SEO and content marketing have changed drastically over the last few years, so much that marketers have even begun to wonder if SEO is dying? But the truth is that, changing algorithms mean content marketers have to contend with ever-increasing SERP features that can impact organic traffic.
So how do you create great content that can still draw traffic to your website?
One of the most effective ways to secure your position on the world’s favourite search engine is by creating powerful pillar pages that catapult your website traffic. Pillar content is a comprehensive piece of content based around specific topic clusters.
A topic cluster is essentially a technique that goes after topics rather than focusing on just a set of keywords. With this technique, you can choose broad content themes that you want to own and create multiple blog content around it.
With Google’s Latent Semantic Indexing, creating topic clusters ensures you cover numerous semantic keywords that cannot be done otherwise. Until recently, content marketers were creating individual blog posts that rank for a particular search term. However, most broad themes have multiple topics, which means your own URLs are competing against each other.
For example, if you are a real estate developer with an active blog page that covers a wide variety of blog content, then creating a pillar page that ties a certain broad theme can boost your search rankings.
Scroll down to see how!
A pillar page (also known as cornerstone content) is the base for the topic cluster model. It is a consolidated page on your website that acts as a pillar but has enough room for more details in the cluster blogs which are hyperlinked the pillar.
The topic is broken down into chapters and covers all the aspects of a particular topic to increase the chances of ranking on the first page of Google. As mentioned before, all these sub-topics are interlinked to the main blogs on the website, where the concept is explained in much more detail.
For example, on our website, we have blogs on real estate marketing, YouTube marketing, Facebook ads, etc. So, writing a pillar on these topics is the ideal way to go because we have enough clusters to interlink too as well. Featured below is our pillar page titled “A complete guide to digital marketing for real estate”. The objective of the page is to rank for anything connected to digital marketing for real estate. It taps all the aspects of digital marketing from the lead generation strategies involved to an in-depth case study on how a real estate company grew via digital, providing readers with a one-stop solution to all their queries related to the main topic.
Another example is a pillar we have on YouTube SEO tips. This pillar covers everything relating to YouTube SEO and tips to grow your organic subscriber base. It is broken down into chapters and links to other clusters connecting to the main topic.
The in-depth nature of pillar pages helps it rank for a variety of keywords making it much more powerful than a blog, tool, quiz or any other type of content that typically shows up on SERPs. However, it’s not just about keywords and ranking! Since a pillar page has versatile types of content, including videos and other forms of interactive pieces, readers spend more time on the page which is again a great ranking signal. To add to that, the page is interlinked to many other content pieces on your website keeping the SEO juice within your domain. Last but not least, pillars also help in lead generation, making it not not just a great tool for brand awareness and consideration but also for conversions.
For example, we created a laptop buying guide as a one-stop destination for users looking for the perfect laptop. It covers all aspects of the buying process from the laptop specifications you need to look for to where you can buy your laptop from. The pillar also includes an interactive laptop finder tool that readers could use to find the ideal laptop. Through this pillar, we were able to generate more than 170 organic leads, out of which 50 consumers visited the nearest laptop store and bought a laptop. The revenue generated via the pillar leads resulted in 18X ROI for the brand.
While it is a good idea to write pillar content for all topics that you want to rank for, you also need to start by looking at how much content you have on your site. Since pillar pages act as a central traffic signal that drives visitors to other web pages, it makes sense to first check if you have enough pit stops to divert your audience towards. Start by checking your blog database and see if you have enough number of diverse topics that cover all aspects of the main topic.
As explained in the flowchart above, the first step of creating pillar content is to find a high-volume keyword that you intend to rank for, do not have content on and want to explain in depth. With all these three criteria in place, your pillar page is guaranteed to get you a high rank on Google.
A pillar page consists of the following elements:
- Topic clusters designed in the form of chapters: Since a pillar page is a middle ground between a blog and an e-book, it is usually designed with chapters for easy navigation. Each chapter is explained with different types of content from infographics to interactive tools. The chapters are diverse and cover all the other semantics of the pillar topic, to increase its chances of ranking. Needless to say, each chapter is optimised with a unique set of keywords of their own.
- An enquiry form: Leads are the fruit of digital marketing that produces freshly-squeezed ROI juice. Keep track of your visitors and nurture them into customers by placing an enquiry form with an appropriate call to action on your pillar page. Featured below is the pillar page created for Casagrand, one of India’s leading real estate giants. The page opens up to a form, along with a sticky tab for easy access from anywhere in the page.
The page titled “An ultimate NRI guide to buying property in India” covered all topics from documents needed to invest in India to the types of properties NRI’s are entitled to buy.
- Share buttons: Keep the tunnel of communication open between your pillar page and your target audience with sticky share buttons. From social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter to networking sites like LinkedIn, choose the forums that make sense for your brand. You can also pick sharing platforms used by a majority of your target group. After all, you do not want all that content to go unread!
- A well-designed UX: There is no doubt that UX can make or break your business sales or revenue. A well-designed page with easy navigation helps in increasing the time spent on the page and reducing the bounce rate. Additionally, with all the interlinked in-depth content, it is only a matter of time your page ranks on the first page of Google, attracting organic traffic like a moth to a flame.
To know more about SEO strategy for your brand, check out our Video on Pillar content for organic traffic and leads.
Now that you know how pillar pages work and the effect they have on your website traffic, it is time you level-up your SEO game with this promising trend. Whether you are an FMCG brand, B2B organisation, Financial giant or a leading real estate developer, boost your brand visibility with pillar pages and make your organisation stand out in the digital hemisphere.
If you’re trying to successfully drive traffic to your website’s blog page, getting to the top of Google’s search results is your biggest task. However, if you thought ranking at the number one position was the ultimate goal, you now have a new contender – the Google Answer Box or Featured Snippet.
Google introduced its new Answer Box feature in 2015. Referred to as the Google Answer Box or Rank 0 or Featured Snippet, this feature is a box you see above all search queries on Google. The Answer Box provides users with quick and easy answers or “snippets” of information. These answers are selected from content that ranks on page one, but not necessarily Position One.
Google Answer Boxes are not only convenient for users who are looking for answers, but it is also an excellent opportunity for brands to gain more page visitors, as Google Answer Boxes get a 2x higher click-through rate and steal most of the organic traffic on the internet.
Before we dive into a few more details, here’s a quick video on the benefits of Google Answer Boxes and how you can rank for them.
Before we get into how you can optimise your content to get a Google Answer Box, let’s take a look at the four different kinds of Featured Snippets.
Paragraph Featured Snippets will only include a short section of your content – around 40 to 50 words, so be sure to provide your answer within that limit. To maximise your chances of getting a Paragraph Featured Snippet, use the query as the title and then answer the query directly below, as seen in the example.
Numbered Featured Snippets appear for content that explains a step-by-step process. For example, a recipe or DIY project.
Bulleted Featured Snippets, on the other hand, will display content in a bulleted list where the order of the information doesn’t matter.
To optimise your content for a Numbered or Bulleted List Featured Snippet, you need to ensure that your content is formatted in the form of bullet points. Like in the case of a Paragraph Featured Snippet, you can maximise your chances of getting picked up by having the query as your main title and answering it directly below, this time as a list. Another way to optimise your content is by outlining steps in your blog post, and using each step as a heading.
Start by doing the work for Google – put your information in a table. Not only will this make your website’s visitors happy to get all the information they need at a glance, but it also makes it easier for Google to find your content. Finally, start with an appropriate heading followed by your table of data.
For further information on how to get your videos to rank, head over to our in-depth article on YouTube SEO Tips: The Secret Sauce to Ranking Videos in 2019.
Now that you know the basics of optimising your content for the different types of Featured Snippets, let’s delve a little deeper into a few more best practices you can adopt for your content to get its own Google Answer Box.
The first rule of getting a Featured Snippet is ensuring your content answers specific queries. More often than not, when a user types in a query, it is in the form of implicit or explicit questions and long phrases. Structuring your content to answer these questions and phrases effectively is how to rank in Position 0.
For example, if the query you wish to get a Google Answer Box for is “Best residential localities in Coimbatore” try and match it as closely as possible to that keyword so that you have the chance to appear as a Featured Snippet. Additionally, make sure your answer is precise and that you stay within the prescribed word limit of 40 to 50 words (a maximum of 100 words) or 3 to 4 sentences. If you’re looking for more information to rank higher in the search results, take a look at our blog on must know Google Search tips and tricks.
Efficient and effective keyword research is the cornerstone to any great piece of content. Creating content without adequate keyword research is like shooting an arrow in the dark – you stand very little chance of ranking in Google’s SERPs.
Before you begin writing content for a Google Answer Box, start your keyword research by looking for question-type queries – those that begin with what, why or how, as well as long-tail queries with no question words. The aim here is to include a seed keyword with as many long-tail keywords as you can in your article. This way, you can create well-written long-form content that answers multiple related questions in a clear and cohesive manner.
To intensify your keyword research, there are a number of tools at your disposal, namely Moz’ Keyword Explorer, Answer The Public or Ahrefs. These tools will be able to throw up more results related to your search query helping your broaden your search for keywords that trigger a Google Answer Box.
You can also browse through Google's own "People also ask" section to further research your topic or selected keyword. These related questions can offer massive insights into what Google considers related topics to your own. You can also check out our blog on On-page and Off-page SEO Tips for 2019 for more information.
Very often, many of Google’s Answer Boxes are filled with content that doesn’t fully answer user queries. Target such examples and ensure your content is better aligned to what users are looking for. If your competition has a Google Answer Box for a particular keyword, read through the content and analyse if you can create similar content or can modify your own existing content to better respond to the search query. This increases your chances of getting your own Answer Box and staying in Position 0 for much longer.
Getting a Featured Snippet isn’t just about the quality of your content. You can also improve the design and experience you provide your visitors. Not only do phenomenal UI and UX play critical roles signal Google to rank your website higher, but also heighten your chances of holding on to your Featured Snippet.
Once you’ve achieved your Featured Snippet, work does not end. Answer Box results can change in mere seconds, so the onus is on you to constantly track your progress – for how long you have managed to sustain your Position 0 or if you have slipped down the rankings. Try different things like opting for a table or a list instead of giving information in the form of a paragraph, or answering queries that appear in Google’s related search queries. Including high-resolution images with the right captions and tags and structuring your content with appropriate headings and sub-headings in H2 and H3 tags are also a few ways to help you improve your content and the user experience you provide.
The final point to keep in mind is optimising your content for voice search. India is seeing a 270% year-on-year growth in voice searches, as revealed in the 2017 Google India ‘Year in Search’ Report. As marketers, it becomes imperative for you to action change and leverage the power of Voice Search marketing to tap into India’s next billion users. A vast majority of them will be accessing the internet from Tier II and Tier III cities and Voice Search is a more convenient option than typed queries, particularly because they will be engaging in vernacular languages.
Additionally, Voice Search queries are very often picked up from Featured Snippets, particularly by smart speakers like Alexa and Google Home. Brands will need to constantly update and optimise their content to stay in Position Zero to feature prominently for Voice Search queries. You can also check out our detailed video on Voice Search Marketing for more information.
With these tips in hand, you’re now ready to win your own Google Answer Box! Remember to implement all of these strategies as Google’s Answer Box feature is in a constant state of flux, with rankings and results changing overnight. Keeping yourself up-to-date with the latest trends in digital marketing, will enable you to rank higher, achieve a Featured snippet and sustain it for an extended period of time. Before you go, take a look at our informative video that further explains how to optimise your content for a Google Answer Box.
Quite possibly no other component of digital marketing has been as subjected to the imaginations of conspiracy theorists as SEO has. Almost every year, new claims come out about the death of SEO which are then consequently debunked by experts in the field. But this time, the assertion isn’t coming from marketers pushing for more PPC campaigns, but from concerned content creators themselves.
So why are experienced professionals in the field worried that 2019 could signal the death knell of SEO? Here are a couple of factors that might explain their fears.
With every SERP feature that Google adds, click-through-rates take another dip. In the past, if a user were to search for the weather, they would have to click on a result, enter the website and look for their answer on the page. But now? The search results would look something like this:
This feature is great for users who can now get their queries answered faster, but for a website? Not so much!
These new features don’t just affect broad searches but long-tail queries as well. A first-time real estate investor, for instance, might search for ‘how to calculate stamp duty’ to clear up their questions on it. When they do that, Google will present them the answer neatly packaged in this featured snippet:
If you are wondering how to get the coveted featured snippet. Here is an interesting video:
Since the user already has the answer to their question, they might not feel the need to actually click on the website. What this means for content creators and website owners is that while their search rankings might improve, overall organic traffic to the website might not grow proportionally.
Businesses, understandably, want users to visit their website for all information related to them. This is especially important for local businesses such as restaurants and cafes since purchase intent is typically higher for local searches. However, Google might be hoarding most of this traffic for itself. If a user searches for cafes or restaurant, for example, their search results today looks very different than it did just a few years ago. In the past, they would see a restaurant listing when searching for ‘Chinese food near me’, click on the website link that appealed to them and check out the menu and contact details on their website.
Today, while they will still see restaurant listings, clicking on one will take them to Google Maps and not the restaurant's website.
