CategoryBlogging

How Digital Marketing Agencies Can Keep Clients Happy

BLP0001467_VeerAt a recent early morning videoshoot for the 24adp Digital Marketing Conference, I was asked how agencies can establish better relationships with their clients.

To that I had only one answer – align yourself with your client’s Digital Marketing goals. If you give your clients the results they are looking for, irrespective of which service you offer, you will have happy clients who recommend you time and again.

As an example, I present you a fictional client, ABC Properties. Now this client is a real estate developer who wants to sell flats. But he also wants to be known as an avant-garde developer of quality properties.

So we create a custom package for him consisting of business blogging, social media marketing and media relations, using Facebook’s promoted posts option to capture leads that result in sales of the developer’s flats. The blog is a way of supporting the media efforts and also gets syndicated on a number of property portals, which helps to leverage the unique content we create.

This not only helps the client achieve his ultimate goals – that of selling flats, but also gets him the thought-leadership and branding he is hankering for. After all, in the world of real estate, reputation is everything.

This is what I mean when I suggest to agencies, that they provide the client not only with the services they offer, but create custom packages designed to meet the client’s goals and help them achieve their business objectives, even if it sometimes means outsourcing some of these tasks.

Spend some time understanding your client’s business and then, instead of trying to sell them the solutions you specialize in, offer them specific ways in which digital marketing can help them achieve their goals, whether it is to increase traffic, signups, leads, sales or just branding.

That’s why it is worth repeating that agencies align themselves with their client’s Digital Marketing goals. It’s the best way to build a strong relationship with your client, show them that you genuinely care for helping them grow their business and are willing to make that extra effort in helping them achieve their objectives.

5 Damaging Myths About Increasing Traffic To Your Blog Or Website

system crash

Most website owners or bloggers believe that traffic is the Holy Grail, and that they can’t possibly get enough of it.

It’s true that too little traffic will make your blog redundant and that a blog that doesn’t get any visitors doesn’t really matter in the scheme of things.

However, the opposite is also true. That too much of a good thing is a bad thing. Here are five myths about traffic that I have learned through years of generating millions of hits to my many blogs and websites.

Myth #1: More is better

Here is the main reason this is not true. Too much traffic can crash your website. And what would you have to show for it? Just an empty boast that your site got so much traffic that it crashed. So much for that myth.

Myth #2: It doesn’t cost me anything

Not true for one important reason. Bandwidth costs money. Although most web hosts claim to offer ‘unlimited bandwidth’, when push comes to shove, most of them will suspend your website or blog, leaving you with few options other than moving your site to a new host altogether.

Myth #3: Traffic equals results

Is your traffic working like it should? What do you want your visitors to do? Unless you’re getting paid for ad impressions on your website or blog, you’re not going to be making any money out of the glut of traffic on your site.

If, on the other hand your website has a purpose, in terms of conversions to leads or sales, you need to ask yourself – is your traffic converting? If not, why?

Your site might need a redesign, or targeted landing pages, or you might need to redo your copy or offers to make sure that your traffic is converting the way it should. Either way, more traffic is not the answer.

Myth #4: All traffic is the same

Again, this is not true because the source of your traffic affects your conversion rate. Traffic from some sources converts better than others. For instance, you might get a lot of visitors from StumbleUpon, but they might leave your site very quickly, giving you a high bounce rate (which can adversely affect your Google ranking).

On the other hand, traffic from LinkedIn might be more suitable for your website, if yours is a B2B company and you offer the kind of information and solutions your visitors are looking for.

Myth #5: Organic traffic is the best

There are many reasons why certain pages from your website might rank well in the search engine results pages. But if the pages that are showing up in the top ten are not your best converting pages, the traffic is wasted on them.

It takes a lot of time for an SEO campaign to create the kind of results you need. In the meantime, using pay-per-click (PPC) advertising to send targeted traffic to certain landing pages might be your best option to get the right kinds of conversions for your business.

The lessons one can take away from this is that website or blog traffic is not the Holy Grail to help your business meet its sales targets online.

