Incompetency & Fakeness Is Amplified in the Digital World

Incompetency & Fakeness Is Amplified in the Digital World

In a world where the existing jobs are fewer than the many people who need them, many people will do all it takes to secure jobs, compete, over-promise, lie and come across as someone they are not to get ahead.

This is faking incompetency.

I work predominately on the world wide web.

This is mostly an unregulated open field for anyone and everyone to claim themselves as experts.

I am going to go out there and say it – there are a ton of fakers or con artists out there on the internet.

Over the years, they have become so good, that it is getting really hard to spot the difference.

Too many for my liking that I had to write this article on how to avoid them when dealing with digital marketing agencies.

A ton of the crypto stuff that has launched is too unregulated and has too many scammers out there. I am not a crypto hater. I like the technology and believe it has massive potential. I even wrote about it here.

But I don’t like the marketing tactics used to sell to the masses who do not know anything about investing in the first place.

I get many of the benefits of blockchain technology. It is new and there are benefits to it, but practices are being advertised with ‘pump and dump’ schemes and too many weird celebrities swearing by it.

We have Matt Damon (who I actually respect as a person) going after promoting Crypto.com.

This is fine but the question becomes how much of Matt Damon’s money is in this technology?

And how much of his paycheques as of late are coming from Crypto.com?

I doubt we will know – but Matt is making money from being an influencer figure on Crypto.com as a brand play. How much of his fortune is invested in this technology?

A person wearing a black shirt Description automatically generated with medium confidence

Image: Video On YouTube

He does not know enough about trading, finance to making the claims about the fortune favouring the brave implying its crypto is a safe bet to fortunes.

He is a great actor. I mean, I love Goodwill Hunting!

But to manage his finances, he hires smart professionals and credible people. Professionals with real experience that he holds to account.

Taking financial advice on Crypto from Matt Damon is like taking religious advice from Tom Cruise.

They are vested financially in the success of what they are selling and using their influence to create hype for a bigger payday. They are also directly getting paid to use their influence and earn a paycheque.

That should be screaming buyer beware.

But the way this incompetence or con is sold is quite an elaborate job and even the best of us can get hoaxed.

Many are considered illegal in the regulated trading market in North America within the crypto market.

Here is a great article on Time.com that breaks out such a scam:

Image Source: Time.com Article

This is just one example. However, these “experts” exist in every industry.

I am also not saying that there are good people with expertise and talent who should not be online and teach the world about the area they specialize in.

There are just too many dangers on the internet and the world is becoming fuzzy on what is right or fair play. It is getting harder and harder to determine what is legit out there.

Yes, the internet is powerful.

Yes, we can make tangible differences so business leaders can take the results to the bank with our efforts, campaigns, projects.

But the risk goes the other way also. If we are not careful and put good people behind supporting our clients, we can waste a lot of dollars for them very quickly.

Many of the clients that come to us have been burned by bad digital agencies.

What do I mean by incompetency or faking it?

Simply put, it is the lack of ability, whether intellectual or physical and qualifications, by extension, to perform a task satisfactorily.

There are lifestyle bloggers, fitness bloggers, sales YouTubers, health advisors, marketing experts and productivity hackers across all social media.

Don’t get me wrong. I believe education is critical.

I am a teacher, an actual instructor (a great local college in Toronto – Georgian @iLAC), a mentor and a business leader. Most importantly, I am a parent. I value good education as much as anyone.

But if you do not know how to spot incompetency or malicious intent, you can fall victim to bad advice or worse consequences if you act upon it.

Many credible professionals are doing great work. They cite their resources. They share where they get their stats from. They showcase their qualifications. They can prove their years in the profession. They have a successful track record of working hard delivering hard results.

These are not the people I am talking about.

I am talking about people who do not know and act as they do – all to con the other person into doing business with them.

The self-professed gurus that just started to act like they have been doing it for a long time.

All to get some kind of monetary gain without having any of the above-mentioned ‘credentials’ or know-how.

Incompetent people can sell and mask their incompetence and get:

  • Better paying jobs
  • Closing more deals
  • Selling more
  • Get an audience and thereby able to influence people
  • Overpromise and under deliver

This has created a whole host of problems already in many trades.

It’s also true in digital marketing.

Over 50% of Instagram influencers were involved in some form of social media fraud – a study done by Hype Auditor.

That is more than half the influencers out there are fake or use shady means to showcase their reach.

Graphical user interface, text, application, email Description automatically generated

Image Source: PR Week

The fakers and incompetent predators waste hard-earned dollars for business leaders.

The internet is still in its infancy and we are still in the wild wild west.

The internet with its unregulated and open platform has made it easy for brands to con or fake their way to growth.

Social platforms do not care as long as they have people using their platforms so advertising can be shown to the masses. It is in their interest to keep people hooked on their platform as long as possible.

I would say that they would even benefit from it. The more people the better.

Graphical user interface, text, application Description automatically generated

Image Source: CBC News

This allowed misinformation to rise to new levels and there was a call from lawmakers to find a way to curb this activity online.

It is a buyer beware kind of world out there.

Viewers, buyers, and in general people need to think more

The viewer has a shared responsibility in this. As I said, buyer beware flags should be going off when things look too easy and too much is promised.

That means you and I have a responsibility for this.

The mortgage crisis in the USA from Asset-Backed Securities was not possible if it was not for the collaboration from the general public accepting those terms and loans.

Many people are impressionable.

I think of my mum and I worry about what scam she may fall victim to because she is not as apt in the world of technology the way many are.

I get weird chain mail WhatsApp forwards from her and my uncles!

I think she is always on Marketplace (is it only me or any other mums spending too much time on this exchange?).

Just like writing a letter to your municipal, provincial, or federal representative, complain to these social media platforms regularly.

Write about them. Write to them. Tweet about them and tag them.

Give them feedback and don’t allow them to take advantage of you.

It’s these complaints that allow for change to happen. Or unfortunately, a negative serious outcome or event occurs that creates a public outcry (with many suffering).

How To Help Find A Good Digital Marketing Partner

As you know from my profile, I work in the world of marketing. I own and run a digital agency.

I can do my part and share ways for brands, business leaders to help stay away from preying pretenders.

If someone says that they will rank your page on the first page of Google in a week or 3 days – please stop talking to them.

If someone says your organic traffic will change your sales immediately – say no thank you to them and move on.

If someone says making hundreds of pages of complex Web Design & Development is like making a PowerPoint presentation, then you now know to keep looking.

These are overpromising agencies that hurt credible agencies in the industry.

Stay away from players making such promises.

Before taking any agency on after these initial filters of over-promises are passed, ask them to elaborate on the below questions.

These simple questions should be asked every time you work with any expert or any professional but especially in the digital marketing industry.

  1. How many years of business have you been in?
  2. What area of specialization do you or your team members specifically have? Any certificates and credentials you can share?
  3. Can we see samples of your past work?
  4. Can we talk to your past references of your past work?
  5. Can you share the exact reason why your past 3 clients left you.

These five questions are simple but so overlooked. Please do yourself a favour and go through these simple questions in a relatively detailed manner or risk taking a chance on burning your marketing budget dollars away.

A worse outcome can be a hit to your brand reputation that can take years to repair or get you in legal liabilities.

I especially like the last question. Make sure to get a good feel of why agencies lost their last few clients. If you are getting danger signals – then move on to the next option.

Stay safe out there

People fake incompetency for various reasons, including fitting in, securing jobs, and winning promotions and contracts.

Fortunately, most cannot fake this for long since the reality finally reveals itself.

But people do get burned along the way.

I hope the questions above help you ensure that you have good people working for you when it comes to digital marketing.

3 Go-to Social Media Channels For Technical Brands

3 Go-to Social Media Channels For Technical Brands

In today’s post, I discuss social media marketing that technical, operations-driven, engineering and manufacturing brands should use to get ahead and build their brand.

Social media is all about engagement, building relationships, and keeping your existing community happy (and proud) to be associated with you.

Community, in this case, means your prospects, existing customers, past clients/customers, employees (and their families), investors, media organizations, vendors, creditors, and more!

These are your ‘people’ and your tribe. They believe in the company, the people, and the vision. They want to see your brand succeed. Their success is vested in your success.

As a brand, you depend on them immensely for your success and you owe it to them to manage and invest in that relationship.

Business leaders that understand the power of social media and brand building via relationship nurturing, leverage social media marketing to get ahead.

Some direct benefits that technical brands can enjoy by managing and updating these presences on these platforms regularly:

  • Attracting top talent
  • Engage with existing employees and showcase your culture
  • Attract new vendors and suppliers
  • Get on the radar of influencers, and industry leaders and build relationships
  • Help avert a crisis and manage reputation

If you are looking for sales or a ton of traffic back to your site so you can convert them, then there are other tactics that work better.

Any of the above-mentioned benefits are good enough returns for medium to large enterprises!

Social Media is not for everyone

I do not want to set the wrong expectations.

When it comes to immediate returns, social media is not going to get them for you – i.e. profit payback in the time you spend.

You have to invest in and build a sizable following to get regular engagements that will allow the top of the funnel to push buyers down towards your purchase stages and help achieve sales targets.

Building a sizable following is hard. It is brand building. You have to engage and give give give.

Did I mention “give”? Because that is what it takes to build trust and a following.

So you are asking at this stage – what can I give?

Value.

Value can be anything from information, insights, entertainment, engagement back, creativity, swag, free demos, products, and more.

It is building a relationship. It is investing in a relationship.

Think of the last time you invested in a relationship offline with one person.

How much did you enjoy and give your time? You showed up consistently. Helped out.

Well, you are now looking to do that as a brand manager, marketing manager, or a business leader online – on platforms where you are looking to build thousands of relationships over time.

Many brands that are just starting do not have time for this. They are usually cash strapped and looking for quicker returns.

I understand this. I run a boutique agency and we have many customers but we always have bills to pay. So we are usually in need of new business.

But to get ahead, and exit the rat race, you have to build a following. You have to become known in your space or category.

How can you do that if you do not invest in building meaningful relationships with your buyers in this space?

That means taking time away from an immediate lead generation or quick sales conversions to build your brand.

Social media helps do that. It is not the only tactic to use to get famous in your space. There is paid media, PR, SEO, advertising/paid media, influencer marketing, email marketing, event marketing and more.

The options can seem endless. In this article, I am narrowing down what works for social for technical brands.

Some industries that can benefit from the tips & recommendations in this blog include:

  • Manufacturing
  • Engineering
  • IT
  • Pharma
  • & others will production facilities

This is because the type of content I will recommend by channel is easily producible in these organization types.

If you are just starting out, invest a much higher mix to the immediate return other tactics – but social is brand-building activities that will pay back 10x if you pass a certain threshold.

It takes time to get there – so always have a small percentage of your marketing budget tied to these brand-building activities. Even in the early stages.

If you have funding or an enterprise brand, then this decision is an easier one to make and a larger portion should be spent on social.

So, with that out of the way – let’s get into the first social platform for technical brands – LinkedIn.

1. LinkedIn and its powerful capabilities

LinkedIn is not only a channel for you to seek jobs or hunt for talent.

It is one of the most powerful forms of social media for most brands.

With its ability to connect with employees, other companies involved in the technical or engineering-based market, and potential partnerships, LinkedIn is considered the best B2B marketing platform.

There are over 310 million active users, many of which are in the 50-65 age range. This means your brand will be exposed to seasoned professionals and decision-makers.

LinkedIn is the best source for generating leads by a long shot compared to other social platforms that – especially when it comes to B2B:

Linkedin lead generation

Image Source: HubSpot – Linked 277% More Effective Than Facebook & Twitter

Ok, you might need more than just a push of the button. Here’s what you’ll need to do:

  • Set up and complete your company’s LinkedIn profile.
  • Share engaging content targeted toward your targeted industry.
  • Interact with and add fellow profiles, pages, and groups to build up your audience
  • Get your employees to engage on the platform – this one is huge.
    • If your company shares an update and your employees provide input, engagement, and shares – well guess what your team is feeding the algorithm to help it gain traction.

Check out how Midas Safety Inc (one of our client partners that we helped within social media marketing 😊 – yes, I know we are biased here!) is thriving on LinkedIn.

Social Media Marketing for Manufacturing Companies

By posting regular content, including videos interviewing experienced manufacturers in the company, Midas Safety is building a reputation that is sure to boost its social media presence.

We helped this technical brand go to over 56K followers as their social agency by rebranding their website, creating and curating engaging content, and providing regular updates.

No ads or PPC.

Read some of the other success stories on our partnership with Midas Safety here.

Now augment this social media management effort with their advertising capabilities by job titles, and seniority in combination with their premium service inmail outreach efforts – you have increased your touchpoints with your ideal buyers in each stage of their purchase funnel.

  1. Brand Awareness = Social Media Marketing on LinkedIn
  2. Consideration = Advertising
  3. Purchase/Transactional = Inmail

All within one platform. Pretty powerful, if you know how to use LinkedIn’s capability.

Going back to Midas Safety, since taking over and managing their profile by creating and sharing regular content, we have seen an uptick in the following key areas:

  • More followers (5,000+ new in the last 6 months)
  • More decision-makers looking at the content
  • More engagement from existing followers
  • More prospects seeing the updates

All of the above can and does help grow brand equity, brand trust, and trust with key decision-makers in key markets where they are looking to become known.

Versus other platforms, this is where the true power of LinkedIn comes into play!

The best type of content for brands that do well on this platform include:

  1. Employee updates (this has worked wonders for our manufacturing clients)
  2. Company announcements (earnings release, new office, new location, new hires)
  3. Photos of team members and behind the scenes
  4. Company’s values
  5. Videos produced in-house (new product launches, capabilities, company history, values, team updates, educational content, etc.)

2. YouTube

Many companies are using YouTube videos to both educate viewers and strategically market their professional services. YouTube is often used in the following ways:

  • Demonstrates products in use to help viewers imagine themselves using the products
  • Shows how-to tutorials on troubleshooting or DIYing manufactured goods
  • Gives you insight into the creation of their manufacturing products

A great example of a successful YouTube channel for a technical company is Tesla.

A black sports car Description automatically generated with medium confidence

Tesla uses YouTube‘s social media presence to successfully market its latest products and services.

Now you may be wondering – YouTube is a social channel?

More brands consider YouTube to be a social media platform as much as a video viewing channel. YouTube is a lot of things, but it does offer brands to host the following elements to make it social:

  • Brand Profile
  • Regular content updates
  • Content descriptions
  • Comments & Engagement sections

If all these above features are not considered social in nature, then I don’t know what is.

Also, after Facebook, people spend more time on YouTube than any other platform:

Graphical user interface Description automatically generated with medium confidence

Source: Broadbandsearch.net

They have 1.5 Billion monthly active users, and this number is only growing.

That is quite a large number of people consuming video content daily.

So, if your brand is on YouTube, is optimized, and engaging with the right keywords, hashtags, and content, you will get discovery.

Types of content that works well on YouTube for brand pages:

  1. How-to videos & Tutorials (these have taken over YouTube. YouTube is almost a tutor for everyone or a school – especially for technical products)
  2. Footage of the team in action
  3. Team and expert interviews
  4. Vlogs (your content in video format)
  5. Courses & expert summaries/analysis
  6. Event videos
  7. Favourite or Best of videos

As a brand, especially looking to showcase your technical in-house capabilities or attract talent, YouTube is a must.

Leverage YouTube’s power, its daily users, and your expertise to get good long-term returns.

3. Twitter

Twitter is a social media platform that has over 217 million daily users, making it a prime platform for marketing one’s manufacturing business. Most notably are Twitter’s features of sharing, following, and using hashtags to connect to your target market audience.

Obsidian Manufacturing Industries, Inc. harnesses the power of Twitter to reach thousands of followers. By having an established profile stating your company’s location, official website, and a catchy description, you can increase your followers on your business’s Twitter account.

Graphical user interface, website Description automatically generated

Even as a small business, they fight above their weight and get regular engagement with their following.

Now to many large established enterprises – ~3k users may not seem like much. But it took consistent work to get even this audience size from nothing on Twitter even for a brand such as Obsidian. Also, it’s not only the followers that matter.

It’s your profile views, your engagements, your impressions, and link clicks.

Those metrics matter and start adding up over time.

When those folks are looking to eventually start researching – your impressions, and good sentiment will help your brand stand out.

The goal is to trigger brand recall.

Being active on social with the right messages helps gain visibility and create the right affinities.

The type of content that does particularly well on Twitter includes:

  • Threads (a series of tweet)
  • Success stories
  • Winning “secrets”
  • Giveaways
  • Videos
  • New Vacancies
  • Retweets
  • Questions & Engagements
  • Polls
  • Threads sharing very specific and unique experiences/expertise
  • Motivation posts
  • Insights (stats, research and other relevant topics)

Twitter is a fast-paced river. You will have to post more frequently and do retweets to get visibility on this platform. Even with that said, nothing beats quality over quantity.

Social media is a long-term play

I have written a similar blog post a couple of years back that goes into more details on more channels that you can find here.

It is catered to manufacturing brands mostly, but other technology-based companies can benefit from the insights and tips shared there as well.

Understand that as a brand manager or a business leader, showing your brand in the right light is the first step in keeping your stakeholders happy.

Stakeholders can be investors, vendors, suppliers, employees, customers, and creditors.

If you are running a business and neglecting social to build the right reputation, you may be missing out on a ton of opportunities from many of the stakeholders mentioned above.

Everyone uses social media to search for a new company to work with and investing in the right messaging with the right channels is key.

And most importantly, you must take the management of your social channels as an investment. It is a long-term play when it comes to management and activity, just the way it is when looking to build the right team. To do that, you must meet the point of entry. Having a social presence in 2022 is just – a point of entry.

How you use it to shape your voice is where your point of difference comes into play.

That difference if done right will allow you to get ahead of your competition in your vertical.

Good luck with your social, and if you need help with social – our team is a quick call away.

Web Design Trends: A Blast from the Past in Web Design

Web Design Trends: A Blast from the Past in Web Design

In this blog, I try to keep it light and talk about how web design trends have changed so much over the years. We look at each of the last 3 to 4 decades and see what we have come to accept as “normal” in our user experience when it comes to web design.

We just hit a big milestone at Web Worx Labs.

We have designed for almost 8 years and completed over 100 premium high-end websites and landing page designs since our inception.

I know that is not a lot. But it’s triple digits – and I am a proud daddy. Remember, we are a boutique agency that provides hands-on dedicated custom design and development for every website we make.

It’s not the quantity for us. It’s the quality.

We are not providing 30 mins WIX websites that look and feel like templates (no offense WIX, I still love the good work you do).

So now we are actually at a point in our journey as a company, where some of our clients are coming back to us and saying that hey, our site designs are looking stale and we need to get a fresh look.

RelatedFront End vs. Back End

RelatedWhat Should Businesses Do To Establish Trust Online

Web Design Trends Change Every 1.5 Years

You will see the hamburger menu is super popular these days.

Well, many websites still have the traditional menu format that makes the site look at least 4 years dated.

With the latest styles continuously changing and customer-centric brands keeping up with them, it makes it harder for the brands not to have a UX/UI team helping them stay on-trend.

Let’s Have Some Fun With A Blast from the Past

This was Microsoft in the 1990s (brace yourself):

Web Design Trends showcased with Microsoft's Home Page from 30 years ago

Image Source: Web Design Museum

So I was too young to be shown this obscenity (sorry Microsoft – but I am right now offended looking at this).

Earth to Microsoft – I am not sure what design galaxy you were lost in or inspired by – but why Microsoft? Why did you publish this?

Style guide – nope. Typography, what is that?

Colour palette? No thank you and no one cared.

Hence, you get the above results.

I don’t think the words “mood board” were in the dictionary of the good folks that let this go live.

That’s okay. Websites at that time were mostly an IT project that no one in marketing or even design knew or cared about. It was all TV back then.

It really was not a selling tool the way it has become over the last 20 years.

Hmm, maybe it was just too ahead of its time (hence the space reference in design) – because in 2022, “anti-design” is in. That means no branding, mixed fonts, and no consistency.

I have digressed too far.

Okay now, let’s take it into the 21st century quickly.

Graphical user interface, text, application Description automatically generated
Image Source: Web Design Museum

Yikes – still feels like a directory but way better than the weird galaxy thing from 1994.

Let’s fast forward another 10 years. Graphical user interface, website Description automatically generated

Image Source: Web Design Museum

Okay, now it’s getting more in line with what we are used to seeing. Still too “brochury” for my taste, but definitely a big leap in design and navigation here.

The typography is more on point, but still too busy at places.

The hero header is being interrupted by other multiple call-to-actions.

There is not enough spacing and breathing room and still gives a “clutter” feel no?

No concept of minimalism here. Pack as much as possible in as little space was the name of the game in this era.

Let’s move on – we are now in the 2020s:

Graphical user interface Description automatically generated

Image Source: Web Design Museum

Ahh – I am not screaming in my head anymore.

So much simpler in design than before. More breathing room we are used to seeing.

The spacing, and a clear focus on what action they want the user to take.

There is a good use of icons with a great call to actions right below the hero header that use the logos that the world is familiar with to give direct access to those services or product offerings – very good use of branding and sub-brands iconography.

The photography with the product is a nice touch, but it still speaks and gives the feel of “B2B” more with this look than actually “B2C”.

I mean, isn’t the design showing consumers but the use of circles is getting in the way of showing enough of the way the consumer uses it in their natural state.

In 2022, we have gotten away from that.

Graphical user interface, website Description automatically generated

This is the hero header that slides into view that I see.

Isn’t the photography more impactful?

Clear call to action, with a stunning photograph with the consumer using it in their natural setting. That’s what I am talking about.

And this photo speaks more B2C than the display used in 2020.

2 years made a big difference and I think they are more on point.

Microsoft should update their website

Even with the facelift from 2 years ago, the site is now behind trend from where it needs to be a ‘cool’ tech company.

We don’t have any of these design trends being used:

  • Oversized footers
  • Larger typography
  • Warmer and limited colour palettes fuzion if not in their branding, then in their choice of photography

I am sure the design and marketing team at Microsoft is well aware and is already working to release their next phase of design to stay on trend in the next few months.

Does Your Website Looking Retro But Unintentionally?

If you have a brand and a website that is dated over 4 years, please ask us for help.

We will do what we can to help you at least give a facelift to that old dog.

Good people deserve great help. Even minor changes with the right choice of photography can help salvage an existing site without much investment.

Until next time, happy designing!

Front End vs. Back End

Front End vs. Back End

In this blog, we talk about two popular concepts that are thrown around in the web development world.

Marketers today work with web design and development teams regularly.

In some organizations, there are separate eCommerce teams that have different functions that come together including front-end, back-end, digital marketing, and merchandising.

Let’s lets look more closely at these two jobs (front end vs. back end development) are now interacting with the marketing functions in brands of all sizes.

So what is the front end?

When you are looking to understand the front-end, the focus is primarily on:

How things look is what is predominately meant by the front end. This means we are looking to understand how the structure is laid out, the images and content of the web pages.

This is made up of most of the 3 languages for Front-Ent: HTML, CSS, and Javascript.

HTML – stand for Hypertext Mark-up Language. A fancy way of saying the words and structure of the page you see is due to what you write with HTML.

CSS – cascading style sheets are the cosmetics on top of the HTML. It adds colour, better design, visuals, the ability to render on different devices properly and so much more to the basic HTML pages.

Javascript brings in interactivity. You hover over anything and see something zoom in or pop up. You are about to leave the site and a pop-up appears.

Those are javascript commands that create interactions with the user and are taking input based on your signals from the site or event-based triggers that launch other actions.

Now you hopefully understand the front end and how the 3 main languages are used to create a user experience for a visitor on the site. There are other languages you can build your front end with like anything else- but these are the most popular by far.

Switching gears to Backend

This is the stuff you do not see in the front but how the information that the site receives from the front end is handled – i.e. stored, read, manipulated, and sent back to the user.

We are talking about databases here. The logic on storing emails, credit card payments, and more.

There is also a whole backend language world out there. Languages such as PHP (which WordPress is built on – the # CMS in the world), Python, and Java (not Javascript).

The great thing is that for the back-end, you pick one and usually stick to it – unlike the front end that has the 3 main languages.

Let’s walk through an example

Nothing helps absorb theory with some practical application.

So let’s look at a live example of Amazon (the number 1 online retailer – well at least in the Western markets).

I am currently browsing the Amazon website. The interactive nature when you hover over some things or elements on the page, the structure of the page, the colour choices, the ability to zoom in and out of the product pictures, the animation, the copy or the writing on the web page here – this is all front end.

Front End vs. Back End concepts explained using Amazon.ca website screenshot

Basically – everything a visitor (or in this case me) is looking at the page, interacting with the elements are all the front-end stuff. What we see and interact with without looking at how the machine, the browser is processing it is the “front end”.

So where does the back-end come into this?

So as soon as you come on the page, there is a ton of code happening on the Amazon page that looks immediately looks to identify and crosscheck the user with its IP or if it is a returning user based on whether they signed out or not – all to keep the user experience personalized and relevant.

The back-end code does that by cross-checking the database of user ids. (you can see I have 9 items that I abandoned in my cart before I closed my session with them and it showed that to me as a reminder).

It uses this id (via cookies – learn more about them here) to determine what my browsing history was, what is in the carts, whether I am likely a male or female, and based on all those factors, the backend displays images to the front-end that will be relevant for me as a returning user.

Now this happens super fast or almost instantly if you are a returning user.
But when it recognizes a new visitor, then the display is different (but super-fast due to the evolution of internet technology).

All these logic checks – all of this is handled by the millions of lines of code that are written with Java and PHP for Amazon’s case.

Now granted, Amazon is a huge website with advanced customization and an army of developers creating the shopping experience online super engaging and personalized – but this logic happens for smaller websites or even start-ups all the time.

I mean, with platforms like WIX or SquareSpace, you can literally have a website up in an hour.

Businesses have made this into a no-coding solution for non-techies to take advantage of for their marketing efforts. So all the backend heavy lifting is handled by these website builders and you get to use the front end like a drag and drop technology the way you would a PowerPoint.

Marketing and understanding Front End vs. Back End

Now how does this tie back to marketing? Why would a business leader or business owner care about this distinction?

Well, marketers are responsible for the marketing mix – the 4Ps.

Product, Price, Promotion, and Placement.

So placement, the product, the design, and the distribution can all happen now with the front-end and back-end capability of the website.

Marketers have to understand who they will be interacting with to cover what part of the 4Ps.

Marketers will need to work with the front-end team to create an experience that will attract customers for the product, price offers, etc.

Once customers are ready to engage and buy, then the backend team will need to ensure the ability to handle customer information, the placement, and distribution are set up effectively.

Over to you…

And that’s it for this blog. We hope you found it useful.

If you like what you read, comment below and we would love to hear your thoughts.

Good luck with your development projects.

Until, next time, we will catch you in our next blog post!

Additional Readings:

What is Web Development?

What should businesses do to establish trust online?

Why does Google keep changing its algorithm?

Why does Google keep changing its algorithm?

Google has been known to make significant changes to its algorithm each year.

Why? Why does Google keep changing its algorithm so regularly?

Google’s algorithms (as there are multiple algorithms that actually work together) ensures that search results bring up the most relevant content to a user with the amount of information available on the web. This can be difficult to sift through millions of websites in milliseconds and find exactly what you need that helps you (or me) – the end-user of Google’s main product (search engine).

Hence, Google ranking systems are made to do just that: sort through billions of web pages in its search index and present you with the best information in a fraction of a second.

As mentioned, a whole series of algorithms make up Google’s ranking system. Each search algorithm looks at a plethora of factors such as the relevance of content, the expertise of sources, location and settings as well as the words of a query to give the best possible suggestions. The importance given to each factor differs based on the nature of the query.

This is Google’s official statement on how and what it considers as part of the search experience:

Google's official definition from their site on how search works extracted in picture format for the blog - Why does Google keep changing its algorithm

Source: How Search Works

Pandu Nayak who has been with Google for the last 14 years and is now the vice president of search explains the company’s mission statement about producing great results. Nayak and many others study and incorporate machine learning and artificial intelligence and scrutinize every search to give ease to users.

The strive to perfection leads to optimization

Have you ever wondered what Google’s Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is? Well, simply put it is the practice of directing traffic to your website by including content on your site that will potentially improve your site’s visibility to search engines and users.

Related: Enterprise SEO, SEO Packages and Starter SEO Packages         

Most digital marketing is at the mercy of Google’s algorithms which keep on getting updated, changed or altered which results in having an indirect or even a direct impact on search traffic for many businesses and brands across the world wide web.

In fact, because of these, in the SEO community, there has been a ton of players who track these movements in search algorithms, notify and communicate findings with each other to help stay on top.  The impact of losing first page rankings of some brands can in the millions (yes in USD) – so there is a reason to stay on top of it.

Here is a sample of ranking fluctuations by various Search Engine specialty brands keeping track of algorithm updates:

Image Source: Search Engine Land – Unconfirmed Google Search Engine Ranking Update Feels Big

Image Source: Search Engine Land – Unconfirmed Google Search Engine Ranking Update Feels Big

It is important to note that Google’s core updates drastically impact search engine optimization which has led popular websites and businesses to fall to mediocre or poor ranking.

Updates have revolutionized Google Search so that it has moved from the stereotypical robot to be able to interpret subtexts and contexts through natural language processing.

Marketers have had to keep this in mind to churn out search engine optimizing content to promote their businesses which could be at stake due to a major emphasis on keywords. Researching and understanding Google Analytics tools can prove to be particularly helpful in understanding a website’s search engine trends.

Our recommendation is to study both Analytics and Search Console to find insights into what posts, pages and sources of traffic are driving movement on your brand’s online presence.

Image Source: Google Search Console Homepage

Search engine optimization is an imperfect solution to an imperfect search engine.

However, each tweak in the algorithm can result in an easy connection between customers and businesses.

That’s also not to say that at times the algorithm is going to make wrong ‘guesses’ as part of the optimization efforts.

There really is an awesome article and opinion piece by Robert Epstein (a senior research psychologist that has published 15 books) on USA News that gets into the power of Google on our daily lives, the mistakes it can and does make and how it changes can impact everything from elections to businesses crashing and burning.

It is a 5-year-old take, but its arguments hold even more true today.  Check out The New Censorship. How did Google become the internet’s censor and master manipulator, blocking access to millions of websites?

No surprise that he is a major critic of Google and some of its practices on privacy, censorship, and impact on psychology on the society from its algorithms.

Image Source: USNews.com

Don’t cheat the system

Many businesses try to trick the system by resorting to keyword stuffing in their website’s title which DOES improve their ranking but can also get their profiles suspended for months as it goes against Google’s guidelines. Keyword stuffing is the practice of cluttering as many seo keywords on a website’s page as is possible even if the keywords are irrelevant and the site contains no real content.

Look at the keyword stuffing example below:

Are you looking for cheap running shoes? If you’re looking for cheap running shoes, look no further. Our cheap running shoes website is the best place to order your new cheap running shoes. Feel free to check out our selection of cheap running shoes from our cheap running shoes selection below.

I would be annoyed when reading this (as I am sure you would be as well)…but as an SEO professional in 2021, we still get too many clients that have been suffering in their rankings because their past SEO agencies took shortcuts like the above.

This can be taken as probably one of the worst examples of keyword stuffing which leads to “over-optimization” and leads to a terrible user experience because nobody wants to see ‘cheap running shoes’ repeated a gazillion times in a sentence.

Google’s own Matt Cutts warned webmasters about keyword stuffing and how it overshadows great websites with great content.

In 2011 and 2012, the company released algorithm updates called as Google Panda and Google Penguin respectively which were aimed at combatting bad practices such as spammy content, keyword stuffing and/or hidden links in copy.

Related: Google’s History of Algorithm Changes

There is a right way to optimize to ensure your pages rank

Many businesses are using SEO to stay at the top of the first page therefore understanding how they can improve their website’s ranking in search engines is very crucial.

Apart from working on title, headings and page URL structure – marketers must ensure that they publish quality, optimized content with the relevant keyword phrases and keyword density.

So here is the kicker and the important takeaway in the last sentence.  “Quality”.

This word is so overlooked when it comes to SEO.  When is an article published – is there a comparison done to see if it answers the search queries better? 

Are the articles or web pages engaging? Is it structured well?  Does it explain the concepts in an easy-to-consume way and get the messages across?  Does it hold media, slides, videos or other visual assets to keep the users happy, aid in the explanation when they are reading?  What about linking to other research or authoritative sites or articles when building arguments or making a case?

All these things matter.  A good content writer knows this.  Great leaders know this. Great brands understand this well. They do not take short-cuts here. And guess what – so do search engine algorithms.

It is worth emphasizing here that quality takes time, effort and resources. 

There is so much content published on the world wide web daily.  To stand out and really rank, you have to produce content that is better than the folks that have “earned” the organic listing on the first few spots of the first page of search results by publishing already decent content.

Produce content regularly that is better than the first page results and over time, the content will rank.

That great piece of content will naturally attract links, increase dwell time and time on site from users.

Brands must also remember to update their content regularly as this is one of the best indicators of a website’s relevancy.

Marketers should also use relevant, descriptive links in the text which are in keywords and will improve their search engine optimization.

Given the sheer volume of content produced – quality alone is not sufficient anymore.

Your website needs to be publishing quality and quantity regularly to get on top of readers and keep having it discovered from new users to help it stay on top. 

That is why “content is king” and other such axioms are so widely used.

So, both quality and quantity are the key ingredients for the SEO formula.

A simple formula – but one that takes a dedicated team and processes in-house for any individual, brand or large-scale enterprise to execute on.

Some other tips on optimizing

Avoiding “click here” links and writing out the name of the destination can improve greatly. (I know I am guilty of this at times 😊)

Using ‘alt tags’ or alternative text descriptions to describe the video and visual media is another great way to climb up the rankings.

There are many agencies and companies that now guarantee high rankings in search engines to business owners.

However, no SEO company can control how Google ranks websites!

Since Google changes its algorithm ever so often, companies can work on understanding these changes and building strategies according to them instead of falling prey to agencies that are only a scam.

There is no guarantee that should be provided in ranking on the first page or first position.  Organic growth, leads or increased visibility is the name of the game. Keyword themes can be targeted but anyone giving a guarantee on 1st position should be taken with a hefty amount of skepticism. 

So what happens next?

Well, there are no shortcuts to rank on search engines the way they were in the late 90s (when Google was in its infancy and Yahoo, Microsoft and Ask Jeeves ruled the internet search engine world). 

Besides short-cuts that try to cheat the system end up hurting the brand more in the long term (as mentioned in our keyword stuffing example above).

There is a lot written on this, but it is worth repeating here – create content for humans and not bots. 

Understand that Google is not perfect (nothing is actually), and it will need to keep updating its algorithms regularly to match the user intent of the search query with a better answer or search result.

Play the long-term game and keep updating your content with better quality to stay on top. 

There will be times that your page rankings crash (even with the best written or relevant content for the query) – but if the content is good and there are regular updates, you will bring some and all of those rankings back over time (unless there was “cheating” happening, then be willing to part ways with your initial traffic on your pages). 

Other times there still may be content that does not rank because of Google’s own agenda (not placing content that puts their brand in a negative light or gives it bad publicity).  There is not much that brands can do about this – ultimately, Google owns its search engine and it’s in their interest to protect their reputation and they will favour their reputation and products over other search results.

Questions/Thoughts or concerns?  Drop us a comment below or reach out on our contact-us page.

Happy Optimizing!

Do Likes on Social Media Channels Matter?

Do Likes on Social Media Channels Matter?

Do Likes on Social Media Channels Matter?

What are “Likes” or “Subscribers” or “Follow”?

With over 3.6 billion users, social media is unarguably the new mega force to reckon with in the business arena. Social media platforms such as Facebook, Youtube, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter and others have given businesses cost-effective and convenient platforms to communicate with their target audience. 

Digital marketers are working round the clock to have as many people as possible like, subscribe, and follow their social media channels and posts. So the question becomes do likes on social media channels matter?

So, what are “Likes” or “Subscribes” or “Follow”?

Every social post is accompanied by several buttons, including the like button. When someone likes a post, it means they enjoy or support the content of the post. Likes are a show of preference for a post.

On the other hand, the subscribe feature appears on YouTube and Facebook.

People know about the “Follow” or “Like” feature in Facebook, but the ability to add “subscribe” to a page feature exists as well. You can learn more about eligibility and or how to configure for your page right on Facebook’s guidelines here.

When someone clicks or taps on the subscribe button of a channel, they become subscribers. They simply show that they like your content and would like more. Therefore, they can see the channel’s content on their news feed as soon as it is published. 

Image source: Dummies
Web Worx Labs YouTube Banner showing Subscribe button as a focus for the blog "Do likes on social media channels matter?'
Our Subscribe button on YouTube

The follow button on Instagram and Twitter is almost similar to the subscribe button on YouTube and Facebook. Your Instagram or Twitter followers are people who’ve chosen to receive your tweets or Instagram posts in their profile’s news feed.

Instagram Follow Button
Twitter Follow Button

What Good Things Come from Likes?

Brands and companies are spending a fortune to market their products and services. But with that much content out there, someone could be wondering why a brand would be obsessed with increasing its social media likes.

So here are a few key reasons why “likes”, “follows”, “subscribes” are still important today!

More Communication

The more “likes”, “follows” or “subscriptions” your social media channel gets, the broader your fan base gets. Therefore, an increased number of likes on your channel will make your posts more visible on the feed section of your target audience’s profiles. 

You can use this visibility to introduce your fans to other communication platforms for improved conversion. 

Build A Fanbase On Social To Own

For instance, with email marketing cited to have a 2.5% click-through rate against 0.07% for social media marketing, a digital marketer would be interested in diverting their social media fans to their email list. Therefore, a post encouraging the fans to join your email list for a specified benefit would come in handy. 

Related: 5 Easy & Impactful Email Marketing Tips You Can Use Right Away

In such a case, more likes on the post will make the call to action and the accompanying content more visible to the right people. The approach will also be helpful when you want to increase your website’s traffic from your social media channel. 