Of course, a user will still be able to utilise the information provided by Google to visit the restaurant or make a reservation (and thereby convert into a customer). But a business’ website might have less reach and decreased organic performance.
For the last few years, a mobile-first approach to SEO (and almost everything related to digital marketing) has been adopted by marketers everywhere by implementing strategies like AMP. The number of mobile users and mobile searches have also been on an upward trajectory in the last few years, underlining the importance of mobile SEO. However, recent statistics about the nature of mobile searches have emerged, making marketers wonder if mobile SEO still has the same ‘do-or-die’ effect that it did a year ago.
According to Rand Fishkin of Moz, mobile no-click searches have grown by 11 percent, almost 2.5 percent higher than no-click searches on desktop. With these seemingly gloomy numbers, it’s no wonder that websites and brands are worried that they might be losing out on a chunk of their organic mobile audience.
Voice search can be interpreted as both a boon and a bane for marketers. On one hand, it’s a growing new platform to make their brand more visible to users and one of the biggest digital marketing trends of 2019. On the other hand, no-click searches are most prevalent on voice search. For brands and marketers, this poses a unique conundrum: is voice search worth ranking for or will it provide absolutely no value in terms or traffic and brand awareness?
The simple answer to that question is, no. With SEO, when one door closes, another opens. There are certainly many facets of SEO that are dead or dying today, but that has always been the case since its inception. As users, platforms and Google’s algorithm evolves, SEO needs to adapt to keep up.
Instead of getting bogged down by all the alarming statistics being thrown around about the end of SEO, marketers should instead focus on realigning their SEO strategy in the following ways.
If there’s one keyword that Google cannot steal traffic from, it’s searches for your brand. For example, if a user were to search for just ‘digital marketing companies in India’, Google would first list out map listings of companies.
However, if they were to directly search for ‘Social Beat’, none of Google’s SERP features would show up to distract them from clicking on our website.
Going forward, therefore, brands need to focus on building the strength and volume of branded searches if they want relevant traffic on their website.
Most keyword research today consists of analysing keyword volume and difficulty alone. But with the new SERP features, high volume keywords don’t necessarily guarantee high traffic from them. To counteract this, content creators should include a third dimension when choosing keywords to optimise their content with: CTR percentage. By carefully choosing a keyword that has a high click-through-rate, content marketers can be assured that they will be creating content that will drive organic traffic to their website and not just adding to Google’s no-click search percentages.
You can do a simple CTR analysis through most keyword research tools. In this example, we used Ahrefs to dig deep into our focus keyword, ‘digital marketing blogs’. According to the results that the tool gave us, this keyword is worth trying to rank for as 65% of those searching for the keyword have clicked on a result.
In the case of SERP features, content marketers are better off following the adage, ‘If you can’t beat them, join them!’. A featured snippet, can either steal traffic from your website or increase it depending upon how you tailor your information for it. If a user can get all the information they require for their query from the snippet without having to actually click on the link, chances are they aren’t going to visit your website. But if you can offer users just enough information and intrigue them so they click on your link to read more, then the featured snippet can be the most powerful tool in your arsenal to drive traffic to your website.
For example, if a user knows that this list includes 10 mobile wallets, but the snippet only displays a few of them, they will be more likely to click on the link to read the full list.
Creating 10x content and using long-tail keywords have always been the cornerstones of modern SEO, but they were never more important than they are today. The goal for content marketers today is to create in-depth content on nuanced topics that cannot be pigeonholed into any of Google’s SERP features. Essentially, the longer a keyword is, the greater the chance of your actual website ranking for it and not an answer box or any other feature.
Even if parts of your content can snag a featured snippet, it should offer your audience several useful elements that they need to click on your link to explore. The demand for interactive content is on the rise and thankfully, Google hasn’t found a way to display interactive tools directly on SERP yet. Tools like calculators, interactive maps, planners and more can drive organic traffic to your website and offer immense value to your readers.
If SEO is dying, then the one thing offering it CPR is pillar content. This unique comprehensive content format has created waves in the SEO sphere, promising almost an instant surge in traffic and even several high-quality leads. The secret ingredient that makes pillar content so powerful is that it is linked to several related articles within your blog, providing instant link juice to each of them. Because of this, organic traffic to your blog and overall website improve dramatically.
For example, we created a pillar for our client Shriram Properties on ‘A Complete Guide for First-Time Homebuyers in India’. Within a matter of weeks, it started ranking for over 1000 keywords in total and for 100 keywords on page 1. Achieving similar results for a regular page within such a short time span would have been close to impossible with a regular page.
If there’s one thing that has stayed constant in the ever-fluctuating landscape of SEO, it’s that meta descriptions and titles can make or break your organic traffic. These two elements are the simplest, yet most crucial aspects of SEO. If all your hard work has helped your content reach Page 1, but the title and description aren’t compelling enough for users to click on it, your traffic is unlikely to show any improvement. It is also important that content creators don’t get disillusioned by the variety of SERP features available today. A study by Ahrefs found that featured snippets get only 8.6 percent of clicks, while the next result gets 19.6 percent of the clicks!
So even if your brand has lost out on the featured snippet, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your organic traffic will drop because of it.
Instead of putting all your eggs in a single basket, barnacle SEO offers you a way to spread your chances to drive more traffic and increase brand visibility. Today, ‘aggregator sites’ are more visible on Google than they ever were. These sites, for example, Zomato, Urban Clap and Little Black Book, list companies and services on their website. If a user were to search for best massage parlour in Chennai, their search results are most likely to throw up aggregator sites and not individual massage parlour websites.
Is this disheartening for individual businesses? Not necessarily. Trying to compete with aggregator sites will be a David vs. Goliath situation since these sites are typically larger and have a higher domain authority. Instead, businesses should try to get featured on aggregator sites to make their target audience aware of their brand and increase traffic to their website. Getting featured on a compilation can also increase the brand’s credibility in the eyes of the user.
With all the panic about Google’s CTR shrinking, many marketers tend to forget the second largest search engine in the world: YouTube. YouTube is beneficial for marketers for two reasons: 1. It’s a new platform to reach out to users and 2. It can help brands rank on Google as well.
The number of subscribers and video views on YouTube is growing exponentially - particularly in India. If you are finding it challenging to rank for a relevant keyword on Google because of high competition, YouTube could be an excellent way to circumvent this. You can read our in-depth blog on YouTube SEO Tips: The Secret Sauce to Ranking Your Videos to get started!
The second reason to optimise your videos for YouTube is just as important. One of Google’s SERP features is video listings pulled from YouTube that are related to a search term. If your brand is able to create a video that also ranks on Google’s SERP, then you will automatically be able to increase visibility and awareness of your brand.
This strategy is a great way for marketers to beat Google at its own game and use SERP features to their advantage.
You can also check out our video on 'YouTube SEO: 8 Powerful Tips to Help Rank Your Videos'.
Voice search can be viewed as a disruptor or facilitator, but one thing’s for sure: marketers cannot afford to ignore it. Here are just a few incredible statistics on the growing importance of voice search:
To avoid being left behind in the voice search wave, marketers need to optimise their websites and brands to appear for voice queries. This can also help them reach out to new internet audiences, those who are from tier 2 and 3 cities and are more comfortable using voice than typing out a query.
If there’s one thing that hasn’t changed, it’s that content marketing backed by continuous optimisation still has the highest ROI compared to any other type of campaign. By getting an early head start and implementing these elements in your content strategy before your competitors do, you can cement your position on Google’s SERP.
Getting recognition and accolades always brings along a warm feeling of privilege and gratitude. We are proud to announce that our co-founder, Vikas Chawla, has been listed as one of the top leaders in content marketing in Linkedin’s Content 50. LinkedIn is the world’s largest network of professionals so being hand-picked as one of the top 50 content marketers in this platform is sure a feather in our cap.
Content 50 is powered by Paul Writer – a marketing advisory firm that connects businesses around the globe. Through Content 50, LinkedIn recognises marketers in India who lead a team of digital wizards and create online strategies to enhance the journey of their customers. Each candidate is assessed on a wide range of parameters such as creativity, execution, targeting, innovation, effectiveness and accolades.
At Social Beat, we offer a 360-degree digital marketing approach to our clients. From social media marketing and web development to SEO and content marketing, we leave no stone unturned in making sure your brand stands out in the digital hemisphere. With upcoming digital trends like the growth of regional content online and lightning fast AMP-implemented pages, we helped our clients leverage the power of vernacular content and produce 33% lower CPL with landing pages that load faster. Getting recognised as one of the achievers in LinkedIn’s Content 50 has contributed to the wind beneath our wings.
The striking personalities sitting on the esteemed jury chair include Ms Virginia Sharma – Director, Marketing Solutions, LinkedIn India – and Mr Ashish Bhasin – Chairman CEO, Dentsu Aegis Network South Asia.
Few of the other jury members are:
The list was unveiled at the Futurist Business Conclave 2018 held at The Leela Ambience, Gurgaon, on 24th of August, 2018. This was the 6th edition of the conclave that hosted panel discussions on the impact of AI on today’s digital front. The event also included a MasterClass that offered one-on-one discussions for invitees only.
Whether you are a real estate giant, a leading financial firm or an FMCG brand trying to grow your business by going digital, reach out to us at Social Beat and engage with India’s next billion Internet users.
At first glance, Quora doesn’t seem like it would be an important tool for a marketer. However, underestimating the value of Quora can be one of the worst mistakes you can make for your brand. Quora has 1.5 million visitors every month. That’s 1.5 million visitors who have the potential to discover your brand and become prospective leads. This is why one of the biggest digital marketing trends of recent times has been the growing focus on Quora. Quora has a distinct edge over other question and answer forums because of its highly monitored content. User profiles are strictly verified and content is routinely checked for quality. Building your brand’s presence on Quora can help increase awareness of your brand, increase traffic to your site and even generate leads. Here are seven crucial reasons why your brand needs to make use of Quora in its overall marketing strategy.
The biggest advantage Quora offers is that it is made up of a large community built on trust and whose members rely on each other for information. When you provide informative answers to questions users pose, you’re automatically increasing the credibility of your brand. Quora allows you to engage in meaningful conversations with your target audience and establish your brand as an expert in your field.
However, it’s important that you never attempt to oversell your brand on Quora. The community on Quora is distrustful of marketers and hates self-promotional material. When you’re marketing your brand on Quora, ‘less is more’ is a strategy that always works. Instead of speaking about your brand in great detail, focus instead on providing informative answers to the questions being asked. This will gradually build your brand credibility and bring users organically to your site.
Google search results often include Quora posts among its highest ranking sites. This makes Quora a powerful SEO tool to drive organic traffic to your site. You could even increase your chances of showing up in the top results by strategically using important keywords with the help of keyword research tools. However, you need to make sure your content is relevant. Dropping keywords with abandon and speaking extensively about your brand with little to no connection to the actual question will decrease your chances of showing up in search results.
One of the biggest digital marketing trends this year has been the growing importance of influencer marketing. If you’re struggling to find key influencers for your brand, Quora could be a great resource. There are many users who are identified as key contributors by Quora because of their highly informative answers. Users rely the most on these key contributors because they have repeatedly established their credibility. You can engage with these contributors by answering their questions or by providing comments to their answers. You can even directly reach out to them and ask if they would be interested in helping you promote your brand.
If you have excellent content and blog posts on your brand’s website, then Quora is one of the best ways to amplify your content. Again, the key here is to be subtle about promoting your website. Instead of replying to a question with, ‘Visit my website for information about this’, introduce it slowly within your answer. Your answer needs to cultivate interest that will actually make users curious enough to visit your blog. Provide key information within your answers and link your content to it by saying that you’ve written about it in more detail on your blog.
You can also use Quora to crowdsource information for your article. You can mention that you’re writing a blog on ‘How to Improve SEO Rankings’ and ask users for their tips on the subject. When users feel like they have actively contributed to a blog post, they will even be more likely to share it themselves.
You don’t need to conduct expensive, complicated surveys when you have a simple resource like Quora at your disposal. Instead of guessing what your target audience needs, why not let them tell you directly? The questions on Quora are an invaluable source of information about what type of content your target audience will find engaging. If a number of people are asking questions about the same problem, can your brand be the solution to it? Questions (and their answers) are great ways to learn more about your customers, the way they think, what they use and what they need. By actively catering to their problems, your brand can continue to stay relevant.
If you’re stumped for new content ideas, trawling through Quora can help you ideate. A good blog post needs to provide answers to relevant questions anyway so what better place to find these questions that Quora? For example, if a number of people are asking, ‘How do I increase my Instagram engagement?’ then you immediately have an idea for a relevant blog post. Using questions on Quora to ideate for your blog also serves up another advantage. You can link the blog post you’ve written along with your answer to the question and amplify it further.
Thought leadership is a coveted badge every marketer wants for their brand. Establishing thought leadership makes your brand an authority in its field and increases trust in it. Building thought leadership can take some time, but the payoff makes it all worth it. One of the best ways to establish thought leadership is through Quora. By providing meaningful, informative answers to your consumer’s questions, you’re demonstrating the extensive knowledge you have on the subject. Many brands struggle with building thought leadership because they don’t know how to steer a conversation in the direction of their brand’s offerings. Quora saves you the trouble because the conversation already exists; you just need to contribute to it.
