Category : ONLINE REPUTATION MANAGMENT
Online reputation is becoming so pervasive, it’s almost time to drop the word “online”
Not only do people view the Internet as their first source of information, but they also trust what it tells them. More importantly, they make decisions based on what they find online.
Looking at statistics like these, it’s clear that what happens online affects your entire life.
With each passing day, the online world becomes more and more enmeshed with the rest of our activities. From smartphones to smart TVs, from the “Internet of things” to the self-driving cars of the future—you are living each day increasingly online, even if you never touch a computer.
That means there are more and more ways for you to leave an online mark, positive or negative.
Now, you might not think that people are searching for you, but chances are they are. Common reasons include:
No matter how “under the radar” or “low-tech” your lifestyle, there is a good quantity of information about you online—and people are seeing it.
If someone writes something negative about you online, it can put you at a serious disadvantage over the long term—especially if you’re not aware of it. You might never know why you didn’t get that apartment you wanted, or why a job offer never materialized after that phenomenal interview.
It’s important to keep tabs on what people are saying about you online and then take steps to correct any inaccuracies. (Here are some tips to help you get started.)
For the same reasons, you also need to monitor things that you post yourself. Thanks to social media, even posts from decades earlier can come back to harm you. Consider the following examples, all vastly different:
If not so long ago brands were still debating how much effort, time and financial investment they should commit to social media marketing, today marketers will agree that it’s an inevitable if not central part of any digital marketing strategy. Social media marketing has matured, and the conversation has shifted. The debate is no longer about its value, but about maximizing the results of social media marketing and finding the route to success in an environment where the increase in demand for ad space is outpacing the supply of the audience’s attention.
The degree of content consumption today is unparalleled in history and social media is taking center stage. With over a third of the world’s population on-board, social media is mass media marketing, but if brands want to be the first in line to speak to their audiences, they have to be prepared to open their wallets wide. It is the rocketing advertising costs that will lead the next year’s trend towards Social Media Optimization (SMO), costs that on Facebook alone have risen by 35% over the last quarter.
The trend in SMO has grown much like the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) took over the marketing agenda a few years ago. There was a time when marketers focused all efforts on getting their websites listed in search results and cutting through to the first page until they realized they have to pay to play. Today, the fast transition from organic to paid social has driven the interest in SMO, and now the trend is reaching its peak. Now instead of paying to compete to be at the top of search result, we contest for the audience’s views on the News Feed.
SMO mirrors SEO. Both are a multistep process and both leverage machine learning to ensure marketers achieve more with the same budget. The SMO process starts by gaining audience insights across social channels to create content that resonates with users. It requires AI recommendations to eliminate guesswork when publishing content and promoting it. It is only valuable as long as the results are benchmarked in a competitive context, both by verticals and regions, as the true proof of success on social. Marketers who stay behind the trend in 2018 and stick to traditional, manual social media marketing methods, will see returns diminish and their competitive advantage fade.
The uptrend isn’t all that surprising. The demand for the audience’s attention is greater than it ever was driving up the ad costs and only the top performers are given space on the News Feed. There is little room for errors left, and for those marketers who are under pressure to succeed and show their contribution to the business, SMO is the cure to their stress. Moving to 2018, it is inevitable that SMO will be the key investment for brands worldwide.See How SMO Can Accelerate Your Business GrowthTry It for Free
Marketers know – trends rarely come alone. While SMO is forefronting the marketing agendas across meeting rooms, it’s followed by further trends rooted in the first – trends that are set to cut corners and hack growth, reach audiences and drive business results faster.
Winning on social media today has become a tactical play – one that requires an entire room of experts. The amount of social media related professions has grown and as brands continue making serious monetary investments in social the issue of soaring costs and resources becomes the bottleneck for brands that want to reach their audiences on the News Feed and scale their marketing.
