You might cite YouTube as the start of the digital video revolution. More than two decades ago, YouTube allowed us to begin sharing our videos with one another in a simple format. All you had to do was record and upload it for all to view. Of course, back then it was all fun and games, and digital video ads were just a glimmer in the eyes of marketers.
Before long, ads were here. Whether it was a brief ad or a longer one that users could choose to skip when nothing in the first 5 seconds caught their attention, it was still a great way to reach the millions of people who were flocking to YouTube to watch videos of cats, or discover the latest singing talent. Now we’re here in the age of video marketing.
Usage of the Internet is continuing to shift. People spend more time online watching videos than doing anything else. In fact, some projections show that in 2017 nearly three-quarters of Internet traffic could be videos. That’s a shift for content marketers who may have previously been focusing on articles and images. Before long, blog posts might be just a paragraph to introduce a video (and perhaps words that most people don’t even read). Of course, that brings up questions of SEO, since text is how we alert search engines about whom to send our way, but Google will have to cross that bridge when that time comes.
Even small businesses have to search out ways to keep up, and they must decide:
- Do you create videos by sitting in front of a laptop or tablet and recording yourself against a blank wall in the office?
- Do you set up an in-house studio of sorts?
- Should you hire a digital video marketing firm to fill those needs – trading a little extra money to get more professional content?
What it comes down to for businesses small and large alike, is the importance of incorporating the use of video marketing when developing a content marketing strategy. We’ve always tried to go where the consumers are, and right now consumers are watching videos online.
|No comments||This entry was posted by EIC Social Media Team on May 4, 2016 at 4:30 pm, and is filed under Marketing Strategies. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.|
Let’s be honest. Marketers are obsessed with turning every possible phrase into an acronym. Having said that, sometimes we use these acronyms with only a general idea of what they are about. Let’s take the mystery out of some of the most obscure acronyms in our industry.
Let’s start with an easy one: CPM. That’s cost-per something, right? We use it without even being sure what the M stands for, and we get away with it because most of the people we are talking to don’t know either. The fact is that CPM means cost per thousand. The M stands for “mille,” the Latin word for thousand.
HTML is another one we understand well enough to use without having any idea what the actual letters stand for. If you quizzed most marketers, they would get close. L obviously stands for language. So we basically use this as the language web pages are written in, and leave it at that. The rest means hypertext markup. And don’t confuse this with XML, even though the last two letters mean the same thing. We take the X from the second letter in eXtensible for that one. XML is important because that’s the stuff of RSS feeds. Ah, RSS is another good one!
Unfortunately, the acronym RSS has multiple correct meanings. To avoid confusion, we like to stick with Really Simple Syndication. After all, that’s what RSS actually does. However, when the acronym was first coined, it referred to RDF Site Summary – although you’ll probably never need to know that unless it comes up on the Jeopardy game show.
Now, we get into a meatier acronym. Analytics rule the digital marketing world, and that makes KPI a vital acronym. We treat KPIs like they are the objective, whereas they are actually a metric upon which you base your objectives. KPI stands for Key Performance Indicator. This identifies a metric as one that is vital to business growth. For example, an app developer may establish download count as a KPI. The goal they are striving for is number of downloads, not the KPI.
Yes, we use a lot of these acronyms without knowing what they mean. Sometimes we still get the right idea across, but “close enough” doesn’t count if you are dealing with someone who actually knows all the acronyms, so studying up can avoid a big miscommunication.
|No comments||This entry was posted by EIC Social Media Team on April 27, 2016 at 4:30 pm, and is filed under Marketing Strategies. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.|
Ad fraud is a hot topic in the digital marketing world. Add that to major concerns like visibility, ad blocking, and ad waste, and it almost seems crazy the way digital ad budgets continue to rise so sharply. The fact is that despite the challenges, digital advertising is still the future. So the only real question is how to move forward despite the potential pitfalls.
Factors That Limit Growth
Make no mistake, despite increases in industry figures, the murky waters of digital advertising are still limiting the amount of money businesses are willing to sink into online campaigns. And the problem is really being exacerbated by both sides. Advertisers clamor for transparency and a desire to create more relevant ads that intrude less on user experience, while at the same time, publishers see their profits cut by ad fraud and other intangibles.
So if advertisers and publishers alike are both in the dark as far as how much money could actually be made if all of these issues went away, where do we turn to implement industry reform?
