Posts tagged e-commerce

Why Consumers Have All the Power When It Comes to Digital Marketing

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Relevancy, engagement, and targeting are more than just buzzwords. They are the keys to interacting with consumers on their terms. And let’s face it, that’s what we have to do. The digital marketing world does not allow for useless or boring content. And even the best content serves no purpose if it is not served up to an audience who is hungry for your product or service.

Mobile – Going Where the Consumers Are

A perfect example of this is the shift in digital marketing toward mobile. More searches today are taking place on mobile devices than desktops. Google has evolved to keep up, and now requires sites to be optimized for mobile. On top of that, mobile ads are becoming a more important part of the industry.

Focusing on the Digital Ad Experience

User experience (UX) is another industry buzzword. The idea is to focus on ads that do not take the user out of the experience he or she is already having online. Thus, ads need to be less obtrusive. This has given rise to native advertising where sponsored ads are sprinkled among other content. Social media is a prime example. As you scroll through your feed, Instagram tries to insert sponsored ads that look just like the rest of your content—only they are marked as sponsored, and allow you to take the action encourage by the advertiser.

eCommerce and App Shopping

Even the experience that people want when they shop is changing. The average person now wants to sit on the couch and order online via an app. If the shopping cart is too complicated, product descriptions and images are subpar, or the product has too many negative reviews, the user will go elsewhere for the same item. Now we have to provide a great online shopping experience—and we have to be certain that products are highly rated, perhaps by sending a follow-up email to encourage people to review the product.

In reality, all of the power is in the hands of consumers. It is our job to figure out what they want, and then provide it in the form of advertising.

 

2016 Search Engine Optimization – Trends to Follow

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Big changes are in store for SEO in 2016. Is your company ready to stay on top? Here are a few things you need to prepare for.

  • Voice Search – Not only are more and more people searching using mobile devices, but many of those searches are voice searches. That means ranking for long-tail keywords that consumers are likely to speak. Don’t forget that people are utilizing their digital assistants like Siri, Ok Google, Facebook M, and Cortana, so be sure that your content is optimized to meet their needs.
  • Real-Time Penguin Penalties – Google’s latest update has been pushed back to early 2016. At least, that gives you a little extra time to prepare. Penalties will now be assessed in real-time. That means sticking to algorithm guidelines more closely than ever before.
  • Integration Is a Must – SEO campaigns will have to align more closely with the rest of a brand’s marketing initiatives. This includes everything from media buying and PPC to social media and affiliate marketing.
  • Google Answers Queries – The trend is for Google to present itself as the authority on every searchable topic. However, Google’s answers generally come from authority sites. This presents the opportunity for brands to move to the front of a search even if the site doesn’t rank number one.
  • Image and Video Recognition – As search engines get better at examining speech, we can look forward to advances in the use of images and videos for SEO. For now, we still need to tell Google what our videos and images are about. Will 2016 be the year that Google starts watching our videos, viewing our images, and picking out keywords on its own?
  • In-Platform Competition – With Google, Apple, Microsoft, and Amazon vying for supremacy, you can expect platforms to be where the hottest competition takes place. Google still rules the world for search, so SEO will continue to focus on Google ranking.
  • Jazz Up Your SERP Appearance – Schema can increase click-through by giving searchers a more accurate description of what they’ll get when they click on your link.

Search engine optimization continues to be a vital driver in online marketing, and with its inherent connection to technologies, SEO must keep up with them more now than ever.

Mobile Is Rapidly Changing

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Mobile is Rapidly Changing: The World of Technology

Mobile is rapidly changing, almost on a daily basis, and it can be easy for companies to get left in the wake. What are some of the most current trends that you need to keep up with in order to stay relevant?

More people than ever are shopping directly from their smartphone or tablet. Has your company developed a mobile website or an app for mobile users? Did you decide that responsive design is the better option for your company? The fact that people will judge your company based on their experience surfing your site from their mobile devices can be nerve wracking. It is up to you to make sure that online shopping with your company is an enjoyable experience.

