It is safe to say that the user experience offered by the digital assets of a brand either makes or breaks its online image. The exponential growth of mobile users in the past few years has made it imperative for companies to up their game while engaging with the next billion internet users. This need gave rise to Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) for faster and easy access to mobile-responsive pages. However, Google has now introduced the “Swipe to Visit” option for AMP-enabled sites to seamlessly direct users to your website from an image search. Here’s all you need to know about this recent update.
Say, you search for an image in Google. Once you key in your inputs, you land on the result page showing multiple images pertaining to your search. Now, when you click on a particular image, it enlarges and suggests related images in the bottom. However, with the new update, there is a preview of the AMP-enabled website in the footer of the image search page. Users can swipe up the preview option to quickly view the corresponding web page that contains the original image listed in the search results. While reading the AMP article, in case you want to get back to the image search result page, all you have to do is to swipe down.
Recent data shows that nearly 63 percent of users performing image searches on Google, click on the image to visit the source website. Leveraging the Swipe to Visit option will now enhance user experience, which, in turn, will help in improving organic traffic to the website. This provides a chance for brand awareness and will lead to the domino effect of increased time spent on the website, due to the high-quality content available to consume. Hence, it is crucial for the website to load quickly and be SEO friendly for better results. On the whole, the Swipe to Visit option enhances the conversion rate of the product which is vital for the success of effective digital marketing. To add to that, web pages that are already AMP-enabled need not take an additional effort to update the Swipe to Visit option as it is automatically upgraded.
Although images are not the most common types of search, since a picture speaks a thousand words, your website will receive increased number of clicks due to this convenient option. Therefore, Swipe to Visit is an important break-through to naturally channelise traffic to your website and improve the quality of leads generated.
As the saying goes, “Everything old becomes new again”.2018 has witnessed a definite shift in design, setting precedence for the years to come. Graphic design trends from the past are taking centre stage with a new, fresh and modern twist added to them. Few of the major trends include exploring the 3-dimensional realm, rich photography and vibrant colour palettes. We are now at a fascinating turn-point for design, and we are looking forward to experimenting more in this space. Here are the top 7 design trends you can incorporate in your marketing strategy and engage with India’s next billion Internet users.
Gradient or colour transitions, which were already a rage till late 2007, made a huge comeback when Instagram upgraded its logo with a gradient background. This trend has been on the rise ever since. Colour transitions have diverse and modern applications that are vibrant, smooth and flexible to flat design aesthetics. This trend will continue to diversify in its own innovative avatar, with the usage of bright and vivid colours in a combination of textures – like the ones featured below.
With the increase in the number of users accessing the Internet through their mobile phones, designing your web assets with a mobile-first approach is more of a necessity than a luxury. Responsive design is one which adapts to all screen sizes. However, since the logo of a company is one of the smallest elements on the screen, creating a mobile-responsive logo without losing the visibility of all its elements is one of the main challenges faced by designers. The ingenious solution to this lies in making versions of logos for different screens. Logos have become adaptive, with different versions for mobiles, tablets and desktop devices. Featured below are few logos and their mobile-first versions.
Retro modern illustrations have made a huge comeback in 2018 with generous usage of the 80’s and 90’s colour palette. From pretty pastels to electric hues, age-old visuals have taken a modern route with a semi-flat design. Today, a lot of brand leaders and influential personalities belong to the generation of the 80’s and the 90’s. Additionally, these generations also form a large pool of key target audiences, making this trend an easy way to trigger nostalgia and create engaging posts that boost social engagement.
These illustrations combine modern, sleek lines with throwback colour palettes. The characteristic feature of this style lies in its fluid yet crystal clear messaging. It is truly the best of both worlds. Few designs with retro modern illustrations are displayed below:
Typography for the digital space is more than often an extension of its print counterpart. This trend has just gotten bigger, bolder and better! The only limitation to your typography style is your imagination. Contrary to popular belief, typography is never seen as a minuscule part of the design, but a form of design itself, coupled with an artistic twist. While usual sans serifs fonts remain as fashionable as ever, you can also get creative with designer, artistic and hand-made fonts.
