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apps-content-marketing

Applications represent a true game changer, attracting numerous enterprises to the booming digital market. They are still gaining momentum and this trend is rooted in the fact that users spend more and more time on apps, around 30 hours per month on average. These solutions are the cornerstone of the strong mobile presence, and every company selling products and services over the internet can capitalize on their popularity.

On the go— on the roll

The encounter of apps and content marketing is by no means a random occurrence. Content is a favorite tool of 21st-century marketers, with the power to educate, drive loyalty, spread brand awareness and boost internet traffic.  Users are used to consuming branded content on social channels and consider them to be excellent sources of information. Yet, even the corporate giants fail to integrate popular content into their apps, missing out great sales opportunities.

This is surprising since the desktop internet usage has fallen behind the mobile one, marking a dawn of the new digital age. However, not everything is rosy: Conversion rates tied to the mobile devices are lower, as smaller screens and poorly-optimized pages put off consumers.  So, what you need is an SEO-friendly website with striking headlines, strategically deployed keywords, compelling imagery and of course, high-quality content.

What is more, apps serve as channels for engaging customers and delivery of the branded content. Bear in mind that people’s attention spans of today are shortened, and producing edible chunks of content seems like the best approach. However, experienced marketers argue that there is a place for both short and long-term content on mobile platforms. It is advisable to strike a fine balance between form and function, while assembling an appealing and intuitive user interface.

Content creation and delivery

To set up a solid content marketing strategy, you need to use social media accounts, blog and a website simultaneously. There are numerous ways to lay the foundations for this empowering framework.  For example, a Facebook login option can be built into the app, which has a positive impact on user engagement. Furthermore, you should be able to approach blogs and ask them to review your app and include a link to your app page.

So, one of the first tasks is to identify the places where potential clients hang out and conduct a customer research. There is not much time to waste, as companies realize the content has a big role to play, and flock to the app frontier. The competition today is stiff, and the amount of noise you need to cut through huge. The good news is that content marketing is a perfect tool for this task.

As for the content assets, muse on videos, images, articles, infographics, press clippings and interactive media. Establish a profile of typical app users, and then make a game plan to cater content which appeals to them.  Ideally, the app-related content that you craft should be planned months in advance, as this gives you sharp focus in your campaigns. You want to bring out the human side of an app, but also ensure that search engines stop by.

Channeling the power

A lot can be learned from the most prominent apps in the market, Facebook and Twitter. They are both vast oceans of content, with the strong social community. Word-of-mouth promotion induces higher app usage, but the only way to enjoy this benefit is to provide an impeccable user experience. It needs to be encompassed with the brand building process and it goes without saying that the benefits of using your app must be in the spotlight.

Crafting a killer app should be considered one of the primary content goals, due to the fact that they are a buzz-creating machines. The choice of platform is paramount, be it iOS, Android, Blackberry, Windows, etc. Now, evaluating the pros and cons of each one can be overwhelming, especially for newcomers. A seasoned app maker could be of great help in grasping the technical detail, reducing the time and resources needed to develop a product.

Web-based apps are not to be overlooked either.  One can optimize them for mobile phones and target a specific market such as Chrome web store. Another possibility is to host the app on your corporate website and let users perform functions there. Take the example of an insurance company which builds an online tax calculator. It is usually when an everyday, practical problem is solved that the app achieves stellar success.

Quality matters

Smartphones are modern tools of choice for accessing the internet, while the apps generate the most hype and profit. You could say that content marketing and apps is a match made in heaven, although stairways to it may be steeper than most people would like. The only way to prosper in the crowded playing field is to provide a seamless mobile experience and add real value to the cyber realm. Marketers must always aspire to interact with customers on various channels and continuously treat them with the high-quality content.



 
  


blog-reader

Article Contributed by Lana Richardson

When it comes to content marketing, getting visitors to your website is hailed as the ultimate goal.

So, what happens when you reach that goal? What happens when you publish a blog post for your business which goes viral overnight or your blog becomes a huge hit, reaching millions of people who then click and land on your website?

Do your phones starting ringing off the hook? Are you bombarded with sales, leads, orders, sign ups? Does your brand become a household name? Is your business front-page news?

Having created ‘viral content’ for businesses on a number of occasions, I can categorically (and unfortunately) say that the answer to all of those questions is no.

Getting tons of traffic to your website is great on the surface, but millions of visitors mean nothing if they’re going to bounce right off your site and forget about you once they’ve read your post – which is most often the case.

The real battle with content marketing is not about getting tons of traffic on your site; it’s about turning visitors into customers once they land there.

So how do you make blog traffic convert?

There are various steps and measures you can take to increase conversion through your content, but before implementing them it’s important to understand that content marketing is a long game.

