Posted in A Success Story, Digital Marketing, lessons, Social Media, Trends

Want to be a Titan? A Digital Titan?

Well, rarely do I come across quality in capitals – yes, QUALITY. I discovered this video blog by Krishna Chaitanya, a senior digital marketer (an ex-Googler). The video is all about latest news from the Digital industry – and it’s great!

What a way to stay updated and some of his updates are about upcoming releases, stuff you wouldn’t come to know about, unless you are subscribed to umpteen digital news magazines and stay on top of them regularly.

Check out his videos (Digital Marketing Daily Digest) and don’t forget to subscribe if you want to be in the game and on top of the latest happenings in the digital domain.

Here’s today’s update:

 

Posted in All Posts, Design, Digital Marketing, Social Media

Decoding Twitter’s new looks

I am not sure how many of us have actually clicked on “Try the new look on Twitter”, for I know several friends who were very apprehensive about trying it. Change, after all, is not very easy to adapt to, more so, after Facebook put all of us through several torturous cycles of forcibly accepting new and changed timelines. Twitter likes to call them ‘web profiles’.

What’s different with Twitter then?

Twitter also started a spate of changes recently – some quite awesome, like the option of viewing pictures in the Twitter time line. Twitter woke up to the importance of images and video – essentially visually appealing content – and decided to include them in tweets.

With the new look now available for every user to try, Twitter seems to have tidied up its act in an attempt to drift away from its boring tweets only look to the more personalised, user friendly (albeit overloaded) timeline.

So, what has changed?

  • Elongaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaated header that spans across one end of your profile to another is a no-miss feature. You need to have an image of size 1500×500 at least. Well, the good news is, you can add more informative content in your image.
  • Showcase – akin to the category cloud, the tweets that have garnered maximum engagement through favourites and retweets are displayed larger and more obvious than the others.
  • Straight on the lines of pinned posts on FB, Twitter now allows users to pin specific tweets on their profiles. These pins will be displayed as static content.
  • One of the most wonderful features added now is to let users filter tweets based on various criteria – so that means a sound goodbye to endless mindless scrolling!
  • Now I am debating whether the previous feature was awesome or this one – maybe you could decide for yourselves. Popup notifications!! I find this feature very useful whenever I use Twitter on my mobile phone. What’s more, you can switch them off.

Stay abreast of all the latest digital happenings, only at My Digital Marketing Team.

Contact us to know about our social media optimisation services.

Posted in All Posts, Content, Copywriting, SEO, Trends

Headlines in 2014 and beyond

I can’t use keywords in headlines anymore!! (Of course you can, although keywords suddenly stopped being important.) How then does one do Search Engine Optimisation? Wasn’t SEO all about keywords, keywords and more keywords? How does one get to rank online? If not for keywords, how do I get my website perpetual visibility?

It was so easy before! I would do my keyword analysis diligently and also top it up with competitor analysis. Then I would spend hours coming up with the perfect keywords that people were searching that were related to my business, and I would add them into my titles, headlines and meta descriptions and everywhere I could inside my page content.

Are these your thoughts?

Best way to write headlines
Writing effective headlines

Absolutely, every search engine optimiser knows how this feels. This is the reason why Google’s updates are so dreadful. But this article is not exactly about keywords.

This article is about titles and headlines.

And we all do agree that good content is playing a major role in the search engine rankings.

A typical piece of content usually contains a great catchy headline, a good introduction that gives you a peek into the article and goes on to speak about important aspects with a generous but judicious use of headings.

Looking at the evolution of headlines, it is interesting to note that there have been a lot of trends making headlines about headlines, pun intended. For example, content curation site Techmeme was recently in the news for writing its own headlines for curated content.

Going back to how headlines evolved,

The “Nothing special” Age: This was the age when the title would be just what we wrote in our school essays. For example, “The Evolution of Computers”

Not many knew about search engines and what optimisation was all about. Adding keywords to the title was just accidental or perhaps logical rather than deliberate and planned.