Also, you have now converted your followers into an email list that you own outside of social media. This allows your brand to start off building awareness on social media, then nurturing them through other channels to make them eventual customers.

At the same time, having them sign up to your newsletter from first have them follow you on social will allow you to build some protection or insurance against when that social platform goes away or dips in traffic (which happens these days sooner and more often than we think).

More Clout

The internet today has pushed the slang ‘clout’ and is now adopted by everyone. It generally means power, influence or fame. Clout also makes someone or something more popular. Undoubtedly, social likes make you popular online, thus extending your fan base. 

For instance, company A’s social media page 1000 likes. Its competitor, Company B has 600 likes on the same platform. Then, there’s a high possibility that company A will be more sought after than B, thanks to clout. When company A rolls out new services or activities, the information will reach out to more people. 

In a nutshell, a high number of social media likes differentiate you from your competitors. More followers may not mean more engagement for each time you update them on social media. It should just show anyone looking to understand a brand at a high level if it has a history and following.

It is a way that many still size others up (not our recommended or preferred way to measure anyone). Likes or followers on the surface can be misleading if the engagement is non-existent on each social media update. So if you are going to use Likes/followers/subscribers to make a “judgement call” on a brand, use it in conjunction with other social media metrics to ensure you get a fuller picture.

Related: Social Media Marketing Services at Web Worx Labs

Related: Why should marketers care about TikTok?

Related: 5 Must-Have Attributes For A Killer Social Media Post

What Likes May Not Provide:

 Sales or Leads

Just because someone follows you for your content, it may not mean that they are interested in doing business with you.

Even now, when you think of success on social media, the first thought goes to having lots of likes.

However, it is important to understand that it is not necessarily true. A social media channel may have thousands of likes that don’t translate to more sales or additional quality leads. Then it leaves you with the question ‘why?’ 

The reason is that people may like your service or product but it does not mean they need it. They may have liked it just because it looked attractive or caught their eye-nothing more. 

However, over time, as you engage with your target audience in a meaningful way on social channels, there will opportunity to bring them down the buyers’ journey to an eventual conversion.  This is when leads or sales occur.

Social Media is a very top-of-funnel activity or the bottom of the funnel activity to engage existing customers.

As the chart above shows, social media usually fits in the top two sections.  Although updates on social platforms with lead generation and the ability to conduct eCommerce transactions right online have changed that.

Now, this has changed recently with advertising specifically introduced to generate leads via social media (to target the more middle of the buyer’s journey funnel) – but that comes through advertising not likes directly. 

You have to use those likes in other ways to build an audience that engages with you on other channels so they eventually become a customer.

Getting likes for the sake of likes alone is not a viable sales strategy.

Likes no longer as important

This is a fact that many people do not understand. You may have likes, but they do not necessarily mean much if they are engaging with your content and you are not able them to the buyer’s journey.

Yes, they may help you have a bigger fan base, but their importance does not go far than that on their own. In fact, algorithms on social platforms limit brands that prevent reach from going to all the followers as they want you to advertise to reach a greater portion of your following.

At the end of the day, what matters is how well you have marketed the specific product or service. It can be in various channels, not just through social media. Driving more traffic to your website and well-informed marketing campaigns can boost your social media marketing efforts in pushing your brand.

Customer feedback, referrals as well as social media sharing and comments will also bring a supplementary force to your digital marketing campaigns.  

There are many companies that have first build powerful brands that naturally attract followers. Build your brand first and that will translate into sales, more followers and growth over time.

Closing Thoughts

A huge following and many likes will bring your brand closer to the eyes of the target audience. However, you should not be comfortable with just that as far as your online marketing is concerned. Any following on social media should have harder goals tied back to these softer “vanity-based metrics”.  Are you getting calls?  Are followers coming to the site and staying there?  Create content for each of the phases in the buyers’ journey (not just the top end) and that will allow you to benefit from building a brand that the right people will be attracted to.

Questions? Thoughts? Need help. Reach out via our contact us page or comment below!

Cryptocurrency Guide (For Marketers By Marketers)

Cryptocurrency Guide (For Marketers By Marketers)

Cryptocurrency Guide (For Marketers By Marketers)


This blog post is a cryptocurrency guide for marketers, business leaders and anyone who is looking to better understand this technology without getting too technical.

Why are these terms always thrown around and making headlines?  Why should marketers care about it in today’s day and age?

This “cryptocurrency” term and others including blockchain, bitcoin, are used today by many techies, bankers, news websites, and some eccentric personalities (think Elon Musk) – but they can be and are still pretty confusing. 

This new technology has taken the world by storm and even brands are now opening up to doing business using this technology (Subway, Microsoft, Burger King, AT&T, among others come to mind).  You can find the full list of brands dabbling in this technology here.

What is cryptocurrency: the official definition:

 I like Investopedia’s definition:

Cryptocurrency guide - official definition snippet from Investopedia on what is cryptocurrency

So basically, it is a form of currency.  A virtual one – that can be used for purchasing goods and services.

It uses an online ledger with strong cryptography to secure online transactions which makes it nearly impossible to counterfeit or double-spend. (so it is deemed more secure than our traditional form of currency – “paper money”).

The word ‘cryptocurrency’ is derived from the encryption techniques which are used to secure the network.

This digital money is not regulated by any single authority such as banks or government, making it free from any manipulation and interference.

(This is pretty powerful if you think about it – money that is not centrally regulated and controlled).

It also offers the buyer and seller in a transaction more anonymity than conventional online paying methods.

So more privacy on top of security and less regulation – playing devil’s advocate – if I am a criminal – I am loving this form of currency already. (not to say that others would not be attracted to it for the very same reasons).

As mentioned, part of the appeal of this currency is its security which can be owed to blockchain technology- a decentralized technology that is spread across a large number of peer-to-peer computers that simultaneously store and update transactions online according to cryptographical rules.   

Did this just get a bit more confusing again or is it just me?

So let’s break it down. 

  1. Blockchain: an open and distributed ledger that records transactions in code.  A block is connected on a chain for every transaction done.
  2. Peer to peer: computers connected using the internet
  3. Cryptographic rules: so using codes to protect information.  This allows for the security to link one block with others (as part of the whole network), while providing encryption and better security.

Putting it together in easier to understand terms – a decentralized technology that uses cryptography (codes to product info) in peer-to-peer systems (computers connected via the internet) to store and update transactions online using the cryptography rules (code).

Hope that explains it a bit better.  If not, no worries, keep reading, more explanations and more importantly why it matters are next.

What is Bitcoin?

The first blockchain-based cryptocurrency was Bitcoin which remains the most trendy and valuable out of all cryptocurrencies (today – this is as of August 2021).

Who created Bitcoin? 

It’s still a mystery.

I know – crazy right?

The answer is not as simple because the identity of the creator is unknown and remains a mystery to most.

So far, we do know that in August of 2008, an anonymous person or entity registered the Bitcoin.org domain.

We also know that in the same year, a whitepaper was published highlighting the foundations of how Bitcoin would operate.

In 2009, the first version of Bitcoin was launched by a single person or group under the pseudonym of ‘Satoshi Nakamoto’.

Satoshi Nakamoto is rumoured to be the father of this cryptocurrency.  But no one knows for sure.  In fact, he vehemently denied it in 2014 when a story broke in Newsweek at that time.  You can read about it here

Mystic?  Believe it.  Creepy – a little maybe.  But all interesting nonetheless (to say the least).

So as expected, given the popularity of Bitcoin, there has been a surge in new currencies, which are either built from scratch or are clones of Bitcoin, each having their own functions, rules and requirements.

How are Bitcoins made?

Bitcoins simply put are mined.

Let’s step back again – if you are thinking – what is mining? – again you would not be alone here (I know I was thinking what is the relationship between “mining” and currencies when I got to this section of my learning about Bitcoin).

What Are Miners In Cryptocurrency?

Miners are people who run cryptocurrency software on their computers.  They police the system and verify every transaction to prevent fraud to ensure the legitimacy of the transactions.

Generating for and mining for one bitcoin is when new bitcoins are entered into circulation by using complex and costly machines, algorithms, servers to be allowed to enter to a blockchain ledger (again as mentioned earlier, a blockchain is a specific type of database that stores information in blocks).

Miners play an essential role in securing the Bitcoin network and the transactions.

Each time a miner successfully solves Bitcoin’s complex algorithm – a new “block” in the form of bitcoin is added to the ledger.

How Can You Get A Bitcoin By Mining?

So what is a complex algorithm in the case of Bitcoin? 

A really, really hard math problem.

Yes, you read that right.  A math question.  You solve complex math questions that require very costly and super-fast machines that leverage algorithms to work for hours, weeks, or even months to generate an answer to a math question.

To get into the specifics of the math questions and the exact rules of engagement to do it yourself, I recommend this initial read on Investopedia.  I am going to skip over this because this is not the objective of this specific blog (we are looking at it from a marketing perspective – so I am sharing the general concepts – not the detailed technicals and know-how).

Related: What Are Algorithms?

How Are New Blocks Minted?

If you can crack the target number and get the right answer, you are allowed to enter into the ledger with a Bitcoin.  When someone can successfully find the solution, they broadcast it, and are allowed to join by other miners in the blockchain. Once the target answer is met, the new coin is minted and provided to the miner. The miner that mines a block is rewarded through the block reward, a set amount of bitcoins agreed upon by the network. The bitcoins included in the block reward are all new bitcoins. This is the only way that new bitcoins are created.

This process of mining ensures that only miners can generate bitcoins by verifying and processing data preventing people from creating their own bitcoins not issued by the network. This is because Bitcoins rely on strong cryptography to verify every transaction.

In Bitcoin’s case, generally speaking – these are the rules of engagement. 

Given the math problems are hard to solve, miners are not necessarily solving the problem, but create algorithms to keep guessing it a ton of times (think millions or even trillions) until they get it correctly.  So brute force is the name of the game for gaining a Bitcoin for most miners these days.  Specialized and super-fast hardware that can guess answers at lighting fast speeds requiring cooling mechanisms and a ton of electricity – are the starting requirements for most miners.

Value of cryptocurrencies in aggregate

Today, the aggregate value of all the cryptocurrencies in existence is around $1.6 trillion—Bitcoin currently represents more than 60% of the total value.

Image & Stats Source: Coin Market Cap

As of August 2021, the value of Bitcoin is approx. $50K CAD or $40K USD.

Why Marketers Should Care?

Understanding cryptocurrency and its underlying blockchain technology are good to know for marketers.

There are no planned out scenarios right now

There is no real guarantee that cryptocurrency will change the landscape for marketing or digital marketing as we know it.

As marketers, (especially as digital marketers) – we have to be aware and continuously adapt, keep up, and stay ahead of the curve with options to find new ways to reach customers, engage with and build lasting relationships with them.

New Platforms For Advertising In The Horizon

There are new platforms up and coming that are using blockchain technology to reward users who use their platform and give control back to the users on which brands and companies can and cannot advertise to them.

So for example, if you like the Nike brand, you can allow their ads to show up on the publishers’ space and thereby Nike gets access to your online activities, preferences, gets the right to advertise their products to you, and gains insights from other behavioural data (while keeping your actual identity private – again – one of the biggest pros of blockchain technology). 

The publisher makes money or cut from the ad spend.  You get the user to use this space by providing them BAT (tokens or the digital currency) to stick around and allow themselves to be advertised on.

From a marketing perspective, this may mean that reach, impressions, and thereby potential eventual conversion numbers from advertising on these types of platforms are lower.

It may also mean that conversion rates go higher because you are preaching your latest updates, breakthroughs, and product offers to a more loyal customer base (or at least an interested one) that may be open to your brand selling to them.

It’s still too early to tell.

One of the biggest players in this space currently is Basic Attention Token.  You can learn about what this ‘exchange’ has to offer on their site and more about the rule of engagement for users, publishers, and advertisers here.

So what’s next?…

Bitcoins are complex things.

They are very technical, surrounded by mystery and hard to process.

They also come with some other things that were not covered in this article. Cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin, and its mining have been causing major sustainability concerns amongst economists and environmentalists. That’s no surprise given the amount of energy needed to mine Bitcoins as mentioned earlier.  So will “green” brands come on?  Tesla’s CEO (Elon Musk) backed out of using this currency because of this very reason (supposedly).  You can read about it more here.

There is no clear view on the horizon right now.  A ton of people, businesses, brands, and even government entities are dabbling in it.  With time and wider accessibility, cryptocurrency, bitcoin and even other types of blockchain currencies will become more mainstream.  They already are in a lot of ways.

Even with all the hype, popularity, mystery surrounding its origins and speculative investors, so far, it has major concerns for businesses due to its high volatility compared to other types of currency.

Then there is the issue of regulation and anonymity – which is one of its biggest strengths, but maybe a cause for concerns given its lure to those of the criminally inclined.

Hopefully, this article gives you a less technical and more marketing overview on the fundamentals of this new technology and why it matters in the business and marketing world. 

I have to say, I enjoyed getting deeper into this cryptocurrency world when writing for this topic for our blog.  It was not an easy one, but an important one – because this topic has made so many headlines as of late and I wanted to start understanding the concepts better as a business leader and a marketer myself. I hope the readers of this blog benefit from it as well.

Again, I know, compared to others who have been in this space for a while, I am only scratching the surface.  So if you have details to add to enlighten our readers or if I misunderstood or misrepresented anything above – mention it in our comments section and I will do my best to address it, add to it or look into it.

Questions, thoughts and or concerns?  Reach out at info@webworxlabs.com and we would be happy to connect.  You can comment below or reach us via our contact us page. 

 

TikTok Marketing: Why Should Marketers Care About TikTok?

TikTok Marketing: Why Should Marketers Care About TikTok?

TikTok Marketing: Why Should Marketers Care About TikTok?

If you are looking for guidance on TikTok marketing and want to understand your options and approach, you have come to the right place! If you aren’t already aware, TikTok is a trendy new social media application launched internationally by a Chinese tech company in September 2016.

This app has since then gained popularity in the western markets as a convenient and content-driven application with videos ranging from politics to education to live streaming. But should marketers and business leaders pay as much attention to this app as most other people?

The answer is definitely ‘Yes’. Here’s why:

The Growing Numbers and Statistics

People now spend more time on TikTok than on YouTube and the trend is increasing!  We are hovering around 1.1 Billion users on TikTok!

With the app being the most down at around 33 million (as of Q2 2021) in the apple store.

The growing number of users coupled with low advertising costs makes TikTok a lucrative marketing and branding channel for business leaders and brand owners. Not only do marketers have the opportunity to showcase their services, products, and brands to a sizable audience, they also have to pay less per advertising campaign as compared to most other mainstream social media apps like Instagram, Facebook among others.

Besides, the age group people think is predominately younger is also growing for the older demographic.  That means, more older people are becoming more comfortable with the platform so getting in now will allow you to cement your foundational following that can be built upon as the younger demographic naturally ages over time and the older demographic catches up.

Image Souce: Statista (US Only Numbers as of March 2021)

 Connect Directly with Content Creators:

TikTok facilitates a unique way for brands to create and share their advertising campaigns either by using TikTok’s own advertising tools or by connecting them directly to content creators.

Marketers can filter out influencers based on whether their style matches the brand’s face and target audience (based on age, gender and geo-location). They can also check the content creator’s previous brand deals and how well it did on the platform.

If marketers want to generate brand awareness then they can focus on influencers with a large audience while if they want to produce sales they can sponsor a niche content creator who is more aligned to a target demographic.

Advertise and Promote your brands/products/content on TikTok:

Since most brand owners and marketers want visibility from social media, TikTok is an excellent marketing platform as its content lives on your feed forever which can be used to bait people from wanting more from you and eventually persuade them to your YouTube channel.

Here is an example of Mercedes Benz using TikTok Ads to create engaging content that builds lasting impressions:

TikTok Marketing By Mercedes Benz - an example on MB post- Source: Jungletop

Image Source: Jungletop

Marketers can collaborate with other brands to promote each other’s products and services. Co-branding partnerships have proven to allow marketers to transform their brand’s overall image as well as alter the volume of traffic altogether.

Some very popular and successful collaborations include GoPro and Red Bull, Spotify and Starbucks, and Nike and Apple among various others. If you are looking to check out good examples of TikTok marketing brand channels for inspiration – these are good places to start! Companies or single brands can find brand takeover advertisements to be particularly helpful in promoting their products and services wherein pictures, videos and other forms of media can be used to direct users to the brand’s website link.

Some types of ad formats that can work on TikTok that marketers should consider include:

  • In-app commerce (for those that sell online)
  • In-video ads
  • Branded takeover (branded content comes up as soon as they open the app)
  • Sponsored Hashtags

There are a ton of advertising possibilities and I am sure more will be rolled out as this platform becomes more mainstream.

Related: Pay Per Click Management Services

Related: Social Media Marketing Services

Showcase original content to stand out and connect organically:

Among various successful marketing techniques, the Hashtag challenge has proven to be very useful for brand owners and companies in showcasing their brand’s outlook. These challenges spread the brand’s cause effectively and henceforth gather new audiences. They also allow business leaders to have organic engagements with content creators and viral bloggers who have a far greater outreach and can achieve the desired results.

Marketers can resort to more spontaneous behind-the-scenes which can give their audience a better look at the brand’s voice and personality. Embracing viral trends has proven particularly helpful for most marketers in promoting their brand on TikTok. 

Post or content characteristics that have worked well on this platform include:

  • Authentic (behind the scenes, faces behind the name, etc.)
  • Creativity (anything clever or good filmmaking will stand out and gain natural organic reach given the volume that is uploaded daily)
  • Entertainment (that is the currency on TikTok, if you can keep them entertained, you have built a lasting impression that can truly build on).

Wrapping Up

All in all, we can thank TikTok’s deeply responsive algorithm in detecting a user’s behaviour and pattern. Hopefully, this small guide will help you with getting your TikTok marketing started. This platform can be extremely advantageous for numerous brand owners in promoting their company’s profile and personality!

Reach out if you need help at info@webworxlabs.com, comment below or get in touch via our contact us page.

What Are Algorithms? (a 4 min read)

What Are Algorithms? (a 4 min read)

For most marketers and digital nomads, algorithms are a bit like a blockchain.  Everyone understands a bit of it, but ask them to explain what and how it works – good luck or expect a long complex answer that seems to go off topic but does not really answer the question. 

You know it.  We have all been there. So what are algorithms exactly (without going off on a tangent)?

What Are Algorithms – The Official Definition:

I like BBC’s definition:

An algorithm is a sequence of instructions or a set of rules that are followed to complete a task. 
Source: BBC Bitesize

So what does that mean exactly?  Let’s demystify some of this term loosely bounced around in the context of someone who has an attention span of a 2-year-old on YouTube (yes I have a 2-year-old at home and yes he has been getting too much screen time).

It is like asking your computer to run a program with a specific goal in mind.  The algorithm’s goal can be to provide good search results that answer the query in the easiest and quickest time possible using complex data technology (if you thought of Google’s algorithm here, you get a star!)

Or it can be showing you videos on your streaming app feed for ones you have watched a lot in the past or have shown interest in (you guessed it, YouTube)

Or it can be your friends’ updates and or ads on topics you have shown interest in by browsing on their platform (Facebook, Twitter, or really any other social media platform is using an algorithm for this).

The internet runs on these algorithms. Websites have algorithms.  Search engines have algorithms. Online or mobile apps have algorithms.  GPS has algorithms. Video games have algorithms. Artificial intelligence?  Dating Sites?  Social Media sites?  Well, you get the point.

In a nutshell, this task or guidance provided to machines in a form of code is not easy to do and there will never be 100% correct results for every user, every query, or every action that takes place online.  Because of this, these algorithms must ‘optimize’ – keep trying to feed you things to ensure your satisfaction remains high (or keeps going in the right direction), so you a) spend more time on their platforms or b) come back often and or tell your friends about it.

Hopefully, you can see that algorithms aren’t as mysterious as you originally thought before starting down this post 😊. We are talking concepts here and not technical definitions, so you understand what they are designed to do and the intricacies around them.

Related: What Should Businesses Do Today To Establish Trust Online?

Related: What Is Web Development

Why algorithms have gotten a bad rep lately?

So why the heat lately?

Well, on social media – let’s take Facebook for example – it keeps giving you posts, ads, and content on topics you have shown interest in.  These algorithms track all the online behaviour of users, and slice and dice your profile to match you with ideas, products, communities that they think you will engage with well. Well, that on the surface is not bad, but it allows you to create a more tunnel vision and groupthink.  Polarized topics can form groupthink and it becomes harder for us to connect with others who may not hold our viewpoint over a period of time.

This leads a more divided society that is constantly only fed their own view point on mass (now this is getting a bit political here – so I am not going to expand here, but I think you can see what I mean by this. Hopefully).

Case in point – ever heard of mySpace and their child exploitation scandals that gave this social platform a bad reputation and lead the likes of Facebook (and others) to take its place? mySpace used algorithms and did not put checks in place to ensure bad behaviour and criminal activity is not rewarded.

Also, more research is emerging that talks about predictive analytics used in algorithms punish the poor.

So use of algorithms without proper checks and constant oversight can lead to outcomes that are less than ideal and may even be construed as “trust breaching” or ‘unethical’ to many.

Privacy Concerns 

Algorithms aren’t always perfect.  

What Are Algorithms? Code screen on black background.

Ever heard of cookies?  Well, these are pieces of code that are saved on your browser on the machine you accessed it from and are used to track your behaviour, interest, demographics online by other websites that can then advertise to you.

A lot of folks have been becoming uncomfortable with this idea of being tracked so we can be advertised at a later date.  This means online surveillance by companies is only increasing and people are starting to learn about how this impacts their behaviour including security concerns, purchasing intent, and more. 

Companies can and have taken advantage of it and some as a result may have also suffered because of it.  Take Facebook and their scandal with Cambridge Analytica where the consulting company (not the social media giant) was able to acquire personal and private data on Facebook’s platform and sold it to US election campaign officials.  This constituted a breach from Facebook (and conceded it as a “breach of trust” after being caught).  Facebook was later fined $5 billion.

We are still figuring out as a digital community, world, and society at large what impact these pieces of code have on our daily lives.  Some of it is good and some of it is not so good.

With innovation, many companies have been very accepting of adapting these tools (these algorithms) to help them stand out, deliver more with less, and find ways to get more people dependant on their platform.  If people keep coming back and keep sharing their personal and online behaviour traits, it makes it easy for these companies that use algorithms to market to them.

Our job at Web Worx Labs is to give our voice to technologies and use them ethically where possible.  We bring light to this issue as we recognize and understand the legitimate concerns many have come to express over the years with these technologies.

Have thoughts to share?  Questions or need more clarity.  Comment below or reach out at info@webworxlabs.com. Contact us via email by filling out our contact form: https://www.webworxlabs.com/contact-us/

 

5 Easy & Impactful Email Marketing Tips You Can Use Right Away

5 Easy & Impactful Email Marketing Tips You Can Use Right Away

5 Easy & Impactful Email Marketing Tips You Can Use Right Away

Why market via emails?

In today’s blog update, we get into email marketing tips.

There are more than 4 billion email users worldwide. This number is far beyond the number of people who use Facebook, Instagram, or other social media sites. So, albeit it might not be the rage amongst millennials, emails have the most extensive reach when it comes to different marketing options to get in front of your audience. And you can use this to your advantage when you are putting your product or services out there.

Even more importantly, when you are emailing your audience, you have direct access to them. 

This means that there is no need for Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, TikTok or any other platform to permit you to reach them.  These platforms are always changing their algorithms and what could have reached a certain number of people with the same post, may only reach a fraction of that number after they ‘updated’ or made changes to their platforms.

So email provides you ultimate control. 

With that said, to optimize your outreach, there are some specific tips you can follow. 

Related: How to Show Empathy to Your Team and Customers

Related: Creating Buyer Personas – Detailed Guide

1.   Make sure your emails are mobile-friendly

With the advent of smartphones, we are increasingly dependent on the small devices that manage everything from our daily schedules to our fitness. It is also the one device we check most regularly. For most of us, it is the first thing we do in the morning and the last thing we do before going to bed. We check our emails on average on the phone every 12 minutes.

Iphone, Smartphone, Apps, Apple Inc, Mobile Phone

Refreshing emails on our phones is a part of our routine, and we are more prone to reading a marketing email on our phones than on a desktop.

In 2019 alone, 46% of all the emails that were opened were opened on smartphones. Use this to your advantage, and make sure your emails are formatted in a mobile-friendly way. You can do this by ensuring:

  • Your template is single-column
  • Your font size is big enough to be easily legible on a mobile screen
  • Make your call to action easy to view and centralize it
  • Make sure you use small pictures so that the viewer can load them quickly even with a slow internet speed
  • Keep the subject line under 30 characters to accommodate it on the screen
  • Make sure your emails are not over 600 pixels wide to avoid any issues viewing them.
  • Test the emails on multiple devices

From tech giants like Apple to entertainment companies like Buzzfeed, everyone is catching up on this marketing technique. These tips listed above are simple, easy to check off before hitting the send button!

2.   Individualize your emails

Gone are the days of impersonalized, generic emails. Your target audience is 26% more likely to open an email with a personalized subject line. From universities to companies like Netflix and Uber, they all prefer “Hi Chris” to “Dear Customer,” and for an excellent reason.

Girl, Ipad, Tablet, Education, Woman

People respond more to customized emails and suggestions based on their past purchases or history.

You can use the customer’s data to send them personalized emails. Consider their age and their purchase history while suggesting anything to them to help ensure you get the right open rates, conversions and more.

3.   A well-timed email is a well-received email

Time your email. Trust us, there is a science here. The prime time to send emails is when people are most prone to check their phones. These are the times that attract the most traffic to websites. A study shows that most people open marketing-related emails at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Use this window to send your emails.

Studies have also shown that the best days to send emails are Tuesday and Thursday. Test these days out, and track the results. Notice when your customers are most responsive to emails.

People also usually read marketing emails outside of work hours. This is also when they are least likely to receive work-related emails, making your emails stand out all the more.

It has become even more precise over the years. Some email CRMs (i.e. GetResponse and Mailchimp) offer individualized automated distribution time by individuals on your lists. That means, even after you hit the sent button, these CRMs will deliver it in the window where they believe the person receiving is most likely to open it based on their past open history. Pretty cool eh? Love technology and the use of algorithms here.

4.   Automated Trigger Email

According to a recent study, automated trigger emails are known to have 70.5% more opens than their other counterparts. Behavioural marketing automation is the best way to keep your subscribers engaged. These emails are usually sent in response to an action taken by the user. Which usually means the users watch for these emails.

For example, a customer bought a product through your website. They will now wait for a confirmation email. Subsequently, when they receive this email triggered by their action, they will most likely open it. Currently, not a lot of companies are using email automation despite its promising results.

This is because the process of automation and industrialization requires investment and is deemed a tad tricky by some. It is worth all the efforts, though, as it is known to increase revenue considerably.

Companies like Amazon and Netflix are prime examples of how to engage customers through triggered emails.

5.   The perfect subject line

No blog on email marketing would be complete if there was no section on the subject line!

The subject line of your email is exceptionally crucial. Can’t emphasize this point enough here.

It decides whether or not your customer will open the email. A study dictates that 35% of email recipients open the email solely based on the subject line. If your subject line is too long, chances are it doesn’t even fit the screen of your customer’s mobile. And on the off chance that the customer is using a desktop, a long, dry subject line will make him lose interest before he even opens the email. Brevity is the key when it comes to coming up with the perfect subject line. Here are a few ways you can ensure you get more opens through your subject line: (Insert Bullets)

  • Keep it short
  • Personalize the subject line if you can
  • Use emojis if possible and fits the context
  • Humour goes a long way when it comes to subject lines
  • The more formal, the less intriguing. Keep it quirky to get more eyeballs on the email

Here is a great subject line by Mobile Monkey on an email I received last week. It hits all the criteria for a catchy subject line that stands out!

Closing Thoughts

With time, email marketing techniques are projected to dominate the marketing sector.

With this blog, we have listed many of the key points that you can use to help get your brand noticed more in inboxes and increase your outreach efforts.

With that said, not everything works for everyone. Experiment with the techniques to find the ones that work best for you and let us know how your brand benefits from them.  

We hope you find these email marketing tips useful and easy to implement in your marketing strategy.

If you have questions, thoughts and want help with any of this – then reach out at info@webworxlabs.com or comment below. You can also reach out to us via our contact us page.

5 Must-Have Attributes For A Killer Social Media Post

5 Must-Have Attributes For A Killer Social Media Post

5 Must-Have Attributes For A Killer Social Media Post

Social media has an immense impact on businesses. It has revolutionized how we interact and carry out our day-to-day lives.

Social media is powerful, it’s everywhere, and it’s unavoidable. 

Whether you’re an established brand or a startup, social media plays a vital role in your marketing. That’s why having the fundamentals right for a post on social media platforms is imperative.

There are more than 3 billion people who use social media. This means you can reach a wide base of consumers on your social media platforms using well-curated posts.

And for your business to benefit, you need to invest a lot of money, time, and effort. A great post on various platforms will tell about your brand and personality.

So, what will a good post do to your business?

Benefits of a Perfect Social Media Post for Your Business

·      Higher SERP Rankings

Posting more on social media platforms will earn you a following and make you trend. And remember, your post should be relevant, enticing, and engaging.

Let the target customers, existing customers, vendors, and other business stakeholders get hooked and stay connected with your brand.

Besides, trending on social media will have an impact on Search Engine Result Page rankings. This is how you can build positive impressions, stand out and get more engagement.

 

Image: Google Search Results showing for Starbucks With Their Social Media before organic listings

·      Increased Brand Visibility and Awareness

When you post on social media, your target audience and customers see more of your brand and enhance your brand awareness.

And the best part is that it’s a cost-effective and effective marketing strategy.

·      Build Brand Loyalty

This is a powerful marketing component, but it can be challenging to attain. It can be an overwhelming task, considering the stiff competition. It will take a lot of time to achieve the desired results.

But it’s not impossible. Well-curated social media posts can speed up the process. The brand loyalists will boost sales as well as promoting your brand on various social media feeds.

·      Build Goodwill and Credibility

Great posting gives your customer a better understating f your rand and how you function. Customers have a chance to scrutinize your brand and determine if your business culture and practices resonate with our vision, motto, and mission.

Potential clients want to get associated with a reliable brand that operates ethically. Posting on social media platforms helps you reach out to customers and show them the kind of a brand you are.

These are but a few benefits that you can leap by posting on the social media platform.

But what will make customers get hooked to your posts? How should a post look like?

These below tips give you a good outline of designing and publishing a social media post that is sure to create new levels of engagement – so read on!

The Must-Have Anatomy of a Social Media Post Design

We dissected and analyzed hundreds of social posts. We also searched high and low, from fan page to fan page, and industry to industry, for the mystic to viral post. The truth is, creating a viral social media post can be seamless if you know what’s needed.

Let’s examine the anatomy of a perfect social media post.

1.  Headline

The headline is the first and perhaps the last impression you give to your customers. Many people neglect this segment, but it should be your priority in content creation. A poorly written H1 tag can drive the audience away in droves, rendering your work useless.

If the headline does not sell your story, then your social media posts will go unread.

What a waste!

That’s why investing in a good headline is imperative. It captures the topic of your post and helps in SERP rankings.

A catchy headline boosts your CTR and starts interaction with readers on a positive note.

So what makes an impeccable headline that people click?

  • Make it short and sweet – The headline should be short but catchy. The ideal length is 6 words or 66 characters. People have short attention spans. Therefore, be creative but informative.
  • Make it Conversational – Readers what to feel engaged. The post should talk to them. Create a real-like conversation by including “you” and “your” in the headline.
  • Negative Wordings– Don’t get it wrong! It’s not about being harsh. You only use simple words such as “stop,” “not,” “without,” and “no.”. These words create more sharing.
  • Use Numbers – Including numbers make people have a notion that steps are easy to follow. And use digits instead of words to enhance sharing. For instance, “7” instead of “seven.”
  • Make Use of Adjectives – Adjectives make the headline catchy and engage readers more than flat, mundane language. Make use of words like essential, absolute, effortless, painstaking, strange, to mention a few.

1.   Images

“A picture is worth 1,000 words.”

The saying still rings true!

Photography helps you get more engagement than text-based updates, or links.

Videos get even more engagement.  So if you can make your static photogenic post into a video – we highly recommend it.

But having a great photograph to tell your story within minimal graphics is a must have.

Here is an example of a simple, but crips photograph with minimal branding telling a story:

Image Source: Fully Promoted Canada – A Partner we helped with Social Media

How simple and powerful is the above design?  It tells a story, people look at it and are quickly able to understand and relate to the message.

According to MDG data, images on Facebook get 352% more engagements than links.  The 2018 Adobe survey shows that 16% of users find it annoying when a post or content has no image.   

Humans are naturally wired to value images. Users will only remember 10% of the information, but a picture improves recall to a whopping 65%.

Consumers think favorably of a post that emphasizes on photos over text.

As mentioned, good photography placement and choices can do the heavy lifting and tell a story in a relatively little space.

You might not be able to get all the pictures and images in-house. However,  put some effort into making your post imagery and appealing. Some sites such as Unsplash, Pexels, and Flickr are the best for image search.

Alternatively, if you need professional photography services – do check out our Photography solutions for brands.

Use different photos to fit the mood of the day. It will make your content outstand from other posts. Use crystal clear photos with bright and alluring colors.

Related: Corporate Photography Services at Web Worx Labs

Related: Social Media Marketing Services at Web Worx Labs

2.  Caption

A caption is a copy or text-based content of the designed post you will be publishing on your social media handles.  Different social platforms allow for different character limits, but our suggestion is to keep it short and sweet – just like the headline.

Ultimately, you can always have a simple caption-based post without the design, photography or videography, or other types of posts, but we find these to be limiting in engagement for most brands.  The one platform they are likely to get the most reach and engagement is Twitter given its character limit and its origins of sharing opinions or thoughts based on simple text-based posts.

Brands that have used copy-based or simple captions to create engaging post include Netflix, McDonald’s, and Dennys.

Here is a simple but effective post that got a decent amount of engagement on social for the Denny’s brand on Twitter:

Simple, but powerful posts create lasting impressions.  This post got 901 likes because it is funny and relatable!

The caption should capture the mood or the sentiment of the times, the message it needs to convey, and provide a call to action to help the customer go to their next step in their journey.  The next step can be to ask for a like, answer a question, go to a link or anything in between.

We found Sunkist social media captions truly engaging and worth checking out if you are looking for inspiration for your content calendar on social media.  We find the social content writing team at Sunkist truly hilarious, catchy and engaging.  See example below:

Image Source: Sunkist Facebook

3.   Hashtags

Hashtags are an effective way to boost the reach of your posts. But don’t add too many hashtags, as they’ll make your content look spammy. It can also make engagement drastically drop.

A hashtag expands your reach on the social media platform beyond those who follow you.

Hashtags on Twitter will likely double your engagements. However, limit them to 2 because anything beyond that will lead to a drop of 17% in engagement.

A great resource we use to quickly get trending hashtags related to a topic is BestHashtags.com

Image Source: A Query on “Gloves on the website: Best Hashtags

Hashtags don’t seem to work great on Facebook. Therefore, use them sparingly on this social media platform. And when you use them, ensure they’re not more than two per post.

Unlike Twitter and Facebook, you don’t need to limit yourself with hashtagging on Instagram. in fact, Instagram interactions increase with the increase of hashtags.

4.   Timing

You took your time to craft a catchy post with the right hashtag, and now it’s time to post. If you don’t want your work to go down the drain, ensure you get the right timing.

The time factor is an important algorithm. It decides what content ends up on a reader’s news feed. Older posts are less likely to be seen.

Different social media platforms have different timing.

Authenticity is essential to have good engagement with the Facebook algorithm. This means you must know when to reach your readers. Thursday and Friday are typically the best days to post on Facebook.

On these two days, people are less likely to want to be at work, so they spend more time on Facebook. And the best time to post content is early afternoon. The worst days to post on Facebook are Saturdays and Sundays.

Instagram is the second best platform after Facebook. It has about 1 billion people, and it’s a platform for a younger generation. The most consistent engagement happens from Monday through Friday.

9 a.m. to around 4 p.m. are the peak hours on Instagram, while engagements become lower after 9 p.m. and before 6 a.m.

The visual-first nature of Instagram has proven to be an effective fit for selling products and services.

Closing Thoughts

Undoubtedly, social media is a vital marketing tool. It has a wide customer base, easy to use, and effective. But its efficiency will solely depend on the kind of posts you make. Once you understand the anatomy of clicky social media posts, it becomes seamless to replicate success.

Unleash your creativity, get your timing right, craft perfect imagery, and research on hashtags. You’ll soon see the increased engagement that your brand deserves!

Thoughts? Comments or Questions. Reach out below or email us at info@webworxlabs.com

How to Show Empathy to Your Team and Customers

How to Show Empathy to Your Team and Customers

How to Show Empathy to Your Team and Customers

A good business leader, a marketer (especially a marketer), or an entrepreneur knows how important their team and customers are to the success of their business.

One of the most effective ways to show your team and customers the love they deserve is by showing them empathy on a daily basis. Not only that but having empathy is just a good skill to have as a leader and business owner. So, how do you show it?

So what is Empathy?

Here is a good description as any:

Show Empathy - Description of Empathy from Greater Good Magazine snippet.
Image source: Greater Good Magazine

Ever hear the old saying: Before you judge a manwalk a mile in his shoes? This saying that has been around since 1895 by a poet named Mary T. Latharp that really tries to signify the above definition in a better metaphor.

So why we should care as leaders or marketers to walk in someone else’s shoes exactly? How can use this soft skill to help our team and customers and grow our business?

Let’s get into it and answer some of these questions in greater detail!

Show Empathy To Gain Alignment & Grow in Business

Doing good business is about keeping good lines of communication open with your peers, leaders, team members, stakeholders, and customers. The better the communication line, the better your chances of succeeding. Chances of success are further amplified when people take the extra step by showing empathy in their daily interactions. If you take a moment to understand the concerns or point of view of others, the easier it will be to find a compromise that works for all parties engaged.

