3 Key Aspects of a Good Website

When the whole business world has gone online, a website has become the permanent ‘care of’ address for your business. You may be running a designer clothing store or a software firm, your website is the facade of your business that will help you reach out to the larger audience because your website will be the best marketing tool for you business.

A whole world exists in there on internet where uncountable number of websites muddle with each other to be searched, found and made business over. In such scenario, it’s essential to have such a website which acts as your business card, speaks eloquently about your products and services and ultimately, wins business to you.

Coming to the analysis of ingredients of a website that wear the hat of an ‘ensemble’ to make your website seem perfect, it’s a deep down path and must be dealt with in elaboration.

Following are key aspects involved in converting a website into a churning machine that builds branding for your business and eventually bags business.

ContentContent is King
“Content is King”, said once a man; which is timelessly true in case of websites. It’s just not about what you offer but it’s equivocally about how you explain what you offer.

Content pitches exactly at that juncture making it extremely crucial for any website to have user savvy content which will speak of your business’s products and services on one hand while carving a special niche for you in the market compelling the users to contemplate why they should choose you over your competitors. Crucial role of Content makes a website stand and is the backbone for any website.

Design

While the content on your website may be classy and might contain rich information about your business, what draws a user to your website to spend more time on it is the design and layout of your website.

Website Design

Images

As the attention spans of global wide readers have decreased exponentially, it’s crucial to depict the gist of your business in the form of images.

Appropriate Image

An image will speak the tenor of thousand words and your images should do that task rather profoundly. Choose images carefully so that they plan a significant role in establishing an unmistakable brand to your business through your website.

With the above three parts of a typical website nurtured in right proportions, a great website can be designed and winning branding and thus business is just going to be a cakewalk!

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Grave Mistakes one must not commit in Content Marketing

Content Marketing is one effective way to promote your products on the web as the Web Giant Google also emphasizes on the significance of unique content that drives users to respective websites. However, owing to the over enthusiasm, content marketers usually commit a bunch of mistakes which often might turn out to be hazardous for the brands who entirety of branding itself. Identifying those mistakes and ensuring they don’t roll in while using content marketing strategies might mightily help a brand to promote its products in the right way.

Grave mistakes of Content

Content Marketing

Firstly and fundamentally, the content marketers to get the marketing done at a lightning speed tend to ignore the ground work. It is essential to know about the type of product being promoted and the basic stats concealed behind it to put up an effectuating show of content marketing for that product. Any content campaign without proper research will end being a patchy one without actual substance in it.

Second mistake stands up to be the gravest of them all. Albeit it is a marketing campaign, there should a fine balance between talking about the end user and talking about the product. Where most brands fail is in striking right balance between talking about the end users as much as they talk about their brand/product. Marketing is like a walk on the ice and any wrong step might result in ice being broken. There’s a huge chance for a campaign to look like a spam if it contains too gaudiness about the brand.

Third mistake happens to be the gist of the content churned. When there is too much promotional verbiage in a written piece that lacks actual information, then I am afraid it’s going to dogs. Again, it is about the balance. Achieving a fine blend of content that’s rich in its gist, while charmingly appealing to the masses does the trick for effective content marketing.

The power of diversity and its absolutely underwhelmed awareness is another mistake committed by many brands that resort to content marketing. As the attention spans of users have reduced disturbingly, it is quite important to acknowledge the significance of other marketing channels in the Content domain like weblogs, videos and infographics which can intertwine with actual content to bring out the best impact on the users. Lack of this acknowledgement by brands might push them off down along the cascade of mundane and monotonous content production only in one way which will jeopardize the whole entity of content marketing in the first place.

By keeping in mind the aforementioned mistakes that aren’t uncommon but grave in nature can save time, money and other resources for brands which adopt content marketing for their marketing endeavors.

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Infographic : All about Mobile App Marketing

Successful Mobile app marketers will always look for the best strategies to help their apps reach targeted audience and encourage them to download their apps. So, here is an infographic which guides Mobile app marketers to build their strategies for a successful business.

This post is an infographic version of our previous post : A to Z of Mobile App Marketing.

First part covers from app basics to launching the app.

mobile app marketing 1
Part II :  covers from there to further marketing and monetising the app.
mobile app marketing 2
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Stand Out Online with Right Content

Content is King (as quoted by Bill Gates, long ago), and will be a King, forever. We are at the cusp of fundamental paradigm shift.

In this information overload age, content plays bigger role than ever before, and as it’s necessary for any business entity, not only to educate, but to stand out from the competition.

Content has to be balanced with marketing techniques to make visitors coming back for more, repeatedly.

Naturally to start at your website’s most frequented home page.

Content strategy for your website

Your home page has maximum of just 7-8 seconds (including loading time) to impress visitors, and to make them clicking through the site.

Content has to be clear  and focused, otherwise success will be ever elusive, in this instant gratification world :)

Leverage visual content : images & videos tend to increase engagement levels, help in ranking site pages.

Defining Marketing Personas

At the outset, it’s very imperative to define who’s your audience, ie., your ideal customer profile as clearly and realistically as possible.

Then you can define your content efforts to meet at your audience’s wavelength – knowing their motivations,  addressing their queries, concerns in the best possible way, and helping them through the goal oriented sales and clearly defined delivery processes !

Thus you will have a chance to articulate how unique, specific and relevant is your value propositions for each of your marketing personas.