Clearly, no marketer can afford to ignore Quora if they want to successfully build their brand’s digital presence. Quora is even more essential when it comes to marketing for a start-up because it helps new consumers come across your brand. So take full advantage of this site for a well-rounded digital marketing strategy.
This article was previously published as Quora: A must-have in your digital marketing playbook on Business Line on Campus.
Social Beat was proud to be part of the NASSCOM Content Marketing Masterclass which took place at Holiday Inn, OMR, on the 16th of November, 2017. The session was led by David Appasamy, head of Branding and Strategy at Social Beat and provided insight on how content marketing can be effective for lead generation in the B2B sector. The session introduced the attendees to the strategic imperative of marketing and highlighted the importance of content marketing in the digital space.
The insightful session threw light on how content marketing builds credibility, confidence, and preference by establishing thought leadership and helps win attention, engage with and convert prospects into customers. It also focused on the ways in which this marketing strategy enhances and amplifies other marketing initiatives such as Social Media Marketing, digital advertising, and lead generation.
The Masterclass included a workshop to provide insights into:
You can view the presentation from the workshop below:
As the old saying goes, “Content is King” and the dynamic industry of digital marketing is not an exception to this universal notion. In today’s digital world, content marketing is the go-to marketing strategy to make your brand trend by targeting your audience and engaging them with your brand. However, it is a common theory to only associate blogs to content. Our minds have been tuned to the fact that good content can only be written in the form of chunks of text. But, in reality, there are many types of content, from catchy videos and hilarious gifs to stunning pictures and gripping podcasts. The plan is to engage your target audience through a means of information which they find interesting and which also promotes your brand in a subtle way.
Nevertheless, with the plethora of information available online at the mere click of a button, making your content rank in the first page of search engines with a strong SEO strategy is quite a herculean task. The key lies in creating content that your target group relates to and religiously promoting it in social media to reach out to your potential consumers. Good targeting will lead to higher engagement on the post, which will lead to a domino effect of it ultimately being flagged off as viral content.
That being said, brands have begun adding heaps and loads of content to their marketing plans. From expansive blogs to informative videos, they are leaving no stone unturned in making sure their brand is out there. But is that enough? Sure this will make the brand get out there but is it really “out there”?
The secret, to making content truly stand out of the oodles of information flooding the Internet, is to post limited information which is 10X better than what is already out there and is packed with the potential to go viral. However, the only way you can truly reach your audience is by vigorously promoting it. Splashing your content on various digital platforms through paid promotions and ads will boost your reach and also give it the push it needs to go viral. A viral post creates a lot of buzz in the target group and ultimately helps in generating leads for the business.
At Social Beat, we religiously follow the “Less is more” content marketing strategy in which we focus on producing high-quality content to amplify on digital media rather than expansive quantities of average content. The idea is to create original and relatable content that also uplifts your brand name and gives it the recognition it deserves. The strategy involves the following approaches:
As per Buzzsumo, Brian Dean of Backlinko has executed this content strategy to great effect. Brian has published just 53 posts over the last five years, less than one a month. These posts have driven nearly 4m visitors to his site. The average shares and links per post are what most of us can only dream of: an average of 2,490 shares, and 275 links from unique domains, for each post.
One such post that went viral with a paid reach of 3,51,565 and an organic reach of 64,79,859 is an informative video for one of our clients from the finance sector. Since our client provides financial services, we engaged their target audience with an explanatory video on the money-saving lessons we can learn from an ant. With total ad spends of Rs. 5000, we reached a total of 68,31,424 people, with 21,65,549 video views and 93,241 shares on Facebook. Additionally, we also customized the ad by using a regional language to make it more relatable and simple for the target audience. This way, we struck gold by amplifying content through both content marketing and native advertising.
To sum it up, it is all about quality instead of quantity in the powerful world of content marketing. Creating engaging content and pushing it to go viral with vigorous promotions and effective ads can not only help in branding your company but also boosts your reputation and authority.
Brands usually are under the misconception that the more content you create, the more visibility you’ll achieve. However, this is not true. Keeping the “Less is More” content strategy in mind, let’s take at a look at the current ad spends model of a company and the ways we can improvise on spending the same amount for a wider reach.
As per the current model, if Rs. 50,000 is allotted for content marketing, Rs. 40,000 of it is used for generating content, and Rs, 10,000 is used to promote posts on social media. Following is a rough estimate of the reach and total number of clicks tracked on a monthly basis:
|Ad spends (FB Promotions)||Rs 10,000|
|Content creation by Influencers||Rs 40,000|
|Total no. of people reached||1,50,000|
By applying the “Less is More” content marketing strategy, the brand will focus on reaching a wider set of audience and generating more leads with the same amount spent on promotions. The plan is to generate content of premium quality and authenticity and promote it on social media for a higher number of link clicks and prolonged engagement in the same budget.
|Ad spends (FB Promotions)||Rs 30,000|
|Content creation by Influencers||Rs 20,000|
|Total no. of people reached||4,50,000|
With all the statistics mentioned above, it is safe to say that though creating gripping content will help you achieve your content marketing goals, the key lies in promoting it effectively. Creating a handful of relatable posts every month and promoting it vigorously on networking channels is the foolproof way of grabbing the attention of a visitor and converting them into a loyal customer.
Having a blog has become mandatory for all organisations. However, with so many blogs out there, how do you ensure your blog is search engine friendly? The best way to do that is through SEO and content. If you are using a WordPress blog, here are 10 plugins that you should use.
1. Yoast SEO
Yoast SEO is one of the most popular plugins for WordPress. It can handle almost all on page elements except markup data and schema tags.
Notable features included in this plug-ins are:
If you are looking to install this plugin, read this step by step tutorial to set up this free SEO plugin.
AMP is a project designed by Google and Twitter to make mobile pages to load quickly. AMP is a kind of Facebook Instant Articles. There are many plugins available to implement AMP in Wordpress sites. The best plugin for AMP in WordPress is "AMP for WP - Accelerated Mobile Pages." Once it is implemented, the page loads quickly, especially on mobile devices.
All in one rich snippet is a free plugin, which currently has 79 5-star reviews from the WordPress community. This plugin is used basically to provide a summary of the page in the search results on Google, Yahoo, Bing and even in Facebook news feeds. It does so by using an interactive format with star ratings, author photo, image, etc. Many webmasters use this plugin to get higher rankings in search results.
ShortPixel Image Optimizer has over 50,000 Installs and the main motive of this plugin is to compress JPG, PNG, GIF and even PDF document. By doing so, it reduces the load time of the website and increases rankings of your website in search results. It also has the option to bulk optimize through media library. This plugin supports both HTTP and Https version of the website.
6. BJ Lazy Load
This plugin allows us to load your website quickly which is good for SEO. It replaces web site's post images, thumbnails, gravatar images and iframes with a placeholder & loads content as it gets close to enter the browser window when the visitor scrolls the page.
Using outbound and inbound links are extremely important for a blog post. However, when you use outbound links, it is important to make sure it is a nofollow link. The Rel Nofollow check box does exactly that. When you install this plugin, it gives you a checkbox in the insert/edit link popup for adding nofollow attributes.
Redirection is a plugin for WordPress to manage 301 redirections, keep track of 404 errors, full log report of 301 redirections. All URLs can be redirected with this plugin except the URL, which doesn't exist.
Although Wordpress is secure on its own, it is a good idea to have a security plugin on your blog page. The plugin has numerous account security features such as password strengthening tool and has the ability to check if any of the accounts have an identical username of passwords. It also provides a security score, which will tell you how secure your website it is.
Keeping people for as long as you can on your website is a great sign for better SEO. A low bounce rate is a hint that your users are finding value in your site and spending more time. One of the best ways to improve this area is to install Yet Another Related Posts Plugin. This plugin displays relevant post related to the current content. This will ensure the users are given interesting content to read and makes sure they spend more time on your site.
We hope this article helped you to get some ideas about must have SEO WordPress plugins every website should have.
Surprising? These figures might sound counter-intuitive with so much focus on English given in digital media today. But it’s a fact that there has been a profound growth of regional content online. Consequently, this holds a massive implication for brands which are not leveraging regional languages for marketing their brand. With an anticipated CAGR of 41% over the next few years, the opportunity will only grow bigger. Taking that into account we have launched 22 languages. This website provides organizations with access to an audience of more than 50 million users nationwide. Companies can use a multilingual marketing strategy to showcase their products and services in over 22 languages through this medium. To understand this concept better, here are a few interesting insights from the latest study done by KPMG India and Google on the growth of vernacular languages in India on the digital front. Check out this video to understand why your brand must adopt a multilingual strategy:
Digital news has caught up easily because of its simplicity. Data is usually accessible through an app or a website with mobile compatibility. Big names have realized the importance of digital media due to the silent downfall in newspaper and magazine sales. Currently, there are 106 million users viewing digital news in local Indian languages. This figure is anticipated to add up to 180 million users by 2021. However, Hindi, Marathi, Bengali and Tamil make up 80% of the current users. The major categories of type of news viewed are general, sports and politics. This only means that there is a dire need of more companies to enter this segment, to keep India more informed and updated.
Digital Classifieds are a very big sector. This sector has the potential to cause a ripple effect as people interact with each other in the same area and subsequently belong to the same target group. This would cause information to travel to a larger audience. Furthermore, Indian language usage would provide an extra boost by causing the information to reach nooks and corners of rural India. The top categories, which are looked up the most in classifieds, are matrimony, recruitment and real estate. Nevertheless, the only obstruction in digital classifieds is the lack of availability. This sector is anticipated to grow to an astonishing 100 million user base in the coming five years with individuals fluent in Hindi, Tamil and Kannada forming 70% of the total users by then.
The sector of digital payments is estimated to grow at 30% CAGR and a humongous 175 million consumers are expected to use it with Indian language interface by 2021. These gates are mostly used for mobile recharge and utility bill payments. Tamil, Telugu and Kannada are heading the charts in the languages open to quick adaption and will form half of the users on the digital payment platform.
According to statistics, Indian language users prefer buying electronics online rather than apparels or other accessories. As for the sellers, it has become much more convenient for local sellers to reach e-commerce giants like Amazon. One can sell their products on Amazon in five easy steps - the steps being creating an account, listing, taking products live and handing over the product to Amazon for delivery. It is quite convenient and hassle-free. The user base for e-commerce in local languages is growing at a high rate. It has a CAGR of 32% and is expected to add 120 million users in the upcoming five years. This popularity can be attributed to two major factors as voted highest by consumers: Firstly, the availability of better promotional offers and secondly, the huge variety of products available online which may not be present in the smaller cities or towns of India. The main obstruction users experience is the lack of end-to-end compatibility in Indian languages. However, as these obstructions show signs of quick recovery, e-tailing in local languages apart from e-commerce in English, will be a lucrative segment for the e-giants.
It is no surprise that impressive progress has already been made in this segment. Currently, a mass population of 162 million exists as the user base. Keeping in mind that the predicted user base by 2021 is 392 million Indians, there is much more that can be done in the digital entertainment arena. The content has the space to be comparatively more experimental and creative than other platforms as the adoption rate is 90% for this sector. The viewer’s quickly adapt to the kind of material available to them. These users consume both audio and video mediums.
To tap into this huge market, we used local languages for our informative videos like the Chola Finance video which was very well received by the Hindi speaking locals. The video got a whopping 1,751,355 Views and more than 64,000 shares.
The challenge remains in picking the right medium like Facebook, Hotstar, Youtube, tvfPlay or other regional channels.
If you are looking to create videos, read our blog on how to create low cost videos.
There are currently 41 million users under the segment of online government services. It is increasing at a CAGR of 33% and is expected to land at a massive 172 million in the next five years. Some of the applications that constitute online government services are tax filling, applying for government jobs and knowing about new rules and regulations. The Indian Government can use this platform to increase transparency and cut down corruption. However, limited local language enablement combined with lack of interest and awareness poses a huge obstruction which needs to be addressed immediately.
Chat applications currently have a 170 million user base and are anticipated to reach a 400 million user base by 2021. Hindi is topping at a huge margin of 50% as of now. Kannada is expected to grow to a far second with a whopping 20% in the coming years. The major challenge in this is the upgrade needed in voice to text, language keyboard and transliteration.
Social media platforms have a total of 115 million local language users as of now. This figure is expected to grow to 300 million by 2021.The South is anticipated to dominate this area due to its better adoption skills.
Digital write ups are a very interesting scope for Indian languages on the digital platform. It will provide visibility for the users who want to put their content online. It will also provide job opportunities for local people by companies looking to improve their SEO options by generating more local language content online. Additionally, mobile friendly blogs are preferred by users. 54% of Indians would adopt reading write ups if they are optimized for mobile screens.
This ongoing shift in India’s internet scenario has not gone past unseen by the Indian Government. Taking into account the increase in smart phone availability due to cheaper prices, a 176 million increment is expected till 2021. A striking 90% of these consumers are anticipated to be Indian language users. The government has taken this into account and made it mandatory for mobile phones sold in India to be Indian language friendly. Additionally, the government has also taken an initiative to make 60 million rural households digitally literate.