The “How to” Age: Then came a barrage of “How to make the best eggless cake ever” style headings that answered themselves in the body of article. Another example “How to optimise your page titles for search engines”

The “Question” Age: On the lines of “How to” came the “Question” age which spewed questions as headlines. For example, “Did you know that making an eggless cake is very easy?” Yes, with a past tense in the question!!

The “Countdown” Age: Tops 10’s of everything were everywhere on the Internet. This is still being used by many entertainment websites. For example, “Top 10 Hollywood actors who don’t smoke”

The “Number” Age: This interesting period saw the dawn of paragraphs and numbered side headings. So, if you are writing an article that has 3 side headings, you would title it “3 Awesome Ways to Write Catchy Headlines”.

Another example, “11 tips and tricks to make your computer faster that you didn’t know about”

The “Viral” Age a.k.a the “Emotional” catch: With Social Media Optimisation, writers started becoming smarter and headlines now appeared with something called a “hook”, which is basically a bait that says something interesting enough to click yet reveals nothing. Currently, you will find these headlines on websites like Mashable and Upworthy that publish a 1 minute to 5 minutes average length videos that most usually do go viral, if not in a big way.

Examples of these headlines from their latest content:

What The Hell Do People Believe In If They Don’t Believe In God? This Guy Has One Heck Of An Answer.” – Upworthy post on being human

This Video Shows Just How Crazy English Is As A Language” – Buzzfeed video on the idiosyncrasies of English language

“You won’t believe what this 8 year old did that left me speechless and shell shocked!”

“10 dog shaming pictures. The 8th one is unbelievably cute.”

So, the million dollar question, what should your headlines in 2014 look like? And beyond?

Well, search engines are now trying to understand content through semantics. Your best bet would be to write for the user. No matter what kind of headline you use, do not dupe your readers. Do not give them an impression through your headline about X and make them read Y in your article. If your users feel cheated once, they will never trust you. The best case study is the Upworthy title as mentioned above. It does look like a classic example of spam, but it isn’t. Click on the link and you will see an interesting video about how the meaning of life lies in giving meanings to life. Amazing thought, right? When your headline matches the emotions it evokes, trust is sealed.

So, the next time you write your headlines, debate on whether it helps build trust in your readers. Remember, once gained, trust brings them back for more like nothing else. For all you know, you will end up converting readers into subscribers.

Subscribers mean votes. And it’s no more keywords alone in a heading that are flagging the search engines about great content. It’s also the social signals that count as recommendations. And you can never go wrong with social signals if you write honest and great content that offers value for the time that a user has granted to you to read your article.

And if you cannot come up with great headlines, leave it to the professionals who can do a great job with creative experts dishing out awesome headlines that grow your website traffic by leaps and bounds. Talk to our experts here.

Posted in All Posts, Digital Marketing, Trends

The Importance of Case Studies in Digital Marketing

A case study is usually a post-explanatory analysis of an event or a project. Digital Marketing industry relies heavily on case studies as their primary source of lead generation. In an industry whose benchmarks are difficult to determine, case studies play an important role in showcasing the success of a company.

Digital Marketing Case Studies
Digital Marketing Case Studies

Why are case studies so important?

A digital marketing company can leverage its best executed success stories by converting them into analytical case studies contemplating what was done, how it was done and what was the outcome. The following are the advantages of case studies in the context of digital marketing and social media:

Case Studies help establish credibility

The introspective nature of case studies allows customers to get a fair idea of how capable a company is in several counts: creativity, up-to-date knowledge, and innovation. Not only can a customer gain a fair knowledge of how the subject of case study could affect his own business, he can also understand how credible the company is in delivering its services.

Case studies go a long way in influencing the sentiment of the customers. Since most case studies include client testimonials that end up vetting the successful project, it becomes all the more powerful in making the company a strong contender as against its competitors. And there are too many of them one to be up against.