The Role We All Play in Advertising
Every aspect of the marketing industry has a role to play in fixing the problem. As advertisers, our first responsibility has to be to the consumer. And ultimately that is in our best interests anyway. If you hit the right audience with the right ad during the right moment, you maximize your profitability.
For publishers, it is all about regaining the trust of advertisers. And, again, this benefits everyone. Reputable publishers will make more money because advertisers will have more to spend. Better-performing publishers mean better-performing campaigns. When campaigns do well, everyone benefits because advertisers don’t feel the need to push quantity instead of quality. Goods ads in the right place at the right time increase conversion rate. Higher conversion rate means the consumer gets bothered less frequently by intrusive ads.
Of course, this isn’t going to happen overnight. On the plus side, when something is to everyone’s advantage, the likelihood of it happening increases. As transparency gives way to better advertising, consumers, advertisers, and publishers all get what they want.
|No comments||This entry was posted by EIC Social Media Team on April 20, 2016 at 4:30 pm, and is filed under Online Advertising. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.|
If you want to maximize the profits of your online retail business, a couple of things are absolutely necessary. Let’s take a look at the importance of mobile—and the need to promote special offers and discounts in the right manner and at the right time.
Mobile Is the Only Way
Mobile isn’t just your best chance at making it in online retail; it’s the only way. Two in three customers shop online, and many of those customers are using smartphones and tablets, which means a few things for your store.
- Mobile Responsive Site – Your site has to work across devices and platforms. If the site loads too slowly, isn’t optimized for mobile, or bogs down when users go to their cart on a mobile device, you can kiss that sale goodbye. No one is going to put down a phone and walk over to a desktop to complete a purchase. They will find a competitor with something comparable for sale.
- Mobile Application – Providing a mobile app for even easier mobile use is another great way to increase online sales. Again, the app must be cross-platform and be able to perform on various devices. Screen size should not affect the user experience. Images need to be high quality, and the app needs to be simple to use – especially when completing a purchase. Otherwise, you will see many items left in carts.
Online Promotions and Special Offers Need to Drive Profit
The ways you decide to provide offers and promotions should depend on how your target audience wants to receive them. A simple email to remind a customer that they left something in the cart may be enough to get someone to come back and complete a sale. Perhaps the item has now gone on sale, making this a great time to remind a customer she was looking at something. Does your customer often make purchases at a certain time of day or a particular day of the week? Sending a special promotion that specific day or time will make it more likely for the consumer to open the email, follow the link, and make a purchase.
|No comments||This entry was posted by EIC Social Media Team on April 13, 2016 at 4:30 pm, and is filed under Mobile Marketing, Online Sales. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.|
We are continuing our list of the current trends in the digital marketing world. See if you agree that ads are going in the following directions.
Your Marketing Should Tell Us a Story
The consumer has spoken, and we are listening. People want to be taken on a journey that tells them about your brand. Ads that highlight brand values continue to gain momentum.
Tell Us a Story, in Segments
People love to binge watch their TV, but they don’t seem to mind a cliffhanger ad that continues later on. Releasing ads in little mini episodes is really starting to take off, especially since the average viewer is clamoring for shorter and shorter ads. Sure, write that perfect 30-second ad spot, but then split it in half—and consumers will eat it up.
Efficient Ad Buying
Last time, we mentioned programmatic moving into the world of TV ad buying, but we also need to give it an honorable mention here. Programmatic ad buying already has its fair share of the market, but it’s a very efficient process that’s likely to become even more popular.
Did Someone Say VR?
Virtual Reality is starting to become a more attainable experience. As more households begin to have a VR device, you can bet ads will become a part of that immersive world. After all, the advertising possibilities become endless in that medium.
Watch Out for the Blocking of Ads
The fact is that ad blocking won’t end the benefits of online video advertising. While maladvertising is pushing the trend to block ads to a whole new level, plenty of consumers are still willing to watch ads in order to ensure that their favorite free content doesn’t become premium content with a monthly price tag. The key for advertisers is to reach the user’s emotions with digital ads so as to create an atmosphere where people feel like they are missing out if the ads are not there. The secret to overcoming the ad-block phenomenon is to produce better ads that people don’t want to block.
So there you have it. We’ve discussed some of the biggest trends in the digital marketing world. What do you think? Are there marketing trends that should have made the list that didn’t? Comment below and be heard!
|No comments||This entry was posted by EIC Social Media Team on April 6, 2016 at 4:30 pm, and is filed under Digital Advertising, Marketing Strategies. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.|
What does the future of marketing hold? In an ever-changing industry, it can be tough to forecast trends. However, these are a few things to keep an eye on.