Direct return is very rare with content marketing and as a result, many companies abandon their efforts altogether in fear that it’s a waste of time and resources – two things that small businesses can not afford to spare.

However, with the right strategy, some creativity and dose of patience, content marketing can pay off for any kind of business and here a few basic but effective techniques to help turn those readers into customers:

  1. Know Your Goals

Your blog simply can not generate results if you don’t know what kind of results you’re hoping to achieve – having an objective in mind will make it much easier to take steps towards it.

When it comes to blogging for a business, you need a purpose from the outset, so that you can create, write and format your posts in order to reach it. Whether you are hoping to increase brand awareness, improve your acquisition, get more online sales or reach a new market – your objective will dictate who you write for, what you write about and how you write it.

  1. Know Your Audience

When blogging for your business, you must know your audience in great detail in order to create content that not only compels them to click and read, but also inspires them to take further action when they land on your page – like signing up or making a purchase.

Firstly, use your analytics tools to lay the foundations and gain insight into your audience demographics. After that, dig deeper and uncover exactly what kind of content they tend to read and engage with most.

Take a look at your competitors or other blogs in your field and examine the posts with the most comments, shares and interactions. This is what your audience wants. Try find common themes – does your audience like ‘how tos’ or do they prefer funny lists?

Monitor the comments they make on other articles to get a feel for the topics and themes they are discussing themselves. Mining through these conversations will also give you an idea of the tone and language your audiences uses and will relate to.

  1. Call To Actions

When you have defined the purpose of your blog and have a clear profile of your target audience, ensure that the practical metrics are in place to drive your visitors towards the desired action. If you want someone to land on your blog post and go on to make a direct purchase, have a clear pathway to do so – like a giant ‘buy now’ button on widget and a shopping cart clearly positioned in the corner.

If you want to create brand awareness, have a prominent logo on your blog and a ‘learn more about us’ button at the end of the post.

If it’s leads you want, place data capture on your site. If you want more social followers, put links to your profiles or follow pop ups on the post.

If you want someone to take an action, make it as easy as possible for them to do so. We live in an internet era of instant gratification. No matter how great your product or service is, if it’s too complicated to book or buy, your reader is going to bounce off your site and into the arms of a competitor.

  1. Always Add Value

Give your audience value in order to get it back. Human beings are reciprocal by nature and we are much more likely to become a customer of a company, if we feel like the company has given us something.

Furthermore, as there are over two million blog posts published every single day, yours needs to offer something special to be worthy of a click.

In terms of content, ‘value’ can mean many things and the definition will depend on what your particular audience wants.

Your audience research (as mentioned in point 2) should help you discover what value means to your readers. By looking at the content your audience tends to share and interact with most, you’ll be able to determine what value is to them. For example, if they share funny content, humour is the value. If they are sharing lengthy informative posts, knowledge is the value.

Before publishing a blog post or piece of content, a good way to gauge quality is to ask yourself ‘what value does this bring my audience?’ If you can answer definitively, then hit publish. If you hesitate, then walk away and wait for inspiration to strike.

  1. Engage, Engage, Engage!

As mentioned, content marketing is a long game and conversion becomes more likely when  you are able to build trust and loyalty among potential customers. The best way to do this is engage with your readers.

Reply to every comment and retweet. Say thank you for every share, follow, mention or like. Going that extra mile to give a personal feel can make a significant difference, not only to how your brand is perceived, but also to the amount of engagement you get in return – with every interaction, your overall reach will increase. And, if someone has engaged with your brand, they will be more likely to choose you over a competitor when they need your product/service in the future.

  1. Write Content That Answers Queries

Not all web traffic is created equal and traffic from certain channels will be more likely to convert than others. Traffic from search engines is always of a higher quality as visitors will arrive on your site this way be searching a specific query. These visitors are more likely to being on a buyer journey than traffic that lands through social media – most visitors through social media click on your posts simply out of curiosity.

  1. Remarketing

This is probably the most effective strategy in terms of ROI with content marketing. Once you have written a blog post, you can use remarketing ads through Google and Facebook to target people who read your post and visited your site but did not make a purchase or sign up.

  1. Measurement

With any kind of marketing strategy, your effort is wasted if you do not set goals and measure the results.

Once you are creating regular content, step back and assess the impact that it is having on your business. See what content is performing well, not just in terms of views and visits, but also with regards to the time visitors are spending on your page and the bounce rate.

Use your analytics tools to determine if traffic to your home page and purchase pages has also increased as a result of your content marketing. Use Google Trends and keyword planner to see if there has been an increase in searches for your brand/company name.

Continual measurement will help ensure that you’re moving in the right direction with content marketing and working towards a specific outcome.