Why is Empathy Important For Digital Marketing?

To market, is to attract. To attract is to understand. To understand is to be empathetic. (I am feeling philisophical today)

Wow. See what we did there. We just used logic to back into the main reason why digital marketing is tied to being empathetic.

Without being empathetic, we can safely say, you cannot be a good marketer, let alone a digital one. How can get in a customer’s shoes and talk about their pain points so they get attracted to your solution offering? How can you create value?

Lets break it down further and get into some of the tactics within digital marketing.

Do we need empathy in web design? Believe it! A good designer cannot design or and a good copywriter cannot write any meaningful copy if they are understanding and empathetic towards your customer.

How about SEO? Absolutely! Writing content that only speaks to bots and not your target audience has stopped working on Google since the AltaVista days!

Social Media? Email Marketing? Advertising? Well, we hopefully do not need to elaborate more here.

You get the point. Being empathic = being good = good for business.

So what can we do as leaders to be more empathic to our team members and customers?

Providing ample days off of work – team

At Web Worx Labs – our number internal rule is – “Family Comes First”.

We live by this rule. Anyone who needs time off for family, vacation, and just deal with personal or health-related errands – gets one.

So a significant and obvious way of showing empathy is by allowing your team to take days off of work without penalty or punishment. You would be surprised how many businesses do not allow this for their team members. And they wonder why their team members don’t stick around!

This simple act shows that you understand that sometimes, your team is going to need to take a break, or they may get sick, may have a family emergency, etc.

This culture and providing this privelage shows that you have empathy!

Show Gratitude

Empathy comes in a wide variety of forms, sometimes it’s not just about sharing pain, it’s about letting your team or customers know that what they are voicing to you is appreciated.

This shows that you care about them as people and not just workers or clients. Let them know that you appreciate that they came to you to discuss the matter at hand and that you want to help however you can.

Listening to your team and customers

When a customer or team member comes to you with a concern, be sure that you are actively listening. Shut off your headphones, tell that person on the other line that you’ll call them back, close the door to your office, and listen.

Devote the time that they need to speak with you to them instead of trying to multitask through it.

Or better yet, actually listen instead of just hearing and looking for a counter. Listening properly takes work.

Be understanding

Everybody goes through hard times throughout their life. If a customer who bought your product tells you they need to return it for whatever-reason, be empathetic.

Listen to them and understand where they are coming from even if you have never been in their shoes. Oftentimes, showing that kind of empathy will actually keep that customer coming back even if they do return your product, solely because of how you treated them!

Be relatable

When you listen to your customers or team, don’t forget to also relate to them. Let them know that they are not the only one’s who have experienced what it is they are feeling or dealing with. This is classic empathy; it shows people that you too are human and have ended up in similar situations. You don’t have to lie but be relatable. Let them know they aren’t alone!

There is no script

Lastly, we want to say that there is no script for showing empathy. There is no right thing to say or correct way to word something. Empathy is about actively listening to someone, understanding, or relating to where they are coming from, expressing that feeling, and encouraging them through it. Just be kind, honest, and open, that’s all there is to it.

Empathy At Web Worx Labs

At Web Worx Labs, being a customer centric organization that understands the need for respect for every individual.  We look to treat our customers, staff members and each other with care. 

It is this care that is the cornerstone for our success over the years and has helped us get repeat and referral business.

Learn more about our values and our team in our About Us page.

Got Questions?  Thoughts to share?  We would love to hear them. 

Reach out or comment below.

7 Simple & Easily Adaptable Design Tips For Display Ads

7 Simple & Easily Adaptable Design Tips For Display Ads

7 Simple & Easily Adaptable Design Tips For Display Ads

Display ads are a significant investment for the business. An ad help consumers get familiar with your brand. Retargeting with a display ad is known to provide high ROI.

With approximately 11% of internet users blocking display ads while others are tuning them out,  it means you have to work hard to make your ads get those clicks.

For users to click your display ads, you need compelling copywriting and outstanding visual creativity.

However, not every business leader or marketer who wants to run a display campaign is an expert in designing ads.

Fortunately, we have taken the time to help you know how to take your design game to make your ads more click-worthy.

Distinguishable Structure

If you want to get at a competitive edge, ensure the ad structure is outstanding. The ad must have defined borders and should never be confused with the normal web content.

As you think about the structure, remember sizing should also be right. It would be best to put the ad in different sizes as people use different-sized screens for viewing ads.

Before displaying an ad, ensure it’s the best choice for you. Google offers different ad sizes from leaderboard to half-page ads to huge mobile banners.

The most sort after size is 300 x 250, which is known as the medium rectangle. 336 x 280 is the large rectangle, while 728 x 90 is the leaderboard. 360 x 600 is the half-page format that provides a large space for marketers to message the target audience.

Source: Google Support

The half-page is the fastest-growing size where publishers offer more visually impactful and impressive ad sizes. The large mobile banner (320 x 100) can be used as an alternative to 300 x 250 and 320 x 50.

Ensure you get the right yet flexible structure, not forgetting to pay attention to the best

Apart from choosing the right size, consider other elements that will make the ad distinguishable. This includes:

·       Your Logo

A logo is an effective advertising method that is always overlooked. Most companies use logo design to promote public recognition. Logos boost brand identity and brand marketing.

In the above example – a simple question-based display ad targeted to sign up people for our landing page uses both the logo right on top and our website to form those impressions.

Including a logo or company name in your ad campaigns helps in building your brand identity to the general public. The more your logo is displayed, the more identity and trust you’ll build from your target audience.

·       Visual Representation

“A picture is worth 1,000 words.”

The phrase is always true!

Any advertising piece has few seconds to grab the attention of the potential customer.

Pictures beat texts and audios. Humans are incredible at remembering pictures. You can only remember 10% of the content you heard after three days. On the other hand, you’ll remember 65% of the content if a picture is included.

Images and other visuals trigger emotions, creating a stable connection with your customers.

If you’re trying to convey the message to your prospects, leads, and current clients, visual content will effectively and efficiently speak to them.

Use attractive images that will grab attention promptly. Ensure you use genuine pictures that are appropriate and resonate well with your audience.

Here is an example of a simple photograph used with the right captions and our logo:

This is another campaign we ran for another event on Marketing Psychology.

Get genuine pictures from reliable websites like Pexels.

·       Value Proposition

This is a promise by the company to consumers. It’s an easy-to-comprehend reason why potential and current customers should buy a service or product from your company.

The value proposition explains how the product will benefit, fills a need, and why it’s better than the rest on the market.

A value proposition’s main idea is to appeal to customers, who are the strong decision-making drivers. A successful value proposition has an impressive headline that incorporates catchy slogans. There is usually a subheadline underneath the main headline that explains why the service or product is superior on the market.

A value proposition follows various formats as long as they appear unique to consumers. Value propositions should be easy to understand and illustrates specific results for people using the product or service.

Ensure you avoid corny marketing buzzwords. A value proposition should be communicated within the shortest time possible. Current and potential customers like it short and sweet.

·       The CTA Button

The CTA or call-to-action is a simple directive statement that tells prospective customers what to do, how to go about it, and where to go next. It makes the user’s journey clear and simple. The CTA eliminates confusion and allows visitors to take the necessary action.

With CTA, there is no doubt about the intention of the content. The content builds excitements and intrigue and convert the reader to a paying customer.

CTA should be as simple as “call us today for more information” or “Follow us on Instagram.”

So, how do you arrange these elements?

You can see the CTA button clearly labelled for this example of an ad for a glove manufacturing company.

The CTA and value proposition are the most crucial. Thus, they should be visually distinct elements. Place the logo on the sidelines or ensure the image doesn’t block any of the copy.

Colour is Vital

When it comes to ads, color plays an important role. Colors grab customer attention and educe emotions. When marketing and product or service, it’s important to consider that when customers are shopping, they place color and appearance above other factors.

Colour increases recognition that’s directly linked to customer confidence. It’s a non-verbal form of communication. It can enhance understanding, learning, and reading. And since it’s a visual element, it’s understood by the brain faster than a text.

Consumers associate your color theme with your company or brand—for instance, consumers associated Coca-Cola with red.

Color psychology is something you need to understand when designing ads. Men have different color preferences from women. Men can resonate well with blue and green colors.

Red, black, orange, and royal blue connect easily with impulse buyers. Sky blue, pink, and other soft colors are associated with cloth shoppers. Other colors can be a bad fit for consumers.

For instance, gray or brown color for feminine hygiene products is not the right combination. The colors feel wrong, and they don’t match consumer’s expectations. Red is an excellent color for food brands, and red fruits are ripe and ready for consumption.

Consumers make purchasing decisions based on how colors make them feel.

Let’s have a sneak peek at what different colors mean.

Blue– Blue is a masculine color, and it’s associated with tranquility, stability, relaxation, hope, and calmness. It’s a popular color for banks since it communicates stability and authority.

Purple– This is a mysterious, mystical, and sensual color. It depicts luxury, royalty, magic, military honor, mystery, and wealth. A financial planning firm dealing with the military and their families can utilize this color.

Green – Green is a cool color best for mature, calm, and professional brands. It’s known to lower heart rate and blood pressure. Green reminds you of good health, the environment, good luck, finances, wealth, renewal, and harmony.

Red- Use red when you want to grab attention. It’s a hot, vibrant color associated with warmth, high energy, confidence, and love. It’s also linked to anger, fire, danger, and warfare. Red can also boost consumer’s metabolism, making it suitable for restaurant signage.

Pink – Pink is more girlish than boyish. Use if in ads that promote feminine products.

Related: Learn About Colour, Typography & Iconography In Our Courses & Training Page

Consider Simplicity

Your display ad should be visually impressive and simple. Use the KISS (Keep It, Simple, Stupid) principle. The ad should be compact, simple, and convey your message across quickly and easily.

Alternatively, you can use the three C’s to create a display ad. The three Cs mean compelling, concise, and clear.

A seamless, simple design creates a superior user experience, which leads to more conversions.

Wrapping Up

Creating a good ad design with accurate audience targeting will boost your brand’s visibility. Keep the overall design simple, not forgetting that CTA and value proposition are the most prominent.

Choose an impressive yet simple color palette that resonates well with your marketing goals. If you adhere to these principles, you can create high-performing display ads for a successful ad campaign.

If you have questions, thoughts & need help with your display ad campaigs – feel free to reach out at 1 833 WEB WORX or fill out our contact form  Or simply comment below!

How to Optimize Facebook Business Page

How to Optimize Facebook Business Page

How to Optimize Facebook Business Page

Facebook Continues To Grow (Despite The Scandals)

Of late people are claiming it’s becoming harder to get tons of likes on Facebook.

For businesses especially, it has become a “pay to play game”. That is you advertise, then you get exposure.

Some think it’s unnecessary to even open a Facebook business page.

Aside from the fact that there is a lot of bad Facebook publicity out there for Facebook with their privacy and data handling approach – the fact is – Facebook remains the biggest social media channel today. It has surpassed users, revenues, bottom lines even with all these controversies.

I am not a huge Facebook user, but I still respect its capability to deliver and drive growth for us and our partners.

Facebook is the most famous social medial platform. Think about reaching billions of potential clients. The platform has 2.7 billion users! This is the number of people who log in at least once a month.

With such numbers, a Facebook business page becomes a good way to get exposure, new business, and visibility for your brand.

More so, it’s hands-down the reliable way to reach people in the community, let alone the world.

Okay, that is enough praise for Facebook and we hope you can see why it is still a viable marketing engine for many brands today.

Optimize Facebook Business Page To Get Ahead

The best part for opening a Facebook page and still get business exposure, build a community (apart from spending your time and expertise) – the cost is $0.

Meaning you won’t incur marketing expenses until when you decide to pay for ads to boost posts or use their ads manager.

With a well-optimized Facebook business page, you can expect decent exposure and visibility. Facebook presence should also align with business objectives and mission. It’s also crucial to stay updated on new features and products of pages.

Besides, having a Facebook business page has become a point of entry now for most brands (not a point of differentiation). It is like having a business card in the old days. People have websites now, a Facebook page, and a couple of other social media channels. Many small businesses do not even have a website but have a Facebook page.

So the question becomes, how do you ensure your Facebook works for you?

We help answer this question by getting into choosing the right name for the page, provide tips to embellish and stand out with a killer about us section, help find the right category type to be the best fit for your Facebook business page and then finally we talk about SEO within Facebook with keyword placements.

These tips should help you get more visibility on this huge social network.

So let’s get into it. Here are some tips to optimize your Facebook Page.

Pick the Right Name

Choosing the right name for your Facebook business page might take a toll on you, Creating a business page is different from a fan page.

First, ensure you keep it simple. This is not the place to play with ambiguous words. Stick to the business name without adding additional unnecessary confusion.

Come up with something people will remember and search easily if your brand name is already taken. The name should be easily understood as associated with your company or product brand you want to create the page for.

Again with branding, it is important to maintain consistency to ensure you reinforce your brand message across every touchpoint in the same way – thereby really building deep and lasting impressions in the minds of your audience.

Additionally, the name should be short. Avoid stuffing the page to ensure it doesn’t appear spammy. A shorter name will also look better in an ad.

When completing your profile – take your time to get the URL link as close to your business name as well.

Beef Up Your “About” Section

Your ABOUT section is the doorway to your brand. Creating concise, creative, and clear bios on social media platforms is indispensable, and Facebook is no exception. The ABOUT section os often overlooked, not knowing that it plays a crucial role.

Use the right category selection to ensure you get the right exposure for your audience.

Image source: Dummies.com (What, it was a good article!)

Picking the right page will help you to get in front of your audience the right way.

Local Business or Place

If you have a local address and want to participate locally and people can come to your office, store, or place of business, then go with the “Local Business or Place” option.

Also, Not For Profit fits in this section as well if they have a local walk-in and address in their operation. You would think that they fit in the “Causes or Communities” section, but Facebook treats it as an organization.

So, when going with this option as a non-profit-based organization, select Not-For-Profit as the sub-category in this option.

Company, Organization or Institution

Not open to the public? Have many stores but do not want to create a separate Facebook place for each of them?

Then this may be a better option for your business.

Brand or Product

If you are in the business of selling merchandise or products, then this is the page you want to ensure you have.

There are a ton of other subcategories offered within this category, so choose wisely. Find the exact or closest match.

Now with Facebook launching Facebook Shops in 2020 – this is a good option to be a brand and or product-based business that sells merchandise online. Facebook is making it very easy to conduct transactions and sell online for small businesses. Many small businesses do not even need a website anymore to open an e-commerce store – they just take advantage of this shop feature within the platform! (Facebook encroaching in Shopify’s territory with this move 🤔)

Artist, Band or Public Figure

Are you popular? Are you an artist? How about a politician? Yup – any public figure or band who wants to create a way to connect with their audience on Facebook can now do that the optimal way with this approach.

Here is an example of Red Hot Chilli Pepper’s Facebook Page:

Here is Jay-Z’s Facebook page:

Again – the rich and famous – this is your safe bet!

Entertainment Category

This is for the budding YouTubers, magazines, podcasts, and TV Shows.

Here is Stephen Colbert’s Facebook page (notice the TV Show in the page description):

Causes & Communities

Facebook has gone gung-ho on groups and communities now (that is how they are building a new user base even as other social channels are plateauing). Read more about this strategy for Facebook to grow its user base here with India being the biggest growth market for them in 2020. (good read by Social Media Today)

The Killer Captions & Bios

When visitors come to your Facebook business page, what do you want them to conclude about your brand? This section gives the overall quality, understanding, and appearance of the page. It gives vital information about the brand, product, and services

There are some common mistakes entrepreneurs make when updating the ABOUT section, including:

  • Long summaries- No one wants to spend more than a minute reading those long sentences.
  • Failure to include a link to the website.
  • No clear explanation about the brand.

If the page is categorized as a local business (associated with a physical location), you need to include the telephone number, hours of operation, and of course, the address.

Here is an example of local businesses showing up on search result pages on Facebook because they have updated and local verified address on your Facebook Business Pages:

If I am a pet owner (which I am not – yet 😊) and a heavy Facebook user, I will look for solutions here. Pet Valu is using the Facebook business page set up correctly to maximize its exposure.

Take some time you can create a short, precise bio and a link to the website.

Some brands get creative and use the pages for calls to action, vital information, or special offers.

Enhance Your Profile

We all randomly follow profiles we like on Facebook. Good and beefed-up profiles attract likes from Facebook users. They show their appreciation to the profile by following and liking the page instantly.

When it comes to a Facebook business page, avoid using your profile. The picture should resonate with the brand idea. The picture should scale well visually.

If you want to make your presence felt on this social network, the business page needs to be attractive, which translates to likeability and more fans. Fans consume your content with ease and share the content pretty fast – especially if it is engaging and the brand resonates with the target audience.

Plus, a branded page looks professionals, which will amplify the benefits of being on this social platform.

Start by creating a big, beautiful cover photo. The picture should be crystal clear, concise and depicts professionalism.

Include some text to tell potential clients more about your brand. Facebook’s guidelines offer a comprehensive guide. You may use a bold yet simple cover with a matching logo profile. Don’t forget to bring up links and poll.

So, what should be in your images, photos, and videos? Your clients want to see the human side of your brand. Hence, photos for employees or customers will do the magic. Take advantage of memes that everyone will recognize. If you host events, take lots of pictures and create a stunning album for your page.

Facebook SEO: Use The Right Keywords

We talk about great lengths in our article published earlier this about the use of SEO and Social media and how they are integrating over time.

Must Read: 3 Proven Methods SEO And Social Media Integrate To Drive Brand Visibility (With Succesful Examples)

Rightfully placing your target keywords in your profile will help it get discovered when people use the Facebook search feature to look for solutions to any of their problems.

Here is an example of a pet store using the keywords in their profile to show up in my search when I type in: “Pet Toys”

(I really have pets on my mind as I write this blog today 😉)

I see image descriptions with photography right off the top. But I also see a business with Pet Toys in their names and descriptions.

People search for pet toys on Facebook and a ton of other things when they are casually browsing.

In fact, according to Facebook itself – from the research it did, using surveys of 10,340 people across 18 countries found that two-thirds of Facebook users visit local business pages weekly!

Image Source: Facebook Business Page

Why not take advantage of this opportunity to get discovered and gain extra visibility for your brand by strategy placing keywords in the following areas:

  • Name (if the keyword is in your name -otherwise I would avoid it)
  • In descriptions
  • In your hashtags, if you use them in your post
  • In your captions
  • In your about us section
  • In your call to actions

Wrapping Up

As you can tell, there are a lot of factors to consider even when creating and optimizing your Facebook page.

Facebook wants to increase its user base and thereby increase its ad revenue potential (from $20.7 billion in 2020 to new highs in 2021 and beyond).

Hopefully, the above is useful for your brand, product, band, institution or company.

The best part is that if you get it wrong and are not seeing results, you can always change it and try it again (as Facebook wants you to stay and they make it easy to change).

If you need help with any of this and want our social experts at Web Worx Labs to guide you through any of it, reach out and we would be happy to help.

Happy Facebooking!

How To Use Quora For Marketing – Ultimate Guide

How To Use Quora For Marketing – Ultimate Guide

How To Use Quora For Marketing – Ultimate Guide

Why Quora In 2021 – Statistics

Quora & Reddit are powerful Question & Answer platforms that allow people to answer and ask questions in any specific niche around the world.

Compared to other social media channels – Quora is had on average 300 million active users as of early 2021.

It is one of the most trusted platforms

for knowledge seekers. From celebrities to famous politicians all help answer questions.

Source: Statista

Your Brand On Quora; The Killer Profile

Killer profiles matter at Quora. You showcase your expertise and talk about yourself in ideally 50 words or less. Make sure to include your thought leadership on your brand’s website, whether that is your company or personal blog or website.

Besides after you build trust with showcasing thought leadership and answering questions for knowledge-hungry professionals, they are sure to check out what your business is about. That is when you have earned the right to ask them to check out your page without being too “salesy”!

Here is an example of the killer profile on Quora:

Source: Quora.com

Another great example is Elan Ledoux (personal & professional approach):

Source: https://www.quora.com/profile/Elena-Ledoux

Both of these profiles are professional, pack a ton of details, interest and background to entice the person to really get to know them. Quora allows for this and brands or business leaders can and should take advantage of this feature to really make themselves personable, human and share their story in their unique way!

Things to avoid in your Quora profile:

All in one paragraph:

A giant paragraph not broken up will hurt the eyes and deter people from reading it as you are not making it easier for them

Mistakes & Grammar Issues:

I can’t believe I am saying this – but check your grammar. With many free tools out there, you will be surprised that even in today’s day and age, people are still having profiles with basic typos, and grammar mistakes.

Your whole life story

Talk about experiences you want your brand to be associated with.

Talking about getting an A+ on your biology research paper when you were 14 (30 years ago) may not be the ideal thing to mention here 😊.

So choose your words, links, spacing & descriptions wisely. This is what will be your brand that is associated with your company’s brand.

Finding YOUR Niche

This is where it becomes really interesting.

You may feel that your brand is the talk of the town or your product or service solution is something that everyone is raving about (well that may actually be the case, but still let’s not go in with that assumption, unless you can validate it), you may want to find out what answers people are actively seeking.

What does your solution cater to? What values or questions your brand helps with and how you can share those values by answering questions and build a connection and a trust factor.

So from the examples shared above, Elena Ledoux is a mother, a lawyer and an entrepreneur or two projects or brands.

She answers questions related to her experience, very frequently.

She talks about life, answers legal support questions, parenting, success stories and more.

She does not only answer business-related questions or questions directly logical in nature.

In addition, she chooses to answer more broader, general questions on the “how-to” or answers associated with inspiration.

What can really help you determine where the interest levels are associated with your profile, expertise or brand offering:

Sign up for ads. Here we are not walking you through Ad tips for Quora (that is in the section below) but helping you find the right queries or questions that you can answer that are closely related to your expertise and have sufficient demand and search volume.

So when you are answering questions that are high in demand, you are getting the exposure your brand needs!

Setting Up Ads Manager Profile

To sign up for Quora Ads – follow these steps:

  1. Login to Quora
  2. In your profile (top right) – click “Create Ad” from menu

  1. Complete the business profile

The below pop-up appears:

Enter the rest of your billing & business information as per above (we did ours for Web Worx Labs to show you a sample) and hit “Start Advertising”.

Then walk through the ad set up and get to this page:

Starting Your Campaign

Type in search topics that are closely and generally associated with what you want to talk about.

Now you will be asked to validate your email and identity. A verification email will be sent to you and once you have that, you are all set to start using the Quora Ads Manager.

On the top left – select the “New Campaign” Button.

Give Your Campaign A Name (any name given you will not be actually running the campaign) and enter a nominal budget amount.

We recommend choosing “Traffic” as a campaign goal to get

Enter Your Ad Set Name & Update Market Level Targeting

Give your ad set a name (again not important in this scenario given we are looking for trending and high search volume topics).

Pro Tip: when narrowing down your markets, keep it at least at the country level. Unless you are really focused on a narrow market, you want your brand to get exposure as much as possible, so cast a wide net!

& Start searching. Find questions related to your industry, topics or experience. Our recommendation is to go for ones that have at least 1 million impressions on a weekly basis to get an idea of top trending and high-demand items.

Other Ways To Find Interesting Topics On Quora:

For finding high-volume keywords related to your niche, we recommend using tools such as Ahrefs, SEMRush or UberSuggest. These tools provide estimates, and these estimates can vary from tool to tool. So a word of caution here – there is no tool other than Google’s own keyword planner or search console that we recommend to get reliable monthly search volume estimates. In addition, we have paid subscriptions or have had paid subscriptions to these and many other types of SEO Tools.

Or better yet, use Search Console to really determine what you are ranking for and the true impressions for your topic.

Use Google With Your Keyword or Question.

If Quora shows up in the search results for your keyword or question that has a decent search volume, then you know your answer will be getting some visibility if your website won’t or can’t rank on the first page.

You write a well-thought-out, detailed answer (as that is what Quora is about), and over time, as you get more upvotes, your answer will show up on the Google search results page.

Now you are ranking on Google without doing SEO on your own site! How awesome is that?

Related: Learn The Basics of SEO & How You Can Do It Yourself

Related: Our SEO Services

Don’t Sell (Too Much)

We do not recommend that you have links with every answer that you put on Quora back to your site or channel or feed.

Only place it where and when it makes sense and it will actually help people learn the answer to the question even better like showing a great example or providing additional resources.

Saying things like “read the rest” in my blog or YouTube Channel or Instagram does not build trust and people on Quora do not want to be sold to.

They want answers to their troubling questions or want confusions alleviated. So, work to help not sell.

Besides, your profile is already a great source for links that people will go to once they build trust in your relationship. Showcase your other work and projects or business there, not in the middle of the section.

Marketing Manager Tips & Tactics

Start Answering

Like any other social media tool, you have to have the goal to engage vs. sell to really get a good exposure.

Quora is a question-and-answer website – and nothing will give you more exposure than working on answers to questions that you are deeply knowledgeable and passionate about.

Ask Questions

We recommend that you ask questions once you have built a profile and some followings. However, you can do it in the early days if the question is interesting or in-demand enough.

Be warned, you may ask a question, but may not receive answer because people may not be vested in answering a question that does not have high demand. So do your research and ask questions that will allow others to gain from answering at the same time.

Like anything else, it is a give or takes relationship.

Keep the content flowing.

You can engage with others and find prospective buyers or customers or influencers you want to build a relationship with to answer questions you have.

Repurpose Content

Have you written about a particular topic or done a recent webinar on your expertise or brand offering.

Well, re-use that content to answer questions and share the same insights for your audience that is more active on Quora than other platforms.

The more you share your expertise in your niche across different platforms in different ways, the more opportunities your brand gets exposed to and isn’t what all this effort is about?

Here is an example of a powerful way to answer a question (use graphics, designs and research to build trust):

Elena has over 16K views in 3 months and has been upvoted 32 times.

How cool is that graphic? It entices and helps you gravitate towards it with the beautiful colour display.

Detailed answers using existing content builds trust and gives your brand exposure. Talkwalker received 16K impressions because of this well-written answer.

This answer does link back to their site, but I feel that they have earned it with their great answer and awesome graphic.

This answer would also be a great contender to be used as an ad to show up on people’s feed who show interest in their solution given the design the way it was answered.

Make A Connection or 1,000

Like any other platform, there are people who have invested heavily in this social platform vs. others. There are people who have a deep audience and following because of the content that they have shared on the platform. These influencers are key for your brand or answers to get exposure.

To reach out to them, like any other networking platform, follow the above tips and tactics we have outlined earlier and then only reach out to them once you have had a following.

These influencers have a standard that they must maintain when they showcase their trust in others to have others continue to follow and trust them in return.

Help make it easier for them by first building your audience, showcasing deep thought leadership, expertise and following before looking to connect.

One of the few ways you can get on their radar is using the following tactics:

  • Answer questions that they frequently also answer if it is related to your brand as well
  • Answer questions that they ask in a deep and meaningful manner
  • Reference & link your answers to their answers to give a shoutout for a great answer that they have done in the past

Once and a few of these tactics are done, then ask a question and invite them to answer. You could do it before, but it may come across as less “earned” than if you follow the above steps first.

Check out the answer for yourself here.

Advertising

Building reach & influence on Quora Ads is easy to do with their Ads Manager. Promote your answers and get the exposure your brand needs with various targeting options on Quora.

Quora has been evolving their ads solutions by providing options for targeting.

You can now target by:

  • Contextual Targeting: showing your ads to specific topics, keywords or questions
  • Audience Targeting: Upload your contact list and target people that look like your existing customers (pretty powerful stuff)
  • Behavioural Targeting: Retargeting and shows based on interest is possible with this option
  • Broad level targeting: Great way to reach impressions and broad general awareness type campaigns can be executed with this option

Source: Quora Ads Manager – Targeting Options

Quora advertising also allows for the pixel that is needed for retargeting (just the same way as Facebook allows for a pixel for tracking visitors, events and goals).

A lot more options for advertising can be explored once you sign into the Ads Manager.

Related: Our Pay Per Click Ad Management Services

Business Profiles On Quora

Business profiles as of early 2021 are still in beta mode.

There is a review and approval process for business profiles can be created. Everything from logo and branding needs to be submitted for Quora before you can create a business page on Quora.

You cannot write reviews as a business until your profile is approved. The approval process takes 1 to 2 business days between Monday to Friday during business hours in the United States.

There are a whole host of restrictions and limitations that come with the business profile such as:

  • You cannot create Quora Ads with a business profile (for ads, you must use an individual profile)
  • They can only be created on desktop or laptop devices (not mobile or tablets)

You can learn about the whole host of specific requirements on the Business Profile Set Up With & Its Beta Mode here.

You can also read about business profiles frequently asked questions on their FAQ Section

Write Blogs Right on Quora

Like LinkedIn, Medium or other social platforms that allow for blog publications, Quora has a natural fit in the right blogs.

Blogs are there to showcase your interest, trust, passion and thought leadership at the same time. The more you can do that in a form of a blog, the more views you can get with blogs.

Join A Space On Quora

Spaces are alike communities on Facebook or Groups on LinkedIn.

They allow for communities to form based on shared interests. Lots of questions and answers are provided in spaces. Ads are placed here that are very contextually relevant and at the same time a great way for brands to connect with their enthusiast and early adaptors.

You can find recommended spaces from your browsing history that Quora will recommended here:

www.quora.com/spaces

Cross-Promote Your Quora Answers On Other Social Channels

At Web Worx Labs, we do this a lot. Whenever we write a great piece of content that required a significant investment in time, we make sure to promote it on social media.

This is true when we post a blog on LinkedIn directly or even Quora directly. There is no harm in directing your fans and followers who can benefit from your blogs on another channel as long as it will help them.

And that is the goal with cross-promotion, you are looking to share insights and value that you believe your target audience can and will benefit from.

Find New Innovations & Products In Your Offering

Quora is a great place to explore people’s frustrations or gauge demand for solutions based on the question and answer that is being asked in the platform.

Like Reddit, people ask questions or showcase frustration to their problems based on their immediate need for resolutions or feed their curiosity.

Grow Your Business Exposure With Quora

Whether you are an e-commerce store or a complex business offering advanced engineering solutions – there is an audience for you to introduce your brand to on Quora.

Writing detailed answers that showcase expertise, trust and confidence will allow you to build instant credibility in your industry.

Finding areas that are high in demand that you provide answers to will then also give you instant exposure that you deserve.

Use the tips and tactics we laid out for you above to target the 300 Million users and craft out your niche on Quora Today.

Need Help – Reach Out

Need help with Quora Ads or creating an optimized profile that really helps you stand out?

Our digital marketing experts can help!

We will work with you to set up the Pixel, profile or anything in between for Quora.

Get in touch with us here.

Creating Buyer Personas – Detailed Guide

Creating Buyer Personas – Detailed Guide

Creating Buyer Personas – Detailed Guide

If you have been in the marketing world, you may have heard the term “buyer persona.”

The term is tossed out casually, such that you’d think everyone understands it.

In this article, we get into the nuts and bolts of creating buyer personas the right way. 

With digital marketing, you can easily target and segment potential clients. Gone are the days when entrepreneurs had to erect billboards hoping to reach the audience.

Fortunately, we are in an era where you can narrow down your audience to the type of people you want only by location, gent, interests, age, and behaviours.

For instance, Facebook is tailored to enable you to find the audience. If you want ladies aged between 25-30 who live in California, love skiing, drive an SUV, and binge-watching movies, you’ll be able to target that audience based on the data Facebook collects from its users for using its app.

For marketers, who are helping sales in getting the message out in front of the right audience, this makes it an appealing mechanism than what we had before big data and big tech!it will make it easy for you to serve them an ad.

These enhanced capabilities are sufficient. But how can you know the right people for your content? The two words will solve the puzzle: buyer personas. You can easily get lost tracking the latest engagement rates. Personas remind you to put the audiences’ needs and wants before yours.

This post dives deeper into making you understand buyer persona, how to create one, and its importance.

Related: Social Media Marketing

What is Buyer Persona?

The buyer persona is a fictional character who represents the characteristics of the best potential clients. Personas describe your ideal customers, the challenges they face, what they like, and how they make decisions.

Buyer personas can also be called marketing or customer personas. But whichever term you use, they all serve the same purpose. These personas enable businesses to empathize and understand with clients for better services.

When it comes to buyer personas, there are seven things we need to think about:

  • Background – It includes detailed information about their role in an organization, their personal life such as married or not, do they have kids? It also includes the time they have served their companies.
  • Demographics – This includes information such as gender, living situations, age, and household income.
  • Goals – It consists of primary and secondary goals that resonate with your offering or services. For instance, if you’re retailing accounting software, the primary persona goal should be simplifying the overall accounting process.
  • Objections- Why would these personas prefer not purchasing from your business?
  • Solution – As a company, you need to think deeply about personas’ challenges and goals and determine how your products and services can help them.

Example of Buyer Persona

C:\Users\use\Downloads\buyer persona 3.PNG

You can see the person resemble a live human. The information gathered creates a personification of this ideal client. The beauty of the persona is that it’s easier to sell than the theoretical idea

With this guide, you’ll find out how you can create a buyer persona for your business.

Creating Buyer Personas 

Buyer personas should integrate both internal and external research. Some businesses need to create several personas to represent various customers. However, you don’t have to create all at once. Start small and allow your persona to progress over time.

The best thing is to pick one target audience and tailor a persona based on what you know and enhance it with in-depth research. Start with a list of questions you can use to interview your team.

Conduct Thorough Research

The buyer persona should be based on real data and not instinct. Assumptions should never cross your mind when creating a buyer persona.

Note: Not everyone is your target audience (unless you’re Google).

You need to compile data on the existing clients and social media audience. Please start with the people who want to engage with your content and are ready to buy from you. Some crucial data you may want to pay attention to include:

  • Age: Here, you should focus on learning the generation or decade of life your audience is in. For instance, Generation Z is referred to as a smartphone generation. To them, everything needs to be visually attractive.
  • Language – Don’t assume your clients understand your language. More so, avoid assuming they speak a dominant language of the current location.
  • Location – You need to understand the time zones of your target audience. Get to know the geographical areas to enable you to deliver timely services. It also helps in scheduling appropriate time for social ads and posts. Good timing enhances visibility.
  • Interests– Do you know what your target audience likes? Which TV shows do they watch? What kind of businesses do they interact with? What are their hobbies?
  • Spending Patterns – What is the spending power and pattern of your target audience? What kind of purchases do they make? What are their preferences and financial concerns? Recent data from Ericsson suggest that, on average, users spend more than $21 per smartphone. Such data helps you segment the spending powers and patterns of your customers.
  • Challenges – What are the pain points your audience is dealing with? And what are the reasons clients object to buying your products and services?
  • Size of Business – This is particularly for B2B companies where they need to identify the businesses that interact and engage with them, whether enterprise-level or start-ups.

The customer data can also give you invaluable information needed to create a buyer persona. Start by learning where the audience spends most of their time online. With such information, creating a persona becomes a hassle-free task.

Tools such as HubSpot and Google Analytics are of great help.

Pinpoint Customer Pain Points

Every service rendered or product is designed to fulfill a particular need. For example, accounting software solves accounting issues and makes the process seamless.

However, only a few products hit among clients while the rest go unnoticed. A product’s success is attributed to factors such as marketing, cost, packaging, and so on. But a tremendous success of a product is in its ability to solve the pain points of customers.

So, what are the pain points?

These are the problems or hassles experienced by consumers. The brands take advantage of these gaps to do business. Types of pain points include:

  • Productivity and convenience
  • Shopping process
  • Financial

From low-quality products to high prices to post-sales experience or broken links, brands that alleviate pain points and offer stellar customer experiences remain competitive.

To identify the pain points:

Use the right Questions to Survey Customers.

Sometimes you might wonder why you don’t get a response from customers. You may also think the survey is the issue.

The questions you ask, play a vital role.

pain points

Here is a sample of the questionnaire, but the options are too blunt. With the above example, you won’t get quantitative insight. Structure the options to quantify days, weeks, or months.

Let Your Sales Team Talk

Most brands go wrong by only focusing on existing clients and forgetting the lost prospects. And remember, a lost deal means there is a pain point that has not been solved.

Find out why a customer or prospect is lost and figure out how you can win them back.

Go deep in your process to reflect back on where you felt the connection was lost.

This is where your sales team can contribute to the buyer persona development process as well. They should write down their observation and reaction after every pitch. The analysis should comprise questions like:

  • Which pain point did the prospect put forward?
  • Was the product as per the prospect’s expectation?
  • Why was the product turned down?
  • What are some changes that could make the prospect buy the product?

Online Reviews Are Crucial

Reading online reviews will give you instrumental information about customer pain points. Read what consumers are saying about your brand on social media. You can easily find what people like and dislike about your brand.

Reviews also give you an insight into competitors and what they do best. Use this information to figure out what could work for your business.

However, ensure the authenticity of reviews. Lack of proper verification results in false data.

Pay Attention to Your Competitors

We live in a competitive world. Check your messaging strategy and customer approach. Evaluate their websites on things like pricing, features, and FAQs.

Google their ads and marketing copies.

Evaluate Customer Goals

Customer goals are the opposite of pain points. Goals are positive things your customers want to achieve. The goals might be professional or personal, based on the products and services you market.

So, what’s the end game for your customers? What motivates them?

Customer goals should resonate with the solutions you offer, though not a must. They help you know the type of campaign to hold and marketing strategy.

Offer a Solution

Now that you understand your customers’ goals and their pain points, it’s time you come up with a viable solution. Ensure you find out how services can help solve their hassles.

The products might have features, but how can they benefit your target audience? Will customers have a great shopping experience?

Capture the information and add it to the buyer persona template.

Come Up with Buyer Personas

After gathering all the information, segment common characteristics to get the basis of your customer personas.

For example, you’ve identified a group of mothers in their mid-30s who live in Denver, drive Subaru, and like hiking. You’ll then take this collection of characteristics and create the personas you can easily identify with.