What you need to focus on is sending the right message to the right buyer persona in the right context, and this can usually be accomplished by sending just the right amount of traffic to targeted landing pages that are designed to convert visitors.

Why You Can’t Expect Instant Results With Social Media Marketing

social media networking

Social media marketing has became essential for organisations who have been told, time and again, that they need to be on social networks, because that is where their customers are.

But what many marketers and company executives fail to understand is that, unless you start with paid advertising on social networks, social media marketing takes time to deliver results.

Sure, you can throw a whole lot of money at it and hope some of it will stick. But, like the old saying in marketing, chances are that you are wasting at least 50% of your budget in ads that may or may not be working.

That’s because social networks are not about marketing. They were not created for that purpose. The purpose of social networks is connection. They connect people to one another, helping messages spread faster through a community than ever before.

This is the aspect of social media that marketers want to capitalize on, but it is not going to translate into a significant return on investment (ROI) unless you have already built a community of people who like and trust your brand. And that takes time.

Even if you are willing to spend money on Facebook ads to get more likes or promote your products, it takes months to build a following of genuine fans who will respond to your posts and take the actions you want them to take.

In the early days, it was easier to build a large community of followers on Twitter, but of late they have begun to suspend accounts for following too many people in a single day and for other ‘suspicious practices’.

No one can blame Twitter for cutting down on this either, because when companies use it solely as a broadcasting medium for news and updates about their products, it detracts from the user experience on the network, and that is what Twitter, as a company, cares about most.

So if you start creating a presence on social media today, expecting that you will be able to get a massive response in a few weeks or even a month, you are going to be sorely disappointed.

Just like a garden that must be nurtured one plant at a time, you need to nurture your relationships with your community, one person at a time.

So start using social media for all the right reasons –

• For genuinely listening to your customers

• For conducting research on their needs

• For answering customer queries

• For providing great customer support

• For sharing remarkable content

• For offering exclusive deals and discounts

• For creating brand advocates

If you use it for the reasons above, you will end up creating a very valuable resource, in terms of a social media community that will return the love and respect you give them many times over. And that is something that money can never buy.

Image courtesy of phanlop88 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

How To Create Content That Will Cut Through The Clutter

stand out from the clutter

According to AOL/Nielsen, 27 million pieces of content are shared each day. With such a glut of online content creation and sharing, how do you get your content to stand out from the clutter?

Here are some suggestions to help you do this.

1. Create remarkable content

What this essentially means is that you need to make every piece of content count. Quality over quantity is the key to this. Even if you publish only one blog post a week or post your own commentary about someone else’s post, make it a great one.

Make your content insightful, give it depth and make people question their own assumptions. You have more chance of creating viral content if you tell a story, trigger people’s emotions, make them laugh or appeal to the goodness in people.

Even if your content is not unique and is curated from someone else’s articles, it can still make a dent in the content universe. This is the model that websites like The Huffington Post and Business Insider follow and their content is definitely some of the most shared online.

2. Publish a blog and build a community around it

That your blog is the hub of your social media presence has almost become a cliché. But not everyone gets the fact that “social networks are not the holy grail of customer acquisition, retention and loyalty. Online communities are.”

And that “people prefer to build relationships with brands in customer communities that are tightly integrated with the company website or other online properties, close to the brand.” (Source)

A blog is one of the best ways to grow and nurture a loyal community of customers that love your information and your brand. Communities like Mashable are built around the engaging content that they publish, and their posts often go viral, even if they are not always original content.

3. Repurpose your blog into a video or Powerpoint

Visual content is becoming essential as social networks like Instagram, Pinterest and Vine become more popular with certain niches. Repurpose your blog post into a video and post it on YouTube, Instagram and other channels.

Also post your videos on your blog and share them with your social networks to give your content more traction and help it stand out from the clutter of text-based content.

Certain kinds of content can also be repurposed into PDFs or slideshows, allowing them to be shared on sites like Slideshare, Authorstream and other document sharing sites.