Search Engine Optimization of website

In the old days, you can make great SEO, generate money, to make great site.

Now, it’s totally changed.  You first have to make great site with all resources, and efforts, to be successful at SEO, according to Jeff Bullas.

google hummingbird update

  • 2009 Google Caffeine update – > sites with frequently updated content will outrank the static ones
  • 2011  Panda update                    ->  sites with low quality or duplicate content got affected
  • 2012  Penguin update               ->  sites with links from untrustworthy sites got penalized
  • 2013  Humming bird update -> places importance on conversational search, rather than the individual matching words that make the query

Each of these Google updates makes content creation more strategic, and stresses on inbound marketing, and content relevance.

Content Marketing

Once you have clearly defined personas, it becomes easy to plan to create various content channels best suited to your prospective customers, at every level,  in the form of ebooks, infographics, case studies, testimonials, product or service descriptions etc.

how to do content marketing

Content Promotion & Distribution

Someone rightly said: while content is King, distribution of content is king- maker :)

Hence we must give equal importance to spread  the content you create, to the target audience.

Increasing social shares, helps tremendously, in building brand’s authority.

Blog

As mentioned in Digital Marketing Checklist, 92% of companies that blog every day acquire customers just though blogging!

You can help your prospective clients guiding them throughout the duration of sales cycles.

The essential ingredients of blog post as in the following infographic:
11 Essential Ingredients Every Blog Post Needs [Infographic]

 

What to blog about?

This is very important question to answer.

Often you can get ideas

  • while attending to client’s queries and concerns!
  • in comments sections of already written blogs.
  • from Google Trends.
  • by subscribing to HARO.
  • etc etc

Social Media

Social media gives you a chance to be your own publisher.

As mentioned in infographic, there are over one billion active users on social media, and ideally you have unlimited audience (aka prospective customers) if your message is crafted with enough & relevant creativity!

There are numerous social networks, and you need not stretch yourself thin everywhere.

Deciding right network, will help you to create suitable content, and plan distribution of the same.  For example, on Twitter the message is to be within 140 characters, whereas there are no such limitations on length of the message on most of the social networks.

The content you post to LinkedIn has to be more professional & business friendly, while the same update when you post on Facebook requires the content to be entertaining, without missing the actual message.

And your content efforts on Google Plus helps in organic SEO.

 

Email Marketing

Despite all buzz of social media, email marketing is still very effective, and has more marketing RoI.

While acquiring relevant database is crucial first step, the subject of message and the limited content you are going to use within email decides fate of campaigns.

It’s advisable to use 3-4 types of emails initially, and through the use of analytics, you will come to know the one whichever is getting maximum opens, and read-throughs.

Some interesting email marketing stats are on this salesforce blog.

Content is to be planned, in line with overall marketing strategy of the company, and is to re-purposed, from time-to -time, to do effective marketing, across relevant distribution networks.

Please share this post, and let me know your thoughts in the comments.

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Role of ‘Content’ in Digital Marketing for Real Estate

Content Strategy

real estate chicago

Customers  typically are not  looking  for your sales pitch. They are looking for a service provider, who can give answers to their questions and concerns, understand their ideas, and gives them tools to make an educated decision.

90% of buyers are researching  online, before they ever pick up a phone or reach out to a real estate agent. In order not to miss out, marketers or realtors  must have sound content strategy.

In this post, we will see what kind of content works at various levels, in real estate internet marketing.

Website Content

Responsive website  - it’s no brainer, as most of the research happens online, on mobile and tablets.

Give them info, they cant get elsewhere, that’s how you become sought-after expert  & preferred in their eyes.

To  optimize landing pages and to make awesome webpages to capture leads.   Targeted squeeze or landing pages  are clean and easy to read, are best.  The more hoops you make them jump through, the less likely you are to capture the lead.

Marketing Collaterals

 real estate market in hyderabad

Content plays key role – helping visitors as below:

  • Differentiate From the Competition : There are too many real estate firms offering variety of options to choose from. It’s necessary to stand out  from crowd, to attract prospects, and to remain on top of their mind.
  • Specific details: When launched? How many sold out? How many remaining? when is ready for occupancy? How old?  The more relevant details prospects come to know, the better the customer feels at ease.
  • How to create  content that addresses concerns of people at this juncture?  It’s the most important to define persona of your customers, before you start any marketing activity, to effectively take the customers through sales funnel, to make the best RoI, and to minimize the cost of customer acquisition.
    • For example, when you have product category in 4-5 crore range, it makes sense and cost effective  to target people with that income bracket.
  • The directories like 99acres, Magicbricks, Sulekha Properties  are playing crucial role in online marketing for realtors.  Your content on these listings must be compelling and captivating enough, to bring the viewers to your website.

Content Marketing

Content must be strategic, in the form of blog on website, or in the form of news letters to your prospects & customers.