We are also likely to see the comeback of the serif fonts since Google has such an impressive collection for web design. In a quest to stay in sync with design elements across all media, designers usually stay away from serifs as a thumb rule. However, as the acceptability of this font is increasing online, it is only a matter of time for the font to make a complete comeback. Scroll down for interesting ways in which typography is used as an element of design.
A very interesting trend that marks the beginning of the next era in design is 3 Dimensional styles – from 3D still photography to 3D typography. Seeing that there is no limit to innovation and imagination, you can also experiment with a mixture of 3D and 2D.3D capabilities have grown to such an extent that the intersection between virtual and reality have been blurred out and indistinguishable.
Another growing trend is isometric projection which is an interesting method to visually project a 3-dimensional object in a 2-dimensional space. It is safe to say that this type of projection is one of the leading design trends of 2018, used in all kinds of visual mediums including photography, 3D design and illustration, to name a few. Additionally, this trend helps in creating great visual posts on social media. Few of them are showcased below:
An interesting design style for those with nimble fingers and an eye for detail is using paper cut illustrations. This trend uses actual paper cutting, stuck using double sided tape to give it depth and a semi-flat finish. The illustrations end up looking very surreal and can help in telling brand stories through various layers. Featured below is a brilliant amalgamation of hand-made crafts made with the help of our design tools.
Claymation – a process of using clay modelling in animation – is one of the leading trends in stop-motion design. From the main character to the background, claymation gives the advantage of making each aspect of design deformable because of its malleability. This creative and innovative trend is used extensively for gaming animation and in Hollywood productions. As you can see below, though it is a little tedious and time consuming the output is generally worth the effort
Cinemagraphs, or animated photographs, are an evergreen trend in both social media and websites. The best part aspect of cinematography is that they can elevate any kind of page to another level and you do not need to be a leading fashion brand or a design studio to use them.
Cinemagraphs can grab the user’s attention and keep them hooked to your page for a longer time, thus increasing engagement for your page. These animated images work best on product pages where the important aspects of the product can be highlighted from a different angle. They also load faster than videos, making them the perfect fit for light websites.
Now that you know what the top design trends of 2018 are, it is time you implement them in your brand strategy and attract potential consumers. Whether you are a real estate developer, a top FMCG brand or a leading financial organisation, add these design trends to your marketing approach and grow your business.
Facebook Marketing has become an integral part of any digital marketing strategy and it has revolutionized the way we look at the online marketing industry. Over the last 12 years, Facebook has seen a 360-degree shift, transforming from a simple social networking site to the face of a multi-billion dollar company allowing brands to find new customers, increase their sales, create brand awareness and much more. When we ran an industry survey amongst CMOs and Brand Heads across India we found that close to 90% Brands in India are already leveraging Facebook. Advertisers are spending more money than ever before on Facebook as it has emerged as one of the biggest platforms to engage with their target audience. Keeping this in mind, new features are being regularly added to Facebook and marketers have to constantly make alterations to their strategies to ensure their content is still reaching its target audience. Below are a few points that have been gathered keeping in mind the recent changes which may give us clues as to what 2017 will hold for both consumers and businesses. You may also find it interesting to read our book on Digital Marketing Insights for 2017, which can be purchased on Amazon.
Following the decrease in the organic reach of Facebook page posts last year, Locowise conducted a small study to analyze how page posting frequency impacts reach, engagement and negative feedback.
The study reveals that pages that posted once a week or less on their official page reached an average of 15% of the audience who liked their page per post. Interestingly, pages that posted two to four times a week reached only 10% of the page audience and pages that posted once a day reached a lower average of 8.42% per post. This means that organic reach drops with an increase in the number of posts, and over posting content is a common mistake marketers tend to make on FB. This also means that the quality of content and FB posts needs to be extremely high and we are likely to see many brands evolving into fewer but highly engaging posts.
