Archive for July, 2015

5 Tips To Avoiding Gmail Overload

5 Tips To Avoiding Gmail Overload

People communicate through email every day. It’s overwhelming to look at your disorganized inbox while it has to be one of your top priorities of the day. The disorganization of inbox mails probably wastes your valuable time sifting through junk to get to the information you really want.

Gmail comes with a pretty robust search feature, but if you don’t want to spend your morning looking for the important emails, you’re going to have to do some inbox reorganizing. Emails are a strong component of Inbound Marketing*, and under utilizing it may cause you to lose important information. So if your Gmail account needs a spring cleaning and you don’t even know where to start, here’s a crash course for you.

Mute and Unsubscribe

If you are subscribed to a dozen of useless mailing lists that send you multiple emails every day, or you have the same email threads popping up again and again, let’s clean that up. First, you can mute any Gmail conversations you’re not taking part in. This won’t delete the email, but it will mean that you won’t get an unread email every time someone responds to the thread. But what if you receive a bunch of emails and you want to get rid of them? Simply unsubscribe. In fact, please remember that you’ve probably signed up for a few useful lists before you go on an unsubscribing spree.

Labels

Labels are a great tool for getting your inbox down to zero. They make filtering easier by cutting through inbox clutter without deleting a thing. For example, you can use labels to sort useful coupons and discounts from the rest of the promotional emails you get.

Labs

If you really want to step up your Gmail game, Labs can add the finishing touch to your tailored experience. Go to your “Settings” and click the “Labs” tab. This is where new Gmail features are tested to see how well they enhance the experience. Some of these are a little wonky, but there are a few gems.

Filters

Labels helps you sort your mail into categories, but they’re not enough to keep messages you don’t want to see from clogging up your inbox. You will need to create a filter for that. To create a filter, select an email, click the “More” button and select “Filter messages like these”. One trick that has worked like a charm for me is to set up Gmail’s automatic filtering, so those annoying social network notifications automatically skip inbox and land in a dedicated folder.

* Inbound marketing is a form of digital marketing that involves SEO, Social Media, blog and landing pages to generate sales leads.

7 Vital Ways For Asian Businesses To Generate Sales Leads

7 Vital Ways For Asian Businesses To Generate Sales Leads

Inbound lead generation has its basis on a triangle strategy comprising of search engine optimization, business blogging and social media promotion. The triangle strategy can help you move curious strangers from across the Internet back to your website and landing pages. Discussed below are 7 tangible ways that you can start utilizing to create leads for your business based in Asia.

Search Engine Optimization

  1. On-page SEO

On-page SEO deals with forming the content of your web pages in a way that makes it easy for search engines to see and understand what the page is all about. Practically, the search engines look at 5 specific areas to understand your page: The page URL, the page title, the header tags, image ‘alt’ tags and body copy. By placing keywords into these key areas, you effectively communicate your page’s message to the search engine through Inbound Marketing.

  1. Off-page SEO

Off-page SEO deals with building Inbound links to your website and landing pages. The more Inbound links that you have to your site, the more valuable your content must be. However, not every link is viewed as equal in the eyes of the search engines. Some links have more ‘authority’ than others. By authority, I mean the weight and importance that is assigned to a specific link.

Business Blogging

  1. Pair Blog Content and Premium Content

The most common way to generate leads is to have individuals fill out a form on your website or landing page to get access to a piece of ‘gated’ content. One way to consistently expose premium content offers (the landing pages) to your audience is to closely pair blog content with premium ‘gated’ content. By doing this you create a lead generation opportunity for every blog post that you write.

  1. Increase Visibility with Blogging

Blogging is also very closely intertwined with search engine visibility. Each new blog post that you write generates a new page for the search engines. So by blogging frequently you exponentially increase your visibility. This enhanced visibility greatly improves the likelihood that visitors will find your blog, read it and become a prospect.

Social Media Promotion

  1. Understand the Culture of the Network

When looking to promote your company through social media, it’s very important to know the culture of the networks on which you are posting. A tangible example would be the difference between Facebook and LinkedIn. Facebook has a fun and casual culture, while LinkedIn has a more professional feel. So post content that is consistent with culture of the network.

  1. Diversify Your Content

Social media platforms like Facebook, and Google+ are very visual networks. So start by creating content that is visually appealing because this will help you quickly garner attention from potential prospects. This way your Inbound Marketing* strategy will work out well.

  1. Build Frequency

To effectively grow your followers, fans, and subscribers you need to be posting frequently. By posting content consistently to each social network, your followers can get into a routine with your marketing communication. So develop a mechanism to schedule your posts frequency that allows your fans to get into a rhythm with your messaging frequency.

In conclusion search engine marketing, blogging and social media can be very effective ways to economically increase your company’s visibility and generate leads for your business in Asia.

* Inbound marketing is a form of digital marketing that involves SEO, Social Media, blog and landing pages to generate sales leads.

5 Essential Tips For Developing An Inbound Marketing Plan

5 Essential Factors For Developing An Inbound Marketing Plan

Having a plan of any kind for your Singapore-based business is always the better option because it sets the tone and framework for a defined process of decision-making and strategic action-taking. It provides a clear vision of how future success looks like to your business. Designing an Inbound marketing plan starts with asking 2 key questions:

1. Who is your target audience?

2. How do they receive information?

Once you have these answers, you’re ready to start building your marketing plan. Be flexible as you see fit on making some changes to fit your particular products, corporate culture and target audience, but always adhere to the 2 questions.

