3/3 Mobile Marketing

It’s pretty obvious to me that the days of the desktop computer are limited. Sure they will still find a use in office situations, but personal computing is shifting towards a purely mobile landscape. But this shouldn’t be a surprise to you, as you can’t go anywhere these days without practically running into someone who is too busy looking at their phone to be concerned with where they are walking.

Part of mobile computing’s rising significance could be attributed to Moore’s law, with each generation of smartphones becoming more powerful and capable. Most smartphones on today’s market could outright replace the average laptop, with the only downside being the smaller screen and lack of keyboard. It’s gotten to the point now where my smartphone has more processing power than my laptop and tablet combined.

As if it wasn’t bad enough already, as smartphones’ capability increases we will see mankind further attached to their phones. But this is good news for marketers, as it will help us to further understand the mobile consumer. Since everyone is on their phone at some point, no matter where they go, marketers are able to gather data on various consumer scenarios. For example, a marketer will be able to determine which mobile advertisements perform better when people are out shopping for groceries, and then tailor future ads to these standards.

The rise of mobile computing is beneficial to non-marketers as well. Since the iOS market is so heavily controlled and regulated, it’s easy for webmasters to create mobile versions of their sites to perform well on iphones. But due to the fragmented nature of the largest mobile operating system, Google’s Android, it is more difficult to make a site that performs well across all mobile platforms. To help create a more engaging experience with their customers, most websites feature a mobile app specific to either operating system.

These apps may sometimes be stripped of features but usually they still perform better than a universal site would on a smartphone’s mobile browser. They also allow the developers to create a more visually engaging experience for the consumer because apps allow for animations, graphics and other features that would otherwise be taxing on a mobile browser.

The mobile computing market is still growing, and with the advent of smartwatches and soon, augmented reality glasses, there is no telling where mobile computing will take us in the future, and the advantages it will provide marketers.

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Thursday 2/5 Email Marketing

So at this point in the digital marketing evolution, your website should be pretty solid. It is optimized for search engines, has attention-grabbing landing pages that beg the customer for their next click, and you bring in a constant flow of customers through your expansive social media strategy. But there is always room for improvement, there are always more potential customers out there that you might not be engaging.

One way to expand your reach is to utilize proper email marketing, and that doesn’t mean simply bombarding every one of your email leads with promotions and coupons. That’s a good way to get lost in the clutter that is your client’s inbox, but you can avoid this dilemma by incorporating a few of these email marketing tips:

  • Prove your Value to the Customer: Don’t keep sending them coupons they probably won’t use. Instead send content they will want to read and share among their friends, content such as industry insight through an article or even just sending them a free e-book will show them you are thinking about more than just sales.
  • Give your Customers Options: Don’t just blanket your customers with emails about anything and everything, let them choose the topics they are interested in, and the frequency at which they receive those emails. This makes your emails seem less harassing, and lets your customers hear from you on a schedule that works for them.
  • Treat your Email Contacts as People: When people sign up for your email list, it shows that they want to hear more from you, and what you have to offer. Instead of treating them as simply a name on a list, use this opportunity to nurture a relationship with that customer. Prove to them that they matter to your business. This can be done by educating new customers about your business and focusing on repeat sales and rewards for long-time customers.

Tuesday 2/3 — Landing Pages

OK, so we’ve covered some pretty good ways to attract customers to your website through various means of inbound marketing, search engine optimization and building a strong presence on social media. Let’s say all of your time and hard work has paid off and you are now getting a considerable amount of traffic to your website, but how do you turn that traffic into revenue?

The first step in converting your website patrons from viewers to purchasers is to have an attractive landing page, one that will grab their attention and garner more interest in your business, product or cause. Your landing page is the first thing that customers will see, so you want it to make a good impression.

Here are some tips and practices that any good business should incorporate into their landing page:

  • Keep it Simple: Your landing page should be very straight forward, and reflect the overall theme or image that your brand is trying to accomplish. Too much clutter can distract customers and drive away potential sales.
  • Catch their eye: The design of your landing page should be attractive and garner interest from the customer wherever they look. Using animations to demonstrate your product or open up to more information can help the customer learn more about you or your product without leaving the page.
  • Call to Action: Have an obvious next step on your landing page, whether it be purchasing or learning more about your brand. There should be a clearly defined option, begging for that next click.
  • Product Demo: Having a video on your landing page to demonstrate your product or inform about your company is a surefire way to increase conversions. It offers the page viewer a chance to learn more about your product without any additional clicks.
  • Targeted Ads: In order to get past the usual “banner blindness” of the everyday online consumer, use targeted advertisements that will make the customer feel like they were designed specifically for them. Using geo-specific ads to present promotions to the customer can help drive sales.