Showcasing success

Many companies are able to showcase the results of their digital marketing campaigns through case studies. Several such case studies are available online via websites like afaqs.com. For example, a recent article on our Official Blog showcased the outcome of Cadbury Bournville’s ‘Tape a Tweet’ Twitter campaign. This a brilliant example of the social media team and the videography team working in sync with each other, as well as the customer engagement activity. They produced instant videos based on the followers’ tweets to capture their attention and create a buzz in Twitterdom in a big way.

So also, was another campaign conducted by online shopping store HomeShop18 using a new jingle to create buzz around the concept of ‘happiness due to shopping’. They used the hash tag #MakesMeHappy to engage their customers to tweet about what makes them happy and mentioned HomeShop18’s Twitter handle as well as the hashtag in their tweet. While the Twitteratti got swept into this campaign, what came as a big surprise was the spontaneous conversion of selected tweets into caricature images. Followers were absolutely delighted to see themselves and their tweets converted into funny images and there was a lot of flurry across Twitter during this campaign.

Great as marketing collateral

When pitching to prospective clients, case studies hold the power to do the entire talking (or rather, most of it). It’s a known fact by now that consumer behaviour is influenced by the generic perception of the market. For example, if A wants to buy a helmet and sees a particular brand getting more reviews, A is likely to choose that brand, assuming that it is famous or popular and hence, good. The underlying principle here is that of subtle recommendation. A completed sale is a recommendation. The case study feeds into that perception. “If another company has seen success through this campaign, I would want to see similar success for my company as well.” – This is how the thought process of most prospective clients goes.

Conclusion:

Case studies are very important and if you are a digital marketing company or for that matter, any other company, you can make use of a good case study and leverage on its advantages in a big way. Just a disclaimer though, it is always advisable to include not only the good points but also the roadblocks encountered and how they were dealt with in the case study to make it complete.

Posted in All Posts, Digital Marketing, Outsourcing, PPC

Use PPC Remarketing to increase your online sales

Google rolled out Remarketing in early 2010, as a feature that tries to reach users who have clicked on an ad or browsed a website but did not convert into customers. Remarketing can be considered as a second attempt (or third, and fourth) of advertisers to try and convince customers who abandoned a call to action after showing interest in their product/service.

Basically, here is a simplistic portrayal of remarketing:

Remarketing in PPC
Remarketing in PPC

I visit website A >> I fill up a form >> I change my mind and do not click submit. >> I close window of website A.

(Background – Website A tracks me and my search behaviour via cookies)

I continue with my browsing >> I am on website B >> I see ads of website A’s products on Website B. (>> I feel stalked!!) >> I open website C >> I see ads of website A’s products on Website C. ((>> I am definitely being stalked!! HELLLLP!!!)

Wondering how remarketing is done?

It’s really as simple as adding a small piece of code to all the webpages on your website. This piece of code is called the Remarketing Tag. Then, whenever a visitor lands on your website, you add their cookies to different remarketing lists based on their search behaviour and start showing them ads relevant to their searches.

What? Remarketing sounds like stalking!!

It is, and isn’t! There is a lot more you could do with your remarketing lists. You could write separate ad copies or create a separate AdWords campaign to be shown only to people on your remarketing list, say, for example, offering discounts on the products they were searching for earlier. There is a good chance that the users would land up on your website again and convert into customers!

Overdoing Remarketing – No stalking please!

Remarketing will actually feel like stalking if you bombard the user with your ads at every site that he/she visits. Would you want that to happen to you? No, of course no one would. So, it’s a sensible idea to make use of caps on frequency to contain the number of times your ads are shown to a user. We do not want him to get irritated and remember our brand in a bad way, right?

Remarketing for converted customers

It makes sense to keep the converted customers out of your remarketing campaigns, doesn’t it? Wrong. In fact, based on the type of industry your ecommerce site is in, you can play with “related products” advertising in a way that could help you in upselling with converted customers. For example, if I buy a sofa set for my living room, and I see ads of centre tables via remarketing, I might go back to the site to check out some more furniture.

A disclaimer here, though! Ensure that you are not persisting too much! Never annoy your customers. See the point above this one.