Let’s go through the marketing plan from the beginning:

  1. Buyer Personas

The first step in developing the buyer personas starts with understanding your target audiences and their profiles. Unless you’re a niche company with a really small niche, you probably cater to several different types of buyers. To create these buyer personas, you must discover every aspect of their lives, from their income levels, to their lifestyles and the typical problems they face.. If your marketing material do not resonate with the buyers, you can’t succeed in Inbound Marketing. Discover 5 Powerful Methods For Designing Your Buyer Persona

  1. Content Calendars

Content is the most important aspect of your Inbound marketing plan. The words, images and videos you choose to represent your company come together to project the right tone and the right information at the right time, depending on who the buyer persona is. The variety of content such as social media postings, blog posts and free downloads are served to generate leads by driving prospects into a marketing funnel.

  1. Campaign Calendars

Another important piece of your marketing plan is your campaign calendar. In order to keep traffic flowing to your website, leads pouring into your sales funnel, and sales happening on a daily basis, you must keep up with your campaign calendar. When you let a month go by without some sort of offer, you’re letting potential sales slip through your fingers.

  1. Social Media Strategy

Social media is an integral part of your marketing strategy. Posting or tweeting many times per day is the real formula to simply reach out the target audiences with something new, exciting, fun, and informative. Just remember the point of social media is to be social. You’ll lose any edge you gain if you never respond to or interact with your customers.

  1. Key Performance Indicators

Regular analysis will help you determine what’s working and what must be tweaked and changed. Dive deep into those numbers, use various filtering methods to see more granular results, and apply the knowledge you gain to future marketing efforts.

A rolling marketing plan is the best way to manage these various components. Don’t simply throw words at your blog or social media accounts. Plan them. Plan well, plan often, plan smart, and plan patiently.

* Inbound marketing is a form of digital marketing that involves SEO, Social Media, blog and landing pages to generate sales leads.

5 Simple Tips On How To Attract Readers To Your Blog

5 Simple Tips On How To Attract Readers To Your Blog

I hope we have all realized how effective blogging can be for Inbound Marketing*. However, to quote a variation of a popular line from a movie—”if you write posts, readers will come”—that’s not going to happen like bees attracted to honey. In fact, some initial legwork and strategic thinking needs to put in so that every article is optimally written to cultivate a following among readers. You have to make every quality article count. It’s not a given that the number of published articles or blog posts is proportionate to the growth of readership.

So how do you attract visitors to your blog? Here are 5 simple tips with which you can use to drive traffic to it:

#1: Post Your Content On Social Media

The most efficient way to get more people to your blog is to submit your posts and links on platforms like forums, discovery engines, peer-sourced news feeds and social networking sites. This is a very natural way to create interest in your blog. Your current followers will start reading it and they may also share your content with their own personal networks. As we know that social media content can spread in a viral manner, so it’s important to post your blog content on different social networks.

#2: Images Can Boost Sharing Likelihood

The arrival of Pinterest and the popularity of infographics and meme graphics have validated the idea that images are a valuable asset and if they add value, they deserve to be shared. By all means, add images into your blog posts. As the saying goes, “An image is worth a thousand words.” Images add richness to your content. The relevancy of images can help emphasize key points and make readers more willing to read a long post. It also encourages readers to share posts on social media because social networks can feature the image in the post. In an e-commerce site, 67% of consumers say the quality of a product image is very important in selecting and purchasing a product.

#3: Create Interest With Engaging And Exciting Titles

We’re all human. We‘re all curious. We judge books by their covers and we judge blog posts by their titles. Knowing that, it’s important to spend some time crafting your title. When you start writing your post, a working title is fine. Get the general topic of the post down and write your content. But before you publish it, come back to the title and think about how you can take it up a notch, making it more engaging and truly pull your reader in.

#4: Create A Conversation

Have you noticed that I use the words “you” a lot within my blog posts? I do this because I am trying to create a conversation with you that is as personable and relatable as possible and I think essay posts were written to bring across a message without engaging readers and that would be boring. I know that because it would be boring for me as well. One thing I’m confident about when it comes to using a conversational style in blog posts: It helps with readability. By creating a conversation, you will see that your blog posts are read more and people are more likely to comment.

#5: Include Related Posts

A “related posts” section added at the end of a blog post is proven to increase pageviews and decrease bounce rate. Beyond that, as readers browse more articles, they become increasingly impressed by the depth of knowledge conveyed throughout the blog, and are more willing share the posts, thereby inadventently attract more new visitors. Refer to this page for 5 recommended WordPress plugins that do the job well. Or you can manually suggest related blog posts by adding links in the post you are writing.

Writing a blog post is easy; anyone can do it. However, whether or not you are able to get people to read your post is a separate issue. Use the above tips to drive traffic to your blog. If you would like to learn more about blogging productivity, you can read “4 Easy Ways To Churn Out Blog Content Consistently” for some creative ideas.

* Inbound marketing is a form of digital marketing that involves SEO, Social Media, blog and landing pages to generate sales leads.

14 Tips For Your Personal Google+ Account

Google+

Google+ is becoming more important in the digital marketing landscape. Google+ is not just a Facebook redux. Instead, it has subtly moved into your emailing, browsing, article writing, creating Google+ business pages, and a variety of other social networking activities across the Web.

Hence, I believe it’s more crucial than ever before for digital marketers to embrace the potential of Google+, and take advantage of this social media platform as much as possible. Google+ at 540 million users now trails Facebook (1 billion users) as the second-largest social network, but its impact stretches out far beyond social sharing and interaction.

If you’ve been feeling skeptical about Google+, don’t worry. I’m going to share some tactics that you can do to bring your Google+ existence to a new level. Even if you’re an early adopter of social media with frequent posting habits, I think you’ll find this article helpful.

I’ll start off with a few of the basics, and then get into some more advanced tips.

1. Use a mugshot for your profile picture.

Do not use anything other than a mugshot in your profile picture. Some post their children, dog, or a cartoon image as a profile pic, but it’s not your best choice for Google+.

Google uses a circular shape to crop the image, so keep this in mind when you select your photo. Your mugshot along with basic information about you will appear all over the place in Google+.