There are approximately 500 million Indian language users online. This figure will significantly have a huge impact on the nature of content presented on digital platforms. Additionally, this audience will be more inclusive of the elderly and the rural population. Also, as long as the type of sectors is concerned, Digital Classifieds, digital news and financial solutions will see a major boost.
Due to the local reach, many B2C users might exploit the Indian language user base on various channels. Digital marketing in Indian local languages will get them untapped markets in India. The companies which will be involved could be news sites, e-commerce players, insurance companies and m-wallets to name a few. In tier 2 and tier 3 cities, this can be encashed at a higher level. Since 90% of the new mobile buyers are local language users, a whole new customer base can be reached through this medium. Here's an interesting video that tells you why you need to have a multilingual strategy if you want to create a strong digital presence among your regional audience.
Indian language based websites and application will see a rise. Digital advertisements in local languages could also be used by B2C companies to increase reach. Additionally, Google display ads could be customized to the regional language of the state where they are being viewed.
This progress would result in new data generation for companies. The database, through structured investments, can be analyzed for specific language behaviors. This will help digital marketers in ad planning and targeting.
We need to move to a language agnostic ecosystem. This is required to give a platform to the Indian language content creators. Voice recognition will be of major help to the users who find using search and navigation through text a challenge.
It is affirmative that the preference given to regional languages will play an active role in internet consumption. It will also help explore a huge new market for brands. Brands that miss this bandwagon are sure to lose out on quite a few million potential customers. Furthermore, Indian language in digital will lead to the spreading of knowledge in rural parts of India. Tier 2 and tier 3 cities will also be of prime targeting in this arena. With such profound reach, it is safe to say that marketing through your regional language is the next step in digitizing India.
Good content can go a long way in effectively building brand recall and trust with a brand’s target audience. This has made content marketing a key ingredient in every business’ digital marketing strategy.
With all marketers the world over dishing out content to reach, inform, engage, educate and connect to their target audience to build their brand, the amount of content produced on a daily basis has grown exponentially. Sure, the internet population has grown as well, but content creation and publishing is growing at a rate much faster than the growth in internet connectivity. In fact, as per a recent AOL and Nielsen report, over 27,000,000 pieces of content are shared every day! Even if we assume that only 1% of this content is great content, that’s a really huge number of great content pieces being published every day! In such a scenario, it is critical to ensure that content cuts through the clutter and reaches the audience it has been created for.
Simply ideating, creating and publishing content does not work anymore and content distribution requires as much, if not more, effort as content creation. A word of caution here though – content amplification works best for content that has been ideated and created keeping in mind the interests and needs of the target audience. So, here are content amplification strategies you can use to effectively promote your content:
Respond to questions on Quora
Quora is recognised as the most comprehensive and trusted online forum. You can ask and answer questions relating to any subject matter. Since forums provide an open source for your Target Audience to discuss a topic, you can add value by responding to their queries using your existing write-up, if relevant. You can also link back to your blog or website, which effectively renders your work as a credible source.
Tweet various snippets from your content
Have interesting stats or facts that are share-worthy as individual pieces of content? Share those snippets on Twitter. The microblogging giant is one of the most active social media platforms today, so anything interesting that fits within 140 characters is bound to be retweeted. You can even take screenshots of other elements like pictures, infographics and quotes and use a shortened URL of your website for promotion.
Get featured in industry roundups
Roundups are collections of the best or most happening events in a particular industry. If your content is information based, you have a high chance of featuring in a roundup. Begin by searching for relevant roundups on Google (limit your search to the past month), then pitch your content to the roundup curators. If luck is on your side, the curators will feature your content in their collection. Roundups are searched extensively by business professionals, so your content will reach a niche audience, which works brilliantly for amplification purposes.
Contact people who have shared similar content
While researching for your content, you will surely come across existing articles that have written on the topic similar to yours. Content from reputed sources should already be generating traffic through social media shares. Your best bet is to copy the URL of the article and search for it on sites like Twitter and Facebook. You will be able to spot people who have shared the content, so contact these people through a direct message, requesting them to share what you have done as well.
Link to relevant sites/Mention entities when sharing
While researching, you may also come across interesting pieces of information that were quoted by credible sources. It is advisable to link to these sources while writing your article. When you publish your content and promote it on social media, use Twitter mentions or Facebook hashtags to prompt those sources that you’ve used their information. Doing so will increase the chance of your article being viewed by multiple individuals through the mentions.
Use Sniply to leverage the reach of content from more reputed sources
Sniply is a very simple yet effective tool that lets you create a one-liner message about your article and display it along with a button prompt. You can use Sniply to overlay your custom message onto any other piece of relevant content. The tool lets you drive conversions from one piece of shared content to another. Let's assume you've found content that shares information about a topic similar to yours; you can use the Sniply tool to add your link to the topic, prompting the reader to delve deeper and gain more knowledge on the subject matter.
Post on relevant LinkedIn groups
LinkedIn is nothing but the Facebook variant for all things professional. If you' content has information that can help professionals, LinkedIn is the best platform for promotional purposes. Much like Facebook communities, LinkedIn has an option where you can create groups. Find such groups that could make the most out of your content and share it on their pages.
Contact people who have linked to similar content
There is competition everywhere nowadays; you are sure to find a whole lot of articles similar to yours. Some of these articles would have gained immense social share yet may lack certain pieces of information that your article has. You can take advantage of this by pasting the URL of the similar articles on Ahrefs or Open Site Explorers. You will get a list of pages or sites that have used those articles as links. Reach out to those sites and ask them to link your fresher and better content.
Turn content into a ppt/pdf and upload to SlideShare
SlideShare is the perfect place to promote presentations to get the visibility you need. Once you upload your content on Slideshare, you can also share the link on LinkedIn as well. LinkedIn, as we all know, is fast becoming the go-to spot for business professionals when it comes to reading about industry related news and topics.
Leverage the reach of Influencers
Reaching out to influencers at scale is a good idea to amplify your content. Getting your content featured by some key influencers or getting them to share your content can amplify your reach drastically. Pick influencers that are relevant to your domain and engage with them. Contact more than one influencer and engage with them regularly for better reach.
The content mentioned above include promotion strategies that are used to their fullest potential by some of the best content marketers on the planet. Of course, some of these strategies may die out while others will evolve, so to stay ahead of the curve, you'll need to keep your eyes peeled and ears tuned.
If there are any content distribution channels which you have tried that could be added to the list, do let us know in the comments below.
Effective Keyword ranking is a never-ending mystery and one that every SEO professional thrives on exploring. The technique of scratching through SERP evolves every year with Google’s ever-changing algorithms. Success over this depends on a rinse and repeat the formula that is slow, to begin with but pays off well in the long run. Stay strong on the fundamentals of SEO and focus on the changing scenarios and latest features that fetch you benefits on SERP results. Here is a list of on-page elements that every SEO professional would need to know in 2017 to leverage most out of SERP.
Speed is crucial for a website; better loading websites tend to have better engagement. Google also considers speed as a ranking signal and gives fast-loading websites high priority in ranking order. Apart from having a small ranking advantage over slower loading websites, speed also gives your user a pleasing experience that will lead to better conversion probabilities since every single factor is interrelated to each other. Fixing speed on your website is going to help you make your website more SEO friendly.
Google has introduced an “Accelerated Mobile Pages” feature which enables mobile optimized content load at lightning speeds. Google has not officially declared that AMP as a ranking factor but it clearly has an aesthetic advantage in ranking over pages which are not enabled with AMP.
The historic ranking data shows that content which is long tends to rank better on Google SERP. At an average, content which ranks on the first page have 1890 words. This correlation may be because long content tends to have greater user engagement and gets a lot of social shares as well. Another fact that supports the statement is that longer content has greater topical relevancy and enables Google to understand the content better. Here is an excellent article on ways to create content that is 10 times better than the rest, what is popularly known as 10x content.
Building trust with Google helps you achieve your goal of ranking higher on SERP. Enabling SSL certification on your website and shifting to HTTPS makes Google understand that your website is safe for transactions and highly secured. Thus, enabling SSL for your e-commerce site gives a slight advantage in ranking as Google always prefers to give its users a trustable and credible user-experience.
The traditional SEO formulae “Content is King” suggests Google still loves to rank good quality content that is very relevant. Creating highly relevant content to your topic is going to give you a slight advantage in rankings. Descriptive longer content with images gives you better user experience. Keeping strong focus on informative, quality content generation is going to give you the upper hand in Google's rankings.
Schema is a set of semantic codes that you put on your website enabling Google to fetch relevant information related to your content based on the user query.
This query has been put into a debate and is yet to arrive with a clear-cut conclusion. But data suggests that websites that have implemented Schema have ranked four positions better than ones without Schema. We cannot conclude that this advantage in ranking is just because of Schema, but there is a correlation found.
Research also suggests that websites that have implemented structured data using Schema have better click-through rates than ones without Schema. It is found that on only one-third of Google’s searches has been using Schema. Snow is going to be the right time to fetch benefits of Schema on your website even if it’s negligible.
Google loves fresh content and places trending topics on the top of its search. Your queries need to be fresh and concentrate on News, Blogs and Trending stories. For example, when there something happening in Chennai, the first news appears in 15 minutes, and the first query occurs in an average of 2 seconds. To yield the benefits of a query your SEO needs to focus on building content around trending topics and news. The faster you are, with more relevant, high-quality content, the faster you website gets.
With trends revolving around voice search in the US majorly and spreading across the rest of the world, Google has given preference to content that answers queries on SERP. Thus, building content based on questions that your user may ask also helps you get more website traction.
Heading tags are the basics of SEO, and it still has great priority in Googles list of ranking factors. Heading tags is assumed as the key for the content on your webpage, and it should have your target keyword for the particular URL. The heading tags are intended to distinguish headings and subheadings on your content and tags H1 to H6 go in the order of priority. Search Engines normally show H1 to H3 on your content.
Google’s Statistics reveal that 85% of total searches happen on mobile, so having a mobile responsive web design has become inevitable. When you don’t have a mobile responsive web design, you risk losing traffic. Google’s Ranking Algorithm has given high priority to website designs on SERP.
Google’s focus has also been on Accelerated Mobile Pages, which enables web pages to be super-fast on mobile devices. It’s a must for mobile first approach on search; the strategy is going to work for both the present and the near future of searches.
Optimizing the title on the Meta tags has been another factor around the fundamentals of SEO. Focusing your exact match keyword in the title gives you a moderate advantage in rankings on SERP. Thus having a clear cut hierarchy for your website content, and focusing on unique keywords for every relevant landing page, is going to help search algorithms identify the content they need to rank for a particular keyword.
The concept of interlinking is a strong tool to tell Google which content is critical. It also helps you to bridge the gap between your most authoritative content and your most valuable content. The key for interlinking is content; the more content you have the probability to interlink is more. Interlinking is going to give your user additional relevant information on a site and ultimately going to boost your engagement rate. Google also identifies the hierarchy of your content based on how it is interlinked; making it a ranking factor you need to add to your On Page Checklist for 2017.
The tools and trends of SEO will evolve and get better every year. 2017 holds promise for more refined SEO techniques, so sharpen up your skills and give your website a big ranking boost for the years to come. Do you know any other important on-page SEO element? Feel free to share in the comments below.
Content is King; a statement that has held true since the age of advertising. Like all great things, content marketing has evolved and improved over time. Gone are the days when brands would simply pin-up posters of their products in any given location to try and entice consumers.
Take the above ad for example; published in 1958 by David Ogilvy’s company, the ad created a sensation among Americans of that era, and greatly pushed the sales of Rolls-Royce. Reading it today, you may find it hard to skim past the long content, but Ogilvy utilised one of the most powerful elements in advertising that still holds high regard today: Audience Engagement.
He did so by using a powerful Headline that was able to connect well with the emotions that the Target Audience felt at that time (the posh society of post-war America). Flash forward 6 ½ decades, Ogilvy's methods of engagement are still applicable but have been morphed to fit into the current scenario of an internet and technology savvy world.
Content marketing is an advertiser’s new best friend; 71 percent of consumers today feel bombarded with ads on social media. Instead, they want more than just a flashy product commercial; they want an experience, a little taste of what to expect. Content Marketing can achieve that by creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content. The method also adds a layer of trust in Target Audience, Creating what brands crave the most: Loyalty towards their products. Since this is an extensive article we’ve split it into sections to make it easier for you to navigate and read through.
The fact that content marketing gives you an open playing field to mix and match with various content forms over a multitude of platforms, there is a big chance for your brand to generate leads, improve sales conversion and ultimately get closer to your Target Audience on a more personal level.
Everyone hates a pop-up ad; they're annoying, disorient you from an online experience and are generally considered as spam. Content marketing provides a more genuine, trustworthy advertising approach, one that actively induces consumer interaction.
Without SEO, anything you publish online will be lost forever in the massive sea of stars that is the World Wide Web. Content marketing has proven to be an SEO friendly marketing method, and provides credibility with boosting organic traffic.
Imagine seeing the same ad over and over again as you scroll through your Facebook feed. It can get annoying to the point where consumers lose interest in what the ad is trying to communicate. With content marketing, marketers can keep the essence of the ad fresh while varying the way the ad is presented.