Employing machine learning to make strategic investments has resolved guesswork from the day-to-day for many marketers. The advancements in Artificial Intelligence (AI) certainly made it easier for marketers to pinpoint what content is truly engaging their audiences. It helped them return more value from their social media investments through efficiency. In the next year, we should see automation take over other integral parts of social media, especially in the area of audience segmentation and building of accurate audience personas for brands.
No brand ever speaks to one audience. Marketers have been aware of this for decades. The law applies to social as well. Platforms offer marketers countless ways to target, retarget, segment and analyze their audiences in any way imaginable. It allows marketers to think beyond the obvious segmentation by demographics and step into targeting based on interests and behaviors to deliver more personalized messages.
As we move into 2018, we predict that we will see advancements in real-time AI-driven personalization on social media. It is the dynamic element of personalization that is integral to making marketing click with customers. We can no longer assume that audiences stay interested in the same topic today as they were a month ago. Dynamic personalization will be anchored in three areas – being timely, relevant, and engaging.
Tailoring content to different audience personas will put the social media teams to the test. Will they be able to meet the demand for content personalization? If they are prepared for it – yes. One obvious content trend that every marketer can prepare for today is video – a trend that is as critical for marketers as was the switch from desktop to mobile.
Social media teams will have to prepare to streamline their production, clearly understand their costs, and benchmark their results in the context of the market if they want to leverage video content successfully.
Social media has monopolized our time. Each year users dedicate increasingly more of their free time to mobile devices and messaging. Nielsen’s study, commissioned by Facebook, found that 63% of people say they massage businesses more than they did two years ago. This means the 1.3 billion large Facebook Messenger platform is becoming more divisive in reaching audiences on the go, but to get the most out of the messenger, brands will be asked to rethink their content.
Traditional advertising tactics that work on a desktop or the News Feed will not work on mobile and are even less likely to work in a chat environment. Being able to have more complex one-to-one conversations with your customers on the platform of their choice, whether it’s Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp or Twitter, will bring huge value to brand marketers.
The priority is relevance. Brands will do more harm than good if they start conversations too soon. They have to be confident in knowing when to engage their audiences and with what content. If brands want to join the Messenger conversations, they’ll have to take a highly personalized approach when targeting audiences. Investing in building audience persons and learning to speak their language, tone, and keeping conversations non-invasive is the way forward.
Social media advertising has been growing steadily over the years, but from the perspective of marketers, it grew in terms of how much they spend, without the knowledge of how their spend compares to the rest of the market. In short, context is critical if marketers aim to pave their way to the top of their industry or region.
Benchmarking advertising spend data, measuring the most important ads metrics out of isolation, offers an entirely new angle of social media optimization. It’s critical to scaling your budget effectiveness or understanding if your return on social media investment is really enough to outperform others. If marketing tech available today isn’t enough to stress how important this is, Facebook’s decision to open up the content of the dark social for everyone to view on demand shows that the rules of paid social media have changed.
When it’s hard to be heard, have others amplify your message. That’s the advice many marketers will have to take if they want to cut through the noise on the oversaturated News Feed and beat the rising ad costs. Some brands have already leveraged the influencer marketing trend successfully. On Facebook alone sponsored content on celebrity pages receives more than 14 times more interactions than unsponsored content posted by brands directly to their timeline.
The added value is impossible to ignore, but the important move we’ll see in 2018 is not the up-trend in influencer marketing, but in automation of how brands find influencers and how they run their campaigns. Combining machine learned insights on audience segmentation, their interests, and influencers who speak their language will open doors for brands to enter conversations they otherwise couldn’t.
The social media marketing discipline has broken through its infancy stage, and there’s a sense of seriousness among marketers that we didn’t see before. The strategies brands are building on social are far more encompassing today than we saw a few years ago. This is the moment for brands to rethink how they approach social media marketing and if they want to scale it to remain competitive, there’s really only one direction – optimizing social media marketing, making smarter AI driven decisions, keeping costs predictable and social media ROI feasible. It will change the day-to-day for many marketers by helping them quickly and confidently answer the critical questions they should be asking every day: who, what, when, where, how, and why?