About bidding higher

Once you have identified which customers previously showed interest in your products or services, you can bid higher for those people’s subsequent searches and ensure that they see your ads.

Remarketing, Retargeting… isn’t it all the same?

Basically, retargeting is to target customers who previously visited your site, by displaying ads about the searched products on the other websites that they are browsing. So, one can safely categorise retargeting under the broader perspective of remarketing.

Remarketing also includes Email Remarketing, which is done to target users who have abandoned a form or not completed the purchase of their shopping cart items. Both the terms can be used interchangeably. However, remarketing can result in upselling, related product selling, etc.

So how does one do Remarketing?

There are some tools, other than the Google AdWords account that can be used for retargeting, such as Retargeter, AdRoll, Fetchback, Chango, etc. Companies like Springmetrics are also being used by e-commerce sites to execute retargeting strategies.

My Digital Marketing Team offers quality wholesale PPC services which include remarketing and retargeting, to agencies and resellers at highly competitive prices and affordable rates. To find out how our wholesale PPC services can help your clients’ business grow by multiple folds, contact us here.

Posted in All Posts, Content, Copywriting, Digital Marketing, Outsourcing, Social Media

Content Unlimited and the Dreaded Writers’ Block

If you are a content writer and have been writing for years, then I am sure you would have encountered the dreaded writers’ block. Churning articles for the print media or the online media is not easy. Especially when you are just starting out on a career in content, you are expected to write several scores of articles on various topics, and it is very easy to arrive at a complete shutdown of ideas.

Writers Block
Writers Block

As an author also, you could risk stumbling at crucial parts of your story, and just cannot seem to move any further in a way desired by your satisfaction. What do you do?

Let us understand what writers’ block is first.

Writers thrive on creativity. Creativity basically means to come up with new ideas and new ways to represent a story or an article. Creativity also implies saying something mundane in an innovative way, just like it happens in advertising.

When something like this happens, it is really alarming and upsetting, especially when you have deadlines to stick to.

What does one do, as a content writer, to combat such a writers’ block?

Whether we are writing for the web or for the book, we have to keep our creative juices flowing. When it comes to the web, content writers of today have to take care of so many things. It’s not enough to dish out a ‘good’ article with the use of high class vocabulary. Content writing for the Millennials is all about keywords, density, search engine optimization, packing the punch, marketing for the machine, digital, info graphics et al.

Here are a few tips for you to help you ease yourself out of that infamous writers’ block effortlessly:

  • The moment you realize you have a block, S.T.O.P. Leave everything, no matter how tight the deadline. Just stop, and take a deep breath. Get up and go out for a short walk. Just get away from work.
  • If you are into meditation, try visualizing during your meditation sessions.
  • If you aren’t the meditating kind, understand that you need to calm the crows inside your mind to concentrate on the stuck piece of written work. So, try counting numbers backward until there are no thoughts in your head. Slowly, get back to where you got stuck.
  • Deconstruct the constructed. Supposing you were writing content for a website, and the block struck. Deconstruct what you have written till now.
  • On a white board, list down the important areas to cover, mark the topics already addressed.
  • Try writing exercises – for example, choose a random page out of a random book, and start a new story with a random line in the page. Do it for the sake of helping the creative juices flow.
  • Relax… it is very important to have all your faculties working at the topmost order. So, when faced with a block, de-stress, relax, go for a pampering session. Whatever you do, relax.
  • If you are still unable to move ahead, you can try leaving that portion of the story and deal with another part of it – the subsequent outcome might bring about an idea you were looking for at the previous milestone.
  • When short of ideas for articles, or if you have written so much that you don’t really know what to write on anymore, the best way to go ahead is to see trending topics and add on your own to them. Trending topics are always changing. For example, even as I am writing this, the current trending topic on Twitter is LCD TVs. How? Why? One never knows. Just capitalize on it. Your next post could be a well-researched topic on the LCD technology. Or one on the marketing strategy of the biggest LCD brand.

Overcoming the writers’ block is not as tough as it looks. Try these tips the next time you encounter one, and let us know if they worked for you.