Pretty much self-explanatory in its naming, Infographics is a presentation of data in a visual way. The concept is widely popular among readers, and gives license to creative freedom in graphical presentation, adding loads of value to the written content. Being a more comfortable way to consume information from, Infographics are likely to be shared three times more on Social Media than general content posts.
Short and sweet, Memes are one of the easiest content forms you can make. But bear in mind that they are not used for information, rather for entertainment. If done right, memes have a high chance of going viral, as consumers love nothing more than to share something outright hilarious.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, then videos are worth a million. No matter what you are promoting, there are always ways to present in on the screen. Videos have proven to be one of the most searched forms of information or entertainment, so to give your SEO a big boost, consider making one that is relevant to your brand, product or service.
Guides are a detailed form of content and specifically meant for sharing information. Guides work well for SEO purpose as Google's crawlers are now paying more attention to long-form content that mixes and matches other content forms.
There is a book for everything today, and your target audience is bound to pick up one. Avid readers will love to know how good a book is before they have a read, plus it gives off the impression that you are well versed in your subject matter, adding a layer of credibility to your brand. You can induce some consumer reaction by asking personal reviews.
Like books, product reviews will boost your brand’s credibility, and if you engage professionally with services providers and manufacturers that are relevant to your industry, that credibility increases tenfold. Collaborate with influencers who can review your product and add a trust factor among consumers.
The age old 5Ws & 1H concept is still effective to date, and a "How to" post is something that is frequently searched. If you are SEO hungry, "How to" posts will help generate the same, as the format takes advantage long tail keyword searches, ultimately bumping up your site ranking.
Humans are hardwired to be obsessed with lists. If you make one relevant to your product or service, chances of it being read are very high. Lists are everywhere and can comprise of anything, and Google analytics have revealed that a numbered list (odd numbers count) are the most popular.
Nothing spells professionalism better than a good old case study. Need to explain what your product or service is and its impact on consumers? Perform a case study with all those intricate details. Ultimately, you’ll get a healthy dose of credibility and if promoted well, a strong consumer following.
The radio may have lost its charm among general audience today, but audio files still hold high regard among commuters who like a good plug and play of useful information. If your Target Audience falls under such a category, podcasts could be a useful medium for some knowledge sharing.
Remember, there is no hard and fast rule that you must try every form of content marketing. Instead, focus on adapting and implementing an idea into a select content type. When that idea morphs into a quality piece of content, your Target Audience will evolve from one-time consumers to a dedicated and loyal fan following.
No matter what type of content you choose to work with, you'll need a base, a platform on which you're content becomes viewable. In the online world, content representation into three types.
Media that is bought and sold for; online advertisements like Google AdWords, Facebook ads, YouTube ads and sponsored content, have shown a very high percentage regarding reach towards the Target Audience, and is also reliant on ROI. Strong reach may increase the chance of a targeted user getting convinced to purchase, yet may not provide a longer, more sustainable impact that permanently etches your brand into the consumer’s memory.
Owned media refers to platforms through which your content is promoted. Your Website, Facebook Page, YouTube profile, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram accounts are types of owned media. Think of owned media as your virtual office, space for you to actively promote everything your brand represents and connect to your Target Audience in the online world. Since owned media is just a platform, you are free to use it in any way you like for your content marketing needs. How effectively you use it, with your chosen content strategy, will determine the overall reach and interaction with potential consumers.
Even if your brand is marketed well online, consumers need to be certain and feel a sense of trust with your product. You can achieve that trust factor through earned media; sharing of social media content, Twitter mentions, blog mentions, product reviews and influencer marketing. Of course, to gain such high level of trust among consumers, it takes time, but also pays off handsomely, in the long run, immensely boosting your brand loyalty.
Content marketing isn’t something you could just cook up out of an empty pot. The process requires careful planning and meticulous detailing with a whole host of ingredients blending to make fantastic pieces of share-worthy content on various platforms.
Content Marketing = Ideation + Creation + Publishing + Promotion
Everything begins with an idea. It is from this seed that your entire content marketing plan branches out. To come up with a path-breaking idea you need to do research and lots of it. You achieve great content marketing when you bridge the gap.
This is the first and most critical step towards creating your content plan. When you can understand who our audience is and what their expectations are, you will be able to create more relevant content. Analyse these aspects:
When you narrow down the points mentioned above, your next step is to hunt for relevant topics that are trending, valuable and share worthy and in some way link to your brand, product or service.
Question yourself as to why you are about to create a piece of content. What is your end goal with the content you are about to create? To make this easier and more understandable, create a content strategy. Your strategy must be able to answer one or all of these goals:
Remember, strategies could change even after your content is created and published. Be open to a trial and error method before you push for massive promotions.
With your strategy set and your ideas in full flow. It's time for the actual creation of your content. Again, depending on your Target Audience, your type of content will have to vary in, but make sure you stick to a content formula that is valuable, relevant and has great visual appeal. Based on current market trends and audience expectation, keep your content fresh by mixing and matching its various forms like GIFs, Blog posts, Infographics, Videos, etc. Ultimately, your content creation must sync well with your strategy and be able to:
Much like creating content for that relates to your Target Audience, publishing your content must also have a timed approach. Google Search algorithms and Facebook’s targeted post boosting have made it easier for marketers to preselect a publishing time and date, resulting in better and more accurate reach to the consumers. It is important to optimise content that is share-worthy on mobile devices as well, with a majority of consumers now spending more time on smartphones.
With over 27 million pieces of content being shared every day, your content is just a small grain of sand in a huge desert. To make that little grain noticeable among the rest, you need to make the most out of the promotional options available. So how do you amplify your content?
Remember, none of these techniques will work wonders unless you connect them with the golden catalyst of content marketing- Search Engine Optimisation. SEO is a broad topic, so we've saved it for another detailed post.
Since content marketing is an ever-evolving subject matter based on shifting trends and change in consumer behaviour, there is no surefire successful approach to choosing an approach to your strategy. But, some content strategies work well over others depending on your brand, product or service. Let's look at a few successful strategies.
When it comes to B2B content marketing, ultra-professionalism is important. Your task as a marketer will be to convince other business of working with you or using your services. Make sure your content is concise, to-the-point and expresses heavily on your services and the benefits it could offer to another business.
Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, WordPress Blog/Website, YouTube, Google AdWords
Emailers, Helpful blog posts (Tips/How-to), Product Reviews, Product/Service specific social media posts
For FMCG brands, the content strategy must heavily revolve around consumer interaction. This means marketers are free to explore all sorts of content and modify them in a way that involves consumers intrigued and curious to know more about the brand’s products.
Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Guest blogging
GIFs, Memes, Influencer promotions, Product specific social media posts, Guide based blog posts
With a recent influx of the real estate market in India, developers are making a move into the online space to boost their project promotions further. As always, the competition is fierce, so the best reach towards consumers decides the big winner. Considering how huge the real estate industry is, having an online presence for developer and broker, while also complementing each other’s presence, is vital for the success of a real estate brand in the online space.
Facebook, Google AdWords, WordPress Blog, Twitter
Emailers, Helpful blog posts (Tips/How-to), Influencer promotions, Product specific social media posts, Landing pages
Lifestyle brands, especially those in the fashion industry, have a mainstay in the digital marketing space. To get better online presence, lifestyle brands must be appealing both to targeted consumers and businesses.
Facebook, Instagram, Google AdWords, WordPress Blog/Landing Page, Twitter, YouTube
Emailers, Helpful blog posts (Tips/How-to/Lists/Guides), Influencer promotions, Product specific social media posts, Video Promotions
We end by quoting a famous line by David Ogilvy, “Never write an advertisement which you wouldn't want your family to read. You wouldn't tell lies to your own wife. Don't tell them to mine”. Content marketing is the most trusted and honest form of marketing and one that is sure to go a long way in establishing a healthy relationship with your Target Audience.
Are there any innovative content strategies you've cooked up? Feel free to share the in the comments below.
Optimising your website Google search results is probably one of the most important things a brand can do. This is usually called SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and is one of the least understood concepts in the marketing world. While SEO has changed over the last 10 years, its fundamentals remain the same and I have highlighted what are the key things to keep in mind when getting started.
The first step is to understand what kind of content your customers or users want. You could use the free Google Keyword research tool or a paid tool like Moz Explorer to get a sense of it. We also use interesting tools like Answer the Public, which groups search terms together to give you a better understanding. It might be also useful to use Buzzsumo to understand what kind of content consumers are viewing and sharing via social media channels.
It’s important to understand that content here doesn’t mean only written content – it could be in the form of infographics, videos, interactive graphs, tools/calculators etc. So do the research to understand what consumers are searching for or intuitively would want.
Virtually everyone in the digital marketing space has finally boarded the content marketing bandwagon. We know now that creating good content for a brand is the best way to get a good ranking in Google search results. So just writing ‘Good and Unique Content’ should do the trick right? Not any more.
Content marketing and blogging has risen by leaps and bounds in the last five to six years. The rules have changed and writing ‘Good and Unique Content’ is just not enough. Writing content that covers only the basic of any topic is very easy. A user may probably visit your blog and feel that they now know something about this topic and choose not spend more than a few minutes on it. Chances of such blogs, making into the top ten positions of the Google search results are very slim. The modern SEO’s demand are much higher and you need to have the best content in your category to make it into the top results organically. Take your regular content, make it 10X bigger and better. In fact, user experience also plays a big role in the ranking algorithm making it even more important for the need to move from ‘Good And Unique Content’ to a ‘10X Content’. Only then can you hope to try and rank for those keywords
Here is a detailed guide on 10 ways to ensure that your content is 10X times better than anyone else. You could also exploring creating content in multiple languages if you feel your users would engage with such content.
The content is only as good as the number of people its able to reach. If you create 10X content you are likely to start showing up in search results in a few weeks (8-10 weeks for sites that have been around). Till then its key to amplify the content via social media, paid advertising, social bookmarking as well as link building requests.
Social media and SEO are two interlinked strategies as both are organic driven and is dependent on fresh content appealing to the viewers. There is no direct mention by Google that increase in social media followers will directly improve the rankings for a specific set of reason. However, Google always insists on quality links and content rather than the quantity of shares and links. Read this blog on why social media matters to SEO to get a better idea of how to leverage channels like Facebook and Twitter to amplify your content.
Social Bookmarking is another way to ensure you not only get backlinks but improve the chance of being found. Quora is also an interesting platform to do that.
Lastly, its important to build backlinks as this is one of the corner stones on which rankings improve. Backlink is essentially any link pointing from an external site to yours. Though the number of backlinks is important but poor quality or spammy backlinks should be avoided. It can result in a negative penalty for your website by Google. Influencer marketing can also be an effective tool to get relevant backlinks.
One common mistake we see brands and websites doing is ignoring the speed of the website, which accordingly to google is one of the most critical aspects in ranking. They even have new features like AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) to help websites overcome this issue.
Having a website which is mobile and tablet responsive is again a given today. Users consume content across devices and the websites need to be user friendly across devices too. Brands need to leverage every mobile micro moment of consumers and for that you need an amazing mobile website.
This involves some help from your digital team as it requires SEO knowledge as well as technology/development expertise to execute. This includes elements like headings, tags (to allow Google to understand what content/images that you have on your site), structured data (to tell Google what kind of content it is – e.g. whether it’s a receipe or a product review or just a blog article), implementing speed elements including AMP and redirecting old urls to new urls.
It’s important to track your return on investment for such SEO activities and we usually do that by tracking not only the rank of your keyword (which is less important these days) but by tracking the growth of traffic from Google over a period of time. It takes about 4-6 months to see any substantive results. Regular creation of 10X content is key to growth in traffic from Google and that should be the focus area on an ongoing basis.
Below is the gist of the panel discussion on Making Content Marketing work for your Brand at the Digital Leadership Summit In Chennai In August 2016. We had two panellists moderated by Mr Prem Kumar Sivakumaran from The Smart CEO Magazine: Ms D Vijayalakhmi – Murugappa Group and Mr Rajasekar KS – matrimony.com.
Content marketing is the current buzz word, and the session started with a discussion on what each of them feels about content marketing. We also have had a Digital Chai Pe Charcha On Content Marketing Success in 2016 andyou Can Read It Here.
Viji from Murugappa Group highlighted that content should be something that is interesting to all readers. Content that makes the reader feel good, look good and do good is a successful content marketing campaign. It should be lesser about the brand and more about the audience. For more detailed steps on creating high quality content check out our blog on 10 Ways To Create 10x Content.
Rajasekar expressed that content marketing is more about content and less about marketing. While most brands believe that it is about amplification, Raj said that it's more about understanding the customer and their problems. He also said that when a company starts talking about customers problem, its business starts and when it starts talking about its business, its problems start. Content should engage the customers; then it can be a successful one.
At Murugappa Group, it is predominantly about the brand itself. Viji spoke about how at Murugappa, they also think of fun and meaningful stories and try and connect with the target audience, even when it is about the B2B brands.
Raj spoke about their initiatives at happymarriages.com, a content marketing initiative set up by BharathMatrimony. He talked about how it was initially tough to create content around it because people were unwilling to talk about their expectations from marriage. So his team set about trying to understand what issues couple would face. After three months of research, they arrived at 500 themes and worked with authors, senior writers and an internal team to write engaging content that the audience could relate to.