Another study by social@ogilvy reveals that for large pages with more than 5,00,000 Likes, the organic reach has seen a remarkable decline when compared to other smaller pages. It is believed that marketing managers can expect the organic reach to further approach zero in the future. The detailed analysis and data interpretations along with the recommendations are available to read here in the full white paper.
The number of users on Facebook has doubled from 845 million to 1654 million over the last five years. There are more brands than ever who are joining the bandwagon of Facebook marketing and these brands are posting multiple posts every day. All of this creates more noise and unimaginable amounts of content that will simply be filtered out and never reach the news feed of a specific user. With so much information to be filtered, Facebook uses complex algorithms to pick and show content to users they are most relevant to them and those that they are most likely to engage with.So it can be assumed that increased brand post frequency is aiding in the drop of organic reach.
However, the only exception to this organic reach debate was seen in the news & media industry. The organic reach of news publishers seems to remain steady, even with a higher posting frequency. Here’s the result of analysis of 3,318 profiles, by Sotrender.
Videos are the next step in the social media evolution and will most likely dominate the online advertising and marketing industry. As per the stats by Facebook, users watch an average of 100 million hours of video every day and most of these are on their mobile devices. Daily views have increased from 1 billion to 8 billion in the last one year. These stats are proof that users have started consuming more of video content and it is essential that brands leverage this in their favor to engage with the potential customers. Video content is the best medium for storytelling and is a great opportunity for brands to connect with their audience.
Live videos were one of the major updates announced earlier this year by Facebook. This gave live videos prime placement in the Facebook app and also adds new ways to find, create, share, and react to them. This move efficiently makes live videos one of the central features of Facebook. Live videos offer a new way to interact on a platform that can feel so familiar that it risks feeling stale. Broadcasting live to your social circle gives you a certain thrill or even just watching a friend’s live broadcast, can bring in a fresh feeling of excitement and make you want to interact on the same old platform in a new way. On an average, Facebook says people are commenting 10 times more on live videos than they do on regular videos. This clearly means that brands must explore Live videos over recorded videos as this would help drive higher engagement levels with the audience. Facebook also rolled out an update where advertisers could add a video element for FB Carousel Ads. The shift towards video as a tool for marketing is evident and is definitely here to stay.
We also have an interesting blog on how to create low cost videos to tell your brand story – in case you are creating videos for the first time.
The fact that a business needs to have a mobile-friendly website is much talked about and is not a new concept. Last year, Google announced that, for the first time mobile searches surpassed desktop searches. This eventually led to a new situation where Google’s algorithm started to penalize sites that were not optimized for mobile devices. For the last few years, marketing experts have been stressing on the fact that there is an obvious need for businesses to optimize the sites for the ever-increasing number of mobile users. Facebook Inc announced that it has over 142 million users in India, of which about 133 million access the social network via their mobile devices. This means that a staggering 90% of users are using facebook on their phones in India. It is essential that marketers who are trying to engage with and attract potential customers in order to redirect them to their website, ensure that their website is mobile optimized and are able to leverage every micro moment of Indian consumers. In today’s Smartphone era, mobile-optimization is the norm and an essential item that can no longer be placed on the back burner to address later.
A few years ago, advertising on social media platforms was a very niche concept with not too many players in the market. In this new age of online marketing, many brands have become aware of the importance of ads across various social media channels, especially Facebook. Today, with the various targeting and advertising options on Facebook, we can reach out to millions of potential customers in any part of the world. Facebook advertising is a strong tool that can be used by brands to meet their marketing objectives.
Facebook ads allow you to choose from a wide range of possible adverts including but not restricted to Page Post Engagement, Clicks to a website, Conversions on Website, App Installs, Video Views, Lead Ads etc. Over the last few years, Facebook has evolved into a paid marketing platform more than an organic one so it is essential for marketers to leverage the power of the various adverts available. You can read our detailed guide on measuring ROI from social media.