And if you have your own little trick that pulls you out of the block, do share with us in the comments section below.

Also, if none of these tips work, contact us to see how we can help you fulfill your content needs.

Posted in All Posts, Content, Copywriting

How to write powerful web copy content that boosts product sales

Content is ‘king’ is passé. Good Content is king is the new mantra. Good content means content that your customers can trust. With the advent of Web 3.0, the entire landscape of digital marketing is going to see a sea change. That web copy writing is going to be the most daunting task is a given. And the game is all about conversions. Your copy is not ‘good content’ until it turns leads to conversions.

Shareable content has just become the norm. Share-ability of content is going to be measured not only by the understanding of users, but also by Google’s semantic algorithm that tries to “understand” content-worthiness.

The important elements of good web copy content and how to create copy that boosts the sale of your products phenomenally.
The important elements of good web copy content and how to create copy that boosts the sale of your products phenomenally.

Let us see the ingredients of the perfect content/copy recipe that “sells”.

Do you have a Content Strategy?

First off, do not start with a blindfolded, take-as-it-comes approach. Content strategy is very important, because it is going to be the base for all your marketing analytics. This strategy will include every detail about key players, starting from product info, target audience, target location, primary and secondary keywords, to a well-defined writing style and a uniform brand.

Secondly, who are you writing for? Remember – Google might bring you to the top, but if your copy fails to address the needs of your audience, they will never spend a penny. That is why a content strategy is required, to strike a balance between SEO practices and writing simple copy that converses with your customers and tells them what they need and why they need it.

“Content marketing is not just about amplifying your message to your customer; it is about helping them find what they are looking for.”

– Kaitlin Walsh via bluechipcommunication.com.au

What’s in a headline?

A headline by any other name would still be as important.

Call it title, headline or caption. It is the most important part of your content – the element that is going to decide if the customer will scroll down to read your content and do as instructed or not.

Write a headline that confirms to 3 Cs:

(a) Generates Curiosity, (b) Is Compelling and (c) That Connects

A headline that does all the three is a clincher. Making your customers curious enough to be compelled to read through the end and make a connection that makes them fill up the lead form – you are done.

Does your copy contain a hook?

Once you are done with the headline, decide what element you would want to use inside the copy that serves as a hook. Good copy uses emotions to create that hook. For example, “Never miss out on your granddaughter’s stories anymore – with XYZ hearing devices” will make your customers want to know more, as the emotional hook has them ensnared.

Does your copy tell your visitors what to do?

You may write pages and pages of value, features, and benefits, but if your visitors do not know what to do, they will keep on reading and get lost in the scrolling. Tell them in BIG clear font what to do. “Call to Action” items such as “Click Here”, “Add Me”, “Count me in”, “Get EazyMop now!”, “Step into the inner circle”, etc., can be used as buttons on lead forms that take user information for various outcomes which include subscribing, data input, or actually buying the product.

Size does matter! Long copy Vs. Short and Crisp copy

Long copy or short? How long? These are some questions worth pondering before writing web copy for a product or service.

First off, rule 1, your customers have NO time. Read no time. And that means their attention span is gone in a second. So, if you are writing long copy, know that the product has to be of that much importance and worthiness that the customer wants to know anything and everything about it. If you are trying to sell a mop and you write 3 pages of copy convincing the customer of its benefits, you won’t have any customers left. “Keep your floors sparkling clean with EazyMop!!” works perfect for an ad copy of a mop. On the other hand, if you are selling a washing machine, long copy will help you distribute all the benefits that the customer would want to know before investing in it.

The eternal debate: Features or Benefits?

The best way to convince ghost-convince your customers is to help them visualize what the benefit actually does to them after they have bought a product. Instead of listing features and then benefits, make them SEE the benefit in actual use. For example, you are selling a shirt – show the user how the shirt will look when worn. And there he goes, convinced and ready to hit the big Buy button.

And always, benefits first – preferably visually served. Features next.

Testimonials: Everyone’s used it!