Author Bio:

Written by Lana Richardson, journalist and digital marketeer, specialising in content and social media marketing. Lana is the current blog editor for NIParcels.com and IrishParcels.ie.


social-media-lead

One of the key issues facing sales and marketing teams in the modern age is the need to constantly generate new leads to fill sales funnels. Though the lead generation function has been around for quite some time now, it has become a far more complex operation to effectively target and reach out to potential customers.

Of all the lead generation strategies for businesses to employ, social media has to be one of the hardest for businesses to address. Not only is the success of your efforts hard to measure, brands also have to be constantly vigilant to address and respond to brand mentions (negative or positive) within an acceptable timeframe in order to maximize results.

The hardest part about social media marketing is choosing the right platform or channel to reach your target audience effectively and in the right context. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the most prominent social media platforms for businesses to leverage for lead generation and the best ways to go about using them.

Choosing the Proper Social Media Channels for Lead Generation

Depending on what type of company you are, what products you offer and who your target audience is, there are a handful of relevant social media platforms for you to choose from. These platforms can help your brand build awareness, increase outreach, learn about your target audience and even generate qualified leads, provided you use them correctly.

Twitter

Twitter has millions of active daily users who are constantly sharing their interests, opinions and experiences. This makes it a great place to learn about your audiences and develop new ideas to enhance your targeting efforts. Frequency plays a critical role in getting favorable results due to the average user’s short attention span and continual updates from pretty much everyone on the network.

Use “Twitter Lead Generation Cards” to help increase your number of click-throughs while decreasing the cost per click. This is a highly effective tool for marketers targeting social media users. Your “Twitter Profile Page” is an opportunity to provide a Call-To-Action for users who are interested in your brand. Lastly, “Twitter Advanced Search” allows you to dig deeper into online conversations to learn more about your audience and gain insights into industry trends.

Facebook

Facebook is the largest and most active social media platform around and it can enable your brand to reach out to a huge audience base. With over a billion users, Facebook captures about 10% of all internet traffic (research by Hubspot). Though mainly used for social/entertainment purposes, a significant amount of businesses use it to showcase their organization’s products, services and most importantly, culture.

Make use of “Facebook Lead Ads” to lead users to your website or landing page, or simply direct them to an embedded lead ad that remains within the Facebook portal. Take advantage of your Facebook company page and status updates to build engagement with your followers and prospects. Remember to frequently use Calls-To-Action and post a variety of content to keep your audience entertained.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a predominantly professional network, which is why it works well for B2B companies. Out of all the social media channels, LinkedIn is the most used and most effective for targeting professionals (according to Gleanster research). There is an assortment of ways that you can use LinkedIn to enhance your brand’s sales and marketing efforts by increasing brand awareness, trust, outreach and presence.

Join “LinkedIn Groups” to connect with communities for learning and sharing purposes. Harness the targeting power of “LinkedIn Ads” to get your message out to the right audience. Boost your awareness and build a following with your “LinkedIn Company Page”. Learn about your audience and discover who the decision makers are with “LinkedIn Advanced Search”. Finally, use “Sponsored InMail” to reach individual users through their LinkedIn inbox, even if you aren’t connected with them.

Instagram

Instagram is a social media platform for the more visually-inclined. It works best for brands that have plenty of visual content to publish and share with their audiences. It can also be used as a channel to showcase your company culture, as like Facebook, it is mainly used for social/entertainment purposes. This being said, at about 300 million users and growing, it is still a great way to reach your audience.

Be sure to use “Instagram Hashtags” properly. Leverage what’s trending or even better, create your own unique hashtag that is relevant to your business and resonates with your audience. This will increase the engagement levels of people who are interacting with your brand. Post a variety of content and make use of “Instagram Videos” which can further increase engagement levels.

Other Alternatives

There are other platforms available such as Pinterest, Google+, Youtube and Snapchat that you can also use to boost your social media presence and outreach. Effectiveness is all dependent on which platforms your audience tends to be more active on and which ones they use to engage with brands. Another dependent factor of course, is what type of content they like to consume.

Takeaway

No matter what channel you choose, there are specific ways to leverage them because users on each of these platforms behave differently. There’s no hard-and-fast rule as to which ones will work best for your brand so your best bet is to test them out and see for yourself.

The most important part of generating leads on social media is to maintain an active presence. If your brand goes idle for too long, users will simply get bored and move on to the next big thing. Unfortunately, most users on social media do have a short attention span because there’s a constant battle for audience engagement by other brands, personal or commercial.

Take these points into account and you’ll be making social media waves in no time!