Category : Mobile Marketing
Mobile marketing is a multi-channel, digital marketing strategy aimed at reaching a target audience on their smartphones, tablets, and/or other mobile devices, via websites, email, SMS and MMS, social media, and apps.
Mobile is disrupting the way people engage with brands. Everything that can be done on a desktop computer is now available on a mobile device. From opening an email to visiting your website to reading your content, it’s all accessible through a small mobile screen. Consider:
Effective mobile advertising means understanding your mobile audience, designing content with mobile platforms in mind, and making strategic use of SMS/MMS marketing and mobile apps.
As with any marketing effort, every brand and organization will develop a unique mobile strategy based on the industry and target audience. Mobile technology is all about customization and personalization, which means mobile marketing is, too.
Understanding your audience is the first step to any marketing strategy, and buyer personas are a valuable tool to aid in that understanding. Buyer personas are simply fictional representations of your various types of customers. Create a profile that describes each one’s background, job description, main sources of information, goals, challenges, preferred type of content, objections, and/or role in the purchase process. It is easier to determine a channel and voice for your marketing messages when you have a clear picture of your target audience.
Make a specific point to detail your target audience’s mobile habits as well. How much of their web usage happens on mobile devices? Are they comfortable completing a purchase on a smartphone? A simple way to start is to research big data reports on mobile usage. Some interesting observations include:
To better understand your specific target market, monitor Google Analytics for your site’s mobile traffic numbers. You can also ask or survey clients and prospects about their mobile web usage.
A/B testing—which compares two versions of the same campaign on a certain channel—can also be informative for developing any aspect of buyer personas. When all other factors are the same, do your email campaign landing pages get more views when you send a related email on weekends or on weekdays? In the mornings or in the evenings? Which title or email subject gets more click-throughs?
Both the general and specific data will help develop audience personas that include mobile usage.
The key to defining any effective strategy is to first decide what success looks like. Get the key stakeholders together to map your mobile marketing strategy. Identify goals by asking your team some of these questions:
Just like your other marketing efforts, mobile marketing needs to be tested and optimized. Determine which realistic, measurable KPIs define your mobile campaign’s success. For example:
In order to identify the right KPIs for your mobile marketing campaign, ask yourself:
Google Analytics can help monitor mobile usage of your site:
Adding the Device Category field to the Site Content dashboard will display the quantity and quality of much mobile traffic to each individual page on your site.
The table on the Site Content dashboard includes metrics like pageviews and bounce rate. Add the Device Category by clicking the “Secondary dimension” menu above the first column and selecting “Device Category” from the “Users” submenu. The table will then display the most-viewed pages on your site, per device, so you can see how mobile actually affects your web traffic.
That information can hint at which search queries may be leading mobile traffic to your site, what content your mobile audience is most interested in, and which pages to optimize for mobile browsing first.
A mobile-friendly website is no longer an option—it’s a must. The rise in mobile traffic coupled with Google’s mobile-friendliness ranking factor means a brand’s site must adapt to mobile devices in order to stay competitive.
For search engines, “mobile-friendliness” means that:
Google has even provided a free mobile-friendliness tool to help marketers determine how to best improve their sites.
The most important reason to maintain a mobile-friendly site is to create a consistent and engaging user experience. Mobile UX has a dramatic effect on every stage of the buying cycle:
Making sure your mobile user experience is as easy and seamless as possible should be a primary marketing goal.
With 57% of email opened on mobile platforms and 69% of mobile users deleting email that isn’t optimized for mobile, it’s clear that your audience is engaging with email campaigns on mobile devices.
Most email marketing providers will use responsive design—a strategy that automatically formats web page content for optimal viewing on any device—but there are still some key considerations for designing email CTAs with mobile users in mind:
Email sends should optimize what is displayed in the mobile inbox—“From” fields max out at 23 characters, and subject lines at 38 characters.
