Stop Making Terrible “Online Media” Decisions!

May 5th, 2015

Some professionals had to incorporate online media into their decision-making portfolio with changing times. Others specialized in it with a right combination of foresight and effort. Either way leaders have to make “digital media” related decisions. It is a cornerstone of several successful business ventures in India today. For the uninitiated, it might be a lack of understanding of digital media. Experts and devout can go wrong too. So, we want to present few crucial pointers to help you avoid it.

Success failure

@Image credit:

http://www.drchrisstephens.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/decisions.jpg

Most of us know that real life decisions are not as simple as the image above. Digital media decisions, like most others, are complex, multi-faceted and hard. But, it is non-optional to incorporate proven “online” success principles into your decisions. So, check rear-view mirror for these principles while making crucial digital media decisions.

# 1 – Complex is out.

Be it web development, content, informational architecture, or usability, the first core principle of success in online business is – “Simplicity” for the users.

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication
@Image Credit:

http://www.motivationalquotesabout.com/images/quotes/simplicity-is-the-ultimate-sophistication-leonardo-vinci.jpg

Simplicity leads to clarity, then to a better implementation. Most readers hesitate to take this principle on face value. Experience and knowledge tend to highlight the complexity of decisions. But, drive your efforts to simplify online business so even first-time visitors understand it. It does not imply that you have to dumb it down. You have to remain easy and user-friendly for every last visitor to your website. Here are examples of how smart businesses are doing it.

1. Google: Google is a king of simplicity. But, it isn’t limited to search engine and SERP. It extends to every aspect of their brand user experience and communication. Blog, email, new products, and ventures are driven by it.

2. Bromium: Several brands, operating in B2B marketplace do not hesitate to simplify products and websites. It works well because the communication is clear enough for interested visitors to get it easily. If you circumvent oversimplification, every B2C strategy will work productively enough. Take a look at Birst, Brandwatch landing page, and Egencia website.

There are enough examples of rocking and simple B2B websites that are doing financially well.

But, remember, Simple ≠ Easy. So you have your work cut out for you.

#2 – Information is core.

Digital media has a significant edge over the traditional media. You have an enormous amount of information available about your website, customers and more. Disregarding it is the biggest mistake. So, vital online business decisions must have a strong foundation of information.

For example;

Digital Media

Each of these resources offers tangible information. It can be used as a foundation for crucial business decisions. Though instinct plays a role in decision-making, most businessmen cannot afford to be blindsided by lack or delay of information.

So, most departments must stay updated with the latest research in cross-departmental topics too. For example, ancient research on “F-Shaped Pattern” for reading content cannot be buried into writer’s portfolio. Web developers and designers must know it well to present smart options. The Halo Effect is not some random psychological detail. It is a useful source of information in hands of a right UX designers and leaders. So, let the information become the foundation of every big move, at every level.

#3 – What’s in it for me?

This is an ancient marketing mantra. But, “WIIFM” remains a useful way to make sense of today’s chaotic world. Answer this one question for your visitors honestly and interestingly and you have a quickest route to a higher conversion rate. What does that mean? Blog posts cannot be a medium for promotions only. Social media optimization does not have to be disconnected from company goals. Case studies cannot be gloating space either. So, does your decision create a more empathetic answer to this age-old question? Does it make your website more relatable? Does the new social advertising campaign respond well to this inner urge?

what is in it for me
@Image credit:

http://cdn.christinamotley.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/WhatsInItForMe.jpg

Create a culture of adhering to these principles for your digital media decisions. Be it social media or responsive web design; think beyond the hottest and the latest. Step into a realm of these principles for every short term and long term decision. At least, use it as a checklist before you sign off on it. Take a close look at several social media disasters and you will understand that empathy is not an option. It is the “only” way to go. So, relate and answer customer’s deepest questions to earn the trust.

How do you take the “online media” decisions? Share with us in the comments section. We would love to hear about your process too.

Busy Entrepreneur’s Guide for Efficient Social Media Management

April 13th, 2015

Busy Entrepreneur’s Guide for Efficient Social Media Management

@Image Credit: http://technori.com/wp-content/uploads/shutterstock_109846352.jpg

Several entrepreneurs seek to optimise their social media presence. This effective and free tool is accessible and appealing to your buyers. So, this channel to reach, promote, and interact can have huge impact on your sales. The best track to successful campaign is to hire a social media marketing agency. Agreeably, it sounds self- flagellant. But, I have seen the difference it can make. A team of designer, developer, social media analyst and social media manager can reshape your entire social media presence. But, if you are not ready, don’t worry. Here is an efficient way to manage your social media presence successfully.