  • Keep informing your website visitors : What’s happening in the market, right now?
  • Be conversational, tell the viewers something they don’t already know. This should be part of your sweeten the deal strategy.
  • Update about policies and activities that affect the resident communities, in throughout neighborhood
  • Helps them learn about
    • What kind of schools are there, and at what distance etc
    • Local businesses, restaurants, and other public utility areas
    • About kids playschools? about facilities & community programs for elderly people etc
    • What distinguishes this area form surrounding or from nearby areas.  
  • Be the hyper-local online newspaper, to educate and inspire.    Keep updating  information such as Lifestyle details of the communities to leads.
  • Videos are  key to boosting the SEO, and hence business. Create a YouTube channel, and keep your videos with links on website and other social media channels.
    • Most new-home buyers place an emphasis on virtual tours and videos showcasing properties and communities.
    • Community videos — These hyper-local videos introduce buyers to prospective  neighborhoods and showcase you as the expert on the local markets.
    • Client testimonial videos — Let your clients do your promoting for you! Consider filming testimonials at the happiest part of the transaction.
    • focus on offering customer appeal, and reaching extended audience.

    real estate marketing

  • 50% of online leads will not convert into sales for at least 12 to 24 months. So setup a process that offers insight and information into the buying/selling process for a full two years. How the content is structured is the most important, in lead management.
  • Is it possible to create scarcity? Naturally whatever is in scarce will always will be in demand.  This is a very important marketing technique lead to the most conversions.

Adding of new & useful content regularly helps in improving  SEO of the website.   Exhaustive and intensive content  strategy helps you own the search (SERP) results for a neighborhood by creating huge content about it, thus by matching most, if not all of long tail key words/phrases .

All the information should have a call to action.

Social Media

Facebook or  Google Plus (is a windfall SEO) : Pushing the content across.

  • Content  to maintain consistent flow of communication
  • To drive engagements across the fans &  extended conversations
  • Content is to drive interactions, that drives fans and referrals.
  • Content to be  very positive,  fun, and very interesting that makes people want to share

Please share if you find this post useful, and feel free to add any further info  in comments.

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A to Z of Mobile App Marketing

How BIG is the mobile app market?

mobile apps promotions

Global revenue from app stores is expected to rise by 62% this year to $25 billion, according to Gartner,  and it’s  going to be  over $63 billion market, by 2017.

Over 500-1000 new apps being launched daily.

It requires over 75000 downloads ie., chart boosting in a single day to make it to top 10 US  App store free rankings and a paid app needs at least over 4000 downloads, and at least about 20000 downloads in each of the other important regions.

Currently, the App Store has over 1 million apps, and it adds about 20,000 apps per month. In total, there have been over 50 billion app downloads. The Google Play Store has over 1 million apps, and there have been over 50 billion downloads.

Games has been the most popular category with over 17%  apps of Apple app store.

In Google Play, personalization apps have been the most favored category.

 

most popular mobile app - marketing

Facebook has been most used app as per  Consumer Intelligence Research Partners’  US-based survey data.

 

Nail the basics

Mobile app marketing differs from online and traditional marketing in many ways.

And, as each app is different, so is its marketing strategy.

For success of any new mobile app  discoverability is the key.

Ideally marketing should start as soon as you have an idea for an app or product, well before launch.

  • You must have a really  great idea for a mobile app, and  you have to be  very confident about  filling a gap in the market, with a promising business potential.
  • Be clear about your expectations that define success of a mobile app.  Is it
    • for revenue, or
    • for  branding existing business or products, or
    • for cross selling or up selling ?
  • Once you are clear about your expectations, define a business model, that helps you define marketing strategy.
  • Choose right category the app idea can be rightly fit in.
  • It’s prudent to have validation of idea and  to estimate market size looking at competitors within the defined category using tools like Xyo.net
  • Differentiating from Competition. It can be very daunting to break into business dominated by strong incumbents.
    • re-invent apps by adding unique features. Marketing then becomes all about making it easier and fun for people to talk about and share your creation.

 

In any organization, it’s a must to keep the communication flowing among all the stakeholders, across different divisions, to keep all on the same page, that will help in making the app successful.

  • Have strategy in place & long term vision helps all along.
  • First impression makes a lot of difference. Design becomes top priority: stunning design of its user interface (UX),  amazing icon,  website,  great screenshots and  the respective landing page.
  • Claim social media accounts, Create a desire to download, and set up an early registration page.
  • Build a minimum viable product (MVP), and make it free, preferably.  More than 80% of Apple app store traffic is directed to free apps.
  • To have great demo videos on YouTube, blog, website, app page and on landing pages.

Launching

Launch is as important as development, for mobile app success.
  • Submitting app into iOS and Android App stores : one must plan in advance.  With iOS, it can take a considerable amount of time to get the app approved.
  • For the app to be considered, their marketing and brand guidelines must be followed, to avoid the risk of disqualification.
  • Other app stores not to be ignored:
    • Though much smaller pool, Windows appstore too generates good downloads. Others like Amazon appstore, and Opera too can be considered.
  • Launch an invite only beta :
    • Market fast with a prototype.   This has been proven strategy followed during launch of some of the  most successful apps.
    • If there’s enough value in the app, there will be increasing demand for beta version.  These beta testers can  become die-hard fans, and evangelists of the app, and help tremendously in improving & further spreading word of mouth (WoM) about features of the app.
    • Engage them at a deeper level.
  • create an invite system within app

 

Marketing Goals

Like any marketing programs, mobile app marketing should be measured against specific, measurable goals. Most important are as below:

  • Appstore ranking –  targeting (reach & maintain) app store rank overall or/and category-wise. This is important to get the best out of your marketing spend.
  • Number of downloads – per day/ week etc
  • Cost per acquisition – to minimize cost
  • Revenue – generated from downloaded apps