Name your buyer persona, give it a home, job title, occupation, identifiers, and other characteristics.

HubSpot has a great template to help you create buyer personas seamlessly.

How Your Team Should Use Buyer Persona

After creating your buyer persona, you have a clear understanding of your customer characteristics. You’ll know what they like and dislike, their favourite news sources, and online publications.

Once you create a buyer persona for your brand, ensure it doesn’t go to waste. And here is how your team can use personas.

Empathy Mapping

Brands need to understand the target audience better and accurately. This way, they can develop viable and effective solutions through various methods, and empathy mapping is one of them.

Empathy mapping is an effective business tool that complies assessment of feelings and perceptions of the target audience.

The team should use empathy mapping to identify customer thoughts, actions, and feelings. The method mainly focuses on empathy instead of data.

Documenting Exact Pain Points

Buyer personas make online marketing more effective and offer a long-term solution. Creating a persona takes detailed preparation, thought, and research. Since it’s based on facts, a company can use it to identify and document exact pain points.

You may find out that your clients are frustrated about poor services and the lack of support they need. It could be about the accuracy of information and timelines. With this information, you can improve your services and invest in high-quality and reliable customer messaging platforms.

Creating Multiple Personas for Different Product Offerings for Your Brand

With a complete buyer persona, you tend to fetch various information about product usage. Clients have different tastes and preferences. You’ll find all the necessary data to create multiple personas.

Remember, you need to tailor your products to suit customer needs and not the other way round.

More so, you’ll manage to expand your line of product and service delivery, leading to more revenue collection.

Demographics Info

Demographic data can provide more profound insights into the target audience.

Additionally, it’s used as a basis for business performance and analysis. It’s used for strategic targeting and is key in customer analytics.

Demographic data entails age, family status, nationality, gender, residence, income, and occupation.

Using demographic information on a buyer persona, the team can segment user groups for effective marketing or remarketing campaigns.

Psychographic Info

Psychographic information gives you more insight. With a buyer persona, the team can easily understand customers’ personality traits, interests, activities, and beliefs. You can also identify social class, income, buying powers and patterns, and more.

Segmentation is an important marketing strategy. It enables businesses to tailor content for particular groups based on interests, values, and preferences.

Benefits of Buyer personas for Your Brand

Buyer personas offer a myriad of benefits, including:

  1. Targeted Market – This is one of the significant benefits of creating buyer personas. You can easily segment your marketing campaigns for targeted, personalized content. Personalization leads to long-term relationships, enhanced services, and impressive results.
  2. Better Understanding – Creating a buyer persona gives you a better understanding of your customer needs. 90 percent of brands using personas develop a clear understanding of their customers. Knowing your buyers on a deeper level creates a better connection. You will have a better sense of their demographic info, shopping habits, likes, habits, and pain points.

When you understand clients, you give personalized attention and services. You’ll communicate in their language and distribute using their favourite channels.

  1. Better Partnership – Buyer personas are excellent tools for sales personnel. They give them an idea of whom to target and what to sell to each segment. The sales teams take note of consumer behaviour, and they can establish a good relationship with the said customers.
  2. Enhanced Efficacy – Every company hopes to have a successful marketing campaign. However, most end up with futile marketing plans since they cannot find the right target.

Missing the target can adversely affect the business by reducing revenue.

Fortunately, buyer personas have shaped the marketing world by making your efforts more efficient.

It gives you a clear focus on whom to target and when. Your campaigns become efficient with less waste of resources and increased sales. Personas save you time and money.

  1. Overcome Objections – When it comes to marketing, knowing the pain points of buyers is crucial. You’re able to know what they don’t like and why. It allows you to identify various barriers that make them object to your products and services.

You modify your content to suit their taste and preference. Your sales teams will also be prepared to handle customers better.

  1. Increased Revenue – Now that you’ve identified pain points and overcome customer objections, you can expect increased sales. Buyers feel appreciated when they get customized services. With this, the results will be boosted sales for more revenue.
  2. Identify Negative Personas – Directing your marketing to the wrong audience will hurt your business financially. It means you’ll carry out ineffective marketing campaigns by chasing down the wrong prospects.

Identifying negative personas enables you to know the potential audience. As a result, you spend your time and resources on the right target.

Wrapping Up

Creating a buyer persona can be unnerving, but this step-by-step guide will walk you through every stage. You’ll manage to create a customized buyer persona for enhanced efficiencies and sales.

Have thoughts to share – let us know how we can improve or update this article.  We would love your feedback.

Good luck in creating your personas!

Testimonial Videos – Ultimate Guide

Testimonial Videos – Ultimate Guide

Testimonial Videos – Ultimate Guide

Testimonial Videos – Ultimate Guide

Why Video?

What do you do when you want to purchase something you know little or nothing about? You head to the internet and try to find some information to help you make the best decision, don’t you? You aren’t alone; a recent survey by Spiegel Research Center shows that about 95% of online buyers read user reviews before making an online purchase.  

Alternatively, you can ask people with relevant experience around you to help you decide. In fact, there are high chances that you’ll trust the product’s reviews by the existing customers than what the seller says about it. 

According to a recent survey by Dimensional Research, positive online customer reviews influence the purchase decisions of about 90% of the respondents. The reviews are normally in the form of short texts or videos. 

However, a recent Social Science Research Network study shows that 65 percent of humans are visual learners. Therefore, it’s no surprise that video testimonials are more engaging and convincing as compared to text testimonials. 

Video Vs. Text Testimonial

You still want to keep text customer testimonials on your digital marketing channels for search engine optimization (SEO), lead generation and conversion? Well, there’s no problem with that. However, it’s crucial to ensure that you don’t miss out on the great opportunities that video testimonials have to offer. In fact, you need to consider having more video content than text as far as customer testimonials are concerned.

Why?

A brief video can say what you’d otherwise convey with hundreds of text pages. James L. McQuivey asserts that a one-minute video is worth 1.8 million words

Sorry, perhaps you’re wondering what’s a customer testimonial video or text. 

Well, a customer testimonial video is a review in the form of a video that features a customer who has interacted with your product/service or brand explaining his/her experiences with or opinions about it. 

A one-minute video is worth 1.8 million words

On the other hand, a customer testimonial text is a content written by your existing customer in reference to their experiences with your product, service or brand. 

If you visit review websites like Yelp, you’ll see lots of text testimonials. However, sometimes these reviews seem too vague to be considered authentic. Some are written by anonymous people. As such, people reading them might find them unreliable for the buying decision-making process.  

When it comes to customer testimonial videos, they appear more reliable because you can clearly see or even identify the person giving out the review. Some are people who are known by some of the target audience. The viewers can easily relate with such real-life customers and are highly likely to trust the information being passed. 

Customers tend to share the information valuable and trustworthy information. So, a video testimonial will promote the virality of the positive content of your brand better as compared to written customer reviews.

Besides, Syndacast’s statistics show that video content is the form of marketing content with the highest return on investment. So, if you’ve been wondering how you can boost your business’ ROI organically, then know that you can’t go wrong with customer testimonial videos

When to Ask

Hopefully, we are all in agreement that any serious marketer can’t afford to overlook the potential of testimonial videos. But do you request any Tom, Dick and Harry to help you with the content? Of course no. Actually, the request should be appropriately timed. 

So, when do you ask?

Imagine buying something from an online shop, and the next minute someone is calling or sending you an email, asking you to give them a video review on the product you purchased. You’d feel something is amiss, wouldn’t you? You’d wonder why the rush. Perhaps you’d start doubting the legitimacy of the brand or the product. 

So, from a seller’s perspective, you shouldn’t rush things in a way that would scare customers off. Although the basic requirement for a video testimonial candidate is that they should be your existing customer, consider the duration they’ve interacted with your business.

 The ideal candidates should have at least six months of positive experience with your business. The longer the duration, the higher the chances that these customers will be highly loyal to your business and readier to spread a good word about it. So, wait until a customer sticks around with your business and give positive feedback about it consistently for at least half a year before you request the video content from them. 

How to Ask Your Customers for Video Testimonial?

The way you approach your video testimonial prospects can make or break your mission. As such, it’s important that you don’t rush things no matter how soon or badly you want them to give video testimonials.

While sending text messages to the customer could be an option you’d want to explore, it’s not as professional as sending them emails. You might also consider calling them one by one. However, a customer might feel as if you’ve not given them enough space and time to analyze your proposal critically. 

The best way to ask your customers for video testimonials is via email. After receiving your email, the customers will understand what you want, and the reason behind your request, and will have enough time and space to think about it and make well-informed decisions. 

Now, you want to start crafting that email? Wait; there’s something else you need to know- the email message should be as detailed as possible, but to the point. 

First, appreciate them for their positive reviews of your product (s)or business. Then, tell them why you’d highly appreciate if they agree to give out video testimonials. Don’t forget to disclose to them that their video testimonials will be viewed by other people, should they consent. Additionally, it’s crucial for the email to highlight the recipient’s freedom to accept or decline the request. 

However, avoid writing the email in a manner that portrays bribery. Don’t offer an incentive in exchange of a customer testimonial. 

Below are two templates to give you a clearer picture of how to write an email for soliciting video testimonials from your customers: 

Email Template Example 1

“Hello (Insert the customer’s name),

We, (insert the name of your business), are truly grateful for the loyalty and support you’ve given us all that long. Rest assured that we are committed to making your experience with us even better. 

We have another humble request though- could you agree to help us with a video testimonial in the form of a short review of our business? With your permission, the video will be visible to the rest of our target customers and go a long way to supporting our existing and future marketing efforts.

 It is worth noting that this exercise is fully voluntary and we’ll make it as convenient for you as possible. We shall give further details about it after your response. 

We are looking forward to hearing from you soon.”

Email Template Example 2

“Dear (Insert the customer’s name),

We are thrilled about the positive feedback you’ve been giving about our performance. You’re a great part of us.

 As we continue to reach out to the rest of our target customers, we feel that a video of you talking about your experiences with our product could make our marketing strategies more engaging and convincing. We might incorporate the video into the rest of our marketing content, but at your discretion. Now, could you help us with the video? We’ll be over the moon if you say yes and give you further guidance on how to about it. 

You are free to respond to this email with any questions you might have regarding the request. 

We are looking forward to hearing from you soon.” 

User Generated Customer Testimonial

When engaging customers who are physically located far away from you, a one-on-one video shoot will not be feasible. Alternatively, you can ask them to simply to video-record themselves showcasing your product in use. However, after they’ve accepted your request, you need to find out if they have the necessary skills and devices and assist them where needed and possible. 

Ask On Social Media

Your social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram are fertile grounds for user-generated video testimonials. Make a post requesting your followers to share their most memorable experiences with your product or brand in a short video. Also, it’s advisable to ask them to highlight their reasons for choosing your business.  

Questions to Ask in Preparation for The Video Shoot 

As earlier mentioned, a customer testimonial video should be short, detailed and sweet. This means that a reviewer ought to highlight various aspects of your brand within a very short time, depending on their experiences with it. Therefore, it’s important to guide the reviewers on the areas to focus on while sharing their experiences.   

 Besides, the ideal testimonial videos shouldn’t be fabricated, lest you want your audience to develop trust issues with you. So, in as much as you’d want someone to speak highly of your business, make sure you’re not pushing them to lie. 

Essentially, you should guide the reviewers in an open-ended manner that gives them a chance to share their real stories in a structured way.

 On that note, here are some of the questions you can ask them to answer in their videos.

  1. What needs were you looking to address using our product or service? 

The answer that a customer will give to this question will help the rest of your audience realize the value that your product or service has to offer. If the need highlighted is something they can personally relate to, the video will definitely arouse their attention.

  1. What made you choose our products instead of other options?

This question guides the reviewer to disclose the things that make your brand or product stand out from your competitors’. Very Important!

  1. What do you love most about our business?

Ask the reviewer to reveal that particular thing that makes them happy about working with your company/business. It could be your exceptional core values, service delivery, or the fulfilling nature of your products.

  1. Would you recommend our business to other people? Why?

Some prospective buyers out there are looking for reasons for engaging your business. The candid recommendation that the reviewer gives will go a long way to boosting their trust toward the business.

  1. What’s your parting shot to a person who’s considering our products?

The response to this question has a personal touch. The reviewer is specifically addressing a person who’s about to purchase the product(s). It’s a hooking statement that will leave the prospects closer to responding to your call to action.

Each of the above questions is very important for an effective testimonial collection exercise. They seem quite simple to answer. Nevertheless, considering that not everyone is used to speaking in front of the camera, a customer might be so tensed that they might fail to respond to some as expected.

Considering that, you have to ensure that every reviewer is as confident and comfortable as possible while sharing out their experiences. One way of achieving that is sending over those questions to the respective customers a couple of days to the video shooting day. Such early notice will help them prepare and practice adequately before the D-day.  

How to Shoot the Best Testimonial Video

Confidence is one of the key factors for a highly converting video testimonial. The reviewer should not appear as if they aren’t sure about what they talking about.

Make sure that the customers are well prepared so that they don’t look as if they were coached. Do everything possible to make them calm and composed. 

Also, ensure that you slot the video shooting session at a time that’s convenient for both you (or the video shooting crew) and the customer. Otherwise, shooting in a hurry will compromise the visual quality of the video and/or its content. 

 Also, encourage the customer to be their usual selves. If they don’t like makeup, assure them that their natural appearance will be absolutely okay. Tell them they don’t have to wear official or expensive clothes for the video. When you meet, boost their confidence and esteem by complimenting their looks. 

Some people find their accents embarrassing, and this might make them shy away from public speaking. If you’re dealing with such a customer, help them appreciate themselves by assuring them that what matters most is their confidence in what they say. Additionally, let them know that you can edit out the necessary areas of concern in their video after the shoot.   

Don’t keep the camera fixed in front of the customer’s face like a gun during the interview- it can worsen their tension. Instead, keep it rolling to capture other areas of the surrounding environment. This will make the interview more comfortable for the customer, especially if they are camera-shy.  

A comfortable and confident customer will bring out the humanity aspect of the video through their giggles, facial expressions and gestures. 

Software & Tools to Use

There are a few basic tools and software that you need for a successful video shoot. They include:

Lighting

Without proper lighting, even the best camera will find it difficult to record a top-quality video. Sometimes, the natural light is all you need when it’s enough.

 But if the video shoot environment is not sufficiently lit, extra lighting becomes essential. You can use white light-reflecting surfaces to improve lighting in the area. Ideally, three-point lighting is recommended for professional videography. The lighting comprises a key light, a backlight as well as a fill light.

A point of caution though- don’t project too much light from the back of the customer to prevent shadowing or wash-out effects. 

Microphone 

The audio aspect has a significant impact on the effectiveness of a video clip. This tells you that you need to use a quality mic for the video shoot, otherwise you’ll end up producing a video that nobody will want to watch to the end.

Your camera’s microphone won’t produce the best audio quality. Consider buying a better stand-alone microphone, preferably, an XLR (External Line Return).  

Amazon.com: Audio-Technica AT2020 Cardioid Condenser Studio XLR Microphone,  Black, Ideal for Project/Home Studio Applications: Musical Instruments

An XLR microphone is the best for professional videography.  You can find their gallery here on amazon.com

Cameras 

A good camera comes in handy for the quality visual aspect of a video. Use at least a 480p camera. However, if you can afford it, a 4K camera is the best.  

A smartphone can also be an alternative to a camera, especially for user-generated videos. It’s not logical for a customer to buy a camera just because they want to give you a testimonial. Lots of modern smartphones can shoot high-quality videos, even 4K. 

Software

There are specific digital applications designed to make your video shoots as easy and quality as possible. IMovie, Windows Movie Maker and QuickTime are some of the options you can consider. When you install one on your smartphone, tablet, or computer, you’ll be able to shoot a fairly clear video and edit it effortlessly.  

Setting: Use Their Space Ideally 

 The ideal setting for the video shoot should be convenient for you and the customer. Also, you need to settle for a place with minimal visual and audio interruptions, otherwise, the distractions might water down the whole essence of the video. 

man holding camera during daytime

The ideal setting for the video shoot should be convenient for both of you

If the customer is comfortable with using their own space, the better. It might be a win-win situation for both of you. For instance, if the shooting is done within their business premises, it will be a good opportunity for them to promote their business, although in a small way. You can showcase their branding to make them heroes. 

This approach will build trust with your audience as well, especially if the customer’s business is reputable. 

Hire A Professional Videographer

The whole process of producing a high-quality video can be a daunting task, particularly when time or the relevant skills and tools are inadequate. But don’t worry if you are facing any of the challenges. Simply hire a professional videographer to take care of all that. 

In case you are wondering where to get a reliable and professional videographer, look no more; Web Worx Labs Video Services got you covered. Our services are top-notch and very pocket-friendly.

Best Editing Options

An ideal video testimonial has the following elements:

Intro 

The sole purpose of an intro is to capture the attention of the target audience. As such, the intro content should be interesting and brief (20 seconds at most). It ought to highlight your brand and showcase your customer in their environment. That’s not all-the intro should feature animation text overlay with the music that should make it clear what the video is all about, and who is talking.

There’s a wide variety of video editing tools that you can count on for a killer video intro. They include Wondershare Filmora9, Adobe Spark, Animaker, Renderforest, OFFEO and Panzoid. Wideo, LightMV and Flixpress are good options as well. It is worth noting that some of these tools are free while others come with a price. 

Outro

An outro is the conclusion part of a video and should be 5 to 10 seconds long. This is where the customer giving the testimonial will promote your call to action. For instance, they can recommend the viewers to visit your website, purchase your product, make a subscription, etc., depending on your objectives. 

Music overlay

The music overlay sets the video’s tone, which should be consistent with your brand’s tone. Additionally, the overlay ought to give a positive vibe, considering you’re dealing with a positive testimonial. You can get royalty-free music for your testimonial videos from reputable websites like PremiumBeatEpidemic SoundArtlist and Music Vine, among others.

Behind the scenes

Capturing behind the scenes in a video does not only portray your videography expertise but also gives the video a natural touch. They make the video more engaging. 

Post Production

After shooting the video, you need to edit it to cut out the fluff and other unnecessary/repetitive scenes to make it detailed but brief. Remember the ideal length of a testimonial video ranges from 60 to 90 seconds. So, edit it to that length. 

Show the Finished Product to the Client

Once you’re done with the final edits, it’ll be courteous for you to send over the polished draft to the featured customer before putting it in the public domain. The customer will feel appreciated and honoured. 

Promote The Video

The buck doesn’t stop at the video creation. Remember the whole idea is to let the rest of your target audience develop trust with your business after seeing some shout-outs from your existing customers. 

So, now that you have a top-quality video, the next thing is to promote it through your online marketing channels. However, ensure that you consider the specific digital marketing areas you need to focus on as far as your marketing plan is concerned while posting the video. On this note, consider the following options: 

Social media 

Do you know that social media users account for almost half of the emntire global population currently? This tells you that your content can reach a significant percentage of your audience through your business’ social media channels. 

Therefore, post the video on your business’s social media accounts including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Linkedin and TikTok. 

Advertising 

You can boost the video further through paid ads. The most popular ads that you can consider using include Google Ads and Facebook Ads 

YouTube

Does your business have a YouTube channel? That’s another place where you can upload the video for more audience reach. If you don’t have a YouTube channel, you can create one through a few simple steps

Publish On Your Site

There are some people who interact with your business’s content exclusively from the businesses’ website. These people might not see the video testimonial if you post it on your social media, or YouTube or even the commercial ads. Considering they are an integral part of your marketing effort too, you need to ensure that you place the video strategically for them. Publish it on the website. 

Need Help?

Hopefully, you’ve clearly understood why you need to incorporate customer video testimonials in your marketing plan and how to go about video production and promotion.  

In case you need any help with customer testimonial production, get in touch with us now and we’ll be glad to assist you. Reach out at info@webworxlabs.com or check our corporate photography and video production services page.

Taking A Deep Dive: Marketing Technical or Complex Engineering Brands (With Examples)

Taking A Deep Dive: Marketing Technical or Complex Engineering Brands (With Examples)

Taking A Deep Dive: Marketing Technical or Complex Engineering Brands (With Examples)

So you are wondering how to resonate with your prospects when your brand offers very technical or complex solutions?

Marketing strategies and approaches often differ across the board based on the nature of products and services or even industries.

To do marketing right requires careful observations, strategizing, and that is well through and planned with good research and expertise.

Technical, engineered or complex manufacturing products or solutions are especially different from a lot of other offerings in the world because they usually require a lot more education upfront, come with a high price tag and the actual implementation can take weeks if not months or years.

Customers always want to be sure that they are making the right decisions. The right combination of convincing marketing tactics and strategies should help consumers make well-informed, yet comfortable buying decisions.

Ultimately, the more informed and comfortable the customer, the better it is for your brand trust and loyalty and business growth over the long-term.

So in this blog, we dive deep into three strategies for marketing technical or complex engineering solutions.

Strategy 1: Market Your Solution With A Powerful Website That Engages & Educates

In this digital age and especially in this COVID-19 era, an enterprise should not be taking short-cuts when it comes to managing their online presence

Websites continue to reveal how useful they are in marketing several products and how effective they could be in sealing deals with customers.

You can use it as a way to add elements that enhance the customer experience for your prospects with your unique solutions.

A Website Should Be Robust
You must invest in a robust website if your business motive is to sell technical and complex product solutions. Robustness in this case does not represent how big your website is or how much you have spent on designing or developing one.

From a sales and marketing point of view, some of the things you have to perfect to keep your website robust as much as possible are to ensure simple and minimalist designs as well as web optimization for mobile.

The truth is that over 90% of daily internet users have access to the internet with their mobile devices. That is a very high penetration. People will access your website via mobile and if the experience is poor, you are telling your customers to bounce from your site and look for alternatives.

The Website Should Communicate Outcomes

Aside from perhaps a gallery of your technical products and other information about yourself, focus on the customer.

Customers are always curious to know how products work and what your customer will be able to achieve after they are using your products.

There is storytelling that has to be done the right way on websites.

You need to highlight your customers’ pain points, the solution in action (perhaps with a quick video), and then your happy customer state.

Having a well-documented FAQ section for your business on your website could solve the challenge when the emphasis is on the outcomes that your customer derive when using your solution.

Focus On Benefits In The Homepage

(& Features In the Subpages)

Sometimes buyers need assurance on why they should buy from your website. Whatever tactics you use, kindly have it at the back of your mind that the motive and purpose of doing this is to build trust with your brand when visiting your website to bring them down to the commercial intent or purchase phase of the buyer’s journey.

Having the above 3 goals when using your website as a selling tool will prove useful for complex product offerings or solutions.

There is a lot science and art behind creating a good website. Do not take shortcuts for your number 24/7 online selling tool (your website) and invest in a good design, good experience that focuses on your customers. Your prospects and existing customers will thank you!

Strategy 2: Educate Customers With Content

Report] LinkedIn shares content marketing predictions for 2017 - Social  Samosa

Content can be anything and be provided in pretty much any format today; it can be text-based to images, videos, or even audio files.

Content can be created on your website or other platforms associated directly and indirectly with your business.

You are selling complex solutions and they are not easily understandable.

Should you invest in a content marketing machine that educates your customers about your offering, your values, and builds trust over time?

From our perspective: ABSOLUTELY!

Creating content about your technical products on your website is serving two important functions.

First, it is a way to develop an elaborate SEO structure for your website so it will be ranked highly on the search engine results page – which is important for discoverability.

Secondly and more importantly, you are providing your customers (potential or returning) with useful and valuable details as well as information about your values, sharing interest, solutions to the pain points, and increasing brand awareness at the same time.

Build brand awareness by showcasing your product solutions subtly, providing content that matches the values of your target customers will all help bring the right people to your sales pipeline over the long-term.

You will be building trust and assurance that you have good enough knowledge of your products when you share with them content around your customers’ value and your offerings.

Again, your company is not only associated with a specific product or service. It is committed to delivering a solution (perhaps a complex one) for your customers in the best and most feasible way possible. If you showcase that you are more interested in solving not only the problems of your customers with your solutions (in a friendly yet passionate way), but also provide other tools, tips or support that will help them succeed in their lives – you win them over with content.

Case in point – see two examples below – why Oracle & Idium (both complex solution providers) maintain a vibrant blog strategy?

Example 1: Idium Blog Page

Image Source: Idium.com/blog

Example 2: Oracle Blog Page

Image Source: Oracle Data Cloud Blog

Because they understand that their prospects who will buy from them are engineers. So the blogs are very technical but useful that will resonate with that type of audience. Investing in blogging allows the sales team to use content to showcase expertise, specific scenarios where the solutions are applied, and more!

Building trust can be quantified with content marketing. There are ways that you can track visitor behaviour with analytics that tells you how many times a user has visited your website, or if they have provided their email or contact information.

Once they enter your tracking cycle, you can review their behaviour, and if they have provided their contact details, then there are steps you can take to take them from marketing to sales over time.

A great read by an industry leader on this topic (SalesForce) on Marketing Qualified Leads (MQL) to Sales Qualified Leads (SQL) can be read here.

All this can be automated when they visit your content pages on your site.

There are many ways and content types you can use to educate your existing customers and prospects.

Blogs, pillar pages, events, conferences, videos, and webinars are some examples of many content formats that can be used to describe your solutions in an engaging and bite-sized format.

White papers are especially powerful for technical and complex engineering products.

They take more resources to accomplish and do right – but your sales team will thank you over the years as they use them to showcase the success your existing customers have had in detail that your prospects would love to hear about!

Helping close sales with content that attracts, builds relationships, and helps in closing is what good content marketing is about.

Blogs and Whitepapers

Blogs are written pieces of content that are relevant to your values, target customer interest, packed with actional tips, your products and services solutions, features, and use cases.

While blogs could be unofficial and conversational style documents offering maximum flexibility to your writers (inhouse or outsourced), and written to discuss important subjects with your audience the goal is always to provide enough details to showcase your thought leadership, impart value to the readers and look to build a relationship with regular updates that your customers find useful.

A white paper is on the other hand is a much better designed and detailed document (usually a PDF) provided by the company to promote or highlight the features as well as the problems addressed and solved by your products.

This piece or type of content should not be easily accessible unless someone is willing to share their company details, email, or contact information.

The beauty of embedding whitepaper offers within your blog is that it is the next step in building trust and qualifying casual visitors from more commercial intent buyers.

It is also a good one-two combination where you bring people in with a blog, and ask them to share their contact or company info with a whitepaper.

Again, whitepapers are gated pieces of content that should only be provided if the visitor is willing to part away with the name and contact details.

This process of creating gated vs. non-gated content and capturing this initial prospect info is vital to really leverage content marketing to keep your sales pipeline full, qualify leads, and grow your business.

Once you have the info of more serious visitors from casual browsers (or even your competition 😊), there should be a mechanism in place to follow up with a drip campaign (that can be automated). This helps qualify the leads even more as it filters out less serious buyers or prospects from serious ones.

Sales team should be notified of the lead quality and should reach out them these prospects based on the success criteria you define in your pipeline process.

Common events that help you qualify visitors include:

  1. Explored the website for more than 3 minutes
  2. Visited the About Us Page
  3. At least visited the website 3 times
  4. Subscribed To Blog
  5. Reads blogs regularly

These are some of the simple criteria that you can define when using some of the tools we shared in our other blog.

Including a good call to action near the middle or bottom of the blog with a nice designed white paper that calls its features will be the stepping stone to help transition your readers to the next stage in their buyer’s journey.

Pillar pages

If you prefer to reach out to your audience and customers via content on your websites or blog, then you might need a pillar page to make this adventure effective enough as a marketing strategy.

Pillar page refers to a web page that covers the overall topics on your website in-depth.

In-depth is the focus here. The length of these whitepapers, the design does require a ton of research.

Just like whitepapers, these types of content require great thought and resources to put together, but provide a ton of benefits that have allowed many companies to showcase thought leadership.

It also possesses lots of link to related content in and outside your website.

There are techniques to creating quality pillar pages that will drive your marketing objectives. There are;

  • Choosing your core topic
  • Outlining relevant subtopics
  • Research, write, edit, format, and organize pillar page
  • Share, market off-page, and promote
  • Keeping your pillar pages up to date with relevant information to ensure they rank and continue to provide more up to date information on your pillar page topic.

The good thing about a pillar page is that it can help your readers judge you as someone who is committed to a particular cause.

Your job as a complex solution provider is to match your pillar page with topics that are of deep interest to your target audience to ensure you make the most out of this content investment.

Here is an example of a great pillar page by Cloud Elements:

Image Source: Pillar Page For API Integration By Cloud Elements

Definitive guides, very detailed blogs, best practices with a ton of examples are all great examples of pillar pages.

Think great user experience, comprehensive, subtopics and problem solving when it comes to pillar pages.

They are usually lengthy pieces of content that allow for lots of call to actions to allow businesses to capture email while providing expert advice, research and thought leadership on the subject matter.

Webinars, Events, Workshops & Conferences

Audio and video content can also be shared to educate your business audience, but majorly in form of seminars, webinars, and conferences.

All three are proven sales drivers in their own respects. However, with the recent rise in the numbers of video and audio conferencing software following the 2020 pandemic, you can easily host events, webinars, and conferences online on subject matters relating to your brand, product, and business.

You will be building trust, earning more exposure, and creating more

More importantly, people who show up for your solutions related webinar are likely your target audience.

So you getting a chance to showcase your product in a webinar or in a live conference is ideal. It is almost as asking for that initial sales meeting or discovery session!

Here are examples of workshops, webinars, and online educational content and training done by a complex manufacturing brand to educate, build trust and grow their business.

Example 1: MSA Safety Company Does A Safety Training Workshop

Image Source: MSA Safety Company Online Training & Videos

Another example of an engineer presenting solutions in a webinar format is for 3D System that produces a ton of webinars and workshops and saves them on their websites.

Here is an a quick peek at their webinar gallery right on their website here:

Image: 3DSystems Webinar Page

The above examples showcase that brands invest in educating their prospects and customers about their company values (everything related to safety in MSA’s case and a ton of knowledge sharing for 3DSystems for 3D Printing, Materials, Software, Manufacturing and more).

Strategy 3: Social Media

So let’s talk about the platforms of fun; social media.

A lot of customers would love to hear about your products and what problems they solve.

Bringing in fun, humour or social elements to your brand offering can open up new ways to grow your awareness.

Why not make marketing fun by infusing some forms of amusement and simplicity into it?

Social media marketing has increased in popularity.

However, marketing on this platforms are not expected to be bland and lacking in content because most of these spaces are primarily designed for people in their ‘offtime’.

If you focus on too many technical details in your message in your content, then you may not be able to achieve the outcome you are looking for.

In fact, according to Marketing Land, the average view time on Facebook is only 10 seconds.

People are constantly bombarded with ads while scrolling and have learned to tune them out.

If you are creating content for your complex solutions – focus on powerful ways to grab their attention in the limited time you have with them.

Investing in powerful stats, beautiful photography about your products, or catchy videos is the way to go when creating content for social media.

Related: Learn about how we help brands stand out in social media here.

Relate: Learn about our case successful case studies here.

Here are a couple of examples of social media done right for complex industries:

Social Media Example 1: Midas Safety Shows Their Commitment To A Sustainable World

Image Source: Midas Safety LinkedIn

Full Disclosure: Midas Safety is our long-time customer and we do design and LinkedIn marketing for them 😊.

Social Media Example 2: Plant optimization post at The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company

Image Source: Goodyear LinkedIn

Showcase Behind-The-Scene Videos

Another type of content that has tons of appreciation on social media is behind the scenes videos.

As I have previously mentioned, product marketing may become really boring to your audience when they appear too serious or too technical when they are looking to offload and relax after work.

Focus on outcomes and showcase the product or solution in action or being prepared with videos is a powerful way to bring a spotlight to your expertise.

One of the ways to make marketing appear less serious and yet pass the technical information of your objective is shooting and uploading behind the scene videos of product events and uploading them on your social media spaces. Behind the scenes videos showcase your brand as being transparent and honest and nothing builds trust quickly than transparency.

You build trust with prospects and loyalty with your existing customers with this format of content.

For a second just imagine the delight and joy that fills your heart each time you see behind the scene part of videos and bloopers of movies.

Here is an example of Ansell doing behind the scene videos:

Image Source: Ansell Social Media Post August 24, 2020

Funny right? Even the thumbnail is engaging and entices you to click and watch.

And the best part, it uses employees from Ansell so they have an incentive to showcase their video to their friends and family.

This creates a viral effect if done frequently enough as it taps into the power of the network.

93 likes and 41 shares from employees who want to spread Ansell’s good core values to others.

And yet it creates that the right feeling that you want your customers, fans, and prospects to associate your brand with.

Your customers will feel more attached to you with simple behind the scene videos of products, team members, or leadership team.

Whether it’s b-roll or simple videos that capture your production, assembly, packaging, distribution, or even delivery processes.

Every detail matters. Make it count!

Produce & Share Photography

People tend to remember more the things that are presented to them in images than a series of texts and or simple copy.

People also buy from people, not machines or companies.

This is why making stellar and attractive product designs and photographs will help your customers remember your products easily and quickly.

I am sure that right now you are recalling memories of products that stick in your head only because of the unique images or video presentations you have seen of them.

How powerful are these two galleries for highly technical and engineering-oriented brands?

Example 1: General Electric’s Instagram:

Image Source: GE’s Instagram Account.

Example 2: Honeywell’s Instagram does it right as well:

Image Source: Honeywell’s Instagram Gallery

Humanizing your brand on social media with employee updates such as the ones above are a great way to showcase the right company values:

  • Sharing employees promotions and development stories as touching your brands and products
  • Showcasing and praising researchers’ milestones
  • Releasing updates on expected big-name recruits and recruits that are expected to add values to your brand and your customers business
  • Intimating your audiences with strides and achievements accomplished by employees to help push your brands and product forward

Doing these, you are preaching messages of quality as well, as product development to your customers.

Your customers will be able to see all the good people who help in serving them.

If you can showcase the great work that your team puts into servicing their customers, then you make it easy for your customers to better understand your company’s values and culture.

That’s transparency.

And transparency means your willingness to be vulnerable.

Being open about your vulnerabilities the right way makes you confident.

And that is how the pride and power of such posts helps build great brands.

Let’s Recap

There are a lot of ways that technical and complex engineering-based brands can grow your top line.

We only touched on three of them today; a solid website that focuses on outcomes, a powerful content marketing strategy with 3 must-have types of content, and leveraging the power of social the right way.

If you need more help in implementing the above strategies, reach out and we would happily talk through how and where can help.

Do you have any more questions or comments on the above topics? Feel free to contact us or comment below.

Top 5 Channels – Social Media Marketing for Manufacturing Companies (Stats & Benchmarks)

Top 5 Channels – Social Media Marketing for Manufacturing Companies (Stats & Benchmarks)

Top 5 Channels – Social Media Marketing for Manufacturing Companies (Stats & Benchmarks)

So Why You Need Social Media Marketing For Manufacturing Companies in 2021?

Social media is vital to having a successful manufacturing company.

The importance & success of social media for manufacturing should not be immediately tied to revenue growth or sales uplift in our opinion.

Social media is all about engagement and brand awareness.

It’s as much as listening and a connection tool as it helps in building your brand presence online that will not only attract customers but also:

  • Engage the existing customers (yes, they still need to be catered to via social media after they have bought from you 😊)
  • Attract new vendors & help new vendors & suppliers
  • Engage existing employees & attract new talent
  • Get on the radar of influencers and build relationships
  • Help with reputation & crisis management

Most of all, brand awareness will allow you to be top of mind as a thought leader in your industry – which helps close sales faster, build trust and grow your brand over-time.

Related: Social Media engagement also helps with your other digital marketing efforts such as SEO. Learn how Social & SEO work together to give your brand a boost in our blog

You may be wondering just how to use social media to increase your online presence. Below are the top 4 social media channels for digital marketing.

 

1. LinkedIn & Its Powerful Capabilities

LinkedIn is one of the most powerful forms of social media for manufacturing companies. With its ability to connect with employees, other companies involved in the manufacturing market, and potential partnerships for your manufacturing business, LinkedIn is considered the best B2B marketing platform for manufacturing companies.

With over 260 million active users, many of which are in the 50-65 age range, your manufacturing company can reach experienced professionals through this social media platform with just the push of a button.

LinkedIn is the best source for generating leads by a long-shot compared to other social platforms that – especially when it comes to B2B (and that is where most of the manufacturing companies fit):

Linkedin lead generation

Image Source: Hubspot – Linked 277% More Effective Than Facebook & Twitter

Ok, you might need more than just a push of the button. Here’s what you’ll need to do:

  • Set up and complete your manufacturing company’s LinkedIn profile.
  • Share engaging content targeted towards the manufacturing industry.
  • Interact with and add fellow manufacturing profiles to build up your audience.

Check out how Midas Safety Inc (one of our client partners that we help within social media marketing 😊 – yes I know we are biased here!) thriving on LinkedIn.

Social Media Marketing for Manufacturing Companies

By posting regular content, including videos interviewing experienced manufacturers in the company, Midas is building a reputation that is sure to boost their social media presence.

In fact, since taking over and managing their profile by creating and sharing regular content, we have seen an uptick in the following key areas:

  • More followers (500+ new in the last 6 months)
  • More decision-makers looking at the content
  • More engagement from existing followers
  • More prospects seeing the updates

All of the above can and does help grow brand equity, brand trust and trust with key decision-makers in North America. Versus other platforms, this is where the true power of LinkedIn comes into play!

2. YouTube

Many manufacturing companies are using YouTube videos to both educate viewers and strategically market their professional services. YouTube is often used in the following ways:

  • Demonstrates products in use to help viewers imagine themselves using the products
  • Shows how-to tutorials on troubleshooting or DIYing manufactured goods
  • Gives you insight into the creation of their manufacturing products

A great example of a successful YouTube channel for manufacturing companies is Toyota.

Toyota uses YouTube’s social media presence to successfully market its latest products and services.

Now you may be wondering – YouTube is a social channel?