Then, there is the collision of the world’s two current great passions: health and fitness and technology. The result has been numerous wearable devices, and now even Apple® has gotten on board with a smart watch. Fitness has become a major concern for people, beyond just New Year’s resolutions. Whether it is the combination of fast food and video games, which has led to an obese world, or, just that people are obsessed with looking like their favorite superhero or Victoria’s Secret model, there is no doubt that fitness is a major fad. Leave it to technology to capitalize on this too. The question is: can your business benefit from this trend?

Finally, mobile usage is almost synonymous with social media. Whether it is Facebook®, Instagram®, Pinterest®, Twitter®, or another networking app, people constantly want to be connected. To reach mobile users, you need to meet them on their turf, and that means providing engaging content across various social media platforms.

It seems the one thing that isn’t going to change is the fact that mobile is rapidly changing—and digital marketing needs to change along with it. It’s time to take stock of your business stands and ensure that you haven’t fallen too far behind in the mobile marketing race.

ALS Fundraising Campaign Went Viral

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ALS Fundraising Campaign Went Viral: A Marketing Goldmine

There’s a lot more money going to ALS research right now because an ALS fundraising campaign went viral, to the utter delight of the charity. Let’s see what we can take away from this phenomenon that can be beneficial for your future ad campaigns.

First of all, if a picture tells a thousand words, a video must be worth millions of words. Using video in a campaign takes what amounts to a campaign flyer and turns it into the great American novel. Everyone wants to know the story, tell the story, and be a part of the story. This is engagement at its finest. The best marketing videos create a sense of community and promote the notion that we are all in this together.

Second, don’t feel that all of the content for your campaign needs to come from your company. Give consumers something to do. There’s no ALS conglomerate out there producing video after video of people pouring ice water on their heads. People are doing this all on their own. What if your company started the ad campaign that resulted in thousands or even millions of people making their own little ad spots for your company? And oh, just as an aside, all of that extra advertising costs your company absolutely nothing.

Social media can spread your message like wildfire and companies are taking notice of this phenomenon. For example, Coca Cola’s share a Coke with a friend campaign is really doing the same thing. People are posting pics of bottles with the names of friends and loved ones and tagging them. Thus, it’s possible to make the jump from nonprofit to corporate advertising and to get people to play along without even thinking about it.

Granted, it’s easier to have people spread a campaign in this format when it is for charity. The ALS fundraising campaign went viral due in no small part because of this. But your ad campaign can make use of the same principles. You can do this by using video, creating a sense of community, and getting consumers to pass on the campaign ideals. When this happens you have created a self-perpetuating ad campaign that only costs your company the initial start-up videos. It is then community fervor that takes over and puts your product or service in the spotlight.

The Link between Digital Advertising and In-Store Purchasing

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We’ve heard the death knell ring for years. The outcry is that online shopping will replace in-store shopping. Amazon, the online shopping giant, has encouraged opponents to continue the uproar, with offers to beat in-store prices. But is the digital age really the end of in-store shopping?

Research has shown that even the younger generation—those born in and after the year 2000—actually prefer going to the store versus buying products on the web. Some are willing to forego cheaper online prices to be able to walk into a store and bring home what they want that same day. And while in-store shopping is far from dead, the digital age is now playing a role as well: According to one survey, nearly two-thirds of in-store shoppers checked online reviews before buying a product in the store.

Hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of purchases that start out online end up in-store. Thus, the real secret for brick-and-mortar stores surviving in the digital age is to combine the two advertising methods and by catching the interest of online shoppers.

One big thing needed is to bring the online store in harmony with the physical store. No one is going to come into your store to buy a product if they find it to be priced higher online and don’t know what the in-store price is. Also, it’s a good idea to let online shoppers be able to check for availability at their local store so they know if they can pick the item up right away. Consider your online store as an extension of the in-store showroom.

Try different online campaigns to see what works. If you have a 50% discount coupon for an item on one site and a “buy one, get one free” coupon for the same item on another site, you may find that one coupon is used far more often than the other. It also may have nothing to do with how good the coupon is; certain sites may just create more sales for you.

Don’t be afraid to partner up with other local businesses to get people up from their easy chairs and into your store. Offering a free drink from the coffee shop next door with an in-store purchase may be all it takes to get customers away from their computer screens and into an actual physical establishment.

In the end, the physical store is not obsolete. It just needs to adapt to the digital age, especially when it comes to advertising.

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