Please note, as of June 25, 2014, Google states that they are dropping author pics from search results.

2. Add a high-res cover photo.

The cover photo on your Google+ profile is useful in many ways. I recommend that you create a custom Google+ cover photo, rather than simply load a scenic photo from your recent vacation.

Whatever the case, please don’t continue using the stock cover photo provided by default. Here are some specific tips for creating a good Google+ cover photo:

• Use keywords in your cover image filename.

• Make the image 2120 x 1192.

• Add a caption to the cover photo.

• Share the image as a photo post on Google+. When you do this, the cover photo will be directly linked to your personal profile.

3. Get a vanity URL.

A Google+ vanity URL is a short and easy-to-remember URL. Here’s the difference between a vanity URL and the standard one:

Standard: plus.google.com/115229808208707341778

Vanity: plus.google.com/+NeilPatelmarketer/

4. Add more people to your circles.

The more people you have in your circles, the more likely it is that people will follow you back.

Your number of your followers is public data. The number of people you follow is not public data (unlike Twitter). A higher follower number tends to increase your trustworthiness and reputation.

To add people to your circles, just click the “Add People” icon in the top right of your Google+ account.

5. Become more accessible.

If you’re using Google+ as a marketing tool, and not just to update your family members, then you need to improve your accessibility.

Go to your profile, then “settings.” Here, you can turn on following visibility and sharing options:

  • Show your Google+ communities post on the Posts tab of your Google+ profile
  • Allow people to send you a message from your profile
  • Help others discover my profile in search results
  • Show how many times your profile and content have been viewed
  • Add related hashtags from Google to my newly created posts.

6. Completely fill out your story.

The “story” section of your profile is a rich opportunity for keywords, links, and information about you. Yes, Google indexes this content. And yes, it’s pivotal to have everything completely filled out.

The more information you fill out, the higher the chances of you being found and accessed in Google+ search and general online searches.

• Brief tagline – Nothing more than one line about who you are and what you do

• Full introduction – This is where you can add the most text. Include plenty of information about where you’ve been and what you’ve done. You should also include hyperlinked text. Add links to your company, your personal website, and other places where you are active. Use headings and other formatting features where appropriate.

• Bragging rights – A line or two about anything fantastic you’ve done. Your real accomplishments should be in your “Introduction” section.

7. Share content to get it indexed.

Google indexes shared Google+ content almost instantly. Any new URL shared on Google+ is crawled right away. When you share your new content as a post—pages, products, articles, etc.—Google will index it faster.

8. Fill out all your contributor information.

Make sure you’ve completely filled out all the websites to which you’ve contributed content.

9. Display Your +1’s.

The default setting on Google+ is that your +1’ed pages from around the web will not show up on your profile. However, you can change this to let people see what you have been liking.

Go to your profile tab, click “edit profile”, then click on the +1’s tab. You will now get the option to “Show this tab on your profile”.

10. Be active.

The best way to maintain a strong Google+ presence is to regularly post content. But beyond just content posting, it’s helpful to do the following:

• Add photos. Keeping a running photo album on Google+ increases your visibility and engagement on your profile.

• YouTube videos. One of your public profile tabs is your YouTube account. This is an excellent way to improve your personal marketing.

• +1s. Anything that you +1 on the web can be viewed by others, provided your settings have been adjusted accordingly.

• Create reviews. Any establishment that you review on Google+ can be seen by others. Consistently reviewing places shows that you are engaged and active.

11. Get noticed by others.

Anyone who is logged into Google has a notification center. They will get notifications from time to time. If you want to get noticed by other people, specifically those whom you have in your circles, you can make their notification center light up.

Cyrus Shepard shares the seventeen known ways to trigger notifications:

1. Mention them in a post

2. Share a post with them directly

3. Share a post and you’re in a circle they subscribe to

4. Comment on a post they created

5. Comment on a post after they comment on it

6. Add them to a circle

7. Suggest new people to add to their circles

8. Tag them in a photo

9. Tag one of their photos

10. Suggest a profile photo for them

11. Comment on a photo after they comment on it

12. Comment on a photo they are tagged in

13. Comment on a photo they tagged

14. Start a conversation with them

15. Send them an invitation or update an event

16. Remind them about events

17. Any activity on events they created

Google+ is a networking tool (not a stalking tool), but if you want to reach out to influencers, get on the radar of someone you respect, or simply connect with other industry experts, you can do so with a few tactful touches using notifications.

12. Look at your profile the way that other people do.

Finally, when you’ve made all the necessary tweaks, adjustments, changes, and improvements, it’s time to step back and admire your work.

But how can you see your profile the way the world does?

Just click on your Profile. Beside the profile icon, you’ll see a tab that says “View profile as”. You can toggle between “Public” and “Yourself”.

Check out your Google+ profile in all its glory, just as your friends, fans, and critics will see it.

13. View Ripples.

Google+ Ripples is a relatively unknown feature of Google+. Ripples shows an interactive graph of the public shares of posts or shares. What you see is a visual perspective on how a post is “rippling” through the Google+ community. Ripples only displays collected public data, so you’re not going to see any of the share metrics from people who have shared it among private circles.

14. Invite people to join you on Google+

Google+ makes it possible to send invitations to join the service without needing an email address. This is ideal for enticing friends and followers over from Facebook and Twitter respectively. The “Send Invitations” option on the right of your Google+ screen now generates a link to invite up to 150 people.

Conclusion

Google+ is a huge tool for marketing today, and I predict that it’s going to grow in importance down the road as well. Just as you’re active on Facebook and Twitter, you should maintain a steady presence on Google+ too.

7 Powerful Social Media Tools Inbound Marketers Must Try

7 Powerful Social Media Tools Singapore Marketers Must Try

Social media plays a very important role in Inbound Marketing* in attracting prospects and converting them into sales leads for our organizations (read our previous post: How Social Media Helps Inbound Marketing). As such, it is critical for us to manage social media efficiently, and this can be done with the help of some tools such that we are not bogged down by the tedious task of managing the various social media platforms being used.