In an attempt to make it easier for brands to reach out to potential customers and drive sales on mobile devices Facebook has started rolling out the Shop section in phases. This section allows a brand to list out their products and let consumers browse through the catalog and purchase products that they like from within Facebook. The social network does not charge you to add a shop section to your Page nor does it take any percentage of the money you make through it. In the upcoming year, more businesses will start selling stuff directly from Facebook as this new section is set to change the way we look at e-commerce and social selling. Ofcourse it also has had Product Ads for E-commerce companies for a long time now – these can be also be leveraged parallely.
We have left out Instagram Marketing from this conversation, as it warrants its own blog. We are also seeing some interesting developments around Instagram analytics and Instagram targeting going forward.
Do let us know what other features you expect FB to evolve in the coming months.
The Internet Era has now given way to the Mobile Internet Era, with 15% to 35% of traffic coming from mobile devices, and this is only slated to grow. Inspite of the fact that already about 1/4th traffic is from mobile, many top Indian websites are not mobile compatible (read our article on 10 Indian websites that are not mobile responsive). If your website is not optimized for the mobile, you are definitely losing out on leads and customers and also on search engine rankings.
So how do you go about optimizing your website for the mobile? Google PageSpeed Insights is a useful tool that helps you identify issues, rectify them and make your website mobile friendly. Below is a summary of the key recommendations to make your website mobile friendly:
It can be really frustrating to click or tap on a link / button on a phone or tablet and accidently, hitting on the wrong button because your finger pad is larger than a desktop mouse cursor. The tap targets should be scaled such that they are large enough to press / click easily.
If your webpage does not have a meta-viewport tag, mobile browsers will consider you page to be not mobile friendly and hence, fall back on a desktop viewport. Moreover, it might apply font-boosting which can interfere with your intended page layout. The first step in configuration should be width = device – width. It should be kept in mind that not all mobile devices have the same width. Also, users prefer mobile sites scrolling vertically rather than horizontally.
Check the font sizes. They should be legible to mobile users across devices. Google PageSpeed Insights checks the font sizes on whether it is enough to be read comfortably by most users.
If you want to attract users who are using their mobile, avoid plugins, as most smartphones do not support flash and other plugins.
If you have a website already and are thinking of making it mobile friendly, it's possible. But in many cases, a complete redesign, factoring in user experience and website analytics will help increase your website's conversion rate and boost web and mobile traffic. If you are using Wordpress or a CMS then there are quick fixes to make your site compatible - for example in Wordpress there is a mobile solution called WP Touch.
We would love to hear your thoughts on mobile/tablet compatibility and how do you see it evolving.
At a networking meet last week, I was not surprised to hear a couple of interesting questions thrown around. Some of them which I got hold of, are as follows:
Firstly, let me start off with the difference between the mobile website and a mobile responsive website.
A mobile responsive website design means that no matter what the screen size is, the content always optimizes for the corresponding screen size. Thus, the website can be viewed using any device with any screen size like mobile, tablet, etc. This eliminates the need for cumbersome panning or resizing the website when viewing on different devices.
Alternatively, a mobile website means that you have a separate entity built for a specific devices’ screen size only. Try opening it in a differently-sized device and you would immediately want to check out other competitors in the industry with a better user-friendly website rather than suffering anxiety, eye-strain and blood pressure trying to work your way through the website.
This inspired me to have a look at the Indian companies that do not have a mobile-responsive website and I was pretty surprised to see that a lot of the big names also, do not have an optimized mobile web strategy. Some of them are discussed below:
The advantages of moving to a responsive web design are many, right from getting mobile traffic to your website to making the website adaptive to the future devices. There are companies that do have dedicated apps but again, not everyone is expected to have the app installed on their device. Instead, a responsive website can allow them to browse without frills. Companies can either opt to brace up for the future or be ready to lose up to half of their traffic in the future in the absence of a mobile responsive web design.
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