Better Ad Spots Online
Ad placement is a hot topic in the digital marketing world. It’s time for publishers to step up to the plate and start delivering better site design. This will allow marketers to create a superior experience for the user, and when the user has a better experience with an ad, that translates into dollars.
Mobile Trends Are Everywhere
When you look around, you see people on their mobile devices. This isn’t a new trend in digital marketing, but it has become one that no business can simply ignore. Google actually helped that along quite quickly with the “mobilegeddon” update as far as website design is concerned, but now mobile ads are also becoming par for the course.
Standards in View-ability
We’re sick of creating great ads, paying for them to run, and finding out no one can possibly see it because it is auto-playing off-screen. We can look forward to industry changes that force ad networks to apply more transparency.
Programmatic Goes Old School
You can’t speak about digital marketing without referring to programmatic, so why should TV buying be any different. Programmatic is set to shift from relating only to small-screen ads to the big screen—at least the biggest screen in most homes.
Ads to Match Attention Span
The average human attention span isn’t what it used to be, but the marketing industry is not keeping up. We hold that 30-second ads are the ideal time frame, but think of all of the ads people see every day on YouTube, Hulu, and other video sites online. The 30-second ones usually get skipped after about 5 seconds. However, we are often forced to watch a 15-second ad with no skip button, and no one seems to mind too much.
Ultimately, what it may come down to is a marketer having to sell in 15 seconds rather than 30 increments. People don’t want to be pulled out of an experience to hear about your product for 30 seconds at a time. It’s a testament to the digital era.
Those are part of the list. In a future article, we will consider more of marketing’s top trends.
|No comments||This entry was posted by EIC Social Media Team on March 30, 2016 at 4:30 pm, and is filed under Marketing Data. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.|
Microsoft is one of several corporations that has performed studies on the human attention span, and all of the results point to the same thing: the human attention span is shrinking. This directly affects eCommerce sites because it increases the likelihood of someone becoming distracted and leaving your site before completing a purchase.
How can you enhance the performance of your eCommerce site? Here are a few things to keep a close eye on:
eCommerce Site Problems Cost You Money
If your eCommerce site crashes while a customer is trying to complete a sale, many of them won’t come back to complete the transaction later. You can add that loss to the estimated $4 trillion (USD) in product that will get abandoned this year in digital shopping carts. A checkout experience that can’t be completed quickly is another site issue that will drive consumers away.
What Is Causing the Problem?
Your eCommerce site and shopping cart may perform well most of the time, but what causes it to suddenly turn on you—and cost you money and potentially a customer? A few things you need to do are:
- Shore up the front end – You don’t want an app crash to be the problem.
- Memory issues – When a database is busting at the seams for storage and CPU use, everything goes wrong. It starts with slower speeds, but progresses quickly to mistakes and full site crashes. This can ruin a potentially great Black Friday or another big shopping day.
You Need a Scalable Solution
You don’t want your customers to hit a glass ceiling, because then you’ll begin to lose sales and new clients due to computer-related memory problems. That means relying on scalable solutions that don’t require you to develop a new database every time the company hits the next plateau.
Now is the time to consider having a relational database, but don’t trust just any company that throws that term around. You need to know if the database is tolerant to the occasional fault, or if one error brings everything down. You also need to understand how the scaling database will affect a mobile app that you make sales through. Perhaps there is a way to simply scale your database for the fourth quarter or maybe an even shorter time when sales increase.
It all comes down to making sure that your customer isn’t distracted from completing a sale by a problem on your end. There are already enough distractions that you can’t control.
|No comments||This entry was posted by EIC Social Media Team on March 23, 2016 at 4:30 pm, and is filed under Online Sales, Usability. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.|
In the world of SEO, there are a ton of dos and don’ts, and everyone claims to have the perfect recipe for getting a site on page one. However, every marketer needs to know a few things about SEO.
Search Drives Traffic
Someone types a keyword into a search engine to begin 93 out of 100 online journeys. This is what your potential customers are doing online. Only a small percentage of online use starts with a person typing a URL/web address into the address bar or clicking on one of their bookmarked favorites. It is no wonder then that the majority of business owners acknowledge that having a strategy for search engine optimization improved the company’s profit. Developing a plan is the first step.