Social Media Management

Get a social media audit and strategy.
Before jump-starting this adventure, a businessman must take due caution. Every entrepreneur uses a similar concoction for any successful venture. Figure out where you are and where you want to go. Audit and goal setting are a right starting point for any pursuit, right?

Social Media Audit
You can use this template for social media audit. This is an easier one, which most non-social media marketers and entrepreneurs can use independently. This exercise will assist you have a realistic understanding of your current social media presence. So, how does the SWOT analysis look like?

Social Media Strategy
Use this template to chart out our social media goals and action plan. But, here are the crucial bullet points for quick scanning readers.

@Image Credit: http://www.jagpresspublicity.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/SocialMediaStrategy.jpg

Select:

  • Right platform: Every platform is not for you.
  • Social media objective: Select the best way to optimise these platforms.
  • Positioning: You have to be unique.
  • Tone of voice: Talk to them only.
  • Set:

  • Measurable goal for each platform
  • Frequency of posting
  • Right call to action
  • Crucial metrics
  • Social media policy
  • Implement the social media strategy.

    Once you have this strategy in place, you can limit your social media activities to day-to-day management. Most entrepreneurs do not include social advertising into initial social media marketing strategy. The game plan revolves around evaluating its potential for the particular organization in particular market. But, Facebook marketing or LinkedIn marketing can be useful strategy if you have necessary funds and creative resources. So, here are few tips to simplify the everyday social media tasks.

  • Maintain a social media calendar. Here is the template. It is an easy way to stay updated.
  • Use time-efficient social media tools. These tools will complete a chunk of the tasks without personal attention.
  • Plan and organize daily tasks. There are a lot of decisions and tasks. You cannot do it at a last minute for the best effect. Use these smart tips to manage them effectively.
  • Spend a select time every day. Devote a chosen part of your daily time to social media. This will simplify execution.
  • Track your social media performance.

    Using social media analytics is an inseparable part of the social media management. It will be non-negotiable if you launch a social advertising campaign with Facebook advertising or Sponsored tweets. So, use social media monitoring tools after a select duration to keep an eye on the progress towards the predetermined goals. You need to listen to your target audience well in order to respond effectively.

    A crucial part of any brand’s social media performance is “mistakes”. You can’t avoid all of them. But, you can be smart and avoid the typical mistakes. Then, you will learn the valuable lessons and use these mistakes as stepping stones rather than regrets.

    If you set right tools in place, you can manage the daily tasks within 1 or 2 hours of the day. This is an efficient way to manage your social media presence within limited resources.
    Do you intend to leverage your social media presence for lead generation and sales? Consult a digital marketing agency with a pay for performance billing system. It can lower your expenses and avail an efficient social media campaign. All the best!

    Is Your Website Driving Customers Away?

    April 8th, 2015

    What do customers want? What can truly capture their interest and drive sales? What evokes unconditional loyalty and advocacy? Every entrepreneur and marketer is looking for answers of these questions. As a digital marketing agency, we understand that digital technology hasn’t changed the basic principles of selling and advertising. We assist our client apply the century-old yet relevant principles of selling to digital space effectively. People can get blinded by next big things in field of technology and fail to notice what works and what doesn’t. Let’s explore selling principles as applicable to online space.

    Customer says, “Don’t make me wait.”

    Is your website driving customer away

    @Image credit:

    http://media-curse.cursecdn.com/attachments/85/584/1050a6b6770da2e056d68677756240ec.jpg

    As marketers, entrepreneurs and buyers, we understand this principle. So, don’t make customers wait online either. Your prompt and genuine support will go long way in creating a pleased clientele. That’s why; you want to avoid any of the following online mistakes.

  • Loading time is too slow.
  • Check out process is too time-consuming.
  • A registration process is compulsory.
  • Web content is too long or too complicated.
  • Download speed is too slow.
  • There is no easy way to contact the organization immediately.
  • Check out or download buttons are not easily available.
  • This website isn’t responsive.
  • Customer says, “It seems shady. I don’t buy it”

    Website customer says I don’t buy it

    @Image credit:

    https://iwbi.files.wordpress.com/2010/06/cropped-idbi1.jpg

    Trust is a complex concept for most sellers to establish across digital media. Frankly, you don’t have alternative. With growing number of unreliable online businesses, you need to take the extra effort to build a trusting relationship with your customers. So, you do not want your customers to think the following. It will neither build trust nor generate sales.