While talking about strategies, one of the members of the audience asked an interesting question about with so much content out there, how do to stand out? The panellists agreed that crowdsourcing high-quality content is the answer. They also spoke about examples of organisations such as Amercian Express Bank, GE initiative that has done a great job in standing out. Prem also highlighted using a platform such as curata.com, a platform that curates content, which also enables marketers to scale content marketing to grow leads and revenue.
The panelists both agreed that although you can look at shares and likes, the success can be measured only when you get customer feedback. If a content piece has solved the customer's pain points, then you have succeeded. They also urged any company using content marketing to use this as a metric.
The panellists spoke about how video is the most captivating of all channels, and each of them highlighted how they leveraged video in their organisations. Raj explained how his team went to five cities and interviewed 36 couples. They chatted with customers about relationships and aired these on national TV.
Viji talked about the Murugappa Madras Song. She highlighted how the company found a connect and used that to create a video that went viral. The video was so powerful that even a city-based league team requested the conglomerate to make an anthem for them as well.
The panellists also urged marketers to resist making a viral video for the sake of making one and asked marketers to keep their ears tuned to the customer.
Whatever be the industry, there is always a way create stories. The key is to understand the audience. Viji mentioned the farmer video that the Murugappa Group made. They asked a simple question, "What is the most important job in the word?" This emotional video stuck a cord with the public and was shared far and wide not only on social media but also on WhatsApp.
The panellists advised startups to leverage PR and stated examples of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and how they used their social media campaign to not only gain visibility but also get a lot of PR coverage as well.
Raj also spoke about Richard Branson, CEO of Virgin Airlines jumping off a ten storeyed building and how the media wrote about it. He also asked marketers only to do these crazy stunts if it suits their personality and the brand. PR is the biggest pipe to the audience, and it can get customers. So whatever campaign a marketer does, it is important to leverage PR.
Content marketing is a must-do for all brands, and more brands are willing to spend money on it. Raj also spoke about how any marketing initiative is ultimately boiling down to content and about how marketing cannot exist without content. Content is the only pipe you can sell any product.
Prem also added that the first ever content market initiative was done in the early 1900s by John Deere, the tractor company when they created a magazine ‘Furrow.' So the concept is not new only the term Content Marketing is.
It was an interesting evening spent at MDI Gurgaon with students of Consumer Behaviour. We were talking about the role of Communities, Content & Influencer Marketing on Consumer Behaviour. See the below slide share for details on the discussion we had.
The students had a lot of questions, especially around influencer marketing and its ethics. Many of these can be found in the FAQs of Influencer Marketing here.
Blogs are no longer just an expression of an individual or a platform to share one’s ideas and thoughts. Blogs have started to be one of the most influential and useful tools in the market space. It’s an excellent way to showcase thought leadership as well as keep consumers updated on what’s happening in the company and with the products/services. It is important to note that, in business blogging, the blogs must be related to the key area of the business and needs to be engaging for the readers. That being said, there are still a lot of businesses that are not very active in the blogging in spite of the inherent benefits of blogging. This blog aims to bring out the importance of business blog!
Increases traffic to your website
A website is a great asset to any company and anything that brings traffic to the site only doubles the asset’s value. The traffic on a website is very crucial, which indeed serves in achieving the objective of the site. One of the main reasons why people don’t return to a brand’s website is because it is idle and inactive. Blogs give the internet users a great reason to visit your site and increase the traffic. According to a HubSpot survey, 60% of the brands who have constant blogging on their websites acquire more customers than the others. Blogs help people or potential customers discover your website amongst million others. This happens when the blogs are informational and also related to what users would like to read from your website. It is also said that blogging shows a professional approach for the brand business. By providing useful information, it attracts people to visit the site even repeatedly. Who wouldn’t like more visitors to their website, anyway?
Increases Search Engine traffic
To appear in SERP #1 is a dream! And to get there, you need to really work hard . There are more than 200 aspects which determine your rank in Google. But, nothing like some good content! Blogs are now a vital part of Search Engine Optimization and can be leveraged upon in two ways. One, include it as just an additional index page to your website which Google then identifies and eventually will garner organic search results. Another way is to include targeted keywords and links which will help in increasing the ranking of the site by getting you noticed more in the search results. This exercise becomes easier with the help of SEO plug-ins. By using an SEO plug-in like Yoast which calculates the density of the appearance of the focus keyword in the blog will check whether the right keyword is used on the blog. Research shows blogging increases inbound links by 97 percent, the most important factor in Google’s ranking algorithm. Quality content and regular updates are an indication to Google that the website is active with a routine content flow! Explore some of the latest SEO hacks, here.
Customer Acquisition and Lead generation
The ultimate goal for every business, big or small is to generate revenue and blogs help you do that. Regular blogging, as mentioned earlier increases the traffic to your website. Small businesses with blogs are said to generate more leads by 126%. The increase in traffic will result in more people taking note of your business and eventually exploring the rest of your website where all your business services are listed. This is a great way of acquiring customers without bombarding them with self-promotional content. While creating content you should keep in mind that every person who visits your website has the potential to be a customer. When your target audience finds your blog interesting, they may be more interested in your business than they were before and the chances of conversion are higher.
Content creation for social media platforms
Another reason why blogs are important to your business is that they create a huge content value for Social Media Marketing. It is almost mandatory for brands to have an identity on social media and the only differentiation is content. Content defines your brand identity and helps you stand apart from the rest of the crowd. Creating quality content in the form of blogs and sharing them on the social media channels can help get more reach. The number of likes, shares, retweets will testify for your content. Here’s an interesting and informative blog post that was shared on social media for amplification.There are many other ways to amplify your content online. Click here to read about it.
Helps in building the brand
Branding is the core element to develop your business. Every business is striving hard to create a brand for them and to make people see them as THE BRAND and not just any brand. Blogging is a huge opportunity for you to build a brand for your company. It is, after all, the most organic method of getting people to notice your brand online. The key is to create a blog which adds value and is unique in its content approach and style. By creating specific, targeted content, you may focus more specifically on your target audience leading to increasing your exposure among people. Learn how Content Marketing is one best way to give your brand an image!
Establishes authority and expertise
A good blog always answers a question, solves a problem or gives something valuable for a takeaway. When a brand constantly shares blogs that are useful to the customers, it develops an authoritative image in their minds. For example, for a group of angel investors, blog topics like- Tips for entrepreneurs, How to grow as a startup etc. along with other business strategies are going to be of some value to their readers. The ultimate aim is that when a user reads your blog, he/she should finish it with some value-addition. When people find answers or solutions on our blog, they are more likely to become your follower and they start seeing you as a source of information. Here are 10 ways to create better content for your readers.
Increases customer interaction
It is important for any brand to stay connected with their audience. The underlying factor behind the success of any business is the concern to satisfy the end customer and not just run your firm for money. To do so, brands should establish a good rapport with the customers. To improve on the customer interactions front, brands need to establish higher recall. The question is how do blogs help in this aspect? A higher recall can be established for your brand when you provide knowledge to your consumers and this, in turn, improves the relationship your brand has with the customers. It helps build trust which turns into brand loyalty eventually.
In a world where content speaks for itself and does half the job of a brand, blogs are the most crucial thing to look upon as a marketer. When blogging becomes a strategy in your marketing plan, you get a powerful tool to fight against your online competitors. If your company hasn’t started blogging, this piece is an indicator that it should!
Was this blog useful? Share your thoughts on other reasons you started blogging!
Email Marketing is one of the most actively used marketing channels. But every now then, we get queries that question the effectiveness of email marketing. Many feel its passé while others equate it to spamming. The truth is email marketing has never been more alive than it is today.
The dynamics of emailer marketing is changing fast but basics shall always remain the same – if you share something valuable with your audience, they are likely to engage with your content. Purchasing a database does not work anymore. Brands need to develop their own database of interested customers or potential customers who are more likely to engage with your email. Emails to your curated database is a personal, dependable and a direct way of reaching out to your audience.
'Out of all of the channels I tested as a marketer, email continually outperforms most of them'
- Neil Patel (Co-founder, KISSmetrics)
In this article, we have listed down useful ways in which you can develop your own email marketing database.
Make your email sign-up form visible on relevant pages on your website, more importantly the Blog page. Use either an embedded form or a Call-to-Action for people to click through to a dedicated sign-up page. Make sure that it’s in a prominent spot above the fold. The info about the possibility to sign up for the newsletter can be also placed in a pop-up window.
If you have a sign-up form on your site, make sure it’s easy to fill. Make it straightforward and resist the temptation to collect lots of demographic & lifestyle information at this stage. It will get in the way of collecting those email addresses. Always remember Short and Sweet is the King!
Good email content deepens the connection with your audience – it could be a powerful subject line (which get your messages opened); your unique voice (which gets your messages read); or niche-specific content your subscribers would find useful and shares with others (which inspires referrals and word-of-mouth). What works is “value exchange” — your valuable information for your prospect’s valued time. Your subscribers need to know they can trust you and that you’re not a self-promoting spam-bot.
We all need a little incentive to hand over our email address, but we don’t need too much if we feel an affinity with the brand. Try these…
- Offer a discount off their first purchase
- Explain what they’ll get: special offers, private sales, hints and tips, magazine articles…
- Show them what they’ll get (see our recent articles, news, reader offers etc)
You’ve built the perfect form. Now where to place it? Will more people see it on the ‘Contact’ page or ‘About us’ page? Should you keep the newsletter signup on your homepage? Or put it in the sidebar too? Decisions, decisions! Here are some top places to try placing an email signup form (or two or three) on your site:
Like a lot of other issues when it comes to websites and e-commerce, speed matters because Google says that it matters. On 09 April 2010, Google’s Webmaster Central Blog announced that, “We’ve decided to take site speed into account in our search rankings.” In other words, faster web pages will rank higher on search engine results pages (SERP) than slower sites.
A gated homepage is when a person has to enter their email address on the homepage in order to gain entry to a website’s content. One a person does so, a cookie is kept on their browser so that they don’t have to fill in their email address again to get access. But it is not always appropriate to Gate your homepage. You should have a lot of in-depth content which people are dying to read for them to give their email address. The right time is important too! To find the right moment, you want ‘yes’ answers to questions like:
Your landing pages should focus on one main detail and that’s converting visitors into subscribers. Whether you’re asking for contact details in exchange for a discount, a free webinar or something else that the subscribers would like to have, you are bound to get more to sign up. The Design of the Landing Page has to be exceptional too. Your subscribers are only as great as the landing page that get them.
If you don’t have social sharing buttons there’s a likelihood that your content won’t get shared. Someone might want to share the content with a friend but by the time they open up a new window and sign in to their social network, they will get distracted and forget about it completely. Don’t take the risk. Add share buttons so that blog visitors will stay on your site longer. Support your present subscribers to share and forward your content by including an "Email to a Friend" button. That way, you'll access a fresh network of new people who sign up for your emails. Do not forget to incorporate a "Subscribe" button as well in the footer.
“Subscribe” is up there with “Register” as an Internet no-no! Remove the words “subscription” and “subscribe”. The term implies a commitment and worse, money. Do away with any “Submit” or “Sign up”! Use first-person language instead – Try out phrases like “Sign me up” or “Send me updates.” Tell people exactly what they are getting by subscribing. Hint: It’s not a weekly email.
Online networking and social media marketing are useful tools to improve your online leads from which you can derive the email addresses of your potential subscribers. Build relationships with your target market via some of the popular social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus.
You can host a Facebook contest or giveaway either on an application tab or on your Facebook timeline. However, if you’re hosting the promotion on your Facebook timeline, it’s next to impossible to collect emails. Hosting your promotion from a Facebook Offers App is the best approach since your target audience will have to fill in their email address to redeem the offer.
A combination of audio and video marketing using rich media can greatly improve the number of subscribers you get. Studies have shown that people like and share content that is mostly Emotional or Funny. You can share the content on your social media pages and drive fans to your website.
Do not miss the opportunity to showcase your website / content links at the right place – for example, your video on YouTube can have your website link in the description. You can also create Cards to drive more traffic. The Subscription part then depends on the last mile conversion on your website.
List Builder by SumoMe is for those individuals who want to seriously build their email list at a fast pace. The List Builder uses an email popup form to invite new visitors to join your email list, thus helping you get more subscribers. List Builder contains many features that help make it to the top of our list of email building tools. It’s A/B testing, no branding policy, fantastic templates, display controls, conversion tracking and multiple-popups will easily help you take your email list to the next level.
Welcome Gate is another great tool for building a list but this one works a bit differently. Why? That’s because it directs every new visitor to a well-designed landing page without showing a popup. Visitors are only redirected to the Welcome Gate page when they go to your home page. So if someone comes straight to a blog post through social media or any other source link, it would not be shown. A cookie keeps a track of this so the visitor will only see the Welcome Gate page once in their lifetime. After quite a lot of testing we came realized this plugin is more effective and powerful than other similar plugins.
ManyContacts is an easy to setup pop-up bar that sits on top of your website and helps to convert visitors into qualified subscribers. It was designed to help owners of all kinds of websites to increase their conversion rate through the collection and qualification of contacts. It also has a platform where you can easily export emails with details of each of your subscriber (email, device used, location, etc.), which you can add to your email archives.