Finally, don’t forget about those landing pages. If your email is mobile friendly, but the click-through goes to a landing page that isn’t optimized for mobile, that visitor will likely become frustrated and bounce from the page.
Creating a unique landing page for an email campaign is a great way to optimize for the mobile user. A unique landing page also allows you to create a range of metrics that will help monitor the mobile success of the campaign. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you design this unique, mobile-friendly landing page:
Not sure where to start with your landing page? Check out these templates for inspiration.
SMS, also known as “short messaging service,” really puts into context how personal mobile marketing can be because you are sending a message directly to a customer or potential customer’s personal device.
SMS and MMS are very powerful channels for mobile marketing. Over 3.6 billion people are able to receive SMS messages, and 90% of those messages are opened within three minutes (compared to 90 minutes for the average email). Consider:
It’s important to remember that marketing directly to mobile devices is more personal than targeting an audience through other channels. When reaching someone on a mobile device either through email, SMS, or MMS, you are reaching that person in his/her pocket or purse. Be personal, respectful, and clear:
A similar way to reach your audience on mobile devices is MMS, or multimedia message service. The difference is that MMS is a multimedia message that can be sent peer-to-peer, from a mobile messaging service provider or from a website to a mobile phone. MMS messages can include text, photos, videos, audios, or GIFs. Expanded media options allow for a more branded message and create a better tie-in to other marketing campaigns.
Why should you use MMS marketing to reach your mobile audience?
Because MMS offers a richer media experience than simple SMS messaging, you should make the most of those extra media options:
It’s important to take privacy regulations into consideration with SMS and MMS marketing. Because these messages are considered automated calls, they fall under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) of 1991. That means there are three privacy principles that should govern how you implement SMS and MMS into your marketing:
SMS and MMS are very personal, and thus very powerful, mobile marketing options. Make sure to handle them with tact and detailed strategy.
Mobile apps can support many business goals, including extending your product, driving engagement, and even supporting e-commerce. To maximize an app’s impact on your marketing, you will want to be involved in the entire process, from app development through implementation.
Just like any other marketing channel, it’s important to consider how the app can be used for acquisition. You may offer extra features or more mobile content in exchange for a user’s contact information, similar to how you would gate content on your website for the same purpose. You will also want to make sure the app encourages user engagement in order to build relationships and loyalty, and—of course—drive conversions.
Those conversations are driven by two types of messages: push notifications and in-app notifications. Both communicate directly to your audience, so both should be considered strategic marketing channels.
Push notifications are messages or alerts delivered by your app to the user. These messages appear on the home screen of a user’s mobile device regardless of whether the user is engaged with the app or even has it open. For a push notification to work, the user needs to have already downloaded your app and agreed to allow push notifications. Luckily, 70% of mobile users allow push notifications.
Examples of push notifications include:
In-app communications direct your user’s attention to specific actions, messages, and features within the app, and are opportunities for you to engage your users. These messages give you the chance to be more personal and creative than with SMS or push notifications, because the user is already in your app and you aren’t limited by space constraints or message volume issues.
Here are three ways you can take advantage of in-app notifications:
Both push and in-app notifications can be powerful ways to reach your audience, particularly because they’ve already taken the time to engage with your brand by downloading your app.
A mobile marketing strategy is not a stand-alone effort, but it is a large chunk of any long-term or short-term marketing campaign—and its importance is only growing. From email, to PPC, to SEO, to content, to social media marketing, there is a mobile marketing channel to reach every part of your audience where they are most comfortable.
Optimizing your website and email sends for mobile devices, taking advantage of the SMS and MMS channels, and building a native app for your most highly engaged audience are all big projects. So, start by updating your buyer personas to get a better idea of where the majority of your target audience spends its mobile time. That will give you your start line, and the rest will fall into a logical order.
Mobile technology is not a fad that’s going away any time soon. Optimizing your marketing strategy for mobile will give your brand an edge over the competition. Don’t wait—go mobile today!