The best way to convince a customer is to tell him/her that they are the only ones left out and that everyone else has tried the product. And how do you do that? You publish lot of testimonials about the product from your happiest customers (Base rule: You better have happy customers if you want to really sell your product). The moment a user sees another of his/her kind praising truckloads about a product, he/she is convinced. Testimonials are the online versions of “Word of mouth” publicity. They work like nothing else. They are deal clinchers.

Surprise!! You’ve got a free gift!

Your product must have a free giveaway, and it must be a surprise. This plays on the emotions of an already-convinced customer to get him to buy more. Much like up-selling.

“I am convinced. I am buying a product. Oh Wow! Free gift! That’s amazing! Let me spread the news. Let me buy one more.”

You get the drift. Surprise is what makes a customer return for more.

Serve them content on different platters

Current most-effective trend in digital marketing is to re-purpose content in a different way. Use of info graphics has become the in thing, as customers understand visual cues better than rolls and rolls of boring text. Using graphs, info graphics and other visual elements such as interactive or response-based articles actually hooks the customer on to the next step without giving him/her a chance to digress from the page.

Final Say:

Just one last thing to remember: always write to the customer, and not for the search engine. What you write has to connect with your customer and genuinely make him feel that it is of real benefit.

It sounds tough but isn’t really. Learn to use these tips in your copy and you are sure to make lasting impressions (pun intended).

Can’t write? No worries!

Contact My Digital Marketing Team here for a quote.

Posted in Content, Digital Marketing, Social Media, Trends

Social media rules to adhere to for sureshot success

Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Flickr, Google+, Tumblr, Slideshare, Instagram, so on and so forth, the list goes on. For a company that’s serious about marking and imprinting its social media presence across the World Wide Web, the Web offers innumerable platforms, and which ones to choose becomes a tough decision.

Any social media strategy depends on some basic tenets to witness phenomenal success. These tenets when followed ensure that your social media strategy takes off vertically and once this happens, your company can plan some focused campaigns around each of the channels to leverage and grow their followers.

8 - Social Media Rules for Success

1.     Focus:

It’s important to determine which social media channels your company would be focussing on as a part of the digital marketing process. Being everywhere and keeping some profiles dormant is not a very sound idea. Instead, by analysing the area of business and understanding what works for the industry, a company can wisely choose the most important channels for its digital marketing strategy.

2.     Visual Candy:

Remember reading boring essays in school? Same is the case with long never-ending essay type articles on the Internet. Content marketing has become the order of the day since the time search engines started giving importance to keywords. Everyone is churning content by the mills. But how do you make your content appealing? Visual candy is very important to grab eye balls and make them stay. So, always represent your content with good relevant images that enhance the context and meaning of your content.

3.     Interaction:

The essence of communication is always a two-way affair. Single-handed sermons do not work anywhere, more so in the online space. How can you elicit interaction from your customers, followers and prospects? You can ask questions – pertinent questions that your followers would be more than happy to answer. Thus starts a conversation. Debate – all the more desirable, but ensure that the area of discussion does not result in a controversy.

4.     Hash them all up:

The Internet has come up with so many ways to generate and file conversations. Tagging, categorising, hashtags, etc. are ways of ensuring that your content comes up in searches. Whenever hash tags are used, your content tends to get found globally and you get more traction to your website and social media pages.

5.     Gratification Mantra:

Your customers love freebies. Make good use of this general psyche of a buyer prospect and give them a sneak peek to your product by offering free previews or free giveaways. Encourage by requesting reviews and involving bloggers for the same. This not only creates legitimate backlinks but helps you to leverage the popularity of bloggers to your company’s advantage. For example, several beauty product companies have tied up with blogger communities in engaging bloggers to write about their new launches in return for a chance to win big prizes/hampers.

6.     Brevity is the key:

Remember that users tend to scroll away from your screen if you have pages and pages of boring content. As discussed in Point 1, in addition to images, if you can keep your social media posts brief and blogs concise, you will have more readers and takers for your social content.