Author Bio

Dianne Carillo is the Marketing Communications and Brand Manager at PureB2B, a lead generation company that help accelerate on business solutions and technology sales processes. Dianne loves reading, and especially knowledgeable in both sales and lead generation techniques and trends.


run-business-success

Article Contributed by Dan Radak

When you are a new business owner, the easiest thing to make is a mistake. While mistakes are expected in every new startup, some of them should be avoided at all costs. Not only that they can ruin your morale, but serious mistakes at the beginning of your career can influence the later steps a fresh startup owner takes. This is why we have prepared an insight in most common mistakes fresh entrepreneurs do in an attempt to save you from a bad business start.

Having a detailed plan

It goes without saying that every new startup launcher has a certain business plan. However, plans can differ significantly and the sheer fact that you have a plan does not have to mean anything if that agenda is lousy. So, while you are dreaming about your future business, take some time to think hard beforehand and write down everything that you expect from your business during its first year. After a few brainstorming sessions, you are supposed to produce several sheets of paper with your ideas, strategies and business goals. Now it is time to start narrowing down your focus and divide the details into several consecutive stages. When this phase is finished, you can say that you have a detailed plan with all the relevant aspects for your business.

Strict approach to finances

When a young entrepreneur makes a lot of money overnight, it might end up as a complete disaster. Although everybody who decides to start a business wants to come up with profits as soon as possible, it is better for a young person not to succeed too fast. If you are struggling to make money, you will be much more careful when it comes to spending and investing. Therefore, before you discover how you behave when you have a lot of money, hire a financial advisor and keep them informed on everything you are doing. In addition, it would be smart to start using a budget-tracking app, to have all your personal expenses in one place. Only a reasonable approach to your personal and business finances will make you a successful entrepreneur. See how the billionaire founder of Ikea saves money, in a piece published by The Guardian.

Marketing hitting the target

Most young entrepreneurs think that they can cope with all the business challenges all by themselves. While being self-assured is generally considered a desired trait for a businessperson, it can also have numerous negative effects. Even if you are highly skillful and educated in your primary profession, you cannot cover other business aspects with equal efficiency. For instance, you can never master all the marketing skills necessary for the modern business world. The demands are simply too complex for a single startup owner to deal with them. To make sure that your marketing hits the target and yields profits, try to outsource the marketing services, especially if you also have to deal with ecommerce features. However, be careful when you are choosing the associates, since working with ecommerce professionals, such as Magento web design experts, is much different than hiring amateurs from developing countries. Take care of the quality of the service and not only the cost.

All three major mistakes described in this piece can direct your business to a dead end street. Although a failure is only one stop on your way to success, it is much less stressful to make the business work properly from the very beginning. So, avoid these mistakes and keep your business growing slowly but steadily, until you have passed through all the stages from your business plan.

About the Author

Dan Radak is a marketing professional with ten years of experience. He is a coauthor on several websites and regular contributor to BizzMark Blog. Currently, he is working with a number of companies in the field of digital marketing, closely collaborating with a couple of e-commerce companies.


Photo of hands of businesspeople during discussing

No matter how big or small your business there can always be ways to improve your performance. It’s also quite important to be constantly looking for new ways to innovate and help set your business aside from the rest – after all, the business world is always highly competitive.

If you’re a business manager or feel your company could do with some improvements, in this post you can find a few examples you may wish to consider implementing in your operations. When you do, you’re potentially opening your company up to a world of benefits.

Boost Employee Productivity

Your staff are essentially the lifeblood of your company and without them doing a good job, your business will suffer. With this in mind then there’s a few things you can do to boost their productivity:

  • Offer them more flexible working hours, so they can complete their tasks in a fashion that suits them
  • Give them a variety of different tasks to work on rather than the same jobs over and over
  • Boost morale by showing them you appreciate their efforts and provide training to help them develop their skillsets

Invest in Newer Technologies

Along with your staff, the equipment they’re using whether it’s their computers or machinery plays a big part in your success. Old, slow and outdated tech can be frustrating both for your employees and potentially for your customers; the simple step here is to invest in newer options and reap the benefits of faster performance.

Carry Out a SWOT Analysis

On a larger company scale, a great tip is to carry out a SWOT analysisof each section of your business. The testimonies of your staff will help to inform you on what’s working well and what areas you can focus on, in order to then improve.

Use Professional Help

Lastly, it’s also worth looking into external support – be it for helping out with the administrative side of things, or even the more complex roles such as stock management or even finance. For example, if you were a business involved in Logistics, talking to an invoice specialist like Touch Financial could be beneficial for your administrative process. There are a number of expert firms who can assist you with the more difficult aspects of running a business; whatever preferences you have though, seeking extra help can be highly beneficial.

So, as aforementioned, make sure you give some of these a try and look to improve your business’ performance in as many was as you can.



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