There are so many social media marketing tools popping up nowadays. With so many to choose from, how do you know which to pick? This article will help you identify the good ones from the rest.

  1. Buffer: Social media publishing with powerful analytics.

Buffer is a powerful social media tool that sends your updates to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other popular social media platforms. It also has built-in analytics to help the user analyze why certain posts are working while others aren’t. For an easy-to-use tool to manage your company’s social media accounts, try out the newly launched Buffer for Business.

  1. Mention: Google Alerts for the social web.

Mention is one of the best online tools to monitor your brand’s presence across the web. It helps you monitor the mentions of your brand or the keywords you want on social media networks, blogs or forums. Mention also allows you to respond to mentions of your brand and to share industry news that you find.

  1. Zapier: Integrate favorite social media sites.

Zapier is an integrator for most of the online services you use independently, connecting those services to make your work easier. For example, if you use Facebook to connect with your friends, Zapier can help you retrieve your contacts from your Gmail account and send them messages and notifications.

  1. Feedly: Content discovery.

Finding good content worth sharing with your network is easy with Feedly. Not only can you subscribe to RSS feeds to keep on top of industry blogs or news sites, you can also use Feedly to discover new content related to your topics of interest.

  1. Bottlenose: Intelligence for social networks.

Bottlenose features a real time search engine that searches all public information from social networks and displays it in order of importance. The result? A great list of content arranged by most to least important. For instance, “economic insights”. I’m sure you’ll find a number of great resources. And of course, you can easily share the top results.

  1. Twitter Counter: Track Twitter progress.

It can be easy to lose track of how your Twitter account is growing; that’s where Twitter Counter comes in. It’s a free service that tracks changes in your follower count and predicts future growth over time.

Twitter Counter can be useful in understanding how quickly your number of followers is growing, and using that information to make decisions about the content you share, like re-sharing older content that new followers would have missed.

  1. Followerwonk: Follower analysis for Twitter.

Although you can use a tool like Twitter Counter to watch the growth of your number of Twitter followers, you may need to analyze your followers more carefully. Followerwonk breaks down your followers into demographics so you can understand them better. The best part about Followerwonk could be its analysis of what time your followers are online, helping you to know what times you should tweet to reach more people.

You can also find out when the people you follow tend to be online, just in case you’re trying to start more discussions with those Twitter users.

Using the tips in this blog post, get started on these tools to handle your social media presence more effectively!

* Inbound marketing is a form of digital marketing that involves SEO, Social Media, blog and landing pages to generate sales leads.

5 Simple Social SEO Tips For Small Businesses

5 Simple Social SEO Tips For Small Businesses

There are multiple modules that can build up the growth of an Inbound Marketing* strategy, and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is one process that affects the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine’s organic search results.

“Social SEO” refers to the crossover between SEO and social media and the purpose of it is to use social media to improve the search engine rankings of your business. It might sound complicated but basically SEO is all about optimizing content—whether it’s on your website or on a social media platform—in order to appear higher in search rankings.

Here are 5 uncomplicated Social SEO tips you can easily implement immediately:

1. Optimize your social media profiles

The key to an SEO-friendly social media profile is to be as descriptive as possible. Always fill out the ‘About’ or ‘Information’ sections of any social media platform. Use words or phrases that describe your business and which people would use to search your products and services.

For example, to optimize your Facebook Page for local searches, it is very important to include your address, city, state, and zip code. Also include your website link in your profile pages.

Insider Tip: The ‘Category’ field is often over looked on Facebook Pages but is important for Facebook mobile searches. Check to make sure your business is listed in the correct category while editing your basic information.

2. Optimize your social media content/updates

To optimize your social content, always include some of the relevant search keywords you have determined for your business in your Facebook updates, tweets, pin descriptions etc. It is important to remember to share content from your website or blog socially to give it an SEO boost too. Sharing new content on Twitter is especially important because it helps Google index it faster.

Insider Tip: Use your business’s name in your social posts. This helps Google associate the keywords you use to describe your business with your business’s name.

3. Make social sharing easy

A key factor in SEO is link building. Simply put, this means having good website-to-website relationships through links. When you have more quality sites linking to your website (inbound) and you are linking to other quality websites (outbound), the more authoritative Google determines your website to be.

Social signals like ‘likes’, comments, +1s, repins, retweets all play into the weight given to your links. If you create content people want to share, you can create more inbound links. ‘Content’ doesn’t always have to be as elaborate as a blog post or whitepaper, content can also refer to tweets or Facebook posts as well. By posting engaging social content, you’re improving your SEO value.

Insider Tip: A more advanced way to increase shares is to add social share buttons to individual pieces of content on your website or blog.

4. Sign up in Google+ and spend 10-minutes on it everyday

No one loves Google+ more than Google. Set up a Google+ Business Page and complete as many fields as you can in the ‘About’ section using keywords that describe your business. Google also allows you to add several customized links within your profile, so you can use this as an opportunity to link back to your website, blog, and additional social channels. By spending 10 minutes a day sharing your content to your Google+ page, you are more likely to appear within Google’s search engine results page.

5. Create a Google+ local listing

According to Google, 97% of consumers search for local businesses online. In order to perform well in local search results, it is critical that you optimize your Google+ local listing. A local Google+ page is different from a Google+ Business Page because it allows customers to easily connect with that business’s physical location. Update the details about your business—address, phone number, hours etc.—and you are good to go!

Insider Tip: Be sure to keep your information up-to-date on Google+ Local and Facebook—it helps.

* Inbound marketing is a form of digital marketing that involves SEO, Social Media, blog and landing pages to generate sales leads.