More brands consider YouTube to be a social media platform as much as a video viewing channel. YouTube is a lot of things, but it does offer brands to host the following elements to make it social:

  • Brand Profile
  • Regular content updates
  • Content descriptions
  • Comments & Engagement sections

If all that is not characteristics of a social media channel – then I don’t know what is 😊.

Also, after Facebook, people spend more time on YouTube than any other platform:

Source: Broadbandsearch.net

They have 1.5 Billion monthly active users and this number is only growing.

While the demographic does skew slightly younger – the penetration of YouTube across all age groups in 2020 is at least 70% in the United States!

Source: Statista Internet Users On YouTube as of Q3 2020

That is huge penetration. So if your site is on YouTube, is optimized and engaging with the right keywords, hashtags and content, your audience will discover your brand!

Finally, YouTube is the second biggest search engine in the world (and the biggest is Google. Google also owns YouTube by the way)! So keywords & optimization play a huge role here for your social engagement and presence.

3. Twitter

Twitter is a social media platform that has over 145 million daily users, making it a prime platform for marketing one’s manufacturing business. Most notably are Twitter’s features of sharing, following, and using hashtags to connect to your target market audience.

Obsidian Manufacturing Industries, Inc. harnesses the power of Twitter to reach thousands of followers. By having an established profile stating your company’s location, official website, and a catchy description, you can increase your followers on your business’s Twitter account.

They have nearly 3000 followers and posted 3072 tweets over the 3 years!

Being active on Social helps gain visibility.

Their content type on twitter includes:

  • Giveaways
  • Videoes
  • New Vacancies
  • Retweets
  • Questions & Engagements
  • Motivation posts
  • Insights
  • & more!

They also post multiple times and types of most per day!

4. Instagram

Instagram is a social media platform primarily for younger audiences, with the most prominent age group falling between 25 and 34.

Image Source: Statista.com

The platform is all about visuals, so if you have high-quality photos of your services or company, consider using Instagram to market your business.

For example, General Electric uses Instagram and catchy hashtags to demonstrate manufacturing tutorials, behind the scenes, cool engineering shots for its audience, building up a good following on the platform.

It really is a marvel to look at and appreciate.

They have catered to the Instagram audience and have been able to attract not only potential prospects but potential employees, vendors, suppliers, contractors, and others who will want to be associated with a cool brand.

Their content types on Instagram include:

  • Stories
  • Images & Videos
  • (drone shots, heavy equipment, engineering, and complex equipment shots)
  • Brand Videos
  • Employee Videos, Photography & Spotlight
  • Company initiatives
  • Success stories

A manufacturing brand like GE that is very heavily engineering-based appreciates great design and understands the importance of appealing to the younger audience on Instagram.

5. Facebook

Facebook is powerful for many reasons. This social media platform has survived controversy after controversy (remember Cambridge Analytica or boycott by big brands with #StopHateForProfit).

Despite that, this social network not only has grown more profit, but acquired more brands, added more features and offerings, and grown their monthly active users month after month.

Kudos to Zuckerburg for keeping it going! The numbers and their growth do not lie!

However, Facebook is playing an increasing role and penetration in Asian countries now more than ever.

India, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam, Egypt, Bangladesh & Pakistan are accounting for the bulk of the penetration.

Source: Statista – Leading Countries Based On Facebook Audience Size as of October 2020

So if you have a manufacturing brand that has a global reach with markets or ambitions to sell overseas, then being on Facebook plays an important role.

Brands need a presence of Facebook to reach end consumers as many of them have a Facebook profile

Also, Facebook does have a high penetration of older demographic vs. younger demographic (compared to Instagram).

Facebook is a very versatile platform that allows for pretty much anything and everything:

  • You can have links (you can’t on Instagram; except in the bio or when advertising
  • You can share pictures
  • You can upload videos or share videos (it prefers when you upload directly to its platform vs. sharing a YouTube link as it considers it a competitor)
  • You can do live videos
  • Hashtags
  • Contests
  • Long-form content

Because of that, the flexibility in creating and sharing content on Facebook for marketers in manufacturing companies is truly amazing.

On top of that, now with Facebook being able to provide e-commerce capabilities right on the platform, it allows for ways to generate a new channel for revenue growth.

If you have a manufacturing operation that sells direct to consumers (instead of B2B) – Facebook is even more important.

A great example of this is the Timex Page on Facebook:

Again, they provide great details and highlights about their company culture, engage users and actually sell on the platform with their Facebook catalogue.

Conclusion

Social media is now at the forefront of nearly every business on the market, including manufacturing companies.

Make the most of your business by establishing yourself online using the social media networks mentioned above, and start building your reputation & growth for years to come.

Want to learn how we can help with your social media? Check out our social media services.

Or better yet, call us at 1 833 WEB WORX and contact-us via email we can give you a quick consultation on how we can help!

Videos On Homepage That Work & Video Storytelling Framework (With 5 Examples)

Videos On Homepage That Work & Video Storytelling Framework (With 5 Examples)

Videos On Homepage That Work & Video Storytelling Framework (With 5 Examples)

Why Do Videos On Homepage Work?

Let’s face it – videos provide more engagement vs. images and static text or copy any day.

Who does not like a powerful and engaging video that makes the whole process of understanding your product or solution easy, entertaining, and efficient?

According to Statista – 85% of internet users watch video on their devices in the United States.

Here is the breakdown by country:

Source: Statista.com

So videos are popular and they create more engagement.

That is why, we recommend you have a video on your homepage to stand out, provide that unique experience, and be a place where trust can be formed easily with great storytelling.

In this blog, we share the type of videos that we think can work for the homepage, the strategic places where videos can work, a framework you can use to produce your awesome homepage videos, and some great examples in the industry that have done it right.

So let’s get into it!

Type of Videos That Can Work

Not every video on the home page of your website has to be a storytelling framework that we get into with great details below.

If you can afford to invest in creating a storytelling framework below that will allow your brand to add that unique experience, great!

If not, no worries, some videos that showcase some before and after right in the homepage banner or right below can help. Here are a couple of options:

  • Show some stock footage of your happy customers.
  • Some video footage of your brands helped.
  • Showcase your product in action
  • Show your customer journey with your products in action

Some of your ideal customers being in their natural setting where they would use your product or service would build trust and connection that can help as well.

The point with having a video on your homepage is to create a better experience and trust instantly for all the visitors on your website.

Interested in how we help brands with video: See our Video Production Services page.

Strategic Places For Videos On Your Homepage

There are a few places that you can place your video to help increase conversions, do your selling for you, and make your brand experience unique.

Option 1: Right On the Hero Banner

This can be in the banner right on the first thing they see on the website.

Even here there are two sub-options – the video can play automatically or have a play button with a thumbnail.

If the video is going to play automatically, we recommend that the sound is on “mute” as default and if it catches their eye and wants to see it themselves, then they have the option to click and unmute.

Option 2: Right below the Hero banner (below the fold)

You can also place it right below the hero banner with some text to the left or right of it.

Add a thumbnail to the banner that entices people to click on it.

This gives the customer to first experience the WOW element with a beautifully designed banner right at the top and then you get into explaining how and why your solution will help make their dreams come true!

Home Page– Your Happy Customer Storytelling Video

Here you are showcasing what your website is about in video format.

Our framework creating home page videos that can work. This is crucial for any good storytelling technique when selling products or services.

It can work for small brands or multi-national conglomerates.

Here is a tip – it is not about you, or your product, or your specs, features, history.

So with that said, let’s get into it.

Framework For Good Story Telling Video.

We are working on a blog that talks specifically about Storytelling in general on how to do it right with everything in your marketing, but that is to come later. Once we have it finished, we will link it back to this blog for you to reference as well. So stay tuned, as more on that later.

Show the Character First To Make It Relatable

Whether it is an animated video or using stock footage or actors, start with defining your buyer persona in detail.

Showcase them in their environment where they will incur the problem.

When Caterpillar showcases its products in pain or inaction, they use the places, settings and actors of their buyers in action.

Here is a sample of a buyer persona, we use at Web Worx Labs for our customer:

With the buyer persona above, we have identified where they work. The time they spent on their site and what their goals and motivations are. We recommend you go into at least some level of this detail when developing your buyer persona, so when you get into video production storytelling mode, you know who your video is about and looking to connect directly with.

When we are creating the video, the setting, the shot selection, and everything in between are what helps with building trust.

Beginning your storytelling with your customer as the focal point (not your product or your brand) creates instant trust with your target or ideal customer.

Because at this stage, they are the center of the story and the ability to relate in this story becomes easy.

Introduce Pain Points & Problems

Now that the setting is out of the way, show them in pain or struggling with the problem that they are not happy with that your product or solution helps with.

For example, if your product or application, or solution helps streamline reporting and data accuracy – show the characters struggling with the challenges of having to hold late meetings with their team, missing their son’s soccer or hockey game because of it.

Get into the bit of the specifics. Give some time building the story about the exact pain points.

Is the work tedious that your product helps streamline?

Does the customer feel unsafe and your product can help?

Does the product create waste that your solution can help prevent?

Now you are helping them see and engage with their exact problem that your solution can help!

It’s a great setup that will now showcase your product solution (finally).

Showcase Your Solution Being Implemented

Here is finally, where you can showcase your products, solutions in action.

You have earned this spot in the video by first making the story about them, showing that you understand their pain points and your product offers the exact solutions that your customer will need so they can get their time back with their family.

Or attend their son’s soccer game. Or get a promotion. Or grow their business. Or anything that can get in the way of getting ahead in their life or doing what they want.

You get the point.

Narrow Your Benefits To Top 3

Narrow it to 2 or 3 solid benefits at most per video.

Anything more, and you will lose their attention, and start going from the emotional part of the brain to the logical too much – which we don’t want with captivating videos.

The Transformation (from unhappy to happy)

Focus on the transformational journey here. Going from sad to happy with your solution is what you want to emphasize.

You also want to showcase the other customer happy states if possible here.

How They Can Get In Touch

This section is near the end. If your video has hit those above elements, you have done the trust-building.

Take this time to add a bit more credibility with these options:

  • Star revies
  • Case studies
  • Happy customer testimonial videos
  • Quotes From customers
  • Awards received
  • Certifications if applicable
  • Logos of customers already helped
  • Stats of accomplishments & KPIs

Anything that makes you as credible as you can be.

Then, add your Call To Action.

This is where it takes them right to the quote or easy form fill page where your team can automatically process the order or get a notification to get in touch.

You also have other calls to action buttons:

  • Email sign ups
  • Call
  • Book an appointment right online
  • Make a purchase
  • Order a trial version
  • Request a consultation

All of the above options qualify. But be clear and pick something that you think will be easy to transition to next.

If you have a custom solution or a complex offering with a big price tag, asking to purchase online does not make sense. So use the right CTA for the right buying cycle.

Examples of 5 Homepage Videos That Are Done Right

Example 1: Wordstream

Our first example is of an online advertising software and support agency: Wordstream.com

Source: Wordstream.com

They have a great before and after experience being showcased in the background and if you want to watch the full video, they provide a clickable thumbnail right on the hero banner!

Example 2: Promo

Another example of a brand using video on their home page is Promo.com. Not surprising that they are in the video selling business (literally, so they will use the products they sell)

Source: Promo.com

Example 3: Patagonia

Our 3rd example of a big hero video and the customer being showcased in their setting is really well executed on a clothing brand Patagonia.

See the beautiful hero banner below:

Source: Patagonia.com

Example 4: Google Ads Home Page

One of the biggest brands in digital marketing – Google Ads on their homepage has a short but sweet video showcasing how their product works:

Source: Ads.google.com

You can see right in the banner over the image of their mobile phone showing how ads get displayed. In literally 3 seconds, Google is able to showcase how ads work with a video!

How powerful is that? How cool is that?  So much be demonstrated in literally 3 seconds!

Example 5: Grammarly

Our final example is Grammarly – the writing assistant and grammar help app.

Source: Grammarly.com

They show the video with their product in action. This helps them easily show the errors, the issues that the products help correct, and the results ( a great paragraph grammatically correct) – in all of 8 seconds in the hero banner (to the right)!

We feel that they can add a character to add more to their storytelling experience, but they have done that so well with the ads that they have been running that it has all the elements there as well.

You can view their ad here

Again, all the elements are in this add from the relatable customer as the hero, to the pain points identified to the product feature & benefits and the results with stats and CTA.

Bonus Example: Sparktoro

We will introduce here is from a service that is not so easy to understand initially and how videos make it easy to for your target customers to understand:

Source: Sparktoro.com

Here Rand Fishkin has done a great job in creating a walkthrough on how the solution works right below the hero banner. It is two minutes, but you share a complex solution offering made easy with their tool with powerful elements right on how the solution works to the customer pain points right in the video.

Happy seeing the use of video on the homepage to break down complex solution offerings for people unfamiliar with the brand.

Closing Thoughts…

There you have it. We get into why videos on the homepage are becoming more mainstream. We walk you through some examples and showcase our storytelling framework that you can apply to your brand’s website.

Do you feel we need to add anything more? Let us know in the comment section below.

Do you have questions on how you can create videos for your brand and need our help? If so, get in touch.

 

3 Proven Methods SEO And Social Media Integrate To Drive Brand Visibility (With Succesful Examples)

3 Proven Methods SEO And Social Media Integrate To Drive Brand Visibility (With Succesful Examples)

3 Proven Methods SEO And Social Media Integrate To Drive Brand Visibility (With Succesful Examples)

Opening Thoughts On SEO And Social Media

The two of the most in-demand digital marketing tactics are Social Media & SEO:

Source: Google Trends

SEO generates a lot more search volume and interest on Google than even terms like “digital marketing”

Search Engine Optimization & Social Media are hands down two of the most popular and sought after solutions when it comes to digital marketing. The demand for them even is higher than email marketing, digital marketing in general, pay per click and other tactics within online marketing.

Rightfully so, because unlike paid traffic, you really do not pay per click for every time someone discovers your brand online. (Google makes money and bulk of their revenue with pay per click advertising – and it seems people are more interested in getting clicks without having to pay for each of them).

Well, we also know that people are using social media now more than ever with the world in the new normal.

However, did you know that there is SEO involved in Social Media as well?

People are in search of a product or service on social media sites all the time.

In 2021, with Facebook Marketplace and Shopping becoming mainstream, SEO within social media will become more of a necessity than ever before.

As social media marketers tend to skew towards content creation for the social media platforms they specialize in and go after goals such as brand awareness, customer and follower growth, or building a community – SEO has not been sought after skillset required when managing social channels for brands.

However, as SEO and social converge, how can social managers and marketing managers adapt to this new requirement of bringing SEO elements to their daily tasks and deliver great content that gets discovered on social channels as well?

Well, the two are more closely linked to each other than it would seem at first pass.

Content That Drives Both SEO & Social Discovery

Social media contributes a lot to the search engine. It creates tons of new content every day.

Websites tend to upload reviews, blogs, news, and discussions daily, where do you think most of the relevant information is coming from?

Search engines get much content from social media sites, and that is why when you search for something, the reference/source can sometimes be derived from a social media platform.

For example, when we type in “Starbucks” in Google – the 3rd to 5th results I get is their Instagram feed which is appealing with beautiful photographs and immediately stick out. This allows people to discover the brand in the way they want and use social channels and media optimization as a powerful way to put their best foot forward right within the search results.

So social profiles optimized with a ton of relevant content get discovered right on the first page of Google when someone is exploring your brand.

Create Content For SEO & Make It Easy To Share

Running with the same example earlier, if we search for a specific solution on the market for a search term such as “iced latte” – here are the results we get:

The first result is the featured listing of Starbucks with detailed step by step instructions on how to create a recipe for home. So obviously, their pages are optimized for discoverability and search engine there. Good job Starbucks!

(no surprise here – Starbucks knows how to market 😉).

However, unless someone does click on their site and go to their recipe page for the details, they have focused their user experience on driving the buyers’ journey towards the online transaction.

Where they missed the mark in our opinion is that they did not make the recipe on their page that is optimized for search engines easily sharable on social media.

See the snippet below – no social ribbons right at the top (missed opportunity).

Source: Starbucks Ice Latte Recipe Page

On the other hand, the listing right below with a structured snippet 5-star rating has not only optimized for search but is using search discoverability to give a boost to their social engagement. See social buttons right at the top with Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest.

Source: Snack And Sips Iced Latte Recipe Page

Snacks And Sips are not only doing good SEO but leveraging SEO to boost their social engagement and integrating the two digital tactics for maximum exposure online.

(Beating Starbucks on marketing is no easy feat, but at least they have one point on them 😊).

Integrating social media deeply and optimally into your site is critical for having a one-two powerful combination to help get discovered and social.

Optimize Social Media For Search

If for whatever reason, your site is not optimized, but you have a good social presence, your brand can still get discovered on search engines.

When we have worked with many small clients that have virtually no SEO on their site (or some times, they may not even have a site), but they have a Facebook presence or a LinkedIn presence (this has been true for some of the budding authors we have helped market their brands online) – they still get discovered.

Example 1: Optimizing Search Profiles

You have key factors to optimize on social including

  • Your profile titles,
  • Descriptions
  • Your Posts & content
  • Your use of hashtags

Keywords Play A Role In Social & Search

Your profile should contain the keywords in the descriptions, the titles, and the names of the profile if possible.

You want your brand to be discovered both on search engines and social media when people search for a keyword you want your brand to be associated with.

Here is an example of an author who has the right keywords in their profile, in the title they have given themselves to rank when people search for a keyword “Strategy Author”

Image Source: Searching Strategy Author in LinkedIn Search – profiles optimized in LinkedIn Search Engine.

In this case, the author and expert Tricia McKinnon understands the importance of having the right keywords that you want to be discovered for.

Example 2: Your Brand’s Social Profile Showing Up On Search

Another example we can share with you is showing your brand on search engines when people want to find out about you through social media. When people type in “Web Worx Labs” – the results not only show our website ranking right on the top but also shows our LinkedIn Profile, Our Facebook profile, and other directories that we want to be associated with:

This helps build the right impression to others who are searching for your brand. They get to see that not only are you active and accessible on your website, but you have an active profile on social media networks where you can be contacted through.

You also get to showcase your values, expertise, and behind the scenes with social media.

To rank on search engines, your profile has to be optimized with the targeted keyword.

The Indirect Affect Of Social Media On SEO

Ultimately, the traffic coming from the website comes from many sources.

If your brand is active on social regularly, then it is getting discovered when people engaged with your brand on your social media profiles.

The goal is to get your traffic to your site where conversions can happen.

A conversion can be a sale, a sign-up a contact-us, or any event you describe as behaviour that your visitor does.

When people come from social sites, this is considered “Referral” traffic in Search Engine Optimization Terms (particularly in Google Analytics – which is a website analytics tracking application freely provided by Google and widely adapted and used across most digital marketers).

The more engagement you have on social media, the more people visit your site. Given they visit your site and spend time there, and share your content from your site to others, the better it is for SEO.

Google and other search engines take into account behavioural factors that show how the users are behaving when visiting your site. The positive user behaviour is tracked & accounted for when comparing your site vs. your competitor’s site. If your site has better content and better engagement, it is optimized and it gets a boost from social, then your site will rank better on SEO over time as well.

See how your referral traffic had an indirect impact on your site’s rankings?

Your positive on-site behaviour from users that were directed from social had a positive impact on your search rankings.

So in essence, user satisfaction plays a huge role.

Your website can drop in search rankings based on the user satisfaction metrics which include such things as:

  • Dwell time (Dwell Time is the amount of time that a Google searcher spends on a page from the search results before returning to the SERPs)
  • Bounce rate (people coming to your site and exiting without performing another action on your site – clicking, leaving, etc).
  • Pogo-sticking (going back & forth on search results until they find what they are looking for)

So if people come to your site from social media & add to the user experience metrics positively, it will be factored into your ability to rank.

To find out more about how the on-site behaviour impacts your ability to rank – you can read up in detail in the great guide produced by Brian Dean and the team at Backlinko.com here.

Image source: Baclinko.com/google-rankbrain-seo

Leverage Traffic From Social Until You Rank On Search Engines

SEO takes time to get on the first page where you get the visibility and traffic your brand needs.

However, if you have a good social strategy and have frequent content updates, your referral traffic from social will give your brand the visibility it needs right away.

In this case, we are referring to a blog, a news update, a new product release that you have done on your website and can now promote on Social Media to direct traffic from Social to your website.

Given the social platforms algorithm updates that are now all moving towards the “pay to play” model for brands, we recommend that you put some ad dollars behind your website content updates that you post and share on social media.

A simple boost with relevant targeting can give your website the immediate clicks it needs to get exposure top to the middle of the funnel audiences.

Better on-site behaviour when people have been directed from paid traffic sources can act as a positive signal to search engines that track user activity when helping it rank – as mentioned in our previous section.

Conclusion

Now you know how social media marketing and search engines are related.

You also have a good idea of how social media marketing affects discoverability when combined with SEO.

Leveraging social and SEO together will require multiple disciplines in digital marketing to come together. You can develop and execute the strategies outlined in-house or hire an agency to get.

The beauty about hiring an agency is that it will help you get the expertise in these functions at a fraction of the costs if you were to hire this team internally.

There are a ton of great agencies that can help integrate your social & SEO campaigns seamlessly. Some of these Search Engine Marketing Agencies are worth checking out.

Our customers know we make the top list among the best at Web Worx Labs as we leverage social and SEO for most of our campaigns to generate the greatest visibility and returns for our partners.

Want to know more about social media marketing and how it can be optimized also for search discoverability?

Find out what social media marketing can do for you or your business – learn more on our blog for more interesting insights and research.

We would love to hear from you – feel free to contact us, or comment below!

What Should Businesses Do Today To Establish Trust Online?

What Should Businesses Do Today To Establish Trust Online?

What Should Businesses Do Today To Establish Trust Online?

Establishing Trust Online

With easy access to the internet, businesses have to work harder to establish trust online today more than ever. 

While most of the companies all around the world have been trying to gain consumers’ online trust, the truth is that the constant news of online security breaches, identity theft, and major scandals like Facebook-Cambridge Analytica gives this trust a shake, to say the least.

While your business may have nothing to do with Facebook, the reality is that you can still get affected by it. Especially in terms of the trust that consumers have in the brands you lead or represent.

So, what can you do to maintain customer’s trust online?

Establishing Trust Online Takes Time & Commitment

Why is trust so important?

The reality is that people, end consumers, and other brands will only do business with those they know, like, and trust. When a consumer has the perception (or the trust) that a particular company sells good products, they will be more willing to buy from them even if their most direct competitor is selling the same product at an inferior price.

And this is only because they trust this specific business.

Trust makes brands. The level of trust creates the differentiation that allows companies to sell the same product solution or service at different prices. It’s your commitment to establishing trust for your existing or new customers that will allow your brand to become more profitable over-time.

A survey was done by Super Office – CRM service provider of 1,920 business professionals in 2020 showing that customer experience was the most important factor business leaders over the next 5 years:

Image Source: SuperOffice.com. Customer Experience Statistics. Published December 11, 2020

So if you are not making customer experience a priority over the next five years, you may be missing out on an opportunity to build trust with your customers (while your competitors are doing just that).

Another report published by Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC) indicated that customers are willing to pay upwards of 16% more for a better customer experience and become loyal (that means repeat business, referral business, and upsell opportunities).

To top it off, bad customer experience works just the other way; bad customer experience drives customers away – fast!

1 in 3 respondents mentioned in the same PwC study that they will walk away from the brand after only one bad customer experience.

Source: Consumer Intelligence Series Customer Experience Report. Published in 2018. The survey conducted in 2017/2018. Pg. 5.

Your Customer Experience Should Have Trust Built-In

Establishing trust online is not an easy task. And we didn’t even need to experience the Facebook scandal that still hurts us today to see what immediate impact it will have. Most companies that experience a scandal at that scale may not be able to recover from it.

When a consumer goes to your web presence (whether that is a website, a social page, or an eCommerce store), they can gather information, even unconsciously. Consumers can directly evaluate if the brand is friendly, whether there are any personal touches and care given to the customer to enhance the customer experience.

Every customer touchpoint online, whether it is the design that has to be in-line with today’s standards, the copy, the promise, and ‘feel’ must speak to the customers with their values and norms of today is critical to the buyer’s journey.

So, how can your business maintain customer trust online?

#1: Be Accessible:

No matter if a customer contacts you through your website, email, social media, or any other way, make sure that you are available for them.

While some customers can have real questions about the products you are selling, others may just want to know if there is a real person behind the business, someone they can talk to, engage with.

With customer experience and collecting feedback or gathering, data should not be left to a handful of employees in IT. According to research by Harvard Business Review – touchpoints with the customer should take an “All Hands On Board” approach. This cross-functional approach allows the company to become front and center to the business and focus on addressing customer pain points in a quicker time frame.

More than 50% of Websites Are Accessed Online via Mobile

Being accessible also means that your web presence is accessible to all audiences across all devices and people with all types of disabilities.

When websites are not rendering properly on mobile or other devices outside of desktops, then the brand has lost a serious opportunity to build trust. According to Statista.com – approx. half of the web traffic is accessed via mobile devices worldwide.

Source: Statista.com. Percentage of mobile device website traffic worldwide from 1st quarter 2015 to 3rd quarter 2020

Making the web accessible benefits individuals, brands, and society at large

When your brand showcases that it is committed to improving customer experience by making it accessible to people with disabilities – it shows the world it cares about inclusion and values that are important for consumers today more than ever. This then allows for increased brand awareness, increased website usage, better search engine optimization, and visibility.

All of the above impacts your brand’s perception and increases the positive image. An increased positive image helps builds trust and loyalty.

You can learn about other benefits from W3.org – Website Accessibility Initiative and the business case for developing web accessibility for your organization.

Having a website that is accessible comes together factoring in such things as additional functional enhancements (or plugins), factoring in web browser capabilities, and among other tools. It is usually a good idea to capture website accessibility when doing a redesign to avoid re-doing work after the website is launched.

#2: Focus On Reliablilty & Consistency:

Consumers are led by emotions, not logic. Ensuring that the product or solution that you sell is not only reliable but also has quality, places you one step ahead of your competitors. After all, when your customers receive the product, experience or service they buy from you, you want to make sure that they are not overwhelmed but at the same time can see the value in the exchange.

It is a delicate balance.

Unless you are not qualifying your products upfront and stating that this is an innovation, selling sub-par products in the market will only negatively impact your brand.

If you are new then showcase it, be proud of it, and solicit feedback to improve.

However, there should be elements in the online experience that meet the standards of good user experience today.

Source: Consumer Intelligence Series Customer Experience Report. Published in 2018. The survey was conducted in 2017/2018. Pg. 13.

Having a web presence that looks like it belongs in the 90s will not fly in the 2020s. However, if you run out of inventory temporarily, it may be acceptable to experience if and when just starting. However, have regular stock-outs or delivering an inconsistent customer experience is not a sustainable solution for your brand.

The above chart showcases that consistency in brand experience and unfriendly or bad service harms the brand way more than not being known or having celebrities back your brand.

Don’t get me wrong, celebrity or influencer endorsements can and do work, but not as much as providing a friendly and intuitive online user experience, consistency in branding, and a great service-oriented attitude in helping your customer!

Want To Learn How We Integrate Great User Experience in Our Web Design Process?

Learn About Our Website Design Process

WEBSITE DESIGN SERVICES

#3: Be Honest:

When you know that your product won’t suit someone’s needs, just tell the consumer directly.

Your products won’t please everyone and they are usually not tailored for everyone.

While this means losing a sale today, it will bring you a lot more sales in the future.

Honesty is always a good policy and consumers love to deal with businesses that they can trust.

Tools To Help You Build Customer Trust Online

At Web Worx Labs, we have some resources for marketers and business leaders to get a quick idea on where they stand when it comes to User Experience, Accessibility, Mobile Friendliness & Search Discoverability

You can take a peek and test your online touch-points on all your pages for your brand here:

FREE WEBSITE AUDIT

We are committed to helping brands improve their customer experience online and grow with the power of digital. If you need help with any of the easy-to-use tools above or have questions on what some of the insights shared, reach out and we will be happy to help.

Closing Thoughts:

As the above shows, building trust isn’t something that you do overnight. It takes time for your business to be trusted by consumers.

Nonetheless, it is all up to you.

It depends on how you show your business to your customers, how you deal with them, the commitment to providing quality of your products, among other factors.

So, take a moment to do a thorough review of your current offerings and document objectively of where your quality stacks up vs. the market.  Our tools above help with that.

Understanding first is key to building trust online over time.  After all, you already know that consumers will only buy from businesses they know, like, and trust.

Do you have any questions on the insights and analysis shared in this blog? Do you feel that customer experience is important now more than ever? Or other factors more important for businesses than establishing trust.

You can respond in the comments section and we would love your feedback and thoughts.  Or reach out and we will walk you through the FREE audit.

Happy trust building!

What Is A Good Digital Marketing Budget For Your Company in 2021? (Post COVID-19)

What Is A Good Digital Marketing Budget For Your Company in 2021? (Post COVID-19)

What Is A Good Digital Marketing Budget For Your Company in 2021? (Post COVID-19)

Good Solutions & Offerings Still Needs To Be Marketed

Even in post COVID-19 times, a good digital marketing budget is a must.

One of the things that business leaders need to understand is the importance of digital marketing in the new normal. While there are some leaders who have a hard time figuring this out, we just want you to remember about Apple from the 90s. Not the Apple today but from back then.

I may be dating myself – but there was a time when Apple was not the giant it was and Microsoft and IBM dominated the world of Tech.

So what happened? How did Apple come to dominate and the likes of Microsoft, IBM, and other dinosaurs today come to take a back-seat in market-caps? (don’t get me wrong, IBM and Microsoft are still innovating, but they have not been able to get their leadership position in 2021).

When Steve Jobs took the reigns, he knew that the company needed a lot more than good products. They needed a well-thought marketing strategy that allowed people to get to know their products. So, with this in mind, he set up his action plan and the reality is that he did it. No one can believe that when Jobs took over Apple at that time, the company was near bankruptcy.

While not all companies can be Apple and not all business leaders are Steve Jobs, the truth is that we can all learn from this real example. A good digital marketing plan can help your company grow.

Digital Will Play A Bigger Role Post COVID-19

With most western nations expected to roll-out the vaccines in 2021, we expect digital marketing to play a bigger role than pre-COVID-19 levels.

According to the latest research in 2020 of surveys done with Chief Marketing Officers – there “Digital is King” and is expected to account for 80% of the total Budget.

Source: Gartner.com – CMO Spend Infographic 2020-2021

Additionally, in the same research paper, the analysis revealed that CMOs do see tech as the path to more customer intimacy and recovery. In 2021, with the vaccines rolling out and traditional marketing activities and in-person eventing coming back into play, digital will account for approx. 26% of the total marketing budget spend across many industries in big business.

Different Industries Have Different Budgets

While having some amounts in mind is a good thing, you can’t forget that the money or percentage that you decide to invest in digital marketing ultimately depends on your industry. Education tends to be the industry that has a high budget for marketing, followed by consumer services, and transportation, and the industries that tend to have smaller marketing budgets are usually a part of the mining/construction and energy industries.

Different Industries Have Different Levels Of Adaption To Digital:

Digital Marketing Budget Impact - changes in behaviour. CMO Survey graphic.

Source: The CMO Survey. Conducted by Deloitte, AMA & Fuqua School of Business. Results Published June 2020.

A great summary attached in the link showcases that there are opportunities in Manufacturing & Pharma industries not adapting as fast in providing a better digital experience in a post-pandemic world.

I suppose that is to be expected, given many manufacturing businesses that were hard hit because of the pandemic was likely saving the spend in marketing given the loss in revenue. Others that may have seen the increase in revenue because of the pandemic (think PPE suppliers) were so intent and likely focused on fulfilling demand, that digital spending were likely not the priority in this interim.

However, digital experiences expected to return in 2021 as that is the sentiment across most industry market leaders as per below:

Source: The CMO Survey. Conducted by Deloitte, AMA & Fuqua School of Business. Results Published June 2020. Pg 16.

As the above chart shows, a bulk of marketing leaders expect the digital to play pre-pandemic roles in generating revenue by July 2021 (given this survey was conducted in June 2020 in the middle of the pandemic). This is in line with expectations as western markets have the vaccines being rolled out and will likely be the case as the world gains immunity and things come back to normal.

Finding The Right Number

So, what percentage should you devote to marketing? What should be taken into consideration?

The truth is that there isn’t a right or wrong answer to this question. Nevertheless, and even though you may have the biggest budget in the world, you need to know how to apply it.

If you decide to pose this question to different marketers, most of them will say that it depends on your industry. And they are right. However, if you push them to give a more detailed answer to this question, most of them will say that if they need to say a number they would say 10%.

In our opinion, there isn’t a magic number like 10% or 15% of your revenues. The truth is that the budget that you dedicate exclusively to marketing depends on many different factors.

Even during the pandemic, when companies took a significant drop in revenues, the percentage of marketing spends increased to the highest level in the last 10 years as a percentage of total revenue. This indicates the importance of marketing spends even during the pandemic. There was a drop in marketing dollars, but the percentage increased and there was changing the mix towards more online or customer experience vs. offline marketing training initiatives within the budget from a survey done by TheCMOSurvey.org.

This is to be expected as due to this pandemic, social distancing measures and multiple lockdowns that occured, we were little cut off from delivering off line or in person marketing initiatives.

So how do we know what percetange is right for your company or brand having understood a greater shift towards digital?

The marketing budget of an established company like Apple (in its current state), for example, should be completely different than the marketing budget of a company that is still in its beginning or the growth phase.

According to a study made by Gartner Research, larger companies that have revenue over 5 $billion tend to spend, on average, 13% of their revenue on marketing.

This is also in line with the research shared by The CMO Survey where in the middle of the pandemic, marketing spends as a percentage of revenue were between 11-13%.

In what concerns to smaller companies which include the companies that have revenue between $250 and $500 Million, they tend to spend about 10% of their annual revenue, on average, on marketing.

Smaller companies will likely have a higher percentage of revenue but a lot lower dollar amount given their size. Even on a shoe-string budget, there are core digital and traditional marketing activities that budget should allocate funds to keep their pipeline humming and nurture existing and future customers.

So our recommendation at Web Worx Labs is that you should plan your budgeting cycle by having at least 10% of your revenue allocated to marketing activities to help derive future sales, grow your presence and awareness, and continue generating new business for your brand.

Conclusion

With a higher or lower budget for marketing, the most important thing to retain is that this budget is crucial as well as where you apply it.

Digital marketing has a huge influence on how people look at your company, at your products and your brand presence vs. others offering similar solutions in the markets you compete in.

Successful digital marketing campaigns are part of the mix and do bring a lot of value (sales, revenue, leads, new customers) to your company.

If your business is starting to grow, this is the perfect time to make a true investment in your brand via marketing.

Do you need help in understanding where digital marketing fits in your media marketing mix?  Call us at 1 833 WEB WORX or reach out via email info@webworxlabs.com and we would be happy to assist.

You can also schedule a free consultation if you have questions on how the digital marketing budget can impact your brand’s growth potential. Reach us via filling out this contact-form

Or if you have thoughts you want to add to this article or think we missed something in the analysis above – let us know and we would be happy to add your thoughts to the discussion!

Happy budgeting!

Related: Comprehensive Guide On Types of Advertising

What Is Smart Bidding in Google Ads? What It Is and Why Use It!

What Is Smart Bidding in Google Ads? What It Is and Why Use It!

What Is Smart Bidding in Google Ads? What It Is and Why Use It!

So you might have created a great new website. Your organic traffic is doing ok but might be looking to improve on those visitors by adding a little Google magic to the proceedings.  Here’s where smart bidding in Google ads can help!

Google ads are a great way of bump starting your e-commerce and other websites and can effectively increase your conversions.

For those already using Google ads, or others who have started their journey, we will be exploring a new addition to the Google bank of resources, Smart bidding. 

So what is smart bidding in Google Ads? How does it work? Is there any preparation you need to do and why should you use it? 

In this article, we are going to explore all your questions about smart bidding. First, let’s take a look at the super-short answer, so you can get up and run straight away. 

What is smart bidding in Google Ads? Smart bidding is a new addition to Google Ads.  It’s a way of increasing sales and visitors by improving the performance of your Google Ad campaign. It uses artificial intelligence to analyze location, time of day, historical user info, and other data to predict the likelihood of a conversion to a sale. 

So now you’ve got the quick take away and can start seeing an increase in your visitors ASAP, let’s explore a little more deeply. 

Google Ads Smart Bidding in action Web Worx Labs - A Digital Marketing Agency

You might be wondering what exactly smart bidding is, so read on to find out. 

How does smart bidding in Google Ads work? 

Smart campaigns are a new type of Google Ads, designed to help business owners improve the way they promote their products and services online. 

Using smart technology, they can be set up in minutes. 

As a busy entrepreneur, this smart tech will improve the performance of your ads and enable you to focus on other important tasks.

Smart ads can help you really get the most of your advertising campaigns and maximize your budget spend. 

“this smart tech will improve the performance of your ads”

So how does Google Ads’ automated bid strategy help you to get the most out of your ad campaigns? Let’s take a look and find out. 

Automated bid strategy 

In a nutshell, smart bidding is a set of automated bid strategies in Google Ads that use machine learning to increase conversions. 

Google looks at historical search behaviour and data to predict the likelihood of a conversion and then increases your bids when a conversion appears more likely.

Smart bidding uses data such as: 

  • User devices 
  • Historical performance
  • Location
  • Time of day 

Along with the above crucial data, it also uses a wide range of other factors, depending on each query.

“smart bidding is a set of automated bid strategies in Google Ads
that use machine learning to maximize conversions.” 

So let’s take a look below to find out five awesome ways this robust ad campaign strategy brings you the best results. 

Five powerful optimization strategies 

There are five different Smart Bidding strategies that each prioritize a specific conversion goal to take care of all the work for you. 