OptinMonster utilizes opt-in forms as a part of an endeavor to transform your visitors into subscribers. The plugin gives out of the box integration with a popular email marketing service which makes the setup exceptionally easy. The business page of the plugin brags a 1 minute setup time and we can definitely acknowledge that. But you will need to spend more on customization and creation of forms based on your site design and goals.
A WordPress plugin that pops up in a place on your blog that grabs the attention of your readers without blocking their view of your content. Your visitors can open and close the pop-up whenever they want. It works well with any WordPress theme and is integrated with all of the popular email services: Mailchimp, Aweber, GetResponse, Office Autopilot and Infusionsoft.
There are probably thousands of visitors that come to your site every year and that never contact you. Increase the chances of gaining a new lead by using live chat to automatically reach out to your potential customers that visit your site. The best part about Zopim is that you don't have to lounge around on the PC throughout the day. By utilizing a programmed trigger, Zopim can naturally send every guest a message following 10 seconds of being on the site saying something like “Hey – do you have any inquiries I can help with?” In the event that they react, they will also be asked for their name and email address which is a win-win situation.
Numerous people have Facebook pages where they engage with fans by posting offers, running contests or uploading photographs. But this can be a pretty can be tedious task for an individual. That is the place an online networking promoting plugin like Woobox can offer assistance and help you take care of all this engagement seamlessly with its page tags. For marketers there is a twofold advantage here. Not just are you enhancing your online networking presence, but you are getting the email address of all those who redeem an offer or take part in a contest.
Digital Marketing Experts around the world have reiterated the effectiveness of emailer marketing. So you should not miss an opportunity to effectively connect with your audience. Get going!
When you are creating your first Adwords campaign, chances are high that you may miss out on some key points and settings. Even if you do create campaigns every day, there are possibilities that you may fail to notice a few things. Here’s a checklist to help you ensure that everything is in place before you take your Adwords campaign live.
1. Campaign type
Ensure you have selected the right campaign type based on your objective.
Search Network only – When you want your ads to be displayed on Google search results.
Display Network only – When you want your ads to be shown on websites which your targeted audiences visit. These sites are called “Placements”.
Search Network with Display Select - When you want to ads both on Google search results and other websites.
2. Campaign sub-type
Ensure that the “All features” sub-type is set, so that you get all the advanced options & features like ad scheduling, ad delivery and advanced location settings.
3. Location Targeting
Check that you have selected the right location (country, city, district etc.) where you want your ads to be shown. You need to set the Targeted location if you want your ads to be shown only in certain locations.This ensures you do not receive unnecessary clicks from the locations not relevant to your business.
4. Advanced Location settings
Ensure that you include and exclude locations through Advanced location targeting options, to make your targeting more effective.
Check if your option is set to,
People in my targeted location - If you are focusing the audiences who are living in the targeted location.
People searching for or show interest in my targeted location - if you want to show your ads to people who might not be living in your targeted but are searching for , or showing interest in the targeted location.
People in, searching for or show interest in my targeted location - if you want to target both the audience types listed above.
You also have the options to include or exclude places in the above criteria.
5. Conversion Tracking
Make sure that you copy the conversion code available in the “Tools - conversions” section and paste it in your Thank You or success page. This helps in tracking how productively the ad is being converted into leads. That can be a page sign up, purchase, phone call or app download.
If you are not familiar with how the conversion process works, here's a detailed guide you can refer to.
Ensure that you have created a Remarketing list for your campaign to track visitors to your website who you can target ads to later. This can be found in the audiences section under the Shared Library, in the left menu bar, as shown below. You can generate the remarketing code and paste it in all relevant pages of your site.
To begin with, it is recommended to choose “Automated bidding”, where Adwords sets your bids to help get as many clicks as possible within your budget. After the campaign has run for a few weeks, you can switch bidding to “Manual” and set the Maximum you would be willing to pay per click.
Verify that your billing information - country, billing address, and payment method have been added correctly.
9. Ad Delivery
If you have chosen the “All features” campaign sub-type, you will have two options to deliver your ad.
Ensure your option is set to ,
Standard – if your budget is limited and you want the ad to be evenly shown throughout the day.
Accelerated – if you want the ad to be shown as quickly as possible.
10. Ad Rotation
Make sure you set “Ad Rotation” when you have more than one ad in an ad group. This helps in choosing which ad to show more often. This setting consists of four options, namely,
Optimize for clicks – Ads receiving more clicks are shown often.
Optimize for conversions – Ads receiving more conversions are shown more often.
Rotate evenly – All ads in the ad group are equally shown.
Rotate indefinitely – All ads are shown for an indefinite amount of time.
Check if you have set “Rotate evenly” in the Ad rotation settings, so that you give preference to all ads initially and then change the settings later to either “Optimize for Clicks” or “Optimize for Conversions”, according to the ad performance.
11. Daily budget
Confirm that you have set the default bid and the amount you are willing to spend daily.
Verify that the Auto-tagging is turned on, under the “Preferences” section in the Account settings. This helps in tracking which keywords have brought visitors to your website and to which ad group they belong. Google Analytics uses auto-tagging URL and determines the ad performance.
13. Negative keywords
Ensure that you have added all negative keywords, that apply to the account, to a shared list under the “Campaign keywords” section in the Shared Library as shown below.
Confirm that you have applied the list to all the relevant campaigns in the account.
While creating Ad groups, make sure you group together the keywords targeting a particular product or service ie. cluster the keywords in ad groups thematically. Make sure you follow the below mentioned best practices.
14. Number of ads
Check that each ad group has a minimum of two ads, carrying different Ad titles and Descriptions , so that they run alternatively. After evaluating their performance over a period of time, the poorly performing ads can be be paused.
15. Mobile ads
At least one Mobile specific ad must be present in each ad group targeting mobile audience. You may notice certain truncated ads when you use mobile phones. It is because, those ads specifically created for the desktop users appear on mobiles. When you create ads, make sure you also create a copy of the ad and check the “Mobile” in the device preference option.
Similar keywords should be grouped under each ad group. As a good practice, it is recommended that , each ad group contain no more than 10 to 15 keywords in it.
17. Match type
Ensure that you use relevant keyword match types for optimal ad performance.
Writing a successful text ad is really important to target potential customers. Hence, the text ad should be both compelling as well as relevant to what customers are searching for. Ensure that you follow the below mentioned best practices for ads:
Check if the first letter of each word in the ad description is capitalized. This is more for visual purposes. Capitalizing each word increases the visibility of your ad resulting in higher click-through rates and improved quality scores.
As far as possible, make sure the First Description line ends with a period (full stop), so that, it moves up to the Headline. This is called an “Extended ad headline”. Most of the ads, with extended ad headlines stand out better on the search results pages resulting in better click-throughs on the ad.
Confirm that the Ad title, Display URLs, & Description lines contain keywords in them.
21. Landing page
Check if the Destination URLs are directed to the relevant landing pages.
Make sure you add all the relevant extensions to your ad. When the information in the ad text are not sufficient enough to showcase your product completely, Ad extensions help displaying additional information. Adding extensions also help the ad occupy a larger space in the SERP, which increases its prominence and visibility.
There are seven different ad extensions which can be found in the “Ad extensions” tab under each campaign.
Sitelinks extensions - Direct the users to the specific pages in the website and helps the users to find what they are looking for.
Location extensions - Direct the users to the nearest product store.
Call extensions - Call option making the mobile or tablet users to contact you directly.
App extensions - Take the users to the app store in order to download the product app.
Review extensions - Display positive reviews from various sources.
Call out extensions - Again a descriptive text to the ad, helping the user to explore more about the product.
Structured snippet extensions - Display additional landing page details.
Also, verify that all the extensions are linked to the relevant pages.
23. Repetition of Information
Make sure, no information already present in the Ad Description is repeated in the ad extensions. Remove or change it, if any.
24. Negative Keywords
In order to prevent your ads showing up for irrelevant keywords, make sure you have added negative keywords both at an ad group level and at a campaign level under the “Keywords” section.
25. Call to Action
Last, but not least, ensure that all ads have a Call to Action, which is the ultimate goal of any Ad campaign.
Whenever you create your next adwords campaign, keep this checklist handy to ensure that you don’t miss out on anything important.
Is there any check you carry out that we missed including? Do let us know in the comments below and we will have it included.
The second edition of the Digital Chai Pe Charcha, held at our office on 27th Feb 2016 received a great response with about 25 participants including entrepreneurs, professionals, digital marketers and social media influencers taking active part in the discussion. The topic of discussion was achieving content marketing success in 2016 and beyond.
As a recap for those who attended the session and for the benefit of those who didn’t, here’s a summary of the key takeaways from the session:
Why Content Marketing is essential:
Content marketing is a key part of any marketing strategy and is known to produce business results, as shown by the Hubspot survey below:
Also, as compared to paid media, it has a more sustained long-term impact:
Also, with most users being bombarded with ads from a large number of brands and with the use of ad blocking growing at a rapid pace, inbound marketing through valuable content works better and helps reach out to an audience that paid ads would never reach.
“10x Content” is required to make your content stand out:
With over 27 million pieces of content being produced every day, creating content that is good and unique alone doesn’t work. You need to create content which as defined by Rand Fishkin is “Content that is 10 times better than the best result that can currently be found in the search results for a given keyword phrase or topic.”
Creating 10X Content:
Read your audience’s minds:
The key is to find questions that your target audience is looking for answers to and problems they are looking to solve. Tools and platforms that could help you with this research are:
Combine User-focused content with search engine focused content:
Once you find topics that you could create 10x content on you would also need to check if there is a large enough number of users who are searching for content around those topics. This is where Google Keyword Planner comes into play and helps you figure out which topics you should create content on to get large volumes of organic traffic.
Find the most successful content around the topic:
Once you decide on a topic to create content on, you need to research the topic, do a competitive analysis and find the most successful content around it. This can be done by searching for different keyword variations on Google Search to identify top ranked content or by using a tool like Buzzsumo to find the most shared content on the topic.
Make your content better than any other top content out there:
Ensure your content:
For more detailed steps on creating 10x content check out our blog on 10 ways to create 10x content. Some examples of what 10x content could possibly look like are listed below:
Content Amplification is Key:
Simply ideating, creating and publishing content does not work anymore and content distribution requires as much, if not more, effort as content creation. Some avenues for content amplification that you could use would be:
You could also check out or blogs on 21 SEO Link Building Techniques for 2016 and the 15 Best Social Bookmarking Websites to promote your content. For other useful content amplification strategies, you can also take a look at our slideshare below:
Q & A from the session:
Some of the questions that came up during the discussion with the answers are listed below as well:
Q: Is content marketing the way forward for SEO as well?
A: The focus of SEO has shifted from just keyword optimization and link building to not only producing quality content that addresses users’ needs but also delivering that content to the user with the best experience possible. Content is now the new SEO and creating 10X content is going to be the way forward in 2016.
Q: How do you measure results from Content Marketing?
A: Three metrics would help measure the impact of your content marketing efforts:
Q: How long do content marketing efforts take to start showing tangible business results?
A: There is only one right answer here and that is – it depends. There are multiple factors that will impact your success timelines like your existing domain authority, the time and effort invested in content creation and promotion and the content promotion budgets, if any. Typically content gets indexed in a few days and you can start getting traffic but time period to get business results can vary from 3-4 months all the way up to even a year. For example, when we started our influencer marketing platform, Influencer.in it took us 4 months before we started getting tangible results in the form of enquiries via our content or via google organic traffic.
Q: What tools can be used to create Infographics when one does not have a design team?
Q: Does post regional language content help content marketing efforts?
A: Yes, translating content to regional languages can help reach out to a newer audience, provided that audience is relevant to your business. Regional language content can also help increasing search traffic to your website, as shown in this article on the growth of regional content as well as this case study by Neil Patel.
Q: How do I know my content is 10x?
A: Whether your content is 10x or not is a little subjective - what may appear 10x to you may not look like 10x to someone else. Nevertheless, below are some validation questions to help you figure out if your content is 10x:
Here’s what some of our participants had to say about the session:
— Krithika Ramani (@krithikaramani3) February 27, 2016
Those of you who missed the inaugural edition of the Digital Chai Pe Charcha last month can check out the meeting summary here. You can follow us on Facebook and Twitter or check out the hashtag #DigitalCPC for more details on the next Digital Chai pe Charcha meet.
Are there any digital marketing challenges or problems you face in your organization? Do let us know and we would be happy to include them as discussion topics in upcoming Digital Chai Pe Charcha sessions.
“Page abandonment increases with every second longer it takes for your website to load”
You just created the sleekest website on WordPress that has a super responsive user interface and killer content, but you’re not getting any conversions! It all boils down to page load time at the end of the day. No matter how wonderfully you craft your website, if your page loads slowly, your visitor will navigate away. They’ll navigate to an uglier website with terrible content but that loads quicker. You don’t want that.
Page abandonment increases with every second longer it takes your website to load. All hope is not lost, however. With just a few simple and easy to implement ideas, take your tortoise of a webpage and give it a turbo boost.
First of all, test your website’s load time with this handy tool from Pingdom or pagespeed from Google. Does your website pass the 2-second rule? According to several surveys that a Kissmetric article researched, most web users look for a website that loads within 2 seconds. The longest they’ll wait is 3 seconds! Any longer than that and your page needs heavy optimizing.