4. Create attractive visuals to go with your post

Visual content can help you cut through the clutter of content online. A 2012 study by ROI Research found that 44% of respondents are more likely to engage with brands if they post pictures than any other media.

It is so easy to create attractive quotes taken from excerpts of your blog posts using sites like Quozio, Quotescover and BeHappy.me. Or you can purchase attractive stock photos cheaply and create your own custom graphics.

You might even want to consider creating an infographic from your post, which gives it greater potential to go viral.

5. Syndicate your content on authoritative sites

If you’re a B2B company, your content will get noticed and shared more if you join a number of expert communities online and syndicate your content on them.

Quora, ExploreB2B, Business2Community and Efactor are just a few of the authoritative sites that invite you to share your expertise as a blog on their site. Considering that their updates go out to millions of readers, your content is bound to get noticed a lot more if you syndicate it on these sites.

With article directories taking a massive hit in the past few Google algorithm updates, we highly recommend making use of the massive reader base of these sites to get more traction for your content.

As the growth and sharing of content becomes even more prolific in the future, we hope that your business will benefit from these suggestions to help your content stand out from the clutter.

© Priya Florence Shah is a published author, online publisher, blogging and social media consultant and digital marketing trainer. Get access to her free ebook on using blogs to generate leads for your business.

7 Qualities Of Incredibly Viral Content

Remember the video of the guy who stood at a busy intersection offering everyone free hugs? The Free Hugs campaign was started by Juan Mann on December 1, 2004, when he began giving out hugs in the Pitt Street Mall in central Sydney.

That little video not only notched up millions of YouTube views, but also started a movement, known as the Free Hugs Campaign.

What exactly makes a simple, amateurish video like that go viral? And what are the qualities that define viral content – the holy grail for marketers who want to promote a brand or product on social media?

Although there are no guarantees for making your content go viral, I believe that, like the Free Hugs video, virality is created by a number of factors that work together to appeal to a large portion of humanity.

Here are the 7 qualities that I believe viral content must have.

1. Has global appeal

Like the concept of free hugs, a viral creative must appeal to a large portion of humanity. It must transcend boundaries of race, creed, gender, income and religion to appeal to humans at a very basic level.

2. Triggers a primal human emotion

Content goes viral because it triggers a very primal emotion in human beings. Love, compassion, laughter – these are all emotions that touch a primitive chord in us, making us want to share the content with other humans.

Fear also triggers a primal response, but I believe people are less likely to share a message that triggers negative emotions than one that triggers positive feelings.

3. Is humourous/moving/entertaining/fun

Viral content has a number of emotional triggers that make people want to share it with others. Content that elicits laughter, moves you to tears of joy, is inspiring, or is just plain fun and entertaining is content that gets shared.

Fun and entertainment, in particular get a large number of shares and eyeballs. Just check out how many views those videos of cute cats doing silly things get online.

4. Makes us believe in the goodness of human nature

We all want to believe that people are good at heart. That is why content that demonstrate a person’s compassion, heroism or attempts to create peace between warring factions gets a whole lot of love.

5. Makes the sharer look good to his/her network

We all want to look good in front of our friends and fans. Ever read one of those little Zen quotes or stories that seem to get so many shares? People love to share them, not only because it makes them think, but also because it makes the sharer come across as wise and profound to his/her audience.

6. Tells a story

Stories have been used for thousands of years to promote ideas and concepts. They have a very basic appeal and are engaging enough to make people want to read them in totality and share them with others.

7. Plays on popular memes

If you’ve ever seen or created an image based on the “Grumpy Cat” meme (the cat who hates everything and everyone), you know what I mean.

Grumpy Cat

Content based on popular memes gets shared very quickly and widely because people immediately relate it to something else they have seen online. Just make sure your brand message has some relevance to the meme you use, or it will backfire.

Now that you know the 7 qualities of incredibly viral content, put on your thinking cap and work on your own ideas to take your brand or business further than it has ever gone before.

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