 

Creating initial buzz

  • Spread the word, and have a media plan as early as possible.
    • build marketing strategy that uses several channels, and keep an eye on ROI, at reducing user acquisition expenses.
  • Build relationships first :  need to build a community around your app, with  bloggers, journos, friends, fans, employees etc 
  • Boost popularity by timing the launch of app to coincide with a live event or trending topic.
  • Identify and target influencers (e.g. people with 1,000s of Twitter followers) and involving them in promotions.
  • A well written blog  attracts audience, and can help in conversions (downloads)
    • Guest blogging :You can post on blogs related to the niche your target audience would be most interested in reading.
    • You also can post on technology blogs about mobile devices.
    • Try to crack category-specific blogs.
    • The key is to aim for blogs whose audiences would be most likely to download your app.
  • inbound Marketing  : being social, tell a great story, help & enable  your customers share their delight 

 

Paid Promotions:

The cost of acquiring users through advertising is continuing to grow in double digits, as per Wall Street Journal.

According to Mobile Marketing Association, the optimal budget  out of marketing budget to spend on mobile is 7%.

Due to technology limitations, mobile ad targeting is not as sophisticated as traditional  online marketing.

  • Display &  Search ad networks on mobile, such as Google’s AdMob, Apple’s iAd, and RTB exchanges: Refer to various mobile advertising networks
  • Social Advertising :  Facebook app promotions are highly effective in acquiring new customers: to target people specifically by demographics and interests.
  • Real Time Bidding exchanges (RTB): a rapidly growing advertising media, where high speed automation technology runs auctions on impression by impression basis. RTB exchanges help app marketers to
    • Access highly target-table traffic
    • Achieve cost efficiencies
  • It might be a good idea to align app promotion with launch of  a brand new device  into the market.

QR code -  mobile app marketing

  • Another interesting idea is to tag with network-wise promotions.
  • Related app promotions
  • Interstitials
  • QR Codes on flyers or ad boards, zapping the same will lead to download landing page of app.
  • Burst Marketing as required : “burst” strategy, putting out extra blitz of ads, to to improve rank, ( aka organic lift) and boost high volume of  downloads in a short period.

 

Crucial steps in campaigns

Appstore Dynamics

  • Appstore Optimization (ASO) is your secret weapon :  to increase visibility of app: it takes time to show impact
  • enter apt metadata while submitting app into the store
  • Identify keywords in your app category that consumers are expected to search for.  define a highly marketable title, that includes a keyword.
    • Apps with keywords in the title ranked on average 10.3% higher than those without a keyword in the title.
  • An optimal ranking (balancing  between ad spend and the downloads advantage) translates to acquiring great number of organic users.
  • High quality screenshots, labelled with strong keywords
  • Translate title and keywords to biggest 5/6 markets (English, Spanish, French, German, Simplified/Traditional Chinese etc).
  • 63% of apps are discovered through app store searches.
    • many apps increase their downloads by a factor of 2x-10x, and
    • an increase of revenue by a similar, or bigger, rate due to the increase in engagement of users earned by ASO.
  • Search Engine Optimization of  app page : main keyword to be part of title. use 5 times repeat of keyword in app description.
  • Search Engine Optimization of landing page.

Tips to get noticed and downloaded

app download

  • Pricing: Discounted apps get attention, while “freemium” apps getting maximum downloads.
  • Using app discovery publisher programs like YouAppi, AppTap, and Appia.
  • Using a third party app download boosters  like  Appgratis, Appsfire, FreeAppADay, FreeMyApps.
  • Number of downloads  depends mostly on
    • catchiness of app name
    • the kind of reviews the app is getting
    • how keyword-enriched captivating description is
    • how eye catching the app icon is
    • how awesome screenshots are
  • According to Fiksu, many apps get more downloads in December, than any quarter rest of the year.

 

Reviews

  • Apple provides 50 promo codes that enable a reviewer to download the app in advance (and for free, if a paid app).
    • With Android, you need to send the game build/APK file to the reviewer.
  • less than 0.1% of downloads result in a rating or review in the app store. Most consumers need a nudge – a reminder that they can share their thoughts and opinions.
  • structuring app review process : one of the most effective is creating a first filter for good and bad reviews.  eg.,
    • 1) Are you having a good time, on the app?
    • 2) New screen opens based on your answer to previous question.
    • Yes>> opens screen to leave a review.
    • No>> opens screen to send feedback to app team via e-mail.
  • Get it reviewed on targeted app review sites, social media, on their blogs. These links can help make your app rank higher.

 

Capturing feedback

  • To use an in-app feedback SDK like Apptentive, Appsfire’s Appbooster or Appboy
  • people to keep coming back to it after downloading: leaning user retention & how they are using it : app analytics tools roundup
  • Feedback & customer engagement : crucial post launch (let them contact through within app, through app store, website or social media page etc)
  • Track your app store performance with sites such as App Annie and App Figures etc

 

Improve Engagement

Only a fraction of downloads convert to engaged and productive users.

  • Marketers must make use of tracking and optimization technologies, to identify sources that lead to more engaged downloads.
  • Organic users are considered to be quality users, compared to ad-driven users.
  • Improve engagements with push notifications.
  • 70% customers return back if their compliant is resolved in time.
  • Build marketing into the app : reaching out to your biggest fans inside your app, connecting with them more deeply is a powerful strategy to increase loyalty & build evangelists. That can lead to massive improvement in download trajectory.