Keyword Research and Selection
Keywords are an integral part of the SEO process. Determine in advance the words/terms that your customers are going to be typing into a search query. You need to know who your target audience is, and understand how they think. Fortunately, a lot of great tools are available that can help you develop a keyword list by showing you what people search for, and also how competitive the terms are.
When a Keyword Goes Wrong
Some keywords are decent for search, but bad for content. Don’t select keywords that involve a phrase involving words that will never be used consecutively in a sentence in English—and then expect a content writer to figure out how to use it naturally. Be sure that your keyword isn’t just some sales slogan.
A Few Things to Remember About SEO
- Keep your content engaging. Don’t sacrifice quality for quantity.
- Write for humans, not search engines. If your content doesn’t read well, your bounce rate will keep you off page 1.
- Be flexible with your keywords. If a keyword isn’t working out, it may be because there is a better one.
SEO isn’t simple. That’s why so many leave it to the pros—and rightly so. The information here is the least you should know about SEO tactics.
|No comments||This entry was posted by EIC Social Media Team on March 16, 2016 at 4:30 pm, and is filed under SEO. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.|
In the ever-changing world of digital marketing, it can be tough to stay ahead of the curve. Here are some forecasts for 2016 that can help your brand keep a leg up on the competition.
Branding – A Key Focus
To consumers, many businesses are starting to blend together. It’s not enough to run a catchy ad or put forward a strong social media campaign. Now is the time for differentiation.
What makes your company unique? It’s time to clarify in the minds of consumers what your organization stands for. Reevaluate brand values, goals, and mission to make your name stand out.
Focus on Consumer Relationships
Consumers often base decisions on trust. Mass marketing is giving way to targeted campaigns. Buyers want to see that your brand knows what they want and when they want it. Focus on creating a customer for life rather than on making a quick sale. 2016 is the year to look ahead to a lifetime value.
Improve the Customer Experience of Your Brand
Customers are demanding experiences over products. That means selling a product involves creating an experience for the consumer to enjoy it in. The value of consumer experience cannot be overstated.
More people than ever are looking at online reviews to make good purchasing decisions. Those reviews are being made by customers, so be sure the experience is worth a positive review.
“Pay No Attention to the Man Behind the Curtain”
Those are words no consumer wants to hear. They want to see the Wizard, as it were, and that means complete transparency. If your brand portrays its values one way but resorts to practice that are not in harmony with those values, consumers will look for a more genuine seller. The fact is that the truth behind scandals will find its way to the news and online. Brands need to be ready to be honest with consumers.
Content, Content, Content
2016 is the year of content. If it was king before, now content is the whole royal family. The key focus in 2016 is to make your brand the expert in your field. Quality means authority and search ranking, so don’t skimp. Also, be sure to use content to develop your brand’s community, even fostering consumer creation.
|No comments||This entry was posted by EIC Social Media Team on March 9, 2016 at 4:30 pm, and is filed under Branding. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.|
Lead generation comes down to one thing, and that’s incentive. The biggest mistake companies make when trying to generate new leads is not providing any incentive to consumers, or at least not enough incentive.
If you expect site visitors to make a commitment, even a seemingly small one like providing their email address, you need to be willing to give them something of value in return. Here are a few tips for making your lead generation process more of a “give and take” than a ”beg for contact info” situation.
Great Timing Improves Your Lead Generation
First of all, asking a consumer to make a commitment is all about hitting them with the request at the right time. It’s going to be a huge turn-off if someone comes to your website and is immediately confronted with a pop-up that asks for their email address—before they can even see the content they were seeking on your site. You may not even have to offer anything for free in return if the content you provide has value. Give users enough time to read or view the content, and then try to generate a lead.
Say the Right Thing
A lot of content on the Internet is fluff. Again, consumers are looking for value. If your content doesn’t provide any, why should the site visitor give you something of value in return? By providing useful and educational content, you give the reader a reason to reciprocate. To provide solid content, follow these suggestions:
- Don’t be wordy or confusing.
- Make use of imagery both by providing visual content, as well as by using bullet points and headings to make the text more readable.
- Provide a clear call-to-action so the reader knows what to do next.
Ask for the Right Thing
Another issue with lead generation is expecting the consumer to share too much. You might have no problem getting a name and email address, but having a lengthy form can hurt lead generation. Ask for only what you need rather than having tons of areas—but you just mark a few as required.
|No comments||This entry was posted by EIC Social Media Team on March 2, 2016 at 4:30 pm, and is filed under Content, Usability. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.|