  • This website does not seem safe.
  • There are no actual answers in FAQ session. It is just promotional content.
  • Where is the return policy? Where is the refund policy? Where is cancellation policy? What will I do if…
  • Why does this website have so many pop ups?
  • Why does this site autoplay video/music?
  • There isn’t enough information to make a well informed decision about this product.
  • There are too many ads. Where is the website content that I wanted to read?
  • Customer says, “I am bored.”

    Website customer says I am bored

    @Image credit:

    http://books.simonandschuster.com/Im-Bored/Michael-Ian-Black/9781442414037

    No marketer or entrepreneur wants to bore the customer. Within seconds, your visitor has left the website and moved onto the next tab in browser. You might as well say bye. But, engaging isn’t equivalent to cool or fun. It is a right combination of interesting and relevant. Though, definitive of customer engagement vary with every website, industry and target audience, “engagement” is the key. So, what are the mistakes you want to avoid?

  • There is no engaging content on social media websites.
  • The website content is irrelevant, complicated, stuffed with keywords and/or old.
  • There are too many other products and/or services on the page.
  • Font size, font color, font type make content illegible. It is hard to scan.
  • This website does not fulfil customer’s expectations instantly.
  • Online businesses can grow and thrive in spite of some mistakes as long as you don’t break The Fundamental Rule of Online Success. Rest of all these mistakes can be rectified easily.

    Is Your Website Driving Customers Away - Stay ahead of the game

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    http://previews.123rf.com/images/thingass/thingass1403/thingass140300013/26577583-Stay-Ahead-of-the-Game-typed-on-a-piece-of-graph-paper-and-pinned-to-a-cork-notice-board-In-business-Stock-Photo.jpg

    Are you ahead of the game?

    What CEOs Must Know About Success In Digital Marketing

    February 16th, 2015

    Facebook has more than 1.3 billion active users. The number of monthly Google searches is somewhere close to 11.9 billion. All businessmen can estimate that even the smallest slice of this huge pie is worth every effort.

    In today’s cutting-edge and highly competitive digital market, you need to set your company, product, or brand apart from the next one. Every CEO wants to know how they can get more traffic and more sales. What is the “key” factor that can make the difference?

    The answer is pretty simple. There are 5 basic yet crucial thought processes that can pave the path to digital media success.

    1. Each channel has needs.

    Brands need to understand digital media. It is not just about a CEO who understands the direction of the industry or a CMO who understands buyer personas. It is about filtering down this understanding to a system of success.

    For example, Social Media is a one of the digital media channels. But, it is very different from SEO or SEM. On social media, you need to be keyed in to relevant topics and post and respond in real-time, to be a hit with your audience. Like Oreo did with its Super Bowl Slam Dunk:

    oreo super bowl slam

    @Image credit: http://blog.mindshare.ie/

    Remember, digital media success is strongly correlated to online brand positioning. So, first understand what each channel needs. Then, create systems that adapt to the different needs of these communication channels.

    2. Do more and get more.

    CEOs have a great opportunity to create thought leadership positioning. Thought leadership is a great way to personalise the brand and attract more customers by getting involved in issues that matter in your industry. You can establish thought leadership by:

  • Identifying new opportunities or solutions for growth
  • Overcoming the most pertinent problems within your industry
  • Offering subject matter expertise by sharing consumable content
  • Building trust within a business community
  • Creating a substantial impact
  • Take a look at the responsibilities of a thought leader. Every CEO, in some capacity or other, needs to identify new opportunities, solve problems and build trust within a community. In other words, a robust online presence is the perfect way to build your current profile and add value to your organization.

    what is a thought leader

    @ Image credit: www.prweek.com

    Any company can have a website and a social media account. However, thought leadership can be the key differentiator for your organization’s online presence.