7.     Numbers:

Stay on top of them. Numbers are your strength. Keep a track of how your posts are faring. In fact, these days, marketers are also calculating the best time to post their social media broadcasts in order to catch their readers when they are actually more likely to be online.

Social media is not about random posting and hoping with fingers crossed that followers will increase. It is all about strategy – planning for goals and making those numbers happen.

8.     Take feedback seriously:

Your readers are your best judges because they are the ones who take your content and are likely to share it across. So, when you receive negative feedback about any of your content or social posts, take it seriously, acknowledge it and move on with the changes. This not only places you on a credible pedestal but also ensures that your followers feel important, needed and heard.

9.     Get personal:

Literally. One-on-one interactions with your audience will take you very far. Communicating with your audience will ensure that they know that you know them personally, and you recognize them. Make them feel important. Address them by name and include them into your community, whatever it may be – Twitter or Facebook. This creates a personal relationship and your audience tends to become loyal to you and your brand.

So, follow these simple rules and you will be there on the top in no time.

If you need assistance in managing your social media presence, do get in touch with us here to understand how we can chalk out a Social Media Optimisation strategy for you.

Posted in All Posts, Content, Design, Mobile

Responsive Design: Being device inclusive

A recent survey by ReturnPath has turned up with interesting numbers, stating that almost 51% of total emails sent in December 2013 were opened in mobile devices as against 27% on desktop and remaining on webmail.

Mobile Email Users prompt the need for responsive design
Mobile Email Users

The trend started in early 2011, when PC sales dipped down after sale of smart phones shot up and crossed the PC sale numbers. Between 2010 and 2012, the number of mobile Internet users had grown by 45%.

As per another survey by GetResponse that was conducted between June 2012 and March 2013, emails opened in mobile increased by 30%.

What are the implications of this survey vis-à-vis responsive design?

The implications are very clear. If your website/emails are not compliant with a responsive design, they are less likely to be read; and also more likely to get trashed/bounced off.

A majority of global online users carry smart devices, including smart phones, tablets and I-pads. Most of these users are perpetually online, connected to the Internet and almost always available the moment mails and messages pop into their inbox. This means, it is easier for them to just switch on their hand-held devices and check the emails right there, instead of waiting to get onto their laptops or desktops.

Many companies these days are heavily into email marketing and newsletter distribution. Emails and Newsletters is a great way to keep the customers abreast of the latest updates from your industry. However, if your emails are not responsive, which means, if your emails are not mobile-friendly when viewed on mobile and other devices, you lose traffic from your website.

Users hardly go back to their opened emails. Once opened, emails remain read, unless very important. It becomes vital for you to make the email reading for your customers an easy experience on their mobiles.

Most newsletters and emails look great on the Web. However, when opened on phones, a lot of issues crop up, especially those related to layout, design and fonts.

The fact is that only 25% of digital marketers or companies opt for responsive design for their mobile devices. (Email Marketing Census 2013 – eConsultancy)

For example, a very popular product company had a big lead form popup window inserted on its home page for product enquiries. The same web page, when opened in a mobile, was not optimised to re-size the pop up window as per the mobile specifications. As a result, the user was stuck as the close button was outside the scrollable area. On the mobile screen, neither the complete form could be seen, nor the complete window. The only option was to close the browser and abandon going to the site again.

Such scenarios are real time scenarios that crop up when a website is not optimised for the mobile and other devices. The disadvantages of bad mobile design could be humongous, including higher bounce rate and loss of RoI. A bad user mobile experience is not a good sign for any company, be it an e-commerce store or a real estate company.