Secrets Of Successful Inbound Marketers

Secrets Of Successful Inbound Marketers

If you are in or wanting to be involved in Inbound Marketing*, here are some of the habits you want to acquire or develop in your system to be a successful Inbound Marketer.

1. Ego-check/Humility

Arrogance is not going to get you anywhere in this industry. It will only lead to a decrease in productivity and collaboration. To become an effective Inbound Marketer, you have to be humble and always ready to admit that you need help and advices from your co-workers and peers.

2. Focus

Set your goals one at a time and focus on it. This is a bit hard especially in Inbound Marketing where you will find yourself amidst a chaos of emails, blogs, offers, social media, targets etc. Planning & Strategy are critical, so stay focused and fix each goal specifically.

3. Agility

Monitor your goals and progress daily and always be ready to think on your feet if it doesn’t seem to lead to the planned results.

4. Be okay with “Done”

Nobody is perfect and perfection doesn’t necessarily always mean good performance. If a blog is done today, it’s as good enough as the perfect blog yesterday.

5. Embrace Failure

Be willing to think and experiment new ways and different approaches constantly. Don’t be afraid of failure as long as you’re learning from it, whether it worked or it didn’t.

* Inbound Marketing is a form of digital marketing that involves SEO, Social Media, blog and landing pages to generate sales leads.

You Must Know These 15 Common Marketing Acronyms

You Must Know These 15 Common Marketing Acronyms

Have you ever heard of acronymization? It is the act, process, or result of turning a phrase into an acronym. The world of Inbound Marketing* is filled with acronyms. We probably encounter acronyms such as FB (which stands for Facebook) and ROI (which stands for Return On Investment) frequently. But some acronyms have multiple meanings, even for jargons and technical terms. For instance, ROR can stand for Return On Revenue, Rate of Return or even Retinoic Acid Receptor.

The more you know, the more likely you’ll be able to understand and participate in conversations going on around you.That’s why I have listed 15 common yet essential acronyms mainly used in the Inbound Marketing field.

AIDA: Attention/Awareness, Interest, Desire, Action

AIDA describes a common list of events that may occur when a consumer engages with an advertisement.

Attention (Awareness) – Grab the attention of the customer

Interest – Raise customers’ interest by focusing on and demonstrating advantages and benefits (instead of focusing on features, as in traditional advertising).

Desire – Convince customers that the product or service will satisfy their needs.

Action – Lead customers towards taking action and/or purchasing.

B2B: Business-to-Business

B2B portrays commerce transactions between businesses, such as between a manufacturer and a wholesaler, or between a wholesaler and a retailer.

B2C: Business-to-Consumer

B2C (also called retail) refers to the sale of goods and services from individuals or businesses to the end-user. A retailer purchases goods or products in large quantities from manufacturers directly or through a wholesale, and then sells smaller quantities to the consumer for a profit.

CMS: Content Management System

A content management system (CMS) is a system used to manage the content of a website. Typically, a CMS consists of two elements: the content management application (CMA) and the content delivery application (CDA). The function and use of content management systems is to store and organize files, and provide version-controlled access to their data.

COS: Content Optimization System

While CMS needs additional coding to optimize for mobile and provide static experience for everyone, COS is the first integrated website, blog and landing page system to be optimized for mobile right out-of-the-box. It is fully integrated with every marketing channel and it adapts to each viewer’s unique context.

CRM: Customer Relationship Management

CRM is a system for managing a company’s interactions with current and future customers. It involves utilizing technology to organize, automate and synchronize sales, marketing, customer service, and technical support.

At the basic level, CRM software helps you keep your eyes on contact information for these customers. On top of that, CRM systems can do lots of other things like tracking emails, phone calls, faxes, and deals as well as sending personalized emails. The primary goal is to create a system in which sales reps have lots of information so that they can quickly pull up everything about leads or existing customers.

CTA: Call-to-Action

CTA urges the viewer of a sales promotion message to take an immediate action by employing a text link, button, image or some other type of web link, such as “Write Now,” “Call Now,” or (on Internet) “Click Here.”

The main goal of a CTA is a click, or a scan in the case of a QR code, and its success can be measured via a conversion rate formula that calculates the number of clicks over the times the CTA was seen. Another way to test the effectiveness of a CTA is employing A/B testing where several graphics are presented to a user and the graphic with highest success rate becomes the default.

A/B Testing

A/B testing is a simple randomized experiment with two variations, A and B. The main goal is to identify changes to web pages that increase or maximize the outcome of interest (e.g. click-through rate for a banner advertisement).

PV: Page View

PV is a request to load a single web page (HTML file) on the Internet. Marketers use them to analyze their website and to see if any change on the web page results in more or fewer page.

QR Code: Quick Response Barcode

QR Code is a machine-readable code consisting of an array of black and white squares, typically used for storing URLs or other information for reading by the camera on a smartphone in order to bridge offline and online marketing.The information encoded by QR codes can include text, a URL, or other data. You can easily generate a QR code using a site like Kaywa QR Code or you can use the Open Source code to generate codes for you if you have a smart developer on hand. Google has a tool as well.

RSS: Rich Site Summary

An RSS Feed is a web feed that publishes frequently updated information like blog posts and news stories. RSS feeds enable publishers to syndicate data automatically. A standard XML (EXtensible Markup Language) file format ensures compatibility with many different machines/programs. RSS feeds also benefit users who want to receive timely updates from favourite websites or to aggregate data from many sites.

Subscribing to a website RSS alleviates the need for the user to manually check the website for new content. Instead, their browser constantly monitors the site and informs the user of any updates. The browser can also be commanded to automatically download the new data for the user.

SEO: Search Engine Optimization

SEO refers to the techniques that help your website rank higher in natural search results and thus making your website more visible to people who are looking for your brand, product, service via search engines such as Google or Yahoo. Recently, search ranking has expanded to include tweets, retweets, likes, social mentions, page load time, and content marketing. Hence, your focus should be on the page and the topic, not just potential keywords.You need to provide what people are looking for with enough depth and insight that they stay on your site and are compelled to take actions.