    3. Know thy king.

    Digital marketing has brought a unique emphasis on customers. Every digital media activity is geared towards a better customer experience. Be it simpler navigation, a responsive website, or sharable content, “buyer persona” is at the forefront of key business decisions. But, there is something a CEO is in a unique position to do.

    know thy customer

    With example after example, digital media demonstrates the value of a customer-centric approach. But, a digital marketing company or marketing executive cannot implement a customer-centric business culture. A business leader can do it. Here is how:

    customer

  • Integrate web analytics, sales and customer care to identify customer insights. They can be used in every marketing communication.
  • Utilise key customer insights to create a better product: Year-on-year, every CEO has access to huge amounts of data. Unorganised and disintegrated, it occupies space. The right integration will give you key insights to drive your business forward.
  • The best example is the case of Jan Koum, the CEO of Whatsapp Messenger app. His keen insights into the customer psyche helped him create a user experience. It has allowed him to build more than an app. It has become an integral part of our social fabric because he used those insights to build a successful customer-driven business model.

    4. Get big without big bucks.

    Digital media is not about having big marketing budgets. Though, they do help. Digital media is all about striking the right cord with your audience. Be it a call to action on a landing page, social media post or your personal profile on LinkedIn, everything is an affordable tool. But, the real question is how much will you be willing to pay to get 250% growth in your website traffic?

    Food for thought: These insights are already proven to lead to digital media success. How will you implement them? Contact Us and we will help you to implement these for your business.

    The Art Of Fixing Your Digital Media Blind Spots

    February 5th, 2015

    It’s a little presumptuous to suggest that decision makers have digital media blind spots. But, it’s only human. We work with decision makers day and night. So, we understand that they work really hard to stay ahead of the curve. But, every now and then, these blind spots can rear their ugly heads.

    The Art Of Fixing Your Digital Media Blind Spots

    @ Image credit: http://www.doitmarketing.com/

    Digital marketing has several facets and is ever-evolving. Under pressure to perform, monitor and deliver results constantly, decision makers may overlook a few relevant factors. That’s why it is important to trust your digital marketing partners or in-house experts. Take their counsel seriously.

    Take their counsel seriously

    Are you a CEO, Entrepreneur, Digital Marketer or Social Media Manager? Then, read on and keep an eye out for these common digital media blind spots.

    competition

    Today, every organization wants more attention. They employ SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and SMO (Social Media Optimization). If possible, they use display ads too. But, several decision makers think of competitive brands as competitors. They forget to take into account the growing number of blogs, third party websites, international competitors, etc. Search engines and social media change your conventional “competition”. Is your digital media strategy ready for it? Here is a Google Worldwide Trend of interest over time in “travel insurance”.

    interest over time

    @Image credit: http://www.google.co.uk/trends

    Here is a Google trend of interest over time in “travel insurance” in the UK market.

    interest over time
    It may seem like there is a gradually decreasing interest in the market. But the picture is completely different when you include third party travel websites.

    Third party travel websites - Interest over Time

    So, don’t turn a blind eye to the current and potential key influencers in your market. Watch out for white papers and industry benchmark studies. Identify social and offline influencers in your industry too. Then, you can create a more holistic digital media strategy.

  • Collaborate with online bloggers.
  • Create content your customers are looking for rather than promotional content. This type of content is worthy news content for most third party websites and blogs.
  • Write guest posts for third party websites.
  • customer needs

    Whether you are a CEO, CMO or a digital marketing manager, key decision makers are not spending sufficient time talking to real customers. Frankly, it is not entirely possible. But, your organization has customers and employees in its sales and customer care departments. There is enough data in the sales and web analytics departments to create actionable insights. Powerful business leaders focus on “customers” and so should you.

    Customer is boss - Quote by Sam Walton
    Unhappy Customers Greatest Source of Learning - Quote by Bill Gates
    Customer Experience - Quote by Steve Jobs

    So, integrate the insights from web analytics, sales and customer service into your buyer persona. These data-driven buyer personas have a potential to minimize the risk in your decision-making process. It is not just about using web analytics but making profitable decisions.

    results vs budget

    Decision makers have to consider a number of aspects. There is just too much to be done to look at the next big thing on the digital media front. But, this digital media revolution is spinning at an unbelievable rate. Some organizations are offering just the solution you need for your current problem. But, most decision makers are too involved in traditional problem-solving methods to bother. The true sign of a digital marketing success is “Experimentation”. Drive your digital marketing campaign from your vision of results rather than budget and other constraints. You will be surprised to discover how affordable digital media tools can be.

    An impartial third party advisor can always help you see these blind spots, though. That has been our experience, anyway. Contact Us today to help you.