How to find a right mobile app marketing agency?

It’s better to prefer a company that offers full services needed for a mobile app marketing campaign- including

  • advertising inventory
  • real time bidding
  • tracking
  • social media advertising,  in a single place.

When they are broad in offering services, they can give unbiased consultation.  Some of the top mobile app marketing services companies .
Studying some of the mobile app marketing case studies also helps.

 

Creative promotions

  • Making use of news letter
  • Include a link to your mobile app in all your emails, and in email signatures
  • Discuss in all apt forums
  • Link to mobile app in all social media profiles
  • Joint ventures and leveraging relationships eg., colleges, email list owners, and other stakeholders etc
  • Gamification strategies help by making use of BIG data and motivational science.  Social media networks can be turned (or viewed)  as  incentive networks.
  • PR and Getting media coverage
    : creating awareness among audience, and attracting intrigue among bloggers
  • Sponsorship marketing: as much as there can be a connect between the kind of events being sponsored, it can work beautifully, and also helps in lot of PR.
  • Run contests related to your app. Give away prizes that make sense for your category.
  • Whether it’s in terms of user experience, design or your code, Apple or any major handset or mobile OS vendor appreciates it, when you use the latest.
    • eg., Being the firsts to optimize for iPhone 5 or use Passbook gave several apps additional exposure. So keep an eye out for their announcements.
  • Cross promote : if you already have other apps in market

Test & Optimize

marketing optimization

It does not matter how greatly you are doing.

You have to test with new ideas, track promotional activities, and track everything, to optimize continuously, to reach twin goals of reducing customer acquisition cost and reaching your ideal loyal customer.

Use optimization technology to drive marketing performance.

At the end of the day,  retention numbers are more important than downloads driven by virality.

Now the brands are recognizing the impact mobile apps are having on business,  and they are aggressively marketing  their  apps, by putting strategic approach, and enough marketing resources behind them, to get into hands of customers before their competitors do.

 

Please share this, and let me know if anything important is to be included, in comments.

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Traditional vs Digital Marketing : What you must know

traditional vs digital marketing

  • An IT enterprenuer was under impression that Digital Marketing is expensive, and not for every small business.
  • A real estate company just went with half page paper ad, just because everyone else doing it!
  • A very successful export company is sponsoring events,  expecting branding & sales, and met with no return!!!
  • An event industry business is operating without a website, and in business for over two decades!!!

Surprising to see these successful businesses are not aware of what’s best for them from available marketing channels. Many want more sales, without right marketing efforts.

What forms of marketing should you use to drive customers towards the actions you want them to take upon ? For most,  the frequent dilemma is to go  whether  for traditional or  for digital.

There is a good amount of thinking goes behind every successful marketing campaign,  in terms of  Segmentation of target audience, Targeting and Positioning of product or service ( STP).

In this post, we briefly touch upon Traditional as well as Digital Marketing, and about what an effective marketing strategy constitutes.

Traditional Marketing

Traditional marketing concentrated on the 7Ps  :  Price, Product, Place and Promotion,  People, Process, Physical Evidence.

Most of News Papers are declining and subscriptions are falling.
While Television viewership is only going to increase, almost 90% audience skip commercial breaks
Radio: people are opting for commercial free radio programmes
Hoardings / Bill boards are of course here to stay.
traditional media trends

New Age Marketing

Cinema: while having great scope for big enterprises for in-film promotions, it’s limited usefulness, and affordable only to large enterprises
For traditional advertising methods, a basic purchase decision has four typical stages: awareness, interest, desire and action (AIDA Model).  At all levels, traditional marketing has gone down in significant way in  influencing purchasing decision of customers.

Digital Marketing

The term “digital marketing” did not even exist 10-15 years ago!       Internet has redefined the way businesses interact and communicates with customers. Online campaigns have innumerable advantages, and helps where traditional market has limitations.

reach : now businesses can reach globally, and can target any specific location, can have access to any niche market.

scale : a well planned campaign, can be scaled to any extent, in no time.

interactivity: Days of guessing are gone, and now you have chance to directly interact with your prospects and understand them much better.

immediacy:  (24×7, leads/ closing sale ) -> consumer buying cycle speed-ed up: a purchase used to take days and months, can now happen in seconds with couple of seconds, thereby reducing buying cycle time.

affordability: for both smallest to the biggest companies.

cost effective: As the guessing and time delays are removed from campaigns, and the responses, online campaigns are very cost effective.  Any campaign if not giving intended results can be tweaked on the go. This power of closed loop marketing helps companies avoid or minimize advertising spend wasted.
very informative: marketers have chance of sharing unlimited & targeted info with customers, which is simply not possible in traditional marketing.
adaptive and easy to use: no black boxes here, and the simplicity helps companies easy to use

Leveraging Remarketing on Google display network helps to chase your prospects around the internet.

According to Neilson‘s latest global online survey, more than 85% total online population has used internet to make a purchase., up by 40% in last 2 yrs.  
Search is the tool of choice for shoppers, more than paper ad.  Internet is projected to take up a quarter of the advertising share by 2015.
You can refer to digital marketing checklist on the same lines.