  • Maximizes conversions – Smart bidding in Google Ads optimizes bids to maximize conversions from your budget.
  • Target ROAS – This Optimizes your bids to achieve your target return on ad spend known as ROAS from your budget.
  • Target CPA – Can optimize bids to maintain your CPA or target cost-per-action from your budget 
  • Target impression share – Sets bids to show your ad at the top of the page as often as possible.
  • Enhanced CPC – Optimises your maximum cost-per-click, in order to make the most out of your campaign and increase conversions.

“Sets bids to show your ad at the top of the page as often as possible.”

So now we’ve seen exactly how Google smart bids can make the most out of your ad budget, while also allowing you the freedom to concentrate on other important aspects of being an entrepreneur, let’s take a look below at some other important benefits. 

Why use smart bidding in Google Ads? 

  • Saves time – Essentially, it all comes down to convenience. Smart Bidding takes care of bid optimization for you and this means you can “set and forget” campaigns. Google also has far more data to work with than you or any other single advertiser. This also gives you the opportunity to ‘set and forget your campaigns freeing up your time for other important elements of building your business, such as creating a digital presence for your brand or service 
  • Good for smaller businesses – As smart bidding can achieve “good enough” results quickly, it is useful to smaller businesses that may have a smaller ad budget. It’s no coincidence that we’re seeing a lot of automated Google Ads features being introduced for smaller businesses.
  • Advanced performance reporting – AI bidding technology makes it easy to get a snapshot of your bid strategy status and performance. You can also easily create bidding experiments to see for yourself how strategy changes might impact performance. Forecasting capabilities illustrate how many conversions your ads might receive for different CPA targets.
  • Customization – AI bidding allows you to select a targeted marketing goal to control how the algorithms make bidding decisions. It also allows you to customize performance control settings, including selecting the right attribution model for you.
  • Advanced machine learning – Smart Bidding is able to understand how different bids might impact conversions. Machine learning algorithms are able to learn from data and a wide range of parameters to understand potential performance. This capacity goes far beyond what a regular PPC manager or even a team of data scientists could manage.

Set and forget’ your campaigns  freeing up your time for the other
important elements of building your business

And finally…

So there you have it! Some great reasons to harness the incredible power of Artificial Intelligence with the Google Ads Smart Bidding concept.

You can learn more details about smart bidding right on the support page of Google (a dryer read in our humble opinion) here.

Here at Web Worx Labs, we can assist you with everything you need to build a visually stunning and effective website to compliment your offering.

We offer: 

  • Website design 
  • WordPress hosting 
  • Digital branding 
  • SEO optimization 
  • Online marketing 
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Video Marketing
  • & of course Digital advertising (including Google ads)

Get in touch here to get in touch.

5 Simple But Powerful Google Ads Tips – Optimization Strategies for 2021 [Updated For 2021]

5 Simple But Powerful Google Ads Tips – Optimization Strategies for 2021 [Updated For 2021]

5 Simple But Powerful Google Ads Optimization Strategies for 2021

Looking for updated Google Ads Tips to help you make the most of your ads in 2021?

Pay Per Click (PPC) campaigns are one of the best and fastest ways to get more targeted traffic, new prospects, and to make your brand known. So, it’s not strange to see many marketers trying to create PPC campaigns. However, one of the reasons why many marketers end up spending more money than planned and still not see the results is because they are not optimizing their campaigns.

Ultimately, a PPC campaign that is managed this way can be a waste of time, money, and important resources.

So, how you can keep track of your results from PPC campaigns and get the desired results?

One of the best things about most PPC companies that you can use, like Google Ads, is that they allow you to monitor your results in real-time. So, at any time of the day or night, you can see who’s clicking, where they are clicking, when they are navigating within your website, how much time they are there, among many other important things. And when you’re not liking what you are seeing, you can simply pause the campaign and try to improve it. It’s that simple.

While this is very helpful, the truth is that you need to track and calculate some different metrics to know what you are achieving, if the campaign performance is already good or if it still needs to be improved.

So, here are some of the most important metrics that you should know about and be on top to see if your PPC campaign is working as you expected:

Related: Our Services – Pay Per Click Management

Related: 10 B2B Marketing Strategies That Will Grow Your Business

#1: Set Goals

This all goes without saying that performance measurement comes first with having something to measure against. For every campaign, we highly recommend having a predefined objective. A campaign objective can document:

  • Whether the campaign is focused on generating awareness or sales
  • Total budget (daily budget or total budget)
  • Timing (with an end date or specific period vs. no end date in sight)
  • Target audience (buyer personas)
  • Target offering (narrow it to a specific solution/product or overall brand)

Even if you do not have goals, you will need something to assess your performance against. It could be your last campaign or industry benchmarks – whatever it is, it is important to know that you have a relative position against something to compare with. The act of planning a campaign (and answering the above questions) allows you to know in advance what to expect and tweak or “optimize” in real-time your ad strategy to get the desired results.

#2: Clicks & Impressions

Both clicks and impressions are two important metrics that you should look at. Simply put, a click is referred to the number of times that someone clicked on your ad, and an impression refers to the number of times that your ad was displayed.

A click-thru rate is the percentage of times that ad was clicked on from the impressions it got or effectively, the number of clicks divided by the total impressions for that ad.

This Key Performance Indicator (KPI) in the PPC campaign’s unit of measure is a percentage or %.

According to a thorough study conducted by Wordstream (a very large PPC agency), the average click-through rate across all industries is 3.17%

Image Source: Wordstream

So, when you have a lot of clicks in a specific ad, this means that you produced a good click-through rate because the ad was attractive.

If you are getting below industry averages or the overall average, it may be time to revisit your ad and see if it is enticing enough to attract that click.

#3: Cost Per Click (CPC) & Daily Budget:

When you want to measure the results of your ad, one of the metrics that you need to know is the cost per click (on average).

The cost per click is calculated by dividing the number of clicks with the total budget spent.

The reality is that the CPC tends to vary a lot from industry to industry as well as from keyword to keyword.

Usually, the longer the keyword you use, the better your cost per click. However, the longer keywords usually do not have as much search volume so your ad may not get the necessary exposure to get enough clicks.

Use a combination of broad match vs. exact match to target keywords. Depending on your cost per click and daily budget, you may not be getting any visibility in your ads.

Review your average cost per click vs. daily budget. If they are within range of each other, then you may not be able to get one or two clicks per day. Well, that one or two clicks can still translate into a lead or sale, your ad will need a lot more clicks to get a conversion to occur. You need to have a number of clicks and expect a ~3% to 5% conversion from those clicks.

Image Source: Average Conversion Rates by Will Chou From WebMachnix

In our scenario, if you are getting 1 click per day, it may take 20 days for you to get one conversion and while that may be enough for your goals, it may not be yielding the results you are looking for.

#4: Optimization Score:

This score tends to be one of the metrics that many people just don’t understand and it has had mixed results for us time and again. However, we do recommend using it to find any obvious and potential areas of improvement in your campaigns.

The Optimization Score KPI is a system-generated number that is attributed by Google to your ad campaign. This number is based on different factors which include the relevancy of your keyword, the quality of your landing page, and the past CTR of your keywords.

The higher the score, the better.

Google Ads Tips - Autogeneated in their console - showing 45% optimization score

We have found and used the Optimization Score KPI for many tips it recommends, but if left unchecked, it can have unintended consequences.

For example, it could suggest adding keywords that target an audience that the ad or solution we are offering is not intended for. Or it can suggest a substantial increase in budget by suggesting automating the bidding strategy.

Even though it is an important measure, use it wisely and use it to still achieve your goals.

It is a system-generated score and the system may not know all the nuances and specific requirements of your advertising strategy.

#5: Number Of Conversions & Cost Per Conversion:

Since most marketers’ goal with a PPC campaign is to increase sales, the number of conversions or the conversion rate tends to assume a very important role and metric.

The conversion rate simply shows you the percentage of the people who took the desired action that you set up as a conversion – whether that is an email sign-up, a phone call, or purchase, or specific event/action on the landing page.

You can easily calculate conversions by dividing the number of people who took action by the number of people who clicked on your ad.

When you have a business, especially if you have a limited budget, you should track all the expenses that you have and understand how much you spent to get a new lead or sale. And this is exactly what you get with the cost per conversion.

Let’s say that you made 4 sales and you spent $100 on your campaign. This means that your cost per conversion (CPC) was $25.

Closing Thoughts…

Before any campaign, we encourage you to take a step back and assess your goals. Understand and document in some fashion what you are looking to achieve and then look to optimize.

This principle was true in 2019 and before and it will be true in the future!

As you can see, there are a lot of metrics that can help you monitor and improve your PPC campaigns.

And the truth is that it’s not hard to calculate them.

Don’t rely on system-generated suggestions at face value, and always look at KPIs in combination as well in isolation. You want to not only see if your ad campaign is going in the right direction, but it is supporting your overall goals which can be assessed when you study a couple of metrics together.

Like anything, monitoring these KPIs regularly will translate into better performance for your ad campaigns.

Have any thoughts on the above strategies? Reach out to us directly here and we would be happy to answer any of your PPC campaign questions!

 

The Most Powerful Digital Marketing Skills

The Most Powerful Digital Marketing Skills

The Most Powerful Digital Marketing Skills

Digital marketing is a rapidly changing field. It is a powerful combination of marketing and information technology that comes together seamlessly to deliver for businesses and brands everywhere.

There are a lot of skills digital marketing professionals are required to have these days. Any digital marketing agency will have lots of different experts in their team to deliver projects for their clients. At Web Worx Labs – we know how different experts need to come together to deliver beautiful products – be it social media posts, google ad copy, reporting/analytics, web design, development project or video editing.

Digital Marketing Skills Needed Today

Here is a breakdown of some of the different types of digital marketing skills that are a necessity in the field:

  1. Branding
  2. Web development
  3. Web Design
  4. Marketing Manager
  5. UX/UI Design
  6. Graphic Designer
  7. Copywriter
  8. Social Media Management
  9. Social Media Design
  10. Search Engine Optimization
  11. Pay Per Click Expert
  12. Content writer
  13. Copywriter
  14. Video Editing
  15. Video Shooting

HubSpot has a great blog that gets into the nitty-gritty of what, who and how is digital marketing practiced. Here is a link to their blog.

In our agency, we know that these diverse skills are required to deliver full-stack solutions. We have in-house expertise for most of these solutions and our team members come together to deliver for our clients.

And trust us – to deliver outstanding projects, you need specialists in the areas mentioned above.

That is why there are so many niches out there. Many companies either focus on back-end IT development, while others focus on Social Media Management and while others are solely SEO practitioners since these are distinct expertise on their own that provides a solution to one aspect of digital marketing.

Digital Marketing Skills Needed Today Graphic

Among all of this expertise, there is one skill and one skill from our point of view that trumps it all. Can you guess what that skill is?

The skill is writing.

Yes, you can say it is content writing or copywriting – but it’s essentially writing. This simple and fundamental skill that was powerful in the 17th century when running print ads (an example will be shown later) is still the most relevant one today.

Why is writing the most sought-after and needed skill in digital marketing?

It is simple – because it’s the one skill that connects every other digital marketing solution.

Why Content Writing Is The Number One Skill In Digital Marketing?

By content writing, we do not only mean writing blogs – we mean writing for ads, copy, email, web copy and anything in between (and yes it also covers blogs).

To us, a content writer and copywriting are almost interwoven disciplines. A good copywriter is a writer that can write blogs, ads or web copy.

One can argue that even in copywriting, there are areas of specialty. A copywriter can specialize in ads vs. another who is better at writing blogs while another can have their primary focus on writing social media copy.

A copy or content writer can have a preference – but intrinsically they are writers. Rules of engagement are slightly different, but the skills are very transferable.

Content is King

Ever heard of the saying – “Content is king”?

That phrase was written way back in 1996 by a famous entrepreneur named Bill Gates – the founder of Microsoft. He may not have coined the term as there is a debate that it pre-dates him, but he made it famous with his essay.

He wrote an essay on the subject and in it he emphasized that content will dominate the internet the same way it did in broadcasting.

His prediction has turned out to be right and will continue to be right in the foreseeable future.

Even Google – one of the biggest companies in the digital marketing industry and the biggest referral network relies on content to do its job. It ranks and answers millions of queries a day by scanning billions of sites with its sophisticated algorithm that scans the content on the sites to provide users the answers they need. All in milliseconds.

So yes, content drives the internet and digital marketing is marketing using the internet. Hence, content marketing is essentially digital marketing.

Related: Up for a technical read? Get to know a lot of the Technical Google Updates and why they happen.

Content is the Glue That Binds Every Other Skill

The great thing about content writing is that it is needed for every other digital marketing skill.

Does a web developer need content for his or her website? You bet! No matter how fast the website loads – she or he will not be able to do anything with it unless the content on the pages connects with the audience.

It is the fundamental marketing skill that is needed in every solution, skill or service to complete its delivery.

Let’s break down other digital marketing skills that need content writing to deliver their products:

  • Search Engine Optimization – It’s a fundamental requirement. White hat SEO is about content creation, website optimization, on-page, meta tags, descriptions, and outreach.
    • For all of those activities, we need great writing
    • Reporting & Analytics also requires a writer who can articulate the work performed
  • UX/UI Designer.
  • For any web design, the content drives the design.
    • Words are used as a direction to help guide the designer to create the WOW factor web experience begins with great writing initially

Web Developer – we already mentioned it earlier 😊

  • Pay Per Click Specialist. Copywriting for PPC has been an age-old industry and professional since the direct mail days.
  • Social Media Management. Whether it’s designing the posts or writing the caption, it starts with writing the content out for the design and then having to design them.
    • Then you create the caption and call to action.
  • Email marketing. This is more obvious. Writing great emails comes from well – great writing.
  • Videography.

Everything from writing a great screenplay or script to editing and video call outs requires content to makes it all come together

Related: Read our blog on what is email marketing & how does it work.

Now it could be argued that many of the web designs, for example, can be mediocre at copywriting to get by and make up for it with their other skills. However, to go after the market and stand out, your copy and content writing is what will need to be consistent to beat out the competition.

Whether it’s through writing blogs, or running podcasts, hosting seminars or writing amazing copy – to market your business, you will need great writing. Period.

And that is the main point here. Once the website is developed and hosted – people will not show up to it. It will need to speak to people, it will need to be marketed. Content and great writing will be needed to drive traffic.

To showcase thought leadership in digital marketing – it begins with great words first getting organized to get the right message across to the right audience.

Great Writers Are Strategist & Marketers

To be a great writer, you have to understand your subject and your audience well. To entertain, engage and keep the reader turning the page or read the whole blog or finish the website copy, you need to understand your customer or reader at a deeper more psychological level.

This means that you are already getting into the mind of the audience and thinking like a marketer.

Does a web copy or ad copywriter know who they need to speak to? How about a great blogger?

To execute and come up with a plan to get great ideas, thought leadership or the target customer engagement is required to achieve the goals (whether it’s clicking on an ad or signing up for conversion) and this also requires a solid plan.

The development of the plan at this point means you think critically, look at the numbers and come up with a plan to achieve. This is, in a nutshell, is in fact strategy development. You need to think critically and write content that attracts, engages and converts.

The simple fact is that writing is the oldest marketing skill out there. It was true in the days of marketing in classifieds or newspaper ads published in the 17th century and it is true in today’s digital marketing age.

The copy used in the advertisement in the ca the 1740s

Source: V&A Collections UK

Related: Our Blog – Marketing Fundamentals 101

Closing Thoughts

If you are in the market for an ad agency or a digital marketing firm, ask them if they have copywriters or content writers? Who writes blogs for their SEO campaigns? Who writes the copy for the ads?

Or if you are a digital marketing professional that is not a natural writer, then we recommend take the time and brush up on your writing skills or partner with a professional writer to help create complete digital marketing solutions.

Writing captivating copy, engaging blogs, and awesome emails will only help in marketing digitally.

Now, we turn it over to you.

Do you agree with this assessment?

Do you feel that there is any other skill that is more important in digital marketing that is as important as writing?

Reach out or drop a comment below and let us know your thoughts!

3 Things Marketers Can Do With The Covid-19 Pandemic

3 Things Marketers Can Do With The Covid-19 Pandemic

3 Things Marketers Can Do With The Covid-19 Pandemic

There really is a lot going on these days with the world-wide pandemic that has put much of the world at a standstill.  Industries and countries have been impacted.  The global economy is going towards a recession and it does not look like it will let up anytime soon.

Even in this bleak picture, marketers can do a lot to help build and deliver on a brand.  In fact, we would argue that it is even more imperative to work towards connecting with your audiences with the right message and using the right mediums.  Yes, face-to-face interaction is limited- but it does not mean all channels to connect with your customers, fans, followers, and prospects are closed off.  Customers will look to your brand for guidance, engagement at this time.

So here are three things we recommend that marketers can be doing in the COVID-19 crisis:

Don’t Stop Being Marketers

Let’s begin by looking at a dictionary definition of the word “marketing” so we are all on the same page:

Some words that pop out here – promoting, selling, research and advertising.  Can those still be achieved in today’s environment?

They certainly can!

Even though the economy is taking a big hit and safety and health is on everyone’s minds, does not mean that businesses should simply give up and stop functioning.  Then why should marketing stop? In fact, as good marketers, we owe it to our customers, prospects, fans, and followers to provide additional guidance on how this pandemic is impacting their business and what they will do to help. People are looking for guidance here. These are unchartered waters. They have time on their hands and a lot of anxiety and uncertainty.


Uncertainty + Time makes for a great opportunity to engage with your brand followers and customers. Become a beacon in the industry of relevant information on the things that are happening to help curb the spread of the virus.

There is a lot that can be done to communicate to your prospect what you are doing as a brand, how you are affected and what you are contributing to society to help in these crazy times.

Share Good News

There are a ton of scary stories being published as of late. People are anxious and scared. People need hope.

At the same time, in every industry, in every country and community, good things are happening. People are helping each other. Companies and brands stepping up to go above and beyond to help.

These stories need to be told. Brands and marketers can help with this.

Are there any heroes that are worthy of mention? Are there any deliberate steps the company is taking to ensure everyone is healthy? Safe? Secure?

Share the news, spread the word. It will not only help the brand – but it will show others that there is hope and that if we stick together, we can survive this crisis.

There are a lot of mediums that can be used to share this news:

  • Social Media is the safest bet. A tweet or a post can go a long way in getting the message out. Create content and share often
  • Email marketing: Share the company initiatives underway to help out with this crisis to all stakeholders involved.
  • Blog about it. Publish and promote the blog via social, email and or ads.
  • Hold Press conferences and interviews.
    0 Journalists are hungry for anything related to COVID-19. They want to see how companies and brands are stepping up to support their employees and local communities
  • Share on YouTube information sessions for employees.
    o  Creating 30 seconds to 1-minute video series (while still ensuring that Social Distancing is in place) that tackle a topic, initiative, community, employee on this crisis and what is being done to help goes a long way

These are some of the simplest, tried and tested ways that brands can use to get the word out. Important thing is to be genuine and yourself.

If the resources are there, you can do all of those things and more. If not, start with one and really stick to it. Or a combination of the above works as well.

It is imperative that the brands don’t take this opportunity to create initiatives and very “salesy”. It’s about being authentic and really just broadcasting what good others are doing vs. doing good for the sake of broadcasting.

Invest In Your Brand

Given most businesses are working from home and everything can be done virtually. Now is a great time to conduct additional research or do a new design and plan for your next campaign. You can do a redesign of your website. Start your SEO campaign if you have been holding it off as it takes time to get traction with it anyways.

Seo-Optimization-Toronto

Most of the larger projects that are associated with the brand-building can take weeks to months. These can be initiated now that offline marketing events are not happening. Reach out to your digital marketing partners to initiate those discussions and understand your options better.

Closing Thoughts

Your employees, vendors, and customers still need to believe your brand is strong and vibrant. As marketers, it is in times like these we need to continue doing what we do best. Work with engaging the target audience, build on the brand and really get the message out. This means thinking outside the box instead of trying to wait it out and lose this opportunity for your brand to stand out.

People are more online now than before because of this pandemic.

Most coding, SEO campaigns, optimization, social media designs and or online ad campaigns happen remotely these days anyways. Given the budget is there, and people have time – this makes for an opportunity to showcase your brand as a thought leader in the industry.

Don’t stop being marketers. Continue to reach, engage and connect with your customer. They are looking for it now more than ever.

Make every impression count.

Have we missed anything you think should be added to this blog? Reach out or add your thoughts to the comments section.

How to Stay Connected While Maintaining Social Distance [updated for 2021]

How to Stay Connected While Maintaining Social Distance [updated for 2021]

How to Stay Connected While Maintaining Social Distance

Our sincere desire for physical connectivity is coded into our DNA.

We are social creatures. We can reduce our stress, tensions, and anxiety through positive social support, but – we are now in 2021 and with vaccines around the corner, we may be tempted to break the social distance rules.  Trust me when I say this – even as a socially awkward person, I miss human interaction with friends and family.

At Web Worx Labs – we will be sharing our thoughts on mobile and computer apps that you can use (for free or very little cost) to stay connected while maintaining social distance even in 2021 (we updated this blog from last year to add new apps that are trending)!

We want to provide some actionable solutions on how to tackle the effects of this pandemic so we can beat this thing together! (we are almost there)

We know that we need to practice social distancing to slow down the spread of the disease.

It’s was a long 2020 and I am glad it’s behind us, but we are not out of the woods yet!

Now, companies, groups, and organizations in 2021 have continued to maintain their social distance activities such as the only front-line workers coming to the workplace and while non-essential employees continue to work from home.

Businesses on the other hand that are non-essential especially are hurting that can use the below apps to stay virtually connected at no or very little costs.

However, maintaining social distance will result in fewer face-to-face interactions, which will potentially increase the risk of feeling lonely.

Today we talk about how to still stay connected with some of the most widely used apps while maintaining safe social distance to help address and tackle issues head-on that are arising because of this pandemic.

Related: Learn more about the people behind the Web Worx Labs in the About Us Page.

Why Social Distancing Will Increase the Risk of Feeling Lonely?

People will likely be impacted by self-isolation; but even though we will not be able to in close proximity with our friends, family and loved ones – it does not mean we cannot stay connected.

So, why should you be concerned about the feeling of loneliness?

Well, social isolation or not meeting anyone for a prolonged period can increase the risk of earlier death and other adverse health effects as per a detailed study and article published in Aging Life Care Journal.

Also, we need to consider socially vulnerable people, such as older people that are likely to struggle more during this period.

We don’t have contingency plans to help people who are struggling with loneliness or have complex health issues.

Social distancing will help in stopping the spread of the virus; for loneliness, we need to think smart and creatively.

Today we have technologies that can help us reduce the risk of loneliness.

These technologies are in the palm of our hands, easily accessible –  we can help stay connected, fight boredom and combat loneliness.

Connecting online in times like these will become more imperative.  We can hold virtual get-togethers, meetings, discussions and so much more.  Anything to keep the conversation and support going.  We can engage with people globally and join together to combat the loneliness that will likely occur in our fight against the COVID-19.

Moreover, you can install these apps on your phone and reach out to anyone you want to.

Some simple and well-known mobile or desktop apps will help you stay connected anytime, anywhere.  Many of these you are familiar with, but now that we are really connecting online, having more options in your arsenal can never hurt.  So without further a due – here are some of the popular apps we recommend you use to stay engaged, connected but maintain your social distance!

Staying connected With Below Apps:

FaceTime

The number one spot on our list goes to FaceTime. If you have an iPhone, iPad, or Mac – you have probably come across FaceTime.

You can video chat with anyone in your contact list as long the receiver also has an Apple platform (IOS).

FaceTime has been primarily used for video calling; however, you can also use the app for audio calls.

Did we forget to mention that FaceTime also allows you to chat with 32 people at the same time? In our books – that’s a party!

This app is truly a loneliness buster, and we recommend it because of its simple and easy-to-use/understand interface.

Google Hangouts, Duo & Meets 

Google provides many ways for you to connect online.

Google Hangouts is free and more of an SMS replacement, but you can still host video calls on them.

Google duo runs on both Android and IOS platforms and still working (even though the engineers at Google were to transition it to Google Meets).  To use Google Duo – you simply need a Google account (and who does not have one these days?)

Google Meet is more of a paid option for Google G Suite users but free for those not using their G Suite applications.

In all three of these apps – we found the video quality and voice quality to be crisp.  Highly recommended for Google fans!

Marco Polo

If Snapchat and FaceTime had a child, it would be Marco Polo.

This easy-to-use app gives the user a fantastic texting experience, social media access, and video chats all in one place, “Marco Polo.”

Let’s assume you want to call your aunt, and she lives in Norway – well, Marco Polo is just the app for you because you can send video messages to anyone you want.

The receiver of the video message can respond at any time at their leisure.

Also, Marco Polo saves all your video messages so that you can access them whenever you want in the future.

Want to beat loneliness? Marco Polo is a good option for you.

It comes with additional features with effects and different tones you can add to your video messages to keep it light, entertaining and fun.

Skype

Do we even need to introduce you to Skype? It’s an older platform – tried, tested and still true!

With 300 million active monthly users, Skype is one of the best communication applications created to have one on one or group conversations.

Skype allows you to send pictures, documents, voice notes, audio/video calls, and you can use it on your mobile, laptop, or PC alike.

Skype gives you an option to have a video conference with up to 50 people at the same time (that’s also a party!).

Moreover, Skype charges a nominal fee and allows you to call on mobile and landlines globally.

Skype even lets you record your video or audio call and save or share it.

Also, Skype offers live subtitles, and skype itself is free to download for Mac, IOS, or Android.

You have many connectivity options with skype – download it here and beat the heat out of loneliness today.

Facebook Messenger

Facebook Messenger is light, easy to use and ideal for heavy Facebook users (can’t say the same for their main Facebook app, which is very heavy and slow to load).

There are now around 3 billion people on Facebook according to Statista. Chances are good, with Facebook Messenger, you can connect to we think anyone.

Facebook Messenger is fast, smooth, and allows the user to send instant messages, shots, videos, GIFs, emojis, and stickers.

You can make free Wi-Fi calls on a global scale. Using this app will make you feel like using your daily messaging app – just tap on any contact you want to chat with and start typing.

WhatsApp

The world now runs on WhatsApp.  It is also another messenger service that was purchased by Facebook.

This application has become so widespread in use around the globe that this is the go-to for most users.

There was a big uproar after Facebook decided to take some of the privacy features away from WhatsApp.  You can learn more about it here

However, we mentioned it last here because it really needs no introduction.  The call quality and video quality are not bad – but we felt that the others come in a bit better in this regard.

A worthy and goto choice for many!

Zoom

Zoom has taken the world in 2020 by storm as one of the leading online meeting solutions.

The ability to hold zoom calls is becoming a synonym with “meetings.

With their 40 minute free option and very affordable plans for longer times, Zoom helps people stay connected virtually in a seamless and easy-to-use way!

Honourable New Mention (in 2021) – Signal App:

If privacy is your thing and you really want a good option that even Elon Musk endorses for their end-to-end encryption then we recommend Signal.

No messages read, no call listening (unlike WhatsApp).

Worth checking out.

Conclusion

COVID-19 may have forced us to distance ourselves from each other socially, but with the technology we have today, we can stay connected.

Web Worx Labs believes that the world needs to stay connected now more than ever.  Let’s all do our part by maintaining a safe social distance and conquer COVID-19 together! Staying at home and reducing the risk of spreading this virus while combatting boredom and loneliness with our need to connect physically is the name of the game today.

Until an antidote, cure, or vaccine is rolled out for COVID-19 in your area, we recommend that you stay at home and connect with everyone using the apps that are mentioned above.

Businesses can still maintain a connection via apps and social media to keep the relationship alive.

Do you have any recommendations on other apps that are worthy of inclusion in the lists above?  Let us know or add to the comment section below!

Stay safe and stay connected!

Things You Need to Know About Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMPs)

Things You Need to Know About Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMPs)

Things You Need to Know About Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMPs)

AMP stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages, but most don’t know what it is.

“AMP” is a play on the words “amplify” to speed up, in this case, the load times of the site.

An AMP is a page created to improve the performance of the mobile web experience by creating fast-loading mobile pages. It is a project announced by Google on 7th October 2015.

You can learn the details all about AMP on their primary site: Ampproject.org.

Amateur digital marketers are not aware of what it is and how it works.

If you are new to AMP – then this blog will give you an overview with a slight bit of technical background and detail.

If you a Web Development Ninja – then we hope you find it a refresher and entertaining read!

So what is AMP again? It is a library that allows users to create light pages using best practices and optimized code.

This project was initiated by Google and Twitter to be super lightweight and fast loading.

Companies like Google, Twitter, and others use AMP.

They use AMP because it is intended to be an open response and an open-source framework.

AMP pages are distributed across a comprehensive range of consumer platforms.

Some of these platforms are Google, Twitter, Bing, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Medium, and more.

We are in a mobile-first world.  Speed is important – super important.

The world is moving towards mobile and given mobile is slower technology than desktop ISPs, the need for faster lighter pages arises.

Google wants fast websites to effectively reach and engage users.

Whether users are browsing the net using 3g network or now the 5G networks that are becoming mainstream these days.

Fact – people do not like to stick around on slow-loading sites.  Studies done by brands like Amazon have quantified the bottom-line impact to slow loading pages.  1% revenue drop for every 100ms decrease in speed – yikes!  Learn more about the study here.

You’ve probably been frustrated with slow-loading websites (we know we have been).

And the cherry on top that makes you run away from slow-loading sites is that they usually are dated in design, and some may even contain obtrusive ads.

All this can lead you away from the purpose of visiting the site in the first place.

This is why the biggest referral network that wants to improve the internet experience for all users is behind this initiative (we are talking about Google here).

Despite half of the users abandoning slow sites, keep in mind that over 75% of websites on mobiles take more than 10 seconds to load on 3G connections fully and significantly longer on non-3G connections.

However, the research also indicates that 53% of users will leave a mobile page if it takes more than 3 seconds to load.

There is a disconnect in the needs of an average user vs. what he gets by the webmasters across the world wide web.

In fact, in several cases, the need to monetize the website has created bloated sites and lousy user experiences.

Remember, it is not a simple adjustment of monetization vs. performance.

Building a fast, attractive, well monetized, and functional mobile site often requires much effort and constant updates.

It is not an easy task to maintain a fast-mobile website on your own and often requires the assistance of a large team of skilled developers.

All of these reasons are why an AMP project was started.  You do not need to learn advanced HTML or have an army of developers.

The AMP project has made it easier for even novice developers to rely on the library of code to design fast loading pages that are beautiful in look and feel.

I know by now, after this brief context and history lesson, you are probably wondering – so how does it work?

How does it affect my site’s user experience and why a smaller business that isn’t the size of the tech giants mentioned, really care?

So let’s get to it – here are some details that provide clarity to these questions!

A great video by Full Stack that talks about why, where it is used and some of the mechanisms behind it.   Here is a screenshot presentation on a short but powerful video explaining how and where it works;

Image source: FULL STACK – ACADEMY of CODE.

What is AMP made of?

Technically, there are three main components AMP is built on for creating mobile web pages.

The combination of these three elements yields the super-fast AMP experience.

AMP HTML

This is an extension of HTML with some restrictions for better and reliable performance.

The HTML is extended with some custom AMP properties.  These custom elements allow common tags to implement with site performance in mind quickly.

The AMP library is linked within the code, for example, execute an action that is written with the best industry practices in mind.

The tag within the HTML references one of the scripts and links to an AMP script library – allowing the webmaster to leverage the clean code that is optimized for performance (instead of writing the code for the same action in less than the optimal way that can slow the load times).

Now you are wondering here why it is faster or how is it faster vs. other code?

This is because unlike traditionally designed pages, the browser may not know how the content will be laid out until all the code is loaded.

AMP bypasses by making sure that each element size and position is determined within the HTML before the actual resource is loaded.

So AMP loads the resources of the page, before waiting for any resources to be downloaded – this concept is called “static layouts.”

All this is done to ensure the loading time is reduced as fewer resources are needed to load the page.

AMP JS

This is a library that ensures the fast rendering of AMP HTML pages.

Like the AMP HTML – these scripts in the library are linked to allow good clean code to be used.

Use these instead of using bloated code that can prevent poor rending to occur and thereby add to the load times.

Most pages contain code that is synchronously downloaded and can block the rendering of the page.

Using the AMP library allows for Java Scripts to be loaded asynchronously (in parallel) instead of sequential (or in the order specified) to allow for faster load times.

AMP Cache

This element fetches and caches APM HTML and is used to improve the performance of pages automatically.

The most notable benefit is the most obvious one too.

AMP speeds up the load times of web-page by about 40%, and Google search results prefer it.

This key benefit enhances user experience and stops users from bouncing to another page or page by enhancing the load time.

This allows your pages to be discoverable quicker with search engines through the <link rel=”> tag.

what is google amp and its effect on seo

Image Source: SEOpressor

Higher Performance, Engagement & Flexibility:

AMP gives websites a great boost by giving users a smooth, more engaging experience on mobile and desktop.

Let’s assume; you want your average business to rank on top in the search results.

You want your brand to be associated with all the good things, especially when someone visits your site.

If the above-mentioned goals are your concern, then we strongly recommend that you use AMP pages!

If Google is behind AMP and it you want to on Google results, it makes sense to use AMP in your site.

AMP provides publishers and advertisers with flexibility.

It allows them to choose how to present their content and decide what technology vendor to use.

The library allows users to show content in different ways on different screens.

The screen renders faster, fewer resources are used, and the user gets to see what is on the page.

There are a lot of optimization techniques offered to webmasters to help their businesses to win and engage their customers.

The great developers provided all the techniques at AMP Projects.

However, the best part is, the wider internet community is the real winner!

A win-win-win (users, large tech giants, internet webmasters)!

Conclusion:

As digital marketers, we must stay abreast of the latest technological updates, and AMP is no exception.

We all understand the importance of fast loading sites.

And AMP provides a comparatively easy way to upgrade the speed of mobile websites for publishers.

To know more about AMP and how to bring it in use, you can reach out to us, and we feel excited to help you become an AMPed.

If you are a publisher or manage websites, then hopefully you are using AMP.  If not, we highly recommend you start thinking about Accelerated Mobile Pages.

Want Your Website To Rank Higher?

Want Your Website To Rank Higher?

Want Your Website To Rank Higher?

The first thing that comes to mind when we are confronted with the idea of our website ranking higher, “what is the fastest and easiest way for my website to rank higher?”

You have to build trust to rank higher, and trust is a relationship that needs to be consistent over time to develop.

In a nutshell – there is no shortcut, and please, for the love of Google – avoid the tempting alternatives for the longevity and health of your website & brand!

Some people do not abide by good search engine guidelines and game the system, hence their websites suffer over the longterm.

Instead, one must change their thinking and approach this question with a mindset of adding value to the user experience by providing great content for whoever lands on the pages of the website.  The better the content and engagement, the more the site will rank over the long term.  Providing relevant and high-quality content regularly to your viewers is the key here.

In turn, Google Algorithms will reward you with higher rankings in search results, which automatically bring more traffic to your website.

In my experience, there have been many surprises from the search engines changing rules and advancing their algorithms.

But one of these remains the same – if you need your website ranking higher in search results, you must put in the hard work and create value for your visitors.

Here are a few of the most common Website Ranking Shortcuts to AVOID at all costs.

Keywords manipulation to improve website rankings

Image Showing Words Are Key - Search Engine Journal - Rank Higher With Well Written Words - Web Worx Labs

Image Source: SearchEngineJournal

Many novice SEO practitioners try to fit their content and messaging within the confines of their keyword research (and not much else) just to tap into the high-volume keywords.

In other words, marketers shape their content on the website to represent keywords for which they have not adequately aligned for the high-volume keywords.

Because of this, the website loses its chance to engage the customer to display the real message.

The results in analytics for this practice speaks for itself. You will notice lots of traffic to your website but minimal conversions.

The reason here is because the traffic (visitors) were not looking for you.

Don’t try to mislead the visitors or direct them to content that is misrepresented by high volume keywords to increase visibility.

Website Ranking Shortcut: Purchasing Links

Picture Showing Dollars and a link on a laptop sign on a laptop. Source Search Engine Journal. For Article on Rank Higher By Web Worx Labs

Image Source: SearchEngineJournal

J.C. Penney was publicly punished approximately five years ago by Google for purchasing links.

According to an article on Practical Ecommerce, Google and other search engines alike hate paid links since they go after the algorithmic reliance on links as signs of quality.

If a site has earned numerous links, it must be fantastic, correct? Not if those links are paid for or given in return for the item, corresponding links, or different favors.

Therefore, Google has explicitly created algorithmic advancements to distinguish and debase links from link rings, link farms, link exchanges, and paid link schemes.

Without a doubt, there are some paid links accessible that haven’t been caught by Google yet.

However, how much longer will they have value, and what will happen if Google finds them?

The risks far outweigh the brief reward.

Keywords stuffing to improve website rankings

Keyword stuffing is probably the oldest trick in the book. Many people still think that SEO is only about keywords.

It’s not, there is a lot more to that goes into search engine optimization SEO and search engines are well aware of this practice of adding in-text combinations which are unnatural.

Search engines notice these attempts to manipulate search results and demote the content as such.

Black Hat SEO Practitioners that are just looking for shortcuts have tried all sorts of ways to trick the search engines.

Some have tried to add all different variations on the keywords in the footer of their website.

Some have even gone as far as adding these stuffed keywords in the same color as their website background so that the visitors could see them, but web crawlers would.

Remember, keyword research is essential; also, you are writing for humans and not for a search engine.

 Writing content for Robots

Image Source: Yoast

Remember you are writing for humans and not for search engines.

There is still this belief out there: if you write variations on the same keywords and sentences plural/non-plural versions, that means you have covered all your bases.

Repeat the same targeted keywords repeatedly in variations, and you will rank high for these keyword variations. Wrong!

This strategy does not work anymore.

Today the search engines are advanced enough to catch repeated keywords and also variations of keywords.

Most importantly, you are going against the cardinal rule.

You are not writing for value-added or quality content for the visitors.

Instead, you are writing for Robots.

Write for humans!  Or be warned.  There are now even keyword density checking tools that you can use to ensure there is no “keyword stuffing”.