The new direction of SEO is all about creating a unique user experience for each visitor and personalizing those experiences as much as possible.

URL: Uniform Resource Locator

A URL is a formatted text string used by Web browsers, email clients and other software to identify a network resource on the Internet. Network resources are files that can be plain Web pages, other text documents, graphics, or programs.

URL strings consist of three parts (substrings):

1. network protocol
2. host name or address
3. file or resource location

These substrings are separated by special characters as follows: protocol :// host / location. If you want to have further information, refers to Learn how to optimize your URLs for search here.

UX: User Experience

User experience (UX) involves a person’s behaviours, attitudes, and emotions about using a particular product, system or service. User experience includes the practical, experiential, affective, meaningful and valuable aspects of human-computer interaction and product ownership.

Additionally, it includes a person’s perception of system aspects such as utility, ease of use and efficiency. User experience may be considered subjective in nature to the degree that it is about individual perception and thought with respect to the system. User experience is dynamic as it is constantly modified over time due to changing usage circumstances and changes to individual systems as well as the wider usage context in which they can be found.

LPO: Landing Page Optimization

A landing page is a web-page that is displayed when a potential customer clicks an advertisement or a search engine result link. This web page typically displays content that is a relevant extension of the advertisement or link. LPO aims to provide page content and appearance that makes the web page more appealing to target audiences.

* Inbound Marketing is a form of digital marketing that involves SEO, Social Media, blog and landing pages to generate sales leads.

10 Effective Strategies that BuzzFeed and Upworthy Have Taught Us

Effective Strategies that BuzzFeed and Upworthy Have Taught Us

Riding on the exponential growth of social media platforms, BuzzFeed and Upworthy have picked up a lot of media attention while growing rapidly in recent years. BuzzFeed has since tripled its monthly unique visitor counts over the past 2 years (from 4.3 million to 19.3 million), while Upworthy has grown from 1 million visitors during its initial months to over 20 million unique visitors per month. Upworthy is now the fastest growing media sites of all times.

It is evident that these two companies have gone through a thorough thought process and sufficient planning to become such amazing success stories. I believe all of you want to know how they did it within such a short period of time, hence we have come up with a list of things they did that aided in the boom. These methods are replicable; you may want to learn and work them through with your Inbound marketing* strategies, which may help bring about success for your own brand!

1. Target Audience

The first step you take is to find out who your target audience is when you are coming up with a strategy for your company. You need to find out who would be drawn to your content, and you need to know what kind of benefits your audience wants to get from it.

BuzzFeed recognizes that their key target audience are those who are “bored at work” and “bored in line”. What they meant by those who are “bored at work” refers to those with desk jobs but are able to spend a considerable amount of time to browse through the Internet without supervision. These people often look for content that can alleviate their boredom or content that they can relate to with their current frustrations.

The other group of people are those who are “bored in line”, or you could also see them as people who like to use their mobile phones to learn or read articles while waiting. BuzzFeed emphasizes in having their content mobile-enabled, ensuring that readers are able to consume the contents on the go. This led to more than 1/3 of all BuzzFeed traffic made through mobile, resulting in significant growth over the years.

2. Platform

Ever thought of why you always see BuzzFeed posts in your Facebook timeline? According to a research conducted in August 2013, BuzzFeed was the most shared and liked site on Facebook, with 15.9 million interactions with the brand and its content. This means that the Facebook audience contributed largely to the success.

BuzzFeed then took this opportunity and started creating content that brings about the attention and sharing by Facebook users to express themselves.

So we have learned that content that results in users sharing it is very important. However, you must remember to optimize the content (headlines, excerpts, image fields, etc.). This is to enhance the aesthetics and informative details, increasing the chances of the content being further distributed.

3. Content Categories

BuzzFeed has done an impressive job in identifying the content categories that their readers prefer to read about. These categories include:

LOL: Humorous content
Win: Ingenious or admirable content
OMG: Shock/Surprise element
Cute: Generally animal related content
Trashy: Content consisting of people mocking or ridiculing the failures of others, particularly famous people.
Fail: Content that points out the failings of both individuals and society
WTF: Strange and bizarre content
Hot: Content trending in the current week

Think about these categories when planning what you are going to deliver for your readers, how do you think they will react to your content? Will your content garner enough interest for your readers?

4. Emotional Triggers

After looking through the popular posts of BuzzFeed and Upworthy, you will realise that all the posts have something unique—they are emotionally evocative.

The use of emotional triggers is highly effective. When there is an emotional touch to the content, people tend to remember more and feel more interested.

5. Self-Identification

The writers at Buzzfeed are really of a rare kind…they take risk to write cutting-edge or controversial subject matters, quite the opposite of most content marketers who play it safe by publishing content that does not stoke much emotion, but if it is written to be very quirky or entertaining, such articles can also garner a lot of attention. For example, the article “21 Problems All Sarcastic People Understand” has reached 5.7 million views since May 2014. Posts with such contents will attract like-minded readers who self-identifies themselves with these specific characteristic, experience or opinion. They will then share it with more like-minded people, and in turn increase your page views and popularity.

6. Reposts

How many times have you come across posts with similar content, and yet, always click on all of them to read?

The point is, posts with similar content can be published again with updated information or presented from a new perspective or angle, creating new hype on an already published story.

Upworthy practices finding Internet archives and retelling compelling stories that did not make a hype. They believe that there is plenty of content available on the Internet, but because too much is available, it is difficult to read all the top stories shared during the time it is out. Hence the advantage for this is that since there was little readership when the story was first announced, it is worth reusing at a future date.

As long as your articles provide something of value and the topics enjoy keen interest, readership will always be in demand. When you know an audience responds positively to particular topics, you should grasp the opportunity to publish content using similar recycling methods.