Before reading any further make sure you have a good server and has servers based in India (if you are targetting the Indian market. We would recommend Bluehost for a shared Linux hosting or a Wordpress optimised hosting if your site is on Wordpress.
So you’ve run the test for your website and it’s pretty slow. What next? Check out these scientifically-backed tips to improve your website’s speed.
Yes, implement LazyLoad into your website design to improve the amount of time it takes for your site to load. With LazyLoad, you can cut back on the page load time, and allow users to save their bandwidth. Win-win for all!
Images (in sizes) are indirectly proportional to any website speed. Bigger the image, slower the loading, best solution is to compress images without losing quality. You can use free image compression tools like Caesium to compress images without losing much of its sharpness & clarity. In wordpress, there are plugins like Smush.It or Ewww Image Optimizer which use lossless/lossy method to optimize the images. The great thing about these plugins is that they work in the background every time you upload a new image you can also run it retrospectively on all of the images uploaded to your media library. They come with limitations that the base image should not be more than 1mb in size (so Caesium can be used to compress initially).
The WP-Optimize plugin allows you the freedom to optimize your MySQL database with just a click!
Want a winning idea for speeding up your website? Reduce or get rid of cookies altogether. Your visitor will also be thankful that cookies don’t bog their system down.
Don’t redirect. When you redirect your visitor to another page, you’re only adding an additional HTTP which makes your page load slower.
Outbound and Interruption Marketing is losing its sheen in favor of Content Marketing and Native Advertising. Though they seem similar but there is quite a difference between the two forms of marketing. This article will help you understand the difference between Content Marketing and Native Advertising.
Content Marketing is a marketing approach that involves creating valuable and useful non-promotional content by brands. The important part in the first sentence is “valuable and “useful”. Self-serving and promotional content cannot be placed in the content marketing bucket: Value-add is the only secret.
Goals of Content Marketing:
The goals for content marketing can be broadly categorized as follows:
Different Forms of Content Marketing
Content Marketing can be done in varied formats but some of the key ones are discussed here.
Metrics to track the effectiveness of Content Marketing:
Tips for an effective content marketing strategy:
Native Advertising is a form of paid advertising where the content put out seems similar to the native content of the platform. You would have come across one or the other form of native advertising daily – while reading an e-newspaper, browsing through an ecommerce portal or on your favorite Google Search Engine. According to Business Insider, The global native advertising spend is estimated to cross $21 billion by the year 2018.
Goals of Native Advertising
Different Forms of Native Advertising
Metrics to track in Native Advertising
Tips for Native Advertising
Content is any brand’s most powerful weapon which can be used to fulfill marketing and branding objectives. A strategic approach towards creating and distributing content creatively can attract customers and propel them to take the desired action. While all brand managers are aware of this mantra and are working towards it, how can you differentiate your brand amongst the rest and make it trend?
Here are some interesting content marketing tips to make your brand famous and captivate your audience:
While most brands that fall under the same industry or category have similar social media strategy, the one who thinks differently always reaps better results. Having a fresh perspective towards generic concepts can help in delivering content that interests the user and eventually improves your organic reach and engagement.
To quote an example, Planet SuperHeroes came up with an infographic on the New Year’s to show its audience how their lives will look like in 2016. Unlike many brands that did run-of-the-mill updates and wishes on this occasion, PSH went ahead with content that’s relevant to its audience. Boy, did this unique approach towards content marketing bring them organic results? See for yourself below!
Here's another example of unique content marketing strategy by the Tamil Nadu's Chief Election Officer, where movie and television references were used to spread awareness about the upcoming State Assembly Elections.
CREATE USER-FOCUSED CONTENT
Instead of just talking about your brand’s product and services, create useful content that interests your audience. This way, understanding your target group’s expectations and behavior can positively impact your social media content strategy. Spend time on public forums and communities to study the relevant topics discussed by your consumers. Create content that your customers are most likely to consume and will come back to you for more such information.
Petwish is an online pet portal brand who published a series of posts on different dog breeds and their lifestyle characteristics – to help customers choose the ideal dog breed for their family. This being an example of a customer-centric content approach, the campaign went viral garnering 42K shares and 20K likes on the page, all organically. Through this campaign, the brand was able to position itself as a knowledge source for its customer base and indirectly boost its branding and marketing efforts.
TAKE PLATFORM-SPECIFIC APPROACH
While planning your content marketing strategy, keep the communication same across platforms but approach them differently. Design your content to suit the language, environment and behaviors on different digital media platforms. While creating unique content is one thing, distributing it thoughtfully across platforms will help get the most value out of it.
Thus, understanding the potential of each platform and taking a channel-specific approach could result in reaching the right audience, the right way.
HIJACK LATEST TRENDS OR TOPICS
Creating content around trending topics or events is an age old technique that many brands have used and succeeded in the past. Spontaneity, messaging and creative presentation are the three important factors to keep in mind while plugging-in your content around a trending event. Use the right hashtags or keywords to make your content easily discoverable. And a tinge of good humour or objective take on a social issue would go a long way in increasing the shareability and making your brand trend along with the topic.
Below are some of the examples of brands that capitalized on the ‘Be like Bill’ meme that took over the Internet few weeks back.
USE HUMOUR, IF RELEVANT
Who doesn’t love humour when it’s appropriate and impressive? With memes and funny illustrations dominating the social media world, humour is undoubtedly the best universal language that brands love to speak.
Witty or good humour bridges the gap between a brand and its customer in so many levels and helps in building a community. Spontaneity coupled with creative humour has resulted in a number of successful brand campaigns in the past and will continue to do so.
MAKE USE OF VISUAL MEDIUM
2016 seems to be year of Visual Marketing with video content and infographics having the best ROI and reception amongst the users. Visual content grabs the audiences’ attention much faster than text and generates more social engagement. According to a recent study by Cisco, video will account for 80 percent of the global internet traffic by 2019. And the numbers have already begun to rise, as more and more brands are gradually moving some of their TV budgets to digital videos.
With the increasing availability of platforms such as YouTube, Vine, Periscope, Blab, Flipagram, etc. and the user community shifting to mobile and social, brand managers should make use of these visually appealing content forms to gain valuable results.
ROPE IN INFLUENCERS TO AMPLIFY CONTENT
If you have great content and are trying to amplify it through impactful sources, look no further. Influencer marketing helps in identifying leaders with a significant follower base, who can deliver your brand’s message to a wider audience and influencer their opinions / purchase decisions. Using influencers for your content campaigns can result in higher reach and engagement, thus giving you more mileage than your competitors.
What are the content marketing efforts that you’ve taken so far to improve your brand’s online presence? Do let us know about your thoughts in the ‘Comments’ section!
Want to maintain a good relationship with your customers and clients? The best way to do that is by constantly keeping in touch and updating them. Email is perhaps the easiest way to do this. Email marketing is the best resource for both start up and established companies, especially e-retail ventures. According to studies, the total number of worldwide email accounts is expected to increase from nearly 3.9 billion accounts to over 4.9 billion accounts by the end of 2017. In a 2015 study from BlueHornet, over 77% of consumers buy products and services from marketing/advertising emails at least once a month or more. So make sure you include email marketing as part of your marketing plan. Here are a few tips to make email marketing work for you. We also have a detailed checklist for emailer marketing.
Personalization increases response rates tremendously. Whatever be your vertical, your customers would rather want an email personalized to them than a bulk mail. Use names in email messages to grab attention. Make sure you spell the names right. You don’t want to send out an email with the wrong spelling. Tools like Mail Chimp make it easy to do this. You can read about their “Merge Tag” feature here.
People get a lot of emails every day and most of it goes unread. In order to get the attention of people, you need to write catchy subject lines. Make sure the subject line is not too long either. As per Marketing Sherpa, subject lines with 9 to 10 words are the most ideal. Mailchimp also has some tips on Subject Lines.
Food Panda, an online food order website/app has mastered this concept well. They promoted a ‘Buy one, Get one free pizza’ in a unique way. The challenge for them was to make people open the same email with the same offer and same creative one day after another. So they used creative subject line such as:
If you have a prospective client or a new client, it is a good idea to send them a welcome mail. Introduce them to your brand and tell your story with the very first email you send them. If you start with sending new customers promotional emails, you won’t develop a lasting relationship with them. It is the first email they receive after subscribing so it is important to make an impression that counts. According to Yourstory.com stats, subscribers who receive a welcome email show, on average, 33% more long-term engagement with that brand.
If you are using wordpress, Gravity Forms can be an effective tool to send out automated emailers to new customers or new leads.
Here is an example of an ecommerce company, Nykaa that got the welcome email right. The brand not only gave all the information required but also personalized every email.
People do not want to read long boring copies on their emails. So open your email with compelling text or some great offer. It is also a good idea to send them useful content from your blog that they might be interested in. Not all the time do your clients want to know about offers and products so make your copy easy to scan by using short sentences, simple language and bulleted lists.
In order for your email marketing to be successful, you need to have a strong database. Build your own consumer database by gaining consumers’ permission through your website. To build this, you can use tools such as SumoMe’s List Builder, which help in converting one-time visitors into lifelong readers and email subscribers.
The biggest problem about email marketing is the risk of spending all that time in creating the mail and it ending up in the spam folder. So before you start sending emails, read up on the SPAM rules. In India, there is no law as such but the closest thing that regulators have come is certain provisions in the IT Act. Under section 79 of the IT Act, Internet intermediaries must take care and diligence with regard to the services they provide, which read together with section 43A of the Act (compensation for failure to protect personal data from theft), can ‘indirectly bring into play a data privacy law’. To know more, read this article, which gives you more details on the dos and don’ts.
When it comes to email marketing no email is complete without a Call To Action. Always include a CTA button in your mailers. Customize the CTA to your audience and provide multiple links throughout the email to make it easy for users to take action. A CTA button will increase click-through rates by making it clear to the reader what the next step they should take is. So while designing, make the CTA button prominent and use enticing words on it to encourage your readers to click
Adding your social media accounts in your emails is a great way to promote your social media platforms. It will give you a chance to expand your community and connect better with your subscribers. Do not stop with just connecting with them; make sure you engage with them actively on social media.
Considering that many users will be opening the email on their mobile devices, you need to make sure that the email is responsive to all devices – similar to your websites. This is a common mistake we see in emailer campaigns where a promotional image is sent out – but these images are not responsive so the text becomes illegible.
Different devices display emails differently. Send a test email to your friends and colleagues with different devices and test it out before you send it. Test reveals design mistakes and can predict whether or not a campaign will get caught in a spam filter. You could even set up accounts with a few different email services for easy testing.
Email service providers are ideal for sending bulk emails. You can build email templates, personalize emails, send and track your campaigns on a larger scale. Here are two most popular service providers in the market that you can use:
MailChimp is the best tool for email marketing campaigns. They have a strong policy against spam and offers strong analytics package, full auto-responder functionality, and makes it easy to build, track, and segment campaigns of any type. Mailchimp accounts start at Free for up to 2000 subscribers.
SendGrid offers tools to make it effortless for developers and marketers to craft, segment, test, and successfully deliver emails. It is a cloud-based email infrastructure that eliminates the need to build and maintain a system in-house.
Email marketing is a vital step in creating the perfect lead nurturing strategy. For more information on how to create a customised lead nurturing plan for your brand, don't forget to check out our in-depth video
Social Web 3.0, a digital marketing conclave was organised by Madras Management Association on 23rd November at Hotel My Fortune, Chennai. The event was attended by industry bigwigs such as Maneesha Khanna, Director of Marketing, PepsiCo and Bhaskar Ramesh, Head of Industries – FMCG, Google India amongst the other notable ones.
The event started with an insightful keynote address by Hari Menon, CO-Founder & CEO, Big Basket on digital influence and analytics-driven future, which set the stage for the rest of the day. Vikas Chawla, Co-Founder & CEO of Social Beat spoke about how content & influencer marketing is changing the social media game. It was an interactive session with a series of questions on how brands can leverage content marketing to achieve business goals and what would be the ideal advertising-marketing mix.
Here are some insights on Content and Influencer Marketing discussed during the session:
If Content is king, there are too many kings out there.
Here are some tips to stand-out and leverage on relevant content to achieve business goals.
Influencer marketing is becoming an integral part of marketing budgets and here's why:
Digital media endorsement by an influencer can work wonders for your brand, only if you pick the right one.
Here are some metrics you need to consider before choosing the influencers for your campaign.
The next session was a case study by Maneesha Khanna, on #CrashTheIPL campaign that involved consumer generated video content. The idea behind this talk was to understand how videos have become the way forward for FMCG brands to easily connect with the audience. The success of #CrashTheIPL campaign could be contributed to the strong cross channel promotion - yet another game changer in the advertising space. Hence, brand managers should also explore highly integrated digital + TV campaigns, as both of these channels are here to stay.
Apart from these expert sessions and case studies, there were also discussions on various trending topics in the digital & social space. Social Media 3.0 also witnessed a bunch of digital enthusiasts who actively participated in Twitter & Instagram contests conducted during the event.
Were you a part of this digital media conclave and have more stories to tell?
Write to us about your experience in the ‘Comments’ section.