Category : Email Marketing
The first email, sent by Ray Tomlinson in 1971 or 1978 depending on your source, marked the beginning of the modern communication era. The message was nothing special, a series of numbers and letters that looked more like a password than a message, but its significance was profound.
The email was sent from one computer to another, traveling through a network of machines not unlike the internet we know today. Tomlinson also introduced the “@” symbol in email addresses to the world.
Gary Thuerk, a Marketing Manager at Digital Equipment Corp, sent the first commercial email years later, where the message reached a list of email addresses. And voila, email marketingwas born. There were only a few hundred people on the list, but that was enough for Thuerk to claim the mantle, “Father of Spam.”
Today, we’re inundated with email marketing, and yes, some of it still feels spammy, but there’s no denying the impact a well-crafted message can have on your customers—not to mention CRM and lead nurturing.
Email marketing helps you connect with your audience to promote your brand and increase sales. You can do a lot of things with emails, like sell products, share some news, or tell a story.
With Mailchimp’s campaign builder, it’s easy to find the right templates for any message—whether you’re welcoming new subscribers, notifying customers of a sale, or wishing someone a happy birthday.
Category : SEO BLOG
Does your audience prefer text? Images? Video? Audio.
Knowing this will all be more important than ever in 2019, according to our experts.
“You need to understand what someone is expecting to find when they query a word or phrase and you need to give them the answer in the simplest way possible,” said Mindy Weinstein CEO of Market Mindshift.
Motoko Hunt, president of AJPR, agreed, adding that the interests, tastes, and preferences of your audience can change more quickly than you think.
“Even if your website content is perfectly written and optimized, if it’s done for a wrong audience, it won’t grow the business,” Hunt said.
Tomorrow’s high-ranking website is all about the audience, said Julia McCoy, CEO of Express Writers.
“If your site enhances your audience’s journey, you’ll be rewarded by Google and your visitor will invest in you,” McCoy said.
This is especially important because rankings have been fluctuating over the past year to help fit the semantic intent of a user’s search query, said Jesse McDonald, SEO specialist and director of operations for TopHatRank.com.
“It will be more critical than ever for SEOs and content specialists to focus heavily on the user intent of the keywords they are targeting while creating content,” McDonald said.
Casie Gillette, senior director of digital marketing at KoMarketing, has also noticed Google’s shift in keyword intent.
“We have to think more about the funnel and where we really want to spend our time,” Gillette said. “Do I want to spend time and money trying to rank for a broad term or should I instead shift my focus to terms further down the funnel, where buyers are more knowledgeable and more likely to be interested in what I’m selling?”
To adjust to this shift in 2019, you may have to change the way you’ve been doing your keyword research, said Chuck Price, founder of Measurable SEO.
“When doing keyword research in 2019, it’s imperative that you check the SERPs to see if websites like yours are ranking for a targeted phrase,” Price said. “If the top SERPs are filled with directories or review sites and your site isn’t one of those, then move on to another phrase.”
The time is now to stop matching keyword phrases and start making sure that your content comprehensively answers questions your audience is asking via search, said Jeremy Knauff, CEO of Spartan Media.
“Ideally, we should take our content a step further by anticipating and answering follow-up questions they may have once they receive the answer to their initial query,” Knauff said.
Category : Content marketing
CMI’s consulting mission is to advise enterprises on how to understand, develop and execute smart content marketing strategies. Our consulting and advisory practice focuses on combining independent and pragmatic thinking across a wide array of marketing expertise.
The biggest benefit by engaging CMI directly is that you have access to the collective knowledge of the leading minds in content marketing today – without the overhead of a huge consulting firm.
We use social media every day. It’s more convenient; there is no easier or faster way to make a connection than via social media and this can help one with variety of things such as finding romance, seeking a new job or simply to share things. Social media, to an extent has removed the gaucherie involved in getting to know someone. Most relationships start just with an “hi” on these platforms and that’s completely fine. Friends can catch up on what’s happening in their life more seamlessly and can fix a meeting even after years of complete no contacts and all this possible due to the existence of social media.