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.
Rest is definitely not the best, left behind by Mi.
Mi becomes ME, says every Mi user.
PS: Mi is the flagship phone of Xiaomi that has taken the world by a storm. They release each version of their phone with a completely disruptive strategy and basically, disrupt their own previous version’s popularity with a clearly better version.
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?
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:
“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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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’.
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.