Traditional vs Digital Marketing

Many companies are stuck to this kind of this versus that, and it’s valid to a lot extent. Most differences lie in, as plethora of options available in case of online marketing,  huge cost comparisons  (thus affordability),  response & ROIs.

While traditional marketing attaches a physical touch or evidence to its range of options, digital  extends and expands possibilities to go beyond it. With Digital marketing, one can involve their friends’ & family circle in the buying process, with ease in sharing details, and get influenced in taking decision.

The Nielsen “Trust in Advertising” report, noted that only 14% of people value the recommendation of ads while 78% of people value the recommendations of other consumers often friends or known contacts as a credible source.

Integrating Traditional and Digital Marketing

Effective strategy includes both in cohesive manner that elicits expected or required behavior from customers.
Digital marketing extends the power of traditional marketing, by being able to customize & communicate  in real time : boosting relevance by customizing customer experience on the fly.

While traditional tactics cant be ignored, passive nature of a the same is limited by its scope in communicating a message,   where as effective digital campaign makes viewer participation, often often beyond the length of the campaign : brands can extend the value of their advertisement, by further engaging and guiding prospects towards expected action.

An interesting discussion on econsultancy.

integrating traditional and digital marketing

Examples of Integrated Marketing

The options to market have increased, some preferred more than the others. We need to be objective in choosing the right strategy out of available options. In some cases it might be traditional ie., offline, or in some cases it can be online, or in some cases both etc.
No strategy works alone, it works out more powerful when tied up with other strategic options.
Numerous examples can be quoted.
  • Example #1:  a new car ad in news paper, with QR diagram, which once scanned gives a chance to book a trail ride. Here news paper (traditional) was used to direct reader to zap a QR code, which gets connected to their online page (Digital), which helps visitor to book a test ride.

 

  • Example #2: An exports company sponsors events & gives all attendees useful brochures & souvenirs, and their website and social media pages are prominently displayed on all to direct the visitors’ interest to pursue further for more info on these digital channels.
Marketers have head-spinning opportunities out there,  they just have to figure out where to begin and how to proceed.

Please share if you like this post and let me know what you think.

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Your PPC Ad needs Landing Page ?

Getting landing pages built & tested is one of the biggest challenges faced by B2B marketers. In this post, let’s briefly touch upon whether a PPC ad needs landing page, or an optimized webpage would do.

Well, What is a Landing Page?

landing page, aka  ”lead capture page“, is a single web page that appears in response to clicking on a search engine optimized search result or an online advertisement. The landing page will usually display directed sales copy that is a logical extension of the advertisement, search result or link.

The goal of a landing page is to convert site visitors into sales or leads.

PPC landing page best practices

An ideal landing page constitute the following:

  • Great Headline matching with Ad content
  • clear & concise secondary headlines
  • great ad copy guiding user towards specific action
  • a great image/ video supporting the ad copy
  • Scannable content
  • testimonials frrom satisfied customers
  • best use of ‘above the fold‘ part of  a page
  • intuitive flow, with no other distractions(aka other links)
  • Buttons should stand out,  describing clear & strong CTA
  • Trust indicators

To dwell more on this, refer to brief analysis of  PPC Landing Page Examples.

PPC Landing Page Optimizations

What constitutes a well optimized webpage :

  • Great headline, containing focus keyword
  • Keyword optimized subheadings and content, matching the context of PPC Ad.
  • Keyword optimized image or video, supporting the page
  • Best usage of ‘Above the fold’ part of the page

How to decide if a PPC ad needs landing page? or Just an optimized website page would do the job ?

A PPC ad needs to be followed by a tailor made webpage, that does the heavy lifting of  converting a click to a lead or a sale. All PPC ads are not the same. Some require a dedicated landing page, while some can go with well optimized website page, that meets dual purpose.

Guidelines to decide:

  • Decide on your end goal of PPC Ad : whether the goal is to introduce the brand or company, or to achieve the goal of achieving leads or sales.

In the first case, the intention behind ad must be that of increasing brand awareness, or to give entire range of options, as in the below examples of Amazon & ZAPAK pages.

If the goal is to drive lead generation or sales,  if it’s not thecase mentioned above, we can straight shoot for a dedicated landing page, as in the below mentioned examples of  Spreaker & Dr Batra.

  • Consider your buyer persona and define the promises & the objections that appeal  and relevant to them.

If the landing page is to address & dwell exclusively on a particular buyer persona in the given context, it’s better to go for a dedicated landing page, that will surely appeals to them. Ref to examples : Spreaker & Dr Batra.

Otherwise a well optimized page  can do the job, with relevant content matching ad, that will open up visitors to much bigger of view of brand or a variety of merchandise, as in the case of Amazon & ZAPAK pages, shown below .

If you intend on bringing visitor to your site, and want to give a lot of options, rather than trying to close with one, you should have a website page as landing page, as the below Amazon page, for its PPC Ad.

Amazon PPC Ad

Its Landing Page:Optimized Webpage Amazon

Another example for the same in the PPC ad as below:

PPC Ad ZAPAK

Its landing page:

zapak optimized page

If not, if your intent is on immediate conversion as mentioned in PPC Ad, you must have a well defined & optimized matching landing page.

radio ppc ad

Check its landing page:

radio landing page

Another example for the same:Batra PPC AdIts landing page has a video. ( Using videos on landing pages  can increase conversions by 86%):

Batra Landing Page

Before closing, a few facts  (Source: Marketing Sherpa) :

  • 48% of  Marketers build a new landing page for every marketing campaign.
  • Horrible fact is only 52% of companies that use landing pages, test to further improve results.
  • 75% of the businesses are finding it difficult to find expertise in optimizing their landing pages.

