you’d like to find a local coffee shop or deli. How often do you search for a business, only to be turned off by their (lack of) website or social media presence? These days, small businesses thrive better when their information is kept up to date, and relevant to the customer. Websites like Google, Yelp, and Facebook have become the utmost authority on verifying businesses, via user reviews, and are more likely to influence which business the customer will ultimately end up choosing. That’s why it’s important for small businesses to have a grasp on social media and how it can keep them relevant. Social media and the internet can be daunting, however here are three simple tips for staying relevant in the digital world. 1) Stay Current! Google is the #1 search engine, and likely the first place your customer will find you once they’ve typed in a search for your product. Google Business Solutions is a free service that allows a Google user to claim a Business listing and manage that content. Once you’re verified, you can change your business hours, contact information, and even reply to reviews. Google+ is quickly becoming the next social media hotspot, and it’s important for small businesses to jump in on the ground floor. 2) Stay Connected! Facebook is the world’s biggest social media platform. With almost 900 million users on a daily basis, it’s crucial that even the smallest of businesses connect to their customers. Facebook for Business is another free service that allows companies to claim their web presence. By building and managing a page on Facebook, a small business is able to post and share content, highlight promotions, and give customers an opportunity to connect and give feedback. Users can leave reviews and share your content to their friends, thus expanding your customer base. 3) Stay Calm! Yelp is another crucial social media website. By uploading photos and leaving reviews on a 1-5 star rating system, users gain trust and leverage that influence other customers. Unfortunately though, that means customers can leave negative reviews. Yelp for Business Owners is free and gives business owners the opportunity to keep their information current, upload photos of their products, and respond to customers. It’s important when replying to reviews that your tone and attitude stay professional and courteous. Always take a little constructive criticism with a grain of salt! Never let a negative review make you look even worse by replying rudely and trying to defend yourself. Stay upbeat and respond to positive reviews in a timely manner and you’ll begin to build trust on your very own. Social media for small business owners on a minimal budget can be quite challenging and difficult at times. These three free services make it just a little easier for companies to reach out and connect with their audience and customers, which ultimately can keep a small business afloat in the digital age.
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