Write your content, and check if it is written to appease to robots.  If you have someone write content for your site, test their work through this tool.

Closing Thoughts

Alright, folks, these are the most common search engine optimization shortcuts to avoid when you are looking to get your website to rank higher.

I will repeat this once again, don’t go looking for shortcuts when it comes to SEO, they never work.

Even if they do – sooner or later, search engines are going to catch on to your practices through algorithm updates, and your rankings will plummet.

The practise of search engine optimization is of patience and hard work, and there are no shortcuts to either one.

Ranking higher in search results is not rocket science (although, I am sure some may make it seem that way).

However, it demands determination and persistence to improve your Google ranking by applying efficient SEO strategies that help you style a properly optimized website.

All you have to do is make sure your site speed is up to bar, your content should be relevant, readable, and of high quality, keyword research must be on point.

All of these will help your site win in the search engine ranking race.

Don’t forget to consider hiring SEO professionals to help you rank higher in search engines.

I hope you enjoyed my article; I would love to read what you have to say and share your stories and experiences with SEO journies.

Do let me know what SEO strategies you have used for improving your Google rankings.

Types of Advertising

Types of Advertising

Types of Advertising – Detailed & Comprehensive Guide

Advertising? The most significant form of marketing communication done to promote or sell a solution through a non-personal message and openly sponsored format.

Arguably the most popular discipline within the marketing function.

Introduction

There are several types of advertisings. However, not many people are fully aware of them.

Although now the current generation knows what exactly advertisements do but still to sound a bit academic, let us give you a more detailed overview and begin by looking at the very definition of advertising.

“The businesses are trying to persuade people to buy products or services.”

It’s the act or practice of swaying towards a purchase.

Several ways have been introduced from traditional/legacy media to new/modern media?

The history of advertising can be traced to ancient civilization when Egyptians used papyrus (thick paper) to make wall posters and write sales messages.

Advertisers have a vast array of choices, and in this blog, we’ll lay out many of the types of advertising.

Advertising is communicated through various media formats; it can be either through traditional media or digital media.

Today, we breakdown the different media that are available for businesses and brands to consider when looking to advertise.

Traditional Media 

This form of media communicates with one-way technologies, involve print media.

We can further classify media into direct mail, newspaper, magazines, outdoor advertising, radio broadcasting, and television.

New Media or Digital Advertising 

This form of media enables people to telecommunicate with each other through search engine results, websites, articles, blogs, social media platforms, and text messages.

You can even call new/modern media digital media because of the use of electronic devices.

Both types of advertising are still in use, but with the advent of new media, traditional media has faced many challenges.

Which doesn’t mean that it has lost its worth.

With the advancements in digital media, it is said that advertisers had spent $40 billion more on internet ads than on TV ads last year.

You can also check the full stats of global advertising spending here from 2014 to 2021.

spending in billions chart from statista- types of advertising blog

Image source; Statista – Worldwide spending in Advertising in billions

Today, businesses want to promote their brands and services by capturing the minds of people through new methods.

Worldwide the estimated spending on advertising is undoubtedly going to increase in the upcoming years, as businesses want to promote their brands and services by capturing the minds of people through new methods.

A good marketing strategy for brands includes a good dose of offline or traditional marketing and digital marketing.

Are you curious to know about the tactics used in advertising to reach consumers?

The following list is our approach to provide a detailed and comprehensive overview of the types of advertising options available to a brand large or small.  By now means is this list complete, but a good guide with lots of options depending on your unique needs and your marketing mix.

The following list will help your business to grab the attention of your targeted audience to generate higher exposure, visibility and overtime growth for your business.

We begin our breakout with traditional media and then get into digital advertising to round out a complete picture.

Direct Mail

Image Source: Aviaro

In advertising, direct mail is one of the oldest types in which prospective buyers receive a message by post or mail service.

Direct mail is used by businesses in which they send letters, brochures, catalogues, postcards, and promotional material to their potential clients and customers.

The most significant advantage of this type of advertising is it allows you to communicate with your targeted audience one-on-one. This method is beneficial as it provides direct and detailed information about the product sent to the buyers and attempts to establish direct contact with the consumer.

In contrast, in other types of advertising, you’re never 100% sure who is receiving your message.

There are disadvantages to this form of advertising as it suffers from certain flaws because it is sent directly to the clients. It has limited reach, and response rates are often low as many consumers throw direct mail pieces away without giving it a read.

This can get costly if the advertiser is not getting the desired result.

Be mindful of the fact that if you’re going to choose direct mail, you have to do it right.

For a particular demographic and buyer personas, this advertising type may still be useful. Know your customer, and if you feel that the communities and customers you are targeting open direct mail, this may be a great tried, true, and tested way to advertise.

Newspapers and Magazines

Image Source: MyImaginaryFriendGraphics

One of the most used formats in the 20th century to advertise to your target audience is by using print media. This format usually comes in two mediums of communication, i.e., newspapers and magazines.

As you may already know, print journalism has been in decline as such this medium is reaching far fewer people than it did in the past.

However, many still get printed newspapers on their doorstep. Besides, doctors, dentists, and lawyers’ offices are usually filled with magazines to help their patients or clients pass the time.

Newspapers are still essential 

Even though the reach is shrinking, the right message can resonate with the target audience if done right.

Several benefits of newspaper advertising cannot be found elsewhere, including television, radio, or even the internet.

The cost of advertising is more affordable than many of the mediums and offers better targeting. Newspaper adverting allows brands to target a specific audience that is often difficult to reach through other mediums.

Newspapers effectively reach more customers because of the ability to be an engaging and trustworthy source.

However, given its declining reach, this channel for advertising should not be solely relied upon to get your word out.

Using Magazine Advertisement To Increase Your Ads Shelflife

You might be thinking, “it may seem pointless to advertise in magazines?”

The reason being that other mediums have reached millions of consumers and “who reads print magazines in this day & age?”

Well, it is not pointless. Hear us out on this one.

magazine - types of advertising

Because ads in magazines have a more extended staying power or shelf life than other digital ads that come and go.

You have the power to stay in the minds of the consumer much longer in comparison to other mediums by advertising in a magazine.

Advertisements in magazines are very creative vs. perhaps other simpler formats because of being colourful and “prestigious,” which appeals to the readers.

However, the cost of advertising in magazines is higher and has much less flexibility compared to newspapers.

A fun fact about magazine advertisements is that those published on the right-hand page are more expensive than the left-hand page.

Still, newspapers and magazines both can have a more significant impact and exposure because millions of people are still reading this in this day and age (in the post-COVID19 world).

In 2020, newspaper circulation still stood at 19.6 million copies (yes million) in the heart of the pandemic year within Canada alone.  So people do get exposure to print.  

If your target audience demographic leans older, in remote areas or has less access to the internet, then this medium of advertising should be a strong contender to get the message out.  

Radio Advertising

Image Source: Adweek

When you’re thinking about methods of advertising to promote your business, radio might not be the first thing that comes to your mind.  

Podcasts are on the rise.  With over 18.5 million episodes and 525,000 active podcast shows, no wonder the transition to this form of audio info/entertainment is happening.

However, radio is still holding a good share of the market. Even in the post-pandemic world, the numbers have stayed steady if not increased in the 2020 year:

Source: Statista

Especially in the era of social media, radio might seem “dated” to the younger generation (those that are 37 years and younger today).

But radio can be something important when it comes to market your advertising depending on your target audience.

Radio advertising, as compared to other media, offers more affordability.

It also offers broad reach to the targeted audience and can be beneficial for your enterprise by delivering a timely message.

If you want to go with radio advertising, a few things you must keep in mind.

Among other broadcast mediums, which have visual appeal, radio can only impact your target audience through sound.

But it covers all types of listeners, whether literate or not, to advertise your product.

Don’t forget that people listening to your advertisement on the radio are probably doing something else at the same time, like doing household chores or driving.

They are likely multitasking (driving or working for example) and listening to your advertisement at the same time.

So, try to make your key information more prominent about the product you’re selling.

As with any other form of advertising, given the steady share in the market, it is a good medium to get your brand out there.  

Television Advertising

back of head of a guy looking at a television - types of advertising

Image Source: EuroBusinessInfo

Watching tv is one of the most common and modern leisure activities, and advertising on television is one of the fastest-growing mediums of marketing.

This type of advertising has gained substantial popularity among the masses these days.

TV advertising is the most dominant way to reach a large number of consumers.  For baby boomers particularly – this is still the number one source of media consumption (in the post-COVID-19 era).

A great research study done by Global Web Index details the breakout by demographic here.

Because this medium includes sound and sight to convey the message to your audience.

Advertising on television allows you to show and tell a wide range of audiences by grabbing their attention.

Engaging television ads are not just walking and talking messages.

They foster emotions, empathy, and leave an ever-lasting impression on the viewer’s mind.

These elements make television ads costly compared to other mediums but also more effective and impressive.

Cinema Advertising

Image Source: Pinterest

Ever thought of advertising right before a movie starts at a movie theatre?

The ads broadcast in cinemas are just as same on television but have one privilege over their smaller screen counterparts. And that is the captive environment of the cinema in which the audience has no chance or option to change the channel, ignore it, not even easily walk away because they are at a movie theatre.

Also, did you know that cinemagoers are four times more likely to be emotionally involved in your ad than a television audience?

When they remember the movie – they also remember the advertisement displayed in between.

That is pretty powerful!

So, this option is one of the most creative and smart techniques to promote your brand and make sure your message is heard.

Undoubtedly, it can be – but with COVID19 and the future of the theatre industry in peril, this can have an impact on the viability of this option.  Nonetheless, when and if it does get back to its usual audience sizes, this is a good option for marketers to use as an advertising medium.

When going for this advertising option, choose the timings and movie when you want your ad to appear on the big screen.

Options now exist to have your ad seen before the movie begins or during intermission.

In my opinion, it is always better to promote your brand before the film starts – because, in an intermission, many people leave for a break (and many North American movies do not offer the intermissions).

This type of advertising is much more expensive than other options discussed so far but does provide more contract and targeting and because of this has a higher value as it serves hundreds of people at once.

This can be effective and part of your marketing mix, if you have larger budgets and can afford expensive mediums to build lasting impressions.

Outdoor Advertising

OOH – stands for Out-Of-Home advertising.

Why this is out of home when radio can be out of home or cinema or other formats are definitely out of home is beyond me at this point.  Nonetheless, it is a term that stuck.

As the name suggests, this type of advertising is created to reach consumers who are in a public place, or outdoors.

This advertising falls into four main categories:

  • Billboards.
  • Street furniture.
  • Transits.
  • Digital outdoor advertising.

Billboard advertising

Billboard advertising - webworxlabs mockup of billboards at work when showing types of advertising

Image Source: FreeMockUp

We all are aware of what billboards are and can easily find them either on highly visible, heavy traffic areas or less-travelled roads in rural areas.

Drivers and travellers see them almost everywhere, as they are a cost-effective advertising method.

The stunning visuals on billboards leave an impression on the viewer and help you get the best bang for your buck.

Street Furniture

Image Source: Cityam

The use of street furniture for advertising is one of the efficient and cost-effective approaches.

Let us tell you what certain displays fall into the general category of street furniture such as benches in parks, busses and bus stop shelters, pole and telephone kiosks, news racks, etc.

Transit Advertising

Transit Advertising

Image Source: Local Advertising Journal

The most popular form of transit advertising is ads on the sides of the busses.

This is also common in subways, taxis, along airport walkways to highlight their products.

Digital Outdoor Advertising

Example of a type of advertising showing outdoor ads

Image Source: ReadytoQuote

This type of advertising is also known as digital signage.

Electrical technology is used to change what is displayed on a screen.

This specific type of advertising has gained much popularity within modern times because of the advent of digital billboards, which easily attract consumers.

Ultimately advertising follows the consumers wherever they go, and all the categories mentioned above, offer ways to reach a broader audience in a local or regional market.

Great for general brand awareness and consideration of top-of-funnel advertising.

Digital Advertising

Unlike traditional advertising, digital advertising provides much more precision and control in reaching the target audiences.

The control in digital advertising comes from “cookies” or tags that are installed on a user’s machine when they visit a platform or a website.

This visit by the user gives the website owner pertinent intelligence that it can use in understanding, storing, defining the characteristics of demographic and preferences, taste, location, and historical buying and browsing patterns. These cookies assign a unique identifier for each visitor and allow the website owner to keep track of the same user when they revisit the site.

All different types of users visit this website or platform, and this massive amount of data is collected (big data) and synthesized. In essence, it gives the publishers, website owners or platforms a high level of precision to have advertisers place ads in front of a very targeted audience.

The platform or site can then sell this space to advertisers much the same way a newspaper does.

As an advertiser looking to advertise on the platform or website, you use the data to really segment and specify when, where, and how frequently you want your ad to appear.

Various types of publishers are available online, and these include search engines, social media platforms, video streaming services, and market places.

Pay Per Click Advertising

The most common form of online advertising is pay-per-click.

This form gives the advertiser to place ads in front of the target audience on the publisher’s platform.

The advertiser only pays when the user clicks on the ad.

Impressions are usually free (depending on the type of campaign you configure).

Is that not amazing in digital? That your brand can get exposure without having to ever pay for advertising when you configure most campaign types on Google.

This is a significant difference from traditional media formats where they charge for every time it is printed or distributed.

Here distribution is usually free, and only when the customer’s curiosity is intrigued, and he or she has shown interest, the publisher track and collects.

Related: Learn About Our Pay Per Click Advertising Services

Related: Learn About Digital Marketing Lead Generation With Advertising In Our Training Page

There are various forms of Pay-Per-Click advertising, including social media, search engine results pages, and video viewership.

Social Media Advertising

LinkedIn Social Media Advertising Example - For Types of Advertising

Image Source: Hootsuite

Most social media channels and platforms exist to monetize ways to provide advertising capabilities to the brands and companies for the users or traffic on their platforms.  So they all offer pay-per-click advertising services.

While there are other advertising approaches, social media advertising has taken over the market by storm.

Whether you’re a B2B or B2C company, this strategy can help achieve your business objectives.

This type of advertising is used to grab the attention of the social media platform users to bring in consistent sales, awareness, leads, consideration or build trust and loyalty. 

Social Media allows you to promote your brand in several ways; some of them are:

  • In-stream ads
  • Text-based ads
  • Photo and video-based ads

Also, these help in increasing your fanbase/follower-base and or sales as well – depending on the type of campaign you configure in the social media platform.

From people engaging with your page (likes and engagement), to people booking appointments or giving their phone number to follow up are all options in this wide world of social media advertising.

Now the question is, which type of social media platform will help your business grow?

Here, we have compiled the list of influential social media advertising platforms you should be familiar with in 2021 (if not present and active in all of them):

  • Facebook.
  • Instagram.
  • Twitter.
  • Pinterest.
  • LinkedIn.
  • Snapchat.
  • TikTok
  • WhatsApp

You can take a look at all of these social media platforms and quickly find out which ads are worth your budget.

We understand there are many advertising options out there.

It might make it challenging to decide which ad platform you could get the best ROI from.

If you need help deciding whether social advertising is right for your business, you can ask us.

We’ll help you select the right ones or ones we believe may be the best fit for your brand given the business model you have.  You will need to narrow down what your short and long-term goals are as well.  If you are looking for immediate sales then certain types of ad campaigns on specific platforms may yield better results on social media vs. other options.  

On the other hand, if the goal is long-term brand building and you already have a good presence on one social media channel (or ought to have given your audience hangs out there) – then, it is a good idea to advertise and stay on top of mind with longer-term campaigns for brand awareness and consideration.

Related: Our Social Media Marketing & Management Services

YouTube Advertising

With the increase of viewership on YouTube, no blog on advertising will be complete if there is no mention of YouTube.

More than 3/4 of the adults in the US use YouTube according to research shared on Hootsuite’s blog.

That is a huge number of users and they are only increasing!

We covered television and social advertising earlier, but this medium has so much content that is consumed and uploaded on a daily basis that it is becoming the go-to spot for an increasing number of brands to get the word out about their brand via ads, original content creation and influencer collaborations.

It is like a mix of TV, social and influencer forms of advertising all rolled up into one.

Really recommended for most brands who want to get a good message out and build brand impressions over time.  Not so much as a lead generation mechanism, but a good tool to showcase thought expertise, build trust and create awareness. 

Amazon Advertising

Do you sell on Amazon?  Or are you an e-commerce brand that is considering amazon?

If you are an e-commerce brand and want to market on this crazy online retail shop, you first need to have a presence.

With Amazon Marketing Services (AMS) – vendors and sellers can now advertise on this powerful and very active online store to get in front of their target audience very quickly.  This is because it offers a lot of the same ad formats like social media networks and Google in how to reach target audiences.  These formats include:

  1. Native Ads
  2. Product Display ads
  3. Headline search ads
  4. Sponsored Ads
  5. Video Ads

You can learn about Amazon advertising formats here.

Final Words

We have walked you through a ton of options for the major types of advertising options available to you today (whether online or offline).

Now it’s your turn to choose the right platform to research, deliberate, analyze and narrow which mediums and platforms are your best options to run your campaigns on.

Most businesses do not have infinite resources, so there will likely be a prioritization of some over others.  We hope you find the above insights, analysis and recommendations useful in finalizing the right media mix for your brand (as every brand is different).

If you’re still not sure about where to allocate your budget or your ad campaign isn’t performing well, let us know in the comments below we’ll be happy to help you.  We may not be the right fit for offline advertising, but we may be able to help you with graphics creation, photography, advertising or general marketing and branding support if you need it.

Remember, a single mistake in advertising can be costly.

To keep an eye on your mistakes, you can hire an expert here to handle your online ad campaigns and start promoting the brand.

Questions? Don’t be afraid to reach out.  You can reach us at info@webworxlabs.comm for any advertising queries you may have!

10 Strong B2B Marketing Strategies That Will Grow Your Business

10 Strong B2B Marketing Strategies That Will Grow Your Business

10 Strong B2B Marketing Strategies That Will Grow Your Business

 

Business owners who own B2B companies use traditional marketing activities, which typically involve promotion, advertising or campaigns, publicity sales, and distribution.

Companies have used all these traditional means of marketing for years.

The truth is that when you have a B2B company, you have multiple marketing strategies that you can use, both online and offline.

Most B2B marketers are aware of what they need to do to promote a B2B and that some factors are specific to this kind of business, and only the more advanced marketers know about them.

Here are ten best practices and tips to help improve and have a more positive impact on your B2B marketing strategies. So, make sure that you check the best ones. Enjoy!

#1: Search Engine Optimization (SEO) For B2B Organizations:

In the world of digital marketing, in most B2B environments, such things are often heard like “ SEO has become less relevant, ineffective, and it’s too competitive.”

 

-Ahh! That is not true.

Although it has become a bit more challenging to compete with other marketers with SEO in recent years, then again, smart marketers know ways to use effective SEO strategies to continue driving leads and sales for a B2B company in a strategic way.

Remember one thing that SEO strategies are always subject to change.

This is because a variety of factors keeps changing and updating with time, including updates in the algorithm, changing user behavior, and location.

Wait! What are the critical SEO strategies, and how can they help your B2B company?

Feeling curious to get this answer? Have a look at the basics of SEO, and check out the SEO page here.

However, to get ahead in SEO, you need to spend time on the following elements:

  • Generating unique, relevant, and high-quality content.
  • Building links.
  • Outreach.

Several SEO consultants think that the real goal of SEO is to increase the position of any business in search engines.

You need to know that many different marketing strategies can be used to drive more traffic.

SEO is different for B2B companies, and so are the strategies. As Columnist Garrett Mehrguth notes in this article, “B2B companies need to think differently about SEO.

Are you doing your SEO wrong?

Need help or advice on how to approach your SEO campaign? Reach out!

Related: SEO Services For B2B & B2C Brands 

#2: Pay Per Click (PPC) For B2B Professionals:

Presenting to you another great marketing strategy! PPC stands for “Pay Per Click.”

PPC is a form of advertising that can help your B2B company grow online.

All you simply have to do is pay a fee each time when one of your ads is clicked. It is a way of buying visits/audience to earn visitors through paid marketing.

What does a PPC campaign do?

With a PPC campaign, you will be able to reach your targeted audience and you have a wide variety of platforms and mediums to run your campaigns on.

Some of the most known and used PPC platforms include Google Ads, Bing Ads, and the major social media platforms.

However, if you are a B2B company and your business is aimed directly at consumers, then LinkedIn advertising is also worth considering.

Before you start a PPC campaign, learn how to do it right.

The first thing you need to do is to have a clear sense of your goal that you have for the campaign and define a set of keywords that you want to target.

Then, you will need to write an attractive and relevant ad and make your bid on each one of the keywords that you want to target.

Depending on your quality score and on how much you pay, your ad will be displayed, and you will only pay for the clicks that your ad generates.

There are many different strategies that you can use to ensure that your campaign is successful.

Nevertheless, one of the main advantages of using PPC is that the results are immediate, and you can monitor them in real-time.

This also allows you to make changes to the ad, add or delete keywords, and change the bids depending on the results that you are getting.

An excellent resource for understanding PPC – is written by Larry Kim. You can also read a great primer about PPC on our webpage here.

Related: 5 Simple Tips To Optimize Google Ads

Related: PPC Management Services

SEO Vs. PPC

Above, we have discussed the two main strategies for boosting traffic to your website.

Still, it is not necessary to make a single choice to reach a targeted audience either via search engine optimization (SEO) or PPC ads.

Both can be used to get powerful outcomes. Nonetheless, one of them surely serves long-term advantages.

Benefits-of-SEO-And-PPC1 by SEJ

 

This above picture says it all! However, when combined, both can give excellent results and work for hand in hand with B2B companies.

Related: Tips To Rank Higher in Search Engines

#3: Content Marketing an Effective B2B Strategy:

The strategy of content marketing is the distribution of useful, relevant, valuable, and consistent content to attract and focus on people (company owners and wholesale buyers) to drive profitable customer action.

The core aim of content marketing in B2B is to build a valuable relationship with the audience that leads to long-term customers.

 

Content marketing in B2B is not an easy task and can be very challenging, as it requires a strategic approach for creating a B2B marketing strategy.

Naturally, content marketing is a method B2B companies use to reach the ideal audience through a plan by creating unique content to convey what their business is all about.

Avoid making your content too promotional, as people will eventually lose their interest, trust, and faith in your company.

The best way of gaining authority and trust is by creating useful and engaging content.

Many B2B marketers, as part of their more comprehensive digital strategies, use content marketing.

The content that you should be publishing must depend on your industry trends and demographics.

Quality content has become a digital marketing powerhouse and offers an impressive ROI.

There are many different types of content that you can create, from the traditional “How to” to product reviews, guidance, tips, among so many others.

However, the most important thing is that you are delivering the content that your audience likes and wants.  And the second most important thing is to market it!  Promote it on social media, advertise it, share it friends and family – but get the word out about your content.  Because if you don’t market your content, then you will not be able to leverage the benefits that the content can really provide.  Again, the “marketing” in content marketing is very crucial.

#4: Social Media For B2B Marketing:

In this digital era, no one can question the power of social media.

To gleam the B2B Company, you have to put two main ingredients, social media content and social media advertising together.

Being a user of social media platforms, the very first thought that comes to your mind while watching other brands killing it on social media is the B2C companies (business to consumer).

The reason is that you rarely hear about B2B companies crushing it on social media.

This does not mean that B2B marketers start to treat it as an afterthought.

It can be the most beneficial channel to increase customer engagements, which automatically means an increase in sales.

We know that social media has played a vital role in allowing many companies to build their names and become known among those who are not aware of any specific brand.

Social media platforms differ from one another, and so does their marketing strategies.

In the image below, you can see the percentages of B2B companies that taste success through social media platforms.

 

Image Source: LYFE Marketing.

However, they offer several ways to help you connect with your targeted audience.

LinkedIn is a great social media platform that allows you to connect to other business leaders, decision-makers in your industry directly, and you never know when a new opportunity can arise.

Just like most of the B2B companies, don’t restrict yourself just to LinkedIn.

It makes sense that LinkedIn has gained the reputation of being the best social media platform for B2B companies, and the Content Marketing Institute found that 63% of marketers have rated it the most effective social media platform.

Having a presence on other platforms can also be a one-two combination in your social media strategy.

Facebook Ads offer a more powerful way to connect with the same audience if targeted correctly when they are not thinking about business.  This can be a great way to double your exposure online and build trust so it becomes easier to close those leads over time.

Need help with B2B social media marketing?

At Web Worx Labs, we have helped large & small B2B brands develop a robust social media strategy. We are here to help!

Related: Social Media Marketing

#5: Marketing Automation:

Marketing automation refers to software platforms that help you automate your marketing actions, reducing cost, and improving effectiveness.

In basic terms, it is a process of replacing repetitive manual processes with automated ones.

At the same time, it allows firms to personalize and scale their marketing programs.

When you have a B2B company, it’s not easy to supply the right materials when they are needed. Nevertheless, when you do it, you can be sure that your prospect conversions will increase.

Marketing automation can help you do this in multiple ways:

– Lead Scoring: 

Whenever you have a new lead, it may be difficult to know its quality.

So, by using marketing automation, you will score the different interactions the company has with the lead.

Simply put, you will only put your sales team in contact with the lead when you know they are ready to buy from you.

– Lead Nurturing:

While you can easily attract people to your website, you want to ensure that they have the best experience.

Again, marketing automation can help you get better results since you can; for example, implement drip campaigns based on the user’s behavior.

– Persona Personalization:

Marketing automation can help you define different categories of your prospects. We are all different.

Nevertheless, some specifics are familiar. This can help you target the people who have more money to spend, for example.

#6: Customer Relationship Management (CRM):

CRM refers to practices and strategies used by B2B organizations to analyze and manage customer interactions and data throughout the dealing, intending to improve customer services relationship.

CRM, concerning B2B, is essential for the success of modern business. Remember that the core focus of your business should be your customer because your B2B customer is a company, not an individual.

You need to make sure that both your marketing and sales teams are in direct touch and that they complement each other.

The secret is to have good communication between the two teams that allow them to work in harmony/together to figure out every detail about your marketing campaigns.

Together, they should be able to evaluate if the campaign went well, what they did well and not so well, which campaigns were responsible for the largest ROI, among others.

#7: Sponsorship – A B2B Marketing tactic:

Sponsorship is a crucial component of marketing. It is a way to market your brand and is a very popular marketing technique.

Focusing on the online world is great, but you can’t forget that you also have a market in the offline world.

So, one of the things you can do to get your company known and establish new contacts as well as do a bit of branding at the same time are sponsorships.

Just think about networking sessions or sponsoring an event. This allows you to connect with real people in a physical space.

Many business owners forget about the importance of face-to-face interactions. So, don’t act the same way.

You’ll tend to remember a lot better about a conversation that you have offline than when you are online.

In case you have a small budget and you can’t sponsor any event – you can still bring your business to the physical world.

Just discover a session or event that can be meaningful to your audience and donate your workspace.

#8: Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) For B2B:

In Internet marketing, the CRO system is defined as a process of understanding users’ complete actions.

For example, how they move through your site and what is stopping them from becoming your customer.

In short, it is a method used to improve the performance of your website and, over time, has gained an excellent reputation.

One of the things that many business owners tend to forget is related to the amount of information they have about their prospects and don’t even realize it.

The data that you have based on how they behave on your website is simply huge.

And this can be a great help when you want to ensure that you are doing everything you can to increase your conversion rate.

There are multiple things you can do to increase your conversion rate to get better ROI. One of them is performing simple changes on a specific page and measure the results using an A/B testing.

You can also add more valuable content to your website and can offer a valuable eBook or white paper that interests your audience and display it in a pop-up window.

Remember to add the most important element for your website—the “Call to Action” button. To optimize your conversion rate, make sure to make your webpage loading as quickly as possible.

You can test your page loading speed through Google’s nifty tool PageSpeed Insight.

 

You just have to enter your webpage URL, and then you’ll get to know, “what is the loading speed of your page?”

Trust me; this is a very simple test, but harder to implement.  Improving site speed helps with everything from CRO, SEO, Ad Performance for your PPC campaigns and everything in between.  Don’t take short-cuts here!

Related: Learn about AMP – Accelerated Mobile Pages Initiative By Google To Help Improve Speed of Sites Around The World.

#9: Don’t Forget About Mobile:

Usage of mobile phones is increasing day by day because most of us in our free-time (Before going to bed or wakeup) rush to our mobile phones to browse on social media, read articles online or check emails on our smartphones.

All of us are on our phones all of the time, and I think this explains why websites need to be optimized for mobile devices.

We expect to find everything required on the internet and always pursue the results that appear on top of the first page of the search engine.

Imagine how frustrating it can be when you find out the webpage you’re visiting does not work on your phone?

 

Well, it can be incredibly frustrating!

So, if your website is not user-friendly, then how will potential prospects access your content and convert into leads?

What you need to understand is, a mobile-optimized website is a must thing as usually B2B buyers are now using smartphones to conduct business.

Mobile-first sites usually have all positive ranking signals because it helps in several ways to generate a high lead.

74% of mobile users say that if a site is mobile-friendly, then they are more likely to revisit to a company’s site in the future, maybe to crack a deal.

While you may don’t see many orders coming from mobile devices, this doesn’t mean that your prospects aren’t visiting your website using their mobile devices.

So, you need to make sure that your website is fully responsive and your visitors can have a good user experience.

Besides websites, advertising on mobile apps is a great option if you care more about building impressions and awareness.

Another technology that is up and coming and can be powerful is an omnichannel chatbot that is particularly useful in the mobile as it can triple your chat marketing campaign reach with three channels — SMS, native web chat, and Facebook Messenger. A great tool called Mobile Monkey that Larry Kim recently founded to help businesses improve conversion rates is definitely worth checking out.

Related: Learn about our approach to web development & how it ensures mobile responsiveness.

#10: Online PR:

PR (aka Public Relations) is a way of building relationships with B2B companies. It is one of the ways to let your consumers know who you are and how you can help.

This is more a process of gaining the trust of your audience through content that proves expertise and reliability.

There are four principal ways to accomplish B2B PR.

1.     Earned media:

Is it merely the reliance on the third source to earn free publicity that is earned by becoming a part of the online community?

This all is gained through online reviews; build up backlinks from reputable sites, bloggers, and influencers.

2.     Owned media:

Content that you own and is created by you to demonstrate your industry expertise.

Owned media includes blogs, eBooks, podcasts, white papers, case studies, etc.

3.     Paid media:

The content for which you have paid to promote the paid media that is used to give a little boost to your content to reach the new audience.

Paid content can be included in a budget and does not need to break the bank.

4.     Shared media:

This kind of media is content that is created with the sole aim to reach the audience on social media like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

If you want to reach your audience more efficiently, shared media is one of the best PR strategies.

However, effective PR can be the make or break for any smaller companies who want to get their names and services out to the public.

When you want to make a special announcement, launch a new service, a new product, a new physical location, a redesign of your website, or anything else, one of the things that you should consider doing is an online PR.

Online PRs will help you with brand recognition as well as with marketing reach.

Wrapping up:

While there are many other marketing strategies that a B2B business can implement, these are the ones that tend to work better and take your B2B strategy to unbeatable heights no matter what your industry or niche is.

However, make sure that you implement one at a time and monitor the results.

Depending on your industry, you may get better results in some of these strategies. Afterward, you may want to have a higher budget.

Do let us know if you know other marketing strategies that have worked for your B2B Company and think that they will be useful in the year ahead!

What is Email Marketing and How Does it Work?

What is Email Marketing and How Does it Work?

What is Email Marketing and How Does it Work?

 

#With this post today – we hope to help you understand “What is Email Marketing?” better.

We have a simple definition for you to understand what is email marketing.

Email Marketing is a powerful form of digital marketing strategy.

Email Marketing uses the power of email to connect with your customers regularly.

In more fancy words, it is an act of commercial marketing by using email, which is typically sent to prospects and customers.

This channel is powerful because it allows prospects to become customers, and one-time buyers to become loyal raving fans!

Sounds fantastic, you say?

The very first question which I had in my mind about email marketing is, where did it begin?

2019 Guide on How to Send Cold Emails and Get Results

 

Image Source: Keap

The first-ever email sent by Ray Tomlinson was in 1971 or 1978, depending on your source.

The very first email then marked a historical moment at the beginning of the modern communication era.

While the first marketing email was sent by Gary Thuerk in 1978 to 400 users, promoting DEC machines.

Yes! We have emails around us for about four decades.

So email marketing is one of the original and initial forms of digital marketing.

It has been around long, and with everything digital, new technologies replace old.

However, to this day, and after four decades, this is one of the most effective marketing strategies.

The reason is that they get the right attention from your prospects and customers.

Are you also thinking that in the era of social media marketing, does email marketing has any worth?

It is safer to say that social media platforms can come and go.

However, email marketing has outlasted many social media platforms. It will outlast many more to come (does anyone remember Myspace or even Google+)?

What if I tell you that email marketing still ranked as a more effective marketing strategy than Social Media Marketing (SMM).

You’re going to think that I have gone crazy, right?

Social media is absolutely a more mainstream and popular marketing strategy marketers are pursuing.

But this doesn’t mean that it has taken charge of email marketing.

Email marketing, when done right, can have a much better ROI and results than social media marketing.

But this post is not a comparison between the two strategies.

Let’s continue delving a bit deeper into email marketing.

As often as social media platform advertisers would like you to believe – email marketing is not dead!

Even when options to engage with your customers are growing with PPC, affiliate, and many other forms of digital marketing.

Even with all that, email marketing continues to rank at the top!

And if you were still on the fence – we have this below meme for you after the above chart from Smart Insights:

Now you want to know why email marketing is on the forefront?

Because everyone you know has at least one account and it is merely the best and most cost-effective way to make more sales online.

Now here are some specific details that highlight some of the real power features of this form of marketing.

Benefits of Email Marketing

Digital Marketing Company | First DigiAdd - Blog

 

Image Source: Firstdigiadd

The below points to highlight and are easy to showcase how email marketing can help you get in front of your target audience.

  • Email marketing is still growing strong today because 91% of consumers check their emails every day than any other communication channel. So a successful email marketing campaign can do wonders for your business.
  • On email, you own your list, and you know that no one can take that leads away from you like on other social media accounts. Because on other social media accounts, you don’t know when and why your account could be suspended or deleted.
  • It is consistently a great way of reaching your potential customers by sending them emails daily. It also helps you to stay in touch with your audience and the core customers by informing them about your business.
  • When it comes to converting prospects into customers, email marketing is the way to go, it is more effective than social media and provides a high Return On Investment (ROI).
  • It is economical and cost-effective as it allows business owners to reach a large number of consumers without damaging their pockets.

Here are a few and critical benefits of email marketing.

And why you absolutely must use this strategy for the online promotion of your business.

This is an evergreen marketing channel that allows you to connect with your audience, promote and engage them in the right way.

Get Help from The Experts

If you’ve been ignoring email marketing and had no idea how to reevaluate your strategy, then don’t hesitate to call or message our team.

Our digital marketers are always here to help you in developing a cost-effective email marketing strategy for your brand or business.

We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Let us know in the comments that what email strategy keeps your readers engaged?

Get to Know the History of Google Algorithm Updates

Get to Know the History of Google Algorithm Updates

Get to Know the History of Google Algorithm Updates

 

 

A Complexed design representing how Google changes its algorithm itself.

Image Source: Techwyse

Google algorithm is a term known by all of those who are in the realm of internet marketing.

To provide better search results, Google updates its algorithm every year.

However, those not familiar or in the industry may not be aware of its importance.

In today’s world, having familiarity and knowing how it can impact a company’s top or bottom line is an essential step in doing a strategic assessment and risk management.

Not staying up to date can impact a company’s organic search ranking, visibility, traffic, conversions, revenue, and finally, income.

The point is, it’s all connected.

Google’s algorithm can indirectly impact your bottom line.

Let’s get into what the heck is a Google algorithm and how you can safeguard your business from it.

To understand Google Algorithm updates, you first have to understand what an algorithm is.

An algorithm is defined in several ways. Here are a few of them for you to understand it better.

Algorithms are a set of rules for solving a problem in a finite number of steps.

So it is a big sophisticated computer program using a set of commands to perform a particular task.

This still doesn’t explain it, does it?

Let’s switch gears to apply the concept to a more well-known example of an algorithm that is used by billions daily “Google”.

So what is the Google Algorithm?

Here is how Encyclopedia has defined Google Algorithm:

“The formula Google uses to rank the resulting Web pages from a user’s query.”

Google algorithm is responsible for 80% of all searches done on the world wide web.

This algorithm is adaptive and offers a wide range of personalized results.

Google’s sophisticated search program uses numerous criteria to deliver more relevant results for users who use it.

It keeps adjusting the results based on the behavior of the users.

Following a strict criteria, it evaluates all the web pages it has indexed to ensure the user gets the best possible answer from the billions of web pages out there.

And it does this in a fraction of a second with tens of thousands of queries a second.  That is a crazy piece of tech.

Google continues to update its algorithm all the time,  which can affect search engine results – and thereby, your site’s traffic.

How people prepare themselves when Google is about to release the algorithm.

 

In one way, Google is the traffic police!  You have to comply with its strict search content criteria for your pages to rank.

You can comply knowingly by managing your SEO efforts (or have someone manage it for you), or you can simply be ranking without knowing unintentionally.

However, it is important to brace yourself because the Google algorithm keeps updating regularly.

The search algorithm of Google is reportedly changing around 500 to 600 times per year and releases significant algorithm changes that have a substantial impact on the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPS).

Pro Tip: If you want to get into much more granular changes for Google – stay up to date with Search Engine Roundtable – where the SEO community tracks all the significant changes and reports on it regularly by the excellent work done by Barry Shawrtz at seroundtable.com.

However, we will spell out the most significant updates for you to look for when looking to understand the Google Algorithm updates better.

But what are these changes, and why Google keep releases new updates quite often?

Well, to help you understand the significant algorithm changes of Google in the past, we’ve enlisted all the critical updates and revisions of Google Algorithm.