7. Terminology

BuzzFeed has a style guide which lists down the ‘hot’ words and terms used, that does not necessarily follow the rules of grammar or the English language. It basically acts as a guide for readers who are interested to understand the terminology used in BuzzFeed. They break down the proper usage of everything so that all of the content has consistency.

By acknowledging and giving these interesting terminology a space in BuzzFeed’s official style guide, it demonstrates how seriously BuzzFeed takes pop-culture and anything that their readers prioritize and care about. Moreover, this style guide is updated frequently to catch up with the ‘trend’. They are not afraid to speak the language and terminology of their readers, and in fact, are very open for it. This is essential for sustaining a strong connection between the readers and the brand.

8. Title

A title is important because that is what people read first. It is an influential factor that causes readers to decide whether they want to read the post. Upworthy comes up with multiple headlines per story, as they believe in producing wonderful works under pressure and practice. Having 30 headlines to choose from is definitely better than just having 3.

Upworthy has several rules to work by, including two which will be very useful for all of you: 1) Do not give it all away in the headline, and 2) do not form an opinion for the user in the headline. Let them be curious, allow them to willingly click on your post to read. The image you feature on your post works the same way, bring about curiosity for the best impact. With an eye-catching image and a powerful headline, you are all ready for an influx of readers.

9. The Best?

Whatever you do, don’t give up. It is not a failure if your post does not hit your target number of views. You may have the misconception that big companies such as BuzzFeed and Upworthy get all their posts noticed, but that’s not true. A significant percentage of the posts in Upworthy have yet to break the 20,000 views mark. Keeping in mind that 20,000 is a large amount of views, we need to think from the perspective of the company that 20,000 probably means that the views are relatively a lot lesser than what is expected.

10. Be Human

While having so many objectives and points to take note of, do not forget the most important criteria—make your content human. Include vibrancy and make sure the content is engaging, and avoid having your content seem robotic. A question you have to always ask yourself is: “Why would they want to read this?” Keep in mind that what you are doing is for a real audience, and your stories should ultimately tap on a very human need.

Now that you have learned what makes BuzzFeed and Upworthy tick, let’s put on your thinking cap and start cracking!

* Inbound marketing is a form of digital marketing that involves SEO, Social Media, blog and landing pages to generate sales leads.

How To Review Metrics To Increase Leads And Sales For Your Marketing Campaigns

How To Review Metrics To Increase Leads And Sales

Tracking performance data via analytics is an integral aspect of marketing campaigns, but most marketers in Singapore are not well versed in it, even underestimate its importance. Testing and tracking can help marketers know where they have fallen short in their marketing strategies so they can improve on these areas, and maintain what they have been doing well.

With so many analytical measurements like traffic volume, lead conversion, email open rate and click-through rate, social media reach etc., it can be daunting to understand what numbers are relevant to campaign performance.

After reading today’s article, you will be know how to use analytics to identify the data you need to examine, based on several different scenarios that you may face.

Scenario #1: You need brand awareness

Analytics helps you to identify things like whether people recognise your company and its logo, what they know about your company, and what they think about when they hear your brand’s name.

Look at traffic. Look at where your traffic is coming from to figure out which marketing channels are the most successful. This way, you can tailor your marketing efforts in the future to leverage the most effective marketing channels. Additionally, look at how much direct traffic goes to your website—this represents the people who already know about your company and are visiting as a result. Reviewing the changes in these metrics over time will give you an idea of your brand’s presence.

Look at search engine rankings. As your company gains more awareness, important keywords will begin to have higher search engine rankings. If you’re focused on branding, however, you should look for improvement in traffic that is driven from brand-specific terms in particular. Create your content around the keywords that you want to rank higher on search engines and drive greater volumes of traffic to your website.

Look at social media reach. The size of your following can be an indicator of brand awareness. Additionally, take a look at how engaged your following is; for example, how much your content is liked/favourited and shared/retweeted.

Scenario #2: You need a bigger database

After having amassed a large following and established heavy traffic to your site, the next step would be to do something with these followers and viewers—by converting them into opt-in leads. Database growth is important for good sales, so take a look at these metrics to help you grow it.

Look at blog visits. If your website traffic continues to grow each day, this could be a good indicator that your lead generation will also continue to grow. However, if it is starting to or has already begun to plateau, you’ll need to take a look at your content and SEO, and how you can drive more traffic to your blog.

Look at social media reach. Similarly, your social media platforms are an opportunity for lead generation, and so if your social media reach has stagnated, it’s unlikely that you’ll get new leads anytime soon. To remedy this, consider starting new discussions on different channels, and try promoting your interesting content more frequently.

Look at landing page traffic and conversions. Check your landing page analytics to see if your site traffic is actually going to your landing pages, since that is where leads are generated. Look at which channels are bringing you the most landing page traffic and further optimise those channels to bring even more traffic and henceforth, leads.

Scenario #3: You need more leads to convert to customers

Look at lead-to-customer conversion rates. Review your lead-nurturing processes, like which workflows have low engagement rates. Is it because of the low quality of the content, or the call-to-action is not strong or convincing enough? By identifying underperforming workflows and optimising them, you can help move more customers further down the funnel.

A New Social Media Tool For Your Marketing – Snapchat

Snapchat

Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest and Instagram are already heavily utilised by many companies looking to grow their reach, but here’s one that is up-and-coming: Snapchat.

Snapchat is a messaging app that incorporates photos or videos with text messaging—it’s chatting with snaps (in the form of said photos and videos). Each message can only be viewed for a maximum of 10 seconds, after which the message is deleted forever. Thus its main selling point is a perceived sense of anonymity. Still, marketers are finding new ways to promote however they can.