We have to be objective & continuously test our assumptions and the pages we intend to use, for improving results.

Feel free to share your view points or problem areas, we can try to address.

Contact for an expert guidance and support.

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6 PPC Landing Page examples

This is an era of ultra conversion optimization – every letter or pixel is weighed out thoroughly, to make maximum impact on visitors, to help them convert into raving fans, or paying customers.

When the words you put on PPC or banner ads are to bring the visitors onto landing page, it will be the turn of landing pages to do the heavy lifting to smooth-en the process of conversion to next level, that ultimately adds to revenue for the companies.

In this post we tried to touch upon a few PPC landing page examples, and tried to critique thoroughly.

#1.FairPro (B2C / Banner Ad  found on http://www.idlebrain.com)
FairPro Banner Ad
Fairpro Landing Page

This is an example of dull or ineffective landing pages.

Good, No Distractions.

One good thing they have done is they have not provided any links on the page, except for a pdf  brochure. But it looks like  the designers of the page don’t know that these days content is scanned, rather than read letter to letter.

In fact, each of the paragraphs could have contributed to nice bullet points, overall 4-5 bullet points would have sufficed and the resultant effect would have been much better. The objective of landing page is to  convince visitors to sign up, and not for dull introductions.

The color and format of the form box have a repelling effect on visitors. So are the entries…not intuitive, in fact  very much irrelevant. Surprising that the landing page was designed  so carelessly.

For better landing page: they could have

  • mentioned 1-2 slick testimonials of clients, to gain trust & reliability.
  • showcased advantages (selling points).
  • highlighted past successes of similar programs or projects
  • showed a happy customer, could have picked a popular person, to have magnetic effect.

#2. 24K  (B2C /BannerAd on 99acres.com)
99acres banner ad
99acres landing page

No match between Ad and Landing Page:

There is no match between the promise in the banner ad, and title or content on the landing page. On ad, the objective was to get online signups for pre-launch offer, but on landing page, there’s no mention of it anywhere on landing page  :-(

Good Copy Writing is a must

Project Overview gives brief description in cliche bullet points. Again, instead of  description of the project, and its advertiser, in three paragraphs,  there could have been attractive  point-wise salient features.

Must have Client Testimonials

Also a company with such history could easily take testimonials of its happy customers, and that alone could have driven more sign ups.

Too many adjectives stink

They could be more specific, instead of the following adjective driven abstract:

“Insightful design thinking coupled with latest construction technologies and a strong Customer Relationship Management team makes ‘Customer Centricity’ the core of every creation.”

Surprisingly there is no mention of pre-launch on landing page, nor anywhere on form. Most of the signup forms are placed on the right hand side of the page, but if it’s in the middle of the page, it could drive more signups. The look, color of the form as well as submit button needs tons of improvement.

Perhaps “Send Email & SMS” title can be no worse!  Again best thing here, is there are no other links that could have distracted visitors, especially above the fold.

#3. GoIbobo 

B2C PPC Ad: GoIbobo PPC Ad

Many PPC Ads are just directing  to their respective websites. You are lucky if there is any match between what’s  on PPC ad, and what you find on the landing page :-(

GoIbobo landing page

The above mentioned ad is about honeymoon packages. It directs to the website, where the landing page has no mention of the same. The visitors will feel cheated.
These companies must improve their websites, at least.

Landing page is not just another website page

The aim of Landing page is to help and felicitate visitors to take action, and for that to happen, there should not be any distractions.

When a visitor lands on  a webpage, every link is another distraction, that might prevent from visitors  from taking the action. It’s like bringing a customer near to shop, but not into the shop, he may never get  into showroom, no question of conversion, there again!

#4. Singapore Tourism

B2C PPC Ad: Singapore Thomas Cook ppc ad

Landing Page: Singapore Thomas Cook landing page

Awesomeness sells!

I am over joyed at the level of match between the PPC ad and its landing page. Perhaps best so far! Beautiful landing page, and whatever was on ad was there on landing page to the letter, and only the required details are there on the page and nothing else.

Great Visuals are the key

The picture they kept is contextual, and it depicts a happy family, enjoying the sight of puppy bear, will be instantly resonated & liked by all age groups. So is the impact of the second pic showing two adults paragliding.

Design & Layout of the page

The highlights of the package are elegantly mentioned in splendid looking bullet points. And so is its no nonsense  form & awesome colors. You feel like filling the form.

Clean layout of the whole page. No links on page, and mentioning of toll free number above the form, on the top right corner is very much justified.

Am not able to suggest any improvement for this :(

#5. ApnaPaisa Credit card

PPC Ads:

Credit card PPC Ads Perhaps one of the the worst ever landing page for a PPC ad. It’s a big dull insipid content full page.

It has everything which is not to be there for landing page, for a PPC ad. For this too, Am not able to suggest any improvement for this :( , as the whole page is to be replaced.

ApnaPaisa Creditcard Landing Page

Citibank Credit Card:

Citibank Creditcard Landing Page

Of all the PPC Ads mentioned above for credit card sign up, this is one of the professionally designed landing page.