Decoding responsive mobile design

Responsive Mobile Design
Responsive Design to cater to mobile users

Building a responsive mobile design is completely dependent on the following key aspects:

  1. Maintain a simple design, no matter how flashy, engaging or wow your web email design is.
  2. Keep it short and sweet – the KISS acronym applies here to the subject line, the actual email, and the format layout.
  3. Be relevant and to the point. Remember that a trash button gets hit easier on mobile than on the computer monitor where there is a lot more space to entice your customer visually as well as with context.
  4. Very practical design tips include increasing the line space, especially around clickable links to enable easy navigation. This also applies to button sizes. Consider the size of a finger that is going to click on the button. Design accordingly. Make sure your call to action is very clear in the final design.
  5. Font sizes need to be determined as per target device platforms because different platforms respond differently to font sizes.
  6. Keep reiterating your testing practices on different platforms to see the results, with focus on the loading time of emails and links within them.

Conclusion:

Mobile customers can turn into conversions on the go. Do not ignore them and ensure that your website is mobile friendly and also compatible with other devices.

Posted in All Posts, Content, Digital Marketing, Trends

Social Media Roundup: What’s gone and what’s to come in 2014

As 2013 bids goodbye and ushers the New Year with a lot of expectations, the Social Media scene remains as dynamic as ever. Rapidly changing trends, viral strategies, changing algorithms and the capitalistic tricks of search engines to trap users into using their products have all grabbed headlines in the year past.

Several trends were predicted for 2013 in the year 2012, and these trends have today become a vital part of digital marketing strategy.

Quick Roundup of social media scene:

Content marketing was one of these and the latest Google update underscores the trend and further reiterates the importance of producing high quality and intelligent content. The Hummingbird update rolled out by Google during the last quarter of last year took everyone by the wave. Google timed the launch to coincide with its 15th birthday on 27th September 2013. Most Google’s updates are looked upon with apprehension because they are aimed at quashing the digital marketers who misuse and abuse the search algorithms to play with the rankings. One such example is keyword stuffing.

However, with the Hummingbird update, Google has now started understanding user queries to display better results. So, while we all were typing ‘grocery stores street name’ onto the search bar, Google was revamping its algorithms to understand ‘grocery stores within 5 kilometres of street name’, or ‘grocery stores inside malls’.

Trends in Social Media 2014
Trends in Social Media 2014

Hummingbird update signals the era of intelligent searching. The technical word here is ‘semantic search’, which means search by queries/context in totality, and not just by keywords alone. So this in simple words means users get what they want in the form of answers. This calls for writing more How to content, questions and answers, and phrasing content in simple words that converse rather than preach, teach or sermonize.

The last quarter of 2013 witnessed the release of direct messages at Instagram, and the launch of Twitter IPO which rose to 70% of its initial offering price on the same day of launch.

Facebook tried acquiring Snapchat for $3 billion, while Google tried offering $4 billion. Snapchat founder Evan Spiegel turned down both!! 2013 was the year of “Selfies”, so much so that the word, meaning self-picture was added to Oxford dictionary owing to a 17,000% increase in its frequency. The year not only saw a boom in the social media space, but also suffered with rise in social media spam by almost 355%. And Google Plus took the second spot after Facebook for the most active users.

What a year!!

Looking ahead at 2014: What’s in store?

Of course, it goes without saying for it’s been said and repeated umpteen times, how content is going to be a really strong player in the coming years. More so, the use of visually pleasing and graphical content such as Infographics will heighten the ‘shareability’ factor by leaps and bounds. Content will be developed exclusively for mobile devices with brevity as the foundation.

Geo-tagging is taking off in a big way. Findability on Google Places and elsewhere will become the most important strategy for businesses. Pinterest has teamed up with FourSquare to allow geo-tagged pins to be posted. As mobile users increase, digital media efforts will be more focused towards roping all the alternate platform users into the funnel.

The void of certified courses in the area of online media and marketing is expected to be filled by international universities, some of which have already introduced graduation and online programs to produce skilled digital marketing talent.

Short copy will rule as users’ average attention span keeps dwindling, owing to a surge in the available devices at hand as well as overload of information. Marketers will use attention grabbing techniques which include colourful images, graphics, info-graphics, repackaged and repurposed content. ‘Less-is-more’ is still going to be the mantra.

All in all, 2014 is going to be an interesting year in the digital marketing space – a lot to look out for.

Source:
The State of Social Media 2013 by Infographic Promotion