These are just a few of the various tactics to employ on your landing page to help drive sales. A properly optimized landing page will do most of the sales work for you, allowing customers to develop interest in the product at their own pace

Tuesday 1/27

Getting the word out about your blog, website or another area of your social media presence can make all the difference in the world to a struggling company, but with so many areas of input battling for internet user’s attention, it can be hard to draw in the customers you seek. I have selected a few courses from Hootsuite University’s upper level classes that should help streamline your content creation and strengthen your online community.

SCMD 161: Generating and Sharing Content Effectively

The effective use of content creation and also curation can help you engage with your audience while at the same time let your audience feel engaged with your brand as they soak up the information you provide them with.

Created content is exactly how it sounds, content that is original work of your business that is then posted across your social media pages. It is important that your content is interesting, engaging and educational to your audience but creating content like this can be taxing on your resources. It is important that you strike a balance between content quality and quantity. Too much low-quality content will lower the image of your brand with your audience while less, but higher quality content might not be frequent or captivating enough to drive interest from audience.

Curated content is content relevant to your business that is sourced from other media outlets, that is then reviewed by your team to ensure it properly educates and informs the audience your business is directed at. Curation allows your business to save valuable time while also still putting out great quality content that engages and educates your audience. The types of curated content your company publishes should include articles, infographics, photos and relevant blog posts from around your industry. Aggregation can help to gather high quality content from experts in the field, but you should be careful not to include anything from your direct competitors.

SCMD 162: Growing Your Online Community

An online community is a group of people rallying around a shared, common interest. It is important for businesses to recognize their community, and engage with them so that they foster a strong presence within that community. Individuals within a community include followers, customers, influencers and competing businesses.

Listening to your community can provide insight on to how your company is viewed, and to understand the strengths and weaknesses of your products. Communities can also help you when working on a new product as you can poll or directly ask members questions about the features they would like to see implemented by your company. This helps the community to feel like they contributed to the overall product design. A strong community will also help to save you time and effort by the presence of informed customers or community members, who can answer a question or concern for you, reducing the amount of resources spent on the community. Although it is still crucial to monitor and listen to your community.

Thursday 1/22

Social media is everywhere, always combating for our attention. It seems like everywhere you go, no matter what, something will be there battling for your share, like or tweet. Take the most recent advertisement for Eggo Toaster Waffles for example, it features a family of five sitting down to enjoy breakfast, but instead of a knife and fork in each hand, each individual is glued to their phone, arguing over who will be the first to share a picture of their waffle on social media. It paints a grim but all-too-true picture of modern times.

Social media is here to stay, whether some of us like it or not, and it’s prevalence will only continue to grow as we move forward. Sites like twitter and Facebook promote constant contact between people and businesses, allowing consumers to have their questions or concerns addressed faster than ever before. These sites also foster an easier way to understand and reach your consumer, as everything online is logged and tracked, it allows businesses to analyze exactly what their customers are interested in and where they spend their money.

This means ads on your social media feeds are tailored to exactly what you have been looking for lately. Say you were interested in buying a new pair of shoes off of Eastbay but didn’t pull the trigger, so you go to twitter or Facebook to kill some time while you think about that purchase. As soon as you load your newsfeed, 9 times out of 10, there will be an ad for the shoes you were just looking at, enforcing your decision, and triggering a response in your mind to buy those shoes.

Social media is also a great way for businesses to promote their products or services for little cost to the business. MOZ described this in their ebook as “Like-Love-Defend” which can be broken down like this: A customer shows interest by liking/sharing something about your product, that action is displayed to each and every one of that customer’s friends, increasing awareness of your product. Then the customer buys that product, and if they turn out to love it, they are most likely to share that they love it with everyone they can. If they truly love your product then they will promote it and defend it as well. A process that results in a cycle of promotion for your product, with very little input from the company itself.

For what it’s worth, I figured the people behind Buzzfeed to be some evil lizard-people that require mindless clicks on recycled content for sustenance. Turns out that it is actually run by a very savvy, and innovative businessman named Emerson Spartz. The site’s infamous titles and headlines are actually the product of a careful analysis of the modern Internet user and their habits. Content is screened to users with a process similar to A/B testing, in which a bunch of headlines are tested and the one that does the best sticks to that article. Sure some of their content is recycled, but it is just business to Spartz, as content that has already been seen can still generate ad revenue.