Types of Google Algorithm Updates:

  • Panda Update.
  • Penguin Update.
  • Hummingbird Update.
  • Pigeon Update.
  • Mobile-Friendly Update.
  • Pirate Update.
  • EMD (Exact Match Domain) Update.
  • RankBrain Update.
  • Top Heavy Update.

Google Panda Update:

Panda update of Google's algorithm released by Google.

 

Google launched “Panda” in February 2011

Panda was designed to target the poor quality sites that made their way on the top of Google’s SERPs.

Sites with poor user experience can be hit by Panda too.

Panda keeps updating from time to time and cleans up occupied search result engine from low-quality content for high-quality content.

Google Penguin Update:

Penguin algorithm update of Google represented by real life Penguin

Google’s Penguin update was announced on 24 April 2012, which aimed to reduce the rankings of those websites which violate Google webmaster guidelines.

They did this by using the techniques of black-hat SEO, a practice entirely against search engine guidelines.

Penguin is a part of Google’s core ranking algorithm since late 2016, which means penalties are now applied faster than before, and recovering from penalizing also takes less time.

Google Hummingbird Update:

The hummingbird algorithm update released by Google

 

This search algorithm has a codename of “Hummingbird” was announced on 26 September 2013.

Google named this algorithm hummingbird because of being “precise and fast.”

The specialty of penguin is that it provides the best results by understanding the meaning behind the words searched.

Also, penguin enhanced semantic search by this process.

There are two significant hazards you need to avoid one is exact-match keyword targeting, and the other is keyword stuffing.

Know all about the  Google Hummingbird algorithm here.

Google Pigeon Update:

Representation of the pigeon update released by Google.

 

The pigeon was launched on 24 July 2014, to increase the ranking of a local business listing in a search.

This algorithm created closer ties between the local and the core algorithm.

In this algorithm, the same practices and factors can be used to rank local and non-local Google results.

Do you know why this algorithm was called “Pigeon”?

Well, its because Pigeons tend to fly back home.

And so does this algorithm after having a substantial impact on local search result rankings.

This algorithm provides more accurate, relevant, and useful local search results by improving distance and local search parameters.

FYI – Does anyone notice a “P” theme going with these updates is it just me (wait Humming Bird update was not a “P” theme)?

Google Mobile-Friendly Update:

Representing the Google's mobile friendly update.

 

The Mobile-friendly ranking algorithm was launched on 21 April 2015.

It was designed by Google to give a boost to mobile-friendly pages in mobile search engine results.

The site version appears on desktops might get challenging to use or even view on mobile devices, and the number of mobile users increases day by day.

So, Google to improve user experience launched a mobile-friendly ranking algorithm to give priority to those websites that appear well on mobile devices.

A site can be checked through a tool that tells either it is mobile-friendly or not.

You can check on the internet if your site is mobile friently or not.

 

Google Pirate Update:

Pirate symbol to reflect an algorithm of Google that was called Pirate algorithm

 

In this digital era, piracy has become a significant issue.

However, to demote pirated sites to appear in search engine results, Google introduced the “Pirate Update.”

Google launched “Pirate” in August 2012.

The main intention behind this algorithm update is to prevent sites that have received a large number of copyright infringement reports from ranking well in Google listings.

This filter is updated periodically and also catches the new pirated sites, which somehow manage to escaped before being caught.

(And we are back with “P” updates!)

Google EMD (Exact Match Domain) Update:

Google launched EMD in September 2012.

EMD aims to prevent site and pages with the poor-quality content from ranking.

Its because they had words that matched search keyword terms in their domain names.

This small algorithm change has reduced low-quality exact match domains from showing up high in the search results.

Remember, there is no such problem with EMDs.

However, they could be a sign of a spammy for the website whose URL exactly matches with a search engine query.

Telling viewers not to rely on exact match domains for SEO

 

Google RankBrain Update:

pictorial representation of rankbrain - an algorithm of Google.

 

RankBrain is a machine-learning artificial intelligence system launched on 26 October 2015.

It helps Google to determine the most relevant results in search engines.

This allows Google to become as smart as a human being in the sense of acquiring knowledge and can somehow summarize what a page is about.

The primary function of RankBrain is to identify query-specific relevance features of a page and then arrange the result in SERPs according to it.

Google Top Heavy Update:

Google launched “Top Heavy Update” in January 2012, to prevent the sites which are top-heavy with advertisements from ranking well in search result listings.

This algorithm affects the sites with less amount of content or if there are many ads displayed beside relevant content.

Because of the advertisements, these sites are too distracting for users. Hence, they are not user-friendly at all.

This distraction is because of too many ads that also influence their ranking.

Wrapping Up:

So here are all the major Google algorithm updates to date, maintain the ranking of your site by understanding these algorithm updates, and prevent your site’s ranking from dropping down.

Also, make sure that you keep yourself up to date with the changes in algorithms with time because you never know Google is always ready to surprise you.

Funny representation of how Google updates its algorithm.

 

Can you see a pattern here?  What do all these changes have in common?

Google is trying its very best with every update to help the user experience on its search engine be the most reliable and simple for the end-user – the searcher.

If you add up all those searches, the one item common in all of them is that it is trying its best to enhance the reliability and relevancy of its search results.

This change was to provide users with answers for questions better that they type each time they use its search engine.

The stronger the site that follows these practices, whether it is good content, high speed, and not spammy links – the better it will rank in Google’s search results.

Its logical and programmatic approach to help Google continue to dominate the market share it has.

Google wants to reward good sites and penalize the sites that have spamming or shady practices.

They want to improve the overall customer experience with this.

It knows the stronger the relevancy and reliability of the search results, the more likely the users will continue to stay on its engine.

The more people use its search engine, the more ad revenue it can make (as that is its primary source of monetizing the search engine).

In our practice at Web Worx Labs, we have seen national and internal organizations become penalized because they do not stay up to date with these changes or are using less than white-hat SEO practices.

Our advice is that you design your site to meet all the requirements of at least the above.

Also, stay within the “spirit” of the enhanced user experience for your target customer.

If you are wondering that what caused your website ranking to fall, feel free to contact us for a consultation and site audit.

Or you can do a FREE Site audit yourself on our page.

We are always looking forward to helping business owners and marketers with their website rank and visibility.

So what do you think?

Is there an update we should mention that you think we missed?

Let us know in the comment section, and if it is cool or fits, we will make sure to add it to our list!

Marketing Fundamentals 101

Marketing Fundamentals 101

Marketing Fundamentals 101

 

Finally, Your search for marketing fundamentals has bought you here.

If you think that digital marketing is something modern, then, unfortunately, you would be wrong!

Want to know why?

The term digital marketing gained popularity in the 2000s but is in existence for more than a century (yes, a century), and here the definition will let you know what exactly we mean.

Want a straightforward definition to remember what digital marketing is?

Here is one:

“Using digital technologies/electronic devices for any form of marketing product or services is digital marketing.” Isn’t it easy? Umm-Hmm, it is!

A staggering image representing the way marketing strategy was born.

 

As per our definition, using electronic devices for marketing any brand is digital marketing, so aren’t we using them for a long time ago?

The usage of electronic devices started for more than a century right after the discovery of the first mean of communication invented in 1837 and Boom!

Just with the inventions of electronic devices, the digital marketing strategy was born.

People through radio and television broadcast started marketing their products or services to get high leads.

I hope now you’re clear with your Digital marketing definition and why it is not only about smartphones, apps, Facebook or Google Ads, blogs, and other modern means.

Digital marketing can be done both offline and online and has nothing to do only with the internet.

This means that both kinds matter to execute an effective digital marketing strategy.

In this digital age, when the whole world in on the fingertips, there are still many marketers whose marketing is just not working, and they keep questioning themselves why?

The answer is they are not following fundamental marketing principles and are lacking in the concept of 4 P’s, which has been around in marketing since forever.

While marketing is the science of 4 P’s and here they are:

  • Price
  • Product
  • Promotion
  • Place

Want to know about 4 P’s in more depth? You can read it in a post from the Business Development of Canada.

Get one thing clear in your mind, Digital Marketing is still only marketing, and instead of discussing the technical details of digital marketing.

We start our discussion with something more macro in nature; marketing fundamentals 101.

Some reason in the day to day and given how technical digital marketing has become – we forget this simple fact.

We start by reminding ourselves that the end goal with Digital marketing with all the design, the technical SEO, the social activities, the advertising, the writing, the analytics, and the development: Is to help you get more leads.

We talked about having a website in our earlier post.

However, even before we get to that step – these below fundamentals need to be in place before we get to defining yourself online with a website.

Also, if you want to get the fundamentals of digital marketing nailed down, then you need to know the key things that can make your company one of those killing it with digital marketing campaigns.

Before any marketing efforts are undertaken to draw in new customers or satisfy the existing ones, two fundamental questions about your business should be answered:

  1. Who is your customer, and how will you help them?
  2. What makes you different from others?

Searching and dividing different buyer personas into different categories.

 

Image Source: Vtiger

Marketing Fundamentals – Creating a Buyer Persona

Most businesses need more customers.

Some need a different type of customer.  While in other cases, businesses may even need fewer customers. ⠀

Business needs and customer needs are often ones and the same.

So, to better understand how you can make your business grow, focus on understanding your customer first.

Everything else flows after that, whether it is the messaging, the copyright, the product packaging, the placement, the channels to service them through, the keywords to optimize, etc.

Knowing the preferences, demographics, values, and other traits of your ideal customer will help in creating the necessary borders around your marketing efforts.

All of this will help you create a brand that resonates with your targeted and wanted customer.

This will also help you differentiate from your competitors.

Some places where you can find information online about your customers:

  1. Facebook Groups
  2. Google Analytics (if you have a website already, then you have traffic patterns established)
  3. Run Surveys using Google Surveys (a free service)
  4. Talk to your family and friends about the idea (we know it is simple – but it helps to have others give you live feedback)
  5. Go to forums (Warrior Forums, Reddit and other similar forums are a great place to start)
  6. Ask questions on Quora and tag specific people to answer that you think will be your customer

Help your customers by helping yourself first.

Take the time to understand your ideal customer with as much detail as possible.  Conduct research.

Ask questions.  Hold interviews.  Solicit Feedback. Understand their pain points that your product or solution will solve.

A meme describing the importance of writing it down in a funny way.

 

Write it down.

Give this ideal imaginary customer a name, a personality, and a profile.  Stick it on the wall.
This is your buyer persona.

A buyer persona is a representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data that your business will target.

This work initially will save countless hours in all forms of marketing (digital or otherwise), and it will minimize waste.
Now every time you run any kind of marketing initiative, always refer back to this ideal customer.

Ask yourself, will this new product, feature, promotion, advertisement solve the problems of the ideal customer?

If yes, then you know the marketing initiative is worth considering.

Otherwise, you risk ending up with customers that you did not want in the first place.

Devise a marketing plan. A plan that could benefit you in long term.

 

Source: MarketingInsider

Your Unique Selling Proposition

The question you are trying to answer at this stage of the marketing development plan is how your product will serve the customers successfully?

Unique Selling Position defines your value proposition in the market you are looking to operate in.

You want to take care in defining this correctly as it will mean you are different and stand apart from the crowd.

Do not sell yourself short here.

Know that this is an important part of marketing fundamentals.

Take the time to assess the marketplace.

Do a SWOT analysis on your competitors (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats).

Then do it on your brand that you are defining.  Find the points of differences and focus and expand on them.

A representation of uniqueness that your brand should possess.

 

Answer these questions in defining your Unique Selling Proposition:

  1. Where are your competitor’s weaknesses?
  2. Where are your competitor’s strengths?
  3. Can you cover their weakness with your offering?
  4. Where are there untapped opportunities in the market as it stands today?
  5. What threats do your competitors face, and how can you deal with them better?

This is not the easiest exercise; it will take time.

It is not an easy thing to define. You will need to conduct research online and offline, primary and secondary research, to help gather intelligence.

To make your business different and better, you can contact us.

Defining what is mission and vision in this image.

 

Image Source: Klipfolio

Vision & Mission

After you have done the work in defining your unique value proposition and understanding your customer.

It is crucial to go through the steps of defining your vision and mission statements.

If you have a mission & vision statement already, then hopefully, the above steps will help you refine it a bit better.

Both of these are highly important and serve different purposes for a company.

The goals of the vision statement are to articulate clearly what difference your company will make in the lives of your customers.

This statement should be inspirational both for internal and external stakeholders (i.e., employees vs. investors or customers).

Some examples of a vision statement from proponent companies are:

Airbnb: “We will help you belong anywhere.”

Starbucks: “To establish Starbucks as the premier purveyor of the finest coffee in the world while maintaining our uncompromising principles while we grow”(not clearly defined – but on their website).

Habitat for Humanity: “A world where everyone has a decent place to live.”

Mission Statements

A mission statement focuses on the purpose of the organization and is more specific.

They have a scope of the company’s operations in the statement, what kind of products and services the organization provides, and what its primary customers are.

A couple of good examples that you can use to help create a good mission for your own company (or refine existing one):

Nike“To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.”

Amazon“Our vision is to be earth’s most customer-centric company; to build a place where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to buy online.”

Again, both of these have something inspiration – but Amazon’s is a lot more specific.

It also combines the vision and mission statements a bit.

However, both of them work.  Both are very successful companies.  Both are effective and creating the necessary borders to help create the inspiration and call to action for its employees.

You can use either approach.

However, we recommend that the more specific you are, the more focused you become, and it is a lot easier to steer a ship that has a more precise direction than one that does not.

Let us know how focused you are and what are you trying to achieve better leads?

Beginning of the end for the marketing fundamental article.

 

Closing Thoughts

Ultimately, a business can be run without the above fundamentals in place.

However, to help yourself, and carve out your niche, these steps in the initial stages of the business are vital.

If your business is running successfully, taking a step back and going through the above exercise is essential.

This approach will define your customer, and your business can open new doors for you.

At Web Worx Labs, we take the time to work with you to define your brand, your business before we get into marketing it for you digitally.

You can find out about our mission and vision on our About Us Page.

If at any time, you feel you can use our assistance in understanding your business better, we encourage you to reach out, and we will help in any way we can.

Stand out from the foray, and make better-informed decisions that help you create the necessary focus to move ahead in marketing your business successfully!

Top 3 SEO Risks Worth Taking in 2020

Top 3 SEO Risks Worth Taking in 2020

Top 3 SEO Risks Worth Taking in 2020

 

SEO Risks - The Ones To Take & The Ones To Avoid - ITSguru

 

Image Source: ItsGuru

The decision to take risks in search engine optimization is all about calculation and hitting the right balance.

There will be moments when you may feel that the time is not right, especially when you are just above the danger mark.

Just like any other risk-taking venture, you need to look at the positives and negatives before you decide to take risky SEO efforts.

It is always a case of weighing your options for and against the decision.

Calculated SEO Risks Worth Taking in 2020:

How User Experience (UX) Design Affects Your SEO | SEO Optimizers

 

Image Source: SEO optimizers

User Experience

Any SEO expert or professional, would know that Google, the search engine that provides the largest platform to this industry, swears by user experience.

That is undoubtedly the prime factor of SEO rankings.

So, trying to improve the user experience offered by your website. It is worth taking a risk.

You can look at the bounce rate of your site, along with metrics like site duration and time on page, to figure out how you are faring for your visitors.

Any effort or change made to this effect is worth the risk.

 

URL Restructuring

A bronze-age site structure with an outdated eCommerce platform is a sure way to kill a website!

More often than not, SEO professionals are working with URLs that are not keyword-rich.

As a result, the response from Google is quite poor.

Also, when users are not clicking on your link even when you are ranking, Google takes a very dim view of your site’s ability to deliver the required content.

This implementation pulls down your rank even further.

How to Create SEO-Friendly URLs

 

Image Source: Backlinko

The above image by Backlinko will explain to you what we mean by a keyword-optimized URL.

Users don’t have any idea of your content from your URLs unless they are optimized with proper keywords.

So that is a path you should walk down and modify.

It may mean temporary slipping of rankings for your website, but it will be beneficial in the long run.

A/B Testing

 

Image Source: Optimizely

A-B Testing 

This method is the most radical risk that you can take.

You would change the whole framework of your SEO initiative and testing it against different keywords and meta tags.

As the name suggests, you need to work with structure A and compare the results with structure B.

Whichever gives you better results will be the way forward for you.

You can see the results on Click-through Rates or CTR.

Try not to overhaul the entire site at a single go.

Do it gradually for the most important pages and then expand it according to the results you get.

SEO risks should always be about finding the right way ahead, not about proving yourself right.

Being a professional SEO Agency, we ensure all the A/B Testing is done to compare the data and provide ROI focused strategy.

Search Engine Optimization – Why It Matters and How to Do It Yourself

Search Engine Optimization – Why It Matters and How to Do It Yourself

Search Engine Optimization – Why It Matters and How to Do It Yourself

 

Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is a common marketing strategy that businesses use to help their website rank higher in major engines’ search results.

Despite its popularity, some business owners remain skeptical or even unaware of the power of SEO.

This mostly stems from underestimating the value of SEO, or insufficient understanding of what SEO involves.

With all the resources available online, it can be overwhelming for the uninitiated to wrap their heads around what search engine optimization is or what it takes to achieve results.

If you’re fortunate to have enough funds, you can outsource SEO work to experts like us who will handle your SEO for you.

However, we understand some small businesses are on a tighter budget, but that does not mean they have to miss out on the benefits of SEO.

In this blog, we will explain the benefits of search engine optimization.

We will provide a checklist of what you need before starting SEO.

Also, we will walk you through how to do some basic optimization for your business website.

Want to develop or improve your business website? Give us a call, and we’ll give you a customized quote based on your business goals.

Related article: 3 Reasons Your Business Needs a Website

Importance of Search Engine Optimization

First, let’s talk numbers.

As of 2017, over 4 billion people worldwide have access to the Internet.

That’s more than half of all the people on Earth.

One thing most of these people know how to do? Use a search engine.

Search engines are not a new concept anymore.

Since their inception, they have become an integral part of Internet users’ behavior online.

Take the biggest search engine in the world, for example, Google. According to Internet Live Stats, Google processes over 40,000 searches every second on average.

That’s 3.5 billion searches per day and over 1 trillion searches per year.

For further clarification, look at the infographic image below:

Global social media research summary 2020 | Smart Insights

 

Image Source: Smart Insight

What do these numbers mean for you as a business owner?

It means lots of opportunities to reach your target audiences online.

But the Internet is dark and full of competitors.

So how do search engines sift through the noise?

They rely on complex algorithms that automatically crawl websites and rank them according to several factors called ranking factors.

Ranking factors determine where a website will rank in search engine results.

These include factors such as page speed, meta tags, relevant and rich content, mobile optimization, and more.

For your website to rank high in search results, it needs to be optimized for these factors.

Keep in mind that there are no guarantees when it comes to SEO.

But if you do the work right, and don’t try to trick the search engine algorithms, you should be fine.

When it comes to ranking, you want to aim for the first page of search results, and the top 3 results on that page.

Why? Because results in these positions get the highest traffic.

The screenshot below, based on research by Search Engine Watch, breaks down the traffic percentage for each result on the first page.

You’ll see that the first result gets the most traffic, while the last result gets the least traffic.

This number decreases the further down the result is.

 

Increase Your Sales with SEO

If the traffic numbers don’t convince you, let’s try dollars.

Using our extensive SEO expertise, we came up with a hypothetical scenario for a daycare business that charges $1,400/month per student to give you an insight into what your business numbers could look like with SEO.

These assumptions are just to show the potential for modeling and planning purposes only – but it will give you an indication of how the return and costs work.

 

The average revenue after the business has taken the first spot on the first page is $1,138 on the low end and more than double for the realistic scenario.

This means that there is additional revenue coming in every month.

Also, more traffic is being generated by the keyword through SEO efforts.

This can work on additional business models, where the average revenue per transaction is low – how?

By using more keywords and higher converting keywords.

Whether it’s an e-commerce website, a service-based business or something in between, search engine optimization can deliver results when done right.

We have a proven track record for helping businesses increase their sales through search engine optimization.

Read Our Case Studies

If you have questions about implementing SEO for your business, do not hesitate to ask.

We will create a scenario analysis for your specific business model.

But if you want to DIY it, keep reading.

SEO Starter Checklist

The first thing you need before you can even consider doing any search engine optimization is a well-designed, functioning website.

By well-designed we don’t mean a fancy site with a ton of features, it simply needs to have the main elements of a good website:

  • An easy navigation menu
  • Easy and quick access to the most important information about your business, including the address and phone number (if applicable)
  • Relevant, high-quality images
  • Relevant content
  • Fast loading times
  • Responsive design

You can learn more about the steps involved in website design here.

 

Once you’re satisfied with your website, you can start prepping for search engine optimization.

There are two parts to SEO work: on-page and off-page optimization.

This article will focus on on-page optimization, but the following are the basic first steps for any SEO work.

Keywords

Keywords are the words or phrases a user types into a search engine to find information, products, or services.

They are one of the most important ranking factors for search engine bots (complex algorithms that crawl websites).

These bots help search engines categorize the billions of websites on the Internet.

Before doing any SEO, you need to select the best keywords that are relevant to your business.

Using a hypothetical chocolate business called Wonka’s Chocolates, relevant keywords for this business can look like this:

  • Wonka’s Chocolates
  • Chocolate chip cookies
  • Chocolate chip cookies Ontario

Tip: The more specific your keyword, the better your chance of ranking.

Mobile Optimization

In 2015, Google announced an update to its search engine algorithms that prioritize mobile-optimized websites.

In other words, websites that are optimized for mobile will be prioritized in mobile search results.

It is very important to have a responsive website, not only for the benefit of search engine rankings but also for your customers.

Percentage of people who use their smartphones and tablets to browse the Internet has been increasing significantly for the past 4 years.

In 2018, 52.2% of all web traffic worldwide was generated through mobile phones.

That’s more than half of all worldwide web activity.

If your website is not optimized for mobile screens, search engines will not show it to mobile users.

Even if your website shows up, the lack of a responsive design can turn away mobile device users, negatively affecting your brand image.

Don’t know if your website is mobile optimized?  Ask for your free site audit today!

Get Your Free Site Audit

Fresh, Relevant, & Engaging Content

As a business owner or an executive, your website is your online storefront.

It should be regularly maintained and updated with information that is relevant to your consumers.

Neglecting to do this will hurt your SEO rankings, as search engines prefer websites and web pages that are constantly updated with new and relevant content.

The best way to do this is to have a blog on your site where you regularly post high quality, relevant content.

This will signal to search engines that your website is always up to date, and that it provides relevant content to users.

Go the extra step and promote your blog articles on your business’ social media to generate traffic to your site and maintain interest in your brand.

Now that you have the essentials of SEO, it’s time to get technical.

On-Page Optimization Techniques

On-page optimization takes place on the website itself.

This is where some HTML knowledge comes in handy as this part of SEO work takes place on the backend of your website.

If you’re not familiar with HTML, don’t worry, we break down the steps, so it’s easy to understand.

Optimizing Content

We just talked about the importance of content and having regular, updated relevant content on your website.

But content alone is not enough.

The next step is to optimize it.

One way you can do that is with keywords.

Remember that list of keywords you carefully selected?

Now it’s time to put it to use so that when search engine bots crawl the pages of your website, they can associate your content with relevant search engine queries.

In other words, as the owner of Wonka’s Chocolates, you want your website to show for queries looking for chocolate products that you make or sell.

How do you add keywords to your content? Easily.

Let’s take one of Wonka’s Chocolate products as an example: Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Ideally, you would have a page on your website dedicated to this product.

It will have at least one image of the product and some information or details about it.

It so happens that one of your keywords is Chocolate Chip cookies.

This is your chance to integrate this keyword into everything on the page strategically.

Talk about the product and provide answers that your customers might have.

For instance, why are your Chocolate Chip cookies better than your competitors’?

Where do you get the ingredients? The more content you add that would be relevant to a site visitor, the better.

Optimizing Images

As far as search engine bots are concerned, everything on a web page is content.

Content includes text, images, videos, links, the works.

Your Chocolate Chip Cookies page will naturally have images of the product.

But search engine bots don’t have eyes, so they can’t see that beautiful photo of chocolate chip cookies you have on your page.

You’re going to have to describe it to them. How do you do that? Alt text.

Alt text is a text description of an image on a web page that is helpful to both people with visual disabilities, as well as search engine bots.

The best use for an alt text is to make sure it clearly describes the image while also including the relevant keyword, so your page can rank.

Adding alt text is fairly straightforward.

You go to the backend of your website, find the image you want to optimize and look for the <img> tag.

This is where you will enter your alt text.

Here’s what this looks like:

Optimizing Images

 

On the left is how the image appears on your website.

This is what it looks like in code: <img src=“https://wonkaschocolates.com/chocolate-chip-cookies.jpg” alt=“Wonka’s Delicious 12 pc Chocolate Chip Cookies”>

Simply add the alt text in between the quotation marks, save/update your web page, and you’re done!

Have a question about SEO? Ask us!

Ask Us a Question

Optimizing Meta Tags

A title tag is what a user sees in their browser tab. It’s also what appears as the title of the page in search results.

This is another significant aspect of your website that gets crawled by search engine bots.

The title tag tells the bots what this page is about.

When optimized, your “chocolate chip cookies” page would have a title that looks like this:

<title> Wonka’s Chocolates | 12 pc Chocolate Chip Cookies </title>

Similarly, the meta description can include relevant keywords that are specific to each unique page on your website.

The meta description is what a search engine user sees when your website/page shows up in search engine results.

The title and meta description are very important as they tell the search engine bots what the page is about and how it’s relevant to what the user is searching for.

Using the same format as above, this is what your meta description could look like:

<meta description=“Made with fresh ingredients and crunchy chocolate chips, Wonka’s chocolate chip cookies are the perfect snack for kids and adults alike”>

Tip: Keep in mind that you only have a limit of 150 characters (spaces included) for your meta description before it cuts off from view. Keep it short and relevant to the page.

Optimizing Site Links & URLs

Links and URLs on your website are key areas you can optimize for.

You can even optimize your domain name, but only attempt that if you know what you’re doing.

For individual page URLs, make sure that the URL is optimized for the page-specific or content specific keyword.

Going with the ‘chocolate chip cookies’ example, the URL for this page can be “www.wonkaschocolates.com/chocolate-chip-cookies-sudbury-ontario.”

Tip: avoid using underscores (_) in URLs.

Optimizing Header Tags

Last but not least, header tags are important because they tell search engine bots what the content on the page is about.

Header tags look like this <h1> </h1>, <h2> </h2>, <h3> </h3>, etc.

<h1> has higher priority than <h2>, so you want to add the most important information/keyword in between the <h1> </h1> tags.

Also, there is only one <h1> on a single page.

This tag should be at the top of your page.

Moreover, <h2> and <h3> tags can act as subheadings for content. For example,

<h1> Chocolate Chip Cookies in Sudbury </h1>

<h2> Why our chocolate chip cookies are the best </h2>

<p> We use only organic, ethically sourced cocoa beans to make our delicious chocolate chip cookies.

We manufacture them in our factories in Sudbury, Ontario, to allow us to maintain high-quality production. </p>

Common SEO Mistakes

Common SEO Mistakes

 

Search engines are smart, and they get smarter every day.

So, there’s no point in trying to trick them into getting them to rank your website higher.

You risk getting penalized if you do. When you’re doing on-page optimization yourself, avoid the following:

  • Duplicate content

It is extremely important not to have duplicate content on many pages of your website.

This includes other websites or sources online.

Avoid copying content from other websites.

Take the time to write your own unique, relevant content.

  • Overuse of keywords on a page

Keywords are an important ranking factor, but you’re not helping yourself if your content is cluttered with them.

Keep it simple, and don’t over-use your keywords on a web page.

  • Non-user-friendly content

It used to be that developers created web pages that had nothing but keywords on them, but search engines got smart about it.

Always remember to write content for your users first, and for search engines second.

Closing Thoughts

As any expert will tell you, the above was merely the ABC’s of SEO.

But it should be enough to help give your website a boost in search result rankings.

Like your blog, SEO work needs to be regularly maintained. If you do it once and forget about it, your rankings will suffer.

It can also be challenging to stay on top of Google’s constant updates, plus the smaller changes they apply to their algorithms without announcing it.

These are all aspects that a digital marketing agency proficient in search engine optimization can take care of for you.

The goal of this blog is not to turn you into an SEO expert as it is a rapid and ever-evolving field.

There are many challenging aspects in SEO work, from constantly updating and improving your website to staying on top of search engines’ algorithm updates.

Despite its challenges, good SEO work yields long-term results, providing a higher ROI compared to other digital marketing strategies like AdWords (now Google Ads).

Unlike AdWords, search engine optimization is essential for any business website.

An optimized website keeps both search engines and your customers happy.

Now you have the tools you need to take a shot at doing your SEO.

But if you’re feeling overwhelmed, or want to avoid the hassle, reach out to us today.

We customize our plans to fit your business needs.

7 Steps to Developing a Powerful Brand Positioning Statement

7 Steps to Developing a Powerful Brand Positioning Statement

7 Steps to Developing a Powerful Brand Positioning Statement

 

Image - 2

Image Source: Marketing91

‘Nobody buys a product or service because it can do everything, but rather because it can do something’ – Tim Williams’ Positioning for Professionals’

Why no one will ever say ‘Yahoo it’ or ‘Bing it,’ but always ‘Google it’?

Why don’t kids want to go to a ‘fast food restaurant,’ but to a McDonald’s?

Does no one care about Pepsi despite hundreds of taste-tests proving that it tastes better than Cola?

You can read more about these taste tests from Pepsi here.

How did these brands, often not delivering the best quality in their segment, become a synonym of the product or service they provide?

In this post, we talk about how businesses use brand positioning to define their place in the marketplace.

This goes back to a core marketing concept of brand positioning.

Image Source: Outside-The-Box

Brand Positioning

Initially, and at first glance, people consider brand positioning as a form of product differentiation.

However, there are two key positioning concepts that businesses must consider; company positioning (image) and positioning within a consumers’ mind.

This blog is more specifically about the latter strategy for brands to employ when developing their marketing strategy.

A marketing strategy that suggests finding something that differentiates your product/service.

It especially differentiates from your competitors and uses that something to embed your brand in a particular place of your costumer’s mind.

So, where your product sits in terms of value offered vs. the competitors in the market.

As easy as that sounds, unfortunately, mind control has not yet been invented.

Even if it was, it would probably be illegal (we certainly hope so).

You can control your brand’s place in the market, but not in your customer’s mind.

Thus, brand positioning can only aim to fill in a certain spot, to occupy a unique, clear, and beneficial position in the costumer’s minds.

In our digital age, where the internet is in everyone’s pocket, brand positions are established very early on.

We talk about first impressions and why a need to take advantage of having a robust web presence in our earlier blog Reasons for a Website in Today’s World.

One of the most influential marketing thinkers, David Ogilvy, said that:

While many people argue on the definition of brand positioning, it can be summarized as to what a product does and who it is for.

Brand Positioning is not only different from your brand’s tagline or mission statement; this determines them.

It begins the moment someone is introduced to your brand.

This is an ongoing relationship that develops with every touchpoint, such as advertising, customer interactions, and product/service usage.

That is why it is critical that your business spends a sufficient amount of time in creating a positioning strategy and the most important part of it – a brand positioning statement.

In Crossing the Chasm (a must-read book for small business or early start-ups), Geoffrey outlined the essential elements of creating a brand positioning statement.

He proposes to outline the target customer and their need.

How and why your product/service will benefit the said customer and need, then to put your advantage against a competitive alternative.

To better understand how to define your target customer – go to our earlier blog post on the fundamentals of marketing.

It is questionable, whether opposing a competitor is necessary for creating your positioning statement as it is better to grow the market, rather than concentrate on competition.

Winners win, and competitors battle for the second place.

Image Source: Ts-Advertising

7 Step to Developing a Brand Position Statement

Source: Feedough

The below steps are after that your brand has been or out in the marketplace.

If you are an existing brand, you understand that marketing strategy is the way to serve your customer’s needs effectively.

Thus, researching and reassessing your brand positioning is essential for commercial success.

This is how we recommend you go about doing it:

Identify your current category.

For example, to separate your energy drink from other soft drinks, start with the customer.

Who are they, why they like your product, what do they do with it, and why do they buy it?

Determine your current positioning in the market

Even if positioning has not been purposefully established, or done incorrectly, customers will still have perceptions of your brand.

To understand current positioning, talk to the customers, read the reviews, or monitor social media.

Select and narrow down your key competitors to compare your brand against

Think about not only your direct competition but indirect competition.

If customers are not going to buy your product or service, what else could they buy, which will fulfill their needs?

Going back to the soft-drink example, If they do not buy your soft-drink, could they get the same utility out of bottled water?

Try your best to assess your key competitor’s positioning in the market.

What is special about your competition’s brand, and how can they win your clients over?

What are they offering that you are not?

Note here that you shouldn’t aim to replicate them, just be aware of what they are doing.

Now do the analysis and review (your brand vs. your competitors)

Compare your and your competitor’s positioning.

To do this, think about Points of parity (POPs) and points of differentiation (PODs).

POPs are how what you are offering is similar to the competitor’s offerings, with PODs being the opposite, how your product is different.

You can read more about a great summary put together by the Segmentation Study Guide.

In your review, take time also to identify your uniqueness and strengths.

Coming from the previous point.

Your PODs will be the ones written below;

  • Identifying your strengths.
  • Taking advantage of strength in your messaging.
  • Copywriting.
  • Brand communication.
  • Develop a new positioning statement and strategy.

Building on everything you learned from your research, develop a positioning statement that will reflect your desired brand positioning.

Reflecting on your marketing plan, create a new brand strategy that will bring you to your goal market positioning.

Does Not Matter When the Brand Enters the Market

Although the previous points are relevant to you, if you are just entering the market with a new brand/product, you have the opportunity to create a new category in the customers’ minds.

You can enter an existing market and take it by storm, avoiding the mistakes of your predecessors.

Although finding a market gap and creating a new category is not easy, first-mover advantage gives you a lot of benefits.

Some of them are having few opponents, low cost for customer acquisition, you are hard to catch up with, and whatever comes next is compared with you.

And even competitors that enter the market broaden and maturing it, bringing more customers and higher revenue.

Remember that a new market category is not the same as creating a solely new product.

Let’s take an example of Red Bull – many soft drink companies (Coca-Cola, Pepsi, and Lucozade (UK)) marketed themselves as awakening or energy-boosting.

Still, none of them created ‘energy drinks’ for American and European markets.

Creating a new category, Red Bull had the first movers advantage, used it well, and now owns more than 40% of the world’s energy drink market as published on Time.com.

Although a sufficient amount of marketing research insists that the first movers’ advantage is the only way to securing a place in the customer’s mind, this statement is far from being true.

Think of giants like Target, Google, and South-West Airlines, none of them came first.

As John Birger’s former Fortunes senior writer effectively shows in the article Second-Mover Advantage by observing first movers in the market.

The brands that follow and enter the market as second or even third movers can still capitalize on the market by learning from the mistakes of the first movers.

There are too many success cases of brands entering the market later, but still achieving tremendous success.

Some notable examples that come to mind are Google, Nike & even Apple.

The challenge here is to, although diving into a new category, to become a Facebook to someone’s Myspace, rather than a red fidget spinner to a blue one.

Choose a thriving category, find the big demand that is not yet fulfilled, and show your customer that you are outstanding, rather than a duplicate.

By being a market follower, you learn from other’s mistakes, enter a mature market (points of parity are accepted and established within the market).

The incumbent becomes complacent and seeing where innovation is needed.

You can go in the right direction and be more flexible.

Some companies are both FMA or MF.

Head to our comment section and discuss whether you think Netflix is more FMA of MF and which benefits they gained entering the market.

Brand Positioning Statement is for Internal Use Only

Positioning exists to guide marketing strategy and to mediate decision-making.

It is important to remember that brand positioning arises regardless of whether your brand is consciously working on a positioning strategy or not.

Effective brand positioning and branding, in general, takes a long time to establish in the marketplace.

Taglines may change from time to time, but your key message will remain the same after you develop this statement.

A key thing here is that this positioning statement is a very internal guidefor your business to leverage.

This statement and analysis will help you when you are lost in your brand placement and need to make decisions.

The points below will act as a guide for your team when developing any campaign for your brands:

  • Doing the analysis.
  • Understanding your place in the market.
  • Coming up with a statement.

In doing this research, you are deriving and coming up with competitive intelligence that is unique to your brand and company.

It should be confidential and closely guarded to ensure you maintain your competitive edge.

You should develop your brand strategy with respect to the following considerations.

The considerations are points of differentiation, points of parity, strengths, and uniqueness.

This way, you will use this statement as an internal guide to map out your other marketing efforts.

Over To You…

With brand positioning, it is a happy medium between internal capaiblity and the customer needs and wants.  Focus on the customer. Define those pain points in detail!

By points, we mean the points of differentiation in your brand positioning, and then over-deliver at every touchpoint.

With this approach, becoming the market leader in your target category becomes a lot easier.

Becoming a market leader does not happen over time.  You have to deliver and over deliver on those pain points that your customers are frustrated from.  There are rarely any overnight sensations.  Do you think Netflix was an overnight sensation?  How about Amazon?  They all struggled initially but were committed to sticking it out and delivering on their brand promise.

To recap, brand positioning is not vital to selling your stuff to a random customer.

If you come to the market intending to be the best in your client’s mind and to maximize your profitability – your chances of success increase.

You would need to invest in creating a solid, professionally thought through brand positioning strategy.

A great positioning strategy requires sufficient research and analysis performed by qualified marketing professionals.

Spending time in assessing your brand, leveraging analytics, we will work with you to derive a custom brand positioning statement.

Head over to the Digital Branding section of our website to learn more about how and where can help.

Here at Web Worx Labs, we will put together a new, evidence-based, rock-hard brand positioning strategy that will work for you.

Wherever you are in the process of establishing your positioning strategy, turn to Web Worx Labs to have a professional dialogue on the ways you can improve your brand and grow your competitive edge.