Landing page to stick to premise of the PPC Ad, while elaborating on the same, for conversions to happen.

Here there is high level of matching with what was on PPC ad. The Ad was to get new applications for credit card, and the landing page gives right context to fulfill the same. No more, no less.

Each of the 3 card options has 3 parts:  Exclusive Activation offers, Exclusive Features, and Annual Savings : all are designed to make an interesting offer and  equally important to all eligible applicants.

They have very smartly utilized the above the fold page. Other highlights are impeccable designed layout.

#6.  LeadSquared CRM

B2B PPC Ad:

LeadSquared PPC Ad

Here is another case of great match between the PPC ad and its landing page.

LeadSquared landing page

Above the fold’ space  on landing page is the most important.

The title adds to the objective and the above the fold space was used very well. Main benefits/features of the product were mentioned  simply & straight forward way.

However if these info, along with client testimonials are in the above the fold space, that would have magnified effect.

The smiling lady’s picture has feel good effect, but the above the fold space could have been used much better. The form is simple & serves the purpose.

But I believe the overall color schema, and layout can have much better impact, if improved.

Please  share if you have different view points, also share whichever best landing pages you ever come across.

Refer to Does your PPC Ad needs a Landing Page ? to have an objective discussion about the importance of landing pages.

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Your website is your best MARKETING tool : 8 ways to make it ROCK!

No business is the same, so is no website. You must ask yourself : What your website is doing for your business?

At basic level: Is it really taking care of visitors, or driving them away!!!

Most don’t have a clue. Once the website is live,  they forget about it !

But for your business growth, as market changes continuously,  your website must support as your great marketing tool.

Please find below, what’re the most important parameters  in a website, from Hubspot .

Website design

Given below- there are 8+ free tools, help tremendously, to know where your website is going strong, and where you must improve.

Often we tend to think lightly and take for granted whichever comes free, but if you can come out of that mental trap, you will help yourself hugely ;-)

Web Analytics

Google Analytics
Piwik

Web analytics help you

  • understand about your visitors, where they are coming from, which pages are being visited, etc.
  • can reduce your customer acquisition costs. So Your media spend goes right to only your best-performing channels identify areas of improvement and maximize success in market
  • shows us how our customer segments behave on mobile vs. desktop etc.

That’s a huge plus when you make key marketing and product/service decisions.

It’s a very sophisticated analytics tool, and like many products from Google, it’s free. You may want to read Google Analytics features Business Owners must know

Another free tool, Piwik is the open source web analytics platform.

Can anyone ignore after knowing the amount of benefits that accrue, just by using this tool?

Live Chat

Olark
Websites with a slick and attractive live chat box option tend to engage visitors better, even though most don’t actually chat, they tend to sell better.
You must use this tool, as this helps your visitors leave a message, that might be the starting of conversions, or further interactions.
Olark basic version is free, and for most businesses, the purpose would be well served.

Visitors prefer to avail of live chat, as that’s easy to communicate, no strings attached, compared to making a phone call.

iPerceptions

iPerceptions
Formerly known as 4Q, iPerceptions helps you to get “Collective insight into your website visitors’ needs, wants, perceptions, and preferences, to understand how they feel, their purpose of the visit, whether the visit is fruitful, etc…to ultimately help you know about the rating of your site, and how best it’s performing.

The basic option is free, which should be enough for most businesses.

Uservoice

UserVoice
is offering decent solutions for collecting user feedback. It’s immensely useful when a visitor just has a chance to give a quick feedback, or a message, or a suggestion. We are using this, and it’s proven to be very helpful.

real time :Twitter search, Topsy, Google Alerts

If you want to real time search, keep a tab on real time conversations, as it’s often necessary to know what is being said about your company or your competition.

When you have huge traffic coming to your website, these will be very useful.
Omgili
Omgili can be tried for searching in forums.

Site Search

It’s gold mine of info, if you come to know what visitors are searching for within your site. Whether the visitors are getting what they are looking for, and if not, you may think about providing for the same. With search box, it will be make user experience better.

It also helps your SEO team with right keywords to optimize upon. The search terms visitors are using, help understand customer better, and to improve the site to meet its business objectives.

GA Content experiments

If you have a website, then you have goals that you want your visitors to accomplish (e.g., make a purchase, sign up for a newsletter) or metrics you want to improve (e.g., revenue, visit duration, bounce rate). With GA content experiments, you can try to test with different variations of your web pages, to know which versions are performing better, and keep them. You can test up to 5 variations of a page. You must check this free tool to help you with split A/B testing, Multivariate Testing (MVT).

You would need to use Spilttester, or Statistical Significance Calculator to know how long these tests are done to be done, and whether data collected is enough to analyse results.

Your own eyes n ears :)

The most ignored, probably because, it’s freely available to every one, without quotation.
But if you keep talking and asking feedback about the site, you will get it from people.

Survey Monkey

Survey Monkey
is the the leading market research tool, is offering services in sending surveys, questionnaires, polls etc to the targeted recipients. Also helps in survey questions , and professional templates for the respective surveys. Their free version can be ideal for small businesses.

With so many sophisticated free (or otherwise) tools available, your website is to be the most powerful weapon in your marketing arsenal.

Feel free to share your thoughts, and if you come across any other equally useful tool, we can keep this post relevant and updated.

Contact for further information and support.

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