Did you know that 58% of college students would be likely to purchase a brand’s product or service if they were sent a coupon on Snapchat. [Source: Sumpto]

One example of a business that has utilised Snapchat is 16 Handles, a froyo joint in the U.S., where customers sent snaps of themselves having yogurt at one of their stores to the 16 Handles Snapchat account, and the 16 Handles account would then send them a custom coupon via Snapchat. Not only will you get more sales using such promotions, it is also a way to build rapport with your customers, thus building a satisfied, loyal customer base, who are likely to become promoters for your brand.

Another way to use Snapchat is to provide product sneak peeks. If you’re launching a new product, build up prospects’ anticipation and excitement using a 10-second preview of what they can expect. This can be especially useful for start-ups that are about to launch their very first product—it can give your launch a bigger splash whilst building brand awareness and a customer base even before you’ve officially opened!

Snapchat is indeed an unorthodox tool to use for Inbound marketing* but here’s a SlideShare that gives you everything you need to know about using Snapchat for marketing: The Ultimate Marketing Guide to Snapchat from Ross Simmonds

* Inbound marketing is a form of digital marketing that involves SEO, Social Media, blogging and landing pages to generate sales leads.

The Secrets Of Email Workflows For Lead Conversion

The Secrets of Email Workflows for Lead Generation

Inbound Marketing* requires your company to have a business blog, social media accounts, landing pages and marketing offers to attract leads and convert them into customers.

But are your leads getting converted to customers?

This is a question raised by many companies using Inbound Marketing. Once you’ve captured your leads’ information, they get stuck in your marketing funnel. They aren’t ready to buy your product or service just yet, so this means that they don’t really have anywhere to ‘go’ in your marketing process. On top of all this, you don’t have time to reach out to each lead individually to qualify it as being ready to buy.

So how do you get these leads to become interested enough in your company to want to learn more about your product or service?

This is where lead nurturing comes in. It is the process of turning these valuable leads into customers over a period of time. There are lots of ways to nurture leads, but the most basic and time-effective method is through email workflows.

What is an Email Workflow?

An email workflow is a series of automated emails that are sent to your leads based on their behavior or contact information. With workflows, you can trigger actions based on any information you have about your leads, allowing you to send the right message to the right person at the right time. Your emails become much more relevant, timely, and targeted for each and every lead, as compared to a broadcast email to your entire list. For example, you can send a series of emails to:

  • Leads who have viewed a certain page on your website
  • Leads from companies with more than a certain number of employees
  • Leads from companies in ABC industry or ABC location

Simply put, the benefit of email workflows is you can better engage leads through emails that they find interesting, and also save time by automating the whole process.

When Should You Start Using Email Workflows?

  • You’re generating leads but ignoring the ones that are not immediately ready to buy
  • Your sales team is unhappy with the quality of the leads you’re producing
  • You’re sending the same emails to your entire list
  • You’re collecting valuable lead information, but not using it for segmentation
  • You’re not targeting your offers and messaging based on your leads’ particular needs and interests
  • You’re sending or following up to all of your emails manually.

With this introduction to email workflows, you’ve hopefully been enlightened as to how much it can help you and your business in so many ways to nurture leads into customers.

* Inbound Marketing is a form of digital marketing that involves SEO, Social Media, blog and landing pages to generate sales leads.

4 Enhancements For Your Marketing Expenditure

4 Enhancements For Your Current Marketing Spending

Your marketing budget is always being utilized in several different directions. Sometimes, it is very difficult to know what to invest in to reap the best results. This post is aimed to direct your spending to all the right areas; read on to see which areas are usually heavily invested in, and how you can make the best of your budget spending.

1) Pay-Per-Click Advertising

You would be surprised to know how many businesses invest money in getting paid traffic that just directs to the home page. This will only drain money,  as it generates merely traffic, rather than creating useful leads.

Enhancement:

Make sure to use the targeting features in your marketing tools to reach your target buyer personas. Filter your ads by the relevant demographics and search terms on Google. Also, don’t forget to send that traffic to a relevant offer rather than diverting them to the home page. This will help you generate more leads.

2) Purchased Email Lists

Many businesses hunt for new audience by purchasing third-party marketing lists. It does not help readership because the lists of contacts are untargeted.

Enhancement

Rather than annoying your audience with irrelevant content, offer valuable resources on your website that your prospects will gladly sign up for. The marketing list of subscribers you create by doing this will, by their receptive response, subsequently grant you permission to write to them.

3) Paid Press Releases

Press releases have had a long-standing tradition of being the only way to get to the audience; that was before the evolution of Internet. When the Internet began to grow in use, online press releases become a great way to get ranked higher in search results. For instance, Google used to rank websites higher solely based on the number of Inbound links. Using press release websites for SEO is an incredible way to increase your search ranking.

Enhancement

Write the post on your own website. Share it on social media and be the owner of your content. Google favors websites with fresh, original and quality content. This will target the audience that you are looking for.

4) A Mobile App for your Company

Everyone in the crowd is out there with their smartphones and tablets surfing the web and using apps. Apps have become quite accessible, and you may consider creating one for your company. Mobile marketing is a very effective channel for market penetration and capturing attention. Generally speaking, a lot of business websites are not ready for this seismic shift in mobile usage by being mobile-friendly and responsive. Being adaptive to trends means you have a chance to stay on top of your prospects’ mind.

Enhancement

At first, it seems like all apps are unique and you would be racking your brain over what kind of app to design for your company. “Push notification” apps are great for boosting user engagement and improving your app’s user overall experience. Almost any kind of business would do well to ‘push’ updates to their prospects and customers to keep them in the loop.

Check the following Q&A threads in Quora to learn more about Push notification design:

What companies are the best at using push notifications to engage with customers?

How are push notifications technically designed?

How do push notifications work?

With so many outlets for your precious marketing dollars, it is vital that you put your money where it will work the hardest for you, so that you will be able to target the audience that you have always wanted.